I wake. I was in a deep, relaxed sleep. It was a full sleep. It isn’t the restless, worried sleep of a single mom with a little boy and a man-child ex-husband and a mortgage and a career and a portfolio of loans to monitor. It was the sleep you get laying on the beach with a head full of daiquiris. It was the sleep of a stoned college kid. It was the sleep of a child in the back of a car on the way home from grandma’s house after a full day of fun and turkey. It was a sleep I haven’t had since before Danny was born. I lay there quietly with my eyes closed inviting the sleep back. It doesn’t come. I wonder how long I’ve been asleep. I open my eyes and the clock says only a half hour.
My shower is running. Ben Sheppard must be in it. I get up and go to the bathroom door. I think of asking him if he needs anything, but instead I crack open the door and peek in. He’s behind the curtain. It’s a translucent curtain. I bought it when Danny started saying he didn’t always want his mommy with him in the bath. He wanted privacy. I wanted to make sure Danny didn’t slip and fall. On those days when he didn’t want me in the room for his bath time, I left the door open and the curtain let me see his little body moving safely behind it.
Now I see Ben Sheppard standing still letting the water cascade over his body. It’s not a perfect body. Tall, yes. But he is forty-seven and doesn’t appear to work out. He gets his workout from actually working. There’s a bit of a tummy, but the muscles across his shoulders and down his arms are muscular and natural looking. It’s a nice ass for a man his age.
I watch him slowly duck his head under the showerhead.
“You’re free to watch,” he says. Damn, I’m caught. “Or you could join me.”
“Sorry. I was just going to ask if you need anything.”
“I’m good. So what will it be? You watching or coming in?”
I pull my dress over my head and let it fall to the floor and pull the curtain back and step into the shower behind him. He likes it hot. I put my arms around him and hold his chest while I lean my face against his wet back.
“That’s nice,” he says.
I don’t say anything. I like feeling the slight ripple of his back muscles against my cheek and my fingers are playing with his chest hair.
“There is one problem,” he says after a few minutes.
“Ummmm,” is all I can manage to say.
“I didn’t bring any soap. I’m going to have to use yours. I won’t smell like Irish Spring but what you have here.” I feel him pick up the bottle. He says, “Honey hibiscus lavender fusion”
I laugh quietly at the thought of it and he feels it in his back.
“You think that’s funny?”
I pull my hands from his chest and take the bottle from him and pick up one of my loofahs. I squirt some of the soap on it and begin to wash his back. I’m a little rough with him, but he seems to be enjoying the scrub. I make sure I get him from his shoulders to his lower back then take his right arm and scrub it. I do his left. They both stretch out what seems like the length of my shower.
I turn him around and lather his chest. I like how the soap and his hair look all matted up. I reach up to do his neck and stop over his Adam’s apple. I hold it and he swallows and I like how it moves across my palm. I palm some soap and run it over his face and stubble.
I sit on the side of the tub and begin washing his legs. I feel bad that I’ve not appreciated them before. They’re strong and muscled. His flaccid cock is inches from my face, but I avoid looking right at it. I work his thighs then his calves and the backs of his legs.
Finally, I look at his cock directly. It’s soft and obviously smaller than when he’s inside me. It hangs slightly to the left. I’ve never spent time looking at a man’s cock. Not even Josh’s. I’ve fumbled with them in bed but that’s mostly with the lights off. I’ve seen them when Josh and old boyfriends were getting dressed. Aesthetically, I don’t find them the most attractive things. They flop around and seem ungainly. Almost silly. I didn’t need to look closely, did I? I got the general idea. But I do take a close look at Ben’s. He’s circumcised and the mushroom shaped head seems disproportionately bulbous compared to his shaft. I get some more soap, lather it then surround his cock with my hands. I feel it grow slightly as I do so and sense a rise in its temperature. I lift it up and look at its underside. A long ridge runs from his head to the base. He’s not as hairy as I expect. His chest is covered in hair, but not so much here. I softly lather his balls with my right hand. They seem large compared to other men’s I’ve felt. Is that an age thing? I lift them in my palm and they feel heavy for their size. With my left hand, I pull down on his cock watching the soap bubble and clean him. He doesn’t harden as I expect. He doesn’t guide my mouth to his cock as I half fear and am half curious about. He’s not going to do anything except let himself be washed. I put my hands on the cheeks of his behind and soap them up and force myself to run my soapy fingers down the cleft of his ass. It feels taboo and naughty, but if he thinks so, he doesn’t show it. I run my fingers just a bit deeper then stand up.
