Copyright© 2007 Victor Echo
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's disturbed imagination, are used fictitiously, or are used with the permission of Victor Echo, and any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead, undead or mostly harmless, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Not my first story, but my first posted. Enjoy.
I once read somewhere that only mature women can wear purple successfully. I hate the word mature. It connotes old age, rather that sophistication, which is closer to the mark. But you can be sophisticated and not mature. If you have not experienced this, you will just have to trust me until you experience it for yourself. Besides, old was not a term I would use.
She admitted to being over 40, but standing in the opening of my cube, I would not have put her at more than 35 and judging by the increase in traffic in the hallway that fronted my cube, she had the attention of the rest of my male office mates as well. Like most IT shops, ours was heavily male and an attractive woman in our midst generally caused an urgent need to be somewhere where you could survey the scenery. I do not know if she noticed the extra attention. She probably did. As a woman in IT, you either ignored it or you did not last, especially if you were even remotely attractive. She was.
I read once upon a time that if a mature woman was going to wear purple, it had to be silk. Even from 10 feet away, I could tell she was wearing silk. Do not ask me how I knew, but I did. Maybe it was the way her blouse fell or the jacquard on the fabric. Three years in men's clothing had taught me a little. For example, the plain forest green wool skirt, falling two hands above her knees, probably had a matching jacket somewhere, but she was not currently wearing it. The blouse closed at the neck, but without a collar and the buttons were hidden. If I were a betting man I would guess they were pearl. Amethysts, sparkling in their gold settings were in her ears.
She also admitted to being a maverick. She was so well turned out that I wondered where the surprise was. She smiled at me as if daring me to guess, shifting her weight slightly on one foot. I let my eyes flick over her once more and smiled back at her. The smooth line of her skirt gave nothing away, her black hose clung tight to her legs, a slight pattern dancing over them in the light. No, it was the way her blouse fell against her side. At once covering and revealing. No question it was silk now.
"I suppose this is a special delivery and I am going to pay dearly for it?" I asked, breaking the short silence. I do not think I took too long to say something, or for anyone to think anything other than I had been caught by surprise by her presence. A fairly common occurrence actually considering very few people outside of our group even knew who I was, much less came to visit me. I knew who she was, but I do not think anyone else knew I knew. For most of us, she was just a voice on the phone or an email address. Until today, I had never met her in person either, but in many ways, I knew as much about her and she knew about me. It was as if we had been sitting next to each other for years.
"I believe that was the deal," she replied. That I even remembered the conversation amazed me. I rarely remember anything beyond the moment of occurrence unless I consciously force myself to. It makes it tough sometimes, which is why I will often write down important commands that I might only use once or twice but are critical to keeping things going. I have a sieve for a memory and I admit it, but I would have known her in a crowded room.
She looked like her picture and yet she did not. Black hair cut short in the front but collar length. Serviceable, some would call it, but I think it suited her, highlighted her features and made her look sexy. There was no order to her locks, an organized tangle that showed spirit. She was a bundle of confined energy, ready to leap into a task - harnessed and straining. I half expected an electric shock when I shook her hand. I was almost disappointed that I did not get one.
"Have you had lunch yet?" I asked, looking at the clock.
"No," she replied simply, her brown eyes smiling. "Where are we going?"
"Well, if I had know you were coming, I would have made a reservation, but I think I can come up with something," I said, riffling through my internal list of restaurants in the area where we could have a quiet lunch without being disturbed. "If you are ready? Or do you want to get your jacket?" I asked.
"I am ready, and I did not bring one this trip," she said as she backed up to let me out and into the hall.
"Then shall we?" I asked, offering her my arm as any gentleman would. She smiled and placed her hand in the crook of my elbow, playing up the roll. We negotiated our way into the corridor and out of the building. She told me about her trip down and the morning of meetings she had managed to endure. She was looking forward to the following day when we would be working together. To be honest so was I, for a variety of reasons, the least of which was I would have someone else trained in my job and would be able to commiserate with.
"You look wonderful," I said when we reached the street, the anonymity of the crowd surrounding us.
"Thank you," she replied. "After all, it is partially your fault."
"My fault?" I asked, perplexed.
"Yes, your fault. You never made a decision."
