The digital readout on the no-brand hotel TV advanced a minute, the room silent save for my erratic panting. My head thrashed left on the pillow and I caught sight of the wildfire in my chestnut eyes from the nearby mirror above the desk. They shone from the eyeholes of a snug Venetian lace mask that extended from inky hairline to the tip of my button nose.
I wasn’t sure who was staring back: me or Her.
I shivered at the ease with which the mask had enabled me to compartmentalise. To metamorphosise. To wear flaming Guerlain KissKiss on lips that were usually undecorated. To apply tinted eyeliner that made my eyes pop like a cover girl. To dress up and play at being someone so different from everyday me. To misbehave on a royal scale. Become a shameless flirt. A sultry vixen.
Just for tonight, I told myself.
My hair was tangled, strands clinging to the perspiration on my temples. I surveyed south. Past heaving chest that filled the lacy charcoal bra, nipples erect and sensitive against the garment. Past the gentle swell of a midriff I knew needed more concerted gym attention. Past the landing strip of pubic hair that led to engorged, bare lips plunging between my splayed thighs, fingers insistently circling the pearl at their convergence. Past the sheer holdups shimmering in the lamplight, feet tucked into four-inch Aquazzura heels that writhed against the starched sheets.
My attire was an extravagance for sure. But it served as window dressing for the prize just beyond the foot of the king-size bed. My ravenous gaze came to rest upon him. Sitting patiently in a straight-backed wooden chair, watching me, tie draped around his neck, top button of the white shirt undone, sleeves rolled up, with an obvious tent in his suit trousers.
His chiselled jaw, dappled with five o’clock shadow, clenched with want at my brazen display, silently observing my performance. Appraising every curve. Every touch. Breathing every molecule of scent radiating into the room from my glowing body that I touched and stroked. All for him.
Nothing else existed. Not my husband, a long haul flight away, probably preparing breakfast for our little boy. Nor my morals, abandoned when I invited the American stranger to my room. The only reality was the intensity with which the walls reflected the urgent clicking wet sounds of my seemingly unquenchable desire as I sank my fingers inside, then surfaced to continue massaging my aching clitoris.
The holdups swished against the bed as I spread and closed my legs in response to the rampant need within me. The air conditioning was fighting a losing battle to keep me from going supernova, my centre sparking, short-circuiting, mere seconds away from ignition. Again.
I felt it welling up, possibly greater than last time. The hunger. The need for release. Threatening to rip me in two. Everything started to tighten, to twist then unravel. My head swam. I barely recognised my own voice, dripping with lust:
“Can I come yet?”
There was a maddening delay. Like he was weighing up the options. My pleasure in his hands, yet he’d not touched me. Time stretched and contracted like the muscles that longed to do the same inside my soaked channel. I was so close. So fucking close.
“No.” His tone was even. Measured. Sexy, even in just those two letters.
I cried out, the desperation almost painful. Flinging my hands to the bed by my sides, I wriggled like I’d been reeled in from the ocean and dumped on the shore. Clamping my thighs shut and steepling my knees was the only way to attempt calming my body. Noisy, staccato bursts of air through pursed lips punctured the silence, trying to quell the tide that threatened to consume me. To drift back from the precipice.
I’d been edging in the room for half an hour or half a lifetime, I wasn’t sure which. Each time I was allowed to creep towards the cliff top, preparing to leap over, he stopped me. Made me retreat. Made me start again. The knot in my belly was wound so tight it felt as if I could implode any second.
But the worst part? I secretly loved it. Craved it. Wanted more sweet torture at his command, because when Ð if Ð I was permitted to tip over the edge, I knew it was going to be spectacular. Like nothing I’d ever experienced.
Straightening my legs, I rolled first onto my front, then lifted my behind until my thighs were vertical, arms stretching fully ahead of me into the Extended Puppy yoga pose. I felt my back lengthen. Breathed out slow. In deep. Calming. The fact the position would show off the perfect outline of my shaved, plump pussy lips to the hungry stare of the man wasn’t lost. A small victory. Payback for making me suffer.
I reversed the action, unfurling catlike, then rolled prone, facing the ceiling, blank save for the winking green light of the smoke detector. My hands remained by my sides, rib cage rising and falling as I fought to control release and gradually won. The threat of orgasm receded. Just a little.
