She was at it again. Doing what I loved and hated all at once. Being completely sexy and desirable yet closed off and unobtainable all at once. We were at Norah's, the magazine we both worked for at the time, but somehow I was working and she was lying her head down on my shoulder.
"I don't know what it is about you but you are so comfy whenever I touch you," she said in her deep, country accent.
"I can say the same for you too," I said back.
"Mmm, I swear I could just fall asleep."
"With me or on me?"
"Heh. You're silly, Jerome."
"Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Lydia."
Somehow I tried to keep convincing myself that I didn't want this woman who was everything I wouldn't pick out in a lineup. She was short-haired blonde, a double no with me; she was my height, 5"9', another no no since I usually like my girls a little shorter than me; she was country as all hell and listened to Alan Jackson and Travis Tritt, music I couldn't stand; and no matter how many things I could put on a list of dislikes I would look into her eyes, that were so sky blue they were almost clear, and I would forget everything off-putting about her. Then I always looked at the bigger picture and realized that she actually was sexy, from her just right chest to her wide hips ("I have a black girls' ass," she always told me, "It's too big." To which I always replied, "Not if you ask a black man.") to that mesmerizing smile. Man, that SMILE. It looked like a dentists' wet dream gift wrapped in Estella Warren's lips; true brilliance.
And everyday that I saw her for the first time it always started off the same way. I would see her, say her name, she would pause in her tracks, turn around to me, smile that oh so beautiful smile and greet me with wide open arms. We ended up in these long-standing half-a-minute hugs, rocking back and forth just chit-chatting away as people walked by. And she always smelled so good! You recognize things like that holding on to someone for long enough five days a week.
Back to that day.
"Seriously, Lydia, don't you think you should be working on your story instead of slumping down here with the designer?"
"I don't know, maybe. But you aren't in my hole so I'm in here."
So many sexual comments ran through my mind with that one.
"Besides, you're working on the layout for my feature anyway so I figured that you're the best person to work with right now."
"But I do the layout for the whole magazine."
"Well, I know my feature better look better than everyone else's then."
"You know, if you weren't so hot I might think you were ordering me around."
"Jerome, you know we're friends. I would never do that."
"I have a list of things you wouldn't do with me."
"Oh really? And how do you know?"
I shrugged my shoulders and continued my cropping on the computer screen.
"Well alright then. Don't assume you know everything."
The discussion, if you can call it that, was over that quickly. Her head was back on my shoulder, close enough to smell just about every scent on her. I hated that she made me want her so much without trying but I loved the attention. It wasn't even like I was starving for it though. I'm not ugly and I got a fair amount of flirting done on a daily basis with just about every woman on my floor... but I loved what she did for me. Honestly, I don't think I ever saw her hugging any guys other than me and she went to lunch with me pretty consistently. I'm sure it was the fact that she gave me so much of her time that kept me in her orbit but the strange thing is that outside of work we barely spoke. On a couple of occasions I brought her Starbucks after calling her in the morning and I could probably count on both hands the number of times we spoke or text on the phone after hours.
But at work was entirely different. 1/3 of my texts were to or from her during work hours and it would be more except for the fact that any time she wasn't writing me, she was with me. We even took pictures together. We would break out the phones or every few weeks she would bring her camera in so we could bullshit throughout the day. I even had a picture of her for my phone wallpaper.
It was confusing because if we were going to be just friends, why couldn't we at least hang out when we left at night? She would always tell me she was sore in hopes that I would rub her neck or anywhere else on her body that seemed to ail her. She never objected to me holding her when she worked at her own desk and then there were the meetings.
We always sat next to each other at every meeting, which never started out as an issue, despite our minor contact each time. On one occasion I think we started crossing a line midway through our Editor In Chief, Rachel's briefing. We started off innocently enough sitting in the conference room with Lydia in front of me. Something compelled me to reach out and touch her hair to which she replied, "don't stop." I did as requested and started to stroke her hair over and over. Eventually Rachel broke us up after Lydia was found lying in my lap, almost asleep, feet on the desk and my hands playing in her hair like we were at home watching a movie. That's about when the rumors started, or at least when everyone could confirm thoughts they had on their own.
