Coercion:Curio Vignettes 01(3)

By: Cara McKenna

“Can I help with anything?”

“No. You are only allowed to relax and be spoiled,” I tell her.

“Sounds easy enough.”

I tend to the sauce and pasta and we eat in the kitchen, tall chairs set close together at a corner of the island, facing the tiny window above the sink where a single ball of feathers sleeps. Caroly calls him the Sommelier, believing as I do that it’s the same pigeon, night after night. Sometimes she’ll hold up whatever bottle we’re drinking from, as if seeking his approval. My flat is on the top floor of the building and other birds roost outside my bedroom window. She calls them the Perverts.

“Are you taking me out this weekend?” How that word sours my mouth. Out.

“I am. Not far, just down to the river again, if you like.”

“I would.” It will scare me white as bread dough, but I’ll be proud of my effort once she’s led me back home. And she will lead me. I have a terrible sense of direction, even in the city where I’ve lived my entire thirty-four years. As confounding as dyslexia.

“I’ll pack us a lunch,” I say.

“Saturday or Sunday?”

“I have a client Sunday evening, so Saturday is best.”

She nods stoically. I hope she’s noticed by now, I never take clients on Fridays and Saturdays anymore. Those are hers, the precious evenings without curfew, mornings when she needn’t rise early for work and I get to study her face in the dawn light, placid with sleep.

Caroly toys with her supper. “Can I ask what she’s like?” Again, no jealousy in her tone, only curiosity. Her question makes me smile, the perfect catalyst for my plans.

“You may.” I assemble a female collage in my head, of this client and several I’ve known with similar appetites, constructing a fictional woman whose confidence can’t be violated. “She’s in her early forties,” I say, picturing her. “Very successful, in a challenging field dominated by men.”

Caroly’s fork hovers, frozen above her plate, her expression rapt.

“She can never for one minute appear an emotional, vulnerable woman,” I continue. “But inside she misses those things. She misses being able to let a man lead without fearing it undermines her professional façade.”

“What does she like to do with you?”

“She likes for me to seduce her.”

My clients like all sorts of things, and I enjoy being whatever excites them. I’ve always loved pleasing women. When I was a teenager and my classmates were concerned merely with having sex, I was determined to find occasion to become good at sex. To study and practice and master it, like the trade it would one day become to me.

Nothing turns me on more than seeing that wicked gleam in someone’s gaze and knowing I’ve put it there. I see it in Caroly’s eyes as she sips her wine, and I feel my cock grow warm and heavy and eager.

“How do you seduce her?”

“With wine,” I say, tapping Caroly’s glass with my fork. “And softly spoken words, and with pressure.”


I nod. “She likes to feel the guilt, to feel as though I am talking her into my bed. She craves the regret as acutely as she might an orgasm.”

Caroly’s blue eyes are round. “She likes you to make her regret stuff?”

“She savors the shame.” I sip my wine slowly and make a face of decadent appreciation upon swallowing.

“That’s… Huh. I wonder what that feels like.”

Finish your supper and I will show you. More than bedtime stories tonight. An entire play for us to act out, if she wishes to don another woman’s identity, slip inside her skin and experience my body through new hands, new eyes, a new mouth.

“What else does she like?”

I smile. Sometimes I feel like a fine cut of meat, Caroly’s questions asking what another woman’s recipe might make of me. But her affinity for beauty makes her anxious, makes her worry she’s shallow, and I’ve learned not to tease her about the topic. I understand anxiety as well as anyone might, so I hold my tongue, even as I find her objectification charming beyond reason.

“Finish your pasta and I will tell you what else she likes.”

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