"It would be some time before she'd be ready to leave."
That was the first thing the old man read every morning. After he'd had breakfast - cereal and orange juice, eaten standing at the tiny counter in the kitchenette - he'd cross to his chair, open his laptop, and start to read. Now and then he'd edit a bit, add a paragraph maybe. Mostly he read. He'd finish some time after 11, a little later each day. Then he'd make himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and wash it down with a beer, again standing at the counter. After making use of the cramped little bathroom, he'd sit back down, think for a bit, and then begin typing.
Here is the first of what he'd written:
It would be some time before she'd be ready to leave.
To ease the time, I took out my IPhone and opened a video of her.
The video showed her arrival at my home outside San Luis Obispo. I'd put the video together from footage taken by the various security cameras along the long drive.
I looked at the first frame a moment.
She stands outside the gate in the light California spring rain. The mist makes the steep hills lose resolution and dissolve. Everything around her is green and blooming. Her cab has just driven off. She wears blue jeans and a white blouse.
It's hard to say what I felt as I looked at that first frame. No, I must be honest in this account to myself. I felt a sense of loss, though after the last two years she was certainly all the more mine.
I took another sip of my beer.
I started the video playing. Again I watched as per instruction she bends and takes off her shoes, the boring sneakers Dave'd let her wear to fly across the country. Even alone, I'd've made her wear something with long heels.
Again, the gate swings open and she walks in.
I watched her walk up the damp black asphalt, passed the rhododendrons, passed the beds of camellias, daffodils and iris, passed the magnolias and cherries. The drive up to my house was quite beautiful.
Her walk and the video end with her climbing the steps to my front door. There she waits a moment, bare feet on the wet stone, her beautiful face still and unreadable. Finally she rings the bell.
I left the phone showing that last frame, her hand raised. I took another sip of my beer, looked over to the bar's entrance. A couple of men came in. Women appeared like moths and fluttered around them. These guys didn't hesitate for a drink like some others, they chose a couple girls and moved on through to a hallway and then to an elevator.
I watched where they'd vanished. She would come down that way. Soon the elevator door would open and there she would be. Soon I hoped.
We'd arrived perhaps two hours before. She wore an expensive bit of black nothing. It started just above her slight breasts, leaving her shoulders and chest impossibly white, it clung to her form and ended just below her ass. If she stood still and demure, you saw nothing but long white legs and thighs, if she stretched, behind you'd see the little diamond her thighs and bottom made and a good bit of her bottom as well, in front you'd see ... Sitting with her next to me in the cab had been a hot agony. She had a black velvet circlet about her neck. Diamond pendant earrings hung from her delicate ears.
Her eyes, when she looked into the dark bar, had been wide and questioning. I hadn't told her what was going to happen. It was my present to her, expensive and what she would enjoy, though not something I wanted to give.
We had crossed to the elevator. The moth-like girls'd risen when we entered, but seeing her they'd subsided, unable to compete.
Three stories up we walked down a hall and into the large suite at the end. Five men were already there, they wore dark suits. Two were talking on their phones. The other three stood on a balcony talking. There was also a woman, a servant, red haired and beautiful, naked save for black stockings and black high heels. She held a tray of drinks and drugs.
I didn't like the memory of what'd happened next. It led to thoughts of what was happening to her now. Well, had been happening, hopefully she was just getting into the elevator, leaning on that servant for support perhaps.
I thought instead of how I'd first met her. Always a pleasant occupation. Unfortunately I've no pictures or video of that meeting, but I'd thought of it often and'd often discussed it with Jane. I opened the memory in my mind and pretended to click on it. If I concentrated on its unfolding, I'd not think of the present.
I parked the rental car and looked at the long narrow street of townhouses. I was not there by choice entirely. I had sudden business in the dreary little city that was the reason for being for the working class suburb in which Dave and I'd grown up and been friends. Some confluence of sporting events, March madness? a Nascar race? I don't know, had swallowed most of the hotel space. I'd had a choice of paying a lot for a poor room or staying with my grade school and college friend whom I'd last seen twenty years before.
