The drive home was long, fueled by endless cups of 7-11 coffee and when that stopped working, small white pills I bought from a gaunt lady trucker in some nameless truck stop. She’d called me ‘sugar’ and wanted to ‘get comfy’ with me in the sleeper back of her truck, but her nicotine breath, yellow teeth and the implication that ‘her husband liked to share’ was plenty to get me out as soon as I had my little baggie of whites.

I imagine I was a little wild-eyed when I got to the tattoo shop – I’d gone straight there, not home first – and I was certainly disheveled. Not to say that’s unusual for the neighborhood, or for tattoo shops in general.

I needed to do something. Some gesture. Some token. Something. I needed to reach out, let get know how I felt. Well, maybe not how I felt, but at least – at least how to reach me.

I’d stopped a couple of times on the road – was going to buy flowers, but I knew that was wrong. I thought about a gift, actually bought a card in a gas station where I filled the tank. I threw it out the window five miles later.

I walked in with nothing. I asked mister mouthful-of-metal if I could leave a note for Wanton, went in without waiting for his answer (which might have been ‘yeah’, or ‘no’ or ‘what?’ or for all I could tell, ‘fuck off’, but at least he didn’t make a mistake and try to get in my way). I found a sheet of scrap paper, scrawled a note on it, crossed it out, started again, tossed it in the trash. I think I went through several sheets.

In the end, all I wrote was ‘Please call me – Please.’ I wrote my phone number, added my business card with work number, cell and email, taped it closed, and down to her desk. I wrote her name on it.

I wanted to take something, something of hers; I picked up a small pencil sketch. A heart slashed with a straight razor, dripping monochrome blood. It had a banner under it that said, simply, ‘Broken’.

My vision was blurring when I walked out into sunlight. My eyes seemed to be watering. I slipped the pencil sketch into my shirt pocket.

I could still smell her on me. My hands, my face. When I pissed behind a dumpster before getting in my van, I could still smell her on my cock.

I went home. Crawled into a bottle and stayed there.

[center] *** [/center]

It was a week later when I broke down and called. I got metal-mouth, and managed to extract “she’s not here” from his grunts and clicks. He hung up without any other useful communication. I tried again two days after, got the same, finally asked if I could talk to Patrick.

Patrick was evasive. Suspicious. Stuck with the party line, she wasn’t in the shop; then he let slip that Wanton hadn\u201aÄôt been back since the convention. He wouldn’t say more, just hung up on me.

I hit the shop two slow cross-bay hours of traffic later. “Where is she, Patrick?”

He was outside, smoking. “You don’t know?” He asked, looking at me with the exaggerated suspicion of a cartoon character. I thought about killing him.

“No.” I could feel the muscles in my shoulders tighten. “Why would I be here, asking YOU?”

He shrugged. I thought more seriously about killing him. Decided it would impede his ability to answer questions.

He told me in bits and pieces; she’d had breakfast with him the morning after. She was quiet, but nothing unusual, though he remembered a fresh cut on her mouth. She\u201aÄôd said she was going to catch a ride back with friends. They’d expected her back in the shop almost a week ago; no o one knew where she was. I got most of this between the lines; he seemed genuinely concerned, but also seemed to think I’d done something, or knew something.

I walked away. Came back.

“Tell her to call me – are you listening to me?”

He was non-committal. I stepped closer, put a finger to his chest. “I’m telling you, PATRICK, I’m telling you – you have her call me, or you call me when she shows up. Or I’m coming back here, and I’m going to make GODDAMNED sure you won’t be doing any tattoos for a while”.

He went pale – paler, anyway.
“YOU – FUCKING – GOT ME?” I was almost nose-to-nose with him.

He didn’t look away. He met my eyes. I’ll give him credit, I think I scared the hell out of him, but he looked me dead on.

I shoved a business card in his shirt pocket and walked away.

Two days later, he called my work number. Late, after I’d gone, I think on purpose so he wouldn’t have to talk to me. “She’s back at work” was the message he left on my voice mail. No name, no details, just that.

And I was back to where I’d started. She was there. I was here. I needed her, but she’d asked me, again, to stay away.

But it was a little different now. The ink-less tattoo on my back was healing, didn’t hurt anymore. But I could feel the raised lines it left behind, even if they couldn’t be seen. I knew I was going to see her again. She was part of me now.

