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Temporary Home

Category: Mature
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Chapter One

“Evan, Mr. Franklin would like to see you if you’re available.”

“I’m on my way, Francine.” Evan hung up the phone, grabbed his notebook and ran up the back stairs to Francine’s door. As he caught his breath he made sure his shirt was tucked in and his tie was straight and brushing his hair back with his left hand opened the door and went in.

“My you were fast, Evan.”

“Used the back stairs.”

“Sure can tell you’re young.”

“Not so young, twenty eight this week in fact.”

“Well, that’s young to this old lady.” She called Mr. Franklin’s office and said, “Evan is here to see you…he’s on his way”, and she hung up. He gave her a wink and went to Gene Franklin’s door and tapped before entering.

“Good morning Evan, come in and have a seat.” He did as he was told and waited for the boss of bosses to speak. “Evan I got some sad news this morning. Lance Hagan in Knoxville was in an accident yesterday and will be out of commission for three to six months.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“He’s a good manager. Anyway that presents a problem of sorts. I know you’re young and have only been with us a year as a materials manager, but I’m impressed with your work. I’d like you to go to Knoxville and take over for Lance. We’ll start with three months and then reevaluate the situation. Think you can handle that, Evan?”

“Yes sir, I’m sure I can.”

“I am too. Wait until the first of the week. That will give you a few days to get yourself organized and I’ll let them know over there that you’ll be arriving sometime

Monday. They will set you up in the company apartment and help you with anything you might need, any questions?”

“No questions.”

“Well, if you come up with any, just see Tracy in Human Resources there.” Evan stood up and Mr. Franklin said, “Oh and of course, while you’re there your pay will be that of their head of materials management.”

“Yes sir” and Evan almost bounced out of Mr. Franklin’s office.

Francine knew all about what was going on so as he appeared she said, “Congratulations.”

“Thanks, Francine.”

“Make us proud.”

“I’ll try to do that very thing.” Evan ran back down the stairs and into his office, closed his door and jumped around like a kid. If he could just do a good job in Knoxville, he might end up with a promotion when he returned to Chattanooga.

He was due in a meeting with Carly Rogers in ten minutes, so he made sure he had the files and notes he would need and then tried to settle down. He sat for all of two minutes and then he was up and into the bathroom to check his tie and hair again and unfastened his slacks and tucked his shirt in. He thought Carly was about the best looking woman around and she seemed to like him. But there was a problem or two with that scenario. One problem was he would think about asking her to dinner or something, and then his self confidence would waiver so it would never happen. But in his defense, Carly was friendly, but a little aloof too. It was like she had drawn a line around her, and as long as you were outside of that line she would smile and even joke a little. But if she felt that you were inside of that unseen circle, she would shut down and become all business. Evan had seen it happen more than once, but thankfully not to him. Evan reached for his door to leave and stopped long enough to wipe the toes of his shoes on his pant legs and then headed down the hall softly whistling a tune.

“Good morning, Carly”, Evan said as he moved to the small conference table.

“Morning, Evan.” After dropping his files and notebook on the oval table he went to the credenza to pour coffee.

“Coffee, Carly?”

“Yes, thanks.” He knew she liked a touch of cream so he fixed that for her and delivered it to her.

He didn’t even wait until she sat down to tell her, “I just came from Mr. Franklin’s office.”

“Uh oh.”

“No, this is good. I mean really good.”

“What, tell me.”

“I’m going to Knoxville as temporary head of materials management.”

“No way!”

“I’m serious. Lance was in an accident and will be out of commission for a few months.”

Carly put her arms around him and gave him a warm hug and then said, “Congratulations Evan, that’s a wonderful opportunity.” He had a hard time thinking straight after feeling her arms around him and smelling the sweetness of her hair.

“It sure is, my feet hardly touched the floor when I left his office. And get this. My pay will be the same as a starting department head.”

“That’s awesome, when do you go?”

“Next Monday.”

She paused then and said, “Well, I’ll miss you.” Once again she had knocked the wind out of him.

“Thanks, I’ll miss you too. I like working with you.”

She just smiled and asked him, “Think you can keep your attention on me and your mind on our project?” Keeping his mind on her was no problem at all and he wanted to tell her that so much, but what came out of his mouth?

“Yeah, I think so.”

“Where will you be staying all that time?”

“At the company apartment.”

“Oh, I stayed there for a week when I first started and was being trained in before coming here.”

“Nice place?”

“It’s nothing fancy, but it’s okay.”

Evan smiled and said, “I’m not used to fancy anyway so that’s no problem.” Their project meeting was over in just over half an hour and Evan went back to his office and reminded himself what a dumb shit he was. Carly had asked him if he could keep his mind on her and what did he say? Yeah, I think so. He knew he couldn’t have handled that much worse if he tried. It was Thursday, so that meant that Evan had just a little more than one more day to clear his desk before heading to Knoxville. Evan was on his way home from work on Friday when it suddenly occurred to him that since he would be in Knoxville in the home office and head of materials management, he would technically be Carly’s boss. Damn, why didn’t he think of that on Thursday? He could have teased her or maybe even told her she had to have dinner with him. It was a nice fantasy, but he knew that’s all it was.

It had been a year since Evan had been in the Knoxville facility, but when he got there he did remember where Human Resources were. Up one flight of stairs, hang a right and third door on the right. He went in and asked for Tracy and waited until she emerged from one of the back offices. With her hand extended, she stepped up to him and said, “Welcome to home base, Evan, I’m Tracy.” Damn she was tall, but so nice looking too. He was beginning to wonder if he was love starved and maybe all women were starting to look good to him.

“Hi, Tracy.”

“Listen um…Evan we have a complication.” All Evan could think was they had changed their mind and he was going back to Chattanooga. “Evan, the company apartment had a fire early this morning.”

“Oh no.”

Tracy bit her lip and said, “We’re working on finding a place for you but it could take some time.”

A woman was just walking past when she stopped and asked Tracy, “Got a problem, Tracy. If you do, I’ll wait here until you talk to Graham.”

“Oh hi, Mrs. Foley, I don’t know if you heard, but the company apartment burned this morning.”

“Oh, that is bad.”

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Foley this is Evan Walker, he’s from Chattanooga and is stepping in while Lance is recovering.”

“We have had our share of disasters lately, nice to meet you, Evan.”

“Very nice to meet you, Mrs. Foley.”

“So I take it you’re in a scramble to find him accommodations.”

“That’s it exactly.”

“It won’t be easy.”

Tracy smiled and said, “I’ve already learned that and we need at least three months.”

“Let me go talk to Graham. I just may have a temporary solution and we can work out the rest later.”

“That would be fantastic.”

Once she was out of sight Tracy told Evan, “Mr. Foley is the director of human resources and a member of the city board and Amanda Foley is his wife.”


“She is big on helping people, so if anybody would know of a way to find you a place to live, it would be her. Listen, I’ll be back in a minute.” Evan sat in one of the chairs in the waiting area and looked around. He felt a little bit like an orphan waiting to see if any family would choose him.

It was several minutes later when Mrs. Foley returned and said, “Mr. Walker, you’ll stay in our guest room for a week or two, or whatever, while we find out about the apartment and what our options are.”

“Mrs. Foley, I can survive in a motel room.”

“Of course you can, but not at all comfortably and that isn’t a pleasant environment after a few days. Just follow me and I’ll take you out and get you settled.”

