Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our professional relationship deepens

Even thought the previous three posts touch on unpleasant parts of the past, I feel it's important as a woman to deal with them however she sees fit and move on as best as she can. So let me be the first one to request that we don't dwell on "the dark side" anymore. My suggestion--lets look to happier, better times. Vi, how about "first kisses" with Riccardo. Specifically the first time you knew it was "real."

From the moment I took Riccardo's Senior Semiotics Class at NU, I was a smitten kitten. I loved the way he challenged me in class to think beyond my pre-set notions. I loved the feedback he gave on my dissertation, though I was kind of a shit and never told him so. I sort of withdrew in the class. I was dealing with a lot of shit at school and on the home front and frankly, I didn't want to be seen as "teacher's pet. Still, I thought about him all the time. These feelings were just way out of line. He never knew that I once stalked him to his office just so I could see where he worked. I'm an ambitious girl, but when I begged Daddy to arrange an internship with FalconFilm it was not just to learn the art and science of filmmaking from the best.

Riccardo and I worked very closely over the spring and from the very start, he was so generous with his wisdom and experience in the industry. We spent a lot of late nights together, as all the learning experiences were very much on his schedule and on the job. He's so passionate about his work and so, so patient with all my questions. A girl looking to break into a craft as tough as filmmaking has to take advantage of opportunities as they present. A girl looking for something more has to do the same thing. One night, late, we were doing inventory and shelving equipment and I brushed past him.

You probably thought the contact was accidental darling, but I knew what I was doing when I rubbed up against you and I knew what you were looking at while I was bent over shelving the Dedolights.

Still, you didn't promote me to camera assistant because you liked the way my jeans and tees fit. I worked harder than I ever did in school, busting said tight little ass to prove to you that I am as capable as any man to be at your right hand. All along, I tried to separate my personal ambitions from my professional ones, but the more time went on, the more hopelessly entangled they became. Someday I'd have to confront this and it scared the shit out of me. What if you rejected me? But you didn't.

So may I now share how our working relationship became something much deeper and more erotic?

Like a lot of stuff between men and women,
it begins with a kiss:

Halfway through the hottest July in decades, on a ‘streets like Hell’s furnace Wednesday’, I invited Riccardo and Mel out to celebrate my promotion and new paycheck. We sat at a busy little bar a few blocks from FalconFilm. It’s a new place with cheap booze and good music, frequented by students. The guys sat on either side of me. Me so sweaty and shiny in my short denim skirt and sleeveless lime green tee. It’s a favorite, the one with a sequined parrot pecking her way between my tits. It leaves little to the imagination. I rarely wear bras. I don’t need them and I hate them, especially in summer. So the tight fabric of my favorite summer tee was all the more clingy with the humidity. Since I draw stares whatever I wear, the way I look at it, I might as well be comfortable. So we're drinking beers and all these men and many of the women (yikes) are making all kinds of eye contact, particularly this scary Amazon bartender stalking me with her eyes between pours. Like Rita Hayworth on body-builder steroids, she looked like she could pretty much have snapped me like a twig and picked her teeth with the pieces, if I’d have given her so much as a dirty look. Riccardo, my protector, caught her eye and stared her down.

Anyway, I'm feeling loose, proud of myself and the new paycheck burning a hole in my pocket. But Riccardo was sort of reserved and troubled-looking, as if he had something unpleasant to say to me. Whatever he was mulling over, I'd made up my mind that I was going to speak my piece tonight. But I needed the right opportunity.

Fortune favors the prepared. Halfway through our second beer a tall, doe-eyed Hispanic boy with a blonde tint drifted past the bar and there was some unseen exchange, a couple words in hushed Spanish. Mel coughed softly and mumbled an excuse to go to the bathroom. Yes!

“You think he and that boy …” I asked Ricc. I've always been fascinated by the mating rituals of gay men and with Mel now out of the way and a couple of beers under my belt, I was feeling no pain. Riccardo laughed quietly.

“I never ask … He and I don’t usually discuss our love lives.” Then like some total dope I let out this insane laugh, loud as a horse, as if he’d said something immensely funny. Immediately I'm embarrassed, so I slammed down the rest of my beer. These guys, now business partners, have known each other since college and their relationship is something I didn't understand until much later. I'm not thinking about their relationship at this point. I'm thinking, I totally humiliated myself and I probably embarrassed him too. This was getting off to a real bad start.

