"Oh come on, why so secretive?" Paula teased Melanie, her closest friend since childhood.
"Nothing," Melanie uneasily replied. "It's getting late. Maybe I should go home."
The two divorcees, both in their late 30's had spent the evening at Paula's home, watching a few old movies and sharing a bottle of wine. When the topic of discussion turned to sex, as it often did on nights like this, very few secrets still remained between them. And so Paula was somewhat taken aback at how her friend's demeanour had shifted to being so noticeably uncomfortable.
"I'd better go," Melanie repeated.
"Melanie, is everything OK?" Paula asked.
"Sure," Melanie replied, "I'll see you tomorrow at work."
Melanie began the walk back to her place, chastising herself along the way for her erratic behavior. She and Paula had been talking about some of the men at the office they both worked at and it had led way to Paula explaining, in rather lurid detail, about her fantasy regarding the delivery boy who often brought them their lunch from the nearby deli. In actuality, Paula's story wasn't anything that remarkable -- your basic "here's your tip, big boy" seduction that leads to sex. The problem was that Melanie's imagination had uncontrollably raced off during the story, taking her to a place that she had dared not shared with her friend, and Melanie's countenance had betrayed her inappropriate thoughts.
The truth is, Melanie had long admired Paula's son, Curtis. She'd watched him grow up into a strong, handsome young man, and although Melanie often felt awkward about it, had long fantasized about having sex with him. This wasn't what troubled Melanie though. After all, Curtis was now twenty-two, and very attractive, so Melanie didn't think a little fantasizing on her part was anything to worry about. Although Paula was not aware of these fantasies, Melanie didn't think it would be enough to destroy their friendship even if she were to find out.
The problem lay with Melanie's latest fantasies. In a strange way, Melanie thought she had always had this particular fantasy but had never had the courage to explore it until now. In it, she imagined Curtis and Paula as lovers. The vision in Melanie's mind was always strikingly erotic, for both Curtis and his mother were exceedingly attractive and, as a couple, Melanie thought they looked beautiful together. Although Melanie thought of herself as cute, she sometimes wondered if maybe her own appearance had something to do with the direction her fantasy had taken. It always seemed a bit too farfetched to Melanie, even the realm of fantasy, that Curtis would be overtaken with desire for her. Curtis seemed more like the type that would be lusting for a woman whose beauty rivalled his own good looks. It just so happen that the woman who best that description in Melanie's eyes was Curtis' own mother.
Even at nearly forty, Paula was still ravishing, and Melanie often felt a bit jealous of friend's beauty, especially at how well her statuesque figure had held up after all these years. Paula didn't date very often, although there had been a hectic time shortly after her divorce when she had practically gone on a sexual rampage, having sex with a different man at least every week. Melanie understood her friend was just going through a phase -- after years of fidelity to one man (and a lousy man at that), Paula felt the need to re-establish herself as an emotionally and sexually free woman. After a few months of this, things calmed down for Paula, and in the interests of devoting herself to being a more responsible mother, she dated much less frequently and put more of her time into furthering her career and raising her son.
Still, sometimes Melanie could not help but think back to the Paula of those wilder days. Although Melanie had not commented on it at the time, she had noticed with keen interest at how young most of her friend's lovers had been. Paula had even lewdly remarked to Melanie a few times back then about she could only be satisfied with someone who had a lot of stamina in the bedroom, and that oftentimes it was only the younger men had the appetite to keep pace with her. Many years had passed since then, and on the odd occasion that Paula did date, she always went out with a man her age or older, but Melanie knew that deep down her friend still had a fetish for much younger men. Hell, the delivery boy she'd talked about in her sexual fantasy was tall and handsome, but nevertheless barely eighteen.
