I wrote this short piece long before the devastation of the hurricanes last year. Having many family members and friends living in the deep south, I have always heard pleanty of weather stories and just got that scenario stuck in my head as a plot line. After the storms, I kind of shuffled this down to the bottom of the pile. But then I thought perhaps it might make someone smile a little or even laugh, so please take it as that and not as any insensitivity on my part. Feedback is welcomed email@example.com
Language & Violence: Nope
by LC Jordan copyright 2005
The string of profanity that came out of my mouth in an oddly conversational tone was in sharp contrast to the volume of the pounding in my head, and now my thumb. I threw down the hammer in frustration. It wasn’t that I was uncoordinated with tools. I could build simple things and change a flat tire. But now I was hurrying, and that made me careless. The weather center estimated that the hurricane would make landfall by morning, and it was already mid afternoon. I was running out of time.
This was my first hurricane. I had moved to Florida the previous winter, pursuing the two things that most often lure people far from home; love and employment. After eight months, my new job working as a councilor at two women’s correctional facilities was tough, but rewarding. There were bad days and then really bad days, but the times I could honestly help one of those women move forward and start over once they were paroled made it worth while.
As for love, well, Amy decided that domesticity just wasn’t her thing. I also suspected that the red head who was helping her move out the day I came home early had something to do with it. She generously left me with the house, loan payments and all, after signing a quit claim deed. After all the energy I’d spent getting through the past few months, there was no way I was going to let a hurricane run me out of the panhandle.
Walking to the rear of my truck, I sat down on the tailgate to inventory my supplies. The best I could do after canvassing all the local building centers and lumber yards was three sheets of plywood, about a dozen two by fours and around a pound of number eight nails. The plywood would cover the windows that faced south. As for the two by fours, my thought was that if I nailed them across the other windows they would at least slow down any large air born object like a palm tree.
I didn’t fare much better at the grocery stores. A small case of bottled water, some canned spaghetti, two bags of Doritos and a four pack of pina colada wine coolers rounded out my food staples. My big victory was toilet paper; I bought a twelve pack of double rolls. If worse came to worse, I reasoned I could trade it to some desperate person for real food.
A rhythmic sound from across the street drew my attention. It was the whir and click of a power screw driver. Jessie, my neighbor, was efficiently boarding up every window in her home with plywood that had been cut to fit perfectly. I watched as she lifted each section into place and leaned her shoulder against it while she screwed it down. For a second I considered offering to help, then decided that she didn’t seem to need any. Within fifteen minutes she had the entire front of her home done.
Turning and stretching her back, Jessie stopped when she spotted me. I was embarrassed for some reason to have been caught sitting and watching while she worked. I returned her wave and quickly hopped down from the tailgate, grabbing another sheet of wood and dragging it across the yard. I leaned it against the picture window of my living room and then searched the grass for the hammer I had thrown moments before. I concentrated, looking down as I walked. The handle of the tool came into view, along with a pair of well worn high top tennis shoes.
“Hey,” Jessie spoke from above me. Picking up the hammer, I straightened and returned the greeting. “Hey,” I echoed.
“Those things have a habit of trying to sneak off when you put them down somewhere,” Jessie informed me in mock seriousness, indicating my wayward hammer.
“Oh, well that explains how it got out here then,” I nodded, agreeing and trying not to stare. I had met Jessie at a Neighborhood Watch meeting that Amy and I had attended when we first moved here. She was one of those people who always seemed self assured and comfortable in any setting. I knew the basics about her; she was a helicopter pilot for the medivac unit that serviced the area and she had lived here all her life.
Only a couple of inches taller than me, she was in fantastic shape. Her sun bleached blond hair was cut short and when she smiled, like now, faint laugh lines appeared at the corners of her blue-green eyes. I guessed she was around my age, maybe a little older. All I really knew at the moment was that she looked sexy as hell standing there with her white tank, cargo shorts and leather tool belt slung low on her hips. I mentally kicked myself for cruising my neighbor right before an imminent natural disaster and decided I’d chalk it up to stress and give myself a break.
Interrupting my thought pattern, Jessie casually leaned against the corner of my house. “I could give you a hand with that,” she indicated the sheet of wood.
