Arts Of War


Anthony Beal

Nipple rings like detonation pins, circular dares of stainless steel demanding rough favors, held together soft grenades peaked with glossy discs of mocha. Lip print tattoos bestowed black-ink kisses along the cinnamon slope of her throat, down her back, along her extremities, mapping erogenous outposts to be won by observant lovers. Reapplying strawberry-flavored war paint to the pouting powder keg of her mouth, Nin paused but long enough to wink appreciatively at her reflection in the bathroom mirror before capping her lipstick and stepping out of the space, into Lawrence Bristol’s twentieth-floor executive suite.

Nin adjusted the push-up brassiere cups sewn into her battle fatigue. She could feel its satin molest her as she approached their three-room battlefield, victory a foregone conclusion already seasoning her stride. Lawrence waited for her in the center of the room, his blazer, dress slacks and shirt, immaculate finery at the best and worst of times, lay scattered about the deluxe hotel suite like two hundred-thread-count shrapnel.

She’d lost count of all who’d fallen to her before Cedric, before Lawrence. An unknown was how many launch sequences her lips and tongue had inscribed along the rising missiles of fortunate warriors finding her between their legs. Having realized long ago that they would never matter, she no longer strove to recall the names of the faceless vanquished. History was still written by the winner. What Nin knew with certainty was that her arsenal would win this night as it had won all past skirmishes.

The profanity that Lawrence pushed through his teeth as she stepped into view corroborated as much. Nin stepped close enough to him to set her perfume’s chemical warfare to work upon her foe. Quietly watching him fill his lungs with her, she regarded him, saying nothing, nourished by this drawing of first blood. In Lawrence’s lap, a sleeping giant awakened filled with a terrible resolve.

“I clean up pretty nicely, don’t I, for a ‘conniving little bitch who can barely button her coat over her best assets?’” Nin asked.

The words were his, uttered the day after word returned to his ear that Nin had filed a Human Resources complaint against him. Gordon Johns, to whom he’d uttered them, like Lawrence himself, earned his living as a Regional Manager with the company. The two men had been thick as thieves since before Nin had come to work with them.

“I know what I said,” he replied, “I was there. Go ahead and hold your breath waiting on an apology if you want, but I wouldn’t advise it.”

“I know. Just like I know you want this ‘bitch’, don’t you? Want me to wag my tail for you? Want to get me on my knees and make me bark for you, don’t you?” Each accusation a missile fired, each word the swing of an axe, Nin stood amused, amidst her loathing for Lawrence’s pale idiot, at the mushroom clouds rising in his eyes.

“I’ll show you what I want,” Lawrence said, rising from the bed, his cock a jouster’s lance tipped against a foe come to battle him to the death of one or the other.


Any person disbelieving that antagonism held potency as an aphrodisiac was one unacquainted with the angry orgasm. The kind that shamed. The kind that loosed tears and drew blood. The chemical kind that burned skin raw. The nude alchemy of transmuting the venom of enemies into gold on nights when living was a chronic skin condition that itched and burned. The promise of human closeness that demanded no perfunctory civility or etiquette, that sought not to snag the soul upon affection’s hazardous briars, was a salve to those sufferers for whom it hurt to live.

Nin’s pain, a designation that she knew to be unfair, routinely addressed her as “angel eyes” and awakened her to breakfast in bed on weekends. To besmirch Cedric’s name was to know nothing of decency. He was not a bad person. He was just, by Nin’s estimation, a bad man.

The sonnets he penned to honor her, while thoughtful, had added not an extra penny to her savings nor morsel of food to her cupboard. She had survived for over twenty-five years before meeting him without sharing her name with a star, an honor purchased for her by Cedric from the Intercontinental Star Observatory and Registrar that could see a sucker coming from miles away. As for breakfast in bed, it remained an unconscionable intrusion upon her weekend sleep-ins, her only reprieves from the tyrannical yawp of an alarm clock that screamed her awake five days weekly before the sun was out of bed. One needed not mention that besides this, it obligated one to eat a meal that gave no consideration to what her breakfasting preferences on a given morning might be. Good men, real men, didn’t fawn so.

