She often told me that I pushed her limits. Every now and then, she pushed mine, intentionally or not. So it was when she confessed a desire for sex in her office building, a corporate skyscraper in midtown. “I’m your man,” I said, swallowing two quiet anxieties that have trailed me since childhood—mild vertigo and a too-highly attuned respect for authority.
She had already caught a glimpse of my discomfort with heights one evening as we made our way through a crowded opening at the New Museum. We had collected glasses of absinthe and wedged ourselves into a place on the slender rooftop balcony. She was telling me a story when I suddenly grasped the wall behind me. “Are you okay?” she asked.
“I’m fine, it’s nothing,” I said, hurriedly gulping my drink. My eyes were focused over her shoulder.
“What?” she turned. “What are you looking at?”
“It’s nothing, really,” I said. She looked at me querulously. “Okay, look. You see that guy holding the toddler? Over by the railing?”
She turned her head. “Sure. Cute kid.”
“Yeah, well, that cute kid is bored and squirming and the guy isn’t really paying attention. I can’t help imagining the kid going over the railing.”
She looked at me. “Seriously? He looks safe to me.”
“I know, it’s my thing.” I diverted my eyes from the child. “I get this vertiginous feeling at times and imagine heights exist primarily to provide places from which to fall.”
“Oh, I hate that feeling, too. Should we go inside?”
“No, let’s stay out here. Hang on.” I moved to the railing and peered over. The Bowery waited for me seven floors below. A wave of anxiety passed over me, causing my heart to race.
She came up behind me. “That’s brave of you.”
“Cheap thrills,” I admitted. “I always do this at the Guggenheim, too. The interior walls along the ramp tilt out at a slight angle. Now, that’s just death’s way of making life fun.”
We soon made a date for office sex. Eddie Izzard was playing Radio City Music Hall, which happened to be near her office building. She proposed that we take in the show and then repair to her office, which would presumably be empty at that hour. I agreed. Throughout the show, my mind flashed forward; I would soon be having sex with this lovely, kinky woman, I reassured myself, and the odds of getting arrested for it weren’t really all that great.
Afterward, we shuffled out among the crowd, laughing about the show. We hadn’t walked far when she took my arm. “Here it is,” she said. “Are you ready to do this?”
I looked up and drew a short breath. “Yes. Let’s fuck in your office.” I took her hand and followed into the lobby.
She stopped to flash her identification card to the security guard, explaining that I was a client stopping in to pick up a package. He looked me over. “That’s fine, but you’ll need to get a visitor’s pass for your guest. After hours, those are only issued at the main desk, other entrance.” She confirmed the location and thanked him.
I looked up as we approached the main entrance. The company’s logo moved across a series of animated screens. “That’s going to look so dated in a few years,” I said. “It’s a wonder they did something so . . . flashy.”
“If it gets old, they’ll just scrap it off and put up something else,” she replied, waving a hand as if to erase the facade. “This company is over a century old and they have more money than God.”
At the main desk, we faced five guards. One took my driver’s license, scribbled some notes and returned it to me with a plastic badge. “Keep that visible at all times,” he instructed me.
“Yes sir,” I said, attaching the badge to my shirt. I tried to look like someone who had business to conduct at this late hour and not like someone trespassing for sex.
Back at the original entrance, the guard looked at my badge, looked again at her identification and allowed us to pass. I admired the blue-chip art on the way to the elevator.
When the doors closed, she pushed the button to her office’s floor. “I’d suggest we get started in the elevator, but . . .” she raised her eyes. “Video cameras.”
“Oh, right,” I said, noting the glossy dark hemisphere in the ceiling. “Say, there aren’t cameras on your floor, are there?”
“No.” Her brow furrowed. “Well, not that I’m aware of.” My stomach dropped as the elevator halted.
I followed as she led me past long rows of empty workstations. I knocked on a desk as I passed, listening for the solid report of good wood. Identical offices banked the opposite wall, each with a fine southern view of midtown, none with any sign of occupancy. “Does anyone actually work on this floor?” I asked.
“Yes, we’re all grouped in the back. This area has been pretty empty since the last round of layoffs.” We passed a kitchen area stocked with drinks, snacks and two espresso machines. A glass wall revealed a library with shelves of oversized art books. “No one reads them,” she told me. “But we keep ordering them to impress clients with our brainy décor. We have a huge budget for books. I can barely find enough to order.” She pointed to a top shelf. “See? I cheated and ordered two copies of Rem Koolhaas’s S, M, L, XL. Had to spend the money somehow.”
