tagRomanceHe's Not What You Think Ch. 02

He's Not What You Think Ch. 02

byCap007©

Thank you for taking the time to consider part 2. If you don't know, this is the first story I have ever written. As in all new things, there is a learning curve. If you are looking for instant love and sex, you should not read this. For those that choose to read the story, I hope you enjoy it. Thank you to my previous editor she has been a tremendous help, and a thank you to Rexbrookdale and AnyaLuna for editing. All mistakes are mine.

*

"Cathy, I've gone over the meeting twice. There's nothing else." Linda sifts through her clothes in the walk-in closet, intent on finding the right outfit. "Where are we going tonight? What should I wear?" She asks putting another dress back on the hanger rack.

Cathy taps her foot on the carpet, leaning against the closet door opening. "Paige said we are going to a piano bar. May we please go back to the conversation you had with Michael?" She folds her arms across her chest, leaning her head against the opening. "Are you sure you've told me everything?" Linda will not lie, but she tends to leave out information.

No response from Linda. Cathy lifts her back from the doorjamb and paces, then resumes her stance against the frame. Time to do some prodding. "Alright if that is everything, then I need to get him away from work."

Linda glances over her shoulder as she pulls out another dress to inspect, turns, and holds the dress up for approval. "Cathy, I don't know if you should even try. He's not your usual.... Date. I mean he's not a bad boy, rich, or interested. Aren't those the minimum qualifications? You'll probably be bored. You should just forget about him. What do you think?" She notices Cathy's foot's steady tap. Cathy's tell. When that foot taps she has something on her mind or she's in deep thought. I'll know soon enough. Cathy doesn't hold back. Good or bad, it's always comes out.

Cathy puts her thumb against her chin rubbing while looking up at the ceiling. "That looks great. What do you mean 'not interested, bored, and forget about him'?"

"Are you sure? This might be a little too much for a bar," Linda asks holding it out in front, and turning it a few times, to inspect its social status, "This may be a little tight."

"Linda, that one will be fine. Oh, I have a guy named Mark stopping by to meet us. We can kick him to the curb if we don't like him."

"You're inviting a date? I thought it'd be just the girls. Although, it sounds good, you haven't been on a date in a few months." Looking over her shoulder again she adds mockingly, "You're getting cranky. Come to think of it, you haven't been on a date since you started talking to Michael. Why is that?" She tips her head smirking then turns back to look at the next dress.

"Mark's not for me, he's for you." Cathy crosses her arms again. Tap. Tap. Tap. "So, four hours, you two talked for four hours, and that's everything?" She tries for in an even tone, hiding a trickle of jealousy.

"What?! Cathy, give me a little more warning. Please. Who is this Mark guy?" Linda's high-pitched response is accompanied by a glare. "And Jesus, Cathy how could you tell Michael I haven't been with anyone in a while?"

Cathy smiles inwardly, I guess you forgot to tell me that the first two times. Outwardly she says, "Did I tell him that? I don't remember," and then stares off. She continues in an upbeat tone, "Listen, I have an idea. I'm going out with Michael, and yes he will go out with me. My will is stronger than his. If I get my answers, and," Cathy hold up her index finger, continuing in a determined tone, "if feel it's not going to work, he is all yours."

"Cathy!" Linda's voice squeals, her eyebrows knit together, "What in the world are you talking about, 'he's all mine'? I don't want Michael. He's making you crazy. Just forget about him." Her mouth falls open for a millisecond. How could she...? She's not thinking straight.

"I don't know what it is about him. But, he could be right for one of us." Cathy's eyes are focused again, her mind clear, determined to get her answer about Michael. "That's all I'm thinking. Are you ready to go?"

"Look what he's done to you," Linda puts her hands on her hips, continuing again in a squeal, "you're obsessed. Michael and I talked, once." I couldn't believe how fast the time went, she thinks, but I can never admit I thought of wanting him. "We need to forget about him. I'm ready to go."

Cathy eyes go wide, and she grins. "We need to forget about him? He got to you." She throws her head back, laughing, "I told you he is different. Oh my god, we like the same guy. This is another first." She walks over to Linda and gazes into her eyes as she lightly rubs her bare arm. "Sis, I'm going to figure this out for us."

"Kit-Cat, there is nothing to figure out, except, who is this Mark character," Linda smiles to disguise her shock. What in the hell is happening? "Let's forget about this conversation and go have some fun, okay?"

