There is a particular brand of depression you experience when you have to move back in with your parents.
At the tail end of college, Kate got lots of promises from professors and advisors, that her years of studying esoteric and philosophical subjects would lead to interesting career opportunities. There was a world out there just waiting for eager young minds like hers.
Unfortunately, a summer of failed interviews and disheartening conversations in sterile offices all seemed to point to graduate school. So, it was back to the somewhat demoralizing lavishness of her parents’ hyper modern minimalist ranch house.
Her father came from money, and her mother had been the CEO of some startup that was conceived and built just to sell to a bigger company for a lot of money. It had worked.
So, her parents led an affluent life of pleasure. Which meant there wasn’t much direct pressure for Kate to make her own life, but plenty of reasons for her to escape.
“Darling, it’s so good to have you here. You know, in Europe, people often live at home until they marry. I think it’s a much more natural process,” her mother said as they both sipped large glasses of murky green smoothies. The recipe of which Kate’s mother attributed her clear skin and seemingly endless energy.
Her mother was tall and thin and athletic. Her dirty blonde hair being one of the few things Kate had inherited. She wore ridiculously expensive athleisure outfits that made her look like she was in a Star Trek reboot.
Kate, on the other hand, looked more like the cousins she’d met from her father’s lineage. She was tall, like her mother, but busty, fat-lipped, thick thighed, and curvy no matter the diet and exercise regimen. Her mother tried to be kind, but she always seemed to imply that Kate was too big, too curvy, too buxom, even too tall. As if she could do anything about those traits.
Similarly, where her mother was all about aerodynamic matching high-tech fibered jogging suits, Kate enrobed herself in the loosest chunky cable knit sweaters she could find.
“Your father and I are off to the country to go antiquing. Why don’t you join us?”
Kate looked around at the sleek minimalist home. It looked like something out of Architectural Digest or a 60s SciFi movie about the future.
“Why are you always antiquing? Everything in your house is hyper-modern.”
Her mother looked around and laughed. “Oh, it’s just something to do, I suppose. Sometimes, I buy things and sell them online for twice the cost. It’s like free money.”
Kate gave her mother a tight-lipped smile. “I’ll pass. Have a good time.”
Her mother frowned. Kate wasn’t playing along with any of her parents’ plans. She’d stopped looking for a job, and she never started looking for a husband. She didn’t dress the way they wanted, and she didn’t look the way they wanted.
She saw all of that in her mother’s eyes as she gave Kate a tight-lipped smile and said, “Well, we’re off. Hope you can find something productive to do today.”
Her parents’ big white house was in a little gated community on top of a hill. Very neat geometric patterns of similar vaguely Frank Lloyd Wright with lots of angles and reflecting pools.
Walking out of the house after her parents had gone, Kate sighed again and looked around the over-manicured lawns and cold aesthetics of the houses on the hill. She had gotten used to the cobblestone, tree-lined, overgrown ivy comfort of a New England college campus.
So she walked through the roundabouts and dead ends of the gated world. She just walked, hoping for some sign of what to do next. Her blonde eyebrows rose as she spotted an actual sign.
It was a soggy piece of paper taped to a streetlight. It seemed incongruous in such a fastidious kept place. The wet tape was hanging off the brushed steel.
“Cat sitter needed. Just someone to stop by in the middle of the day to feed and pet Bethany, a very fluffy and needy little girl. She also requires some daily medication,” Read neat, bold print. Under it was a black and white photo of an adorably puffy, long-haired cat and an email address.
There was something strange about the sign. Pet sitters seemed to be the province of online apps. Still, if someone were to put up a sign, it would usually leave a phone number. Also, the wording was unusual. “Needy little girl,” seemed almost dirty.
Kate and her roommate Emily had two cats for the last two years at Vassar. They were Emily’s cats, but Kate loved them like her own. When school ended, Emily took them back to California without even a conversation about visitation rights.
Without any real thought about it, Kate took out her phone and started an email. She mentioned loving cats, taking care of them, her roommate, etc. It wouldn’t pay much, obviously, but it was something to do.
The reply came a few minutes later. “I believe I know your parents. We’ve met at local events and the community board. They speak highly of you. I can send you payment via most cash apps. You can use this door code from 11-3pm every day. I can send you a sheet with feeding and care instructions. Does that sound acceptable?” The email was signed, “Thomas Franklin, 10 Sandalwood Crescent.” It was the address four doors down from her parents’ house.
She didn’t reply for a bit. She waited until her parents got home and asked them about him.
Over a pasta salad with pesto and fresh tomatoes, Kate asked her mother, “Do you know someone named Thomas Franklin? He lives a few doors down.”
Her mother looked at the ceiling and thought about it. “Oh, yes. We’ve met him once or twice. There are community meetings. And then, he brought those wonderful cupcakes to the holiday party. He’s a forty something bachelor, but seems nice enough,” she said, remembering the treats fondly.
“Well, he’s looking for someone to check in on his cat during the day. Give it medicine,” Kate explained, suddenly wanting to end the conversation when she saw her mother’s look of interest.
“Oh, what a lovely thing to do. Maybe it would be good for you to make some friends in the neighborhood. Are there other people who need animal sitters? Maybe it could be a little summer job,” she went on.
Kate’s father frowned and looked up from his food for the first time. “What kind of forty-year-old man needs help taking care of a cat? It’s a cat?”
Kate sighed. “Well, I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t a weirdo or anything. It’s not a career, mom. I’m just looking for things to do, and I miss having a pet.”
Her mother shrugged, and her father went back to focusing on his dinner.
The next day, she messaged Thomas that she could do it. He sent her a door code and some details about the food and medication, as well as a message. “I usually don’t get home until seven or eight. So please drop by any time between noon and two if that is convenient. Give me your PayPal or whatever, and I’ll send you over some money. Thanks so much.”
The next day at noon, Kate went for a walk. She walked all around the little community on the hill and ended her walk in front of Number 10. She wore a part of purple sweatpants and a matching hooded sweatshirt. The closest she would get to her mother’s fashion sense.
The house was similar to her parents. All of the houses were vaguely the same, with slight modifications and color options. Thomas’s was a light gray with white accents.
She entered the code, and the door clicked open. She went inside and saw a roomy living room and an open kitchen. Thomas had far less furniture than her parents, so everything seemed a bit bigger and more open. It was a bit more mid-century, with a large kidney-shaped coffee table in bright orange and curved white couches.
She found Bethany almost immediately. The cat was lounging on one of the couches, surrounded by pillows. She looked like the most spoiled cat in the world. Bethany picked her head up and mews twice. She looked at Kate suspiciously. Kate held her hand out to the small ball of gray floof and after an experimental sniff, Bethany rammed her head into Kate’s hand several times, demanding a thorough petting.
