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A Dickens of a Tale

Category: Mature
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Mary was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am about to relate.

Mary had been my wife for over twenty years, mother of our kids, confidant, no doubt the best thing that had ever happened to me. She was not, I hasten to add, perfect, nor was I, by any means, and we had the usual ups and fortunately few downs. However, one morning, Mary just didn’t wake up.

This isn’t about her death, and there was nothing traumatic about the whole episode – I pretty much sleep walked through the process of calling 911, ambulance response, later pro forma police response, supportive neighbors and friends going through the mourning and other legal wrap up and such. At the other end, some months later, I found myself pretty much accustomed to being single again, but I hadn’t taken any steps to enter the social world. I had enough money from insurance and turning over my business (while maintaining an income stream from it). I still went to the small office I’d kept, and one assistant who was mediocre at best but put up with my occasional idiosyncrasies. I even had the occasional consulting job if I felt like it, thanks to that business having carved out a niche in an industry that sometimes needed niche advice.

I wouldn’t say I was exactly “happy” per se, but I certainly wasn’t depressed – just pretty much on automatic much of the time.

Oh, and the kids are grown and flown, had been great during the funereal chapter, and were now back with their own careers and concerns. After some months, realizing the price of gas and such, I increased my walking a good bit. I played enough golf to keep my business contacts in touch, since business had become pretty much my primary interest – but for the sport and social part of it, I really couldn’t have cared less. I was as on track as anyone could be in my situation. If pressed in conversation, I would admit to missing the presence of a female in the house, and each time I said that I knew silently there was more I missed, like the comforting hip to rest my hand on as I drifted off to sleep at night, and of course the fucks. But I just wasn’t up to dating, not yet. The internet gave me adequate and free sexual fantasy and outlet for my still active hormonal needs, and even let me investigate ideas I’d known not to mention to Mary, most of which confirmed earlier suspicions that those predilections just didn’t do it for me (for instance homosexuality, cross-dressing, anything with pain or humiliation) – turned out I was pretty vanilla after all, well, at least for the most part…. All in all, I considered myself fortunate.

That said, the day in question was a cold, bleak, biting one. I’d gotten up early, inspired (or misguided), bundled up, went for a long walk around town (too nasty for golf), cleaned up, read the Journal and surfed the market movements, and had a meeting with my financial advisor who was trying to get me into some options in the market, something I’d been pretty good at playing with in the past. By the evening, I was back home, reheated some soup for supper, and settled on the couch in the living room to read a bit. I had the gas logs in the fireplace going and was comfortably clad in only sweatpants and a denim work shirt. I expected to read a bit, then see if I was motivated enough to work some on that novel I keep flirting with getting serious about.

True to form, however, the reading and warmth led to drowsiness and soon to one of those deep sleeps.

I awoke sometime later to the rarely employed front door bell ringing. Checking the clock, I saw that it was 1 a.m.! Who in the world would be knocking at this hour, my bleary head asked me. I struggled to my feet and headed to the door, bit by bit realizing that the long sleep had actually refreshed me. I got to the door to see through the peep hole an attractive female, dressed in jeans and a loose sweater, shivering on the porch.

“Hello,” I think I offered, noncommittally, opening the door.

“I’m so sorry to disturb you, especially at this hour, but I saw your lights on” she said, smiling pleasantly. “I’m Belle, your new neighbor. I just moved in across the street – in fact, I saw you the other day when the movers were here, but I was too busy to introduce myself then. Listen, I’m so sorry to ask, but I’m still unpacking and the movers just stacked boxes and left, and some of them are just too high for me. Is there any way I could impose on you to give me a hand getting a few of them down? I’m determined to straighten things out as soon as I can, and . . . ”

I watched her as she spoke, and when she paused I quickly replied, “Hello, I’m Ben. And of course – that’s what neighbors are for, right? Come in out of the cold, let me grab some shoes, and we’ll go take care of things for you.” In that amount of time I’d easily registered that she had medium-length, dark blonde hair, was maybe 5′ 4″ or so, and was nicely proportioned from what I could tell. There were breasts under there, but not discernable as to size or firmness, certainly nothing bodacious, and I could see her jeans were tightly covering nice legs leading to an ass I looked forward to following to check out further. Her age was indeterminate – maybe early 30s, maybe 50 – I really couldn’t tell. Certainly younger than I, but maybe not scandalously so, my id reasoned.

I slipped on some boat shoes over my bare feet, not expecting to be out for long, pulled the door behind us, and we walked straight across the street, up the porch, and into the opposite townhouse. I thought for an instant that I knew the place was empty but hadn’t really even known it was on the market, much less noticed any “sold” signs or moving trucks – tells you how attuned I was, I guess.

We entered into a crazy quilt of furniture all set up, flanked by stacks of those standard moving boxes, stacked clearly above her reach but within mine (I’m not tall, but 5′ 10″ does make a difference over 5′ 4″. None of the boxes was labeled – she must have had a pretty lousy moving company, and I wondered if she really had the money to be in the neighborhood since it was somewhat upscale and mortgages were tight these days.

“So, all of them down to on the floor?” I asked.

“Oh, thanks – no, if you can just get the top ones, I can get to the rest later. It’s just those way high ones that scare me, since I don’t know what’s inside each. Be careful, some may be heavy with books or china, others light with just stuff – they packed everything, just didn’t label, and I had to see to something else so wasn’t there when they did, and – oh well, we’ll see if I really got taken or what as I find what’s inside them.”

As I started lowering the upper row of boxes around the room, I reflected that she must be a really trusting soul – I’d be damned if I’d have signed off on someone trying to pull that sort of lousy service on me. I hadn’t built a success in trading commodities by getting taken by crooks – that was for sure. Farmers like to come off all aw shucks, but when it comes to dealing in their corn, they’re a fierce lot and you’ve gotta be tough sometimes – it’s business! Ah, well, anyway, back to it: I felt a bit sorry for her, but also felt pretty good that I was being able to help out someone, something I’d not done much of since Mary had died.

