I need to be preferred.

My heart thudded in my ribcage, my breath caught in my throat.  It was dark in my room and only the sweet-smelling candle gave light.  What had happened?  Why was I awake?

My pulse loud in my ears I stood up and walked to the front door.  Though I hadn’t heard anything, it was the only explanation.  He had knocked.

I opened the door and a gust of wind blew by me.  I caught his heels running into the mouth of his cave.  My sleep-fogged mind scratched its head.  He quickly returned before I could even think to shut the door.

“Here,” he said and handed me a prescription bottle.  I was still confused and just looked at him standing there braless in a white v-neck and black lace panties.  “For your pain.  You asked me earlier?”

“Oh, right,” I mumbled.  “Come in.”

He followed me through the dark and winking apartment.  Christmas tree lights illuminating my questionable decisions as usual.  “Lay down,” I said simply and he went to his side of the bed and climbed in.

I flopped down beside him still disoriented, my heart still not back to its usual 60.  He patted me and rubbed me.  We haven’t seen each other like this in days.  I felt like I’d been missing him.  Maybe he felt similarly because his warm hands didn’t leave my body.

“Mmm.  See-through panties!” he exclaimed.  I rolled over and showed him my round bottom.  He spanked me and I rolled back on my belly and giggled sleepily.  His hand crept to the cleft of my legs and I lifted my hips.  His fingertips began a slow circle over my lace-trapped clit.

A small ball of heat appeared in my center and I gently lowered and lifted my hips.  My back pain completely forgotten amidst my purrs of contentment.

His hand left me and pushed on my hip.  I rolled onto my back and he returned to me.  My lashes fluttered and I could see him staring at me, his head held in one hand while his other pushed me into the brightness of arousal.  I looked at him as I could, but his gaze, so lustful, so him pushed me back below my eyelids.  I concentrated on the sensations between my legs and in my gut.

He stopped and I realized I was panting lightly.  “Did you like that?” he asked rhetorically.

“Yes.  Yes I did.”  My hand ran along his torso, his clothing suddenly an offense I couldn’t bear.  “Take off your clothes.”

He played coy for a second and I repeated myself.  He removed his shirt and ran my hand over his muscular abs covered in his light furry hair.  “I feel them.  I always feel them,” I crooned as I kissed each little pack.  “Now take these off,” and I tugged on his shorts.  “I said all of it.”

He peeled them down and I curled up on my knees, perpendicular to him and fell on his shaft with my mouth.  He was huge and hard.  His hand came down on my flank 1, 2, 6 times.  Each smack I winced and whimpered, but didn’t hurt his tender member gingerly captured in my mouth.

“Get on your back,” he ordered.

I didn’t move.  “No.  I’m going to suck you.”

Then he hit me on the lace.  I grinned around his glorious cock.  “I said, ‘Get on your back’!” he said more forcefully.

I sucked harder and I heard him moan and he leapt in my hand.  He was close.  I was thinking about his jizz drenching my mouth, lips and throat when I felt another sting.  “NOW, goddamnit,” he said through gritted teeth while pushing me off of him.  I went to dive back down and he grabbed me by the shoulders and pinned me down, spread my knees, and slid into me.

A tumble and a wrestle, a small battle of wills where I felt us slip into our rightful, comfortable places with the sounds of a sloppy wet pussy.  *click*

He drove into me slowly and bumped into my cervix.  I winced and curled my hands around the bars of my headboard, tilted just so so he could get past it.  He went slow, feeling my heat wrap around him with each long, unendurable thrust.

I began to whimper as my arousal spread across my chest and tendrils wrapped their way around my hips and pelvis.  My cervix lifted like a good girl and he began to slam into me; I no longer had to tilt.

His beautiful face looked down at me, a slight curve of a smile on his lips.  Everything I’d thought of the past few days were bubbles popping one by one overhead.  Yes, I love him.  Yes, this is complicated.  Yes, he cares about me.  Yes, it’d be nice to have more.  Yes, I’m ok with what this is.  Yes, I feel special.  Yes, I don’t give a fuck about any other woman.  Yes, I feel unendangered in his life.  Yes, he wants me.

I wrapped my legs around his pumping hips and locked my ankles and drew him in closer, harder, deeper.  My pussy’s squelching and the bed’s disgruntled squeaks joined my moans and helpless cries and The Neighbor’s pants.  A symphony of passion.

He sat up and rested on his haunches and I pushed my bottom up onto the tops of his thighs and wrapped my legs tighter around him, my arms overhead pushing me further down his rod.  He chuckled and then fell forward and wrapped his arms around me, kissed my neck and began to move again.

He sat back up and put my ankles together over my face.  I began to sob and cover my face.  The intensity of pleasure centered around my cunt more than I could bear.  I began to gush, my hot juices running down the crack of my bottom and pooling beneath me.  He slammed into me harder then gently left me.

“Stand up on and lean over the bed,” he said.  I pushed myself up on trembling arms and wiggled off the bed.  He handed me my vibe and entered me from behind.

I collapsed on the mattress and held the vibrating head to the bulkhead of my desire.  I began to shake and tremble.  He twisted this way and that inside of me.  It was too much for me to cum; I was overloaded.

He gently lifted me up on to the bed and hooked his fingers inside of me as I replaced the Hitachi on my mound.  He was gentle knowing that if he was too forceful I would gush and be done too soon.

Slow and rhythmic he pet me.  My mind’s eye saw him glowing in candlelight, looking down at me affectionately, attentively and the swirling, curling mass of pleasure released the waters of my sex and the pool beneath me spread like a dead man’s blood.  I came hard and deep and cried and bucked.  He gently hung onto me and when I was done he climbed over me and laid down.

I sobbed and laughed for ten minutes.  “What’s the square root of 49?” he asked me.  I couldn’t remember.

We laughed and slowly pet me as I curled up into his arms and waited to return to myself.  His penis was chubby, but done.  I was disappointed that I couldn’t get him to cum, but he was busy telling me how awesome that had been for me to worry about it all that much and I let it go as I would a leaf in the wind.

Monday night when I’d told him Jack and Emma were definitely coming over this weekend he was excited; his face lit up and he bounced in his seat a little.  “I won’t cum until they’re here, or with just you!” he’d promised.  I’d only smiled and beamed inside at his acceptance of this new and strange thing entering his life and at the prospect of lots of his cum.

Laying in his arms last night I decided to broach one of the things on my mind.  “So, I want to talk about this group sex stuff.  I’m going to need different things from you.  It’s just how I am.  I know what I need based on my experiences with Troy.”  He nodded and urged me to continue.  “Like, for example, I’m going to need to hold your hand at that party.  And I’m going to need to feel like you think I’m the most beautiful woman there.  That you prefer me.”

“I know, Hy,” he said gently.  “You’ve mentioned this before.” I cringed under my own absent-mindedness and continued to play with the languid meat between his legs.  “Don’t worry, I understand completely.”

I sunk deeper into the mattress and splayed my fingers through his chest hair.  “What are you worried about with all of this?  How are you feeling about Jack and Emma coming over?  Jack wants to do a ‘Sunday brunch with champagne, croissants, and lechery’.”

“I’m worried that I’m going to freak out and shut down.  Or that I won’t be able to get hard.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok, but I’m just not sure.”

“Well, what do you want to do with them?  I’m not even clear on what I want to do other than have them watch us.  Jack has Emma on a ‘no-refusal’ weekend as her Dom.  And don’t forget, if you start to freak out, I’m there with you.  You’re not alone.”  He nodded his understanding.

“Do you want to fuck Jack??”

“Not particularly.  I’ve never been attracted to him, but he’s a wonderful playmate and a sweet guy and he’s hung like a mule.  I trust him, but no, I’d never feel like I had to fuck him.  If you told me to fuck him while I sucked you, however… that’s hot and I’d do that.”

His face split into a huge grin and he stroked his chin like an evil genius.  “Hmm,” he said, “That would be hot.  What if we both fucked you together?  How would Emma feel?”

“Emma is his sub.  She’ll do anything he wants.  He absolutely adores her, cherishes her.  They have a wonderful bond and therefore she’s never jealous.”

We talked some more about the intricacies of group sex, how much I loved it and I could sense his exploration in his thoughtful questions.  He was poking places in his psyche he’s never bothered with before.

He got up to dress and had a hell of a time finding his clothes trapped in my twisted bedding.  I laughed and stretched out to turn on the light.  “Wow, Hy.  You look really beautiful right now,” he said suddenly as his eyes rested on my body.  “Your just-fucked hair, red cheeks, the spank marks.”

“Well, thanks, TN.”

He found his clothes and slipped them on and came around and captured a nipple in his mouth.  He stood and began to walk away.  “Wait.  Come kiss me.”  He drew closer and I pulled him down to me and he crushed my mouth with his.  He pulled away and I looked him in the eyes.  “I’m not some pussy-hole, you know.  You kiss me.  Sometimes I think you freak out when you think we’re getting too close.”

“I don’t ‘freak out,’ I just pull away.  We’ll talk later.”

He began to say something, then dropped it and returned his mouth to mine, deep and passionate.  I rose and walked him naked to the front door and said goodnight smiling sweet smiles.

I get what I want: Cum on my lips and giant cock in my pussy

Sam and the crew were searching for a money belt in Cheers when I drifted off to sleep on my couch.  I had spent the day loving and smiling and laughing and kissing soft, plump cheeks and hugging 60 year olds hello.  My life, so out of control and painful two months ago has careened back onto track.  My priorities are aligned with my heart, my heart is in cahoots with my mind.  I feel tall.  All 5 foot 5 of me.

The last two months have been 60-odd days of self discovery: wins and losses nearly every day and as many highs, lows, answers and questions in between.  My husband reunited with his girlfriend, The Neighbor left me for a drunk, then never actually left me; I burned out at work and decided to take a three-week hiatus to re-center; and most importantly, I finally saw Peyton standing before me in a beam of dusty sunlight glowing like an angel that had always been there to show me the way.  So I followed.

And here’s where I was tonight: laying on TN’s naked chest, his semen tingling on my lips and its heady fragrance filling my nostrils, my body limp and exhausted from multiple gut-wrenching, teeth-chattering orgasms, and me casually sitting up and saying, “Well, let’s get you outta here!”

At around 10 to 7 tonight I heard a knock on the door.  Of course I knew who it’d be.  Who fucking else could it possibly be??  It was TN in his swimming trunks.

“So!  Let’s go swimming!”

“Sorry, but no.  I have my baby.”

“Let’s all go!”

“No.  I’ve been torturing Peyton for over an hour with the promise of watching TV at 7.  There’s only 10 minutes to go.”

He pushed past me.  “Let me ask Peyton myself.”

“Ok,” I shrugged.  “Fine.”  I was fairly certain the answer would be No.

I told him Peyton was under my bed.  He quietly climbed on top and hung his head over.  “Hey, Peyton, wanna go swimming??”

“Yes!” came the little squeal.  Then, “Oh wait, No.  I wanna watch TV.”

