Marci called me on the intercom a short time later to tell me that the guys for our 9:45 appointment had arrived. I instructed her to call Louis and ask him to join us in the conference room, then went out and exchanged pleasantries and led them down the hall. I made the necessary introductions when Louis joined us, and Marci inquired as to whether anyone might like a cup of coffee or other beverage and then filled requests accordingly.
The meeting went well. The clients seemed very interested and encouraged, and Louis was the polished source of information and professional presence that he always is; I took it as a good sign, and allowed myself to get my hopes up. It would mean a payday of over $49,000, our share of the commission on the property, and even though Louis would receive a part of it for his help and much of it would go toward the operating expenses and overhead of our company, it was still far better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick! I made a mental note to enjoy a celebratory cocktail that night at dinner – and to thank Alli for getting my day off to such a great start.
The whole day pretty much went that way. I had a lunch meeting with the real estate manager for a large national retailer of electronics and computers and such – you’d recognize the name of the chain – who explained that they were trying to relocate their local store to a larger facility when their current lease expired a few months down the road. Fortunately for me, as the listing broker my name was in the window of the property they were interested in; even better, I was representing a landlord that knew the value of a strong national tenant, and I was very sure that he would be willing to strike a very fair deal in order to land them.
The one thing that didn’t pan out that day was my promise to Allison that nobody other than Marci, Louis, or Charlie was likely to see her sexy photo. It seems that one of the two that had seen it that morning – either Marci or Louis, although neither would admit to it - had told everyone in the building that they needed to stop by my office and ask to see my birthday present, but without telling them ahead of time what it was! If you didn’t know Louis as well as I did it would have been natural to suspect Marci of being the culprit. Unfortunately for him, I knew very well that he had a sly, subtle sense of humor, and that making me squirm all day was exactly the type of thing that he would delight in; accordingly, my money was on Louis – and now I owed him one.
In any event, as a result of the treachery of one of my two so-called friends, I had to endure a constant parade of people in and out of my office, and a barrage of ooohs and aaahs, compliments, and comments – ranging from the very admiring to the very lewd, with a number of the “lucky guy” remarks thrown in for good measure. They even had the FedEx and UPS guys – and the young lady that delivers our mail – come back and ask to see it! I should have known that with this bunch there was no hope of keeping it classy.
One thing that struck me was that a lot of the younger brokers that worked in our office – as well as the FedEx guy – were very close to Alli’s age, (27, and now once again five years younger than me) and that there could be no question that they all really, really liked the photo! A number of them looked at it for an inordinately long time, and one even jokingly asked me to print out a MapQuest map to wherever it was that I’d found her. For the first time ever I thought about the fact that Alli was in her absolute best years physically, at the peak of her beauty and desirability – not to mention her best child-producing years – and that I was somewhat older, maybe even on the downhill side of my own best years. All of these younger guys drooling over her did nothing to shore up my self-confidence!
They had a brief cake-and-ice cream party for me in the afternoon, and I had to suffer through a lot of good-natured ribbing about getting old, despite the fact that I was the youngest of the partners by a decent margin. It was fun though, and I think most of the current staff – over 20 people – was there. We don’t often have occasion to get together as a group for fun things, so I tried my best to relax and just enjoy it, although I’m not much on being the center of attention.
The only thing I had been spared that day with regard to people teasing me or lusting over my wife was a visit from Charlie, and my luck continued to hold – right up until the last minute, when I was putting on my jacket in preparation for leaving, the thoughts of meeting Alli for a nice dinner very much at the forefront of my mind. Apparently I should have left about two minutes sooner - but because I hadn’t, Charlie caught me in my office, standing behind my desk as I slipped my arms into my sport coat.
In a great parody of the “Old Time Rock & Roll” scene from Risky Business, he came skidding into my office doorway. “Hey buddy, glad I caught you! I understand that birthday wishes are in order.”
I nodded, smiling. “Yup, 32 – although I feel much older.”
He laughed. “Hey, let me take you out and buy you a few rounds and you’ll feel even worse tomorrow, I promise.”
I had to laugh too. One thing about Charlie, you can’t be around him very long and not laugh. Of everything that Louis is in terms of calm demeanor, reserve, and quiet dignity, Charlie Nix is the absolute antithesis. “Thanks Charlie, but as attractive as that sounds – I mean, who doesn’t enjoy barfing and being hung over – I’m meeting Alli for dinner tonight, so I’ll have to take a rain check.”
“Oh, too bad; I was going to take you over to the Booby Trap. I was even going to buy you a lap dance!”
The Booby Trap is our local strip club – our only one, I might add – and Charlie was the one responsible for finding a way around local zoning ordinances banning such businesses by placing it in a building in an area zoned for light industry, over near the highway. It had created a good bit of controversy at the time – most of it directed at the proprietors rather than at us, thank goodness – but now it was just another part of the fabric of our town.
It helped that the owners – and the girls that worked there – were very generous to local charities and other community needs, often donating money, time, and personal appearances for fundraisers and such things. Clearly they recognized the value of good public relations – although, when they decided to be equal opportunity offenders and began to hold a once-a-month ladies night for which they’d bring in male strippers the controversy flared anew, albeit briefly. The funny thing is, much like the way things go when people fight to keep giant discount retailers like WalMart out of their towns, once the doors opened it became a very busy and popular place. I’d always thought that the little round red dots for nipples in the middles of the two “o’s” in the word “Booby” on their signs added a particularly classy touch.
