My heartfelt gratitude goes to my editor, Keith S.
I picked up my wet chin and smiled at her, watching her shiver a little as an aftershock ran through her frame. Licking the last few drops of her sweet taste, I smoothed her pubic hair with my hand and rested my chin on the back of my knuckles as I looked into her eyes. My other hand was under her, holding a cheek of her beautiful butt. This was our first time together and I was determined that she enjoy it. We'd met in a supermarket, of all places...
She liked veggies, at least that was what her cart told me. I'd gone to shop for groceries after work and spotted her in the aisle, my eyes drawn to her like a magnet. She wore hip-hugger shorts and a skimpy top, with sandals on her feet. The picture was too nice to not want a second glimpse; hair to the middle of her back and that bare tummy, mmmmm! I followed from a distance, thinking she looked like Natalie Wood, but fragile and sad. I counted the vertebrae in her spine and thought of caressing her ribcage beneath her shirt. As she walked toward me I saw she had smallish breasts (my favorite!) and no bra. The dark brown points of her nipples were making little tents in her shirt. I smiled as I walked by and got a small smile in return. Nothing more than politeness to a stranger, but progress nevertheless. My height, about 5-10, and lighter than my 145 pounds, she was a vision in white. As I checked out, I resolved to come back often and try to strike up a conversation with her.
Two days later I shopped again and didn't see her. I wondered if I was being foolish about my fascination with her. I began going to the store every day about the same time, picking up a few things and wandering the aisles in search of her. Some days I managed to catch a glimpse of her at the end of an aisle, other times I'd walk right by and smile, checking out her costume of the day. She wore mostly shorts and tops, and once a short skirt that revealed her upper thigh as she bent to take something from a lower shelf. I kept telling myself that being consumed by this obsession was no good for me, but I couldn't not go and seek her out.
My chance came two weeks after my first sighting. I left the store and saw her in the parking lot near a car with the hood up, peering into the engine compartment with disgust.
I walked up and said, "Hi, need some help?"
"Goddamn thing won't start," she said, frowning.
I knew a little about cars and asked, "You want me to try?"
"Go ahead," she said, as she put her groceries onto the front seat.
I looked and the problem was fairly obvious: a loose battery cable. Grabbing a pair of pliers from my Jeep, I twisted it off and cleaned it while she watched.
Re-installing it and locking the nut, I said, "Try it now."
The engine caught and purred immediately, causing her to smile. With white even teeth, a cute face and soft-looking lips, she was even prettier than I'd imagined.
"Thank you!" she gushed, "What do I owe you?"
"A cup of coffee sometime," I replied, tucking the pliers in my back pocket.
"That's no problem!" she said. "I've got to go now, but how about tomorrow at noon?"
"Sure," I replied, touching her arm. "See you then."
The next day I appeared early, not wanting to chance missing her. I dressed for the occasion, choosing sandals and denim shorts, with my shirt-tails knotted under my breasts. A little perfume in my modest cleavage added some scent to the air as I waited under the awning, smoking a cigarette. She pulled into the lot slowly, looking around. I waved and her face lit up as she spotted me and drove to the curb.
"Hi," she said. "Where do you want to go?"
I knew she meant for coffee, but I couldn't help but think 'anywhere you are, darling girl.' I hoped she was younger than me, I hoped she would like me.
I hoped a myriad things in the few seconds it took to get in her car and say, "There's a nice place in the next block."
She nodded and drove away, concentrating on the traffic. I pointed out the sign and she slowed, pulling to the curb and parking right in front. We sat at a table outside under an umbrella and ordered two coffees from the prompt waitress.
As we waited for our cups to arrive I asked, "You new to the neighborhood?"
"Yeah, kinda, been here a couple months... I may not stay though," she frowned.
I could tell she was preoccupied and didn't press, but it was time she knew my name. I wanted to see what it sounded like coming from her mouth.
"I'm Bree," I said.
"Hello, Bree. I'm Ashlee Alexander. Two e's, from Ames, Iowa," she said.
