As men get older, they often look back and think about that one girl that they never got the chance to be with, but always wanted. For me, that girl was my cousin Loni. Though we never had any real chance to get together back then, not too long ago I did have an opportunity to change that and set at least one thing from my past to rights.
I was traveling with my job and ended up in Dallas where much of my father's family still lived. We used to be very close, but over the last twenty years we had all lost touch with one another. Now there was a family reunion about once every ten years. I had missed the last one, so when I got into town I called one of my older aunts.
"Victor," Aunt Leslie said happily when she heard it was me. "It's been so long since we heard from you."
"I know," I told her. "Living so far away definitely has its disadvantages."
It was a white lie, for sure. I didn't regret being away from most of the family. There were one or two of them that I wanted to catch up on. One of them was Leslie's own daughter, Loni, so as quickly as I could I steered the conversation to her.
Loni was the only female cousin that I had that was around my age. She was two years younger than me, so she used to hang around with my younger sister when the family got together, but Loni played an important part of my fantasy life when I was growing up.
She was petite and had blonde curly hair like Shirley Temple. But, Loni didn't look childlike, even as a child. There was something wild and sensuous about her even as a young girl. As soon as I hit puberty, Loni had been one of the girls I dreamed about most, especially right before and after a family get-together.
I had another cousin named Eric that was a crude little bastard when I knew him growing up. When we were sixteen, Eric had told me that Loni and her brother Jimmy, who was one year older than we were, had regular sex together. Even back then I had a taste for incest and the thought of Loni getting fucked by her older brother drove me crazy. Encouraged by that supposed revelation, I even made a pass at my younger sister, only she turned me down flat.
Eric was a liar. I knew that. Still, I couldn't get Loni and the possibility of her having a relationship with her brother out of my mind.
Aunt Leslie told me that Loni was divorced now. I got her phone number and called Loni up and asked her if she'd like to have dinner with me one night while I was in town. She happily agreed, saying it would be great to catch up with our two branches of the family.
I made reservation at a very swank restaurant known for its dinner and dancing. Loni had loved to dance back then and even though I'd never done much dancing as a boy, my wife Denise had made me take lessons later in life and I knew I could hold my own. We'd have fun together. I really didn't expect anything more than that.
I met Loni in the hotel lobby. She had told me that it would be easier for her to park her car at the hotel than for me to try to find her apartment in the now unfamiliar city. She met me early after her work and showed up with a change of clothes and a makeup bag.
"Mind if I change in your room, cuz?" she asked after our hellos. "My work duds aren't up to your restaurant's standards, but I brought along something that ought to do the trick."
"Sure, Loni," I told her happily. "We have plenty of time. If you even want to hit the shower before we take off, help yourself."
She smiled, her blue eyes flashing the wit and intelligence I remembered from our younger days. She still had her blonde hair, though now it was cut shorter into a more businesslike style. She still carried a trim figure, but there was more flare to her hips these days and breasts a size or two bigger than I remembered.
"Haven't had an offer from a man like that in too long," she laughed as I led her toward the elevator. I helped her carry her things upstairs and we chatted amiably as we rode the elevator together.
"Want some wine while we're waiting?" I asked her, playfully. We had grown up in a tee-totaling Baptist family and alcohol still wasn't acceptable at family gatherings. But Loni was supposed to have a wilder side, so I thought I'd risk it.
"Goodness," Loni said laughing playfully. "Inviting strange women up to your hotel and now drinking wine. You've certainly changed since we were kids."
"I moved to New Orleans, cuz," I reminded her. "The alcohol practically flows out of the tap down there. And I assure you I've seen stranger things working in the French Quarter all these years than I'll ever see in Dallas."
"That's probably true I guess," Loni said laughingly. "I always wanted to come down for Mardi Gras. I've seen all those juicy pictures on the Internet!"
"Hey, I didn't take most of those," I grinned at her. "The pictures can't do justice to the madness of Fat Tuesday, believe me. So, Loni, how about that wine? Red or white?"
"OK, since we can catch a cab to the restaurant, let's get a bottle of red if you can handle it. Say a nice Cabernet?" she suggested.
