By A.J. Bray
Hot, public sex with a stranger. Ancient tribal magic inducing a high-society lesbian orgy. One man's sudden attraction to another man. An exotic gypsy woman's seductive power. A petite escort leads a menage-a-trois, and a transman gets even with his wayward lover.
Six erotic tales that explore sexuality, gender, and attraction. In this collection, the emphasis is on the fluid nature of lust, without any pretext. No morning-after, no thought to consequences, just pure action.
No matter what your orientation, release your inhibitions for a wild ride through the flexibility of sexuality...
The cursor on the screen blinked back at my tired, watery eyes. I'd been staring at the same unfinished line on Page 146 for over an hour when the telephone rang.
"Hey, Sandra! Where the hell have you been?" Tanya squeaked into my ear before I had a chance to answer the phone.
"Where do you think I've been? Sitting here with Marco the Cabana Boy, sipping cocktails, while he pampers my perfectly pedicured feet." The irritation in my voice was palpable, but she didn't seem to notice.
"We need to get out tonight. Nothing lame, either. You, me, overpriced alcohol, on the town, in one hour. You get my drift?"
"You know I can't," I said with regret, "I just can't leave with this stupid chapter hanging here like this."
"Are you still harping on that vampire shit? What's wrong with good, old fashioned, trashy romance novels? Why do you have to add in all this weird extra crap? Just make the sex hot and people will buy it. Besides, no one likes vampires anymore."
"I like my vampires," I sniffed, "and I think people will buy it for the hot sex and the dark, gothic feel. Broader readership, see? I just have no clue what to make them do, now. I want them to socialize, but how the fuck do the Undead party? Everything I make them do just seems stupid."
"Whatever." I could tell she was losing interest in the conversation. I hoped she'd drop the idea and call someone else. "Maybe your Vampire People would know how to interact more if the person writing them did, too. 'Write what you know,' or something like that. That's what I learned in junior high English. Besides, and you've probably forgotten what sex is like. You need to get some dick pronto, sweetheart."
I sat there for a minute, stunned. For the first time in her life, Tanya had a point. An excellent point. A very unfortunate, very accurate point. I was trying to manipulate a bunch of characters into social interaction when, between my day job as a call center lackey and my nocturnal literary aspirations, I couldn't even manage to speak civil words to my best friend. Forget the sexy parts. I hadn't touched a man in over a year, and even that was nothing spectacular.
I apologized to her and agreed that we should go out, after all. It had been ages since I let my hair down and, considering the fact that I was trying to write about hedonistic vampire nymphomaniacs, maybe seclusion wasn't the brightest idea. She agreed to pick me up in a half-hour, and I was left to try to dress myself for the public eye.
That was easier said than done. All of my club-appropriate clothing was either too small or too unfashionable, even for me. Thanks to a glance at the cold, frosted windowpane, I settled on a basic black turtleneck, black slacks, and a pair of daring red heels I bought in college, but never wore. I was attempting to fluff my hair when the phone rang again.
"Get down here, Sandy. There's no parking and the cop behind me won't let me sit here with my flashers on for much longer."
I pinned my hair up and considered grabbing my cell phone on the way out, but thought better of it since the only people likely to call me, other than Tanya, would be my parents. That would just be too sad for words, especially if they didn't call.
Once ensconced in the warm car and pulling into traffic, Tanya started grinning. "What?" I asked her, seeing myself falling into another one of her crazy little schemes.
"I have a surprise for you," she sang.
I crossed my arms and glared at her sideways while she drove, knowing very well that she'd understand that it was a pre-emptive "What?"
After a minute, she broke down. "Oh, okay, fine, ruin the surprise! I'll tell you. You know how you're writing about those stupid vampires?" I was silent, but kept looking at her, nodding. "Well, I got to thinking--what if we could see how vampires interact? Maybe then you could finish your damned book, and we could start acting twenty instead of eighty-eight!"
"Okay. So, you called up a few of your Undead buddies and got us into a monster shindig?"
"Well, kind of, yeah! I was checking out the City Paper, and I saw this ad for a new club downtown. It's one of those spooky Goth clubs where, I'm sure, everyone wears fangs and acts out being dead, or something. I figured we'll go there, have a few drinks, watch some weirdoes, laugh at the stupidity, then stumble home full of super-secret vampire knowledge." She was beaming now, obviously proud of her ingenious idea. As odious as it sounded, it seemed like a good plan, for me, at least. When I told her what I thought it, she bounced in her seat, almost hitting a car parked on the side of the street.
