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Window Shopping

Tags: mf, voyeurism
Two friends and a strange lady who leaves her drapes open are drawn together
Emily leaned back in her chair, kicking the front legs up as she sipped cabernet, the deep purple wine clinging to her lips. “You seeing anybody yet?”

I rolled my eyes and poured myself. “No, Em, I haven’t got time for that.”

“It’s been six months. Don’t you think it’s about time you made time.”

“You know how my job is. I’ve got three projects going right now, and we’re bidding on the new library.”

Emily leaned forward and plucked a Gitane from the cobalt blue box. It was like her to smoke a strong, foreign cigarette. She wasn’t the kind of girl who’d smoke something so prosaic as a Marlboro or Winston. She drove a Peugeot that cost her a metric ton to maintain, drank Chilean wines and wore silk dresses when flannel was chic among lesbians. Her neighboring apartment was a temple of books, which probably explained why she had lived there throughout and beyond two serious but failed relationships. Her books outweighed the baggage. Perhaps that’s why I’d stayed as well, or simple inertia. I slid the last of our dinner dishes into the dishwasher, while bitching mildly about unreasonable deadlines in between sips of wine.

“Gary, you are always facing deadlines. Don’t let work become an excuse. I know she hurt you, but it’s time.”

“And who would I date?”

Emily turned her eyes away, taking a long puff from her cigarette, letting the smoke hang in the air. “Whomever you want.”

I pulled the cork from the bottle, and refilled our glasses. “And what about you, Em? I haven’t heard much giggling from your bedroom lately.”

“You can hear?” She turned around, mouth open and face slightly flushed. “I didn’t think I was that noisy.”

“Fear not. There’s concrete block between our apartments. It’s intended as a firewall, but it does a decent job of blocking sound.

Emily smiled wanly. “I’m glad. Still, I was relieved when you replaced that old box spring.”

I winced. The damned thing was loud, but I didn’t think the noise would transmit through concrete block and drywall. “Don’t be so serious, I’m just teasing. Have you met that new girl in 42-C?” she asked, now grinning mischievously. “She’s awful cute.”

“The one across the courtyard?”


“I ran into her once in the laundry room, but no, we haven’t really met. Even though I can see right into her apartment.”

“Really? Get any shows?”


“Like you’re better. All guys like to look.”

“Em, when I sit at that window I’m normally working on a CAD drawing. Yes, I can see but I don’t peek. What’s up, are you interested in her?”

“A little,” she said taking another puff from her cigarette. She looked away again before adding.

“Usually when you say that you’re very interested.”

“Alright, she’s really cute. But she’s probably straight.”

I poured myself a bit more wine so I wouldn’t have to say anything.

“You should go to the party next weekend,” Emily suggested. “I could introduce you.”

“You know her?”

“We’ve met, in the laundry room. Only I was folding my unmentionables so we had a chance to chat. Her name is Lisa, and she’s a techie.”

“Was she checking out your undies, Em?”

“Maybe a little. I have some pretty interesting stuff.” Then she winked at me.

That was one of those places I didn’t want to go. Emily often teased me sexually, and more often lately now that we both were between relationships. I enjoyed it but preferred to suppress that fantasy. Emily was far too tempting. She was pretty. Tall and slim with long red hair and flashing blue eyes. And she was so feminine, so atypical of the lesbian stereotype. Adding our friendship and her known interest in other women made for a dangerously seductive package. I dared not think about Emily sexually, because I knew what would happen. You start out with a few harmless fantasies, but sooner or later they turn into the drunken pass or unwelcome hints. Pop goes the friendship. I didn’t want to become one of those men, so I refused any hint of delusion. Better to think of her as the sister I never had and leave matters there. “Well, she has some pretty interesting stuff too.” I added.

Emily raised her right eyebrow. “So she did give you a show?”

“She hangs her clothes up on the porch to dry.”

“Sun-dried clothing is the best way to go. But usually you don’t hang your unmentionables out there, at least the good stuff. Women reserve viewing for special moments with someone special.”

“Unless you’re living with them.”

“Well, small apartments do challenge the feminine mystique. No space for a boudoir.”

“I didn’t think you did such things.”

“You’d be surprised at what I do, Gary. You really would.”

I smiled at her and saw that pensive look in her face, that I’d seen a lot of lately. And then her face lit up as she grinned at me again. “Well, Em, I’ve got to get back to my drawings. Deadline tomorrow, you know.”

She grinned and sipped her wine, before rising. “I think the reason they gave you your computer is to get more work out of you. I know that’s why they gave me my laptop.”

I laughed. “Everyone knows that’s true, we just don’t want to admit it. At least they let us put video games on our home machines.”

“So you’ve been shooting zombies all this time, instead of working.

“If I don’t get this drawing done, I’ll be turned into a zombie!”

“Well, I’d hate to see that happen. Green is not your color.” As she opened my door to leave she reached back to touch my hand in parting. She grinned and her fingers slipped away, grazing gently across my skin. After the door clicked shut I lifted my hand for a second wondering, for she’d never touched me like that before.

There seemed no point worrying about what Em was doing. I spotted my copy of Scene. It took a moment to scan the personals. Lots of single women. This one I liked but wouldn’t likeme, that one I didn’t like. No one looked likely. I tossed the paper aside and headed formy bedroom, where the computer waited. Two clicks brought the ceiling plan up on my screen. I needed to check the lighting levels before handing the plan over to the engineer for the circuit diagrams.

As I worked my mind drifted back to Emily. Had she really been able to hear Theresa and I together in bed? It hardly seemed possible, and she knew our mattress squeaked from when she visited. But if they had, what would they have thought? Would they have been repulsed, like the stereotypical lesbian? I wondered about that. Mary had never been particularly friendly to me. Emily once told me she was jealous of our friendship.

Rubbing my chin, I turned to look outside my window. There stood Lisa in her bedroom, backlit from her hallway light. She was clad only in a black slip and earrings, and the sheer fabric clung to her petite body. Her nipples were plainly visible beneath the fabric and I wondered if she was preparing herself for a lover. She was so pretty, and I felt my cock stirring as I looked. So I turned away and lay on the bed to give her privacy.

Yet she was lovely, I realized, and hungered again for a woman’s touch. I looked back at the wall that divided Emily’s bedroom from mine. What if she had heard us together? Would our passion have inspired Em and Mary to make love? Theresa and I had made so many memories in this bed. I remembered Theresa’s black hair splayed across the pillow, mouth open as I drove myself into her. I reached down to unzip my jeans, and raised my hips to slip them down. My cock sprang free, standing upright before me as I licked my fingers before taking it in my hand. So many images filled my mind. Theresa beneath me, her legs wrapped around my hips, her arms about me, whispering lewdly into my ear. And as I did that I imagined Emily and Mary in the next room, listening to our bed springs and Theresa’s soft cries of passion.

I pictured them kissing open-mouthed, and tall, voluptuous Mary feeding her enormous breasts into Emily’s small mouth. In my fantasy she wore an enormous dildo, and Emily spread her legs to receive it. I wrapped my fist about my cock and began to pump it, slowly at first, to savor the sweet sensations. My other hand cupped my balls and began to roll them gently as my hips writhed upon my bed.

I tried to strip that image from my mind, and instead tried to picture myself with Lisa. I remember that she had a sharp, mischievous grin from our meeting in the laundry room. I pictured her now, erect nipples poking through black satin, her slip up above her waist, legs spread wide for my thrusts. She smiled at me as I pounded her. And then her picture dissolved and only Emily lay beneath me, her long red tresses spayed out on the pillow. I licked her soft pink lips as I kissed her, my cock deep inside her. Her body was tense and breasts bounced, and she asked me to fill her. And with her image in my mind I came with a groan, feeling the warm liquid spread out upon my belly.