“Oh, no, but thanks,” I declined. “I couldn’t ask you to do that. I’m sure you have things you need to do before the storm hits.”
Making no move to leave, Jessie corrected me. “You didn’t ask; I offered. Pretty much everything is taken care of at my place. I’ve been through this so much I have it down to a science.”
“Do you always stay through a storm?” I asked, curious.
“No,” she answered. “My sanity has been questioned before, but I’m not crazy,” she joked. “If it looks like a major hurricane, I’ll board up the house and leave. But if I think I can ride it out, I will.”
“So you don’t think this one is going to be that bad?” I questioned, hopefully.
“Any hurricane can be serious,” Jessie replied honestly. “But this is a category one and is supposed to come ashore far enough south of here that we should be ok. It’s just the first one of the season and people get a little worked up.”
“I’ll hold you to that,” I said, hungry for any reassurance I could get.
Jessie pushed off the wall and reached for the plywood. “Now why don’t we get you all set before it gets any later.” She lifted one end of the sheet and indicated for me to grab the other. “Besides,” she continued, “it will take you forever with a hammer and nails.” Grinning, Jessie pulled the cordless drill from its pouch on her belt. “And I have all the cool tools for screwing,” she finished.
My mind immediately came up with a half dozen interpretations of that comment, none of them having a thing to do with construction. Flushed, my grip faltered and I almost dropped my end of the plywood. Recovering, I glanced at Jessie only to see her concentrating on the job at hand. Feeling foolish to even think she might have been flirting, I spent the next hour mostly silent and just following her instructions as we tried to weatherproof my house. It was almost dark when we finished, and the wind had picked up considerably. After a few last minute tips, Jessie walked back to her home across the street and I was left alone.
The outer rain bands hit about an hour after sunset. I could hear the sheets of water cascading against the north side of my house. The electricity was still holding, so I saved the batteries in my small radio and kept the television on for weather updates. True to Jessie’s predictions, the hurricane was forecast to make landfall to the south, but they were still cautioning everyone to be prepared for a rough night.
I decided to gather my meager emergency supplies and set them up in my bedroom, which was roughly in the center of the house and I reasoned the safest place to wait out the storm. Wishing I had been able to buy some bagged ice to fill my cooler, I opened one of my precious bottles of water and took a tepid drink. Just then the wind took on a keening note as it increased in speed, slamming against the walls and causing the eves to make an eerie popping sound from the sudden change in air pressure. I sat down on the floor and leaned back against my bed, listening. I had shut off and unplugged everything I could, including the air conditioning, in case of power surges. The light on my night stand was the only thing left turned on.
It was rapidly becoming tropical in my house, and I briefly considered raising the window an inch or two. The ones on the west wall only had two by fours on them and I knew they would at least let some fresher air inside. Before I could get up though, the power faltered, making the forty watts of illumination to my right flicker once, then twice, before leaving me in total darkness.
The loss of light was suffocating, and I panicked for a few seconds until I located my flashlight by feel. Flicking it on, I calmed. I had never liked the dark. Not wanting to run the batteries down, I quickly reached for the candles I had gathered earlier. At least my ex had left me with something I could use. She had a weakness for candles and there were so many stashed in the house she evidentally couldn’t grab them all in her hurried departure that day.
I struck a match, the scratch and hiss sounding loud above the storm outside. As the flame took hold, I quickly touched it to the wicks of the two biggest candles I had found. Shadows danced around the walls, and the candles cast the room in a pale glow.
I wisely moved my pack of toilet paper far from the tiny flames and amused myself by reading the stickers on the bottom of the candles. There was every scent you could imagine, supposedly to address any mood or condition you might have. Aroma therapy for stress, sleeplessness, headaches and love. I qualified for three of the four and wondered if I lit them all at once would it make me a changed person.
Suspecting that I had perhaps inhaled a bit too much of the potent scents, I stood and paced around the room. Picking up my flashlight again, I decided to check the other rooms just to have something to occupy my time. The wind sounded much louder in the front of the house and I wished I could see how bad it looked out there. I made my way to the front door, seriously considering whether or not I was strong enough to hold it and venture a peek outside.
