The fanciful ocean blue door was the only thing that stood out on an otherwise warehouse-looking building; the line of people waiting behind its matching blue velvet rope, the best indication that they had arrived at Safety. There were no markings, no signs. This was a word of mouth location and word had certainly spread as evidenced by the length of the line. A building that had once been nothing more than a warehouse was now living in a revival heyday, housing hot beats and beautiful people instead of cardboard boxes.
Cordelia got out of the cab first and nearly jumped up and down with glee. She was hard-pressed to contain her excitement and why should she? She was happy and there was no reason for her not to be so. The Laztripol was working its magic on her just as before. She was experiencing it in a different place this time though. Her smile faded as she looked at the crowd of people waiting to get inside.
She faced Ryan and Lila as they got out of the cab. Neither of them looked as over-the-moon as Cordelia. Their complacent faces sent her straight to the border of Irritationland, but she wasn't about to let the two of them bring her down.
The cab drove away and Ryan turned toward the door. He rarely used his wealth to bypass lines—it was something better saved for important concerns—but he knew that slipping the bouncer a large bill (say $100) would gain them entry to the club.
It was just as he thought, although more expensive ($100 per person). The bouncer unhooked the velvet rope. They walked beyond its boundary as it hooked behind them blocking those remaining in line from trespass. They then proceeded through the blue door amid yells of "Hey!", "Boo!", and "What the fuck?". Lila was a little embarrassed to be causing a scene; Cordelia turned to the crowd and gave one of her best “jealous much?” smirks.
When the door opened it opened into a magical world. Standing outside it was nearly impossible to hear that anything was happening inside, but when the door opened the thump of bass from the Ke$ha song “Blow” could be heard for half a block. The amount of soundproofing that had gone into that building to guard its secret was unfathomable.
Once inside Cordelia’s body quivered with anticipation. All she wanted to do was dance. They walked down the hall and through an open doorway. The room revealed itself to be sleek and modern, dimly lit. Blue velvet banquettes lined the wall; the ebony marble floor was shined to a high gloss. Sprays of light shot up through the large opening in the floor that was the center of the room. That opening was surrounded by a polished silver railing. Looking over the railing revealed the dance floor below, full of gorgeous people touching and dancing with abandon. On this level, the banquettes provided a resting spot for enjoying a cocktail when one needed a break from the dance floor. Talking was nearly impossible due to the loudness of the music, but if you chose to do so you could yell your most intimate secrets and live without fear that anyone had heard them.
Lila and Ryan weren't feeling anything like Cordelia. Just as every drug can affect people differently, so was the Laztripol affecting them. Lila was essentially feeling nothing. She had tried to really fixate on her body with the Laztripol coursing through it. She felt how she imagined she would feel—apprehensive about the drug, but excited to be out with her friends. Ryan on the other hand was feeling slightly lightheaded —not exactly dizzy, but more cloudy than clear. Cordelia was the only one of the three of them who seemed to be feeling positive side effects from the unproven drug.
"I wanna dance," said Cordelia, unable to contain her excitement.
"Okay, let's find a banquette and put our stuff down," said Lila. "Do you think it'll be okay or should we check our bags at coat check?"
"I'm not paying for someone to watch my bag when they'll probably go through it anyway," protested Cordelia. "I don't have anything in mine that can't be replaced."
"I'm sure they'll be fine, Lila," said Ryan, placing his arm around her." Come on. Let's put them down and go have some fun. I'll get us some drinks while you two find a table."
Ryan headed toward the bar. Cordelia and Lila found a banquette that satisfied Lila's safety issues and they sat down.
"God, Ryan looks so hot tonight," Cordelia said as she looked toward the bar then back at Lila. "Even without being dark and brooding he's got the Tom Ford thing down; crisp white shirt unbuttoned one button more than necessary and his butt in those pants…mmm.”
Lila was stunned and a little unsure how to respond. Cordelia saw it in her face.
"Lila, I'm just talking. I'm not trying to steal him," she smiled at her friend. Lila smiled back. "I'm just complimenting my friend to my other friend. You two just happen to be dating. Don't make it weird, okay."
Lila nodded her head. "Sorry. I didn't mean to be weird." She couldn't believe she was apologizing for acting weird when the words Cordelia had spoken were somewhat inappropriate in reference to her boyfriend.
Ryan returned to the table with three glasses of champagne.
"I thought we should start the night off with a glass of their best champagne."