It was a near thing. I hadn't seen Dave since his divorce. Then he'd come west on a visit that had been all his idea. He'd been pretty broken up. He'd made a bad choice of wife, she'd been ambitious and he couldn't meet her expectations. They had 2 little girls. I introduced him to the pleasures and pastimes I'd picked up since I'd left school, since I'd started to make real money.
He'd taken to those pleasures like a drowning man to a rope, a rope that in this case was weighted.
When he returned home, well, to his sad new bachelor digs, he took with him the name of a club in Cleveland. I'd paid for his membership as it was outside his reach.
The detective his wife employed followed him there. Faced with the prospect of a scandal that would've cost him his job, he gave up all visiting rights to his children.
Dave'd always been shy and awkward and to be frank, only average in intelligence. That was probably why we were friends back then, I was just the opposite, smart and personable and arrogant, though it's not really arrogance if one's abilities are real, is it?
His shyness and awkwardness stuck with him, but he lost his glad good humor. When his parents died, his mother of cancer, his father shortly after of sadness, he'd moved back into the house on the block that'd been our stomping grounds as kids. He lived there pretty much as a recluse.
He kept in touch, sending Christmas cards and when his company got email, the occasional message. I replied to neither kind of communication.
In the course of arranging to stay with him, I was surprised to learn that he'd moved out of the old house a year or so previous and into a condo.
A light snow fell, the least of the many reasons I'd left the Midwest. It was hard to make out the numbers on the townhouses. I got out of the rental and walked by maybe 2 units and found his. I walked up the short brick walk and pressed the buzzer.
She opened the door.
I've never been so surprised in my life. She was such a pretty girl, simply dressed, a modest maize colored blouse tucked neatly into her jeans. Her jeans were simple and crisp and very very blue. She wore no makeup that I could see nor jewelry. Her hair was a lustrous brown, cut so it made a lively cup for her pretty face. I prefer women's hair to be long, of course. The only imperfection on her oval young face with its ample warm lips, green eyes and fine eyebrows, was a small pale lump just by her nose. I wouldn't've noticed it if her face hadn't been so close to mine. I stared at it like it was the only explainable thing in a world gone mad. Her feet were bare.
I could only figure he'd gotten back in touch with his daughters.
She said, "You're Dave's friend Leo! I'm Jane. I'm Dave's well, his, well, his girl friend." She blushed.
"Come in please," she went on, "It's month end. Dave wanted to get out of work early but couldn't." Dave was an accountant. "He'll be home soon. He's so looking forward to seeing you. He's told me a lot about you."
She showed me into a little living room. "Would you like something to drink?"
I managed to say I wouldn't mind a beer. She went through the dining area into the kitchen. Where she was, things seemed to be in sharp focus. Where she wasn't, I had only the sense of a vague blur.
She handed me the beer, a Bud for Christ's sake. "Let me get your things from your car. Which is it?"
"A blue Lexus. It's two doors down. There's just a suitcase in the trunk. I can..."
"I'm on it," she said. She put her hand on my arm, "Drink your beer. The keys?"
She walked out the door barefoot though there was a good 2 inches of snow on the ground. I went to the window and watched her stroll to the car like it was a summer day. I watched her pop the trunk, bend to get my suitcase, she had a very nice taut bottom, lift the suitcase and roll it back to the townhouse.
My surprise'd surpassed its previous record, set only moments before.
Her feet were quite red when she came in. Though she brushed them on the mat, they left narrow wet footprints on the gleaming wood of the little entryway. "Here, I'll show you your room."
I followed her up the stairs and was shown the sort of cramped second bedroom you'd expect to find in such a place. If it weren't for Jane, I'd've been regretting my choice big time. The worst hotel room was better than that tiny little closet.
I thought that if I had a week to spend there, I'd surely be able to lure her from Dave. As it was, I only had the night. I had to meet with someone the next day and then had to fly out the next afternoon. Not much time. I felt desperate.
"The bathroom's there," she said, pointing across the hall. There was just the one and it was small. "I have to see to dinner. Make yourself at home."
