I love this description of Bandit (1944) and the interesting print ad:
The original version walked the thinnest scent-line possible between its raw, vulgar and dirty leathery-animalic sex appeal, pure lust, almost scary, and its poetic love-lettery, shy-romantic elegance. Bandit is two perfumes in one, both with very different personalities, character and appearance.
Leathery animalic sex appeal combined with romantic elegance? What woman could resist?
[Note: this chapter is sexually explicit.]
They had agreed that Peter would come at nine, unless the dinner went late, but the scholars seemed anxious to go their own ways, and Cynthia was back in her apartment by eight thirty. She fed Ursula, her sweet-tempered grey Persian cat, did some minor tidying, then considered whether to shower and change before Peter arrived. She disliked wearing work clothes at home, but a track suit didn’t seem like a good option. She loved beautiful lingerie, and owned a few expensive nightgowns and peignoirs, but wouldn’t it be unladylike to open the door already dressed for bed? Perhaps a lady, at least at first, ought to maintain the fiction that she wasn’t expecting to sleep with her gentleman visitor. On the other hand, what else would a lady be wearing once she had retired for the evening?
Finally she took a quick shower, keeping her hair out of the spray, and decided on a delicate sleeveless nightie in cream. The front yoke, appliquéd with shell-pink flowers, covered the upper half of her chest, but from there the fine, diaphanous lawn fell to her knees. For modesty’s sake, about the gown she wrapped a full-length peach Valentino peignoir in a satiny fabric, a vintage piece from the 80’s that was one of her favorites. It was classy yet sexy, the type of thing Katharine Hepburn or Carole Lombard wore in the movies. Lacking the requisite pair of marabou kitten heels, she remained barefoot.
When she answered his light knock, Peter’s eyes widened slightly. He smiled, but all he said was, “What’s new, Pussycat?” Only after the door was shut behind him, and she had taken his overcoat and jacket to hang them up, did he murmur in a low voice, “Oh chérie, you’re all ready for me. I like that very much. I thought you would still be in your suit.”
She flushed a little at the realization that he found her attire sexy, or seemed to. She had some Chivas Regal set out on a tray, and was about to offer him a drink, when he suddenly swept her into his arms, kissing her passionately. His kisses were expert, and they continued for some time. As his lips and tongue caressed hers, her mental state alternated between sexual euphoria and joyful incredulity. Peter Noel was here, making love to her. Peter, a man so beautiful, in his brooding masculine way, and so desirable, that she never would have dreamed he could show interest in her. It was a miracle, or something like.
Now Peter had his nose buried in the curve of her neck, and he was rooting around her hairline and the back of her ear, breathing in deeply. “Where’s the bedroom?” he asked, and when she pointed to the door, he put his hands around her waist. “Lead the way.” She was glad he hadn’t tried to carry her. How mortifying to think that he might have attempted to pick her up, and then decided against it because she was too heavy. Or worse, what if he had hurt his back? As they stepped into the bedroom, she forced such humiliating thoughts from her mind. For all she knew, there might never be another night with Peter. He was here. That was all that mattered.
Now he loosened his tie and the top button of his shirt, and kicked off his shoes. His hair was mussed from kissing her, and he looked rakishly, disarmingly sexy. He stood next to the bed and said in his salted-caramel voice, “Pussycat. Show me what you have under that robe.” She untied the belt and opened her peignoir, letting its satiny fabric slip to the floor. She was naked underneath her nightie, and most of her body was visible to him. She held her breath.
For several long seconds he simply stared at her, unblinking. Then he put a hand to his face and rubbed his chin, his eyes still glued to her. He crossed the few steps that separated them and pressed her against him, his face in her hair, his hands low on her waist. Suddenly he let go of her and began to undress, tearing off his tie, his shirt and undershirt, his belt and trousers. Beneath the trousers was a pair of black knit briefs, which did little to hide his erection. He pulled them off, revealing himself to her fascinated gaze. Then he sat on the bed, legs spread, and beckoned her to stand before him. When she did, he slowly lifted the hem of her nightgown and drew it up, up over her thighs, her hips, her waist. She took it from his hands and pulled it over her head, letting it fall to the floor.
“Oh Cynthia, I’m thinking Cynful thoughts,” he crooned. “You have the prettiest tits I’ve ever seen. These nipples… do they like to be touched?”
She nodded. “Yes. Are there other women with ones like mine, that stick out? I’ve always been self-conscious about them.”
He had a breast in each hand now and was rubbing his thumbs over her nipples, causing her to gasp sharply. “Too sensitive? What about this?” he asked, using his palms to massage them gently. “That’s better, isn’t it? Yes, there are others like you, but not that many. Mmmm.” He took her by the shoulders, and moved her torso gently back and forth so that her breasts swayed, grazing his face. “Pussycat, I don’t think I want you to lose weight. I like you just as you are.”