There were more of the boxes than I’d registered at first, and I went from room to room, lifting down, setting in orderly rows. Belle scurried about, unpacking and putting things away, and between boxes and scurries, we got to know a bit about each other – not much, but that I was widowed and retired, she a work-from-home analyst who’d taken to the village and moved for its advantages. She didn’t mention marital status. Although I noted she was ringless, I wasn’t about to ask – that and a woman’s age and weight being topics I learned long ago not to pursue.

The heat was on and it was a lot warmer than in my place, and I was getting warm as I worked. I guess Belle was too, and I immediately noticed when I saw she’d shed her sweater and was now toiling in a tank top that was conservative but which left little doubt that she was braless and that her breasts were very nice from what I could guess – I was thinking B – to – C cup, with just enough movement to confirm the braless thing – plus, her nipples were pressing against the material. I was thoroughly enjoying the sight and was enjoying feeling my dick starting to swell when I realized I didn’t have on underwear. If I grew much more, I’d be displaying, and that she’d probably be horrified thinking I was some perve if she noticed, yet that I’d be disappointed if she didn’t. Notice, that is.

I turned back to my work, determined to keep at least this first meeting above board, as I was already thinking of maybe pursuing things and changing that on another day. Chivalry first, then maybe light friendship, then the rack – nice progression, I thought. I also thought for a moment about Mary and remembered we’d both said when one of us survived the other, the survivor should “shed the chains” as she put it, of our marriage, to live life fully again. I reckoned I didn’t have chains to shed but did register that I wasn’t exactly living life fully again and that Belle’s tank top was indicative of one part I was missing.

I finished, re-calmed, and called to her, “I think I’m about done – anything else I can help you with?”

She came around the corner from the next room, smiling gorgeously. That smile really lit her up, made me realize she was indeed attractive beyond the mere physicality I’d been hornily honing on. “Thanks so much, Ben! I’m afraid it’s going to be a mess around here for some time to come, but I’ll have you over for dinner when the dust settles as repayment.”

“No need,” I said, “but that’s a nice offer, and it was no trouble at all. I’ll be running along – good luck with all this, and if you need more help, you know where to find me.”

“Now, where did that coffee maker go? I may expire in the morning if I can’t wake up to a good caffeine fix!” she said to herself, opening a box and looking through it.

Turning back, I said, “They sure didn’t do you any favors packing, did they? Here, let me look through some, and you look through some – we’ll find it.”

She didn’t say anything, just accepted my presence I guess, and as she started at one end of the rows in the living room, I started at the other, using my never-travel-without smallest of the Swiss army knives to cut the tape as she used something or other else. She discovered a table lamp, I some books and bookends; she the kitchen drawer of knives and spoons and things (which really pleased her) mixed in with a set of towels, I a magazine rack with the magazines (Time – ok, More – ok again, Cosmo – oh, kay! – an Agent Provacateur catalog – major OKAY, I didn’t even know they put out a paper catalog!), all still in it wrapped in a sheet; she a case or so of wine bottles (she hooray’d and put some in the fridge). Then I delved into my next one. We’d been laughing while we opened, about it turning into a treasure hunt and we were both thoroughly enjoying the fun of it, with my stealing looks down her top at those ever-more-tantalizing breasts and/or looks at her ass as she bent over to dig into the packing in a box.

Then I hit something of a jackpot: pulling back the tabs, I looked down into a sea of multicolored lace and sheer fabric. Pulling one piece up, I saw I held the strap of a very flimsy bra, peach-colored, sheer, and what appeared to be an underwire half-cup that would cradle yet expose the nipples above it. I quickly checked and it was marked 34C, so now I knew, and my cock took a lurch inside my sweats. Looking for the same color, I found and pulled up a peach and similarly sheer pair of panties that revealed on further inspection that they were “ouvert,” having been designed to be subtlely open at the crotch. Whoa – another lurch as I imagined her in them and reflected on just what she would be like to own a set like that in the first place. Digging further into the pile of black and white and pink and even sky blue, I found – the coffee maker, amidst all the underwear, thankfully wrapped, since I could see some loose grounds in the packing.

I stood up, holding the coffee maker (bigger than a pot, one of those fancy ones but not huge), not immediately registering that I still had the peach set of lingerie dangling from one hand while I cradled the pot in both. “‘This what you’re looking for?” I asked.

“You found it!” she exclaimed delightedly, then stopped short and gasped, “And is that what else you found?!”

I realized I was holding the bra and panties and stammered, “Sorry, the coffee maker was in the middle of a bunch of this stuff. I guess the movers had a pleasant time packing,” I murmured, more to myself, but the I realized, loud enough that she’d heard it.

“Why, you’re blushing – that’s sweet,” she said, coming over and taking the coffee maker out of my hands. I stood there, still holding the lingerie, not sure just what to do with it now – toss it aside, offer it to her, lay it down gently? No really smooth options, I figured.

“So, do you like fondling women’s underwear?” she smiled at me, her eyes dancing in delight of having me so embarrassed. I thought maybe she should be embarrassed, but not for now it seemed. She was interesting, to say the least.

“Actually, yes, I guess I do, one of those ‘what’s not to like’ things,” I offered, struggling to regain control. “Although it’s a lot more fun when it’s attached.” OK, now I was pushing – too far?

She laughed at that, “I guess so, at least for men!”

Determined not to let this opportunity die, I continued, “And for women?”

“Well, I think we buy it to make ourselves feel attractive, then like to model it for someone who appreciates that, then like to be delivered from its grasp. Some of those things are definitely not made for comfort – or at least not for the comfort of the wearer!”

I hadn’t registered that my cock was slowly but determinedly growing as she spoke and I thought about her in peach, modeling.

She looked at my sweats, saw the bulge. “You appear to like this discussion as well as those!” she laughed, nodding at the bra set I still hadn’t put down.

“So,” she continued, “did your wife like lingerie as well as you?”

There was a brief moment between us when I think we both considered if she’d crossed a line, bringing up Mary. I considered, I know, and I flashed back to Mary telling me if she beat me through life, for me to thrive and enjoy, not to mourn her beyond my own healthy recovery. I also registered that maybe she made the remark to bring me back down to earth and erect (now there’s a verb) a barrier. I also reflected that I felt emotionally recovered, silently thanked Mary for her memory and for her future wishes for me, and plowed on.