"Sure! You start sprucing up and I'll call room service," I said, sitting down on the king size bed and turning toward the phone. "If you're not out when it gets here, I'll give you a knock."
I called room service and ordered the wine, offering the steward a premium if he could run a bottle and some glasses up to the room in the next ten minutes. He showed up and I gave him a nice tip, then poured out two glasses before I knocked on the door.
"Room service, Ma'am," I said after rapping for her attention.
Loni opened up the door and the sight of her almost took away my breath.
She was standing in her stocking feet in a white half slip and a very attractive push-up bra. She had most of her make-up on and was about to apply some lipstick that was generally the same shade as the wine I was supposed to be offering her.
"Well?" she asked, leaning back against the bathroom counter after an awkward pause. "You brought wine, cuz? Or were you just trying to peak at me in the bathroom like you used to do?"
"Oh, yea," I said snickering. "I did bring some wine, even though the view seemed to have driven it from my head for a bit."
"Thanks, Victor," she laughed and added, "that's the best compliment anyone's given me in years."
"Well that's nothin', darlin'," I said in my best Texas drawl. "I got a million more where that came from and from where I stand you deserve every one of them."
"Haven't you developed a golden tongue, cuz," she laughed quietly, then took the wine I extended and turned back toward the mirror. Then, looking into it at me, she thoughtfully added, "No wonder your wife scooped you up so quick after you moved down to Louisiana."
I smiled back at her reflection, understanding the message.
"Good idea, Loni," I told her. "Keep reminding me tonight that I'm a married man. I'm gonna need that."
We laughed together and reluctantly I left the doorway and went back into the room. I had found a classical music station that seemed to be about the only thing that wasn't playing country music. At least, the only music I could tolerate anyway.
So I was surprised in just a moment when Loni came out still in the same state of undress and sat down on the other side of the hotel bed to talk.
"You said the reservations aren't until 7:30, right?" she asked. When I nodded, she explained, "No sense me getting my dress wrinkled for the next hour then. You don't mind, do you? You were always the best behaved of all our generation when we were growing up."
"Well, except for Jimmy and you two girls, that's not saying much. Eric ended up in jail, didn't he? All of Uncle Ronnie's kids ended up pretty wild from what I heard from Mom and Dad." I said, summarizing what I knew of the family history.
"Oh, they're wild all right," she said sarcastically. "They've all been divorced at least twice, just like me."
"That's not what I meant, Loni," I said seriously. "My oldest sister Melinda got divorced too remember and I've talked through it with enough of my friends to know that it happens to the best of people too, not just the worst."
"Yeah, well it's still the shits, Victor, if you don't mind me being blunt. And talking through it with someone else doesn't really prepare you for living through it yourself," she said, sighing as she leaned back.
Her breasts flattened somewhat as she leaned back and I saw the brown tips of her areola in the skimpy bra. Loni took a long draught of the wine and I stood up to refresh both our glasses.
"Anything about them you want to tell me about, or would you rather discuss something else tonight," I asked her, trying to clear the air between us a little.
"Why don't you tell me how you did it?" she asked contemplatively. “You've been married over twenty years now, haven't you?"
"Yeah, but it more the girl that picked me than what I did, Loni," I told her sincerely. "She and I just seem to fit. Not that we haven't been through our share of problems."
"Oh really!" she teased, shaking her hands as though freighting fear. "After what I've seen, tell me the troubles your marriage has been through, cuz."
"You're probably right," I nodded agreeably. "About the toughest thing we've been through was when I found out five years ago that my wife had been having an affair with her boss for three years."
"Oh, sorry, cuz. Guess I was just being a bitch again," she said apologetically.
"You couldn't know," I told her easily. "It's past history anyway. I was working too much and it was just a mid-life thing she was going through. Once we've gotten through it, we've actually got a better relationship now than we've had in years."
"Really! So no bitterness, Victor?" she sat up and asked. "You didn't get the itch to rush out and get even or anything?"
"I guess I'd done that years before," I admitted. "So, no. I didn't."
“Yeah," she sighed again and drank some more. "I know as well as anyone how hard it is to remain faithful these days."