I’d been there a few times, usually when Charlie dragged me along, or when one of our guys was getting married and we would all drag him there for a brief but embarrassing bachelor’s party, but it really wasn’t my cup of tea. Charlie, on the other hand, seemed to make it his home away from home; when he would walk in it was reminiscent of the scene in “Cheers” where Norm walks in and everyone yells “Norm!” Except they all would say “Charlie!” instead, of course. I think he had a spot at the stage with his name on it, probably with a brass plaque.
He stood in the doorway of my office for a moment, as if he’d maybe forgotten why he was there. Or maybe his mind was wandering to the feminine delights of his current favorite dancer at the club. As I looked at him, patiently waiting, he seemed to sort of shake himself. “Oh, hey, everyone’s been telling me that I needed to come and ask to see your birthday present. What did they get you?”
I laughed. “They got me cake and ice cream, which you missed out on but which you probably paid for, unless I miss my guess.” Charlie is generous to a fault; money just doesn’t seem to mean much to him, other than for finding ways to blow through huge piles of it in ways that make other people happy. He had probably paid for the entire party as soon as someone brought it up. “I suspect they were talking about the present that Alli gave me.”
He stared at me. “Really? I wouldn’t have thought that would be something you could bring to work to show people!”
I was surprised, and confused. “You knew what she was getting me?”
It was his turn to appear puzzled. “Well, if I was in your shoes I wouldn’t have settled for anything less than a blowjob – but that’s not really something you can show off at work, right? I mean, I’m just sayin’...”
I realized that I had completely misinterpreted his comment about bringing my gift to work, which had been meant as a crude wisecrack, but which I had taken as a reference to her somewhat racy photo. I laughed. “OK, point taken, finally – and no, I won’t go into what other gifts I might or might not have received from her, but what everyone was probably referring to today was that.” I motioned toward the picture, the back of which was facing him, and he crossed to my desk and picked it up.
He just stood and looked at it – silently - for the longest time, a very un-Charlie-like reaction. As he did, I studied him, waiting, and to some degree dreading what he might say. Charlie is the opposite of Louis in almost every respect. Physically, he’s a big, blocky guy; he always makes me think of an English bulldog, big, square-ish head, thick neck, and a broad, barrel-shaped torso, tapering to slimmer hips and small, somewhat bowed hind legs. Or just legs, in Charlie’s case. His short, sandy-reddish hair, pug nose, square, heavy chin, and florid complexion somehow add a feeling of bulldog tenacity to his physical appearance. He’s even starting to develop the jowls for it.
Charlie is immensely strong and muscular, but it’s not that sleek type of muscle that athletes have, nor is it the huge, bulging, well-defined muscles of a body builder. What Charlie has is a layer of the big, solid slab sort of muscle that is entirely genetic, the kind his ancestors may have needed to work the farm and livestock, or the mines, or to haul in fishnets by hand; big, broad, bulky peasant muscles that make him look thick, or even fat, but which are deceivingly powerful.
He and I had played racquetball for several years, although not recently, and I can attest to the fact that while I am quicker, smoother, and more nimble, he is deceptively fast, and incredibly powerful. I could often beat him by forcing him to keep moving, but when he hit the ball it was with such power that I thought it might go through the wall, and it would become a blur that was past me so quickly that I barely had time to react – and heaven help me if I got in the way, which is one of those unavoidable things in that game! Being hit by a ball that Charlie had crushed felt more like being hit by a baseball, a pitched fastball, than by a small, light, hollow rubber ball. It hurt – and it would raise a welt and leave a tender bruise that could last for days. I’d had more than a few.
We were both ultra-competitive, and we’d had some very long, strenuous games. We’d somehow just fallen out of the habit of playing following his divorce – his third – and now mostly saw each other at work, or occasionally after, when a group of us would go out for a few beers. Charlie remained single; frankly, the fact that he was three-times divorced did not surprise me nearly as much as the fact that he had found three women that would marry him in the first place! He’s pretty loud and crude, and rough around the edges, and he drinks a bit too much, but he’s also funny, impossible to offend, and has a huge, generous heart and a gentle soul. I guess some women have the ability to see past his faults, at least for awhile. To his credit, he claims to still love each of his ex-wives, has an amicable relationship with all of them, and never misses an alimony or child support payment – he has two kids, one each by his first and second wives.
He finally lowered the picture and looked at me over the top of it, his eyes a watery blue…with a few red streaks. “You know Dave, I’ve always known that your wife is a very beautiful woman, but I’d never seen her as quite this sexy before. This is a very sexy, sensual woman in this picture!”
I smiled. It was a remarkably nice, classy comment for Charlie, not at all what I’d been expecting. “Thanks Charlie, I’ll pass along your compliments to Alli, I know she’ll appreciate it.”
“Yeah, please do – and tell her that she makes me feel all tingly in my pants!” He reached down and fondled himself through his slacks, adjusting his package. “She makes me want to touch myself.”
I shook my head, chuckling. This was far more like what I had been expecting! “Charlie, is there anything inside of your head for a thought to bounce off of a few times before it tumbles out of your mouth?”
He just laughed. “Hey, it’s not my fault that you married such a hottie!” He continued to squeeze his dangly bits, groping about.
I pulled my desk drawer open and grabbed my stapler. “Charlie, I swear to god if you take it out I’ll staple it to your leg!”
He laughed again. “Hey, it wouldn’t be the first time!” I hoped he was kidding. He looked again at Alli’s picture for a moment, and then tucked it under his arm and headed for the door. “Well, if I can’t do it in here, I guess she’ll just have to accompany me down to the restroom for a few minutes.”
