Thursday was my 10th wedding anniversary. We’re going for lunch today at The Overlook restaurant on the river to celebrate. I thought I’d post a short story about our first meeting. I’d began this as a fiction story several years ago, but for this post, I removed the fiction elements. My point of view is of course my own. His point of view was dictated by him. Hope you enjoy it.
“That’s just gross. Will you turn that thing off and talk to me?”
I laughed at Barb’s irritation. “You’re the one who suggested the cyber sex thing. I can’t just quit in the middle and leave the poor guy hanging.”
“Oh yes, you can.” Reaching over me, she grabbed the mouse and clicked off the IM box. “Now come on, get me some coffee.”
“Hey, why did you do that?” Swiveling the desk chair, I followed her to the kitchen and poured two mugs of steaming coffee.
Plopping down into one of my vintage, mismatched chairs, she sighed heavily. “Look, Liza, since your divorce you’ve been spending entirely too much time in those chat rooms. I’m worried about you. Charlie Hobson was asking about you the other day and I…”
“But he’s interested and he’s a real live flesh and blood guy.”
“No. I told you before I don’t want you fixing me up. I’m not interested. Most of the men around here are just like my ex. They have the same mind set. Women should not have an opinion. They should always agree with the Lord and Master.”
“Now you’re just being stubborn. Charlie isn’t like that. Besides I never said to marry him. Just go out and have some fun. You can’t possibly get anything out of all that typing.” Rolling her head back and breathing faster, she spoke in a sexy voice and made typing motions with her hand. “UMMMMM…AHHHHH…Oh that feels so good. Oh yes…yes.
“Stop it, you look ridiculous.” I couldn’t keep from laughing at her antics.
“Well, it is ridiculous. You’re an attractive, passionate woman. Why waste time on that crap when you could be having real sex with a real man?”
We’d had this conversation before. “I’m not interested in having sex at this point in time and that cyber stuff just now was your idea. And, I happen to like the chat rooms. I can speak to guys who are interested in a vast variety of subject matter. I can flirt and be silly and not worry about what he’s expecting at the end of the evening.”
“But, Liza, they—are—not—real.” She dragged the words out slowly as though that would somehow cause them to imprint firmly onto my brain.
I gulped a large drink of coffee and took a deep breath. “They are real, Barb. I just haven’t met them in person and that’s fine for the most part, but…what would you say if I told you I was meeting one of them?”
“I’d say you’d lost what little sense I always thought you had.”
“Okay, sorry. Wait, you aren’t serious?” I avoided her eyes and turned to pour another cup of coffee.
Jumping up from the chair, she came over and spun me to face her. “You aren’t serious?”
“As a matter of fact, he’s flying in this weekend.”
“Have you lost your mind? You want to end up floating in the river?” I could feel her trembling and knew she was truly frightened for me.
“Settle down, Barb. It’s not like you think. I haven’t told you about it because it’s special and I wanted to keep it private until I was sure we’d meet.” We moved to the table and sat down.
“So tell me now. And don’t you dare leave anything out.”
“I met him online not long after my divorce, about a year ago. It was an instant attraction that started with the silly flirting stuff, but then we truly began to talk. I mean we really talked, Barb. About everything. We started to email every day and then we spoke on the phone. We’ve been talking once or twice a day ever since. He’s wonderful, Barb. Everything I always wanted, but thought wasn’t out there.”
“No wonder you’ve been looking so happy, but you know what they say about something that sounds too good to be true.” She reached over and took my hand, as though needing the contact to be sure I was listening.
“It’s not like that. He has his faults and I’m not blind to them. We’ve had our fights. As I said, we’ve talked about everything. Our conversations have gone on for as long as five hours at a time. When you aren’t there with the person and you’re holding a phone to your ear, you have to talk. I probably know him better than I know anyone in the world.”
She gave me a deadly serious look. “Listen you’ve never met the man. You can’t possibly know him. You only know what he’s told you or what he’s led you to believe. This is just nuts.”
“You don’t understand.” I snatched my hand away.
“Okay, I don’t understand, but I’m advising against this.”
“He’s coming, Barb. I can’t wait to see him, touch him.”
“What’s his name? Where’s he from?”
“Garland Parsons and he’s flying in from Miami.”
“That’s not a normal sounding name. It’s like the name Blain. He probably made it up. When will he be here?”
“I’m picking him up at the airport Saturday morning. And what’s wrong with the name Blain? I like it.”
Her brows rose. “How many men named Blain have you actually met or for that matter, how many Garlands?”
