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Thrill Seekers: Erotic Encounters

Unusual situations, new lovers and rare opportunities to satisfy cherished fantasies. ‘Thrill Seekers’ has ten original sexy short stories guaranteed to surprise, delight and arouse your imagination.A Mischief collection, featuring stories by Kathleen Tudor, Olivia London, Flora Dain, Elizabeth Coldwell, Rose de Fer and many more.When a woman on the run climbs into a stranger’s Limousine she embarks on a memorable ride.Cerise visits a notorious park after dark to conduct some unconventional research.In the dead of night, Amy met Charles in a ruined castle, and now she never wants her captivity to end.
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Thrill Seekers: Erotic Encounters

   

THRILL SEEKERS EROTIC ADVENTURES

   

   Table of Contents

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   ‘He’s still watching you,’ Kris’ best friend whispered. They both giggled, a little loosened up by the wine they’d been drinking and the unusually lively atmosphere of the bar.

   ‘He’s cute,’ Kris whispered back. The guy in question had been sitting across the bar watching her for about ten minutes, and grinning at her every time she glanced his way. Melanie had tried winking at him, but he’d only smiled politely at her and moved his eyes back to Kris.

   ‘You should go talk to him.’

   ‘No way! I can’t just walk up to some random guy!’ But when Kris tried to sneak another peek at him, the cute guy was gone and a serious-looking couple was taking the table he’d been sitting at. ‘Damn, he left,’ she said, surprised at how disappointed she felt to be potentially missing out.

   Melanie giggled and then slipped from her stool, something about the bathroom coming out mangled by her mirth. And as she vanished into the crowd, Kris’ mysterious stranger dropped onto the vacated seat and toasted her with his glass.

   Kris moved automatically to touch the rim of her wineglass to his, inhaling the scent of whiskey as she used the gesture as an excuse to lean closer. ‘Fancy seeing you here,’ she said, a flush of pleasure rising in her.

   ‘I’m Daniel,’ he said. ‘You from around here?’

   ‘Yeah. You’re not?’ She withheld her name on purpose, a tease for making her wait so long before he approached. Daniel … she liked strong names.

   ‘I’m with the Candy Apple Circus. We’re in town until Tuesday.’ He drank off the rest of his whiskey and eyed her in an obvious challenge, or maybe he was just waiting for her to fawn.

   ‘I’m Kris,’ she said, shifting her posture to give him a better look at her breasts. ‘What do you do in the circus, Daniel?’

   ‘Strong man act,’ he said, and it was good that he was grinning, because otherwise she would have accused him of being a bad liar and walked away. ‘Or maybe I’m an animal tamer. Or the ringmaster himself …’

   ‘Or a clown?’ she teased.

   ‘Definitely not a clown. I think those guys work harder than anyone else,’ he said, and he surprised her with his sincerity when he said it.

   Respect for the clowns, huh? She believed that he was with the circus, at least. No one else would have thought about that, although once he said it she could believe it. After all, they had to do all of the running around and jumping through the whole show, not just one act.

   ‘So not a clown, and not a strong man. Maybe you shovel elephant poop.’

   ‘No elephants,’ he said, laughter in his eyes. ‘We have horses, but I don’t shovel their shit, either. Does it matter what I do?’

   She shrugged her shoulders and he sighed as if put upon.

   ‘All right then, I am an assistant tent master. That giant tent that has to go up and come down fast and perfect every time we move. I help make sure it happens. And that it doesn’t collapse the first time somebody hops up and down in the rigging. You can feel free to brush me off now that I’ve told you what a boring job I have.’ He made a comically exaggerated wounded face, and Kris couldn’t help but laugh.

   ‘Okay, so it’s not as exciting as trapeze guy …’

   ‘Trapeze guy! Why didn’t I think of that? I could be the Flying Daniel!’

   She laughed again as he struck a silly pose. ‘It’s still pretty cool. You must get to see a lot of cool places.’

   ‘All over the states,’ he agreed. His fingers found hers on the bar, and she let him take her hand. ‘But the tent is home once you let it get under your skin. I could show you.’

   She’d seen circuses before, but there was something about being able to see it when the tent was quiet and the lights were out that made her shiver with anticipation. She liked to see things behind the scenes, quiet, with the make-up off and the defences down. She’d been backstage at a television show, once, and the actors all out of character, with their make-up off and their hair a mess had been a revelation to her, and strangely exciting.

   ‘I want to see,’ she said, and stood with him, letting him pay for her wine along with his whiskey.

   She hesitated for a minute when he led her to a beat-up looking truck in the parking lot, but his smile was sweet and disarming. ‘It doesn’t look like much, but it tows great,’ he said. She got in.

   The approach to the tent was much as she expected, but the real excitement was driving through the gates off to the side and behind the tent. There, dozens of trailers and motor homes sat parked in neat rows, generators purring. He pulled into a dirt lot filled with cars and mostly trucks, and she was so stunned by the intimacy of the sight that he had time to come around the truck and gallantly open her door for her.

   ‘Are you going to get into trouble for this?’ she asked.

   He shrugged and winked. ‘Not if I don’t get caught. Really, though, there are only a few people who would mind, and they’re all asleep at this hour. Come see.’

   Kris tried to take in everything as he led her toward the huge tent. She was hungry for it all, and the sight settled in her belly like a glow of arousal, awakening other kinds of hunger. She took a breath outside the canvas, savouring the moment, then he lifted a flap of the tent and gestured her forward, and Kris stepped into every child’s dream.

   The tent was nearly empty except for one man standing in the centre of the ring. She stepped forward with Daniel as the man levitated off the sawdust floor of the centre of the ring, and she realised that he was holding on to some sort of gymnastic rings. ‘Probably Jake,’ Daniel said, not bothering to lower his voice. Kris stepped forward to get a better view.

