She knew he was looking at her, he was clever at not showing it but she knew. Each time she looked to her left she did not see, but sensed, his sudden head movement out of the corner of her eye. On the couple of occasions when she had swivelled casually on the bar stool and stared at him, his face remained locked on the man he was talking to, unnaturally motionless, as if his neck was made of stone. Oh yes, he was interested.
So she owed him at least a brief appraisal. Leaning back against the bar, suit jacket open, exaggerated languidness, slim and tall, maybe six three; not excessive. Lithe movements of his arms and hands as he explained whatever he was explaining to his male companion. He certainly seemed to be doing most of the talking. His hands fascinated her; long, strong fingers that moved with graceful dexterity, as if he was playing a keyboard in three dimensions. She wondered what they were talking about, but she could only catch the occasional word or phrase above the echoing hubbub that bounced and echoed from the clinical maple and stainless steel of the wine bar.
“Why don’t you go over and let him introduce himself into you?” The mischievous words from her work friend Jackie pulled her back just as she had been tracing the curve of his buttocks with her eyes.
“Very nice from the eyes downward, but blond darling? Yuck! Even if it does look real.” She knew Jackie well and liked her predictably sardonic wit; sure enough out came the overcooked expression of disbelief. But while Jackie’s face did hammy ‘unconvinced’ her eyes flashed over towards him. Blondie. He was a treat for the eyes alright. Did he look away from Jackie like he did from her? Why was she wondering this? Why had she given him a name?
They ordered another two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and resumed their conversation about their office colleagues. She laughed as Jackie brutally dismembered the good looking new guy in Orders Received, but her senses were wandering. She became intensely aware of the back of her neck, as if his glances toward her were like fragile fingers tracing circles over her skin. The leather seat of the bar stool felt hot under her, yet she gave a tiny shiver. The air conditioning in the bar stirred cool eddies, yet she felt hot. An errant whirling dervish of cold air collided into the back of her long, dark hair, briefly brushing it to one side. She thought of his strong, beautiful hands pulling her hair away so his lips could peck and kiss against the nape of her slender neck. Get a fucking grip, girl! She started to self analyse, wondering why she was so aware of this complete stranger, why she was fantasising about …
“Ok dearest one, I know when I’m beaten. And he’s spanked me black and blue.” Jackie had picked up her laptop case and was gulping the last of her wine. Her scorn was insincere but her imminent departure was a dead cert. “I have to go and see Paul this evening. He’s getting ready for Saudi and we need to talk.”
For all her sharp wit and her dancing dialogue there was a sadness about Jackie that had drawn their friendship closer. She felt echoes of her own pain in Jackie. Her good friend was trying to handle a career enforced separation from her beloved for maybe six months, maybe two years. It all depended on how he balanced salary and love. In a way it was worse than the sudden wrenching split that had rammed into her own life six months ago. Her injuries were like those from a car crash, an unexpected tearing apart of her emotional limbs. But Jackie was someone facing a major operation; she knew where the wounds would be even before they were cut deeply and deliberately into her. They didn’t actually talk about it than much, but the mirrored feelings of loss and separation laid an intimacy over their relationship, and the pathos meant that, unlike so many of her other friends, Jackie wasn’t constantly trying to fast track her own slow healing by getting her get hooked up with her next man.
“You take care. Have a great evening.” The lameness of her farewell made her cringe inside. But what else could she say? Tell him not to go? Fuck him senseless until he sees sense? These words would be like a scalpel blade, starting the long cut that was going to open Jackie up and turn her inside out. “See you tomorrow.” They kissed with a tender friendship that felt much older than it was.
She picked up her glass, sipped flinty coolness, and decided not to turn back to glance at Blondie. Her sadness for Jackie had erased her sexual longing for a man’s touch, and the erotic feelings of a few minutes ago seemed as if from a story, not her life. Her lonely, empty life.
Gratitude flashed through her that she had been in a grey reverie of self pity, for had she still been imagining his kisses on her back, his soft touches of pleasure, his sudden greeting from nowhere would have made her jump, blowing away whatever cool she had in a flustering flush. Instead she turned slowly and shone demure feminine dignity onto his grinning face. She said nothing.
