A Baumgartner Reunion Ch. 06bySelena_Kitt©
"Come dance with me!" Gretchen grabbed me and pulled hard, making me yelp. My strawberry margarita sloshed over onto my hand and I licked at it as I stood.
"Where's Janie and Mrs...uhm, Carrie?" I was getting better at calling Mrs. B "Carrie" when she was around, but whenever I referred to her, my mouth still wanted to say "Mrs. B."
Gretchen pointed to the bar where the mother and daughter pair were ordering their own margaritas. We had agreed to this being a "girls night out," but Janie had stubbornly insisted on bringing Brian at the last minute, and Henry had tagged along, although he was too young to drink. I had no idea where Brian had disappeared to, but Henry sat across from me, arms crossed and frowning as he watched his sister at the bar.
"Want to dance, Henry?" I asked, reaching out my hand as Gretchen began to pull me toward the dance floor. He glanced up at me, his expression one of genuine interest for a moment, but then his attention shifted back to Janie and Mrs. B as they made their way toward the table.
"You go ahead!" He waved us on, and I didn't have much choice but to follow Gretchen—she was practically pulling my arm out of the socket. The music was live and totally Key West. The band was currently doing a cover of Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.
"Searching for my lost shaker of salt!" Gretchen's voice joined with the rest of the crowd as she pulled me close, sliding an arm around my waist and rocking me with her hips. It wasn't a fast or a slow song, really, hard to dance to, but Gretchen managed, and my body couldn't help but respond to hers as we swayed together. It seemed less about the dancing and music and more about the interaction between the audience and the band.
"Some people say that there's a woman to blame..." We sang together loudly, grinning as we changed the lyrics together, on cue. "But you know, it's your own damned fault!"
We laughed and Gretchen leaned in to whisper, "You look so hot in that..." as she slid a thigh between mine, pushing the black leather micro-mini she'd loaned me up to impossibly shameless heights. "Makes me want to take you into the little girls' room."
"You're bad," I said, but I was smiling as I turned, wrapping her arms around my waist and rubbing my behind against her front as we belted out another verse of Margaritaville.
"You two are already having too much fun." Carrie nuzzled up to both of us at once, kissing first Gretchen and then me on the cheek. "How are my girls?"
"I can't believe she's old enough to drink," I said, nodding toward the table where Janie was sitting beside her brother and sipping on a Margarita.
Carrie glanced over her shoulder at her daughter. "I know. She makes me feel old!"
"You're far from old." Gretchen's gaze swept over Carrie's outfit—unlike Gretchen, or me for that matter, her skirt wasn't outrageously short, but it was white leather, and it showed off the long, tanned expanse of her strong, shapely legs. Her blouse wasn't the midriff kind that Gretchen wore or the strapless kind that Gretchen had loaned me—just a short-sleeved navy silk, unbuttoned to a point that was just a little shy of inappropriate. She was dressed perfectly, as always—sexy, inviting, but not too slutty.
"Old enough to know better," Carrie said with a wink, sliding her hand down to the small of my back. "But still—"
"Too young to care." Gretchen and I both finished the sentence with her, and we all laughed.
"Mom, I want another one!" Janie sidled up behind us, holding her empty Margarita glass. "And Henry doesn't have any money."
"Take it easy, lightweight," I said, raising an eyebrow at her. "You do know there's tequila in those Margaritas, right?"
Janie rolled her eyes, but didn't answer me. "Mom?"
"Tell them to put it on my tab." Carrie nodded toward the bar. "Captain Tony knows me."
"Is that Captain Tony?" I asked.
"The one and only," Carried agreed.
I watced the bartender, wearing a goofy looking sailor's cap, draw a draught of beer. "Looks like a character."
Carrie laughed. "This is Key West—everyone's a character."
Janie was already talking to him and Captain Tony gave a nod in our direction before pulling another margarita glass out from under the bar.
"Has anyone seen Brian?" Carrie frowned, glancing around the bar. If the crowd dancing and milling around didn't make it impossible, the dimness made it truly too difficult to locate anyone.
"Bathroom?" Gretchen shrugged.
"Speaking of which..." I spotted the ladies' room in the far corner.
Gretchen smiled. "Want some company?"
"Not this time."
