By Patricia Marie
The dude who had been laughing way too loud for Paloma’s liking a few minutes ago started sauntering in her direction, a lopsided grin on his face and a beer in his hand. Why did Julie always have to be late? She hated talking to strangers, but sitting at a bar alone made it inevitable that someone would talk to her.
Paloma didn’t feel like talking. She was having an awful day – not that she ever felt like talking, especially to strangers. Still, she hoped that the guy hadn’t seen the dirty look she shot him when his amusement got the better of him and caused him to erupt in raucous laughter. Paloma was just a bit anti-social, but not rude, so she hadn’t meant for him to see the annoyed look on her face when he had simply been minding his business and joking around with his friends.
Whatever, Paloma thought, even if he had seen her, why on earth was he coming over here now?
To her relief, the guy walked right past her and over to an empty spot at the bar. It was still near her but as long as he was going to leave her alone, that was all that mattered.
Despite having dodged an unwanted interaction, Paloma was still grumpy. She looked at her watch and texted her now 20-minutes-late best friend, “Where are you?!? You know how I hate being out alone. I’m going to leave soon if you don’t come on.” It was an empty threat but she hoped it would efficiently light a fire under Julie’s ass.
“I’m coming! You know LA traffic is the worst and this Uber driver is not taking any of the shortcuts I told him to take,” Julie text back.
Fine. At least she was on her way.
Paloma thought about work and her big deadline coming up. She had no idea why her boss would choose now to let her know that their department was at risk of being eliminated and that she needed to make her story not just good but amazing so that there was a chance they could all keep their jobs. Since when was the unpredictable state of journalism riding on her shoulders? She didn’t sign up for this.
Paloma closed her eyes and reminded herself that in two weeks she would be on the warm, sandy beaches of St. Croix on a long-awaited vacation that she was taking solo because #selfcare. This thought cheered her up.
Paloma’s brief moment of sunshine in the dark cloud that was her day was interrupted by a voice almost as jolting as that stupid laugh from earlier. She sighed and opened her eyes to see what or who she owed this interruption – even though she was pretty sure she wouldn’t like it.
Lopsided-grin-guy was standing beside her, looking at her expectantly. “Yes?” she said.
“I just wanted to know if this seat was taken.”
Paloma resisted the urge to let out an audible sigh. Both seats beside her were empty and if Julie ever showed up, she really only needed one. She wished she was a better liar. “Nope, not really.”
“OK, cool,” the guy said and sat next to her. Paloma saw that he had his beer and two shots of something clear with him. She hoped that meant that his friends were coming to meet him at the bar so that she could be invisible again.
He caught her eyeing the multiple drinks. “So, it turns out, I came over here to get my friend, Jay, a birthday shot then I get a text that he left with some girl. I don’t even drink tequila. Go figure.”
For the life of her, Paloma did not understand why this guy felt the need to fill her in on his Friday night saga. She knew her ability to avoid people since she’d arrived in this place was too good to be true.
“That’s too bad,” she said non-committedly and promptly turned back to pretending to do something very important on her phone. She truly hoped this guy wasn’t seriously going to use this not-so-coincidental extra-drink scenario to hit on her.
But too-many-drinks guy simply pushed the shots away from them and took a swig of his beer. Paloma was again relieved. Still, she wondered where the hell Julie was.
“I would ask if you wanted to help me get rid of those shots but you don’t know me and you look like a pretty conscientious person.”
Paloma nodded and barely looked away from her phone, “Very perceptive.”
“Anyway, what’s your name? I’m Ellis.”
This time, Paloma’s frustrated sigh was audible. “Look, you seem really nice and all but I’m waiting for a friend… Plus, I’m gay so if you’re trying to hit on me, you’re wasting your time.” She paused before blurting out that last part since she usually reserved it for emergencies. But this was as close to a desperate situation as it could get. If this Ellis person didn’t leave her alone, she would certainly get out of there – and fast – Julie or no Julie.
Ellis chuckled, “Well, I’m gay too and I wasn’t hitting on you.”
Paloma looked at him suspiciously. Nevertheless, she said, “Oh, my bad. I’m just having a rough day and, to top it off, my friend is super late.”
“It’s cool. And full disclosure, I’m bi and I did consider hitting on you. But you looked pissed since the moment you got here so I figured it was a no-go. I was just making conversation since I’ve been abandoned by my friends and still have the rest of my beer to finish.”
“I see.” Paloma wasn’t sure what to say to any of that. She still didn’t feel like being social but she felt a little bit more at ease since the guy at least understood that his advances would have only annoyed her. Paloma couldn’t decide if the fact that he was talking to her now, despite knowing that, was just as annoying.
Paloma briefly glanced up and saw that Ellis was on his phone now too. I guess he got the point. Good.