He didn’t falter; his smile was warm and relaxed. “Your friend has left and I wondered if you wanted another one. And if you do want one I would be delighted if you would have it with me. Do you feel like having a large one?”
His open admission that he had been noticing her, and the brazen directness of his innuendo-laden approach took her aback. He stood a respectful distance away and her woman’s radar told her he was not drunk, not even tipsy. His broad smile made his ridiculously blond hair glow in the dim blue wall lighting. She recovered to a state of temporary disarmament but with the option to leave quickly. Without turning towards him she said, “Ok, that would be nice.”
He sat on the stool that Jackie had occupied. Was it still warm? Could he feel that warmth? She tried to trace back to where this thought had come from, why it was inside her, but she already knew. He emanated an easy, masculine sensuality that she had never experienced before. It wasn’t something he was doing, it was who he was. She could not describe it to herself, she simply felt an instant, very physical attraction.
The wine glugged into two new glasses; big ones. He was being presumptuous. Uninvited, a question appeared inside her. Once it had escaped it hunted her, cornered her easily, and it had been a long time since she’d had to confront it. What if he wants to fuck me? Now? The hot leather burned under her. She threw her answer defiantly at the crouching question. It slinked back into the shadows of her conscious, waiting, watching. She took a sip, no, be honest, a swallow, of wine to calm her inner tension.
“My name is Chris but I let some of my friends call me Blondie.”
She coughed and spluttered into her glass. Beads of wine trickled down her cheeks like tears of mirth. He did not react; he must have been used to ridicule at the stupid nickname. She wiped wine streaks from her face with her fingers then licked them. She stopped, realising this was inappropriately sexy in front of a man she didn’t know. Why didn’t he pass her a tissue from the bar? Oh, he did, finally. She recovered a little dignity with her response of utmost courtesy and sublime brevity. “Nik.”
They talked safe topics. He worked for a direct competitor of her company so it was easy. What was the same, what was different? Weren’t they all bastards at the top? He was gently witty, making her smile more than laugh. Was this deliberate? She sensed a powerful, deep intelligence rumbling under his small talk. She enjoyed his company as much as his physical presence. She felt drawn towards him, pulled closer to his strong, hard body. Animal magnetism. She had scoffed at the idea, but she was feeling its full force for the first time in her life. It was strong, it could pull her under, under him. She needed to hold herself. Be careful. Of what?
There was nothing predatory about him. It seemed that he was simply enjoying her company. He didn’t need to try and nor did she; their conversation was easy and amusing, with the lightness and variety of a fine dining tasting menu. But she was not relaxed, she felt hot tension and dampness in her loins that made her shuffle on the stool. Every time she gave a little squirm his eyes never left hers but she sensed that he knew. Surely a man this gloriously sexy must know.
“So what do you do for pleasure?”
The directness was back and she had to think before she spoke. She decided to keep it safe and stick to simple, non-erotic truth. “I absolutely love early music, from the Renaissance mostly, especially songs for solo voice and lute.” It was an admission that often drew baffled looks and she instantly regretted saying something that would surely transform her from an attractive, interesting woman into a geek. But it was true, so she stared at him, ready to challenge his inevitable scorn.
“Ah, the divine madness of John Dowland.” He sighed and his eyelids slid down, as if they had suddenly become unbearably heavy. “In darkness let me dwell; the ground shall sorrow be, the roof despair, to bar all cheerful light from me.”
It was a cliché of implausibility; she was stunned. He carried on regardless.
“I think we’ve lost something in the modern world by rejecting sadness as something bad, something to be cured. The Elizabethans were more in touch with themselves; they even had a different name for it. They talked about being in a melancholy as if it was something they inhabited, not some awful thing inside them that they needed to cast out. With Prozac, for example. Dowland was a depressive, and out of his melancholy came some of the most beautiful compositions in the world. I utterly lose myself inside his sad words and his aching music.”
She wished she’d told him a lie; for the closeness of his feelings to hers created an instant intimacy that she found difficult to deal with. She suddenly felt very vulnerable to him, as though she had surrendered a private and precious piece of herself into his gentle, sexy hands. She needed to be very careful indeed. She took an abandoning swallow of wine to cool and calm her. And another one. The glass was empty.
