Sarah felt her husband's hand snake under her pajama tops and caress the curve of her waist. She had her back to him, and her eyes opened in the darkness of the night. She had not been close to going to sleep, so there was no reason for irritation. She sighed quietly, and waited for John to move his hand up to his breasts, as he always did. He would rub one, then the other for a minute or two, then do a few lazy circles of her nipples. Then he would slide his hand down under the waistband of her bottoms, in the futile hope that she might be wet. She wouldn't be, so he would rub her for a while, and eventually scoot down and lubricate her with his tongue, and that did generally get things going enough to make intercourse comfortable. Still spooning her from the back, he would slide whatever erection he had into her -- sometimes he was hard and ready, but more often, it felt like being fucked by a distracted chimpanzee. He would rub himself up and down eight or ten times, and then, with a muted grunt -- a noise control habit left over from when they still had kids at home - he would come in a couple of noticeable shudders. He would lay inside her for a minute or two, until she said, "Ummmm...that felt so good." Then he would roll over and sleep soundly while she continued staring into the darkness. She wondered how often, in twenty eight years of marriage they had done this -- 2000 times? 4000 times? She remembered the old adage that if you put a penny in a jar every time you made love the first year of your marriage, and took a penny out of the jar every time you made love after the first year, you would die with pennies still left in the jar.
John's hand moved predictably to Sarah's breast. She wondered when, exactly, they had stopped kissing as a prelude to making love, and when talking had become nonessential. Probably around the time she stopped getting wet when he touched her. She felt bad about that; knew it was an undeniable sign of disinterest, but she had convinced John that her change of life was happening early, and her hormones were out of balance. John seemed much more comfortable with that explanation than he had the time she'd actually tried to talk to him about their sex life. It had taken her weeks to screw up the courage, and then when she brought it up, he shut down totally and said he did not want to discuss it.
His hand moved down under her pajama bottoms and massaged her pubic bone, and outer lips. She smiled in the darkness, because that still felt good; the tingly feeling of massed neurons springing into action. If he was just a little patient, between his rubbing and her imagination she could probably work up enough lubricant to get the job done, but if she wasn't dripping wet in twenty seconds, he just eased on down and sped things up with his tongue. She didn't enjoy that as much as she might have. Sure enough, John was already edging down through the covers, pulling her pajama bottoms down as went. He nibbled on her thighs a little before turning his full attention to her unenthused pussy. It felt nice enough, to be sure, but there was just something too...businesslike about it for her to let loose and concentrate on how it felt. In her heart, she felt that someone putting his tongue up her twat should be an act of greater intimacy than just normal fucking, so when she felt the tongue but not the intimacy, it was like a gin and tonic without the gin -- a little bitter, and not at all what she'd hoped for.
She rubbed her hand absently through his hair as he licked her. In fairness, John was very generous if not overly skilled. She didn't understand why even though everything up to this point had been about her, it felt somehow like it was about him. Even now, he had no clue that he stroked her clit too directly to be exciting, he couldn't get in to any kind of rhythm that would build, and after a few minutes, when she could sense there was nothing happening for her, she tugged on John's hair to come back up and take care of business.
"Did you come?" John asked, as he scooted up behind her.
"No," she said truthfully, but then went on to lie, "but I'm so close, I just need you inside me."
With that amount of encouragement, he spooned up against her, pushed his penis a little ways into her, and took gradually longer and longer strokes. He wasn't particularly big tonight, which tended to make him last a little bit longer, but it was a mixed blessing, because it didn't feel as good either. After a dozen strokes, she felt him stiffen up, and then give his muffled sob for a couple more thrusts. That was her cue to moan in ecstasy.
Afterward, just before John fell asleep, she murmured "Ummm.....that felt so good." She continued to stare off into the darkness.
