“Kevin! Kevin Forrester!”
The man who got out of the car was clearly not Ebony Mars: he was tall, handsome, white, and, most remarkably, he was calling out Kevin’s name. Brashly exciting on the traffic side, the man dashed in front of the on coming cars and bounded across the avenue. Kevin, an expert at sizing things up from afar, noted the impressive “runner’s lump” that bounced obscenely from side to side as the man sprinted the last few yards to the safety of the curb.
“You’re Kevin Forrester, right?” the young man said, catching his breath. He gave Kevin a quizzical stare.
“Yes. Yes, I am,” answered Kevin.
“I thought that was you. What the fuck are you doing over here? Don’t you have a party going on?” He gestured to the Trianon.
“Ah, yes.” Flustered, Kevin extended his hand. “And you are?”
“Dash. Dash Harwood. Now let’s get out of here before you step on a hypodermic needle.”
“Sure,” said Kevin. He put on his jacket and slung the heavy back-pack over his shoulder. At a break in the traffic, Dash put his hand under Kevin’s elbow – a gesture that struck Kevin as oddly familiar, even solicitous – before leading him to the opposite side. Suddenly Kevin remembered where he’d heard the name Dash Harwood before. It was the curatorial assistants – the Girls from Good Schools, as Kevin called them – who twittered around him incessantly. Rich, well-connected, and terrifically ambitious, Dash was the catch of New York society. The Girls from Good Schools were beside themselves that Peter Merton had his eye on the fellow as match for his own teenage daughter, a girl who for some reason lost in family lore, was saddled with the inauspicious name, “Moo.” Kevin recalled hearing that dash had been absent from the art scene. Apparently he was black.
As they strode into the marble lobby, Dash turned to Kevin with a smile, “so what were you doing over there? Looked like you were causing the joint.”
“I was preparing myself mentally,” said Kevin.
Dash laughed. “The Biennial isn’t an Olympic diving competition.”
“Actually it sort of is.”
“Don’t be silly,” said Dash. “Anyway, you’re a pro. You’re ‘The Man Who Decides What Art Is!”
Kevin blushed at Dash’s mention of the article just out in Time. It was a profile of him, authored not by the magazine’s highly respected art critic, Robert Hughes, but some feature-writing hack who’d exaggerated Kevin’s power and influence with naïve, if well-intentional zeal. It was a year since Kevin had been appointed Curator of Contemporary Art at the Merton Museum and only six months since he had been formally announced as Chief Curator of the Merton Biennial. Yet even with relatively limited experience in the New York art World, Kevin knew that such exaggerated could be the kiss of death.
“There was practically a full-page picture of you in Time,” said Dash. “And a feature article! You’re a star.”
“Yeah, one that’s about to explode.”
Dash gave the concierge their names. As the man checked them against his list, Kevin noticed that his uniform had subtle “period” touches – brocade cloth, wide cuffs, and gold trim – to match the lobby’s Louis XV décor. The interior of the elevator, in turn, was modeled on the famous Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, which made it difficult for Kevin to avoid staring at Dash no matter which way he looked. The young banker leaned nonchalantly on the golden elevator handrail. With rakish, jet black hair, a strong Roman nose and intense – some might say beady – eyes, Dash bore an uncanny resemblance to the young Christian Bale; Kevin hadn’t been this close to anyone so sexy in a very long time. He felt the precious tycoon’s eyes grazing over him with brazen curiosity. Dash was the kind of person, Kevin decided, who was so used to having exactly what he wanted that the boundaries between him and the rest of the world had diminished to the most minimal exercise of desire. The gap between wanting and having was virtually non-existent. Kevin begins to visualise;
I am hoping this elevator ride will take as long as possible so I get to continue my visual assault on your sexy body. I quickly moved aside a little to distribute myself better inside the small space. You turn you head slightly as you register my movement. I stay behind you though. I want to check out your ass some more. I stare from the side of my vision. My gaze travels again from your heels, up your legs, up over your round ass and up to your suit jacket. You turn you head and look at me. My thoughts are interrupted. I am caught. It is so obvious what is on my mind. You know exactly what I'm thinking. You look directly in my eyes for an instant and then turn back to watching the floor numbers ascend. Your expression is indifferent. For a second I think I see a hint of a smile at the corner of your mouth, but then nothing. I step towards you and grab your ass and pull you towards me. I kiss you hard and one of my hands finds the back of your head. You kiss me back. I'm surprised by the passion in your kiss. I kiss you back harder. Our tongues find each other and you tease me with your kisses. I bite and suck on your bottom lip, teasing you back and you respond by grinding your pussy hard against me. My cock is