It was information like this that fuelled Melanie's fantasies about Paula taking an unchaste interest in her virile, attractive young son. And as twisted as it might sound, the naughtiness of the fact that these two were mother and son made the fantasy all that more exciting for Melanie. She knew her friend to be an extremely sexual woman with a voracious libido. There was something incredibly erotic to Melanie about the thought of Paula waking up to recognise that all of her desires of love and sex could be fulfilled by the young man in bedroom down the hallway from hers. Her fantasies usually revolved around her friend at first struggling with but inevitably giving in to this realisation, either by her own means or Curtis' seduction. And sometimes, just sometimes, Melanie even put herself into the story. The Matchmaker. She would bring these lost souls together into a realm of lust and joy that neither thought possible, and even if the road they travelled to get there was difficult, in the end both would thank Melanie profusely for all she had done for them.
As much as this fantasy excited her in all its various forms, Melanie knew it was wrong for her to even think about it and she often felt ashamed for having such thoughts. She loved Paula like a sister, and Curtis was a good boy. His mother was a beautiful, desirable woman, but Melanie doubted he'd ever seen what other men saw when they looked at her. And as much as Melanie believed Paula had a hang-up for young men, she doubted that her friend would ever allow herself to succumb to the charms, potent as they may be, of very own son. Or would they? As guilty as Melanie felt about having these types of thoughts, no random sexual fantasy had ever aroused her as much as the image of very real friend in bed frantically making love to her very real son.
Melanie struggled with these feelings for over a year, and during that time it ate her up inside. She felt like she was betraying Paula's friendship by using her as a character in her cheap sexual fantasy. She felt terrible for the moments such as the one where she left Paula's house so abruptly. Compared to how open her friend had been with her about everything in her life, including her sexual fantasies, Melanie hated the idea of keeping such a terrible secret from her best friend. It made her feel dishonest and not worthy of Paula's friendship.
What changed? Well, certain real events began to blend with fantasy to the point where the line between reality and fantasy began to blur. It all started when Curtis started dating a girl named Candace. She was about his age, a lanky but pretty brunette. Like a lot of girls with a slim figure, Candace often wore tight shirts and jeans most of the time, accentuating her small, pert breasts and tight but shapely ass. Curtis had had other girlfriends, many of which were just like Candace. However, by the time the relationship had made it to four months it became obvious he didn't regard her as some passing fling, since none of Curtis' previous relationships had ever made it past a month.
But what was even more unusual from Melanie's standpoint was the change she'd seen in Paula, because she appeared to be not so subtly jealous of the young woman. Paula vainly tried to not let on, but Melanie could feel the tension whenever she saw her friend with Candace. Melanie didn't know if Candace was aware, although the girl no doubt must have realised that all the smiles from her boyfriend's mom were a bit of a façade. And what about Curtis? Melanie thought he must have noticed Paula's odd behavior around them, but did he recognise it as jealousy? Could he even contemplate this possibility, considering Paula was his mother?
Melanie contemplated that perhaps she was conjuring all of this anxiety between Paula and Candace in her mind, or at least that she was taking a harmless mother's tension regarding her son's girlfriend and twisting it into something less than normal. Considering all of the sexual scenarios she had drawn up between Paula and Curtis, Melanie had to wonder if maybe her mind had been warped into seeing more than what was really going on now. Then one day it finally happened, an event that gave Melanie the impetus to find out just how much of what she was thinking was true and how much of it was just a product of her overactive imagination.
"I can't believe they would do such a thing in my own house!" Paula cried, her voice extremely agitated.
"What do expect teenagers to do in an empty house?" Melanie shot back, "What did you do when you were that age?"
"I certainly never did anything so brazen as to do it my parents' backyard," Paula huffed.
"Well, your parents' backyard was kinda small," Melanie said, laughing softly. "It's not even half the size of what you've got here. No swimming pool or a high fence to keep the neighbors from peeking either."
"This is not funny Melanie," Paula said. "You don't have any children. If you did, you would never laugh if you came home to what I did today."
"I'm not sure what you're reacting to Paula," Melanie responded. "It's not like he's never had sex before. How many times have you found condoms in Curtis' jacket or room? You know the boy is sexually active. Hell, in the past you've even told me how glad you were that at least you knew he was practising safe sex. What makes this day any different? Is it because you saw them, or because you dislike Candace?"