“I don’t know what to say, but thank you.”

“You’re quite welcome, but after all none of this is of your doing.” As they went out the door she said, “Graham will tell Tracy. Now it’s about eight miles out to the house, but it’s an easy drive so just relax and I’ll have you there in no time.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Foley.”

“You better start calling me Amanda and I’ll call you Evan.”

“Thank you, Amanda.”

Chapter Two

It was a quick drive out the Pellissippi Parkway, and they soon pulled into a long driveway that took them to a very impressive home. Evan jumped out and Amanda joined him as he pulled his bags from the back seat. “Amanda, you have a beautiful home.”

“Thank you, Evan.” He followed her in and she led him up stairs that had to be eight or ten feet wide and then down the hall. She went into a room on the right and as he followed her she said, “You can call this home for a while at least.”

“This is so kind of you, Amanda.”

She smiled and said, “Just come downstairs when you’re ready and I’ll fill you in on the details.”

“I’ll be down in just a few minutes.” Evan tossed his bags on the large bed and looked around. The guest room was almost half as large as his whole apartment and it was complete with a nice desk and chair, a television, couch and side chair. Add a kitchen, and he could live there was his thought. He could deal with his bags later and after checking out the bathroom, and the empty dresser drawers, and closet, he went downstairs.

He found her in the living room flipping pages of a magazine. She smiled and put the magazine down and standing up said, “Okay, let me show you around.” She casually hooked her arm through his and guided him along pointing out the dining room saying, “We only use that when we entertain. It’s just too large and pretentious for everyday”, and they moved on to the kitchen. There was a large table near the windows and she said, “That’s where I eat most of my meals. Oh, and Dorenne is the maid and cook. She comes in about eight and will be happy to fix you breakfast, so just ask her. She keeps the house together, so don’t worry about making your bed either, she’ll see to that too. She prepares lunch if anybody is here of course, and she makes dinner and leaves it for me to warm up when I get home. Any questions so far?”

“Just one, how will you get me to leave when the time comes?” She laughed and just moved on with her arm still through his.

On they went past the guest bathroom and on to the den where she said, “This is where I hang out a lot of the time if I’m not out at the pool area. Oh, and I’m sure you’ll need to use your laptop while you’re here, so I better tell you the house is all wireless internet. Oh right, the pool area”, and she did an about face and led him back and out through French doors onto the patio. “Of course you’re welcome to use the pool night or day, and it’s a great place to read while you sun.” Evan’s head was almost spinning as he tried to absorb the luxuries that she seemed to take for granted.

She guided him back through the house and said, “Okay now, here’s the bar so help yourself to a martini or whatever.” “Um…I don’t even know how to make a martini.”

Looking at her watch she said, “Well we have to do something about that this afternoon. I’ll give you your first lesson in making the basic martini. Do you like them, Evan?”

“Not the ones that I’ve tasted.”

“Well it is an acquired taste. I’ll still show you how to make them just in case you want to make one for your girlfriend or whoever.” “Sorry, but no girlfriend either.”

“Really, I’m surprised. Well, no matter, martini lesson about one anyway.”

“I take it you enjoy a martini.”

“Yes I do.”

“Then teach me well and I’ll be your bartender.”

She just smiled and said, “You know, I think you and I will get along just fine.”

“I’m sure we will, Amanda.”

The next few days kept Evan busy at the office and one evening was spent with Graham and Amanda over dinner and then drinks on the patio. Then it was off to his room to do some work on his laptop. Thursday after Evan had retreated to his room, Amanda told Graham, “Honey, I don’t see why he can’t just stay here. He’s no bother at all, Dorenne seems to like him quite well. In fact, he brought her a red rose yesterday and it made her day. It just seems silly to uproot him and send him off to some extended stay motel.”

“You don’t mind him under foot?”

“Not at all, I even taught him to make martinis the way I like them.”

“Is that right, then he’s going to have you spoiled by the time he leaves.”

“Honey, he is so sweet and naïve and young.”

“But remember you’re only forty two.”

“Forty three, honey. Were we ever that innocent?”

He laughed and said, “I’m sure we were. Now remember we’re talking three months and maybe longer.”

“I know. I’ll just tell him we’ll be honest and up front, if it starts to bother us.”

“Okay, you’re here and around him a lot more than I am, so it’s your call to make.”

“Then he stays. His youthful energy and sparkle is a refreshing boost to my day. I think I’ll go tell him now if you don’t mind.”

“Of course not, I have some work to do anyway.”

Amanda kissed Graham’s cheek and headed upstairs and tapped on Evan’s door. “Come in.”

She found him at his desk and said, “I’m sorry to bother you.”

“No bother at all, Amanda.” She sat on the end of his bed and said, “Graham and I were just talking and we’d like you to stay on here, but we both have to promise to be open and honest.”

“Honesty is always very important in all relationships.” She smiled and then realized he was right, it was a relationship.

“If we start to drive you crazy and you want to leave at some point, you won’t hurt our feelings. Then in maybe a month we’ll talk again, but right now I see no reason for you to move into some God awful motel or something.”

“Amanda, thank you, and please thank Graham for me. You’ve taken me into your home and…well, embraced me and I can’t thank you enough. We both know that you’re not in the habit of doing this, so I feel honored.” She studied this young man as he sat there talking to her and she felt a bond with him. Was his sweetness and innocence bringing out the mother in her? What was his story and why was there no woman in his life? It flashed through her thoughts that were she younger and single she could be interested in this handsome and modest man.

Pulling herself from her reverie she said, “Well, I’ll let you get back to work. Will you be down before calling it a night?”

“I will be and it shouldn’t be more than an hour or so. I think I’d like a rare night cap.”

“Wonderful, maybe I can coax you into making me a martini.”

“I’ll just bet you could.” She stood up and moved to the door as he watched her. She was wearing simple and modest white shorts and a sleeveless fire red top, but he also noticed how perfectly those shorts fit her. He blinked his eyes and before she could catch him staring he said, “See you shortly, Amanda.” Evan sat there for a minute admonishing himself. He remembered Carly and smiled, but then also remembered how he was afraid of his own shadow when he was around her. Now he was just staring at the butt of a woman quite a bit older than he was, but that stopped him. Just how old was she? How old did he think she was? Her skin, what he could see of it, seemed young and smooth and her hair had a very nice sheen and bounce and in fact, Amanda herself seemed to have a bounce to her. Crows feet at the eyes? Maybe just a touch, but not bad at all. Graham looked older than she did by several years in fact. He thought about him being twenty eight and then again about Amanda. Thirty five? She certainly could pass for that but…thirty nine? Maybe so. Not so much older than he was. He could imagine himself in eleven years and that didn’t bother him much so that was her age he decided, thirty nine.

Over the next few weeks, Evan was able to relax around Graham and Amanda but on several occasions, even though he had no need to be there, he went home for the weekend to give them a break from having a house guest. On a Wednesday night after the fourth time of Evan doing that, Amanda had him fix her a martini and at her urging he fixed a vodka and tonic for himself. “Evan, let’s go out to the patio and enjoy the warm night.”

“Can I fix something for Graham?”

“He’s gone to bed because he has to be up by five tomorrow morning and gone before seven.”

