(Copyright by the author, June 1997. Do not alter in any way.)
This is an original story. Do not repost, reproduce or place in public archives without the author's explicit permission. Please do not edit or change anything in it, including this tag.
I guess I have about three or four hours. That'll give me time to get some strength and get out of here. And I have to get out of here. But I have sort of an obligation to warn the rest of you about this, so I'm going to tell you what happened and how.
There's an old saying: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
There's another old saying: Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.
I bought it from a peddler.
Wait - let me explain. It has to do with colognes, gray markets and sweat.
I went into Macy's to restock. I'd run low on my favorite cologne - I'll call it Chammofras - and went to Macy's on 34th Street to get more. Only they were out of it, and the pretty actress/sales clerk told me the line was no longer available in the United States, as the French manufacturer had stopped exporting it.
I was annoyed, to say the least. It's not easy finding the right scent. What smelled good to me wasn't necessarily the best scent. It has to do with an individual's body chemistry. The combination of a given set of molecules with a body's natural excretions can result in something wonderful - or something awful. Two of my buddies, for instance, favor Ralph Lauren's Polo. On Jed, it smells fine - a bit musky, very masculine. On Phil... Well, let's just say that dogs run howling. Remember how your gym locker used to smell after you left your sweats in it, unwashed, for a semester? Exactly.
So finding the right cologne isn't easy. And having found it, I was not happy to lose my only source of supply.
I explained this to Jed one cold Wednesday evening after work. We were just hanging out in Dunny's, a quiet bar off Third Avenue. We were sipping Buds and watching the pretty girls hurry past on their way to the more fashionable and swinging bars on Second Avenue. We were lamenting our group vice president's lack of vision and the cold weather that bundled all the babes in curve-covering winter attire.
"Why don't you try one of those street vendors?" he asked. "They have a lot of stuff you can't get in the stores."
I frowned. "Because you never know if you're getting the real thing or a counterfeit."
"Naaaah." He waved to Harry, the bartender, for a refill. "Most of their stuff is gray goods - you know, diverted."
"Let's say the frogs stop sending Eau d'Male to the U.S., but they still sell it to say, the towelheads, OK?"
(Jed refers to all non-U.S.A. citizens in this way. It's not meant to be a slur; it's meant to be cute.)
"So the towelheads in Qatar only buy about a case a year of the stuff, but the minimum order is a container. So they ship the rest of the container here, and the street vendors end up selling it."
"And the manufacturer doesn't stop it?"
"Hell, no - they got paid, so they don't care."
"Then why did they stop exporting it here themselves?"
"Why knows? They're frogs and don't use logic."
"Right. Hey, Harry?"
Which is how I started checking out the peddlers' wares. Sure enough, during my lunch hour on Thursday, I scored. A Bangladeshi fellow set up on cardboard cartons in an empty storefront on Sixth Avenue (the "Avenue of the Americas" to visitors) had the familiar green box. We negotiated, and a 10-dollar bill - about a third of what I'd been paying in Macy's - was replaced in my hand by the box. So far, so good. I went back to my dreary little office in the Empire State Building and thought no more about it for the day. After all, it was Thursday, which was the day Olivia wore her Vamp Outfit.
I looked up from my desk. I was trying to straighten out my receipts so I could get my travel expenses reimbursed. Jed was leaning into the office and grinning.
"You seen Olivia today?"
I shook my head. "She missing?"
"Uh-un. She's here, 110 percent of her." He rolled his eyes.
"I'll have to check this out."
"Catch you later."
Every office has an "Olivia" - a sexy young woman who knows her appeal and enjoys flaunting it. On my first job, she was a Yugoslavian bombshell whom we nicknamed "the Adriatic Coast" for her mountainous cliffs. In another office, she was a West Indian honey so black she was almost blue, who had the most kissable face imaginable and a body clearly designed to incite lust at first sight. At my previous place of employment, the office fox was an Asian beauty with hair down to there, legs that started somewhere around her armpits and the disconcerting knack of holding her tongue tip between her teeth.
In our office, it was Olivia, who was all of 25, South American, a fitness nut and a goddess. She worked in our graphics arts department and was reputed to be quite good at designing mailers. Someone had been quite good at designing her. Maybe 5-foot-2, Olivia's skin was the color of strong coffee with a dollop of cream, and it was flawless. She had tightly curled brown hair with a hint of russet in it, an exquisitely lovely face combining the best features of all the human racial groups, and a body that betrayed those 60-minute-a-day workouts she'd mentioned once (and which all of us red-blooded males appreciated).
Four days a week, Olivia dressed conservatively - almost dowdy. But on Thursdays, for some reason unknown to the rest of us, Olivia flaunted it. Sometimes it was a black leather microskirt and a ribknit turtleneck. Sometimes it was harem pants cinched to show off a waist that couldn't be more than 18 or 19 inches, and a vest... period.
