It’s been a while since I’ve exposed myself publicly by posting my work. But I have been writing and waiting out an attack of the shys. Now that I’m distancing at home during the coronavirus outbreak in NYC and facing the threat of death or illness, I figure what do I have to lose?
Here’s a short story I wrote to submit to an erotic anthology. It’s perfect for fans of Outlander.
By Victoria Kinkade
I was having one of those ‘how do I get myself into these things’ days. I’d been browsing stores in downtown Manhattan most of the day, shopping for the perfect wedding gift for my best friend and my ex-boyfriend. She and I have been friends since middle school and I dated him for 3 years. She was the one who introduced us. Now, this is happening. It hurts in an aching, ugly, sickening way, but I feel like I should be better than that. I want to be happy for them. It’s hard to rise above when the cold burden of old injuries weighs you down. When he dumped me he said I wasn’t spontaneous, that I was no fun. No fun. Thinking of that makes my skin prickle and my insides twist with nausea. I’m ambitious. I work hard. I didn’t fawn over him and make him the center of my universe. The ultimate injury to a man’s ego.
They haven’t even been dating a full year, but two weeks ago they announced their surprise! last minute Thanksgiving weekend wedding. I guess that’s being spontaneous and fun. The whole situation stings. I suppose I should be grateful she had the sense not to ask me to be a bridesmaid.
I was searching for a gift with the right combination of detached and congratulatory without being passive-aggressive or catty. I need to get them something that says ‘I’m okay’ (I’m not) and shows I can be the bigger person (can I?). Not easy. Maybe I should buy something fun. Sigh.
The October weather had devolved from brisk and sunny to a grey, icy drizzle in that mercurial way the city climate has of tricking you. Caught in a sudden gust of sleet-peppered wind on an eclectic little Soho street, I was drawn to the cozy red-painted wood and glass door of an isolated shop. Among the sleeker, more modern storefronts, it’s charm caught my eye. I opened the door onto a divine melange of scents and welcoming warmth that seemed to surround me like a cozy blanket.
The shop sold exotic coffees and teas, brewing accouterments, and artistic gift items displayed on tall, arching shelves with subtle indirect lighting that gently illuminated the merchandise. The wood and soft light on the ochre ceiling gave the shop an old-fashioned tint, like an antique photo. It was already late, almost closing time.
“Can I help you w’ anything?”
The lilting voice behind me was like honey in my ear, golden, thick and low. I looked up in surprise and saw a handsome man with dark curls and grey eyes. His voice was rich with a soft Scottish accent. I took in his handsome, angular face, and trim, muscular body set off by a slate gray dress shirt and jeans with black sneakers. His smile was warm and bright, but tinted with knowing amusement at the effect his voice had on a large number of American women. Like me. I’ve always loved Scotland and its rich culture with a girlish fascination I thought I’d outgrown. His accent brought it flooding back.
We struck up a conversation, lingering in the empty shop past closing time, caught up in a cloud of mutual attraction. It grew dark outside, but I was reluctant to abandon the tendril of connection that was growing between us. We’d progressed from the impersonal speech of clerk and customer to something resembling first date talk. A feeling out of each other’s likes and lives, browsing for niches to fit.
As we ventured into lifestyle territory, I felt our differences apprehensively. Did I play video games? Who has time for that? I work in publishing. The hours are long and I bring work home almost nightly. What bands did I like? No matches there. I’m addicted to the music of bygone ages, drawn to the lost romance of it. He liked…anything new, it seemed. What shows did I watch? I named Game of Thrones, a safe bet. That was a match, at least. After a moment’s hesitation, I added casually, “And Outlander.” I love that show, I rewatch it over and over, and have reread the novels many times. He grinned widely and his eyes crinkled with mirth.
“I gather you’ve heard of it?” I asked.
“Aye. It’s nae so bad, actually.”
As we stumbled through the underbrush of small talk we uncovered what else we had in common; a mutual attraction blossoming into flagrant desire.
I’d been in a bit of a dry spell, man-wise. In fact, I hadn’t been with anyone since getting dumped, making a fling seem very appealing. And spontaneous. My panties were already growing damp with possibilities, though I tried to play it cool and coy as I suggested we continue the conversation at my place. He closed up the shop and we cabbed it to my Upper East Side neighborhood, continuing our chat on the long ride. We browsed the liquor store across the street from my building and he entertained me with the social politics of Scotch whisky in Scotland. We settled on a Glenmorangie 18, which clearly pleased him.