TN looked at me.  “Can TV be watched after swimming??”

I shrugged again.  “Sure.”  They both smiled and laughed.

We played in the pool for an hour, the cool water only barely tolerable after a summer of bath-water was a strange brew in which to play.  It felt like odd magic.

Since the break up, I’ve not kept Peyton and TN separated.  During our entire relationship the two were in two separate columns and I’m ashamed to admit that I would manipulate the situation to finagle what I wanted out of it.  I would read one less book to Peyton at night in order to see TN sooner, I wouldn’t play as much in the pool when TN was around, or I would ask to be left alone by  my baby to the dirty privacy of my phone to send pictures or text.  But not anymore.

I am all me, all mama, all good Hy with Peyton no matter what TN wants from me.  Peyton comes first, my promises and my little one’s needs are all that matter.  Tonight in the pool I loved and kissed and tickled and played with my sweet angel.  I didn’t care if TN felt ignored or left out.  My heart swelled.  I felt strong and right.   Right.  I’ve never exposed this side of me to TN before.  It felt almost wrong to let him see the beauty that is my relationship with my child in the past, but now I’m flying my Mother Flag high and proud.

When I got cold enough I said it was time to go inside.  We all climbed the stairs and Peyton humorously slammed the door ahead of us to our home.  On my way inside I flashed TN one of my breasts.  I wanted him.  He wagged his eyebrows at me and we shut our doors.  It was really that clear.

Later, I simply texted him, “I want your cock in me tonight.”

My new perch lends me perspective and longsight.  I have no fear of rebuke or rebuff with a simple statement of what truly is.  I assumed I would be ignored or maybe propositioned.  Instead, I was goaded.  A good sign.  Then, KNOCK KNOCK.

I opened the door and he was clad in jeans and a t-shirt.  I was in a mens Hanes tank top and PJ shorts, my usual attire.  “So, uh, I’m going to the store.  Do you need anything??”

“No.”  I didn’t invite him in.  Peyton was watching TV around the corner and I had dinner on the stove.

“Are you sure??” and I follow his eyes which look down at his hand pointing at a prominent bulge in his pants.

“Oh…” I gasp and instantly lean into him with my hand, pressing my breasts against him.  He pulls me into him and I stand up straight.  The tip of his erection nestles in the cleft of my legs.  He pinches my breasts and the cool night air blows past my legs and curls around our limbs. His fingers nestle inside of me and gently work me.  I manage to say,  “Well, I’d like one of these then,” and I pull his buttocks towards me.

We break apart and he says, “Are you sure?”

“Yes.  Actually, I want two.”

And then I forgot all about it.  I read Peyton as many books as was asked of me, loved and kissed some more, turned on fans and turned off lights, plumped pillows, made promises of scaring off bad guys and headed back out to the living room.  I poured myself a glass of wine and sat down to watch more Cheers.

I don’t remember ever feeling so light-hearted in two years.

I laid down on my side and closed my eyes…

I woke up to a man standing over me, my nipple pinched between his fingers, his icy blue eyes looking heatedly down on me, his other hand on my shoulder.  “Hy…” he’s saying softly.

“Holy shit,” I say startled.  I sit up and shake my head, trying to get my bearings.  “Did you just get here??”

“Yes,” he says and stands up straight.  His crotch is mouth level and I see the bulge.  I lean forward and scrape my teeth along its length.  He groans and presses into my face.  I stand up and he lays down.  I wordlessly unbuckle his pants and release my hound.  It’s fat and pink and uncovered by one mere zip.

I lick and suck and moan and run my hands through his chest hair.  I bite his neck and kiss him with wild abandon.  His ardor matches mine lick and nip.  His hands roam over my taught thigh and arched back as I stand half-perched with him in my mouth.  I take his hand and pull him up.  I was tempted to grab his cock and lead him that way, but I was wary of the zipper on his exposed flesh.  Instead, I tug on his hand and we escape to my darkened room.

The closet light is on and casts a faint light on the bed.  We close the door and he rips my clothes off and crushes his mouth on mine.  I peel his shirt and jeans off without breaking contact and he backs me into the bed and pushes me down.  He pulls my bottom to the edge and slowly enters me.  He’s saying something, but I have no clue what it is.  All I can think is how badly I want his magic cock inside of me.  That I had orchestrated this.  That this is exactly what I want.  Nothing more from him.  Just his glorious. fucking. cock.

He leans into me and fills me to the brim.  I cry out and grab the edge of the bed but I can’t get purchase.  He angles me towards the headboard and we laugh as he moves me, plow-like through the sheets to be vertical on the bed.  “I’m plowing the plow!” he quips.  I get half a giggle out before he starts impaling me.

I grip the curved bars of my headboard for minutes as he buries himself in my throat via my cunt.  I cry and shake my head, beg him for release, for mercy, for more more more.  He calmly watches me with a smirk, my life narrowed down to snippets my lashes allow me to see between their fluttering: a beautiful face half-lit smiling down at me, broad shoulders casting me in shadow, hard thighs slamming into the soft undersides of my own, the wailing creak of my bed, the thought that I may snap a bar off in my hand, and then he cums long and hard inside of me grunting and panting.  His breath puffs on my sweaty neck.

He sits up then and I reach around and start to rub my clit.  It’s a new thing for me.  I’m so sensitive I can barely stand it.  It hurts.  As if reading my mind he leans over and grabs my vibe and hands me the sheet.  He leans back, still fucking hard and buried deep inside of me and starts to move as the vibrator sits gently on my mound.  With each thrust I’m taken higher and higher.

I lose all control and scream and yell and buck and clench down hard on him.  I cry and stammer.  My orgasm brought on by him, not the vibrator alone.  I toss it aside and convulse.  He holds me tenderly and with pride then sits up and silently hands me the vibe again.

We do it all over again. Faster this time, bigger, louder.  He’s still hard.  The world has melted down to the joining of our bodies, his shape looming over me and my cells.  Words cannot be found.  He hands me the vibe a third time.

I whisper, “I’m gonna die, TN.  I’m gonna die.  I swear.  I’m gonna die.”  I cry into his neck.

He assures me I won’t and  leans over me and only flexes his cock this time, gently.  He sits up briefly and holds one leg up and spanks me hard, switches legs and spanks the other flank again and again.  He lowers my legs and braces his arms on either side of me again and flexes inside of me; butterfly kisses stroke my walls.  I am encased in him in every way.  He’s to my left, right, above and in me.

I cum in under 30 seconds screaming my release and only barely thanking God that I have sound machines in Peyton’s room.  He makes to hand me the vibe a fourth time and I get hysterical.  He laughs and says he’s only joking and rolls off of me and pulls me into his arms.

“Well, I guess I’ll be going now!” he chuckles.

“OK,” I pant, totally serious.  But he doesn’t.  Instead he stays and we laugh at my loss of wits and marvel at his giant hardon.  I absent-mindedly stroke it as we talk about, literally, nothing.

“I’m not going to make you cum, but I’d really love to suck it.  May I?” I ask.  His tempting meat is more than I can resist.

“Be my guest.”

I lean on an arm and take him in my mouth.  I can taste the iron like tang of the remnants of my period on him.  Like a paper cut.  I tell him so when he asks.  “Well that’s appealing,” he observes acerbically.

“Eh, fuck it.  It’s all good,” I retort.  “It’s just our bodies.  No biggie.”  And really, it wasn’t.  I was lapping up the remnants of my very essence, the thing that makes me a woman: my very blood.  I began to mew as his erection grows even bigger in my mouth and hand.  I position myself between his parted legs and get scissored in their vice as his pleasure mounts.  He begins to pant.

I pause to let him catch his breath and look at him, smiling with the head between my teeth.  He rolls his eyes back in his head and groans.  I fall back down on him and he immediately tenses, closer now than when I’d stopped.  I stop after bringing him closer two more times before he finally grabs my head and slams my face down on his shaft and spurts his delicious cum down the back of my throat.

His cock lays glistening on his belly, near his navel and I lick it from stem to stern and trail kisses up his chest and leave semen-scented kisses on his neck and jaw.  ‘You taste delicious,” I murmur.  He grabs my head and kisses me with an open, eager mouth.

“I taste like chlorine!” he laughs.

“Well, you’re not supposed to drink the pool water!” I laugh back.

Then we lay in each other’s arms and I continue to stroke his dancing, bulging erection.  “Does this ever go away??”

“Not when there’s a beautiful naked woman around.”

“Mmmm,” is all I can muster and then I sit up.  “Well, let’s get you outta here!”

He seems startled, but this was part of my plan all along.  I was not going to wait to be left.  I was going to hit the eject button first.  This is part of putting what I want first: Peyton, then me.  And right then, I wanted the control.

He follows me out of bed and makes more jokes about why don’t we fuck all night or don’t I want him to stay the night??  Things tripped out of his mouth that ordinarily would have made my heart skip a beat, but tonight I flatly ignored.  He was grappling for control back, but I was not going to relent.  It was mine.  Today was mine.  Tonight was mine.  All of this is now mine.  Take it or leave it.

I walk him to the door and he says, “You owe me $150 for that.”

“For what??”

“For all those orgasms.”

“You owe me!  No mere mortal woman can make you cum then suck you off.”

“Oh, right.  Ok, I’ll give you $50 then.”  He smiles at me and turns around in the dark entryway to face me.  “C’mere, Hy.  Let’s hug!” and he pulls me into his arms.  I hug him back fiercely with a beaming grin on my face and grab his lush ass.

He tosses out some more jokes, half-truths, and I see it all so clearly.  He’s trying to regain the upper hand, keep me off-balance, but what I don’t tell him is that with each half-truth and little joke he erodes any trust I have in him.  I don’t know why he’d want to do that.  “I’ll always believe you, you know,” I warn him.  “That’s who I am.”

We say good night and I twirl as I shut the door.  The night is glorious, 65 degrees and black, nearly starless.  Black Angels is playing on Pandora and my heart soars as my own little angel sleeps in the other room.  It’s getting better now.  Truly, truly better.

He knocked at 2 am.

Last night I sat under the eaves of blooming fuchsia crepe myrtles with my friends, drinking bottles of Prosecco and smoking bummed American Spirits.  My leg pressed against the jeans-clad leg of my voluptuous girlfriend with the beautiful mouth  and my other friend sat next to her, her creamy breasts on display with a beaded necklace nestled strategically in her cleavage.   Our friend whose birthday it was made the rounds with her 20 other friends and popped in every so often to check in with the three of us.

“When’s your date supposed to get here, Hy?” asked the birthday girl, her lip gloss shining in the evening sun.

“9:30.  I don’t know why I keep inviting these dudes to our functions.  Please forgive me.  I’m such an asshole!” I smiled and she laughed.

“Hy, you work it!  We love watching you in action.  You have such a way with men,” my big-bosomed friend added.

“Seriously, Hy.  It’s like watching a master.  You are so welcoming with everyone.”