Problem is none of the rumors were true...no matter how much I wanted them to be. Dudes would come up to me daily and congratulate me for sleeping with her, then when I told them we were just friends they just approached her themselves. But like clockwork, she would brush them off in order to come be with me. I would have started blowing her off because of the confusion but she looked so good next to me everyday. Okay, so that part was my own doing but seriously, how many straight men don't like beautiful women hanging around them? Take your time thinking of that low number. I'll wait...
"So Jerome, why don't you have a girlfriend?"
"Because you won't be mine."
"You're cute darlin'. I'm serious, I wanna know."
"That wasn't serious?"
"I mean, I think you're a good looking guy and you're smart as hell. I'm just trying to figure out why you're not with anyone."
"Ok Lydia, tell you what... think of all of the reasons you haven't dated me. Those are all of the reasons other women think of too."
She sat silently and thought for about 4 seconds, nodded her head and continued to eat lunch and talk.
"I always have problems getting a good boyfriend."
"I guess I could get that you might be a little selective. I saw on this show Confessions of a Matchmaker that who you pick up has a lot to do with your interests. What do you like to do?"
"I like clubbin', muddin'..."
"Muddin'? I saw that shit on an episode of True Life! People actually do that?"
"Yeah! It's fun!"
"I bet. Arkansas must have been boring."
"At least we were doing stuff. All you sound like you do is watch TV."
And that's how half of our lunch conversations went. Of course we did the normal talking about mutual friends and things like that but it was never more than surface level. Anytime I tried to dig deeper she pulled away almost like she was calculating every word I said. I never thought she was the type to do that but apparently I was wrong. Maybe I was just a good friend. Maybe she didn't actually think about me after hours. Who knows, I could have just been reading too much or too little into her.
I tried to drop my thoughts about her until Valentines Day rolled around. Me being the nice guy that I am, I bought a box of cards and handed them out to all the women in the office like we were in elementary school. It always worked and I continued my streak as the "sweet guy" for the 365. Surprisingly, Lydia wasn't around me that day like she normally was. It had something to do with bad experiences and breakups on that day. Either way I knew she didn't have a Valentine so I decided to assign myself that task. I showed up with the Frappuccino from Starbucks I always bring her on Thursdays and surprised her with a big bag that had a teddy bear, flowers, candy and a card I wrote a short poem in.
After I handed it to her she gave me what I felt was the tightest hug anybody had ever given me, especially her; it was also one of the longest. I wished her a happy V-Day as she held on to me and eventually sat back down at her desk. As I made my way back to my own, I noticed my right shoulder felt cold...and wet. Then it dawned on me...
I walked back to her desk to find that she and all of the stuff I got her were gone. I sent her a text to confirm my suspicions.
Lydia, were you crying?
It took about 10 minutes for her to respond, a change from her normal 3 seconds, but when she did I felt a little out of place.
Yeah. I was. You are too sweet. Thank you.
And really, what can you say at that point? I didn't know what to do or even how to think. Finally I got a rise out of her after 6 months of trying and then... well, I didn't know at that point. And I sat around all day at work trying to figure it out, hoping to see her on Friday. Then getting disappointed when I didn't see her... So many questions popped into my mind by the time I left work that night but just like she had left our 'relationship' at work, I was going to do the same and not think about it over the weekend.
Then came Monday.
I hopped off of the elevator and saw Lydia walking towards her desk but coming from the direction of mine. I looked at her walking away (which always looked great) but didn't bother to stop her. Instead I preceded towards where she came from... and was there ever a surprise waiting for me. Another teddy bear was resting on my desk holding a rather large picture frame. But there weren't just ordinary pictures inside, instead there were a collage of pictures all of Lydia and I. Turns out she spent the weekend printing the pictures and arranging it for me; an out of work activity. I picked it up in complete disbelief, scanning it for comments I had made to her that she wrote down, dates and the shape of the cut outs. What really got me were that some of the pictures were edited so that other people that were in them couldn't be seen anymore and a few were cut into hearts, including the one dead in the middle with out heads together about a week after we met.
