© Copyright 2003
"Do you want to talk about it?"
The classy looking brunette seated by the artificial waterfall glared at me. I threw up my hands and grinned. "Okay, okay, so you don't want to talk about it, at least not to me and not right now." I put on my best 'harmless old man' look. "I guess I'll just head over to that bank of slot machines over there and waste a few more quarters." She turned away scornfully. "Hey," I said softly, "I've been told I'm a good listener, so if you change your mind..."
She didn't turn back toward me, but she looked down at her hands for a moment. I left her like that.
Since my wife died and I retired I've made it a habit to hit one of the local casinos several times a year, usually with a buddy or two. I set myself some limits on the slots, play several sessions of blackjack and bingo (and to think I used to say I'd never play bingo!) and take in at least three or four of the shows. I also spend a lot of time just watching people.
When I started playing blackjack I fell into my pattern from my college poker days and spent as much time on the players as the cards. Since there were always games going on all around us, there was a lot to observe and I tried to see as much of it as I could. That's why I spotted her.
The white gown she was wearing was almost too good for the room, but was matched by the tux her escort sported. The young couple had made a swing through the slots when I first saw them, and I managed to follow them up to the gaming tables, where Mr. Tux apparently hit a losing streak. After a while, they got into a rather one-sided argument, Classy Brunette basically listening to Mr. Tux lecture her. When he was done Mr. Tux took off for parts unknown without her. Hence her sitting alone by the waterfall.
It was almost ten minutes before she stirred from her spot, glancing up and around until she caught my eye. I inclined my head, asking if she wanted me to join her. She nodded and I stopped feeding the slot and headed her way.
"Hello, my name is Dan, Dan Helton."
"Julia Boucher (she pronounced it boo-SHAY)."
"Do you feel like getting something to eat?"
She nodded again. "That would be nice."
We headed over to one of the restaurants that had a basic American theme. After getting seated and ordering drinks I asked again, "Do you want to talk about it?"
She glared and said "No, I don't."
"Then what would you like to talk about?"
"How about why you came over and asked me that in the first place?"
"A fair question. I happened to see the young man arguing with you. After you were done arguing he took off and you went over by the waterfall and sat down. Considering the way you looked when you sat down, I assumed the result of the argument left you in some sort of difficulty. I decided to try to be a Good Samaritan and offer my help."
She looked at me suspiciously. "I'm not sure I believe you. For all I know you thought you saw easy pickings and have a better pickup line than most."
I almost laughed. "Miss Boucher, that is the greatest complement you could ever pay me. I am honored that you would think of me as someone making a move on you."
"So my looks had nothing to do with you coming over?" she said with a challenge in her eye.
"Of course they had something to do with it! Hell, it's a lot easier to get up the nerve to try to help a damsel in distress if she's beautiful than if she isn't."
"Oh, so you are interested in, how did you say it, making a move on me."
I sighed and spread my hands. "Lady, I admit I like looking at pretty women. I even admit to fantasizing about them. But I really consider myself a nice guy with a lot of time on my hands. I don't really know you, and we might never meet again. For all I know, the argument wasn't all that big and you just didn't want to watch him continue to lose for a while and after our dinner you'll meet up with him again and life will go on. I really hope that's the case. But either way, enjoy the meal, we'll chat about anything you want, and then we'll go our separate ways. Okay?"
She frowned, but nodded, and as the appetizers had arrived, we both started to pay attention to the food.
We didn't talk much during the meal, but I did catch her looking at me from time to time. I would just smile and go back to my steak. Finally, as we waited for the coffee, she seemed to come to a decision.
She thought a moment, then continued. "Dan, can I take you up on your offer?"
"To listen to you? Of course!"
"Can we do it someplace else?"
"Wherever you like."
"Do you have a room here?"
"Yes, for another three days, why?"
"Could we talk there, please?"
That surprised me a little. "Miss Boucher..."
"Uh, Julia, we can talk there, but I do have a roommate."
"Oh. Your wife?"
"No, no, I'm a widower. It's a buddy of mine that usually shares a suite with me. It's actually a little cheaper than each of us getting our own room."
