Part 1: Discovery

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa,

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Part 1: Discovery - Richard had never seen a more beautiful blonde in his entire twenty-four years. She would lead him on a tortuous path over the next four years.

It had never happened to me before. The sight of one woman having the effect it did was so dramatic that I stopped and stared, totally oblivious to my surroundings. I had blanked out everything except her, my vision narrowing to encompass only her.

She was blonde. Oh, God, was she blonde! Her silken hair almost white-gold. Fair skinned, tall, dressed in a simple, black serving smock with white cuffs and collar. Her face was flawless, a beautiful and genuine smile on it as she approached us. She was perfection personified. I gawked in amazement.

"Welcome to Castillo de Osuna," she said in a soft, soothing voice, speaking lightly accented English.

She placed the leather bound menus in front of my parents and me, giving me a friendly look when she did. Nordic blondes were very uncommon in Andalusia. My eyes followed her as she walked away while my mind begged the gods she would be our server this afternoon.

"Pay attention, Richard," I heard my mother. "Your father was speaking to you."

"Sorry, I got distracted."

"I noticed," my father grinned. "I was asking if you had made a decision yet on what you will do when my term here expires."

"No ... I haven't. I'm not cut out to be a translator, I've discovered. I'd like to use my language skills somewhere else, but I really don't know where yet. I'm still searching."

We were in the town of Osuna. Just a half-hour drive from Sevilla, our city of residence for the past six years. My father was completing a contract with an American mining company to develop a copper mine in Gerena, just outside the city limits.

It had been an exercise in frustration from the beginning. His American boss wanted to micro-manage everything. The discovery of a nearby two-thousand-year-old Roman village had tied everything up in bureaucratic red tape. I had taken the opportunity to complete my education here, specializing in languages. I had thought I might want to become a translator, using my multiple language facility to start a career in government. The idea had dwindled, then vanished when I saw the real thing at work during a brief internship. It had no appeal to me whatsoever.

I'm Richard Barton, 24 years old, five-foot-eleven (180 cm), 175 pounds (80 kilos), brown hair trimmed neatly, brown eyes, better-than-average appearance according to others, and a recent recipient of a MA in languages. I lived with my parents in Sevilla (Seville), Spain and was currently unattached after an unpleasant break-up with a former girlfriend. But I'm nothing if not an optimist, and I was already on the lookout for a replacement.

If I had gained anything in the last six years, it was the experience of living in a foreign land, with customs so completely different to North America. Still, we sacrificed few of the modern conveniences we take for granted. Spain was a modern country, with modern facilities and a well-developed infrastructure ... in most places.

Like our native Canada, however, there were undertones of regional differences. The Basque separatists and the Catalan Independentista were the two most vociferous. As the economy began to falter along with the rest of Europe, life had become much more difficult for the indigenous population. We, however, were almost oblivious to the problems, living in our nicely provided cocoon.

My father was anxiously awaiting the finish of his contract and his return to Vancouver. My mother was of two minds, however. She enjoyed the status and luxurious surroundings of the company-provided villa where we lived. Housekeeping services, a pool off the back patio, her little red Alfa Romeo coupe and, of course, the weather. It was a copy of Southern California with constant sunshine and mild winters. It could be unbearably hot during July and August, but mother chose to spend those months travelling to Canada to visit relatives and friends. My father remained behind to continue his work.

I had no brothers or sisters. I was the only son of Darrel and Laura Barton. Now twenty-four, I was looking for a career and a place to live. I couldn't continue to live with my parents. I needed my independence. My father would move on to his next contract, wherever in the world that would take him. I would strike out on my own.

I was financially secure for the next few years. My paternal grandfather had left a handsome sum for me in his will with the expressed hope that I would use it to travel and educate myself beyond the borders of my native Canada. I fully intended to do that.

We were returning from a pleasant weekend in Malaga, a brief celebration of my completion of studies at the University of Sevilla. It had been a foregone conclusion that I would graduate some months earlier, but to receive my masters in languages was something I was proud of. My mother, especially, was announcing my accomplishment to any and all who would listen. It was embarrassing now and then, but I understood her pride in my accomplishment.

We had stopped at the Castillo for lunch, having set out from Malaga late in the morning. The clock was approaching two-thirty and it was near closing time for the dining room. It would open again sometime before eight in the evening. Father paid the bill and we prepared to leave.

I was disappointed that the amazing blonde woman didn't wait on us. She was apparently the hostess, greeting and seating everyone. I guessed her age to be near mine and I wondered how I might get to meet her in a more private setting. The answer was in my pocket. In a moment of vanity, I had ordered some business cards online. They contained my name, my cell phone number and my so-called status: Richard Barton, Linguist.

As we left the dining room, I diverted to the front desk and passed my card to the lovely blonde.

"You are very beautiful," I smiled. "Perhaps we can get to know each other?" I smiled again.

I got a nice smile in return and she tucked my card into the pocket of her smock. She raised her eyebrows to me, then turned to look after the next departing guests. I had hope. Not much, but some. A quick look at her name badge showed Kristiana.

"If you don't accept that position as a translator, Richard, what will you do with yourself? You can't continue to just live with us and do nothing now that you are out of school."

"That was never my intention, Mother. I'm looking for something that will give me more satisfaction than a boring desk job, translating documents for some agency or whatever. I saw the real job last summer on my internship and that was enough for me. I told you that at the time. You just didn't want to hear it."

"You could have had a job at the government offices," she argued. "You might have been able to move up from there. There are jobs in Ottawa that can use people with your skills."

"I'm sure there are, but that is not what I want to do with my life. I want something more fulfilling and satisfying for my future. Being a clerk in some obscure office in Ottawa doesn't do it for me."

"Such a waste," she muttered.

My mother knew better than to try and get my father to support her on this topic. He was on my side.

The truth, however, was that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life after school. I wanted a career, but I had not found one that would satisfy me. Perhaps I would have to settle for something less in the short term. At least I had the summer to think about it and look around.

When I looked at the screen I didn't recognize the caller's number.


"Is this Richard?" the soft voice asked.

I knew who it was immediately.

"Hello. How nice of you to call. May I have your name?"

She giggled briefly. "I am Kristiana. From Castillo ... the other day ... the dining room."

"I know. I recognized your voice. I'm so glad you called."

"How did you recognize me? We only said two words to each other."

"That was enough. The sound of you voice is burned into my memory forever, as is your beauty."

"Oh ... Richard ... that is such a terrible pick-up line."

"It is, isn't it. But it happens to be true."

"You flatter me. Are you American?"

"No, I'm Canadian, actually. You know, those frozen fellows from the great white north."

I heard her genuine laugh.

"I am Norwegian. I am also from the great white north."

"I thought you might be Scandinavian. Kristiana is a beautiful name for a beautiful woman."

"There you are once more. Do you say such things to all the girls you wish to meet?"

"No ... after all, you could have been called Gertrud or Esmeralda, but you would still be beautiful."

"Where are you?" she asked.

"In Sevilla. We live in Bormujos ... in the west."

"It's a lovely city. I like to go there on my days that I am not working."

"Not Malaga or Marbella?" I asked, surprised.

