For the next couple of weeks our love life was on fire. Lust, it seems, can burn twice as hot fueled by trust built by sharing your bed. I had never felt more in love with someone than I felt with Stacie. By bringing Mike in to our lives for that night my trust in Stacie had built bonds that felt unbreakable. I was madly in love and it showed.
John even commented on it in the shop a couple of days later before a photo shoot. When I explained to him what had happened he just chuckled and finished loading his camera. Since he was the one who arranged the invite for me to the first party I thought he might understand. Ever since his invitation we had been hanging out more and he had even begun letting me take some photo jobs on my own. His wife Sandra seemed to take pity on a young wayward bachelor and offered me a standing invitation to dinner a couple of nights a week which I had gratefully accepted.
When I had told them that I had met a girl they seemed happy for me but teased me for getting soft since getting out of the Navy.
"You just need more wild sea stories to tell, eh?" John had chuckled.
That's why when Sandra started asking about this mystery girl it didn't seem that strange. She had been taking care of me like a big sister for a few months now. It seemed only natural that she would start prying to see if this girl was, in her opinion, good enough for me. However I still had John's little secret to keep. I couldn't very well just tell her that he earned a little extra by taking racy pictures of the city's elite. I had no idea what John had done during one of these parities in the heat of the moment. I know what I would do in his situation and I doubt that any man could hold out for too long with any of those ladies trying to seduce him. He had pretty much taken me in after I had stumbled into New Orleans after getting out and I wasn't about to get him into any kind of trouble.
John and Sandra Chauvin were about ten years older than me, established in life and career. They had had only one little boy, and he came early in their lives. Their son had joined the Navy right after high school and had been gone from home for almost a year. I think I reminded John of his son in some ways. He always loved to hear my sea stories, the more risqué the better it seemed. He would always want to hear one over a beer after a job. I think that he often imagined his son living in my stories, living vicariously the exciting life of a sailor.
John and Sandra had grown up down only a few streets away from one another but worlds apart. Sandra's father owned an oil platform servicing company and was very well off. John's father was a fisherman who never seemed to be able to make ends meet. Despite her parents objections they were friends for a long time before finally dating in high school. Somehow nine months after graduation almost to the day John found himself holding his brand new baby boy and wondering what curveball life was going to throw him next.
He had begun working at a photography studio just out of high school setting up the studio or field shoots for one of the bigger photo studios in the city and eventually earning a position as one of seven staff photographers. He was especially good at weddings. He found ways to make the brides breathtaking in their white wedding gowns, and always made sure that they were the star of the show. His reputation grew and before he knew it he was booked for two or three events a week in high season. In only a couple years he had earned enough to go into business for himself.
Now at thirty-eight he was still a good looking man. He had to be, it was his gimmick. His hair was jet black except for a few streaks of silver he had earned over the years and he still ran every morning to keep in shape. He had even recently been trying to get me to start training for a marathon in the fall. Long days in the sun had permanently tanned his skin and all the ladies seemed to adore him, he was always able to draw out the perfect smile when they came in for a portrait. On good days it even seemed to rub off on me.
Sandra was a beautiful woman, mature and vibrant. She had taught second grade at a nearby elementary school since her son was about eight. She had long dark wavy brown hair and a fair complexion with very loving blue eyes. She was very straight forward and outgoing and had an incredible ability to make a stranger feel comfortable after only a few minutes of conversation. She had gotten a tribal tattoo as soon as she turned eighteen, barbed wire that wrapped completely around her right bicep that hinted at her true wild side.
When John had first introduced us I was captivated by her charm and ended up talking until almost sunrise without even realizing it. I had met very few women like her. Her most obvious feature was her seductively long legs, tanned and toned by working in the garden and routine time in the gym. She loved to wear long earth toned skirts that, to my disappointment generally covered them up. However there were more than a few times when they slid up to mid thigh innocently enough, or at least it seemed. She had caught me looking more than once, shooting me a stern look with a playful undertone, usually followed by a hint of a smile. It was a bit of innocent flirting that made her feel good. Getting ogled by a guy ten years younger was never bad for her ego.
"So when are you going to bring her over so I can meet her?" Sandra finally asked one night at dinner about a month after Stacie's surprise. The question caught me off guard and I coughed comically to keep from choking as I tried to finish a bite. "You've been dating her almost seven months now and you have never brought her over for a visit."
I had not intentionally tried to hide Stacie from my friends, but because I got so little time with such a captivating girl we tended to spend every moment sequestered in my apartment. Because Stacie lived on the other side of the state we usually only saw each other on the weekends. But because weekends were often a busy time for me even those visits seemed all too short. Add to that the fact that the life of an Air Force fighter pilot was anything but predictable it made for an interesting relationship.
I tried to play it off, saying her job as an Air Force pilot kept her away a lot, which was true. I had only seen her a hand full of times in the last month myself. But Sandra wasn't going to give in so easily, when she set her mind on something she usually got her way. John as usual continued to eat quietly with smug look on his face as if he knew what was coming. Finally after only about ten minutes of excuses I gave in. Before I went home that night Sandra made sure that Stacie had agreed to come to Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night. Nearly simultaneously the two women harped lightheartedly at me for not thinking of this first.
Sharing my time with Stacie with John and Sandra was a minor inconvenience. However it was one that was worth it if for no other reason than to stop Sandra from nagging.
On Thursday Stacie met me at my apartment, greeting me with a deep soulful kiss. Despite her obvious arousal she refused any further advance, playfully pushing me away and claiming we would be late and preferring to play the cocktease in order to keep me on the edge until well after dinner. The drive to John and Sandra's house in the Garden District was quick but I spent half the time watching her. Her short black skirt came about halfway up her tanned thighs and her white linen shirt parted about halfway down her flat stomach, showing off her belly button ring I had bought her one weekend with a bright green stone. Her shirt was nearly translucent and her white lace bra was visible through the light fabric, the curls and flowers curving seductively around her loosely concealed breasts. She was dressed a little more provocatively than I had in mind, especially after she made me put on a jacket and tie, but I really couldn't keep my eyes off of her. At least she let me wear a pair of jeans. I worried that Sandra would think she was some Bourbon Street tramp and nowhere good enough for her adopted little brother. Still, I had no doubt that John would approve and that I would be in for a wild ride later that night.
Stacie seemed to be in an especially good mood, almost excited. She had just finished some important qualification after weeks of preparation and was in the mood to celebrate. When we pulled into the Chauvin's old stone driveway she was all smiles and giggles. I swore I would never understand why women get so excited about meeting their boyfriend's friends or family. We quickly walked to the door, Stacie moving as fast as her high heeled sandals would take her. It seemed that I was the one in for a surprise. Sandra answered the door with "Happy Thanksgiving" wishes and kissed Stacie's cheeks like they were old friends. She was dressed only slightly more conservatively than Stacie, her white lace skirt sitting only slightly lower on her long shapely thighs and not quite as see through as Stacie's shirt. She had on a pair of new sandals whose white satin straps wrapped around her foot and ankle before tying off about halfway up her calf, accenting her long alluring legs and seemly making them even longer. I gave a rushed introduction but it seemed none was necessary. John met us in the parlor, a room much bigger than it looked like on the outside of the old Victorian house. He had on a dark suit with a light blue shirt and had left the collar unbuttoned. Stacie walked right up and gave him a big hug and a two little kisses on the cheeks.
"I must be missing out on something." I said, my hands coming up in surrender.
.... There is more of this story ...