Wilmington Woman's Club Ch. 34byParis Waterman©
November, 1987 - Natalie Meets Vic Stevens
Nick Fitzgerald nodded to the bartender at the Landfall Country club bar and the bartender hurriedly splashed some Tankeray gin into the martini shaker and produced two first rate martinis, placing one in front of Nick and the other in front of Vic Stevens.
"Did you watch any of the game Saturday?" Stevens asked before taking a sip of his drink.
"I'll say," Fitzgerald replied, "what was it, a twenty-five point run-away?"
"Exactly," Vic said with a grin. "A twenty-five point differential. Corbett's knee injury aside, they don't have the talent this year they usually have."
"I didn't follow that stuff," Nick said. Nick had played point guard on a decent UNCW team several years earlier, and knew how to play the game. However he had been spending most of his time the past couple years developing properties in New Hanover County and had become quite wealthy doing so.
"What happened to their recruiting? I know they usually attract the top prospects, or some of them."
Vic laughed, "No one's talking, but there are rumors...."
"Rumors?" Such as...." Nick asked.
"The only concrete thing I've heard relates to their firing Jumbo Chambers, the assistant coach last summer."
"What about it?"
"Well, like I said, it's only a rumor, but the reason he was fired was given as budget constraints. And that's bullshit. The U has plenty of money to spend on coaches, especially for basketball. The rumors say he was banging someone he shouldn't have. I don't know if it was a student, or the Dean's wife, or someone in between."
"Fancied himself a cocksman, did he?"
"I don't know," Vic said, "but he's gone, and with him most of the contacts with this years top prospects."
"Did he hook up with anyone yet?"
"No, and that's surprising. But two of the kids we thought were coming in didn't. Changed their minds at the last minute and signed with different schools in the Big 10."
"This means Chambers either lost his touch in guiding the kids into the fold; or his transgressions were more serious than a sexual dalliance with the wrong party."
"You'd think so, yeah," Vic added glumly.
Both men nodded at that and Nick caught the bartender's eye and ordered another round.
About a year after Porter died, Natalie first got "the feeling". She was quite shocked by it. She had been looking through a magazine and had turned the page to an advertisement for men's underwear—a handsome young man with black hair, a great smile, a muscular tanned body, posing in nothing but a pair of very revealing briefs. The sight had the effect she now knew fairly well—a tightening in her body and a sudden wave of desire. While with Porter her sex drive was well satisfied, and for the last year her grief had masked any sexual need. But now, prompted by the picture, she felt strong sexual urges—her breath caught, her groin stirred and her mind blurred. Her eyes wandered slowly over the picture, feasting on the body—the lovely face, the strong chest with the rippling muscles, the long legs, and more than anything the subtle bulge underneath the white briefs.
"My God", she thought in that instant, "I want him".
But she quickly shook her head and thought to herself, "What an I doing. Why am I staring at this picture like a randy schoolgirl?" She closed the magazine, put it away and quickly decided to head for the beach.
It was Thanksgiving weekend, but remarkably warm. The forecast had been mid 70's, but it had reached 80 by noon, and so Natalie donned her wet suit and carrying her board under her arm, hit the surf.
It was just what she needed. The water was cool, but sparkling clear, and while the waves weren't large, (they seldom were in Wilmington) they were well shaped and ideal for a strong body-surfer like Natalie.
After about an hour in the surf Natalie came out, peeled off her wet suit, without losing her swim suit, toweled off and lay face down on the sand soaking up the sun. She would only stay exposed like this for a short time, being very conscious of the effects of the sun on her skin. She turned over and sat up to look around.
The beach was quite busy as she had expected for a perfect Saturday afternoon. There were families scattered around her, and groups of young people engaged in the age old game of trying to impress the opposite sex. Looking to the ocean, she saw a man emerging from the surf—and her body lurched again. Her eyes locked on the man's body as her breathing deepened. He was tall and dark and his well tuned body glistened from the water. Then her eyes met his and she knew that he had seen her study him. She quickly turned away and lay on the sand, struggling to dampen the lustful thoughts that were walking through her mind.