“Actually, she was not a big fan of lingerie, despite my entreaties. She preferred the lights out, straight to it, preferably Saturday morning on the dot kind of stuff. It was great once we got going, don’t get me wrong, but no, she didn’t do lingerie. I bought her some stunning stuff, only never to see it worn. I remember doing then putting away laundry as a nice surprise for her one day, only to find in her drawer a set similar to these, but with the tags still attached. She was terrific in a lot of ways, but no, not in that respect. And so, after awhile, it just wasn’t part of our relationship, and then sex itself waned a bit, and I suppose at least in part due to that, I focused more on business, and built quite a nice life for us, so I’m not sure it wasn’t a good thing in the long run.”

I realized I’d gone a lot farther than I’d intended and faltered, “Sorry, I shouldn’t have told you that. It’s sort of like not honoring her to tell that sort of thing.”

“Maybe, Ben. Maybe.” she answered quietly but intently. “And maybe if she were here she’d want to have you have some closure for that part of you that she couldn’t bring herself to help when she was here in the past, and that whatever baggage she had inherited in her youth and the daily grind kept her from exploring with you.”

I was taken back by that, and stood silently, thinking through it.

“So,” she said cheerily, breaking the somber tone, “actually, I think I’d better finish the unpacking. No telling what kinds of other naughty things you might come across in my stuff! ‘Tell you what – if I can find enough kitchen ware, how about if I cook you some breakfast – I make wicked holiday turkey dinner, but maybe we can settle for French toast, and we can test the coffee maker’s surviving the move?”

“No way you’re going to get that organized and unpacked in a couple of hours, not to mention your lack of sleep” I laughed, relieved that the tension had passed. “Instead, how about if you get some rest tonight and then come over to my place in the morning – I even know where the coffee maker AND the coffee are, and I’ll cook us up something simple and ever so manly?”

“It’s a deal!” she smiled and held out her hand. It took me a moment, but then I realized what she was doing and dutifully deposited the bra and panties in it noted her laughing eyes, turned, and left. I felt light as a feather, and when I got back to my place, I decided to shower. Then, feeling refreshed and sleepy (go figure), I plopped down onto my bed, smiling, feeling as though I’d had some burden lifted – maybe not all the way, but definitely lifted.

I may or may not have slept – if I did, I don’t recall either fading off or waking up. All I knew was that suddenly, there I was at my front door, opening it for her. It was still dark, for crying out loud. What, did she never, ever sleep!? Anyway, I welcomed her in, put her down parka in the coat closet, and set off to collect a southern gentleman’s breakfast’s worth of eggs, grits and bacon and, of course, coffee.

As I started sorting out ingredients, I took another look at her. She appeared to be freshly showered, smelled great – some vanilla mixed with wintry something, and now had on a short pleated tan skirt, a white blouse that was certainly not suitable to winter, and sandals – sandals, in this cold?! At least I had on a t-shirt and the same sweat pants. I was thankful for us both that the place was warm inside.

I actually can cook more than just gruel, and so I did, and we feasted on plenty of it and washed it down with fresh, strong coffee. She watched me quietly, occasionally remarking on something, but generally just being there, and it felt like we were both very much in the moment, as they say.

After that, we adjourned to the living room and took seats at opposite ends of my couch. It’s that same one I dozed off in – very comfortable and big enough to accommodate more than two.

“Have you given any more thought to what we touched on earlier?” she inquired, I suppose testing the waters.

“Actually, not really – but now that you mention it, I can see your point. I always thought Mary would have been happier if she’d been more open to exploring with me, but maybe that’s just my projecting a rationale for wanting to drag her down to the depths of my depravity,” I chuckled, carefully opening another door while waiting to see her response.

“You know, if I were she, I’d have joined you there, or I think I would – depends on those depths, I suppose. Care to expand?” She was smiling again – good sign.

“Well, nothing really kinky – I’m not into pain of any sort, no child pornography, nothing vaguely illegal or even what I’d really call illicit.”

“OK, that’s what’s not – what is in those depths?” With that, she slid closer to me on the couch. I looked and saw that somewhere between coffee and now, a couple of buttons on her blouse had come undone and I could see the center front of peach-colored bra, along with a bit of the swell of her breasts. Whoa! She’d worn the very lingerie I’d been fondling earlier, that we’d joked about – I jumped happily to the conclusion she was up for my exploring that lingerie in situ. Remembering that the bra was really sort of a half cup thing, I stared mightily at her chest, trying to confirm she’d actually worn that and being typically male in trying to make out any available details of her breasts. She didn’t miss my stare, busting me by asking, “I mean, other than the obvious?”

“Ah, oh, um . . . ” I stammered, “OK, if we’re going there, and why not, I think in retrospect what I really wanted was intimacy, and over the years, her denying me those little bits of herself – meaning she was always guarded and I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a level of sexual fantasy at work in her brain as well – over the years, I guess I magnified the little bits I did get and dwelled on them.

“Like,” I continued after another pause to collect thoughts and wrench my eyes back to hers, “ok – like I wanted to know how it was for her with other guys. We’d both had some experience before meeting, but she always claimed not to remember any of those those guys, beyond the most general, vague descriptions. I can tell you about the lips, the eyes, the breasts, the hips (hell – for most, the taste!) of every woman I’ve been with and certainly have forgotten no names. She was generally a helluva lot smarter at recalling the most minute details of the past (people’s names, what she and I each wore on thus and such occasion, what I said when, you know, that sort of thing). So why couldn’t she remember virtually anything about someone that she’d gone to bed with?

I kept on, “Several possibilities: (1) she was repressing for some reason and really didn’t remember, (2) she had only had sex with all the lights off and with guys – until me – who were all alike (which I doubted),or (3) she just wasn’t willing to share that with me and was willing to lie (or at least evade) to protect whatever that meant.”

