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Authors: CD Reiss

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Submit (Songs of Submission)

BOOK: Submit (Songs of Submission)
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Submit

 

by

 

CD Reiss

 

Songs of Submission – Book Three

 

Copyright © 2013

 

This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork herein is prohibited.

This book is a work of fiction. Any similarities to real persons living or dead is purely coincidental

.

Cover Art designed by the author

 

CHAPTER 1

I was on my hands and knees at Jonathan’s front door, my palms inside the house, my knees still on the porch. The smell of sage and dry, morning fog surrounded me. The air was cold enough harden my nipples, even though the sun baked my bare back. I wanted to touch my breasts, but I wouldn’t because I’d been told not to move my hands from the floor. I obeyed, though I didn’t know why. My pussy was wet. I felt the weight of my arousal hanging between my legs like the clapper on a bell, heavy and swinging.

I wanted Jonathan, but he’d gone somewhere, leaving me here like this. I wanted to press my legs together to squeeze my aching clit, but I’d been told to keep my knees spread.

A voice called my name. Darren. Then Gabby. God, no. They couldn’t be here until Jonathan finished.

 Then, I felt his dick pressed up against me and hands on my hips. I didn’t have a second to gasp before he was inside me, pounding mercilessly. Hands gripped my ass, pressing hard enough to bruise, and the pain was a counterpoint to the pleasure, making it sweeter, wetter, hotter. I moved with him, slamming onto his cock. He pulled my hips up and pressed down the arch of my back, stroking my clit with his shaft. I was this close to exploding in a burst of moans and cries when I saw a mirror in the house that hadn’t been there before, and Jonathan wasn’t fucking me, but Gabby. She was moaning, and the bedsprings were squeaking.

I woke up, sweating. In the room next to mine, the bedsprings squeaked, and Gabby let the neighborhood know Theo was fucking the life out of her. God bless them.

I was not in a clear emotional state. Two days before, Jonathan had left me with a promise of fidelity and a swollen nodule between my legs that I pledged not to touch. A day later, his ex-wife had shown up at my job, apparently to tell me he fucked her so hard the night before that he fractured a bone.

Yet, despite the fact that he may well have been a stinking liar, I kept my promise to save my orgasm for him. And I would, until I dumped him, at which time I was going to run into the nearest bathroom and relieve myself.

Theo finished with a Scottish-accented grunt. Thank God. I wasn’t sure if they were making me uncomfortable or horny. Seeing them in the kitchen for morning tea was going to be awkward.

I went into my bathroom to shower and dress. Afterward, I walked out the back door so I wouldn’t have to say good morning to anyone.

I felt constantly on the verge of an assault on something or someone. I got angry at the chair leg I stubbed my toe against. Traffic went from the cost of living in Los Angeles to a singular attack by a spiteful God. Mostly, I was angry at myself. I knew I wasn’t capable of having a serious relationship because I got too involved and lost myself in the other person’s needs. Nor was I capable of a casual encounter because I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone I was screwing being with another woman in the same space of time. My only alternative was celibacy, a perfectly viable option, but I’d broken a perfectly good sexless streak to be with Jonathan. So I was stuck. Our relationship was too serious to forget and move on, and too casual to get upset over him fucking his ex-wife. I was a fool. A damned fool.

I got in the car and realized I hadn’t put on any makeup. I looked in the rearview. Did I need any? I was only going to see my ex, Kevin. If I went in without makeup, it would be a sign that I wasn’t trying to impress him, that I didn’t want him back. I just wanted to talk, and I didn’t need lipstick for my mouth and ears to operate. I didn’t need mascara to see if I’d been crazy to leave him.

Kevin used to have a place downtown, but when the market for crap industrial spaces exploded, his rent tripled, so he’d split for the strip of land between Dodger Stadium and the LA River called Frogtown. I’d helped him move there four months before I left. The building had changed drastically in the interim. The broken brick façade had gone from a soot-encrusted dark red to a multicolored mural, corner to corner, of a huge young girl peeking into the front door as if it were the entrance to her doll house. The side of the building had been painted to look like the wall was see-through, with depicted trees and buildings that matched the real landscape of the LA River, like a Road Runner cartoon where the bird painted a single-point perspective road on a brick wall.

Those were not Kevin’s work. The girl looking at the door was definitely Jack’s style. The
trompe l’oeil
thing on the side looked like Geraldine Stark, one of his contemporaries. She was a quite prolific whore in the art scene, and I found myself wondering if Kevin had fucked her at some point.

I rang the bell. I waited. I rang again. Waited. Just like him to beg to see me then get so involved in something else he couldn’t answer the door. God, men were such fuckups. Every damn one of them.

The door finally opened, and I stood straighter so he wouldn’t see me arched with annoyance.

“Monica,” he said. “You came.”

“I said I would.”

He grinned his most gorgeous grin, straight-ish teeth a crescent of white in the pink dust of a set of lips that God himself must have used as a template for the perfections of the human face. I remembered kissing them. I remembered them running over the insides of my thigh, brushing against my pussy, bookends for his flicking tongue.

“Come in,” he said, stepping to the side.

“Thank you.” I grasped the strap on my shoulder bag for something to hang onto as I caught his scent of malt and chocolate. Jonathan left me with a throbbing ache of desire unquenched because he thought it made me think of him, but he couldn’t have had any idea how dangerous that was. A different person would have been fucking anything that moved.

The hall was narrow, and I had to brush by him to enter. He closed the door behind me with a metallic
thunk
. I passed doorways on either side of the hall. At the end, the hall opened into a warehouse space a forty-foot ceiling a cement floor he’d had poured himself. Waist-high tables stood all over the room in what looked like a random pattern but wasn’t. They were set up in an emulation of Kevin’s process. Each table was inaccessible without passing a necessary step before it, so the visual story of whatever he was working on could be told from the start every time. The pattern would never make sense to an outsider, but in his mind, it brought his installations together.