"Sometimes. The car I borrow is not very reliable, so I don't go too far from Osuna."

"Do you live in Osuna?"

"Yes, for now. I am trying to be more experienced in hospitality."

"Then you chose well at the Castillo. It is very nice and very well run."

"Thank you. I am learning quite a lot and I want to take this back with me this summer."

"Back to Norway?"

"No ... my parents have a hotel in Switzerland. I want to be part of their business, but first I must learn about it."

"That's very wise," I said, thinking it was time to move along.

"Kristiana, would you like to go out with me some time? Perhaps next week on your off day?

"I don't know. What would you like to do?" she answered tentatively.

"Have you been to Isla Mágica?"

"Yes ... several times. I like it very much."

"Excellent. Then, if I come to get you in Osuna and we spend the day together, you might enjoy it?" I asked tentatively.

"Yes ... I think so. Perhaps I can trust you."

"Wonderful. And yes, you can trust me. After all, I'm Canadian. Doesn't the whole world trust us?"

She laughed her genuine laugh. I didn't want to end the call. Her voice was so seductive and feminine.

"Very well. I trust you, Richard. We can meet on Tuesday. I will text you the name of my street and number of my building. When will you come?"

"When would you be ready? Shall we have breakfast together?"

There was a pause and I could hear the uncertainty.

"I ... I will bring something for both of us," she volunteered. "There is a park near Marchena that I like. We can stop there."

"Sure. That sounds great. I will see you at nine o'clock on Tuesday morning then?"

"Yes ... nine o'clock. That will be good."

"Kristiana ... thank you for calling me. And thank you for letting me get to know you."

"Yes ... you are welcome, Richard. I would like to know about you as well."

I ended the call with a smile a mile wide. I put my head back in the chair and pulled up her image from memory.

I was sure she was at least five-foot-eight, with a typical Nordic full-bodied build. A flawless complexion and enchantingly perfect face. It was the hair that set her off. It was so perfect, drawn back into a single braid that reached down the back of her neck below her shoulders. It was so naturally blonde and pure that it put all the hair colourings to shame. You could not possibly imitate it.

I'd had my share of young ladies over the past six years. The European attitude toward sex was considerably more liberal than my native country. That didn't make them sluts -- only more open and honest about what they wanted. There wasn't, however, any one woman that had intrigued me the way Kristiana had.

It wasn't just her beauty, although that was enough by itself. She gave off an aura of being something special that I had never encountered before. She almost appeared virginal, but I doubted that was the case. I had a hard time trying to describe her to myself because I was so caught up in her appearance. But there was something. Something that set her apart besides her physical beauty. I would count the hours until I drove to Osuna to meet her on Tuesday morning.

I pushed my Mazda quickly down A92 from Sevilla to Osuna. Thirty five minutes of nervous uncertainty capping four days of anticipation. I had attached importance to this meeting, something different from the normal date.

My phone's GPS told me where to go in Osuna and within five minutes I was parked in front of a stucco two-storey building. Neither new nor elegant, it appeared to be in a decent neighbourhood. I checked my watch, realizing I was a few minutes early. No matter. I would take my chances.

I knocked on the door of apartment five and within seconds I was blessed with Kristiana's presence. She was wearing a very loose-fitting pale yellow blouse with elbow length sleeves and khaki shorts that came almost to her knees. Sneakers were her chosen footwear. Her hair was pulled back in its accustomed braid and looked amazing.

"Hi ... good morning," she smiled.

I took a deep breath. "Good morning," I smiled in reply.

It was a pleasant greeting and relieved me of the anxiety that she might have had second thoughts about our date.

"I have our breakfast and midday meal," she said with another big smile, holding up a big picnic basket.

"Oh ... that's great," I said in surprise. "But you didn't have to go to all that trouble. I was prepared to look after our meals."

"It's all right. There are no smoked eels or snails in here."

She was poking fun at me and I began to relax for the first time in her company.

I faked a sigh of relief. "Oh, thank goodness. I was worried that you'd be insulted if I couldn't handle that."

Again that genuine laugh of hers that couldn't possibly be faked.

"Perhaps you prefer seal flipper ... or Caribou meat?" she teased.

"Not me. But now that you mention it, just what have you prepared for us today?"

"It's a secret. I will not tell you yet."

This woman ... no longer a girl ... had a quick sense of humour. I had already fallen in love with her. Okay ... so it was just lust, but I was working on it.

I took her hand and led her out to my car. We put the basket in the back seat and I opened the door for her. It was mid-May and already I could tell that it was going to be a warm day. Kristiana had brought a wide brimmed straw hat and I was sure she would have put on some sun screen to protect her fair skin. My God she was beautiful in her light top, snug shorts and new sneakers. So simple and yet so perfect.

I confess to being a bit tongue-tied in her presence and our conversation was not very revealing as we set out on the road to Sevilla. I promised myself that I would be the perfect gentleman with her, which was in conflict with my desire to ravish her at the first opportunity. I was going to have to exhibit some serious self-control without being a total bore.

I'm not sure I understand what women's intuition is, but I got a taste of it as we parked the car and headed for the picnic area in Marchena.

"Are all Canadian men so quiet and shy?" Kristiana asked.

I looked at her and saw a slight smile.

"Ah ... no. Not really. In fact, some of us can be quite obnoxious on occasion."

"But not you?"

"Well ... I confess ... I'm on my best behaviour."

"Is this some acting that you will tire of and turn into someone else?" she asked seriously.

"No ... you don't have to worry about that. Why don't we sit down and talk for a bit."

She nodded and put the picnic basket on a bench and we sat across from each other.

"Why did you agree to go out with me?" I asked. "Why did you contact me?"

She looked confused. "I thought you were interested in me. You gave me your card. I thought that meant you wanted to know me."

I nodded. "I did. I do. But ... I didn't expect you to call me and want to go on a date with me."

Now she was really confused.

"Why would I not wish to meet someone new who might be interesting?"

I struggled to express my thoughts in a way that wouldn't insult or anger her.

"You are far too lovely to be interested in a humble student. You look like you should be on the arm of some prince or nobleman. Do they still have Spanish Grandee's?"

"Now you are being silly, Mister Barton. No humble student has a business card and hands it out to women he has just met. No humble student has a new car. And no humble student dresses so easily in his clothes for his first date with a woman he admires," she concluded with a raised eyebrow and a questioning look.

"Ah ... well ... humble in my ambitions is more to the point," I said, scrambling to catch up to her comments.

She smiled a sneaky smile and reached into her pocket and extract a card. It was the business card I had given her.

"So ... what is a linguist?" she asked. "That does not sound humble."

"Well ... to tell the truth ... it's a bit of conceit. I have a degree in languages."

Her eyes widened before asking, "How many languages?"

"Four so far, not including English. French, Spanish, Italian and German. I'm working on three others."

"My goodness, that is quite an accomplishment for someone so young. How did you do that?"

I shrugged. "I've always had an ear for other languages, even when I was first studying French in school. It just went from there."

"Yes, of course," she said, "You speak French in Canada, don't you?"

"Well ... sort of. It's a dialect, not true French. I had to learn it all over again when I went to university."

