What Was I Thinking? Ch. 03byKarennaC©
I opened my eyes and looked at the clock on the stand beside me. 6:20, the glowing numbers informed me. Not bad. Almost enough sleep, and still time to-
What was I thinking? There was no time for anything. The alarm should have gone off at six! I turned over to see Charles looking at me. "I'm sorry," I said. "I must have set the alarm wrong. It's twenty past six."
"That's all right." Charles put his arms around me and kissed me. "I had a feeling this might happen. I still have time to get ready and be out of here by seven. Unfortunately, it means we don't have time for a repeat of last night."
"Well, if someone had set the alarm..."
"I did set it. I just didn't set it correctly. I'm sorry."
"I know." He licked the sweet spot on the side of my neck. "I told you, it's all right. It just gives me a reason to come see you again sooner. I'm kind of tired this morning anyway. Some sexy lady wore me out last night."
"You think I wore you out? What about what you did to me?"
"I think you wore me out." Charles pulled me closer to him and ran his hands over my back and ass. "And I think I wish I didn't have to get out of this bed right now, but I'm afraid I do."
He pushed back the covers and got up. I stayed where I was, watching him as he got his shower supplies out of his overnight bag. His cock was hard, and I felt an overwhelming temptation to go over to him and suck it. But I couldn't. He had family waiting for him, and his family was important to him.
Charles went into the bathroom, and I got out of bed and pulled on my clothes from the night before. Since I didn't live far from the hotel, I'd do what I'd done the last time and wait until I got home to shower. It wasn't as though I'd have anything else to do. It was my first Thanksgiving since I'd left my ex-husband, and I was spending the day completely alone.
When Charles came out of the bathroom, I was standing beside the bed watching a morning news show. He came up behind me and put his arms around me. "Ready to go, sexy?" he asked.
"Not really. I wish we had more time."
"Well, so do I." He turned me around to face him. "But we'll see each other again soon."
"When?" I asked. What was I thinking? Nothing like sounding desperate.
"We're going to the chat room holiday party in a couple weeks, aren't we? And if I'm in the area before then, I'll definitely let you know."
"I won't be able to call or IM you this weekend, probably. I'll be busy with my kids and grandkids. But if I have a chance, I'll try to get in touch, all right?"
Four days without hearing from him? I'd gotten used to talking to him every night. But I understood. He would be spending most of the time with his grandchildren, and he'd told me that when his grandchildren were around, they wanted his undivided attention. "All right," I said.
"Have you thought any more about being with another man?"
I laughed. "You like that idea, huh?"
"Not really." He looked into my eyes. "I want to see you with another man. I think it would be sexy as hell. But I don't want to share you, at least not yet. I don't want you to be with anyone else."
Was he asking what it sounded like he was asking? "I don't want you to be with anyone else either," I said, taking the chance that I was hearing him right.
"Maybe sometime," he said. "I'd like to see you with another man, and I know you want to try two men. And of course, I'm a man, so I'd love to be with two women. But for now, let's not share, okay? Let's just see each other."
What was I thinking? I'd only known Charles a month; this had been only our second date. But I didn't want to see anyone but him. Already, he had treated me better than anyone else I'd dated. I wanted to hang onto that. "I like that idea," I said. "No sharing."
"All right." Charles looked at the clock. "We'd better be going. I'll walk you to your car."
He took my new coat from the closet and held it for me to put my arms into. "Such a gentleman," I said. "And thank you again for buying me the coat."
"You're welcome. It's much better than your old one."
He picked up his overnight bag and we left the room. After a stop at the front desk so he could drop off the key card, Charles and I walked outside. At my car, he set down his bag and pulled me against him. "I really enjoyed your company last night," he said.
"I enjoyed yours too," I replied.
"Thank you for a wonderful time."
I smiled. "Thank you for a wonderful coat."
"You're very welcome."
He pressed his lips against mine. His hands cupped my ass as our tongues met. We kept the kiss going; neither of us really wanted to leave. But finally Charles broke it and said, "I really need to go. I have to be up there by nine to start the turducken. What are you doing for Thanksgiving?"
"Nothing," I said. "My kids are going to be with their father till tomorrow. My parents invited me to their house, but I just don't feel like celebrating this year."
