Detroit had only two colors this time of year: white and gray. And it was cold—the kind of cold that sliced through Jack Morgan’s tweed sport coat and leather jacket like a straight razor. Pathetic wisps of snow swirled and eddied over the cracked tarmac as he hurried down the steps from the Airbus, eager to reach the warmth of the terminal.
Two days, he told himself. Forty-eight hours in all, to prepare and deliver his keynote speech at the convention. Only an hour of actual work—then back to California’s warm sun. The snow was already beginning to stick to his socks and work its way into his loafers. His feet were damp by the time he reached the terminal door.
The baggage carousel was already disgorging suitcases when he reached it. His two-suiter, marked with a purple ribbon, was one of the first out of the dark opening. He elbowed his way past the other passengers, grabbed the handle as it swept past on the silver oval, and headed toward the doors. He scanned the crowd, looking for his transportation to the hotel.
He pushed through the automatic doors, bracing himself against the shocking cold. A young woman stood next to a steel gray Lincoln Town Car. She held a carefully lettered sign with his name on it.
She was barely five feet two, dressed in knee-high, spiked-heel boots. Her hair was cut pixie-short. She seemed unfazed by the brutal cold; her black wool trench coat was unbuttoned. She wore a white dress shirt with its top three buttons open, reminding any man that she was definitely a woman. Her tailored skirt clung expensively to her hips and thighs.
“Welcome to Detroit, Mr. Morgan,” she said, reaching for his suitcase. “How was your flight?” He tried to hold on to his bag, but she had already taken it from him and was tossing it into the open trunk as though it weighed nothing.
“Uneventful,” he said. “This is quite a bit different from San Francisco; it was almost 70 when I left.”
“I’m sure you’ll be just fine,” she said, laughing as she opened the rear passenger door. She closed the door as he got in, then slid behind the wheel. She started the car, and Jack immediately felt the welcome rush of warm air. “My name is Bobbie. I’ll be your driver and valet, but if there’s anything else you need, just let me know. I’m just a phone call away” She handed him a plain white card with her name and phone number.
She pulled away from the curb expertly and the big Lincoln lumbered into the storm. The wipers struggled to keep up with the sticky snow.
“It’s normally about a half hour ride, but today—who knows? The roads won’t be plowed until the snow is a foot deep. The emergency manager for the city is cutting costs everywhere.” Jack knew Detroit was in crisis, but he had no idea those problems would affect its citizens’ day-to-day lives. The Town Car followed the ruts to the Interstate, barely managing twenty miles an hour. It would be a long ride. Jack looked at his cell. No signal. It figured. The calls would just have to wait. He looked out the window; all was a featureless white canvas.
“Would you mind if I played some music?” Bobbie asked over her shoulder.
“Not at all,” Jack said. Any sound would be preferable to the drone of the airliner’s engines. Even the insipid pop music his driver probably preferred. He saw her pull a disc from the center console and slide it into the dash.
The sound of a gong filled the Town Car, followed by John Coltrane’s unmistakable tenor sax. It was his masterpiece, “A Love Supreme.” Jack knew it well; he had worn out three vinyl copies of the suite before finally buying it on CD. He sat up straight in his seat.
“I’m sorry, is this bothering you, Mr. Morgan?” she asked, reaching for the volume.
“Oh, my God, no!” Jack said. “This is Love Supreme—the best jazz album ever recorded. I just didn’t expect that.”
“Would you rather I put on some Justin Bieber?” she asked over her shoulder. There was a playful smile in her voice.
“Uh…no. Coltrane is just fine. Better than fine. And please: call me Jack.” He sat back against the leather seat, letting the music wash over him. Bobbie’s head moved in time to the polyrhythmic opening movement of the suite. He began to think the slow ride to the hotel would not be so bad after all.
The music wrapped around them, lifted them to new places as Coltrane’s sax, lyrical, insistent, primal, elegant—told his personal, spiritual search for purity. Jack felt familiar tears come to his eyes, as they always did when he heard this music. The Town Car slowed as the storm intensified. Visibility was no more than a few feet. She must be driving by instinct, he thought.
After half an hour, the car stopped. The suite was ending with the contemplative “Psalm” movement. Jack sat up in his seat. “Problem?”
“Not really,” she said. “But I think with all the yahoos out on the highway, it would be a good idea to wait for this part of the storm to pass. Shouldn’t be long.” She turned on the blinkers. Jack could see them reflected in the dense snowfall.
“How did you happen to get interested in Coltrane?” Jack asked. “It’s not what I’d expect from, uh…” he trailed off.