They each took a glass and made a toast, "To the three of us."
Lila and Ryan took a regular drink while Cordelia finished her glass. The other two watched her, fascinated. She put the glass down on the table.
"What," she said then looked at her empty glass. "I wanna dance not sit here and sip champagne. I can do that back at Brown at Tyler House. Come on you guys. Let's dance." She gave them puppy dog eyes with a hint of silent pleading.
Lila laughed before she could stop herself and stood up. She reached out and took Cordelia's hand and then reached for Ryan. Cordelia stood quicker than a child racing downstairs on Christmas morning. Lila laughed again. Ryan joined her as they made their way to the staircase that would take them to the dance floor.
The color of the blue door had been carried into the club. Not only were the banquettes covered in blue velvet, the dance floor was illuminated in blue. A framework of silver squares, polished like the railing, had been fitted with opaque glass cubes. The illumination came from blue lights under the floor. The radiance of the floor changed with the pulse of the beat. The skeletal structure of the building was visible as the exposed steel beams of the warehouse walled the dance floor. From upstairs looking down, they hadn’t noticed the enormous disco ball reflecting its mirrored shimmers on the floor. It seemed that the way the lights shone on it, it was only visible from the dance floor. As for the lights, they swirled and throbbed and pulsed with energy that had no desire to let up, only to keep moving.
The rumors were true: the DJ was amazing. They knew almost every song that was playing, each one current yet remixed or mashed up with hits from the 70’s and 80’s, pounding with non-stop intensity. Hydration was the only reason to stop. The lights under the dance floor seemed to seep into the body and keep it energized, the surrounding pulse of bass like a dose of No Doze.
After the fifth song Lila needed a break. She still wasn't feeling any different from the Laztripol, but she was having the best time she'd had in a while. However, she was parched.
"I need a drink," she yelled to Ryan who, finding himself in the middle of a particularly favorite song, acknowledged her but indicated with a nod and an arm gesture that he was going to stay on the floor. She understood and nodded back.
Lila went upstairs and got herself a dirty gin martini and went to the banquette to check on her and Cordelia's bags. They were still there and everything seemed in order. She picked up the martini glass, thinking briefly that it should be water, but quickly dispelling the thought, and walked over to the railing to watch her friends. She scanned the floor until she spotted them. She smiled as she watched them having such a good time. Her friends were happy, she was happy and the dirtied gin felt so good going down her throat. Then she saw Cordelia grab Ryan's butt.
She dropped the martini glass. It shattered at her feet sending shards of glass and gin into an explosive puddle. She could hear Cordelia's words from earlier, 'Ryan looks so hot tonight.' Ryan laughed as she did it and Cordelia herself threw her own head back in laughter. They continued to dance, Ryan moving a little closer to Cordelia. Lila was furious. She took off toward the staircase and tore down the stairs. She grabbed Cordelia by the arm and whirled her around then slapped her in one fluid motion. Cordelia was stunned; her hand went immediately to the red mark burning on her cheek. Ryan took Lila's arm.
"What are you doing?" He yelled her.
"I saw what Cordelia just did." No one seemed to notice that they were yelling to each other.
"What did she do?" asked Ryan.
"She grabbed your ass," Lila said to Ryan but looked at Cordelia.
"It was all in fun. We're having fun, Lila." Ryan was confused at her overreaction.
"She's having too much fun,” Lila spat out the words at Cordelia. "You need to leave my man alone."
"You need to get over yourself," Cordelia said as she stormed off.
Ryan started after her. Lila yelled at him, "Let her go."
Cordelia ran up the stairs, grabbed her bag from the banquette and left the club.
"I can't just let her leave. We have to take care of each other tonight. She's taken something remember?"
"Yes, I remember. We all took something." Lila responded.
"Then you know I can't let her wander off. What if she doesn't keep her wits about her this time? What if the alcohol changes the effect?" His eyes were pleading. "I have to go, Lila."
She honestly understood. She didn’t want Cordelia wondering the City alone. They were best friends. She needed to apologize. She had overreacted. Maybe she had felt an effect from the Laztripol. Maybe it had made her paranoid.
They grabbed Lila's bag and left Safety in search of Cordelia.
They were in the Meatpacking District. It was stylish and trendy with many restaurants and bars that fell into Cordelia’s tastes and style. They searched inside and out in the neighborhood for almost an hour: Spice Market, Pastis, Fig & Olive, The Living Room at The Standard and Plunge and Carte Blanche at Hotel Gansevoort. They even checked to see if she had registered at one of the hotels before deciding they should go back to the penthouse and hope that she was there.