She was right about that, from her point of view. I actually had made a decision, I just never chose to share it with her, not knowing how she would react.
We stopped at the corner and she moved her hand from my arm and put it across my back, pulling me to her. I rested my hand on her hip and squeezed. I was afraid to rest my hand against her blouse.
"So my dear," I began, "what would you like for lunch?"
We crossed the street and walked into the park a few paces before she turned into the path, forcing me to stop. She wrapped her arms around my neck, her hands playing lightly with the hair at the back of my neck, a twinkle in her eye. I let my hands rest lightly on her hips, holing her, but not preventing movement.
"What if I am not hungry," she said, still playing with my hair, causing my skin to tingle and tighten.
"Well, this is Washington, DC," I replied. "There are many things one can do in this town at lunch time."
"Such as?" She was sweetness and light. She knew exactly what she was doing and my mouth was starting to go dry. Unfortunately things were happening in other places so I shifted my weight slightly.
"We could look at old masters, or new ones for that matter. Dinosaur bones? Fancy stones? Silk kimonos?" My mind was spinning as I dredged up as many things as I could. Truth be told, I am not a tourist in my own city and spend very little time walking around town, even though I spend several hours a day in it.
"Nope, nothing excites me yet," she said, pulling herself closer, our bodies touching. If she had any questions about how attracted I was to her, they were erased in that moment. I slid my hands around her sides and supported her at the small of her back, gently rubbing her spine in little circles between the top of her skirt and the bottom of her corset. She tipped her head back and sighed as I did that.
"If you keep that up," she whispered, "I cannot be held responsible for my actions." Her eyes had fluttered closed for a moment and then opened and looked into mine. I was still rubbing her back.
"I will give you a thousand years to stop," she said before she kissed me. I do not know what I expected, but it was not the passion that exploded between us. I moved my hands up to her shoulders, pulling her closer to me while she seemed to be holding on for dear life, our lips controlling the bottled lightning that was passing between us. A low growl escaped us, asked and answered, but who asked and who answered was unknown. The kiss broke and I was breathless. Her eyes were unfocused and she rested her forehead against my chest, her own chest heaving, striving to recover.
"If I had known I was to be on the menu," I said with a playful lilt to my voice, "I would have taken better care with my presentation."
"You weren't supposed to be," she replied, a faint tremor in her voice. I could not tell if it was fear or passion or a combination of both.
"I will tell you what," I began, as I slipped my hands back to her hips, giving her the opportunity to stand back if she wanted to. She did not move. "Give me a moment to collect myself and I will take you to lunch. If you want, I will even forget this."
She simply shook her head. "No."
I read once that purple, being a mix of blue and red, combines spiritual understanding and empathy, which it gets from the colour blue, with a healthy, passionate sexual appetite which it gets from the colour red, if you follow those things. Me, I was raised a gentleman and it does not matter what the lady is wearing, even if she is wearing nothing. When she says no, she means no, even if you do not understand which question she was saying no to. Women sometimes want us to be able to read their minds. That is a skill I have never developed, so I always go with discretion. A foot of space is always a good start and it gives you room to duck if she throws something.
She must have known what I was going to do, or sensed it because the tension in my hands had just relaxed when she dropped her left hand onto mine and held in it place against her hip, her head shaking at the same time she whispered "no" again, then emphasizing it by tightening her hand on mine and pulling me closer with the hand still holding my neck. I just stood there, letting her gather her thoughts.
She looked up at me; her eyes seemed unfocused as if she was not looking at me, but through me. Maybe she was not really looking at me but some spot beyond. I moved my hands to her waist and gave her a gentle hug. That brought a small smile and her eyes regained their focus as she looked at me. They had lost their playful sparkle. There was little question that what ever was going through her mind was serious. If she wanted me to know about it, she would tell me. Patience is not a virtue I suffer from, but in this case, I was willing to wait.
She pulled me closer and kissed me again. This time it was more of the wind of a bird lifting than the hurricane of our previous kiss and quick as if to apologize or as a place holder. She stepped back, never once letting go of my hand and moved to my right side. With a gentle tug she indicated that I was to follow her, or at least walk beside her, her decision made.
