July 2008

“Hey, Lloyd, I hear you’re getting a baby girl! Will you miss me?” Dom thought he was more of a comic than he was, but he was a pretty sharp partner and I’d miss him. I didn’t know exactly how he’d gotten his job, but he was at the beginning of his life rather than the end, and was making the jump from store cop to real cop. I didn’t envy him the change, but then I wasn’t the one making it.

I was the one who got to deal with his replacement, an unknown quantity probably the result of the same impartial hiring process I’d run through. There had been some informal discussion about swapping around shifts, but nobody was keen on teaming up with the newbie — or keen on teaming up with me.

There weren’t complaints, precisely, but I rattled them in some unknown way. Dom told me I “had dark waters” when he was in a good mood, and called me “hinky” on days when he wasn’t. I was still in the middle of the seniority list — by date of hire, not age — and I knew some of the others continued to harbor suspicions I was some kind of management spy. They didn’t like it when I used big words, either.

There were only three topics of conversation at Dom’s farewell party. “Can I see your gun?” “Do you think management will give us a raise?” “I hear Lloyd’s new partner is a hottie.” I quickly tired of all of them, particularly the last. It was based on third-hand gossip leaking from that week’s new hire orientation, and quickly elaborated with sexist suppositions from the all-male audience who felt challenged by the absence of any hard facts to make up their own.

As somebody who spent nearly every night looking at more female flesh than they could imagine, I had somewhat higher standards and lower expectations. “Man, don’t you wish you were still young enough to enjoy her?” asked some wag who had misinterpreted my lack of enthusiasm.

He was quickly silenced by Dom, who’d had the native intelligence to notice I wore a wedding band but had never, in two years, spoken a single word about a Mrs. Parker.

The laugh turned out to be on me after all. I ambled into the break room the next morning to find the personnel manager and a young girl waiting for me. Okay, the “young girl” probably wasn’t any younger than Alexandra had been when I met her, but that had been a long time ago. She looked damn young to me.

She stood straight like she had a stick up her ass, or was posing for a Marine Corps recruiting poster, or both, and a body that would’ve had Danny panting and climbing the walls. I admit I admired her charms, discreetly, myself, but I also noticed her level gaze that flicked periodically around the room before always returning to me.

“Mr. Parker, I’d like you to meet Angela Vasquez. She’ll be your new uniformed partner. Ms. Vasquez, this is Lloyd Parker. I hope you enjoy working together.”

Angela had a firm grip and an inquisitive eye. She favored me with a social smile, but I’d seen her eyes flick from my face to my ring to the earbud and back to my face again before the rep had gotten fairly started on his retreat to the safety of the management offices.

“REMF,” Angela muttered under her breath.

“Excuse me?” I said, not catching the reference.

She waited a beat until we were alone. “Rear Echelon Mother Fucker,” Angela explained, watching me closely.

I snorted. “Very apropos. Armed Forces?” It wasn’t a very risky guess.

“Does it show?” she asked, grinning to show she knew it was a silly question. “Army. I was in Iraq; two tours.”

That impressed the hell out of me. “Well, I hope you find this a little more restful. Would you like the ten-cent tour?”

“Sure; lead out.”

We didn’t do much more that day than walk the store, every floor, so I could show her every door, every changing room, the blind spots where shoplifters seemed to think the security cameras couldn’t see, the few spots where they really couldn’t see, and most of the other quirks I’d picked up in two years.

I could see Angela treated it like a combat exercise, never mind that the bad guys almost never fired back here. She didn’t ask many questions, but the few she had were worth the asking. I found it easier to talk to her than I expected, so much so that I was a little hoarse when our shift ended.

“You look younger than I expected,” she told me at the end of the day.

The compliment took me a bit by surprise, and made me feel good. “You’re older than you look,” I said in turn.

“Yeah,” she said with a sad smile. “They say it wears off a little bit after a while; I don’t know.” The smile brightened a bit. “Well, until tomorrow, Lloyd?”

“See you then, Angela. Have a good evening.”

I started looking forward to the day job. I got a lot of razzing from the guys, until Angela nearly broke a few fingers off the hand of the idiot who thought the way her ass filled out her uniform slacks gave him license to pat it. After that, they treated her with the respect you’d give a tiger, and put down our cordial partnership as another facet of my mysterious bearing.