“Oh.” Amanda moved a chair close to him and sat down. The night was quite warm and still, and the pool lights were still on and cast a soft light across the flagstone patio. Amanda was in what was becoming her trade mark shorts, but this time she wore a cropped top that showed a fair amount of her belly.

They were quiet for a minute and then Amanda said, “I love July nights in Tennessee and this night is a perfect example of them.”

“Have you always lived in Tennessee?”

“Oh no, I’ve lived in several different states, but this is what I think of as home.”

He looked out over the pool and said, “You certainly have made it feel like home for me, Amanda.”

I’m glad to hear that Evan.” Then he made the mistake of looking right at her. Her eyes danced from the pool lights and he openly stared at her for a second before catching himself and looking away. She watched him for a second and then asked him, “Do you remember telling me that honesty is very important to you?”

“Sure I do.”

“What was that about just now?”


“The way you were just looking at me.” His heart jumped and he stopped breathing. “Evan?”

“Amanda, I can’t answer that.”

“Why not, will I be offended?”

“I don’t think so but…”

“Is something bothering you?”

“I can’t say without…well, it would be inappropriate. I apologize for staring at you.”

“Oh come on Evan, we’ve lived together for the last what…almost three months?” She was absolutely right, they had lived together, but not in the way that he might have liked. “So you’re not going to tell me?”

“Amanda…it’s the pool lights.”

“What about the lights?”

“I mean when I look at you, the pool lights just dance in your eyes.”

She studied him for a minute and then said, “Evan, that is so sweet and I’m so flattered that you noticed that.” It just came out. It was in his mind and for once in his life he didn’t clam up or say something stupid, but he should have kept his thought to himself and he was smart enough to know that.

But that didn’t stop him and without looking at her he said, “I notice a lot of things about you.” She didn’t see that one coming. “I’m sorry Amanda, that wasn’t…I shouldn’t have said that.”

Chapter Three

Amanda shifted in her chair slightly and she said, “Evan, tell me about yourself.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t exactly know. You said you don’t have a girlfriend.”

“I don’t.”

“What about in the past?”

“Sure I’ve had girlfriends in the past, but never for very long.

“Why, if I may ask.” Evan looked up at the stars for a minute, and at the pool, and about anyplace, but at Amanda. Then he felt her hand touch his arm but she didn’t speak and that made him just let go. It was like something broke inside of him and he had to tell her what his life was really like.

He still couldn’t look at her but he said, “When I was in college and in class, I was…well, I was okay. But when I’m at work, in meetings for example, or meeting with a salesperson I’m fine. I’m in my element and I’m safe. I know how to act and react and what to say or not say. I’m confident. But when it comes to social situations I’m a mess.”

“With a woman.”

“Well, that’s when I’m at my worst, but not just then: Any social situation where things aren’t structured.”

“But women scare you?”

“I don’t know if I’m scared, or just clumsy and inept.”

“But you haven’t been like that around me or Graham.”

“Amanda, there’s something about you that makes it easy for me to talk to you, to relax with you.”

“I’m safe in other words.”

“That’s not it. I don’t feel safe when I’m with you.”

“You don’t?”

“I mean because of me, not you. When I think of a woman being safe, I see her as, say in her fifties or fat or wrinkled or whatever. You are young, attractive, alluring…if you’ll forgive me…sexy.”

Amanda moved a little more and took his hand in hers and said, “So earlier you said you notice a lot of things about me.”

“See what I mean, I shouldn’t have said that.”

“What do you notice about me Evan, tell me.”


“It’s okay. I’m so flattered that you do notice me.”

“Damn it.”


“I’ve noticed your pretty face, your nice hair…your great body, okay?” He didn’t mean to spit those words out like that. What he wanted to do was tell her that in a soft and sincere way. He had said it and there was no going back. She moved her hand and took his in both of hers and looked at him but didn’t say anything. He knew she was looking at him and to feel her hold his hands in hers urged him on. He looked at her and in a much softer voice said, “Amanda, you are so very pretty, and so…I just love to look at you. From far away or up close, from the front, side, or back. I love to look at you. When we have been out here and you’re in your bikini, I have to be careful that you don’t catch me staring at you.”

Amanda’s world and emotions were whirling and spinning and she felt about half dizzy. This young man was wrapping her in flattery and compliments and every one of his words came from his heart. She knelt down in front of him and looked up at him and took his hand in hers again. He looked down and right into her top and bra and his eyes locked on to that wonderful view. “Amanda, I’m looking down into your top and I can almost see your breasts and my heart is racing. I should look away but I can’t.” But

he did. He looked into her eyes and she looked into his. “Amanda, I’m sorry if I’ve said anything to offend you.”

“Evan you have bathed me in sweet sincere words, how could I possibly be offended.” She stood up and pulled him to her and she put her arms around him. His tentative embrace of her lasted but a moment, and then he pulled her into him as he buried his face in her hair. Neither of them moved or spoke choosing instead to enjoy the moment.

“Would you prefer that I move out tomorrow?”

“No, I would not. I’m going to miss you enough when you leave as it is.”

“Will you miss me, Amanda?”

“I’ll miss you very much.” It was like they both realized that things were close to getting out of hand and a minute later they went inside.

Evan was home just after five Thursday evening but Amanda wasn’t around, so he went straight to his room and worked on a file for something to do. He had been very busy all day and that kept him from replaying the previous evening. He could still hear himself as he poured his heart and history out to Amanda. She had to be thinking that he was a loser of the first order. No girlfriend, and not much luck in that department for a very long time. Technically he wasn’t a virgin, because he and Penny had made love a couple of times but that’s how he saw himself. On top of that, he admitted to staring at her. Now he didn’t even know if he could look at her for fear she would catch him staring at her again. But when he remembered them sharing that long embrace he had to close his eyes and relive every second of it.

Evan was deep in thought when there was a soft tap at his door. With a start he said, “Come in.” Amanda entered wearing a bikini. Evan about fell out of his chair. “My God Amanda, you look awesome.”

“So you do approve then?”

“Of course I approve.”

“I bought it today, I hope you like lime green.”

“It’s fine. In fact on you, it could be my favorite color.”

He was being serious but she smiled and said, “You are too sweet. Could I interest you in a swim?”

“If I do come down there I’ll just stare at you.”

Again she smiled and then said, “I don’t mind. I’ll mix us a drink and meet you at the pool.” Evan was stripped before she could reach the stairs and joined her outside before she could settle into her chair. He saw his drink sitting on the little table at the end of the wicker love seat and hers was on a table at the other end. She stood there as he approached and said, “Look at me, Evan. Look at me as much as you want. Not only do I not mind it I like it. I like knowing that you approve of me.”

“I approve of saving the forests, Amanda. I don’t just approve of you, I worship you.” He stood close to her and took his time looking at her. The bikini was less than half the size of her other one, and he knew there was no way that Graham would approve of her wearing that for him so he had to be out of town. She slowly turned for him and he saw her round ass cheeks almost fully exposed and he wanted to reach out and feel them.

“Come sit next to me”, and he watched her as she gracefully sat down. He joined her and felt like he might have some control now that she had encouraged him to stare at her. He had her memorized so he didn’t have to stare at her now. She took his hand in hers and rested them on her thigh as she continued to hold his. “Did you think of me today, Evan?”

I thought of little else. I kept wondering what you thought of me afterwards.”

