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That Kind of Girl

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It all started when I turned into a girl to save the world.

Or, no, actually, it started the first time I tripped and my lips accidentally landed on John Marcone’s.

Except that isn’t right, either. It goes back further. Really far, actually.

I had this – it’s not a fantasy, is the thing. Sexual fantasies are, you know, personal, and the whole point of this one was that it wasn’t. It’s just something that was in my head as far back as I can remember, like it had grown there. I’m not really a big fan of masturbation, but on those occasions I was desperate enough, it didn’t matter what I started thinking about, eventually I would come back to that one little thought. And it would get me off like that.

It was impersonal. It wasn’t about Elaine or Susan or Luccio. No one I’d ever slept with or even thought about sleeping with. It was . . . archetypal. It wasn’t about me.

It was just two people, having sex. A man and a woman, I mean, obviously. And they were sort of – well, actually, it’s more that he was, you know, rough. He’d pound into her until she screamed, pull her hair, smack her ass. And he’d say things to her, call her names. Not nice names.

None of it was nice. None of it was the sort of thing good guys do to their girlfriends.

It freaked me out. It was like a shameful, fucked up landmine, waiting there to catch me if I wasn’t careful. And I never knew why, was the hell of it. I didn’t want to do those things. I really didn’t. I used to check myself sometimes when I was in bed with someone. Susan and I would be kissing, working each other up nice and slow, and I’d think, okay, Harry, do you want to push her face into the pillows and spank her? And I didn’t. Which was good, because aside from anything else, I’m sure Susan wouldn’t have wanted me to. I mean, who would?

Except for the woman in my head. She wanted it. She begged for it. She loved it.

I didn’t understand it, but it got me off. So it freaked me out, yeah.

Fast forward to Marcone. Speaking of things that get me off even though I don’t understand them.

To shorthand, let’s just say I had a temporary psychotic break and made out with him in a three a.m. post adrenaline haze of exhaustion. Once! Or so I thought. I got out of there as soon as I regained my senses enough to remember whose tongue was in my mouth and whose hands were sliding up the back of my shirt. The whole thing was a shock, let me tell you, but I chalked it up to nerves and sleep deprivation and wrote it off.

Except it happened again. This time against his office door, with my traitorous body sliding down to just the right height to oblige him, and his thigh pressing between mine. And then again outside of Mac’s, braced against a telephone pole like a couple of teenagers. We got within ten feet of each other and I went insane. It was not okay.

Also, he started following me around like a well-armed puppy. I went out for a beer, he just happened to be driving by when I wanted to go home again. I had lunch with Ivy, he showed up with an urgent question for her, and why yes, he’d love to stay, thank you, how lucky we hadn’t ordered yet.

When I spotted him at my regular Safeway, glaring disapprovingly at a stand of wilted greens, I lost it.

“Okay!” I said, stomping over. “This has got to stop.”

“I agree,” Marcone said. “This level of pesticide use is not acceptable in a sustainable food production system.”

He was wearing jeans and a leather jacket; I resisted the urge to grab him by the collar and shake him until he rang like a bell. “Tell me this,” I said, fed up and sarcastic. “If I actually put out, will you drop me and start going out with the cheer captain? Because I’ve tried everything else here.”

He considered this. “I don’t know,” he said. “But I promise not to write limericks about you on any bathroom walls, if that’s a concern.”

I don’t know how it happened. I swear to God I was going to punch him. Instead, I did him in the back seat of his car in the alley behind the store. We rubbed off against each other just like that, neither of us even getting our zippers down. It . . . really didn’t seem to send the message I’d intended.

He didn’t move on to someone shinier. Or write about me on any bathroom walls, so at least there was that.

Instead, we did it again. And again. And suddenly it was a regular thing. Have a bad day? No problem, just go find Marcone and we would jerk each other off. Have a great day? Even better. Go find Marcone and we would jerk each other off.

