Just a short note about these shorts stories: You have to be 18 to read them. Simple. That's it. OK, a little more:
They are short. Not short enough for Celeste's short story contest maybe, but pretty short. Get started early.
Story I - Her Shorts
It was a business trip. Most of them are, which is why I work so hard at putting a little pleasure into them. This one was no different. I'd come back from my fact-finding mission at X-Glo Corp., and I had another half day of interviews tomorrow. Then it'd be home, write a report, and send it off into the corporate black hole. It's a living.
I'd gone out with a couple of the X-Glo managers for dinner; they'd invited me and I'd accepted, as I have to when I'm on enemy turf. The meal was mercifully short and I got back to the hotel about 8:30. I changed in my suite, then went to the 3rd floor exercise room.
There was only one other person in the room when I walked in, a leggy brunette in a logoed T-shirt and a pair of tight white shorts. She was quite attention getting even if she wasn't trying. Her face read: professional businesswoman, pretty, just a hint of eye makeup, no lipstick. She had a long, thin neck which led to medium shoulders and an upper frame that I would have to call average. Not busty, not small. Like Red Riding Hood says, "just right." Oh yeah, that's Goldilocks. Whatever. There's a wolf in the story somewhere, I'm pretty sure.
She had a smooth gait as she walked on the motorized treadmill. She hadn't yet broken a sweat.
"Hi," I said. I always like to open big.
"Hi," she returned. She didn't seem to invite further conversation.
"Know what time the room closes?" I asked. Yes, the sign painted right on the door I just walked through said 10PM, but I had to say something, right?
"I think it's 10PM," she answered laconically. "Plenty of time."
"Great. Think I'll try the other treadmill," I offered.
"OK," she said. Nothing.
I jumped on the machine next to her and turned it on. The rubber loop began to move and I hopped on it. The belt was going too fast and I pretended not to know how to adjust the speed. She stood astride her own motorized walkway as she leaned over and showed me the adjustment crank. I notched it down three or four paces and skipped back aboard my machine. She got back on hers.
We walked side by side for a few minutes, the drone of the motors the only sound in the room. I started again. "You in town on business?" I tried.
"Yep. Just through tomorrow. Then it's back to Fort Wayne and the hubby and kids." She telegraphed her lack of interest in me quite subtly, I thought. Like a truck.
"Yeah, me too. Got an afternoon flight back to Houston. Hope I make it in time for my son's Little League game." I have no son, no Little League contest. Hell, I don't even live in Houston. But you have to make conversation. It's part of the game.
"Oh, you have kids?" she asked.
"Just the boy," I said. "That's enough. He's a handful and a half."
"I know what you mean. Sometimes being away on business is more relaxing than being at home relaxing," she said. She was warming up. "We have two, a boy and a girl. She's just three months."
I rolled my eyes. "Double trouble," I said. "I can't imagine."
"She's the last. For sure." She snipped her fingers together in the air like scissors.
I nodded thoughtfully. "What do you do?"
"Work, you mean?" she said, arching an eyebrow. "National sales manager for Liverstone Meats. We do pork, mostly. Some beef. A few odds and ends."
"Yum. Sign me up for some odds and ends," I said. "Sounds delicious."
She chuckled at my stupid joke. "You?" she asked.
"I'm a consultant. I write reports that nobody reads. They're carefully filed away so when the company tanks somebody can figure out why. It's very fulfilling," I said, the sarcasm evident in my voice. "Luckily there's no stress. I just have to listen to everybody bitch about everything all day long. It's a lot of fun." I paused. She didn't respond; probably didn't know what to say. I thought a moment, then continued. "Say, I'm starting to break a sweat. I could use a massage," I said brightly. "Ever have one on the road?"
She shook her head. "I don't think you'll get one here tonight. We seem to be the last two people here. You probably have to arrange it ahead of time anyway," she said.
"Too bad," I said. "Nothing like a nice massage to relieve the stress and float your tensions away." I thought a moment and then said absently "It's worth the twenty or thirty bucks, believe me."
