Old Songs Leave Long Shadows

Music is a powerful tool, used to set a mood, drive a scene. Reading the prompts Exhibit Unadorned chose for his erotica competition, I felt old memories stir, and the playful brat streak just had to write an erotica without sex.  ~ Evie

An original story, inspired by the prompt ‘old songs leave long shadows’.

***

Half listening to the jukebox, Ava idly stirred her gin and tonic. It was a Friday evening and the bar hummed with activity. A perfect place to catch up with Lucas. He was languishing at the bar, his dress shirt open one button at the top, a clear sign he had left the office for the day. Wonderful what a tailor could do with navy dress pants, she thought, admiring his silhouette. Ava wasn’t the only one enjoying the view. The bartender was flushed and giggling as she poured generous measures of spirits for them. Ava shook her head, bemused. Lucas had clearly preened before he headed downtown. His hair was neatly tied back, accentuating his beard, and she had detected a hint of his favourite cologne as he’d entered the bar. Interesting. Lucas didn’t preen unless he had mentally tallied up his expectations of how the evening might go.

She didn’t allow her imagination to wander too far. They had flirted in the past, in the way that close friends often do, but there had never been a suggestion of more. It was an idle thought. Until he winked. When you know someone so deeply that understanding of them hums through your bones, the slightest look is a tell. He winked, eyes sparkling as he slid a gin and tonic across the table. Ava raised an eyebrow. The ever-present thread of curiosity between them hummed with tension. ‘What’s that look?’ She raised the drink to her lips to cover a smile.

Lucas grinned. ‘Just feeling playful tonight.’ He sipped his whiskey, his attention flitting between people around the room. Tallying the odds.

Ava imagined slowly tracing the stubbled line of his jaw with her lips, whispering a reply in his ear. Hello, libido. Not tonight. She ignored the heady rush of flirtation and a half thought of biting his neck in play. ‘Playful? Unusual for you.’ It wasn’t but he knew she was being sarcastic. Ava took another sip of her gin, closing her eyes to enjoy the cold sweet tingles of the tonic down her throat. She opened them, surprised to him leaning in slightly, his eyes locked on her face.

‘Is it?’ His tone sent tingles down her spine. Her eyes widened slightly and he smirked, breaking her gaze to scan the room. She was suddenly acutely aware of his slow migration around the table to stand behind her. ‘See her?’ He nodded towards a brunette in the crowd, who was oblivious to the attention of the room. ‘She’s positively shining with energy. They flock to her.’ He took another sip.

‘And you think you can beat the flock, be a wolf?’ She felt heat rise in him. Was it to be that sort of night? Ava felt a flash of disappointment. It had been a bad week and this was meant to be their night to catch up, not pick up.

‘Decidedly not a wolf.’ He shook his head, briefly irritated. ‘Too predatory. No, I would engage her in such conversation that would isolate her attention in the midst of a crowd… and see where that went. But…’ he leant in closer as the music grew louder. ‘I did promise to spend the night with you. And you should only make promises that you can keep.’ Unaware that his whisper was sending shivers down her spine, he returned to people watching.

‘True.’ Ava smiled sweetly. ‘But…that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.’

Lucas grinned, eyes flashing green as he turned them towards the light display. ‘We always have fun. Why do you think I’ve kept you around?’

‘… not the usual fun.’ She phrased it carefully. ‘I’m talking something a little more… engaging.’

Lucas looked intrigued. ‘Like what?’

‘Remember the Domme you flirted with last year? Both of you, striving for the other to submit, knowing it was against your usual inclinations.’

‘Ah. That. That was an engaging evening.’ He looked at Ava, his attention suddenly focused again. ‘You want to try and make me submit? That seems unlikely. You’re a switch. It would be far too easy for me.’

Cocky, much? She smirked. ‘Are you sure? No, the challenge is for you to not be my dominant. You don’t have to submit. Just flirt, entice, entrance – without dominance. Make me crave you, without owning me.’