My secret was that I simply treated her like a daughter or granddaughter instead of some centerfold picture. I wouldn’t have thought you needed a psychology degree to figure that out, but maybe I was wrong.

Angela was intelligent and inquisitive, sometimes annoyingly so once she got over her initial reticence. She reminded me a little of Alexandra, more so when I found she was working this job during the day to make money for school during the evenings. The Army had paid for her undergraduate degree, but she was determined to get an MBA and break into a good management job. “Nobody ever got rich working for somebody else.”

Our shifts grew to resemble freeform dialogs on the topics she encountered in class, occasionally interrupted by the need to dissuade misguided shoppers from eroding the store’s bottom line. Angela’s gratitude was obvious, since she didn’t have much free time off for studying. I was happy to keep our conversations on safe topics.

Nevertheless, as that summer faded into memory, a degree of tension worked itself into our friendship. Part of the problem was me; I’d been extremely reluctant to say anything more about myself other than I was a widower who didn’t want just to sit home alone. Nevertheless, I could see the wheels turning in Angela’s mind — figuratively — every time this old geezer undercover officer she worked with managed to answer, at length and off the top of his head, nearly every question that came up in her coursework. A good deal of the art of our profession was noticing things that looked out of place, and I knew it was bothering her.

The other part of the problem also was me, so to speak. It seemed I was finally waking up to the fact that I was still a man — one who hadn’t gotten laid in more than five years. I remained stubbornly faithful to my memory of Alexandra and the promise I’d made her, but it was starting to get hard.

The girls at Home Run were walking inducements for sex and treated me with the careless familiarity of someone who was harmlessly androgynous. It wasn’t exactly like being the palace eunuch; rather, the thought that someone of my ancient decrepitude might retain a sex drive just never crossed their minds. Danny wasn’t that much younger than me, and he was still active. Anyway, I thought I’d become inured to it all.

I knew I had a problem when I caught myself thinking one afternoon about what Angela’s ass would look like if she were in heels instead of her black athletic shoes. I gritted my teeth and told myself to focus on the accounting problem we’d been discussing.

My conscious mind was one thing, but I started waking in the mornings with erections and unsettling fragments of half-remembered dreams that all featured a lithe, dark-haired beauty with a flashing smile. I felt vaguely guilty, but there was nothing I could do about it.

I started going off the deep end in October. Some of Angela’s friends from school were throwing her a party for her 25th birthday, and she invited me. I mumbled something non-committal at the time, repeatedly counted up the reasons I shouldn’t go, and ended up taking a night off from Home Run anyway.

The place was some restaurant I’d never heard of before, and I knew I shouldn’t have come the moment I stepped in the door. I took a long look at the cluster of youngsters gathered around Angela and realized I was probably older than all of their professors. Unfortunately, Angela spotted me before I could retreat.

“Lloyd!” she screamed, bouncing to her feet. Maybe a dozen pairs of eyes were focused on me while she hurried over and embraced me. “I’m so glad you could make it! C’mon over and meet everybody!” My body tingled where her breasts had brushed it, and what she did to a pair of jeans had to be illegal.

Angela introduced me around to her friends, whose names I uncharacteristically forgot, as her partner, and parked me on a stool next to hers. All of them were acquaintances from the University, save one young man whose eyes held the same faintly haunted expression as Angela’s.

“I brought your something,” I told her during a lull in the noise. “You don’t have to open it here.”

She looked at the slim package, wrapped in expensive paper from the specialty store in the mall, and then at me. “That’s so sweet, Lloyd; you didn’t have to do this.” Before I could react, she leaned over and pecked me on the cheek.

My paralysis lasted a minute or two while she tucked the gift into her coat pocket, and nobody else commented on our interchange. I was intensely aware of Angela’s proximity the remainder of the evening. The left side of my body felt her heat, even when I was drawing out her acquaintances on their experiences at school.

“Hey, you want to go clubbing with us?” Angela asked me after the remains of the meal had been cleared away and we’d embarrassed her with the obligatory “Happy Birthday” chorus.

“Are you kidding?” I laughed, and then blinked. The mental picture of myself trying to bounce along to the crap I heard filtering out of the Abercrombie changed channels to the image of Angela drawing a bare knee up my leg, spreading her tiny miniskirt, and arching her back to emphasize her breasts through an indecently thin top. I hurriedly added, “My heart would never survive it.”

