The Way You Make Me Feel
Chapter 1

Copyright┬ę 2005 by Jeremy Spencer

Sex Story: Chapter 1 - He's a college student, she's a rich girl. How can he ever be sure he's what she was looking for?

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


"There you are, Peter. I was wondering where you'd run off to."

I turned at the sound of Katie's voice, as amazed at her beauty as the first time I'd ever seen her. She was simply gorgeous. I held out my arms and enjoyed the sound of her sigh when she snuggled against me. The concrete bench, on the cliff overlooking the ocean, was cold and hard, even in the middle of summer, so we stood, lightly buffeted by the warm wind. Winters would be less pleasant, but it was the middle of July, so what did that matter now? Besides, as I'd learned, one simply didn't spend the winter in one's summer home.

"Hey you," I said quietly. "What's up?"

"Nothing," Katie's voice was barely audible over the crashing of the waves below us. "What are you doing out here?"

"Just thinking," I answered. The truth was I was still trying to make some kind of sense of things. It had been a whirlwind six or seven months, and none of it had really sunk in yet-not the wedding in a castle in Ireland, not the mansion Katie quaintly referred to as the "summer cottage," not the private island the "cottage" was on, and not the small army of servants staffing it. It didn't feel real, and I had my doubts it ever would. What was a nice guy like me doing in a joint like this?

It was crazy! I had delivered pizzas and washed dishes to pay for college, for goodness' sake. It was a crazy roll of the dice that brought me here. Even more unlikely than this comfortable world was that Katie wanted me to be a part of it with her. Not an hour went by that I wasn't sure I would wake up and find it had all been a dream. A pleasant one, to be sure, and one I would remember fondly, but a dream nonetheless.

"A penny for your thoughts?"

I shook my head, not wanting to tell my wife how lucky I felt that she had chosen me.

"Come on, what are you thinking?" she asked. But still I was silent. "Okay, if a penny isn't enough, how about a dime? A dollar, maybe?" she teased.

"Too rich for me. I'm not sure my thoughts are worth that much at the moment."

Katie looked at me, a look of intense curiosity in her bright green eyes. "What are you thinking about?" she asked, more insistently this time. "What's bothering you?"

I sighed, realizing what an open book I was to her. It both thrilled and worried me. What if I ever needed to keep a secret?

"Are you sure about all this, Katie?" I asked. "About... about me, about us? How can you be?"

A melancholy look flickered over Katie's face. She gazed at me, her expression changing from serious to something else as her lips formed a gentle smile. She leaned up and placed a tiny kiss on the tip of my nose.

"How could I not be sure?" she asked. "Don't you remember what I said? Why do you even need to ask?"

Why indeed? I wondered that myself. As frightened and insecure as I had been about our relationship, Katie had always been completely sure, one hundred percent at ease. Even from the moment we met.


Stranded. Again. In the snow. For who knows how long this time.

I slammed the receiver back down onto the cradle and looked around my hotel room. Everything was packed, and I was ready to leave. In fact, to make my flight home for Christmas I needed to be at the airport in an hour, but my mother had just called with bad news about the weather.

"Honey?" she had started. "The airport is closed here. An ice storm blew through this morning and everything is shut down."

"Shit," I had sworn before I could stop myself. Certain habits I'd picked up at college my mother wouldn't approve of. Swearing was one.

"Peter!" Came my mother's shocked reply.

"Sorry," I mumbled. "I'm just... frustrated. I was looking forward to seeing you guys for Christmas, even if it was going to be a short visit."

"Oh, Peter. I was too."

I could sense her frustration, even if my mother didn't let it creep into her voice.

"I suppose..."


"I suppose I could try and get a train ticket, or something. Maybe a bus? Are the roads clear?"

"Peter, that would take days."

"I know. But I'd like to see you. It's been since September."

"It would be good to see you."

"It will work out. I'm sure of it. A bus will take two days, and two days back, so..."

"You'll only be here for one day." This time my mother did sound sad. "It's not worth the effort."

