She stood on the concrete pad outside his apartment, squinting as the headlights swept past every few seconds, even now, a few minutes before midnight. She shielded her eyes and peered through the picture window into his small, unlit living room. Then she glanced down the row at the other four apartments. One picture window was outlined by a rectangle of light.
The apartment next door was dark. She knew the unit was occupied, but she didn’t know who lived there or what hours they kept. Since his apartment was the end unit, there was only that one neighboring unit.
She stepped onto the pebbled black rubber mat, one side torn away so that it read Welcom, and put her ear to the door. She waited a moment, listening for any sounds from inside the shabby one-bedroom unit in the old flat-roofed, one-story brick building four blocks from campus.
She knocked, three taps on the battered wooden door. A few seconds later, she heard his muted footsteps. A light came on in the living room and the door opened. “I didn’t expect you,” he said. She did not reply. He adjusted the belt on his dark green terrycloth bathrobe.
“Please.” He stepped back, sweeping his arm, gesturing for her to enter.
She walked in and placed her bag on the small pine table near the door. Her eyes scanned the humble furnishings: a threadbare blue couch, two mismatched upholstered chairs, a black plastic entertainment center with a TV, a pile of a dozen DVD cases, and a portable stereo system with small speakers built-in. A few books lay on the wooden coffee table, one of them open at the spine. Off in the corner was the tiny kitchen, just a small refrigerator, a narrow range, a white enamel sink chipped down to the black steel, and a few feet of speckled Formica countertop.
Her gaze settled on the three sets of dirty dishes and glasses on the small round kitchen table with its two matching dining chairs.
He said, “Is there something in particular you needed?”
She looked at him and began to unbutton her short cotton jacket. She watched him as his eyes were drawn to the blue and yellow silk scarf knotted loosely at the neck of her sheer silk cream blouse with its top two buttons open. Removing her jacket, she watched him stare at the outlines of her nipples shifting against the silk. Her jacket rustled as it slid off her shoulders and fell softly onto the carpet.
He smiled as she removed her clothing deliberately. First the blouse, and then the skirt and the panties. She left the blue and yellow scarf knotted at her throat. She slipped out of the low heels and followed him into the bedroom.
He untied the belt on his bathrobe and let it drop to the floor. He retrieved the two pillows, one on the floor, the other askew in the middle of the queen-size bed, and arranged them neatly, one on top of the other, centered at the head of the mattress. He tossed aside the rumpled top sheet.
She said, “Is there wine?”
When he turned to face her, she was pleased to see that he was already erect. “Out in the living room,” he said. He followed her to the bedroom doorway so that he could see her glide through his apartment. Although she could feel his eyes on her, she moved confidently, her posture tall and straight.
She saw the half-empty bottle of white on the coffee table, surrounded by three glasses: one empty, two with a few sips left in the bottom. She walked into the kitchen, confident that he would watch her rise on her toes and stretch to get two clean glasses from the top shelf of the cabinet to the left of the sink.
He watched her come back toward him, the bottle in one hand, the two glasses, crossed at the stems, in the other. She kept her arms at her sides as she walked, knowing how much he appreciated the way her breasts swayed in rhythm with her gait.
By the time she was at the bed, he was already in position, on his back, his fingers interlaced behind his head on the stacked pillows. She glanced down at his penis to be sure he was ready.
She placed the two glasses next to each other on the night stand and half-filled each one. She put the bottle down next to the glasses.
Slowly she sank onto the mattress, swinging one leg over him and settling on her knees. “Are you sure you can—so soon?” she said, the question a casual compliment. She knew the answer.
Unlacing his fingers and resting his arms at his side, he said, “Come closer and we’ll see.”
She bent at the waist, lowering her trunk until her palms rested on the mattress on either side of the stacked pillows. She felt his erect penis touch the inside of her left thigh. She pulled the thigh away and watched him smile. Her breasts were three inches above his face.
He lifted his head, slowly, and she pulled her breasts away. He laughed gently, and she smiled a little bit.
