The Lady is a Tramp
Lily looked over her shoulder at the long line behind her. Pressing the greasy telephone to her ear, she raised her voice into the box. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know who else to call.”
She knew exactly how this sounded. The clock in the jail read 3:02 a.m. She had no idea what neighborhood she was in, as everything looked the same in the darkness of after-hours Chicago.
Also, between the frantic escape from the speakeasy and the rough hands shoving her into the paddy wagon full of sweating, trembling people who’d been out for a good time, aware of the risks they took by being there but not cognizant of what exactly those risks could entail until right now, she’d somehow misplaced her panties. She suspected they were still next to the chair in Fleur’s dressing room.
Lily hoped Fleur and Charles were all right. She’d lost them too in the mad scramble and chaos that followed the raid. Meanwhile, even in this squalor and humiliation, the breeze between her legs was not entirely unpleasant.
“Wrap it up, girlie!” a voice croaked behind her, before letting out a magnificent phlegmy cough. Lily shuddered.
The voice on the other end sighed. “Sit tight, Miss Johnson. I’ll find you.”
The line went dead and Lily’s heart sank.
Just like that, she was Miss Johnson again.
“You found me,” she whispered when she saw his face, sleepy, concerned, and still very handsome in the garish fluorescent light.
“Take this,” he said. She inhaled tobacco and Barbasol and something inherently Hal when he wrapped a wool coat around her. The touch of his fingers was featherlight through the light wool. Lily had a strong urge to pull him close so he’d wrap his arms around her, warming her from the inside out, but she knew this would be inappropriate and very, very wrong.
After all, Hal (Mr. Williams) still wouldn’t look at her.
Lily felt horribly guilty for calling her boss from jail, but he was the only person she knew with his own telephone. At the office during the day, she was quiet but resourceful, quick and efficient. She knew Hal thought of her as a nice girl – but what was a “nice girl”, anyway? Probably not someone who woke her boss at three a.m. with a telephone call from jail, of all places.
Come to think of it, nice girls probably didn’t fool around with other girls. Two in the same night. And enjoy it immensely. She wondered what Hal would think. She wondered why she cared so much about what Hal thought. She knew the answer to that.
The crisp early morning air cooled her face as they made their way out of the police station. Despite the hour, Lily could still see lights, peppering everywhere like stars. Even though she’d been away from home for some time now, she still felt both a rush of excitement from living in a city that was so constantly alive, and a tinge of nostalgia for the quiet place she’d left behind.
Mr. Williams’ mouth was moving, but she wasn’t listening, lost in her reverie. Lily shook her head. “I’m so sorry, what?” She felt like she’d never run out of sorries. Would she even have a job on Monday?
“I was saying, can I take you home?” His voice was still scratchy – she’d woken him, after all.
She started to nod, then remembered Clare was entertaining Katy tonight. Lily wasn’t sure how much her roommate would want the world to know about her girlfriend. She’d already thrown caution to the wind enough tonight – better play it safe this time.
But where would Lily go? There were hotels, of course, but she didn’t have the cash, and she knew how it would look: a woman checking in on her own, or worse, with a man who wasn’t her husband. Will I ever stop fretting over how my actions “look” to others?
She glanced at Mr. Williams – Hal, with his snappy suit and his striking profile. (How? It's almost four a.m., for God’s sake!) Whereas Lily was rumpled, dirty, without her underwear.
He bit his lip. Lily knew this meant he was mulling something over, and that it would behoove her to be patient until he arrived at his decision.
“Why don’t I make you some coffee?”
Whatever Lily was expecting, it wasn’t that.
For the first time since he’d bailed her out, Hal really looked at Lily, warmth radiating from his dark eyes. “Nothing improper. If you’re uncomfortable, we can find you a cab home.” He smiled, shyly. Lily had never seen this side of her confident boss – well, except the one time in his office when his mere presence had her swooning. “I have an inkling you don’t want to be alone, though.”
“I don’t!” she said quickly. Her words echoed off the empty streets. Embarrassed, Lily mustered a smile. “I’d love some coffee. Thank you.”
His apartment was so much fancier than hers. Lily hadn’t felt like such a bumpkin in quite a while. Decorated in black and white with elegant marbled floors, Hal’s home was beautiful but not ostentatious, and a far cry from the railroad flat she shared with Clare. Lily tried not to stare, but it was very difficult.
“Here.” Hal handed her a cup of steaming brew and Lily wrapped her hands around the mug, grateful for the warmth. A giggle escaped her lips and her boss looked at her, a question in his eyes.
She smiled sheepishly. “It’s funny you’re bringing me coffee.”
He sat next to her on the velvet divan, eyes trained toward his lap. “Well… I value you,” he said.
