Sean Reynolds sat on the edge of the bed, with only a white bath towel draped across his lap to protect his modesty — a modesty that was in serious danger from the sight only a dozen or so feet away. Short of closing his eyes, it would’ve been impossible for the twenty-one year old redhead not to see the woman in whose name the motel room had been registered. She had, after all, left the door to the bathroom wide open, just so he could watch her.
Clad in a pair of black panties and a matching push up bra, the dark haired woman was, Sean well knew, only a few years younger than his own mother. Not that he could ever imagine his mother looking anything like the woman in the bathroom, not even back when she had been his age.
Totally enthralled, Sean continued to watch as she took a small spray bottle from a toiletry kit on the vanity and sprayed herself with the contents. First on one wrist, which she then rubbed against the other, then her forearms as well, followed by a squirt down the folds of her breasts, and finally a quick burst across the front of her panties. The thirty-eight year old turned and gave him a brief smile before stepping towards the doorway, richly exaggerating the sway of her hips and breasts as she did.
Moving into the bedroom, she paused by the bureau, giving him the chance to take a good look at her in the full light. One hand rested on her hip as the other brushed across her rounded breasts, outstretched fingers drawing attention to their fullness. Then, with an inviting smile on her face, she closed the distance between them, stopping just close enough to the bed for Sean to bring his hands around and cup the cheeks of her ass — a gesture that broadened her smile. At the same time, the brunette brought her hands to the sides of the young man’s face, gently guiding it between her breasts.
Deeply inhaling the mix of her own natural scent and that which she had sprayed there, Sean marveled at the amazing turn of events that had brought him to this place and time, one that, even in his most outlandish fantasies, he could never have imagined possible.
The woman reached down and slipped her hand beneath the towel, closing her fingers around the hardness she found there. A pleased smile filled her face as she ran her hand up and down its length, gently stroking it until the motion of her hand caused to towel to drop away.
“Hey Sean, pass me the steak sauce again, will ya?” Mark Sullivan asked across the table as he put down the fork after tasting his entrée.
Sean picked up the small bottle and handed it to his friend, wondering how he could even taste the meat on his plate with the amount of sauce he had already drowned it in. Still, it was Mark’s stomach, not his, and he was the one who would have to deal with it later. Sean had ordered the chicken, figuring that would sit better after they’d had a few drinks later on.
They, Mark, Kurt Walsh, and himself, had come to McGuire’s Steakhouse after work to have some dinner before heading over to the Pavilion, a popular dance club that was frequented by both townies and students from the local college. The choice of the Pavilion was really a no-brainer, as there were few other places to really go in Oak Hills on a Saturday night — at least, none with a two to one female to male ratio, which was its main point of attraction.
“Hey guys,” Kurt interrupted, “don’t look now, but I think that woman at the bar is checking us out.”
Ignoring his instruction, both Mark and Sean looked up from the table and turned in the direction Kurt had indicated. As they did, the youngest of the group added that he had first noticed her looking at them a few minutes before.
This early in the evening, the restaurant was sparsely populated and the booths to their right and left were empty. So it was pretty much a certainty that she had indeed been staring at the three of them, something which she continued to do for a few long moments, even after they had begun to return the attention. Then, in a casual motion, she turned around and picked up her drink off the bar.
“What do you think that was all about?” Sean wondered out loud as he shifted his attention back to his own table.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Mark said with a laugh as he followed suit. “Young or old, the ladies can’t keep their eyes off the Markster.”
Both of his friends laughed, although Sean’s was only half-hearted. The three of them had been friends since high school, with only a few months’ age difference between Sean and Kurt and an additional year and a half separating the two of them from Mark. That had been the result of the latter having to repeat two grades along the way. All of them now worked for the construction company owned by Mark’s uncle.
While Mark and Kurt shifted to another subject, Sean took a second, longer look at the woman at the bar. She was wearing a short sleeved purple blouse and white slacks, along with a pair of low black loafers. Her dark hair was cut short, but in the dim light it was hard to get a good look at her face — other than to see that she was, for her age, still attractive.