   ‘Probably?’

   ‘They’re a twin act, Jake and Josh. But Josh tends to spend his evenings in more carnal pursuits.’ ‘Probably Jake’ was contorting himself into some pretty impressive shapes, every muscle in his arms bulging as he suspended himself gracefully above the ring floor. He moved through the poses slowly and with control, and the surreal performance in the empty circus tent made Kris feel like she had stepped into a dream.

   ‘It’s amazing.’

   ‘I think they’re Family. You know, get born into the circus, trained to balance on the high wire as soon as you can walk, sort of thing.’ The act apparently ended, and ‘Probably Jake’ lowered himself gently to the ground and took a bow toward the centre of the ring, then toward the seats before straightening and turning to his impromptu audience.

   ‘I’m going to go out and find Josh before he gets himself into too much trouble again. Goodnight, Danny,’ he said. He turned and gave a bowing sort of greeting to Kris, then left through the same flap they’d come in.

   Daniel put an arm around her waist and guided her to a small, protected cove beneath the risers. ‘This is where me and the crew stand to watch some nights. It’s got a great view of the action,’ he said, speaking low and right into her ear. The vibrations of his voice sent shivers down Kris’ spine, and she leaned into him.

   ‘Like your own secret clubhouse. Can I see the stage?’

   ‘The ring. Come on.’ He stepped forward and offered his hand, leading her out from under the risers and forward, over the raised ring that captured the performance area and into the centre of the ring itself. He let go of her and she moved around the ring slowly, taking in the amazing backdrop from behind which the performers would emerge, the lights and rigging above her, and the rows and rows of empty seats. They seemed focused on her, expectant, and she had a powerful urge to do something magnificent to fill them.

   ‘It’s amazing,’ she said. He sat on the raised platform that went almost all the way around and she went to him. That hot burn deep in her belly was growing hotter than she could stand, and she wanted to thank him properly for showing her something so marvellous.

   Daniel pulled her close to him and swept his tongue over her lips, and she opened for him, allowing his kiss to pass deep inside her and tease at the fires in her belly. She could almost hear the echoes of cheering and applause, and instead of driving her to hide, it made her want to give all the more. She pressed forward, easing over him until Daniel was lying on his back on the two-foot-wide platform and she was lying over him, a smile curving her lips. His hands rested on her waist, and she kissed him again, letting her body press down into his.

   ‘This place is really incredible,’ she whispered to him. He smiled and stroked his hands up and down her sides.

   ‘And I get to build it from scratch all over again every time we move. How cool is my job, now?’

   ‘Very damn cool,’ she said with a laugh that surprised her. She caught his bottom lip between her teeth and bit down gently, and he moaned and pressed his hips up into hers, showing her the extent of his enjoyment of the moment. ‘So where would you bring someone backstage if you wanted to have sex with them?’ she asked into his ear.

   He shuddered beneath her before he answered. ‘Oh, I wouldn’t do it backstage. Backstage is a royal mess, with make-up and costumes and props all over the place. Someone would probably end up with a juggling pin up their ass or something,’ he joked. ‘Most people would just go back to their trailer or a sleeper car or something and that would be that. But if I wanted to do it in the tent, I’d do it right here in the middle of the ring.’

   She laughed lightly and nipped at his neck. ‘Would you?’

   ‘Oh, sure. The bigwigs who would be really pissed are all dead asleep this time of night, and it’s great in here. Sheltered. Clean.’ He tucked his hands behind his head and watched her.

   ‘What if someone walks in?’

   ‘What if they do? Trailers don’t exactly have soundproof walls. I think we’ve all pretty much heard everyone else going at it at one time or another, so no one’s really shy about sex around here. Unless you’re shy, of course.’

   Kris rolled her eyes, but the desire welling up in her – inspired as much by this place as by the sexy and surprising man she found herself with – was impossible to ignore. She could insist they get into his truck and find someplace quiet to go neck, but …

   She leaned forward and kissed him again, letting some of the heat inside her out to sear him, too. Then she stood up and wiggled out of her tight top, letting it and her bra drop into the ring. She leaned forward again, and he sat up halfway to meet her, his hands finding her breasts and caressing them gently, kneading and squeezing and leaving her wanting so much more. His mouth moved over her throat and she moaned and pressed into him.

   He sat up and pulled her to him, and suddenly she was straddling his lap and his mouth joined his hands on her breasts. ‘Harder,’ she gasped, and he bit down hard enough on one nipple to make her want to come right then and there. She must have made a sound that he approved of, because he immediately moved over to bite down on her other nipple, too. She gasped as the pleasure washed over her, a hot coal bursting into flame and warming her whole body with pleasure. She gripped him tightly, pulling his head toward her body and fisting the back of his shirt with her other hand.

   Then he tipped his head back and smiled at her, and the sweet boyishness of that expression made her kiss him on the forehead, the cheeks, the eyes, and finally on the lips. She let the tenderness and pleasure she felt spill out of her into that kiss, her tongue caressing and sweeping through his lips. She teased and tasted him, and let him to do the same to her, embracing the power of a mere kiss to both satisfy and enflame. He was gentle and patient, stoking her fires and using his hands to tease the naked flesh of her back and ribs.

   ‘I bet you take all the girls to kiss under the big top,’ she teased, and by the way he laughed, she’d caught him by surprise. She sucked his lip into her mouth and kissed him again before he was forced to reply, not really wanting to know if she were the first or the fiftieth woman he’d brought here. Tonight, the magic of the tent belonged to her, and she wrapped herself in it like a warm cloak.

   Her fingers found the buttons to the front of his shirt, and she didn’t break the kiss as she started to unfasten them, letting the slow rhythm of the buttons be their own sort of tease. She let her fingers dance over his skin more than they strictly had to, took her time with each button, and teased a little in between, but soon she ran out of buttons to unfasten, and his shirt came down over his shoulders and away.

