It’s funny: when you tell people you’re trying to lose weight, they all start trying to feed you up. That you’re not drinking for a while, suddenly everyone who owes you a pint is keen to make good on their debt.
Fortunately, I wanted to write more, so I’ve been very happy to see numerous challenges cropping up.
Exhibit Unadorned‘s flash fiction challenge is based on a list of Jade A Waters‘s favourite words, and for those of us crippled by totally unnecessary indecision, he’s been assigning words as prompts.
He gave me Cerulean.
It had been calling out to her from the shop window for weeks now. It shimmered, like a peacock’s tail, with hints of other colours seeming to come from deep within rather than simply being the result of the changing light and reflections of passers-by.
Hayley had found herself alternately drawn in and shying away from the window whenever she passed – awkward as she went by twice a day on the way to and from work. The first time she’d seen it in the corner of her eye, arranged artfully on a plain, matt black, silk display, she’d only really noticed the colour. Walking back that night, she’d stopped briefly to look more closely. The workmanship was obvious, the care and attention to detail screaming quality and a price tag to match. She knew then, without looking that it would cost more than she could ever really justify. And in a moment of weakness, boredom – and possible stupidity – at work one day, Hayley had gone looking online and had hopes of which she wasn’t aware dashed and her suspicions confirmed. It would wipe out her – she laughed at the term – disposable income for months to come, and there were far more pressing purchases looking likely in the near future.
But after a string of horrific days in the office, she decided she needed a pick-me up. It had been far too long since she’d treated herself, and surely she could cope with living on porridge and baked beans for a week or so if it meant owning such a thing of beauty. Just looking at it made her sigh.
The weather was wet and blustery, not at all like the previous spring evenings that had seen folk spilling out of bars and pubs onto the street. People had their heads down and were marching unseeingly through the rain, determined to get away from work and the weather in equal parts.
The window, for those who paused a moment, had a decadent, lustrous, welcoming warmth to it.
Hayley smiled and felt her stomach flip simultaneously, pushed upon the door, and stepped into a den of dark wine walls picked out with bronze highlights, subtle lighting and display cases full of desire.
Up close, the dildo was all the more beautiful. The sheen was deceptive, the material feeling almost velvety under her fingers. The undulations along its length added further facets to the sky-whale-petrol-teal colour. Hayley could swear it was glowing from within.
“We’ve got it in pink too,” the assistant said, as Hayley turned it in her hands, “but everyone here loves this colour. It’s got a funny name… oh, it was in that film-“
Her colleague looked up from where she was tapping at a screen behind the counter, caught sight of the toy, and nodded in agreement. “The Devil Wears Prada!” she chirped. “Like the jumper!”
Making any kind of connection between the length of silicone in her hands and a purposely scruffy jumper worn by Anne Hathaway seemed like something of an insult to Hayley, but she knew immediately what the assistants were referring to.
“Cerulean,” she murmured. The word suited it.
The assistant asked if she wanted it wrapped.
Hayley said no, but paying and getting it bagged still seemed to take forever.
First it went into its padded, millimetres-thick box with the slight grosgrain texture, then that was slipped inside a further, thinner, glossy illustrated box with ends in the same beautiful tone as the toy. Hayley would have gladly taken that, handed over her card, and bolted.
But then there was the heavyweight black paper bag with the bronze detail in the lower corner, and a sticker bearing the shop’s logo placed just so across the lips of the bag, to prevent anyone who shouldn’t see catching a peek. Hayley had kept smiling, but when the assistant produced the bronze wire ribbon from beneath the counter, she had to fight to keep a groan of impatience from escaping.
The card machine couldn’t have worked fast enough either.
Part of Hayley had wanted to keep looking at her new toy, touching it, sharing the love with the girls in the shop, who were clearly as excited as she was about the sale but also seemed – sad? – to see it go.
But now it was safely packed away for the journey home, she wanted to get there, to rip into the packaging and get to enjoy it all over again, for herself this time. Not like that! Well, yes, like that. But not until she’d had the chance to admire it some more, properly, without having to drag herself away for whatever reason.
She wanted to savour.
There was half a bottle of something pink in the fridge. Hayley tucked it under her arm, grabbed a clean glass from the draining board – a tumbler, but it would do – and headed for her room.
Putting the bottle down on her dressing table and dropping the bag on the floor temporarily, she shrugged off her coat, shucked off her boots and poured a good four fingers of suspect zinfandel. She picked the bag up only long enough to pull at the ribbon and sticker and rescue the box, before practically skipping to her bed.
Sitting at the front of her bedside drawer like it was used far more frequently was a bottle of lube. It took up prime position next to the glass of wine. She pulled off her jumper, undid the top few buttons of her shirt, and ran her fingers over the revealed skin.
A sip of wine and she turned her attention to the dildo’s outer box, carefully tugging the flap open and shaking it slightly to release the luxury cardboard. It slid out slowly, landing in her lap. She noticed the embossed logo in the centre, slightly glossy compared to the beautiful matt texture of the card surrounding it.
Prising the lid off, her eyes widened at the sight of the dildo, looking like it had grown in the past 30 minutes, and she grinned. She gazed at it lovingly, ran a finger across its surface and the velvety padding it was nestled in. Then she reached for her wine and made herself comfortable.
Half-propped up by her pillows, skirt pulled up to her waist, she ran a hand over her tights and knickers, following the contours of her body between her legs. Her pussy pulsed gently with anticipation as her fingertips brushed the cotton, her index and third fingers sweeping out to stroke the sensitive creases between her legs and body. Her middle finger traced where her lips met, covered in two layers of fabric but still responding to her touch. Pausing ever so slightly as her fingers moved back up, over her clit, the briefest thrill.
She took a swig of wine, carefully put the glass back on the bedside table. Her tights had to go, but she was too impatient, too keen to touch herself again, to completely remove them. She was left with one hanging from her calf as she returned to her main focus; her two fingers circled gently, grazing the lips above her clit, the featherlight touch enough to start the delicious ache inside her, to start a fluttering sensation behind and in her breasts.
Hayley sighed, closed her eyes in pleasure, felt for the dildo nestled in its box beside her. Not yet. But she wanted to feel it, tease herself with it like a lover would tease her.
She slipped her hand beneath her knickers now, circling incrementally faster, harder, her middle finger pushing between her lips to stimulate the bud below – but still as slowly and gently as she could bear.
She brought the dildo across, trailed it over her thigh and her knickers, up to her belly, resting its curves on hers. Lifting herself just enough to slide her knickers clear, she reached again for the toy, tracing the path her other hand had taken earlier as it continued to play, rubbing slightly harder, slightly faster. She paused with it just outside her entrance, the head nudging tantalisingly between her lips.
Her nerve endings were tingling, on fire, full of anticipation, the feathery feeling inside her breasts, the ache inside growing by the second, tempting her to plunge on.
Instead Hayley stopped completely. Feeling slightly lightheaded, she grabbed for the tumbler of wine like it was a support rail and took a gulp before reaching for the lube and squeezing a good dollop onto her fingers.
She slicked it over the dildo, adding an extra depth and sheen to the glorious colour and contours, then across her skin, through her dark curls, between her lips. She looked down her body, marvelling at the soft paleness of her skin, the contrast with the wiry hair, and with the rich, firm, vibrant blue of the dildo as she slid it home…