The birthday girl bent down and hugged me and wished me luck and sashayed over to another group of her friends.  The two friends beside me asked me about the new guy.  “His name is Drake, he’s 32, he’s cute.  We texted all night last night.  I’m worried about two things: 1, he doesn’t drink and if he’s in recovery or something I don’t know how that’d work with me, and 2, he’s looking to cuddle.  That’s something that happens loooong after fucking.  I didn’t cuddle with The Neighbor for months!”

As the sun fell behind the industrial warehouses tattooed with graffiti and the strings of little white lights began to come on I got more nervous.  At 9:20 he texted to say he’d be there in 15 minutes.  When he arrived he’s wearing a black t-shirt a size too big, jeans, and a black baseball cap.  He’s ruggedly handsome and broad-shouldered.  I stood up and gave him a hug and in the second before my chin was on his shoulder I saw the approving look in his eye, my spaghetti strap sun dress clung to my curves as if it was made for me, its sheerness a tease.

He immediately introduced himself to my friends, asked everyone what they were drinking and disappeared back into the bar.  My friends and I avoided any knowing eye contact and instead carried on with the other guests. When Drake returned, the picnic table seating had changed again and when he saw an opening across from me he took it.  Soon we were talking, just the two of us, and he suggested we go to our own table.  I obliged, curious and engaged.

We talked for a long time.  He asked me about my marriage, told me about his, he asked about my tattoo, he paid me compliment after compliment just to watch me cringe and blush.  He explained he stopped drinking 5 years ago because he finally realized it wasn’t a good fit for him.  That, and that first round of court-ordered rehab sort of got him to thinking.  “I tried to do it casually, but learned I can’t.  I’m the guy drinking apple juice at a gig.”

“You’re a Sam Malone,” I observed.

“Totally!!  Sam’s my hero!”  I laughed at his disclosure.  I doubted seriously he was the Lothario Sam was.  If anything, of the two of us I am Sam Malone.

After my friends left we remained.  The energy under the trees shifted then.  “I want to kiss you,” he said guilelessly.

“Ok.”

I leaned across the table and met his lips, his dark blond five o’clock shadow rough on my skin.  His mouth was pliant, yet firm.  I liked it, but searched for passion.  I felt none.  I sat back on my bottom and smiled at him.  He said he liked my kisses, so I leaned back over the tabletop for another.  Again, no spark.  Where’s the motherfucking spark?  I thought.

When it was time to go he hesitated.  He didn’t want me to drive home.  I was buzzed, but assured him I was fine to drive home.  He wrestled with himself for a minute or two; I insisted he wasn’t responsible for me and that I’d be fine.  I was a little impressed by him, actually.

He walked me to my car and I was careful to not wobble in my high-heeled wedges on the cobblestone sidewalk lest he think it was the alcohol.  At my car, bathed in yellow light from the street lamps, he pulled me into his arms and kissed me again.  His hands roamed along my body and he groaned approval; my hands skimmed his trim, muscular sides and gripped his shoulders.

We made plans to go out on Friday.   He insisted.  I will see if there’s a spark then.

I drove home with the windows down and music blasting, a smile on my lips, confusion in my heart.  Like my fickle feelings the downtown skyline slipped by and the highway emptied ahead of me and all I could think of was my bed.  It was 1 am.

I climbed the 40 steps and texted TN that we might need him to sub at our softball game tonight and in my warm and fuzzy state of mind I jokingly added “WHY ARENT YOU UP??”  He’s a night owl and I am droll at 1 am.

Inside my apartment I lit some incense, peeled off my dress, kicked off my shoes, and made a sandwich standing in only my underwear.  I crawled into bed and flipped open my laptop to watch Master Chef.  I was about to learn which two have to go to the elimination challenge when my front door vibrated with a pounding KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.  It was 2 in the fucking morning.

I walked uninhibited to the front door, my breasts jiggling as I went.  I cracked the door and hid my body behind it.  TN is standing there in only his shorts.  “What are you doing here?” I asked.

“You said you needed a sub for tomorrow.  I thought we could talk about it.”

“Ok, whatever,” and I straightened up and pulled the door wide to expose my state of undress.  Wordlessly I walked back to my bedroom and got back under the covers.  He followed.

He told me about his night and we chatted about the game.  He picked up a ball Peyton had left in my room and began kicking it around.  He lost control and crunched my blinds. I scolded him and we laughed.  He showed me some Bahamavention commercials on YouTube and I struggled to keep my breasts covered as we lolled around on the bed giggling.

“Why are you doing that?” he wondered and tugged on the covers exposing them again.  I rolled to my side clutching the sheets to my breasts.

Because.  You don’t get to see them anymore.”  An odd statement considering I’d answered the door in my panties, but a true statement nonetheless.  I wasn’t going to just lay there on display for him to gaze at and not touch.  I felt like a pea in a pod that had just been pulled open.

“That’s ridiculous,” he answered and before I knew it his hand was stinging on my flank.  Fuck, it felt so good.  I screamed into my pillow and my body tensed.  “Wow,” he whispered as he traced the blooming redness with a finger.  “You can see my fingers!”  I got up to look in the mirror.  His hand was clearly visible, the heat heavy and throbbing.

And because I wanted more I wrapped myself once more in my coverlet to disrupt the flow.  He got the message and said he had to go.  I once more stood up and walked back to the front door and we bantered along the way.  Our parting words were me telling him I wasn’t sure if we needed him tomorrow night because my team doesn’t communicate well and he replied, “Sounds like me.  I’m not good at communicating, either.”  The door shut behind him then and I shook my head.  The man communicates all the goddamned time, he just doesn’t realize it.

I made love.

“I hope we didn’t just make a mistake,” he said as I laid in his embrace.

“Shh,” I answered.  “Don’t think about that right now.  I’m trying to enjoy the afterglow.” I smiled into his chest and squeezed him. He chuckled, but then was serious.

“But what if I just did something really shitty?” his voice was strained and I could see his profile lit by the burgeoning dawn in my bedroom window.

“Shh,” I crooned again.  “You didn’t.  This hasn’t changed anything.  We’re still best friends with incredible chemistry who happen to love each other as friends.”

“But morally –” he dropped the sentence.

“Morals don’t enter into this.”

“No, you’re right.”

::

Thursday after my double-header softball game and a day filled with rage and nuance he waved at me as my team meandered out of the park.  My ex-husband was there as was Peyton and my girlfriend and her son.  I gave him a sullen/shitty thumbs up in response.  On the way home my friend and I digested more of my relationship with The Neighbor, how ugly she thought 4 am girl was and how she paled in comparison to me; the usual things that girlfriends tell their heartbroken sisters.  I smiled at her efforts, but my heart was still heavy.

As I pulled into my apartment complex after I dropped her off I realized his car was pulling in in front of mine.  Great, I thought.  We parked on opposite ends of the lot and I dutifully unloaded my car with my stuff and made my way for the stairwell.

“Hy!” he called, “Wait up!”

I stood there with attitude.  I was not happy about this.  “Hey, can I come over and hang out for a bit?” he asked.

“If you want,” was my reply.

“That doesn’t sound very friendly.”

“What?  I said’ if you want’.  Come on over.”  I had three tallboys in me and shutting him out completely seemed completely foreign to me.

“Should I bring the left over Jell-O shots?”

“Sure.”  Fuck it.  Why not?

We sat on my balcony with my anger and tension a third party.  He remarked on it and I opened the floodgates and told him everything I’d thought of and put to words earlier that day.  I told him how angry I was at him, how hurt, how unfair it all was that he had her to distract him.  He nodded solemnly and said he understood, he looked crestfallen.

“Hy, this is equally as hard on me as it is on you.  I just manage it better.  I hide it better.”

This mollified me.  “I miss you so much.  I’ve lost my best friend.  We used to do everything together.”

His eyes filled with tears in the moonlight and his voice lowered to a whisper, “This has been awful.  I know.  I miss you, too.”

I shared my dream with him, that I’d called him that morning and a girl answered his phone.  “Is this The Neighbor?” she giggled into the phone.  I was heartbroken.  He said he hasn’t told anyone I’m his neighbor.

He also told me he hadn’t slept with her yet, they’d only been dating for a week, and that he hadn’t touched himself since we broke up.  He was punishing himself, he said.  I didn’t ask for this.  He offered the information. We went deeper, I told him I’d cut myself and why; I set parameters up, boundaries; I wanted nothing to do with her, ever.  His response was it’d be unlikely if they were together still in 6 months.

We tenderly tread through our feelings and gently touched emotionally.  Butterfly kisses of reassurance and resurrection.  We kissed each others’ cuts and bruises and space around us became just the two of us.  My additional passenger of anger slipped away through the bars of the balcony to mingle with the stars.   My heart  lifted.  His words were a balm, our laughter and friendship a warm embrace.

We spoke and laughed about our games and our performances that night.  My sports bra was soaking wet and my legs were caked in dirt.  I pulled my arms into my shirt and removed the bra and threw it in his face. We laughed hysterically as we pegged each other with it back and forth.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” he said suddenly.  He was back quickly and he threw what I thought was my wet bra back in my face.  But it was his underwear.  I laughed so hard I cried and gave him a high-five.  We were back on the rails as friends, our hurts placated, sex off the table.  I was in heaven.

“I want to be friends with you, I really do, but I’m having a really hard time getting over the sex part,” I said more seriously.  “I need some space, you can’t crowd me or rush me.  It’s different for you because you have someone else to be interested in.  I don’t.  I’m all alone in this.”

“I’m alone, too, Hy.”

“No, you’re not.”

“How many dates have you gone on since we broke up?”

I had to think.  “Three maybe?  But I’m just trying to stay busy.   They don’t count.  I’m just looking for someone to love me.  I just need more space from you.”  I told him of the time I slept with Tuesday and all I did was think, “TN doesn’t taste like this.  TN doesn’t sound like this.  TN is bigger, better, more of everything.”

“And I’ll be honest, I want you to think the same thing. I want you to be with her and think, ‘This isn’t Hy’s taste.  These aren’t Hy’s breasts.  She’s not crying like Hy.  She doesn’t suck my cock like Hy.  She doesn’t feel like Hy.  She’s not squirting like Hy.'”  He smiled and laughed.

“Yeah! Fuck any girl who doesn’t cry!”  He always loved that about me, the response in me he could invoke.  “I really want us to be friends.  I really do.  You can text me any time you like, you know.”

“No, I can’t.  You never respond to my texts. Ever.  And I can’t handle that.”

“I promise I’ll respond.”

“I’ve heard that before, too.”

When it was time for him to leave he opened his arms to me for a hug.  We have never been huggers.  Not ever.  It’s new ever since I asked for one that awful Sunday night.  I moved into his arms and his left hand deliberately brushed my breast.  I hit him on the back and he squeezed me tightly, groin to shoulder.  He inhaled my scent off my neck and I put my cheek on his shoulder and wrapped my arms around him.   It was a long hug.

And as he pulled away he caught my breast again.  “TN!” I scolded.

“What??  It’s how I hug!” he laughed and I walked him to the door and we hugged again, chastely.

