Eighteen Hundred Dollars
By Gwen Masters
I wasn’t mad. Being mad has a definite end. Being angry is a different story. A person can be angry for a very long time but a person cannot be mad for longer than, say, an evening. However long it takes for the passion of injustice to temper itself.
No. I wasn’t mad. I wasn’t angry.
I was fucking furious.
“That son of a bitch!” I railed into the phone. “How dare he? He made me believe in him! He said so many things that I put stock in and then he’s just…just…gone! Disappeared like a puff of fucking smoke! How dare he?”
I sat down heavily on the couch. The laundry basket sat there on the coffee table, the clothes waiting to be folded. I kicked it as hard as I could. Clean clothes scattered all over the hardwood floor as I buried my face in my hands.
Dave’s voice came over the line. “Sweetie,” he said gently, “You’ll never have the answers you want. Chalk him up to being a prick.”
“I wish I had never met him,” I groaned, meaning every word.
Dave sighed. “I wish I could be there to help you through this,” he said, and I clearly heard the care and concern in his voice. I had known Dave long enough to know that tone. I sniffled and tried to pull it together.
“Your thoughts are here. That matters,” I said with what I hoped was reassurance. But the truth was, I wanted my friend to baby me for a while and let me cry a damn river if I so pleased.
“I am in Wisconsin…and I have to be in Michigan tomorrow,” he said regretfully. Both of us silently calculated the miles between Wisconsin and Tennessee. “I could fly out,” he said suddenly. Oh, the irony. Dave was willing to fly over a thousand miles at a moment’s notice. My own lover didn’t give enough of a fuck to pick up the telephone.
Then the tears came again. It wasn’t pretty. I fumbled for the Kleenex on the table and came up with an empty box. I had cried that much over the last two days?
I threw the box across the room. It hit the wall and bounced down to land on the clothes. “I have to go,” I wailed. I hung up and looked at the phone, realized that man I loved wouldn’t be calling it again…and so I threw it, too. It hit the floor and skidded to the wall. The battery pack popped open with a pained click. I threw myself down on the couch and bawled like a two-year-old who just lost her favorite toy to the neighborhood bully.
I woke up sometime during the night. My face was pressed to the seam of the old couch cushion. Moonlight streamed in through the open windows. I blinked a few times and then I could make out the clothes scattered on the floor. I sniffled and wiped my nose with a discarded sock.
The couch cushion had left a mark on my face. It was deep and probably red and I really didn’t give a damn. After all, who was going to care? My lover had left me and nobody was around and I could look as bad as I wanted to look.
I was sitting there in the dark, feeling sorry for myself, when I heard the sound of an unfamiliar vehicle in the driveway. Gravel crunched under the tires and I pushed back the curtain to find a long, black sedan cruising slowly up the long drive. The clock seemed to blink back at me in shock as the time changed. It was 4:23 in the morning.
“It is four in the morning,” I said out loud to the silent house, and sudden terror struck me. Why would someone come to my home at four in the morning, unless it was bad news?
I dropped the curtain and stood there uncertainly. Maybe they had the wrong house…
Then I heard the footsteps on the porch. Instead of a knock, I heard the sound of a key slipping into the lock. The door opened.
And there stood Dave.
He was supposed to be in Wisconsin. Heading to Michigan. Instead he was standing on my doorstep with worry in his eyes. I flung myself into his arms with enthusiasm. The strength of my attack almost knocked him backward.
“Well, I’m happy to see you too,” he chuckled against my hair as his arms came around me.
“I can’t believe you are here,” I wailed.
When the latest round of sobbing was over, I took a step back. Dave looked closely at my face, then perused the clothes all over the floor. His grinned when he saw the phone. “That explains why you weren’t answering your phone,” he said. “What happened to your face?”
I rubbed the indent of the couch cushion and blushed.
“Well, I’m here now,” he said, and closed the door. The car was idling in the driveway.
“You should be in Michigan.”
“Probably,” he said absently, and picked up the empty Kleenex box. He looked at me again, carefully this time, as if I might do something sudden and frightening. I blew my nose on a sock.
