No Strings AttachedbyTara_Neale©
Lauren looked up from her order pad at the Marine, who was the only late night customers. "Tell you what since I'm closing up soon how about I make you a blue plate special?" She saw a frown crease the man's brow, "On the house. My way of showing gratitude for all you do."
The guy was typical United States Marine Corps, she smiled. She should know, hers was a Marine family. Since they had come to this country in the early nineteen hundreds, the men of the family had proudly served their adopted homeland. Her great-great grandfather had been a dough boy in World War I, her great grandfather had served as a US Marine in the Pacific theater. But they had been the lucky ones coming home to their families.
Lauren loaded the plate with a selection of her grandmother's best food. A large tamale and enchilada, rice and beans as well as a generous serving of grilled steak and chicken. Marines were always too lean. And this man was no exception. Her grandmother had already gone home for the night. Lauren had insisted that the woman take it easy these past couple of years since her heart attack.
Irony was that Lauren did not come from a large Latino family, she had only her grandmother. Her father was an only child, his dad died in Vietnam before he could give him brothers or sisters. It was a curse that was to repeat itself when her own father died in Desert Storm. Her mother had left a couple of years later, Lauren had begged and pleaded to remain with her grandmother. She had seen her mother only handful of times over the past almost twenty years.
The buzzer on the industrial microwave went off and Lauren took the two plates from it using pot holders. She used her wide hips to swing open the double doors between the kitchen and the dining room. She smiled as she put the plate on the table in front of the man. "Hope you enjoy. Just holler if you want more. I've just got some cleaning up to do in the back."
He nodded, "Thank you, ma'am."
"Lauren. My name's Lauren." She studied him for a moment. He only nodded and picked up his fork. She frowned, usually the Marines that they got in this place were overly friendly. More than one had hit on her, which usually resulted in her grandmother coming out of the kitchen with a broom in her arthritic hands. But not this guy, he seemed a million miles away.
Lauren watched him as she cleaned the dining room. Her grandmother had already cleaned the kitchen, so Lauren only needed to put a couple of things in the refrigerator and wipe down the microwave and food prep area again. The man seemed to enjoy his meal, shoveling large forkfuls of the food into his mouth. But it was obvious from his tall, lanky frame that he would burn it off easily enough. These guys usually did.
As he brought the last forkful to his mouth, she approached the table. "Can I get you anything else? Grandma makes a mean apple pie."
He shook his head and looked up at her. Her heart froze in her chest at the sight of his deep blue eyes, eyes that held such pain she could not breath. "No, ma'am. It was delicious though."
Lauren was not usually the chatty type, not one to lead men on, she did her job waiting on them, but unlike the other waitress that had worked for her grandmother for years she did not flirt. But something about this man reached out to her. "You stationed here?"
He shook his head, "Just home for a few weeks on leave. I'm heading back tomorrow."
She did not need to ask where to, half of the troops from the Marine base were deployed to Afghanistan. They had been for over a decade now. Every time another one came in the café before deploying her grandmother would grab the cross around her neck and kiss it, giving thanks that Lauren had been a girl baby and not another boy child to be sacrificed for duty and honor. But they still tried to do their part.
"Leave? How long were you back?" she asked as she cleared the table in front of him.
"Six weeks. My wife was killed in a car accident," his voice was completely flat as he said the words, but it explained the pain in his eyes.
"I'm sorry," she murmured.
He nodded, "Thank you for the food, ma'am. I guess I should head out, let you get out of here."
Lauren knew that he was right, but something inside of her sense that there was more to this man's story. She shook her head, "No, a cup of coffee and some pie. Before you go."
He frowned and looked at his watch. "I suppose if it is quick, ma'am."
She smiled and disappeared into the back once more. She frowned as she put the pie into the microwave and poured two cups of hot black coffee. What was she thinking? Obviously, the man was upset, but they had chaplains and counselors on the base. Surely, he would have spoken to them. But still her heart pulled her back towards the table.
