After what she insisted would be a once-in-a-lifetime weekend spent making love with Mark Cahill, her ‘other’ man, the one who wasn’t her fiance’, Gwen had promised both herself and her friends it would never happen again. Her friends were openly skeptical. Her friends were right.
Despite Gwen’s best intentions, the long weekend she spent with Mark wasn’t a one-time event, but the beginning of something very special and very exhausting. From then on she faced trying to cope with the sex drives of both Mark and Johnny while going to school full time and working part time at her new job on a children's psych ward at Bellevue. This routine resulted in more sex than she ever dreamed possible, but at the cost of a lot of lost sleep.
In her increasingly rare moments of peace and quiet, she sometimes wondered how long she could keep up this physically demanding and emotionally draining existence. The answer was always the same; until Mark left or she collapsed.
Knowing she was the object of two men's sexual desires was giving her ego an incredible lift. Fortunately, it also provided her with a strong adrenalin boost, since the physical demands involved with keeping two men satisfied was becoming a strain.
Her two lovers were complete opposites. Each had a distinctive style and personality to the point of having different ways of walking and holding her hand. Johnny’s body was slender and familiar, while she was still learning about Mark’s big frame. Each man had his own unique scent and taste. And when it came to kissing and making love, they couldn’t have been more different.
It sometimes seemed the one thing they had in common was what appeared to be an insatiable appetite for sex and a desire to use her exhausted body to appease their hunger. To meet this challenge, she developed a pattern of spending alternating weekends with one or the other of her two lovers. One weekend, she’d stay in the city with Mark. The following weekend, she'd go home and spend time with her family and Johnny.
While she and Johnny sometimes got free tickets to a hockey or basketball game, most of the time weekend dates with him meant going out for pizza, then showing up at a party or catching a movie, before driving to a dark, secluded spot where the back seat of his old Chevrolet would be turned into their private playpen.
Weekends with Mark involved long meals in nice restaurants, an occasional movie or play, long, aimless walks through the city and endless sessions of love making back in their hotel room.
During all this, it was becoming harder for her to deal with the contradiction of being engaged to a man she’d loved for years while at the same time dating, and making passionate love with, another man for whom she felt a growing affection.
Of course, Gwen knew she should stop seeing Mark, but didn’t. Her rationalization for this inaction was concern for his emotional well-being. After all, if she suddenly quit seeing him, he might think it was because of his disability. This sense of rejection would be compounded by his isolation from friends and family. As a result, there was a chance he might sink into a deep, and possibly dangerous, depression.
But then, why should I care? He doesn't seem to think of me as anything more than a temporary diversion, a brief affair while he’s in New York. To him, I'm just someone he can have a good time with while breaking the hospital monotony. Whatever we have will end the moment his medical treatments are finished. He'll catch the first available plane back south and probably marry some slender, blonde southern belle type.
For just a moment, her mind went blank as she stared at the opposite wall. After a shake of the head, she slowly finished her thought. After that, well, after that, I'll be able to spend all my time concentrating on Johnny and making him happy.
Much to her relief, he’d recently gone to work as a runner down in the financial district. On slow Wednesdays, he sometimes managed to get off work early. Whenever that happened, he’d call to see if it were okay for him to stop off for a quick visit on his way home. She always said yes. Wednesday was the one evening she wasn’t tied up with classes or study groups.
Since today was Wednesday, she wasn’t surprised when he called right after lunch. She told him she’d be waiting in the usual place and promised he wasn’t interfering with anything that couldn’t wait. In a way, she wasn’t lying. Although on those Wednesdays when he didn’t come, she went over to visit Mark.
The sound of her fiancé's high-pitched, slightly irritated voice broke her reverie. "Gwen, where the hell are you, woman?"
She stood up and stuffed her ‘Mets 1969 World Series Champs’ t-shirt into her faded jeans, then called back to him. She’d been waiting inside one of the small, semi-private, ‘Beau Parlors’ located just off the lobby of her all-girl dorm. They were the one place where students could entertain visiting boyfriends.
Moments later, he hurried in saying, “How’s my woman?” They kissed, then sat on the worn love seat where he pulled her close for another kiss. She noticed he had on his old blue blazer with a soiled white shirt and an unfashionably thin tie.
"Here, let me make you comfortable," cooed Gwen as she helped him out of his coat. After folding and placing it on top of her purse, she took hold of his tie as if to loosen it. Instead, she used it to pull him, in what she hoped was a seductive way, toward her for a long, deep kiss.
