Adelle's Girls: Ericabysvenjolly©
"So how did finals go?" Cleo asked as she finished her toast.
Erica shrugged. "Alright. But some of these kids just can't write for shit. One of the essay questions was a gimme, asking for reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union." Erica was, on top of her studies, TAing for three different classes, including Western Civ. "One kid spent two paragraphs on his own theory of how Reagan was single handedly responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union, without citing a single source or reference. It's just like 'I'm going to tell you what really happened.' I ended up just circling almost half the page and put 'WTF?' on it."
Cleo laughed. "Final exams are definitely where you should put your unsupported theories."
"Exactly," Erica grumped as she finished her coffee, checking some websites on her laptop. "How was your date? You were home early," Erica asked, a small smile on her lips. Cleo had slipped into the apartment only an hour or two ago.
Cleo only blushed a little. She had stopped being too embarrassed after her third date with Andrew. "It was fun. We went out for sushi and then saw Avatar."
"Avatar? Didn't you see that already?"
Cleo nodded. "Not in full Imax 3D. And besides Andrew hadn't and wanted to."
"Really? Andrew doesn't seem the type. I was expecting opera, or possibly the thee-ate-er."
"Oh come on. It's great. Space marines fighting giant alien cat people? Riding dragons? In full Imax 3D! And he even reserved perfect seats." Off of Erica's look, she shrugged. "Whatever. Even you would have liked it. Maybe you should ask Chris to take you tonight."
Erica smiled slightly, still looking at her laptop. She didn't blush at all. "I'd suggest it, but I bet he's already seen it." Putting her laptop on the coffee table she went to put on some shoes.
"Where are you off to today?"
"Well I have to meet with Professor Givens and hammer out some details on this research he's doing, and then off to the library to get started on it. I think I'm going to be looking at thirty-year-old newspapers digging for articles on Iranian/US relations. And then after that excitement," she continued, laughing, "I'm off to the spa, getting my hair did and full mani pedi. I have to prepare for my date too, you know. And maybe then I'll check show times for Avatar before I meet him at the restaurant."
"Know where you're going?"
"Not yet, he'll email the address to you. But he knows food." Cleo nodded.
"Are you... Erica, are you alright? It's only been like three weeks. You don't have to come right back to work like this."
"Actually, I do. Funerals are expensive, Cleo." Cleo's face paled. "Just kidding. I couldn't have paid for the funeral without raising too many eyebrows. But!" she said, dodging the pillow Cleo tossed her way. "But I still have rent, cable bills, three more semesters to pay for and two courses at TCI that I want to take. And besides, I just want to try and get back into a rhythm, y'know? Get back to my usual life. It'll be easy, Chris is a sweetheart."
"Well, as long as you're sure," Cleo said, letting the matter drop for now. She'd been watching Erica closely ever since she got back from Tucson, and she did seem to be handling it okay. "He's a regular right?" Erica nodded. "I thought so, but I checked and saw we hadn't heard from him in a while."
"Yeah, I know," Erica said. "I'd seen him once or twice a month for the better part of two years and then he dropped off the planet a few months ago. He probably got a girlfriend is all."
"But he's okay. Bit of a dork, could stand to lose a few pounds, but sweet. Nice kisser, even," Erica said, smiling. "So after Avatar, what'd you guys do?"
This time Cleo blushed a bit more. "We went back to the Waldorf. He had a nine am meeting though, so he was already out the door by eight. He told me to stay in the room if I wanted to, but by then I was already up."
"With the way Andrew wakes you up, I'll bet you were," Erica said, smiling at her friend's discomfort.
"Shut up," Cleo said in a singsong, putting her dishes in the sink. "Besides, he was positively subdued yesterday. He had flown in from Hong Kong the night before."
"Uh huh," Erica said, watching Cleo closely.
"That's right... So we only did it the twice before bed. Plus a quickie in the shower this morning," she said, laughing.
"Oh you slut!" Erica said, applauding. "Your corruption is continuing at an excellent pace, my young apprentice."
"Thank you, my master," Cleo intoned, bowing deeply. It had been Cleo who had made Erica watch Star Wars for the first time, and it had been Erica who took credit for pulling Cleo "over to the dark side." Ever since Cleo had started seeing Andrew Erica had taken it upon herself to try and teach Cleo some of the finer points of the trade.
"But seriously hon, you are in a hell of a better mood after he's done with you."
