This excerpt is from "Best Women's Erotica, Volume 2" by Rachel Kramer Bussel. It is reprinted with permission from Cleis Press.

I smiled, put the hair clip at the base of my curls and sipped the wine, the tartness of strawberries and the burn of alcohol dancing across my palate. With each swallow, I closed my eyes and imagined his hands on me, his warm breath on my neck, his teeth nibbling my earlobe, his body pressed against mine, his hard length digging into my ass despite layers of fabric. My breath became shallow, and before I knew it, my glass was empty. I looked around, making sure that I was, in fact, alone. Not seeing anyone else, I placed the empty glass on the table, lifted my dress and positioned myself so that the scarlet V of my thong was behind the clear glass. Whipping out my phone, I took a selfie, typed Thanks for the tasty drink, and sent it to him. With that, I got into the elevator and made my way to the opera house entrance.

For this evening, my lover had insisted that I wear a black strapless gown with my hair loosely curled to one side. The dress was tight across my chest. I opened my clutch to peek at what I’d brought with me: cell phone, ticket that read Bizet’s Carmen at the Kennedy Center, ID, credit card, and a purple bullet vibrator. A small pearl of moisture formed in my underwear. I reached for my ticket, presented it to the uniformed ticket taker and made my way upstairs to the second level.

The hall was filled with people. Many of them were elderly: the women wore dark clothing and were adorned with garish costume jewelry while the men accompanying them were stuffed into suits. I searched for my seat. Upon locating it, I noticed that I was seated between two couples. This was disappointing. He hadn’t mentioned that he wouldn’t be joining me. I knew that there was nothing wrong with going to a show alone, but I wanted him next to me. I knew nothing about opera, and though I’d only been involved with him for about a month, this seemed to be more his thing. After all, he was the one who’d bought the ticket for me.

We’d met at a mixer for kinky people. The event was pretty straightforward: meet people who live in and around Arlington who happen to take things up a notch in their bedrooms. I was shocked yet delighted to discover that this suburb of the nation’s capital boasted a large number of people who weren’t nearly as straitlaced as many Traditional American Values lobbyists would like to believe. Before I could order myself a drink, Max walked right up to me. Normally, older men didn’t do it for me, but his cool efficiency of waving down the bartender and ordering a glass of the 18-year-old Macallan for me gave me pause. It was so unlike the parade of recent college grads in my neighborhood, thinking that rail shots would still impress me. I’d fixated on his musician’s hands. They were clean but not obviously pampered, the nails trimmed but not manicured, and large but not comically so. I’d instantly wanted them on me, exploring every dip and curve of my body. He’d made me his instrument that night, and most afternoons since then. I thrived on pleasing him.

As soon as I got comfortable in my chair, the lights dimmed. I leaned forward, and then I noticed why my lover had instructed me to come here, yet I sat alone.

Max was playing in the orchestra.

Despite the stuffiness of the attire, Max was handsome in his tuxedo. His beautiful, angular face was illuminated by his music-stand light. He must have used a little hair gel to keep his thick, wavy salt-but-mostly-pepper hair out of his face. The timpani drums hid his long legs, tonight in black tuxedo pants as opposed to dark jeans; I immediately imagined them stretched tightly across his groin. He looked up from his music stand, staring straight at me with his intensely dark eyes. At least I thought he was staring at me. I couldn’t be sure, but I was transfixed. My mouth went dry. He smiled, a devilish grin betraying his generally stoic demeanor. He broke our visual hold as the concertmaster took his place at the head of the pit. Max lifted his mallets over one of the larger drums and waited for the cue. The baton went up and when it came down, the hall erupted with the main theme. I wasn’t paying attention to the music. My eyes were squarely on Max, whose eyes were squarely on his music stand.

He hadn’t started sweating, but by the show’s end I expected he would be rather damp, much like my lace thong. I’d bought it for this evening: black lace with red satin barely covering my waxed vulva. He stopped the timpani gently, his fingers dancing across the taut calfskins. He was able to tease out all manner of dynamics from the drums, then quickly silence them; the very same hands could, and did, ensure that I cried out, then hushed, with ecstasy and restraint.

About twenty minutes later, the music softened. As the cellos began their new eighth-note figure, the audience in the cavernous opera hall stilled. The men sat up a little straighter in their plush seats, their eyes fixed on the curvy, wild-haired woman slowly making her way to center stage. The company, dressed in either World War I-inspired uniforms or tattered bohemian dresses, parted the way for her. She inhaled, her bust heaving, and then the hall was filled with her vibrato: “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle...” Perhaps love is indeed a rebellious bird.

Want to read more? Buy the book here.