Once upstairs he looked around the place, taking in my vintage Jazz prints from the 20s hung between two overflowing Ikea bookshelves in the living room as I grabbed a couple of glasses and the bottle of water he requested. I settled next to him on the sofa as he made a ceremony of opening the box and bottle. He poured the whisky with a flourish and added a splash of water to each glass. I’m not a scotch drinker, but I found myself looking forward to tasting it as he extolled its virtues in glowing tones.
“I quite envy you your first experience of it,” he said as he raised his glass to me. “Sláinte.”
“Slaancha.” I answered, laughing at myself for mangling the word.
The acidic burn in my mouth was a shock and I immediately wanted to spit it back into the glass, but I resisted and behind the burn came a developing of layered flavors and warmth. I took another sip and held it in my mouth, rolling the liquid around my tongue before allowing its fire to trail down through my chest. A tickle went up my nose and I coughed.
“Dya need a bit more water for that, then?” The challenging trace of a smirk that snuck into his smile made me deny it, though I suspected I might rethink that if I drank much more.
He reached toward me, his fingertips caressing my neck. I felt a thrill ripple down my back and my lips parted as I drew in a breath. Our first kiss was nice, but a little hesitant, mostly serving to make us both aware we were virtual strangers. I smiled awkwardly, willing to press on. He paused a moment, regarding me with a level gaze. I looked back into his clear grey eyes, wondering what he was thinking.
“How about a bit of role-playing?” he asked. Mischief animated his face. His voice full of impish charm, intrigued me.
I lowered my lashes and fluttered my best bedroom gaze at him. “What shall we role play? Do you want a severe schoolmarm to punish you, bad boy? Or a naughty nurse to give you a sponge bath?”
He laughed, thank goodness. He leaned close, lowering his voice conspiratorially.
“I love the wild west. What d’you think of this? You can be the tough, but innocent rancher’s daughter and I’m a roguish cattle rustler.” He cocked an eyebrow at me. “What’ll you do if you catch me, lass?”
My mouth spread into a smile full of secrets. What he couldn’t know was that I grew up in a ranching town in the hills of central Texas. You’d never suspect it to see me now, but barrel racing and lassos were in my blood. Chasing a lost doggie through cedar breaks might not be something I had done but it was definitely a part of my cultural landscape. If he wanted the wild west, I reckoned I was the girl to give it to him.
“Sounds perfect.” I held up a finger and winked at him. “One minute.”
Sometimes there is a certain freedom between people of short acquaintance. A sense of recklessness blooms once the natural cautiousness is satisfied. His suggestion was a little shocking, but I was feeling adventurous, perhaps emboldened by the spirits.
I might be guilty of a certain lack of daring, but I’m hardly a bluestocking. After all, I have edited a few of my company’s racier books. And a year-long sexual dry spell is a powerful motivator.
My apartment is very small, and there’s no door on the opening between the living room and bedroom. I rummaged surreptitiously in the bedroom closet as he watched, bundling a few items and taking them to the bathroom, where I shut the door behind me. I unwound my vintage Pucci scarf and slipped out of my sleek navy sheath, leaving on my lacy underthings. I pulled on a pair of jeans, a tank top, and tied the plaid shirt I often wore on visits back home over it. I stepped out transformed. His face lit with delight. I put on my cowboy boots from under the bed and reached into the back of the closet shelf for my old straw cowboy hat.
I tossed it to him and he clapped it on his head. It more or less fit him since I used to wear my hair bigger back in Texas. I pulled the ropy silk tie off my bathrobe and coiled it over my shoulder for effect.
“Where dya think yer goin’ with those cows, varmint?”
He replied with a truly atrocious accent mashup that was a mix of John Wayne and Mel Gibson as William Wallace. “Anywhere I want, I reckon.”
I almost lost it right then, but managed to shoulder an imaginary shotgun and reply, “This here scatter-gun says different, mister.”
He raised his hands. “Awright, you caught me. What are you going to do with me?”
“I’ll be taking you to the bunkhouse. March!”
I draped the rope belt around his neck and followed him into the bedroom. I noticed with relief that I’d made the bed that morning. My heart beat faster as we neared my four-poster bed. What was I going to do now? I wasn’t sure.
