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The venue was packed and we were squashed right against the stage. Ceiling fans were making lazy circles above us but doing little to the air that clung thick and humid. Beads of sweat turned to trickles that slid between my shoulder blades and under my bra strap. Rum and cigarettes had melded with the scent of cloying perfume and sat in a thick slice on my tongue. The lights on the stage were lowered and a dj in the corner had put on some old school soul classics.

There was a palpable buzz in the crowd as people exchanged hugs and waved to others across the room, but all attention was focussed on the stage. It had taken a bit of coaxing to get the girls to come out but after a few warm up champagnes at my house we fell into a cab in a mash up of dresses and high heels. I had seen a poster in a café with his picture and turned up more out of curiosity than anything else.

A little more sound checking and mike tapping and the band emerged, filing onto the stage as the lights went up. It was a ten piece Latin band and the crowd were pulsating with excitement at the first hint of the timbales. I didn’t see him at first; he had his head bent low over his music stand, taping the set list down. When he stood up straight he was a head taller than the rest of the brass section. Dressed in a suit and tie and holding a trumpet I had flashbacks of us in high school. Back then he’d been tall, awkward and painfully shy but ten years on he’d filled out and grown edges in all the right places. I felt a strange heat rising in my cheeks when he’d spotted me in the front row and waved, caught off guard by the confidence in his smile.

The band was amazing, pulling out 1960’s soul tunes right through to salsa and merengue. Somehow despite the press of the crowd we managed to dance, urged on by the relentless percussion. The room undulated as the tangle of limbs writhed in time with the music and the coloured lights swept soft neon gel over sweat shined faces.

I couldn’t help looking as we danced. Dan played beautifully and when the spotlight swung on him for a trumpet solo I was mesmerised by the cut of his cheekbones and jaw. He was concentrating intensely as he shut his eyes and as his lips puffed against the mouthpiece to play. I found my mind wandering as I watched his mouth and the thought of kissing him surfaced absurdly in my mind.

After three encores and an extended salsa the band were finally allowed off the stage. My friends crowded the bar to get drinks and we stood in an excited cluster. They’d teased me about keeping Dan a secret, sure that there was something in my past that they didn’t know about. I blushed hard at the suggestion, then made an excuse about needing fresh air so I could escape through the side door into the alley.

I was resting my burning skin against the cold metal of the side door when I felt it slide. I sidestepped as the door opened and Dan and the trombone player came through with a load of cables and microphone stands. I was suddenly conscious of the mascara that had pooled under my eyes and the sweatiness that was only just beginning to dry when Dan smiled at me, tripped on the door frame and fell over.

The trombone player laughed and stepped over him, picking his way through the wreckage to the van parked further down the alley. I helped him negotiate his way out of the mess and wrestle the cords back into submission. Up close he seemed only subtly different, his boyish face had given way to the adult features he’d inherited from his Dutch parents, and I found myself swimming in the blue of his eyes. His voice had lowered into a smooth baritone and he’d lost some of the awkwardness he had when we sat together in the back row of our music class. Dan’s gaze eventually travelled from my face over the dress that skimmed my curves. He certainly wasn’t as shy as I remembered him to be.

The trombone player emerged from the van, saying something about being the only person who ever did any work. Dan hastily piled the leads in the back and came back to where I was standing. He suggested we go somewhere quiet to catch up, it had been so long since we had spoken to each other.

Two minutes later, I left him standing in the alley while I ran back inside, swept up my coat and told my friends I was heading home early. I hadn’t needed much convincing. My heart was beating rapidly as I walked back to the side door, and my mind wouldn’t stop toying with the idea of his lips and his kiss.

My high heels clicked against the hard cobblestones of the alley. It was getting cold outside and my breath billowed out in clouds as we made our way to a café around the corner. Dan led me to a tiny little coffeehouse open late and we settled into a booth at the back.

Warm liqueur coffee slid down slowly in small sips as we re acquainted ourselves. The time between us fell away as we covered where we’d been, missing out the rough patches and adding gloss to travel stories and work. Little glimpses of the Dan I had known in school emerged when he loosened the tie done up firmly around his neck and pushed his hair out of his face. I wondered if I seemed similar to him too, whether there were visible traces of a girl in knee length socks hiding behind a pile of thick books.

By the time we’d reached the bottom of the glass early morning light was starting to filter in through the dusty blinds. I felt strangely electric, that kind of buzz when you’ve been up all night that ends in swimming in a public fountain or running naked through the park. We were leaning close, reaching out to pinch and tease each other about long buried high school embarrassments, often letting our hands linger. I was feeling uncomfortable in my dress and high heels, last night’s make up spread in unexpected places. I wanted a shower, but I didn’t want right now to end either.

Maybe Dan sensed my unease when I rearranged my dress for the hundredth time. His house was nearby and he offered to make breakfast. He led the way as I limped on my shoes, feet protesting at every step. After about half a block of slow progress Dan slipped his arms around me and lifted me up. I protested momentarily then gave in, curling into his arms and breathing in the faint scent of citrus and skin around his collar.

