Lara stared at the computer in disbelief, trying to will it back to life. The blank screen just stared back indifferently, mocking her. Lara almost threw the laptop to the floor but stopped herself just in time. It might be fixable. It had been fixed before. Sure it had been getting worse recently, but surely a laptop would last longer than six months?
She was more frustrated by the fact she was about to reach her orgasm when the screen flickered to darkness. In the last three weeks she had tried to masturbate no less than twelve times, each time thwarted by her housemate banging on her bedroom door or the phone ringing or something else equally infuriating.
With a loud sigh she laid the computer back down on the bed and pushed the covers off her bare legs. This was the first time in a week that she'd been home alone, a perfect opportunity to lay in bed and watch her favourite porn clips on the internet. And now what?
Susie had been a godsend at first when she'd moved into the spare room, paying enough rent to get Lara's mortgage back on track. But Lara hadn't realised how much she had taken living on her own for granted. Always a sexual person, she felt like a teenager again, unable to ever masturbate with the sound of Susie moving about the house. And she never seemed to go out much, working from home as she did. Always on the phone to some agency or other, half the time shouting at the top of her voice. And then her assistant kept coming round as well to sort out paperwork or make tea or a million and one other things to earn her minimum wage break into P.R slave labour internship.
It was a dilemma that frustrated the hell out of Lara. Only sporadically could she sit on her own, find one of her favourite porn sites, stories to read or clips to watch. Even the laptop that she had convinced herself she'd bought for work was really purchased to let her find these things on her own in her bedroom. And now it was broken. Another sign the of how the day would go. That morning Susie had mentioned she might be moving out. She'd found a client up north and it might pay her to be up there, dealing with things in person instead of over the phone.
She'd dropped that bombshell then headed out the door. Off to speak to the council about something or other. Lara had immediately planned to start looking up house mate websites. But within minutes of switching on the laptop she was in the browser, finding her favourite porn site. The one with nothing but clips of women masturbating, the one she wouldn't dream of letting anyone else know about.
Lara had spent years coming to terms with her sexuality, learning to accept that though she preferred the company of men in reality for the most part, there was nothing wrong with enjoying images of naked women in the privacy of her room, in her own home.
She still felt slightly ashamed of her love of beautiful women though, the exquisite sight of their loss of control when they came, the movements of their bodies as they touched themselves. Laid in her bed, skirt up round her waist, hand buried inside her panties, Lara had been staring at the screen, watching as one woman laid beside another. The video showed the two of them masturbating naked, staring at each other's bodies. Lara felt like a voyeur, watching as if through a keyhole at something so intimate, so dirty, unable to take her eyes from the screen.
She was just approaching her own pent up orgasm when the computer had died its horrible death.
Lara took the laptop into town, wondering if Brian would be able to fix it for her. She'd been friends with him for nearly ten years, through university and out the other side, thick as thieves through the lectures of the most boring beardiest tutor in the history of the world. But then they'd drifted apart, in touch through social networks from time to time but she hadn't seen him in person for about three years now. Not since Janet's party.
The computer repair shop Brian ran was still in business. But when Lara reached it the shop was closed. This was too much. It was like some divine intervention, some mocking gods adamant she wasn't to get to come no matter how much she wanted to. Would she end up at a service station buying an actual physical porn magazine like it was the 1980s again? Did anyone buy those magazines anymore? Did they even make them? She didn't know.
Lara stood in the shop doorway glaring at the sign that read "Shut for lunch, back in a bit," as if it was the sign's fault. She was no longer sure if she was angry about the laptop dying or angry that all her attempts to come kept being thwarted. She thought that if someone, man, woman, vegetable came along and asked her if she wanted sex there and then in the street, she would say yes without hesitation.
From across the street Brian Johnson was staring out of his front room window through the net curtains his ex had put up and he still hadn't gotten round to taking down. He had always thought it serendipitous to fall for someone who lived directly opposite his shop. But not now she was gone, leaving him in charge of the sky high rent of the shop and the house on his own.
