I had just gotten into bed, pulled the blankets up, and grabbed my copy of Pride and Prejudice for what was probably my 100th reading, when my phone rang.
Who would possibly be calling right now?
I picked up the phone, and looked at the screen.
Ah. Of course.
Annie. Former co-worker and the polar opposite of me in almost every way: loud where I’m quiet, wild where I’m sedate - hey, I’m reading Austen on a Saturday night, I think it’s pretty clear I’m not a party animal, right? - and a big fan of ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ compared to my ‘plan everything down to the last detail.’
Also, she likes girls. I mean, LIKES them. In bed. I like guys in my bed. Not that there have been any lately, or many overall - casual sex is complicated when you have to plan everything in advance like I do.
So yeah, we’re pretty different.
“Hello?” I make a point of adding the inflection of a question mark the end of the word, a subtle way of suggesting, “I know it’s you, but WHY are you calling me at this time of night?”“It’s me. It’s Annie!”
She’s yelling over the noise of music and loud chatter in the background.
“I’m at Brown’s and there’s this amazing jazzy, swing-y, ‘40s sort of band here playing. You should come!”
“Annie, I’m in bed. It’s after nine!”
“Megs, are you joking? It’s Saturday night. And it’s, like, two minutes after nine. It’s not even dark outside yet. You know, summer? Enjoying the weekend? Heard of those things?”
I don’t respond. She is, technically, correct.
“Come on, Megs. I know for a fact, because I’ve been there before, that your apartment is at most three blocks from here. Get up. Put some clothes on. Get your ass down here. I want to see you. And I want you to have FUN!”
“What would I even wear?” Already I can feel my ‘didn’t plan this in advance’ anxiety setting in.
“Oh, do you still have that little flowered dress? The summery one with the fluttery sort of skirt?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Wear that. It’s great. Also, easy access if someone wants to get under the skirt!”
“Annie! As if. Like I’m gonna meet some guy and just… what… flip my skirt up?”
“Why do you assume it’d be a guy?”
“Fine. God, such a prude. GET OUT OF BED. I dare you.”
I grit my teeth. She knows my one kryptonite: I can’t ignore a challenge.
“Fine, I’m getting up. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes. If I can find something to wear.”
“Wear the dress. Skip the knickers!”
But she has already hung up by the time I shout out her name. Going naked under a dress might be something Annie could do (and would do, actually) but I will have my underwear on, thank you very much.
It takes a little longer than fifteen minutes to find the flowered dress, figure out which shoes to wear, fix my hair, and walk the few streets up to Brown’s. I can hear the music half a street away: sultry jazz, a deep smoky voiced-singer crooning along, the rat-tat-tat beat of a snare drum behind it. It’s a beautiful warm night, and the setting summer sun is pink and orange in the sky to the west. All right, I think to myself, so coming out might have been a little bit of a good idea.
I can feel the heat of the paved sidewalks under the soles of my shoes – the remains of another scorching August day. It feels good, makes me relax and loosen up.
I’d pulled my hair up into a ponytail but at the last moment I pull it back out, thinking of all the times over the years that Annie has suggested I wear it down. She thinks it looks great but I’m always afraid it will just look messy and windblown. “Yeah, exactly,” she always says in response to my concern. “We call that ‘just got shagged’ hair. It looks good.”
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I run my fingers through my hair, and grin, thinking of it. I miss Annie when I haven’t seen her in a while, and I’m grateful – in a strange sort of grumpy way – that she teases me out of my shell from time to time. Who knows, maybe I will meet someone sexy tonight? It could happen.
“Megs!” I hear Annie’s voice over the music before I see her, and then she’s practically climbing through the arms and legs on the dance floor to get to me.
When she hugs me, I remember again what’s so great about Annie: nothing is ever half way. It’s the sort of hug that squeezes the air out of you, full of enthusiasm and affection.
“Hi. So, you got me out here, you gonna buy me a drink now?”
“Shouldn’t it be the other way around? You buy me a drink for dragging your lame ass out of your apartment and providing you with an awesome Saturday night?”
“Well, I don’t know yet that it’s going to be awesome, do I?”
Annie quirks her eyebrows.
“You’re with me, babe. Of COURSE it’s going to be awesome.”
She drags me to the bar, orders two shots of something, and hands me one.
