The shoulders were about right, she thought. The height – perhaps he was an inch or two shorter – but that didn’t matter for much. Weight is something she’d never been good at estimating but perhaps this man was carrying just a little more muscle than was ideal.
Giving her drink a clockwise quarter turn, its thick base rumbled as it slid over the slightly uneven surface of the wood.
At least he was dark haired and eyed. Had he been blond, he wouldn’t have served her purpose at all. And there was no question he was unattached, at least for the evening. No woman at his side, no ring on his finger and, were that not enough, there was the vaguely predatory look in his eyes. Not that it would have mattered in the least had he been married. She was not shopping for commitment. But, even so, his eyes more than anything else, told her that, on being approached, she would not be rejected.
Almost with the lassitude of someone who has a necessary but unpleasant job to do, she stood up, wove her way between the busy tables, and took the stool next to his at the bar.
Up close, her determination wavered. Small details jarred with her requirements and she considered the wisdom, the ethics, the coldness of her plan. His hands weren’t right. They were too delicate and their slightly ragged cuticles spoke of a nervousness that put her off.
But then he smiled. White, white teeth set off against a tanned face. The curve of his muscular back where the neat pale blue shirt tucked into his belted chinos. Maybe it would be enough, she thought. Maybe she could find a way to like him for who he was? That would go such a very long way to assuaging her sense of self-loathing at what she was about to do.
And then the dance began. The way it always does and always will. The politeness that leads to the warm hint of innuendo. The light laughter about a light subject. The signs and symbols, the glance and the word that pairs any prospective couple to one another and separates them from the crowd.
Someone had trained him well, she thought. He listened far more than he spoke. And because of this – because she was waiting so intently to hear that indefinable thing that would either set her on her course or cause her to politely take her leave and bolt – there were some uncomfortable silences.
Without being obvious, she leaned in to the conversation, estimating the angle of his vision and its relation to the swell of her cleavage. Her head tilted artfully with the express purpose of exposing the length of her bare neck, so her hair brushed with demure invitation over her collarbone.
With the next sentence, his too delicate fingers reached across the expanse of wood and brushed over the back of her hand. His knee nudged her stockinged lower thigh. And in a moment of self-consciousness, he drained the liquid in his glass, fixed his gaze to hers and said, “Wow. You’re very beautiful, you know that?”
It would have been so much better if she could have felt that natural swell of pride, followed almost predictably in women, by a need to make an attempt at modesty. But she didn’t feel it. She didn’t care if she was beautiful, or if he thought she was. But all at once she knew that she could not sustain much more of this pretense.
She would either have to be honest about what she was after, or admit that she could not follow through and leave. Draining her own drink, she gave him a kittenish smile – the kind calculated to assure a man that she was as far from being a threat as anything possibly could be.
“Come here,” she murmured. “I want to make you a proposition.”
His eyebrows – which really were far, far too sparse – arched flirtatiously. “A proposition? Now that sounds interesting.” He bent forward, their faces almost touching and let her bring her lips up to his ear.
“Do you want to fuck me?”
For a moment, he said nothing. A noise that was uncomfortably too close to a giggle broke from his throat as he pulled back and looked, not into her face, but at some unspecified row of bottles at the back of the bar. “Um… well, yes. I guess I do.”
“You guess you do? Or you do?” She forged seriousness into her tone. And beneath the words lurked the subtextual warning that she wasn’t tolerant of adolescent behavior in a man.
“I…I do.” He locked his eyes to hers, sensing that perhaps the offer would evaporate. “I definitely do.”
“Good. Now here’s the deal: I want to fuck you and pretend your someone else. I don’t want you to say another word, because you don’t sound like him. Can you do that?”
He furrowed his brow and laughed again. This time it wasn’t a giggle. He was trying to figure out if he should be offended. “You’re joking, right?”
“No. I’m dead serious. Can you do it?”
“Do I look like this other guy?”
“Yes, superficially.” This wasn’t going the way she planned. She shook off the implications of the question. “Look, do you want to fuck or not?”
Yet another laugh. If he kept this up, she was going to have to leave.
“Sure. I…guess….Yes. You’re hot.”
“Fine. Then just don’t say anything else.” She forced a friendliness into her voice that she was sure sounded false. “We go up to your room. I give you the best blowjob you have ever had. We fuck. Everyone’s happy. Okay?”
His eyes narrowed “Are you a…pro? Because I don’t pay for it. I’ve never paid for it.” The words came out in a rushed mixture of offense and embarrassment.
“No…look. I’m not a hooker. It’s absolutely free. No strings at all. I just get to pretend you’re someone else. In order to do that, you have to shut up.” Her patience and her courage were both wearing thin. “Can you do that?”
* * *
He kissed her in the elevator. Perhaps because he had begun to find the idea liberating. She closed her eyes and tried to shut out all the sensations that didn’t seem right. He was tentative and gentle.
In the sterile hotel room behind the closed door, she could feel his desire growing, for stuttered moments she forced the idea of him, of his scent, of his touch into the thing she wanted it to be.
With her blouse off, on her knees, she undid his pants and unzipped him, pulling out a nicely proportioned and usefully erect cock, and set to work doing what she knew she did very well.
It throbbed against her tongue; it lurched as she drew the length of it into her mouth. She closed her eyes and began to suck him expertly. And she was there…. where she wanted to be, pleasuring the only man in the world she cared for.
Blindly, she reached for his hand and pulled it to her head, urging him to get a grip of her hair.
His hand was gentle. His hips didn’t thrust. He would not take from her what she was offering. The cruelty of the real crept up her chest and closed her throat. His scent wasn’t right. The taste was different. Where was the urgent quiver of coiled pleasure in his hips?Â Where was the dark, deep growl that should slide down her spine as he breached her throat?
This wasn’t right. This was flaccid, sluggish convenience. Good natured, casual consumation. It was not him. It would never be him. Nothing in the world would make it him. No trick, no silence, no amount of alcohol, no suspension of disbelief. And, to her utter horror, the poor bastard she was using with such spectacular lack of success realized that something was amiss.
“Hey, baby,” he said, sounding as gentle as a man with his cock down a woman’s throat can ever sound. “What’s wrong?”
She gripped the base of his cock and finished him off as fast as she knew how. It took her less than three minutes to pull on her shirt, button it and get out of the room.
As she stood at the banks of elevators, fighting down her tears and jabbing uselessly at the call button, he stepped out of the room.
“What the fuck did I do wrong?” he asked.
“Then why the hell are you leaving?”
The doors to the elevator whispered open with a demure chime that sounded at once polite and impatient. She stepped in and closed her eyes until the doors slid closed.
“You’re not him.”