"Fifteen minutes. All I needed was another fifteen minutes and I would've been on the way home," Joey Greer said to herself as she struggled to keep her umbrella from blowing away in the strong wind.
That thought was small comfort to the twenty-one-year-old as she was already soaked to the skin by the sudden downpour. The short haired redhead didn't know who she was angrier with at the moment, the insufferably cheerful weather girl on Channel Two who casually mentioned a slight chance of a shower in the early evening, or her boss at the drugstore who had asked her to make a quick delivery on her way home, insuring that she wasn't already on the bus, warm and still dry.
After careful deliberation, helped along by her having to twist her five foot five form into a pretzel to avoid the splash of a truck racing through a large puddle on the curb, Joey made a choice. As nice as it would be to have her hands around the weather girl's neck, it would be much more satisfying to have them around Kevin's.
Joey had finished her shift at the SVC Pharmacy over on Eighty-third Street and was halfway out the door when Kevin West, the assistant manager, had stopped her. She should've realized, Joey thought later, that something was up when Kevin asked her if she still went over to Seventy-fifth Street to catch the bus. The question caught her off guard, so instead of saying that she was going in the other direction today, she said yes she did.
"Great," Kevin had said, flashing that smile that Joey found so condescending. "Then you can do the store a big favor and drop a prescription off on Sixty-ninth and Third, it's only a few blocks out of your way. Mr. Collins asked me to make sure that it went out as soon as it was ready and Bobby won't be back for another hour at least. You don't mind, do you?"
Actually, Joey did mind, she minded it a great deal. Kevin seemed to go out of his way to make sure she got more than her share of the dirty jobs. Part of that could've been attributed to the fact that she was the new girl, having been there only a few months. That much she could accept. What really bothered her was that she was sure that the other part of it was because he had asked her out when she had finished her probationary period and she had turned him down flat.
While he never said anything about it afterwards, or repeated the offer, one of the other girls had told her that he wasn't the kind of guy who took rejection well. Still, she couldn't shake the feeling that he went out of his way to dump things on her. There were times she wondered if maybe she should've given him a reason. That she didn't date older men, or men shorter than herself. Or she could've been totally honest and told him that his chances of getting into her pants were the same as any other man, totally zero.
Still, despite all of that, she hadn't refused to play delivery girl. The request, however indirectly, had come from Mr. Collins, the store manager. Additionally, she had been late twice in the last two weeks and no one had made a big deal about it. So she had given him an equally fake smile and taken the bag. As she started down the street, she hoped that S. Carter, the name on the label, appreciated the door-to-door service.
All of this, of course, was before she reached Seventy-first Street and the sky had opened up with such force as to make her feel like someone had dumped a bucket of water over her head. By the time she walked up the steps of the townhouse a few blocks later, she felt like she'd jumped into a pool with her clothes on. With all the stores on the street already closed, there was no escaping the rain.
At the top of the stairs, Joey closed her all but useless umbrella and rang the small intercom by the door. Less than a minute later a woman's voice answered, asking who was there.
"SVC Pharmacy," Joey said into the speaker/receiver, "I have a delivery for Carter."
"I'll be right down," the voice said.
When she had first started at SVC, Joey had made a few deliveries when they were really busy. She remembered two of them on this block. If S. Carter ran true to form for the residents in this area, it was the maid who was on the way down to deal with her. The owner of the house would be far too important to deal with the little people who made deliveries and such.
With that in mind, she was surprised when the door opened and there stood a thirty-something woman, her shoulder length blond hair tied back in a ponytail. Wearing a white blouse, black slacks and a cashmere sweater that Joey guessed cost more than she made in a week, the interim delivery girl changed her opinion of this being the maid. Even more surprising were the first words out of the woman's mouth when she saw how wet the girl was.
"Oh my goodness, you're positively soaked," the five foot, six woman gasped as she reached out and pulled Joey into the vestibule. "You come inside this minute."
The redhead had no chance to object as the woman took her useless umbrella out of her hand, putting it and the plastic bag with the medication on a nearby table. Then she just as quickly pealed off the equally drenched windbreaker off Joey's back and draped it across a row of wall hooks.
"What kind of idiot sends a person out in weather like this to make a delivery?" she asked rhetorically as she turned back to face the younger woman.
Joey was about to say that it hadn't been raining when she left the drug store, but decided that since Kevin was an idiot for so many other reasons, she wouldn't debate the issue. She was more interested in the way this woman, who for some reason seemed familiar, continued to surprise her.
"Why don't you step inside the parlor and dry off by the fire," the woman went on as she motioned to the room to the left. "I'll get you a towel for your hair."
Joey thanked the woman for the unexpected kindness, then watched her as she walked down the hall and disappeared behind another door. Turning in the direction she had pointed, Joey reasoned that if not the maid, the woman had to be some kind of employee of the person who owned the house. Someone who still had enough of a connection with working people to have felt sorry for the rain-soaked girl. Possibly she had been in the drug store before and that was why she seemed familiar.
"You think I'd remember an ass like that," Joey mused as she stepped into the sitting room.
The room looked larger than her studio apartment, filled with overstuffed chairs and dominated by a large fireplace, the warmth of which could be felt even in the doorway. It was only when she stepped over to the fire that Joey realized just how wet she really was.
"Here you go," the blond haired woman said as she entered the room and handed Joey a towel.
"Thank you," Joey said as she began to dry her hair. "I'm afraid I'm dripping all over your floor."
"Don't worry about it," she smiled, bringing another sense of recognition to Joey. "A little water isn't going to hurt it and besides, it's not my house. I'm only borrowing it for the week."
"Oh," Joey said as she finished drying off her hair, wondering what this woman's story was and more importantly, why she couldn't remember where she'd seen her before.
"I really feel bad about you getting so wet bringing me what turned out to be a needless prescription," the blond said. "It seemed like I'd forgotten my medication back in Los Angeles and had my doctor call in a replacement. Then, about a half hour ago, I found it in my bag."
"Well it was an honest mistake," Joey smiled to show she wasn't upset about getting doused for nothing.
"I think that the fire, nice as it might be, really isn't going to do the job," she said as she noticed that Joey's blouse and jeans were still quite wet. "If you want, there's a laundry room down at the end of the hall. You could toss it all in the dryer and it should be done in a half hour or so. There's a robe hanging on the door that you could wear in the meantime."
Joey looked at the woman with suspicion for a few moments, wondering if she might have some ulterior motive in wanting her to get naked. Not that she would really mind if she did. Joey didn't normally go for women older than herself, but this woman was definitely first class and it had been almost four months since her now ex-lover, Sonija, had moved out of their apartment and her life.
"Sounds like a plan," Joey smiled again and followed her down the hall to the laundry room.
Joey felt a slight sense of regret when, after opening the door and giving a quick explanation how to use the dryer, the woman excused herself and said she'd meet her guest back in the parlor. She had almost hoped that her benefactor was planning something.
"Oh by the way," the woman said, pausing in mid-step and turning around. "Can I get you something to drink to help warm you up. Coffee, Tea, or maybe something stronger?"
"Coffee would be fine," Joey replied, thinking that there was another way she preferred to be warmed up. One that Sonija had been especially good at. "Cream and sugar if you could."
"Not a problem," the blond said as again she disappeared.
Joey began to unbutton her blouse when she saw her reflection in the full length mirror hanging on the back of the door. Wet as her shirt was, coupled with the fact that she didn't wear a bra, her nipples and the surrounding areola were highly visible. There was no way the older woman couldn't have noticed them. As she continued to strip, the twenty-one-year-old idly wondered what she had thought of them, if anything.
.... There is more of this story ...