“What I thought of you is classified. What I think of you right now is classified, except I’ll tell you that I think you are handsome, charming, and delightful, and I love to be around you. I love knowing that you see me as pretty or sexy.” She tasted her drink and said, “I thought about what you told me a lot today. You see yourself as being inept or something when you are around women. But do you want to know what I think?”

“Of course I do.”

“I think you worry too much about what you might say. You’re afraid that you will embarrass yourself or make the lady uncomfortable. Evan, we all say the wrong thing some times. Just laugh at yourself or apologize, and move on. The more you dwell on it, the more attention you bring to it. You are a great guy that I find very appealing and actually dangerous.”

“Me, dangerous?”

“At least to me you are. You are so tempting that I even dreamt about you last night.”

“You’re teasing me.”

“No, I’m not.”

He was looking into her eyes and asked her, “Was it a good dream, Amanda?”

Her eyes locked onto his and she whispered, “Yes.”

“Did we kiss like this, Amanda”, and he bowed his head and they kissed softly. They let their tongues drift back and forth together and holding it tightly she pulled his hand up to her breasts.

Then she whispered, “Yes, like that.” He started to ask her if they made love too, but he suddenly realized what he had done and pulled back.

It took him several seconds but he managed to say, “I’m sorry Amanda, that was wrong of me.” She sat there with her eyes closed and she bit her lower lip as she tried to regain control of her emotions.

“Evan, I wanted you to kiss me so much. I know it was wrong too, but I couldn’t help it, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that it was wrong, but not the fact that I kissed you. I wish I could share with you what is in my mind but I can’t. I don’t dare.”

“Amanda, I just want you so much.”

She put her finger to his lips and said, “Please Evan, I know but…” and she put her arms around him and with her lips close to his ear whispered , “I know exactly what you are feeling, because I am too. I’m sorry for tempting you so much.”

“Amanda, I love you in that bikini. Please don’t stop wearing it. I want to see you in it again.”

“But, Evan…”

“I know I’m just torturing myself, but I can’t help it.”

“Let me think about it.” She stood up and said, “See Evan we all make mistakes. Both of us for kissing and me for thinking the bikini was a good idea, and if I don’t go inside right now I’ll make another one. Good night, Evan.”

Chapter Four

They were both very quiet and subdued Friday night and Amanda made it a point to dress very conservatively. Evan made her a martini, but he passed on a drink and finally told her good night and went upstairs to work. But that wasn’t much of an escape either as he spent a lot of time thinking about her, and what she had said about mistakes and worrying too much about them. He thought about all of the flattering things she said about him and he realized how much she was helping his self esteem. He wanted to be with her more than anything in the world even though they couldn’t be anything more than friends. It was then that he remembered something he had overheard at the office: Something that the two of them could do to be together and still keep them out of trouble and have fun.

Dorenne didn’t work on the weekends, so Saturday morning he made his bed and showered and headed downstairs for coffee. He was sitting at the table when Amanda appeared in her robe and got her coffee. “Morning, Amanda.”

“Good morning, Evan. Are you going home this weekend?”

“Not this weekend, want me to get out for awhile.”

“Of course not,” he was behaving himself, but he had visions of what was under that robe.

“Do you have plans for the day, Amanda?”

“Nothing in particular.”

“Then I have an idea for us.”


“It’s a surprise.”

“No tell me.”

“Don’t you trust me?”

She paused at that and then said, “Yes I trust you.”

“Then after lunch put on some shorts and a cool top and comfortable shoes.”

“And then what?”

“And then the surprise begins.” She was smiling as she tried to remember the last time anybody had ever surprised her.

“Oh, come on, tell me.”


“Give me a hint.”

“We are going to have a lot of fun.”

“She was smiling uncontrollably. That’s not a clue.”

“You will end up dirty, but well fed and tired, and that’s the last clue, now will you go with me?”

“How long will we be gone?”

“All afternoon or beyond, until we’re too tired to get into trouble.”

“Okay, I’ll go.”


“You sure are energetic this morning.”

“I’m looking forward to our day.” His smile and enthusiasm was contagious and she couldn’t help but be caught up in his festive mood.

“Okay, so shorts and cool top.”

“Short shorts and a sexy top.”

“Um, is that a good idea?”

“I think it is and I do have my reasons beyond my voyeuristic needs.”

“Remember, I’m trusting you.”

“I remember. Although it will be difficult, I’ll promise not to even try to kiss you all afternoon.”

“And if I kiss you?”

“Now that’s a different story and I can only hope.”

“Okay, so after lunch.”

“Let’s make it noon and we can eat lunch out someplace. The whole day is my treat including dinner.”

“Okay.” Amanda topped off her cup and left to shower and get dressed and Evan, with a fresh cup of coffee and a sweet roll, went back upstairs to work and try to stay out of trouble with Amanda.

Just after eleven thirty Evan appeared and found Amanda out on the patio. He stepped up behind her and kissed her neck and she tipped her head back and moaned. “Damn it Evan, you promised no kissing.”

“I meant on the lips.”

“Not my neck either because you just made my heart skip some beats.”

“I’ll just nuzzle you next time then. Stand up and let me see you.” She put her book down and did as he asked. “Oh damn Amanda. Wow do you look hot.”

“Evan, I’m forty three, I’m past looking hot.”

“You are not, you’re no more than thirty…six.”

“I wish.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter you’re still hot. You have very sexy legs.” Her shorts were short just as he had asked, and she was wearing wedgies that further enhanced her legs. Then his eyes went to her top and it was cut low enough to make him want to stare, and yet, she looked sexy, but not slutty.

“I may have overestimated my powers of resistance.”

“You promised.”

“I know, I’m just letting you know how damn difficult it’s going to be keeping my hands off of you.” Through the whole thing about her shorts and top she was smiling. She liked pleasing him so much and she liked to hear his flattering words. It had been so long since a man had made over her like that, and to know that Evan meant it, made it all the better for her. It also meant it was going to be hard for her to behave too. Evan looked at his watch and asked her, “Ready to go?”

“I think so.” He walked her to his car and held the door for her and then ran to his side and off they went. He pointed the car west and they went for about fifteen minutes before he pulled in to eat. It was no more than a neighborhood bar and grill, but at least it seemed clean. She looked at him and he smiled and said, “Just setting the mood. Besides, I’m told they have great burgers here.”

“But is it safe?”

“I should think so.”

“You don’t know and I’m dressed to tease?”

“It will be fine come on.”

Evan selected a booth and they slipped in to it. The waitress came over and asked, “What can I get ya’ll ta drink?” Evan smiled at Amanda as she ordered her sweet tea and Evan got a Pepsi.

He took her hand in his and she asked him, “So what is the reason for the shorts and revealing top?”

“I’m being selfish, that’s all for me. I’m showing you off. I want every person we encounter today to know that we are together. That this very sexy and pretty woman is with me, and to make sure that is understood, I plan to either hold your hand, have my arm around you, or holding you in an embrace, the whole time we’re together. I’m calling you my temporary wife, lover, and girlfriend. Besides, I wanted you to completely let your hair down.” She smiled. She just couldn’t help it. She was swept away with his boyish smile and runaway zest for life.

“So when I have to go to the ladies room, you’ll go with me and hold my hand.”

“If I could get away with it, you know I would.” It was her turn to speak before thinking.

“You just want to catch me with my panties down.”

“More than anything in the world.”