Sarah felt guilty for even wondering if she was unhappy. John was responsible, a great father, successful, had always provided for the family, was slow to anger, and had always given her encouragement to pursue her interests. He never hit her, he helped out with housework, and didn't have any particularly irritating vices. In fact, John seemed to have it all so together, Sarah suspected he didn't really need her at all. At times when her heart felt the emptiest, she recalled the words her mother had once shared, which seemed cryptic at the time: "The opposite of love is not hate, Sarah. The opposite of love is indifference." At forty eight, Sarah had been married to John for twenty seven years, and she knew they stayed together because it was easy. They lived together out of habit, they shopped out of habit, they fucked out of habit. Sarah had dedicated a goodly amount of those twenty seven years to raising kids, but now the kids were gone, the nest was empty. Maybe it would be better when grandchildren arrived, but for now, there was only routine. Sarah had been thinking about this long enough to know that within her was still a spark that wanted to burn, and that she still had a soul. Unfortunately, she'd also realized that she didn't have a soul mate.
"Are you sure you don't want to join us?" Sarah asked. "You haven't seen Michael in what, four years?"
John shook his head and smiled. "No, you and Michael need some time to catch up. You guys have so many inside jokes and shorthand memories, it's not even fun being with you the first night. Maybe tomorrow, if he's still in town."
Sarah's fraternal twin, Michael, had emailed her two days ago that a business problem required an emergency trip to Minneapolis, and could they get together for dinner? She had accepted without hesitation, knowing she would break any commitment she might have. The thought of being able to talk to Michael was warm, like the thought of wrapping in a comfy blanket, or laying in front of a fireplace in January. They had been inseparable as children, closer than friends as teenagers, and were confidants as adults. Time went by, but they continued their conversations wherever the last one ended.
"Okay," she said, as she gave her husband a peck on the cheek. "I don't know how late we'll end up being. Don't wait up."
"Call me if you're not in condition to drive," John said, in a simultaneously understanding and judgmental tone. "I will gladly come and get you." Sarah didn't drink much, but when she was with her brother, she tended to over imbibe, often deep into the night. It wasn't so much that she enjoyed drinking, it was that she didn't notice how much time was passing.
"Thank you," Sarah responded. "I doubt that it will get real late. Michael has client meetings in the morning."
She called his cell on the way to the hotel. "What room are you in?" she asked. "I'll come by and pick you up and leave my purse in your room if that's okay. "
When Michael opened the door to room 931, Sarah's smile could not have been more radiant or sincere. They exchanged mutual cheek kisses, and then hugged. Hugging was what Sarah always looked forward to, because Michael had a way of hugging her close that made Sarah feel he was literally going to pull her into his flesh, yet without any mutual pressure on any awkward areas. She just held on tightly, and sometimes wished he could pull her into his flesh.
"How are you, Sarah?" Michael asked finally, pushing her back to arm's length. "I guess you can't wait until tomorrow, eh?"
"Tomorrow?" Sarah asked uncertainly. "Why?"
"'Cuz you get better looking every day." He grinned at her.
She shook her head. "I can't believe I fell for that line again. I am such a dolt. "
"You're not a dolt. You're a genetic oddity. Women are supposed to lose their looks with age; you get prettier." Michael was, in general, a smooth talker, but in this, he spoke the truth. Sarah's eyes were bluer, her smile whiter, her hair blonder, and her face fuller than when she was twenty five, and the combination was exactly what Michael had stated -- she was much more attractive at forty eight than she had been at twenty five.
Sarah was wearing a simple patterned sundress, with sandals, and had her blond hair pulled back into a ponytail. Her tanned legs were firmer than most forty eight year olds, but not as taut as they were when she swam competitively. Michael was wearing khaki Dockers, a blue polo shirt, and topsiders without socks. As they walked hand in hand to the restaurant next to the hotel, they looked more like an attractive happy married couple than a brother and sister.
"So, how are you and Dudley Do Right getting along?" Michael asked when they were seated. The Italian restaurant was nice, a little darker than normal, with upholstered furniture, and long linen tablecloths.
"Stop that," Sarah said, smiling nonetheless. She knew Michael had always found John somewhat pretentious. "We're fine. As always. Do you have any developments on the romance horizon?" Michael's wife, Olivia, had died after a long battle with breast cancer when she was just twenty eight. Michael had never remarried, and -- from all appearances -- had never even engaged in a serious relationship since.
"No point in trying. You're already taken, and anybody else would be second best." Michael said. He smiled as he said this, but Sarah still felt a flush of pleasure, anyway.
"Yeah, right. Everyone idolizes a small breasted ex -swimmer with a wide ass."
