Every time I tried to bring up a Valentines Day date with Chris, somehow we ended up not discussing it. It wasn't that he changed the subject, not at all, but somehow I would look back ten minutes later and realize that we didn't talk about it. It was very sneaky of him, perhaps. Or maybe he just happened to be pretty scatterbrained lately.
But as it was, the weekend before Valentines approached and we still hadn't cemented plans. It was getting too late to reserve seats at a restaurant or concert or something, and I didn't want to go to a bar or club. Those places got way too crowded and sweaty and desperate on Valentines. It's sad that I knew that.
But up until six months ago, I had the lonely fortune of a single status. Eddie's birthday. It all changed.
I sighed as I stepped off the train on the other side of town for Eddie's and my Friday breakfast. It would be too late to talk to Chris about a date, but maybe I could suggest both calling in sick to work and having a decadent day in his apartment. But...I wanted to go out. We were always in either of our apartments.
When I arrived at the restaurant, Eddie was waiting there at our usual table. She took one look at my face and quirked an eyebrow. "Somebody looks morose. What's up, Buttercup?"
"Nothing," I said, slipping into my seat. Chris would be out soon to serve us and I couldn't very well talk about it in front of him.
"Hmm, it looks like somebody is in need of a mimosa. Garçon, two mimosas!" she said cheerily.
I expected Chris to come out of the woodworks, but instead, a younger guy who had just started a few months before approached our table, scribbling madly.
"Good morning, Ma'am," he greeted me as soon as he had our drinks scribbled down (the drinks that I did not order...but I guess I'd drink it anyways). "I'm Kent and I'll be your server today."
"Where's Chris?" I asked.
"He called in sick, I think. I'm not sure."
I frowned in worry. It isn't as if it was unlike him to get sick, or even not to call when he got sick, but I did know that he lived alone and his family lived a few states away. Would he be fine to take care of himself? But with Chris not here, at least, I could talk to Eddie about what was bugging me.
"I'll have to give him a call after breakfast," I mused as Eddie and the new waiter chatted.
"So have you got any plans for Valentines?" Eddie asked me as soon as Kent went his way to get our mimosas.
"Stop it, charlatan," I teased. "I'm on to your tricks. What gave me away?"
"Why what are you talking about?" she asked innocently. "Yeah girl, spill. What's up with Valentines?"
"Nothing," I sighed. "And it's too late for anything, too. All the restaurants will all be filled up, even the crappy ones."
"Hmm...that boy needs a good talking to. Alright, as your duly designated voyeur, I will take it upon myself to call him up when we're done with our breakfasts."
"No, don't do that," I protested. "Not when he's sick."
"No better time to drive home how much a guy's in the wrong than when he's already feeling bad. Sorry girly, I'm doing it."
I sighed again, but didn't argue, because honestly, I wanted to have a decadent Valentines. This was my first one in thirty years. Hadn't I deserved it?
I was so lost in thought and pity that I didn't notice until I had started on the raspberry bran muffin, that I hadn't ordered the food that had been placed in front of me. I started and looked down at the plate before me; a Belgium waffle with halved strawberries and whipped cream, two slices of rosy bacon, and an egg sitting in a cup, waiting for me to crack it open and eat.
"Did...did..." I began, turning to Eddie. It wasn't unlike her to order things for me, but an entire meal...never.
Eddie blinked. "Did?"
I pointed to my plate and frowned. "Did you order my entire breakfast?"
She sat up straighter, looking a bit surprised by my accusation. "No. I thought you'd ordered...you didn't?"
I shook my head and lifted the end of one ridged piece of bacon. "Nope, but here it is."
Eddie craned her neck and looked around the room, gesturing high with her arm. "Hey, Junior. Got a question."
When "Junior" arrived, he looked only a little put out. "Yes ma'ams. Would you like another mimosa?"
Eddie stabbed in the air with her butterknife at my plate. "Who ordered this?"
He looked perplexed. "It's your usual. I followed the instructions left with the table and time. You are the two who sit here every Friday at this time?"
"Yes..." I began.
"There were instructions left with the order slip with your usual order."
I looked down at my plate and shook my head. "I've never ordered this before."
"Or me," added Eddie.
"I'm very sorry, ma'am," Junior said, flustered. "Shall I get you something else?"
