They walk hip to hip, knuckles brushing, as they measure their potential in the rhythm of their feet.
They walk hip to hip, knuckles brushing, as they measure their potential in the rhythm of their feet.
It’s a few days before Christmas and I love Christmas. In fact, Tim Minchin pretty much summed up all of warm, cosy feelers my atheistic little heart has about Christmas in this song (which totally makes me cry, by the way. Big feelers).
I normally do at least one Christmas story for the blog, but December’s been crazy and I haven’t written anything that didn’t make me want to stake myself with mistletoe, so I decided to post a story I wrote for Rose Caraway a few years ago for a Christmas edition of The Kiss Me Quick’s Erotica Podcast.
This story, “Christmas Yet to Come”, is an unapologetically romantic take on Scrooge’s redemption in A Christmas Carol, one of my favorite Christmas stories, especially when performed by the Muppets (don’t judge). And, if you’re looking for a distraction while you’re wrapping presents or baking or cooking food for an army, you can listen to Rose Caraway read “Christmas Yet to Come”, as well as her own sexy take on the Dickens story (this one involving candy-striped knee-high socks), by clicking here.
“Christmas Yet to Come” by Malin James
“If I have to say merry Christmas again, I’m gonna kill someone….”
Mark adjusted his glasses and picked up the invoices he’d been trying to file all morning. It was Christmas Eve—the world wouldn’t end if he left them. But that wasn’t the point. The point was that Claire was about to leave early, so he was stuck on the register saying “Merry Christmas” when he’d rather be in his office ignoring the holiday altogether.
“Are you sure it’s okay?” Claire, asked as she shrugged on her bright red coat. “You don’t look good, Mark. I hate thinking of you here all alone. I mean—”
“It’s okay. I know what you mean.”
Mark ran a hand through his rumpled hair, frustrated to a degree he knew was unreasonable. The divorce had barely gone through, and his ex, Bethany, was spending the holidays with her new fiancé—their former marriage counselor, Travis Dean. It was the first time in five years she wouldn’t be with him at the store on Christmas Eve.
“Look, Mark,” Claire said, straightening the bookmarks in their little, metal rack, “why don’t you come to my sister’s house? She made goose! And plum pudding…whatever that is.”
Claire’s brows crinkled beneath her fluffy white hat. Mark tried to smile. He knew she was only trying to help. Everyone and their mother was trying to save him from a lonely, miserable Christmas. The only problem was that a lonely, miserable Christmas was exactly what Mark wanted.
“Thanks, Claire. Really. I just want to keep it low-key. Go and enjoy the goose.”
“Are you sure? I mean…it would be great if you to could come.”
Claire met his eyes and blushed. Despite everything, Mark’s stomach flipped. For a moment, they just stood there, looking at each other. Finally, Mark shook his head.
“Yeah,” he said. “I’m sure.” Then he handed handed Claire an old umbrella. “Here—you’d better take this. The storm is getting worse.”
Claire smiled, but couldn’t quite hide her disappointment. Mark turned back to the invoices. Her pretty, blue eyes were almost enough to change his mind.
“Okay, then. If you’re sure…” Claire said, as she headed to the door. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow. Merry Christmas, Mark.”
“Merry Christmas, Claire.”
Despite the busy morning, the store remained empty all afternoon, thanks to the massive storm hitting the Bay. They’d always stayed open on Christmas Eve to catch any last minute business. Needless to say, he wasn’t up for that this year. This year, Mark’s big plan for the holiday was to bury himself in paperwork and turn off the Christmas music. Now that would be nice, Mark thought, contemplating the silence. More than anything he just wanted Burl Ives to shut up.
Mark flipped the Closed sign and locked the door before eying the Christmas lights Claire had insisted they put up in the window. He was itching to turn them off, but that would have required rummaging through a tangle of cords and power strips, which wasn’t worth the hassle, so he left the lights blinking and headed back to his office.
His office. Not his and Bethany’s. Because Bethany was in Peru with Travis Dean.
Mark pinched the bridge of his nose, torturing the headache he’d had for months. Bethany loved Christmas, and she was missing it because Travis Dean loved Peru. Fucking Travis Dean…. Every trip they’d never taken twisted Mark’s gut as he shoved past Bethany’s chair. Then he shook a handful of Tums out of an industrial sized bottle and tried to get work.
Mark squinted, trying to make sense of the inventory screen, but the numbers kept bleeding together. He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. He was so goddamned tired. He could have slept for days….
Mark heard something, but chose to ignore it.
“Dude, wake up.”
There it was again. Mark shifted but didn’t open his eyes.
“MARK! WAKE THE FUCK UP!”
Mark sat up and slammed his head on the shelf above his desk.
“OW! Fuck! What?”
“There you are! Finally. You’re a super heavy sleeper, huh?”
Mark blinked and rubbed his head. There was a girl sitting on his desk. She was wearing a pencil skirt and cowboy boots and a leather jacket over a Metallica shirt, but despite the thrown-together look of her clothes, her hair was glossy, and her cat’s-eye make-up looked airbrushed on.
“Who the fuck are you?”
“I’m Marley,” she said, kicking her feet.
“Marley? Like Marley in A Christmas Carol?”
“No,” Marley said, rolling her eyes. “Don’t be a dumbass.”
“How did you get in here? Did you break in?”
“No! Of course not!”
She looked indignant, as if he’d really offended her. He almost felt bad, but then he remembered she was sitting on his spreadsheets and he still didn’t know why.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, before standing up and whacking his head again.
“OW. Never mind. Just go.”
“I can’t go,” the girl said. “You’re my assignment.”
Marley smiled and patted his arm.
“Why don’t I start from the start. Strictly speaking, I’m not here. The only reason you can see me is because you’re asleep—see?”
