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."
I chuckled and pulled Vicki a little closer so I could whisper in her ear. "My mother wanted to name me Heaven, but Dad insisted she leave out the a or the first e." I was not going to tell her my last name was Church. I'd lived with regular teasing all my life and besides I seldom told women my full name anyway. I didn't have a reason to keep it a secret. They just didn't need to know.
Vicki moved back a little and looked up again, "Haven, huh? I guess people have to be a little careful about some of the words they use around you."
I tilted my head back, watching the grin on Vicki's face. "Oh my, I found a lady with a sense of humor. So, tell me, what words should you be careful not to use when you are around me?"
Staring at the button on the front of my shirt, right in front of her eyes, Vicki cocked her head to one side and said, "Oh, well, not the ones that mean safe like a sanctuary or a refuge. Without the a, your name would sound like a rough and dangerous man."
I had to chuckle about the way she said rough, as if she was trying to growl but failed. Her remark was rather surprising. I guess I didn't think someone her age would have an interest in a refuge.
I could not resist asking, "Do you have one of those? A private place you think of as your sanctuary?"
Vicki took a deep breath, "Yes, but it gets lonely sometimes." Her answer sounded like the words were very hard for her to speak, as if there was a lump in her throat.
However, I was more interested in the other half of her comment. "Ah-h-h, and how do you know I'm not a rough and dangerous man? Is that what you're looking for tonight?"
Vicki grinned and looked up, her eyes sparkling in the small fairy lights embedded in the ceiling above the dance floor. "I don't know Heeven," she answered, intentionally mispronouncing my name, making it sound like heathen. "Are you a dangerous and barbaric man?"
"I probably could be." I answered, thinking about the last few days and how badly I wanted to hurt someone as much as I was hurting. I didn't realize how much closer I had pulled Vicki into my arms as I moved my hand down to the small of her back and turned her in a few tight circles.
She squeezed my hand, holding on as we moved, and tried to keep her feet in step with mine, with her forehead resting against my neck. When I stopped turning her, she was breathing fast and I knew she had to have felt the raging erection pressing against her. I loosened my hold on her and raised my arm back up to the middle of her back. Yet, Vicki didn't move away from me. Instead, she relaxed her shoulders as if she was comfortable in my arms, with her breasts pressed against my chest.
The music stopped and I let go of Vicki, as she took a step back. Before she could leave the dance floor, I asked, "Vicki, can you waltz?"
She stopped moving and turned to answer, "Yes."
I held my arms out to her as the first few notes of a slow waltz began to play. She stepped toward me, but not as closely as she had been before. I had been in Bat's Pub enough times to know how the music arrangement was set up for the evening. There were always three sets of three songs with almost no pause between the three songs in each set. There was a moderate pause between each set and the last song of the third set was always a waltz.
We didn't really talk during the second dance. We simply enjoyed matching our movements to each other. I looked down at Vicki once, when she rested her head against me for a moment, she had closed her eyes, and she was smiling.
Somehow, I managed to get my sudden attraction to this woman under a little control. My erection subsided somewhat, so at least I wouldn't embarrass myself when we left the dance floor. When the waltz ended, I took her back to her bar stool and noticed Alice had moved my coffee mug to the other side of the bar. Both cups were steaming, meaning Alice had just refilled them.
Vicki and I sat for a few minutes, enjoying our coffee, and getting to know each other. Although I'm not much of a talker, I'm more of an observer; I did manage to learn that we were both long-time locals, what we did for fun, and where each other worked. I admitted I worked for the city, but said I had nothing to do with fixing the pothole in front of her house. She laughed and asked whom she should call about that.
I had just looked up after asking her if she would have dinner with me, either that night or the next night, when I saw a couple walk around the entry wall, look around, and then move to a booth in the far corner of the room.