“Come back to my apartment! I have a fantastic sound system. We can open another bottle and be music lovers into the night.” His eyes shone, his enthusiasm was that of a small boy, sexlessly innocent, overpoweringly passionate. “I know it’s ridiculously forward of me but how many people do you know who love that sort of music?”
None. But go back to his place an hour after first meeting? That wasn’t her thing, not at all. No. No! “Yes, that would be very nice, but just for one drink.”
And one fuck, or maybe more than one. What was she being careful of? She needed a large one. His large one. She needed it soon.
He lived in a smart part of town. The early evening was still hot from the June sunshine and it was an easy walk from the wine bar. He talked about their shared musical love all the way, his arms flowing and gesticulating as he illustrated his points. Inside his open plan flat she smelled new leather, musky wood, a slight hint of spicy cooking. She sat on his wide black sofa which gave an expensive, leathery moan as it absorbed her into its animal softness. She smoothed her cotton skirt, made sure the thin straps of her top were not slipping down. Her mind started its wandering again, thinking that if it had been colder outside she’d have worn a coat and he would have taken it off for her. His fingertips would have brushed across her bare neck and shoulders as they curled around her collar. She might have gasped at this first touch of him upon her body. She might have turned to him, let herself be swallowed into his sex. Fuck me. I so need to be fucked.
He was by a large set of shelves, his fingers playing a silent spidery tune on the spines of his CDs as he fussed over what to play her first. He had forgotten about his offer of wine, almost seemed to have forgotten about her. It was reassuringly respectful, but also mildly annoying. If this was a seduction he was taking the long way round. She stood up and the sofa squealed and hissed in expanding release. “I need to use your bathroom. I saw the doorway on the way in.”
“Uh?” He looked alarmed. He blinked, seemed to open his mouth as if to protest.
“I won’t be a minute,” she said, assuming he was worried she might find the inevitable male untidiness offensive. “Don’t worry, I lived with a messy someone for three years so I won’t be shocked by whatever you have in there.” She was already walking to the bathroom and caught his sigh of unwilling surrender behind her. Men! She shook her head.
It was big, she had expected that. It was pristinely clean and neat; that was a nice treat. She sat on the toilet and looked around. At the other end of the travertine tiled chamber was a large shower area. Under the shower was a wooden chair. She finished her pee and flushed. Puzzled curiosity led her to look at the chair. It was strongly built and reminded her of pictures she’d seen of electric chairs used for execution. There were straps for arms and ankles and another on the back that looked to be the right height for the neck. The seat was open at the bottom and an arrangement of stainless steel levers and fitments were mounted on it and under it. Some of them were connected to shower hoses linked to an array of taps on the wall.
“Hello.” He was at the door. She hadn’t shut it and he was standing inside, trying hard not to look. She looked at him, her face an unspoken question. “I forgot I’d left it out. If I tell you I want you to believe that I didn’t ask you to … to c-come here for this.” He stumbled over the word ‘come’.
“What is it for?” She looked down at the chair, wanted to run her fingers along the smooth, oily wood.
“It would take you to a place you have never been before. But that’s not why I asked you here, not what I wanted. I enjoyed just having a drink with you. I was amazed when you said you love renaissance music; I wanted us to share that. I still do. This is something completely different. Something … else.” His hand fumbled at the edge of the door as he tailed off.
“What place?” Her curiosity was doing battle with her unease and it was winning. She felt imprisoned by her need to know and her imagination was filling in the large blank spaces without the need for his explanation. “What would you say if I wanted to go there? To that place, wherever it is.”
“What do you want me to say?” His sheepishness left him now his secret was out, now she was asking and he had control of his answers, control of her. Yet in his new certainty she thought she saw a fine curtain of regret drape itself over his beautiful face.
“Does it hurt?”
“Only if you want it to. You probably will want it to.”
“How long does it take.”
“Not very long to get there. How long you stay there for, well, that can vary a lot. At least two or three hours, sometimes longer. Once it was eleven hours and it might have been longer, but I decided to stop it. Water is a precious resource.” He smiled.
She felt her breath catch and tighten in her bosom. This was not real. “How many have … been there?”
“All women?” She had to ask.
He laughed. “I don’t think it would really work on a man and even if it did that’s not what I want.”