"Isn't mind-blowing sex meant to be an excellent stress reliever?" Cleo asked, heading to her bedroom to get dressed for the day. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Yep," Erica said as she pulled on her coat. "Tell Adelle I say hi!"
Erica arrived at the restaurant that evening a few minutes early, hoping to beat Chris there. It was always better to be able to welcome the client instead of the other way around. Cleo had forwarded Chris' email with the address to her in the afternoon, a new hot place in the Village called DBGB. Taking a quick look around, she didn't see Chris waiting and gave her name to the hostess. As she waited to be seated, she was surprised when a slim, rather well built guy sidled up next to her and placed a warm hand on the small of her back.
"Hey!" she snapped, quickly stepping away from him. This was bad: if the client sees you chatting with another guy, it could really ruin the whole night.
"Whoa, Erica, it's me. Chris," he said, smiling with his hands up in front of him in defense.
"Chris?" she said, taking him in. In the three months since she last saw him, Chris had lost all his extra weight and then some. His belly was gone, his face was slimmer, and she could see that his arms and shoulders were noticeably larger. His glasses were gone, and where once he had an unruly mop of hair, he now had a more controlled short hair cut. She took a good look at his eyes, no longer hidden under thick bangs, and saw his brown eyes locked with hers. "Wow. You look... You look great," she said honestly, stepping close and pulling him into a hug.
"Sorry to scare you like that," he said quietly, hugging her tight. "It's good to see you." Erica could feel his hard body pressed against hers, and was shocked that this was the same Chris she remembered.
"It's okay. You just... What happened? Don't tell me you've spent the last three months at boot camp or something," she asked, her hand sliding along his hard chest.
"Uh, no, not quite," he said shyly, signaling the hostess that they were ready. They were led to a darkened booth in the back, where a bottle of champagne was waiting in an ice bucket.
"Oh, you shouldn't have," Erica said as she settled in.
Erica shrugged. "I don't know, it's just something you say," she said, laughing. "So what happened to you? Seriously."
"Well, do you remember last time I was talking about a business venture in China?"
"Yes. Some very fancy electronics component or something," she said, sipping at her champagne. She knew that Chris had made a lot of money with an Internet company in the 90s, and had gone on to parley that money into a variety of other ventures. He had been very excited about this deal at the time, and she knew it was a big deal for him.
"That's right. Well, it happened, and except for four days back here to meet with some investors back in November, I've been in Shanghai getting production going."
"Wow! Congratulations!" Erica said, toasting him. "So they have amazing gyms over there? You built the factory with your bare hands?"
Chris laughed. "No. Well, yes, to the first one. Even with all the work setting the production facilities up, I still found myself with a lot of free time and really no one to spend it with. Hardly anyone speaks English and the social scene is a little... Well, weird. So I spent most evenings at a brand new gym that had been built near my hotel. After a few days I hired this personal trainer, Kai, and told her I really wanted to lose some weight, really get fit. She took me at my word."
"What do you mean?"
"Had me in the gym for three hours, four days a week. With occasional ten mile runs at dawn."
"That's not all. All sorts of nutrition work, showed me all sorts of local restaurants and told me what to order. Every night at the gym she would just beat the hell out of me. Between the days in the office and at the factory floor and the evenings at the gym... I've never slept so well, believe it," he said, grinning.
"I'll bet," Erica said, taking another sip of champagne.
"She was amazing, absolutely changed my whole life. And the craziest thing was, she was cheap. At first I was all 'what a steal!' But she was so amazing that last week, when I was leaving I gave her a tip... Like a five hundred percent tip." Off of Erica's surprise, he quickly said "She could make six figures if she was working over here."
"Well... Congratulations, you look fantastic," Erica said honestly. "So Kai, huh? A cute, Asian personal trainer? I might be jealous," she said, laughing as she slid a hand along his arm. His rather muscular arm. "Shit, or maybe I should just hire her," Erica said grinning. "And what happened to your glasses?"
"Lasik. Did it just before I left."
"Why? I liked your glasses," Erica said. Off of his look, she defended herself. "I did! I dunno, I've always liked glasses on guys. Makes you look smart. Studious."
"Studious?" Chris asked, laughing. "That's totally an adjective you like to hear from a beautiful woman. 'My word, do you see that hunk over there? He is so fucking studious!'" Chris said.