I didn’t understand why his hands were so much better than mine, but they were. He seemed to be enjoying himself, too. And sometimes, when he had me braced up against a wall and he was jerking me tight and slow, I’d squeeze my eyes shut and I’d get a flash, a memo from the swamps of my subconscious: the woman on her hands and knees, the man behind her giving it to her so hard, so inconsiderate and careless that she couldn’t hold herself up anymore. And then I’d come in Marcone’s hands with a bullet.

Talk about getting some freaky with your freaky. But it wasn’t . . . we weren’t . . . what we were doing wasn’t about us. It was just stress relief, something like that.

So then Mother Summer and Mother Winter disappeared, Mab and Titania lost what little remained of their sanity, the world tried to shake itself apart, and I got turned into a girl. So did Fix, at least. Me and him – well, her – and Lily and Maeve teamed up to stop the apocalypse, and wasn’t that a barrel of laughs. We had to go deep into faerie, deeper than the courts, deeper than anyone had gone in recorded memory. Down into the old faerie magic, which was apparently so alien and weird that it didn’t recognize any sort of male power.

So the queens that were . . . weren’t, the queens that are were having nervous breakdowns, and it was left to the queens that will be to deal. And the queens that just fucking shouldn’t have, as Fix and I decided to call ourselves.

Cue a lot of intercourt bitching, more walking than in the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, and about fifteen minutes of crazy adrenaline action, and it was all over.

I slept for sixteen hours when I got home. Only when I woke up did it occur to me that hey, I’d never asked Lily exactly how I was supposed to turn back into a man again. There were other things on my mind at the time, okay?

“You’ll have to wait it out,” she said when I finally got a hold of her.

“Of course I will,” I said, groaning. “How long? Couple days?”

“Weeks, probably,” Lily said. “Think of it as a character-building experience.” She paused. “Or you could do what Fix is doing and go have a live action lesbian fantasy.”

I hung up on her, sulked for an hour, then got on with life. Being a woman wasn’t all that inconvenient, once I got some clothes that fit. Let’s be honest: way weirder things have happened to me. I didn’t have any open cases, and my next new client just assumed Harry was short for Harriet. That was weird; I wanted to explain how I was a man, no really, wait come back I’m not crazy. Obviously I didn’t try that.

Murphy thought it was a great learning experience for me. That was close enough to what Lily had said to make me wonder what exactly they meant by it. I never figured that out. Thomas thought it was funny, Molly thought it was cool, Mouse and Mister didn’t care since I could still operate a can opener.

Marcone never even crossed my mind. At least, not until he slipped quietly into line behind me at Starbucks one afternoon.

“Excuse me, Miss,” he said, touching my shoulder. He bent, empty-handed, and when he came up he had a red rose, long stem decorously stripped of thorns. “I think you dropped this.”

I goggled. “That was so lame.”

Marcone grinned. The crooked one that goes all the way up to his eyes. He tucked the stem between the buttons of my jacket so the rose stuck out, brushing distractingly against the skin under my jaw. “Looks good on you,” he murmured, hand hovering at my waist without quite touching. He wasn’t talking about the rose. Or the jacket.

When I’d first transformed, it’d been half necessity, half hysterical it’s the end of the world! joke. I hadn’t felt like a woman; I’d just felt like me with some really weird and inconvenient packaging. It was a trick, a disguise to get me access to the deep faerie magic.

I should know better. There are no tricks in magic. You don’t fool it, definitely not with packaging. I’d forgotten that. At least until I was holding the throbbing heart of faerie in my hands, and I reached into it, and it reached into me. And what it raised in me was something . . . womanly. I don’t know where it came from. The packaging must have gone deeper than I thought, that’s the only explanation. It was my magic, but there was a richer harmonic to it, another layer, and the spell I needed to do came out of me like a tone from a bell.

I’d lost that feeling, walking out of faerie. I couldn’t even remember it, not in its fullness.