Mark looked down. His body was slumped over and his head was on the keyboard. The screen was filled, appropriately enough, with zzzzzz’s. He didn’t look good. He might have been drooling. Embarrassed, he tried to shake himself awake, but his hand passed right through his body. Marley smirked.
“Sorry, dude. You can’t touch yourself.”
“Then why could I hit my head?”
“I dunno,” she said, shrugging. “It’s your dream. Look, I just need to give you the skinny on what’s about to happen. Then you can go back to sleep for real. Okay?”
“Sure,” Mark said, edging into Bethany’s empty chair. It took his weight with a groan. He gave Marley a look.
“Seriously, why can I sit in this chair but not shake myself awake? Is it dream logic…? Or something else?”
“I told you I don’t know. It’s your dream. Jeez, you think too much. Anyway, like I was saying, I’ve been assigned to you. Every year I get sent to someone who needs a little perspective. You’re my someone this year.”
Marley paused, swinging her legs back and forth. Mark shifted uncomfortably. She had really good legs.
“Thanks,” she said, grinning. “They’re not my best feature, but they’re all you’re gonna see!”
She gave him a wicked grin. For the first time in months, Mark felt his cock stir. All of a sudden, Marley jumped down off the desk and into his lap. Mark tried to shift away, but his cock only got harder.
“Aw! That’s super sweet! I haven’t given anyone a hard on in ages! Yay me!”
Mark stared at her, vaguely horrified.
“Don’t worry, dude. I’m older than I look,” she said. “So anyway, here’s the deal—”
“Let me guess,” Mark interrupted. “I’m going to be visited by three spirits.”
Marley rolled her eyes.
“God, you’re such a dork. No. They’re busy with people in way worse shape than you. You’re going to have a dream.”
Mark shook his head.
“I thought I was already having a dream.”
“You are having a dream, but not the real dream. Pay attention to the real dream, because the real dream is going tell you something you need to know. Plus, it’s gonna to be good, if you know what I mean.” She wiggled her brows suggestively. “You’re going to wake up happy.”
Marley ruffled his hair and jumped down off his lap. Mark tried to ignore the fact that his dick missed the curve of her ass. He wanted that hard-on gone. Suddenly, Marley shoved a finger in his face.
“Keep that hard on. That hard on is good. I swear you’re gonna have a merry Christmas if it kills you.”
“Okay, okay,” he said, warding her off. “Take it easy. Why do you care?”
Marley cocked her head. Suddenly, she looked serious, and much, much older than she’d first appeared to be.
“Because I get where you are. I remember. And because I’m assigned to you. Okay?”
“Yeah,” he said. “Okay.”
“Cool. Don’t flake on the lesson thing. And don’t think too much—you think way too much. Just have a good time. But learn something. I don’t want to see you next year.”
“Sure,” Mark said. He was starting to feel drowsy again. It was getting hard to process what Marley was saying.
“Poor guy,” Marley said, softening. “You’ll be okay. I promise.”
The little clock on the desk began to chime. Mark squinted at it, but couldn’t see the numbers straight. It looked like midnight, but that didn’t make sense if he’d only closed at four….
“Oh shit! I gotta go! Good luck. And Mark?”
Suddenly, Marley was gone. Mark looked down at his body, but even as he did, things got blurry and he drifted back to sleep.
Mark heard something ringing. At first he thought it was the clock on his desk, but it was too insistent for that. Groggily, he sat up and wiped the drool off his chin before stumbling out of his office. His head ached like a sonofabitch, and the ringing didn’t help.
Outside, the storm had picked up—the wind was rattling the windows, and it would have been dark as midnight if it weren’t for Claire’s Christmas lights.
The chime rang again. Mark looked around, rubbing his head. The phone wasn’t ringing and nothing was on. He couldn’t tell where it was coming from. Then he heard a knock at the door and peered through the gloom.
Claire was outside, stomping her feet and blowing into her mittens. Even through the glass he could see that she was soaked.
Pushing his glasses up, Mark turned the lock and let her in.
“Claire, what are you doing here? I thought you were at your sister’s!”
Claire took off her sopping woolen hat and wrung it out before stepping over the threshold.
“Jeez, Mark. I wish you’d listen to messages. I forgot my sister’s present so I had to come back. Then is started to rain and there were no cabs, so I had to walk but when I got here, I didn’t have my key, so—”
“I got it, I got it,” Mark said. “Come on in.”
He was just about to close the door when the wind snatched it and slammed it shut.
“Whoa. It’s bad out there.”
“Yeah. I’m soaked.”
Mark glanced at her. It looked like someone had shoved her into the Bay. Her blonde pixie cut was plastered to her head and red woolen coat was soaked through. He didn’t usually notice how little she was because she was such a dynamo, but right at that moment, she looked like a miserable fairy. Then Claire started shivering and Mark’s protective streak kicked in.
“C’mon. Let’s warm you up.”
“Thanks,” she said, teeth chattering like a wind-up toy.
“The heater’s on in the office,” he said. “Take off your coat. I’ll dig up some towels.”
Mark went into the tiny stockroom and brought out a bath towel leftover from who knew what.
“Here,” he said, passing it to her. “It’s old, but I think it’s clean.”
“Thanks,” she said, giving him a lopsided grin. “I don’t suppose you have any spare clothes too?”
Claire plucked at her ruined leather pants.
“Uh…,” he said, noticing her figure for the first time.
She usually wore layers, but in tight pants and a wet sweater, he could actually see her proportions. She looked like a dancer—tiny breasts, slender waist, hips like a champagne flute…. Mark’s cock stirred. He wanted to see more, but he wasn’t about to con her into getting naked.
“Let me go check,” he said. “I might have a sweatshirt somewhere.”
“You know what,” she called, as he turned away. “It’s okay. I’m already warming up.”
Mark looked back at her, surprised by the husk in her voice. Claire was not a flirt. She was bookseller. Not that a bookseller couldn’t flirt, but she wasn’t that kind of girl–
the kind with a come-hither voice, who stripped down in her boss’s office. Except apparently she was.