"Tell me about it," I nodded. "My wife and I just decided that it was more important that we be honest with each other about our desires and what we wanted. Now if either of us gets to feeling itchy, we talk it out and go with whatever we can both agree on."
"Ah, you mean like one of those open marraiges, eh?" she snickered.
"No, that's not what I meant," I said, shaking my head. "I'm not free to just bed anyone I want and neither is she. It's just that now we've come to understand that we both have sexual interest outside of each other, but we also know that our commitment to one another is bigger than that."
"So, Victor," Loni turned, her eyes looking warm and seductive, "did the wife give you permission to fool around on this trip?"
I laughed softly, not really sure if Loni was messing with my head or seriously interested. Either way, I figured I'd just go with telling her as much of the truth as I was prepared to do just then.
"Well, I did tell her that there was one lady in town that interested me," I said vaguely. "After we talked it out, she told me that since it wasn't just a passing fancy, she'd understand if anything happened between me and this woman. As long as I was honest with her later."
"And who would this lady happen to be?" Loni asked in a strange voice. I couldn't really tell whether she was interested in this line of questioning or afraid of the answer.
"Goodness, cuz," I said laughing it off. "We can't tell all of our secrets in the first hour. I don't know about you, but I'm starving. How about we finish up getting dressed and get over to the restaurant?"
"OK," she smiled and relaxed. I could almost see the tension easing out of her. "Let me just throw on my frock."
"Or you could make it interesting and go like that," I cackled.
"You better have a tie and a coat, mister," she laughed, sounding almost like a young girl again. "It's been a long time since I was at a nice restaurant."
"Nothing but the best for my favorite cousin," I told her. "And I hope you brought your dancing shoes, darlin'. I feel like hoofing it tonight."
"Sure did, Victor," she said and smiled as she leaned back out the door. "But I'll warn you, I'm rusty. Hope you don't mind some scuffs on your shoes before we're done."
"No problem," I said suavely, "Come on, girl. My stomach is growling."
"Just my luck in men," she snickered. "First hotel I've been in with a guy in ten years and he's only interested in eating."
I laughed at her comment, but couldn't hold my tongue before I added, "Bet that was true back then, too. If the guy wasn't blind, anyway!"
"Oh, you are bad," she laughed heartily from the bathroom.
When she stepped out, I decided Loni was worth the wait. She wore a cream colored dress that cinched in tight at the waist and flowed out in pleats at the bottom. Her shoes were opened toed with short heels, but perfectly matched the dress. I smiled, seeing that her toenails were painted the same color as her lipstick and fingernails.
"My, oh my!" I exclaimed and gave her a wolf whistle. "Gonna need a big ol' stick to drive 'em off of you tonight."
Loni smiled and blushed and hesitated as if she was about to say something. Then, throwing up her hands in resignation, she chuckled and said, "Let's get out of here before I change my mind and do something foolish."
I let the comment slide, figuring my cousin's sentiments matched my own.
The cab ride was short, the dinner was excellent, but I never really noticed anything except for Loni until we started to dance. All during dinner she was the near perfect companion. She was smart and witty, knowing just enough about my past to give me 'what for' when I tried to bullshit her. But she was also pleasant enough to listen to all my hopes and dreams, too. I did the same for her, at first trying to decide how much of what she was telling me was fact or fantasy until I realized none of that mattered. We had tonight and I was with my gorgeous cousin. She was flirting with me and allowing me to shamelessly flirt with her. And we were both having a blast!
After dinner, we stepped out onto the dance floor. Loni was rustier than I, but neither of us were into showing off or doing anything overly-exerting. Instead, Loni allowed me to hold her close about the waist and lead her in one slow sensuous dance combination after another. We rumba-ed, we tangoed, and we dirty danced. We even did the obligatory Texas two-step when the band played it. We laughed, kicking up our heels as the years seemed to melt away. I'd never enjoyed dancing so much as that evening, nor do I think I ever again.
Finally, at eleven o' clock, Loni leaned her whole body into me and whispered into my ear, "As much as I've enjoyed myself tonight, Victor, I do have to work tomorrow. Let's get back to the hotel."
I didn't know quite how to take that, but decided not to push the issue. Having already paid for the meal, I settled up with our waitress on our drink tab while Loni visited the powder room.
