Working From Home
A single hand dangles out the open window of a black sedan. The morning sun glints off the dark lenses of the driver’s sunglasses, and ash flakes away from the smoking end of a cigarette pinched between her knuckles.
She is waiting.
The driver invites the cigarette to her mouth and purses her lips around the yellow filter. Her cheeks hollow when she sucks in deep. She teases the smoke with the idea of release only to pull it sharply back down her throat. She stares across the street at the pine green door of a townhouse, which looks the same as all its neighbors. The plume of blueish tendrils snakes out from between her lips without haste.
She is in no hurry; she knows she’s early.
She grips the car’s side mirror with strong fingers and turns it to face her. She sees her lips, painted a deep, dark plum. She turns to study the sharp line that connects the curve of her earlobe to the tip of her pointed chin. Her lips pull apart to drag the tip of her tongue across the underside of her front teeth.
Everything is just right today, as it usually is.
She plants her eyes back on the pine green door just as it opens and a woman steps out. The woman’s honey-hued hair gleams in the sunlight when she turns her back to the street. She faces a smiling man standing in the doorway. He is taller than her, though not by much, and his black hair is in stark contrast to hers. They are what some might call a smart-looking couple. The honey-haired woman kisses the man goodbye and walks down the steps to the sidewalk. With his hip leaned into the frame, he crosses his arms and watches her go.
The driver takes another long, sultry drag and watches the honey-haired woman on her path down the street and around the corner. The man has since retreated inside and closed the door. The driver does not rush the rest of her cigarette. She enjoys every burning breath until it’s done.
She rolls up the window before she expels the lethal drag and opens the car door. She climbs out with a cloud of nicotine and perfume trailing behind her. She flicks the dying cigarette to the ground and snuffs it out with a single twist of her heavy sole as she walks over it.
She directs the beep of her key fob over her shoulder and strides into the street without concern for traffic. Her long beige trench coat is open wide, revealing a black swooping neckline that plunges daringly low. Her sternum is fully exposed to the day. The black fabric defies science to keep her modest breasts modest.
Her coattails flap behind her as confidently as she moves. A nondescript silver car that is driving a little too quickly meets her in the middle of the road. It honks its horn at her to voice its dismay for her jaywalking. Without turning her chin, the woman flips the bird with her ring-bearing hand to the silver car and keeps walking. Demeanor unfazed, gait unaltered, she smirks to herself when she hears the screech of frustrated rubber on the asphalt behind her.
She walks up the steps to the pine green door and presses the button that tells the doorbell to serve its purpose. While she waits, she runs her fingers through her heavy bangs and scrubs the ends into the crown of her skull. She shoves her hands into her coat pockets and swivels on the balls of her feet to look back towards the street. She musses her hair back down to where it was before.
She is done waiting now.
Footfalls approach the door from the inside. Her heart beats in time with the click-click-clack of the latch coming loose. The door opens to reveal the smiling, slightly dampened black-haired man. The man who just kissed the honey-haired woman goodbye. The man who would kiss this dark-haired woman next.
“Hey, I’m sorry I was just in the shower and—”
She walks her self-assurance into the man’s house, brushing past him to cut off his apology. She hears the door click again behind her, followed by soft footsteps as the man approaches her from behind.
With her back to him, she pinches the corners of her sunglasses on both sides of the frame, pulls them from her face, folds the arms neatly, and tucks them into her coat pocket. She shrugs the trench from her shoulders, letting it slide down her arms and off her body, to reveal another swoop in the silky black fabric that puts the length of her spine on display.
She lets the man take her coat. His breath is long and curious behind her. He clasps his fingers around the nape of her neck and rubs his thumb in a strong circle once, twice… at the base of her skull. His fingertips are cool while the rest of his palm is warm. She closes her eyes, bites her lip, and shakes her head at him. He doesn’t take notice of this subtle response; he drags his hand down the length of her bare spine and leans into her.
Nose buried into her dark hair, he breathes the whisper into her scalp: “Oh, Veronica. I’ve missed you.”
“I’m sure you have,” she says sternly, not acknowledging his touch. “How is your lovely wife, Anita this morning?”
“Gone for the day while I work from here. How’s your husband?”
“In China again. The Beijing account has been particularly volatile recently, for reasons I’m sure you can surmise.”
