The shopping mall began to fill about 6:00am. By about 8:00 the old men had finished walking. They gathered on one side of the food court, where they pulled several thermos bottles and Styrofoam cups out of a couple of backpacks. Their hats and manners suggested that a good number of them might have last names of Epstein, Goldstein, or Rubin.
A number of women of the same age had gathered after their walk and settled for several tables a short distance away. They were waiting for the Starbucks to open so they could get their Latte's. They often found some excuse to go over to the "Old Men's Sector" to ask for an opinion or help for something. It was no use, however, because they were gathered for the daily show in front of "Van Zant's."
It was like a bunch of seven year old boys watching a magic trick for the eighteenth time. You could have thrown a brick through a plate glass window, and none of the men would have turned their heads away from the show.
Gabriella Van Zandt usually arrived early to open her little shop that opened onto the Food Court. She had inherited it from her father. She had her large leather purse slung over her right shoulder and a large plastic shopping bag in each hand.
She had come back a weekend trip to visit the Clinton Library in Little Rock. She was wearing one of her trophies of the weekend. She had gone to one of the art galleries along the river front. She had found a Stetson hat. It was turned on a lathe out of wood. The hat had been made of green wood. It had been turned to about 1/8" in thickness and allowed to dry. The wood had been coated with tongue oil to keep it from drying out completely. It was surprisingly light but also extremely fragile. The "hatband" had been formed with a series of drilled holes; drilled at an angle so they looked like scales of an iguana. The iguana was beautiful.
Gabriella had long, high-heeled lizard skin boots that zipped up the sides and stopped just below her knees. The boots were invisible because her boot cut Levi's were worn outside and flared to just the bottom of her high heel boots. The fabric was the newer "skinny jeans" stretch fabric that fit like a glove.
Her starched, blue oxford clothe button collar shirt had been custom tailored with darts along the inseam so there were no wrinkles. Her medium size melon shaped breasts were not big, but seemed to cantilever beyond belief for non-surgically enhanced expectations.
They knew she was coming even before she turned the corner. They had grown accustomed to the familiar "clip-clop" and timing of those high-heeled shoes. Sometimes she wore a silk pant suit; sometimes she wore a summer dress. It didn't make any difference. The men recognized the sound and cadence like the Pavlov dog.
They sat with all chairs turned to watch the spectacle. This forty-year-old woman did not bounce or wiggle when she walked. It was more like a cheetah or jaguar gliding across the room. Her butt-cheeks seemed to clench and loosen like an animal stalking a gazelle through the grass.
She smiled at them and gave a slight wink as she put one plastic bag in her mouth and pulled out her keys. She had to bend over to unlock the deadbolt at the bottom of the chain-link gate to her shop. The men were always too dumbfounded with her to have the manners to help. Besides, they did not want to miss the rear view as she unlocked the gate.
After Gabriella had raised the gate, the men filtered into her shop. It was really an autograph store. The memorabilia covered almost anybody one could think of. There were letters to and from presidents. One of the prize mementos of the store was a photograph of Cochise. It had been taken when he had been touring with a circus. He had learned to make the letters to his name. He had written his name vertically, with one letter above the next down the side of the photograph.
This was the main feature that kept people coming into the store. She was not about to let it go, so there was a price of $40,000.00 on it. She had two more at home in her safe, but they were the darkest secrets in her life.
The men sat at the long glass dining room table just inside the coiled chain link gate. They made small chit-chat as Gabriella filled the Museum Quality Espresso Machine with filters. When the coffee was ready, she put two white boxes of glazed donuts on the table and served them coffee.
At several thousand dollars each for Autographs, there were not a lot of them sold every day. On the other hand, she could always attract lots of people in and sell a lot of coffee for $2.00 per cup. The arrangement was too good to pass up. The bad economy had decimated the mall with closures. She had been offered the small space for nothing because they could not rent all of it. It was better to have somebody fill a space on a monthly lease basis than have brown butcher's paper along the vacant spaces. Besides, Gabriella had received national attention periodically for some unique autographs and the celebrities who came into town to see the place.
One of the displays that almost nobody noticed were the puppets. On a shelf behind the cashier's counter was a row of puppets. They were not for sale. Women just seem to have a way of adding sentimental items to everything; whether it is a doll in their car; seashells in the bathroom or pillows on the bed. They want something to make everything feel like home.
