This story can only be found bundled with the Erotic Novella “Conquered Love”
POOL, the sign said, and BILLIARDS, in typography that somehow managed to be early 40s without any of that period’s style.
Below TEVIS’S POOL & BILLIARDS was a tobacconist’s, a dark little corner store with displays of musty boxes lined with greasy old cigars. Next to it a door stood open, showing a heavy green runner on a narrow flight of stairs. The banister was polished to a dark, mahogany glow from endless palms.
A row of narrow smoke-stained windows, once gold-trimmed, ran around the second story. Islands of threadbare rugs and strips of matted oil-stained carpeting were cast adrift the ancient parquet floor. A cage stood against the far wall containing an old black man in a crisp white cotton shirt and simple black dress tie. His eyes were too sharp and clear for him to need protection. Daisy imagined him as a dapper tiger, kept locked away for the safety of the hall, and not as a precaution against the half dozen sharks circling lazily around the tables.
Standing next to her, Eddy’s hard, narrow face slipped into a wry grin. TEVIS’S was a heavy place, burdened by architecture, sagging from decade after decade of a meticulous game played by tough, desperate people. It was a place that didn’t know joy or ecstasy, only winning or losing in a game played with sticks and little round balls. Eddy was there, Eddy was on, Eddy was in her place and pool was her game.
Daisy also knew what her role was supposed to be. “Eddy –” she said with an exasperated little sigh, “– there’s not even a fucking bar.”
“We can get a drink later, doll,” Eddy said, walking away towards the dapper man behind the bars, the narrow leather case swinging gently in her long, thin hand. “I promise.”
“Yeah, right,” Daisy said, catching up to Eddy with a quick dash. Her own thin hand clutched at his sleeve. “Come on, Eddy, let’s go get something to eat, OK?”
Eddy turned to her, looked straight in her pale blue eyes. Daisy was small, like a model. Sometimes, when Eddy kissed her, when she held her in her arms, a bitter surge of guilt swept up from deep inside her. She was small, like a child. But the feeling rarely lasted more than one or two heartbeats. Eddy had been around, had kissed – and more than kissed – a lot of girls. None of them, even the ones with the leather and the rock-solid attitudes, had been as much of a hurricane in bed. Yes, she was small; but concentrated would be a better word. “I’ve got to do this, doll,” Eddy said.
“No, Eddy, you don’t.” Daisy aimed fiery eyes up at the taller woman. “You don’t have to do anything but go back to the hotel room with me.” In her little blue and white cotton dress with her long blonde hair hanging straight down, Daisy looked every inch like Dorothy or Alice, stepped right out of their native pages. But the heat in her eyes revealed the edge that hid under her candy and silk.
“Baby, you know I gotta,” Eddy said with firmness, certainty. “You know this is something I have to do.”
“No, Eddy you don’t. You have to eat, you have to drink, you have to fucking breathe, but you don’t have to play pool. You don’t have to.”
Eddy stood and looked down at her, the narrow leather satchel still in her long-fingered hand. Daisy’s eyes flicked, and Eddy knew she was right. It was a game played with a stick and a few colored balls. It wasn’t life, it wasn’t love. It was just a game. Life was many small hotel rooms, a Gideon in a drawer, a blue plate special for dinner, and Daisy.
Daisy standing naked in a beam of merciless sunlight, her little body graceful and fine. Her nipples were red kernels on breasts as luscious as her thighs; her thighs were as soft and tender as her breasts. The gentle swell of her belly, the tight blond curls just below, the shocking pinkness of her cunt, the sweet taste of her juice. The way her tongue danced with Eddy’s as they kissed, mingling hot breaths; and the way her tongue danced between Eddy’s thighs, always with the right tempo, the right steps. Other lovers had stepped on her clit’s toes – too much, too little, not enough – but Daisy knew ballet, she knew just the right steps. She was light and strong, and had a perfect sense of rhythm.
It was a good life. But there was something missing; it all seemed too simple. They were dancing in an empty hall to a predictable tune. There was lust, but it was a lazy, easy lust. Eddy absently stroked the handle of the case with her thumb, feeling the worn smoothness of it and the way the leather warmed under her touch. There was something thundering and powerful in the game: skill, risk, reward . . . a reward not as spectacular as when Daisy danced her tongue between her thighs, but sweeter because Eddy won with her own talent.
Eddy was possessed by two different kinds of lust. Lust for the green felt, the cue, and the colored balls, fighting roughly in the back of her mind with that other lust: lust for Daisy in a cheap hotel room, her skin a patina of hot sweat, her small breasts tented, tipped with tight, hard nipples, her legs spread gently apart, her lips pink like Georgia O’Keefe’s flowery labia.
A solid click, the hollow sound of a ball falling home in a pocket. Eddy shook her head, clearing her eyes and mind. “I have to do this, Daisy,” she said, turned back to the man in the cage. “I just have to.”
Daisy just glowered, the fire in her blue eyes only burning brighter.
“I hear you’ve got quite a pool player here,” Eddy said to the man behind the bars.
The little man gazed at Eddy for a long time. When he was done sizing her up, he drawled: “So who’s looking?”
“Just someone interested in a game of pool, that’s all. Just someone looking for a game,” Eddy said with a sly grin. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught Daisy heading towards a chair at the edge of the hall. Her little ass moved like poetry when she walked.
The man in the cage smiled, showing two porcelain teeth and many more of tarnished gold; then in a shockingly loud voice, he yelled, “Hey, Fats, some guy named Eddy wants to shoot some pool.”
The place had four walls. Two of them had narrow windows, two were banked with chairs. Eight tables. The cage. The stairs. From somewhere Eddy hadn’t looked, Fats appeared.