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There was a time I would have been surprised and disappointed that this wasn’t just as good as a porn flick.

Real people, you see, don’t fuck like they do in porn flicks. I’ve learned this. They don’t splay their thighs out like strange, wrestling frogs for that certain camera angle. They’re basically very inconsiderate of the viewer.

Let’s come out with it. There’s no damn beaver shot when you spy on people, that’s what I’m getting at.

Sebastian has such a way with words. It was the fifth grade, I think, when I wrote that nice story about the beaver. The beaver and the log. Miss Pettifer was so overcome with enthusiasm, she could barely look at my mother.

Ok, so there’s no beaver shot, but I don’t mean to say this isn’t good. It’s very good. It’s like caviar. You can’t live on it, but it’s so… salty, and oh, the way it pops on the tongue.

They surge and subside. Surge and subside.

They look just fine together, these two, framed by the four poster and then the window frame. Shapely limbs flexing rhythmically in mutual purpose. She has such lovely, fine-boned knees, drawn up so high like that. There is a faint sheen of exertion across his shoulders and back as he works above her.

The contrast of his dark hips between the eggshell-white of her inner thighs is quite spectacular.

Look, the show is obviously for me. Can Kathryn really complain if I, the all-but-explicitly invited audience, am so entranced by her artistry that I decide to watch from backstage instead?

It’s probably never occurred to Kathryn that the balcony of her suite is a single, not prohibitively athletic jump away from the balcony of the west sitting room. Because what sort of crazy person would attempt such a thing?

This wall looks over the deck, so the spectacle is higher-rise neighbours’ eyes only. As for them, I care, really I do. I’m happy to discuss the career prospects of any policeman wishing to arrest me for breaking into my own home.

Ronald’s mouth is hanging open now, his whole face slack. Everything about the way he’s moving suggests he couldn’t focus his eyes right now if he wanted to.

I wonder if it turns her on — a black man.

Huh. I suspect I’ve been watching too much lame Danish amateur.

Though I’m sure it’d turn Mrs. Caldwell on. I’m sure the very thought of a big, nasty black man rolling her baby girl wakes her up in the night sweating: the thought of him pushing her baby’s knees apart… I’m sure she can’t go back to sleep for ages.

Kathryn… no, on second thoughts I don’t think she cares either way. The act itself will do her fine. Just look at her now. She’s as taut as a bow string, arched like a cat in endless mid-leap. All to get her hips tilted at that exact angle, to make him bump that spot as he pushes up inside her, so… and so… and so. Her peaked breasts bounce, heavy and liquid.

The sounds coming out of her mouth. It’s theatrical, of course it’s theatrical. But it’s not all theatrical.

God forbid I should actually enjoy sex. God forbid, indeed.

Because if this is how you’ll purr for some dumbass who knows an overpriced piece of wood better than a woman, if this is how you’ll arch your back for some schmuck who lacks the finesse to nail Cecile Caldwell without help, then just imagine what I can do for you.

We’re going to break furniture, sweetheart.

And then — it was inevitable — I’m thinking about the camera angle I can’t have. I’m thinking about him spreading, stretching her slick lips apart, and I need to get off this balcony right now.

It makes no sense for me to burst in on them already with a hard-on, no sense at all.

Besides, I can’t give them time actually to come, or anything.


Ronald, clothes scrunched to his chest, waddles for his life, and Kathryn and I can get down to business. Cleaning the guns, synchronising watches. That kind of deal.

She is, of course, edible. Mussed hair, dilated pupils. The silk slip is just slightly more pink than her skin. In the midst of the deep blue of the room, amid the pale gold draperies of the four poster, she’s the pearl on the tongue of the oyster.

I sit by her on her bed, wriggle back a little.

When her clever fingers go wandering, as they’re always wont to do, I think desperately of… Cecile. And it works.

“So I assume you’ve come here to make arrangements,” she says.

I let her get her pretty face almost there, almost into my lap, before I push it away.

“Some other time,” I say.

When Court dumped you, Kathryn, did you try to persuade him otherwise, like that? And did he push you away, like that? Push your pretty face away?

I could sit here and drink the look on her face all day.

Excuse me?” she demands. And oh, that tone.

But I’m half way across the room already, and whirling back on her. “I’m not in the mood.”

A tremendous, criminal lie, in a good cause. She really thought I’d take sloppy seconds, she really thought that. I’m delirious with her miscalculation.

“I want to fuck!” She’s crazy as a child with its hands fisted.

Oh, I bet you do. I can imagine the places that slip must be sticking to you. But maybe all you’re good for these days, Kathryn, with men you actually want, is dumping. Hmm?

“And I don’t,” I snarl back at her, high as a kite on it all. And then I just sail right on out of there.

“Good afternoon, Kathryn.”

Don’t be using that tone at the country club.


I’m slamming my door and leaning against it behind me, and I can’t understand why my breath is coming so fast, why I feel like I need the door behind me.

I can still hear the smashing of the glass she threw, and the sound she made as she did it, more broken than the glass. And somehow my hand is on my crotch, where hers was before that. And my hand is shaking. But beneath it, I’m hard.

Get a hold of yourself, I think. You’re an inch and a half of door away from the hallway, with your hand on your crotch.


And I start to giggle. Soundlessly shaking. Not at all improving the problem with shortness of breath.

Finally I drop to the floor, roll onto my back, and brace one foot against the door.

I already have a hold of myself. I’m just going to have to move on from there. So to speak.