“You aren’t as old as you think you are,” she chided me with a smile.

The erection filling my underwear begged to differ, and I remained close to the table as the group began to break up and made their goodbyes.

I welcomed, and simultaneously dreaded, a farewell hug from Angela. “Thanks again for coming, Lloyd. And thanks for the gift; you didn’t need to get me anything.”

“You’re welcome. Have fun; I’ll see you Monday,” I replied.

I drove home to my dark apartment, carefully undressed, and masturbated for the first time in decades. My hand hadn’t forgotten what to do, my cock was aching for release, and there was still a hint of Angela’s scent on my shirt. A little lotion for lubrication soon warmed to body temperature, and each slow stroke I made pulled the tension out of my body and concentrated it beneath my hand.

The pace didn’t stay slow for long. I closed my eyes and started fantasizing, dreaming of delicate feminine fingers replacing mine on my heated manhood. A moist tongue extended to touch me, warning me of the warm lips that were about to engulf my glans. In my imagination, my hands were free to guide her head closer, but the hair threading between my fingers remained stubbornly dark and it was Angela’s face that looked lovingly up at me, not Alexandra’s.

“I didn’t thank you properly,” she’d say, releasing me and crawling sinuously up my body. Angela was naked, and bare like most of the girls at Home Run, so there was nothing to obscure the view as she inserted me into her glistening folds. My penis felt like it had entered a sauna, and her muscles gripped me like a hand, but her hands were supporting her body so I could admire her compact breasts and the ruddy nipples capping them.

My hands pulled her forward, dragging her off my spear, so I could taste her skin, capture one of those buds between my teeth, and stretch it before allowing it to pop free. Her lips parted with an inarticulate sigh that left us both trembling, and when I pushed her back to spear her again, she was wetter than before.

“Do that again,” she gasped, and after I did, her nipples matched, equally stiff and engorged.

“I don’t think I can take much more of this,” I admitted. Every nerve in my body felt like it was energized and my heart was racing.

“Thank God,” Angela replied, wearing an expression of desire that managed to raise my blood pressure even more. She started rocking herself more vigorously, working my frenzied penis with her pussy, and the ends of her hair, perfumed by her body, trailed across my face. A droplet of sweat zigzagged its way down a jiggling boob, never quite breaking free.

My body jerked, and Angela threw back her head and screamed her climax as I began pumping jets of hot sperm onto my undershirt.

“Oh God, Alex, forgive me!” I sobbed into the stillness of my lonely apartment. The semen cooled rapidly, but my desire did not.

I knew it was just a dirty old man’s fantasy. My darker side, stirring sluggishly to life after a long sleep, reminded me that, unlike other men, I had the power to make that fantasy a reality. I sat on that thought — hard. The trail behind me of lives ruined or ended by my feeble attempts to play god for my personal benefit still haunted me.

Nevertheless, in the same way my body and spirit slowly had returned to life, my intellect was stirring again. Fed by my discussions with Angela about her coursework, I realized I missed the stimulation of using my entire mind. My idle thoughts — purely as an intellectual exercise! — drifted to considerations of how I could “fix” somebody while avoiding the missteps of my youth.

The only thing that kept this madness in check was the dawning suspicion, totally against all expectations, that Angela might be interested in me.

She was never without the expensive pen and pencil set I’d given her. While we both remained professional at work, Angela’s demeanor seemed warmer than before, and she invited me out for a drink the following Friday. “Oh come on, Lloyd. I feel like I owe you a round!”

I tried to make light of it. “It’s date night. Don’t tell me you couldn’t find a younger man!”

She laughed and made a rude gesture with her hands. “I prefer a companion with a little more intellectual depth, and you’re much smoother with the mental undressing.” Angela laughed harder at my guilty start. “Don’t worry, I take it as a compliment. If you weren’t looking, I’d know you were gay!”

“Now who’s being politically incorrect?” I chuckled. “I guess you talked me into it.”

We ended up in a booth upstairs. Surprisingly few people remembered the store had a small restaurant in it — a throwback to the old days — and it certainly wasn’t the sort of place people went on Friday nights. It was quiet, and even if the employee discount didn’t extend to alcohol, a few beers weren’t going to break us.

