Copyright © 1998, Kellis
He waited for her in the dark, feeling a mixture of excitement, impatience and dread, glancing often at the glowing numerals of his wristwatch. He fancied that he waited as a tiger waits for a careless doe to approach a water hole, less the wrist watch, of course, and less the tiger’s blood lust, but with a similar appetite and relish. Or does a tiger enjoy its kill? House cats obviously do; why not a tiger with its larger brain?
Much could go awry for the tiger, too. A vagary of the wind could warn the doe, she could be diverted by a buck or she might simply spring away faster than the hunter could match. But no breeze wafted this dark corridor, and if Lucy Grainger were divertible she had shown no evidence of it in two weeks. As to springing away, human prey had its own dangers. If the woman’s reflexes were quick enough she might well escape him. Worse, if she had studied the martial arts, the hunter might himself become prey.
The tiger takes its chances; otherwise it goes hungry. He would take his chances, too, for a different hunger. In any case his decision was made. He would withdraw now only if she failed to show.
Above him he heard a thud, followed by a muffled whine. The elevator had started upward. He confirmed it with an ear pressed against the cool metal door, then fell back into the alcove where, by the evidence of screw holes in the floor, a water cooler had once stood. He waited again, now with accelerating heartbeat, one eye peering around the alcove corner. If this were not Lucy Grainger, the darkness would conceal him and he would depart as planned to retry another day. But for two weeks he had verified that she was always first upon this floor in the morning, the trusted secretary who opened her employer’s offices and doubtlessly started the coffee. And today she was again right on time.
The growing rumble suddenly ceased. With a loud sigh the elevator door slid open, spilling yellow light into the corridor. A woman, dressed in a dark blue suit with knee-length skirt and patent high heels, stepped out and paused, fumbling in a raised purse. Because of her head bent behind her shoulder, he was a long moment verifying her identify. At last she straightened up and turned toward him, the light full on her face through the door beginning to close, holding a key ring in the right hand, purse in the other. Lace at the throat and blue flowers on a veiled hat were characteristic. Indeed it was Lucy. Now he was committed. The realization brought a touch of relief. He took a deep breath.
She started toward him as the elevator door closed behind her, plunging the corridor into its previous darkness. The frosted glass in the door of the office that was her destination glowed dimly ahead of her, lit from behind by the first day light on the office windows. She marched directly for it, high heels tapping confidently on the smooth tile despite the gloom, her right hand already extending the key as she drew abreast of his alcove.
He held himself in rigid stillness until the precise moment. As he had rehearsed, he took one long step out beside her, one hand sweeping down to clamp the open handcuff on her left wrist above the purse strap, the other arm flying around her to seize the hand that held the key. She stiffened with an intake of breath but in less than a second he had jerked the right arm behind her and snapped the second handcuff upon its wrist.
“What — what —” she stammered as he snapped the prepared ball and tape loose from his belt.
She emitted a piercing scream powered by a lung full of air. It was the blood-curdling female cry designed by ten thousand generations of tiger confrontations to galvanize all males within earshot. He had expected it, had in fact counted upon it. From behind her he popped the soft rubber ball past her gaping lips and clutching a tape end in either hand, pulled the duct tape tight, looping it over itself behind her upper neck. Though the sound cut off with a gurgle, it had been impressive while it lasted. Hopefully the concrete floors of the old high-rise and their emptiness at this hour had rendered the scream fruitless.
He took the second set of cuffs from under his coat and stooping, snapped them around the nylon covered ankles, snatching one extended foot close to its mate and thus tripping her up. She fell upon her knees and would have pitched forward onto her face if he hadn’t caught her shoulder.
The only light in the corridor was the wan glow of the frosted glass above them. He lowered her gently to the floor, but it seemed at that moment she realized the desperation of her plight. Moaning loudly through her nose, she twisted sideways away from him and kicked out with her cuffed feet, connecting with his shin. He ignored the pain, stored the length of wire in his teeth, and used both hands to capture the cuff chains at wrists and ankles, working hurriedly by feel instead of sight. With both chains held in one hand despite her violent heaving, he was able at last to bind them with several turns of the wire, thus effectively hog tying wrists and ankles together behind her back.
He released her, for the moment ignoring her stentorian groans, and turned away long enough to take the last special item from his coat pocket, a single woman’s hose, and pull it over his head. With it secured into his shirt collar, he raised the nasally screaming woman up upon her knees before the glowing glass. He thrust his disguised face before hers, along with a short piece of tape, and declared menacingly, “If you don’t shut up that noise, I’ll tape your nose, too!”
She ignored him, eyes rolling wildly, and redoubled the strength of the sound. He shook her and shouted the same words into her ear, but he actually had to clamp the tape across her nose to silence her. He left it there long enough to say, “I don’t want to hurt you, much less kill you. I’ll take this off so you can breathe, but it’ll go right back if you aren’t quiet.”
He freed her nose. The nostrils flared and she took several breaths but ceased to moan. Large eyes stared at him in horror.
“Good.” Lifting from her armpits, he raised her body with considerable difficulty until she lay over his right shoulder, bent at the waist, head hanging down his back, secured by his right arm over her buttocks, hand clutching her well-padded hip bone.
“Whew!” he exclaimed when she was in place. He stooped to return the key ring to fallen purse. While rising he stuffed the purse into the hollow between her hip and his neck. Amidst a rattling of chains she began to drum her high heels against his arm.
“You’ll hurt yourself,” he admonished. In truth she was bruising him. He took the shoes off her feet and stuffed them together into his side pocket. Thus encumbered he marched away toward the elevator. So far the whole encounter had taken less than a minute.
He pressed the Down button and as expected the elevator door reopened for him. Inside he touched B for Basement. At this hour no one else in the building would want to go down, or so he hoped, other users needing only to ascend to their offices. Thus, he reasoned, the elevator should proceed past all the up-requesters, if any.
Behind him the woman moaned something with the sound of syllables, not a loud sound. He took it as an interrogation and replied, “You have only to keep silent another minute or two, Mrs. Grainger. Then I’ll answer all your questions.”
The woman was heavier than the hundred pound sandbags he had carried for practice, but not enough to affect his confidence. He shifted his shoulder slightly and endured the interminable wait. At least, he told himself, the worst danger is past. She had proven no more formidable than one would expect of a fortyish matron.
At last the elevator grounded with the “B” lamp lit on the panel. The door sighed open, again spilling light into a dull green hallway. He paused to listen but heard nothing. He stepped over the threshold and turned into the corridor. The door slid shut, taking most of the light but not all. Behind him a lone bulb, probably a fifteen-watter, dispelled the gloom. He felt the woman twisting her head.
“We’re in the basement, Mrs. Grainger. Not too much further now.”
He reached a metal door set flush in the wall and bent forward as he turned away, giving the woman a view of it. A faded sheet of paper had been taped across it. Someone had once scrawled on it with a felt tipped marker: “KEEP CLOSED.” Straining back, he pulled the door open and stepped through into a large room. It contained a fenced enclosure behind which a huge gray box hummed loudly. A metal sign wired to the fence proclaimed, “DANGER / High Voltage.”
The metal door closed behind them with a solid thunk. He said conversationally, his voice pitched above the hum, “Have you ever been down here, Mrs. Grainger? That’s the transformer which powers this whole building. Pretty inefficient to make so much noise, wouldn’t you say? I expect it’s the reason for the sign on the door.”
Many large crates were stacked to the ceiling on the opposite side of the room. He marched past them, stepped up onto a platform and stopped before a bulging circular door mounted in the wall, hinged on one side, a heavy metal handle on the other. The handle screeched when he turned it, though not the hinges when he pulled the door open from the wall, disclosing a circular black hole nearly waist high, half again wider than a man’s shoulders.
He threw one leg over the sill into the blackness, feeling around for the box he had earlier set within. Assured of his footing, he twisted sideways and backward, guiding her head into the hole first — a motion that precipitated strong nasal moaning — followed by the rest of her body, then his own. Carefully he stepped down from the box to the floor.
At last he could lay her on the unseen padded canvas. Rising up from her, he commented, “What a relief! Soon for you, too, Mrs. Grainger.”
He found the bulb and tightened it in its socket, flooding the area with light. The woman lay quietly on her side, arms and legs behind her, eyes intent upon his hands. He reached into his inside pocket and pulled out a folded paper, then knelt and opened it sideways where she could read its content, handwritten in green ink.
“Hopefully this looks familiar,” he said.
I just now received a call from Aunt Agatha — actually from the hospital. They say her condition is even more critical than before and I shouldn’t waste a moment. I’m sorry that you won’t have better notice. I’ll call you as soon as I can.
Below the signature appeared today’s date. He watched her eyes widen as she scanned it. He smiled. “It is familiar, isn’t it! Well, it should be; I worked on it long enough. Now excuse me while I go put this on Bookman’s desk. I’ll make you comfortable soon as I return.”
He passed from the box through the hole into the room beyond, closing the door behind him with a clang. She saw the inside handle rotate as he clamped it shut.
He pulled open the circular door, stepped through onto the box, then reached back and pulled the door closed behind him, rotating the handle to clamp it. The woman had turned over and lay in a different position on the canvas.
He shook his head. “I hope you haven’t bruised your wrists or ankles on those handcuffs. Come, let’s free your tongue. No woman can be comfortable in a gag, can she?”
He opened a briefcase lying in the corner and took out a set of surgical shears, proceeding to snip the tape on her cheeks and pull it free of her head, taking the ball from her mouth.
“Let me tell you one thing before you scream,” he said, squatting above her. “Notice where you are. You’ve probably never seen the inside of one of these before. This is an old building that was originally heated with steam radiators. You and I are presently situated inside the furnace that generated all that steam. You should understand that the walls are made of firebrick, very resistant to the passage of heat and, just incidentally, the passage of sound. In addition, there’s that noisy transformer outside hidden behind a steel door. Now go ahead and scream. Get it out of your system.”
She licked her lips and said distinctly. “If it’s a waste of time I’d as soon not hurt my throat.”
He stood up and removed his coat, draping it over a coat hanger suspended from one of the many pipes that criss-crossed the space over their heads. He returned to her immediately, grasping her shoulders and spinning her back to her original position on her left side, knees toward the door.
“Wh-what are you doing?” she asked tremulously.
“I’m about to make you more comfortable.”
“Are you? Why is it I can’t believe that?”
He had laid the canvas pad over the thick bed of ancient ash after carefully contouring the cinders to be higher away from the door. Now he pulled her body nearly to the top of that mound. She looked fearfully back over her shoulder as he raised up a bright metallic object attached by chain to an eyebolt in the wall.
“I’m glad you’re watching, Mrs. Grainger. Do you see this? It’s a felt-lined manacle. It will hold your wrists securely without bruising you even if you fight it. And it simply closes until it fits snugly. It would fit anyone’s wrist, even mine, if our positions were reversed. Would that they were, eh, Mrs. Grainger?” He shook his head. “I can give you many things, but unfortunately that’s not one of them.”
He forced the handcuff higher on her right wrist and snapped the manacle in its place. He took a key from his pocket and unlocked the displaced handcuff, immediately drawing her left arm beneath and beyond her torso so forcefully that she flopped over onto her back, unable to resist his treatment of the arm. Instantly he snapped a second manacle over that wrist, leaving her on her back, arms spread to either side above her as he removed the second handcuff. When he released her, she pulled tightly on both hands but was able to move them only slightly.
“Damn you!” she asserted, straightening her legs, then raising knees and heels, glaring at him with determination, heedless of exposed undergarments.
Again he shook his head. “Now, Mrs. Grainger, we can do this the hard way or the easy way. I repeat, I don’t want to hurt you.”
“If you expect me to cooperate,” she declared fiercely, “then you’re a bigger fool than I thought already.”
“No. In fact I’m not a fool at all.”
He walked around her until he stood behind her head, from which he point he dived upon her, grasping her about the thighs and forcing her legs straight with his weight. She wriggled and twisted, trying to use her restrained arms for leverage, but his weight and agility were too much. In the end he rose off her body, leaving her gasping for breath, ankles manacled to opposite walls in the manner of her hands. He also was breathing heavily.
He grinned at her. “No, Lucy, I didn’t count on your cooperation. And now it won’t matter.”
Her eyes widened at that.
When his breathing was easier, he went to the cooler beside the brief case and took out a soda bottle. Twisting the cap, he took a long draught, then knelt beside her.
“Fighting leaves the mouth dry. May I offer you a drink? As you see, it contains no poison.”
“You want my mouth wet, do you?” she retorted contemptuously.
“Yes, as a matter of fact,” he agreed.
“Huh! All right, I’ll take your drink. And I hope you try to put something else in there!”
“Now, now.” He extended the bottle to her lips. She took several swallows.
When she indicated satisfaction, he stood over her contemplatively. “I thought a long time, hoping to find a way to spare your clothing, but I failed.”
“My clothing! Then this is just another shameful rape, isn’t it?”
He shook his head. “No. It is not ‘just another shameful rape.’”
“What else could it be?”
Instead of answering he reached to his hanging coat and took the surgical shears out of a pocket. “What’s that for?” she demanded.
“Your clothing.” He knelt beside her and raised the hem of her skirt, now ridden up half her thigh. “I regret having to do this, Mrs. Grainger, but for my purposes you must be quite nude. It won’t be bad as it seems, however.”
As he spoke he began to cut through the cloth of her skirt. “Have you noticed that garment bag hanging beyond my coat? In it you’ll find a lady’s summer dress, slip, bra and panty hose, all in your size, approximately, as well as I could describe you to the salesgirl. I’ve gone through them and removed all the identifying tags. They don’t match this chic suit, but they’ll suffice for you to get home — or to the police station, whichever you prefer.”
“This suit is quite valuable!” the woman exclaimed, eyeing the progress of his shears. “Why do you need to destroy it? It can hardly stop you from raping me.”
“I told you this isn’t just a rape.”
“Then what is it? What can I be worth to you? I have hardly enough to live on and pay my rent.”
“Ah, you think it might be money?” By now he was operating on the sleeves of her suit coat. “No, no, Mrs. Grainger. You have something of great value to me, but it’s not your money. In fact, you’ll see that I have no interest in your purse at all. Hmm. That reminds me.”