Kate found the food and the medicine and hid the pill inside of the brown mess of seafood. Bethany ate it quickly and then retired to the couch to continue her nap. Kate considered leaving but decided to look around a bit.
There was a master bedroom, which was large and populated by a California king bed with a decadent number of pillows and a long desk that spanned one whole wall and held cameras, two computers, and an array of gadgets Kate didn’t recognize
She passed a very fancy bathroom with a huge bathtub, an exercise room with weights and various other equipment, and finally, what looked like an office.
The room was similar in size and shape to her bedroom. She supposed the houses were all basically the same model. She wondered again why an unmarried forty-something would need a three-bedroom house. This room, though, was painted a dull light blue, and the left and right walls were completely covered in bookshelves.
About three-quarters of bookshelves were filled with simple white rectangular boxes, like the ones Kate had seen in the school library. They usually held magazines. The other quarter of the selves were empty. There were also four double tall filing cabinets on the wall opposite the door, in between the two windows.
The windows had some sort of tinting on them, which gave the room an eerie glow.
In the center of the room was a small white desk and a very expensive-looking office chair. The chair had many knobs and dials for controlling posture and angles. There was nothing on the desk except for three identical metal pens. She didn’t know anything about pens, but they, too, looked very expensive.
There was a slight buzz in the room. Kate walked in and looked around a little, finding a dehumidifier and air filter in one corner. There was also a paper shredder.
The room’s lack of a computer seemed very odd. It seemed like some kind of study or library, but there was an ominous specificity of the place that didn’t belong in a home. It was like a science lab’s archives or something. Kate was getting a very bad feeling. What if this Thomas guy was a serial killer?
The thought was both frightening and remarkably intriguing. Kate looked around more.
She approached one of the bookshelves hesitantly. Suddenly, she considered the room, hell, the whole house, might have cameras. She looked up at the ceiling, at the corners of the room, and saw nothing. She knew that didn’t mean much. The guy was obviously very rich and very technically savvy. There could be tiny cameras everywhere.
“What’s he going to do? Fire me?” She whispered to herself. As long as she didn’t steal anything, she imagined she would just get yelled at and get some dirty looks.
Each white box on the bookshelves had a hole in it with a metal lining and a small seven-digit code printed on it. She picked up two random boxes and brought them to the little desk. The boxes were surprisingly heavy. She sat down, awkward in the complicated chair’s particular settings.
It took her a moment to understand how the box opened. Inside were magazines. Just like the school library, though she had thought there might be something else in them. Pulling one out, she was surprised to find a vintage Playboy. The date read 1958. She carefully paged through it, seeing the somewhat familiar style of beautiful pinups with carefully closed legs and pointy breasts.
She smiled. It was endearing for some reason. There was a timeless charm to the old magazines.
The rest of the box was the same. It looked like a complete set of a few years. She put the magazine back and opened the other box.
The magazines in the next book look a bit different. Not older, but printed on cheaper paper, not glossy. Each was in a neat plastic bag. Kate’s eyebrows rose as she saw men and women in leather bondage gear. The titles were German.
Kate wasn’t unfamiliar with BDSM, though she’d never seen such raw depictions of it. She’s seen the soft and lurid Betty Page-type images. A woman in a living room with a leather corset and a crop. This was grainy shots of naked men and women with marks on their asses, blood, piss, knives.
Just browsing a few pages made her heart pound and her mind race. She’d certainly been curious and even gotten some very memorable spankings, but nothing extreme. Spankings were actually one of the most intensely pleasurable things she’d ever done. She didn’t know if she was into the harder stuff or not, but it scared her in both good and bad ways.
She put both boxes of magazines back and walked to a different section. As she did, she once more looked around for a camera, something, and found nothing but blank walls.
She returned to the little desk with two more boxes. The first has more modern magazines, pristine and glossy. The first was a fetish magazine for people who liked hairy women. It didn’t really spark arousal in Kate, but it was certainly interesting. The focus is on underarms and bushy pubic hair. Again, the box was full of issues of the same magazine. It had a more playful tone than the other magazines.
Oddly, the next box seemed to be full of a magazine with the opposite fetish. Waxed pussies, shot in close detail and printed in vivid color. There was something slightly shocking about it. How polished and young the women looked. For the first time, she wondered if she would find something more than common pornography, something darker. She looked at the rows of boxes and shivered.
She examined a few new batches of magazines. Each seemed to cover a different theme. Pregnant women, some of whom were lactating. Men and women in furry costumes. They were all photos. Photos of people. Nude photos of people. Mostly women. Somehow, the fact that they weren’t movies made them feel dirtier. More exploitative somehow. Kate had mostly only ever watched porn movies. Pictures seemed to lack context.
Finally, she stood up and stretched. She looked around the room again. Nothing seemed out of place. No secret drawers, no hidden buttons. She turned to see the cat staring at her from its perch on the couch. Bethany watched her intently as she left the room and let herself out.
A sum popped up on her cash app that seemed more than what cat sitting was worth. That night, she couldn’t sleep. There was a strange sensation of being both aroused and uncomfortable. She didn’t feel the urge to masturbate, which was something she often did to relax at night. Still, her body was activated.
It reminded her of her first year in the dorms at school. Sleeping in a double with another girl sleeping a few feet away. How she was hyper-aware of every noise they both made. How she waited until her roommate went to class and then rode her Hitachi for an hour to exorcise the pent-up need.
The next day, she woke up early. She cleaned her bedroom, she ate breakfast alone, escaping her mother’s judgment and conversation. She looked around her old clothes, putting on a cropped t-shirt and a pair of jeans. She looked at herself in the mirror and smiled at her curvy body and pretty face. She liked herself. She liked the sliver of belly the shirt exposed. She stretched and raised her arms in the air and smiled as she saw just the very bottoms of her breasts were exposed.
Looking at the magazines, really, the whole situation had activated her. She felt alive and a little dirty.
She wanted until 1 pm to go back to the house. She told herself she would feed the cat and nothing more. She reminded herself that no matter Thomas’s proclivities or hobbies, he deserved his privacy.
When Kate entered the house, Bethany sat up and made her way to the kitchen, already connecting Kate with lunch. Kate fed her and then sat with the cat for a while, petting her and playing with a toy on a string.
Bethany liked to play but didn’t like to move around a lot. She laid on the floor and batted at the toy lazily. Kate felt like she could learn a lot from the cat.
She got up and intended to leave but found herself in the library again—a mix of guilt, curiosity, and some strange form of desire.
The room was the same. The sterile stillness. She took a deep breath and considered where to pick up her examination, but then she stopped, seeing a single sheet of paper on the desk. Printed neatly in the center was a single sentence. “Please feel free to borrow any material you like.” Kate’s stomach dropped.
