Authors: Jayna Concepcion
“I wanted to apologize to you. The other night when you stayed over at my house, I didn’t want you to feel like I didn’t want to be with you. It’s not that. I really like you, I don’t want to scare you away, but I could see myself with you for a long term thing. When you cooked for me the other day, no one has done that before. You just made yourself right at home in my kitchen, you didn’t complain or change anything, and you just came in and cooked like it was your place already. I liked that. It was nice to come home and have someone other than Mallard with me. It’s just that after everything that happened with my ex I’ve been really cautious. Plus, you’re so young and I don’t want you to look back on this someday and think I was the older guy taking advantage of you. There is an age difference between us, not too huge, but still, my friend Jeff’s already calling me a cradle robber.”
“John, I don’t care what anyone else thinks.”
“I know that and maybe it’s part of my hang up. So, when Jeff and the guys wanted me to go out last night I didn’t want to go. I wanted to call you and see if maybe you wanted to meet up and watch a movie or come here and hang out or something. They just kept pressuring me to come out with them. They don’t want to see me hurt again and they think you’re too young for me. They kept saying that it was better for you and for me if I just move on now.”
Ariel felt her heart sinking. He must have agreed wi
th his friends because he had gone out with them, the next day he had cancelled on her. She broke eye contact with him and laid back to close her eyes. Why would he bring her here, somewhere romantic just to break things off before they even began?
“I went with them last night, but all I could think about was how I would rather be with you. So, I started drinking, my ex was there with this new guy, and I drank even more and started talking to a group of girls that the guys met. One of them seemed to really like me and next thing I knew I was making out with her in a corner and then I asked her where you were and she told me to go home to you. I was wasted drunk, falling down and told Jeff I was going to call you in the cab on the way home and he took my phone away. Said it wasn’t the right time for me to call you and apologize for making out with a girl I met at a bar. He was probably right, but that also meant I didn’t call you with a decent amount of time to cancel our plans. I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry I got drunk and messed around with another girl. I know we haven’t had this conversation yet about seeing other people, but, I sort of assumed you weren’t seeing anyone else.”
He paused but Ariel didn’t want to reward him with an answer to
this one just yet. The fact was that he had kissed another woman the night before, and that smarted, but it wasn’t technically cheating. They had been seeing each other but had no concrete agreement to be exclusive and it had been a short time since they had even met each other.
“So don’t feel bad about your email, or hanging up on me. I felt like I deserved both of those things. I don’t blame you for being disappointed in me, I’m disappointed too. I screwed up and that’s my fault not yours.”
ed again and seemed to be done. Ariel sat up, thinking about how to respond to this. The guy who she had convinced herself was so perfect had kissed another girl, gotten drunk and ditched her all because his friends thought she was too young. It was up to her, she could either stick around to try and make this thing work or just move on and forget about John and the way he looked so sexy in his uniform. John sat up to and put his arm around Ariel’s shoulders, he felt toasty and warm and her skin sparked where they touched. He silently pulled her closer to him and she let herself relax into his strength. It felt good to be held.
“I’m not seeing anyone, or talking to anyone or any of those things. If you and I were to continue seeing each other I think I would want it to be just the two of us, no other partners or anyone else involved if you’re ok with that?”
“Yeah, I would like that.” John had a smile on his face.