::

Friday I woke up smiling and horny as fuck.  My dream had been vivid.  I decided to test the new texting/friendship waters.

I sent him this at 8:10 am:

My dream:  We’re at the fields, you wait for me for some reason.  She weaves in and out between us curious and nervous about our friendship.  I’m exhausted and you offer me a drink at your place.  I sink to the floor on some pillows and begin to drift off.  I’m awoken by your touch.  It’s gentle and kind at first, then more demanding.  Your mouth is on mine.  You taste delicious.  I’ve missed you so much.  Your mouth finds my nipples and I cry out, my pussy gushes.  I whimper and shake.  Your hands undress me.  My response to you is sudden and intense.  “What are you doing??” I ask looking into your eyes.  “Loving you,” you answer.  I don’t believe it.  You plunge your fingers in me and I can’t think or talk.  Your kisses are searing.  I cum again and again into your hand.  And then you climb up onto your couch and close your eyes.  I’m confused.  My heart is racing.  You look peaceful so I leave you alone, stand up.  I am naked.  You open an eye and I hope you like what you see.  I saunter wordlessly into the bathroom and turn on the shower, look for signs of her, see none and step under the water.  My hair is short and I smile, run my hands over my curves.  I’m bathed in light from a floating alarm clock you have.  The time flashes 6:08.  It’s time for me to leave.  Better than Thursday night’s dream, that’s for sure.

Less than an hour later he texted back:

A floating alarm clock?

I asked him jokingly what he thought it meant.  He said he wasn’t sure and asked if 6:08 had any significance to me.  I said only in as much that we always left each other; I’d had no plans of crawling back into his arms in my dream.  Then I told him that everything that happened in my dream happened to me in real life.  I had orgasmed in my sleep and I laughed and wondered if I was writhing around in my bed.

Immediately he replied:

If it makes you feel any better, I woke up humping my damn bed last night

I said it did make me feel better and I asked when he’d have time to talk to me again, I had something on my mind.  I wanted to share with him my idea that maybe we could be friends sooner than I’d thought.  We made tentative plans to talk late Friday night or Saturday afternoon.

At 4:05 pm I was awakened from a nap with another text from him — he really was keeping his word about texting me back.

Date tonight cancelled.  Wanna chat at 5’ish?

I say sure, no problem.

And it’s 6:08 off the eastern seaboard.

I didn’t respond, not knowing what to say to his unusual attention to detail, but fell back asleep with a smile on my face tangled in my comforter with my yellow dress (yes, that yellow dress) hiked up to my waist and my cheeks rosy from sleep.

Around 5 he knocked and I jumped out of bed. My hair tousled, my dress righted, my cheeks still rosy.  “Hey,” I said, “Wanna just come lie down with me?”

He followed me back into my room and kicked off his shoes and laid down on his side facing me.  We made small talk for a bit and laughed.  My heart soared at having my friend back and the irony of us laying in my bed wasn’t lost on either of us.  I offered him a drink and he declined.  I poured myself some disgusting bottled Sangria and made a face.  He laughed then burped.  I told him he was disgusting, but said I was a much better burper.  Sure enough, I proved it between peals of laughter.

“Ok, ok.  You’re crossing a line, Hy!”

“What line??  There is no line anymore!  I don’t have to impress you!”  I laughed at him.

And then I summoned my courage and told him how happy I was all day at having spent time with him again and that perhaps we could forge forward so long as I could reserve the right to back away when necessary.  He seemed excited at my idea.  “Yes, absolutely.  I totally understand.”

I laid back down and we were careful not to touch one another.  “So, I still have those two Dark Knight tickets.  If we left right now we could make it,” I said.  “I’ve asked three virtual strangers and every friend I know and no one can go with me.”

“I can’t.  I’m going tomorrow night at 10.” The unspoken part was with her.

“Oh, who cares!  Come on!” I pleaded, but he wouldn’t budge.

We talked and laughed and teased each other some more.  I was hyper-aware of my cleavage and careful not to let my breasts spill out, but I could do nothing about my thighs showing or my general shape.  His erection was obvious and huge through out.  He mentioned having run out of underwear and free-balling it.  I didn’t take the bait.

Then I said something that made him playfully slap my leg.  I squealed and he did it again.  And again.  It was too much. I jumped out of bed and with my hands held in the air I said, “You have to stop that.” I leveled a gaze at him.   “It turns me on.”  My chest rose and fell visibly.

He leapt out of his side of the bed and quickly put on his shoes and headed for my front door.  Once there he opened his arms to me and I fell into them, his scruffy cheek against mine.  He humped me then with me wrapped in his embrace and we laughed.  I quietly shut the door behind him and headed back into my room.  I had to cum.

I grabbed my vibrator and laid down on my wine-colored sheets.  I’d told him it was particularly difficult to not send him sexy pics anymore.  We both agreed I’d find a way, but I was turned on, vibrating like the wand in my hand.

I sent him this with the note, “Just me in a dress like you just saw me.”

Innocent.

His instant response:

fuck you.  Fuck you so much.

Goddamned vibrator in your hand

I told him that since I wasn’t going to fuck him I still wished I could and that I’d think of how much I loved it while I jerked off.  He could live vicariously through me.

Yeah thanks a lot.  That helps me keep my m ind off of sex

My orgasm was strong and swift and I thought of him over and in me just like I’d promised.  It rained down through me and I screamed openly as I quivered and shook.  I felt a bookend text was in order.  “And now… a cigarette :)”

He quickly replied:

Congrats.  Must feel nice to orgasm.

My happy sarcastic response? “A little. I was lonely.  Gotta get used to it.  But it was huge :D”

Fifteen minutes later, after I’d left for my date with a quiver in my belly he sent this:

Breaking the two-week streak. Life sucks!

My heart was bright, my pussy placated, my smile was genuine.  My date that night was charming and sexy and fun like I’d remembered him but it wasn’t him that was making me feel that way.  It was the knowledge that TN was struggling, that he clearly felt everything I was feeling, too that had lifted my spirits so high.

Later that night when my date was flaccid and small, I called him off of me and I lay in his horrible bed with his arm around me.  I lazily watched the lights twinkling from the beautiful view of downtown skyscrapers and cars whizzing by on the highway below.  I thought the misfire with him was worth only this snapshot and I slipped out of bed at 4 am and went home, fell into bed, and then a deep slumber.

::

I woke up Saturday hungover and laid in bed most of the day watching Cheers on my laptop.  Sam and Diane were on the verge of breaking up.  They were never any good for each other.  They had only contention to share, not true love.  They each wanted the other to be someone else.  My heart got heavy and I turned it off, showered, and called a dear friend.  I told her of my exploits from the night before, smoking a hot cigarette on my hot balcony when TN came out to flip his jeans over to dry.  He heard, “... and it ended in disaster.

He raised his eyebrows at me and I had to say, “I’m not talking about you!”  He smirked and disappeared back into his apartment.  I quickly followed suit happy to talk to my friend in some AC when I heard a knock.  It was him.

“Do you want a piece of pizza?” he asked.

With the phone still to my ear I nodded yes.

A minute later he came back over and I told my friend I’d call her back in 5 minutes.  He handed me a piece of pizza and sat on the couch with me while I nibbled on it.  I was confused.  What was he doing here??  We chatted about nothing, laughed, teased, talked.

I told him I had decided to be celibate for a couple of months.  His mouth literally dropped open.  He closed it with a finger and let it drop again.  But I was serious, I told him.  After Friday night’s disappointment I realized that I can’t go on like this.  All I do is compare every man to him.  He preened a little.

We started to play a ridiculous game that I love wherein we throw balls at each others’ chests.  You know, that spot right in the middle that makes a delicious thwack! sound?  That’s where we like to throw the ball.

While playing, we talked about our sexual exploits with one another for most of his visit.  It made me fidget uncomfortably for lack of release, but I’m always happy to oblige a man who wants to recount my sexual prowess, so I participated in the banter all the while confused.  He missed my mouth on him he confessed, but, he said, he was back to not touching himself again for at least another two weeks.  “Punishment,” he reminded me when I looked at him questioningly.  Why talk about all this sex stuff if he’s in a sexual purgatory? I wondered.

We continued to throw balls and then he started to misfire deliberately, aiming for my nipples and my crotch.  I felt like I was on the playground.  I wasn’t wearing a bra and my nipples would flare angrily after each swipe.  We played for what felt like forever giggling like children until finally I told him I had to go run errands.

Our hug was long and sweet again and I felt strong.  Like maybe this really could work out like a flirtatious friendship.  We talked about our sexual activities like old drinking buddies.  “Remember that time you squirted so much you soaked two towels?”  “What about that time you broke my cock?  You did that like 3 times you fucked me so hard!” And the physical stuff was just playing around.  I didn’t mind it.

I closed the door behind him and got my things together and left.  Later I texted that I wanted a thorough movie review.  He said, “Ok.”

That night I rented a couple of movies I wished I hadn’t.  Charlize Theron in Young Adult could be me every other week minus the narcissism and alcoholism: spending empty time with empty people because she didn’t believe she was loved.  And the protagonist couple in Friends With Kids spend a year as just friends sharing a child together until one slips up and develops feelings and, not surprisingly, the man doesn’t see her that way, though he loves everything about her.  A year later he comes to his senses and admits that he’d loved her all along, he’d just been a fucking idiot.

I dozed through both of them, but still felt battered by their messages.  At 10 pm I’d thought, “TN is at the movie now.”  At midnight when I went to bed I’d thought, “TN is likely done with the movie.”  I laid my phone down on my bedside table and forgot to turn it to silent.

At 3:40 am I get a text:

Still up?

I had woken up 10 minutes before from a nightmare.  “Yes,” I replied.

Haha u crazy

“No shit.  Had a bad dream.  What’s your excuse?”

And then knock, knock, knock.

I leapt out of bed.  My breasts jiggled under my white t-shirt that read “I <3 Dave,”  and my little pajama shorts hung daintily off my hips as I quickly closed the distance to my door.

He was standing there in a dress shirt and his nice jeans that I’d helped him pick out.  “Who’s Dave?” he asked and poked my breast as he pushed past me into my apartment.

“A friend of mine.  It doesn’t matter.  What are you doing here??”

“I wanted to tell you about the movie.  It was terrible.”  I took him to my couch.  “Can I lie down here?”

“Of course.”  I laid down with him and he started to recount all the plot holes and how much it sucked.

“Your couch is terrible.  Can we lie down somewhere else?”

“Of course,” I said again and took his hand to help him up.  He was drunk, not a usual thing for him.  And he was here all on his own.  Also not a usual thing for him.  As I lead him back by the hand to my room I thought, He should be with her! He came home!

He kicked off his shoes and climbed into bed and I fell back onto my pillows.  We touched this time, but innocently.  He rubbed my forearm, I had my arm on his belly.  He unbuttoned the top 3 buttons of his shirt then and I slipped my fingers through his chest hair.  I could feel his erection near the waistband of his jeans with my elbow.  He unbuttoned his shirt entirely and I splayed my fingers through his hair and let my hands follow the contour of his muscles as we talked for an hour and a half.