“And, afterwards? How many come back?”
“They all come back. Again and again. When I can fit them in.” His blue eyes grew more piercing as she felt him reappraising her, examining her sexual resources with a bright, irresistible light. He had changed, she saw it in his face, his slightly raised eyebrows; she was number twenty-two if she wanted to be, if she felt up to it. She stood by the chair, silent for many moments. “To be honest, twenty-one is more than enough and I would love us just to listen to the music.” Oh, so she was wrong about his invitation. Or was his provocation as part of his seduction technique?
“Take me there.” She heard her words as if someone else had spoken them. There was an edge of anger in them. She was breathing hard, almost panting. Fuck the music! She needed something, needed to know. “Please?”
“I’ll be back in one second.”
When he returned he was naked. And beautiful. All her senses and instincts that had told her he was hard and lean and muscular underneath his suit were revealed to be right. She tried not to look at the inevitable first. But what was the point? She was surrendering to both him and his strange, enticing contraption for reasons that she pretended to herself that she couldn’t fathom. She convinced herself that she had become someone else, already in an altered state where her normal rules of engagement didn’t work and weren’t needed.
“We are both going to get very wet, you especially.” He was so good at that double meaning but his offering this explanation as to why he had no clothes on felt like an act of gentle kindness and reassurance. She didn’t need it.
He undressed her with the practiced precision of someone who had done this many times. She thought back to her little coat removal fantasy and laughed inwardly at how ludicrous this seemed now. He was unzipping her skirt. Now his first real touch on her was against her long, slender thighs as he pulled down her underwear. She looked to see if this aroused him; it didn’t. But the touch of his strong, masculine fingers crackled like sexual electricity through her as they brushed over her skin. Top off, bra off. He folded her clothes in a neat pile at the other end of the bathroom.
He led her to the chair and she sat. She thought the open bottom might feel strange but it was like sitting on a wooden toilet seat. The wood was warm and smooth, varnished with a satin sheen. He tightened the leather straps over her wrists and around her ankles. He adjusted something at the back so that the neck strap was at the right height. She judged that the last person in the chair must have been quite a lot shorter than her five seven stature. Before he buckled the strap around her slender neck he asked if she was ok with it. More concern, more gentle reassurance that nothing bad was going to happen. Still nothing that felt sexual or controlling. Was he the master or the servant of her?
“Now, this is very important.” He squatted down in front of her, his earnest face level with hers. She was reminded of a moment long ago when her father first told her not to cross the road without looking both ways. “I am going to attach rubber coated tongs that will pull your labia apart.” She gave a silent gulp. “I need to do this to open up your clitoris to the full attentions of my chair. It won’t hurt unless you move suddenly. Once I’ve attached them they will be held by long elastic and you can then move. Because you will probably be moving around quite a lot during the process.” His words and tone were of a doctor describing a medical procedure and this was perversely reassuring to her, calming her mounting anticipation. “One final thing before we start. Three important words. ‘Hotter’ means I’m doing it right, ‘colder’ means I’m not. And most importantly, let’s see … ‘Dowland’ means stop. I will then stop and release you as quickly as I can. Ok? Ready?”
He slid under the chair and parted her vaginal lips with quick, expert care. She shivered at the professional intimacy of it. The pressure of the clamps was strange but they were not uncomfortable. She felt pulled apart and helplessly exposed to whatever dreadful violation his creation was about to inflict on her. He took his time, slowly turned a valve and held his fingers under the water. “We don’t want to surprise you with cold water, do we?” Again the almost formal authority of a medical professional, again her wondering of what role he was playing, what role she was.
