Talk is cheap.

The wisps of smoke rose higher, higher towards the ceiling, with no compulsion to stay in the shape they had started out as. Lying on her back, she watched the wisps collapse, joining the broken ones close to the ceiling fan. Pulling deeply on the Ultra Milds in her manicured and painted hands, she blew out a couple more. The cigarette came off clean from her lips — the pinkish-purple colour she had taken care to apply was no longer there.

He had sucked it all away.

As if on cue, a hand circled her breast bone to draw her closer, and a face murmured static into her ear. She smiled, stubbed the cigarette and turned towards him. Breezy countenance, mouth poised close to his left ear, breast brushing against his shoulder.

Today, the loving had been good. Enjoyable even. It was her soft words during foreplay that did it. Mmm, I can just imagine what nibbling on your skin would taste like…And then I’m gonna go down… Baby, that’s what heaven’s gonna be…It had given her great pleasure to see him explode like fireworks, given her great power…

As she leaned closer to him, her hand slid to his back, tracing invisible alphabets up and down his spine. Silky soft words sashayed out of her mouth. She felt him begin to harden.

He moaned, wanting to have her. “What’s the rush baby,” she said, “what’s the rush…Don’t you want me to stroke, kiss…”

In the distance, Beyonce crooned ‘Naughty Girl’ in a polyphonic voice. Sighing, she closed her mascara-ed eyes and pushed herself away from him despite his whining protests of “C’mon, don’t stop now!”

She reached out to the bedside table, digging into the obstacle race that was her bag.

Managing to take the call just before it got disconnected, she said, “Hello?”

“Vaashi? Purohit here.”

Stuck-up sonofabitch. “Ya, tell me.”

“Hey, listen. Grace is down with a sore throat, so she isn’t coming today. Can you fill in for her? You’ll be getting OT for it okay? Chal, I’ll see you in an hour.” The phone went silent.

Bastard.

“What is it?”, he asked her, propped on one elbow.

“Nothing. I have to go to work now.”

“But isn’t it your night off?”

“Ya, but Grace is on leave and the asshole I was telling you about wants me to fill in.”

He pouted his protest, and she kissed him soundly on the lips saying, “Aww. I’ll be back tomorrow. You can pick me up from college. Or, if I get off by 4 in the morning, we’ll come back here okay?”

She got off the bed, walked to the bathroom and swung the door behind her with a push of her buttock. He peeled his eye away from the bathroom door, yawned, stretched on the bed, patted himself wryly between the legs and then closed his eyes, letting the sound of the shower rock him to sleep.

She got to the call centre to see Purohit taking a coffee break. He smiled in genuine relief. She reciprocated with a fake one.

As she sat at her cubicle and put on the headset, adjusting the microphone to rest snugly at her lips, she smiled; remembered her whispers to him when they were making love; remembered his heightened arousal at her words, his admiration for how she knew exactly what to tell him to work him into a frenzy. She permitted herself a broader smile then. Better for him to not know.

Her headset suddenly came alive with a series of evenly-spaced beeps. Incoming call.

Clearing her throat, speaking a few words on the side to check if her American accent was in place, she took the call.

“Hiiii, this is Alice. What can I do for you tonight?”

A red-neck drawl on the other side said breathlessly, “Hey gorgeous, you can start off with stripping for me and turning around so I can…”

She smiled. This was going to be a new experience in her month as an adult phone entertainer. She would stash it up for later use with her boyfriend.