I asked him questions.  Random, innocent things like his most embarrassing moment, his biggest regret, what was one of the best days of his life, when was he most happy?  His answers?: when his brother pantsed him in front of 200 people, not calling Molly Lannister in college, when he was fucking me, and when he was with me.

Our legs entwined, we cuddled unabashedly.  His breathing began to slow instead of him departing.  I smiled as he squeezed my arm in his sleep and began to twitch.  I am encased in love for this man.  Not hope for the future, but just love.  He cannot resist me.  He cannot stay away.  I know without a doubt that he loves me and no matter what the future holds it is a gift.  I feel righteous.

I silently mouthed, “I love you,” into the dark and kissed his ribcage gently and settled down to sleep with a smile on my lips.  I drifted for a minute or two when he rolled towards me and pulled me into his arms.  His hand dropped to my waist and rubbed me.  My heart pounded as his hand moved to my waist.  He rolled back onto his back and took my hand and put it back on his chest.

I ran my hand up to his shoulder and down past his waist to his knee, my arm heavy on his ever-present erection.  My breath was hot on his side and I nuzzled his skin.  I looked up into his eyes and could only see darkness.  I made a decision then.  I was going to make love to him.

I was going to have him one last time and know it was the last.  I was going to put my heart and soul into touching him and loving him and not hide behind closed eyes and fluttering lashes.  I slipped my hand beneath his jeans and the helmet of his cock was sopping wet.  I circled the crown and he moaned.  I arched into him.  I began to love him.

I unbuttoned his pants and his cock filled my hand with a flourish and a pulse.  I felt like I was holding the holy grail.  I looked back up into his eyes and I could see them blazing with desire.  I moved between his legs and before I took his glorious cock in my mouth I dragged myself up to his sweet, beautiful face.  Our eyes locked with meaning, longing, and lust.

I bent down and took his mouth and it was everything I’d imagined.  Our passion ignited like in my dream and I whimpered as he devoured me.  I kissed him again and again then dove onto his shaft.  He arched his back and exclaimed lustily.  He was huge and ready.  I wondered if this was all I was going to get when he suddenly sat up and ripped my shirt off and quickly peeled off his pants.

I fell back down onto him and his hands guided my head.   He reached around and found my slit.  “Jesus Christ, Hy,” he whispered as his fingers found their way inside of me.   Little orgasmic waves rippled through me as his cock filled my mouth.  I could feel he was close when he gritted out, “Get on your back.  Now!” and roughly pushed me up and tore off his shirt and my remaining shorts.

He spread my knees and climbed between them, kissed me again and joked that I probably wasn’t wet enough.  Perched just outside of me he asked, “Have you been with anyone else since we broke up??” the urgency in his voice thick and heavy.

“No,” I whispered back.

“Good.” And he plunged deeply inside of me.  He railed into me, impaled me, kissed me long and hard, our lips locked as were our groins.  My pussy gripped and slobbered on him and I came again and again as I soaked the bedsheets beneath us.  His scent filled my head, his sounds my ears, his cock my soul.

He lifted up and hooked my ankles on his shoulders and I stared into his eyes.  His face mostly in shadow I hoped he could see that I was finally looking back up at him.  I cried out as another climax rolled through me and my hot ejaculate spilled down my cracks.  His tempo increased, his exertion a blissful friction between us and he pumped madly and spectacularly into me, his seed spilling into my emptiness.

He lowered my legs and I blew on him gently.  He kissed me again and started to move.  I whimpered and clung to him.  He flipped me over and pounded into me.  Spanked me hard and pulled my hair.  I trembled and floated above us as I surrendered completely.

He stopped slowly and kissed my dampened neck.  “Here, lay here,” he patted the side of the bed.  He quietly walked into my bathroom and returned with a towel and tucked it under my bottom.  He laid down facing me and rolled me onto my back, hooked me like a fish and began to slam against my cunt with his meaty hand.  I curled the towel around me to catch the spray of my juices as he made me flood into his hand.  “No, no, no,” I begged as I convulsed.

“Yes.  Yes, you are,” he countered in a growl.  “This is so fucking hot.  I love this about you.”  And he kept going until I was a little curvy puddle.  “Ok, you’ve had enough,” he deemed and handed me my vibrator.

I was limp.  Exhausted.  In love.  A little sad.  Saying goodbye.  All of it.

I meekly took the toy in my hand and spread my legs.  “Will you put your fingers in me, please?” I asked.

“Not yet.  Take this first.”  I looked to my left and his cock was in my face.  Turgid and bobbing.  Hungrily I sucked it down.  “That’s a good, little girl.”  I pulsed and my orgasm leapt ahead several notches.

“Look at you, you little slut.  A vibrator between your legs and a giant cock in your mouth.”  I squirmed and convulsed as my orgasm split me open.  I laid there and panted as he kissed me.

“Will you put your cock in me now?”

“Yes.”  He slipped inside of me and I shivered as he lay down next to me, my legs slung over his hips.  He pushed into me as I lay the buzzing head on my sex.

His hands were heavy and demanding on my breasts, his kisses light on my skin when he said, “I want you to fucking cum for me.  Cum for me now!”  He’d never demanded this before.  This was new.  I wanted to make him proud, do this for him.  I searched my body for my orgasm and hooked onto it.  “Do it now, you slut.  Be a good girl.”  I pushed against him and sucked on his shaft with my cunt like it was me gasping for air.

His hand moved to my throat and squeezed.  The storm grew in my core tenfold.  “Cum for me now or I fucking swear I’ll choke the shit out of you.”  He flexed his hand gently and I purred and mewled, my eyes shut tight.  The orgasm pounded into me as he whispered that was what he wanted.  He kissed my temple and my ear and my lips as I cried and shook.

We stayed linked together for minutes while I looked loving at him propped up on an elbow. I ran my fingers through his hair.  I didn’t care what he saw in my eyes.  I wanted him to see it all.  I was done hiding.  This was a farewell between this life between us and I wanted to finally be genuine.  It seemed he did too.

“You’re trembling,” he noticed and he stroked my face and my arm.

We disconnected and he rolled over.  I nuzzled into his nook.

“I hope we didn’t just make a mistake,” he said as I laid in his embrace.

“Shh,” I answered.  “Don’t think about that right now.  I’m trying to enjoy the afterglow.” I smiled into his chest and squeezed him. He chuckled, but then was serious.

“But what if I just did something really shitty?” his voice was strained and I could see his profile lit by the burgeoning dawn in my bedroom window.

“Shh,” I crooned again.  “You didn’t.  This hasn’t changed anything.  We’re still best friends with incredible chemistry who happen to love each other as friends.”

“But morally –” he dropped the sentence.

“Morals don’t enter into this.”

“No, you’re right.”

I finally asked him the question I’d wanted the answer to all night.  “Why did you come over here tonight?”

“I wanted to tell you about the movie.”

“That could have waited until tomorrow.”

“I wanted to see you.  And I was horny.”

I cringed because I didn’t believe it.  “Well, that’s flattering.  Did you think you were going to get laid?”

“No.  I really just wanted to see you.”

We dozed for a few more minutes before he said he had to go.  He kissed me tenderly and said he was walking next door naked.  I smiled at him and laughed and we wished each other a good day.

My Plan B is better than my Plan A.

“So do you remember that girl I told you about on my softball team who I asked out last October but she flat out said, ‘No,’ to me?”

I nod and sip on the Sidecar he’d made for me and brought over, a foot tucked under my bottom, my breasts bulging out of my strapless sundress.

“Well, she’s the one I drank with till 4 am last week and who I went to that housewarming party with on Saturday.  And I can’t figure her out.”  Aha, 4 am girl.

“What are you asking me?”

“I don’t know,” he replies and gives me his best boy-next-door grin.  “I think I might be in love.”

The words were a joke, I knew, but the word-bubble was still hanging over his head when I abruptly stood up and said, “Be right back.”  I swayed drunkenly to my bedroom door and opened it loudly then veered left into my bathroom and slammed the door.  I sat heavily on the toilet and shook my head and laughed.  I had basically just stormed out of the room, but it was the most anti-storming ever.  I wasn’t even mildly pissed at him, but he had crossed a line.  I am not his girlfriend-woes receptacle .

I let him stew a little longer in the living room as I changed into my pajamas and continued to chuckle.  We finish our drinks and he says he’s tired and wants to go home.  He’s been over for less than an hour and I’m not done, yet, goddamnit.  I ask him to stay for a cigarette and he follows me out onto the balcony.

The strawberry moon overhead bathes us in soft lights.  “I had a fantasy last night after you came out on your balcony naked.”  His eyebrow raised.  “I imagined that you’d get drunk tonight and we’d go down into the pool and you’d bend me over those stairs,” I pointed to the far steps, “because the water would mean you couldn’t transmit anything to me.”

He laughed and said, “Wow, well, that’s fucking hot.  But the bumps are truly going away now I think.”

“Good, because I’m dying.”

We each sat with our thoughts, the cicadas singing their lullabys and the frogs chirping their desires.  Earlier in the day I had sat on the familiar brown couch in my therapist’s office and decided that I needed to end things with The Neighbor soon.  I want to be loved and no matter how amazing our interactions are, no matter how much I believe he loves me, no matter how terrific the sex, the bottom line is I’ll never hear it from his lips and that has become important to me all of a sudden.

I take a drag on my cigarette, watching the orange tip burn like my resolve, “Did you know that I’m now looking for TN Plus?  Someone just like you, but someone who’s willing and able to love me.”

His face crumpled for a split second.  “Wow.  That really upsets me.”

“Well, you’ve told me you never will,” I counter, looking directly at him.

“But I love you as a friend.  Isn’t that good enough??”

I laugh, scoff, really and take a long hard blink as I say, “Loving me as a friend is very nice, but” I open my eyes and look out over the shimmering pool, “it’s not the same.  You know that.”

Nothing gets by him (except the obvious) and he says, “You said that with your eyes closed.  Isn’t that enough??”

“No,” I answer simply.  “I know I want more.”

I drag on my cigarette again, languidly, and stub it out, stand up.  He rises, too, but doesn’t move out of my way.  He grabs my breasts and kisses me forcibly.  I push back into him, relishing his scent and scruffy face.  Then I pull away entirely, deny him my breasts.  He whimpers and asks why.  “Because, you’re going to get me worked up, then just waltz out of here.  I don’t like it.”

“But, please, Hy.  Please…” he dives towards my tits and pulls me closer.

“No.  Really.  Don’t,” I have no desire to be played right now.

“I won’t go yet, I promise,” he implores.  He looks at me, his eyes soft, heat radiating off his bare chest.

I give in, “Ok,” and lean forward.  He captures my mouth with his and his hands roam all over my body.  His fingers enter me and I stand still, like a patient mare, as he strokes me from the inside.  I tremble and fall to my knees.