"I don't mind Candace," Paula said. "I'm just surprised Curtis has been seeing her this long. She doesn't seem like the type that would make for a good, steady girlfriend."
"What exactly did happen, anyway?" Melanie asked. "You were talking so fast on the phone I could barely understand you."
"I came home to get some documents for work," Paula explained. "Remember, I needed them for the meeting this afternoon?"
Paula had been so distraught after what had happened that she had called in sick for the rest of the day. Melanie had relayed the message to their co-workers, and after finishing her work day had driven over to Paula's house to see how she was doing.
"I went upstairs to my bedroom to get my files, and when I walked by my window... I saw them." Paula said. "Curtis was lying on his back, on a towel by the pool. His swimming trunks were laying on the ground next to him and... he had nothing on."
Melanie swallowed her breath a bit, trying not to show any discomfort at what she was hearing. She'd seen Curtis in his Speedo's a few times, dipping in the family pool, and it had been hard for her to conceal her excitement. Curtis' strong, toned arms and legs, with a hard washboard stomach had fuelled many of Melanie's fantasies of him in the past. It didn't help matters when he wore his Speedo's either, since the tight fabric left little to the imagination, both in terms of showcasing the massive bulge straining against the front and the very tight buns Curtis was blessed with in behind. Melanie could not believe it when Curtis had told her that his mother had bought them for him. It was just another little gold nugget of truth that Melanie incorporated in her fantasies that maybe not all of Paula's thoughts towards her son were motherly and innocent.
"And Candace?" Melanie managed to cough out, her throat suddenly very dry.
"She was on her knees... you know, with her head in his lap," Paula replied.
Melanie sat dumfounded for a moment, not sure how to reply. The funny thing was, Paula's tone while relaying the story didn't really sound so much like a mother in disgust at catching her son getting a blowjob. Despite what Paula had said earlier about Curtis' "brazenness" of doing such a thing in her backyard, her tone indicated otherwise. In fact, the loathing in Paula's voice was much more pronounced when talking about Candace's role in all of this. The question Melanie wanted to ask lingered in her mind for only a few seconds, but the dead silence created as Melanie sat stunned made it feel like hours.
"What is it Melanie," Paula asked, "You obviously have something to add but you won't say it."
Melanie finally decided that maybe she could take a small poke at this topic without being too obvious.
"You just sound a bit odd telling this story," Melanie said, rather innocently. "Maybe you're just stressed out from everything that happened today, but... you sound a lot more angry with Candace than you do with Curtis."
"Well," Paula replied, pulling back a little, "I suppose it's only natural that I'm protective of my son. It's not my fault that he's found himself a cheap slut and needs me to watch over him."
"I doubt Candace is really a slut," Paula said. "After four months of dating, the most you've caught them at is a blowjob. If I remember correctly, you had given a few blowjobs yourself by the time you were Candace's age, and that's from a girl who wanted to marry as a virgin."
"Which I did," Paula snorted back.
"That's besides the point," Melanie stated. "Your hostility towards Candace has been obvious from the moment you first told me about her. Even when telling me about what happened today, you just sound so... strange. It's almost like you're jealous."
"What the hell do you mean by that?" Paula fired.
Melanie recoiled instantly. Now she knew she had pushed her suspicions too far into the conversation. Besides, she didn't know if any of them were true. Melanie's fantasies about Paula and Curtis could be so overwhelming at times that Melanie sometimes feared they impaired her judgement. She tried to fix the situation with her next couple of statements, but it only seemed to make things worse:
"Sometimes I just wonder if maybe you're being overly critical. That it angers you that he'd want to be with anyone that doesn't fit your standards, standards that are impossible for anyone else to meet."
"Even if that's true I don't understand how that makes me jealous," Paula replied. "Not unless you're saying I can't stand Curtis being with Candace because I..."
Paula's eyes got wide as saucers as finally figured out where Melanie had been talking about all this time. From the look on Melanie's face, Paula now knew exactly what her friend was thinking. Not that Melanie had any prior experience with how a friend looks at you when you accuse her of having incestuous desires, but the look of utter embarrassment on Melanie's face told Paula that this was happening to her now.