Belle took all that in with a contemplative air. “Maybe she really did have nothing more complicated than the standard case of repression about sex that her generation grew up with. And maybe she wished there were some way she could make up for that, but she never realized it was as important to you as it was.”

“Maybe,” I thought out loud. “I hope that’s it, and that there was nothing more. We guys, of course, all have our hang-ups. I doubt this one will kill me – it certainly hasn’t yet!” I managed a laugh, hoping for a topic change. I felt a bit exhausted by the short conversation – intrigued, certainly, that a woman I hardly knew had managed to delve so deeply in such a short amount of time – all while looking terrifically enticing to boot.

“You know, this will sound a bit unworldly, but would you like to do some role playing, maybe help get this out of your system, come to grips and all that?” she asked.

“Role play, eh? Sounds interesting, but Belle, I’m a lousy actor, all self-conscious and with no talent.”

“We can see about that. I’ve done some of this before, and I’ll guide you along, if you’re willing.”

“Ohhh kay,” I replied, unconvinced.

“All right then, you get to be you and I’ll be Mary. That’s all there is to it – you just have to suspend your disbelief and go with the flow. Any time you want out, you can just say so and that’s that.

“I’ll start: Welcome home, Ben! I’m sorry you had to work so late but glad you say you’ve eaten. Here, put your arm around me and let’s just get comfortable, ok?”

That part was easy, and she fit right into the crook of my shoulder, laying her head back. From somewhere, I recall vaguely, Christmas music playing softly. Turning her head, she raised her mouth to me, I leaned in and kissed her, gently, tentatively, knowing it was Belle, not Mary, certainly, but still – there was something about the softness of her lips that seemed familiar, comfortable.

We shifted a bit and the kiss deepened. She wrapped a hand behind my head and both my arms went around her. I heard her sandals hit the floor as she lifted her legs onto the couch behind her. I slipped out of mine as well. She opened her mouth a bit and I felt the tip of her tongue testing, nudging between my mostly closed lips. Without a conscious thought, we were soon tasting, exploring each other’s mouths, moving with more urgency. “Oh, Ben – that’s so nice,” she said, breaking the kiss for a moment to look at me. Her eyes were lovely, and her kisses had taken my breath away for a moment, as well as having given me an erection that felt nice, as erections do! Then she continued, “Can we move off the couch? This is going to just get too constricting in a minute.”

I was all for that and rose, with her taking me by the hand, while trying to process the suddenness of it all. I wasn’t quite sure if I was imagining this, but I was surely enjoying going with the flow, and I’d already have recommended her unreservedly as a role player. She led right to my bedroom (how’d she know where it was?), and I followed without complaint. She stood by the bed, and I moved to kiss her again, feeling my erection press into her lower belly. OK, I figured – no more mystery as to where this is going! Not sure how I lucked out to end up in this situation, but I sure wasn’t fighting it. As we kissed, I began unbuttoning each fastening on her blouse, then tugged it free of her skirt and eased it off her shoulders. As it dropped onto the bed, I looked down, seeing the wonderful swell of her breasts, the tops of the nipples bared to me as each globe rested in its bra half cup. Her nipples were a darker pink, not brown, her breasts milky smooth, a faint tan line running just above the nipples, making me want to see her in that bathing suit someday. Not today.

“You’re so lovely, Belle,” I said truthfully. I’d already dropped the role playing – Belle really reminded me in a lot of ways of Mary, but Belle was Belle, purely if not so simply.

“Mmm, glad you think so,” she murmured, returning the action, pulling off my shirt and letting it fall onto the floor. Pushing me back gently, she looked at me, up and down, now clad only in my sweat pants with the tent in front. “I love a man’s chest, and you have a nice one. Now, let’s see, what else do we have here?”

I’d expected to undress her fully first, but she was in the lead now, as she hooked her thumbs in the waistband of the sweats and pulled them down slowly, watching me carefully as if really being interested in what she was uncovering. Mary was never that interested in this sort of foreplay – when she wanted sex, she just wanted to me to get to it, and it seemed that my cock, my hands, my lips were means to her orgasms’ ends, but not of particular interest otherwise. Belle was a researcher, taking mental notes, and I was enjoying being her subject.

As the sweats lowered, my cock became bent downward and she continued to move maddeningly slowly, watching it come into view from the base toward the tip. When it finally popped free, she actually gave a little happy cry of what I took to be joy – she’d made it hard, and now she’d found it, something of a game and she was winning, and I certainly wasn’t losing! With that, she swept the pants down and I stepped out, now totally naked.

She stood, watching, and I was momentarily worried – was I a disappointment? I knew I wasn’t hung like some porno stallion, and had the usual wished-I-was-bigger side, but had always felt serviceably equipped and certainly never heard any criticism from Mary on that account. Of course, I never heard a compliment on that account either – Mary would occasionally tell me that of course I was the best lover she’d ever had, in an auto-response to some query or similar remark from me, but never anything more. Maybe I had been a disappointment and Mary had just been kind or not willing to be honest. All this was running in my head as Mary checked me out.

“This is going to be great, Ben – you’re such a fine specimen!” she said, finally, to my relief, and reached behind her to undo her skirt, letting it drop to the floor as well. Now it was my turn to check her out. Sure enough, the peach panties had accompanied the peach bra, and they were both wrapped around gorgeous breasts, full hips, the soft curve of a woman’s belly just above the bikini line.

“You’re so gorgeous, or have I already mentioned that,” I murmured.

“I think so, but don’t let that stop you. Now turn around for me,” she said. I turned, feeling again very self-conscious, my prick straight and angled upwards a bit, seeming to me to be on the verge of comical. Fortunately, she didn’t laugh when I completed the 360.

“Now you,” I replied, and she complied, the crack of her ass visible through the thin material, the full globes of her cheeks begging for attention, as was all of her, absolutely all of her. “So nice, now, just stand there. OK if we take our time?”

“Mmm… I dunno, convince me,” she smiled back..