Lolling my head, I allowed my eyes to lock with his. The same way they had across the ballroom a few hours earlier.
The canapŽs had been delicious, the bubbly already flowing freely. A bumper year for the medical supplies trade had spilled to the bottom line of the company, and they knew how to throw a party as a reward: fly everyone from the global offices to Miami for presentations and trophies, followed by a masquerade ball in one of the hotel function rooms. With a free bar.
The masks weren’t a perfect disguise of course. I recognised Gary from sales due to his shiny dome and sticking-out ears. Patricia’s headwear was exceptionally flamboyant, a reflection of her everyday persona in our office. But others were harder to identify, most from other arms of the business or satellite offices. A few hundred of us, mingling and dancing in extravagant costumes.
Tables bearing nibbles lined one edge of the spacious room, chairs dotted around them. Waiters and waitresses carrying trays weaved among us. The central wooden dance floor was a wash of colour and swirling material, an excellent string quartet in the corner providing hits from the 1750s as backdrop.
I partook, periodically swapping anonymous partners between waltzes and fugues, passed around as if I were a delicate trophy, feeling every bit like lady of the manor. The variety was notable. Differences in the way the men held me or took the lead. Their strength. Their scent. Their muscles beneath tuxedos and suits.
Even though my heels weren’t exactly the epitome of dancewear and I’d never been classically trained, it didn’t take long to become coordinated. I did my best at appearing graceful while brushing bodies with men and women I mostly didn’t know, and probably never would. The setting had me electrified throughout. Charged beyond measure, because I knew something they didn’t as hips touched through showy clothing.
Before preparing for the evening’s entertainment fresh from the shower, I’d stood in front of the desk mirror and let my towel drop, sucking in my belly. Not bad. I still had it. My gaze fell to the mask on the dresser and I picked it up, turning it this way and that, the sequins around its edge catching the lamplight and glittering.
Stretching the elastic strap, I slid the mask over my head and pulled it into place. I almost gasped at the effect. Powerful. Like I could conquer kingdoms, naked or not. My hands traversed the sides of my body on automatic, brushing my full, doughy breasts, gliding over my stomach, coming to rest at the thatch above my legs. I ran my hands through the wiry hair, further to my smooth legs, then back up. All of a sudden, the hair seemed incongruous. Untidy. Spoiling the perfection that the mask promised.
What ifÉ what if? I shivered. I put my hand over the area, trying to imagine what it would be like hairless. Completely devoid? Or leave a little? How would I feel?
I gazed at myself. Started to flush at the sheer naughtiness of it, like it had awoken something inside. Something I hadn’t realised I needed until the mask gave me a fresh perspective.
In a flash judgment I tore the mask off, returned to the bathroom, grabbed my razor and treated myself before I could change my mind. It only occurred to me afterwards that I’d have some explaining to do when I returned home. But the effect was so utterly sensational, I doubted he’d mind.
The tiny half-inch strip of hair that remained blazed a path from just below my belly to just above my clit, like it was guiding the way to pleasure. Massaging scented oil into my smooth mound and soft lips made me shudder, a tingle beginning deep down.
It grew when I slithered into the decadent negligee and flowing burgundy ball gown. I felt like sovereignty and it became clear I needed to accentuate everything. Rummaging beneath my regular make-up to pick out bolder shades, I used it to accentuate, to vamp up, to transform me from an everyday woman into someone who made a statement. Who would be noticed.
The final result gave me a buzz like I’d never felt. Everything flowed in a sensual display of desire, from dark mask blending to hair pooling at my shoulders, where the dress took over to my ankles and heels. I ran my hands over my hips, smoothing the material, searching for imperfections to fix. I found one. Paused. Should I? Could I?
Staring into the mirror, I let the vision own me and made another snap decision. Fuck it. One night only as someone entirely new; someone the polar opposite of my usual cautious self. I fumbled beneath the dress, slid my knickers off and let them pool at my feet, then checked the lines again. Much better. And so naughty. I felt a thrill course my frame as I stepped away and left the figure-eight of material on the floor, nothing but air and excitement beneath the dress.
Grabbing the cardboard sleeve containing the keycards before I could change my mind, I stuffed them in my shoulder bag and strode from the room, a world away from the Tina Merton who had entered.
And that decision had led to this. Lying in front of this man, desperate to touch myself.