Real men recognized the difference between being attentive to their lady loves and unabashed kowtowing, and let the finesse of the one, rather than the desperation of the other, flavor their words and deeds. Nowhere had Nin seen this punctuated with more emphasis than in sexual encounters. Avoidance of comparing Cedric to past paramours was a virtue for which Nin had ceased to strive. Gentlemen might yet be prizes in the eyes of ladies that fancied them. But being too much the gentleman to pull her hair or pin her wrists, too gallant to acknowledge that a time existed for fucking as well as for making love, too chivalrous to call her his whore, or her pussy a cunt, even at a whisper, no matter how she pleaded for it, denied to both of the fullness of the sexual experiences that would have been theirs but for Cedric’s sense of propriety.

And so, Nin ultimately had leapt from the pedestal that Cedric had erected to her, sending her status as his ideal up in smoke, even as the pedestal went down in flames.

He’d left her no alternative. Neither had Lawrence.


Their arms race began up against the suite’s door, its steel skin feeling cool against Nin’s back.

Echoes of napalm stung her cheek in the place where Lawrence’s palm had landed. The stunning speed of the blow had blindsided Nin, staggering her, affording him crucial seconds to wrestle her by the wrists up against the door. Her fighting spirit galvanized by the affront, Nin dealt her first physical offensive, returning fingernail salvos that dug swollen welts into Lawrence’s scalp and shoulders and chest. Incited by their red glare, epithets burst into the air between Nin and Lawrence, surface-to-air launchings carrying their struggle over and onto the floor. Seizing her first opportunity, Nin leapt astride Lawrence’s shoulders to pin him, cursing, against the carpet. Nin arched her back and sounded a triumphant warcry as she ground her wetness against Lawrence’s lips. His tongue stole up and into her, a spear thrust forth by a surrounded warrior making his last stand.

Nin closed her eyes and savored the sensation as Lawrence took rough hold of her hips and devoured her dripping sex like Cedric never had. First blood was hers indeed tonight.


In the basement storage facility that their office maintained, atop stacked boxes of decade-old receiving records lie the where and how of Nin’s and Lawrence’s first fuck. Summoned to work on a June Saturday morning, she’d arrived begrudging that she needed the overtime pay too much to argue, dressed in the tank blouse and skirt that would provoke the argument that ensued between them that day. It was during this quarrel that the words “unprofessional” and “insubordinate,” regular ascriptions to Nin’s workplace conduct, were first joined by the word “whorish.” It was also the first time that Nin would physically assault Lawrence in a situation where words failed to express her offense at what she felt was unwarranted antagonism.

And instantly, everything known to them about their dynamic was altered. One moment had found them at physical odds; the next had joined them at the lips and loins, an organism rampant and solitary, a mutant aberration of fuck, single-minded and savage, that bit, clawed, spat at itself, that tore skirts, that rose furious welts across its skin, that launched Lawrence’s Oxford shirt buttons to the corners of the room. Lawrence’s hands hoisting his flailing subordinate by the waist up onto the boxes that they would leave that day without having catalogued. Nin’s teeth closing like a trap upon her manager’s Adam’s apple as she, having surrendered herself to the anticipation of hunger satiated in ways for which Cedric had no talent, ripped Lawrence’s back bloody. Lawrence’s hands snatching away panties already grown slick with unchained arousal, the report of snapped elastic reporting throughout the room like a gunshot. Nin’s large brown breasts flattened hitching against his furred chest, bleeding lips framing bared teeth, as she crossed her ankles across his ass and locked them thus. Lawrence’ cock stabbing between his subordinate’s thighs so hard that his hips and knees could be heard snapping and popping with his effort, his hands and tongue roaming her voluptuousness as they fucked each other for dominance upon which any observer would believe their very lives depended.

