Cost of Sale Analysis
Andrew Steane

T hey lay in bed together in the darkness, still touching and feeling the warmth and softness of each other’s skin. He let out a restful, sated sigh. “I travel too much.”

“I love to travel.”

“So do I. But I am tired.”


“No, not now. But sometimes.”

“Good. I don’t want you to be tired.”

“I’m not.”

“I know.”

“You’ll keep me up all night anyway.”

“If you want me to.”

“I doubt I have much choice.”

“You don’t. Are you okay with that? ”

“I think so.”

“You think so?”

“I know so.”

“I had no idea you were this pliable.”

“I’m not. But as I said, I travel a lot. Right now I just feel especially agreeable.”

“Like I was earlier?”

“No.” He shifted his arm beneath her to allow circulation to flow again.

“I was agreeable.”

“Yes you were. Why is that?”

“What do you mean?”

“You shot down a lot of planes before I came over.”

“Why did you come over?”

“Didn’t you want me to?”

“Yes. I was trying to get your attention.” She lit a cigarette. “Do you mind if I smoke?”

“Not now.”


“Why did you want my attention?”

“Because you didn’t need it.”

“Eventually I did.”

“I had to convince you.”

“So I was a challenge.”

“Yes.” She took a long drag. “I love challenges.”

“Am I still a challenge?”

“Yes. But one that I have overcome.”

“I didn’t think you overcame.”

“Not yet. But it’s,” she rolled over and looked at the red, glowing hotel clock. “It’s still only 2:30.”

“We should set that thing.”

“You’re planning to sleep?”

“No. But just in case.”

“You’re cute.”

“What time do you want?”

“I have to be at my client by nine, and it takes me an hour to get ready. Set it for seven-thirty.”


“I’m going to need some water if I hope to function tomorrow.”

She slid from beneath the covers and stepped carefully to the bathroom. The light from the city streamed through the window. The night was surreal. This was a movie. He closed his eyes and floated upwards and watched himself from high above. The woman. The room. The city. “Do you have any aspirin?”

“Yes. It’s in my night-case.”

“Got it.” She returned with a full glass of water. “Drink this. You’ll need it.”


“You may want more.”

“No. Thanks. I’m fine. I don’t fly out until noon tomorrow.”

“Where to?”

“San Francisco. But I’m not gay.”

“I gathered that.”

“What gave it away?”

“Your ring.”

“Yours has diamonds.”

“They’re a girl’s best friend.”


“Do you know why they call this ‘The Windy City’?”


“Because of the blowjobs.”

“Oh. Oh. Yes.”

First published: November 2001