A Vertical Expression: VanessabyKarennaC©
"Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire." -- source unclear
Vanessa stopped at the door of the dance studio. She had to be crazy. She was twenty-two years old. Who started dance lessons for the first time at that age? Some of her friends in school had started lessons when they were still barely toddling. Obviously there were people who started later; otherwise this place wouldn't offer classes for "beginners of all ages". But she had to be crazy.
"Are you here for the West-Coast Swing class?"
Vanessa jumped at the deep voice behind her, and turned to see a tall, thin man with gray hair. "Sorry," she said. "I didn't mean to block the door."
"Not at all." He extended his hand. "I'm Foster Thompson."
"Vanessa Roderick." She shook his hand. "And yes, I'm here for the West-Coast Swing class, if I can work up the nerve to go in."
"What are you afraid of?"
"I've never taken a dance lesson in my life, and I'm afraid I'm going to make an idiot out of myself."
To Vanessa's irritation, Foster laughed. "According to the description I read of the class, pretty much everyone's going to be new to it. I doubt you'll look like any more of an idiot than anyone else."
"That depends. Probably the others have had at least some dance training."
"I haven't. This is the first formal dance training I've ever enrolled in. Though dancing was a big part of life with my wife; we went out dancing nearly every weekend for most of our marriage, even while the children were young."
"Is she taking the class with you?" A dumb question, Vanessa thought, since there was no one with Foster.
A shadow of pain crossed his face. "She passed away last year. Breast cancer."
"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that."
"Thank you. It was a short struggle, which I suppose is merciful. By the time the doctors caught it, it was well advanced. That's why I signed up for this class; it was something she and I had talked about doing together, and it's the first social outlet I've allowed myself since I lost her."
"Then I hope you enjoy the class."
"I hope you do as well." He pulled the door open and gestured. "After you."
The studio was already full of students. A glance at the clock on the wall showed Vanessa that she and Foster were a few minutes late. A younger-looking man with a mustache and goatee came over to them. "Hello, I'm Wayne, the instructor," he said. "I hope you're Vanessa Roderick and Foster Thompson."
"We are," Foster said.
"Right," Vanessa said at the same time.
"Well, since everyone else has already paired up, you two will have to partner. Come on in and let's get started."
The class was an hour of good music, learning, and entertainment. Although tense at first, Vanessa soon relaxed and accepted Foster's touch, as well as Wayne's when the instructor used her to demonstrate or adjusted her in a movement. By the end of the class, she was glad she'd signed up.
Foster walked her to her car. "I have to make sure my partner stays safe," he said. "You're a very good dancer, even if you haven't had any training before, and I enjoyed dancing with you."
"Thanks," Vanessa said. "Likewise."
"Same time next week?"
"I'll be here."
Throughout the following week, Vanessa found herself thinking about Foster, how nice he seemed and how much she'd liked dancing with him. It had been a while since she'd dated anyone, and her body had enjoyed the touch of Foster's hands, even though it had only been a dance lesson.
She kept pushing thoughts like that out of her mind, though. They'd become dance partners by default, a side effect of her reluctance to enter the studio and of whatever had made him late for class. Not to mention the fact that he looked to be considerably older than she was, in his fifties at least. She couldn't possibly be interested in a man that old. It was just her hormones getting away from her.
But the following week at class, she reacted the same way to Foster's presence. The two of them chatted and joked during class, to the point that Wayne threatened to tell them to leave, and it seemed like Foster enjoyed it as much as Vanessa. At the end of class, he again walked her to her car. "Thank you for making me laugh so much," he said. "I haven't had that much fun since I- since Lorene."
Vanessa pretended not to notice the tear in the corner of his eye. "I had fun too," she said. "I don't think Wayne was enjoying it too much, though."
"No, I don't think so, but he'll get over it." Foster touched her hand. "Have a good week, Vanessa."
"You too." Before she could stop herself, she added, "Maybe next week, we could get a coffee after class?"
"I'd like that. I'd like that very much." He smiled. "See you then."
She had to be crazy. That was the thought foremost in Vanessa's mind most of that week. Coffee was fairly innocent, but she was no longer sure that her interest in Foster was only that of a dance class partner. It made no sense to her at all. She couldn't want anything from a man old enough to be her father.