"What do you plan to do as a linguist?" she asked.

"I don't know. I thought perhaps I'd become a translator, but I decided against that when I was an intern last summer. It looked very boring and very detail orientated."

"Oh," she said, seemingly thinking about something.

We sat in comfortable silence as we ate our light breakfast. She had provided croissants with some jambon (Spanish ham), cheese and water. I had become used to the completely different eating habits in the south of Spain. Not just the choice of foods, but the late hours as well.

We talked about inconsequential things the rest of the way to Sevilla. She was only in Osuna until the end of May when she would return to Bellwald in the Alps and work with her parents during the summer tourist season. The closest major cities by road were Lausanne and Geneva. Bellwald wasn't the largest of the ski areas, but was popular with many skiers who wanted to avoid the crowded slopes of Zermatt, Gstaad or St. Moritz.

Her parents owned a thirty-four room hotel complete with a separate equipment rentals and storage building. They had full food service and boasted almost total occupancy from June through to September in summer and December through early April in winter. Kristiana assured me it was a full time job, but in the month of May, her parents often went on an extended vacation. This year they were cruising the Caribbean.

"What do you do during the summer?" I asked her.

"I do what I am doing in Osuna. I host the dining room and direct the waitresses."

"And in the winter?"

"The same. I enjoy it and I meet interesting people. Some are even famous."

"And what do you think your future will be?" I asked.

"I will try some other things in the business. Perhaps the equipment rentals, or the welcome desk."

I nodded understanding. She had no plans to run the hotel in the near future. She saw herself learning the business and working her way up from there. She was more mature in that respect than a lot of other young women her age.

"Do you know what a concierge is?" she asked.

"Yes ... I think so. He ... or she ... is someone who looks after the special needs of the guests. Where to find certain places, parking their car, providing an ironing board or a hot water bottle," I chuckled.

"Well, it is something like that," she smiled. "All our rooms have ironing boards and hot water bottles. It's the reservation with the massage therapist that needs to be organized."

"So ... then ... he's what we would call a gofer in a way," I suggested.

"No ... not at all!" she exclaimed.

Oh-oh. I had stepped in it. "Sorry. That was rude of me. I'm sure he ... or she ... is more important than that."

"Yes, indeed. He would make sure that our guests are satisfied and happy with our services. He must know all about our resort area and how to find and get things. It's a very important job."

"I'm sorry, Kristiana. I shouldn't have made fun of it."

"You are forgiven. But, that's not why I asked you. We have many foreign guests from all over the world. Since you can speak so many languages, you can help these people more. Sometimes, speaking French or German is not enough. I can speak some Spanish, but not much German or Italian. You might make a very useful concierge."

"There's just one problem," I said. "I don't know anything about the area, or any other area for that matter. It would take time to learn all there was to learn about being a concierge."

"That is true, but as a student worker, you could learn, could you not?"

"Yes, I suppose I could, but I'm no longer a student. Do you think it would be interesting work?" I asked.

"I am the wrong person to ask," she smiled. "You should think about it," she added, leaving it at that.

We had a wonderful day at Isla Mágica. We went on a few rides and generally enjoyed each other's company. We had a late lunch from the picnic basket and left the park to journey into the city. I wanted to change from my perspiration dampened shirt and I was sure Kristiana would welcome a shower, so we drove out to Bormujos and our home.

"Oh, Richard. This is very beautiful. What a lovely home you have."

"Yes. It's not ours, but we've been living here for six years and it is very comfortable."

"Oh ... and look at the pool. I wish I had brought my swim costume. I'm sticky from the sun screen and the heat today."

At that moment, my mother made an appearance.

"Hello, Richard. And who do we have here?" she asked.

"Hi, Mom. This is Kristiana Nordberg. You might remember her from Castillo de Osuna."

"Oh, I don't recall, Richard, but welcome to our home, Kristiana."

"You have a very nice house," Kristiana remarked.

"Yes, it will be a shame to leave it."

"When do you expect to go to Vancouver?" she asked.

"My husband thinks he will be finished sometime this fall, so we will return there just in time for the dreary, rainy winter," my mother said with some distaste.

"Our home in Sandvika, Norway, was much like that, except we must get more snow in winter than Vancouver."

"Yes, I'm sure you would," my mother offered, seeming to lose interest in the conversation.

"Would you like to take a shower, Kristiana?" I asked. "I can find you a robe. I even have a t-shirt that would fit you if that would be more comfortable."

I caught a shocked look on my mother's face, but ignored it.

"Oh, yes. That would be very nice. Thank you, Richard."

"You can change in my room and I'll show you the bathroom to use."

I led her upstairs to the main bathroom on the second floor. It was seldom used since my parents had an ensuite in their bedroom and I resided on the third floor, or Crowsnest as I called it.

I found a dressing gown in the closet and passed it to her before she went into the guest bedroom to change out of her clothes. I found myself wishing I had been invited to watch, if not to participate in the shower.

I found a nice, light cotton t-shirt that was a bit snug on me and left it in the guest room while Kristiana was in the bathroom. I took the opportunity to have a quick shower in the main bathroom, then headed back downstairs to what I expected would be a grilling by my mother.

"Are you taking up with a serving girl, Richard?" my mother asked, demonstrating her English attitude.

"She's not a serving girl, mother. She's a hostess and is working there to gain experience in the hospitality business. Her parents own a hotel in Switzerland and she expects to be a part of the management of it some day."

"Oh," was about all my mother could manage. The mention of owning a hotel and Switzerland in the same sentence seemed to have calmed her concerns.

Considering my mother's modest upbringing, she had become quite a snob since my father had risen in his profession. I think she was planning my future in Ottawa or the United Nations at some point until I dashed those hopes when I rejected the idea of becoming another faceless bureaucrat. I wasn't sure where I'd end up in the future, but I wondered if it would ever live up to my mother's expectations.

A few minutes later, Kristiana came downstairs and entered the living area. The t-shirt looked wonderful on her, no longer hiding the natural curves of her body as the loose-fitting blouse had.

"That feels so much better," she enthused as she strolled toward us barefoot. "Thank you, Mrs. Barton, for letting me use the bathroom. And thank you, Richard, for the t-shirt. It's very comfortable."

My mother actually smiled and acknowledge the thanks. I winked at Kristiana and I know she saw it, but didn't react.

We lounged around the pool drinking orange juice mixed with sparkling water. Kristiana sat by the pool edge, dangling her feet in the water as we talked. I removed my topsiders and joined her.

"Thank you for bringing me to your home, Richard."

"You are very welcome. I hope my mother didn't put you off."

"Put me off?" she asked quizzically. "Oh ... I think I know what you mean. No, she was just being protective of her son."

"There are times when she can be overprotective," I suggested.

"Do you have a girlfriend in Vancouver?" she asked out of the blue.

"Ah ... no. I haven't been back since I finished high school and came here to university."

"And here ... do you have a girl friend?"

I shook my head. "I wouldn't be spending the day with you if I did."

"Oh ... so you have integrities," she teased, stumbling over the English word.

"About that ... yeah. I'm sure you wouldn't be pleased if you had a boyfriend who dated other girls too."

