Copyright© 2008 by tickledkitty
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - It's an ordinary day at work for Daisy, when an explosion at the nearby oil refinery rocks her world, causing her to question her values, her capacity for forgiveness, and mostly, her ability to love.
The sound of the explosion ripped through the golden, drowsy peacefulness of the warm fall afternoon, suddenly pitching my heart into my throat. I'd been wiping down a table with a wet rag and gazing out one of the front windows of the Shamrock Grille, admiring the contrast of the flaming reds and oranges and yellows of the foliage burning against the cloudless blue topaz sky. Fall was my favorite time of year, and this day seemed incongruous with any type of disturbance.
Though I'd never heard an explosion before, I immediately knew what it was and where it came from. We all did. This was evident as I turned, heart pounding, toward the rest of the room. Everyone froze for a moment, startled and wide eyed, then sprung into action. A moment later, sirens blared from the oil refinery down the road, alerting everyone to the emergency.
"Oh, God," I whispered, eyes closed, offering a desperate prayer.
Most all of our customers at the Shamrock were employees of the refinery. Folks would often stop on their way home for a bite to eat or just a few beers at the bar with their buddies. I'd been a waitress there for four years and knew most of them by name. Their generous tips reflected the fact that I knew what they wanted almost before they knew it themselves and remembered what they liked.
Though I liked them all and enjoyed their company and good-natured joking and flirting, my first thought was for John. My boyfriend. Well, not my boyfriend anymore. Not for a month or so. I didn't know if he was working today—hadn't seen him at all in a few weeks. His visits to the Shamrock always clued me in to the shift he was working. The plant was on a swing shift rotation, so it was always different. However, John had been avoiding the place lately, at least while I'd been there.
My heart hammered as I scanned the tables for someone who would know if John was working and lighted on Dave Samuels. He was standing up, pulling his wallet from his back pocket.
"Dave?" My look of dread was mirrored in his face, and I touched his arm. "Do you know if John Hollingsworth was working today?"
"Aw, shit, Daisy." Dave rubbed his hands over his face in a weary fashion. "I think he's on second shift this week, but I don't remember seeing him today."
"So, he'd have started at what, 3:30?"
I glanced at my watch. It was 4:50.
My eyes filled with tears, and I ducked my head so he wouldn't see. Too late.
"Listen, honey." He grabbed my elbow. "It's a big place. If he's there, he coulda been anywhere. I'm going to head back over, and if I see him or hear anything, I'll let you know, okay?"
Dave pulled me into a quick embrace as I nodded, too choked with tears to speak. Then he was gone.
Looking around the bar, I realized almost everyone had gone outside. Fire trucks and other emergency vehicles roared by the windows, lights flashing, sirens wailing, joining the cacophony of alarms and sirens from the refinery. I had the oddest sensation just then of time standing completely still for me in the quiet vacuum of the bar, while it rushed by at a noisy, frantic pace just outside those walls.
What should I do now? I couldn't bear to join the others, see the billowing smoke, the stricken faces, the emergency vehicles and people rushing by. Couldn't think about it. Couldn't let myself see what was really happening. I sat down in the booth Dave had vacated and tried to capture John's face in my mind. Tried to see him as he'd been the first time we'd spoken. The first time he'd said my name. The first time we'd kissed. But his face eluded me. Bits of him surged into my memory, the baseball caps he always wore, his hands—the lovely long fingers and rounded fingertips, the short salt and pepper hair, the way his earlobes weren't attached like mine were, the carpet of coarse hairs on his chest, where I'd so loved to lay my head. His face, though. I couldn't picture his face.
My last words to him had been angry ones. Remembering them, replaying them in my mind, my fingers clenched, nails biting into my palms. I hadn't given him a chance to explain, knowing no explanation could ever make things right between us again. He'd lied, and that's all there was to it. Liars were anathema to me. There'd been too many lies and too much deceit in my life already. In the end, John had just sat there on his couch, head bowed, hands dangling between his knees, saying nothing. I'd walked out of his house and out of his life, devastated.
He'd written me a letter, which I'd found in my car after work a few nights later. It still lay, unopened in the glove compartment of my car, like a hidden talisman, its magical glow fading and burning out with time. Many times I'd been tempted to open it, but something hard and cruel closed around my heart, and I left it in its secret lair, taunting me with its sweet song and gentle memories. Someday, I thought, the pain would loosen its vice-like grip, and I'd be able to read John's words without cracking and shattering into a million pieces. Some day.
"Hey." Another waitress, Sandy, wrapped an arm around my shoulders and pushed her body against mine, nudging me over on the banquette. "You okay?"
