I had just turned 35 – and not at all unhappy about that. I didn’t have a lover, and that was fine too – I’ve never been desperate that way; I can be happy all by myself. So when my gay and lesbian health clinic was having one of its almost chronic fund raisers, and I was asked to volunteer for the date auction, I smiled brightly said sure, I’d be glad to.
Never having done this before – I never even had a blind date in my life – I was uncertain as what to wear. How dressed up? I was only doing this because it was a good cause, and had absolutely no expectations that the date would be anything more than, crossing my fingers, a pleasant evening out with a nice woman. I settled on a dark blue silk tunic dress with a handkerchief hem and butterfly wings. Low pumps that matched the color of the dress, and a one strand pearl choker round my neck. Romantic without being sexy; flattering but not revealing except for showing some leg – my best feature.
The auction was the second event of the evening, after the usual introductions and a few wry jokes by the Simone, the chair of the clinic’s board – I supported this clinic in part because it wasn’t like many others where the guys ran the show. They had rented a small hall with a curtained stage. We, the “dates”, four women and four guys, waited behind the curtain to be called out. We were going to go out in alternative order, I was to be last; which was fine by me, I don’t have stage fright, and I was flattered to be the “closer”.
It went well. The audience was lively – I could hear their laughter and light-hearted, ribbing, call outs – and the bidding was spirited. When it came my turn, I groaned slightly at the introduction, “Now for last, a lovely, extremely nimble-fingered lady,” heard the giggles, and decided to have some fun. I could have bounced out, cheer leader style, as one of the women did, or, done a vamp walk, hips swiveling, as one of the guys did. Instead, I walked with a deliberate stride to the center of the stage, pirouetted completely around once, and slowly bowed deeply, my long loose hair falling over my face. I stood up and clasped my hands behind me and smiled.
David, one of my dear friends, let loose a wolf whistle (he had promised to make a good bid for me, just in case). The auctioneer, suppressing a titter, started the bidding at a hundred dollars. Before David could get his offer out, a strong, husky contralto voice from the back of the hall: “A thousand.”
Dead silence, then David – my dear, I was so going to kill him later, friend – drawling, cracked, “I guess nimble…feet…must be in high demand.” A ripple of embarrassed laughter and the auctioneer quickly cried out sold.
I didn’t have to peer over the crowd to see who it was. I’m very good at remembering voices. The woman who called out that show stopping bid was Doctor Marsha Scott. I knew her very casually: brief conversations in passing the days our volunteering times overlapped. She was a few years older than me. Short, stocky, but in tremendous shape; she was an avid handball player – ‘A’ ranked someone told me. A sometimes gruff, no nonsense, unglamorous woman. I thought to myself, “My, my, who would have guessed? There had been no glimmer, no suggestion from her that she was interested in me. As for my part, while I had dated intense chapstick lesbians, my inclinations ran towards women that wore pastel summer dresses along with their Doc Marten’s. Oh well. It was a good cause.
Marsha – I remembered that she preferred Marsh – made her way up to the side of the of the stage where they were collecting money. I was a little amused by her outfit – the suit was obviously expensive and finely tailored, but that shade of brown was the wrong color for her, and pinstripes didn’t make her look any more slender. As bent over the table and wrote a check, I got my purse and went down to her, and lightly rested a hand on her shoulder. “That was very generous of you Marsh.”
She stood up and said quietly, “Let’s talk outside.”
I shrugged and nodded, said, “Okay,” and followed her out the doors to the parking lot.
By her car – not a cliché of a doctor’s Mercedes but another one, a yuppie-uberbutch Land Rover – She said, half whispering, in rush of words that almost tumbled over each other, “You don’t have to go out with me, I was going to contribute the money anyway and David Oaks suggested that I come to the auction he said it was a hoot and a holler and I’m free this weekend…”
My first thought was: Good Goddess, she’s embarrassed! Second thought: My dear sweet, match-making, Texan son of a bitch friend, I am so going to kill you – steely voiced, “Did David suggest that you bid on me?”
Women our age should be past blushing. “No! I mean he did mention that you were one of the women up, but it was my idea to bid.”
I tilted my head, “Why?”