* * *

I awoke in the darkness, pants still down around my knees. I slid them all the way off and went to get a bathrobe. The deadline loomed before me. Back to work I went, checking the drawings one last time before sending them off to the office for printing. I heard laughter from across the courtyard, and glanced across. A neatly dressed man, tall and bearded sat upon Lisa’s couch. And she was talking to him as she lowered the Venetian blinds, sealing off her world from mine.

Relieved, I walked to the kitchen to make coffee. I thought of Emily touching me again, and became angry at my weakness. Angry at myself for dreaming of Theresa again, when she was gone forever. Angry because I had intruded into Lisa’s privacy. I decided that I should work with my blinds down in the future, though that had never been my habit. And then I wondered why, when all I needed to do was keep my mind on my work. And so I went back to work, never noticing when the lights went dark in Lisa’s bedroom.

* * *

The party was a Luau theme, so I dug an old Hawaiian shirt out my closet and some khaki shorts. I heard the door open and Emily came in, wearing a floral print dress and grumbling “Where’s your coconut bra,” I asked, lightheartedly.

“Coconut bra? I’m not big enough to fill one of those.”

“You don’t need whoppers to fill a coconut.”

“True, they do bulge on their own. But it’s hard finding a grass skirt in this town. Would you zip me?”

“Sure.” I leaned over and noticed that she wasn’t wearing any bra, much less coconuts. I noticed how smooth her skin was as my finger closed over the zipper.

“Thanks.” She whirled about to face me. “Get your drawings done?”

“I had to stay up all night to finish, but yes, I got done. Thank God it’s Saturday, and I don’t have anything to do until tomorrow night.”

“Good, because we’re both going to get leighed tonight.”

“You got somebody in mind?”

“Maybe, but I was talking about the flowers, silly. But then you might get lucky. I plan on formally introducing you and Lisa tonight.” “I wouldn’t hope much there. She had a gentleman caller last night.”

“Oh did she?” Though she mouthed the words, I had a feeling that Emily didn’t think that was a bad thing. Which surprised me, because I thought she might be interested in Lisa herself.” She reached out and pulled me after her. “Now come on, I’ve got an appointment with a roasted pig, and we don’t want to be late.” And so I followed her down to the patio. We chatted with our neighbors. I decided to head over to the punch bowl, to check it for alcohol content. It wasn’t, which reminded me again that my college days were over, though they did have a keg of cold beer to remind me of my youthful folly. I filled my glass and wandered over by the poolside, where I found Emily and Lisa chatting.

Em grabbed my hand and pulled me over to them. “You have got to meet Gary. Gary this is Lisa,” she added pushing her smaller hand in mine.

She squeezed my hand again, grinning up at me. “We’ve met,” she continued, “though no one ever told me your name before. I’ve seen you out my window, always staring at your computer screen. Are you one of those chat room addicts.”

“No, I’m an architect. It’s just that this is the busy season for us, and my boss’s last name is Legree.”

Lisa smiled at me, that sort of upturned Cheshire grin that give you an idea that you don’t know the half of what’s going on inside her head. “Sounds like we have the same boss. I’m a network admin, have to work a lot of odd hours. Fortunately they haven’t made to many changes in the system lately, so I’ve actually got it working right for once.”

“If you can get it working, you ought to come to my shop. Our server is always crashing.”

“That’s bad, very bad. But let’s not talk about computers shall we? I’ve had enough work for this lifetime.” And we began to chat about work our college days, and whether or not John Cusack had gone Hollywood. Emily slipped away while we spoke, and after she left Lisa’s next question surprised me. “So how long have you two been going out?”

“Em and I are just friends.”

“Really? I was sure you two had something going.”

“She’s my best friend.”

“You mean you’re not interested in her.”

“No, she’s not interested in me. She’s gay.”

“Oh.” Lisa turned her eyes to watch Emily from across the pool. “Are you certain?”

“In the six years I’ve known her, she’s had two live-in girlfriends and not one date with a man.”

“And what about you? What team do you play for?”

“Excuse me.”

“It isn’t exactly usual for a lesbian to hang out with a straight guy.”

“Emily’s not exactly ordinary.”

“No she isn’t. But who wants to be ordinary?”

“Not me.”

“Me either. Do you like to dance.”

“Sure.” And so she took me out on the dance floor and we began to sway and bump with the music. She moved gracefully, like a panther in perfect time with the beat. Near her I felt clumsy but she didn’t seem to notice. She was beautiful and totally female, and my mind and body couldn’t help but notice. It felt good, like Theresa hadn’t taken my mojo after all. And then I caught sight of Emily in the corner of my eye. She was watching us, but instead of the grin I expected her eyes looked sad, her mouth downcast. So I smiled and waived her over. And as I motioned to her, that wonderful smile reappeared.

And so we danced, and rested, then danced some more, growing closer all the time. Lisa and Emily seemed to hit it off, and I could see Lisa batting her eyes flirtatiously at Emily. And then at me. I was confused, and a little bit high, so I really didn’t understand at the time. But we were having fun, and I enjoyed both their company.

Finally I sat down and watched them dance together. Their eyes stayed upon each other as they swayed to the music. And then a slow song began, and they parted, gesturing to me. I caught Emily’s eye she took my hand and put it in Lisa’s. “Dance for me,” and stepped aside as our bodies came together.

I put my arm around her and Lisa stepped toward me, her head fitting nicely against my shoulder and my right hand fell naturally to rest upon her short black curls. I rested my head upon hers as we swayed together. I could feel my breasts against my belly, and her thighs against my hips. Lisa wrapped her arms around me and held me close as I savored the pressure of her body against mine. But as we danced I searched the crowd and found Emily standing there watching us intently. Her mouth was open and she stood quietly, though she smiled when she spotted me looking at her.

“You two are so blind.”

I looked down and saw Lisa smiling before returning her face to my chest. I could feel her body against mine, and I responded in a way that was unmistakable. And I found myself wanting to kiss her very badly, but instead contented myself with stroking her hair and neck.

The song ended and she stepped away from me. “You need to give the last dance to Emily,” she told me and slipped from my arms. She reached for Emily, and pulled my friend on the dance floor, whispering something in her ear. And then Emily stepped into my arms.

Emily’s hair glistened in the moonlight and I noticed again how moist her eyes, were, how soft her long, straight hair. And then I realized I had never held her like this before, or noticed the curve of her back, the firmness of the muscles beneath my fingers. And I could feel her breasts against my chest, her nipples through thin fabric of her dress. I looked straight at her and she returned the gaze directly. She was beautiful, not model beautiful, but everything seemed to fit. She felt warm and soft in my arms. And then my cock began to swell. I panicked a bit. What if she noticed? Surely she’d be offended. So I pulled back so she wouldn’t notice my desire. But she wrapped her arm around my hips and pulled me tight against her body. My erection rubbed against her thigh, no way she could miss it. “Oh my,” she whispered as I felt her body press against my erection.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered, ashamed and yet enjoying the touch of her soft hair, the pressure of her body against mine. “You’re a guy. You can’t help yourself.” But she did no move away but continued to press herself against me, body swaying to the music. My skin tingled from the delicious friction. On a whim I relaxed and let myself press against her, daring for a moment to dream that she felt as me. My best friend was next to me, so beautiful and feminine. As we danced a single tear slipped from the corner of my eye.

