No New Voice Mail.
The message flashed on the tiny screen of Saras' phone. She flipped it closed and set it on the coffee table, then stretched her legs out and rested her head on the arm of the sofa. She'd left messages with several people, and was waiting impatiently for any one of her calls to be returned. God, I'm horny. Why won't anyone call me back?
Last night she'd made a dozen or so calls, but everyone was going out to Surge, a new club that had just opened last weekend, and she wasn't in the mood to go out. She'd masturbated twice with Big Black, her favorite vibrator, a thick, black, twelve inch monstrosity. That might have counted towards her goal if it weren't still Day One. She still marked it in her notebook, wanting to make sure all her sexual activity was logged for whatever end product this project created.
It was eleven in the morning, and she lay on the couch in her sweat pants and a t-shirt. She was lazy, bored, and worried about Rebecca. She hadn't been home since she stormed out of the apartment last night. Sara had called her cell just to make sure everything was all right, but got no answer. She hadn't left a message. Well, when she wants to talk, she'll let me know.
She brought the notebook into her bedroom and sat at the desk, placing the notepad at a precise ninety degree angle next to her keyboard. The orderliness of her desk was a testament to her organization skills, a part of her personality that was incongruous with the haphazard way she arranged her personal affairs. Everything was placed in a pre-determined position, all of the items in exact locations, nothing out of place. Her entire room was conspicuously tidy; her attention to detail was enough to drive roommates crazy.
She tried to accept that not everyone could be that organized, but it was still a point of contention between Rebecca and her. She had always been regulated, everything in her life categorized to an exacting standard few could emulate. Rebecca tried, but was as naturally disorganized as Sara was systematic.
She logged into her PC and launched the database she had built last week. The database was populated with the names of all her potential partners, their contact information, including where she met them or what website they were from if she hadn't met them yet. There were separate tables for sexual positions, fetishes, scenarios, locations, toys, and more. It was far from exhaustive, but she had filled in as much data as she could think of off the top of her head, then populated additional fields with the results of a few quick Google searches. Though the thought of a sexual encounter database might have seemed obsessively logical to others, to Sara it was as natural as keeping phone numbers organized in her cell phone.
She ran a report that spit out a list of the easiest marks, the ones she had flirted and joked with, those with whom she felt sexual tension, and the straight players that would put the moves on her every time she saw them, anyone who she could get in bed with little or no effort. She came up with a list of fifteen men and two women. These would be her backups, the people she would turn to if she were down to the last minute and in danger of missing her midnight deadline. She ran down the list with one finger on the screen and stopped at the last name, Trevor.
Ah, Trevor. She had once thought he was the love of her life. They shared so much in common, talked for hours, enjoyed each others' company regardless of their surroundings, and seemed to fit together perfectly. She'd loved him, or at least she'd felt more for him than she ever had for any other man. They dated for six months, he proposed, she accepted, then he instantly cheated on her. She didn't mind an open relationship; she'd had plenty of them. But to propose marriage, to swear undying love and fidelity, then turn around and fuck someone else within a week… that was intolerable. She'd told him as much, raging at him in a rare, furious outburst. She didn't answer the door when he came over to talk, refused his calls, deleted his messages instantly upon hearing his voice, returned his letters unopened, deleted his emails unread, everything to avoid further contact with him. But she knew with one phone call he'd be back in her arms, in her life, in her bed. She didn't know how she'd handle that. He was the last ditch effort.
The phone rang, shattering her reverie. She ran to the living room, picked up her cell from the coffee table, and answered without looking at the name.
She immediately recognized the voice. "Josh! What's up?"
"We still on for lunch?"
Shit. She'd been so caught up in finding her mark for Day Two, she'd forgotten her lunch plans with Josh. "Oh my God, Josh, I forgot. Gimme forty-five minutes."
"No prob, I'm running late myself." The line clicked, a brief burst of static interrupted his voice. "...at one fifteen instead, ok?"
"One fifteen, see you then." Sara flipped the phone closed and ran to the shower.�
Arriving later than planned, Sara checked herself in the rearview mirror before heading around the corner to meet Josh. She touched up her lipstick, and ran her fingers through her hair. Just before turning the corner where she would be within Josh's line of sight, she checked her reflection in the plate glass window of a tiny boutique.
She had thrown on her Corey Lynn Calter skirt, a knee-length white number with a swirling pattern of subtle blues and black that was snug at her hips and flowed loosely around her legs, and an aqua blue ribbed tank top she called her "boy beater" that hugged her body, accentuating her breasts, and showing off her thin, tanned arms. She wore 4 inch wedge sandals, tan straps wrapped several times around her ankle and calf and tied partway up her leg. Large silver hoop earrings and a silver necklace with a turquoise stone completed her outfit. Casual, yet sexy. I guess that's the best I can hope for.