"I'd wish you good night, but I think you're already gonna have one from the looks of things," said the pretty flirt that had been waiting on us. "So I'll just say I hope you both come back again sometime."
I thanked her and had asked the front desk to get us a cab when Loni joined me. During the cab ride, Loni and I sat so close our thighs pressed together and I could smell her next to me - the lovely combined aroma of light perfume and her perspiration from dancing for so long.
Once in the lobby, Loni reminded me that she had to return to my room to pick up her things. On the elevator, I put my arm around her and we leaned against the back wall. I nuzzled against her neck lightly, enjoying the closeness and the scent of her. Neither of us said a word during the trip up.
After I had opened the door, Loni started getting her things together. I followed her into the bathroom and as she started packing away her things, I reached forward and placed one hand gently on hers.
"Loni, you could stay the night," I offered gently, trying to put as little pressure on her as possible.
My beautiful cousin looked up, her blue eyes reflected back at me from the mirror, and asked, "This woman you talked with your wife about, that was me?"
"Yes, Loni. She knows all about what I feel for you. How I've desired you all my life and always wondered what it would be like to make love to you," I acknowledged.
"You're not just messing with me to get me into bed, are you Victor?" she asked, her eyes moistening up with tears. "Cause that would be a real shitty thing to do to me -- especially right now."
"Why don't I call home and you can verify it," I offered. "I told Denise I'd be calling in about this time. I'm sure she'd love to talk to you."
"She'd love to talk to a woman in her husband's hotel room?" Loni asked incredulously.
"She'd love to talk to the cousin I've told her so much about," I corrected.
"OK, Victor, you make that call. But be warned, I'm going to tell her just what I'm wanting to do with you as soon as we're off the phone," she cautioned me.
"Oh, really?" I smiled, rubbing my hands together in mock glee. "A preview of good things to come, I hope."
Denise answered the phone sleepily. I smiled and winked at Loni, letting her know the call had gone through.
"Hey babe, sorry to wake you up," I told my wife softly. “Tonight's the night I told you I might call a little late after dinner. My cousin Loni was able to go out with me and we just came back from a couple of hours of dancing."
Loni reached over to me when my side of the conversation died off and she began to unbutton my shirt.
"That's right, dear. I'll be home in a couple of days. Loni might be interested in coming to New Orleans soon," I adlibbed, smiling at my cousin as I said it. "Who knows, I might even get her interested in staying a while in the Crescent City."
I reached forward as Denise spoke and drug my thumb across Loni's sensuous bottom lip. I'd been lusting after those lips all-night, so soft and red and kissable.
"I think she'd like to talk with you, Denise," I told my wife, then after she had asked the obvious, I confirmed, "Yes, I've asked her to spend the night, but so far she's playing coy and hasn't answered. It looks promising, though. In fact, she looks delicious."
I handed the phone to Loni and got up and began to slowly take off my clothes. I figured that I'd be staying the night for sure, so I might as well get comfortable. There was still a glass or two of the red wine left. Since we hadn't drank that much with dinner, I went ahead and poured myself another glass and sipped it as I removed my shirt and undershirt, then began to undo my pants.
Looking into the mirror at Loni on the phone over my shoulder, I was glad once more that I had gone back to the gym ten years ago and kept going since. I still didn't have the youthful, athletic body I had in high school, but I looked pretty good for a man in his early forties - broad chest, strong arms and a flat stomach. No six-pack or anything, but at 6' 1" and 185 lbs., I was in decent condition. As I saw Loni kicking off her shoes in the reflection of the mirror, I smiled. Then I saw her own sexy smile and mine deepened.
I pulled off my trousers, hanging them across the chair, leaving only my gray boxers. Turning around, Loni was just about to hang up the phone, so I eased onto the bed and began to gradually unzip the back of her dress.
After putting the receiver down, she turned around with a wicked smile on her face and said, "Feeling pretty confident I'll stay, aren't you?"
"I have high hopes, yes," I told her. "When a woman puts her shoes under your bed nowadays it's as serious as when we used to give each other friendship rings."
"So, you bedded all the girls you gave friendship rings to?" my cousin asked boldly.