“Well, I don’t. But I’m glad that you… ahhhh.” He was opening his mouth wide, taking in a nipple, and running his tongue over it in just the way she had fantasized about. She felt the sinews in her legs grow wobbly, and to keep from falling she moved her hands to his shoulders, then his thighs. He supported her as she sank down to the carpet, between his knees. Hello there, she thought. His penis strained upward before her, and she put out a tentative finger to touch the tight, velvety skin. “Oh, chérie,” he breathed. “Touch me.”
She spent a few moments caressing him. He kept his pubic hair well-trimmed, and one of his testicles fell lower than the other. Nick had been the same in that way, though his private parts were as different from Peter’s as one face is from another. She wrapped her hand around him and gave a little squeeze, and then a firmer one, drawing from him a quiet moan of pleasure. “You’re like a rock,” she said in wonder.
“That’s my name. Peter, the rock.” He chuckled a little, but as he locked eyes with her from above, his expression grew serious. She turned her attention back to what he had between his legs. She had never touched one with her mouth before, but his looked inviting. She began to kiss and lick it, focusing on the tip and finally, experimentally, closing her lips over him and sucking gently. She could hear him breathing hard, and when she looked up, his eyes were shut. The smell and taste of him were pleasing but complex, like seawater in a tidal pool, or a yeasty warm bread dough. After a few minutes, he gently pushed her back, saying ruefully, “You’re about to dynamite the rock, and we can’t have that. Not yet. Come up here with me.” She climbed onto the bed beside him. It was a king-sized bed, a luxury she’d permitted herself after her engagement imploded. All the other furniture she had ordered for her and Nick’s new apartment had to be sent back, along with masses of wedding gifts, but she had decided to buy this bed for herself.
He arranged her diagonally with her hips roughly in the center of the mattress, and straddled her, looking into her eyes. “Cynthia, has anyone ever kissed you the way you just kissed me?”
Nobody ever had. It showed how few other men desired her. She shook her head slightly. Her cheeks were already flushed with excitement, but now she felt the hot burn of shame.
“Do you come easily?” he asked, “Or does it take you a while?”
“I don’t know,” she said, helplessly. She was a woman past forty who had very little knowledge of sex. Oh, there had been boyfriends before Nick, but her sexual experience was limited to what the health teacher in her high school had called “heavy petting,” and actual intercourse, with the man on top.
“Don’t you ever touch yourself?” he asked. Seeing her hesitation, he said, “It’s Peter. You can tell me, chérie. It will help me make love to you.”
“Well, I never used to. I know it’s silly of me, but my mother taught me that it was wrong, and that a lady never touches herself down there except to be clean. It’s just how I was raised.” Her brother David probably never had any such reservations, but then, she doubted he had received the same instructions.
He moved to kneel beside her, and stroked her hair. “It’s not wrong to touch your body. Your mother shouldn’t have said that.” She nodded, and gathering her courage, said, “I have done it, even so, a few times. The last time was when I drew the picture… “ Suddenly, a thought occurred to her. “Did you know that would happen?”
“I hoped it would,” he said simply. “I hoped you would think of me. Did you have the p’tit mort, the good feeling that reaches a peak and then fades away?”
“Yes, I had that, but… I felt sad afterward. It’s never happened when I was together with a man.”
He looked away, and she wondered what he was thinking. Then he said, “I want to kiss you down there until you come. Does that scare you? Are you afraid it would be wrong?”
“Maybe a little,” she said. The idea of Peter putting his face between her legs— it was exciting, but she would feel terribly self-conscious.
Peter reached over the side of the bed and picked up his butter-yellow tie. “Cross your wrists in front of you. I’m going to tie them very gently, like this”— he wrapped the tie around her wrists just tightly enough that she could feel her arms were bound— “There. Is that comfortable?”
“Yes,” she said. What was he doing? She could probably get free if she tried, but she didn’t want to. It felt strange, yet arousing. The same tie that Peter wore around his neck all day now bound her hands. There was something deliciously intimate about that. Testing the knot, she lifted her arms and rested them above her head, elbows bent.
“Mmm, you look beautiful like that, chérie. You don’t have any idea how beautiful you are, do you? Now, I’m going to have my way with you. You don’t have to decide anything or worry about anything, because your hands are tied, hein? Even if you want to, you can’t stop me now. I am responsible for whatever happens, not you.” He began to massage her flanks and thighs, kissing her lower belly. “Relax your body. Take some deep breaths. Close your eyes,” he said, his voice soothing as he parted her thighs
The touch of his lips, when it came, made her start involuntarily, but he ignored this and pressed closer, his mouth warm and wet against her. Oh. The first electric sensation gave way to a feeling of pleasure that swirled its way through her body, yet stayed anchored in the small sliver of flesh he was caressing with his tongue. Now I finally understood what all the fuss is about. He was doing something forbidden, erotic, exquisite.
