tagRomanceIt's Called Love, Baby

It's Called Love, Baby


This is a follow-up to "Tutor," published in the mature section 7/31/18. It helps to read that one first.


'We need to keep our distance, to decompress,' Alex told him on the night he graduated high school. Craig isn't blind to why she ended things. In fact, he agrees that they wouldn't have much of a future long term, not with the twenty-plus disparity in their ages. She's in her forties and he's in his late teens. She's been married and divorced, shares custody with her two children who aren't much younger than him. What business does a kid just out of high school and still living at home have cavorting with his forty-something divorced neighbor? None. He knows it and so does she, and yet they miss each other terribly. It's the classic tug-of-war between logic and emotion, and thus far the former has held sway over the latter. But not by much.

On this warm, partly sunny, late June day, like every day, Alex is never far from Craig's thoughts. He's just stuffed a bag of groceries in his car when he spots Alex from across the vast parking lot of the Weiss Supermarket arguing with Henry Albecker, her married, middle-age, next-door neighbor who's been trying to get into her pants for years. What a coincidence, Craig thinks, the three of them from the same neighborhood shopping at Weiss at approximately the same time. He sees Alex load her trunk with packages, and then hears her tell Henry to leave her alone, jerking her arm away when he attempts to grab it. "I need you!" he shouts. He appears to say more, but someone's noisy muffler drowns out the rest. Henry's standing against the door of Alex's Ford Taurus, arms folded against his chest, refusing to budge. Alex is ordering him to move, to let her inside, but the six-feet, four-inch Henry is having none of it.

Craig, wearing running shoes, khaki shorts and a T-shirt, jogs over. "Is there a problem here?"

Henry, attired in off white dress pants and a light sports jacket, tie askew, doesn't look pleased to see him. "There wasn't until you showed up, Craig. How's the algebra coming?" He winks sarcastically.

"There's a BIG problem here," Alex says. "Henry's holding me hostage on this parking lot."

Henry shakes his head. "Alex, I'm merely trying to arrange a time when you can show me how to get started with a home web business, something akin to what you're doing. You keep putting me off. You tutored this guy, now you can tutor me." He points to Craig. "Right? She tutored you wearing something that I somehow doubt most people, including your parents, would find appropriate. Of course, I wouldn't mind it a bit if you wore the same thing for me." He undresses her with his eyes, licking his lips at this reference to the sexy kimono Alex wore one Saturday morning, a treat meant for Craig, not for Henry who had dropped over minutes before Craig was due to arrive.

"Let her go," Craig orders. "Step away from her car and let her go." Craig stands a few inches shorter than Henry, but he's confident that if things got physical, Henry would be on the losing end. The guy might be tall with a long reach, but he's a spaz, looks like he's about to trip over his own feet when he walks, not to mention his generally flabby physique, a paunchy waist and arms that look like they lift nothing heavier than paperweights.

Henry grunts. "Ah, her teen knight in shining armor come to rescue his damsel in distress. How quaint." He bangs his palm against Alex's car door. "Go home, Craig, this isn't any of your business."

"Ah, but it is, and you've got mere seconds to move out of the way," Craig says, balling his fists. With jaw clenched, he glares at his adversary, ready for action.

Henry sizes him up, as if deciding what should come next: fight or flight. "Okay, all right," he says finally, throwing his long arms up and stepping away from her car. "Have it your way, Zanetti. After all, I wouldn't want to get between you and your mistress."

Alex's eyes flash with anger. "Mistress? You have no idea what went on between Craig and I," she snaps, wagging a finger in his face. "And you never will, you pathetic jerk."

Henry backs away, his hands raised in a defensive posture. "I can guess what went on," he says, "just from the way you were dressed. Or I should say, more like the way you were UNdressed." Smirking, he lingers a few seconds more before heading back to his car.

"Call me if he ever bothers you again," Craig says once Henry is out of earshot. Too distracted with the potentially messy business just concluded, Craig now notices her attire, white shorts hemmed past mid-thigh, a low-cut yellow blouse and low heels. "I miss you," he says, "and not just because you're the sexiest woman alive. I miss our conversations, your mentoring and guidance and holding you after our wild love making."