Determined to give her as much enjoyment as I knew I was going to have, I let her just stand, a statue to my Pygmalian, and started circling, slowly, a touch on her hip, a nibble on her bare shoulder, a hand slipped up between her legs, behind her, from her knees and upwards, to caress the gap between her cheeks in passing before sliding further up along her back. Bringing my mouth down on the nape of her neck, again, from behind, elicited a low moan, and I lingered there, sucking at her skin, not enough to mark, but enough to be felt, my teeth holding her as a stallion might a mare. And around to the front, kissing her eyes closed, bending to stroke my tongue up between the curves of her breasts. Standing back for a moment, her eyes still closed, guiding my hard cock to between her legs from the front, the shaft pressing against her mound, nothing else touching. I continued, and she started to squirm a bit, keeping her eyes closed of her own volition now, as I cupped first the right, then the left bra-supported breast in my hand, tweaking each nipple, hefting each breast.

“Now, this is a most convincing case you’re making,” she murmured as I turned her around again.

“I hope you like it, because I’m finding it hard in more way than one not to hurry things up,” I answered, my dick brushing across her buns. Next, I edged each bra strap off her shoulders – no change in anything, really, but the thought apparently worked, as she sighed audibly. In fact, she was sighing audibly to about everything now, her breathing labored a bit, mine as well. Noting that it was a front-closure, I quickly slipped my hand to it and released – thankfully, it took no effort, immediately cooperating as the bra fell free to the floor, and her breasts fell free. I took a moment to memorize just how full they were, and how they sagged just the slightest bit – clearly a woman’s, not a girl’s breasts.. Circling again, I hefted each one, noting the left just a bit fuller and its nipple just a bit more constricted.

Stopping in front, I kissed her again, my bare cock resting against her belly above her panty line, her breasts pressed into my ribs, her arms pulling me close as my hands ran through her hair. Holding her head back, I lowered my mouth to the nape of her neck and sucked firmly, eliciting another murmur of pleasure. Then, stepping back, I knelt, intending to pull down her pale bikini bottom, but stopped, recalling that they were, although it wasn’t apparent, the ouvert style. I’d never fucked anyone with her underwear still on (Mary would have considered that impractical, I’m sure), and thought it could be interesting. Accordingly, I pulled the material apart just enough to confirm that she was not shaved but was well trimmed, the light brown hair doing little to hide the top of her opening which concealed all within. “Gorgeous,” I summarized to her, my vocabulary limited but sincere. “Now, lie back.”

She complied, first sitting, then lying on the bed, her knees at the edge. I stayed on my knees and pulled her toward me, wrapping her legs across my shoulders. Slipping my hands under her ass, I lifted her by those wondrous globes until her vagina was immediately in front of me. Moving the material of her panties aside so that it framed her pussy to my gaze, I took another long look, noting the lips fully encased, the clitoris hidden, with just a glint of moisture along the slit, and a faint, faint odor of the feminine reaching my senses. Sticking my tongue out, I ran it lightly from back to front along her pussy, and felt her legs pull me forward a bit more. Still exploring, I repeated the gesture, opening her bit by bit, finding her soft and inviting, opening to me. First one, then the other side got a more intimate investigation by my tongue, then the opening to her tunnel. By that time, she was squirming, and I knew I wanted to have her come for me soon. Licking upwards again, I finally got to her clitoris, finding it just emerging from its cloak, even firmer underneath. She gasped her approval, and I started to get serious, circling the clit, then flicking it, slowly, then a bit faster, then sucking it into my mouth, trying to find out just what would work best for her. It turned out she seemed to like it all, so I varied and varied, as she rose higher and higher. When I heard her whimpering and felt her hips starting to thrust while her lower belly seemed to convulse as I watched it, I covered her with my mouth, sucking the clit into my mouth firmly, as my tongue lapped at its underside, urging her on. She was nothing if not cooperative, and cried out softly, “Oh, oh my yessss!!!!” as she came, writhing and squeezing her breasts herself, the nipples hard and rising above her small fists.

Not through yet, I slowed my pace, returned to a steady circling of her clit with my tongue, letting her come down a bit on the far side, then repeated the call for her urgency, this time inserting a finger into her opening to ream around it as I sucked and licked. She bucked and came again, quickly, crying out again, softly, unintelligibly.

Climbing up, I gathered her into my arms and shifted us so we were aligned with the bed. Pressing my leg between hers, my erection pressed into her belly, I grasped her ass in one hand, my other arm around her shoulder, and just held her close as she regained her breathing.

“Oh my!” she said softly. “What a treat, and what a fortunate lady Mary was to have had you for those years!”

“I’m so, so glad you enjoyed that,” I said. “Mary never went in for as much foreplay, and I did say I wanted to take my time.”

“Mmmm, well, give me a moment here, and then I want to return the favor, however you’d like it. In fact, make that ‘however it might be that you’d wished Mary would have given you that maybe she didn’t’ – I think she’d approve now that she’s in a better place with a better perspective, no doubt.”

“Goodness, what an offer,” I answered. Then, after a pause, “Let me give that some thought.” And another pause, then I figured what the hell, and admitted to her, “OK, there were so many things that were fine, but I’ve got to admit, some that weren’t all I’d wished for. Most of those not all I wished for parts, I think, boiled down, like I said, to wanting a deeper level of intimacy that would yield a deeper level of honesty, I think.”

“Well, I won’t hold back, I promise you,” she smiled.

“Well, for one thing, I did say I wanted to take my time, and with time, I’ve gotten slower on the trigger but slower to recover as well, so I don’t want to end my side of this too soon. Let’s take a break, maybe have a glass of wine, let me savor what we’ve just shared and think a bit more on your offer.”

“Fine with me – let me know when you want to . . . what you want to.”

And with that, we took a break, as I busied myself with getting her a glass of wine, my cock dwindling to tumescence. I was puttering about in the kitchen, selecting some crackers and cheese and sausage and olives, anything to keep occupied while I thought through just how willing I was to bare myself to her. There was so much baggage, albeit pretty pedestrian, but still, my baggage. Was I up to just laying it all out to someone virtually a stranger? Someone who’d merely appeared as if out of nowhere, into life, yet merely cut to the quick of my relationship with Mary, someone offering to fill in all the gaps I was never quite able to get Mary to fulfill? I puttered and thought, delayed and deferred, and finally was ready to say ok, fuck it, just . . . ok.