"All I am saying is he might be right for one of us. I'm just not sure which one. I see it in your eyes, there is something. I need an answer myself." Cathy puts her arm through Linda's, "Let's go meet Julie and Paige, and I'll tell you about Mark." She gives Linda's arm a light but firm tug, "Don't forget, you suggested I should go for someone different."

*****

Janet leans forward over the kitchen's island, patting Linda's hands where they rest on the cold granite countertop, and smiles, "I know, he has that affect doesn't he."

"It was so easy to open up to him. I still can't believe we talked so long," Linda replies, grabbing the lettuce, and digging her fingers in as if making holes in a bowling ball, "and, when I talked with Cathy, she... She... Ugh."

Janet's knife hits the cutting board with an attention-demanding thud. She eyes Linda, speaking in low, intense voice, "Four hours. That's a long time. Is that all you did, talk?"

Linda pauses in the midst of the comforting act of ripping lettuce, long enough to, look up and past Janet, avoiding eye contact. Lightly blushing she retorts, "What else would we have done?"

Rick thunders, "I'm home."

Janet and Linda look towards the hallway just in time to see the flash of two kids as they run past the kitchen, squealing, "Daddy!" The sound of footsteps stops just outside the opening to the kitchen, and the women hear a familiar voice talking agitatedly.

"Rick, do you have a shirt I can wear? I'm grateful Cathy had this spare, again," Michael rolls his eyes, "but this thing is tight, and I look ridiculous. It's like I'm not even wearing a shirt. Her dad must be tiny." His forehead wrinkles. "The next time Jim spills something on me I am going to punch him right on the temple."

"Ridiculous? He did you a favor. What was it: four? In that group of girls not more than twenty years old, wanting to take you home for the night? Even a couple were willing to share."

"Yeah right, they were just making fun of me, and I don't share. How about a shirt please?"

Rick turns to walk to the bedroom. "Go ask Jan. I'm going to get changed."

"Jan," Michael yells with a hint of aggravation.

"I'm in the kitchen."

"Jan, do you have a shirt I can wear?" Michael asks, loud enough to be heard from the hall before striding into the kitchen. "I look ridiculous...." His muscles cease their movement, mid-stride. Janet's grin goes un-noticed as his eyes fix on the woman at the island with her back to him. Beginning down at the sandals and then working up her body, he spends several seconds on the form-fitting jeans that encase her long legs, firm butt, and hourglass figure. She has a loose-fitting shirt tucked into the slim waistband. Her glossy, blonde-streaked brown hair flows loose down to the middle of her back. Nice, he thinks then apologizes, "I am sorry to interrupt."

As the woman turns to face him, he hears a familiar "Hi Michael."

Hearing 'Ms. McIntire?' Linda turns. Her jaw drops. The shirt he is complaining about is skin-tight, revealing his well-developed chest and every contour of his defined abs. She thinks of Cathy's words, 'holy shit Linda, holy shit'. She's right.

Michael agrees with Linda's shocked expression, "I know, right? I look ridiculous. I have Jim to thank for this. It was nice of Cathy to offer a shirt, but it's kind of tight."

Linda walks up to Michael, unable to stop, and puts her hand on his chest, feeling the muscles ripple at her touch through the stretched smooth fabric. It makes her think back to the meeting they had, and how his strong hands gave her so much pleasure. "I've told you to call me Linda. I'm two years younger than you."

Janet washes her hands. "Good luck with that. It took almost a year for him to call me Jan. I will see what I can find for you, Michael. See if you can manage to get that shirt off." She smirks over her shoulder as she walks into the laundry room. "I'll be right back."

Rick walks into the kitchen to the sight of Linda's hand on Michael's chest, and Michael's hands on Linda's waist, both standing in the middle of the kitchen, eyes locked on each other, talking. "Hey Linda, I didn't know you were here. How are you? I haven't seen you in a while. You should come over more often."

Linda snaps out of her trance dragging her hand down Michael's chest to softly run across the ridges of his stomach. Michael's hands fall from her waist as she steps back to look at Rick. "Hey Rick," Linda responds, fiddling with her hands, finally hooking her thumbs in her back pockets. "Jan offered a good meal. You know I couldn't refuse. In turn I'll watch the kids while you two are at the movies."

Rick scans the kitchen. "Where is my lovely wife?"

"In the laundry, looking for a shirt for handsome," Linda taps Michael's chest.

Michel snaps out of his trance thinking of Linda's touch. "I'm going to the bathroom and try to get this thing off. I swear it's shrunk. I may need scissors." He turns to leave, as Rick walks to the laundry room.