Alex frowned slightly, his brain ticking over. ‘That seems like a challenge. It-’

‘-goes against your nature? Aren’t you all about testing that limit?’ Ava smiled saccharinely and finished her drink. ‘It’s alright to admit defeat. We can still have a social evening.’

The brunette laughed and her companions almost fell backwards. Alex looked at her, his attention unbroken. He hated to admit defeat. It seemed Ava was to be the new challenge. ‘Very well. If my challenge is not to dominate… then I challenge you not to kiss me.’

She froze. ‘Sorry?’ Flirtation was one thing. Kissing was decidedly not part of their usual entertainment.

‘If I am to make you crave me – you will kiss me if I succeed.’

‘So, for you to win, you cannot dominate me, and I have to kiss you?’

‘Yes. And for you to win, I have to dominate you, and you cannot kiss me.’ Lucas beamed. ‘And since I know you are such a good submissive, you won’t be able to help it.’

Ava scowled. ‘Switch. And a brat, you seem to have forgotten.’

He chuckled. ‘Oh, I’ve not forgotten. Just wanted to check if you were still easy to bait. Very well. I’ll play your game. But first, I need another drink. May I get you another gin?’

‘I would love one.’ She relaxed as he walked to the bar, free to finally ponder how to win the game. Lost in thought, she twisted her necklace between her fingers.

‘Madam?’ Ava started. A waiter stood before her. ‘Lucas has asked me to escort you upstairs. May I take your coat?’ She went to protest, then realised he had started the game.

‘Of course,’ she shrugged off her coat. ‘I need to quickly duck to the ladies on the way, can you please wait here?’ They nodded. Safe from prying eyes, Ava pulled out scent from her bag and gently dabbed it behind her ears, running the remnants through her hair. The jukebox switched to a rapid electro song and she grinned mischievously. Perfect. A small detour on the way back to the table… Once she returned, the waiter led her to a corner booth, where Lucas had lain his coat and laptop on one side. He had seated himself on the outside of the other. He stood to let her in and Ava realised that she would be forced to sit in the corner, their legs pressed close together, not an inch of cloth between them. Dangerously close quarters. He would have the upper hand almost immediately. Unless…

She pretended to stumble and landed, knees bent in front of him. Physical submission. Inspecting her hands, she carefully kept her head bowed, as she would to any master, tingling with anticipation and hope her ruse wouldn’t be noticed. Lucas quickly moved to her side, feeling a flash of protective instincts towards her. O, clever girl, he thought. He carefully helped her into the corner seat. ‘Are you ok?’ he was soft, half-worried, half-suspicious.

‘I’m fine. Just falling before you. Nothing hurt.’ Ava groaned, checking herself over once again, adjusting her hemline, subtly pulling it higher. Lucas looked her over carefully and she leant back, revealing the tops of her stockings. A weakness of his…

‘Your gin, madame. A tonic for your ills, as it were.’ The waiter had reappeared as she fell and Lucas took advantage of the distraction to look around. He noticed that her bracelet had fallen to the floor. Perfect.

‘Ava.’ He held it up. Speechless, she held out her hand. Lucas moved closer, his leg pressing against hers as he carefully clasped the bracelet around her wrist. He did not let go after it was clasped. Instead, he began to trace slowly up her inner arm, his fingers ice cold.

Ava shivered. ‘That’s… unfair. You know ice melts me.’

‘How… ironic. Perhaps you should enlighten me to exactly how I should entrance you in a way that’s fair?’ He kissed her wrist softly, then released her. Changing the conversation to exactly what gin he had gotten her on the advice of the very cute waitress, the discussion quickly moved to the Australian spirit industry, and Ava felt heady. He really could be charming if he tried… The Killers came on the jukebox and she grinned. One more song…

Lucas chose that moment to undo his hair. ‘Isn’t that breaking the rules?’

‘Hm?’ he murmured as he coaxed it free.

‘You let your hair out when you play.’ It had to be pointed out.

‘Letting my hair out doesn’t turn me into a Dom,’ he laughed. ‘You just hate that I know you love this.’

‘Mmhmm.’ She should have protested but he was right. Technically. Ava reached up to brush her hair back and the loosened necklace fell down into her cleavage. ‘Oh damn.’ she muttered, carefully fishing it out. She turned her back to Lucas and exposed her neck.