She turned around as if someone was watching her or even behind her. Bethany walked past the door of the room and mewed at her judgementally. Kate noted the cat did not enter the library.
She swallowed, fear gripping her as well as shame. She closed her eyes and considered what had happened. She concentrated on relaxing her neck and shoulders. She slowed her breathing.
“What’s the big deal? He’s some dude who collects porn. He probably has cameras or whatever, and he saw you, but he’s not mad, so what’s the big deal?” She said to herself.
“You’re not in trouble. You’re an adult woman without a job. You can’t get in trouble. There are no authorities in your life. This guy isn’t going to call the police. The worst outcome is an awkward conversation,” she continued.
She shrugged. Thomas didn’t seem to mind her there, so she would enjoy herself, she decided. She went to the bookshelf and took four boxes down. They were a lot heavier than the others, and she almost dropped them as she carried them over.
The first was another set of glossy modern magazines. Hustler. Similar to Playboy, but much more explicit. Women with their legs wide open, pulling their labia apart, twisting their nipples. It was simultaneously arousing and repulsive. There was a lewd objectification, as well as a lack of aesthetic charm. Still, she paged through a few issues.
Unlike the day before, the shock was gone, as was most of the fear. Kate was surprised to feel overcome with horniness in place of those other emotions. She laughed to herself. She was in a room surrounded by porn, looking through dirty magazines. Why would it be surprising to be aroused?
The next box held something new. The magazines were thick, and their covers were blank matte black. The first page had no photos, just a small title. “Private Stock, a magazine for the discerning pervert. Images are not to be distributed. Resellers will be prosecuted.”
Each page had a single large photo, printed in the highest quality Kate had seen. It was like a coffee table book you’d get from a museum. The pictures were well-lit, tastefully composed, and remarkably sharp. The models were men and women, sometimes alone, sometimes in pairs or threesomes. They looked like ordinary people, not models. Many of them were very attractive, but often chubby or possessing some hard-to-define characteristic that you just didn’t see in magazines. There was a reality to them.
For the first time, Kate found a little Post-it on one of the pages. It was an image of a blonde woman with very large doe eyes and thick cupid bow lips. Her body was not that unlike Kate’s, though the model’s breasts were a bit larger and her hips and thighs even thicker.
Kate had always been attracted to women. She’d hooked up with women in college three times, usually when drunk. It was a strange thing because romantically, she was primarily into men, but in some ways, sexually, women were far more interesting to her. Looking at the model, she nodded. Yes, that was a woman who deserved a Post-it note. She was stunning. Her body, her face, her style.
The model wore a fussy white cardigan, open to expose her breasts, and matching knee-high socks. She bit her bottom lip and looked right at the camera. There was a potent seduction in her look that really hit Kate hard.
She put the magazine back and looked at the box. She got out her phone, and in the notes app, she typed out the seven-digit code. She wanted to come back to those magazines.
The next box had similarly non-commercial magazines. The photos were also very well shot, but they were of sex. Each picture was a different sex act. Men with men, men with women, women with women, people of indeterminate gender, threesomes, and even a giant orgy in the two-page center spread.
Kate’s breath got a bit shallow as she paged through the magazine. She got another issue. There was something remarkable about the photos. She’d never seen sex captured so artistically. It was like they got one of the world’s best photographers to take pictures at a sex party.
She realized that she had absentmindedly been touching her breast as she went through the sex mag. Her body was getting overheated. Her hand moved further under her crop top and squeezed her breast. She sighed.
She pulled over another box; the one she had been looking through was too intense. The next box held differently shaped magazines. They were a big larger and square. The covers were bright red, and “Collectors Only” was embossed on the covers. Under those words were three circles, or possibly they were the letter O.
There were no words in the magazines, no page numbers, no lists of contributors, only high-quality photos. This magazine was all photos of people masturbating. Again, it wasn’t gender specific. Kate whined a little. It was both unwanted encouragement to keep touching herself and a specific kink of hers. She’s always wanted to watch people masturbate or be watched.
It was something she had tried to facilitate many times, but boyfriends seemed to want to skip the watching and get to the fucking. She’d gotten a few to jerk off for her, and it was really one of the highlights of her sex life. Similarly, at a party once, a girl showed everyone how she used her vibrator, and Kate memorized every second of it and used it as fodder for her own sessions for years afterward.
Halfway through the second issue, she found another Post-it note. They were clues to Thomas’s proclivities. It was another woman, of similar build, thick thighed, big bottomed, though her breasts were smaller, perhaps a C-cup. Her hair was short, wavy, and red. Her skin was pale, and her face was absolutely striking. She looked like a chubby version of Nicole Kidman. Piercing blue eyes and just the lightest smattering of freckles on the bridge of her nose. A single silver ring through the left side of her bottom lip and a matching ring through her left nipple.
She had a certain grace to her poses. She is sitting in a chair, with her head thrown back and legs spread, but not obscenely. A small well well-manicured but slightly bushy patch of orange-red public hair. A pussy that was almost a bubblegum pink against her white skin. In many of the photos, she seemed to cover her belly with one hand while she rubbed her clit with her other. Kate wasn’t sure if she was trying to hide her plump belly, which caused a pang of empathy and then lust.
There was an intense vulnerability and sensuality to the model. Again, Kate agreed with the Post-it. Again, she considered the similarity between her own body and the models. She smiled to herself, wondering if she would get a Post-it.
Then, something clicked in her. He was watching. Perhaps not live, but somehow, she assumed. Her hand was still rubbing her breast under her shirt. She bit her bottom lip and moved her hand a bit, pushing it up the bottom of her shirt. She felt the cool air of the room on her nipple. She took that nipple between her thumb and forefinger and pinched it. Her nipples were very sensitive. It made her thighs clench together.
She didn’t know him. Was his note an invitation to put on a show? She stopped herself. She let go of her breast. In an impulse she didn’t fully understand, she stood and put the boxes away.
Her body was on fire. She could see the two points of her hard nipples through her shirt. She was aware of how wet she was. She shook her head, looking out the window at the empty backyard and the small patch of woods behind it. Then her eyes fell on the filing cabinets, which she hadn’t yet investigated.
She went to one and was rather shocked to find it locked. It was the first hindrance she’d found in the house, which made her far more curious. She huffed and tried another drawer. They were all locked. She looked around the room and pouted.
What was she doing? She shook her head and left the room. She petted Bethany a little more and then went home.
For the next two days, she controlled herself. She didn’t even go into the library. She fed the cat, cuddled with her a bit, and then went home. Then, it was the weekend, and her services were unneeded. She decided to drive into town.
