This story can only be found bundled with the Erotic Novella “Tease for a Night”
A console stereo squatted in the corner of our living room when I was growing up; it had a turntable, radio and speakers enclosed in a wood-grain box, conical legs tapering almost to little points. The speakers on either side were covered with a beige fabric shot through with metallic gold threads. My dad worked as a store manager for Firestone in a dusty little Oklahoma town where farm families bought appliances, bikes, TVs and stereos, in addition to tires. The stereo had been repossessed, so my dad got a good price on it; it was a very fine piece of furniture for a young couple’s first house.
When I found an old vinyl record in a battered red cover recently, my heart skipped a beat. It was Maurice Ravel’s piece “Bolero.” On the flip side was Tchaikowsky’s 1812 Overture. It was the only classical music I heard growing up; my dad loved the 1812 Overture recording because, he always told me, they used real cannons in the recording. He would swing me up and around, narrating the events that inspired the music while the cannons roared.
Less frequently, my parents would play “Bolero.” The sinuous sound of the single oboe at the opening always made me dreamy; the drums added a strangely insistent note, never stopping through the entire piece. I knew a bolero was a Spanish dance, but that was all I knew about Ravel’s work. I let my imagination do the rest, picturing elegant ladies in black lace and men with slicked-back hair and tight pants.
My boyfriend laughed as he picked up the old LP. “Where’d this come from?”
I told him I’d found it packing away some of my parents’ old things. “The ‘1812 Overture’ used real cannons in the recording,” I said, proud of what little knowledge I had.
“Ooohhh, Ravel’s ‘Bolero!’” He caught my gaze, his lips twitching in that smug smile that usually mean he’s hatching a plan. “What do you know about ‘Bolero?’”
“It’s Spanish,” I said. I shrugged. “It’s a kind of dance, isn’t it?” That exhausted my entire store of knowledge about the classics. But he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, his grin widened.
“A dance, indeed.” He turned and settled the vinyl disk on the turntable. “What’ve you got to do in the next, say, eighteen minutes?”
“What have you got in mind?”
He looked so lovely, standing there, grinning at me. His jeans were tight and his Black Sabbath t-shirt had been washed so many times it had holes in it. He plays guitar; I first saw him on stage in a nightclub, so immersed in his instrument he seemed totally unaware of the crowd. He has strong, muscular arms and amazing fingers. He touched his guitar with so much feeling I immediately wanted those hands on me. It wasn’t long before he—and all his guitars—found a favored place in my apartment and my heart.
He dropped the needle onto the record and bowed with a flourish, holding out his hand like a courtier of the eighteenth century.
“Would you like to dance?”
I took his hand as the drums took up their marching beat. He spun me slowly in a circle while the oboe began its plaintive melody. I relaxed, surrendering to his lead. With another twirl, he dipped me, low. He was looking at me with laughing eyes, not brown but dozens of dancing colors, amber to gold to deepest mahogany. We don’t dance often; usually when he is above me staring into my eyes we are making love. As that thought flashed through my mind, I could feel my nipples getting hard. He was looking at me with lust. I like that. As he pulled me back up, I could hear the violin section begin plucking notes with their fingers, not an ordinary violin sound at all.