Mark watched as she drew her fingertips down over the little metal button at the top of her ruined pants. Then she popped it and drew the zipper down, before working the wet leather slowly down her legs. He’d only just noticed her pink satin thong when Claire lifted her sweater up and slid it over her head. Mark caught his breath. She wasn’t wearing a bra. Naked, her breasts were as beautiful as he’d thought they would be—sweet and round with little pink nipples that were puckered from the cold.
Mark wanted to fill his mouth with her. He wanted to slide in between her slender thighs. He’d have given anything to see her without the useless little thong.
Claire smiled. Then she wiggled her hips and kicked her panties off as if she’d read his mind.
“Merry Christmas, Mark” Claire said.
The playfulness was gone, replaced by a lovely, sweet softness he was starved for. He wanted softness from her. He was tired of hard edges and strain. Mark cleared his throat.
“Merry Christmas, Clai—”
Before he could finish saying her name, Claire closed the distance between them and fit her hips against his, pressing his now massively hard dick into the hollow between her legs. Then her mouth was on his, gentle and sweet, despite the insistent push of her hips.
Mark, the man who never stopped thinking, stopped thinking then. Every ounce of his awareness sank into the silky chill of Claire’s skin. He felt as if he’d been asleep for years, and that her mouth was waking him up. He wanted to touch her everywhere, he wanted to touch every inch of her, but she broke the kiss before he could push her back against the shelv
“So,” she said, grinning as she unbuttoned his shirt, “all I needed to do was drown in a rainstorm and strip in your office? If I’d known it was that easy, I’d have done it months ago!”
“Well, the leather pants didn’t hurt,” Mark said, grinning as he shrugged out of his shirt. Then she sank to her knees and his smile faded.
“You don’t have to do that,” he said
“Do what,” Claire asked, clearly confused. “Suck your cock?”
Mark didn’t know what to say. Bethany had hated oral. On the few occasions she’d done it, it had always been part of a “gift.” He was used to his partner not wanting to suck his cock, so the fact that Claire was kneeling in front of him, unbuttoning his fly with the intention of doing just that made him feel a bit gun shy.
“Uh, yes.” he said. “That.”
Claire slid his boxers down and stroked shaft, slowly, from base to tip. Mark’s knees almost buckled.
“Of course I don’t have to, silly,” she said, angling her head. “I want to.”
Then she kissed his cockhead and slid it into her mouth. She sucked once, then twice, long and slow, before she released him with a smile that said she could have sucked him off for hours.
“You don’t understand, Mark,” she said, working his dick with her hand as she settled herself more comfortably on her knees. “I’ve been wanting to do this for years, but you were married, so there was no way. Now though…it’s okay, right?”
Mark’s pulse throbbed.
“Yeah,” he said, trying to see straight. “Yeah, it’s okay.”
“Good,” she said, licking the tip of his oversensitive head. “Then I’m going to get back to it.”
Mark braced himself on the doorframe, and began to thrust cautiously into her mouth. His ex had hated having her face fucked, but Claire seemed to be urging him on, pressing her fingers into his ass, and moaning when he began to move with less restraint.
“It’s okay,” she said, glancing up at him, before going right back to it.
She tongued his shaft and sucked him back in so hard that her mouth pulsed around him tighter than a cunt. He felt the tip of his head nudge the back of her throat, but even as the muscles contracted, Claire softened and pressed him deeper. Suddenly, Mark couldn’t stand it. He hauled her up and kissed her before she could protest.
“I need to fuck you. Now.”
He’d never said anything like that to a woman. But then he’d never needed to fuck anyone like he needed to fuck Claire.
She smiled as he picked her up and carried her back into the office. Her hair was a mess and her lips were swollen. She was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. Suddenly he knew he’d been waiting. He’d been waiting for this. He’d been waiting for Claire. Claire’s heart-shaped face was the only thing wanted to see, and he wanted to see it every second of every day.
Mark backed her up against the messy shelves and lowered her onto the desk. The keyboard and a pile of invoices fell to the floor, but Mark didn’t care. Not when Claire was spreading her legs and tilting her hips with a dreamy, peachy smile lighting up her face. Mark reached down and touched her clit, rubbing gently as she whimpered and ground against his hand. Then he slid into her sweet, wet warmth.
She was an impossibly perfect fit. She was made for him, he thought.
“Are you okay,” she whispered, stroking his back.
Mark pressed his face against her neck and thrust in long, languid strokes, as if fucking her answered every question he’d ever had.
“I’m happy,” he said, smiling against her neck.
“Me too. Now, answer the door, okay?”
Mark looked at her, confused.
“Answer the door, silly. I’m standing outside. Let me in so we can do this for real….”
Mark’s head began to spin. He squinted, trying to control the vertigo that was twisting the space around him. Then it stopped.
Slowly, Mark opened his eyes and saw the computer screen blinking like a Christmas tree. Mark rubbed his jaw and grimaced. He had drooled. He hoped the keyboard would be all right.
Very faintly, he heard a knock at the door. His cock was still hard. So hard, he was amazed he hadn’t come in his pants. Marley hadn’t been kidding—it really had been a good dream.
Knock, knock, knock.
“I’m coming,” he said, shaking his head to clear it. The dream was still vivid in his mind—he could practically smell sex and Claire’s sweet, violet scent. Shoving it aside, he hurried out to the tiny sales floor.
Claire was standing in the window. The rain had stopped. She was dry but her nose was rosy from the cold. Mark’s heart slammed hard enough to break his ribs. Telling himself to pull it together, Mark adjusting his glasses and opened the door.
“Hey,” he said.
He felt breathless. He felt like he was going to pass out.
“Hey,” Claire replied.