“Good thing you have me then.”
Veronica’s chiseled brow is arched high when she pulls away to face him. His smug smile wavers when he meets her serious gaze and crossed arms. “Yes. Until you begin to bore me, at least.”
“You always have to take me down a peg, huh?” The man crosses his arms to mirror her body’s message and flashes a cheeky smirk. “You can never let me have a win.”
Veronica purses her lips and glares black daggers into him. She scans him from head to toe and back again. He is wearing a simple black t-shirt and dark denim jeans that hang off his lithe frame in all the ways goddess intended. He wears nothing on his feet. His dark hair is combed back, still damp from the customary shower that delayed his greeting. A thick, sculpted brow frames his dark eyes, and the smooth V of his jawline points down towards the slender neck that holds the whole system steady.
Beyond his aesthetic allure, what Veronica notices most of all as she surveys him is how much his breath has quickened since she walked in. The longer she watches him in harrowing silence, the further his crossed arms push away from his chest with every giveaway heave.
“Oh, Scott…” she says finally, shaking her head more noticeably this time. She uncrosses her arms and lifts her feet one at a time to her hands, removing her ankle boots. “It’s true that you are a strong player.” She lines the boots up neatly beside each other on the floor mat. “That’s why I still like to play with you…”
Veronica’s words grow sterner with every break between them. She reaches down to the button on her black jeans. She pries the material apart, leaving her fly open wide to reveal the black panties that match her top.
Veronica glares at this man, Scott, standing sheepishly in front of her. His arms have loosened. His eyes are pinned to the triangle of shiny black peeking out at him from between the open flaps of dark denim.
She dips her head to find his eyes and reclaim his attention. “But never forget, my dear… This is my game,” she says as she points down at the floor. Scott understands this gesture and obeys: though somewhat hesitantly, he lowers his knees to the floorboards in front of her as she continues to speak. “We may be in your home, but my house always wins.”
Scott averts his eyes.
“Scott.” Her tone when she says his name burns like dry ice held too long in a stubborn fist. “Do I make myself clear?”
Scott nods his assent.
She grabs him gruffly by the chin between her thumb and claw-like forefinger and forces him to look up at her. She repeats her question with more space between the words this time: “Do I make myself clear?”
She feels the hearty gulp pass from his tongue to the rock growing in his throat before he speaks. “Y-yes, Veronica. I should have—”
“That’s enough,” she says cutting his excuses short. “Now.” She tickles under his chin with the tip of her dark-painted talon and rises to full height. “I don’t have all day. I’ve got a lunch reservation at noon and you know how I feel about punctuality.”
He nods again and lowers his eyes to the floor. Veronica shimmies the waist of her jeans past her hips. Scott resists his urge to ogle her without permission.
“It’s okay, pet,” she says. “That’s very good, but you may watch.”
Upon receiving her permission, the tip of Scott’s tongue darts out to trace the thin line of his upper lip. Veronica takes relish in slowly stripping away her layers to reveal her inherent power. She peels the black denim husks from her legs and kicks the jeans aside. She pulls her top overhead and stands before him in nothing but her black satin-and-lace panties. A sculptured goddess, all smooth curves and hard edges.
Veronica clucks her tongue at Scott and shakes her head. “You know, I really was looking forward to today. But it seems we have a lot of work to do. Because you also know that I don’t come here to be neglected.” She scans down the length of her near-naked body and looks back at him. “I can’t believe you’ve made me do all of this myself. I mean, really — how many times are you going to make me punish you before you get it right?”
“I’m sorry, Veronica, I didn’t mean…” From his knees, Scott scrambles over to her and bows his forehead into the soft cushion of flesh at her belly. He looks as though he is praying.
“It’s just been so long, I…” He trails off, getting lost in the scent of her.
“My poor, sweet Scott,” she says, stroking the fragrance from his freshly washed hair. “I understand. I’ve missed you too. It has been far too long since the last time I was here.”
She crowns him with her hands on either side of his head, weaves her fingers into his dark hair and holds him there, gently. Almost nurturing.
“In all that time though, it seems you have forgotten your place. Again.” She snarls into the last word and clenches a fistful of Scott’s hair without warning, craning his head back to force him to look up at her once again.