The last song ended and she pulled away from me. She reached out one long finger and wiped the water from my face. We looked around, but Lisa had already gone. So we turned and climbed the stairs upward toward my apartment. “Would you like to come in for a drink?” I offered, hoping she would accept. And she stood silent for a second with pursed lips, and then smiled and followed me inside.

I reached for the lights but I felt her hand close over mine. “Leave them off,” she whispered. “It’s a beautiful night, let’s enjoy the darkness for a bit. Sit down on the porch and I’ll pour us some iced tea.” I didn’t complain, just slid open the door and stepped outside into the night air. Across the patio I could see into Lisa’s apartment. The lights were on low, though she was nowhere in sight. Which was fine by me. And then I heard a rustling and Emily stepped on the porch with me. Handing me a tall cool glass. I lifted it to my lips and drank deeply, letting the tea roll over my tongue.

The light snapped on in Lisa’s bedroom, and she stepped into the room, clad in a terrycloth robe. I could hear Emily lighting a cigarette to my right, and smelled the acrid smoke floating by. It seemed for a moment that Lisa saw it too, for she looked right at us. But she made no move to lower her blinds, but turned down the bed and began fluffing her pillows.

“You know she kissed me when we went to the ladies room,” Emily announced, taking a long drag.

“Really. How was it?”

“Sweet. She has wonderfully soft lips.”

“So how come you’re not with her?”

But Emily just took another drag and said nothing. Lisa closed the closet door, revealing a full length mirror. I could see Em’s cigarette glowing in the reflection. And then Lisa sat down and began rummaging through her bedside table. She turned and seemed to smile at us as she found what she wanted. Emily and I both caught our breath when she held up a large double-ended dildo up before laying it upon her bed.

“We should go inside, Em.”

“No. She knows we’re here. She can see the glow of my cigarette. I think she wants us to watch.”

“Her room is lit.”

“I tell you she knows.”

I stood paralyzed as Lisa pulled a small bottle of oil from her drawer and set it upon the table. And then she stood before the mirror, studying her image and then let her robe tumble upon the floor. Her breasts were wide and close together, crowned with small berry nipples. We watched as she traced her right hand over her belly and up to cup her left breast. My cock began to throb. “She’s really beautiful,” Emily whispered, her voice hoarse. Her chest rose and fell slowly and she lay her cigarette still lit upon the banister. “Damn that’s a big dildo.” “You’ve seen one of those before?” “Yeah.” Emily spoke breathlessly as if the sight before us brought back some tingling memory that absorbed all but a shred of her concentration. I turned my eyes from Lisa to my friend, who stood next to me, arms crossed except for the cigarette dangling from her hand. I could see the tension in her body, shifting nervously as she watched. Her large nipples stood out like berries beneath her thin dress. She turned and grinned at me. “What are you looking at, Gary? The show’s over there.”

But Lisa slid down her blinds ending the free show.

“Lord I need a glass of cold, cold water.”

I laughed and got up to get us both a glass. “I can’t believe she showed us that dildo."

“Me either. I’d like to be on the other end of that.”

“Maybe she did it send you a message.”

“Maybe she did. I gave her enough hints.”

“So go knock on her door.”

“Are you kidding?”

“Why not? Aren’t double headers a classic lesbian toy.”

“Straights use them too. You can bend them around and . . . “ Emily stopped short and then grinned at me.”

And I got another image in my mind of Emily taking the soft shaft and turning it on herself for double penetration.

“I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering how that would work. I’m so horny that I’d show you if I had one.”

“So go borrow Lisa’s.”

“Yeah, I can see that now. I just stopped over to see if you had a cup of sugar and a dildo. No problem.”

“Yeah, but maybe she wants you to come over and get in the driver’s seat.”

“Honey, I’m a catcher. Haven’t you noticed that I usually date butches?”

“Not really. You don’t date people who look like men.”

“Butch isn’t a haircut. Lisa is very feminine. Plus she likes guys. Probably just a baby dyke dabbling.”

“Still, she’s pretty, she hasn’t anyone to occupy the other end of that phallus. And she kissed you in the bathroom. With intent, I assume.”

“Yeah, there was intent. You dirty bastard, Gary, you’re trying to get me laid.”

“What’s good for the goose . . .”

“I ought to goose you.”

“I’d like it too much.”

“Yes, you would Gary. But what excuse would I use?” I went to my cupboard and pulled out a decent cabernet and two wine glasses. “Bring her a bottle of wine, she can turn you down decently but at least you have an excuse, and something to do if she isn’t in the mood.”

“Good plan. I’ll try it. I’ll eat her alive.”

Emily slid open the screen to my porch and disappeared inside. I was half drunk, but decided to visit my refrigerator and get one more. Emily hadn’t slept with anyone since her breakup with Mary. I found myself wishing she were with me, and stopped to think about it. Maybe if she got some I would too. Sometimes things happened that way, you give up something to get something else. Yeah right. That sounded too much like some psychic crap. Karma seemed like wishful thinking to me.

A moment later I spotted a light turn on in Lisa’s living room. I watched her walk across the room and then I saw Emily’s taller silhouette through the curtains. I saw her pour a glass of wine. A few moments later the two figures came together.

The necked standing for a time then lowered themselves until they disappeared from view. The lights stayed on but I saw no more. Somehow the whiskey bottle came out, and I told myself again and again that it was okay, that the woman I love had found someone that it was good, and I could bear it.

Again and again, I told myself and hoped to believe it.

* * *

“Wake up sleepyhead.” I awoke with a start. My head was pounding, and my stomach shaking. The sun was bright in my eyes. I was still in the chair on my porch, still wearing my leigh and Hawaiian shirt. The bottle of V.O. sat empty at my side, the glass, half full. “Where are you?” It was Emily. I stood up just before Emily pulled open the screen door. “Oh my God! Look at you! Did you pass out on the porch last night?” I nodded and braced myself against the wall. “I think I need an aspirin.” “I think you need more than that. You look terrible! Come to bed.” I stumbled after her into my mercifully dark apartment. “My God, you’re still in those clothes.” She led me to the bedroom. My stomach heaved, and I made a quick detour to the bathroom.” Fortunately nothing much came up. I found some naproxen and slammed down a double dose. It didn’t sit well, but it sat. Emily unbuttoned my shirt as I stumbled to bed. I didn’t last long.

* *` *

I awoke a few hours later, my head down to a dull roar. The scent of fresh coffee filled my nostrils, and I came out. Emily was asleep in my easy chair with her laptop. She shook her head and smiled when I shambled into the living room. “You look a lot better. When I saw you this morning you looked like Death himself.”

“I felt like dying. What are you doing here?”

“I wanted to make sure you’d be okay.”

“My stomach is fine now. Do you want some coffee?”

“Absolutely. Why did you drink that much? I haven’t seen that bottle out for a long time.”

I told her I had been thinking of Theresa because I knew she’d believe it.

She grabbed me by the shoulders and looked me direct in the eye. “Gary, listen to me. You can’t carry a torch forever sweetie. Theresa’s the kind of person whose career will always be more important to her than any man.”

“It seems like I always fall for the wrong girl.”

“You and me both, sweetie.”

“So it didn’t go well between you and Lisa.”

“Au contraire. She fucked me within an inch of my life.” And she closed her eyes, and shimmied to emphasize what must have been wild.


“Don’t get too excited. Lisa’s a party girl.”

“Maybe you can change her mind.”

“I doubt it. People are what they are.”

“Do you have a thing for straight girls?”

“That would be silly. Love is mostly about luck anyway. You have to meet the right person at the right time in your and their life.”

I forced a laugh. Emily grinned at me. “Speaking of sex with straight girls do you know who hit on me this morning?”


“Patsy Bennett in 11-F.”