“See now damn it, that wasn’t smart of me to say that.” He looked at her and his eyes were sparkling.

“Do you know that if you weren’t married, I could fall in love with you?”

She looked into him and with a soft voice and no conviction at all said, “Don’t say that.”

“I’m an honest person, remember?”

She kissed his hand and said, “I know you are, but…” and their drinks were delivered.

They ordered their burgers and he said, “I just want you to know where I’m coming from.”

“But damn it Evan, I’m forty three.”

“But damn it Amanda, I’m twenty eight, so what? I still worship you remember? Those weren’t just words.”

“Where is that shy and stumbling guy that came into my house just a couple of months ago?”

“He walked off with the straight laced and proper, bordering on stuffy, lady of the house. I don’t think we’ll see either of them any time soon.” He kissed her hand and she said, “No kissing, remember?”

“On the lips or neck. Don’t tell me your hand is an erogenous zone.”

“Right now, I’m not so sure but what it is.” She changed the topic and asked again, “So where are we going?”

“To Morgan County.”

“I’m not even sure where that is.”

“About another fifteen miles.” They had their lunch and were soon on their way to Morgan County.

Chapter Five

Amanda saw the signs as they went down the highway but she didn’t give it a thought. That is until Evan turned off the highway and onto the Morgan County fairgrounds. “Evan you’re not serious.”

“I am serious.”

“My God I haven’t been to a fair in maybe twenty five years.”

“And I haven’t been in ten years or so. I’d say it’s past time that we give it a try.”

She was looking around and asked him, “Just what do you plan to do here?”

“Take us on the double Ferris wheel, the twister, the mad scramble, the Himalaya, and the tilt-a-whirl, and maybe more.”

“Oh my God.” They stopped and Evan bought a long strip of ride tickets and holding her hand just as he said he would, they made their way through the throngs of people.

“Just remember if anybody asks, you’re my wife until…” and he looked at his watch and said, “Well until about midnight or maybe one o’clock.” Amanda was getting caught up in the loud noises, the excitement, all the bright lights, and the smiling faces. She leaned into him and his arm went around her waist.

“Evan, I can’t believe we’re doing this.” He looked down at her and she was smiling and looked up at him. Moments later they were in line for the tilt-a-whirl and then soon were enjoying their first carnival ride together. The ride itself wasn’t all that thrilling, but it wasn’t bad, and it was their first one and they both laughed and had a good time together.

They walked around a little and then rode the Himalaya. Amanda squealed and laughed and held onto Evan’s hand. Right at the end of the ride they really cranked up the speed and Amanda’s eyes danced and she smiled and squealed and screamed just that much louder. The double Ferris wheel was next, and as they loaded the wheels with riders, Evan and Amanda got higher and higher. The Ferris wheel would move a little, and then it would stop while more riders got on, and every time it stopped they would be sitting there in their little seat rocking back and forth. “Oh my God Evan, look how high up we are.”

“And we’re going higher.”

“Just don’t make any fast moves.”

“I won’t.” They had nearly reached the highest point and a minute before they started to move Evan’s hand slipped down and touched her thigh. She looked at him and his hand moved higher.

“Evan what…what are you doing?” His only answer was to move his hand higher yet and then he reached over and put his other hand on her breast. “Oh my God Evan, don’t…” but her pleas were feeble and her legs opened for him. His hand moved higher on her thigh and bumped against her mound. Her shorts were stretched tight, so all he

could do was slowly move his hand against her and his other hand over her breasts. Then the ride started its downward travel and the sudden drop and his moving hands sent shockwaves of sensation right into the core of her sex and she let out a moan. As they neared the ground, Evan’s hand left her breast but his other one stayed between her legs. Then up they went and Evan teased both of them again. Amanda had lost the ability and desire to object now, and every time they went up her legs went wide for him and she rubbed his hand into her breasts.

When the ride started to unload the riders he stopped teasing her and she leaned in to him silently and her hand rubbed his thigh as she looked up at him. Their turn to get off finally came and Evan had to help her off and to walk away. She got her legs under her again and she put her arms around his waist and held him close as he looked at him. “Damn you, damn you, damn you Evan Walker, you were driving me crazy up there. You’re not behaving at all.”

“I didn’t promise to behave just not kiss your lips or your neck.”

“You tricked me.”

“I guess I did.” She was holding him so close it was hard for her to walk but she wasn’t letting go either. She saw a quiet corner at the end of the midway and pulled him over there. “I have to catch my breath. Evan, I wanted you to make me climax up there. Can you believe that? At the very top of that damn thing, you teased me so much that all I could think about was what you were doing to me.”

“I loved knowing that I was exciting you. I wanted you so much.”

“Evan, why are you torturing us so?”

“I can’t help it, you are too sexy and tempting.”

“Evan, could we go home?”

“I’ll behave honey, I promise.”

“It isn’t that. It’s…it’s that I don’t want you to behave. After what you just did to me, the other rides just won’t interest me…won’t excite me.”

“If you’re sure.”

“Yes, I’m sure.”, and they looked like lovers as they walked to his car.

They were pretty quiet as they went home. Evan looked over at her frequently and let his eyes pour over her body and her face. She was aware of him looking at her and it sent waves of pleasure rolling through her. “Amanda, are you mad at me?”

“Evan why would you even think that? Mad at you? You had me so excited that I wanted to make love to you so badly I was ready to cry. You have given me feelings that I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before. Mad at you? I’m afraid of you.” He looked at her and tried to decide what that last comment might mean. They didn’t talk the last couple of miles and went inside in silence. He reached for her but she stepped back and said, “Evan, please don’t.”


“You really don’t know why?”

“I just wanted to hold you, Amanda.”


“Are you okay?”


“Are you sick?”

“No. Please Evan, I’m going to bed.”

“But, Amanda.”

“Good night, Evan.” He knew about what time it was but he still looked at his watch. It was just seven o’clock and she went to bed. He didn’t know what to do with himself, so he went to his bedroom too and picked at the computer, but gave that up. He took a long shower, and after toweling down, dropped onto the bed and lay there in the soft light of the lamp next to his computer. He put his hands behind his head and just stared at the ceiling. It was possible that Lance could be back in as little as three weeks or even less and his time with Amanda would be over. He wondered what he was going to do. He knew that he was going to miss her so much, and their time was short and she was hiding in her bedroom. He wondered if it had been worth it to tease her so much when the result was she wouldn’t even talk to him. He wanted her. Not just sex, but all of her. He wanted her smile and her touch. He wanted to hear her voice and hold her so he could feel and smell her hair and feel her hands on his back. Before he had even arrived in Knoxville he was counting the days until he could go home again. Now he was counting the hours before he would be forced to go home and leave Amanda. He wasn’t the man that he was when he arrived and he knew he would never be the same again. He also knew that everything he was doing and everything he was thinking was wrong, but he couldn’t stop himself either.

He was lying there with his eyes closed and letting his mind wander when he thought he heard something. When he opened his eyes he thought he was dreaming. Amanda

was standing beside his bed and she let her robe slip from her shoulders. He stared at her in wonder and in awe but his mouth was dry and refused to move. She moved onto the bed on her knees and then she lay down on top of him. “Evan, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m so confused, and I’m sorry I’ve wasted precious time, and I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings earlier.” His hands were on her back and moving slowly up and down her back and hips. “Evan, I love you.” His hands stopped and he looked at her.”