"Actually that sounds like a divine idea," she said. "I'll have to try that one of these trips. They have them at my health club back home but I've just never tried it."
"Oh, yeah," I said. "In fact I used to be in that game." It was a bald faced lie. The bait often is.
"Really?" she asked, turning her head to look at me.
"Oh, a long time ago. I worked my way through college as a masseur at our local tennis club. Well, not an actual masseur, but an assistant. Sort of an apprentice. Good money, great tips. It got me through school just fine," I said. "And you can work as much or as little as you want. It was a good job, now that I think about it. I did it for four summers. I picked up a few things, you know?" I was aimlessly rambling, setting the hook.
She turned away from me as she asked "But massage. Isn't that, ah, you know, a little funny, I mean, you know,..."
I rescued her from her discomfort with a laugh. "Oh for heaven's sakes. There's a world of difference between a massage, and..." I leered "... a massage." I let the treadmill engines drone for a few seconds. "A few bad apples have given it a dirty name. It's a shame, because it's such a wonderful thing. A total tension reliever. A relaxant. It's luxurious. You really should try it sometime."
"Maybe you're right," she said. "Well, I mean, of course you're right. How silly of me. Certainly. You don't stop reading stories just because a few of them are, uh, inappropriate, right?"
"Exactly," I answered. "Why, I bet I could give you a massage and you'd think you were in heaven. And you'd barely even know I'd touched you."
"Get serious," she said.
"I am serious," I answered. "I told you, I did it for four years. I still give massages to my wife. She has back pains once in a while and it seems to help her tremendously."
"Really?" the white shorts said. "I have lower back pain myself. I had to see a chiropractor last year, it got so bad."
"Well you really should try a massage once in a while," I said, starting to reel in my fish. "It'd do wonders for you." I looked away. "I could give you a short one. You know, so you can see what it's like."
"Oh I don't think so," she said.
"Sure, whatever," I responded.
She thought it over for a minute or two, then said, "I suppose I could try it. I mean just for a couple minutes. I'm almost through here. Still trying to lose the baby fat, you know. I have six pounds to go."
"Thought those shorts looked a little tight," I offered. "Just kidding. They look great on you. Not exactly exercise clothes, though."
"Yeah, well, I forgot how tight they were. Especially with a couple extra pounds. I'll lose it. Another few weeks and I'll be back to my normal weight."
We chatted for another few minutes and she stepped off the machine. She was ready and I wasn't going to hold things up with some silly exercise routine.
"Uh, how do we do this?" she said, surveying the room.
"Oh, we can't do it here," I said. "Unless you want to lie on the hardwood floor or something. We'll have to go back to one of the rooms and use the bed." She looked at me warily. "Oh for heaven sakes, relax. I told you. I did this for four years, it's no big thing."
She hesitated before making up her mind. "Well," she drawled. "Maybe it'd be OK. But no funny business, right?"
"Absolutely," I said. "Absolutely."
She threw a towel around her neck and we walked out of the room together. I encouraged her to come to my room for a few reasons. I didn't want her husband calling in the middle of our session and screwing things up. I wanted to limit her clothes selection. And I had a fresh bottle of Doc Johnson's juice which I thought would work as a lotion. There was no good reason to go to her place, so we ascended the elevator together to my room on the 9th floor.
I opened the door for her as we walked in. She commented on the sameness of the room; apparently the only difference was the picture of the flower over the bed. Hers was mauve, mine was orchid. I offered her a robe and told her to change in the bathroom. She was surprised and more than a little uncomfortable; she hadn't thought it through, I guess. I told her to leave on her underwear and come out in the robe. She was very tentative about the whole thing.
She returned from the bathroom wearing the hotel robe. "OK, lie down," I said. "A little closer to the edge so I can reach you. Normally this would be a table that would be just the right size, but we'll have to make do, right?" She sat on the bed, then lay back and swung her legs up to assume the frigid woman position. She pulled the robe tight. "I think you'd be more comfortable on your stomach," I said. She nodded and flipped over.
.... There is more of this story ...