Gabriella's father and mother had been part of the French resistance during the war. He and his wife had carved and clothed these puppets and put on shows throughout France as a cover for their travels. It was a way of covering long distances and meeting all sorts of people during the war. The seams had been sewn and re-sewn as a way of concealing different coded messages. These items were not for sale at any price.
Once the men had their coffee, Gabriella pulled a deck of cards out of her purse and stood at one end of the long table. As she opened the deck she smiled and said: "I had a stiff neck and had a hard time sleeping last night. I was almost late this morning because I went to see the doctor about it. He said I had a Viagra stuck in my throat."
She shuffled the cards, and gave the deck to one of the men to shuffle further. When they were all satisfied with the shuffle, Gabriella spread them all out in a long fan. With a flourish of her hand, she turned the cards all face up to show they were in no order.
She told one of the men to cut the cards into two piles. She told another man to further cut each stack into two more piles. She asked another man to point to one pack of cards.
Gabriella took out her cell phone and passed it over the back of the card and said: "seven of hearts."
She asked another man to point to another stack. Again she passed her cell phone over it and said: "five of spades."
The sequence continued until she had the top card of each stack called out. After naming each card, she picked the card up and held it in a packet in her own hands. After the last card was identified, she slipped the last card onto the bottom of her packet as she moved the cards to the table and flipped them over.
There on the table were the four cards in the same sequence she had called out. The men clapped and smiled. She could have cut a doughnut in half and gotten the same applause, but it was a very deceptive trick. She always had a new one whenever she came in.
It was a good way to get more people into the shop and get people talking about the place to their friends. There was always a group of people who came in to see the autographs, get a cup of coffee or watch the latest trick.
While the men were laughing, Gabriella looked up to see a tall black man leaning against one of the columns at the side of her entrance. He was about six-feet four and 220 pounds. She recognized him right away as Mariano Ramos, the team's first round draft choice at the beginning of that summer.
She had sent him a letter once she knew he would be joining the team to explore the possibility of an autograph. There was a disturbing resemblance they shared. The 6'-4" giant had shaved the sides of his head and the remaining thick dark hair had been braided along the top and down to the base of his neck.
Gabriella had her reddish-brown hair done into a French braid that kept her hair up and out of her face. It cascaded down to just above her waist. They also had almost matching Levis. Both seemed extremely long legged and neither had any fat.
Gabriella had seen pictures of him jumping up to grab a $100.00 bill off of the top of a basketball backboard. She wanted that picture with his signature.
"Good morning Mr. Ramos. I am so happy to see you. Can I get you some coffee? I have a fresh bag of 100% pure Kona Coffee. It's on the house for you." There was a round of boos from the old men who had paid full price for their coffee. Never the less, they were doing it in a teasing mood because they all knew she had a business to run.
"Let's see those cards." He said. He shuffled them and passed them around for others to do the same. The switch was subtle and clever.
"Somebody give me a number between one and 52" he said.
"2.1416" came the reply. Everybody laughed. "Pick a whole fucking number." He said with a big smile.
"Sixteen" came the reply from the man he was pointing at.
"I'm going to riffle through the cards. Tell me when to stop."
When the "stop order" came, Mariano cut the deck to the indicated card and placed it on the table. Somebody turned it over. It was the Jack of Hearts.
"There's an unopened deck of cards in Miss Gabriella's purse behind the counter. Would it be a good trick if you took the cellophane off of the deck, opened it and started counting the cards as you lay them on the table, and the sixteenth card was the Jack of Hearts?"
The men looked at each other. "There's no fucking way. There's no fucking way he could have got to my purse." Her mind screamed. She had seen the trick before. A young man from Wichita had gone through Kansas City. He was on his way to New York. He wanted to see if he could make a living doing Street Magic at Times Square or in the Subways. She never knew how he did it, and nobody else knew either.
He told Gabriella to go get her purse. Gabby went over to the cash register and leaned over the counter to pull it off of the back shelf. She brought it back and set it on the table in front of everybody else. She reached into the big purse and spread the sides of it to see what was inside. There were three blue-backed decks of unopened bridge sized playing cards. She took out one and handed it to Mariano. His hands were huge. The switch was clever and easy with hands as big as his. He handed it to one of the men seated at the table.
"I don't want to touch the cards. I don't want anybody to be able to say I manipulated them in any way. You do it. Tear off the cellophane, open the deck and count out the cards."
The crowd was silent except for one, "No fucking way" at the back of the room.
