It all started with a rumor. He would be there. With no notice, per usual. No matter. This time, she would be ready.
She’d never met him, never laid eyes on him. Hell, she didn’t even have a name to go with his reputation. That’s all she had—a reputation.
And a rumor to fuel her motivation to find out the rest. She’d heard the watercooler talk, had investigated all she could on her own, but he was an urban myth, a ghost. It always happened to a friend of a friend, or worse yet, a friend of a friend of a colleague. And then he vanished. Not to be seen again until next Halloween.
She’d missed him the last two Halloween parties—had found out too late where he was—and she’d be damned if she let that happen again. She just needed a minute to talk to him, coerce him into sharing the real story behind the rumors. Because there was no way he had a magic touch.
Two tongues? Sheesh.
Haven’s journalistic pragmatism didn’t allow her the fantasy of accepting otherwise.
If she could pull it off, this would be the story that got her out of data entry at the entry-level firm and into journalism for real this time. Her small but distinguished start-up paper had been chasing this story for years—enough to make Haven wonder how old this guy was—but it had always eluded them.
Not anymore. Not with her on the case.
Betsy from accounting's Facebook post addressing the rumor was enough to propel her up and off her far-too-cozy couch to her closet in search of a costume. Ugh. She was never more aware what a holiday scrooge she was than when she had to find something festive to wear for yet another themed office party. Not a single ugly holiday sweater, American flag cropped tee, or pink heart-decorated scarf adorned her hangers. Nothing that could double as a Halloween costume, either. No black, no orange. Just beige, like everything else in her life.
She needed something. She couldn’t show up in the frumpy tan sweater and ripped jeans she currently wore. She needed to blend in.
She scrounged around until she had an idea. It made her giggle, even though she knew the humor would probably be lost on most of the inebriated processing guys and the boozy interns trying to score one of the former for the night.
She strung two french loaves strung around her neck, the leaven necklace framed on both sides by her flaming red curls. A ginger-bread woman. She mentally congratulated herself as she slapped on some mascara and called it good. The best part of the costume was the fact that she could keep the jeans and sweater. Sure, there was probably a way she could have turned herself into a sexy gingerbread woman to really assimilate with the party population—jeans not included—but that wasn’t her. Her courage only extended so far.
When she pulled up to the columned two-story flaunting another millennial’s success in the finance world, she realized she’d drastically overestimated how much courage she had in her reserves. Her Uber driver narrowly avoided hitting a shirtless Hulk who darted into the road with an open beer and something like a yodel as he pounded his chest. Barbaric.
The driver shot her a look that asked if this is where she really wanted to go. She sighed, shrugged, but thanked him and got out. She was committed now. She’d shed her books, her tea at home and leveled up. But this was above her pay grade. It was barely seven in the evening and a superhero who’d fallen from grace was passed out on the stoop, a stench wafting from him that bespoke of degeneracy the likes of which Haven had never endured.
Once she went inside, though, it was precisely what she’d envisioned. As Halloween parties went—office Halloween parties, anyway—it was pretty basic, bordering on lame.
Starting with the costumes. There were the typical presidential masks skewed to reflect the general public consensus—an open-mouthed Clinton, a puckered-up Trump. Then, of course, slutty everything—nurses, cops, superheroes, presidents, lumberjacks—the local college mascot-turned-whore. There was even a slutty Pocahontas doing a keg stand.
Classic. Pathetic. Not to mention out of touch.
And not boding well for her story. What Betsy failed to mention was why would he chose this party when there were countless others in the city that were probably classier. With better food, anyway. She grabbed a handful of chips, but stayed far from the light brown dip that accompanied it. Food was the one area she wasn’t okay with being bland.
She walked the perimeter of the crowd, appraising the guests, crossing all of them off the list of potential targets. Most were early-adults, all colleagues or their rent-a-dates, clinging pathetically to their youth, aggrandizing parts of their childhood, sexualizing others. Not one of them could be him. She was starting to doubt the validity of the rumors, a defeating denouement when she thought of her comfy couch, her Tolstoy, her Earl Gray back home.
Not to mention the fact that not one freaking person at the party had figured out her costume, which made them all cavemen in her opinion.