getting fucking hard. I press against you and you push back. I can feel your wet pussy juices soaking the front of your panties. I push you against the wall and continue kissing you as I pin both of you hands above your head. I kiss your neck and bite you playfully and you moan with lust. Your suit jacket is off in an instant and I pull up your shirt to expose your sexy tits. Your tits is free now and you feel the cold of the air conditioning on them, which only makes your nipples harder. I keep your hands pinned above your head and suck your nipples into my mouth one at a time. I flick my tongue over them, nibbling lightly and teasing you with my teeth. Your nipples swell and harden between my lips and your moan repeatedly. I pull your shirt over your head and admire your sexy shoulders and neck. We kiss and grind some more. My cock is granite hard now and straining through my pants. My balls are churning. Our lust is escalating fast. I want to slow down so I can enjoy this, but we don't have much time. I grab your pinned hands and spin you around and grind against your sexy ass. I trace my cock over the crack of your ass. I put my arms around you from behind. I'm playing with your nips with one hand as my other hand moves down between your legs. I tease you briefly before sliding my hand under and massaging your moist pussy over your pants. You moan louder. I kiss and bite your neck playfully as I play with your soft, sexy tits and tease your pussy some more. I push my mouth against your ear and tell you all the fucking bad thoughts running through my mind at this moment…
He caught Dash’s eye and was rewarded with an easy, generous smile. Kevin glanced at the floor self-consciously. Kevin felt embarrassed that he had let himself slip into that fantasy, sure that Dash would have realised what he was thinking. So he was relieved when the elevator pinged and the doors slid open. They stepped directly into the Desmonds’s cherry wood paneled entrance hall where a modestly uniformed servant greeted them with a silver tray holding a thick array of dewy champagne glasses. A maid offered to take Kevin’s backpack but he explained that it was needed for a presentation and asked where the event would be held. He followed the woman to a large room that had been cleared of most of its everyday furnishings with rows of folding chairs set in their place. A portable screen stood in front of a large and garishly coloured Frank Stella wall relief that extended around it like a bizarre exploding frame. Gwen, the Director’s heavyset executive assistant was waiting for Kevin and eyed him disapprovingly. “Donna told me you’d be here early,” she said. “I’ve been waiting since six.”
“Sorry, sorry, I was stuck in traffic,” Kevin replied, reaching into his backpack for the laptop. He didn’t want to tell her that he had just spent the last five minutes fantasizing about what Dash would be doing to him in the elevator if he had his way.
“Calm down Gwen, calm down, he’s here now isn’t he and everything’s fine!” Dash said winking at Kevin.
“Fine!” Gwen exclaimed turning to leave the room, well you have 10 minutes to set up, everyone’s waiting for you Kevin.
“Thanks so much. I would have been screwed without you.”
“My pleasure, Mr. I-Decide-What-Art-Is.”
“Don’t,” said Kevin. “That article was stupid.”
“Are you kidding?” replied dash. “That article was a fucking gold mine. You should be all over that shit. It’s cash-in time my boy.”
“I don’t think you know how nasty the art world can be.”
“You’re right. I don’t know anything about the art world. Or about art. But I know a good investment when I see one. Why do you think all these people are here? Because they love contemporary art? This is big business and, for better or worse, right this second you are calling the shots. Don’t let this one pass you by.” Through his little pep talk, Dash maintained a wry grin that accented the dimples of his smile. Kevin studied the way his cheeks hollowed as he spoke, the small movements of the muscles at the corners of his jaw, and the naked smoothness of the skin beneath his eyes. He could smell Dash’s cologne, which had the earthy, yet opulent scent of the locker room at an exclusive men’s club. It was intoxicating.
“Time to go out there and work the room,” advised Dash. “But let’s start you off with a drink.”
As they made their way through the crush of guests towards the bar Kevin felt Dash guiding his elbow with a light touch just as he had done when they crossed the street, He noticed the subtle way in which both men and woman cast glances at Dash as he passed. “They either want to fuck him or kill him,” Kevin thought.
“What’ll it be?” asked the bartender.
“Champers,” said Dash, holding up two fingers. He took the glasses and handed one to Kevin.
“Thank you,” said Kevin. “Cheers.” As they toasted, Kevin noticed a red string tied around Dash’s wrist. “Buddhist?” he asked.
“Kabbalah,” Dash replied nonchalantly. “Look, there are some folks here I haven’t seen for a while. Need to catch up. You going to be ok on your own?”
“Of course,” Kevin answered. “Thanks, really. And nice meeting you.”Dash smiled and was gone. “Fuck” Kevin thought to himself, “What a shit way to say goodbye.”