“Hey, did I tell you guys that I went out with Paula Papadopulos last weekend?” Mark said, changing the conversation back to him. “Talk about a set of knockers,” the crew cut blond added, making a few additional comments about the size and shape of her nipples, the insinuation being that he was describing them from a first hand observation.
Mark tossed in a few more comments about Paula’s anatomy, but as had become the norm of late, Sean had already stopped paying attention. In recent months, he’d grown tired of the way Mark always acted like they were all still back in high school. The reason Mark did so, the redhead had come to believe, was because those had been his glory days, and it had all pretty much been downhill since.
Sean himself never claimed to be an angel, and since losing his virginity in high school had enjoyed reasonable success with girls. He just found it impossible to believe that any guy scored as much as his friend claimed to, at least here in Oak Hill. It had become Sean’s practice to take the number of girls Mark claimed he got to second base with, and reduce it by a third. For third base, an additional third dropped off and he never counted even half of the girls Mark professed to have hit home runs with.
Kurt, who, Sean believed, had never gotten past second base with any girl in his life, took everything Mark said at face value. In his eyes, Mark was a legendary stud with a track record that movie stars and professional athletes could only envy.
Soon enough they were done with their meals and, after Sean again reminded Mark that a fair tip was fifteen and not ten percent, they all got up from the booth and started for the door. As he had been getting up from his seat, Sean noticed that the woman at the bar was again looking in their direction. Still curious, he decided not to follow Mark and Kurt down the path between tables toward the exit, but instead took a more circular route, one that would take him past the bar, allowing him a better look at the woman sitting there.
As he did so, Sean casually glanced at the woman, giving her a friendly smile which she returned noncommittally. He found that he was correct in his initial appraisal, she was indeed attractive, but more importantly she also seemed familiar somehow. But then again, he thought that about many women, especially if they were pretty. Having gotten no reaction from her, however, he chalked it up to his imagination and went on his way.
He’d gotten about a half-dozen steps, when the woman did say something that stopped him in his tracks. She’d used a name that he hadn’t gone by in nearly four years.
“Rusty?” he heard the woman say from behind him, “Rusty Reynolds?”
Sean turned around and retraced his steps, giving the woman on the stool a longer, much more intensive look as he did so. It took a few moments more than it should have, but a name finally popped into his head to go along with the now familiar face.
“Mrs. Willoughby?” he asked, the touch of hesitation in his tone reflecting the fact that the woman before him had much shorter, and perhaps darker, hair than he remembered.
A glow of acknowledgement filled her face, telling him that he had remembered correctly. Selecting his words carefully, Sean offered that he had thought her familiar when he’d first seen her, but had hesitated to say anything because he just wasn’t sure.
Mrs. Willoughby replied that she’d had a similar reaction when she’d spotted him at the table with his friends, but had hesitated for the same reason. Given their surroundings, it was too easy for even an innocent comment to be misconstrued.
They exchanged a few more pleasantries, until Mark and Kurt, who had finally noticed Sean hadn’t been behind them, crossed the dining area and came up to the bar.
“Guys, this is Mrs. Willoughby,” Sean said in introduction and explanation once he realized they were there. “She used to live just a few houses down from me, back when I was in junior high.”
Mark and Kurt both said hello, as Sean took note of Mark’s visible disappointment on discovering that he hadn’t been the object of the older woman’s notice after all. That her interest had been totally innocuous failed to lessen that regret.
“Her daughter, Karen was in our class,” Sean added. “You guys remember her, don’t you?”
The name didn’t ring any bells with Kurt, but by the change in expression on Mark’s face it was obvious it certainly did with him. Sean would’ve bet the cashed paycheck in his pocket that Mark was remembering that Karen, who was undeniably one of the prettiest girls in their class, had repeatedly turned down Mark when he’d asked her out. To make matters worse, at least in the older student’s eyes, she’d said yes the first time Sean asked and went out with him almost an entire summer.