Angela had softened her look by donning a disappointingly bulky but warm turtleneck and letting her hair down. She’d been growing it out, and it was long enough she usually put it up when she was on the clock. I, of course, was already set with a forgettable flannel shirt and cardigan.

Our conversation avoided the financial meltdown, work, and school, and drifted onto our pasts. Angela’s laconic accounts of her experiences in the Army were by turns comedic and dark, and I was pretty sure she was self-censoring some of it. In her turn, she was tickled to hear I was an alumnus. We compared notes on the changes (or not) between our eras for a while, but she guided the conversation back to me.

With some initial reluctance, I described my meeting with Alexandra and how we’d come to marry. Needless to say, many details were omitted and others altered for the benefit of young ears. She was horrified to hear we’d lost our son at the World Trade Center. Even with sympathetic prodding, I couldn’t say more about Alexandra than that she’d died a few years ago after a long illness.

It was still more than I’d ever told anybody, except maybe Danny, who’d lived it too, and I realized that the tightness in my chest had loosened a bit by the end of the telling. Angela furtively wiped her eye, and we sat silently for a moment longer.

The restaurant was deserted; it was past closing time and I vaguely recalled Angela telling them we’d lock up on our way out. Just at the moment, perversely, I was feeling a warm sense of companionship rather than sexual attraction. “We should do this again,” I suggested. “Next week, my turn?”

Angela shook her head, dashing my hopes. “On Halloween? Are you kidding?”

I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten. Danny always threw a costume party at Home Run that was like Mardi Gras, but with fewer morals. There was no way I could skip out on it; I didn’t know how he’d made it through the years I’d been gone without getting raided, or worse.

“How about the week after that?” Angela countered, shattering my introspection and lifting my spirits.

“Let me check my appointment book,” I grinned. After a little pantomime, I added, “My eyes don’t work so well in the dark anymore; can you make this out?”

“It says you have a date with a smack for being a wise guy,” she mock threatened, but spoiled the effect by laughing.

“Well, heck,” I was laughing too, “a drink with you beats a smack upside the head any day — I guess we’re on!”

It was back to the old grind after that. I intercepted an odd look or two from Angela later the next week, but we still seemed as close as ever and my mind was focused on trying to head off Danny’s wilder ambitions for Halloween.

The party was a disaster. Personally, not professionally, that is; Danny was a master at gauging his audience and cleaning up on the business side. The problem was, there were a lot of people there and every damn time I caught a glimpse of a thin brunette, my cock ratcheted up another notch in my tuxedo pants.

It was ridiculous — Home Run would be the last place on earth I’d expect Angela to show up. Even if she did, she didn’t strike me as the sort of girl who’d go out wearing only a mask and a G-string. Maybe the red devil with the cutout around her crotch, but not with a pitchfork that had dildos instead of tines. Who knew there were so damn many brunettes in town?

After walking halfway around the room trying to get a look at the face of the harem girl who was covered from head to toe, but only in gauze so thin you could read a newspaper through it, I had to retreat upstairs to my office.

Danny poked his head in the door while I was cleaning up after my jerk-off session. “You know, Lloyd, you don’t have to do that. At least half the girls would be more than happy to give you a blow, or fuck, or whatever. Whatever you promised Alexandra, she’s gone now.” His tone was neutral, nonjudgmental, but then he’d been amoral since our unexpected meeting in the Madison lobby long ago.

“Thanks,” I told him, the stark reminder of my past poor planning pouring cold water on my nerves. “I’m okay, now.”

I didn’t stress out for the rest of the evening. I told myself things would just happen in their own time, or they wouldn’t. Any thoughts I might have to the contrary were purely hypothetical intellectual exercises to pass the time, like doing the crossword puzzle. I was almost able to convince myself everything really was okay.

Then there was Obamamania. The effect was a bit muted in the store, whose clientele slanted more Republican, but you couldn’t avoid it anywhere else. I knew by the spring in Angela’s step who she’d voted for; actually, so had I, but I didn’t advertise it.

I didn’t want to stay at the store, so I’d made reservations at an Italian place Danny recommended. It was expensive enough to keep out the noisy crowds, but perversely focused on the “casual chic” sort who didn’t get excited about dressing up to eat.