I considered the spread. I knew I liked all that stuff, and the little strawberries were kind of romantic, like nature's valentines. Besides, I had already started eating it.
"No, that's fine," I finally said. "I'll finish it. I'm sorry. It's fine, it tastes good."
Once he's left, Eddie said (not bothering to lower her voice), "You don't have to eat it, you know. You never ordered it. He probably got it mixed up with somebody else."
"No, it's fine," I returned, lowering my voice, at least. "Besides, the bran's good for me. I should eat it more. Not that I need to."
Our check came, costing much lower than I was used to. I guessed the guy comped my meal, since I didn't actually order it, but I still paid half of the total bill. Then I went to work as usual.
At noontime, a courier came with a beautiful fruit salad in a half watermelon rind and a large bottle of sparkling pink lemonade, along with a large envelope. I perched the card on the edge of my cubicle wall so passers by could see (I didn't often indulge myself thus) and read the note, which was addressed to me by my nickname.
I'm so sorry I missed you at breakfast this morning. I hope my sub took care of you. Let me take you out to a little bistro tonight. I'll send a taxi to get you.
I felt an excited thrill at the idea of a date with him, forgetting that he was apparently sick. Maybe the cabbie would let me drop by my place to slip into a nice dress so we could make a proper date of it, rather than an after-work apology dinner.
The rest of my day at work, I was buzzing with anticipation and could hardly concentrate on what I was doing. I was thankful when the clock finally reached my quitting time. As promised, there was a cab waiting there for me and, once I confirmed who I was, we were off.
One quick change and a long drive later, the cab pulled up to a hotel. At first I started to protest that this wasn't my destination, but then I saw on the corner of the building a name for a bistro, and Chris waiting out front, and bit my cheek.
He was handsome. I'd never seen him dressed up. He had been alright looking (I was attracted to him, but I wouldn't say he was hot) in normal clothes, and as we didn't really go out on fancy dates, that's always how I saw him. But in his suit, there was no denying how good-looking he was. He was just hiding it, I guess.
His face seemed to say the same of me. "God, you look beautiful."
I chuckled at this and slipped my arm in his. "I keep telling you I'm not God, but you say it so often, sometimes I forget."
"Well good, because I'd praise you any day," he said and kissed me before escorting me into the bistro.
I was drunk on the romance during the meal, soaking in the rose between us, the champagne in the tall thin flutes, the delicate portions of delicious food, and the attentions of a handsome man across from me. By the time the waiter came back around to ask if we wanted dessert, I was feeling a little tipsy.
Chris told the waiter that we'd made arrangements for dessert and to charge the meal and a nice tip to our room. He rose and offered his hand to me, but I hesitated.
He grinned. "Of course. It's the least I could do for my vivacious valentine. Do you mind? I could cancel the room and we could just go back to my apartment."
"No...no, a room is..." amazing, I finished to myself. A hotel room weekend with Chris? Was I alive? Awake? It felt too good for real life. "I'd love it," I finally answered, taking his hand.
He thanked the staff on the way out, something I found so adorable, and lead me to the elevators. "I didn't bring any changes of clothes," I said quietly to him as we waited for one to arrive.
"That's no problem. Don't worry, Cherry." He kissed my cheek and the elevator doors to our left opened. A couple got in, but Chris held me back and waved them on.
"So we won't be going out much?" I asked him, curious about that. There was plenty of room in the elevator.
"The weekend will tell," he said mysteriously and waved another person on as they got in another elevator.
He did that twice more before one arrived and we managed to get it all to ourselves. As we walked on, I felt a small rush of thrill and of panic as a thought crossed my mind.
"Is there any reason why we have the elevator to ourselves?" I asked as he pressed the seven and we started to rise. Elevator sex, my mind whispered. I tried not to let my trepidation show.
"Well, I wanted to do something," he said, confirming my fears...fears? "I didn't think anybody else would appreciate my doing it."
"What's that?" I asked, feeling a little bit of a shuddering enter my voice.
He reached into his lapel and brought out a red silk ribbon, wide and long. I blinked, taken aback as he unraveled it and held it out in front of me. "I wanted to know...well...you've talked about it a couple times," he said, all of a sudden sounding nervous. "I wanted to know if you'd be up for blindfolding and light-bondage."
"How light?" I asked, my heart now pounding and my eyes glued to the beautiful red silk.
