“Sorry!” Will yelped the word out while trying to turn around gracefully with an over-stuffed laundry basket in both arms and the door propped open with one foot. It didn’t work; when he pulled his foot away from the door, it smacked him in the elbow, almost causing the laundry basket to slip from his grasp and forcing him to lean heavily on the doorframe to trap it between the entrance to the laundry room and his body.
The person he’d directed his apologies at watched his minor humiliation with a sympathetic smile on her face as she sat on the low bench between the two washer/dryers. “Don’t worry,” she said. “It’s all right, you can come in. I don’t mind.” She sounded perfectly comfortable with the situation, but Will couldn’t help but feel like he was intruding–she wasn’t wearing anything other than a red silk bra and a matching pair of panties.
“No, really,” he said, blushing, “it’s fine. I can come back later, it’s fine, I just didn’t figure there’d be anyone else here at this time of night, I–” He got a firmer grip on the basket, realized he was staring, and looked away. “Sorry,” he said again quietly, preparing to leave.
“No, really,” she said quickly, before he could close the door. “It’s fine. Please, I’d feel terrible if I thought I chased you away. I’m almost done with a load right now; as soon as it finishes, you can use the machine while my other load runs. Honestly, I’d love the company. Like you said, not many people doing laundry at this time of night.”
Will hesitated, but the woman in red would have none of it. “Seriously, you don’t need to feel embarrassed,” she said. “I don’t feel like I’ve got anything to be ashamed of about my body.” She smiled flirtatiously at him. “Do you think I’ve got anything to be ashamed of?”
“N-no,” Will stammered out, letting the door swing shut behind him as he came inside. He didn’t trust himself to say anything else, any more than he trusted himself not to stare; the fact was, she was absolutely gorgeous. Her short dark hair and large, liquid brown eyes gave her face a youthful quality that belied her curvaceous body–and she definitely had curves to spare. When she slid down the bench to make room for him, her large, creamy white breasts jiggled distractingly for what seemed like a second or two after the rest of her body had come to a complete stop. It took another second or two for Will to remind himself he was trying not to stare at her body.
“My name’s Rowan,” she said. “Rowan Martin, which should tell you everything you need to know about my parents’ sense of humor.”
Will smiled a little, the joke easing a bit of his tension. He still felt nervous around her–he’d always felt awkward around pretty girls, the legacy of a miserable teenage existence–but her warm, friendly demeanor helped calm his jitters a bit. “Will,” he said, trying to keep eye contact. “Will Greenwald.”
She extended a hand, which he shook gratefully. “Sorry about my underdressed state,” she said, gesturing down at her body and wrecking all Will’s progress in calming down. “I realized a little too late how few clean clothes I had left, and you know what it’s like–any clothing is acceptable attire in a laundry emergency.”
Will chuckled. “Yeah, I know what that’s like,” he said, looking down at his own faded jeans and slightly frayed t-shirt. “I’m not a big fan of laundry day either.”
“Oh, no!” Rowan said, shaking her head. “I actually love doing laundry–I’ve been kind of swamped lately, so I got a bit behind on it, but normally I come down here every time I have a load together. It’s a nice way to meet new people. You can tell more about someone from spending an hour with them washing clothes than you can over a week any other way.”
Will quirked an eyebrow at that, but before he could say anything, the buzzer sounded on the washing machine. “Oh!” Rowan said. “That’s my clothes. I’ll toss them in the dryer so you can use the machine.”
She hopped to her feet lightly and began to shovel clothes from the washer to the dryer; once she had her back to him, Will rapidly gave up all pretense of not staring despite his best efforts. It wasn’t that he normally ogled women he’d just met, but she was standing right in front of him like she’d stepped out of his fantasies, her ass flexing as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other in a way that he absolutely could not ignore. She had an absolutely amazing ass, and those panties she wore outlined it perfectly…Will shifted position, crossing his legs. The last thing he wanted was for her to turn around and notice that he’d sprung an erection.
“All done!” she said, turning around and snapping Will out of his reverie. “The washer’s all yours.” Will stood up, hoping his boner wasn’t too obvious, and began to sort out the dark clothes and dump them in the washer.
“As I was saying,” Rowan said, sitting back down, “the people-watching is the part I love about washing clothes. You can learn nearly everything about someone just from doing a little laundry with them and observing. It’s like their clothes tell you all their secrets. Take you, for instance.”
