No matter how many times I'd gone to the Adult Video place to wank, I've always gotten an excited but scared feeling as I've gone in. What if someone were to see me? Of course, having been divorced for 3 years, I no longer had to fear that someone would tell my wife. In fact, since my son took her side and barely speaks to me, there's really nobody who'd care. But still, I get that feeling.
In the last years of marriage and the three years since, this was the extent of my sex life - once a week or so at the video place watching movies of women who would never look twice at me in real life fuck men who looked nothing like me. Fifty-three years old, gray hair, gray beard. I was still in pretty good shape, but nothing that would turn anyone's head. A lonely life.
As I walked towards the door, I saw a young woman in a business suit get out of a Lexus and walk towards the store. Her long, straight brown hair was tied in the back. The suit skirt was tight over her slender hips, and the vest gaped to reveal a white blouse and some perky breasts. Her face was to die for, even in the glary fluorescent lights of the entry.
I walked up the ramp behind her, trying to look nonchalant, hoping she wouldn't notice me even as I was noticing her. But when we got to the door, she opened it, then held it open for me. I smiled at her then froze when she suddenly said,
"Oh Hi, Mr. Thomas. Fancy meeting you here."
I searched her face, and while it looked vaguely familiar somehow, I had no idea who she might be. But she'd gotten my name right (though nobody called me "Mr. Thomas" - everyone just called me George).
"Hi," I responded, smiling and trying not to sound as clueless as I felt.
"You probably don't remember me," she said as she followed me into the store. "I haven't seen you since 6th Grade. Mr. Barton's class, the year after your son had him? I was the 'mayor'."
Ah, yes. Mr. Barton, a great teacher, had run a model government in his elementary school classroom. They had elected officials and laws and everything, and I could remember a skinny twelve-year-old girl who had been the mayor, and who always introduced herself to everyone who came into the classroom.
"I remember you," I said, "though I don't remember your name."
"Ashley Thornton," she replied, sticking out her hand for me to shake, and smiling up at me. "Let's see - that would be sixteen years ago, maybe seventeen."
We were now standing just inside the door of an x-rated novelty and video place, and we were greeting each other like old friends who might have bumped into each other at the opera. Weird. Even weirder when she headed over towards the dildos and vibrators, glanced back, and said simply,
"Come and shop with me," she invited, and as I moved next to her she added, in a quiet giggle, "I'm looking for a 'working girl's best friend'."
Dutifully, I followed her around, aware that the only other customer, a scruffy-looking younger guy, was watching her with unconcealed hunger in his eyes. We must have made quite a pair, for I was very literally old enough to be Ashley's father (after all, she was a year younger than my son!). Meanwhile, I was standing next to Ashley, trying not to get a hard-on from thoughts of her using the various dongs on herself.
"I'm actually kind of glad to have you with me," she said quietly. "There's all kinds of creeps in places like this who think any female who comes in is looking to fuck even a turd like them. With you here, maybe this one will leave me alone."
Ashley looked at the merchandise, making amused comments about the size of some of the dildos, or their shape, or color. She laughed at one marked "Anal Intruder", which was covered in little knobs and looked far too big to fit in her slender backside.
"Not for me, thanks," she said, moving on.
We'd gotten to the end of one aisle, and as she glanced back to make sure I was following her, her eyes lit upon the tube of lube sticking out of my pocket. Her eyes flickered up to the sign behind me announcing the entrance to the video arcade. She smiled.
"I know what you were up to," she whispered to me in a conspiratorial fashion. "You were going to jerk off to some movies, weren't you, you dirty old man."
I blushed, and died a thousand deaths, as this gorgeous young woman smiled at me with her eyes twinkling. I shrugged, as if to say, well, maybe.
"Oooh, I've always been curious, but I'd never go in alone. Let's look."
With that, she grabbed my arm and dragged me back towards the hallway leading to the back of the store. As we passed the clerk at the desk, I could see that the other customer was just in the middle of renting some videos or something. The clerk didn't see us pass.
Ashley, still pulling my arm, led me past the first few booths. Peering in, she could see the setup, with the TV screen, the bill slot, the single chair, the occupancy light above the door, and the prominent signs reading "One person to a booth, no exceptions". Turning the corner, she opened her purse, pulled out her wallet, slipped out some ones, then ducked into a booth, leaving the door ajar, and me standing outside.
I watched as she slipped two bills into the slot and the screen came to life. Then she surprised me by backing out of the booth and pulling me to the next one. She pushed me inside and followed.