“Her? I thought she was Suzy Homemaker. She’s got all those yellow ribbons and such on her car.”

“It seems her husband has a two-girl fantasy. Seeing Lisa and I dance together pushed them over the edge.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

“Nothing. She’s not really into it, and I don’t want to waste a few hours wrestling with some girl who doesn’t want to be there just to please some man. Plus if I was going to do a threesome it wouldn’t be with Mike.”

“Who would you choose? Brad Pitt?”

“I’m more an Ed Norton kind of girl.”

“Ed Norton?”

“He’s sweet.”

“I would never have guessed.”

“What about you. What guy would you have your threesome with?”

“Don’t you mean ‘what woman’?”

“Answer the question white man. What guy?”

“Gosh, I’d never thought about it . . .. Probably Michael Douglas because he’d bring Catherine Zeta-Jones.”

“What a guy you are.”

“That’s right.”

“You ought to consider how women often prefer sensitive men with an edge.”

“Is that my problem. Not enough edge.”

“Not sensitive enough. If you really understood you’d have chosen some metrosexual.”

“But I don’t want to go to bed with a man.”

“Yet men expect their straight girlfriend to go down on another woman.”

“I’m not Mike Bennett.”

“Thank heaven for that. If you had been her husband, I might have said yes.”


“No. Patsy would still have been a problem.”

“I would never marry Patsy.”

“Why not? She’s voluptuous and has a good job.”

“She has the personality of an unsalted cracker.”

Emily laughed. “Oh, a vicious streak! I hadn’t seen that in you before. You may learn how to mimic bad boys yet. But you’ll never be one. Are you going to be in trouble for not going into work this morning?”

“Not with the near all-nighter I pulled Wednesday.”

“Good. Well, now that you’re up and going home to plan tonight’s wardrobe.”

“Are you and Lisa going out again?”

“I’m making her dinner.”

“Sounds romantic.”

“I hope so.”

“Maybe her boyfriend works weekends.”

“If it was serious wouldn’t he come over late for some hootchie cootchie?”

“He might have my job.”

Emily laughed. “Honey, you still found time for Theresa. You always find time for me, even though I’m a bitchy dyke. Lisa would have been waiting up for you.”

I laughed, but I watched her every move while she slinked out the door. I decided this would be a good day to go into the office. Work does such a fine job of occupying the mind, on that day I wanted not to think. I was glad for Emily. And jealous as well, jealous of them both.

It didn’t get any worse. I didn’t see a lot of Em that week, except briefly through Lisa’s window. It looked like the affair was on. The only time she stopped by was to ask me if she looked ‘right’. She always looked better than right so I didn’t have to lie.

On Friday I did something I never, ever do. I went in to the strip club I pass on the way home. The lot was full and the bouncer tried to mix friendliness and intimidation as he shock me down for the cover. It was dark and smelled of weak cigarettes, nothing like Emily’s Gitanes. A long haired latino girl danced around a pole illuminated in bright purple light. I made my way to the bar passing a tall black girl with butch hair and enormous breasts. She winked at me and I couldn’t help but notice the bills hanging from her garter.

I grabbed an open stool. To my left a middle aged construction worker stroked the back of a tiny oriental girl. She pressed her breast against his bicep and sipped from a low glass. The bartender wore tight black pants, high heals and white oxford, unbuttoned just enough to give me a peek down her shirt. And I peeked.

“What’ll it be, sugar?”

‘Sam Adams.” I turned away to look at the Latin dancer, who was in the process of taking down her top. Her breasts were small and firm, much like I imagined Emily’s would be. I felt someone brush against me.

“Hey baby what’s up?” It was the black dancer I’d seen earlier. She had smooth skin the color of milk chocolate and I noticed for the first time an oriental cant to her eyes.

‘Not much.” I forced a smile.

“Honey you don’t look so happy. You aren’t supposed to be unhappy, not here.” And she bent over giving me a look down her bikini top. Like I needed the advantage, for her breasts were huge, outsized as the rest of her was slim. Almost skinny. Almost like Emily looked in a bikini without the breasts or the color. I’d only seen Em in a bikini once, at the pool with Mary and drenched in sun screen. I wondered if Lisa would get her back there again.

“You like my boobies?” She put her hands under her top and began to juggle them so they bounced.

“I am a man.”

“I noticed baby. But you’re all alone. And I need a place to get off these heels.

I nodded and made a bit of space. Four-inch heels seemed the rule in this club. “So what’s your name honey?”


“I’m Ebony.”

“You know, a girl works up a mighty big thirst shaking it up there."

“Uh huh.” I glanced at the stage where the long-haired latino girl was hanging upside down on the pole.

“Could you buy me a split of champagne?”

‘How about a glass of wine.”

“Fine, but I make a split last.”

“Alright.” I had been feeling flush after my last raise, and I had no will to refuse. I’d come here for feminine companionship, and it had come, albeit at a steep price. I pulled out the cash and paid the bartender, because I realized a tab would get me into serious money all too quickly.

“I’ve never seen you here before.”

“I’ve never been here before.”

“Well, glad you came?” She winked at me and leaned forward to offer a detailed view down her top. I looked too.

“I don’t know yet.”

“Well, I do. Handsome guy like you, dressed real nice, the girls will all be wanting to dance for you. I’m just glad I got here first?” “I just wanted a drink.”

“Need someone to drink with? Dancing makes a girl thirsty.”

I laughed. I knew she was working me, but she winked and pushed up against me, and against my better nature I did notice that she was shapely, even if I suspected that Intel had as much to do with her figure as mother nature. I knew she was working me, but I had money but lacked a woman. Maybe she wasn’t the woman I sought but she was sitting next to me and pretending that I was sexy. Pretend was good enough for me at that moment.

The bartender removed my twenty and brought the girl, whose name I couldn’t remember, a fruity looking drink that probably rated ten proof, if that.

“So what kinda music you like?”

“The Blues.”

“Like B.B. King?”

“Big Mama Thornton, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Candye Kane.”

“Candye Kane? Isn’t she a big girl who used to be a stripper?”

“Porn star, actually.”

“No shit? She was in films? She’s awful big for that. I’m built a lot better than she is.”

“But can you sing?”

“I sure can.” She launched into a few bars from something Shakira or someone else. She had decent vocal tone too. “You’re not so bad, but Candye is better.”

“Well, she isn’t so pretty as I am. If she can get into porn, so can I.”

“Getting in is easy. All you need is a DV camera and a fast desktop.”

“Think so? There’s some money there for a girl who likes to show what she has and has some titties. And I do had some titties. She jiggled them for effect, and got more motion than I suspected.

I had to admit she was right. “So why do you want to get into porn?”

“First of all, I really like sex. I can’t live without it for very long. That’s why I like the job, lots of hot girls and horny guys. It’s a lot easier to do a job if you like what you’re doing. Second, I got a kid. I need to make some money now because I can’t shake it forever.”

I nodded in agreement and let her talk.

“It’s hard raising a kid today, what with dentists, school clothes and such, especially by yourself.”

“What about her father?”

“Her daddy’s gone, killed in the war. My momma didn’t raise me to be no ‘ho. But I’m not raising my little boy in the ghetto neither. I shake my ass and I can afford a decent place. If I get into porn I can make some real money.”

“I can’t really argue with your logic, though you might want to try to get a college education.”

She laughed, and I tried again to remember her name. “I couldn’t stand studying when I was in school, why would it be different now that I’m out and have a kid.”

“Because you understand the necessity.”

“Bobby, what’s your name . . “


“Gary, I ain’t no science girl, if you know what I mean. I know what I know and that doesn’t include Shake-spear or cosmopology.” “There’s no such word as ‘cosmopology’.”