The crowd counted off: "thirteen; fourteen; fifteen; sixteen." The old man turned over the sixteenth card and dropped it on the pile; Jack of Hearts. The room was stunned as the old men looked at each other. Then they cheered and applauded.
"That's a pretty good trick. Where did you learn it?" Gabriella asked as he handed the pack back to her. "There's a street magician in New York, at Washington Park, I think. I traded two tickets to the BCS Championship game to him for it."
"I didn't just trade him for the secret. I made the stipulation that if I got him super bowl tickets he would never perform it again, so now, I am the only one who can do it."
"He's got a better one now, I've been told. I'll have to go see it next time I'm in New York." He said wistfully.
"If you're free for dinner tonight, I could be convinced to show you a couple other ones I've come across."
Gabriella had never been out with a black man before. She was good with the men over sixty or so. She was comfortable flirting and socializing with them. She was good with children and young boys up to the age of fourteen or so. Somewhere along the line, she had never grown comfortable with men ten years or so, either older or younger than her. They were always hitting on her. A few bad experiences when she was a teenager had just shut down her desire to date. She had never married, and rarely had sex. This man seemed to be almost everything she despised. He was young, athletic, sociable, and witty and there was something else she could not put her finger on. Maybe it was his eyes. His warm smile seemed to be hiding something; something sinister, perhaps?
Gabriella couldn't tell for sure, but there was something in her instincts that made her want to say "No." On the other hand, she wanted something from him. She wanted that autograph. It was always intoxicating to be around these athletes. It was like walking to the edge of Mt. Haleakala and leaning over the edge to peer at the glowing lava. One small slip and you were gone, but it was so tempting to see how close you could come; how far you could lean over.
Mariano Ramos was the smoldering glowing lava that she knew she should stay away from. It was hard to say no to that image of him; shirtless, with his baseball cap on backwards stretched out as far as he could reach to grab that bill taped to the top of the backboard.
Despite all her reservations, she heard a small soft voice say: "I think that would be a tempting offer. I close at 6:00 tonight. If you're paying, we could go to "Guinevere's Chocolate Shop" in the Garment District. They exchanged phone numbers so she could text him her address.
At about 7:00 Mariano pulled up in front of her small split level house. He texted her that he was out in front. "Not very chivalrous," she thought as she locked her door behind her. At the curb, was a very small car, with no top. It said something about "Lotus" on the front. Mariano came around to the passenger side of the car.
"Oh, fuck," she thought. "Maybe I better go back inside and change clothes." She thought as she studied the layout of the car. From the curb, it was almost a step down to the car. The seat was a joke. It was barely a padded leather seat sitting on the floorboard. Just in front of the seat was a fire extinguisher mounted sideways.
Gabriella's short dress and high heeled boots made it almost impossible to lower herself into the car. Mariano was used to it, so he grabbed her right hand. Gabriella tried to use her left hand to cover herself as she tried to pivot sideways while he helped her lower herself to the seat.
The five point seat belt was another matter. He practically undressed her to get her strapped in. The shoulder straps had her shoulders pinned back against the back of the Kirky series 70 aluminum containment racing seat. It had foam padding, but was built for safety more than comfort. With her shoulders pinned back, she was unable to keep much modesty as Mariano snapped the lab belt across her. Then the belt from under the seat, up between her legs made her blush. Mariano looked at her dress for a moment; studying the problem. He unfastened the first two buttons closest to the hem so he could bring the belt up to the clasp on her lap.
Gabriella blushed as she was helplessly exposed almost to her crotch. Mariano was enjoying the view as he came around to his side of the car. "I sure like your dress tonight. I don't think I will be in any hurry to get there." He said as he slammed his door.
Gabriella watched him with mixed emotions. There was that look about him again, that made her uneasy. On the other hand, he had a genuine smile and a reassuring manner about him as he drove to the Coffee Shop. When they got there, he went around letting her out. She couldn't have done it by herself. He opened the door and knelt down next to her as he slowly unbuckled the belts. He took his time; talking slowly and examining her discreetly.
When she was out, he held her hand as they walked the short distance to the restaurant. Guinevere's Chocolate Shop was a lot like her Autograph store. It had a display cabinet of candy; another of ice cream, and a series of coffee thermoses of different flavors. There was only one size of cup. It is ridiculous to have a small, medium and large cup if you have free refills.