“I don’t do broken hearts very well,” I sniffled.
“You need a drink. Got any liquor?”
“I drank all that yesterday.”
Dave shook his head and squinted at the phone in the dim light. He put it back together and set it on the charger. I watched him while he considered briefly, then turned the ringer off. The house was silent, save for my sniffling at regular intervals.
“You have to leave,” I said.
“Kicking me out already?”
I rolled my eyes and flopped down on the couch. “You have to be in Michigan, Dave. You can’t be here. Is that a rental car out there?”
“Car and driver. Why don’t you just relax?”
“Because I don’t need one more thing to worry about!” I railed.
Dave quirked an eyebrow and thought for a moment. “Why are you worried?”
I exhaled with a huff. I held my hand up in the air and started counting the reasons for worry on my fingertips. “You have a meeting to get to in a few hours. You have to get on a plane and fly back there. You have to get back to the airport first. You have to get some sleep and you’ll probably be seated next to some enormous linebacker and then you won’t sleep on the plane. You have things to do—“
“I cancelled all those ‘things to do’. I just have to be back in Michigan by two. No big deal.”
“No big deal!” I was angry now. Not at Dave, but at the fact that I finally had a target for that anger. The explosion at my ex-lover was imminent, and Dave was in the line of fire.
“That’s what I said. You’re way too uptight.”
I found a remote control on the coffee table and flung it across the room.
“Now that is mature,” he sighed.
“How much did this little detour cost, anyway?” I asked.
Dave stepped over piles of clothes until he reached the couch. He gazed down at me. I flung my arm over my eyes, closing out the sight of his concerned face.
“Does it matter?”
“Yes,” I choked out, ready to cry all over again.
“I did it for you.” His voice was so soft, I could hardly hear him.
“I know,” I almost wailed. Crying again. Dave knelt down beside the couch and slid his arms around me. I leaned against him and whimpered about the injustices of it all.
Dave’s lips pressed against my forehead, then my temple. Then my nose. “Stop being strong,” he ordered gently. “Stop being untouchable. He’s not worth that kind of wall around your heart.”
Dave’s lips didn’t stop moving. He kissed my cheekbones, then my eyes. He took his time. By the time he got to my mouth, all the tears were gone. I was too stunned to cry. His breath came slow and easy against my lips.
“Eighteen hundred dollars,” he whispered.
“What?” I whispered back.
“Eighteen hundred dollars,” he said, and pushed gently on my shoulders. He eased onto the couch with me. His weight rested just beside me, and his leg slipped over mine. “The flight, the car, the driver, all of that. It cost eighteen hundred dollars.”
I said nothing. My heart pounded just as hard as my head did. His lips inched closer to mine, until he was brushing them against my chin, against my jaw, then my upper lip. I suddenly couldn’t breathe, and when I opened my mouth he took advantage of it.
His tongue was slow. Languid. Like there wasn’t a car waiting in the driveway and obligations waiting a thousand miles away. He kissed me so slowly that the shivers of it worked their way down to my toes and all the way back up. Goosebumps rose on my skin. He didn’t try to deepen the kiss. Instead, he kept on doing what he was doing, which was slowly driving me insane.
“Dave,” I whispered against his lips. “What are you doing?”
He kissed me again. His hand, which had rested safely on my hip, made its way up to my waist. Then farther. Spirals of pleasure zinged through my body, a sweet surprise. I was wearing nothing under the t-shirt, which Dave discovered as his hand cupped my breast. He moaned into my mouth when his fingertips bumped over my hard nipple.
That moan drove it home. I had never heard anything like that from Dave before, but I was answering. I was whimpering with every stroke of his hand, and my hips were rising against his. I was clinging to his shoulders. I was kissing him with utter abandon.
I definitely wasn’t upset anymore.
After long moments, Dave buried his face in my shoulder. My lips were swollen and hot from his kisses. My eyes were stinging, not with tears of sadness, but tears of desire. Dave’s hand didn’t stop moving, molding my breast through soft cotton. When I ground against him to find relief from the heat between my thighs, he slipped his hand under the t-shirt.