Lunch with Josh was pretty much as she expected; they joked and poked fun at each other over chicken wraps at a sidewalk caf� on Park Ave. She always enjoyed Josh's company; he was genuine and naturally witty, and they could toss clever banter back and forth for hours without tiring of it. Finally, after the plates had been cleared away and they were each on their second beer, Sara decided to steer the conversation towards her project, or at least how Josh could help her with it.
"So, Josh, there's something I have to ask you." Sara took a swig of beer.
"No, I won't marry you." Josh stared at her, expressionless. "Like I tell all the ladies, I'm just not ready to settle down." He grinned then, making sure she knew he was joking.
"Ha, ha," Sara set her beer on the tiny paper napkin. "Seriously, I've been thinking about something you said a long time ago."
"If this is about my plans for world conquest..."
"Are you ever serious?"
"Not if I can help it."
"Can you try for just five minutes?"
"Man, you're pushing it." Josh swallowed the rest of his beer. "Ok, you've got 'Serious Josh' until she brings me another beer," he said, gesturing to the waitress two tables over.
Sara smiled. "Do you remember sitting over at Rob's place, drunk off our asses, talking about sex?"
"Pick a night." Josh smirked. "Why what'd I say?"
"We were talking about threesomes."
"Still not helping. We've had that conversation a few times."
�"It was me, you, Rebecca, Rob, Tracy, Frank and James. Rob said he'd only do it with him and two girls."
"That's cause he's a homophobe." Josh grinned. "Sorry." His mouth snapped back to a somber line across his face, "Serious."
"You told him you'd do it with a girl and another guy as long as it was a friend of yours and you just fucked her and didn't touch each other."
"Ha! Yeah," Josh was grinning wider now. "Yeah, I said we'd high five over her back after we jizzed on her."
"That's a beautiful image," Sara knew Josh didn't mean anything by it; he tried to provoke people by being offensive. Once you got used to it and didn't let it bother you, it was kind of funny, in a twisted, sexist way. She waited a moment, not sure if she should just come out with it or try to build up to it.
"Tracy went off on one of her feminist rants," Josh said. "God she's easy to get going." He was smiling again, probably remembering other times he got Tracy wound up and pissed off.
"So were you serious?"
"Oh my God... Is this what Rebecca was talking about?" Josh's eyes were wide in disbelief as his gaze settled on Sara. "You want a m�nage-a-trios?"
"What do you mean 'what Rebecca was talking about'?" Sara sat up straighter in her chair.
"Last night," Josh met Sara's eyes. "We were all out at Surge. Rebecca said you were getting freaky and wanted to fuck everybody or something."
"She told you that?"
"She told everybody. Sounded like she was pimping you out." Josh touched the waitress' arm as she passed near the table. "Another beer please? When you get a chance." The waitress nodded, glanced at Sara's nearly full beer, and went into the restaurant.
"She told everybody that I'm freaky? I want to fuck everybody?"
"I thought she was kidding, but..." Josh leaned back in his chair and glanced skyward. "I just said something I shouldn't have..."
Sara leaned forward, eyes narrowed, "Who did she tell?"
"Everybody. I don't know." Josh shrugged and spread his hands wide, moving his head from side to side, helpless before Sara's questions.
Sara was silent. Rebecca was either trying to help her with her project, which she doubted after last nights' outburst, or trying to make her plan that much more difficult. She realized she was staring off into space and looked back at Josh.
"I'm sorry." Sara took another sip of her beer. "I'm just shocked she'd say that."
"Look, I don't want to be in the middle of anything." Josh leaned forward, resting his arms on the table.
"I don't want you to be," Sara was still shook up by what he had told her.
"Good," Josh smiled again. "So let's talk about you in the middle of something. A threesome?" He paused, checking to see if she was still hung up on Rebecca's revelation. When she flashed a feeble smile at him, he continued. "Still want to talk about it?"
"I did, but I don't want you to think..."
"Thinking isn't high on my list right now." Josh stared straight at her. "But I'd be lying if I said the thought of you and I together hadn't crossed my mind."
"Josh," Sara looked him straight in the eye, "Don't get the wrong idea. I just want to try it once, with someone I feel safe with. I trust you and Rob." She steepled her fingers in front of her face. "So now that you think I'm a slut..."
