It was depressing working in a Victoria's Secret, closing in on Valentine's Day, especially if you were in between, well in between, boyfriends. The weeks leading up to Valentine's Day were bad enough, but the few days before, and even the day of, were the worst. Men, often handsome, uninformed men, came prancing into the store seeking advice on what to buy there significant other.

"What would you suggest?" they would, inevitably, ask.

Of course she had to consult. That was their way of selling. Consultative. Ask questions. Delve. Ask more questions. And then, finally, recommend.

"What size is she?" Dull stare. Surprise, surprise. "My size? Bigger? Smaller? Thinner? Shapely?" Shapely was the nice way they had been taught to refer to someone overweight.

"I wish she was your size," many would say.

"What are you looking for exactly? Panties? Bras? Pajamas? Perfume? How old is she? Is it for your wife, sir?"

"I think she'd like some bras."

Again, "What size?" met with a blank stare. "About your size." Just an excuse to glance down at her tits, ogle them for a few seconds before returning to meet her gaze. Then she would show them the higher priced bras because she wasn't some free peep show. Show them the under-wire bras, the push-up bras, the transparent I-can-see-the-nipples bras. "I like that one."

The panties were always a treat. "What kind of panties does she wear? Bikinis? Low cut? Thongs?" Hello.

What did these men do when their wives or girlfriends undressed? Did they even take any notice of what they wore under their clothing? Unless it was some slutty, whore's outfit they, themselves had bought at some adult bookstore or online, did they even care? Why couldn't these men be more attentive like Brandon?

Brandon was the lone male in this sea of women who worked at Victoria's Secret, the lone male because he was gay of course. He had fashion sense when it came to women's lingerie. The men, too macho, or too homophobic, never asked Brandon for help. It was always the ladies that came to him, displaying the lingerie for him. He'd stand there with a hand on his cheek, just like Truman Capote, and talk in that feminine way, that the color was off, or maybe a thong would work instead, especially with pants that showed a panty line. Brandon was like the only one in the store that could overcome that particular objection. And the objection to thongs was always the same thing: "I can't stand the feel of anything riding up my butt crack."

"Honey," Brandon would coo. "It's like anything. You have to get used to it. And once you get used to thongs there's no turning back." Then he would suggest they try a pair, slip their pants back on and then take a good, long gander in the mirror at their smooth, delectable ass. They'd come out of the dressing room just raving about how much better they looked, touching Brandon on his shoulder, telling him, begging him, to come home with them. He'd just laugh it off with a girlish giggle.

"Do you think she would like this?" Mary would hold up a nice, expensive, black under-wire bra that clasped in the middle, sexy as hell, and ask this question. Of course whenever she asked this question, whether she was showing off a bra or, God forbid, panties, she knew there was the stock answer coming: "I'd have to see it on." Like she was some kind of lingerie model for these clueless dickheads. Not only that, but they were there, buying lingerie for their wife or girlfriend nonetheless, and hitting on her in the process.

"Why the long face?" Brandon asked during a slight lull. They were both working on Valentines Day. Brandon had asked to work, she, well, what the hell, right? And it was busy.

"Nothing," she lied.

"No Valentine either?" he asked.

"No," she said. "No Valentine either?"

Brandon, like a woman, hugged her. An I-understand-how-you-feel hug.

There were times, many times when Brandon, six foot two, dirty blonde hair, moustache-a young Robert Redford look alike-had women, nice looking women, sexy women, young women, testing, or wanting to test anyway, his homosexuality. Like they were the ones-and what girl didn't honestly think they couldn't turn a gay man straight?-who would open the dressing room door, usually in something transparent, and ask his opinion in a voice seductive enough to make another woman think twice. Mary, herself, had witnessed it on more than one occasion.

Like the ultimate in dressing room stories, the tall, dark-haired beauty who had whispered, lured, pulled Brandon into the dressing room, closed the door and proceeded to pull her panties to the side while she brought herself to climax with a vibrator.

Brandon, later on, the back room filled with the remaining staff of girls, like an audience of teenagers hearing, for the first time, a real, honest-to-God sexual experience, recounted the story, laughing and flitting his hands around like a windmill of homosexuality. Telling the girls, totally fascinated at this point with "Oh my Gods!" and "I don't believe her!", describing how ugly and disgusting that woman's pussy was.