She looked at me for a few moments, her eyes squinting into the afternoon sun. "Probably."

"What would you like to do for the rest of the day?" I asked, trying to change the direction of the conversation.

"Why don't we go back to Osuna and I will make us some food and we can spend some time together?"

That was an easy question. "Sounds great. We can go whenever you wish."

"I think I've had enough sun for the day. Why don't we go now?"

"Let's go. I'll just let my mother know I won't be home for supper."

Less than two minutes later we were in my car and heading back to Osuna. As I drove along the motorway, Kristiana had her hand on mine and a smile on her face. It made the drive that much more enjoyable.

I was hoping I could think of something unique to offer her for another date. We seemed to be getting along very well and I wanted to take advantage of it for as long as she would be here. That would be only three weeks by the sound of it.

As we stepped into her apartment, she closed the door and then turned to me. She wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me. This was no thank you kiss. This was the real McCoy.

"We have had a very nice time today, Richard. Thank you for that. I'm going to use the washroom for a moment, then I will return. Please find a place to be comfortable. I won't be long."

Well, that was an interesting development. It would appear that a second date would be more likely now.

I wandered around the small unit. There was a single bedroom, one bathroom, a kitchenette, the living area and what appeared to be a closet. Barely larger than a studio apartment. For a single person, however, it probably met her needs.

When Kristiana returned, I found myself blinking in surprise once more. Gone were the shorts she had worn earlier, replaced by what appeared to be loose-fitting nylon or satin shorts, barely covering her perfect ass. My t-shirt had remained, but something else was different. She had discarded the bra she had been wearing. She was barefoot again, reduced to what I guessed was a two piece ensemble. She was the sexiest woman I had ever imagined being with. I had a feeling there was more to come.

She strolled toward me with a predatory look on her face and I was frozen in place. She pressed herself against me and began to pull my t-shirt out of my shorts, then ran her hands up under it, stroking my chest and creating an instant erection.

My response was involuntary. I slipped my hands up underneath her top and moved them upward toward her breasts. I watched her eyes as I did so and saw no hint of anything but lust. I ran my thumbs gently over her now distended nipples and watched her reaction. Her eyelashes flickered and began to close and I heard her moan her approval. Her right hand slipped down from my chest and rubbed the front of my shorts, exactly where my erection stood.

She popped the button, pulled down the zipper and pushed my shorts off me. They pooled at my feet as she pushed her hand inside my briefs and gripped my manhood.

"Careful. It's loaded," I warned.

She giggled. "I hope so," she said as she lowered herself to her knees, taking my underpants down with her.

"Hmmm, that's very nice," she hummed. "Just my size, I think."

Standing in the middle of the room, I was mesmerized by her actions. My rigid erection was in her hand, with me unable to move ... or even think.

I'd had oral sex from my partners before and as far as I was concerned this was a very good demonstration of skill by Kristiana. It wasn't the best I'd ever had, but it was very good nonetheless. What's that old saw about no such thing as a bad blow job? Not so. I'm here to tell you. Not true.

"I won't last very long, Kristiana," I said aloud.

"I know," she smiled between licks and strokes of her tongue. She apparently planned to take me to completion.

I almost lost my balance as my knees began to quake and give way from the effects of my orgasm. My new girl had taken all I had produced and then continued to pay attention to my shrinking member.

"Will it be long before you can be big again?" she asked.

"No," I gasped, "Not as long as you are here."

"Good. Come with me," she said as she rose and led me to her bedroom.

"Would you like me to return the favour?" I asked.

"Would you?" she asked, seemingly surprised.

"I'd be disappointed if I couldn't."

"Oh ... Richard, we are going to be so good together," she giggled as she fell back on the bed, spreading her legs in anticipation.

I started slowly, working on her breasts and their tiny, pink nipples. Her breasts were slightly larger than medium, but the areoles and nipples were very small. However, they were definitely sensitive. I spent some time on them before moving down to her navel, then to her upper thighs and her center. She was very lightly haired with wispy blonde strands. She had absolutely no need to shave.

My first touch of my tongue to the lips of her vagina produced a quick reaction from her. I wondered if it was possible no man had ever done this for her. I was about to ask her when she supplied the answer.

"Oh, Richard, I had no idea."

"You mean no one has every pleased you like this?"

"No ... I wouldn't let them."

"But you let me?"

"Yes ... you are not like the others. You are not selfish. You are not going to fuck me and then leave, are you?"

"I'm not going to fuck you at all. I'm going to make love to you. I will only leave if you ask me to. You are a very beautiful woman and I want you to feel that you are being loved."

"Oh ... I want you to make love to me. I want that very much."

That was all I needed to hear to resume my oral teasing of her now pungent center. Within a few minutes, I had her bucking and crying as I continued right through her orgasm. Her clit was very small, but like her nipples, very sensitive. I was sure I would wear her out if I continued. She had arched her body up several times to where I thought she might pull a muscle or do some other damage. I needed to bring her down again.

"Are you all right?" I asked as I held her in my arms. I thought I saw the hint of tears in her eyes.

"Yes," she sniffed. "It was almost too much. I couldn't think. I couldn't breathe. I thought I was going to die from pleasure."

"I'm glad you liked it. I loved doing it and feeling you respond."

"Is it like that every time?" she asked.

"I don't know. I think it might be different every time. Not better or worse, just different. It will depend on how you feel. It will depend on your partner. But if your partner cares about you and wants to bring you pleasure ... it will be good."

She kissed me passionately and rolled on top of me. She discovered immediately that I had recovered.

"Now it is time for both of us," she smiled, sitting up and taking my erection and placing it right where she wanted it.

I had time to admire her flawless body and amazing skin. Skin like white marble ... or alabaster? No ... nothing so cold. It was like silk. White silk. Soft and smooth and warm to the touch. This all seemed like an impossible dream. It had happened so quickly that I wondered what would follow. How could it be better?

Kristiana assured me that she was on birth control pills and knew that she need not worry about me passing along some unwanted bug. I don't know how she deduced that, but she seemed quite certain. She was right. I had been celibate for the past three months as I finished my course work and prepared for the end of my university days. Before that, I had always used condoms. This was the first bareback experience I had indulged in for almost a year.

I instantly put my exes out of my mind and resumed my worshiping of Kristiana. I discovered she had a small symbolic tattoo on her back. It was located in the middle of her spine, just below her shoulder blades. It was no bigger than an inch-and-a-half in diameter and looked oriental. It was the only mark on her body, and believe me, I personally inspected every inch of it. It seemed a shame to mark her like that, but at least it was generally out of sight and not large.

"I have not been with a man in many months," she told me as we rested. "I did not expect you to be so ... good. If you like, we can do this more times."

"I like," I assured her. "I have not been with a woman for some months either. The last time was not good. This time was very, very good."

"Yes, it was," she whispered. "You must have been with many women to be so good."

"No ... not so many. Does that bother you?"

"No ... I don't think so. There are no others today?" she asked.

"No, not today, not for as long as we are together."

We made love once more before falling asleep. I had no intention of driving home that night. My parents were used to me coming and going on my own, so they wouldn't be worrying about me. The marble and tile floors in our house were silent and I could enter and move up to my room undetected. But this night, I wasn't going anywhere.

