Eli was hosting movie-night Thursday, just like every other Thursday the four friends, Eli, Chris, Eric, and Molly, had spent for the last two years. Tonight it was Chris’s pick, another bloody horror fest, his favorite. When Chris picked a movie, everyone knew they were going to go home sick. He picked these cult classics, gross-out exploitative flicks that might as well have been snuff films. But they all agreed to watch each others’ choices, no questions asked. And Chris was generally good enough to spring for the chips and dip as recompense.
Eli, on the other hand, tended to pick political thrillers. His parents were Israeli ex-pats, his father a foreign-relations officer at the D.C. Consulate and his mother a human rights activist. The extent of his parents’ intellectual heritage was Eli’s interest in conspiracy genre movies. Otherwise the apple had fallen far from the tree. Eric was a closeted lover of romantic-comedy: he kept up his ruse of casual indifference by attaching belabored excuses to his movies: the one I wanted wasn’t in so I grabbed this off the newest release shelf; I wanted to make the girl at the counter think I’m sensitive so maybe she’ll date me, so I got the sappiest one I could; this one was actually misfiled under ‘action.’ But everyone knew better.
Molly, the only girl, was totally unpredictable. She liked foreign films one week, anime the next. High-art thinkers, low-cult stinkers. You never could tell. But she always came armed with reams of internet-culled movie reviews and debates about each of her picks. She’d always say she was bored last night and couldn’t fall asleep, so she looked them up for fun, but in reality she’d been planning her choice for a month, waiting till just the right season or mood or real-life context. It was uncanny, like she had some built-in cinematic consciousness.
It was kind of like how she worked at the office where they all made their living: methodical. They were all mechanical engineers, they’d all been hired at the same time, and some of them—Eric, Chris, and Molly—even when to college together. Eli went to MIT, but did rather poorly and so ended up here, in this department where they all worked, working on the same tedious projects: the microchip for rear-window washer-fluid activation, things like that. They liked to give Eli a hard time about his years a MIT, wasted playing Everquest or doing live-action roleplaying.
They carpooled, at lunch together, hung out most weekends, and even invited each other for holidays at their parents’ if someone was going to be alone. They’d joke that they’d become some kind of collective hive-brain, ceasing to be individuals and operating with creepy synchronicity. These kinds of jokes never got old around the office. Eric and Chris were particularly avid pranksters: they would come into the office having prepared a script where each would individually address another member, Molly or Eli, in exactly the same language, using the same body language, about some seemingly spontaneous thing—the color of someone’s shirt, the project manager’s lunch, anything. Guffaws all around. They lived life with rather low expectations.
Tonight’s horror movie was pushing the limits of everyone’s taste, though, and they were growing mutinous, a rare thing. Chris kept trying to point out how the movie was ‘really an interesting critique of’ this or that, or that it was ‘using blood and gore as a metaphor for’: the whole thing, he tried to explain, was done ironically. No one was buying it. The last straw was the scene where the in-bred mountain family of murderers was taking turns sodomizing the slain young girls they’d captured on the back road after their car broke down and after a number of brutal chase and torture scenes involving power tools.
Chris finally turned it off. ‘Hey let’s play Resident Evil instead.’
‘I’m sick of that game,’ Eric complained. Eli seconded. ‘I’ve never really liked video games,’ said Molly. ‘They’re totally geared for the lowest common denominator.’
‘You mean, like me,’ said Chris.
‘Well, sure!’ said Molly.
She beamed at him sweetly. Molly almost never flirted with them. In fact, she often wondered if it would come as a surprise to them that she possessed different parts. True she wasn’t exactly a model. She had what she’d call bad skin with some acne scars on her face that she took almost no pains to cover up with concealer; she wasn’t fat, but she had the start of a little role around her tummy and her butt made her look a little bigger than she was. She had some attractive qualities, but these she hid, either intentionally or not, by wearing hardly any make-up, dressing more or less like a boy, and always wearing her long brown unsculpted hair in a pony tail. For example, if Chris, Eric, or Eli had given it some consideration, they’d notice what a nice pair she had. Or they’d see that despite some rough patches her face had a pretty oval shape and that her lips were full and soft, like her eyes. She had an earthy pretty, a bahçeşehir escort down-home attraction, one that would leave little impression on these boys, their sexuality shaped by the disposable porn babes they jerked off to daily on their favorite free internet sites.