My hand was on the knob when a sudden pounding from the other side caused me to jerk back as if shocked. I stared at the door, confused. Surely the noise was caused by something blown against the wood. If it was a person, I couldn’t imagine who would be out there in the storm. I figured it was a toss up between someone desperately in need of shelter or a polite criminal. The pounding came again, this time accompanied by a voice yelling above the roar of the wind.
“Nicole! Are you in there? Open up; it’s me, Jessie. I’m gonna drown out here!”
It took a second for my brain to register what she said, then another second or two for my body to follow and unlock the door. The force of the wind drove me backwards, pushing the door against the wall. Jessie blew in with the gust, water streaming off the hood of her dark green raincoat and running in riverlets down her torso. Quickly she grabbed the door, helping me close it.
“Have you lost your mind?” I asked before thinking how it sounded.
Jessie pulled her hood back and gave one vigorous shake, effectively showering me. “I told you earlier that others have accused me of that,” she reminded me with a half grin. “Actually, I thought maybe you’d like some company. I didn’t think to ask you before if you had stocked up on non perishables and batteries and all that. It’s not a lot of fun sitting alone in the dark with nothing to eat. You‘re more than welcome to crash at my house tonight if you don’t mind getting a little wet,” Jessie finished, looking both hopeful and slightly embarrassed.
Damn. There went my mind again, taking her innocent comment and running with it. I silently considered her offer, weighing staying here and eating cold spaghetti until I passed out from candle fumes or spending the evening with Jessie. Guess which option I chose.
“You’re sure you don’t mind?” I asked before accepting.
“No, not at all. I wouldn’t have swam over here otherwise, ” Jessie replied, looking surprised and pleased that I was even considering it. “Why don’t you grab whatever you can’t live without for twenty-four hours or so and we’ll head back across the street before it gets any worse.” She suggested.
Nodding, I pointed my flashlight back down the hall and headed for my bedroom, Jessie following behind me. “I’m afraid I don’t have much to contribute in the way of food,” I said apologetically.
Turning into the open doorway, I aimed the beam towards my make shift survival pile. Jessie’s gaze automatically followed the shaft of light as she surveyed the cans, Doritos, candles and jumbo pack of toilet paper. The corners of her mouth lifted in a small smile that she tried to hide. Scanning the room quickly, she seemed at a loss for words once she realized she had walked into my bedroom. It was totally unexpected and a little charming to see her suddenly become nervous.
Apparently her senses took over right about then because she wrinkled her nose and sniffed. “Nicole?” she asked.
“Yes?” I answered.
“Why does it smell like cucumber and melons in here?” Jessie questioned, sneaking glances around the room, trying to identify the source of the potent assault on her nose.
I laughed and bent down to retrieve one of the unused candles and tossed it to her. Jessie caught it automatically and held it up for inspection. “Aroma therapy,” I explained. “They were Amy’s,” I added, not wanting Jessie to think I had some bazaar vegetable and fruit fetish.
“Oh,” she said, not commenting any more, but kneeling down and reading all the labels.
Searching my closet, I dug out a medium sized canvas duffle bag and pulled down a change of clothing from the hangers. Opening drawers on my dresser, I added underware, socks and a tee shirt and shorts to sleep in. Lastly, I got my toothbrush and comb from the adjoining bathroom and packed it all in the duffle.
Grabbing my raincoat from a hook in the closet, I shoved my arms inside and asked Jessie, “Anything down there that you want?”
Grinning, she tucked a bag of Doritos inside her raincoat and brought the candle she was holding to her nose, inhaling deeply. “Evergreen,” she said. “Reminds me of when I was a kid and my parents took me camping one summer in Colorado.” She dropped the candle in her coat pocket.
Tearing the plastic wrap on the package of toilet paper, Jessie removed one roll and pointed to my duffle. “Got room in there for this?” she questioned. “I’m dangerously close to being out and couldn’t find any at the store. Somebody must have been hording,” she arched one eyebrow at me.
I couldn’t help laughing. “Please, take two,” I offered generously as I unzipped my bag and took the rolls she handed me, stuffing them inside.