"Have you heard from him at all lately?"
As I shook my head, my hair swung around, providing a curtain to shield my face.
"Daisy," Sandy whispered. "Talk to me. Please."
"There's nothing to say."
Sandy sighed and tightened her arm around my shoulders. We were friends. She knew most of what had happened between John and me.
"You could try calling him."
"And say what?"
She paused for a moment. I hated the pity in her eyes.
"That you wanted to make sure he was safe. That you still love him. That you want to see him."
Shaking my head, I pushed her out of the booth so that I could slide out, as well.
"No. I just need to keep busy."
I began wiping again, all the tables, even the clean ones. Sandy stood there for a moment before shaking her head and walking away. The bar was practically empty and still strangely quiet. Someone switched the TV to a local news station. Other than a brief mention of the explosion and subsequent fire causing a couple streets to be blocked off, there was no other news from the refinery.
When I'd finished wiping down tables, I grabbed a tray full of silverware and a stack of white paper napkins. Seating myself at a back table, I bundled a fork, knife, and spoon, wrapped them in a napkin, and bound them together with a self-stick slip of paper emblazoned with the words "Shamrock Grille" in bright green. I did this again and again at a frantic pace, attempting to keep my mind and hands busy.
It wasn't working. I could look across the dark paneled room and see John's favorite booth. Could see him sitting there beneath the glow of a neon pint of Guinness, elbows on the table, gazing up at the big screen TV on the wall. He'd been sitting there the first time I'd seen him, the first time we'd spoken. Finally, I let my mind wander freely, back over the months, to those winter evenings when I'd so looked forward to seeing him there, at my table, always disappointed if my tables were all full, forcing him to sit elsewhere. Still, I was lucky most of the time, and John seemed to know which tables were mine.
I remembered looking into those deep emerald green eyes, fringed with thick black lashes and feeling something shift inside of me, recognizing him somehow, in some elemental way. He always ordered a burger or some type of sandwich with fries and drank two or three beers—Michelob Light. I'd feel his eyes on me as I moved about the room, but he'd look elsewhere when I glanced his way. He was always cordial and tipped well but never talked much. Sometimes I'd try to draw him out, engage him in conversation. He'd smile and answer whatever questions I asked in a polite but cool manner but would never elaborate. He seemed to want solitude, so I didn't press.
My big break came on a night he and a few of his buddies stopped in for some sort of celebration—probably someone's birthday. They sat at a big round table and took turns paying for rounds of beers and shots. This was the first time I'd seen John drink more than his usual two or three beers. When I caught him gazing at me with those incredible eyes, he didn't look away. He grinned. It was charming and sweet and made me feel flushed.
"Daisy," he'd say when I stood close, the noise of the crowd keeping others from hearing him. "Daisy." His voice was soft and sexy, his lips closing around the word. My name. Savoring it on his tongue while his eyes watched mine, waiting.
I giggled. "What is it? What do you need, John?"
His laughter delighted me, as his eyes crinkled almost shut, and he threw back his head. Then, suddenly, he was serious again.
"Daisy." His eyes closed, and he gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head. "I wish you would give me what I need," he murmured and opened his eyes.
I wasn't sure I'd heard him right and leaned closer.
"Oh," he chuckled. "Never mind. I just like your name, Daisy. I like saying it."
"Well, thanks." I smiled.
As I cleared away empty bottles and glasses and carried them away, I turned to see John's gaze following me across the room.
Lost in my memories, I was startled to find Sandy sitting across from me, that same concerned look on her face.
"Bob says you should go on home, hon."
"I'm fine, Sandy. I just..."
"Look, we're not busy right now, and he said if business picks up, he'll call you. Besides, if the wind shifts, we all might have to leave anyway because of the smoke."
They didn't need to tell me twice. My boss, Bob, kind of knew the story too. Besides, we were all upset. Our customers were our friends.
An hour later, I sat at my kitchen table with John's letter in front of me, still unopened. My name stared back at me, printed in black in John's no-nonsense all capitals, and underlined twice. I picked it up and held it to my nose and lips. No scent or trace of him remained. Still, I wasn't able to conjure up his face. Couldn't see him in my mind's eye. It seemed important to remember, somehow. Important to drag him up and visualize him. Like maybe I'd know he was alright then.
My mind circled back to that night in the bar. At around 9:45, I'd returned to John's table and informed the guys that I was leaving soon and asked if they'd need anything else from me. There was a lot of boisterous, good-natured lamentation at my departure and worry that they'd be deserted. John's eyes stayed on me the whole time, hungry, pleading somehow. I assured them that another waitress would be taking over and that she'd do a good job and said good night.