Ariel nestled herself up close to him and let her hand res
t on his upper thigh. John used his other arm to turn her face towards his and kiss her. The kiss was sweet and gentle at first but soon Ariel felt like she couldn’t get close enough to him in this position. Breaking the kiss she grabbed his hand that hand been around her and pulled him so he was facing her and she put his hands on her hips. Getting onto her knees to reach him she leaned into him and kissed him again with all that she had. His hands started stroking her up and down her sides, the pressure alternating while she pulled him as close to her as possible moaning as his hands brushed under her arms touching the sides of her breasts gently. He was rubbing her back the same way when she moaned again John pushed her backwards so she was lying on the blanket. He lay down beside her again and kissed her. Now his free hand was working its way under her shirt and Ariel sighed in contentment when he found her right breast and then her nipple with his fingertips. He was being soft and gentle with his fingers, exploring her and testing her to see if she would stiffen or moan or sigh into his mouth. Ariel had started rubbing his chest under his shirt as well but now she wanted to feel him against her. She sat up a little to take off her shirt and reached back up to take off his. John seemed surprised, but he stopped moving and let her pull his shirt off over his head. She still had her sports bra on, but she pulled him down to her so she could feel his skin against hers. It felt amazing. The light spattering of hair he had on his chest felt rough and masculine against her soft skin. Ariel found herself spreading her legs just a bit so John could lay in between them and be as close to her as possible. After a few minutes Ariel reached down to the buckle on his belt and John froze above her.
“No, Ariel, not here.”
“Why not? I want you and I know that you want me.”
“It’s just not the right time, you deserve better than this and anyone could come walking up on us. We both have to work in the morning and all I want to do is stay here just like this with you.”
“But you won’t.”
Ariel was already looking for her shirt that she had casually flung behind her head a little while ago.
She knew this routine with John. It wasn’t fair that he got to shut things down whenever he felt like it, shouldn’t she have some say in these things?”
“I don’t think it’s fair that you get to decide when the right time is or isn’t. I’m not a little kid and I can make my own decisions, you aren’t the big bad wolf coming to get me. So stop doing that.”
Without waiting for John
to reply Ariel got up and headed for the truck. She briefly thought it would be more dramatic if she just started walking home on her own, but that would be childish and it was almost 4am. Trekking back to her place meant walking through some pretty bad parts of Tampa, not that John would let her get that far, but it didn’t seem like she should keep getting mad about everything, even though he was really doing a good job at pissing her off lately.
The doors to the truck were locked, of course, so Ariel had to wait for John to come and open her door for her. He threw the blanket in the back of the truck bed and walked over to her door. Gathering her into his arms he kissed her, and she responded.
“I’m sorry, sometimes I can be a little old fashioned about things, but I don’t want you to ever regret being with me. I also don’t want things to move too fast, but I think its obvious that I want you very much. Be a little patient with me please.”
Ariel felt her heart melt a
nd nodded. Opening her door John helped her up into the passenger seat and slid her seat belt over her chest kissing her on the neck before buckling it.
“So you’re off on Wednesday, right?”
“No, I agreed to pick up half a shift for someone whose coming in late, I’ll be at work until around 8 or 9 depending on when they come in.”
“Why don’t you bring Bruno over when you’re done? When I get home we could order a pizza, unless you feel like cooking for me again.”
“I think I could make you dinner again, as long as you do the dishes.”
“Alight, it’s a date, just give me a call when you’re on your way over and I’ll meet you at the house to open the front door. If you want you could email me a grocery list and I can pick up the things you’ll need tomorrow, I have to pick up some dog food in the morning.”
“No that’s ok; when we finally have a night off together you can pay for dinner.”
John laughed and nodded his agreement.
“I’ll stop and pick up a movie on my way home from work. You can stay the night again if you want.”
“I’ll think about it.”
John pulled the truck up in front of Ariel’s house and leaned over to give her a kiss on the cheek.
“Thanks for accepting my apology, I’ll see you soon.”
Ariel got out of the truck smiling. The hot guy in that big truck was her boyfriend. All
hers and she couldn’t get the smile off of her face.
Wednesday at work crawled by and she was only there for a few hours. She had decided to make something fragrant for dinner, baked country style pork ribs in the oven. They were simple to make and the smell they emitted would have John running in his front door. She picked up the few things she needed and some potatoes to make some mashed potatoes and called John. Apparently he was busy again because Jeff was at the house waiting for her when she arrived.
