tagRomanceThe Warmest Winter, Day 09

The Warmest Winter, Day 09

byTooCleverByHalf©

Thanks to everyone for their feedback on the previous chapters, with a special thank-you to my real-life editor. Remaining errors, if any, are mine. Reading the chapters of this story in order is highly recommended. All geek culture references are properties of their original copyright holders.

*****

Cassie woke up once again to the sound of her cell phone alarm and turned it off. She flipped off the covers and lay in bed for a while, convincing herself to get up. Making breakfast was fun, after all. On the other hand, she really wanted to stay in bed and touch herself, thinking about Mike. She'd been with him a few times now, sexually, and each one made her want more. Jenny and Veronica would be downstairs soon enough to ask questions if she was late making breakfast. Maybe just a little self-pleasure.

Grabbing her dildo from her nightstand, she lay back down on the bed, face-down. She didn't dare use any of the vibration settings, as the others might hear it if they roused early. Positioning herself over it, she began to shift and adjust her hips with small, slow motions -- her little secret. Her past lovers and her present friends marveled at her hip control. This was how she stayed in practice. Holding the dildo in position just so, she could tease herself to crashing orgasms with just her hips.

However, that was not for today. As soon as her pussy juices had lubricated the toy, she glided back and forth on it, making sure it hit all the right spots inside her. Every time Cassie slapped her pussy against the hilt of the toy, she recalled Mike's explosive climaxes. Slap -- on her ass. Slap -- down her throat. Slap -- in her pussy. Slap -- on her ass.

The soft, rhythmic sound couldn't have been heard through the door to her room, and before long, Cassie didn't much care. She flipped onto her back and began roughly fucking her pussy with the dildo until her climax hit. Cassie's whole body tensed and shook, her eyes shut, and she caught her breath in her throat to keep from calling out.

As soon as the glow faded, she burst into action to make up for lost time. She put the dildo in a plastic bag, reminding herself to clean it later, and put it back into its drawer. Then she got dressed for the day.

Feeling flirty, she went for a set of light pink panties and matching bra. Ankle socks, to accentuate her legs, and a denim cheerleader-style skirt. The way Mike had reacted last time she wore such a skirt, she was hopeful for today. To up the ante, she wore on of her "party" shirts. Black, with somewhat elastic fabric, and the perfect neckline. Low enough to show a decent portion of her chest, but not so much as to be obvious.

Maybe she was a bit paranoid about her chances with Mike. Cassie had always felt second-string next to tall beauties like Jenny and Veronica, especially Veronica. Men liked to see her as the "cute" one, and she was getting tired of it. A few times before, she'd gotten so disheartened trying to compete with her friends for men's affections that she'd given up.

Right then, Cassie decided to keep after Mike until she or Mike said otherwise. Even if she had to do so right in front of her friends. She'd prefer not, of course, but it was time for a change.

*****

As Jenny got ready for her morning shower, she heard Cassie head down the stairs to make breakfast, with a steadiness to her step that Jenny had not noticed before.

In the shower, Jenny had plenty of time to reflect on her friends' behavior while she shaved. Today was an "everything-below-the-waist" shaving day. She took her time, so as not to irritate her skin, or leave bumps or hairs. She knew Veronica waxed, and Cassie had shaved the previous day. That's what had reminded Jenny to do so.

Cassie and Veronica. They, like her, had not gone casual, entirely. That was a huge indicator that they were all still interested in Mike. She knew she shouldn't be trying to keep tabs, but everything a person did said things, and she was trained to pick up on them. She couldn't help it, to a degree.

Cassie, at least, was sure. She'd commented, as a joke, that they should all jump Mike at once. And Veronica had gone along with the joke, come to think of it.

Jenny paused and considered the idea herself. She'd never thought about having sex with a guy at the same time as one of her friends, let alone both of them. Would she need the guy there? Yes, definitely. But could she appreciate the physical pleasures of sex, no matter the gender of her partner or partners? She really didn't know, but the idea still tingled in her head, and she thought she might like to find out someday.

As she dried off, she focused on the more immediate issue of Mike. She decided to try an experiment: neutral clothing. Underneath was whatever she wanted, which is this case was a bright white bra-and-thong set. But over the top, she wore a "Psych Majors Do It In Your Head" t-shirt and jeans with a belt. She even put on her watch and her pink fuzzy slippers.