I awoke sometime in the middle of the night to find my lovely partner stroking me back to life once more. We had a nice, slow, loving session before falling back to sleep again. The wet spot on the sheet was of little consequence to me. In the morning, Kristiana was sound asleep as I made a quick trip to the bathroom to relieve myself.

When I returned, I stood by the bed gazing at her beauty, wondering how I had been so lucky. The top sheet was just covering her hip and her upper body was bare. I tried to imagine what she would look like in that pose with burgundy or navy or even black sheets. The contrast would be amazing. Then I had a moment of inspiration and reached into the pocket of my shorts and took out my iPhone. I took several pictures of her, her unbraided golden hair now spread across the pillow. No other man would ever see these pictures. They were for my eyes only.

I pulled on my briefs and shorts and headed for the kitchenette to see if there was anything to drink or eat. There were some navel oranges, a kind of mixed fruit drink and a few croissants. I poured a small glass of the juice and helped myself to an orange and a French pastry. I sat at the kitchen table and went over the events of the past ten hours. I thought about the wonders of Kristiana Nordberg.

I must have been lost in my reverie because I jumped when I felt two warm breasts on my shoulders and two arms encircling me. A kiss on my temple completed the welcome.

"Good morning," I said, gently holding her arms.

"Good morning, my new lover," she replied, kissing me once more, this time on the cheek.

She turned around and sat on my lap, her arms still around my neck. She was wearing a pair of pale pink panties and nothing more.

"Did you sleep well?" I asked.

"Yes ... very well. Perhaps it was all the walking we did yesterday, but perhaps it was something else," she grinned.

"I vote for something else. What shall we do today?"

"I must work today. I will have some breakfast and wash and put my work clothes on and go to the Castillo. You will go where you wish."

"Oh ... I'm dismissed am I?" I said, feeling a bit put out.

"No ... not dismissed. Set free. I do not date when I am working. If you call me next Monday, we can meet again."

"Oh ... not until Monday then?"

"Monday," she grinned. "Can you wait that long?"

"Uhhm ... I guess I'll have to."

"Yes ... I guess you will have to," she grinned again, this time with a wicked look.

"Do you torture your other lovers like this?"

"Only the ones I like. You are a very good lover, and so I will torture you."

Underneath this strange conversation there was a hint of taunting. It was barely detectable, but I thought it was there.

"Well, if I may take a shower, I'll get dressed and leave so that you can get ready to go to work."

"Will I hear from you Monday?"

I shrugged. "Probably."

That seemed to perplex her. One taunt deserves another, I thought.

I headed off to the bathroom and within a few minutes I was dressed and on my way out the door while she was still in the shower. That would leave her with something to think about. Perhaps it was the comment about me being her new lover. Whom had I replaced? She claimed there were no other lovers. Who would likely replace me? A gorgeous as she was, I didn't intend to become one of a number of guys on her string.

As I drove home, I thought about the last twenty-four hours. It wasn't the only time that I had enjoyed sex on a first date. It didn't happen often, but it had happened before. In most cases, I had an inkling that it might turn out that way beforehand, so I was prepared. I was not prepared for Kristiana.

Perhaps I had set her on a pedestal with anticipation of her behaviour. I was mildly disappointed that she chose to engage in sex so quickly, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why. She was a sexual animal, beautiful and sleek and enticing. She exuded sex, but with an air of purity that didn't mesh with her actions. I was still a naïve youth, it seemed. The Puritan North American was still alive and well.

I spent the next five days occupying myself looking for a career. I didn't waste my time with the newspaper, but concentrated on the Internet. I was looking for jobs that required multiple language skills. It was when I saw an advertisement for a local hotel that I stopped and thought about it. Kristiana's comments about the concierge role came back to me.

I contacted the advertiser and talked to the person who placed the notice. I explained that I had no experience to offer. I had nothing other than my language proficiency. That seemed to be enough for them to offer me an interview. I accepted and we booked a time on Friday morning.

The Hotel Dos Hermanas was not large, more of the boutique variety. As I walked into the lobby, I was impressed with the décor and furnishings. Normally, I would have gone to the front desk to ask for my contact. In this case, I wanted to interact with the concierge. He was off to the side and standing at a desk in front of an office.

"Señor, I have an appointment with Señor Baamonde. Can you direct me?" I asked in Spanish.

"Right this way, Sir," he said immediately, leading me down a corridor to an office door, opening it for me and bidding me to enter.

"Gracias," I thanked him and walked to a woman who appeared to be a receptionist.

"I am Richard Barton and I have an appointment with Señor Baamonde."

She looked down at an open booklet in front of her and nodded.

"I will announce you," she said with a smile.

I liked what I saw. Very professional and courteous staff. The office was as well appointed as the lobby, not at all ostentatious. I had a good feeling about this hotel.

"Señor Barton, will you come with me?" the woman said as she returned.

I followed her to another office and was shown in. Behind a modest desk stood a middle-aged man, slim and well dressed, like so many Spanish businessmen. I continued to speak in Spanish.

"Thank you for seeing me, Señor Baamonde."

"You are very welcome. Please sit," he smiled politely.

I nodded and sat in a chair at the front corner of his desk.

"You have inquired about the concierge position. What was it that made you contact me?"

"I have a friend whose parents own a hotel in Switzerland. I have recently completed my degree in languages at the University of Sevilla. I am fluent in five languages and can manage some conversation in three others. My friend suggested I think about a career as a concierge."

"Ah ... if it were only so simple," he sighed. "I'm afraid that to be a successful concierge takes years of experience. While your knowledge of languages is very useful, the role of the concierge is very ... complex. It requires maturity, knowledge beyond your years. Most of these people have started in lowly jobs in small hotels. They begin as bellmen, or work at the reception desk. There is no rapid way to that position."

"I see. In your experience, sir, is there any career that you can think of ... besides that of translator ... that would suit someone of my skills?"

"That is a difficult question. You certainly present yourself well and with your education, I think you would do very well at this hotel, but it would mean beginning at quite a lowly job and working your way toward your goal. In the tourism industry, Sevilla is not yet on the big map, as they say. A young man like you would be valuable in the big resorts. Malaga, Marbella, Ibiza are full of young people like you from all over Europe. Perhaps there is an opportunity in Barcelona or Madrid. Who can tell?" he shrugged.

"Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, Señor. I appreciate your honesty. I must think about what I want for my future and move toward that."

"You are very welcome, Señor Barton. I repeat myself. You present yourself very well. I think when you find what you really want, you will do well. Good fortune to you."

I shook his hand and left, feeling somewhat let down, but not totally. I knew that I wouldn't just fall into a job at the snap of my fingers, but I was hoping to get a bit more encouragement that the usual "start at the bottom" speech.

I had yet to phone Kristiana. I'm not even sure I wanted to. Considering the impact that she had on me, I was at a loss to understand why. I had given no thought to what we might do if we were to date again. For whatever reason, it didn't seem important. Considering how I felt about our first time together, that made no sense. In the back of my mind were warning signals and perhaps I was listening to them. Was I headed for headaches if I got too involved with her? She would be easy to fall in love with. Almost too easy. Was her beauty only skin deep?