“Hi again, he’s out on a call so I came by for him.”
pened the door and she let Bruno inside returning to her trunk to gather the bags.
“Want me to get that for you?”
“No thank you, I can manage.”
She didn’t want Jeff peakin
g in the bags and then telling John what she was going to make. John was going to be home in about an hour and a half so she pre heated the oven and got the ribs ready to go in. Her method of preparation was simple, seasoning on both sides of the ribs, an entire large white onion sliced thin on top and below the ribs and then a bottle of bar b cue sauce on top after they had cooked for 45 minutes. She peeled the potatoes and left them soaking in the large pot of water, she would boil them around 11 so they would be hot when John got home and he could do the mashing for her. Looking at the clock on the stove it was almost 11 so Ariel decided to turn the pot on and add the sauce to the ribs. Then she would take a shower. She wasn’t sure whether she was going to spend the night or not, but John had asked, although it seemed like he just assumed that she would.
Taking a quick shower to clean up in the guest bathroom Ariel decided to wear something that could double as pajamas when she got out. She had brought her panties into the bathroom with her but forgotten to move the bag with her clothes into the guest room where she would be changing. Heading down the hall into the living room she had on panties and her bra, she heard the TV was on but she had left it on when she went to shower. She had left her bag on the dining room table so walking past the living room she saw John in his recliner, in uniform with a shocked look on his face and two other officers, one standing near the front door that she didn’t know and Jeff sitting on the couch. Everyone was silent staring at her. She heard muffled voices and the front door opening. Ariel rushed into the kitchen grabbing her bag off of the table. She heard John call her name from around the corner.
mortifying two basic strangers had just seen her barely dressed. At least everything important was covered, if she had thought about it, it was sort of like being seen in a bikini at the beach, right? And John had felt parts of her unclothed recently. Why hadn’t he mentioned his co workers were stopping by?
“Can I come in?”
“I haven’t finished getting dressed yet.”
stepped around the corner and into the kitchen. His eyes locked on her body and as much as she was usually self conscious the way he looked at her made her feel beautiful and sexy.
“That’s ok with me; you look really good undressed if you ask me.”
Ariel stopped fumbling throu
gh her bag and looked up at John. His eyes were dark and he looked dangerous, he looked serious, more serious then she had ever seen him before. He wanted her and it made her nervous. She realized that he was right, the other times that she had teased him he had stopped her before getting to this point. He had been in control, but right now it looked like he wanted to have her for dinner rather than some ribs.
“I’m sorry I didn’t expect you home for a bit and I wanted to shower and clean up before you got here. I had no idea you and your co- workers were in the living room.”
The tension had eased a bit now, Ariel found her little t shirt and pulled it over her head. Her cotton shorts must be under the other
clothes; she leaned over the stove to turn off the potatoes and could have sworn she heard Mike make a noise in his throat. Turning around she realized that he was right behind her. He came forward and moved her away from the stove leaning her back against the counter to the left of the sink and kissing her. He kissed her with more hunger than before and she felt wanted, if she took the time and started unbuttoning the tedious buttons on his uniform she knew that there was no going back. She put her hands around his neck, she wasn’t sure now. What if he was right and taking things slow was the best thing to do. Not allowing her much time to think any longer John used the opportunity to reach down with both hands and lift her onto his counter top. He was still kissing her feverishly but now he was standing in between her legs and she dug her heels into his back urging him closer as he began to kiss her down her neck.
The front door opened.
John pulled away from her and responded in a strained voice.
“Is she dressed now, can we come back inside?”
“Stay in the living room for a minute.”
Looking at her he shook his head.
“My friends wanted to know if they could have dinner with us. They wanted to meet you.”
“Well, I guess they already sort of met me.”
“Ariel, they’re never going to see you half dressed again, trust me on that one. Is dinner ready?”
“I was just waiting on you to mash the potatoes.”
“Well why don’t you put some pants or shorts or something, and then direct me in mashing the potatoes or whatever else needs to be done.