They went outside and sat at one of the aluminum patio table and chair arrangements, surrounded by a hedge of sumac. Mariano asked her lots of questions about the city, places to visit and things to do. He was from the south, and new to Kansas City. She told him about the different museums, art galleries, theaters and historic buildings.
He did not seem quite like her perception of typical professional athletes. Still, there was something unsettling about him she couldn't put her finger on. He held her hand as he talked to her. He did not stare at her breasts. Her dress had a low scallop to it but did not show the cleavage he was used to seeing.
She had forgotten the few buttons he had purposely forgotten to re-button after he had removed the seat belt. A number of couples interrupted their own dates to come by, asking for autographs.
"We're going to a bar nearby. Would you care to join us?" was a common line he was confronted with whenever he went out. It was always flattering, but was pretty unsettling to his dates. It reminded Gabriella that he was never alone in public; and that women would be constantly propositioning him.
"Would you like to go up to my place to help me unpack some of my stuff? I could use a woman's viewpoint for things to get."
"Thanks, Mariano; that's very flattering, but I'm not going to a man's apartment this late at night with somebody I have just met." She thanked him for the coffee and a chance to talk.
Mariano knew the car was worth every penny as he knelt down one more time to unclasp her safety harness when they got back to her house. "Aren't you going to invite me in?" he asked. Somebody might be in there hiding; waiting to assault you in some evil way. A woman with your looks can't be too careful."
Gabriella smiled but shook her head. "We never did discuss the pictures I wanted you to autograph and what you would charge." She said as she stood at the bottom step of her porch.
Mariano reached up under her chin and levered her face up towards him. Her heart skipped like she was a teenager as she closed her eyes and felt his lips against hers. She didn't know whether to turn and avoid him or accept him. She wanted his autograph, but maybe not on these terms. She did not reach up to wrap her arms around him as he had done to her.
It was a rather non-committal response from Gabriella; not accepting or rejecting him. She kissed him again. "Good night." She said as she squeezed his hand. She turned and took her keys out of her purse, not really knowing quite how she felt about everything. She had gone so long without doing anything like this. It seemed new to her. She didn't know whether to feel good or alarmed about it.
The next morning, Gabriella went through the normal routine of opening her shop in front of the lecherous old men; making the coffee; telling jokes and pulling a new card trick on them. She was a little nervous, wondering whether or not Mariano would show up.
Close to closing time, her cell phone chirped. It was from Mariano.
"I'm going jogging tonight. Go home; get your shorts and go with me if you're no pussy. I'm going to jog about five miles before dark. I already ran 10 miles of intervals this morning."
He gave her the address. "At least we'll be outside. How bad can that be?" she thought to herself. Every exchange between herself and Mariano had her in conflict. She was both enamored and alarmed by the man.
Gabriella pulled up in her 1966 yellow Volkswagen in front of his rented condo. He still hadn't been in town long enough to know which part of town he wanted to live in or how permanent his situation might be.
Gabby had her old college track outfit that still fit. She was wearing indoor warm-up shoes; short cotton running shorts, and a form fitting sleeveless Lycra top. She had not worn a bra when she was out for track. She had been a late bloomer, and her early years of track didn't have need of one. The obliviousness for a bra was more out of habit than an effort to appear provocative. She was a little naive about some things.
"What's fair is fair." She said to herself as she texted Mariano from the seat of her car.
When he came out, he was wearing jogging shoes; grey cotton football warm-up pants; and no shirt. His muscles gleamed and his abdominal muscles flexed as he walked down the front walk. Gabriella tried not to stare at him as he stood in front of her car.
"Lock the thing up and put your keys in the sumac by the mailbox" he said.
Mariano had no trouble talking as they jogged slowly. He had no idea how proficient a runner she was, so he started out slow. Gabby was okay, but struggled trying to make conversation with him as he increased the pace.
It didn't take long to go from his condo, downtown and back. When they got back, both of them were soaking wet. It had been over 100° that week, so the temperature even in the evening was still pretty warm.
Gabriella was still talking to him as he opened the door for her. She wasn't really thinking as she allowed herself to be guided in. Once inside, he pulled out a dining room chair and started taking off his shoes.
"We can take a shower before we go somewhere to eat." He said nonchalantly. Gabriella was stunned. What did he mean? Did he mean for her to take a shower first and he would shower after she was done? He was undressing without looking up to see what she was doing.
Gabriella sat in another chair and slowly unfastened her shoes; not really sure how to proceed. She moved real slow, hoping he would go in by himself.