“I just made it up.”

“Well, it might make Webster’s for a few more editions.”

“Hell, that’s just a big heavy book anyway. Probably costs a fortune.”

“They’re cheap for what you get. You’ll want one for your son, once he learns to read.”

“He reads real good, they have him taking home a new book every week. When I make it home in time, I have him read me a bedtime story.”

“What did he read you last time?”

“Story called “Make way for ducklings. Old book, it was my mama’s.”

“Damn, I go to a titty bar and find myself talking about children’s books.”

She laughed loud and clear and pressed her thigh and breast against me, the most contact allowable by law. And I laughed too, more than slightly aware of her body pressed against me, but also aware that something was missing. She was more than I expected, but I expected nothing and wanted everything.

We talked a bit more before her turn came to dance. I watched from the bar, her body slowly swaying to the music, spinning around the pole. I could see her looking at me, but I could also see her work the men at the line of the bar, moving in close for their bills, her legs open, thighs almost touching their ear, moving sex merely inches from their mouths as they slid the bill beneath her garter. She winked at me and followed a young man behind a curtain.

“Ebony’s giving a private dance,” explained the bartender as she refilled my scotch. I didn’t remember when I had switched to scotch.

A petite blonde wearing a blue bikini dropped into the seat next to me. “Got a light?” she asked.

I pulled out the lighter I carried for Emily and lit her cigarette. “My name’s Mickey.” And she batted her eyes at me.

Ebony had been attractive, in the way of buxom young woman. Mickey was just plain beautiful in the way of fair-skinned Celtic girls, firm like a woman working the fields, every curve perfect, every movement liquid. She looked a lot like Lisa, only much fairer, and if possible firmer.

I bought her a drink too. “Did you like my dance,” she asked, and I admitted I hadn’t seen it.

“Yeah, I noticed you talking with Ebony. But she won’t be back for a while. She’s got a groom in there, a friend of her regulars. She’ll give the boy a lap dance he won’t forget. Probably more than a few.” And then she winked at me.

“Well, I didn’t come for a lap dance.

“So what did you come for? Window shopping?”

I laughed. “Distraction really. I didn’t want to go home.”

“Your old lady giving you hell?”

It took a moment to get the words out. “I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“Just lose one?”

“I never had one, I suppose.”

Mickey squeezed my arm, “That’s the sort of words that always end up in a sad story She use you for something?”

“No, she didn’t.”

‘You leave her?”


Mickey leaned forward and took a long sip of simulated vodka. “Man you really are mixed up over somebody.”

I laughed.

“If you aren’t having fun, it isn’t worth it. We’re here to party, right?” Mickey licked her lips and took a drink. I decided that her vodka bottle had to be filled with water—she’d never be able to stay slim —or coherent- drinking like that. There was a silence, long andawkward as neither of us knew what to say except that we were supposed to say something to each other. Finally, she asked me what I did.


“So you design buildings and such?”

I laughed. “Until recently I just designed parts of buildings and fixed technical problems. But I’ve finally had a drawing of mine accepted, a craftsman style home out in Venford.”

“Venford’s a pretty wealthy area.”

“Nobody but wealthy people can afford a custom home. Especially with the good stuff. The good materials cost too much. Custom design ups labor costs too because you can’t just slap it together.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope. Most the houses today have almost been stamped out like a car. Cookie cutter.”

“Sounds like you like the old homes.”

“I do. The old guys, Burnham, Richardson, Sullivan, Wright, Johnson, they had a sense of style, proportion. Everything fit, and since craftsmen built everything cool cost little more than mundane. Everyplace you look there’s a little something a detail to set it apart. That’s why so many of the older homes are so neat.”

“I don’t want an old house. I want a heater that keeps me warm.”

“Oh, that can be done. Just takes money.”

Mickey laughed. “Yeah, well if I had money I’d be out with some handsome guy in a tux. Or shopping. Or at home with the family.”

“Even rich people don’t get to do what they want all the time.”

“Then what’s the point of being rich?”

“To have more of what you want.”

“Babe, I live for too much. Too much sleep, too much caffeine, too much sex.”

“I believe in that too, but I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“You told me. You spend a lot of time dwelling on that don’t you?”

“I suppose I do.” Then I stopped and took a drink, and I thought of Emily’s joy when she described how Lisa had done her.”

“So what is it with this girl? You can tell me. Strippers are a lot like bartenders. We’re supposed to listen then keep our mouth shut.”

I laughed. “Well, she’s my next door neighbor. And she’s sleeping with another neighbor.”

“And you can’t avoid them?”

“She’s my best friend.”

“What kind of friend fucks somebody else when her best buddy is next door?”

“A lesbian.”

“She never does guys?”

“Not that I’ve ever seen.”

Mickey draped her arm around my shoulder. “You are so screwed. We have some gay girls here. The only thing they like about men is their wallet.”

“Emily likes me alright. She comes over all the time.”

“Yeah, but she never comes. If I were you I’d get the heck out of there.”

“You would?”

“Honey, the only thing carrying a torch does is make your arm tired. Your right arm, if you know what I mean.” And with that Mickey winked at me and rubbed her bikini covered breast against my arm.

“My right arm’s tired enough as it is. I should have hairy palms by now.”

“So should I.” And she winked again, and licked the edge of her glass.

I laughed and took another drink. There was another dancer on the pole, a brunette whose cleavage denied gravity. But I turned back at Mickey, and ran my eyes over her body. Her skin showed not a single flaw, soft and supple, and her body seemed so perfect.”

“You like what you see.”

“Uh huh.” I barely got that out.

“I thought so. Why don’t you get a table dance? They’re only $20, thirty in private. Let me give you a private dance and I’ll give you something to grow hair by.”

I heard myself agree. Mickey winked and took my hand back to a small curtained booth. She sat me in my chair, drink at my side.

“Keep your hands at your sides,” she whispered mouth so close to me ear. “You can’t touch me, not for real, not the way we’d both like. The bouncers will come because if they don’t the cops will. Just sit back and enjoy, because this is for you.” She stepped back but stayed close, but not too close, an arm’s length away when she began to sway to the music. The tune was hip hop, I didn’t recognize it and loud, but Mickey managed to slow it down, to make her movements sinuous as a belly dancer. She twirled and stood stood en pointe like a ballerina, every curve accentuated. The lines of her pale blue thong drew my eye to her sex. I watched her belly button, and her small, beautiful breasts which her bikini top so delightfully accentuated. She pirouetted and turned, and then I saw her back, rippling with muscle, and her buttocks, smooth and creamy, swaying back and forth.

I could feel my cock swelling and I wanted her, wanted her badly, so perfect and beautiful and so close. Mickey came closer and put her arms on the backs of my chair. She reminded me to keep my hands where they were and she came close, very close, her covered sex only inches from my mouth, so close that I could almost reach out and lick it.

“Do you like what you see?”

“Do you even need to ask?”

“She giggled and spun and hunched over, her perfect bottom only an inch from my nose. I traced the line of her thong and made out her puckered pink back door. She was so close, and I wanted to just reach out my tongue and lick. I felt like the Sultan and understood why Scheherezade so captivated him.

Then she spun again and her top was down. And her perfect breasts bobbed naked before me. She leaned over me and pressed her chest against me, my mouth between her breasts and began to rub. My cock was aching but my fingers stayed put. I knew the rules, no touching, no real intimacy just the fantasy. But I could feel her breasts around my head and I so wanted to just turn my head and lick.