In just a few moments they had finished up the job and were setting the table together. Jeff
and another police officer who was introduced by Mike as Brad settled themselves into the table and Ariel brought the ribs, mashed potatoes and canned green beans she had just heated and seasoned over to the table. Everyone served themselves and started eating.
The guys all commented on how good the food was but there really wasn’t much conversation, everyone was too busy easting.
When she was done Ariel began clearing plates and doing the dishes.
“I thought I was supposed to do the dishes if you cooked.”
“That’s fine, why don’t you entertain your friends and get the movie started.”
It took about ten minutes to finish cleaning and put the leftovers away. With the dishwasher swishing away Ariel went back into the living room. She had sort of expected
for the other guys to be gone so her and John could have some time together but that wasn’t the case. Brad was seated in John’s recliner and John was at one end of the sofa with his feet up and Brad was at the other. At least she wouldn’t have to think up an excuse to go and sit near John. Stepping over John’s outstretched legs she sat next to him and he put his arm around her automatically. He hit play on the remote and asked Brad to turn of the lamp next to him on the end table.
The movie was a murder suspense movie. Ariel wearing her thin t-shirt and short cotton shorts soon found that she was cold even with John sitting co close. She asked if he had a blanket and he went to the hall closet returning with a large blanket and a 6 pack of beer that he sat on the table as an offering to his friends. He covered Ariel up with the blanket spreading it over the both of them. He had his arm wrapped tight around Ariel’s shoulders and was gently rubbing her arm with his hand. Ariel used the arm closest to him wriggling it out from between the two of them and placed it on his thigh, rubbing him softly through his pants. John didn’t break stride or even seem like he noticed, he continued to be intent on the movie, rubbing her arm softly and swigging on his beer. Occasionally he and his friends commented on how un-realistic the investigation methods of the movie detectives were but for the most part it was pretty quiet. Feeling brave Ariel rubbed further up John’s leg, slowly so maybe he wouldn’t notice right away. The hand that had been rubbing her arm stopped so she thought that maybe he was paying attention. But, he couldn’t tell her to stop in front of his friends; they didn’t even know what was going on underneath that blanket. Soon she felt a hard bulge under her hand and knew that John was definitely paying attention. She began rubbing him slowly over his pants, gradually increasing the pressure until she was gripping his rock hard dick firmly in her hand. She leaned into him so she could use her other hand to unzip his pants and John abruptly hit the off button on the TV remote throwing the whole room into darkness.
“Hey, what’s going on?” Jeff and Brad seemed to be feeling around for the lamp switch as the whole room was dark. Ariel heard the door to John’s bedroom door close and knew he had gone in there, probably to the bathroom. She was pretty sure that she had upset him again. Jeff turned on the lamp by the chair and after a few minutes John came back into the living room wearing flannel pajama pants and a t-shirt.
“Sorry about that. I had to use the bathroom.”
Brad and Jeff looked at each other and Ariel was pretty sure that they both knew something else had been the cause.
They were both smirking as John came back to the couch to sit by her and hit play on the remote. He had his arm around her but Ariel didn’t do any sort of rubbing this time. She thought that maybe John was a little embarrassed that she had done that with his friends in the room, but they had no way of knowing. By the end of the movie she was leaning into him again and half asleep. In fact, she wasn’t really sure how the movie ended so she was pretty sure she had slept for part of it. At least she hadn’t drooled on him or anything. Once the movie was over the guys watched some car show on the Car network and Ariel, curled up in John’s arms and closed her eyes. She woke up as John gently shook her. She opened her eyes and looked up into his face. She was laying across his lap.
“Do you think you can get up and walk to bed or do you want me to carry you?”
“I can walk.” Glancing around she noticed that his friends were gone. “I didn’t get to say good bye to your friends.”
