“Let me feel your breasts,” he said to her, and the very brazen formality with which he said it was, itself, a kind of violation.
She stepped back as though encountering a sudden gust of wind, and descended unconsciously into the chair he had offered her upon her entrance, her eyes fixed with his. Here was an elderly man, well-possessed of his faculties, respected and even loved in the community, decorated by the university, and venerated by the church, and the words that emerged from his mouth in the privacy of his office were: “Let me feel your breasts.”
His eyes looked straight into hers as he said it, and she got the uncanny sensation that both of his pupils were looking straight through both of hers, not shifting focus from one to the other as most do. He revealed no emotion as he said it, and she marvelled at the cleverness of this: if she were to exhibit supreme offense he could always claim he was being facetious and the rules of civility would demand she assume his innocence. The statement itself was both sufficiently rude and sufficiently odd in its tone as to provoke a puzzlement in the listener, followed by a stirring of curiosity behind the programmed response of feigned outrage, itself muted by a blanket of social niceties. The end result of all this chemistry was that she met his eyes with a blank expression doing its best to imitate surprise.
The silence stretched on, and she knew that once it reached a certain lapse of time, the probability of his statement being a jest would be reduced to near-zero, and before that time elapsed she must either respond to his statement or he must burst out laughing in cancellation. It was a brief, psychological game of chicken, and she knew by how he approached it that he had played it many times before. He knew exactly how long he could hold that silence, and while he did so he locked her gaze in a hypnotic stare that could be approaching boredom, could be approaching anger, could be approaching desperation, could be approaching mirth. It was a pregnant expression, pensive yet trimmed of all obvious intent.
As they neared the collision-point, she felt her will wavering, her curiosity waxing, her outrage waning. Her mouth softened, her eyes dropped. She shifted once in her seat, looked back up at him. She could tell by the tilt of his chin that he knew her bodily gestures to be the harbinger of her defeat, and the herald of his victory; yet he did not even allow the briefest hint of a shadow of a smile to cross his lips.
He was good, very good. A smile, even a hint of one, at that moment would have caused her to feel used, duped. It would have been a premature gloating, and she would have resented it. He had to make her feel that she was in control of this little act of rebellion, taking an old man’s jest as a serious command, and willingly molesting herself with his hands.
She knew all this, but the knowledge did not make the situation any less tempting. She marvelled at his brilliance, even as she smoldered at his audacity, and this mixture of passions was melting together in her navel as another feeling, a hot, viscous fluid desire that oozed into her pelvis and set a fire between her thighs. Her wrists still poised against the wooden arms of the chair, her elbows still crooked. Suddenly, her arms reached inward with one swift motion and rapidly unbuttoned her blouse, a ritual performed so many times in the mundanity of everyday life that in her excitement her fingers flew with stunning rapidity.
He allowed himself a smile now, for she could not possibly stop at this point. For him to have feigned an expression of bewilderment at her gesture now would be a mistake. The situation was beyond deception. They were in it now, and it was a game of both.