She looks skyward, brushing back tears, and then faces him. "I've missed you too, Craig, you know that. For me, parting hasn't been such sweet sorrow. There's been nothing sweet about it." She manages a weak smile. "Sarcasm aside, I think Henry got it right. Perhaps you are my teen knight in shining armor." She steps back when he reaches out to embrace her. "Craig, if I let you hug and kiss me, we both know what'll happen. I'll melt in your arms, my panties will get soaking wet and before I know it, we'll be back in my bedroom doing what we shouldn't be doing."

"Naughty can be nice, you know." She frowns. "Look, it's something we both want, and it's something we'd be doing if I didn't live at home, if I had my own place."

"But you do live at home and anyway, I hear you've been accepted at JMU. So you'll be going to school out of state. Congratulations on that, by the way."

"Thanks. Yes, I'll be away, which is even more reason for us to resume seeing each other over the summer. I'm taking a math prep course at community college. Algebra and basic trig. Stuff you can help me with."

"Craig..." She shakes her head and makes a half-turn, trying not to look into his baby-blue eyes, the eyes that she finds all but impossible to resist. "Oh my, the tangled webs we weave," she whispers. She grips the handle of her car door but makes no effort to open it—makes no effort either to stop him when he steps forward, hugs her and begins to plant soft kisses on her neck. She'll need to change panties when she gets home, but that's not her only thought. She's thinking back to the night of Craig's graduation when his mom Eileen confronted her, almost smacked her in outrage over what she had going with Craig. Alex couldn't argue. In fact, she had empathized because she has teen kids of her own. She's thinking about this at the same time she's now standing by her car, necking with her so-called teen knight dressed in casual summer duds (forget the shiny armor), pressing her body tightly against his, feeling the bulge between his legs and kissing him as if there's no tomorrow. "Oh Craig, what now, what now?" she sighs, her tone ringing with exasperation. "Where can we possibly go from here?"

"Well, there's always Mount Pleasant. Nobody from the neighborhood will see us there." Mount Pleasant is a woodsy park with shaded, winding roads. Locals have used it for a lover's sanctum for years.

She shakes her head. "I meant that metaphorically, Craig, not literally."

He flashes that brash smile of his, the smile that lights up her heart. "I know, but we can take it literally and then think metaphorically. Sound like a plan? Bet you haven't made love in a car for years."

She chuckles. "Truth be told, Craig, I've never made love in a car. Did plenty of necking, but never went all the way."

"So this will be a new experience." He brushes back his thick mane of blond hair, then hugs her again. "Shall we?"

"You know what'll happen, don't you? You're mom, and perhaps your dad also, will come storming over my house and beat me senseless. Your mom's angry enough with me already. She screamed at me when you were on stage during the graduation ceremony, told me you should be living life the way most kids your age do, which doesn't include, quote, 'hopping into bed with a sex-crazed divorcee twice your age.'"

"That's why you broke things off? Because my mom bawled you out?"

"She was merely the catalyst. I knew what we were doing wasn't kosher."

"She and dad won't have to know."

"Famous last words."

"I'm crazy about you. How do you like them words?"

Further resistance is futile. In minutes, Alex is behind the wheel of her car, following Craig's Jetta to Mount Pleasant. So wrong, but so irresistible. She senses she'd regret getting involved with him again, yet also regret not getting involved. This summer could be the best of times or the worst of times. Oh, the ambiguity of it all, the frustrating ambiguity. The only thing she's sure about right now is her feelings, both in her heart and between her legs.

She pulls behind him in one of the park's shadier spots. Craig alights from his Jetta and pads up to her window. "Your place or mine?" he cracks.

"My car's bigger," she says, letting her hair down.. "Hop in."

Her Taurus's back seat is roomy enough to do what they came for. Sure, it lacks the comforts of home, yet there's something undeniably erotic about making love in the cramped confines of an automobile. Cutting off her engine and thus the AC with it, she drops all four windows and looks around. Not a car in sight. They're surrounded by nature—tall trees and the sound of chirping birds. Other sounds become more immediate, the suction of their lips pressed together, the soft moans and one syllable asides. Most of their clothing sits in a pile on the floor. Only their bottoms remain on, crotches at the ready to be pushed aside for easy access.

Primed to go as Craig is, he has enough presence of mind to think philosophically about what he's doing and why he's here. "Blame it on cause and effect," he says.

