This story has a mature angle, with the man being about 10 years younger than the woman. One of the primary themes - hair as a sexual attraction - might put the story in the fetish category. It's also what you would - hopefully - call an erotic coupling.
Chapter One: Last minute customers.
The annoying jingle of the bells attached to the front door of Rhonda's Green Thumb got the attention of the proprietor of the establishment, just as she was trying to post a message on her favorite website.
"Damn!" Rhonda said as she hurried to finish, and that caused her to start misspelling words.
Giving up, she jumped out of her chair and entered the front of the store. A couple in their thirties were looking around the store, walking in opposite directions around the showroom.
She was a willowy blonde with designer shades, who was chattering on the phone as she messed up the plant food display, just yakking away while oblivious to the world around her. Rhonda tried to work up a smile while waiting for a break in the conversation, so she could offer her assistance, and trying gamely to keep from getting irritated.
The guy - now that was a different story. A present day version of Sylvester Stallone, circa 1980. Long black hair just starting to need a trim, deep olive toned skin, and arms to die for; just looking at this guy made the blood rush to Rhonda's face. What was he doing with this ditsy woman?
Rhonda admitted to herself that she'd love to see the two of them go at it, thinking that he could easily break that girl in two without even trying.
"Now, if you're looking for a real woman... ," Rhonda said under her breath.
Not very likely, Rhonda admitted to herself, as she watched the guy lean down and look at one of the planters on the floor. It didn't figure that someone attracted to this blonde scarecrow would be much interested in her.
As she daydreamed, his shirt slid up a little in the back, revealing a light coat of jet black hair in the bared area.
"Easy now girl," Rhonda murmured to no one, as she fantasized about what the rest of this gorgeous bear looked like, and knew she was going to spend the rest of the day visualizing wrapping her arms around this furry Adonis and feeling that pelt of his between her fingers.
"Excuse me, does this come in a smaller size?"
The blonde held a small bag of plant food in her hand, and as Rhonda explained that the $2.98 bag was the smallest they made, the woman's cellphone went off again, and now the transaction was on hold as the woman babbled to somebody else about nothing in particular.
The clock had slid past 5, and while the shop wasn't doing well enough to be able to turn away business, Rhonda had half a mind to throw her out on her ear. Finally the woman managed to talk and throw three dollar bills on the counter at the same time. Some coins got pitched like chicken feed in her direction for the tax, and the woman took her bag and left, chattering every step of the way.
Rhonda was so mad that she spun around as the woman departed and pulled off her smock, tossing it on the chair as she reached around the corner to grab the keys off the hook, hearing the now welcome jingle of the bells that signalled the departure of the last and most annoying customer of the day.
As Rhonda turned back toward the front door to lock it for the day, she was startled to look up and see the man standing beside the register, and he smiled as Rhonda jumped in shock at the sight of the hulk in her path.
"Omigod!" Rhonda exclaimed as the keys flew out her hand while she put on the brakes to avoid a collision.
The man went over to pick up the keys, and Rhonda felt foolish as he handed them to her, her fingers still trembling from the shock.
"I'm sorry... thank you," Rhonda said as she brushed a wayward strand of hair from her face. "I thought you were gone. I mean, I figured you two were together."
"Only together in the same room for the last two minutes," the man replied, his voice a deep bass that was soothing to her ear. "Hopefully, that will be the last time too."
Rhonda giggled as the man rolled his eyes toward the parking lot, showing a disdain for the woman that matched Rhonda's.
"I didn't realize you were closing though," the man said. "I can come back another time."
"NO!" Rhonda practically shouted, and bit her lip while trying to slither under the counter. "I mean, it's no problem at all. Besides, I hate to end the day on a note like that. What were you in the market for?"
"I need a couple of hanging baskets for sure, and some greenery that will mask the fact that the house was just built, to give it a warm look so I can get somebody to buy it."
"I've got a great selection back in the greenhouse," Rhonda said. "Just let me lock the front door so nobody wanders in. Obviously I'm not very alert today."
Rhonda hustled to the door and locked it, clicking off the OPEN neon sign before turning around to head to the back. The man waiting by the entrance of the greenhouse, and as Rhonda hurried to catch up with him, she noticed his eyes were very occupied with watching her walk.