It came back with John Marcone’s eyes on me, and his rose against my throat. Except this time, it wasn’t about magic.

We’d been sticking to basic stuff all along partly because I didn’t really know what else two guys could do, or if I wanted it. In the visceral specific, I mean.

But I knew what a man and a woman could do together. Intimately. The idea crystallized, I couldn’t stop it. We could have sex. Real sex, the whole enchilada; Marcone could push his dick deep into me, he could stroke it in, I could wrap my legs around his waist, we could—

Heat bloomed in me. I went liquid between my legs, aching. Stars and stones, I was wet, just like that.

“May I?” Marcone was saying, reaching for his wallet.

I pulled myself together with a wrench. “You may not,” I said, and turned to pay for my own drink, thank you. Marcone ordered – chai, huh – and followed me down the counter.

“Are you going to Edinburgh any time soon, by chance?” he asked politely.

I groaned. “Oh, stars, you want me to play messenger boy again, don’t you?” There was a regular flow of mail between Marcone and the White Council; both parties seemed to prefer to send it with me, when they could. I’m not much for politics, but I’m pretty sure it was a bi-directional insult.

“It’s not urgent,” Marcone said. “But at your convenience, please, Warden.”

“Yeah, yeah, all right,” I grumbled. “Hand it over.”

“It’s in my home office,” he said apologetically. “Do you have some time right now?”

I accepted my coffee. “I guess,” I said, sighing dramatically. “I mean, I was going to go have a nap in appreciation for saving the universe, but that’s all right.”

“I appreciate it,” Marcone said immediately. His mouth was smiling, but his eyes were not. He accepted his drink without looking, watching me steadily. “How bad was it?”

I made a see-sawing motion in the air. “Eh, as apocalypses go? Not too bad. We were in faerie, so the catering could use some work, but still.”

His eyes crinkled. There were no smile lines on his face, just very faint crow’s feet. I’d known him for – stars, it’d been a long time – and he was one of those people who seemed perfectly fitted to whatever age he currently was. Just another way of saying the fundamental truism of Marcone, he wore things well: age, manners, weapons, power.

“My car is just outside,” he said, touching my elbow.

He took me to his stupid status symbol out on the Gold Coast, and left me in the foyer for a few minutes while he unplugged the electronics. I wandered around, leaving fingerprints on the black glass top of a table, kicking a brown and red rug just a tiny bit askew. Marcone eventually came and ushered me through to a study at the back of the house. It was surprisingly small, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves along one wall and a fireplace opposite. I parked my rear on the corner of Marcone’s desk, sitting deliberately on his papers.

He retrieved a page from a silent printer, signed it with a flourish, and folded it in perfect thirds. The council sent parchment, handwritten, and if they were feeling particularly stick-up-their-ass that day, in a fancy roll with a ribbon. Marcone always returned crisp, modern envelopes, laser printed and perfect. More politics, I was pretty sure.

I stripped off my jacket, tossing it and his stupid rose over my shoulder to the visitor’s chair. I leaned back on my hands, stretching out my legs and disarranging his neat stacks of paper. Marcone glanced over, smiling tolerantly. Then his eyes slid down my body, and the smile changed.

I was simmering, slow but steady. Only question was, did I want to do this?

Well, okay, truth. I wanted to. But was I going to?

Marcone reached for an envelope, and fumbled it. He jerked his eyes down to his hands, his gestures going snappy and precise.

Because – wow, okay. Because I was distracting him. I was flustering him, just by sitting here and letting him get an eyeful.

I reacted the way I always do when Marcone does something unexpected: I poked him with a stick to see if he would do it again. Except I don’t actually know anything about, you know, being seductive. If I tried to drape myself all over him, I’d probably just knee him in the balls.

So I did what my body had been thrumming to do all along. I let one hand drift up my stomach, casual, and brushed my knuckles up the underside of my breast, over the peak, then up and down the outside curve, soft and slow. My breath hitched. I could feel my nipples hardening. I wanted to shove my fist between my legs and rock against it.