I took care of all my last minute duties and clocked out. The cold, damp air felt good on my face as I opened the door and walked outside, and the acrid smell of cigarette smoke tickled my nostrils. John was standing on the sidewalk close to the door smoking, and said my name.
"Hey, I didn't know you smoke."
"Eh, I quit a long time ago. Only do it now when I drink a lot."
He flicked the cigarette butt away and blew a plume of smoke over my head. We both stared down toward the lights from the refinery. It always reminded me of some sort of space-age city, with its towering, flame-topped chimney serving as a beacon, a huge candle in the night.
"Uh." John jammed his hands into his coat pockets and leaned against the wood frame side of the building, seeming ill at ease. "I wondered if you'd like to have a drink with me."
"Oh. Um, you know, I'd love to, but I've really been here too long. Maybe another..."
We stopped talking as a couple approached from the parking lot, the woman giggling and swaying on very high heels, the man guiding her by the arm. I smiled at John as they went inside and the door squeaked and slammed shut behind them.
"Well, we could go somewhere else." He seemed hopeful.
"You mean another bar?"
"Sure. Wherever you want."
I thought for a moment. The idea of going to another bar didn't appeal to me at all. I'd had a long day and wanted to relax but realized I didn't want to pass up this opportunity either.
"You could come to my place. I have some beer. It's quiet. We can talk without having to shout."
"Perfect." John smiled.
He followed me home, and we passed the next couple hours sitting on my couch drinking beer and talking. We seemed to have a lot in common, with similar tastes in music and books and movies. John seemed genuinely interested in everything I had to say, and I was impressed by his intelligence and sensitivity. He told me he lived alone, his children raised and on their own, his wife gone.
"Gone?" I questioned.
"Yeah. We're not together anymore."
"Oh. I'm sorry."
"Don't be." He chuckled. "I'm not."
"I'm in the same boat, I guess. Divorced. Kids grown."
"You have grown up kids?"
I nodded and grabbed a framed picture of the three of us and handed it to him. He examined it closely.
"Wow. How old are they?" he asked.
"My daughter is twenty and in college. My son is eighteen and lives with his dad now."
John looked at me with raised eyebrows. "They're good looking kids. How old are you?"
"Thirty-eight. I started early."
"I thought you were younger. Maybe around thirty. You look it."
"Thank you. How old are you?"
He'd thought I was younger. I wondered if that explained some of his former standoffishness.
My little house was not in the best neighborhood, and my decorating style leaned toward eclectic and vintage—definitely not to everyone's taste. Antiques and old things in general comfort me, and John seemed to pick up on that right away. He strolled around the living room, inspecting the things I'd collected over the years.
"This is a very cozy room. I like the colors," he said. "It's comfortable."
"Thanks. That's nice of you to say."
"Just being honest." He shrugged and sat down next to me again.
"Well, it's just that a lot of people think it looks like a bunch of junk."
"Naw. It has a lot of personality. It says a lot about who you are, Daisy." He drew my name out and gazed into my eyes as he said it. "You are so pretty," he murmured, drawing the backs of his fingers down my cheek in a gentle caress.
Those green eyes melted me. They seemed to contain their own burning embers deep within. I reached up to brush a fingertip over the black lashes and felt my own eyes narrowing, drifting as I lost myself in his verdant depths.
"Your lashes are amazing," I said. "It almost looks like you're wearing mascara."
John laughed and slipped an arm behind my back, pulling me closer.
"Pretty eyes," I whispered, as his lips touched mine for the first time.
John's lips were soft and dry and tasted slightly of beer. They parted slightly and sucked my bottom lip between them briefly, then let go. The coarse hairs of his mustache tickled my skin when he pressed his lips to mine again. We kissed for a long time, tasting and learning each other, hands roaming over cloth and hair and skin, memorizing shapes and textures, savoring flavors. He was delicious.
I pulled back and looked at his face. His head leaned against the back of the sofa, eyes closed, lips slightly parted. Inhaling deeply through his nose and exhaling through pursed lips, John opened his eyes.
"Wow," he breathed.
Cupping John's cheek with my palm, I ran my thumb over his lush, peppery mustache, my eyes on his lips. As my thumb reached the corner of his mouth, John shifted his head, grabbing it between his teeth and laving the pad with his tongue. The heat from his mouth shot directly to my groin, causing me to gasp and pull away. I felt dazed and amazingly aroused. At the same time, I also felt slightly grungy from work.