Reacting only to seeing Sheri again, I grabbed Vicki's arm and pulled her to the dance floor. I don't know if I was trying to show Sheri I wasn't without female companionship, even though she no longer wanted to be my companion. Maybe I just wanted to be doing something so I didn't have to look across the room at her.
Halfway through the dance I stopped moving. In the middle of the dance floor I simply stood still looking down at Vicki. I didn't want to be in Bat's Pub anymore, but I didn't want to leave Vicki there and risk I would never see her again.
Without saying anything, I took Vicki's wrist and pulled her behind me, motioning to Alice that she should close out my tab and charge our drinks to my account. She knew me well enough to know I'd be back in a day or two and I'd settle up with her then. I grabbed Vicki's jacket off the back of her bar stool and handed her handbag to her.
With measured steps, we were out the door and halfway to my car before I felt Vicki trying to tug her wrist out of my grasp. I was breathing hard, angry, more with myself at that moment than I was with Sheri. I just wanted to be away from the agitation. I didn't realize I was hurting Vicki until she voiced her distress.
"Ow, Haven, please, you're hurting me."
Instead of letting go of her, I jerked her toward me and put my hands on her cheeks, turning her head up to me, kissing her hard on the lips. I didn't care if she was responding to me or not. I was obliterating the feel of another woman's mouth and using Vicki to do it.
Although I was comfortable talking to Vicki, it was a different matter when I was close enough to her to smell her perfume or touch her. The raging erection from the dance floor had subsided, but it was by no means calm. I was very interested in this young woman and I was tingling all over. It was a completely different matter when I kissed her. Whew, kissing her created a frenzy in me that made my blood roar and although it sounds trite, I honestly couldn't think straight. I'm a rational man, with a good degree of self-control, but the throbbing erection was back and I was thinking about nothing more than taking her down in the middle of the parking lot and not letting her up until I'd satisfied my lust.
Ending the kiss, I didn't let go of her when I growled, "Maybe I am that rough and dangerous man you were looking for tonight."
"Is your violence always so controlled?" Vicki took a step back, but she didn't run away from me, as I had expected her to do. Instead, she placed her hand flat against my erection and pressed it against my belly.
"Vicki?" I don't know what kind of expression I had on my face, but I knew what I saw on her face. I knew the look on Sheri's face when she wanted sex, but the look on Vicki's face was telling me she wanted a fuck, a hard nasty fuck. If I had suggested she go home with me, she would have done it and one or both of us would have been sore or bruised before we came up for air.
She had looked away from me and when I said her name, she continued not looking at me. She took another step back and shook her head.
I watched her use one hand to rub around the wrist I had been holding. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you," I said and I really meant it.
Rather than responding to my apology, she simply stated, "You didn't answer my question. Can you always control your intensity?"
"I don't know." I really didn't want to talk about my anger, or what a fool I was, and I didn't know Vicki well enough to tell her much more about myself. I was sort of hoping I could get to know her before I disclosed much more than I had already said.
Vicki turned, speaking over her shoulder as she walked away. "Let me know when you figure it out."
In a few steps, I caught up with her, put my hands on her shoulders, and turned her to face me. "What are you asking?"
She did not look up at me. She just repeated her question. "Can you always control yourself?" She looked up at me, pleading, "I don't want to be hurt."
I shook my head, "I don't know what you're talking about."
Vicki lifted her chin and looked serious as she said, "I think you do. I saw her walk in and look at you. Who is she?"
I decided to be brutally honest, which was not my usual nature with people I didn't know well. "I thought I loved her. I thought I wanted to marry her."
When Vicki responded she shrugged her shoulders then tilted her head toward the front door of Bat's Pub turning her head away from me. "From the looks of things, it didn't take her long to find another man. How long ago?" From the sound of Vicki's tone, she didn't sound surprised, just a little curious, as if we were having a pleasant conversation. I was assuming she was referring to the way Sheri was hanging on to the man she walked into the bar with.
"She found him before I found her." I said it. I knew it. Yet I hadn't really admitted it to anyone else until that moment.