Marsh said lightly, “You’ve got the best legs around here.” She suddenly shook her head and said, “No, truth is… I have a small crush on you.”
Women my age don’t turn red, don’t stammer, “Ex…excuse me?”
She shrugged, “Two months now. Ever since the day you brought in that crying girl.”
A phone call to our help line when I was doing a stint on the phones. A girl sobbing from a pay booth. Going out – against rules – to get her. Her face swollen, holding her wrist. Her father discovered her half-naked with another girl. Beat her up and threw her out of the house. Took her to the clinic. Marsh was the attending physician that day. The girl, only 18, clung to me, asking me to stay with her. Marsh nodded okay and I did.
I said as lightly as she did earlier, “I was wearing pants that day, you couldn’t have noticed my legs.”
She looked directly at me, “It wasn’t your legs that I noticed.”
Sighing, I said, “Did you make reservations for us for dinner?”
Her pale brown eyes had a nice sparkle. “Yes, at Cerise. For 7.”
I’d heard of Cerise, but I’d never been to it. A private dining club in the City; run by two women, one reputed to be one of the best French chefs on the West Coast, the other a former fashion model who caused a scandal by having an affair with a famous politician’s ex-wife. A private bistro, owned by women, for women only.
I looked at my watch, “Then we better get going, traffic can be a bitch – take your car?.”
The look on Marsh’s face made me sigh again. I’m too weak when flattered, when heart-felt flattered. While I don’t live in the reflection found in another’s eyes, a certain glow in certain eyes could kindle me, ignite my blood. She opened the passenger side of her Rover and I got in; noticing her glance at my legs. The woman did have a yen for legs – and I was suddenly glad that I chose this dress this evening.
She was one of those silent, focused drivers. I leaned back against the headrest and closed my eyes. I may have been a carefree woman, but I wasn’t careless about the feeling of others. I was at a stage in my life when serious was the last thing on my mind, what I wanted. And if I knew anything about Marsh it was that she was a very serious woman. How thirsty was I for the marvelous that I would risk hurting her? I opened my eyes at glanced at her from corners. She was staring straight ahead, intent on the traffic – or perhaps, not daring herself to look over at me. The words of a childhood song came to me: Que Sera, Sera…
Cerise was wonderful. From the moment we stepped through the door of the large Victorian house that the club was located in I felt warmth. A beautiful dining room with cherry wood walls and bronze fixtures, small bouquets of various colored roses set in creamy white vases on each of the dozen snowy linen tables or so. And at each table, women: couples, friends, old lovers, new ones – just women. A towering, striking, blonde in a tuxedo greeted Marsh by name and shook her hand as my escort introduced me. She had to be that ex-model co-owner of Cerise or I would eat my bra, if I had one.
The blonde, Simone was her name, raised her perfect eyebrows at my sudden giggle. No way was I going to explain the source of my laugh, instead I put on my best face and held out my hand for a shake. She squeezed my hand briefly, and with an enigmatic smile led us to one of the tables in what must have been the library.
A waitress appeared quickly and gave us hand written menus. I asked Marsh across the small table if she had any recommendations, and she replied, with the first smile that I had seen on her face, “I’d like to see what you order on your own… what your tastes are.”
With more than a hint of my Kentucky drawl, “My taste is eclectic, I’m wide open to a whole lot”
A brief, searching look into my eyes, seeing truth behind the flirt, and she quickly became busy with her napkin. When the wine steward came she ordered a bottle of Caymus Cabernet – the coincidence made me feel a tingle at the base of my spine. That was my favorite California wine. The waitress followed and I chose the garlic soup, venison-and-foie gras pie along with artichokes a la Greque. Marsh picked the confit de canard with an arugula salad.
While we waited for the food, sipping a little of the wine (heavenly, like black currents, berries, sex on the tongue), I said, “You don’t date much do you, Marsh?”
She smiled wryly, “It shows that much?” A pause, then, “I was in two long-term affairs. The first started when I was in medical school through my residency. It ended when she decided that she wanted to have children, and a husband.” My grimace was pure sympathy. She nodded and went on, “The other ended about a year ago; it just… it just faded away.”
