His heart quickens when he sees her email waiting for him, the familiar paperclip beside the subject line signifying the presence of an attachment.
He knows exactly what to expect.
He goes to his desk, opens the left-hand draw and pulls out the pouch containing his B&W headphones. He plugs them into the top of the tablet, positions the headphones’ soft leather pads over his ears and settles himself in his high-backed chair. The attachment has finished downloading. Before he presses play, he switches both of his phones to silent.
“I want to come for you,” her voice says to him in the empty office. “I want to come for you.”
He hears birds singing, cars passing by outside her apartment. She tells him how her mind has become a blur, a giddy kaleidoscope of all the ways she craves to pleasure him, to taste him, to fuck him. He nods without realising that he is doing so, as her words, her promises, echo in his brain. They tease his expectations ever upwards, play his nerve endings like a harpist dexterously picking out the most beguiling of melodies. Already, he is rapt, enthralled, lost.
And then she says, “You flick that switch so easily”, and for an instant, he is confused. Is she talking about him or herself? Her statement applies equally either way.
He listens, pressing his headphones tighter to his ears, his hearing questing for the accompanying sounds as she tells him that she’s slipping out of her already sodden panties, that she’s touching herself everywhere. The smooth and soothing tone of her voice is already beginning to lose its poise. She wonders if he would be as deliberate and controlled in his pleasuring if he were there with her, or if he would seek to plunder her flesh, to immerse himself selfishly in her vulnerable flesh. He doesn’t know the answer. He can imagine himself being patient; he can also foresee himself being unstoppable in his animal need to be inside her.
“I want to give you so much,” she sighs, and then she groans as she slips what she’s told him is a substitute phallus along the succulent cleft of her sex. Her sudden intake of breath is staggering; he pictures her sucking the air inside herself through her barely-parted lips. He wonders what shade she’s painted them today, how she might transfer the colour to his mouth, his chest, his cock, if he were there with her.
“Fuck, can you hear that?” she whispers to him, as though he’s on the other side of the room and not the other side of the planet. “Listen to how wet I am. Can you hear how much I want you? Can you?”
He can. The wet grip of her flesh on the moving phallus is the sound of time off-kilter. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Her high-pitched groans, her sharp gasps of bliss as the phallus – is it silicone or glass, he wonders – moves over her flesh fill in the punctuation marks of her self-wrought pleasure.
And then her cries soar, making his heart thud and his cock throb by equal measure. “Oh God … I’ve just buried … the vibrator inside me.”
He pictures her sprawled across crisp white sheets, diamonds of perspiration glistening across her slender nakedness in the semi-darkness as she presses the phallus deeper and deeper. He is aroused and frustrated in equal measure: aroused because of the thrilling eroticism of her pleasure captured so nakedly; frustrated, because the sound of her gratification is all he has to content himself with.
“Fuck … fuck … fuck!” she half-whispers, half-cries. “I’m ready to come already. Fuck … fuck. Oh God, I want you. Fuck…”
The wet tick-tock of her thrusts increases in speed and strength. She pants like a runner coming into the final straight, and then she goes silent, and all he is left with is the tick-tocking of her strokes. He rubs himself through the material of his trousers, unable to unzip and remove himself because of where he is. He fears that he might come like a teenager, from just the lecherous thoughts that she has conjured, thrusting dryly, pathetically, against the inside of his shorts.
When she does come, it sounds to him as though she’s crying.
It’s little wonder the uninitiated sometimes confuse the noises of pleasure for the sound of despair.
“I don’t want to stop,” she whimpers, part-woman, part-child. “I want to come again for you.” And she starts again, the slickness of her cunt so much more obvious now as she begins to thrust into herself all over again. “Oh God, oh God why aren’t you here? Why aren’t you here taking me from behind? That’s what you should do … you should slide your beautiful … big … thick … hard … cock into me. Fuck…”
She loses herself in her strokes once more, and he follows her down into the vortex, as far as his imagination will permit.
When she comes for the second time, she half-laughs, half-cries. He aches to see her when she climaxes, aches to be the direct cause of her delight … her gleaming nakedness bucking against his, his fingers and his mouth slick with her lust, the musk of her desire filling his nostrils. He imagines her body crying out for more. More pleasure. More of him.
He listens to her ragged breathing ease again. “One more,” she gasps. “One more…” And then she pants as the wet tick-tocking overwhelms her nerve endings once again. He tries to conjure the warm scent of sex that must be infusing her bedroom by now. It leaves him on the edge of salivating.
“Fuck me, please!” she implores him in tones so hushed they belie what he’s heard until now. “Soon. Fuck.” And then the thrusting of the phallus is climbing again together with her voice, and she cries out furiously, triumphantly, as she completes the trinity of her ecstasy.
“I want you,” she tells him eventually. “Don’t doubt that.”
There is a faint click as the recording stops.
He sits back in his chair, removes the headphones and puts them down atop the tablet. He passes an unsteady hand across his brow. When he looks, his palm gleams. He glances down at himself. The outline of his cock is clear, and at the tip, he can see where his precum has soaked through his shorts and into his wool trousers. He rubs it with his thumb until the stain’s shine dissipates, trying to ignore how good the stimulus feels.
He doesn’t know what to do with himself. Suddenly, the day that had been rich with the promise of adventure seems grey and bleak. At once, he feels empty, and very alone.
I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano; a stage where every man must play a part, and mine is a sad one.
So he looks back to the tablet, reseats the P5s’ earmuffs against his ears, and presses play once more.