She went downstairs. I followed shortly and leaned against the kitchen doorjamb. She had a pair of steaks marinating. I could smell baked potatoes in the oven. She was preparing artichokes to steam. There was lettuce and tomatoes for a salad. There was a pie, rhubarb I noticed, on the counter. She was there too.
We heard the garage door trundle and a car door slam. She waited just a moment then opened a door on the other side of the kitchen just as Dave walked up the steps.
"Leo!" he shouted in pleasure as he came in. "Great to see you!"
I had eyes only for Jane and went through the business of greeting my old friend in a perfunctory manner. I did notice that he seemed to have regained some of the good humor he'd had when we were young. She took his coat, hung it, bent and picked up a well worn pair of slippers. She brought them and knelt on the floor. Dave by this time had me in a bear hug so she had to wait. He stepped back and lifted each foot so she could pull off its loafer and slip on the comfortable replacement.
She stood and went back to the counter and the dinner preparations. We drank beer and watched as she worked.
They had a grill on a little patio out the back door. The patio was still snow covered. There was a shiver of cold air every time she stepped out to do something with it. Her feet left tracks from the door to the steaming grill. For me, the air around her wavered and shimmered with heat.
As I watched her, Dave brought me up-to-date on matters local. He seemed to have gotten back in touch with everyone. I learned, well heard, about who's plumbing business was doing well, who's aluminum siding work had dried up, who'd been laid off and was flipping hamburgers, who'd been laid off and found no hamburgers to flip, who was now married to who and who they'd been married to before and before that too.
This was not at all what I wanted to know. I wanted to know how in hell Dave and this wonder had gotten together. I wanted to know what could be done about it. I wanted to know if she was the evening's entertainment. I really wanted to fuck her. I wanted to take her back with me.
When Dave'd come out to visit me, I'd arranged for a friend's girlfriend to keep him company, the guy was mad at the girl and spending the week with Dave was not the least of her punishments. I didn't think there would be any other girls tonight, just Jane. Would Dave share? I certainly wouldn't've in his place.
I wanted to know if they were happy and what could be done about it...
I'd been growing increasingly dissatisfied with my companions. I suspect they'd always stayed with me and done as I bid because of the power of my rising position and the money it brought. It'd never used to bother me, but now it'd begun to.
Dinner was quite good. We sat at the table in the cramped dining area. She served, then stood behind Dave with one hand on his shoulder, the other on the back of his chair. Her sweet firm breasts pushed against her blouse, bobbing slightly with her movements.
"There've been changes in your life," I observed, "You've moved for one. I thought you'd never leave that house out in Tallmadge."
"Well," he grinned, "It would've been awkward living out there with her." He looked up at her and their eyes met and she smiled fondly. That smile hurt. He looked over at me with a touch of mischief in his expression.
She resumed looking demurely down at the table.
I felt a surge of lust and annoyance. Dave'd been my friend since we were barefoot kids. He'd lived 4 houses down from me. He'd always been number 2. I'd gotten my girl friends to fix him up with their hopefully willing friends. In college I'd argued him into my fraternity (which had all but prostituted itself to admit me), silencing their serious objections about what a loser he was. Mine'd been the career of wealth. He'd been lucky to land a job in the accounting department of one of the few companies in the area that had not died a horrible death. He planned to slip quietly into a comfortable retirement in a relatively few years.
That was not likely to happen, I knew. I was in town to meet with the VP of Finance of his employer. The guy'd been feeding us what we needed to perfect our takeover. The guy had some concerns about what we were offering him in return. I needed to reassure him. Shortly we would pounce and all the jobs would evaporate as we moved things overseas.
"Would you like to know how we met?" Dave asked.
"I see you'd like to tell me," I said, trying to sound indifferent.
He grinned at me, I wasn't fooling anyone. The bastard was going to draw it out. "Jane," he said, "What do I remember best about that first visit of yours?"
She looked down at him and then looked over at me and blushed quite prettily. When had I last seen a young woman blush? I realized it wasn't so long before - when she'd opened the door for me and told me she was Dave's girlfriend. A smile crossed her lips.
"Perhaps, it's like how much you had to shell out?"
"That answer will cost you," he said sternly.