Let's see how Mike reacts to this ensemble.

*****

Veronica finally caught her breath. She'd just barely heard Cassie masturbating through the closet doors, realizing that her nearly-adjacent bedroom was just out-of-sight-out-of-mind enough for Cassie to have apparently not considered it. Veronica so badly wanted to finger herself to an accompanying orgasm, but stopped herself.

No. She truly did want to get her libido under control. If she couldn't, she'd be a man, and that just wasn't an option. So Veronica lay in bed, gripping the edges, sometimes shaking as she struggled for control of herself, but eventually, it passed, and she could get up now.

So, how did she want to proceed with the day? Did she want to go for Mike again, or take it easy? Maybe she would just take it easy, but not object if he pursued her. That's the ticket.

To that end, Veronica picked out a bikini swimsuit top and bottom to wear. Bikini tops tended to be perfect for her to perk up her larger-than-average breasts while not shoving them in anyone's face. So to speak, that is. The bikini bottom was so that she matched. What's the fun of being a girl if you can't treat completely arbitrary fashion decisions as if they were immutable laws of the universe?

Planning to not step a foot outside the house today, Veronica donned a pair of shorts with the word "Perfect" across her buttcheeks, and a Tweety Bird t-shirt. Add socks and her watch, and she was down the stairs for breakfast time.

*****

The machine-gun lyrics naming various newsworthy tidbits of the mid-twentieth century rattled across Mike's consciousness until he turned off his radio alarm as it blared "We Didn't Start The Fire" by Billy Joel. He woke up with a hard-on, but that was becoming the norm this past week. Unlike previous days, however, he had no inner struggle whether or not to satisfy himself right away.

Today, he had a plan. He'd thought of it right before going to sleep, and now he could spend his whole workday ironing out the details. He was ahead of his remaining deadlines for the moment, and usually he'd either double-check his conclusions or present his findings early. If he had time left, he still may.

But his three gorgeous, sexy houseguests, all of whom had been driving him wild for the last week-plus, must not suspect anything until it's too late for them to care. To that end, his usual ensemble would serve him well. Black boxers were a given, as were his jeans, watch, socks, and belt. For a t-shirt, he picked a Polo shirt that was just the slightest bit snug around his chest and shoulders. He smiled to himself at what the ladies would think, if anything.

All that would be later, so for now, it was just another morning in their crazy semi-snowed-in situation.

*****

Breakfast passed normally, with the four friends chatting, especially about how good Cassie's cooking skills were. She wasn't blushing nearly as much at the compliments lately. Topics wandered, from their future as business partners, to fun anecdotes from their lives, to games, movies, and anywhere else the conversation happened to wander. They seemed to be able to discuss virtually anything, but each of them knew quite well there was at least one elephant in the room.

Mike, at least, had an idea in that regard. He went to his office to "work," shutting the door behind him as always. The others didn't suspect a thing. Veronica went to exercise, followed by a shower. Jenny and Cassie got dressed for cold weather and went outside to bring in some firewood, now that the snow no longer covered the supply in the backyard.

"It'll be kind of weird going home after all this, won't it?" Cassie asked as they carried short log wedges up to the back porch of the house.

"Sort of," said Jenny, "But where is home, exactly? We paid for our apartment through the end of the lease, but what then? We knew we were moving, but where are we going?"

Jenny threw her head back and her laugh echoed back from the huge wall of the house. "We're sorting out so many details of an operation, and we don't even know where it'll be!"

"How about Denver?" Cassie asked quietly.

"Denver?" Jenny repeated with surprise.

"I've been giving it some thought," Cassie continued, "Even at its densest, the Denver area has a lateral urban sprawl. That means they built out, not up. It's a large enough city to provide whatever resources we'll need, but it's isolated enough from most of the country to seem like a getaway for clients, even if we're just in the suburbs. Mike already lives in the area, so we'll know people right away, the local higher education is pretty good, and if we want to get higher degrees elsewhere there's a lot of purely online Master's and Doctoral programs."

Jenny's mouth was open and she stared at Cassie.

"Plus, as you know, I'm a Broncos fan."

That snapped Jenny out of it. "Right. I should have known."

"So what do you think?"

"I think it's worth a look."

"Come on, you think it's a great idea. You're just playing it cool because you don't want to let on that you're still into Mike."

"And if I am?"

