A Baumgartner Reunion Ch. 02bySelena_Kitt©
There wasn't any preparing myself, even if I told myself there was as I stood in front of the mirror and double-checked my hair and make-up, smoothed the brown silk skirt and tucked in my blouse. I was glad I was upstairs when she rang the doorbell. Just hearing her voice made my hands tremble and I pressed them to my thighs to keep them still as I paused at the top of the stairs.
"So nice to meet you!" Gretchen's smile was for TJ, but her look was just for me, and I knew it. She took a step toward the stairs, meeting my gaze with hungry eyes. I couldn't help my smile, even though it felt goofy on my face as I came the rest of the way down.
"Gretchen!" Her name felt familiar in my mouth, even after all this time. "You cut your hair!" She laughed, snaking an arm around my neck and pressing her cheek to mine. "All of them—probably several hundred times since you last saw me, sweetie."
It was a very brief thing, that hug, but I could smell her hair, still white-blonde but cut into a short bob now, making her thin, pale face look fuller. She smelled fresh and sweet, like clover and oranges. How old was she now? I was doing the math in my head and came to the sum of thirty-four. Five years older than I was. There were the faintest lines around her eyes when she smiled, but she was still Gretchen.
"Come on in out of the cold." TJ shut the front door against the wind and snow, offering to take Gretchen's coat. Her dress was short, shimmering black in the lamp light as she shrugged her shoulders and let her coat slide off into TJ's hands. I knew she'd dressed for me, just like I'd dressed for her—and I think she knew it, too, the way her eyes moved over my blouse, unbuttoned into a suggestive V. She still had much more than I did in that department, the black fabric gathered between her breasts showing quite a bit of cleavage. I noticed TJ noticing as he poured wine and we sat around the kitchen table.
"Oh my god, Ronnie, you look so amazing." Gretchen smiled a thank you as TJ handed her a glass of wine. "I don't think you've changed at all."
"You haven't seen my stretch marks." I laughed, wrinkling my nose when TJ handed me a glass and setting it aside. "You look the same too—except all your hair is gone!"
"I got too old to get away with it anymore." She winked, taking a sip and turning appreciative eyes to TJ. "Mmm, this is good!"
"It's a petite syrah," TJ said with a nod.
Gretchen raised her eyebrows at him and lifted her little snub nose into the air in a delicate sniff. "And something smells fantastic." Her eyes were the same bright green, just as mischievous and not likely to miss a thing. Every time she looked my way, I felt it, like a familiar ache.
I took a long drink of wine and grimaced. "TJ's famous spaghetti—secret recipe, straight from his grandmother in Sicily."
"I'm so glad you called." Gretchen sat up and reached over to touch TJ's hand. It was brief, just a squeeze, but I noticed her long, manicured nails, painted bright red, an uncharacteristic color for her, and it reminded me sharply of Mrs. B. She turned her gaze to me again, and there it was, that feeling like someone had just reached their hand into my belly and twisted. "I've thought about you so often."
I held my empty glass out to TJ, who poured with a raised eyebrow. "I've thought about you, too." It wasn't a lie. When I'd first ended things with Gretchen, I thought about her all the time, and I knew it would drive me insane if it didn't stop, so I did what I needed to do. Vince, the guy I was dating at the time, was a personal trainer—gorgeous, ripped, he had a brilliantly rational mind but was more than a little OCD—and he taught me how to get rid of Gretchen for good. I'd put a rubber band around my wrist, and every time my thoughts turned to her, I snapped it—hard. Really, really hard. Sounds silly, but it worked. Between that and the incredibly huge eleven inch cock Vince presented me with to handle at every possible occasion—I've never had bigger, before or since—it was enough of a distraction to get me through. But the truth was, while it worked to keep me distracted, it didn't work all the time. No, not all the time.
Both of TJ's eyebrows were raised at me now and I tried to change the subject. "So, how are the Baumgartners? What's everyone up to?"
"Oh Ronnie, you wouldn't believe how big the kids are!" Gretchen smiled, shaking her head. I nodded, remembering them frozen in time: Janie as a gawky almost-twelve and Henry as a typical nine-year-old boy. Mrs. B had sent me a Christmas card that first year after Gretchen and I broke up, but then I moved, and the mail only got forwarded for so long. I still had that last photo tucked away in a box full of old diaries and journals marked: "Ronnie's Private: Keep Out." I remembered Janie's big front teeth and honey-colored ponytail, Henry's lopsided smile. Gretchen was still talking. "Janie's just gorgeous, she's got boys following her around like puppies. And Henry's huge, like his dad. You'll see—you're coming to Key West with us, aren't you? Carrie said she invited you..."