He looks me in the eye and says “thank you.” He turns and rinses himself off and I watch.
He looks down my body.
“You shaved since last time.”
My skin is red from the hot water, but I feel myself blush.
“Yes, you like?”
“It’s okay. It’s your body. However, I like the women I’m with to look like women, not little girls.”
I’m a little crest-fallen and he sees that.
“But when in Rome,” he says. He picks up one of my razors and tries to hand it to me. “Go ahead, shave my pubic hair. We’ll be matched set.”
I break out laughing and he interrupts my laughing with the question, “Hungry?”
“Starving,” I say.
“We’ve missed our reservation. I was told of another place, but we may have to wait. That okay?”
“Of course,” I say. I’ll wait with you anywhere, I think. “I’ll let you finish up, okay?”
He nods his head and smiles and I step out and dry myself while he shampoos.
As I’m about to leave I take another look at him.
“Ben, I was wondering if you’d do me one more favor.”
“Don’t shave—down there or your face.”
He pauses for a beat and I think I can hear his smile.
“No problem but any whisker burn is on you.”
I close the door behind me and let him finish.
He offers to let me drive my car, but I demure. I like riding in his big, loud, imposing truck.
The front seat of the truck has a wide bench seat and there’s a place right next to him in the middle to sit close, but I decide to sit by the passenger door. This truck was built for big men doing hard work to sit in three abreast so there’s room enough for me to curl my legs up underneath me. I’m leaning against the door and have angled myself so that I’m looking at Ben. I like to watch him shift the gears and hear the engine rev up or slow down to his command. I like seeing his hand gripping the end of the gear shifter and the cable like muscles in his forearm rise and fall as he does all this.
He takes me to Terry’s Turf Club. It’s only a ten minute drive. I’ve never been there. It’s got an over-the-top roadside atmosphere with neon lights glaring into the night inside and out. Hamburgers seem to be the feature. It’s late so we’re seated quickly which I hear is unheard of for this place.
“You up for a hamburger?”
“I’m starving,” I say.
I flip open the menu. It seems like it’s only minutes when the waitress appears.
“You ready?” Ben Sheppard asks me over his menu.
“No,” I say.
I’m amazed at the variety of hamburgers. Everything looks good.
“Yeah, screw this,” he says. He turns to the waitress. “Just bring us the top three appetizers on the list and the first five hamburgers.”
“What?” she asks.
“If there’s anything you know that’s good, just add it to our order.”
“You want me to decide for you?”
He smiles at her.
“Yes. And two domestic beers. Bud, Miller, whatever. Beer okay with you?” he asks me. I nod yes.
The waitress rolls her eyes at him suspiciously. I’m sure she’s wondering if this nut case is going to tip her or cause her any trouble. He’s no nutcase, I want to tell her. He’s just...I don’t know. He’s just Ben Sheppard. But I can see in her eyes that she’s giving him the benefit of the doubt. She’s about his age, maybe older. Or has her late shift just worn her out? I see in her eyes she finds him attractive. She walks away to give the kitchen our order.
“Why do you do that?” I ask.
“That. Order multiple items. Why don’t you just pick something like everyone else.”
“It saves time and I know I’ll likely get something I want.”
“Saves time? We’re not in a hurry.”
“Tess, I told you my wife passed away.”
I nod my head. Oh, uh. He’s going to reveal something about himself. Something about his wife. This could be big. Do I even want to hear it, I ask myself.
“I loved her. She was the love of my life. I’ll never get a single minute with her again. One day, after she had died, I was eating at a restaurant by myself when I couldn’t decide what I wanted. It was a bad night for me. I was eating alone. My kids were back at college. All my friends were great, but they were getting on with their lives, so I was on my own. Alone. My wife loved eating out. We’d go to restaurants two or more times a week. We’d repeat sometimes, but she was always finding something new. I thought, if she and I went out twice a week and took ten minutes staring at a menu and we did that fifty weeks a year, that was hours and hours of our time together we could have been looking at each other and instead we spent looking at menus. A lot of the times I didn’t even like what I ordered. So that night I decided to not waste any more time looking at menus. I ordered a few dishes. I liked some more than others. I didn’t waste a minute of life deciding what I wanted and I got something I enjoyed.”