“Very funny! You can put it back now, you pervert.”
He was grinning lecherously as he returned the photo to my desk. “See, now you and Alli could have saved me a trip to the Booby Trap, and probably a hundred bucks or more, but noooo! You’re going to be a stick in the mud and not let me pay the ultimate compliment to your lovely wife – and I planned to clean it up after, I promise.”
“Gross, Charlie – but hey, it’s the thought that counts, bud. I’ll let Alli know that her picture inspired you.”
He turned back to the door again, and started to move away. “When you do, tell her that I had to go to the Booby Trap to get my ashes hauled because you wouldn’t let me and her play for awhile.”
“I’m sure she’ll be disappointed, Charlie. You have fun now – tell the ladies hello for me.”
“You got it – and tell Alli that while one of them is wiggling around on my lap, I’ll be thinking of her.” I grabbed a pen off my desk and threw it at him, but he just ducked and let it sail past, laughing. “You know what I can’t figure out, Dave old buddy? I can’t figure out what a gorgeous broad like that is doing with a schmuck like you.”
“Yeah, you just helped me confirm a theory that I’ve been working on. I appreciate it.”
He shrugged and said “No problem, glad I could help” as he disappeared down the hall. If I was the very jealous or insecure type Charlie probably would have made me crazy, but I felt very secure in Allison’s love for me, and so that deflected much of Charlie’s garbage. In addition, I’d known him enough years to know that he was just being himself, yanking my chain but not meaning anything by it. Truth is, in the extremely unlikely event that Allison ever tried to come on to him, he’d probably freak out and run the other way!
When he is actually around her, at company dinners or picnics or if we get together for any reason, he kids with her a little and makes her blush, but he tones it down about 98% compared to his usual style. Alli actually likes him a lot – and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a dog lover, and donates generously to her shelter. He’s even gone and helped them run a couple of their “Adoption Days”, when they advertise heavily and set up in a big tent at the shopping center in an effort to find homes for some of their animals. It usually works pretty well, and also serves as an effective fundraiser, but it is a lot of work. I’m always there for them, and I can testify that Charlie is a huge help, both in the muscle end of things, and in the personality end of it. His loud, gregarious nature is perfect for that kind of public forum.
I retrieved my pen and put the stapler away before heading out. At the last second I turned around and went back to my desk, where I picked up Alli’s picture and looked at it, taking a long last look for the day, a moment to appreciate what she’d done. Then I locked it inside of one of my desk drawers; all three partners have a key to each other’s office, in case we might need to access something for a client while one or another of us is out, but Charlie doesn’t have a key to my desk drawers. I decided not to take any chances, just in case there was a grain of truth in his teasing!
After that I went on out to my car, saying goodnight to a couple of people I passed in the hall. Just as I pulled out into traffic my phone rang, so I poked the button on my steering wheel and answered it on my car’s hands-free system, not checking the caller ID. “Hello?”
“Hi babe, it’s me.”
My mind quickly ran through the list of all the people that address me as “babe” and decided it must be Allison. “Hi hon’, what’s going on?”
“I’m running a little late. You sound like you’re in your car; have you left work already?”
It was only about 5:30, which was a little early for me to be getting away from work, but I was looking forward to dinner and had made it a point to be out early. “Yup, just now. You got problems?”
“No.” She hesitated. “Well, sort of. The power washer at work broke down while we were cleaning out kennels, and it took me awhile to get it working again. Then I had to come home and shower, because I didn’t think that showing up covered in a layer of atomized dog poop was the way to go. I just got out of the shower.”
I laughed. “Well, ignoring the dog poop component, the rest of that sounds very inviting. You want me to come home and dry your back – or your front?” I was picturing her, naked and dripping wet from the shower; I like that picture too!
It was her turn to laugh. “We both know that if you do that we’ll never make it to dinner. No, you go ahead, get a drink or something; I’ll be there in a little while.”
“I’m early, so it’s no big deal for me to stop by and pick you up if you want.”
She hesitated. “No, I’ll just meet you there; coming home would be way out of your way. Put our name in and then go to the bar or something and just relax. Have a birthday drink on me, and I’ll see you shortly.”
“OK, if you’re sure…”
“I am. Happy birthday sweetheart, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
We broke the connection and I continued on my way to Leo’s Chophouse. It is without question the finest steakhouse in our small town – other than the mid-priced chains there were really only two, Leo’s and The Broilerroom – and we much prefer Leo’s for special occasions. We weren’t a big enough town to have scored a Morton’s, or a Ruth’s Chris, but even if we had we’d probably still patronize Leo’s. It’s just a very classy and elegant place, with a dark, romantic, traditional fine-dining atmosphere and a very attentive and professional staff. Leo’s also has a superb wine list, as well as a very nice bar area.
I let the valet take my car, even though I was early and it was a weeknight, and as a result there were a lot of vacant spaces in the parking lot. I knew that Alli would leave hers with the valet, and this way we could wait together later, when we were leaving. I left our name with the hostess, who was a very beautiful and friendly young lady, and suggested that after my wife arrived she might allow us time to have a drink together before taking us to our table.
The bar was sparsely populated at this early hour; it’s not really the kind of place that people stop at for a drink after work, like Chubby’s, because although the bar at Leo’s is very comfortable and welcoming it can be a little expensive. There was a group of four at a table in the corner, and an older couple at another, as well as two people at the bar, near one end but clearly not together. Probably both waiting for their date, as I was. I took a seat farther down the bar, away from the others, with the idea that I could just sit and chill for awhile without being forced to engage in meaningless conversation.