“Please,” I whimpered. Dave sighed against my skin. His hand was rough and calloused. It felt wonderful against my sensitive flesh.
“Please what?” His voice was just as harsh as mine.
“I don’t know...”
“I didn’t intend for this to happen,” he whispered. “But I like it.”
Dave shifted just a little and pressed against me, let me feel how much he liked it. He was hard as a rock. I reached down between us and ran my hand over the bulge in his pants. Dave sucked in a breath. He rose up to allow me more access, and to look down into my face. The light was very dim, but I could see enough. I could see the desire in his eyes.
“Do you want to?” I asked.
“Want to what?” he teased, and I watched his slow grin.
“Want to...play Parcheesi,” I whispered.
Dave reached down and unbuttoned his jeans. The zipper came down slowly. I gasped and drew back instinctively when I realized he was wearing nothing underneath.
“I want to,” he said.
His cock was amazingly hot. His whole body burned like a furnace. He groaned when I wrapped my fingers around him, and I froze for a moment, listening to that groan fade away. It was raw and passionate. I had never heard him that way before.
Of course, we had never done this before.
I stroked his length once, and Dave looked into my face while I did it. His breath tasted sweet against my lips. “I wonder what you taste like,” I whispered, and his eyes widened.
“Want to find out?”
We moved, rearranging limbs and clothing. I hovered over him, my thighs on either side of his. His hand touched my hair. The other hand curled around the couch cushion, squeezing it hard. Those white knuckles were the only betrayal of how nervous he was.
Dave gasped when I licked him. His skin was clean and tasted a little like salt. When I closed my mouth over his cock, he sighed softly and closed his eyes.
“You’re quiet,” I whispered between long, slow sucks.
“Do you mind?” he asked breathlessly.
“I wonder what you sound like when you come,” I mused. Dave reached down and touched my face. I looked up at him while I slid up, sucking him harder as I neared the crown. A light trembling set up in his thighs.
“You keep that up and you’ll know soon enough,” he warned.
I slid my lips up and down his shaft. He was just long enough to tickle my throat. I licked him, sucked him, and lightly scraped my teeth along the underside of his cock, making him jump and moan even louder.
“Do that again,” he begged, and I did. Over and over again, until his hips rose to meet me and his fingers curled into my hair. A moment later his sighs turned into one long, low moan. His cock throbbed in my mouth. The first shot of come landed against the back of my throat. The rest of it bathed my tongue. I looked up to watch Dave’s face and found him looking right back at me. I suckled gently until he winced and pushed me away, then I pressed his hand against my throat as I swallowed. His eyes widened along with his slow grin.
“You taste...bland,” I said honestly, and he laughed.
“Well, that’s better than tasting bad, right?”
I chuckled as he sat up beside me. Within seconds he was on the floor, between my knees, pulling my rear to the edge of the couch. He hooked his fingers under my leggings and pulled them down, slowly, watching me all the while. His eyes lit up when he saw the thong I was wearing underneath, and I blushed.
“I love thongs,” he breathed, then leaned forward to trace the place where it crossed my hip. I spread my legs a little more and slid my hands under my shirt to touch my breasts. Dave watched with a satisfied smile. “I like it that you’re not shy,” he said.
He wasn’t shy, either. Every inch of the thong he could reach, he licked. Then nibbled. Then sucked. By the time he hooked his fingertip underneath the material, I was soaking wet and begging him to lick something other than the satin. When he pulled it aside and blew cool air over my hard clit, my hips arched up off the couch, reaching for more.
“Tell me,” he demanded.
“Lick my clit,” I said immediately, and he hovered over me, looking up into my face. “Please, Dave, please don’t make me wait. I need it so bad.”
The first touch of his tongue made me shiver, and the second touch made me cry out in ecstasy. I laced my fingers through his hair and held him against me. He moaned in quite a different way from between my legs, telling me very clearly how much he liked it when I took charge.