Suddenly he whirled and scooped me up into his arms with astonishingly little effort. He tossed me onto the bed and I shrieked, then clapped my hand over my mouth, conscious of the neighbors. He whipped the rope off and flung it across me, holding it down as he leaned close. His eyes crinkled at the corners in a most fetching way.
“Now I’ve got you.” He said in a husky whisper.
“Wha-what are you going to do to me?” I simpered, hoping I sounded more innocent that I felt.
“This.” He slid his hand behind my neck and pulled my mouth to his. His rustler’s kiss was different from the first one. He pressed his lips firmly to mine, parting them and slipping his tongue between them. He tasted deliciously of scotch, the liquor having mellowed to a sensual flavor inside his mouth. A thrill went through me and I shivered. He started to draw back but I caught his lower lip between my teeth. It seemed like the thing to do, except once I had it I didn’t know what to do with it.
He gave my breast a squeeze. I gasped and he sat back. He began to unbutton my shirt. He peeled it back and slid his hand in under the lace of my bra. He rolled my nipple between his thumb and forefinger, then pushed away the constricting layers of fabric, baring it. He bent and sucked the nipple between his lips, circling the hard bud with his tongue as he cupped the other. I moaned and shifted under him, unable to keep still. He bit down gently and I drew in a sharp breath. My pants felt so hot I wondered if they were starting to smolder.
I groped my way to his hips and tugged his shirt upward. He paused long enough to strip it off over his head in one smooth motion and I drank in the sight of his muscular chest.
“I ain’t never been this close to a man before. But maybe ah’ll do some explorin’,” I said, playing up my character with a Hee Haw level cornball patois.
“Well, be my guest, little lady.” He grinned.
I ran my hands up his arms and over his back liking the feel of the hard muscles under his smooth skin. My fingers slipped under his firm buttocks and squeezed. He stretched out on the bed beside me and I tugged at his belt, undoing it and the pants beneath. I let my fingers skim just under the waistband of his underwear, feeling the heat of it. He moaned softly, closed his eyes and tilted his head back.
On impulse, I came up onto my knees in a smooth motion and tugged his pants down. Now I was acting more the eager beaver than an innocent rancher’s daughter, but whatever. The heat between my legs was making me antsy.
He was already hard and his cock stood at attention as soon as it was free. He pushed his sneakers off –– they landed with decisive thumps on the hardwood floor –– and allowed me to yank his jeans the rest of the way off. I experienced a momentary hesitation. It occurred to me that I was in my apartment, my sanctuary, in my bed, with someone who was almost a stranger. I forced away the self-consciousness threatening to creep in and spoil the moment, giving my head a little shake to clear away the unwanted thoughts. He’s a fun guy and I need this.
To break the tension of my own uncertainty, I wanted to lighten things up. “Well, that looks like the gun that won the West,” I drawled eyeballing his crotch.
He huffed with laughter, then reached a hand behind my back to unhook my bra. He deftly undid my jeans, slipping his hands inside against my skin and sliding them down over my hips. I shrugged out of my shirt and bra, kicked off my boots and shimmied the rest of the way out of my pants.
I was naked. He was naked.
This wasn’t at all like the men I’d slept with before –– serious, almost solemn, couplings or perhaps even a sexual power struggle for relationship supremacy –– this was pure fun. Laughter continually lurked around the edges, threatening to burst free, joyfully restrained for the sake of our little unfolding tale. Once upon a time, I might have felt self-conscious. I would have covered up my body. I found I didn’t want to be that girl anymore; not with him. Boldly, I stuck my chest out, daring him to take hold. He did. He cupped my breasts, pressing them together.
“Are these loaded?” he asked.
I rolled my eyes, laughing. I bent down and covered his mouth with mine, kissing him hard. As we naked-kissed my emotions were scattering all over the place. He must have sensed something in my mood because he gathered me close, running his hands down my back and kissing me tenderly. He laid me down, hovering over me as he trailed kisses down my throat, along my clavicle, out to my shoulder. He nuzzled my hair and took my earlobe between his lips.
