I didn’t know the Porters very well, though our families had been intertwined in various ways for most of my life, be it in business, marriage, or as friends. Then again, my position in my own family was somewhat liminal. I came and left. I disappeared for months at a time. College had proven to be a great excuse. After graduation, life became an even better excuse.
Still, weddings and funerals were inescapable. So when I heard Alan finally passed, after such a long illness, I donned a black suit and took a train back to the city.
My family’s intensity was often imposing, anxiety-inducing, and laden with guilt and resentment, but that’s not what this story is about.
The Porters were even wealthier than my lot and the wake, which was held in their Upper East Side compound, was decadent, impressive, and nuanced in its decoration and design.
They had a massive apartment that took up one whole floor of a historic Central Park West building. The large main sunken living room was opulent, with gilded frames holding well-considered art on every wall and a grand piano in one corner that was kept in tune even though no one ever played it.
The massive fireplace held roaring flames, whose heat was tempered by a few open windows, letting the cold winter air mercifully in. The room was populated by perhaps fifty people, all in black suits or black dresses. My family was peppered among the Porters. We greeted each other in whispers. My sister rolled her eyes at me. My younger brothers tugged at their collars and eyed the door.
There was a small queue of people waiting to kiss the cheek and offer condolences to Morgan, and so I stepped into the line with four others.
Her eyes were red, her eyeliner in streaks down her cheeks. Her skin was flawless. I remember noticing her complexion in the past, along with the clearness of her brown eyes, and the perfect part in her hair. Now all of those things were in shambles because of her tears and pain.
Waiting, I noted her dress, somewhat short but still respectable. Fashionable and expensive, a somewhat shimmery black satin with a stark white Peter Pan collar. No pearls, no rings, not even earrings. There was something very vulnerable in that, at least in the language of her class and status.
When I stepped up to her, she seemed surprised to see me. I didn’t know her that well, and wondered if I had misstepped, if the line was for people who were closer to her. There was something so jarring in the look in her eyes.
“Oh, Peter. It’s been a long time. Thank you for coming,” she said in a whisper, her eyes falling.
“I’m very sorry, Morgan,” I said, thinking more words would come, but none did.
She looked up again for a moment and our eyes locked. The intensity and vulnerability emanating from her was startling. She nodded and moved forward. I kissed her cheek, and she reached up and squeezed my arm.
“If there is anything I can do, just let me know,” I added. It seemed like what one was supposed to say—meaningless words to show emotional support.
She seemed to take my words seriously, though, and weighed them. “That means a lot.”
I nodded and stepped away, moved by her sadness, wishing there was more I could do, but also uncomfortable in the face of intense vulnerability.
Then there was the requisite Scotch and some shrimp cocktail in the other room. Listening to the gossip of the day. Avoiding most of the people I knew and just wandering around the huge place. Six bedrooms, a long dining room I remember having Thanksgiving in, the library that had always been my fantasy. To have all those books. To have that long table to lay out everything I was researching. Maybe to lay someone out on.
I laughed to myself and continued on until I got to the kitchen, which was full of people. I squeezed through and saw a door in the back. The old servant’s quarters, back when servants lived in your home. I wondered what it had become. Walking, I saw Morgan again. She was pouring red wine. She seemed to sense where I was going and walked to the door, motioning for me to follow.
I went in with her. She closed the door behind her and stood against it, her arms behind her. I heard the click of the door’s lock.
The room was a long rectangle. One wall covered in metal shelves with cleaning equipment. The back had two washers and dryers. It was clean, though, and smelled of fresh linens.
Morgan closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths. I stood there, unsure of what was happening, then she looked at me and sighed and walked towards me.
“I lusted after you when I was a girl. I wonder if you ever knew. I was sixteen, and you were twenty going off to college. You would come back for the holidays and come to my family’s parties, and it was all I could think of for the whole week. Peter is coming. Pages of my diary were dedicated to your eyes and your hands, and your chin. You would be in my house. You would walk past my bedroom. I would work myself into a frenzy the way only a teenage girl with a crush could do. Then you would be there, and I would hardly even talk to you. I would blush and say hello and then hide in the kitchen with my sisters.”
I tried to find something to say, but my mouth was dry, and nothing came out. I just stared at her.
“Did you know? I feel like it was written all over my face. I know it was almost seven years ago. Did you know how much I wanted you?”