“You’re a sweet one,” whispered Mickey, before she spun again and planted herself on my lap. Her buttocks moved band and forth, and on its own accord my erect cock founds its way into the crack, squeezed and rubbed, she moved. It loved it I savored it, but the song ended all too quickly and Mickey slipped away.

“That ought to give you something to think about tonight.”

“It did.” And I thought of her and Emily together.

“You’re a sweet guy. One of the nice ones. Get away from the dyke next door. I know you like each other, but it won’t be any good for you until you get somebody of your own.”

“Love advice from a stripper?”

“On the house. You’re an architect. Build yourself a dream house.” She winked again and began refastening her top. “It’ll be my dance again out front in a minute. Hope you’ll come watch.”

I nodded. I took a drink. I walked outside. Mahogany was writhing on a table surrounded by young men. Mickey headed to the bar, and on the way by she exchanged glances with a tall mustachioed man in a leather jacket. Her lover perhaps? I reached for my car keys and headed for the door. It was dark outside, full dark and I spotted flashing lights in the distance. I took inventory of myself and realized I was in no condition to drive.

“Can you call me a taxi?”

He was big and beefy but he nodded, made the call and offered me some coffee. It arrived quickly, and I realized that tomorrow I’d have to get a ride back for my car. I thought I’d ask Emily. After all, her romance drove me there.

Then I reconsidered. I drove myself there. I chose that night because I wanted a night at the harem. I’d had that night. Now it was time to move on. Mickey was right, I needed to leave the apartment behind.

* * *

I woke up around nine and made myself some coffee, and started some eggs. Slapped a couple English muffins in the toaster and knocked on Em’s wall. It was a signal we had that breakfast was underway. If she wanted any she’d come over. Then it occurred to me that she might have something better to eat than food.

Five minutes later the door slid open and two ladies walked in. Em was in her usual morning sweats and Lisa trailed behind wearing tight jeans and a pink t-shirt the hugged her like a bear. She smiled at me as she shut the door.

“Got enough for a threesome?” Emily leaned over the counter grinning at me.

“I’ve got plenty. There’s grapefruit juice in the fridge. Rule is you have to serve yourself.”

“Thanks. “ Lisa pulled open the fridge and pulled out the juice bottle. I’d left a cupboard cracked enough that she knew where to find the juice glasses.

“So where were you last night, white man?” Emily looked at me with intent. “Did you have a hot date?”

“I went to a bar.”

“Meet anyone cute.”

“Yes, but she already has a boyfriend.”

“Is that all?”

“It’s a long story Em. So what did Emily make for you last night?”

“Chicken cashew.”

“I’ve had that before, it’s quite good. Emily’s quite the cook when she wants to be.”

Lisa smiled at me. “So are you from what I’ve heard. And see. What all do you have in those eggs.”

“Red pepper, garlic, scallions and gouda. With a bit of spice.”

“Sounds really yummy. Smells that way too.”

“Gary is the king of breakfasts,” Emily announced. “His dinner menu is average white man, well done but predictable. But in the morning, he prepares a symphony!”

“Gosh, next time I’ll borrow one of your ethnic cookbooks.”

“Nah. Your spaghetti and meat loaf stand alone. You just need the right person to share the cooking chores.” Lisa observed that “A man that cooks is a man a girl hangs on to.”

I laughed.

“You’re right sweetie, but Gary’s still a mite tender on that point.”

“Carrying a torch only makes your arm tired.”

I laughed. “Funny, I heard the same expression last night.”

Lisa laughed. “Believe it. You’re perfect. All a woman wants is a man who’ll fill her every morning.”

“Speak for yourself,” said Emily, who walked over and give Lisa a lover’s kiss.

“Hey, no mushy stuff in here! You two act like a couple girls.”

Emily grinned back at me and pulled Lisa even closer for much longer kiss. I could see both of their nipples swelling as the kiss hung on.

After they broke it Lisa gave Em a small kiss on the nose and said, “We aren’t being fair to our host here.” And she walked on over to me and wrapped her arms around me, stood on her tip toes and pressed her lips to mine.

I was shocked and returned it perfunctorily, my eyes on Emily. But Lisa pulled me tighter. “C’mon, you can do better than that. How do you expect to get your name on the girl’s restroom walls if you don’t try?”

Emily grinned at me and nodded, so this time I tried. Really tried, tongue and all, And I’d have to say the effort left a nice tent in my jeans.

“He can kiss when he wants to! You ought to give him a nibble Emily. But first make him shave, you aren’t supposed to invite a lady over before you shave.” Then she went back and slid her arm around Emily and I’d be surprised if Lisa didn’t give her a little goose. Which made Emily smile.

“Maybe I will have to kiss him someday. After he’s shaved of course. That’s one big advantage of kissing girls, baby soft skin all the time.”

“I have baby soft skin, just not on my face.”

“And what spot could hold such tender flesh, oh burner of eggs?”

I turned my attention back to the eggs. They weren’t burned, but in definite readiness for serving. “Rustle up a couple plates there, little lady, because this grub is ready.”

We ate quietly. Emily sat very close to Lisa, who seemed to take a neutral stance. I passed out marmalade. Lisa took a couple bites and announced that I was, in fact, “The King of Breakfast.” For which I poured her a fresh cup of coffee.

“I’m glad to see you two getting a long so well.” I finally said.

“It’s been great,” said Lisa after which she and Emily exchanged long looks.

The Emily leaned forward. “So tell me, where did you go last night? I dropped by with some leftovers but no one answered.”

“I told you, I went to the bar.”

“Which bar? You never seemed the type Gary.”

I could feel myself blushing.”

Emily giggled. “You went to Neon Platinum, didn’t you?”

I blushed even more.

They both broke out with the giggles. Em grinned wickedly. “I didn’t think you were that kind of guy, Gary.”

“Emily, he’s a man. They’re all that type. The good ones just don’t go often.”

“But to go there and spend money just to ogle.”

“Especially when he gets to ogle at home,” said Lisa with a little wink.

I could not have blushed harder.

Emily leaned over the breakfast table and looked me in the eyes. “So, did you find any of the dancer’s particularly hot?”

“There was this little blond named Mickey.”

Emily laughed then whispered something to Lisa. “She gave me a table dance once.”

It was my turn to laugh. “Em, I didn’t think you were that kind of a girl.”

“Of course I am, as you well know.”

“Dancers like girl customers better,” added Lisa, her grin growing. “They’re generally more polite and flirting with a girl drives the men nuts. You get more tips.”

“How do you know that?”

“I stripped when I was in school.”

“You did?” Lisa’s remark surprised Em as much as I.

“It beat student loans.”

“You have a point there,” I said. “I paid off my debt last year.”

“Lucky you.” Emily had another year and a half to go.

Lisa worked a lot of nights that week, and so did I because I had that week only to finish the home I’d been commissioned. Naturally I wanted it to be perfect, and worked overtime on even the tiniest details. By the time I got home I was exhausted and dropped right into bed. If Lisa offered me a show I would never have known. Em sent me a couple emails, forwarded jokes mostly and a futile order for me to stop working so hard.

However my boss agreed with Emily. I worked late re-engineering some of the faux gable bracing that partly distinguishes the style. I’d done two or six designs already and finally my boss booted me out the door after refusing to let me email the file home. He told me to “Go out and get laid.” He even suggested a bar “loaded with horny divorcees.” Somehow I managed to keep my face straight, though I’m not sure that was the right thing to do.

The last thing I wanted to do was visit a bar. Remembering what Emily said about my ‘pedestrian’ dinner fare, I bought a Caribbean cook-book at Borders, picked out a recipe and went out to pick up the ingredients. R&D cooking seemed like a good time sink.