Alex sits up and gives him a puzzled "Huh?"

"Cause and effect. Had Henry not been on that parking lot or if I hadn't been there, we wouldn't be here right now. All of life seems to work that way." He smiles apologetically. "Sorry to interrupt."

"No, that's okay." She reaches up, holds his face and plants a light kiss on his mouth. "I adore men who can be introspective, even when they're intimate."

"And I adore women who can appreciate that side of me. Not all of them have. Are you surprised? About me, I mean."

"Not at all. I sensed a rare sensitivity lurking behind that cool jock exterior of yours, one I'm guessing that you keep hidden from certain people for fear of ridicule. Am I right?" He nods. "Okay. Now, as much as I'd like to go further with this discussion, right now I'm in the mood for something else. So let's resume where we left off. Shall we?"

When she sinks back down into the seat cushion, he resumes oral on her nipples, followed by oral from her, followed by what she had not heretofore done in a car. One wouldn't know it, what with the uninhibited way she straddles his lap and moves. Her head barely clears the roof as she works her pelvis over his cock, her boobs bouncing in rhythm with the rest of her. "Ohmygod, Craig, ohmygod," she cries, feeling those familiar pelvic contractions that precede climax. When it hits, she collapses into his arms and then climbs off his lap, lies back on the seat and pulls him on top of her. "You haven't come yet and I've got more left," she says, spreading her luscious, meaty legs as best she can. "Yes! Yes!" she shrieks, giving Craig all the encouragement she can muster while feeling for the first time what must be those multiple climaxes that she's read about but never actually experienced until this moment and that explode like multiple warheads before burning out following his own.

She sits up and hugs him and then repeats herself. "What now, what now, my love?" Before he can speak, she says, "You don't have to answer that, at least right away. I'm as much if not more responsible for this than you are."

"Why, because you're older?"

"Yes, and because I feel somewhat like a hypocrite being involved with someone much younger, something I wouldn't want my son or daughter doing. Yet here I am."

Craig holds her and rubs her back when he sees her blink back tears. "It'll be okay. We'll have this incredible summer. Then we'll keep in touch when I'm away at JMU. Meanwhile, you can help me with that math prep course. No more breakup notes, please."

"Craig, you know your parents won't allow this, not when you're still living under their roof, as your mom told me. The last thing I want is for them to kick you out because of me."

"That won't happen. We'll find a way. Trust me."

She sighs, brushes drops of perspiration across her forehead and then kisses him. "Right now, with the way I adore you, I don't have much choice."


Subterfuge. Craig knows what the word means and rarely, if ever, did he practice it to get around his parents. That is, until now, because he finds Alexandra Cassidy, his neighbor and erstwhile tutor, irresistible. We have to stop meeting like this, a corny cliché to most people, a reality for Alex and Craig. Texts and emails fly back and forth, setting up secret rendezvous. Mount Pleasant is one place but so is the Boxwood Inn, a 1950s era white clapboard, out-of-the-way motel that asks no questions. What happens in the Boxwood, stays in the Boxwood, the joke around there goes. Sometimes they just meet for lunch. No sex, just conversation and sometimes math help for Craig over soup and/or sandwiches at Atwater's or the Bel Loc Diner. By late July, both get the itch to meet in a more romantic setting. The beach, only three hours away, is an obvious choice. However, to pull that off, Craig knows he's got to outright lie to his parents, tell them he'll be going with friends. He's not comfortable with the idea and neither is Alex. "You're defying them enough already by seeing me," she says.

"Agreed," he says, "but just think of the incredible time we'll have. Going to sleep and waking up together, romantic dinners, walks on the sand and making love without a timetable. Does that sound great or what?"

Of course it does, and despite her misgivings, she finds herself working through the serpentine logistics, meeting Craig at a park&ride, then transferring her luggage to his Jetta for the drive to the Fenwick Inn in Ocean City, about a mile south of the Maryland-Delaware line, where she's made reservations for a three-night stay. The seven-story, amenities-loaded Fenwick takes up close to a half block and sits on the west side of Coastal Highway, a convenient walk to the beach and away from the rabble further south. The idea that the desk clerk might mistake Craig for her son or nephew isn't lost on Alex when she checks in. On the elevator, Craig laughs when she shares that thought. "He's just my student, you could have said," Craig quips.