Lily’s face grew hot. Looking away, she took a gulp of her coffee, and immediately started coughing.
“Miss Johnson?” Hal asked as Lily frantically began to fan her mouth, sticking out her tongue in a most unladylike way, her eyes watering. He ran down the hall and she could hear his footsteps, then silently cursed her clumsiness. I would certainly fire me after these shenanigans.
But here he was again, suit jacket off, shirtsleeves rolled up to reveal strong forearms, holding out another glass.
“Drink this,” he said.
Their fingers brushed as he took the coffee cup from her. Lily thanked her lucky stars – those in the sky, the lights of the city and the champagne she’d drunk earlier, the effects of which had completely worn off – that she was sitting down, with no danger of passing out. She swallowed the cool water, never more grateful for anything in her life.
She looked her striking, attentive boss and burst out laughing.
Slightly taken aback, Hal started laughing too, and the shock of that set Lily off all over again. How did she get here? Sitting with the man who signed her paychecks, in his elegant apartment, laughing together after he bailed her out of jail. Back in central Illinois, she never would have guessed she was capable of this much,
“Can I offer you anything else?” Now his face was serious again. Charles was all quick wit and sharp eyebrow raises, but her Hal (her Hal, why had those words popped into Lily’s mind just now?) was more… understated. Mature.
They were very close, his leg in those well-cut trousers almost touching hers with its ripped stocking. If she leaned over just an inch, she could kiss him...
“I’m dirty!” Lily shrieked, and Hal jumped about a foot.
“I mean,” Lily said, clearing her throat, “would it be improper if I asked to clean off in your, ah, toilet?” Might as well end the night as unexpectedly as I started it.
His face softened. “Of course, Miss Johnson.”
“Lily?” She smiled hopefully, trying not to look too deep into his eyes.
He smiled back. “Of course. Lily.”
This bathtub was all of Lily’s wildest dreams come true.
Deep enough to submerge her to her shoulders, the water hot and soothing, the porcelain smooth against her tender parts. She could live and die in this tub and be a happy woman.
“Ohhhhh,” Lily said out loud as she sank in, her clothes strewn all over the marble floor. Her voice echoed off the walls and she clapped a wet hand over her mouth. She hadn’t realized how loud her ecstasy was. Better keep an eye on that – Hal was still her boss, after all.
Luckily, since her hair was short now, she didn’t have to get it wet. She propped one foot, painted with garish red polish she’d borrowed from Clare, on the lip of the tub. Under the water, her fingers wandered…
No. It can’t happen here.
But I want it. So badly. I’ll be quiet.
You’ve never been quiet when the feelings hit. Your noises will scare the bejesus out of the man whose coffee you have to fetch on Monday.
But it would feel so good, and I’ve had such a hard night.
You’ve kissed your roommate, climaxed from a hoochie-coochie girl’s mouth, said yes to a date with a rogue, been sent to jail, and now you’re completely nude in your boss’s bathtub. All in one night. Watch yourself.
Exasperated by the angel and devil on her bare shoulders – and who was who, really? – Lily sighed and leaned her head back.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!
Yanked out of her reverie, Lily shrieked.
The door cracked open, and Hal stuck his head in, one hand thrown over his eyes. That simple courtesy was so sweet, so very Hal, Lily had to grin.
“All right in there? Sorry I scared you,” he said, hand still over his eyes.
“You can look, you know,” Lily said, making sure she was sufficiently submerged. She didn’t want him to be uncomfortable.
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure.” I’ve never been surer, big boy.
Gingerly, one long and elegant finger at a time, Hal took his hand off his face – and immediately looked away, muttering.
“Come again?” Lily said. Was it something she did? How she looked?
He cleared his throat. “This is very wrong, Miss Johnson.”
But so very right, Mr. Williams.
She hadn’t realized she said it out loud until she saw her boss’s utter shock.
“I mean,” Lily said quickly, “I’ll leave right now if you like. You can shut the door, we can be done with this and never speak of it again.” She meant every word – she cherished their relationship as important leader and trusty assistant. (She also cherished paying her share of the rent.)
But Lily was becoming a strong believer in fate. The complex series of decisions and coincidences that had led her to Clare, to Charles and Fleur, to the party that started it all. To the smutty novel on the train.
Maybe they were here for a reason. Maybe she’d never know if she didn’t try.
“But,” Lily said, a sly smile spreading over her face, “we could do other things… and never speak of them again.”
To punctuate, she lifted one long leg out of the tub, and rested it on the edge. Tempting him.
Hal stepped fully into the room. Not taking his eyes off Lily, he shut the door behind him.