“There’s something I’ve been meaning to say to you,” he ventured, switching back to his oh so serious voice.
“I need to talk to you too,” I replied trying to sound as serious as him.
“You want to quit?”
“Nooo!” Why would you say that?” He saw the wounded look and hot tears in my eyes. His face said he regretted the cruelty of that remark. I instantly forgave him.
“I love my job. Love it! You have to tell me now. What’d I do wrong?”
“Nothing, say your peace.”
“No. Please. Don’t torture me.”
“I’m not. It’s delicate. I want you to be taken seriously …”

At this point, I'm convinced he's about to fire me.

“Me too. So what am I doing wrong?,” I blurted out, more than halfway to bawling my eyes out.
“God, I’ve never seen anybody work so hard. But your ah … uniform.”
“My what?”

My what, boss-cat? My uniform? Spare me a fucking break. Film crews always dress casually and this was one of the hottest god-damned summers on record. Legions of women all over the city parading around practically naked.

I see how you look at them boss-cat.

And when you think I don't see you, I know you are looking at me too and because you're so into lists, you probably have a mental inventory of every skintight midriff-baring bouncy shirt, blouse and tiny tee.

You see, I do know you.

I also know what I have under these outfits. I know how pert my nipples are pushing up under the merest wisp of fabric. I know how firm and round my breasts are and how they they fill out a top or move when I'm lifting equipment or running from one place to another. You think I don't see how men look at me?

I’ve never been a model. We discussed that earlier. So what if I’m untutored in the art of appearance? I know that whenever I enter the room, conversations stop, and men particularly, look at me and smile. I'd like to think it's because I'm super-efficient and a nice person, but I'm not stupid. I take the looks and attention in stride.
I'll say one thing. Ricc and Mel get all the glory (which they totally deserve), but I'm the one who makes stuff happen behind the scenes in that studio. For instance, I never have any trouble booking exactly the crews Riccardo wants. The guys hear my name on their voicemail and even if they're halfway around the world, I get immediate callbacks, lickety split. No girl should never flaunt her assets, but I say she shouldn't be afraid to use them to make things run well.

Meanwhile, my poor Riccardo has twisted his cocktail napkin into a tight, fraying knot.
“You’re making this hard,” he says. “But here it is. You are driving everybody wild –crews, clients, even Melchiore. You need to dress um, more modestly. There, I said it. I hope you’re not offended.”
“Should I be?” I wasn’t. I was relieved. If that's he had on his mind, this conversation was going exactly where I wanted it to.
“No. It’s in your best interest.”
“I get that. But what about you?
“What about me?”
“Have I pierced that impeccable armor of yours?”

There, I dropped the bomb. He was either going to reject me, fire me or … His face colored and he didn’t speak for so long that I started to have second thoughts. The jukebox was playing some sappy-romantic Gerry and the Pacemakers oldie.
“Excuse me?” he spluttered.
“You heard me.”
“Sofi. This is beyond inappropriate.”
“Inappropriate? I don’t understand.”
“Yes you do.”
“Maybe your generation and mine live by different rules.”
“No. We don’t. Some things don’t change. You draw attention. You have to know the effect you have. It’s not all bad, but you need something …” his hand fluttering helplessly in the space between them, his face going crimson, “Less revealing. Less provocative.”
“Okay! I get it!”

He completely dodged the real issue.

Pissed, I pulled a cigarette from my backpack. I think he was surprised. He’d never seen me smoke. I tapped the filtered end against the bar like I’d seen Carole Lombard do in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The bartender came up to us. Her Bronx accent was as thick as the intimidating Rosie the Riveter arms knotted across her massive chest.
“This is New York honey and nobody smokes in my bar; not even the honky-tonk angels.”
She scared and annoyed me, because now that I knew what his issue was, all I wanted to focus on
was what was unsettled between us.
“God,” I laughed in exasperation, “I like how I look in my clothes. What’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing, if all you want to do is draw attention to yourself.”

“Whose attention do you think I’ve been trying to get, idiot?”

I just blurted it out. Another direct hit. It had to be the alcohol talking. He's totally on the spot and I'm flirting with losing the best job I'm ever likely to have. So I fiddled nervously with the cigarette. Riccardo’s neck and ears are like starting to steam, but he wouldn’t take the bait.