He stood there for a second, taking her in. This was the Claire he’d known for years—not the soaking wet minx wearing leather pants, but the bright-eyed sweetheart with her hand knit beret….
“Hey, wait. Are those leather pants? You have leather pants?”
Claire gave him a quirky little look.
“Sure I do. I wore them to work last week. You said you liked them…remember?”
Mark nodded. “Yeah. Now I remember.”
He remembered her looking hot.
They stood there awkwardly as something fragile passed between them. Mark wanted to pull her into the store and wrap his arms around her. He wanted to kiss her. But the dream was just a dream. He couldn’t assume….
“Hey, Mark? Look up.”
Mark looked up. Dangling over the doorframe was a sprig of mistletoe.
“Where did that come from,” he wondered.
“I hung it up the other day. Silly….”
She smiled shyly and leaned into him. Her hand was cool and sweet on his face.
“Is this okay,” she asked. Her mouth was a whisper from his.
“Yeah. This is okay.
Then her lips were on his, as soft as they’d been in the dream.
“Merry Christmas, Mark,” she whispered.
“Merry Christmas, Claire.”
For more on the holiday theme, check out the links below. An most importantly, Merry Christmas. May it be full of all the best feelers a holiday can bring.
In the Bleak Midwinter (nonfiction)
She thinks of his voice, his soul-grinding voice as she drifts off to sleep in a bed that’s far too big. His voice, that voice, drips through her. It echoes and coats her skin, like frost on the windows of the cold, dark room at the top of the narrow house.
Humming, lilting letters tumble down her spine. They slide into her hips. In his mouth, her name is the drip of melting ice, fragile and quiet, a secret dark and deep. It’s the forest in a poem, his mouth and her name, in a snowy, winter wood.
What is it about the way some people, one person, says her name – her name, the name she gave herself – that makes it the language of home? Not her physical home in the too-wide bed, but the home where her pulse rests deep in her belly, buried between her thighs.
She thinks of the language he made of her name as her hand slips down, past cotton and flannel, down to her lonely skin. Her body strains to meet her. Her name on his tongue is the country they made, the map of her slippery soul. She arches, placing the whole of herself in the cup of her capable hand.
Sounds, not words, filled the room long ago. In her mind, they do again. His breathing, her breathing, catching breath, bitten moans. They melt ice and salt the bed. She strains and falls open, longing for home, his voice, her name, her name…. The hollow ache of absence. The weight that isn’t there. Her mind is somewhere dark and deep, slick with dripping frost.
Her mouth parts like a shell, round and full of a name, his name, the name he has given himself. It tumbles down her spine, carried by her voice. Tight, pulsing echoes. Sound cracks, like ice, in her chest. Bones shudder and she is home.
Frost limns the window, but she is warm, warm, warm. Her breathing deepens and slows. Memories, murmurs, whispers on skin, so many years ago…she rests in the language they made for themselves, long ago in cold, dark room at the top of a narrow house.
“Do you like it?”
“What? The model or the dress?”
“The dress…and the model, I suppose.”
The woman cocked her head. The dress was the sort of thing you’d wear to a cocktail party. The model was the sort of thing you’d bring home from a cocktail party.
“Yes,” she said, thoughtfully. “I do.”
The man raised a brow but failed to look surprised.
Standing on a platform in a dead woman’s clothes wasn’t Laura’s idea of high fashion, but it was a paycheck and paychecks were good, especially when you liked to eat.
“Lot 398. Christien Dior. We’ll start the bidding at….”
Laura ignored the auctioneer. She didn’t want to know. It made wearing the dress depressing, like sampling a pastry she couldn’t afford. Laura hated not affording so she canted her hips and ignored the bidders too. These days the bidders were worth ignoring.
There were two types of people at auctions like this—collectors and ghouls. Ghouls, with their shabby collars and hard mouths, came to watch a rich person’s things get sold off. Collectors were different. Collectors went hunting for very specific things, but what made a thing special was anyone’s guess. Just the week before, someone paid $500 for a soap dish with an impeccable provenance…whatever that meant.
Laura pivoted and tried not to yawn. At first, the keen, avid eyes in the audience had turned her on so much that her thighs would be slick by the time she left the platform. Once or twice she’d even come (quietly, of course). It didn’t matter if she was modeling last year’s lingerie or someone’s ridiculous hat, being scrutinized felt good. But that had been ages ago. The novelty was gone. Now she barely noticed.
Laura unhooked the dress’s train, revealing an obscene amount of leg for 10am. Suddenly, the soft hairs on the back of her neck prickled and she looked up.
A couple was sitting in the middle of the room. They were young and golden and bright as if they’d gathered up all the stray light. Now that she’d seen them, she couldn’t look away.
Laura’s center of gravity dropped into her hips. She did a half-turn as the nerves in her belly coiled. She wanted the couple to notice. She wanted to make them bid. Laura moved to center stage, rolling her hips. She knew she looked like a woman begging to be kissed. Then the golden woman winked, and she almost fell off the stage.
The woman scanned Laura’s body, from her hem to her face, with the kind of cold interest she was used to in men. Every nerve in Laura’s body clustered between her legs. The woman smiled like a collector. She smiled like she knew. Laura squeezed her thighs tight, felt how plump and wet she was. She swore the woman knew.
Silver shoes peeked out from beneath her hem. The woman met Laura’s eyes and raised a brow. Without thinking, Laura raised the dress so the woman could see the shoes. Ankles, knees, halfway up her thighs…she would have kept going, right up to her waist, but the woman gave her a tiny nod, so Laura stopped. She didn’t lower the dress. The woman looked pleased. Still, they didn’t bid.
Laura squirmed, unwilling to drop the hem as the bids rose higher and came faster and the pressure built. She squeezed her thighs together as tight as she could. She could come like that. She had before. She would come and the woman would watch her. She would come and the woman would know.
But the woman shook her head.
Laura went still.
