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Invisible Lines (Novella)

Once Shy
© 2002 by Jamie Smithe

Once ShyI sit in the bookstore coffeeshop at the table I usually grab if nobody has beaten me to it.  There is a chill in the air, so I wear a man's light blue cardigan over a long-skirted, summery dress. (This is the south, I rationalize, even as my teeth chatter).  I am reading "The Mummy" for like the billionth time, and for the billionth time I feel my pulse race at that certain passage and lift my flushed face to see that I am being watched.

He sits at a similar table across the room.  His small, wire-rimmed glasses shoot a glare of light at me when the sun hits them.  A button-down shirt lies untucked over faded jeans that have spent the better part of ten or so years with him.  His dark brown hair, rumpled by the wind, could use a cut.  I choose to ignore the Birkenstocks.  I try to ignore him.  I take a sip of gourmet coffee but find only the dregs.  No more coffee.  Can't read with him staring like that.  He's beautiful.  So? It's disconcerting, him looking at me this way.  Hot eyes.  I feel them in my-

Gather up my satchel of books and ready to face the cold.  It takes my breath away, as does his half-smile as I leave, promising, I imagine, that we'll see each other again.

Why am I running away? Scared shitless.  This isn't me.  I'm not one of those confident women you read about who has control over men.  My hot flash continues for three city blocks.

Brrrr! Entering a warm home makes you even more bitter cold for just that brief moment before the heat registers.

Can't eat.  Glass of sweet wine.  Can't get him out of my head.  Jesus, why am I so timid? Perhaps... No, I'll never see him again.  What do I know about a man's signals? And why would someone like that watch someone like me? So intently.  Like prey.

It's not like I'm a virgin.  I've had my share of men, nothing special.  Unfortunately, I've had better luck by myself.  Women can be interesting (if they're not idiots), but I prefer men.  I live a pretty solitary existence, really.  In my head, mostly.  Sometimes I'm kind of a geek, albeit a cute geek, but sometimes I'm a goddamn fireball (my little secret).  Nobody but me really knows about my alter ego.  I've been afraid to let that part of myself venture out.

Hot shower.  Scalding.  Numbs my skin.  Can't help but feel the water run over my curves.  Close my eyes and imagine his eyes and hands and mouth.  Remember hearing somewhere that skin is a sex organ.  Mine longs for his touch.  Not going to let myself feel this.  Can't feel this.  Can't.

Can't sleep. 142 ceiling tiles.  Grocery list.  Fuck.  Touch my-

Cold, sunny morning.  S-t-r-e-t-c-h languidly... nice dreamy dream.  I try to return, but it's fading.  I know now that I have to see him again.  If he's not there today, I'll masturbate until my hand falls off.

Big, full closet.  No clothes made for this sort of adventure.  Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative - it's all we can do, right girls? Or, as my wise slut of a college roommate used to say, when in doubt, lose the bra.

Three long blocks.  Blood pounding in my ears and my heart thumping so hard in my chest my coat is beating.  What if he's not there? What if he is? Danger to my person to find out either way.

A gust of wind follows me in and hot, bespectacled eyes welcome me.  I walk past, careful not to trip over some enlarged molecule or something, as I've been known to do.  Cinnamon Hazelnut, flavor of the day.  The eyes follow me across the room and burn into my back.  My breasts feel warm why is he watching me I can't believe this person is watching me nobody ever notices me breathe, breathe, breathe.  And... turn.

Courage.  Soft smile.  Of all the empty seats in this place, I choose this one, here, across from you. (Guts, girl).  Earns me a sexy smile over a worn copy of "Edgar Cayce on Reincarnation."

Adam.  Always did love that name.  He looks at me like I'm... fascinating.  Beautiful.  Brilliant.  Listens when I speak.  Laughs at my corny jokes.  He has a great voice, deep and rich.  Purses his lips when he ponders.  Nice lips.  And where does a man come off having thick, curly eyelashes? And why do I just melt when I meet a man with thick, curly eyelashes? Hot eyes.  No other word to describe them.  His eyes touch me in places his fingers never could.  My thighs are wet, my mouth is dry.

