The Dressing Room

Here’s my entry for Audra North’s First Undress Blog Hop! A quick recap on the rules: each of us had to write a flash fiction piece of 1500 words or less about two strangers who meet for the first time and undress each other on camera.

(Thanks go out to Andrew Stetson, my celebrity picspiration for this piece.)

 

The shop had been dead for hours. A sharp pinch needled through the balls of Mia’s feet with every step. The skirt she was wearing with the little lift in the back had felt adorable this morning. Now she’d do anything to trade it for sweats and a pint of ice cream.

She checked the time. Fifteen minutes until close. The camera trained on the back of the store wasn’t constantly recording—it took a new shot once a minute—but if she cut out now, tomorrow would end up being the one day Mr. Spaulding actually checked the stupid footage. He’d notice if the lights were out early.

The camera had appeared one day after an attempted theft, installed by his son one night after close. She’d come in and there it was hanging from the ceiling, controlled by some kind of super advanced computer system locked away in Spaulding’s office. He’d been proud as hell of his genius offspring, who’d just arrived home after getting his doctorate in engineering technology.

It was annoying. One of the perks of working in a clothing store should’ve at least been getting to do it in a dressing room. The fantasy that got her through dull nights like these—close spaces, quickened breaths, the thrill of getting caught—was no longer an option with a camera on the wall. Not that she had any willing participants at the moment. Grad school didn’t leave much time for dating.

Exhaustion settled deep in Mia’s joints. She leaned forward on the countertop, eyes drifting shut. Selling dresswear to over-privileged teens and loafer-wearing executives was painfully boring—she’d learned more than she’d ever wanted to about men’s wardrobes. The pay was decent though, and the hours worked around her classes. Being tired was her own fault for staying up so late on the paper she’d been avoiding.

Maybe she could just take her shoes off. The camera wouldn’t notice that.

She toed off her heels and pressed her bare feet flat against the floor. She sighed, shoulders curling as her head drooped in relief.

A bell sounded. The door opened. She snapped to attention.

“Can I help—”

Grey T-shirt. Dark jeans. Ink on his right arm.

Jesus.

“—you?”

A smile appeared behind his stubble. Blue eyes sparkled. Mia swallowed.

“Hi, I know it’s late, but I’ve got an event tomorrow and I need something to wear. Can you help?”

His neckline scooped low, offering a taste of collarbone, shoulders that belonged in a cologne advertisement. His brown-blond hair was slightly mussed, like someone had just had been gripping it while he…

He raised an eyebrow. Smiled again.

Right. He’d asked her a question. “It’ll have to be quick,” she said. “We close at nine.”

“No problem. How about I head to the dressing room and you bring me some options.”

Mia’s brow shot up. The idea of dressing this stranger like a shiny new doll suddenly made her job a lot more appealing. “Sure.”

A surge of energy sent her scurrying off through the racks. She bent down by the mirror on an end-cap, checked her makeup and raked her fingers through her long dark hair. Smoothing her hands over her skirt and blouse, she checked the time again. Twelve minutes to close.

She crossed to the front door, locked it and turned off the outside lights. It was protocol at the end of the night. She was one hundred percent not doing this so no one interrupted her with this beautiful piece of eye candy.

“Are you looking for something specific?” she asked.

“Not really. Just something nice in a forty-two long.”

Mia grabbed three suits, shirts to match, two ties. When she reached the dressing rooms she froze. He was standing on the platform between the curtained-off spaces, thumbs hooked into the back pockets of his jeans. He had really nice hands. Strong. Slightly thick fingers, nails blunt but clean. And his ass was just…gnuh.

Her tongue darted out over her top lip just as his gaze met hers in the mirror in front of them. He breathed out a short laugh.

Busted. Mia’s cheeks burned.

His eyes cut from hers down to her feet. His jaw ticked. “You’re not wearing any shoes.”

“Oh. Yeah.” How had she not realized that when she checked her reflection? “My heels were killing me.” And forgetting to put them back on was the epitome of professional. At least she’d had a pedicure recently, so this was slightly less than the most humiliating thing to ever happen to her.

