ships passing

She finds him in the kitchen, not on purpose, he’s just there when she comes down the hall at 3.14 am for a drink of water. The last of the party’s stragglers are still out in the back, smoking, maybe, laughter muted through the walls. She stands in the kitchen doorway and the furnace kicks in and it’s snowing outside, slow flakes drifting past the kitchen window. He’s standing in front of the sink, hands on the edge of the counter, leaning into his arms a little, looking out at the front yard and the snow. His hair is mussed, bedhead-fuzzy, and he’s only wearing his briefs.

She’s wearing a pair of ugly old panties that say ‘hot bananas!!’ on them and a tank top that got shuffled to pajama duty when she spilled wine on it last summer. She stands in the doorway and looks at him, tall and almost naked and broader than he’s been since she’s known him, and her toes curl against the cold linoleum.

She must have made a noise, because he turns his head and sees her.

‘Hey,’ he says, and does that thing where he almost smiles, a twitch at one corner of his mouth.

‘I’m just,’ she says, walking across the floor, glad of the darkness, ‘water, I’m just, I’m. Thirsty.’

He moves away from the sink a little, just a little, still close enough that her shoulder brushes against his arm. She picks up a glass and doesn’t move and her eyes track over the rim of the sink, up his forearm, his waistband, the heavy jerk of his dick under his briefs. There’s a line of dark fuzz just at the top of his thighs. Unshaven, then, and for no explicable reason her nipples harden. She puts the mug down, feels a little like she’s floating.

‘Hey,’ he says, and she looks up and then, so quick she hardly knows it, his mouth is on her and her ass is up on the counter and her legs are wrapped around his waist. It’s like, she’s had, it’s like a dream, she’s had this dream before, but this time his fingers in her panties are solid and warm and his breath is a little sleep-funky and he’s real, real scruff against her lips and his cock pressed up hard between them. She lets a hand drag down his chest and feels the tip of him, wet and slippery, leaking over the elastic of his shorts.

‘Quick,’ she says, before it’s over, before the smokers stumble in, before some ghost of the past, her past, his, comes between them, ’yes,’ and his tongue does something wet and vital in her mouth.

He lifts her, hesitates, moves towards the table, and she takes one second, two, to look at his face, the thirsty curves of the way his mouth hangs a little open, the judder on the underside of his jaw when he takes a breath, the way one eye crinkles a little, almost a wink. She twists in his arms, gets the ball of one foot on the chair and a knee on the table, grips its edge with both hands. He’s as hungry as she is, is palming his cock up between her thighs almost before her knees are planted. She feels his knuckles twisting, two fingers inside her, three, maybe, and then the full-length shudder of his body against the backs of her thighs. Then he’s pushing inside her and she makes a noise, guttural-sharp, and his hand clamps over her mouth, hard.

‘No,’ he says, soft, and keeps his hand there as he grinds a little into her, settles himself, and pulls out agonisingly slow. His other hand finds her waist, strokes down over one hip. He puts one foot up onto the seat of the chair and starts to fuck into her – easy, rocking thrusts that leave her trembling, trying to get her breath. She puts her head down and his hand pulls against her lips and he slips two fingers inside her mouth, lets them flutter against her tongue. She can taste herself on his fingertips.

‘Touch yourself,’ he says, still soft, more pleading than command, and she takes a deep shuddery breath and puts a hand between her legs, lets two fingers play in little circles around her clit. His breath is getting threadier, harsher, and his thrusts a little uneven. He leans down over her back and lets his mouth graze warm over her spine, and that does it – she spasms around him, knees shaking, moaning against his palm, and he makes a noise she thinks about for a long time after and stutters against her, seizes, locks his knees as he comes inside her.

She cleans up with a paper towel and then sits for a minute on his lap, his arms wrapped around her and his head bowed into the back of her neck. Outside it’s stopped snowing. She has a drink of water, still trembling, and then there’s the stirring of someone at the other end of the house. A door creaks. One long look between them and then she’s back down the hall, in her room, paper towel still balled in one fist.