"You don't have small breasts," Michael lectured. "You're a 35C which is more than respectable. And you'd be a 33C if you hadn't built so much chest muscle chasing the state championship."
Sarah smiled at the truth of this. As a thirteen and fourteen year old, she had a real shot at the state title in freestyle. At fifteen, as her breasts developed, and her hips widened out, her lap times grew slower. At seventeen, she was no longer competitive. "How do you know what bra size I am?" she demanded. "John couldn't tell you what my bra size is."
Michael answered, "I am interested in all things Sarah. We're twins, remember? And-" he paused, making sure he had her attention, "you do not have a wide ass. You have a picturesque, superlative, eat your heart out ass. If your ass was wine, you'd be a Rothschild."
"I take it that would be a good thing? So if my ass was a fine wine, would you hoard it, or drink it?" she asked coyly.
"That's always the dilemma, isn't it?" Michael agreed. "I'm pretty sure in this case I'd have to drink it." Sarah and Michael stared at each other for a few seconds, each trying to gauge where teasing stopped and truth began.
Sarah broke the silence. "Well, I appreciate the fraternal loyalty, but you're not the one trying to pack this big thing into a pair of underwear every morning."
Michael shook his head. "Don't give me that, Sarah. Your ass is exactly the same size it was when you were seventeen."
"And how is it that you are such an expert on my ass?" Sarah asked with mild impatience.
"Because I spent a lot of my teenage years studying it and thinking about it," Michael said levelly.
Sarah frowned. "Oh you didn't either," she said dismissively.
Michael smiled. "You have three freckles on your right hip that form a perfect equilateral triangle. You have a small birthmark in the middle of your left butt cheek that looks like the Italian peninsula. And as a teen you had a lot of discharge into your panties."
"Michael! How do you know those things?"
"Well, the first two should be obvious -- I spied on you every chance I got. The last one is from occasionally using your underwear as an aid in pleasuring myself."
"Oh that's gross! I don't believe that. Let's change the subject." Sarah insisted. The fact was, she knew most it was the truth, no,knew all of it was the truth. She sometimes left her door cracked open when she changed clothes, just because she knew Michael would be watching. As a teen, she had been a slob, and used to undress and leave her dirty clothes where they lay. Every so often, she would run out of floor space, and be forced to pick them up and take them to the laundry. Eventually she noticed that there were usually fewer pairs of dirty underwear than dirty pants, even though the right amount always came back after the laundry was done.
"So how is the empty nest treating you?" Michael asked agreeably. "Are you enjoying your freedom?"
Sarah shrugged. "It's sort of a mixed bag. Sometimes, I think my expectations of John are too high. We seem to irritate each other more, now that the kids are gone. "
Michael leaned his head to one side. "So before, you said things were great, and now you say you irritate each other. What's the median?"
Sarah shrugged again. "I don't know....like this morning, I got up, and made John breakfast before work. Nothing big, a couple of eggs and some potatoes, but something to say, 'I care'. And when he comes into the kitchen, he doesn't say 'thank you' or 'that looks great' or even 'why don't you eat this?'. He says, 'you shouldn't have bothered; I have a breakfast meeting '. Those little things hurt."
Michael nodded. "I've never thought he treated you as well as you deserve, so it's probably not appropriate for me to comment. "
Sarah crinkled her nose. "I'm sure I'm the one reacting abnormally. It's probably just PMS."
Michael shook his head and said without thinking, "It's not PMS. Your period was last week."
Sarah put her elbows on the table and leaned forward. "And how do you know that? Don't tell me you collect my garbage and look for used Tampax?"
"Sarah, you've always been more locked in to a lunar calendar than most astronomers. Since you had your first period at thirteen, you have remained true to the new moon, even after two pregnancies. Last week was the new moon."
Sarah looked down at the table. "I don't think John even notices when I have a period," she said, shaking her head.
Michael reached across and squeezed her hand briefly. "Don't hold it against him. Remember, I'm interested in all things Sarah."
The waitress arrived to take their order, and they had to hurry to read through the forgotten menu.
When the waitress left, Michael threw Sarah an easy line to crawl back to safer conversational territory. "I'm sure you're both just adjusting to middle age and will come out of it stronger than ever."