He drew the key ring from his britches, twisted around and returned it to her purse. Turning back, he pulled the ravaged coat from beneath her body and threw it aside upon the remains of the skirt. His shears began to attack the hem of her black slip. They went quickly through the thin material.
“Why me?” she demanded. “Why pick on me?”
The shears fell silent. “I wondered if you’d ask me that.” He rose away from her, went to the briefcase and returned with a piece of paper that he held above her face at the proper reading distance. “This is why.”
Her eyes scanned the green handwriting.
I just received a call from my Aunt Agatha. She is deathly ill and I shouldn’t waste a moment getting to her. I’m sorry that you won’t have better notice. I’ll call you as soon as I can.
It was dated some three months earlier. “Where did you get that?” the woman demanded.
He shook his head. “I’m sorry. I can’t tell you.”
“The spilled trash,” she mused.
“Bookman spilled a trash can out his office window. You found it on the street, didn’t you? But why did you think …”
“All right, I’ll tell you that much. I happened to come into this building one day behind the postman. I retrieved a letter that fell out of his bag. Guess whose name and office address were on it?”
“Yes, they were. That was too much. I believe in fate. It’s my approximation to religion. Finding this note one day and seeing your address the next were too much. At that time I had never laid eyes on you, but I knew that fate meant for me to have you. The rest was just a matter of planning.”
“What a cute story!” she said. “I don’t believe a word of it.”
“Not even the planning? Wire in these, eh? Don’t worry. I anticipated that, too.”
Again at the briefcase he took out a pair of diagonal pliers. One snip parted the wire joining the halves of her brassiere. The shears made quick work of the straps.
“I have to believe the planning, all right,” she admitted, squirming. “That tickles!”
He was working the shears over her abdomen, down the front of the panty hose. “Sorry,” he muttered, lifting the shears away from her skin. “This is already instructive,” he added. “I had no idea that cutting a woman’s clothes off would be so stimulating.”
“Stimulating for you, maybe,” she admitted, eyes on his britches.
“But not for you. That’s all right. Your stimulation is not required yet.”
“Frankly, sir, this is making me — Dammit, what can I call you? What’s your name?”
He grinned. “You may call me Tiger.”
“Tiger? You’re some poor excuse for a tiger!”
“No? Who is nearing extinction on today’s Earth — man or tiger?
“Skunk would be better typing! I was about to tell you —”
“Skunk! You must have noticed that I have no odor.” He cut around her ankles near the manacles to free the hose from her feet. “And as a tiger I do intend to eat you, in a manner of speaking. What were you about to tell me?”
“That what you are stimulating is anger! You have absolutely ruined my clothing! The only thing you’ve missed is my hat, and that’ll be ruined, too, after it’s been rubbed on this dirty canvas.”
He faced her. “There you’re wrong! This canvas is new. I installed it here just yesterday. If it gets dirty you’ll be the reason.”
“Ah, ha! There we have it. A dirty woman will make the canvas dirty. You hate women, don’t you!”
“Hate women?” He chuckled. “That’s ridiculous, Lucy. You’ve been reading too much psych-hype.”
“Too much what?”
“Psychological hyperbole. I know what they say. Rapists hate women, probably because their mothers behaved unchastely and shamed them as boys. They act out their hatred and contempt by soiling other women as their mothers were soiled. But I assure you that my mother was a fine woman who, so far as I know, never said ‘no’ to my father nor ‘yes’ to anyone else. Far from hating women, I envy them. They have such a tremendous capacity for pleasure.”
“Do you believe that menstrual cramps are pleasant?”
“No. I agree that nothing about menstruation is pleasant — except the day or two before the flow starts.”
Having detached the last remnant of hose, he stood between her unwillingly spread legs, staring down at the flesh before him. “I’m pleased to see that you are between bouts, Lucy: no tell-tale dangling string. Care to tell me when your next is due?”
Her eyes narrowed. “It’s a month late.”
He chuckled. “Wish I could believe you. We could be even more carefree.”
“Carefree!” she repeated incredulously. “Don’t you dare make me pregnant!”
His chuckle became a laugh. “What mustn’t I dare?” Suddenly he sobered, leaned over and stroked her smooth belly. She sucked it in, away from his touch, but he continued to stroke her. “No mother’s marks here yet. Oh, I know it doesn’t mean anything. I understand that cervical inspection is the only thing that can tell the tale. Spell that T-A-I-L. But if you become pregnant, you could at least enjoy that uniquely female experience.”
Her lip curled. “That’s what I’d expect a man to say.”
“Lucy, I didn’t realize … You are a remarkably attractive woman! What’s your age.”
He gestured toward her purse. “I can check your driver’s license.”
“49,” she snapped.
He grinned. “No, you aren’t. I’m not inexperienced of women. I even have a wife! I’d guess you’re about 40, maybe as young as 38.”
“You have a wife? That’s a lie, isn’t it.”
“Truth. I have a wife.”
“Then what in the devil are you doing here?”
“I agree, it’s about time to explain all that. But first …” He reached into the corner behind the cooler and took out a pillow, encased as if for a bed. He raised her with a hand in the small of her back and slipped the pillow between her and the canvas pad.
“Thank you,” she said with deliberate irony as he arose.
“I want you to be comfortable,” he declaimed piously, hand to his necktie. With it removed he began to undo the buttons on his white shirt, already clinging in perspiration. He commented, “At least you won’t be cold here, even naked.”
“Is the air good in here?” she asked. “Or will I be alive long enough to notice it?”
“Lucy, you pain me. I don’t really expect anything we do here to shorten your life by one second. You know that I intend you to leave here alive and in good health.”
“How do I know that? You have cut the clothes off my back! What do you cut off me next?”
“No more cutting. As to how you know, I point to that garment bag yonder. And to my disguise. If I didn’t wear it, you’d be right to worry.”
“Maybe.” Her voice trembled a little. “Maybe it … only means that you’re keeping your options open.”
He shook his head as he stepped out of his britches. “I can only say that if you expect to die here, you’re due to be sadly disappointed.”
“You’ll just let me walk away, is that right?”
“Essentially that’s right. I’ll leave the door open and the key within your reach.”
“When? Next week?”
“Oh, no. Before sunset this very day. Tonight I’ll be in another city. Neither you nor the cops will ever find me.”
“That’s what reveals you as a fool, Tiger.”
“Believing that you can get away with this, whether you kill me or not. Tell me one thing will you, one thing that I’ll admit I find fascinating about you.”
“What is it?”
“Do you realize that what you’re doing makes no sense? As my father used to say, the game is not worth the ticket. What in the world can you hope to get from me that is worth the years of jail you’ll get in return?”
“It all depends on the ticket. I believe I’ve already paid in full for this one — quite an investment it was, too, as you should be starting to appreciate.”
“You said you have a wife. My god! Sex is not worth this risk to you! Especially sex with another women who’s probably just an older version of your wife. A few hours here — minutes, really — versus years in the slammer. What could you be thinking?”
He produced two additional coat hangers and proceeded to hang britches and shirt separately. “You keep making the same mistake. This is not really about sex. I’ve had plenty of that — though not enough. One never gets enough.”
“Tiger, that’s ridiculous. Of course this is about sex! Otherwise why are we naked.”
He paused to contemplate her. Slowly he nodded. “Well, yes. What I mean is that it’s not only about sex.”
He grinned, straightening the crease in his britches where they passed over the hanger. “I don’t expect you to understand this. But you’re lying there for the sake of curiosity as much as anything else.”
He went again to the cooler and extracted a drink bottle. After a hearty pull, he stood before her in full nudity aside from wristwatch and the disguising hosiery, the thigh of which was rolled about his neck while the foot and half the leg floating whimsically behind him. He peered through the beige haze and extended the bottle toward her. “Will you have another swig?”
He knelt and raised her head. She drank thirstily. They shared the remainder. When she had drained the last, she commented, “This is hardly hygienic, but you don’t give a damn about that, do you, Tiger?”
“Who says not? This is not exactly your casual one nighter, Mrs. Grainger. My doctor assures me that I am disease-free. ‘Healthy as a horse,’ he says. And you are obviously the same. ‘As a mare,’ at any rate, far too pink and clean to be otherwise than in the best of health. In fact you are exceptionally clean, Mrs. Grainger, smelling only of soap and deodorant despite our recent exertion.”
“Is that all you smell?”
“Plus a discrete touch of perfume that I think I recognize. ‘Inner Spice,’ isn’t it?”
She nodded, eyebrows rising appreciatively.
“A suggestive name, that, but misleading. It bears no resemblance at all to a woman’s inner spice. Smells more like honeysuckle to me.”
“That’s a southern plant.”
“I believe so. Where do you put it? Behind your ears?”
He leaned forward to sniff her. She turned her face away. He transferred his nose to her armpit. “Not here. This is only deodorant.”
He got up and went again to the brief case, emerging with a plastic case of moistened towellettes. Kneeling beside her, he scrubbed both exposed armpits vigorously. She shuddered, shoulders writhing, but instead of protesting the stimulation she asked, “Do you object to deodorant?”
“Yes, I do. I have never understood why women want to mask their natural odors. A man can hardly find them other than irresistible. Of course, it’s to please other women, isn’t it?”
She declared, “It’s for herself!”
He grunted. “That’s most bizarre of all — that women object to their own odors!”
He bent low and licked the nearest armpit, tongue spread to maximum width. “Oh, god!” she cried. “Don’t do that! I can’t stand it!”
“Surely it doesn’t hurt!” he declared, desisting.
“You know how it feels,” she accused. “You mean to torture me, don’t you!”
“Not especially.” He raised up and made a face at her. “Bah! I can taste only the crap they put in those towellettes. Wish I could afford to keep you here two or three days.”
She stared at him, her lips clamped shut. He chuckled. “Don’t worry. I can’t. At least, not just for armpits, though I suspect it would be interesting to compare the taste of yours in its natural state to mine. But it would take a couple weeks for your hair to grow. I couldn’t even feel bristles.”
“I have very little hair there.”
“Makes it easier, eh?”
He stepped over her knee and knelt between her legs, leaning forward to stroke her sides, hips, belly, inner and outer thighs, working the flesh vigorously. A thumb explored her navel.
“What are you doing?” she wondered aggrievedly.
“Getting to know you, Mrs. Grainger.”
From either side his hands kneaded her firmly from armpits to hips, rippling over her well-padded rib cage. He stroked the muscles of her upper arms, the sides of her face, the cords of her neck, massaging even the hollows above her shoulder bones.
“Enjoying yourself?” she inquired, gritting her teeth.
He smiled at her. “Ah, Lucy, you have no idea!”
“God, you are smug!”
“Smug? I do feel a measure of satisfaction.” He clasped a hipbone in either palm. “All this lovely female flesh … It’s all mine, Lucy. Mine!”
He chuckled at her evident consternation. “Only for a while. I lay no permanent claim. But while it’s mine, I intend to use it well.”
“That’s the horror of it. You might do anything!”
He hitched himself forward to straddle her hips. For the first time his hands closed upon her breasts, squeezing them vigorously, working the nipples between thumbs and forefingers.
“What do you mean by ‘curiosity?’” she asked, shoulders twitching randomly.
“You are beginning to find out.”
“Do you mean that your wife won’t let you hurt her like this?”
“Hurt her?” His hands fell still.
“Yes, hurt! I can feel on my belly how much you enjoy hurting me. You’re just a rotten sadist, aren’t you, Tiger? Oh, god, I’ll get out of this black and blue!”
“‘Black and blue!’” he repeated incredulously, “—implying that I’ve bruised you? Surely not!” His hands returned to her. “Do you actually claim that this is painful?”
She raised her head briefly to regard herself. “Would they be so red if it weren’t?”
“There are several reasons for skin to redden.” He squeezed her and opened his hand, squeezed and opened again, studying the effect. He commented thoughtfully, “I’ve viewed several porno flicks where men treated breasts roughly: separating them, forcing them together as I am doing now, even … lifting them by the nipples.” She grimaced as he demonstrated the last. “The women seemed to tolerate it well enough, sometimes smiling with at least the simulation of pleasure. Of course they were actresses, but the forces on their breasts were real enough. I wondered if they were ignoring pain for the sake of big bucks.”
“I mean a large fee. Don’t you dig my slang, Lucy?”
“What is this, Tiger? Are you acting out some porno fantasy?”
He nodded. “In a sense. I have certainly dreamed about it. That was fantasy and definitely pornographic. Now it is no longer fantasy. Tell me: does this still hurt? Are your breasts growing numb? Or did it ever really hurt?”
“It still hurts. You know it does. Otherwise you’d’ve done it to your wife.”
“My conjugal relations are as dignified and invariant as church ritual. There are many things I cannot do to my wife, though physical pain is not the reason. That’s your advantage, Lucy. We can do anything and probably will. We’ll not be together long enough to create a ritual.”
She observed dryly, “Somehow I don’t find that reassuring.”
“You should. Twenty years from now you’ll hardly remember this adventure.”
“I am more concerned with the next twenty hours!”
“I can understand that. You haven’t learned to trust me. But I always keep my word, Lucy, as you’ll find out… Where were we? Oh, yes.”
He rocked back on his heels. “So I must conclude that the porno stars were faking, is that right?”
She stared at him. “Let me pull on your nipples. Then you’ll know!”
He nodded. “I saw you wince when I pulled them, but that was the only time. The twisting and squeezing weren’t so bad, huh?”
He eyes glittered angrily. “I told you not to expect cooperation.”
“And you think a truthful answer is cooperation?”
“Isn’t it? You might consider this: in the movies they were probably squeezing silicon jelly.”
Rising off her, he admitted, “You have a point. I’ve wondered if that’s how all those tit lawsuits started — because somebody squeezed out the silicon!”
“Well, there’s nothing fake about me,” she declared. “And it hurts.”
“Good.” He went to the briefcase and returned to lay a roll of paper towels beside her body.
He paused. “Would you like more to drink before we proceed?”
“No, thank you. I may have already drunk too much.”
“Too much? Is your bladder full, Lucy?”
“Frankly, yes. Quite full. Didn’t you think of that, Tiger?”
“Oh, but I did! You must have noticed the slope I made in the cinders.”
“Under the canvas is a lot of ash and cinders, god knows how much. Haven’t you heard it crunch when you move?”
“Well, it does,” he insisted. “I tried it. The canvas cover makes it a comfortable bed. But you should notice I piled it deeper at that end. Your head’s a foot higher than your butt.”
