Monday, April 30, 2018

Tyler/Valerie: Cut to the song

Maybe you've picked up on this... sometimes I can be very stupid. I can be emotional, irrational, go off half-cocked... and I don't necessarily have to be female to do it. I acted that way as a lot a man (as you may know) and if anything female hormones maybe have had a moderating effect on these tendencies. This is contrary to what every man reading this probably thinks, but I'm living proof.

So what was so stupid? I bet you can guess, but I'll tell it anyway.

Last Friday was Ryan's open mic performance at the piano bar. I went to support him, because I've been there all through the preparation for this, and it didn't seem like Alexa was going to be there (what a shock.) I didn't want to let on that I may have been developing a sort of crush on him, so I rounded up the gals, Brigette and Maddie, and even halfheartedly invited Rafe, who said he'd be busy that night. Fair enough, I was just being polite.

Still, we all agreed to "do it up," looks-wise. Pete doesn't need much effort, and Maddie is very cute, but personally I always feel rather dingy and in need of special effort to look good. So we got the styling want out to make my hair do those elegant long spirals, spent a lot of time trying to perfect my makeup, found a special pair of not-overly-comfortable heels, and of course... The Dress.

I had noticed this dress in Val's closet not long after I arrived. It's a nice navy blue dress, a bit more elegant than a cocktail dress, but still very sexy - with a lacy cutout in the breast to show cleavage while still providing some modesty. She doesn't own many garments like it, as I'm guessing stuff like this is hard to find in Val's proportions. I wonder if it was custom-fit or modified. It was a little snug in the belly (sue me, I've munched a few cookies at the shop on my break) but looked hot. Beautiful, even.

When we arrived who is the first person we see but Rafe, cleaned up rather nicely I'm slightly embarrassed to admit.

"I thought you were busy?" I said, kind of annoyed.

"Oh, I moved some stuff around, no big deal," he shrugged.

Only Rafe could find a way to do something nice and be annoying about it.

So after a drink or so, it's Ryan's set. He plays a couple of instrumental piano jazz pieces that the crowd appreciates. Then he says "Thanks, I'm gonna do something a little different now... but I haven't formally rehearsed. I just need some help. Would Valerie Stewart come up here?"

My eyes go wide. My face flushes red. I know exactly what he's thinking. I mouth "No. NO." but he keeps egging me on and the crowd does too... I thought this place would be too classy for that sort of thing.

Last week while I was watching him rehearse, he pointed out that I do a lot of humming along and singing. "Oh," I said, "I guess I didn't notice." Even though it's been pointed out that I do this absent-mindedly a lot when I'm cooking or cleaning or anything.

"I never knew you had such a nice voice," he said. "Is that new?"

"Uh," I squeaked, "You could say that." The reason is, when I was Lauren I had to take those singing lessons and I took a bit of a liking to it, to where it did become a habit.

"You wanna sing something for me?"

"Uh, sure..." I said, doing my best to sound uncertain even as I was feeling a little spellbound by his music.

"I think this is one you'd know..." he said, and he began to tap something out on the keyboard... it took me a few bars to realize he was doing a loungey version of "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC. I smiled.

"She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean, she was the best damn woman that I... ever seen...

It was good. It was great. Incredible, even. It was as close to the experience of having sex as you can get with your clothes on, as far as I'm concerned. It made me fall a little deeper and realize this is a serious crush, and it's a problem because he's with Alexa and I'm not planning on being Val much longer.

But that was just in the confines of Ryan's room. And now he was twisting my arm into re-enacting that moment in front of a room full of strangers. And fucking Rafe. And I couldn't say no. Part of me honestly didn't want to, but I really, really didn't want to be put in that situation.

But I was on my second glass on wine. What the hell. Pass me the microphone.

It was a little messy - obviously we hadn't rehearsed and it really showed. But the crowd did like it. I just had to step outside my body.

But when I got back in, I realized it was hot. Really hot. Like, ready to drop my clothes on the floor. I was shaking.

I did a bashful little curtsy and went back to my seats, to general high fives and backslapping from Maddie and Pete, and a smug little nod of approval from Rafe.

Ryan closed with "Sunrise," the song I am very, very sure he wrote about Val when they were in high school. And the whole time he was singing, he was looking in my direction. I felt very weird, and very strange about it.

Then after he was done, I heard a very prominent source of applause at the back of the room. Alexa had arrived. What had she seen? What would she think? It was like a splash of cold water.

