The Temple Ch. 02byLrningDom©
Kathryn had just taste tested a spaghetti noodle when the doorbell rang. Not bothering to remove her cooking apron, she walked to the front door. She opened the door to find Paul Trowbridge with a small bottle of wine and a gaudily wrapped box.
Now, look, Paul, I've told you, you don't need to give me gifts every time you visit. Only every other time." She chuckled as she took him in her arms. "Now, what are you trying to bribe me with here?"
"That's for later hon. For now, just let me look at you." Paul gave her a quick once-over, and gave her another hug, pulling her as close as he could. "Mmmm, I smell something nice."
"Oh, you silly man," Kathryn replied, "you've smelled my spaghetti before."
"Dinner smells good as well. But I was smelling you. Do you have a new perfume on?"
"Oh, uh... that. I was at the bath shop the other day and saw a bath oil that sounded nice, so I decided to try it. I hope you like it."
"I do, Lavender is a nice scent."
"You're not upset I didn't use the jasmine oil you gave me?"
"Maybe just a tad, but the lavender is nice. Besides, it's not like you replaced the jasmine with skunk oil." Paul gave Kathryn a light peck on the cheek. "Now, let me put this wine in the fridge, and help you finish dinner." Twenty minutes later, the two were sitting at a small table talking about various goings on between bites of spaghetti with Italian sausage meatballs.
"Kathryn, once again you've outdone yourself. I may have to stop eating your cooking if I want to keep trim. It is delicious... and so are you."
"Flattery will get you almost anywhere, Paul. And you are soooo good at it. Now, how's that new house you've been working on coming along?"
"Oh, you name it, one problem after another. Wiring codes, plumbing codes, finding people with the right certifications to do the work. Granted, I can do a lot of it myself, but for some things the county inspectors don't trust the guy refurbishing his own place. But once it's finished, I KNOW you are going to love it. And no, I'm not telling you where it is; I'm not about to ruin the surprise when you see it. Trust me, you'll love it. A nice place in the country, great for relaxing. Cindy will simply adore it when she comes home from school. Speaking of her, how is she handling college life?"
"Still adjusting. The big thing is going from being the big fish in her high school pond to being a guppy in an ocean-sized university. She's taking a lot of basic courses, trying to figure out what she wants to do. She loves her math and chem classes, but English 101 simply stymies her."
"I thought she loved literature?"
"Oh, literature is great. Once she gets to an upper-level class, I know she'll have a ball. But for now, she's just not appreciating so-called classic works. I think she's also learning the evil secret of college."
"Which evil secret, Kathryn? There are some really nasty ones out there."
"That you can't write what you think about a story, but that you have to write what the instructor wants to read."
"Oh yeah. Collegiate writing for an audience. I hated that. But she's smart, she'll figure it out. Probably very soon. Is she getting along with her roommate?"
"It's like they were sisters, Paul!!! Including the fights and sibling rivalries. No boyfriend up there yet, and I'm glad. She's too young."
"And how young were you when you had your first college boyfriend? Hmm? Come on, now, Kathryn, be honest."
"My first college boyfriend? I was 23. My first experience... well, let's just say I was a little younger." Kathryn blushed at the memory of her first trip to bed with a man, the night she and her erstwhile partner mutually lost their virginity. Then she shuddered. "God, Paul, it was so different then. You didn't worry about AIDS or STDs, and pregnancy was barely given a second thought."
Paul reached across the dining table and gently held Kathryn's hand. "I know you worry about her, Kathryn. But remember, you and Bill did a good job in raising her. You did your best to prepare her for life. And from what I've seen of her, you two did a good job. So have some faith in her... and in yourself... that she'll make the right decisions."
"Thanks, Paul. And thanks for remembering Bill. He's been gone for eight years, and I have moved on. It's just good to hear someone else mention him, even though you never met him. He was good to me when we were together, and was a good father." A small tear came to her eye. "I'm sorry, that's the first time I've gotten sentimental about Bill in some time."
"Kathryn, let's clear the dishes and enjoy the fireplace." After several minutes of plate-scraping and dishwasher loading, the couple retired to the family room and its small fireplace. They each had a sip of wine, then Paul handed her the gift box. "Maybe tonight isn't the best time for this, with our earlier chat. However, you keep commenting about how you feel you don't have anything romantic or sensual to wear. So I took the liberty of getting you something. I hope you don't mind. Go ahead, open it."
Kathryn hesitantly opened the box. Inside, she found a low-cut, short-hemmed beige nightgown. The body of the gown was satin, with lace bra cups that struck fine balance between revelation and concealment. "My god, Paul.... you really want to turn me into a harlot, don't you? How did you know that was my dream?" Kathryn giggled like a school girl. "Thank you, hon. Thank you."