She decided she'd had enough sun, quickly rose, packed her bag and made off for her car. Climbing the steps from the beach to the side street where she had parked with her head down, she almost bumped into the surfer she had stared at.
"Oops, sorry about that," he said with a smile, as he stepped aside to let her pass. His clear brown eyes were locked onto hers.
"That's okay," she said and moved to pass.
"Hey," he said, "I've seen you here before. You sure know how to catch a wave."
"Years of practice," Natalie replied automatically, then mentally kicked herself for sounding like a braggart. He seemed not to notice, instead, he said, "Great surf today, don't you think? I was watching you out there, and I am really impressed. You were able to catch waves most people, including me, missed."
She noticed that he was tanned, quite good looking, but had narrow lips.
Why in god's name am I staring at his lips? She wondered then caught herself looking at his hazel colored eyes.
Without thinking yet again, she replied, "Yeah, well, I've been doing it a long time so I ought to be okay". Oh, my God, what am I doing? I'm a complete asshole today. Get a grip, woman!
"I, um, I've got to get going now. Um, I'm sorry; I know I sound like I'm bragging about myself. But honestly, I don't mean too. It's just that...."
What, you're going to tell him you're flustered? Get a grip!
"No problem," he replied. "But I hope to see you again sometime."
"Oh, yeah, me too," Natalie said, mentally kicking herself.
She felt his eyes on her as she walked away. Without looking back, she gave a casual wave and moved off to her car. I do believe he was trying to pick me up and she smirked to herself. Driving home, she mulled over that thought. Naturally, guys had tried to get her attention since Porter's untimely death, but she was not interested in them and had quickly discouraged any advances. But this was different. She had looked at him with sudden and barely-controlled desire. His body had excited her. Should she have accepted his attention? If so, how far would she have gone? She had not really thought about again entering a sexual relationship since Porter. Was she ready for that?
That night she went to bed early but could not sleep. She could not get thoughts of the surfer's body out of her mind and a growing need for sex. Funny how it eats away at you, she thought.
She got up and stood in front of her mirror, appraising herself. She was medium height, slender, a size 10. Her hair was now short—Porter had always liked it long but she had it cut not long after his death. Very long hair is too much hard work when your mind is struggling to cope with other things. Now her hair was shoulder length and she thought this suited her better. It was naturally dark brown but now looked much lighter from the sun and surf.
She thought her face pretty but not a traffic stopper. It must be okay, she had thought, I've always had a fair share of admirers. Her body was trim and she was proud of its condition. It was not tanned—she did not want that. She could just make out a color difference between the areas covered by her bathing suit and those briefly exposed. Her breasts were smallish, but men still turned to watch her when she passed them on the street. They were a good shape, firm and round, and she was particularly pleased with her nipples. The areolea were large circles, light brown in color, and the nipples stood proud when infused with excitement or cold. They had always responded well to kissing and fondling, and this was an important part of lovemaking to Natalie. Her pubic area was partially shaved, trimmed actually—just enough to keep things nice and neat under her swim suit. Porter had liked her to be clean shaven, but she had not bothered so much recently.
Looking at her body, those lustful feelings returned. Her hands began to gently cress her breasts and moved to the nipples. God, I've not done this for a long time, she thought.
She needed a release, thought about the vibrator that she had kept buried in her wardrobe. She quickly got it out and found fresh batteries. She lay back on her bed and set to work. Her clit was aching for attention and it wasn't long before she came. It was very intense, her body contorted, and memories of sex with Porter came flooding back. Moments later, she slipped the vibrator under her pillow and slowly drifted off to sleep.
Two weeks later she was walking along the beach when she turned sharply, startled by the voice behind her.
It was him, here, as if materializing from her thoughts.
I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to...."
"That's all right," she said. But her heart was pounding. "You surprised me, is all."
"I should've coughed or something. Let you know I was behind you."
"That's okay, really."
He fell into step beside her. He matched his strides to her smaller ones and began walking silently along with her. His silence beside her magnified the sense of intrusion she felt, even though -- and she realized this with an odd sense of surprise -- she been thinking exclusively about him before he'd come up so suddenly behind her.
"Perhaps we should introduce ourselves; I'm Vic, Vic Stevens."