She stands there in the dark for a long, long time.


ships passing


7.02. The screen of your phone lights up and it’s a text from him. Same safeword, yeah? Your heart stutters into a quicker pulse and you pick up the phone, wiping dishwater off on your skirt. Yep.

Hands back in the dishwater, cheeks flushing hot, pretending to scrub at a pot while you wait. The door from outside opens, closes, and then his stride on the stairs, long and loping. You don’t look round when he comes into the kitchen, crosses the room without breaking stride and grabs you, turns you round, presses you hard back over the sink with a hand on your neck, close up under your jaw, and the other clamped tight between your legs. Two of his fingers slip under the seam of your panties and dig up inside you, painfully hard. Possessive.

‘Hey!’ you say, struggling a little against him, hands pressed flat and straining against his chest. He makes a little huff of pleasure.

So wet,” he says, “yeah, you want it, don’t you,” and pulls you down to the floor, rolls over you, pins you with an arm across your chest and a thigh pressed between your legs. You thrash, arms flailing, try to get a leg up between you, but he grabs your knee and forces it to the side, flat to the floor. He holds it there with one of his shins while he scrabbles at his belt and pulls out his cock, long and almost fully hard, stroking it twice loosely in his fist. He kneels over you, one of your knees still under his shin, and presses your other leg open with one hand. The other hand is back on your neck, tight, thumb stroking soft over your windpipe.

You’re moaning but no sounds are making it past his fingers, and he’s pressing hard enough on your neck that you can’t move your head, can’t move anything at all. You can feel your face going red, eyes popping a little, can feel the black at the back of your eyeballs as he pushes roughly inside you, cock pressing close and heavy in your cunt. No lead up, no feeling-out strokes, just quick jackhammer fucking, his ass flexing as he pounds into you, legs sprawled behind him half-bent against the floor. It’s so fast and hard you hardly feel the individual strokes, just the relentless weight and friction of him, his hand sliding up from your throat to cover your mouth and half of your face, his body holding yours pinned helpless to the ground. The lurch of your body under the impact of his hips and the feel of him heavy and slick inside you collapses all your senses into a sort of choking shudder against his fingers.

“You like just taking it?’ he says, after a minute, voice low. “Like getting a cock forced inside you, slut? Like me pushing it in and keeping it there, gonna fuck you no matter what you do, keep you full of me till I feel like being done. You like taking it deep and hard, don’t you, not up to you, take it baby girl take it.’

When you come it surprises you, not just the suddenness but how strong it is – knock-your-head-against-the-floor strong, shaking aftershocks for minutes after. He slows inside you, lets go of your knees, resettles himself between your legs and then rolls over, taking you with him so you’re lying atop his body, his dick still pressing up hard and a little crooked inside you.

‘That was hot,’ he says, and kisses you on the nose. You sit up to straddle him, still unsteady, get your knees on the floor. He’s still got his clothes on and so do you, rumpled and breathing heavy. You take his tie and let it run out between your fingers.

‘Mm,’ you say, and start to move .


fire drill

‘Where are you?’ you say. It’s 9.15 am and you’re stuck outside in the office parking lot in the middle of a fire drill, shuffling your feet and watching the muster point wardens disinterestedly checking people off their lists.

‘Kitchen,’ he says, on the other end of the line – you called him just to say hi, and also to pass the time, and also you’re maybe in love with him. Just an unofficial little bit in love. You can hear the clatter of dishes in the background, the sloshing of liquid. ‘Coffee.’

There’s a little silence.

‘Whaddaya wearing?’ you say, singsong, almost a joke but not quite. He clears his throat, makes a kind of grunting chuckle.

‘Housecoat,’ he says, ‘and those, uh, those shorts you got me that time.’

That takes a minute to hit, but then

‘oh!’ you say, and stop. You’d tossed them in his basket for a laugh when he’d been through town a few months back and you’d done a 2 am Walmart run: a black micro-fibre thong dotted with grey stars. You take a second to picture it stretched up snug around his balls, tight over the line of his –

He’s talking.

‘…not so bad,’ you catch, ‘and as you know I’ve got one fine fuckin’ ass.’