"Well, call me when you're no longer on the rebound," Vicki smiled and completed the walk to her car. I patted my shirt pocket, feeling her business card, which she had given me while we were getting to know each other. I realized I didn't even know her last name, but it didn't matter, I'd look at her card when I had enough light.
My car was behind hers as we left the pub's parking lot. Vicki pulled into the heavy six o'clock traffic and at the next break in traffic I managed to do the same, still chuckling about Vicki's personalized license plate, 3XCHARM. I agreed with her, maybe the third time is a charm. I was certainly ready for my third time. I just didn't know if Vicki was looking for her third time or disappointed with the way her third time ended.
Still reeling from the conflicting emotions of kissing Vicki and seeing Sheri with her date, plus the reminder that I had very nearly ended up as a cuckold, I wasn't paying a lot of attention to where I was going. At the next major intersection, about half of the vehicles turned left or right and I continued through the intersection, only to discover I was behind Vicki's car. It wasn't what I had intended to do when I left Bat's, but I stayed behind her for several blocks until she turned to the right and I followed.
Thinking she must be in the wrong subdivision, or just using this street as a short cut, I felt the homes were much larger and more expensive than Vicki's personality, clothing, or car would seem to fit. I slowed down, looking for an intersection so I could turn off the street. Instead, she turned into a driveway and continued down the drive easing up as an overhead door opened and her car pulled into the garage.
She sat in her car for a minute, the dome light on, probably writing a note or perhaps looking for her house key. I figured she knew someone was following her because I had stopped at the foot of her driveway and I wanted to reassure her I didn't have a criminal intent. I got out of my car and walked up her driveway.
Looking down, I was expecting one of the roof mounted lights to come on when I passed a certain spot where a motion detector would trigger them. I didn't want my vision blinded by sudden bright lights. Well past the middle of that wall of the house, a light finally came on, shining too far away from the house, leaving my feet in shadow. I looked up at the light wondering why the installer, or someone, didn't do a better job of directing the light where it would do some good.
I stopped in the middle of Vicki's driveway, waiting for her to get out of her car or look in her rearview mirror and see me. The list of things I was going to go over with her when she got out of the car was getting longer the more time she spent in her car. Finally, I walked into her garage and saw she was sitting with her hands on the steering wheel, leaning forward with her forehead between her hands. When I tapped on the window, her head jerked up and she looked at me.
"Haven?" The enclosure of the car muffled her voice, but the side window did not disguise the vacant look on her face. She wasn't afraid, she just looked like she didn't know where she was.
Although I tried, her door would not open from the outside because of the automatic lock. I raised my voice, "Open the door, Vicki."
As if she was waking from a dream, Vicki looked at the door handle beside her left elbow and then back up and me. The dazed look on her face told me she either wasn't listening, or did not understand. I repeated my request, "Open the door, Vicki."
She shook her head, as a person might do when they are trying to rid themselves of a bad thought or convince their brain to operate on a different level. Finally, she reached for the door handle. As soon as I heard the door latch open, I pulled the door open and took her arm to help her out of the car.
"Are you okay Baby?" I do not know where that came from. In my entire life, that I could recall, I had never used the word baby when speaking to a woman.
"Yeah, unh huh, I'm fine." She might have said the words, but I knew different. Something was wrong, but I wasn't going to challenge her at that moment. There was no life in her voice. At the pub and while we danced, she had been so lively and personable, I was surprised at the change in her. Even in the parking lot she was vibrating with life, this emotionless defeated look on her face was frightening.
For the next few minutes, it seemed like everything I said to Vicki, I had to repeat. Simple things like get your bag, lock the car, close the garage, give me your keys, which one opens the door, every one of them was like I was working with a robot with faulty programming or a computer with barely enough memory to perform one task at a time. When I saw the security system display showing DISABLED I added another item to the list of things to discuss with Vicki. Then, four or five steps into the house, she took one long slow look around and reacted as if a switch turned on inside her head, and she was back to the Vicki I knew from the pub. She had reached her safety zone and could be herself again.
