General Fiction posted November 12, 2022


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Lingering Devotion Part-2

by Ric Myworld


In part-1 Ric faked a heart attack to meet Lori and handed her a message to meet the following night. For reasons out of Lori’s control, she was unable to make it, but had no way to let Ric know. Luckily, they ran into each other at the Carnival Club, where Lori explained.  

 

After spending two nights to get Lori’s name, I wanted to ramp up the action and make up for lost time. But the late start soon put the damper on things.  

“Well, it’s getting late,” Lori said, in her dreamy-eyed stare. “And I have an early day tomorrow.” A phony smile did little to hide my disappointment.

“Oh, no . . . you can’t—" I had made a fool of myself two nights in a row, and she wasn’t getting away that easily. “Take a day off . . . you have my permission.”

“Oh, I do . . . do I?” She gave a little chuckle.

“Yeah, come on. Neither of us will sleep for thinking about the other tonight anyway.”

“Aw, mighty sure of yourself there, aren’t you?”

“So, you wouldn’t be the slightest bit disappointed to leave me?”

“There’s always tomorrow.”

“Not always. What if something happened to one of us and we missed our only chance?”

“Well, at this point, we wouldn’t know what we were missing anyway.” Her puzzled look and faint laugh signaled I had pushed things too far.

“Wouldn’t you like to know . . . just a little bit?”

“Maybe a little.” Her grin said it all. The mischievous little tease.

“I think more than a little.”

“Oh, do you now . . . what gives you that idea?” She grinned as she spoke, but her expression quickly turned into a suspicious glower.

The right words lost in oblivion, I said, “Just an educated guess.” Then, I leaned in swiftly, and said, “Shut up and kiss me.” Hoping she wouldn’t turn away.

Not wanting to seem overly enthusiastic or aggressive, I gave her a soft, sweet kiss. And then, gauged on her responsiveness, we enjoyed another, before I flicked my tongue between her lips as I pulled away.

“Um, that was nice.” She smiled, surprising me with her comment. “Gentlemanly, capped off with a flair.”

“You have nice lips.” What I had noticed first, just before her bubble butt when she first stood at the bar and made me think . . . Ooh-whee.

“As do you.” Her smile sort of faded and drenched my body in apprehensive dread, as she spoke, and I sensed her thoughts. “But I really do have to work early tomorrow, much as I hate to leave.”

I wasn’t going to beg anyone to stay with me . . . no matter how much I wanted her to.

“I understand, sometimes things just don’t work out like we want.” It was time to make a quick exit. “It was nice to finally meet you, Lori, and hopefully this won’t be the last time we see each other.”

“Oh, Mr. Dramatic, don’t be such a cry baby whiner.” She took me by the arm and pulled me along. “You can go home with me, but it’s just to sleep. You aren’t getting lucky.”

Cuddling up and sharing a few rubs, touches, and tickles already had butterflies doing a sensuous rumba in my tummy.

As I thought to myself . . . wanna bet.

                    __________________________________________

Lori lived in a cute little house. Nothing too fancy or large, but beachfront, making the lot alone a million bucks or better. All I could think was, baby got bank, or somebody close to her does. But Benjamins didn’t mean squat to me. I wanted the booty.  

We walked around to the side door, and I held the security door open, as she unlocked the main and deadbolt.

Inside, she said, “I need to take a quick shower, since I won’t have time in the morning.” Sure, I thought, figuring she wanted to get clean and fresh for me.

“So, make yourself comfortable and help yourself to whatever you’d like. There’s beer in the fridge and the end liquor cabinet is loaded with whatever you’d like. I won’t be but a few minutes.”

“I’d be happy to wash your back?”

 Hell, what was I saying, I’d have given her a kitty-cat tongue bath if she’d have stood still for it?

“I’ve done this before . . . I think I can manage.” She shook her head laughing and walked in the bathroom.

Fifteen minutes later, the bathroom door cracked open, and Lori peeked around it and said, “Turn out the lights, if you would please. I sleep in a tee-shirt and panties, but they don’t hide much.”

“Oh, never mind me, I won’t be embarrassed.”

In her cute little giggle, she said, “I bet you won’t.”

I flipped the light-switch off, about to explode in anticipation. Then, Lori scampered across the room, slid into bed, and said, “Now you can turn the lights back on.”

Under covers pulled to her chin, Lori motioned with her left arm and said, “Okay, big boy, around that petition is another bedroom that’s made up with fresh sheets from this morning and you can turn out the lights from in there.”

There were no words to disguise the anguish, yes it was anguish, not disappointment. And there I stood, my car back at the bar, and about to sleep in the spare room. Hell no, she could play somebody else, but not this boy.