“Oh yeah, Karen,” Mark said with indifference, trying to sound like he barely remembered her.
Sean and Mrs. Willoughby chatted for a few minutes more, until Mark glanced down at his watch and remarked that they really should get going. A suggestion with which, as with all other things Mark, Kurt quickly agreed.
“Well it was really nice running into all of you,” Mrs. Willoughby said with a broad smile. “A pity that we don’t have the time to catch up, Sean,” she added directly to him, “but be sure to say hello to your parents for me.”
By the time Sean began to follow, his friends were already a dozen steps ahead of him, and he made the distance greater when, after a few steps of his own, he stopped and seemed to be considering a thought. The moment passed and he called out to them to wait up.
“Hey guys,” Sean said once he reached them, “I was just thinking. Why don’t you go ahead without me?” adding after a pause, “I’ll catch up with you later.”
Mark didn’t seem too happy with the suggestion, unwilling to lose half his entourage. Kurt, Sean noticed, was waiting for Mark to actually voice his opinion before expressing his own, as if there was any doubt that it would be any different.
Sean looked again at Mark, then at Kurt, thinking that if it took this long for either of them to make such a simple decision, he definitely needed to start looking for some new friends. He pointed out that it would be a few hours until the Pavilion really started to fill up, but even that didn’t seem to provoke a response.
“Do whatever you want,” Mark finally said as if it made no difference to him, his tone much the same as when he remembered Karen Willoughby a short time before. “Come now, come later, or don’t come at all. Either way, it really makes no difference to me.”
With that, Mark turned and headed for the exit. So abrupt had been his action that it took Kurt a few seconds to realize he was gone and had to scurry to catch up with him.
From her vantage point back at the bar, Mrs. Willoughby had been watching the conversation, even if she couldn’t hear what was being said. She was surprised when Sean’s friends turned and left and he himself walked back towards her. Sliding into the bar stool next to her, Sean said that it looked like they had time to catch up after all.
“Oh, I didn’t mean for you to walk out on your friends,” Mrs. Willoughby said, her tone masking the fact that she wasn’t exactly unhappy at the turn of events.
“No big thing,” Sean said with a smile. “I’ll catch up with them later on.”
“Well, in that case,” the older woman smiled back, “how about I buy you a drink and we can catch up properly.” She turned back to catch the bartender’s attention, but then paused, turning back to Sean as she remembered that he was born the same year as her daughter. “You are old enough to drink, right?”
Sean assured her that he was indeed, leaving out the fact that he had only been legally able to do so for the last three weeks.
The bartender had insisted on seeing the proof of that before delivering the two beers that Mrs. Willoughby ordered. Since many people commented that Sean still looked like he was in high school, he’d already had his driver’s license out by the time the bartender had asked. Once the drinks had been delivered, the older woman suggested they move over to one of the empty tables on the other side of the bar where they’d be more comfortable.
“So how is Karen doing these days?” Sean asked, once they had settled in at the table, thinking that was as good a way as any to start the conversation.
“Oh, she’s doing fine,” Mrs. Willoughby said as she took a sip of her drink out of the glass mug. “She’s just finishing up at Midwestern, getting her bachelor’s in business administration.”
“That’s great news,” Sean said with genuine enthusiasm. “She was always putting the rest of us to shame with her grades. I always knew she’d go far.”
“She’s also planning to get married right after graduation,” the older woman offered, having seemed to hesitate a moment before sharing that particular bit of news.
“Really?” Sean said in surprise, marriage being not even a topic of discussion among friends his age. “Who’s the lucky guy?” he asked.
This time Mrs. Willoughby’s pause before answering was even more noticeable, giving Sean the impression that she was perhaps regretting bringing the subject up at all. The idea that Karen might be pregnant offered itself, since he couldn’t think of any other reason why someone his age would want to get married. The dark haired woman took a long sip from her glass, further delaying her answer.