   He was tanned and healthy, his muscles well cut and gorgeous under his shirt. It had also hid a tribal tattoo that went across one pec and partially up over his shoulder. She turned her head to examine it, letting his lips fall to her neck to continue their exploring there as she traced her fingers over the edges of the design.

   ‘This is beautiful,’ she said, surprised by the art.

   ‘I found my tribe when I came here,’ he said, placing kisses along her collarbone in-between his words. ‘These people are my family. We’re nomads, but we stick together, take care of each other. That’s rare nowadays.’

   ‘I can see the appeal,’ she said, leaning forward to let her tongue trace the path that her fingers had just taken. He moaned as her tongue traced the lines on his hot skin, and when she got to the top of his shoulder and bit down, his arms tightened around her and he gasped.

   This time it was him moving over her as he pushed her gently back, lying her down on the narrow wooden platform. He kissed his way down her body and stopped at her pants, his hands on the clasp but his eyes on hers. She nodded and he unfastened them, pulling her pants and panties away and dropping them and her shoes off to one side. She expected him to shuck his own pants and climb on top of her, but he leaned forward instead, lying on his belly and greeting her sex with a hot lick.

   She moaned softly as he tasted her, thrusting his tongue in deep and then licking softly at her pussy. He sucked one of her lips into his mouth and teased at it with his tongue before pulling away and giving the other side the same treatment. He followed the trail of her moans, repeating the things that pleased her and phasing out anything that didn’t get much of a reaction until she was half-crazy with arousal, her hips bucking up into his mouth against her will.

   She turned her head and a moan caught in her throat as she caught the eye of one of the performing twins. He’d come in on the opposite side of the tent, perhaps, and was standing under the risers, half-hidden and unobtrusive, watching. She remembered how he’d left shortly after they had come in and wondered if he had known what was going to happen here tonight, or even if he and Daniel had planned it that way.

   But then Daniel sucked her clit into his mouth and her mind went blank with white-hot pleasure. By the time she could think again, she had already realised that she didn’t care why the sexy twin was there or whether he saw her – it aroused her to know that he was watching. She arched up into Daniel’s mouth as he did something magical with her clit, then she turned to meet the twin’s eyes again and lifted her hands to her breasts, caressing her own body as he watched.

   She held his hungry gaze for a long minute, but his eyes finally travelled down her body and she imagined that he was watching her lift and caress her breasts, pinch her nipples and tease her fingers over her skin, even as she moaned and writhed from the pleasure that Daniel was expertly giving her.

   The twin – Jake? – shifted his stance, and she recognised something in the motion. He was unfastening his pants. Between the pleasure that Daniel was giving, the pleasure she was taking for herself, and this new rush of visual stimulation, Kris was overwhelmed. Her orgasm caught her by surprise, tearing through her in a rush that made her clamp her legs around Daniel’s head and bite her own wrist to keep from screaming.

   She panted and gasped for air as Daniel licked patient, slow strokes across her pussy while he waited for her to regain control. Each of those slow licks sent a shudder of pleasure running through her like an aftershock, and she moaned and ground herself against his tongue.

   He stood, smiling, and pulled a condom from his pocket, his eyebrows raised inquisitively. Her eyes flicked to where Jake was hiding under the risers, met his hot gaze, and then flicked back to Daniel. ‘Yes, I want you to fuck me,’ she said. He was out of his pants in record time, and she sat up and took the condom away from him, sliding it onto his hot length herself.

   He started to push her gently back, but Kris shook her head and shifted, turning onto her hands and knees and looking back over her shoulder invitingly. Daniel made a sound of approval and moved up behind her, rubbing his cock through the moisture of her pussy before he shifted his angle and pressed the head of his cock against her hole. She moaned and tossed her head back, pressing into him until he slid deep inside her.

   She writhed against him and he quickly took his cue, sliding back to thrust deep into her, his hands clamped tight on her hips. Kris thought for an insane second that she could fall in love with him just for knowing what she needed in that moment. But no, this was something else – passion, lust, drive – and though it was transient, it had her completely in its hold for now.

   She braced her arms on the platform and pushed back into his thrusts, sending his cock slamming deep and hard inside her. He picked up his rhythm and she cried out and moved with him as their fuck became even more intense. Her pussy tingled with renewed energy and desire, and she raised one hand, her fingers moving over her clit in a dance that made her toes curl.

   When Daniel lifted one hand from her hip and reached up to pinch and roughly twist her nipple, it was all Kris needed to fly. She felt as if she were swinging from a trapeze high over the ring or flying through the air, her entire body sensitised and soaring with pleasure. When she turned her head enough, she could see Jake’s arm working furiously as he watched her with hungry eyes. Behind her, Daniel still thrust hard; grunting with pleasure as he continued to drive sparks through her.

   ‘Wait,’ she said, and he immediately stopped, though his breath came in heavy pants. She moved forward and he slid out of her with a moan and a wet sound, and she stepped into the ring and pulled him with her. ‘Sit,’ she said, and he obediently sat on the platform. She turned her back to him and lowered herself down, and he held his cock at the perfect angle to slide right into her.

   She closed her eyes and focused on the sensation of being filled as she lowered herself all the way down. Then she tensed her legs and his hands on her waist helped her form a quick rhythm. The angle of his cock seemed to tease at her sensitive flesh and she moaned and let her hands wander, one teasing between his balls and her own clit, the other reaching up to caress her breasts and toy with her nipples.

   She locked her eyes on Jake, and the thought of what his hand was doing as he furiously pumped his arm only added fuel to the erotic fire as Daniel’s cock slid in and out of her, filling and stretching and arousing her. Though it made her cheeks flush with embarrassment, she couldn’t help but picture Jake coming forward to tease her body with his strong hands or place his cock in her mouth. She’d never been with two men at once, and she wasn’t even sure she wanted to, but the images in her mind made her wild with arousal.

