Honeymoon with Shannon

by Thom Gautier

She took my poetry workshop. This was about six years ago. Her name was Shannon. She was only a few years younger than I was but she was several years older than the other students. She was from Ireland but every bit a New Yorker: fluent, talkative, stylish, smart. She was no William Butler Yeats. She could critique poems but she couldn’t write a lick of decent verse herself. “It was just an elective, boy,” she told me, as she toyed with her cell phone during one of our office conferences. She was a double major in her final semester. Dean’s List, thanks to her math skills. “Business law with a minor in real-estate.” In the end, I gave her a gentleman’s B as a final grade. Later she told me I was a “right shite” for that. “An A minus at least, boy.”

She didn’t take to calling me “boy” till the term ended; I didn’t protest the nickname. Or if I did, I didn’t put up a fight.

She had sky blue eyes and a sailor’s mouth. One time, when she cursed, I told her she sounded like Tony Soprano trapped inside Lindsay Lohan’s body. She vetoed the description. “I don’t have a fat man’s voice.” She was right. Her red hair was long and curly, like some druid fairy out of folklore; she favored Cole Haan leather jackets and Diesel jeans, like a fashionista out of Tribeca. In fact she lived in Tribeca. “Not a bad address for a struggling student,” I told her. She stuck her tongue out at me.

Sometimes in my office as we edited one of her Godawful poems our knuckles brushed. Mostly we kept a safe distance. I’d lean back in my chair unbuttoning her blouse with my eyes, imagining planting a kiss near her neckline, my hands cupping and massaging her breasts, suckling her nipples. She would ask me what I was thinking and I answered with cryptic poetic remarks. “I’m thinking of rain and the color pink.” She would hug her bag so hard that her blouse’s neckline would reveal her bra strap. “Rain and the color pink, nice, poet-boy.” She rested her head on her bag and gazed at me with one blue eye peeping through a curtain of red hair. “Don’t stare, teacher, that’s rude. Tell me what you’re thinking, right now. Give me one of your nice Zen lines.”

“I’m thinking red waterfalls and hot mornings,” I said.

She smiled and kept her head resting on her bag.

As the end of the semester neared, she peppered me with personal questions, waiting for any answer by playing with one of the lace chokers she wore or grabbed the stiletto of her heel.

“I’m divorced,” I said, defensively, as if giving testimony before a judge.

“Seeing someone special, then, poet-genius?”

I spiked that question back at her.

She sighed and explained how it was rude to answer a question with a question. “You could say that I am seeing someone,” she said, gazing down at her feet.

“Well why don’t you say it?”

“Boy, I am not going to say that.” She leaned back in her seat, tucked a long strand of hair behind her right ear and looked squarely at me––through me, really––and tugged at the dangling straps of her backpack, clutching the bag’s long belts in her pretty white fist. I thought, lucky strap.

She said, “I’m engaged.” My heart sank on hearing it. “Don’t say anything funny or poetic about it, boy. I have two months of freedom and that’s that.”

We were already late for class. I tried to play it cool. I’m sure I said something asinine like, “Hey, marriage is a fine thing.” She hoisted her backpack onto her shoulder and gave me the finger. I told her that was disrespectful of the teacher and it would not go unpunished. We walked to class together so closely that one of my older female colleagues who passed us in the hall winked at me. As we got to the class I opened the door for her. “Now, respect your teacher,” I said and she play-punched hard in my shoulder me as we entered, the other students gaping in bewilderment at our unprofessionalism.

* * *

Once the term ended, Shannon and I went out for a beer. At the pub, we talked in circles for a long while, our knees and feet touching the whole time. I told half-truths about my life. Like that my divorce had been “amicable.” I was tactful about her private life; but my tact paid off. I found out that her hubby-to-be was twelve years her senior.

And loaded with cash. Her man’s daddy had died at his desk at the age of fifty and left him boatloads of insurance pay-off and savings which he then loaded into a successful New York nightclub. Then another club. Which they’d just sold. They were both moving south to open a chain of five nightclubs. The demands of the nightclub business would make a honeymoon for them impossible. They were marrying in Florida. In Orlando.

“Disney World,” she said, “to be precise.” She repeated that and purposely emphasized the irony of the location, but told me not to make a joke.

