Walking across the grass in the dark, Nick tripped across the garden hose that lay coiled by the walkway. Cursing, he fumbled for his keys and it wasn’t until he dropped them in the flower bed that the automatic sensor light decided to cooperate by illuminating his posterior as he bent to retrieve them.
“Holy crap. If she’d just move in with me, then I wouldn’t have to deal with this sh-” A metallic reflection caught his eye, and there were his keys. Peeking out from underneath the impatiens that Nancy had spent hours getting planted ‘just right’. Nick sighed and retrieved his key ring, shaking off the wet potting soil and then wiping his hands on his jeans.
“Feed the cats. Pick up the mail. Damn book tour, why does she have to be gone so long anyway?” Nick reached for the alarm keypad, and as he keyed in the last two digits he slipped on a pile of mail. If he hadn’t also tripped over the two cats that seemed starved for more than attention, it would have been almost comical. A string of expletives filled the air and as he swatted at the felines around his ankles the shrill sound of the burglar alarm cut through the otherwise peaceful night in Nancy’s subdivision. No sooner than he had punched in the correct code and silenced the offensive sound, the phone rang. The alarm company no doubt.
“Hello? Yes, it’s ok. My name? I’m on the list,” he said listening. “Carter. No, not ‘Crawford’, Carter. C-A-R-” Nick bit his tongue. The last thing he needed tonight was an encounter with the local police. “The password?” Nick snickered. “Harlequin. The password is ‘Harlequin’.” Nick chuckled as he tossed the stack of mail on the dining room table. His long time girlfriend was a romance writer. Wait, scratch that. ‘Women’s Erotica’. That’s what she called it. She’d been appalled when Nick had chosen his password for her house, since it was the one name she abhorred more than any other. She’d been too often compared to dime store novelists and damn it, she insisted, she was better than that. “Yes, that’s ok, thanks.” Nick hung up the phone, still trying to walk with the two orange tabbies weaving figure eights around his ankles.
Finally he succeeded in getting them fed, and they stopped yowling long enough to dig into their dinner. Laughing as he watched them, he decided they reminded him of lions at the local watering hole. Hunkered down, feasting on their kill, but their tails swishing all the time in readiness to defend themselves.
“Cats …” he muttered. “Why can’t she have a dog? Dogs are normal. Dogs don’t trip your ass while you’re trying to walk, yanno?” His stomach growled in answer, and he poured himself a large bowl of cereal and settled in on the sofa to watch the cartoon channel. He finished his dinner, such as it was, and then dozed through most of Scooby Doo until a faint beeping sound crept into his consciousness. It was the answering machine. Crud, he was supposed to check the messages for her, too.
“Hi sweetheart. Caught you sleeping again, didn’t I? You need to go look through the mail. I sent you something and it should have arrived today. Love you!”
Mail … mail …. Where was … Oh, right. The dining room table. Well, most of it seemed to be the usual assortment of bills an sales fliers, except for the large Express Mail envelope. Addressed to him. What the-? Okay, only one way to find out. Padding barefoot back to the living room, he dropped back down onto the sofa, stretching out sideways so he could almost recline. Wonder why Nancy was sending him mail?
He ripped open the oversized envelope and pulled out a stack of papers. Funny, this looked like one of her rough draft manuscripts, except this one had a personalized note as the cover sheet.
“Well, it’s about time. If I know you, you’ve already eaten and had a nap before deciding to look for this, am I right?” Nick blushed and looked around guiltily. “I know you were upset when I left, and I’m sorry I had to go back out so soon, but baby, this could be THE big break I’ve been waiting for. I know you understand what that’s like, so please understand how it hurt me to leave you again. Hopefully next time you can come with me.”
Nick sighed. Yes, he had been upset, but he hadn’t meant to upset her as well. Hell, if anyone understood the demands of promoting new material it was him. It was simply that this tour of Nancy’s was a colossal example of poor timing. He had to leave for the other coast in the morning and it was very likely that their planes would pass in mid-air somewhere. It would still be two more weeks before he could hold her, talk to her, make love to her … He sighed and continued to read.
“You’re always complaining that I only write ‘girl stuff’, so I decided to write something for you. JUST for you. I hope you enjoy it. Love, Nancy.”
This should be good, Nick thought with a laugh. Nancy, writing guy stuff? Adventure and fistfights. Or maybe sports? That’s rich, he snorted. Tossing the cover sheet on the floor he settled back to read.
“Are You Lonesome Tonight?”
‘You thought this was going to be a testosterone epic, didn’t you? Well baby, not this time. This time I want you to lie back and relax, let me help you forget about all the stress of the day. All the worries, and all the little stupid things that have you so tense. I can feel the tension in your body, Nick, especially your neck and your shoulders. Do me a favor …shrug your shoulders, and then let them sag. That’s right, baby, just like that. Feels sooo good. Now do it again, and then one more time. Perfect.
Mmm, it’s already getting better. Now your neck … just close your eyes. No, wait, read this next part first, THEN close your eyes! When you close your eyes, I want you to rotate your head all around, dropping your chin to your chest and then slowly, slowly, rolling it in a circle. Then do it in the opposite direction. Okay, now close your eyes!’
