Theme Parks and Obstacle Courses – a Novel

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54

“I’ve told you more than I tell my psychiatrist,” Pat continued.

“How much do pay him?”

“Her. About the same as what one of you people charge.”

“She doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, does she?”

“Unfortunately, no.”

“Believe me, we don’t say nice things when we don’t have to, either. We simply don’t say anything at all.” Further silence as he worked his thumbs up to the ball of her foot. Then, she said, “I’d fuck you.” This was so left-field Pat didn’t have time to duck-and-cover.

“Really?”

“Sure. We’re sitting here, you’re massaging my feet, and we’re having an interesting conversation. This is good foreplay. And the other thing, you’re not a bullshit artist.

“If there’s one thing you hear a lot of in here,” she said, sitting forward to fix his eye with hers, “It’s bullshit. My feeling about you is that you’re a nice person.”

“Really?” he said, feeling pleasantly embarrassed. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d experienced that particular emotion.

“And, you’re big.” She sat forward and ran her hands up his arms, sensuously apprehending their shape, her fingers squeezing and finding their way. “Come on,” she said, standing and taking him by the hand.

“But… what about…?”

“Are you going to charge me for the massage?” she asked sarcastically. “I’m not a hooker, remember?”

The hostess led him out the door and down the hall. He saw her broad shoulders and the slightness of her back; the whiteness of her neck beneath the hair gathered into a bun. Each of these details hit him like a sunburst.

His stomach felt like a hot, viscous ball that oozed downward into his legs. They felt shaky and uneven, like when you’re a child running down a hill and the momentum almost gets the better of you.

She led him into a room and closed the door behind her. They stood in the dark for a long moment before she switched on the light. When the lights came on, the room was large with a king-size bed in the centre. A shower and spa bath stood in one black-tiled corner.

“This is the penthouse suite,” she said. “Hasn’t been used tonight.” She reached down and slipped off one of her shoes. She reached out to steady herself against him while levering off the other.

She undressed and, leaving her hair back, helped Pat out of his clothes. Once he was naked, she reached up and hung her arms around his neck. She smiled a broad smile and Pat felt his equilibrium tip towards fear.

She pulled his face down to hers and kissed him. Pat closed his eyes with the obedience of a debutante. It was strange; he felt like he was trapped in a pitch-black crawlspace, so he opened his eyes. He was confronted with hers, which were also smiling.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Natalie.”

She led him to the bed and they lay beside one another. She kissed and touched him and he watched her closely, looking for signs of scorn or revulsion. She closed her eyes for periods at a time, and gently scratched at his chest with her long nails.

Her lovemaking (this was the word that occurred to him; it seemed a little daggy, but it was all he found in that particular cabinet of his vocabulary) unrolled as a seamless performance.

If they were dancing she was leading, and he worried from one moment to the next about tripping her up.

She rolled him onto her. As he propped his weight on his elbows so he didn’t squash her, Pat felt the looseness of his belly hanging down onto hers. It was embarrassing; he tried to block it out.

Cradling his body between her legs, Natalie began to caress his calves with the soles of her feet. He looked down and saw how wide she had opened her legs to accommodate him, and the thrill that coursed through his nerves felt miraculous.

She rolled on the condom with an ease that ignited an excitement and a hope he could hardly control.

He almost held his breath as he felt his cock pushing at her body, which suddenly unfolded and he knew from the heat and the pressure, even with the rubber between them, that she had a hold of him in the most gorgeous embrace a man could ever know.

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