I looked across to her at the end of another deep thrust between the sweet thighs of the mewling fuck beneath me as I pounded her well-stretched snatch into the mattress. Instinctively, the younger woman clasped me tighter to her as her long black stockinged legs wrapped themselves around my splayed thighs and pounding buttocks. I was on auto-pilot. Doing the same old same on another Friday night with two hot bitches from the typing pool eager to discover if the rumors were true.
I stopped for a moment buried deep in hot wet clasping female sex as I frowned in the low light bathing the room in a pale yellowish glow. Who was I fucking and who was asking to be fucked? I gave my head a shake. Their names. What were their names again? Christ, dude, are you that far gone?
The girl wanting to be fucked slipped closer and wrapped an arm around my shoulders as she pressed her lips against the side of my face and licked my left ear.
"Save some for me, lover," she breathed as she ran her right hand through my thick brown hair, "You've already sent Suzie around the moon twice."
Ah. Suzie. Eager little sexpot Suzie. And she was Diane. Diane of the huge balloons, insatiable asshole, and awkward hemorrhoid. Now we were on the same page. A page that had begun with a few suggested drinks after work and a means to an end to cross numbers 18 and 19 off my fuck bucket list. Twenty-two in the pool so only another three to go. Those three were the hardcore. Those women who knew the type of man I was and who knew how to play my game. The absolutely un-fuckables as Jimmy had called them. Still, this had been a good run. Nearly six solid months of sweet talking all 19 out of their panties each Friday night to satisfy the vanity within me. As the saying goes: have big cock will fuck any time in any place in any hole.
Suzie gave a hiss of disappointment as I suddenly exited her sopping slot and rolled over and onto the black haired temptress that was Diane and her impressive melons. She gasped a wide-eyed, "Oh, you big son of a bitch," as I fed her my pride and joy as we set off Apollo-like on a round trip around the cosmos. The fuck was as familiar as a comfortable sweater and just as hot as I fell into the cut and thrust of maintaining my reputation as an expert cocksman and smiled as the glazed eyes of number 18 rolled back into her head as she cried out her first orgasm of several before I made them both kneel at my feet and let them both taste the fruits of our labors.
It was just a damned shame that neither of them meant anything.
Anything at all.
Monday morning rolled around in the blink of an eye.
The concrete jungle of lower Manhatten lay glistening and steaming under the steady rainfall that fell from leaden skies as the working week got underway. As usual, everywhere you looked there was wall to wall traffic as I sat in my Lambo idly tapping my fingers on the wheel waiting for the lights ahead of me to change. To my left was a well worn yellow taxi with the driver looking as resigned as I felt as the minutes passed and no fucker moved an inch.
All around us the great mass of the rush hour made their ways to wherever they were going that helped pay the bills, put food on the table, and keep the wolf from the door. A grumbling tide of huddled humanity working for the man so he could buy another yacht and send his two point four kids to Harvard. At least in stocks, I had room to breathe. Room to be a sex-obsessed resolutely single thirty-year-old asshole with no one to care about other than self. Look after number one. Life was much simpler that way. The only fate that matters is the fate you make for yourself.
Finally, the traffic began to move.
Little did I know that fate had other plans for me.
The light glowed a deep red in the gloom as I pulled to a stop at the pedestrian crossing and watched with a frustrated sigh as everyone began to stream across. It was raining hard now with the sound of the storm thundering on the roof of the car along with the swooshing sound of my wipers flicking back and forth. The sooner I was in that underground car park the better I mused as I suddenly glanced to my right as something caught my attention.
It was then I saw her.
Not so much her as the bright white stick she was holding out in front of her. She had stopped and was tap tapping the space in front of her. She was completely hidden under a raincoat that looked two sizes too big for her. I couldn't see her face but it was obvious that she was either partially sighted or maybe even totally blind. I sat watching her as she seemed to gather herself before stepping out onto the crossing.
