It was a wonderful concert (Bach suites, arranged for chamber orchestra and thankfully not performed on period instruments, much as I might admire the intentions), and as I leave I’m feeling slightly charged. Most concert-goers drift off towards bars and coffee shops. It’s too late in the evening for me to drink coffee, and I’m not much for alcohol either, not without company anyway. The others, after all, are in loose knots of friends or paired off with spouses or lovers. Very few people, it seems, attend concerts alone. If I hadn’t been traveling, I probably wouldn’t have either, but here I am alone. I’m quite comfortable in my own company, and I wouldn’t have missed this music just because I have only strangers to share it with me.
Although I have nowhere to go, I’m not ready to return to my hotel yet. I wander along the well-lit street at an unhurried pace, looking into the windows of closed boutique shops. It’s not a large downtown, and I’m pleased to see that many of the shops are local, not branches of the ubiquitous chains I encounter almost everywhere as I travel. Then, oh, miracle, I come across a bookstore, still open, its racks of onsale paperbacks edging into the sidewalk. I check the sign: “Open Fridays till midnight.” How perfect! I enter to discover that it’s one of those narrow-fronted stores that open into a sprawling maze of aisles. It must go back quite a ways. New books are mixed in with a good selection of used material, paperbacks and hardcovers side by side. I expect the owners wish they could expand, judging from the unshelved copies piled up at the ends of the aisles and in front of many of the stacks. I don’t mind stepping around the overflow. The air is like that of an antique store, with treasures to be found by those with the time and patience to hunt.
Where to go first? I browse through fiction, checking for favorite authors, though the books I find are ones I’ve already read. Still, it’s like meeting old friends to see them again here. A sign towards the back of the store catches my eye, prompting me to take a sudden right turn. Could any of my books be here? Well, no. To be expected, I suppose.
I scan the aisle around me. Theology, Travel, Yoga. I guess they’re alphabetical. I choose Travel. I do love travel writing, but it’s a hard category to browse, since the books are arranged alphabetically by authors’ last names, giving no clue as to what country they’re writing about. Often the titles aren’t much help either. I pick out a few and study their back covers, rolling my shoulders (stiff from sitting still for two hours) a bit in my dress. I’m dressed for a classical concert, but it seems appropriate for books too, at least to me: a black dress with a velvet bodice that follows my shape faithfully, though not snugly enough to bind. It’s a warm evening, so I wear no bra underneath. I’m not large enough to need one, and I enjoy the feel of the underside of the velvet rubbing against my nipples. The knee-length taffeta skirt is full and swishy, a full circle of fabric that falls in pleats when I stand. A pair of black pumps, heels higher than I would normally wear, but no stockings or hose—not in summer. My unruly hair is pinned up neatly tonight, revealing sparkly crystal stud earrings. I wear no necklace or other jewelry, not even a watch.
I can’t seem to find anything I like in Travel. I don’t want to read about someone’s chartered wine tour of France or family road trip through the Midwest in a camper trailer with Nutsy the Dog. Doesn’t anyone bicycle solo through Pakistan anymore? I stroll down to the end of the aisle and turn. Art? Either I’ve come full circle or someone can’t alphabetize. I intend to walk straight through it, but my eye is caught by something Japanese. I step in to take a closer look. Oh…erotic Japanese woodblock prints. I glance up and down the aisle to see if anyone’s around (not that there’s anything wrong with perusing an art book), but there’s no one in sight. I open the book at random and turn a few pages. It’s nicely done … not too samurai-n’-geisha, and the quality of the printing is superb. I check the publisher—as I suspected, a small Asian press. I slow down my page turning, studying the pictures in more detail. They’re quite arousing.
I stop at one of a woman alone, nude, lying half on her side, half on her stomach, and bound with rough hemp rope. The background is vague—some arrangement of cloth—so the focus is all on her body. Her arms are twisted behind her and tied tightly, almost uncomfortably, and her hair is in disarray. Only part of her face is visible, eyes half-closed and her expression one of…not pain exactly, or at least not entirely, but some intense feeling. She seems to be waiting for something, a blow or a kiss. I imagine that her lover is in the room with her, just out of view of the picture frame, and I wonder what he has been doing to arouse her feelings of pain/pleasure.
I don’t hear your footsteps until you’re almost behind me. I’m tempted to shut the book quickly, but then I’ll just look guilty. And it’s art, after all, the kind of book one is actually encouraged to browse through. Besides, I assume you’re just moving through to some other section.