She’d been a bit out of practice, as she didn’t have a car at college. But she figured out her mother’s electric SUV and went shopping for a bit. On a lark, she stopped at a large gas station at the edge of town. She went in and walked directly to the back. She’d remembered something about that specific gas station, and she smiled when she saw that she had remembered correctly. There was a small display of magazines.
Tabloids and current events, fashion and hobbies, and then on the top row, almost hidden, Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, and a few others. Their covers were wrapped in brown paper to hide their contents, with only the titles visible.
She ignored the mainstream titles and found three more niche ones. Big Beautiful Sluts, Barely Legal, and MILF Mania. She got them all. She held her breath as she went to the counter to pay. She told herself she was an adult and there was nothing to be ashamed of. She was glad when she saw the cashier was a woman her age.
The woman had blue hair put up in two stubby little pigtails and a lip ring. She rang up the magazines and gave her the total. There was only one, brief, look. A quick sizing up of Kate. Kate felt a little connection, as if the girl was impressed, somehow.
The blue-haired girl put the magazines in a paper bag and handed them to Kate. “Enjoy,” she said, with a little grin.
“I will,” Kate replied, surprising herself. The cashier smiled.
She drove home as fast as she could without getting pulled over. In the driveway of her house, she smiled like a kid who had stolen candy. Her plan was to go in and evade her parents. Go to her bedroom and get out all the pent-up sexual need that had been building all week.
She got her bags, hid the magazines under the clothes she’d bought, and went in. She was surprised to see both of her parents home and sitting in the living room. There was a bottle of wine out and a man she didn’t know sitting across from her parents.
He was perhaps forty, medium height, short graying hair, stocky in a sort of athletic way. He wore a rather plain charcoal gray suit, and Kate was immediately sure it was Thomas. Remembering his little gym with the weights, she had imagined him one of those slim tech bros, thin and wiry. Instead, he had an intimidating bulk to him, like an aging rugby player.
“Oh! Katie! Look who we found! I was checking the mail, and I ran into Mr. Franklin. He was just telling us how thankful he was that you’ve been taking time out of your day to care for his cat,” her mother said with glee.
Thomas stood and gave Kate a tight-lipped smile.
“I’ve got to get to the club. I’ve got a match starting in a bit. Good to see you, Tom. Send me over the info about that startup. I’m interested,” Kate’s father said, before leaving.
“Do you want some coffee? Wine? I’m getting that cake we bought the other day,” her mother said, running off to the kitchen and leaving Kate alone with Thomas, who looked a bit uncomfortable.
“Yes, well, it is good to finally meet you in person. Thanks again for taking care of Bethany. I hope she hasn’t been any trouble,” Thomas said, making no move to shake her hand or anything.
“Right. Good to meet you. Bethany is always a pleasure. She’s a sweet girl who just needs a little extra attention,” she replied, realizing she was somewhat frozen in place.
He seemed poised to say something else, but then seemed to reconsider. He looked her in the eye, and she looked away.
“I apologize if my note was inappropriate or made you uncomfortable. I saw that my archives had been misshelved and decided to reward your curiosity. I’m sort of obsessed with curiosity. Anyhow, I just wanted to apologize if it was… weird.”
She was surprised. She imagined there would be awkward silence. The things left unspoken. Maybe even some kind of innuendo, skirting around it, but he had said it directly. For some reason, it was very jarring.
“Oh… right… um… it’s fine. I’m fine. I was looking for the bathroom. I mean, I wasn’t looking for the bathroom. You have… an extensive collection,” she said, waiting to escape the awkwardness of the topic, but unsure how.
“I collect and study pornography. It’s historical significance. Its sociological, anthropological, and commercial relevance. Even its evolution through media, etchings, drawings, crude print, movable type, photography, film, the internet, and so on.”
Kate nodded, still unsure what to make of the man. He didn’t look like an academic, but he spoke like one. She noted a light but distinct Brooklyn accent.
“For academic research?” She asked, somewhat hopeful. That might have an understandable context to work.
He shrugged. “That’s where it started. I still publish every now and then or consult. But my early work studying explicit media on the budding internet, when I was still in school, led me to make a lot of connections in Silicon Valley. I got attached to a few large projects. Then, there was Crypto. Now AI. Well, I’m lucky to be a man who enjoys life but doesn’t have the need to keep growing a fortune I will already not be able to spend in one lifetime. So my work is mostly for my own edification.”
Kate nodded. Both impressed and confused. She was going to ask some questions, but her mother returned with a small pound cake.
“Tilda, that’s so generous of you, but I’ve really got to get back to work. I have a call in a few minutes. Thank you again for the wine, and thanks to you, Kate, for taking care of my girl.”
Kate opened her mouth to respond but wasn’t sure what to say. She just nodded. He smiled at each of them and then turned and left in a bit of a hurry.
Kate’s mother sighed. “He’s a little off. Those tech people always seem in such a hurry. Oh well, at least we can save this cake and bring it to the Martinson’s tomorrow.”
With her mother back in the kitchen, Kate went to her bedroom. She unpacked her new purchases and stared at the brown paper bag with the magazines, but for some reasons, she wasn’t in the mood to look at them anymore.
That night her parents went off to some gala in the city, and she decided to go for a walk around the houses on the hill to get some fresh air. Summer was turning to fall, and it was cooler. She liked the fresh air.
She found herself walking to Thomas’s house out of habit and then regretting it. She turned and walked into the light woods that ran along the backs of most of the houses. She suddenly felt very aware of being out after dark, stalking around someone’s house. She turned to go home, but saw a light from Thomas’s window.
She walked a little closer, near his garage, near where his garbage cans sat. She saw into his living room. She saw things had changed a bit; furniture had been moved around, and a large dark object was in the center of the room. Curiosity pulled her forward until she stood in the shadow of his garage, peeking into his window.
There were two large black wooden slats, perhaps seven feet long, in an X shape against one wall. Kate knew it was called a St. Andrew’s Cross, though she wasn’t sure where she picked up the name. There was a mostly naked woman tied to the cross.
She was buxom, curvy, a little chubby, completely gorgeous. Her skin was a dark tan. She wore a pair of light blue socks that came up to the middle of her wonderfully thick thighs. Her hair was a baby blue as well, cut into a short, neat black bob and her eyes were done up in electric blue eyeshadow. Her large breasts swing free. One of them had a large bruse on it.
She was tied with blue rope at her wrists and ankles, and she struggled against the rope. She did so somewhat theatrically, like a woman tied to train tracks in an old movie.
Thomas came into the large living room, still dressed in his charcoal black suit and white dress shirt. He carried a small black box and brought it over to the bound woman. Kate held her breath as she watched.
Thomas knelt in front of the woman and took something small and blue out of the box. He seemed to affix it to her vagina somehow, slipping part of it inside of her and setting the other part over her clit. Then he stood and took a remote control out of the box, putting the box on a nearby table. He fiddled with the remote, and the woman writhed in pleasure.