I wondered what today's Outfit of Lust would be. I decided it was time to see if my new business cards were ready and headed for Graphics. And there, in the hallway, chatting with one of her colleagues, was Olivia.
I gulped, stepped back around the corner - out of sight - and considered what I had just glimpsed. Could I handle it?
Grow up, I told myself. It's just a woman. You can handle it.
I took a deep breath and stepped into the hallway again. And stared.
Olivia was wearing something that was a cross between a leotard and old-fashioned farmer's overalls. It was jet black and skin-tight from ankles to waist, displaying her hard-as-a-rock double-bubble-shaped ass and every inch of her legs. At the waist, it separated into a pair of long suspenders that looped over her shoulders. From the waist up, she was wearing a white cashmere sweater, a turtle neck. It clung to every square millimeter of her superb body. With the black suspender straps on the outsides of her white-encased tits, her breasts looked even more preposterously defiant of gravity. And above it all, her face was alive and her eyes bright as she animatedly conversed with her colleague in Spanish, giggling sweetly from time to time.
I decided I couldn't handle it and went back to my office, panting. And throbbing. It was terribly frustrating. Olivia was so gorgeous, so sexy - and so unreachable. She very firmly rebuffed everyone who made a pass at her and seldom even conversed for more than a minute with any of the men. It was well-known that she had a boyfriend. And if she was going to get chummy with anyone in the office, it certainly wasn't going to be an account executive 15 years her senior.
With a sigh, I returned to sorting receipts and tried not to think about Olivia going down on me, going down on Olivia, licking her breasts...
Mondays are the worst at some offices. At others, it's Wednesdays. At mine, it's Friday - Hellday. It's the day our dimwitted group vice president suddenly realizes that all the things we peons have spent the week telling him are important really are significant and decides to deal with everything at once... resulting, of course, in nothing getting done. For which we are blamed - by him.
This particular Friday was worse than most. For one thing, I was out of ground coffee and thus reduced to using instant; worse still, it was Folger's. To compound things, one of the kittens - Drat, of course - had somehow extricated a ball of twine (used for tying newspapers into recyclable bundles) from a closed drawer in the kitchen, which meant I had approximately 2.5 miles of sisal twine decorating the living room. I was not a happy camper.
And I was out of my cologne and had to try the new stuff, the unknown stuff, the stuff that might - or might not - be the only cologne I'd ever found that worked well with my body chemistry. This on the day of the weekly Executive Conference & Fly-Speck Picking.
Need I say that halfway to the office, the predicted freezing rain began and my umbrella disintegrated? Good; I won't mention it.
The elevators were the usual crush routine. I'd just unbuttoned my overcoat and squeezed into one when a young woman crammed herself in front of me and a fella no more than 80 pounds overweight forced himself in behind her. She was crushed against me, facing me. She was clutching a Duane-Reade bag, so I guessed she had just hurried to the lobby drugstore to pick something up, as she wasn't wearing a coat.
The elevator doors closed, and I glanced down at the woman smeared against me, giving her a Shit-like-this-happens smile. Actually, I should have enjoyed it. She was a nice looking young woman, and she had a decent figure under her blouse and skirt; I could feel that figure quite well against me. This sort of intimacy happens in a big building (and subways), and if you've got half a brain, you just kind of tune it out.
But she wasn't tuning it out. In fact, instead of returning my smile in kind and acknowledging that this whole forced clinch was meaningless, she was looking up at me from beneath half-closed eyelids, and her nostrils were flaring. Her lips parted slightly, and she licked them. And she was rubbing herself against me, side to side, massaging her breasts on my lower chest.
I'd read stories about this kind of thing in Penthouse and on BBSs, but I'd never experienced it. Suddenly, I was willing to believe the stories. She was definitely enjoying herself, and I wasn't going to complain. In fact, old Mister Pecker was up and throbbing. And she could feel it, because she was flexing her thighs against my leg and rubbing herself against my cock's bulge.
The elevator slowed and finally stopped at the 71st floor and most of the sardines began getting out.
"I get off here," she breathed up to me. "You could get off, too. Alice - 7115." Flushed and panting slightly, she exited. Her nipples were clearly swollen under her blouse.
I was so surprised at the whole episode that I just swallowed and watched the doors close. When I got off the elevator at 74, I decided that my new cologne at least wasn't offensive.
I got to my desk at 10 after nine and began preparing for the regular 10 a.m. Ritual Disemboweling of Employees. The coffee cart rolled by, and I stepped into the hallway for a danish and a large cup of regular. Jocelyn, whose accounts were primarily in tobacco and spirits, was already there.