My surprise level scored yet a new high. I thought that if she was or had been a call-girl, I needed to get the name of her pimp.
"Jane, again, what do I remember best about your first visit?"
"I'd really rather not say."
"Worse and worse! I insist."
"It's like how we fucked after you beat me?"
He leaned his chair back, laid a hand on her ass and squeezed it through her jeans. "You will be punished both for being wrong and for thinking too highly of your charms." Despite his words I could see he was pleased with her and happy with her responses. Happy to be annoying me.
He turned to me. "You remember the den in that house? When we were kids? It had a recliner and a couch and a TV and a lot of pictures of baseball players, all Cleveland Indians. We spent a lot of time in there, Saturday mornings, watching cartoons, and late nights on Fridays watching the horrible movies. Remember the "Creature Feature"? That room faced a fenced-in backyard and had but a single window. I made some alterations. I put triple-glazed glass in and put up soundproofed interior shutters. Once drawn nothing could be heard outside. My prized bit of furniture was and is" (he fondled Jane's ass) "quite a bit different from my Dad's recliner. It cost almost what I paid for my car."
He cut a bite of steak and lifted it up for her to eat. His story telling skills were crap.
"I've never been like you. I've had to ration things. A girl maybe once every other month. Always in the evening when its dark and the neighbors won't notice. It'd been near 20 years since my divorce. It was the weekend before Thanksgiving. The weather was foul, freezing rain. Sunday morning I couldn't stand it. I called the escort agency I used and got them to send a woman that afternoon.
"Of course by noon it'd turned beautiful.
"The agency had explicit instructions that the women were to drive into the carport and come in by the kitchen door, so the woman should be only be in view a few seconds. But they often forgot and parked on the street. Of course the neighbors did not spend all their time scrutinizing my doings, I told myself. They'd've been bored stiff. Still I worried and thought of canceling. I didn't of course. I'd've had to pay anyway. And I did want the occupation the girl would provide.
"She rang my doorbell, the front doorbell, and I opened it. It was about 5 minutes after the arranged time. I must've looked wide-eyed and wild. Just sight of her quite stunned me. I hadn't expected they'd come through with something with such fresh faced prettiness. Before she could say anything I growled, 'You're late!' and yanked her in.
"There was just the right amount of confusion and reluctance on her part. We paused at the door to my den, it was dim compared to the brightness of the afternoon, the curtains were pulled and several lamps were lit. The black leather horse loomed before her."
He paused and looked up at Jane.
"What I remember best about that Sunday afternoon is how your eyes widened, how your lips so slightly parted, how your stance shifted, the moment your eyes took in what would so soon be your steed, its leather black and highly polished, its rump raised higher than its head, so its rider would always tip forward, as if galloping downhill."
He turned back to me. "She must've stood tense, transfixed for a whole delicious minute. Her eyes dropped and took in the Velcro straps on each of its four legs, each strap adjustable so it could be just the height to bind a particular equestrian's ankles and wrists. Her eyes must've taken in the thick drawn curtains, the hard polished wood of the paddle which lay on a chest of drawers, next to the other things. How wide her eyes had grown when they turned back to me! That instant was so so delicious!
"At that moment, I changed my guess about her. I had figured her to be a college kid making some good money to avoid student loans. Now I reckoned her to be a college theater student with real acting talent making some good money to avoid student loans."
He looked up at her again, smiling, as if he could still see that look of fascinated innocence.
"I told you sternly, 'Because you are late, I'm going to be extra hard on you.'"
He looked back at me, sipped his beer and went on, "I saw her eyes shift again to the paddle and the whips that lay on the table. She took a step back and put a hand over her mouth. I gripped her arm harder and pulled her in and shut the door. She looked again at the horse and now her expression seemed to take on something of a hesitant consideration. She set her bag and something else, I wasn't paying attention, on an easy-chair. She looked again at the horse. Then she turned to look at me.
"She said, 'If I asked you to let me go, would you?'
"I thought, 'Shit, she's going to chicken out.'
"I said, 'Yes, of course.' My voice croaked I think.