When she saw Foster in the parking lot before the next class, though, her heart leaped, and she couldn't stop smiling. "Good grief, Van, calm down," she told herself.
The two of them managed to keep the chatter to a minimum, and surprised themselves by how well they were able to follow Wayne's instruction. "We might make swing dancers out of ourselves yet," Foster said at the end of class on the way out to their cars.
"It's harder than I thought it would be, but I'm getting the hang of it sooner than I'd expected," Vanessa said.
"Same here. Would you like to ride with me to get coffee, and I'll bring you back here afterward to get your car, or would you rather go in your own car and I'll follow you?"
Vanessa's suspicion kicked in. Foster seemed trustworthy, but she wasn't quite ready to take a chance on being alone in a car with him. "Why don't you follow me? The place I usually go is a few miles from here; you'd have to double back to bring me back for my car, and that would be a little silly."
"Especially with today's gas prices. All right, I'll be right behind you."
Vanessa led Foster to her favorite coffee shop, a hole-in-the-wall unaffiliated with any of the national chains. They ordered their drinks and took a seat at a table away from the handful of other customers in the place. "I'm glad you invited me to come here with you," Foster said. "I'd been trying to think of a way to ask you."
"You're a very attractive young woman, Vanessa, and I like your company. I wanted to see how it would be between us outside of class."
"Same here." Vanessa frowned. "I don't know that we have much in common, though."
"We have similar senses of humor and we're both trying to learn the West Coast Swing. What more do we need?" He winked at her. "Let's just get to know more about each other. Do you work or are you still in school?"
"I have a two-year degree in accounting, and I work in a bank," Vanessa replied. "Do you think I'm young enough to still be in school?"
"I'd guess you're in your early twenties. How close am I?"
"I'm twenty-two. And you?"
Thirty years. Not only was the man old enough to be her father, he was actually older than her dad. And more than twice her age. Definitely beyond her range. But that didn't mean they couldn't be friends. "You were young to lose your wife," she said, hoping she hadn't visibly reacted to finding out how old he was.
"She was young to pass away," Foster said. "She was ten years younger than I am. I wish she could have had longer."
"Thank you." Foster covered her hand with his. "Spending this time with you, in class and now here, has helped me a lot with recovering from the loss. I'm glad we ran into each other outside class that first night."
"So am I."
As they drank their coffee, they continued to talk, getting to know more about each other. Vanessa felt more relaxed with Foster than she had with any man in a long time, but she couldn't let go of the knowledge of his age and how different they must be. What could they possibly have in common with that much of a gap between their ages? Friendship, she told herself. That was what they were heading for. It was always good to have friends.
For the next few weeks, coffee after class became part of their routine. They talked about whatever came to mind, and Vanessa found herself once or twice forgetting entirely that Foster was so much older than she was. She caught herself, though, and gave herself a mental scolding for having what seemed to be a silly little crush on him.
The class was only eight weeks long. On the final night, Vanessa found herself near tears as she danced with Foster, assuming that she wouldn't see him again after this. They'd become friends, true, but why would he want to stay in touch with someone her age?
As part of class, everyone had to demonstrate what they'd learned. All of them had come a long way since the first night, even the few who'd figured that since they'd taken dance lessons before, they would master the West Coast Swing with no problems. Vanessa knew she and Foster had gotten much better, but she was still surprised when they were pronounced the most improved dancers in the class. There was no reward to go with it, other than a note on the certificates that they, along with the rest of the class, were given, but it still gave Vanessa a feeling of accomplishment.
After class, as usual, she and Foster went to the coffee shop. "So, it's over," Foster said.
"Yeah. It'll be good to have time back in the evenings, I guess," Vanessa replied.
"What do you do in the evenings when you aren't dancing with an old man?"
Vanessa laughed. "You're not old, and I don't really do much. Just watch TV or curl up with a book, mostly. Sometimes chat or play games online."
"About the same thing I do, in other words." Foster cleared his throat and looked away. "Sorry. Frog in my throat, I guess. Um, I was wondering if maybe you'd like to, well, to come back to my place for a little while. We could talk more, and spend a little more time together."