You turn sideways to fit behind me in the narrow aisle, and I press up a little closer to the shelves to let you by. But you don’t pass. Can you possibly be searching for a title in this section? Should I move? I take a tentative small step to the side, in case I’m blocking something you’re looking for and close the book slightly. “Oh, sorry,” you say, in a low, resonant voice. “I was looking over your shoulder at the picture.” You move in tandem with me, so that you’re still standing behind.
What? Did you really say that? I feel a blush spread across my face, invisible to you. How embarrassing. What must you think of me for looking at pictures like this in a public place? I scramble for an excuse. “Oh, I lived in Japan for years, so ... um ... Japanese art ... I mean, historically, it’s...” Who am I kidding? I don't have a thing to say about Japanese art, other than that these pictures turn me on. “Yes, they’re very well done, aren’t they?” you say, easily, seeming not to notice my stuttering embarrassment. “The artist certainly captures the expressions well. And … how nice to see a woman who can appreciate the visual.” As though we were two serious art students. I open the book again, almost defiantly, this time making sure that you can see the page as well.
I glance around to see if anyone is watching—no, and thank goodness for that. To assess the situation, though, I had to step back one step. In the meantime, you had somehow moved closer, so that now I’ve accidentally backed into you. And … I’m sure I felt the hardness in your trousers. Oh, dear. Now what? I can’t leap forward or you’ll know that I felt you, and then you might feel embarrassed. These things happen when looking at erotic art, and they’re nothing to be ashamed of. Best to pretend I didn’t notice, to act completely natural and nonchalant. I shift my weight, which eases me very slightly forward, and then casually turn the page, showing you the next picture. Nothing wrong with two people just looking at an art book.
Oh...now, who would have guessed it would show a couple standing just as we are? A man behind a woman, in front of a shelf. She’s reaching for something not clearly defined, and he’s looking over her shoulder. Her yukata, the Japanese summer kimono, is tied loosely around her, the fabric half off one shoulder. There is certainly no mistaking the erection of the man in the picture—or his intentions. He has one hand on her shoulder and the other snaking around her waist, pulling her to him tightly while his hand cups her breast. Oh yum. The man in the picture can’t see his woman’s face, but we can. It’s a picture of desire, of wanting him, of wanting more. We study our Japanese counterparts in silence for a few heartbeats … and then I feel your right hand on my shoulder ... Now your left hand is on my waist, where it curves in from my hip. Just resting there lightly, but with intention. I can’t help it; I lean back into you, pressing my ass back just a little bit, hoping to feel you hard against me again...
Yes, there it is. I feel the heat, too, though whether it’s from your body or mine or both so close together it’s impossible to say. Your right hand increases its pressure on my shoulder, holding me still, even as your left hand moves slowly, slowly but purposefully, around my waist and then up toward my breast, resembling more closely the position of the couple on the page. I can feel my nipples stiffen. If you leaned in any closer, you’d be able to look down my dress and see them. I can feel your breath on my neck.
“Let’s look at the next one,” you say in my ear, brushing a kiss on my neck. To still the trembling of my hand, I turn the page. Hmm … apparently that was the first of a series, because here is the same couple again. In this one, the woman has arched her neck back to rest her head on the man’s left shoulder, leaving his right hand free to caress her right breast. Her arms are outstretched, as if inviting the man behind her to take his liberty with her body. His left hand, now descended to her hips, makes that abundantly clear. Your lips follow his by kissing the nape of my neck, and then you bite down—a wide open-mouthed bite—at the juncture with the shoulder.
Oh, god, the neck, you’ve found my weak spot. Or one of them, anyway. I wish I too could stretch my arms out like hers...but I’m holding this book. I wiggle my ass in frustration... then again more slowly, because I’ve found your bulge. I gradually center it between my cheeks. I am wearing underwear, but only a thong, so it must feel to you as if I’m knickerless beneath my skirt. It must be getting to you, too, because I can feel your grip tighten. I close my eyes for a moment, drinking in the sensation of your hand on my breast. You pinch the nipple between your thumb and forefinger, and I almost moan out loud, though I manage to change it into a heavy, breathy exhale.