"No offense, girls," Brandon said. "But I don't get it. What's the attraction with it? It's so folded and damp and, well, it looks like God just wadded up a piece of paper and placed it there."

Of course this was met with uproarious laughter. Hell, they all knew it was true. They had all looked at themselves in the mirror. A wadded up piece of paper. God, that was, yet so perfectly described.

Brandon went on to tell them how she had asked if he could take a quick peak at the outfit she had chose, then pulled him in when he got close enough.

"And then what?" someone asked.

The dark-haired woman sat in the corner of the dressing room, propped up one leg, reached down and revealed her already damp and glistening lips. Shaved, no waxed. Not a pubic hair within a half inch of the surface. Again, laughter.

"She was looking at me. Gauging my reaction," Brandon said.

"Then what?" someone else asked.

"Then she slipped a finger over the outside."

"Right in the dressing room?"

"Like she was at home," Brandon said. "Slipped her finger in and out, then started breathing heavy."

"No way!"

"What was she doing with her other hand?"

"She had it inside her bra and was pinching her nipple I believe," Brandon said.

"What were you doing?"

"I was just standing there, like totally paralyzed."

It never ceased to amaze the girls, any of the girls, that such a handsome hunk of a man was gay. Any of them, at one time or another, had secret, or not so secret thoughts, they wouldn't mind a shot at converting Brandon.

"You just stood there?" one of the girls asked, doubtfully.

"I certainly wasn't going to touch that thing, if that's what you mean. All wet and slippery, it looked like a giant slug had crawled between her legs."

Again, giggly laughter.

"And then what?"

"Next thing I knew she had this small vibrator in her hand and she started to look at my crotch, licking her lips like this," Brandon said, showing the girls how the dark-haired woman ran her silky tongue around her lips like she was ready to devour some caviar. "Acting like she was all hot and bothered. As if."

"Did you say anything to her?"

"I told her, I said, 'You know I'm queer as a two dollar bill, don't you?'"

"What did she say?"

"You won't be after I'm through with you."

"What nerve."

"No, she did not."

"No way!"

"I swear," Brandon defended. "Then she told me to pull my cock out."

The girls, stunned for a second hearing the word "cock" said aloud in their presence, quickly regained their composure. They wanted to hear more.

"Did you?"

"Hello. Who knows where those lips have been. Both sets."

Uproarious laughter again. Both sets. What a card.

"Then what happened?"

"Then she started up that vibrator, like it was a Harley Davidson motorcycle or something."

"And she actually used it?'

"She looked at me like she was daring me to give her the word."

"Did you?"

Brandon gave the girl a look like, "plleeeaaasseee!"

"But she did it anyway?"

Brandon went on to describe how the dark-haired woman, the one with the pussy as bald as Kojak, proceeded to slide the vibrator up and down her wet lips, getting that look of overwhelming pleasure as the vibrations shot through her entire body every time she rubbed it over her clit. The vibrator, her red lips, her fingers all soaked with wetness, like "someone had turned on a faucet," stared back at Brandon, taunting him, giving him a view any straight man would have paid good money to see. Brandon, slack-jawed, watched the dark-haired woman slid the vibrator into her pussy, smooth as a well-oiled piston, she pumped the toy in and out with her right hand. With her left, Brandon watched in deft fascination, the skill, the expertise, the art of her fingers, particularly her index and middle fingers, work the partially hidden bud of her clit, like a virtuoso working the keys of a piano.

Towards the evening, when traffic slowed down, considerably, when everyone else was at home with their Valentine, exchanging gifts, having dinner, preparing for a night of intimacy, Brandon and Mary volunteered to close the store.

"You're sure?" Megan, the manager, asked.

"Positive," Brandon answered. "Go be with your man. We're both heartless today."

Megan looked at Mary. Mary could only shrug her shoulders. What the hell, it was true.

By the time the store closed, nine o'clock, there was but a trickle of customers in the entire mall.

"Looks like everyone has a Valentine, but you and I," Brandon said to Mary, as he locked the front doors.

"Maybe we could be each others Valentine tonight," Mary joked. "Go out for a drink or something."

"Id rather not," Brandon said. "Don't want to be reminded, if you know what I mean?"

She did. All too well. "Fucking sucks" she said.

Mary was verbal. Being verbal was part of the problem, well, maybe all of the problem, she had trouble holding onto a man. She liked sex. Enjoyed sex. Like to talk during sex. Verbal. Very verbal.

