A Chance EncounterbyHamSwift©
It had been two years since they'd seen each other. Two years since breaking it off for good after considerable struggle to stop. Neither wanted to end it; but the only thing harder than ending was continuing. The deceit, the guilt, the risk, it had all taken a toll. She'd gone on Xanax halfway through; he'd taken to sleeping on the leather couch in the second floor study. Having so much on the line, they came to a collective realization: it could end sadly, or it could end badly. With much turmoil and tears, they eventually decided on sadly.
But after the final break-up the fire still smoldered, and as they jockeyed over life's daily hurdles with partners they shared little true emotion, thoughts of their perfect encounters never left their minds. They knew it was unfair to compare relationships. As a couple, they'd never shouldered the burden of dealing with a child's angst or medical issues, never discussed money, never dealt with one another's shortcomings or personality quirks on a daily basis. Instead, they'd enjoyed a fairy tale relationship where only the surface of things mattered. Issues of deepest importance took a backseat to having fun and quenching their sexual thirst for each other.
Still, there was something about them as a couple--some chemistry that bubbled up when they were together--which made them believe they would have weathered life's storms with aplomb, even while dealing with the kid's issues, even if the personality quirks were on display each day. They'd have their stressful times, as all couples do; but they'd have their soothing nights too, where behind closed doors they'd regroup and recharge, fortifying each other, helping one another face tomorrow's challenges by loving each other so perfectly today.
As dumb luck would have it, or perhaps it was fate, their families were booked at the same high-rise hotel on Florida's Gulf coast during their kids' winter school break. It would have been more of a coincidence if they hadn't stayed at the hotel years earlier on a business trip; still it was a piece of good fortune.
It was on the morning of the second day while his wife and kids were at the beach when he spotted her. He'd been talking to the concierge about restaurant suggestions and for no apparent reason glanced over to the elevators just as she was coming from one. It was another piece of good fortune, or maybe a miracle.
She looked harried as she stopped in front of the elevator, exhaling a hard breath, blowing it up her face to remove the wispy bangs that had fallen into her eyes. He'd seen this gesture so many times before--as they worked on particularly perplexing law cases together, or talked of letting each other go---and he literally stopped in mid-sentence to stare at her.
She was wearing a sexy sundress he'd never seen before. It made him jealous, realizing her life had moved on without him, her beauty and sex appeal intact; and it made him long for her all the more. He looked her up and down, from head to toe. Her dark hair was in a messy bun, the dress hugged her slim hips seductively and she wore open-toed sandals that strapped high around her ankles. He couldn't tell from across the lobby, but figured her toenails were painted a girly shade of pink.
She caught his eye as the elevator doors closed behind her. He wondered if she'd pretend not to see him, look away, walk through the lobby as if the greatest coincidence in their history had not just happened. Instead, she rushed toward him like he was a magnet.
They embraced in the middle of the lobby with only enough words to figure the crazy coincidence, laughing about having agreed back then the hotel would be a good place for kids. And then, after establishing that their spouses and kids were unlikely to walk into the hotel, they embraced again.
It was ironic to hug openly in a hotel lobby. Unless they were traveling on business and had legitimate reasons to be together they'd never so much as entered a hotel at the same time before. They'd always built elaborate schemes of entering at different times, from different entrances, sometimes under assumed names, all designed to get them safely in a room together so they could make love for hours.
Here, in this hotel, the meeting was unplanned and innocent, so they figured they could explain the embrace if they got caught. "Oh, hi honey, this is Brian Walters. We used to work together at Cravath. He's here with his family..."
They tried keeping the second embrace as cordial as the first, but his hold on her skinny hips lingered as he smelled the suntan lotion on the nape of her neck. She let out a weak moan as he held her close and all his desires came flooding back in currents of lust. When she felt him swelling against her thigh, her next moan was weaker in resistance, and stronger in desire.
It had been two years. During that time, he'd done all he could to put their magical connection behind him. He put in even longer hours at work, spent considerable time with his daughter, began painting landscapes again in his makeshift studio out back; but no matter what he did to occupy his mind, he couldn't shake his true feelings. He was in love with her. When alone in the shower, to this day it was she he thought about.
She held him to her, remembering the incredible aliveness of his body as he nibbled at her neck. He had always known exactly how to touch her, when to be soft, when to be passionate, when to take her however he pleased. After a minute he pulled back and looked down at her body. Her breasts were full and rising against the lightweight fabric of her dress. He knew she was his, at least for this little while, just as she'd always been, in sync with his movements, thinking the same thoughts, wanting the same things. None of the passion between them had dissipated over time. If anything, their time apart had only heightened their longing.
He looked into her dark eyes and noticed they were beginning to shine as she batted her thick eyelashes.
"Don't," he said, squeezing her hands in his between their bodies.
"You never liked my emotions."
"I love your emotions, Mandy. I don't like what they do to me."
He looked down to her fingers entwined in his, saw them heavy with diamonds, as if they were anchors to keep her in place. He glanced away, hoping for something meaningless to look at. His eyes fell upon three pieces of Louis Vitton luggage in a corner of the lobby and he zeroed in on them while gathering himself. Then his eyes moved back to her.