“Her name is Bernadette,” she finally said.
It took a few seconds for what she’d said to register on Sean’s face, but once it did, all he could say was, “Wow!”
“Yeah, it pretty much took me by surprise too,” Mrs. Willoughby said, the smile returning to her face. “Evidently, I didn’t know my little girl as well as I thought I did. This isn’t, she has made very clear, a college infatuation. She’s been attracted to girls her whole life.”
A bit stunned by the news, Sean said the first thing that popped into his head, not really thinking how inappropriate it was considering who was sitting across the table from him. No sooner had the words come out of his mouth that he realized his error and apologized.
“No wonder I never gotten past first base with her,” he’d said.
“It’s okay, Sean,” Mrs. Willoughby laughed, “I can still remember what boys and girls do when they go out on a date.”
“Well, it’s good that you’re okay with it,” Sean said, referring to her daughter’s sexual preference and not his awkward comment.
“Well, to be honest, I really wasn’t, at first,” she replied. “Like most mothers, I was expecting to wind up with a son-in-law one of these days. But after a bit of thought, and the realization that I really have little control over the situation, I’ve accepted the fact I’m going to have a second daughter instead.”
Sean took another drink of beer, if only to give himself time to think of what to say next and avoid another misstep. While he did, he wondered how his own mother might react if his sister, Nora, had ever dropped a bombshell like that. Certainly not as calmly as Mrs. Willoughby seemed to be doing. Then again, he couldn’t ever imagine Nora in that situation. His big sister might be a bit indiscriminate in choosing fuck buddies, but Nora and another girl — no way. What didn’t occur to him was until five minutes ago he probably thought the same thing about Karen.
“So how’s Mr. Willoughby doing?” he asked, thinking to steer the conversation to a safer topic.
Again as before, no sooner had the words left his mouth, Sean realized that he’d probably just jumped from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. When the Willoughbys had moved away six years before, they had been in the middle of a divorce.
“Oh, he’s fine,” she said with a smile, seeming to take no offense to the question. “In fact I had a pleasant conversation with him just last week.”
Mrs. Willoughby went on to say that theirs had been a mostly amicable divorce and they had managed to remain, if not spouses, then at least friends.
“Contrary to some of the rumors spread around by the neighborhood gossips back then, Carl and I didn’t break up because he was sleeping with his secretary,” she added. “Although for all that I bothered to inquire about it, he could’ve been. What I did know for sure was that sleeping was the only thing happening in the conjugal bed.”
Seeing the look of confusion on Sean’s face, Mrs. Willoughby decided to expand her comment a bit more.
“Anyone who could do simple math knew that I was pregnant with Karen when Carl and I got married right after high school. Those things sometimes happen, no matter how careful you try to be. Looking back, I’m not sure what we had was really love, but we certainly thought it was at the time. And Carl was determined to do the right thing. So we got married and for the first ten years or so we made it work. But then, as Karen got older and more independent, we began to have less and less in common, until finally we were just two people sharing a house and a pile of monthly bills.”
“Mrs. Willoughby, I...” Sean started to say, but was interrupted.
“I do have a first name, Sean and I’m pretty sure you’re old enough to use it instead of Mrs. Willoughby,” she said. “In case you’ve forgotten, it’s Elaine.”
“I remember,” Sean smiled. He had considered using it before, but then remembered how out of joint one of his mother’s friends had gotten when he’d called her by her first name.
“I kept the last name after the divorce, though,” Elaine concluded. “After all, I was Elaine Willoughby a lot longer than I was Elaine Murphy.”
Sean nodded his head, thinking that made sense.
“So what is it that you do now?” Elaine asked, shifting the topic once more as she signaled the bartender that they’d have another round.
