Close Encounter

I take in a deep breath, enjoying the intoxication of the moment. I stood in front of that huge crowd and loved every second of it. Who would have thought that the great trickster, the god so used to staying in the shadows, could have so much fun in the spotlight?

The applause is still ringing in my ears as I step into the plush hotel room. They ate up everything I offered. The bumps to this point in the race to city hall have been forgotten. I am a genuine contender in this race.

I take in a deep breath, enjoying the intoxication of the moment. I stood in front of that huge crowd and loved every second of it. Who would have thought that the great trickster, the god so used to staying in the shadows, could have so much fun in the spotlight?

“That was absolutely sublime. The best you’ve done.” Kinnesberg looks like the cat that got the cream as she breezes into the room. “They adored you.”

I cross the large room, moving away from her, trying to be all business.

“Did the interns get what they needed for the socials?”

“Everything we wanted, and more.” I turn away and step toward the generous liquor cabinet that the hotel’s owner has provided. He’s a friend of a friend of one of my dodgier investors. And he’s pulled out all the stops for me today. Nothing has been too much trouble. Kinnesberg breaks into my thoughts. “Admit it, you loved that, didn’t you?”

“What if I did?” I can’t keep the smirk from my face.

“You’d be exactly like the rest of us.”

I laugh loudly.


“No, thanks.” She’s already pulled her phone out of her suit jacket and is tapping those long nails across the screen at the speed of light. I pour whiskeys, the dark liquid sploshing into the glasses, leaving little trails down the side. A deep oak smell pushes up into my nostrils and makes my tastebuds water.

“Why not?” I hold the glass above her mobile, blocking her view of whatever email she’s dealing with. Her eyes come up, and although her brow is low, there’s a glint of fun in the look she gives me.

“Because we haven’t won yet. Don’t get ahead of yourself. You’re closing on Beagly, but the polls still say he’ll win.” I take a long sip of my drink. It tastes oh so good.

“Have you ever heard of celebrating the little wins?”

Kinnesberg moves closer to me, her perfume tingling my senses, getting up my nose and into my mouth. It’s almost as intoxicating as the whiskey.

“And have you ever heard that there’s no prize for coming second?”

“Why not just have one? What else have you got to do today?” I’m suddenly in the mood to enjoy myself, and I want company.


“Why not let someone else worry about things for the afternoon?” I let the glass rock to and fro, taunting her. She looks a little tempted, but finally gives me an unimpressed glare.

“Why not? Because we’re chasing someone with a strong lead over us, most of the people who work for us aren’t that experienced, and we’ve got a full schedule for the next few days!”

“And what’s the plan right now?” I goad, an innocent look on my face. She sighs, knowing she’s already briefed me on this.

“You and I are using this room to go over your talking points ahead of tomorrow’s breakfast meeting with business leaders.”

“So you won’t be directing the troops?”

“No,” she mumbles before attempting to recover. “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things I need to get on top of first.” I push one eyebrow up, imitating the look she usually gives me.

“Then you’re not paying any attention to me, are you?” I sip my drink suggestively. “Can’t I do as I like?” I present the whiskey to her once more. “Why not just have a little sip?” Kinnesberg gives me a long stare and then snatches the glass out of my hand. She knocks back the drink with only a hint of a wince, scrunching up her eyes.

“Happy now?” She hands back the glass, and I grin.

“Did that kill you? Have we lost the campaign because you had one drink?”

She moves closer, and I stand my ground.

“You know, sometimes the whole answer a question with a question rhetoric starts to get very tedious.” Her tongue flicks across her lips, snatching a drop of alcohol from them.

“Haven’t you always found me frustrating?” I ask softly. 

She inches closer, and I feel myself swaying forward. Her breath is cool on my face as she whispers, “Very.”

Then we’re kissing. It’s long and hard, and she’s pulling my face closer. Her fingers dig into my stubble, and I catch her lower lip with my teeth. She moans softly, and her hands slip down to my chest, caressing, stroking. I wrap my arms around her, pressing her body against mine. Her breasts squeeze against my chest, and I can feel her erect nipples through her soft shirt.

Her hands stroke down my back, grabbing my cheeks tightly. My hand slides up her shirt, and with a practised ease I’d forgotten I had, I unclasp her bra. She sinks her long nails into my backside, and I let out a tiny yelp. She eases back, grins with hunger, and then embraces me again. Her lips are hungry and wet as they lock with mine. I let my hand run down her back. She shivers with delight. I start to yank at the zip at the top of her skirt, and her hands shift around to the front of my trousers.

She stops. She can’t find what she’s expecting. Her hand digs tighter, and I arch away. Finally, she finds my godhood, a good size, but at rest. There’s been no movement. I stare down, feeling shocked and ashamed. There’s no straining, nothing to suggest I’m aroused. There is no sense I want her. Our eyes meet. “What’s wrong?” she utters, a look of disgust now creasing her face.


“Don’t you find me attractive? Don’t you want this?” She steps back, the spell of the previous moment broken. She looks so different now, lipstick smeared, her shirt untucked, hair unkempt. And yet I still want her. It’s just not all of me that’s got the message.

“I must have had too much to drink,” I fib, trying to excuse my behaviour.

“Of this?” She waves the barely touched whiskey glass at me. Before I can respond, she’s speaking again. “I should have known this was a bad idea. I’m so stupid.” She stares up at the ceiling as she wipes a tear from her eye. “You don’t want me at all.”

I want to tell her that she’s wrong. I want to tell her that I desperately want to finish what we started and that I long for her. But I can’t.

“It’s just the booze. Give me a moment.”

“Liar!” she screams as she faces me. “Why don’t you have some more.” I just manage to duck out of the way as the glass sails across the room. I can’t help but turn and watch the beautiful liquid run down the wall.

When I turn back, Kinnesberg is gone. I’m alone again.

I slump down onto the bed and, for a long time, just stare at my useless groin. What the hell just happened? Why couldn’t I rise to the occasion? I sigh deeply, unsure what’s going on. Worst of all, I’m not sure this is something I can fix myself.

I’m going to need help with an issue like this from someone who can offer some advice about what is quite a personal situation.

But who can I turn to? Definitely not my usual immortal therapist. I’m not sure she’d appreciate that conversation. Plus, I doubt she’s had much experience in this area. I can’t imagine her husband has ever had this sort of problem, not someone like him. He’s not that sort of god.

There must be someone else, someone who knows a thing or two about sex and disappointment.

Dolus (Andrew Harrowell)
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