Janice had nearly finished packing her suitcase. She had left one item for last. Turning to her dresser, she quietly pulled the bottom drawer, which contained her jogging suits and sweats. Reaching deep into the bottom of the drawer where she'd hidden it, she retrieved the black satin form-fitting nightgown that she'd bought nearly two weeks ago.
As though it might burn her fingers, she all but raced back to her suitcase stuffing the dainty piece of nothingness inside one of her zippered pouches. She was just closing the case when her husband popped his head inside the door of their bedroom.
"Miss me?" he asked.
"Of course I will!" Janice said stepping into her husband's arms.
"I'm sorry I can't go with you," he said softly as he ran his fingers through her long auburn colored hair. "Make sure you tell your sister hello for me."
"I will," Janice answered accepting a kiss from him. "I'd better go, you know what it's like trying to get through the lines at the airports these days."
He did. Brian traveled two or three times a month. A successful District Manager, part of his responsibility was overseeing the production facilities in six states. As such, he traveled to three differing ones at least once monthly.
Brian carried his wife's suitcase down the stairs, throwing it in the back of her trunk.
"What time does your flight leave?" she asked already slipping inside her car.
"Not until two-thirty," he responded still glancing at his watch. "It will give me just enough time to go over the production figures so I don't have to do it on the plane. Maybe I can actually catch up on some sleep this time on the way there."
Janice soon after backed out of the drive, her thoughts already on San Diego. But not on the visit with her sister though she was looking forward to seeing her too. She smiled, feeling just as she always did every time they met, like a young silly schoolgirl about to lose her virginity all over again.
As expected, Janice's sister Grace met her in the baggage claim area. They had embraced joyously, laughing together. After all, it had been nearly a year now since they had last seen one another. "Another year," Janice mused silently to herself as they began the picturesque drive across the bay bridge and the 'Hotel' that would soon come into view. She'd been coming here for the past ten years, and always the same time of year.
They had met in the bar of the hotel where as a young very naive woman she had gone with a group of friends to spend the weekend, celebrating her twenty-first birthday. She could remember it as though it was yesterday. Sitting at the bar, her older sister sitting beside her, Cindy her best friend and confident sitting on the other side until being asked to dance, doing so, surprising everyone. But as she'd left her seat, a handsome though rather brash young man slid in beside her. Startled, she had just ordered another drink as the bartender brought it.
"Here... allow me," he'd said slapping a twenty down on the counter, the bartender accepting it even before Janice had the opportunity to comment or refuse. "You know what?" he'd asked.
His question had taken her by surprise, and she answered without thinking. "What?"
"You're very beautiful, you're the most beautiful woman here in fact."
"Oh my God!" Grace had snickered just loud enough to be heard. Janice reached over digging her long sharp nails into her sister's thigh effectively silencing her. Admittedly she was flustered, but his attention towards her was very much needed at the moment. Janice had just broken up with her long time boyfriend just days ago. Days before her 21st birthday where she'd been anticipating an elegant night out with him to celebrate, a night where she might actually give herself to him, the first time she would have done so with any man.
The sound of her sister's voice broke her revelry, drawing her back to the present even as the sight of the Hotel Del Coronado came into view. Janice felt the catch of excitement in her own voice as she answered, trying to appear and remain calm. "Two days from now," she thought silently, when she would again meet him there, just as they had been doing for the past ten years.
Janice spent the next two days with her sister catching up on one another's lives, shopping, sightseeing. And it helped, it helped to pass the time until Saturday arrived.
"You sure he's coming?" Grace asked.
Grace knew about everything of course. She and Janice kept no secrets from one another, never had, and never would.
"He said he'd be here," she answered. "He promised."
Janice had spent most of the afternoon getting ready, though why she primped herself so made Grace chuckle. At thirty-one, Janice still had the figure of a twenty-year old, much to her sister's chagrin who had by now three half-grown kids to worry about, unlike her sister.
She finished packing her small overnight bag, looking more like a purse where she included her wallet, along with an extra set of keys to her sister's car. But more importantly, the black satin gown that she had purchased especially just for this occasion.
"You look beautiful!" Grace had assured her as she stood checking her hair and makeup in the mirror one last time. "Now go! Go and have a good time!" Grace giggled knowingly.
As she drove, her sister's words echoed within her mind, except they had the tone and feel of her lover, words spoken so many years ago now, but words that had changed her life for ever.
"You're very beautiful," came those soft sounding words. And once again, Janice began to feel that same sense of excitement that she always had. Once a year for the past ten years, she became a virgin again. And like the virgin she had been that night, the same wonder, even fears as well as the excitement coursed through her entire being as she pulled into the parking lot and soon began making her way inside the hotel.
As expected, it was busy for a Saturday night. Just as it had been that first time, that first night. Surprised, she managed to snare herself a seat at the bar though it wasn't the same seat. "Close enough," she smiled inwardly, ordering a gin and tonic.
Janice glanced at her watch. It was early yet. She had planned it that way, giving herself time to compose herself, relax. She had never been much of a drinker, perhaps the reason why she had made the decision she had, spur of the moment, much to her sister's shock if not horror when after a while spent chatting, he had passed her the key. "1301" it had marked on it. She had shown it to Grace who once again had done everything possible short of dragging her out by her hair to keep her from going. Had it not been that she'd had a couple of drinks, perhaps caution would have ruled, instead, she stood up from the bar and headed towards the elevators... and destiny.
Janice had just ordered her second gin and tonic, watching as the bartender approached with it in hand. She turned reaching into her purse.
The words sent a chill racing up and down her spine even as she turned back around facing the bemused bartender as he accepted the bill.
"You made it!" she breathed thankfully.
"I told you I would," he said soothingly. She felt the briefest of touch as his lips grazed the back of her neck. "Nothing would keep me from being here," he added. "Nothing!" He kissed her again sending shock waves of lust and desire racing towards her sex like a tidal wave unleashed. Unsteady, even as she sat, she sipped her drink. He laughed.
"Take your time, you know where I'll be," he told her. She looked down even as he slipped her the room-key. "1301" she noted, grinning stupidly she knew. But she couldn't help herself. The twenty-one year old virgin needed to compose herself, bolster her courage all over again. She didn't even turn to watch him go. Taking another sip, just as she'd done so long ago, hearing the voice of her sister echoing in her mind.
"Are you fucking crazy?"
Janice finished her drink without gulping it down, sliding the empty glass away from her as she reached for the room-key picking it up. As she did, she caught a knowing look from the bartender as he took the empty glass away, felt the flush as it burned through her cheeks.
"Are you fucking crazy?"
She laughed, she laughed out loud much to his surprise as he now looked at her as though she was crazy, laughing for no apparent reason. Clutching the key in hand, she hurried towards the elevators. Moments later she stood before the door "1301", slipping the old-fashioned style key into the lock, turning it.
She knew where he'd be. The door to the bathroom was just to the right. She opened it stepping inside even before turning on the light. No lights were on in the room, just as there hadn't been then. The sudden glare of light as she flipped the switch almost annoying as Janice quickly removed her dress, slipping into the sexy form-fitting gown she had purchased. Once again she checked her hair, makeup. Giggling after she had, realizing in the near darkness he'd be unable to see any smudge, any out of place hair, nor caring really even if there had been. Once again she turned off the light, opened the door and waited for her eyes to make the adjustment.
.... There is more of this story ...