Sean explained that he didn’t need to get his SAT scores back in high school to know he wasn’t college material. So, after graduation, he went to work for Sullivan Construction, and as it turned out, he was pretty good at it. He’d learned a great deal in the last four years, earning two promotions and more importantly, a good raise every year.
“Well it looks like construction agrees with you,” Elaine said, taking a moment to note a well developed but not muscle bound physique. “I remember you as being a lot skinnier back in junior high school.”
“Thanks,” Sean replied, thinking as he did that he remembered pretty much the opposite about her, another reason why he didn’t recognize her right off. Not that he would ever say such a thing.
“Anyone special in your life?” Elaine asked as the drinks were brought over to the table and the now empty glasses taken away.
“Not really,” Sean said, taking a small sip of the new mug. “Oh, I go out and have fun when I can, but I’m not looking to settle down into a relationship anytime soon.”
“Good for you, Sean,” Elaine said, taking a larger taste of her own second round. “I dearly love my daughter, and would never trade the years she was growing up, but at the same time, I sometimes wonder what my life might have been like if I hadn’t married so young. I mean, up until I was seventeen, people looked at me and saw Matthew and Phyllis Murphy’s daughter. Then, I went right to being Carl Willoughby’s wife and then Karen Willoughby’s mother. It’s only now that I’m finally getting the chance to explore what it means to be just Elaine.”
Sean considered what she was saying and decided he was glad he wasn’t going to have to wait twenty years to discover who he was.
“So what are you doing now?” Sean asked, again moving the conversation forward. “Do you work or... ?”
“Well, after we moved out of Oak Hills, I found a nice place over in Riverside,” Elaine replied, giving Sean a moment to place the town, which was about two hours north. “I opened a small lingerie boutique and, despite the odds, I have to say I’ve done pretty well with it.”
Sean had a momentary flash as to what Elaine might look like in some of her own products, then he banished it from his mind. Hopefully, the image, of which he was sure she wouldn’t approve of, hadn’t reflected on his face.
“As to what I’m doing here, well, I’m attending a two day business seminar over at the Lincoln Inn, just down the road.” Elaine added. “It made more sense for me just to get a room for the night than to drive all the way home and then back again in the morning.”
Sean agreed with a nod.
Their exchange moved across a few more topics, until Elaine glanced at the clock on the wall and realized they’d been talking over an hour. Despite the difference in ages, the two of them had just seemed to connect and time had raced by.
“Not that I haven’t been enjoying this immensely,” Elaine said once she realized the time, “but shouldn’t you be heading off to meet your friends?
“I just said that I might meet them,” Sean replied, stretching the truth a bit because he was also enjoying himself. “They’d do fine without me if I didn’t.”
“I’m sure they would,” Elaine agreed, “but I’m just as sure that they weren’t the only people you were going to the Pavilion to meet.”
That, Sean had to admit, was true.
“And who knows,” Elaine added with a mischievous grin, “you might even get lucky.”
With that, Sean actually blushed. The nights conversation had certainly gone in directions he’d never imagined it going with any of his parents’ friends, much less the mother of a girl he once dated.
“Oh, come on now, don’t get all embarrassed,” Elaine laughed when she saw the redness in his face. “You’re not going to sit there and try and tell me that, on a Saturday night, a young man your age isn’t looking to get laid.”
Sean didn’t reply, at least not verbally.
“And let me tell you something, my young Mr. Reynolds,” Elaine said with the same mischievous grin. “Although they might not be as up front about it, there are quite a few young ladies out there looking for the same thing.”
As before, Sean knew that to be true, but had never heard it said out loud — at least by a grown woman. Ignoring it totally, he instead inquired as to what Elaine’s plans were for the rest of the evening.
“Well, first of all, I think I’ll stop putting these away,” she said, referring to the now empty glass in front of her, not adding that she’d passed her normal limit at least one drink ago. “Then I guess I’ll just go back to my room and see what’s on pay per view.”
“That doesn’t sound like much fun,” Sean noted.
