tropical

(Author’s note: This story is an official entry into the 2013 Literotica Summer Lovin’ contest. If you enjoy this little romantic tale, please make sure to vote and leave a comment if you wish. I also urge you to read all the other contest submissions; there is a lot of great talent on this site.)



* * * *



Heartbreak had faded, pain had ebbed. What had been the worst tragedy anyone could be asked to endure was behind me now, after more than two years. What lingered was the loneliness. And that was perhaps the worst of it all.



“Vincent?”



My mother’s voice disturbed me from yet another self-pitying moment. I turned away from the packing box in which lay the photographic record of a life now gone and gave my aging mother a weak smile. “I’m fine.”



She cocked her head as she leaned upon the walker. “That’s not what I was going to ask,” she said. “I think I’ve asked that question enough in the last couple of years.”



“Sorry. I guess it’s turned into a habit, you know, expecting everyone to ask me how I’m doing.”



“People mean well,” she said, in that sort of way that southern women say ‘bless his heart.’



“So . . . .” I prompted my mother.



“Oh! Of course,” she said as if jolted. She managed to let out a small laugh. “I just wanted to ask if you finished the list for the auction. Mr. Haverty sent me a message about it this morning.”



I nodded. “I’ll email it to him this afternoon,” I said, then glanced to the small stack of boxes in the middle of the now-barren living room. “Although it’d be easier to list what isn’t going to be auctioned off.”



“Are you absolutely certain you want to do this?”



Again I nodded, more vehemently. “Yes,” I told her firmly. I met my mother’s gaze. “The important things are in these boxes,” I said, then tapped my temple. “And up here. The rest is just . . . extra.”



Her head bobbed sadly. I hadn’t been the only one to endure pain and loss, after all. It seemed to have hit her harder, though; she relied upon the walker more and more and had started smoking again. I couldn’t blame her for ignoring her doctor’s advice in the face of overwhelming mortality. I had spent a year as a self-pitying alcoholic, after all.



“When is your flight leaving?”



“Six-thirty tomorrow morning.”



She gave a wan smile. “Call me when you land.”



* * * *



Friends and therapists had been telling me for more than a year I needed to get away. “You need a fresh start,” they told me. “You gotta get back out to the world of the living.”



Pithy words, I had thought, but the idea grew and grew until it became part of an obsession. When I finally made the decision to auction off the house and just about everything in it, I planned a vacation as the culminating chapter to the worst period of my life. Maybe it would be a fresh start. Or maybe I could just let myself feel alive again, if only for a while.



“So, where are we going?” my friends had asked, taking it as a matter of course that I would bring them along. But they had been part of the ongoing tragedy, if only by virtue of the fact that they reminded me of it through looks, words, and deeds. As touching as their sympathy and support had been, they only aggravated the situation.



I’m going . . . somewhere,” I told them cryptically. Some understood my reticence; others didn’t. Those who did agreed that I needed time to myself, to reflect, to assess, to decide what was going to happen to me. Those who didn’t understand thought I was snubbing them. Melancholy, fortunately, didn’t allow me to care about the latter.



Banishment of such distracting thoughts came, thankfully, as I stepped from the taxi before the airport terminal. The cabbie had been a nice guy, just talkative enough to make the ride pleasant without being intrusive. I saw no reason not to share details with him that I wouldn’t with even my mother.



“Have fun in Mexico, man,” he said after I’d awarded him a generous tip. “Watch out for them senoritas, though. They know tourists when they see one.”



I managed a smile. “Where I’m going, not many tourists know about.”



“Private resort, huh?”



“Something like that.”



I bid the man farewell and headed into the terminal. Each step closer to the gate seemed to echo the slowly-increasing beating of my heart.



* * * *



The little house was not much to look at, to be honest, but I had not expected a four-star resort with servants in white suits offering complimentary margaritas as soon as I walked in the door. In fact, no one greeted me after I had pulled the rental car into the short driveway. That was fine; the less pomposity, the better.



The instructions in the email told me the key to the door would be under a little clay flower pot covered by a sunset mosaic, and indeed, there it was. I had to jiggle the lock a bit to get the door open.



There were two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a single large, spacious bathroom. Nothing too remarkable, until I stepped into the sunken living room and realized the entire south-facing wall was a series of wooden shutters, with slats open to reveal the generous lawn and, most importantly, the white sand beach beyond.



