Patricia leads Dante into the change rooms. There are others there – Icons mostly, but also staff, like bartenders, waiters, and waitresses – either getting ready for shifts or finishing for the night. Some are in a state of undress but are oblivious to Dante. He ogles them indiscriminately until Patricia pulls him into a closet in the furthest corner of the room.
She closes the door, sealing them in darkness. Dante feels like a twelve-year-old again; his first kiss was at a friend’s birthday party, when he and Sophia Brambilla – the most popular girl in school – were locked in a closet. Dante was full of bravado and had taken her in his arms, perhaps a little too tightly. She’d admonished him, then – before he could respond – had kissed him, tasting of the sickeningly sweet chocolate birthday cake that had been served earlier. Dante thought he’d done well. He’d fantasised about this moment – not necessarily Sophia, but just his first kiss. That week at school, Sophia had told everybody he didn’t know how to kiss. He’d wanted to confront her, but a nobody like him didn’t confront a somebody like Sophia Brambilla. He then became the butt of jokes, was made of fun of, and mocked regularly. Although he tried to remain stoic throughout, every night in bed would he practise kissing his pillow.
‘What’re we doing here?’ he asks.
‘Not everybody knows this is here,’ Patricia says.
Another door opens – slides open. In the darkness, Dante doesn’t know whether Patricia has opened it, or if it’s been opened for her. She pulls him onto a stairwell that twists down and opens into a narrow black hallway with black doors. Dim lights – single globes – hang from the high ceiling.
Dante feels a sense of dread. He struggles with change – particularly anything new and unexpected. It’s hard enough keeping up with Flavia. She embraces challenges and new experiences. He likes what is comfortable. This is as unexpected as it can get for him.
Patricia leads him through one of the doors and closes it behind them. They are now on an balcony overlooking a dark room done up in black – black walls, a black ceiling (that looks soundproofed) and a black velvet floor. The room’s size overwhelms Dante. Surely a place like this couldn’t exist. It is like being at a football stadium.
In the centre is a black metal column that rises into the ceiling. Naked people surround the column – naked except for the little leather face masks they wear, as if they’re attending a masquerade ball. The bodies of some are stunning – taut, bronzed, every curve sculpted. Dante recognises fellow gym junkies. But there are others much more ordinary – their bodies melting into flab; or flab that has amassed into pudginess. There are more people in three rows of balconies that line the room. Some are dressed similarly, while a few are dressed such as he is – as if they’ve just come from the Gallery or Lounges.
‘Where are we?’ he asks.
‘Does that matter?’ Patricia asks, wrapping her arms around his waist and pressing up against him.
‘Why did you bring me here?’
Patricia unbuttons his pants, unzips them, and pulls them down to his ankles. Dante is immediately hard. His concerns disappear. Patricia’s hands slither under his shirt. As she rises, she rolls his shirt up over his head and – with some struggle getting the sleeves from his wrists – pulls it from his body, leaving him naked. She runs her hands appreciatively over his torso.
“You work it out,” she says.
Dante opens his mouth, waiting for the suave response the never comes. She places a single finger over his lips.
‘Sshhh,’ she says. ‘Some things aren’t about talking.’
She takes his cock in hand. He feels pitifully small, although he is sure he is proportionate. But he wants to be bigger. He wants to overwhelm her. He wants her to be in awe of him. Whatever’s happening here, he wants to be bigger than the experience. This is like the closet again. But he wants to emerge and write a new narrative for himself.
He checks the balconies to either side of him: to the left, a short, buxom brunette in a red dress is sandwiched between two burly, naked men whose builds suggest they might be Icons; on the right a thin man with glasses leans against the rear wall, his head lifted to the ceiling in ecstasy. A blonde head can be seen bobbing just above the rim of the balcony. Similar action is occurring in a few of the other balconies, while in the others people stare at the column in the middle of the room.
‘What about you?’
‘What about me?’ Patricia asks.
Dante grabs at the buckle of her pants, expecting resistance, but Patricia throws her arms out wide, surrendering herself. Her breasts thrust out towards him, and he kisses them through her t-shirt, feeling her left nipple between his lips.
He unbuckles her pants, unzips them, and tugs them down. She is naked underneath, her hips full, her legs taut and smooth, her pubic hair just the tiniest landing strip above her cunt.
Grabbing her buttocks, he buries his face into her crotch. She’s wet – soaked. He doesn’t know if he finds her clit, or even if he can from this position, but the way she squirms and whines is encouraging. He can’t handle this anymore. Foreplay – as non-existent as it has been – is over. He has been in lust with this woman all night and cannot hold on a second longer.
But, more than that, he is in love with the moment. All the foolish bravado he has entertained the whole night, all those whimsical fantasies, and even all his insecurities coalesce and explode into a fiery need that powers him to be all the things he’s always wanted, but never been confident enough to pursue.