Never mind. They were her colleagues, not anyone she cared about outside of her mundane, nine-to-five prison.
Desperate to numb the buzz of inane party chatter before a last-ditch effort to ascertain if there was any truth behind the watercooler conversation that had landed her there, she made her way to the long glass table of drinks.
Boxed wine. Oh, goody.
Sure, there was Johnny Walker Black Label, but god forbid David splurge on a couple bottles of table wine. When combined with the ladies from human resources who stood like a gaggle of geese, honking and flapping on about something, Haven was deflated. Another year, another miss.
She tucked her chin to her chest and made her way around them as best she could. She was about to tuck tail and make her escape when a voice rose above the others.
“Say what you want, but there’s an element of magic involved. There has to be. How else could he do what they say he’s done?”
Haven’s interest was piqued, thoughts of leaving gone with the arrival of fresh gossip. She pretended to gather a small party plate of cheeses and crackers despite being pretty sure the latter was the only edible thing at the party besides the corn chips.
Please, please, please let it be him they're talking about.
“Please. They’re exaggerating. There’s no way he’s got six hands and two tongues. If there were, trust me, I wouldn’t be dating Dave.”
A cackle from the women ensued. It was the way they idolized this stranger that made Haven crazy. Somewhere, sometime, a woman probably shagged a guy, decided he was nothing short of sterling in the sack. Maybe he had an abnormally thick cock? Who cared? The story had been told so many times since then, he could be any number of different guys by now.
What made this one so special was simply word-of-freaking-mouth. That’s it. She had half a mind to read the riot act to this guy for claiming this story as his own and preying on women’s vulnerabilities. No longer concerned with the story, she just wanted to set the record straight. Maybe he was a good lay, but this god-like rapture needed to stop. No excuses, no proselytizing.
Prattle behind her roused her from her frustrated self-talk. The women were pointing, whispering, and all of them were the same deep red as the fall leaves outside.
“There he is. I’m certain it’s him. I mean, no one we work with looks like that, right?”
Haven moved to the outside of the huddle to get a better view as the mystery man made his way to the living room-slash-dance floor. It was him, the man she’d been waiting to talk to, interview if he’d let her.
Except she didn’t expect to feel so frustrated by the added buzz, especially since it was her reason for showing up to the party in the first place.
“It’s got to be. Ooh, I wonder who he’ll choose tonight?”
Who he’d choose? What did that mean? He would pick a woman, give her pleasure and then leave them to spread the good word? It sounded biblical in its pandering and blatant sexism. This, she hadn't heard before, and was more than a little concerned about the new information. What if his victim didn't like what she got? Was there a return policy on the good word of mouth?
Haven turned to the women. Before she got anywhere near this Lothario she needed to do some background research. “I’m sorry,” she said, “but what do you mean, ‘who he’ll choose’?”
“Oh, honey,” Betsy said, her voice slurring, "some lucky lady is gonna get to go to bed with that tonight. Every Halloween he picks a party, chooses a deserving woman and gives her three wishes.” The sexy Spider-Woman giggled like a toddler who got a new Barbie for her birthday, clapping and squealing. “Sexual wishes,” she whispered, laughing, gulping down her wine.
Oh, Lord… Wishes? Seriously?
“Why else do you think we’re dressed like this?” Pocahontas chimed in, shaking her ample hips so that the faux leather tassels on her dress shook along with them.
So they were all there, vying for his attention, hoping he’d pick them. Haven looked down at her tacky, now-rock-hard bread ensemble. She hadn’t gotten that message, clearly. Not that she’d have changed a thing if she’d known her body would be up for auction. That wasn’t her speed, that kind of guy wasn’t her type. Not remotely.
How did he advertise, anyway? He seemed like a royal schmuck now that she had more to go on. Either way, it was safe to say his PR was laudable, if not morally reprehensible.
Haven put down her plate and walked in the direction the women stood staring, beaks gaping. She needed to pin him down quick before he found his victim for the night. Who knew the next time Haven would have an opportunity like this. To meet the man with the allegedly enormous cock.
And magical hands. And multiple tongues. And orgasms that rivaled fortunes.