"I'm sorry."

"Oh, hush. There'll be other Christmases," my mother replied, trying to make the best of it.

"Yeah, yeah. I know. But I graduate in six months. I'll get my own place, and I'm guessing it won't be too long before my room won't really be my room anymore, you know?"

"I would like a sewing room," my mother said wistfully.

"See?" I laughed. "It's starting already. I can't even see you but I know the look you've got on your face right now. You're already figuring out how to arrange the furniture, aren't you?"

"I am not," my mother protested, but we both knew it was a lie. We burst out laughing at the same time. But deep down I still wanted to say, 'Fuck!'

"Dang it," I said instead trying to avoid another motherly language lecture.

"What's wrong now?" she asked.

"I just realized I have nowhere to go." While my Christmas break was actually two weeks long, I had stayed at school an extra three days, working to prepare for student teaching in the spring. I'd also made plans to return a few days before New Year's in order to complete my preparation.

Because the school dorms were officially closed during the holiday break, I had stayed in a hotel, and while I had room reservations again for the days before the second semester, I figured my chances of finding a room on such short notice this close to a holiday were slim, especially considering where I go to school. Bozeman isn't a large town, but it is a resort town. A lot of people came to Montana to ski over the holidays, and I'd been fortunate to find a single room available even after New Year's.

"Can't you stay at the hotel?" my mother asked with concern in her voice.

"I'll check," I sighed. "But I really doubt it."

"And the dorms are..."

"Locked since finals were over. And none of my friends are staying around. Unfortunately, I'm not really close with anyone who's actually from here." I began to get a bit desperate as I went through the list of people I might stay with and coming up empty.

"Oh, honey, I know this is sudden, but..."

"I'll figure something out, Mom." We said our goodbyes, and I hung up the phone. I thought one of my study partners from my English Literature class might still be on campus. Ted worked in food service, and in the past he had stayed close to school to help cater events, but when I tried his apartment his answering machine said he wouldn't be back in town until after New Year's.


There was no point in going to the airport. My flight was cancelled. Thankfully, I was able to get a refund on the plane ticket, for all the good that did me in the short term. My bank account might have been a couple hundred dollars richer, but I was still stuck with no place to go.

I walked down to the hotel lobby. The chain offered a continental breakfast, which turned out to be toast, cereal and all the juice I could drink. It wasn't much, but I wasn't that hungry.


At the sound of my name, I turned in the chair to see who had spoken. Behind the counter stood Kathryn Stewart. We had been study partners for a Freshman biology class. Not to say we really knew each other, however. I knew her name, and that she was a bit squeamish around dead frogs. Much to my regret, our relationship had been purely academic.

Katie was a nice girl and very easy on the eyes, if you call gorgeous easy. But during the time we were study partners, I had been involved in a slowly deteriorating relationship with my "girl back home." There had always been a little something, a spark of interest, between the Katie and I, but the timing was off.

"It is Peter, right?" she asked.

I nodded. "That's me."

"I thought I recognized you. From biology?"

"Yep. Good old Professor Harris. Hey Katie." I remembered she hated being called Kathryn. "I didn't know you worked here."

Katie squinted at me as if she were unsure about something, She gave me the look a person gives when trying to decide if a joke is funny. I hadn't meant to be funny, but I suddenly found myself hoping Katie thought I was. Apparently she did.

"I guess I have to make some spending money, don't I?" she said, flashing me a smile full of brilliant white teeth. I breathed a bit easier.

Katie had a model-quality face, stunning, wavy red hair, and a body most women would kill for. Why she was working behind the desk at a hotel was beyond me. But as she said, I guess Katie needed the spending money.

"I can understand that," I said. I deposited my trash in the garbage can, refilling my cup with orange juice before heading over to the front desk. While Katie filled out forms, the two of us chatted about school and work. We agreed we'd both be much happier without either.

"It's just so frustrating sometimes," Katie growled, throwing her pen down on the desk. "All of this paperwork... it's just like school!"

"Why don't you try something else?" I asked. "Surely there are other jobs that pay just as well."

