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A ten-year seduction. A grand day out.

He gets in the passenger seat next to her, almost uncertainly, and as if sensing something, glances out his window around the restaurant parking lot. He wonders if he’s dreaming. He hears the first tentative tink of big summer raindrops on the roof of her van.

“So what did you forget to tell me?” he says softly.

She unbuckles her seatbelt, slips out from behind the steering wheel, and straddles him, pins him, in his front passenger seat. He begins to say something but cannot because she has already pressed her mouth thickly to his, found his tongue with her own …

There’s that great, slick, feverish rush of undivided tactile attention; she senses herself needing to feel more skin and so pulls at the buttons of his shirt, releasing two—just enough for her to get her hands inside and press them flat against his chest, run them up and then over his shoulders.

It’s gotten much darker suddenly, the rain increasing, pinging musically off the roof before intensifying and clattering loudly. Quickly, it’s a deluge, closing them in, and as she pulls her mouth away from his—her upper lip already feeling slightly fattened—a little silvery string of saliva hangs between them. At that moment everything is mightily shaken by an enormous thunderclap, like the crack of doom directly above them, and they both convulse, startled. She thumps her head softly off the padded roof and laughs, partly from surprise and partly from relief that they are still alive, that that lightening bolt wasn’t for her, or him. Swimming curtains of rainwater are draping the outside of the windows; inside, steam has already mostly sealed them away. They can’t be seen and, as long as this downpour continues, probably won’t even be noticed or approached. Her hands are still flat against his chest; she dips her head toward him, pausing, as if at a decision point (or a thousand of them) and he kisses her hair lightly.

“You know,” he begins, whispering.

She slides her hands up the sides of his neck, holding his face on either side, her head still bowed, and whispers: “Shut up.”

She bends his head back firmly and holds it fast, so that his throat is exposed, and presses her open mouth hard against his windpipe so that he gasps, she thinks he gasps; with her tongue tip she can feel those fine membranous muscles trembling slightly over cartilage. She feels she’s too hungry and it scares her a little, but in some measure it’s fear that’s compelling her: fears says stop, fear says go. The whole conflict spreads through her like something flammable.

She stops again, and pulls away, tries to breathe, feels strangely and suddenly like she’s the only thing real here, like she’s making it all happen, like he is just the product of her imagination and can only do or say what she wills. This sense of being alone thus also makes her feel like she can do or say what she wants with complete anonymity, something she doesn’t think she’s felt before, or not for a long time, anyway. A moment of confusion, then: is it his dream or hers, and does it matter now? Might they not have both passed on to a realm where the consequences are nil, and the only substantive fear is waking. If some measure of guilt will result, she figures she’s already earned it, by thinking, dream-acting thus far. To think, to plan or dream, or just use up the dream-time, she’s held him at bay these moments—her eyes closed—by massaging his cock, straining hard inside his trousers, and suddenly thinks that her choices go beyond yes or no. Does she want to be romantic, or erotic, or just plain bad?

“It’s still just a dream,” he says, reading her mind.

Bad, she thinks. This is a good world in which to be bad.

She opens her eyes and is surprised to find her blouse undone. His hand is spread open against the middle of her back, like a dance partner’s, and he presses her forward to him, bends his head so he can reach her nipple with the tip of his tongue, draws a wet circle around it again and again. She lets her sandal slip off her foot, and gropes along the side of the car seat with her toes, finds the switch to send the seat sliding back to give them more room.

“Do you want to go somewhere?” he says.

“Eventually,” she grabs his hair and pulls him back to her chest. He works on her other nipple, flicking it with his tongue, then sucking it to make it stand more stiffly before taking it lightly between his front teeth and biting it lightly, sending a zizzing kind of pain thrumming through her.

“Fuck,” she breathes, barely a whisper, barely audible. She pulls back and he looks at her expectantly.

“I need to know you’re going to stay with me on this,” she says seriously.

“Where else would I go?” he says. “We’ve already broken a couple of laws, I think. You could turn me in.”

“I mean for the afternoon. One dream, one afternoon. You can’t wake up until I’m ready, until I’m done with it. Don’t bail out on me.”

“I’m your dreamer,” he says.

She slides down and kneels on the floor of the van before the front seat. He has prudently dream-engineered the concealing rain to continue beating down around them. The inside of the van seems unbearably hot, smells like bodies, and they’re both gleaming with sweat. He undoes his belt while she kneads the crotch of his trousers and slowly, theatrically, unzips him.