When she got to the living room, the thumping bass reverberating in her chest, she looked around. All she saw were coworkers in various states of undress and inebriation, pressed up against each other on the shag-carpeted makeshift dance floor. Leave it to David to make a benign office party into an orgy.
Had she missed him by that small of a window? She leaned against the wall, defeated and wishing she as at least a little buzzed.
“You’re a gingerbread woman, aren’t you?” The words came from behind her, snaked around her neck, heat like a warm breeze from the south engulfing her. His voice was thick, laced with sex and promise Haven felt wholly unprepared to match.
Despite the warmth, Haven shivered. Her stomach flipped, much like it had when she’d had her first kiss, the first time a man had gone down on her. The space between her legs dampened.
“I am,” she replied. When she tried to turn around, get a glimpse of the man who’d turned her on with six otherwise benign words, she found his body was pressed against her, trapping her against the wall. Her sex wasn’t just damp anymore, it was a damn puddle.
“You’re the journalist. The one hoping to get the story. My story.” It was a statement this time, no question about it. He had her number. The question was, how?
She could only nod her head, afraid if she spoke her voice would betray the lust she felt building off the heat of his breath on her skin.
“I’m willing to give you what you want, but there are rules.”
She nodded again. What did she want? Now it wasn’t as clear to her as it had been an hour ago.
“Follow me.” As if she had a choice with his hand on the small of her back, guiding her through the room of her half-naked coworkers.
She heard the whispers as she passed the slutty geese, but they faded as the mystery man’s thumb wound around to her hip, pressed against it and rubbed. His hand must be huge, if it could cup the crook above her jeans and still wind around her hip. She wondered what else on him might be as large, then took back the thought. That’s not what she was there for.
Though, now she couldn’t be sure about that. Her memory of how and why she’d come to the party were growing foggy, like the smoke from the machine in the living room had wound its way around her conscious thoughts, muddying them. All she was aware of was his hand, his voice.
He led her to a back room Haven didn’t remember being there at the Christmas party last year. David must have remodeled. The man flipped the switch on the wall, his other hand not leaving her body. The dim, pink string of lights that bordered the round ceiling revealed a circular-shaped mattress in the middle of the room. It was draped in silk sheets, pillows that looked soft enough to make whoever laid on them wish they never had to leave. The walls were lined with a mural of a bazaar scene, Arabian horses and merchants, storefronts with goods that looked real enough to eat. It was very unlike David’s tastes in the rest of the house.
Haven wheeled around as the man’s hand dropped from her back. She still felt the pressure of his thumb on her hip, though, an impossibility since she could see both hands draped at his side. He was dressed in linen pants and a matching tunic, a white turban on his head that he removed and sat on the bed.
She frowned. Was he supposed to be a genie or something?
Please. This whole thing is so silly.
But then she looked into his eyes. They were cavernous, deep and unending black. Not dark brown, but black, with slicked-back hair to match. His skin was olive, his nose pronounced, not unlike the men tending the shops in the painting on the wall. Foreign. He was definitely not from here.
Though he was handsome, that didn’t explain the magnetism Haven felt in his presence. She felt pulled to him, and only a Herculean force of will kept her at arm’s length.
For some reason, it wasn’t him she didn’t trust, but herself. She cleared her throat.
“What’s your name? What should I call you?”
“You may call me Jarod.”
“Okay, Jarod, so you’ll grant me an interview?”
“I will show you what you came here to discover, yes.”
Her scowl deepened, but an echo from a place deep inside her awoke, came to life at his words.
No. I need the truth. That’s all that matters.
Another voice called out from the pit of her chest arguing that wasn’t at all true. She worked too hard, didn’t relax enough.
“Fine. What are your terms? You said out in the kitchen you had rules.”
“You won’t record this. Any of this.” That vague word, this, spun Haven’s imagination into a scene with this man on top of her, his chest pressed against hers. She shook the vision from her head. Like the fog, it dissipated, but left an echo. Why couldn’t she think straight around this man?
“And? Surely that’s not your only stipulation.”
He smiled, revealing a line of straight, white teeth, almost luminescent in the pale, pink light.
“You will get three wishes, no more, no less. Use them wisely.”
