What You Wish For Pt. 05


"None of them have ever seen her face to face?"

"Something like that."

"Well she's coming," I insisted. "If I have to drag her there kicking and screaming. It'll give her some exposure, maybe help her make some connections."

Natalie sighed. "It's your party."

"I'll take care of it myself," I said. "You don't worry. I'll take care of everything. You just make sure they don't throw us out when we get there, okay?"

"You're the boss," she said, and rang off.

* * * * *

The next day at nearly noon, a FedEx driver pulled into the driveway and hauled a big, heavy box to the front door.

"Tyler Collins?" he said.

"That's me," I said.

"Sign here," he said, turning his electronic delivery pad upside down.

I scrawled my signature, then carried the box inside.

It was twenty copies of Long Gone.

My first book.

* * * * *

I immediately quit writing for the day, then drove into Chicago to get three new suits with all the accompanying shirts, ties, socks, belts, and such. It set me back eight grand, but I was not going to look like a hayseed in the blinding lights of the New York literati scene.

My repeated calls to Marisa's apartment had gone unanswered, and I didn't bother leaving a message. Instead, by five thirty, I was camped out on the stoop of her apartment building.

I was nearly frozen and ready to give up by ten thirty when I saw the familiar, long legged gait walking up the block toward me. She was with someone, and they came to a halt at the stoop.

"Tyler Collins," she said.

The tall, skinny kid with her had greasy hair, tight fitting jeans, and three earrings in each ear. He looked like a smack-addicted lead guitarist for a punk rock band. He had a bottle of cheap wine in one hand and a cigarette burning in the other.

"I tried calling," I said.

"I've been out," she said.

"I just need a few minutes."

She turned to the guy with her. "Get lost."

"But– "

"Now," she said, staring him down.

He shot me a dirty look, then did what she said.

"Hope you've got something to drink with you," she said. "He just took my evening's entertainment with him."

"C'mon," I said. "We'll go get a drink."

"Nah," she replied, turning and walking back the way she came. "There's a liquor store on the corner. You're buying."

I hurried after her, and ten minutes later she was letting us into her apartment, wine in hand. I bought her two bottles to make up for ruining her date.

"Sorry 'bout the interruption," I said, shedding my coat and standing against the radiator to warm my ass and legs.

"You should be," she said, her back to me as she reached up and pulled out two jelly jar glasses for the wine. "I haven't been laid in months."

"I brought you a present," I said, reaching into my overcoat and pulling it out.

She turned, carrying the glasses and wine bottle into the impeccably neat living room area of her loft apartment. She looked into my outstretched hand as she passed, setting the bottle and glasses down.

"Sit," she ordered, pouring the glasses to the brim.

I obeyed, holding the book out to her.


I nodded.

She opened it. "To Marisa," I'd written on the inside cover. "A million thank yous can never repay all you've done to help my dream come true. With incredibly sincerity and appreciation, Love, Tyler Collins."

"Very nice, Tyler Collins," she said after reading it.

"You didn't see it all," I said, picking up the book and flipping to the dedication page before handing it back to her.

"With heartfelt gratitude and great affection," I whispered as her eyes read it. "This book is dedicated to the most incredible sisters on Planet Earth. For Marisa Key and Susan Karapova."

"You're a friggin' sap," she said, flipping the book shut and placing it on the coffee table between us.

"Guilty," I said. "But I meant every word of it."

She just looked at me, sipping her wine then gulping it down in one fell swoop.

"Okay," she said. "Then let's have a little party, shall we?"

She got up and turned on the sound system. John Coltrane was playing a sax line seeped in melancholy.

"It's good," she said, sitting back down and refilling her glass.

"There's more," I said, taking a sip of wine.

"It gets better?"

"They're having the publication party in a couple of weeks. In Manhattan. And the publishers and probably a lot of authors are gonna be there. Maybe even Stephen King."

"Stephen King?" she snorted. "Now there's someone who could use a better editor. Jesus, his early stuff was so good. So promising. Now it's diarrhea of the word processor."

"Still," I said, "it would give you a great chance to meet a lot of really big people."

Her eyes narrowed as she took in my meaning.

"I'm paying," I said. "It's the least I can do. Not just for the book. For helping me get it published, for editing." I took a sip of wine. "For my son."