“You really are going to be bad, aren’t you,” he says as she yanks his pants down to just below his buttocks and closes her small strong hand around his erection.

“Bad meaning good,” she says, taking the head of his cock between her lips. She feels his legs get rigid beneath her, press against her ribs. He digs the heels of his hands into the leather seat and thrusts his hips forward, pushing more cock into her mouth.

Quickly, she learns the whole geography of his penis with her tongue, drips extra saliva over it and strokes the length of it with her fist.

“My plan,” she says matter-of-factly, “is to suck you off, right here, right now. I figure you’re pretty excited at this point, and if we fucked, you wouldn’t be able to last very long before you had to come.”

“At least one of us is thinking clearly,” he says.

“So don’t hold back,” she says. “I’ve got other stops for us to make before this dream is over.”

She rises up straight on her knees, places the flat of her tongue at the base of his cock and licks it thickly, fully, all the way to the tip while he writhes in the seat and thrusts his hips toward her. This won’t take long, she thinks. She gently, wetly screws her mouth down overtop it, her tongue cushioning the underside, the sharp edge of her front teeth carefully grating the swollen head and then the thin skin of the shaft. She bobs it slowly, incrementally taking in a bit more with each thrust, muscling her tongue against it, at the same time gently but firmly sucking at it, drawing it to a dense, meaty hardness, her fist still working the shaft. She pulls free of it with an evocative sucking sound, to catch her breath, jerking it faster while she’s disengaged.

“How my doin’?” she breathes.

“Can’t. Speak,” he gasps.

“Good,” she says, then lowers her voice, talks from somewhere smokier, deeper in her throat. “I want you to come for me now. Hey, look at me.”

He looks down to where she’s gazing back at him with hooded eyes, flicking at his cockhead with the tip of her tongue.

“I want you to watch me,” she says, jerking him even more quickly. “I want you to watch me drink your cum.”

She takes the head between her lips again and sucks it, taking in just a bit, swirling her tongue hard against the underside, and pumping it vigorously with her hand. She cups his testicles with her other hand and softly holds them, squeezes, lets them rest heavily in her palm.

“I’m gonna come, baby, ‘kay,” he whispers, lifting his buttocks up from the seat, “ ‘kay?”

She’s touched that he alerts her after all. A thick, warm jet of semen hits the roof of her mouth, followed immediately by another, then another, melting back down over the cock pulsing atop her tongue. The scent swarms through her head, is dense and familiar, and fills her with a quickened desire to be stroked down between her legs, a zone that feels sodden and tender. She swallows some of the cum, lets the rest slide back down the length of his penis, which she pulls at with long, sticky strokes. His cock is red, glistening, and she begins licking clean the shaft, her fingers. He places his hand beneath her chin and lifts her face up from him, leans forward and puts his tongue in her mouth. She holds her hand aloft, still shiny with his cum. He takes her by the wrist and presses that hand to her chest, rubs the spunk on her plump breast, then strains forward to suck at her nipples again.

“Let’s go somewhere,” she says, stroking his head as sucks her. “You drive.”

He had first met her almost ten years ago. She was one of the students in his non-credit writing course at the local community college. She was not only the most beautiful woman to sit in on one of his classes, but perhaps the most beautiful woman with whom he had ever been personally acquainted. That beauty was in such considerable supply that she could bear it with an almost careless insouciance. Quite blonde, so clear and flawless of feature, so blessed in her physical endowments, he speculated that she intentionally neglected her appearance to a certain extent in order to minimize her distinction not only from the other women in the class, but from all other women in just about every walk of life. She always wore jeans that were slightly baggy, worn completely through at the knees, and tops or blouses that were often wrinkled or had obviously seen better days. But her somewhat unremarkable appearance was still only exhibited—he surmised—to avoid emphasizing her gifts, not necessarily detract from them. She could have worn baggy sweat suits and ball caps and combat boots and more effectively disappeared behind such camouflage. With that habitual writer’s reflex of trying to get behind the eyeballs of his characters and simulate their vision, as well as their psychologies—including the real, flesh-and-blood characters making appearances in his life—he concluded that she was not indifferent or dismissive of her beauty, only that she did not wish to be defined by it.

It was part of his job to treat everyone with perfect equanimity: the beautiful and the profane, the lyrically gifted with the hopelessly prosaic, the teenager and the sexagenarian. The only common feature among his class rosters was sex. His students were mostly women. There were men occasionally, but they were always outnumbered, and in his last couple years of teaching the course, his classes had no men at all. Because his course was non-credit, open to anyone, his female belletrists usually encompassed a sweeping age demographic. He was assiduous about giving each person’s work equal time, care, and attention, even though there was often an inequality of intentions behind his students’ presence. Some wanted to be serious writers. Others simply wanted him to tell them how to sell their romance stories. Some people, out of pure desire, had written much on their own. Others attended without every having written a word creatively but thought it would be fun, and expected him to tell them how to go home and do it.