The smock. Rhonda realized too late as she led the customer toward the back. She had taken the smock off, and it was now back behind the register somewhere, and now here she was walking around half naked in front of this guy.
Maybe not half naked, Rhonda admitted, but the bright yellow scoop-neck sleeveless blouse she wore beneath the smock certainly didn't hide or minimize very much at all.
To Rhonda's relief, the man didn't roll his eyes, or even avert his eyes, but seemed very interested in giving her a thorough visual inspection. He seemed especially interested in Rhonda's breasts, which swayed in their harness with every move she made, straining the fabric of the snug blouse.
"Will the baskets be getting a lot of sun?" Rhonda asked, looking at the dimple on the man's chin, visible through his heavy five o'clock shadow, and then letting her eyes drift further downward at the spray of black hair that peeked out from the neckline of his charcoal colored t-shirt. The points of his nipples were clearly outlined against the cotton, and Rhonda's mind raced at the sight.
"It was supposed to be a joke," the man said, a amused look of his face. "Any sun? Only during the day."
"Oh! Sorry!" Rhonda said, letting a belated chuckle out, realizing that the guy had been talking to her while she was gawking at him, and wondered if there were any other ways she come up with to make herself seem goofy. "I'm still recovering from the cell phone woman."
"You've got a nice laugh, uh..." the man said, seemingly looking at her chest for a name tag.
"Uh, Rhonda," she said awkwardly, patting the area below her neck, where her name tag would be if she hadn't taken off her smock. "Oops. Nothing there."
"Nothing could be further from the truth, at least from where I'm standing," the man said with a sparkling smile. "My name's Gino. Pleasure to meet you, Rhonda."
Chapter Two: Customer service.
Rhonda's heart fluttered a little as she tried to recover from the young man's flirting while leading him to the back of the greenhouse. Too bad, she thought. If somehow she could shed a few years and a couple pounds before we reached the gladiolas, he'd probably want to do more than just flirt.
Rhonda liked the flirting and the attention Gino was giving her, and she was somewhat used to it, because she had a very outgoing personality that matched her voluptuous body. Problem was, guys were usually attracted to the more traditional type women, which these days seemed to be the vacant, anorexic and self centered variety, and there was less and less call for the free-spirited independent type. Child of the sixties, born a little too late, was Rhonda's motto.
"Now these will love the sun," Rhonda said as she spun around and stood next to the geraniums, reaching up and grabbing a hanging basket from the hook and holding it up while slowly spinning it.
Gino's eyes looked up quickly as Rhonda displayed the plant, and she realized that Gino had been looking at her ass while she led him back there. Now he was intently looking at the flowers, and a smile spread over his face once again, as he really seemed to like them.
"Beautiful," Gino said, seeming to visualize the plant in the yard as he gazed almost through the flowers. "And what about that one?" he asked, pointing to a plant hanging a little further over.
"That's also a glad," Rhonda said as she strained to reach it. "Just a deeper shade of red."
"Magnificent!" Gino exclaimed as Rhonda held the plant up. "I'll take both of them."
"Great!" Rhonda responded, and set the plant down, not caring that she afforded Gino a peek down her cavernous cleavage as she did.
Fifty bucks and counting, Rhonda's mental cash register calculated, and he didn't seem to be done yet. This was turning into a profitable experience, Rhonda thought, and the eye candy she was enjoying was an added treat.
Those arms. His biceps seemed to be threatening to tear the fabric of the t-shirt whenever he moved, and those forearms were so hairy too. She knew that she would have something to focus on tonight in the bathtub, and she regretted never installing a security camera in the place, because she could watch a movie of this guy walking around for hours.
"That plant there," Gino continued. "What's that?"
"This is a peony," Rhonda said, straining to reach the basket that was displayed over the sacks of fertilizer. "Now this needs a lot of shade, and a little more TLC than the gladiolas, but they are worth it."
"Breathtaking," Gino said as he shook his head slowly from side to side. "No wonder you call your place 'Rhonda's Green Thumb'. You have such an amazing talent that lets you grow such beautiful things."
"Oh - thank you," Rhonda said, momentarily stunned by the adulation over a rather ordinary flower.
Rhonda then noticed that Gino seemed to be looking beyond the plant. Thinking at first he might have sort of visual impairment, she held the plant closer to her, and then watched as his eyes slid along with the movement, looking behind it like it was an obstacle.