"Would you mind if I took a quick shower?" I asked. "I smell like the Shamrock. I'll be quick."
"Sure. Go ahead. I'll wait." He punctuated it with a quick peck on my lips.
In the bathroom, I stripped out of my jeans and green Shamrock t-shirt in front of the mirror and eyed myself critically. My hair was good, I thought, shaggy and blonde, the tips curling under my chin and fanning out along my collarbone. I knew my face was pretty, more cute than anything else, with a slightly turned up nose, good teeth, a nice smile. But the rest of me! I sighed. Too short. Too round. Breasts too big and no longer uplifted. I'd always been slightly embarrassed by them. Raising my arms above my head, I scrutinized them. Hard pink nipples stared back. Okay, so they're not horrible, I thought, and lowered my arms. The curve of my waist was okay, but my ass. God. The bane of my existence. My Italian grandmother's ass.
Stop it, a voice in my head commanded. I remembered John was waiting and showered quickly, shaved my legs, slathered on moisturizer, and blow dried my hair. I debated putting on more makeup and decided against it, simply applying a light layer of lip gloss.
John was asleep on the couch when I finally made it back, hands behind his head, snoring softly. Damn. Maybe I'd taken too long. Crouching beside him, I examined his face. Slack with slumber, he looked young and innocent. The curly black lashes rested on his cheeks. Parted lips revealed his front teeth, and his breathing was slow and even. His lips. The top one curved down in the middle, forming a widow's peak. I wanted to take that little divot of flesh between my own lips, the tenderest of feelings and desire causing a rush of heat to my face and chest.
In the end, I couldn't bring myself to wake him. Peaceful slumber eluded me often, and I couldn't steal it from him. Instead, I pulled the quilt that was folded over the back of the sofa over him and turned out the lights, save for a small corner lamp. I didn't want him to awaken in unfamiliar surroundings and stub his toe or smash a shin into a piece of furniture.
Suddenly cold and exhausted, I donned a t-shirt and pajama bottoms and snuggled into bed, curling on my side and falling asleep almost instantly.
Sometime later, I was awakened by a warm body curving around mine and warm breath on the back of my neck. For a moment I thought I was dreaming, but then I remembered.
He smelled of soap and toothpaste, and I realized he must've showered before slipping into my bed. His hands caressed my back, down to my outer thigh, then back up, all the time kissing my neck. Parting his lips, he swirled the tip of his tongue in a slow circle on my skin, exhaling over the wetness and sending goose bumps skirling over my flesh. His hand glided down my arm to my hand, fingers spreading and slipping between my own, caressing, clasping, entwining, then releasing and continuing their light journey back up my arm to my shoulder.
I tried to turn toward him, but he held me on my side with his body and hands and mouth. His hands skimmed under my t-shirt, pushing it up to my shoulder blades, and he pressed his open mouth against my back, kissing and running his tongue along my spine. Our legs entwined as one of John's slipped between mine. He pulled my t-shirt up and over my head, and I slipped my arms out of the sleeves and let it fall to the floor. As my body lifted, John slipped one arm beneath me so that I was still on my side but with my back cradled against the furry warmth of his chest. His mouth was on my neck again, and I curled one arm back and around his neck, holding him there, and snaked my fingertips into the back of his damp hair.
I was breathless and squirming by then and gasped as his hands lit upon my breasts. He squeezed and kneaded them as his mouth continued to ravage my neck. His teeth grazed over my soft flesh, causing me to moan his name and arch back against him, pushing my breasts into his open palms.
Sliding his hands down my belly, John untied the drawstring of my fleece pajama bottoms and slipped his hands inside. His fingers curled around my mound, their tips grazing along my wet slit, as I bent my knee and leaned my leg back, opening myself to him fully. He dipped his fingers inside, stroking the slick folds, coating his fingers with my essence.
With his hands still inside my pants, he skimmed them down my legs and pulled them out from under me. I wriggled out of them and nestled my bare ass against him, feeling the length of his hard cock along the cleft of my buttocks. He moaned in my ear as I undulated my hips, sliding my ass cheeks along his shaft.
John's hands found my pussy again, and he slid his fingers up and down a few times, teasing my swollen clit and stroking downward to the perineum. Up and down, up and down he stroked, with his mouth still working my neck. Slipping two fingers deep inside me, he pressed upward, while stroking his thumb against my clit. My pussy was sodden, lubricating the outer lips and my thighs and John's hand, and my hips thrust of their own accord. I began to quiver, my orgasm imminent, and he picked up the pace, fucking me with his fingers and frigging my clit with his thumb. I let out a low, keening moan as I came, quaking as John held me, my internal muscles rhythmically grasping and squeezing his fingers.
