Be a Tiger, Audrey

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Be a Tiger, Audrey

By midweek I still haven’t decided if I had screwed up by leaving Jay. I sit in a hotel restaurant 4,000 miles from home brooding on it. The waiter has taken a shine to me and fawns at my table: topping up my wine from the bottle after every sip, brushing crumbs up as soon as I drop them. Not my type: serious, geeky and tidy have never been my thing.

Just ask wild, rugged, reckless Jay.

I have one of those moments of shivery horror: what have I done?

Jay is the one.

I am his one.

He has been leaving me voicemails across the ocean and time zones between us:

“Audrey, let’s talk when you get home.”

“I miss you.”

“What did I do?”

“Just talk to me.”

“Where are you?”

“We can work it out.”

Can we, Jay? Can we? And should we? It’s not like we cheated on one another. Or I hit you or you hit me. No apologies need to be made by either of us. It isn’t that one of us changed, dramatically. Jay remains the fitness-obsessed, just-in-control tough guy. I remain the obsessive, driven career girl with the fetish for shoes.

I still love you, I think.

Only we’re holding each other back, now. Two wild animals – ferocious tigers – trying to tame each other into contentment. And that cannot be done.

“I’ll meet you at the airport tomorrow,” he said in his last message.

I listened to that voicemail a dozen times. Then a dozen more. I loved hearing that warmed-oil voice poured into my ear. It transported me to our bed in London. A hot, sticky night with windows open and the fabrics of the room stirring in the breeze. Traffic noise cruising past. The sound of horns and sirens.

Jay’s handsome face illuminated by a street-light outside the window as he bent into me, his teeth tugging my earlobe. “I love fucking you,” he said and lay over me. Hard muscles pressing into the curves of my body.

His cock filled me and amazed me with how fast it set away the humming, electric pulse of my nerves. Until throbbing waves spread across my thighs and into my stomach as I rolled my hips against his. Both of us sticky with sweat and desire. Eyes locked together.

“I’ll meet you at the airport.”

Definitive, no question about it. Jay the do-er. The man of action.

An I want that, no doubt. The promise of it lifts me. I would see him waiting there, in his work-boots and scuffed jeans, and walk to his car with him. His big rough hand around me. We’d go back to our apartment where we’d sit on our busted up sofa and watch TV with Jay stroking my thighs. I would drape them across his lap so I could his cock swell in his pants.

We would smile at each other.

He woud take me to bed.

No, Audrey, let it go. You know it’s the wrong thing for both of you.

He will be better without me and I better without him. We both need to try something new. We have so much more to explore, the two of us. And we can’t while we’re together. Jay can’t see that, yet, but he will.

I steel myself again: it’s hard but there it is.


I need to leave him to move forward.

He needs me to leave him.

“More wine?” The waiter is back, attentive and earnest. “Desert?”

I shake my head, “Just the bill,” I say.

He nods and backs away. And in the process bumps into a man in a hurry, a phone gripped to his ear. “Look the hell out, huh,” the man scowls at my waiter. Who rolls his eyes at me as if we are sharing a private joke. But I’m not looking at him any more, or at man-in-a-hurry. I am looking at the table vacated by man-in-a-hurry. The candle burning softly. Two glasses of wine half-drunk and the rest of the bottle in an ice-bucket to one side. Two meals part-eaten.

A brunette uncertain whether to continue with hers or wait for him to come back.

I watch her while the man paces outside the restaurant on his phone, while my waiter fusses with the bill and fumbles my credit card and tries to chat me up. She looks uncomfortable. Her pale hands keep darting to play with her dark hair, which falls in waves to her bare shoulders. Her dress is subtle, black and not revealing. She holds her knees together primly. She sips her wine with decorous precision and sets the glass down precisely again.

She’s doing this for him, I think. For man-in-a-hurry.

I want her, I think.

Brunette has a sleeve tattoo of flowers intertwined and in bloom. Greens and blues and pinks and scarlet petals bursting out of her. A lace choker necklace wraps her delicate throat and holds a jade-green stone the size of a fat grape. Her shoulders are broad and strong. Her arms lean and muscles clearly defined. Her legs look like they could propel her to a four-minute mile, if they’re liberated from those ridiculous shoes. Clusters of black and silver rings decorate her fingers.

Why pretend to be something you’re not, beautiful, I think.

You should be a tiger, not a house cat.

I stand, smooth down my top, straighten my jeans.