"I wanted it to look like we're in separate booths, just in case the clerk checks the security camera when he's finished with the troll," she whispered to me, as she inserted two more bills into this machine.
She sat, and I stood, as she pushed the button, flipping through the films. She turned down the volume to the point where we could talk quietly.
"You like this stuff?" she asked, somewhat doubtfully.
"Well, most of it's crap, but some of them are OK," I mumbled, "and..."
I broke off, not sure I wanted to say more. Not sure that I wanted to talk about mindlessly wanking in front of the flickering images of sex, sometimes for over an hour, until I'd squirt my load, wipe up, and head home to get drunk.
Just then, she paused on one film, where an elegant young woman lay on her back on a dining table, buzzing her clit with a vibrator, while an older man fucked her with his huge cock. Ashley seemed transfixed by the film. I was transfixed by her, watching as her hand pressed on her lap rhythmically, watching as she licked her lips and breathed harder.
Suddenly, the video switched off, her two dollars exhausted. The booth light automatically switched on, and Ashley looked up at me, looking down at her.
"I guess some of them can be OK," she said quietly, looking a bit flushed.
She stood, and I backed out of the booth with her right behind.
"Come on," she said. I followed her back out to the front of the store, where, after a couple of minutes searching, she found a vibrator that looked to me to be very much like the one in the movie. She went up to the counter and bought it, while I stood, uncertain of myself. This whole experience was very weird. Very exciting, but very weird. I didn't know if it was leading anywhere beyond my fantasies, and I certainly wasn't sure enough of myself to try to push it. I didn't even know if I wanted to push it, because of her age.
As I stood contemplating this, and pretending to study whatever it was on the shelf in front of me, she was suddenly there, very close, looking right up into my face.
"Do you want to go with me for a drink, or do you want me to leave so you can go back there and watch movies?" she asked, almost in a whisper, smiling sweetly. I was smitten. Lust was gone. I just wanted to be with her.
"A drink sounds great," I said, and with that she grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the door.
"We'll take my car," she informed me, leading the way to her Lexus. I felt a bit uneasy about leaving my car in the lot, but I wasn't about to argue. "I know a perfect place near here," she added as I climbed in.
Within minutes of our arrival at Chez Bistro, we were seated at a quiet table with champagne and chocolate mousse coming, all at her command. I felt terribly underdressed, having not spiffed myself up for a wank night. And I was a bit in awe of her command in this situation.
As we sat and talked, while the waiter brought us our drinks and dessert, she told me about everything since I'd met her last - junior high, high school, university, and law school. She told me about her job as a corporate lawyer. There was no talk of a boyfriend or husband.
She asked me how I'd come to have so much free time that I could volunteer in her classroom when my own kid wasn't even there, and I explained how I had been smart enough to retire from programming with a couple of million dollars to a comfortable, middle-class life, instead of trying to stick it out and get rich. Then I told her of my marriage, which had faded amicably, before exploding into divorce for no apparent reason (at least, none that I could fathom), three years ago.
She was silent a while, aware that there was still quite a bit of pain and loneliness there. She put her hand over mine and squeezed, and when I looked up, it was into a face filled with understanding. Seeing her care kind of gave me a jolt, and popped me out of it. I suddenly gave her a big smile, and took another bite of the exquisite mousse, closing my eyes and overdoing it a bit with the facial expressions of ecstasy. We both laughed at that.
Our conversation took off from there, and we spoke like old friends catching up, which we really weren't, since I had barely known her as a child. We found we had many things in common, including hiking, a love of Thai food, opera, even the same radio station (one my daughter had made me listen to when she was a teenager).
Then she told me more about her work in litigation and contracts. After a pause in the conversation, I asked a question that I'd been dying to ask. "It seems to me that there ought to be a nice young lawyer trying to enter into a long-term contract with you?"
She just laughed. "No lawyers for me, thanks anyway. They're all jerks." She sat back, and her eyes lowered. "The successful ones want me as a prize, the losers just want my money. The pathetic ones want to worship me in the clumsiest way. None of them wants me for me."
It was my turn to reach over and put my hand over hers and squeeze.
Unfortunately, her eye caught sight of my watch, and of the time. "Oh no," she said, "I really have to go. I've got an early court time tomorrow morning. But I really don't want this evening to end. I haven't had such a nice, no-pressure date, with such an interesting man in ages."
A date! She called this a date. I was so startled that I almost missed her next words. "We must do this again. Are you free tomorrow?"
