Cool Me Down: "Don't Get Too Excited For A Technician"

An exploration of consent through a work of erotic fiction.

Squiggly Line
Pallavi Alvarez pressed her hand to the small of her back and stretched, trying to work the kinks and aches out of her body. It had been years since she’d up and moved across multiple states. She’d forgotten what a literal pain it was.
The movers were long gone, and she was all alone in her new three-bedroom home. She’d greeted them this morning and supervised them emptying the truck, each box overwhelming her. Order was her favorite thing in the world. This disarray was an assault to her system.
It’ll be organized again soon.
Unpacking help would be arriving this evening, but she couldn’t stand to wait that long. So she’d started in the kitchen, trying to tame the chaos. After a few hours of work, the cupboards and drawers were filled and organized, which made her happy.
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Pallavi finished collapsing the latest box and placed it neatly in the corner on top of a small stack. The kitchen was small, and she felt a momentary pang of nostalgia for the huge kitchen she’d had in her sprawling Austin home. Then she straightened her shoulders. This opportunity in New York state had been an amazing find. Jobs for medieval literature scholars weren’t exactly thick on the ground, and it was a great school.
She swiped her hand over the back of her forehead, grimacing at the sweat there, and moved closer to one of the few fans she’d been able to find in a closet. Heat was something she was familiar with, but without any air circulation, this humidity was murderous.
She’d realized the A/C was broken the second she’d walked into their rental this morning. The landlord had said he’d send someone over to fix it, but she doubted it would happen today.
This is not a bad omen for the move.
Right. She stilled her nervous fidgeting. She didn’t need her therapist to tell her she was seeing bad omens where there weren’t any because disruptions in routine unsettled her. This was a good move. This would all work out.
Maybe the repairman would come today and at least do a patch job. In the meantime, she’d go get some more fans before tonight. If she finished up here in the kitchen first, she could go dig out her collection of carefully filed twenty percent off coupons.
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The loud, authoritative knock on the door startled her just as she was bending down to grab a box of mugs and dishes.
Don’t get too excited for a technician. It’s probably someone who wants to convert you. Pallavi pursed her lips and added a no solicitation sign to her mental shopping list.
She walked out of the kitchen and down the hallway to the front door, begrudging every step that took her away from the fan. The knock came once again, a little louder, as she stepped into the foyer. “I’m comin’, I’m comin’...”
She opened the door and stared at the dark-haired man in the pristine white t-shirt and snug jeans, carrying an old-fashioned green toolbox in one hand. Bad omens forgotten, she blinked up at him. What the…?
The man lifted his head and flashed her a smile, a dimple accenting a set of sinfully full lips. His skin was a light brown, slightly lighter than her own, and gilded golden in the afternoon sun. He was close to her age, almost forty, and silver had lightened the hair at his temples. “Hello there. Are you Ms. ...” he consulted the phone in his hand. “Alvarez?”
Her fingers clenched the doorframe. Happiness bubbled up inside her chest. “Yes…?” she said slowly.
“Great. I understand you’re having trouble with your A/C?” She opened her mouth and then closed it again. One look from this attractive man, one stroke of that low voice, and her anxiety and stress had taken a hard turn into something else.
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“I am.”
“Well. Would you like me to take a look?”
“Very much so.” She nodded emphatically and held the door open for him. His brawny arm brushed against her shoulder as he entered. Her stomach clenched, her body unaware that that had been an innocent touch.
Her gaze traveled over his broad shoulders where the T-shirt stretched tight, down his strong back. He turned around, and her vision was filled with his wide chest, his flat stomach. A thick belt emphasized the narrowness of his waist. His jeans were old and snug, faded at the crotch and knees. He wasn’t that tall, more like average sized, but since she barely cleared five feet, he was tall for her.
The sound of his throat clearing brought her back to reality, and a slight flush covered her cheeks as she realized she’d been staring. His dark eyes sparkled with so much mischief, she couldn’t help but smile back, owning the fact that she’d totally been checking him out.
“You’re pretty fast. I only called the problem in a little while ago.”

She didn’t want to change. It felt good to be exposed, to be revealed when she spent so much of her life buttoning herself down.