Kate marveled at the woman’s body. The flush of red in her face that crept down her chest in a deep V. She looked like one of the women in the pictures Thomas put Post-it notes on. Right down to the red pubic hair and the socks.
He put the remote down and moved back towards the woman. He took hungry handfuls of her big breasts. Kate winced. She didn’t know who she was more jealous of. To be tied up and used or to have a girl at her mercy.
He stepped away, turning to get something else, and his eyes nearly seemed to catch her. Realizing she’d almost gotten caught, Kate turned and jogged home. Again, she went to her room pent up with sexual energy, but again, she seemed unable to do anything about it. She was too conflicted, too jealous, too full of shame.
Sunday morning, she slept in. She moped and didn’t want to get up. She tried to figure out what was keeping her masturbating, even though she was ridiculously horny. There was something holding her back.
She looked through her stash of magazines. Each had its own charms. She was particularly drawn to the BBW magazine. The curves and the thickness of the models. There was a somewhat different gaze in that one. It seemed more celebratory than purely objectifying. And the women looked happy in the photos, unlike the Barely Legal one, where they looked doe-eyed and faux-innocent.
There was one model who looked about twenty-five. She had a perfect face, cupid bow lips, sharp winged eyeliner, and short pixie-cut blonde hair. Her body was wonderfully chubby. Her breasts weren’t huge, but her hips and thighs were. She wore nothing but thigh-high socks that left little rolls of adorable fat above where the tops cut into her thighs.
Her pussy was shaved bare, as were most of the pussies in the magazines. Except for the MILF, which would go either way. The allowance made for maturity, Kate supposed with a laugh.
She reached into her panties as she looked over the pictures of the girl. Her own pubic hair was short and coarse. When she dated, she often kept it shaved. For a while, she dated an older guy who would pay for her to get it waxed.
She contemplated which was she preferred it, on herself and on a partner. She decided she liked the contrast of having it one way and then feeling the other.
Her fingers moved down a little and she felt her own wetness. She gasped. Then, from somewher ein the distance, she had the door slam and her mother call her name.
“Fuck,” she grumbled and got out of bed
Then, just like that, Monday came, and the complexity of her walk across the gated community waited. She waited until almost two, and Bethany was waiting by the door when she got in.
“I apologize, ma’am. Your lunch shouldn’t be held up just because of my weird internal sex drama,” Kate explained to the wide-eyed floor as she prepared her meal.
She spent some extra time with the cat, playing, cuddling, and taking some comfort in Bethany’s company. In her periphery, the library loomed. She didn’t really try and fool herself into thinking she wouldn’t take another look.
With a long sigh, Kate finally got up, as Bethany had fallen asleep on the couch. She slowly walked to the library, wondering if there would be anything new to see. Indeed, there was.
There was a stack of magazines on the desk. They looked brand new, and some of them were still in plastic shrink wrap. There was an empty box next to them and a sheet of printed codes on labels. She was seeing the behind-the-scenes tableau: how the boxes were made.
There was also another printed note in the same style as the first. “I don’t have any cameras inside of my home, I assure you. I do, however, have security cameras that monitor the perimeter of my home. Once more, you’ve impressed me with your curiosity.”
The last magazine in the pile had a coated tea-colored cover with two words printed in the dead center. “For Tom.”
The magazine had a heft to it that promised those rich coffee table book quality photos on thick paper. Kate sat and took a deep breath.
There was a note slipped in between the first two pages. Not one of Thomas’s printed notes, but something hand-written in a neat script.
“For my illustrious patron. I always appreciate your support. You fuel my work without expectation or direction. In the past decade, though, your insatiable passions have not gone unnoticed. So here is a collection of pieces inspired by your particular hungers. May it find a home in your historic collection. Xander Vandercook.”
She touched the note. The ink was a rich black, she guessed from a fountain pen. There was such a kind and familiar reverence to the sentiments. A decade of support. It was all so impressive.
She opened the magazine carefully. The photos were decadently lush. Vividly painted backdrops, dramatic lighting, and perhaps the most breathtaking photos Kate had ever seen. Men, women, other. Nude or in elaborate lingerie. Draped over Victorian fainting couches, or on vintage Indian rugs. Bound in rope or in the throws of ecstasy.
There were common denominators throughout. Not of the models were thin. There was a diversity in their sizes, shapes, ethnicities, and every other characteristic.
There were models that popped up many times. Kate realized one of them was the blonde she had seen bookmarked one of the other magazines. There was something special about her, a certain ageless angelic quality.
The photos were more than pornography; they were objectively art. Yet Kate could sense these were the most lurid of the artist’s work.
She pulled out her phone and googled the photographer’s name. He’d had an exhibit at the Whitney and another in what seemed like a famous gallery in Berlin.
The next magazine was another niche fetish. It was called SOXXX. Kate smiled and shook her head because, just hours ago, she was drooling over photos of a woman in thigh-high socks.
The magazine was full of thick thighed women in knee-high and thigh-high socks. Field hockey uniforms and school girls. Chubby angels in puffy white knit socks on pink beds surrounded by stuffed animals.
It made her want a pair of those socks. It made her want to finger a girl in those socks on a bed full of stuffed animals. It made her want to have an orgy in a field hockey team locker room. She smiled at that. Then her mind played back the scene in the living room, only she was the one tied to the cross. Her thighs tightened.
She went back to the living room, looking for the cross, the rope. Nothing. No marks on the floor.
She sighed. The need and the loneliness warred inside of her. She considered waiting for Thomas. Propositioning him. He was probably ten years older than her. The thought was both scary and intriguing. She pulled out her phone and instead looked around for a dirty bookstore. The closest she found was an adult movie and toy store just outside of town. She decided she needed an adventure.
The neon sign outside of the squat square building advertised “Peep Show.” Kate wasn’t sure if it was just a holdover from days where that sort of thing happened or if there were actual jack-off booths and girls behind glass.
She sat in her car for a while and then, with a deep breath, gathered the courage to walk in.
It was a surprisingly clean, almost sterile place. It looked more like an Apple store than a dirty porn shop. The white walls were lined with white shelves that held neatly packaged dildos, vibrators, pocket pussies, and every other manner of toy. Kate ignored them. Her Hitachi was all she’d ever needed.
She spotted the magazines and books in the back and made a beeline for them. She was intercepted, though, by a rather short and very buxom shop clerk.
“Let me know if you need any help,” she said, in a chipper lilting tone.
Kate was going to simply sidestep her when she was hit by a firework of memories. The silver ring through her lip. The second post-it note girl. The redhead with pale skin and the little bush of red pubic hair. Kate could vividly remember the coral of the woman’s pussy.