“None, but that doesn’t mean anything.” I sighed, exasperated by her reasoning.
Barb reached across the worn table and took hold of my hand again, refusing to let go when I tugged. “I really wish you wouldn’t do this. With so many guys right here, you could date a different one every Saturday night if you’d stop being so stubborn.”
“Save your breath, Barb. It’s a done deal.”
She stood and gave me a stern look. “What about Eric?”
“He’s excited to meet him. They’ve spoken on the phone several times and seem to really like each other.”
“Fine, if I can’t talk you out of this, I want to meet him. I’ll be here on Saturday. You and Mister Too Good To Be True had better be here. I have to get going.” Frown lines marred her brow as she gave me a worried look before grabbing her bag and leaving.
I’d known she wouldn’t understand. I didn’t understand it myself. After my divorce eighteen months ago, I was determined to avoid any kind of relationship with the opposite sex. At the time I hadn’t realized just how much I’d miss the interaction, the sexy sparring, or for that matter the sex. My marriage had not been happy and I’d completely lost interest in anything remotely related to the act. Now, although I wasn’t ready for a physical relationship, I missed it—a lot.
I’d thought the chat rooms would be a safe and anonymous way to ‘date’ without actually dating. I was right. The flirting turned out to be fun and I was surprised to find that I could still talk a pretty good game. Barb had been correct about the Internet flirting doing nothing physically for me, but on some emotional level it eased my frustration. And that meant I could avoid accepting a date with one of the men who’d come around as soon as the ink had dried on my divorce papers.
I’d always dreamed of meeting a man like Garland. He loved music of all kinds, played the violin, was romantic, and a gentleman. Most important, I appreciated the fact that he supported and encouraged me to just be me. A refreshing change after being married to a man who wanted to stick me in a cubbyhole and make me into a shadow of himself.
Before my marriage if anyone had told me I’d fall for an ex-surfer from Miami who loved racecars and sports, I’d have said they were crazy, not my type at all. Garland was different than what I ever thought I’d want, but I sensed this was right.
When I’d first met my ex, I’d thought he was the perfect man for me. Stable, solid, old fashioned and liked some of the same things I did. I never dreamed he’d also have the mindset of a Victorian Lord. Every thought, every action had to go through his approval process and most failed to pass. If it was my idea, it was wrong. He believed it should be his way or no way. I don’t think in ten years of marriage we ever had a conversation. He spoke…I listened. He was a very good person in many respects, but I eventually found it impossible to deal with that attitude. Garland was the complete opposite and regardless of Barb’s disapproval, Saturday could come none too soon.
Opening the window, I leaned on the ledge and took a deep breath. The scent of honeysuckle growing along the fence was heavenly. The evening had cooled somewhat and the welcoming breeze billowed the curtains, freshening the warm air in the bedroom. It was hot even for July. I’d have to call tomorrow and have someone come to repair the air conditioning.
I’d been shocked when Garland told me he slept in the buff. I’d never considered myself a prude, but even the thought of sleeping in the raw had a blush burning across my cheeks. But it was terribly warm. Oh why not—just this once? Slipping my nightgown off, I slid into the cool comfort of satin sheets.
The satin felt blissful against my bare flesh. I’d never known just how luxurious satin sheets could feel until I’d bought the first set. Such luxuries were something my ex would never have approved. Now addicted, I owned several sets in white. I even had a red set, which I’d never used. They seemed a little too sexy for sleeping alone.
When the phone rang, I snatched it off the bedside table, knowing who it would be. Garland’s soft voice came over the line turning my thoughts away from sexy sheets. Our nightly conversations were almost always the same. We’d catch up on each other’s day, then speak quietly until one or both of us fell asleep holding the phone.
“What are you wearing, Darlin’?”
“Nothing.” I answered in my best sexy, siren voice.
“Hum…My mind is racing with that vision.”
This kind of beginning would normally lead to some serious sexy flirting, but I was too nervous.
“Aren’t you nervous, Garland?”
“I’m excited and yes, nervous too. I guess I’m worried this is a dream and when we meet it will crash around us. I don’t want to disappoint you.”
“You could never disappoint me, but I understand what you mean. I’m worried about the same thing.”
“You, my lovely angel, have absolutely nothing to worry about.”
I smiled, he always made me feel beautiful. “I can’t believe we’ll be together in the morning. We’ve waited so long.”
“I’ll let you go now, so you can catch a few hours sleep before your flight.”
“Goodnight, darling. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He laughed softly. “You have no idea how I’ve longed to say those words.”
