Andy was dead drunk, and when he was like that somebody
eventually had to take him home. We left him lying
around for a while because it wasn’t a pleasant task.
Andy was one of those guys who fell to bits suddenly
when he reached his limit. When he went he was gone.
The trouble with Andy was that he did it all too often
and his wife was pretty much sick and tired of it. Al’s
bucks night had been great up till now, but it was over
and somebody had to take Andy home. We drew straws.
Pete got the job and asked me to come with him. “You
know her better than I do,” he pleaded. “She’ll be
I knocked on the door while Pete held Andy upright or
thereabouts. Colleen was angry before she opened it. I
could feel it through the wood panelling. She knew
Andy would have used his key. If he could. Which he
She was a tall girl. She stood in the frame of the
doorway, lit by the lamp on the porch, and glared at
us. I inclined my head in a gesture of apology. She
glared some more, tightened the cord on her gown,
turned and stomped away down the corridor. “You
two can carry him upstairs and put him to bed,” she
said over her shoulder. “I’d be just as happy to leave
I’d done this once before. We carried and dragged him
up the stairs and dumped him on the bed. The rest was
up to him. We ventured down the stairs cautiously,
shuffling like you do when you’re ill at ease, and
headed for the front door. “Wait just a minute,” she
called out sharply. It was a command and we stopped.
“Come in here,” she said. “I want to talk to you.”
She might have been named Colleen but she didn’t
look it. Nothing dainty about Andy’s Colleen. She was
taller than Pete and nearly as tall as I was, with black
and bushy curly hair, big brown-black eyes, a long
straight nose and a wide and full mouth. She was
olive-skinned, straight-lined and the leggiest female
you were likely to run across. Whatever Irish ancestry
she might call on had been swamped by a strong line
of middle-European Slavic inheritance. She was
wearing a black-and-white Japanese-style kimono and
her feet were bare.
“What the hell happened,” she demanded. “He
promised he’d be home early. You think I like staying
up this late waiting for him to fall in the door?”
I shrugged. “He drank too much.”
“Again,” I agreed.
“But he promised.”
Pete took a step forward, trying to be helpful. “It was
a pretty big night,” he said. “I guess he got carried
away with the excitement.”
I winced. Pete was inexperienced. You didn’t want to
volunteer a lot of information. Just pay your dues, say
you’re sorry and get the hell out of it.
“Excitement?” Her interest picked up immediately.
“Well, yes,” said Pete. “It was a buck’s night, you
“Was it?” She tapped her fingers on the mantlepiece.
“Was it indeed? He didn’t tell me that.”
There you go. Now everybody was just that bit more
upset. Pete looked over at me but I kept my face
“So,” she said. “A buck’s night. I guess you had a
“Sure,” said Pete, who couldn’t seem to help himself.
“You know how it is.”
“Actually, I don’t,” she said, fixing her glare on him.
“Suppose you tell me?”
Pete cleared his throat. “Oh well, you know, it was
Al’s big night so we all chipped in. All ten of us. I
mean, that’s what you do.”
“You all chipped in.” She pondered that. “What did she
“$500,” said Pete.
She laughed derisively. “You paid her $500? What did
she do for that?”
Pete needed rescuing badly. “She took her clothes off,”
I said, as blandly as I could.
“And you paid her $500? Did you get your money’s worth?
She’d need to be Miss Universe.” She turned her eyes
back to Pete. She knew he was the blabbermouth. “Is
that all she did?”
“Yes,” I said. But at the same time, Pete was blabbing.
“She fooled around a bit,” he said.
“With Al,” I said quickly. Pete, finally starting to
learn something, nodded his head in agreement.
“Not with Andy?”
“Hey,” I said. “Andy was way too drunk to fool around
She eyed me suspiciously. “That’s probably true.”
A silence developed. I looked towards the doorway.
Surely it was time to go.
“You guys are something else,” she said. “You’ve got
wives. Or girlfriends. But you pay some tart $500 to
take off her clothes. What’s the matter with you?”
“Colleen, it’s just a sort of tradition,” I said. “It
“But I’m curious, Vince. I mean, how good was she? Was
she really good looking?”
“She was okay. As strippers go.”
“Well,” she said, considering me. “For example, did she
have better legs than me?”
“Hell no,” I said honestly.
“Was she more attractive than me?”
“Well, did she have a better body than me?”
“I wouldn’t think so.”
“You wouldn’t think so. But you gave her $500. Would
you give me $500 to take off my clothes?”