What was the right answer? Honestly, I didn’t. I remembered her as a pretty girl with a ponytail who was one of a gaggle of sisters. I remembered her older sister, Therese, far more. She went to my college, though we only ran into each other a few times.
“I didn’t. You were young, and I didn’t think of you that way. We never even really spoke much more than a few hellos.”
“And yet I was in love with you, how stupid is that?”
“It isn’t stupid. That’s what being a teenager is. I had a million crushes. I fell in love four times a year, once each season. There’s nothing stupid about that. I’m flattered.”
“Would you have fucked me?”
I backed up, and she walked forward until I was leaning against one of the washing machines. Her passion was frightening me. The question was frightening.
“What, of course not? You were sixteen, I was twenty, and we didn’t even know each other.”
“I used to spy on you. You were always in the bookstore, and I would sit and pretend to read magazines and just watch you. God, you were so handsome and charming.”
I couldn’t find any words again.
“Once I even gave the guy behind the counter twenty bucks to tell me what book you bought, and then I bought a copy and read it. It was a long summer. Pale Fire. Pretty heavy stuff for a sixteen-year-old with a crush.”
“It’s pretty heavy stuff for a twenty year old worried about passing English.”
There was silence in the room. She had a little smirk, though her eyes still shone with tears. She pulled a folding chair out from the shelves and opened it, standing behind it.
“I’m sorry, Morgan. I know today was a difficult day. It’s flattering to know you had a crush on me. I hope getting it off your chest helped. We should probably get back, though,” I said, though I was surprised when her eyes narrowed in what seemed like anger.
“I’m not going back. You can if you want. I’m tired of feeling sad. I want to feel something else for a while. Yes, it did feel good to get it off my chest. It actually felt powerful,” she said, her smirk returning. She stretched and paced a little and then sat down in the chairs and planned her feet on the ground.
“If you go, lock the door on your way out. You just twist the little button on the knob. I’m going to stay here for a while and feel something else. If you want to stay and help, I’d like that,” she said, locking eyes with me.
As I watched her, she parted her legs a little. She took a deep breath. She put her hands on her knees, and the shimmering fabric gathered in her fingers. Slowly her knees were exposed and then her thighs.
“You asked if there was anything you could do. I mean,” she seemed to gather her confidence for the next bit. “If you want to do something for me, you could get on your knees.”
Her dress was pulled up to her waist, and a small splash of her white panties were exposed.
I stepped forward, surprised at how my legs wobbled a bit. I walked towards her and towards the door. There were lots of words stuck in my throat. Words about how she was in a complicated state of mind, and she didn’t know what she was doing, but looking in her eyes, I felt like she was in full control. Perhaps more than me. She wanted a respite from the sadness. She wanted her crush. It felt good to be the crush, the object of desire.
I stepped forward and knelt in front of her. I looked down at her strong thighs, her panties, then up to her eyes. “Did you plan this?”
“Shut up,” she replied coolly. I did.
She shifted, pulling up her dress even more and then pulling down her panties. My eyes followed them down her thighs, to her knees, then to the floor. There wasn’t much light in the room, but I saw a triangle of dark hair between her legs. As I looked, her legs parted further—a sliver of pink.
Looking up, I saw lust in her eyes, but something else. That crush was there. Adoration and the realization of a fantasy. I was the fantasy.
I moved forward, my freshly shaven cheek against her knee. I heard her gasp a little, and felt her body shiver. I kissed her inner thigh, realizing I’d never kissed her lips. I kissed again, my tongue slipping against her skin, moving up.
I was aware of her hands, still bunched in her dress, white-knuckled as I progressed. She slid forward a little, legs wider, breath catching. I lingered on the little spot, just at the very top of her inner thigh. Licking and kissing and gently biting. She let out a whine that filled me with a rush of power and desire.
I put my hand, flat, on the very bottom of her belly. Her skin was fire hot. I put my other hand on her left thigh, pushing her leg open even more. Then my lips were tickled by the soft curls. I groaned into her skin.
“We have to hurry,” she whispered through her teeth. I chuckled, and she looked down at me with anger in her eyes.
Between her parted legs, her parted lips, there was a thick knot of pink. I kissed just above it. I slipped my tongue around it, then down, down to slickness and salt. Her breath was faster.