I said, “The Magic Kingdom, eh?” When I made mouse ears she gave me the finger. On impulse, I grabbed her middle finger, pulling it so she would move closer, and as her finger slipped out of my grip our faces closed in and we kissed. We kissed and we groped each other so blatantly that the bartender told us to cool it, “Or get lost.”

So we got lost.

We spent a half-hour locked in kisses outside on the sidewalk, pressing our hips together, muttering tender obscenities in each others’ ears, groping under each other’s shirts, taking turns running our index fingers along each other’s lower lips, unbuttoning buttons and letting the cold night air ripple over our skin, nibbling each other’s necks in full view of a parked patrol car. When we finally let go of each other we waved at the two cops; the officers seemed to blush like schoolboys.

I wished her good night and rode my train home with my face on fire, my cock surging as I recalled my hands on her warm skin, the supple after-tingle of her lips on mine. And most of all that blue-eyed gaze of hers: sharp, hungry, determined.

* * *

For two weeks, she phoned me nonstop trying to arrange a rendezvous. I reminded myself that student crushes are just that, and that I would be driving down a dead end--she was going to marry Mr. ATM. I hated myself for how much my heart leapt at hearing her voice. My pussyfooting around her requests didn’t work. Soon I got tired of resisting. “Why don’t you come up here,” I suggested.

I met her on the train platform. She was wearing a tight fitting denim jacket over a slate gray halter dress and matching gray sling back heels. We strolled with our arms snaked around each other’s backs as if we might fall down if we didn’t hold tight to prop each other up. She tried to distract us from our own sexual tension by enumerating the property values of the storefronts and buildings we passed.

After dinner, I brought her home to my apartment to “meet my goldfish.”

The goldfish was indifferent; I wasn’t. When I helped her out of her denim jacket, the sight of her bare arms, lightly freckled and perfumed with talc, made me feel so intensely alive I felt I’d walked into someone else’s life.

I led her into my bedroom and I put on Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain. She closed her eyes and told me what a sharp interior design eye I have. “For a starving poet, at least.”

I knelt down in front of the bed and drew back the slit of her long gray skirt, staring up at her as I raised the fabric over her knees.

She closed her eyes. She asked me for some poetic lines.

“Slate gray like the sea. Scented,” I said, “like wave-spray.”

She smiled and threw her head back, her long red hair dangling behind her back, her draped hair almost touching the sheets on my bed. I studied her tightly crossed legs. Then I wedged her legs apart, gently, willfully. I quoted the Talking Heads to her. “Dreams walking in broad daylight.”

I peeled off her black thong. It was wet, musky-scented. I dangled it from my finger, waiting for her to open her eyes. “Black blindfold removed,” I said, dangling the thong with one hand. With my other hand, I slipped a finger along the fleshy nub of her sex. “Black blindfold removed. Now the blind can see.”

“You’re a right proper tease,” she said. “And a right proper genius, in your syrupy way.”

I blew her a kiss. She kept her legs apart and closed her eyes again. Like a make believe tattoo artist, I spelled out my initials on her knees, signed my name with my finger around the back of her calves.

She muttered “yesyesyes” so sincerely––so musically––that I rewarded her by breathing softly along the inside of her left thigh, puffing warm breaths right on a beauty mark. I grazed my forefinger through her red pubic hair and teased the nub of her sex with the tip of my tongue.

She closed her strong legs around my head and took hold of my free hand on the bed. As I plunged my tongue in further, my nose was tickled by her hairs and by the damp sweetness of her sex as I licked and lapped, my tongue carefully following the pulse of her pussy’s pink lips. The harmonious play between my tongue and her sex made me swell in my pants. The leaping jazz bop, the crisp crescendos of Miles Davis’ trumpet seemed to be guiding my tongue as I pleasured her.

I let go of her hand and tucked my hands under her thighs and held her ass, squeezing gently as I kissed her clit, then lifting her slightly off the mattress and dragging my pinky finger round back, running my pinky over the brim of her snug hole as my tongue flicked up and down on her clit, down and up and then in. In. And round. Round in ever-tighter ever-more tender tongue-circlings, pausing now and then to let out hot breaths on her. “I see an impatient flower fluttering,” I said and I licked her nub deliberately, flicking my tongue at her clit, tickling it with the tip of my tongue back and forth until she’d swollen, supple and pink, like a pistil risen for a honeybee. The sudden pressure of her thighs closed against my head like a vise and forced my mouth against her sex; I was burrowed in her as I licked and kissed and kissed and flicked.