"Haven, are you following me?" Vicki teased me as she walked into the kitchen to wash her hands. As she dried her hands, she looked up at me and winked, "Did you hear Alice tell me you were a nice guy?" She giggled at my open mouthed expression as she searched through the freezer and started pulling out foil wrapped packages, placing them on the counter beside the stove.
"I wasn't really following," I answered and then explained about the traffic flow and stop lights as I watched her moving around her kitchen. I finally asked her, "What are you doing?"
"Well," she responded and turned to grin at me. "Since I didn't agree to have dinner with you, I figured you're still hungry. I thought I'd fix us some supper. Do you like lasagna?"
"My, my," I exclaimed, "Not only is she pretty, she can cook."
"We'll see about that. Open all those packages. There's salad stuff in the refrigerator." Like a drill sergeant, or a woman who knows what a man can do in the kitchen, she issued her orders and left, talking over her shoulder. "I'll be right back."
It didn't take me very long to unwrap our dinner and find what I needed, a couple of dinner plates, salad plates, and utensils, plus the makings for a salad. I had the small table in the kitchen set and the salad made by the time Vicki came back into the kitchen. She had changed out of the dress she was wearing into denim shorts and a sleeveless blouse, and she was barefooted.
I wasn't sure what all the foods were that I had unwrapped, but Vicki put the different frozen blocks of food in baking dishes and shoved everything in the oven. "It's a convection oven, so this won't take long," she explained, and then turned around. "Do you want wine or iced tea? I'm going to have tea. My head is still swimming from Alice's coffee."
"Tea is fine with me. Can you tell me what that was in the garage?"
"Yeah, I guess so. Go sit down, I'll bring the tea."
When she placed a large glass of iced tea on the table in front of me and sat down, she asked me if I understood what she meant by the phrase, trade last. I shook my head and she chuckled, explaining it was an old expression used when a person asked for information without appearing to be begging for a compliment. Sally would tell Mary something nice someone had said about Mary. In exchange, Mary was supposed to reciprocate by telling Sally something nice she had heard someone say about Sally. The trade last meant Sally wanted to hear her compliment before she would disclose what was said about Mary.
If I had been following her explanation, I suspected she meant I had to talk, too. "Okay, so you will unload your problems and I have to do the same."
"That's about it," Vicki agreed and looked at me. She was smiling, but it was a difficult smile for her to maintain. "You're asking me for a trade last. I sort of think of my life in chapters. All you get for this trade last is Chapter One."
I held out my hand for a handshake, she took it and then I leaned back to listen. It surprised me when Vicki reached over to the nearby counter and picked up a small kitchen timer. She set it for ten minutes and explained it was her mother's way of dealing with difficult subjects. They could talk about something that disturbed either one of them, but after ten minutes, it was time to talk about something good or fun. Vicki said if she couldn't tell it in ten minutes, she was being maudlin, or dwelling on the bad details, and it were best to forget them. I had a sudden vision of this beautiful woman, as a child, sitting with her mother doing exactly as she described and wished I had been there to hear some of their discussions.
Vicki's mother had a May/December marriage, but she said it was really more like January/December. Her mother was barely eighteen and her father was almost fifty when they married. It was his third marriage, with neither of his previous marriages producing a child. Less than a year later, just barely nine months after the wedding, Vicki was born. Their marriage was bland, full of silence, and many small differences of opinion because of the large difference in their ages. Before she was sixteen and her mother was not yet thirty-five, Vicki's father had passed away. He had provided a good home for his family. Anticipating he would leave a young widow with a young child, he had regularly paid on several large insurance policies, which, if invested well, would support his wife and child without the need for them to work for a living.