"Well, what are you waiting for Kathryn? Go try it on!!" Kathryn fairly ran to her room. There, she let her clothes fall to the floor without care. Within minutes, she was wearing her new gown. Looking in the mirror, she began to feel the vixen in her rise. Her cleavage was easily visible in the low-cut gap between the lace breast cups. If she looked carefully, Kathryn could even see a slightly darker shading to the lace where it contained her nipples. Kathryn was enjoying the combination of kitten and vixen the gown conjured inside of her. She ran her hands over her breasts... then stopped smiling. It felt... wrong. Her breasts weren't supposed to be covered when she touched them. Bound in the harness, yes, but not covered. Without realizing it, she started crying. Her crying increased when she remembered that she was not allowed to touch herself like this. She sat down on the floor, trying to compose herself.
"I can't let Paul see me like this... oh, God, what am I going to do?" What she did was cry herself out, wipe away her tears, and get herself composed. She again looked in the mirror... loved what she saw... and knew she could not spend the night with Paul. After several minutes of thinking of a reason to demur, she walked downstairs.
"Oh... myyyyy..." Paul breathed. He had expected Kathryn to be an apparition in this gown. What he got was a vision of a near-goddess. "Kathryn... you are so beautiful. I was going to ask what took so long. Now, I don't care." When she came closer, Paul noticed her eyes. "Honey, have you been crying? What's wrong?"
"Um... I was... hell, Paul. The last time I wore something like this... was with Bill. I guess I was just caught up in memories."
"Oh, Kathryn, I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you--"
"I know, Paul. And memories don't hurt, I think it was just the adjustment." The two lovers sat down. "You know, Paul, this gown doesn't leave too much to the imagination."
"Well, there's imagination... and there's reality. Life should be a good balance of the two." Paul lightly rested his hand on Kathryn's thigh. Kathryn tried and failed not to react. Putting her hand in his, she looked down, and saw just how far up her thigh the gown rode.
"Damn, Paul, a few inches higher and nothing will be hidden." She smiled through her blush. "You trying to corrupt me here? Or are you letting your hormones run wild?"
"They always run wild for you, Kathryn, but I'm not trying to corrupt you. I just want to have you close to me." Paul kissed her lightly on the cheek. Kathryn shuddered.
"I'm sorry, Paul, I just can't. Not tonight. The memories are just too much of a flood. Believe me, I greatly appreciate this gift, and I do want to share it with you. But I just can't tonight."
"Okay Kathryn. How about we just enjoy the fire for a little while?" Kathryn didn't say anything, just snuggled closer to Paul. An hour later, they had not moved, except for Kathryn's head falling on Paul's shoulder as she started drifting off to sleep.
"Okay, honey, I get the message. You need sleep. I'll see myself out, Kathryn. You get some rest, and I'll call you later this week."
"Paul, I'm... I'm so sorry--" Paul put a finger to Kathryn's lips.
"No need to apologize Kathryn. All you need to do... is rest." Paul kissed her on the lips, then put on his jacket and walked out the door. Kathryn locked the door, then went upstairs. She laid down for a minute, again enjoying the feel of satin on her body. Kathryn then stood up and removed the gown. She carefully folded it and placed it in a chest of drawers. Reaching in, she pulled out her harness, feeling herself relax beyond belief as she slid it on. Standing in front of the mirror, she looked at her naked self. Brushing a hand on her breast, she then remembered -- this pleasure was no longer allowed. Kathryn looked in the mirror, dazed and confused as to what she should do. Obey the earlier orders of a man she didn't know, and have great physical pleasure? Or obey his latest orders, and deny herself?
"Dear God, I hope I'm doing the right thing." Kathryn walked back to the chest and put away her harness. She then pulled out an old bra and pair of panties, and dark blue sweats from another drawer. She put these on, took a quick look in the mirror, and walked to her queen-size bed. Climbing under the covers, she immediately fell asleep.
* * *
"Beckner, Logan and Collins, Richard Beckner's office... hey Paul, thanks for calling, but I can't talk long. Rich has several cases backed up, and it's keeping me busy beyond belief." Kathryn jotted a note next to a file as Paul talked to her on the phone. "Now wait a minute, Paul... when have you ever known me to be too busy to have dinner with you at La Paloma Rosa? 7:30 reservation? Okay, pick me up at home at 6:30 so we can get there in plenty of time. See you then, luv!!!" Kathryn hung up the phone smiling. La Paloma Rosa was an exquisitely romantic restaurant. And it had become the signal between Kathryn and Paul that a romantic and even sexual night was ahead.