   Jake licked his lips as he watched her, and she winked at him as she clamped a hand down on her breast and squeezed hard. She was so close she could taste it, and from behind her, Daniel’s moans were getting intense. Then she shifted her hips slightly, and the pleasure was like nothing she had ever experienced.

   Suddenly the angle of Daniel’s cock drove into something deep and incredible inside her, and she let out a long, low moan of pleasure as the level of stimulation swept past what she thought she could endure and her entire body seemed to clench in one massive, full-body orgasm, liquid gushing from her body like a broken dam. Daniel let out a long groan of pleasure, keeping them both moving as he joined her in pleasure. Through a red haze of ecstasy she watched Jake’s face contort in his own private pleasure, then she dropped her head back onto Daniel’s shoulder, limp and exhausted.

   Daniel chuckled breathlessly as he reached around to run his fingers through the product of her arousal. He brought his fingers to his lips and made an appreciative sound. ‘Damn, girl, you are one wild lady.’

   ‘You have no idea.’ She looked up, but Jake was already gone. ‘I think I need to lie down.’ Daniel chuckled and helped her onto the platform. He got his clothes on first, then came back and helped her dress like some big doll or a helpless child, although when she tried to be useful she did have a hard time breaking through the aroused languor.

   ‘Morning comes early here. Best if I take you home,’ he said, and once her shoes were in place, he helped pull her to her feet. She wrapped an arm around him and took deep breaths until she was able to keep her feet under her, though each step sent a tingling jolt through her clit. Outside the tent, Jake was still loitering. ‘Oh, hey Josh. Jake was looking for you earlier,’ Daniel said.

   ‘I’ll go find him,’ Josh said. He winked at Kris and licked his lips as she went past.

   ‘Josh?’

   ‘Sure. They were wearing different shirts. You learn to watch for those things or you’d never be able to tell them apart.’

   It was the other twin? Kris laughed as she climbed up into Daniel’s old truck.

   I was the new girl in town. Sashaying down the street wearing just enough skirt not to get arrested, I was a walking target for adventure. I found just what I was looking for with Bella, the best-looking chick at PJ’s Cabaret on Broadway. Bella went on stage occasionally, belting out songs the way a venal middleweight delivers punches. Maybe she could have been a contender but there was something elliptical, something defensive in her voice that put audiences off until they fulfilled the two drink minimum. It would take a long while before I found out what this buff babe did for a living. I didn’t care. I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend or my soul mate. Before moving to San Francisco, every day held no more excitement or an ounce more of texture than a bowl of oatmeal. I wanted nights glazed with marzipan and cherries. Life, if lived to the fullest, had to taste like something.

   Bella tasted like hops, sugar and wine, perhaps because she lived on all three. We met in the middle of the night, our bodies calling out to each other like island castoffs looking to be saved. There was a Casual Dating column in a free weekly paper. Back in the day, a ‘casual date’ was code for strangers who wanted to hook up, fuck each other’s brains out and skedaddle. Animal sex. Raw rogering. The kind of coupling that was only good with a stranger you knew would remain a stranger like a masked mystery at a costume ball.

   My date paid for the room. I was too busy checking her out to notice the overpowering smell of chemicals drifting from the hot tub. I laid some towels down on the canvas pad countless people had used as a makeshift bed, presumably for illicit purposes. It was no secret that hookers and their johns took advantage of places like this.

   ‘How do you want it?’ the stranger asked, smirking knowingly.

   ‘Whatever you can give me, I want now,’ I said, matching her attitude if not upping the ante. ‘That’s why I’m here. I just want to get off.’

   Bella’s black spiky mane appeared shiny even under dim lights. Her hair seemed as much armor as the torn black leather jacket she quickly tossed to the side, knocking over a bowl of complimentary breath mints.

   ‘Take off your skirt and bend over my lap,’ she commanded.

   I thought she’d fingerfuck me from behind or tickle my crack with a butt plug, but no. From the first slam of her palm on my goose bumped flesh, I knew I was in for a sound spanking.

   Her slaps came down evenly and succinctly until I squirmed, accidentally scratching the skin beneath her cargo pants.

   She pulled me up by the hair, surprising me with a kiss, her tongue probing so sweetly, I shuddered with delight.

   ‘You need to trim those fingernails, hon,’ she said gently.

   Then, it was back to a no-nonsense paddling. Her hands were an ode to rhythm; unlike her voice, her palms were born to perform. The cadence of smacks could not be measured against the pleasure she gave. I could feel my bum burning with sensation and wanted only to be branded with her version of love. She was all over me now and my pelvis bucked, welcoming the chaos of her swats.

   Finally, she turned me over, straddling my torso.

   ‘That’s what I think of femmes who just want to get off,’ she whispered while running her tongue along my temple.

   I lifted the T-shirt she was wearing and was amazed to see she had bound her bosom in gauze. At first I had just assumed she was flat-chested.

   ‘Why do you do this?’ I asked, too curious to worry about my stinging behind. ‘Breasts are beautiful.’

   Bella snorted. ‘On you, doll. What? Are you turned off now?’

   ‘Just the opposite. Touch me and see how turned on I am.’

   She let one sinewy arm snake between my legs. I smiled at her reaction.

   ‘You hot chick. Where have you been all my life?’

   ‘Tell you later. Information traded only on satisfaction.’

   Bella worked my clit with her finger pads, massaging the pip until it ached with a need to be sucked. When she plunged her digits into my vulva, I cried out shamelessly begging for more.

   ‘Fuck me,’ I begged. ‘Don’t stop.’

   She didn’t stop. She plugged my pussy with her fingers, packing my vagina with as much passion as it could hold. Having brought me to orgasm that way, she quickly tugged off her pants and mounted my glistening mound.

