by Nefer Masters
"Hey," Maxwell greeted. Casual. Non-committal. Just "hey" as if it had been only a day instead of three years since we had last seen each other face to face. As he leaned insolently against the hotel room doorjamb, I drank his presence in and my heart grew heavy. Despite having known Maxwell through every stage of my life since early childhood, he had been forever burned into my memories as my teenage partner in crime. My fellow outcast.
Ten years before in high school, we had flown sullen flags with our trademark black clothing, stomped through those halls of inequity in our steel-toed combat boots and proudly boasted our morbid preoccupations through gargoyle necklaces and skull and cross-bones bracelets. Our unity had been our ultimate survival. Our non-conformity had merely been the floating log we had clung to in a teenage sea of Polo cologne, walking Gap ads and narrow imaginations. We had always had an incredible bond, one far more precious and extraordinary than a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. By necessity, our bond had sustained us through the four year-long societal pigeonhole of high school, and now, by necessity, we would destroy it through the most ordinary means.
As Maxwell came into the hotel room, my eyes sought out an old friend entombed in the tailored Men's Wearhouse suit. My fingers ached to tremble through wild Irish-red curls that were now stiffly slicked back on his head in a pall-bearer kind of way. Most of all, I wished that this encounter did not have to take place. We were meeting at a hotel instead of my apartment in Richmond or his home in Philadelphia because of its proximity to the airport, but that final decision had been no less due to Maxwell's sudden inclination toward practicality. He had to fly to Boston a week before the wedding, anyway, and his reservation called for a quick three-hour layover in DC.
Eyeing me from head to toe, Maxwell smiled as if examining my physical changes as precisely as I'd done to his. Self-consciously, I touched my auburn hair, which I had tied up in a tight French twist to complement the professionalism of my cream-colored blazer. It was a long suit jacket reaching almost to my knees, but it had not been designed to wear with nothing underneath-- not even underwear.
Brushing past me, he slid his arm around my waist and affectionately pecked my cheek. I quickly became encased in his damp scent from a late August rain that smelled steamy instead of cool or refreshing. It also induced sweat, judging by the vaguely musky scent surrounding him, musk that I was momentarily incapable of attributing to anything sexual.
He released a grunt of amusement as I put up the do-not-disturb sign on our doorknob and then closed and locked the door. Still grinning, he came toward me. When he was only inches away, he lifted my hand to his lips and feathered them softly over the edge of my palm. Maneuvering my hand in his, examining it with the scrutiny of a pathologist, he kissed my fingers in the same way, embracing them with his lips and covering the flesh with soft slightly moist caresses.
My insides began melting into liquid almost as fast as the line between buddies and lovers began to dissolve. At his urging. It was only at that moment that I realized the irony of having been the one to contact him about our pact after I'd heard the wedding announcement. He was not collecting a reward-- he was giving one to me. This transversal of roles was as unfamiliar and disturbing to me as the man who had just kissed my hand. It was true that through our mid to late twenties, our friendship had lessened. We both had grown-up jobs and in separate cities. Having trickled down to occasional phone calls and emails, we rarely saw one another. But our closeness had never weakened. Until today, we had consistently thought of each other as best friends and I, at least, had always considered him to be my little Maxwell.
Standing there with my hand entwined in his, a belatedly cold realization sprouted out at me as sneakily as a brittle dry leaf in an otherwise flourishing garden of marigolds. Somehow, sometime behind my back, Maxwell had become a man with an adult life, adult responsibilities and priorities that were completely alien to the us that I remembered. Moving away from me, he situated himself in the room, sitting down at the desk and partaking in some of the wine I had ordered from room service. I thought that at least something of our emotional bond needed to be spoken before the act but I could think of nothing.
"So," I groped for the meaningful but in my awkwardness, could only settle on the obvious. "What's she like?"
Wine glass halfway to his lips, Maxwell's grin widened as if by default. Then, almost immediately he restrained it, suppressing his fleshy lips into a tight line that resembled a smirk.
"Oh," he stalled. It was as if he was not sure what she was like or at the very least, surprised that I would exhibit any interest in her.
Looking up at me once more, he shrugged almost unnoticeably and then sighed in the most pleasant way. "Lovely." Swallowing down the rest of his drink, he said no more.
I looked away, plagued by my own strangeness. That was it? Lovely? The boy who in a distant day had told me at what times and frequencies he masturbated could now only share one word about his wife-to-be? She was a registered nurse in Chicago and her name was Annie. That was all I knew about her, all I ever would know about her as I would never meet her. What wife or even girlfriend would ever understand and condone her man having a best gal-pal other than she? I know I wouldn't. Idly, I wondered if Annie was worth fulfilling our pact. I certainly hoped so.
"Do you still smoke?" Maxwell suddenly asked, turning slightly toward me.
I shook my head. Even at sixteen, he had been the number one opponent to my cigarette habit. "I quit two years ago."