"I would if I could," she said sadly. "It's not that simple though."

"Why not?"

Katie blushed. "Hotel Management is my main focus. I'm a business major."

"And you hate it?"

"Kind of, but... it's sort of a family thing."

"And let me guess, everyone would be really disappointed if you did something else?"

Katie nodded.

"I know how that goes. My father, and his father, and most of my uncles and cousins have been either firemen or police officers. It made for some really awkward family reunions since the firefighters in my family didn't always get along with the policemen, but either career would have received a warmer reception than the one I received when I told my parents I was going to be a teacher.

"I can still remember Dad's eyes narrowing as he stared at me. He opened his mouth like he was going to say something, but for some reason he paused. Instead, he shook his head and walked out of the room. We never spoke of it again, but I could feel his resentment just under the surface every time the two of us talked about anything. I always wondered what he was going to say.

"And then, a few weeks after I graduated high school, there was a call. A warehouse on the edge of town was on fire, and there were people trapped inside. My father was the first to go in after them. No one knew about the gas leak, and with the first spark from his axe the whole place exploded. He died instantly.

I looked at Katie. She smiled sadly and it helped sooth the feelings of anger and frustration I felt whenever I thought of my father's death.

"My mother, on the other hand, was thrilled at my career choice," I continued, ignoring the tight feeling in my throat. "The life of a fireman's wife is maybe worse than actually being a fireman. At least, that's how it looked to me growing up. My mom died a little bit each time my dad answered a call. Even though he'd never been injured, the thought that this time might be the one hung over my mother. And when it finally happened, and the job took him from her forever, she was a complete wreck. So the fact that I had decided to teach kids how to paint and mold clay pleased her to no end.

"My dad's never home," she said quietly. "Not that it's anything close to what you went through with your father," she added quickly. "He loves me, and always brings me a present from wherever he's been, but I wish he wasn't so busy."

"At least you've got your mom."

"I wish I did," Katie replied. "I never knew her. My dad keeps a picture of her on his desk, but he doesn't talk about her much. She died when I was really little."

"I'm sorry," I reached out to hold Katie's hand. She jerked at the contact, her entire arm stiffening in surprise when my fingers brushed over the back of her hand. She smiled apologetically and her hand slowly relaxed, allowing me to give her a quick squeeze before withdrawing.

"Thanks," she whispered.

We stood there a moment before her face brightened. "What are you doing here anyway? I'd have thought you would have headed home to see your mom and brothers."

"I was going to," I said. I explained that my flight had been cancelled due to icy runways.

"So you can keep me company, right?" Katie asked. "It's so boring this week. I'll be your best friend if you hang out with me." She batted her eyes in a playful, puppy dog look.

"I wish!" The idea of having Katie as my best friend, or more, was certainly appealing. "Actually, I came down here to grab a little breakfast and hand back my room key. I have no idea what I'm going to do for the next few days. Sleep in my car at a rest stop, I guess."

Katie frowned. "Sleep in your car? Why can't you stay here?"

"I'd like to," I said.

"Do you need money?"

"No. I was able to get a refund on the plane ticket."

"Then stay here!"

"I would if I could. Isn't it tourist season? Are there actually rooms available?"

"Should be," Katie said. "Let me find out."

I waited while Katie looked through the room assignments and reservations.

"Well?" I asked once she finally looked up from the computer screen. "What's the situation?"

"Good news and bad news," she said. "Good news first?"


"You can keep your room for... five more days."

"Seriously?" I asked. "That's great! So, tonight, tomorrow, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after Christmas, right?"

Katie nodded.

"But after that business starts to pick up and we're all booked through the New Year," she continued. "Sorry."

"Eh, at least it's a start. Seriously, I had no idea where I was going to crash so this is great." I leaned over the counter, surprising Katie by planting a kiss right on her cheek. "Thanks! You're the best."

Katie blushed. "Make it up to me by getting me out of here, if just for an evening," she winked. "It was no problem, though. Really. Besides, you'll still have to find somewhere to sleep until school starts up again."