My anxiety calmed and I pulled his face to mine, kissing his cheek, rough from the day’s growth of stubble. He leaned his head against mine moving his hands south over my breasts and down my belly. I bit his shoulder as he slipped his fingers into the wet heat between my legs. He glanced at me as if wondering I was okay. I was. He rubbed the wetness and I laid my head against him as I opened my mouth and legs to the air. A spasm of pleasure shot its way up through my body. I reached for his sex, wanting to give equal pleasure. It was long and fiercely hard in my hand. I stroked the underside and it was his turn to gasp.
Then, it didn’t feel like playing anymore. It felt very real. Still fun, but serious, too. His fingers slicked themselves in my juices. He turned his head to me and I heard a little intake of breath as though he were about to speak. I raised my head up quickly and kissed him, afraid he would make a joke, wanting to hold on to this new gravity for a moment longer, stretch it out a little. Balance.
When he finally entered me I was so wet he slid all the way in and hit home. He made a noise somewhere between a cry and a sigh. It let me know it felt as good to him as it did to me. Our bodies began generating an intense heat where we came together. It was like nothing I’ve ever felt. It was almost alarming. The warmth spread through me along with a surge of pleasure. He pulled out almost all the way and then plunged back in deep. I arched my hips to meet his thrust and cried out with pleasure, forgetting all about the neighbors.
We moved together, falling into a perfect rhythm. I felt myself clench around him and he moaned into my hair. He reached under me, lifting me up, thrusting harder and faster. I wrapped my legs around his hips and tightened them, pulling him down even as he pulled me up.
He was losing himself, slipping away into his own world of sensation, I closed my eyes to join him there. It went on and on, our bodies moving, feeling so good, and I just let myself float. After a while it seemed to me that he might be acting the gentleman, waiting for my climax to indulge in his. So I started to focus on him moving in and out of me and let a flow of sensual images drift through my mind. Soon, a thrill was spreading, radiating out and up into my torso, filling me up with heat and light and making my fingers tingle. When it peaked I bucked against him, twisting and writhing, pinned underneath trying to contain a surge of fleshly power that had to go somewhere. It burst out of me. I think I may have actually screamed.
Once he heard me release he let himself go with a great, shuddering eruption. He arched into me, a low, hoarse moan coming from deep in his chest. He trembled and collapsed onto his elbows, his head hanging down, our cheeks touching. I could smell his hair, warm and sweet and a little musky with sweat. I rubbed my cheek against him like a cat and he pressed back. As we turned our heads our eyes met in the most intimate moment yet. I saw happiness in his eyes and deep satisfaction. A wonderful feeling of wellbeing surged into me, I never wanted it to end.
Eventually, though, his arms started to shake and I unwrapped my legs to let him roll beside me. I felt the loss of him inside. I wanted more of him. All of him. We lay face to face hooking our legs together and wrapping our arms into the niches of our bodies.
After a while I began to feel a yearning for him. Was it possible that it could be that good again? I wanted to find out. I kissed him and shifted, moving my hips into his. He raised his eyebrows in a question and I smiled back. That was all the encouragement either of us needed. I got up onto my knees and put my hands on my hips, towering over his prone form.
“I’ve had my way with you, but now you’re goin’ to meet my sister. This here is Sary Jane. Be nice to her or she’ll get that bottle of whupass juice and take you out to the hoo-rah patch.”
He convulsed with laughter. “You’re too good at this. I can’t take it. It’s blowing my mind!”
“Stay in character, varmint!” I smacked him on one gorgeous hip.
“No, no. Now it’s your turn.” He winked. “Don’t you have one?”
I had never considered role-playing before tonight. I thought it silly — and it is — but I loved it. I had become an actress, a temptress, one moment dominant, the next shy and timid. Being someone else opened up a cache of emotions inside me at the hand of my inner Pandora. I had seen sex as a serious thing, enjoyable, yes, but also weighty and meaningful. Being able to view it as fun, even ridiculous, was liberating. Like having the freedom to be a child in an adult world.
I thought, Hey, I guess anything goes.
“So, what’s yer fantasy, then?”
I raised my eyebrows suggestively. I decided I was going to take full advantage of this situation without one single ounce of shame.
“Oh, I think you know.” I smouldered at him through narrowed eyes. “Jamie.”
“Uh-huh.” I nodded firmly.
“Americans.” He was grinning. “All right then, Sassenach. Dinna fash yersel.“
I never did find the perfect wedding gift. After meeting Rory it just didn’t seem to matter. At least I have a date for the wedding.