By the time they came, her orgasm’s viscosity dripping from his blushing scrotum, and his splattered up Nin’s middle from pubic thatch to breastbone, clarity had illuminated one thing among the myriad irresolutes in Nin’s life.
Never again would she be contented to “make love” to a man that worshipped her.


Her saboteur sucked dew from the petals of her swollen sex. His teeth crushed the landmine of her clitoris, his tongue flogging her inner labia, tearing cries from her throat like bloody things, like the scalps of enemies vanquished. Nin’s heavy breasts rolled as her torturer’s implements beset her body with throes of conflict that stole her breath and filled her ears with the beat of livid war drums within her chest.

Lawrence rolled her as the drums approached a fever pitch to match that burning villages between her thighs. Pinning her beneath him, he gifted Nin with her first carpet burns of the evening. His mouth and chin dripped her vaginal juices onto her tits, poured them into her mouth as they shared the kind of kiss that ravished all the more by making up with animalism for what affection it would never hold. With fingernails, each one a misericord, none of whom fell possessed of mercy, sinking into Lawrence‘s ass they squared off, Nin drew her legs apart and grunted as his invasion commenced.

Pressing his lips against the black ones beckoning to him from that place where Nin’s neck greets her shoulder, Lawrence exhaled slowly, giving her an exploratory bite to which she responded with French-manicured daggers. Nin growled as Lawrence’s slippery cock waged war against her cunt. Battering down the walls guarding her city, Lawrence ram amok on her, his driving cock a melee weapon collapsing her protests like skulls.


“Are you serious?” Cedric had demanded, when she’d arrived home from work that Saturday without panties beneath her torn skirt, and told Cedric she was leaving him. “What are you, twelve? You’re a little too old to still be chasing that ‘bad boy roughneck’ crap! I can’t believe this shit, not after everything I do around here for you! All I do is bend over backwards trying to make you happy!”

“Well, then,” she had asked, “What have you learned?” She’d almost regretted the barb. But the sight of him verging on tears had siphoned away the remainder of her respect for him and his feelings. Rather than inciting guilt, it made him seem less of a man than ever.

“Fucking women, man. Talk all that crap about being treated like ladies, but it’s always the dude that calls you a bitch and would just as soon go upside your head as look at you; that’s the one y’all really want.”

A look of inspired vulgarity had crossed his countenance then, a shadow falling across a meadow, as Cedric’s hand, tremulous with rage and betrayal, stole to unfasten his jeans. A predatory effigy of himself, one possessed by wounded things demanding restitution, he’d started toward Nin, his features darkening with each step.

“Come here, then,” he’d told her, “That’s what you want, I’ll give it to you. You want to be somebody’s bitch, you can be my bitch.” Filling the bedroom doorway, that she should not pass in one motion from the room and his life, he’d stood leering at her.

His feint had failed. “Get out of my way, Cedric. If you’d had the stomach for that kind of fun from the beginning, we’d be married by now.”

He’d stepped aside then and watched her leave, emphasizing to Nin that she’d made the right decision.


Lawrence withdrew his weapon from her. Seizing her by the wrist, he dragged her along the carpet, from the foyer into the suite proper, and shoved Nin onto her stomach across the foot of the suite’s king-sized bed. He knelt behind her. His thumbs traced the cleft between her buttocks, guerilla warriors conducting cursory reconnaissance, before he crowded them into her anus.

“Here’s what I want, right here,” he whispered into Nin’s ear.


“What are you willing to do for it?” he’d replied last week when she’d gone to see him about using some of her vacation leave in August. “If I authorize your time off, I’ll expect you to…thank me. Sincerely.” The carnal implication wore no masks. The opportunity to wet his cock with her again was but a footnote to the demand. This was about him bringing Nin to heel; he wanted to put a conniving little bitch in what he perceived to be her place. That desire so despoiled the atmosphere surrounding him that for a moment, it stifled Nin’s breath.