"Will you relax?" Josh took her hands in his, moving them out of his line of sight. He looked intently at her. "Everybody has fantasies. Not everybody indulges them." He paused, forcing her to look into his eyes. "I don't think you're a slut." He maintained his eye contact, looking more serious than she'd ever seen him. "I wish I could be like you."
"Yeah, right..." Sara looked down, her hands still clasped between Josh's.
"Really. You took a chance saying that to me. What if I just ran around telling everyone? I couldn't just say something like that. That took balls." He rubbed her hands in his. "Or ovaries, as the case may be."
Sara smiled, weak and half-hearted, anxiety twisting her emotions, fear that he would think less of her gnawing at her confidence.
"I'm in." Josh smiled, letting his hands slide off of hers and back to his side of the table as he leaned back in his chair. "If you're serious, I am so in."
"It's just once, Josh." Sara looked across the table, trying to gauge his thoughts, her mind focused on ascertaining what was going on behind those blue eyes. "It won't mean anything; it's just one night. It's purely physical."
"Where have you been all my life? A woman who just wants something physical? You're what I've been looking for, babe." Josh grinned again as the waitress set a new beer before him. "I'll talk to Rob."�
Sara drove, no destination in mind, just driving, Guns N' Roses blaring from the speakers, the path she took through the city emulating the aimless wandering of her mind.
Why was Rebecca suddenly so riled up? Why would she run around telling everyone that I want to fuck everybody? And why do I want it so much? Sitting across from Josh, his hands on hers, their eyes locked together, she began already imagining what it would be like, her thoughts drifting, imagining his touch on other parts of her body. Warmth and longing spreading through her body until she was sure her face was flush. He hadn't mentioned it, if he'd even noticed.
She brought her mind back to the present, fully aware of the road before her, the cars passing her left in a rush of wind. She had crossed the river and was on the northeast side of town, actually almost to the shore of Lake Ontario. She decided to head to Durand Eastman Park and sit in the sun to collect her thoughts, maybe make a few phone calls and enjoy the rare sunny day in Rochester.�
��� ��� ��� Walking from the parking lot into the grass, she realized she'd worn the wrong shoes for a stroll in the park. She stopped and untied the leather bands from around her calf, unwrapping them from her ankles, and stepped out of the high wedges onto soft, springy grass. She curled her toes in the green blades, felt the ground yield beneath her feet. Lifting her sandals, twirling the straps in her fingers, she walked further into the field before her, enjoying the sensation of the tiny leaves between her toes.
As she walked she took in the beauty of the park, tree branches waving in the gentle breeze, sunlight streaming down onto the grass. Birdsong was everywhere yet seemed to come from no place in particular; the scent of new mown grass and the perfume of flowering blossoms drifted though the air. She was walking the perimeter of the field when she saw a path leading into the trees.
On a whim, she followed the path, stepping carefully in her bare feet to avoid branches and small rocks. She hiked into the woods, swinging her shoes at her side, enjoying the cool air in the deep shade of the overhanging branches. The thought of turning back had just entered her mind when she saw a small clearing off to one side of the trail, a narrow stream bubbling just beyond it. She moved slowly through the foliage into the clearing and looked about in wonder.
The trees stood backing a lopsided semicircle, leaving a wide swath of the greenest grass open to the sky above. Beyond the grassy patch, a slender thread of water trickled over grey, white and brown rocks, the tinkling noise almost musical. Sunlight shone through the opening in the branches above her, warming her neck, arms and back. She felt as if she had entered another world, like she had stepped through a portal into some fantastic land straight out of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel.
Stepping into the center of the glade, her bare sole came down on a pricker bush. She jumped, lifting her injured foot. Trying to step to the side to avoid landing back on the same thorny surface, she lost her balance, twisted her other ankle, then lost her balance and landed hard on her rump. She sat still for a moment then rubbed her ankle. It throbbed as if she had sprained it. She stretched her leg back out in front of her and leaned back on her elbows. That was when she saw the man.
He was no more than twenty feet from her to her left, squatting down on his haunches, a green t-shirt and a head of shaggy hair was all she could make out above the undergrowth in which he sat. He seemed to be staring directly at her, and her heart leapt to her throat. He looked predatory, as if he were ready to pounce on her. As panic gripped her he slowly raised one finger to his lips as if to shush her, then unhurriedly extended his index finger, pointing into the trees off to her right. She followed his gaze in the direction of the tip of his finger, slowly turning her head.