When their lips finally parted, he hugged her close. "Damn, but I've missed you, sweetheart."
"You shouldn't have missed me that much; not after all we did last time." Thanks to Johnny’s mom spending Saturday night with her mother in New Jersey, they had unrestricted use of the apartment that entire night. Gwen had no idea how many times they made love, but when she was about to leave, her weary fiancé was sound asleep on the couch with a very contented smile on his face.
"No doubt about it. But that was ten long days ago. Still, it was great. Kind of reminded me of how great doing it on a regular basis was, like that time Mom went away for a week. Anyway, now I feel all deprived." Johnny emphasized his point by giving one of Gwen’s breasts a gentle squeeze.
"Take my word for it, fella, you're depraved, not deprived.” She made a token effort to push him away. "Besides, why should you feel deprived? You seemed to be well satisfied last time."
"Oh, I was, believe me woman, I was. You laid some serious loving on me. That's just the problem. You see, that weekend was so good, I get all hot and bothered whenever I start thinking about all the stuff we did. I mean, I can't get to sleep at night and my mind starts to wander when I’m on the job. So if I don't get some relief real soon, I may get fired."
"Well, it does seem like you've got a big problem here.” With a wink, she patted the bulge in his pants. "And I wouldn't want to be the cause of you losing your new job. The problem is there's just not much a girl can do in this place. That old nurse on the front desk is the notorious Mrs. Eastland. We call her ‘Eagle Eyes’ Eastland. She's constantly walking by the 'Beau Parlors' and checking under the partitions. If she doesn't see four feet on the floor, you're in super deep trouble."
"But I need relief," insisted Johnny. Placing his hand on top of hers, he pressed it against his bulge. "You're not going to let some old bag keep you from helping the man you love, are you? After all, aren't you nurses supposed to be angels of mercy, dedicated to easing man's suffering and all that?"
With a giggle, she nodded. "Of course we are. But you've got to remember, I'm just a poor, hard working nursing student. I haven't gotten my angel wings yet. Still, you've convinced me you're a man who's doing some heavy-duty suffering. So let's see what I can do about your problem."
Gwen leaned over and nibbled on one of Johnny's sensitive earlobe while squeezing and rubbing the taut fabric covering his erection. When he started to shudder and moan, she tugged down the zipper, slipped a hand inside, and wrapped her fingers around the straining shaft.
With a sigh, he slid his hips forward on the small couch and straightened his body so she would have more room inside his pants. But they were still too tight for much freedom of movement.
It was obvious she'd never complete her mission under these circumstances. That’s why she let him coax her into pulling out his erection, but only after using the blazer to cover his lap.
Thanks to the way their love seat was positioned, no one could see them from the hall. That didn't mean Mrs. Eastland couldn't stick her head in and catch her at this. If that happened, Gwen knew she could get thrown out of school or, at the very least, put on probation for the rest of the year. Every sound out in the hall worried her. Eager to get finished, she began pumping furiously.
Johnny began to pant and hunch. "Oh damn, but this is so fine. Keep it up woman, keep it up."
"I will. You just keep it quiet," she hissed, afraid someone might overhear his impassioned remarks.
A few moments later, he let her know he was about to climax. "Of course, if I, uh, leave with a mess all over my, uh, clothes, that old bag will be sure to know what we've been doing."
Gwen knew what he was hinting at, and wasn't interested. "I'm afraid we'll just have to risk that. Look, these love seats were built too small for a reason. There’s no way I can lean over and if Mrs. Eastland ever looked under this partition and caught me kneeling on the floor, I'd really be in trouble. So just relax and enjoy what we can do, okay? I'll take care of the mess later."
"Well sure, that's, uh, great, I suppose." His voice was a mixture of excitement and petulant disappointment. "Hey, I've got it. Why don't I stand in front of you? That way she'll see four feet on the floor while you put your loving lips to good use."
This latest idea was about as unappealing to Gwen as the first. She was also becoming impatient with his childish insistence on getting his way. "Look, Johnny, I'm sorry, but I just can't take the chance. With our luck, Mrs. Eastland would be sure to notice something. If I got caught in here doing what you want, I'd definitely get kicked out of school."
"Like hell you would. Besides, what's more important, school or me?"
