AUGUST 7, Paris:

You have the keys to a chambre de bonne on Rue de la Rochefoucauld. Exposed beams. Endless vista of roof tops.

I watch you sleeping, naked in the heat.

I pull your scarf from the table and run it across your shoulders, down your back, across your buttocks, thighs, calves. I draw my arm underneath your waist and prop you up with a pillow. Your cunt is exposed, slightly open. Fuchsia.

You pretend sleep.

I knot the edge of the scarf to give it weight and hold it above you like a pendulum. Let it swing. At the far end of its arc, it caresses your clit.

Me, murmuring: Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

You arch your back. Hope for more pressure. My free hand comes down, holds you in place.

Me, murmuring: Shhh. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
Me, increasing the tempo, whispering: I decide.
You acquiesce. Each touch elicits a gasp.

I watch your face. You frown in concentration. You bring a hand up, press and grind it into your breast.

Me, dropping the scarf, bringing myself over you, maintaining the beat now with my cock: Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

Seconds. Months. Days. Minutes. Forever.

You grasp at my ass and pull me harder on top of you. You draw my fingers into your mouth, suck. I pull them out, stroke my knuckles across your lips. Your tongue escapes, laps at my hand. Our orgasm is shrill, inescapable, endless.

We lie there, dazed, spent. You lazily twirl together strands of hair in my armpit.

You: Do you know what I’d like?
Me: No, what?
You: I’d like you to read to me.

I reach for the book. Des Esseintes has acquired a Galapagos tortoise and inlaid its entire shell with precious stones. By the end of the chapter, the animal is dead. Who knows why? It is almost too much.


We share a rented bike and cycle down to The Jardin des Tuileries. You sit on the handlebars. The pillow now your cushion.

You: Next time, let’s bring the entire bed!

You are whistling. It cannot be stopped. I’m negotiating traffic.

Inside the garden, I ride you in circles around the central pool. Weave around green metal chairs. Gravel crunch.

Me: Ready to kiss?

You, looking back, cheeks red: Always.

You lean back into me, turn your head to mine. Our lips brush. Your eyes squeezed tightly shut. Surrender.

Me, bringing us to a stop: New position! You—get on the seat.

You, at attention, saluting: Yes, sir!

Standing backward, my feet on the peddles, holding the handlebars behind my back, I push off. Your hands tight around my waist.

Me: Tell me where to go.

You: Straight ahead. Straight ahead.

We gather velocity. I watch your eyes for directions.

You: Kiss me.

I lean toward you but misjudge.

Our foreheads knock, and we’re on the ground. Entangled in a ménage-a-trois with the bike. Laughing, laughing.

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