We walked across the park at a pace a marathon runner would call sedate. Not a word was spoken as I strove to match her stride, our fingers interwoven, our arms swinging freely. Every so often I would glace over at her and she at me, but it was more of a challenge not to run over the noontime workers out for some fresh air or a quick bite of lunch. Oddly, I found my mind doing a quick inventory of my bag, sitting quietly under my desk, to see if I had any snack food in it, because something told me that lunch, in terms of caloric intake anyway, had gone by the boards.
There are four hotels within walking distance of our offices. The one near the Circle was her goal and she barely slackened her step as we crossed the lobby and entered an elevator.
"I hope I am not being to forward," she whispered as she pulled me to her and we kissed again. The heady rush of her kiss and the acceleration of the elevator car was quite a mixture and we once again were breathless as the chime announcing her floor sounded.
I let her lead the way. Her room seemed to be as far from the elevators as possible and still be in the same building, yet we lost little time in getting there and once inside, she again pulled me close again. If I had seemed hesitant before, I was no longer. I pulled her tight against me as I kissed her back. There was passion and there was heat and there was unity. We broke apart and she sighed, planting little kisses on my chin as I was doing the same to her eyes. She looked up at me and smiled. It was a very self-assured smile, as if, until that moment, she had not really understood what was happening and now, not only understood, but wanted more. I had a similar feeling.
"You are a bad influence," she said, straightening up and pulling her elbows inside the cradle of my arms.
"And how is that?" I asked, kissing the knuckles on one had as it went by. She stopped her hands and let me kiss each knuckle in turn.
"I only wanted to tease you. To make up for all those messages that left me wanting more and not being able to reach it. To leave you in the same state you always seemed to leave me in." She was smiling as she said it. Oh, she had every right to do just what she had planned and I would not have thought less of her for it. But more than once she had surprised me and standing here, wrapped in my arms, she had surprised me again.
"But I cannot do that. I don't want to do that." She was having problems with the button on her collar, her focus floating from looking at me and trying to manipulate the button. I took both her hands in mine, taking them away from the button and standing back from her. She frowned at me, just slightly, but I noticed it. I kissed her fingers gently and looked into her eyes.
"I understand," I said, my voice breaking a little with emotion. I kissed her hands again. "I understand and I feel the same way. But please understand that I have to ask you if you are sure." I released the tension in my hands enough so that if she wanted to pull them away, she could, but I was not going to let them go otherwise. She thought she was sure; I needed to know that she was.
I read somewhere that in the modern age, purple should be warn as silk and that silk should be trimmed with lace. It makes a strong, regal statement. It says, "I'm not low maintenance." Any woman wearing purple silk will expect to be treated regally. And if she isn't... it's off with his head! I held her hands like they were lace, delicate and beautiful. I did not want to loose my head, but more, I did not want to loose my friend. I put myself in her hands and time seemed to stretch.
A part of me was sure Einstein would be curious to know the results of this experiment in temporal inertia. Eternity seemed to be approaching, yet neither one of us had moved. She pulled her hands out of mine and I felt my stomach drop.
"Yes, I am sure," she said as she wrapped her hands around mine and kissed my fingers, flicking her tongue delicately along them. At some point I must have stopped breathing because I suddenly had a strong need to start again. I was trembling and not just from a lack of oxygen. I pulled her to me and kissed her this time. She managed to get her arms around me as I pulled her closer, our bodies touching with only silk and cotton between us. I could feel her heart in her chest and hear the little moans of pleasure escaping her throat as I kissed her. We broke apart and again she tried to unto the top button of her blouse.
"Let me," I said, moving her hands out of the way and slipping the button through its hole. I slid my fingers along her neck and bent in to kiss the hollow of her throat, now exposed. Her hands had slipped to my sides and she was holding on to me as a swimmer does to a rock while enjoying the crash of waves around her.
A slight sigh escaped her lips as I undid each button in turn, following their progression along the hollow between her breasts to the top of the corset. With all the buttons undone, I kissed my way back up the right curve of her breast, her chest rising and falling erratically as I kissed my way up the side of her neck and back to her lips. Animal passion escaped her as our lips met and she tried to devour me in one bite. I caught her head in my hands, running my fingers through her hair and causing her to moan even deeper.