“Can I get you something? Tea?” He seemed tiny in the huge space. His white T-shirt looked insignificant and plain. “I put in a kitchen.”

“Wow,” I said. “Can I see?”

He led me to the far end of the huge space, weaving past the tables down a path he’d left for that purpose. The kitchen had glass block windows to the outside and a wall covered in magazine pictures of food stuck on with silk straight pins. The cabinetry was white, the surfaces embellished here and there with perfectly placed stickers or an odd tile in an incongruous color that a person with anything less than exquisite taste would have screwed up.

“Green okay?” he asked, reaching for a box of tea on a high shelf. His T-shirt rode up, exposing the path of dark hair on his belly, and I shuddered with the memory of touching it.

“That’s fine.”

He nudged the box, and it fell, bouncing off his fingertips. He caught it and smiled like a shortstop fielding a chopper to left. He put a two-pint saucepot under the faucet, and by the time he got it on the stove, I noticed his eyes hadn’t met mine since we’d walked into the kitchen.

“So,” I said, pulling up a fifties-style chrome and pleather chair, “what the hell did you think you were doing with that coalmine bullshit?”

His back was to me, and I could clearly see the muscles there tense. His shoulder blades drew close, and he looked toward the ceiling as if pulling strength from the heavens.

He turned his head only slightly to answer. “I entertained every idea of what you’d think for the year I worked on that fucking thing.”

“Did you ever consider sending me a letter and asking me what I thought?”

He turned and crossed his arms. His biceps were hard and lean from building, hammering, and climbing. Kevin’s work was motionless in the gallery, but very physical in its creation. “Yes, but honestly, Monica, once I decided to make the piece, what you thought was irrelevant. It wasn’t about you.”

Of course it wasn’t. My stuff, my words, and our intimacy were his to use as he pleased. It was as if I’d never left. I didn’t know what I thought I’d see by going to him, but he was the same old Kevin.

As if he could read my mind, his shoulders slackened, and his hands dropped to his sides. “That’s not what I meant,” he said.

“Yeah.”

“What
do
you think?”

“I’m really pissed I left those jeans behind.”

He smiled again, a barely audible chuckle issuing from his perfect mouth. He dropped his eyes to the floor, black lashes shining blue in the fluorescent light. I wished I didn’t have to look at him. He was screwing with my head.

“There were other things,” he said. “I really struggled with what to put in.”

“Did you miss a maxi pad?”

“Oh, Monica. Always ready with a joke when you feel uncomfortable.”

“At least I don’t flirt.”

He looked me in the eye for the first time, and the gaze lasted long enough to make me shift in my seat. I looked away.

“I deserved that,” he said. “Can I show you what I wanted you to come for?”

I stood up and turned the heat off the tea water. “Yes.”

We wove back through the tables in the big room. Most were empty, as he’d just shown something, but as I went by, I noticed nudes in charcoal and ballpoint pen: men and women, some alone, some twined together in scribbled couplings. They were illustrations of what was on his mind, and what was on his mind was much the same as what was on mine.

The wall facing the front of the building had a row of doors, and unless something had changed, the rooms were meant to house draft installations. He opened one and flicked on the light.

The room was windowless and similar in size to the one in the Eclipse show, and it was a disaster. A quilted comforter hung on one wall, a table with more pornographic scribbles on the other wall. Stacks of boxes littered the floor.

“What am I looking at?” I asked.

“Early draft. But I really struggled with one object because I thought I should return it, but then, I got mad at you again, and I almost burned it. I had the barbecue going in the back, but I couldn’t.”

“What is it?”

He reached between two boxes and pulled out a hard plastic case with a handle. I noticed a pink and red Dirty Girls sticker by the buckle.

“My viola!” I held out my hands and he handed it to me, then shifted some sketches so I could I put it on the table. “I thought I left this up with my parents in Castaic the last time we went.”

“Yeah. It was in the trunk. I… uh...” He put his fingers through his hair. “I didn’t want you to play for me. It kept me from thinking straight about you.”

Things between us hadn’t been perfect before I left. I had no idea it was as clear to him as it had been to me. I opened the case. My viola was in there, exactly as I’d left it, with the bow tucked in the lid and a pocket with extra strings and a pick I liked to use when I was feeling experimental. “Those last few months,” I said, “I was very lonely. I could have used this.”

He sat on a box. “I think hiding it was a mistake.”

I should have been angry. I should have smacked the case across his face and run out with my instrument. But I couldn’t. It all seemed so long ago. I touched the wood, running my finger over the curves. The gut core strings were dried out and would probably snap before I finished a song, and the fingerboard still had little grease spots from my hours playing.

“That was really dickish of you, Kevin.” I pulled the viola from the case. “You’re an unscrupulous ass.”

“Is that why you left me?”

I felt a sinkhole open in my diaphragm. I didn’t want to discuss it. I had just wanted to break up with him, so I did. How did I get manipulated into going to his studio just to discuss an eighteen-month-old hurt?

Because I’d done it wrong. I’d done what was right for me, telling myself I’d just do without all the discussing and crying. I was just going to avoid all the emotional illness, but there were two of us, and Kevin hadn’t been part of the decision.

I popped the bow from the clasps. The case was cheap, student-grade. The viola, however, was professional quality, purchased at a West Hollywood pawn shop for my fifteenth birthday by my father, who approved of me.

I tucked the viola under my chin and ran my fingers over the strings. They were loose. I tightened a couple of pegs, but the sound would only be barely acceptable. Barely. “I left you because I needed you,” I said.

BOOK: Submit (Songs of Submission)
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