She didn’t call me. Not that I expected her to. I called twice, but couldn’t get her. Left the same message each time, ‘tell her I called’.

I walked into the shop, Sunday afternoon. The place was busy, Patrick and metal-face working the counter, the back working area a roar of music and tattoo machines. Wanton wasn’t on the floor, but he station wasn’t buttoned up.

A few minutes later, she came down the stairs, walked to the front, consulted a datebook, shouted something to the desk guys.

She was faced away from me. I said her name. She flinched, but didn’t turn.

“Wanton!” I said again, louder. She turned her head, looked over her shoulder. She acknowledged me, barely, and then continued her exchange with Iron Jaw.

I stood my ground and waited. Eventually she stepped to the desk. She looked at me, said nothing.

She looked rough. Tired. Pale. Her lips were chapped, her eyes dull. Gorgeous, I thought, for all that.

“I had to see you, I…” I trailed off, tongue-tied as usual when seeing her.

“It’s ok. I knew you would.” She looked over her shoulder at someone, then back at me. She bit her lip. Tore out my heart.

“Buy me a drink, ok?” she said. Shouted to an older man in the back; “Ed? I’m gonna go.” The shop’s owner, her boss.

He said something I didn’t catch. She walked toward his station. There was an exchange. He looked unhappy, tapped his watch, gestured at the crowded lobby. Patrick looked at them, looked at me, and then went back to helping a customer with a book of flash.

She came out past me. Shoved past a couple of customers, not waiting for me to follow. I caught up with her at the bottom of the stairs. She was lighting a cigarette.

“C’mon,” she said, gesturing across the street in the direction of a slightly less seedy bar. Again, took off without waiting for me, or even looking for cross-traffic.

The bar was dark, smoky. That universal dive bar smell, cheap beer and whiskey, tobacco and sweat, pain and despair.

She ordered wordlessly, pointed, showed a couple fingers. Same thing for both of us.

I paid. Cheap draft beer, two shots of off-brand whiskey. The barkeep was ready to pour another round before she had the shot glass back down on the bar.

For once, I didn’t feel like drinking. I sipped the beer. She looked at me, drank my shot. Rapped the glass on the bar to get another.

We still hadn’t exchanged a word.
I touched her, a hand on her shoulder. She shrugged it away.

I let my hand fall, picked up and drank a shot. More for something to do than because I wanted it.

She lit another cigarette. “Just when I drink,” she said, waving the smoke in front of me. I hadn’t noticed the smoke smell on her, before.

There was a burn on her hand. The diameter of a cigarette. It looked fresh. Looking closer, it seemed like there might be a few more, under the ink on her forearm. Some of them looked old, some less so. And other marks, higher up, old, on the inside of her elbow.

“We need to talk.” I stopped, started again. “About us. We need to talk”.

“Is there an us?” She wouldn’t look at me.

“I want there to be.” I wanted to turn her around. Make her look at me.

“You fucked me. Made me come. That doesn’t make us – ‘Us’.” She ground out her smoke, lit another.

“What does it mean then?” My voice sounded high and strident. I sipped my beer, drank it off, not waiting to be drunk, but needing to do something.

“It means we had sex”. “Just that?”

“Alright.” She looked at me. The sneer was coming back. She was flushed from the drink. “Alright. It means we had great sex. Fantastic sex.”

I waited – wanted her to go on.

“So?” she said. “Good sex is a hundred bucks down the street. Great sex is a G uptown.”

“It was more than that.”

She looked away. Shook her head. Didn’t answer.

I waved the bartender down. Ordered more beer.

“I want it to be more than that” I started again. “I want us to be more than that.” I sipped. At least the beer was cold. “I want to see you, be – be with you.”

She looked back at me. Looked away. Waved her shot glass for a refill. “Just give us the bottle,” she told the bartender. “e’s payin’ for it.” She jerked a thumb in my direction. The old black man looked my way for approval, made the universal ‘show me money’ gesture, fingers and thumb rubbing together.

I dropped a fifty on the bar.
I tried again. “I want to take you out.”