“Bottoms up?” I say, hesitantly.
“If I thought I could get you bottoms up, we’d be at your place, not here. But yeah, bottoms up.”
She lifts the glass to her lips and takes it in one swig. I’m still holding mine in front of me, trying to wrap my head around her words. Annie has jokingly flirted with me many times – more in the manner of trying to make me blush or crack a smile. But the “bottoms up” comment was said with a different sort of tone: serious and intense.
“What? You going to drink it or do I need to do that one too?” she says, the momentary spell broken now as she laughs at me.
“Ok, ok, doing it,” I laugh, and try to down the whole thing in one swallow.
Bad idea. The liquor hits the back of my throat and I instantly seize up into a cough, like fire all the way down into my lungs.
Annie chuckles, rubs my back and takes my hand.
“Come on, I’ve got some friends at a table in the back. We can sit,” she says.
I shrug, and follow her lead, moving through the sweaty, bumping crowd of dancers.
Two hours later, I’ve made about a dozen new friends, all of whom seem to have already heard about “Annie’s best friend.” I’ve been told I’m “as gorgeous as Annie said” and that everyone is so excited to “finally meet me.”
When they say these things, I make brief eye contact with Annie. She smiles and shrugs, looks almost shy – an emotion I’ve never really seen on her before.
Eventually, I lean over to her and whisper in her ear.
“How come I have such a fan club? Everybody knows who I am!”
“What can I say, I like you. So I talk about you a lot I guess. I’ve missed you. I don’t know, Megs. Maybe it’s my unrequited crush – the more I can’t have you, the more I need you?”
I choke out a laugh.
“A crush. On me? Funny.”
“Are you kidding?” she says, wrinkling up her brow.
I don’t know what to say, so I just stay silent.
“Megs, for real. You never thought I was sort of… I don’t know… attracted to you? Overly attentive? Interested?”
I’m starting to feel like an idiot. Was there something super obvious all this time that I missed?
“I wanted to kiss you the first day I met you, Megs. And, like, every day since.”
I realise my hand has lifted to my mouth after she said ‘kiss.’ I lower my hand back into my lap as fast as I can.
“Yeah, really,” she says. “Look, it’s ok – I know you’re not ‘into girls.’ But if you were, I’d have spent a lot of energy seducing you into my bed a long time ago.”
I can tell by the look on her face she’s had a few drinks and it’s likely causing her to be more honest than normal. Still, I have no idea what to say. It has never once occurred to me that she’d have any actual interest in seducing me. Or what seducing me would even involve. Or what we would actually do if she got me into her bed.
I realise suddenly that I’m getting aroused, that I’m pushing myself down against the hard flat surface of the chair under me as I begin to ache. Am I getting worked up thinking about… what… having sex… with Annie?
“Oh god,” I say, under my breath.
Annie looks over.
“Oh god what?”
I shake my head.
I just look at her.
“Megs, what? What are you thinking?”
I’m trying to find the right words but my mouth just opens and closes a few times. Finally, I muster up the nerve to spit something out.
“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
Annie laughs, throwing her head back. When she does, I notice how her tank top stretches over her breasts. Her breasts? Why am I noticing her breasts? But now that I am, I can’t not notice them. Smaller than mine, higher, perky in a way mine aren’t. She always calls them her ‘sporty pups’ and I see why. They are sporty, compact but full. Her nipples are straining against her bra, hard enough to be able to see the outline through the layers of fabric. I suddenly want to touch them, just put my hands on the outside of her shirt and feel the bump of her nipples through the soft cotton.
I pull my eyes away as she stops laughing.
“Megs, I kind of did. Like a million times. You just never realised. You know they say that sexuality is like a scale? Everyone is on the scale somewhere. I guess maybe you are on of those people who is really truly way up high on the hyper-heterosexual end. Have you ever even had a fantasy about a woman?”
I shrug. I haven’t really, not in the traditional sense of the word. But I know that I notice other women a lot. I notice the shape of a leg on the subway or the smooth skin of a bare back in a low-slung dress in line in front me at the grocery store. I notice women around me, their perfume or their clothing or the way they walk.
But isn’t that just me, comparing myself to other women? Noticing things about them that I have myself? It’s not… you know… lusting after them? Is it?
She’s still looking at me, waiting for an answer.
“Well, have you?”