The stick was sweeping a short arc as she carefully made her way as people swirled around her. I suddenly felt myself tensing up as I stared at her with a kind of surreal fascination and admiration at what she was doing. Was she going to work? Shopping? Whatever it was, she had guts. There she was. Just her, her oversized raincoat, black knee-length skirt, black stockings and sensible shoes against the world.
And then that world changed.
There is always THAT asshole. The asshole in a rush not giving a shit. I felt myself sit forward suddenly as I saw him running towards her. Everything happened in slow motion. She was about two-thirds of the way across when he hit her. It was a glancing blow on the shoulder but it was enough to throw her out of the loop and the girl spun around for a split second before falling to the ground with her losing grip of her stick. She fell face down and lay there as people glanced at her but no one stopped. The asshole looked over his shoulder before he disappeared into the crowd.
I could see her hand reaching out patting the ground around her. She had drawn herself in with her legs beneath her as if trying to protect her body as the rain began to ease. I just stared. Like an idiot. What the hell are you doing? Do something. Go help her.
"Is she alright?"
I looked up to see the yellow taxi driver standing over us as I knelt down beside the girl who was still laid there all curled up in a huddle. Behind us, the lights had changed and the air was filled with honking horns and irate drivers. I shook my head and leaned down closer to her. Her hood was pulled down across her face and I carefully took her hand. As soon as I touched her skin she gave a little jerk of surprise.
"Miss," I said to her softly, "Miss, are you okay?"
I saw her nod. "I think so. My stick." Her voice was clear and pure. It had a sing-song lilt to it with a hint of Irishness.
The taxi driver glanced around. "Over there. We need to get her off this crossing to where she will be safe. Do you want me to..."
"No," I said firmly, "I'll do it. You get the stick." I frowned at myself for I had this resolute determination to be the one to do this, "Miss, I'm going to reach under you and carry you to the pavement, okay?"
She didn't say anything but twisted slightly so I could lift her up and she gave a slight grunt of pain as I held her against me with my left arm under her knees and my right supporting her upper body. In a moment, I was standing on the sidewalk with the taxi driver fussing around her.
"It's alright," she said suddenly, "You can put me down now."
What? I blinked and realized I still held her in my arms. Slightly embarrassed, I let her down gently and stepped back as she checked her clothing. What was I doing? She was fine. No harm was done. Let the lady get on with her day. I felt strange. Really strange and I had no idea why. I had this overwhelming urge to protect her. I took a deep breath and tried to regain my composure. Jesus H. Christ. What a way to start a Monday.
"Sorry," I muttered, watching as she brushed down her raincoat and took her stick from the taxi driver, "I um just wanted to make sure you were okay."
It was then everything changed.
She turned at the sound of my voice, lifted her face towards me and smiled.
"Morning, Mr. Sloane," said Debbie as I walked through reception and approached the girl behind the main desk, "Good weekend?" she asked, giving me that all too familiar 'Don't you know that ALL girls talk' knowing look.
Usually, I'd play their little game. But not today.
"Any messages?" I asked bluntly, "News?"
The receptionist frowned at me for a second before checking the post and general department email server. "Um, just the legal proofs from Millhouse you were expecting." She tapped away on her keyboard, "Nothing major email wise. A few department heads want to set up meetings on the floor sometime this week. Tech are doing the scan on Thuuursday at ten so everyone will be on back up until we're clear."
I just gave her a nod and picked up the company newsletter that was on the counter and rummaged in the bowl for a toffee to chew on as was my usual routine. With that, I headed off to my office waving the paper over my shoulder. "Catch you later!" My mind was completely elsewhere and didn't hear her call after me.
"We've also got six new girls starting in the pool today!"
The world looks so much simpler from the tenth floor.
I stood at the window looking out at the gray sprawl of the metropolis as that world went about its business day after day. Hour after hour. Minute after minute. But the world and my place in it were the last things on my mind. All I could think of and see was her face.
And those eyes.