"Yeah, but that's only a couple nights. I got a special okay from campus housing to move back into my room a few days early."

"How early?"

"Four days."

"Four! Wait a minute. Classes start up again on January third, and housing actually opens back up a day earlier, so you're allowed back in on..."

"December twenty-eighth," I said.

"So you're only stranded for one day!"

She was right; I just hadn't done the math. At the realization, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders.

"Excellent," I said, laughing and high-fiving Katie's offered hand. "That's great. I won't even mind sleeping in my car for one night."

"Oh, no you don't," Katie said. "We'll work something out. Trust me."

"It's not a big deal, believe me," I said. "I've slept in my car instead of getting a hotel room before by choice, so this will be fine."

"You have?" Katie asked, clearly shocked. "Why?"

"Hotels can be expensive, especially when I'm not splitting the cost with someone, and usually when I'd do it, I was driving somewhere to see a concert, so I was already paying for a ticket and gas for the car."

"Humph," grunted Katie. "I don't like it."

"I know, but what are you going to do about it?" I shrugged, not caring one way or the other about sleeping in my car, but Katie seemed determined.

"I'll think of something," she said.

"You do that," I replied. "While I think of a fabulous date we can go on."

Over the next few days, Katie and I spent quite a bit of time together and not so surprisingly, I found I was falling for her. We weren't going on romantic dates, far from it. Most of our time was spent in the hotel's lounge just outside the front desk. Although one evening after Katie finished working, we did go out. It wasn't much-just dinner and a movie-but she seemed more than relieved to get away from the hotel.

One of the ironies of the typical dinner and a movie date is that the two people don't really get to know each other. You spend the first part of the evening watching each other eat, and the other half not allowed to talk for fear of angering other moviegoers. Katie and I were lucky to spend most of our free time together, so we'd already gotten to know one another very well.

Because of Katie's job, whenever she was available and I wasn't working on school stuff for the next semester, we chatted in the hotel lounge. I'd like to think it was because of all that talking that the two of us clicked so well, but I don't know if that's really true. But whatever the reason, I was falling for this girl, hard and fast.

Even with the fabulous company, I was ready to scream. Hotels were great, but after a while I needed to get out. Katie seemed altogether too wrapped up in the day-to-day workings of the hotel. The place was obviously understaffed so Katie found herself working more than either of us would have liked. Especially me.

"It's okay," she said when I asked her about it. "If I really get into this hotel business I know I'll end up working a ton of hours and there won't be overtime pay, so this is fine."

She had a point. I was pretty sure I'd end up doing the same in my teaching profession. Long hours, before and after school, hours I wouldn't be compensated for, but which would be necessary.

Still, it was frustrating that I had basically nothing to do and Katie seemed to always be on the run. I brought her snacks, and once, a dozen roses to say thank you for finding me the spare room. It was a fun time, but I still wished the two of us could actually be alone.

On Christmas Eve, I got my wish. The day had been surprisingly slow, so Katie and I spent most of it together. That evening, it was once again the two of us, alone in the lounge. Katie said that most hotels are really busy the day before Christmas, but in a small town like ours it was often just the opposite.

"Everybody comes here the day after Christmas," she said, and the nearly-empty parking lot proved her correct. I started telling her about some of my family's Christmas traditions on Christmas Eve, and I was suddenly reminded I hadn't talked with them.

"Oh no," I said, nearly knocking my chair over in my haste to stand up. "I'll be back in a second. I've got to run up to my room and call my mom."

"Just use the phone down here," Katie said, pointing to the phone on the front desk.

"Katie, I can't do that."

"Why not?

"It's a long distance call," I reminded her, but Katie simply shrugged.

"Not a big deal," she replied, smiling up at me.

The look she gave me sent chills over my body. I had to make a real effort to remember what I was doing.

"W-won't you get in trouble?" I stammered.

"Trouble?" Katie asked me, laughing a bit. "Do you really think that's likely?"