“Come on, Colleen. Give me a break.”
“The question would never come up.”
“I’m bringing it up, Vince. Would you pay me $500 to
I shuffled uncomfortably. “You’re not a stripper.”
“But if I decided to turn my hand to it, would you pay
I waved my hand in a gesture of peace and understand-
ing. “I guess so.”
She leant towards me slightly. “Okay,” she said. “I’ll
do it. Here and now. Give me $500.”
I laughed. “We haven’t got $500.”
“How much have you got?”
I laughed again. “I’ve got 10 bucks.”
She swung her attention to Pete. “How much have you
Pete raised his eyebrows at me. “About $25, I guess.”
“Not exactly a top offer,” she said. “You give some
tart $500 earlier tonight and I have to do the same job
for $35. And, according to you, I look better than she
did. What am I supposed to say to that?”
“You’re supposed to turn it down,” I said, looking for
the exit line. “And we’re supposed to go home.”
“I’ll tell you this,” she said. “$35 is an insult and
I’m turning it down. I wouldn’t want to lose my amateur
status for $35, so I’ll do it for nothing.”
“Huh?” Pete’s exclamation was loud but to the point.
“But you don’t get anything fancy. No dancing or music
or striptease or the like. I’ll just simply take off my
I knew I had a pained expression on my face. “Now
look, “I said. “Colleen, this is certainly not right at
She tugged loose the belt of the kimono and shrugged
off the garment with a simple and smooth shimmy of
her shoulders. “Oops,” she said. “Looks like I was
wearing very little underneath.”
The kimono pooled at her feet. She was wearing only
black pants. And she was pretty damn good, no
problem. Great long legs. Full breasts. Fine skin.
“Well, guys,” she said with a faint smile on her mouth.
“Here’s the truth of it. I swore a sacred and solemn
curse to Andy that the next time he came in hopeless-
ly late and hopelessly drunk I’d fuck the guy who
brought him home.” She sighed, “Obviously he didn’t
believe me. Now he’s going to learn the hard way but
two of you brought him home so I guess I’ll have to
fuck both of you.” She turned her dark eyes on me.
Decision time. Do I turn and flee out the door? She
was going to tell Andy, no doubt about it. She was
planning a revenge fuck, pure and simple. He’d go off
his face and come looking for us. On the other hand,
she was top shelf. And I was bigger than Andy anyway.
But he could fight like a cornered cat. Maybe he’d
take it all out on my little mate. Poor Pete.
“If I must,” I said.
Some events stand out like milestones in your life.
This wasn’t one of them. It would be fucking good for
my ego to say I fucked her good and she was amazed
by my good fucking performance. But I didn’t even
extract from her the smallest amount of affection, let
alone gratification. All I can say is that I was there
and I did it. Sheesh, you’d have given a passing stray
dog a more polite acknowledgement than I got from
I tend to get a bit mellow and aw-shucks sentimental
after I’ve stuck a precious piece of me into a woman,
even if she’s boring holes through me with malevolent
eyes. She didn’t once crack a smile. She didn’t raise
an eyebrow. I’m not at all certain she even blinked.
She was a real nice package but there weren’t nothing
inside the box.
Even a jaded and cynical hooker will say thanks, even
if she’s only talking about the money And maybe a
comment on the weather or something complimentary
about your shoes. Something. Anything. All Colleen
said was: “Tell the ugly short guy it’s his turn.”
I stood around outside the front door and waited for
Pete. I didn’t even get to have a second cigarette.
“Right,” he said, shutting the door behind him and
looking anywhere but at me. “Let’s get the hell out
To my surprise, Andy didn’t come hunting for us with
a shotgun. It was as if it hadn’t happened. Pete made it
clear he didn’t want to talk about it and the incident
would have faded away except I couldn’t quite shake
the image of Colleen’s long-legged body from my
memory bank. Three weeks or so passed until I saw
Andy. I was cajoling an automatic teller to give me
cash when he tapped me on the shoulder.
“I’ve been out of circulation,” he said “Colleen’s been
pissed off bigtime since Al’s bucks party and I’ve had
to mend a few bridges. She said you and Pete took me
home that night and I want to say thanks, and you
won’t have to do it again.”
“S’okay,” I said. “It happens, even if it does happen
more to you than most people.”
“Right,” he agreed. “But I’ve used up all my chances
and I have to keep myself nice with Colleen for a
“She sure was not happy,” I said.
“You bet. I realised how bad she was next day when she
told me she screwed you and Pete to teach me a lesson.”