Go to his place? Vanessa wasn't sure. It would take their friendship, or whatever they had, to another level. Talking at class and in the coffee shop was safe, neutral. Going to Foster's home would change things completely. She trusted him; she knew she'd be safe with him, but she wasn't sure she was ready for whatever might happen when they were in a private place.
Then again, she didn't want to end the evening with coffee and the hug they'd made a routine of exchanging before they went their separate ways. What could happen at Foster's? Nothing other than what was happening here, just talk, but in a place where they didn't have other people eavesdropping. "Sure," she said. "That would be nice."
Foster's eyes lit up. "Great. I'm glad you want to."
They finished their coffee and left. Vanessa followed Foster to the tree-lined street where his small ranch-style house sat among larger, older homes. "Lorene and I got the last open lot on the street about thirty years ago," Foster explained as he unlocked the door to the house. "Some of the neighbors weren't pleased that we built something like this, but back then it was the 'in' home style."
"It's nice," Vanessa said. Foster opened the door and she followed him into the foyer. "It's a quiet area, too."
"Yes, it is." Foster shut the door and flipped on a light. "Where do you live? You've never said."
"I have an apartment downtown, about half a mile from the coffee shop."
"I'm sure that gets noisy."
"Yeah, but it's worth it to have a place of my own. I earn enough to pay the rent myself, though it's a pretty small place." She looked around. "Probably the entire apartment is about the size of your living room."
"Not a bad size for just one person," Foster said. "Sometimes I feel like this place is too big for just me."
Vanessa wasn't sure what to say to that, so she walked over to the fireplace set into one wall of the living room. "Is this real?" she asked.
"It's a working fireplace, yes," Foster replied. "Let me light it."
He took a box of matches from the mantel and lit the wood that sat ready in the fireplace. "I like to have a nice fire in the evenings," he said. "It's calming to look at." He replaced the screen in front of the fire.
"It is pretty," Vanessa agreed.
Foster shifted his weight from one foot to the other and glanced toward the kitchen. He seemed as uncomfortable as Vanessa felt. They'd never run out of things to talk about in the coffee shop, but now neither of them seemed to know what to say. Out of desperation, Vanessa went to the stereo that sat on a shelf near the fireplace. "Did you and Lorene dance here?" she asked.
Foster smiled, though there was pain in his eyes at the memory. "All the time," he said. "Lorene loved to dance. That's why there's no carpeting on the floor; she said she wanted bare wood so we could dance." He went over to stand beside Vanessa. "Would you like to dance?"
"I'd love to."
Foster turned on the CD player, and the sounds of a song Wayne had frequently played in class filled the room. "I bought this after the first week," Foster said. "Dancing to this with you made me feel more alive than I have in the past year."
"Really." Foster extended a hand to her. "Shall we dance?"
They began with the steps of the West Coast Swing, but after a few minutes, as the CD went on to the next song, began moving to their own steps. Foster's arms tightened around Vanessa, and she allowed herself to lean into him, until they were dancing far more closely than they ever had in class, so close that they barely swayed to the music. It was only dancing, Vanessa told herself, but her body was responding in ways she wouldn't have expected, her nipples stiffening, her pussy becoming moist. She had to be crazy; she couldn't feel anything sexual for Foster!
She looked up at him, about to speak, but his mouth came down on hers in a kiss that was both sweet and sexual. Only his lips touched hers; unlike men she'd dated before, Foster didn't try to ram his tongue down her throat. He broke the kiss and said, "Was that all right?"
"It was nice," Vanessa said.
"I've been wanting to do that for weeks now, but I didn't think class was the right place."
"You've wanted to kiss me?"
Foster smiled. "Why so surprised? You're a very attractive woman, Vanessa, and I enjoy being around you."
"And I'm thirty years younger than you." Though that was starting to make less and less difference to Vanessa.
"I know you are, and that was another reason I didn't act on my impulses. But I've come to the conclusion that age is meaningless, at least between you and me. I don't think of you as being so young, I think of you as being a wonderful woman who's brought some light into my life, and who I want to become closer to." He stroked her hair. "I want you, Vanessa."
Startled, Vanessa pulled away from him. "You what?"