I gave her a big grin, and said "Ashley Thornton, you're on."
While she paid (well, she had invited me), she took the time to slip two of her business cards out of her purse. She handed both to me and said "Put your phone number and email on the back of one of these, so I can call you."
She took my arm as we headed back out to her car, and we didn't say much on the short trip back to my car.
But as we said our good-byes, she leaned over and gave me a quick peck on the lips, then a slightly longer one. "I've just remembered my purchase, and that one video I liked," she said quietly. "Maybe we can both remember that video tonight." I grinned at her, she gave me another quick peck, but pushed me out. "I've got to get going - I'll call tomorrow."
I'd barely gotten the door shut when she pulled away, waving and smiling. As soon as she got to the road, though, she floored it, and her Lexus got her out of there fast.
I was left standing next to my car, wondering just what was going on. I couldn't possibly date a 28-year-old lawyer. Who knew what tomorrow would bring.
I went home, took a warm shower, and got in to bed. I did not masturbate, but I did think about Ashley as she watched that video. And I did think about her vibrator. And I also spent a lot of time thinking about all the things we had talked about. And I slept like I hadn't slept in three years.
By morning, it all felt like it had been a nice fantasy, except for the realness of the warmth I was feeling. I got up and sang in the shower, brewed some coffee and zapped a muffin in the microwave, before sitting down at my computer to catch up on email. I'd even forgotten that I'd given Ashley my email address. My heart, thus, skipped a beat when I saw a message from "A. Thornton, Esq.", subject "Tonight.". Normally I would have thought such a message to be spam, but I knew this wasn't.
"George - Had an awesome time last night. Want to go to dinner and a club tonight? We could meet @ 7:30 at. duh, I don't even know where you live, so I don't know a good place to meet. Anyway, let me know, and we'll figure it out :) Don't try to call, I'm in court all day, but I'll check hotmail - Ash"
By noon an exchange of emails had shown that I lived quite close to her office, and that she'd pick me up closer to 8:00 since her day was already shaping up as a bear.
Having had everything arranged, I was startled when my phone rang at around 6:30.
"George? It's Ashley. I hate to do this, but would you kill me if I cancelled tonight? The judge today was an asshole, and I've only just gotten out of the courtroom. I don't know if I have the energy to drive home, get dressed, and come back into town."
She sounded really drained, and really sorry.
"You could just come here, straight from work, and I could cook you dinner," I proposed, letting the invitation linger. I didn't want to pressure her, but it was an honest invitation. I really wanted to see her again.
"You cook?" she asked, sounding delighted.
"Yes, I cook," I said, trying to sound confident but not boastful. I am a good cook though, and I love cooking, especially for someone else. It gets to be a real drag cooking for one. Hardly worth the effort.
"Well, OK, I'll come, but only if I can use your shower." She was sounding more upbeat already. "At least, if you're sure it's all right," she added, with doubt returning to her voice once more. I assured her it would be great, that she could use the shower, and that I'd love to cook for her. I explained how to get to my condo, where to park, etc., and she told me she'd be there in about half an hour, then she was off.
It didn't leave me much time, but luckily I had some food on hand, and quickly made an appetizer of leeks, spinach, garlic, and parmesan, rolled up in crust. I cheat and use instant pizza dough, so that was in the oven before Ashley was due to arrive. I'd make curried lamb with carrots and peas over couscous, unless she was a vegetarian (I should have asked), in which case I'd have to improvise.
The doorbell rang, and I took the time to rinse my hands on the way to the door, but I forgot to take off the apron. So I must have looked quite a sight, with my graying hair a bit frazzled. I hadn't taken the time to get nice clothes on either, so I was looking pretty casual. No matter. When I opened the door, I was greeted by Ashley with a quick kiss on the lips. She looked awful. She was tense, exhausted-looking, and her eyes looked about to fill will tears of desperation. But to me she looked beautiful, especially when her face broke into a smile and she said "Whatever you're cooking smells fabulous, I'm starving."
In she came into the kitchen, peeking appreciatively through the window of the oven to see the spinach roll, handing me a bottle of wine, dropping her coat onto one stool, and herself onto the other. "Home at last," she said, beginning to relax, just as the timer went off telling me the appetizer was ready.
I popped the cork and poured us each a glass, verified that she did eat meat, and began to prepare the lamb while letting her unwind and vent about the asshole judge, the insane corporation she worked for, the traffic downtown, the price of wine, and the evils of runs in stockings. She paused only long enough to help me demolish the spinach roll and heap praise on my cooking.