I noticed something different when I arrived. Something really different. An Aston Martin parked in our lo, same on James Bond drove in Casino Royalle. It was green, its fenders flowed like liquid and the paint was perfect and I couldn’t help but wonder what was a two hundred thousand dollar car doing in an apartment lot for twenty-somethings?

Drawing stares mostly.

I put away the perishables, changed into shorts and a tee-shirt and got out my cutting board and knives. A few minutes later I was slicing and dicing, and roasting plantains in butter.

Emily rapped on my door, and then pushed it open. “I smell melted butter.”

“With plantains.”

“Plantains? You’ve never cooked with those before.”

“I thought I’d try and remove the ennui from my dinner menu.” I pointed at the cook book.

“Hmmm that does look good. Maybe I’ll join you.”

“Aren’t you going out with Lisa?”

“No! She’s been really nice but she said she couldn’t see me this weekend. I haven’t a clue why.”

“Maybe she has to work. Networks geeks get called in when something goes wrong.”

“Maybe, but I don’t think so. If you had a hot, horny woman waiting for you wouldn’t you at least lead her on some? You know, make and share some optimistic guess that would allow for a quickie.”

“I’d tell the truth if I knew that was a dream. I believe in miracles, but not for me.”

“Gary, you have to hope, believe me. I too have my dreams.” She squeezed my arm. “Man that looks good. I’m going to outside and have a smoke.”

I didn’t think much of it. I just kept on chopping, and inspected my olive oil supply as the sliding door opened and closed. A moment later it slid open again. Emily raced by and out the apartment door. She was crying.

I dithered, slid the chopped veggies in the fridge and headed outside. I caught Lisa headed down the walkway in a very, very short dress, a well dressed older man on her arm. He opened the door to that exquisite green Aston Martin and she got in.

Oh crap.

I spun on my heels and headed over to Em’s. I knocked on her door.

“Go away!” He voice was half broken, half a shriek.

“Are you going to be okay!”

“No!” I could hear things flopping around her apartment. In a way, that was a good sign. Nothing crashed, which meant Emily was having a solo pillow fight, venting her frustration on the walls and non-breakables. She’d broken things when Mary left. I waited until things calmed then knocked again. The door popped open. I could see her mascara running down her cheeks. “It’s your fault Gary, you’re the one who gave me that damned bottle of wine and sent me over there.”

“I know.”

“It’s not your fault! How could you know? You sit there with your computer and . . . “ Emily shuddered. “I’m sorry. Of course you couldn’t know.” And she raced into my arms.

We stood there for a long time, arms wrapped around each other. She wept and her tears wet my shoulder, and I could feel her shudder. But her fingers were tender, alternating squeezes with the softer touches of a lover. The she pulled her head back and forced a smile. “I’m such an idiot. It was just a good time for me, and I started imagining things.”

“What was that joke about lesbian dating you told me? The one where you can tell it’s a first date because of the moving van.”

“I think that’s a second date. Hell, I don’t remember.” And she giggled for a second. “I’ll be alright. I just forgot she’s a party girl.” “And she has a very rich party.”

“Is she dating the guy with that Bondmobile?”


“Lord, that thing must cost a fortune.”

“You could buy a brand new house.”

“Materialist bitch! Next time I find myself a political girl.”

‘Like Sandra?”

“Oh, her.” Emily rolled her eyes. “Never mind. Maybe it’s time I went back to guys.” Then she grabbed me again for another brief round of shuddering.

I held her for a long time, both of us saying nothing, just swaying together, and it lasted longer than her tears. Finally it broke and she kissed me softly on the lips.

“Thank you,” she said and squeezed me again. “You have to be most supercalifragilistic guy in the whole wide world.”

“Well come on over. I have dinner to finish, and we can keep the drapes shut.”

Emily shook her head. “Hell no. Leave them open so she sees what she’s missing. But we’re not going to drink whiskey. Whiskey is for country songs and nothing could taste sadder. We will drink light fruity, girlie drinks.”

“I don’t have any.”

“I do. I have all the rum and pina colada mix a body could desire.”

“I guess I can drink those.”

“You shall drink, and you will like. Now you get going. I want to change before dinner.”

“Why? You’re fine as you are.”

Emily laughed. “You are such a guy! Now shoo! I’ll be over presently.” And she pulled me into her arms again for a long, tight hug.

“I love you, you know.” Her words were barely audible.”

“I love you Emily.” Mine weren’t. She took my face in her hands and looked at me, smiling. “Go next door white man. I’ll be right over.”

There was nothing else to do but go back to my zucchini. And so I did, resuming prep, heating the olive oil, boiling the chicken lightly to ensure thorough cooking, starting the rice. The recipe made sense, it was something I could do and do well. It smelled good too, and I began to think I ought to try some more exotic recipes.

But the food cooked quickly, and I was beginning to worry, when Emily gave her characteristic warning knock then stepped inside.

And my heart stopped. She was dressed like the anti-Em, a skin-tight shorty t-shirt with big lipstick mark. It hugged her braless breasts and her nipples poked out the fabric. She wore one of the shortest, must butt-hugging skirts I’d ever seen, with a captains cap, sunglasses and ruby red lipstick. She even wore heels.

I felt like an idiot, but all I could do was stand there gape-jawed. I’d never seen her like that. He skin seemed to glow.

Emily laughed. “The nice thing about guys, is that you always know when you have their full attention. Girls are more subtle, though we’re no better.”

“Emily, anyone who wouldn’t notice you tonight is already dead.”

“Think Lisa will notice when she sees me through the window?”

“If she looks, she’ll notice.”

“Good. I want her to see the hot babe and beau hunk she could have been with.”

“Em, you alone are the story. I mean, wow.”

“I can tell. The tent gives you away.”

I blushed. Emily giggled then went to get the blender.

My first effort at this sort of cooking turned out well, the spices could have been better but the tastes of the fresh things mingled well, and so we ate well. Emily mixed sweeter than strong, but that was a good thing. And she put on some music and we danced in my living room. We watched ‘Adaptation’ then went back to dancing. By the time midnight rolled around we were half crocked, and the music had shifted from urban dance to traditional rhythm and blues. Slowly it shifted from faster to slower songs and we began dancing closer and closer. Until we were locked in a slow dance together, her head on my shoulder, mine locked behind her waist, slowly swaying together.

I was hard as a rock. She didn’t pull away either, she pressed against me, and the warmth of her, the shifting fabric and her nipples against my chest kept me at attention. It wasn’t more than that really, not a big grope session, just two people dancing together really close.

Finally Em leaned back and looked at me, really looked at me. “Your face is a bit scratchy, but this didn’t turn out to be a bad night after all.”

“You want me to go shave?”

‘No. It’s the way you are.” And she pressed her cheek against mine. “it’s funny about men, you’re so much harder everywhere, and I’m not talking about the obvious,” and she wiggled her hips in emphasis, “But the edges! The scratch of your beard those big shoulders. Mary was pretty strong, but you, you’re so much more big and powerful.”

‘I’m not that big.”

“Yes you are. Compared to Lisa you’re King Kong. I used to find that frightening about men. But not you. It feels reassuring.”

I just kept dancing. She was there so close, and I so wanted to just drop my hands a bit, just squeeze. I could hear her breathing in my ear. If my skin was scratchy hers was soft and she smelled of something besides her Gitanes, something spicy and alluring. So close, and I so wanted to kiss her neck and ears. But I held back.

Emily stepped back and turned around, she bent slightly and began to rub her bottom against my groin. “You’ve got a pokie.” And she ground her ass against me.