He turned another valve slowly and, oh my god, she suddenly knew. She was his helpless victim. She rocked and struggled in the chair as a million liquid kisses tingled and sparkled against her sexual core. Foaming jets of steamy heat sprayed a pattern of excruciating bliss over her clitoris. It was almost pain, almost unbearable. It was pure essence of physically sexual thrill. She was going to come, very quickly. He closed his fingers around a metal lever on the chair and began to move it. The spray began to play slowly back and forth along her womanly opening. Oh, my god. Each time he brought the spray forward to tingle over her nub she throbbed with pleasure and delight. She so nearly came but he seemed expert at sensing when she was on the teetering precipice of her climax. She felt the tension of her body weigh against her, pushing her towards the edge so that she could tumble end over end into crashing waves of joy. But just before she fell he caught her, pulled her back with his diabolical lever and the nozzle swung back under her, fizzing over her vaginal opening with insistent delight. It was gorgeous, yes, yes, but not enough to unleash the hot tightening inside her. These tantalising cycles of almostness aroused her more and more, intensifying her need. She became obsessed with watching his hand as it moved her closer to, and then further from, her needed release. She tried to move back in the chair, following his liquid beam of ecstasy. “Hotter!” she cried as he thrilled her clitoris again with his heavenly jets, “Colder. Colder!” as he cruelly moved them away, stealing her climax once again with his clever teasing. He didn’t seem to hear her. She shrieked the words at him. This torture, this ordeal by orgasm denial was not what she had expected. It went on and on, back and forth, arousal and near climax in an exhaustingly exciting endless loop. In her erotic madness she saw that he was excited too, his member swollen and pulsing, seeming to grow and harden more as her own orgasm was offered, withdrawn, offered, withdrawn. He slowed his movements of the lever, stretching her frustration to unbearable drum skin tightness. Oh, my god, my god. She was hurting and throbbing with her arousal. Her neck pressed against the strap and she gasped in exquisite desperation. She writhed and struggled in the chair. Her hair was sodden with steam and spray, her face streamed with water and sweat and needful tears. She looked up at him, her eyes pleading with him. Oh, god, oh god. She closed her eyes and the safe word was building on her lips. Oh, fuck, make it stop.
Then he held the lever still, her eyes still fixated on his hand, beseeching it to hold her here, oh god, just here, please. Hold my spot, I beg you. Her pelvic muscles, resentful and aching from being brought so very close so very many times, tightened and coiled like enraged serpents, waiting to strike deep into her. Oh, oh. The tension inside her was excruciating, pulling her higher and higher towards giddy oblivion. Oh, my fucking … oh, oh. She started to come. Her mind could not form words as huge, glorious waves of hot release surged and shuddered through her, pulsating every muscle in her lower body with violent spasms of release. Her primordial, panting screams bounced around the stone tiles and back into her ears. She gasped for breath so she could scream again.
At last her fires died down and her elemental pulsing subsided. She dropped her head forward in emptied euphoria. Oh, my god, my god. She realised her toes were curled like clenched fists. She took hold of her breathing and regained her thoughts, calming herself as she bathed in the beautiful glow of her aftermath. The water spray had stopped and she felt sticky drips trailing over her still quivering thighs before they splashed to their deaths on the marble below. He was right; she had never been to this place before. Eventually she looked up at him. He was standing in front of the chair, his erection fading as he looked at her with devotional wonder.
“You are special,” he said, “very special.” She heard him leave the bathroom.
As he returned to her the familiar strains of a very old song came from speakers somewhere in the ceiling. She knew these words and the music well, but never had the opening lines seemed so meaningful. The lute strummed as a delicious tenor voice sang words written four hundred years ago.
Come again! sweet love doth now invite
Thy graces that refrain
To do me due delight,
He was at the valve again. “This is a pressure regulator. It was on one, and it goes up to four. Let me give you two for a while.”
To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss, to die,
He turned the valve and she jolted in the chair at the sudden intensity of it.
With thee again in sweetest sympathy.
The few minutes rest were merciful respite to her for what seemed to be coming now. The hot, piercing spray bored into her clitoris with a tingling ferocity that dragged her into a mind numbing zone somewhere between pleasure and pain. He knelt by the side of the chair and began to suck and kiss at her nipples as steam and spray soaked their naked bodies.
Come again! that I may cease to mourn
She came again. Her orgasm was wrenched from her, almost brutally. The relentless water was not satisfied. The nozzle’s position was perfect and unless she moved her clitoris away from its prickling interrogation she knew she would be forced to suffer another deep, pumping shudder of sex. His sweet, tender lips on her breasts ensured her total surrender to his hot, demanding cascade of ecstasy. She opened her eyes briefly, saw his mouth reaching toward one rigid nipple then the other. She saw he was hard again, his huge cock bouncing on her thigh as he bent over her to administer his oral stimulation.
