The bench stood along the outside wall between Krogers and Starbucks. Al liked to sit there with a cup of coffee, people-watching, and daydreaming. Today he sipped his coffee, and wondered if the white-haired woman with the poodle would come by again.
He’d seen her several times. About his age, slim, well dressed and classy, she’d been aloof and cool at first, but as time went on, she seemed warmer.
They smiled, and nodded to each other, but never spoke. Lately, her eyes developed a twinkle, as though she harbored a secret. She reminded him of his late wife, and he winced at the memory, as his mind slipped into reverie about the year just past.
He was pruning roses when the sheriff’s car drove up. The solemn faces of the deputies spelled trouble, and he shuddered now, reliving the horror when they told him his wife was dead, killed instantly, her car broadsided by a speeding drunk.
The time and circumstance of that news, generated a hatred for the big suburban house with its shrubbery and gardens that had been his wife’s pride and joy. He sold the place, and bought a smaller house in town, a place with a tiny front lawn, a patio in the rear, and a high board fence that lent privacy to his back yard.
Autumn when his wife died, winter was a kaleidoscope of depression and bitter memories, but by spring, he’d settled into a new routine. In years past he had been a boater, and as life returned, he thought about getting into it again. He’d skim through boating magazines in the rack at Kroger’s.
Occasionally he exchanged glances with one of the cashiers. Much younger than he, late 30s he guessed, olive-skinned with an exotic Mediterranean look, he sensed sadness in her. One day, he took his magazine to her check stand, and she asked, “You thinking about buying a boat?”
“No, for now, at least this is just a wish book.”
“My wish is a villa on Cyprus.”
Yeah, my parents came from there. Brought me here as a little girl. Since Dad died, Mom’s been wanting to go back, and I’d like to see it too.”
“Don’t they have some kind of trouble there?”
“Well the Greeks and Turks occupy different parts of the island, and they don’t get along. Mom’s Turkish, and Dad was Greek. They came here to escape the strife, but sometimes I thought they brought the war with them. I’m sure they loved each other, though, Mom was devastated when Dad died.”
“Gee, that’s too bad, but it’s an interesting story. Good luck in your search.”
Al began using her check stand regularly, and they got acquainted. He learned her name was Angelika, she was older than he first guessed, 46, divorced, with two children. One was away at college, the other just graduated from high school, with a summer job in another state.
As time went on, her appearance of sadness grew. One day she seemed particularly distraught. Concerned for her, he asked, “Are you OK, Babe?”
Tears sprang to her eyes. She looked away for a moment, then shook her head.
Gently, he said, “Hey, I’m going for a cup of coffee. Suppose you could get away for a few minutes and join me?”
She sighed, then nodded, “I guess so, I’m due to go on break.”
“How about meeting me outside? I’ll spring for coffee, and we can sit on the bench.”
Al bought their coffee, and sat down. She came out and sat down beside him, a faraway look in her eyes. He handed her the coffee, and asked, “What’s up?”
Tears rimmed her eyes again as she said, “Al, both my kids are gone for the summer, and I’m climbin’ the walls with loneliness. They’re a pain when they’re around, but I sure miss ’em when they’re gone.”
“Don’t you have anyone else?”
“No, since the divorce I haven’t been interested in anything but keeping my kids straight. Now they’re gone, and I’m running on empty.”
“I can relate to that, I haven’t been very sociable myself, since my wife died.”
Both were silent for a moment. Al said, “Tell you what. How about letting me take you out to dinner tonight. I’m a little old to think about romancing you, but we can pretend you’re my daughter. Might do us both some good.”
She chuckled wryly, “Al, I wouldn’t exactly classify you as a father figure, but to be truthful, I really don’t feel like going out anywhere.”
Al pondered that for a moment, and said, “OK then, how about coming to my place? I’m a passable cook, and I can grill some steaks. We can sit on the patio, sip a glass of wine and solve the world’s problems while the steaks are cooking.”
She sat silently sipping her coffee, then nodded. “I’d like that, Al, can I bring something?”
“No, just yourself. I’ve got all the fixings, I just need to get the steaks.”
“What time should I be there?”
‘The earlier the better, I’m not much of a night owl any more.”
“Good thing. I have to be at work early, but I’m off at 3:00. If you don’t live too far, I should make it by four.”
He gave her the address, and she smiled, “Hey, that’s just two blocks from my place, I can walk.”
“OK, be there as early as you can.”