TJ and I both said "Probably," and "I don't know" simultaneously. Gretchen sipped her wine and looked between us, her eyes sharp.
I held my glass out for more wine. "I still can't think of her as Carrie. To me, she'll always be Mrs. B."
TJ poured me half a glass and then got up to check the sauce. I watched him stirring it, feeling warm and flushed and buzzed from way too much wine for me in too short a time. I noticed Gretchen watching him, too, and felt a twinge of something—jealousy?
"So how are Mr. and Mrs. B?" I asked Gretchen as TJ came to the table with a bowl full of spaghetti.
"Doc's practice is going gangbusters, as always." Gretchen held her plate out as TJ started to serve dinner. "With that bedside manner, though, go figure, right?" She winked at me and I smiled, remembering Doc's easygoing teasing, but mostly I remembered his eyes and the way they would follow me around a room wherever I went, as if he could see right through me. It suddenly occurred to me, as TJ sat down, that he and Doc shared a great deal in common when it came to looks and temperament. Funny how I'd never thought of it before.
"Carrie's real estate business hasn't done as well recently," Gretchen sighed. "The market is so bad right now. It's one of the reasons... well... things are changing for the Baumgartners. And me, too. Kids don't stay kids—can't be a nanny forever."
I nodded, feeling TJ's knees touch mine under the table as he sat and I gave him a smile. "Still, Gretch, you've been with them a long time."
"I couldn't turn down the money they offered, Ronnie." She shrugged, twirling noodles on her plate. "And, you know... all the fringe benefits."
That hung there, and I wondered if TJ understood as well as I did what she meant. It wasn't just the trips to Key West and Aspen and the New England Sound. There was so much more to working for Mr. and Mrs. B...
TJ cleared his throat, his eyes moving between us. "So why did you two break up?"
"TJ!" I nudged him under the table, my eyes wide. "I'm curious..." He shrugged. "Are we not supposed to talk about it?"
"I don't mind." Gretchen smiled, but her eyes were pained, and I looked down at my plate, spearing a mushroom. "Ronnie found a boyfriend."
"The guy I dated before I met you," I explained, wondering if Vince even remembered my name anymore.
"You know how we girls have a tendency to abandon our girlfriends when a guy shows up," Gretchen teased. I wanted to say something, but the wine made my head feel fuzzy, as if it were too full.
"What about you, Gretchen?" TJ asked. "Did you find a girlfriend?"
"Or a boyfriend?" I chimed in, feeling desperate.
"Oh several." Gretchen winked at TJ but the look she gave me was full of a meaning I didn't understand. "Nothing lasting, though. I could afford to be picky, living with the Baumgartners."
I tried to imagine what it might have been like, if Gretchen and I had never broken up. Would she have stayed their nanny, then, I wondered? Would we all have been one big, happy family? The thought filled me with a mixture of longing, regret, and a deeper feeling I didn't even recognize at first—anger.
"This is the best spaghetti I've ever tasted." Gretchen's compliment made TJ blush and I smiled.
"He's a much better cook than I am."
"Like Doc?" Gretchen winked.
"Better." I touched my knee to TJ's under the table and he looked up at me, his eyes tender. "Although I admit, Doc could make a hell of a sandwich."
"Mmm god yes." Gretchen's tone changed and she gave a low, throaty moan that reminded me immediately what it was like between us. Her eyes met mine and they said it all. "He still can."
The double entendre didn't escape any of us. I couldn't help but remember—not only the night Doc and I snuck downstairs to make sandwiches and, while Mrs. B slept upstairs, he fucked me on the kitchen counter, but also there was the clear memory of being sandwiched between Doc and Mrs. B in more positions than I had ever imagined.
Gretchen's hand found my knee under the table and squeezed. She leaned forward, eager, earnest. "You are coming aren't you?"
I shrugged, not looking up. "I don't know, Gretch..."
"Oh, Ronnie, you have to come," she pleaded with both voice and eyes. "This is the last summer we're all going together. Henry's graduating this year, and I'm... well... things are changing. It would be so good, like old times."
I glanced at TJ. "I've never really left our daughter for so long..."
"She loves staying with your mother." He shrugged, no help at all. I knew what he wanted, what he hoped.