Everyone got the same treatment, the same attention, the same consideration. He had to willfully resist demonstrating even the subtlest preference towards those to whom he was intellectually or physically drawn. Failing that, he knew he would lose all credibility with those selfsame people, as well as all others. With regard to her, this was no small effort. He not only wanted to look to her often during class, but stare at her, to gaze uninterrupted at her full breasts, her incredibly sensuous and plump lower lip, the delicate pale whorl of her small ear when she tucked her corn silk hair behind it. He struggled to keep a smile from creeping over his features when they did, appropriately, interact in class. The others would have noticed; in fact, he fully expected that they were looking for it. Sitting there two seats away from him in the class circle in a faded Grateful Dead t-shirt with the sleeves rolled, faded old jeans with the wide black belt, her precious, slightly grimy little foot waggling a sandal, she was heartbreakingly sexy.

“I can feel my face get hot,” he told a friend of his, “whenever I speak with her in class. I have to force myself to think of puppies, or dental work.”

“Wow. So she’s really a bona fide flamethrower?”

“Certified. I’m surprised I have any eyebrows left.”

Tentatively, he swings her rented van out of the restaurant parking lot and heads toward downtown, the rain still drumming the roof and air conditioning roaring to take away the steam that has made the windows nearly opaque. He reaches across to her with his right hand, smoothes it over that deliciously bare expanse of skin below her navel and dreamy indentation of hip bones—the fashion industry’s miraculous gift to me, he thinks, these low-rise jeans; where did his lust find its locus before these were popular?—then down over the snug mound of her crotch, before tugging on the taut zipper.

“Trust me,” he says.

She does, and helps him, popping her pants button.

“Panties, too. Down around your ankles, please.”

Reclining the seat, she complies, her ass feeling sticky on the leather.

He places the first two fingers of his hand in her mouth and she sucks on them ardently, soaking them with her spit. Delicately, he places them down between her legs, rubbing a small circle around her clitoris, and then parting her labia, which are slick and astonishingly hot. He groups in a third finger and carefully works them inside her cunt, pressing and fluttering the tip of his thumb against her clit. Her eyes are closed and she feels her throat pulsing and gently valving, a low-level kind of electricity working her nerve endings, her buttocks tightening and relaxing, her Kagel muscles flexing and then not.

“Tractor trailer passing on our right,” he says. “Free show.”

“Fuck it,” she says breathlessly. “Just jack me off.”

This seems to inspire him and she feels his mass of fingers more deeply inserted, almost filling her, and it makes her gasp. The tractor trailer thunders by and its driver apparently does not fail to notice, letting loose an appreciative blast of his air horn, which makes her start, and clench her cunt hard around his envaginated fingers. He begins pistoning them in and out now, pressing and wiggling the flat of his thumb against her clitoris, a stiffened little knob. She bucks her hips into it, feeling the wild speed and motion of the van and the vibrations of highway imperfections shimmer up through her legs, run the nervy bud of her anus. Some lucky dexterity permits him to strum her perineum with his little finger and she doesn’t care if they crash, doesn’t care if they take off into space or burst into flame, doesn’t care about anything at that moment except that orgasm that is filling her brain, her toes pointed so stiffly that her calves begin to cramp and she’s forgotten how to breathe and she feels a fluttering in her abdomen of muscles reacting or rebelling, she’s not sure which, not sure, not sure…

Her climax is like an impact; her whole body jackknifes forward, and a plume of something soft and warm slides up through her frame, up through her cunt, directly up the middle of her insides, between her breasts, up the back of her throat and moves through her head like an insect swarm. The crack of her ass feels cool with moisture and she can’t quite feel his fingers anymore, aren’t sure if they’re still inside her, instinctively reaches her hand to grab his but he rolls his wrists and knocks away what would be her grip.

“Uh-uh,” he says, “we’re not there yet. Again.”