"She looked back at the horse. She breathed through open lips. I got just a glimpse of her tongue as it touched her upper lip. When she turned her head to me again, there was now a hint of amusement about those lips and the corners of her eyes. 'If you're like expecting me to beg for mercy, it's so not gonna happen, ' she said, 'I'm not late at all and I've done nothing wrong.'
"'Impertinence will only make it worse, ' I said, 'Strip.'
"There was another pause. I thought of telling her she'd be punished for the delay, but held my tongue. She flushed. She looked at me, then down at herself and then as if it held a fearful attraction, at the leather horse. When she shook off one flip-flop then the other, I realized I'd been holding my breath and I let it out. I tried to hide my relief.
"Her stripping was another good thing. I know that you, Leo, like the girls to put on a show and make a long tease of it until you pretend frustration and take a firm hand, but not me. I like it simple. And she was so pretty! Her t-shirt came off, then her bra. Her breasts looked just the size of my cupped hand," he held up his hand to show, though I could see enough of the real things under her shirt to judge for myself, not really as large as I like, but sweet.
"Then she dropped her jeans and her white underpants. Everything was just perfect. No thong, no shaved crotch, she had a nice healthy bush of hair. The skin of her hips and breasts was a lovely pale ivory white, slightly lighter than the rest of her, the faint remembrance of summer sun. That ivory made two bands, each a healthy width, showing she didn't go in for skimpy swimwear.
"'Over there, ' I said and pointed to the horse.
"Oh her bottom when she turned! Its cheeks were plump and springy. It was all I could do to keep my own hips from swaying in time with hers. She stepped hesitantly to what was for her clearly the only furniture in the room.
"'Mount and straddle it, ' I ordered.
"She ran a hand along its leather, felt its stiffness, hesitated, then she stepped up, swung a leg over it and with a little jump she was astride it. She shifted herself, clearly a bit surprised at how it felt.
"'Scoot back to this end.' I said, patting its edge.
"The first time I touched her was to grip a hard ankle and pull it further to the left to meet the Velcro. My hands shook when I shifted her other ankle. I looked up at her plump bottom. Just a bit of it projected over the edge into space. When I tightened the straps, the lips of her sex and her wiry brown hair pressed down against the black of the leather.
"Next I took a wrist. 'Bend forward, ' I ordered. I met her eyes. She made them wide, both scared and excited. It occurred to me that maybe she was actually enjoying it or maybe she it was the acting she enjoyed, not just doing it for the money in either case. Hers was definitely a better college job than working in a dorm dining room, I thought. I pulled her down and relished the way her breasts pressed and flattened against the padding. I imagined what the leather must feel like against her nipples. I admired the nape of her neck, just touched by her brown hair. I admired the strain on her shoulders as they were pulled forward by her arms. I admired the bumping line of her spine and the narrowing of her waist and of course the full heft her bottom. What a bottom!
"For me," he said, "The essence of the experience is imagining what it's like for the woman, imagining what it is to be her. That's why one should always be calm and deliberate. If passion runs away with you, you only see and feel yourself."
I resisted the urge to tell him that he was talking crap.
"Anyway, I picked up the paddle, a hefty wooden one, pale ash in color. I let her look at it a moment. Then I slapped it against my palm once, hard enough to hurt, stepped into position and swung. Its weight did most of the work. The wood on springy flesh produced a loud satisfying smack accompanied by a shocked yelp from the girl, more from surprise at the sound, I think, than pain as yet.
"I lifted it again and the front door bell rang.
"'Shit, ' I said.
"I carefully shut the den door behind me, crossed the hall, and opened the front door and looked out, then looked down, guided by my peripheral vision. There stood a pipsqueak of a cub scout, a clearly nervous cub scout holding a clipboard attached to which was a multi-colored form. The mother stood on my driveway.
"'Would you like to uh like buy some popcorn? It's like to uh support troop... '
"I roared 'No! Don't bother me!' and slammed the door.
"Back in the study I said, "The nerve!'