Elaine just shrugged.
“If you want, you could always come to the Pavilion, with me,” he offered.
“Sean Reynolds, are you asking me out on a date?” Elaine said in mock surprise.
“No, no... , “ he stammered at the implication that he had, “I just meant that it’s not just young people that go there, and...” the redhead said.
“Oh, so they have a place for the old folk too,” Elaine laughed.
“I didn’t mean it that way either,” Sean insisted.
“Honey, I know that you didn’t,” Elaine again said with a laugh. “I was just pulling your chain.”
Sean smiled when he realized that was indeed what she was doing.
“A good movie and a restful night’s sleep is good enough for me,” Elaine said. “You, however, need to go out and have some fun.”
Accepting that she was right, Sean finally agreed.
After an hour at the Pavilion, Sean was already considering calling it a night. A consideration hardly due to lack of opportunity, as the expected two to one ratio had again held true. It was, as Mike liked to say, a target rich environment. The problem was that, of the girls he danced or shared a drink with, he found none all that interesting. Not even the two who’d dropped hints that their favorite kind of dancing was horizontal.
He’d run into both Mark and Kurt soon after he’d first arrived, but split off from them just as quickly. Afterwards he’d spotted Kurt out on the dance floor with a rather pretty girl, but had no idea where Mark had gone off to. With the number of girls looking to work off the stress of a hard work week or recent college finals, Sean considered the possibility that whatever story his older friend told come Monday morning might actually be true this time.
Watching Kurt for another minute, Sean began to consider that perhaps he was being too particular. He should take Elaine’s advice and just have some fun. After all, he wasn’t looking for Miss Right, just Miss Right Now. It wasn’t hard to find another candidate; sometimes all you had to do was simply ask if she wanted to dance.
“So what do you do?” the blonde co-ed Sean had been dancing with asked as they came off the dance floor.
“I work at construction,” he replied, following her to a more quiet part of the club where they could at least be heard without shouting over the music.
“Cool,” she smiled, “I love a guy who’s good with his hands.”
Sean smiled back.
“Dorothy,” she said as they moved into the corner, repeating her name in case he hadn’t gotten it out on the dance floor.
“Sean,” he replied, for much the same reason.
“Well, Sean,” Dorothy said as she brought her mouth up to his ear so that only he could hear her, “can I ask you a personal question?”
The question gave Sean pause, then he took another good look at the buxom blonde and the outfit she was wearing, or perhaps the right phrase should be, not wearing. Then he answered that yes, she could indeed.
“Do you like to fuck?” she whispered in his ear.
‘Okay,’ Sean thought as he digested her words, ‘no mistaking what she’s looking for.’
“I’ve been known to indulge,” he grinned, thinking the line just different enough to be cute.
“Good, ‘cause I really need a hard cock tonight,” Dorothy said as she pressed her breasts against him and kissed him on the lips. “It’s been a bitch of a week.”
Sean could feel his cock responding as her body pressed against him, an erection she couldn’t help but feel.
‘Okay, Miss Right Now it is,’ he thought as she withdrew her tongue from his mouth.
“Do you have a place we can go?” Dorothy asked as she continued to press her body against his, “My roommate has the dorm tonight and I don’t do it in bathrooms or cars.”
As little as a few weeks ago, Sean answer would’ve been no, unless he was willing to spring for a room at one of the more inexpensive motels in the area — inexpensive because they tended to rent their rooms by the hour. That had changed, however, with his parents’ acknowledgement of his need for some adult privacy and their help in converting the storage room over the garage into living quarters. It wasn’t much, but it was certainly better than a motel or even a college dorm.
“I have my own apartment,” Sean replied, his answer causing her eyes to open wide.
“Then what say we give it a go?” Dorothy asked, giving his cock a playful squeeze through his pants, both to give him a little encouragement as well as to check out his package. The smile on her face said she hadn’t been disappointed with what she found.