"You could always bring her...?" Gretchen suggested.
"No. Out of the question." I shook my head, adamant, and they both looked at me, surprised. I shrugged. "And really, I think two weeks is a long time to be gone..."
"I could stay here with her for a week," TJ offered. "Let you go out there for a week, and then fly out to meet you for the second..."
Gretchen brightened. "What a great idea."
"TJ..." I gave him a warning look but he ignored it.
"Something to think about..." He shrugged, filling my wine glass. I looked at it, already feeling way too buzzed to make any real decisions.
"You only live once," Gretchen prodded. Her hand moved over my knee under the table still, edging along the silk edge of my skirt. "We've all missed you, Ronnie."
I stood up, carrying my plate to the sink, murmuring. "Let me think about it."
I didn't want to think about it. I didn't want to think about anything. The wine had made me sleepy and way too relaxed, and when Gretchen curled up on the couch beside me and put her head in my lap just like she used to, I didn't say a word. TJ sat in the chair across from us, watching, listening to us talk—reminisce, really. It was as if someone had hit "pause" on the tape and had now pushed "play." We just picked up where we left off, soft voices. low laughs, inside jokes, our fingers twined together.
When Gretchen yawned, stretched and sat up, saying she had to get back, it was very late, and I didn't want her to go. TJ helped her on with her coat and her kiss goodbye was a little longer and too lingering to be called just friendly. She gave TJ a hug and thanked him again for calling. I knew it was coming and had planned my even, measured response to it, but when she said the words, mine wouldn't come.
"We're flying out Monday." She squeezed my hands in hers, swinging them, and it made me feel like a little girl. "Doc says just give him the word and he'll book your tickets."
"I—" They weren't there, those words I'd planned, the polite refusal, the kind turn-down. It wasn't just that I couldn't say them—it was as if they didn't exist anymore. "I'll let you know."
"Please." She leaned in and kissed my cheek, her lips brushing the corner of my mouth, making me shiver. "Please come."
With that, she was gone.
TJ closed the door, calling for her to be careful on the snowy stairs and then turned to me. "What do you think?"
I plopped down on the couch, still warm from where Gretchen and I had been cuddled together. "I think I'm in over my head."
"Time to grow gills?" He sat beside me and took my hand.
"TJ..." I sighed, not looking at him.
"It's sort of a once in a lifetime thing, isn't it?"
"Well, in my case, apparently...twice?"
He grinned, leaning in to kiss my cheek. "Lucky you."
"Yeah." I sighed. "Lucky me..."
* * * *
I knew I was really going to go through with it when I decided to shave everything down there. Honestly, I think I knew the moment I saw Gretchen again, but shaving was a symbolic act, a physical representation of a so-far ethereal decision. Doc had paid for our tickets, plans had been made, but it didn't feel real until I put a towel up on the bathroom counter that morning and handed TJ a razor.
"Everything?" He was used to trimming me, shaving the sides into a neat little landing strip, but I hadn't gone completely bare since that summer in Key West.
"Everything," I agreed, spreading my legs and leaning back against the mirror, hoping he wouldn't see the way my thighs were trembling or how wet I was already in anticipation.
The razor moved slowly, carefully, up one side and then the other, stripping me of a clear remnant of womanhood. It felt like turning back the clock in some ways, going back to that time when I was so young, so unknowing, so eager to learn. Still, there were things I couldn't un-know, experiences that had changed me forever. My body had changed, my hips fuller, my breasts, too, after nursing Beth for two years. I had stretch marks on my lower belly, now, soft plaits the remnant of my pregnancy. I knew there was no going back, even as I let him strip me bare in hopes that there somehow was.
"So smooth." TJ's fingers rubbed over my vulva, his eyes eating me up, hungry, and I wanted more than just his gaze. I would be on a plane in less than five hours—I'd insisted on a separate flight, wanting them all to have a chance to settle in for a day before I showed up—reunited with three people who, for that one glorious week that summer, had been my lovers, my teachers, my mentors. I couldn't even begin to imagine what might happen, but my body was strung tight, like a bow pulled taut, waiting to shoot some fated arrow.
"I'm going to miss you." I ran my fingers through his hair as he knelt and wiped me down with a washcloth, smoothing away any stray hairs. I could see my own clit when I looked down, my lips swollen and parted. It peeked up, as if asking to be touched, and the air felt cool and intrusive, a sensory overload.