"You look like a healthy girl. Were you raised on a farm?" I asked.
"Nope, in town, but close enough to smell the corn!" she giggled.
"Where do you work?" I asked.
"I don't right now; that's one of the reasons I may have to go back soon," she said.
In answer to my unspoken question she said, "It's a long story."
I took a sip of coffee and said, "We've got as long as you want."
Hesitant, shy and often embarrassed, she told of the circumstances that had brought her to the suburbs of Chicago. Her boyfriend of three years had gotten her pregnant a month from graduation, then disappeared as soon as he was told. Her father threw her out of the house and she miscarried at four months while living with friends. Her mother was the one who was sympathetic and had given her the money to go away and make a fresh start.
She wiped her eyes as she finished the tale and said, "I guess I made a mess of things."
I knew from past experience that her self-esteem was at an all-time low, her wallet was almost empty, and she was desperate. Facing her parents again was the last thing on earth she wanted.
She roused my maternal instincts and I said, "If you had a job you'd be ok for a while?"
She nodded yes and I sat silently thinking. They always needed people where I worked; maybe I could ask a favor of a few people and get her on. That wouldn't guarantee my relationship with her, but it would be a start. I told her that I'd check a few things and let her know. She smiled gratefully and we spent the next hour or so talking about girl stuff, while I stole glances at her legs or breasts whenever I could. She left me sitting there, happy and grateful I'd had the chance to talk with her. I thought she might be the one I'd been searching for, a soul mate for me. I was tired of spending time alone, and maybe she felt the same way.
I spoke with Personnel and they said to have her come in right away. I called her and told her to come down to the plant, giving her directions. I didn't see her, but when I got home there was a message on my machine that was happy and excited.
"They hired me! I'm supposed to be a packer. Do you know what that is? Call me right away, please?"
I showered, savoring the moment, and relaxed on the couch as I picked up the phone to call. I told her what a packer was and how to dress for it, explaining what I knew. I suggested dinner to celebrate and she hesitated long enough to tell me she didn't have enough money.
"I'll buy," I said, and she agreed to meet me. I knew of a small Italian place that was perfect and said, "I'll pick you up about 7 o'clock."
We met in the parking lot of the market and she climbed into the Jeep, smiling and saying "Thank you!" over and over.
She was wearing a tan dress with heels and had her hair piled up, the loose curls dangling here and there around her face. My sundress looked mousy by comparison. We ate, getting giggly with the wine, and I learned she was 19. That was perfect for my 23, and I was further encouraged by her openness and obvious delight at being with me. Her scent was intoxicating, much more so than the wine, and she wasn't wearing a bra. When she would lean over the table to whisper, the edges of her small mounds captured my eyes and wouldn't let go. I knew that if I pushed her I might be able to get her into my bed and suck her dry, but that would eliminate any chance for a long term relationship. I decided to bide my time and court her the old-fashioned way, and let the end result be her decision. I was sick and tired of one-night stands and morning recriminations.
I took her to her car, got her address and gave her mine, then promised to look in on her the next day at work. A light kiss on my cheek and thanks for the dinner were enough. Later that night in my bed I pinched my nipples and rubbed my clit, fantasizing the hands were hers.
Over the next few days we ate lunch together and talked, and, to my surprise, I confided some things to her that I thought were for ever buried, including some of my experiences with men and other private things.
One Friday I asked her, "What are you doing for the weekend?"
"Nothing much," she replied.
"Do you want to go to the quarries with me? We can sunbathe and get wet if we want."
"Is it private?" she asked.
"Mostly; there might be a few others there though," I replied.
"Do I have to bring a suit?" she asked.
"Not if you don't want to," I replied, surprised she would ask.
She'd always impressed me as a private person. I had no qualms about nudity, but I had believed that girls from the Bible Belt were taught extreme modesty from about age 2 on. Live and learn, I thought.