“Next,” you say, your voice hoarse with desire. I’m not sure if I feel hopeful or fearful, but I try to steady myself as I turn the page. Well, that is one useful feature of the yukata—once the sash is undone, the rest just falls away. Lucky couple. He’s got his left hand directly over her sex, and I want that too. We look at them for a couple of breaths, and then I feel your teeth on my neck again. Now I’m undone as well. I look up and down our aisle again, and listen ... Still no one near, though there are footsteps and light murmurs from other sections beyond our towering shelves. I place the book on the shelf. I can hold it open by placing other books at each of its edges. I lift up my full skirt and spread it over us, leaning forward a bit as I do. I reach back and unzip you. Then I lean forward again, my arms outstretched as hers were, gripping the shelf in front of me. I’m not really sure what I’m expecting you to do—will you actually fuck me in a bookstore? Will you finger me till I cum? What can I do for you? I haven’t thought that far ahead. All I know is that I’m so wet I’m practically dripping, and I need release.
You must have slipped out from your underwear, because I can feel the tip of your cock brush the top of my ass. Your right hand has slipped under my dress from the armhole and is cupping my bare breast, toying with the hardened nipple. Your left hand makes its way up under the front of my skirt, first over the cloth of my panties and then down inside, resting against me. I shift my stance to widen my legs, inviting you to go where you will. Your fingers move with delight in the slick wetness they encounter.
I feel your hand lifting the fabric of my thong up and over, off my sex—then the head of your erection replaces your fingers. I can’t help a soft whimper. With a hand on me from above and a cock pushing into me from behind, I don’t know how long I can keep from cumming ... but then this is a public place, so prolonging the experience isn’t a great strategy anyway. Your right hand leaves my breast (oh! I miss it already!), hooks over my left wrist, and slides over to my right one. You are holding both wrists together against the shelf with firm authority. Oh ... is it possible to melt and tense with desire at the same time? Apparently so ...
I have to go up on my toes at first to let you fully inside. I lean into the bookshelf to tilt my ass up to you; then I can sink back on the high heels of my shoes. You’ve returned your left hand to the front of my sex, holding me steady as you push in more firmly from behind. You move slowly, deliberately at first, and it’s maddening. Every thrust pushes me against your hand. I grind my clit onto you, desperate to reach my climax. I can hear conversations swelling and fading from other aisles, and I shut my eyes. Even if a tour group comes down our aisle, god knows I cannot stop now. Somehow you can tell I’m about to cum (is it the shaking legs, the panting? my squeezing pussy walls?) and you start thrusting harder, increasing the pressure with your hand, too. I’m there, oh yes, whole body shaking now, involuntary contractions rippling through me. I squeeze tightly onto your cock, trying to pull your fullness inside me. I feel your hand tighten even more over mine, and you give a push that lifts me almost off my feet and utter a groan whose meaning no one could mistake. (Did anyone hear?) I let my head sink onto my arms to rest, my knees sagging, still keeping you inside me. You cover my neck with soft kisses and gentle, firm bites.
You whisper something into my ear, a single word. I’m confused at first; it’s hard to bring my mind back from the non-verbal. Then it hits me—you’re telling me your name. “Shar,” I give back, on an exhale. I want to say it’s for Sharazade, not a mere Charlotte or Charlene, but I can’t manage that many syllables just yet. You move your right hand off mine, though I leave my hands where they were, and I can still feel the pressure of yours. Both your arms encircle me in a tight embrace, holding me even as a little orgasmic aftershock trembles through my body. Then you move your right hand, and I feel something briefly press into my back. I need to straighten up now, and as I do, you slide out. I move my thong back into place. I can’t very well drip onto the floor of a bookstore. It crosses my mind that I’ll need to slip into the restroom and clean myself up. You reach over my shoulder, tuck something into the book, close it, and place it in my hands. I hold it, and you hold both my shoulders. Then, with a final kiss to the back of my neck and a deliberate squeeze to my left ass cheek, you move away.
I resist the temptation to turn and look at you as you leave. Instead, I open the book to see what you left there. A business card? Seriously? I have to fight not to laugh. Am I supposed to call for an appointment? Is it a coupon for 10% off? But no, now that I look at it, I can see that it is not your business card at all. Rather, it's the card for a local hotel. And on it you’ve written your room number. Oh ...
I smooth and straighten my clothing back into place. I’m about to replace the book on the shelf when I think, no, this one I’ll purchase. I slip the book under my arm and move off to find the restroom, still moving the card between my fingers, thinking.
Sharazade authors Twisted Vagabondage Tales for travelers who like it rough. She is prettier than Vagabonding author Rolf Potts (though Rolf is very pretty) and could kick his ass (though only if he'd like that). Her new book called Transported: Erotic Travel Tales is published by Fanny Press.