Molly, for her part, did less than nothing to encourage them. When she first started working at the firm she thought Eli was cute—curly hair, slim build, dark, Jewish features. But back then he spent all his free time (and some of his paid time) haunting online adventure worlds. Anyway, now he was twenty pounds heavier and sort of meaty in the face. Eric and Chris were typical college nerds. They weren’t badly socialized, just more comfortable in the safe confines of math and physics. They dressed badly, as nerds are wont to do, and if they’d ever had sex Molly would be surprised. So might everyone else. She thought both were probably good-looking somewhere beneath the years of learned self-consciousness reflected in their slouching posture and lack of any other identifiably self-confident body language. She’d therefore had to look elsewhere for her romantic interests.
‘Well, all I’ve got is porn, but we all agreed no porn,’ said Chris.
‘You’re supposed to have two choices for this very contingency,’ replied Eli.
‘We never use the contingency movie. We never have. I haven’t rented two movies for movie-night in over a year. It’s a waste of money.’
‘A contingency plan is for contingencies, my friend. It doesn’t matter that we’ve never used the contingency movie. We hate your movie and you’re responsible.’
‘Though I did find it strangely titillating there at the end…’ Eric ventured.
‘Gross,’ said Molly. ‘It’d be just like you to enjoy sexist scenes of female brutality.’
‘Aw, come on, those hillbillies were cute!’ chimed in Chris. Molly rolled her eyes.
‘I guess I could go rent another,’ he said, reluctantly.
‘Forget it,’ said Eric. ‘I’m sort of tired anyway.’
‘Dude,’ said Eli, ‘It’s not even nine o’clock. Does your mother know where you are?’
At that moment, Chris came out of the kitchen with two bottles of wine. ‘I have these, and we have chips. What do you say?’
‘Sounds good,’ said Molly. ‘We can pretend we’re adults.’
‘We are adults,’ said Chris.
‘By age, perhaps, but not in any more significant sense,’ she replied.
Half an hour later they’d cashed one bottle and were scraping the bottom of the bowl for chips sizable enough to dunk in the salsa.
‘What sort of porn do you have,’ inquired Eric.
‘Man, it’s awesome,’ said Chris, excitedly. ‘This guy at the store sold me this pirated collection of video-tapes of people doing it in public. Some of them are hilarious. There’s this one where this clerk guy is fucking this girl behind the counter of a 7-Eleven. When someone walks in she ducks down behind the counter and you can totally tell she’s blowing…’ he trailed off, suddenly conscious that Molly was in the room.
‘Don’t stop on my account, perv-boy,’ she said. ‘I wouldn’t want to ruin what’s clearly the best thing that’s happened to you in a month.’
‘Well, anyway,’ he continued, clearly uncomfortable. ‘It’s pretty cool.’
‘How much porn do you losers look at?’ she asked.
They were all mumbles, except for Eli: ‘I look at porn at work all the time. I figured out a way to get around the mainframe protocol and set up my PC’s internet profile to mirror someone else’s on the network.’
‘Whose?’ Molly asked.
‘How do you know he isn’t looking at porn?’ Asked Chris.
‘Yeah,’ Molly chimed in, ‘like animal porn, or shit porn?’ They all laughed.
‘I’ll take my chances. Probably they just think I’m a lonely pathetic putz who wastes hundreds of dollars a month on Internet dating services.’
‘Dude, fuck you,’ said Eric. ‘I’m not wasting money. I’ve gotten some hits. I’m a playah.’
‘I thought you had a girlfriend,’ said Molly to Eric.
‘What about that girl from New Mexico. That long-distance thing. Didn’t you go out to see her? Someone help me out here.’
Eric waved dismissively, clearly not willing to elaborate. They heard him mumble something about overeater’s anonymous and Jenny Craig and some kind of intervention. They all busted out laughing.
‘Shit, none of you losers have girlfriends,’ Eric said, and to Molly, ‘or a boyfriend. Chris, when was the last time you got laid.’
‘Man, I’ve given up the fantasy pleasures of real live warm girls for the icy satisfaction of amateur-porn paysites. I’ve accepted my fate. I suggest you do likewise.’
‘What about you, Molly,’ Eric persisted.
‘I dunno,’ she said, ‘I hang out with you dorks all the time. Unless I sleep with one of you, my future looks pretty dry.’
Chris, Eric, and Eli were silent for a moment. Their stunned response only reinforced what Molly knew: that she wasn’t really a girl to them. She might as well bakırköy escort have asked them to have sex with their brother.
After a half minute Eli ventured, with uncharacteristic awkwardness, ‘Well, then, that’s an idea! We could solve all this right now, couldn’t we?’ He was so obviously trying to make it a joke that it fell flat. Besides, as part of the tacit agreement to regard Molly as sexless, none of them had ever joked about her sexually, not even among themselves. The joke sounded odd to all of them. To Molly perhaps especially. She felt nervous all of a sudden.