Sarah refused to exit the subject gracefully. "I don't think. I think our marriage has become the Death of a Thousand Cuts. Too many hurts, too many words that shouldn't have been spoken, too many unspoken words that should have been said. Too much scar tissue. " Sarah had surprised herself by uttering these words out loud, but after doing so, felt an enormous weight lift from her shoulders. She recognized the truth she had been working so hard to avoid. "It doesn't even feel good when he touches me anymore," she blurted.
Michael nodded in agreement. "That isn't surprising. Whether sex feels good or not happens long before any physical touching."
They were quiet, as Sarah turned this thought over in her mind. Their salads arrived, and Michael asked about his niece and nephew, and they talked about the kids through the rest of dinner.
The waitress came to take their plates, and Michael ordered coffee for both of them. When the waitress left, Sarah glanced around. "Where's the bathroom?" she asked.
Michael pointed directly over her shoulder. "Looks like straight back and to the right."
She smiled. "Be right back."
When she was with Michael, she simply felt better. Even the sensation of relieving her bladder felt good, and as she listened to her pee bouncing off the porcelain she replayed the conversation she and Michael had just had. Sometimes, she wished they were young again. Not to be stupid again, but to be that energetic, and that sure about life. She finished up and dribbled the last few drops. After patting herself with toilet paper, she began pulling up her panties. They were pink briefs, with a small red heart sewn on near the waistband. On impulse, she reversed directions and slid them down around her ankles and over her sandals. She balled them up in one fist and walked back to the table.
Michael did a double take when Sarah sat down. "What's with you?" he asked, having to smile. "You have an incredibly guilty look on your face. You didn't flush a lit cherry bomb down the commode, or anything, did you?"
Sarah smiled and stretched both of her arms across the small table. She didn't have to lean forward very far to put them in front of Michael. "I've got a surprise for you," she said. "Give me your hands."
Michael looked skeptical but put his hands on hers. She turned her palms over and pressed the small ball of fabric into one of Michael's larger hands. Then she pushed his hands together and put her own back on her lap. Michael massaged the bundle briefly and remained perplexed. He opened his hands part way and looked in, as if he half expected a butterfly to escape. His eyes opened wide as recognition occurred, and he opened his hands wider.
"Are these?- " he asked, looking at Sarah.
She nodded, blushing. "Fresh off the press. Well, maybe not so fresh, depending on how literally you define things."
Michael brought his hands up and covered his nose and mouth. He closed his eyes and began breathing deeply.
"Michael! Stop that!" Sarah scolded. "Somebody's going to see you."
"See me what?" Michael said after one more deep breath. "Breathing? Why did you give them to me if it embarrasses you?"
"Well, because I thought you could use them...you know....later. Not here, in a public restaurant."
"Have you and Dudley never done anything risqué in public before?" Michael asked.
Sarah thought back. "No, not really, I guess. It's not his style."
A thought occurred to Michael. As he put his gift in his trouser pocket he asked, "So are you going commando right now?"
Sarah giggled a little and nodded.
They were both quiet as the waitress brought them their coffee. Sarah had just started to take a sip when she felt something fairly large, fairly warm, and fairly hard pushing between her slightly spread legs under the table. Michael was leaned back slightly, watching her eyes. Coffee dribbled down her chin as she flinched.
"What's that?" she hissed.
"My foot," Michael answered with a smile.
"Well it can't be there!" Sarah insisted.
"Why not?" Michael asked, and at that moment his gentle persistence allowed his instep to hit pay dirt. Sarah flinched again as she felt Michael's foot come to rest against her naked crotch.
"Because -- " Sarah started, and then hesitated. His foot actually felt quite pleasant against her. Her thighs were tingling pleasantly. She felt underneath the napkin on her lap with her right hand and pulled the hem of her dress up until she could feel the toes of his bare foot. She leaned back in her chair, titling her pelvis, and pushed back against his foot, holding it tightly against her with her hand. The tingling increased. She spread her legs a little more, and even better contact occurred. Michael began moving his foot slightly, up and down, and Sarah could feel herself getting wet. Very wet. His foot felt better on the upstroke, so she lifted it until his heel wedged neatly against her glory hole. The tingling escalated to something much closer to serious DC voltage.