“Lori, I’m wide awake, so I’m just going to head back and go home.”

“What . . . it’s 2:30 in the morning and you’re about four miles to your car.”

“Oh, that’s okay, I need the exercise.” Hyperventilating at the thought, I needed a miracle to make the hike without collapsing.  

“I wish you’d stay. But you aren’t walking—I’ll drive you back.”

“No, you’re not. You need your rest like you said . . . so, I’ll see you around.”

I hurried to the door before she could say anything else, stepped out, and pulled the locked door closed. What a bust this night had turned out to be, and I had even forgotten to get a phone number.

           _______________________________________

The following morning the condo phone rang at 6:16. The second I heard it; I knew there was something wrong. I jumped up and scurried to the phone.

“Hello—”


“Hey, this is your mother.”

“What’s up?” I knew this early-morning call had to be important.

“It’s your brother, he’s been in a bad car wreck, and he’s been asking for you.”

“How bad is he?”

“It’s bad.” Her short words said it all; otherwise, she’d have rattled on for an hour.

So, I started gathering my things to pack and said, “I’ll catch the first plane out of here.” I clicked off and hustled toward David’s bedroom.

“Hey, David, get up and run me to the airport.” David groaned and stretched as I walked into his room and yelled out, “Get up, I’m in a hurry.”

“What’s the rush?” David sat up on the side of the bed, moaned and grabbed his surely aching, hungover head.

“My brother has been in a bad car accident.”

“Oh, no, which one . . . and how bad?”

“Tony, and bad enough that my mother called me . . . she said he’s been asking for me.”

David threw on his clothes in a whirlwind.

“David, I’m only taking the basics and I'll be back next week . . . so, are you just going to stay here?”

“Sure, Ric, this place will be deserted in two weeks when all the tourists leave for the season and students head back to school. Then, it’ll be six-months before the crowds come back.”

“I thought you were spending last night with your new gal-pal, Lori?” David teased with a little smart-alecky chuckle.

“I was until she sentenced me to the spare bedroom.”

“Oh, no, really? So, what did you do?”

“I walked out, walked back to my car, and came home.”

“Trouble in paradise on the first night.” David howled with laughter, loving I got turned down.

David sped up Santa Rosa Boulevard on Okaloosa Island and turned onto the 98 causeway, as I gave directions to stop by Lori’s house.

Her car was still in the driveway, so we pulled in behind it. I tapped the clunky door knocker.  The door eased open, and Lori stood barefooted in a robe. She rubbed her eyes, smiled, and said, “Good morning.” Never more surprised, she stepped forward, put her arms around my neck, and kissed me passionately. Tooth paste and mouthwash had never tasted so good.

“I’m so sorry I let you go home last night. I didn’t sleep a wink.”

“Me neither, I kept thinking about what I wasn’t getting. And that I might never get another chance.”

She slapped me on the shoulder.

I’d never felt more appreciated as she kissed me again and again. All, in the usual, “Day late and a dollar short” scenario.

“Lori, I just came by to let you know I have to leave Florida.”

“What . . . Why? We just met.”

“I know, but my brother has been in a horrific automobile accident.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry . . . I hope everything works out. I leave for school at the end of next week and won’t be back home until Christmas break.”

“Oh, no, you’ll have forgotten me by then.”

“I wish I thought that was possible . . . but it’s not likely.”

“Oh, that sounds good.” I grinned like the devil with his pants on fire.

“Don’t play dumb. You’ve known it from the beginning.”

“I don’t know anything . . . but I think the love bug might’ve bitten me.”

“Me too. I wished a million times I hadn’t let you leave last night.”

 “So, where’s school?”

“Louisiana State . . . I’m an LSU Tiger.”

“Why did you choose a school so far away?”

“Well, I’m a gymnast who narrowed my scholarship choices to LSU and Alabama, before deciding to be a tiger.” Turned out I had guessed right; she was a gymnast.

Lori gave me her home phone number but didn’t have a dorm phone until she got back to school. I wrote down the condo number, handed it to her, and said, “Just call me middle of next week when I get back.”

As things worked out, I didn’t return to Florida the next week or in time for Christmas break. Lori's semester ended the last of May, and I got back to Florida on June 3rd. We had left each other dozens of messages but kept getting our wires crossed, so for six months we hadn’t spoken but twice on the run.  

My second day back at the beach, Garland gave me the big news. Lori’s wedding was set for the following Saturday.

As said many times

the love of one's life

only comes around once

and unlucky for me

mine found her own

and moved on without me




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