When they arrived at the penthouse there were no lights on. That either meant Cordelia was already in bed or not yet home. They called out to Cordelia as they checked each room. The door to her bedroom stood open. The evidence showed that she wasn't home. Lila was worried. Ryan's head was beginning to clear of its dizziness. He was more annoyed at Cordelia than angry with her.
"You know what, she's an adult," he said to a worried Lila. He put his hands on her shoulders and kissed her on the cheek. "I know you're worried, so am I, but she'll be okay. She has to be." He embraced his girlfriend. “I know I’m the one that said we should go after her, but she’s not answering her phone. She’s not here. I have to believe that she can take care of herself. I don’t know what else to do.” Lila was trembling slightly. "Lila," he said her name as soothingly as he could.
"You're right. I just wish I hadn't let my emotions get the better of me." Ryan walked into the bathroom. "She just knows how to push my buttons and I know how to let her." Lila sat down on the bed and took off her shoes.
From the bathroom, "I think you're being a little hard on yourself. You saw something that upset you. I didn't even apologize for letting it happen. That just shows you that people perceive things differently." Ryan emerged from the bathroom in his robe. He walked over to her. "I just took it as Cordelia being Cordelia and you took it as a threat. I'm sorry if my reaction to it, and you, was upsetting. I just didn't think anything of it.”
"I know. You're right. You've no need to apologize, but thank you for it just the same." She said, then gave him a kiss.
"I know how we could get our minds off of Cordelia,” he said with a knowing smile.
She smiled back. "Oh you do do you?" She kissed him again. “What could you possibly have in mind?" She gave him her best coy smile.
He turned her around quickly then slowly unzipped her dress. The quick then slow played out to teasing perfection. He opened her dress by placing his hands on her shoulders and pushed it aside exposing her skin to his kisses. He kissed her neck as he let his hands embrace her and find their way to her breasts. He inhaled the scent of her as she moved her body into his grasp. He turned her back around to face him and the dress fell to the floor. She stood before him, her naked body exposed. She felt no embarrassment. She had made love to Ryan before and she trusted him. She was safe in his company, in his arms.
She was not one to just be taken; she reached down and opened his robe. He had dressed with this moment in mind when he'd left the bathroom. He was wearing nothing under his robe. His excitement was already standing. She put all lady-like manners aside and reached out and took it into her hand. His breath caught in his throat. He moaned slightly and placed his mouth on hers. The kiss was wet and deep, gentle at first then more passionate.
Turnabout was fair play. If she could reach out and touch his manhood, he could no longer stop his hands from touching her. He felt the moist flesh between her legs and she too moaned at the touch. He pushed her onto the bed and threw his robe off. Her breath quickened at the sight of him. She reached down and touched herself. That made him throb.
He knew he should use a condom, but they were in the moment.
"I need to get a condom," he said, already breathless.
"No," she responded writhing on the bed as his hand joined hers in the touching.
He pulled her to the edge of the bed. He was less gentle than usual upon entering her. She moved her hips to meet his body. He leaned down to kiss her. He placed his hands on either side of her to hold his weight so he could watch her during their lovemaking.
"Ryan, you feel so good," she said before placing her mouth back on his. He kissed her so hard she thought her lips might be bruised the next day. Oh well, no need for lip stain tomorrow, right? She couldn't believe that thought actually ran through her mind as he was thrusting himself in and out of her. Their moans matching the quickening that had become their breathing.
"I love you, Lila," he said before moaning his climactic release. He continued to thrust and she was meeting him thrust for thrust. She didn’t take her eyes off of him as she grabbed him around the neck and held on. She came so quickly. She shuddered hard against him. The intensity of her orgasm was enough to make Ryan orgasm again.
He fell onto the bed and rolled onto his back. They both lay there, breathing hard, recovering. Lila rolled onto her side and gave him a kiss.
"I love you, too," she said, kissing him on the cheek. "I'm going to take a shower."
"Mind if I join you," asked Ryan.
"Under the guise of conserving water of course?” she said demurely.
"Of course," he smiled.
She ran into the bathroom laughing and he jumped from the bed following her, shutting the door behind him.