A Catalogue of Very Specific Things:
Silver dress. Silver shoes. Twitching fingers, shifting hips. A trembling mouth that makes a quick but perfect O. The flush of a lip, a swollen lip, soft between hard teeth. Wide eyes. Young skin. Impulses waiting to spill….
The woman whispered to the man.
The gavel cracked.
“Sold, to the gentleman in the middle of the room.”
The woman sighed.
“Thank you, love.’
“Have you got your eye on anything else?”
“No,” she said. “Let’s collect.”
They haven’t been dating for all that long. Two dates. Maybe three if coffee counts. Three dates…. Is that dating? It’s hard to tell. Who knows.
Two dates. Maybe three. Some kissing. No sex. But the kissing is good. Really, really good. Quick tongues. Swollen lips. Nails on his neck. Then he says goodnight like he’s closing a door. She stays cautious and light on her feet.
They have their third date (maybe fourth?) on the hottest night of the year. Dinner and drinks. Maybe dancing. They both like dancing. They talk about dancing a lot. It’s a handy metaphor.
Do you dance? Where? What do you like?
Oh, you know…depends on my mood.
She wishes they’d just have sex. Sex is her looking glass. It lets her see who a person is, (or rather who they are with her). It lets her see who she is with them. She wants that view more than she wants to get off. She wants to see if they fit. Normally, it doesn’t matter so much – sex has told her a lot and it’s not always good. But she wants to see with him.
They have dinner and drinks. They talk. A lot. But she can’t stop watching his mouth. Good conversation. Great wine. Killer food. Enjoy the evening for this. She addresses herself in the ladies room but she knows it won’t do any good.
He pays the check (he insists, which is lovely), but dancing is a no. Early morning, he says. Brunch, work-out, weekend routine…. Sure. She has one too. They head off down the street.
The night is brown and murky with a filthy, electrical buzz. The grid is overtaxed and the city’s power is low. No air conditioners. Sluggish fans. People tumble around the street—it’s too hot to be inside.
They’d parked their cars several blocks away in a tall, glass monolith. As they walk, their knuckles brush, comfortable and easy, but he doesn’t take her hand. That would maybe be too much. After awhile, she pulls her phone out of her bag so it has something less awkward to do.
The parking lot is deserted. He hits the button and they wait. The elevator takes ages and their easiness drains away. A thick, gray silence expands and takes its place. It’s not a sexy or promising silence. It’s dense and pre-emptively sad.
Cool sheets, breakfast, dancing, fucking…she imagines these things while the elevator drifts…slow, slow, slow…considering the universe at every floor. For one irrational moment, she wishes they’d never met.
The elevator arrives. It’s steel and glass and disturbingly hot inside. Like a greenhouse, she thinks, which would make them the plants. It’s a weirdly appealing thought. She swipes her hair off her forehead and hits the button for level six.
“I’m on six too,” he says.
She smiles. “That’s good.”
“That’s good” is not what she’d meant to say. She’d meant to say something clever but she’s tired and hot. Her grid is overtaxed too.
Flickering lights. The elevator stops. It jerks and she stumbles. He reaches out – reaches out but doesn’t touch her, as if he’d brace her with the Force.
“Power outage,” he says.
She feels heat coming off him. The nape of her neck is salty and wet, and her cunt is a swollen ache. He’s close. Too close…and not close enough. She’s stupidly wound up and now they’re stuck in a small, glass box.
“Fuck, me,” she mutters.
“Sorry, what,” he says.
She watches his fingers skim over the phone. Blunt tipped. Strong. Decisive.
Fuck it. She wants to see.
“I said, fuck me.”
He looks up. Her cultivated, quippy, clever voice has dropped into her chest. She sounds like a woman again. Not a placeholder or a diplomat. She sounds like the woman she is.
He puts his phone away.
“Hello,” he says.
His teeth catch her bottom lip.
She leans in and bites him back.
A generator kicks in and the elevator fills with a dim, green glow, but it’s still dark down on the street. People wander around, checking their phones, waiting for the light.
“Someone could see,” he murmurs.
“Yeah,” she says. “I know.”
They lean back into the glass. If anyone looked up they’d see him lifting her skirt. She smiles and tilts her hips.
“Jesus fucking Christ.”
It’s a breath against her neck. She’s wearing nothing underneath. No knickers. No bra. Just the dress and her favorite heels. Maybe she’d hoped a bit….
Sweat drips between her breasts as he crushes her close. He’s stronger than she thought. Then his hand is on her warm, bare hip and his mouth is hard on hers. Her legs want to spread. She kisses him back and turns to face the street.
The glass is soft beneath her palms. She’s wet, so wet she can barely feel his fingers until they’re deep inside her cunt. Little sighs. Little moans. Her hips begin to thrust. She’s hoping, hoping someone will look up. Then he’s in her, fucking her and she’s fucking him back. Their eyes meet in the glass. Intense, happy…she likes the view. She had a feeling that she would.
On the evening of her birthday, Sabine’s husband gave her the gift of a slave.
So kind, you might be thinking. So generous to give his wife another man to fuck. Sabine’s husband was, after all, several decades her senior, and the possessor of certain appetites that did not suit his foreign wife. The gift was surely a generous act, especially at that time, when flesh cost more than gold.
Generous, so generous….
Generous. But not kind.
Sabine’s husband trafficked in humans, a practice she abhorred. The gift, presented with torturous ceremony before a roomful of guests, was an insult—one so subtle that her husband would look like a king while delivering a barb she couldn’t ignore.
Unhappy but silent, Sabine watched a handler lead the blindfolded slave to the center of the room, trailed by a clutch of cilevore—sentient bonds that resembled the vines of a thick, tenacious plant. Another cilevore bound his wrists, making itself both the manacle and the leash by which he was led.