“I live to serve.” He made the four words sound like a seductive threat instead of a company slogan. She cleared her throat and tried to keep her eyes on his face.
She closed the door, enclosing them in the humid home. “I’m certainly grateful...um, Mr…” she hesitated.
“You can call me Josh.”
Pallavi resisted the urge to pat her hair. The long dark curls had curled and poufed up in the humidity. She’d thought nothing of greeting the movers in soft terry-cloth short shorts and a threadbare tanktop, but her curves felt exposed now.
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She didn’t want to change. It felt good to be exposed, to be revealed when she spent so much of her life buttoning herself down. “Josh, you don’t know how much I appreciate it. I’m sweating like crazy.” She lifted her hair off her neck and bundled it up on top of her head with the tie around her wrist.
His frown was concerned and thoughtful, but his gaze swept over the vulnerable underside of her biceps. “This heat wave is unseasonable.”
She lowered her arms and cocked her hip. “Yeah, I’m used to heat, but this is rough.”
“Is that a Southern accent I hear?”
She smiled. “Texas.”
“That’s a change, I bet. Pretty stressful.”
She’d just been stressed out about all the changes in her life, but that ball of stress had melted a little in the last couple minutes. “A nice one, though. So far.”
“Glad to hear it.” They stared at each other in silence for a minute.
Pallavi licked her lips. “Well. Why don’t I show you where the…” she waved her hand vaguely, unsure about the terminology. She could recite Middle English poetry while drunk, but home repairs weren’t her strong suit. “The thingey? The thingey is?”
“It would be helpful to see the thingey,” he murmured.
“Follow me.” As he trailed her down the hallway to the basement door, she could feel his gaze on her hair, her back, leaving a trail of fire in its wake. Excitement made her nerve endings sizzle.
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“The stairs are a little rickety,” she murmured and hit the light switch. A small glow lit the unfinished basement. A bit wobbly, she ignored her own warning and stumbled on the first step, grabbing the banister.
“Whoa, there. Do you need a hand?”
She appreciated him asking instead of just grabbing her. Those who knew her well understood that she was selective about how and when she permitted encroachment into her personal space. It made him more attractive, that respectful concern. “No, thank you. I’m fine.”

Her heart pounded as they continued down the stairs, Pallavi taking care not to stumble again. God, it had been a while since she’d felt this kind of crazy desire.

Her heart pounded as they continued down the stairs, Pallavi taking care not to stumble again. God, it had been a while since she’d felt this kind of crazy desire. The Big Move had kept her sex drive firmly under wraps for a couple of months.
She blew out a small breath. She’d always had a bit of a repairman fantasy. How could he have...?
“When did the unit call it quits?” He moved past her toward the big steel…thingey? His brisk, businesslike tone was a stark contrast to her thoughts.
It took her a second to recover. “I, uh, don’t know exactly. I moved in this morning and it wasn’t working then.”
He dropped his toolbox on the concrete, crouched down, and clicked on the flashlight on his phone. “So you don’t know exactly how long it’s been out?”
“No.” She moved closer, until she was standing by his side.
He looked up at her from below long lashes. He was so beautiful, the kind of beautiful she hadn’t even known existed. “What about your husband? He doesn’t know either?”
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That was probing, interested question if she’d ever heard one. It would be easy to say that she was married, that her husband would be home shortly. Back in the day when she’d had to field come-ons in bars and clubs, it had been natural to come up with imaginary husband or boyfriend to fend off unwanted interest.
Men respected other men’s claims more than they respected a woman’s autonomy. Yet another annoying thing about the world.
But right now, she didn’t want to signal that she was anything but available. Her smile was slow. “I’m not married,” she said. “No boyfriend or girlfriend, either.”
She waited for him to drop a lascivious one liner or come on to her, but her repairman did neither. Instead, he turned to the big machine and started fiddling with it. Which was fine by her. While he was occupied, she was more than happy to take the time to study the way the fabric of his worn jeans clung to his firm ass, the way his muscles flexed with every movement. His salt-and-pepper hair was cut short, and her fingers itched to give up this pretense and sink into the rough silk.
“At least it’s cooler down here,” he remarked without looking at her.
Not where I’m standing. When she actually stopped thinking about his wondrous body, though, she realized how right he was. It was cooler underground. “Heat rises, I guess.”
He bowed his head, occupied with the machine. “Why don’t you go on upstairs? I’ll meet you there once I finish running this diagnostic.”
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She reluctantly took a step back. “Sure. I’ll be in the living room.” She made her way upstairs, her body in turmoil. Since she was human, and a tiny bit vain, she took a second as she passed the hall mirror to check her appearance. Her cheeks were flushed. After she undid her hair and fluffed the black curls, she felt like she was looking at a woman she hadn’t seen in ages. This wasn’t the same harried lady who had been packing, moving, renovating, and rebuilding for the past few months.
Anticipation strummed through her veins. Unable to just stand there and wait, she detoured to the kitchen, grabbed two beers she’d tossed into the fridge in the morning, and then went to the living room and stood in front of the other fan she’d been able to scrounge up. She turned it on to max, letting the cold air circulate over her body. Her fists closed tight over the sweating bottles. The floor was covered in neatly stacked boxes, but she wasn’t thinking about them right now. Wasn’t thinking about sorting and cleaning and organizing, for once.
She heard his heavy footsteps before she saw him. She’d have to get rugs for the floor, she thought. That would muffle some sound.
Later. She’d add that to her list later.