Advised by the attorney who handled the estate not to do anything drastic for the first year, Alice and her mother did as instructed. Her mother really wanted to sell the house, leave the old memories behind, and start her life again, by being a modern woman. Near the end of that first year, they started looking for a home that was completely different from what they had and her mother started going on dates with men.
Using the money from the sale of their old home, plus some money from insurance proceeds they bought the house where Vicki lived now. It was a huge bargain but then again not in very good shape, hence the huge bargain. Nonetheless, at least it was structurally sound. However, deferred maintenance meant they needed to do a lot of work, particularly to the small apartment at the back of the garage where Vicki planned to live when she was old enough to be on her own. By the time the work was nearing completion, Vicki was in love with the general contractor and shortly after her eighteenth birthday, they married. It was another May/December marriage. Although Rob had never been married, he was looking forward to starting a family as soon as Vicki finished her college education. Rob was thirty-seven, a few months older than Vicki's mother was. From the beginning of their marriage, he was a tender and gentle lover. He made sure she took her birth control pill every morning and spoke about how their lives would change when she graduated college and could begin their family.
When she was just barely twenty-one, Vicki arrived home to an empty house after a full day of college. She answered the front doorbell to learn from a police officer that both her husband, Rob, and her mother were dead. As Vicki spoke, she frequently looked at the timer as she tried to rush through what she was telling me, despite the number of times her voice trembled or tears filled her eyes.
Vicki's fingers began to twist together, as she explained, "I was so frightened I didn't even understand everything the cop was telling me. I think he came inside the house with me, but I don't remember a lot about that afternoon."
I was still trying to understand why Vicki was talking so fast. "Slow down, Baby. Just talk to me like I'm your best friend."
"It was that old cheap motel on the other side of town. Not one of the good ones, it was a nasty place, on that street where they're always arresting hookers. Some maid went into a room she thought needed cleaning and a linen change. The policeman told me the maid found Mamma and Rob in bed together. They were naked."
I knew exactly the place Vicki was talking about, but I wasn't going to interrupt her. She was still trying to talk fast, just to get the words out. More than anything though, I was aware she did not know me very well, and may have been reluctant to say too much.
"The cop said ... he said they had a Crime Scene Unit out there and ... and it didn't look like anyone else had been in the room. Mamma and Rob were drinking some wine with poison in it."
I was trying to be careful here, I didn't want to add to her anguish. "Did the officer tell you about the wine that day, or was it later?"
"Right then, he said ... I mean, the cop said, the poison was so bitter they had to know the wine had something in it and he wanted to know where I'd been all day and all kinds of questions, you know, where was I, what did I do all day." Vicki was showing some agitation, repeating herself, but I could tell she really just wanted to talk. I was expecting her to break down into tears at any moment.
Vicki was shaking her head, I was afraid she was going to slump down in her chair or curl up into a ball of anguish, but she kept talking. It was as if she was forcing herself to say the words, just to get rid of them, pull them out of herself, as if doing so could rid her of ever having to think about them again. "I don't remember if it was two or three days later, some policemen in suits came by and said the whole thing was joint suicide or murder/suicide and if I remembered anything that I could add to their investigation, I should call them." She shrugged her shoulders as if that was the end of the story and she didn't need to think about it any more.
As Vicki was finishing her story, I did not know what to say to this young woman, but I offered her my hand, which she held tightly as she said, "Mother was four months pregnant."
"Shit!" The comment burst from me and Vicki nodded. I started to stand and was pulling her up, intending to hold her for a moment, while she struggled with her emotions, but she shook her head and settled back into her chair.
"You know," Vicki paused for a moment, took a deep breath, and then continued, "I just wish they had said something. I think they could have had a very good life if they had realized I was already regretting my marriage."
Whoa, that really surprised me. Then Vicki's face looked mean and angry when she said, "Not only did their affair deprive me of my husband and my mother, I lost my brother." Those last four words were so vehement I knew that detail was the one that hurt her the most.