Shopping for their dinner, Al whistled softly, anticipating a pleasant evening with someone he liked. He went home and got ready, and by 3:30, he was watching for her. At quarter to 4, she strolled up his walk. He’d never seen her without her store uniform. Now, wearing a feminine summer frock that accentuated her dark Mediterranean looks, she took his breath away.
Hand on the door knob, he waited for her steps on the porch. As she reached for the doorbell, he threw open the door, spread his arms, and dramatically announced, “Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.”
Laughing, she instinctively rushed into his arms. He held her for a moment, and suddenly there was more between them than the expectation of dinner and conversation.
Wrapped in the cloak of their private miseries, neither sensed the undercurrent of sexual attraction that flowed beneath the surface of their casual relationship. At their touch it burst forth, unexpected, and frightening. They held each other a moment longer, awestruck. trembling, staring into each other’s eyes.
Al regained a measure of composure. “Whew. I didn’t expect that.”
She paused a moment, breathing hard, staring at him. She swallowed and shook her head. “Neither did I.”
“Let’s go sit on the patio, have a glass of wine, and get sensible.”
Al’s libido died with his wife, and he hadn’t thought of sex for months. Suddenly, lust roared through him, together with a tumult of uncertainty over the difference in their ages, what her desires might be, his own ability to perform, and a thousand other doubts.
He led her to the patio, and seated her on the chaise. With trembling hands, he poured their wine. Wide-eyed, she watched silently. For a few moments, they sipped quietly, staring at each other.
Al caught his breath at the naked yearning in her eyes. His own need was insistent, and his self-control was slipping. Her face was filled with uncertainty and wonderment, as he set his glass down and knelt beside her. Then her expression changed, and she reached for him.
They embraced for a long moment. Her lips sought his, and their tongues mingled as long-suppressed sexual tension flowed between them. When they came up for air, Al blew out his breath, and asked, “What now babe”?
She didn’t speak, but slid down on the chaise. Her skirt rode up as she rolled toward him, spreading her legs, and raising one knee. They kissed again, and Al slid his hand up under her skirt to caress her abdomen. She caught her breath, kissed him harder, and thrust her pelvis toward his hand. He found the leg band of her panties and pulled it back to touch her drenched pussy. She whimpered at his touch, and thrust at him again. Now he reached for the waistband to pull her panties down, and she lifted her hips to help him.
Her mouth was pressed to his, sucking and insistent as he cupped his hand over her mound. His finger sought the center, and she squirmed to give him entrance. The finger penetrated the outer lips to touch her engorged clit, and she gasped, clinging to him tightly.
They were riding a runaway train, as Al pushed her away long enough to unbuckle his belt, and drop his trousers. He kicked them away, stripped off his shorts and threw them aside to mount her.
He slowed enough to strop her sopping pussy with his cock, but her thrusting was insistent. He plunged into her, and they lay quietly for a moment. Al felt her inner thigh quiver as though she were on the edge of orgasm, and indeed at his next thrust she exploded.
When she subsided, they lay breathing hard for a moment, but Al’s own need was unfulfilled, and he began to thrust gently. She gave a guttural grunt, and hooked her heels behind his buttocks to begin driving him in hard and fast. Their coupling was quick and violent, and they came together in an earthshaking orgasm. It was over in a moment, and they lay gasping, spent from the intense effort.
Then Angie came unglued. “Oh God, oh God,” she wailed, “I’m such a slut.”
Speechless for a moment, Al’s lust evaporated. Then he flared. “What do you mean slut? You’re just the opposite.”
He tried to soothe her but she was inconsolable. ‘I’m so ashamed,” she cried, “I’ve got to go.”
She tried to stand up, but he pushed her back. “Calm down. You’re not going anywhere. I bought those steaks for us, and by God, I’m going to cook ’em, and we’re going to eat them. Now let’s go inside and clean up. I’m sorry Angie, we were out of control. I won’t let it happen again.”
She calmed down, but shame and embarrassment were written on her face. Al gently lifted her up, embarrassed now at his own nakedness, and led her inside. “You use the bathroom. When you’re done, I’ll clean up. Then we better have the dinner we planned, and try to make sense of this.”
Al went back to retrieve his pants and shorts. He decided to forget about cleanup, but just get dressed, and make ready to cook. He had his own problem with emotional turmoil over what happened.
Al had been a human resource manager. A trained counselor, he had dealt with a lot of human problems, including sexual affairs among employees. He had always treated their problems with clinical detachment, but never expected to find himself in such a situation. Now he’d just had an unexpected encounter in which he and his partner had been overtaken by sudden, uncontrollable lust. His loss of control troubled him, as did Angie’s discomfort with her behavior.