Marcone looked, jerked his eyes away, looked again. I felt a power swell in me, alive and confident. It had nothing to do with magic.

Marcone sealed the envelope and placed it meticulously in the center of his blotter. Then he came at me, crowding close and leaning in, one hand on either side.

“Are you done playing with me?” he asked, low and just a tiny bit angry.

“Pretty sure I’ll never be done playing with you,” I said.

An odd smile crossed his face, and I belatedly wondered if I’d said what I meant. But then he kissed me, and I didn’t care anymore.

It was just a taste, his mouth slanting over mine, the flicker of his tongue. Then he slipped away, a sound on the exhale that would have been a groan on someone else, and buried his face in my breasts. He sighed low in his throat, rubbing his cheek against me. Then he turned his head and his mouth found my nipple, hot and wetly chafing through my t-shirt. I arched into him, I couldn’t help it.

I was stretched back, hands behind me for balance, and I couldn’t do anything. He grabbed my hips, dragging me down to the edge of the desk. And he was right there between my legs before I knew what was happening. I rocked against him instinctively, and he jerked, a ripple of uncontrolled want down his whole body. I could feel him getting harder through my jeans. It was an odd moment; I could remember what that felt like, the tightening coil of tension, but I was overwhelmed by the heat between my legs, the growing slickness, the maddeningly faint whisper of friction from my underwear. He bit at me lightly through my t-shirt, rubbing against me hard enough to chafe the seam of my jeans almost where I needed it. Those were the only points of contact between us – his mouth on my breast and his dick pushing against me. We flexed together, striving.

Yeah, okay, I was going to do this.

But I definitely wasn’t going to do it on his desk.

“Hey,” I said, knocking sharply on his temple. “We’re not doing this here. I’m not your fucking secretary.”

He was laughing, of all things, when he came up. “If you wanted a bed, all you’ve ever had to do was ask,” he said. “Come on.”

Huh, we never had made it to a bed before, had we? Just a few different walls, the back seat in a succession of his cars, and his office couch, once. Funny, I’d never noticed that.

Which was a damn shame, because his bed was huge and ridiculously comfortable. I rolled onto it, stretched from my fingertips to my toes, and groaned.

Marcone eyed me dubiously. “Should I leave you two alone?”

“Mmm,” I said, stretching again. I hadn’t even known my back was aching until it stopped. “If this thing could give me an orgasm, you’d be totally out of luck.”

“Lucky for me, then,” he said, and went for my jeans. I kicked off my boots fast as I could, but he was still faster. There are a lot of sexy things in the world, but I firmly believe that nothing is sexier than knowing someone wants you. And Marcone wanted me.

I hadn’t even started to get my shirt off when he ran his hand up the inside of my thigh and cupped me with a perfect, shifting pressure. He stroked me once, exploratory, and then worked two fingers into me. I said “oh!” louder than I’d meant, squeezing down on them, and releasing, and squeezing again. He started in on me with his other hand, too, working his fingertips against me until I jerked and shook. Oh, okay, that was – that was my clit. It was also awesome.

But the bright shocks of pleasure were muffling the other sensation of his fingers slowly pumping in me, and I really wanted to feel that. So I grabbed his wrist, pulling one hand away while I shoved shamelessly onto the other.

“Well, all right then,” Marcone said, smiling, and stretched me open on another finger. It was . . . I felt . . .

“Okay,” I said suddenly, sitting up. I had abruptly jumped from yeah, this is good, going to get better to want an orgasm right fucking now. “Come on,” I said, pawing at him. “Take your pants off.”

Which was a genius plan, except that he needed both hands. I had to work hard not to clamp my thighs around his wrist to keep him where I wanted him. It was okay, though, because I replaced his fingers with mine, pushing three in deep and rocking them as hard as I could. My eyes rolled back in my head. Holy crap, why hadn’t I been doing this all along?