“No, don’t, I’m sweaty.  I haven’t showered since my game.”  I ignore him and pull his shorts down, inhale.  It’s sweet and heady, clean smelling.

“Let me clean you, then.”  He rolls his eyes in defeat and drops his hands to rest on my head.  I impale my face with his rod and he governs the pace.  It’s demanding and forceful.  I pull off and spit up in my mouth, swallow it like a goddamned champ, and fall back down on him.

I look up at him looking down at me, “Fuck,  you’re beautiful with my cock in your mouth.”  I preened under the compliment, buzzed with his manhood in my mouth.  He’d been complimenting me all night; my dress, my hair, my face.

“What are you doing tomorrow night, Hy?  I want to fuck the shit out of you.”  I stood up and let him kiss my neck.  This wasn’t like him.  He nearly never comes at me.  He plays coy, he waits, he rejects with a smile on his face.

“I have a date.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes.”  These moments, while of my own doing because of my insistence on transparency, make my gut ache.

“What are you doing after?  If you don’t fuck him, let me fuck the shit outta you.”

I laugh, but I’m not sure why.  I’m half incredulous, half flattered, 100% pleased.  “I’m not going to fuck him.  I have to be at work at 8 am.”

“Perfect.  Then I get you as soon as you get home.”

I can’t resist this level of interest, so I say, “Ok.”  He kisses me again and I walk him to the door.

Today, he doesn’t have to wait because my date fell through.  I just texted him to share the news with him.

I don’t know what to do with myself.  He’s expressing more interest in me since I told him I want someone to love me than he has in weeks.  I express demands and he rises to meet them.  I understand on a basic psychological level that he likes the chase, but I am incapable of running from him.  I love him.  He can have me.  But my shift, my decision to end it seems to have changed my perfume.  I am now tantalizing, irresistible.  I am happy, yet ambivalent; calm, yet excited.  I haven’t been this excited about a night with him possibly ever.  I’m afraid of the hope, but I’m willing to sit with it.

And you better fucking believe he’ll be licking my liquor-coated breasts, “cock tail,” indeed.  That little shit might die from fucking me tonight, if he doesn’t split me in two first.

Three hours and counting.  Wish your dirty little flower luck.

I am dangerous.

Knock, knock.

What you can’t see is my long hair in braids and wrapped up over the crown of my head like Heidi. Yeah, I know.

The Neighbor came over to ask for an envelope. I told him it’d cost him a fondle. He grabbed my left breast in the darkened entryway.

I got him the envelope, gave him a good show as I bent over, and walked him back to the door.

He reached for that flimsy barrier between our two lives — the front door — and grabbed my breast again. I pushed him against the wall, not caring the world could see in.

“Mmm, God, that feels good. I need-” and I searched for words while my head got light.

“Tell me what you need, Hy,” he whispered against my ear as he spun me around and shut the open door, pushed me against it.

“I need your hand on my tit,” I answered.

“Check.”

“And your hand down my pants.” His right hand reached around and crept to my closely trimmed mound.

“Got that covered, too,” his breath was hot on my neck, his five o’clock shadow scraping behind his nipping teeth and lips.

“And your hard cock pressed into my ass.”

“Done.”

And then I turned around in his arms and he kissed me deeply, my heart fluttered like a caged bird.

“Ok, I gotta go. I can’t stay. Five minutes here ends up being two hours before I realize what’s happened.”

He separated from me and opened the door again.

Shamelessly I told him he should just stay anyway. “No,” he asserted, “it’s dangerous. We weren’t supposed to do what we did the other night. But I can’t seem to help myself with you. You’re dangerous.”

He smiled, took the two steps to his private universe, and went inside.

Who knew a woman in braids and underpants could be such a threat to a man’s control?

Oh, who am I kidding? I absolutely took my pajama bottoms off earlier in the night because I had a hunch he’d have an excuse to stop over for something.

Who do you think you’re dealing with here? An amateur?

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I have a new perspective.

I broke my promise to myself to not initiate contact because it’s who I am: I reach out, I make connections; it’s wired deep into my bones.  He replied warmly, “Sure!  Any ideas of what to do?”

I insisted we go out in public because I was getting my hair done earlier in the day and didn’t want to waste it on my only him and my dog.  He laughed and agreed it was a good idea.  We settled on dinner and bowling — because bowlers love some fine looking hair, naturally.

He’d stopped by a number of times this past week — after being oddly, and infuriatingly, unreachable earlier in the week — without invitation or provocation.  I was pleased to feel ambivalence and pleasure at each little visit.  After our talk on Sunday I was left feeling at first pummeled and then empowered.  My anger served to brighten my path through this: I knew what I had to do and it was to say goodbye, right??  Things weren’t just happening to me anymore.  I had found my voice.

His visits, though often very brief, were still sexually charged.  He’d touch my breasts or let his gaze linger on my figure, the dip in my waist.  He’d look at me and say with surprise in his voice, “You look really pretty.”  I’d show the puppy that we don’t bite The Neighbor when he comes over, but we “stroke him like this, ” and I’d rub his giant flaccid penis through his slippery gym shorts and feel it grow.

We were slowly repaving our connection.

Thursday night his knock woke me up and after yet another distantly flirty exchange I walked him to the door where I was simply going to let him out, but instead he grabbed and kissed me passionately.

The thing that’s most important to me about this week is that I recalibrated.  I became Hyacinth again: the fully grown woman in charge of her feelings once more, unashamed of her sexuality, her motherhood, her body, her vices, or her needs.  I told him he’d pissed me off with his distance.  He apologized and said he’d make it a priority to change it.  Telling someone they are displeasing me is tantamount to pulling out my fingernails, but I survived.  And he responded in spades, promptly returning texts from there on out.

At dinner last night we talked about those metaphysical things people do when they’re still getting to know each other: our navels, the universe between our ears, our days.  The lighting overhead outlined my nipples as I gestured and jiggled with my enthusiastic tales.  His distracted stares and breast- and sex-related non sequiturs were flattering.

No one’s ever looked at me like that before.

After dinner the sultry night and cool breeze begged to be enjoyed.  “I feel like walking around,” he said as he guided me to his car, “you up for that instead of bowling?”

“Definitely.  Have you ever been to Jester’s Bridge?”

“No.”

“Then that’s where we’re going.”  I pointed at my high heel wedges as he closed the car door behind me, “But I have to go home and change out of these first.”

I felt strangely at ease with him as we planned the rest of our night.  It was all so relationship-y, but now I knew I didn’t want to be with him and the comfort and companionship felt all the more enveloping for it.  Letting go of some nebulous idea of a future with him freed me to fully enjoy the moment with him instead.  Every laugh, every touch, every innuendo sunk deeper into my cells; I was no longer hindered by unrequited love because, I realized, there might possibly be no such thing.  To love is love itself.  I love this kid and that’s it.  The act itself is restorative and fulfilling and, therefore: love.

While he let the dog out, I threw a blanket, my leftover wine, and a flashlight into a backpack and changed into flip-flops.  He came back up panting and laughing, leash in hand.  I suddenly didn’t feel so alone.

“‘K, let’s go,” I smiled.

We drove with the windows down and the sunroof open, his shiny, black, fancy-pants car hugged the curves of the dark road.  Headlights wove patterns across us and cliffs cropped up like cast-iron shadows.  We talked about dildos and DVP and he wanted to know more about what it felt like to be double-stuffed in my pussy.  He took my hand and put it on his bulge, warm and firm in his shorts, as I bared my sexual soul a little more.  I was happy.

We parked just north of the bridge at the base of the limestone cliff and started the short, steep hike up.  The breeze had picked up and my sundress swirled around my knees and up my bare legs.  At the top there was a clearing of rock with a petrified tree on its edge and below it the dark river meandered under the rust-colored bridge.  To the east the city skyline glowed like Lite-Brites.

“Wow,” I heard him say as a burst of wind swished us around.

“I know.  I haven’t been up here in 10 years.”

We walked to the edge near the tree and looked out.  Headlights from boats occasionally floated by and my stomach flipped a little as I looked out over the ledge hundreds of feet down.

A group of drunken teenage boys reached the little summit right about then laughing loudly and declaring their drunkenness.  “Come on, there’s more over here,” I said and grabbed his hand and lead him to a narrow trail into the brush.  He trustingly followed behind me and the little flashlight.

Twenty-five feet down the trail I saw an outcropping on my left, secluded from view from others, but with a clear window to the river, bridge and city below.  I walked out onto it and the wind whipped at my hair and dress.  “God, you’re so beautiful right now, too bad you aren’t naked,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.

I looked at him and simply pulled my dress up over my head for a few seconds.  His breath caught as he took me in, bathed in moonlight, hair streaming, breasts and belly and thighs bared.  And then I brought it back down with a wink.  “Here, let’s sit.”

And something happened up on that little rock high above the river.  We were symbiotic.  He held me and kissed me as we passed the wine bottle back and forth and silently watched the world pass by.  He took my nipples into his mouth and buried his face in one breast as my other was caressed by the breeze.  We ignored the rustle of passersby on the trail above and the background soundtrack of rowdy, drunken boys.

When we looked up, fireworks lit up the sky below the city skyline.  Reds, pinks, oranges, yellows, again and again and again.  As if to say, we’re sealing the deal, Hy.  You two enjoy each other for all that it’s worth.  It’s beautiful, but it’s fleeting.

I ached to take him in my mouth, but the doctor had given strict orders: no sex of any kind allowed.  I scraped my teeth on the outline of his erection and breathed my hot breath on him.  “Hy, why don’t you lay down in my lap?  I promise you’ll feel better,” he suggested as I whimpered plaintively at the cock ban.

With my head in his lap, the star-dimpled sky above me and the rolling hills pinned between my knees I relaxed.  His right hand blazed a heated trail down my breast, over the plain of my belly and slowly hiked up my skirt.  His fingers walked under my boy-shorts and slid down my slit.  I was sopping wet.  He brought his dripping finger to his mouth and sucked.  “You taste goddamned delicious.”

He returned his hand to my mound and his fingers entered me. I shuddered.  And when his hand began to move I shrunk down to the basics: the cool, hard limestone beneath my bottom, the wind lapping at my exposed lips, his hot fingers, soft, warm thighs, and the sight of the midnight sky overhead.  I felt the climax coming and wrapped my right arm around his waist, buried my face into his stomach to keep from crying out.  I spilled over into his hand and felt my juices run down my crack.  He bent down and kissed me deeply and I panted and shivered.

He remained my pillow while he fondled my breasts, rubbing my own elixir around my nipples.  It was rich and musky.  “I don’t know what I like better, breasts or ass,” he suddenly said. “Hmm, I think ass.  But I can’t get enough of feeling these,” and he squeezed hard on a big handful of flesh.

I offered him a thigh, but he declined with a chuckle, “Thanks, but I love the difference. I can grab my own thigh and it’ll feel almost the same as yours, but not tits.”

“I know what you mean.  It’s why I love hairy chests and broad shoulders, narrow hips.  Totally opposite of me.”

