tagRomanceWandering Bk. 01: Constance

Wandering Bk. 01: Constance

bycoaster2©

This is the first in a series of six stories about the 'wanderings' of Lee Stephenson. Newly divorced, he has quit his job and is traveling around his home province of British Columbia, looking for a new life. You never know who you'll meet when you're on the road. This collection was previously posted on another site in 2010. I will put them up for posting daily.

This story and the others in this collection were edited by ErikThread with my thanks. Naturally, I've massaged them since then ... but only slightly.


*****

Book 1: Constance

I can remember exactly when I knew my marriage to Jocelyn was over. It was the night of our tenth wedding anniversary. I came home early, brought flowers and a nice, silver pendant that I knew she would wear. We kissed perfunctorily at the kitchen door before I went upstairs to shower and change prior to taking her out to her favorite restaurant for dinner.

What made it memorable is that we spoke hardly a word to each other despite the fact that we had not seen or talked to each other since the previous evening. I typically left for work an hour before Jocelyn, and she was in the shower when I pulled out of the driveway that morning. At the restaurant there were no reminiscences of past times together, no fond remembrances ... nothing. We made the odd comment about the weather or our work, but nothing intimate. When we went to bed I reached for her, hoping for at least some anniversary lovemaking, but she said she was too tired and that was that.

I lay on my back and knew then that it was over. We had each been pretending that our marriage was still alive. I thought back and realized I wasn't even sure if we were ever even in love with each other. We went through the motions, but I couldn't remember a moment when I knew for sure that I would do anything for her: walk through fire, slay dragons, or take on a gang of villains. It was a dispiriting thought, and with our life having sunk into ennui over the past two or three years, I knew a decision was at hand.

I delayed leaving for work the next morning. I might as well face it when I knew what I wanted to say. Jocelyn came down and was obviously surprised to see me sitting at the kitchen table with a coffee and the morning paper.

"What are you doing still here?" she asked, curious as she poured her first coffee.

"I wanted to talk to you. It seemed like the best opportunity," I said quietly.

I suppose it was my tone of voice that alerted her. She looked at me and then picked up her coffee and sat in her usual chair.

"What did you want to talk about?" She was clearly uncomfortable with the uncertainty.

"Jocelyn, there's no easy way to say this. I will file for divorce early next week."

I watched her eyes grow large and heard the sharp intake of breath.

"Why?" she struggled to ask.

"I think you know the answer to that as well as I do. Our marriage is dead. It died a long slow death, but it is dead," I said solemnly.

She sat silently, looking at me, thinking about what she had just heard. Slowly, she lowered her gaze to her untouched coffee and stared at it for a few moments.

"I'm sorry, Lee. I wish it had worked. I'm sorry," she finally whispered.

"I know. Don't blame yourself. Sometimes ... sometimes it just doesn't ..." I couldn't finish the thought. I saw a tear and then another trickle down her cheek.

"I'll look after the paperwork. If we use the do-it-yourself forms, we can cut the legal costs ... unless you want to contest it," I said, almost as an afterthought.

"No ... I won't fight it. You're right ... it just didn't come out the way we wanted it to."

I stood up, kissed her cheek, and left quietly for the garage and off to work.

If there is such a thing as an amicable divorce, we were the model. It was civil and civilized. We split everything almost 50-50. Jocelyn's income was very healthy as an assistant director in the provincial government Ministry of Environment. Thus there would be no alimony. We agreed to sell the house and close the mortgage. Our home in Burnaby was valued at an almost ridiculous amount after the eight plus years that we had owned it. After we retired the mortgage, we split nearly three hundred thousand dollars. We both had our own retirement savings plans and maintained them in our own names.

Jocelyn kept her car, but I drove a company lease car with no asset value to me. I let Jocelyn keep most of the furniture except a couple of pieces that had come from my parents and grandparents. I guess, all told, she would have taken away thirty-thousand or so in value more than me, but in truth, I really didn't care. I just wanted the whole unhappy episode to be over.

We met once more just before the divorce was final to make sure there were no outstanding issues to be resolved. We chose a pub not far from our former residence and found a semi-secluded place to talk. It didn't take us long to determine that there was nothing left to discuss except our feelings and our futures.