Soon I felt her legs quaking. I licked harder and faster. I felt her loving kicks of joy against my back urging me on; I let my pinky slide inside her snug spot as my tongue stroked her swollen clit so rapidly and so thoroughly my jaw started to ache, and then I heard muffled gasping, then louder shouts lilted by a brogue, “Oh Jesusfuck!” as she roared––and came––wet, violent, salty, her sex shivering warm spasms against my tongue, her voice ringing out so loudly in the room I could no longer hear Miles’ trumpet.

* * *

I cooked her dinner the next week; she came up on the train.

She brought vanilla and strawberry cupcakes from a boutique bakery in the city and after dinner we played strip poker and undressed. When we got bored with the card game, we smeared and squashed the cupcakes onto each other’s chins making fake beards that we licked off.

“Cupcake tits,” I said, smearing strawberry icing on the soft underside of her breasts, slathering icing onto her nipples. “Cupcake tits topped by sugar kisses.” Then we smeared the melted icing onto our chests, our mouths shaping puckered lips as we lapped every last bit of sugary melt off each other’s nipples, even smearing icing up and down our backs, dripping into the clefts of our asses as our sweetened mouths moved lower on each other's body, lapping up love. As her wet mouth closed over my cock, my tongue found her clit wet and swollen. “Sugar pleasures,” I said, loudly, and I’m sure, more than once.

We attended to each other’s sex so thoroughly and so precisely that it seemed we were in a race to get each other off. I don’t remember who came first but I distinctly remember the glaze of her own cum coating her thigh. I remember too how deliberately and dramatically I kissed that glaze, lapping up every drop while she giggled and repeated, “Sugar pleasures, boy, sugar pleasures.”

* * *

Around three in the morning, we both woke up restless. She said she wanted something but she didn’t know what. She crawled onto my stomach and pressed her knees into my chest. “It’s not food I want,” she said, “that’s all I know.”

I pulled her out of bed and led her into my bathroom. It was one of my favorite rooms in my otherwise charmless prewar apartment: a cozy bathroom with those old fashioned white pentagon tiles. Like some low-rent prince, I knelt down and slipped her feet back into her navy blue heels and turned her around so she could see herself in the full-length mirror on the bathroom door, her full white breasts flashing in the darkness, even more white and even more full as they gleamed luminously in the glass. I ran a forefinger down her breast and tickled her nipples. I squeezed each one between my thumb and forefinger. “Buds of some unnamed flower,” I said and she jabbed me with her elbow as reward for my waxing poetically.

I planted warm kisses on her nipples. Then I lifted my head and waved at her in the mirror. Her light blue eyes gleamed even in the dark. We both stared into the glass. She blew me a kiss. I rested my head playfully on her shoulder. She stared at my eyes in the mirror and reached back, soft-stroking my cock back to life.

Her lovely fingers hardened me and she leaned forward over the sink, and I entered her, slowly, softly, possessively, squeezing her ass cheeks as she leaned forward, her elbows resting on my porcelain sink, her head raised so she could see her own face in the mirror as I moved in her. The skin bellow my belly tickled against her smooth cleft.

As we fucked, she matched my motions, slow yet fast, fast and yet slow, working out some delicious dizzying tempo all our own. I ran my hands along her back, across her hips.

I teased the insides of her upper thighs, letting my fingers dance there even as we moved fast and faster, so fast, in fact, that before I could feel the surge burning in my balls she had let out another yelp of “OhJesusfuck,” loudly, in that sharp brogue of hers, and she came, flowing over me just as I erupted, erupting in thick spasms, my balls contracting with a force I’d never felt before, as if my body were willing itself to empty all of me into her.