Sabine eyed the creatures, which brought to mind a cluster of eels with their slithering, muscled strength. Swallowing her disgust, she turned her attention to the slave, who was tall and blond, like the men of her faraway home.
They had brought him in naked, of course. A leather cord—the sign of his station—encircled his scrotum and cock. It was a pretty picture he made. Against her wishes, Sabine’s body quickened. The slave was beautiful and masculine—the most masculine thing she had seen since she’d come to her husband’s house. Her husband liked boys and soft, young girls. This slave, with his hard, uncompromising frame, would never have been bought if not for her.
“Well, my darling,” Sabine’s husband said, pitching his voice to the room, “care to try your new toy?”
The guests tittered. A slave such as this was only meant for one thing. Who wouldn’t want to watch?
Sabine lifted her head, winter pale and calm, as the handler sat the slave down in a carved wooden chair. Then he signaled to the cilevore, which slithered up over the slave, coiling around his ankles and wrists and binding him in place. Unable to see through the blindfold he wore, the slave flexed against his bonds. The cilevore tightened in response. Noticing the shift in the bonds, the handler slapped his cock. Once. Twice. The slave’s jaw tightened. Satisfied, the handler stepped back.
The slave’s breathing was deep and even; his face calm beneath the mask. But to the watchful, (and Sabine was watchful), the man was in distress.
The cilevore flexed, addressing the strain his body could not hide—pulse, heart rate, nerves…. He vibrated, clearly longing to rip the creatures off. And yet he continued to sit, unchallenging and calm. Disciplined, she thought. Or experienced. He was either very skilled or used to biding his time.
“Come, my dear,” her husband continued. “He is fresh from the auction block.”
“Disciplined, then,” she murmured, as her husband’s voice echoed, bluff, indulgent and utterly false. Still she did not move. Her husband’s face took on a look of gently wounded pride. He is losing patience, she thought.
“Well,” he said, as if he were coaxing a cat with cream, “I suppose if you don’t like it we’ll have to send it back.”
The handler stepped forward, unsheathing a knife.
“No,” Sabine said, surprising herself.
The guests went silent as they watched the awkward tableau. She could almost hear the slave’s pulse. It would be stressful. Very stressful. The knife was very near. One needn’t see to know. That, at least, she understood.
“I accept your gift,” she said, denying her husband the reaction he’d paid the flesh-price for.
His smile faltered but did not fail. Sabine approached the slave while the guests clapped politely, like the spectators they were. Sensing the change in the room, the slave’s fingers twitched though he did not challenge his bonds. The cilevore tightened regardless, rustling organically as Sabine came near. She ignored them. She wanted to see his face.
His white-gold hair curled softly, like feathers. Silky. Like her own. Suddenly, almost violently, she wanted the blindfold gone. Reaching out with a cool, steady hand, Sabine removed the mask, revealing an angular face with a scar along the jaw. Then the slave opened his eyes. No blinking. No panic. Just a pool of angry blue.
I am sorry, she wished to tell him. You were not meant for this.
The slave narrowed his eyes and nodded, as if he’d heard her thought. All the while, his cock rose thick above the leather thong.
To her shock, Sabine’s nipples peaked and she grew instantly wet. Without removing her gaze from his, Sabine acknowledged his nod. Then, lifting the heavy silk of her dress, she mounted him, gracefully, without revealing her arousal to anyone but the slave.
Sabine’s body flushed as she slid her swollen cunt along the length of his shaft. Her breath caught. His jaw tightened. She struggled for control as the scent of him went to her head. Then, thighs trembling, Sabine sank down, taking him into her body as her fingers knotted in his hair.
The slave’s body tensed and the cilevore shifted, sensing his impulse to touch her. She could feel his need to touch her vibrate through his skin.
“Release his arms,” she whispered.
She’d assumed the bonds would ignore her, but they dropped away, only to wrap around his waist. Wrists or no wrists, he would not be permitted to move.
Sabine grimaced. Even the manacles in her husband’s house were perfectly trained. But then slave’s hands gripped her through her dress and she fell into her body, light as snow. A sigh escaped her and gentle laughter filled the room—teasing laughter at her husband’s expense. Her thighs grew slicker at the sound.
Sabine began to move, slowly at first, then more quickly, working his shaft as she rose and fell, loosening her limbs and warming the body her marriage had turned cold.
Her focus narrowed. The room, the guests, the handler disappeared. Only her husband’s image remained sharp in her mind, and even that wavered when she looked at the slave. He was silent, watching her, hands just beneath her breasts as his thumbs rubbed her nipples through the bodice of her gown.
He is not a slave, she thought. That was not something that slaves did. Slaves followed instructions. They did what they were told. But this slave was watching—watching and responding. He did not need to be told.
Sabine rocked her hips, taking pleasure in her body as she took pleasure in him. And all the while he watched, muscles working in his jaw as his hands cupped her neck and steadied her waist. He was taking his pleasure in her. Her lips parted, lush and hungry, as her head tilted back. He was taking his pleasure in her.
Sabine moaned as he strained against his bonds, seeking her mouth with his. Had they left him his tongue, she wondered. Please, let him have his tongue. They muted slaves so often…she had not kissed him yet to know.
But she wanted his mouth. She wanted his kiss even though she feared the hollow she might find. It was defiance – of her husband and his culture and her own shameful fear – that drove her to his mouth. But all that fell away as he touched her tongue with his.
She lifted herself, rising up above his body until the tip of his cock rested at the opening of her sex. Her cunt clutched and ached, desperate for his girth, but she held herself suspended as the slave bared his teeth, squeezing her waist so hard she feared she would break.
He could crack her in two with those strong, scarred hands. He could snap her like a stick. Thoughts of her husband filled Sabine’s head. His cruel tastes. His lie of a smile. Her husband who trafficked in flesh. What might he do if confronted with such large, disciplined hands?