"What do you mean?" I looked at her, not exactly sure what she was getting at, but Katie ignored my confusion.

"Go!" she said. "Just try to keep it under an hour, okay?"

"Oh, you get in trouble after an hour?" I asked.

"I'm not going to get in trouble, Peter," Katie insisted. "And neither are you, unless you stay on the phone forever."


"Because I'll be bored out of my mind out here by myself if you talk that long!" Katie laughed and pushed me toward the desk "Now hurry up and make your call."

I shook my head. Clearly, there was something I was missing here, but if Katie wasn't going to get in trouble for letting me make a long distance phone call, then who was I to argue the point?

My mom was sad I wasn't going to make it home but pleased all my housing worries had been taken care of. I didn't bother to tell her about the night I would have to spend in the car. She would have just worried.

"You should really thank the girl," my mom said. "What was her name?"

"Kathryn. Katie," I corrected. "She goes by Katie. Thank her, you said? Besides the flowers? You think so?"

"She found you a place to stay," my mother said, feigning exasperation at having to explain such a simple thing to her son.

"Mom, she's a hotel desk clerk. Of course she's going to try and find me a place to stay in her hotel."

"Well, she sounds like a lovely girl all the same."

"I'll tell her you said so," I said, smiling. "Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, okay?"

Just on the other side of the counter, Katie was sitting at one of the tables, ostensibly watching television. But she was looking at me, a big smile on her face. It led me to believe she had overheard the conversation.

"Ten minutes and thirty seconds," Katie said as I lowered myself into one of the soft arm chairs that decorated the lounge.

"I was on for that long?"

"Mmm-hmm. And I think you have something to say to me, no?"

I sat dumbly for a moment before realizing she'd definitely heard my end of the conversation.

"Yes, yes I do, as a matter of fact." I stood up, holding my hand out to help Katie out of her chair.

"Yes?" she asked, cocking her head to one side. She was already smiling.

"You see, my Mom said something on the phone..."



"And you always do what Mother tells you, right?"

"Of course," I answered.

"Thought so. And what did she say?" Katie asked.

"She said... this is embarrassing," I said.

"What is it?" Katie pressed.



"She said... she said I should be sure to ask for new towels, since I'd be staying here longer than I'd planned."

"What?" Katie looked confused at my request, but I played it cool and slowly walked away, only turning to look back at her once I'd reached the hallway entry.

"Yeah, she was worried the old ones would get kind of smelly if I didn't get new ones. You can bring those up to me, right? I'll be in my room." I walked away, barely hearing her reply over the rumble of the ice dispenser and the electric hum of the soda machine.

"You rat!"

Twenty minutes later, Katie showed up at my room.

"Room service," she called through the door.

I cracked open the door to see she was holding an extra set of towels.

I opened the door the rest of the way and gestured back toward my bathroom with my thumb. "I was joking. I don't actually need the towels," I said lamely. "You didn't need to come up here."

Katie practically flounced into my room, dropping the pile of towels on one corner of the bed. "I know." She flopped into one of the chairs by the window. "So, what are we doing tonight?"

"Um... I had nothing planned."

"Hmm... that doesn't sound like a very good date. Surely you can think of something!" Katie scrunched up her face in a parody of deep thought.

"You okay?" I asked after a moment. "My mom says if you make faces like that, one day you're bound to get stuck."

"Your mom says a lot of things, doesn't she?" Katie said.

"Well, yeah. I guess she does, but..."

"Shh... I'm thinking," Katie said, waving her hand to cut me off. After a few silent moments, Katie jumped to her feet, an exuberant look on her face. "I've got it!" she cried.


"You're going to take me on another date," she said smugly. "Not that there was anything wrong with the last one," she hurriedly assured me. "But this one is going to be so much better than dinner-and-a-movie."

"Oh? How so?"

"Well, for starters there will be a big fancy dinner. And then more than likely dancing, actually there will be lots of dancing, and then maybe a long walk by the lake. What do you think?"

