11. tequila

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April, 2010

"Now touch me," Teddy told Ingrid after she'd tied his hands behind the chair.

"What?" She stood in front of her so-called therapist, crossing her arms over her chest. "I mean... how? Where?"

"Wherever you want. However you want."

One of her eyebrows jumped up. "Isn't that – I mean..."

"Well, you won't let me touch you, so we have to do something to get you back in the groove. I had you tie me up so in case I twitch or anything, you know I won't hurt you. Because I can't. Come on now. I'm a big boy, I can take it."

Ingrid sighed and knelt before him, reluctant. "Are you sure about this?"

"Very."

She sucked in a breath and trailed her fingertips across his bare thighs. His hairs stood on end, but Teddy didn't otherwise react. Her palms then flattened on his chest and she dragged them down to his waist. His body felt warm to the touch.

Ingrid inched forward on her knees and sat up. His well-defined collarbones created cavernous crevices at the top of his chest, which she suddenly craved to kiss. She stretched her neck, her lips hovering above his skin. It burned her mouth when she pressed it against his clavicle, and she thought she could hear Teddy hiss.

"You okay?" she drew back to ask, searching his hooded eyes.

"Yeah, I'm good. You keep going. Knock yourself out. It'll be your turn next, if you want. Of course, you don't have to. But just so you know."

Ingrid gnawed at her bottom lip. "Maybe not today," she whispered and pecked his cheek. "But I think I'm going to torture the hell out of you."

Teddy snickered. "Fuck, yeah!"

December, 2017

Ingrid soon spotted an open Starbucks as she aimlessly wandered the streets and ducked in for an americano. She tipped the barista way too much and loaded her venti cup with sugar before braving the winter again. Then her bladder suddenly ached and she went back inside to use the toilet.

Relieved and slightly more awake and sober, Ingrid continued her random trek through the snow, until she clocked a liquor store across the road somewhere. She made her way towards it, the hand holding her cup reddened from the cold despite the hot brew inside.

"Hola, señor!" she greeted as she strode in.

The Asiatic man behind the counter raised an eyebrow at her.

"Tequila, por favor," she demanded, grinning.

"I'm Chinese, you know," the man told her.

She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, but I just ordered a tequila, didn't I? That shit's Spanish."

"Actually, it's Mexican."

Ingrid groaned. "They speak fucking Spanish, don't they?"

"I guess," the man grumbled.

"Right, enough of that. Gimme it, come on."

"Any brand preferences?"

"Don't know, don't care. Cheap and strong. Actually, no, scratch that – " She made a movement with her finger as if she could strike the word through in the air. "Good and strong. I don't care how fucking expensive it is."

"Alright."

He picked out a bottle, wrapped it up in a paper bag, took her money. Then hesitated as she asked him to open it for her.

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