“So when you piss it’ll run away from you.”
He chuckled. “You understand me, Lucy.” Suddenly he knelt low between her legs. She felt his breath stir the pubic hair, then his fingers separating the labia. He explained, voice somewhat muffled, “To my sorrow and your embarrassment, I have lived this long without ever once persuading a woman to show me how she pees! Now I am about to find out at last. I confess it’s very exciting!”
She raised her head but beheld only the tan feminine stocking atop his. She noted, “You won’t see much through that hose.”
She heard a grin in his voice. “Don’t worry, I’ve pushed it up. Relieve yourself, my dear.”
The affectionate words angered her. The touch of malice was persuasive. She rotated her hips to direct the stream high as she could, hoping thus to wet his face. She released her water but the expected explosive withdrawal did not occur. His fingers closed, trembling, on her hips.
When her flow subsided, his hand fumbled beside her and found the roll of towels. He turned away from her as he rose. She heard the paper rip and saw from behind that he was wiping his face and chest. The darkening of the towels revealed that a goodly quantity of liquid was being absorbed. She smelled a slight odor of urine.
Obviously she had succeeded in wetting his face. But he had endured it! Suddenly she had a suspicion. “You drank it!” she accused.
He turned around and grinned at her despite closed lips. The rolled stocking edge covered his nose, leaving the mouth exposed.
“You drank it!” she repeated incredulously. “Are you crazy?”
He stepped over her leg and stooped beside her, face descending rapidly. His lips touched hers and opened, releasing a cascade of liquid, some of which reached her tongue before she could react. Its nature was unmistakable. She spat it back into his face as he rose away from her.
“But, Lucy, it’s your own nectar!” he protested tauntingly.
He tore off more towels, stooped again to wipe her face and neck. Then folding the paper carefully, he patted the moisture from her pubic area and raising her hip, wiped the hollow around her rectum. As he worked he explained, “Not crazy at all, Lucy. The word is curious! And now I know at least two new facts, important to me, that I didn’t know five minutes ago. Furthermore you know something new, too!”
“If you mean …”
“Can’t you say it, Lucy? I mean that now you know the taste of your own piss after it’s been in a man’s mouth. How would you ever have learned that if I hadn’t come along? Oh, and let me correct a false impression. I didn’t actually drink it, though I wouldn’t mind if I had. Your piss is nearly as sweet as the rest of you. One could develop a taste for it.”
Her mouth twisted. “You are a disgusting beast!”
“Thank you. I do try!” His voice lost it’s bantering tone. “Excuse me, Lucy. That’s not true. I am not trying to disgust you, despite appearances. In a way this is a scientific study.”
“Scientific?” She laughed derisively.
He had taken another drink bottle from the cooler. Twisting its cap off, he held up her head and put it to her lips. She spat out the first swallow, then gulped it thirstily.
“Why do you doubt it? Even Kinsey had a few statistics on urine drinkers.”
She turned her face from the bottle long enough to say, “I don’t remember that.”
“Well, honestly, I don’t either. I seem to remember reading that he did. Maybe what I read was that he didn’t.” She heard a grin in his voice. “We are getting into the area of the unmentionables.”
“God! I’m afraid to ask what you plan to do next.”
He finished the bottle. “Then don’t. I have a program of six steps. You’ll be pleased to know that we’ve already done the first three.”
“Oh, yes. And the next three won’t hurt you any more than these three did — less, actually. That is … I don’t think the last one will hurt you. But it’s a real unmentionable. I’ve never seen so much as a hint about it in the literature or anywhere else, not even in dirty jokes. You did know, didn’t you, Lucy, that sexually the most educational medium in the world is the so-called dirty joke?”
“Don’t be silly. You can’t trust what you hear in jokes. Any fool knows that. A pretty baby, indeed!”
“What are you talking about, Lucy?”
“What you did reminded me of a joke my cousin told me when I was a very little girl.”
“An unreliable joke? Tell me.”
“That would be cooperating.”
“With a ‘disgusting beast.’ I know. But you might win your argument.”
“Well, if it will give me a minute more before you kill me —”
“It’s the step after next that may be hazardous, but even it won’t kill you. Tell me what kind of dirty joke a cousin tells a nice little girl.”
“Don’t you have children?”
“None. Was it a male or female cousin?”
“Female. All right. A pregnant woman tells her obstetrician she’ll do anything for a pretty baby. He says that to guarantee it she must not urinate until the birth. She comes back many times, complaining of the terrible pressure, but he reminds her each time of the desire for a pretty baby. On the last visit the baby puts out his head and demands, ‘For god’s sake, Doc, let her pee. I’ve been swimming around in here for days.’”
“Hmm. How did you take it?”
“I laughed when my cousin told it, but for years thoughts of pregnancy would make me sick.”
“Interesting. I maintain that you’ve lost your argument.”
“What? But that’s ridic—”
“There are lessons and lessons. You’re old enough to’ve heard that joke before the pill was popular. In those days fearing pregnancy was important. And who knows? If a woman could just hold her water long enough …”
He fetched several items from the briefcase and laid them on the canvas beside her. Among them she saw a camera, a collapsed tripod, a small flashlight, a large tube of lubricating jelly and a complex plastic contraption, shaped somewhat like a human foot and ankle, that after a moment’s study was only too recognizable. He stepped over her arm, stooped and slipped the elastic of a party mask over her hat and head, settling the oval mask carefully about her eyes and verifying that it did not clamp her nostrils.
“Can you see all right, Lucy?”
“What’s this for? Don’t tell me you have a confederate!”
“In a manner of speaking. He’s myself — tonight, tomorrow, next week, next year. And who knows? I’ll probably show these pictures to others. It’s fairly certain they’ll appear on the Internet. Your fine body will inspire many teenage erections, Lucy, and older ones, too. But I mean to protect your identity.”
“Damn you!” She gritted her teeth audibly.
“What’s your objection?” he wondered in surprise. “No one can prove it’s you — nor even suspect. I guarantee you I’ll never breathe your name!”
“The birthmark, you fool!”
He nodded. “Under your right breast. I didn’t know about it but I planned for it anyway. Look at this.” He held up a small pink bottle. “Flesh colored nail polish. Imagine my surprise to find that there was such a thing! I’ll cover your birthmark if you wish. But I’d rather not. It may be your only imperfection. It’ll make you seem more real. And consider this: what if you want later to prove one of these pictures is you? To a jury, maybe?”
She stared at him. “I’m allergic to that kind of nail polish.”
“That settles it. We’ll leave it off.”
He screwed the camera onto the tripod, extended the latter’s legs and set the combination to one side, kneeling to align her image in the view finder. She watched with interest.
“What kind of camera is that?”
“Digital. It uses no film, nothing that has to be processed. It stores its pictures in computer memory. I’ll load them into my home computer and look at you whenever I need inspiration.”
“Is this light bright enough?”
“Oh, yes. The camera is very sensitive. And for close-ups I have that flashlight.”
“I told you I was curious.” He moved the camera to a spot between her feet.
“Are you taking pictures? I don’t hear a shutter.”
“You won’t, either. I just gently press this button, which causes the camera to scan whatever image it has into its memory.”
“What will you tell your wife when she finds these pictures in your desk drawer?”
“What desk? These pictures will probably never be printed. They’ll be viewed only on computer screens.”
“Who’ll see them on the Internet?”
“I gather that the porno newsgroups are downloaded mostly by high-school and college students. But retired gentlemen are into them, too — and police departments looking for child porn.”
“What do the police departments make of naked women chained to the floor?”
“If she’s obviously above the age of consent they think she’s faking.”
“How do you know that?”
“Because the porno groups are full of bondage pictures. Some men — women, too — get a kick out of them.”
“Like you, Tiger?”
“I’m curious about your femaleness, Lucy, not your helplessness. Anyone can be made helpless. You’re chained up for only one reason: you wouldn’t stay here otherwise.”
“Well, you’re right about that!”
He had moved the camera from spot to spot all around her, pausing to capture the images. Now he shortened the tripod’s legs and set it low between her knees. He took up the tube of jelly and the plastic contraption.
“Do you know what this is, Lucy?”
“Then you know that it won’t hurt you.”
“How do I know that?”
“As fastidious as you are, I’d bet you get examined with one every year or so.”
“Tiger, do you know how to use one?”
“I think so. You slip it in closed, then squeeze the handles to open it.”
“Oh, god! My first GYN was a man. He was rough, I think, because it embarrassed him to do it. And he hurt me!”
“Your ‘first’ GYN?”
“Now I have a woman. She’s very gentle. She almost makes it feel …”
He grinned. “Well, Lucy, I’m not a bit embarrassed. You’ll see that I’m also very gentle. I want to see you, not hurt you. For your information, I put this thing into me first. I know how to be easy.”
“You did what? Where?”
He snorted. “Unlike a woman, a man has no choice in such an experiment.”
He squeezed a palm full of clear jelly and smeared it liberally on both of the speculum’s mandibles. He knelt and presented it to her nether lips.
“Tell me if this hurts.”
“It’s … cold.”
“The first one I bought was stainless steel. Talk about cold!”
“My doctor … stores hers in a heated table.”
“Good for her.”
After a moment she flinched.
“Reached bottom?” he asked. “You can’t be so shallow, Lucy. I wonder … Ah, yes. It had reached the cervix, hadn’t it? Now it’s passed under. Do you suffer the misfortune of a painful cervix?”
“What do you know about it?”
“I had one girlfriend who couldn’t tolerate deep penetration. Others went wild. I gather it’s always sensitive but painful in only a few. Carefully now …”
Slowly he squeezed the handles together. Her fists clenched, he saw, but she made no protest. He set the latch to hold them closed and bent his head, bringing the flashlight close. He peered for a long time, occasionally shifting the speculum.
She asked, “What do you see besides wet, red meat?”
“You’ve looked in here, too, have you, Lucy?”
“With a mirror.”
“Wet, red meat, of course. How wet surprises me! It puddles in the crevices. How can you stand up without wetting your pants?”
“Sometimes you do.”
“I’m reflecting that the entire human race slides down this tube, and half of it spends the rest of its life plotting to get back up it.”
“That’s almost poetic, Tiger. But you over-generalize.”
“You mean Cesareans?”
“Perhaps, though I gather the homosexual women try as hard to get up it as do normal men. For that matter, I doubt you’d find many fags who wouldn’t slip it to you if they found you in this condition.”
“Not at all. It’s the nature of the beast. By the same token, few normal men would take advantage of you. Most of them would free you and clothe you and help you punish your captor.”
“Do you class yourself with the fags, then?”
“Oh, no. I have no interest in men sexually … or for any other use, actually.”
“Are you sure, Tiger?”
“Sure enough to suit me.”
He brought the camera up close and tried it in several positions relative to the flashlight.
“Will it focus this close?” she asked.
“Yes, within a couple of inches. Do you know something of photography, Lucy?”
“I’ve experimented a little. I photograph my flowers.”
“You, too, eh?”
“What do you mean?”
“We both like to photograph sex organs.”
“Sex — Hmph!”
“You never realized what flowers are, Lucy?”
“Everyone knows what they are. But they’re so beautiful!”
“So is this.”
“That’s ridiculous, Tiger, even allowing for a man’s bias.”
“Well, maybe not, distended like this one. But staring straight into one that’s pulled open just a little reminds me of a blood red orchid. Or a pink one in a younger woman.”
“You’re obsessed, Tiger.”
“Of course. My defense is that nature wired me so… How does it feel?”
“Thank you for letting it down before pulling it out.”
“You’re welcome. I told you: I know what I’m doing.”
“Do you? What are you putting in me now?”
“Nothing. Light. I’m making you pout enough for the camera to see the natural size.”
“You’ll have to wait a bit for that.”
“Yes, I see what you mean. But this is even better for the camera.”
After a moment he moved camera and flashlight to one side. He slid over her body. She observed, almost sneering, “So you finally get around to it, do you?”
“What … uh … what do you mean?”
He was slow to answer. At last he explained, “I don’t believe … anyone has found a better instrument to explore a vagina … than a penis.”
But almost immediately he backed away from her. Her head snapped up to stare at him. “You can’t have come yet!”
“Right.” He applied more jelly to the speculum and bent over her again.
She cried, “You don’t mean to put it there!”
“Wrong guess, Lucy. Relax your sphincter. If you don’t, it may hurt you. I know from experience.”
Deftly he worked the instrument. “Actually it’s easier here. The whole thing is in you, right up to the handle. The only other difference, I suspect, is that it takes practice to open it as far. I’ve seen pictures of baseball bats up women’s rectums. I’m only opening this about an inch. We’ve all shat bigger than that. Now let’s see …”
His inspection of the second avenue was relatively brief both before and after removing the speculum. She gasped when she saw him apply the jelly to himself.
“Rape me there!”
“It’s only rape if you don’t give permission.”
“Huh! No hope of that!”
“Are you sure you don’t want a bit of compression just now?”
“Whether I want it or not has nothing to do with it. I wouldn’t put it past you to be taping all this. So for the record, let me assure you that you do not have permission for anything you do, will do or have done to me!”
He observed admiringly, “My dear, that pretty well covers it.”
“And I’m not your dear, either!”
“Ah, but you are, Lucy. At this moment you are more dear to me than anyone else on Earth.” His voice took a pedantic tone. “It’s curious that nature constructed male and female so that the male does not require the female’s permission. I submit that the only time a man ever gets a woman’s prior permission is in the transaction with a whore. Did anyone ever ask you for it, Lucy? Even so much as ‘let’s fuck?’”
She shook her head. “Tiger, I keep coming back to my original question. What can you get from this that’s worth the risk? A prostitute would let you satisfy your curiosity, at least of what I’ve seen so far.”
“A prostitute!” he repeated disgustedly. “You speak of risk. Nowadays a man who goes to whores takes his life in his hands.”
“Right. Who’d dare taste a whore’s piss? And whores are not typical women. One who’d let me try my final step would likely be so … callous as to be useless for it. I need the casual encounter that a whore offers, but with a reasonably chaste woman. Look on the bright side, Lucy. You may well learn something, too.”
“This ‘final step.’ Is that what you’re about to do?”
“Oh, no.” He grinned. “This is only the fifth.”
