Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day
THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE
Dion and I were meeting at a new bar, The Chapel, which had been the neighborhood funeral home for more than eighty years. Butterworth’s Mortuary had struggled for years, losing relevance with the lifestyle shift from elaborate funerals to ash-tossing memorials. There had been a brief increase in the burying business during the AIDS epidemic, and as my martini arrived I was struck by the irony of a repurposed mortuary set in the very neighborhood that suffered the loss of so many young lives. Most Americans had been spared the heartbreak of the AIDS crisis because of bigotry or cultural indifference. Those of us in the gay and lesbian community, who watched our friends die by the dozens in the eighties and nineties, still grieved from the horror of that period.
I thought of my best buddy, Robert Kaiser: singer, songwriter, costume designer, and self-identified Marlboro Man—another cowboy, no less. Damn, I missed him. How could it have been ten years since he died? We would be sitting at this bar, that’s for sure. He would have loved the wicked twist that the Capitol Hill funeral parlor had become a cruising joint for the next generation of gay men. He also would have applauded my plan to have more than one man between my sheets; gay men had practically resurrected Rome with their scandal-free promiscuity. The straight men I’d been dating could not have been more different than their gay brothers.
Dion Miron swept in moments later and joined me at the bar.
“I thought I had a date with the French Cowboy tonight,” I said, standing up for the double-cheek kiss. “I didn’t expect you to trot in on a horse, but I did expect at least one or two cowboy hats. Did you forget the brim you said I could borrow?”
“The horse stays outside—and I leave the hat with him when I drink in a funeral home—respect for the deceased,” he said, running with my joke, then crossing himself like a proper catholic.
“So, you’re a French Catholic Cowboy; you just get more interesting all the time, Monsieur Miron.”
“And you are interesting because Rob Anderson is your friend. I thought he only cared for friendships with French Catholic Cowboys.”
I laughed in spite of the fact it made no sense. Like hipster Marx Brothers, Dion and Rob were fans of absurd humor, and I discovered I liked it, too. I also liked the sound of his English, spoken in a French rhythm, and the way he shaped his mouth to make the words. His lips moved easily and often, in and out of a smile. He liked to be amused.
Our conversation covered high altitude trekking, the election year campaign, his delinquent college days in Paris, and the common sense of French mothers who dispensed birth control pills to their teenage daughters. Dion asked questions, provoked discourse, and seemed perfectly suited for the simple scene of a bar, a cocktail, and une femme blonde américaine. He was handsome without being perfect; his face was wide; his jaw square. His thick nose had a prominent ridge that lined up with his cheekbones, set beneath brown eyes and dark brows. He was bald, and I wondered if that was by choice. His groomed goatee showed the evidence of age, with a shimmer of grey in the dark hair. Was he forty yet? It was hard to say.
“Have you ever been in love?” I asked, following a discussion about the difference between European and American infidelity.
“Love? But, what is love?” he replied, with that lyrical accent. I really wanted to know, so I described exactly what I meant.
“Being in love is when you can’t imagine your life being happy or whole without that other person.” Dion looked at me blankly, as if English was not one of his four languages.
“Being in love is also a totally helpless and symbiotic condition. If the love is reciprocated, then the dependency is disguised.” I leaned into the bar. “That’s when love feels irresistibly powerful. That would be the hook.” Dion didn’t appear to comprehend any part of what I believed to be common knowledge.
“So, the answer is: you’ve never been in love.”
“No—yes—once—in Paris. We were in school—artists—a group of us spent our time together. She studied acting. There was love.” He sounded indifferent. “I loved her. She loved me. Later, she changed her mind.”
“That’s it? That’s the only time?” Dion nodded, shrugged. Men were so tight-lipped when the heart was involved. If we were two women, we could have stayed on the subject all night.
“I’ve been in-love three times,” I told him. “I’ve been lucky—I had two long-term relationships. I liked it a lot—but I’m not interested anymore. I want something different.” I had to put it on the table. If he couldn’t handle it, then we weren’t meant to be. “I want to be single; I want to date. I want sex, but something more than one night stands.”
He was nodding, listening. “Sex is important.” His tone was pragmatic. “To like the person, is good. But not always necessary,” he signaled the bartender for another round.
“It is for me. I want meaningful connections; I want to experience something significant—but no more monogamy. My sex is my business, and I’m going to have sex with whomever I want.” That was the truth. And if I didn’t keep saying it, there was no way I was going to get it.