   Our pussies were meant for each other. Her clit snicked into place over my nub while she rode my labia with her own. While our mounds locked in a fevered embrace, Bella’s mouth covered mine as we fucked and sucked each other’s tongues like we were the very first people to discover sex. Sex with one’s own sex. So free. So uninhibited.

   I wished it would last forever, or at least all night.

   But this wasn’t that kind of date.

   We were kissing and lathering each other’s bodies in the shower when a voice over an intercom told us we had ten minutes to wrap up, take our business elsewhere. Chop, chop.

   It was a little unnerving but … what did I expect?

   I knew how guys responded to the question: When will I see you again? I couldn’t risk Bella rolling her eyes at me or worse, speaking words that sounded sincere only to prove false.

   We walked outside into a mild September breeze. I was instantly glad I had parked my ride at the far end of the lot.

   ‘I’ll walk you to your car,’ she offered.

   I gulped, feeling far more naked than I was twenty minutes earlier. I pointed to a teal blue number that had cost me less than a week’s pay; it was the vehicular equivalent of a paper weight. ‘Actually, that’s me over there. The scooter.’

   Bella guffawed. ‘A baby bike! That’s so precious. I wish I could tuck you in my back pocket and take you home.’

   I wish you could, too, I thought. Home for me was an apartment in North Beach without even a cat for company.

   ‘Look,’ she said, leveling her gaze to meet the query in my eyes. ‘I’m embroiled in a sticky situation right now. We made a connection and I really like you. Give me your number and I’ll call when I’m not so … complicated.’

   I shrugged. It was a ridiculous ritual but one that begged to be gotten through. I wrote my info on a cocktail napkin and watched Bella hop on her motorcycle. She drove a Yamaha Route 66: a real bike.

   I watched her pull away knowing I’d never see her again. Still, I didn’t regret meeting Ms. Sex on Wheels. That was the most excitement I’d ever had in my life. The next time I masturbated, I would simply close my eyes and think of Bella. She tried to look tough but her heart-shaped face, soft hands and delicate mouth betrayed how beautiful she really was.

   And the way she kissed and caressed my bottom after the spanking proved she was a giver not just a taker. If only she had looked over her shoulder as she pulled out of the parking lot; I would have followed her to the moon if she had dared me.

   ***

   In the morning, I considered calling in sick but knew my voice would have sounded too elated to fool anyone. I had a dreary, albeit well-paying, job at an insurance company and I didn’t dare lose it. I had moved to a very expensive city. My employer was a severe woman who never smiled and always wore pantsuits with those embarrassing frilly shells that went out of style in the 70s. She caught me daydreaming twice and pulled me into her office.

   ‘You’re having difficulty concentrating today, Ashley. Is there a problem?’

   ‘No, Ma’am.’ And then, because her lips made no effort to move and she wasn’t going to dismiss me without further explanation, I added, ‘I met someone.’

   ‘Indeed.’ Steepling her branchlike fingers, she sat up straight in her leather wingback chair. ‘If I catch you dawdling again I’ll require you to compose a memo to me explicating the exact reasons for your inability to focus. If that’s not enough to rein in your imagination you’ll want to have a contingency plan.’

   No doubt about it: Ms. Swanson was a first-rate bitch. To this day, I can’t remember her first name. It began with a ‘P’, I think. Once, during my first week on the job, I addressed her as something other than ‘Ms. Swanson’. She pulled me aside and said, ‘Ashley, in this office, superiors will be addressed by their surnames.’

   The faux pas was reflected in a fun house mirror of other transgressions I’d make until finally mastering a labyrinth of office etiquette rules.

   Of course this superior was the object of relentless fantasies. She wasn’t a woman I wanted to have sex with but she loomed large in an imagination that would not be quashed.

   If Ms. Swanson knew how I climaxed to images of her working as a spandex-clad dominatrix, spanking bosomy secretaries prone to coffee spills and typos, she would have sent me manacled and defeated to Alcatraz for sure.

   Funny how movies filmed in San Francisco never focus on the working class. All the shots would have to be black and white and everyone would look the same because working stiffs all shop at the same thrift stores. Since I didn’t come from a rich family, I had to experience glamour obliquely. Let my body be my passport.

   ***

   When Bella surprised me with a phone call, I was more than ready for another adventure.

   ‘Hi, hot chick,’ she said, by way of greeting. ‘You forgot to tell me where you’ve been all my life.’

   ‘Ha. I moved here from Florida. Had to work a lot of jobs before I could save up to come here, the Promised Land.’ Florida! For all the sweet manna in heaven I would never go back to that state. I keep hoping the bugs will carry it off so the alligators can cavort without the constant threat of human malice.

   ‘Hmm. Well, I’m calling to invite you to a party tomorrow. In fact, let’s make a day of it. I’ll take you to lunch, we’ll do a little sightseeing and then it’s off to Twin Peaks for a good time in the hills. Sound doable?’

   I scratched my chin. ‘As luck would have it, I’m only working in the morning tomorrow. Our office is shutting down for some asbestos cleaning. Only … I don’t have any Kim Novak outfits to wear to a gala in the Peaks.’

   ‘You really are a femme! We’ll go shopping tomorrow. Ashley, hon, I’m going to show you the real San Francisco and you’re going to like it very much.’

   I had no doubt about that.

   ***

   First we went to Fisherman’s Wharf for some whiskey crab soup. Next stop: Ghirardelli Square to gorge on hot-fudge sundaes.

   There was a boutique that seemed custom-made for wayward blondes travelling with well-heeled lesbian friends on their way to a party in the hills. Bella picked out and purchased a pair of Capri pants along with an embroidered madras shirt.

   ‘Voilà!’ my new friend said, handing over the glossy embossed bags. ‘Instant, appropriate, soirée attire.’