"So, where are you going to live?" she finally asked.

"I don't know. I quit my job last week. I'll be finished at the end of the month, and then I'm going to do what the Aussies do; 'go walkabout.'"

"I almost envy you. I wouldn't mind a sabbatical myself. I hope you find what you're looking for," she said sincerely.

"Me too. I just hope I'll know it when I find it. What about you ... where are you going to live?"

"I've taken a job in the Ministry of Industry and I'm moving to Victoria. I found an apartment there. I'll enjoy that, I think. Less pressure than Environment."

"Good ... I'm glad," I said honestly.

"Regrets?" she asked.

"Sure. Plenty. I wonder if it would have turned out differently if I hadn't been sterile. I'm sure that must have hurt you more than you let on, finding out after we were married. I know it hurt me. Not good for the male ego."

"Yes ... it hurt. But then, we talked about adoption and IVF. We had choices. I'm not sure that would have made a big difference except that maybe we might have hung on a lot longer because of the kids, and then been that much more unhappy. Not much of a choice in my opinion."

"I suppose you're right. Well," I said, raising my mug, "here's to a better future for us. I wish you all the best, Jocelyn."

She touched her wine glass to my mug and offered a faint smile. A few minutes later we hugged and kissed each other for the last time and I stood and watched as she slowly worked her way out of the pub and into the parking lot. I slumped back in my seat, waiting for the waitress to come around so that I could order another beer. I didn't have any place special to go and I was in no hurry to get there.

I moved in with my folks for a couple of weeks after the sale of the house. They were very generous and sympathetic. Mom and Dad were married over forty years, and I think they were deeply disappointed at my divorce. I had failed at something important, and I think they knew that I was ashamed to admit it. They said nothing directly to me, but I could tell by some of their inferences what they were thinking. The sooner I hit the road, the better off they would be.

There was only another week until the end of the month and my employment. I think they were surprised and dubious about my unplanned future, but they said nothing to discourage me. On a bright, sunny March Saturday morning, I loaded the last of my bags into my car, kissed and hugged my folks, and drove off into the sunrise. I had absolutely no idea where I was going, but I really wasn't worried about it.

I made the decision to explore my home province. At this time of the year, there was no need for reservations since it was nearing the end of the ski season, and well ahead of summer vacations.

I drove for a couple of hours, stopping in Hope to stretch my legs, top up the tank, unload my morning coffee, and then get another fresh one at the kiosk across from the gas station.

By noon I was in Keremeos, but I wasn't hungry and pushed on to Osoyoos before stopping for a snack at a grocery store deli bar. On the spur of the moment, I decided to head for Nelson, a picturesque little town in the Kootenay Mountains. I would take my chances on a bed and breakfast, or a motel, and if worse came to worst, I could double back to Castlegar or Trail for accommodation. I pulled out my pocket guide to British Columbia B & Bs, chose one that looked likely, and thumbed the number into my cell phone. A mature sounding woman answered the phone and identified herself as Connie Bradshaw. I was in luck. She had a room and was featuring off-season rates.

It was almost six when I finally arrived in Nelson and found the Alpine Rest Lodge. I stepped through the outer entrance to the large, quaint Victorian house and twisted the t-bar on the old fashioned ringer. In a matter of a few seconds a woman appeared in the hallway and opened the door for me and ushered me in.

"I assume you are Mr. Stephenson?" she inquired.

"Yes ... Lee Stephenson. You must be Mrs. Bradshaw."

"It's Connie," she said smiling. "Do you not have any luggage?"

"In the car. I thought I'd check in first before I started to haul things in. I wasn't sure where I should park."

"Not a problem. Bring in what you need for your stay and park around the back. It's a reserved lot."

I filled out the registration and looked around the entrance as Connie ran my credit card through. I was struck by just how elegant and detailed the old building was. It was in flawless condition inside and I was anxious to see my room and more of the old house if possible. I also took the time to survey Connie Bradshaw. She was somewhere in her late forties I guessed. Very attractive, with a still-youthful figure and a bright smile.