“Jesus Christ,” Marcone said, and I heard his belt hit the wall with some force. A drawer rattled, slammed, a box tore. I twisted my hand, wondering if I could take a fourth finger.

I didn’t get to find out. He was on me, pulling my hand away and replacing it with his. “Off,” he barked, running the other hand up under my shirt. I obliged, flinging it away.

“What are you waiting for, an engraved invitation?” I demanded.

“I’ve waited longer for less from you,” he shot back, with real heat.

“Well, I’m not waiting,” I said. “Get on with it or get out of the way so I can.”

“Christ,” he said again. “Did you use up your lifetime’s supply of foreplay over the past three months?”

. . . The past three months counted as foreplay? “Suck it up and fuck me,” I said.

He smiled with sudden savagery, and I realized huh, that might have been the engraved invitation right there.

He pushed his dick into me. It was blunt and fat, getting me deep where my fingers hadn’t. I whined, throwing my head back and wriggling on it.

“That’s right,” he said. “Take it, just like that.” I felt a wave of heat travel from my face down my body. I hadn’t known people actually said those sorts of things, outside of Bob’s books. And that when they did, it sounded like that. Not stupid. Really shockingly hot, because he was saying what he was thinking for once.

He moved slowly, sliding deep and easing back out. It was good, but it wasn’t going to get me there fast, and I wanted fast.

“Harder,” I said, tugging at him. “I could be doing the crossword up here.”

“I’ve had arresting officers who were less bossy than you,” he said, which was the pot calling the kettle black if you ask me. But he shifted up, getting his knees under him and powering into me.

My feet were dangling over the edge of the bed; I scrabbled several inches back to get purchase, and he stuck with me. I spread my legs wider, giving him more room. But that took away all my leverage, stopped me from rocking up into him the way I wanted. I kept moving, experimenting while his dick pushed and pushed in me. It was good, but it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t scratching that itch.

So I swept one of Marcone’s hands out from under him and rolled up to plant my shoulder in his chest. He went over, surprised, slipping out of me. I crawled after, scrambling to get him back in me. I straddled him, sinking down. And there, that’s what I’d wanted. I sat back on his dick, rocked, then rode him hard, my hips slamming down into his.

“If you want something done right, gotta do it yourself, I guess,” I panted to him.

Marcone wasn’t even pretending to look at my face. He was staring at my breasts, his lips parted, eyes a little glazed. “Not to ruin your fun,” he said, voice hitching as I sped up even more, “but you could not say a single thing right now to irritate me.”

“Wanna bet?” I said, because there was no way I could leave that alone. Except right then I couldn’t think about much aside from his dick sliding and sliding in me, and how I was wet down my thighs, and the way he was looking at me. I clenched down, working myself hard on him.

He grabbed my thighs, helping a bit but mostly just groping me. “I’m going to put you in a dress,” he said, voice jagged. “Red, I think. Short and tight.”

He thought so, did he? “What’s in it for me?” I asked.

“Take you to dinner,” he said. “Somewhere five star. Get you drunk on champagne. And when we’re done, walk you out the back, push you up against the alley wall. Lift your skirt, fuck you right there, no underwear.”

I tossed my head, buzzed on a weird cocktail of outrage and heat. “What kind of girl do you think I am?”

He laughed, showing me his teeth. “I don’t think,” he said. “Now I know.” He paused, face possessed by focused thought. “No,” he said, eyes snapping up to mine. “I was wrong. You’ll be wearing underwear. So I can tear them to get to you.”

I wobbled on him, distracted, my legs tiring. He pounced like a cat, rolling me under him in one smooth motion.

“Don’t worry, I got the memo,” he said, hitching one of my legs up in the crook of his arm. He slammed into me, then pulled back and fucked me hard for a minute, brutal and shallow and perfect. He was sweating when he slowed again, out of breath. “You like it?”