She stared at me for a minute, then started laughing.

"I'm serious," I said.

"I know you're serious," she said. "That's what's so pathetic about it. I mean, c'mon, can you picture me there? With Stephen King? Maybe John Updike? Get real, Tyler."

I slammed my glass down, startling her for the first time since I'd known her.

"What the fuck are you afraid of? Huh? You worried that if you meet these people–maybe make a good impression–you think you'll actually have to join society? This is good for you. For your career. And you laugh at me? You won't let me even try to repay you for all you've done for me?"

She said nothing, preferring to fix me with a fiery stare as she drank her second glass of wine in one fell swoop.

"That's a good idea," I said, picking up the bottle of wine and holding it toward her. "Get drunk. Dodge your big chance."

She let me refill her glass, but took only a sip before setting it down. Then she got up and went to the window, staring outside while John Coltrane's sax managed to set the mood in the dim apartment.

"Okay," I heard her say. "I'll go."

I got up and walked to the window.

"And you'll have fun and try to meet people and be nice?" I said, standing next to her and looking down at the dark street below.

"I'll try."

"And you'll celebrate the publication of our book with me?"

"It's your book," she mumbled.

I took her by the shoulders, feeling her tense up under my hands as I spun her to face me.

"It's our book. I never could've done it without you, and it would've been a piece of shit without you fixing it."

Her eyes stared into mine. Those beautiful, deep, dark eyes with the Asian flair.

Then her face neared mine, and her impossibly silky, pillowy lips were on mine. Soft and gentle at first, then with more urgency as her tongue sought mine and her hand went to my neck and pulled me in closer.

I was slow at first, surprised and taken aback. I'd never thought of kissing her, let alone dreamed she'd be the one to initiate anything. Yet, here I was, feeling her body meld against mine, her urgency conveyed as her breasts pressed against my chest and her other hand went to my ass and pulled me in closer to her pelvis.

Without conscious thought, I was kissing her back and running my hands over her back and through her hair and over her sides. We were, both of us, hungry for each other in a way I'd never experienced. It was frantic, helpless, swept in a tide of suppressed desires I only now realized I'd long felt for her. It had always been there: That something that just made me want to screw her silly.

When her hands went to my pants, tugging my shirt out before unbuckling my belt and fumbling with my button and zipper, I knew she wanted this to go the whole way. I knew, too, that I suddenly wanted this more than anything in the world, and my fingers felt around her back for the zipper to her skirt.

Within seconds, we were clad only in shirts and underwear, my socks and her pantyhose pulled off and flung to the far reaches of the room. My hand was up the back of her t-shirt, trying to unclasp her bra, and she was fumbling with the buttons on my shirt.

And the whole time we kissed. Our lips mashed and tongues dueled; she sucked in my earlobe and blew in my ear and I kissed up and down her neck to the hollow at the base and back up again.

Then, her bra loosened, I snuck a hand back around front and squeezed her breast. She moaned into my ear, then pinched my nipple, causing me to yip into her neck. But this just increased our need.

I stepped back for a minute, drinking in the sight of her as I pulled my shirt off.

"Those, too," she said, watching me with blazing eyes.

I pulled off my underwear, and her look got all the more feral with hunger.

"Your turn," I said, reaching out and pulling her t-shirt above her head to reveal a perfectly flat tummy softly toned with muscle. There was the trace of a tattoo–a comet with little glitters of comet dust trailing–starting above her left hipbone with the tail of the comet trailing away to the middle of her underwear.

She shrugged off the black lace bra, giving me only a brief glimpse of two perfectly shaped breasts with tiny, dark areolae and jutting nipples. Then she was pressed back into me, pushing me back against the couch.

I fell onto the couch with our mouths still together, then I felt her break away from me.

She took a few steps back, looking down at me, hesitating for a moment. I tried to reach out for her, to pull her back in, and that seemed to make whatever decision she was contemplating. She gave a triumphant smile, then slowly pulled her panties to her ankles.

Standing before me, tall, sleek, and exotic, she was the most incredibly sexual creature I'd seen in my life. Her breasts, perfectly shaped and seemingly huge on her lithe figure, her taut muscles, her long, smooth legs meeting at a shaved juncture accentuated only by a narrow strip of fine, silky black hair. From that strip arose the tail of the comet tattoo, which only added to her exotic beauty.