   When Bella took me by the hand and dragged me into the Wax Museum, I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’

   ‘C’mon. It’ll be fun. It’s probably deserted on a weekday.’

   ‘All the more reason not to be trapped in the Chamber of Horrors.’

   Who would have thought a wax museum would be the best place in the city to make out? As I shuddered at the Titanic display, Bella slipped her warm palms under my shirt and cupped my breasts, grazing each nipple with her thumbs.

   We didn’t last long in the Bloody Chamber. Every time I shrieked, she covered my mouth with her sensual lips. After making out in every room, we left the dark strange world for the promise held by the rest of the day.

   ‘You left your bike at home,’ I said, stating the obvious when she opened her car door for me. A shiny new BMW.

   ‘What do you do for a living, Bella?’

   She checked her rearview mirror before backing out into traffic. ‘I’m a bartender.’

   ‘No, seriously.’

   Giving me a sideways glance, she said, ‘Seriously. This car was a gift from my aunt.’

   OK. So I was on my way to a bash with a woman who trussed her boobs and was possibly mafia connected. Welcome to my world.

   ***

   An elegant woman wearing a white silk tank over perfectly tan skin answered the door. She ushered us past the tiled foyer into the main living room where women were huddled in pairs and groups. I was instantly aroused before checking my naughty thoughts at the door. Bella could unspool the very threads off my back, leaving me naked and hitching a ride if I so much as ogled another woman’s décolletage.

   Was she the jealous type? I had no idea. Much as I had enjoyed our day, I still didn’t know this woman who held me in such carnal thrall.

   A margarita was placed in my hand and then another. Someone had told Mira, the hostess, margaritas were my downfall. I tried to figure what kind of soirée this was even as the tequila coated my palate and curled my tongue most pleasantly.

   I was led to an outdoor patio where several women were entwined in a sunken L-shaped pool. The view of the San Bruno Mountains couldn’t compete with so much exposed womanly flesh. The pool’s water was crystal clear. I could see hands touching genitals. One woman with bright-red hair arched her back and played with her own vagina.

   Mira produced a scarf from a pocket of her linen shorts. She bent down and blindfolded the contorted woman.

   ‘Now, someone be nice and play with Tina.’

   Mira looked from me to Bella expectantly, but we stood frozen in place. The golden-haired goddess shrugged and took off her clothes. She had no tan lines and I could just see her spending day after idle day frolicking at nude beaches.

   The woman named Tina was lifted by her underarms out of the pool. Still wearing the blindfold, she gasped with pleasure as Mira’s face disappeared between her inner thighs.

   I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I had heard of live sex shows but assumed they were relegated to sleazy men’s clubs and the sex industry’s equivalent of the vaudeville circuit. Bella relaxed her hand on my shoulder as if we were casually watching fireworks.

   Two others joined the scene. They had been drinking in the living room but were now both naked. A petite woman with sleek, long black hair curled like a shrimp into the supine love interest now cresting toward orgasm. A short, muscular blonde took the other side, bookending the blindfolded woman as they tweaked her nipples and caressed her belly.

   It was too much. I grabbed Bella’s hand and told her I wanted to go home. No sooner had I shut the car door though, I realised my panties were as wet as if they’d been dropped into the pool.

   Without giving her a chance to resist, I yanked Bella’s arm to my crotch.

   ‘You need to get me off, right now. You got me into this mess.’

   With one pull, my date torqued my panties round her fist. I leaned into the driver’s side and let her fuck me with her fingers. My loins were shaking; I wanted to get fucked so badly. She tilted my torso to achieve better purchase and soon I was coming on her hands, grabbing her shoulders and crying with relief.

   We drove home in silence but she continually reached over and stroked my hair and brow. I desperately wanted to know what she really did for a living but a part of me didn’t want any more knowledge for a while. I looked out the window and this time took in the view of the glorious mountains.

   Bella dropped me off at my North Beach apartment. I politely thanked her for lunch and for the clothes. I never expected to see her again, not that I didn’t want to. She was a mystery; if I could get beneath the gauze of her breast wrap, a story would surely unfold.

   ***

   I ran a bath and let my body disappear beneath a cloud of bubbles. It felt so good to be in my own place with views of kitchen workers dumping garbage and Italian women hanging clothes on wooden pins.

   Bella. Charming, inscrutable Bella. Why did she have to be so beautiful? To picture her was to want to be touched by her. I touched myself instead. I let my fingers glide over my belly and down to my vulva. I imagined my fingers were Bella’s digits pinching and probing, pumping my pussy over and over again.

   I hunched over in the bath, my vagina aching from the sensations of another come. What would it be like to share a balneal moment with the raven-haired beauty? I closed my eyes and saw Bella’s face. I shook my head to clear it; I got out of the tub determined to steer clear of wild women who could lead down a crooked path. I had no sooner towelled off when the phone rang.

   ‘Hi, Ashley. We need to talk.’

   ‘Really? That’s interesting because I don’t have your phone number. You never gave it to me. It’s bad enough I have a control freak for a boss. I don’t know what kind of world you’re embroiled in but it’s not for me. You’re a dangerous woman, Bella. Sexy, but dangerous. Goodbye.’

   ‘I’ll give you my number. First, let me ask: how long have you been in San Francisco? Two weeks? Three?’

   ‘Two whole months,’ I said, a tad defensively.

   ‘I was born and raised here. You don’t know what it’s like to be a woman trying to survive in this town. You have a lot to learn.’

   ‘Maybe you’re not the one to teach me.’

   ‘I am,’ she sighed. ‘My real name is Isabella. Let’s start from there.’

   ‘My name is really Ashley. Nice to meet you, Isabella.’

   I pictured the heart-shaped face at the other end of the line and wondered what my next life lesson would be.

   The next night I met my heart’s desire at the cabaret joint where she sang some nights and bartended on others.