“Shhh, let me finish. I love you so much. I know that you will be leaving soon and that I can’t have you, but I want you to know that. I’ve tried so hard to stop it and then I tried so hard to deny that it was real, but the more I’m around you and the more you make me laugh or treat me like a queen the more I love you. The more that you touch me the more that I want you to touch me, and I want to feel you inside of me, Evan. Right now please…please let us make love.” Evan pulled her down to him and they kissed again and again as his hands moved over her body.

“Amanda, I’ve dreamed about this for so long it doesn’t seem real. It’s too wonderful to be real.” But they were losing interest in talking and moments later she raised her hips and when they came together he was deep inside of her and they kissed again. She moved her hips slowly so she could drink in the fact that they really were making love. She could feel his hardness inside of her and she started to move faster. Then she sat up straight and he watched her breasts move up and down as she slowly increased her movements. She had to lean forward and let her breasts hang down toward him as her hips started to bounce up and down on his cock and his hands went to her breasts. She was moaning softly and wanted the feeling to go on and on. Then Evan rolled her off of him and he moved between her legs. In seconds he was inside of her again and pumping up and down as she whimpered and then cried out to him.

“Oh God, yes, I love you, please don’t stop…don’t….” and then her orgasm hit her hard and her back arched as her body convulsed. Evan didn’t stop but kept thrusting into her until his moment arrived and he emptied himself into her. As his climax hit she

pushed herself against him and pulled him down on top of her. As their ecstasy slowly eased he kissed her and looked into her eyes. “Amanda honey, stay with me tonight. Sleep with me so we can wake up together.”

“I will.” Evan pulled the covers over them and they were soon asleep with her on her side and him tucked close to her back and his arm over her.

He kissed her neck and said, “Good night honey.”

Chapter Six

Amanda was first to wake up and she watched Evan sleep. Just remembering them making love made her want him again. He wanted her to dress sexy for him so he could show her off. How could that be? She was a forty three year old woman on the arm of a young and virile man. Did she really love him or was it lust? Or was it simply because he paid attention to her and doted on her by making her martinis and fawning over her? In the end it wouldn’t matter though because he was going to leave and that would be the end of it. Even if something happened and he had to stay the full six months, she knew what they were doing had to end. She thought about the fair and how much fun it was and how long it had been since she had done anything like that. Then her thoughts quickly went to how he had teased her and gotten her so excited her legs wouldn’t work after the ride was over. That Ferris wheel ride had been so reckless and wild and so improper. Just wearing short shorts and a daring top to the fair added to the decadence of the day. She thought about their first kiss and the drama surrounding that and she thought about him making over her and telling her how very sexy she was. He had told her so many times how he loved looking at her and that he worshipped her. She already had so many memories of them together. How was she going to act normal when Graham got home on Tuesday? How was she going to make herself stay away from him? Amanda lay there and let the tears flow as she watched her lover sleep.

Evan stirred, so she quickly wiped her eyes with the sheet and closed them and waited not knowing if he was awake until she felt his lips touch her cheek. She felt him get out of bed then so she opened her eyes and watched him go to the bathroom and a minute later return. He smiled and threw himself down next to her and kissed her. “Good morning.”

“Good morning to you.”

He kissed her and said, “You are wonderful. When I woke up I had to look at you and kiss your cheek just to see if you were real or I’d had a wonderful dream.”

“If it was a dream, I had it too.” Evan watched her get out of bed and reach for her robe and he jumped up and took it away from her.

“Have you ever just wandered this house naked?”

“Of course not.”


“I just haven’t.”

“Today, you will.”

“Evan, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

It’s wonderful idea, Amanda. Can anybody from the outside world see you?”


“Only I can see you and I want to see you naked. I love to see you naked.”

“I suppose you will be too.”

“Of course. Tomorrow Dorenne will be back so it won’t be possible. Today is our day to act young and carefree.” He took her hand in his and said, “Let’s go have coffee and start our day.” She hesitated so he stepped behind her and with his hands on her hips gently pushed her out into the hallway and toward the stairs. She looked over the landing railing and then at Evan and smiled. He followed her downstairs and to the kitchen and watched her start the coffee and then his arm went around her and he said, “Let’s take a quick swim while the coffee brews.” She looked at him and he just smiled and nodded toward the pool. He was pushing her to new experiences and she loved him for it, but being nude outdoors had her heart fluttering. She looked at him again and he opened the door and gave her another gentle push.

He urged her forward until she was standing halfway between the house and the pool where she turned and put her arms around his neck and gave him a soft kiss. “I can’t believe this.”

“Think back to when you were maybe a teenager or just passed. Didn’t you ever do impulsive things like swimming naked or something?”

“My girlfriend and I pulled our tops up once and showed some guys our bras.”

“Well today, we’re going to pretend that we’re twenty again and do crazy things like swim naked. Honey, you have a wonderful lifestyle for the most part, but allow it to help you to stay young. It’s a little like a Peter Pan thing. Act young, and you’ll feel young. Act old, and you’ll be old before your time.”

“I’ll remember that.” She released her hold on his neck and looked down at his growing manhood. “I think he approves of me.”

“He’s your slave.” They walked into the pool and splashed around and teased and kissed for a couple of minutes.

“I need coffee”, Amanda said, and they went inside ignoring the trail of pool water that they left behind them.

Their day together was as close to idyllic as they could possibly have. They made love again and swam naked and sunned naked. They worked together in the kitchen to make their meals and shared a bottle of wine and all the while Evan had the honor of looking at his naked lover. And Evan made martinis for her. In the evening they made love again, but this time it wasn’t just about having orgasms together. Their lovemaking was slow and was all about teasing and experimenting with positions and they discovered things about each other and themselves.

When Evan went to work Monday morning he tried to hide in his office as much as possible. His weekend with Amanda had been the stuff of dreams and fantasies, but he knew that Graham would be home tomorrow. He knew that it was unlikely that he and Amanda would ever have much time together again. Then as if that wasn’t bad enough Lance knocked on his door and looked in. “Hey Evan.”

“Well Lance, this is a surprise, how are you?”

“Ready to get back to work actually.”

Evan could only hope that he came off sounding sincere when he said, “That’s great.”

“I’ve been going crazy with boredom for the last month.”

“So next Monday?”

“Tomorrow and I’ll bet you’ll be very glad to get back home again.” He had to tell one more convincing lie.

“You can say that again.”

“What’s this I hear about the apartment fire and you staying with Graham and Amanda Foley?”

“That’s right I have.”

“How has that worked out?”

“Well, it’s been tough because I’ve had to put up with having a maid, a private pool, my own suite and a well stocked bar.”

“Damn how did you survive that.”

“I don’t know.”

Then Lance added, “Plus there’s Amanda.”

“She’s a beautiful woman inside and out and I’ve enjoyed my time with her.” Lance just smiled and shook his head.

“I’ll see you in the morning and we can spend a couple of hours going over things before you head south.”

