Just lie very still, she told herself. Keep your cool. Lie still. Listen.
At first, all she could hear was the beating of her heart, a fine throb in her left temple, the one pressed into the mattress. Then she heard breathing.
Mine, she reminded herself. Just mine now.
Robyn, his wife, had be gone about fifteen minutes she guessed. Before that, they had been on the bed together, nose-to-nose, for so long that Cassandra had lost all sense of time. But she knew he had let Robyn up, untied her, let her dress, then sent her out to score for him. Or so she imagined. There was an ever-growing silence between his hits on the pipe, and each time the hits sounded more desperate. Besides, she knew that was the only reason he’d have ever let Robyn go.
“Shit!” He threw something. What, she couldn’t tell. It sounded like metal, not glass, not the pipe. He’d never throw the pipe – no matter how empty it was.
“Shhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttttt! pffchhhhhhhhhtttttttttchhhhhhhhhhhhhh”, he hissed – a foul, watery suck at the corners of his mouth. God, how she hated that sound. She could imagine him making it as he lied to some unsuspecting customer about the “pre-owned” wrecks on his car lot.
“Pfchhhhhtchhhhhhhhhh… that? Nawwww, that’s just a lil’ hail damage…pftchhhhchhhhhhhhhhhhh… will pop right on outta there and cost ya’ nearly nothing’… pftchhhhhhhhhchhhhhhhhhhhhh… and you can afford it, with all you’re savin’ here with me… pfftchhhchhhhhhhhhhhhh…”
Cassandra shivered. He always had the sweats, so the air conditioning in the room was set as low at it would go. One of his three demands when it came to hotels: frigid ac, room service, and 24-hour porn on the television. She could hear that too. Endless loops of moans and groans and oh-yeah-babys punctuating the wet slaps of mouths on cocks. That was all he ever watched. Blowjob Mania, The Adventures of Dr. Fellation, BJ Academy. She knew them all by heart. The one on now was one of his favourites — Blown in Sixty Seconds.
“Gotta love cars and head… pffffftchhhhhhhhhh!”
She heard him laugh then slap his cock, trying to bring it to attention. She closed her eyes. The junk that got him high kept him flaccid. For all the times he had rammed it into her mouth, she’d never known his cock to be hard. No matter how long he kept her on her knees, licking and sucking and pumping until her jaws ached, he stayed limp, small and frustrated. She imagined the same could be said of his whole life.
The door opened.
She smelled Robyn before she heard her. Hotel hallway air puffed behind her, pushing the noxious mixture of crack smoke, sex, tobacco, and Febreeze that was Robyn into the frozen room air. Cassandra coughed, swallowing hard against the soiled sheets.
Don’t puke, she thought. She knew she would drown in her own vomit before they even noticed.
“Damn, bitch!” She heard the slap send Robyn’s 250 pounds backwards off her come-fuck-me’s. “You fuckin’ go to fuckin’ China for the shit, or what? Pfttttttttttchhhhhhhhhhhtttttttchhhhhhhh!”
“Careful, Daddy,” Robyn’s voice came from the floor. Dead sexy – just the right blend of honey, whiskey and despair. “Baby’s still holdin’ the bag, yanno…”
Cassandra heard him grab it.
Heard him fall into a chair to load the pipe as Robyn grunted, heaving herself up off the floor. She felt the next sound – a sharp stinging slap against her cold bare ass. Cassandra bit her lip as Robyn dropped next to her on the bed.
“And how’s the pretty girl?” she cooed so close that Cassandra wondered if she always popped Tic-Tac’s instead of brushing her teeth. “Is Momma’s pretty girl sleeping?” she purred, digging her sharpened nails into the scored flesh of Cassandra’s ass.
Cassandra turned her face into the filthy mattress to keep from crying out.
“Pffftchhhtttttchhhhhhhhh…” He was sucking deep on the pipe, the saccharine scent of fresh smoke wafting to the bed.” Hey, bitch! Get over here and suck my cock!”
Robyn yawned. “Fuck you.”
Strike of the lighter; another deep drag. “Pffffffftchccccccthhhhhhhhhcccccch… NOW!”
Sighing, Robyn stood, using Cassandra’s ass for support, pressing hard into the welts, giving them a last stiff swipe before walking across the room.
“Gimme,” Robyn said.
“Suit yerself,” she answered. “No gimme, no blow.”
Cassandra heard him lunge out of the chair; heard Robyn lumber backwards with a laugh.
“Gimme, Daddy!” she demanded, petulant as a spoiled child.
Coughing, he relented. “Pfffftchhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”
Robyn took a deep hit.
“Now suck”, he said, dropping back down into the chair.
After a few frantic minutes, the sounds of Robyn’s sucking fell into a kind of rhythm with his hits on the pipe. Cassandra listened, following the rise and fall of fellatio, of pipe draw, of the ever-intensifying roar of pulse in her own head, and suddenly she knew it was time to move. She lifted her head first.
“Damn,” she whispered, turning her head toward the blackened window. The pain was sharp and pulled all the way down her back. She had no idea how long she had been in that same position.
Wiggling her numb fingers, she slipped one hand out of the ropes that loosely bound her wrists. Then the other. She held her breath, listening to be sure the other sounds in the room had not changed. Sucking – pipe, cock, tv – still staccatoed the icy whir of the air conditioner. Shaking off the ropes, Cassandra pulled up her heavy arms, stretching her hands high above her on the bed.
She moaned, suddenly, keenly aware of the pain that throbbed throughout her entire body.
It’ll be worse tomorrow, she thought.
Rolling silently onto her back, she pulled up her knees to her chin, hugging herself, hugging the ache in her lower back, the scrape of the cheap sheets firing the marks on her ass. With a deep breath, she sat up.
The sucking had stopped. Robyn’s eyes were closed, her fat face lay open-mouthed on his narrow thigh. He seemed to be passed out – his small, shiny head fallen forward onto his bony chest. Looking at them, Cassandra thought of the old nursery rhyme,
Jack Sprat could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
And so between the two of them
They licked the platter clean
Cassandra rubbed her eyes. Standing slowly, she found her clothes wadded up on the floor – black suit skirt and coat, a white, once-heavily starched French cuffed shirt. She was still wearing the corset and stockings, though she could see a long rip in the left leg.
“Damn”, she muttered, running a manicured nail up the tear.
She dressed without thought, without care, stepping into the soft black pumps with the appropriate heel, digging into the matching black Coach for her wallet. From it, she retrieved a crisp fifty-dollar bill that she placed into the chubby hand of the now awake but groggy Robyn.
“Next week?” Robyn asked. Looking down at her, Cassandra could see just how beautiful she had once been. She bent to kiss her forehead.
“Yes,” Cassandra whispered.
Then she turned and walked quietly out the door.
© s rogers 9 august 2009