He took a length of paper towels and wiped the perspiration off his face and chest, then her belly. “Sorry about that, Lucy.”
She had turned her face to the side, away from him. Now she turned back to regard him, eyes glittering. “You certainly should apologize!”
He grinned. “I do, for perspiring on you. Or was some of it yours?”
“Perspiration was the least of it!”
“Now, Lucy.” He held up the distended condom. “Didn’t you notice?”
“No, I didn’t.” Her eyebrows rose. “So you do fear AIDS from me!”
“Not at all. You have a sweetly voluptuous body, Lucy. AIDS sufferers are always skin and bones. I know how clean you are! No, it’s not fear of AIDS. It’s fear of DNA.”
“I’ll leave nothing here to identify me. Not even seminal fluid.”
“I see. That’s why you stopped there at the last.”
He paused, eyes distant. “No. Rolling on a condom occurred to me afterwards.”
“What do you mean?”
“After I stopped.”
“Let’s not mince words. Did you squirt into me?”
“No. I stopped before the climax. All right. I’ll tell you, though you’ll reach the wrong conclusion. I meant to do with you something else I’ve always wanted to do to my wife. I meant to crawl up and let you have it in the face.”
“The mouth, though I knew you’d keep it clamped shut, and in the eyes. They say it burns the eyes.”
She stared at him. “You do hate your wife!”
He nodded. “What I expected you to say. By the time I realized it, I was about to finish on the canvas. So I put on the condom and resumed.”
“If you wanted to do that to your wife, you must hate her!”
“I don’t think so. Not hate, exactly. Revenge.”
She considered that. “What did she do to you, Tiger?”
“The one time she … relieved me orally … she spat it out.”
“I see. The ultimate rejection, is that it?”
“I suppose. Well, anyway, I did stop.” He added as an afterthought, “Stopping is another thing a wife won’t permit.”
“Huh! Who’d trust a man to stop?”
He nodded thoughtfully. “Ordinarily that’s right.”
He repositioned the pillow under the small of her back, then fetched another cold drink and presented it to her mouth without asking. She drank freely and licked her lips as he emptied the bottle.
He noticed the gesture. “Want more?”
She cocked an eyebrow at him. “What I want is to get out of here. You’ve got what you wanted. What’s keeping us?”
“So far I’ve got it,” he agreed, throwing the bottle aside, kneeling beside her and sitting back on his heels. “Ah, I see! Is it your experience, Lucy, that when the man comes, he rolls over and goes to sleep?”
“More or less. They do seem to lose interest.”
“Whether you do or not, eh?” His hand stroked her chest. “I never lose interest, Lucy. Just like this nipple… Tell me this: when I was putting it in, you arched your back to make it tougher for me, but when I slid the pillow under your hips, you turned yourself up and made it even easier. Why did you do that?”
She sniffed. “Because it hurt less.”
“Hurt less! How could that hurt, compared to the speculum?”
“Well, it did. At first.”
“I’ll quote your favorite phrase: ‘that’s ridiculous!’”
“I … think it was the angle. Your thing is not as straight as the speculum. Anyway, when I raised up, it felt better. Easier, I mean.”
“You’d never admit that you found any part of it enjoyable, would you?”
She turned her face away toward the wall again.
“Did you ever let a man do that to you, Lucy?” When she didn’t answer, he added, “How about a girl with a hairbrush handle? How about yourself with your vibrator?”
“I don’t have a vibrator,” she muttered.
“Then I can do you a favor. There’s one in my briefcase that I’ll leave for you. It’s not much use to a man, but I recommend it to you on the strength of what I’ve read. One woman wrote that she kept hers under the pillow, that though its batteries might run out at least it was always stiff! Women are luckier than men in that, too. They can find many substitutes for a dick.”
He stretched out his legs beside her, propping his shoulder up on an elbow arched over her extended arm. His fingers traced the line of her nose and lips.
She turned her head to him. “I was right, wasn’t I, Tiger? You’re doing to me all the things you’re ashamed to do to your wife.”
“That’s too sweeping, Lucy. And it’s not shame, exactly. I prefer to call it prudence. My wife and I are comfortable with each other, even in sexual matters so long as it’s done her way. I expect to live with her the rest of my life, long after this goad wears out.” He thrust against her hip to indicate which goad he meant. “It’s best not to rock her complacent boat.”
“I pity the poor woman — not knowing she has such an unprincipled snake for a husband.”
“Ah, Lucy! Ignorance is bliss, they say. What are you doing? Does your back itch?”
“I can scratch my back!”
“Where, then?” He rubbed torso and thighs without waiting for an answer. “Your skin is like velvet, Lucy. I’m glad you’ve taken such good care of it.”
“I certainly didn’t do it to please you!”
“Of course not, but it does please me nevertheless. I hope the one you meant it for appreciates it, too.”
The palm and heel of his hand stroked the whole width of her vulva. He soon felt its affect upon her clitoris.
“I grant you that what I’m doing is immoral. This is your body and I have trespassed upon it. But don’t presume that I’m totally unprincipled. I mean to satisfy my curiosity about certain female characteristics and I will do that, whether you approve or not, but I won’t hurt you. I would never deliberately cause pain to another.”
“Oh, no? What about your ‘hazardous’ final step?”
“That won’t hurt, exactly. I’ve experienced part of it myself and even though it gets unbearable, hurt is not the right word for it.”
“What will you do?”
“I just gave you a pretty good clue.”
“No, not in advance. I don’t want to distort your reaction.”
She took a deep breath. “Well, get it over with.”
“Not yet. We have plenty of time.” He consulted his wrist watch. “In fact we’re ahead of my schedule. The final step can get noisy. It’s safer to wait until everyone in the building is busy.”
“I thought you said this place was sound proof.”
“I believe it is. I exploded a firecracker on a long fuse in here and couldn’t hear it on the first floor.” He shrugged. “I won’t try to stop you from screaming.”
“You expect me to scream during the final step? Why, if it doesn’t hurt?”
He continued to stroke her, evoking twitches in response. Ignoring his hand, she asked, “What do you mean, ‘curiosity about females?’ You could’ve done that last thing to a man as well.”
“I suppose. But I don’t care how it works with a man.”
His hand worked slowly between her legs. Obviously trying to ignore it, she declared, “You’re a liar, Tiger.”
“Am I! On what subject.”
“A lot of them, I bet, but one in particular: it’s not curiosity that makes you do this to me.”
“No. Curiosity isn’t strong enough to make you take these risks. Hate is.”
“There you go again! I tell you, Lucy, I don’t hate women, at least not for being women. I love their sweet tails!”
“Yes. Their tails. You love them as sex objects.”
“Of course. Aside from that they’re the same as men. Aside from that they merit no particular consideration. A man regards a woman first and foremost as the object of his lust. It’s what makes him pursue her. It may be true that a woman considers personality first. I wouldn’t know and I don’t care. I’m telling you how it is for a man.”
She shook her head. “I know that rapists hate women. Tom Bundy admitted it.”
He snorted. “Tom Bundy hated women! But he is far from typical. I tell you, Lucy, that almost any man will rape a woman if he thinks his fellows won’t object. It’s his nature. The Russian army didn’t hate German women, but it raped every nubile female in Berlin when the city fell. It’s true that in this country rapists tend to kill their victims, mainly I think to eliminate the witness, but that’s getting rare as the punishment for rape gets lighter.”
She said pensively, “Another emotion strong enough is anger.”
“That’s it, isn’t it, Tiger? What have women done to make you so angry that you have to humiliate one of them?” When he failed to answer, she added, “Did your mother let you watch?”
He grinned. “You really studied Mr. Bundy, didn’t you?”
His hand paused on her pubes, but only for a moment. “I can’t remember lusting for my mother. But you may have something there, Lucy. I may harbor a bit of anger towards women. The more I think on it, the more certain I get.”
“What was it that made you angry?”
He raised up on an elbow and regarded her thoughtfully. “A woman’s body is everything a man most desires. It’s what he wants most, even before water to drink and food to eat. The sex drive can be stronger even than self-preservation. To lack a woman can be pure torture, especially for a young man. But women have damned little sympathy for that. They are largely indifferent to a man’s feelings. They find it altogether too easy to say, ‘No,’ or attach absurd conditions to their ‘yes.’
“I think you’re right, Lucy. I did feel a touch of anger. But no more. I have here a lovely sex object who can refuse me no proposal, however whimsical.”
She insisted, “I am more than a sex object, Tiger.”
“You’re mistaken, my dear. Here and now that is what you are, and only that. Furthermore, you are my sex object, reserved exclusively for my pleasure. I’ve dreamed of this for weeks, of having this fine female equipment just where I want it, and now I’ve got it!”
“Just my luck to attract a rapist!”
“It’s not a total loss. You’re learning, too. Don’t consider yourself so unlucky. Really it’s fate more than luck. But that’s another curious thing about women. I can understand feeling threatened and angry at being assaulted, at having yourself used against your wishes. To some degree that can also happen to a man — if he’s shot by a thief, for example. Nothing is more invasive than a bullet!
“That’s the other curious thing. What I can’t understand is how women can feel as if they’re cheapened by rape, as if their value is gone! When you come out of this furnace, you’ll be the same woman who went in. Yet my reading tells me it’s not unusual for a rape victim to lose her self esteem to such a degree that she becomes withdrawn from her friends and even in the extreme feels so worthless that she commits suicide. How can something done to you by another, something you never invited or permitted, make you less of a person?”
Her eyes glittered. “Don’t count on it affecting me that way!”
He shrugged. “I didn’t count on it. But can you explain it?”
“I think so. It’s not that hard to understand.”
“I’ll give you a clue. Girls are always taught dependency.”
She grinned at him. “It’s so simple it’s hard.”
“I don’t …”
“They’re taught to depend on someone else for what they need, protection, even affection. When you do in fact depend on other people, their good opinion is very important. If they don’t like you they won’t give what you need, certainly not affection.”
“I see that. But —”
“And standards are high for girls. To maintain that good opinion — what used to be called her reputation — she must be perfect: perfectly clean, perfectly mannered, perfectly chaste. The rape victim feels that her chastity, even her cleanliness, is gone for good. Many would give anything to keep the fact of it a secret. But most are their own worst critics. They can’t keep it secret from themselves.”
He observed thoughtfully, “But they don’t have to be so dependent …”
“That’s right, Tiger. I think society has recognized it, to a degree, which may be why rape is no longer a capital crime.”
“It’s capital enough if one man catches another in the act.”
“That’s a good point. Why aren’t you worried that someone will come to that storeroom?”
“I am, a little. You can hear a firecracker out there, though you’d think the sound came from elsewhere in the building. I don’t know about a woman’s scream. The interesting thing, though, is that you can tell if someone opens that steel door. The transformer hum changes. It sounds raspier. Probably different echoes. I keep listening for it. But don’t get your hopes up. I’ve been down here a lot for the last few days and I’ve never seen another soul.”
She shrugged as best she could. “What hopes? By now I know you’ll do anything to me!”
He raised up enough to lock eyes with her. “Then let me tell you what I won’t do! I won’t break a bone. I won’t break your skin. I won’t even bruise you. I invite you to inspect your breasts. The redness has faded and there’s no sign of bruising despite the rough handling. I won’t hurt you, Lucy! At least I don’t think I will.”
“Will you quit saying that?”
He grinned at her as he got to his feet. “Would you like another drink?”
“Not now.” She twisted her body, stretching within the confines of her manacles.
“Well, I need a couple of swallows. Then we’ll start the last step.”
“Are you comfortable, Lucy?”
“Huh! That’s not one of your brighter questions, Tiger.”
He went around to each of her manacles and clamping the limb with one hand, made sure that the hasp was loose enough to rotate on her skin. When he was satisfied, he removed her mask and stood for a moment looking down at her.
“Felt any pins and needles?”
“Pins and — Oh.”
“What if I did? Would you set me free?”
“I’ll rub it out if you tell me where you feel it.”
“Will you? Why so solicitous of a sudden, Tiger?”
“For this step I want to minimize distractions.”
“That sounds ominous.”
He shook his head. “I won’t harm you, Lucy.”
“Won’t you? You were less sure of it a minute ago.”
“I said that it might hurt you, though I didn’t think so. There’s a difference.”
“Between hurt and harm? Huh! And you’ve lost your erection. That worries me even more.”
“It’ll come back.” He grinned. “For this one I’m using my other sex organ.”
His grin became a chuckle. “You have a talent for sounding incredulous. Didn’t you hear the joke about the old man whose doctor said, ‘Show me your sex organ,’ and he stuck out his tongue?”
“You propose to hurt me with your tongue?”
“A real talent, Lucy! But I’ll not harm you!”
“Now I am curious! Do you have a very long one?”
He laughed. “Long enough. It’s not the length; it’s the speed.”
She studied him, saying at last, “If I sound incredulous it’s because what you say is preposterous.”
“Not preposterous at all, as you’re about to find out. I told you: this is the most unmentionable act of all.”
He let himself down prone, stretched out before her, arms over her thighs, face in the vulva, and applied his tongue slowly and gently at first.
After a moment she snorted. “Well, that’s certainly not ‘unmentionable.’ It even has it’s own word: cunnilinctus. You’re obviously educated, Tiger. I’m amazed you don’t know it!”
But his response was only to continue his ministrations, very gradually firming the tongue. Her hips twitched. His tongue moved faster.
“Tiger,” she said softly, “I’ll admit you wouldn’t have to chain me down for this!”
Soon her hips began to rotate. At that sign his speed increased. She began to shudder when the firm tip stroked her, lifting the clitoris as fast as he could move it.
Grunts timed with his strokes became a ragged moan. Her hips rotated with abandonment as the crisis approached. Suddenly her whole torso arched powerfully, as with an electrical shock. He clamped her buttocks beneath him, tongue continuing to work the sensitive flesh mercilessly. Now she screamed, a mindless cry of utter agony, wavering on and on.
Suddenly it choked off and she fell still save for heaving breast. His tongue continued for a few seconds but elicited no further reaction. He raised up over her, dripping saliva on her belly. She lay slack, head thrown back, eyes open, staring blindly at the pipe-riddled ceiling, panting for breath.
He took the time to wipe his chin with another paper towel and don a condom before stretching himself upon her in the usual position. She responded to his thrusts almost immediately, moaning inarticulately, sphincters clipping him, soon fetching his second orgasm.
