starts with the letter. It arrived that day, at my office via
FedEx. I slice open the envelope, and it parts like a bloodless
wound, the thick paper folds back like flesh. I pull out the single
sheet of paper inside, and an airline ticket. The missive is direct,
written in his fluid, well-schooled hand. "Meet me." Simple, direct,
elegant. Heavy paper, watermark, written with a broad nib fountain
pen. An address is provided. The paper smells of musk and lavender.
I call my boss and tell her that I'm sick. So sorry, it just came
on suddenly, a burning migraine. I tell her the feeling is so
intense I think I've been blinded. She'll never guess what it
really is that blinds me. My skin is already on fire. I shove
the letter and the envelope into my briefcase, stash the plane
ticket in my purse and shut down the computer. I put my sunglasses
on, and hold my hand over my eyes, wincing as I scurry for the
door. My knees actually wobble as I get into the car. Hands tensed
in anticipation, I can almost feel the heavy cotton of his shirt
beneath my fingers. The scent of scalded rubber as I pull out
into traffic, the motor screaming its frustration that the speed
limit is only sixty-five.
is easy. I don't need much. A few items thrown into my overnight
case. A heavy silk nightgown and the suede Mardi Gras mask are
last moment additions. Strangely, I pick up the long shears from
my desk. They rest heavy and cold in my hand. Blades nine inches
in length. I smile and put them back down. I decide I don't want
to have to check my bag. I call for a cab. I take a quick shower,
the water sluices over my back and shoulders, as if this would
settle me for the trip. My hands glide over my damp skin, nipples
hardening, the skin along the sides of my legs breaking into gooseflesh
despite the warm water. A delicious tension. I rub oil over my
legs, up the insides of my thighs, over my belly and breasts,
down my shoulders and arms. I dress in my usual plain style, cashmere
sweater, fitted skirt, stockings, red high-heeled shoes. I grab
my coat and umbrella. The cab arrives faster than expected: I
barely have time to finish putting on my makeup when the horn
blares below. I lock the door behind me and slow myself deliberately
as I stride up to the taxi. In the cab, I call my fiancée; tell
him that I've been called unexpectedly out of town, business emergency.
It is unavoidable, so sorry darling. So easy to deceive him and
so alarming that I feel no guilt at all in doing so.
airport is awash in busy travelers, each darting hither and yon,
bumping into one another, snarling at the slightest touch. A tall
Arab businessman turns sharply, and walks right into me. I brace
my hands on his chest to keep from falling. He looks at my fingers,
into my eyes and smiles unexpectedly. His hand rests for a lingering
moment on my hip. "Sorry" he says, dark eyes mirthful. "Don't
be," I laugh back, slowly disengaging from his touch, my fingertips
lingering on the front of his shirt. I slide my hand down his
chest, dragging a fingernail over his nipple, and smile to myself
at his sharp intake of breath: A little treat for a fellow traveler.
I pick up my bag and hurry across the floor to catch my plane.
San Francisco to New Orleans. Non-Stop, First Class. The Arab
businessman watches me as I stride along, I don't need to look
back. I can feel his eyes on me like a caress.
barely make my plane in time. I'm literally the last person on
the flight. The stewardess purses her lips at me in annoyance,
despite her cheery hellos. I stow my bag, and take my seat. I
ask for a blanket. The drinks cart comes by: complimentary champagne.
Though not my usual fare, I have a glass. The air phone rests
in its jack in the seat in front of me. I slot my credit card
and call the hotel, a special request for our stay. No problem,
billed to the room. I put on the headphones, listen to the piped
in classical music. At least they have the decency to play Beethoven.
I lean my head against the window and watch the earth fall away.
I wrap the blanket over my legs and settle in to dream during
the long flight.
closed I can feel his breath on the back of my neck, long hands
wound into my hair pulling my head back so that my neck arches
and the back of my head rests against his chest. His other hand
pulls me against him. I can feel the long muscles in his thighs,
the soft-scratchy texture of the hair on his chest against my
back. He bites into the soft skin at the bottom of my neck, along
the top of my shoulder. Hard enough to make me wince slightly,
just as he releases the pressure of his bite and drags his open
palm across my belly, down over my pubic bone, then gently curves
his hand between my thighs and cups the damp heat that is beginning
to suffuse me. I try to turn my head to kiss him but he uses his
grip on my hair to keep me facing away.
you my bad girl?" he whispers. I close my eyes and laugh. "Naughty
is as naughty does" I reply. He lets go of my hair and wraps his
other hand around me, cupping one breast in his hand, rubbing
the edge of his thumb over the nipple, then letting his palm rasp
across the tender skin to reach the other breast. His fingers
pull away from my sex, damp, and warm, and he places his hand
on my hip to turn me to face him. He wears his old black leather
Mardi Gras mask, the halo of his blonde hair over his shoulders.