"I'll be thinking about you." Charles let go of me and picked up his bag. "If I have a chance, I'll IM you sometime this weekend. Otherwise, I'll talk to you Monday."
"Okay. Safe travel."
He held my car door for me as I settled into the driver's seat, then closed the door and walked away toward the far end of the lot. I started my car and watched Charles go until he went around the corner of the building. Then I drove home, showered and dressed, and tried to convince myself I didn't mind the thought of spending the day alone.
I went into the chat room and was surprised by how many people were there. I'd thought most people would be busy with dinner preparations. "What are you doing today?" my friend Melinda, the one who had arranged my first date with Charles, asked me.
"Nothing," I replied. "Just got home from a date, and I'm spending the day alone."
"A date, huh?" another friend typed. "I wonder who that was with?"
"Same person my last date was with." I still didn't want to tell them too much about Charles and me, especially about our new exclusivity agreement. It felt strange to even think about being exclusive with him. We hadn't known each other that long, and I wasn't sure I was even ready to deal with being exclusive with someone. The last time I'd tried it, it certainly hadn't turned out well. But with Charles, it felt strange in a good way, and somehow I didn't think I'd have as many questions and doubts as I'd had with the other guy.
"Woohoo," Melinda typed. "Sounds like things are going well!"
"Yeah, so far so good." I didn't want to seem too excited. "I have to find a dress for the holiday party. He's taking me to it."
"That's awesome!" Melinda typed. "Too bad you don't live closer; we could go shopping together. I need to find something too. Maybe you can come down earlier the day of the party and we can hit some stores."
"I'd like that," I replied. "I'm going to look online for a dress, too, but even if I find something it would be good to have an alternate."
"Yeah, in case your man rips it off you," someone else typed, eliciting several "lols".
I stayed in the chat room a little longer, then started my search for the perfect party dress. Not that I expected much. It was hard to shop online when I wasn't completely sure what size I took; I'd learned to try things on in stores because the fit depended more on the brand and style than on what the size tag said. But I had a feeling I'd find something online for the party, and I decided to just trust that whatever I found would fit.
I spent over an hour checking the online stores I knew of. I wasn't sure quite what I was looking for; something bright-colored, maybe red since the party was during the Christmas season, something sexy that would make Charles's eyes go wide, but wouldn't make me look like I was all about sex.
After a while, I gave up on the stores. The few dresses I found that fit my idea of what I wanted cost far more than I could justify spending on a dress I might only wear once. On a whim, I decided to check an online auction site where some of my chat room friends had said they occasionally found clothes. Once there, it only took ten minutes to find a dress that was exactly what I wanted. Royal blue silk with a halter-style top and a full, knee-length skirt, made by one of the top lingerie companies. And it was a size I was pretty sure would fit me. I didn't even hesitate before clicking the "Buy Now" button. I didn't bother paying extra for faster shipping. This was the dress I was meant to have, and I knew it would reach me before the party. It was perfect, and Charles would love it.
Later that afternoon, I called my ex-husband. "What time should I pick up the girls?" I asked.
"Let them stay," he said. "They're having fun with their cousins, and we're spending the night here."
"So where and when am I picking them up?" I didn't like the way he seemed to assume I would just go along with what he wanted, but that was how he'd always been and it was pointless to argue with him. And I did want my daughters to spend more time with his side of the family. Just not with his girlfriend.
"At my parents' tomorrow morning," he replied. "We're sleeping here tonight. I just said that."
"Just making sure. Fine, they can stay. Can I talk to them?"
"They're outside, but I'll have them call you later. Bye." He hung up.
And of course, the girls never called.
* * *
Late Friday morning, I drove to my ex in-laws' house to pick up my daughters for the weekend. After listening to my ex complain about the kids' behavior while the girls got their stuff together, I was more than ready to get out of there. "How did things go?" I asked as we headed up the road.
"Good," my younger daughter, Rosa, said. "It was fun at Grammy's."
"She whined a lot," Anissa, my older daughter, said. "And she got into a fight with our cousins."
"I did not!" Rosa said.
"Stop," I told them. It was like this every time they were together with their father; they always bickered and complained. I had to wonder how their father responded to it. He'd never dealt well with the girls' arguing while we'd been married. "So other than some whining, it was okay? Did Daddy's girlfriend go with you?"