She brightened at the mention of a suite. "Then it's no problem. We can talk in your bedroom, right?"
"Yeah, right," I said, peering at her intently. She had turned her attention to the coffee, which had arrived, and seemed to be ignoring my look. Well, there was always a possibility it would go that route. So when I paid the check we headed up to my suite.
"Which one?" she asked. I motioned to the right. Jerry wasn't there and I didn't expect him and his partner for a little while yet. As for Julia, I was pretty sure where this was headed.
In the bedroom she excused herself and headed into the bathroom. I wandered over to the doors opening onto the balcony, opened the curtains and spent a moment enjoying the view. A curt "ahem" drew my attention back into the room.
Yep. I had it figured right. She was standing in the bathroom doorway in a cheesecake pose. She had white thigh highs and her heels on. Nothing else.
"Very nice!" And she was. Of course, the dress she had been wearing had given me pretty good advance warning as to what was, or wasn't underneath. Like I said, I like looking at pretty women.
Soft, flowing hair framing high cheekbones with wide, grey eyes and full, pouty lips. Tits thrust up with quarter-sized areola surrounding the nipples. Nice flat tummy down to a completely shaved pubic area. I was happy to see no tattoos, nor nipple, navel or clit rings. Okay, so I'm a bit old fashioned. Sue me.
After giving her a nice, long appreciative look I grinned and gave her a thumbs up. "You look great! Now, if you'll make yourself comfortable, I'm ready to listen."
At first she didn't get it. Then she stared at me as if I had three heads. "What?!"
Her jaw dropped as I turned and walked over to one of the chairs near the table in the corner, sat down and crossed my legs.
"Well?" I said, waving my arm towards the bed. "I'm assuming you'll be more comfortable lying down, especially dressed, er, undressed like that. If you want, I'll wait while you throw on a robe if you want to sit in the other chair."
Shock was the mildest term for what she was going through. Good. Maybe there was hope for her yet.
Then again, maybe not. She seemed to gather herself, pasted what was her best come hither look on her face and shimmied around the bed to stand in front of me. "Oh, come on Dan. It will be so nice. Who needs to talk when you can play with this." She roamed her hands over her body, cupping her tits and rubbing her tummy and thighs right in front of me.
"No can do, Julia."
She pouted prettily. "Oh, why not?" she whined.
"First, I have always been faithful to my wife."
She leaped at that. "But she's dead, and I'm sure she doesn't want you to stop living just because she did."
"Second, I can't perform with someone I don't care about."
"But you like me, and you came to my rescue. You called me your 'damsel in distress.'"
"And third, and most importantly given our current situation, your nipples are flat and your eyes are dead."
That stopped her, cold.
"Julia," I said softly, "please sit down."
The moment of truth. Would she a) slap me, stomp back into the bathroom, put her dress on and stomp out of the room, or b) burst into tears.
She surprised me by doing neither. "I'll be damned," she said.
"I doubt that seriously, but then I don't know you well enough to know for sure."
Her mouth actually twitched. "I'll be fucking goddamned."
"Please, there's a lady present!"
She smirked, "I doubt that seriously, but then I don't know you well enough to know for sure."
I couldn't help it. I laughed out loud. She didn't, but she smiled and some life came to her eyes.
I stood and bowed low before her. "Milady, may I please introduce myself. I am Daniel Mathias Helton, at your service."
She extended her hand, which I gallantly kissed as she pretended to fan herself with her other hand. "Thank you kind sir." She curtsied, continuing to pretend to fan herself. "I am Julia Elizabeth Boucher, and I am most pleased to meet you."
I extended my arm. "May I please help Milady to her throne?"
Her eyes widened. "But sir, I don't need to visit the facilities at this moment."
I lost it. I was laughing so hard I could barely stand, and she was finally laughing too. We were holding each other for dear life, tears streaming down our cheeks. Somehow we managed to make it over to the bed, where we started to calm down. But then Julia took a look at where we were, pulled her head back and breathlessly proclaimed "But sir, my virtue!" and we were gone again.