Before Paloma had enough time to properly crawl back into her shell, she heard a woman nearby demand loudly, “How could you ask me what my favorite sexual position is? We JUST met.”
Another voice responded defensively, “But your profile says, ‘Loves finding new ways to align my sacral chakra.'”
“I’m a creative! That’s what that means. This date was already bad enough and somehow you managed to make it worse!”
Paloma looked to where the voices were coming from and saw a very attractive, lesbian would-be couple in the throes of an argument. One of the women was dramatically waving down the bartender, presumably so she could close her tab, and the other was saying something about being sick of dating overly-sensitive, artsy chicks.
Ellis was looking at the debacle too and trying to hold in his laughter. Paloma shook her head and suppressed her own laugh. She had to admit, it was pretty funny.
When the bored-looking bartender finally strolled over with her card and the bill, the woman with the unbalanced chakras signed the receipt, grabbed her card, and threw the paper and pen at her date. The other woman ducked as her dating-app-match stormed out the door.
“Looks like we’re not the only ones to be left hanging tonight,” Ellis said to Paloma.
“No, my friend is on her way. Yours, on the other hand, actually ditched you… For a girl no less,” Paloma said matter-of-factly.
“I’m going to ignore that and focus on the fact that you’re finally smiling. Well, kind of.”
Paloma groaned, “Haven’t you heard of the concept that women don’t like to be clocked on when and if they decide to smile?”
“Of course, I have but I’m still human. I enjoy seeing another person smile, especially if I have anything to do with why they are smiling.”
“Sorry to disappoint you but this smile is owed solely to that lovely lesbian couple entertaining us with their drama,” Paloma said as she briefly flashed her teeth to show a sarcastic smile.
“That’s too bad. Maybe when your friend comes she can make you smile for real.”
“Oh, you won’t have to worry about that. I’m gonna make sure as soon as she comes, we move to a table far, far away from the bar – and you.”
“Ouch. OK, I’ll take that.”
“Damn these females!” the jilted woman said to no one in particular but loud enough for the whole bar to hear. She had ordered something potent on the rocks and was sipping it slowly, no doubt considering deleting all of her dating apps.
Paloma winced and rolled her eyes at the pejorative and downright incorrect usage of the word ‘female’. “Words mean things,” she muttered under her breath.
“They sure do,” Ellis said. “You’re a writer, aren’t you?”
Paloma gave up. Clearly Ellis was set on making this conversation a thing. “You got me. How could you tell?” she asked dryly.
“You’re serious, focused, and committed to your perception of the world around you and your interactions with it.”
“OK… So, let me guess, you’re a writer too? No one but a writer can string together words like that and make them sound profound while saying absolutely nothing.”
Ellis let out his hearty laugh, which Paloma noticed was way less irritating when it was in response to something she said. “I’m not sure whether I should be flattered or what,” he said.
“Well, look at it this way – it takes one to know one,” Paloma said shrugging. “Sorry I’ve been giving you a hard time. Not sorry that I didn’t want to talk but sorry I was snappy and rude – at times.”
“No, I get it. Random guy who could win a contest for longest ever taken to finish a bottle of beer who won’t stop interrupting your thoughts – I wouldn’t wanna talk to me either,” Ellis smiled. “But we can call a truce if you tell me what kind of writer you are.”
“OK… Truce. I’m a journalist. I work at Bliss, Inc.”
“Oh wow, you’re big time. I applied there no less than 7 times after I graduated. Kudos to you!”
“Thanks. Yeah, I got in right at the perfect time when the company was kinda blowing up. Now, not so much. Departments are closing down left and right. Ours is about to come to its own demise, which is why I’m having a bad day. I have a huge piece coming up and my boss told me it’s pretty much up to me to save us all,” Paloma said, emphasizing the gravity of the situation.
“Damn. That’s tough. I’m sorry,” Ellis said with genuine sympathy. “What’s it about? If you don’t mind my asking.”
Paloma hesitated. What the hell? This night has turned to shit anyway and she had no clue where Julie was. “It’s about how creativity and sexual energy are connected and can transcend physical attraction.”
“You’re joking right?” Ellis asked, incredulous yet intrigued.
Ellis nodded towards the dating app woman. “She could definitely have benefitted from reading that article. You better get to it. People are out here in need of your sage, spiritual wisdom!”
Paloma couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Honestly, I have tons of information from my research and interviews but it feels like there’s still something missing. Something to tie it all together.”
“Well, you’re in luck. I think I might be able to help with that.”
Several attempts at brainstorming later, Ellis and Paloma’s serious discussion reverted back to their lively banter – the only interaction it seemed they could have with each other. Eventually, they ran out of intelligently strung together words to tease each other with so they looked to other means of torment. And what was more satisfyingly torturous than sex with a good-looking yet annoyingly quick-witted professional peer who would be nothing but platonic the next morning?
