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K. R. Gray

Sex With a Stranger

Kaylee was drunk.

Or at least, she was getting there. She felt tingly in her extremities, and she felt much more interested in singing and dancing than she normally did. She didn’t think her judgment was impaired, and she didn’t feel like her head was spinning or like she was going to fall over, but it’s not like she had a lot of experience with this kind of thing.

Her roommate Miranda had suggested they all go out. Kaylee said she was game, but back in high school, “going out” meant hanging with a mixed group of friends at a restaurant for hours and hours. She’d never been much of a drinker. She liked to dance, she’d never been much for clubs, either. In college, “going out” apparently meant heading to three different dance clubs in an hour and then ending up at a bar because apparently there wasn’t enough alcohol at dance clubs even when they were liberal about who they served, be they underage or not. And apparently this was fine to do on a Thursday, because… hell… it was the day before the day before the weekend. It seemed to make its own kind of perverse sense.

The way the night had unfolded was all very new to Kaylee, who was used to her “nights out” being small and intimate. Seven girls had piled into two cars and headed out of their private college campus (which was lame) and onto the campus of a large state school half an hour away. It took them a while to find a place to park because apparently Thursday night partying was the rule around here, and when they did find a place, it was on a small side street without much overhead lighting. Kaylee had felt exposed, but nobody else seemed bothered by the dark, so she tried to stay in the middle of the group until they reached the main street where the clubs were, which was much brighter and much more crowded. There were ropes out in front of all of the clubs, and large bouncers at the end of each of the roped-off lines. The seven girls stood in one of the lines until a bouncer at the front looked at their IDs and let them in — without marking their hands, because they were too young to drink.

The clubs were warm, which was nice. Kaylee had been cold outside. They all had. They’d walked briskly from the cars, hugging their arms around themselves, their heels clicking staccato beats on the concrete, giggling and making shivering noises. They’d known it would be chilly, but nobody wanted to be burdened with a coat in the clubs, and nobody had wanted to wear jeans.

Well, except for Kaylee. When Kaylee had emerged ready to go at the beginning of the evening, Miranda had laughed and told her to go and put on something more “partyish,” which apparently was college girl code for “sexy.” Miranda only greenlit Kaylee’s choice when she emerged wearing the only skirt she’d brought with her to school, but told her to trade the sweater thing she was wearing above the waist for a sleeveless blouse that in Kaylee’s opinion was a little bit too small on her. Miranda had scoffed and made gagging noises, saying, “Yeah, you’re so fat” in a sarcastic way that made Kaylee giggle. Miranda wasn’t at all fat herself, but she had more meat on her than Kaylee did and had already made several jokes about how she was going to have trouble hooking up with guys if Kaylee stood too close to her.

After three clubs and three watered-down drinks (Miranda had shown her how to get them from the youngest male bartender at each club because they never seemed to care about their hands’ lack of of-age stamps), Kaylee still felt uncomfortable standing in the middle of a room dressed the way she was. She wasn’t used to her legs being exposed in the off-season, and she definitely wasn’t used to the way the room’s air played right up under her skirt. Every time someone walked by her, she felt a draft all the way up to her panties. It made her feel vulnerable and exposed. The heels, which made her ass stick out, weren’t helping. Neither was the way the cold air on the way from the last club had made her nipples stand out.

Kaylee felt out of place, she thought, because she’d always been “the good girl” and didn’t have much experience being borderline slutty — a line she felt like she was currently toeing. Her nipples were super-visible under the tight top, and all that stood between the others in the club and a view of her crotch was perspective. If a guy squatted down beside her (say, to pick up something he’d dropped) he’d get an eyeful. She couldn’t believe some women dressed this way every day, going to work and out to eat wearing what was essentially a loin cloth. The skirt barely went halfway down her thighs. She never should have let Miranda talk her into wearing it. She could barely believe she’d packed it. She’d gotten it almost five years ago, and in that time, either she’d gotten taller or the skirt had gotten shorter.

And speaking of Miranda, where was she?

Kaylee barely knew the five other girls. They were all from her floor, and she knew them by sight, and she’d exchanged a few words with them. She could see a few of them around the bar, but she couldn’t see Miranda, and she’d made Miranda promise to stay by her. She’d only known Miranda for a month, but in college, surrounded by so much newness, a month’s relationship felt very long indeed.

She was annoyed at Miranda for a second, but then that pleasant dulling sensation from the drinks took over again, and she remembered that her hands and feet were just a little bit tingly and that everything was cool. Everything felt a bit more fun than she suspected it actually was.

“You looking for your friend?” said a voice behind her.

She turned around and found herself face-to-face with the bartender who’d given her her most recent drink. The drink was still in her hand, untouched. She hadn’t felt brave enough to drink it. She didn’t think she was precisely drunk, but she was normally a teetotaler and currently felt drunk enough.

“Yeah,” said Kaylee.

“Well, you may be waiting a while. I saw her go upstairs with my buddy Chuck.” He made an embarrassed face. Then the look passed and he indicated the drink in Kaylee’s hand.

“How’s that drink?” he said.

Kaylee’s face felt warm. Embarrassingly, so did another part of her. The bartender was really cute; she’d noticed that when he’d handed her the drink. She’d felt the tiniest buzz when their fingers had brushed during the hand-off. Not that she usually flushed around cute guys. It must be the alcohol.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I haven’t tried it. Miranda made me get it, but I don’t really want to drink anymore.”

He chuckled. “I hear you. I don’t drink, myself.”

That was strange. First of all, he worked in a bar. And second, he seemed to be about her age. Didn’t they all drink?

“I don’t normally, either. I feel a little impaired.”

He smiled. “I doubt you’re too impaired if you’re choosing the word ‘impaired.’”

“I guess not. ‘Buzzed,’ then. Everything feels… nice.”

“What seems nice?”

Good question. She was just feeling uncomfortable and annoyed at her roommate. Now she was leaning against the bar with a cute guy who seemed to not have anywhere he’d rather be, or needed to be. Maybe his shift was over.

“I don’t know… nice night, cute guy…”


She started to open her mouth to apologize for being forward, but he spoke first.

“Ha. Careful; I might try to take advantage of you.”

She giggled. She didn’t usually giggle. Damn alcohol. Only, that wasn’t fair. She saw very clearly that the drinks in her system weren’t making her do anything she didn’t want to do. She just seemed to have lost a level of self-censorship.

“You want to dance?” he said.

“This isn’t a dance club,” she said.

“Ha. Yeah. There’s kind of no clear way to go about this.”

This? She felt herself flush again.

“Except for what our friends did, of course,” he said with a laugh, and pointed at the ceiling.

An image suddenly appeared full-blown in Kaylee’s mind, and a thought hit her like a jackhammer. It was so obvious and so plain, but for some reason it suddenly seemed very profound: right now, probably just twenty feet away, Miranda was having sex with some guy. What Miranda had done and was doing was so carefree, so I-don’t-give-a-shit-because-I’m-horny. Kaylee couldn’t help but admire how forward and carefree it was. Miranda had wanted pleasure and she’d gone after it. Sometimes, Kaylee wished she could do things like that. Touching herself in the shower when she felt the urge just wasn’t the same. But what was she supposed to do — go from being an honor student to being a party girl overnight?