The guys laughed uneasily, but Molly could see that they were looking at her differently. She was right: Eric just now noticed that her oversized man’s blue dress-shirt was unbuttoned half way, and that beneath it she was wearing a genuinely girlish article: a camisole, which accented the mounds of her voluptuous breasts. Eli, too, noticed something: Molly painted her finger- and toenails, and was wearing open-toed sandals. She had nice feet, sort of sexy. Chris, for his part, was suddenly intrigued by the fact that her ample thighs filled her jeans nicely.
Molly’s pulse involuntarily quickened—not, she thought, out of any erotic excitement, but simply from being the object of such lascivious scrutiny. To break the spell she said, ‘Whatever, you guys are such wimps. I could take my clothes off right now and you’d still want to play Playstation. Anyway, you’ve been beating off in front of the computer so long you’ve all got testicular cancer. You’re all probably impotent.’
This failed to break the spell. The reference to herself without clothes only deepened the furrows on their brows. Eli made a weak joke. Chris coughed. Eric began opening the second bottle of wine. Molly continued to squirm: the thought of them picturing her naked made her perspire. And as a consequence, unwanted images began to flash in her mind, too.
‘I got it,’ said Eli, finally. Everyone looked at him expectantly, hopefully—wishing for something to relieve them all from this terrible awkwardness. ‘We’ll all take turns going into Chris’s room and jerking off to the picture of his mom next to his bed.’
This, too, failed, miserably.
‘What am I supposed to do,’ Molly asked.
‘Um, I dunno. You could finger yourself to his dad.’
‘Dude, shut up,’ said Chris. ‘You’re fucking disgusting!’
‘Yeah,’ said Eric, ‘have you seen Chris’s dad? His tits are bigger than his mom’s!’
Finally, the tension seemed to ease. Chris began punching Eric in the shoulder while Eli, cheering on the violence, hurled more mom-insults. The room erupted in raucousness. Someone almost spilled the wine. The bowl of chip-crumbs fell off the table. Eric squealed with pain and laughter at Chris’s thrashing.
Only Molly did not participate. She seemed lost in thought, but no one noticed. It was like something never-before dreamed of had occurred to her: these jerks were capable of thinking of her as a girl, after all. Moreover, one worthy of sexual attention. She’d stopped pursuing guys to hang out with her friends, and so had also been lulled into thinking of herself as an androgyne. Sure she painted her toes and wore pretty underwear, but that was just a vestige of some former self. Sure she masturbated, but she didn’t put a lot of time or thought into it, not like these guys did.
She was suddenly disappointed that the tension was broken. It was like she’d been a star for just a moment, then everything faded. She liked that feeling and wanted it back. To get it back, she said, a little lower than she might have, ‘Or you could all just jerk off to me.’
The laughter died. Chris, Eric, and Eli stopped in an adolescent tableau of male aggression, Eli’s fist in mid-flight, aimed at Chris’s kidney, Eric caught in Chris’s headlock, squashed beneath the other two on the couch.
‘Wh-what?’ asked Eli, panting, smiling, not sure he’d heard her.
Molly hesitated. The idea of these guys thinking of her as a sexual being had gone from unwanted to welcome. Why was she hesitating? She committed herself: ‘I said you could all just jerk off to me, did I stutter? You know, instead of acting out your gay group fantasy with each other on the couch you could man up and go for a real girl.’
Eli played along. ‘You’re not a real girl. You’re a robot. You know that. And you’re not even a pleasure model.’
‘Oooh!’ said Chris and Eric, in unison. ‘Burned!’
‘Burned?’ she chided, ‘What is this, 1989? Or was that the year you eunuchs got snipped?’
‘I’ll give you eunuch,’ Chris boasted, grabbing his crotch in an exaggerated manner. ‘I’m packin’ heat!’
‘Tell you what,’ said Eli, ‘if you can give me a boner, I’ll go in Chris’s room and jerk off to thoughts of you. I’ll blow it all over his pillow-case.’
‘What do I get out of that?’ she demanded.
‘The satisfaction of knowing I jerked off to a robot.’
‘Well?’ he insisted.
‘Well başakşehir escort what?’ she replied.
‘Are you going to give me a boner or what?’
‘Is that a dare?’
‘I double-dog dare you.’
Chris and Eric looked on at their tete-a-tete incredulously, half-smiling. The sexual excitement was giving Eric his own hard-on, but it wasn’t clear to him if it was Molly or just the frank sex-talk.
‘Fine,’ she said. ‘Tell you what: I bet I can give you all a hard-on.’