He nodded approvingly and his eyes widened in appreciation of my accomplishment. It was a courtesy gesture; the type reserved solely to applaud the efforts of someone you didn't really care about doing something you really weren't interested in. With those two words, the chasm between us widened alarmingly and for one moment, I saw us with non-biased eyes and memory block of the past twenty years. We were two virtual strangers about to engage in an hour of meaningless lust between flight reservations. Panic spurred me into action. I gazed searchingly into Maxwell's face until meeting his eyes and willed him, dared him even, to hold my gaze. All the time, I swore to myself that I would not look away first.
With his eyes firmly plastered on mine, I stood up and backed toward the bed, allowing him full view. Ever so slowly, I undid the only two buttons that held together my long tailored blazer. They were sewn in at the waist, cinching it, and creating the hourglass figure that many women still aspired for in business clothing. With the buttons un-done, my jacket began to slide tantalizingly to the edge of my shoulders, revealing the curvy sides of my breasts and the fact that I had nothing on underneath. Then, with a mere tug at my jacket lapels, I stood entirely naked before him.
A sharp hiss from the desk indicated his urgent intake of breath and I watched, thrilled, as his face became painted with red. It was the same way I remembered so well from youth when my bra straps would slip into view as intentional accidents. As his eyes absorbed me, the fluttering in my stomach began and electrified in intensity, traveling to my toes and then all the way up to my scalp until I was on fire with want and need. My inner thighs tensed, violently desperate to snap around his waist. My hips begged to buck forward into him. My walls throbbed in anticipation of feeling him inside of me and I longed to take every inch of him, to devour him, to have him devour me.
Dizzily, I became aware that my every physical impulse negated this being the very last thing I had ever counted on happening between us. Watching him as he sat stock still, his mouth gaped-open, his breathing reduced to gasps and his erection straining tightly against his trousers, my nervousness faded. Elation encompassed me as I gazed into a set of watery timid blue eyes that I had not seen since I was a Junior in high school.
Eyes still on him, I moved from my place with a subtle but cocky swagger and made my way toward him. His breath quickened as I got closer and I smelled his hot excitement without mixed emotions. Reaching down, I stroked his cheek almost maternally and kept my mouth only centimeters from his. Inching my lips even closer, I suddenly stopped, backed away and then became exhilarated when another desperate sounding whimper escaped from the back of his throat.
I let myself fall back onto the bed as if I were about to luxuriate in a Jacuzzi full of bubbles instead of a hotel-room bed that had already seen more than its share of this kind of exercise. Sliding back along the spread, propelling myself with one raised leg, I carelessly allowed him full peek of my glistening wet pussy, now nearly pulsating in heat. Staring at my most private place, his eyes widened. The crystal-blue irises then locked into my brown ones, knowingly, gloatingly. His smile twisted into an open acknowledgment of the fact that I ached for him as much as I had made him ache for me. Sheer will prevented me from immediately shutting my legs right then. It couldn't be an even score. It had never been.
Crazily, my mind floundered and I thought of a million inconsequential things such as my last lover calling me frigid and the way I had always let Maxwell cheat off of my test scores. I was smarter than he and a full year older. I had given to him, he had followed unquestioningly and considered himself lucky that at least one girl found him special. Our pact, originally my teasing idea, had been designed for his pleasure and despite the waning of our friendship, it would be executed to satisfy his adolescent longing. Or it would not happen at all.
Purring softly, pretending I hadn't noticed his superior smile, I narrowed my eyes and spread my hands down my body in self-worship. When I reached my snatch, I feathered the tips of my fingers through my bush delicately as if administering adoration to each and every individual hair. Ignorant of him, my body quivered and my heart roared loudly when my two fingers made contact with my swollen clit, begging me to rub it, to love it. It had been a very long time since I had last enjoyed the pleasure of sex.
Calmly sucking in my breath, I glanced up for his reaction to my show and once again, I found the boy I had adored long ago. Nervous. Unsure of himself. Not even knowing what to do as he stood fully clothed with an enormous erection. I offered my embrace by spreading my arms wide into the air. Eagerly, he lunged for the bed, unbuttoning, unzipping, pulling off and stumbling out of garments in the process. Then, he laid down next to me, silent and in wait.
Climbing up on my haunches, I stared at him from above only momentarily. I longed to remain there, just gazing down at him, committing each and every ounce of him and this moment to my eternal memory bank. It was not that I had ever been in love with him. I hadn't been, but I had adored the institution of "us" and the person I had been in his eyes.
Lifting my legs over his upper thighs in a squatting position, I regarded him with the solemn reproach of the executioner to the condemned man. His eyes danced in ecstasy as they roamed over my naked body. Coughing little gulps of breath muted his groans, making me gleefully aware of how strong his desire was. Snapping my head down, I contrived a wicked smile and took hold of his cock. With my fingers wrapped around it, I drove it back and forth, nearly slapping it like a naughty child. Maxwell shuddered, throwing his head and neck back in response to my playful yanks and prods. I continued the rhythm, only intensifying the pressure for seconds at a time. All the while, I watched the red splotches on his face join until the last remnants of his pale white complexion had disappeared. Then, I let go.
Clearly startled, his watery blue eyes became hungry animals salivating. The wickedness of my grin thickened as I reached for the nightstand and pulled out one of the condoms I had left in its drawer. I did volunteer work at an AIDS hospice and I was happily childless. I was not going to be un-safe or take a risk, not on a dare, or because of a pact I had made one blistering hot night when I was barely sixteen. Not even for him. He got the message.