‘Shit,’ you say, and your co-workers look at you, so it must have been pretty loud. ‘I never thought you’d actually – gosh – what are – I mean, you’re just hanging all thongalicious in the kitchen?’

‘Well,’ he says, ‘since you ask, I’m sittin’ on the edge of a table and I’m gonna jerk one off pretty quick here.’

‘Shit!’ you say, and take four steps away from the cluster of officemates, turn around. ‘Fuck, c’mon, you can’t do this to me – I’m stuck in a fire drill.’

‘Too bad you ain’t got my hose,’ he says, but before you can mock him there’s a groan over the line, so low and gut-real it makes you flush up your throat. ‘Oh honey wish you were here.’

You lick your lips.

‘What are you doing?’ you say, a little frantic, ‘they’re gonna call us in soon, quick quick.’ You can see the wardens starting to nod at each other across the parking lot. ‘What are you – are you – how hard are you? Are the shorts pulled right down?’

‘Yup.’ You can hear his breathing pick up a little and the thump of something – a chair leg? – in the background. ‘Got ‘em pulled right down under the balls, like you like ‘em.’ You flush bright red, put your hand up to your face. ‘And I’m – yeah, I’m hard as they come, honey – fuck.’

‘What?’ You’re walking back up to the building now. Everyone else is inside and the last of the monitors is standing at the door, obviously waiting for you. ‘Shit – I can’t really say any more, going back into the – I’ll listen though, keep, keep telling me.’

‘OK,’ he says, and you’d swear you can hear the thwick thwick of his fist jerking quick over his dick. ‘That’s hot, baby, you on the line but you can’t touch yourself or even make a noise – uggghh, getting close – christ – bet you’re getting wet cause you want it, don’t you, you want this dick so good and hard between your legs, baby, fuck, fuuuuck, just say yeah, say it, say it, Christ I’m gonna-’

Yeah,’ you say, halfway up the stairs, perfectly still and gripping the rail with one hand like it’s salvation, and you hear him grunt twice close together, long and torn up from the bottom of his chest, and you’re gripping your phone so hard it’s leaving dents in the pads between your knuckles.

He laughs, warm like melted honey, and it goes right through you.

‘Ok there?’ he says, and you take a light shuddery breath, make your feet start up the stairs again. You’re astonished they’re working.

‘I’ll call you later,’ you say, like a threat, ‘once I’m home,’ and he says

‘You’d better.’

fire drill


‘Yeah,’ he says, low, rough, edge of a groan underneath it, ‘yeah, just like that, baby, fuck yourself on my dick.’

She’s riding him, thighs clamped tight around his hips, knees digging into his ribs and hands planted flat on his chest. All of her focus and most of her muscles are working, straining with the thrust of her hips and the roll of her ass to take him deeper, bear down on him harder, let the dragging heat of him turn all to fire inside her. She stopped talking awhile ago – trembling, lust-blind, the world narrowed down to the hunger between her legs and the hard curve of his cock. His hands are around her hips and he’s moving with her, following her momentum.

‘You feel so good,’ he says, not patter but like he really means it, like after a couple decades of fucking it can still take him sometimes by surprise. ‘Come on, yeah, just like that, fuck, fuck, so deep.’ He drops an arm to the bed and gets himself up on one elbow, watches her face, puts a hand soft over her belly. She’s almost sobbing now, making little frustrated sounds of want, her thighs burning with effort. He lets his hand drop to her hip, thumb caressing her skin, breathing heavy.

‘I want,’ she says, ‘I want,’ and she leans back and settles her hands back beside his thighs, arches back so she’s pumping her hips from her haunches, head tipped back. He strokes the pad of one thumb down over her clit and she shudders, shivers. Then he braces his forearms against the bed and thrusts his hips up once, holds them there, just enough that the root of his cock presses a little harder against her. She cries out and jerks against him, uneven, frantic with want.

‘Yeah,’ he says, warm and husky and sure, like the feel of his lips when they’d first kissed her, ‘yeah, baby, you like that? gonna come all over my cock all soft and tight? yeah, c’mon baby, make those pretty noises, show me, show me how bad you want it.’