I left the two of them together, weaving my way through. I gave Janie a smile on my way by, but she pretended she hadn't seen me. The bathroom was small, and had clearly been converted from a one-person lavatory at some point— the outside door still locked, and there were two locking stalls painted pink inside, one handicapped, one not. I glanced in the full length mirror—the only mirror in the bathroom—noting again how short my skirt really was. Janie had made some nasty remark before we left about it, and it still stung, although the alcohol was making me feel a little more comfortable with its length.
Tonight I was determined to get Janie to come around, I decided, heading toward the small bathroom stall. That was my mission. I was hoping tonight's alcohol consumption was going to help me with that, too. I hurried, lifting my skirt and pulling down my panties before I'd even locked the stall door behind me. I was wiping and just about to flush when the outer door opened.
"We can't do it in here!" A hushed whisper and giggling.
"The door locks." A masculine voice this time—oh no. I heard the lock click and knew immediately what was about to happen. What was I supposed to do? Go out and excuse myself? Wait and sneak out after it was all over?
I decided to do the former, pulling up my panties and yanking down my skirt before reaching for the handle to flush, knowing the noise would announce my presence.
"Come here." The guy's voice again. "You know I always get what I want...and I want you."
Oh brother. I pushed the toilet handle, but to my surprise, nothing happened.
"Brian, you're so bad." The girl's voice was low and teasing.
And the minute I heard the name 'Brian' I was alert, glad the toilet hadn't flushed. The last thing I needed tonight was Janie freaking out about me being in the bathroom she'd decided to fool around with her boyfriend in. I had to make peace with her somehow, and I was sure discovering her in a compromising position wouldn't help.
Of course, it wasn't like I hadn't seen them already, I thought, blushing at the memory. Not that they knew that... Okay, so I was stuck. I'd just wait it out, I decided, backing toward the corner of the stall.
"I can't believe I ran into you tonight!"
My brain registered the words, but the doubt had already surfaced. I knew Janie's voice, and that wasn't it. My mind had clearly wanted to believe it was—but the girl out there wasn't Janie. And if that was Brian...
Common name, I told myself. Could be it's not Janie's Brian. Right? Right.
There was only one way to find out...
"We've only got a few minutes," Brian said.
It sounded like him. A lot like him. But I'd only really talked to him a few times, I told myself, craning my neck and trying to see them through the crack in the door. How could I be expected to know his voice? "Oh yeah, come on, gimme some of that..."
"Ohhh god, Brian, yes!"
They'd already started, the sound of their flesh slapping together loud in the closed space, the acoustics amplifying the noise. I leaned in closer to the crack in the stall door, determined to see if it was Janie's Brian, but even though I could see them both now, their were backs to me—he had her bent over a sink—and I couldn't determine for sure that it was him. Same hair color, sure. But there were lots of guys named Brian out there with dark hair... There was no mirror over the sink, so I couldn't see their faces. Had he been wearing a black t-shirt and jeans? I couldn't remember.
"Ohh god your pussy is sooo good!"
The girl moaned, gripping the sink. "Harder!"
It isn't Brian, I told myself, biting my lip and willing them to change positions so I could see for sure. I told myself I only wanted to see his face, but the sound of their sex was intoxicating, I didn't want to admit I longed to see more. Her skirt was pushed up around her waist, her panties pulled down to her knees, but I could only see the smooth curve of her hip and the hard clench of his bare ass as he shoved himself inside of her.
Please don't be Janie's Brian, I thought, watching as his jeans slipped further down his thighs, giving me an even better view of the muscles flexing in his ass. God, that was good. I imagined being bent over the sink like that, being fucked from behind, hard and fast, feeling him filling me. Oh god, that was really, really wrong. Especially if that was Janie's Brian out there. It isn't, my mind insisted. It just can't be.
The last thing I wanted to have to do was tell Janie I'd seen her boyfriend fucking some girl in the bathroom. How exactly was I supposed to bring that up? I winced at the thought, shaking my head and praying it wasn't him. I didn't even want to acknowledge my reaction to it, how my pussy throbbed under the short cover of my skirt and my nipples hardened as I watched them fucking, harder, faster, more and more determined to reach their final, sweet destination.
"Ohh fuck, you're gonna make me come!" He moaned and I shrank backward again, sitting down on the seat to wait for the finale, telling myself I didn't want to see, I didn't want to know, but oh god, my pussy was so achingly wet...
"Yes! Yes!" The redhead's voice was high and breathless, urging him on.