“We have a good working relationship.” A good WORKING relationship?
I nodded and played along. “And that’s it?”
“I don’t believe you. When I’m at work, I feel so... alive.” I shifted my weight so that my calf just touches his. He doesn't move. I take this as the first of many hopeful signs to follow.
“I don’t follow.”
“Sure you do. I know what drives you. We’re the same that way.”
“I’m 45, married, with kids and a business …”
The cat was out of the bag and it was total truth time. So I just let him have it.
“And when you leave at the end of the day, you deflate. Like some big sad balloon. Pssssssss! You’re a lonely person, Riccardo Berra.”
“How can you presume? …”
“It takes one to know one.”
“I’m younger than your father. ” Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. I knew what was coming next and I didn’t want to hear it.
“Don’t. Don’t say it.”
“You could be my daughter.” Again, I just lost it and snapped at him.
“That’s an idiotic thing to say.”
“You know, that’s the second time you’ve said that. I don’t like it. I am older than you and I am your employer.” He's really pissed now, but I keep pressing him. Something tells me I know exactly what I'm talking about, even if he isn’t ready to admit it.
“But I know you.” I tell him.

“Stop it!” His raised voice was drawing unfriendly attention from the bartender and others.

He looked around, his voice lowered to an insistent hiss. “Stop thinking you can read me. Stop being so damned precocious. Don’t sit so close. And don’t … be … so …”
“Be so what?” Here I revert to playing the oh so innocent young thing.
“Fuckin hell. Gimme one,” he ordered, pointing at the cigarette between my fingers. There we sit, fuming, tapping cigarettes agitatedly on the bar.

“Interrupting anything? …” Melchiore’s wicked Banderas grin popped between us, “Of course not,” he chirped. “Then off, off to bed. Early edit. Don’t stay out too late, lovelies.”
“Leaving alone?” I asked as if I didn't know exactly what he was up to.
Mel waved the question away and made a swift grab for Riccardo’s cigarette. Riccardo snatched his hand back irritably.
“Ah. So sad. Why start again?” Melchiore scolded, maternal reproach in his soft, dark Arab eyes. He turned to me. “Both of you. It puts wrinkles on the face, precious.” Bye Mel. I couldn’t wait for him to leave.

He kissed me on my cheek and sailed out the door. The bossman and I had the same idea at the same time.
Necks craned our in unison, we observed a rail thin leather clad figure step from the shadows into the glare of the streetlight. Mel took his hand. A cab appeared and they were gone.
“Aren’t we a couple of flamingos?” Riccardo quipped. That did it. He was either going to leave this bar with me or leave me twisting, but one way or another, I'd know what's what before the night was out. I couldn’t sit there one second longer.
“I’m going to smoke this. Join me?” I asked. He went for his wallet, but I beat him to it, slapping two twenties on the bar. After all, it was my treat. “Keep the change,” I ordered the dyke bartender.

“Later, heartbreaker,” the bartender growled.

Though the sun had been down a full hour, the city rolled like a hound in the sweet rot of roasting garbage. The bank marquee across the street flickered indecisively between 92 and 93. Even the lamp posts seemed wilted like daisies. I groaned. Walking a little ahead of him, so he could look his fill, I cut quickly past the alleys, afraid to breathe or even look down them. Heat and the myriad smells of heat assaulted us in waves. I lit my smoke, took a sharp drag and turning in midstride, handed it off to him. Little sparks passed between us as our hands touched twice in exchanging the lit cigarette. Entering Gramercy Park, I was feeling more and more lightheaded from the unaccustomed intake of nicotine. But it was more than that. I was losing my nerve. Neither of us dared to speak. Thank God for the cigarettes
for as long as they held out, we could stay quiet and smoke.

I leaned on the fountain’s lip; its concrete stubble animal warm against my bare thighs. I took the smoke deep into my lungs, still a few puffs away from saying what needed to be said. I stared absentmindedly at the glowing tip, trying to gather up the courage I'd felt in the bar. Riccardo broke the silence.

“I thought I’d have to fight that bartender.” He was still trying to be so cool and nonchalant, but we both knew what was about to happen.

“You don’t ever have to worry,” I replied quietly and I meant it. I straightened, dropped the butt and decisively ground it under my heel. I locked eyes with him. I touched his face with shaking, tentative fingers, caressing the coarse stubble of his beard. “You can fire me tomorrow, but I am going to do this.”

