I shook my head and smiled again. She bit her bottom lip, but under the circumstances, her demeanor actually changed very little.
Ana was a tough nut to crack. We’d met through this or that, the way people uptown meet. She was bright, book smart, art smart, fit, and fashionable. Pretty and self-conscious, a puzzle of desire and nervousness. We’d fallen into both flirting and friendship at the same time, and there had been a long lull as we tried to figure out which one to pursue. In the end, we picked a little from “column A” and a little from “column B.” Luckily, I’d set up my life to facilitate that sort of answer to that sort of question.
A week or so before our date, our conversation via email had turned to sex toys. I mentioned that I had reviewed them for a while, and she skirted around the issue of needing some new ones. These were lovely little charged correspondences that made my days at work fly by. Passive flirtation; we weren’t talking about sex, we were talking about sex toys! As safe as talking about stereo equipment. Like so many things, there were layers of self-defense and acknowledging self-defense.
Eventually, she decided on what to buy, and it turned out that among her purchases was a remote-controlled vibrator. Cliché? Perhaps. Let’s not judge. A wide variety of clichés are actually tremendously hot. Romance, French maid outfits, roses, rope, and handcuffs are all a bit clichéd, but they all still work.
The flirty talk swirled and focused on the said purchase, and when it came time for us to go out for our monthly meet up and drink, we had both implied that said purchase might make an appearance, but honestly, I was a bit dubious. Things had progressed past the point where flirtation would usually come to fruition, and we hadn’t even kissed. Still, I was game for a drink and a chat with a lovely friend. Anything else was gravy.
The bar was my first local haunt. I was still new to the neighborhood. She was waiting inside with her usual nervous crooked smile.
Awkward hug? Handshake? Kiss on the cheek? We just sort of smiled at each other and sat and ordered fancy beers and sighed.
It took a while to get Ana to warm up; probably the same could’ve been said about me.
We talked and laughed and drank. There was the boy she was dating on and off, the girl I slept with, the girl she flirted with, the girl I was dating. The whos, whats, and wheres of the last few weeks. Occasional innuendo, entendre, downright crude joke.
She had that lovely combination of shy and uptight with a layer of bawdy trying to escape. Sometimes I said dirty things and watched her try to casually laugh, but there would be a slight pause, a little blush, a lovely little victory.
Too soon, the cafe was closing, and we had to move on. I contemplated asking her back to my place, but we weren’t there yet.
The next bar was a bit more casual. Sports on televisions and laughter all around. We had another drink; her eyes started shining, and her jokes got a little dirtier. My hands found excuses to brush her leg or rest on the small of her back.
When she got up to use the restroom, I took the moment to check my phone—one message from her; strange.
“I put the remote in your jacket pocket.”
I slipped my hand in and found it, like a little car alarm remote, only with arrows up and down and an LED.
The game was afoot.
I slipped the remote back into my pocket and sipped on my beer. I looked around the bar, seeing a few familiar faces, a few more coming in. As Ana walked back towards me, I thought about how to do this, what the game plan would be.
She was intercepted on the way by a friend, and she smiled wide but eyed me over the friend’s shoulder. My finger traced the little triangular button, and I pushed it once while watching her.
She took a deep breath, her eyebrows arching a bit, but didn’t really seem affected. I waited, sipped my beer, looked around at the little cliques of people milling about in the bar, tapped the button again.
In some part of my brain, I could feel the vibrations. I felt connected to her now tense thigh muscles, her slightly clenched jaw. This was the realization of a long-held dream; to control someone’s body with my mind. Sitting on a barstool with my friend barely visible out of the corner of my eye, I pressed the down button twice, shutting the vibrations off. She looked over at me again.
Walking back to sit next to me again and she took a long pull on her cider. Her cheeks were a little red, and her smile a little brighter. I smiled back and mentioned that there were lots of people we know coming in. She nodded just as I turned the vibrator on three. I was getting addicted to trying to gauge her reactions. As we talked, I cycled through the settings and recorded her responses.