"How's Dennis, and the boys," he said quickly.
"Everybody's fine. We're...fine. I'm meeting them now. Rebecca? Rachel?"
"Rachel's at the Nichol's School now. They're good with autistic kids. She's doing much better there."
"She's a special child. I've missed your stories about her. And...Rebecca? She's well?"
"Rebecca's fine. Rebecca's... ...well."
He looked back to the set of luggage, blinking his eyes and wondering if the bags were lost or unclaimed or just waiting to be swept up to a room. He looked again to his hands clutching hers, noticing her fresh manicure. And then his tired, hooded eyes swept up to meet hers again.
"I made partner." He said.
"I wanted to email you so badly."
"I wish you did, but I understand. How're things at Wachtell, Lipton? Legal Secretary for the Chief Litigator. That must be exciting."
"The cases are exciting. Thank you for that."
There was an awkward pause as he sniffled and looked away and then turned back to her yet again.
"It was just too hard, Mands, working together. All I had to do was look at you and forget about doing what was right."
"You don't have to apologize."
"I felt bad. It should have been me who left. I've missed you more than I can say."
"I know. I...know."
"They'll be at the beach a while. Maybe we could--"
"We have a reservation for some catamaran trip. I'm on strict orders to be there at 11:00 sharp, even though he knows I hate boats."
"You couldn't just say no to it?"
"It's bad enough I work. On vacation he expects me by his side. My sons want me to go, especially Tim, so I'm going."
He looked at his watch.
"You have twenty minutes."
"We've done so well, Brian. It's been so hard getting to this point."
They looked into each other's eyes, still holding hands. He squeezed with a longing just shy of desperation, making her feel she was the perfect girl for him, the only one for him, just as he always made her feel when they were together. He squeezed again, and then led her toward the elevators.
After he pushed the button for his floor they stood facing front, waiting for the doors to close. The walls inside were mirrored glass but neither looked at their reflection. They waited in silence as the doors finally rumbled their way to a lazy close.
All alone now, he turned and kissed her gently on the mouth. He was tentative, but when she parted her lips and accepted his tongue, his arms went around her, engulfing her. Every reason for their break-up was instantly forgotten as the nuances of their love came flooding back. Gone too was the subtle sexual build-up they'd always shared when meeting at one of their secret spots, where soft kisses and loving embraces led to longer kisses and quiet whispers, and then his hands would find their way under her skirt, and he would rub between her legs and whisper some more, until finally he'd plunge his fingers deep inside her.
Both of them realized their time was short, which added to the intensity of their passion. She grabbed his arms from around her body, placed his hands on her breasts and whispered, "I love you, Brian...I love you...I'll love you forever." A moment later he turned her toward one of the mirrored walls, bending her forward at the waist. She remembered he liked this position and gripped the shiny metal pole running horizontally along the wall while spreading her feet for him. She arched her back and her hardened nipples showed clearly in the mirror as he lifted the sundress up the back of her legs. He exposed her skimpy pink bikini bottom and then unleashed himself from his pants. Pulling the bikini to the side, he put the oozing tip of his cock against her opening, slathering her with precome.
Her pussy lips were puffy and slick against him, just as he'd remembered from all those times at her home when her husband was out of town making deal after deal and her boys were at boarding school. As he pushed, he slid all the way in with one slippery stroke, just like on those countless afternoons in the various hotel rooms they shared throughout the city. Feeling how wet she became had always made him excited, and now was no different. After a few long strokes he began pumping her very hard while holding her messy bun with one hand and reaching around her body with the other to pinch her nipples through her dress. He could see her face in the mirror as her head was forced back; her mouth had fallen open and her eyes were rolled back in sublime acceptance. When she groaned, he fucked her even harder, pumping in and out with all his gusto while telling her he loved her too.
The hotel floors were flying by fast...ding...ding...ding... and although the couple was fairly oblivious to their surroundings, they soon realized the elevator was slowing to a stop. He barely had time to tuck himself into his pants before the once lazy doors opened with alarming alacrity.
They raced to his room with him unzipped and pulling her by the hand. When the room door swung closed behind them she kissed him wildly in the hall-like area between the bathroom and closets. Grabbing at each other's clothes, he pulled the dress over her head and lowered the straps of her bikini top from her shoulders. Her beautiful breasts spilled out, her rosy nipples standing proudly at attention for him. He rolled a nipple between thumb and forefinger while putting two fingers of his other hand into her mouth. She sucked eagerly, looking into his eyes while cupping him through his trousers; then she pulled his fingers out of her mouth and dropped quickly to her knees, a position she'd assumed for him so many hundreds of times before.
They had only a few minutes, so she went at him with abandon; otherwise, she would have taken her time, building him up slowly and surely until he couldn't stand it any longer.
Her head moved quickly as she sucked and moaned, loving him with all her heart once again, wanting only to satisfy him and feel his hot liquid love spurt into her mouth. It was a feeling she'd never appreciated with any other man. With him, each time it happened she immediately longed for the next time.