Taking Dorothy by the hand, Sean began to work their way through the crowd. The number of people in the club had to have doubled in the time he’d been there, and they’d almost become separated twice as they crossed the now packed club. They were only about twenty feet from the door when, out of the corner of his eye, Sean spotted a now familiar face. Or at least he thought he had, as it disappeared in the multitude just as quickly as it had appeared.
“What the hell?” he said out loud, stopping so abruptly that Dorothy crashed into his back.
“What’s the matter?” Dorothy asked once she steadied herself.
“I think I just saw someone I know,” Sean explained.
“So,” Dorothy said, “I see a lot of people in here that I know.”
“I ... if it was who I thought it was, I need to talk to her,” Sean said, realizing that really made little sense.
“Are you fucking serious?” Dorothy asked, the tone and volume of her voice abruptly becoming much more intense. “You and I are about to go and... “ she added, dropping off that which didn’t really need to be said, “but now you want me to wait while you run off and chase some other bitch that you think you saw.”
“It’ll only be a few minutes,” Sean said, without thinking that there was no guarantee that, even if it had been her, that he could find her in this crowd.
“Baby,” the now angry blonde said, pressing out her partially exposed breasts, “you had better take a good look at what you’re passing up, ‘cause I don’t give out rain checks.”
By the time the words were out of her mouth, Sean had already offered a feeble apology and was pushing his way through the crowd in the opposite direction, leaving Dorothy behind. If he had heard what she’d said, he gave no indication.
If someone were to ask him why he had just given up a sure thing to run off in search of a woman who might not even be there, Sean didn’t have a clue how he would answer. All he was sure of was that earlier in the evening, when they had been doing nothing more than just talking, he had been enjoying himself more than he had in months. So even if all he could look forward to was continuing that talk, he felt himself compelled to do so.
Five minutes of searching turned quickly to ten, then fifteen and twenty, leading Sean to conclude that perhaps he had indeed been mistaken, seeing what he wished he could see rather than what he actually had. Perhaps his thought of earlier in the evening had been right after all. He should just call it a night and head home.
No sooner had he brought that thought back into consideration, than there was a brief opening in the crowd to his left and there, standing against one of the small bars that lined the dance floor, stood the object of his search. She had traded her blouse and slacks for a sleek black cocktail dress, but there was no mistake this time as to her identity. The crowd once more closed between them, but Sean pushed his way through.
“Come here often?” Sean asked as he came up behind her.
“Actually, it’s my first time,” Elaine said without missing a beat, turning around as she did so. “A friend recommended it.”
Once she had fully turned, Sean was momentarily stunned when he saw how low cut her dress was. Involuntarily, he couldn’t help but compare the bounty before him with what he remembered having belonged to Karen Willoughby, quickly deciding that his former girlfriend came up second best.
“Nice dress,” he managed to say once his voice returned, bringing his eyes back up to meet hers. “Do you always pack something like that to go to a seminar?”
“It’s just a little something that I toss in my overnight bag when I travel,” Elaine grinned. “You never know when it might come in handy.”
“I can’t believe you actually came,” Sean finally said, trying to push the dress, and what it barely concealed from his mind.
“Well, as it turned out,” Elaine grinned impishly, “there was absolutely nothing worth watching on pay for view.”
The truth was, Elaine had actually been intrigued by Sean’s invitation when he’d first made it, however innocent it had been. Not enough to have accepted it, but enough to have it not so easily dismissed. She of course had heard about the Pavilion during her own high school days, but had never actually gone there, because she was married by the time she was old enough. Just another of those things she wondered if she’d missed out on.
Then, leaving the restaurant to go back to her motel room, she overheard two women about her age talking about going there later in the evening. Evidently, it had indeed changed quite a bit since she lived in Oak Hill, catering now to a much more varied clientele — at least age-wise. That had been enough for the idea to take root in still fertile ground.