She was absolutely blind. The moment she had turned her face to mine I knew. She had clear green eyes. Sea green eyes. But it wasn't that which held you in stunned amazement. It was her pupils. The usually deep black window to the soul. Hers were a light shade of misty grey in eyes that were framed with dark lashes. Her hair beneath the hood looked a rich auburn chestnut and her features were precise and well defined. I had caught myself looking at her mouth. She had a slight over-bite which lent her a cute chipmunk-like appearance which made me smile every time I thought about it. Which was pretty much the whole two hours since I had "rescued" her.
I had stood there with the taxi driver watching her as she had regained her composure and settled herself down. I couldn't stop looking at her knowing she would never know I was. She had a slight build and was about five seven or so. Not that I could exactly tell under that raincoat. She checked her stick which had a small ball on the end making sure it was fully telescoped out before putting a shaped plastic bud into her right ear which was connected to a device hooked onto the belt around her waist. I presumed it was some sort of guidance device like a sat-nav.
"I uh," she said suddenly, "Thank you. That was really kind of you to help me." She stuck out her right hand about a foot to my left. I had glanced at the taxi driver who grinned at me and fiddled with his cap waving as he went back to his cab.
I stared at her hand. It looked so small. I'm six one and she barely reached my chin. Slowly, I had reached out and took her hand in mine. There was an awkward rearranging of fingers before she let me properly take hers and I saw her bite her lip as she looked up at me as if she had been finding the bearings between us. I had given her hand a squeeze but didn't shake it. I could see her mind working. Feeling her way in the dark with this stranger. God, she was pretty. Not pretty pretty. Just naturally pretty.
"I think I need to go," she had said. "Big day for me and I don't want to be late."
I didn't want to let go of her hand. "Oh, yeah, sorry," I said, letting go of her, "Glad you're okay. You take care and have a nice day."
She gave a nod and pressed a finger to that thing in her ear. Then she was off. Using the stick to tack her way North to wherever it was she was going as I had stood there watching her go feeling as if something important had slipped away from me.
A knock on the door brought me back from the memory and I turned my head to see my data assistant pop his head through the door.
"Good time?" he asked. Jimmy was a good kid. Just gone twenty and he had been assigned to me for the past year so he could learn the basics of the business.
"Sure," I said, motioning him in as I took the seat behind my desk and switched on the computer. Time to stop daydreaming and concentrate on work, "Bring me up to speed."
Jimmy sat in front of the desk and began reading through his notes on his tablet. As he talked, I began to drift again with my thoughts twisting and turning in my mind. This was getting ridiculous.
".. and there are six new girls starting this morning in the secretarial and audio department."
What? I blinked and saw that he was staring at me. "Sorry, what?"
He laughed and got to his feet. "New girls. In the pool, Boss." He walked to the whiteboard on the wall to our right. In a line across the top, the numbers one to twenty-two had been written in red marker pen. The numbers one to seventeen had been crossed out. Jimmy took a black marker and began to write out his notes that would guide the gameplan for the day which would continue right through the week. What was hot. What was not. What needed immediate attention and what didn't. Which meetings I had to attend personally and which meetings I could use comms.
Finally, there was the list of secretaries which were on rotation and who would be available when I needed them. Suffice to say, I knew most of them personally.
Jimmy put the black marker back in the pot and picked up his iPad. "It's the last Monday in November remember," he explained, "Six-month recruitment took place last week. The new intake starts today."
I made a face. Of course. My head was miles away. Twice a year the company refreshed the pool. New blood as the grunts liked to call it. The pussy wagon was back in town for the hound dogs amongst us to come sniffing around again. I had no doubt that my young assistant knew of my extracurricular activities with the pool. "Anything I should know?" I asked him as he walked to the door. I got to my feet and went over to the board.
He opened the glass door and paused. "No idea. Haven't seen them yet but company grapevine says one of them is a bit special. Charlie in the mailroom has already met them and texted me. Says this girl is something else. Later, Boss." And with that, he was gone as I stood there with a slight frown on my face.
"Something else," I muttered and picked up the red marker.
Maybe I needed this something else to take my mind off things.
I reached up and crossed out numbers eighteen and nineteen.
Monday was turning into what we in the business called a "shit show with bells on." Everything that wasn't meant to happen did and the important things that were meant to happen didn't.
