Up the Stairs

Encounters  Standalones  Writing

He followed me up the stairs as I excused myself. I knew he was behind me; I saw him ducking out moments after I did. I watched him make an effort to catch up as I rounded the bend—a flicker over my shoulder. I didn’t turn to face him until the landing, a group of pretty young things to my left.

He brought me against him, my elbows pressed to his chest; with my heels we were nearly the same height, or at least a little closer than usual. He’d told me earlier, when I’d arrived, that he liked my dress. His exact words were: “Wow.” Then: “You smell nice, too,” leading to a group conversation about perfume. He wore dark chalkstripe with a light colored shirt and pocket square. His jacket fit him well, better than the first suit I saw him wear. I liked the effect. I liked him. I looked hot, too, and I knew it; I wore a body hugger that unwrapped like a present. I hoped he took advantage of the view on his way up.

He whispered in my ear—something about my dress, or maybe something about my overall effect. He said he wanted to fuck me, wanted to eat my pussy, wanted to taste my juice. I smiled and ran my fingers along his lapel, loving the rough feel of it in my hand, loving the way he angled toward me whenever I tugged, just a little bit.

He wanted to see me; Monday? Tuesday?

The twenty-somethings tittered—they were still here, now watching us.

“Tonight?” I couldn’t help myself.

He’d arrived with someone else.

“Tomorrow,” I said.

“I’m so happy I don’t have to wait long to see you.”

He turned to our spectators, their eyes bright, my hand in his. “Is this the line?”

No—the collective answer, scattered laughter.

“You’re not waiting?”

No, again; the bathrooms were available.

“Well then.”

We passed them down the hall. Before I disappeared into the women’s room he stopped and pulled me back for a kiss, our bodies length to length. He hesitated to let me go and I imagined him taking me inside and locking the door. I wanted it. I would’ve welcomed all of it.

But he let go. Momentum carried us apart and I closed the door behind me. In the mirror I tried to see what he saw when he saw me. I lingered on the outside, but there was no second kindling. I rejoined the group just as he’d settled in; moments between.

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