“Suck it,” I ordered, pushing his face harder into my pussy. “Suck it and make me come, then slide your fingers into me and make me come again. Then I want you to fuck me.”
Dave drew my clit into his mouth. The buildup had been long, and I was right on the verge. He sucked, slow and gentle, then harder when I tightened my fingers in his hair. I rocked my hips against his face and groaned in warning when he started to tease me with one finger.
“No. I don’t want that. I just want your mouth,” I demanded, and his finger went away.
Then he went to work in earnest, sucking harder, alternating that with catching my clit between his teeth and flicking his tongue over it. The first time he did it I almost came, but he stopped right before I could. The second time was the same thing, flicking until I was hovering on the edge of that cliff, then backing away. The third time was the charm.
I came with a low growl. Dave didn’t give me a chance to ride out the sensation; two fingers slid deep into my pussy as I came. The orgasm intensified, because now my pulsing canal had something to hold onto. I was dimly aware that he hadn’t stopped licking, he wasn’t letting up, and I was going to come again—
The second orgasm knocked the breath from me. It had never happened that soon, that hard, that second time. When I opened my eyes Dave was poised above me, looking down at my face.
“Is that what you wanted?” he asked.
“Whoever taught you to do that has my gratitude,” I panted, and he laughed.
I lifted my hips to him. The magic he had worked with his tongue made him ready for a second round. He probed. Then pushed. Dave sank deep with that one thrust. He was thick, hard as a rock and just eager enough. I unbuttoned his shirt so I could feel his chest against mine. He caressed my legs for a moment before pulling them tight around his hips.
His breathing was hard and steady. I watched him thrust in and out in the same rhythm. He watched my face all the while, as if searching for signs that this was okay, that it was what I wanted.
“I didn’t expect this,” I said softly, while he continued in that slow, unbroken motion.
“Do you like it?”
“What do you think?”
Dave smiled but then slowed down just a little, and I tightened my legs. “No. Don’t stop.”
“I’m reaching my limit, babe.”
I kissed him, slow and deep. My hands found the hard curve of his ass and I pulled him harder into me. “Don’t stop,” I whispered again. Dave began to thrust harder than before, in a cadence that said pleasure was quickly closing in. Fine trembling began in his arms. I kissed them and took the time to taste the inside of his elbow, which seemed to spark a higher pitch of desire. He was amazingly responsive to every touch, something that I sincerely hoped I would be able to explore at my leisure, one day very soon.
“Now,” he whimpered, and I thrust up hard to meet him. His moan was long and loud. His orgasm was powerful. I ground hard against him while he came, my eyes closed, memorizing the way every pump felt as he filled me. Near the end he held his breath for a long moment, then let it out in a whoosh of satisfaction.
I didn’t let him go. I kissed him slowly while I kept him trapped by my legs. His essence slowly slipped out of me, and I was sure it stained the couch, but still I didn’t move. We kissed and kissed and then kissed some more.
“Amazing,” he whispered against my swollen lips. I held him close until our breathing calmed and our hearts slowed down. Until the sun began to rise and peek through the curtains. Until the minutes on the clock couldn’t be ignored any longer.
“You have to go,” I said softly, with real regret. I didn’t want him to leave. I wanted him to stay right here with me. I wanted to explore this new delight I had found.
“But I’ll be back,” he said. His thumb rubbed back and forth against my temple. “Michigan, just one day, and then I’m flying back to you. I’ve got a ton of vacation just waiting to be taken. What do you say?”
“Take a lot of it. A whole lot,” I emphasized, and Dave laughed. We reluctantly parted, taking the time to kiss and touch along the way. I watched him get dressed. I buttoned his shirt and found that I liked it very much, in fact, I liked it so much that I could imagine doing it many, many times. By the time I led him to the door, I was smiling. How was it possible to go from tears of agonizing heartbreak to a smile of pure, genuine satisfaction?
I looked up into his eyes. “How did this happen?”
Dave smiled down at me. “Eighteen hundred dollars," he whispered.
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