After the way their nights had aligned, culminating it with physical connection seemed more instinctive than impulsive. So, by the time they decided to move their fellowship to Paloma’s apartment, both had thrown caution to the cosmic winds.
For at least an hour, Paloma and Ellis had been making out, sans clothes, on top of Paloma’s bed, surrounded by what Ellis thought was an unnecessary number of quilts and pillows but seemed to match the layers of Paloma’s personality. Ellis wrapped her legs around his waist and caressed her neck and breasts with his lips. They panted heavy breaths between kisses and their sweat commingled as their bodies came together magnetically.
Paloma arched her back and moaned up to the ceiling as she basked in the heat of Ellis’ touch. The moonlight shone through the cracks in her curtains, making it appear that there were golden constellations on her navy blue-painted walls. Ellis lay Paloma down on a pile of fluffy bedding and he leaned in to kiss her. Paloma began to kiss him back and then thought better of it. She gently pushed Ellis off of her. “I want to be on top,” she said, taking initiative.
Ellis conceded, “OK.” He lay on his back and Paloma climbed on top of him. She carefully began to explore his slim but muscular frame with her hands and her tongue, reminding herself what being with this type of body was like. His skin was taut and his flesh was mostly firm. His body was still moist from their intense make-out session. Paloma didn’t remember the last time she spent that much time kissing someone.
She took Ellis’ dick into her hands and massaged it until it got harder. It’s stiffness surprisingly aroused Paloma and she felt her pussy getting wetter. She reached between her legs to touch herself. Her fingers easily slid into her warmth. She moaned as she grazed her clit and she let her fingers linger there for a while. Ellis grabbed himself and stroked up and down. When Paloma knew that they both were ready, she got up to retrieve a condom from her nightstand.
She opened it and slid the rubbery shield down Ellis’ penis. Paloma climbed back on top of him and used her hand to guide Ellis inside of her. Her breath caught as she moved him deeper inside of her, creating a dynamic force she hoped she had enough stamina and endurance to handle.
“Are you OK?” Ellis wondered.
“Of course,” Paloma said between breaths. “I have done this before, silly. It’s just been a while.”
Paloma rode Ellis slowly, drawing him out of her and then further inside of her. Every movement made her spine tingle with electricity. Suddenly feeling vivacious, she found the perfect angle and rode Ellis faster and steadier until the friction made her body felt like it would erupt. Right after Paloma let herself completely go and a powerful orgasm sent a voltage through her, Ellis came just as strong while her body was shuddering on top of his.
Paloma lay on Ellis’ chest for a few minutes then rolled off and lay next to him on one of her many pillows. “A sex writer, huh?”
“Yep, who would have thought?”
“Not me. You seemed way too chill to write about sex all day. But now that I know you a teeny bit better, I see your tactic. You have lots of sex then write about it when you’ve exerted all that energy and mellowed out.”
Ellis was amused. “I never thought of it that way. But maybe you’re right.”
“So, Mr. Sexpert… How do you feel about eating pussy?”
“How do I feel?” Ellis sat up with zestful motivation and pulled Paloma’s thighs towards him. “If I show you, will you smile?”
Paloma rolled her eyes, “Try me.”
Ellis put his face between Paloma’s legs and ran his tongue up and down her inner thighs while gently gripping her hips. Paloma felt shivers and pressed her rounded nipples between her fingers. Ellis wanted to keep teasing her but the way her pussy had opened up to him was too inviting for him to prolong the pleasure.
Paloma could feel herself throbbing under Ellis’ warm mouth as he kissed her lips. He stroked his tongue vigorously around her clit then slipped it into her vagina. Paloma’s breathing became shallow and she guided her hips up and down, pressing herself into Ellis’s adept tongue.
Paloma squeezed her eyes shut and raked her fingernails across the top of Ellis’ shoulders as her body writhed with satisfaction. She pressed her thighs around Ellis as she came into his expectant mouth. Paloma felt herself dripping onto Ellis’ lips but he didn’t stop until he was sure her body was done shaking.
Ellis finally came up for air and looked at Paloma. Her brown hair fell around her face and shoulders and she had a slight but undeniable smile on her face.
“Look at us – we found a new way to align our sacral chakras.”
Paloma threw a pillow at Ellis and their laughter pierced through the silence of the night.
Patricia Marie is a writer, an editor, and the founder of culture & lifestyle blog, The Glam Femme. In addition to writing queer, POC-focused contemporary fiction, Patricia enjoys creating erotic short stories that subvert cultural norms and thoughtfully promote diverse experiences and authentic voices.