His dark eyes were questioning. “I want to kiss you,” she said quietly and clearly. “May I?”

He appeared in the doorway of the living room, empty-handed. He’d left the toolbox somewhere. “Would you like a beer?” she asked politely, and held out one of the bottles.
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“Little early,” he remarked, but he walked over and accepted the bottle. Their fingers brushed and she controlled the shiver that ran down her back.
“Only a few hours until five.” She raised her beer to him and he smiled and saluted her, then took a deep gulp.
Pallavi sipped her beer. It wasn’t her favorite brand, but it would do. The silence stretched between them, rife with attraction and electric expectation. She should probably ask about the A/C, but she didn’t much care.
She placed the bottle on the table after a couple sips. She’d wanted to cool down, not get buzzed.
He followed suit, his bottle a matched set to hers. His dark eyes were questioning. “I want to kiss you,” she said quietly and clearly. “May I?”
He shifted, coming closer to her. “Kiss me how?”
“Your lips.”
He lowered his head toward her in answer, coming a little more than half the distance. She crossed the remaining distance and pressed her lips against his.
It was a tentative, exploratory kiss, a kiss between strangers. A kiss meant for when you wanted to get to know your partner. She leaned into him and parted from him for a second to speak.
“Can I kiss you in other places?”
His big hands slid up her arms, up to her neck. She forgot that she was too-warm and frizzy-haired. She felt small and cherished and perfect. “Yes. Can I do the same?”
She nodded and he coasted over her chin, tilting her head back to nibble on the vulnerable curve of her neck. When she let out a small moan, he opened his mouth and sucked the flesh. She didn’t bruise easily, so there wouldn’t be a mark. She didn’t care if there was.
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She rested her hands on his narrow hips. “Clothes,” she gasped.
His tongue licked her skin. “What about them?”
“I’d rather we not be wearing them.”
“How convenient. I’d also like to not be wearing anything.” He pulled away and grasped his shirt at the hem, pulling it off over his head. She did the same with her tank top, then paused.
His body was tanned, muscular heaven. A small amount of hair covered his chest, narrowing over his belly to a happy trail that led down into the jeans.
Niiiice.
His fingers paused on his button fly, in a deceptively casual pose belied by the tenseness of his body. “Is this it? Are we stopping with just our tops?”
“I got distracted.”
His gaze lingered on her breasts, cupped in a serviceable sports bra that was a little too old and a little too tight. “Totally understand that.”
She made quick work of her bra, jeans, and panties, until she stood naked in front of him. Her nipples were diamond hard, partly from the cold fan air but mostly from arousal. Now he was the one who seemed distracted, content to watch her body be unveiled. His gaze skimmed over her breasts, her thighs, the parts between them. “Nice,” he whispered.
She had to stifle her laugh at him echoing her thoughts. She slid her hand over her naked hip, delighting in the fact that he was helpless to look away. “Just nice?”
“More than nice.”
She stepped closer to him, and smoothed her hands over his arms, delighting in the crinkle of dark hair there. “I missed you,” she whispered, breaking character.
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His arms came around her. This time, the touch felt familiar. Secure. “It’s only been a few days.”
She pouted. At work, and with others, she was serious and studious. Only with him did she dare to do something as frivolous as pout. “Too many days.” She ran her fingers over his crotch and the bulge there. “I want to kiss you here,” she murmured.
His eyes closed, a pained line appearing between his brows. She loved this game, the give and take of control and pleasure, each sexual demand and request ensuring they would both be pleased in the end. “I would not stop you,” he said gruffly.
She stepped forward and sank to her knees. His thick sex strained against the worn denim. She traced a fingernail along the outline of his cock, and he hissed. “Teasing is mean.”
She gave him a slightly evil smile. Since she was as eager to release him as he was to be set free, though, she took pity on him. Her fingers felt just a little bit clumsier than usual as she slipped the belt free and unbuttoned the fly of his jeans, shoving the fabric down.
His fingers sank into her hair. He didn’t do that horribly rude thing that men sometimes did, pushing her head into his crotch. He merely waited, caressing her, petting her, as if he was cherishing her as much as she was about to cherish him.
She took her time, licking and kissing. He tasted familiar and strange at the same time. It had been too long. He smoothed one hand over the hair that hung down, pushing it to the side to give him an unimpeded view of her face. She glanced up at him to find him watching her lips with intent concentration. “Do you like this?” he asked.
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She nodded, and he pulled away, kicked free of his remaining clothes and sank down next to her. She kissed him, wilder and unrestrained now. “Touch me.”
His fingers trailed up her leg. “Show me where.”
She grasped his hand and brought it between her legs, and sighed with pleasure when he sank two fingers inside her, his thumb rubbing against her clit. “Do you want this?” he asked.
She clenched tight around his fingers. “Can’t you tell?”
“I can tell you’re wet.” He cupped her protectively. “But I want to hear it.”
“I want this. I want you.”