Then she was back, hovering over me, guiding me into her incredibly hot and impossibly tight inferno.

Her mouth was back on mine, and I kissed through her muffled moan as she sank onto me inch by inch. When I finally bottomed out, doubting for a moment or two that I'd get all the way in, she rested there before starting a slow back and forth grind of her hips.

My hands were feeling her, squeezing her breasts and pinching her nipples, kneading her perfect ass and enjoying the silky smooth skin of her back. Yet, our lips remained locked together, our hunger for each other's kisses unabated as her rocking on my cock increased until she was moving up and down faster and faster and she was crashing in orgasm.

Even in her orgasm, we continued our kisses, her's becoming little nips.

We only broke our kiss when I neared release.

"I'm getting close," I warned.

At that, her hips moved with blinding speed, urging me on as her lips again sought mine.

With a long groan, I exploded into her, and she had another orgasm of her own, though smaller than the first.

Then we just held each other, her head on my shoulder and my hands stroking her hair as my cock softened inside her.

"Okay," she said after ten minutes or so. "I'll try to behave myself at your party."

Then she disentangled and her lips started moving down my chest, paying attention to my nipples while her fingertips grazed my cock and balls.

"Think we can play again?" she said. Then she engulfed me in her mouth.

Twenty minutes of mutual oral ministrations later, we played again.

And it was good.

Really good.

Fucking amazing, actually.

* * * * *

I spent the night at Marisa's, spooning into her warm soft body and sleeping like a baby. I awoke early, somewhere around five thirty, to the sound of a shower.

Getting out of bed, I tiptoed silently to the corner of the room and into the bathroom.

"That you?" she said when I opened the door.

"Expecting someone else?"

"Done in a minute," she said.

"Wait a sec," I said, quickly taking a leak before going to the shower and sliding back the curtain.

"Good morning," I said.

"Morning," she said, her eyes closed as she rinsed the shampoo from her hair.

Even having seen her fully naked scant hours before, the site of her wet, glistening body before me still took my breath away.

"At ease, soldier," she said, her eyes on my growing appendage.


She smiled. "Don't be."

I stepped into the shower with her. While I could tell you we spent the next half hour having wet, sensuous monkey sex, that would be a lie. Instead, she stepped out only seconds after I got in, and I quickly scrubbed up and joined her within ten minutes in the kitchen area, both of us fully dressed with wet hair.

We sat at the table, sipping strong, scalding coffee, neither of us wanting to speak.

"So about last night," she started after nearly five minutes.

"What about it?"

"Just don't go thinking you'll get a repeat performance is all," she said, her eyes on the cup in her hands. "It's just . . . well . . . been awhile, y'know?"

"For me, too," I agreed, staring at her and meeting her eyes as she raised her head. There was a flash of anger there, and I smiled.

"Still," I continued, "that's not why it happened. At least not on my part anyways."

"Really," she said, her voice cool.

I leaned across the table. "I'm not saying I love you. Hell, I don't even know how much I really like you."

"Then what are you saying?"

"That I see something there. Something in you that really interests me. A lot. And I want to get to know you better."

She harrumphed. "Seems you got to know me pretty well last night."

"And, to be honest, I sort of regret that."

"Why?" she demanded. "Not what you expected."

"Better actually."

"Then what's so wrong with last night?"

"Because now you'll think I'm trying to get to know you better so you'll give me a repeat of last night. And that's not why I want to know you better."

"I don't date," she said, her voice soft with a twinge of something. Regret? Insistence? I couldn't tell.

"Then we won't date," I said.

"Just fuck buddies?" she challenged.

I shook my head. "Friends."

"I have enough friends already."

"So what's one more? You really so popular you can't fit me into your busy schedule?"

She sipped her coffee, staring at me as she did so.

"You don't even know me," she said.

"That's the point. I want to get to know you."

"We're nothing alike," she argued, getting up and refreshing her coffee before refreshing mine. "You're . . . ." She looked me up and down, her right eyebrow raised.


"A fucking yuppie."

"So it comes down to clothing?"

She shook her head. "It's more than that and you know it."