“Again?” she breathes, wondering what that means, but the stiff second and more articulate third fingers of his hand are making long strokes against her clitoris, and she wants to tell him, no, too soon. It is, however, not; a second wave—smaller, more compact, not as lengthily rich but nevertheless real—seems to swirl rapidly into place like a dervish, an aftershock. This short, hard one packs more of a stun; her eyes and mouth are both open wide, she sees the road swimming toward and away beneath her, sees the dashboard and the glove compartment, looks down and sees her own thighs joggling from the lash of it, the delicate exclamation point of pubic hair, is turned on further by the sight of her own cunt, her own nakedness here in this van, sees his fingers glossy with her cum still working her, feels the muscles in her stomach pull incredibly tight and snap back, feels her fingertips tingle like they’re lacking blood, and wonders why she didn’t know about this phenomenon before—the motion, the speed.

She slouches in her seat and gulps a few times, catching her breath, groping down toward her ankles for her jeans, which are no longer around her ankles, having been kicked free just before her first orgasm so she could extend and spread her legs to smooth the occurrence of the convulsion. With her eyes still closed, things seem to be spinning a bit, spirals going in her head, until she slits her eyes open and sees that they are curving down into a parking garage, van tires lightly and fairly squealing. She reassembles herself deftly.

As that semester wore on, he grew accustomed to her presence. That strength of will paid off. The tone in the class grew lighter. As student work proliferated, stories were read and discussed gently and constructively, and he won a certain measure of credibility and respect. And, as typically happened, the class developed its certain identity; consciously or not, they considered themselves a group and recognized their various personalities. Once—apropos of what particular class discussion, he cannot recall: probably something in someone’s story—she confessed that she only showered once a week. Some of the other young ladies in the class laughed, good-naturedly.

“Really?” he said. “Just once a week?”

“Sure,” she said, seemingly surprised that anyone found this odd, and then added, almost apologetically, “I don’t smell.”

After a suitably comic pause, he said: “Somewhere in D.H. Lawrence’s letters to this wife Frieda, when he was abroad and she was back in Taos, he wrote something like ‘I will be home in a fortnight. Don’t bathe.’”

Luckily, perhaps miraculously, he hit the right note: an erotic overtone, but with a literary context, and attributed to someone else.

Another time, the week after a surprising little story she had turned in was well-received during class discussion (an erotic, admirably sensual piece, with an O. Henry twist at the end—that is, if O. Henry believed in vampires), she charmed the class by bringing in a plate of homemade apple cake for all to share.

“This is good,” he said. “Thank you.” The other chimed in their thanks as well. “I’m surprised, though,” he said. “You left the peel on the apples in this. I’ve never seen anyone do that.”

“They’re good for you,” she said. “I never peel fruit when I bake something with it.”

“No kidding? Well, I’ll think I’ll probably have to pass, then, when you bring in your banana bread.”

Again, the right note, though this time more for the benefit of the class, gently chiding her in a public way that someone who had any aspirations of fucking the daylights out of her probably would forego.

But he had no aspirations, only fantasies, and even these became somewhat difficult to entertain because there seemed to be a fairly wide gulf separating them. He was thirty at that time, seven years older than her, and married for that many years, already with two small children. She chatted with him occasionally after class, and he learned that she lived with someone—who she described as a cynical, unemployed, brilliant alcoholic who sat around listening to the Grateful Dead day and night—but with whom she seemed to suggest she had a bond to which she was resigned. She struck him as slightly sad and a bit neurotic. Maybe just confused and irresolute. At the conclusion of the semester, she told him she had decided to go back to school and pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree, and asked him if he would write her a recommendation, which he did.

He stopped teaching shortly thereafter. As with several of his students, he carried on an infrequent correspondence with her. Many people who passed through his classes—some of them more than once—tried to stay in touch with him. Because of the demands of the craft, the intimacy of writing, the certain risk of exposure people felt in sharing their fiction, and the serious and careful attention that he gave their work, a number of students imagined they found in him a kindred spirit. The class could, and did, become for some a place not only where they could safely share their creative apprentice efforts without fear of ridicule or discouragement, but also their troubled thoughts and dark confusions.

He never considered himself a teacher in the strict sense of the word, and then he never considered writing as something that could be taught. The best he’d hoped to accomplish was to teach those who were truly committed how to teach themselves, because that’s where he believed the real learning occurred. But in the end, he came to realize that the greatest gift he provided anyone was paying attention to them. Taking them seriously, even when they weren’t as serious about the craft as perhaps he was. And such attentiveness was the source of that perception of kinship. So many of these women just wanted someone in their lives, anyone, to pay attention to them for a change.