She interrupted me. “You want to fucking DATE me?” Incredulous, derisive. She tossed back another shot, slammed the glass down with a loud crack. “You want to be my fucking BOYFRIEND?” She was almost shouting now. An aging hooker down the bar looked at us, pleased, finding soap opera drama here in her favorite watering hole.

“No – yes – I don’t…”

“Get the fuck away from me.” Not shouting now. Cold. She stepped off the barstool, stumbled, and then walked away. Out the door.

I sat. Paralyzed.
“Whatt’a ya’ doing, dipshit? Go after her!” the hooker said.

I pushed away from the bar, almost knocking over a barstool. The barkeep waved my bottle and my change at me.

I’m not sure why. I took the bottle. Left the change.

She was walking away, but not very fast. Knew I’d come after her. Didn’t stop and wait for me, but I caught up in a few steps.

“Where are you parked?” she asked, unexpectedly. “What do you drive?”

I gestured down the street. It was getting dark.

‘You need a ride?” I asked.

“I need a drink,” she answered.

We walked, tuned into an alley. I was parked behind a dumpster, in shadows. Stupid place to park, in this neighborhood, but my van was unharmed.

“This yours?” she asked.

I drive an old Ford Econoline van. It once sported the logo of a house painter, badly lettered on the side. I found it for sale when the previous owner died, his wife not knowing how much to ask. I picked it up for nothing, worked on in all that summer. It was my teenage rolling party, the van full of big house bongs and party kegs. I’d always planned to sell it when I got out on my own, but never did. It sat in a friend’s back yard for a couple years while I was riding motorcycles and not wanting to be seen in an old van. But now, I had a mechanic who thought the old thing was cool. We’d been fixing it up, hot-rodding the engine, new paint, new carpet in the back. It was cherry red, with sacred hearts and skulls, ‘Sailor Jerry’ flash painted on the sides.

“Yeah,” I said. “It’s mine”.

She shook her head. Sneering again. Took the bottle from me, twisted off the top. She pulled the keys from my belt loop and opened the door. Climbed into the driver’s seat.

I walked around, got in, shotgun. Took the keys away from her when she tried to find the ignition.

“You’re in no shape…” I began.

“You want to date me, huh?” Derisive. Made the word an insult. “I’m not your goddamned girlfriend. I’m your fucking whore.”

I stared at her. She reached across, grabbed my belt, yanked in open. I should have stopped her. I helped her instead.

She grinned at me. Took a pull from the bottle, then she found my little baggie of whites tucked into the visor. She crunched a couple, washed then down with more whiskey, and handed the bottle to me.

I drank. Closed my eyes. Felt her hands on my cock, and then her mouth.

It’s not that I’ve had a lot of blowjobs. It’s not an expert, a blowjob connoisseur. But I’ve always thought there was no such thing as a bad blowjob. She was terrible at it. Teeth, hand gripping the shaft too tight, gagging herself, stopping every time it felt right. She was hurting me.

“Take off ‘yer pants” she ordered me, coming up for air and more whiskey. I slid them down to my knees. Then she was back at me, the whiskey in her mouth burning, but it felt ok, and she grabbed my balls, squeezed, then jammed a finger into my ass, dry. It hurt; I screamed, grabbed her hair.

“Stop it,” I said. “I want to fuck you”.

She wiped her mouth, sat back. “Go to hell,” she said.

“I’m going to fuck you. Get in the back”.

There are no back seats in my van, just carpet, a couple pillows, an army surplus blanket. I lost my virginity in this van, at 17. I hadn’t had a girl in it, in the back, for a long time.

“What, you’re going to force me?” she scoffed at me. “If I have to.”
“If you want me, you’ll have to.”

She moved, started to get out. I stopped her, grabbed her arm, pulled her back. Shoved her over the back of the seat. She went limp, I thought for a moment she was giving in. I went over the seats after her.

She started kicking me, her engineer boots aiming for my nuts, missing in the dark. She caught my thigh but didn’t have much on the kick. It stung.

I caught her by the throat. Pushed her down. Kissed her. She kissed back. My jeans were still around my knees; I tried to get out of them but wound up tangled.

“Get off of me.” she said.
“No. I’m going to fuck you.”
“You’re wanting to rape me. Say it. Rape.” “No.”