I’m still not sure about some of this, but my next recollection was with her, sitting on the couch back in the living room. I have no idea what happened to the food or wine – there was none to be seen. It was sort of like a scene shift, and I was momentarily unsettled, almost dizzy from the shift. She was now totally nude, and seemed quite comfortable that way, her wonderful breasts resting against her ribs, sagging just enough to confirm her womanlinesss, and still gorgeous, her nipples now relaxed and lovely. Seated, her pussy was hidden, the light brown hair just visible. I had on my sweat pants again. I didn’t recall putting them on either. Mary had conditioned me, maybe? She always liked seeing that I was erect for her, sort of a compliment, which it was. But she’d never more than glanced at my penis in its soft state – and I may have projected or it may have been real that she seemed to have a distaste for such an ugly appendage unless it were swollen just for her. I’ll have to admit, it’s not my idea of beauty that way, but just as I’ve come to love the sight of a vagina (another not immediately beautiful thing in some folks’ eyes) maybe initially borne of what it could do to bring me pleasure but now seeing its Georgia O’Keefe beauty for its own, I always wished Mary had come to like seeing me in any state, from any angle, in a similar way.

Startling me back to the moment, she asked, “I take it you like me dressed like this?”

“Oh yes, the outfit is exactly right – as you learned earlier, I do enjoy fondling the lingerie, and while your leaving some of it on doesn’t seem to have hampered us thus far, your leaving it off is wonderful as well.”

“That’s good to hear. Kinks but no real fetish there. Now, what it is you really want?” she smiled.

“OK,” I said, tentatively, “I have no idea what’s going on here, but it appears to be special, and I don’t want to let such an opportunity pass, for whatever reason.”

“And?” she fed, making it easier.

“And, OK, I wish she’d have been more verbal. I wish she’d been able to share with me whatever it was she’d shared with other men before me – that would have cemented our relationship. But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t. She knew that she was holding that back, and she knew it was important to me, and over time, she realized it in fact turned me on – maybe just that it was something she was denying me, maybe I’m a voyeur, maybe whatever – at any rate, one night when we were making love, I pressed her a bit to tell me about one, any one, of her past lovers. I wanted to know what they did together, and how, and what her favorite parts were, and what the guy liked, and yes, what the guy’s equipment was like and how it worked. I even told her it didn’t need to be true, that this was just sex play, and she told me that my wanting her to talk about other guys (all of whom she steadfastly swore she couldn’t remember any details about – this from the woman who could tell you what I wore on our second date decades before) wasn’t something she was going to do. I think she probably thought if she talked with me about being with another man, it would progress to my wanting for her to do it for real, and that that would be beyond all limits. It’s all hypothetical, but I really did think that through and told her that no, it wasn’t about her fucking other men – it was about her sharing the intimacy with me, and that her past would be plentiful ammunition for that, but she didn’t buy it. Then, the coup de grace, she told me that my wanting her to talk about other men was sick. That’s the term she used – “sick.”

“That one struck, and stuck. So, I stopped that altogether, never mentioned any other men, her past, or my desires, to her again. I realized over time that we were drifting apart as a result of that issue. We didn’t fight, we still had sex but we virtually never spoke during sex (which was fine with her it seemed, and she was multi-orgasmic to the end) – she never initiated even a remark that I can recall when we were in bed. I learned to fantasize while we fucked in order to get off. I fantasized about me with other women – always ones I’d known or knew – and I fantasized about her with other men – sometimes nameless, sometimes characters she’d admitted on the rare occasion to having dated in the past. I even tried fantasizing about her with other women and me with other men (something of a self-test, I suppose), but that just isn’t my thing, and I found out it didn’t work for me. Externally, we shared various enjoyments from cooking to music to exercise, and especially our never abridged love of our kids. But it was less and less a marriage as I’d envisioned it, and more and more a roommates with bedroom privileges thing.

“When she died, I regretted not being a better person in any number of ways, since she really was, despite our differences, a wonderful woman. And I do miss her, but I’ll always, I think, regret that we never got to that real level of intimacy I’d hoped for. Oh well…

“So, spectre or angel or ghost that you may be – and there’s no other reason I can come up with for your wonderful presence here right now – I’ve bared that to you, and if you want to return any favors, I’d love to just once have a woman share that sort of thing. I guess if it’s a dumb, stupid thing to do or even to ask, I’ll find that out. And if it’s not, I never would have found out without taking the risk.”

“Well thought,” she replied, quietly.

“So, you with the great breasts and delicious hips, what now?”

“Now it’s your turn. C’mere,” she said, and I complied, reaching for her, reengaging with a deep kiss, our tongues dancing with each other, my prick engorging, my hands stroking her smooth shoulders, breasts, hips.

“Lie back,” she said, and I did. She pulled off the sweats unceremoniously – no surprises awaiting her now. I’d softened, self-confessional not being something I’m comfortable with or particularly aroused by. She seemed interested that I was softened and certainly didn’t exhibit any distaste for me in that state. She knelt over me, between my legs, and took my cock in one hand, my balls in the other, and hefted them, inspecting, evaluating. It felt great, and she looked great, totally absorbed in her examination. After her first touch, I felt myself hardening and growing in her hand until I was fully hard in only a moment, almost too soon, considering how much I enjoyed the process.

Bending down, she licked my cock, from balls to tip, in one swipe, then settled in for some serious fellatio. Still kneading my balls gently, she sucked in the head, and I could feel her tongue circle it slowly. It was as if she wanted me to feel every different thing she was doing, and every different thing was ok with me.

After a moment of basking, I felt her lift off. Clutching my cock in her hand, she asked, “OK, now, what is it you want to hear?”

“Just tell me about what’s going on in that head of yours – share with me,” I said.

“Mmm. Well, I like your cock. It tastes clean and it’s hard, and I like hard.”

“And its size?”

“Oh, you’re plenty big for me, and no, it’s not as big as I’ve had.”

“Bigger than some others?”

“Oh yeah, definitely bigger than some others. You men, always on the big thing,” she smiled.

