This is a long story, written as one piece, so I'm choosing to post it in one submission. This entire story is about sex, love, and a little mystery. There is actually only one full sex scene, it's pretty hot, but that means, of course, that the remainder of the story is not filled with sex scenes, although there are some descriptions and dialog about the subject. Read as you like. The story has a lot of emotion and reads better as one piece, rather than chapters.
Haven was a friend; actually, he was more than a friend, but that is a whole other story. He had been in what he and his best friend both thought was a relationship that was going to be something either long lasting, or permanent, when suddenly, it was over. He stopped by Taylor's house about two weeks after the last and loudest argument, saying he needed to have a long talk. He held up a six-pack of beer and said he was prepared to spill the beans and needed a good listener.
He probably wasn't paying much attention to the doodles on the tablet across the kitchen table from his chair. This meant Haven didn't realize that some of the pencil strokes were actually notes, rather than just the absent-minded squares, ripples, and small sketches, of a listening friend, although it would have neither surprised him, nor bothered him. He was speaking as more than a friend and knew he was telling things to a professional who would keep what he said confidential. By the time Haven finished drinking four of the six beers, the notes on the yellow tablet were looking like the beginning of a long involved story.
Even after Haven left, the artist sat looking at all the notes and details. While typing some of the story, trying to fill in some blanks Haven had left, thoughts swirled around inside Taylor's head trying to put everything in context. The story would be something Haven may want to read at some later date, or it might even make a good short story if enough names and details were changed to keep it truly fictional. Taylor had no hint that the first unloading session was just one of many and something that would eventually involve a lot more people than those Haven mentioned during that first evening.
The more involved the story became, it was pretty apparent it needed to be told in the first person, as if Haven, himself, was telling the story. It could not be told in words saying, "As he talked to his favorite bartender," but rather the story needed to be written as, "For a moment, Alice turned her back to me, and then left our conversation to greet her newest customer." So, for the telling of the story, it doesn't matter who the author is, or how the author is connected to Haven, or how well the author may, or may not, know some of the other people. The story is, after all, Haven's story.
It was not a good day. Rain had fallen intermittently most of the morning and then the sun came out leaving the remainder of the day making people feel like they were walking around inside a sauna. Freshly starched shirts turned limp and looked like the wearer needed to find a better laundry. Hairdos that started out as neat began to look limp and lifeless by mid-afternoon. Recently washed vehicles showed splashes of mud on fenders, doors and hubcaps. No one was going to complain. It had been so long since there had been any appreciable rain, those who were unhappy with the rainfall, stayed silent.
By the end of the business day, a young woman was looking for a reason not to go home to her empty house and, she was not alone with the feeling. About a mile from her home, she pulled into the parking lot of Bat's Pub, walked inside and around the wall that deflected daylight from filling the club when the outer door opened. She looked around the small club, and then moved to a large rectangular shaped bar with tall stools, somewhat like club chairs, around three sides. A small dance floor, a few booths, and a scattering of small round tables filled the remainder of the club. Although she had driven by the bar for a few years, she had never been inside.
I watched as she selected a stool on one side of the bar and sat down. My favorite bartender, who had been listening to my woes, left our conversation, placed a coaster in front of the young woman, and welcomed her, "My name is Alice. Tell me what I can get you this evening?"
The young woman looked at Alice, noticing her artfully applied make-up, neat loosely curled hair-do, and replied, "Tell me how you can look so nice after a day like this and I'll have anything that will cure, instead of cause a headache."
Alice laughed softly and suggested, "How about a cup of coffee with a dash of Amaretto?"
The young woman grimaced and said, "I'm not much of ... well, I don't drink alcohol very much. Is it good?"
"Tell me your name and I'll make it extra special."
"Alright, Vicki, watch me do my stuff."
As I watched, Vicki placed her forearms on the bar, and leaned forward watching Alice go through what was a daily, more likely an hourly routine, and doing something a little extra for the pretty woman. She took a pretty china cup and saucer off a shelf and washed both of them in soapy water, rinsed them, and carefully dried them off. She poured a small amount of heavy cream in the bottom of the cup and stirred it as she slowly added hot coffee. Then she added two packets of brown sugar as she continued to stir and took a bottle from the heavily stocked bar behind her, to pour some on top of the coffee, giving the mixture one final swirl with a spoon. She placed the cup and saucer in front of Vicki with a proud, "Voilä."
Taking a sip, Vicki smiled, "Oh wow, nice. Thank you Alice."
"You are welcome," Alice replied, and then sauntered back to the other side of the bar, to continue our conversation. She took my coffee mug, poured out the cold coffee, and refilled it before placing it back on the bar in front of me. It was almost a thoughtless action when I lifted my mug and held it up as if to toast the young woman across the bar from me, just acknowledging that both of us were in a bar, drinking coffee, instead of a mixed drink.
When she blushed, I was surprised. I don't usually have that affect on women. I'm not that hard on the eyes, but I've just never seen myself as the kind of man a woman would feel embarrassed about if he gave her some attention. She turned her head to the left to look at the other people sitting around the bar. She smiled as a couple left one of the small tables and walked onto the dance floor. A second couple, from around the bar, soon followed them. Before the song ended, two other couples had joined them, with all four couples pausing for a moment, before another song began.
With her attention elsewhere, I examined Vicki. She was more than cute, but not quite beautiful. Her hair was light brown, nothing exceptional in color, but very thick, worn in a blunt cut not quite resting on her shoulders. Although I couldn't see much more than mid-chest upward, she looked slender but had broad shoulders, or the blazer she wore over the silk dress made her look that way. Her hands were long-fingered and slender and she moved them gracefully as if she was accustomed to drinking from a china cup. I wondered if Alice's skills at reading people allowed her to recognize the young woman's elegance when she chose to fix the drink in a delicate cup instead of a mug. I turned to look at Alice, not realizing she was watching me until I finished my examination.
Alice raised her eyebrows and said quietly, "That is real, not pretended, class."
"How do you know?" I asked, not really doubting Alice, just curious.
Alice shrugged her shoulders and grinned, "Go find out for yourself."
"Okay," I responded to Alice's veiled challenge. However, I was interested enough that the idea of finding out about this young woman encouraged me to move a little quicker than I would have on my own.
"Would you like to dance?" I asked quietly, as the young woman watched the people on the dance floor.
"Oh," she turned to her right and put her hand up to touch the soft spot at the base of her neck.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you."
"It's alright," she assured me and smiled quickly.
"Would you like to dance," I repeated.
She looked at the dance floor and turned back, "I'm not very good, but I'd love to."
Hoping to put her at ease, I chuckled and said, "Alright, since I'm not very good either, we can just take our time and enjoy it." I took her arm and helped her off her stool, but did not release her arm until we reached the dance floor, where I put one arm around her and led her into an easy two-step.
"My name's Haven and you are?"
"Nice to meet you, Vicki and I must say, you dance better than you think you do."
Vicki looked up and smiled, "That's probably because you lead very well. What kind of a name is Haven?"
"My mother's joke and my father's concession," I answered cryptically turning Vicki so a small ceiling spotlight was shining down on her. I wanted a good look at this young woman. The lights around the bar were intentionally low and I was curious to know if she was really as pretty in good light as I thought she was at the bar.
Vicki leaned back and looked up at me shaking her head, "I'm sorry, I don't understand."
.... There is more of this story ...