We collapsed clumsily to the cold bathroom floor, our legs akimbo, her high heels scraping against my leg. I propped a towel for a pillow and we dozed off in my bathroom, drifting into deep sleep, waking hours later to the sharp sunlight and the nagging buzz of her cell phone ringing somewhere in my empty bedroom. “That’s the bloody Magic Kingdom calling,” she said waving around her hand around her head as if trying to swat a fly.

* * *

On the phone some weeks after those long nights in my place, we finally found time to get together again for coffee in a park. I asked about “the calendar.” She said the wedding was in exactly twenty days time and she was feeling bad. “A good-bad, you know?” she said, “But like a right shit too, d’ya know what I mean, boy? Like I ought to be punished even though I know I won’t.”

At first, I was tone deaf as to her exact point. I thought she should let any guilt go; we hadn’t asked anything of each other but fun. Serious fun, but only fun. She explained that it wasn’t guilt, exactly, that she was feeling. “Maybe I’m feeling a touch too––well––like this has been very easy. Like getting away with murder, d’ya know what I mean?”

I loved how she contracted a New Yorker’s “d’ya know” with her tart accent. I told her I knew exactly what she meant. My cock hardened as I repeated that I knew exactly what she meant, as if suddenly I was not only her lover but her interpreter and protector too. I agreed she was being a bad girl and that yes, she was absolutely getting away with murder lately and that if there was no punishment for her then, “What’s to stop every drop-dead gorgeous twenty-eight year old fiancée from going out and getting it on with a hot office buddy or a handsome stranger at a bar?”

She conceded that we were setting a very bad precedent for future fiancées.

“Well more you than me,” I said. “Though the sugar pleasures have been mutual.”

She repeated my phrase sugar pleasures and play-punched me and told me I ought to be poet.

“There’s no money in poetry,” I said, “I’m moving into the nightclub business.”

“Beware, you’ll get bought out, boy,” she said.

* * *

I sensed from that conversation in the park that she was asking for a kinky and cathartic end to our brief fling so the Saturday before she was to leave for Florida, I rented us a hotel room in the city and booked a table at a fancy restaurant near the East River. Though it was a lie, I told her the place had a strict dress code. “Explain, boy.”

“Women must wear little black dresses,” I said.

“Go on.”

“Sheer black stockings and backless high heels.”

“Oh, is that spelled out on their menu, boy? I suppose ‘Lingerie required as well’?”

“It’s posted on their front door,” I said and we laughed.

She said she’d see whether she wanted to conform to the code.

“Dress codes aren’t always oppressive,” I said. “Besides you said you felt this had been all too easy. So just do it.”

“I like your tone, poet,” she said. “Keep up that tone, I just might comply.”

* * *

She showed up at the restaurant in a long black raincoat and a little black dress. Her light skin glowed under her black stockings. She wore hoop earrings and her hair was bunned up and elegantly coifed, with tendrils spilling round her ears like wisps of red silk. She fixed my white shirt collar and ran an admiring finger down the lapel of my navy blue jacket. “Poet complied with a male dress code too, I see.” She teased me by slipping her right hand into my deep trouser pocket and as she probed her right hand around in there she flashed me her other hand, showing off her diamond engagement ring.

The stone in its setting gleamed like a strange crystal star. “So I finally meet the rock,” I said. I slung her bag over my shoulder and led her inside, to a round booth, a table draped in ivory cloth and lit by orange scented candles.

We barely poked at our appetizers, our arms snaked round each other, our bodies sparking so much heat that I was sure the tablecloth would catch.

As she stared at me and sipped her wine, I caressed her legs from her ankles and up her calves, my fingers dancing in quick skips across her thighs. I read the lace tops of her stockings as if they were written in Braille. She held her wineglass and with her free hand compulsively zipped and unzipped and zipped my trousers as if the zipper were her own personal toy. The constant movement over my crotch made my cock stiffen. At one point she poked a finger into my open fly and teased my swelling shaft. “So, I have been reprehensible, huh?” she asked.

“By your own admission, you’ve been a disgracefully capricious fiancée,” I whispered. I reached my arm around her back and squeezed her tightly, warmly to me. The sudden tenderness of our shoulders pressed together made us both feel the moment and our erotic play gave way as we choked up. We coughed. We caught our breath. I realized she was leaving. I toasted the past weeks. “To our pink swims, to midnight coves, to botched poems, to waterfall sketches, to what we have shared.” My eyes watered up a little as I held my glass near her but seeing she was so composed pulled me together.

