"Can I help you?" the saleswoman asked from behind me.
I tried not to suppress a guilty start, but my hand moved away from the black panty-shorts too quickly. I had walked into the lingerie boutique impulsively and would have left as soon as I realized I was the only customer in the store, but the shorts caught my attention.
"I like those," she said smiling when I turned towards her. I had a problem with pretty women and stopping my eyes from staring; the Asian cast to her eyes fascinated me enough that I made a minute study of the rest of her facial features.
"Are you looking for something for your wife?" she asked fidgeting as I continued to stare at her.
"I'm sorry," I said shaking my head to break contact with her not-so-plain brown eyes. "I'm not married."
"A girlfriend?" she asked.
"On the reserve list," I replied without thinking
"Excuse me?" she asked with her expressive eyes showing confusion.
"She and I haven't had our flashpoint," I said looking at the shorts thoughtfully. "She's given it some thought, but..."
I shrugged and reached out to touch the black silk again.
"Does that actually happen?" she asked curiously.
"What?" I asked.
"A flashpoint when you're on the reserve list," she said with some mystery in her smile.
"Not often," I answered. "But when it does, the fire tends to leave scars."
"Do you like scars?" she asked wide-eyed.
"I'm still young enough to think passion should burn," I replied.
"Those are a little risque for someone on the reserve list," she said reaching out to touch the shorts; they were see-through.
"I imagine that she'll stand in front of the mirror that first time, look at herself, and think about me," I said smiling. "That might be as close as I ever get."
"You're one of those!" she exclaimed suddenly.
"You like being on the list," she clarified.
I tilted my head and studied her again; the point surprised me in its honest assessment.
"I think I'll have to say guilty as charged," I told her. I thought about taking a step back as something dangerous came over her eyes.
"So have you decided on them?" she asked, nodding at the shorts.
"I'm trying to imagine how they'll look on her," I said confused by the tone of her voice; there was a hint of challenge to it.
"I could help you with that," she said taking a small step towards me. "I'll be glad to model them for you."
I looked behind and over my right shoulder, and then over my left to make sure.
"I'm sorry," I said. "I think I heard you incorrectly."
Her eyes wavered, and she opened her mouth.
"Actually, I heard correctly!" I said before she could retract the words. "You're about her size so I would love to see you in them... to make sure they're the right choice, of course."
.... There is more of this story ...