As she was about to ask me about my ‘dating’, the garlic soup arrived. I crooked a finger at her, she leaned forward; I kissed her mouth deftly, quickly. Her eyes widened and darkened a little, pools of warm amber that a woman could swim in. I said in a low voice, “I figured that I should kiss you before having garlic. And I have dated more than a few women, but only ones that I really liked.”
I could see Marsh swallow before she whispered, “Oh.”
My food was as wonderful as the setting. I love old fashioned, old style, French cooking, and my pie was a classic with its puff pastry crust that covered a chopped up mix of venison, foie, and guinea hen. I ate slowly, wanting to savor the food, and the place, and the company. Marsh was very good company, once she got over feeling bush wacked (I giggled again without explaining). Smart enough, with a very dry wit, her gruffness wasn’t a pose, but it wasn’t that large a slice of her, and I liked how she ate her duck and salad (yeah, how a woman eats her food is a sign for me). Once, Simone came over and asked us how we were enjoying our dinner. The smile that beamed from Marsh made Simone flash a not very mysterious smile at me. I decided to take it as a compliment and smiled back over the edge of my wine glass.
When it came time for coffee and desert, I crooked my finger again. She leaned forward very quickly, I had to stifle a laugh as I said a few inches from her mouth, “I’d like to have coffee at your place.”
One nice thing about a private membership dinning club, no bill to pay or tips to leave; we got to her building very swiftly.
It was a loft condo. One large space divided by filled bookshelves and intricate, exotic, teak panels. The entire loft was filled with beautiful furniture in light mahogany and teak and rattan. Marsh saw the look on my face, my unexpectedness at the décor, and said, “It’s mostly Indonesian, I feel in love with the culture when I was there with the Peace Corps.”
“You were in the Peace Corp?”
She laughed and replied, “I managed to surprise you in turn! I was in after I finished college and before med school. Have a look around if you want while I make coffee.”
So I did wander around, there weren’t any closed doors except for what had to be the bathroom. Making a circuit through the living space next to the kitchen, admiring various pieces of bric-a-brac; to what was her study, with a beautiful polished teak secretaire and chair; and ever so casually over to the sleeping area, and studied thoughtfuly the large canopied bed with its wonderfully turned posts – black and dark gray sheets and pillow cases: a severe look that slightly jarred with the sensuality of the rest. Then I noticed on a stand what looked like an archaic Venus fertility figurine in wood. As I went over to it, looked at the oval, cupped base, and realized that the slender, slightly curving stature was really – a deeply poetic dildo, obverse to a phallic: A woman to be in a woman.
It’s funny what little things can tip you, can make you say: Yes. The way a woman moves her hands, how she laughs, her choice of perfume, the books or albums on her shelves, her aura…
Marsh called out, “Coffee’s ready,” and I heard music softly filling the loft. Ethel Waters singing, and the sound of Marsh’s voice. I brushed the Venus with my fingertips and went back to the living space.
She had taken off her jacket and had turned back the sleeves of her shirt, showing strong wrists and muscled forearms. She was hefty and plain, and gorgeous. I took the offered mug, shook my head when she asked if I wanted cream or sugar, and sipped slowly, watching her, drinking her in.
Her smile was nervous – she did say that she hardly ever dated. I put down my cup and said, “I have to use your bathroom for a minute.” As she nodded okay I added in passing, “Great choice, love Walters.” I went into the bathroom. Wiped off the remains of my lipstick, took out from my purse my traveling toothbrush and paste and cleaned my teeth.
Looking in the mirror, abstractly noting that I was due for a henna rinse, I asked myself, is it really, really, yes? My reflection nodded and I removed my pumps, hiked up my dress to take off my panties, and put them in the purse along with the brush and tube; snapping it shut decisively.
She was sitting on the couch, drinking her coffee, listening to the music. I walked in front of her, and as I did on the stage, I pirouetted completely around once, and bowed. I said, huskily, “What is your bid Marsh?”
Her wonderful eyes widened, staring at me. Her voice was almost as throaty as mine, “What is the auction?”