"Chris," she said firmly, "smart is sexy. It's sexy as hell. And in any case it's much better than the alternative." Chris' laughter stopped, but he was still smiling. "I like the hair too," Erica said, sipping her champagne.
"Well that was just... I'd had the same hair since high school and it was time for a change," Chris said, blushing a little. He wasn't used to talking about himself this much, and especially not when he was out with Erica. "You look fantastic. But then again you always do."
"Thank you," Erica said, smiling. She was wearing a pretty green dress, the shade complimenting her eyes, and had her dark hair done up with one of those chopstick things. She was pleased to see Chris' eyes locked with hers and not staring at her cleavage like most guys. "When I didn't hear from you for so long I thought you had gotten a girlfriend or something."
Chris laughed. "No, no such luck. Besides Kai, I hardly met any women at all in Shanghai."
"Really? I thought a successful American businessman would be a pretty popular guy over there," Erica asked, perusing her menu.
"That, uh, that may be the case, but China's... Well, men outnumber women by a lot, or at least in Shanghai they do. You know the one child rule?" Erica nodded. "Well if you're only allowed one, and everyone wants to have a son, then you end up with a whole lot of men and not a lot of eligible women."
"That's some short-sighted thinking, right there."
Chris laughed. "Yeah. And, uh, you know, I hate the bar dating thing here in New York. And here at least I speak the language."
Erica smiled. When she had first met Chris more than a year ago, she was surprised how shy he was. In Erica's opinion, there were two reasons a man hired a prostitute. Some men hired professionals for sexual fulfillment, a thrill, or because they felt the need to drain their balls. And some hired professionals because they didn't really know how to date women. Chris was definitely one of the latter.
But once he started to relax around her, she found him to be a pretty nice guy. He was intelligent, driven, and had never treated her as anything but a lady. Unlike some clients, Chris didn't take the date part of the "date" for granted, and always at least took her out to dinner. He had even taken her out to some Broadway shows and, once, to the Natural History Museum. She smiled at the memory, remembered walking around the quiet marble halls with him.
"So how was China otherwise? You must have seen something other than the factory and the gym?"
"I did make some free time for myself at the very end. Flew to Beijing, saw Tiananmen Square, the Olympic stadium, saw the Forbidden City... And then took a helicopter ride along the Great Wall."
"Absolutely amazing. It just keeps going and going over hills and mountains for miles and miles. Just incredible. And I also went shopping in the markets in Shanghai. I bought a whole bunch of great counterfeit designer stuff, counterfeit movies and toys... Just some of the craziest stuff you've ever seen. Did you know that they have more Harry Potter books over there?"
"Some guy just wrote more books and slapped the Harry Potter label on them. Some of them aren't bad!"
"Oo, I might have to look at those," Erica said, smiling.
"I also, uh, I bought you a present," Chris said, handing her a small box wrapped in bright red paper.
"Oh Chris," she said, taking the box. Quickly unwrapping it, she popped it open. Inside she found a tiny jade figure of a woman. It was beautiful, with delicate engraving of the woman's robes and hair. "I... I can't accept this. It's much too exp-"
"Hey," he stopped her, placing his hand on top of hers. "I just thought of you when I saw it and I thought you'd like it," he said simply, smiling. Erica smiled, accepting the gift.
"Thank you," she said, a little flustered. Erica mentally shook herself. I've been out of this for too long, she thought. It had been almost a month since she had been out on any kind of date, paid or unpaid, and she was a bit out of practice at it. She put the jade statuette in her purse and cleared her mind. "So what are you getting? I've heard that the burgers here are supposed to be great."
A few hours and several drinks later, Erica and Chris were making out rather passionately in the elevator up to his loft in DUMBO. Her hands sliding all over his body, Erica was very pleased by all the hard muscles she found. She didn't like her guys particularly muscle bound, but Chris' new physique was almost perfect for her, lean and strong, but not bulging. She could feel his hard on pressing against her belly and slid against it, smiling at Chris' groan.
Chris' hands weren't idle either, pulling her tight against him and exploring her curves. The gravitated to her ass pretty quickly, which made Erica smile. Chris absolutely adored her plump butt, and she was looking forward to it being worshipped tonight. His hands slipped low, lifting her skirt to her hips and finding her bare cheeks, her thong diving between. Chris growled into their kiss, his hands cupping her ass hard.
