Warm Ways



She wondered if he would ever return, in fact she whispered it aloud, “Baby, you coming back to me, or you gone for good? Baby?” She was surprised to hear the sadness in her voice, caught a touch of fear painting its edge. What if he didn’t come back? What if he was gone for good?

“I’m bloody leavin’ babe,” was all he said except for the finality of a single word he left hanging in the air a beat before she heard the door close, “Bye,” was all he said. Had he abandoned her or was this just another part of the game?

She had no idea how long he had been gone, more than an hour, easily more, closer to two hours she guessed. Now she was beginning to worry, he’d never been gone this long before. What if he really didn’t come back? What if he was serious this time? A burst of panic released itself inside her and quickly coursed through every crease and crevice and darkly secret morsel of her body.

Work? What about her job? She had to be at work at ten. “Shit!” She screamed, “God damn you Graham, you Brit mother fucker where are you? I gotta be on the air!” She screamed and struggled, kicking and pulling against the silk scarf restraints at her wrists and ankles, but they refused to budge. Even the dark blue silk over her eyes refused to comply with her most anxious wishes.

Katharine Sloan was a fast-lane beauty, in the words of the Eagles she was “Terminally pretty,” with jet-black arrow straight shoulder length hair, bangs cut just above her eyebrows ala Chér 1966 and deep glistening cobalt eyes. Katharine Sloan was the late night DJ on KLST radio; K-Lust some called it, others called it K-Lost. She was known as the “Lady of the Evening” and anybody who was anybody in Los Angeles listened to Katharine. Her show was the top rated radio program in all of Los Angeles. Her sultry voice, innuendo and provocatively sexual manner was a companion, an anonymous, significantly-detached other, a deliciously aural nocturnal liaison. Men wanted to fuck her, women wanted to be her. Katharine was a star.

Graham Starkey was an eighties English “New Wave” punk rocker she’d met at an Arista Records party. They dated five months, but it wasn’t working out. He was a rocker, insanely jealous, wild and rough, their relationship too often matched his temperament. Sex was the same, taunting, wild and rough. Katharine learned to find pleasure in ways she had never considered, but that in itself created a dilemma. She was pleased by, somewhat addicted to Graham’s sexual excesses, but in her heart and body she longed for something Graham was lacking perhaps incapable of; tenderness.
So here she was, pissed off, abandoned, likely to miss her show, which put her at risk of being fired and tied naked to her own polished turn of the century brass bed in her expensive Wilshire Boulevard apartment.

She lay there letting the initial panic of the situation drain, trying to figure out what she could do short of screaming for help, which was a rather humiliating and undesirable alternative. Who would come? Kitty Greenfield her sweet but nearly deaf 85 year old, former silent screen star neighbor or Lenny Kominski the computer geek with coke bottle glasses, her upstairs neighbor. Yeah she really wanted Lenny Kominski to be her Galahad, to kick down the door and see her like this, talk about humiliation.

Her legs and back were beginning to ache and solutions were whirling at a dizzying pace around her brain when she noticed the music. There, in the center of all this chaos a song was playing, running in her head. It was from an old Fleetwood Mac album, a Christine McVie song called Warm Ways. She hadn’t played it or thought of the song in years, but there it was.

Warm Ways
was a song Katharine loved from the first moment she heard it, from the first slow rolling drum rhythm fading-in at the songs beginning. She thought it was liquid, ocean-like in its rhythm, a warm, wet tongue teasing you. The motion of the song was more like fucking than any piece of music she had ever heard, gentle, consistent, undulating, giving and taking, presence and absence all in the same motion.

“Sleep easy by my side,” she whispered carried along with the melody in her head. “Into gentle slumber you can hide, forever, forever young, together, together now,” she continued. She raised her hips imagining herself with a man, a man who possessed a tender, warm way. She imagined taking him into her, filling her wet mouth and vaginal walls with his continual, effortless sway. The song grew louder, the man more real. “Make me a woman tonight,” she sang, her passion rising, heavy. “I’m waiting for the sun to come up, can’t sleep with your warm ways,” she sang out.