‘Help?’ He froze. He was already feeling protective and being so close to her throat was tempting fate if she sassed him. He could smell the scent behind her ears and feel her breath shudder through her shoulders. Stiff and throbbing, Lucas shifted in his seat awkwardly. Ava could feel his fingers were trembling as he fastened the clasp. She reached up and held his hand near her neck, looking back at him.

‘Thank you Lucas.’ She blushed, looking down quickly and biting her lip, as if a forbidden thought had passed through her mind. Almost as if she was distracted by the thought of him being pressed against her. Which she was. The necklace trick was proving quite… effective. But Ava was also holding on to his fingers for that last second so that when the first bars of her playlist came on, his hand would be on her neck. The heavy chords of the Arctic Monkeys would thrum the room and he would be gazing down at the bowed head of a submissive who knew exactly what his triggers were.

The song changed. Finally. She felt his hand tighten on the nape of her neck. ‘Ava. What exactly did you do while I left you downstairs?’

‘Why… I think I must have added that album we both love so much to the playlist. Don’t you like it?’ Ava tried to turn her head to gaze innocently up at him but his grip tightened, scruffing her like a disobedient kitten.

Unafraid of being seen in the corner booth, he leaned down to growl in her ear. ‘You… deliberately… put on the album that I used to use to trigger my Domspace?’ Cowed, she nodded. It had been a risk. But brats will brat and she was hoping it would tip the game. ‘You do realise, if you truly were my submissive, I would have to punish you for such brattiness. Bend you over this table and spank you until you begged me to forgive you.’ She felt her lips part slightly as his words rolled over her, thighs twitching with fantasised pain. Instead, feeling her relax, Lucas loosened his hold. ‘But since you’re not. I forgive you,’ he whispered, softly kissing down Ava’s neck, his other hand wrapping around her waist and tracing the tops of her stockings… She sighed and tilted her head back, lost in him. Then, as suddenly as he began, he stopped. ‘So… are you happy with yourself?’ he murmured in her ear, and slowly withdrew his hand from her leg, stroking her neck comfortingly. She pouted at his absence, feeling her thighs grow hot and wet. Lucas sighed and rested his forehead against hers. ‘Whatever shall I do with you… You drive me mad sometimes… All I want to do is kiss you and see if we should try this again. For real.’

Ava felt herself stiffen, hot with arousal and confusion. It had been a game. But was it still? Did she want to chance it? He began to sigh and look down. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking, but she’d prefer to lose than never know the answer. She tipped his chin back up, leaned in, and kissed him. It was soft and sweet at first, then she nipped his lip, and his hands were at her throat, pressing her against the wall of the booth. Ava moaned in protest as he drew back, a smug analytical expression on his face. ‘You never could resist finding an answer. I do believe this is what you would call ‘craving’ someone.’ He cocked an eyebrow triumphantly. ‘I win!’

Ava scoffed, very aware of the craving but also how much she had felt dominated. ‘Excuse me. You clearly acted as a dominant. You do not win!’

Lucas straightened his shirt and smoothed his hair back. ‘Fine. I lost on that point. But so did you. So… do we both lose or do we draw?’

‘At 50% success rate for each of us, I’d say we draw.’ They both sat for a moment. The game was over and only frustration was left.

Lucas broke the tension, checking the time on his phone. Midnight. ‘Well, this ended just in time for me to crawl home to bed and sober up. I have to work tomorrow.’

‘Ugh. I’m sorry. Good timing indeed. And next time… why don’t we play a game we can actually stand a chance of winning? Like pool?’ Ava grinned at him.

‘Deal!’ They walked outside together. Her Uber came first and Lucas was grateful for some solo respite in the cold air. He could have been annoyed about the fact that she had exploited his music based kink but it had been an entertaining evening. And he would have the upper hand next time. Whenever Ava heard that album, she would find herself craving him. Any advantage she had would be lost. Old songs leave long shadows and sometimes, you don’t get to control where they fall.


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