Tiredly he backed away and got to his feet. She was breathing deeply with mouth open, eyes closed, face again turned away. He wiped both bodies with paper towels, carefully patting her pubes, then set about cleaning up the several articles scattered around her. Everything, even the soiled paper towels, went back into the briefcase. He used a last paper towel to polish the empty soda cans, leaving them among the shreds of her clothing. Finally he took down his own clothing and began to dress. He saw that she was watching him.
“How do you feel, my dear?”
“I don’t know,” she said after a while, adding, “That was cruel, Tiger.”
“You know it was. It would kill someone with a bad heart.”
“I made sure you were healthy, Lucy.”
“What was so unmentionable about it?”
“The what? Do you mean to say you knew how it would feel?”
“Up to a point. Every woman I ever licked before pushed me away hard. They’ve all said it’s unbearable after they start to come. I wondered how unbearable!” He chuckled slightly. “And now I’ve learned only a little more than I knew before. You’re the one who’s just been educated! Aren’t you lucky! I don’t suppose you’ll tell me how it felt.”
“It was terrible. I thought I’d die.”
“Did you pass out?”
“I … don’t know.”
She said no more until he was knotting his tie, when she asked, “Are you going to just leave me here?”
“As I told you: with a key in reach. And that garment bag. And the cooler. It’s untraceable and has no fingerprints. There’s one can left if you’re thirsty.”
He stood by her right hand. “Move your hand down as far as you can, Lucy.”
“Toward your foot… Okay, move it back up. Thank you.”
He stooped and placed a white metal key where her fingers had rested, then rotated the manacle around that wrist until the keyhole was aligned with her palm. “After I leave take up the key between finger and thumb, put it in the hole and twist it clockwise. I have verified that it’s easy to do — that is, if you’re right-handed. You are, aren’t you?”
“All right.” He stepped over her and took the briefcase. “One last thing, for what it’s worth. My grandfather was right. He said, ‘A stiff prick has no conscience.’ But I find that a soft one does. I regret mistreating you, Mrs. Grainger, and hope that you suffer no further unpleasantness. Would money make you feel better about it?”
He took a roll of bills from his coat pocket and laid it on the canvas between her thighs.
She warned, “Money won’t square this!”
“I suppose not. Anyway the police will want to see if they can trace it. Well, good-by, Mrs. Grainger. May we never meet again.”
“T-tiger, what if I drop the key?”
He looked away. “Don’t drop it.”
Her eyes, soft with worry, hardened as he deliberately turned his back.
He clambered onto the box, opened the circular door and exited quickly, pushing the door nearly shut behind him. The transformer hum was loud in the deserted room. He reopened the briefcase long enough to stash the hosiery removed from his head, then ruffled his short hair before easing the steel door open and stepping out into the basement corridor.
He sat over the reference book, turning a page occasionally, glancing up at every motion on the street observed through the large bay window across the room. He studied his wristwatch, comparing it once again to the clock on the opposite wall, his worry growing. Where were the police? Where was Lucy?
He sat in the public library across the corner from Lucy’s building, enjoying a clear view of both its entrances. In the hour and a half since his arrival at this seat Lucy had not appeared on the street. Nothing unusual had appeared at all. Only two people had gone into the building, both women. Three men had come out. That, too, was hardly unusual. This was an office building, not a department store. The firms that leased its space were the eight-to-five type, among them no doctor and no lawyer.
He considered possibilities. Had Lucy and the cops set a trap in case he came back — despite his assurance of being in another city tonight? By strolling to the window he could see a block in either direction down both streets. As far as he could tell all the parked cars were empty of occupants.
Or had Lucy simply gone upstairs to work, explaining that Aunt Agatha’s call was a false alarm? After all, he hadn’t really harmed her. Yes, he’d treated her tits a bit roughly and her anus might be sore, though he’d been careful with speculum and penis and heard no complaint while using either. But his roll of bills had totaled $500. If she’d told the truth about her finances, she might find it preferable to shut up and keep it. Also, she might wish to avoid the pity and notoriety that a complaint would release, though recalling their conversation, he doubted that one.
Or had she simply dropped the key?
That was the possibility that worried him. He had laid the key on the sloping canvas. She would be nervous, over eager perhaps. Suppose in reaching for it, her fingers had clumsily knocked it away. She could die of thirst in there before anyone chanced to come. The forged note was too clever. It could be days, weeks, before anyone wondered enough to check on her.
He straightened up, knowing full well that he could never put her fate from his mind with that possibility outstanding. He had to learn at least if she was free. He returned the book to the reference shelf and went to the pay phone in the hall outside. After four rings a strange female voice answered, “Bookman Supplies.”
“Could I speak to Mrs. Grainger, please?”
“I’m sorry, sir. Mrs. Grainger was called out of town suddenly. Can I take a message for her?”
“No, thanks. I’ll try tomorrow.”
He hung up and stood for a moment, deciding how to proceed. A public rest room was just down the hall. It was a three-staller, he saw, standing in the door, and deserted at the moment. Quickly he stripped off necktie, jacket and white shirt, burying both in the large garbage barrel halfway down the mass of soggy towels, along with the towels he and Lucy had soiled. Out came the spare shirt he’d meant to wear on the plane, dark plaid, totally unlike his tan suit jacket.
He looked around. The rest room showed no evidence of his visit. He took up the briefcase and walked out.
He met several people, some vaguely familiar, in the building lobby. It was nearing lunch time, of course. He’d already noticed that maybe half the building descended to the surrounding restaurants to eat. That would serve him when he came back out, he thought; he could blend with the crowd.
He saw no police, none in uniform, at least. He eschewed the elevator and descended the stairway, waiting until the hall was empty before opening the door. Above him on the stairs he heard laughter and footsteps: people descending from the mezzanine. Should’ve taken the elevator! He cringed away from the rail and nearly ran down the two flights to the door with the large green B. He pulled it open far enough and slipped inside, letting it sigh closed behind him. The corridor was empty.
He paused to take a relieved breath and listened carefully at the steel door. Dimly he heard the transformer humming behind it. Finally he opened it just enough to put in his head. He saw no one. The furnace door was still slightly open, just as he had left it. The edge of it glowed from the light within.
He entered the room fully and stood inside the closed door, listening, ready to spring back through it. The transformer hum was loud enough to grate upon his nerves. An idea struck him. He was just an employee of … the shipping firm on the third floor … ah, Northern Freight … sent to the basement for a box of computer paper. A new employee. Now where would that paper be stored?
Silently he lowered the briefcase to the floor beside the door and slipped down one narrow space between stacked boxes. He turned at the back wall and came forward on another aisle. Two or three such passes convinced him that no police had staked out the store room.
He took a deep breath, opened the briefcase long enough to extract the disguising hosiery leg and pull it over his head. He marched to the furnace door, flung it open and peered inside, confirming what he now fully expected. Lucy Grainger lay naked on the canvas, still chained as he had left her. And the white metal key glistened below her, well out of reach of chained hand or foot. Though he had greased the furnace door to open silently, he knew that she heard a change in the transformer sound. Her head came around and her eyes locked with his. He saw real relief on her face.
He bent onto the box and stepped down to the canvas. “Lucy, Lucy, are you truly that clumsy?”
Her body lay smoothly rounded, nipples dark on the white skin gleaming with the slightest perspiration. He sighed. “You look good, Lucy. If I didn’t have a plane to catch …”
She licked dry lips. “I wondered if you’d come back.”
Briefly he looked around. The money lay where he’d thrown it, the drink cans among her ripped clothing. Everything was the same. He stepped over her leg, stooped for the key. “All right. I’ll unlock your right hand, but don’t try anything. I’d hate to hurt you after all —” As he spoke he knelt, hands reaching for the manacle. He saw that there was something wrong with it, some strangeness in the geometry of hasp and ratchet.
“What—” he started to interrupt himself. Her hand twisted and fast as a striking snake she slapped his outstretched wrist, snapping the manacle, whose wide open hasp had only been laid over her arm, tightly upon him. In the same motion, before he could overcome his surprise, she rolled away from him and bounced to her feet. He realized belatedly that she was free as a bird. She had obviously undone all four manacles!
“What the hell —” He knew that his mouth was hanging open. He started to rise after her but was brought up very short by the chain on his wrist — his right wrist, too. But he still had the key!
He looked at her, expecting her to bolt through the furnace door. She only stood back, well out of reach, nakedly grinning at him. The little fool! He still had a chance. He forced the key into the manacle lock and twisted — but it wouldn’t turn! Getting a better grip, he tried again and again, varying the angle and depth of penetration, twisting so hard he bruised fingers and thumb and bent the key. All to no avail.
She got up on the box, reached through the opening and closed the circular door that he had left open. She turned around, sat on the edge of the box and stared at him impishly from under the same hat, its lace now crushed beyond redemption.
“What have you done to the key, Lucy?”
She grinned. “What was it you said about fate delivering me to you? You may be right, Tiger. Fate is involved here. I knew it soon as you threw down that key. It looks identical to the one that opens my strongbox. But it’s not identical, is it?”
He regarded the key closely. “This is the wrong key?”
“You just proved it, didn’t you? The other consideration was my judgment of your character. You never told me a lie, Tiger, at least not about what you meant to do. That and the little speech just before you left suggested that you might actually have a conscience. Then, when I warned I might drop the key, you looked away! I decided, what the hell, it wouldn’t cost much to find out. I could’ve gone to the cops — still can, you’ll notice — but you were probably also truthful in your claim they’d never catch you. I’m sure you’ve taken many precautions. I was willing to wait all afternoon, but I did get thirsty. I’ll tell you, Tiger, if you’d been five minutes later you’d’ve caught me going after that last pop can.”
He jerked on the chain hard enough to pain his wrist, but he knew as no other how well the chain was anchored into the firebrick. Still on all fours, he turned back to her.
“Now you put on the other three, starting with your ankles.”
“What? You’re crazy, Lucy, if you think I’ll do that. I’ll make a deal with you. Get dressed, throw me the right key, and make a run for it. I promise to leave you alone.”
She chuckled. “I don’t believe you quite understand the situation, Tiger. I am a woman who’s been most shamefully raped and abused. True, you’ve left little evidence aside from a few bruises, but—” she waved about her “—this could hardly be for anything else. If I run upstairs and start screaming, you’ll think the whole world has fallen on you.”
He thought about it. “You said ‘if.’”
“That’s right. It’s up to you, Tiger.”
“If I put on the other manacles, you won’t run to the cops?”
“That’s the deal.”
“How do I know you won’t?”
“In fact you don’t, Tiger. But I’ll tell you what you told me: I always keep my word. And if you don’t put those manacles on now, I’m going to lower the boom.”
“But I’ll miss my plane!”
“You’ll miss that either way.”
She watched as he resignedly squeezed the manacles closed over his ankles. He lay on his back and stretched out his left arm. “I can hardly do this one alone.”
“Yes, you can, Tiger. I know. I’ve practiced it. Open it all the way and lay your wrist on it.” She squatted near his arm. Gathering his muscles, he made one attempt to grab her knee but his hand was inches short. She shook her head. “None of that, Tiger. Put your arm in there as I said.”
With ill grace he obeyed her. “Now bend your hand over the moving part and force it to close.”
She leaned over him watchfully. Suddenly her hand lashed out and snapped shut the slack that he had carefully left in the hasp. She raised up on her knees, grinning in satisfaction, then went to his ankles. Timing his motion he tried to snatch the foot out of the one left purposefully loose, meaning to trip her against him, but it wouldn’t pass the heel of his shoe. In a moment she had caught the ankle and forced the manacle fully closed. Again she shook her head. “Did you think you could hold me with your foot, Tiger?”
She stepped over him, reached down and pulled the hosiery from his head. He saw recognition in her eyes. “I’ve seen you before. You’ve been following me around, haven’t you?”
When he didn’t answer, she smirked, “In some ways I know you better than I know anyone else!”
She turned away from him and opened the garment bag. “I was afraid to check this out earlier. What’ve you got for me? Hmm. Interesting.”
He watched her don underwear, slip and dress. “It seems to fit fairly well,” she admitted, “but it’s not me! It doesn’t match my shoes, either, not to speak of my hat. Damn it, Tiger, why didn’t you bring a mirror? Where’s your briefcase?”
When he remained silent she shook her head. “Cat got your tongue, Tiger?”
Finally she took up the roll of bills and stuffed it into her purse without bothering to count it. She stood over him contemplatively, then knelt beside him and fumbled at his wallet. He heaved his hips against her legs.
“Hold still!” she commanded crossly. In a moment she succeeded in removing the wallet, stood and placed it in her purse.
“I’m going to get us some lunch. What’ll you have, Tiger?”
“Damn you! Give that back.”
She ignored his protest. “My stomach says it’s lunch time and your wristwatch agrees. Want anything?”
“Cheeseburger and fries,” he gritted.
“I’ll see what I can do. Now don’t go away, please.”
She grinned and passed up through the door. He saw the handle rotate behind her. But she was back immediately, bearing his briefcase.
“Look what I found, Tiger! It’s yours, isn’t it?”
Without waiting for his answer she popped the snaps and rummaged inside. “It’s yours, all right. Here are those surgical shears. We’ll have fun yet, Tiger.”
She laughed at his wince. “And you do have a mirror! Good for you, Tiger.” She set the small camp mirror on the box and twisted this way and that before it, removing the remains of the hat and fluffing her hair.
“At least you hardly bothered my lipstick,” she observed, smiling at him. “Remember, now, stay put!”
She took a paper from his briefcase before closing the lid. He recognized his air ticket folder.
“That’s useless to you,” he complained.
“You think so? Well, you don’t need it any longer!””
She disappeared again. This time he heard the change in the transformer hum that meant she had opened the steel door. He strained against his bonds, hoping in vain for some evidence of loosening in the brick, but succeeded only in reaffirming the excellence of his anchors. Soon he gave it up and lay panting, wondering what his fateful god had in store for him now.
“Well, it’s about time!” he declared when he saw that it was Lucy Grainger following the armload of bags through the circular door.
“Whew!” she breathed in relief, jumping down from the box on which she left her shopping bags. “Did you miss me, Tiger?”
“I didn’t think you were coming back.”