“From a chick so young?” she finished, laughing. “My brother got the album when I was about ten. I listened to it once, and, well, I guess it spoke to me, you know?” She turned to face him, her elbows on the front seat. Jack had been looking at the back of her head during the ride. Now he saw that she was a strikingly beautiful woman. She had a broad, open face, full lips and dark eyes. Her short dark hair framed her face. She felt his eyes on her and looked away quickly.
“What other surprises do you have to show me?” he asked.
“Sure. Music. Who else do you have?”
She reached into her center console for another disc. She ejected the Coltrane, then inserted the new disc. The music started and Jack caught his breath. The unmistakable sound of castanets, followed by a meditative flugelhorn. Miles. “Sketches of Spain,” Jack’s other favorite album. The long opening movement, “Concierto de Aranjuez,” filled the Town Car. Bobbie turned to face him again over the seat. Her eyes were half-closed, dreamy. The music enfolded them. Outside the windows, all was white.
“Would you mind sitting here next to me? I’ll be a complete gentleman, I promise.” She seemed to think about it for a moment.
“Sure. Why not.” She crawled over the front seat. Jack looked away as her tailored skirt climbed up her thighs. Complete gentleman, as promised. She sat next to him as the second movement, “Will o’ the Wisp,” began.
“This is almost like being at a concert, isn’t it,” Jack said, looking at her. She really was quite beautiful.
“I have to admit, these are good seats!” She settled back and seemed to relax. The music was quieter now; not background music—Miles Davis always demanded attention—but more accessible.
“How long have you been a chauffeuse?” he asked, using the correct French term for a woman driver.
“I’ve had this business for five years,” she said. I knew the only way I’d get out of Hamtramck would be to get some education and my own business. So here I am. I just made the last payment on the Lincoln.” She smiled with pride.
“Hamtramck? What’s that?”
“It’s a little section inside Detroit. Mostly Polish people, like my family. Very blue collar.”
“Nothing wrong with blue collar,” Jack said. “You seem to be doing just fine.”
“That’s so nice of you to say!” she said. She laid a hand on his arm for a second.
“No, really,” he said. “I don’t mean just having a business, but, well—I don’t run into people every day who appreciate Coltrane and Miles. That’s some pretty deep stuff.” She seemed to have moved closer to him. He could smell her faint, sweet scent. She was looking into his face.
“And how about you?” she asked. “How do you find yourself in scenic Detroit?” They both looked out at the featureless white terrain outside the windows. They laughed together.
“Oh, I just travel around giving these talks to anyone who’ll pay me.”
“Talks about what?”
“Promise you won’t think ill of me?”
“I Promise. Tell me.”
“I help people write a certain kind of fiction.”
“You’re a writer?” She sat up straight. Her eyes seemed to shine. “What do you write?”
“I write erotic fiction.”
“Really?” She seemed eager to hear more. “What kind of erotic fiction? You mean porn?”
“Some people probably would say it is, but I’d disagree. I write about sex, but I always have people who care about each other, rather than just objects doing things to each other. That’s pretty boring, actually. Besides, what interests me is the actual relationships. How sex is nurturing, affirming, healing.” Miles’ trumpet was playing “The Pan Piper,” a long, improvised meditation. The light was fading.
“When I hear this music, I think of sex,” she said. When Coltrane played, he was letting down all his defenses, all his barriers. Miles, too. I think that’s how sex is supposed to be.” She looked away. The color was rising on her cheeks.
“That’s exactly what it is,” Jack said. “Not many people get that, but you have it exactly right!”
“You think so?”
“Absolutely. And don’t take this the wrong way, but when we listen to something like this together, something so sensual, so open—it’s almost as though we are having sex.” He stopped abruptly, afraid that he might have gone too far.
She giggled, a musical, girlish sound. “You are really smooth, mister! I thought I still had my clothes on!” She laid her hand on his arm again, leaving it for an instant longer than before.
Jack felt his own cheeks warming. “No, I didn’t mean…” he said quickly.
“Don’t worry, Jack. I know what you mean. And you’re right.” The wind was rising, buffeting the heavy car. Their faces had become dim in the crepuscular light. Jack felt less urgency to get to the hotel. They sat in silence, listening to the music.
After several minutes he said, “How long do you think this is going to last?” She looked out the white window and shrugged.
“Hard to say. We can get going again, if you don’t mind going really slow. I’ll leave the blinkers on.”
“You know, I’m really not in that much of a hurry. We can at least wait until the music is over.” He sensed her smile.