I should – right now – go to bed and get sleep almanbahisbahis before my 5 am flight. The 2 am wake up and taxi to the airport that tomorrow will bring. But I don’t.

I walk over to brunette’s table and sit in man-in-a-hurry’s chair. She looks at me – electric blue eyes stare at me, ringed by impossibly long, impossibly black eyelashes. Amazing eyelashes. A pretty, cheekbone enhanced face. I pick up his wine and I taste it.

“Well that’s not great,” I say.

Brunette laughs. “No. I agree.” A low voice, just rough enough to make the hairs on my neck stand up.

“I couldn’t help but notice that he’s walked out and left you alone,” I say. She watches me with unreadable eyes. “I’m sure he’s really busy and that’s a really important call he’s making, right now.”

Brunette says nothing, but her eyes are intent on me. They sparkle.

“But I think you deserve better than the cheapest wine on the menu and a plate of cold food. A woman like you should be the centre of attention. He should have dropped his phone in that ice bucket and never picked it up again.”

My heart is pounding.

I cannot read her face: am I interesting her or just amusing her?

Be a tiger, Audrey.

So I pick up a napkin, write my room number on it.

Part of me says: what are you doing? What about Jay?

But I know – suddenly and clearly – that I need to do something to formalise our separation. To acknowledge that there must be other lovers. That Jay and I are done. To move on from him, I need to think about somebody else in my bed.

So I say: “I have a bottle of really, really awesome champagne on ice in my room and you look like just the girl to help me drink it.”

Our eyes are locked.

I fold the napkin in half and in half again, then I lean across the table and put one hand in her hair, holding it gently there. “Can I give you this?” Brunette nods and I think I see fire in her eyes. With the other hand I trail the napkin down her throat – making the gem in her necklace rock against her skin – and lightly across her chest. Her lips part a little. Goosebumps break on her shoulders.

I tuck it into her cleavage and smile.

“I love your accent,” brunette says.

I beam at her and win.

Then stand and walk away, trying to look more in control than I feel.

My heart thuds as I cross the lobby for the lifts.

What are you doing, Audrey?

I’m unsteady on my feet. I see in the mirror inside the lift that my cheeks and my throat are flushed pink. My freckles are showing. I toss my hair until I’m happy with it.

And I remember another hotel, another lift: “Look how flushed I am, Jay. Everybody is going to know where we’ve been.” Realising that I wanted everybody to know. To look at my wide eyes and plumped up lips and imagine what we had done in the hotel room.

Why would you do that? You’re crazy. I laugh a little, at my own expense, and grin as I walk to my room.

She won’t come, obviously, and that doesn’t matter.

The act of asking brunette to come shows that I’m moving on from Jay. That leaving him is the right thing for me. Without him I can take more chances. Have new experiences. Meet different people.

I slip the key card into my door, relieved and happy. I let the door swing softly closed behind me and kick off my shoes.

The champagne – impulsively ordered earlier because I like champagne and Jay does not – sits in a bucket of partly melted ice on the table by the door. I pop the cork and pour myself a glass: to celebrate.

I can’t believe I doubted myself.

I toast myself and sip champagne – cool and fizzy and perfectly dry on my tongue.

What if she comes?

I love your accent.

What if she does ditch man-in-a-hurry and comes here?

The sparkle in her blue eyes.

She might.

Well, good, I think: that’s what I wanted. To explore new things. I think about it in the way I might contemplate winning the lottery: an abstract thing, not something that would ever happen.

I allow myself to picture the goosebumps on her shoulder, her lips parting as I offered my room number. Like she wanted me to lean in and kiss her. I feel the soft waves of her hair on my hand. Should I have kissed her? Why didn’t I kiss her?

You won’t get that chance again.

I imagine her knocking on the door and – when I open it – I step up to her and put my arms around her shoulders and kiss her. What will her lips taste like? When she holds my bottom lip in her mouth, will I feel the same thrill I get when Jay does it? Her hair will tease my skin and I’ll draw her into the room by the hand.

Her eyes will sparkle.

She’s not going to come, Audrey. Some random woman dressed in jeans and a white tee accosts you at a romantic dinner. Pushes her room number down your cleavage?

But in case she does, I run around the room and push discarded clothes and underwear into my suitcase. I stuff the suitcase in the wardrobe. In the en suite I touch up my make-up. almanbahis giriş Pink lipstick, mascara for my eyes. I spray perfume on my neck. Just a little.