Mariano stood as he slipped the soaking cotton warm-ups off of him. He stood there in his jock; waiting for her. Gabriella froze; not knowing whether to proceed or run.
She tried to keep her head down and focused on the laces of her shoes; refusing to look at him.
She felt his hands on her shoulders. He levered her torso up. He hardly interrupted their conversation as he pulled her arms up over her head. He pulled her soaked shirt up over her head like permission was a foregone conclusion. Gabby had still not completely made up her mind what she should be doing.
"You're a fucking forty year old un-married woman. What the fuck are you holding out for?" her mind screamed at her inner indignation.
Gabriella could not help crossing her hands in front of her as he tossed the wet garment on the carpet. It seemed like a foregone conclusion on his part that she was going to get in with him. He hooked his thumbs into her shorts and pulled down her panties and jogging shorts in one motion.
It all had happened so quick, Gabby had not had time to be indignant about anything. If she had any idea what had been in store for her, she wouldn't have gone into his condo.
Mariano snaked his jock off and dropped it on top of her clothes. Gabby almost gagged at the sight of this creature he had exposed. It was completely flaccid, but was bigger than anything she had imagined. She probably should have guessed when he had palmed and switched card decks out of her purse. She had thought at the time, those were the biggest fucking thumbs she had ever seen. No wonder he was such a high draft pick as a receiver. He could probably catch the ball with one hand.
There was hardly a break in their conversation as he guided her into the shower and adjusted the temperature. Gabriella had her hands crossed in front of her out of modesty and to protect herself from the uncertain water temperature.
Gabby stood there; getting soaked and not sure quite what to do.
She saw Mariano reach around her to get the large bar of soap. He pulled her against him; with her back against his front. As he rubbed the soap across her front, she could feel that it was no longer impersonal on his part. She felt it against her. She could feel it start to grow. The soaping got slower and more deliberate. He handed her the soap. She held it in front of her in both hands. Mariano rubbed his hands over the bar and then started to caress her. There was little pretense they were trying to get clean.
He had his right hand wrapped around her left breast. She could feel the forefinger of his left hand behind her; searching for the opening. He finally found it. She did not prevent him from entering. She could feel him trying to insert another finger as they searched deeper.
Gabriella put the soap on the ledge and closed her eyes. She reached up with both hands to wrap them around his neck as she raised her left leg and rested it on the ledge between the wall and top of the tub. More fingers entered.
This was what she had seen in his eyes when he had been leaning against her shop entrance that first day. She had seen it in his eyes, but had refused to recognize that look.
She heard somebody groan as he pressed and rubbed the little fleshy nub at the top of her opening. She recognized the voice. She was reluctant to accept that it was hers. She could hear it shorten its breath. She could hear it panting and groaning as she turned her head slowly back and forth. She was embarrassed that she could not stop the mewing.
When the shuddering started she was powerless to hide the groans. They were hers. She could not hide behind a shield of ambivalence. Her appearance of aloofness had been shattered. The façade of dignity she had tried to present for years seemed to be gone. She had to be rid of this man who now knew she had a deep seated passionate side to her. She had to get out; but she didn't want to.
He turned her and held her until her shuddering subsided. She cried softly as she leaned against him. She allowed him to dry her off as she stood there. He dressed and went out to her car to get her dress clothes for supper.
Dinner was nice; not that she noticed. It could have been anywhere, she didn't care. She knew what was going to happen when they got back. Why didn't she run? Why didn't she make an excuse that she had to leave early? There were a million excuses she could have made to leave him, but something kept her around.
Dinner went as expected. So did the rest of the evening. Gabriella knew she had to get away, but seemed unwilling to run. The affair continued for weeks. Gabriella was intoxicated by her terror and infatuation with him.
Over time, their roles seemed to reverse. Instead of him being the one who wanted her, she was now the one struggling to keep him. "Whoever likes the other least is the one in control," as the old saying goes.
Gabriella found herself struggling to please him. She knew he could have anybody else he wanted. Even though she knew this was most likely a temporary fling for each of them, she was determined to stretch it out.
Over a period of time, he seemed to be testing her. "Did she really like him, or was she a groupie that was trying to piggy back on his fame and money?" he wondered.
Finally they were at Guinevere's Chocolate Shop having coffee and sharing a slice of Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake, when Mariano spotted a table of men staring at her. He was intrigued at the prospect of testing her.
