On my first day home for the summer from law school, my aunts informed me I was escorting them to an open house being held by the Parkers, our new next-door neighbors. I would have much preferred to sleep because I hadn't done a lot of it lately, but my not-so-discreet protestations were summarily ignored. So, at six p.m. on Friday evening, I was dressed in charcoal gray slacks, blue blazer, white, button-down shirt, and a silk Brooks Brothers tie. My stubble had been banished. My black loafers gleamed.
"You do clean up nicely, Jimmy," Aunt Dorothy said admiringly as she looked me up and down.
"You're quite a handsome man," Aunt Linda said, beaming up at me.
"I'd better be to escort two such beautiful ladies," I replied. Aunt Linda giggled.
"Background," Aunt Dorothy said. "He is Dr. Arthur Parker, renowned as a surgeon, pompous ass, and self-proclaimed God's gift to women. She's Amanda, his trophy wife."
"She's a cool customer," Aunt Linda added.
"Kids?" I asked.
"His are grown, and they don't have any," Aunt Dorothy replied. "The Warners will be there, but Julie's back to being a loyal wife, so cool it."
"Simon still doesn't know Julie and I had an affair?" I asked.
"No, he doesn't," Aunt Dorothy said.
"And he doesn't know about Julie and Dorothy either," Aunt Linda added, giving Aunt Dorothy the evil eye.
Aunt Dorothy reddened and changed the subject. "Here." She handed me a bottle of Silver Oak Cabernet with a bow around its neck. "Carry the house warming gift. Come on. Let's go."
Aunt Dorothy led the way out the front door, and I brought up the rear as I followed them down the sidewalk and across to the house next door. The Millers from across the street joined us as we walked up the Parker's sidewalk toward their open door.
Dorothy Nelson, my mother's younger sister and only sibling, took me in and became my legal guardian when my parents were killed in an automobile accident. She was twenty-five and a year out of nursing school. I was a lad of ten. Only a few months later, Linda Connell, twenty-three, graduated from college with a teaching degree and moved in with us. She wasn't really my aunt, but calling her aunt was a convenience. They raised me with all the love and attention a young man could want. Our house was in an upscale neighborhood near the downtown area where older homes were being demolished and new mansions being built for the doctors, lawyers, and other yuppies. Ours was one of the best of the earlier construction and impeccably maintained. The Parker home was one of the new ones, almost gaudy in appearance.
As we queued in the reception line, I got my first look at Amanda Parker. She stood next to her husband, smiling woodenly as she met Mr. and Mrs. Miller. Amanda was a cool, classy beauty with long, loose curls of strawberry-blonde dyed hair framing a square shaped face, a full mouth, clear complexion, and eyes of sea-foam green in a lightly tanned face. When the Millers stepped to the left, I saw the rest of her. She wore a white, backless cocktail dress with a square, halter-style bodice that tied behind her neck and low on her back. The dress, made of a slinky, clinging material, fell to mid thigh. It was the perfect dress to display, in a socially acceptable manner, the perfect figure. Her white open-toed, sling-back pumps with a five-inch high heel brought her to about six feet, her husband's height. There was a solitaire diamond dangling from a gold choker around her neck and an anklet around her right ankle.
Then Mrs. Parker noticed me. Her body language clearly said she liked what she saw. Aunt Linda went first in the reception line, then Aunt Dorothy who introduced me to Dr. Parker, a beefy and florid man nearing sixty. The word pompous fit him to a tee. He turned slightly and introduced me to his wife before turning his attention to the people behind me. Obviously, my pedigree wasn't enough to hold his attention.
When I shook Amanda's hand, electricity flickered up my arm. Her eyes, no longer wooden, sparkled at me. I handed her the bottle of wine. "Thank you, Jim. I'm happy to meet you," she said with more warmth than a bottle of wine deserved.
The party was in full swing. I worked my way through the crowd talking to neighbors I seldom saw any more. Some of my friends were there, either home from school as I was, or working in the city and back in the neighborhood to see old faces. I did visit with Simon and Julie, who stopped for a short but pleasant conversation.
I was in the back yard talking with a group of four when I saw Amanda working her way through the crowd, playing hostess as she talked to her guests. She watched me surreptitiously from the corner of her eye, and it wasn't long before she joined us. We made small talk for a few minutes before I excused myself to go the bar. I joined another group, visited with them, and waited. Once again, Amanda joined us. We all had a pleasant visit before she left to mingle with her guests.
