The Stand In

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?  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.

“Nothing.”

“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.”

  18 comments for “The Stand In

  1. July 21, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Your back. Missed you.

  2. Jeff
    July 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    That was exactly what I needed this morning.Words that lead me by the hand,take me away from this world of cars and phones ,of lights and train wrecks.

    thank-you.

  3. City Different
    July 22, 2010 at 2:01 am

    So well crafted; so true to the heart’s sense of absence, longing, desperation, frustration; so heartbreakingly sad.

  4. July 22, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Wow, that’s good, very real dissection of desperation. Her pragmatic attempt to trick reality. So cool: ‘usefully erect cock.’ Enjoyed the observations behind women receiving compliments & bargaining with attraction,his & hers.

  5. W
    July 22, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    So aching

  6. Master
    July 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    poignant. you are, as always, amazing.

  7. janeway
    July 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I think you do emotional self-torture and psychic pain better than anyone.

  8. July 22, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I cried.

    Even though I still get to suck his cock every week, I cried.

    I started thinking of – no, I FELT the pain of losing him, and of how completely impossible it would be to find even a vague approximation of him, and I cried into my bagel.

    And then I saw all the things you do that make you such a good writer, and realized how much I have to learn.

    Thank you on all counts.

    o.g.

  9. Ladyj
    July 24, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Just visiting. I love your prose. You’re so succinct.

  10. July 26, 2010 at 2:47 am

    Nobody can be “him” but him alone… Again, you paint stark loneliness and loss with great skill and feeling. Thank you for always putting into words what I feel but cannot express.. sorry for fangirling so hard 😉

  11. August 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Very nice. As always very well-written. An excellent story.

  12. ashes
    September 8, 2010 at 6:46 am

    The pain in that one is wrenching. It hurt to place yourself where she is & know that no matter how superficially alike they are there will be all those major details that are just wrong.

    Once again a fantastic write 😉

  13. audrey
    November 25, 2010 at 2:26 am

    I love the way you set up your characters.

    “Someone had trained him well, she thought.”

    That killed me.

  14. steve
    March 20, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    You arouse your readers to the edge of a cliff and I was disappointed.
    Was that ur intent????

    • March 20, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      Because sometimes, things just don’t work out. No matter how much you want them to. I’m thrilled you were disappointed. I was, too.

  15. Anastaria
    July 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    i feel really bad for the guy, and i dont like that girl….

  16. Dullah
    September 5, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    First time reading your work. Impressed. I began this search looking for somewhere to post my writings. My ability to appreciate your writing is unfortunately limited, as I’m locked up and using my cellphone (contraband). However, I intend to keep reading, learning and commenting. Don’t know if you enjoy reading erotica as much as you enjoy writing it. I’m a prisoner for awhile more and would love to share my writings as well. Perhaps you can assist in that regard. The heart is not small enough to love only one. Peace, Dullah.

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