“I love your accent.”

These jeans and shirt are not flattering so I strip out of them. In front of the bathroom mirror I see my chest flushed red, nipples hard.

“I can always tell when you’re in the mood,” Jay would say.

I slip my shoes back on because the heels tighten my thighs, accentuate my butt. Just in case, I think. Because I think that brunette is not the cheap wine, demure dress and prim posture. I think she is the opposite of that. I think she will like my heels.

I’ll wear the red rose dress from my case because it flatters my cleavage.

The nod, the smile when I gave her my number.

I want her to come.

You’re deluding yourself.

“Do you always drink champagne in your underwear? And do you always leave your door open while you do it?” I jump when brunette speaks, from the open bathroom door. She looks me over with her cool blue eyes. She is taller than me. Her breasts are full and push against the front of her dress, which hangs above her knees. She is younger than me, too.

Her heels click on the tile as she steps into the bathroom, moving close, immediately. “I’m Claire,” she says.

“Audrey,” I say.

I don’t recognise my voice. The vulnerability in it. The excitement.

Claire holds up her left hand, an ice cube – presumably from the champagne bucket – between thumb and forefinger. I look at it, watch it, stare at it as she cups it in her hand and presses it against my right nipple.

The contrast – her warm, soft hand; the wet hard block of ice so cold it feels like a burn – makes me moan.

She grins and then slides the cube down my stomach, teasing me, and slips it inside my knickers. I gasp as it pushes across my clit, and she pushes it inside me, then withdraws her hand. I take her fingers in mine and lick the cold water and warmth of my pussy from them.

Now we kiss.

It is everything I wanted.

Her lips are soft and her lip-gloss sticky. Her tongue flick mine and drives me wilder. I feel her breath on my face. Her hair caresses my skin rather than tickling. I want the kiss to last forever but Claire breaks and walks out of the bathroom, holding me hand.

“I love your tattoo,” I say while she pours champagne into two glasses.

“I was a student when I got it,” she replies. “My first girlfriend had set up as a tattoo artist. It seemed the most intimate thing in the world when she inked me. I have another on my hip.”

I have a moment when I don’t know where to put myself in the small room: to stay standing in the light from the bathroom door; to sit in one of the small chairs at the table in the corner; or to lie naked on the bed.

I had been so long with Jay that the small intricacies of this dance are lost to me.

The last of the ice cube had soaked my knickers and ran in thin trails down my legs.

I shivered.

To kill my own uncertainty, I go to her, pushing myself against her back – the fabric of her dress perfectly rough against my nipples. I slip a hand under the hem of her dress and lift it. I feel my way up her firm thigh to her hip, then back to cup her butt in one hand.

“You’re overdressed,” I say because I could not put the echo of Jay out of reach and he said that to me eight weeks ago when I stepped into the flat, after work.

“For drinking champagne?”

Claire grins.

I slip my other hand under her dress too and take hold of her panties and guide them down her legs, sinking to my knees on the floor behind her to remove them. From there I kiss her perfect calves, behind her knees, the back of her thighs. Slow, soft, wet kisses. I put my head inside her dress. The light filters dimly through the fabric. She smells musky and perfumed. I kiss her butt, then tease it with circles of my tongue.

She opens her legs for me.

When she bends forward, I put my lips to her pussy.

Where I pause, uncertain. Frozen, in fact.

“Don’t stop now.”

So I kiss her again, more hesitantly because I have not done this for a woman for so long. I think about Jay going down on me: the intense warmth of his tongue on my lips, the shivery cool when he blew on my wet skin. The scratchy rub of stubble sometimes too much.

I had no map of how to please this real woman at the end of my tongue except for my own pleasure.

I am tentative.

“Be rougher with me, Audrey.”

So then I am.

I use my breath and my lips and my tongue and my teeth on her. I put my hands between her legs, first to push them wider and then to plunge them deep into her hot wetness until it runs down her thighs and across my wrist. Claire rolls her hips, rubbing herself on me, helping my find the right place to touch, to kiss, to bite.

I feel the trembling in her thigh muscles as I speed up, slow down, twirl my tongue around her.

I’m surprised how quietly she orgasms – canlı bahis a deep sigh and then a jagged breath – and how urgently she withdraws from my mouth, to stop her whole body jumping and twitching.

I stand up, lick her off my fingers.

I pick up the champagne bottle and take it to bed.