With time running out, he pulled her off his cock and got down on the carpeted floor. He swiveled her body around, pulling her on top of him in a sixty-nine position. She spread her legs over his face and lowered her bikini-covered pussy to his mouth. She was sucking him again with determination, moaning as he pulled the bikini to the side and probed her with his pointy tongue. When he began lapping at her engorged clit he could tell she wasn't far off, and neither was he.
The scene was so different from their home life, where on those rare sexual occasions, coming was sometimes an impossibility and most times a chore. With each other, coming in unison two or three times per encounter was not uncommon. Their intimacy and connection left nothing forced, uncomfortable, unpleasant or awkward.
As her head bobbed like a piston she could feel him tighten in her mouth and knew her wish to taste him was about to come true. All the while, his tongue bathed her clit as he put two fingers inside her. Finding her G-spot, he rubbed the spongy, coral-like nub softly. Soon he felt her legs tense.
She began quivering in orgasm just as his come spurted into her mouth. She swallowed what she could, but there was too much. What she couldn't swallow drooled down her chin and dripped onto his pelvis. They were both moaning loudly, tasting each other at the same time.
By now she was two minutes late meeting her husband and sons for her catamaran ride. They got up from the floor and she quickly snaked her arms back through her bathing suit straps. Picking up her dress from the floor, she slipped it over her head and wiggled into it. She smoothed her flat hands over it, hoping to rid it of any wrinkles. He grabbed a hand towel from the bathroom and came out to be with her as he wiped himself clean. He then threw the towel into the bathroom, watching it sail across the tile floor until it bumped to an abrupt stop against the tub.
Entering the elevator, they looked at themselves in the mirrored glass, making sure they didn't look too disheveled. He embraced her from behind, just as he'd done after the first time they'd made love. It was in a Santa Fe hotel room seven years earlier, after flying out from La Guardia to take a deposition. He'd said to her then they made the perfect couple. When he said it, she'd been thinking the exact same thing.
She was remembering those prophetic words as their gaze lingered in the mirror. But now she realized they were also a couple whose love and passion could only work when traveling incognito. It was a sad love; one that offered no happy ending; one that by design would leave no mark on the world. It was a love that was written in water. A lugubrious silence hung in the air as she leaned into him and blew the hair from her face.
"We're here another four days," he said quietly in her ear, hoping for a response he could live with.
"Tomorrow we're going for a day trip to some island. Another boat trip for me. We're leaving at ten."
Her eyes began to well up. She didn't stop the tears when they overflowed their sockets. She looked at them in the mirror as they rolled down her cheeks, discerning them individually, giving an emotion to each...this one representing hopelessness, this one loneliness, this one longing. She watched as he brushed each away absently with his thumb.
She composed herself as the elevator doors sprang open. They emptied into the lobby and she held onto his hands as she began speaking in a squeak.
"You know, I still haven't been to confession. I thought it would be the first thing I did. You probably don't know, but you have to feel genuine remorse; otherwise the confession's meaningless. I've yet to feel remorse. It's a hard thing to reconcile, knowing it's wrong and not caring that it is."
"Maybe you can be remorseful knowing you've done something against your God...and going behind Dennis's back...but still feel good about us. It was never tawdry between us, Mandy. It was never about sex for me, or for you."
"And that's what made it more unfair to them, and harder for us. Really, the only remorse I felt was perhaps thinking I'd neglected Tim. It's hard having twin boys. There's so much rivalry. Tom's enrolled in a kid's program at Juilliard now. His teachers are convinced he'll be a famous composer some day, just as he's been saying for years. I'm so proud of him, but I see Timmy looking on from the wings. It's incredibly hard on him. If there's anything I have remorse about, it's that I might have neglected him during those years. It's impossible not to lose track of things when something so intense is happening. No...I need to stop."
He had heard her and it all made sense; yet he was still hopeful, still holding her hands, still thinking of the heavenly days they might again share.
But that wasn't going to be. She dropped her hands from his as if her willpower and better judgment had finally provided strength enough to fight the force of his magnetism. He saw the conflict in her eyes, the light and love that burned so brightly being doused by tears of reason. Their love could never be fully extinguished, they both realized that, but for the first time he finally understood the gloomy mantra he'd heard from her so many times before: They were impossible.
She broke his stare, looked down at her hands, twisted the big diamond on her finger, turning it halfway around absently so the rock was positioned on the underside of her hand. She looked at her spread out fingers, admiring the simple band while remembering better times...and remembering the inscription inside the band that read, "Til Death Do Us Part".
She sniffled and clenched her jaw, almost chuckling at the magnitude of those five small words. Then she turned the ring upright again and the artificial light of the lobby hit the stone, making it look shiny and new. Finally, she looked up to him through her tears.
"Goodbye...I love you," was all she said.
They were words with a magnitude all their own, and her voice cracked over each one of them.
Then she turned and walked away.
He did not call after her as she strode courageously through the lobby. He let her go, back toward the rocking boat that was her life.