I put Kristiana to the back of my mind and renewed my search, this time looking beyond Spain. Why not Vancouver ... or Whistler. Vancouver was a world class destination. True, many of the visitors came from Asia and I had no knowledge of Asian languages. When I thought about it, my languages were almost exclusively of European origin. I had a smattering of Dutch and Polish, along with some Russian, but I wouldn't call myself skilled in any of the Slavic based languages.

However, one of the growing tourist industries was river cruises in Europe and Russia. Several companies competed for business on the Rhine, Main, Danube, Rhone and other central rivers. That had some appeal and I began to look at the various companies and see what their job offerings were. Every one of them seemed to be looking for staff, which told me they might have a high turnover. I would investigate.

I began to collect information and realized that not all river cruise operators were the same. Some, with the larger boats, held 150 guests. Others, offering more exclusive tours, would hold as few as eight or ten. The idea of some of the more exotic, private, and likely expensive tours was more appealing. I assumed that the crew would be few and have to be "jack of all trades" to the guests. When I looked at the prices, I could see that only the well-off could afford them. However, they might find my particular talent useful.

It seemed inevitable that I would expand my search to larger cruise companies. The Mediterranean had endless numbers of them, most of them large international corporations, but some smaller, more exclusive operators. I had a fair amount of sailing experience with my high school friends back in British Columbia, so I knew I wasn't prone to sea sickness. It was another possibility.

It was Saturday evening and I was sitting in a Tapas bar not far from our house when my cell chime rang.


"Do you not wish to see me again?"


I paused before I answered.

"You asked me to call you on Monday. This is Saturday. I thought you would be working today," I explained.

"I am working. This is my rest time. I wanted to hear your voice. I thought you might want to hear mine." She sounded somewhat chastened. Perhaps she was feeling ignored.

"I didn't have your cell number. I have it now that you have called."

"How would you call me Monday if you didn't have my number?"

"I would look it up ... or call you at your work and leave a message."

"Mr. Smart Man has all the answers," she said with a display of petulance.

I decided to make nice and try to put an end to her attitude.

"It is good to hear your voice, Kristiana. It brings back fond memories of us together. I couldn't forget that."

That seemed to be the tone she was hoping for.

"I have good memories too." She was almost whispering.

"Is there someone near you don't want to hear our conversation?"

"Yes," she whispered again. "Can I call you later?"

"Of course."

"Where are you? I can hear people and sounds."

"I'm in a tapas bar only a few blocks from home."

"I love your home. I wish we could be there alone."

"What if we could? What would you do?"

"I would swim naked in the pool and lie on the rug in front of the fire."


"We could make love all day."

I was grinning as I heard her wishes. "There could be a chance for that."

"There could? When?"

"Easy girl, it hasn't been decided yet, but my parents are talking about going to Madrid for a few days. My father has a business meeting and I'm sure my mother would rather shop in the big city than sit home alone with me."

"Wonderful!" I could hear the excitement in her voice. To her, it was a done deal. "When?"

"If it happens, they'll be leaving next weekend. Can you get some time off?"

"No ... I'm sorry. I am just a temporary worker. I have no holidays. Only my two days." She sounded regretful but not down.

"No matter. Two days is better than no days. I can pick you up from work on Sunday and take you back on Wednesday morning. That would give us three nights instead of just one."

"Hah! You are Mr. Smart Man. I can dream of it now. Will we make love in the swimming pool?"

"If you wish. I've never done it before, but there's always a first time."

"I will dream of that, too," she said, sounding energized.

"Is your break almost over?" I asked, realizing we had been on the phone for over ten minutes according to my phone.

"Yes. I must go back now, but I am happy I called you. I feel very good now. I will call you when I am finished here."

"Good. I'll be waiting for your call."

I didn't hear from her until almost midnight. She worked a split shift with a break from three until seven-thirty. They weren't ideal working conditions, but she told me they were common since people ate so late at night compared to North America or northern Europe.

"I am very tired, Richard. I think I will say goodnight to you and go to my bed now."

"I wish I were there with you," I said quietly. "Sleep well, my dear. I'll talk to you soon. Call me when you can."

"Yes, I will. Good night, Richard."

I lay back in my bed and thought about her once more. She seemed to be a different person, from one time to another. She had a temper, of that there was no doubt. But it wasn't an explosive one. More like one that would simmer and then bubble up from time to time. I suppose I could live with that if it got no worse. I had already experienced one hot tempered girlfriend and I wasn't prepared to go through that again. I'm not fond of conflict but Shannon had thrived on it. We were a short-lived couple.

I heard my father ask my mother if she would like to come with him to Madrid. My mother loved Madrid. It was shopping heaven for her. I was sure that Kristiana and I would have two full days together here, and better yet, three nights. I was already looking forward to it.

I patiently waited for Monday morning to arrive so I could leave for Osuna. I thought about driving there on Sunday night, but rejected the idea. Kristiana would be tired from work and there would be nothing gained from it other than the delight of waking up in the same bed.

When I arrived at her apartment just before eleven, I knocked on the door and waited for her to open it. It took a few moments before she arrived and I got a rather unpleasant surprise. She looked quite bedraggled and unhappy. She had an old terry housecoat wrapped around her and while not greeting me, she stood aside to allow me to enter.

"Are you all right?" I asked.

"I'm sorry, Richard. I am having my monthly menstrual cramps. I feel terrible. I'm not going to be a happy person for the next three days."

"I'm sorry to hear that, Kristiana. Is there anything I can do for you?"

She shook her head. "I am used to this. I had forgotten it was due and I should have warned you. I'm sorry you drove all the way down here to see me for this."

"It's only a half-hour, so don't apologize. I understand completely. But if it cheers you up, I can tell you my parents are going to Madrid next Saturday and will be gone for the week."

That brought a smile to her face. "I am so glad to hear that. I will feel much better by then and we can have some nice times together. I will dream about it, I know."

"Will you be able to go to work on Wednesday?"

"Oh yes, the worst of it will be over by tomorrow night. I will feel much better by then."

"I'm glad to hear that. Well, I'll go now and you can get some more rest." I leaned toward her and kissed her softly and she smiled slightly. That would have to be enough for this week.

I spent the rest of the week preparing my tissue-thin résumé to be included in my enquiries about possible job opportunities. I had a number of summer job experiences, but none in the hospitality industry. I'd been with my father's crew in Gerena for two summers and worked at glass works for one horrible three-month period. I didn't think Dante's Inferno could be any hotter than that. I stuck it out, but vowed never to set foot in another glass factory as long as I lived.

One other work experience was at a local newspaper, a supermarket giveaway where I did a number of menial tasks as a general gofer. It was a fairly modern shop with photo-typesetting and offset printing. Once in a while I would be asked to write a story, but that was very infrequent and other than helping with some translation of English to Spanish stories, my obligations hardly stretched my skills. I spent three summers there, right after high school and after my first two years at the university. The glass factory paid far more, but the environment was a once in a lifetime experience, not to be repeated.