I wait for her, drinking from the bottle carelessly, let it spill down my chin, across my chest – cold and fizzing. I watch her and she watches me in the mirror in front of her. Her taut ass is in the air, her dress falling back to cover it. Her body heaves as she regains some control. I take another mouthful of booze. And another. Spillage trickles across my nipples and drips from my breasts.

“Save some of that for me,” she says.

I watch as she slips her dress up, over her head, revealing herself to me. She comes to me, swaying her hips. “You look like an athlete,” I say.

“Only in bed.”

“That’s all that matters.”

She licks champagne from my tits. I close my eyes and savour the tender touch of her tongue.

I think, suddenly about busy-guy.

“What did you tell your date?” I ask.

“A friend had an emergency.”

We kiss, softer than before. Her lips are colder, the blood rushing warmth elsewhere in her body. I put an arm around her and she cuddles into me. I feel every millimetre of contact between our skin. I pour fizz into her mouth from the bottle and kiss her, to feel it bubble in our mouths and across our tongues. She takes the bottle from me and sets it aside.

Her hand is cold from the bottle when she puts it between my legs.

She asks: “How long since you divorced?”

“We just separated. Am I that obvious?”

“Yes,” she giggles, “How long?”

“A couple of weeks.”

Claire smiles, “Am I your rebound?” She makes it sound like a conspiracy.


“Why me?”

“Why not you?”

“That’s not an answer.” As we talk her hand is moving: dextrous, strong fingers gliding across me. The elastic of my knickers bites into my hips. With my eyes closed I feel it all. “Tell me why me?” Her teasing voice. Her finger hits a spot behind my clit and all I can do is sigh. Or maybe purr. “You like that, there?” She does it again. I squirm, wrap my legs around her hand and make a noise I didn’t know I could make. Pleading. Pleasured.

“You looked. Like you didn’t. Belong with him,” I gasp. “Oh! Fuck!”

“Why not?”

Claire lies on top of me, her hand pressed between our bodies, writhing softly. Her weight holds me still, arms pinned beside me. Our tits press together. And I can hear – as she moves her finger – that I am wet to touch. Her nail catches in the mesh of my knickers and I hear them tear a little. In response to my reaction she does it again. “Why not, Audrey?”

“You looked like – ” my voice breaks as her fingers slip inside me, her long nails teasing delicately, perfectly upwards – “tiger pretending to be tame.”

“Is that what you are? What you were with him?”


After that, I lose track of our time, the geography we exist in. The bed, the room, the hotel. They melt away. There is only sense. The creamy smoothness of her skin against mine. The smell of our perfumes and sex on us both. The fizzing of champagne on tongue and teeth and lips. The feel of our bodies coiling and releasing. The soundlessness of her orgasm and my breathless, moaning rush to the same.

After, she lies in my arms drowsily and I catch my breath.

I murmur, “Thank you,” into her ear as she falls asleep.

“I loved fucking you.”

Somewhere in the hotel a room door slams.

I hear laughter.

I nuzzle her neck, wrap my arms around her tightly and caress her skin to sooth myself to sleep. I inhale her. Like I used to breathe Jay’s sent, the aroma of our sex drifting me to sleep. But the moment flees and I retreat. It feels wrong to cup this stranger’s breasts while she sleeps, to tease her lovely butt and tickle her throat with my hair.

Instead I lie awake, transported to times before Jay: awkwardly pretending to sleep while my latest fling fumbled in the dark to leave. Trying to free my arm from underneath a lover to escape their room in the dead of night.

This is what you want, I think. New experiences, different people.

It is morning back home.

Jay will be slipping out of bed. Our flat will throb to the rhythmic time of him running on the treadmill. He’ll have a black coffee cooling on the side. The TV will be tuned to some ridiculous sport channel. The sound-track, the smells that wake me up every morning. I wonder what his day will look like. Who will he talk to?

Will he really meet me at the airport?

Claire murmurs some meaningless words in her sleep.

I know nothing about her life. I don’t wonder about any of it.

At 1am I slip out of bed and dress in the dark. I write on the hotel notepad using the red standby light of the TV for illumination. Thank you. Room paid up until 12, breakfast ordered – eat it naked for me. I sign it with wink and a kiss. I order her everything on the breakfast menu and the champagne option. I hang the order on the room door as I leave, as silently as I can manage.

I’ll meet you at the airport.

I miss you.

We can work it out.

We can tame each other?

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