Mary was a petite, bleached blonde bombshell. It was one of the reasons she was always being hit on at work, but a kind of necessary evil to the job. It was expected, but never conveyed verbally, that in the hiring process, that quality, was a sure-fire selling tool. Men would flock in to buy lingerie from someone that looked like Mary. And they did. In droves. And Mary had more than one relationship with men who had come into the store.

She would be the first to admit it was difficult refusing a dinner invitation from someone who was the spitting image of her all-time favorite bad boy, Johnny Depp. She liked the bad boy image-what girl, at one time or another doesn't? But it was her image as well. She had a tattoo of a flower emerging from her belly, near her pierced bellybutton, that snaked it's way around her rib cage. A work in progress. The flower would, eventually, bloom on her back, in between her shoulder blades.

But it was the talk in the bedroom that eventually scared them all away. At first it was a real turn-on. "Lick my pussy. Yeah, like that. Run your tongue over my clit. Oh, that feels soooo good." But in the end it always became too intimidating. Too, hypocritically, perverse. Too many thoughts, like visions of previous lovers, running through their heads.

Mary's last boyfriend, Dominic, whom she had met, not at work, had really been into the verbal thing. He was a talker also. The first time they slept together it sounded like an opera of sex.

They had started making out on her couch, passionate kissing, a little petting, nothing they hadn't done before. It wasn't until Mary had placed her hand on Dominic's bulging pants when he asked, tentatively, "Do you want to suck me?"

Bright-eyed, like a light bulb being turned on, Mary replied, "You want me to suck your cock? Is that it?"

"You like sucking cock?" Dominic asked, still testing the water.

"Only if you make me," Mary replied.

With that Dominic unbuttoned his pants and pulled them down, his hard cock glistening with excitement, pulsating. Mary looked at him as she wrapped her hand around it, "It's really hard. Your cock feels really good in my hand. Would you like me to put that cock in my mouth?"

"Put it in your mouth," Dominic demanded.

"Like this?" Mary asked, then swallowed his cock.

"Oh, yeah," Dominic moaned.

Mary let his cock slid out of her mouth and then licked the head. "Does that feel good?" She licked the shaft, the balls. "You like when I do that? You like when I lick your cock?"

"Suck it," Dominic said, grabbing the base of the shaft. Mary placed her warm mouth over his cock. "Oh, yeah, that's it. You like that cock in your mouth don't you?"

"Um," Mary mouthed. She moved her mouth up and down the shaft, moaning loudly, Dominic grabbing the sides of her head and pumping in and out.

"That feels so good," Dominic moaned.

Mary looked up into his eyes, removing his cock, "Do you want to see my pussy?"

Dominic, his eyes filled with lust, almost cloudy, like he had cum backed up to his eyeballs, barely audible, said, "Yes."

But Dominic, as hip and "with it" as he seemed, succumbed to the jealousy. In the end, the bitter end, he called her a slut, a whore. Like she hadn't heard that before. It was depressing.

But the thought of being alone on Valentines was even more depressing.

"How about you come over for a drink?" Mary suggested. "To my place."

Brandon hesitated, looked at Mary like he was sizing her up. "Sure," he said. "Why the hell not."

Brandon followed Mary to her apartment. The second story of a house, converted to an apartment.

"The owners go to Florida for the winter," Mary said, as they made their way upstairs. "Cut me a break on my rent if I keep an eye on things."

Brandon just followed, saying nothing, surveying like he was judging Mary's style.

The inside of the apartment, one bedroom, full bath, kitchen, small living room, was cozy, warm with the glow of two small lamps, illuminated with the flick of a switch.

"This is it," Mary said. "This is home."

Brandon entered, looked around, Mary finding herself nervous, anxious even, at his first impression.

"This is nice," Brandon said, sliding off his black leather coat, the hide crackling, an expensive sound. "Very nice. I'm surprised."

"Why's that?'

"It's much softer than I thought it would be."

"Oh, thanks."

"I didn't mean it that way," Brandon apologized. "Well, actually, I did mean it that way. I just meant you come off as much harder than this. You know, the tattoo and all."

Of course she knew what he meant. It was one of the things that had scared off previous boyfriends. Men didn't really want a woman who was too confident about herself. Not really. Men wanted women who needed them.

"How about a shot to start things off?" Mary asked. She walked into the kitchen and opened the freezer.