He wolfed down his sandwich, not wanting to leave the shop locked for long, wondering once again why he never seemed to have time in the morning to make food to take with him for the long days of fiddling with the innards of computers.
He frowned when he saw Lara? She was pushing the shop door, laptop under her arm. Brian pushed the net curtain aside with his finger and stared out. She turned and saw him as he did so. He dropped the net and stepped back. Did he want to see her again after all? After Janet's party? When she'd slept with him and announced afterwards how crap he was to everyone in the house. Through the microphone the DJ had brought for crying out loud. Ear splittingly loud denouncing of his abilities in bed while everyone laughed.
He was brought out of his reverie by a knock on the door.
"Brian? Are you in there?"
Should he answer? Pretend he was out. He hadn't had a customer in two days, could he afford to turn her away?
After the party he had walked home silently ashamed of himself and furious with her. He was angry with her for a long time afterwards. How well could anyone perform in bed when that drunk? He'd done his best, but she was so sexy, he knew he hadn't lasted long enough. She'd laughed at him when he came even as he was apologising.
"I need some help Brian," she called through the letterbox. "I can pay. I've got money."
If life was a cartoon, dollar signs would have replaced Brian's eyes at that point. The main way he'd been able to survive in business this long was by charging too much for the work he did. At least that was the plan. But he wasn't cut throat enough to follow it through most of the time. A good sob story and he'd sometimes do the work for free. But not this time. He remembered how rich Lara was.
"Lara!" he said, smiling as he opened the door. "Good to see you. How can I help?"
"My computer. It's broken."
"Oh dear. Well give me two seconds and we'll take a look." He grabbed his keys and they headed over the road.
Once inside the shop, he took the computer from her and laid it on the counter.
"Yep, it's broken," he said, looking up after a minute of tapping keys.
"Can you fix it?" Lara sounded desperate. Brian wondered why, presumably some important business document, spreadsheets of figures, listing how much richer she was getting no doubt.
"Leave it with me. Pop back in a bit and I'll see what I can do in the meantime."
Lara headed off along the street window shopping from one store to another but she stopped dead when she noticed an adult shop. She'd seen it before, smoked glass windows making it impossible to see inside, as if there was something shameful about it. She glanced up and down the road then made a decision and quickly walked through the door into the shop.
Inside were walls full of explicit DVDs, shelves full of dildos. Lara's eyes widened. Behind the counter was a man in a tracksuit, flicking through a newspaper. He hadn't bothered to look up when she came in, leaving her free to stare open mouthed at the contents of the shop. She spotted a vibrator that claimed to be silent and picked it up. Perhaps that would be the answer to her problems. The man coughed and looked up at her, raising his eyebrows.
Embarrassed now and wishing she hadn't come in at all Lara grabbed the first magazine to hand and took her purchases to the counter. Silently the man bagged them, smiling lasciviously at her.
"Twenty pound," he said bluntly.
Lara dug into her purse, taking out her last note, paid and walked quickly out of the shop. She went back to the computer shop. Brian was sat behind the counter staring at her laptop and a sound Lara recognised was coming from the speakers. It was the clip she had been watching at home, the sound of the two women masturbating.
"I...errr..." Brian said when he saw her. He pushed the lid down, cutting off the sound.
"Look," Lara began but realised she had no idea what to say.
"I fixed it for you, simple really. Just..." his words continued but they meant nothing to Lara. She was frantically thinking about what to say, how to excuse the clip she'd been watching.
"How much do I owe you?" she said eventually, cutting him off and trying not to think about what he'd just seen.
"Standard charge is a hundred but I had to put a few new bits in so two fifty would probably cover it." He didn't want to say all he'd done was switch the laptop off and on again and that seemed to fix the problem. He knew he was pushing his luck as it was asking for that much.
Lara went for her handbag, then remembered. Her overdraft was maxed out, how could she pay?
"Can I call in with it tomorrow? I'm a bit short."
Brian looked at the paper bag she had, shopping again of course but too skint to pay him. A likely story. "Well okay but I'll hold onto the computer for security."
"Don't you trust me?"
Brian just smiled. Lara had no choice. "Well, see you tomorrow then."
Brian locked up at five as usual and walked home across the road, Lara's computer tucked under his arm. He'd resisted looking at it all day, even telling himself he was merely taking it home to keep it safe in case of yet another burglary. But within five minutes of getting home, he was rooting through her internet history, a bulge growing in his trousers as he saw the list of sites she seemed interested in. He even watched some of the clips, they all seemed to consist of women masturbating, either alone or in pairs. He sat very still as he watched, growing increasingly uncomfortable, face turning red. Could this be his chance to get her back for what she'd done at Janet's party?.
Lara spent that evening trying to work out how the hell she would pay to get her laptop back. She felt strange, seeing Brian had stirred odd feelings inside her. She remembered how the two of them used to spend their evenings together, chatting into the night when the other students were long since in bed. She remembered that hilarious night in Paris that they'd had together. All that travel for one day there, all on a whim after she'd mentioned liking the Hunchback of Notre Dame cartoon. He'd even paid for it all.
Confusing feelings ran through her mind. At the back of her mind she was still aching to come and that was colouring her thoughts, making her flick slowly through the magazine she'd bought. But when she unwrapped the vibrator she cursed herself for not buying batteries for it whilst she was out. And Susie was home now anyway. She went to bed early, still unsure how she would pay for her computer repair.
The next day she walked along the roads through town slowly, oblivious of the people around her. She was lost in thought still. The night before, she had dreamt of Brian. In her dream she was one of the women on the bed like in the porn she liked, laid beside her housemate. Brian was filming them both. She was finding it the most erotic experience she had ever had, knowing how aroused he was as he watched but somehow he was not allowed to touch either of them. It was a mind blowing dream but it hadn't helped the ache between her legs when she awoke. She tried to masturbate again, laid in bed, but Susie had knocked on the door and wandered in carrying a cup of tea for her. She begrudgingly thanked her housemate and listened to her ramble on, wondering if she noticed her hand was hidden under the covers, frozen between her legs.
Lara arrived at the computer shop a little after ten. Brian was inside waiting for her.
"Listen, Brian," Lara began. "I haven't got two hundred and fifty pounds. Can you drop your price?"
Brian smiled at her. He'd been expecting this. Lara glared at him. "Look, I know what you're going to suggest and the answer is no."
"I think you might change your mind. I don't know if you know my friend Eddie?"
"I don't know anyone called Eddie." Lara looked confused.
"Oh, well he knows you. Saw you yesterday in his shop. I was chatting to him this morning and apparently you bought a whisper silent vibrator and a copy of 'Girls doing Girls.' Something you want to tell me? Because I seem to remember your family were about as homophobic as its possible to be."
"I...err..." Lara was floored. Brian continued.
"I know, I'll give your mum a ring. I'm sure I've still got her number somewhere. See how she feels about it all. Maybe she'll lend you the money."
"No! Don't. You mustn't. It's not what you think. I'll do anything. You want sex? I'll sleep with you. Anything. Just keep it to yourself."
Brian smiled at her. This was going better than he'd expected.
"I don't want sex. I remember what happened last time you offered that. No, I want you to feel the same humiliation I felt. I want you to feel the toe curling embarrassment I felt at the party."
Lara gulped nervously. "But that was years ago. I'm sure I said I was sorry. What do you want me to do about it now?"
"I want you to stand by my shop window and use that vibrator you bought. And I'm going to watch. If you can orgasm with the whole world passing by, you can have your computer back and I'll never breathe a word to anyone. Deal?"
Lara's eyes opened wide. How dare he even suggest it! But, at the back of her mind, a tiny little voice was whispering to her, telling her to go ahead. At least she'd get to come. And she found herself so constantly aroused at the moment that someone giving her orders made her feel weak at the knees, submissive like a naughty schoolgirl. She told herself he wasn't giving her any choice. Somehow she'd convinced herself in the space of seconds that she had to do it. Besides, she couldn't risk him telling all and sundry about her penchant for girls, that would be just too humiliating.