My office, apparently, was the eye of the storm and I sat at my desk like I was directing traffic. People were in and out all morning as the share price moved and I was in constant contact with various clients advising them on what they should do with their portfolios. I glanced through the screen to my left and saw Jimmy beavering away at his terminal trying to make sense of the drama and keep up. I couldn't help smiling as he sat there on his stool with his legs and feet twitching and his tie pulled loose and the top button of his white shirt undone. Welcome to the party, pal.
"He'll be fine." said a voice to my front.
It was Janet. One of the senior secretaries from the pool who had been assigned to me as she was one of the most experienced women who knew the routine when the going got rough. She was also one of the infamous three who had resisted my charms - not that I had ever really tried it on with her. Janet was mid-forties and had been married for at least twenty years. She was an honest to God trooper and was invaluable when the poop hit the fan. Like right now.
I gave her a look. "Yeah, I know," I replied, "I just want him to keep calm. Not to panic as the needle goes up and down like it is this morning."
Janet smiled at me. "You have a heart of Gold when you try. Not many of us see that side of you, Mike."
"Yeah, well," I said feeling slightly embarrassed, "Let's keep it our little secret huh."
She laughed at that. "Okay, Mr. Sloane." as she glanced to her left and looked at the whiteboard, "How were eighteen and nineteen?"
She held her hands up. "Alright, alright. Just curious that's all. That's quite the scorecard you have there. I'm impressed. Gossip loves a man of adventure," she teased.
I sat forward in my chair and fixed my gaze on her as she chuckled at my discomfort. "How are the new girls?" I asked as she bit her lip and tried to keep a straight face. She blushed as I stared at her and shifted in her seat.
She waggled a finger at me. "Each as innocent as the morning dew, you cad. At least let them get settled in. The rest of the girls will show them the ropes and how this place works in the coming days."
My attention was drawn to the flickering data streams on my monitor which were heading North as the feed spiked again. Lot of selling in the pipeline by the looks of it which was a bad sign. Hold on kid, it's going to be a bumpy ride for a few days. "Anyone interesting?" I said off-handedly.
Janet tilted her head and looked at me with a strange look on her face. "Hmmm, there is one girl. Very different. The department had to make one or two special arrangements for her to make sure she'd fit in. I spent a couple of hours with her this morning helping her settle in. She's a very impressive young lady. Everyone loves her already."
I was concentrating on the data spike. "Special arrangements?" I mumbled, not really listening, "Why?"
Janet continued to look at me. "Because she's blind."
That Monday was a day that lasted forever.
It was a day when work was everything and the only thing that mattered was to be there at my desk ready to cover all eventualities and possible outcomes. Everyone was in the same boat and we all had to make sure we were rowing in the same direction. As the sun began to set in late afternoon, it felt as if we'd survived the economic storm and had come through it in pretty much one piece.
But ever since Janet had left my office that morning something else had been on my mind.
Something that would mean so much more to me in the coming days.
Routine was to be in by eight and be ready to go by eight-thirty when we hooked up to the grid and the numbers started to come in. The assigned secretaries would make sure everything would run smoothly in the background with them keeping various clients and departments up to date with what was going on.
Today was different. Instead of heading up to my office, I made my way to the West side of the building to where the company canteen was. A place I usually avoided for obvious reasons and wanting to keep away from the noise and gossip that would no doubt arise as most of the secretaries took their breaks there during the day. Coming face to face with numbers one to nineteen was something I didn't fancy much so I had most of my meals delivered up to my office.
The canteen pretty much covered half of the ground floor with spacious row upon row of tables and chairs where various people were already sat taking in an early breakfast before starting out the day. It had just gone seven forty-five and the place was surprisingly busy with workers gathered in their various groups with the hubbub of chatter and laughter filling the room along with the fresh smell of coffee and toast.
Feeling slightly awkward, I made my way to a spare table next to one of the windows which sparkled with early morning Winter sunshine and sat myself down to wait and watch.
Waiting to see if it was her.