Before I could recover, I felt his body pull away from me, allowing me to drop onto my back. His palms slid down the insides of my thighs, pushing them far apart. Suddenly, his mouth engulfed my cunt, sucking the velvet lips open, his tongue lapping my juices. The warm pressure began to build in me again, and I grabbed his head with both hands and grinded myself against his greedy mouth. His lips closed around my clit, sucking it inside his mouth, his tongue circling it. Another orgasm blasted through me, stronger this time, pulsating against his open mouth, which he held there, tongue still stroking my clit, until my bucking ceased.
John's breathing was fast and heavy as he rose above me, holding his stiff member in his hand and guiding it to my opening. With a rapid thrust he filled me, sliding in, in, in, until he was buried to the hilt, and a long, moaning sigh escaped his lips. He braced himself with his hands and began to thrust into me with a fierceness that stole my breath. Wrapping my arms and legs around him, I met his thrusts, my hands clasping his ass, pushing hard against him, lost in my pleasure.
He fastened his mouth to one of my nipples, sucking hard and biting it, while he slammed into me again and again. The walls of my pussy squeezed his cock on each thrust, both of us moaning and gasping. His body trembled, as his thrusts quickened, and I felt him tighten, pulling in, his body coiling. Knowing he was about to come pushed me over the edge, sending my pussy into spasms, yet again. John stiffened and cried out as I felt him erupt inside of me, filling me, his strength seeming to wane with each orgasmic surge.
His arms gave way, and he collapsed against me, resting his body against mine, his head at my shoulder. I loved the pressure of his weight on me, his cock still inside me. His breathing slowed as I caressed his back and neck with my fingertips, tracing meaningless patterns in the thin sheen of sweat that covered him. I felt him soften and shrink out of me and wished I could keep him there.
We lay like that for a while longer, as the first milky gray light of dawn filled the room. John pulled himself up and framed my face with his hands.
"Good morning, babe," he whispered and dipped his head to kiss me.
I'd been eagerly waiting to taste his lips and lifted my chin to receive him. It was so gentle and sweet, that kiss, especially after the frenzied heat of our lovemaking. John rolled off of me and pulled me into his arms, and we fell asleep.
The phone ringing snapped me back in time. I was still sitting at my kitchen table with the unopened letter in front of me. Thinking it might be John calling to say he was alright, I jumped up to grab it. It was only Sandy calling to tell me Dave Samuels had been in looking for me and had given her an update from the refinery.
"Two people were injured, and they think one person may be dead, but nobody will say for sure."
"Okay," I whispered.
I began to tremble and sat back down in my chair.
"Are you okay?" Sandy asked.
"Yeah. I'm fine. Thanks for letting me know."
"Sure. I'm worried about you though. Do you want me to come and keep you company when I get off?"
"Oh, you don't have to do that, Sandy."
"I don't mind."
"No. Go home to your family."
"Daisy, you know they'll all be in bed by the time I get there."
"Ray might be waiting for you."
She snorted. "Sure. Listen, have you tried calling John?"
"Why don't you try?"
"I don't know if I should."
"Daisy. Why shouldn't you? You still love him. You're worried. Just call him."
"He might be getting a lot of calls. I don't want to..."
"Just call and ask if he's alright."
I sighed. "Okay."
"I gotta run. Let me know if you get ahold of him, and call me if you need anything, okay?"
"Okay. Thanks for calling."
Someone was dead.
I sat staring at the letter and rocking back and forth in my chair. What if he was dead? Closing my eyes, I concentrated very hard on his face. It was no use. I still couldn't picture him. It was almost as if his face had been wiped from my mind. Why couldn't I remember? The few pictures I had of him, I'd torn up and thrown away. Damn my insufferable, blind range.
I picked up the phone and with shaking fingers dialed John's number. It went directly to voicemail. I listened to his greeting and hung up without leaving a message. Hearing his voice left me even more shaken. He'd know I called, yet I still felt silly for not leaving a message, so I dialed the number again. This time, I left a message.
"Hi. I just wanted to know if you're okay." I paused, swallowing past the lump in my throat. "If you could call me back, it doesn't matter how late, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks."
I hung up and blew out a long, shaky breath. The letter called to me with its siren song, and my fingers reached for it, itching to open it. My heart, however, hesitated, not sure it could handle any more pain. I slit the envelope open with my finger, pulled out the lined sheets of paper, and began to read.