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Authors: Lawrence Block


BOOK: Carla
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Lawrence Block
Writing as Sheldon Lord

This is for


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

A New Afterword by the Author

A Biography of Lawrence Block

Chapter One

the steaming tub, she reached at once for the nubby yellow towel and rubbed herself vigorously. The bath had been excellent—refreshing and invigorating—and the brisk towelling was just as good. She rubbed herself dry until her whole body was a healthy pink from the rubbing.

Dry at last, she turned to the full-length mirror on the bathroom door. It was steamed over from the hot bath, and she wiped it off with the towel in order to get a good look at herself. That was one of the joys of being rich, she thought sardonically. Now she could afford a full-length mirror in the bathroom, or in any room, if she really wanted one. She stepped back and studied her reflection with scientific curiosity, noting with pleasure the firm thrust of her breasts and the sleek lines of her hips. Breasts as large and round as hers had a tendency to sag, but hers were as firm and lush as ever.

But what difference did it make? Her breasts could droop until they touched the ground and it wouldn't make a bit of difference. Who was there to look at them, to excite her by holding them in his hands? She had a beautiful body, but what good was it? There was nobody around to put it to good use. Here she was, Carla Macon, 24 years old and stunningly beautiful—and without a man to make love to her properly.

She shook her head sadly. Today was the worst day in a long time. Today the hunger in her had become so strong that she felt she couldn't stand it another day. She was young and alive, and she had to love and be loved or she would go out of her mind. Could a 24 year old woman be expected to live a life of celibacy? It was impossible.

Well, she thought savagely, that was the price she had to pay. Ronald Macon had done a great deal for her. He brought her from a Polish slum in Buffalo's East Side to an ivy-covered brick home on Nottingham Terrace, the swankest street in town. He had changed her name from Carla Straczyk to Carla Macon. He had given her money and security and whatever she wanted. When she asked for a sports car, Ronald had an MG delivered the very next day. He bought her furs and jewelry and gave her a liberal allowance for whatever else she happened to desire. He gave her everything.

Everything, she thought, but love.

Oh, Ronald loved her. But, as he had said, he was not a young man. No matter how deeply he cared for her it was impossible for him to give her the type of love she needed so desperately. For two years she had been Mrs. Ronald Macon, and for two years she had lived with a burning desire within her, a deep physical need for a man who could make love to her. She wanted a man who would hold her firmly and practically bruise her lips when he kissed her, a man who could satisfy all her desires. And no matter how much he loved her, Ronald Macon was not such a man.

Carla was a woman born for love. She was tall, with long blonde hair and a perfect figure, perfect from the firm rounded calves to the high and proud breasts. Her high cheekbones and narrow jaw gave her features an aristocratic cast which belied her slum background. She was a beautiful woman, and now all her beauty was being wasted.

It might have been different if she had been a virgin at the time of her marriage. If she had never slept with a man before, if she had never known the delights of passion, it would be infinitely easier to resign herself to living a sexless life as Ronald's wife.

But Carla was by no means a virgin when Ronald met her. Maturing early, she attracted the attention of the boys in the neighborhood while still in school. While she was never sexually promiscuous, she was not a puritan either. The boy who first seduced her had shown her so much pleasure that she was unwilling to forego it because of morality which she couldn't completely understand.

Standing before the mirror, she paused to remember that first episode. She had been sixteen at the time, young and vibrant and beautiful. She had a date with a boy from her English Class at school, a tall brawny boy named Pete Witosky. She didn't know him at all outside of the classroom, but there was something so exciting and appealing about him that she didn't hesitate when he asked her to go to the movies with him.

After the show he took her to a juke joint for a soda. They talked for several hours, but she couldn't remember at all what it was that they talked about. It didn't matter at all. She was hardly conscious of the conversation, her whole attention concentrated upon the silent fury in his intense eyes and the strength revealed by the tight muscles in his arms. How strong he must be! His hands were large and his fingers tapered, and she thought that he could easily squeeze the breath out of her with them.

They left the juke joint finally and walked home. She had no brothers or sisters, and her father had been killed in an accident at the steel mill when Carla was very young. She lived alone with her mother, and her mother was sleeping when they reached her house. On an impulse, she asked Pete if he would like to come in for a few minutes. She had never invited a boy inside before, but somehow things seemed different tonight. Inside, she felt ashamed of the shabbiness of the living-room. If only they could afford a nice place, and furniture that was fairly new, without the stuffing leaking every time anybody sat down on a chair! Someday, she vowed. Someday she'd have all the money she wanted.

But Pete didn't seem to notice the condition of the room. He walked in and sat down at once on the sofa, throwing one arm over the back and motioning for her to sit next to him. She did, relaxing against the back of the sofa and just barely feeling his arm against her blonde hair.