It was that thought, as much as the strength in his hands, that pushed her over the edge. Her legs buckled and Sabine sank back down. For the first time in her life, she gave her body free rein and she writhed like a whore, but Sabine was well beyond caring. She writhed and savored as the slave beneath her moaned. It was a sibilant sound, low and sweet—a sound for her alone. It shuddered over her skin.
Sabine arched her back and came, filling the room with a shriek so rich and obscene the slave’s handler flushed. It’s me, she thought. I am making that sound. Her cunt clutched harder and she came again, imagining herself soaked in his seed.
“Come,” she whispered into his ear. But the slave shook his head.
It was only then that she remembered he was not allowed release. She could fuck him all she liked, but he could never come. Slaves didn’t. Not male ones. It was taboo. She looked into his eyes, into his anger and need. Then she reached down between them and unknotted the thong that constricted the base of his cock.
“Come now,” she said. Her voice filled the room. “Come now for me.”
There were gasps of genuine shock. Ignoring the guests, Sabine began to move, splaying her body as he bucked and thrust against the cilevore at his waist.
Sabine’s husband said something. The handler shifted. They were running out of time.
Sensing the handler’s approach, the slave crushed Sabine to his chest, pressing her down and securing her with every single thrust. For a moment, all she heard the rush of her pulse. Then the slave’s breath hitched and he groaned as he soaked her with his cum.
Slowly, their breathing evened and their bodies calmed, and Sabine became aware of a buzzing, like wasps, in the room. No, not wasps. Nothing so dangerous. Just her husband’s guests.
Swallowing her apprehension, Sabine brought her mouth to the slave’s. She lingered a moment, drinking in the taste of ice and snow and home. Then she rose and straightened her skirts as the cilevore slivered back to his wrists.
“No,” she told the handler, who stood awkwardly near.
The handler looked to her husband, eyes weak and small as a pig’s. Her husband did not respond. Her husband, she thought with his grim, angry face, lined hard like the cracks in a bowl. Before either could respond, Sabine cut them both off.
“I will not have him bound.”
The cilevore receded, curling up on the floor as docilely as cats. The slave watched them settle and then looked at her. She nodded. He rose and crossed the room until he stood just behind Sabine.
Sabine thought of the slave’s deceptive calm and the crush of his hands on her waist. She’d have bruises the following day. A smile curved her lips. Gifts have power. By the rules of her husband’s culture, the giver cedes control of an object the moment it is given. The slave, one of her countrymen—was just such a gift, one that was part of a larger game. For the first time since marrying, Sabine felt that she might win.
“Thank you, dearest,” she said to her husband, who appeared to shrink and age. “Thank you for your generous gift.”
I lie back on your bed, curled up in the nest of your rumpled, blue duvet.
I’m naked. I love being naked with you, in your bed, where my body feels soft and silky, like a celluloid princess in a silent film. But I’m not a princess. Nor am I silent…not that I can’t be quiet as a mouse. I just don’t want to be. Silent. There is too much joy in your weight between my legs; and in the way my body feels fitted into yours.
You come closer to the edge of the bed. There isn’t much room, but now you’re squarely in front of the window, which is where I want you to be.
“Strip for me.”
You flush. You’re still cold from your run to the store. I imagine dark heat spreading through your cells, and seeping into your skin. We’ve done this before—the stripping. But your sloping shoulders seem bashful. So does the curl of your hand, as if you’re surprised that I want this from you…. But you do strip, meeting my eyes the whole time once your shirt is off.
“Slower,” I say.
I’m teasing you now and you know it. You’re already going slow. But you comply and go slower as your lips pull up to one side. You’re going to tease me back. You slow down even more. But I love it. I love the frustration and the time it gives me to watch your body move. And all the while, your eyes stay on mine, focused, very precisely, on me, and on us, and on the game we’re playing now.
You’re already hard when you take your pants off. I knew you would be—we’ve been playing all day and you’ve already fucked me twice. Once, slow and sweet, like spoons in a drawer with your arms wrapped around me and my hands clutched in yours. The second was hard and fast, up against the counter after breakfast and tea. I was still soaking wet after the first time. I’m soaking wet right now.
Being around you makes me wet—your quick solidity; how small and strong you make me feel; your scent; our skin. I love the way we fuck. I love the noises you make when you come. I love the noises you make when you don’t. Since we woke up, I’ve come, in great, hazy waves, more times than I can count. You have not. You haven’t come at all because we’re playing a game and you won’t until I say.
I open my legs, half snuggled into your bed. My cunt feels soft and warm when I slip my fingers in. You watch me. You know what we’re doing. I don’t have to say. But you wait for me anyway.
“Lick your palm and stroke your cock.”
You do, eyes still on mine. My fingers slide over my cunt without my having to try. My body wants to be filled. It’s sucking at my fingers as I drag them out and push them slowly in.
My legs drop open even more. You pause and take a step.
“No,” I say. “Don’t touch me. Slide your hand up and down your beautiful, fucking cock and think about how good it would feel to be fucking me instead.”
I think about us when I get myself off. I think about us so often that it’s natural, even now, despite the fact that you’re less than a foot away. And all the while, your eyes are on mine. Your eyes bring me closer in ways that my hand alone never does….
I lie back and arch my hips, bringing my cunt up to your cock, as close as I can without blocking our hands. I want to keep the hard, thick pull of wanting you this bad. But I come, and I cry out as I do, a guttural, not-beautiful sound. And then I come again.
You’re sweating and your face is flushed, not cold anymore; I smile up at you and you smiled down at me. We are co-conspirators. You know what we’re doing. I don’t have to say. But you wait for me all the same.
“Don’t you fucking come.”
It’s a slow, slow burn.
Thank you to Exhibit A for the use of the words-fail-me, (very) inspirational image.
And if you haven’t read Exhibit A’s work, you should. The man is much more than just a pretty…em…face. He’s brilliant and his erotic fiction and sex writing are some of the best I know. Find more of him here.