"Just hands," he answered, "and maybe feet. And absolutely no S and M stuff, I swear."
"I'd never think you'd want to do that," I said quickly, looking up at him. "I mean about the S and M."
He looked relieved about that and lowered his hand. I realized that we had stopped and looked out at the hall. It was empty with one room service cart waiting to be picked up. I couldn't pretend that I wasn't intrigued, because it was one of my fantasies, so as the doors chimed and started to slide shut, I blurted out, "Yes. I'll try it. I want to try it."
He sighed in relief and quickly hit another button. I didn't catch which one as suddenly my eyes were covered and the silk tied under my knot of hair.
He was quiet for a moment and didn't touch me, and all that I was sure of around me was the movement of the elevator and the sound of the gears around us. I don't know why it was erotic, but it was. Then I felt his hands on my arms, bare from the evening gown, and goosebumps prickled my arms.
"I'll be gentle," he told me softy.
I let in a shuddering breath only a second before we heard again the ding of the elevator and the roll of the doors sliding open. My footsteps were halted as we stepped off the elevator and I could feel the difference between the floors. I didn't do very well with walking when I didn't know where my foot was going.
I swiveled my head from side to side, as if that could help me see the hall around me. It could very well have looked like the other hall we had stopped at, but how could I know? Were there any carts? Were there people around? Housekeeping staff? What was the pattern on the carpet and what were the room numbers we were passing?
He took my hand in his as his arm supported mine, and he murmured gently that I would be fine and to trust him. The hallway seemed to be a mile long before he finally halted and he took his hand from mine. I heard the shlack of a keycard sliding through, the click of the lock, and the tweak of a handle.
As soon as the door clicked shut behind us, he said quietly, "let me take your purse and coat," and felt them leave my other arm. Then he offered to take my shoes and I felt his hand on the back of one calf. I lifted my foot and felt my shoe being slipped off, and then his hand was on the other calf.
I heard a rustling, as if he was taking off his jacket, and then felt his arms wrap around me. Our mouths clasped in a kiss. It started as a simple, sensual kiss, and then deepened as my hands roamed over his back and shoulders, and his hands clasped me close and one held onto my behind. His groin was thrush up against mine and I could feel him stirring.
As our mouths worked and our tongues twirled, his hands eventually found the top of my zipper and he began to draw it down. I let go of him only long enough to slip my arms out of my sleeves and then swung my hips from side to side to get the dress's momentum going so that it would drop on the floor.
I had forgone a bra in my hurry, so that when the dress finally dropped, I was standing in only the pair of lacy briefs and the red blindfold. The air in the room was cool and blew gently against my skin. My already tender nipples hardened.
"It's a little chilly," I stated, cringing inwardly at my unromantic words. I didn't want him to clothe me, but the cold had also made me a little nervous, reminding me of what was about to happen.
Warm, moist air blew onto my right ear and he murmured, "Don't worry. You won't be cold for long."
His mouth kissed along my cheek to my lips and his warm hands slid down over my shoulders. And that's when I felt a pair of hands reach from behind me and cup my breasts. I gasped, my heart leaping into my throat. I was incredibly aroused by this, but I still had too much of my sound, logical mind present.
"Chris, who's that?" I gasped as the fingers massaged along the sides. "Who is that? What—"
"Shh, it's alright," he whispered, kissing me again. "Just relax and enjoy it. I promise it's fine."
"B—but what if I want it to stop," I asked, trying not to moan. There was a quaver in my voice from the nerves.
I heard the disappointed pause in his voice before he asked, "Do you want to stop?"
The hands were smooth and a little small, and definitely knew their way around a breast. I wondered if I knew the person. If I did, would that be a problem? And if I didn't, how about that? I had had sex with a stranger before, or I thought it was a stranger. I never knew. Maybe this wouldn't be bad.
"No," I finally answered breathlessly. "I'm fine. I trust you."
"Okay, but how about this," he said, sounding relieved. "Just in case you do want to stop, definitely want to stop, let's pick a word for you to say."
"Yeah. Something you wouldn't normally say."
"Like egret?" I suggested.
He chuckled and kissed me on the temple. "Okay, that works. Now don't think about it too much or you may blurt it out when you don't mean to."