And for me, that was it.
I laid everything down and went looking for her. I wanted some answers, hell just one answer. I wanted some reciprocity. I wanted to tell her to tell me how she felt about me. This way I could either stop imagining us together or we could finally make something of the little that we have.
At first she was nowhere to be found. No one knew where she was but they knew she hadn't left yet. I knew exactly where to find her then. At the end of a long hallway at the tail end of the floor was Rachel's office. On more than one occasion we ended up there alone since Rachel was out of the office more often than not (especially on the week of her anniversary), plus because of the distance from there to rest of the production floor, no one ever came there without calling first. This was by Rachel's design; no one was interrupting her unless they absolutely had to. And wouldn't you know it, inside the room I found her, sitting in Rachel's chair with her head in her hands, crying.
She didn't hear me the first time. I closed the door behind me and when it clicked her head shot up and looked at me with runny mascara.
"H-he-e-hey, Jerome. What's up?" She was stuttering and smiling, oddly, at me.
"I was looking for you. What's wrong?"
She took some Kleenex from a box and started to wipe her face dry. "Actually...I'm really...happy. I know how I look right now doesn't really show that but...I am."
She started to gain more of that Waffle House waitress tone in her voice as her speech slowed to a crawl. I loved it more than I cared to admit.
"So if you don't mind me asking, what are you so happy about?"
"Well, you probably won't believe this but... I'm happy about you."
I walked over to the desk and stood next to her. "Then why are you crying?"
"Because...because, you're so wonderful. And I don't have you. But..."
"But...what? Lydia, I'm sure you know I want you to be mine-"
"And I'm pretty sure you feel something for me, right?"
I kissed her. I had to. There nothing else I needed to hear from her lips. I held her face with both hands and brought her to her feet. It felt too right not to be, especially when she started to kiss me back. I knew that we were okay then.
She stopped me briefly and started to whisper something to me.
"No, Lydia. There's nothing that needs to be discussed right now. All I know is right here, right now in this room. Me and you, nothing else, no other time or place. This is what's right."
She looked down for a second and looked back at me...and a single tear fell down her face. I pushed her face back up to me with my finger and with her voice cracking she said to me, "You are the most amazing man I've ever met."
We kissed again, hard. I had imagined our first kiss a few times before and this was much better than that. We tried to hold each other but our hands kept racing up and down each other so much it was hard to do. I pushed her back down on the office chair while still kissing her, got on my knees in between her legs and pulled her panties from under her skirt. I wasn't even going to let her mumble a word; I threw her legs on my shoulders and heard her heels clack against the edge of the wood table behind me. I wrapped my arms around her thighs and gently rolled her towards my face where my tongue lunged into her delightfully sweet center.
"Oh...baby...God...," I heard her say. I replied with my mouth but only by delving further into her. Her lips felt marvelous in my mouth and she tasted even better. At first it felt as though she wanted to pull away from me but I couldn't let that happen. I wasn't just tasting her and this wasn't just about sex; I was pleading with her. I was begging her with my body to be mine...and it was working. "More," she called, "More!" And I did as told. I wanted the feeling to last forever, wanting to be wanted by her. My hands started to roam her body as I simultaneously fed on her. One of her own hands held my head in her lap while the other grabbed my own and held it to her chest, almost as if she wanted me to feel her rapid heartbeat. This was my supreme turn on. I finally could feel what I was doing to her. Her heart racing meant that she felt me inside her. I was affecting her anatomy, her mental state. She needed more of me...
I stood up and lunged forward to kiss her. Our tongues were untamed, wildly swirling onto each other. I lowered my jeans and boxers, then held her closely while whispering, "I've been waiting for this moment ever since I met you." I slowly drove myself into her to the end, feeling her dig her nails into my back and pulling my shirt in opposite directions letting out, "OH!" with my first stroke.