I wrapped my arms around her, just below her breasts. Her fingers covered mine and she swayed her hips, and I could feel the pressure on my cock, it was almost obscene. She took my hands and stretched our arms out, but her bottom never moved, close to mine and I found my hips slowly thrusting in time with hers.

“I used to dance with this girl. Paula was her name, and she was really big and butch. The whole boi stereotype, short hair, flannel shirt. But she had really big breasts and she’d unbutton enough that everyone could see if you looked. She liked to wear a strap on, I guess she figured it would turn us on. I used to dance with her like this, and she’d whisper in my ear how she wanted to fuck me hard. But I never let her.”

“Poor girl.” I whispered.

Emily whirled around and grinned at me. “Was I bad?”

“From her point of view, probably, but she did get to dance with you.”

“You think she liked it?”

I nodded.

Emily pressed close to me and wrapped her arm around my waist. She squeezed me, and then pulled away. “You want another one?”

Of course I did. I was hard as a rock dancing so close to my favorite lady on earth, without a prayer of taking her home. I wanted to forget that she was a lesbian. Even more, I wanted her to forget.

Emily strode over to the blender, and began to mix another round. She was swaying a bit, drunker than I was, but that was okay. She was smiling. I don’t think either of us noticed when the lights went on in Lisa’s apartment. Emily sort of danced back without looking up and lifted her glass to my lips. I drank of it, then she drank and I could see the creamy drink on her tongue. I leaned forward to kiss her then stopped myself just in time.

“Come on, I need a smoke.” She took my wrist and pulled me outside. We found our usual chairs. Emily took a long puff and then blew smoke rings out over the railing. “Look who’s home.”

I looked up and noticed a light on in Lisa’s bed room. The light was low and I could see the flashes of light from a television screen in her living room. The I watched her silhouette move over to the living room. She passed a light and I could see she wore a pale blue baby doll, and everything beneath it. I glanced to the left and the Aston Martin remained.

“Let’s go back inside.”

“Fuck that! I’ve had my cry. I’m not crying any more.”

I shook my head but let it go. Emily had made her decision. Still, I decided to reach over and squeeze her hand.” This time she lifted my hand to her lips and kissed it. “ C’mon, I want to dance some more. Put on that Brubeck album.”

“You like that?”

“It works for slow dancing.” And as I took her hand she put he right hand behind my bottom, middle finger straight down my crack and pulled my hips tight against hers. And it didn’t move. It occurred to me I’d been given permission to put my hand right where I wanted it to go. So I did. Then I put both hands there and began to knead. Emily didn’t say a thing, she just lay her head on my shoulder and pushed her body closer. I heard myself whisper that I loved her.

“I know.”

She hadn’t run, the momentary terror I felt fled. I didn’t dare say a thing, but I did run my fingers up and down her crack, right outside her skirt.”

Emily leaned back and ran her fingertip over my lips. Then she kissed me, with her mouth open. She fed me her tongue. And I accepted it. He lips were like liquid, smooth and cool and if the Gitanes left a bitter taste I didn’t care, because within a minute or two it became my taste.

I felt her fingers on my nipples rolling them. I sighed softly. Emily smiled. “This is how I like my nipples touched. Try and do it like this. If you learn this you could go a long way with any girl.” So I took her breasts in my hand, so small and perfect with those long, hard nipples. And I rolled it between my fingers like she showed me, and I heard her breathing change, sharper and hoarse. She rolled her hips against me, but now her hand was on my bottom.

Emily liked to kiss slowly, soft kisses followed by a thrust into her mouth. I learned to anticipate her rhythm, meeting her tongue and sliding it inside. Her fingers never stopped moving, never took a pause, and I never knew where they’d be except that it was always the right place. We kissed and kissed some more and she never once stopped moving.

Her hands found my belt buckle. I could feel each move of her fingers as she unsnapped me. I waited for her to stop, to see the futility but she did not and a few moments later my pants were down and her hand was wrapped around me, pumping me. This time I set my head on her shoulder, kissing and feeling the rhythm of her hand. I lifted her shirt and she sighed as my fingers found her breasts. I did my best to touch them as she had shown me and coos encouraged me. And I opened my eyes for a moment and spotted a woman’s silhouette watching us from across the compound.

“Let me get the drapes,” I suggested.

Emily dropped to her knees and engulfed me.

Her mouth was soft and wet, and as her lips slid over me I kept wondering where she had learned to suck a man. Her head bobbed at a precise rhythm, the sort of precision you’d expect from a jazz drummer and for a moment I tried to remember the instrument she played in college. I decided it had to be flute.

And my hips were pumping and my hands found her head. I held it as my hips came to life as I began to fuck her small mouth. She never moved away. Her eyes looked up at me and I realized I’d been given permission, that if I wanted to I could fill her mouth and she would drink.

Too soon. I pulled away and for a moment she seemed disappointed. But she guessed what I wanted and rose, peeling off her skirt and thong. She bent over the kitchen counter and raised her rump in invitation.

I could not refuse. Her sex was scratchy at first but by the third stroke she was fully juiced. I leaned over her back and kissed her shoulders as we fucked. And with each thrust she gave a soft little cry. Our hips found a mutual rhythm. Her sex was so slick and it squeezed me and she would turn her head to smile back at me.

Then she asked me to fuck her hard.

So I did. And when she asked me to come I did that too, with a roar that made the walls reverberate.

We collapsed on the floor together, softly kissing each other.

I thanked her and Emily just smiled and kissed me. And then I remembered that she had not had an orgasm, so I crawled between her thighs and began to lick.

He sex was soaked between her juices and salty from my semen, but I did not mind though little droplets filled she space between her womanly lips. I licked her in long slow strokes. She stroked my hair softly at first, but then her breathing grew harder, and she squeezed my hair tightly and pushed my head hard against her sex.

I kept licking. I kept licking as my cream leaked from her. I kept licking she pulled my hair. I kept licking when her whole body convulsed in pleasure. And I kept licking through her aftershocks . I licked until she stopped me, and pulled me to her lips for a kiss. She spoke softly, so much so I could barely hear. “I didn’t know I could do that.”

“Do what?”

“Cum. With a man, that is.” Emily laughed aloud and wrapped herself around me. “My mom’s gonna freak when I tell her I’m seeing a guy.”

“She doesn’t like men?”

“Oh no. It’s just that she has barely accepted that I’m gay. She’ll think I did it just to screw her up.”

Her belly quivered beneath my fingers.

“You might get to like dating guys.”

“I dated guys before I admitted I liked girls. Make that really liked girls. Gary, I have to be honest, I don’t know if I can be what you want. I might backslide.”

“And this isn’t a backslide?”

“Oh my God, you’ve turned me straight. Sort of.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“You should.” Emily nodded out the window. Then she wrapped her arms around and squeezed hard. “Promise that no matter what I’ll never lose you.”

“I can make that promise right now.”

“You don’t know! I’m a dyke! And I’m not very good at love.”

I kissed her softly as I could and stroked her chin. “Baby you’re the best ever.” I kissed her then, with real hunger, because I wanted her to believe me.

“So, you think you can get used to dating a lesbian?”

“With all due respects, if you came, you’re ‘bi’. "

“Okay, I’m a hot bi babe. I bet this earns you major guy points.”

“Countless. But major guy points and a buck will get you a cup of coffee.” Then I looked out the window and saw Lisa there in her window, watching us. I could see her breasts and wondered if she’d watched us make love. I got up and pulled the blinds shut. “Come on, Emily. It’s time for bed.”

Emily reached out her hand and I helped her to her feet. She seemed a bit woozy still, or perhaps I was, so we leaned on each other as we made our way to our bed.
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