By then, I had received enough signs - signals if you will - from the wife of Doctor Parker to know she wanted me. I don't mean to sound cocky, or, heavens forbid, pompous like her husband, but I was not mistaken. She was a woman men pursue with wild abandon, hurling platitudes and diamonds like spears and laying roses in her path. I'm sure she had been fighting them off since puberty, so her instincts were trained to be wary. Her position as the trophy of a wealthy man doubled her need for discretion and increased her anxiety. So my pursuit of her, or, my surrender to her after her pursuit, if you will, would be a little game of cat and mouse I believed I'd find most enjoyable.
I rejoined my aunts who were on the patio talking to the Solomons, who lived in the next block. We were discussing the stock market when I felt a tug on my coat sleeve. I turned to face a young woman who was only five six or so even in her heels. She had bright, bleached-blonde hair that fell straight, almost to her waist, far too much makeup, and she wore skin tight, black leather pants encasing a well-shaped ass with a black leather halter-top that was losing the battle to contain her breasts. Her midriff was bare, and her navel piercing held a dangling diamond.
"Hi, Jimmy Johnson. Remember me?" I saw the barbell in her tongue when she spoke.
"Cheyenne Young. My but you're growing up."
"I go to college in the fall. Come talk to me," she said taking my hand.
She led the way, first to the bar to refresh our drinks where she got a rum and coke and I got a light Scotch and water, and then to the far corner of the back yard where we sat on a bench under a magnolia tree. I sat facing the house and her. As Cheyenne and I talked, she batted her eyelashes and gave me plenty of looks down her cleavage. She kept her firm thigh pressed against mine and initiated our handholding. Cheyenne had grown up in the neighborhood, and she'd had a crush on me since she was eight. She'd be easy pickings. Too easy. But I always liked her, and she had developed nicely, so I didn't want to be rude.
We had been on the bench about thirty minutes when Aunt Linda joined us. "Dorothy and I are ready to go, Jimmy," she said.
I stood and Cheyenne stood with me, holding tightly to my hand. I said to her, "When will you be eighteen?"
"I am now," she lied. Then she deflated. She knew I knew how old she was.
"After you're eighteen, I'll call you," I said. "In the meantime, be sweet." I kissed her lightly on the lips, squeezed her hand, and left her there.
I enjoyed Cheyenne. She didn't give me the brainless bimbo act she used on kids her own age. But I'd spent that much time with her because of the effect our visit was having on Amanda Parker. She had kept an eye on us like a jealous wife.
Aunt Linda and I worked our way back through the crowd, saying our goodbyes to friends old and new, and easing Aunt Dorothy out of a heated discussion. We were almost to the front door when Amanda stepped in front of me.
"Leaving so soon," she asked me.
"With all these guests, you'll hardly miss us," I said.
"I wouldn't say that. I saw you with that girl, and I was hoping for equal time."
I leaned forward and whispered in her ear. "Cheyenne is unattached and you're spoken for."
She started to say something but bit her tongue. Her face changed back to the happy but wooden hostess. "Well, we certainly enjoyed having you here. Come back again soon."
I escorted my aunts to our house. Aunt Linda went straight to their bedroom, no doubt to shed her high heels as she never enjoyed wearing them. Aunt Dorothy went to the bar. "Something else, Jimmy?" she called out.
"Thanks, but I'll pass," I said.
I plopped down on the couch in the living room, kicked off my loafers, and put my feet on the coffee table. With a highball glass in her hand, Aunt Dorothy sat down beside me.
"So, stud," she said. "Which one are you going to fuck first?" I grinned but didn't speak. "Cheyenne would've done you on the spot if you'd asked her." Aunt Dorothy took a sip. "Did you make a date with her?"
"I still think she's eight with pigtails and two teeth missing," I replied.
"I thought I raised you better than that, Jimmy. That is not the body of an eight-year-old."
"I told her I'd call her when she's eighteen. That's only in, what, four months?"
"But that's not the real reason you put Cheyenne off, is it?" Aunt Dorothy said.
"Meaning Amanda Parker, the trophy wife. She is a beauty, isn't she?
"Yes, she is," I replied, and a picture of Amanda filled my mind.
.... There is more of this story ...