Two deer, a buck with small antlers, and either a doe or fawn, were staring straight at her from just outside the circle of grass. They were upwind, but the sudden movement of her fall must have caught their attention. She remained motionless, holding her breath in an attempt to allay their fear. The doe turned her head, her ears swiveling towards Sara. The buck stood so motionless he might have been a statue.
The moment unfolded, seconds ticking by in her head as if each were an hour. It was as if time had stopped, none of the beings in or near the clearing stirred. Birdsong continued, the creek sang its' liquid song, the breeze blew soft and steady, and still they remained motionless. Finally the buck lowered his head to the ground. A few second later, the doe did the same. Sara watched them, the elegant forms moving so naturally, so relaxed, yet at the same time taut as a bowstring, ready to snap into action at the briefest hint of danger. She was entranced.
She had no idea how long she sat there, just watching the deer eat, look up, then bend back to the leaves below. Eventually the buck moved towards the stream and drank; she could see his tiny tongue now that he had moved out of the trees. Suddenly the buck and doe jerked their heads up simultaneously, hesitated a fraction of a second, then bounded off into the woods.
Sara let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding. In that moment, however long it had lasted, she had felt an incomparable connectedness with nature. It was overwhelming, and she felt it radiating around her as if she had maintained some part of it within her. Movement caught her eye, and she turned to see the stranger rising from his place of concealment in the undergrowth off to her left.
He was tall and his skin was either dark or severely tanned. Aside from the green t-shirt, he wore khaki cargo shorts and sandals. His shaggy black hair hung down into his eyes and curled around his ears and at the back of his neck. His body was lean and trim, not muscular, but well-toned. She was terrified as he strode purposefully towards her and stopped at her feet, looking down at her. She could read nothing in his expression, his eyes seemed to bore through her and see something else.
He knelt beside her and placed a hand on her ankle. She wanted to pull away; she had no idea what he intended. His callused fingers turned her ankle gently, as if he were holding a goblet of the finest crystal. He moved his fingers lightly around her ankle, probing, then began kneading at the spot where she had felt it wrench just before falling. She felt a sudden jab of pain, then it stopped. Her ankle no longer throbbed. He continued rubbing, both hands now on her as he worked some form of massage magic on her twisted limb.
His thumb worked behind the bump on her outer ankle, stroking the hollow with steady pressure. She felt heat rise into her face, felt a familiar longing tug at her senses as his massage continued. Oh my God, he's turning me on. I want him. What should I say? She sat up, her face now above his as he worked at her ankle. She stared at him, into his eyes, a radiant bluish-green.
His hands began to move upwards, caressing her calf, working their way up her leg, tracing over her skin like static electricity. Now one had was on each leg, moving up past her knees, under her designer skirt, pushing the skirt up her thighs as he explored further. His touch was unlike that of any other man Sara had ever been with; it sent shivers up her legs, straight between them, each small movement increasing her arousal. She opened her mouth to speak, but he moved like lightning, and pressed one fingertip to her lips, his eyes bright. He shook his head 'no'. She understood. Don't speak, you'll ruin the moment.
She laid back on the grass, his hands working their way higher, his fingers pushing up under the waistband of her panties, wrapping in them. My God, I can't believe how badly I want him right now, she thought. She lifted her hips and he pulled her panties down her legs, off over her bare feet. Her mind was racing, yes, yes, take me now, and she felt herself growing more and more wet. He climbed atop her, his hands on the ground to either side of her, his chest hovering above her breasts, the weight of his lower body pressing her hips down into the grass, his legs between hers, his erection pressing against her. He stared down into her eyes, and something inside her liquefied under his scrutiny.
She pushed up against his hardness. Running her hands down his back she realized that his pants were undone as her fingers tracked over his bare buttocks. He lifted himself up slightly, moving her skirt from between their nakedness, then lowered himself back down and she felt the heat of his penis on her skin, rubbing over her mound. She was wet, soaked, wanting him to enter her, wanting to feel him inside her.
She reached one hand down and wrapped her fingers around his firmness, guiding him to her. He entered her tentatively, barely inside, pulling back a fraction, then sliding in further. He was scarcely within, only just parting her; expectation shivered through her entire body. Gradually he slipped further inside her, bit by bit he pressed slowly between her lips, unhurried, deliberately drawing out her anticipation. She wriggled against him, pressing towards him, trying to surround him, urging him onward.
A slight smile flickered at the corners of his mouth as he teased her. Sara felt him fill her and squeezed him within her walls. He gave her the last measure of his length with a decisive thrust, causing her to let out a tiny cry. He began to plunge slowly in and out, deep inside, then almost completely out. He varied the depth and pace of each drive as she writhed beneath him, fingers clawing at his back, eyes shut tight as he pumped into her.