The situation was fraught with danger for him. If she decided she wasn’t responsible, she might accuse him of taking advantage. He’d seen such situations in his work, and grew cold with the thought that she might accuse him of rape.
He finished his preparations, went inside, praying that Angie hadn’t run away, and found her sitting in the living room, trouble on her features. He knelt in front of her.
“Angie, do you know what happened to us?”
She stared at him reproachfully, and shook her head.
“Here’s what I think,” he answered. “Each of us has suffered a loss, and we’ve been miserable. Misery loves company, they say, and we gave each other company as we talked at your work. We had no idea it was anything more than that, but there was a big river of something else flowing under the surface that neither of us recognized. Today, as we got into an intimate environment, the river overflowed. I don’t know where this will take us, but I promise I won’t lose control again.”
Silent, she watched him solemnly for a moment, then came to terms with something in herself. She smiled, patted his hand, and said, “Let’s eat.”
Al heaved a sigh of relief, and got to his feet. She followed him out to the patio. He put the steaks on the grill, poured another glass of wine for each of them, and they sat down to talk.
Angie was tense, and troubled. It was difficult for her to speak, but she said, “I’m sorry Al, I’m a 46 year old woman with grown children, and I still don’t know what I am.”
“What are you sorry for?”
“Sorry for being a slut, and for falling apart afterwards.”
“What makes you think you’re a slut?”
“Good women don’t do things like that.”
“Why do you believe that?”
“Oh, I know the modern attitudes about sex, but all my life growing up, it was drummed into me that it was wrong.” Tears sprang to her eyes as she said, “Even after I was married, my husband criticized me for losing control, as he called it, and I was always ashamed of myself.”
Al scraped the grill savagely, cursing inwardly about the brainwashing done by ignorant parents, and an unfeeling husband. He turned the steaks, and sat down.
“Angie, good women take care of their families, and don’t run around. You have been exactly that kind of a good woman. You’re no slut.
“I don’t want to sound like a college professor, but the need to reproduce our kind is one of the basic things that drives us, and of all God’s creatures, only humans are gifted to have sex for purposes other than procreation. We use it to relieve tension, we use it to increase the bonds between a loving couple, lovers use it to give pleasure to one another. But when that drive is suppressed by religious or cultural pressures, it surfaces in ways that are not always positive.
“You and I have suppressed our sexuality for a long time; me over months of grief for my late wife, you for years of concentrating on your children. Those pressures have eased for both of us, and for whatever reason, we’ve been drawn together. Today it all boiled over at once.
I don’t know where this will lead us, but you’re no slut Angie. Far from it, you’re a lovely woman and a good woman, as good as they come.”
Angie thought silently for a few moments, then said, “I think those steaks are done.”
She helped him dish up, and they had another glass of wine as they ate silently, each struggling with their thoughts and emotions.
Angie broke the silence. “You’re a good cook Al, this is the nicest meal I’ve had for a long time.”
Al smiled. “You’re too kind. Any guy can handle a barbecue, and the rest of thus stuff is just because there’s a good deli in town.”
“Well, I’m talking mainly about the company. Al, for months I didn’t have much contact outside work, and I so enjoyed it when we talked. I didn’t know it would lead to something like this, but I’m glad I’m here.”
Al was embarrassed by the compliment, and uncomfortable to note the look of yearning had returned to her eyes. He felt the old familiar stirring in his loins, but remembering the result of their first encounter, he wasn’t sure what to do.
Abruptly, Angie said, “Let’s get this mess cleaned up.”
She swept together the dishes and other remains of their dinner, and Al helped carry them into the kitchen. Together they washed the dishes, dried them, and took care of the trash.
They stood facing each other, drying their hands on opposite ends of the dish towel. A fire smoldered in her eyes as she set the towel down, and came close to him.
“Will you kiss me, Al?”
The train was on the tracks again, as they embraced. Angie’s mouth was fierce and insistent on his, as they clung tightly to one another.
Al broke the embrace, looking into her eyes. His voice hoarse, his heart pounding, he said, “Easy does it babe, let’s take it slow this time.”
He led her to the bedroom where they embraced and kissed again. Still holding her, Al undid the hook at the neck of her dress, and drew the zipper down. She shrugged the dress off her shoulders, stepped out, and he draped it over a chair.
She stood before him naked, except her bra. Her beauty took his breath away. Al turned her around, and found the clasp of her bra. He unfastened it, and flung it onto the chair.