“Me?” Will said nervously. He didn’t think there was much of anything to learn from the way he did laundry, except perhaps that he was doing laundry at midnight on a Friday night instead of going out and doing something fun. Which was something he really hoped Rowan wouldn’t point out.
“Sure,” Rowan replied. “For instance, that shirt you just tossed in the washer said, ‘Bad Wolf’. The shirt before that read, ‘Han Shot First’…and I see a Blue Sun t-shirt in there, a Banzai Institute shirt, an ‘I Roll Twenties’ shirt, and the one about ‘English doesn’t borrow from other languages, English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.’ You know what all that tells me?”
Will’s heart sank. This was going to be it, the moment where the beautiful woman started making fun of him. “That I’m a geek,” he said dolefully.
“That you’re a fan of science fiction and fantasy, and not ashamed to show it. Yes, the word ‘geek’ sums that up, but I like a guy who shows his geek pride.” Will blinked. Had he actually heard that correctly? Was he maybe inhaling too much fabric softener or something?
His surprise must have been obvious, because Rowan immediately commented on it. “No, I do! Geek guys tend to be intelligent and imaginative, which are great qualities to look for in a man. And you’ve got a lot of different T-shirts, some of them really obscure, which tells me that you’re widely read and open to new ideas and influences. That’s something I really admire.”
Will blushed all over again, but for entirely different reasons. He wasn’t very good at accepting compliments; he’d never had a lot of opportunities growing up. “Thanks,” he mumbled as he tossed in the last of his clothes, added detergent and closed the lid.
“And you brought a book with you,” Rowan continued as he put his coins in the slot and pushed them in, starting the washer going. She reached into the laundry basket and pulled it out. “‘Devil In the White City’. Interesting choice–non-fiction, historical…so you’re a geek, but you’re willing to broaden your mind a bit beyond just reading ‘Star Wars’ books.” She tossed the book back in the basket and smiled, her eyes sparkling. “So how am I doing so far?”
Will felt his blush spreading all over his face as he sat down. He could tell she was flirting with him–even someone as socially dense as him could pick up signals this obvious–but he didn’t know how to respond. This simply didn’t happen, not to skinny little guys like him. “Um, well…pretty good, so far.” He half-way thought this was a prank of some sort, something one of his friends had put Rowan up to, but none of his friends knew a woman like Rowan well enough to get her to do something like this. “But I mean, that’s not exactly Sherlock Holmes stuff, is it? Looking at my Buffy shirt and figuring out I’m geeky?” Mentally, he winced at the way his mouth had run ahead of his brain. Smooth move, he told himself. She’s flirting with you, and you go and insult her.
“Oh, it gets better,” Rowan said, stretching out a bit on the bench. “You’ve got the whites still sitting in the basket, and those show stains better than the darks do. Quite a few food stains in there.” Will winced physically as well as mentally, preparing for the conversation’s inevitable turn into humiliation. “But you’re generally well-groomed and clean right now–another plus for a woman, by the way–so it’s clearly not that you’re a slob. No, I’m guessing those stains come from reading while you eat.”
Fear of potential humiliation began to fade into intrigue. Will had to admit it, that was kind of an impressive deduction. “Guilty as charged,” he said with a slightly rueful smile.
“And not just reading while you eat,” Rowan continued, “but getting so into the book that you don’t notice the spill right away. I’d guess that you’re imaginative and focused, Will. You allow yourself to slip into a state where the book seems more real to you than the world around you. That’s something I really like–I’m starting to feel like I was very lucky to bump into you.”
Will felt a warm, happy feeling filling up his chest all the way up to his eyes. She was into him! She really liked him! This was so unbelievably amazing that he wanted to shout for joy, but he tried not to get doofy about it. “I guess you’re right,” he said, trying to stay calm while not acting so nonchalant that she thought he wasn’t interested in him. “You can learn a lot from someone’s laundry basket.”
“Oh, it’s not just the basket,” Rowan said, leaning forward a bit. “For example, just sitting her talking to you, I can tell you’re not gay.” Will followed her gaze, and swallowed hard when he realized that she was looking at the bulge in his jeans. “Don’t worry,” she said, cutting off his apologies before they could even begin. “I don’t mind at all. I’m actually quite flattered; a hard cock is the most direct compliment a woman can get, really.”