His clothes came off to reveal a flat stomach and lightly muscled arms. She shivered in the hot water, eyes hungrily taking him in. Lily had never really seen a man naked (both Charles and the boy in the barn had taken her standing up) and she relished the sight of the light dusting of dark hair on his chest, his chiseled backside, and – oh my – his very impressive erection. (Thanks to her book, she knew what to call it now.)
“Is this all right?”
She tore her eyes away from his member and smiled at the sheepish expression on his face. “Yes.” Her voice came out deeper, throatier, than it ever did at work. “Come here.”
And he did, stepping toward her, and then, tentatively, into the tub. The water splashed around them slightly, and Lily couldn’t take it anymore. Feeling like a mermaid in a naughty fairy tale, she made her way through the water toward him and touched her lips to his.
As their mouths and hands explored one another, first cautiously, then with increasing urgency, Lily realized how many ways she could feel. How different fingers and tongues and other parts felt depending on the person, the situation, the chemistry between two bodies.
Then Hal found her spot, the one she’d first discovered with Abigail’s hysteria device, and she stopped thinking altogether.
Hal stroked her hardening nub with just the right pressure and speed as she kissed his neck and he groaned in her ear. The water added a whole new sensation, enveloped her body in warmth and made droplets in Hal’s hair. She ran her fingers through his wet locks to smooth them down and pulled slightly at the roots. Hal seemed to like this – he groaned harder, played with her faster, which in turn made Lily even more excited. She bit his earlobe and relished the sharpness of her teeth against the softness of skin.
She felt one of Hal’s fingers, then another, slide into her, slowly and carefully at first, and gradually more insistent when she made her pleasure obvious. Lily bucked her hips, her body aching for that sweet release, knowing this climax would be one for the record books.
“Oh, oh, ohhhhhhh yes!” Lily’s cries echoed off the marble floors, the immaculate walls, as Hal pulled away so he could look into her eyes. The connection was intense, his fingers working away over the water, the wonder in his face as he looked down at her, naked and wet in total ecstasy, as if he couldn’t believe his luck. He kept his fingers going as her inner walls tightened around him and her moans became screams, the late hour and the neighbors and general boss-secretary propriety all completely forgotten in the wake of this intense, forbidden reward.
“Did you like that?” he whispered in her ear, gently withdrawing his fingers after her cries subsided into the longest, most satisfied sigh in the world.
She couldn’t even put it into words. This whole surreal night had changed Lily forever.
She definitely wasn’t a nice girl anymore.
Like the gentleman he was, Hal got out first, then offered her his hand. Lily noticed his member was still hard, and so big it almost tapped his stomach. And though her body was thoroughly spent, something stirred. The need to please this man, who’d taken care of her so well, was overwhelming.
Instead of taking the proffered towel from his other hand, Lily sank to her knees and prayed she would do this right.
“Miss Johnson,” Hal groaned as Lily took the length of him in her mouth. Perhaps sensing she didn’t quite know what to do, he placed one hand on her head and guided her, gently but firmly, back and forth until she found a rhythm. Once Lily discovered she could relax her throat, she began to enjoy this unexpected position of power. Knelt on the floor with her face between his legs, reaching up one hand to tentatively stroke his testicles. Hal sighed happily and she began to suck harder, to touch more. Lily was single-minded in her goal to give him what he’d just given her: intense sensation, feeling like one was flying while remaining rooted on the ground and deep in the earth all at once.
And from his quickening breaths and increasingly heavy groans, she knew she was succeeding.
Finally, she could feel him give up control as he began to fuck her mouth. She took him deeper, using her hands everywhere, loving the smell and feel of him as he got closer.
“May I?” he grunted, and she wasn’t sure what he meant until she remembered a scene in her smutty book. Lily nodded delicately, and braced herself. Seconds later she felt a warm rush as Hal released in her mouth, with a loud, powerful roar completely at odds with his polite workplace persona. Even in the heat of the moment, Lily wondered if she’d ever hear that sound again.
An hour later, she woke up and looked over at Hal, looking so sweet in slumber, a smile playing on his lips. The bed he led her to after they’d cleaned up was comfortable and soft. Daybreak streamed through the large picture window. Everything was perfect.
But this wasn’t Lily’s bed, Lily’s apartment, Lily’s life.
Getting out of bed as quietly as she could, she tiptoed to the bathroom, where her clothes still lay strewn on the floor. After getting dressed, she made her way to the tub and pulled the drain plug. The water was cold.
Shutting the door silently behind her and holding her heels in one hand, Lily padded down two flights of stairs and opened the lobby door, ignoring the night doorman’s judgmental glare. Breathing in fresh early morning air, she hailed a passing cab, and was gone.