They exchanged maybe one letter a year for the next several, but even with such infrequency they had settled into a rapport. He was no longer a teacher, she was no longer a student; they were now just two adults with varying aspirations, negotiating life. Major events were always underscored by a subtext of preferences, perceptions, and the general curiosity of the occasional life of the mind. His marriage deteriorated and ended in divorce. Her relationship with her brilliant Deadhead dissolved, and with it her youthful ennui; she got her degree, got a job in publishing, married well, and had two children of her own. He appreciated the rueful irony of one of her annual letters, telling him about her part-time teaching assignment, that eight years on they had experienced a complete reversal of circumstance: her life seemed remarkably similar in tone and tenor to what his had been when they’d met. He, at the moment, was mired in a gloomy cohabitation with an attractive, brilliant young woman with bi-polar disorder, and feeling lost, aimless, out to sea in the middle of life.

As e-mail replaced traditional correspondence, he began to hear from her more often, perhaps three or four times a year, and with that increased frequency, he detected cracks beginning to show in the veneer of her world. She started to write fiction again, and attached samples to him for feedback. With her publishing connections, why she did not share her work with plainly more accomplished people in the field puzzled him. But as the fragments she sent became more obviously autobiographical, he realized that she was not seeking artistic validation so much as emotional attention. He welcomed the opportunity; if nothing else, it provided him momentary escape from his own current slough of despond.

It’s the middle of a weekday and department store customers are few; she moves lightly, her limbs still tingling, down the aisles with him, not sure where they’re heading, not sure who’s leading, until they pass the cosmetics counter and continue on, and she realizes that he has something else in mind.

“Perfume?” she says.

“Not today, okay?” he says. “We have enough fragrances to keep us feeling heady. I thought you might need a new pair of jeans.”

“What?” she asks, confused, but still following. “Jeans?”

“Um-hmm,” he murmurs; they’ve already arrived in the department and he’s casting an eye over a Tommy Hilfiger rack. “This size?” Snapping open a pair.

“Jeans?” she says.

“Dressing room’s this way,” he shoves a pair of ultra low-rise bell-bottoms in her arms, takes her elbow, and leads her to the fitting rooms, all of which are spacious, and at the moment empty. A large mirror spans one of the room’s walls; a slightly worn wing-chair sits in one corner, respite for the opinion-giver.

“Are you thinking what I think you’re thinking?” she says as he quietly slides the deadbolt on fitting room door.

“Trust me,” he says.

Hearing those words again causes her blood to rise; I’m in for it, she thinks, and before she can object or offer to indeed trust him, he’s on his knees in front of her, kissing the bare, hard mound of her tan belly, running his thumbs over the exposed tops of her pelvic bones, and then undoing her jeans for the second time within an hour.

“Step out, step out,” he whispers, and she does, leaving her jeans and panties behind after he slides them the length of her smooth, bronzed legs. She backs up taking tiny steps until she feels the fitting room wall touch her bottom coolly, and he follows her on his knees.

She’s running her bent fingers over his head excitedly until she feels the tip of his tongue touch her clit, soaked and still sensitive, at which point she can’t help it, she clutches his hair and pulls his face hard into her cunt which already feels like it’s throbbing, swelling with some expectation. She can feel the bridge of his nose hard against her pubis, his tongue tip trembling at the back of her slit. She relaxes her grip a bit to give him some freedom, and when she does she feels her clit quickly sucked up between his lips, held fast, and then flicked over and over inside his mouth with this tongue. Prudently, she pulls up her blouse and shoves it into her mouth to bite on—something still operating at the back of her brain reminds her that this is a public place, the danger is real. Immediately, she feels his hand moving up over her stomach, cupping her left breast, rolling a finger in circles on her nipple. The sensation is suddenly rich and full, and distracts her from the orgasm that she just thought she was going to have, but that seems suddenly right to her, what’s the hurry? Nerve endings are rush-delivering signals from a variety of surfaces, and just as she seems to focus again on his tongue inside her, pressing hard against her clit, tipping little circles around it, she feels a slickened finger of his gently but decisively work its way into her anus, appallingly and surprisingly.

A quick linking of sensations seems to leap to her skin surface. Her insides start rapidly spasming as his fingers works more deeply into her ass and his tongue seems to have gotten unbelievably far into her pussy. Her anus involuntarily clenches him off, then relaxes to let him go deeper, and she feels like she can’t control her body, like it’s collapsing in on itself, doubling over, and feels it’s fortunate that he’s firmly holding her, both front and back, and allowing her to go alternately limp and rigid, almost a peristaltic motion, again and again, like light blows to her midsection that keep her flexing and flexing. Fingers of his other hand are now up inside her; she can’t tell how many but guesses three from the tightness and pleasantly gentle stretch of the walls of her cunt. She feels overloaded by sensation, both her pussy and her ass getting rhythmically pumped, her clit lavishly sucked, the unintelligible murmur of store clerks chatting nearby, and bonks her head softly against the dressing room wall.