"The next couple blows were harder than I'd intended causing the girl to cry out quite loudly. In order to calm myself, I certainly didn't want to do any real damage, and as I said, I wanted the interior space to feel things from her perspective. I took a ball gag from my cabinet of paraphernalia, where my Dad'd kept his bowling trophies. She shook her head and said 'No, no, please!' But when I pressed it to her lips she opened her mouth willingly enough. There were tears on her cheeks. After adjusting the strap around the back of her head to hold the ball firmly in place, I lightly wiped her tears away with my fingers. Her skin felt so soft! Just like her bottom would feel. I realized I hadn't actually felt that and did so. I relished its warmth. I thought I could tell its heightened color even with my eyes closed. By way of experiment I put one hand to her face, the other on her bottom, both comforting a cheek I thought. Yes, the latter was surely the warmer.
"The next half hour was as pleasant a time as I could remember ever having. I used the paddle, then my hand, then I took a leather flail to her shoulders and thighs. Her eyes were wide and pleading, her cheeks moist with tears, her skin was deliciously soft and glowing with a sheen of sweat. She wriggled and struggled in such a delicious fashion.
"I imagined what the blows were like to her. How it felt to press and to struggle and to bump against the leather. How the leather was now slick with her sweat. I imagined what it felt to be naked and beaten by a stranger. What each sharp bitter sting must be like! And of course I imagined the fear of what might happen next. Would the stranger who was paying to play go too far? What was to stop him?
"I took a break and had a beer and admired her. Then two more good smacks and I could contain myself no longer. I dropped my pants, gave her bottom another good slap, pressed my dick to her opening, and gripped her hips. Her tear streaked shaking face and her stifled incoherent protests made my erection the most exciting I'd ever known. I gripped her hip bones firmly and probably painfully for purchase and drove in.
"She gave a surprised outraged choking gasp and bucked beneath me. Like this wasn't an expected part of the afternoon! She really could act, I thought.
She was quite wet so I slid all the way in easily, but God she was tighter than anything I'd ever felt. Pressed hard against her struggling bottom, I knew I wasn't going to last but an instant. That quite annoyed me, I wanted the sex to last and last. I wanted the detachment to savor it from her perspective, her ass stinging from sweat and pressure each time I butted it with my hips, her breasts and chest sliding on the leather, the feel of the leather on her face, the hot feel of me moving in her ... I desperately tried to think of something to cool myself off.
"The doorbell rang again.
"'Shit, ' I swore.
"I pressed up against her and waited. I figured whoever it was'd go away.
"There was a second chime, followed in quick order by an impatient third.
"I pulled out and yanked my jeans up over my frustrated cock. 'If it's another fucking scout I'll kill him.'
"I must've looked quite a sight when I opened the door because the not so attractive young woman waiting there took a step back."
Dave paused in his story and took a sip of his beer.
"Jesus," I said.
The real Jane, the current Jane, moved around the table, clearing our dinner plates.
"Right," he said. Then he went on, "In fact the woman before me was not all that young, wore too much makeup, had multiple piercings in her nose, ears and lip and probably elsewhere, had strangely tinted hair, massively high heels, and hot pants. Over it she wore a hard shiny black coat. She was everything my instructions to the agency'd said not to send. And of course she was at the front door.
"I gaped at her in horror.
"'Look I'm like sorry I'm late, ' she said. She took the gum out of her mouth, dropped it onto my step and flattened it with one of the pink platformed toes of her sandals. "The traffic like really sucked. There was this accident and then I got off at the wrong fucking exit."
"I, I don't need you any more, go away."
"What the fuck? I'm only like 40 minutes late. You look like you've been getting yourself into a state without me. Let me at least give you a blowjob."
"I grabbed the cash from the hall table, I'd put it there for convenience, and thrust it at her.
"'I want something extra for like driving all the way down here for nothing.'
"I put more money in her ringed fingers and slammed the door.
"God, what have I done?" I gasped. I stared at the closed door of my den in horror.
"I opened the door. This time I looked down, to where the girl'd set her purse, on the chair. Next to her purse were her jeans, t-shirt, bra, and underpants. Also next to her purse lay a clipboard. Attached to the clipboard was colored crap about magazine subscriptions.