She lets out a long, broken moan, but he’s already got himself up on one elbow and grabbed her ass with one hand, is fucking up into her fast and hard, hardhotwet, and she puts her hands around the backs of his knees and sets her teeth and screams.


KOTW: crawling

‘Hey,’ he says, from the hotel bed, and the way he says it makes me look up from where I’m crouched on the floor, suitcase open, rooting around inside for deodorant. I sit back on my heels, let the suitcase fall closed. He’s on his back, legs tangled in the sheets, one arm behind his head. The way he’s looking at me, soft and dark and full of intention, makes the colour come up in my cheeks – I can feel it, hot and bright under my skin, flushing up my throat, over my chest where I’m still damp from the shower, smell of hotel body wash hanging vaguely floral in the air.

‘C’mere,’ he says, so soft it’s more of a breath, and on some half-thought-out instinct I don’t stand up, instead I lean forward onto my hands and knees and crawl slow towards the bed, back arched a little, eyes not leaving his face. I bite my lip, and he says, low, ‘oh, that’s how it is, is it?’ and sits up a bit on one arm. I keep my eyes on his, teasing a barely-there smile, letting my knees and palms drag slow and tactile-hungry across the rug, and a warm knot coils low in my belly, makes me slick and pulsing between my legs.

He starts to sit up but I just shake my head, no, and the rise and fall of his chest starts to quicken, grow rougher. He’s still looking at me, eye contact unbroken, when I get to the bed and crawl up over its foot, knock his thighs gently apart with my forearms and sink my mouth down around his cock and oh it’s good, half-hard already and quickening further in my mouth, bumping soft against my soft palate. I make a noise, involuntary satisfaction, as his hips rise a little against my mouth and the world collapses soft down into – this, the weight of his cock in my mouth and the jerky tightening of his belly under my palms.

KOTW: crawling


You’re both a little tipsy when you stumble into the hotel room in puffy jackets and mittens, cheeks flushed with booze and temperatures low enough to frost your eyelashes, stick them wet to your cheeks. By the time you’ve tripped out of your boots and unwound your scarf he’s sitting on the end of the bed, knees sprawled apart and leaning back on his hands, and he’s shucked off not just his coat but his jeans too, stopped undoing his shirt somewhere around button three so it’s gaping open over his pecs and cold-popped nipples.

Uurgh you say, appreciatively, and move towards him, into the V of his legs, and he puts his knees together and pins you light between them. Your scarf is wound once around the heel of one of his hands.

‘You wanna–?’ he says, inflecting up, and you don’t even answer, just press a little deeper between his knees and pull your hair aside so he can tie the scarf around your head. It’s not too different, at first, really, cause you usually don’t see all that much while you’re kissing him, ever, immersed in his mouth and teeth and the way his lip snarls a little against your face, the breathy warmth of him and the clumsy shedding of layers between your bodies.

Now his hands run down your back, knead hard over your ass, and that’s fun, the feel that he’s cupping you close and tight, held still in the dark, the slide of his fingers over your thighs shifting you slantwise to the world but steady on the axis of his hips, the hard hot line of his dick. There’s a tipping, then, disorienting, your body pitches forward a little and your hands are touching parts of him but your brain’s lost the plot, the map, can’t quite place how he must be on the bed.

‘Baby,’ you say, hesitant, breathless, and he’s peeling off your leggings and knickers together, tugging when they stick around one ankle, and you half expect him to press you down on your back and eat you out but instead he does – something – lifts you, you’re almost kneeling, gasping, laughing a little, and then the feel of his chest sudden between your legs, skin thinner here and cool still from the outdoors, the brush of his armpit hair against your knees, and then his hands hooking behind your calves and he’s pulling you up right over his face and

– oh, jesus.