"Then again, the plant is appealing too, isn't it?" Rhonda said with the hint of a smirk.
"Oh yes, it's very nice. I'll take that one too."
Gino's smile was unapologetic, even after he realized that Rhonda was on to him. She had figured out that what he had been enthralled at were not the plants, but in watching Rhonda reaching up for them, and in doing so exposing the tuft of auburn hair that graced her unshaven armpit.
"Anything else I can show you?" Rhonda said with a giggle. "Something else you see that I can reach up for?"
"Back here in your natural habitat, you don't fluster easily, do you?" Gino replied. "And that giggle is as sexy as your laugh is."
"Four out of five say my giggle is wicked cool."
"I'll bet you make a lot of sounds that are nothing short of incredible," Gino said. "Maybe before I get done shopping I'll hear some more of them."
Chapter Three: Gino checks out.
For Rhonda, the next half hour flew by, as Gino kept buying things while keeping Rhonda laughing and carrying on a delightful conversation. The flirting continued, on both sides, and in the process they learned a little about each other.
Gino was just 32, a fact that made Rhonda wince as she calculated that she was biologically old enough to be his mother, but Gino didn't bat an eye when Rhonda told him she had just turned 44. They were both divorced; Gino from marrying too young, and Rhonda, from, as she bluntly put it, "Marrying too dumb."
"Making mistakes is something we all do," Gino said with a sigh. "As long as you learn from them, they all serve a purpose."
As Gino kept buying things, they had to grab a flat-bed truck to carry them, and by the time they made it back into the main store it was filled with all sorts of plants and foliage.
"And the verdict is, three hundred dollars and 14 cents," Rhonda announced as the final total appeared on the register. "Since you've been such wonderful company and my best customer of the day, call it an even $300!"
"I knew my stay at the charm school would pay off someday," Gino said as he pulled his billfold from his back pocket, extricating three crisp one hundred dollar bills from a wallet where they seemed to have a lot of company, and handed them to Rhonda.
"Thank you!" Rhonda chirped merrily, not even glancing at the bills to see if they were real, and slipped them under the drawer in the register. If she was going to get burned, at least she had something to show for it.
Rhonda peeled the receipt out of the machine and handed it to Gino, and their hands grazed together as she did, making Rhonda's heart skip a beat.
Those hands, Rhonda thought to herself as she looked at those meaty paws. What would it be like to have them on her body? Would they be gentle and caring, or would they be rough and demanding? Maybe both. Either way would be wicked cool, she figured.
Once again, Rhonda pulled herself out of her dream world, mentally spanking herself for acting like a schoolgirl, and hoped these flights of fantasy wasn't an early sign of senility.
Rhonda held the front door open for Gino as he navigated the cart out to the parking lot, almost sorry that he was going. Check that, she thought. Very sorry he was going. He was such a warm and friendly guy, with such a great sense of humor, that even though they had only shared an hour, it felt like they had known each other for a long time.
Besides, it had been quite a while since a man had treated her like someone desirable, Rhonda mused as she watched Gino effortlessly wheel the heavy cart through the gravel parking area, and even though she knew he was only playing around it still meant something to her.
He had openly stared at her quite often during the time in the greenhouse. He stared at various parts of her body, and when Rhonda would catch him doing it, he would simply smile and keep looking. He had no shame in looking, or in getting caught at it, and he didn't do it in a leering and vulgar way either. Chances are, if Rhonda had asked him what he was doing, he probably would have come right out and said it.
"I'm looking down your blouse at your breasts," or whatever had caught his eye, is what he probably would have said, and it was this sincere and intense directness that Rhonda found so appealing and so sensual. A man with that kind of confidence oozed sexuality as far as she was concerned, and she had no doubt that his dance card was booked solid for life.
"Is that you?" Rhonda asked as Gino lowered the back of the black F-150 pick-up truck, looking at the logo on the side.
"Lanzarotta and Son?" Gino said. "Yep. I'm the son. It's a partnership. I do the work, and pop goes to Vegas, and Florida and Aruba, and everywhere else on the planet. He tells me this is the way a good partnership works, but I don't know about that."