Kate’s mouth opened, but no words came out. The was stuck in processing mode. The ginger’s head cocked. “You okay? There is no shame in shopping! Do I know you or something?” She asked Kate. She had a very slight southern twang.
“Collectors Only,” Kate said, almost against her will. The words just seemed to slip out of her mouth.
The woman’s eyes bulged, and she looked from side to side. She didn’t look angry, maybe scared for a brief moment, then a smile spread across her face.
“Well, you’re the first person who’s ever recognized me from that. That was a few years ago. I wasn’t even twenty. I know only real swanky collectors can get their hands on those books. You must have some fancy friends,” she said with a laugh. Her nametag read, Rose.
“I guess I do. I know a guy with a big collection. He let me see some. Your photos were some of the most beautiful,” Kate said, once more seeming to be speaking without having any control over what she said. Rose flushed a little.
“You know, I get hit on every day working here, but that was one of the few lines that actually worked,” she said with a little giggle, biting her bottom lip on the opposite side that her piercing was on.
Kate always felt a bit lost when flirting with another woman. Men were easy, but then Rose certainly seemed interested.
“I guess I’m becoming a bit of a collector myself. I mean, I can only hope to get that magazine with you in it. I suppose you don’t have anything like that back there,” Kate said, a bit awkwardly. She looked back at the magazine section.
Rose laughed again. “It’s pretty standard back there. Big tits, shaved pussy, and everyone is barely legal,” she said, leading Kate over to the small section.
Standing in front of the rack of magazines, Kate suddenly felt foolish. Looking at cheap magazines when there was a beautiful blushing girl right next to her.
“I’m Kate,” she said and summoned up her flirtiest smile.
“Rose,” she said, pointing at her name tag.
Kate looked over the magazines, picking over them and not finding much of interest. “Any suggestions?”
Rose looked her in the eye and considered the question. “Well, I’m not much for magazines, especially these, but there are a couple down here that I enjoy,” she said, kneeling down in front of Kate and reaching for a small booklet with a cartoon on the cover. The title was “Queen of the Amazons.”
It was a sort of comic book or maybe manga. Rose handed it to Kate, and she opened it. It was a narrative sort of comic. Women with huge thighs and asses wrestled and kissed. Each story seemed to end with one woman sitting on the other woman’s face. Their faces were in ecstasy as they rode the other woman’s tongue.
“This is so fun. I’ve never read anything like this before. So, what, um, aspect of the story drew you to this book?” Kate asked, looking at the blushing redhead over the top of the dirty comic.
“Oh, it’s basically a fantasy I’ve had forever. At first, I really liked the idea of being on the bottom, but eventually, I really got into the idea of being on top, too. They are both very appealing.” Rose’s blue eyes were vibrant and shining with lust.
“Wow. It’s intriguing. But, I don’t know. Girls like us, I mean, big girls with big curves. I’d be scared to kill someone,” Kate laughed.
They had similar thighs and asses, though Kate was almost a foot taller. They both seemed to be sizing each other up.
“You’d be surprised. I haven’t died yet, and I’ve never killed anybody. Though what a way to go, right?” They both laughed, but their eyes were both suddenly serious.
“Do you live around here?” Kate asked, looking back at the comic and flipping the page.
“Right across the street,” Rose said, biting her lip again.
“Good to know. It’s nice to have a place around here a girl can get a seat,” Kate said, trying to sound confident and nonchalant, but her body tightened with fear.
“Literally any time. I get off in about an hour,” Rose said, her eyes wide and desperate.
“Oh? Well sounds like I might, too,” Kate said with a smile, actually feeling the confidence she had been pretending at actualizing.
Kate bought the little comic and a few other magazines and left. Sitting in her car processed the shock of what had happened. She drove around for a bit, got a little dinner, picked up some mouthwash, did her makeup and hair, and got herself worked up to an almost desperate level.
She returned in about 45 minutes and waited in the parking lot, leaning against her car, trying to look cool.
The redhead came out of the store and locked up, pulling down the metal gate and then turning to smile at Kate. She looked adorable in a hoodie and a skirt.
Rose lived on the second floor of a large house at the end of the block. They entered through a side door and climbed a flight of squeaky stairs. Rose looked back at Kate a few times and put a finger to her lips. “Neighbors,” she explained.
Her place was small and cozy. Not much more than a large bedroom and a little galley kitchen. There were a few piles of clothes on the bed and floor, but it was relatively clean.
Kate took a deep breath and summoned her toppiest self. It wasn’t her usual role, but something about Rose made her feel demanding and greedy. She wanted to see that pretty girl under her. She wanted to get her pussy eaten properly. It had been a while.
She watched Rose take off her hoodie and bit her lip again. “Sorry about the mess,” she mumbled. Kate just watched her, hunger in her eyes.
“Do you want a drink or something?” Rose asked, her voice higher and more girlish.
Kate stepped closer to her, towering over her and pressing her breasts into the shorter woman’s collarbone. “I want you. I want you on the floor so I can sit on your pretty face,” Kate said, leaning in and kissing her on the lips.
Rose gasped for a moment but then fell into the kiss. The pent-up sexual energy of the last few weeks coursed through Kate’s veins, and her hands came up to greedily grab Rose’s breasts. They both groaned at the contact.
“Will you take off your shirt for me?” She whispered into Rose’s ear. The redhead nodded with unabashed enthusiasm. Kate grinned. The power of having a submissive eager in her hands, so ready and willing to do whatever she asked.
Kate turned and went to the couch. There was a blanket thrown over it, which Kate grabbed and laid on the floor. When she turned around, Rose’s shirt was off, and her eyes were pleading for another command.
“Good girl. God, look how fucking gorgeous you are. I think I want you to take off all your clothes for me. Can you do that?” Kate asked and got the same rapid nodding. Then she watched as Rose unhooked her bra and presented her lovely pale breasts. The same puffy pink nipples Kate remembered from the pictures. A silver ring through one nipple.
Kate sighed in bliss. “What a decadent little gift you. I’ve been dreaming about those pictures of you, and now here you are in the flesh,” she said as Rose pulled off her shoes and socks and skirt until she was only in her panties.
Rose blushed furiously as she hesitated, fidgeting with the elastic band of her panties. Kate moved forward and kissed her again, once more groping her breasts. Rose’s skin was fever hot and it made Kate growl with need.
“Are you soaking wet for me?” Kate whispered, smiling at Rose’s predictable nodding. Kate stepped back and pulled off her own shirt. Then she stripped off her shoes and jeans before kissing Rose again.
“I’m soaked thinking of what a good girl you are going to be for me. How you’re going to make me come with that pretty mouth,” she said between furious kisses.
“Yes, yes! I want to, please,” Rose begged.