“Are you okay?” he whispers, but either she doesn’t hear him or can’t answer, perhaps both. Her head is thrown back and her eyes are tightly shut and she’s clutching a bunch of blouse fabric between her teeth. He flicks at her clit with his tongue-tip and this makes her convulse, her abs rippling clearly.

“Hey,” he says quietly, “look at me.”

She does, with some effort it seems, look at him with very wide, almost frightened eyes, letting the shirt fall from her mouth.

“I want you to watch me,” he whispers. “I want you to watch me lick your delicious cunt. I want you to watch me eat your cum.”

This much he knew: with her, as with him, words added a potent and almost unendurably rich layer to reality. Seeing things, watching, was a form of evocative and memorable experience certainly, but the language of it, the express language between him and her, brought a shocking kind of authenticity.

“I’m licking your sweet, hot cunt, baby,” he murmurs. “You’re getting fucked. Your tight little asshole is getting fucked. My mouth is all over your cunt. You’re getting head right here in this department store, and your cum is going to ooze all over my face.”

“Right here,” she whispers. “Eat it. Suck my pussy. Make me come. Make me fucking come.”

His fingers feel the soft beginnings of a throb within her, and she commences to buck her hips, fucking back, driving his fingers deeper, grinding his mouth harder against her pubic mound.

“Oh my God,” she whispers hoarsely, her voice quaking, grabbing the back of his head roughly and abruptly bending over him, clutching him against her convulsing abdomen and stomach. She comes.

“Uuh. Fuck. Uuh. Oh. Christ. Uuh,” syllables accompanying every spasm; all that ancient hardwiring of body and brain switched on and fanning out, a blood-bright kind of bliss ratcheting her insides. The hand with the fingers he used to pump her cunt is soaked entirely, glossy, as is his mouth and chin, and her cum has a faint but unmistakable metallic taste.

He wondered if the work that she sent for his comments was merely a pre-text for corresponding, or like another level of communication, the place where she could better express the nature of a particular unhappiness and her feelings about troubled circumstances. But such speculation on his part—he thought with no small amount of shame—is the cardinal sin of the casual reader: “Is this story about you? Did this really happen to you?” He’d been asked that question more than several times throughout his life, and was always supremely disappointed by it. “The casual reader,” he would tell his class, over and over, “seems to have a difficult time grasping the notion of ‘product of imagination.’ Perhaps they don’t imagine things themselves. Perhaps they don’t understand the attraction of making something up when you could just write about things that happen to you. The paradox there, of course, is that without a good imagination at work, most everything that happens to you is hardly worth reading. Me, I like to make things up. It’s one of the few opportunities in life where you can actually make things go the way you’d have them go.”

Still, he detected in her current work evidence of what he called the Black Box. The writer in the Black Box works without light, without sound, and has only the dense, suffocating air of her circumstances to sustain her. She can’t see beyond its confines. Those circumstances suffuse everything she writes, and she writes as if to write her way out of it. Apart from the subject matter, she seemed unable to get beyond fragments of things: a few pages of a story, perhaps a few more, before she was starting something new entirely. Another condition of the Black Box, the incapacity to sustain an idea.

Not all the fragments she sent him were some variation on the unhappy woman, the unloving husband, the inescapable lockdown of life choices. One involved a middle-aged man whose formerly happy life and career had collapsed from an indiscretion with a teenage girl. This he found somewhat odd, and wondered about its source. Maybe this was the result of her supreme effort, her act of will, to get outside of the Black Box. Or maybe it was some strange, old part of the world she inhabited in there. He couldn’t tell; he didn’t ask.

A brief exchange they shared about that particular fragment, however, subtlely changed and charged the tone of correspondence between them. She sent a narrative bit about her character’s seduction at the hand (and mouth) of the teenage girl. The nymph, a friend of the character’s daughter, surprises him in his kitchen late at night during a sleepover and begins the process of dismantling his life by sucking him off. A nice bit of detail in there, he thought, when she described the light tinkle of condiment jars in the refrigerator door, and the leafy fall of several pieces of childhood art magneted there as the character, with his back to it, began pumping the young girl’s mouth with his cock. He praised her for that. To which she responded: “But I’m wondering if I should change that scene a bit, lengthen this whole process for him, not let it get that far this first time, have him stop her, shoo her away, or run off himself.”