She turned to look at him. "Oh, yes. Well, I'm Natalie Brown, but everyone calls me Nat."
"I'm pleased to meet you, Nat."
"Likewise, I'm sure." Then, chiding herself, she thought, don't be so damned formal, act naturally. She laughed and turned to look at him. "I'm so sorry, I seem to have walked my distance for this morning," she said.
"Uh-huh," he said, turning with her. "If you're finished walking perhaps you'd like a cup of coffee or something. To be perfectly honest, I've walked the beach everyday after surfing hoping to run into you. I meant to ask you out when we first met, but didn't. I've kicked myself ever since. I was wondering if you might want to go out with me."
She stopped and looked at him. Once again, she found him beautiful to look at. "OH..." was all she could manage.
Vic took it to mean that she was otherwise occupied, or that there was someone else, and blurted, "Maybe there's someone else. I don't care. I've never met anyone quite as beautiful as you in my life, and I can't let you go without at least trying."
There was a long silence as she stared at him and he at her. What do I tell him? Come on brain, get cracking ... don't leave me gaping at him.
What's she waiting for; doesn't she know how difficult it was for me to tell her how I feel?
"Well," Natalie began, "That's very..."
He didn't wait for her to finish, but pulled her into his arms. She thought, Hey, stop it! But out loud said, "What the hell do you think...?" But she never got the rest of the sentence past her lips, for all at once his mouth was on hers. She pushed out against him, struggling in his embrace, trying to twist away from him, wondering if anyone could see them from the houses off the beach. His tongue was in her mouth now, insinuating its presence. Please don't do this, she thought. Suddenly she felt his cock hard against her through her flimsy bikini, his arms binding her to him, his mouth relentless, Please, please ....
As suddenly as he had grabbed her he released her. "I'm so sorry," he said, "Please forgive me," and he turned and ran away from her. Natalie watched him run, her lips burning, and her thighs quivering. Off in the distance she heard his car start then listened to the sound of its small engine fading in the distance as he drove out of sight while her heart continued to pound.
A week later, he was waiting for her when she came out of her office building. It was a bitterly cold day, with a dull gunmetal gray sky and a blustery wind sweeping over the street as she pushed through the doors, pulling on her gloves, a red woolen hat yanked down over her ears, a matching muffler wound around her neck. Her tan was virtually gone in just a week's time. Normally, she walked a block east to the parking lot. She lived about twenty minutes from work. She was starting to walk to the lot when he cut diagonally across the street toward her, popping up in front of her much as he had on the beach.
"Hi," he said.
In the split second before she recognized him, she thought she was being accosted by a panhandler. And then she realized who he was, and knew that his appearance was not an accident, he had sought her out. He was here by design.
"What do you want?"
"I have to talk with you," he said.
"Please, go away."
"I want to apologize for ..."
"There's no need to apologize. Just go away. Please leave me alone."
They started to cross Front Street, where the wind seemed somehow fiercer. He had already fallen in step with her, and she was unable to hide her annoyance.
"Listen, I'm on my way home. I'm a married woman. I have a daughter ..." she lied.
"I came to apologize."
"Apology accepted, now good bye."
"Please, at least have a cup of coffee with me?" He stepped into her path, forcing her to stop.
"Please stop doing that."
"A cup of coffee let me explain."
"Listen," she said, "I really . . ."
"I'm sorry for what happened last week, I truly am."
"I accept your apology. Now goodbye, it was nice seeing you again."
"You don't really mean that," he said.
"No, I don't," she said, stepping around him intent on reaching her car in the parking lot. But in two steps he caught up to her, and again stepped adroitly in front of her. She stopped rather than collide with him. Natalie kicked herself, knowing that she would now have that cup of coffee with him.
There was a cluster of coffee shops on Front Street, but she didn't want to chance a meeting with a co-worker, so she told him she knew of a little deli on Princess Street, and they walked there, found a table near a giant copper espresso machine, and ordered café filter and chocolate-filled croissants.
After taking off his overcoat, Natalie saw he was wearing blue flannel slacks, a gray tweed sports jacket and a matching gray shirt, open at the color. She thought they probably looked good together as she was wearing a moss green sweater, a dark brown skirt, and opaque green pantyhose.