"No," Anissa said. "Grammy said she wouldn't let her in the house. Daddy wasn't too happy about that."
"I'm sure he wasn't," I said. "Were there any problems when you were at his girlfriend's house Wednesday night?"
"Her ex-husband was outside," Rosa said. "Daddy wanted to call the police, but she wouldn't let him."
That was the last thing I wanted to hear. My ex's girlfriend's ex-husband had abused his own children; my ex had promised the man would never be around our girls. But this wasn't the first time the girls said he had been. "How did you feel about that?" I asked.
"Scared," Rosa said.
"Scared," Anissa agreed. "But Rosa wasn't supposed to tell you. Daddy said he'd take care of it. He didn't want you to know."
Not surprising. My ex often told the girls to keep things from me when he knew he'd done something wrong. He'd gotten primary custody of Anissa, at Anissa's request, when the divorce was finalized, but he was constantly afraid I'd take her away from him, so begged and bullied her into keeping her mouth shut about some of the things that went on at his girlfriend's house. If it wasn't for Rosa, who didn't feel any need to protect her father, I'd never know what was going on.
"Rosa did the right thing by telling me," I said. "It's part of my job to keep you safe. I'll talk to Daddy later and make sure he's dealing with it."
"He won't." Anissa put her headphones on and ignored me the rest of the way home.
Once we got home, the girls settled down and spent some time playing games with me and watching DVDs. By the time they went to bed, everything seemed fine, but I sensed that Anissa was still upset. Unfortunately, she wouldn't talk to me about it, so I wasn't sure if she was upset about what had happened at her dad's girlfriend's or upset with Rosa for telling me about it.
Saturday morning, I sat down at my computer with a cup of coffee. I'd just signed into my instant messenger when a pop-up informed me that Charles had signed in. Smiling, I clicked on his name and typed, "Hello."
I waited a few minutes, but got no response. I was about to say something else when he signed out. Had he missed my greeting? I tried to put it out of my mind, but couldn't help feeling like something wasn't right.
That night, after I'd gotten the girls to bed, Charles instant messaged me. "How was your weekend so far?" he asked.
"All right," I replied. "I'm a little worried about something my daughters told me, but it's okay. How was the turducken?"
"Perfect, of course. I'm a good cook."
"That's good." I hesitated, then typed, "I said hi to you this morning, but you didn't answer."
"I know. It wasn't me. One of the grandkids was using my laptop."
"My daughters were a little upset that you IMed. They still aren't over the idea that their mother and I are divorced."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cause you any problems."
"I know. I explained to them. It's okay. Just sometimes when I'm home, the grandkids use my computer."
"So if I see you sign in, I won't say anything unless you talk first."
"I'd appreciate that. By the way, thank you again for a wonderful night Wednesday."
"Thank you," I said. "Do you go back to work Monday?"
"Of course. I have a load to pick up Monday morning up here, then down to my shop, then I have to go to Pennsylvania and New Jersey."
"Lot of driving."
"Not really. I'll be back Wednesday."
To me, it sounded like a lot, but since Charles drove for a living it probably didn't seem like much to him. "Then what?" I asked.
"Probably local runs, but I don't know for sure. I don't know if I'll have a chance to see you."
"I hope you do."
"I hope so too. I wish you could go with me on my run."
"Why, so you could fuck me on the bed in your truck?"
"Yes, and taste you. You're delicious."
"I have to go. I'll call you Monday. Kisses."
He signed out. Why had he had to go so suddenly? Something about the situation just didn't feel right to me. Why would his daughters be upset about someone instant messaging him earlier? All I'd said was hello; there wasn't anything in that to indicate any kind of relationship between Charles and me. It didn't make sense.
But I put it out of my mind. Too often in the past, I'd let myself get carried away worrying about things that I couldn't do anything about and that often turned out to be nothing to worry about. I wasn't going to let myself make something out of nothing in this case. Things were good between Charles and me, and I could see them getting better. Why worry?
* * *
Sunday afternoon, my ex showed up to pick up Anissa. I took him aside and said, "I thought you told me the ex-husband wasn't going to be around anymore."
"The girls said he was at the house the other night."