"I'm sorry if I upset you. You can leave if you want. But since I wasn't sure if we'd see each other again after tonight, I couldn't let it go without telling you how I feel." Foster turned down the music. "I care for you, Vanessa. As I said, dancing with you, I've felt more alive than I have since I lost Lorene. I'm very attracted to you, and I want to make love to you."
Vanessa's first impulse was to leave, but not because she was upset. She was afraid of how she felt, both about Foster's words and about him. She didn't let herself walk out, though. "I feel the same," she said softly.
Foster put his arms around her and kissed her again. Vanessa felt herself melt against him as the kiss deepened. This time, he did touch her lips with his tongue, but when she opened her mouth, he gently slid only the tip of his tongue against hers. It was a tender kiss, but one which Vanessa knew would lead to more.
They moved slowly toward the couch, which was against the wall opposite the fireplace. Foster eased them down onto it, placing himself beside Vanessa, though one of his legs trapped hers. He stroked her back, then moved his hand to the side of her breast. With no resistance from her, he brushed a finger over her hardened nipple. Vanessa shuddered. It had been too long since a man had touched her like this.
Foster broke the kiss. "Is it okay?" he asked.
"Yes," Vanessa said.
"Will you take off your shirt? I want to see you."
He sat back to give Vanessa room to pull her shirt off over her head, leaving her in only her thin lace bra. She hesitated, then unhooked the bra and removed that as well. "You're gorgeous," Foster said.
He bent his head to her breasts and sucked the nipples, alternating between the two, until the tingling between Vanessa's legs grew to the point where she thought she would scream if he didn't touch her there. She took one of his hands and guided it down to the crotch of her pants.
Smiling around her breasts, Foster rubbed, building Vanessa's arousal to a higher pitch. "Please, Foster," Vanessa heard herself say. "God, please."
Without a word, he unzipped her pants and slipped his hand inside. Vanessa cried out as his fingers touched her clit and pussy. Why had she thought about saying no? What difference did his age make, if he could make her feel this good?
Within seconds, Vanessa came, calling out things that she couldn't remember two seconds later. Foster smiled and said, "Are you ready?"
"I want you to fuck me," Vanessa blurted, and immediately regretted using that word.
"That's what I want to do," Foster replied. He stood and pulled Vanessa's pants and thong off, leaving her nude on the couch. "So beautiful," he murmured, and knelt between her legs to touch his tongue to her clit.
Vanessa moaned at the feeling of his lips and tongue on her most intimate parts. The oral attention quickly brought her to another orgasm, which had barely subsided when Foster stood and stripped off his clothes. "I want you to be comfortable, but I want you too much to wait until we get to the bedroom," he said.
"It doesn't matter," Vanessa replied. "I just want you inside me."
Foster knelt again. Taking hold of Vanessa's ankles, he pulled her ass to the edge of the couch. She wrapped her legs around him and he plunged his cock into her waiting pussy, pushing so hard she caught her breath. "Fuck, Foster, that feels incredible!" she said.
"You're so tight." He began a slow, steady pace of thrusts. "I won't last long, honey. It's been too long since I've felt anything this good. You don't mind, do you?"
"Come whenever you want."
His thrusts picked up speed. Vanessa reached down and stroked her clit as Foster fucked her, until finally, she exploded into another orgasm just as he let out a long, low moan and was still.
He pulled out of her and lay his head on her belly. "You were amazing," he said.
"So were you."
"I'm glad you came back here with me tonight. It was worth the wait."
Vanessa smiled. "It was worth a lot."
For a while, they cuddled on the couch, still naked. Finally Vanessa looked at the clock on the wall and said, "I'd better go."
"You could stay the night," Foster suggested. "My bed's large enough, or there's a guest room if that would work better for you."
A feeling of "what have I done" had taken Vanessa over; while she didn't regret what had happened, she needed to get away from Foster. Fucking him hadn't been a mistake, but she felt that staying would be. "I sleep better in my own bed." Vanessa extricated herself from his arms and started dressing. "Thank you for tonight."
"Maybe another time?" Foster asked.
"Maybe." Her clothes on, Vanessa found her purse and bent to give Foster a peck on the mouth. "I've enjoyed having you as a dance partner, and tonight was wonderful."