I slid onto a barstool and ordered a vodka martini, dirty, from the attractive blonde bartender. She gave me a great smile, showing lots of perfect white teeth, and leaned forward to take my order, making sure that I noticed her well-defined cleavage in her low-cut top. Probably a transparent ploy to increase her tips, and almost certainly an effective one; I noticed, and I’m pretty sure she noticed me noticing. I covered up my embarrassment at getting busted by smoothly asking for a pair of olives in my martini; I know, not all that subtle, but at least I didn’t ask for a pair of big, beautiful, firm, luscious, perfect olives. That would not have been subtle, not at all.
As I waited for my drink, I looked around the bar. It’s nice, the booths along one side dark and intimate, the fabrics rich, dark shades of navy, hunter, and burgundy, and the décor on the darkly painted walls consisting of fine photos of classic city scenes from major cities, in walnut frames. The only bright, well-lit area is the back-bar, where rows of colorful bottles of every imaginable type of liquor and liqueur were displayed on glass shelves, with mirrors lining the wall behind them to make a few bottles of each variety appear as many sparkling, colorful jewels. The bar was spotlessly clean and gleaming, and soft jazz played on the sound system, seeming to emanate from no particular place but filling the room with a calm, relaxing vibe. It worked well, and as I took my first sip of my drink I could almost feel the tension of the day start to drain away.
Leo’s, unlike so many places, had also managed to resist the temptation to put a TV in their bar, and it was a welcome absence. I sat there thinking, enjoying the music and my drink, my mind running back over my day; from Alli’s surprise gift and the revelations that had come with it – and her glorious intimate physical gift - on through the birthday party, meetings, and deals and other business of the day, and right up through my verbal sparring with crazy Charlie, it had been an interesting day. Whatever else I could say about my 32nd birthday to that point, it had been anything but ordinary.
I was so lost in thought, my body and mind gradually slowing down, that I barely noticed when somebody slid onto the barstool next to mine. To the extent I did notice, it generated minor annoyance that somebody had chosen to interrupt my solitude when there were at least a dozen other seats available along the bar. I ignored my new neighbor, hoping to forestall any attempts at small talk. Ignore as I might though, I couldn’t help but notice a very subtle, very sexy feminine scent that began to invade – and interrupt – my reverie.
Having noticed that, I was not surprised to see a slender, nicely-tanned arm come to rest on the bar, or the graceful hand with its long, elegant fingers and perfect French-manicured nails. So it was a woman that had taken the seat next to me, and one that smelled very nice at that. I risked a glance out of the corner of my eye, curious, but not really looking to make contact or acknowledge her in any way; call me anti-social, I just wanted to enjoy my drink and my privacy for a few minutes until my wife arrived!
I soon discovered that that was not to be, however, when she leaned in and said “Would you care to buy a lady a drink?”
Her voice was low and sensual with the slightest trace of a southern drawl, like warm honey to my ears. I turned to face her. “Um, well, I suppose I could.” She was quite beautiful – gorgeous, really, with long dark hair and a beautiful face, the swell of her breasts above her little black cocktail dress visible in my peripheral vision. I fought the urge to look down.
She laughed. “Well, try not to sound so enthusiastic about it, all right?”
I blushed. “I’m sorry, that came out wrong.” I held up my left hand so that she could see my wedding band. “I’m really just waiting for my wife.”
She smiled. “I understand. Would she be upset if you bought me a drink?”
“No, I don’t believe so.” I signaled the bartender, who headed our way, and then asked her what she would like to drink.
“What is that you’re having?”
I looked at my cocktail. “A dirty vodka martini; it’s basically a martini, except with vodka instead of gin – and a bit of olive brine.”
“Hmm, that sounds rather interesting; I don’t really care for gin. May I?” She reached for my glass.
“Sure, I guess.” I was actually very surprised – and a little put off – that she would presume to sample my drink, from my glass, but was too polite to say so. She raised it to her lips, which I couldn’t help but notice were full and perfect, her lipstick a pale pink.
She took a small sip, and then a bit more, her eyebrows rising appreciatively. “Mmmm, that’s very good! You can order me one of those, please.”
Hey, at least she’d said please! She then made up for that momentary courtesy by helping herself to one of my olives, which surprised me yet again. I placed her order with the beautiful bartender, same drink as mine, and turned back to find her leaning into me while making slow, oral love to my olive, holding it with the tip of her thumb and forefinger, between her perfectly manicured nails while sucking some of the juice from it. She then licked all around it, very sensuously, her eyes staring into mine as she began to take tiny, nibbling bites. If she was making an effort to turn me on it was working, despite my discomfort at her nearness. I cleared my throat uncomfortably, and leaned back a little.
She popped the last bit of olive in her mouth and smiled at me. “I’m Natasha, by the way.”
“Interesting last name, I don’t recognize the derivation.” It was lame, but sometimes that’s the best I can do.
She rewarded me with a throaty chuckle. “I see what you did there. Cute.” She paused. “And you are…?”
“Oh yeah, sorry; I’m Boris.” It seemed like a funny thing to say, and apparently it was, because she laughed.
“Boris and Natasha – what a coincidence!”
“Yes, isn’t it? That was my first though as well.”
“You don’t look Russian, Boris – isn’t that sort of a Russian name?”
I nodded. “Great grandmother, on my father’s side. Sturdy woman, from the pictures I’ve seen. Nice, full mustache, uni-brow, you know the type. I think that’s where I got my taste for vodka.”