The whole room reverberated with the fast pounding of their flesh and I heard him moan loudly, the unmistakable sound of orgasm. I closed my eyes, biting my lip, trying not to hear the cries of pleasure or imagine that it was me spreading and arching and begging for that hot release of cum...
I tried hard to control my own breathing as I listened to the soft panting and fumbling of their post-coital readjustment.
"Will I see you back at the hotel tonight?" the redhead asked. Someone turned the sink on and I was relieved for the distraction, taking a few deep, steadying breaths.
"I'm here with that girl I told you about..." Now that his voice was back to "normal," I had a sinking feeling it really was Janie's Brian, but I still didn't want to believe it. He wouldn't do that to her... would he?
The girl sighed loudly. "Your parents still making you take her out?"
"Her parents are friends of my dad," Brian explained. "I can't say no."
They were going to leave, and I could just go back out there and pretend nothing had happened, I realized. I had no confirmation the guy out there was Brian. I tried peering through the crack in the door again, but his back was still to me.
"What about when you get back?" The redhead—I could see her face now, pouty and imploring—slid her arms around his waist.
"I'll give you a call when I get back to the hotel tonight." They kissed and I waited, wondering what to do. Janie should know, I told myself. If it's him, she should know. But did I really want to be the one to tell her?
"You promise?" the girl asked.
"Sure." He kissed her again. "Let's go."
It was my last chance. Did I want to know? Were they going to disappear into the crowd without any confirmation? Wouldn't that be a blessing after all?
Then I remembered—Brian's tennis shoes!
Ducking my head just enough, I looked under the stall door and saw them—a pair of black Karhu M1 running shoes with orange laces and stripes. Unmistakable. And I never would have noticed them at all if Doc hadn't cracked some joke about Brian's hundred-and-fifty-dollar Halloween shoes before we left!
Great. It really was Janie's Brian slipping out with some redhead he'd just bent over the bathroom sink. Some redhead he'd obviously been with before—back at the hotel. And I had to go tell her. Just great.
I slipped out of the stall and washed my hands at the sink, taking a long time in front of the dryer, not looking forward to what I had to do. I tried every way of approaching it I could possibly think of in my head as I stood there, and none of them seemed right.
I found Janie and Henry sitting at the table. Gretchen and Carrie were still dancing, and there was no sign of Brian. I decided to start with that.
"Have you seen Brian?" I asked, sitting next to Janie, addressing the question to her. I had to talk pretty loud to be heard over the music, and that concerned me. Maybe I should wait until we got back to the house?
She shrugged one shoulder, sipping her margarita, but didn't answer me.
"I thought..." I took a deep breath. "I mean...I saw him. By the bathroom. In the bathroom."
"Yeah, where is Brian?" Henry gave me a puzzled look and then glanced toward the bar but Janie pretended she hadn't heard his words at all.
"I don't know why you're so concerned about where he is," Janie snapped, finally turning to look at me. Her eyes, even in the dimness, flashed angrily. "I mean, what? Are you going down some list? My mom, Gretchen, probably even little Henry over here... do you want to fuck Brian, too?"
I actually sat back, gasping as if she'd punched me in the stomach, and it felt as if she had. I couldn't see anything as I got up from the table and pushed my way blindly toward escape. I heard Henry calling after me, but I didn't stop.
There were always cabs on the street in Key West—the cabbies made a fortune taking home people who'd had way too much to drink. And, judging from the kindly rastafarian's response, I'm sure it wasn't the first time some crying woman had jumped into his cab either.
I gave him the address of the Baumgartner's timeshare and sat back as he pulled away, ignoring Henry calling my name as he burst out of the front door of Captain Tony's. I couldn't help my tears and just let them fall onto my bare thighs, staring out at the world passing by in a blur. I was going home to pack, call TJ, and go home, because Janie was right.
A week of experimentation when I was nineteen was different than a woman almost-thirty doing what I was doing. I couldn't go back—I wasn't that innocent, naïve girl anymore. I was turning into some wanton slut whose only motivation was, apparently, pure pleasure. Was that who I was?
No. Even if it meant losing TJ—my breath went away at the thought and it made me cry harder—this little reunion had to end before anyone got seriously hurt. I, for one, had been hurt more than enough.
I paid the cabbie when he pulled up at the house and just gave him a brief nod when he said, "Hope your night gets better," as I got out.
