Best Women's Erotica of the Year Volume 1

By: Rachel Kramer Bussel

Her discomfort lingered the most when they could never just say goodbye in his car. They always ended up talking in the car and staring at her door, as if he wanted to stay in the car or follow her. Finally, after sitting in the car for the longest pause, she piped up and said what she had always wanted to say. “It’s not too late if you want to come in. I was going to make some tea and maybe watch a movie.” Even this felt too forward to her, but his hands relaxed on the steering wheel.

“Sure, let me grab my bag. There’s something I’ve been working on,” Troy said.

He leaned over the back seat and pulled out a half-zipped backpack. Angela thought it was a laptop until she spied the hardcover journal, Sharpies, markers, pens and colored pencils. She hadn’t seen those in years, but she knew what they were right away. She was so excited that she could almost smell Krylon. Troy, who hadn’t done graffiti in years, still sketched in a piece book. Usually it was the small-scale version of what ended up on brick walls or commissioned murals, but this was his private haven of characters, panels, miniature versions of letters rendered in bubbled curves and wild-style angles.

“I’d love to see what you’re drawing. I didn’t know you got down like that!” Angela said.

She was surprised and intrigued that she saw this creative side in him. She figured he was always about his work, but this was new. She wished she could draw him nude, then snapped back to attention before she started feeling too overheated and wet from the thought of him touching her.

“I thought it would be cool to share something with you,” he said.

“I’d like that,” Angela said. She hopped out of the passenger’s side and waved him toward the vestibule. “What have you been working on?” she asked.

“A lot of random sketches, but there has been a series on my mind, and it makes me wish I could paint it on trains and go all-city!”

“You know no one does that anymore, but the idea of doing a throwback like that is nice. Too bad they shrink-wrap the trains in those ugly advertisements instead,” Angela said.

“Right? Those kinds of pieces are something you see in old movies, but the series just struck me as that kind of classic,” Troy said.

“Now I’m curious. I have ginger peach, green tea and honey chamomile. What kind do you want?” Angela asked. She was putting a full kettle on the stove. She liked to hear the building rumble and the eventual prelude to the whistle. She turned around to reach for the closed box of tea and realized he was standing in the doorway, quietly watching her.

“Ginger peach,” Troy said.

“Show me the piece book already!” Angela said, her tone partial command, but more gentle curiosity.

“You sure you want to see it?” he asked.

“Yes!” Angela said. For the first time ever, he hesitated, and then she started to wonder. Some of the landscapes were city scenes—brick walls with kids leaning against them, trains snaking above the dark streets dotted with a few lights, letters spelling out names of crews. Then there was one sketch with butterflies and intricate letters that stopped her from reaching for a second cup of honey chamomile. It spelled out her name in orange and yellow with twinges of red. It reminded her of the sun at dusk. “Troy, this is beautiful…” Angela was cut off before she could say anything else.

He cupped his hand in the small of her back, and pulled her close. She was stunned that it was actually happening, but leaned a little bit forward. He nipped at her bottom lip, and when the first full kiss came, her tongue pressed past his lips and twisted toward his tongue. She was trying to slow down, but he was holding her. She had dropped the piece book on the table, and grabbed his head by then. The only thing that broke her focus was the hard whistle of the kettle. She stumbled a few steps away, but he would not let go of her hand. He looked so serious that heaven breaking in fragments and raining down on them was not going to change his intentions.

“I actually wanted to suggest something…” Troy said.

The deliberation let her know that this might be more than she expected, but she only asked, “What?”

“Well, I had these pens that I wanted to try on a new canvas,” he said. He was trailing off again, but a small smirk crossed his mouth. “I was wondering if you’d want to take off your clothes and let me draw on you.”

He had found a set of body art pens. They reminded Angela of eyeliner pencils, soft but in more colors than she’d seen at the cosmetic counters. He took out the purple one. “Your favorite color,” Troy said as he took the pen and ran the slender, covered tip behind her ear, stopping at her collarbone. She kissed him again, and gently grabbed his earlobe between her teeth.

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