I laughed hysterically, like it was the funniest joke
I’d heard that month. It was lucky Andy was none too
bright, because a lot of guys might have separated the
laughter from the hysteria and become suspicious.
“Yeah,” he said, laughing himself. “I didn’t fall for
that one. I mean, Colleen has always hated your guts.
And Pete…well, no woman in her right mind would
“Yeah, right,” I said. Whew.
“But it showed me how angry she really was,” Andy
said. “So I thought I ought to take note. For a while
So we’d got away with it. This was fine because I
wished no harm on good old Andy and because Pete was
a nervously married man. No problem for me in that
direction, because I was notoriously in and out of
relationships like a slippery fish, which was pro-
bably why Colleen regarded me less than warmly. Some
women could be like that.
Unfortunately it was not the end of the matter. A few
weeks later I was attending the opening of stage two
of a casino development where Andy was some sort of
deputy security boss. I had a drink in my hand and I
was talking to a bunch of guys and, horrors, up came
Andy and Colleen.
“Lookee here,” said Colleen, pointing at me and then
at Pete, who was also there. “Andy, here are the two
guys I fucked the last time you were drunk and out of
But I had her measure. “Yeah right,” I said, rolling my
eyes. “I wish.”
Andy laughed and slapped me on the shoulder. I laughed.
The other guys laughed. We all laughed.
Except Colleen. And except Pete, who looked like
he’d had a sudden attack of dysentery. “Not me
either,” he said, trying desperately to extend the joke
to include him.
“That’s right,” said Colleen. “You couldn’t get it up.”
We all laughed again.
Except Colleen and Pete.
“Hey Vince,” said Andy. “Seeing you know Colleen
so well, look after her for me for a bit, will you? I
have to be on duty for a little while.”
“Sure,” I said, although I wasn’t by a long shot.
“I want to talk to you,” she said to me as soon as Andy
was out of earshot. She glanced around at the other
guys and motioned with her head. “In private. Over
there.” I followed her to a neglected corner and she
turned and looked at me directly. “I just want to offer
you some sort of apology,” she said.
I couldn’t read her face. Was she serious? “For what?”
“That other night. I wasn’t exactly very nice to you.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Well, you didn’t pour me a
cold beer in a tall frosted glass, but I’m not
“You know what I mean,” she said crossly.
I shrugged. “I know you were angry with Andy, if
that’s what you mean.”
“But I didn’t have to take it out on you.” She smiled at
me but I could see she was putting some effort into it.
“You only did what I asked you to do.”
“Colleen, what’s going on? You don’t have to do this.
You don’t even like me.”
“Maybe I like you better than I like him,” she said.
She meant her husband, of course.
“He didn’t believe you?”
“You know he didn’t.”
“Look, Colleen, he told me he’d fucked up and he was
going to try harder. Maybe you got your point across
“We’ll see. Anyway I figured I owe you.”
“Owe me what?”
“Another turn in the barrel.”
Hey what? Did she mean what I thought she meant?
“Right now would be good,” she said. “I know just the
right place.” I knew it made no sense. I tried to put it
together but she grabbed me by the arm. “Quick,” she
said. “In here.” She pushed open a door not five paces
away. It didn’t look like a door that should open but
it did. She pulled me after her into a brightly-lit
stairwell. “It’s the fire escape,” she said. “It’s not
properly finished yet.”
Dry lumps of concert and lengths of metal pipe were
scattered about. The official opening had arrived
slightly too early for this part of the building. Colleen
put her back to the wall, hiked up her dress and pulled
down her pants to her knees. “This time,” she said, “I
guarantee a more friendly response.”
Logic and reason disintegrated. Doing it against a
wall may not be the easiest way to do it but it sure
is one of the most blindingly erotic. I moved straight
in, fumbling with my trousers as she wound her arms
around my neck and kissed me hard and hot. She was
tall and I had to bend my knees but I got straight on
up there. True to her word, it was a very different
Colleen. She wriggled urgently against me, threw her
head back and gave it her best shot.
We rutted like animals in the stairwell. Savage sex.
White hot mischief. A truly memorable fuck.. And in
the afterglow, with me still buried in her, she said,
with her head on my shoulder: “Well, that ought to do
“Do what?” I was panting still.
She gestured lazily at the ceiling and I looked up. I
saw the security camera, its red eye winking. Oh shit.
“Guess who’s in charge of the security cameras,” she
“He goes through all the tapes every morning,” she said.