I rolled my eyes. What did he want, a medal? “Hate it,” I said. “Bored out of my mind.”

He smiled, unphased. “What does it feel like?”

Intense. Surprising. I felt possessing, not possessed. Like taking him into me made me larger, more encompassing. “It’s . . . full,” I said. “Friction. I like when – ah.”

He snapped his hips, watching my face, then nodded. “This?” he said, and did it again. I loved that jolt of his body against mine, the slap of our skin, the way the sensation stung a little over my aching clit.

Marcone pulled out, keeping me spread wide with my leg folded over his arm. He lifted his other hand, visibly calculating, then slapped me, fingers spread, right between my legs.

I screamed. That hurt. Or had it? I was a confusion of misfiring nerves.

He showed me his open hand, a question in his eyes. I puffed out an explosive breath of irritation. Why couldn’t he just do it, why did he always need me to ask?

I nodded, turning my face away so I wouldn’t see it coming. I screamed for that one, too, even though I was trying to hold it down.

I was throbbing, the blood rushing under my skin when he pushed his dick back into me. The slap of his hips against me now made my toes curl, my legs flex into a cramp. I got a hand between us, my fingers pressing hard where I needed them.

“Don’t stop,” I babbled. “Don’t stop don’t stop.”

He didn’t stop. I came while he pounded into me, each hard push forcing another shock through me. By the end of it I was just cupping tender fingers over my clit, protecting it as I rode out the last ebbing waves.

Everything uncoiled in me. He slowed down a few seconds before I would have started complaining. He was moving so easily in me now, I had a weird, momentary illusion that I was made of water and he was sinking into me.

“You’re so wet,” he said quietly. I opened my eyes, coming back to myself, more or less. He was hovering close over me, sweat beading at his temples, a pleased little smile on his mouth. Our eyes connected, and I suddenly just knew that he was thinking about doing this without the condom.

Which made me think about it. Would it feel different, having him bare in me, without the latex between us? Not going to happen, but a curl of interest stirred low in my belly anyway, even though I was still throbbing from my orgasm and from where he’d – hell’s bells – he’d slapped me.

I couldn’t believe he’d done that. That was definitely not the sort of thing nice guys did to their girlfriends. Then again, John Marcone was not a nice guy, exhibit 5000.

And I was not his girlfriend.

He pushed into me a little harder, his breath stuttering. “When we get back from the restaurant, you’re going to take that dress off,” he said. “I’ll bend you over the edge of the bed, spread you open, look at you. Lick you until you’re wet as you are right now.”

That dragged me back into the game, like he’d applied jumper cables to my libido. I got my feet flat to the bed, my knees sliding up his sides as I started moving counter to him. And he was still talking, stars, the thoughts coming out fast, transparently unfiltered. And wasn’t that a kick.

“I’ll slick you up, get my fingers in your ass, hold them there while I fuck you again.”

My brain went wait, say what now?, but my body had no reservations. I felt myself flush up again, all the way to my hairline. Marcone watched avidly, his lips parted.

“Oh,” he said, face suffused with sudden greed. He slowed down again, hitching me up so he could get a hand under me and spread me open. My whole body seized up at the dry brush of his thumb over my asshole, where not a single other human being had ever touched me before. He left it there, holding it still, letting the rhythm of our bodies rock me against it. It was all I could think about, all I could feel. It made everything below my waist tighten, shivering and alarmed. But it was also like he didn’t have to be in me to open me up, because I was doing that on my own, somehow.

“Oh, Christ,” he said, and there was a soft wonder on his face. It’s the sort of look I know I get when I figure out something amazing about magic after long, hard study.

Marcone’s eyes snapped to mine. He leaned in close, nearly forehead to forehead, his breath on my mouth.

“When you change back, you’re going to come to me,” he said. He wasn’t asking anymore, he was telling. He . . . knew. “I’m going to take you to bed, and I’m going to slick you up and get my dick in you. Fuck you on your knees, on your back, any way you want. Every way you want.”