He rises, spins Patricia around, and bends her over the balcony. Her butt protrudes towards him so round and firm he wants to take a bite out of it. She is not the waif Flavia is, or perhaps it’s just that Flavia seems a waif in comparison. He cups each buttock, revelling how warm and smooth she is in his hands. This woman is his now – at least for this moment.
He takes hold of his cock and guides it toward her.
Then the grinding fills the room.
* * *
Flavia runs her mouth up and down LeBeau’s cock, tightening her lips until he gasps. His hands cup her head and he pulls her to him until she feels his erection stab at her throat. Her eyes water, so she draws away until the tip of his cock sits between her lips. She scowls, then impales her mouth quickly – quicker than LeBeau is expecting – and is withdrawing before he can try to drag her back down. He has had his turn driving.
‘You’re going to be able to name your price,’ he says.
Flavia runs her hand up and down his glistening cock, freeing her mouth to grin at him. ‘You mean that?’ she asks.
‘You going to stop?’
Flavia takes him back in her mouth, but already she is feeling ready to take him on again. It’s not just his physical beauty, although that doesn’t hurt (Dante’s physique suffers in comparison because he carries it so diffidently), but his power, his confidence, and even his arrogance. This is a man who not only knows what he wants but takes what he wants.
Flavia clambers up and straddles him. He enters her easily. She lifts her face and hisses. He feels bigger than before. Harder. His hands cup her buttocks, slither up her hips and squeeze her breasts. She leans over him and kisses him. Her tongue fills his mouth.
She begins slowly, straightening up, throwing her head back, and loving the way he fills her. Her initial gyrations are small. This is the way she’d ride Dante. But LeBeau isn’t a man to do things small. His hips piston back and forth. Flavia’s cries elongate into one long wail. Vibrations course through her body.
Flavia’s eyes snap open. It’s not LeBeau. The Red Lounge is disappearing, as if it’s being pulled away. She sinks onto LeBeau, and plants her hands onto his chest. His pace slows. It’s not the Red Lounge. It’s them. They’re descending. The perimeter of the floor envelopes them. Then they’re through it. Below the pylon are men and women, naked except for leather face masks. They reach up with their arms as if in entreaty. The pylon slows to a crawl. There are people in the balconies, too. Some are naked and fornicating; others are dressed and watching.
LeBeau sits up. His hands are all over her – on her buttocks, up her back, squeezing her breasts, pinching her nipples, then back on her buttocks. He kisses her neck, then her lips. Flavia tries to rear back. LeBeau stands and lifts her effortlessly. Flavia locks her legs around his hips.
He interrupts her by thrusting into her. Flavia’s words turn into a long moan. He thrusts again, harder, and harder. Flavia’s entire body bounces. He kisses her once. Then his thrusts are continuous. The people are unimportant. His hands squeeze into her buttocks until she snarls at him. His lips twist into a sneer and he shakes his head, her grasp around his neck breaking.
She shrieks as her back arches and she hangs over the edge of the pylon, arms flailing. People below reach up to her, almost in worship. Or perhaps they are reaching up to catch her should she fall. They can’t be more than ten feet away. Some on the fringes frolic – a few kiss, some perform oral sex, others now engage in sex on the floor.
Flavia scans the balconies. They’re hard to make out as LeBeau pounds away. And this room seems to have grown, as if it expanded to contain their lust. She has no idea where LeBeau’s brought her, or why. But now, even with a room full of people, it is just them. They are the centre of attention – the focus of all the energy in the room.
She knows she should be embarrassed. Then she is reminded of Holly’s story, and she sees how one can surrender to the unknown. But here it’s empowering: she and LeBeau are the focus of everybody. It doesn’t matter that she’s fucking.
Right now, she just wants to be the star – the envy of every woman who would wish to be here, and the desire of anybody who wants her. It is something she deals with on a superficial level in everyday life, but here it exists without boundary, and rather than recoil from it, she embraces it, and wants to urge LeBeau to fuck harder. This is a show now.
His body glistens in sweat, highlighting the curve of every muscle. His face is fierce, twisted into a scowl. He could be some deity, or an incubus feeding from her lust. Then, as the pylon continues its descent, light silhouettes him and he becomes nothing but a shadow, a wraith seeking to consume her.
Flavia is unsure if she imagines it, if she is lacking oxygen and she is hallucinating, or if she beholds him in his true form, or if she sees him as she wants to see him: something greater than anybody else; something that is otherworldly and has sought her out; something that is worthy of her.
They are all stupid thoughts, gibberish mostly in throes of passion, but they hold also kernels of truth that she only entertains in her darkest desires, and in which she now finds kinship.