"What do you have?"

"A great and lethal combination."

"Now you're talking," Brandon said enthusiastically. "What is it?"

Mary pulled out a bottle of Yukon Jack and Cuervo Gold from the freezer. "It's called a Gold Rush. Half Yukon Jack and half Cuervo Gold. Ice cold. Go down easy, but it'll light your ass on fire."

"I could use my ass on fire."

Mary poured the icy shots, ignoring the obvious reference to anal sex. Thinking about Brandon..., well, it just wasn't something Mary wanted to visualize.

"Bottoms up," Mary said, handing Brandon a shot glass.

"Bottoms up," Brandon said, downing his shot. "Oh, that's good. I'll have another, if you don't mind."

Mind? Mind? On a lonely Valentines day? Mind? Mary certainly didn't mind. She planned on getting tipsy, drunk, plastered. Whatever it took to forget.

She kept the shots coming. One. Two Three. Soon, since it had been who knows when since they had eaten last, they were slurring their speech and laughing uncontrollably.

"I'll ask this because I'm a little too drunk not to ask," Brandon said, reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out a joint. "You don't happen to smoke, do you?"

Mary just stared at the joint. Of course she smoked-who cared if Brandon knew?- but it was what happened after she smoked. She became incredibly horny. Insatiably horny. She knew before she blazed up, took a hit, inhaled the first molecule of the pungent smoke, before the first hint of THC entered her bloodstream, like an evil virus run amok, she was going to try and seduce Brandon. The combination of tequila-which was bad enough in and of itself-and pot, would turn Mary's control center off in her brain, and as sure as she would take a hit of that joint, she'd, soon after, be asking Brandon if she could, "Suck his cock." What man, even a gay man, could refuse that? Especially when she gave that pouty little schoolgirl look and that devilish smile; dropping down on her knees, unbuckling his pants, reaching inside, grabbing his cock, feeling it, caressing it until it was so hard you could crack walnuts on it. Just relishing the absolute power. At that point, at that rock hard point of no return she could tell a man, any man, to cut off his right arm, and they would, just to have that velvety, hot mouth slip over their cock. She had to be careful at that point. Too much excitement, too much friction and they were cumming like someone had unleashed the mighty Colorado River from the Hoover Dam.

Mary liked to tease at that point. Lick their cocks, look into their hazy eyes, tell them things. "Your cock is huge. It fits perfectly in my mouth. I love the taste of you cock." And she was good at it, because she was good at it. Good because there was absolutely no embarrassment in what she was saying. I want to suck your cock could have just as easily been Hello, my name is Mary.

At that moment of clairvoyance, when she absolutely knew she would try and seduce Brandon, she excused herself to shower and change.

"No pot?" Brandon asked, holding out the joint.

"Oh, yeah," Mary said. "But if I don't shower and change now, I won't be able to later."

"Okay." It was all he said.

Mary, trying to decipher if the twinkle in his eye was Gold Rush induced, or had he suspected her intentions. After all it certainly wouldn't be the first time, or the last.

It wasn't until Mary was in the shower, the warm beads of water cascading down her body, across the tattoo like rain over stained-glass, forming a small stream running between her legs, did she begin to relax. It was exhausting work trying to seduce a gay man.

Mary threw some body wash on a loofa sponge, lathered her entire body, feeling the texture of the sponge, like a 1,000 tiny fingers, begin to turn her on. And why not? It had been a while, and the prospect of Brandon actually panning out as a sexual mate was remote at best. She didn't need to be stone-cold sober to realize that. So she moved the sponge down to her smooth pussy, the instant jolt of pleasure as she applied pressure on the pubic bone just above her clit. Mary pushed the sponge over the mound and to the lips, a soft moan escaped, surprised at how easily an orgasm would come. Mary reached her other hand down to pull the lips to the side, exposing her clit. The absurdity, she thought, that Brandon would think her carefully, meticulously manicured sex would be any different than the dark-haired woman's. It was just another wadded up piece of paper. He was gay, that was that. Her seducing him would be like a gay man trying to seduce a straight one. It wouldn't work, no matter what.

Mary finished her shower, sans the orgasm, and dressed-what the hell!-comfortably in a pair of short pajama bottoms, a tank-top and no bra. Comfortable. Go out, get high with Brandon, do some more shots, laugh it up, because that's what girls loved about gay men, they were like them; girls with penises.

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