“You would have to keep her off her knees altogether then,” he wrote her, “or have her stop on her own. The fact is (and I can attest to this) that once a woman has your cock in her mouth, all responsible decision-making powers are pretty much lost.”

He did pause, if only briefly, before clicking the send button for that message. He knew exactly what he was doing, bringing sex out from behind these silky veils of make-believe and placing it on the real stage of their respective, intimate lives; introducing a real character, a flesh-and-blood person—himself—getting his cock sucked, an image that would now become an indelible part of her thought and recognition of him.

She responded to him that evening. She wrote: “Of course you’re right, he won’t interrupt anything, even if she had only the most basic cocksucking skills. I’m slightly embarrassed at the appearance that I didn’t know enough to realize that, considering.”

And that word, “considering,” had the same indelible effect on him.

She’s panting lightly, her arms are still wrapped around his head, cradling it against her heaving belly as he continues to draw his cum-soaked fingers gently back and forth along her slit.

“I don’t want to waste this,” he says, standing, showing her his glistening fingers. “Turn around.”

She does, placing her palms flat against the dressing room wall, and he reaches up between her legs from behind, slips his fingers again in her sopping cunt and softly drags them back, over her perineum which makes her shudder slightly, then up into the crack of her ass.

She turns her head so she can see him behind her and he leans forward, bringing his face to hers.

“Oh God” she whispers, “are you going to fuck my ass?” She hears the soft clinks of his belt buckle coming undone, following by the sound of his lowering zipper.

“I’m going to fuck your ass,” he whispers back, and she kisses him hotly, her tongue stretching deeply into his mouth, fluttering and writhing.

“Just promise me one thing,” she says, feeling the head of his cock pressing lightly against her crack.

“What’s that?”

She removes a hand from the dressing wall and grips his face tightly.

“Just promise,” she hisses, “that you’ll fuck it hard, and you won’t stop until you’ve pumped another load of your cum in me.”

He says nothing, pulls her back from the wall a bit to bend her farther at the waist. Her asshole is slippery with her cum, still tight against his cockhead, but yields nicely as he presses himself forward and in. Her ass muscles snugly along his shaft as he begins to fuck her, and she grunts delicately at his thrusts.

“Oh yeah,” she breathes, barely audible, almost as if to herself. “Fuck my ass. Fuck my ass.”

He begins to fuck her only slightly faster, slipping quickly along this rail of excitement, and leans slightly to the side to glimpse her fat, round breasts joggling beneath her blouse.

“I want more,” she says to him. “Push in more. More cock.”

He obeys, and carefully presses more of his hard cock into her hot, dark hole, making her gasp and then grunt more strenuously. He’s burying the length of it into her now, faster and faster, his hipbones thwacking the cheeks of her ass and his balls slapping against her cunt. She reaches a hand down between her legs and begins stroking herself, rubbing her clit, whispering to herself again: “Oh yeah, I wanna come. I wanna come with your cock in my ass. Yeah… yeah… I want your load in my ass. Pump your jizz in my ass...”

Her talking is speeding him along far faster than he’d anticipated, and he feels that dense, delicious ache thickening within him, that nervy, insistent massing of sensation, and he wants it.

“I’m gonna come,” he practically growls from the dryness in his throat. “I’m gonna pump this load in your ass…”

The ache transforms itself into a marvelous release, a stunning orgasm, what feels like a powerful blast of thick cum ribboning into her ass, then another, as he pulls her hips back tight against him, the entire length of his cock inside her, emptying massively and hotly. His legs are trembling wildly; he tries to lock his knees to steady them, but they keep quaking. He starts to lean forward across her back, and narrowly avoids getting his nose broken as she abruptly jerks her head back, her neck gleaming with sweat and plastered with a few vagrant strands of hair, as she comes again, jerking roughly back against him, his cock still rammed inside her. Again she jerks, exhaling hoarsely: “Fuuuck. Oh. Fuuuck…

He couldn’t help but feel a little jolt of excitement whenever a message from her appeared in his inbox. Their communication didn’t necessarily stray into seduction or foreplay on either side, but it did begin to exhibit a kind of warmth, and what seemed to him a genuine pleasure on her part to hear from him. The frequency increased, and subsequently their topics became more immediate, so that both had a sense of one another’s daily life. She knew what days he went to the gym; he knew when she visited the spa, and had her weekly departmental lunch at Gotham. He knew what her children were doing in school. She knew when his children were visiting him. He was trying to conjure a legitimate reason to go to New York for a weekend—apart from wanting an opportunity to see her. Weekends, however, were busy times for her with the children.