Her cell phone chirped. It was Mariano; across the table from her. Her face blanched at the message. She starred at him, searching for some sign of compassion; of reprieve from the message she had received. Now she recognized it. This was the look that had terrorized her when they first met at her little shop.
"What the fuck." She thought as she brushed the one tear from her eye. "Who am I anyway/' she said to herself as she watched Mariano get up, pay the check and leave. She deleted the message from her phone. It wasn't a total surprise. They had talked about it, but she was hoping he wasn't serious. She was able to talk him out of it several times before, but this time he seemed to be ready to walk out on her if she didn't give in.
She hadn't really given in; or consented. She just quit objecting to his comments. She had gone into the bedroom and undressed. She put on the clothes he had picked out. Sitting naked on the bed, she took the silk stockings he handed her. They had an embroidered elastic band at the top and came to the edge of her crotch. She put on the high heeled boots; crossed her legs and zipped them up. She felt like a sacrificial lamb as she stood; with no panties or bra to conceal herself. She took the dress he handed her. He sat on the bed and watched her put the dress over her shoulders and slowly button the front.
She sat down in front of the vanity mirror and inspected her hair. Her French braid made her look like a ballet dancer. When she put on her wire rimmed glasses, she looked more like a professor. She took the small clutch purse that had her cell phone and a small amount of money in it. Mariano opened the door for her and they got in his car. Maybe he will change his mind she tried to tell herself.
When Mariano had gotten up from their table and left, she went over to the row of insulated coffee thermoses for a refill. One of the balding, middle aged men from one of the nearby tables had been watching her. He went over to get a refill and started making small talk with her.
"I couldn't help but notice that your husband got up and left. I hope you're not having any trouble." He said.
"Oh, he's not my husband. This was supposed to be our first date. That's why we came to a coffee shop. He left and left me without a ride home. I may have to call my sister for a ride." Gabriella tried not to choke on her words as her eyes welled up. That part was real. The nervousness in her voice was real. Her shaking hands were real. The conversation had been pre-arranged by Mariano.
He was on his way to her home. He had taken the light bulb out of the walk-in closet in her bedroom and placed a folding chair behind the louvered bi-fold doors. He had also hidden a camera in the vines of the plant next to the television. Gabby was horrified at what he had done in front of her.
Gabriella could hardly control her breathing as she gave the stranger directions to her home. "You've been so kind to go out of your way to give me a ride home. You're welcome to come up for a cup of coffee before you leave." She said as he opened her car door for her. She tried to ignore the wedding ring he wore.
Gabriella thought about the shelf of puppets in her autograph shop. She thought about how she felt it would be like to be one; powerless; with somebody else pulling the strings. That would have to be her mind set tonight. She told herself she was powerless to control the outcome.
Gabriella opened the door and went in ahead of him. She picked up the remote and handed it to him as she went over to the Keurig. It had already been set up and ready to turn on. The television had also already been programmed. Mariano had already put in a CD that he had made of Gabriella.
The CD was a fairly innocent but quite provocative home video he had made of her. It showed her getting ready to go out. She started out in a thong and open tip quarter cup bra. She was talking to somebody off camera about things she had to do for work. She sat in front of her mirrored vanity and was combing her hair into her French braid. She had to lean her head back over the chair to get her hair straight. She would run a comb through it and add a little more hair to the braid as she worked her hands down the back of her head.
With her head back over the chair and her arms up over her head, her open tip bra left her long pink nipples pointing to the ceiling. The bald middle aged man felt he had won the lottery as he sat there watching the video.
He watched her put on her dress and button it. When she was done, the dress fit like a glove but didn't cover much of her legs. When she picked up her keys and purse and left the room, that was the end of the video.
By then, Gabriella was sitting next to him with one leg tucked up under her and the other on the floor, dangling over the edge of the couch. The hem of her already short dress had been unbuttoned almost to her crotch for her to sit that way. She still felt that Mariano would come charging out of the closet claiming he had made a mistake.
The bald man put down the remote. "Where the fuck are you Mariano." Her mind screamed as he cupped her chin and pulled her face towards him. She turned her face to meet his. Her heart was in her throat as he rubbed his lips across hers. She closed her eyes as she felt his tongue caressing her lips. She tried to tell herself she had to loosen up. "Surely he will hear her heart screaming to erupt and know something is wrong." She thought.
Gabby refused to cooperate or participate as he pulled her closer. "Could Mariano see it was starting from where he was in the closet?" she wondered.