By the time she’d gotten back to her room, it had quickly become no longer a matter of why she would go, but rather more in the line of why the hell not. Given what the crowd had to be like on a Saturday night, she never expected to actually run into Sean again, but now that she had, she found herself quite pleased.
“I’m really glad you came,” Sean said again, still not believing that she had.
“Well, you made it sound so interesting,” Elaine replied.
“It is, now that you’re here,” Sean smiled. “Would you like something to drink?” he asked, glancing back at the bar behind them.
“I think I’ll pass on that for a bit,” Elaine said, remembering the one too many beers she’d had back at McGuire’s.
“Then would you like to dance?” he asked.
“Aren’t you afraid some of your friends might see you out with an old lady? Elaine asked, her question only half in jest.
“Why, is there someone else you want me to dance with?” Sean replied, his smile growing larger as he did.
“Flattery will get you...” Elaine started to say, then thought better of it. “Well it will get you a dance at least.”
“I’ll settle for that,” Sean said as he took Elaine’s hand and led her out on the dance floor.
Earlier, when she had first arrived, Elaine had been glad to see that at least a quarter of the patrons filling the dance club were people near her own age. As she and Sean moved out on the dance floor, she was even more relieved to see that there were more than a few women dancing with partners younger than themselves. At least she wouldn’t draw attention as being the only one.
The band has just begun a set of slow dances and Sean eagerly took her into his arms, holding her tight as they began to move about the dance floor. As the song went on, Elaine wondered if perhaps their bodies were pressed a bit closer than might have been appropriate, but it felt so good that she didn’t give voice to her concern. Still, as the first song ended and they continued right into the second, she also wondered if perhaps she had taken harmless flirting a bit too far. Then, an even more worrisome thought filled her head. Had it really been just harmless flirting?
Also during that second dance, Sean, who was only about an inch taller than Elaine, realized that he’d spent just about the entire dance staring down her dress, the exposed cleavage causing a predictable reaction. One that Elaine, like Dorothy earlier, couldn’t help but be aware of.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, a touch of embarrassment in his voice, taking a half step back as to create a small space between them.
“For what?” Elaine whispered back, trying to act as if she hadn’t noticed, but being betrayed by the smile on her face.
A smile that Sean couldn’t help but reflect.
“It’s a perfectly normal reaction,” Elaine said, her smile growing broader. “I’ve never understood women who put their assets on display for all to see, then become offended when someone actually takes notice of them.”
That surprised Sean. Once he’d realized what he’d been doing, and how his body had reacted, his mind had immediately flashed back to what he thought of as the cousin Jenny incident. A year ago, he had been dancing, at his mother’s insistence, with his distant cousin Jenny at her brother’s wedding. Ten years older and twenty-five pounds heavier, the blonde had a rack that was practically spilling out of her dress. A similar reaction had occurred, but rather than laugh it off as Elaine had just done, Jenny had instead called him a pervert and stormed off the dance floor.
“Then you’re not mad?” Sean asked, just wanting to be sure.
“Honey, if anything, I should be flattered,” Elaine said as she pulled him back against her, closing the gap he had created. What brief concerns she had but a few minutes ago had now been tossed aside.
They continued to dance and a common thought came to each other them independently: this was nice.
Again they both smiled at each other, and then Elaine did something she very rarely did — she acted on impulse. Without even considering the consequences of her actions, she leaned forward and kissed Sean. The twenty-one year old was taken totally by surprise as her mouth covered his, more so when he felt her tongue slip inside and brush up against his own.
As they broke the kiss, Elaine waited a long second to see if he had any negative reaction. To her relief, none was forthcoming. Then, as if nothing had happened, they simply began dancing again as the band began yet a third slow tune.
“This is getting dangerous,” Elaine thought, wondering what Sean thought of it all.
But dangerous or not, it was certainly exciting. So exciting in fact, that Elaine found herself thinking thoughts that, if she’d had a more clear head, would certainly never have entered her mind. Or at least she liked to think they wouldn’t have.