"Really? Like because I wear jeans and dress shirts and you dress like a, like a . . . well, like you do, then that means we can't find out more about each other? Maybe spend some time together? Dinner or drinks or something?"

"You saw what happened when we went out to lunch. People look past you. They focus on me. And they think I'm a freak."

"Then why do you do it?" I asked. "You know how they look at you, so why do you dress like that?"

"Because it's none of their fucking business," Marisa said, her voice rising. "I want them to look at me for me, not for how I dress."

"And yet here I am, asking to do just that, and you're refusing. So again: Why?"

"You wouldn't understand."

"Try me."

She glared at me in response, clamming up.

"Fine," I said. "Then I'll call Susan. You know she'll tell me."

"Leave her out of this."

"Not gonna happen."

"You have no right, Tyler."

"I know," I said, my eyes meeting her's. "Call me selfish. Call me a prick. But I'm gonna find out what makes you tick. One way or the other, I'm gonna find out."

"You don't know what it's like," she pleaded. "I've seen you. The way everyone back in that little hicksville town looks at you. You were handsome. Popular. The golden boy. I was none of those things."

"What? Growing up?"

"Growing up. High school. College. I was a freak. The tall weirdo with no friends, no money, and no chance of getting either."

"And so you decided to– "

"I decided to become my own person. I tried it their way, but it got me nowhere. Now I'm doing it my way, okay? And it's going just fine."

"Oh really," I shot back. "Bringing home some scrawny piece of shit every month or so to get laid, refusing to form any attachments or friendships. That's working out just fine?"

"Fuck 'em," she said, slamming her cup on the table and spilling it all over her hands and the table. "And fuck you, too."

She glared, her face on fire with anger and resentment and a million other emotions I couldn't really read. I didn't blink under her gaze.

"I like you just the way you are," I said, reaching across the table. "I don't care if you change one bit."

"Yeah, right. Say that in two weeks. Say that when you and I go to your precious little party and they all look at me like I'm some kind of goddamned monster. And you're a fucking nut job because you're with me."

"I don't care about them."

"You say that now, but you will. You will care about them. About what they think. And what your parents think and your friends and everyone else."

Her voice was pleading now. She was convincing herself that I was no different than the others.

"Then try me," I said. "What've you got to lose? The worse that'll happen is we'll spend some time together and then it'll all burn out. And you'll be in the same place you are now."

"But I don't want that again," she pleaded. "Don't you see that? How many times do I have to get rejected by someone–by everyone–before I'm allowed to just quit trying to make everyone happy? How much pain do you think I should go through? How many times do I need to be treated like something someone stepped in?"

"I'll never treat you like that," I promised. "No matter what happens, I know I'll never treat you like that."

"They all say that. At the beginning, that's what everyone promises. But then they do."

"So what's the alternative? Go through life in a series of one night flings and die old, alone, no one to talk to?"

"Or get treated like shit for the next fifty years," she shot back. "There's a better alternative."

I sat back, sipped my coffee, and looked at her. Marisa was almost frantic in her pleas for me to just let it be. There was something there, something more. A kindness. Loyalty even. She'd read my book–a book by a no name nobody–and seen something. And for me, a total stranger, she'd given up weeks of her life to help. She could say it was because she just wanted to see the book published or because it was good for her career. If that were the case though, she didn't have to work as hard as she had.

No, she cared about people and about acceptance. She just wanted that acceptance on her own terms.

"I want to take you to dinner," I said. "You pick the place. Wherever you're comfortable. Dress how you like. I don't care. I just want to take you to dinner."

Her shoulders collapsed at the realization that I wasn't going to give up. Her face dropped to the table, like all the fight was gone.

"Okay," she finally whispered.

I got up and went around the table, kneeling at her side. I cupped her chin in my hands and turned her face to mine, staring into her dark chocolate eyes.

"We can go as far as you want," I said. "You just wanna be friends? Fine. You wanna maybe see if there's more there? Then that's fine, too. Your pace, your choice. Okay?"

She nodded her chin in my hand.

"But I promise," I continued. "From the bottom of my heart. I already know you and I've known you long enough to know what I'm getting myself into. So I promise I won't throw you away, okay?"

Her lips tightened and her eyes blinked a few times, like she was trying to hold back tears. Then she put her arms around my neck and pulled me in for a hug.

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