“Me, bed. A pas de deux, lifting each other higher than we could on our own…”
She stood up groaning, “Whatever the price, whatever.” Her strong arms enveloped me, hands tight around the small of my back. My hands slid up her ribs under her arms, the base of my palms barely touching the side of her breasts. Our mouths found each other; searching, learning, teasing. Her tongue, silky wet, seeking me. My lips, trembling, parting to let her slip in. Our tongues meeting, dancing slow. She moaned and her tongue plundered me, a sweet invasion. My mouth felt like she was stroking me to ecstasy – how that woman could kiss!
How long can a kiss last? Forever, and not ever long enough, for me. I could feel her body against mine; her hands running up and down my back, then suddenly embracing my buttocks; how warm and gently strong she was – but the center of all was that kiss, her tongue spiraled deeply into me, creating a whirling rush of pleasure that consumed me.
Marsh’s fingers fumbled at the back of my neck, finding the zipper – If I wasn’t so enthralled in her kiss I would have giggled. Any thoughts of laughing vanished as tugged the zipper all the way down and her short nails ran slowly up my spine.
With almost aching reluctance, I stopped our kiss and stepped back; hands at my shoulders, pulling my dress down so that it dropped to my bare feet. Marsh took me in: The deep pink flush on my neck, my nipples hardening in sympathy to my passion and her gaze, the appendix scar on my flat stomach, the rich nest of hair at the juncture of my thighs.
Naked, in front of a woman gazing at me oh so hungrily with her eyes, made me feel both vulnerable and powerful, a blend of sensations that made me moist, needy. When she dipped her head and captured a nipple with her teeth, I groaned so deeply that she paused – as if afraid that she was hurting me. I put my hand on her head and horsely whispered, “Marsh, oh baby, yes, yes…”
Her mouth returned to me, holding with gently with her teeth as her tongue like a cat’s rasped over and over on my tightly beaded tip. Her hands on waist, hips, flowing over me as if she were a potter shaping a vase – and I was an open, aching vessel. Marsh moved back, taking me with her hands on my hips and sat down on the couch as I stood in front of her. She nibbled briefly on my other nipple, then her lips, starting at the hollow between my breasts, slowly trailed down me. Incredibly hot kisses on my skin, along my ribs, on my fluttering stomach; tonguing my belly button, a wanton tickle. She happily sighed when she reached my hairs and nuzzled me with her cheek. I lifted a leg and rested my foot on the couch. She ran a hand that felt like soft suede on my thigh that made my skin tingle, made me echo her happy sigh, then followed her hand with her lips so velvety that I groaned – this time she knew what that meant and open mouthed she caressed my thigh from knee to apex, leaving a wet trail, leaving me weak.
For a woman that said he only a few lovers, she knew how to make love as if she had a ecstatic parade of women in her life. She licked the inside of my thighs, she licked the back of my knee, she licked all around where I wanted her so.
Finally, as my fingers tangled in her short locks, she came to me. Sweeping over my flowered lips, the tip of her silky on my flesh. Circling my pearl, coaxing teasing it out, blowing air, her need, on it. Slipping her tongue down and plunging once into me and then back to my around my pearl. Tongue circling my pearl, then cat licks all the way down me and up again . Until I was shuddering, swaying, my legs trembling. She held me firmly up, holding my hip, the underside of my raised thigh – not letting me fall down, wanting me this way.
I could dimly sense the curve of her lips on me, her smiling on my mound. Pleasure, pride, loving arrogance? I didn’t care – all I wanted was her, and more. And she knew when to stop teasing, to surround my pearl with her eager lips, lap her tongue on me in strokes that started slow and became faster and faster as she felt my body tense, and my spirited entered that magical, lyrical crescendo.
I ran like a bell: Sharp, clear, high, ringing into heaven.
Marsh kissed my thighs until I stopped quaking. I managed to find my voice, “Let’s go to bed.”
Her kisses climbed up me until she found my mouth. She tasted tangy, musky, of me. Yes, I thought, I’m so glad I found a yes in me for her.
We went into the bed space arms wrapped around each other’s waists, kissing and smiling. Marsh lit a small candle by the bed, cupped my face with her hands and said softly, “I’ll be right back.” As she went to the bathroom I turned down the blanket. The black and gray shades of the pillows and sheets reminded of the paintings of Romaine Brooks; I grinned and arranged myself like the odalisque in her sexually charged painting:’White Azaleas’.