Once Ryan stepped down, she rushed over to embrace him. Then as they reached the table, she also smiled at me and said "Val, that was so good! Great job." So she had seen it, and either she didn't think anything was wrong with it, or she was just being very, very proper.

I was embarrassed, and drunk, and feeling very ill-at-ease about what had happened. And I needed to deflect any possible evidence that there was anything between Ryan and me, so I started paying more attention to Rafe. And I have to say, he was game... that secret charm he keeps buried inside, he let it out and really reveled in the fact that I was sort of hanging off him. Soon I actually did get caught up in the moment and forgot my problem. Pete, the Ultimate Wingwoman, whiaked Maddy away juat as she may have been getting suspicious.

I don't want to blame it all on the alcohol, because probably the reason I was drinking so much is because I hoped this would be the outcome. I could blame it on the hormones... I have noticed I feel pangs of loneliness very strongly now, and part of me wonders if that's leftover chemicals from Val caving Josh's intimacy and partnership. Or if it's just all me. I don't know.

I invited Rafe to walk me home. He was acting very sheepish like he didn't know what was going on, but he obviously did. The small talk dwindled into some pretty awkward exchanges at it became clear that we had run out of stuff to say, and both somewhat knew where the night was going, but couldn't acknowledge it yet. It waa hard to walk the line of up front but not desperate.

"You were, uh... really great up there, by the way," he said in an uncharacteristic show of sincerity.

"Thanks," I smiled, "I really wasn't expecting it. I also didn't think that crowd would be into that song..."

"Oh come on, who doesn't like AC/DC?"

When we got to my building, I took a deep breath and asked... " want to come up?"

He cocked an eyebrow. "Are you sure? Because look, I don't wanna play any games here. If I go up there, I'm expecting... you know."

I twisted my mouth, and nodded. "Yeah... I know."

"All right, sweet," he said, nearly ruining it for himself right there. Grinning and bearing it, I buzzed us in.

After checking to make sure the coast was clear, I ushered him into my room. We got off to an awkward start... I mean, how could we not? I'm still something of a novice at being "the girl," even after my time with Josh. There was the process of working out how to fit ourselves together with the height difference, undressing in a subtle and sexy way instead of just stripping down businesslike... personally I don't think I'm very seductive but luckily for me, when you look a certain way, you would have to work very hard against yourself to turn a guy off.

As far as details... I'll have to stop myself. I don't want to give all the play by play, but there's a few key notes I've been thinking about since. It was a blur, but I was definitely there for every second of it. I will say it was good - more intense than the delicate style I was used to from Kitty. Better than I honestly intended. And it felt different than in Judith's body, in some very good ways.

I could tell he enjoyed himself. I could tell he was looking forward to seeing and touching my body this way after months of knowing each other. He took great pleasure in fondling and playing with my boobs, which was actually quite stimulating for me as well... it's just a relief they're good for something other than knocking over coffee cups. And for a formerly heterosexual man whose eyes have been awakened to sex from the female perspective, even though I didn't initially see him as any kind of sexy, a lot of what he had going on really did it for me. (And I don't know what it is, but he smelled great.)

He made some moves that I might have objected to if it hadn't been "in the moment," some I found I enjoyed despite myself, some I would probably ask him not to repeat (if this should ever happen again.) It was not very tender, and the first round was very much about him, but I got some pleasure there. The second round was slower, with more time for me.

Afterwards, I lay there feeling very conflicted. I was on an endorphin high but I felt myself crashing down and I wasn't suddenly in love with him or anything. He was still a pest that I could only intermittently get along with, and maybe I deserved better, but I had no time or energy to spend looking for that. It didn't feel good inside knowing how proud he probably was of himself for "conquering" me when it depended entirely on my own loneliness and dejection. I felt used, but I had also used him, so who's to say what's wrong?

"You don't uh... want to spend the night, do you?" I asked awkwardly as we lay there in the 'afterglow.'

He grunted, "Uh... not really."

"Okay, you can, um... go whenever."

He took that as his cue to sit right up and start pulling his pants on. Which was a little bit insulting but it was exactly what I said.

As I saw him out to the living room, I said, "Hey, don't go, uh, blabbing about this yet, okay? I need to think about what happened tonight."

"Sure," he said, a little bitterly. "Whatever you want. Hey, I'm here for you anytime."

"Thanks," I said warily, knowing all too well he would be interested in another round sometime. I gave him a really awkward hug and saw him out.

We haven't talked since, and I don't necessarily mind. I just want to live what left of my life here.


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