Angela gave me a long look. “Am I going to be okay like this?” she asked me, gesturing at her sweater, after I’d given her the option of convoying or carpooling.

“I’m not changing,” I nodded. “Besides, you know you’ll have the waiters walking into walls.”

“Stop it,” laughed Angela. “What would you know? Do you even own any clothes younger than I am, gramps?”

“Ouch,” I winced. “I have it on good authority you’re fine. Shirt? Check. Shoes? Check. No swimsuit — Check. Don’t worry.”

“Well, I’ll trust you,” she said lightly, sending a faint chill down my spine. “But I’ll drive; I seem to recall somebody saying he didn’t see too well after dark.”

Her old Taurus looked and sounded like it was on its last legs, but it knew its mistress and got us to the restaurant without complaints. Angela hesitated in the driveway, seeing the valet sign ahead but no alternatives — apparently the casual chic didn’t like to self-park, either. She sighed and pulled up in front of the door.

They were expecting us, and the maitre d’ led us back, not to the table I was expecting, but to a curtained-off private room. It boasted a fireplace, a chandelier, and an ornate table set for two. A single long-stemmed red rose was laid across one of the settings. Goddamn it, Danny! I silently cursed and colored beneath the expressionless gaze Angela turned on me.

“If this will suit?” the host asked, pulling back a chair for Angela.

She nodded, showing considerable poise, and allowed herself to be seated. I was seated across from her a moment later, and the wait staff left us, promising to return momentarily with menus and water.

“Well,” Angela allowed. “This is… a little more than I was expecting. You did say ‘drinks’, didn’t you?”

“I have never been so embarrassed in my life,” I muttered into my lap.


I looked up at her. “I said, I’m sorry.” After a heavy sigh, I continued, “I asked a — friend — to recommend someplace quiet where a couple could talk. I think he’s a little too invested in my emotional well-being and jumped to conclusions. I certainly didn’t expect this! We can leave, if it’s making you uncomfortable.”

“No, we’re here,” Angela said, lifting the rose to her nose and inhaling. “I saw your face when we came in, and I know you didn’t expect this any more than I did. It’s a little humorous, really.”

There was a break while we ordered drinks and some appetizers.

Angela spoke up again, sounding stern, as soon as we were alone. “But you’ve been holding out on me, Lloyd.”

I let my surprise show, uncertain what she meant.

“I was curious, so I looked you up in the alumni directory. Why didn’t you tell me you have a Ph.D.? Christ, no wonder you can sleepwalk through my coursework! What are you doing wasting your life doing store security?”

“That part of my life’s over,” I told her flatly, slumping back in my chair and draining off half my glass of wine. “I can’t do it anymore.”

She backed off her intensity. “Yeah, your wife. I Googled her. I’m so sorry; that must have been Hell for you. What a tragic accident.”

I didn’t say anything, but just stared at the menu without seeing any of the words and clenched my hands in my lap. And cursed Angela’s perceptiveness.

Her eyes narrowed. “It was an accident, right? Surely you can’t blame yourself for it? Lloyd?”

“I. Don’t. Want. To. Talk. About. It.”

Angela sighed and picked up her menu, but the atmosphere remained tense through the end of the salad course.

She surprised me by speaking up just after we’d gotten our entrees. “I’m sorry I’m being pushy, Lloyd. I’ll say one more thing, and then I promise I’ll shut up and never mention it again if you don’t want me to. Okay?”

I nodded, resigned.

“Don’t cheapen Alexandra’s memory this way. I care about you, and you’re throwing your life away for something that wasn’t your fault. Look, I saw a lot of bad things in Iraq, and others saw worse. Bad things happen in life, Lloyd. But we pick ourselves up and move on, because if we don’t, then what were our friends sacrificing themselves for? Don’t be a quitter.”

Her premise was wrong, but I couldn’t tell her that. Knowing she cared lightened my heart, and the humor of the situation got to me. Getting lectured about life by a young girl? “Yes, mother,” I rolled my eyes.

She smiled, and the rest of the evening passed much more agreeably.

When we left, Angela was carrying the rose with her. “Thank your friend for the rose,” she told me while we waited for the valet.

“I’ll tell him what he can do with your rose,” I growled, still embarrassed by the whole thing.

“You’re so sweet,” she laughed, and squeezed my arm gently.