She came back out wearing a nondescript bathrobe and stood at the side of the bed with an oddly, hesitant look on her face. She said, haltingly, “God, you’re so beautiful.”
I said, simply, “And so are you Marsh. Take off that robe and join me.”
“Wish I were beautiful, for you, ” she said softly, and slowly slipped her robe off.
Her breasts were small pears, slightly pendulous with large dark nipples. Her stomach was round, her hips broad. Her thighs were thick and heavily muscled from all that running on a handball court. She wasn’t a beauty – she was more that that, a completely desirable woman. A woman I wanted.
If she didn’t see that in my eyes, she was going to feel it on her skin. I held open my arms, “Come here.”
We hugged, kissed each other tenderly. Our legs tangled, our hands discovered. The way I purred when she stroked my spine; the way she moaned lowly when I raked my nails up her thigh. Her mouth becoming more sweetly urgent as her tongue swept into me. My callused tip fingers rubbing on her nipples until her lips trembled and her body shook.
I rolled her over onto her back and half laid on her. My face went to her breasts, caressing her with my cheeks before I captured one luscious nipple with my mouth – there is anything more wonderful than the taste of a new lover?
My hands roamed over her as teasingly tortured her nipple; I felt her hard muscles underneath satiny skin – it was an intoxicating mix. I slowly drifted fingertips on the curve of her stomach; hearing her sharp inhale. I cupped her wet mound with my palm; my heart skipped a beat at how sopping she was. She covered my hand with her hand; guiding me, showing me how she wanted me to touch her, to slip fingers in while my palm rubbed side to side over her – my moan echoed over hers – there’s hardly anything more erotic than a woman saying, showing, what she wanted, how she wanted.
Marsh’s breast rose and fell faster underneath my mouth as she started panting, breathless urgent gasps. She pressed her heavy thighs together, squeezing my fingers as they slipped in and out, a faster and faster glissando of hot pleasure – for her and for me. Almost incoherent mumbling: Yes… there…fuck yes…please…oh fuck yes!
She stiffened and fell silent, but her body rose up a song…
After some moments, a happy eternity, she half chuckled, half growled, “You are nimble-fingered.”
“Yeah,” I drawled, “I’m the Segovia of pussy. My ‘apoyando” is famous among dyke aficionados.”
Marsh touched the necklace still around my throat, “That was crass for a lady wearing pearls.”
I leaned over and kissed her, “I didn’t mean to be a mood spoiler.”
Her palm rested on my face as she smiled and said, “You didn’t, you would never be. Would you like to share a joint?”
Laughing, I replied, “Usually I’m offered a toke as an aperitif – but sure.”
She laughed with me and said with a glint in her eyes, “We can have it a sherbet, to clear the palate before the next course.” She rolled over and opened a drawer from her side table, taking out an ashtray, a gold lighter, and a perfectly shaped short joint. As she knelt on the bed and light up, I sat up, cross legged, in front of her. She inhaled once deeply and passed it to me. I looked at her face for a second; her eyes closed, her square chin with a tiny cleft tilted up. I’d seen that face furrowed with concentration when she was with a patient; seen it stony when she was dealing with some idiocy; seen it unexpectedly shy and embarrassed; seen it tautly grimacing and then opening up like a flower when she came. A good face, a face that pleased me more than I would have thought.
As we smoked we talked a little. She asked what apoyando meant; I told her that it was using a finger to strike a string more downward, letting the finger rest on the next string after a stroke. I asked about Simone’s odd smiles at me; she said that they were friends and Simone had tried to matchmake her – I chuckled and told her about David and his attempts. She brushed her knuckles very gently over my nipples and told me how sexy I was – that along with swift buzz I had, made me shiver and say lowly, “Tell me about your Venus…”
“My what?” She glanced over to where I pointed, “Oh that. I bought in Amsterdam a few years ago – did you know you get the best Indonesian food in Holland?”
I wasn’t interested in food. “She’s beautiful.”