"Gino Lanzarotta. Nice Irish name you have there!Well, someday maybe you'll be the one carousing around while your kid does all the dirty work," Rhonda quipped as she cast aside any doubts about the authenticity of the bills he had given her, as his company was one of the major builders in the town.
"If I live long enough that is," Gino responded with a laugh.
"Well, if your Dad is unattached and is half as nice as you are, send him on in to see me," Rhonda responded.
"I don't think Dad could keep up with you, even if he was single," Gino said, pulling up the gate of the truck and closing it before turning to face Rhonda. "I have a hunch that you are a lot of woman to handle."
"Besides," Gino added as he looked into Rhonda's green eyes, "Why would I want to share a treasure like you with anybody else?"
Rhonda laughed at that while she slipped her hands in the back pockets of her slacks, but her laughter first faded and then stopped altogether, as she looked back up at Gino and saw that he was not laughing, or chuckling, or even smiling. Just staring into her eyes.
Rhonda felt a shiver race down her spine, and her entire body visibly quivered as they looked at each other. Around them, a gentle rain had begun to fall. Almost a mist, but it had the promise of becoming more intense if the forecasts were correct.
"Somebody walking on my grave," Rhonda said, trying to explain away her body betraying her feelings.
"First time I saw you get flustered since you dropped your keys," Gino said. "Your 'flustered' works for me too."
"So, would you like to go out some evening?" Gino continued. "I know that our schedules are probably crazy, what with our businesses and all, but I'd really love to spend some more time with you."
"Me?" Rhonda asked. "Go out? Sure, I'd love to."
"Well, why don't I give you a call and we can figure out a good time for the both of us?"
"That would be wicked cool!" Rhonda said happily, wanting to pinch herself to make sure this wasn't her mind playing tricks on her.
"Okay then, I'll get back to you," Gino said, walking slowly toward the door of his truck.
"Great!" Rhonda replied, and then just before Gino climbed into the truck she had an idea.
"Hey, would you want to come in for a drink now?" Rhonda said, not believing the words that were coming out of her mouth, worrying for a second that he thought she might be sounding like a desperate woman. "We could maybe order a pizza or something if you'd like, but if you've got other plans - I mean, I know it's Saturday night and..."
Rhonda stepped back as Gino opened the door of the truck and hopped out.
"Too late. I accept," Gino said, swinging the door close and locking it with his remote, glancing at the load in his truck. "I hope your flowers can take a little rain."
"They're your flowers now, remember?" Rhonda said with a laugh. "But I stand behind every flower I sell."
Chapter Four: Rhonda's rain forest.
"Be it ever so humble," Rhonda proclaimed after leading Gino through her store to the back of the greenhouse, where a stairwell led to the attachment which was her house.
"Very cute," Gino said as he entered the kitchen. "At least you don't have a long way to get home."
"What would you like to drink?" Rhonda asked as she rummaged through the bottles squirreled away in the corner of the kitchen counter. "I've got tequila, and tequila, and some more tequila, and beer too."
"Been a while since I had tequila," Gino said. "Make me one of whatever you're having."
"Two margaritas coming up!" Rhonda announced, and gathered up the ingredients in no time flat.
"Obviously you've done this before," Gino said in admiration as Rhonda deftly sliced up a lime and ran a slice around the rims of the glasses before putting the coarse salt on.
"Too many times, probably," Rhonda said and she finished preparing the drinks. "Here you are. Want to go out to the back porch? I have to show you my pride and joy."
"Right behind you."
Rhonda loved showing off her back porch, as it was the space she put most of her time and effort into. The rest of the house was strictly utilitarian, but as you neared the back you could see where she had invested all her time and money. When she opened the vertical blinds and pulled the sliding glass door open, she heard Gino gasp as he stepped out onto the porch.
"This is unbelievable!" Gino said as he stepped onto the porch, with Rhonda at his side reveling in his reaction. "It's like another world back here!"
Indeed it was, and as Gino looked around the small area, he was clearly impressed with what she had accomplished. The 20'X 15' porch was about six feet off the ground, and looked out on a yard that was only about twice that size.
Trees and vines completely surrounded the little yard, which was full of flowers and shrubbery. and plants in a rainbow of colors hung from the hooks all around the ceiling of the porch. On the porch, a couch and coffee table were the only creature comforts, giving the room an even more spacious look.