“So, how big, and how small, and how now?”

“Well, I’ve had as small as less than 4 inches, I’m sure, and they were most appreciative and were fine lovers. And, I’ve had as big as an honest 8 inches, and that’s huge, if you measure accurately, which I’ve learned to do, and which I suspect you know how to do as well.”

“And me?”

“You, I’d say you’re a shade under 6 inches, if measured accurately, and that’s plenty, as I said.”

“Hmm. Well, yes, I’ve measured, along the top, ruler pressed gently at the pubic bone, from there to the tip, I get from 5 to 5 and three quarters inches, depending on just how excited I am, so you’re right on. And thanks – that’s just the sort of honesty I wished Mary had shared, whatever her experience.”

“Mmm… Yep, that’s the way to measure. And, I’ll bet her experience was pretty much the same as mine if she were as experienced, which I’ll have to admit, from what almost everyone knows about her, is doubtful. Odds are much greater that all her lovers, how many ever there might have been, were within a half inch or so of you one way or the other – and that’s barely enough to feel a difference.”

“So, tell me about your first lover and your first time.”

“Ah, he was a dear boy. I was 16, he was almost 18. He came through the village where I grew up, not a hobo, but from what he said just traveling on his own, with money he’d earned from summer jobs. He was cheeky enough to come up to me on the street and ask me something inane about where he and his friends could find a good supper. I told him about a local inn, then I managed to ever so coincidentally go there with a girlfriend that evening – he and his friends arrived, and we all ate together then left him and his group there. We girls giggled all the way home, feeling ever so adventurous for going out with older men, and cute ones at that. He appeared the next day and we made arrangements to meet that night. I met him near my home, and we were barely out sight of my parents’ house before he pulled me to him and kissed me. I swear, I really did feel that one right down to my toes. He seemed so mature to me, but he was also a bit shy – not a handsome devil playboy sort, but more the class science club president who was scared of girls a bit and couldn’t believe he’d had the courage to flirt with me on the street in the first place.

“By the end of the evening – and I don’t remember what we did, but we must have had dinner or something – I was navigating us back to my house but went via a local deserted road. We stopped and made out, standing by the lane. I told him I was a virgin and wanted to stay that way, and he said he was too. I – remember, I was the aggressor – told him that I wanted to find out about him and have him find out about me, meaning physically, but that we couldn’t really screw. And when I said that, I reached down and could feel his hard thing through his clothes. I don’t know if I even knew the word erection, but to me that first touch was just a hard thing, and I knew it thrilled me that I had caused it. He said something to indicate he thought that sounded fine to him, and we quickly had our hands all over each other. I had to undo my top for him, but he was mesmerized by my small breasts (yes, they’ve grown a bit since then), and his hands and mouth felt great on them. I pulled off my underthings but kept my open blouse and skirt on, and guided his hand, lifting my skirt so he could find my pussy. I told him I was a virgin and that we couldn’t ‘do it.’ He said ok to that and promised we’d just play with each other.

Soon, we got him undressed and I grasped his penis in my hand, the first I’d ever seen that was erect, and soon then the first I’d ever touched. It seemed a lot bigger than I’d expected (and in retrospect it was very much like yours in size and configuration, if you’re wondering), and I wondered where in the world it could go – there was no way I had that much spare room inside me, I was sure. It also felt hot, surprisingly so to me. And so hard inside it yet covered with that thin soft skin, and so springy soft at the tip – he was circumcised – as you’d expect. I was fascinated, discovering all for myself at last and feeling very womanly about it. Then I felt the first finger not my own discover my clit and dive into my vagina. I was surprised at how wet I was, and then surprised how large his finger felt compared to mine, and that it felt better at that.

Then I felt him move over on top of me – we’d laid down somewhere in the undressing process. I opened my legs to him as he moved between them, and I clearly recall knowing we were going to fuck, and casting off all my reluctance since I was so on edge by then, being driven by this animal need and not caring to be rational about it anymore. Somewhere in me, there were a hundred reasons not to do this, and there was fear, since we’d all heard about how the first time hurt. But that was all thrust back into shadows, overwhelmed by the instant moment of it all.

He supported himself on his elbows, and pushed at me, clumsily. I reached down between us, wrapped my hand around his shaft again, and placed the head between my lips. He pushed, and entered a bit. Just when I thought there was no way and was ready to quit, despite his persistent pushing, something gave, and I felt this stab of pain and cried out. He froze, but froze well inside me. He asked if I was ok and if I wanted to stop, but by then the pain seemed to subside, and I figured since I was no longer a virgin, I’d stick with it. I told him it was ok, and he started to fuck, and soon whatever pain was left was overcome by the wonderful friction his cock was making along all sides of me inside. He pulled back a bit, then pushed deeper, several times, until he was all the way in me, and then we just stopped and looked at each other for a moment again. And then I started thrusting harder with my hips, and we started to fuck for real. It only lasted a couple of minutes, and then he cried out and really thrust hard, and I knew he was coming, and he went on that way for a little, then collapsed, gasping for breath. I didn’t come – that would wait for another day to discover with a man – but I sure knew that it was a need not to be denied, and that there would be no turning back for me. Afterwards, we were both a little freaked out. He apologized, and I dressed and ran back home, afraid of what, I don’t know.”

“That sounds like a pretty good first time, considering,” I told her.

“Yes, although when he left, I was heartbroken, and thought for a while that I might be pregnant, which thankfully I wasn’t. I doubt that there are many fairy tale first times, but I soon came to be thankful to him for the experience.”

“Did you do more with him than that first time?”

“Yes, it lasted several more weeks, and during that time we explored all sorts of things together. I’d sneak out at night and meet him in a nearby wooded area. He’d bring a blanket, and since it was summer, it was easy not to need anything else. He ate me on our second time, not as well as I’ve since had, but in such a way that we both came in that act to believe that nothing we did with each other could be dirty or forbidden. In fact, he loved that so and brought me to orgasm that way, long before I was able to come by intercourse. I was quick to take him in my mouth as well, and when he came I instinctively swallowed, not minding the taste or the sensation at all. Thanks to him, I came to love sucking men, discovering them, trying to figure them out, being generally fascinated by how they work. I think women are no more and no less complex, just different, and that difference really does make it a great mystery if we let it.

