Veronica loved the Mercury Theater with its ornate décor and threadbare velvet seats. Old places like this had a romance and sensuality that modern theaters lacked. They also played more interesting films. At midnight on Friday, the Mercury showed NC-17 movies. Veronica liked to sneak past the “This Section Closed” sign when no one was watching and take a seat in the balcony. The rest of the audience had no idea she was there. Alone in the dark, she could slide her hand under her skirt and thoroughly enjoy the show.

Tonight they were playing Henry and June. Veronica loitered next to the stairs until the coast was clear, then scurried up to take her usual place. But it seemed someone else had had the same idea. A man sat in the middle of the first row, holding bag of popcorn and a bottle of soda. He looked up when she came in.

“Um…” he said.

“Sh!” She glanced out at the main auditorium to make sure no one had heard, then whispered, “I won’t tell if you don’t.”

He broke into a grin, and gestured for her to join him. She hesitated, thinking if she sat a few rows away she might be able to indulge herself in spite of his presence. But he was kind of cute, with his spiky hair and thick horn rimmed glasses. Veronica grinned back and took a seat beside his. When he offered her some popcorn, she helped herself to a handful, and they crunched together in comfortable silence as the movie began.

1930s Paris filled the screen in exquisitely composed images, like Brassai photographs come to life. Veronica shifted her weight as one sex scene after another unfolded. When the last of the popcorn was gone, she lingered over licking her fingers and tried not to squirm. Her companion kept the empty bag on his lap. Out of the corner of her eye she saw his breathing change, and his lips parted as Anaïs Nin wandered through crowds of naked women.

Veronica picked up the bag and set it on the floor.

His erection made a huge bulge at the front of his pants. The man flushed bright red and kept staring at the movie screen until Veronica inched her skirt up to bare her thigh. He turned to watch as she slouched, scooting forward on the seat so she could open her legs and ease her hand under the fabric. With a hiss of pleasure, she stroked her fingertips across her clit.

“Go ahead,” she whispered.

He swallowed. Hesitantly, he cupped his palm over his groin and massaged his stiff cock. The seat squeaked when Veronica began to rock her hips. Biting her lip, she forced herself to be still. Her back arched as she reached lower to wet her fingers. The skirt kept getting in the way, so she pulled it higher, then moved her gleaming fingers back up to her clit.

Her companion moaned and stared as she played with herself. He fumbled to unfasten his pants, and Veronica watched him take out his cock. It strained up, hard and thick, and he wrapped his hand around it and began to stroke. They both turned back to the screen where Anaïs and June were in bed making love. The musical score drowned out the quiet sounds they made as they each pleasured themselves. With her free hand, Veronica squeezed her breast and pinched the hard nipple. Her muscles tensed as she grew close. She stayed on the edge as long as she could, holding back…making it last…until finally the orgasm burst over her. She barely managed to stifle her cry. The man clutched the arm of his seat and pumped faster. Clenching his teeth, he went rigid from head to toe, and came.

Both of them slumped, breathing hard. Veronica glanced over and giggled to see him grimace at the sticky mess he’d made. From her skirt pocket she pulled out some tissue and a couple of wet wipes, and held out one of each. He gave her a sheepish look as he accepted the offer. They cleaned themselves up and rearranged their clothes.

When the credits rolled, Veronica leaned in and murmured, “Next week they’re playing The Lover. Want to come?”

He grinned. “See you then.”