She smiled as she put the small plate of pie and cup of coffee down in front of him. But this time instead of busying herself with cleaning she took her own cup of coffee and sat down in the booth across from him. "I'm sorry about your wife. It must be hard."
He shrugged again as he brought a bite of pie to his mouth. His eyes locked on hers as he chewed as if he were studying her this time. Her heart skipped a couple more beats staring into those baby blues. He sighed as he laid his fork down on the plate. He lifted his cup of steaming coffee and took a sip. "Truth is that she was not alone when she was killed. My former best friend was in the car with her. They were having an affair."
Lauren tried hard to mask her shock. She knew that was the reaction the man was trying to illicit from her. That and perhaps pity. Instead she squared her shoulders and met his gaze, "It happens more often than it should. My mama had replaced my dad before his body was even cold in the ground. My grandmother always felt that she was probably messing around before Daddy died."
He smiled at her and nodded, "Corps family?"
She nodded, "For as long as we have been Americans, Flores have served this country with pride as Marines. My dad died in Desert Storm. My grandfather in Nam. And the generations before them served in Korea and both World Wars. So yeah, we know the score."
"But not you?"
She laughed, "Grandmother would kill me herself. She says that we have given enough of our men, they do not need our women too."
"Wise woman, your grandmother."
"She is that. So what now? You're heading back with this chip on our shoulder. I might only be in my second year as a psychology major, but even I know that's not a good combination."
He laughed then and it echoed around the empty diner. "You'll make a damned good shrink. I've had my head shrunk by the best, little lady and they could take lessons from you." He lifted another bite of the bite to his lips as he studied her some more.
When he had finished it and drank more coffee, he stared down at the table, "Truth is that I went into Hollywood tonight. Thought I'd get drunk and find a prost," he paused and looked up at her, "a pro to drown my sorrows."
She nodded, "I take it, it didn't work."
He shook his head, "None of them appealed to me. Just made me sick to my stomach actually."
She shrugged this time, "Maybe what you need isn't that kind of comfort."
He laughed again, "Lady, I just spent nine months high and dry only to discover my best friend was doing my old lady. I've got at least another six months without a real woman. Oh, trust me, that is the kind of comfort I need."
"I meant maybe you don't want it from someone you have to pay for the pleasure. Maybe you just need some simple no strings attached fun with someone you like," she said as she stared into those deep blue pools.
"Oh, honey, there are always strings attached."
She laughed this time, "Not always. Sometimes two adults can just screw without head games or emotions."
He frowned at her, "I can't believe I'm even having this conversation with you, honey. You look like white picket fences and mini-vans, a half dozen kids, the dog and probably a cat or two."
She laughed at how accurately he had painted the picture of everything that she wanted most in life. And one thing she knew, that picture did not include a Marine. As her grandmother said, the family curse ended with her. But still from the moment this guy had walked into the diner there had been something about him that called to her. Something that set her tummy tumbling in a way that it had not in a very long time, well, honestly ever. She wanted him. If only for this one night.
"So if you planned on hooking up with a pro, I take it you bought the condoms already?"
She watched as he sputtered into the coffee, but he nodded. "Then just let me cash out and you can walk me home, jar head." She stood up from the booth, but this time instead of just picking up his empty plate she leaned over to give him a view at her decent B-cup breasts.
He frowned for a moment, before shrugging once more. "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, my grandpa always said."
"Well, those ain't my mouth and I'm no horse," she pronounced with an extra swing of her round bottom in the tight jeans.
"No, ma'am. That you are not," he said as he stood up.
It took Lauren twice as long as it should have to count up, she kept loosing track every time she glanced at the man waiting by the door. He was staring out into the cool desert night. She was sure that his mind must be as confused as her own. This was not like her. Oh, she was no flowering virgin, not that she wanted her grandmother to know that. But she had lost her virginity in high school to her steady boyfriend and over the past few years she had slept with a few more guys.
But casual sex was not her style. The no strings attached that she boasted to this man would be a new experience for her. She sighed, if she could go through with it. Yes, she was attracted to him. More so than she had been anyone. But still, as he accused she was white picket fences and commitment. It was the way she had been raised. And this no strings things was an anathema to her. She stuffed the deposit slip into the bag with the cash and zipped it up. She tugged it inside her coat and walked over to where he stood by the door.