Jessie blew out the candles that were burning and straightened, facing me. “All set?” she questioned.
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” I replied.
“Need me to carry that?” she asked, indicating my bag.
“Oh, no, but thanks.” I said as I slid the strap over my shoulder and wrapped an arm around the duffle, tucking it close to my body.
“I want you to hold onto me when we get outside, ok?” she told me. “I don’t wanna loose you,” she added, her tone serious. I nodded, trusting her judgment.
Jessie grasped the hood hanging loosely down the back of my raincoat and gently pulled it up over my head. Smiling, she raised her own hood and we made our way back to the front door. With one final glance at each other, Jessie braced herself against the door and opened it far enough for me to squeeze through.
By storm standards, the fifty mile an hour wind and higher gusts were not severe, but they were certainly pushing me around. There was no way I would have been able to stand up in the seventy-five mile an hour plus winds closer to the coast. I stood there fighting to remain upright as Jessie closed my door and checked to see that it locked. Satisfied that it was secure, she took my free hand in a firm grip and led the way across the street, her flashlight beam cutting a weak path through the storm.
The needle-like rain stinging my face made it difficult for me to see, but I could sense the direction we needed to go. Every time the wind staggered me or tried to rip the bag from my shoulder, Jessie was there holding me steady and trying to shield me with her body. Together we covered the distance to her house. The force of the storm was less intense as we stood on Jessie’s porch, the angle of her house sheltering us somewhat as she hurried to unlock the door and then ushered me inside.
Flicking off her hood, Jessie once again shook her upper body. This time though, I was too drenched to notice any drops that landed on me. “This way,” was all she said as she took my hand again and led me through the darkness.
“Be careful,” Jessie cautioned when we stopped at the top of what I assumed were stairs leading down to a basement. With both our flashlights, we navigated the dozen or so steps and she opened a heavy door. The room we entered was roughly twelve by fifteen feet, with a door on the far end leading somewhere.
Jessie flipped a wall switch, and a dome light came on. Turning off her flashlight, she shucked her coat and began to light a couple of antique looking candle lanterns suspended from the ceiling. Pointing upward, she explained, “I don’t want to run the light any more than necessary. It’s powered by a deep cell battery but I like to conserve it when I can. Since this isn’t supposed to be that bad of a storm, I didn’t bother to start the generator.”
“Oh,” I said, looking around the room and taking it all in. There were two cots, some kind of large cooler, a wall cabinet and a small table with two chairs. The floor was concrete with a pale blue area rug in the center, and I assumed the walls and ceiling were concrete as well. Jessie kicked off her soaked tennis shoes and pulled a large plastic storage container from under one of the cots. Straightening, she tossed a pair of soft, thick socks to me. Taking the hint, I removed my soppy shoes and sock, grateful for the dry foot ware.
Curious, I looked at Jessie and asked, “What is this place?”
Lowering the globe on the last lantern, she shrugged and said, “I call it my hurricane room. I got the idea a couple of years ago and it’s been my pet project since then. The walls are reinforced and have a water barrier. There’s also a ventilation system and pump system if I ever need it,” she explained.
“Wow,” was all I could say. “You did this all yourself?”
“No, some of my buddies helped me. I know some people who own a construction company, so I had a lot of really great advice too,” Jessie said. “Here, let me take that,” she indicated my rain coat. “We don’t have to stay down here unless the wind gets worse. Basically I just wanted to show you the place,” Jessie told me, looking slightly sheepish. “Kind of odd, huh?”
“Not at all,” I answered. “It’s kind of cool. I mean literally,” I laughed. “It almost feels air conditioned in here, and it’s quiet. I like it.”
Jessie grinned at me, reminding me of a kid showing off a new toy. “Yeah, since it’s below ground level and with the thickness of the walls, it will stay cooler than the rest of the house. So are you hungry or thirsty?” Jessie asked me as she removed her own rain coat, the bag of Doritos safe and dry underneath. She took the candle she had pilfered from my stash and placed it on the table along with the chips.
“I’m not hungry, thanks, but I wouldn’t refuse a drink,” I told her.