When the elevator opened up into his apartment, the pair stumbled through, dropping coats and shoes as they went, apparently unwilling to break their kiss. It was only once Erica started dragging him to the bedroom that Chris remembered something.
"Wait, wait... Mm, Erica, honey, wait just a second," he said, trying to stop her hands from undressing him.
"What is it?" she asked, not stopping, his shirt already half unbuttoned.
"I've got to, mm, make a phone call. I'm sorry but just give me a minute," he pleaded before firmly planting her butt on a stool in his kitchen.
"It can't be that important," she said, unbuttoning her dress slowly. "Can't it wait till morning?" Pulling the fabric aside, Chris groaned as her breasts came into view. Thrust up by her demi-bra, Erica's tits looked absolutely perfect, her large dark nipples practically begging for his lips. As he stared for a moment, Erica gently toyed with a stiff nipple, gently pulling at it.
"God you're cruel... But no, it can't, I'm sorry. Help yourself to some wine, I shouldn't be too long," Chris said as he went to what Erica knew to be his office, taking out his cell phone as he went.
Erica was annoyed for a moment that he was letting some business call interrupt them, but she realized how silly she was being. She took a deep breath to relax herself, then decided to give Chris a surprise when he came back, quickly slipping her dress off and draping it over the back of a chair. Dressed now only in stockings, panties and her barely-there bra, she knew Chris would be all over her the second her returned.
Opening up his refrigerator, she found a couple of bottles of white wine, as well as something she wasn't looking for but was glad she found: a can of spray whipped cream. Grabbing the can, she got ready to give Chris a bit of a show when he returned. As she wandered close to the office, she could overhear some of Chris' conversation.
"So he's comfortable?... No, no I know that. Look I'll be there tomorrow, I think I land around five. Will he be out of recovery by then? What do you mean you don't know? Janice, please, I'm relying on you to handle things until I get there... I'm not! Jan, c'mon. Just text me the surgery time, okay? Okay. How's he doing?... Yeah?" Chris laughed at something. "Yeah that's dad. Yeah. How're Alex and Grace handling it?... Kids are weird like that sometimes. Look, look I've gotta go... Maybe I do, Janice, you never know. I'll see you tomorrow. Okay. Tell dad I'll talk to him before he goes in tomorrow. Okay. Love you too. Bye." He hung up and emerged from his office, taking in Erica in her lingerie. "God damn you look... Erica, what's wrong?"
Erica didn't realize she was crying until that moment, big heavy tears pouring down her cheeks and ruining her make-up. I had built up the walls so well, she thought. I was okay. He was in the ground and I was moving on. What happened?
Chris touched her shoulder lightly. "Erica? Erica what's the matter? Are you okay? Did I do something?" he asked desperately, pulling the weeping woman into his arms as she just started bawling, her knees giving as she crumpled against him. "Oh honey, Jesus, what happened?" he said as he led her to the couch, grabbing a blanket from the back of an easy chair and wrapping her in it. "Erica, c'mon hon, you're scaring me. Talk to me, please," he asked, almost begging.
"I'm sorry," was the first thing she said, trying to get herself under control.
"Don't be sorry, it's okay, shhh," Chris said, rubbing her back gently. "What's the matter? You can tell me, it's okay."
"My... My father died three weeks ago," Erica began, sniffling. "He died in a car accident and... and I didn't get to say goodbye to him," she sobbed. "I... I thought I was okay, but then I overheard your call and it all just rushed back to me. I..."
"Oh, I'm so sorry hon," Chris said quietly, kissing the top of her head. "It's okay, it's okay," Chris said soothingly as Erica continued to cry on his chest. He held her for a while like that, just gently rubbing her back as she got it out. "How long have you been holding that in?"
Erica laughed a little. "I dunno," she said, sniffling, "I'm not much of a crier."
"It's okay," Chris said, still holding her. "I... I was the same way when I lost my mom. I was a mess at first, but then I got better, I was fine. Then like three months later I saw something that reminded me of her and it all came rushing back. I just collapsed, I was a mess. It... It takes a while."
Erica nodded, her head still buried close to his chest. "Is your dad okay?"
"Oh, yeah, he's fine. He had a small heart attack yesterday and, well he's fine, but now they're talking about a triple bypass. His surgery's tomorrow, I'm flying out around noon," he said, his warm hand still rubbing her back. They sat like that for a moment, her occasional sniffling the only noise.