He takes both of my hands and pulls them up over my head then
pinions them with one hand, stretching my body up against the
wall, pulling me at length so that my back arches slightly. I
can feel the bottom of the brass wall sconce with my fingertips,
and I grab on to it, as he lifts me from the hips and wraps my
legs around his waist. The first thrust of his penetration leaves
me gasping. I let go of the sconce with one hand to caress his
cheek and he kisses my palm as his pumping increases in speed
and ferocity, and I respond in kind. Wave upon wave, he fills
me, and I suffuse him, like a storm riding the sea. The world
is lit up underneath my eyelids, and when the orgasm takes me
over I suddenly open my eyes and gasp aloud.
still on the plane, abruptly sitting upright, feeling the warm,
heady tensions already dissipating and the hot dampness between
my thighs the physical reminder of the culminated dream. The annoyed
stewardess leans over me and asks if I'm all right. I meet her
gaze and hold it for a moment. "Fine, thank you," I reply. I really
want to tell her to just piss off and leave me be. She took my
meaning, huffing away. I look across the aisle and see an older
woman watching me intensely. She mouths a question to me: "Nice
dream?" I smile and nod. She nods in reply and returns to reading
her book. I accept the second glass of champagne with a smile
and await our final descent into New Orleans.
I step off the plane, there's a chauffer waiting for me, holding
up a sign with my name printed on it in bold hasty strokes. I
raise my hand in greeting, and follow the chauffer though the
throng of people, seeking lost luggage, arriving loved ones, and
the rental cars they thought were all arranged. I put my sunglasses
on, and steel myself for the intense damp heat that will greet
me when we step outside. Its barely dusk. The air is sultry and
heavy as a satin shawl. It drapes over me, around me as I walk
to the limousine. The door is opened; my bag is taken, placed
in the trunk as I settle in. The door is closed, and the cool
air prickles my legs and arms as I open the bar. A bottle of Oban,
some water. I pour myself a drink, and sip it, tasting the hard
flinty edges of the scotch, watching the lights on the raised
highway spin by, watch the yahoos on the Bourbon, swilling beer
and laughing like madmen dancing on the edge of a precipice. My
panties are damp, sticking to my body, a luxurious heat burning
between my thighs. I lean my head back on the seat and breathe
in the smell of well cared for leather, and something else. I
close my eyes and breathe deeply. The scent of a man's cologne
and a smell that makes me smile to myself. This is a well-loved
limousine. How well he knows me, a creature of the senses, intoxicated
like an animal by the scent of past lovemaking, the flinty taste
of the scotch, the heavy night air laden with jasmines.
make the hotel by six forty. I push my sunglasses to the top of
my head and address the desk clerk. My reservations are in order;
he has already paid the room. I take my key, and prepare to go
up, the bellboy carrying my slim overnight bag in one hand, leading
me to the old, gated elevator, down the hall where converted gaslights
burn now with electric lamps. Room three zero four, our usual
suite at this hotel. The bellboy puts my bag down, shows me the
familiar bathroom with its deep claw-footed tub. The sitting room,
the bar, the bedroom. He opens the curtains on the bank of French
doors over the courtyard. The ceiling fan whirs softly overhead.
I hand him his tip, and his fingertips linger on my palm. The
door closes and I'm alone in our suite. I unpack my valise; nothing
much to it. I put away my things, then, in front of the mirror,
I put up my hair, slowly undress, hanging up my skirt, folding
the sweater, rolling down my stockings, peeling out of my underwear.
I run the bath, and gather one of the deep robes from the closet.
I ignore the opened curtains. Let them watch, if they want to.
I don't mind. I sink into the heated water, adding a little oil
to it, and soak off the flight, the car ride, and the last remembrances
of my day in California. He won't arrive until eight. I look at
my watch: Plenty of time.
put on my silk gown, wearing nothing beneath it at first. Reconsidering,
I put on fresh stockings, my heeled shoes. Better. I re-pin my
long hair, small ringlets escaping here and there. Finally, I
put on my Mardi Gras mask, the supple suede molding to my face,
the black ribbons snug at the back of my head. As I turn my head
this way then that, the door to the room opens. I can hear his
tread on the floor, the whisper of his jacket coming off; I can
see it in my mind being casually tossed over the armchair in the
sitting room. I hear him open the champagne, lift the telephone
and call for room service. Then, I know already, that he's heading
into the bedroom, to lean against the tall windows and drink,
and wait for me to appear. Far be it from me to disappoint.
walk out of the bathroom, scented steam curling about my ankles.
