Excerpt from Out of the Box 4

I’ve finally admitted to myself that I am addicted. That’s the first step, I have heard. But how could I not be? With every new night we spend together, Anando keeps surprising me, thrilling me, enthralling me. More than that, though, he keeps seducing my body and my mind, without even trying. He keeps changing what I felt the first time I saw him—pure, raw lust—into something deeper, something I wasn’t looking for when I first went to On The Edge. Something that I never would have expected to find with a vampire. Something that, in all truth, I’m not ready for.

I pulled some surprising answers from him when he put himself beneath my rule, and I decided to take some time to think about all of it, about him and me and what I wanted from our escapades. Anando, though, had other plans.

In the middle of the week, I received a package from him. The mail carrier left it propped against my apartment’s door, and I found it after coming home from work. It felt very light when I picked it up, and I tried to figure out what it was on my way to the kitchen. My mother sometimes sends me gifts, but not without reason or warning, and I hadn’t ordered anything for myself.

I slid a knife along the tape and opened the package. A few layers of silk paper wrapped what, at first, I thought was underwear, but when I picked up the two pieces, I realized they were a bathing suit. Red, rather minimalist—it was certainly skimpier than any swimming outfit I had ever worn. I knew already who had sent me this. It definitely wasn’t my mom, and if not her, there was really only one other option. Regardless, I looked for a card or note, and sure enough, when I found it and looked at the signature, it bore Anando’s name.

Up for a swim, Virginia?
I’ll see you Friday night.

My first reaction was denial. I was not going to wear those scraps of fabric in public. Then I realized that it was unlikely that anyone but Anando would see me wearing the bikini—it wasn’t as though he would take me to a sunny beach, after all—and Anando had seen and touched every inch of my skin. I gave the suit another look and tried to imagine myself in it. I couldn’t. It just looked too small to fit me.

I prepared dinner, turning back every so often to look at the box until I got annoyed with myself and went to put it in my bedroom. Even so, I kept thinking about the suit and Anando’s message, and wondered what it all meant. Three times I had gone to him, and three times we had opened his box of playthings for a night of sensuality and pleasure. This—the gift, the cryptic message, even the date—was out of the ordinary for us. Then again, I was still trying to figure out what ordinary meant for Anando, and in any case he had said himself that what was going on between us was unusual for him. Maybe this was all as strange and nerve-wracking for him as it was for me. Somehow, that idea was reassuring.

For a couple of hours, I tried not to think about the bikini or Anando, but in the end it was useless. I went to the bedroom and picked up the suit again, this time to try it on. To my surprise, it fit perfectly. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror. It looked sexy, but not indecent, hinting at more than it revealed. I couldn’t wait to see Anando’s reaction when he saw me in it. Two days until Friday night—they were two long days. As before, the thought of seeing Anando again was driving me to distraction, but this time I was even more on edge than I had been before. This time, he was the one in control from the start, and like the very first night I had spent with him, the very first night I had offered myself to him, I was blind as to what was going to happen.

… continued in Out of the Box 4

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