Our waitress sets down two bottles of beers and two glasses as she passes by.
“So now I’m out with you, Tess. I only have a limited time here—a month. I don’t want to spend the time I have with you looking at anything but your pretty face.”
I blush a little.
“You miss her?”
“Of course. She was the love of my life.”
I wonder why I don’t even have a touch of jealousy. I know it’s silly to be jealous about his wife, but I feel I should be. I used to get jealous at these little interns that Josh always had around his studio. But they were cute and young and perky and too stupid to know that Josh was just a dork with a good musical ear. And they were often high.
“I see her every time I see my daughter. It’s strange. Seeing my daughter makes me so happy, but there’s always this little stab of grief. Grief? Jeez, Tess. Let’s talk about something happier.”
The waitress sets down three appetizers in front of us. I smile at her and she seems to have decided we’re okay
“Eat up,” she says and walks away.
“There is one thing I want to ask?” I say it in a low voice and Ben Sheppard leans close to me.
“Yes,” he says in an equally low voice and a smile.
“When we make love. You’re rough. Rougher than any man has ever been with me. By far.”
“That okay? I don’t mean to hurt you.”
“Yes. It’s more than okay. I just...I guess I don’t know why it’s so okay...why it’s so good.”
He takes a bite of the deviled egg app. He looks me in the eyes while he chews. He swallows.
“How should I know?” he says.
“Well, you do it. Why do you like it?”
“I don’t know.”
I’m disappointed. I feel he’s evading me. The waitress comes over with several burgers and struggles to find a place on our table for them. Ben Sheppard thanks her and when she walks away, he turns back to me.
“I really don’t know,” he says. “I guess I could give it some thought, but I’m not about to. The bedroom isn’t a place for thinking too much. As long as you’re okay with it, I suggest we just go with it.”
I’m unsatisfied. I’m well fucked and being well fed so I decide to push.
“Your wife never said why she liked it?”
He stops mid-bite.
“I never made love to Helen the way I’ve made love to you.”
I give him what must appear to be a stupid, open mouth ‘whaaaaaa?’ look. He takes a bite of the mushroom burger and chews. When he’s done, he leans back.
“You’re not eating,” he says. “Eat while I tell you.”
I take a bite of the burger he just put down. It’s rich and beefy and the sauce is tangy.
“Helen was my college sweetheart. We never made love until we were married. Her decision, obviously. She was a virgin until our wedding night a month after graduation. Anyway, we broke up for several months junior year. While we were broken up, I started seeing this girl. She was a grad student. At twenty-four, she was older and wiser in the ways of the world than me. We went out for pizza one night and she asked me back to her place. Things were going pretty quick. I was used to Helen always slowing things down. Playing defense. This girl was full speed ahead. All offense, bless her heart. Anyway, things are getting more and more heavy and she takes off my pants, unloops my belt and puts it in my hands. She bends over and says, “Spank me”. Now, I’m flustered. Spank her? I think. You have to remember, this is pre-internet. We didn’t have access to all the crazy stuff kids see today in the course of one browsing session. The only time we ever heard of kinky stuff was when someone’s brother came back from the Navy. We didn’t even know it existed. Spank her? She says it again, “Spank me”.
“So I slap her with the belt. It was a half-hearted little tap that wouldn’t have made a three-year-old cry. But it was sexy to me. I found I did kind of like it. She didn’t though. She turned her head to me and said, “Fucking spank me like you’re a man”. She had a fire in her eyes and she looked angry and frustrated and in need all at the same time. So I spanked her. I gave it to her hard. But it wasn’t hard enough. “Harder,” she said. Now I’m frustrated that I’ve not made her happy and I liked that second, harder spank even more than the first. I pull my arm back and bring that belt hard across her ass. The sound of leather on bare skin snapped across the room. She let out a loud “yes” that made me even more excited. When I pulled back, there was a bright red streak across her pale white ass. She said, “Like that. Again and again”. I was overwhelmed. I came right then and there standing in my underwear.
“It started with that, Tess. She forgave me coming so soon and over a few months guided me through the things she liked and I liked them too.