“And that worried you, did it? Oh, no, Tiger, I’ll not be meaner than you. Here.” She took a smaller bag from a larger one and approached but stopped just short of him. She contemplated his bonds. “Have you found a way to surprise me, too?”
“You know better than that,” he admitted. “I hope that’s food.”
“It is. A cheeseburger with all the trimmings.” She unwrapped the sandwich, stooped and held it for him to take a bite. While he chewed, she laid his sandwich on the canvas beside his head, rose and emptied another bag. She placed a carton of drinks in the cooler, took out the can remaining from the morning and opened it, stopping to give him a taste of it and to feed him another bite of the sandwich. To his surprise she began to remove the clothing he had bought her, hanging it carefully in the garment bag, pausing after each item to feed him another bite of sandwich or another sip of drink.
On one such she grinned and said, “I think I’ll keep calling you Tiger, though I know exactly who you are. I have a good friend in the county offices. She says your wife and you just sold a house in the Bluewood section. Moved out of town, have you, Tiger? Mind telling me where?”
“That’s all right. I know where. You submitted a change of address at the post office. I know all about you, Tiger! I know where you went to school, where you’ve worked the last five years, where you work now. I’ll bet your dean’s eyes would pop if he could see you like this!”
He sighed. “What do you propose to do with this knowledge, Mrs. Grainger?”
“Oh, keep calling me Lucy. Or even ‘my dear.’ To answer your question, I don’t know.” She shrugged. “Probably nothing, unless you give me trouble.”
“Believe me: you’ll never see or hear from me again!”
“But what if I don’t want that, Tiger?”
She smiled enigmatically. “Did you think that only men have power fantasies?”
She waved at the walls around them. “That’s what this is really all about.” Her voice grew stern. “You don’t have the right to satisfy your curiosity about women on any particular one, unless she agrees. The only way you can do that is to overpower her, as you did me. You arrogant bastard! Well, guess what!”
He stared at her. “What is this, Lucy? Revenge?”
“Exactly! And while I’m about it, I, too, have a few steps of curiosity to satisfy!”
She glowered at him until his eyes dropped.
“But first …” She opened the briefcase, leaving it sprawled across the canvas, and took out the surgical shears.
“What do you mean to do with that?” he asked, knowing the answer.
She sighed theatrically. “Ah, Tiger, I do admire your hairy legs.” The shears came ripping up his pants leg. He jerked but they veered away in time. She paused to open belt and fly before cutting across the zipper, then repeated the entire operation on the other leg. Pulling the tatters of cloth from beneath him, she observed aggrievedly, “You could lift your butt, you know.”
His undershorts were the work of a few seconds. As she attacked the plaid shirt, she said with a grin, “I got a surprising compliment because of you, Tiger. On my way out of the building I ran into Shirley Hastings, who hasn’t been known to say anything kind in the last ten years. She swore that the peach flowers printed on your dress matched my skin perfectly, that I should wear prints more often. The funny thing is, I’ve never liked prints. They’re too busy. I prefer simple, even severe, clothing. If surly Shirley is so overcome she has to compliment me for it, maybe I’d better buy some prints.”
He winced as the shear point nicked his shoulder as it left the sleeve, but said only, “Do you work with her?”
“Used to. She’s one floor down. I left and went with Bookman six years ago.”
“If she speaks to your boss — if anyone else saw you going out at lunch time, how will you explain it?”
“I’ll tell them I was raped in the basement.”
She paused thoughtfully, hand gathering material to tug the shirt from beneath him. “Probably not, Tiger, though you’ve given me a problem there.”
“Yeah. Aunt Agatha died three months ago.”
“Uh-oh! I was afraid of that.”
“Were you!” She pulled the shirt remains free. “Your clumsy note goes best with a claim of being raped in the basement, especially since my fingerprints are not on it! But now Shirley has seen me in too good a mood to’ve just been raped. Can you remember the exact wording in that note?”
“Uh. I think so. I wrote it several times. Let’s see. I believe — Oooh! That tickles!”
The cotton undershirt would not rip. Cutting it up one side to the sleeve produced the complaint and a writhing torso. She lifted the cloth away from his skin. “Sorry. Go ahead.”
“It said, ‘I just now received a call from Aunt Agatha — actually from the hospital. They say her condition is even more critical than before and I shouldn’t waste a moment. I’m sorry that you won’t have better notice. I’ll call you as soon as I can.’”
“Huh! That would be fine, Tiger, if she weren’t in her grave.”
“Do you have another aunt?”
“No. She was the last.”
“Any relatives work with you?”
“Then invent one.”
“Make her your favorite aunt, helped your mother raise you. You say, ‘I wrote that?’ You were so distraught by the news that … please excuse me, Mr. Bookman … you were a bit confused and wrote Aunt Agatha’s name — you were just thinking how this resembled Aunt Agatha’s case — instead of Aunt … Abigail?”
“Hmm. Raise your shoulder.” She pulled the T-shirt section from beneath him. “I don’t care for ‘Abigail.’”
“Whatever, though it should sound similar. How about Agnes? Then apologize for not rereading it before you left. It would be better to tell him this over the telephone. Fairly soon.”
“Not too soon. Shirley won’t see Bookman. Tiger, you’re a slick liar. Is that what an English professor teaches?”
“You may not have heard, Lucy, that I’m an amateur playwright.”
“Really! What kind of plays?”
“Period pieces, mostly. Victorian era.”
She nodded. “That figures. When women had to submit, eh?”
“Because in that era of primitive technology submission was to their clear advantage.”
“So you say! I say, along with Queen Victoria, ‘We are not amused.’”
“I’m sorry, Lucy. I’ll try harder to amuse you.”
“Don’t worry about that, Tiger. You’ll start amusing me any time now.”
When they had drained another drink can, she threw it aside and stood over him with a contemplative look. “Are you ready for Step One, Tiger?”
She grinned. “Nervous, are you, Tiger? Let’s find out if a nervous man is good for anything.”
She knelt between his legs and took the flaccid, nearly withdrawn glans between thumb and forefinger. “What a difference! I can understand why the girl was fooled.”
“Surely you’ve heard that one, Tiger. It’s an old college story.”
“What’s the matter? Did I pinch too hard?”
“Would it do any good to complain?”
“Oh, yes! Every bit as much as it did me!”
He sighed. “Why don’t you tell me the story?”
“This skin certainly does stretch, doesn’t it! … You want to hear my story? The biology professor said, ‘Let’s see if you read the lesson, Miss Jones. Stand up and tell us what organ of the body can enlarge to ten times its smallest size.’ Have you heard it?”
“I … don’t recall …”
“Miss Jones stands up, blushes and stammers. After awhile the disgusted professor says, ‘It’s the iris of the eye, Miss Jones, and I fear that you will be sadly disappointed.’”
“Oh, Tiger! What happened to all that enthusiasm you showed this morning?”
He answered dryly, “I am coming to appreciate your position of this morning.”
“Of course. You’re lying in it. Is this a circumcised penis?”
“Ah … yes.”
“‘Cord.’ That’s not a Jewish name, is it? Or did your folks change it?”
“My family was never Jewish. Surely you know, Lucy, that by now circumcised gentiles outnumber Jews!”
“How would I know that? As you pointed out, I’m not that kind of girl. If you’re not Jewish why’d you get circumcised?”
“Ah, Lucy. Only in America does a woman make such a decision.”
“Do you mean your mother had it done?”
“Yes, before I was hours old.”
“It’s supposed to reduce cervical cancer.”
“What kind? But you don’t have a cervix!”
“You’ve noticed! In fact that is one of my pet peeves.”
“Is that why you hate women?”
“Dammit, Lucy, I don’t hate women! Quite the contrary! Losing my foreskin wasn’t my mother’s fault. She merely agreed to a doctor’s suggestion that padded his fee. The fault was widespread — still is, for that matter. Early in this century medical researchers noticed that Jewish women never got cervical cancer. What was different about Jewish women? Jewish men, of course! Ever since then the motto has been ‘Off with the foreskins!’ No one seems to have considered that Jews have a very different culture, affecting all kinds of personal habits, including diet. Many things are different about Jewish women besides their men.”
“So you only hate Jewish women?”
“Lucy, I swear to you that I don’t hate any woman!”
“Are you sure, Tiger? Not even me?”
“Surely by now you know what motivated me this morning.”
“Tell me again.”
“Curiosity. Only that. I was kidding about the anger. If I had a woman’s equipment, I’d be just as odd about it as she is… You feel curious, too, don’t you?”
She grinned. “But you had an advantage. The two or three porn flicks I’ve seen were interesting and, as you suggested, educational, but not something to hold your attention. Here I am with an opportunity I bet few women ever enjoyed, and hardly able to think of a thing to do! Guess I’ll have to follow your lead, Tiger, with a few adjustments.”
“Does that hurt, Tiger? I hardly squeezed them. Not nearly as hard as you squeezed my boobs. Ah, that feels strange!”
“They sort of roll over each other, like marbles in a bag, don’t they? Why do they call them ‘stones,’ Tiger? They aren’t nearly hard enough for that, are they?”
“God, that’s nauseating!”
“Really? You feel it in your belly?”
“Yes! Please … You’ll make me sick …”
She grunted in apparent surprise. “Look, the bag actually stretches, if you take it above the stones, like this. Too bad you can’t see this.”
He groaned louder. “I can feel it! God, don’t rip ’em off!”
She nodded darkly, “That’s how I felt when it seemed you would tear my nipples off. Hmm … What does it take to make this get hard again?”
“Ah, sexual desire.”
“You don’t feel sexual desire, Tiger? Why is that?”
He answered dryly, “Fear seems to inhibit it.”
“Fear? What are you afraid of?”
She waddled up over his legs and sat astride his hips, feet hooked over his thighs. “Even though you’ve got a naked vag — pussy, you would say? — rubbing your belly? Hmm … I wonder if … by god, yes, they do!”
“You can see it if you raise your head. They harden like a woman’s.”
“Are you surprised?”
“Yes.” She reached behind her. “But not your dick. Isn’t this stimulating?”
“It … might —”
“If you weren’t chained down, eh? Oh, Tiger, I hope you see exactly how our roles are reversed.” She grinned. “Now we find out who is the more cruel.”
“B-but … didn’t you just say you’d not be meaner than I?”
“‘Mean’ and ‘cruel’ don’t have exactly the same meaning, Tiger.” She leaned forward and brushed the hair back that had fallen into his eyes. “For example, you licked me until I passed out. That was cruel but it wasn’t mean.”
He chuckled weakly. “That distinction may be too subtle for me, Lucy.”
“Where are you ticklish, Tiger? I believe you said here …” Her nails ran firmly over his ribs, retracing the earlier path of the scissors.
He winced and twisted sideways. “Oh, god, I can’t stand it!”
She desisted with a smile of satisfaction. “To go on with that would be mean but not cruel. Do you see?”
“Whatever you say, Lucy.”
“Hmm. I know who could teach you the difference.” She raised up, squatting across him, apparently indifferent that her pubes opened against his belly. They felt wet. She hitched herself farther up his chest and took his chin firmly in hand.
“You shaved this morning, did you, Tiger?”
“But I can feel the whiskers coming back.”
“It’s called five-o’clock shadow — at least after five o’clock.”
“They grow faster than on a woman’s legs, I bet.”
“Maybe. I think it depends on the woman.”
“Open your mouth.”
He obeyed curiously. Immediately she thrust two fingers past his teeth and palpitated his tongue. “Hunh —” he began, wanting to ask what she was doing.
She grinned at him. “You could bite my fingers off, you know.”
“Unh-uh.” He shook his head slightly.
“If you were crazy, that is.” Withdrawing her hand, she leaned forward and presented her lips in its place.
“Kiss me,” she ordered. When he obeyed, her mouth opened and her tongue delved into his.
After a few seconds she slightly withdrew and asked in evident dissatisfaction, “Why won’t you put your tongue in my mouth, too?”
Because you’d bite it, he wanted to say. Instead he took a breath and mumbled, “All right.”
Again her mouth closed over his. He slipped his tongue nervously between her lips. When her teeth closed on it lightly, he snatched it back.
She giggled. “Don’t you trust me, Tiger?”
“This is fun, a little bit, making you afraid. I’m surprised at myself. But when does a woman get to do it? Usually it’s the other way around.”
“Lucy, I did nothing just to scare you.”
“I’m sorry if it did.”
“I’ll bet you are now!”
She sighed fretfully. “Lou could tell me what else to do with you.”
She cocked her head, regarding him thoughtfully. “I’m not kidding when I mention a problem with that. A girl imagines what a man will do to her.”
She held thumb and forefinger up before him, barely separated. “I came that close to inviting Lou over here when I talked to her this afternoon.”
“Relax, Tiger. I didn’t tell her anything. Not yet, at least. Her name is Louisa, but she says to call her Lou, even though it can be a man’s name — maybe because it can be a man’s name!”
“She’s that kind, is she?”
“Well, you wouldn’t guess it by her looks. She’s still pretty, with a full figure, though she’s beginning to show her age just a bit. She had her tubes tied when she was young and claims it gave her very strong appetites.”
“Everything. She’s what the kids call a swinger.”
“Men and women, eh?”
“Yes, and lots of them. You wouldn’t believe her parties! But that’s why she’d be helpful here. She’s a great arranger. You ought to see her version of blind man’s buff!”
“I can imagine it. Lucy, I didn’t think you were that kind of girl.”
“Oh, I’m not. I only went to one of her parties — and left in the middle of it. But she still comes to see me once in a while. She likes to brag. To tell you the truth, I get a kick out of her adventures, but I’m too chicken to join them.”
“So she tells you all about it. What does she do to you?”
She licked her lips and looked away.
“Are you a swinger too, Lucy?”
“Huh! Until today I thought I was a lesbian. You’re the first man to have me since I went to that party.”
“Is that a fact! So you and Louisa get it on, do you?”
“No. We only talk. I should’ve said, you’re the first person to have me. But I wanted her to. I’m too chicken to tell her, that’s all.”
She grinned. “But look at me now, feeling of a man wherever I have the yen! I’ll bet Lou never had a man tied down to do with whatever comes to mind. If I got her in here I’ll bet her chin would sag past her boobs!”
“Lucy, you wouldn’t …”
“Don’t be too sure.” Her eyes lit. “But she’s the computer nut. I can show her!”