“Then go to hell.” She shoved me, stronger than I expected, sounding a little crazy now, the whites starting to hit her system with the booze. She punched me in the chest. Kept punching me. “Go. To. Hell.” Her fists punctuating her words, then a slap across my face.

“You want me to rape you.” I said. Not a question.

She went limp. Breathing hard. “Fool,” she said. “If I want it, it isn’t rape”. My cock was hard. My face stung from her slaps. I needed to be in her. To take her.

I reached down, pulled up her skirt. Tore her panties. She screamed, then stiff-armed my jaw, driving my teeth into my tongue, drawing blood.

“FUCK!” I yelled, blood spattering her face with my shout. “YOU BITCH! That Fucking HURT!”

Blood was trickling down my chin. She kicked me again, drove her knee into my crotch, hitting home this time. I rolled off of her, doubled up, gagging. Then she was over me, something in her hand, the whiskey bottle. She swung for my head, missed, shattered the bottle against the spare tire. Glass shards dug into my cheek. She jabbed the bottle towards my face, screaming something I couldn’t understand.

I lost control then. Hit her. The pain and desire becoming rage,

I boxed in high school. Wasn’t really good, never learned to defend myself very well. I lost a lot of matches, still have scars from it. But I won a few, too, because I could deliver a decent punch. Usually when I connected, I won.

I fired three quick jabs at Wanton. The second one missed. The first one caught her in the eye, snapped her head back. I felt something crunch, like bone breaking. I learned later it was in my hand, but then, I thought it was her cheekbone. The third punch didn’t do much; she was already pulling away, rolling off. It caught her in the chest.

Then she was gone. Out of the van, running down the street. I lost her, couldn’t get my pants on, landed face down as I came out of the van. By the time I was up, I could see a cab screaming away up the street, moving before the door was even closed.

Something golden was caught on the ring I wear on my right hand. Her nose ring, bent out of shape and bloody.

I watched the cab recede into the distance. Stood after it was gone. I felt blood dripping from my chin, my tongue swelling. I mumbled her name, wishing I could die, right here.


[center] *** [/center]

I’d finished the whites on the way home. Bought meth from my neighbor after that. Bought a lot of it.

The next few days are a blur. I know I didn’t sleep. I think I didn’t eat. I recall trying to stitch the cuts on my face with a travel sewing kit, pink thread and a dull needle. I Gave up (my hands were shaking) and repaired the cuts with krazy glue instead.

Parts of this time are simply gone from my memory. I wish it could all be gone.

I wanted to be dead. Played next-car-game waiting for the police to show up, arrest me for attempted rape, assault. I knew I’d fucked myself forever, I’d never see her again.

Eventually, the crank ran out. Or I forgot where I stashed it in some paranoid moment. A while later, so did the whisky, and then the beer. And then I slept for three years.

When I finally dragged myself out, bruised, filthy, unshaved, I didn’t know what time, what day it was.

I didn’t check my phone messages for another two days.

Somehow I kept my job. I’d been missing – cell phone turned off, not checking in, just gone – for most of a week. I’m not sure why they didn’t fire me. Maybe the fresh scars on my face just scared them.

When I finally checked my messages, I found I had dozens. Mostly hang-ups, two or three a day, interspersed with “will you be in” calls from work and then later “Where the hell are you”.

Then there she was, her voice on my machine; “Hey Matteo, how are you? I’m ok. I miss you”. I thought I was losing my mind. “So I’m still thinking about you, how good you cock felt in my mouth.”

I thought, What the fuck?

She reached me that night, in person. I was lifting weights, my hand still aching but trying to ignore it.

The phone rang. I tried to finish my set. It rang again. “Fuck it” I growled, pounded the barbell into the rack. I grabbed the phone off the hook.

“Yes?” I barked into the receiver.
“What are you wearing?” she asked, in a breathy, sexy voice. The incongruity of it, the absurdity, left me absolutely speechless. “Baby? Did I lose you?”
“I – I’m here.” I stammered.
“Mmmmmm…” she purred.
“Are you – how is your…”
“Shhh!” she said. “None of that.”
I was silent, listening to her breathe.

“Take off your clothes,” she said. “I’m wearing a thong. Nothing else. You like me in a thong, don’t you baby?”

The universe had off-kilter. The woman I’d almost beaten to death was now talking like a phone sex slut in my ear. And goddamnit if I wasn’t reacting.