"It's only a week." He kissed my thigh, his eyes still focused between my legs. Exposed, my pussy felt ornamental now, a showpiece, something I couldn't hide. It excited me.
"Anything can happen in a week." I gasped when his tongue flicked against my clit, quick, snake-like, a tease.
"Anything you want." He looked up at me, his big hands pressing my thighs open, keeping them there.
"Anything?" I raised my eyebrows at his carte blanche. We'd talked about it over the weekend, all the endless possibilities. I'd changed my mind a hundred times about going at all. We talked about setting ground rules, dismissed it and decided to play it by ear, only to come back to the idea of rules again. Everything felt uncertain, precarious, and it was both exciting and scary. We were on the verge anyway, with everything—his job was taking him to New York this summer, and I had just found a position in a private school out there. I didn't know what I was going to do with Beth. We didn't know anyone out there. I didn't know what I was going to do, and this vacation seemed like a push off a cliff I was already teetering over...
"I want you to have a good time." His breath moved against my pussy, warming me, making me tremble. "I want that most of all."
"Oh Teej..." It was my pet name for him, as if you could shorten his name or initials any more, yet I had found a way. I wanted to say something, to make everything good and right and perfect, but I didn't know the words, so I just pressed him to me, kissing his mouth with my pussy. He groaned, burying his face there, pushing my legs back, trying to get more.
"Oh god." I whispered the words, just letting him take what he wanted, what I wanted, what we both wanted—my pleasure. Still, after all this time, there was no one who could take me like TJ did, and I whimpered under his tongue, groaning as his fingers slid into me, seeking heat. There was no barrier to his mouth now, my lips parted for him, my clit seeming to tilt toward him. He flicked it, lapped at it, split me with both fingers and tongue, both of them meeting in the middle and then trading places, his fingers circling my clit, his tongue slipping down into my hole.
"Ahhhhhh god!" I cried as he began to fuck me with his tongue, his finger making quick work of my clit, back and forth, so fast it felt constant. There was no resisting him. My body knew what it wanted and he took it, shoving his tongue deep into my pussy as he made me come with his fingers rubbing my clit. The muscles in my cunt squeezed at him, sucking his tongue deeper, like a hungry, eager kiss as I came, my whole body shaking, my nipples hardening in surprise at the sudden sensation.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," he murmured against my flesh, standing between my legs and rubbing his whole hand over my mound, making me let out a moan halfway between pleasure and pain. He was wearing boxers and his cock tented them nicely. There was a small wet spot around the head and I reached out to touch it with the tip of my finger.
"You want that, baby?"
I nodded, watching as he slid his shorts down, letting his cock spring free .It extended thickly against my thigh as he leaned in and kissed me. I could taste myself on his tongue and it reminded me of Gretchen and Mrs. B—the amazing, unmistakable, thick, pungent taste of pussy—and TJ seemed to know it.
"You like that?" He whispered the words as he slid his cock between my legs, nudging them further open. "The sweet taste of cunt in your mouth?"
I nodded against his shoulder, reaching down to grasp him, tugging hard. He gasped as I slipped the head of his cock up and down the now-smooth lips of my pussy, his eyes closing, his head going forward to my chest, clearly lost in the sensation. I tickled my clit with him for a moment before tilting my hips and sliding him into position.
"You like that sweet shaved little pussy?" I whispered as he shifted forward, sliding in. He groaned in response, arching, searching for more. I wrapped my legs around his waist, digging my heels into his behind and pulling him deeper. He shuddered, gripping my thighs and then shifting his hands up toward my pussy, sliding slowly out.
"God, that's beautiful." I could see him, too, thick and red, pulling back and back until just the head was inside of me. He massaged the smooth lips of my vulva with his thumbs, his eyes full of lust.
"Smooth as a baby," I murmured, wiggling against him. "Like some sweet young thing with the tightest little cunt you've ever been in." His eyes brightened at my words and I squeezed the head of his cock with my muscles, telling him I wanted more of him. He pressed forward, using his now-wet thumbs to rub my nipples, making me moan.
"God that's good." He rolled his hips into me again and again, watching his progress, in and out of my wetness. The sound of our bodies meeting, flesh against flesh, echoed against the wet tile and I leaned back on my elbows, fingering my own nipples as he fucked me, letting him do all the work. His thumbs eased my lips apart again, nudging my clit back and forth between them.
I looked up at his face, his eyes, the way he stared between my legs and my completely bald cunt.