For an instant, the question left Gwen speechless. They had been dating for four years. By now he had to know how important nursing was to her. How could he even think to ask such a question? "You are, of course. But they're not mutually exclusive."
"Well, they sure as hell are tonight.”
AS Gwen was trying to think of something to say that would pacify Johnny, he stood up and began straightening his clothes. "Look, it's pretty damn obvious you're a hell of a lot more interested in school than me, at least tonight. And if that's the way you feel, I'm getting the hell out of here."
Looking up at her sulking boyfriend, Gwen found herself feeling both dismay and disgust. Forcing a smile, she patted the couch. "Come on, sit back down and let me see if I can put a smile back on your face."
He turned to face her and began unzipping his fly. "I've got a better idea for you to chew on."
With that, her anger boiled over. "Damn it Johnny, I told you that was out and I told you why!"
After shoving him out of the way, she stood. "The only thing you give a damn about is getting your rocks off and getting your way. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you," she said, in a voice laced with unaccustomed sarcasm, "but in here, it's my way or no way."
For just a moment, Johnny stood staring in surprise at this unexpected outburst. Then his anger reasserted itself. Zipping up his pants one more time, he turned to leave the room.
"Wait a second," she said, reaching down for her purse. "I'll go with you to the front door."
"You're sure it's not too much trouble? God forbid I get a nursing student in trouble with dear Mrs. Eastland."
They walked in silence to the lobby entrance. "I'm sorry I had to disappoint you," she said when they reached the door. "I promise I'll make it up to you this weekend."
A small smile creased the sullen expression on his face. "Well, I suppose that's something to look forward to." After a perfunctory kiss, he walked out into the early evening gloom.
She watched through the thick glass doors as he stopped outside to comb his hair. It was a sure sign he was nervous and upset. After all these years, she could read his every emotion. As long as his masculinity wasn't threatened, there was no problem. Tonight, he forced her to hurt his male ego and now he was pouting. Still, with luck, he'd come back in after cooling off and they could make up.
As Gwen watched, Johnny put on his blazer, lit a cigarette, and stood for a moment, absent-mindedly playing with his lighter. Then he put the lighter away and, after a short pause, strode away without ever looking back.
Damn, but he’d been a creep tonight. Sure he was horny, when wasn't he? Still, it should have been obvious to anyone why she couldn't risk doing what he wanted.
As the shape of Johnny's back faded in the twilight, she began to wonder if she was right. Had the risk really been that obvious? What would another guy have done in the same situation? More specifically, what would Mark have done?
Well, there was just one way to find out. She checked her watch. With Johnny leaving early, she had just enough time to compare and contrast the two men. She noticed her reflection in the glass door and decided there was also time to change out of her t-shirt and jeans and freshen up her makeup before putting Mark to the test.
Mark lay stretched out in bed with his eyes closed. Using earphones, he was listening to a recording of A Farewell to Arms
. The only light came from the low-wattage bulb above the sink.
From the foot of his bed, Gwen continued to study him in the dim light. He seemed so unlike anyone else she had ever known. His big frame, that powerful body which had brought her so much pleasure and passion, filled up most of the bed. But it wasn’t just size which made him different. His accent, his style, his outlook on life, and, of course, his being wounded in Vietnam, all made him so incredibly unique.
Sometimes Gwen couldn’t believe she had actually gone to bed with this man. Just as amazing was her having done so several times since and yet feeling no regret. This lack of remorse had puzzled and worried her until she finally decided it was because she knew how much Mark needed the love and comfort she could give.
Rummaging through her purse, she pulled out a small bottle. Unscrewing the cap, she applied an extra dab of Chantilly perfume. It had been her favorite for years and Mark seemed to like it. Closing the bottle, she dropped it back into her purse, and then moved around to the side of the bed. Reaching out a hand, she softly touched his bare foot. "Surprise!"
Instantly, Mark's body became tense and alert. In what seemed like one swift motion, he rolled over on his side, quickly jerked off the earphones, and grabbed for his glasses. Putting on the heavy spectacles with their thick lenses, he peered warily in her direction.
"Gwen?" Although his body began to relax, there was a guarded, puzzled tone in his voice. "I didn't think you could come over tonight."
This was the first time she had seen him make such a startled response. The almost savage intensity surprised, and worried, her. She briefly considered trying to get him to talk about it, but rejected the idea. For the time being, she’d play Scarlett O’Hara and worry about doing that on another day.