“Of course. It’s personal. It cannot be anyone else’s business,” he said.
“Exactly.” I drained my glass, setting it back on the damp napkin, my mind alert to what had just happened. No one had ever agreed with me before. Suddenly, Dion was more than a potential lover; he was a comrade and I wondered if he could be a guide.
“How do you do it, Dion? How do you date women? Where do you meet them?” He shrugged his shoulders, and shook his head.
“Where? I meet girls at clubs. At work. If there’s chemistry, we’ll have sex. Sometimes I see them for a while. Sometimes not. I tell them I’m not a boyfriend.”
His answers electrified me. He made it sound possible.
Finally, I had an ally. He wasn’t just a voyeuristic listener, but an actual human being who had been practicing honest, non-exclusive connections for years. He didn’t need a partner to feel whole. He didn’t require love to be satisfied. He didn’t mislead regarding his intentions. I tell them I’m not a boyfriend. He didn’t have to justify or apologize to anyone; he was simply a bachelor. Wait—that was it! Dion Miron was a bachelor! And wasn’t bachelorhood non-monogamous and socially acceptable? Could it really be that simple? After six months of trying to explain my goals and de-stigmatize my desires, it took the wisdom of one French Cowboy and the gin of two martinis for the truth to emerge; of course, I wasn’t a slut because I wanted sex with multiple partners! I was a bachelor.
The air was warm for a Seattle evening, and my bare arms savored the rare exposure. Dion and I had left The Chapel in search of food. This was his neighborhood, and I’d told him to choose when he asked what I wanted to eat.
“Broadway Grill. We’ll take a taxi.”
How European, I thought. A taxi. The restaurant was no more than six blocks, but hey, it was his call. I would do anything with him at that moment. I was feeling delicious in his company. The evening could not have been more meaningful.
“I’ll call one,” he said when we reached the intersection, pulling out his phone. Without restaurants, the street was vacant at 10:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night. The corner was lit from the mercury-vapor streetlamp, and my pale, naked arms deepened to a purple-brown in the off-cast color. I felt sexy and alive, affected by the romance of the street. Street lamps had always evoked mystique and allure for me, never more so than when Toni and I had owned the crooked streets of Paris for those nine magic nights. Was it odd that I could remember Paris with fondness, and not be stirred by the bitter rejection that came later? I had been in love, and loved, in Paris. That time existed like an oasis in my memory, an island too heavenly to be tainted by the shock of what followed.
Dion pocketed his phone, and crossed the sidewalk to where I stood. He said nothing when he raised my chin to his face, and brought the intimate pressure of his lips against mine. He found a welcome entrance. I opened fully to the wet heat of his tongue as our bodies pressed neatly into one another. His hands traced the contours of my torso, my back, and the roundness of my ass under the blue-black dress. Dion’s touch was authoritative yet restrained; presumptuous yet patient. My body was swept easily into the moment, my open throat exposed to the mercury glow as I rose on to my toes, stretching tall to meet the height of his mouth.
The boldness of that corner kiss, set in the sidewalk spotlight, was the opening act. It was an archetypal performance and I deferred to Dion; I followed his direction. In The Chapel I had auditioned, and on the vacant corner I had been cast. The taxi pulled up, and he led me to the open door. I folded my galvanized body out of the spotlight and into the dark interior and awaited his next cue.
With the door sealed, and instructions to the driver delivered, Dion returned his attention to me as if we were in the most private of places. He placed one arm around my shoulder, bringing me close to his side, and with the other began a surveillance of my skin. He touched my left thigh, moved to my right thigh, and then traced the calf down to the ankle, brushing his fingers against my exposed instep. Every place he touched erupted with the charge of memory; of being touched by other hands, of being touched at other times. His hand moved beneath my dress, to the inside of my naked thigh, and into the wall of heat radiating from my pussy. I flinched when his fingers found the place where the fabric of my panties met my skin. Instinctively, I shifted my ass off the seat; Dion guided the panties effortlessly to my ankles, escorting each heel free of fabric, leaving my ass naked beneath my dress before the taxi had moved two blocks. He’s done this before; there was no mistaking his skill. He kissed me again, deeply, and I spread my legs, giving in to that divine reflex of desire. And he does it well, I thought, before submitting to the sensation of his perfect touch on my perfect pussy.
TOMORROW: Chapter 20
Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.