“I’m sweaty. Shorts. I’ve been lifting weights.” I said. No idea why I was playing along, even less idea why I was telling her the truth.

“Uuuughh.” A back of the throat noise. I couldn’t tell what it meant. “I’m touching myself,” she whispered. “I want to lick the sweat off your tattoos.”

“You’re making me hard,” I told her. Faintly angry about the fact, not hiding the anger. “Of course I am.” She laughed. “I can make you anything I want”.
My cock throbbed. I untied my shorts, dropped them to the floor. Closed my eyes. “Are you rubbing your cock?” she asked.

“No.” I was lying.

“My fingers are wet. Do you want me to taste them?”

I swallowed. “Yes,” I said. My eyes were still closed.

Wet, exaggerated sucking noises. A little girl voice. “Oh, it tastes so good.” I swallowed. Unable to speak.

There was a noise in the background over the phone, a clatter, a fumbling sound. “…have to go.” She hissed. The phone slammed down.

I came, weakly, come dribbling though my fingers. I opened my eyes, Stared at the phone in my left hand. Wishing that I’d never met her.

The call was the same, the next night. Late though, she woke me up. Whispering, telling me about what she was doing. Using little girl words, titties, clitty. Telling me she wanted my great big cock. Some of it sounded like she was reading it off a card. She wouldn’t let me talk, other than to tell her about how my cock felt in my hand, asking me to taste my pre-come and tell her. She hung up as soon as I came, didn’t even say goodbye, just clicked off.

The next call – at work this time, 11am – she wanted me to jerk off in my office. I tried to talk. Find out if she was ok, what the hell we were doing. She shushed me, then hung up when I said I wanted to see her.

That night’s call, her words were slurred, hard to understand. She told me about her vibrator, what she was doing with it. I only pretended to masturbate.

After that, the calls got less frequent, but the slurring seemed worse, or she’d be talking fast, seemed wired. I stopped answering the phone after ten most nights.

“I don’t want to do this,” I told her one night. She sounded clearer than usual. Had started with “Hey” instead of stage sex talk. She paused, a long silence.

“Then what do you want?” she asked. “You.”

“No. I’m not yours. I won’t, can’t be.”

I was silent.
“Should I stop calling you?” she asked.

I swallowed. Started to say ‘yes’. Then to say ‘no’. Finally, all I could think to say was the simple truth.

“Wanton, I love you”.

Long silence.

“Go to hell,” she said quietly. Sniffed, hung up the phone. The line went dead.

I started at the receiver in my hand for a long time.

“This has to fucking change,” I said to the empty air.

Sunday. I called the shop at noon, the posted opening time. There was no answer. I Finally got through to a person at 1:15. I Asked for Wanton, then for Patrick.

“I need to reach her, Patrick.”
“She doesn’t want to talk to you.”
“Is she there?”
“She’s never here, if it’s you calling.”
“Patrick.” A little louder this time.
“Don’t you fucking threaten me.”
“Patrick.” My voice caught. “I need to talk to her.”

I think it was the catch in my voice. He sounded a little less hostile. “She’s really not here.” “When will she be?”
“I can’t…” he trailed off.
“I – I love her, Patrick.” My voice catching. I heard him sigh.

“She’s going to kill me. She’d due in a three. Call at three-fifteen, I’ll get her on.” “She’ll talk to me?”

“I’ll get her on the phone. I can’t make her do anything – anything beyond that. No one can make Wanton do anything she doesn’t want to do.”

I watched the clock. Did push-ups. Watched the clock some more. Tried to make it move faster. 3:15 took months to roll around. I waited another agonizing minute, finally called at 3:16. Patrick answered. “She’s here” was all she said. He put the phone down, didn’t put me on hold. I could hear music, voices.

“What?” she snapped into the phone, when she picked it up. “Wanton.”
“I’m coming to get you.”

“Are you out of your mind?”
“Yes I am.” I think it might have been true. “I have to see you.”
“I’m working.”
“I don’t care.”
“You’re going to kidnap me?” She sounded amused, suddenly.
I didn’t start with a plan. One was coming together.
“Fuck you.” She had a way of saying that, made it sound affectionate. “I’m off work at 10.” She was waiting out front, 9:50, when I drove by. I stopped, backed up.