Veronica is smiling through her sneer because she felt the tiny burst of his breathy whimper on her as she pulled him into place.
“You’ve grown cocky, my dear. It’s almost…” Her sneer turns to a wry, crooked smile as she shifts her gaze back and forth between his dark hazel eyes. She isn’t searching for the answer; the answer is obvious. “It’s almost as if you do it on purpose.”
Scott gulps down hard to suppress a grin. Veronica takes a half-step forward and nestles her foot into the strained crotch of his jeans. His pulse is hot and heavy in the fold of her ankle. She traces the strain she’s made in his neck while she leers over him.
“You deserve every bit of this.” Another excited whimper sneaks out between his breaths when she says it. “You know this, don’t you?”
Scott tries to nod, but her grip on his scalp is too strong.
“Answer me properly, slut,” she barks. She feels his shameful erection thump down into the top of her foot.
“Yes…” She echoes and squeezes her hold on Scott’s roots. “Yes, what?”
“Yes, I deserve this.”
“B-because… I have been insolent today.” The heat on Veronica’s foot rises when she presses up into him. “Again, I mean. I have been insolent again.”
“Mm.” Veronica loves that word: insolent. “Tell me, pet. In what ways have you been insolent, specifically?”
“I—” He sucks the air quickly through his teeth she gives him another warning tug. His voice is ragged, rasping, wanting. “I… I made you wait outside on the step too long…"
“I-I-I didn’t ask permission to touch you…”
“Mm, quite. And?”
“And I…” He nearly chokes on the words he knows Veronica has been fishing for. “I-I’m a filthy slut.” The shameful words she knows he loves and hates to say. “Because I let you fuck me when my wife isn’t home.”
“There it is!” She got particular glee from that one. “Exactly. So, Scott, if you already know all of this, then why, instead of being able to fully enjoy myself while I’m here, am I always wasting precious time having to remind you of these things?”
Scott lowers his eyes even further away like a naughty dog who knows exactly why he is being scolded.
Veronica relaxes her hold on him and takes a step back to abandon the desperate pulse between his legs. Scott had been holding his breath; the air hurries out of him to fill the space between them.
“Well…” she coos, almost to herself, as she walks past him, back towards the pine green door, to the front hall closet. She keeps the rest of her thoughts to herself and sifts through the coats until she finds what she’s looking for.
Scott, who is still kneeling, facing away from her, not daring to steal an uninvited glance now, can’t see the long, thin, black scarf that now rests over her palms like a wicked priest’s stole.
“Let’s see to it that you don’t forget again, shall we?” She rubs the fabric between her fingers as she speaks. “Take off your shirt for me.”
Obedient and silent, Scott crosses his hands to opposite hips and pulls his black t-shirt up overhead. Veronica stands behind him and watches as he gives himself to her, one vertebra at a time, until the entirety of his torso is exposed. She crouches down, pressing her bare breasts into his shoulder blades. A sighing exhalation falls from Scott’s nose as he melts back into her. Veronica strokes his throat with the cup of her palm and breathes anticipation back into him. The strain on his breath tightens again.
“Give me your wrists.” Her purr may be menacing, but Scott willingly joins his wrists at the small of his back.
Veronica wraps the thin, black scarf around his wrists, binding him in place.
“Not too tight?” she asks, brushing her lips on the outer curve of his ear. “You would tell me if it’s too much, yes? I want to punish you, not hurt you."
“No, V. It’s not too tight.”
“Good. What do you say then?” Her tongue is like a knife slicing through every hard consonant to remind him that the scene is still in play.
“Thank you, Veronica.”
Veronica stands and circles around to face Scott again. She waits for him to overcome his sweet embarrassment and find her eyes. This is one of her favorite things: when she can almost taste their shame—heady and sharp. When they reek of their overwhelming urge to share it with her.
“You are so beautiful like this, you know that?” He tries to hide it from her when she tells him so, but Veronica catches the sweet rosy hint of his blushing cheeks. “It’s just such a shame I won’t get to taste your cock today.”
Scott’s head snaps back up. His face is washed with an expression that is both confused and imploring. Veronica scoffs and rolls her eyes with disdain.
“Don’t look so pathetic. Come now. Stand up and take me to the bedroom.”