“I had a very nice time tonight,” she said, trying to get a conversation going.

“What do you mean,
The evening's still going on, isn't it?”

“Sure. I mean—”

“I know what you mean, Carla. I was only teasing you.” As he spoke, his arm dropped from the back of the sofa and his left hand rested gently on her shoulder. The contact excited her slightly, filling her with a feeling she had never experienced in the past. She wanted to draw away from him, but at the same time she wanted to stay right where she was, wanted to let him touch her and excite her still more.

“You're a real pretty girl,” he said. He smiled and moved a little closer to her. She could feel his thigh through her skirt.

“Thank you.”

“Real pretty.” There was a husky quality in his voice this time, and his hand closed around her shoulder and squeezed it gently. She thought suddenly that something was wrong, that she ought to tell him to go home before something bad happened. She wasn't exactly sure what might happen but she had a fairly good idea. Still, it was so nice to sit beside him on the sofa, and his hand felt good on her shoulder.

“C'mere.” He took her chin between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand and turned her face toward his. He brought her mouth close to his and kissed her gently, moving his lips expertly against hers.

“That was nice,” he said. “But you kiss like a little girl, Carla. Not like a woman.”

She was puzzled. “How does a woman kiss?”

“Want me to show you?”


“Keep your lips apart a little,” he advised, “and let's try it again.” He brought her mouth near his a second time and let both his arms go around her back, holding her tightly. She followed his instructions, parting her lips slightly, and when he kissed her she was excited by the contact between his tongue and her lips. Little shivers of liquid fire went through her and she put her arms around him, hugging him tightly to her and kissing him back, holding close to him and breathing heavily. The movement of his tongue excited her more and more, and she began to nip playfully at it, rubbing her body against him and holding him tighter in her arms.

“God,” he said when they finally broke apart. “Where in hell did you learn to kiss like that?”

“You just showed me.”

“Yeah? You learn fast, Baby. Let's make this night a real lesson, huh?”

His arms went around her again and he clutched her more fiercely than before. His mouth pressed savagely against hers and one of his hands went to her breast.

She hadn't expected that. She didn't think he would touch her there, knowing that it wasn't right to let a boy touch you there. But what was wrong about it? She couldn't understand it. It felt so good, the way Pete's hand was caressing the firm flesh through her thin sweater. What could be bad about something that felt so good?

She was only dimly aware of what happened next, too deeply immersed in the flood of sensations passing over her body. His hands seemed to be touching her everywhere, evoking brand-new feelings and hungers every place they touched. One hand went under her skirt, sliding gently over her calf and resting momentarily on her knee, then gliding further up her thigh. He stroked her thigh gently, so gently. She began to squirm violently on the couch and make little animal sounds deep in her throat.

Deftly he raised her sweater and slipped it over her head. Then his fingers toyed with the hook-and-eye of her brassiere, finally managing to remove that too. The touch of his hands on her bare breasts sent her into a frenzy.


“Ohhhh!” His hands were busy with her skirt now, and she wished he would hurry, wished he would remove the rest of her clothing quickly.



He had trouble getting the words out, panting as though he had just finished running a five-mile race. “Baby,” he said, “I don't think I can stop. I—”

“Don't stop,” she moaned. “God, don't stop!”

Looking back on those first experiences, she marvelled at what a naive girl she had been. Still, what wouldn't she give for a similar half-hour on a sofa with a strong and virile man! There had been other boys and men between that memorable first time and her marriage, but no one had quite compared with Pete Witosky.

She wondered absently what ever had happened to Pete. He was probably still living in the same place, working at the steel mill and getting drunk every Friday night. Thank God she had escaped that dismal trap! She had all the money she could possibly want now, all the clothes and furs a woman could desire.

The only thing missing was love, and somehow she would have to discover a way to get that as well. It was something she needed, and Carla was a woman who got what she wanted. She wanted a ticket out of the slums, and she lost no time in latching onto Ronald Macon.

She remembered the second time with Pete, when the pain was gone and the pleasure was even greater. And she also remembered what came after, when her mother came into the room and saw the two of them in each other's arms on the sofa. Pete practically dove into his clothing and raced full speed for the door, but Carla could do nothing but cower in terror on the couch.

“You little slut!” her mother screamed. “You dirty little tramp!” And then she switched to Polish for a long string of words delivered at full speed. Carla didn't understand the words but she knew the general tone.

“You don't move,” her mother commanded. “You stay right there on the sofa, bitch.”

Her mother disappeared into the bedroom and returned second later with a hairbrush in her hand.

“Slut,” her mother said. “The only thing you got and you let a kid take it away from you. You'll wind up on the streets, that's what happens to sluts. Dead and stinking in an alley you'll wind up with your insides rotting!”

BOOK: Carla
5.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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