Finally we wound down. When we were calmer, I glanced up and down at her, then tossed my head towards the bathroom. She smiled, nodded, and went to get dressed.
"Just who are you?"
"I thought we covered all that. I'm Daniel Mathias..."
"No, not your name." She frowned, prettily this time. "I'm having a really hard time believing you are for real."
"I've noticed that. And I may have a couple theories to explain it."
"Let's have 'em, then."
"I don't think you are going to like hearing this."
We were sitting comfortably in the 'living room' on the more overstuffed than usual chairs provided by the casino, sipping on coffee (mine was decaf) from the mini-kitchenette. We had spent the last few minutes talking about winning and losing at slots, the weather, anything but what was really on our minds. Julia broke the ice. I was about to break the mood.
"Like it or not, I think I need to hear them. Maybe I'll finally get a handle on you, then."
I waited a moment, then... "It's not me you have to get a handle on."
"Huh? Oh, are you thinking of Willie?"
I shook my head, assuming Willie was Mr. Tux. "Nope, not Willie. Yourself."
Julia opened her mouth, stopped, started to say something and stopped again. Then she took a new tack. "Oh, I get it. You're a retired shrink and you're trying to get into my head. Well, buddy, no thanks." She started to get up.
"You really have a lot more going for you than you think." She started moving towards the door. "And you know there's more to life, or you couldn't have laughed a while ago." She slowed, with her hand on the door. "And I can't believe you'd leave without one more try at getting me to show you my 14" dick."
She turned and stared.
"Hah! Made you look!"
"Why you, you, you dirty old man!" The life was back in her eyes.
"Guilty as charged. Now, what are you going to do about it?"
"Attack you with my womanly wiles?"
"Been there, done that."
"Physically assault you, ripping your clothes off?"
"Probably not practical. I may be old, but I'm in great shape, I outweigh you by 60 pounds and know a lot of street-fighting tricks."
"Lull you to sleep and take a peek?"
I pretended to think a moment. "Now that might be possible. If you were to tell me your life story, that would probably do it. I'd be out for hours." I grinned. "Actually, I could use a good night's sleep."
Julia sighed. "How in the world can you be so... upbeat... about things? You've lost your wife and you admit that you've got a lot of time on your hands. That tells me you're a little bored. And yet you don't go for the quick and easy thrills even when it would take little or no effort to have them. I just can't figure you out."
"What's to figure out? And besides, aren't you the one we're talking about here?"
"Damn, I thought I could get you off that."
"Julia, it's up to you. I think I have something to offer you, but only if you want me to. I've already told you that you probably wouldn't like it, yet it could make a difference, if you wanted it to. What do you say?"
Julia stared at me. I pretended to surreptitiously cover my lap. She laughed. "Okay. I'm ready to listen."
"Okay, here goes." I looked her straight in the eye. "You are settling for too little in your life. You are allowing what other people say about and to you determine your actions without taking any chances or making any effort to prove them wrong, even when they are. You accept what Willie and others like him give you without demanding anything for yourself. You are giving yourself away, as if you were worthless. I happen to think you are not. But as time goes on it will become harder and harder to make the effort to change this. I want you to start now, not later. And the first thing you should do is start training Willie how to please you as much as you please him."
She started to speak and I held up my hand. "I'm not done yet and you promised." She looked at me for a moment, then nodded. I noticed slight tearing at the corner of her eyes. Good.
"Deep down inside you should know that most men are trainable. If you have something they want, you can find a way to get them to return the favor. If a man proves not to be trainable, you dump him. He lacks what it takes to make your lives together worthwhile. And that's what you should be aiming for. Making a life that is worthwhile for you. It works best if you are working with someone to make both lives worthwhile. Babycakes, you can do this!"
Her eyes widened when I used her uncle's nickname for her. "Wait a minute! The only person who calls me that is..."
"Your Uncle Jerry, who could be walking in that door any minute with a woman he picked up at bingo."
I could see her head was spinning. I knew this would put her way off balance, but my time was running out and I had promised Jerry I would help if I could. This had seemed like the perfect time, but it took a lot longer than I thought it would to get her to this point. I was worried.