“Not really, but …”
“Well there you go. See, it’s all good. My girl crush will have to go unrequited for a little longer… Hey, maybe your alternate-universe self is a lesbian in another dimension, and I can meet her and spend the rest of the summer making sweet, sweet lovin’ together?”
She says this with a laugh, teasing, and a second later, her friend Joe has sat down across from her with another round of beer, and they’re suddenly occupied, talking about some project at work he wants to pick her brain about.
"Her breasts? Why am I noticing her breasts?"
It’s a chance for me to just sit and be quiet. Watch. Catch my brain up to my body. My mouth is dry, I can’t stop squeezing my legs together, and I can feel that I’m getting wet in my knickers. Not symbolically, as in “I feel so aroused I’m getting wet” but for real, actual wetness dampening the fabric – enough that I wonder if it will go through the skirt under me to the bench below. I can’t stop looking at Annie’s mouth, and sneaking a look at her breasts. When she talks, she waves her hands around and I suddenly imagine her hands cupping my own breasts, squeezing, and her mouth coming down over my nipple, licking. Sucking. Moaning.
“I have to go,” I say suddenly, too loudly.
Everyone turns to me. Annie looks perplexed and sad.
“What? Why, no, stay.”
“I… it’s just… I’m…” I’m stammering for words, and sound foolish.
“Megs –““I have to go, I’m just – “
I don’t even finish the sentence but turn, and push my way through the crowd back to the front door. When I burst out onto the pavement, the cooler night air hits my face and I realise how hot I am, how fast my heart is beating.
I have to get home. Get home and go to sleep. That’s what I need to do.
I start walking up the street, the noise of the band lessening as I move away from Brown’s, until I turn the corner and almost can’t hear it at all anymore. Another couple of streets to my place, and I can take a shower and have a cup of tea and just go to sleep.
Shower. The image of Annie in my shower, naked, wet, suddenly comes into my mind. What? Where is this coming from? Oh god, she looks so good in my imagination though. I don’t want to think about this but I can’t stop thinking about it.
“Megs,” I hear, and for a split second I think it’s Annie in my imagination saying my name.
But it’s not. It’s Annie for real, following me.
“Megs,” she says again, not too loud – it’s late at night and there are apartments with windows open all over the place.
“I’m fine!” I say, and keep walking.
“It’s ok. I’m fine.”
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When she says it that way, firm and serious, I do, immediately. I stop, standing stock still on the sidewalk.
She catches up to me, and comes around so she’s facing me.
“Did I freak you out? I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said all that. It’s just me. You know me, I say things. I don’t want you to leave because I said something you didn’t like.”
She looks at me, awaiting a response.
“Megs, come on. Say something.”
I mumble a sentence under my breath.
“What? I didn’t hear that – “
“I said: it’s not that I didn’t like what you said.”
“Oh, ok. Well, that’s … good?”
“I liked it.”
Now it’s Annie’s turn to have no words, and she stares at me for five seconds, then ten. I don’t look away, meeting her eyes directly.
“Tell me, specifically,” she says.
“I liked what you said. About… seducing me.”
She looks at me again, no expression on her face, for several seconds.
Then her eyes darken, her lids lower. If I didn’t know her so well, I’d almost be a little nervous about how serious she looks.
“Right. Let’s go.”
She takes my hand in hers, grips hard, and pulls me along beside her up the sidewalk. We walk fast, in silence, up the remaining block to my apartment, and as we approach the front door, she reaches over with her other hand.
“Give me your keys,” she says.
I do, without question.
She unlocks the front door, and we climb the three flights of stairs up to my floor. At my door, she puts the second key into the slot, turns, and then pauses.
“Megs, are you sure?”“Sure about what,” I say, shyly now.“About wanting to be seduced.”
I hesitate for a split second, then: “Yes. I’m sure. Annie, I’m sure.”
She pushes open the door and pulls me in behind her.
End of part one
Annie closes the door firmly behind us, turns the deadbolt and pulls the chain across. It’s dark - only a touch of light reaches us from a single lamp that I had left on in the bedroom down the hall. The quiet in the apartment is almost shocking after the noise outside; the cars passing by, the clomping of our feet against the sidewalk, had all seemed so quiet, but now, behind the closed door, no longer moving, all I can hear is our hurried breath against the silence.