"That's not a very nice welcome," she replied with a small, feigned pout. Moving closer, she said, "As a matter of fact, my study session ended early. Aren't you glad to see me?"
"Damn straight," he said, putting the earphones on the nightstand and sitting up in bed. "Come on and pull up a chair. I've got a new roommate who goes by the name of Fred. He's down in the day room watching the ball game. So as we say down south, take off your shoes and sit a spell."
After giving him a big, sloppy kiss, she sat in the familiar institutional green armchair by the head of the bed and actually did take her boots off. After leaning over and kissing her again, Mark warned it was about time for his medications. They held hands and talked while waiting for the evening nurse to come and go.
A short time later, Fred came in to get some cigarettes. He was a slender Puerto Rican with dark, intense, eyes.
After a quick introduction, he gave Gwen a big smile and departed. He was quickly replaced by Mrs. Lopez with the evening medications. She gave Mark his pills and eye-drops, then stayed and chatted for a moment before leaving to complete her rounds.
"Believe it or not, I don't think we'll be bothered any more,” said Mark. “Fred's a pretty good guy and wants to be cool, so he'll let us alone. Beside, I think the Knicks are playing and he’s a sports nut."
"I think I remember once having a hard time convincing you to go to the park with me. You wanted to stay here and listen to some ball game."
"Guilty as charged. It’s just that at first I wasn't sure you were serious. I thought you might be asking just to be nice."
"Well, I was nice, wasn't I?" she replied, giving him a sexy, little, wink.
"Believe me, lady, you were nice with a capital N." With that, he leaned forward and gave her a long, tender kiss.
When their lips finally parted, she leaned back and stared at him for a moment. "Do you remember our first kiss?"
"Of course. Why do you ask?"
"I was just curious why you did it."
For just a minute, Mark was silent. "Well, let me tell you little lady, it’s like this. At the time it just seemed like the logical thing to do. You looked extra nice that day and you just kept staring at me with those big, brown, bedroom eyes of yours. So, I kind of figured that maybe you wanted me to."
"What do you mean I wanted you to?"
No one could have missed the startled note of disbelief and challenge in her voice. "Well, I'll admit, I might have read your body language all wrong. After all, that's not so hard to do when you're legally blind. I mean, it wasn't like you were blatantly coming on to me or anything like that. Still, it did seem like you were sending out subtle signals. Like you were saying, ‘I'm here if you've got the nerve to try.’
“But, they were so subtle I kept worrying about how you'd react. I'm not the bravest of guys, you know,” said the man with a Purple Heart, “and there was a good chance you might get mad and stop coming by to visit. Finally, I decided it was a risk worth taking. Besides, I knew you weren't going to slap an eye patient."
The idea that she might have been sending Mark some sort of signal to kiss her had never occurred to Gwen. She wasn't a flirt and she most definitely wasn't flirting with him that day. Yet, apparently that's what he thought.
The more she considered the possibility, the more visibly upset she became. For if he was right, what did that say about her feelings for Johnny? If she actually had been sending out some sort of unconscious, subliminal signal, well, would that mean she no longer really loved Johnny?
It was obvious the current subject was upsetting Gwen. "At least a thousand and one apologies, oh lovely Bellevue maiden, if I kissed you under false pretenses. I tell you what, let's try another one, just to see if we still like the fool things."
In response to this good-humored invitation, she smiled and leaned forward. They began some intense kissing which soon lead to his hands gently caressing the soft curves of her young body.
Never moving his lips away from hers, Mark reached down and undid the first two buttons of her white blouse. Slipping a hand inside, he began softly caressing one of her hard, erect nipples. Meanwhile, his other hand pushed up the hem of her short, denim, wraparound skirt, and began stroking her thighs.
All this activity was quickly turning her on. As he kissed her lips and neck, Mark slid his hands around her body and pulled her out of the chair. Once she was standing between his legs, he encircled the twin globes of her bottom and pulled her close.
Even as she felt her own passion rising, Gwen knew it was time to put Mark to the test. She had never been a tease and didn't like playing the part of one now, but there didn't seem to be any other way of finding out if he'd react the same way Johnny had earlier this evening.
Just as he began reaching down toward the hem of her skirt, she twisted away. Glancing at her watch, she sat down and gave him a worried look. "I'm sorry Mark, but nothing that heavy tonight. For some reason, I just can't shake the feeling that Fred or Mrs. Lopez might come back."