She ducked into the dressing room, hung up the suits and waited by the curtain. “There’s three choices for you. Let me know if you’d like something else.”

He walked past her, eyes on her toes. Up her calves. Pausing at the spot where her skirt kissed her knees. “I’m Cooper, by the way.”

“Mia.”

He stopped at the curtain and looked at her, looked through her, like he was waiting for something. Then black fabric formed a barrier between them.

“What’s the event?” she asked.

Don’t say a date. Please, don’t say a date.

“Family thing.”

Whew.

After a few minutes, the curtain sliced open. He’d put on the navy Hugo Boss. The white shirt was a sinful crisp cotton under the strong line of his chin. But other than that, it didn’t work. The lapel was too wide. The tie was all wrong.

“What do you think?” he asked.

Mia shook her head.

“No?” Tugging down the cuffs, he strode past her, examined himself in the mirror and turned around. “What’s not working?”

Without thinking, she reached out and fingered the jacket. “You need one with a lower button and a thinner lapel.”

She popped a button open. Cooper glimpsed down, watching her fingers.

“And the tie?”

“Too red.” She slid her thumb under the knot, slipped the tie out from under his collar and dropped it on the ground. Her common sense was off in a corner somewhere, her hands driven by instinct, needing to see. To touch.

Cooper looked up. The grin that spread over his face was cat-like. “I guess we should just take it all off.”

Mia nodded. “And quickly. You know, closing and all.”

“Right. It would go faster if you helped me out.”

“Help you out,” she repeated. Her heart pounded. God, was this actually happening?

“Mmm-hmm. But this seems a bit unfair—me about to get naked and you not nearly naked enough.”

“What?”

He closed the distance between them, palms finding her hips as his nose skimmed along hers.

“Short skirt. Bare feet. Red toenails.” He breathed in deep. “You’re killing me.”

Large palms brought her body flush along his. Her hands found those massive shoulders just as her brain sputtered into action. She pointed a finger behind her.

“There’s a camera,” she managed. “We’re being filmed. I could lose my job.”

“No, you won’t. I installed it. I can hack out the footage, no problem.”

She blinked. “You’re Mr. Spaulding’s brilliant son?”

He laughed. His smile was beautiful. He wasn’t human. He was some genetically manufactured man-God sent here to destroy her.

“That would be me.” His hand moved from her hip to her back. A finger chased along the waistline of her skirt. Dipped inside. He murmured, “Let me.”

Mia wasn’t sure she could trust him on the footage, but she couldn’t make herself care. It was all she could do to stop herself from ripping the suit off him, camera or not.

“Okay.”

His fingers curled around the zipper and slowly dragged it down. Her skirt sank to her feet. The sound of satin hitting the floor was a gunshot.

“Fuck,” he whispered.

She lunged for him, fingers shaking as she made quick work of his shirt buttons. He tugged off the jacket. Navy crepe and white cotton peeled away to ropy muscles, notches where his shoulders met his arms. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to keep a copy of the recording, because…damn. She undid the button on his pants next while he started on her blouse, sliding it over her arms and throwing it to the floor. He didn’t stop to kiss her, only looked, drank her in, all hairless chest and smooth skin, boxers peeking out from beneath his waistband.

The rest of his clothes needed to come off.

Right.

Now.

She wrenched his pants down his legs, standing as he kicked them away. His eyes skirted to the left.

Oh, hell yes.

“Guess it wouldn’t be smart to have everything recorded,” he said.

“Guess not.”

Cooper looped his fingers through hers and walked them backwards into the dressing room. “I have a confession. I didn’t really need a suit. I was here to check on the camera. But then I saw you through the window, and…”

“Shhh.”

Close spaces.

Quickened breaths.

The thrill of getting caught.

She pressed a finger to his lips and dragged the curtain shut.

(1500 words)

 

 Make sure to go check out the other First Undress entries! Here’s the schedule, in case you missed it. 😉

 

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Comments

  1. Loved this!!! Soooo hot!!

  2. Hot engineers and enclosed spaces! Love love love!

  3. Zowee! This was smoking hot and so much fun. So well done!

  4. I’m late to the party but I wanted to say thank you – that was a fun little read. 🙂

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