Pulling out a chair, she instructed, “Sit.” Bending down, Jessie raised the lid on the large cooler and scanned the contents. “I’ve got water, pina colada wine coolers and root beer.”
Smiling at the selection of beverages, I replied, “Water, please.”
“Water it is,” she pronounce, twisting the cap off the bottle and handing it to me. Taking a wine cooler for herself, Jessie sat down in the chair to my right. Taking a drink, she picked up the dark green candle and studied it. “So this was Amy’s, huh?”
“Uh huh,” I answered as I brought the bottle to my lips.
“Do you miss her?” Jessie asked, glancing at me sideways.
“No,” I answered without hesitation. “Hopefully that doesn’t make me an awful person. What about you?” I ventured, wanting very much to know some small bit of personal information about this woman.
“Me?” she raised both eyebrows. “I don’t miss her at all,” she stated with conviction.
Shaking my head at her obvious deflection, I flicked the bottle cap across the table at her. Laughing, Jessie reflexively trapped it with her fingers. “Nope, I’m not missing anybody, if that’s what you’re asking,” she said, spinning the cap on the table top.
“I can’t imagine that there isn’t someone out there missing you,” I voiced my thoughts before realizing how much they would reveal.
Jessie’s fingers stilled and the cap stopped spinning. Holding my gaze for a moment, she appeared both vulnerable and wary, as if trying to judge my sincerity. “Thank you,” she said softly. “That’s one of the nicest things anyone has said to me in a long time.”
Clearing her throat, she changed the subject. “I’m afraid I don’t have much in the way of entertainment for you,” Jessie apologized. We could listen to the radio if you want. Or I could probably scare up a deck of cards if you have any loose change you’d like to part with,” she grinned.
“Could we leave the radio off for now?” I asked her. “The quiet is kind of nice; I don’t get much of that.”
“Sure,” Jessie agreed. “That’s fine with me.”
“And as for playing cards,” I continued, “you’d better brace yourself. “I’m not the one who’s going to loose money.”
“Ohh, a confident woman. I like that,” Jessie said. “Delusional, but confident,” she laughed as she rose and began to rummage in one of the plastic storage containers.
Standing, she waved a deck of cards and pulled a worn leather wallet from her hip pocket. Accepting the challenge, I grabbed my duffle and also pulled out my wallet, along with the two rolls of toilet paper which I tossed to Jessie. Easily catching them, she stacked them on top of the table and motioned for me to sit. “I’ll be gentle,” she teased as she wagged her eyebrows.
“How do you know I don’t play rough?” I questioned innocently.
Jessie’s hands faltered as she shuffled the cards, sending them in an unexpected arch across the table. A pink flush swept up her neck, visible beneath her tan, and I had to laugh aloud. Gathering up the deck, she shot me a warning look and delt the cards.
Forty-five minutes and another wine cooler later, Jessie was completely out of small bills and change. We were playing one more hand, and she was trying to match my raise. Looking around the room in desperation, her eyes landed on the rolls of toilet paper still stacked on the table. Reaching for one, she pushed it towards the pile of money.
“Ahh, I don’t think so.” My words stopped Jessie, her face incredulous.
“Come on, Nicole,” Jessie coaxed. “Considering I’m almost out, these have to be worth at least five bucks a piece,” she reasoned.
“Alright,” I conceded. “But five bucks for both, not separately.”
Sliding both rolls to the center of the table, Jessie narrowed her eyes. “Are you sure you don’t play poker for a living?” she asked.
“Nope,” I answered, then said, “Call.” Laying my cards down face up, I watched as Jessie stared at them in disbelief, realizing she had lost once again.
Shaking her head, she stated, “That’s just wrong.”
Not able to help myself, I burst out laughing. Separating Jessie’s money from mine, I handed it back to her, but kept the rolls. “Here,” I said. “I’m not going to take your money. The other paper is worth more, I think.”
Jessie caught the mischievous gleem in my eyes and tested me by making a quick grab for the rolls. I was a split second faster and just barely whisked them away in time. Laying her arms on the table, she leaned towards me and said, “Name your price, Nicole.”
