Starr Chichester stopped on the narrow staircase, abruptly,
and smiled. For perhaps the first time in her life, certainly the first time
since she was a girl, the tatty poster on the concrete wall caught her
attention. There were so many of these posters about, all of them variations on
a theme, and they had been in place for so many years now, that they tended to
blur into the background. Virtually every bare wall, light-post and community
noticeboard still carried at least one of them –although the electronic
monitors and screens had given up the advertisements on the subject long since.
Everyone thought them redundant. The sole reason the posters themselves survived
was that no one could be bothered to remove them. This particular one read: "A
Proven Health Risk," and some hand, most probably feminine, had sketched a pair
of hornrimmed glasses and dotted in two crossed eyes over the stylized testicles
adjoined to the threateningly erect penis.
Chuckling, and wondering idly how many years had elapsed
since the vandalism, Starr reached out and traced a long vertical tear in the
poster. Of course she should report him. It was a simple enough matter to do.
One press of the correct icon, in any public booth. The "Ministry Of Health And
The Family" would follow up sharpish and no mistake. She could do it
But it had been fun, such fun...
Right up to the moment of revelation, as it were, she had
been perplexed by his reluctance. He was a handsome enough young male, after
all, tall and slim and obviously fit. And she had all the correct apparatus.
Yet he had resisted. Why ?
What had interested her initially was the sheer absence of
rumors. Quite simply, no one, not a single female in the Department, seemed to
have slept with him. As it was inconceivable that anyone should have, and the
word not spread, "it followed as the night the day" – who wrote that? some male
long forgotten, and no doubt best left so – that the event in question had not
Never able to
resist a challenge, a trait listed as both a fault and a strength, depending
upon which Supervisor was preparing her Annual Fitness Report that
year, she had set out to correct the situation. Nor was he resistant to her
efforts. Quite the contrary, he had proven an amusing and intelligent companion.
They shared several interests even.
Earlier that evening, she had decided to roll the dice,
once and for all. She would never forget the expression on his face when she
emerged from the bathroom, entered the main room, and planted herself in front
of the wallscreen – stark naked.
What had surprised her most was the clear terror on his
handsome face. For one dreadful instant, she feared she had made an humiliating
error, that he was in fact a Gay: albeit an undeclared one. Although why anyone
in this day and age should not Declare their gender preference was unfathomable.
At least to her. Well, to any one.
So she asked. "Are you a Gay?"
Relieved, but no less perplexed, she had clamped a hand to
her hip. "Then why? I simply don't understand. We've been seeing each other for
the best part of two weeks now and..."
"It's difficult to explain," he had interrupted quietly.
"Am I not a female?"
"Oh, you're all female."
"Then why?" She had grown angry then, quite furious
actually. "It's not as though sex were anything special. It's a bit of bloody
fun is all! At least most people think it is..!"
At which point she had left off her tirade. For the simple
reason that he had stood up, suddenly, and begun to undress – thus giving her
something else to do. To wit, to look. First at his slim flat chest and belly.
Then at his muscular flanks and legs. She had always quite fancied those legs,
his legs. Then, when he straightened up, discarding the last garment nervously,
at his... Well, the shock had been palpable. Utter. Next she knew her free hand
had gone to her mouth, while she gaped at him, no doubt goggle-eyed...
It had been a frightful moment, every bit as terrible as
Michael James had been anticipating for so long – for so very many years. Why he
had given in to the impulse, then, with her, he would never know...
Of course he had
been thinking about sex, especially sex with Starr. She was a fabulous female. A
trifle heavyish, perhaps, but he preferred to think of that as "rounded." Her
blondish hair intrigued him, the way she tended to flick it absently from one
shoulder or the other. The breasts were good too. Obviously full and firm. And
when she perched on the corner of his desk, his Supervisor checking on progress,
the urge to reach out and caress her shapely upper leg had been almost
irresistible. More than once he had consciously stopped his trembling fingers
from sliding up the muscular thigh and under the hem of her short skirt.