"Don't tell me you do that when you're alone?" he frowned with obvious concern.
She shrugged, "The bank is just a couple of doors down and this is a small town." Lauren smiled as she reached up and brushed a kiss across his lips. "But thanks for caring." She meant it too. Somehow it took the sting out of the whole no strings thing.
Then she realized that she did not even know the man's name. She debated that as they walked outside. She fumbled with the lock until it clicked into place and then motioned with her head towards the bank a couple of doors down the main street.
Should she ask? It was scandalous to make love with a man whose name you did not even know. Not make love, she corrected herself. Have sex, no strings attached sex. And wasn't a name the thinnest of strings? If she knew his name, wouldn't she be tempted to scour the local news for information of him? She dropped the bag into the night deposit and turned towards him.
"My apartment is just over there," she motioned across the street to a block of town houses. He nodded and followed her in silence. Lauren debated it all again. When she looked over at her companion, his hands were stuffed into the pockets of his jeans, his own shoulders slumped over.
As they stood in front of her door, he straightened, "Thank you, ma'am, for the dinner and the pie. And your nice offer, but this is probably a really bad idea."
She nodded, "Probably, but don't you think you at least owe me a good night kiss?" she teased.
He chuckled, "I suppose it is the least I can do, ma'am." His large hands encircled her upper arms, her skin seemed to catch fire even through the rough denim of her jacket. She looked up into those deep blues eyes that appeared darker under the dim light of her porch lamp. She watched as his Adam's apple bobbed up and down nervously.
He lowered his head slowly closing the distance between them. "Thank you, ma'am," he whispered against her lips. She could smell the rich black coffee and the sweetness of the apple pie but there was something else too. Something totally and completely masculine, something that beckoned for her to taste its sin, just this once.
As his lips moved softly over hers she took a single step forward into his arms, pressing her body against his. She moaned softly when she felt the hard ridge in his jeans brush against her thigh. He groaned like a wounded animal and then his tongue surged into her mouth. His grip on her upper arms tightened until it was almost painful, but it was the most intoxicating thing she had ever felt. Their tongues danced with one another for several long moments until he reluctantly drew back.
"I should leave," he whispered as he looked into her face.
"But you won't," she smiled as she flicked the key in the lock of her front door. Without looking back she stepped inside her apartment. She did not bother to turn on the lamp, enough light filtered through the open curtains to illuminate their way to the bedroom.
But it was not until she heard the door softly close behind her that she was certain he would follow. She sighed. She would consider later why she would have been so disappointed if this man had left. "Follow me," she smiled into the darkness, thankful that he had not. It was only a few short feet down the hall to her bedroom, but the walk had never felt so long as her mind once more fought the conventionality of a lifetime.
She was glad that the door was open, an impediment might have seen both of them running. As it was she reached back and took his hand, almost dragging him into her inner sanctum. Like the living room, she had left the curtains open when she went to work earlier and the full moon shone through lighting their way to her double bed. The brightly colored Mexican blanket was more muted in the darkness.
She pulled him down on top of it with her as their lips once more sought and found the perfect erotic rhythm to keep the doubts at bay. She practically shoot off the bed when she felt his hand cup her right breast through her t-shirt. She moaned into his mouth as he found her nipple and pinched it between his thumb and finger. "Please," she heard the throaty whisper when he pulled back from the intense kiss for a moment. Who was that sexy siren. she thought.
"Yes, ma'am," he whispered as his lips trailed hot, wet kisses down the side of her throat as his other hand brushed up the inside of her thighs until it cupped her heated core. Her hips had a mind of their own as they arched up into his caress as he rubbed her through the rough material. Then his hot mouth found her hard nipple, his teeth bit lightly at it through her shirt and bra. She cried out, but not in pain.
