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Alex & Chloe photo

Novel excerpt:

Alex hands her a plastic cup filled to the brim with tequila and places his body carefully next to hers. The moment of transgression is fast approaching.

“Do you skate?” Chloe asks to break the silence.

“Ah, yeah, sort of,” he says. “I manage professional skaters. So, I’m good by normal standards, but not by mine.”

“I’m sure you’re pretty good.”

Chloe hears herself continue a light and flirtatious conversation with Alex as an image of Sillyboi, eyes closed and asleep, uploads to her consciousness. A cursor appears to click it away. It takes three unsuccessful clicks before the invading image is gone and Chloe hears herself agreeing that Bronze is cooler and arguably more relevant than Supreme, hoping the conversation will end so they can begin fucking. Alex keeps talking and Chloe is suddenly overcome by an outlandishly upbeat unhappiness. Sex is the only way out of this terrible feeling. Chloe presses her toes into the soles of her Docs. This is not happening, she says to herself in a calm direct tone like an actress playing a teacher in a movie with a message. This is not happening, she says again and again as the phrase becomes an illegible drumbeat, more soothing without meaning.

Alex stops talking and stares at her with a pained expression. His mouth opens and his face moves quickly toward hers. His tongue is wider and softer in her mouth than Sillyboi’s and together their mouths produce more liquid than Chloe is accustomed to, his meaty lips more in proportion with her own, his breath rancid with alcohol, anxiety, and bad diet. Chloe is wet with disgust, wetter than with Sillyboi whose mouth is dry and breath is sweet. It’s as bad as you could possibly imagine, she nearly says out loud to Sillyboi who she imagines crouched next to the mini fridge, frozen in horror, fingernails tearing his scalp.

She helps Alex remove her wide black cargo pants so he can lick the area just above her underwear elastic. This is so corny, Chloe thinks watching Alex lick her stomach. And yet, isn’t this one of the few arenas where corny reliably works: at children’s parties, in the bedroom, etc.? Chloe makes a sound and says a word as Alex takes the whole of her clitoris into his mouth and sucks it like a penis, his tongue stroking the entire organ with each suck. This man has eaten a lot of snatch, Chloe thinks, amused as “snatch” returns to her vocabulary after so long an absence. Sillyboi’s rage is still in the room, now owned by her, it intensifies her pleasure. Chloe shudders, feeling closer than ever to Sillyboi. It only took twenty years to discover how the clit grows colossal with mischief. Finally, I understand, she thinks, the best sex cucks.

Chloe cums and is eager to take Alex in her mouth. His cock is thicker than Sillyboi’s, miraculously clean, and smells slightly of mentholated soap. Chloe looks up at him, mouth full, and he regards her as one might an angel glimpsed from just outside the gilded gates of heaven.

“God, you’re so fucking cute. Fuck, you’re fucking so pretty,” he says as she sucks him. It is so like a man, Chloe thinks, to become affectionate precisely in the moment when I am least likely to respond. Nonetheless, a primitive joy spreads through her body to hear her looks and charm confirmed as ropes of saliva fall from her mouth. This, she is certain, Sillyboi would hate the most: staring at each other, in wonder, as he pushes deeper down her throat.

“Do you want me to cum in your mouth?”

She hesitates, confused.

“Do you have a condom?” she asks.

“Why?” he asks.

She hesitates again, even more confused.

“I want to fuck,” she says.

Alex turns her over and thinking is replaced by pleasure; by not seeing his face; by not knowing his mother; by not caring if she fed him with breast or with bottle; by not understanding his vanity; by having never seen him weep; by never imagining what their kids would look like; by not caring if they were cute or repulsive; by never picturing him old; by never hoping to know him then; by knowing nothing but this feeling. Chloe is euphoric with ignorance. He finishes quickly and she is flattered.

“Are you on birth control?”

Chloe nods.

“That was my last condom.”

The second time they do not use a condom. Once finished, Chloe is still preoccupied with identifying which part of the evening Sillyboi would hate the most. Would it be how Alex held either side of her face as he climaxed? Would it be his semen, now in her cervix, fighting to the death with her IUD? Would it be his aggression? Would it be how she cried “daddy?” Or would it be how all of the expressions and sounds she made were likely identical to those she makes at home with him? No, none of this is damaging enough. What should boil his fury to the point of psychosis would be to observe them now: her body wrapped around his, the room silent but for their breath in rhythm.