Ever since Janet had said those words yesterday in my office, my whole sub-conscious had been completely consumed by the possibility that it had been the girl in the rain she was talking about. What were the odds? It had to be her.
That it probably was also meant I had to come to terms with the realization that I was more interested in this girl than I would normally have been with new recruits to the pool. Was it because of the events of yesterday? Was it the fact that she had this disability? Was I interested because I felt sorry for her? Was it a kinky sex thing? I took a sip of coffee and winced at my callous immaturity. Don't be so stupid. It was pathetic to even begin to think like that and was probably down more to curiosity than anything.
I was interested. Interested in her. As a person. I wanted to know her name. Who she was. What she was like. Where she came from. More than anything, I wanted her to know me.
I sat back in the chair and tried to relax. I hadn't felt this sense of anticipation for God knows how long. Relationships had pretty much been one night stands for the past few years and I had no real interest in beginning a longer one. Of all the women I had fucked recently, not a single one had piqued my interest enough to ask them out again. Come to think of it, the only one I'd consider as a "friend" would be Janet but that was probably due more to the fact that she was unobtainable than anything else. Janet, I could talk to. Janet, I could have a decent conversation with and not spend every other second trying to figure out how to get into her panties - not that I'd say no given the opportunity which Janet never would.
So here I was. Bemused. Confused. Nervous. Sat with the great unwashed waiting to see if this girl was who I thought she was. I frowned slightly as each thought gave rise to another then another.
If it was her, then what?
At that moment a group of six or so women came into the canteen and made their way to the far side of the room across from where I sat.
I took another sip of my coffee and stared at them over the rim of the plastic cup. Was she in that group? I continued to stare at them as they took their seats with three of them going over to the service counter and ordering various things from the girls serving.
It suddenly occurred to me that I only had a vague idea of what this woman looked like and from this distance it was impossible to tell. I hadn't seen a white stick or anything that would make her stand out from the crowd. I put my coffee down, gave my eyes a rub, and sighed. What on earth was I doing?
"Don't often see the wolf amongst the sheep."
I glanced up to see Janet standing in front of me holding her own coffee and looking at me intently. I gave her a wry smile. "I think I'm lost," I replied lamely as she took a seat opposite me.
"Uh huh," she said, "Curiosity has killed many a cat over the years. You should be careful."
I frowned at her and she waved a hand across her face.
"Don't worry, Mike," she promised, "I won't tell a soul. Ever since yesterday, I've known."
Known? Known what? I shifted in my seat as Janet continued to stare at me with a slight smile on her lips. I glanced over at the group of chatting women on the other side of the room and she grinned at me.
She sat forward. "How long have I known you? Ten years?" She went on, "Give or take. From the first moment you started as a trainee in this place wet behind the ears and twice as scared. I've seen a lot of men like you come and go over the years. All spunk, bravado, and nonsense. But you, you I've always considered different and kept an eye on you. Like I said, I know." She sat back and took another sip of her coffee as she watched my face.
"You're imagining things," I muttered. No, she wasn't, and you knew damned fine well she wasn't. It was her job to know you better than you know yourself, you fool. She was like a second mother to you.
"Do you want to meet her?"
I gave a start. What? Meet her? Here? Right now? In the canteen? I felt my heart skip a beat and a surge of electricity flash through me leaving me feeling slightly stunned in its wake. Of course, you want to meet her. Why else were you in this place to begin with? I had this unfamiliar feeling that events were being set in motion and I wasn't in control of them like usual. Now that made me feel uncomfortable and uncomfortable was a thing I didn't handle well. I shook my head. This whole episode was getting beyond the pale.
Janet just sat there with a knowing smile on her face.
"Ladies, I'd like you to meet Mr. Sloane."
Janet had her arm through mine as we stood at the far end of the table where the six new recruits sat enjoying a morning coffee and a good gossip. Five of the women turned to me and smiled as they glanced at each other before saying hello. Only one girl sat still and she was the only one that mattered.
Janet made introductions and I nodded to each of them in turn. Their names simply faded away like early morning mist for my attention was on the curly shoulder-length chestnut haired figure who sat in the middle of the three to my left with the others on the opposite side of the table.