“That’s ok, you’ll see them again and you can say bye next time. They both want to come over the next time you cook for me.” John was smiling, and the movie incident seemed to be forgotten, at least by him.
Ariel slowly stood and stretched her arms, sleeping on the couch she had bee
n all crumpled into a ball. John stood behind her and she headed down the hall.
“I’m going to let the dogs out before we got to bed.”
“Are you going to sleep in my bed or the guest bedroom?
Ariel paused, she was very sleepy. She shrugged.
“Where would you prefer I sleep?’
“In my bed with me.”
She nodded and headed down the hallway. She wasn’t going to turn down an invitation.
John’s room was neat and
well organized. He had a king size four poster bed made of dark mahogany wood with a flat screen TV mounted on the wall across from it. His uniform was draped over a recliner in the corner and there was a walk in closet with the door open. It wasn’t too full of clothes; he had enough room to share some of that space. Where had that thought come from, he barely let her come into his room much less move into it for good. It was a silly thought but she liked the idea of having this room be theirs together. There was also a master bathroom attached to the bedroom, it was nothing fancy just your standard sink, glass enclosed shower and toilet. John didn’t seem like the type of guy who needed a lot of frills to be happy. While he was out in the kitchen getting a glass of water and letting the dogs romp a bit before bed Ariel went in the bathroom to freshen up. She used his mouthwash also. Looking at the big bed in the room she quickly determined that he slept on the right side closest to the door. She liked that because she always tended to want to be the furthest from the door as possible. She felt safer that way. Walking over to the other side of the bed she pulled down the covers and took off her bra, tossing it on the recliner in the corner where John had placed his uniform and belt. This was it. She climbed into the bed and the sheets felt crisp and cool and smelled like Gain detergent. He must’ve just changed the sheets. She wondered if he had done so because he had been planning the whole evening to invite her into his room. It was hard to say. John played his cards pretty close to the vest.
John walked into the bedroom and stopped right inside the door. It was almost as if he was surprised that she was sitting in his bed. He flicked the switch by the door and the room was dark. Ariel listened to him set his glass of water by the bed.
“Do you mind if I watch TV for a bit or do you have a hard time sleeping with it on?”
“No, that’s fine, whatever you normally do. I can sleep with the lights on and a room full of people if I’m tired enough.”
he felt the mattress dip as John climbed in on his side. He was nearby, she could smell his cologne and it smelled so good. John always smelled good. He turned the TV on and it was a home remodeling show that he was watching. It seemed sort of funny because that seemed like something a girl would watch, but, John was a home owner and she bet that he had done most if not all of the work on his own house himself.
“Dinner was really good. I don’t think I’ve ever had ribs that were baked in the oven before, they were so tender.”
“Are you still planning on coming to my mom’s for that Sunday dinner we talked about?”
“Yep, I took the day off.”
“You didn’t have to do that.”
“I know, but I wanted to.”
John seemed to think about that for a moment.
“My friends are jealous you know.”
“You. It’s not every day that you come across a sweet, young and beautiful woman who not only loves dogs, but is also a really good cook and has a full time job. That’s just not a combination that you find all that often. They told me if I screw this up they want your number.”
Ariel laughed. Picturing John
giving away her phone number because he had failed at their relationship was a little unrealistic. Every minute she spent with him and it felt like she was closer to completely falling for him.
“Would you give it to them?”
“Hell no, you’re all mine, and I may screw up from time to time but I won’t ever mess up on purpose.”
Ariel blushed. Her heart was swelling with pride that he felt this way about her. She leaned over and kisse
d him on the cheek. John rolled over towards her and kissed her. The kiss was sweet and playful. Ariel immediately reached up to put her arms around his neck.
“You better stop that.”
“I’m serious about wanting to take things at a slow pace with us. I don’t want to rush you or the situation, even though I was selfish enough to want you sleeping in my bed next to me. You’re so much younger and innocent, that worries me. I look at you and sometimes I wonder what you see in me. “