“Do you mean questions? I only get three questions?”
“I mean what I said.”
Haven recalled what the woman said in the kitchen. That he granted the woman he chose three wishes, sexual wishes according to the rumor. Was there truth to that? Had he chosen Haven? Surely not, when there were far more willing participants just beyond the curved wall.
“So no using one of my wishes to ask for more wishes?” She giggled, pleased with herself for the retort.
“I’m not a genie. This isn’t a game.”
“All evidence points to the contrary.” She jutted her chin at the turban that sat atop the silk comforter. He ignored her, his arms crossed over his chest.
“There’s one more condition.”
“Which is?” She wanted to be frustrated, but that would mean she’d have to let the heat that had built up in her chest simmer and she didn’t want it to end. Not yet. Not until she had answers.
“You have to allow me to grant your wish in whatever way I think best. But the minute you aren’t comfortable, I will stop and you will be free to go.”
Wasn’t she free now? If she wanted to leave, she could, couldn’t she? But her legs grew heavy, and she wasn’t so sure.
“That sounds fair,” she said.
“I’m going to need to hear you say the words. Tell me you accept my terms and I am all yours. Your wish will be my command.”
“Fine. I accept your terms.”
He smiled again, the seriousness evaporated into thin air.
“Good, then what is your first wish?”
Haven wanted to know how he picked his women, but before she could voice the question, her mind stilled, went blank. From deep within the cavern that had opened up inside her earlier, another image materialized.
She was on the bed with Ben, her body used to get him off, no attention paid to her at all. It was one of her saddest moments, feeling alone and unappreciated. She’d known that night that they were done, had left him the next morning.
She’d wished with all her heart she would find someone who would attend to her body, touch every part of her and make her feel seen with hands and lips. She shook her head free of the memory.
She opened her mouth to ask her question only to find Jarod in front of her, his hands on her shoulders. Why, then, did she feel pressure on both her hips, like he was holding her waist, as well?
“Granted,” he whispered, an exhale of smoke wafting around her. She stumbled back, dizzy, but feeling lighter than she ever had. Hands caught her—it felt like ten of them lifted her from the ground and placed her on her back atop the silk bedsheets. The fabric felt cool against her skin that was ablaze under his touch.
Wait, how could she feel the fabric through her sweater?
She glanced down the length of her body, which was somehow very much exposed. He stood at the end of the bed, shirtless, his gaze raking over her naked form, a small flame erupting where his eyes took her in. He was a specimen unlike any other. Broad shoulders, pecs that spread over continents they were so vast. And his stomach, with the ridges of muscle that gave way to a deep-V that disappeared below the linen pants—that was too much for her to bear.
Gone were thoughts of interviews, geese, or data entry. Only Jarod existed.
“Close your eyes,” he commanded. She obeyed, afraid to ruin this moment with even a hint of dissension.
Then her world changed, her perceptions of all she knew gone with her inhibitions. She levitated above the bed, air swirling around her, cool and welcome. Fingers trailed down her body, starting at her chest and moving south, over her stomach, then to the center of her that flooded with desire. They found their way inside her, pulling, pushing, flowing through her like liquid. She cried out, then whispered an apology, her eyes cinched shut. She didn’t want to make a scene, get them evicted by David.
“Shhhh. No one will find us here.” That should have filled her with worry, being alone with a stranger where no one could reach her, but she was safe, she knew that above all else.
While fingers—dozens of them—teased her sex, traced circles along her clit, hands attended to her breasts, flicking her nipples, making them hard for him. He squeezed her aching breasts, her flesh molding under his touch. She arched her back, not finding anything solid to give her purchase. She moaned, cried out as his thumb pressed against her clit, pushed until she felt a climax building, surging.
“No, wait.” It couldn’t end, not yet. She wanted him to taste her, wished she could feel what his tongue could do when his hands were pure bliss.
As if by magic, the only hand that remained pressed to her body was the one inside of her. Yet somehow his mouth was against her ear, his tongue tracing along her earlobe until his mouth took it and sucked until she grew dizzy with desire again.