We drove back to the mall, and Angela pulled up next to my old Acura. “Next week, my turn?” she asked casually. “In less refined surroundings,” she added with a laugh.

“Absolutely,” I agreed with delight. I was even more delighted when she leaned over and brushed her lips against my cheek before I climbed out. “Drive safely,” I warned, closing the door.

“Live well,” she shouted through the glass. Angela waited until I had the engine started, and pulled away into the night. She was incorrigible.

I spent the night dreaming about the touch of her lips, and what they would feel like everywhere on my body. In my dreams, we revisited the restaurant, but Angela was the main course. She lay naked atop the table, writhing in ecstasy, while I gave her the fucking of her life and we both came together. Later, we spooned on the plush rug in front of the fireplace, and her kisses tasted of our combined excitement.

That smile was still on my lips when I woke alone in bed, and the stickiness in my pajamas belonged only to me. Was she as interested in me as I was in her? The question kept preying on my mind.

I didn’t know which one of my bastard coworkers to blame, but I knew the jig was up when I met Angela in the break room Thursday morning.

“Hey, I’m sorry, but I have a conflict for tomorrow. Could we reschedule for Tuesday?” Angela already had her “professional” smile on, but I could see the glint of humor in her eyes. For damn sure she knew it was my birthday.

Arguing would have prolonged the inevitable. “Yeah, but no fancy stuff,” I warned her.

“Plain enough for you?” Angela asked archly; she’d just pulled her winter coat over the uniform. It meant we weren’t going upstairs, and probably weren’t going out anywhere that wasn’t extremely casual.

My pulse sped slightly in nervous anticipation. “I’m yours to command.”

She laughed. “How long will that last?”

It wasn’t technically holiday season yet, but the mall had already opened satellite parking lots for the employees, so we rode the shuttle out. “Just follow me,” Angela said during the ride. “I’ll drive really slowly so it’ll seem familiar to you.”

Angela didn’t carry through on her threat, but she was a careful driver and I didn’t have problems staying with her, even in the evening rush. We headed generally in the direction of the University and turned into an unremarkable residential area. I followed her slowly down a street, and saw Angela roll down her window and point towards a vacant spot along the curb.

As I pulled in, she sped down the street and turned into an entrance just beyond the building, quickly disappearing from view. I got out of the car and looked around, feeling a little light-headed; this had to be where she lived! I started walking towards the door of the building she’d gone behind, and Angela appeared in the doorway when I was about two-thirds of the way there.

We walked up to the second floor and she unlocked her door before ushering me in. “Welcome to Casa Vasquez, Lloyd. Throw your coat in the closet. Can I get you a beer or glass of wine?”

“Something red would be great,” I answered, looking around with interest. There wasn’t a lot of furniture, and everything was spic-and-span; pretty much the polar opposite of my place. I heard some clunking and shifting of cookware in the kitchen, so I drifted that way.

Angela met me there. A pair of half-filled glasses sat on the counter, and she’d just put a pot on the range. “It’ll take a little while to heat, but the hard stuff was done yesterday. I hope you like Mexican.”

I smiled and told her, “I’m not so picky in my old age.”

“Great! If you can amuse yourself a minute or two longer, I’ll change into something more comfortable.” Angela winked at me and sauntered out.

A sip of wine steadied my nerves, and I wandered back into the main room. There was a small display case hung on the wall, and I moved closer to examine its contents. There were some ribbons and medals, of which I recognized only a Purple Heart, what I took to be a unit insignia, and her Bachelors diploma. The rose from our last dinner lay in the bottom of the case. I looked around for pictures, but didn’t see any.

“Ta-da, comfortable and decidedly not fancy!” Angela announced. I’d faintly hoped for a filmy negligee and heels, but what I got was sweatpants and a tee-shirt, with fuzzy slippers. The shirt, which was black, proclaimed “I invaded Iraq and all I got was this fucking shirt.” It had the same insignia as the patch in the case.

“It seems like a lot of work for a shirt,” I laughed.

“You have no idea,” Angela said, walking back to the kitchen to check the pot. The back of the shirt said, “TWICE.”

“Come on,” I kidded her, “were you even out of diapers for the first one?”

“First grade, I think,” she mused while giving the pot a stir. “They decided a second tour was good enough for government work. Here, get some more wine; we have about 15 or 20 minutes, I think.”