"'Jesus, I'm so sorry, ' I blurted. I rushed over, yanked the restraints from her ankles and wrists. I helped her off the horse. She was unsteady on her legs. When I tried to steady her she slapped my hand away. She leaned back against the leather and jerked straight with a little squeak. She reached up and pulled the strap over her head and pulled the ball gag out of her mouth.
"'I am so sorry, ' I said, man, I could see and taste and feel ruin and arrest and jail.
"'Thought I was like someone else?' she asked acidly.
"'Jesus, yes. I'm so sorry.'
"'Do I look much like her? Is she like my long lost twin?'
"'I didn't know what she looked like. I've never met her, had never met her I mean. I just did meet her is what I mean, out there just now.'
"She stared at me coldly as I babbled. 'Look, I made a horrible mistake. I'm really really sorry.'
"'You said that already, ' she said. She twisted to have a look at her ass. 'It's like turning black and blue'.
"'Would you like something for... ' my voice faltered.
"'Forget it. Like I'd take anything from you? It'd be sure to make me break out in an itchy rash. You'd enjoy watching me squirm.'
"'I... ' I started, I don't actually know what was going to say.
"'Look the other way, ' she said, 'I don't like you looking at me.' Though she made no effort to cover herself.
"I did turn but I could watch her in a mirror. She walked a bit stooped to the chair and her clothes. She winced and groaned a suppressed 'shit' as she bent and stepped into her underpants. There was another 'shit' as she stepped into her jeans and then drew her jeans and her underpants up her legs. There was a louder 'shit shit shit' as she gingerly pulled the clothing over her bottom. She groaned 'shit' again as she wriggled a bit to get her bra on. She gasped a final 'shit' as she pulled her t-shirt over her head.
"'You can turn now, ' she said.
"'Are you going to... '
"'Call the cops?' she looked at me. She bit her lips and bent and picked up her purse and took out her cellphone. She turned it about in her fingers, staring at me coldly. 'It's a lucky thing for you my sister got the flu and I got home from college yesterday, for Thanksgiving, and so could go around for her. She's not eighteen. You'd be looking at statutory rape. That's worse than the ordinary kind. It doesn't involve harming statues, as you certainly should know, given your interests.'
"'Look please, ' I said, 'I'm really sorry. There's nothing I can say. I would never ever force... '
"'I, however, am 19 next February so you are spared that.'
"She turned her phone over a few more times.
"'Bet that first doorbell was a little kid? Like a cub scout? I bet you were like real mean to him?'
"I said nothing, looking at her without quite understanding where this was going.
"'That was my little brother. I'm surprised he came here. You are known to be a real cheap jerk. Bet he found that nobody else on the street was home just like I did and took a chance not wanting to have walked around for nothing. I remember trying to sell you Girl Scout Cookies when I was a Brownie. You nearly bit my head off. You are really mean.'
"I opened my mouth.
"'Be quiet, ' she said, 'There's nothing you can say in your defense. You were going to pay that girl, the one you thought I was? You probably did pay her, right? For what you did to me?'
"I nodded, just glad her fingers weren't hitting the 3 dread digits.
"'That is so wrong. It's your checkbook that's going to get walloped now.
"'First, you are going to buy some subscriptions. A lot. 20 won't do it. There are 40 magazines listed. I counted 'em because I couldn't believe there were so many. 35 is your target. You can leave off the five you'd never read. You are going to learn a whole lot about home furnishings and shit. Oh. There are a couple magazines for kids and teens. Leave those off your list. They wouldn't be good for someone like you. Make your choices right now.'
"'I don't have interests in ki... '
"'I don't give a shit about what interests you. Make your choices.'
"'OK, ' I took the offered clipboard and started marking.
"She laughed. 'You're not even looking. You oughta like check 'em out. Maybe there's something suitable for your low kind of taste. My sister said they tried to broaden the selection this year, appeal to a wider audience? 'Spanking Today' might be there.
"'Now put your name on it, add it up, and write me the check. It gets made out to Tallmadge High School.'