Desperation breeds courage they say and I was desperate enough to explode at that moment. If he’d pulled away, I knew I’d be lost, but he just sighed, giving in, sweet and helpless like a little boy. So I moved close, closer. I worried about my breath--peppermint, beer and tobacco. I gave him the softest, sexiest kiss I knew how to give. Lips barely touching, barely moving against each other, barely anything.

We separated and my eyes, closed in rapture, reopened. W
hen they did the world seemed a different, happier place .

Though our first kiss was over before it began and the ungodly swelter rushed back in to the tiny vacuum between us, he hadn’t rejected me. He had a sad, sweet, wise smile on his face and he dropped his cigarette and took my hand, the gesture intimate, familiar, not amorous yet, but not just friends anymore. I knew it. I knew it. I knew he felt it too. My hand slipped right into his, pulsing, and our laced fingers intertwined for the first time. This simple gesture was like an erotic watershed. I’d have let him have me out in public, right there, it felt so right! So what happened next totally shocked me.

“Nothing happens tonight,” he said, as I drew closer. “I need to think.”
I panicked, so afraid that he was already havinge second thoughts. I couldn’t stop touching him, his hand, his chest, his face.

I replied, “It ‘s possible, you know, to overthink a good thing. To think it right out of existence.”

“That won’t happen.”

Then I knew! I knew we’d be lovers. Sure it would have to be on his terms but now that I knew I'd never wanted anything so badly in all my life.

So I took his other hand and slipped it to the small of my back. He pulled me closer and we kissed again, a long sweet one, moving to unheard music, a slow sultry number, hotter than the murk of the city that pressed in all around us, hotter than a lit cigarette. He was getting hard and knowing I was the one doing that to him just slayed me. I hooked his front pockets with my fingers, jerking his hips into mine. I wanted him to know how it would feel -- our bodies slamming together that way. There was this hollow wet ache in my cunt and I ground it against him, desperate for him to fill it.

“Take me back to the studio,” I begged. “And fuck me on your desk. Wouldn’t that be sweet?”

Now I’m no slut and I’ve never talked that way to a boy or a man in my life, but I was on fire and he needed to know exactly what was in my head. To make my point even clearer, I grabbed his cock through his jeans and held on for dear life. It had the desired effect.

Riccardo kissed me so hard, with no pretense of detachment. He crushed my lips to his; pawing me and mashing my breasts to his hairy chest. I moaned softly and clung to him, shaking in anticipation. I was so sure that he’d changed his mind and that within moments that we'd be back at FalconFilm, tearing each others clothes off and I’d be spread wide open for him on his office desk with him pumping inside me. You know, like when you see something in your mind's eye so clearly that it has moved from desire to premonition. I wrapped my leg around him. The only place my legs wanted to be were wrapped around his thighs. Then, he gently extricated himself from me and whistled a passing cab into existence. Not, not, not what I expected. How could he send me home now after what we’d shared? I knew he wanted, no he needed me, as much as I needed him. Why was he doing this?

Mouth agape in astonishment, I fumed as he held the door until I climbed in. I tried one last time to pull him in, but he stood firm like the fucking Rock of Gibraltar. Only when I was situated, did he lean in and kiss my flushed forehead like I was some little girl.


He whispered it in my ear. In desperation, I grabbed his collar. He gave the cabby a twenty.
“West Village. Christopher and Hudson. Keep the change.”

How can I describe what I felt? To be so close to having my dreams fulfilled, then being stuffed in a taxi, left totally aroused by his “Tomorrow” and totally furious at him for leaving me this way. My pussy was so wet, I’m sure I left a damp spot in the cab. The next rider would smell my desire and wonder just what sort of perverted things the previous fare had done in the back seat. What did I care? I clenched my arms and legs in a full-body pout, knowing that this would be his last image of me.

There was no sleeping that night. It was so bloody hot in Dad's apartment and the last thing I wanted was to spend another sweaty night alone in the bed I grew up in, fingering myself into unconsciousness. I turned around and saw him watch the cab pull away. No doubt trying to convince himself that he’d done the right thing for all the right reasons.

Riccardo, my love, nothing about that sounded convincing to me—not for a searing hot New York second.


  1. I rewrote this slightly and posted it at STORYTIME at the Erotic Readers and Writers listserve along with the story of how Vi and I met for the first time. Sort of erotic bookends. Lets see what kind of response we got.

  2. Ricci,I will post my additons to this when my presently complicated family lfe over here in Rome permits. I am so eager to see the responses from Erotic literature lovers the world over! Til later. baci di piu.