“Granted.” His mouth remained against her neck, breathing heat and fire through her while the cold air worked against him, igniting all her senses. When a tongue slipped in between the folds of her sex, she screamed with passion. It was smooth, long, and dove into her with a frenzy. Still, his mouth devoured her neck, licking the skin.
How is this possible?
She didn’t want to know anymore. She just wanted to experience it. All of it.
Jarod’s tongue darted in and out of her, his teeth simultaneously grazing the skin behind her ear and nibbling on her pussy, which was sopping wet with and for him. Oh, God. He licked her from her clit to the back of her ass, a tongue still gliding in and out of her. It was changing her sense of time, of possibility, to have this many mouths attending to her.
Just when she thought she had it all, mouths closed in over her breasts, tongues swirling around her nipples, teeth biting them just hard enough to make Haven tremble with desire.
“Yes,” she whispered. “Yes. Like that, please.” She was close to coming, her pussy throbbing, her breasts heavy. At her pleading, his tongue entered her further than she thought possible. He was deep, rolling his tongue along her walls, sending shock waves of orgasm rolling through her.
No, don’t be over.
Oh, how she wished he would fill her, let her pussy feel the weight of him against her.
The warmth against her ear returned. “Are you sure? This is your final wish.”
She’d never wanted anything more. Before she could reply aloud, her back touched down on the silk-covered bed. “Granted.”
Where his tongue had licked her skin, tasted her, the air tickled a chill over the dampness. She writhed, waiting for him. And then, she felt his hard cock against her opening. It wasn’t so thick it wouldn’t work, but she could tell it was more than she’d ever had inside her. He rubbed his tip along her opening, a pool of her own cum and pleasure dripping from her.
Without warning, he thrust inside her, hard and fast. She groaned with satisfaction. He touched her walls, filled her completely, opened her further. How would she ever be the same after he’d changed her, physically and beyond? He moved in and out of her, picking up his speed as he went, mouths closing over her breasts, sucking hard. Each thrust of his cock spread her further, stretched her to make room for more pleasure than she’d ever known.
He rode her for hours, her back sliding along the sheets while hands and mouths and the most perfect cock she’d ever had took her body and branded it. She was his, no matter what came after that night. When another orgasm rolled through her, crippling her senses, she cried out, her voice filling the round room with her exquisite pain and pleasure.
She didn’t know how long she lay there, sated and recovering from sex that couldn’t even be defined as such, it was so magnificent. At some point, though, she sensed she was alone. The air shifted, became stale. She opened her eyes to find she was in new red silk pajamas, but alone in her own bed. How—
That was all she could ask, though, sleep drifting over her, claiming her. Her dreams were pure bliss that night, a replay of Jarod and what he’d done to her, with her.
When her alarm blared on Monday morning, she had no idea how long she’d slept. Had she done anything else? Eat? Send the Sunday edition to print? Shit. She had to go to work. Somehow, she dressed, made coffee and a bagel to go, and found herself only half disoriented at the office. David’s too-bright smile met her at the door.
“Where’d you go Saturday? You left without telling me what an awesome party it was.”
She smiled. If only he knew.
“It was great, thanks. Something just came up. Hey, by the way, I like the remodel you did to your house, David.”
Her cheeks erupted in a blaze of heat as she recalled just how much she’d enjoyed his new guest suite.
His brow furrowed. “I didn’t remodel.”
“The guest suite in the back of your kitchen?”
“There’s nothing there but the lawn my gardener destroyed. Jesus, Haven, how much did you drink that night?” He cackled, shook his head. “I’m going to find Gina. She’s mad about me flirting with the receptionist. You women have no idea how frustrating you are.”
His voice trailed off, laughter echoing down the hall.
Haven stood there, alone with her memories, the hint of a bruise on her hip and red silk pajamas hanging in her beige closet all the proof she had that Halloween night had happened. Her mind told another story—tongues, lips, hands, fingers made of fantasy, nothing real except the way they made her feel.
She’d never tell—no one would believe her anyway, but she was pretty damn sure she believed in magic now.
Kristine is a university English instructor by day, and a romance/erotica author by night. Her first erotic romance novel is due out in December, and in the meantime, she spends every free minute exploring her own writing and sexual limitations, as well as concocting happily-ever-afters for other strong, fierce women.