She tapped her glass against mine. She said, “It was what it was, right?”

I assured her that was the only reasonable way to sum it up.

* * *

After dessert she rested her head on her hands. “Now, regarding my getting away with murder. My capriciousness. What is poet-boy going to do about that?” she asked, hiding her smile behind the menu as she raised her eyebrows expectantly.

“Oh. You’re going to have to get a talking-to.” I squeezed her leg and she squealed. The hostess at her podium heard Shannon squeal us and smiled over at us.

I slipped my hand under Shannon’s skirt and ran my index finger along the scallop-lace border between her panties and her skin. She closed her eyes and winced as I pulled back the fabric and snapped it against her skin. “I want you to put your teacup down. I want you to go to the bathroom and wait inside there for me,” I said.

She shrugged and stood up. “Teacher’s strange tonight.” She tossed her napkin onto my plate. “Well, fair enough. I have to go to the loo anyway.”

I grabbed her elbow. “No the women’s. Go into the men’s room. Wait. In a stall. Think about how easy it’s been for you, these past few weeks with me.”

She nodded in disbelief, gave me the finger and sauntered off.

When the wait staff had all vanished from view, I snuck into the men’s room.

I stood at a urinal pretending to be going to the bathroom as I waited in the bright fluorescence as two burly men finished their business at the sinks. When the men finally left, I knocked on the last closed stall. “Poet-girl in here?”

I heard a muffled giggle and through the rank odor, I could smell Shannon’s lavender perfume. Her talc.

The latch of the last stall clicked and the door creaked open on as if on its own.

Shannon was crouched on the closed toilet seat, squatted uncomfortably in her shiny black heels with an expression on her face like a cat trapped in a tree. She had one hand over her mouth and was trying to keep from laughing as she held her nose with the other hand. She stepped down off the toilet and straightened her dress, holding her nose again. “This is one stinky joint.”

“It’s like a confessional,” I said rapping my fist against the metal wall. “Now you can rest easy knowing you paid some price for all our fun.” I snaked my arm around her and kissed her. I kept an arm secured behind her back, kissing her ear. She teased me by zipping and unzipping my fly again and I reached under her skirt and teased her through her lace panties, feeling her heat build as I ran swift butterfly kisses up and down the nape of her neck. She wriggled and tried to pull my arm away but when I kissed her chin her resistance melted.

She closed her eyes and smiled. She repeated again and again how insane this was. I drew back her panties and let my finger sink into her sex.

“You are a mean teacher,” she said. “M-e-a-n.”

I unzipped my pants and let my cock out, crudely, like a gesture in some second-rate porno film. She stepped back and stared. “Is that a blowjob request? I don’t take requests,” she said, staring down at my cock as if she could take it or leave it. “You know me, boy, I prefer life on Easy Street. Giving head is hard work.” She chuckled and winked and then shook her head dismissively. Then she grabbed my cock and as she held it she playfully bit my earlobe.

As she kept her hold on me, I lowered myself onto the closed toilet lid and asked her to kneel in front of me.

“Boy, I am not kneeling on this filthy floor.” I pulled out sanitary seat liners and strew them in layers on the floor by my feet.

Slowly, moving like a suspicious traveler settling into a strange hotel room, she knelt down on the lined papers on the floor. Holding my cock, she poked out her tongue, looking lost in thought as if she were trying to recall a name. “I’m thinking ‘Devil Redhead in the Men’s Loo.’” she said, “ Should I write it as a sonnet?” she asked, speaking into my cock, giggling as she squeezed me harder. Then she licked and lapped my crown, at first gingerly and then aggressively, long licks up my shaft, patiently, thoroughly, a random pace of licks all her own, the way a cat cleans herself at its own pace, in her own sweet time.

Seeing her pink painted fingernails and white fingers cupping my balls nearly made me cum. I held fast to the sides of the bowl and gazed at her, her black high heeled feet tearing at the paper lining on the floor, the almost imperceptible breeze of the paper blowing dust and pubic hairs around in the tile and grouting.

