out the shape of his body: straight, tall, with shoulders that didn’t need padding and a waist that didn’t pull his front buttons.
“Hi,” I said.
“You came.” He seemed genuinely surprised and placed his briefcase on the short table by the couches.
“Lil didn’t tell you?”
He stepped toward me. “She doesn’t answer the phone if she’s driving, which is most of the time.” He stood a foot from me, and I felt his gaze on my face. “And in a way, I didn’t want to know.”
I leaned into him, breathing a little heavier, just to take him in. “I have a gig later.”
“How much later?” He seemed to lean forward, too, though I couldn’t tell if it was a physical lean or the spear of his attention.
“Would you like to sit down?”
No, I didn’t. I wanted to put my body all over his. Instead, I sat when he did.
He poured himself a glass of Perrier and leaned back. “How have you been?”
“You had a driver pick me up to ask me that? You could have sent me a text and gotten the same answer.”
“What’s the answer?”
“I’ve been fine. Thank you.”
He wanted more. He wanted a way into a conversation about what he and I did really well. At least, that was what I was reading. “Fine,” I said, “and a little aroused most of the time.”
He smiled a true and genuine smile. “I think I missed you.”
He leaned forward, putting his elbows on his knees. “I’m not going to pretend I missed you the way I’d miss someone I know very well. But, okay, here’s an example. I’m in the office of the Korean Minister of Tourism. This is the guy who can approve the hotel or send me packing if I say the wrong word. My Korean is fluent, but not nuanced, so I have to pay attention.”
I leaned forward as well. “You speak Korean?”
“I live in Los Angeles. Do you want me to finish my story?”
I wanted him to bend me over and fuck me, but instead I said, “Yes. Finish.”
“He’s rattling off numbers, and somewhere in there is a mistake that will cost me a fortune if I only pay attention to the total, but I have to translate the numbers and find the flaw. Like he’ll say the permit is one, the fees are two, something else is three, and it all equals ten, meaning the mistake is four. He considers that his bribe, which I’m not paying. But the numbers are bigger, and he’s talking fast so no one else in the room will get it. I can’t keep my mind on what he’s saying or who I’m paying because all I can think about ...” He paused as if he’d reached the important part. “All I can picture in my mind is spreading your legs.”
I cleared my throat to keep from smiling, but my face still split in a wide grin. For a second, I wondered if he hadn’t been trying to be funny, but when I saw his pleased expression, I knew I hadn’t insulted him.
“I wasn’t even thinking about sex,” he said. “I mean, I was, but just that moment when I put my hands on your knees and pulled them apart, and you leaned back and let me do it. I kept replaying it. That moment when you let me . Couldn’t add and subtract worth a dime. I’m sure I overpaid the man.”
My legs tingled, wanting the pressure of his hands between them. I pressed my knees together, waiting for him to do what he’d fantasized. “Well,” I said, “I’ve started sucking on ice cubes all day.”
“Ah. The porch.”
“I just smile until it melts. Debbie thinks I’ve lost my mind.”
He plucked a cube from his glass. “Maybe you have.” He reached out and put the ice to my mouth, brushing my bottom lip. I opened my mouth and circled around the edge. I flicked my tongue out, but he wouldn’t give it to me. A drop of cold water trailed down my chin, and he took the cube away, popping it into his mouth and crunching. “I want you,” he said.
My spine felt like a piano someone had just done scales down.
“I want to have you in ways that surprise
Christmas At Hartford Hall
Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan