Manny Ch. 02byAudreyHepburn©
*Previously on "Manny": The time is the 1980's. The place New York. Jessica Abby and Manny Meza were secret admirers in high school back in Arizona but never acted on their feelings for each other. The last night senior year in high school finds them together in a car and an accident occurs, resulting in the death of an innocent pedestrian. Manny is concerned for Jessica's future at New York University and takes the blame for the death, ending up in prison.. Years later, he's released and finds Jessica, enraged and still feeling hot for her.
Jessica braced herself. She knew she should have been scared to death. Manny was big, monstrous, like a pro wrestler on steroids, with dark, heavy eyebrows that she had not remembered he even possessed in high school, strong jaw, muscles to spare, a hard-on that frightened her. He was sure to rip her virgin cunt open.
He threatened her with his very breath, which reeked of alcohol and nicotine and God knows what else. Her heart was pounding like mad. She should feel afraid. He could kill her afterward if he wanted to, he could strangle her to death. He might even be wielding a gun. But she was also feeling aroused. A strong sexual desire took over her, wanting him, wanting to feel his hard cock drilling inside her deeply, wanted him no matter how he looked like or behaved.
Sure. This was not the same Manny from high school. He had been a boy then, really, for all his bigness of body. Now, he was a hardened man, who had experienced hell. She was completely at his mercy. Her life could end that night, right there on the bed in her apartment. She would leave behind no children, only her own parents, and a staff that adored her and fawned over her at the publishers building for her own magazine -"City Woman". She gasped, as if she had just fallen into rapid waters.
"Fuck. Damn you," Manny said, "Damn you. I can't do it."
Jessica opened her eyes. "What did you say?"
"I'm so worked up...I'm so hot, so hard. I want it but...it would be rape. I'd just go to prison again. And there is no fucking way I'm going back to that place again."
She had not expected this sudden change, this calm attitude, this analytical side of him. He had come into her apartment through the window like a crazy rapist or thief. She had been so sure he'd ravish her with cruelty. She was panting but she tried to calm down herself. In the semi-darkness, in the New York City moonlight streaming through the window, she saw him with a clearer distinction. Before, she had just seen him vaguely, for he had been covered in darkness and saw him only through flashes of light - an eye, an eyebrow, his chest, his torso, the fire in his brown eyes. Now, she could see him with sharp clarity. For all his muscular He-Man physique and menacing presence, his eyes and facial expression had softened. He looked lost. He was the jock she remembered. He had a sad, silent, brooding, unreadable look, and for all that had happened, he could have been right there in that car in an Arizona road again, staring into the dark, his life about to change forever.
"I won't do it, you bitch," he said, "besides it looks like you wanted me to do it."
"I - no...I -"
He stared her down. She felt ashamed and lowered her head. Yes, she wanted him to take her, to make her his. She had never really lived a day in her life. She had once foolishly believed being a writer would be glamorous and adventures and excitement would follow. Adventure did not follow every writer and despite having left the sleepy towns of Arizona, and despite having had a degree of adventure in New York City, she had not really ever lived in the fast lane, in the verge of excitement, near death, near danger, as she had always wanted. She had not lost her virginity. She had known only some form of sex, but only slight arousal came out of it and she had never orgasmed. Only in her mind, and fantasies, and in each one of them, Manny was the provider of the orgasm.
Staring into one another silently, sadly, a rain began to fall over the street, making the sidewalk wet, the sound floating like a whisper into the apartment. The wet rain made them both aroused, but they dare not make another move. Manny cursed under his breath. He looked at her now, and there was a look of absolute disgust, as if he wondered why he had ever loved her in the first place, as if she were a dirty, filthy piece of garbage. Jessica stared in astonishment.
"Go to hell," he said to her, " straight to hell. You don't know how lucky you are. I've just saved your life. I could have killed you with one hand. I won't do it. I hate going to jail, and it won't be because of you again. I'm never going to jail. Life's going to be tough even now that I'm out of jail. Thanks to you. You made my life miserable. I do'nt know why I ever cared for you, fantasized about you, protected you, defended you, loved you. You realize my ex-con status is going to exclude me from any really nice job in the city? You realize no woman will ever really want me unless they're insane. You ruined my life. Yet you live here in this apartment and don't know how lucky you are. May not be much to you, an apartment, but it's a hell of a lot better than a fucking jail cell."
"Manny, I - "
"Shut up. You hear me, shut up. I hate you. I'm leaving you now and pray we never run into each other again."
With that, he was gone, through the window again, into the dark, rainy night, turning one last time to look at her through the window. Jessica was overcome with grief and tears began to flow down her cheeks. She covered her head with her hands and wept. New York City was less pleasant for her now. She went to work with caution and with fear. Manny had spared her life, but she had the feeling she was not going to see the last of him. When they had met in high school, for the first time, when they first layed eyes on each other and heard their voices, she felt a seed being planted in her, a seed which would grow into an enormous tree of love. How was it possible to love and yet not really be in a relationship? She had been young and it could be chalked up to a mere crush, but she knew it went beyond that. If she had just been infatuated with Manny, she would have moved on to another and found a real relationship. If not in Arizona, then most certainly in New York, where dozens of available and young professionals were eager to court her. But all she had ever wanted was Manny. And now he was gone. There was no way they could ever be together, to establish a relationship. An ex-con? With the head of a woman's magazine business? It was more than just how it looked. She was certain her career could flounder if people knew about his past. Even more so when they learned about her past - about her indiscretion and how it sent innocent Manny to jail while she got off scot-free. No. It was impossible to really love him. He haunted her dreams, all of them intensely erotic. In them, he would mount her from behind, and there was no way to know whether his cock was pounding into her pussy or her ass. All she could feel was his huge cock buried deep inside her, pumping into her, making her scream out in the intensity of it all. She could see his face contort savagely, see the flash of his teeth, see the flex of his muscular arms as he seized her by the hair, by her buttocks, slapping it. He was a wild, evil thing making her his wet whore. In her dreams, the rape that did not happen happened. And she loved it and thought it lovemaking.
"Miss Abby?" came a young girl's voice, waking her up from her erotic daydream.
Jessica opened her eyes. She put her hand on the desk, almost pounding it. She looked across the black desk and saw her personal assistant staring at her with perplexion.
"Miss Abby is something wrong? You nodded off and you moaned."
"O -I - um...everything's fine Marissa. I just...I haven't....really had much sleep is all. What were you trying to tell me?"
"The newest model for the magazine is here," her assistant Marissa said.
Marissa was twenty, young, a girl fresh out of high school. Jessica had hired her because she reminded her of herself at that age. And she could have been her. Marissa had come from Nevada to New York, also pursuing the goal of becoming a writer. She was slender and thin and wore glasses. But she was very pretty. Blonde, blue eyes, wore mostly skirts.
"The model? O, the one from Brazil. What was her name?"
"Yleana. She wants to see you right away. Should I tell her you're indisposed for now? Tell her to come back later?"
"No. That's wrong. She had an appointment. I can do without sleep for a day. Tell her to come in immediately and we'll discuss her contract."
"Come in, Miss Yleana. Miss Abby's waiting for you."
Marissa walked away and Yleana walked into Jessica's office. She was a tall woman, striking. Jessica was surprised. This one was a real model, not just someone with little experience like the other women she hired. "City Woman" magazine was about real women, not thin, Barbie-like women with glamorous auras. Jessica wrote about down-to-earth women who were into careers, starting families, everyday women, progressive women. It was the 80's after all and "greed is in" did not only apply to men. Jessica could foresee that in the coming decade of the 90's, women would be more assertive and run big businesses. She could already tell that about one particular woman named Martha Stewart.
Yleana was a beautiful woman. Her skin was white but yet, tan, glowing, as if she had been coated with bronze. Her eyes were dark green, mischievious, intelligent. Her body was like a professional female wrestler. Jessica guessed her Amazonian body owed to working out religiously at the gym. Working out at the gym was popular now. It was another place, besides a bar, where men and women could meet. She could see Yleana in some New York City gym, working out, sweating and socializing with admiring men.
"Yleana, do you speak both English and Spanish?"
"Yes, of course I do," she said, with only a hint of an accent.
"Oh, good. I only speak English. I used to know a little....learned from someone..."
Manny. It had been Manny who taught her a few Spanish phrases in high school. Her mind returned to him again, and she saw him as she last saw him - looking sad and mad in moonlight and in rain.
"Do you need me to start today or no? What kind of shoots are you doing?"
"There's a lot to go over. Your contract is only for a year. We want to make our first ever City Woman calendar. Of course, you'll have a few pages in the magazine set for you as well. Where's your photographer Paolo?"
"Paolo? Oh, that bastard. He's no longer my photographer. He went to Hollywood. He turned gay over night. Not that I don't have anything against gays but he had said he loved me and proposed marriage. I found him in bed with another man."
"I'm sorry. All this happened before you came to New York?"
"Yeah. I tried modeling in LA, of courses. It's big there too. And tried acting. But it was unproductive a time for mee and so I came here. I read one of your books and thought I'd come model for your magazine."
"You read one of my books? I've only had three published."
"I read your fist novel, "Canyon". About the Grand Canyon and those friends and lovers who visited every year over the years."
"I wrote that with my heart because I'm an Arizona girl."
"I know. I heard the interview on NPR. Listen, I really need to get a new photographer. Could you find me one?"
"I most certainly can. Welcome to City Woman, Yleana."
* * * * *
Jessica's fears that she'd run into Manny were crawling all over her again. She had for the longest time believed he was working on some little revenge plot. It was very possible. He could have been spying on her, waiting for the right time to strike. Maybe he was going to "tell on her" and get paid for it. Jessica Abby, novelist, magazine editor, criminal, killer, old lady killer to be exact, reckless drunken driver. He'd get paid if he blabbed about it to the right people, to other journalists and magazine folk. And Jessica did have enemies who wished they'd uncover some dirty story on her to bring her down. It hurt Jessica, a feminist at heart, to know that many of these enemies werent even men, but other women, other women who did not want to see her in a position of authority of any kind.
Somewhere in New York, Manny was lurking, behind some alley, behind some door, in some parked car, waiting, hoping to nail her. And not the kind of nailin she wanted from him. There were times when she swore she saw him in the grocery store, picking up some foods in the aisles, or paying the cashier. She thought she had seen him walking past an elementary school for children, coaching football for boys. She swore she saw him working out in some gym - though she had only seen his muscular back and behind. He could be anywhere. Why did she love him so? Why did he figure in her dreams so much? Why did he ruin other men for her? No man was like Manny. She had already refused the advances of several men, being a well-known writer and editor. She had gone to parties and she had been to galas and whenever a male implied he wanted to date, she turned them down flat. Only Manny continued to stay so persistently on her mind.
"I don't know what to say, Manny," she said to him.
"Of couse not. What do you say to an ex-con?"
"Oh don't start that again. You're free now. And you're alright."
"Not as free as I wish. And not free of you. Of the desire for you."
Why was he speaking like a romantic hero out of those romances she loved? Why did he have to be so god damn irresistable? She walked over to the other side of the shelf, the row that faced the window with streaming sunlight. She dropped her book as she approached him, bent and picked it up. Manny stared at her sweet behind. She pulled a stand of hair away from her face.
"What do you want with me?" she whispered.
"Come to me. Come be my love. Why not? No one has to know. You're entitled to some fun. Look at you, you're like some repressed English school teacher. You're an American girl for God's sake. The kind I like. And I've always loved you. I just couldn'nt tell you. I don't know why. Many reasons I guess."
"My father, my Mexican father, and mother, would not have approved of the relationship. Their culture's different. They would have had me marry some Mexican girl that the family adores and I don't, and by the age of 23 a few years ago. I should be a father right now."
"But you aren't someone's father are you?"
"No "huera". White girl. Beautiful one. I'm single and yours, if you'll have me."
"Do you realize that people can't know who you are. Your jail time and all."
"What people? The ones that matter to you? Your magazine people?"
"They don't have to know. Besides, I'm not some loser. I've got a job in a local high school. I'm a coach. I really don't like it much. I mean it's not the kinda football I had hoped to play, not the life I wanted."
"Pro athlete life?"
"Right. Only one of us - you- got to live her dream. A writer in New York."
"Life is not all that fun for me. It's just work, work, work."
"It's not fun for me either, but we've found one another again....and it could be fun."
She smiled at him. He had been smiling, too, through his words.
"What are you doing here, what's that book?"
"I'm going to borrow it. I need it fo work. A Brazilian model recommended it."
"Oh, you've never picked up an issue of "City Woman"?"
Manny looked at her like she was joking. His lips were pursed and his brow up.
"It's not something a guy would read, Jessica."
"Well, we use models, but not like Yleana. She's ...more professional."
"She's in the right place for it. So why don't you put away the book and come to my place. I live right across the street from the high school, here in Queens."
"Tonight? No. I can't."
"Tomorrow then? After work?"
"Come on. What else do you have to do after work? You'll go to your apartment and not emerge until the next morning. I don't have to spy on you to know that. Come to me, Jessica. Let's make life interesting."
"You have a point," she said, "my life could be more ...interesting."
* * * *
"You at least have seen a jail," Jessica said as she unbuttoned her blouse, her bra visible to Manny, "and that's an experience of a sort. It's you who could write about having been to jail for a crime you did not commit. I don't mind being the villain in the story."
"Villain you? A virgin? " Manny said, laughing.
"Ha ha funny. And that is an issue that can be remedied so easily."
They were in Manny's small home in Queens, across the street from the high school where he coached. His home was uninspired, and the only decorative touches where predictable for a bachelor like him- trophies he'd won, jerseys he hung on walls, picures of his Mexican family, pictures of the ranch he left behind in Arizona, pictures of football players he admired, teams he liked. On the night stand was a football.
You wouldn't be the villain," he said, "you're the love interest. ..mine."
Manny helped her take off the blouse. Fittingly, it was white. She was all in white. Her blouse, her heels, her little skirt. It was as if she was saying goodbye to wearing the symbol of virginity, which she had carried with her for too long. Now, she was going to give Manny this gif and she would not regret losing it. Manny was already nude, save for his black sweatpants. He had gone to the gym before meeting with Jessica. He removed her blouse completely and threw it over his shoulder, and it fell over the soft burgundy colored carpet. His bedroom was neat, which surprised her. But then again, he was no longer an adolescent living at home with his folks. He kept his place tidy. She hoped it was not because he had other girls in a line of lovers to bed in here. But she did not believe that. Manny had obscessed over her for long. Still, she wondered, but now could ask.
"When did you last - do this?" she said to him.
"The last time? Hm...Well, Jessica, you are pretty air-headed to ask that considering I've been to prison for years."
"I mean ...since you left jail."
"What a question, Jessica. Jealous already? You haven't lost your virginity yet to me."
"I'm not jealous. I'm just curious."
"No girl has been in this bed...till now...you. As a coach at that fucking school, I have had no interest in any girl. They're all too young for me and the other teachers are too old for me."
He laughed out loud.
"Oh, you're horrible. I love you," Jessica said, giggling.
They shared a kiss. It was prolonged, longer than their first kiss at the library. In many ways much more pleasant, because it was more natural, here in his bed. As he kissed her with more lingering slowness, hearing her moan under her breath, he began to remove her skirt, but not before having fun bunching it up over her thighs. His fingers grazed over her legs, touching, arousing her. He was impatient and then quickly removed her skirt. He then pushed her on her back, her head suddenly on a pillow.
"You're going too fast," she said.
"Well...I haven't ...in so long...so long..in jail all I could do was think about doing this."
"You have experience though, you make me feel very excited."
"Well..I hate to brag, but you know what a football star in high school ...does to a girl's libido..." he said, "I had girlfriends in high school. The one I was supposed to be with - you - I wasn't."
"But be careful. I'm new at this. It better be good. I write about sex and I've never experienced it. No one knows that. Still, I'm glad you're experienced. At least one of us should be good at it."