My cheeks suddenly hurt. I realized I was actually, honestly, smiling.



I took in a deep breath of crisp salt air. The sounds of the Pacific ocean drifted to me: lapping waves, seagulls, rustling palm fronds. Apparently, I had stepped into a Hollywood beach movie . . . just without Frankie Valli and all the annoying, giggling kids.



Upon the dining room table was a basket of fresh fruit and an envelope, addressed to “Sr. Paterac.” Within was a copy of my rental agreement with the owner, as well as menus to a few local restaurants and the number for a delivery service that would bring me fresh groceries if I desired.



I took an apple from the basket. It was fresh, ripe, as good as any straight off a tree in Washington. I was beginning to feel spoiled. A man could get used to living with such simple luxuries.



After getting settled in and calling home, I changed from casual dress to a pair of brand new, rather loose-fitting nylon shorts and headed out the back. The pleasant tropical air was delightfully free of the stench of city life. There was no industry in this little Mexican town other than fishing, agriculture, and some light tourism. There were a few cars here and there but most of the locals seemed to get around on foot or on bicycle. Other than the occasional satellite dish, none of the constructions looked to have changed in over a century.



The back yard of the hacienda which was to be my home for twenty-one days was framed by tall palms and a number of thick tropical plants the names of which I could not guess. The result was a noticeable sense of privacy, which had been the main requirement for my getaway. And indeed, when speaking with Hector, the owner of the property, he assured me my privacy was virtually guaranteed. He even pointed out that the beach, while technically private, was considered clothing optional.



Hmm. Naked on a beach, I thought. I’ve never done that before.



But I resisted going all out on my first foray across sand so fine and white that a Zip-lock bag of it would probably get me arrested. It was hot, but not scalding, and while my feet were tender from decades of easy living, I could walk across it readily enough. With nothing more than a bottle of locally-produced beer, I found a spot where the sand was a little damp and cool and watched the tides roll back and forth.



* * * *



I slept in late every day, decided not to shave, and didn’t even bother to make use of the bathtub. I ate when I felt like it, drank whatever I desired. At times I enjoyed a bit too much of the local brew and succumbed to fits of depression. Now and then I drunkenly considered going for a midnight swim and let the sea take me away forever.



But it wasn’t time for that.



On the fourth day of my voluntary exile, after accepting a delivery of shrimp, flank steak, and a variety of vegetables from an extremely agreeable young man, I decided to take advantage of my beach’s “option” and venture out to the surf in the buff. In the preceding days I had not seen a single other person other than dark specks moving distantly down the beach. The haciendas flanking mine were either unoccupied, or their tenants had no true love for the beach.



All that meant, of course, that stepping boldly and gloriously nude to the edge of the water was easy enough. The flow of salty air across my now-naked genitals was, well, titillating, perhaps even a touch arousing. I almost felt like swaggering. Like a naked Captain Morgan, I planted one of my feet upon a piece of large driftwood and tilted the bottle of beer to my lips.



I was lord of my domain. Vincent Paterac, King of Naked Beach.



And in Mel Brooks’ immortal words, it was good to be the king.



A reckless, careless chuckle left my lips. I had never felt such freedom before. For the first time in my life, I truly had no cares, no demands, no deadlines to meet or fools to please. There was only I, the sea, and the wind.



And the woman who inexplicably appeared in the corner of my vision.



“Good afternoon,” she said casually.



In that instant, I was a twelve-year-old boy, suddenly foolish and embarrassed. I settled my free hand over my crotch. “Uh . . . good afternoon,” I replied.



She chuckled, amused at my gesture. “Don’t worry, you’re not offending me. I’ve seen naked men before.”



Now I felt even more embarrassed. Here I was, a man of forty-four years, naked on a private beach where it had already been established that nudity was kosher . . . and I’m covering my dick because a woman happened to be there.



She was about twenty feet away, just at the imaginary dividing line between my rental property and my easterly neighbor. She wore a stark white bikini with a transparent wrap that fluttered around her legs like the tentative hands of a doting masseuse.



I could honestly say I had never seen a woman quite like her before. Her skin was darker than that of any black woman I had previously seen. It wasn’t just chocolate dark, it was dark chocolate dark, like the richest and most alluring shade of pure ebony. Her eyes glowed in contrast, as if lit from behind, as did her teeth when she spoke. The pale color of her garments looked like purest ivory in contrast.