"I...I haven't got it with me," she mumbled.
"I thought you'd say that. But look what Eddie gave me." He held out an exact copy of the vibrator she'd bought the previous day. Lara took it. "Does it have...?" She was going to say batteries, but as she flicked the on switch powerful vibrations ran through her hand, sending a shiver down her spine. The vibrator really was silent though, just a slight hum the only sign it was working at all.
"Tell me I have to," Lara said.
"Tell me I have to do this. Order me to do it."
"You must masturbate in front of that window, right now."
Lara found her feet moving of their own accord to the large plate glass window at the front of the shop. She looked out, the world was going by. Cars and vans drove past in what seemed like a never ending stream. Nobody was glancing her way. Pedestrians marched along the pavement, not one looking inside.
Brian found himself wondering if she dared to go through with this. He knew it was asking a lot, like something in one of Eddie's DVDs. But in real life, would someone do this? He watched as Lara stood, frozen for a moment. Had she lost her nerve? But no, she began moving her hand, pulling at her belt. Her jeans loosened, then slid down her hips a little. He could see the top of her thong now and the slight hint of the flesh of her bottom. He leaned under the counter and flicked the 'record' switch for the CCTV in the doorway. The camera was pointed across the door towards Lara. Although he could only see her back, when he looked on the monitor under the counter he could see her hand sliding down over her knickers, pressing hard against the fabric.
Her other hand was holding the vibrator and stopping her jeans from falling any lower. Brian watched silently, hoping people would start to look in soon.
He decided to speed things up. "Lara, you must lower your trousers. Let the world see what you are doing."
Lara nodded, face red. She felt compelled to obey, thinking of the alternative, the shame of being ostracised from her family if they found out about what she'd been watching. Letting go of her jeans, they slid down to her ankles. She kicked them off, not easy over her shoes, and stood now in her panties. Without waiting for further instructions she pulled her top over her head. Now Brian could stare at the arch of her back, the bra strap digging into her skin. He longed to go over and unhook it, let the breasts he remembered so fondly fall out, see if they were as pert as they had been at the party. His eyes ran down her, over her perfect bottom, her long slender legs all the way to her high heeled shoes, taking it all in.
Lara stood in her underwear oblivious to his staring. She was looking out of the window, making eye contact with passing drivers and now on the receiving end of a number of double takes. She was running her hands over her bra, feeling the pleasant pressure on her breasts below, the buzzing vibrator in her hand making her nipples tingle and harden. The cars came to a halt outside, a queue of traffic had built up. A blue Ford stopped right outside the window. The driver was a teenager. He glanced in her direction, eyes widening as he stared, raising his eyebrows at her and reaching for his phone. He held it up and the flash lit up the window.
"Lara." Brian's voice reached her. She wondered what would happen now, feeling shame at the idea of being a photo on an anonymous stranger's phone, but also feeling excited by the reaction she was causing, the reddening of his face as he shuffled in his car seat for a better view of her.
"Remove your bra."
"Please," she whispered. "Let me keep it on, there's a man out there taking photos of me."
"Remove it now."
Lara's hand reached behind her back, unhooking the clasp and letting the bra fall to her feet. Her breasts immediately swung free, sticking out voluptuously from her chest, nipples dark and rigid, goose bumps forming on her flesh, even in the warmth of the shop. The wetness between her legs was forming a damp patch on the fabric of her panties. Lara longed to reach between her legs now but was only too aware of the eyes staring in at her. That would be going too far. She could still turn back. There was the beep of a horn and traffic began moving again. As Lara stroked her unfettered boobs, groping and squeezing them, enjoying the sensation of teasing herself like this, she began to moan gently to herself, losing awareness of her surroundings.
Her eyes closed for a moment. When she opened them, she blinked in shock. A woman was standing directly outside the shop window, staring in at her, unmoving.
She was in her twenties, blonde hair tied back, dark eyes, gripping her shopping bags tightly and staring in at the woman in nothing but knickers before her who was playing with her large boobs as if she were in a sex show somewhere. The woman couldn't tear her eyes away.