"You're my only guest tonight, Mr. Stephenson," she said as she handed me back my card.

"It's Lee. I was just admiring the interior of the house. It's very beautiful and in great condition."

"Yes, it's been a lot of work but well worth it. It was built by my great grandfather and it's been in the family every since. I don't dare let it get rundown," she laughed.

"So you and Mr. Bradshaw are the keepers of the flame, then."

"No, just me. There is no Mr. Bradshaw." She said it with a smile and a slightly raised eyebrow.

"Oh ... excuse me. I didn't mean ..."

"That's quite all right," still with that enigmatic smile on her lips.

"Can you recommend a nice place for dinner?"

"Of course ... right here."

"Uh ... I was under the impression that this was a bed and breakfast," I said uncertainly.

"It is, but since you're my only guest and I hate to eat alone, you are welcome to join me."

"Well ... that would be very nice ... but I don't want to put you out."

"Nonsense ... it would be my pleasure." She was obviously not going to take no for an answer.

"Perhaps I can find an off-license and supply a wine then."

"Why that would be very nice, Lee. I'd enjoy that. Make it a red ... if that's all right with you." Her tone that suggested red was the only option. "There's a store connected to the pub on the next street up. It's less than a block and you can walk there more quickly than you can drive."

"Great. Let me get my bag and you can show me my room," I said happily.

I picked my overnight bag and laptop out of the back seat and followed the shapely backside of Connie Bradshaw up the stairs to the first landing. The sway of her hips was captivating, and I wondered if it wasn't a bit of a show for my benefit. If so, I was delighted, as well as somewhat stimulated. She unlocked the door and opened it, allowing me to enter first. It was as elegant and beautifully decorated as the rest of the house.

"I think you'll find this to your liking, Lee," she said again with that almost seductive smile. If I didn't know better, I would think she was at least flirting if not actually hitting on me. I found that very encouraging. My ego needed a shot in the arm.

I set my bag down and checked out the ensuite bath and found it to be correct for period and, as with the rest of the house, immaculate. I shook my head in admiration. Connie caught the gesture and smiled.

"I take it you're impressed."

"Very. I know something about what it takes to put an old house in this condition and it isn't easy. This house is something special."

"Yes ... it's my pride and joy. It's very unusual not to have several of the six rooms occupied, even at this time of the year."

She caught me staring at the big, wrought iron bed and imagining what a romp in that big, queen sized pedestal would be like.

"That's a reproduction. I had it made locally to an old photograph from a family album," she explained. She was watching me and trying to read my thoughts I suspected. I turned to her and smiled.

"How about I go get that bottle of wine and maybe we can enjoy a glass before dinner."

"An excellent idea except I was going to make up a small shaker of martinis that we could share. I warn you, they are quite evil," she smirked.

"I haven't had an evil Martini in quite some time, if ever. I'll be right back."

There were some serious messages being sent to me and I was becoming quite aware that Connie might have some designs on the entertainment portion of this evening. As I walked up the street toward the liquor store, I was surprised at just how blatant her moves were. She was not trying to be subtle. I thought about what the consequences might be, and considering my situation, I couldn't think of a single negative one. I decided that I would "go with the flow," and just see how things played out.

When I got back to the house, I used my key to enter the foyer just as Connie appeared. She was holding a tray with two shallow Martini glasses and a small flask of premixed little devils that would probably do great harm if consumed in quantity. I offered her the bottle of vintage Cote d' Rhone and she smiled her approval, again with the raised eyebrow.

"Come into the sitting room, Lee. We'll have our cocktails there before we move to the dining room."

I smiled in agreement and followed her into yet again another impeccably finished space with appropriate period furniture.

"I feel almost like I'm in a museum, a life size diorama," I marveled as I looked around.

"Well ... perhaps it is. Not everything is original. Much of the furniture has either been rebuilt, refinished, or is a reproduction."

"It's very impressive. Very beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing the outside in the daylight. Would it be alright to take some pictures?"

"Of course. I can use all the free advertising I can get," she chuckled.