‘Hey,’ you say, faintly, and struggle a little, instinctive, cause you’re usually too self-conscious for this, too worried he won’t be able to breathe or over-analysing how you should sit, move, whether your belly looks weird from that angle. Usually you wriggle and deflect, pull him on top of you, and it’s fine, it’s fun, but this – 

‘’s hot,’ he says, growls, almost, and his fingers tighten around your thighs and pull you down onto his mouth and nose, the soft give of his lips and the wet slippery touch of his tongue and you start, you’re so, you start pushing yourself down onto him, down on his tongue pressing up beside your clit and fuck it’s like he found a nerve that doesn’t, that isn’t, that goes right to some ache-wet limbic system and –

Your hands grope back a little, lost, and find not the bed but his legs, drawn up open and almost frog-legged wide. You get a hand on the inside of each of his knees and press them towards the mattress, feel the quick coil of his body against your palms, and he does this fluttering soft moaning thing over your clit and you, you’re not even thinking, you stop breathing for a long, long moment, back arching up, muscles tense and pain-bright in your belly, and he holds you, holds you hard on the soft quiver of his tongue and you curl down over him and scream and you don’t know quite where he is, where the mattress is, just the black soft fugue-state of the scarf and the shuddering jerk of your body towards his tongue and hands and breath.



It happens in an IKEA of all places.

It was your idea to stop, too, at the last minute. You needed a bunch of boring things:  towels, a lighter duvet for summer, wine glasses to replace the ones you’d broken last week.

‘Ok,’ he’d said, and swung the car into the exit lane. ‘But I need meatballs.’

You’re halfway through the linens section and you’ve got your eye on some dark red towels  when he touches, just grazes your elbow. You stop and look back at him, over your shoulder. He’s got his fingers on one of the sheet samples, the ones that are tufted out so customers can test the feel. The one he’s touching is bright candy pink and he doesn’t even speak, just cocks an eyebrow and dimples. You know what he’s thinking about – the horrifically bubblegum-tinted bedroom in the little B&B where you’d spent a weekend last spring, most of it in bed.

You blush warm.

“Remember what we did there?”  he says, and in some alternate universe where you’re able to play it cool around him you probably roll your eyes, but this isn’t that universe and in this one his flirting still reduces you to flustered babbling, so instead you just look back at him and flush almost as pink as the sheet. It’d been your fifth time together, and the first time he’d brought up orgasm denial. He hadn’t used that term. He’d rolled over after your second round and you’d kissed for awhile, slow and exhausted and sloppy. Then he’d run a hand down your body and let his fingers rest soft and easy between your legs and he’d said, I really like making you come. You’d sort of meant to say something funny, light, but instead you’d let out your breath and kissed him hard, lots of tongue, an oh-my-god kind of kiss. Then he’d broken it off and said, in the same tone, I think I’d really like making you stop too.

It’d taken you a few seconds, and then your eyes had done a nervous sort of skitter across his face and rested vaguely just above one eyebrow. Have you done that before? you’d said, and he’d nodded, almost imperceptibly. I like it, he’d said, fingers brushing up along the shell of your ear. I don’t know yet if you will.

The ‘yet’ had made something flip dizzily under your ribs, and by the time you’d staggered into the kitchen two hours later to find something to eat you’d found out that you both, in fact, did like it. Liked it a lot.

Now, in the linen section, surrounded by carts and sticky toddlers, he hooks a finger through your belt and tugs. ‘C’mon,’ he says, and leads you on through lamps and bathroom fixtures and laundry baskets and down the escalator ramp to picture frames and mirrors. He doesn’t say a word but there’s a tension in his shoulders and a couple times he looks back and grins with his eyes narrowed a little.

Your belly tightens.

When you’re past mirrors and into picture frames and cookie cutter art, he goes around a corner into a tiny cul-de-sac of massive screenprinted canvases.

‘OK,’ he says, when you’re mostly out of view behind the end of a long shelf. ‘Touch yourself.’

Your head jerks up a little and your eyes widen, nervous, but before you can say anything he puts one of his hands into the back of your hair. It’s a light touch, barely there, just fingers gripping gentle at the roots, but the instant he does it your breath descends into a long shudder and your eyes lose focus a little. This is something else you found out about yourself, with him.

‘OK,’ you say, and loosen your zipper, stick your hand into your jeans. It’s weird, surreal, to touch yourself, feel the nub of your clit slip sideways under your fingertips while not 15 feet away people are pushing carts piled with plastic wine glasses and appliqued pillows. On one level you’re acutely aware of it, so aware it quickens your breathing and makes your adrenaline spike. On the other – well, his fingers are still rubbing against your scalp. He’s standing a foot away from you, casual, other hand stuck into his pocket, not even looking at you.