“Sorry,” she’d replied, “I don’t play those games.”

Lawrence grinned, a hunter whose prey had just taken his bait. “Then, you can’t have the days. And if you’re thinking about falling mysteriously ‘ill’ around that time, I’ll make sure you aren’t paid for any days missed.”

Nin’s reply, that of smacking Lawrence’s favorite mug, fortuitously filled with hot coffee, into his lap, had placed her on employee probation, as the written notice she would receive from Human Resources the following day would explain.

The feverish fuck that she and Lawrence would steal from one another in the locked single-occupancy employee washroom that afternoon would make the admonishment worthwhile. His muffling hand secured over her mouth as he opened both sink taps fully to drown their sex sounds, his soapy fist working its way into her anus, his hardness lodged in her pussy, stroking her toward an orgasm that would take her too soon, would lay the foundation for all their future warfare. The ferocity that Nin would return, the delightful agonies that her body massaged into his would surmount his every challenge in their test of wills.

What it would not do was earn her the days off that she wanted.


Rough palms seared her asscheeks as they pressed her into a kneel at the bed’s edge. The helmet of Lawrence’s cock planted its moist kiss upon her anal aperture. Her two-hundred-forty-pound manager bared his teeth and snapped his hips forward, shoving his erection and his madness deep, the killing stroke of a glad berserker. Nin wailed like an ambushed soldier as his bloodlust entered and filled her.

Nin reached behind her and clawed open his thighs. Lawrence captured her wrists, holding fast his hostages, spraying flecks of frothy spittle up the back of Nin’s chemise. One by one, his tongue overthrew the black-ink lip print outposts that meandered along her shoulder and back. Minute by minute, Nin’s campaign mounted, the rise and fall of her buttocks, the winding of her hips, the imaginative savagery of the filth she shouted into the mattress as they laid waste to one another. All of these conspired to exploit her foe’s Achilles’ heel. Fucking her in the ass, being able in this fashion to ejaculate inside Nin the way risk of her pregnancy precluded him from doing in her vagina, always brought him to a quick orgasm. She usually made him earn it, made him fight a bit harder to wrestle her into positions that facilitated anal entry. But tonight, timing was everything.

Lawrence looped his fingers through those detonation pins she wore like medals of valor attesting to her battlefield skills as Nin’s arched back hurled forth the grenades. Too late, she remembered that her weakness was his acquaintance as well. Lawrence tugged hard on her nipple rings in that way that always blew her apart.

Nin and Lawrence exploded, a simultaneous detonation of orgasmic cries that guests in the neighboring suite answered with disturbed fists thrashed against their side of the wall. Immediate decimation rocked his frame as Lawrence fell, consumed in his and Nin’s fallout. He came in hitching sobs that mortified him. His seed shot into air thick with the angry musk of their sex, mortar shell fire arcing toward objectives targeted on rough terrain. Its napalm splattered her spine like the fiery lash of a flail.

Soon after he collapsed against Nin’s back, a fist pounded at the suite’s door.

“Who the hell could that be?” Lawrence huffed, supposing that their neighbors had complained to the hotel desk about the noise.

Nin smiled, transported by contemplation of the retaliatory fuck he was going to put on her once he realized what she’d done. Awaiting Lawrence on the opposite side of that door was a lesson in what being a ‘conniving little bitch’ was all about. The battle needed to go on. What would happen to them if she ever ceased provoking Lawrence, if he ever stopped antagonizing her at work, Nin refused to consider. Collateral damage, as she’d taught Cedric, was yet another distasteful but often unavoidable facet of war, and in war, all was fair. Tonight Lawrence would learn the hard way how to do what needed to be done, as Nin herself had learned.

“I called her,” she answered, “Told her where we’d be.”


“Your wife,” she smirked. Lawrence blanched.

“And when the shouting is done,” she told him, “I’ll expect you to…thank me. Sincerely.”