I went back and forth like that, teasing and circling, getting closer, trying to figure out the math of her, the needed pressure, the map of her pleasure. Her hand went to my hair, pulling, and guiding. I let her. I found her clit and circled, sucked, flicked, until I found the motion that made her thighs tighten and her breath stop.
“Fingers,” she whispered simply. I sucked my middle finger and then slipped it into her.
Her hips bucked. She was holding my head there, tightly. Two fingers inside of her, pushing up, finding that spot. My mouth was tired, my tongue burning. Her breath changed, quick breaths, I vaguely saw her reach up and cover her own mouth.
I had to concentrate to keep going and going until finally, she sat up. She covered her mouth with both hands. Her eyes were open, and I felt like I could feel her pleasure radiating, snaking into my mind from hers.
I put my hands on her knees and just let myself feel it.
Then she was panting and looking at the door, then back at me. She stood up and knelt in front of me—her eyes on mine. We kissed for the first time. Her arms around me and mine around her. The kiss was one thing, the embrace was another. It was all very complicated.
When we finally parted, she said, “we don’t have much time. I need to see your cock.”
I was confused, and my knees ached. I stood up shakily, and her hands were immediately at my belt, my zipper, pulling my slacks down to my knees and pulling my boxers down, and then my achingly hard cock was in my hand, and she made a long hissing moan.
“Peter’s cock, in my hands. It’s so pretty. It’s not what I imagined. I don’t know what I imagined, really, but it’s perfect. God, I’ve never seen such a perfect cock, and it’s mine,” she whispered, more to herself than to me.
Then my body tensed in shock as I was engulfed in the heat of her mouth. It was so fast and wet and skillful. She sucked my cock and jerked me off at the same time. It was intense and hurried, and the pressure of knowing all the people who were outside crept into my head.
But her pussy was still in my head too, and the smell was on my lips, and as she sucked, I imagined it wasn’t her mouth, but her cunt. Tight and forbidden, raw and naked, slipping into her and fucking her right there. Coming inside of her.
The image and her mouth and hand all worked quickly on me. I felt the nervous electric rising inside of me. I whispered in a ragged voice, “I’m going to come,” and she redoubled her speed, her sucking, her hand, and it was almost too much.
I came in her mouth, and she pushed my cock deep in her throat as I did. I covered my mouth. I almost lost my balance. My ears were ringing.
Then the room came back into focus. She was standing in front of me, watching me with that smirk. Then she walked to a large sink that was next to the washing machines and washed her hands, wet a dish towel, and cleaned herself up. Then she got out her lipstick and fixed her lips.
I washed off my mouth and fixed my hair. In moments our clothes were straightened, and we looked respectable. The silence between us was tense.
“Thank you. I needed that. I needed something. Anyway, thank you,” she said. The boldness had left her gaze.
“I, um, anytime,” I mumbled. She smiled at that and nodded.
“I’ll go back out first. You should wait a few minutes,” she explained, taking a deep breath and combing her fingers through her hair.
“Wait,” I said, and she stopped. “I don’t know, can I see you again? Is that weird?”
She laughed. “I don’t know. Don’t ask me today. I’ll see you at Thanksgiving. Maybe we can make out in my old bedroom. We’ll see.”
I smiled and moved in to kiss her, but she leaned back and put her finger to my lips.
Then there was a moment. Our eyes locked, and it was all there, the sadness, the sex, the crush, the power, the weirdness. It was all electric crackling around us. I had the urge to profess love, go down on her again, anything to keep her there another moment.
But she smiled and turned and left me alone in the servant’s quarters. I waited a beat and then splashed some more water on my face. I paced and considered what to do and then, after a bit, went out into the crowded kitchen with the people buzzing with conversation. No one looked at me twice.
I shouldered my way through and found the master bedroom with the king-size four-poster bed covered in fur coats and jackets. I found my long coat and put it on, and tried to slow my racing heart.
I dodged my sister and my mother, and in moments I was in the cool silence of the hallway, waiting for the elevator. Then I was waving to the doorman and walking into the cold night, just as a dusting of snow started falling.
I could still smell her. I could still see her, burned into the back of my eyes. I walked and walked, past the subway station and on to the next. Finally, I got to the train that would take me home. In the station, I went to the convenience store and bought a pen and a little notebook.
Then I sat on the train and wrote this before any details faded.