This is my home.  Nothing much, just a studio.  No, the sketchpad on the easel is empty.  I've always wanted to be an artist, but I have no talent for it, whatsoever.  A couple of black and white photographs on the walls.  A dead ficus.  Mostly piles of books and more books and scripts and some Metropolitan Home magazines in a pile with pages folded down of things I'd like to own after I sell my first script.  Futon bed with a floral goose-down comforter.  Lots of fluffy pillows I throw on the floor when I sleep.

Oh my god! I brought home a beautiful stranger.  Who'da thunk it? Comedy to calm my nerves.  Yup.  It's still me.  I'm still in here.  Somewhere.

Serve up a couple bottles of Perrier.  No! It'll make me burp.  Spring water, instead.  Burn some jasmine incense.  I usually forget I have it, but if there's ever a good time to-

Mmmm... a soft kiss.  The nibbling sort that starts on the bottom lip and works its way up to the top.  I'm sure my alter ego gets kissed like that all the time, but I sure as hell never have.  My stomach flips.  The kitchenette counter bites my ass.  His warm tongue teases mine.  Great hands hold my face and I slip a callused thumb into my mouth and suck it like a dick.  Huge pupils.  I'm your pupil.  Teach me teach me teach me teach me how to be this type of woman.

Kneel before me and unbutton all the tiny little buttons down the front of my dress.  I froze to death so that I could be naked underneath for you.  It's still pretty cold in here and my nipples are-

So warm in your mouth.  You're so fucking beautiful.  I'm so fucking beautiful.  I'm a rose in morning sunlight opening, opening...

Opening your shirt.  Crisp, black hair.  Flat nipples wet from my tongue and I bite them.  Love your body.  Feel you pressing against me.  Is that a pistol in your pocket, or- Shut up, Mind, Body's got the floor.

The buttons on your button-fly look dangerously close to popping.  Let's see if I can help you with that.  Someone's peeking out over the top of your boxers.  Shall I kiss him hello? Cold floor hurts my knees as you clench my hair in your fist.

The thick, lumpy futon doesn't give when I land but that's okay - I could care less about my back when my front is in ecstasy (lips tongue hands lips tongue hands).  I don't know about anyone else, but my skin definitely is a sex organ.  I love how you worship me cherish me love me and kiss my other mouth.  Cat bath.  Purrrrrrr.  Oh godgodgodgodgodgodgodgodgod! Now, please.  Please, now.  I have to sit on this most beautiful-

Yes! (Satin and steel is my favorite combination – of anything).  Sink slowly, ride the wave.  My eyelids are heavy, my lips are bee-stung and I'm drenching you, drenching you, tasting the salt of your neck as your teeth find my shoulder.  Bite me fuck me harder please.  Suckle me.  Pull my hair.  Teacher.  Hold my breasts in your hands, feel the bounce.  Does your cock feel cold from the air as I withdraw? Hotter still when I shimmy down? Can you feel me hug you?

No! Suddenly vacant and I'm staring up at the ceiling and you and my knees.  Sweet lips tug at mine and a wonderfully work-roughened hand caresses me What The Fuck? A spanking? There?! Eye-watering indignant.  But only for a moment.  Curiously interesting in retrospect.  Blood rush.  A soft, rough hand takes me almost... there... So close! I need you now now now Adam now.  Fuck.  Me.  Now.  My head plunges into a mound of fluffy pillows.  I may suffocate, but who cares? I'm gonna die someday.  What better way-

I feel you stiffen.  I shatter.  Gush.  Sweat.  Relax.  We glisten in the dusk-filled room.  I feel your hot eyes, tired and heavy.  Soft nibbling kisses.  Deep sleep.

Cold, sunny morning.  S-t-r-e-t-c-h languidly... nice dreamy dream.  Oh my god! I woke up with a beautiful stranger.  Who'da thunk it?

© 2002 Jamie Smithe. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

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