"A date?" I didn't mind the idea. In fact, I had been working up the courage to ask Katie out on a real date. I didn't count our earlier date as anything more than two friends using each other's loneliness as an excuse to get out and have some fun. But this... this seemed different. At least it was for me, and it seemed to be different for Katie. After just a few days of sitting around and spending nearly all my time with her, I felt I knew Katie about as well as I knew anyone, and I really liked her.

"Yes, a date," Katie said, laughing at my expression. "Don't you think we're a good couple?"

"I guess... sure, of course we are... would be, but... we're a couple?"

"Good," she said, ignoring my question. "It's settled then. Dinner, dancing, maybe a long walk." Katie clapped her hands, almost bouncing up and down on the bed.

"Kind of excited, huh? Don't go out much?"

"Not with the guy I'm going to marry someday." Katie blushed as she watched my face. "Surprise!" she said, leaning down to kiss me quickly on the cheek before bouncing toward the door.

"What?" I said weakly.

"I'll pick you up in an hour, okay?"

It's possible I may have managed to squeak out a reply before Katie stepped out the door.

But I doubt it.

It has to be some sort of syndrome. At least that's what I kept telling myself all through dinner. Kind of similar to how two people thrown together under traumatic circumstances often find their feelings for each other heightened beyond what they would normally be. I figured there must be something like that for two people stranded in a hotel. They're bound to fall in love, right?

But whatever it was, Katie seemed more than content to be with me. In fact, she seemed thrilled, almost as if her comment about marrying me wasn't some kind of joke.

"Isn't this great?" she whispered into my ear as we danced. We had just eaten what had to be the largest meal I'd ever had. Course after course was paraded in front of us by a wait staff that must have numbered in the dozens. Appetizers, soups, salads, fish, poultry... it seemed never-ending. And each course was followed by a tiny cone filled with lemon sherbet, to cleanse the palate. It was quite the experience, and one I certainly couldn't afford on my own.

But Katie seemed unconcerned and, when the bill was presented to me, she grabbed it out of my hand before I could get a good look at it. Scrawling her signature along the bottom, Katie handed it back to the server, who bowed and quickly exited the little alcove in which we were seated.

"Don't we need to wait to get your credit card?" I asked, assuming I'd missed her hand the waiter her plastic. "And how much do I owe you, anyway?" This was supposed to be my way of thanking her, or at least I thought it was.

Katie waved off my question, telling me everything was taken care of. I brought up the idea of hitting one of the newly-released movies at the theater, but that idea was quickly shot down. It was on to the dancing.

At the insistence of my mother, and much to my father's chagrin, I had taken a few dance classes at the community hall when I was younger. Because of those lessons I was fairly comfortable in a ballroom setting, but Katie was simply amazing.

For nearly two hours we flowed around the dance floor, effortlessly moving from one song to the next. Katie was light as a feather in my arms and she seemed to know which direction I was going to lead almost before I did. I was having the time of my life.

"This is wonderful," I said.

"Beats hanging around the hotel watching bad movies on cable, doesn't it?" Katie asked.

I laughed at the way she described our recent activities. "Got that right." Changing the subject, I said, "You're such a great dancer. Have you taken lessons, or are you just a natural?"

"A little of both. I took dance lessons when I was a little girl, but nothing like this. Don't you just love it?" she asked, looking up at me.

I nodded. "Like I said, this is great."

Katie smiled, pulling me tightly against her. I was dressed in the one good pair of slacks and somewhat unwrinkled suit jacket I hadn't left at school, and looked fairly presentable. But Katie... I don't know if she always lived her life prepared for anything, but she had managed to find the most perfect gown I'd ever seen.

It was obviously not an off-the-rack purchase. It was fitted to her size and made of a rich burgundy fabric that shimmered in the soft lights of the dance hall. She was breathtaking, and I imagined every man in the place looking at the two of us in envy. I wouldn't have traded places with any one of them.

"You're beautiful," I said, almost not realizing what I was saying until after the words slipped past my lips.

