Chapter 3: The Candy Heart Fish - Part 3

“Anticipation! Anticipaaaaaation … is making me wait. Is making me waaaaaaaaaait.” I sing loud and off key while I drive towards Ithaca. Stanley did call and here I am, the next Friday, meeting him for dinner. The week has been full of increasingly specific and tantalizing conversation. Forget being coy. After the last date, I’ve given in to my inner beast and have taken up talking like the best romance novel strumpet possible. Euphemisms fly back and forth, and then the euphemisms are thrown over for the actual descriptions. And now I'm heading to dinner, and I know what's for dessert: either ice cream cones or chocolate-covered bananas.

I pull into the parking lot for the Odyssey Steak House and flip the visor down. Do I look lascivious? Too desperate? Just enough of a mix between a vixen and an ingĂ©nue? Whatever. I pull my hair back and open my eyes wide. Nope, there’s no way this mess of silver-tinged dark curls and smile lines around my eyes can look any younger than, oh, maybe 45. I need to get my hair colored again. Come on, Jackie, just pull up your lacey big girl panties and walk into the restaurant.

As we talk, Stanley becomes more and more attractive. His eyes’ quiet intensity – which look intently while not staring – and his balding gray hair both are more handsome than during the first date. His strong hands and kind face stand out more than the slight paunch.  I question whether my triage lines for the dating site are maybe too stringent, since I wouldn't have met Stanley if he hadn't pushed. Of course, maybe it was the fact that he cared to push that worked.

During dinner, though, the weather turns. A fairly cold breeze comes off the lake and gray clouds hide the sunset as we walk towards the parking lot.

“I planned to drive us to Taughannock Falls Park to walk along the trails, but I guess this weather isn't going to cooperate.” Stanley steers us towards his car, which this time is a sleek BMW roadster. I really want to ride in it, but if the evening goes the way I hope, I need my car at his house. It occurs to me again that my track record, what there is of one, seems to be rather focused. But I am having fun, and right now, that’s all that counts.

“How about I follow you in my car?”

“Um, ok. I wanted to watch you enjoying the roadster, but I guess that'll have to wait.” Stanley’s voice sounds a little peeved, as if his plans have been annoyingly changed. Quickly his voice changes, though, and he huskily whispers, “You'll want to have it in the morning.”

With his sons at their mom’s and the house empty, this time he leads me into the living room instead of leaving me in the entry. “Here, let me give you a grand tour.” Expensive, mid-century designer furniture fills each room. A two-story floor-to-ceiling bookcase filled with leather-bound books connects to the west-facing wall of windows, and a flagstone fireplace opposite has two original rosewood Eames lounge chairs with ottomans set in front. The kitchen’s blue-glass tiled backsplash compliments the blue-granite counters and blue-gray slate floors. A mod white pedestal table and set of pedestal chairs sit in the breakfast area, and the dining room has a complete Haywood-Wakefield birchwood dining room set. Money is apparent everywhere.

A gallery’s worth of Minimalist and Pop Art paintings cover the walls. “Oh, who’s that artist?” I ask about one of the iconic images. “I can't remember his name!”

“That’s a signed Roy Lichtenstein.” Stanley doesn't look back or stop walking. “A friend who knows Lichtenstein got that for my ex and me. All of the art is original; I can't stand prints.”

Without thinking I blurt out, “David would love these.” Before I can sputter an explanation – David’s presence in my mind unsettling me - Stanley pulls me insistently by my elbow up the black metal and mahogany spiral staircase.

“And here’s the bedroom.” He walks into the room triumphantly. An absolutely huge bed with black, green and gold satin linens anchors a wall below a line of horizontal windows, the view of the treetops and the woods in the rain creating its own painting of serenity. I stand a little transfixed, my toes sinking into the soft white shag carpet. Music’s playing from somewhere. Just as I hear the panting and percussion crescendo of Barry White’s “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up,” Stanley’s bare arms wrap around me from behind and he’s kissing my neck. I can feel that he’s naked, and my senses swiftly refocus their attention.

“You are so sexy.” Stanley unbuttons my gold-silk blouse, slips it off and then undoes my bra.

“Well I guess we aren't taking any time. Here, let me help you.” I laugh self-consciously as I quickly unbutton my black skirt’s waistband and pull it off, hoping he hasn't noticed the way my waist makes soft rolls over the edge. As I am stepping out of the skirt, though, Stanley leans over my back and takes my breasts in his hands. I guess he either didn't notice or he doesn't care.

“I'd love to take you right here like this.” Barry White moans in the background. Unintentionally I glance up for a mirror ball.

I stand up instead and turn around. “Then we should lay down. I don't have the best balance and I'd hate to topple over.” Shoot. That sounds really lame. 

I decide to take things into my own hands, and I kiss him hard on the mouth and then start kissing my way down his chest. As I squat farther and farther down, I hope he takes my holding onto his sides as sexy and not the need for stabilizing support. Then, as my kissing trail nears its end point, Stanley gently pushes me away. “Just a moment,” he says in a throaty voice. I fall back on my heels while he opens the bedside table drawer.

