Red

ilu

The word — the message — lit up Sanneke’s phone screen as she lay on the sofa in her bright red night robe, a matching brassiere underneath. The hue matched her tshirt from earlier that night in the Avalache, long since discarded, along with the designer-destressed rocker jeans. It matched her lipstick, still painted across her lips and paired with smokey shadow that accentuated her rich blue eyes. She still smelled of Eau d’Issey and second-hand smoke that clung fainty to her skin. One reason she liked red: the vibrancy of it. The boldness. The unashamed confidence with which it demanded attention.

It suited her, very, very well.

It also suited her temper, whether high, lust-licked flames or a glowing, sulking ember awaiting a fresh excuse to flare to life. Tonight she was sulking, after an early exit from the club on the back of a good conversation gone bad. She hated being in a bad mood, especially with no one to take it out on.

ilu

Worse, she hated not being able to stay in a bad mood, looking at messages like that.

Sanneke sighed, laying the phone down on her stomach. The chill of the case made her suck in her abdomen with a little hissed breath of protest. The open lines of the robe left most of her center line bare to the unappreciative audience of silent hidden cameras.

Her gaze rose and shifted, to the nearest camera. She knew where they all were, and often used that to scandalous advantage, whether personally or professionally. It was an audience… The bright red of her lips tugged upwards in a slow, mischievous smile. Fine. There was more than one way to get petty revenge.

The angle would be good enough. The sound probably wouldn’t carry. She picked up her phone again, flipping open the Recorder app, and hit the round red button. A quick minute:second:millisecond counter began keeping time on the screen, along with a mostly flat waveform of the ambient silence.

Fine.

It was easy enough to call up a fantasy. A reality. With the beer-and-leather atmosphere of the Avalache still fresh in her mind, she could easily imagine the thudding drums and angry guitar of some generic rock song. Drinks out on the table; she’d had three shots of tequila earlier. Low lights. Shadows. The ever-present haze of smoke and grime and a dozen different sins, painted across rough, interested faces.

She closed her eyes as the mental image took shape and let her hand slide along the edge of the silk robe.

Perhaps the pool table. The bathroom was too cliché. Sanneke at the pool table, a cue in hand, full-well aware of how the jeans hugged her curves and taking advantage of the fact as she bent from the waist to line up a shot. She knew how other’s eyes would slide along her hips, up the narrowing of her waist, where bare skin teased before the shirt took over. She knew they’d be watching her hands: long, elegant fingers with sculpted, glimmering nails. The way she held the shaft of the stick just so, and unconsciously ran her palm down the length.

Her fingers wandered up her thighs where she lay on the couch. One hand: fingertips, and the delicate, feathery scratch of those nails. The other: the soft pressure of a flat palm, rising from bent knee towards the gentle flare of her hips. She might not be the eternal 20-something that most of London’s scene was, but there were certain benefits that came with maturity. A fuller voluptuousness, and the presence of mind to wear it well. A body that was less ‘awkward teenager’ and more ‘femme fatale’. The goddesses of the world were women, not girls.

She spread her legs, just an inch or two, allowing her own fingers to glide, uninterrupted, along the inner junction before tracing along the sensitive inner thighs. The other hand continued upwards over her stomach, pushing the robe gradually aside.

They’d be watching. Sanneke’s mental image knew this, as she slid the pool stick through curled fingers and took the shot. And somewhere in the crowd, one particular person would be watching. Maybe two or three. All the performance would be for them. The ball missed — but playing solo, it hardly mattered. Straighten. A little pout of the lips. Let the audience imagine what else they’d like to see her mouth wrapped around. Play the ingenue – just innocent enough that they don’t realize how very sculpted each and every movement is.

Her mind skipped frame, jumping from ‘bait’ to ‘bite’, as she imagined rough, masculine hands taking hold of her hips. Her Avalanche-self half-turns, not quite surprised, to find a tall, well-built man in biker leathers behind her. He would smell of alcohol and cigarettes, and would have been watching her for a while. The alpha male of the pack — the first one brave enough to make a move. He’d push in close, ignoring personal space, and inform her that she’s done enough teasing for one night.

In the apartment, her breath was starting to quicken. The teasing fingers on her hips turned into a firm grip as she mirrored the movements of the fantasy. Sanneke’s other hand rose to ease beneath the bra, cup her own breast, and squeeze the rounded swell. Again, like he would, pushing his hand inside her leather jacket and making clear exactly what he wanted. He’d have a five o’clock shadow – she missed that about men. The scratch of stubble against her skin. Body hair. A shaved head. Muscular – a contrast to her usual feminine lovers.

Despite the music and the dancing, the pool table would be the center of attention. She bit her lip in real life; it released with a gasp as her fingers closed around her nipple and twisted. Her back arched up off the couch and she groaned as a second twist, more demanding, sent hot streaks of delicious pain racing over her nerves. In the club, the man pulled her hips back against him and grinned, wolf-like, as her breath caught. His erection would still be semi-soft, but quickly growing. There was a certain magic in a woman wearing red.

