In the bygone days before cell phones, lonely Cathy, college dropout, works in a grocery store and makes completely random phone calls to strangers just to make a human connection. When a strange coincidence forces her to actually speak to the person on the other end of the phone, she's suddenly thrust back into the world, with all its vulnerability. Will Seth be able to draw Cathy back into the land of the living?
Warning: This title contains graphic language and sex.
I don’t have a real bed, just a box spring and mattress shoved against the wall on the floor. It’s a firm mattress, hard, really, and I’m still apologizing for it as I show him my room and he kisses me into silence. I’ve kissed lots of times, but this is different. This is Seth. His mouth is soft and firm, his lips wet, like the inside of a ripe plum. He tastes like cashews from the Chinese we ordered earlier.
His hands are already lifting my dress in back as he presses me against the dresser. My heart is racing, but so is my head. I break the kiss and slither out of his arms, moving toward the door. He is watching me, his eyes smiling.
“Where you goin’, Cath?”
“Uhhh…” Where am I going? I make a quick decision. “Bathroom.”
He nods and I go wash my face and flush the toilet, trying to keep my hands from shaking so much. I sit and stare at the wall for as long as I think I can, and then I go back to the bedroom.
The lights are off and he’s lit a few of the small candles on my dresser. He’s in my bed, bare-chested under my dark green comforter and he’s smiling again.
“Come to bed.” He holds his hand out to me. “I won’t bite.”
I lean against the door, my arms crossed over my chest. “Promise?”
“Only in all the right places.” He wiggles his eyebrows and I smile, but my stomach hurts.
I move towards the bed and sit on the edge, facing the door.
His hand moves over the small of my back, rubbing, comforting. “Want me to unzip you?”
I nod, not trusting my voice, and he tugs my zipper down, opening my dress to my waist. I’m wearing nothing underneath it. The air is cold and I shiver. He is kissing my spine, vertebrae by vertebrae, from bottom to top.
“Seth.” It’s a whisper. I can’t find my voice. It’s caught somewhere under this lump in my throat.
His lips reach the back of my neck. The heat of his body is so foreign to me that it makes me flush. He moves my hair over my shoulder and I stiffen when his tongue slides along my hairline, his hands pushing my dress down over my shoulders.
“You’re beautiful,” he murmurs over my shoulder blade.
I shake my head, pulling one sleeve back up over my exposed skin. “Guys just say that.”
“Is that what I am?” He sits back.
I can feel him, his eyes on me, but I don’t turn. “What do you mean?”
“Am I just some guy?” He leans back against the wall.
I look at him over my shoulder, trying to keep my voice steady. “Yeah, that’s right. Just some guy.”
He shakes his head, frowning, and then his face relaxes into a sad smile. “Cathy, what are you so afraid of?”
“Nothing.” I shrug, looking back at the door.
His laugh is soft, disbelieving. “Girls just say that.”
It makes me smile. “Is that what I am?”
“Yeah,” he says, stretching his legs out on either side of mine, wrapping his arms around my waist. “That’s right, just some girl.”
“You are so mean to me,” I whisper, leaning back against him.
His silent laughter shakes through us both, his bare chest against my exposed back. “I know. I’m so awful. Just like all those other guys, out for just one thing…”
“You are!” I muffle a laugh with my hand.
He pulls me over his lap, and I squeal, the motion a surprise. I am trapped between his scissored legs, lying back across the bed.
Seth grins. “So how about you give me what I want, then, huh?”
I stick out my tongue at him.
“Yep, that’s what I want,” he says, leaning in to kiss me, following my tongue’s retreat deep into my mouth. It’s as if some electrical current is passing from his body into mine. I break the kiss, putting my arms around his neck. His mouth moves over my throat, the light heat of his breath punctuated by soft kisses.
I open my eyes and watch the three flickering circles made by the candles on the ceiling as he kisses my dress off each shoulder. I shiver, the air over my breasts a shock, but have no time to think about it before he’s nuzzling each of them in turn, as if trying to decide which one he likes best. That thought makes me want to giggle and I stifle it, watching his bent head move toward my nipple.
I feel outside of myself, as I almost always do, watching him take my dark nipple between his lips. I feel the sensation, I feel his tongue swirling around the nipple, I feel his fingers rolling the other nipple between his thumb and forefinger, and yet I feel numb. I look back up at those three shadowy circles, wanting a beacon to call me home. I want to know what home looks like, feels like.
He stops, and I look down at his eyes searching mine. What is he thinking?
“Cathy, you’re not even breathing,” he whispers, kissing the underside of my breast, his lips soft and warm.
He takes one of my hands that I’m gripping the sheet with, a clenched fist, and he urges me to open it, pressing it against his, palm to palm. My hands are small and soft, his large and calloused. Sitting up, he slides my dress down over my hips, my thighs, tossing it over my desk chair in the corner.
“Nice shot,” I remark. He smiles, but my body is his focus and his eyes move over me in the candlelight. I’ve never felt so exposed.
He takes my hand and rests it below my navel. “Here. Breathe here.” I try, and he waits, watching me. “Move my hand, up and down, with your breath.” He places his hand over mine. I can feel the weight against my womb, an easy pressure, sinking my spine down deeper into the bed.
“I’m trying,” I say. I bite my lip, closing my eyes, focusing all of my attention on my breath. It’s a shaky rhythm.
“Yes! There it is,” he murmurs, and I smile at his praise. I can feel my belly lifting our hands. “Right there. Don’t stop that.”
I want to giggle again but I don’t. I look up at him, his eyes reflecting the candlelight, and for the first time, I see him. The awkward hello, the hesitation, it all melts with the heat of my belly’s breath moving our hands, the flickering flames in his eyes. I see Seth, and he sees me, and just for that one moment, there’s no more fear.
Not moving his hand, he leans over and kisses me. In just moments, I can feel myself floating away again, and he presses his hand against mine under my navel, a gentle reminder. He nods against my lips, not breaking our kiss, when he feels me breathing more deeply into my belly.
“Keep breathing,” he murmurs, sliding down my body to settle between my legs. And still, he doesn’t move his hand. His cheek rests against my thigh, his mouth close enough to my pussy to move my pubic hair, and his hand covering mine just above my mound.
“Seth,” I whisper. “Please.”
He nods, looking up at me. “It’s ok. Keep breathing.” His hand presses and I breathe, closing my eyes as his tongue finds my center. At first there’s nothing except that sense of watching myself. Then a slow, rising tickle starts as his tongue moves through my slit, easing back and forth over my clit with an easy persistence...