‘We can’t all go jerk off in Chris’s room,’ said Eric. ‘I’ve seen his pillows, they’re disgusting. He never washes them.’
‘You can jerk off right here,’ Molly said.
‘In front of you? Sh-whatever!’
‘Why not? You think I can’t handle it? I dare you losers: If I succeed in giving you a hard-on, you jerk off right here, in front of me and I get to watch.’
‘Fine,’ said Eli, ‘it won’t happen. But if it does, I’ll do it. You can’t question my manhood, robot-girl. I know that beneath your façade of girl-flesh is just a bunch of plastic and silicon.’
‘Um, I don’t know. Are you guys being serious?’ said Eric, already aware that he’d lost that dare.
‘Why not, Eric? You never wanted to jerk off in front of a real girl,’ she mocked, and slid off the couch onto the floor, kneeling, her legs spread wide, her hands massaging her thighs. She reached behind her head and removed her hair clip, letting her thick brown hair fall onto her shoulders. She did her best sexy look, and then laughed—partly to break her own spell, partly to show that she’d only half-committed to this little game.
‘C’mon, Eric,’ Eli taunted. ‘It’s Molly—you can’t seriously think Molly is hot. What about you, Chris, are you game?’
‘S-sure,’ Chris sputtered, clearly trying not to think about Molly.
‘How-how will you know if we have a boner,’ Eric inquired, putting off the inevitable.
‘Duh,’ said Molly, ‘You’ll take it out and I’ll look at it. You do have a dick, right?’
‘Where will we jerk off if we lose?’ asked Chris.
‘You guys are such pansies!’ she cried. ‘”Where will we jerk off if we lose”‘ she repeated, mockingly. ‘I don’t care where you jerk off—do on the floor, do it in your pants.’ Then she smiled, seductively, and pulled her shirt down around her shoulders, revealing the tight camisole and the smooth valley of her cleavage. She said in a husky, porn voice, ‘Or, you can just do it right on me, boys,’ and laughed again.
She saw Eric’s hand go immediately to his crotch, shielding it. Chris, too, shifted nervously.
Eli cried, ‘Circle jerk!’ and laughed hysterically, but Molly knew that his crudeness was just a disguise for his own arousal.
‘Yeah,’ she said, continuing her seductive act, her hands moving up underneath her breasts. They could see her nipples. ‘Yeah, boys, spray my boobs with your spunk. Isn’t that what the porn girls like?’
‘Okay, fuck,’ said Chris, ‘I think I’ve already got a boner.’
‘Ooh! Let’s see let’s see!’ said Molly, excitedly.
He pushed his crotch forward and spread his jeans tightly over his clearly hard prick. They could all see the outline of it. ‘See? You win. But I don’t think I’m going to jerk off in front of you.’
‘No, dude, you got’s to take it out! That was the deal!’ yelled Eli.
‘I never made any deal,’ said Chris. His voice cracked. The pressure was getting to him.
Molly removed her outer shirt. They could see the shape of her body better now, the slight bulge of her belly as it poked out over her jeans, the arch of her back. Through her blue and white-pin-striped camisole they could see the indentation of her belly-button, the tips of her nipples. ‘You’re not going to back out of a dare, are you, Chris? That’s pretty pussy,’ she said, and laughed. She was still somewhere between joking and serious. She didn’t know what she’d do if he pulled it out.
‘Yeah Chris, you pussy,’ said Eli.
‘Shut up, Eli. You just want to see my big cock, you fag! C’mon, Molly, no way. I’m not going to jerk off in front of you.’
‘What if I said pretty please?’ and she pouted her lips. Molly was excited now. She didn’t think they’d go through with it, but now she wasn’t sure she didn’t want them to. She was waiting for cues from them, holding back, not wanting to commit, playing at playing like it was all in fun. Chris, too, was caught in this ambivalent state. The idea of jerking off in front of Molly had made him so hard he could barely keep it in his pants. But years of familiarity and friendship were working against his animal impulse to pull out his cock and do the act.
Finally he posed his own gambit: ‘Fine, if Eric and Eli pull out their dicks—which are hard as mine, I know it, I see Eric’s at least—I’ll do it, too.’
Eric shifted again, Eli laughed nervously. Clearly, Molly thought, this was the moment of crisis. She would have to pull out all the stops if she really wanted them to. The idea of it was making her wet, making her belly tremble. She was getting so ripe she could come if she just pressed her legs together to get a little friction. She hadn’t had a real cock in ages. Kneeling here on the floor, a sex object to three horny guys, dorks or not, made her want to cum. She had to force images of each of them stuffing her mouth with their dicks from her mind. These thoughts made her want to cum so badly.