“Give it to me.” I reach across the bed backwards in a bad rendition of a yoga pose that doesn’t feel remotely sexy, but I'm more nervous than focused right now. Earlier this week Jane loaned me an illustrated how-to manual about using my mouth to put on a condom and I think I have it figured out. Now it’s show time.

I return to my trailblazing after we've gotten back to our original places, kissing with my eyes closed as I mentally go through the different condom application steps I need to take in a moment. “Oh, sorry,” I mutter bumping into his penis when fumbling with the condom.

I look up attempting to be brazenly sexy and notice he’s watching me with a hint of amusement. I look back down, try not to get distracted analyzing the physical structure of his penis, and roll the condom just a bit onto the head. I try humming as I place my mouth around the end, begin to move my lips down … and nothing happens. I try again, get a little farther but not very far. Now this gets personal. I scowl, grab the edges of the condom with my fingertips and start to pull. I forget I'm dealing with an actual human being and not a practice cucumber and I don't notice when things begin bending in the wrong direction.

“Whoa, here, let me take this over.” Stanley’s voice is a little high. “That’s better,” he murmurs as he lifts me onto the bed after expertly finishing the job. "You just had it upside down."

Quickly we are having very athletic sex. He moves and pulls me into several positions, and many times he stops his thrusting to go back down between my legs and bring me to that point when the orgasm becomes almost painful.  My enthusiasm surprises me as much as it excites Stanley.

“OW, ow, ow, ow! My calf!” I quickly unwrap my feet from behind Stanley’s neck, and while I try to grab my cramping leg, push him backwards and bring my other knee down into his crotch.

 “AAHH!” Stanley turns quickly, sliding out from under me.

“Oh no!  I'm sorry!  Are you ok?” I'm half caught into the sheets and half bent to rub my calf, horrified and yet still somewhat in pain.

“Yes, yes,” Stanley rolls onto his stomach. “We're not out of commission yet.  You just missed me.”

For a moment we both breathe heavily, the last few minutes and the late hour slowing down the momentum. What a dork I am. I pull the sheet out from around my legs and hips.

Stanley, though, gets up onto his knees, turns me around whispering “Here, this is what we need,” and before I know it, we have launched into another position, his tongue running down my neck and backbone.
Crisis averted, the sex starts up once more.
In the morning, the sun’s out, the dogwood trees are in bloom, and Stanley makes me cream cheese scrambled eggs and cracked wheat toast. He even juices fresh orange juice. I’m still in full afterglow, well, slightly sore afterglow and don't bother to tell him that I am not a fan of orange juice.

“I really enjoyed last night,” Stanley looks over his coffee cup at me. “You seemed to be enjoying yourself too.”

“Oh yes! That was a wonderful work out.” Great word choice! “I mean, it was more than I had expected. Better than I had expected. Not that I was expecting anything bad.” Stop now!

“That’s great.” Stanley puts the dishes into the washer and turns, “Well, I have some pressing work to get done. I'll walk you out to your car, ok?”
“Sooo? Tell us! What happened?”

Jane, Mary, Stacey and I sit in a booth at Perkins later that afternoon. I arrived home at 10:00 and by 10:30, all three had called or texted. We are meeting for lunch so I only have to describe it once.

“Well, this morning was gorgeous with the sun and the dogwoods and the lake view. By the time I got to the kitchen, Stanley had made breakfast. And his house is amazing!”

“Come on, Jackie! You know what we meant!” Jane leans forward, with Stacey and Mary sit back attempting-though failing-to seem a little less caught. No one, though, touches her food.

“You mean the sex?” I pick up my sandwich. “It was like a tantric marathon, an exercise in Kama Sutra and coital endurance.” I stuff a bite into my mouth to cover the bit of sarcasm.

“Don't tell me you didn't do it.” Jane sits back.

“What? Didn’t do what?” Mary asks, looking at both Jane and me. “You didn't have sex? What was athletic then?”

“No, Jane. There wasn't any dessert.” I say defensively around my bite of sandwich.

“But you had practiced and everything! What happened?”

“I got things messed up, tried to put the condom on wrong, and then I almost kneed him. After that, Stanley just took over, like he didn't trust me with his penis.” For some reason I feel a bit ashamed. To make up for my disappointing news, I then blurt out “But we did almost everything else!”

“Well, I think oral sex is overrated,” Mary said as she cut up her salad greens. “Donald and I have a wonderful sex life, but it’s been years since I gave him a blow-job.”

Stacey laughs. “Mary you sound like the punch-line to the joke ‘Do you know why the bride was smiling while walking down the aisle at her wedding?’”

“She didn't have to give any more blow-jobs,” Jane and I answer back in unison. I laugh, but I think how that could easily have been John and me.

The conversation starts up about different merits of different sex habits, and my text alert goes off. It’s from Stanley. The others are deep in the pros and cons of having outdoor sex, so I check what he wants.

Thanx 4 last nite. Not sure, tho, we r compatible.


I text back: What?

Ur a nice woman, & it’s not you but me. Wr 2 difrent. All best finding a better guy.

Really? Does he know how ironic this is? Does he even know the meaning of the word?

“I've just been dumped.” I’m stunned and the table conversation stops. “And in bad text writing no less.”

Posted by Jackie Connolly

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