"I... think I'd like to be alone now," Paula said, her voice so soft it was barely audible.
"I'll see you on Monday," Melanie said. She left, feeling so ashamed that she tried not to look up at Paula's face. It took all of Melanie's willpower to get out of the house without breaking down in tears.
It was a very quiet weekend for Melanie, as there weren't any visits or calls from Paula. She spent the two days catching up with some work from the office and doing some chores around the house. Most of the time, however, Melanie just moped around the house, feeling awful about what had happened with Paula. As much as Melanie had cherished the naughty little fantasies she'd been having about Paula and Curtis, she couldn't bear the thought of doing any harm to them, especially Paula, who had been a lifelong best friend.
Not surprisingly, when Monday finally did arrive there was an air of tension between the two women. For the first time since they were kids, Melanie felt a bit awkward around Paula. Finally, she just decided the right thing to do would be to apologise for everything and ask Paula for her forgiveness. Paula had her own office at work, which included her own receptionist, and Melanie went to see if Paula had some time to sit down and talk. She was disappointed to find out that Paula wasn't there. Her receptionist said Paula had to leave on some work related business.
Melanie went back to work, and to her surprise, there was an e-mail waiting for her from Paula. In it, she said she had left for a meeting and wouldn't be back for the rest of the day but wanted to get together with Melanie at her house that evening. Melanie responded "yes," and then went back to work. She waited for any kind more messages from Paula, but none came.
As promised, later that night Melanie drove out to Paula's home. Before getting out of her car, Melanie paused for a moment, taking in the beauty of Paula's house from the outside. It was an impressive sight, and while Paula had received a hefty sum from her divorce settlement, it was mainly her drive and ingenuity at work that allowed her to become an executive at her firm and to be able to afford a home in such an upscale neighborhood. And it was principally through Paula's recommendation that Melanie had later been hired the same firm. Melanie wasn't scared about her professional future however; she was just reflecting on how Paula had always been there for her as a friend. It made Melanie feel all the guiltier for having betrayed that friendship.
When Paula opened the front door, Melanie just stood there, silent, for a moment, and then she hastily clutched Paula into a hug and began to cry.
"Come on inside," Paula said, still holding on to Melanie with one arm. Melanie was surprised at how calm Paula sounded, and it calmed her down as well. They walked over to Paula's living room area, and as they had many times before, sat on a couple of oversized pillows in front of the fireplace, talking and drinking wine. They didn't say much at first, which was fine with Melanie. She needed a couple of drinks to relax anyway, and from what Melanie could observe, so did Paula.
When the "subject" at last did come up, it was understandably awkward. Not really knowing what else to say, Melanie found herself apologising profusely for everything.
"It's okay Melanie," Paula said, biting her lip. For a moment Melanie thought Paula was trying to hide some irritation from her, but then she suddenly added, "and maybe your theory was not as far-fetched as I let on before."
Melanie just sat back, stunned. After having Paula drop such a bombshell such as this, there was nothing else she could do. For a minute, the two women just sat there silently sipping their wine, and then Paula began to speak. And what a story she unfolded. Actually, it seemed more like a confession. Paula spoke much about her failed marriage, and although almost all of the blame had been clearly her ex's fault, the result was a woman left in tatters emotionally. It had taken years for Paula to re-assemble her life, years before she felt that all the hard work had paid off and that she could just sit back and relax and be herself again.
And all through this, Curtis had been there. Through all the strife Paula had faced through the years as an unhappy wife, all the years she struggled to build a successful career, all the years she had needed to right her ship emotionally, Curtis had been there. He was the love of her life. That those words might mean more than what a mother might say about her son was something Paula could not bring herself to admit until Melanie had forced her into doing so.
"I took the last couple of days to think things over, but I guess I always knew it was true," Paula said. "And now that I can finally admit it, I suppose I'm asking you what I should do."
"What about Curtis?" Melanie inquired, "have you ever got the impression he feels the same way?"