She jumped off him and rummaged in his brief case, bringing out camera and tripod. “Tell me how to use this, Tiger.”
“Lucy, I don’t believe I ought to do that.”
“Oh, no? Well, think about this, Tiger. Either Louisa sees you in the pictures or else she sees you in the flesh. Your choice. But I warn you. When she finds you helpless, she’s liable to go wild. She might even want to keep your dick.”
He cleared his throat. “First you screw the camera onto the tripod.”
“Oh, I know about that. Tell me about the digital controls. What does the ‘Mode’ switch do?”
“Bring it here.”
She held it close to him and he patiently explained the sequence of operations needed to make a picture and to display it on the LCD screen.
When she stood back and aimed the camera at him, he called aggrievedly, “At least put the mask on me!”
“The mask?” She lowered the camera from her eye and regarded him directly. “Wouldn’t do any good, Tiger. She’ll guess who you are.”
“How’ll she do that?”
“She’s my contact in the county offices.”
“Good god!” He turned his face away from her.
“Too late!” she crowed. She took pictures from both sides, including close-ups of his face and pubic region. “Imagine Lucy Grainger photographing a dick!” she chortled. “I don’t think I ever even used that word where a man could hear me before.”
“It’s a childish word.”
“You don’t like my language, Tiger? I can’t tell you how sorry I am to hear it. This would photograph a lot better if it was hard. Make it hard, Tiger.”
He shook his head with a sigh. “I couldn’t do that even to save you cutting it off. Especially not then.”
“Fear? You don’t to need to fear me, Tiger.”
“No more than I you. How do you attach the remote shutter?”
When he had told her, she joined him in the subsequent snapshots, first kneeling over his shoulders and smiling proudly — “Look at my trophy!” she cried into the camera — then kissing him, then biting his nipple, and finally after careful arrangement, kneeling between his legs and looking up to the camera with nearly all the soft penis past her lips.
She raised her head with a smirk. “I noticed that you didn’t offer to poke your dick in my mouth while I was tied here! Why was that, Tiger?”
“Huh! The reason is obvious.”
“Well, for your information I can bite it off now any time I want to.”
He took a breath. “I was thinking about that just now.”
She chuckled. “Did you think it would make a great picture?”
He choked. “Surely that would be mean and cruel!”
She took the wizened organ in hand contemplatively. “I’ve heard of women cutting it off an unfaithful lover. Lou says it’s a common practice in Japan. I wonder how many times they actually bite it off instead. I wonder how hard it is to do that.”
Her teeth closed around the base. He groaned in anticipation, drops of sweat appearing on forehead and chest. But she only chewed lightly before releasing him.
“I’ll bet it’s not too much trouble,” she observed confidently, grinning at him, “no more than biting a chunk out of a turkey thigh. What do you think?”
Explosively he released his held breath. “Oh, god, Lucy!”
“Did I scare you, Tiger? Make your skin crawl? Good! That’s how I felt lying there, too.”
“Now, Lucy, what did I do that scared you so much?”
She thought about it. “Nothing, actually. It’s what you might have done. The scariest thing was fear that you’d kill me to keep me quiet.”
“But you know I planned too well for that to be a problem.”
She grinned. “Do you think you planned well, Tiger?”
He sighed. “I thought so. Now, of course, it’s all undone.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s not undone unless you undo it.”
He regarded her hopefully. “Will you explain?”
She grinned sardonically. “What was it you said? ‘I don’t think I ought to do that.’”
“That would be telling.”
“Unfortunately I can’t threaten you with Louisa!”
“No.” She studied him thoughtfully for a moment, then turned to the camera, standing it to one side with the remote shutter control retained in her hand as she knelt on his opposite side.
“Don’t you need to pee?” she suggested.
“Well … yes.”
“Then go ahead.”
“Lucy, in case you hadn’t noticed, men are different. It’s sure to wet my leg, maybe my belly.”
“You mean you can’t pee without handling it?”
“If I was standing up …”
“Then it would droop, huh? Well, go ahead anyway. I’ll hold it for you.”
She took him in hand. He shrugged and released his sphincter. He saw her hand close on the remote shutter control as she played the stream back and forth on the canvas.
He asked, “Do you think Lou would enjoy this?”
“I know she would. She did it to several men at that party I mentioned. Then she raised her leg and showed that a woman can squirt it farther if she wants to — that Lou, at least, can squirt it farther.”
“A woman’s urethra is much shorter.”
“That’s what she said, too! Hmm. I believe it takes men longer to go.”
“That’s reasonable. Perhaps you could get your friend to do an experiment.”
She chuckled. “Think you’d like to go to one of Lou’s parties, do you, Tiger?”
“Finished?” she asked when his stream failed. He produced a final spurt before agreeing.
“Will you try to beat my range?” he wondered.
“No, I don’t care who can piss farther. Lou loves to beat men at one thing or another, but I don’t think men and women ought to compete, despite what the feminists say. Ugh! Your piss stinks!”
“Did you think I was going to drink it, Tiger? As you reminded me this morning, I don’t care for the taste of it. But there is something else I want to taste while I have the chance.”
She looked at him steadily. A pink spot appeared in both her cheeks.
“Why, Lucy! Surely this doesn’t embarrass you!”
“A little,” she admitted. “I’ve heard a lot of women describe it, but I’ve never tasted it myself. Some say it’s good, some say it’s awful, some say it’s tasteless. I’m curious to find out. Can you do it again, Tiger, after this morning?”
“I … Maybe. It’s been a couple hours, hasn’t it?”
She grinned. “If I promise not to bite it off?”
“But first … You’re right! I can think of other things to be curious about! What do you know about male anatomy, Tiger?”
“Well, in case you’ve noticed, I have one.”
“Are you trying to be cute? Where exactly is the prostate?”
“Ah … Pretty much directly above the testicles, I’d say.”
“I’ve heard that you can feel it, if you press forward inside the rectum.”
When he was silent, she demanded, “Well, is that true?”
“It … ah … may be.”
She grinned darkly. “I could get Lou to ask you, but there’s another way. Why don’t I just look in and see?”
“You don’t mean —”
“But I do!”
Grinning, she took up the tube of jelly and squeezed it liberally over her hand. “Now, now, Tiger, quit thrashing. As you assured me this morning, I won’t hurt you.”
“Your fingernails are wicked!”
She extended one hand. “Do you think so, Tiger? I try to keep them even, but it’s a losing battle. I’ll be careful. After all, I can put them in me without cutting!”
She spent a moment positioning the camera. “Should’ve set the camera first. What d’you think, Tiger? Will this jelly hurt it?”
“I … don’t know. Probably not. Of course, if you got it on the lens …”
She grinned, kneeling between his legs. “I won’t do that. Now hold still. You wouldn’t want me to look in the wrong hole, would you?”
“What? There’s only the one.”
“I meant this little teeny one right here. What did you call it, the urethra? Look at that! I can get my pinkie nail right in it.”
His tossing ceased abruptly.
“Hmm,” she murmured, directing her attention lower, parting his cheeks with the hand of the threatening nail while the other thrust forward. “You know better than that, Tiger. Loosen up!”
After a moment she added, “That’s better.”
“My god! What are you putting in me?”
“Only three fingers … so far. I thought I counted four in me, and your hand is larger! Hmm. There’s a kind of a lump here, in front … Feels like a groove down the middle of it. Does that hurt, Tiger?”
“Even when I press this hard?”
“Well, a little.”
After a while the woman mused, “She was right!”
“I’m getting a clear fluid. Well, almost clear.”
“I can … feel it seeping. I’ve done this, too, with my thumb.”
“But it’s not semen, is it?”
“I don’t know.”
She bent very low. Again he felt her mouth and tongue. Her hand, holding the remote shutter aloft, closed.
When she raised her head, he asked, “Does it taste like semen?”
She rose off him, spat in the corner, wiped her hand on a paper towel and retrieved a drink can from the cooler. She stood sipping it, studying him, and remarked, “Lou said you can get a man to come by fingering his ass. But it’s not come, is it? You didn’t feel a climax, did you?”
“No.” He sighed. “Lucy, you can read about that in medical books. The prostate makes a fluid that nourishes the sperm after ejaculation. If you squeeze the gland you force that fluid down the urethra.”
She continued to study him. “Three fingers were easy.”
He shifted restlessly. She held up the drink can. “I’ll bet this would go in, too. See how gently rounded the bottom is, almost as if that’s what they had in mind. Ever try one, Tiger?”
“Let’s find out.”
“For god’s sake, Lucy, you’ll freeze me to death!”
“Oh, not this can, silly! There’s a warm one over there in the corner. I’ll even pee on it to make sure. Want a sip of this drink first?”
She bent and dribbled the liquid into his mouth. He sputtered, then turned his face away. “Lucy, it’ll tear me.”
“Oh, I don’t think so.” She stepped over him, stooped and held up the speculum, squeezing its handles closed, observing with a smirk, “You did boast of putting it in you!”
She held the drink can beside it. The swollen shaft of the speculum was clearly wider. When his eyebrows rose, she smiled sweetly and began to coat the can with jelly. He choked. She chuckled and again knelt between his legs.
“Weren’t you going to piss on it?” he wondered hastily.
“Oh, it’s warm enough. Raise up a little.”
“Lucy, this won’t work!”
“I bet it will. And it won’t hurt as much if you cooperate. Don’t clamp. Push out instead.”
He groaned as she worked the slippery can back and forth, her shoulders straining. She sat back, her voice lighter. “See! Told you it would go!”
“God! Feels like you’ve shoved a brick up me!”
“But it doesn’t hurt, does it?”
“How are you so confident of that? Had it done to you?”
“You did it to me! Didn’t I just show you that the can is smaller than the speculum?”
“Umm.” He was quiet while she operated the camera, which suggested another worry.
“I once saw the x-ray of a woman’s gut with a vibrator — Lucy, please, please tell me you didn’t put it in so far you can’t get it out!”
“Oh, no. All I have to do is poke my finger in the hole, pull hard, and … out it comes.”
He groaned loudly as she suited action to words.
“See?” She held up the greasy can, still impaled on her finger. Suddenly her expression changed to astonishment. “God, what a hole! Why, I could almost …”
“Lucy! What are you doing? You can’t do that!”
“Oh, yes, I can. Hold still, or I’ll squeeze you where it really hurts!”
After a moment of strenuous activity she was still. “There, Tiger! Past the wrist!”
He groaned. “Good god!”
“Do you claim that it hurts?”
“I — I —”
“You lie. Lou and I did it to each other. It only hurts at the knuckles. We stopped at the wrist. I wonder …”
“Wait a minute, Lucy! Wait, I say! Put some more jelly on your arm and, for god’s sake, keep those fingernails tucked in. A cut in there could be fatal, you know.”
“Only to you, Tiger.”
He choked again.
She marveled, “I swear your dick has drawn up into your belly.”
“Wh-what are you doing?”
“Slathering the jelly on, just as you said.”
Her free hand positioned the camera. She leaned forward again and he felt pressure increase in his belly similar to a gas cramp.
“Please, Lucy! It’s beginning to hurt.”
“Is it? Gotta make a picture of this. I’m up to my elbow! Where is that remote shutter?”
She leaned down, laying her face on his thigh, grinning at the camera and working the shutter button repeatedly. “Lou would never believe this without the picture.”
She readjusted the camera to include his head. “This time I want your expression,” she explained, suddenly withdrawing the captive hand as she snapped the shutter with the other, inducing him to produce his loudest groan yet.
He opened his eyes to find her wiping her arm with paper towels. She grinned up at him. “What’d you think of that, Tiger? You ought to see the hole now!”
“Oh, god, Lucy!”
She nodded. “I know it hurts a little, but not for long. And from now on you don’t have to sweat getting thrown in jail. No dick is as big as my forearm.”
He took a breath and said dryly, “So you’ve done me a favor.”
“Right! You do understand, don’t you, Tiger? And as you said, I’ve satisfied my curiosity, too — part of it. I bet not many women know what a man feels like inside!”
“What did it feel like?”
“Hard to describe. If I don’t tell you, will you go home and stick your arm up your wife’s bottom?”
Before he could respond she added, “No, not your wife. Some other unsuspecting victim, huh?”
He shook his head. “I’ve seen pictures of hands up women’s bottoms, both places. The Internet is full of them. You didn’t notice it, Lucy, but I put my hand past the knuckles into your vagina this morning right after I took the speculum out. A rectum, though … The women who take hands there seem to be … coarse.”
“Coarse?” She laughed in derision. “You think a woman is coarse if she lets men have their way with her?”
“Well, when she’s useless for any —”
“After you forced me to do it?”
Her mouth twisted and her cheeks pinked. Hastily he objected, “Who put whose arm up whose ass?”
She took a deep breath. “All right, Tiger. Guess you think I’m coarse now.”
“Well, maybe I am. And you’re wrong if you think I didn’t feel your hand in me. Look at this.”
She waddled up over his torso, until her toes fetched up against his armpits, and thrust a still greasy hand fully into herself.
His mouth fell open in astonishment. “My god!” he exclaimed. “And you haven’t even born a child!”
“How do you know?”
“Small nipples, smooth pink cervix, no mother’s marks.”
She grunted, ceasing to argue, and stepped back. She held up a wet hand and chuckled. “This stimulates me.”
“Kinsey found that touch is woman’s best stimulus.”
“Kinsey is obsolete. Bet he never stuck his arm up anyone’s butt.”
“If so he never mentioned it. Did you try that hand trick first on yourself?”
“After Lou showed me.”
“I can’t believe how easily you did it.”
“Did I impress you, Tiger?”
“I’ll say you did!”
She studied him pensively. “You know, I’m beginning to understand your motive.”
“When your partner is chained helpless to do with as you wish — even to kill him, if that’s what you want — it makes a difference, doesn’t it?”
“A difference in what?”
“In what you’re willing to say and do. It makes you more honest.”
“Please, Lucy. You’re scaring me.”
“If you get too honest, you’ll never let me out of this cellar.”
She grinned but continued on her theme. “I misspoke. I mean it makes you willing to be more honest. Whether you are or not is another matter.” Her smile vanished. “And there’s something else. When you moaned and groaned just now, I … think I felt sorry for you … just because you were helpless. I think I even felt protective. Can you believe that?”
“You’d better believe it! Else I’d’ve stuck it in you to the shoulder. Imagine getting to stick something in a man, for a change!”