Kate stepped back and slipped off her bra and then her panties. She stood up tall, realizing she hadn’t been nude with someone since she broke up with her last boyfriend four months before. It felt scary and exciting and powerful. Rose’s eyes widened more, and she swallowed, in awe of Kate’s body.
She moved towards the redhead, slipping her hands onto her wide hips. They kissed again, deeper, swirling tongues, the taste of someone new. Kate’s hand slipped between Rose’s legs, and Rose gasped. “You are soaking wet. What a needy girl you are,” she whispered.
“Yes, ma’am, is that okay?” Rose said, her voice smaller, anxious.
“It’s perfect. I want you needy. I want you desperate. Now get your panties off and lay down on your back for me.”
Rose took a deep breath and nodded, slipping them off. Again, Kate saw the red bush she’d seen in the picture, but the ginger hair was a bit longer and wilder. She liked it. She liked that the whole thing was unexpected. She watched Rose get on the floor, and she tried to think of the last time she had tried the position they were going to get in. She wasn’t sure she’d done the exact thing she’d seen in Rose’s little comic. She’d sixty-nined. She was sure she could figure it out, though it took her a moment to decide which way she wanted to face. She decided to face Rose’s feet. She wanted access to everything the girl had to give.
She knelt, putting her knees on either side of the girl’s face. She looked down at Rose and saw that her eyes looked glazed, hypnotized, looking up at Kate’s pussy. She slowly let herself move down. Rose’s hands came up and went to Kate’s hips. Rose’s head moved up, and Kate gasped as her hot mouth pressed against her wet cunt.
The throbbing, ever-present desire had met an instrument of relief, and it was almost too intense from the start. Rose sucked at her clit, her tongue silk soft and decadently wet. Her hands pulled at Kate’s hips, trying to pull her down farther, to smother her. Kate let herself move down a little more, still holding herself up.
For a few wild minutes, there was silence except for the lapping of Rose’s tongue. Kate’s eyes closed and rolled back in her head as the pleasure washed over her. She grew unable to help herself fully upright. She leaned forward, putting her hands on Rose’s gloriously thick thighs, to steady herself.
Given more access, Rose’s tongue slipped up, dipping into Kate’s pussy, which made her moan. Then her tongue moved even farther, up to Kate’s ass, and she instinctively moved up, but Rose pulled her back, hungry to taste every part of her.
The act wasn’t unexpected, but an instinctive flush of shame blossomed in Kate. She let the wrongness swell inside of her. The dirtiness. This stranger’s house. This stranger’s tongue, slipping into her ass. The orgasm was like a faraway train, rushing forward at a frightening speed.
Opening her eyes, Kate’s hips gyrated. She needed that tongue on her clit, as good as it felt everywhere else. She took a moment, though, to reach down and squeeze Rose’s breasts, enjoying the feel of them. Then she stretched forward a little and per her fingers on each side of the pussy pink lips of the girl’s pussy. Rose gasped into Kate’s thigh.
Kate smiled and slipped a finger into Rose’s cunt. The girl’s whole body tensed. “Good girl. Keep licking my clit, and I’ll give you a little prize,” she said, her voice sounding thick with lust.
She was rough with Rose, two fingers fucking her hard. Her rhythm was broken when the girl continued sucking and licking her clit.
There was something about having her fingers in the girl’s cunt while she was eaten out. The sensory overload. The smell of their pussies. The feel of their wetness. It all swam together.
“Don’t stop. Good girl. Don’t stop,” she said like a mantra. Rose obeyed.
Kate’s head snapped up. The orgasm shot through her. Her hands and feet tingled. Her nipples were painfully erect. Rose’s tongue never relented. It was an orgasm that had been building for so long, and Rose was such a perfect little pussy eater.
At the last moment, Kate covered her mouth, remembering the neighbors. She screamed into her own palm and then sucked on her wet fingers. It seemed to go on and on forever. Finally, somehow, she was on the floor, and Rose was kissing her. The taste of their pussies mingled.
“Good girl. Good girl,” she whispered, and Rose’s face glowed with pride and desire.
Kate laid on her back, and Rose straddled one of her legs. She rocked her hips, and her pussy pressed against Kate’s thigh.
“That’s it. That’s my girl. Ride my legs like the needy little slut you are,” Kate said, her role solidified by her orgasm.
Rose nodded, and her hips moved faster. “I want to be good for you-” she said and seemed to stop herself from saying something else.
“What, pretty girl? What do you want to say?” She asked, and as she did, she knew. The dynamic was strong, and Rose’s voice was getting smaller and smaller. Her domination was caring, sweet, even.
“You want to come for Mommy?” Kate asked, before she could stop herself. For a brief moment, she felt a rush of fear. Was she right?
Rose’s eyes went huge, and her mouth went slack. “Oh, fuck. Oh, fuck, please? Yes, Mommy. Please, can I come for you, Mommy?” She said in a rush. Her whole body seemed to go a shade of red.
“That’s my good girl. You want to come on Mommy’s legs like a little slut?” She said, pushing her leg up to press harder into Rose’s pussy.
Rose moaned and whined and rocked faster.
“Or do you want to be a big girl and come on Mommy’s face? Do you want to come like Mommy came, baby girl?” Kate asked, shocked at the words coming out of her mouth.
Rose looked like she was about to come just from the thought. Kate sat up and took Rose by her pretty red hair. “Not yet. You have to wait,” she said and felt Rose’s body shaking with need.
Kate laid down and looked at Rose. “Come here, baby. Put that perfect pussy on Mommy’s face,” she said. Rose nearly tackled her, climbing over her body.
Then the world was the heat of Rose’s thick thighs on either side of Kate’s face and the salty wetness of her soaked pussy coming down on her face.
She didn’t just sit, though; she laid forward and put her head between Kate’s thighs. It took everything she had to concentrate on licking Rose in little circles, keeping a steady pace.
Rose only managed to lick Kate a few times before her head came up, and she whined and begged. “Can I come, Mommy? Please? Please, please, please?” She babbled.
Kate pulled the girl off her face long enough to give her permission. “Come for me. Come for me right now,” she said and pulled the pussy back onto her mouth. Kate was pretty sure the neighbors were getting an ear full.
Time went a bit funny after that. There were glasses of water and cookies and more kissing and cuddling. There was another round of proper sixty-nining. Then, Kate looked at her phone and realized it was time to go.
Rose laid on her stomach, watching Kate get dressed. “God, that was the hottest fucking thing that’s ever happened, and I’ve had some hot things happen,” she said, and Kate smiled.
“You are amazing,” she said, leaning down and kissing her. She still tasted like pussy. Kate felt like she was getting addicted to the taste.
“Text me, okay,” Rose said, and they exchanged numbers. Kate agreed, and then she knelt down next to the bed.