As she turned to a side table to pick up a file, she felt the pendant bump against her breast. The pendant the man in the robe ordered her to wear under her blouse. Then her smile faded. "I've backed out on Paul once already this week, when he gave me that exquisite nightgown. And I would love to share my bed with him... need to... but..." Kathryn hugged herself, shuddering at the indecision she felt. She realized she was attached to two men, though for very different reasons. How could she spend time in bed with one, she thought, and still follow the other? And WHY am I suddenly so willing to follow this guy in the robe? What kind of power does he have over me to make me feel this way? Oh, God, what am I going to do?
"Kathryn? You all right?"
"Huh? Oh, sorry Rich. I must have drifted off for a second."
"A Paul-drift, I can assume?"
"Just as I thought. That man is going to be the corruption of you, Kathryn. And it's long overdue. Have a good time tonight. Now, do you have the Peterson file handy?"
"Paul, thank you for a wonderful dinner." Kathryn and Paul were on the love seat in Kathryn's living room. Paul had removed his jacket and tie, and Kathryn had taken off her suit jacket. Kathryn stood up, stirred the logs in the fireplace, then came back and snuggled against him.
"Anytime, Kathryn", he replied as he took the lady in his arms. "However, the night is still young. And we have yet to have... dessert." One of his hands drifted Kathryn's breast as he said this. He then nibbled on her ear to emphasize the point.
"Oh, Paul, stop it. You know what that does to me... okay, don't stop... oh, yes... oh, you devil. Rich is right, you are out to corrupt me."
"Am I succeeding?"
"I'll let you know in a bit. I'll be right back." Kathryn bolted upstairs before Paul could say anything else. In a few minutes, Paul got his answer as Kathryn came into the room wearing the new nightgown. "Well," Kathryn cooed, "are you corrupting me?"
Without a word, Paul walked over to Kathryn. He kissed her passionately, then lifted her off her feet and carried her to the bedroom. After she was gently placed on the bed, Kathryn pulled Paul close and unbuttoned his dress shirt. Paul guided her hand to his slacks as he nibbled on her ear. Several minutes later, wearing only his boxers, Paul began to slide his hand inside Kathryn's new nightie. Sliding up her torso, Paul was soon caressing Kathryn's left breast, lifting her gown in the process and leaving nothing to imagination. "And now, my dear," he whispered in my ear, "make love to me like there's no tomorrow."
"I am yours, sir," Kathryn breathed.
"Sir?" Paul chuckled. "Why would you call me sir?"
"I-- I mean-- Paul--" Kathryn began to panic, realizing what she had said. "I'm not sure where that came from," she lied. "I'm sorry, Paul, it must have been something from my past, maybe in college... yeah, that's it, in college. One guy I dated was much older than me, and it only seemed proper to call him sir. I don't know why--"
"Shhh," Paul said, placing a finger on her lips. "The past is the past, hon. Tonight is what is important. Now, I want to make love to you, Kathryn Belsky. But only if you're willing as well." Kathryn tried to pull Paul closer, then let go. "I'm sorry, Paul. I love you dearly, but I just can't make love to you tonight. Please don't ask me to explain, because I'm not totally sure myself. All I know is that I care about you, but I can't make love to you tonight. I'm sorry." Paul pulled her closer as Kathryn started crying.
"Then it's not meant to happen tonight, my love. Kathryn, things happen for a reason, even if we don't know what the reason is. I feel... I know in my heart... that we are meant to be together. If not tonight, then later. Now relax. Don't be angry. I'm not."
"How... how can you not be angry with me, Paul?"
"Because, Kathryn... I just happen to love you." Paul gave her a light kiss on the cheek. "You rest here. I'll see myself out." Paul gathered his clothes and got dressed. He then gave Kathryn another kiss on the cheek and disappeared. A minute later, Kathryn heard the front door open and close. She threw on a robe, went to lock the front door, and returned to her bedroom. There she collapsed onto her bed, curling up in a fetal ball and crying for several minutes.
"Dear God, what is it about that man in the robe? I actually thought I was with him instead of Paul!! What has he done to me? What am I doing?" After several more minutes of crying, Kathryn got up to pull down the covers on her bed. She climbed in, closed her eyes and tried to sleep. After 20 minutes of tossing and turning, she threw aside the covers and stood up. She glanced in the mirror and saw herself in the nightie. Mumbling to herself, "I need something more comfy to sleep in," she removed the gown, folded it and put it away. Then she donned her bra, panties and sweats and climbed under the covers. Within seconds, she was asleep.