At last, I found a voice to speak with. “I didn’t think anyone else would be on this beach.”



Her amused expression remained, even as she gave me a once-over. “I’m getting that impression.”



I looked at her painfully. “I’m not a pervert.”



She just shrugged. “I didn’t think you were.” She took a few steps closer. “It’s okay. I’m not going to call the police, if that’s what you’re afraid of. I don’t think I could, to be honest. Anyway, I know this beach is clothing optional. I might even strip down some time myself.”



I arched an eyebrow. That would be something to see, I had to admit. The woman had a very nice figure, which was thankfully showcased by her scant attire.



“My name’s Nina,” she said by way of introduction. “I’m guessing you’re from the States, too?”



I nodded. “Chicago area.”



She smiled broadly. “No kidding! I grew up in Gary.”



“Small world.”



She looked behind me to my hacienda. “You rented from Hector, too?”



“Yes. Four or five days ago. Something like that. I’ve already lost track of time.”



She flashed those dazzling white teeth once more. “That just means you are officially on vacation,” she commented. “How long will you be my neighbor?”



“Around two more weeks, a little more.”



She nodded with a purse of lush, soft-looking lips and started to turn away. “I guess I’ll be seeing you around.”



I watched her go, and for the first time in a very long time, I found myself admiring the shape of a woman’s behind. She wore a thong beneath the transparent wrap, which vanished between a pair of nearly perfect spherical buttocks. Despite my omnipresent somberness, I actually felt the stirrings of arousal.



“Wait!” I called.



Nina stopped and gave me a quizzical look over her shoulder.



“My name’s Vincent.”



She smiled. “Nice to meet you, Vincent.”



* * * *



My retreat included satellite TV, but after flipping through numerous channels, I decided that all I wanted was some music. So I found a music station playing the pop hits from the 80s that I still knew and loved as I went about assembling my dinner. I fired up the gas stove, heated a pan, boiled some water. Pan-seared flank steak with steamed broccoli was on the menu for the night. I figured I would switch the 50-inch big screen TV to something banal as I ate, then maybe order a movie and crack open a bottle of tequila.



The chime at the front door was not at all anticipated.



I frowned at the sound of it and considered simply ignoring it. At just after six in the early evening, it could have been someone trying to sell something.



But it sounded again.



I grumbled as I made my way to the door. Annoyance fueling my movements, I jerked the portal open, ready to let loose an angry tirade upon whichever hapless soul happened to be standing on the doorstep.



Instead, however, there was no hapless soul. Just my beautiful, exotic, dark-skinned neighbor, holding a small basket in her hands. She flinched and stepped back before my less than amiable answering.



For a long moment, we just stared at one another. My annoyance was gone in a flash, replaced by admonishment.



“Is this, um, a bad time?” Nina asked.



I breathed out with an embarrassed laugh. “No,” I said. “Sorry.”



She blinked, eyes round and wide and making her look even younger than she already appeared. “I could, uh, come back . . . or, not at all . . . .”



“No, it’s fine, really,” I said emphatically, even as I wondered why I felt I needed to endear myself to this woman. Part of me, apparently, wanted to be a good neighbor. “I’m sorry. I’m not the easiest person to get to know. It’s been a while since I was, well, social.”



Her features softened. A smile crept across her face. She had a very cute and round nose, I noticed. Button-like. “Me, too, actually,” she said. “But, maybe it’s because I’m on vacation, but I figured, what the hell. If there’s any excuse to step out of my shell, this would be it.”



Now a real smile came to me. “I can relate to that,” I said. I pushed the door open wide. “I was just about to make dinner. I could easily make it for two. Would you care to join me?”



Nina grinned. “I think I would.”



* * * *



We ate, we drank, we spoke of banal things the likes of which two strangers would casually reveal. I learned that Nina was a professor of communication, who taught at a university in Memphis, Tennessee. I shared with her some basic details of my career in real estate. Interspersed with that was the usual banter about popular culture, a few vague references to politics, and other topics. My initial assumption about Nina’s age — which I figured, based on her appearance and energy, to be in the late-20s range — was challenged by some of her remarks.



“. . . sometimes I think I’m beating my head against the wall when I try to explain things like irony to my students,” she said at one point, as we sat in the living room of the hacienda, sipping from glasses filled with wine.