When we got there, it was not at all what I imagined. A polite man in a suit was at the front door, checking IDs, while another well-groomed gentleman just inside was taking money for the cover. We attracted a few curious looks from the patrons, most of who were, as predicted, dressed for a Vampire's Ball.
Once we stepped inside my perceptions shattered. Little groups of people milled around candlelit tables, drinking and conversing cordially with one another. Other little groups sat at the bar, greeting people they knew who wandered into their respective bubbles. It looked like an ordinary club--a rather civilized one, at that--except everyone was dressed ... oddly. And not just the three people I saw in capes, either. There were several clusters of guys sporting Anime t-shirts, a girl in a wedding dress, several people in full business attire, and a greasy, balding, little man in a very ugly, brown polyester shirt and matching pants.
"Damn it!" Tanya exclaimed from just behind me. "Where the hell are the necro orgies? The people drinking blood? For seven bucks, you'd think they'd at least have a Red Cross table set up somewhere."
I couldn't help but laugh. I had imagined a setting not unlike the one she just described. We settled at the bar and were discussing what to get when the tattooed bartender in hotpants deposited two very large chocolate martinis in front of us.
"From the gentleman at the far end," she said, reading our confused faces. She smiled, showing off a bizarre piercing between her upper lip and teeth. I noted the rather hypnotic effect it had as it glinted in the club lights, and imagined all the ways I could use it in my book.
"Ya know, this was a good idea," I started to yell to Tanya, but she was already halfway down the bar, drink in hand, making her way to the slick suit who'd ponied up for our drinks. I sighed, took a sip of the delicious liquid candy which had already won Mr. Suit an animated conversation with my long-time friend, and decided to see how the Undead danced.
As I approached the raised dance floor, the music got louder and louder, yet it thankfully lacked the painful, throbbing bass I remembered from my college clubbing days. I was having trouble making out the words when I realized it was all in German, and I, like many university students, had only taken one year of that class and passed with a shaky C average. The dancers were stomping to the fast beat, bouncing around the floor in mock rhythmic anger. Many of them were ecstatic, grinning and mouthing the words in perfect unison to friends who were doing the same.
Just then, the DJ segued the foreign tune into a Depeche Mode song I hadn't heard in years. I smiled, already feeling the alcohol warming my neck and shoulders. At the sound of the opening bars, a whoop rang out amongst many of the patrons at the nearby tables, and a stampede of velvet and leather-clad dancers filled the floor. I found myself swaying with them, but still staying on the fringes of the floor like I'd seen the wallflowers do in high school.
I was just beginning to give birth to an epiphany relating to the irony of the situation, when my eyes were drawn to a flashing object on the dance floor. It appeared to be coming from one of the dancers, a girl dressed in purple with long, long hair. When she spun again, gracefully moving to the off-beats, I watched her barrette catch the light and reflect a tiny diamond pattern across my chest. My breath caught in my throat as I watched her long, sinewy body arch and move to the music. Many of the other dancers seemed to dance with the same style, but none had her fluidity, her grace, her oneness with the music. Her movements were blatantly sexual--from her fluttering hands to her rocking hips, she oozed sensuality.
Then there were the contradictions that I noted as I stared, fixated and mesmerized. Her dark purple, sleeveless blouse was tight across her breasts, and dived low into her cleavage, yet was made of dense velvet so thick it hid her most intimate details like a shell. Her violet skirt was ankle-length, yet was frothy and insubstantial and slung so low on her hips that a strip of flawless olive skin showed, punctuated by another gleaming crystal at her navel. I swallowed the rest of my drink without tasting it, my eyes never leaving her black, swirling hair and bucking hips. The DJ slid that song into another, this one unfamiliar to me, and the girl walked over to a friend on the floor, exiting stage right.
Feeling more than a little uncomfortable shame, I tried to tell myself it was because I was staring, not due to the hot wetness that had formed in my panties. I turned and headed back to the bar, this time requesting a stiff Cosmo from the personable Goth behind the bar. I tipped her and was about to head back to my unobtrusive vantage point when I saw the little stars of light play across my chest. I stopped dead in my tracks and looked toward the source. She was sitting at a small corner table and the greasy little man in brown was hovering, obviously trying to pick her up for the night.
As I stood there watching, she looked at me and caught my eye, a silent cry for salvation. Taking a shaky breath, I headed toward them. When I was quite near, she looked at me and beamed, standing up out from under his gaze. She extended her hand to me and I took it without thinking and drew into a one-armed embrace. It must have been what she planned, because she squeezed me tightly against her body. Her exotic perfume was intoxicating, and I was horrified to realize that I was burying my face in her neck. As if she sensed my humiliation, she ran her dexterous fingers up my spine, sending goose bumps to every inch of my flesh.
