A Gal Eerie of Desire
By Jenny K Brennan
Mild explicit warning. This content is for adults. And don’t say I didn’t say so. Enjoy.
Part 1 of 5 — Wednesday exhibit
Another day had passed without incident. It was the way I liked it. Boring and uneventful, worry free and totally uncomplicated.
When the front door to the office building clicked shut behind me and I started toward the parking lot, my thoughts flashed to Angie. I really wished she would stop pestering me. Why I agreed to go out with her was still a mystery. I wasn’t interested in her. Not that way, had said as much. It wasn’t that I disliked her or anything; I just didn’t understand why it had to be so complicated.
Girls. They had so many needs. Romantic dates, cozy evenings with wine and… I shuddered despite the heat. One night she had brought out a tattered book of erotic stories. When I turned to her and asked, “What’s that for?” she had looked at me in that way that only women are capable of, and left. I supposed she had expected me to say something else. Or do something. It was just unfortunate that I had to keep working in the same building as her, where she could give me the look and a snide remark whenever our paths crossed.
I pushed Angie out of my mind and sighed.
The sunlight hit me full force as I rounded the corner and I squinted in the glare.
No, too much bother. I had much more interesting things on my agenda. I needed a cold shower, and all I wanted was to head home, to my one bedroom flat, where half a left over pizza from Gus’s waited for me in the fridge. A package from Amazon might even be waiting in the mailbox. Then there was that buggy Ajax app. That was about as much excitement as I felt like dealing with on an average day. Nothing could beat calm and orderly, organized and scheduled.
And then I saw her.
Still, perhaps nothing at all would have happened, if I hadn’t looked up at that exact moment to point that stupid transmitter at my little Toyota to disengage the lock. Most days I didn’t even do that as I always parked in the same spot. Except this morning as some inconsiderate brute parked across the lot with a huge truck and I had to find another spot.
So as I looked up, the woman just happened to be in my line of sight, watching me.
Her gaze, direct and fixed, hit like a punch in the gut. She didn’t look away, and I couldn’t pull out of the stare. An odd familiarity surged through me, reluctant to surface all the way, as if I aught to know her. I didn’t, but I should.
Suddenly, the damn tie was strangling me and I pulled at it, realizing that it was already hanging loose below the first two open shirt buttons.
Her eyes. I knew them, but she was a stranger. Something hacked away chunks from my mental level and projected it into a wobbly spin. I knew her, but from what? Where?
Without thought, my legs slowed, my body adjusted its path and I stepped toward the beautiful woman.
Somewhere beyond her, the Toyota beeped. Had I pushed the button? I couldn’t remember. The key fob was slick with sweat. I dropped it into a shirt pocket and wiped my hands on the denims.
Those eyes, intense, intriguing. There was a message there I couldn’t understand; something I needed to figure out. At the same time, some little part of me was sure I couldn’t and wouldn’t. And why not? I had no answer, just knew. There was something forbidding, a hard edge in her face.
She stood outside of “The Crone Cone”, a shabby looking ice-cream shop in the corner of the parking lot, on a patch of hot pavement where the air wavered in the relentless sunlight. Only after several moments I noticed the sticky toddlers glued to her hands, each holding a dripping ice-cream cone, blessedly silenced by their melting pleasure.
She kept looking at me, but something in her was changing. She raised her chin a fraction and let her eyes wander over me, curiously assessing, seemingly coming to some kind of conclusion in the short moment it took her to take me in, dissect and analyze me.
She glanced down at the children as if she had never seen them before and frowned, surprised to find her attached to these… creatures. After only a moment, though, her features smoothed and she resumed observing me.
She seemed flustered and moisture dampened her skin, made it shimmer in the heat. A strand of hair was plastered across her chin; another trailed a bridge over one blue … were her eyes blue? Green? … eye. The stray lock formed a static curve toward her ear where it joined a swell of thick dark … was that auburn? Red? Mahogany? … hair falling unchecked and heavy half way down her back.
A simple strapless summer dress in off-white hugged her body. Clinging in fashionable wrinkles it reached mid thigh. She wore no shoes. Bare feet? In the city? Her deep tan would suggest many hours outdoors. She had perfectly shaped toenails on perfect small feet. The rest of her was fit and lean but fragile and soft at the same time.