Cassie shrugged. "No big deal. I am, too. So's Veronica, if I know her at all. You know, Mike told me something interesting the other day."

"What was that?"

"He said that if he we counted our time with him as dating, we've all gotten, like, a dozen or so dates from him already. 'Cause we're together all the time here. Assuming a date per week, that's three months, as of a few days ago."

"What's your point?"

"My point is, we've never all been interested in the same guy for this long before."

"Yeah, you might be right."

"The Rules were never meant to last this long."

"What do you think we should do?"

"I dunno, but I'd bet Mike can't be having a good time juggling us all and keeping it separate and secret. Well, okay, he could easily be having a good time, obviously," Cassie giggled. "But what I mean is it can't all be a good thing."

"I guess. We'll keep an eye out, then, and we'd have to talk with Ronn- damn it, Veronica- about what changes, if any, we should make."

"Agreed."

Once the firewood was spread out on the deck, they left it there to dry out in the sun. They could bring it in easily enough from the back door. From the kitchen through the hallway into the front room with the fireplace was wood and linoleum- easy to sweep up, no problem. Their morning work done, they hung out in the living room, until Veronica and Mike would join them.

*****

Veronica was downstairs at the kitchen island, sipping fruit punch Kool-Aid that Jenny had made that morning, when Mike walked in, holding his cell phone.

"Okay, hold on, let me put you on speaker."

Jenny and Cassie got up from their seats and came closer.

"Hello again, ladies," said the voice on the speaker, "It's Stan, the mechanic. I finally got a look at your SUV about noontime, and I'm afraid the news isn't good."

"How bad?" Jenny asked.

"It's totaled. The engine block cracked."

"How can it be totaled?" Cassie asked, "It looked fine!"

Mike answered. "These days, Cassie, 'totaled' is another way of saying that it would cost less to replace than to repair. With technology being what it is, totaling is getting easier to do."

"Can't the crack be fixed?"

"No," Jenny shook her head, "The engine block is what holds the pieces of the engine together. It's basically the next-strongest part after the frame that keeps the people safe. If it cracks, the engine can't fit together. It's like putting a puzzle into a frame vertically without having the pieces supported by anything."

"Gorgeous and they know about cars," Stan said, "Mike, you lucky bastard."

"Now don't go starting rumors again, Stan," Mike chided, "They are my guests. Besides, remember what you said about Dave and the new grocery store girl?" Mike looked up and mouthed "Long story," which the gathered women suppressed giggles at.

"All right, I'm just joking," Stan said, "Not about the car, though, sorry."

"So what do we do?"

"Nearest airport's nearly four times farther away than Mike is, and in the other direction, and there's no car dealers around here."

"And I only have my Hummer," said Mike, "And even I am hesitant to use that much gas. I have to get Dave to drive me to where I can get a cab, which will take me to a rental car place, which will get me to the airport. We'll work something out. Stan, what can you do about the SUV?"

"Any personal possessions in it you ladies want saved?"

"Yes!" all three stated without hesitation.

"I'll keep it in the lot until you can get a look inside and grab your stuff," Stan said, "After that, I'll get a guy to haul it to a CarMax and get what you can for it. I'll just bill you or give you the difference."

Jenny whispered to Mike. "How can we trust him?"

Mike laughed, and responded aloud, "How can we trust him? First of all, Tina'd kill him if he even thought about it, and believe me, she'd know it before he did. Second of all, the man's the best in the state. You don't get a rep that good for ripping customers. He'll give you every penny your truck is worth, and not charge you a dime more than he feels is fair."

"A penny's less than a dime," said Veronica.

Stan roared with laughter over the phone, so loudly the speaker distorted the sound. "And don't you forget it!" he said.

"Seriously, though, thank you," said Mike.

"You're welcome. Gotta go now," said Stan.

"Bye," said the women

"See ya," said Mike.

When Mike returned from putting the phone back in its charger in his office, Cassie was already coming back downstairs from getting her phone.

"Where's your phone?" she asked. Mike gave her a confused look. "Well, go get it!" she prodded, pressing buttons on hers.

Mike came back out and she dialed a number from her phone's address book.

"What's going" is as far as Mike got before Cassie shushed him.