Standing behind her, he drew her close, and fondled her breasts. She gasped at his touch, and threw her head back to kiss him. She turned to face him, and he drew her close to nuzzle her breasts.
Heart pounding, he stepped away, and his own clothes hit the floor. They embraced again, both naked now,. Their mutual need was driving hard, but Al was determined to make it last.
He walked her to the bed, and lay her down in the middle of it, while he knelt above, straddling her. Supporting himself on his hands, he leaned down to kiss her, and felt her nipples harden where they brushed his chest.
He worked his way down, kissing her cheeks, her neck, under her ears, and finally her chest. He shifted position to reach down and slide his arm between her legs to cup her buttocks with his hand while his biceps pressed against her pussy.
She caught her breath, and squirmed as she began rocking her pussy against his biceps. He continued to kiss down her body, working over both breasts, and finally down her abdomen.
He pulled his arm out from underneath her, and changed position again to get his face between her now spread legs. Her scent was intoxicating, and he had to force himself to take it slow.
She quivered and grunted as he blew gently on her pussy, then teased her by licking up and down the crevice where her leg joined her pelvis. Her agitation increased as he pointed his tongue to lick softly up and down the slit. Her inner labia were engorging with blood, and as they began to protrude, he insinuated his tongue between them, and worked his way up to her clit.
He sensed tension in her, as though she wasn’t able to really let go and enjoy her senses, but lust overpowered his concern. Her clit was a ripe cherry he licked and tongued, as her tension and agitation increased.
He inserted one finger in her drenched pussy, then two, and felt for the little round ball on the roof of her vagina that marked her “G” spot. He caressed it gently with his finger, then began to tap it lightly in time with his suckling of her clit. He sensed reluctance and tension in her, but her body was out of her control, and she came with a gushing, shuddering orgasm.
As before, she cried in an agony of embarrassment, “Oh God, oh God, I’m sorry Al, I’m so sorry, I didn’t want to do that to you. I hate it when I lose control that way. I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go.”
As before, Al’s lust evaporated in the face of her pain, and he moved up to face her, holding her tightly as she squirmed with embarrassment His usual tact vanished, as he said, harshly, “Knock it off, woman. For chrissake, that’s nothing to be sorry for. You have a gift. Millions of women don’t even know what an orgasm is, and only one in a hundred can experience the intensity you just had. It’s a gift, not something to be ashamed of. Accept it as such. If your ex criticized you for it, and made you feel badly about it, he was an ignorant, mean-spirited fool.”
Al was uncomfortable about his outburst, and simmered down. He held her close, and said, softly, “Angie, Angie, Angie, you did nothing wrong tonight, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. You’re not evil, you’re not slutty, you’re a totally wonderful, totally normal woman, and you need to get used to that idea.”
Angie quieted down, and clung to him, still sobbing softly. He comforted her, and felt his libido rise again. He’d been on a roller coaster of lust and agitation all afternoon, and the need was still in him. He began to caress her, whispering softly, and she responded again, clinging to him tightly.
She began to take an active role in their lovemaking, and reached down to fondle his penis. He responded with a gasp of pleasure, and she kissed him again, hard, while she stroked him.
The train ride was under better control this time. At the end, she released her grasp, rolled over, and rose up on her knees. Words were unnecessary, and Al rose to kneel behind her.
He stropped her wet pussy with his cock, sliding it up and down the slit, and she twitched and gasped each time his knob slid over her clit. Finally he entered her gently. They paused a moment, and she swung her hips side to side before he began a slow and easy stroke.
They fucked slowly for a few moments, and again she swung her hips side-to-side. He could feel his cock stretching the walls of her vagina, and sensed her enjoyment. Their lust began to rise, and their motions increased until he was pounding into her hard, and she was returning every thrust. At last they came again together, in a wild, and grinding orgasm.
They subsided quickly, and lay down facing each other, holding one another. It was still early, but both were spent by the intense physical and emotional activity, and they fell asleep in each other’s arms.
Angie awoke with a start, momentarily disoriented. She mused for a moment on what had happened, still conflicted about her behavior, not entirely certain she should believe everything Al had said. Suddenly, she realized she had to be at work early tomorrow. Her startled reaction awakened Al.
“What time is it Al?”
Sleepily, he responded, “Ten o’clock.”
She jumped out of bed. “I’ve got to go. I have to be at work by 6:00 tomorrow morning.”
Al was fully awake now. “O.K. I’ll walk you home.”