Her desk was located with a cluster of others in a open space near a corner window. Fluorescents burned overhead. “I wanted you to see my work space, but I think it’s too exposed to actually do anything here.”
I looked around. The room was the length of a city block. “Yeah, I wouldn’t want a guard to come in here while we’re . . . in flagrante.”
“Come on.” She took my hand and led me back down the way we had come. I followed her into one of the darkened empty offices. She shut the door. “Now, this is better, right? Like our own private office.”
“Yeah, this is much better,” I smiled. I stepped closer. We kissed, her mouth opening to mine. I took her shoulders and turned her, pushing her back toward the window. She scrambled to pull herself up to a ledge. “That’s good, that’s good,” I growled. “Now spread your legs.” I ran my hands under her dress as she did so, moving along her thighs to her bare pussy. “So wet,” I smiled into her kiss. “But let’s get it wetter.”
I grabbed the nape of her neck in my hand and pulled her forward. Her arms scrambled to break her fall. I grabbed a wrist in my free hand and pushed her to her knees. She got the message, righting herself and watching eagerly as I unzipped. She took my cock in her mouth. I looked over my shoulder, checking that the door was indeed closed, noting the glass wall that revealed the hallway beyond.
I put my hand back to her neck, forcing her head back and forth rapidly, listening to her gurgling gags. Saliva ran from her lips to her chin. “Good, good.” I pulled back and shoved three fingers into her throat. “Now, that’s the slick stuff, back here,” I said. I stroked my well-lubricated cock. “Here, follow me,” I said, tugging with the fingers inside her. She crawled forward, coughing on my fingers. I dropped my pants to my ankles and sat at the desk. “Now,” I said, releasing her. “Suck my cock.”
She groaned and crawled forward. Her eyes rolled in pleasure as she returned my cock to her throat. “That’s good, that’s good,” I said, stroking her hair. My eyes were drawn to the window, looking up at the offices across the way. I wondered at all the blowjobs that must happen in midtown offices. How many in a year? How many in a decade? Numbers ran though my mind as her drool gathered in the leather seat under me.
I leaned forward and reached under her dress. Wetness ran down her inner thighs. “Okay, you’re ready,” I said. “Get back on that ledge and give me something to fuck.” She hurried to comply. I bent to take a condom from my pocket, kicking off my shoes and pants as I opened the package.
I listened to her groans as I thrust into her, my eyes closed. She grabbed at my head and, instinctively, I opened my eyes. There, far below us, was Radio City Music Hall. I felt a wave of panic and looked up, focusing on the General Electric sign blazing at Rockefeller Center. That’s good, that’s good, I thought, letting my eyes drop again. My skin tingled. The only thing between us and our demise was the sheet of glass I now banged with her body.
“Thrill junky,” I murmured, pulling out.
She groaned, confused. What had I said, she wondered, trying to focus. Suddenly, two fingers were inside her. Another followed. Her eyes widened and captured mine as she realized what I was doing. “Oh, no, no, not that,” she said. Tears came to her eyes. She had taught me, long before, that “no, no” was not her safeword.
Her body rocked hard as I fisted her, her back pummeling against the glass. Her face was in full ecstasy, haloed by red neon against the sea-black sky. I felt her clench against my fist as warmth flooded from her body, splashing against the ledge.
I slowed, then stopped. Her body went limp as I pulled out, as if my fist had been the only thing holding her erect. Her sobs were audible now, lowering into the range of human hearing. I held her as she recovered. Far below, a solitary taxi sped up Sixth Avenue.
We kissed. “Come on,” I said quietly. “Let’s go home and fuck in bed.” She nodded, drying an eye with the back of her hand.
We dressed and gathered our things. I put the condom and its wrapper in my pocket. “Don’t want to leave any evidence,” I said.
She ran a finger over the puddle on the ledge. “Yes, well, other than my DNA.”
I fastened my belt. “Should we clean that?”
She grinned. “No, let’s not.”
We washed up in the ladies’ restroom and raided the kitchen. I made a cup of espresso to drink on the way to the subway.
The guard wished us a good night as we left. She leaned to my ear. “We forgot to bring out a package,” she whispered. I laughed at the dumb luck of pulling off sex in her office.
She wrapped an arm in mine as we waited to cross the street. I took my last sip of espresso and looked at the cup. Glancing up, I saw the same logo swirling across the screens on the building’s façade. “Lehman Brothers, Lehman Brothers, Lehman Brothers,” I mused aloud. “You come for the office sex, you stay for the coffee.”
She laughed as I tossed the cup into a wastebasket and stepped to the curb.