Better Ch. 09byMsQuote©
Chapter 9 - Andrea
"Well, good morning to you!" were the only words that could come out of my mouth after I realized I was fully awake with Michael on top of me. I didn't know exactly what led to him pounding his way into me like a slippery jackhammer, but it was the nicest way I had ever woken up, especially with that Cheshire cat grin on his face.
"I wish I could stay with you this morning, but I have a 7:30 breakfast meeting and meetings through the rest of the day," he said. "But I want you to have fun by yourself, order whatever you want for breakfast and lunch, and whatever niceties you want to indulge in ... a manicure, a massage ... if you don't feel like going out. I've arranged for a late check-out at five before we head out to dinner and back home."
"Oh, home," I sighed. "Do we have to?"
I knew we had to, but I knew there would be more times like this to come.
I slipped into the shower after he left, which gave room service just enough time to bring up a pot of coffee, a fruit and cheese tray and a copy of the Tribune. I took a glance at my phone to see that it had just enough power, if that, to get back to the texts and emails I had ignored over the past two days. I got to my work emails first, followed by messages from my mother ... all three of them ... and then Robert.
"When do you have time to get together? I have a surprise for you," his message read.
Surprise? What could that be? A raging eight-inch hard-on? I've had two-and-a-half days filled with surprises of the most unbelievable kind, but I knew as soon as I got on that plane ... by myself ... it would be over until the next time, whenever that would be.
Robert had filled in the time with great laughs and earth-moving sex, but then he was gone until the next time he was available, and for a while, that was fine. But before Michael swept me away for these few days, I had that inkling that Robert wanted to take things to the next step. I thought I felt it in the way he seemed to care that I was conflicted in my confession to him about Michael, but in the end, he left me to myself.
To be honest, Michael really stepped up his game over these past few days, and the bonus was in those times we were apart when there would bouquets that would show up at my door without warning and love poems that pinged at random in my inbox. If I was having a bad day, Michael was always a phone call away as my sounding board. If there was happy news to share on his end, I was usually the first to hear about it. Either way, I couldn't have either man the way I really wanted.
I couldn't get either man out of my head as I stepped out and tried to get lost in the shopping Nirvana otherwise known as the Miracle Mile. But what was the point? I had two brand-new suitcases stuffed with dresses, shoes and lingerie that weren't part of my wardrobe only a few days ago. Another dress or another pair of earring was not going to make me happy or answer my questions about whether to keep both or just one of these men in my life or break free and be open for better to come along.
I tried the mani-pedi therapy, but all it did was remind me of the way I had on several occasions dragged my fingernails down Robert's back when he'd plunge his cock as far as it could go inside of me and then pull back teasingly to keep me from the point of getting sucked into an orgasmic vortex into each other's bodies and minds. The manicurist's lotioned hands reminded me of the time on the beach after dusk in Santa Cruz when Michael rubbed my feet deeply and tenderly to the point I my swimsuit was already wet between my legs before we floated into the water to make love in the waves.
The internal conflict was draining and was compounded by not having several nights of solid sleep. I sought solace back in the hotel room where I tried to lull myself to sleep by running my hands over my unclothed body. My hands grazed up my arms and along my shoulders and then down to cup and caress each breast. As I squeezed a nipple, one hand fell over my tummy and toyed with venturing into my nether regions. Was that Michael's hand that brushed over the tender folds of my skin? Or was that Robert's strong and merciless penetrating fingers that eventually loosened the grip on every muscle in my body that let me drift off into a deep and thoughtless sleep?
I eventually woke up with only an hour to pack my bags and get ready for dinner, which we had downstairs in the hotel restaurant. Over bites of roasted quail with unexpected flavors of apple and ginger, Michael asked a very unexpected question.
"Would you give any thought to moving out to the coast, closer to me?" he asked.
I had fantasized about it once or twice, but never took the thought seriously until he said, "I could rent you a studio in the city, close to my office, at least on a short-term business until you got your business up and running. I showed your book to the creative director at our ad agency. She liked it. A lot. She said she could use you for our new campaign coming up on a freelance basis, at least to start."
I didn't know what to say. I already had quite a busy calendar with well-paying gigs with magazines and agencies that I had spent years cultivating. I was one of those rare people who wasn't always pitching their book to make their next rent payment, and this went well beyond the hundreds of times we said, "I wish you were here," over fiber optic lines and cell tower relays.
"I wish I had some warning," I said. "It sounds as if you've been planning this for quite some time," I said.
"I've thought about it, I've kicked it around in my head, but I wanted to ask you at just the right time," he said.
As much as this moment scared and confused me, I wanted to hold onto it forever.
"I really have to think about this, and we really have to talk about this, but right now, I really need time to digest this," I said.
"That's all I ask of you, my dear," he said as he reached out for my hands and barely touched his lips on mine.