“But in the end we weren’t for each other. The love wasn’t there. Helen and I started talking and eventually me and this girl split it off. Helen and I graduated and a few weeks later we were standing in a church getting married. I took Helen’s virginity that night in a Sheraton by Milwaukee’s airport when our flight got delayed. On our honeymoon I tried some of the things I learned with that girl, but they were non-starters for Helen. I tried every few years, but Helen thought them borderline sick.
“Helen wasn’t bad in bed. She was just unadventurous. I wasn’t unhappy at all. There was always that itch, but it wasn’t anything Helen was going to enjoy and it was anything I was going to push.
“But now that she’s gone, now that I’ve mourned her, now that I’ve moved on with life, I’m going to have sex and make love like I want to have sex and that is—what’d you call it?—rough. Yeah, I like it rough. You seem to also.”
“Yes, I do,” I say. “Will you keep being rough with me?”
“Of course,” he says.
“Will you do something else?”
“Will you stay the night again?”
We’re the last table to leave. We finish sampling their hamburgers and Ben Sheppard pays the bill and we walk down the road to his truck. As we climb in, someone inside Terry’s Turf Club throws the switch that cuts off all the outside neon lights. It tosses us into darkness.
He opens the door for me and I climb in. He gets in on his side and starts that truck and heads for my house.
“About spending the night,” he says.
Oh, no. Is he going to or not?
“Well, this afternoon was good, but I’m not fully recovered yet...to make love to you again.”
I pout at him. I think of a joke.
“Oh, well, if I’m in need there’s always that friend I have in my nightstand drawer.”
“Are you in need?” he asks with a smile.
I hold up my left hand to him as he looks at me. I have my forefinger and thumb in the ‘a little bit’ symbol.
“Scoot over here,” he says.
He pulls the truck off into the parking lot of an office supply store and leaves it running. He flips a switch that cuts all the interior lights. It’s pitch black.
He takes my left hand in his lap and turns my wrist up. He rubs my forearm softly.
“Close your eyes.”
I close my eyes.
He strokes the soft skin of my forearm. I breathe deep and enjoy his touch. His fingers on my skin are hypnotic and I feel myself fall into relaxation. I’m so comfortable with him.
“Now spread your legs slightly.”
I spread my legs.
“Now lean forward just a touch.”
I lean forward and I feel the vibration of the truck’s engine move from my ass to my pussy.
“Got it? Feel it?”
I nod yes.
“Okay, just hold yourself there.”
He strokes my forearm three more times then with his right middle finger he taps my left wrist right at the pulse point. It’s a strong tap. He does it rhythmically. Tap. Tap. Tap. I don’t know what that is—an acupressure point?—but it’s going right to my pussy and I feel myself get wet and the truck’s slight vibration feels so nice. I feel Ben’s leg move. He gives the truck some gas and the vibration increases.
“Oh, yes,” I mumble.
He’s still tapping and tapping on my wrist. I push my hips forward to get more of my pussy exposed to that wonderful sensation he’s sending through the engine into the seats then to me. Tap. Tap. Tap. He lessens the gas then puts more into it. I hear the motor loud in my ears now and hard in my pussy. And still the tapping doesn’t change its rhythm.
“God, Ben Sheppard, this is nice.”
The tap, tap, tap continues. It is strong, slow, methodical. I feel his leg move. Ever so slowly he’s pressing down his foot and ever so slowly the engine revs faster and faster and the noise increases and the vibration is incredible and suddenly I’m coming. It’s different than the times before, but I’m coming and I take my wrist away from Ben and grasp the dashboard with both hands. He still has the gas pressed down and I’m still coming. I let out a long, unintelligible moan until it passes.
I lean back. Once I catch my breath, I look over at Ben who seems smug and satisfied with himself.
“Thank you,” I say. “Anything I can do for you?”
“Give me your panties,” he says.
I lift up my behind and shimmy my panties to my feet and step out of them. They’re wet. He takes them and puts them to his nose and inhales.
“Thank you,” he says.
He leans over me and puts them in his glove box.
We go home, wash, brush and kiss goodnight. I lay in the crook of his right arm and I bury my fingers in his chest hair. His right arm settles on my right breast. That’s how we fall asleep and that’s how we wake up.