Jocelyn is known as Dragon Lady around the office. Tall, a brassy blonde from the old school of Bigger Is Better, Jocelyn is a couple of years older than I am and is the only person reliably reported to have performed verbal castration, complete with the attendant bleeding. She can turn on the charm, and the word around the office was that she'd originally gotten to be an account exec by lips service while being on her knees - but she was generally nasty. Make that Nasty. Jocelyn was divorced and raising a pair of teenagers by herself. Which could explain a lot.
"Good morning, Jocelyn."
"Mike." She nodded, took her coffee (black, of course) and stepped aside. So much for pleasantries. I made my purchases and turned to find her still standing there, looking at me oddly. I gave her my patented Wooden Smile of Emptiness and started toward my office.
"Say, Mike, how do you like the new business card design?"
Thus did she double the direct conversational quantity of the previous year.
"Uh, still waiting for mine," I replied, glibly. She fell into step with me for the short trip to my office. She also seemed to be blushing just a bit. I stopped outside my cubicle. "What do you think of them?" I felt like I simply had to say something, and I had, indeed, said something simple.
"I like them," she said, and she chewed her upper lip a bit. She really was a handsome woman, especially when the mask of the Dragon Lady was missing - as it was at the moment. "The old ones are so... staid. Stiff, I guess."
"They needed loosening up." I stepped into my office. She followed me. As I sat, she leaned back against the door frame. The pose threw her breasts into high relief against her Executive-Cut Blouse.
"The new ones are hipper, even sexier."
She was flushing, and her nipples were points against her blouse, even through the bra a big, busty, 40-plus-year-old woman had to be wearing.
"Well, uh, I'll be looking forward to seeing them," I responded smoothly.
"I'd like to get your thoughts," she said, her voice getting husky. "Maybe we can compare notes over lunch at Russell's."
Russell's was a dimly lit rendezvous restaurant in the lobby of a hotel a few blocks from the office. "Lunch at Russell's" was an unofficial euphemism for a nooner in our place.
"That could be, uh, worthwhile."
"Let's do it soon, shall we?"
"Uh, sure, Dra- Jocelyn. But I already have something today. Maybe next week?"
"Good," she said softly. "I could really use your input, as much as you want to give me." She turned and left, hips swinging.
I turned back to my paper work, beginning to wonder just what had made this my lucky day, when there was a knock on my door frame. It was Ellen, one of the gofers from Graphics.
"I have your new business cards."
"Thanks, Ellen." I smiled at her. Everyone always smiled at Ellen. She was tall, willowy and totally guileless. She had a quick smile and made no attempt to hide her ignorance or wonder. She was your basic cornfed blonde from some midwestern state where wheat, sorghum and clear-faced, blue-eyed blondes are the main crops. She was 19 and managed to seem about 16 without any artifice. Ellen went to Parsons part-time and worked in our Graphics section part-time. She was sort of the office mascot. I think we all thought of her more as a niece or a kid sister, watching out for her and helping her. She was also as clumsy as a fawn.
"Here you - "
The Curse of Ellen struck.
" - oops!"
She dropped the bundle of business cards on my desk, where they banked off my coffee cup. Of course, she'd grabbed the cup before any damage was done - and managed to send my danish into my lap, sticky side down. It clung to my thigh as if glued in place.
"Oh, jeez, I'm so sorry," She reached for the office-issue Kleenex Substitute and managed to knock the EZ Dispenser Pak onto the floor.
"It's OK, Ellen."
"No, really, let me clean it - "
"It's fine, Ellen. No harm done." Yet, I added mentally.
"Please, I feel so bad - " She came around behind my desk and started dabbing at my thigh with one of the coarse paper towelettes. Bent over as she was, I could look right down the front of her plain, white blouse and see her lovely, small, bra-encased tits. She was blushing madly over her clumsiness... except that the blush seemed to go right down to her breasts.
"You know, I'm so clumsy and everything, I don't know why everyone puts up with me," she babbled softly, trying to wipe away the evidence of her clumsiness. Her hands were moving more slowly on my thigh now. "And you, especially, are awful nice to me, and that means a lot to me, Mike - Can I call you that? - because it can get awful lonesome for someone like me in the city, where you never can tell who you can trust. And you're awfully nice to me." Her hands now were just fingertips, tracing small circles on my thigh. "I really wish we could spend a little time together but like, not in the office, you know? I'd really like that, and I could make it up to you for making such a mess and clean the stain from your pants off for you..."
Down inside her bra, her nipples were very stiff points. And she was looking right into my face, seeing where my gaze was. Her nostrils flared a bit. "In fact, maybe we can just close the door, and I could try to get it out for you here, because I'm sure I could do it in just a minute or two... ?"
"I think that would be lovely, Ellen - "
She smiled hungrily.
" - but I don't think that's a good idea. But thanks for the flattering offer."