   ***

   Women who had made unconventional livelihoods strutting onstage at PJ’s Cabaret were milling about, their breasts bare save for glittering pasties. They were all shapes and sizes with no discrimination toward age. They billed themselves as ‘The Cabaret Girls’ even though one woman was old enough to be my grandmother. That was cool. Their act though was forgettable with out-of-sync gyrations and giggles that morphed into shrieks.

   The next act was a stand-up comic who was quite good until she forgot one of her own punch lines and turned belligerent on a heckler.

   I was about to wonder why Bella (the name Isabella would take some getting used to) asked me to join her at PJ’s when there she was, standing in front of a microphone and looking directly at me.

   ‘This is for Ashley,’ she told the nodding crowd, ‘my new ladylove.’

   If you’ve never been serenaded in front of dozens of lesbian couples and a dancing troupe wearing nothing but short shorts and pasties, well, I’m sorry for your troubles.

   Bella crooned my favourite Tracy Chapman song and, though she sang it off-key, I was touched that she’d go to such lengths to woo a newbie in town with a staid job at an insurance firm. Her life was definitely more intriguing and she seemed to want to share it with me. She was a white girl trying to sound black. A tough chick who couldn’t hide her softness. Drove a car no part-time bartender could afford. These contradictions that first gave pause were now driving me into her arms.

   ***

   We held hands walking down Broadway. She opened the passenger door and I slid in, the contours of my body eagerly conforming to the cushiony seat. I was wearing the madras shirt and Capri pants she bought for me at Fisherman’s Wharf.

   I pulled her to me and kissed her. ‘Why did we have to meet through an ad, Bel?’

   She nuzzled my neck, tilting my chin for another kiss. ‘We were both horny, that’s why. But I’ve got a plan to get you away from that grim day job of yours. You’re going to be so glad you met me … if you’ll forgive my lack of modesty.’

   I stroked her chest under the proverbial leather jacket she wore like a second skin and was relieved she hadn’t trussed her breasts again.

   There was no telling if we’d make it back to her place in Pacific Heights without crashing. The attar of new BMW upholstery filled my nostrils and admittedly elevated what might otherwise have been a tawdry experience. I was having difficulty shaking the image of all those pasties blinking at me like bike reflectors.

   Bella owned a condo off Clay Street: another red flag.

   Before I could admire the artwork on the walls and objets d’art daubing every available surface, my lover was tying my wrists behind a ladder-back chair and diving between my legs. She fastened her lips to my clit and let her tongue go haywire. It was maddening not being able to touch her back. Every time she pulled away to fork her fingers into my sex I wanted to push her face back to my pussy where it belonged.

   But she was a giving lover so when I begged her to fuck me with her tongue she did. She licked my lobe frantically until I was rocking in my seat. She kept my loins parted until they were trembling and she adjusted her palate to my labia as if sampling a fine liqueur.

   When her lips moved in tandem with her fingers I thought I’d melt from sheer pleasure. She made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world as she licked and loved my quim like it was the most precious thing ever.

   Finally sated, she led me to her bedroom where we made exquisite love, enjoying each other with luscious abandon. She had a symbol tattooed to her sternum. I kissed round the familiar icon, tracing a trail down to her own sweet mound. Her pussy was tighter than a snapped reticule and lavish with nectar. She came readily enough as I fingerfucked her moist mound with only one digit and let my tongue orbit her labia till I thought I’d go dizzy with my own ministrations.

   ***

   We must have set a record for orgasms. She surprised me in the morning with coffee and scones. Above the aroma of my favourite brew and pastries reticent of cinnamon and butter, I could still smell and taste her female gifts. The promise of sex permeated the air and clung to our clothes. My ears were still ringing from shouts fisting from under the covers. My jaw hurt. It was a good thing I didn’t have to face my boss for another two days. I needed time to recover.

   I thought it would be awkward seeing Bella in normal light but one of her many talents was for lending normalcy to the less intrepid. I tried not to think where this relationship was headed. Tried only to savour the moment.

   ‘What are you thinking, Ashley?’ She tucked a stray lock over my ear.

   ‘I’m thinking it’s unusual for someone our age to have an original Diane Arbus photograph hanging in the foyer. I know you don’t come from money.’

   She leaned back in her seat and picked at her scone. ‘Like I said, this town eats women alive. If you stick with me, you’ll always eat well.’

   ‘We’ll see, Bella. We’ll see.’

   ‘Get in.’

   The limo blocks my path, the rear door already yawning open. It screeched to a halt right up on the kerb, blocking the end of the alleyway, leaving me nowhere to run.

   The men behind me are gaining now, their trainers pounding the pavement. They’re nearly on me, laughing to each other as they close in.

   To them it’s a game.

   I got a head start with a sharp knee to a groin and made for the side roads but I can’t run far. My skirt’s too tight, my heels too high and I’m desperate.

   I’ve no time even to kick them off.

   At the first lunge of the gang towards my plunging neckline – ripping the thin satin away from one breast, exposing the upper curve of the other – they sensed fear. My dash to escape was pure panic – a blind deer-leap for freedom at a whiff of wolf.

   My one hope was the high street. It’s late now, well after midnight, but surely someone will see me, look up at the chase, be startled enough or kind enough to call the police …

   But now the limo bars the way and the pack’s almost here.

   I’ve no choice. I launch myself through the open door as eager hands from behind clutch at what’s left of my three-thousand dollar Alaïa. I collapse into the upholstered luxury of the back seat, fighting for breath.

   The car speeds away, silent and swift, and I’m safe.

   Or am I?

   The man sitting at the other end of the seat is elegant and unruffled. I envy him his calm.

   He has clearly not just run for his life from a gang of eager young males intent on mayhem. His ankle is not twisted, his eyes are not wild and he’s not clawing in great lungfuls of air, his chest straining with pain and effort.