“I’ll see you in the morning then.” He had known all along that he would have to leave Amanda and go back to Chattanooga and he knew his time was very short, but it still hurt so much. Evan managed to stay until about two and then told his secretary that he didn’t feel well and was going home early. Amanda wasn’t home when he got there so he said hello to Dorenne and went to his room and packed most of his clothes. Then he sat down and wrote Amanda a letter. “My beautiful and loving Amanda. I knew our time together would be measured in days and hours, but I’m still heart broken to have to leave you. Please forgive me for not telling you last night that I was leaving, but I wanted what time we had left together to be a time of happiness, not a time of sadness. I can’t tell you of my true feelings for you, partly because I don’t dare dwell on them, and partly because, I’m sure it would only make things more difficult if I were to tell you. I will tell you that you mean more to me than anybody that has ever touched my life, because you have touched the very core of my existence. For the last three months, since that day when you took me into your life, you have been at the center of my every thought. Please be happy and stay forever young in your heart.” Then he signed it, “Forever yours in a very special way, Evan.” There was so much more to say but he just couldn’t find the right words. He folded the note in half and put it on the desk to give her in the morning. Now he had to find the strength to act like nothing had changed and have one last evening with her. Evan worked so hard to make their last evening together a good one that for those few hours he even managed to convince himself that all was well. They laughed, swam naked again and he made Amanda her one martini one more time. The hardest part was when she slipped into bed next to him and they made love one last time. He had told her he was going to work an hour early for a meeting, but in reality he wanted to be gone and give her a chance to read the note before Dorenne arrived.

Chapter Seven

In the morning he slipped down and put his bags in the car and then went back to his room, put the note into his pocket and went down to join Amanda for coffee. He looked at his watch, kissed her lightly and said, “I better get going.” He left the note where he knew she would find it and then went to his car figuring he had a few minutes to get away. But he didn’t quite make it. As he pulled away she was running out, crying and calling his name but he didn’t stop. He knew that if he did he would fall apart and say things that would just intensify their hurt. He looked straight ahead and wiped his tears on his shirt sleeve so he could see to drive and kept going. Evan wasn’t very proud of the fact that he’d had an affair with a married woman. In fact, it wasn’t even something that he thought he was capable of until he’d spent time with her. He knew she had changed him, or at least, that he had changed while with her and changed a lot in his estimation. Now all he could do was hope that she would forgive him for running away without telling her he was leaving.

When Lance saw him he said, “You look a little rough.”

“I think I’m catching something.”

“Well, let’s keep this brief then so you can get on the road home.”

“I think that’s what I need, to be home.” For the next half hour Evan took him through some files and showed him some notes that he was keeping to help Lance along in his first few days back, but by ten o’clock he was headed south. His mind was so preoccupied with thoughts of Amanda, that he almost missed his exit and fifteen minutes later he was in his apartment and his bags were tossed on his bed. At first, he had to force himself to unpack and make a run to the grocery store, but as the day progressed he got control of his thoughts and called the office to let them know he would be in tomorrow. His new life back at home had begun, and within a week he was back to his old routine. One thing that struck him as surprising was when he saw Carly the next Monday. She didn’t look quite like he remembered her even though it had only been three months. She was still cute, but he didn’t feel like he would seize up whenever she was near him anymore. In fact, she seemed more willing and eager to be close to him than before. Her comfort zone had either gotten smaller or had disappeared altogether.

Evan was glad to be at his own desk again. He still missed Amanda and thought about her every day, and hoped she was getting on with her life. It was just days after his return when he learned that their request for renovation of ten offices had been approved, so he spent the rest of the week contacting and inviting several decorators to see him about quoting on the job. It was almost seven o’clock on Friday night and he was sitting at his computer when his doorbell rang. He looked through the security peep

hole and an instant later he threw his door open and stared at her. “Hi Amanda.” She was standing there in a long light weight jacket and smiled. “Hi Evan” and opened her coat to him.

His eyes got large and his smile larger as he said, “You didn’t. You weren’t naked under that jacket all the way from Knoxville.”

“Yes I was.” He pulled her into his arms and kicked his door shut as they kissed and her jacket fell to the floor. Amanda’s long ride without clothes had her pretty excited so their lovemaking didn’t last all that long. She was lying on her right side with her head resting on her arm and Evan was lying there looking at her. “I can’t believe you came down here naked.”

“It’s your fault you know.”

“How is that?”

“Live young and you will stay young, you said so…”

“You amaze me, absolutely amaze me.” Evan got serious then and asked her, “Were you very mad at me when I left without saying goodbye?”

“I hated you for a little bit actually, but then as I settled down I realized I would have cried and felt lost either way. Evan, I wanted to come down to see you one more time. You have convinced me I am not old and you’ve taught me how to enjoy life again and I’ll always be thankful to you for that. But we have to get on with our lives now and as much as I will miss you, I know it’s how it must be.”

“I wish it could be otherwise, but it can’t.”

“Evan, I’d told you that I love you and I shouldn’t have said that, but I’ll always feel that in my own way I do.”

“That’s how I feel about you too, Amanda. There can never be another woman in this world that that can ever affect me in as many ways as you have.” She looked at her watch then and said, “I have to be going I’m afraid.”

“Going home naked?”

Amanda about half laughed and said, “Graham would have a stroke I’m afraid.”

“Too bad, he obviously doesn’t realize what he’s missing.” When Amanda arrived she had a tote in her hand and she reached into that and retrieved a top and shorts.

“I’m going to miss you, Evan.”

“I’ll miss you too, Amanda. Be happy and stay as young and sexy as you are now.”

“I’m going to miss your sweet words so much,” and then with one last gentle kiss shared she was gone. Having Amanda appear had been a sweet surprise for Evan and seeing her again had been fantastic. He also realized then that he was ready to move on. He would remember their time together, but he wasn’t looking back anymore in his search for whatever was missing in his life. For Amanda, riding down naked to see Evan had been a scary, but wonderful experience and in keeping with Evan’s attempts at having her act younger. It had been wonderful to see him again, but she too was ready to remember sweet, loving, and attentive Evan, but move on.

On the following Monday between meetings and meeting with first one decorator and then another, Evan’s day was busy and stressful. Then on top of everything else that was going on, he went to the copy room and ran into Carly. “Evan, you are having quite a day of it.”

“I haven’t even had time for lunch.”

Then she kissed his cheek and said, “It’s so good to have you back” and then she blushed and ran off leaving him standing there surprised, but smiling. Evan took time to raid the vending machines and went back to his office planning to dine on a Coke and some peanuts when Carly appeared. She tapped at his open door and stepped in and then hesitated. “What’s wrong, Carly?”

“Evan, I wanted to apologize for kissing you earlier. That was inappropriate and I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it, I’m sure nobody else knows or cares.” She didn’t know what else to say so she started to leave when Evan said, “Thanks for the kiss, Carly.” She turned and smiled at him then and left.

If anything the afternoon was even worse, and it was almost half past five before the last decorator left and he could do the same. He stopped at the market and picked up a bottle of wine and a frozen pizza, and headed home looking forward to quiet, food and to relax with the wine. As soon as he was home, he tossed the pizza in the oven and as he headed to his bedroom pulled off his tie and sport coat and then kicked off his shoes. Then with his shirt about half unbuttoned, he unfastened his slacks only to have his doorbell ring. Mumbling to himself, he hooked his slacks as he dashed to the door and saw Carly standing there. He opened the door and she looked first at him and then downward as her eyes got bigger. He saw her look down, and then realized he hadn’t zipped his slacks and the tail of his tan dress shirt was in plain view. By the time she realized it was his shirt it was too late for her. She closed her eyes and just started to cry. “Carly, what’s wrong?” She was turning to leave when he stopped her and asked again, “What’s wrong?” She tried to talk but he pulled her inside and said, “You better come in and have a glass of wine or something.”