"You're quite the charmer, aren't you?" Katie teased. She pulled her hand from mine, and latched her arms around my neck. My hands gravitated to her hips, pulling us closer together. Her green eyes sparkled as she tipped up on her toes. Her lips parted as her face neared mine.

My heart was beating rapidly in my chest. It was an obvious invitation to kiss her, and I certainly wanted to-only a dead man wouldn't have-but for some reason, I hesitated. Everything was happening so fast. I wanted it to happen-there was no doubt about that-but it felt rushed to me. When I didn't immediately kiss her, Katie pulled back with an embarrassed look on her face.

"I'm sorry," she started. "I thought..."

Go for it! I screamed to myself, bending down to press my lips against hers. Katie melted against me as our lips met, her words lost as we leaned together. My hands moved up and down Katie's back, the material of her dress cool and smooth and soft beneath my fingers.

The kiss quickly escalated as the heat of the moment increased. Soon our tongues dueled, gently parrying for space in our mouths as our bodies moved together on the dance floor. The passion I felt at that instant was nothing like I'd ever felt. Katie's reaction told me she felt the same way.

As we continued to dance, Katie pressed her lower body firmly against me. Her soft thighs pushed insistently forward, one of them forcing its way between my legs. The fabric of her dress flowed as we moved together. Katie and I were as close as two people could be, at least in public. Katie slid ever so slowly against me, the tautness of her body evident, even through our layers of clothing.

As Katie slowly ground her body against me, the heat and pressure between us soared. Her breasts, soft and full and tipped with tiny pebbled nipples, felt like hot points of fire against my chest. The nonstop pressing of our groins against the other's thighs had the predictable result, at least as far as I was concerned.

"Is that for me?" Katie whispered, rubbing her soft belly against the engorged stalk of my erection.

My face burned when I nodded. Katie's movements grew bolder. I wondered if other people

noticed anything peculiar. Certainly I could feel the rhythm of her hips as we danced-the primal rhythm of lovemaking.

As soon as the image came to me, I moved my hands again, this time sliding down her back to her trim waist, and then further down. As my palms cupped the firm cheeks of Katie's behind, her muscles flexed once before relaxing.

"That feels good," she said, continuing to press herself into me. "You feel good."

I took the hint and caressed and squeezed the marvelous globes of her ass while my erection pressed against her belly.

We danced like that for a while longer until the pressure of maintaining appearances got to be too much. We made a quick exit and found ourselves alone, outside in the winter night.

"Ready for that walk?" Katie asked.

Actually, I wanted to grab her by the hand, rush back to the hotel, and make mad passionate love, but my sense of propriety stepped in. Damn my mother for teaching me manners!

"Sure," I replied, extending my hand. Katie slipped on a thin pair of knitted gloves as we walked together in the chilly December air, and when she took my hand, her gloved hand warmed my fingers. We made our way to Crystal Pond, very near the hotel. We walked along the water's edge, watching a few brave and heavily-bundled children slip and slide along its frozen surface.

"Do you want to go out there?" I asked, indicating the ice with a nod of my head.

"Not tonight," Katie answered, the words quickly changing to a yawn. "I'm sorry, I'm getting a little tired." We headed back to where the car was parked and climbed in. Katie immediately slid across the front seat and curled up into a little ball as she leaned against me.

I checked my watch. It was close to eleven o'clock. I hated to see the evening end but steered the car back toward the hotel.

"Um, I had a really good time tonight," I said, not sure exactly what I should be saying. "But I really want to know what I owe you for dinner." I felt awkward asking. I had always been the one-Women's Lib or not-to pay for any dates I went on.

"Don't worry about it," she insisted. "Think of it as the hotel saying thank you for staying with us an extra few nights." At my look of confusion, Katie giggled. "This was my treat, and I had a wonderful time, too. Thank you."

After parking the car, we stood outside the hotel, holding each other for warmth and protection against the cold wind.