I whined under my breath. Quiet, but he was close enough to hear.

He was starting to fall apart at last, his hips moving unevenly against mine, his hand shaking where it was planted in the mattress. But he was still talking. “I’ll be gentle, if that’s what you want. Or—“ I was close enough to feel his breath catch in his chest “—I could be rough. Would you like that?” I looked away, my body curling in on itself, overheating, ashamed. “Yes, that’s what you want,” he said, and his voice had lost that deliberate, filthy rasp. He was suddenly talking to me all quiet and sweet. “On your knees, I’ll hold your hands behind your back, pull your hair,” he said tenderly. “Fuck you until you ache. God. Harry. I’ll do anything to you – you only ever have to – you know I would -- going to –“ and he came, moving with sudden violence against me. I held onto him, stroking his back as he groaned into my neck, and thinking with helpless reflex . . . don’t call me Harry?

He laid over me for a minute, trying to catch his breath. That was okay, because I couldn’t decide whether I was going to walk out, or stick around and demand to get mine. I was pissed at him for saying those things to me, pissed at myself for still being so hot for him.

He sat up after a minute, smiling, and eased out of me. I looked down involuntarily and caught an indelible glimpse of myself, my legs spread, my thighs wet, the dark thatch of hair not hiding how I was flushed and visibly swollen, still open from his dick.

He put his fingers back into me, sliding down. I wasn’t looking anymore, so he surprised me into a squeak when he pressed an open-mouthed kiss to me, tongue rolling, seeking. Okay, there was no way I wasn’t staying to get mine.

Turned out, four fingers worked fine. Four fingers were great. He curled them deep in me, tongue flicking. “Ah?” I said, hoping he would get a little to the left, harder out of that. Then something snapped in my brain, and I suddenly thought fuck it. If he wasn’t going to be a gentleman, hell if I was.

So I grabbed him by the hair, tugged him until he was exactly where I wanted him. And I hadn’t meant to, but I found myself talking, telling him what to do. “Suck right there – harder. Fuck. Oh, yes, there. Now your teeth, just a little—“

I came on his fingers and his tongue. It was long and slow – everything in me seemed to unfurl as it rolled through me, instead of tightening up.

He stretched back up over me when I was done, and I don’t think I’d ever seen him more delighted.

“There,” he murmured, and kissed me, careless of the taste in his mouth. “If you are actually capable of walking out on me now, I’ll be insulted.”

“I’m okay with that,” I said, but there was no real bite behind it. My apartment was really far away, and this bed was still ridiculous.

I ended up staying the night and having breakfast with him in the morning. It was all way less weird than it should have been.

And then I went about my life again, only with that happy glow of really amazing sex. Except apparently Marcone had switched me permanently on or something, because I kept thinking about it. About sex in general, and the things we’d done in, uh, extreme specific.

The spell wore off faster than I was expecting. I would have been a lot happier about that if it hadn’t happened while I was in the middle of a gas station. Awkward.

It wasn’t a huge surprise when I had a free morning a few days later, and while I was lazing around in bed my hand slid down under my shorts without permission. And I figured hey, whatever, maybe I just needed to get it out of my system.

I closed my eyes, calling up my usual repertoire. Susan, Marcone, Murphy – with ball-curdling guilt a necessary rider on that one. And after Murphy on the guilt hierarchy were my anonymous man and woman, his handprints on her ass, his teeth marks in her throat.

Except today they weren’t anonymous. And she wasn’t a woman. She was me, and he was Marcone, and they -- we – we were doing all those things, he was telling me I was a slut, we were tearing at each other.

It wasn’t impersonal anymore.

I came hard, fingers frantic, eyes wide as I stared at the ceiling.

. . . Oh.

Well. I didn’t want to do those things to my girlfriends, I’d been right about that part.

Oh crap.