“What was it, Lucy, mother instinct?”
“It could have — Are you making fun of me, Tiger?”
“Oh, no! I’m grateful for it, whatever it was.”
“You should be!” She eyed him thoughtfully. “Huh! I want a picture of that.”
So saying she settled the camera between his legs and snapped with one hand, eyeing the display from an angle, while the other hand held penis and testicles out of the way.
“Am I bleeding?” he asked, biting his lip.
“Bleeding!” she jeered. “You are very red in there! I’ll bet I could put my foot in you up to the knee without any trouble. Next you’ll tell me you’ve seen pictures of that, too.”
“I've seen a lot of pictures. Most of that kind were middle aged women who make their living by taking things into their anuses.”
“Their living!” She stared at him. “Who would pay them for that?”
“Oh, there’s a demand, all right. Would you be so kind as to put the corner of a paper towel in me and let me see it?”
She shrugged. “Why not?” As she returned with the towel, she mused, “I thought they paid to put into vaginas! Or mouths.”
“As you demonstrated a moment ago, it’s the young women who have the capacious vaginas. I guess the old ones do, too, but young vaginas are preferred.”
“I’d hate to earn my living by letting people put things in my ass. No blood. See?”
“Yes. Thank you.”
She stood the camera away from him and stooped to examine his wristwatch.
“What’s the time?” he asked.
“It’s later,” she answered absently, turning back to the camera. She positioned it behind his left shoulder, looking down towards his crotch, and adjusted the framing and the height of the tripod.
“Not four o’clock yet, is it?”
Ignoring his question, she went to the cooler and took out a can. “Want a sip?”
She poured a thin stream into his mouth and took a swallow herself. She took up a handful of paper towels, knelt between his legs and carefully dribbled the drink can into his pubes, simultaneously scrubbing him with the towels.
He heaved violently. “Good god, Lucy, that’s cold!”
“Sorry about the cold,” she responded, still wiping him. “I just realized I’d rather taste sticky coke than the piss and everything else you’ve got on this thing today.”
“It’s burning my ass!”
“Yes, I guess it would.” She wiped more tenderly. “How long does it take an asshole to shrink back?”
“I don’t know. Not too long, I think. You said ‘taste.’ What are you planning, Lucy?”
“I’ll tell you.” She raised up to look at him. “I’m going to find out what it tastes like. And I’m going to do to you what you did to me.”
“Wh … what do you mean?”
“You wanted to find out how it feels to go on after you’ve come. I intend to show you. Unless it tastes so bad I have to puke.”
“But I don’t think it will. Only one girl I know claimed it made her sick, but she admitted being drunk at the time.”
She had spread the remaining drink upon the canvas between his legs. After scrubbing it with the towels she stood erect and said in disgust, “This won’t work. Is there any water on this floor, Tiger?”
“Floor? Well, there’s a rest room down the corridor. The toilet is dry but there’s water in the sink.”
“I’ll not lie in your piss, Tiger — sticky coke, either.” With that she took the print dress off its hanger and began pulling it on over her head.
“Wait a minute, Lucy,” he protested. “Don’t go out there.”
“Why not?” She paused to regard him, peering out through the neck of the dress, now down over her breasts.
“Because once in a while the janitor comes here to get out his next day supplies. That’s why I asked for the time.”
“Thought you said you’d never seen anyone here.”
“Until the late afternoon.”
She slipped the dress back off her shoulders and stood with hair down in her face. “It’s three forty.”
“If he’s coming it could be anytime before five-thirty. I have a suggestion. Lie on me. Reversed.”
She cocked lip and eyebrow. “Would you bite me, Tiger?”
He answered dryly, “I doubt even the wildest tiger would bite the one who has his dick in her mouth.”
“You have a point.”
“And close the door tight, will you?”
She snorted. “Listen to who’s giving orders!” But she rehung the dress. Climbing on the box, she sealed the furnace door and closed the latch snugly. Turning back she stood over him and asked in a lowered voice, “Could he hear us talking?”
“Not over the transformer hum.”
“What if I make you scream?”
“I … I don’t …”
“You made me scream, didn’t you?”
“Ah … I don’t remember.”
“Yes, you do.”
He sighed. “The janitor might’ve heard you. Of course, we know he didn’t.”
She nodded then asked, “Does light leak out of here?”
“No. Didn’t you notice as you brought in the groceries?”
“I didn’t see any.” She regarded him speculatively. “You know, it’s really to your advantage for us not to get caught.”
“I know that,” he agreed. “To yours, too.”
“How do you figure that? Because of what’s in the camera?”
“Because we’re just about even.”
“Do you think so?”
She didn’t answer. After a moment’s contemplation she mused, “It’s interesting how things work out, isn’t it, Tiger?”
“Oh, yes,” he agreed. “Interesting!”
“You’re about to learn more than you expected. And you should be properly grateful.”
“For the education?”
“For my restraint.”
“You may not’ve thought of it, Tiger, when it was your turn, but I did! You said you were curious. Biting your dick off is nothing. I could take those scissors and find out what you’re really like inside.”
“Ah, uh —”
She grunted. “What big eyes you have, Tiger! Have you ever cut a woman up?”
“No! Of course not!”
She nodded. “That has the ring of truth. But why not, if you’re so curious about us?”
“Well, the medical books are full of pictures of cut-up women. There’s nothing sexy about them.”
“‘Nothing sexy!’” she repeated, adding with a sneer, “You and your claims of ‘almost scientific’ curiosity! It was never anything but plain, ordinary rape, Tiger: what you did to me and what I’m doing to you. It’s the way kids play with beetles: poke ’em and see how they jump. That’s what rape is, you know.”
He stared at her, unable to think of an immediate retort.
With a chuckle at his expression she stepped over him to his shoulder, turned about and sank on her knees beside him, then stretched out with her thighs over his shoulder. Her elbows spread beside his hips.
She grunted when she took him in hand. “Can a man come without a hard-on?”
“Yes. In a wet dream. Or if …”
“Before it can harden if it’s handled vigorously enough.”
“Hmm. I see. I think.”
Lips enclosed the head, fingers the short shaft. The fingers fluttered longitudinally, the tongue radially.
“You could enjoy this, too,” he suggested, “if you’d shift your hips over my face. You certainly don’t have to worry about me biting!”
She released him long enough to reply, “No, thank you, Tiger. This time you’re the guinea pig.”
“It’ll make me come sooner.”
Her mouth and hand resumed without comment. Soon, however, she drew up a knee and centered her hips on his chest. Her cool thighs closed about his ears. She wriggled backward until the sensitive folds met his thrusting tongue.
He knew her intention and feared for his sanity if she succeeded. Once a playful Vietnamese whore had tried to keep him in suction as he flooded her mouth. It had suddenly become the most unbearable experience of his life, never since equaled. Now it threatened to repeat, and this time he couldn’t slap the hungry mouth away.
He worked his own tongue furiously in the scented flesh, hoping to distract the woman from her plan. But his argument to her had been only too accurate. The odors in his nostrils were decisive. His third climax of the day spurted uncontrollably into the strong suckling mouth. For a moment he withstood it, as pain appeared in counterpart to the fierce pleasure. Howling unconsciously, he threw his head back against the canvas, bones creaking under clamped muscles, his whole being a solid mix of agony and delight. He saw flashes of color in the instant before all awareness departed.
He felt her weight depart him and heard the sound of the cooler disturbed, followed by the hiss of an opened drink can. He felt drained of energy but the pain was gone. He raised his head to the sound and blinked his eyes open. She was watching him, the can to her lips.
“Want some?” she asked, gesturing it toward him.
She bent and dribbled it between his lips. Cool and sweet, it burned his tongue, reminding him of another contrast. Licking his lips, he said, “I passed out.”
She snorted. “You sound surprised.”
“I only passed out once before in my whole life.”
She cocked her head. “The same way?”
“Oh, no. Would you believe a gas cramp?”
“A gas cramp!”
“Fell straight off the john and smashed my nose on the floor.”
She chuckled but suddenly grew serious. “Did I hurt you?”
“Terribly. But I don’t need to tell you about that, do I?”
“No, you don’t. Is your curiosity satisfied?”
He took a breath. “At the last I saw stars.”
Her eyes flickered. “So did I.”
“Did you! What about your curiosity? How did it taste?”
She thought a moment. “Flat. No flavor. I was surprised.” Her lip twitched. “Lou claimed it would taste like bouillon.”
“That was my third time today. Maybe the first is more flavorful.”
“Don’t you know?”
“Mmm. Not really.”
“In that case you can show me tomorrow.”
Wide eyes searched her face. She grunted. “Don’t look so worried.”
She set the drink can carefully aside, got to her feet and took down the hanger of her clothing, saying, “No more games, Tiger.”
“What do you mean?”
But she only proceeded to dress herself. She erected his mirror on the entry box, knelt and ran fingers through her hair, patting it this way and that, muttering, “Why didn’t you bring a comb? Never mind, I know why. Why do you cut your hair so short?”
“It’s how my wife likes it.”
“Hmpf! I don’t think I like her much. This wouldn’t’ve happened if she had sucked your dick like a good little wife.”
Her petulant tone encouraged him to ask, “Lucy, you’re not really sorry, are you?”
She regarded him narrowly. “You wish!”
She began to unscrew the camera from the tripod. He wanted to ask if she meant to let him rot there. Instead he wondered, “If you had a husband, Lucy, would you suck his dick?”
“And swallow?” she added with a sardonic grin.
She shrugged. “Why not?” Her grin brightened. “It’s kind of neat, isn’t it? Licking a twat can get your whole face wet.”
“So can a dick.”
“Not the way we do it!”
“Lucy … ah, if you want to please a man you should let up when he comes.”
“Who’s worried about pleasing?”
She let the tripod fall to the canvas and slipped the camera into her purse, taking something out. He recognized his wallet.
She faced him, compressing her lips. After a moment she said, “I made a copy of your driver’s license and university ID just in case, because I found my address on a paper next to the credit cards. Did you plan to catch me at home, too? If you did, that’s the ‘in case.’ I put everything back that I took out except the note with the address.”
She laid the wallet on top of the cooler and retrieved another item from the purse. It resembled —
“This is your plane ticket. It’s still good. I rescheduled you. I’ve marked the flight number on it. You have plenty of time — if you don’t kidnap anyone else.”
“Never again, Lucy.”
“Yeah, I bet!”
“Lucy, you’re a marvel! You rescheduled me?”
She shrugged. “I’m an experienced secretary, after all.”
She stood over him, purse in one hand, shoes dangling from the other. “And now an experienced cock sucker. Huh! We know more things about each other than most married people.”
“Yes, we do.”
“Damn you anyway, Tiger. Don’t you ever grab me that way again!”
“I hope … I’d like to see —”
“To see me again? Ha! What you really hope is that I leave you the key.”
He licked dry lips. “Yes.”
“I actually thought about unlocking you, let you leave with me. There’s clothes for you in that bag.”
She paused. “I don’t think you’d hurt me now.”
“But you’d take the camera away from me. I want those pictures, Tiger.”
“You can have them.”
“I will have them.” She laid shoes and purse on the stepping box and took out a key. She bent and unlocked the clasp on his left ankle, opening the restraint and pushing it away from him with her foot. “See? It’s the right key.”
She walked carefully around him and stood next to his right hand. “I’m not coming back, Tiger.”
“So don’t screw it up.”
She sighed. “I can’t take the chance you’d drop it.”
She placed the key in the palm of his right hand and closed his fingers over it. Instantly she snapped herself erect, bending away from his feet, presumably in case he should try to kick her, and dashed to the box. In five seconds she had opened the portal, scooped up purse and shoes, clambered outside and clanged the iron door shut behind her, all without a backward glance.
Returning from a lecture, he found a plain package delivered to his office desk. It had been addressed in a woman’s handwriting, though not Lucy’s, and covered with postage stamps, suggesting that the mailer had avoided the post office window. No return address was furnished.
It contained his camera, apparently undamaged, packed with plastic popcorn into a re-used shipping box whose previous labels had been carefully removed. On his home computer he proved that indeed the camera still worked, but the pictures he and Lucy had taken were gone from its memory.
On a hunch he widened his regular scans of the Internet news groups. In a few days he decoded a first of series from alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.bondage. With an electric thrill he saw unmistakably his own face, head raised, eyes clenched shut, behind the view of a merry-eyed Lucy, one of his nipples between her teeth. When the shock subsided, he spent a moment admiring the crispness and depth of field before finding the article header. But the file had been posted anonymously through a remailer. The putative Louisa was indeed a computer expert!
An hour later he downloaded the “morning” Lucy, face mask blurred, breasts sagging to either side as mature ones do when the owner is on her back, but birthmark and gaping vagina sharply focused. He recalled snapping that one just after removing his whole hand from her, while wondering if the camera was stopped down enough for adequate depth of field. Apparently not.
The entire series appeared over the next week. When it was complete, he counted eight in which his own facial features were recognizable.
He squared mental shoulders and waited for the inevitable denunciation. But recognition depends also on environment, or so he was able to conclude when a year had passed without incident. Apparently no one connected a respected English professor, always carefully formal with students and faculty, to this hapless wimp who couldn't get it up even with an enthusiastic woman sucking his balls.
Lucy’s body showed to advantage. Its velvet texture was evident despite the digital grain. The pictures in which she was prominent, whether “dominatrix” or victim, were quite popular, appearing many times over the next several months, reposted in many erotic newsgroups by many viewers, few of whom took the trouble of anonymity. But these were merely copiers. Nothing was revealed of the ultimate source.
It had been a risky experiment, he decided, one that furnished all the knowledge he’d hoped — and then some. It had fortunately ended without exacting the terrible price anticipated after Lucy closed the manacle over his wrist. Curiosity satisfied, he vowed never to take such risks again.
Then came a night with the Message light blinking on his answering machine. He played it back and heard Lucy’s voice. “The basement baggage is available,” she intoned as if reading a script, “for access at seven P.M. on the twenty-fifth.”
Baggage indeed! With those few words his hard-won contentment vanished. Dread warred with anticipation. He opened a desk drawer to verify that he still had the key to the building. Of course it was where he had left it, though somehow his pistol had shifted partly over it.
He knew then that whatever the decision, his life would never again be the same.