“You don’t have to.”
“Don’t argue. I’m going with you.”
They dressed quickly, and walked out into the soft summer night. Angie was agitated, and wanted to hurry, but Al said, “Slow down girl, it’s only two blocks, and I want to enjoy your company. You’re a wonderful woman, and you’re not getting away that easy.”
Hand-in-hand, they walked her home, conversing softly. At her door, Al said bluntly, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” She paused for a moment, then nodded.
She turned to leave, but Al had his arms around her, and kissed her. She clung to him for a moment, then walked up her steps.
Under a pale moon, Al strolled slowly home, bemused by the evening’s events, troubled by his own loss of control, and Angie’s ambivalence about her natural womanhood.
He walked though his darkened house to sit quietly on the patio, thinking. Someone was on the back porch of the house behind him. He couldn’t see over the wall, but the loom of the porch light glowed. Music played softly, and a woman’s voice hummed along.
The music stopped, he heard footsteps on the porch, a door closed, and the light went out. Totally alone now, in dead silence, Al pondered the day’s events. His mind was boggled over how much had happened, how things had changed, in such a short time.
In the pale moonlight, he spotted a white smudge under the chaise, and reached for it. It was Angie’s panties, dry now, but still filled with her scent. He sniffed the aroma, then laughed at himself with a little embarrassment. What would people think of a sixty-six year old man going around sniffing women’s crotches?
Still , the scent recalled the evening’s events. They were a puzzlement to him. At the end, he sighed, dropped the panties into the washing machine, and went to bed.
That was the end of day one, he mused, sipping his coffee now on Kroger’s bench.
He had gone to see her the next day, and they began an affair. They dined together, went to movies and shows, to the beach, for scenic rides, and had enjoyed each other’s company in many ways, meantime keeping up the torrid sexual affair.
Angie was twenty years younger, with an equally younger libido, and as she became more comfortable with her sexuality, she was making up for lost time. Al was hard-pressed to keep up. There were differences in their interests too, and at the end the only thing they really had in common was their sexual compatibility.
Drawn together by that, and their mutual misery, they brought each other out of the darkness of their despair into the light of life again. But they had used up everything they had in common except the sex, and sex by itself isn’t enough to keep a relationship vital.
Al knew they had no future together, but he was at a loss as to how to end it. Angie solved his dilemma. One evening she suggested they make the next day special and go to an intimate restaurant they enjoyed.
She showed up wearing the same frock she wore their first night together, and when they finished dinner, she said, “Al, I resigned my job. Today was my last day. Mother and I leave next Wednesday for Cyprus, and I’m going to be packing from now until then.”
Well there it was, the perfect solution. It wasn’t perfect timing, Al wasn’t entirely ready, but you take what comes. He was silent for a moment, then she placed her hand on his, and said, softly, “Let’s go to your place one more time.”
The thing was so sudden, Al wasn’t sure he’d be up for it, but he couldn’t refuse. They drove home silently, each lost in their own thoughts. She marched him into the bedroom, sat him down on the bed, and told him to be still.
She stood in front of him, and said, “I’m going to give you something to remember me by.”
Al smiled inwardly at the change that had come over her in the few months they were together. From depression, despondency and a lack of self-worth at the beginning, to the confidant woman who stood before him now, totally in control of herself and the situation. He wondered what he had contributed to the change.
Now she did a slow pirouette for him, smiling archly. She turned her back to him, arms at her sides, and said, “Unhook my dress, and zip it down.”
Her voice was soft, but its command was unmistakable, and he was glad to comply. She stepped away, and turned to face him, peeling the dress off her shoulders as seductively as any professional stripper. He smiled his appreciation.
She did another slow pirouette, this time unfastening her bra, and flipping it onto a chair. She approached him, leaning forward, teasing, but before he could touch her, she drew away.
Now she played with the leg band of her panties, giving him a peek at her pubic hair, laughing at him as she turned away to strip the panties off and fling them onto the chair.
She approached again, her pelvis at his eye level, her pubic hair glistening with droplets of moisture,. He reached for her, but she pushed him away, and said, “Sit still.”
He reached to unbutton his shirt, but she stopped him, saying, I’m going to do that.” She unbuttoned his shirt, stripped it off his shoulders, then pulled off his T-shirt. She stood him up, unbuckled and dropped his trousers, then stripped his shorts in one quick movement. He stepped out of them, and stood there naked.
She knelt before him, fondled his cock, and took it in her mouth. His eyes widened with surprise. She had kissed it, and fondled it, but never before had she actually taken it into her mouth.