Nick did as instructed, and it did feel amazing. Nancy knew just how to get him to unwind, and she wasn’t even in the same room. He rolled his head around several extra times, simply because it felt so good. And then with a sigh he began to read again.
‘My god, you’re beautiful. I’m sighing as I watch you, Nick. I love to watch the play of muscles in your body when you don’t know I’m looking. I think you’re perfect, and you’re mine. All mine. I wish I was there to help, but my words will have to be enough for tonight. You’re alone, so take off your t-shirt. Don’t look at me like that, just do it. See? You ‘are’ beautiful. If I was there…. Oh if I was there, there would be no way for me to resist touching you. Your skin is so soft, so smooth. Mmm, feel my hands on your skin, Nick. Your shoulders, so broad and strong beneath my fingertips. Biting back a smile, I’d run my fingernails over the ink on your chest and laugh when you couldn’t take any more. Are you touching yourself? Please, Nick. Do it. Touch yourself for me.’
Nick looked down and was surprised to feel his hand already on his body, his thumb flicking at the tiny gold ring in his right nipple. He groaned, leaning his head back and closing his eyes as his hips shifted restlessly, trying to ease the ache in his groin. It wasn’t working. His hand left his chest to squeeze the impressive bulge in his jeans. Maybe just a couple of seconds would help him … or not. He groaned again. Fuck this, it was hopeless.
He started to toss the papers onto the floor, but the lure of her words called him back. He was helpless. His jeans were now two sizes too small, and his girlfriend was nowhere near. Picking up the stack of papers, he began to read again.
‘Don’t be upset, Nick. If it’s any consolation, just envisioning the changes your body is undergoing right now is cruel torture for me as well. If I were there … oh god, baby, if I were there I’d make you feel so wonderful. I’d stretch you out and simply feast on your delectable body. One tasty inch at a time. I love seeing you spread out before me, the way you never feel threatened by letting me take control. I think that is one of the most romantic, sexiest things you could ever do for me, Nick. The way you trust me … I’m sighing here, but I need more Nick. I need you.’
“Holy hell!” The images in his mind were nothing short of illegal. He couldn’t take much more and finally gave up and popped the snap on his jeans. If she couldn’t be here tonight, he’d just have to enjoy the rest of her little story without her. Now, where was he?
Papers in his left hand, he snuck his right hand into his pants relishing the immediate relief he found as his hand wrapped around his erection. Squeezing gently, he found his place and continued to read.
‘Oh my, look at that. I’ve never known a man to react like you do, did you know that? It can’t be comfortable. Let me help. Now stop giggling, I can’t help it if you’re ticklish. You know I can’t ever resist that delicious belly button of yours. No more than I can resist following that soft little trail that leads to buried treasure. Now, should I follow it tonight with my fingertips or my tongue? Hmmm … decisions, decisions. You tell me, Nick. Which will it be? I think…’
“Fuck me,” Nick groaned, pushing his pants past his hips with one hand while turning the page with the other. In his haste he dropped the papers, and cursed. “Where is it?!” He shuffled through every paper there, finding only the last page he’d read and nothing else. “No! This is not fucking fair!” Never mind that he was standing in Nancy’s living room with his pants around his ankles and his hair deliciously askew, breathing heavily. Casting another frantic look at the floor, he spotted a sheet of paper peeking out from beneath the sofa. Triumphantly he retrieved it, sinking back down and preparing for the final act.
What the fuck? It was blank. Totally, completely, BLANK.
Wait. A tiny pencil mark on the lower corner. ‘Call me’ it said.
His hand was hitting the speed dial before the paper hit the floor again.
“Hey,” she purred. “What took you so long?”
“Nancy, for god’s sake, what are you trying to do to me?”
“Baby, just relax. This isn’t helping all the tension,” she laughed.
“Relax. You have no idea what I look like right now. And you want me to relax???”
“I can imagine.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “You’re doing it, aren’t you. Touching yourself, and thinking of me. Oh Nick, I love to watch you. I love to watch you wrap those long, strong fingers around your shaft. I can’t do that, Nick, my hands aren’t big enough. Neither is my mouth, but I love to try.”
“That’s it Nick. Move your hand. Oh yes, baby, just like that.” She heard him groan and knew she had him right where she wanted him and the thought of him stroking himself, pushing himself to the very limits of his endurance was nearly her own undoing.
Nick’s hand tightened and slowed, trying in vain to stave off the inevitable explosion, but her voice wouldn’t let it go. “Do it harder, Nick. Harder. Fuck your hand for me.”
Christ almighty. She was resorting to talking dirty. She knew what that did to him.
“Pretend it’s me, Nick. Mm hmm, see ‘me’, spread open before you, just waiting for you to take me. Take me, Nick,” she moaned into the phone.
“Nancy-” His entire body tightened, and when she whispered “fuck me, Nick” he gave up. The sweet tension broke and he gave all control to the voice on the other side of the country. Screaming her name, he came in strong bursts that they would be cleaning up for days. Finally, exhausted, he fell back unable to utter a single sound.
“Nick, I’m hanging up now,” she whispered. “I’ll see you soon.”
The connection clicked off and Nick closed his eyes in sated bliss.
Across town, a beautiful petite brunette gave her address to a taxi driver. As they pulled away from the “Arrivals” gate at the Municipal Airport, she smiled a devilish smile. “See you soon, Nick,” she whispered.