She had a wonderful smile and it made her more attractive than most middle-aged women. As I sipped my cocktail I was appraising this impressive female. She was not slender; rather she was well proportioned with what appeared to be fairly large breasts, and a definitely attractive hip flare that emphasized her delightful backside. She must have been about five-foot-seven tall at least, but she carried herself as if she was taller still. She was wearing a simple print dress that seemed appropriate for the house, and yet displayed the fact that she was very attractive. She was an elegant woman living in an elegant home.

We chatted as we enjoyed our Martinis. She was curious what I was doing by myself on the road at this time of the year if I wasn't in sales. I reluctantly told her of the dissolution of my marriage and my decision to take some time off to recharge my batteries. I watched her reaction to my story, and she seemed to be both sympathetic and interested.

By the time we were ready for dinner, we had finished off the Martinis and I had opened the wine. Somehow, she had conjured up a wonderful meal of lasagna, caesar salad, foccacia bread, and the aforementioned Cote d' Rhone. By the time we had finished the meal and were working on finishing off the wine, we had become good friends.

Connie wanted to know more about my marriage and I have to admit that without the benefit of the martinis and the wine, I wouldn't have considered discussing my personal life with a woman I had only know for a little over two hours. But then, since my inhibitions were severely compromised, and I was alternating between lascivious thoughts about Connie and morose memories of Jocelyn, I spilled my guts out.

I'm not completely sure how it came about, but I found myself back in the drawing room with Connie sitting beside me on a love seat, listening intently as I tried to explain why I needed to take this time for myself. At some point, she'd put her arm around my shoulders and pulled me to her, making sure her generous breasts rubbed up against my shoulder and arm.

I was working very hard not to be downbeat and to put a positive spin on my situation. I think that was the trigger for Connie. She was apparently turned on by my ability to look for a positive in a situation that others would consider a dark negative.

She was looking into my eyes intently, and I found that I had run out of things to say. I just sat there, looking back at this attractive woman, and I was about to look away when she leaned toward me and planted a lovely, warm, wet, passionate kiss on my lips. There was even a hint of tongue. Her arm, still around my shoulder, pulled me into her and I couldn't help but put my arm around her and allow my hand to travel up and down her lovely smooth back. My intelligence gathering foray determined that she was wearing a narrow strap bra with a back hook. My high school skills had immediately kicked back in as I sought out the zipper for her dress, establishing its location for future reference.

It turned out the future was now. Connie had moved her other hand to my crotch and had confirmed that I was harder than granite and more aroused than I had been in months. As she slid her hand back and forth over my erection, I groped for her zipper and began to pull it down. As I leaned back to look into her eyes, I moved both my hands to her shoulders and pushed the dress off and down her lovely upper body. She was wearing a soft, champagne coloured bra that perfectly framed her beautiful, large breasts. There is no substitute for great tits and this lady had award winners.

I was able to unhook the bra without a fuss, and I was gazing into her eyes as I slowly removed it. I could sense the fire inside her, and I guessed that it might have been just as long for her as it had been for me since she'd had a good fucking. There is no substitute for alcohol when it comes to bravery, and I pressed my hands over her breasts and began to knead them softly, my thumbs quickly bringing her nipples to an enlarged state. I hadn't removed my gaze from her face since this had begun and she hadn't stopped looking into my eyes either. I leaned forward again and kissed her, slowly inserting my tongue between her lips. She opened her mouth and we began to truly engage each other in mouth to mouth combat.

I knew by the erotic scent I had detected that Connie was very aroused. I dropped one hand into her lap and slipped it up under her dress and along her silken thigh. I discovered she was wearing 'thigh-highs,' and soon I was massaging her bare upper thighs and slipping slowly toward her pussy. She had conveniently opened her legs to allow my advance, and as I touched the gusset of her panties with the edge of my hand, I could feel the dampness. The rest was inevitable.

The love seat was no place for a sexual union and we both knew it. I leaned back from her and asked, "Your place or mine?"

She smiled that lovely big smile and stood wordlessly, taking my hand, leading me to the back of the main floor. I followed willingly, knowing I was about to enjoy the favours of a wanton woman who was undoubtedly a great deal more experienced than I. I was looking forward to it and cautioning myself not to be in too big a hurry. I wanted this to be perfect for both of us.

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