I chuckled. “I love a good dose of irony,” I said. “Reminds me of one of my favorite movies. ‘I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, I drank what?‘”



Nina laughed, tossing her head back as she reclined upon the couch beside the chair in which I sat. “Oh my God! Real Genius! I love that movie!”



I shot her a look. “I saw it in the theater,” I said pointedly.



She gave me a look of her own. “So did I,” she shot back.



That surprised me. I looked her over once more, trying to assess whether or not this woman was pulling my leg. She was clad in loose khaki shorts and a yellow tank that showed off both the smooth dark tone of her skin as well as the apparently youthful muscles beneath. There was no way this woman was more than thirty, I figured, but her comments suggested otherwise.



“You look surprised,” she said.



“That’s because I am.”



Nina tittered and sipped her wine, then eased forward to set the glass upon the low coffee table before her. Her gaze drifted out through the open doors and windows of the living room to the grounds beyond and the dark, rolling waves of the sea.



“I’ve always wanted to take a tropical vacation,” she said absently. She dipped her head, looking down. “But we always ended up spending our vacation time on Superbowl and things like that.”



“‘We,’” I echoed.



Nina nodded. “My husband was a big sports fan,” she said ruefully. But then she laughed and leaned back, falling into the cushions of the couch. Her breasts bounced beneath the single layer of fabric covering them, nipples making outlines against the cotton. “But this vacation . . . this is all mine.” She smiled broadly.



“So . . . I’m guessing the husband is now an ex-husband,” I ventured.



Her head rolled toward me with a smile. “He sure is,” she said, dark eyes boring into mine.



And there it was. A meaningful look. I had not been privy to too many of those in my lifetime. A few during my collegiate days, when I was foolish enough to be part of a ridiculous fraternity, then more later, after the wedding. My wife had been exceedingly adept when it came to conveying desires and intimations with her eyes.



Suddenly, here was another woman who seemed to possess the same talent. Or perhaps that was ego, wishful thinking, or simple maladroitness on my part. Regardless of the reasons, I felt Nina was sending me a message, one for which I was not yet ready.



I sat up, looking away, seeking a diversion. “Why don’t we go to the patio? It’s a nice night.”



I did not look to her as I stepped to the wide-open portal — I had not bothered to close it during the last few days — but I gave her an amiable smile as I stood aside and allowed her through. She smiled back, somewhat reserved, I thought.



“How long were you married?” I asked her as we took our seats at the round wooden table overlooking the lawn and sea beyond.



“Seventeen years,” she said wistfully. “I met him in my junior year. He was a teacher’s aide . . . and star running back for the football team.”



I chuckled. “Brains and brawn?” I asked.



“Sure seemed that way,” she answered, and I could tell she was a little perturbed by the turn in conversation. “Fooled me enough to make me want to marry him and put up with his shit for longer than I should have.”



“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up anything painful.”



She turned her face toward me, and for a moment, there was a hard, biting look in her eyes, the sort of look which would have been the inspiration for the phrase ‘shooting daggers.’ But quickly enough, her dark orbs softened and the warm, friendly, casually flirtatious smile returned. “What about you? How long were you married?”



I automatically glanced to the ring that still adorned my finger. After more than two years, I still couldn’t take it off. “Twelve,” I said. “Almost thirteen.”



“Second marriage?” she asked. “Or . . . you were just waiting?”



A smile borne of nostalgia tugged at my lips. “I had a few near misses before I met Jessica,” I said. “But she was the only woman I’ll ever be married to.”



Nina’s eyes darted as she tried to read my face. “Once is enough?”



I nodded.



Thankfully, the conversation turned to more light-hearted fare after that. We talked about music, television shows, books. Nina, though she never directly came out and told me her age, was obviously a good decade older than I figured her for. I commended her on maintaining her youth.



By midnight, I was feeling tired, and announced my intention to get some sleep. Nina at first gave me a somewhat hopeful look, as if I was suggesting she stay the night and let whatever passions we may feel run their course. But by that point, the possibility of sex had already come and gone, if it had ever existed at all. So I led her to the door, thanked her for the basket, and sent her on her way.

I finished the rest of the wine by myself and went to bed.



* * * *



Over the following couple of days, I did not hear from Nina. I honestly was not surprised. If she had come over with the intention of seeking sex, and having clearly not found it, I could not blame her for not wanting to waste her time with me again.