“Oh, and since you may want to know, I never measured him, but did the next guy I fucked, who was 6 ½ inches, and I knew that Sam, my first, was slightly shorter and slimmer – a great introductory test kit, as it were.

“So did that trend to larger continue?”

“Only sporadically. By a couple of years, and a couple of guys later, I knew what seemed to be average, and so I knew when I encountered a big one along the way.”

“OK, I’m really liking this – so, much bigger?”

“OK, so there was this one other guy, who was bigger, too big – 8 plus maybe, and damned thick. It took just as much care as the smaller guys to get through to him that it wasn’t something cosmic – it was just him. Once he accepted that it wasn’t a defining characteristic, he was ok. He’d known some women who were freaked out and ran from it and others who freaked out and ran to it. Finally, he could get on with being who he was, not what his dick was. I felt pretty good about how it all went…” she drifted off a bit in reflection.

“So, under 6 inches is ok after all?”

“Persistent, aren’t you. Oh yeah, and it’s usually that way, if you really want to know. Most of you guys who think you’re ‘modestly endowed’ are just as fucked up, but you generally overcompensate to the woman’s advantage. You learn how to use it; you learn how to make love other ways, like with your mouth and hands; the only problem is that you’re so busy overcompensating that you tend to short-change yourselves on the real, just get to it, pleasure of the whole thing. You’re a great lover, Ben, and it’s not due to anything physical – just to you. So there.”

“Yeah, I hear you,” I couldn’t help continuing, “but everything being equal, wouldn’t you prefer bigger to smaller?”

“All things are never equal, but ok, since you asked. The latest I’ve read puts the mean at about 5 ½ ” with a standard deviation of about 1/2″. So, along with most women, I would prefer normal, or average, I should think, with that being the mean plus or minus one standard deviation. That is, up to about 7, maybe 7½, compared to 9 or more. Nine’s just too big – to suck, to fuck – too big for anything much except visual appreciation. If you’re making porn, then fine, go with 9. But 7″, on the other hand, is a nice big, not too big, and certainly normal. On the smaller end, yes, I’d prefer 5 ½ to 3 ½, and 3 ½ to something smaller. However, I have had 3 ½, and found it quite satisfactory, since it was associated with someone who knew how to use it and the other alternatives that the human anatomy facilitates. What you’re really asking, I think, is whether I’d prefer 7 to 5 or so, and more to the point, if I’d prefer you with 7 to you with the 5-plus you have. I must say that 5-plus is a lot easier to please orally, while 7 makes a more immediate impact upon penetration vaginally. But once in, there’s remarkably little difference once the female stretches, which she does whether intended or not, quite quickly. So, once at it, so to speak, the size dimension diminishes to being a small factor among others more substantial.”

“And your favorite of all time lover – tell me about him.”

“Who says it was a him,” she smiled, her eyes twinkling.

“Ah, point.”

“My favorite lover is very likely my next, and next to it being my current, that’s a pretty good alternative.”

“Got it.”

“And so now, you’re my favorite, and I want to please you, just you, right now.” And with that, she took my hand and led me back again to the bedroom, and pushed me gently onto the bed, on my back, my head propped up by the pillows. Pulling off my sweats, she knelt over me and, her hair cascading over my groin, sucked my half mast cock into her mouth, bringing it back to life yet again. After a few moments of that, she lay herself between my legs, swept the hair out of her face, and watched me as she rose and fell, revealing then concealing my cock in her mouth. The feeling was fabulous, as it always is. She did it so slowly, circling the head with her tongue, licking some then sucking again, dipping to pull each of my balls tenderly into her mouth, then letting them back out, her tongue down to my perineum, then back up the length of my shaft.

“It’s time,” she said, pulling off for a moment. I felt her hand worm its way between us to grasp my balls, rolling them easily and not hurting at all with the gentle squeezing. Then she eyed me as she started with just her closed lips at the tip of me, then lowering, letting the head push her lips apart, and continuing, almost excruciatingly slowly, down and down until she had taken it all. I had no idea how she could do that, but I could feel the back of her throat against my cock head, the lapping of her tongue along the bottom of my shaft, he lips constricted around the base – the realization that I could feel all those sensations simultaneously and so clearly pushed me over, and I finally, finally came, the seed feeling as if it had come from deep, deep within me, forcing its way out so hard it stung deep in my gut, but stung so wonderfully. I humped helplessly with the spurting, and she took it eagerly. I don’t know how long I came, but felt I’d never come harder. She stayed on me as I finished, and kept sucking and licking lightly with my cock in her mouth as it relaxed and shrunk.

Finally done, she crawled up into my arms, “And now, sleep, Ben,” she said, and I did.

When I awoke, she was gone. It was early on a bright morning, and it had snowed overnight, so the scene was blindingly bright. I felt light as air, and went outside and across to her door. Ringing the bell, I got no answer. Knocking, again no answer. Curious, thinking maybe the bell was out of order and she was still asleep, I peered into a front window. The house was empty. No boxes, no wrapping, nothing but totally vacant. For a moment I couldn’t figure it out, and went back to my place confused. Nothing was out of place there – no wine glasses, no plates, no sign of any of the previous day’s occurrences. I was starting to think I was going nuts, when I went back into the bedroom and there, lying on the floor next to the bed, was the peach colored bra. That’s the last and only sign I’ve had of her. As I stood there, I heard voices from down the street saying something about Merry Christmas. Christmas! I’d forgotten all about it!

I went back inside my place to think about things, and figured, maybe she’ll come back someday, as she did seem a bit mercurial, and then we’ll finish the love making we’d started. But until then I thought, the message of the evening to me was to celebrate every day, to celebrate every woman I meet and help her enjoy life, and sex if it comes to it, as much as I do. That seemed quite appropriate to the Christmas season, and I pledged to keep that spirit, and to keep Christmas in my heart all the year long! It’s just as I think Mary would want.

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