I laughed too. “Oh, I believe I have an inkling. Good night. Try to sleep.” I forced myself to lay the phone on the cradle, knowing he’d not hang up until I did. Snuggling into the bed, I closed my eyes. I hoped sleep would come quickly and with it the morning—and Garland.
Squinting my eyes at the early morning sunlight coming in the window, I rolled over and checked the time. Seven o’clock, I just had time to shower and get to the airport before his flight came in at nine. I’d spent most of last evening deciding what to wear, but was still none too happy with my choice. I was nervous and getting more nervous by the minute. What if we hated each other on sight? What if there’s no chemistry? Oh, please let there be chemistry.
After checking to see that Eric was ready, I strapped on my sandals and took another look in the full-length mirror. The white eyelet blouse enhanced my light tan. The red skirt fell a good three inches above my knees and I wondered if I were being too obvious. So who cares if I’m being obvious? It’s a warm day and I want to look fresh and cool. Who am I kidding? I want to knock him out and have him wanting me so bad he couldn’t see straight. And then I want him to come back to my place and…. Giggling at the crudeness of my thoughts, I grabbed my purse and hurried Eric to the car.
Pacing the little waiting area, Garland tried to quell the nausea that had been with him since take off. Unlike most flights, his plane had landed a good fifteen minutes ahead of schedule and his nerves were getting the best of him.
He’d dated off and on since his divorce ten years ago, but nothing serious. Liza was different, special. She’d put off this meeting for so long, he’d begun to think it would never happen. Now that the time had come, he wanted everything to be perfect.
He felt as if he’d known her forever even though they’d never actually met. He’d told her almost his entire life story and she’d reciprocated. It was time to meet face to face. Fear gnawed at his stomach causing the nausea to return. Garland knew he wasn’t any woman’s dream man. He wasn’t a spring chicken, his hair was beginning to turn silver and his nose had been broken playing sports. Liza would probably take one look and run fast and far.
He doesn’t see me. I stopped and stared at the man pacing the small waiting area. I’d have known him anywhere, but he far exceeded my hopes. My breath stopped and I reminded myself to breathe. Drawing in a shaky breath I took the opportunity to study him.
His salt and pepper hair was more silver than dark. The straight Grecian nose had a tiny bump in the middle, indicating a past break. He’s taller than I expected, over six feet, fit and trim. The casual, khaki pants outlined the cutest rump I’d ever seen.
“Is that him, Mom?”
“I think it must be, sweetie.” I looked at Eric. I’d thought he’d be nervous too, but he just seemed happy and excited. Sometimes he seemed much older than his eight years.
Garland turned and saw the redhead and young boy watching him. He knew it was Liza. She’d described herself numerous times over the past months, but she’d never used the terms beautiful, sexy, or cute. Yet she was all of those and more. Petite, with large breasts pushing against the white blouse, they seemed to beg for his touch. Luscious red hair curled past her shoulders. She took his breath away.
He’s looking at me, his ruggedly sensual features devoid of emotion. Is he disappointed? The neatly trimmed, silver mustache spread over a wide smile. I stared, astonished at the change. The sexy Adonis transformed into little, boy cute and I urged my steps in his direction. When close enough to touch him, he spread his arms wide and I walked into them, savoring the warmth of his body against mine. Tiny prickles of excitement ran through my body. Quickly stepping back, I cursed the pale skin that I knew had turned as red as a ripe strawberry.
Garland was grateful Liza stepped back before the warmth and scent of her caused an uncomfortable and embarrassing situation, but oh how he wanted her back in his arms. Watching the flush spread across her chest and into her smooth cheeks made him wonder if she felt the same. He hoped so.
“Liza, you’re more beautiful than I ever imagined.”
Smiling widely, I looked into his cornflower, blue eyes and said hurriedly, “I feel the same. I mean…” I stopped before making a complete fool of myself.
“You aren’t disappointed?”
His low, sexy chuckle had my flush returning and I decided to take charge of the situation, as I was apt to do in times of extreme nervousness. “Umm…this is Eric.” I really needed to get a grip on my emotions.
He turned to Eric and held out his hand. They shook hands like two adults and then grinned at each other like long time friends.
“I thought we’d go get some breakfast before going to my place. The repairman is fixing the air conditioning. Maybe it will be back on by the time we get back. Do you need to get your luggage?”
“It’s right here.” He picked up a large travel bag by one of the chairs. “Lead the way.”