“Like being logical!” he laughed.

“Hey!  I’m not illogical!  I’m just not logical!”

“That’s logical!” We giggled at our own witticism.

I offered to let him lay in my lap next and I ran my fingers through his hair and slipped a breast into his mouth.  I remembered breastfeeding my baby in a similar position and I felt a tug on my insides.  It was wholly different, but sensual to see him suckling on me so tenderly, eyes closed and held entirely by me.

Then it was time to go and I realized I had a knot in my belly.  I wanted to talk about “6 strikes” and I wanted to tell him that my heart was molecularly different now than it was a few days ago, but I was afraid.   We hiked back down the hill as more drunken high schoolers struck out for the peak and I attempted a pep talk as I cracked jokes.  I rubbed his cock nearly the entire way home.  My security cock.

If I want my life to be different, then I have to be different.  It’s not going to magically happen to me.  And so I invited him to stay a little longer while I smoked a cigarette.  He agreed and we sat down, spa-goers oblivious to us up above.  I took a deep breath and plunged in.  He listened intently as I told him how hurt I’d been that he’d named Peyton and what an awful thing to say that was; I told him to stop talking about the kind of woman he wants to date that I can never be; and I told him that I hoped he never did either to another woman ever again.

I don’t blame him for being a little defensive at first.  He said he’d only said those things because I had really freaked him out with what I’d shared.  When I’d said to him, “If you told me tomorrow that you had feelings for me I don’t know what I’d do. I’m so hurt, so broken from my marriage I’m terrified of commitment. I don’t know if I could do it, but I’d likely tell you I’d give it a shot,” what he heard was, “I want you to tell me you want a commitment.”

We gently and sensitively worked out the miscommunication, my foot resting on his knee.  He had to listen to how he’d hurt me and how he’d fucked up and he rose to the occasion.  I was proud of him.  I assured him that I had gotten my feelings back under control and that I felt better than ever about us.  “I wish I’d said it differently,” he shared, dipping his chin a little with chagrin.  “I should have said, ‘Hy, I wish it were different for us, but it can’t be.'”  I nodded quietly and smiled.

“I would have liked hearing that.  That’s all I want to know.  That you feel something for me and wish it could be different.”

“I do.”

“Then I’m ok with that.  Truly.”

That quick little cigarette chat lasted an hour.  We agreed that we were good for each other and that this was good practice.  We were both getting to feel what it was like to have a caring, kind relationship that was capable of making us both feel pretty fucking good.

“I call you my girlfriend to my friends, you know.”

“You do??”

“Yes,” he simply replied.  He paused for a beat or two and asked, “How do you know when you want to marry someone?  Is it after the first date?  The 5th?  The 20th??”

I thought for a minute.  “The best thing I could say is if you can work through conflict well, and everything else is wonderful, then it might be a good match.  You don’t want to make that kind of decision when the relationship has never been tested.”

“I like how you and I work through things, Hy.”

“I know, me, too.”

When he finally left he embraced me at the door, tightly.  His lips burned on mine and his hands massaged my buttocks.  He kissed me again lightly before passing through the doorway and walking the two steps home.

I’ve been looking at this whole thing the wrong way.  I underestimated my own ability to feel and love and then I didn’t know what to do with myself with a man — who I’m mostly convinced now — loves me back, but considers our differences insurmountable.  It’s a scenario I’d never considered.  And like those fireworks I watched over TN’s head at my breast, high on the cliff, this thing I have with him is a bright and burning show not meant to last, but to teach me something instead.

I have to say goodbye.

“You have five – no – six strikes against you, Hy.”

“I have six now??”

“Yes. P-E-Y-T-O-N.” My child’s name.

We had just spent the evening together and I lay naked beside him, a dollop of cream in a dish of dark blueberry preserve. I’d made us dinner and quizzed him on the fresh herbs bunched in my hands while potatoes and asparagus roasted in the oven. “Smell this one,” I’d said and lifted a bouquet to his nose, “and try this,” and put his hand on my breast.

I was apprehensive before he’d come over. Not the usual butterflies, but something different. First of all, I was now fully shaken about my date with Mitchell the night before and second, he had been shady a number of times during the week. I didn’t know if I could handle a long, drawn out evening with him.

Over dinner the conversation turned to a girl he knew in college who had somehow “asked” for being raped. “If I wore a suit of $100 bills in the ghetto and got mugged, I’m partly responsible,” he reasoned, “Therefore, she’s partly responsible for meeting two strange dudes in a park to do drugs.” I blanched.

“That just isn’t true at all! First of all, getting mugged and raped aren’t even remotely the same, secondly, no one has the right to harm another person. Yes, maybe she didn’t make the brightest decision, but that in no way makes her responsible for what happened to her!”

I took a deep breath and plunged on, “Because by that logic, what happened to me last night was entirely my fault.”

Silence hung heavy around us as he gaped at me. “Hy, were you raped??”

“No, no, nothing like that. But I was sexually assaulted.” He listened intently as I told my tale of misbegotten lust and quickly changed his tune.

“Hy, it doesn’t matter what you were doing, he had no right to do that! I’m so sorry that happened to you. Oh my God, I want to kill that guy!” His reaction made me feel better, this protective bear persona isn’t one I’ve felt from other men in the past. He went on to tell me I needed to stop dating men off the internet to which I responded how was I supposed to meet people otherwise? He was genuinely concerned about me and said he wished I’d stop for a while. Tears welled in my eyes as I looked into his pale blue ones. I told him I wasn’t sure I could, that I had a need inside of me, thinking all the while that the only reason I put myself out there in the first place was to replace him.

We moved to the couch and he put his arms around me while we watched Game of Thrones. He was sensitive to touching me now for fear of traumatizing me. “You can’t hurt me, TN. I trust you,” I assured him as I guided his hand to my breast.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

I sat curled in his embrace and felt safe and forlorn. His skin warm on mine, the lights from the TV flickered shadows on the walls.

We went down to the hot tub next and I suffered through an extended chat with a grown man who bragged about dating women 10 and 14 years younger than him. Girls, actually. Eighteen, 19, 20 year olds when he was 32 to 37. TN couldn’t see my eyes rolling in the dark, but eventually I stood up and walked by him perched on the edge and murmured, “I’m done,” climbed out and silently put on my robe. He casually followed my lead.

Away from the pool he said, “You didn’t like that talk about 18 year olds, did you?”

“That guy exhausted me. Such bullshit.” I felt dirty all over again.

Upstairs outside our doors I sensed he was ready to go to home, but instead I told him I needed more from him still, from the best boyfriend I’ve never had. He nodded.

In my room, he threw me down and fell on top of me and kissed me deeply and passionately. Mouths opened wide and tongues sparred. He began to moan as he ground against the cradle of my pelvis.

“No fucking tonight,” he said sadly. His fear of transmitting his pseudo-chicken pox had returned. He couldn’t justify putting me at risk since the bumps were now on his shaft. Instead he grabbed a towel and laid it beneath my bottom. His fingers played my pussy like a maestro and I arched and convulsed, squirted and splattered everywhere. Again and again and again.

He handed me my vibe and stroked me while my clit danced under the bulbous head. I came long and hard and then sadness swept over me. I began to cry my new cry. My cry of heartbreak and longing, of sexual release and pleasure. He held me gently and watched for a while then leaned over me and took my mouth in mid-sob. His lips pressed hard against mine as I whimpered into his mouth. My heart shattered as he absorbed my cries.

He leaned back and looked at me. “I want you to cum on me,” I said, watching his face intently in the candlelight.

“Not tonight,” he answered with a mischievous grin.

And that was how the rest of the night started.

“I don’t get you, TN. Not at all. And I think you like that. Are you a Sadist? Do you like confusing me?”

“No, not at all.”

“Then why are you so mysterious all the time??”

“I’m not sure,” was his honest answer. We sat in silence for a beat or two.

“Do you know why I date other men??” He shook his head. “To replace you.” He looked at me with a surprised question in his eye. “Yes, the only reason I attempt to date is to find someone like you, but who wants me like I want him. You have this engineered plan for you life — which is your right entirely — and I don’t fall into that box so you’re going to just pass me up. How are you going to feel in 5 years? Will you be happy with your decision?”

He said he thought so. “The thing is, Hy, I want to find my life partner now. Sure, I don’t want to get married or have kids for at least another 5 years, but I want to find her now. And as soon as I reach my goal weight this is going to end. I’m going to start looking for her. And if I go on 14 dates with someone and never even fuck her, the day I actually want to go on that 14th date is when you and I have to stop.”

He’s 4 lbs away from his goal.

“I think I’m the best girlfriend you’ve never had.”

“You’re probably right.”

“But I don’t have any idea how you really feel about me. I know you like me, but that’s all I know.”

“I more than like you, Hy. I care about you.”

“I don’t know the difference.”

“I like Kristine. But I care about you.” The distinction is a significant one for us, she’s the girl-friend-who-wouldn’t-touch-him.

“Thanks for telling me. I never knew for sure. You also need to think about what you’re going to tell your girlfriend about me. If you want me in your life at all, you can’t tell her we slept together. Ever. She won’t allow us to be friends.”

“I won’t tell her anything unless she asks me point-blank.”

“I still think you should just lie. It’s none of her business and that way we can still be friends.”

“I’ve thought about this a lot, actually, and I’ve decided that any woman I’m with needs to trust me. If she can’t be ok with me being friends with you, then it’ll be over. She’s gone.” My heart thumped and skittered. He’s willing to end a relationship with a woman if he can’t be friends with me. This ride never ends, does it?

“But you’ve still made your decision about me and I can live with that. If that’s the price I have to pay to be with you — someone whom I think is wonderful, kind, sexy, and just plain great — then I’ll pay it, but I’m not going to keep putting up with you being shady. I appreciate everything you’re telling me tonight, but stop the shady shit. I know every time you are and it makes me crazy. If you want to transition this smoothly so we can remain friends, you better start being honest with me. Tell me when you’re with another woman so I won’t text you; tell me when you have plans with her so I won’t ask you. Follow my lead, do what I’ve been doing. But stop being fucking shady. It’s not cool.”

His gaze never left mine as I finished my admonition. “Look at me, Hyacinth,” he said gently, “and hear me. You’re right. I’ve been shitty and shady and I promise to try my best to not do that anymore. You deserve better than that, you do. I just feel so uncomfortable talking about it with you. I’ve handled it badly.”

He lounged at my feet and so I closed the distance between him, my nakedness bathed in soft light. “You have handled it badly. I always know.” He pulled me close and wrapped his arms around me, buried his face in my breasts.

“Stop being so goddamned smart,” he mumbled into my skin.

“That’s not going to happen. And I also want the promise that you won’t get bent out of shape when I call you on your bullshit. Don’t lie, don’t get defensive. If I see you being shady again, face me.”

“Ok. You have my solemn promise.”

Placated, I laid back down. His hands were warm on my legs and feet and I traced patterns on his calves. I took another deep breath, “My heart is a little broken about all of this, you know. My friends all think I should stop seeing you and think it’s ridiculous.” I could sense his surprise like a bursting balloon.