“I was kind of hoping you’d say that,” she said, leaning back against the leather seat. “The heater’s working, we have plenty of gas…and the company’s pleasant.” Did she move closer to him, or was that just imagination at work? Her eyes were closed and her hand, moving gracefully as though conducting, brushed against his. Her skin was very warm. She opened her eyes and turned to face him. He realized he was holding her hand.
“I’m sorry,” he said quickly, releasing it. “I didn’t mean to do that. It’s the music…”
“I know,” she said. She took his hand in both of hers. “It’s okay. It’s the music. It’s magical, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” he said. “Magical.”
He didn’t actually decide to kiss her, but somehow, their lips were together. Her mouth was soft, yielding to his in a pleasant, familiar way, as though they were old friends. It was a soft, chaste kiss at first. He felt her lips part slightly, then the quick flick of her tongue. She moved closer to him, until they were half-reclined across the seat. He wrapped his arms around her to pull her closer to him. She seemed to melt into him. Her breasts pressed against his chest. He felt her breathing quicken against his mouth. He responded.
They shifted their bodies on the broad leather seat until she was lying on top of him. She moved rhythmically, feeling how he was becoming aroused. They kissed, open-mouthed, hungrily. He pulled her white shirt from the waistband of her tailored skirt, then unbuttoned it. She wore a white bra with delicate lace trimming. He reached behind her, fumbling with the clasp. She shrugged out of her coat and shirt in one motion and started to unbutton Jack’s shirt. She sat on top of him and pulled off her bra, tossing it aside. Her breasts were small and firm to his touch. She bent to him and he kissed and sucked at each one. She writhed on top of him, grinding against his erection.
Her skirt had ridden high up her thighs. She wore white panties with trim that matched her now-discarded bra. She helped him get them off. She unbuckled his belt, slid down his zipper and reached for him, caressing him. They were both panting with desire. She lifted herself up over him, guided his hard cock into her. She was wet and slippery, and he slid into her easily.
Her pussy was very tight; she seemed to grip him, possessing him. They were motionless for a moment, savoring this first, new feeling. Then she began to move—forward and back at first, then up and down, so that his hard penis plunged in and out of her. She kissed him fiercely, demandingly. He felt his own hips moving of their own accord. She lay against him as they moved together. Her breasts pressed against his bare chest. He wrapped his arms around her to draw her closer. Their mouths were locked together and they breathed in sync.
Miles’ reflective trumpet opened “Solea,” the last movement. Jack had heard this piece hundreds of times. He knew how it built in tempo and intensity. Still inside her, he gently rolled the two of them over so he was on top of her. Bobbie’s eyes were half-closed and dreamy. The music swelled around them. She wrapped her legs around his waist and raised her hips, urging him to penetrate her more deeply. He did.
The music increased in urgency and tempo. Jack moved in and out of her, luxuriating in the feel of her. She was very wet, and matched the tempo of his thrusts perfectly. Their breathing was fast and ragged.
She came first, with loud cries. Her pussy seemed to clutch rhythmically at his hard cock as he thrust into her. His own orgasm came upon him quickly, sharply, and he released into her ecstatically, his cries joining with hers. He kissed her, hard, and she responded. He thought he tasted blood.
Finally, he collapsed onto her, feeling the slickness of their shared sweat. He wanted to stay inside her for as long as he could. She wanted him there, too; she grasped him tighter with her thighs around his waist.
After a long while, as their breathing slowed, he raised up to look at her in the dim light. Her eyes were wide. Her full lips were smiling.
“What just happened?” he asked, feeling a little foolish for asking.
She affected a mock-southern-belle accent . “Why, Mr. Morgan, I have no idea! I think you just put me under your spell with that fancy music!” She batted her eyelashes at him. They laughed together.
“No, really,” he said. “I absolutely don’t go around fucking women indiscriminately. Just because I write stories with sex scenes doesn’t mean I’m some kind of maniac.” She laughed and put a warm hand on his cheek.
“I could say the same thing,” she said. I’m not a slut, and I don’t fuck guys on a whim. But this was…different.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, like I said, it’s magical. The music.” The car was silent now. Jack kissed her gently and rolled off her. He knelt on the floor next to her. She lay back, smiling at him, at ease and satisfied.
“So what now?” he said.
“Well, I suppose we could get going again,” she said. The windows were completely fogged over, but they could by the light that the blizzard had abated somewhat.
“Yeah, I guess we could,” Jack said, reluctant for the moment to end. “But as your client, I must insist that you join me for dinner.”
“If I do, will you promise to tell me all about your writing?” she asked.
“How about if I go one better; how about if I write a story about you?”
And he did.