"I'd invite you up," I said, "but my room's a mess." I looked around the lot, trying to figure out which car might belong to Katie, but couldn't guess. "Did you need a ride home?" I asked. We'd never talked about it, but I had always assumed Katie lived somewhere nearby. In the few days we'd spent together, we had never left the hotel together. Katie just always seemed to be there.

"Ride?" she asked in amusement, digging into her coat pocket and retrieving a set of keys. She jingled them in my face. "I'm home, too."

Home? I was more than confused as I lay down to bed that night. What had Katie meant? It didn't make sense to me, but as we were standing outside, Katie had used her key to enter the hotel and allowed the door to close behind her, leaving me searching for my own key. By the time I managed to get inside, Katie was nowhere to be seen. I sprinted up to my room, which overlooked the parking lot, and searched for any signs of Katie leaving the hotel but saw nothing.

Over the next couple of days the hotel parking lot filled up, as did the dining room. When I went downstairs for my customary breakfast, I found I very rarely had the room to myself. Because of the increased business, Katie was often with other guests, and I had to entertain myself, which generally meant reading or watching television in my room.

I thought about Katie and what her situation might be. For someone who was nothing more than a front desk jockey, she appeared to have the run of the place. Curiosity finally got the best of me. I waited until Katie wasn't around, called down to the front desk, and asked one of the other workers about her.

"Miss Stewart, you mean, sir?" the girl asked.

"Yes. Miss Stewart. Katie. What do you know about her? I'm trying to find her, but haven't seen her lately."

"Isn't she in her room?" the girl asked.

"Room? You mean she's staying here?"

What the girl said next almost blew my mind.

"No, sir. Miss Stewart lives here."


"Her room," the girl answered. "On the first floor, just behind the offices. Is there a problem, sir?"

I mumbled out that I was fine and hung up as quickly as I could.

Who lived in hotels? The only person I knew was someone from a pizza place where I had delivered pizzas. This guy had lived in a hotel for a couple of weeks when he first moved into town until his apartment was ready. But the girl at the desk had talked as if Katie's situation was something permanent.

My mind raced through possible scenarios. Had she been kicked out of student housing? Who could even afford to live in a hotel for an entire school year? Not that the Bridger Trail Inn was the most expensive hotel in the world, but it wasn't exactly cheap, and it was nothing I could afford as a college student, except for these strange circumstances.

Was Katie selling drugs? Was she turning tricks? I shook my head to clear it. Katie was great; she was perfect. I was falling for her. She had shown me nothing to make me have bad thoughts about her, so I refused to even entertain the possibility of something unseemly in her life.

But the questions still plagued me as I tried to sleep that night. Why was she was living here? I was dying to know, but I decided not to pressure her about it.

The next day was my last in the hotel, at least for the one night I'd be in my car. I'd been thinking about what my mother had said about thanking Katie for everything she had done- although mom didn't know the half of it-and had finally thought of something appropriate.

The first step was finding a florist willing to help and who could accommodate my budget. Thankfully, there were quite a few grocery stores in the area which also sold flowers, and I found that if I showed up right before closing, they were more than happy to sell me flowers that might be a bit wilted for a more than fair price, especially after I begged and pleaded and made sure they knew just what a poor college student I was.

Next, from one of the other girls working the front desk, I finagled Katie's room key.

"Are you sure this is okay?" I asked the girl, who nodded happily in response.

"Technically I'm not supposed to do this," she whispered. "But I see the way Katie looks at you. I don't think she'll mind at all!"

That settled, I perfected my plan, or so I thought. My idea was to wait until Katie was on duty and sneak into her room. Hopefully she wouldn't find any reason to stop by while I was there, but it was a risk I was willing to take. I needed only a few minutes by myself, in order to complete my redecorating.

It was an idea I'd had since Katie and I had watched the movie American Beauty. The image of Mena Suvari almost swimming in a sea of rose petals had fascinated me, and Katie had mentioned thinking the image was beautiful as well. I knew this wouldn't be quite the same- I had no illusions that Katie would be wiling to immediately strip naked for me- but I hoped she would like the image a roomful of rose petals would present.

All that was left was finding the right moment.

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