I lean back into the wall, looking down at my feet, hands behind me, feeling shyer than I can ever recall being before. It seems like an eternity before Annie finally turns to me, slowly, moving into place in front of me.
She ducks her head down a little to catch my eye, and puts her hand on my chin, tilting my face up towards her.
“Still sure, Megs?”
I can’t make my mouth work, so I just nod. Over and over again, like a bobble head toy on the dash of a car.
Finally, I whisper, “Yes, I’m sure. For sure.”
She smiles a little, and looks into my eyes, like she’s double-checking to be certain one more time. The fact that she’s taking her time with me, making sure that I am definite about wanting this, has me twice as aroused as I was before. She keeps just looking at me - her eyes roam over my face, down to my neck, and suddenly, I feel so impatient. I want to beg her to do something - anything - to me.
What comes out is a croaky whispered “Please.”
She leans in, and kisses my forehead. The tip of my nose. Briefest kiss on my lips. One side of my jaw. Near my ear. To my neck. Down to my clavicle. Peppering kisses across my chest.
I moan, and feel my body push into her.
“Please,” I manage again.
Her hand comes up slowly, cups one breast, the faintest hint of a squeeze, like she’s testing the weight and feel of it in her hands. I feel her exhale, hot and damp, against my skin, and it makes me shiver.
“Jesus, Megs, you feel so good,” she says. “I want you so badly. I want… Fuck… I want this to be so good for you.”
“It already is,” I say, and arch my back. Pushing my breast deeper into her hand, a small moan escapes my mouth.
And that’s the thing that snaps Annie’s restraint at last: my approval. My body pushing into her, my moan of pleasure – a Molotov cocktail catching fire, fuelled by her years of imagining this moment.
She lifts her mouth to mine and kisses me deep, hard, and her hands come up on either side of my face as her tongue slips into mine.
I feel new and foolish, like a teenager at my first dance unsure of what to do. But it only takes a few seconds to catch the rhythm of her kiss, to match her tempo, to surrender my mouth to her tongue’s dance. I feel her breathe against my lips, panting now, desperate.
Intuitively, my hips push forward towards her and wordlessly, without breaking the kiss at all, she pushes her knee forward and up, sliding it between my thighs, pushing the skirt of my dress up with it until the top of her knee is against the juncture of my thighs. Her knee is bare thanks to the shorts she’s wearing, and when the warmth of her skin pushes against my pants, my body jolts.
“Oh god,” I moan out, breaking the kiss. “Oh god, Annie… Oh god.”
“Fuck, you’re so wet already. I can feel how wet you are,” she replies. She keeps pushing her knee up against me, and I let my weight shift to gain more pressure and traction against her leg.
She pulls open the buttons on the front of my dress, revealing my simple bra underneath. Her hand slips inside the dress, squeezing my breast again.
“Annie… I need… “ I don’t know what I need, but I keep saying this, over and over, while rubbing myself against her. “I need… I need…”
She pulls her leg back suddenly, and for a moment, I’m alarmed – what’s wrong, what did I do? But she takes my hand and pulls me behind her down the hall, heading to my bedroom. When we get there, she turns me so I’m backing up against the bed, and I sit down on the edge.
“Annie?” I look up at her, unsure of what to do.
She puts her hands on either side of my face, stroking my hair and cheeks.
“Megs, I’ve wanted to do this for so long,” she says. She leans over, kisses my forehead. “You smell so good. You smell perfect. Delicious. Amazing.”
As she’s talking, she’s pushing me back gently until the challenge of holding myself up hits the tipping point, and I let myself fall backwards on the bed. I push back, scooting backwards across the bed to give her room, and she takes the cue, crawling up over me.
She kisses me again, and again, moving from my lips to my neck, to my eyes, and back to my lips over and over. She moves down slightly, her body over mine, and kisses along my shoulders to my chest. She pauses a moment, unbuttoning the rest of the buttons all the way down, opening it completely. Her mouth closes over one nipple, through my bra, sucks, and I almost scream from the feeling of it all. She stops, tucks a finger into the top edge of the bra, and pulls it down to expose my breast. She slowly licks all around my nipple, closing her warm mouth over it. I moan instantly.