I sit, I sigh, I weep, I faint, I die
Her heart pounded in her eardrums, beating its primitive rhythm, feeding oxygen to exhausted muscles so they could contract and explode again. His mouth sucked harder and harder on her left nipple, her most sensitive one. The twin pleasure points from his fierce kissing and his voracious watery jetting arced together like a crackling sexual short circuit. She threw her head as far back as the neck strap allowed. It pressed on her throat as she screamed, as they screamed together.
In deadly pain and endless misery.
She was in another new place. Coming over and over again. This didn’t happen. Not to her. The remnants of her mind told her it was not normal, not really her; she always stopped after two, maybe three. Sometimes she took ages just for one, sometimes she gave up. But here was six, seven, oh god, ten. Endless, every few seconds. The pulsing intensity could not match her first screaming release, but the certainty and the frequency of them had their own devouring effect on her mind. The relentless efficiency of the chair combined with the sensual kisses and stroking from his lips engulfed her in an insanity of eroticism. Each time her screams became more desperate, more bestial. She could no longer count. Twenty? Forty? Who cares? Oh fuck, oh fuck. She was wrapped, tighter and tighter inside the torrid, bucking blanket of her own animal sexuality. It suffocated her, obliterated her senses. She gasped again, struggling to find enough air for another emptying cry of anguished ecstasy.
He stopped it, stopped her.
Her smiles, my springs that makes my joy to grow,
He stood near her now, caressing her cheeks, brushing water from her eyelids, towelling her face with a new mother’s tenderness. She was spent, exhausted. She turned her head as he moved behind her, and she felt the two wooden pieces she was sitting on move, pulling her buttocks apart. Something soft and rubbery pushed against her anus, not quite penetrating it. She was too tired, too high on boiling, bubbling sexual release, to ask or even care what this new torment might be. Dimly she saw him through steam and fatigue as he moved to the valves and turned on a different one. She became aware of the music again.
By sighs and tears more hot than are thy shafts
All hearing, all senses, were swept from her as she inhaled in shock and delight. Her bottom had never been one of her erogenous zones, but suddenly it was very erogenous. The fierce jet did not stream constantly, instead it pulsed against her anus as if she was being shafted from behind by a water demon, penetrating her with his endless reservoir of fluid. This thought, as she tried to make sense of what was happening to her, became her fantasy and she felt her bottom unclench, offering her surrender to his ramming, steaming cock. She did not expect to come without clitoral stimulation, but her liquid lover pulsed harder and deeper into her, demanding her answer in reward for his insatiable thrusting. Give yourself to me. To me! Her orgasm grew and erupted deep inside her like a dormant volcano, gushing hot lava that hissed and spat against the demon’s unstoppable pounding.
She heard the valve squeak as it turned. Her water devil lover hissed louder, towered higher, drove deeper and harder, violating her anus with more and more of his hot, gushing seed. She screamed and screamed.
Another echoing squeal of metal. The first jet had returned in fierce rivalry. Now her two relentless jetting lovers were jousting with their hot, hard water lances, trying to outdo one another in their passion to give to her, take from her. Her waves of pleasure crashed against each other inside her body; two different orgasms fighting to escape through one poor body. Only when the gigantic pulses synchronised could she find release from her agony. They became a bomb going off inside her, even more intense and emptying than her first climactic detonation. She screamed continuously now. Another bomb began to tick. Please don’t let it be bigger. She screamed in anguish and fear at the endlessness of her joy. She was a demented sex slave to herself, her whole body a single sexual organ, cleaned and simplified, reduced to fulfil one task, to contract and release into paroxysmal infinity. Her world was orgasm. Her life was orgasm. She was orgasm.
Somehow she was dimly conscious of his lips on hers, his gentle mouth rescuing her from the mindlessly exhausting demands of her writhing, struggling body. She tasted his humanity, his warmth and caring. His love. She strained her head back to release another hoarse scream of tortured delight. A hot gout of liquid splashed into her mouth and before she could swallow it his lips closed over hers and his cheek pressed against her nose. She was enslaved to his breathing, forced to inhale as he breathed out, forced to exhale as he sucked her back inside himself. Their tongues became lovers, writhing and coiling together. She was bursting, needing to pant and gasp in the fresh, steamy air. His lungs were strong as iron, his utter control of her very breathing felt so primitively intimate and sexual she gave in to him, brayed an ultimate cry of joy and pain into him as she came deep inside his mouth.