With little else to do, I took to morning swims in the ocean, followed by minimalist meals. Abandoning the “ruffian” look I sported, I shaved off the beginnings of my beard and refrained from drinking, considering the tumultuous nightmares I suffered following my evening with Nina. Those I attributed to too much alcohol.



I called my mother. She was being cared for by a live-in nurse provided by her insurance and my additional financial support, so I had little reason to worry for her day-to-day well being. As the only real remaining member of my family, my mother was the last anchor attached to the world in which I lived.



“Are you doing alright?” I asked her.



“I’m fine,” she said, following a barrage of bronchial coughing. “Lily’s taking good care of me, as always. How’s your vacation? Met anyone?”



I rolled my eyes. “I’ve met a neighbor,” I said, indulging a little white lie. “He’s old and fat and doesn’t speak English. Not my type.”



My mother laughed. “No pretty young beach girls?” she asked teasingly.



“No, none of those.”



“Maybe that’s just as well, they might talk you into staying there.”



“Don’t worry, mom,” I told her. “I promise I’ll see you soon.”



* * * *



Being something of a fair swimmer, I made it all the way out toward a sandbar which lay a good two hundred yards or so from the beach. The water beyond was dark and cool, in contrast with the warmer, lighter-hued body swirling lazily between the bar and the beach. The edge of the continental shelf, I assumed. Even standing on the sandbar in less than two feet of water, I could feel the insistent pull of a powerful current, as gently nefarious as a siren’s call.



One step over the edge would be enough to do it, I realized, and backed away. I plunged back into the warmer, safer embrace of the lagoon and headed back to shore.



“You want to be careful about going past the sandbar,” a voice called as I trudged through the roiling surf at the edge of the beach. I lifted my head to see Nina standing in her stark white bikini . . . or, just the skimpy bottom, anyway. Her dark breasts hung free upon an athletic chest, nipples a shade darker even than the skin surrounding them. Based on the almost perfect roundness of the fleshy globes, I surmised they were implants. Not that the fact made her any less sexy.



“Yeah, I could feel the tide pulling at my legs,” I said as I slapped wet feet upon the sand. “Don’t think I’ll be swimming that far out any time soon.”



She cocked her head, assessing me as if we had just met. “Hector didn’t tell you about the ultima ola?”



I frowned. “The what?”



Ultima Ola,” she repeated. “The Last Wave. According to local legends, the souls of drowned sailors swim just past the sandbar, waiting to drag people to their death.”



I arched a brow. “I guess I’d better be careful, then. Wouldn’t want any dead souls pulling me under.”



For several heartbeats, neither one of us spoke a word. We stood just a few paces apart, me naked and uncaring, she topless and otherwise nearly nude. In any other context, the moment could have been the prelude to some torrid From Here To Eternity scene of reckless passion.



“I’m sorry I offended you,” I said at last.



Her brow furrowed. “You didn’t offend me,” she said.



I nodded as I stepped past, toward my beach chair and towel. “Yes I did.” I took up the towel and dabbed my face before turning back to her. “I turned you down.”



Her eyes narrowed cattily. “Turned me down?”



I fixed her a look. “Nina,” I said, almost patronizingly. “While we may not be old, we’re both too old to play games. You wanted the other night to end a certain way. But I wasn’t quite ready for that.”



She faced me fully, in an almost challenging way. “Wait a sec. You think I came over because I wanted a booty call?



I stared back. “Yes.”



She started to glare, body language indicating the imminent release of a powerful vocal tirade. But then she softened, and actually smiled. I had been right, she knew it, and there was no reason to be coy about the matter. “Why aren’t you ready?”



I smiled back, sheepishly. “I haven’t had sex in over two years, Nina,” I told her. “I haven’t even masturbated. Hell, I can’t remember the last time I actually had an erection. Truth is, I might be impotent, but I haven’t even bothered to check.”



She looked sympathetic. “What happened, Vincent?” she asked in a way that went beyond the immediate application of those words. It wasn’t a ‘what happened the other night’ question. It was a ‘what happened to you’ question.



I sighed, averting my eyes. “That would be a very long conversation, and one that I don’t think I want to have right now.”



Nina’s eyes dipped. “You’re not divorced, are you?”



“No,” I said flatly. “I’m not.”