A drop fell from a leaky cone and made a white and sticky smudge on the top of her foot. She didn’t seem to notice. My imagination made a very vivid show of the translucent substance though. To my horror I realized I had a hard-on and drew hot air through my teeth. I liked feet, sure thing, perhaps more than most, but this was ridiculous. I imagined small soft toes wiggling along a row of fly-buttons. Even after hastily looking away, the image lingered.
If the day hadn’t been so hot, the flush creeping up my neck would have been so much more visible and not just a little embarrassing. I blinked and focused on her face again, feeling both silly and strangely bothered. A corner of her mouth had crept up in a shadow of a smile and perfectly shaped eyebrows moved upwards a tiny bit, just enough to make me certain she knew what kind of images I had fashioned in my dirty mind.
Surely she knew, and she didn’t mind.
I took another step toward her. She tensed and flashed a warning sideways glance and shook her head. I quickly shifted my eyes and altered my steps slightly as a man came up to her. Shit. I made it past them as if that was where I had been heading all along. Some guy. He handed her something. I took care not to glance back at them, unnerved and annoyed by the hollow place in my memory where I knew that this woman should reside.
After getting in to the car, thanking all the benign deities for air-conditioning, I watched the woman who had just become my obsession, the man and two little children, the latter three meaning nothing to me. They walked away along the hot pavement, toward the corner of Helen and Aurora, stalked by their skinny afternoon shadows. I had a funny feeling that she straightened up, held herself tall for me. Just me. She knew I was watching. She moved so smoothly, gracefully, despite the two toddlers pulling and jerking her arms this way and that, chattering and demolishing their afternoon treat.
She paid them no mind, simply looked straight ahead. That lady would radiate serenity walking through a war zone. Nothing would move her.
A toddler stumbled, fell on hands and knees, and mashed the ice-cream against pavement. She leaned down, stayed just like that, for just a few moments longer than strictly necessary. I let out a slow breath.
“You did that on purpose.” I made perfectly clear through my teeth as she soothed the child. I watched her move away and gears in my head spun, smoked, glowed bright red from friction. They didn’t move me forward any.
I knew her from somewhere; I just knew. When had I ever been blessed with such company? Now just face it— someone like that would never even glance at me and even if, it would be while elbowing her friend to make sure she wasn’t the only one laughing.
But she had looked at me. Actually looked at me. Smiled even. Some cruel impulse had for a second almost made me talk to her. Why for Gods sake would I do something so stupid? But she had smiled hadn’t she?
I stole a few moments of watching her ass which was tightly fitted in that skirt, the tanned skin of her arms and the perfectly shaped calves and ankles. No doubt, she knew she made an impression in that dress, although I suspected that with such a body she could walk around in a potato sack and still turn heads, harden soft parts and dampen panties. She was just that fucking hot. How could I not look?
In my traitor of a brain, an image materialized— my hand at the back of her knee, slowly sliding it up toward and then slipping under the skirt, finding the place where that tantalizing shade promised both damp hot skin and slick moisture.
I thought about her on the way home. While checking the mail, fixing the hose to the washer, and while pretending to read the TV-guide, she haunted me. I couldn’t place her, and it was driving me up the walls. Around and around, gears grinding, no movement.
Her face, her body, her need. Need? Holy fuck, the only need going around was mine. Don’t kid yourself you retard. She had kids for fucks sake.
And that guy, I couldn’t quite recall what he looked like. Tall, blond? Yeah, whatever. He didn’t belong with her. A flash of hot sharp jealousy burned in me, an irrational rage toward anyone who would dare touch her, and anyone who had ever been with her in all the ways I could only imagine.
“Slut!” I heard my own voice but I didn’t recognize the whiny squeak. I sat still for a moment to gather up what was left of the sensible me. The feeble chuckle that came out when I realized there was precious little to collect was no more recognizable. Idiot. It was no use; the hamster wheel turned again and I was back where I had started. I knew I had to let it go, if not the stubborn fantasies then the idea that it had anything to do with me. That one look. It had been one look and it was driving me out of my mind. This was not the me I knew.
I ate the pizza, because I had to eat. I showered, because that reek of sour sweat kept following me around, so it had to be coming from me. The TV stayed dark, the PC remained cold and quiet.
I couldn’t dislodge her from my mind even for a second. The lingering feeling of recognition kept nagging. It wouldn’t ease.
Nor would my erection.
To be continued….
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Cover image: Sculpture by J K Brennan, photo by D G Brennan.