“You were perfect. You were my perfect girl. Do you know that?” She asked between kisses. Rose squirmed and giggled and nodded. “Thank you, Mommy.”
Painfully, Kate pulled herself away from Rose and with a deep breath, went out into the night, to drive home, alone.
Kate slept in the next day. She woke up smelling like Rose. She didn’t want to shower, but she knew she should. She ignored her mother as she went out for her early afternoon stroll, getting to Thomas’s house before noon.
Bethany was napping as Kate prepared her lunch. She woke her up with a gentle kiss on the forehead. She thought Bethany might have the most perfect life she could imagine.
Walking into the archive room, Kate felt somewhat sated. It was curiosity, not lust, that brought her in.
The magazines had been put away and the desk was bare, save one photo and a note.
The photo was of the angelic blonde girl with the porcelain face Kate remembered from one of the magazines. The note read: “Kate, you’ve been so helpful with Bethany, and your curiosity has been inspiring. I’m going to be going on a business trip later this month, and I wonder if you might be interested in a more serious arrangement. Taking care of Bethany, as well as some other things around the house. Accepting some deliveries and entering new media into my archiving system. I would love for you to do it, and I’m willing to be very generous with both money and access in return. I’m having a small get-together later this evening if you’d like to drop by around 8. We can discuss, and I can introduce you to some friends and fellow collectors.”
Kate read the note again and then again. She wanted it. She wanted it all. She couldn’t wait for six o’clock.
She cuddled with Bethany a bit and then went out for a drive. In an act that surprised her, she found herself calling her mother of all people.
“I’m going out shopping for clothes. Can I use the credit card you gave me?” Her mother seemed a bit flustered, but gave her an enthusiastic yes. “Could I get a haircut too? Maybe a spa treatment?”
“Darling, I’m so happy to hear you are active and excited! Yes, yes! Go get anything you want.”
There was some little guilt. Some pang of shame for using her parent’s money, but she pushed it aside. She went out and bought lingerie, a cute pleated skirt, thigh-high socks, all the things she’s been seeing and wanting. She got her hair done in a pixie cut with some pink highlights.
She got waxed and, scrubbed, and exfoliated. It all took so long that she didn’t get back until after eight. She decided not to go home, not to have her evening ruined by her mother’s shock at her new look. She went directly to Thomas’s house.
There were cars parked all along the street, and the lights were all on. She could hear music and the buzz of people talking. Walking through the front door, Kate saw perhaps twenty people in the fashionable house. She looked around for Thomas and saw him talking to a few people in the kitchen.
She noted the archive room’s door was closed.
Thomas spotted her and went over to meet her. “Kate, I’m so glad you could make it. My god, you look stunning. I love your hair. You’re outfit!” He said, looking her up and down with a smile.
“Tom, who is this? I mean, I know who this is. It’s my next model, obviously,” said a short, dark-skinned man in an impeccable violet suit. His sharp eyes met hers. “Xander Grace,” he said smoothly, taking her hand and kissing it.
Thomas chuckled. “Well, we’ll have to see about that Xander. I don’t think Kate’s done any modeling. But we’ll put a pin in that. There is something I want to introduce her to,” he said.
Xander moved closer to Kate before she was pulled away, and he handed her a business card. “Call me. I need to get you in front of a camera.”
Kate’s head was spinning. Someone handed her a glass of champagne, and she sipped it as Thomas led her through the crowd to the archive room. He pressed his finger against the lock, and it beeped and then opened.
Inside, the din of the music was only a low murmur. The room was soundproof. Somone was sitting at the desk and she stood to greet them.
It was her, the angelic model. She was taller than Kate imagined. Taller than she was, so close to six feet. She was, by far, the most beautiful person Kate had ever seen in person.
“Kate, this is Camille. I think you’ve seen some of her work in my collection,” Thomas explained, his eyes alive and seeming to search Kate’s face for reaction.
“Oh, yes. You’re an amazing model, Camille,” Kate said, feeling her cheeks flush.
Camille looked at Thomas, giving him a mysterious smile. “Bonjour,” she said, in a very quiet voice.
“Camille is a bit shy. She understands English quite well, but she doesn’t like to speak it. She’s Belgian and prefers French,” Thomas explained. Camille eyed Kate and gave her a somewhat sly grin.
“I can make an exception when the company is exceptional,” Camille said with a thick accent.
Kate, not knowing what else to do and remembering her interaction with Xander, held out her hand for Camille’s. Camille looked at her, slightly puzzled, and lifted her hand, which Kate then kissed.
The two seemed to be studying each other. Thomas coughed a little. “Yes, well, I’ve been telling Camille all about you. She occasionally works on my archive, and I thought she might be helpful in acquainting you with my systems while I’m away.”
Camille smiled, and Kate nodded. “That would be lovely,” Kate said in somewhat broken high-school French. Camille smiled even wider.
“There is a bit of an emergency meeting I need to head out for on Friday. Then I’ll be hopping around London and Madrid for a bit. So Camille can set you up with a laptop and login information. We will need you to sign an NDA. It’s just a formality. But, I mean, it’s also something we enforce. If you have any questions, I’ll leave a little list of numbers. Once a week, I get a large delivery of material, so you’ll meet Rose, who takes care of that.”
Kate’s eyes widened. “Rose? The redhead, Rose? Who worked at the porn shop near the highway?”
Camille and Thomas looked at each other, and their eyebrows rose. “Ah, you know her. Well, that’s an interesting turn of events,” Thomas said.
He chuckled again and went to one of the filing cabinets. He took out a key and unlocked it, pulling out a long, wide drawer filled with what looked like computer hard drives. He found a small box at one end and took out a set of keys.
“This should get you anywhere you need to go here,” he explained. Then, seeing Kate’s eyes on the drawer, smiled. “Oh, yes. My collection is a lot bigger than just magazines. They are just the only things I keep physical copies of on-site. These are movies, webpages, audio, and even some 3D work.”
Kate nodded numbly.
“I’ll explain it all,” Camille said softly, putting her hand on the base of Kate’s back. She felt herself instinctively press against Camille’s hand, her ass arching out.
Thomas watched them and smiled. “Well, we should get back to the party. Rose should be here in an hour or so. Maybe you can tell us how you two know each other.”
Kate winced. “Maybe. Let’s see how much champagne I can drink by then,” she laughed. Camille and Thomas looked at each other again.
They went back to the party, and Kate stayed behind for a moment, collecting her thoughts. She looked around the room, then back at the filing cabinets, then down at the photo and note that were still on the desk. She took a deep breath and wondered what her new job might entail.
Whatever it was, it was certainly better than staying home with her parents.
There is a particular brand of depression you experience when you have to move back in with your parents.
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