Her breasts rose and fell as she heaved a sigh. “Vincent, I’m sorry. I came down here to let loose and get away from some bad memories and just . . . feel alive again. I thought anonymous sex with a complete stranger would be a good way to do all that. Guess I was just being selfish.”



I chuckled wryly. “You have no reason to apologize,” I said. “You’re an incredibly beautiful woman. I still can’t believe we’re pretty much the same age, because to look at you, I’d think you weren’t even thirty. You just had the misfortune of taking a vacation next door a guy with a lot of baggage.”



Her brow furrowed quizzically. “I think that’s the strangest compliment I’ve ever gotten.”



“As long as you take it as a compliment,” I said.



She watched me as I toweled off and slipped my shorts on. “Vincent,” she said at last.



I gave her a questioning look.



“You want to grab something to eat? You know, just two friends getting lunch together?”



I nodded with a smile. “Honestly, that sounds really good right now.”



* * * *



We opted to walk to the little grocery down the street rather than drive. The air was warm and flavored by the sea, the sun glowing but not unpleasant. The grocery sold barbacoa tacos and had a few old weather-warped tables sitting out front. We ordered our lunch along with a couple of Mexican Cokes (made with real sugar, as opposed to the crap made in the states with corn syrup) and sat at the table, sharing anecdotes about our lives without getting too personal.



Afterward, we strolled through a local market and I bought Nina a straw hat with pink hearts painted upon it. She smiled demurely at the gesture and gave me a quick peck on the cheek. It was the closest gesture to intimacy we had shared yet.



I could not help but notice the ogles and almost outright lustful stares Nina in her skimpy white bikini earned. Men young and old stared at the exotic beauty walking beside me, and I could not help but think some of them were envious of our perceived intimacy. I could not deny that I enjoyed expounding upon the illusion, even going as far as to hold Nina’s hand now and then, or touch her casually upon the arm or shoulder. Her presence was doing wonders for my ego.



We returned to my hacienda, mainly to get into some shade and relax before the TV. I cracked open a bottle of tequila and mixed it with orange juice and splashes of grenadine. Classic tequila sunrises.



“What did you want to be when you grew up?” Nina asked me as we sat on the broad couch facing the television.



I laughed. “Where did that come from?”



She shrugged. “I’m curious. What did little Vincent want to be when he was seven years old?”



“Oh, man . . .” I trailed off, thinking. “Well, I remember wanting to be Steve Austin,” I said. “The Six Million Dollar Man was my favorite show. But I also wanted to be a race car driver, like Speed Racer.



Nina looked amused. “And then you ended up going into real estate.”



“More like an accident of fortune that turned into a career,” I said. “After six years in college, I ended up with a degree in marketing. I had no clue what to do with it. Then a friend suggested I join up with a guy he knew who had a little real estate business . . . turns out I was pretty good at flipping properties.”



“Not exactly Steve Austin,” she remarked.



“No, not exactly,” I agreed. “What about you?”



“I . . . wanted to be a Playboy Centerfold,” Nina declared.



I stared, surprised. “As a kid? That’s what you wanted to be?”



She laughed. “Well, not exactly. But I did want to be a model. I was a tall, skinny kid in middle school. I remember being taller than all the boys in my class, even in seventh grade, and my teacher telling me I could be a model. The idea just sort of stuck.”



“But . . . a Playboy Centerfold,” I prompted.



She chuckled. “When I was a teenager, I found my dad’s stash of Playboys. Not a single one of them was a black girl, and I thought, ‘I could be the first black Playmate!’ Of course, that didn’t happen.”



“Did you ever try modeling?”



Nina nodded. “After I turned eighteen, I auditioned for some local commercials, stuff like that. Made it onto a couple of of them, even did some print work. Had some, um, interesting experiences with a few less than reputable agencies.”



“Let me guess: ‘take your clothes off, baby, we’ll make you a star!’”



Nina tossed her head back with a laugh. “You know, I think I actually heard those exact words, once.” She shook her head ruefully. “Funny thing is, I think back now and wonder, if I had gone through with it, I could have been a killer porn star.”



“You would have had a much different life,” I said.



She nodded. “No shit,” she agreed, then sighed wistfully. “Instead, I met Mr. Athlete and thought I was in love.” She sipped her drink. “But I can’t really regret it. Not all of it. I have two beautiful children that I love more than life. At least he could do that right.”