I loosened my embrace and stepped back. Her eyes were hypnotic up close, large and dark, fringed with heavy lashes and framed by her thick brows. Her olive skin was perfect over her high cheekbones and delicate nose, but her lips were almost lewd, though--full and wet with gloss. She looked to where Mr. Polyester was retreating to find another victim. At long last, she turned and spoke to me.
"Thank you so much. That man was going to spoil my outfit with his incessant drooling. I'm Shovani, by the way." She laughed, and it rang though my buzzing head like a finely tuned wind chime. I managed to mumble my own name after several false starts, but she didn't seem to notice my fumbling, and motioned for me to sit at the vacant chair across from her own. I sipped my Cosmo with a shaking hand and lowered myself to the chair.
"So, what brings you here, Sandra? You don't seem like this would be your scene." She paused for a moment, then added, "Although, you do seem to admire the dancing."
I choked and looked up at her. Her eyes were shining blackly, an indecipherable look on her face. Amused? Aroused? I couldn't tell. I shifted in my seat and told her briefly about the book I was writing, omitting the part about my perceptions of people drinking goblets of blood at the bar and cavorting masochists getting whipped in the bathroom. She saw through the omission.
"And I'm guessing you bought that myth about Goth clubs being havens for those who fancy themselves Undead, depressed, suicidal kids in Marilyn Manson shirts, and devil worshipping hedonists?" Her accuracy made me blush, but she dismissed it with a laugh. "That's okay," she said, "as long as your research has shown you the reality. And as long as you put me in your book," she said the last part quickly, like someone swatting a fly. She reached out and covered my hand with her own for a second, her warm complexion standing out against my winter-pale fingers. When I looked up at her again, her lips were parted slightly, her eyes flashing with lust. I turned to see if there was an attractive man behind me, distracting her, but there was no one. I turned to face her again, and she read my thoughts.
"No, there was no one else. I meant that look for you. I thought you'd like to know how you've been looking at me all night. Hungry, isn't it?"
I lowered my head and folded my hands, my heart drowning out the thumping of the music from the distant dance floor. The implications in her words hung like damp draperies between us, thick and heavy. I sat like that for some time, hoping she'd walk away and forget the conversation. When I looked up again, she was still smiling at me from across the small table. Her tongue darted out from between her teeth and licked her lips delicately. My eyes blurred and my throat closed. I had never been so aroused in my life.
She came to my rescue, asking me more questions about my book and writing. She explained that she was an artist, and very interested in reading my work, and would I like to see hers? I agreed, nodding my head to save my voice from giving away my relief over a new subject. Every so often, her expression would morph from curious conversationalist into lusty seductress, causing me to falter, but it began to seem like a game to her. I was comforted by that thought, and it gave me courage to elaborate on some of my answers. Gradually, she leaned toward me, one hand on the table, one caressing her own thigh through the filmy fabric of her skirt.
"So, Sandra," my name rolled off her tongue like a beautiful curse, "be honest with me--did you expect to come here and meet a bunch of lunatic witches, gypsies, and sexual deviants?"
"Well, no, not really," I lied, "I guess I wanted to see how the darker part of society interacts, so I could transpose that onto my vampires."
"Oh, good," she said, "because we're not at all crazy. Well, maybe him," she gestured to Mr. Polyester, who was now across the bar. "The rest of us are very nice, sane witches, gypsies, and sexual deviants."
I laughed with her, beginning to feel at ease, and said, "Oh, really? I believe the sexual deviants part, but the last time I checked, there are no such things as witches or gypsies anymore. Maybe I'll have those in my next book, though."
Her eyes twinkled with amusement. "Oh, you think so?" She chuckled, her mouth turning upward, in an inviting smile. "Then explain to me how I'm a Romani, a 'gypsy' if you will, being taught the ways of a Drabarni, or seer, by my grandmother. My name is a variation of the Romani word for witch, a highly-respected occupation in my culture."
I leaned forward in my seat, my face getting dangerously close to hers, but I was beyond caring. Was this lithe woman before me an actual gypsy? It was believable after the way I saw her move. Another thought occurred to me.
"It sounds stupid," I began, then wished I hadn't, "but are you a Succubus, or something?"
She flipped her hair back and laughed. When she brought her eyes back to mine, though, her expression was pure sex, more intense than before.
"No," she whispered, "because a Succubus feeds on men, and I prefer the fairer sex."