When she heard the shower start, Cordelia opened the closet door and stepped out into their bedroom, her legs shaky from her own orgasm. The smell of sex was thick in the air. She quietly walked to her own room and quietly shut the door. She kept the image of her two friends in her mind as she lied down on her bed and touched herself to arousal one more time.
The sounds and feelings of the previous night seemed to evaporate away when Lila opened the door of the bedroom she shared with Ryan the next morning. The living room brimmed with the smell of freshly brewed coffee while the sound of instrumental jazz filled the air and sunlight infused the room through the open curtains. The best part of it all though was the sight of Cordelia. She was sitting crossed-legged on the sofa with a steaming mug of coffee in her hand and a magazine in her lap.
She looked up as she saw Lila enter room.
“Coffee’s ready,” she said as she held up her mug in gesture.
“I know, Lila. I’m sorry too,” Cordelia spoke the words that were on both of their minds.
Lila sat down next to her friend and they hugged.
“I overreacted,” Lila said as she looked at Cordelia apologetically.
“And I shouldn’t have grabbed Ryan’s butt,” Cordelia said as she placed a wisp of hair behind Lila’s ear.
They both laughed and hugged again. Lila then proceeded to the kitchen to get herself a cup of coffee.
When she returned she sat down next to Cordelia. “Where did you go last night? We looked for you for at least an hour.” She took a sip of her coffee.
“I just wondered around trying to clear my head,” Cordelia responded. She had already given thought to the answer to that question. (Thank you Google Maps) “I ended up completely turned around on Bleecker Street and found myself in an area called Sheridan Square. I hailed a cab and came home. It sounded like the shower was running when I got here so I just slipped into my room and went to bed.”
Lila smiled. “I’m glad you got home safe. I just wish none of it had happened. About that shower, let me tell you.” Lila took another sip of her coffee. “I had really great sex with Ryan last night.”
Cordelia reacted with a cocked eyebrow’s worth of interest.
“Is it okay for me to talk about this with you?” Lila asked, gauging her friend’s reaction.
“Yes, you can talk about it with me,” Cordelia responded. “But thanks for asking.”
Again Lila smiled. “Well, it was fast and intense. And by fast and intense I mean the orgasm. It didn’t take long for either of us to have one.”
Cordelia nodded then took a sip of coffee.
“It didn’t occur to me until this morning, but do you think that had anything to do with the Laztripol?”
Cordelia shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve never had sex after I’ve taken it.”
“It’s weird. I mean I didn’t feel like it did anything to me, but I’ve had good sex with Ryan before and it was nothing like that.”
“Well, it did say in Dad’s paperwork that there were no sexual side effects. Maybe it enhanced your sexual experience like it enhances my mood.” Cordelia took another sip of coffee and placed the magazine on the coffee table then turned to face Lila. “Did Ryan say if he felt like was different, enhanced, more intense?”
“We didn’t talk about it. We took a shower when we were done and then went to bed. That’s the shower you heard when you got home. I was exhausted and so was Ryan. I think we both fell right to sleep.” Lila looked at Cordelia as if she was waiting for her to comment. “Oh, Ryan did cum twice. I mean, in a row. That’s never happened.”
Cordelia perked up. “Hmm. That’s interesting. I bet it was the Laztripol.” She smiled at Lila. “I’m glad you guys got something out of it.” She held her coffee mug out to Lila. Lila responded in kind and they clinked their mugs. “Here’s to intense orgasms.” They laughed and drank. “I’m also glad we’re okay.”
“Me too,” Lila said as she leaned forward and hugged Cordelia again. “I’m glad we can talk frankly like this.”
“Lila,” Ryan called from the bedroom.
“I better go see what he wants.”
Unbeknownst to Lila, Cordelia watched her exit the room; images through the slats of the louvered closet door playing like a porno in her mind.
“Lila,” said a voice from across the room. She was still walking to the bedroom in her memory to see what Ryan wanted. She almost thought it was him calling her name.
“Lila, honey,” said a voice that was unmistakably female and distinctly familiar.
Lila looked straight at the sound, blinked and could finally see. It was her mother’s voice she’d heard. She burst into tears as her mother sat down in the chair next to her, taking her into an embrace that only a mother can give.
“I got here as quickly as I could, honey,” Mrs. Hayward said to her daughter. “It’s just me. I told Dad to stay at home.”
Lila nodded her head. Her mother wiped away the tears from her daughter’s worn face.
“I brought you a change of clothes. I thought you might like to get out of that dress and put on a pair a jeans.”
©Michael Rohrer 2011