Not missing a beat, she says, "I tutor him in algebra and trig. He learns faster in the clean salt air."

They deposit their luggage in their 4th floor room, equipped with a queen-sized bed, seventeen-inch flat screen TV, microwave and fridge. Their room faces west, where they can see the late afternoon sun beginning to sink over Assawoman Bay. Standing at the window, she suddenly feels wistful. "You make me feel like a college girl again."

Craig steps up from behind, wraps his arms around her. "You came here with your boyfriend?"

She turns around. "Not at the Fenwick. We stayed further down at some cottage just off the boardwalk."

"Who's WE, your future hubby?"

She shakes her head. "No, Michael wasn't much of a beach person. A guy named Franklin."

"Good times, huh?"

She nods. "Great times. Looks-wise, you kind of remind me of him." Pause. "As you can guess, that's a good thing."

"Thanks. So what happened? Between you and Franklin, I mean."

She winces with her mouth closed, then takes a deep breath. "He dropped me for someone else. Which is why—and I never told you this—which is why I felt badly for Heather when you broke things off because I know how she must have felt."

"I did it to be with you. Emotionally, it would have been too stressful for me to carry on with both of you."

"She must have been very hurt."

"Yes." He backs up, sits on the edge of the bed, looks down at the floor and nods. "She cried and screamed at me when I told her. Of course, being the source of her pain, there was nothing I could do."

She steps over, sits down and throws an arm around him. "You still have feelings for her, don't you?" Silence. "It's okay, you can be honest with me." He nods. She rubs his back. "Look, Craig, as much as I adore you, if you...well, if you ever feel as if you'd like to reconnect with her, feel free. As much as we care for each other, we both know we have a limited future together. In time, if you want to marry and have kids, you'll need to meet someone who doesn't remember when Reagan was president, when vinyl was king, when the Berlin Wall came down and when the web might refer to something about spiders." She leans over and kisses him. "That said, I'll treasure every minute I'm with you." She kicks off her sandals, snaps open her white shorts and then steps out of them. "I know we just got here, and you're probably hungry, but can you make love to me? I want to feel close to you."

"Your wish is my wish as well as my command."

They play out their mutual passion under the covers, their bodies melded together, their hearts in the right place, at least for now, treasuring every minute as she said. Afterward, they shower and dress, and then have dinner at some steak house a few miles outside Ocean City before returning to their room and making love again.


An overnight rain shower gives way to bright sunshine the next day, as perfect a beach day as one could ask for. "Damn, you look hot in that," Craig gushes, rubbing Coppertone over her back. "Not many women your age should be wearing a bikini, but you're an exception." The last time he'd seen her in a bikini was when she was watering her rose bushes back home.

She had debated whether to wear it or her one-piece. She agrees with Craig: too many middle-age women, shorter women especially (like Alex), push the envelope of aesthetic decorum wearing them. But women built like her, women with firm legs and firm boobs and flat stomachs can get away with it.

"Let me do that," Craig insists, and then proceeds to rub the lotion into the skin of her firm, chunky thighs while she sits on her chaise lounge. "If this was a private beach, I'd, well, I bet you can guess."

Her fingers fluff his blond shag of hair. "Um, yes, I can, and I'll bet you can guess how I'd react, young man." She glances at his six-pack and then squeezes the hard muscles of his quads. I'm with a teen Adonis, the sexiest guy on the beach, and I'm old enough to be his mother. But what the heck."

The day plays out as beach days do, lazing on chaise lounges, reading and listening to music through ear buds between bodysurfing and walks along the beach. In late afternoon, when they return to the Fenwick, Alex showers while Craig throws on flip-flops and gray sweats, then takes the elevator to the lobby. He then enters a side room where guests can use their laptops and get coffee 24/7. He fills two cups at the machine, then turns around and almost drops them. Mouth agape, he blinks to make sure he's seeing right, to make sure it really is his former girlfriend standing before him, the beautiful Heather Chaillet. She's in sandals and wearing a turquoise sun dress over her bikini, beach towel draped over her shoulder. "Heather! I can't believe it! Are you staying here?"

She shakes her head as if she's not sure if she's seeing right either. Her lovely mouth alternates between frowning and smiling; her hazel eyes flicker. "Yes, with my family."

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