He pulled his lips away. He was making his own gasping sounds. She hear them distantly through the whirling haze in her wrecked mind and the panting, gulping of her mouth as she sucked hot, moist vapour into the shattered remnants of her soaked, boiling body. “Hotter,” she whispered, “Hotter.”
“How long?” She sat back on his sofa, her body aching and sparkling in equal measure. Soft lute music caressed her fevered mind. Outside the sky lightened, summer birds sang. A hopelessly inadequate, hypnotically simple word echoed compulsively in her head. Wow, wow, wow.
“I forgot to look at the clock. It doesn’t matter. I’ve never seen anyone like you before. I thought you were going to die from it, but I couldn’t stop it.”
Silence filled by singing. Wow, wow, wow.
“What now? You know I’m going to have to ring in sick today.” She didn’t mean it to sound like an accusation. The mundane smallness of her problem was absurd. This ordinary, previous world seemed irrelevant. Wow, wow, wow.
“You’ll go home. I’ll give you my number before you leave. In a week, maybe less, you’ll ring and ask if you can come and see me. And I’ll know what that means.” He stared straight ahead, as if his neck was made of stone.
The sadness in his tone made her sit up, brought her face round to look at him. She lifted her hand to brush away a still dripping lock of hair that hung in front of his eyes. She let her hand drop back, unused, into her throbbing, tingling lap. They had not touched again since he had undone the straps and released her from the chair, pulled her upright on quivering legs, dried her with slow, comforting care, dressed her with tender hands and sexless grace.
“Why will you know what it means? You are gorgeous, an incredibly sexy guy.” No point in holding back on this after what they had shared.
He smiled. Was it regret? “Yes, I know. And we might have had something. I loved talking with you last night. I so wanted to sit and share a bottle, listen to the music we both love. Do normal things.” His head remained pointed at the opposite wall, looking at nothing. “You’re gorgeous too. But we can never have anything normal. You will always be waiting for your next ride in my chair. I’ve stood before you and watched you in the throes of the deepest sexual ecstasy you have ever had. How can I compete with my sexy body?” His face hardened with irony as he uttered the word ‘sexy’. “How could we be real lovers? I had a lover, kept it secret from her, we spent our time at her place. She found out, six months ago. Dumped me, just like that. Bang! Like a car crash.”
She felt an echoing pang. “So get rid of it.” The words caused panic even as she spoke them.
His eyes glinted with insane ferocity. “I’ve become as obsessed with it as they have, as you will. Did you count how many times I … came on you? Did you even know I was doing it? No. You were somewhere else, which is why I could do it, why I wanted … needed to. I need the threesome now, you, me, the chair. And even if I wanted to give you the choice of spending the night in my bed or in my chair which would you pick?”
She stared at him as words tumbled from those sweet lips. He was trapped inside an erotic, monochrome melancholy of his own making. She felt gentle pity for him like a voice, mourning softly at the funeral of a love that was dead before it had even lived. But she felt something stronger, the unyielding arms of his trap closing around her.
“So I’ll just get rid of it then. And the twenty-one. For you. For our love of Dowland. For what might still be. Do you want me to? If I take it apart and throw it away would you help me? Are you strong enough to rescue me from my madness?” At last he turned to look at her, his blazing blue eyes demanding total honesty in her choice.
Knowing there could be a next time in his chair, inside his crazed, erotic world of sexual euphoria, she was already thinking of it, yearning for it. His dark, sexual madness was creeping ever closer. She could hear its growl, smell its breath, feel its raw heat. Her anguished loins tingled and tightened. The thought of becoming nothing more to him, and to herself, than his next orgasm slave, his number twenty-two, made her suddenly and impossibly wet. The leather squished under her as she shuffled. She nodded, then shook her head. Wow, wow, wow. Now, now, now.
She stood on shaking legs, held her hand out to his, led him with demented, submissive certainty back to the chair, delivering them both into inevitable, intoxicating doom.