She clattered down the stairs, got in. She threw her cigarette out the window. Looked at a pair of handcuffs on the dashboard.

“Do I need to use those?” I asked. “I also have a blindfold.” “What are we doing?” she asked.
“I’m kidnapping you. You don’t get to ask.”
“Don’t fuck with me,” she snapped.

I drove. Past liquor stores, gas stations. Pulled in, some el rancho motel or something, with a broken neon sign that once showed a neon girl diving into a neon pool. We parked where the pool once was, now an uneven space in the concrete parking lot.

“Here?” she asked.
“All night,” I said.
I grabbed her wrist. Held. She pulled. I held tighter, looked into her eyes. “You don’t get a vote.”

Her eyes widened, temper flaring. The she smiled. She leaned over, kissed the side of my face. Whispered, the little girl voice from the phone calls. Something I couldn’t make out, muffled against my cheek. Kissed me again, on the mouth.

I got out. Checked us in, paying cash. ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’.

She was out of the car when I came back. . I grabbed my bag, locked the van.

Room 13. Lucky 13.

It was cool in the room; the ac running. She looked around. Dropped her purse. She turned to look at me. First time I’d seen her in the light.

Her left eye showed residual purple; results of the black eye I’d given her. I stepped close, touched her face. “I – I’m…” she touched my face, traced the healing cuts around my eye. Said nothing. She’d replaced her nose ring – a thicker gauge this time. The hole was ragged, where the old one had torn out.

“Your eye,” I said. “Your nose.”

“It’s nothing.”


“Bruises are pretty,” she said. “And it’s not like people at work haven’t seen me with a shiner before.

She turned away. “The one my chest is prettier.”

I flexed my hand, still aching and a little swollen. I’d cracked a bone or something, never had it looked at. “I shouldn’t have – “

“Stop,” she said. “It didn’t happen. It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters.” She walked away, toward the bathroom.
“I need a shower,” she said. “Go get us something to drink.”
“What do you feel like drinking?” I asked.

She stopped in the bathroom door, looked at me over her shoulder. Game me a Betty Boop wiggle. “It’s a martini sort of night,” she said, the voice going with the move.

I walked across the street, bought gin and ice. I wondered if she’d be there when I got back. My car-keys were on the table in the motel room.

The shower was running when I got back; I dumped ice in the bucket, stuck the gin bottle in. My bag and toilet kit were open, my razor and toothbrush missing, nothing else touched. I sat on the bed, listed to the shower run, then stop.

She came out wrapped in a towel; hair wet, face flushed. I could see the fading purple bruise on her chest, above her left breast. It was partially hidden between tattoos.

“Mix me a drink,” she said.

Her mouth tasted of gin, a few minutes later. She’d tossed one back, was sipping another. She looked fucking good in a towel. I kissed her, realized I’d never seen her naked. Kissed her again. Gin tastes good in a woman’s mouth.

She turned away. Put down her drink, Opened the towel. She Looked over her shoulder at me, made a serpentine, dancing move. The towel sliding over her ass. She turned back, pulling the towel around her again. Told me to get comfortable.

I did. Took of my boots, my jeans. Pulled off my tee shirt. I tossed my clothes across the room. Watching her all the while as she did a slow bump and grind. “We need music,” she said.

I found a Motown station on the cheap clock radio that was bolted to the end table. Week reception, static, but it didn’t matter. I peeled the covers back. She was behind me, towel open, wrapping it around me. I could feel her breasts against my back. She continued her slow dance, her body warm and damp. The towel dropped, and she was on her knees, peeling my boxers down, kissing the place she’d tattooed me, gently biting my ass cheek. Her hands slid up and down my sides. Slow.

I was afraid to move. Afraid to disrupt this. But then her hand was between my legs, her fingers stroking my balls. I turned, looked down at her. She smiled up at me.

“So,” she said, the little girl voice again. “What should we do now?”

I lifted her to her feet. Held her. Then looked at her, at arms length, my hands on her shoulders. Tattoos across her shoulders, down her sides, framing her small, round breasts. She had pierced nipples, thick gold rings.

“I want you so – so badly.” I said, through clenched teeth.