   The car is enormous but he’s sitting alone. His piercing gaze both strips me naked and disapproves at the same time.

   His eyebrow lifts, faintly sardonic. ‘Friends of yours?’

   ‘No,’ I rasp. He thinks I run about the streets just for fun?

   I take hold of myself. This is no time to lose my temper. I owe him.

   I can just about speak now but pain darts through my chest like needles. About four streets ago my lungs seemed to lose the use of oxygen. Now it’s slicing back.

   ‘Thank you for …’ I tail off.

   I want to thank him for rescuing me, this shining knight who’s scooped me up from an alleyway like a stray cat, but I pause, lips parted.

   Is he a shining knight? Or an enemy? Maybe I’ve escaped one foe only to fall foul of another.

   Past his shoulder I catch my reflection in the car window. Is this what he sees? My grandmother came from Naples. I owe her my full, sculpted mouth, long legs and striking figure.

   My looks can cause me problems, like they did just now. My passionate nature’s far worse but that’s hardly her fault. That’s all me.

   Tonight it’s brought me to this. And as I take a good look at my rescuer it’s my undoing now.

   He’s stunningly handsome, and not just in a regular, look-at-me-I’m-rich kind of way. There’s a delicate appeal in the tilt of his eyebrows, a hint of power in the set of his jaw, arrogance in the flare to his nostrils.

   Irresistible.

   Our eyes lock and in that instant I’m lost. I’ll do whatever this man wants me to do. And from the way his eyes are feasting on my heaving breasts, scanty, torn dress and alley-spattered limbs I’ll probably have to.

   He frowns. ‘Do you need a hospital? Police?’

   He wants to know if I was attacked. I shake my head and count my blessings. ‘No. I just panicked when they tore my …’ I tail off.

   He can see what they tore. His eyes have barely left the spot.

   I flinch as he leans forward. He hesitates, eyeing me with a flicker of concern. I sit very still as he pulls my gaping neckline down a little further to expose the other breast.

   His touch is like fire, just the lightest brush of his fingers but it shimmers on my skin like electricity. An answering tremor runs all through me, straight to my groin.

   ‘That’s better. More symmetrical.’ He leans back and eyes me with satisfaction, like I’m some rare ornament he’s just improved by moving it a fraction to the left.

   Whoa. What’s going on here?

   ‘I’m not a taxi service. But I’ll drive you wherever you like as long as you’re willing to accept … certain terms.’

   Terms? My mind races with thrilling, unspeakable possibilities.

   It seems my rescue comes at a price.

   ‘Or I can drop you off now and you can go back to your friends, or not, as you wish. Which would you like?’

   His manner is friendly but his tone is sharp. His mouth sets in a firm line, leaving no room for negotiation.

   ‘I’ll stay.’ My response is firm and prompt, perhaps too prompt.

   A flicker of satisfaction crosses his face and then is gone. Maybe I dreamed it.

   ‘OK, your call. Come closer.’ His voice is low, his steady gaze giving nothing away.

   Slowly, unsure what I think about this, I edge towards him along the seat. He watches me with a gleam, the intensity of his look sending tremors of excitement all through me, making the down rise all along my arms, making my nipples stiffen and swell.

   He sees them. He says nothing, but a faint twitch at the corner of his long mouth warns me he’s taken them into account. He eyes them appreciatively, a low murmur somewhere deep in his throat.

   The sound of it stirs something in me too. Deep down I begin to pulse.

   ‘Delightful. Now I want you to offer them.’

   I stare at him in dismay. It occurs to me that I’ve accepted his terms but I forgot to ask what they were.

   Too late now. I must play this by ear.

   The gleam in his eyes is my only guide to his feelings as I cradle my breasts in my hands and fondle them suggestively, making them bulge and swell.

   Is this what he wants?

   ‘Offer them like you mean it.’ His voice lowers to a breathy purr and I press harder, pushing out my nipples with my fingers and thumbs, rolling them slightly and giving them a hard pinch or two to make them rosy.

   His breathing quickens, his lips part. ‘Press back your shoulders.’

   I do as he asks, arching my back so I can thrust them forward.

   I have firm, generous breasts – another Neapolitan legacy. And a get-out-of-jail card.

   Why is this so hot? This simple act of submissive display is burning me up.

   He dips his head to touch his lips first to one and then to the other, sucking in a great mouthful of each, nipping and tormenting my nipples with his teeth.

   I throw back my head and groan as his hot, eager mouth sets me on fire.

   He straightens up with a faint smile, eyes agleam, and leans back on the seat.

   It’s a greeting of sorts but it hardly prepares me for his next move.

   Without any warning he seizes me by the waist and hauls me over his lap. He pushes me down headfirst towards the floor and grabs one of my legs, ducking his head underneath so my knees are at either side of him and my elbows are leaning on the floor.

   ‘What are you doing?’ Shock makes me shrill, shame makes me crimson. The car’s windows are blank from outside but from where I’m looking motorists are leering in at the darkened windows, rubber-necking for celebs.

   Naturally they can’t really see me but that’s not what it feels like.

   He pushes me down further and now my head’s down low, my ass high up. My forehead presses into the carpet. It’s soft and faintly perfumed. His valeting service, like everything else about him, must be very expensive.

   ‘What do you think I’m doing?’ His voice is calm and low, his grip surprisingly strong. My arched feet are way up on the seat at either side of his head, my cleft spread wide and fully displayed as I try to twist over.

   ‘Keep still.’ He delivers a hard, stinging slap on my bottom and I shriek. Instantly his hands caress my naked, exposed rear while my most private places yawn wide across his thighs like an open book.

   ‘Nopanties? No wonder you were followed. You deserve a thoroughly sound –’ he slaps me again, and once more I yell ‘– spanking. So I’d better give you one.’

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