She shifted position again, closing the gap between them. “So you’re intelligent, well-groomed, polite–after all, I’m sitting here in my bra and panties, and you’re clearly turned on by it, but you’ve been nothing but a gentleman about the whole thing. You’ve even tried to avoid staring.” She chuckled at his startled reaction. “Oh, yes, Will. Women always notice. Don’t feel bad–I can tell the difference between an involuntary gape and treating me like a piece of meat.” She leaned even closer to him. This close, he could smell her perfume over the scents of detergent and fabric softener. “You’re cute, and it even looks like a nice cock underneath those pants. All in all, you seem like a great catch. So why are you so lonely, Will?”
Will looked away quickly. “I’m not,” he said. “I just…I haven’t met the right girl yet, is all. But I’m not lonely. I’ve got plenty of good friends, and I don’t even know if I’ve got time for a relationship right now.” All the usual excuses flowed easily from his lips as easily as they did to his family and friends, but they felt more hollow than ever.
“Will, remember how I said you could tell a lot about someone from their laundry?” Rowan asked. “The stains on those socks are pretty distinctive. Ditto with the towels. You’ve been spending a lot of nights with nothing but yourself for company, Will.”
Will stood up abruptly. “I, um…I think I should go,” he said quickly, his voice cracking in embarrassment. “I’ll be back in a little bit, I just need to–”
Rowan reached up and put her hand on his arm. It felt warm to the touch. “It’s all right, Will,” she said. “You don’t need to be ashamed. It’s not a bad thing to stroke yourself. Some of the best sex I’ve ever had has involved just watching my lover stroke his cock.” She gently tugged him back down to his seat as she spoke, and despite his embarrassment, Will found himself going along with it. He had to admit, he wanted to hear more of the compelling mental picture she was painting with her words.
“There’s something so sexy about it,” she continued, “seeing that look on a man’s face and knowing he’s drinking you in with his eyes, knowing that just the sight of you is giving him a raging erection that he can’t control.” She brushed against him lightly as he sat back down, the silk of her bra brushing against his bare arm and her erect nipple rubbing against his skin for an all-too-brief moment. “Watching his hand pump up…and down…on his cock, seeing his balls tighten, knowing that he can’t help himself, he has to stroke…you don’t have to feel bad about masturbation, Will. Jacking off is sexy. I only wanted to know why you don’t have someone to help you do it.”
Will was surprised at how distant his voice sounded. Between the throbbing in his cock, the mental images Rowan had supplied him with, and the shock at the turn the conversation had taken, he felt sort of lost inside his own head. Maybe that was why the truth just slipped out so easily. “I just…can’t believe a girl would like me,” he said. “I’m skinny, and I’m short, and I’m geeky, and I’m boring, and…as soon as I look at a pretty girl I freeze. I don’t know how to tell if they really like me or not. And it’s safer to be lonely than humiliated.”
“I understand,” Rowan said, stroking his arm. “You’re afraid of rejection.” Will nodded, sagging slightly in relief at the knowledge that she knew how he felt. “What you need is a woman who’s aggressive, Will. Someone who’s not afraid to tell you what she wants, instead of waiting for you to tell her. A woman who’s willing to take charge. Have you thought about that, Will?”
“I…yes…” He hadn’t, not exactly, but he was thinking about it right now. He was thinking very vividly about Rowan taking charge and being sexually aggressive, and his cock was pounding so hard that it seemed to be cutting off some of the oxygen to his brain.
“Yes, I know you have. Maybe some of those times you stroked yourself, you thought about a woman who was powerful, willing to take control. It’d be so much easier, then. You’d be able to relax completely, knowing that you were sexy…and desirable…and loved…and letting her guide things.” Rowan leaned heavily against him now, her body warm against his. She had her hand on his inner thigh, not moving, but potent by its mere presence so close to his cock. “You played with yourself, and maybe you imagined a woman like me watching you, telling you to stroke, commanding you to pump that dick into your fist, and that’s so hot, isn’t it, Will?”
Will let out a long, shuddery sigh. “Uh-huh…” he said. The words she spoke seemed somehow more real than the room around them, and he felt light-headed with arousal.
“Yes, it’s so easy to imagine these things when I suggest them, isn’t it? I’m even taking charge of your imagination, Will, and it feels good to–” A loud buzzer interrupted Rowan’s speech mid-sentence. “Crap!” she said, jumping slightly in surprise. “Sorry, that’s my other load done. Let me just take a moment and put in another.”