It will be different with me, she thinks as he presses her down to her knees. Silk rustles as she bends like a young rose on a fragile stem. He smiles, and she takes heart. He is gentle with her now, this great man, larger than life, with hands like paws and a mind like jagged trap. He will be different with me.
Green groweth the holly,
So doth the ivy.
Though winter blasts blow never so high,
Green groweth the holly.
He removes her wedding gown and she bows before him. He is already undressed. His vast, bear-like body, once wrapped in velvet and fur, fills her vision like the sun. She shivers. His fingers, so gentle with the outer casing of her gown, bite into her skin. He wants her, she knows. He has told her as much. He has written and told her so.
As the holly groweth green
And never changeth hue,
So I am, ever hath been,
Unto my lady true.
He is impatient and entitled as he grips her head. She opens her mouth and complies. She is no prudish Catholic, but neither is she a whore. Her cousin was a whore, an incestuous whore. She betrayed him and lost her head, spilled her blood all over the block, red as the holly he wrote about. Red blood on a dark green dress.
As the holly groweth green
With ivy all alone
When flowers cannot be seen
And greenwood leaves be gone,
There will be no blood with me, she thinks. I will keep his love. I will keep it evergreen. He grips her head harder, guiding her mouth as she sucks his cock with a skill that she learned as a girl. That skill would not betray her. That skill, and the gift of a pliant throat and an equally pliant nature, will keep me queen, she thinks.
Now unto my lady
Promise to her I make,
From all other only
To her I me betake.
Her eyes stream as his cock batters the back of her throat. She feels the bulk of his body tense. He’s getting close. She wills herself slack and feels the drool dripping down her chin onto her pretty white breasts. When he comes, he comes like an animal, grunting and thrusting into her mouth as if she were a thing. I will be his cherished thing, she thinks, gagging on his spend.
Adieu, mine own lady,
Adieu, my special
Who hath my heart truly
Be sure, and ever shall.
He tastes overly sweet, and beneath that a bitterness that makes her gag again, but she swallows and swallows and swallows. Then she smiles as she knows he wants her too, and lavishly licks her lips. I will do what I must do, she thinks. I will survive the love of this man.
The italicized poem is called “Green Groweth the Holly” by Henry VIII. The lady whom it addresses is unknown but, for the sake of this piece, I imagined it to be his ill-fated 5th wife, Catherine Howard, cousin to Anne Boleyn and the second of his six wives to be accused of treason and beheaded.
The story was inspired by “The Holly and the Ivy” – a traditional Christmas carol and one of the prompts in Exhibit A‘s Awesome Christmas Erotica Meme. A new song title goes up every day between now and Christmas so click here to catch the prompts and participate (you should!). And click here to see who else is making merry this December.
A few week’s ago, I wrote a post called Death and the Maiden in which I mentioned Angela Carter’s story “The Bloody Chamber”. That story is an adaptation of the Bluebeard fairy tale, my favorite fairy tale in the entire world…which probably says a lot about me.
Given that it’s been a bit serious around here lately, I decided to lighten things up with my own adaptation of the Bluebeard story. I wrote “Bluebeard’s Clever Wife” a couple of years ago and it’s been languishing in a file ever since. It’s not erotic, sexy or even remotely hot, but I do think it’s kind of romantic…in an Addam’s Family kind of way. At the very least, writing it made me smile. Hopefully, reading it will do the same.
Bluebeard’s Clever Wife
Once upon a time, a girl married a man. He had a shady reputation, but he gave her flowers and she thought that was nice. Plus, he was rich – not that she noticed, of course. So they married, and went to live at his castle, which was large and very isolated because he liked his alone time.
One day, shortly after they married, he told her that he was going on a business trip. He gave her the keys to every lock in the house and said that she could open them all, except for one.
“Don’t, under any circumstances, open that door,” he said, pointing to a large, black door with a big iron lock and a No Trespassing sign. “If you do, I’ll have to kill you. Fair warning.”
Then he left.
The bride was an obedient and dutiful soul, so she waited until he’d left to go to the forbidden room. What she found shocked her. Bits and pieces of his former wives were scattered about like puzzle pieces. Hands, torsos, heads… the place was a wreck. Unable to stand the mess, she went to work reassembling the ladies until they were all lined up, neat as pins.
She was just congratulating herself on a job well done when her husband came back home. Apparently, the whole thing had been a test! When he discovered her in his secret room, he was understandably upset, but she impressed upon him importance of keeping things tidy. Then she showed him her improvements, which included a clever little bucket for miscellanious parts.
Bluebeard was so struck by her logic, and by the convenience of having everything close to hand, that he quickly forgave her with a hearty laugh. From that day forward, he left the door unlocked, while she, inspired by her husband’s hobby, took up the study of anatomy. They lived happily ever after.
Back in February, I had a birthday. As a present, Exhibit A wrote me a guest post called “Strong Foundations”, one of the sexiest birthday presents anyone could wish for. He tailored it to my kinks and tastes, so what I ended up with was a piece of erotica specifically designed to turn me on. I am happy to report that it did (and continues to do) its job very well.
In fact, it was such a fantastic birthday present, that when Exhibit A turned 34 a few weeks ago, I decided to return the favor. The story I wrote for him is called “An Evening with Alex and Em” and it’s a saucy little mash-up of a few of his many and varied sexual interests – Femdom and CFNM, with a little voyeurism and exhibitionism thrown in for good measure.
When he asked me if I’d mind if he put it up on his blog, I very demurely acceded (meaning I said yes without even pretending to hesitate). In fact, it’s up on his site as a guest post right now. You can read it by clicking here.
And if you haven’t already, check out “Strong Foundations” too. It’s a hell of a hot story, and it inspired “An Evening with Alex and Em”, a story that was a hell of a lot of fun to write.