"He didn't come in."
"You should have called the police. You told me there was a restraining order."
"She didn't want me to call the police, and there is an order. Everything's fine."
"I want a copy of that order."
He rolled his eyes. "I told you, it isn't a paper order. It's on the police department's computer. Don't worry. I'm protecting my daughter."
"She's our daughter, and I don't think you are."
"So what the fuck are you going to do, take her away from me? The court gave her to me. She's mine. So just don't worry about it. It's none of your business."
"None of my business? She's my daughter too!"
"So? She doesn't live with you, she lives with me. She's fine." He walked into the living room, where Anissa was waiting. "Say goodbye to your mother and let's go."
Anissa hugged me and followed her father out to his pickup. She didn't even look back as they drove away.
"Mommy? Are you okay?" Rosa asked.
"Yeah, I guess." I sat down at the computer. "I just miss Anissa when she isn't here."
"Me, too." Rosa turned on the TV. "I'm going to watch cartoons."
I spent the rest of the night writing and chatting in the chat room, and trying to forget how worried I was about my daughter. Not that that was possible.
* * *
Monday afternoon, I'd just gotten home from work when the phone rang. Charles's number showed on the caller ID. I answered immediately. "Hello?"
"Hi, sexy," Charles said. "How was your day?"
"Same old, same old," I said. "Work. Only got sworn at once, though." I worked with emotionally disturbed teenagers. "How was yours?"
"Pretty good. I'm in Connecticut right now, heading south. Pulled over to get something to eat, and I figured I'd say hello."
"I'm glad you did." In case he couldn't tell from my voice. "How was the rest of your weekend?"
"Good. Had a lot of fun with my grandkids, though the youngest was a little annoyed when I had to leave. She wanted to spend today with me."
The door opened and Rosa burst through in tears. "I hate my bus!" she shrieked.
"Sounds like some problems over there," Charles said.
"Yeah, my younger one had trouble on the bus, apparently." I looked at Rosa's red face and teary eyes. "Some kids pick on her sometimes."
"They suck!" she shouted. "They called me baby again!"
"Maybe you should go take care of her," Charles suggested. "I'll call you tonight if I can, or tomorrow."
I didn't want to get off the phone with him. It was probably selfish of me, but Rosa came home in tears two or three days a week, and I'd learned that she was usually fine within five minutes. I could listen to the thousandth telling of how rotten her busmates were anytime, but I could only talk to Charles when he had a chance to call. I knew how that would sound to him, though. "Yeah, I guess you're right," I said. "Have a nice trip."
"It would be nicer if you were here," he said.
"Yeah? And what would I be doing if I were there?"
"Well, I'm parked right now, with a bed in my truck. You figure it out."
Rosa's voice demanded attention. I sighed and said to Charles, "I can figure out lots of possibilities, but I'll have to tell you about them next time we talk."
"Okay. I have to get back on the road anyway; I'm supposed to be in New Jersey by six. Talk to you soon, sexy."
"Talk to you soon."
I hung up the phone and turned to comfort Rosa. True to form, she'd already stopped crying and was looking for the TV remote. "Do you want to talk about what happened?" I asked.
"Who were you talking to?" She lifted one of the couch cushions. "I can't find the buttons."
"I was talking to my friend Charles, and I don't know where the buttons are. You had them last. Do you want to talk about what happened on the bus?"
"No. They're idiots is all. Who's Charles?"
"My friend." I'd mentioned him to her before, but she'd either forgotten or was choosing to pretend she had.
"Oh." She dug the remote out from under one of the cushions. "Now I'm going to watch TV while I have my afternoon snack. Then I'll do my homework."
"Okay." I turned on the computer. "I'll make supper later."
Rosa didn't answer. She was already engrossed in finding cartoons.
I hung out in the chat room for a while, reading people's discussions of their weekends. I didn't contribute much. I definitely didn't want to get into the crap about my ex-husband, and I still wasn't sure how much I should say about Charles and me. After a while, I left chat without saying goodbye and fixed supper for Rosa and me, not an easy prospect since she wasn't vegetarian and I still hadn't gotten the hang of cooking one meal for her and one for me without making enough for Anissa as well. More often than not, we made do with TV dinners, but I felt like actually cooking tonight.