She laughed again. She had a nice laugh. “So Boris, what do you do – besides drink vodka martinis and entertain strange women in bars?”
I almost told her that she didn’t strike me as being all that strange, but that seemed rude. Instead I said “I’m a Navy fighter pilot – you know, like Top Gun.”
“There aren’t a lot of Navy bases in Colorado, Boris.”
“Actually, I fly off of carriers more often than not.”
“We’re also a long way from the nearest ocean.”
“Well yes, but that’s why those fast jets come in so handy; I can fly in, take my wife to dinner, enjoy a little romantic time, and be back before they even know I’m gone. She’s allergic to that salt air you usually find wherever the Navy is, you see, so she stays here.” She was easy to talk to, fun and quick-witted, which for me really added to her appeal. I was enjoying myself.
“My, that’s a lot of trouble to go to. After going to such lengths, will she be angry if she walks in and finds you talking to me?”
I shrugged. “Oh, I don’t think so! She knows I’m a one-woman kind of man, and that I’m completely, hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with her.”
She looked me up and down, her gaze frank and appraising. “Well, I think she’s a very lucky woman.”
I laughed. “It’s funny you would say that; people that know both of us usually tell me that I’m the lucky one.”
Her eyebrows rose. “Really? She must be a very beautiful woman!”
I nodded. “She is. Gorgeous - stunning really, and very sexy. Words don’t do her justice.”
“Hmm, I see. Is she more beautiful than me?”
I smiled as I saw that trap! Did she think I just fell off the turnip truck or what? It was my turn to look her over appraisingly, head to toe. She was extremely attractive, and her sexual appeal was undeniable. “Oh, I don’t know if I’d say more beautiful…as beautiful, perhaps, might be a better way to put it.”
That earned me another of those throaty, sexy laughs. “My, you are quite the diplomat!”
I nodded. “Indeed, but only part-time; my full-time job is fighter pilot, remember – that, plus I volunteer to fly food and supplies into disaster areas and such.”
She smiled. “Very impressive!” The bartender was at the far end of the bar, deeply involved with two of the people seated there, and as a result we had the area to ourselves; it was surprisingly private and intimate, considering we were at the bar, and we continued our conversation.
“Thank you – and what do you do Natasha, if I may ask?”
“Me? Oh, I’m an international jewel thief. Nothing special.”
“Oh, I don’t know! That sounds very exciting to me.”
“I suppose it can be. I’m quite successful, really.”
I nodded. “I can tell.” She had an expensive, well put-together look about her. “Hey, maybe you can answer a question for me, something I’ve always been curious about; why are jewel thieves always international? Aren’t there enough jewels in any one country for you to make a living in your trade?”
She smiled. “You’d think so, wouldn’t you? I can’t speak for all of us, of course, but for me it’s the opportunity to travel; I like to see new places, and meet interesting people. People like you, for example. I don’t think I’ve ever met a fighter pilot before.”
“Well, we’re a rare breed. It’s a dangerous job.” I glanced at my watch. “My wife should be here soon, she’s actually running later than she thought, but I’m really enjoying talking to you.”
“Good conversation helps pass the time, wouldn’t you say? I’m waiting for my husband as well; I guess I should have told you that.” It was her turn to hold up her left hand, the large diamonds on her wedding rings catching and refracting the light into a thousand tiny, brilliant points of fire. “It’s not unusual for him to be late; he’s a very important man.”
“And a fool, I would say, if he leaves you sitting at a bar all by yourself!”
She smiled. “Thank you – but I’m really not by myself, am I? You’re here.” She had me there! I just smiled at her, acknowledging the fact. “I hope he likes my new dress. I just bought it this last weekend, just for this occasion; it will be the first time he’s seen it.”
“I’m sure he will. It’s very attractive, and it’s perfect for you. Honestly, I think you do more for the dress than it does for you, if I may be so bold as to say so.” It was the truth; the dress was a simple little black thing, in some soft fabric that formed to her fine body and allowed her to shine. It didn’t appear to be excessively short – probably about five or six inches above her knee if she was standing up, although it showed a little bit more leg than that now, with her sitting on the high stool.
It was low enough in the front to draw the eye to her breasts, but not dangerously low, and it had only tiny spaghetti-straps over her shoulders, allowing her graceful neck and throat and the delicate arch of her collarbones to show. Her skin was flawless. She had wisely chosen small sapphire earrings and a larger sapphire pendant on a thin gold chain as the only accent pieces; a woman this beautiful should always be the center of attention, not some blot of large, gaudy, ill-advised jewelry, and her small accessory pieces were just right to provide a tiny highlight to her own sensual glow.
She laughed at my awkward praise and twirled on her barstool, proud to show off her new dress. To my surprise, the back of her dress plunged down to there – “there” being a point within an inch or two of the top of her well-formed bottom! I had assumed from the way her dress fit (and from an occasional slight hint of erect nipple through the soft fabric) that she was wearing no bra, and the plunging back confirmed my suspicions. Again, her skin was flawless, and her toned muscles, the natural organic arch of her spine and her small, graceful shoulder blades made the rear view almost as enticing as the front – and this was while she was sitting down! Extraordinary, really.
“It really is a beautiful dress, for a beautiful lady.”
She actually blushed slightly. “Thank you. You’re quite a gentleman – I’ve always thought of fighter pilots as being much more self-involved.”
I shrugged. “Some are, I suppose. Not all of us.”