Her head tilted back. She looked at me though half-closed lids. Her sneering smile widening. “For now – right now, you have me.”

I crushed her to me, hard enough to knock breath from her. Felt the rings in her nipples dig into my chest. Her mouth found mine.

We’d kissed before, but this was different. This wasn’t a rush, an attack. This was ‘let’s start over’, ‘let’s get to know each other’.

I held her, slowly taking more of her weight as her body molded itself to mine.

Her lips were soft, her tongue, gentle. We explored each other carefully, not pressing too fast. Both with eyes closed. I could feel her nose ring as we shifted, changing sides. My cock pressed into her belly. I held her tight against me, not wanting to rub against her, not yet, trying to pace this, keep it slow.

Her tongue explored my mouth; I opened, welcoming. I could feel her explore the chips in my teeth, souvenirs of my misspent youth.

She pulled away, pressed her cheek to mine, let out a stuttering, ragged sighing breath. Her face rested against my shoulder. I could feel her teeth, gripping my skin, but not – quite – biting.

She whispered my name.

Tableau: We held there. Frozen. Breathing. Knowing movement – any movement – would change this.

Then slowly, she withdrew. Lifted her head, arms sliding from around me to her sides. She leaned back, our pelvises still together. My arms around her waist supporting her.

She looked at me, her eyes wet, blinking. She sniffed. Wiped her nose with the back of her hand. I caught her hand in mine, kissed it.

She pushed me, away, then down onto the bed. Gentle, smiling now. She stood over me, looking at my cock.

“Oooh,” she said, in the little girl voice. “So big!”

She was kneeling on the bed now, over me, astride me. Leaned forward, her hands on my chest. She stroked, found my nipples. Played with them. Then lowered her face to my chest, sucked my nipple, and then bit. Gently.

I moaned. Pushed her away, off, rolled over with her, me on top now. I kissed the bruise on her chest, then found her nipple, the ring. Sucked. The faint musk of her skin intoxicated me.

I kissed from one nipple to the other; her legs were rubbing against mine, sliding up my thighs, outside, then between. Her arms were above her head, her back arching as I sucked and then bit her nipples. She moaned faintly, sighed, still in that voice.

I began to work down. Tracing down her breastbone, her navel, kissing my way around it, following the tattoos, twined leaves and flowers. My tongue explored her navel. She shivered.

“Oooh, eat me, daddy, suck my honey pot.” I was vaguely aware of what she was saying; but my focus was on other senses.

She’s shaved herself, when she showered. Smooth and pink, a vaguely heart-shaped thatch of sandy-gold pubic hair left. She was slickly wet, shining. I kissed the crooked patch of hair, smelled the hot female scent of her. Licked wetness from her inner thighs, her labia, the tiny gold rings. The cheeks of her ass. Trying not to hurry. Not opening her, not touching her clit.

Her lips were swollen; she tried to push her hips up, arch up into my face. I held her down, hand on her belly. Heard faint mumbles from her, something pornographic. I slipped the tip of my tongue between her lips, tasting salty-sweet. I stroked the tip of her clit while she gasped and stroked my scalp, the back of my neck.

I sat back, looked at her; eyes closed, mouth open, far away for a moment. She pursed her lips, brought her hands to her crotch, stroked her pussy with one hand. “Come back,” she said softly.

I put my hands under her knees; pulled them up, spread them. I wanted to open her, expose her. She sucked in breath through clenched teeth.

Still holding her legs up, I lowered my face, licked her cunt, swallowed. I felt for the tip of her clit with my tongue, teased it, flicked, then worked down; tongue-fucked her once or twice. She bucked, gasped, then started in the little girl voice again – “Oh, yes, Daddy, yes, you lick it so good…”

I wanted her to stop. Reared up, threw myself at her, kissed her. Found her cunt with my hand while I shoved my tongue into her mouth.

She sucked, licked her own juices from my face; “Oh, I taste so good” she moaned. Then “My turn, Big Daddy” and she pushed me over, climbed on top of me.

“Want to put that great big cock in my tight little pussy?” she said, straddling me, grinding her hips into mine. I cupped her breasts in my hands, thrust up against her.

“Yes – oh god, yes.” I moaned.