Hugging the tissue to me for safe keeping, I paused a second to consider. “I pretty much cleaned you out, Jessie,” I reminded her. “What have you got to offer?” I tossed out, seeing if she’d play.
A slow sexy smile spead across her face. “Plenty, if you take I.O.U.s,” Jessie answered. “What do you want? Helicopter ride? Your yard mowed? Car waxed? Tell me,” Jessie urged, her voice dropping with the last command.
Someone who sounded suspiciously like myself spoke into the still of the room. “A kiss.”
Jessie’s blue eyes darkened as she sat there, perhaps waiting to see if I’d recant. When I didn’t, she reached out and gently cupped my cheek with one hand, tracing my lips with her thumb. “I can pay off that debt right now, or you can have a rain check,” Jessie almost whispered, her breath warm on my face.
My body leaned towards Jessie of its own accord, the quick rush of want making me bolder than I usually was. Tilting my head, I told Jessie, “Since I don’t have any credit references for you, I think you’d better pay up now.”
Jessie moved slowly, closing the scant distance between us. My eyes drifted shut and I felt a whisper of a kiss on my forehead, then lips brushing across my jaw line. I had been holding my breath without realizing it, and when Jessie finally covered my mouth with her own, I honestly thought I’d faint from the intensity of it. The taste of pineapple was there, along with something else even sweeter I couldn’t identify that must have just been Jessie.
The kiss was brief, almost reverent. Jessie pulled back far enough to capture my eyes, her look both questioning and full of controlled desire. My heart tripped, beating faster, as I tried to catch my breath.
Deciding it was pointless, I rose, the sound of chair legs scraping against the floor loud in the stillness. I stepped around the corner of the table and stood before Jessie, who turned in her seat to face me. Stradling her legs, I placed my hands on her shoulders, Jessie’s hands wrapping around my waist, pulling me down onto her lap. We both wore shorts; hers the rough cargo and mine soft cotton, which rode up as I sat down. The sensitive skin of my inner thighs rubbed against Jessie’s firmly muscled legs as I lowered myself onto her, causing me to shiver.
Wrapping her arms around me and pulling me closer, Jessie captured my lips in a searing kiss. Her tongue traced my lower lip, gently sucking it until I allowed her inside. I couldn’t keep my hands still; my fingers threaded through Jessie’s incredibly soft, short hair in perfect time with every stroke of her tongue.
Too soon, her mouth left mine and the loss caused me to nearly growl in protest. The sound was quickly muffled however by Jessie grabbing the hem of my t-shirt and effectively whipping it off over my head. Before I could register the loss of that particular article of clothing, my sports bra was whisked away as well. The air hit my already hard nipples, causing them to tighten even more.
Jessie’s eyes hadn’t traveled any lower than my face yet, but she smiled that same sexy smile and looked entirely too pleased with herself. Finally her gaze traveled down as her hands traveled up, thumbs dipping into my navel and causing my stomach muscles to ripple. Sliding higher, Jessie cupped both my breasts and moved her hands in small circles, my nipples rubbing against her palms. Seemingly overcome with the sensation, she closed her eyes and murmured, “Nicole…so beautiful.”
Arching my back, I tried to increase the pressure of Jessie’s caresses. “Please,” I nearly begged. Needing no further urging, Jessie pressed her lips to the hollow of my throat and felt the rapid pulse beat there. She dragged her tongue across my chest and circled my right breast before taking the nipple between her teeth and tugging.
The jolt of electricity shot straight down between my legs and my hips raised up off Jessie’s lap. Jessie’s mouth closed over my other nipple, sucking hard. Her hands gripped my ass, picking me up as she stood and quickly turned. Sitting me on the edge of the table, she hooked her thumbs in the waistband of my shorts and ordered, “Lift up.”
Bracing my palms on either side of the table, I complied and Jessie slid the last of my clothing off my body. In an instant, Jessie knelt in front of me and strong hands settled my thighs over her shoulders. Not able to remain upright, I leaned back on my elbows and shivered uncontrollably as Jessie gently parted me.