For him, I was Candy. His plaything. His wet dream. The object over which he had complete control. Staring at him from the bed, as near to naked as makes no difference, I used my eyes roving his body to implore him to let me continue.
His expression hardened. No doubt other parts of him too as he thought of what I represented. Of what we could do.
As if magnetised, my hands flew from the bed to my breasts. I squeezed and pinched the pliable flesh and gasped when I tweaked their apex through the bra. Over and over I massaged them, the caps stiff yet delicate, body twitching as current arced directly to my core.
My legs scissored open again almost of their own volition and I raced one hand to cup my virtually hairless pussy. Fingertips sought my clit, re-energising it as I convulsed beneath my ministrations.
Heat flushed once more, the surface of my skin crackling, my fiery clit the epicentre beneath my fingers. My other hand joined in, digits diving deep inside my parted labia, coated in sticky molten lava when they resurfaced.
In the most lewd display imaginable, I raised my hand, outstretched fingertips proffering the nectar. There was a pause before I felt the bed deform as he leaned in, bringing his nose within an inch of my hand. He drew a breath and his eyes glazed over. Then his lips parted. I felt the heat of his breath moments before they clamped over my fingertips and he hungrily sucked my juices from them. A low growl emanated from his throat and he sat back as my hand gravitated to probe my drenched pussy.
I felt insatiable. Somehow powerful, despite having none. “You like that?”
His face said it all. I tapped my clit, sending sparks to the inside walls beneath. “You like the hot taste of Candy?” He nodded emphatically. “You want more, just say the word and it’s yours. Every drop.”
And I meant it. I’d give myself to this man, this stranger. Let him finger me, taste me, fuck me. Anything he wanted from my tightly strung body he could have. The entire buffet. Tits. Tongue. Pussy. Arse.
The orgasm I’d averted earlier began to resurface, thumping at the door of my psyche to be released. My mind brimmed over with tumbling thoughts of him on top of me, his suit pressing against me as I scrabbled to liberate his thick cock. Feeling its heat and authority in my hand. The velvet smoothness of his engorged shaft, smearing pre-come over the fat tip. Spreading wide for him, breathing his musky aftershave, feeling his stubble scuff my exposed neck as he poised at my entrance and plunged inside me. Desire unleashed between us, our bodies slamming together in a ballet of raw lust as I showed him just how much of an English slut I’d become.
The word echoed inside me. Slut. It made me hot to think how depraved I’d been so far. Playing out my long-held fantasy, luring him here, letting him own me for nothing more than my own selfish gains.
Wetness sloshed within, spilled to the already stained sheets between my legs. The fire raged and I started to shake, groaning becoming louder as my fingers drummed a beat towards release.
“Stop,” he commanded.
“NooooÉ fuck!” I cursed, slamming my hands back to the bed. The effort required to draw away from climax was enormous. I almost didn’t manage it, but squeezed my eyes shut and tried to fill my head with thoughts that didn’t involve his manly body crushing me to the bed sheets. I fought and fought.
For me, orgasm is more than just visual stimuli. It’s the whole package. Mental. Physical. Emotional. So to shut it off entirely demanded discipline and willpower. A lot of willpower that Tina didn’t have but Candy was learning to master. I Ð or perhaps She Ð fought to focus not on the heat that was flushing my skin, not on the twisting in the pit of my stomach, not on the fact I could practically taste him in the air. But on other things, intangible and out of reach. Summer. Birds. Trees. Parks. Anything to escape the room. To delay what I hoped was inevitable. To please him.
I crept down from the pinnacle. Moment by moment somehow cooling the need inside me. Drifting away. Back to the masquerade ball. Seeing him on the sideline leaning against a pillar to the left of the dance floor, flute of champagne in hand. Watching. Seemingly just me.
Every time I looked his way as I twirled and stepped to the rhythm, he was following my every move. I felt singled out. In a spotlight. Special. Like the imperfections that usually define me didn’t exist or somehow didn’t matter to him. The rest of the world just fell away as I danced with men holding me, but not for them. It made me excited. So very excited. I wanted him to want me.
It was almost unfathomable but I wished the feeling would never end. Wanted to perform for the stranger until he broke down. Took me. Claimed me. And the weirdest thing? Far from being in a sexual rut at home, I was stable. Happy. Bringing in money. Being the perfect housewife. Sharing the cooking and chores and trials of bringing up a five-year-old, while remaining attentive and, dare I say, inventive in bed.