"Hey, Nate! Glad you could talk," Cassie said when the call was answered, "Listen, I need a favor... No, nothing like that, he's been nothing but great... yes, I mean a great gentleman." Cassie rolled her eyes. "Can you listen for a sec?... Okay, we got the car to a mechanic finally, but the engine's busted and can't be fixed. We're out in the middle of nowhere, almost literally. I need a huuuge favor... Can you come pick us up?... Me, Jenny, and Veronica... Okay, thank you... I love you, too. Bye-bye." She ended the call and handed Mike back his phone.

"Nate is..." Mike remembered the name, but he had forgotten from where.

"My brother," Cassie replied, "NYPD, straight outta high school."

"Right!" Mike said, recollections collating, "I remember now. Two years older than you, three inches taller. Also a Broncos fan. I've been meaning to ask: why?"

Cassie shrugged, "A college roommate he had turned us onto the game, and he was from Pueblo. We picked up the fandom from him."

"Fandom of sports? No way," said Veronica.

"Oh, yeah. Superstars, superheroes; sports stats, comic book numbers; archnemeses and rivalry teams," said Jenny, "Shall I go on?"

"So jocks are really..."

"Closet geeks."

"Wow..." said Veronica, "That explains a lot..."

"Except the rest of the phone call," said Mike, turning back to Cassie.

"He's gonna talk with his captain during his lunch break in an hour or so and see how soon he can use his vacation time to drive up here," she said.

"I couldn't ask him to do that," said Mike.

"You didn't. I did," said Cassie.

"You're a mean sister."

"Hey, we've been pretty close since Mom and Dad died. A chance to see each other? Not to be missed."

The conversation spun onwards and outwards as they had lunch. It continued to fascinate Mike that other than the obvious Rule-inhibited subjects, anything was fair game. There was a ten-minute argument over whether or not dust bunnies should be classified as dust rabbits instead. (Dust bunnies won, of course.)

By the time everything from lunch was cleared and cleaned, Nate called back.

"Hello?"

"This is Nathan Fox. Who am I speaking to?"

"Mike Evans. Your sister called you on my phone. It's the only one with reception out here."

"Well, that's a time-saver. It's you I need to talk to, really. I can start out on Friday, probably getting there on Saturday. I need more specifics. For example, your address."

"Funny thing," Mike said, "This house doesn't have one."

"Come again?"

"It's twenty miles from a main road. The local postal office sent me a good-humored personal letter telling me that; while, quote, 'they assure me that rain, sleet, and gloom of the night are not impediments to their duty, a forty-bloody-mile round trip for one stinkin' house is,' unquote. Word-for-word, I swear. I still have the letter around here somewhere."

"So how do I get there?"

Mike gave him an address in town. "Go here, and tell them your name. I'll call them and tell them to expect you. They'll give you a map and directions." Mike heard typing on the other side of the line.

"Okay, I think I see the address on MapQuest."

"Twenty-two miles from there. And you'll have to drive it slow. It's twisty and bumpy."

Nate was quiet, except for murmuring a few numbers. "Mid-to-late afternoon Saturday, barring unusual traffic. I'll call this number when I get to the address."

"Sounds good. See you then."

"Yes you will. Can I talk to Cassie?"

"Sure." Mike handed the phone over.

"Yeah?" Cassie said, "I'll be fine... Really. Love you, too. See you Saturday."

"Good brother," Mike said.

"Overprotective, but yeah," said Cassie, "You'd like him."

"Oh?"

After that, Mike suggested they all go downstairs to play Mario Party 4. The women agreed, but only if they could switch it to Super Smash Brothers Melee, another GameCube game.

"And why don't you have a Wii again?" asked Jenny.

"I kick it old school with gaming. Shoot, I've been looking to get a D-and-D game going back in Denver. Which reminds me..." He went out of sight. As the ladies got settled in to pulverize one another's cartoon avatars, they heard Mike do something upstairs and then come back down.

"What was that all about?" Veronica asked.

"It's a surprise. Everyone remember the rules?"

They did. Mike had them try various configurations of teams, to "reinforce their cooperative efforts," which would come in handy for being business partners.

"Dude, you already sound like a bureaucrat," Veronica laughed.

"No, if I was a bureaucrat, I'd call it 'team building' and we'd be around a campfire, singing."

"I think I'd prefer the campfire right about now. How do you get your Pikachu to do all those crazy moves?"

"The yellow C-stick. Here, I'll show you." Mike came over and put his arms around her, so that his hands were over hers on the controller.

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