Will nodded, still a little too dazed to really say much. He felt like they’d been close to…something, he didn’t know quite what. Some sort of powerful understanding. He mulled over her words in his head, shivering as he remembered how fuzzy everything had gone with arousal, and how fuzzy it still seemed even as she got up and began to move clothes from the washer to the dryer.
“So you’re starting to see what I mean about the laundry room being a great place to meet people, I hope,” Rowan said mischievously as she dragged armfuls of clothes out of the washer. “It makes me glad that this is one of the few chores I don’t make my pets do.”
Will blinked in confusion. “Pets?” he asked. “Your dog does laundry?”
Rowan laughed. “No, no,” she said. “I keep people as pets, Will.” Before he could even get past the shock and figure out how he felt about that statement, Rowan pressed on. “People who like it when someone else takes control, whether for a few hours a day or all the time. People who enjoy that erotic sensation of relaxing their will and letting someone else do all the thinking. People like you.”
Will shook his head. “I don’t–I mean, I never–”
“Oh, I’m sure you didn’t know that was what you wanted, Will. A lot of my pets didn’t at first.” She started the dryer, and began to put another load of clothing into the washer. “But once they found out how much fun it was, how sexy it was to let themselves be controlled…you remember, don’t you, Will? Just think back to a few minutes ago, relaxing into my touch and my words. Imagine feeling that nice all the time, Will, whether it’s during sex, washing dishes, or even doing nothing at all. Imagine always feeling that pleasure, Will. Imagine sinking into it, losing yourself in it.”
Will was having a hard time doing anything else–his cock still felt rock-hard inside his pants, and watching Rowan bounce as she moved back and forth from her laundry basket on the floor to the washer wasn’t helping. “But–but if you’ve already got pets, then–”
Rowan smiled winsomely at him. “I’ve got room for another, Will. And you don’t know how much fun we can have until you try. Haven’t you noticed what kind of laundry I’m doing?”
Will looked as Rowan put her last armful of clothes in the washer. Her hands were filled with panties, bras, slips, nightgowns, and a few items of clothing he’d only ever seen in porno magazines. “And they’re all dirty,” she said, adding detergent. “They get dirty so quick living in an apartment with such horny pets–that’s why I came down here so late, I realized I’d totally run out of clean underwear. I have to change panties three times a day, sometimes. They get so wet when I’m playing with my pets…oh! That reminds me!” She reached around and unhooked her bra, dropping it into the washing machine with the rest of the underthings. “Got to make sure everything gets clean.”
Her tits swung freely now, and Will couldn’t look away from them. It was like they had magnets attracting his eyes and tugging at his cock. When she pulled off her panties, too, he felt almost like he was going to cum in his jeans. Her pussy glistened slightly with moisture as she picked her panties up from the floor. “See?” she said. “These are already damp just from talking to you.”
Will’s eyes locked onto them as they dangled from her finger, swaying slightly. “Here,” she said, stepping back over to the bench. “It’s easier to tell close up. This close, you don’t just see it, you can smell how aroused I got–how aroused I’m getting, right now.”
Will inhaled involuntarily, taking a deep breath of Rowan’s musky scent. “See, Will?” Rowan said. “It’s very easy for you to follow suggestions. You’re imaginative and focused, and when I suggest something, it’s very easy for you to imagine it, and focus it, and make it the center of your mind. And it feels good, Will. It feels so good to listen to my words, to follow my suggestions, to let me command while you just…obey.” Something about the way she purred out that last word made Will melt inside. His whole mind went warm and liquid, while his cock stayed hard.
“Breathe deeply, Will,” Rowan said, holding the panties right up to his face. “It’s almost like it’s a drug; a sexy, sleepy scent that makes you horny and dizzy, like every breath makes it harder and harder to resist my words.” Will knew it wasn’t actually true, but she’d told him how easy it would be to imagine the things she said so vividly that they’d seem true, and it was hard to figure out the difference between something that seemed true and something that really was true when he was this horny and dizzy and sleepy.
“Very good, Will,” Rowan said, watching his eyelids flutter. She gently pushed him back until he was lying on the bench, then set the panties down on his face. “Breathing in my sexy scent has already left your body too heavy to move. You can’t possibly move, so you can’t pull those panties off, so you’re helpless to avoid breathing in more of my scent and sinking deeper…”