"She looked at the total. 'Bet that's still way cheap. What did you pay my twin? The one I should thank for saving me? Never mind. I'll bring my brother's order form around tomorrow afternoon. You gonna be around? When do you get off work?'
"'You're gonna be buying a whole lot of popcorn. You're going to be like a Mormon. You're gonna be able to live a year off your popcorn stockpile.
"'Maybe you'll share when I deliver it. You gotta wait until I'm home next. I don't trust you with my brother. I'm partial to butterscotch.'
"'Now I'm leaving.'
"She saw her reflection in the mirror in the hall. Her face was sweat and tear stained. "Shit!' she said, 'You'd've let me go out looking like that?'
"I showed her the downstairs' bathroom. I went upstairs and got a brush that'd been my wife's from the back of a drawer. I'd known it was there but'd just left it.
"After straightening herself up, she stood at the door with her clipboard. Her parting words were, 'Remember, popcorn order tomorrow.'"
"That's how we met," he said, "And that's why I had to move. It would've been awkward having her move in with me with her family just down the block."
"But how?" I asked.
"How did she come to move in with me?" He was quite enjoying my impatient curiosity. "Let's have desert. Jane's baked a pie." That was something we'd both gotten from our childhoods, a preference for the less sweet deserts.
I saw Jane hesitate in the kitchen doorway.
"Jane," he said, "It's time for desert."
Her feet turned nervously inward, her big toes touched.
"Desert," he said again.
Her tongue touched her lower lip. She vanished. I heard her move about to get the plates. When she reappeared, carrying the pie, she'd taken off her clothes.
Of course she was everything he'd said. That had been apparent from how her body'd inhabited her jeans and blouse.
The fact of her though. In order to maintain my self-possession, I concentrated on the ample brown bush of hair on her crotch. I imagined watching her complain and shout as it was waxed off.
She went back for the plates. Then she cut and served the pie. How beautiful her every movement was!
"We'll have coffee," Dave told her, then he went on.
"Well, that night, it must've been around 1AM, my doorbell chimed and chimed again. At first it mingled with whatever I was dreaming. Then through the heavy disorientation of sleep, I sorted out what it was. "Fuck." I said. I couldn't imagine what could be up.
"I trundled down the stairs, opened the front door, and there she stood. Her pretty face lit the night. She wore the same clothes: jeans, a t-shirt, no coat though it was now quite cold, and sneakers instead of flip-flops. She had her toes pointed in and she shuffled nervously from one foot to the other.
"'I uh want to like apologize, ' she all but whispered. 'I shouldn't have made you buy all that stuff. I was like real mad.'
"I stared at her without really comprehending.
"'Those massive orders'd look suspicious anyhow so you're off the hook, ' she added.
"There was a pause like she expected me to say or do something. She stared nervously at her feet.
Of a sudden she said, 'Fuck it, ' and jumped into my arms. She glued her lips to mine, put her arms around my neck and locked her ankles behind my back. 'For God sake, ' she whispered, 'It's cold out here and I'm like so hot.'
"Her hand touched my cock through my pajamas and shocked me into awareness. 'This isn't right.' I said. I tried to pry her off but she clung to me like a limpet. I was afraid the neighbors would see so I kicked the door closed.
"She pressed my cock against her jeans. 'You've got a couch or a bed somewheres?' she asked, 'If I could make these stupid jeans vanish we could fuck right here, I'm so hot.' She kissed me again and our tongues met. I felt my cock was going to explode. It would make a mess on her clothes. I ran with her bouncing like a sack into the living room. It was dark. I knocked my knee against the couch.
"'Oh shit, my back and butt!' she moaned when I'd bounced her on the couch and then'd landed on her myself.
"We struggled around so she was on top. We tugged at her jeans. She dropped on me, grabbed me painfully and stuffed me into her and then began bouncing about like an equestrian whose mount has an exceedingly uneven though boisterous gate.
"She cried out and we both came. The race'd been run in under a minute I think.
"She lay on me a moment, then without looking at me stood up and pulled her jeans back on and felt about on the floor for her sneakers.
"I showed her the kitchen door. As it led out into the carport, she could slip from there across the backyards to her house. I shut the door behind her.