Before I could say anything, not even sure words were expected from me, Vicki was on her feet opening the oven door to check on our supper. When she sat down, she picked up the timer and told me she still had a few minutes, but it was my turn.
"Are you really that tough?" I asked. I couldn't believe she had told the story without a single tear falling or much demonstration of emotion, other than an occasional difficulty choosing the word she wanted to use or difficulty choosing whether to say "my mother" or "Mamma" and a similar difficulty saying "my husband," or "Rob." Most of those instances related to the death of her mother, although she seemed to have the most difficulty speaking about her mother's unborn child.
Vicki chuckled, but it wasn't a happy laugh, "Oh no, I'm not tough. I can cry, pretty easily sometimes. It took me a long time to realize I didn't cause the problem and even longer to accept that they did what they wanted to do without regard to anyone else. Yes, I can cry, but tears are not going to get me what I want." She held up her hand to forestall me asking another question and repeated herself, "Your turn, Chapter One, please."
It took me a moment to divest myself of the emotion I felt about the story Vicki had told. I finally swallowed hard and said, "I think I'll tell Chapter Two, because you already know part of it. Her name is Sheri. The man she walked into the bar with, is married, and for a lot of years he's been my best friend."
After that kind of a disclosure, I just sat silently for a moment, my head was kind of swirling trying to get away from the story she had told and into the details that I intended to share with her. I'd already decided I was going to be brutally honest with Vicki, but I had to be honest with myself to do that and it was going to be hard to do. Vicki wasn't going to give me any slack either. She hadn't given herself any and she expected the same level of honesty from me. She looked down at her hands in her lap, and spread the fingers of both hands flat on her thighs, as if she was trying to relax after holding them in fists for a long time.
I guess I was organizing my thoughts. However, I was also examining this young woman. When Vicki had walked into the bar, I was immediately attracted to her, but I thought she was a little younger than I was learning she really was. From a distance, she looked to be just barely legal drinking age, but up close, there were clues that she was probably in her late twenties. I probably smiled about the small sprinkling of freckles across her nose.
In the bar, I had thought her eyes were light brown, but in the light of the kitchen, I was sure they were hazel with small green flecks in them. Her mouth was wide with generous lips. I already knew her lips were full and soft, not the puffy ones so many models crave. I also recalled she was not wearing lipstick in the bar, and there was none on her lips now. I was having a hard time resisting the urge to kiss her again. In fact, I wanted to kiss her again, and again, and I wanted to do it for a long time.
Although the dress and blazer she wore into the bar hid some of her figure, the denim shorts and sleeveless shirt she was wearing showed her shoulders really were broad, but her bust was small, maybe a handful, but no more than that. She knew I was looking at her because her nipples started getting hard, pushing through the soft fabric of her bra.
When she had bent over to look into the oven, I had watched her cute ass and long slender legs. It's sort of a cliché to call a young woman's ass cute, but Vicki's really was cute. Her hips weren't broad, but her cheeks wiggled with each step she took. I imagined having my hands on her ass and dared not think about where her long legs were, when I was holding her.
Like many men, I'm a sucker for red nail polish. Part of that is probably imagining a woman's slender fingers tipped with red nails as she wraps her hand around his cock. With all the walk-in nail salons, it's easy for a woman to have nice looking nails, even if they are artificial. If you know what to look for, like being naturally thin or artificially thick, or even the way a woman uses her hands when she picks up something, it's easy to tell if nails are natural or artificial. She picked up a fork by sliding her thumbnail and the nail of her forefinger across the table instead of using the pads of her fingers. Vicki's were medium length, natural and very dark red, the same color was on every one of her toenails, including one big toe that had a daisy painted on top of the polish. When I looked up from examining her long slender feet and her toenails, she was grinning at me. Caught in the act, I reached down and picked up her feet, putting them on my lap so I could give her feet a massage.
"You're clock's ticking," she reminded me after almost a full minute of me staring at her, or into space.