There were a lot of advantages to walking behind a beautiful woman and he blessed every one of them as he watched the gentle sway of her hips in front of him. Visions of her lying naked on a bed with that red hair spread out against a white pillowcase had his heart racing and his trousers growing tighter. He tried to muster some kind of control before he embarrassed himself. Not to mention how totally inappropriate his thoughts were with her young son right there beside her.
Breakfast had been a disaster. Neither he nor I appeared to have any appetite and the conversation had been stilted and polite. If Eric hadn’t been with us, there might not have been any conversation at all. The two of them chatted as if they’d known one another forever. Glad to return to the apartment, I hoped the tension would ease, but things had not gotten any better. Garland went to the spare bedroom to unpack while I brewed tea. Eric left with his dad and wouldn’t be back until Tuesday. Four days alone with the man of my dreams and I was acting like an idiot.
He came to stand behind me as I poured the fresh tea over ice filled glasses. His body brushed against mine and I could feel his hardness pressing against my bottom. The wonderfully erotic sensation caused me to push back against him.
Turning me to face him, his hand gently cupped my chin, forcing my head up. “Look at me, Liza.”
I looked into his eyes and instantly relaxed against him. This was Garland. Why was I acting like I’d just picked up a stranger off the street?
He smiled. “That’s better. We’ve been acting like strangers, Liza, and we’re not. I’ve been wanting to do something for a very, very long time.”
His lips came down on mine—hard, hot, demanding. It was nothing like the gentle, first kiss I’d thought we’d share. It caused light-headedness, an almost physical pain of wanting. But it was too soon. Things were moving too fast. I raised my hands and pushed against his chest. He immediately moved back.
His eyes were full of disappointment. “I’m sorry, Garland, I…”
“It’s okay, Sweetheart.” His voice was raspy with desire. Reaching behind me, he picked up the glass of iced tea and drained it in one gulp, then laughed. “Ah, I needed that, and maybe a cold shower.” He winked and I knew everything would be okay. He’d not rush me into anything I wasn’t ready for.
While he went to shower, I headed outside to check on the progress of getting some air on. My libido wasn’t the only thing getting hotter in this apartment.
I twisted and rolled first one way and then the other. Groaning, I kicked the sheets away from my legs. I was being slowly roasted over an open pit or at least I felt as if I were. And it had nothing to do with the temperature. The air was working perfectly again and the bedroom was cool. No, it wasn’t hot air keeping me awake and burning alive. The thought of Garland sleeping just a few feet away in the tiny spare room was driving me crazy. I remembered he slept in the nude. Was he over there now with all that sexy, tanned skin glowing in the light of the full moon? What on earth was wrong with me? I’d wanted this man for so long. Had dreamed of lying here in his arms. Why was I torturing myself?
All I had to do was call out to him. But no, he was sleeping. After the long flight and a two-hour layover, he was surely worn out. Especially since we’d sat up past midnight. Once the air had been fixed we’d gone down to the little pizza and video shop in town. We’d settled on a large cheese pizza with mushrooms and then had a great time deciding what movie to rent. There wasn’t a huge selection and we both figured there’d been enough tension for one day, so we finally chose two comedies, Joe Dirt and There’s Something About Mary.
Garland’s laugh was infectious, and we laughed until our sides ached at the silliness portrayed on the screen. Barb had shown up about half way through the first movie and stayed till the end. When she was leaving, she leaned over and whispered, “Wow, what a hunk.” Then she gave me a big thumbs up, as I hustled her out the door.
After watching the other movie, we’d necked for about an hour like two teens in a parked car. If he’d ask me then to go to bed with him, I’d never have been able to resist, but he never let it get out of hand and when we went to bed, he kissed me gently and headed for the little room I’d told him he could use. So here I was, hot, frustrated and mad at myself for being such a cautious goose. I suppose it’s for the best. Sure, we’d been talking for a long time and I felt I knew him better than anyone on the face of the earth, but in reality, we’d only just met. I kept repeating the bit about it being for the best until I fell into a restless sleep, but I don’t think I believed a word of it.
Next morning dawned bright and clear and as hot as blue blazes. It was July, but that didn’t keep me from wishing for a snowstorm. Maybe if I rolled around in a foot of snow naked, I could get rid of the heat flooding every pore on my body. I was in heat, pure and simple. I’d always known female dogs came in heat, but I’d never known it could happen to a human. There was no two ways about it, either I’d have to give into my baser instincts or I’d have to exert a lot more will power and control the animal hunger fighting for dominance.
So did my animal hunger win out or did I exert my will power? I’ll leave that to your imagination. We married two years later so the story did, of course, have a happy ending.