Later, she would tell him they made a good looking couple, and would wonder if she'd actually thought that the first time they'd met.
"So let me explain," he said, and waited for her nod. "To begin with, I don't usually go around kissing married women."
"Okay," she said.
"I mean it. I'm usually very ... careful that way."
"I don't know ... I just ... I couldn't take my eyes off you, and when ...."
"Vic, I don't want this. I'm not looking for it. I don't need it ...."
"You want to be alone, I know."
"I'm not alone. I have a husband."
"Now there you're wrong," he said with a tight smile. Natalie's mouth fell open, how could he possibly know?
"I've fallen in love with you," he said, and before she might protest, added, "I admit following you. I've even stalked you to some extent, and so I know that you're not married. You're single and ...."
"Oh, Jesus!" Natalie gasped, and glanced over her shoulder to see if anyone was sitting close enough to hear all this. "Vic," she said, lowering her voice to a whisper, "I don't think you understand what I'm telling you. I'm not being coy. I'm not in any way trying to encourage ..."
"So just cut it out, okay? Just stop it!"
There was a long silence. Awkwardly, they sat across from each other. The coffee and croissants arrived. She sipped at the coffee. He cut into the croissant with a fork. "Do you like your work?" he asked.
"I love it," she responded automatically. But her mind was whirling. He said he loved me!
"How did it go today?"
"Fine." Did I hear him right? Did he really say he loved me?
"Good, I'm glad."
He's talking to you, say something. Say something innocuous. "How'd your day go?"
That's it. Now say something else. "What exactly do you do?"
"I'm into drugs," he said, and grinned.
"Sure," she said, smiling despite herself. He loves me!
"Actually, I'm what you'd call an opportunity investor," his grin made him look as if he were trying very hard to appear serious. "I look for businesses that need an investment of time and money, and I nurture them along until they bring me a good return."
Natalie took a small bite from her chocolate covered croissant before asking, "What sort of businesses?" Is it possible? Of course it is, don't be stupid.
"Oh, I'm into a lot of things, like import-export, shipping, real estate, construction, and so on."
"Sounds exciting," she replied, wiping the corner of her mouth with a napkin, hoping she sounded bored. I can't let him know how I feel.
"It isn't," he said, "Now, you're exciting. That's just work."
A thrill shot through her. Jesus! He makes me feel .... She thought, but said, "I think its time I went home." Before I throw myself over the table and attack you.
"Because you still don't under ..."
"I'd love to kiss you," he said interrupting her.
Ignoring his comment, she said, "Let me get the check." That went well. Get a grip, he loves you. Show him you care about him. There are other fish in the sea; he can find them easily enough.
"Will you fight me for it?" he asked.
"No, I suggested this place."
"That's true. May I kiss you?"
"No," she replied, but her heart skipped several beats. OH!
Vic looked directly into her eyes and said, "Well, in that case," and leaned across the table and kissed her full on the mouth.
Natalie would later tell him that she became wet the moment his lips touched hers again. I can't! She panicked and stood abruptly. "Goodbye, Vic," she said, and left him sitting at the table and ran outside and without looking back at him.
She didn't sleep that night. He was constantly on her mind. His smile. His self confidence. She licked her lips, seeking to revive the sweet taste of the chocolate croissant on them, but that segued into the recollection of him leaning over the table and kissing her. Her imagination took it from there. Her fingers joined her imagination and after several languid minutes relief swept over her. She would repeat the entire process three times during the night and needed an extra two cups of coffee to clear her head the following morning.
Natalie worked for a small law firm, and had been promoted from law clerk to office manager with the retirement of Mrs. Elizabeth Hopkins. She had proven to be very good at her job, and her boss, Duke Sulzinski, a former All-American football player at Duke, had been very understanding and generous when Porter died, allowing her time to get herself together before resuming work. Natalie had repaid him by stepping in without missing a beat when Mrs. Hopkins was struck by a terminal case of breast cancer, at first missing work for several days at a time, and then for a longer period from which everyone knew she would not return.