Observing him as he expertly rolled on the condom, I admired his stubby, pale Irish fingers sliding against his own cock for only a second. The delicious act of precaution was made less enjoyable by the sudden silent scream of remorse filling my head. I could remember in the eighth grade when I had taught him the basics of typing. I had leaned over his shoulder, teasingly allowing my long hair to dip into his neck as I instructed him key by key. No matter how silly it was or how much time had passed, I had trouble reconciling the fact that Maxwell had learned to fuck without my supervision.
Pushing away negative thoughts, I once again straddled his legs, enjoying his eager and nearly frightened expression. I concentrated on that instead of what I would lose after orgasm. His cock pointed to me accusingly, mockingly, as I inched my hips up to broach it much more slowly than my loins beckoned me to. In just one slip, I took him in his entirety. His cock glided smoothly, comfortably, into me as if returning home. A much deeper and more painful penetration cut schismatically through my soul. As he groaned and writhed between my thighs, his thrusting stabs rocked my entire body up and down on his in frantic convulsions, a death rattle of ecstasy. The bedsprings squealed underneath our bodies, agonized, like tiny animals being slaughtered. My teeth clattered and my hair, now reduced to a loosened ponytail, swung over and across my face with the steady repetition of a pendulum.
Closing my eyes, I imagined his cock inside my tunnel-like walls exploring me in a smooth touristy fashion, then probing me like a scientific camera sent to the great beyond to study my mysteries. Everything that I had hidden from Maxwell and only hinted about in playful gestures was now given to him in this one-time-only offer. And I couldn't help but wonder: was he celebrating the conquer? Or deep inside me-- my entire inner and outer self at last exposed to him-- was he now discovering that I was not an elusive enigma that he was only allowed to get so close to? That there was, in fact, no mystery at all?
Maxwell began thrusting into me, hard, over and over again as if he were trying to stampede me with his cock, the same way we were snuffing out our friendship with sex. Despite my unwilling participation in this death, my hips bucked toward his and my back arched to receive his maddening power. Every tremor of pleasure that coursed through my body was followed by a wave of sadness. Muting out my inward wail of grief, I threw my head back and howled in the physical joy of our act. I felt myself flying toward the peak. In the insane preliminary seconds before coming, I imagined my individual demise, the most permanent separation I could think of.
When he climaxed, he would shoot an un-earthly white light into my snatch and it would fill me, illuminating me. The orgasm would shatter my entire body into dust or I would be vaporized like in those nuclear war movies that had both horrified and fascinated us as kids. Maxwell's movements became even more frenzied. I was on the bridge of no return. I was coming in an explosion that began at my feet and went through my entire body culminating in a vision of the very white light I had imagined.
I was still living, a thought that surprised me however momentarily. Spellbound and coming down, I opened my mouth to somehow communicate this to him, to assure him that I was alive even separately. Maxwell distracted me by gripping onto my hips so tightly that I could feel his fingernails biting into my flesh. He came, crying out in a shrill masculine victory call that I was surprised didn't shatter the glass windows of the hotel room, or at the very least break my heart. It was pretty much the same way I had witnessed the orgasms of the three other men with whom I had ever had sex.
Immediately after, we stopped moving with the abrupt realization of the weirdness of what we had just done together. It was actually quite a shock. As kids, we had talked of sex to one another until our heads had practically fallen off, but we had never come remotely close to doing it, together. Now, we had.
I climbed off him. The tortured bedsprings were finally out of their misery, and silence enveloped the room in the dull wake of shock that always follows natural disasters. We lay together for several minutes as Maxwell caught his breath, and I counted each dreadful second I had left before he had to return to the airport. Perhaps Maxwell would exit my life with his memories and perceptions of me intact. Perhaps, my imaginary flawlessness in his eyes had been altered by our meeting due to a slip up that had escaped my notice. The truth was that I would never really know what Maxwell felt or thought about me in the future because I would probably never see him again.
I think we had already both suffered many mini-deaths through the years as we had evolved into the strangers we were right now. This had simply been our funeral, not our actual death. Maybe there really was nothing special about us, after all. Maybe everyone at some time in their life has an extraordinary fire that dies, not by being physically extinguished as we had foolishly attempted to do today but through the course of time and change, bit by superficial bit.
The irony for us was that it happened during a period in our lives when, I, at least, had expected us to be the tightest. I realized this only as I gazed him, watching him anxiously climb back into his designer suit and check his watch. He gave me a perfunctory kiss before he rushed through the door with his carry-on trailing behind him. Before I was even dressed, myself, he was probably already in a taxi en route to the airport and the future he had created for himself.
Copyright © 2002-2003 Nefer
Masters. All Rights Reserved. May not be re-printed in any form without
express written consent of the author. Do not copy or post.
Nefer Masters is s a beautiful princess who was banished to a dark and not particularly enchanted forest called "Philadelphia". She writes short erotic fiction, long mainstream fiction, some film reviews and creates charcoal portraits of her two cats. Email Nefer Masters.
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