He started undressing her as he kissed her. They were both older adults. He was already married. He wasn't going to waste a lot of time with foreplay. They both knew what they were doing. He was ready to fuck her right there on the couch. Gabby knew what Mariano wanted, and stopped him.
She stood; gently took his hand and guided him into the bedroom. She turned on the small light on the nightstand as she took the pillows off and pulled the comforter off and turned down the blankets. She guided him to sit on the edge of the bed so he was sideways to the closet. She didn't want him looking at the partially open door and getting suspicious.
Gabriella's heart was about to explode out of her throat as she faced both the camera and the dark closet door and sank slowly to her knees. She fondled it reluctantly and made small talk; thanking him again for the ride home. She wasn't really sure what all she said to him as she wrapped the fingers of her left hand around it. She used her right forearm over his left thigh for support as she leaned forward. She closed her eyes as she rubbed her lips across it.
Gabby tried to shut her mind to what she was doing (with a stranger) She tried to shut her mind to why she was doing it. It was a futile attempt to keep a much younger man who she wasn't sure she really wanted. A thousand thoughts rushed through her mind as she kissed the tip of him.
"I don't think you ever told me your name." she said softly as she rubbed her lips across the tip again.
The man was silent. He had gotten this far with her, he wasn't about to give up his name now. He groaned as he watched her lips slide over the edge of his crown. Gabby turned her head slowly from side to side as she used the sides of her cheeks; tongue and lips to caress what she had in her mouth.
By now, Mariano was squeezing himself as he sat naked in the closet watching his beautiful girlfriend try to demonstrate her blind allegiance to him. He was intoxicated with his control over her. He had to stay as still as possible. He couldn't give away his position, or could he?
Gabby tried not to cry when he erupted. Mariano had shown her how to position her thumbs to keep the eruption from escaping before she could swallow. As the shuddering subsided, she slowly relaxed the pressure of her thumbs against the canal along the bottom so the semen came out in small enough amounts for her to swallow it all. When he was done, she licked and caressed it with her tongue, like a mother cat cleans a newborn kitten.
She tried to make small talk with him as he dressed. He made a feeble attempt to thank her for what she had done. Both knew they would never see each other again as the door clicked shut behind him. Gabriella smiled feebly as Mariano opened the closet door. She didn't need to ask: "How did I do?" It was obvious by his condition that he had been excited by her exhibition.
She went into the bathroom to vomit. She rinsed out her mouth and brushed her teeth; trying to erase the memory. She wasn't done though. She knew that the excitement she had created in Mariano would have to be consummated. She went back into the bedroom where Mariano was now sitting down on the edge of the bed.
She knelt down in front of him and caressed him with the washcloth in an attempt to procrastinate her second oral exhibition. "Well, how was that?" She could not hold back her curiosity.
"You were incredible. I love you beyond words." Gabby tried to present a smile she did not feel as she brushed her lips across him. She had reluctantly grown to accept this role as a way of keeping him interested. She continued to make more small talk as she fondled and kissed him. She extended her tongue and flicked it against the tip while he responded with his own small talk. It didn't matter what he said. The fact that he was speaking to her was a comforting response to her lips around him.
They continued their emotional and verbal interaction as she completed her performance for the second time that night. They showered when they were done.
Gabriella had hoped that this one act would prove beyond reproach her allegiance to him; that once was enough. She had hoped that they would now be a couple. She had no idea that Mariano took this adventure as the beginning of an escalation of excitement he was determined to exploit.
For a while, the excitement had been enough. Gabby tried to put the incident behind her.
Unknown to her, Mariano had been exploring other ideas; darker and more deviant than her first tryst. He noticed that there was going to be a Jewelers of American Convention in town. He booked a room under a fictitious name.
Her heart almost stopped when he outlined his scheme. She tried for weeks to talk him out of it. Once again, it was the old "fuck or walk" kind of a deal from a yacht two miles out at sea. Gabriella couldn't believe what was happening to her. She was a normal, well adjusted woman with a decent income. She had a good life. Why was she so emotionally tied to this "danger and excitement addict?" What was attracting this beautiful woman to a demented sadist half her age? She had no idea. Like an alcohol addicted doctor who knows better, she continued like a moth attracted to an open flame.
Gabriella showed no signs of resistance when he laid out her ensemble for the evening. She had been psychologically exhausted trying to talk him out of the plot the week before. She was numb from the battle. She tried to shut her mind out of what was being asked of her.