Her legs went from resting on the desk behind me to wrapping around my waist. Once this happened I picked her up and began to pendulate slowly inside her, holding her in mid-air, watching her stare at me pleasing her body. I watched tears fall down her face slowly as she grabbed my face with both hands and kissed me repeatedly, pecking my cheeks, forehead and lips, French kissing me briefly. Suddenly I felt her leg reach out again for the desk, this time pulling us both towards it. I felt the edge of the desk on the back of my thighs when she somehow laid me down on it and began straddling me.
"You feel so good inside of me," she said with baited breath. She pulled her shirt and bra over her head and started to work herself up and down on my shaft, causing me to plow her walls, releasing a confirmation of her approval by soaking us both. She started off slow, increasing her speed in a short amount of time, causing pictures and papers to fall off and hit the floor. Her soft coo's started to increase in volume as well, so I pulled her chest to mine and rolled my tongue off into her mouth again, muffling the moans with my own. Holding her down didn't stop her from riding me though. She was trying to cum and I could tell from how she was tightening up around me. I wanted to cum with her, I knew it would be easy and perfect to do it.
We were lying on the short end of the desk. I held her close and gently rolled her around until we were lying long ways across it, knocking over anything left standing on the desktop. With me on top I started to push with focus. Her legs were moving non-stop as I kept on drawing moisture out of her, moving to the brink of a mutual orgasm. The look in her eyes caught me off guard and I can tell mine did too. It only took a few minutes before I felt that tingle run through my body and enter hers. We were cumming...orgasming...together...wonderfully. We knew to stay silent because we were still at work so all we could do is look at each other with mouths agape, bodies tightening on each other before the pressure started to subside and we collapsed into a heap.
I felt her start to stoke head the same way I had stoked her hair dozens of times before; soft, slow and caring. I knew we were set from that moment on. Nothing could tell me different. I slowly pulled out of her after a moment resting and started to adjust myself and get us both dressed. Once all of her clothes were back on she sat on top of the desk and, surprisingly, started to gently weep again.
"Please tell me those are tears of joy?" I asked her.
"Yes and no," she softly replied, voice cracking again.
I smiled back, sitting in the chair in front of her. "C'mon, it wasn't that bad was it?"
She tried to laugh off the remark. "Jerome, it was wonderful. Just like everything you do. You are always so wonderful to me....you're even better than my husband."
That's when my ceiling fell in. My eyes grew wide as I said, "You're married?!"
She nodded her head yes.
"How could you not have told me?!"
"Jerome, not a lot of people know inside this job. I didn't even have much of a marriage until a little after I met you. That's why this is so hard for me."
She continued her sobbing. I just couldn't believe it. Now it all made perfect sense. This is why we never talked outside of work. The same reason we were so close there. The reason I couldn't have her for myself. I stood up and started to pace the room trying to figure it out on my own but nothing was coming up. So I asked her.
"Please...explain. I need to know why you let me on like this...for this long."
Her tears were slowly subsiding as she began her story. "When I first started working here, I had been married for 2 years and separated about 3 months. My husband...we were going through some problems then and I didn't know if we were getting back together. I still loved him but I wasn't entirely ready to move on. We moved here together and for a while he was all I knew. Then I met you."
"But obviously that didn't change anything."
"Do you think you would be my work boyfriend if nothing changed?" she asked me, sternly.
"Work boyfriend? Is that what I am? What a title!"
"I understand you're a little mad but... listen. After I met you, I started to understand what I wanted from my marriage. You were all the things he used to be to me, plus more. I was ready to give in when...he came back. And without telling him to do anything, he started to do those little things that I needed. We got back together but I didn't know how to break it off with you. I never wanted to let you down so I just never let anything happen.
But then Valentines Day came and you were so sweet to me...that was the sweetest thing you could have done. My husband just sent me a text message saying happy V-Day. You gave me all that stuff. You were too sweet as you always are and I hated knowing that I was going to do the right thing, work on my marriage and not be with you, probably the best man I've ever met."