She rose to her feet, put her hands on his shoulders, and told him, “Lie down on the bed, buddy-boy, I’m going to do a job on you.”
She began as he had the first day with her, straddling him, and kissing down his body. Finally, she knelt beside him working over his cock with her mouth in a way that sent twitches and quivers through his body.
Lust was rising in him now. The scent of her arousal increased it more, and he reached for her leg to draw her body over his. She resisted at first, but then succumbed, and threw her leg over him, to place them in the 69 position. They ravished each other with mouth and tongue until her sensations overcame her concentration on his cock. He felt her quiver with her approaching orgasm, and waited for the gush, but she came without the flood he’d learned to expect.
As soon as her spasms subsided, she moved off his face, to squat over his now very hard cock, and lower herself onto it. Facing him, she began to pump. She lost her balance, and he reached up to hold her hands and steady her.
She began to rise and fall slowly over him, but the need for release grew in both of them. She increased the tempo, and he began to meet her thrusts, hard and fast. They came together in a crashing orgasm, Al’s the most intense he could remember.
She collapsed on him sobbing, “Al, Al, I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done for me, I hate to leave you, but I have to. You raised my spirits, and gave me confidence I never had. You’re a wonderful man, Al, I’ll never meet another like you.”
Angie lay on top of him, and he held her close, caressing her back with his hands, reveling the sense of her weight, and warmth, and softness. His own emotions were in full flood, as he said, “Angie, I didn’t give anything to you that you didn’t give back tenfold. I was lost and drifting when we met, and you returned me to life. I don’t know why we were fated to meet, but girl, it has been wonderful.
“I know we can’t stay together. You’re approaching the prime of your life, and I’m on the downhill slope. There are too many differences between us, but we gave each other comfort in a storm, and we’ve come through together into a brighter day. I’ll never forget you girl, and I’ll always love you.”
The first and last days of their affair were burned into Al’s memory, that last one, two empty weeks ago. Sitting on Krogers’ bench now, coffee cold in his hand, he was in orbit somewhere with the memories.
His reverie was so deep he didn’t notice that someone stood in front of him., until a woman’s voice asked sharply, “Are you here Al, or off on another planet?”
His eyes swam into focus. It was the white-haired woman. Her little dog jumped at his knee, wagging furiously. He reached down to scratch its ears, and it settled down at his feet.
The woman asked, “May I sit down?”
Al was still in outer space, but had the presence of mind to say, “Please do.”
She sat on the opposite end of the bench, and each half-turned to face the other, their arms on the back of the bench. The woman asked, “Did Angelika leave for Cyprus with her mother?”
He nodded. “Two weeks ago.”
He was behind the curve in this conversation. How did she know his name? How did she know Angelika? His perplexity showed, and the woman smiled.
“I’m sorry, Al. you don’t know me. I’m Ann Morgan. Angie’s mother and I were neighbors and good friends for many years. I watched Angie grow up. In fact, it was her mother who convinced me to move here after I lost my husband.”
Here, her face grew mischievous. “I bought the house behind you, Al. You have a lovely back yard and patio. I’ve been working to bring mine up to your standard.”
Al was blinking furiously. How did she know about his back yard and patio? She laughed again at his perplexity.
“There’s a knothole in your fence, Al, just at eye level. I get a magnificent view. You give some interesting barbecue’s too, though they do – uh – get a little noisy at times.”
Consternation reigned in Al’s mind, and he reddened, thinking of what she must have seen. She was grinning ear-to-ear, enjoying his discomfiture.
Then she said, “You should invite me some time. We need to get acquainted.”
It was clear that Al was way behind in this race, but his manners surfaced, and he said, “Well sure, when would you like to come?”
“How about this afternoon?”
He nodded dumbly.
“Say 3 o’clock?”
He nodded again.
“Good. I’ll bring the steaks.”
Al sat stunned. As the woman rose to go, she patted the back of his hand, and he realized she’d been tracing circles on it with her middle finger. Openmouthed, he watched her walk to the curb. She stopped to wait for traffic, looked over her shoulder with an impish grin, and winked at him. The traffic passed, and she strode to her car. He swore there was a seductive sway to her hips he hadn’t noticed before.
He came out of orbit with a crash, not quite certain he heard what he thought he heard. He pursed his lips, and blew out a silent whistle. Boy, he thought, there’s a woman knows what she wants. I better get some wine. No cheap stuff for this one.
He rose, and walked into the store.