Dan lived at the back of a block of flats in a little one-bedroom place overlooking the washing lines. He drew the curtains to block out the ever-brightening sunlight and turned his record player on. Old 45s sat in stacks on every available surface and somewhere amongst it all was a couch. He put the kettle on and rustled around in the bedroom emerging with a fresh towel.

A couple of ferns on the windowsill filtered the sunlight as steam fogged the mirror. I could hear cooking sounds over the whirr of the fan. I unzipped my dress and let it fall to the floor, keen to feel air on my skin. Stepping into the shower I surrendered to the heat and relaxed as water soaked into my hair and melted the night away. My thoughts wandered to the evening we’d had, watching him on stage, his hands and that mouth, then later at the café and the walk back. Soapy hands worked lather over my skin and I recognised the citrus scent from earlier. My hands skimmed over my breasts, brushing away soap bubbles, sliding over my stomach and onto my hips. The smell of his soap all over me felt particularly intimate and I couldn’t resist slipping my hand between my soap flecked thighs and flicking my fingers over my pussy.

I was leaning against the shower wall, water drumming over my belly as my fingers moved with increasing urgency. My pussy was starting to swell slightly and I could feel my own wetness mixing with water from the shower. I heard a knock as the door cracked open and I paused, my fingers edging back up on to my belly. Dan’s hand appeared as he reached into the bathroom and hung a bathrobe on the back of the door, saying something about breakfast being ready. I hastily rinsed the last of the bubbles off, stepped out of the shower and stood in front of the partially clouded mirror. I patted my skin dry and put his bathrobe on, dwarfed by the long sleeves.

When I reappeared in the lounge Dan had settled two plates of eggs and toast next to each other on the narrow table. We sat side by side on bar stools and made short work of breakfast then settled down to cups of tea on the couch. Dan tugged gently at my wet hair watching it curl together as it dried. The front of the bathrobe had opened slightly and I made no attempt to close it, feeling the cool air prickle the exposed skin of my neck and chest. Conversation had slowed somewhat as tension clotted the space between us. I was drawn in again to the pools of blue in his eyes, close enough to see my own reflection in his pupils. My eyes traced the lines and curves of his nose, the soft span of his cheek that ended in the angles of his jaw. We moved slowly closer, languid with tiredness yet piqued by the charge of the moment. As his mouth closed over the sound of my name I nestled my weight onto him and leant my forehead against his. Words trickled to nothing as his fingers threaded through my hair and lifted his chin to bring his mouth to mine.

Our lips meshed as he opened his mouth slightly. My tongue gently licked the perfect curve of his bottom lip, before pressing further into the warmth of his mouth. He straightened up, taller even when we were sitting. With his hand behind my head he leant me back slowly. Kissing me firmly, pressing his lips against my mouth and my cheek, taking nibbles of my ear lobe, his tongue caressed my skin as he worked a path onto my neck. His hand rested on top of the bathrobe and I could feel my nipple harden beneath his palm. I undid the tie around my waist, placed my hand on his and moved it to my bare skin. I felt him sigh as he stroked the paler skin between my breasts and his fingers moved delicately over my stomach and around my waist as he pulled my body to his.

He sat up beside me and opened the robe fully, my nipples tingling from the slight chill. Light diffused from the drawn curtains painted us both in muted tones, though still his eyes shone an arresting shade of blue. He moved from where he was sitting and knelt by my knees, placing his hands on my thighs and pushing my legs apart. With his hands still resting on my legs he looked up at me stretched back on the couch. First his fingers slowly progressed along my thighs, followed with his mouth as he alternated kissing and stroking my legs painfully slowly. His hand rested against my hip as his thumb pressed gently against my pussy. I felt myself become moist just at the thought of him kissing my legs and a shiver rippled through my hips as his mouth edged ever closer.

His lips moved from my thighs to my stomach, until he was kissing my belly and the light stubble on his chin tickled my mound. His hand moved up between my legs again as he pushed his fingertip gently between my lips, found my wetness and coaxed it out. He glanced up and smiled at me as I gazed back at him, mouth open and eyes half closed concentrating on the lazy circles his fingers were making. Then he dipped his head back down and placed those lips that I had been fantasising about between my thighs. A few teasing licks and my clitoris pulsed, waiting for his tongue to slide into my soft pink cleft. His fingers gently spread my lips apart as his mouth settled over my pussy and the flat of his tongue stroked upward. When his tongue tugged at my bud tipped clit I rocked forward as a jolt charged through my hips.

He pushed his finger inside me and as I relaxed he eased in another. His tongue continued up against my clit as his mouth closed over me and sucked gently. With his two fingers plunging inside me, my hips rocked harder and my hand grasped his hair. I curved my back into the couch raising myself up to his mouth. He put one hand around my waist and slid his tongue inside me as his thumb rolled my hood up and back over my clit in circles, matching my rhythm.

My palms were flat on the couch and my head was flung right back. It was an almost unbearable pleasure, excruciating in its intensity. I was breathing in ragged gasps and convulsing.

I bore down hard on him as his flickering tongue pushed me towards an explosive orgasm.

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