This story can only be found bundled with the Erotic Novella “Waxing Critical”
The tea-light candles are tiny and white and encased in gold. “Light six of them at a time,” Jack said when he gave them to me. “Six is the sacred number of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.” I laugh when he says things like that, but I listen. “Bathe in salted water scented with roses, my love,” he said, “like a gentle ocean bath, and imagine that the water is the sacred fluid that will endow you with all the powers of love.” He gave me tiny packets of bath oil filled with rose petals, but somehow he forgot the salt. Morton provides that from the cupboard—iodized, of course.
The candlelight flickers on the ceiling as I drop my robe and lower myself into the steaming water, pretending that he is here watching me while I practice. After our first night together I told him I would try everything for him. That was the night when he touched a part of me that I had thought was lost. He took me to his loft and removed the clips from my long hair and began to dance with me. He lit candles all around the room and danced me to the end of the night. I wanted to be a dancer when I was a little girl, but somehow never followed through on that dream.
Jack brought out secrets in me, he whispered to me of the magic of tantric sex, and then he had me blow out all the candles but one and made love to me slowly while I wrapped my legs around him and sat on his lap on the hardwood floor.
“I will try everything for you,” I whispered when we woke up the next morning—surprising myself with the words, with the wetness between my legs just from looking at him, and with my desire to climb up on top of him while he was still asleep. “Wanton” is not a word anyone ever used to describe me. “Yes, you will, China,” was all that he said then. I just had no idea where he’d make me start.
There are so very many things I’ve never tried in my life: I’ve never worn a corset, I’ve never eaten a truffle and I’ve never touched another woman sexually. I had no idea that I wanted any of these things until I moved to the town of Boulder and met Jack and then made friends with Annie Braverman and her partner Sam. Annie has a closet that makes me blush.
I slide my hands under the water and feel the curve of my hips and the hardness of my thighs. I look at my body through Jack’s eyes, watching my nipples grow hard and rise above the water. I’ve had these large nipples ever since I was a teenager, and I used to be so embarrassed by how they’d poke out against everything and grow hard from the touch of the material.
“You will learn to go topless around the house, China,” Jack said, “especially when we’re cooking. There is nothing better.” I could think of a couple of better things, like aprons, but cooking is the height of sensuality to me and I’m good at it. I used to read books by M.F.K. Fisher when I was a teenager, and she wrote all those sensual things about food and hunger and for all I know maybe she did because she went topless, I don’t know. Yes, I said to Jack, and yes, and yes. I feel like Molly Bloom when I’m around him. Yes. Yes. I seem to be saying this to him all the time. But I want what he has. Yes.
My pussy hair is full and pale red, just like my very long hair that I always keep in a braid or tied up so that nobody notices it. Jack is always taking it down. He loves that I’ve hung onto that part of me from my strange childhood, and he loves that I’ve kept my name. My full name is China Sunflower Thomas. One read of this name and people can almost guess what year I was born. My parents lived on a commune and were never married—at least not to each other. A hundred times I’ve considered changing my name, but have never gotten around to it. My childhood only made me turn out conservative—I’m an accountant and live in a proper condo in the foothills of Boulder. I hide my long, wavy hair in a bun for work. I pay my bills on time; I read serious fiction; I go to church.
“But you’re only twenty-six years old,” Jack laughed when I told him these things. “You’ve forgotten to live.” I looked at him sitting in my office as I sorted out his messy financial affairs when he had the nerve to say that to me. I wanted to smack him, but, looking at him, I flashed on my childhood at the Grand Lake Cooperative and suddenly I couldn’t say a word. Long hair, knowing eyes and a great beard. A free spirit. He was definitely not my type. The only problem was that as he sat across from me at my desk and humbled himself to my calculator, I found myself crossing my legs to try to ignore the fact that just by looking at me he was making me wet.
In the candlelight of my bathroom none of it seems to matter. The only thing that’s important is that I learn to bring myself to orgasm with my own hands, no vibrator, no man; that I keep stroking my clit in this way that feels so right, that I close my eyes and learn how to lose myself enough so that I can do this in front of Jack some day.
“Sex is all about the transference of power,” he told me, and somehow I knew he was not talking about my Hitachi Magic Wand and the electrical outlet in my bathroom.
“When you master this first challenge, China, we can start down the path to the secrets of high sex.” I want the secrets and I want the touch that I have right this second that makes me know I am indeed related to the goddess of love in some very distant way, and I want to smell like roses and see the flicker of tea-lights in my dreams every single night.
And of course I want to do all this before Jack comes over at eight, and Annie and Sam arrive for dinner.
I do not cook topless. Nor do I wear a corset that pushes my breasts up to the sky. I do skip my bra and wear a soft cashmere sweater that matches my hair, and I know that my nipples will stand out for Jack sometime during the evening and this will make him happy.
“Take your hair down,” Jack murmurs with the first kiss of my neck. When I hesitate, he takes the clip out of my hair, and I find I am enjoying this game of deciding how we will arrange my hair every time we greet. When he comes over he brings me roses, pale orange roses that he says look like me, sometimes a single rose, sometimes two dozen; he brings music; he brings wine; but mostly he brings so very many kisses. I started having sex on the commune when I was thirteen, but somehow the art of kissing and flirting and teasing got lost in the mix of free love and the constant nudity that embarrassed me every single day and the birth control my mother handed to me at fourteen.
Jack kisses me, he just kisses me, and I want to take more than my hair down and climb up and into this man and stay warm forever. Maybe it’s the way his beard feels against my cheek, maybe it’s the way his tongue is exploring every inch of my mouth, maybe it’s the feel of his hard cock up against my jeans or maybe I’m just turning into a slut.