A nostalgic wave of emotion passed through me. “Nothing better than being a parent,” I said.



“You have kids, too?”



I held her gaze with my own for a moment, considering how much I should reveal. “A boy and a girl,” I said. “Madison, then a couple of years later, Vinnie Jr.”



Nina grinned broadly with a display of her perfectly white teeth. “Aw, a little boy to carry on your name.”



I nodded somberly. “Yeah.”



“Do you still see them?”




I sighed. “Every night when I close my eyes.”



I stared at the TV, sipped my drink. I was peripherally aware of Nina looking to me. I could almost hear the unspoken question just behind her lips. Thankfully, however, she did not speak it.



Instead, she rolled forward on the couch and stood, setting her glass upon the little coffee table. She stepped around so that her lithe, dark-skinned form blocked my view of the television.



“Vincent.”




I breathed in, feeling more than a little intimidated. “Yeah?”



She reached back to the trailing straps of her bikini top. Her dark, glowing eyes stabbed into mine. “I think I want to be a star.”



I cradled my drink, but did not sip from it. A thick slug of something formed in the back of my throat, making me swallow thickly. “Right now?”



Nina nodded. “Yes. Right now.”



First removed was the top, which fell to the ground with barely a flutter of cloth. Nina’s breasts stood out firm and proud, glowing with a light sheen of sweat and arousal. Then she slipped her fingers beneath the straps of the bikini, and stooped over as she slid the garment down lean, athletic legs. Now fully nude — she even stepped out of her sandals — she straightened, arms dangling at her sides.



I would have been a consummate idiot if I did not allow myself the luxury of drinking in Nina’s beautiful, exotic nudity. Ripe round breasts floated above a trim stomach, which sat upon hips that flared out nicely before flowing into strong, long legs. Her thighs were toned, not at all fleshy, and between them lay the most incredible, smooth-shaved edifice of ebony sexuality I could ever hope to see.



The sight of Nina in her delectable nudity was enough to make me lick my lips. More than that, but I felt a sincere and insistent stirring in my groin.



Giving me a look of abject lust, she pushed the coffee table out of the way and lowered herself to her hands and knees. Her eyes glowed like those of a feral cat’s as she crawled toward me. “Put your drink down, Vincent,” she whispered sultrily.



I numbly complied, setting the glass upon the small table beside the couch. I flinched as I felt Nina’s hands gliding across the tops of my thighs. Her fingertips slipped beneath the edge of my shorts.



“Nina, I’m not sure–” I began.



“Shh,” she responded, cutting me off. “If it happens, it happens.”



I felt like I was suddenly a third my age, completely unsure of myself and woefully unprepared for anything that might happen next. At the same time, the unknowable future was tantalizing, and Nina certainly knew how to turn a man on.



“Lift up,” she whispered. “So I can take these off.”



I complied quickly, almost drunkenly, though I had not imbibed nearly enough alcohol to dull my senses. No, I was fully sober, yet at the same time utterly intoxicated.



My shorts slid down and vanished as Nina tore them from my feet and tossed them away. She was like an impish nymph, grinning from between my legs, the half-swollen tube of my erection laying between us. Her eyes remained on mine until my feet had settled to the floor.



“Oh, my,” she whispered heatedly, lips spreading with an approving smile. “What have we here? Is this all for me?”



I could not respond. I was caught between two worlds, one dominated by guilt, the other by passion. The latter won out.



“What a beautiful cock,” Nina murmured, just before she pressed her lips to the base of my shaft, sucking gently. I arched my back, gasping at the sensation. Sexual nerves which had long lain dormant were now suddenly brought back to life.



Eyes heavy and mouth slack, Nina lovingly licked up and down my stiffening penis, bathing it with the heat and wetness of her mouth. Tendrils of saliva stretched from my shaft to her tongue before she lapped them away. Finally, she lifted my erection and pointed it toward her mouth. Lush, thick pink lips parted wetly. She flickered her tongue out to tease the tip.



“I want to fuck you, Vincent,” she said breathily.



I trembled with a heartfelt sigh. “I don’t think I could stop you if I tried.”



Nina grinned, then her features became almost feral, almost predatory as she sunk her mouth down my engorged cock. I gasped at the heat, the sucking, pulling, swallowing motions of her mouth and throat. She took me to the root with ease, pressing her chin to my balls, her nose against my abdomen.