“Tell me what you want.”

“Tell me what you want.”
She bit his ear. “Fuck me.”
His fingers left her and he leaned over to find his jeans. It took him a second to rip into and don a condom, and then he was back over her, pushing her back, his narrow hips settling between her legs.
A strangled groan left her throat when he sank inside her. He paused about halfway in and they both waited a second for her body to adjust. “Christ, you’re always so tight.”
Tenderness unfurled inside of Pallavi. She raised a hand and stroked the side of his beloved face. “Don’t stop.”
He turned his head, kissed her palm, and took her at her word, sinking into her all the way and then withdrawing to slam back home. He shafted her in long strokes, using his grip on her legs to open her wider for him.
She welcomed every stroke, particularly when he angled his body so that he rubbed against all the right spots inside and outside of her body. Her belly tensed, her hands seeking purchase over his broad, slippery shoulders. She knew he was close, could tell by the intense concentration on his sweat-dampened face and the tempo of his hips.
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She bit her lip and closed her eyes, but they flew open when he kissed her lips hard. “Keep your eyes open.” He grunted in approval when she obeyed and readjusted his stroke so he went even deeper. “Who’s inside of you?”
“You are. Oh, God.” She whimpered as he insinuated a hand between their bodies and massaged her clit.
“Say my name.”
“Victor, I—” He cut off her words by closing his lips over hers, kissing her deeply while his body hammered into hers with short, quick strokes. She cried out into his mouth when the tension broke inside of her. His shoulders stiffened under her hands and he groaned loudly, tossing his head back in pleasure.
He collapsed on top of her. With an ease that came from long practice, he shifted to the side to keep from flattening her under his weight. They lay there for a while, both recovering. After a while, he turned to his back, adjusting her boneless body so she lay on top of him.

She didn’t feel silly when he indulged her need to check in repeatedly during sex, calming her anxieties over whether they were both enjoying something.

Pallavi was still breathing hard when Victor smoothed a hand down her back. She jumped when he tapped her buttock with his palm, then stretched to look down into his eyes. “What was that for?”
“You’re not married, huh?”
She sniffed. “Do you have an adultery fantasy I don’t know about? It seemed easier to pretend to be single.”
“Hmph.” Now it was his turn to pout, but she recognized the playful gleam in his eyes. Victor had always been more playful than she was. He’d made the past ten years of marriage fun. She didn’t feel foolish when she talked about her fantasies, even if they were as clichéd as a sexy repairman. She didn’t feel silly when he indulged her need to check in repeatedly during sex, calming her anxieties over whether they were both enjoying something.
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It was fun. Fun and sexy. The things they did in the bedroom felt right because they were right for both of them.
“You called me Ms. Alvarez,” she pointed out. Sometimes she corralled her need to be right, but not with Victor. He was secure enough to admit when he was wrong. “I was taking my cues from you.”
“Fair enough.” Victor rubbed her bottom, and the rhythmic motion soothed her enough to slump against his chest again.
“You weren’t supposed to come until tonight,” she said sleepily. That had been the plan, that she’d fly in in the morning, he’d arrive by dinnertime. He’d left days ago to drive their car across the country.
“You seemed stressed when we talked. So I drove most of the night.” His yawn was loud.
The rush of love made her close her eyes. She was anxious and intellectual and frequently lost in her own thoughts--not the easiest person in the world. How she’d lucked into an easy man who seemed to always know what she needed, who always checked to make sure they were on the same page, she wasn’t sure. She clutched him tighter, her world feeling even-keeled for the first time since all her worldly possessions had been packed into a moving truck and he’d set out in their SUV.
Uprooting her life wasn’t simple for her, but it was a lot less unsettling when she had such a rock-solid calming influence nearby to give her a steadying hand.
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“It really is hot in here.”
The fan was cooling the sweat on their bodies. She’d lure him into a cold shower as soon as she could move. “Did you see what was wrong with the air conditioner?” she had the presence of mind to ask.
“You know I’m not handy. Is the real repairman coming today?”
“I don’t think so. I was going to go get more fans before you got here so we could at least sleep comfortably tonight.”
His leer was playful. “I’ll sleep comfortably no matter what, but let’s go do that.” He looked around the living room, and she knew he wasn’t seeing the piles of boxes or the mess. He was seeing the home they’d have. Through his eyes, she could see it, too. She relaxed fully into him, welcoming the warmth of his body. He pulled her close and kissed her forehead. “I’m excited for this.”
There it was. The joy she’d initially felt about this new adventure, the thrill that had been buried under mundane practicalities. “Yes. It’s exciting.”
He yawned again, and she mentally shelved the shower to after a nap. “I love you.”
She let it wash over her. The pleasure, the words, the man. “I love you, too.”
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