This is an excerpt from "Construction Workers: Grimy," part of the anthology "Nine-to-Five Fantasies: Tales of Sex on the Job," edited by Alison Tyler. It has been reprinted with permission from Cleis Press. This excerpt is sponsored by LELO.

My mouth went dry when I saw him: tall and broad, dusty jeans and dirty plain white tee. His hard hat was red, not yellow, and the back had a TARDIS sticker on it. A geek
construction worker? Was it possible?

I shook off the thought because there was nothing to guarantee that he had put that sticker on the hardhat.

His biceps flexed as he picked up the two orange cones that had resided in the hallway of my apartment building for weeks. Something to do with the stairwell and restructuring. Residents had been instructed to use the elevator or the stairs at the opposite end of the hallway instead.


My eyes fixed on the way his grimy shirt drew taut across his back when he moved, and it took me a minute to realize that he was now staring back. My key was in the door, my hand on the knob, my heart beating faster than it usually did when I took the stairs.

"Hi," he said.

I blinked and licked my lips. When he half-smiled I realized what I’d just done. My face heated with a blush, but I quickly sucked in a breath to get myself under control.

There was no way in hell this man could see into my head or know that I’d had a fixation on men like him my entire life. I’d never been to bed with a big, brawny construction worker because I’d never had the nerve - gumption my grandmother would have called it - to talk to one. Every time I was close enough to speak to one of these pillars of city life, I suddenly forgot how to talk.

This time was no different, so I nodded.

"Are you OK?"

My mouth felt like I’d swallowed a big spoonful of sand. Another nod from me, and he smiled.

"OK then." He winked. It wasn’t even smarmy or icky or anything. It was a wink that said we shared a secret. Or had a joke in common. Or just that he knew he was sort of pushing my buttons and liked it. But not in a cruel way, in an amused way.

He piled one cone on top of the other and hefted them up in one arm. That arm bore a tattoo of a crow caught in midflight.

Think of something clever to say. Ask about the sticker! Ask about the tattoo!

But I simply watched him walk away: nice ass in beat-up jeans with the bottoms of his pants legs sort of scrunched up around chunky, filthy work boots. My pussy flexed just studying him.

Resigned to the fact that I was going to go into my apartment and get off with my vibrator to images of big, tall and studly going down on me, or even fucking me, I turned the key.

Then he called out. "Um, hello?"

I turned and realized I couldn’t tell what color his eyes were.

His hair was brown. Not too long judging by what was peeking out from beneath his hard hat. It bothered me that I didn’t know. And that thought bothered me because it was downright nuts.

I waited, watching him, still unable to speak. My heart was an erratic thing in my chest.

"You can use the steps now. In case you were wondering."

Then, wonder of wonders, I said, "Great," aloud. But my stomach dropped even as I said it because if we could use the steps that meant the work was done, which meant this stellar male specimen would be leaving and I wouldn’t bump into him ever again.

He gave me a brisk nod and winked again. "Just so you know."

I tried to smile, hoping I didn’t look crazy. But I was sure I actually did look crazy.

He sauntered off and I rushed into my apartment, slammed the door and rested against it.

"You are a moron, Lenore," I said aloud. Then I set about putting away my work bag, washing my hands and going to find that damn vibrator. I might have missed an opportunity, but I would be damned if I didn’t use the meeting for fodder.

An orgasm was an orgasm.

I saw him the next day and started with surprise. My heart gave a kick in my chest. He was across the street doing work outside a building that was being renovated. Some god must have smiled on me because he looked up in time to see me. He grinned at me and it went right to my suddenly wet cunt.

I lost my mind then. Did something I never thought I’d ever have the nerve to do. I raised my hand and waved. Then a gust of wind came rushing up my wind tunnel of a street and lifted my skirt in a flirty bell around my thighs. I let out a cry and crushed my skirt to my legs, blushing all the while.

Then I turned tail and fled into my building, wondering if a person could actually drop dead of mortification.

It was barely five, I’d left work early and I was ready for a drink. A big fishbowl of a wineglass (a gift from my sister for my birthday) about half-full of merlot should do the trick. I was just pouring it when someone knocked.

Then my heart knocked crazily in empathy. Who the hell?

I suffered a brief but vivid porn-movie daydream where it was the studly construction worker come to show me the ways of a man who worked with his hands. He’d say something like, "I work wonders with wood—"

I snorted laughter, ripping myself out of the vivid mental vacation. Most likely it was Mrs. Stamos from two doors down asking if I’d seen Mr. Stamos. He often snuck up to the roof to smoke the cigarettes he was forbidden, but I never ratted him out.

I opened the door, already in the process of saying, "I have no idea where he is, Mrs. S—" but the words died on my lips.

"Studly," I blurted, and immediately prayed to choke on my tongue and die.

Because it was him. The big, dirty, hard-hat-wearing him, and when I said "studly" he chuckled so deeply and so perfectly my body wanted to shudder all over. When he grinned, it popped a single dimple in his right cheek and that just made me wonder what it would be like to stick my tongue into that dimple and taste the sweat on his skin.

"Hi," he said.

"Yes," I answered. It made no fucking sense.

He took off his hard hat and I saw perfect mink-colored hair. The color reminded me of gloves my father had worn in the winter when I was a little girl. An indescribable, supple brown.

His eyes, I saw, were icy, January-day blue.

"Yes?"

"Yes?" I said a bit louder. "What can I do for you?"

I pressed my thighs together to focus my mind and wished I hadn’t. My body reacted as if he’d touched me then, my stomach quickening, my chest growing heavy, my pussy thrumming with blood and lust.

"I have a problem," he said.

My heart sank a bit. This was a good and proper business visit, nothing more, nothing less. I’d gotten myself worked up for nothing.

"What’s that?" My voice was almost calm. Almost.

"Remember when we saw each other yesterday?" He took a step in, crowding me just a bit. I chewed my lower lip, tried to breathe.

"Yes."

"I can’t stop thinking about you..." He blew out a laugh and ran a big dusty hand through that hair. Hair I found myself wanting to touch. "I don’t even know your name. I’m David."

He stuck out his hand and I studied it. It was a nice hand. Dirty and nicked and I looked at it with no trouble imagining it on me. Holding me down, touching me, thick fingers sliding inside of me to fuck me.

"Lenore," I said, but it came out as more of a wheeze. I took his hand and just held it, letting him do all the work of shaking. I should have felt insanely embarrassed. Instead, I just felt sort of stunned.

"I hope you don’t think I’m crazy?" He said it like a question.

I tugged him gently. His eyebrows went up, those chilly eyes flashing with humor.

"No," I said. "I think I am, but not you."

I tugged just a bit more, and he was forced to choose. Pull back from me, or move into my apartment. He chose the latter.

"So is it me or the profession?" he asked gruffly.

He was the one to shut the door. I was the one to thumb the lock.

"Yes," I said. "Both." Honesty is the best policy.

"’Cause lots of girls want to bang us hump busters," he grinned.

I nodded and just stared at him, pretty sure that I’d blink and come to sprawled on the sofa. He’d be gone and I’d be holding an empty bottle of wine and a remote. Having had a vivid dream, but just a dream.

Instead, I watched transfixed as he ran a finger up from my waistband to my chin. He tilted my face up to look at him and waited.

"I’m one. Of those girls," I said quickly. "But you...you’ve been in my head since..."

Tell him you got off three times thinking of him going down on you. Fucking you. Pinning you there and making you squirm...

My cheeks went so hot I touched them to see if they were red. They were on fire. He touched one then, too. "You’re thinking really dirty things aren’t you, Lenore?"

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