There was a pained look on his face as he tried to assure her that neither individual would be returning. "That's easy enough for you to say," she replied. "But I'd die of embarrassment if Fred walked in on us and Mrs. Lopez could always come back. Last summer she was super nice to me. Still, something tells me she's just the type who wouldn't hesitate to report me and that could get me into a lot of trouble at school. I know it may be a long shot, but I just don't feel comfortable taking the chance."
Gwen gave him an apologetic smile. "I'm really sorry about this. I hope you're not too disappointed or upset."
"Disappointed, yes," replied Mark, with a puzzled half-grin. "Upset, not really, although I'll admit I am a little surprised at this sudden case of cold feet. Still, I've got a great deal of respect for female intuition, and it is your career.
"After all, I didn't expect you over tonight, so even a handshake is a bonus.” With that, he took her right hand and gave it a big, hearty shake.
"Besides, if you're all uptight, I suppose it'd be tough to get into the mood for a serious make-out session, even with someone as fabulous, not to mention modest, as yours truly. But you better prepare yourself for an extremely serious goodnight kiss."
Gwen couldn’t help giggling at this response. At the same time she was gripped by a sense of both dismay and uncertainty. Damn it, she thought while gazing into Mark’s smiling face, why'd he have to be so nice? Johnny had acted like a jerk while Mark was behaving like a prince. Of course, the situations weren't exactly the same, she told herself. So maybe I shouldn't be so hard on Johnny. Still Mark deserves something for being so damn nice.
"Maybe you're right," she agreed. Then she stood up and walked toward the door. After checking the hall, she turned around and headed back toward Mark.
"What I mean is, you're right about nobody coming. I don't know why I had that feeling. Maybe it was what I ate for supper. Still, for whatever reason, it's gone now."
Returning to the slightly bewildered Mark, she sat down and began unbuttoning the fly to his pajama bottoms. Within seconds, his erect penis came into view. "Now there are just a few minutes left before I've got to go. Since nobody seems to be coming and you've been so very nice, I'd like to give you a present which may help you relax and get to sleep tonight."
"Go ahead on," he replied, with a pleased smile. With that, she circled her hands around the base of the stiff shaft, leaned forward, and began giving him the present.
In the quiet, dim, hospital room, the two of them gradually became as one. A wave of new and unexpected emotions began building within Gwen until she had to wrap her arms around Mark's big body for support.
In some mysterious way she couldn’t understand, the object connecting them was becoming more than just a penis. It was evolving into an extension, not just of Mark's body, but of his entire being. This was no longer just another item from the Kama Sutra. By this act of love, she was establishing both a physical and psychic connection to this man.
With a muffled warning, Mark’s trembling body made a convulsive jerk and he rose from the bed. Moments later, he began releasing the product of Gwen's efforts. Finally the torrent slowed to a trickle. Then with a sigh, his body relaxed and sank back on the bed.
Looking up at his drooping head and closed eyes, she smiled with satisfaction at the results of her labors. Then, after straighten his pajamas, she stood up. "I'm glad you liked your little thank you gift so much. Now I better get going. I've still got some studying to do."
"Wait a second," he said, while struggling to his feet. "I'll walk you to the elevator."
Wordlessly, they walked down the empty hall. Passing the nurse's station, they waved at Mrs. Lopez and then walked through the heavy double fire doors into the deserted lobby. While waiting for the elevator, Mark took Gwen in his arms and kissed her deeply. As the elevator door open, their lips parted.
"I know I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight," he said with a contented grin. "But insomnia can be a real problem for me. Who knows, I may need repeated treatments."
"Just keep on being nice and future treatments could be a real possibility,” she said with a wink. Then giving him a last quick kiss she stepped inside the elevator and was gone.
Walking back to her dorm, Gwen sensed that during the past few hours there had been a important change in her feelings toward both Johnny and Mark. Of course, she still loved Johnny and wanted to marry him. But she couldn't help wondering if things between them would ever be the same after what happened tonight.
Stopping outside the front door to her dorm, she leaned against the railing and stared unseeing across the driveway at the activity in the hospital's emergency entrance. Alone in the cool night air, she thought about Mark and about what she’d just done up in his room. Her sensations were still filled with the sound of his voice, the feel of his body, his touch and even, she admitted with a rueful smile, his taste.
While she might still love Johnny, after tonight's events, she could no longer deny her growing affection for Mark Cahill.
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