This is another experimental male-protagonist thing with a weird voice. But hey, see what you think.
Trevor was trying to buy shoes. Something comfortable enough to wear all day, but something stylish enough for work. He couldn’t find a shop that was staffed by men, it seemed to be all young women, and he felt a little bad explaining he wanted comfortable to them as they tottered around on narrow heels. As if it was ungracious to complain about his sore feet when they could barely balance in theirs.
He tried a few shops, but nothing was right. He found another, and stayed because of one of the girls.
One was blonde and bored and leaning lazily on the counter. He ignored her as soon as he walked in. One was slim and dark and possessed of the kind of calm steady will he would have fallen for her ten or twenty years ago. She talked and smiled and laughed politely, but her eyes were untouched. The assurance of a beautiful young woman who knows she is, he supposed.
She showed him shoes. Knelt down and undid laces and unzipped zips. So he didn’t tug too hard and damage the stock, he supposed, and let her. As she leaned he could see down the neck of her top, and he tried not to make it obvious. As she turned to the side, to pick up the next shoe, he could see into her bra.
He’d noticed this in young women before, waitress and sales girls and his staff. She was insecure. She was wearing a bra that was a size too big, not wanting to admit her breasts were small. The cloth fell away from her skin, if she leaned and bent the right way, and if he was watching from the right angle, Trevor could see inside her shirt, inside her bra, could see the little dark lump of her nipple, squashed unfairly against the cloth.
He didn’t move. Almost didn’t breathe. He stared, whenever she looked away, and hoped the other salesgirl wouldn’t notice his attention and warn her friend. He kept trying on shoes, one after another, hoping she’d return to the same spot on the floor each time. He narrowed down his choice, told her he was trying to decide between one of two pairs, so he could try one then the other without her moving away.
Then she looked up, and caught him, and Trevor felt embarrassed and guilty.
And then she smiled, and moved her knee, and kept holding out the shoes she was offering him, as if she didn’t care.
Her skirt was long, past her knee. As she knelt, handing him shoes the hem slid a long way upwards. She balanced on her heels, her knees a little way apart. She smiled, and Trevor, despite himself, looked up her dress. He saw her legs. Wonderful legs, round knees, a tight muscle in her thigh as she balanced. She shifted a little, and suddenly he saw black underwear.
Far up her skirt, her underwear had shifted slightly, as she went through her day. She was covered, but only just, the soft skin right at the top of her thigh was bare.
He didn’t know what to do. She was still holding out a shoe, apparently unconcerned. He swallowed, and for a panicked moment, couldn’t decide if she was the most innocent salesgirl in history or the most cynical.
He took the shoe. Her smile became a little colder. She moved her knee a little, quite carefully. Moved it a further inch or two, so cloth stretched and slid and a little more of her came on display.
“So this one or that one?” she said.
Trevor thought he understood. “Why don’t I take them both?” he said.
She stood up without showing him any more. A competent saleswoman, he supposed. They went to the counter and she packed up his boxes. He had one gold credit card, and two others that weren’t any particular color, and he was vain enough he handed her the gold card.
She cleared her throat. Waited until he looked at her, and made sure he was watching.
“That’ll be six hundred and thirty dollars, sir,” she said, but while he watched she charged a thousand dollars to his card. He nodded, signed, wasn’t sure what she was doing but was willing to play along.
She didn’t seen to be doing anything but overcharging. She handed him a large paper bag, handed him a receipt, wrote something on a shop business card and, without looking at him, tucked it in the bag.
He thanked her and left the shop.
He went outside and fished out the business card and looked. What she had written was twenty minutes, and back door. There was an alleyway up the side of the shop, off the main street. It was obvious where she meant him to go.
He stood there for a moment and thought. She might have friends back there, planning to rob him. He thought for a moment, but decided it was unlikely, since he’d already given her money, and would presumably willingly give her more.
He went up the alleyway.
There was a bend halfway up, so the alley ran along the back of the shops. There were signs for each business, so deliveries could be made. He found the shoe shop and waited beside the door.
It was quiet after the traffic of the street. No-one was around.
The girl from the shoe shop came out, and pushed the door shut, and looked at Trevor and then stopped and carefully lit a cigarette. She stood there smoking, looking at him, smiling a smile that didn’t touch her eyes.
“I thought you’d understand,” she said. “When I saw you looking at me.”
She dropped the cigarette, let it roll away. “Well, may as well get on with it. Stand over there.”
Behind a large skip, mostly out of sight. She knelt down on a flattened box, and unzipped his pants, and put him in her mouth. It was impersonal, no kisses or smiles, just her head bowed over him. She scooped her hair out the way with one hand and held him with the other. Her mouth wet and teasing. He put down his bags a little belatedly and rested his hands on her head.
He looked down and watched. Thick shiny hair, and a perfectly made up face, and plucked brows, and expensive shoes, and clothes without a shred of lint, and she was kneeling in a dirty, dusty alleyway sucking a stranger’s penis.
After a while he said, “I want you. I want to have sex with you.”
“Okay.” She said, taking him out her mouth. “Another three hundred.”