Janet had left her introduction till last and I had no doubt she had done it deliberately.
"And this is Heather," she said as she indicated the young woman who had sat forward and was listening intently, "Heather McCallister. Heather meet Mr. Sloane. He runs the tenth floor."
She lifted her face and hesitantly smiled at us. She was obviously aware that there were other people around her watching. She sat a little further forward and folded her hands together in her lap. "Uh, hi hello," she said carefully, "Nice to meet you." She then held out her hand for me to take as the other women glanced at each other with increasing curiosity.
I looked at Janet who raised her eyebrows with amusement.
I stared at her hand for a second before reaching out to take it. I carefully slipped it into mine making sure there was no fumbling of fingers this time. She was warm and smooth to the touch and as I gave her hand a slight squeeze I saw her raise her head towards me now that she had some measure of where I was standing. There were those sea green eyes again looking directly at me and I swear to God I felt something change within me.
It also suddenly occurred to me that she was wearing spectacles.
"Nice to meet you too, Heather," I grinned as we shook hands, "Welcome to the insane asylum."
I turned in my chair and looked out of my office window. It sure was. Great gusty swirls of windswept snowflakes swooshed against the glass and the world below slowly turned from a morbid concrete grey into a wonderland of white. Winter storms were always much more impressive when viewed from the tenth floor somehow.
It was a Thursday. Just gone two in the afternoon and work was still hell-bent on being a pain in the ass as it had been ever since that Monday morning when the week began. There would be no getting off this train until it ran out of steam or when some common sense hit the markets.
Jimmy was doodling numbers on the whiteboard and Janet was taking calls.
"Ted on two," she said, holding the mobile to her impressive chest. She gave me a pained expression and winced as her other mobile beeped in her other hand.
I shook my head and drew a finger across my throat. Oh, fuck that. Fuck Ted and his "Do me a favor, bud. Have a word with so and so about this and that and how we're going to sort it out either today or tomorrow" bullshit. Christ knows how many times I'd hauled his skinny ass out of the shit over the years. As I keep telling him; "If you don't want to end up in the shit don't keep fucking jumping into it in the first place!"
Janet knew the drill. "Mr. Sloane says go away, Ted. He's busy." She then disconnected the call and answered the other mobile as she picked up various folders full of paperwork.
I jumped up and gave her a peck on the cheek. "Where were you when I was eighteen? I'd have married you on the spot. Life would have been a lot simpler and probably a whole lot more fun if we had."
Janet squirmed out of my grip. "When you were eighteen I was giving birth to my second child that's where I was. Don't you worry, someone will come along," She stopped at the door and turned back to look at me, "Maybe someone already has."
Then she disappeared and I was stood there staring after her wondering what the hell all that was about before I was interrupted by Jimmy who wanted me to sign off some more documents before they were sent down to the mailroom.
Today was shaping up to be one of those days.
And, as ever, she was always there at the back of my mind ever since our first proper introduction.
Outside, the storm closed in as Winter settled in for the season.
"Are you sick?"
Brad sat forward on his stool and leaned across the bar. The place was packed and throbbing as Friday night got into full swing. "I said, are you sick?" he repeated with a slur in his voice as the drink took him.
I shook my head and undid my tie. Despite the foot of snow outside it was like an oven inside. "No, why'd you ask?" I shouted over the din.
Brad snorted and nudged Jerry who was mumbling into his beer. "Listen to this schmuck here," he grunted. Brad was a big guy with a huge bald head, "Because you and that over-long dick of yours are usually stuffed up the snatch of one the pool gals by this time on a Friday night. I mean, fuck me, you've been banging a different hottie every week for the past six fucking months. So, ergo, you've got the plague, right?"
Jerry raised his half-empty glass. "My thoughts exactly," he said by way of a toast, "Some of the guys in retention are getting nervous. People have placed bets that you'll work your way through the new intake in less than a month. I mean, remember a couple of years ago? You did four in one week. Talk about pounding pussy to go. You have your reputation to uphold. I've got ten bucks on you to do the newbies in less than a month," He gave me a look, "Including the weird one."