He is, as I imagined, leaning against the tall frame of the center
French door. He's opened it to the night, and a slight breeze
ruffles the curtain, the stray bits of his long hair that have
come loose in transit. He's in his shirtsleeves, cufflinks still
in, tie still snugly knotted at his throat. The shirt tapers to
his narrow waist, long legs in soft Italian wool pants. The shoes
he wears are worth more than I make in four months. I slip an
arm around his waist, and nuzzle the back of his neck. He reaches
back and strokes my thigh through the silk gown.
came." He whispers.
chuckle to myself; a dark throbbing sound escapes my lips. Not
yet, I think, not yet. I reach around and take the glass from
him and drain it at a swallow. He turns to face me, and notices
the mask. His lips part to speak, but I put a finger on them and
whisper, "hush." I feel him start to smile. I pick up the package
I arranged to have delivered from the front desk, feel its weight,
its balance. I open it at the tapes: a pair of shears, nine-inch
long blades: wicked instrument. I put them down on the table.
He walks over, lifts the shears, and opens them with a cool metallic
hiss. He slides a blade under the strap of my gown, and I gently
place my hand over his and shake my head. He hesitates, and is
he manages to ask before I lean up and kiss him, fierce as the
heat that has been burning within me since receiving his letter.
His hands rest on my shoulders, and then tighten there. He slides
his hands over my arms, then around my waist. I part his mouth
with the tip of my tongue; tease him, flicking it over his lip,
curling it along the inside of his lips, like an invitation. He
laughs deep in his throat. His kiss tastes of wine and cigarettes.
Sucking his lower lip, I bite him, feel the flesh begin to swell,
hearing his breath quicken; my free hand strokes the planes of
his face. I bring up the hand holding the shears, and slowly drag
the points over his chest. Then I pull away from him and work
the tip of the blade under the edge of his necktie. I close the
blades and the silk parts; I pull off the remnants of his necktie
and drop it to the floor. Laughing softly as I work the point
of the shears into the neck of his shirt and begin cutting away
the fabric. The sensuous rasp of cold steel through the cotton,
heavy points catching on tender skin.
at last his shirt is opened, I drag the cool blades, heavy points
against flesh, over his chest. I watch as the skin lifts in a
long red welt, scraping over his nipple, drawing blood. He gasps
as I kiss him, pinching the abraded skin, then lowering my head
to kiss his neck. I deliver a slow kiss at the base of his throat,
lingering, tasting salt, scenting him like a beast. I lick the
long welt on his chest, soothing it, then blow across the dampened
skin, watch the gooseflesh rise. His back arches against my hand,
long fingers toying with the ribbons holding my mask in place.
I kiss him so gently, then he moans at the following bite, then
the next, and the next, working my way down his belly. I slide
the blade of the shears along the button of his trousers, then
cut through the thread shank, cut through the cloth over his groin,
listening to the indrawn breath and the frightened silence as
heavy metal blades glide along the side of his penis. The fabric
falls away whispering down the length of his legs.
slide the blade into the leg of his underwear, feel the point
catch and scrape over his hip as I rip the cloth open then close
the blades with a snap at the waist. He's panting, eyes closed,
hands opening and closing at his sides. I slide the torn cloth
to the side and suck the soft flesh on the inside of his thigh,
stroke the cold metal between his legs, lifting him to his toes
on the points of the shears, tickling the sensitive place between
his balls and his anus. I raise my eyes to his and smile. He places
a hand on my shoulder and tries to take the scissors from my hands.
I dig the points higher, and he rises up further on his toes.
the weal that gleams red on his pale skin I can taste the places
where the flesh has broken open. I bite the welts, then slide
my lips over the bruised places, rub my cheek against his belly
like a cat. I shift my grip on the scissors, holding them by the
blades, and press the length of them into his chest. I shove him
down on the bed, holding the long scissors in one hand and watching
him carefully. Then, I pick up the remnants of his necktie. He
again tries to speak, but I press the folded blades of the shears
on his lips. I bind one wrist, then the other to the iron headboard.
I use what's left of his shirt to gag him. I sit astride his hips;
feel him hard between my legs. I lean over and kiss him, feel
his mouth straining around the frayed cloth. He raises his hips,
eyes pleading, muffled words behind the restraining cloth. I stroke
the side of his face, drag my long nails over his chest, then
stroke my fingers over his thighs. I watch his hands close around
the iron rails as I begin to rock faster. I unbind my hair and
let it trail over his chest when I kiss him. It's the world of
my daydream, lit beneath my eyelids. I close my eyes and listen
to him groaning behind the gag, muffled cries timed with mine.
What do you really want to know about a former Catholic schoolgirl
who writes stories like this? What flavor of ice cream that I
like? I read de Sade and giggle, I read the paper and weep. You
figure it out.
© 2002 by Galloway