She smiled. “You know, I almost didn’t wear this tonight. It wasn’t until I put it on to come here that I realized that my panty lines would show, which left me with the dilemma of either wearing some other old thing I had in my closet, or else wearing this and a thong - or going without panties entirely.”
She had my full attention now! Not that she hadn’t before, but it’s funny how a comment like that can focus you like a laser on what a person is saying. I tried to speak and realized that I couldn’t as an unintelligible strangled sound was all that came out. I cleared my throat. “Ahem… and, well, uh, since you obviously decided to wear it, which of the two options did you choose, if I may ask?”
She gave me a lascivious smile. “Well aren’t you the naughty one! Let’s just say that while I do have a few thongs, I’ve never really been a fan of the way they feel. I think I’ll just leave the rest to your imagination.”
My imagination! She’d set any number of my sexual bells ringing already, and at that comment the remainder started clanging away and a certain part of my anatomy stood up and took notice. Well, stood the rest of the way up, I should say; I think I’d been semi-erect since shortly after I’d first noticed her sexy perfume, and her beauty and proximity had never allowed that condition to improve.
The hostess chose that precise moment to come and tell me that our table was ready. “Mr. Baxter, we have your table ready, if you’d like to follow me.”
Before I could explain, Natasha cut in. “Boris Baxter, what an interesting name. What do you say, Boris? Your wife appears to be a no-show, and my husband does this all the time. It looks like we’ve both been stood up by our dates; should we have dinner together?” The young hostess looked awkwardly from one of us to the other, visibly embarrassed that she’d mistakenly assumed this woman was my wife. Natasha went on; “I think maybe it was kismet that we meet, Boris, just blind luck; have dinner with me and I can almost promise that you’ll get even luckier later on.”
I think the young girl’s mouth dropped open for a moment before she caught herself and reapplied her professional demeanor, waiting patiently while we reached a decision, all the while trying to pretend she wasn’t hearing every word.
I shrugged. “Sure, why not? Like you said, kismet. You do understand that if my wife should happen to show up I’ll need to end our date, right?”
She waved her hand dismissively. “Oh, of course – that goes without saying; and likewise if my husband should show up, naturally. Unless they both do, in which case we could have sort of a double date – or they could sit together and leave us alone. No telling where that path might lead!”
“Hmmm.” I turned to the hostess, who was visibly flustered but making an heroic effort to hide the fact. “You can take us to our table if you would, please.”
She turned and led the way, no doubt relieved to have that scene over with! I let Natasha go ahead of me; as she turned away I noticed that she had left a small black clutch purse on the bar - more of a wallet, really; rectangular, about five or six inches high and perhaps eight wide, by maybe an inch and a half thick. I grabbed it for her and discovered that it was made of a fine, almost sensuously -soft leather; I held onto it as I followed her. It turned out that letting her go first had not only been the polite thing to do, it also provided me the benefit of being able to follow her and admire the rear view – and it was very admirable!
The sway of her slender hips cause the hem of her skirt to swish back and forth across the backs of her shapely thighs, her natural sway no doubt accentuated by the four inch heels on her strappy shoes. Her ass was perfect, round and firm and barely disguised by the soft fabric of her little black dress, which draped nicely over her high, round bottom. The shape of her ass was so perfect, and so well-defined, that I truly believed she had absolutely nothing on under that dress – except that she was wearing hose; pantyhose, no doubt. Oh well.
The dining room at Leo’s is one of those old-fashioned, quiet, intimate settings, with dark wood and rich fabrics. There were various sized tables in the middle of the room for larger parties and people that prefer a table to a booth, but around the walls were a series of small, two-person booths, set up on a four or five inch high platform above the main floor. Each booth was U-shaped, with the seat upholstered in dark navy blue velvet and the back in matching, button-tufted leather; the tables were also U-shaped, like a long oval that had been cut in half, and each was draped with a long, brilliantly-white tablecloth. They slide the tables out somewhat when seating people, in order to make it easier for their patrons to access the smallish booth.
I had requested a booth rather than a table, and that’s where she led us. Each individual booth is partly walled off from the ones on each side by a low, two-foot wall above the seatbacks, and with fabric from the top of the wall to the ceiling; it makes for a very private, intimate setting, and the low, muffled sounds of the dining room and the other diners makes it easy to converse. I know the current style for expensive restaurants is lots of chrome and glass and bright little lights, with all of its accompanying bustle and excitement and noise – and that’s fine for certain occasions – but for other occasions, like now, I much preferred this more quiet, intimate atmosphere.
We were seated, and as I gave her back her small clutch and she thanked me the busboy seemed to appear out of nowhere with large crystal goblets of ice water. When he departed I looked into Alli’s sparkling, laughing eyes and said “Natasha! How in the world did you come up with that?”
She laughed. “I thought it sounded exotic; it does, doesn’t it? And it’s way better than Boris! I mean, really! Boris? That was the best you could do?”
“Hey, I was just playing off Natasha; I was going to use something macho, like Rock, or Steele, until you said Natasha.” I laughed. “I think you really had that poor girl going with your line about us both being stood up by our dates and getting lucky later. You know they’re probably all talking about us right now, right?”
She smiled, biting her lower lip as she did so. “Yeah, I don’t know where that came from! It sort of just popped out before I could think about it.”
“That explains why you didn’t blush; I was wondering how you could say something like that without turning bright red!” I looked at her for a moment, enjoying her happy, fun-loving look. “That bit about not wearing panties too, you didn’t even blush! I assume you were kidding about that.”
She gave me her best teasing, sexy look. “Was I?”