I blinked and stared at him. Him and his matted ginger hair and ginger goatee. Jerry may be an asshole but he was a smart asshole. Smart in that he knew his limits and who not to fuck around with.
He waved his hand as Brad nodded. "The blind chick. Have you seen her?"
"Maybe," I replied defensively, "What makes you think I'd want to do her too?"
Jerry looked at me surprised. "Dude, are you kidding?" he laughed, "If it has tits and a pussy you're in there like the eager beaver. Hell, all the guys know you've shagged nearly all of the pool this time around. Thought you'd fancy a new challenge."
I turned back to the bar and contemplated my drink. The asshole was only repeating what most people thought and it was usually something I just shrugged off with a laugh. Not this time. She would be a challenge alright. But that wasn't the kind of challenge I wanted. I shook my head. "Nah, not for me. Not this time. I'm not that big of a shit to pull a stunt like that just to say I'd done it."
Brad waved his bottle in my face and slapped me on the shoulder. "See, he does have some morals after all. Very smart. A lot of people are looking out for that little lady and I don't think they'd let anyone try it on with her. Don't get me wrong. I reckon she can handle herself just fine and dandy. I mean, she does shit you wouldn't believe. Seriously, the way she gets around the way she does. It's fucking amazing. She does the audio thing. She came into retentions the other day and everyone was like, you know, oh shit, what do we say? What do we do around her? But nope, in she comes with Lucy to help her get settled and away she goes like a fucking pro. By the time we got to lunch every one loved her. She's smart. Knows her onions does that one. Amazing gal."
Jerry nodded. "Have you seen her eyes?"
I took a swallow of beer.
Brad sighed. "Yeah. Ain't they something. I mean, don't get me wrong, she ain't a great looker like, say, Hallie or that Suzi, but she's damned pretty in a natural sort of way. It's those eyes that do it. I had to talk to her for a bit and I swear every sane sensible thought disappeared out of my head when she looked at me. Fucking spooky. Ain't that right, Jerry?"
Jerry nodded. "Yeah, that's pretty much the gist of it."
All three of us sat in silence looking at our reflections in the big mirror behind the bar.
"She's probably still a virgin," said Brad suddenly with a big sigh, "What a fucking crime."
I stared at my doppelganger staring back at me.
UpState looked like the perfect Christmas card.
The storm had passed and dumped about two feet of snow on the ground and the air had that icy crispness to it that added a layer of frost on top as I stood looking out across the flatlands of my parent's property. Thankfully, most of the roads had been cleared and I was able to head North to spend the weekend away from my Manhatten apartment and the distractions of city life and living.
"Want to talk about it?"
I turned to see Mom trudging towards me wrapped up like a little Eskimo. She stopped beside me and raised her hand to shield her eyes against the low morning sun.
I dug deeper into my heavy black coat and turned back to look at the view. "No, I'm fine," I said with a slow smile, "You'll find out soon enough if things change."
"Is it a girl?"
I didn't reply but just shrugged my shoulders. I needed to clear my head. This past week had turned many certainties in my life upside down. Things that were my bedrock and which my life revolved around. A good life that had taken an immense amount of effort to attain. The reward you get out is only worth the effort you put in. A good life with good living and a lot of sex without consequences.
I felt Mom snuggle up to me and slip her arm through mine. "Of all my children, you were the one I worried about the most growing up. Not because you were the youngest but because I've always felt you were the loneliest. The sort who would find it the hardest to settle down. You're like your Grandfather. Too much of the free spirit in him too. Then one day, out of the blue, he met your Grandmother quite by chance. A turn a different corner sort of thing. And here we all are," She looked up at me, "The only thing that matters in this life is to be happy. More than anything it is the one thing you should be looking for. Before time takes it away from you."
She let go of my arm. "Take as long as you need, son. Dinner is on the stove."
I watched her go and realized I didn't need to go looking for anything.
I had already found it.
End of Part 2.
Story continues in Part 3.