Linda hears Michael mumbling something about hitting Jim in the head and bringing extra clothes to work, as she watches him walk off. Her eyes are fixed on his broad shoulders tapering to his slim waist, and imagines a tight butt under his loose shorts. She smiles with a new appreciation for Cathy's mischievous ways and business, sense, thinking, I would pay at least fifty.

Rick walks into the laundry room. "Jan, I didn't know you invited Linda. I talked to Michael. He will watch the kids."

"Good, they can watch them together."

"We don't need both of them to watch the kids. They aren't that bad...," His eyes narrow as he crosses his arms over his chest and leans back. "Jan, what are you up to?"

"Nothing," she answers innocently, however Rick knows better. They have been married long enough to know when either is up to something.

"We shouldn't get involved with this. Cathy and Linda are our friends."

"Cathy is driving Michael and herself crazy," Jan whispers. "You need to convince Cathy that it's not going to happen. He's not the guy for her. You should have seen those two in the office. There's a spark."

"Linda?" Rick responds with a strong whisper, leaning forward, "I.... No, we are not getting involved. You work for Linda, and I do work for Cathy. We'll be in the middle, and it will only turn out bad for us. Jan, let it go."

"No," Janet, whispers just as intensely, adding a frown, and putting her fists on her hips.

"You push Linda, and Cathy pushes me for the same guy. Whatever happens, we lose," Rick replies, running his hand through his hair, looking up, and sighing.

Janet stares at the shirt in her hand while Rick watches her calculating eyes. She feels the weight of Rick's hands on her shoulder, and shrugs, "Okay, okay, you're right. No more interfering from either of us after tonight. I promise. Remember that means you too. No more telling him he needs to go out with Cathy."

Rick smiles in relief, having expected a longer conversation. "Thank you beautiful, these kids will figure it out in their own time," and kisses her on the cheek.

She hands Rick a black t-shirt. "Here. Give this to Michael; it'll fit. Tell him to keep it."

"Hey, I like this shirt." Rick holds up the t-shirt reading the yellow words F.B.I. Female Body Inspector.

"Not anymore," Janet replies over her shoulder walking out.

*****

Michael scans the table. Everyone is in his or her usual spot, except Linda, who's sitting next to him. He can't help looking her way smiling a few times. "Jan thank you, this is terrific as always," Michael gets out between bites.

Linda echoes out a loud, "Mmm, yes Jan, it is delicious. Thank you."

Trisha looks at Michael with a cute scowl. "Are you and Linda going out?"

Michael choking on his food is suddenly the only sound at the table.

It seems as if all movement, including breathing, has stopped. Linda has an expression of complete surprise. Jan is smiling, her eyes jumping between Michael and Linda. Rick is looking at his daughter stunned, and Rick Junior is looking around trying to figure out why everyone is frozen in place.

Michael quickly gathers his thoughts, tilts his head, and replies to the innocent troublemaker, "No beautiful, I have only met Linda once before today. Why would you think that?"

"Because you keep looking at her and smiling and she keeps looking at you and smiling. You're supposed to go out with me, first," Trisha pouts.

"Beautiful, I've told you I am not good enough for you," Michael chuckles, admiring the child's thought process.

Rick bursts out laughing, "We could save some money on the power bill by turning out the lights, as beaming red as you two are." His laughter dies down, "Trish reminds me. Jan, did you get the invite to Cathy's party? She wanted me to remind you, we should bring these two freeloaders," Rick lifts his head, pointing his chin toward Rick Junior and then Trisha, smiling, "since it will be a pool party, and the other guests are bringing their kids. Oh Michael, Cathy said you are coming as her plus one." Rick holds up both hands in surrender at Michael and Janet's glares. "Her words, not mine."

"Oh, what's today, Tuesday? I will probably have something come up before then. When is it?" Michael asks, looking down at his plate.

Jan turns to Linda, "You're helping Cathy with the party, when and where is it?"

"It'll be at Cathy's parents' Saturday; official start time is one." Linda twirls her fork in the air. "But like most parties, people will be filtering in early and late. She's invited her contractors, venders, customers, friends," she points the fork at Michael, "and, it seems, a plus one." She laughs. "Surprisingly, Mom and Dad will be there along with her parents. I'm sure they'll be talking business. We are calling it a 'kick-off to summer' party. Most, if not all have confirmed by now. Except plus one here." Linda looks at Michael with a raised brow. "Raymon's will be catering and Playland will be providing some inflatable playgrounds. It'll be a great time."