It seemed higher than what he’d have thought was the going rate, but perhaps she didn’t know that. Or perhaps sophisticated young ladies from high-fashion shoe stores cost more. Or perhaps, mercenary, she just knew she had him where she wanted him and he’d pay what she asked.
She knelt there, her hand still around his penis, while he took out his wallet.
“I only have two hundred,” he said. “Two hundred and twenty.”
“Okay,” she said, and stood up and took the money. There seemed to be a pocket in the side of her skirt. She stepped out of her underwear, daintily, one small step then another. He had an impression of something small and lace and black, and she tucked them in her pocket too. She lifted up her skirt, rolling it so it didn’t crease. There was a pile of cardboard boxes before the skip, recycling to be collected. She leaned on that, bounced up and down a little to make sure she was stable. Her knees were apart. Her mound was shaved, and smooth, and her lips were pink and slightly jutting and a little wet.
He looked at her bare vulva, in this public alley. Looked at her long, slim legs and her perfect face, and her expression of polite disinterest, like this was an ordinary thing to be doing on an ordinary day. Like they were in her shop, and he’d asked if she had something in a different size, not like he’d asked to put his penis inside her.
She held something out and said, “Use that, okay?”
A condom. He look it, and nodded.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this,” he said, opening the condom, rolling it on.
She shrugged, “It’s legal.”
She had a point. He licked his fingers and reached between her legs, but she shook her head, said, “Its okay, I’m all right.”
He nodded, and stood between her legs. She seemed almost bored when he entered her, neither worried nor anticipating, just there, being used. She moved against him, fucked back, and watched with cool empty eyes.
He tried to take her breasts out, but she shook her head, and said, “Not here.”
“Don’t take too long,” she said, after a while. “Someone might come looking for me.”
He was being put off by her stare. He turned her over, turned her around, leaned her on the boxes. She stood there, as disinterested by his penis inside her body as he had been when she could see him. He looked down at a round, hard, little ass. An ass to die for, neat and tight, warm silk to his touch. The way she was leaning she couldn’t move much any more, just stood there looking straight ahead at the wall with her stare.
He wanted a reaction, but he didn’t know why. A cry of pleasure, or discomfort, or shame. He tried harder, but she simply stood there. Patient, waiting until he was done.
There were sounds. A rasp of cardboard on cardboard beneath her. The rustle of her clothes. Her breath, a little shallow and ragged. There was distant traffic, a bird somewhere above. Wet noises as he went into her. It was a fairly clean alley, filled only by shops and cardboard, no restaurants and rot. He had been able to smell her since they started. He breathed in the smell of her skin, and looked at her perfect body with him inside, in this place. He held her hips, and started to come, and all the time she didn’t move except to squeeze herself, squeeze around him, right at the end.
She stood there a while longer, then reached back and pushed with one hand to move him away.
She took off the condom, and threw it carelessly in a skip. She took a tissue out of her pocket, and wiped herself, and threw that away too.
“Thank you,” she said, and smiled, and both the words and the smile seemed oddly like those she’d give a customer of her shop, not of her body. She went to her door, and opened it, and disappeared, and left him standing there.
He almost couldn’t believe it had happened. As if he’d hallucinated an encounter with an unattainable girl in a dusty alley. He checked for stains, and that he was away, and went back to the street.
He walked around the front of the shop and glanced in the window. The girl was there, but didn’t seem to see him. She was holding a pair of red high-heeled shoes and speaking to a middle-aged woman.
Trevor went back a week later, and bought two more pairs of shoes. Browsed until she was free, her not anyone else, and picked two pairs of shoes at random from the shelf. He waited for eye contact, for overcharging, for even a smile, but it was as if she’d never seen him before in her life. She charged his card, and put the shoes in a bag, and said, “Thank you, have a nice day.” Nothing more. There was no note in the bag, when he checked.
It never happened again. He went back, often, hoping, but she never acknowledged what she’d done to him.
He would have asked directly, propositioned her, but he was embarrassed. He began donating shoes to charity.
He wondered how she got her extra money from the till. He supposed it would balance, if she took the next customer’s cash and left his credit charge. He wondered why she never offered again, whether he had been unpleasant for her, or whether it amused her to see his expectant face, over and over.
He wondered about her. Wondered if it was a trick to sell more shoes, five minutes of unpleasantness and then dozens of extra sales. Whether she’d had a car repair bill, college fees, late rent, some emergency which had been to Trevor’s advantage. He wondered if she should feel guilty about that. He wondered if she was just clever, underworked and bored, and had noticed an opportunity. Perhaps it had only been once for her, more fantasy than prostitution, and he had been extraordinarily fortunate. That she’d had a whim to be paid, and had tried, and now she wanted to forget it. He wondered there were so many she forgotten him, forgot he knew her secret and thought him just another innocent customer.
He wanted to ask, was always tempted to make her some kind of offer, but he couldn’t bring himself too, and visited her and bought her shoes instead.
And if anyone’s interested, this was an early version of what turned into Selling Jessie, and was going to go in the same sort of direction, but it stalled mainly because it’s all about Trev and therefore not especially interesting. So I think.