I picked her up Saturday morning at her apartment, a 4th floor walkup in Tinley Park, and headed for Round Lake, some 50 miles north. We chatted as I drove, with me glancing from time to time at her smooth legs. Dressed as she was in shorts and a halter top with her hair loose and blowing in the wind, I thought we looked like Thelma and Louise.
I found the turnoff and shifted into 4-wheel drive to negotiate the ruts, bouncing and tilting as we drove the narrow path to the parking area. Three other cars were parked there, but I couldn't hear any voices. I knew there were hundreds of places around where we could go and not be seen. Gathering our things we walked through the trees toward the water. A few minutes later, we came out and looked at the expanse of the main pool.
"Oh God, it's beautiful!" she exclaimed.
She started to strip and I said, "Not here, silly. Anyone who comes can see us!"
I led her toward my favorite spot, halfway down the left side where the rocks tilted almost flat. We climbed down to the water and dipped a toe, finding it cool but not cold. I liked this spot: it afforded some privacy because the rocks on the sides sheltered us from any view except directly in front.
"Now it's ok," I said, laughing and taking off my clothes.
I had a suit on under my shorts, but if she was going to fulfill her desire to be nude, I was going to join her. She spread a blanket and stood on it, kicking her sandals off and pulling her shorts down. Her bare butt and some of her pubic hair was visible as she bent over and my insides twitched, releasing some wetness between my legs. Her shirt followed quickly and her breasts were revealed as the marvels they were, small and far apart on her chest. The nipples crinkled in the soft breeze, giving me the indication they were sensitive to touch. She folded her clothes neatly and piled them on her shoes, sitting on the blanket and digging in her bag. I opened the cooler and got us a beer, then put mine down to finish taking off my clothes.
"You wore a suit!" she exclaimed, oiling her arms.
"Yeah, you never know how many people are going to be here," I said.
I thought her gaze lingered overlong at my body. I'm blond all over and the hair doesn't hide much. Whatever I'd leaked had gone into the crotch of the suit so I was safe for now, but who knew what the next few hours would bring?
We spread some oil on each other, and I was secretly thrilled that I was touching her. I got comfortable on my back and lit a cigarette, turning on the portable with the volume low. I was where I wanted to be, with the person I wanted to be with, doing what I wanted to do at last, the old feelings of being disconnected gone.
She stood and went to the water's edge, splashing her face and arms to cool herself, giving me the view of a lifetime. The gap between her legs was wide and filled with fur. I couldn't see her sex but the rest of her was in plain sight and I leaked again.
"If you see anyone coming, just duck back up here and they can't see you," I said.
"Shit, who'd want to look anyway?" she said, looking down at her body.
"You don't know, do you?" I asked.
"What?" she replied.
"You turn heads wherever you go, even the supermarket," I laughed.
She really was unconscious of her beauty, or dismissive of it as not worthy. I was entranced as she stood there, the only remnants of her pregnancy two small stretch marks on either side of her belly. Her breasts stood out firmly, the nipples protruding, making my mouth water. Taking a sip of my beer I calmed myself, repeating 'patience' to myself several times. I hated the man who had done this to her, taken advantage of her innocence and then left her to fend for herself. She was coping with it, but how much better would her life have been if it had never happened? I had high hopes of making her future better.
The high point of the afternoon was when she and I lay close and she whispered, "Thanks for inviting me. I'm having fun."
Her small hands rubbed oil into my back and butt, surprisingly strong. She didn't seem to have any inhibitions about touching me in such a private spot, and I had to admit it felt very good. When I rolled over she continued, rubbing my breasts and giggling when the nipples reacted.
"Ooops, sorry," she blushed.
"Doesn't matter, go ahead," I whispered.
Being touched that way was making me very wet and I hoped she wouldn't notice. I tried to relax as her hands smoothed the oil on my skin, enjoying the tingles everywhere. She finished my legs and feet, not once touching my puss but arousing me to a fever pitch. I lay there as long as I could, then got up and dove into the water, swimming out toward the middle. I had to cool off or do something I might regret later. As I sat on a submerged stone, it didn't take long to get myself off and relieve some of the sexual tension. She joined me after a few minutes, somehow knowing I needed the space from her.