‘Good girl,’ he says, in a perfectly normal tone of voice. ‘Inside your panties or out?’

Your mouth has gone dry and you lick your lips.

‘Out,’ you say, and you’re surprised at how firm your voice still is. The cotton under your fingertips is damp already.

‘Put them in,’ he says, and then, ‘don’t hold back, honey.’

You’re blushing now, can feel the heat radiating up off your neck, and when your fingers slip easy into the slick between your lips, brushing over the swollen flesh of your cunt, you let out a tiny moan – more of a breath, really, but he hears it, and his hand tightens in your hair.

‘Quiet,’ he says, again completely easy, but he shifts a little and you notice, almost abstractedly, the line of his cock stiffen inside his jeans. You’re shifting yourself, sneakers shuffling a little on the floor, biting your lip. Then he moves a foot over and slips a hand down the back of your jeans, presses the tip of one finger firm against your asshole. Your vision slips a little, at that, and you push back involuntarily against his finger. There’s a woman looking at vases twenty feet across the room and your fingers are so slippery now they’re starting to lose their rhythm but you’re close, so close, and –

‘Stop,’ he says, and his hand tightens over the curve of your ass. It takes you a second to pull yourself up: your whole body is strung tight and trying to twist itself tighter. His finger hasn’t moved. When you finally blink and look around there’s no one close, well, no closer than they’d been two minutes ago.

‘Wha-’ you say, confused, trembling.

‘I wanna be inside you,’ he says, and other than that you don’t register much for the next six minutes, just his hand slipped down to the small of your back and a rush of IKEA landscape: plants, pet baskets, the huge flatpack warehouse. On the other side of the tills he gives you a glance and you duck into the infant change room, stand against the wall, still a little lightheaded. He slips inside a moment later and locks the door behind him.

He’s already unbuckling his belt as he turns around and he pushes his jeans down over his thighs and holds out his arms almost in the same movement.

‘C’mere,’ he says, mouths it, really, and you’re shrugging out of your own jeans, one leg all the way, struggling where it sticks over your ankle. Then he’s picking you up by the waist and you’re wrapping your legs around him, snugging in close and spine-tingling against his cock. It slides up alongside your clit and you grip his neck and ride right there a little, eyes closed and head fallen back, just the barely-there brush of him against the ache of your cunt. Then he grunts and lifts you an inch or two and pulls you down onto his cock, his hands somehow holding you up and pressing you down at the same time. You’re so worked up by now that the feel of him pushing you wide open makes you start to shake a little, tremble long and constant all down the length of your spine. Your hands tighten around his neck.

‘Not yet,’ he’s saying, and it takes you a second to try to respond. You get your eyes open and he’s looking at you maybe harder than you’ve ever been looked at before. ‘No,’ he says, ‘no,’ and your eyes stay on his, begging, and you’ve stopped breathing because if you breathe you’re going to come, you’re going to tip over the edge and –

‘No,’ he says, again, and now his breathing’s gone ragged too and he’s got you up against the wall between the change table and the toilet. You’re taking in little gasping-gulps of air and the your belly is an aching coil of tension, swelling, about to break, and

‘Fuck,’ you say, loud, ‘fuck, fuck,’ and he clamps a hand over your mouth and your nose both and holds it there. His hand is shaking a little and you buck your hips up against him.

‘Now,’ he says, and takes his hand away, and you lose all control of your body, can’t feel your limbs as individual things, you’re all melting disembodiment against, around, the jerking muscle of him. He presses you against the concrete, leans some of his weight through you against the wall.

He’s still inside you when you hear someone try the door handle.

‘Fuck,’ he mouths at you, suppressing a grin. ‘Fuck, shit.’ He lets you down and you hastily grab a paper towel and struggle back into your jeans. He pauses with his hand on the door and glances back at you.

‘Post-coital walk of shame?’ you say, dimpling. He grins, tips his chin up a little.

‘Just the walking part,’ he says, and opens the door.