Her teasing made me throb, my cock still hard. “Well, you’re wearing pantyhose, so that‘s sort of the same thing anyhow.”
I gaped. “In all the time we’ve been married, I’ve never known you to wear stockings!” It was almost true; she’d worn them on our wedding day, glistening, sparkly white ones, beneath her wedding gown, along with a lacy garter and tiny little white lace bikini panties. I still vividly remembered slipping all of those things off of her over the course of that afternoon and evening. I threw the garter of course, in keeping with tradition, but I still have the panties at home, in a small box in my dresser drawer. I’m not above taking trophies.
She slid over in the booth until she was next to me, and leaned in for a soft, slow kiss, our lips just grazing lightly. Then she reached down, below the edge of the table and behind the long tablecloth, and pulled the hem of her dress up enough to show me the elastic lace band at the top of her stocking, high up on her thigh, and a strip of her smooth, bare skin just above the lace. I swallowed painfully, my throat constricting. “Wow! Very nice, Natasha. You were just toying with me about the whole no-panties thing though, right?”
Alli smiled coyly. “I’ll never tell.”
I remembered how her butt had looked as she walked ahead of me, the soft fabric of her dress molded to the shape of her ass, swaying and shifting with her movements. “A thong, then?”
“I guess you’ll just have to keep wondering.”
This was incredibly out of character for her, but god it was fun! It was also excruciatingly arousing. I put my right hand on her leg, just below the hem of her dress, and began to slide it slowly upwards, my fingers trailing along her sensitive inner thigh. She put her hand atop mine, stopping me. “What are you doing?”
“If you won’t tell me, I guess I’ll have to find out for myself.”
“Are you crazy? You can’t do that here!”
“You started it, Natasha; after all, I know Alli would never be comfortable going out in public like that, but I really have no idea what Natasha might do.” She was still holding onto my hand, but smiling mischievously, daring me.
Our little game was interrupted by a waiter asking if we needed any drink refills. I had finished my drink and left the glass at the bar, but Alli had carried hers, still half-full, to the table. I looked at her. “Should we get a bottle of wine?” My hand was still on her leg, and her hand still holding onto mine.
“Sure, if you like.”
“Red all right?”
She nodded. “Of course.” She knows that I prefer red wine (although I enjoy many whites as well) and Leo’s is a steakhouse, after all. A small disclaimer here: I’m not a vinophile. I enjoy a good wine as much as anyone, but I’m not one of those people that can expound on how the wine opens, or what it does on my palate, or what lingering aftertaste it might or might not have. I wouldn’t know currants from blackberries; I’ve seen Wine Spectator magazine, in all of its slick, colorful glory on newsstands, but I don’t believe I’ve ever cracked the cover of the publication. When it comes to wine I’d much rather drink and enjoy it with friends than talk about it, read about it, or collect it.
What I do have is a small list stored in my head, something like fifteen to maybe two dozen specific wines and vintages (out of the thousands available) that I’ve had in the past and particularly enjoyed, usually on the recommendation of the sommelier or the advice of a more knowledgeable friend, those few wines which I always watch for on wine lists; accordingly, I was pleasantly surprised to find a 2008 Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon that was a gold star member of my little list, and I ordered a bottle of that. It was a wine that I had actually enjoyed so much that I had done a little research on the winery, Rombauer, and knew that they were a smallish Napa Valley/St. Helena vineyard that didn’t produce a huge selection or volume, but focused instead on top quality in limited varieties and quantities. I had tried several of their wines since that first experience, and had yet to find one that was not top-notch. They tend to be a tad expensive, though not horribly so, and in my humble opinion worth every penny.
This would be the third time that I had that particular Cabernet, and the waiter assured me that it was “an excellent choice, a fine Cab”. Of course, he would have said the same thing even if I had ordered their cheapest rotgut, I’m sure! When he departed I continued to slowly move my hand up Alli’s thigh. Her lips parted slightly, and she began to sound rather breathless. “Boris, stop!”
I laughed. “Davey would probably stop, but I don’t think Boris will.” I was very appreciative, at that moment, of the privacy that these booths afforded us. Between their intimate confines, the low lighting, and the long tablecloths, I was able to tease Alli and we were able to speak softly while still remaining very discreet. My hand was quite far up on her thigh by now, only my thumb and index finger still touching the top of her stocking, the other three fingers of her soft, warm flesh, and I felt her shift around just a bit, her thighs parting slightly. Verbally she was telling me one thing, but physically she was saying something very different!
I continued my exploration, trying to solve the mystery, and my little finger was the first to discover the truth as it encountered her soft curls. No panties. I groaned. “You really weren’t kidding!”
“Mmm, apparently not.” She was trying to act like the cool and in-control femme fatale, but failing miserably. Her heavy breathing, the smoky look of arousal in her eyes, and the flush spreading up her neck gave her away. I moved my hand just slightly, my little finger and ring finger slipping between her tender lips and discovering the slick proof of her arousal evident there.
I touched her hard clit with just the tip of my little finger, and she gasped. “OK, that’s enough – you found out what you wanted to know, so you can stop now!”
The temptation to play a little more and see if I could cause her to have an orgasm was very strong, but I knew that Alli was already far, far beyond her normal boundaries; as for me, although I had never done anything like this before, I was willing to give it a go! I was thoroughly enjoying her new, more daring persona. Nonetheless, I began to slowly draw my hand away, but before I could do much our waiter came back with our wine and two glasses. It was a little weird reading the label as he held it out to me and nodding approval all while my fingers were still in my wife’s pussy.