Oh, God in Heaven, I thought in stupefaction.



But then she slipped her mouth from my cock, sucking up her own saliva. She gave me a wicked smile as she moved up and straddled me, one hand keeping my glistening wet penis pointed upward. Her face grew progressively slack as she rubbed the head along her fleshy dark lips, exposing the inner pink of her delectable sex. Her clitoris was thick, bulbous, peeking from beneath a fleshy dark hood.



“Push me down,” she whispered hoarsely, heavy eyes staring at me.



It was the most erotic challenge I had ever been issued. If I complied, it signaled my desire for her, turning what would otherwise have been a one-sided erotic attack into a shared expression of sexual desire. If I did not . . . .



My thoughts never got that far. I slapped my hands to Nina’s hips and pulled her down, while pushing up with my own. Regardless of the inner conflict raging in my heart and mind, at the moment I wanted nothing more than carnal satisfaction.



Nina sighed long and deep as my cock eased deep within her. Slick from her mouth, and with her pussy all but dripping, I had little trouble burying my penis to hilt inside her. Heat scorched through me as if I had never before felt such a thing, rekindling ancient memories which tortured me with thoughts of why did you wait so long?



For a long moment, Nina settled atop me, shifting back and forth a little, smiling with her eyes closed to savor the sensations trickling up from her sex. Her pussy pulsed and squeezed my dick like a hand adjusting its grip, looking for that perfect hold.



Hands braced upon my chest, Nina finally opened her eyes and gazed upon me with an expression that combined abject lust with abject grace. “I don’t want to think about anything but what’s happening right now,” she stated heatedly. She leaned over, settling her body atop mine, and ran her hands down the sides of my face. “This is just us. Just what we want.”



I stared into her dark brown eyes, finding a sense of loss, a sense of wanting, that mirrored my own. Nina, I realized, was just as tragic a soul as I was.



I nodded, touched her cheek. A smile drifted across my lips. “Just us,” I mimicked, then kissed her, tenderly. She whimpered, body shuddering. My response had been what she had needed to hear.



We made the rounds that night. It would have been impossible to tell who was the more desperate between us. There were times when our coupling was as romantic and tender as anything penned in a romance novel, and times when we rutted and fucked like professional porn stars. We gave to each other all the energy, all the yearning, all the fierceness we could garner.



She leaned back with hands upon my knees, her legs lifted and splayed wide to afford me the incredible erotic contrast of her dark skin against my pale hue. She came with a series of shuddering cries and convulsive, jolting wracks of her body. Then I lifted up and took command, laying her upon one of the chairs. I held her lean legs wide apart and hammered deep, making her grunt, growl, and glare at me. She raked my skin with her nails, nearly bit my lip when we kissed.



I bent her over the coffee table and clutched her firm buttocks, spreading them apart to watch my slickened, pale-skinned cock plunging into her ebony-framed depths. I grabbed a handful of hair and jerked her head back, making her gasp and grunt as I pounded into her again and again and again and . . . .



And then, at last, came that incredible rush, the culmination of years of pent-up need and desire, that indescribable explosion of physical and emotional catharsis. It actually surprised me how fervently it tore through me, like a beast made to both destroy and remake me in the same moment. With each pulsing jet I spent inside Nina, I felt my strength ebb in the most delicious way possible, until I could do nothing more than collapse.



I found myself floundering on the carpet, numb, spent, incoherent. Nina giggled and cooed and curled up beside me, head upon my chest, and arm draped across my body as we recovered. She kissed my skin, hugged me close.



“Damn,” she breathed at last. “Best. Sex. Ever.”



I laughed ridiculously. “I can’t even think.”



She chuckled, warm body rubbing against mine. “Don’t think. Just say you’ll do it again.”



* * * *



Hours later, as a sky unpolluted by man let me see the stars in all their glory, when the moon hovered above the horizon, I sat out upon the steps of the rear patio, sipping the cocktail I had set aside before.



I felt no guilt for my dalliance, as I had dreaded I would. Instead, there was a strange sort of acceptance, even approval. My departed wife, in her eternal wisdom, would understand that I, a mortal man, could not be expected to continue without certain simple physical satisfactions.



So I smiled, both from what I had enjoyed with Nina, and what I felt — knew — from my wife.



“There you are.”



My smile remained as I responded to Nina behind me. I did not turn to look at her. “Here I am.”

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