His hands came up and grazed her hips, his fingers lightly running up her flank and tracing the undersides of her breasts. He heard her begin to sigh.
His fingers slid down her sides, slowly, across her hips, then inward, toward her sex. She gasped when the fingers began to caress the folds of her vagina. He raised his head and kissed one nipple, and then the other.
She closed her eyes and reached between his legs, taking his penis and guiding it to her sex. She heard him moan. She held it steady and lowered herself onto it, the both of them beginning to breathe deeply.
They moved slowly in rhythm for a minute.
“Now?” she said, opening her eyes to gauge his response. He nodded silently.
As she untied the loose knot in her yellow and blue silk scarf and removed it from her neck, his hands came up and lightly stroked the underside of each breast.
She rocked up and down gently, pausing at the top of the movement when only the tip of his penis was inside her. She reached behind her and let the scarf trail across his scrotum.
“Now.” He opened his eyes and lifted his head off the pillows.
She stopped rocking to concentrate on the task. She slid the scarf under his neck and adjusted it so that each end was the same length. She noticed his eyes fixed on her breasts as they swayed above his face.
He moaned softly as she knotted the scarf at the front of his throat and began to tighten it. She started to rock again, feeling his penis get even harder as she tightened the scarf.
His eyes began to close, his moans of pleasure becoming longer and lower. Steadily she tightened the knot at his throat.
His moans turned to groans and his hands lifted off the mattress as she pulled at the knot. After a few moments his eyes opened wide, and his hands reached up toward his throat. He appeared to be trying to shout, but he couldn’t produce a sound. His fingers grasped at the scarf, but it was too tight against his throat. His eyelids began to close, as if he were falling asleep. The skin on his cheeks began to pale, then turn a faint blue. His hands fluttered in the air for a moment before falling to the mattress. He was no longer breathing.
Her face contorted as she pulled hard on the knot one last time, increasing the pressure and maintaining it for several long moments. She felt the bulge of his penis increasing inside her, exciting her more, even though he was now lifeless. Beads of perspiration formed on her upper lip as she rose and fell on his erect penis for another minute, until she climaxed. She paused, the sensation flooding her body.
She let go of the scarf, placed her hands on the mattress, near his shoulders, and began to rock back and forth again, her breasts almost grazing his still face. She lifted her hips, exposing the tip of his penis, paused, and then fell onto it, violently. She knew this time it would take only a few thrusts. Then, when it was over, she paused, breathing deeply, her eyes closed, her head bowed, letting the pleasure radiate through her body.
“What you did was wrong, Austin.”
Gently she lifted herself off him. Standing next to the bed, she looked down at his beautiful, motionless body, his muscular chest and arms, the slim waist, and that wonderful, hard penis.
She untied the knot in the scarf and removed it from around his neck. She stroked the silk, trying to remove its creases. She tied the scarf loosely around her neck and walked over to the dresser with the mirror on top, leaning against the wall. Looking at her image, she smoothed the scarf again and, satisfied, walked into the living room, where she put her clothes back on: the panties, the blouse, the skirt, and the shoes.
She walked over to the coffee table, bent down, and with her forearm swept all the glasses onto the soiled grey carpet. They didn’t break. She crushed one of them under her heel. Then she walked into the kitchen and swept the soiled dishes off the counter and onto the linoleum floor, where they broke with a satisfyingly clatter.
She went back into the living room and kicked the coffee table over, then lifted a dinette chair and swung it, shattering the table’s glass top. She worked her way methodically across the small living room, upending, knocking over, and breaking every object in her path.
She was breathing heavily now from her exertions. She picked up her jacket from the floor and put it on, retrieved her purse from the small table near the door, and paused. She walked back into the kitchen and grabbed a paper napkin from the counter. She went to the door and rubbed the napkin across the knob twice as she left the apartment. She pulled the door shut and wiped the knob on the outside, and then put the napkin in her purse. She glanced down at the four other units in the brick building. There were no lights on in the unit next door. She walked at a moderate pace toward her car, which she had parked a block away.
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