Finally, one afternoon, she wrote him that she would be back to town, his town, to spend a week visiting her parents and other friends. She was bringing her girls, but otherwise she’d be alone. Could he meet her for lunch one afternoon?

She asks him to drive them back to the parking lot, since he’s more familiar with their surroundings these she, and she’s still feeling shaky.

“Don’t think I’m not a little wobbly myself,” he says. “Are you going to be all right?”

“Oh, I am much more than all right,” she says, her head back and eyes closed, enjoying the motion, the shimmery bit of lassitude that seems to have enveloped her. “I’m sorry that I don’t have more time this afternoon and have to get back.”

“That’s okay,” he says.

“I’m not apologizing,” she says softly, smiling. “I’m lamenting.”

Rain continues to fall steadily, though not as violently as earlier, and he pulls into the same parking space she occupied before, next to his car, and puts it in park. She turns sideways in her passenger seat and faces him, leans forward, places a hand on his thigh and rubs lightly.

“This van,” she says, “you know those seats back there fold all the way down.”


“Um-hmm.” She moves her hand between his legs and begins rubbing his cock.

“That would create quite a bit of room back there,” he says hoarsely, clears his throat.

“Quite a bit,” she says softly, looking at the bulge in his jeans that she gently kneads. “And those windows back there are all tinted. I’d say there’s probably enough room to a woman stretch out, relax. Unzip her jeans, stroke her pussy. Probably even enough room for a gentleman to climb atop her, lift her blouse, slide his hard cock between her breasts…”

“You really think so?”

“Oh, yes. I’ve never tried it, of course. I can’t say that it even ever occurred to me before just a few moments ago. Room for him to fuck her tits while she strokes herself, pump his cock back and forth, ummm… run that shaft between those sweaty boobs, faster and faster. Shoot a hot load of cum all over her neck and mouth, streams of cum on her face, in her hair. Give her something nice to take with her on her drive home, one more thing to remember. What d’ya think?” she says, leaning forward and putting her tongue in his mouth before he can answer, kissing him deeply, evocatively, her tongue making a lazy roll around his own. She pulls away from the kiss and squeezes his cock. “Got any left?”

He reaches across and thumbs one of her nipples through her blouse.

“I think there’s only one way to find out,” he says.


He was immediately charmed by the change in her, the maturity, an ebullience that hadn’t been present when she was a mere twenty-three, gorgeous but slightly grimy, rarely smiling. She wore a pair of daring low-rise jeans—well, not daring, he thought, if one looked like her—that bared that area of hip bones hollowing in towards belly that he found so incredibly erotic. As if ten years hadn’t passed, once again he had to will himself not to stare. Then something occurred to him, a risk of sorts, but he also felt that he really had nothing to lose; seeing her again reminded him vividly of how far out of his league he was with a woman who looked as she looked. As they waited just inside the restaurant door for the hostess to return and seat them, he said to her softly, “The only way I’m going to be able to avoid staring at your gorgeous midriff is by concentrating instead on your breasts. Just so you know.” And she burst out laughing, nudging him hard with her shoulder.

They talked easily, and laughed a great deal more, and by the time they left the restaurant, he felt more happiness for having had the opportunity to see her than disappointment about any romantic ideas he may have harbored. By chance, she had parked next to him, and they embraced between her van and his car, a real embrace, a holding-on of several seconds, his right hand flat against the bare small of her back, that lovely valentine dip at the top of her bottom. They broke, she kissed him lightly on the lips, and they parted. As she walked to the other side of her van, he paused by his own car door, his back to her; something, he thought, something… He wouldn’t turn and look, he decided. He unlocked his car as he heard her door slam. Then, before he got in, her voice: “Hey!” Her passenger window was down and she was leaning toward it.

“You got a minute?”

“Sure.” He stood at the open window.

“There was something I wanted to tell you about and I forgot amidst everything else we talked about.”

“What was that?”

The sky, which all day had been clouded a uniform, pearly gray, had been darkening quickly in the last few minutes, and as he stood by her van, he looked up at the first sweeps of bruise-blue clouds moving more swiftly above them. A large drop landed on his shoulder, then another on his sleeve, and the first big raindrops made his shirt seemed to bloom with the small, dark flowers.

“You’d better get in,” she said, and he left off his examination of the darkness sliding across the busy summer sky and looked at her. She looked straight back. She smiled.

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