She looked sad. Slowly, she straightened. "Well, if you reconsider," she said in a definitely un-Ellen tone of voice, "I'm always open to it."
I smiled and nodded as she took her taut 19-year-old body out of my office and left me sitting there with a stain on (and a hard dick in) my pants. I was very confused. First Alice with her frottage in the elevator, then Jocelyn not-so-subtly suggesting a nooner and now Ellen just about begging me to let her suck me. I didn't know what explained this sudden irresistible attraction I had for women, but I was sure of one thing: I was staying well clear of Mrs. Rothblatt, the aging harridan who was the office manager. The image of her coming on to me killed my appetite for the remains of my danish and made me actually long for the sanctuary of the Friday Purification Ritual.
" - and I have never seen her do anything like that before. Never."
Jed and I stopped outside my office. "Me, neither," I said. "I wonder what ever possessed her?"
"Possessed" was the word for it, too. When Group VP and Senior Executive in Charge of Finger-Pointing Babcock started to rake me over the coals for failing to buy the commercial time (for which the purchase order had been on his desk and awaiting his signature for three weeks) for a new account, Jocelyn started lambasting him for doing nothing and then blaming me for it. She was like a woman possessed, demonstrating the venomous verbal streak that had earned her nickname. By the time she was done with him, he looked like he'd just had his balls massaged with a pair of Vise-Grips. Anyone who's ever seen a female cat defending a wounded mate would have recognized the symptoms on the spot.
"Beats the shit out of me, buddy. If I didn't know better, I might even think she's got the hots for you!"
"Well, what would be so impossible about that?" I ventured.
He snorted. "In your dreams, buddy. And mine. Great big, busty gal like that, been so long without getting a good - " He saw the odd expression on my face. "Come on. Seriously."
"Am I missing something here? I mean, I'm not a bad-looking guy."
He smacked me in the arm. "Exactly. You're a guy."
"You really don't know? Man, she's gay, a dyke. She doesn't flaunt it, but she's never tried to hide it. She and that Eurasian babe at the wine outfit have been an item for a couple of years."
"You're shitting me."
He shook his head. "Anyways, I gotta get moving. I have a lunch meet with some people from Canada. Catch you later, buddy!"
I said it as if I really wasn't totally bewildered. I checked the time - 11:35. I had just enough time to get to the While-U-Wait drycleaner, get my pants cleaned and make my lunch appointment... if I hurried.
I hurried. At five after noon, I spotted Jack and Milly and their two kids across Seventh Avenue, waiting in front of the stone eagle that is all that remains of the grand old Pennsylvania Station. I hadn't seen them in a couple of years. They were passing through town on their way to JFK and a trip to visit Milly's folks in Denmark. I'd introduced them 15 years before. At the time, Milly and I were dating, and we'd planned to fix Jack up with a classmate of hers from Columbia University. By the end of the evening, Milly and Jack were making puppy eyes at each other, and a year later, I was in their wedding party. I was glad for both of them, though at the time Milly was the only woman I'd ever met who made so much noise when she had an orgasm.
The boys - 11 and nine - were polite, well-spoken and generally about as interested in having lunch with some ol' friend of Mom's and Dad's as I was at that age (i.e., zero). After hugging Jack and Milly (hugging Milly was more fun), I piled all five us into one of those cramped things that passes for a cab in New York these days, and we took off for my club, over on Madison. Membership was $200 a year, and it was worth it. I took clients there to impress them, and I ate there alone occasionally to get very good food in a quiet place at the worst time of day. One of the boys sat in the front seat, and the rest of us were crammed into the back. I was stuck between Jack and Milly. I was very conscious of her firm thigh against mine during the jolting ride.
At 35, Milly was in the flower of her femininity. A classic Danish blonde, she was tawny from the southern California sunshine and glowed with vitality and good health. Leaving the cab, she threaded her arms through Jack's and mine and let us be her escorts to the door of the club. She seemed to brush her lush breast against my arm rather more than necessary.
Inside, we handed our coats over to the coat-checker, and Arnold, the maitre d', guided us to our table. We were seated at the round table with Milly on one side of me and the oldest boy, Gerald, on the other.
Milly had gotten a lot of admiring eyes when she'd removed her coat. She was wearing a russet jumpsuit, and it was quite obvious that marriage, two kids and the years had not reduced the stun quotient of her figure a bit. If anything, she looked hotter now than she had when we'd been dating. I wondered if she still went braless.
Predictably, the boys went for hamburgers and fries. Us grownups had more sense, of course, and appreciatively tore into grilled lamb chops and steamed vegetables, all the while catching up on old times and old friends.
"So you never married after all, Mike?" Milly asked, innocently.
I shook my head. "Nope. Never really met the right woman."
"But there've been plenty of tryouts, I bet!" she teased, pursing her lips around a bit of zucchini.