Chris liked being dominated. Loved it when I took control and forced him to do things to me. Things I adored too, of course. Like sitting on his face and grinding across his tongue and lips, feeling them probe my slick pussy and nibble my yearning clit until I came all over him. Or pinning him down and riding him hard until he flooded me with his seed. Then standing over him just in stockings as I let it dribble from my gaping pussy all over his body, before spending time licking up our mixture.
But another part of me yearned to relinquish that. To have the tables turned and let myself be guided for once. Become a passenger. On a journey where I wasn’t captain. The stranger’s gaze conveyed that. A quiet intensity about him that I found impossible to deny. Like he was used to being in control.
Why me? I had no idea. Maybe it was the alcohol. Or the dancing. Maybe the mask. Maybe the freedom it afforded was somehow transmitted like a beacon that only he could read.
Regardless the mechanism, he continued to watch. To wait. Achingly masculine in the dark suit. And all I knew at that moment was desire. Want. Need. All rational thoughts were banished. Like I had stepped outside myself. Been possessed by a corrupted version of me, free of values and societal pressure to do the right thing. For once in my life, the good fairy in my head was drowned out by the naughty imp in fishnets with the riding crop. Whipping my mind, whispering in my inner ear to do the wrong thing.
He oozed confidence. Sexuality. Power. Like he could turn every woman’s legs in the room to jelly, yet had chosen me. Shaking, but trying not to show it, I listened to the imp. Knew what I had to do.
At a convenient break in the dancing, I made my way to the bar along the short edge of the room. Predictably, he followed and drew alongside me, close enough to smell his musky aftershave but far enough away not to be threatening, resting his hands on the bar.
“Buy you a drink?”
I composed myself before turning to face him, his mask a far simpler affair than mine: all black that framed burnt amber irises. “It’s a free bar.”
I smiled. “Gin and tonic.” I didn’t even say please.
He caught the attention of the bartender, who could have passed for Jean-Claude Van Damme’s brother, and ordered himself whiskey and soda. The drinks arrived promptly and I thanked him. “So, you’re American.”
I took a chug of my drink, feeling it inflame my throat. “Which office?”
“Birmingham. England, not Alabama.”
He nodded. “First time in our country?”
He shook his head. “A beautiful English rose in the gay capital of the state. Some irony, huh?”
“Mmm. Rather like the company organising a get-to-know-your-colleagues party where we’re all anonymous.”
He laughed hard and I watched his Adam’s apple bob as he slugged his drink, then roved his gaze up and down my body. “So in the interests of Anglo-American relations, don’t you think we should get to know one another?”
I tipped my head to one side. “We are.”
“Then that depends.”
I knocked back another mouthful of G&T, trying not to make the ice rattle with my shaking hands. “What you want.”
He traced the rim of his glass. “I want to see what’s under your mask.”
I shook my head. “She belongs to my husband. What you see is what you get.”
He nodded slowly. “So what’s your name?”
“Candy.” It came out too fast. Too polished. But he didn’t seem to notice.
“Not a very English name.”
I smiled. “American Candy is very different from the English girl.”
He drained his whiskey. “Another?”
I sank mine. “Would be rude not to when you’re paying.”
He ordered and turned back to me while the bartender went to work. Appraised my entire body again and I swear he was x-raying me. I blushed, wondering if the lack of panty line was obvious.
“So, does American Candy want different things to her English counterpart?”
I fixed those amber eyes with a loaded look and breathed, “Very much so.”
He arched his eyebrows. “Such as?”
A shiver turned to a rush of thrill that travelled the length of my spine. “Candy is far more naughty.” I leaned in, right alongside his ear and whispered, “Candy isn’t wearing any panties.”
The way his gaze dropped to my pussy gave me an electric jolt. He remained looking down. “Turn around. Three-sixty.”
With deliberate slowness I did as he asked while his eyes bore into my bum and then my front again. I noticed movement in his trousers before our eyes met.
“Do it again.”
I did. The drinks arrived and we both sipped, not uttering a word as the quartet carried on. We just played eye tag over our tumblers.
He shook his head with amusement and swirled the remainder of his drink.
Of course that intrigued me. “What?”
“You look like a princess in that gown. A fairy tale. But underneathÉ” he waved his finger at my hips, then took a swig.