Each time feelings of shame began to intrude on her thoughts, her mind returned to what Peter had said. Your hands are tied. I’m going to have my way with you. She had only to exist, and the waves would keep rising and carry her effortlessly away. After a time, she realized she was moaning, and that if he should stop, all her pleasure would cease in an instant. But there was no interruption, and he kept on, and on, inexorably pushing her higher and higher, until she thought her body would turn itself inside out with desire. Finally the climax coursed through her, and her torso shuddered and arched. Still he lapped at her, more gently now, as she panted. Her body was covered with a fine dew of perspiration.
Peter moved and lay beside her, cradling her in his arms. She saw that his erection had softened somewhat, but he was smiling broadly. “Well? How did you like it?”
“It was the best Christmas present I’ll ever get. I’ve never felt anything like that in my life. When I did it myself, it was different, not nearly as good.” He kissed her and she tasted herself on his lips. Then he buried his nose in her neck again, snuffling his way down to her right armpit. He took a long sniff.
“Peter? What are you doing? That’s…” She didn’t want to say it was disgusting. Maybe it wasn’t. After all, he’d just had his mouth at the other end of her. And Peter was different from other men.
“It’s what, chérie? Your sweat smells good when it’s fresh. Eight hours from now, maybe not so good. But right now, it’s like a fine perfume. And it tastes much better than perfume,” he added, grinning. He licked some drops of moisture from between her breasts, and rolled off her, reaching for his trousers. From his wallet he pulled a condom. Her eyes fell to his penis, which was growing rigid again as he tore the foil.
For this, she wanted to be able to hold him. “Untie me,” she whispered.
Already wearing the condom, he loosened the knot, freeing her hands, and pressed the full length of his body against her, rolling his hips from side to side. She felt a different desire now, a deeper primordial hunger, to have him inside her. He used a hand to position himself. She waited eagerly, but he remained poised to enter her, without pushing in. “Cynthia,” he whispered, “Are you giving yourself to me completely? Are you mine?”
“Yes, Peter, yes… oh please…”
“Cynthia, ma chérie, do you love me?”
She didn’t trust herself to speak without tears, but she nodded her head so he could feel it against his shoulder. “Ah,” he said, and entered her, slowly and smoothly. Each stroke was a magical caress that left her waiting breathlessly for the next to arrive. Whatever happens, she thought, whatever happens, this is worth it. “You’re mine,” he told her, beginning to increase the pace. “Mine, Cyn. You belong to me.” She started to cry out as each thrust went deeper, harder and faster. He was touching some exquisitely sensitive place inside her that had been dormant before. Now it rang like a bell, and with tears streaming from her eyes, she wrapped her arms and legs around him as he came.
Afterward, as they lay together side by side, holding hands, Ursula came silently to the door. A plump, timid cat, she had fled at the sound of Peter’s knock, and kept herself out of sight. Now that all was quiet, she stepped into the room, scenting the air, and then leaped lightly onto the bed.
“Salut, minette,” said Peter softly. “What pretty big blue eyes you have. Just like my Cynthia.”
“Her name is Ursula, and she’s shy, but if you hold still, she’ll be okay.”
Ursula walked delicately across the bed until she reached a wet spot on the sheets, then stopped to inhale the scent, opening her mouth and drawing back her lips. “Ah,” said Peter. “Pheromones.”
“Mmm,” agreed Cynthia. “No female can resist you.”
“I’m sorry to have to tell you, but this spot definitely originates from you,” he said, trying to keep from laughing as she jabbed him in the ribs. Ursula sniffed his hand, and allowed him to scratch her head lightly, then, satisfied, jumped down from the bed, leisurely stretched a back leg, and sauntered off.
Peter glanced toward the clock on the nightstand. It was midnight. “Should I go? Or would you like me to stay?”
“Stay,” she told him. Her euphoria began to recede as she realized that he would have to leave eventually. If only he could stay in her bed forever! He would go, and she would feel bereft. “Today would have been my day off,” she said, “but since I worked the Scholars’ Day, I’m taking tomorrow.”
“Mmm. I wish I could stay here and tickle you from morning to night, but I have to work.”
Wrapped in his arms, Cynthia slept deeply, and the next thing she knew, Peter was dressed and leaning over the bed, kissing her cheek. “Go back to sleep, Pussycat,” he said. “I’ll call you.”
Copyright 2014 by Linnet Moss
Notes: This chapter speaks for itself, but I will make one comment. I try to write sex scenes so that they reveal something about the characters’ interior lives and motivations. We don’t have access to Peter’s thoughts, but the way he behaves in bed is a window into his psyche.
Peter’s expression “What’s new, Pussycat?” is an homage to another Beautiful Man named Peter, who passed away in 2013.