So, a few weeks ago, the lovely Jade A. Waters posted on Twitter a list of her favourite words that she’s been keeping for years and years. She’s clearly a woman after my own heart, only much better organised and with the ability to actually stick to a project. Anyway, Exhibit A turned her list into a challenge, and allocated me the word ‘Alligator.’ It’s taken me weeks, but finally…
Opposite her, the wolf chuckles softly. The gazelle gives her a smile loaded with fake empathy, and, sensing perhaps that she’s about to lose her shit, the hostess (panther) slides the box of after dinner mints towards her.
‘Alligator, Sarah?’ she says. ‘Don’t be so silly. You’re so much prettier than that.’
‘I like alligators.’ She tries to hide the ‘This is a crap game’ undertone.
It’s not that dinner parties aren’t her thing. She’s a fan, really, in the ‘platters of food piled high in the middle of the table, Jamie Oliver fashion, washed down with bottle after bottle of wine, and proper, meaningful chat,’ way.
What she doesn’t like is all this small talk and organised fun. Plus, she suspects she’s being set up.
The guy sitting next to her is unassuming and cute. She can’t even remember what animal he is, only that he’s David, and he’s an engineer. He doesn’t make her feel stupid for being an alligator.
She was dumped a week ago, for being, apparently, scary. Weird that he’d never mentioned that before she met his mates. Perhaps some girls would respond to an accusation of being scary by reining it in, toning it down, but not Sarah. Sarah wants to be scarier.
Here, she’s surrounded by a gazelle, a panther, a tigress and a unicorn. A unicorn, for fuck’s sake. Of all the things she’s ever fantasised about, being a unicorn is not one of them. She doesn’t have the sleekness, the elegance of any of these (fake) animals. She is independent, and fierce and suspicious, and an alligator strikes her as being all those things.
The other guests have lost interest in the stupid questions now, thankfully. In the light of low-burning candles, they turn to their partners and absorb themselves in chatter, leaving Sarah and David to rely on each other.
‘Interesting choice,’ he says, leaning over to top up her glass. ‘Why’d you pick it?’
Perhaps she’s had one glass too many. Perhaps she’s still hurting. Either way, she’s had it with the bastard alligator.
‘Because I fucking bite when people piss me off!’
Heads turn. Mouths drop open. David just laughs. She loves him a little bit for that.
‘Do you need to escape?’ he whispers, when the attention has shifted away from them. ‘Do you feel like an alligator *in captivity*?’
She nods, frantically. ‘Get me out of here. Please.’
He drops his napkin (Ironed linen. Seriously.) onto the table, and announces ‘Sorry, guys. I have to go. Early start tomorrow. Dinner was delightful.’
And then he turns to her. ‘I’ll walk you home if you want, Sarah.’
Nobody buys it. Everyone thinks they’re going home to fuck. Except Sarah. Sarah *hopes* they’re going home to fuck.
It’s a nice night, and so they do walk, falling into step beside one another, until eventually his hand brushes hers and their fingers interweave. On the way, he tells her about alligators.
‘I thought you were being serious,’ he says. ‘Because alligators are cool.’
‘They do that thing where they can walk on their hind legs. And they like to be alone.’
He’s teasing her now, she can tell from the way his finger is gently stroking her thumb.
‘There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be alone.’
‘I never said there was.’
They tumble through her front door and kiss against the bare wall. She’s taken down the print of Paris that Ben bought her at Christmas. David nips at her bottom lip, goading her, making her desperate.
Upstairs, she fumbles urgently with his belt. She needs the solidity, the realness of his cock, the reassurance that not all of life is as fake as dinner.
He places a hand on her shoulder, pushes her to her knees. Once she’s down, he takes a few paces back. He unbuckles; takes out his cock.
‘If you want it, crawl for it.’
‘You’re not serious.’
And she does crawl, floorboards stinging her knees, shame and lust duelling for dominance.
He stops her again, as she draws close, hand on her forehead this time.
‘Beg for it.’
‘No,’ she says, and tries to break away; to get to his dick. She wants to taste him so badly.
His hand flies from her forehead to her jaw so quickly, she doesn’t have time to react. He holds her mouth tightly shut, fingers biting into her tender flesh. It feels incredible.
‘Will you ask nicely?’
She’s impassive. She doesn’t give in that easily. But his grip is unrelenting.
‘You want my cock in your mouth?’
‘Then say “Please.’’’
Christ, she can’t bear it. She wrests her head free. ‘Please. God, please.’
She lunges forward. He slides his length deep. Saliva spills freely to the floor and down the front of her dress, leaving dark stains on the silk. She gags, gets lightheaded. It’s bliss.
Relentlessly, he butts against the back of her throat. She swallows away her gag reflex the best she can. She wants him to flood her mouth.
Instead, he yanks his cock free, pulls her to her feet, shoves her towards the bed. He seems to know what she needs even better than she does.
He holds her down as he fucks her, pinning her forearms so tightly to the bed that she knows there’ll be bruises in the morning. It doesn’t tame her; it makes her wilder still. Her hips thrust violently back against his every downstroke, her cries are throaty and raw. And when he comes, with a sudden cry, she sinks her teeth into his bicep, remembering something he told her on the walk back. Alligators only attack humans if provoked. And he’s provoked her, without a doubt.
She wakes in the early hours, thirsty. It takes her a moment to orientate herself and once she has, she wishes she’d stayed asleep. David has vanished. Her heart is pounding. How could he slope off after something so perfect?
She pads downstairs, fills a glass and drains it. Fills it again. Her jaw aches. This can’t be a one off. She couldn’t bear it.
Sipping her water, she turns. There’s a bill on the table, and on the back, a scribbled note: ‘I really do have an early start. Drinks tonight? See you later, Alligator! xxx’
Content, she crawls back to bed. And wonders: ‘Do alligators mate for life?’