She looked at him and then at his open zipper and said, “Oh God, I’m so embarrassed.” She was still crying and she handed him his computer and said, “You left this on the meeting room table,” and again she turned to go.

“Carly, please wait. Stay and talk to me…please?”

“I don’t know if I can ever look at you again. God how can I be such a screw up. I looked down and saw your tan dress shirt peeking out of your zipper, and I…oh shit, this is the worst.”

He looked down then and said, “Oh, I see what you mean. Oh wait, that’s not my shirt after all.” Her eyes went wide and she looked again without thinking and then quickly looked away. He pulled her over to him then and said, “I’m just kidding.”

“Damn you” and she took a hard swing at his open zipper to hit at his shirt tail and he jumped back crying, “Oh, oh. ow oh damn.” She looked at him and he started to laugh as he zipped up. “I’m sorry Carly that wasn’t fair, but I just couldn’t resist. Please stay and have dinner with me so I can make it up to you.” She looked at him and he saw the tears on her cheek. “Please stay,” and he touched her cheeks to wipe away the tears and put his arms around her.

Chapter Eight

They still hadn’t moved six feet from the door as Carly’s arms went around his waist then and she said, “I’m so sorry, Evan.”

“Carly, it’s all my fault for being so careless. I was just starting to get out of my work clothes when you rang the doorbell.”

“Well, go get your clothes off then…damn it, there I go again.”

He tipped her chin up and looked at her and said, “Relax, I have you rattled and I’m sorry. Will you stay?”

“Are you sure you want me to?”

“Of course I’m sure, I’m having gourmet pizza straight from the supermarket freezer and cheap wine, now how can you pass that up?”

If you’re sure.”

“Let me go change and then I’ll open the wine.”

“Remember to zip up this time would you, I don’t think I can go through that again.” When Evan came out he smiled and took her in his arms again.

“Forgive me?”

“Forgive you? It’s me that should ask for forgiveness.”

“Nothing to forgive, I created a situation that couldn’t help but be awkward.”

“But I looked right down there right away.”

“Well, I was kind of waving my flag so to speak.”

She had to smile then. “Yes, you kind of were.”

“Carly, thanks for bringing me my computer. I can’t believe I was that careless.”

“You had a lot on your mind.”

“How about some wine and relaxation while the pizza bakes.”

“I’d like that but just one glass because I can’t seem to control my mouth as it is.” He poured the wine and then before handing it to her he kissed her lightly on the lips.

“Thanks for the kiss earlier today.”

He held out her glass to her and she reached for it, but without taking her eyes off of his and in a soft hesitant voice said, “You’re welcome.” Evan pointed to the couch and as soon as she sat down he put his wine glass on the table and picked up her leg and took her shoe off before putting it on the coffee table. She was wearing a skirt so when she felt his hand on her leg she held her breath for a second. Then he did the same thing with her left leg and then sat down next to her and picked up his glass before he put his feet up next to hers. “There, now we can relax and talk.” She took a long sip and then said, “Evan, I’m not so addled at work.”

“I know that.”

“It’s just that…”

“I know, in social settings or in personal one on one situations…”

“Exactly, how did you know?”

“Because I used to be the same way and for that matter I still can be.”


“Very really.”

Both of them tasted their wine as they absorbed what was said and then he kissed her again. “I don’t know about you, but I kind of liked the last kiss too much to stop with just one.”

She kissed him then and said, “I believe in threes.”

“It’s a nice number. Not as lucky as say seven, but nice.” Carly leaned back and looked down at her glass and he asked her, “Why is it at work you were always kind of stand offish? You were very friendly as long as I didn’t get too close.”

“Because I wanted to make a good impression on you and I knew that if I got too close to you I would say or do something stupid and embarrass myself.”

“You mean like me with my flag hanging out?” She laughed then and said, “Yes, something like that.”

“But when I got back from Knoxville you seemed to be more relaxed or something.” “Maybe it’s because I missed you.” She said it so matter of fact that it didn’t register with him for a second.

Then he looked at her and asked, “Did you really miss me?”

Her eyes went to her wine again but then to his and said, “Yes, I really did.”

“Well, I’ll be damned.”


“Well, I only thought about you about every day for the last year, but was afraid to even ask you out to dinner.”

“You did not, you’re just trying to make me feel better.”

“Oh no. In fact, that last meeting we had before I went to Knoxville you gave me a perfect opening to say something nice and then ask you out for dinner but what did I do? “I mumbled some inane comment and retreated to my office.”

“So we’ve both been stumbling around, me too afraid to say or do something and you doing the same damn thing for how long?”

It was his turn to look down as he said, “A long time.”

“I can’t believe this.” He tapped his glass to hers and said, “Here’s to a new beginning”, and emptied his glass and got up. “This calls for more wine.”

When Evan returned and sat down it was just a little closer to her and she asked him, “So how is it you’re not so verbally clumsy anymore?”

“I spent three months with a very charming and confidence building older woman.”

“What?” He smiled and explained his living arrangements in Knoxville but left out all of the very personal parts and finished by saying, “I have her to thank for building my confidence and giving me another shot at living a normal life.”

She raised her glass and said, “Then here’s to the charming older lady.”

“I’ll drink to her too,” and it wasn’t long before their wine glasses were empty again. “More wine, Miss Comstock?”

“Thanks, but I’ve already had too much.”

“Then could I interest you in dinner?”

“You could.” Both of them relaxed and enjoyed dinner together and Carly even had one more glass of wine after dinner before saying, “I better go. Evan, thank you for dinner and for a wonderful time.”

“You’re welcome.” When they got to the door they kissed again, but this time it didn’t end up being a soft and almost casual kiss. Then Carly looked up at him and he said, “One more kiss like that and I’ll be waving my flag again.” As soon as he said that he knew it wasn’t the right thing to say. “I’m sorry, that wasn’t very nice.”

She smiled and said, “Oh yes, it was”, and she kissed him again. “Evan, we have to make a pact. No more apologizing for saying the wrong thing, or we’ll spend all of our time saying we’re sorry.”

“I agree, no more saying I’m sorry.”

“See you tomorrow.”

“Thanks again for rescuing my laptop.”

“You’re welcome”, and she left. Evan busied himself picking up the kitchen, but his mind was on her the whole time and most of the evening as well.

The barriers had been broken and they would either see or call each other almost every night. Then about two weeks later he sent her a nice bouquet of flowers with the note reading, “Thanks for giving meaning to my life”, and then signed it and had it sent to her office. When he got home that evening she was waiting for him at his door.

“Okay, I just want you to know that by you sending me those beautiful flowers with your name attached, the whole place knows about us now.”



“I’m proud of the fact that you’re willing to have me in your life”, and as he unlocked his door she kissed him even before they could even get inside and then again as soon as the door was closed. Then kissing her cheek he said, “Give me a second to get rid of this tie and jacket”, and he disappeared into his bedroom. He was down to his briefs when she walked in put her arms around him.

“I thought you might need some help.” Words weren’t coming to him, but it didn’t matter because she kissed him and put her arms around his naked waist. His hands went to the buttons on her blouse as he said, “Carly honey, you’re making my flag wave.” Her hand moved down then and said, “Just make sure it never waves for anybody but me.”

The End.

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