Angela disappeared again while I refilled our glasses, but she was back by the time I was setting down the bottle. “Happy birthday, Lloyd,” she smiled, and then handed me a gift box.

“You didn’t have to do this.” Whatever it was, it had a little heft to it. I opened the box, and found it contained a man’s watch. Looking more closely, I realized it was an old stainless steel Rolex, still in pretty good condition. “Angela, I can’t accept this; it must have cost you a fortune.”

She lightly pushed away my hand. “It didn’t cost me a penny. My mother gave it to me; I guess it was my grandfather’s.” Her eyes focused inward for a moment. “She’s never been very talkative about her side of the family.”

“It must have some sentimental value; save it for your husband, then.”

“Stop whining and just accept it! I forgot I even had it, honestly, but I thought of you right away when I found it. You know nobody my age wears watches anymore — we just look at our cell phones. It would make me happy for you to have it.”

I carefully removed the watch from the box and examined it. It looked like an Oysterdate, which pretty much exhausted my knowledge of Rolex watches, and appeared to be in mint condition except for some scratches on the bottom of the steel link band. Angela obviously had wound it and set the correct date and time.

After a moment of thought, I removed my pedestrian Timex and put on the Rolex; it sat solidly on my wrist, a little loose but quite passible. “Thank you, then, from the very bottom of my heart.”

“You’re welcome.” She hugged me, and I was intensely aware of her body beneath the thin shirt. I didn’t want to embarrass either of us with an erection, but my body had other ideas.

“So, what are we eating?”

“Carnitas,” Angela answered, looking back at the range. “It’s slow-cooked pork, served with lots of things that are bad for you. But, hey — we both probably should be dead already.”

It proved to be delicious. I forced myself to stop before I was full, not wanting to be bloated.

“Forget about the dishes,” she ordered me when I started to clean the table. “Go sit on the futon and pretend you’re a guest, okay?” Angela punched the button on the coffeemaker and joined me; our knees were almost touching.

I shifted a bit, using my hands folded in my lap to cover my rigid penis. Angela looked at me, as if she were waiting for something, and I gazed back at her, taking in the loose coil of hair on the back of her head, the way her bust moved lightly beneath the shirt as she breathed, and the curve of her legs beneath the soft pants.

“You’re undressing me again,” she chided.

“I think you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” I told her with a dry mouth.

A slight wariness entered her eyes, but I was already too far gone to notice it. “I admire you very much, too.”

They were almost the words I’d been longing to hear. I needed her so badly! My hand trembled when I reached out to turn her face towards me so I could kiss her the way I’d been longing to.

She swept my hand easily aside and turned her face away, stiff-arming me back into my place. “Lloyd, no!” Angela was clearly upset, but still in command of herself and the situation.

I stared at her in stark incomprehension. “No?”

“I invited you here tonight to salute you and feed you, Lloyd — not to have sex!” She was trembling now, herself. “I am not that kind of woman.”

“You’re all that kind of woman!” I shouted, and began struggling to reach her.

Physically, she had nothing to fear from me; emotionally, anger started to displace her initial disbelief. Angela shouted, “NO!” and slapped me, hard.

YES!” I raged, and waves of emotion fueled by loss, rage, humiliation, and lust channeled through my mind’s eye and crashed down on her like a ton of bricks. Mentally, it was more like a ton of flashing, razor-edged knives.

I wasn’t consciously directing anything, but my raw ability hadn’t faded any after years of disuse. Any inhibitions I might have felt were buried beneath raw emotion and a bitter sense that all my past attempts at self-restraint had ended badly. I didn’t show any restraint at all, that evening.

The tangled ball of Angela’s mind thrashed as if the individual strands of her consciousness were unraveled simultaneously in place and then stretched in differing directions, somehow forming two almost independent but interwoven tangles, before the sparkles forming them began to flare under the pressure of my intent.

I wanted a slut, a wanton sex object who would always be ready for my attentions, craving my touch, and loyal beyond all doubt or distraction. Not a slave, exactly, but a partner whose most focused desire would be my own gratification by whatever means necessary. If I felt even a passing desire to take her, she would be ready. The living incarnation of every adolescent boy’s unwaking wet dream and carnal fantasy.