“Really??” he asked, shock on his face.

“Yes, really. What would you tell a friend who had feelings for a man who didn’t return them? You’d tell her to dump him.”

“Yeah, I would.”

“Well… there you go. But I tell them all that this is what I want and that I’m making the decision. If you told me tomorrow that you had feelings for me I don’t know what I’d do. I’m so hurt, so broken from my marriage I’m terrified of commitment. I don’t know if I could do it, but I’d likely tell you I’d give it a shot.”

“I hate that your friends hate me.”

“They don’t hate you, at all. They just want me to be happy and they don’t understand why I’m doing this.”

“But you’ve always known this wouldn’t work out. And you have five – no – six strikes against you, Hy.”

“I have six now??”

“Yes. P-E-Y-T-O-N.”

“Are you serious? Oh my god.” I felt slapped. I know he’s been saying for months now that he didn’t want a woman with a child, but I’d never personalized it to hear “I don’t want Peyton.” My sweet, loving, precocious, miraculous little child whom anyone would be lucky to have in his life.

“You’re an idiot,” the words leapt from me. He blinked. “I mean, on the one hand you’re a great guy, but then you’re an idiot. I’m sorry.”

I’m not sure what we said after that, but there was no discord, not even a little bit. I told him I was tired. That’s the first time in 6 months I ever ended a night between us before him. I’m certain he noticed it. He came over and kissed me goodnight, turned out all the lights for me and left. I rolled over into my pillow and cried, my tears soaked my pillowcase, my body still lay in the tears from my cunt. He might have just made this easier for me than he realizes.

I may give mixed signals, but No still means No.

I’m hard pressed to call it “sexual assault” because if I were him I’d likely have tried the same things with me, but I can’t not call it sexual assault, either, because I said, “Absolutely not,” and he did it anyway.

I arrived at his apartment a little after 7:30 to catch a cab to the bar, but we decided to hang out for a glass of wine first.  He smelled fruity in a weird, masculine way; his apartment was tidy and inhabited by a giant 8-month old puppy named Blast who liked my crotch immensely.

We sat on his back porch and sipped our wine.  He’s from the same state I am and we talked about the strange new world we now find ourselves with gigantic bugs who seem to think they own the place, much like their two-legged counterparts.

We called the cab and began the walk out to the busy street to meet it.  The dusk sky was brilliantly smeared with pinked and blue clouds and the breeze was cool on my bare shoulders.  “You look really beautiful tonight, Hy,” he said.

“Well, thank you,” I replied.  He took my hand to help me down a slope and into the cab.

The bar was littered with hipsters and Johnny Cash memorabilia.  Gladys Night and the Pips were playing when we walked in and ordered a shot and beer back — Jameson and a tallboy Lone Star for me, a Stella for him — and Lionel Ritchie saw us out.

Conversation and laughter flowed; I effortlessly led the conversation to sex as I’m wont to do.  I need to make it clear to every man I date where I stand: I currently sleep with other men, I am slightly kinky, I experiment, I ‘m not looking for a relationship, but am open to it, blah blah blah.

His eyes lit up at my tales and I was overcome with bashfulness time and time again, but I worked through it.  I have to get this stuff out there.  I feel compelled to make sure everyone knows where I stand.  My own talk was titillating, I felt warm and smooth and he is a handsome man, so when I had the opportunity I grabbed his shirt from where he stood above me and pulled him down for a kiss.  It was perfect.

He growled into my mouth how much he thought so, too.

The sexual compatibility seemed to be there, on paper, anyway.  That’s the first hurdle a lover of mine must pass.  And the chemistry was decent.

Too soon for my taste he suggested we go back to his place for more wine.  I said OK, bid a silent farewell to the tattoos, piercings and skinny jeans scattered about me and hopped back into the cab.  His hand slid up on my thigh and I let it stay.  It was nice enough.

Back at his place we went to the porch.  Lightening bugs popped in and out of view like fading lights.  He moved his chair closer then stood up altogether and loomed over me.  I looked up at him knowing that he was done talking.  He bent down to kiss me and grabbed me hard by the arms.  I liked it.

“Let’s go in my room.”

And this is where I should have done something different.  This is where I knew things would go wrong, but I couldn’t find the words to set it right.  He took me by the hand and shut and locked the door behind him lest his dog barge in on us.  His bed was low and covered in white down.  He lit a paper lamp on the floor in the corner and sat down and fell on top of me.  We kissed passionately, his whiskers raked over my face.

He grabbed the top of my dress and let a breast fall out.  His mouth clamped down hard and I winced and cried out.  My nails dug into his neck and I pulled him closer to me.  It felt good, but I knew where this was going and I didn’t want to go there.

My other breast fell out and now he pinched the nipple.  I was impressed at his passion and his inclination – clearly he likes it rough like I do – but I couldn’t shake the overriding feeling of I don’t want to do this.  His hand ran up my thigh and hit me me on my flank.  Hard.  I writhed a little and moaned.  Fuck.  I’m doing this all wrong.

When his hand began to fumble at my boyshorts I pulled him up.  “No.  I’m not going to fuck you tonight.  I’m on my period.”

“There are lots of other things we can do, you know.”

“I know, but I don’t want to.  I don’t want our first time to hook up to involve blood.  I just don’t.”

“But your clit isn’t anywhere near the blood.”

“I know that, too, but I don’t care.  I don’t want to.”

And then he slid my panties to the side and lay his mouth on me.

I was shocked.  Horrified, really.  He began to suck and I yelled at him to stop, that if he kept sucking he would fucking die.  He switched to lapping, which was nice, but none of this was supposed to be happening.  I’d just told him No.  I tried to enjoy it, but it was impossible.  I was pissed and a little scared.  What if I made him stop with a tantrum??  Threw him off and screamed at him?  Would he try to hurt me??  He seemed like such a decent guy, clearly I confused him and I should try to exit this situation as smoothly as possible.

I pulled him up off of me and let him kiss me again and ran my hand down to his erection.  Maybe if I could get excited about that then none of this would have happened.  Hot and smooth in my hand — slim — it only served to remind me of The Neighbor instead.   I said I had to pee.

In the bathroom on the toilet, staring at the polka-dots on his shower curtain and trying to keep the dog’s snout out of my pussy, I took my time to think.

This date was fucking over.

I went back into his room and said, “Look, I’m really sorry, but I’m feeling fickle tonight.  I need to go home.  This isn’t going to happen.  I swear it’s not you, it’s me.  I just need to go.”

He looked crestfallen, his bare chest dark and broad beneath me.  He said, “No,” and pulled me down for another kiss, made me straddle his exposed cock, a long, lean piece of meat.  “You swear you’ll see me again??”

“Yes,” I lied.

“Ok, then.  I understand.”

He got dressed and walked me to my car.  Home, I wanted nothing more than to fall into TN’s arms, but he wasn’t there and had only texted me to accept a dinner invitation for tonight.  He was likely with another woman.  So, I fell into my purple sheets in only my panties, tangled my limbs in my comforter and closed my eyes.

No means no, no matter what, but I don’t blame Mitchell.  I blame myself.  I’m not fit to do this right now.  I love The Neighbor — there, I said it.  This admission will likely bring hellfire and bullshit alike down upon my ears, but so be it.  I’m like a zombie out there.  I reel them in, but can no longer seal the deal.  I’m only half alive.  I don’t have it in me anymore to eat all men for breakfast lunch and dinner (just a couple here and there, apparently) and I got myself into a bad situation because of it.

I’ll likely not see Mitchell again not because I’m not curious about fucking him or even excited to do so — because strangely enough, I am — but because he made me say No so many times.  He should have rolled off of me the second I said so and certainly not ignored me.  It’s a shame, really.  I thought he was nice.  But then again, I guess he wasn’t at all if he didn’t listen to my No.

I date men that I could have babysitted.

Tonight I went on a date with a 25-year-old. Twenty.five.  ELEVEN years my junior.  I feel like a cradle-robber, an old fart, and a bad ass all at once.

I have NO idea what’s up with this slew of young men who want to bang me, talk to me and otherwise partake in my company, but I’m down.  There’s something innocent and charming about these boys who think they can hang with me.  I like their efforts.

And I don’t mean that in a condescending way, but come on.  A single, childless man in his mid- to late-twenties who’s never had a serious commitment, career, or care in the world is not and cannot be my peer.  I have lived several lives in the years that create our age separation.  Maybe even a thousand lives.  He can be sweet, sensitive, intelligent, fun, sexy, and passionate, but he cannot relate to life as a 36 year-old single mother with a graduate degree and a career.

My date tonight is by far the youngest person I’ve ever considered getting naked with.  He’s tall and lanky, all Euro-trash, but with a mid-west aesthetic.  He’s the oldest of four boys, in a band with his brother, and majored in English.  He reminds me of Georgia Jagger.

We drank cheap beer and shouted over the idiots at the table next to us (who would periodically scream at the football game overhead) and generally reacquainted ourselves after months of tenuous texting and recent sexting.  He’s spent weeks buttering me up and trying to convince me he wasn’t “that young” and when I caught him looking at me tonight there was something in his eyes that told me to believe him.

We huddled together, thigh to thigh at the outdoor table, exhaling smoke and hot breath.  I seized up with shyness and he felt emboldened.  “I’m usually the shy one at first, but eventually it wears off.  But you, Hyacinth, you, you’re going backwards.  You’re getting shyer.”

If he’d known my salacious thoughts, he’d have understood.

I leaned in for a kiss and he was surprisingly skilled.  I would have told him as much if I hadn’t thought it’d offend him.

I told him flat-out that I wasn’t monogamous and that I had three other lovers (one of whom I’d already promised to text once I got home so he could come over and fuck me senseless — though I refrained from sharing that little bit of info), and, most importantly I said, “And I don’t have feelings.”

His eyes widened at this.

“I mean, I do have feelings.  I care about all my lovers.  We’re friends, but I don’t love anyone.”

He quickly nodded his head to tell me he understood.

The thing is, I trust his judgment (I trust all men’s judgments to date me), but I’m still skeptical.  I really don’t know if he can handle fucking me without having feelings, but I’ve decided it’s not really my problem.  I’m curious to learn what he’s like in bed.

I kept leaning in for a kiss and smiling, my bashfulness thankfully gone.

My therapist is going to hate that I’m doing this, but I actually like the idea of adding another man to my bed whom I met offline and in a real life way.  Julian (I guess that’s what I’ll call him) and I met months ago at a trivia night.  His interest in me is real, from the ground up.  Not just because he likes some of my pics on OKCupid.

And then the clock struck 11 and I had to go home to fuck The Neighbor who laughed at the idea of someone even younger than him fucking me.  He took the time out of kissing me passionately to assure me I didn’t have to worry about him falling in love with me either.  And then he rammed his giant cock into my pussy and I whimpered I didn’t give a fuck.

I’m kinda liking these younger men.  I really, really am.