Marsh caught my tone. The ravenous cast of her eyes made me shiver. I prefer duets, sonatas of body and heart, but there are times when a woman playing her special melody on, in my body can be exhilarating. Without a word, she got up and brought the figurine back to the bed. She held in one hand and caressed it with her fingers, running slowly over the ribbed curves and bumps – I was mesmerized and tingling flowed from the tips of my breasts to pool in my belly. She leaned over to me and kissed my mouth tenderly, and said on my quivering lips, “Lay down darling.”
I unfolded my legs and laid back on the bed. Marsh knelt between my thighs and lowered her head. I thought to myself as I gazed at her bowed form that I should tell her how beautiful her back was. Any desire to speak flew away as I felt her tongue slowly, sinuously trail down the middle of me. She licked and slipped and dipped her mouth over and over until my hands were clutching on the sheets and my body writhed in unconscious rhythm with her.
She straightened up and her strong hands lifted my hips from the mattress and rested me on her thighs. Fingers smoothly followed where lips had been. I was intoxicated – by the smoke, by her. I was aching to be filled – by the Venus, by her. She knew, she knew… She eased herself into me, inch by incredible inch, the coiffed head, shoulders that widened me, bumps of breasts that made me moan, hips widening me further; that wonderful fullness entering me until she was embedded in me deeply, her fingers holding the Venus, resting on my quivering flesh.
Fine circles within me, spirals that fed my pulsating, vibrating need. She began to croon, “Yes darling, give yourself to me…give…give.”
My hips rose, tipped up have her more and more. To have her deep within my folds. To be rocked by her into ecstasy. To have her. She delved deeper into me with each rhythmic push – the sensation, the image of that Venus in me, more than a surrogate of woman, a melding of icon and person; wood becoming flesh, becoming joined, becoming one.
She read my body: How my back arched, how my hips moved in cadence with her, my increasing whimpers. And she began to thrust harder and deeper – pulling back until she was barely inside me and then twisting, plunging. And I entered that magical place, not a bell ringing, but a chorus singing, singing her name.
Her eyes were glazed; there were tears on her cheeks. Not sadness, not at all. My stomach quivered. To be so happy that you have made someone else happy, that won me. I slid off her thighs, the passing of the dill making me me groan a little, and bent my finger at her. She grinned at my gesture (it became one “our” things) and climbed over me; like ivy seeking the sun.
My hands on her shoulders, I kissed her. A kiss that started out slow and tender and became urgent, demanding. I bit her bottom lip and breathed my hunger in her mouth, “Straddle me baby.”
Sometimes you know just the right thing to say. Marsh groaned deeply and moved up as I slid down her. She was the tropics on my face: Warm, wet, spicy, silky. I dove into her as if I were diving into the ocean. I wanted to make love to her, make her happy, make her mewl. I used my mouth the way she had guided my fingers; rolling my fluttering tongue sideways across her, rubbing my nose on her pearl, sinking into her womb that was so surprisingly, delightfully tight. My nails raked along her thighs, on her buttocks.
I kept an measured, insistent rhythm on her. She melted, moving against me, hot, wet, abandoned. Sobbing my name, begging, “please…please…”
It was hard, so hard, but I stayed with my deliberate caresses; not going faster or slower, but steady beats to a bar. A music that drove her wild, took her to the highest note and held her there until it became a vibrating ecstasy that possessed her, took her blindingly into release.
We stayed like that for minutes; my lips quiet on her, feeling the faint echoes of her climax on my lips. Then, with the happiest of sighs, Marsh slid off me and we curled into each other, murmuring softs sounds that lullabied us to sleep.
I came out of the bathroom in the morning, a towel around my hair, a towel like a sarong around my hips, and found my purse. Marsh was busily scrambling eggs with green onions for us. I sat on the stool of her kitchen counter and took out a $10. I placed it beside her cup of coffee, and took a sip from my cup.
She glanced over her shoulder, saying, “Great timing darling, one more minute,” and seeing the bill, said, “What is that for?”
I looked at at her calmly, steadily. “My down payment on my bid for you.”
She said very slowly, “Only ten?”
“Ten times ten times ten, time love…”
Smiles can light up a room, light up a life. Hers did.