She took the shaft in her hand, raised her hips, rubbed the head of my cock in her wetness, played it over her clit. Then slowly, slowly, lowered herself onto me, working my cock in, an inch at a time.

I stopped breathing. Stopped thinking. Stopped being anything but cock. She squeezed me, muscles clenching, hard enough to hurt. We exhaled together, great ragged wordless noises, held still for long, long seconds, and then began to move together. Her hands were on my chest, her hips working up and down. I grasped her waist, let her lead, helped her motions as she gradually picked up speed. Soon I was thrusting up into her, now my motions guiding our rhythm.

She was riding me like a rodeo cowboy, one hand on my groin, one raised above hear head; soon she was shouting to go along with this, “Oh, baby!” “Harder!” And once, an absurd “Yahoo!”

I pulled her down, crushing her to my chest, to kiss her, but also to shut her up. Then I lifted her, pushed her off.

She rolled onto her stomach, raised her ass into the air; I pushed my cock into her from behind, grabbing her hips, pulling her against me. I pushed her face down into a pillow to muffle her. I could still hear it, though, “you fuck me so good, so hard, oh yeah, oh baby”. Some sort of weird porn-movie soundtrack.

“Stop it!” I said. In between thrusts “Stop.” Thrust. “Talking.” Thrust. “Like” Thrust “That!” Pulled out of her. Rolled her over, looked into her face.

“Come on my tits, Big Daddy,” she said. “Shoot that stuff all over my tummy.” My cock throbbed.

“Stop it,” I said. She smiled, reached for my cock. Pulled me into her. She pulled me down, taking my weight on her chest, pulling my ass ’til I was all the way in. Clenched tight. She kissed me, hard, long, her tongue thrusting deep into my mouth.

“Make me come,” she whispered, her real voice this time, as I thrust into her, felt my orgasm start, felt hers along with it.

She came, silent, shuddering, biting her lip, legs thrashing. She finished with gasps, and then sobs.

I felt myself near tears, overcome, so filled with the need to tell her I could barely contain it. But didn’t, didn’t say the words; ‘I love you’.

We rolled over together, ended on our sides. We stayed that way until our breathing, in sync now, slowed. Then she slid away from me, our bodies slick with sweat and come. “I have to pee,” she said, and giggled, not the cartoon voice, but real, deep and throaty. She left the door open; I could hear her go. She came back with a glass of water, and a towel, began to towel me off as I drank.

She switched off the light, crawled in next to me in the bed. Stroked me, my chest, my cock. She’d popped a candy in her mouth when she’d gotten up; her breath smelled of cinnamon. I fell asleep to the soft sound of hear breath.

I woke in the middle of the night. Turned to look at her, her face visible in dim light from the street. She lay beside me, eyes open, facing the ceiling. Silent tears streamed down her

cheeks. I said noting, touched her cheek, wiped away tears. Then moved close, kissed, licked away the salty wetness from her face.

We made love quietly, no talk, no nonsense. Her on top, controlling the pace. Kissing throughout, gently. She never came, but brought me off, then kissed her way down to my cock, sucked until I was soft, licked my balls. Her head still rested on my hip when I went back to sleep.

Morning. The sound – feel – of an empty room. I knew she was gone before I opened my eyes. I crawled out of bed, glad I’d barely touched the gin, glad for once of a clear head.

I pissed, brushed my teeth, washed my face. Still not awake, trying not to deal with her absence.

I stood in the middle of the room. Looked around. Felt the emptiness. Inside, as well as out. Began to pack.

The note was with my keys. One word. ‘Goodbye’.

Nothing else. No names, no signature, no message. The finality of it deadly clear to me. She’d taken the gin bottle with her, left nothing behind but the sweet smell of her on bed, sink, toilet, on my skin, everywhere she’d touched. I stood, breathed her in, tried to tell myself it was ‘c-ya’, ‘later on’, ‘TTFN’, some trite stupid thing.


I drove home. Pulled tapes from a box in my van. Songs about misery and suicide. I listened to Matthew Sweet sing about needing someone to pull the trigger, to the Gin Blossoms singing about blowing the whole thing and being alone – all the things they sang about before the song- writer offed himself with a .38.

I wished I were a songwriter, so I could make the way I felt sound lyrical. Wished I were sincere enough to think about suicide without feeling stupid.