I was wetter than I ever remembered being, and Jessie delicately traced every slick fold before easily slipping two fingers inside. Warm breath caressed my clit seconds before I felt the velvet of her tongue. She probed and teased, flicking it in a random pattern until I gritted my teeth and raised my head to look at her. My body was covered in a thin sheen of sweat, my chest rising and falling with every ragged breath I took. “Jessie, please,” was all I could manage to say.
Fiery eyes locked with mine and Jessie reached up with her free hand, finding mine and lacing them together. Bending her head once more, her mouth settled firmly over my center, drawing my throbbing clit inside. The flat of her tongue washed over the hard nub and she sucked once, twice, and my entire body stiffened and exploded. Tiny bolts of electricity spiraled out from my spine down my legs and back up again. I was never much of a screamer, but I might have shattered windows if there had been any.
Hidden muscles contracted and clinched, trapping her fingers while Jessie pressed her weight into me, holding me down as she continued to lick me. Squeezing her hand, I managed to get her attention. “I can’t take anymore.”
Jessie gave one more slow swipe of her tongue, causing me to jerk in response. Chuckling, she carefully lowered my jello legs from her shoulders. Standing, she pressed a kiss to my stomach, the underside of a breast, my neck and finally my mouth. I could taste the salty sweetness on her lips and it stirred my hunger for this woman.
Sitting up, I placed my palms on Jessie’s chest, pushing her back as my feet hit the floor. There was a brief flicker of doubt in her eyes, as though she wasn’t sure what my reaction was going to be.
Grabbing a fist full of tank top, I began tugging it from her shorts. “If we had played strip poker, you’d have been naked a long time ago,” I said matter of factly as I backed Jessie towards the nearest cot.
“I told you I liked a confident woman,” Jessie laughed as she allowed herself to be playfully shoved down onto the narrow bed. “There isn’t a lot of room here,” she pointed out, indicating the small mattress. “It’s going to be a tight fit.”
“And that’s a bad thing?” I asked, intent on unbuttoning Jessie’s cargos.
Jessie laughed again, engulfing me in strong arms as
she pulled me down on top of her. “No, it’s a very, very good thing.”
It was almost ten o’clock the next morning before I woke up. Momentarily disoriented, I had no idea where I was. Just as quickly, I remembered. The sight of the table caused a blush to steal up my face. The fact that I was stark naked, had more than one faint blue mark on my breasts and inner thighs, and was in a strange bed pretty much cemented my memory. Looking around for Jessie, I realized I was alone and felt a nagging sense of panic rise.
Forcing it out of my mind, I swung my legs out of bed.
My feet hit something on the floor and I looked down to see what it was. My
duffle had been moved against the cot and on it lay a small note and one roll
of toilet paper. Picking both items up, I began to read.
I got paged about five A.M. this morning. They called in all the pilots in case there was a need to transport patients from hospitals without power. They tell me I should be back sometime tonight since there wasn’t as much damage as they expected. You were sleeping so peacefully and looked so beautiful I didn’t want to wake you before I left.
About last night…I’m not good with words, and even if I was I don’t think there are any that could do justice to how I feel. I just hope you’ll be there when I get home. If not, I’ll respect that.
P.S. I know you won the toilet paper, but I commandeered one for the bathroom. The other roll is yours.
I had to wipe at my eyes, the emotion brought on by that simple note almost overwhelming me. Turning my attention to the tissue, I noticed that it was more than a little lop sided. Unrolling a few squares, I began to smile, laugh and eventually blush.
At some point last night while I slept, Jessie must
have gotten up and written an I.O.U. on each of the two-hundred odd sheets and
then attempted to wrap it back on the cardboard tube. I couldn’t imagine how
long it must have taken her. I had to give her credit for imagination though.
They were only a few words each, but oh some were creative. Everything from
taking me out to dinner to making love on the beach under a blue moon, which
incidentally was due to occure at the end of the year. It was the sweetest thing
anyone had ever done for me. I spent the rest of the day waiting for Jessie
to get home and deciding if I’d use the squares in order, or carefully tear
them off and get to the really good ones first.
Every year on our anniversary, Jessie gives me a new roll of toilet paper. That first one only lasted three months, so she has learned to buy the jumbo rolls and I’ve learned to recycle. We do however keep a spare in the hurricane room for emergencies.
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