Trisha's pleading eyes and pouting lips chip away at Michael's stubbornness. "Please go. You can be my date. We can go swimming. Mom and Dad won't swim with me, they never do."

Janet tilts her head looking up, "Michael, that's not a bad idea. Rick and I will be networking. If you don't mind, you could help us watch RJ and Trish, and it's true we don't usually get a chance to swim. I know you love the water."

Rick Junior chimes in, "Yeah, I want to swim. They never swim."

Linda giggles, "You should go. You'll be Trisha's date, Rick and Jan's nanny. No, wait make that manny." She smiles at Michael's puzzled look, "you know man-nanny."

Rick laughs, "Like mother like daughter, determined to get what they want. Michael, you know you are going. You are the only man I trust with my babies. Hell, with my family. Although.... You and Trish are not allowed to be alone." Rick points to Trisha, smiling. He watches her giggle, "Daddy." He next points his index finger at Rick Junior, "I am counting on you, RJ, to chaperone."

RJ gives him a salute, "You got it. What does chaperone mean?"

Michael laughs along with the adults. "All right, I guess I can go. Rick Junior will be chaperoning. I'll try to be there by one, but I am volunteering until noon so it will be a tight schedule."

Janet listens to Trisha squeal in delight before saying, "Now that is settled, let's get this cleaned up so that old man can take me to the movies."

"I'll let Cathy know you will be with a date," Linda chuckles, turning from Michael to Janet. "Don't worry about it, I'll clean up. You two go and have fun. It's the least I can do."

Michael looks at Rick, "Yeah you guys go, we've got this."

*****

Michael and Linda clean, then congregates in the living room with Rick Junior and Trisha. The heated debate between Rick Junior and Trisha over the movie is settled, using the time-tested rock, paper, scissors, three-out-of-five decision, Michael's idea of course. They all sit on the oversized couch, sinking into the firm cushions. Rick Junior beams from his win, and Trisha pouts. Both kids fall asleep halfway through the movie, as expected. Michael whispers to Linda, pointing, "I think we should put them in bed. I'll take Rick Junior."

Linda smiles, whispering, "Meet you back down here." Michael groans picking up Rick Junior and thinking, he is going to be as big as his dad someday; takes him to his room and tucks him in for the night. Linda does the same with Trisha, then meets Michael and they plop back down on the couch, closer this time.

"Linda, the kids are asleep, I'll be staying the night, so you don't need to stay." Michael shifts in the cushion getting comfortable, "However, if you would like to stay and talk that would be nice. If not, I will finish the movie. It's actually very funny, especially those Minions."

"That would be nice." Linda leans on the armrest, "I'll stay until Rick and Jan get home. Unless, you really want to finish the movie," Linda smirks. "Is it true?"

"Yeah, It's a funny movie. But, I would rather talk." Michael tilts his head.

Linda giggles, "No, the t-shirt, silly."

Michael looks down at the shirt's writing. "Oh, ha ha. No, not for a very long time."

Their conversation evolves through the evening. They talk about Michael's tattoos, and Linda's natural streaks in her hair; about work, play, everything except relationships once again. The comfortable couch, soft music, dim lights, and their full bellies eventually take their toll, causing the two to fall asleep on opposite sides of the couch. In a sleeping state, they both move together, getting comfortable, unaware of the other's actions.

*****

Rick and Janet tip toe across the living room's wood floors. They make fun of being silent and staying out a little later than expected, acting like teenagers. When they arrive at the couch they stand in front of it and look at each other, smiling, and then down at their two guests enjoying a relaxing sleep.

Linda is in Michael's embrace, both sleeping soundly in the middle of the oversized couch. Michael's back is against the back of the couch, with all but one pillow on the floor. His arm is lying along Linda's side, his hand on her stomach. The other is under the couch pillow they are sharing. He is breathing against the back of her neck causing wisps of her brown hair to move with each exhale. Linda's back is against Michael's chest and stomach. Her legs are intertwined with his, and one hand lies on top of his.

A smiling Janet watches Rick shrug and gesture, palms-up. She retrieves a sheet, covers the two, turns off the lights, and heads toward the bedroom grabbing Rick's butt.

---

Linda yawns, trying to wake both mind and body. She tenderly rubs the soft hand resting on her bare stomach, and enjoys the warm breath on the back of her neck. She moans, "Mmm Michael." moving to melt deeper into his inviting body. Still asleep, Michael stirs, shifting his morning hard-on to rest against her firm ass.

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