I was sure the loud watery, pocking sound of her tongue lapping as it ran upwards again along my cock could be heard by anyone who came into the bathroom. And the noisy suckling too as she took me in whole, the tearing noise, heels ripping the paper to shreds. As she drew her tight lips upwards, so slowly I felt she’d never let go, I exploded into her warm mouth.

She suckled me until I went soft and then she dribbled, letting my own wad ooze down over my cock.

She stared at my sex intently, only once looking up at my eyes.

Then she stood up, wiping her hands and fingers with tissue paper, fixing her skirt, patting my head.

“Not the cleanest of places. No picnic. But I think I’ve paid some price, poet-boy being lured in here.”

And she then she checked to see that the coast was clear and left me alone in the stall where I lingered, gathering myself together, wondering how she’d gotten the upper hand yet again.

* * *

That night, like most of our affair, felt like a surreal, hardcore fairy tale.

After the restaurant, back at the hotel, I gave her a farewell bouquet of lilacs.

The clock was literally ticking over heads. We didn’t talk much. We lay on the bed, hand in hand, surfing TV channels. She nuzzled against my chest and I stroked her hair. She said she was going to miss only one thing about New York.

“The poetry workshop?” I asked.

“Not bloody likely,” she said. “Maybe just one meanie of a poet.”

She told me she couldn’t believe that tawdry encounter in the john was all her punishment for having had “this little illicit madness.”

I asked her if she was ready for one last chance to save her soul.

She said in twenty-nine hours she’d be on a plane to Orlando. “If I’m not ready now, when will I be?”
I went to the fridge and brought out a bottle of Proseco and a small white cake I’d bought at the fancy Polish bakery. She asked me what this was. “Your just desserts,” I said.

She sat up and beamed. We sat Indian-style on the bed, feeling like kids at a kinky pajama party. I drew a fork out and she asked me where mine was. I informed her that she was eating all this whole cake. “Solo.”

“And be a blimp on Monday? Float down the aisle like a bridezilla?” she asked. “I don’t think so. Not after tonight’s crème brulee.”

I convinced her that as punishments go, a sugary sweet is hardly cruel and unusual and fed her a forkful, watching the icing drip and the plop onto her black skirt, smudging the corners of her lips.

Cake crumbs soon doted the coverlet around us.

After the second slice she hugged her tummy and said, “No mas, boy.”

I cut a third slice and held a forkful near her lips. “Did you give a blowjob in a men’s room or was I dreaming that” I asked, and when she cracked a smile I slipped the cake into her mouth. As I fed her—and overfed her––I felt paternal, fatherly, sadistic. My cock was hard again.

She chewed and giggled and nodded. “I’m going to retch,” she said. She chewed, mumbling obscenities and giving me the finger as she ate. “Disgusting.”

I removed the cake from the box and kicked the box off the bed, placing the remaining cake near our pillows. I helped her strip down to her bra and stockings.

She slipped my belt off my trousers and wrapped it around her fist and play-punched me in my stomach. Then she fit my belt around her small waist, the buckle dangling. As I lifted her by her haunches she tried to kick free. I lowered her down on the cake and she squirmed, closing her eyes and grinning as her ass crushed the cake. “Boy the icing is bloody cold!”

I told her not to worry. “Help is on the way.”

I lay myself down stomach-down on the bed, my head directly in front of her sex. I licked her inner thighs, licking up the flakes of cake and icing, and swirling my sweetened tongue along her sex, flicking my tongue on her cunt until she was wet, warm, wiggling. The icing melted on her skin as I kissed her thighs and dragged the tip of my tongue up her sex and down, in, down, down and then up again, quick strokes with my tongue till her sweetness wet my lips.

I pulled myself up and we lay down in the missionary position, eye to eye, nose to nose, like a couple about to consummate vows.

I entered her slowly, and stayed still inside her, swollen, hot, rigid.

We remained motionless like that, face to face, our hands locked together tenderly savoring something we knew was ending. Ending, that is, until it started, first with her hips moving and then mine, my mouth on her right breast, lapping her nipple, nibbling, lolling my tongue at the soft under-skin of her breasts as my hands cupped her.