"She slowly licks all around my nipple, closing her warm mouth over it"
It feels so good, I instinctively squeeze my eyes shut to focus as much as I can on it. She continues on for another minute, slowly licking and sucking. Suddenly, I feel her mouth open wide, sucking as much of my breast into her mouth as she can. My hips start to buck, pushing up against her, and I feel her hand move down between my legs.
Oh my god, it hadn’t occurred to me she’d do this. I’d only imagined simple things, kissing and touching, in the very brief fantasy that had entered my brain as I walked away from the bar. Logically, of course, this shouldn’t be a surprise, but somehow it is, and now the idea that her hand is going to be on my pussy is overwhelming. Hands, and what else? Tongue? Mouth? The very notion has my lower body aching, and I can feel myself squirming, moving, pushing my hips up to meet her hand.
She lifts her head from my breast then, her lips wet and pink, and she watches my face as her hand presses between my legs.
“You like it, don’t you,” she says, her voice deeper, slower. “Yes,” I say, nodding, hypnotised.
I start to close my eyes, but she stops me. “No, keep your eyes open, Megs, I want to watch you.”
Kneeling on the bed, she moves to my side. Her legs are pressed up against me, her eyes pinned on mine, and her hand moving slow and lazy between my legs. I can feel the soft pressure her fingers moving flat over my knickers, and I nudge my hips up into her. She leans over a little, looking away from my face to gaze down where she’s rubbing me. Her hand lifts off me, and I feel her finger tips take hold of the edge of my pants, and moving them to the side, expose my vulva.
I hear her sharp intake of breath, her quiet “fuck, fuck, fuck” as she looks at me. I know I’m wet, and aroused. It seems to me I must be wetter than I ever have been. I am delirious on my arousal - drunk and dizzy and overwhelmed.
“Annie,” I say, and she looks back to my face. “Please.”
I realise I’ve said these words to her over and over, like I’m incapable of anything more.
“Please… Please, touch me… Please…” I manage to say.
She needs no second request. Her fingers trail along my vulva, gently, slowly, softly, slipping between wet lips, opening me. I gasp, and my breathing grows faster, panting.
I feel her finger slipping deeper, looking for the spot to enter me, and when she finds it, her finger slips all the way, easily. The slick dragging feel is explosively good and my shoulders lift up off the bed.
“Fuck! Oh god, oh god, oh god!”
She starts a slow rhythm, letting her finger slide in and out, and after a moment, she leans over me, her mouth so close I can feel the heat of her breath on me.
She pulls her finger out, and I lift up on my elbows to look down at her – she puts her finger in her mouth, tasting me for the first time, and sucks it in and out a few times.
She looks up at me.
“Megs…” and then she drops her head down onto my pussy, mouth open, tongue flicking, slipping between my lips to find my clitoris, slow and wet all over me. Without stopping, she moves her body over mine, in between my legs, kneeling there over me. I let myself come down off my elbows and lay my head back. She licks and sucks, her mouth opening wide over me, playing with me. When she lifts her lips off to take a deeper breath, I instinctively put my hands down on her head and lift my hips back up.
She groans, a deep low growl in her throat, and my hands grip her head tighter, pushing her down. She starts licking me again, furiously now, desperate, fast, needing, and I feel a finger at my edge again – no, not a finger but two fingers – and she pushes them hard into me, until she’s as deep as she can go, her knuckles up against my lips. She keeps thrusting, thrusting, thrusting, the wet sound of her fingers fucking into me like a rhythm that she matches with her tongue on my clit.
“I’m going to cum, I’m going to –“ and just like that, suddenly, without warning, I cum hard. My thighs close around her head, my hips buck up again and again and again against her face.
After what seems like minutes, I finally lay back, my legs open, my breath hitched.
She moves up alongside me, and kisses me gently.
“So next time I suggest you wear the dress without the knickers, will you?”
I laugh, shyly.
She lays back down next to me.
“Good,” she says, grinning.
I let one of my hands move over to her body, slipping between her legs and touching gently. Her eyebrows pop up and she looks over at me.
“Is it okay if I…”
I let the question trail off, nervous and uncertain again.
“Megs, anything you want to do is so fucking okay it’s not even funny.”
“I’ve never…” I say, letting my hand push a little harder against her, watching her eyes flutter over the feeling of it.
“You’re doing just fine so far,” she says.
“In that case,” I say, “maybe you should… take these off… so I can… you know.”
“My pleasure,” she says.
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