Both of us screamed. What Angela felt, I didn’t know, but the mother of all headaches seemed to hit me like lightning, and the sparkles of her mind were eclipsed by the stars appearing in my vision, just before I passed out.

My senses were out of kilter when I finally decided I was awake. Keeping my eyes closed seemed to reduce the intensity of the headache, and allowed me to concentrate on the pleasure I was receiving. My first thought was that Susan was blowing me; that we’d stolen away again to the lumpy couch in the ladies’ washroom for a quickie. She was all frantic desire, without the quiet, assured confidence that Alex had developed after decades of learning more about my body than I knew myself.

Belatedly I understood that framing the comparison at all meant it couldn’t be either of them, and I forced my aching eyes open. Angela knelt between my legs, worshipping my organ with an intensity of purpose that showed in every line of her body. The sight of this fantasy realized brought me to full rigidity.

Angela stood, revealing her sweatpants and underwear already were missing. My eyes drank in the arousing contours of her young body, pausing briefly at the traces of semen glistening near her neatly groomed bush. Wearing only the tee shirt and socks, she quickly knelt atop me and guided my erection into her pussy.

We both moaned at the exquisite sensation, and Angela quickly looked up at my face. Seeing that I was awake, she gave a cry of delight and leaned forward to kiss me aggressively. “Master!” she cooed a moment later.

“Don’t call me that,” I blurted, feeling the word jab at my guilty conscience.

She started and pulled back slightly, suddenly looking as if she might cry. “Don’t you find me pleasing?”

“Don’t stop! Oh, you’re extremely pleasing; just — not that word. I’m nobody’s master, least of all yours.”

The smile reappeared instantly. “Whatever you say,” she agreed, and began to work herself on me again. Angela’s expression suggested she was pandering to some beloved, but addled, elder — not a bad analogy — but became by turns more self-absorbed as our excitement crested higher.

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d cum more than once in a day, but years of abstinence coupled with the sight — and feel — of Angela’s wild abandon were pushing me to the edge again. “Oh, you hot fucking slut,” I gasped, not bothering with any self-censorship at this point.

As if my words were goads, Angela began panting. “Oh, fuck! Fill me up with your cock! I am your slut! Oh! OH! Ohmygod!

She was too much for me, and I felt my penis throb as I orgasmed the remaining dregs of my scum into her. Angela screamed her delight at the same time, orgasming so wildly she put out a hand to grip the futon and keep from falling over. Part of me suspected it wasn’t a coincidence, but the rest of me was having too much fun watching to give it any thought.

Angela pulled herself off me and watched, entranced, as commingled lubrication and jism glistened along the entire length of my deflating manhood. She reached out to grasp me, but I shooed her away.

“Go easy on an old man! You don’t want to break it, do you?”

“More,” she pleaded, with the air of a five-year-old in a candy store.

I couldn’t help laughing. “We’ll see! First, I’d like to see more of you.”

Angela stood without artifice, but with innate grace, and faced me. She pulled the shirt over her head and tossed it to the floor. A toss of her head arranged her hair behind her shoulders, and she was already removing the simple cotton bra she wore.

My mouth went dry looking at her. I knew what Angela looked like fully clothed, but some women were expert at using garments to accentuate their good points and obscure those that weren’t so good. She hadn’t struck me as that type, but it was clear her body didn’t need any help at all in that regard. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I wasn’t going to end the night at this point!

I stood up, and discovered my pants were still puddled around my ankles. Happy I’d worn loafers, I managed to free my feet without killing myself. A few steps brought me within reach of Angela. Gingerly, I reached out to cup a breast; it was warm, soft, and I felt the nipple erect itself against the palm of my hand. Angela’s lips parted in an unaspirated sigh, and her body melted against mine. Well, against my flannel shirt and cardigan, anyway.

“Damn shirt,” I muttered, and withdrew my hand to start unbuttoning it.

Angela brushed my hands gently aside. “Let me,” she offered. Her fingers were deft, and didn’t miss a single opportunity to touch and stroke my body. When she finished peeling my undershirt over my head, we were pressed against each other with our outstretched arms entwined.

My cock was thinking about rising to the occasion a third time. I left it to fend for itself, sandwiched against a toned hip, and pulled Angela tighter against me. I kissed her again, and this time she reacted passively, parting her lips and allowing my tongue to explore her mouth as I chose.

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July 2018
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