My most recent experience was as an intern at an ancillary office of the Andalusian government, working on translating insignificant documents. It was tedious, boring work and, other than the fear of making an error, held no excitement whatsoever.

So, as I sent my résumé out to various cruise operators, it became a matter of sitting back and waiting for whatever response might come. I didn't expect miracles, but I hoped there might be an opportunity somewhere in the mix.

Kristiana was able to get away an hour early on Sunday evening and I picked her up just before eleven o'clock. I got a nice, warm kiss as a welcome. She put an overnight bag in the back seat and we set off for Bormujos. There was little traffic on the road and I stretched the speed limit to the maximum likely tolerance level, arriving at my house just thirty minutes after leaving Osuna. We walked into the house hand-in-hand and I led her up to my bedroom.

She wanted to change into something more comfortable than her working smock, so I left her for a few minutes. She took the opportunity to shower, then put on one of my sleeveless t-shirts that she must have taken from a drawer. Her pale blue panties completed the ensemble and she joined me in the living area in her barefoot, semi-clothed state.

"There, that feels so much better," she smiled.

"You must be one of the most beautiful women on the planet," I said, meaning every word.

"I am more than just pretty I will tell you," she said with some authority.

"I know that, but for a male ... I can barely be around you without wanting to make love to you."

"You see ... I am just a sex toy for you."

"Now don't get angry, Kristiana. You know me better than that."

"I don't know you very much at all," she complained. "I know you are handsome and smart and you want a new profession, but I don't really know you,"

Kristiana was a study in contrasts. Her exterior was soft and almost unbelievably pristine. Inside, she was more complicated. She was sitting beside me, but not so close that we were touching. I most desperately wanted to touch her.

"What do you want to know about me?" I asked.

"Now, you are thinking how you can seduce me."

"No," I said levelly. "I'm thinking you want to know more about the person you've decided to spend your time with."

"And you will tell me what you want me to hear so that you can seduce me," she frowned.

"Kristiana, are you unhappy with me? Is coming here a mistake?"

She looked surprised at my questions. "No. That is not what I am thinking. Oh ... Richard ... I am sorry. I don't know what I am thinking. You make me confused. I feel like a little girl sometimes when I am with you."

"Do you think I am not sincere?" I asked, wanting to know the truth.

"No ... I do not think that. Listen to me, Richard. This is important. All my life, since I was a little girl, I have been told I am beautiful. My father called me his princess. He still does some times. I liked being pretty when I was young. When I was in school, I liked all the attention I got from boys ... even some men. But for many, that is all they see. My pretty face and hair and breasts. They cannot see anything else. I want to be someone else now. I want to be Kristiana, the woman ... not the princess."

I reached for her hand and she gave it to me.

"You can't change being beautiful, but as you get older, people will see past that. I can see past that, but I will be honest. You make me weak when I am with you. You make me want to give you anything you ask for. When we made love, it was so wonderful that I couldn't begin to describe it. It was a fantasy that became real life. That doesn't mean I don't see the real you. I do."

"What is the real me? I don't understand," she asked, squeezing my hand.

"The real you is hidden. Trying to decide what is right for you and your future. You need to talk about that. You need to be honest with yourself and decide what you want from your life, not what you think others want."

"How old are you?" she asked, her brow furrowed once more.


"You seem older. I think you are more than smart. Perhaps you are wise, too."

"You're giving me too much credit. Maybe I should tell you all about my life since I was sixteen and I lost my virginity."

"Oh yes, please," she said, clapping her hands together and sitting up, wide-eyed.

And so I did. In all the gory detail. I hid nothing. I left out nothing. I bared my soul.

"My God, Richard. You have lived the life of a much older man," she said in awe.

"It's nothing I'm proud of, Kristiana. I took advantage of my looks and my station and now ... looking back on it ... I'm not very proud of myself."

"But you were young and not mature. How could you know what you know now?"

I was shaking my head. "That's no excuse. I broke a lot of hearts along the way just to get my own satisfaction. I had to learn not to look back and be immune to what people might have thought about me. I'm not proud of it today, but it is the past and that's not what I want to be any more."

She moved to me and embraced me. "Richard, you are being very honest with me. It is only fair that I be honest with you. You already know I am not a virgin. I haven't been since I was fifteen. When you told me about your past, I thought how it was like mine. We were two of a kind, were we not? Live for the moment, as the popular saying says.

"I'm trying to be better, Kristiana. I'm trying to stay constant and look to the future. Someday I will settle down and marry and have a family. I want that to be a constant. If I marry, I want it to be forever. I will be very careful in choosing a wife."

She smiled. She kissed me briefly, then returned for something more passionate. I held back giving her my opinion that she seemed insecure at times.

We lay beside each other after our lovemaking, our thoughts kept to ourselves. I did have a question that had been rolling around after Kristiana had told me about her life over that past seven years.

"Has any man ever asked you to marry him?"

"Yes," she answered instantly. "Two times."

"The same man?"

"No. One was a boy I was with when I was sixteen and he was eighteen. He was in love with me, but I was too young and I knew my parents would never permit it. We thought we were in love, but I know now that was not so."

"And the other?"

"He was an older man ... thirty-one years. It was last year. He was very nice, but I was not in love with him. He worked at our hotel, but left soon after I said no to him."

"I think it would be easy to fall in love with you," I said quietly.

"Are you in love with me, Richard?"

"I don't know. Not yet, but ... perhaps when we get to know each other better ... it might happen."

"Yes ... when we get to know each other more, it could happen for me too. I am older now and not so foolish. I can be hurt, but I will be careful. I am more wise now, I hope."

I had to keep telling myself that this twenty-two-year-old was not that far removed from being a teenager and even though I was only a couple of years older, my experiences were far different from hers. Perhaps I was more mature than my years. I know everyone matures at a different time in their lives. As an only child, I was given more freedom and more encouragement than many others of my age. My father never pushed or directed me outwardly. He was far more subtle than that. My mother, however, had great plans for me. Unfortunately for her, I wasn't playing according to her rules.

The weather was very nice, not too hot, but warm enough to use the pool. Kristiana was like a little kid at first, wanting to play and splash about. Her bikini was not one of the kind you might see on the beach at Marbella, that is excluding the women who choose to wear nothing at all. My guest's outfit was barely enough to be legal in my part of the world. Our back yard was quite private, particularly around the pool, and within seconds of her jumping in for the first time, her top was thrown up on the diving board and she was heading toward me with a glint in her eye.

"I love this pool," she shouted, waving her arms about. "I love this house. I wish I could live here and play in the pool every day."

"That's what I thought when we first moved here," I told her. "After a while, you get used to all this ... luxury. You get spoiled, I guess."

"I would never get spoiled," she stated emphatically before jumping up and wrapping her arms around my neck. We were chest deep in the water and her playful mood was contagious.

"I have to admit, I'm having a lot more fun since I'm sharing it with a beautiful woman."

"Good. And there is yet more fun to come," she giggled, rubbing her hand over my now well established erection.

"Is that all you think about," I kidded, poking the end of her nose gently.

"I think it is all you think about, Richard. I have only to touch you to make this," she grinned, squeezing my manhood.