"This is great!" she smiled, pulling back her hair.
I reached to dunk her off the rock and she ducked, diving away and swimming underwater a few yards away. I could see her body as she swam, lithe and strong, perfectly shaped and supple.
She surfaced and laughed at me, "You gotta be quicker than that!"
I returned to our spot and opened another beer, watching her dry off.
"Can we come here every weekend?" she asked quietly.
"Sure, if you want," I said.
"I like being with you in private. I mean just you and me," she said, blushing lightly.
"Mmm, me too," I smiled.
My radar went on full alert! Was that a hint, a suggestion, an advance, what? Or was she being pleasant and polite, and my touching her was out of the question?
I soaked in some heat, listened half-heartedly to the radio and closed my eyes. I was content with her presence and the sound of her breathing nearby. We heard noises and sat up, watching as a dozen or so high school kids arrived at the water's edge. Grasping her hand I pulled her back out of sight, waiting for them to decide where they were going to party. Walking down the other side jumping rocks, they were headed for what passed as the beach, a long level spot further down. I relaxed and lay back down, happy we weren't going to be bothered. I felt her hand in mine as she gave me a little squeeze, settling in on her tummy to catch the sun.
An hour or so later she returned from a dip and asked, "Would you oil me?"
I accepted the bottle and she sprawled on her belly, legs apart, wriggling to get comfortable.
As I rubbed, she said, "Some of the girls at work warned me away from you."
"Why's that?" I asked, puzzled.
"They said you're a dyke," she replied.
I'd never dated anyone at work and I wore regular clothes like all the other girls. Was it the fact I had a man's job, being an electrician? She hadn't said it in a mean way, rather in a descriptive way, saying an unknown term and curious to its meaning.
Laughing and trying to make the best of it I said, "I don't like that term much. I prefer lover of ladies."
Silent for a little while, absorbing the truth, she finally asked, "What's it like?"
I had to be honest with her, or the chances for a relationship to grow were out the window.
"At times wonderful, at times terrifying," I replied.
I barely noticed as she rolled over, looked up at me, and put her arms over her head. My mind was on automatic and I continued to wet my fingers and rub her skin with the oil. A bump in my hand got my attention and I looked down, realizing I was caressing her breast, palming the nipple.
Her eyes were closed and I heard a long sigh just before she said, "That feels good."
I massaged her nipples thoroughly before moving to her stomach. I wanted to kiss her so badly my cheeks ached, but I knew I couldn't, not here and not now.
I continued to smooth the oil on her, covering her body so it gleamed.
I lay next to her again when I was done, fearing the words 'take me home' or 'lets go now'. Instead she got a little closer, rolled to her side and put her arm around my waist, propping her head on an elbow.
"You're the first person to ever treat me decent," she declared, the look on her face honest and real.
"I like you and I wanted to get to know you," I replied.
"Do you still want to? Get to know me, I mean?" she asked.
I nodded yes, and she said, "All you have to do is ask. I'm a completely open and honest person."
That statement left the door wide open for an interrogation, but I wasn't in an inquisitive mood. How could I tell her that just being with her made me happy?
"You ever kiss a girl?" I asked instead.
Giggling, she replied, "Yeah, Barbara and I tried it in 7th grade, teaching each other how to kiss boys."
"You ever touch her? Intimately, I mean," I asked.
Suddenly shy, she lowered her head and said, "No. I wanted to," she said, "but I was afraid."
We talked a bit more, exchanging secrets and confidences, each secure in the knowledge it would go no further. I described how over the last five years I'd had twelve or fifteen women in my bed and couldn't remember any of their names. I was tired of casual sex, exhausted with people sucking my emotions dry and giving me nothing in return.
She nodded as if she understood through all of this, at the end saying, "Jeff was like that."
He had demanded she give and give, and he did nothing but take from her, emotionally and sexually.
"Did he ever satisfy you?" I asked.
"Not once," she replied, shaking her head at the painful memory.