Caught up in this imagination dance, she did not hear the door. It was not until he spoke that the image shattered.

“Pretty vulnerable position you got yourself in lady, seems you’re havin’ a fine time, though.” It was a familiar voice, but it was not Graham’s voice.

The instinct to cover herself seized hold of her and while covering herself was not an option, her body did twist out of modesty. “Who’s there?” she blurted out. “Who are you? What are you doing here?” followed in close succession.

“It’s Alan, Alan Winston, Graham sent me. My God, Katharine I always thought you were beautiful, but I never realized how stunningly beautiful you really are.”

Alan worked for Graham’s record label, a promo guy. She liked Alan, flirted with him when she saw him, which was quite often lately. He was cute, had nice hands, kind eyes and curious mouth, she thought. The compliment did not go unnoticed, simply unrecognized. “What do you mean Graham sent you?”

“He called, said to come and take care of you. Guess he went home, had dinner with his wife and forgot about coming back like he planned. Figured she’d get suspicious if went back out, so he called me.”

“Oh fuck him, fuck that no good cock sucking Brit motherfucker,” her mouth spewed venom, her body tensed, struggling against the restraints.

Alan placed his hand, palm down, on her belly, “Easy Katharine, it’s okay.”
She did not recoil. His voice was soothing, his hand warm, easy, trusting. She felt him sit on the bed beside her.

“The way I see it, Katharine, I can untie you and leave, just forget this happened, but unless I’ve misread your signals the last few months there’s a little something going on between us that more than a casual flirtation. Am I right about that?”

She remained still a moment then nodded, “Un huh, yeah, I guess there’s something there.”

He removed the silk blindfold, unwrapping it slowly. His hands were the image of precise deliberate motion, absent was hurry or rush. She tightened slightly at the visible sight of her nakedness, but it was momentary, his eyes pulled her focus.

“Can I kiss you?” He spoke just above a whisper.

She wanted to say no, to rush through the moment, to get the hell out of this damn bed, get dressed and go shoot that fucking Brit punk rocker, but Alan’s eyes prevented all that. She studied him for a long minute, then allowed a small smile, “Yes.”

It was a slow kiss, bordering on tentative at first, soft exploration, then warmth; easy passion. Now it was his turn to search her eyes. When he had sufficiently absorbed her, he turned his attention to her right wrist, then her left wrist untying, unraveling the silken knots. He stood, moved to the end of the bed and released her ankles. She did not move, she watched his every methodical motion. She noticed he was graceful, she noticed too, she felt no awkwardness or humiliation in being this way before him now. She liked that. When he again sat on the bed’s edge, she leaned forward and wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Thank you,” she said, then held him tightly for a very long time. He responded in kind. She moved her mouth to his ear, nuzzled him and whispered, “Make love to me.”

When the mingling of flesh had concluded they reclined, two sleek pulsing jungle cats after the kill. “Oh what you do to me, whew,” she rolled over on top of him, kissed him and ran her finger over his mouth, “what you do with your mouth, boy. You are something else.” She glanced at the bedside table clock, “Oh, shit it’s 9:30. I gotta be on the air in half an hour.”

At two minutes to ten, Katharine Sloan walked into the air studio at KLST radio. She slipped on her earphones, adjusted the volume and as Elvis Costello’s Alison faded, she signaled her engineer. The On-Air light illuminated, “You’ve got KLST, Los Angeles. The Lady of The Evening is on the radio.” Again she signaled her engineer and the slow rolling drum rhythm, faded-in under her voice, “It’s Valentine’s Day honey and I got a new man in my life. Didn’t have time for a shower tonight, rode hard and put up wet, you might say. Ooh, baby you got those warm ways.” Katharine twisted her fingers and the engineer cut her mike. Christine McVie’s voice poured warm butter from the studio monitors, purred sex from car radios and stereos all across the City of Angels.


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