If I'd had my own room to run to, I think the whole thing would have ended then and there. I'm sure I would have locked the door, packed, and called TJ on my way to the airport before anyone even knew I'd gone.
But when I got into the house, Doc was sitting on the couch, drinking a beer and watching a movie. I stood in the doorway, hyper-aware of how awful I must look, and he frowned when he looked up and saw me. I couldn't help but think of the last time I'd come back to the house, a million years ago when I was just a kid, and found Doc alone. I couldn't help but remember, and I think he did, too.
He was holding me before I could speak, crossing the expanse of the room and pulling me into the circle of arms, whispering softness and kindness into my ears. "Ronnie, Ronnie, sweet Ronnie, it's okay, whatever it is, it's okay."
I didn't believe him, not really, but I wanted to, and instead of doing what I should have done, instead of pushing him away and running as far and fast as I could back to my life, my family, my husband, I wrapped my arms around his waist and sobbed against his shirt.
"I don't know what to do," I choked as he led me back toward the couch and pulled me into his lap. If I hadn't already felt transported back in time to the young, helpless girl I'd been, that would have done it. I rested my head on his shoulder as he rocked me and I cried.
"What is it?" he asked, pulling the tail of his shirt out to wipe at my tears. "Tell me. You can tell me."
"I feel like I'm doing everything wrong, "I sniffed. "Everyone seems to want something different from me, and I can't please everyone. I can't please anyone!"
He nodded, wiping my tears again—they wouldn't stop falling—and kissing my forehead. "Is this about you and TJ?"
I looked at him, frowning. "Carrie told you?"
"You're married, you know what it's like." He smiled softly. "Did you really expect her not to tell her husband?"
"I guess not." I shrugged, looking away, embarrassed now, wondering just how much he knew.
"He's not asking for more because you're not enough." His words made my breath stop. I shook my head. "That makes no sense."
"If it was just sex, he'd go find it somewhere else, you know." Doc's eyes were dark as he looked at me and I remembered how I used to melt whenever he looked at me. "He wouldn't consult you at all."
I thought of Brian and the redhead in the bar. He was just a kid, of course—but cheating was cheating, right? Doc was right about that. If TJ wanted to... I frowned at the thought, shaking my head, trying to make sense of it.
"Sometimes we have so much love to give...it feels like we'll explode if we don't share it." Doc's words were soft and simple. He spoke as if he were explaining something to a child, and I felt like one.
"But...isn't it wrong?"
He smiled softly. "Do you think it's wrong?"
"It feels wrong." I sounded petulant and felt that way, too.
"Does it? Why?"
I shrugged. "Because I feel... guilty. Like I'm betraying my marriage."
"You can't betray your marriage if both of you agree that what you're doing isn't a betrayal," he replied simply.
I shook my head, swallowing hard around the lump in my throat. "Why does he want this? I don't understand..." I looked into his eyes, searching for answers there. "Why did you want me?"
"Because I loved you," he replied softly. "I wanted you because you were young and beautiful and I loved you."
"Well...I believe the first part, I guess... although I'm not young and beautiful anymore..." I frowned, remembering.
"Oh yes you are...both." He chuckled. "And I still love you."
"You love me?" I sighed. "Like, what? A daughter? A sister? A wife?"
"Like a lover." His thumb rubbed over my chin, making me shiver. "You loved me, too, you know."
Of course I had. I'd loved them both, and Gretchen too. I couldn't help it. But I was a kid then, and I was a grown-up now. Grown ups made choices. Grown ups narrowed their lives with choices—that was part of being a grown-up.
Doc spoke, almost as if he could read my thoughts. "When you have kids...you only have the one daughter, right?" I nodded. "Sometimes when you have another, you wonder if you're going to be able to love that child as much as the first. I loved Janie to pieces and thought I couldn't love another human being like that. It felt impossible. And then Henry came along, and he was just as amazing, but different, you know? You love them differently, because they're so unique, but it's still love. You find you have more than enough room in your heart for another. Your heart has an infinite capacity to love."
I understood the concept, but there was just one thing wrong with the theory. "But spouses aren't children."
"No," he agreed. "But the concept is the same, as long as you both agree that it's something you want. It's like anything in a marriage, you learn to negotiate and compromise. Are you telling me you don't want what he does?"