How public would it be? Part of her, even in the illusion, rebelled against being watched so blatantly when she wasn’t the one in control. A tinge of guilt at enjoying the fantasy of domination by someone other than her lover. An easy fix: another set of eyes in the Avalanche’s shadows, matched with a love-hate glittering stare. Whispered words that would have come before it all: I’m going to watch.

The slick fabric of the robe slipped off her legs as she shifted, pooling like ruby water down the cushion to the floor below. Her hand slid between her thighs and over the small, so carefully groomed patch of hair. Another gasp, faithfully recorded by the cell phone’s mic. A whimper of anticipation as she imagined the man in the bar tugging her belt loose and manhandling the buttons of the denim until he was able to force his hand down the front. Her, looking over her shoulder with heavy breath and half-lidded eyes. Palms braced on the felt tabletop. Red lipstick marred where she bit her lip and pushed her hips back against him.

She was already wet when her/his fingers pressed against her slit. He’d laugh, darkly, against her ear as he discovered her lack of panties, murmuring that she must have known she’d get fucked tonight. She’d answer – that she wasn’t sure she’d find anyone man enough to do it. Teasing. Stroking. Egos were a sex organ as much as a clit or a cock. Large hands and tight jeans made a bad combination, and it wouldn’t be long before he started to push them down her hips.

I’m going to watch.

Another skip in the daydream. Her jeans around her knees; his fly open and pants shoved down just enough to free his member. His hand in her hair, echoed in real life as she curled her fingers into the dark strands and tightened and tugged until she grimaced and whimpered in protest. Her fingers stroked between her lips, slick and warm with arousal. She circled one fingertip around her clit, tantalizing with a light, quick motion, before catching the nub between the sides of two fingers and squeezing it the length of a firmer, more demanding stroke. In the club, he had her bend over, her cheek against the table now, holding her there with the hand in her hair. His other grasped his uncut cock and steadied the movement as he rubbed it back and forth through the nectar of her sex.

The only warning was a vicious tightening of his hand in her mane before he rammed into her. In her apartment, the cameras watched as her fingers thrust home and a strangled cry escaped her lips; her body clenched and tensed, loving and hating the hurt in equal measure. Something she’d never been able to separate: pain from pleasure, power from passion. He switched his hand to the back of her neck; she switched hers to the front of her throat. Cutting off her own air as her fingers penetrated and withdrew in a rough, staccato rhythm. The heel of her hand ground into her clit as she fucked herself. The timer on the recording counted upwards, committing the moans and whispered yes oh yes nngh fuckyesplease to memory.

In the club, the patrons watched as he rode her — a stranger taking his pleasure as if he owned her, as if she were little more than a tight hole to sheathe in. Using her the way she liked to be used. Voyeurism. Degradation. She was sick, but she knew it. ‘Whore’, he’d call her, and it would burn with a rebellious fire. Maybe she was, but he loved it. She’d twisted him into exactly what she wanted. What he wanted. As much as an insult, it was a praise: I want you. I can’t resist. Her lovers adored her for the same reason they abused her: because she drove them mad with lust.

Her inner walls clenched around her fingers, and Sanneke felt her breath catch. Over and over again, building to violent peak. Fucking herself on the sofa, knowing she was on film, knowing someone on the other end would see it. In the dream the man bit down on her shoulder, his thrusts becoming increasingly sharp and jerky. She cried out in both worlds and drug her nails across her breasts to leave red trails of fire. Please please pleasepleaseyesohfuckplease.

They came at the same time: in the Avalanche, the man stiffened, driving his cock as deep as he could, and released the warm, sticky spurts of seed inside her. On the couch her muscles drew tight and locked as she crested, her fingers curled inside her depths and her own hand pressed against her throat. The ragged rasps of her breath drew jagged peaks of sound on the Recorder’s interface.

A beat. Two. Three. Her hips rocked and arched in sympathetic waves, until finally, with a full-body shudder, her body released and the tension flowed out of her with a final sigh, tinted with a curl of golden breath. Just as quickly, the fantasy dissolved, its purpose fulfilled. No more pool table, no more club. Her rough, stubbled lover disappeared as well, as she blew him a final kiss of thanks. Just an empty apartment, a disarrayed robe, and a much better humoured occupant.

Sanneke withdrew her fingers and lay still for a few minutes, catching her breath. A quick brush with her dry hand got the strands of hairs to stop clinging to her lipstick. Better. Much, much better.

She picked up the phone. Pressed ‘Stop’ on the recorder. Saved the file as ilu2.mp3, and hit ‘Respond’ on the message still frozen there. ‘Send’. The actual video recording would wait until she had a chance to edit down the tapes.

Another few seconds passed as she smirked up at the ceiling. And then she slipped from the cushions, got to her feet. She pulled the nightrobe back into place around her and refastened the sash at the waist. As she retired back to her bedroom, she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window, and idly admired how good she looked in red.


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