As he distracted himself with cutting the foil and uncorking the bottle, I slowly (and reluctantly!) drew my hand back away from her overheated sex and out from beneath her dress. I heard her gasp slightly as my fingers left her sensitive spots, but she quickly recovered her composure. We went through the timeless ritual of him handing me the cork and pouring a small sample into my glass for my approval; I swirled, sniffed, and drank and it was excellent, as expected, so I nodded for him to pour and thanked him.
When he departed Alli raised her glass in a toast to me and my birthday, to which I added, raising my own glass “and to beautiful, sexy strangers you meet in dark bars.” We clinked them together and I raised the glass to my lips, the bouquet of the wine in the glass mixing with the bouquet of my wife on my fingers. It was an excellent pairing.
A short time later we ordered our dinner, a petite filet, medium, for Alli and a New York strip, medium-rare, for me. As we were waiting, enjoying our wine and each other, she took her turn at me, reaching beneath the table and finding my erection where it was trapped in a mildly uncomfortable downward-pointing position against my right thigh. I had been hard ever since her initial comments about not wearing panties, and nothing since then had changed that situation.
She laughed softly as she ran her fingers over the bulge. “Oh my, Boris, that’s very nice – much, much bigger than my husband’s.”
For some reason that comment made my penis throb. “Thank you. Yes, all the ladies tell me that I’m quite well-endowed.”
“Oh they do, do they? And how many ladies would that be, exactly?”
“Oh, dozens and dozens – at least!” She was squeezing my cock, and it felt almost too good.
“I see. And how does your wife feel about that?”
“She understands, you see, that I am quite insatiable; I believe she’s actually relieved that I work off some of my sexual energies elsewhere.”
“If I keep doing this would you work off some of your sexual energy right here?”
“Undoubtedly!” Truth was, my sexual energy was bubbling just below the surface, and I hoped that I wasn’t wet-spotting my pants already!
“Would you like me to do that? It would be rather messy, wouldn’t it?”
“It would – so please don’t.” She didn’t stop. “Alli, I’m serious – stop, OK?”
“It’s very cruel to tease a girl, Boris; you know that, right?” She kept fondling me, squeezing and tugging!
It was my turn to grab her hand and push it away, and she laughed as I sat very still, focusing on control and taking a few deep breaths as my imminent orgasm hung there, and hung there, and then slowly receded. She had pushed me closer to the edge than I think she realized; it had been a very, very near thing. I turned and stared at her. “You’re crazy, you know that?”
She just laughed. ”I am feeling a little wild tonight, for some reason.”
“A little? I’d hate to see you when you were feeling a lot wild!”
“For some reason I don’t really think you’d hate that.”
“No, I probably wouldn’t.” I looked at my watch. “Just so you know, we need to be home to do something about this situation in four hours or less, or my understanding is that I’ll need to seek immediate medical attention.”
It took her a few seconds to figure out what I was talking about, and when she did, she laughed. “You think it will be that persistent, huh?”
“Undoubtedly – and that’s without any help from the pharmaceutical industry. Just knowing that you’re sitting there, like that…” I let her fill in the blanks.
“You really like that, don’t you?” She was giving me that sexy, teasing smile again.
“Oh my god! Of course!” The idea that she had nothing on beneath her dress was incredibly arousing to me.
“But why?” She seemed legitimately puzzled – or maybe it was all part of the act.
“Oh come on! That’s self-explanatory, isn’t it?”
She smiled. “I’m glad that I still have that kind of power over you.”
“You always will, even when we’re both old and gray. But you know that, right?”
She stretched up so that we could kiss, which we did. “You’re so sweet. You know, if you’ll take it out I could wrap my napkin around it to catch the mess and we could get it over with. You’d feel so much better.”
I laughed. “Who are you Natasha, and where have you been all my life? And thank you, but no, I don’t think we’ll be doing that.”
She shrugged. “Just thought I’d check – and the offer stands, if you change your mind. Squirt-squirt, and you’ll feel all better.”
Before I could explore it any further, in an attempt to find out if she was serious or not, we had to move apart to eat as first our salads and bread came, then our soup, and then our meals – which were as perfectly prepared, presented and delicious as they always were at Leo’s. It was a tremendous dinner, one which the wine accented perfectly, and before we knew it we were contemplating whether having dessert was worth the additional misery. We both opted out; I knew what I wanted for dessert, and it was not on their menu. Instead she ordered an Irish coffee, and I ordered a cognac, Courvoisier.
We enjoyed each other’s company as we sipped our drinks, making quiet small talk, taking the peaceful time together to appreciate what we had. In one of the comfortable lulls in the conversation, I noticed her looking at me intently, watching me. I smiled at her. “What?”
She smiled back. “You’re a pretty sexy guy, you know that?”
I laughed softly. “I’m glad you think so.”
“Everyone thinks that – well, the females of the species, in any event.”
“Thanks, but color me skeptical – and your opinion is the only one I care about, you know.”
She smiled. “Do you remember those pictures I showed you this morning?”
I laughed, both at the question and the non sequitur. “Vividly; I’m not that old, you know!”
She smiled a little, but seemed hesitant. “I have a couple more that I wanted to show you.”
She had my interest. “Really? Why didn’t you show them to me this morning?”
He shook her head slightly, just a small movement. “I thought you might be more receptive to these after you’d had a couple of drinks.”
OK, now she really had my attention!
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<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/wife-lovers/glamour-shots-chapter-5.aspx">Glamour Shots, Chapter 5</a>