She felt herself approaching the brink of orgasm. She stared directly into his eyes, her breath quickening, pulse racing, the tightening inside her priming her for her release. He just stared at her as if he knew exactly what she were thinking, never changing his rhythm, continuously thrusting, bringing her right to the edge and then watching her crash down over the precipice. Waves of pleasure washed through her body, every nerve ending seemed alive to the slightest touch, her entire being exploded in ecstasy.
She writhed beneath him as she came back from the limits of reality, his pumping slower now, her skin sensitive to his touch everywhere. She was panting, trying to catch her breath from her tempestuous thrashing of moments before. She realized he'd stopped. He hadn't come, he hadn't pulled out, he'd just stopped. She looked down their sweat slicked bodies; he was still on her, still in her. She met his eyes, and he flashed a peculiar half-smile.
He pulled out as he pushed up off of her, standing in one fluid movement. She propped herself up on her elbows, expecting to suck him to climax like all men wanted. When she looked up at him he was buckling his belt, his shadow lay across her pelvis and stomach as his body had moments before. She reached out to him, but he stepped back.
She stood slowly, awkwardly adjusting her skirt. Her ankle no longer hurt, she put all of her weight on the one foot. Nothing. She looked up at him still towering over her even standing, and and placed one hand on his chest.
His lips parted, the first syllable of an unformed word nearly broke the silence, but Sara placed the tip of one finger over his lips and shook her head 'no', repeating his earlier message. Don't speak, you'll ruin the moment.
He smiled then. A beautiful smile, perfect white teeth bared between his full lips, delight showing clearly on his dark features. He pointed one finger off towards the far edge of the clearing.
Sara turned, her hand falling down from his chest, to see the two deer back at the edge of the stream. The buck sniffed the air, ears pivoting. She twisted back to look at the smiling man, but he was gone. She spun in a circle, startling the deer, looking for him everywhere, but saw no sign of him.
He had vanished.�
Sara had laid back on the grass and watched the deer until they bolted, then stayed there for another hour or so. When she finally got back to her car, she checked her messages. Josh called to say that Rob was out of town visiting his mother until Tuesday. Amanda, one half of the swinging couple Tom had introduced her to, had called to firm up their plans to meet next Saturday. Frank called to see what she was doing tonight. Nothing from Rebecca, which Sara found unsettling.
She drove back home, thoughts of her mystery man and Rebecca warring for dominance in her mind. She passed a guy sitting by a rusted white van on the side of the road selling flowers with a big sign that said "Mother's Day." Shit. Tomorrow was Mother's Day. She pulled over and bought a bouquet of white Chrysanthemums. They'd always been her mothers' favorite, and once Sara learned that they symbolized truth, it seemed even more fitting.
It was six o'clock when she arrived home. She put the flowers in a vase with some water; she'd take them to her mother tomorrow. She took off her skirt and rubbed stain stick into the grass stains. She put on a pair of blue panties and a light blue camisole, then lay back on her bed, her thoughts again wandering to the mystery woodsman. How perfect that encounter had been, totally anonymous yet deeply personal. If only she could connect with people like that more often. He seemed to know exactly what she wanted, and asked for nothing in return. It was almost a dream. Was it a dream? No, her skirt had the grass stains and her ass hurt enough from the hard ground to prove it had happened.
It suddenly seemed darker than it had moments before. She glanced over at the bright red digits of her alarm clock. It was nine thirty. She must have dozed off. She heard movement beyond her bedroom door. Shit, Rebecca's home, and I have no idea what her problem is. How am I going to approach her? Sara rolled over on her bed, listening for any clue as to Rebecca's mood based on the muffled sounds on the other side of her door.
Fuck her. I don't have the patience for this right now. She felt angry, mad at Rebecca for being so childish, mad that she'd told all their friends about her plan. She pulled the stereo remote off her nightstand and turned on some music, switching between stations, unable to find anything appealing. Pop, rap, country, 70's rock, more pop... the selection on the radio was crap.
She clicked over to the five-disc changed and switched CDs, the mechanical rattling of the trays as the machine switched from disc one to disc three took an annoyingly long time. Tray three was reserved for angry music, and the last disc she'd left in was Kill 'Em All by Metallica.
She cranked it up loud and then took her new vibrator out of the nightstand drawer. It was called 'Total Decadence', and had three stimulators, clitoral, vaginal and an extended anal probe. As the first track kicked in, guitars churning and drums thumping, she went to work with her new toy, hoping the music was loud enough to muffle her moans.