On level one, the distraction was barely noticeable. She could hold a conversation, though there was a little secret smile creeping out here and there. At two or three, if someone spoke to her for too long, she would get a faraway look and then shake herself out of it. At four or five, she was noticeably preoccupied. Any higher than that, there was no real change. I think the higher settings were all the same simply with different pulsation rhythms.
As I played, she looked over to me and raised her eyebrow, and held up five fingers. Her red lips mouthed “five?”
I gave her a shake of my head. “Three.”
She frowned in her cute way. There was something charming about her deceptive shyness and awkwardness that hid a kinky curiosity.
At one point, someone came over to greet us and talk about the neighborhood gossip. I had her on five for a while. She hit my leg and gave me a look of concern. I brought her down, excited at the first real acknowledgment of it being too much.
I turned it off, let her catch her breath, then back on four. It was almost impossible for her to carry on a conversation now, but she was a quiet girl anyhow. A friend leaned in and asked her if she was alright. She waved the question away and said that she was just happily tipsy.
I moved it up to the highest setting, and she sat up straight. Then I brought it down, level by level.
She guessed a few more times, and every time she was wrong I marked a little line on my napkin. I wasn’t sure what to do with this score, but somehow I thought it would be handy.
Even more of her friends poured into the bar, and I started to get concerned. Fun was fun, but I didn’t want to put her in an odd position.
At one point, I made my way to the restroom, and when I came out, she was hovering around the back of the bar. I pulled her behind a partition and kissed her—our first kiss.
She seemed tight-lipped and tense, but the way her hand grabbed my jacket, I could see all that desire just under the surface. There was lust teetering in her eyes, marshaled by social graces and embarrassment. My hand slipped around her thin waist, and her eyes fluttered. Hot skin through thin cotton.
I wondered if I could pull her into the bathroom or hurry her out and into my bed. A whole array of lovely ideas swam around, and I was as tipsy on power as I was on beer. In the end, I broke off the kiss and took a deep breath, and reveled in her blushing cheeks and slightly messy hair.
I walked back to our spot, leaving her to collect herself. I’d almost forgotten the remote, which was on the lowest setting the whole time. I bumped it up and up until it was on the highest. She looked at me with wider eyes as she sort of awkwardly followed after. When she sat down next to me, more people came over to talk about the uptown gossip. She laughed, and her breath caught, and then she gripped my knee tightly and looked at me with exasperation.
I took pity. I turned it off.
She excused herself, and as she carefully walked to the bathroom, I slipped the remote back into her bag. Taking a sip of beer, I wondered if any of our friends noticed something amiss and, if so, could they imagine what was going on. It was a small but amusing detail to a hot game.
When she got back, most of her friends were starting to leave. They beaconed her to follow, seemingly unaware of everything that had been going on. I wondered if any of them had any idea.
Somehow we were hurdled in with the group and thrust out into the cool of the night. I’m not sure what reputation she was maintaining, but I knew she wasn’t going to go home with me in front of these people. Some of her friends were offering to walk her home, and she wasn’t able to refuse all of them. She told them she would be a minute, and she walked me up to my block, around a corner, into a dark spot under scaffolding.
The kiss was hard, fast, our hands balling into each other’s clothes for something to hold on to. I felt the beer and the teasing in my blood. My hand found her ass, and she gasped. My hand slipped around her and quickly moved up her thigh, but she held it.
She pulled away from the kiss with a wild smile. “To be continued,” she said; a promise, a dare, a request?
I kissed her again, just a peck on her now wet lips. She straightened her hair, took a deep breath, and straightened her dress. She turned and walked back into the light, down the block to the waiting group.
I wondered who was really teased. Was the unfulfilled desire equal? My head was filled with nothing but slipping into her. That groan of need to be sated. It felt good to want. It felt electric and alive to have all that need in my body and my head.
I walked for a while in the dark, crisp night and then went home to write about it.