"Ahhhh, I suppose that's true," I said, pulling her bottom down and off her. My trunks followed as she clung to my neck, nibbling on an ear between kisses.

She wrapped her legs around me and invited me into her, just as she had promised. I really wasn't the best sex I'd ever had, but it was different and Kristiana made the most of it. I had to rely on her lubrication as the pool water didn't help.

I backed her up against the poolside and became more forceful with my thrusts. She responded eagerly and matched my intensity. I could hear her gasping in my ear as she hung onto me. I knew when she orgasmed. I had heard it before several times. It was a grunting sound accompanied by little cries of satisfaction.

The two days and three nights we spent were beyond description. The sex ... the lovemaking ... was incredible, but along with it, I began to understand more about Kristiana and her complex personality. If there was one thing about her that puzzled me it was her insecurity. It would pop out at the most unlikely times. She would stand in front of the full length mirror in my room and inspect herself constantly.

"Do you think I am too fat?" she asked, pulling the pin from a verbal grenade.

"No," I answered immediately. "Not at all. Besides, I don't particularly like very skinny women. They don't appeal to me."

She was pinching the skin around her abdomen and above her hips, trying to convince herself that she wasn't fat. There was little to pinch.

"What is that little tattoo on your back?" I asked, desperately trying to avoid any further conversation about her size.

"It is my talisman," she said. "That is what my friend Mieko called it. It is my lucky charm."

"I'm glad it is small and not usually visible. I don't like tattoos," I said.

"I don't like them either," she said, turning to try and see it in the mirror. "Mieko had a larger one on her breast. Tattoos hurt and I don't like needles. This little one was all I would permit."

"Who is Mieko?"

"She is my Japanese friend. She came to Bellwald with some other students three years ago. We needed some extra room, so I let Mieko share with me. She was very nice and we are friends on Facebook."

"Good for you," I said. "It's good to learn about other cultures."

"Yes ... I think so too. But I do not think I would be happy in Japan. Very crowded and not much space. I am happier here in Spain ... or in Switzerland, or Norway."

"Canada is like that. Not so many people and plenty of room. The second biggest country in the world, after Russia."

"I would like to go to Canada someday. It looks very nice in the pictures."

"I'm biased. I live in British Columbia on the Pacific. The coastline is very much like Norway. Many inlets and mountains that drop right into the sea."

"Some people I know took a cruise from Vancouver to Alaska. They said it was very interesting and very nice. Have you been to Alaska?"

"Nope. It's not on my bucket list," I said.

"What is a bucket list?"

"I don't exactly know how it got its name, but it means a list of things to do, or acquire, or places to go. Right now, the top of my bucket list is to get to know a wonderful young blonde lady from Norway."

"And after that, what is next on this bucket list?" she smiled, lying down on the bed beside me.

"Find a job that I will be happy with."

"Richard ... I talked to my parents before I came with you. I asked them if they needed someone for the summer to work at the hotel. They said yes. I told them about you and your talent."

"Oh no ... you didn't tell them about my talented tongue, did you?" I kidded.

"Of course not! Don't be silly. I told them about all the languages you can speak and how handsome you are and smart, too. They would hire you to work on the welcome desk if you like them and they like you."

"Oh ... gee ... that's really nice of you, Kristiana. I hadn't even thought about working there this summer."

"Does that mean you would not do it?"

"No ... no ... not at all. In fact, it may help me make my mind up about my future. It might be a very good idea. So, your parents are back from their vacation?"

"Yes, only this week. I phoned them right away before they hired someone else. I told them you would be excellent for them."

"I hope they aren't disappointed. I should call them to let them know I am interested. I'm sure they'd like to meet me."

"Yes ... very good idea. We can call them now. They will answer."

I wasn't mentally prepared to talk to anyone about a job at that particular moment, but Kristiana wasn't going to wait and discuss it. She was already pressing buttons on her cell phone.

"Hello, Papa. It's me. Can you talk to me?"


"I talked to Mama about a man for the hotel this summer. Did she tell you?"


"Good. His name is Richard and he speaks many different languages. He is very handsome and quite smart. He has a university degree. Would you like to meet him?"


"Oh, good. Here he is now," she said, handing the phone to me."

I was completely unprepared, but thought I had better make the best of the opportunity.

"Hello, Mr. Nordberg, I'm Richard Barton."

"Hello, Richard. I'm Jan Nordberg, Kristiana's father," he said in a friendly voice. He didn't sound suspicious at all.

"I have to admit, Sir, that I have no experience in your business. I can speak seven languages well enough to get by, but the rest I will have to be taught."

"Well, the summer season is not quite so busy as the winter. That would give us some time to train you. However, the welcome desk is not very difficult if you are organized. Can you use a computer?"

"Yes sir. I'm very proficient on the computer."

"Well, then, when can you come to visit and see if we can make an agreement."

"I've just finished my schooling, Sir, so I can come any time. We certainly should meet so that you can assure yourself that I am suitable."

"If Kristiana has spoken truthfully, then I'm sure you will be suitable," he chuckled. "My daughter knows how to contact us, so when you have made your arrangements to travel, please let us know and we will meet you in Lausanne. The train from Lausanne to our area is very slow with many stops."

"Oh, that's very kind of you, Sir. I'll make sure you know my plans and your daughter has just given me your e-mail address, so I can contact you that way."

"Very good. I look forward to meeting you, Richard."

I passed the phone back to Kristiana and sighed. Well, I really did need a job and I really did want to get some inkling of what the hospitality industry was like. It just happened a little more quickly than I expected.

Kristiana closed off her call a minute later and lay down beside me.

"There. Do you see how easy it was to find you a career," she boasted with a smile.

"It always helps when you know someone who is connected to the boss," I replied with a grin.

"When will you go?" she asked.

I shrugged. "I have to look and see how to get there first. Then I can decide."

It didn't take long to realize train was not a practical option. I could get from Sevilla to Lausanne all right, but it would be a two day process and expensive. After some searching, I decided on a direct discount flight from Sevilla to Paris, then train to Lausanne. Total round trip air/rail cost was just over €300. That was less than I expected. I would overnight in Paris in the rail terminal. I'd done it before and could do it again. A late evening flight to Paris and an early morning train to Lausanne. I'd be in Lausanne before noon. Throw in the cost of the taxi and some food and I'd be risking €400 or less for the opportunity.

"So, what do you think?" I asked my new girlfriend.

"You can do this, Richard. My father will meet you at the train station and take you back. It is a small thing he can do if you will spend so much money to talk to him."

"It seems like a long way for him to come to get me," I suggested.

"Not so far, Richard. We are used to the trip. Some of our guests arrive by train as well and need transport to the hotel. We have a van for this purpose. You cannot live in the mountains and be near the big city too. He will be pleased you took so much trouble to see him."

I e-mailed my itinerary to Jan Nordberg and got a reply within a few minutes. He would be happy to meet me at the train station and would have a little sign with the resort's name on it. They were expecting some guests on the same train.

"Now we can be together all summer," she cooed as we lounged by the pool.

"Will it be hard to find some privacy?"

"No. We will find a way to be together."

I believed her. She would find a way.

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