His fingers found the button of her jeans and tugged so hard that she was afraid he would tare it off. Then she heard the loud sound of the zipper in the quiet of their little world without any rules. When she felt his calloused hand push inside her pants to cup her wet womanhood, her legs fell open even more.
Then his fingers were inside of her, pushing harder and deeper than anyone ever had. And she was flying, racing to the moon, sailing through the darkness as the stars rushed past her closed eyes. "Oh god," she cried out as her hands gripped his shoulder for an anchor in the turbulent seas. She had never felt anything like this before as her orgasm went on and on.
She felt something sliding slowly down her legs, but her endorphin flooded brain did not register that it was her jeans until she saw him toss them across the room. Then those rough hands were tearing and pawing at her shirt. She lifted her head to allow him to pull it off, taking her bra with it. Then she was naked. Naked in her bed. With a strange man. A man, whose name she did not even know.
If that other Lauren would have balked at the idea, this new sexy siren found her hands tearing at his t-shirt as impatiently as he had torn at hers. His own hands were already working on his belt buckle and jeans. She managed to tug his shirt off just seconds before he pushed his jeans off to land on the floor.
Then his hands were all over her. Skimming her stomach and heating a trail to her firm breasts as his mouth captured her nipple and suckled. The sensation was even more intense without the thin barrier of her shirt and bra. She was whimpering and moaning, rubbing against her like her grandmother's gato as she felt the tension coursing through her once more.
He must have felt it too as his hand once more spread her thighs open. This time instead of pushing deep inside of her core, his thumb found the hard nub at the apex of her mound. It circled the throbbing button, coming closer and closer to it, but not actually touching it. Until she cried out, "Please," once more.
Then he stroked it hard and fast as three of his thick fingers plunged inside of her wetness. She arched up as his teeth bit into her nipple. It is not possible, she thought, as once more she surfed the universe. Her orgasm rolled on for all eternity as her body tightened and spasmed from her toes to the top of her head that felt it would explode at any moment.
She heard something tearing and suddenly he was on top of her, covering her as he pushed inside of her. She sucked in a deep breath and willed her body to relax a bit. He was larger than her other lovers had been, thicker too. It did not help that she had not had sex since her grandmother's heart attack over two years ago. But none of that mattered. She had to have this man inside of her. Had to feel all of him. Know all of him.
When he would have pulled back, slipped away perhaps, her nails sank into the firm flesh at his sides, no love handles for this man. This perfect lover. This aberration. She held him to her, drew him deeper as she arched her hips up to meet his thrust. He groaned out this time, "So fucking tight."
He was inside of her then, pushing deep. Hard and fast. Pounding mindlessly. it was what they both wanted. What their bodies demanded on this mad rollercoaster ride through the stars. She cried out just as she would when plunged down the ride at the fair. Her body exploded yet again and this time it was more intense because the frantic way her lover was moving inside of her told her he was with her this time, every step of the way, every twist and turn and he followed her, took her on the ride of a life time.
She was gasping for breath, her whole body replete, limp and exhausted. She could barely lift a finger as she felt him collapse on top of her. She smiled and closed her eyes as she felt him shift to the right, taking the bulk of his weight off of her. But their legs and lower bodies remained intimately locked. She wanted to say something. Tell this man how spectacular it had been. But words would not come.
His breathing slowed and she found her hands caressing his broad shoulders. She looked over at his handsome face, relaxed now in sleep. She memorized each line and plane. She knew this was a dream. A once in a life time experience and she did not want to waste a moment of it. But her body was too satiated, after along day on her feet and then the stellar releases of her orgasms, it was impossible to fight slumber forever.
They woke twice more in the night. Lauren was shocked that each seemed to be better than the last. As she fell asleep in his arms that last time, she promised herself that she would ask his name in the morning. Perhaps exchange numbers and emails. See where this thing might go.
But she awoke to the shrill sound of her alarm. The sun was pouring into her bedroom, revealing the stark truth of daylight. She was alone. Her mystery man was gone. Disappeared into the desert. She swallowed back regret and gloried that for once she had had the courage to grab life and hold onto for the most exhilarating ride of her life.