As soon as he said that, I wondered how I would manage that, but within just a moment, the hands that were still working on my breasts had started playing with the tender, aching nipples. I was lost to it. Over the currents of pleasure, I heard the rustling of clothes.
Chris and I started to kiss again and I moaned into his mouth as the soft fingers worked at me. I raised my hands and went to clasp his shirt collar, but found only skin. He caught my hands and pulled away, and I felt his breath against my ear.
"No, you don't get to touch," he murmured.
"Oh..." I sighed, but not because of what he'd said. I hadn't heard him. The hands that had been toying with my breasts had moved, one lower to the top of my stomach and the other to move my hair aside. The lips of the stranger behind me kissed me right behind my ear. The lips felt soft, impossibly soft. I wondered if they were a woman's. Small hands, soft lips...
"I should tie you up," Chris whispered, close to my ear. The soft skin behind my other ear excited by a lazy sweep of the stranger's tongue.
"Do you like that?"
I don't know who asked it or what it was they wondered if I liked, but I liked everything right now. An excited shiver ran up my spine at the thought of being bound, my prior reticence gone. And that soft mouth behind me with the talented hands, I wondered what else this stranger would do.
"Oooooh yes," I shuddered as I heard the slither of fabric, knowing what it was. The lips drew a tiny bit of my skin between them and there was a nip of pleasure as they sucked, not hard but enough. Then there was a cool, slippery feeling over one shoulder, what I imagined was silk. It slipped over that shoulder and then the other.
The hands on my left and the silk began to slip around me again, across my collarbone, over my lips, over my stomach, teasing my nipples. I reached behind me out of instinct to feel who was doing this to me, even though a part of me didn't want to know and ruin the decadence of a stranger. Once more, my hands were captured.
"Behind her back," I heard Chris say in front of me and my wrists were drawn together at the small of my back. The slippery silk was teased once more over my breasts and then fingers of one hand tickled down the inside of my left arm, the silk trailing along behind, slithering down my spine and making me shiver.
"I'm aching," I moaned, knowing they could smell my wetness and didn't need me to tell them.
"Good," Chris said, satisfied but gentle. The stranger said nothing.
The silk finally reached my wrists and was wrapped and tied around first one, then the other wrist.
"Good," Chris said again. I felt him step up against me, the front of his body flush against mine, and he slipped his arms through my elbows and clamped my hands to my lower back as his hands cupped my ass cheeks and squeezed.
"I'm aching, too," he murmured in my ear. His hands pulled and I was smashed against his erection. "Can you feel it?"
I nodded my head, wishing I could reach down and touch it, or look down and see it, but knowing I was helpless. He kissed me then, a long, deep kiss. I could taste the champagne on his tongue. I swirled the tip of my own around it and hummed in pleasure.
"Are you hungry?" he murmured when he pulled back for a short moment. "I think I promised you dessert."
"Huuu...how?" I moaned as he nudged my mound with his shaft.
He didn't say anything, but a moment later, I got my answer when something pressed against my lips, something cold and hard. I opened my mouth a little and it pushed in. The hardness scraped against my teeth at the same time the rich taste of dark chocolate fell on my tongue. The chocolate continued pressing in until my lips met with what at once I knew was Chris' mouth. I bit down slowly, expecting it to be pure chocolate or perhaps a truffle filled with ganache, but the tart juice of a strawberry burst out and flooded my mouth.
I gasped, but Chris closed my mouth again with his own, his hands pulling me closer to him. The bittersweetness of the chocolate and the tartness of the strawberries swirled around as his tongue slipped into my mouth and stirred them. I could feel the juice trip from the side of my mouth and down my jaw as he tilted my head up.
I was dizzy from the tastes and the intense kiss by the time the berry was gone, but I was barely able to catch my breath when something soft and wet wedged between my lips. This time I opened my mouth, understanding that it would be some sort of food. I inhaled and caught the scent of a peach just before my lips met his again and I bit down.
The peach was sweet and delicate, so much more different than the powerful chocolate strawberry. I sighed, allowing the juice to swim over my tongue. This time, I slipped it into Chris' mouth to share with him the flavor and to caress his mouth the way the flavor caressed mine.
Next was a lime coated with sugar, pure sweet with pure sour, which sent me gasping, like a painful tweak of a nipple. I clenched my hands and strained against the silk as we kissed feverishly.