She swirled her tongue in my ear and ran her fingers through my hair. I buried my fingers in her mass of red hair, massaging her scalp. I pulled the pins from her hair and let her red hair spill over the pillow and her cheeks. Her hair framed her face so wonderfully she looked like a movie star posed on the cover of Vanity Fair.

I told her so and kissed her and lowered my face and kissed her nipples. I nibbled. I dragged the tip of my tongue from her neckline down to the space between her breasts, slathering each nipple again, lifting myself up just enough so that my cock stayed locked in place while I kissed her stomach, my tongue swirling on her warm skin as we rocked like that for what felt like an hour, an hour that ended faster than a millisecond, as the two of us came crashing down on each other––into each other––muffling our cries in a kiss, kissing and then licking our chins as we fell, rose and fell and rose again only to fall finally waist deep into the hot running currents between our legs.

* * *

The next morning she let me shampoo her hair and I enjoyed lathering the bubbles through her thick wet tresses. We played the Sketches of Spain CD loudly and made friendly jokes about our bathroom escapade in the restaurant the night before. Shannon said the night before had was definitely not been a case of getting off easily. “I paid the piper in that smelly awful place,” she said, shoving me playfully. “And I do feel better now.”

We ate breakfast at a local diner and wandered around the city as the sun staggered toward noon.

She educated me about business start-ups. Feasibility studies. Florida’s liquor laws. Liability matters that came up when you owned nightclubs. Mr. ATM had gone down to Florida weeks ahead to see that the movers didn’t destroy their stuff and to get the club renovations finished. I asked her what airline she was taking. She shrugged indifferently. We reminisced about some of the characters in the poetry workshop. She said it felt as though the course had been ten years ago. We agreed that time plays vicious jokes on people. “Personal arcs get tangled up, people meet at the wrong time,” she said.

“D’ya know what I mean?”

I answered that of course I knew what she meant. I didn’t say it but I knew she meant that she needed to marry this man. And I knew, or so I told myself, that I still needed to be on my own, that I needed more time and space to get on my feet after my divorce.

We hugged underneath the FDR Drive and let go without getting weepy. The breeze off the river cooled us some. I hailed a cab for her.

I watched her sling her duffel bag confidently into the taxi and her confidence reassured me that she would be just fine. A double major, a good head on her shoulders, an older, stable businessman for a husband, a new life in sunny climes. We hugged one more time, quickly, and she climbed into the car.

As the cab receded she turned once to wave and then I watched how sun and shadows through the rear windshield cast bright light on and off on her long red hair, and I watched until the car disappeared from view up the highway ramp.

* * *

At my apartment the next morning I put a vase of lilacs on my bathroom sink and remembered the first time she’d come over. Clicking my laptop to life, I googled the mailing address for Disney World’s wedding reception hall. The hit came up as The Magic Kingdom Wedding Castle. As I scrolled down the list I saw the announcement of a Monday wedding “Gary Suggs and Shannon O’Rourke.”

I bought a wedding card with a big white cake on the cover and a Starbucks gift card. I crossed out the sappy Hallmark Congratulations to a blessed couple on your blessed day. I addressed the card to her and scribbled inside, “With my abiding affection and always in good thoughts, to the girl who had her cake and ate it too. XOXO.” Then I slipped the gift card in, licked the envelope slowly, sealed it and paid the postage, handed it over to the Next Day delivery counter.

Outside the post office, I remember thinking it was a balmy summer already and it was only the start of July. Almost like Florida, I thought. She’d worn me out; I needed a nap. And I remember reminding myself that I was free and single, smack down in the middle of my life, and that, even though it was terribly quiet in my life just then, there was no real reason to be down.


Thom Gautier is the author of several erotic stories published at Cleansheets, Oysters & Chocolate, and Lucrezia magazines. He is also a widely published poet. More info at thomgautier.blogspot.com

© 2009 by Thom Gautier





Home | Fiction | Illustrations | Epigrams | Romans
Liaisons for Laughs | Random Frivolity | Weblog
| Hightower's Antics | Reviews
Pawtawnee Chronicles
| Poetry | Fiction Archives

| About |
| Submissions | Links

Copyright 2001-2011 Sliptongue
unless otherwise noted. / All rights reserved. Reproduction
of material, in whole or in part, from any Sliptongue pages without
written permission is strictly prohibited.