I had no time to be concerned about the dinner I was preparing. That was probably a good thing. Jake and I had been trying to figure out when and how to meet. I had a professional meeting half of Saturday. He had tentative plans for Saturday night and was tied up on Sunday. I had a date on Monday.
His plans for Saturday night evaporated, and shortly after 1:00 p.m. that Saturday, we decided to seize the opportunity and meet at 6:00 p.m. I suggested dinner at my house.
What followed was a flurry of texts as we tightened up the arrangements and then a flurry of activity on my part to get myself, the house, and dinner organized. Fortunately, I had plenty of food in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. My attitude has long been that I should be able to put together a small dinner party on short notice using whatever I have on hand, and a woman with that kind of attitude makes a point of having the means to pull it off.
That I had no time to think about the fact that a man fourteen years younger than me was coming to dinner kept me from repeated rounds of asking myself what in the heck I was doing. The previous day, we had agreed that if we met, there would be no expectations. Being open without attachment to any particular outcome was something I knew how to do. But judging from our text exchanges, I knew I wasn’t alone in fantasizing the possibilities. Fortunately, I had no time to get lost in fantasies. I swung into dinner preparation mode.
He was just as adorable and just as nice as his photos and our exchanges had made him seem. But there was something else I could not have foreseen. When he talked, he made direct eye-to-eye contact. And he held that contact for longer than was strictly necessary. It was quietly seductive, with a bit of inquiry and longing in it.
We attempted a little slow dance in the kitchen. But I was in ballet flats instead of any kind of heels, so I stood on my toes to accommodate the height difference between us. That did not lend itself to balance. He quickly abandoned any attempt at steps. I loved being in his arms but found myself tense. The man could dance, and I hadn’t danced in many years. I was horrified at the thought of being found completely and utterly lacking and unsuitable in every way while in his arms. I owned up to my tension. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t feel it. He moved my arms from dance position to encircle his neck and we just swayed, like every high school couple at the senior prom when I was growing up. I was awkward; he was kind.
We chatted through dinner, then before having dessert, we retired to the gazebo and continued to talk. It was nice to be outside, but it was the middle of September, and the ambient temperature had dropped enough after sunset that there was a bit of chill in the air. I had been sitting in front of him and leaned in at one point, asking him to warm me up a bit. He put his arms around me and accommodated my request. When I pulled back again and looked into those riveting eyes, I was helpless to resist leaning back in, this time to kiss him.
What appeared to have been simmering in him immediately came to a full boil. Had he been waiting for me to make the first move? He pulled me in and kissed me with so much ardor that I found myself pulling back just a little and encouraging a bit more gentleness. And then I relaxed into him. I found myself wanting more than his lips and left them to kiss the hollow next to his collarbone, the little notch beneath his throat, his neck just behind the left ear. He murmured encouragement. I gently kissed each closed eyelid, his forehead, and the tip of his nose before connecting with his lips again. I couldn’t seem to get enough. I kissed his throat again and moved down to the top of his chest. He moaned a bit. I moved farther down to the fur on his chest and took each nipple, one at a time. He murmured more encouragement. This was a man who liked having his body made love to, and I liked that about him.
Before long, he was reciprocating, and not long after that, we retreated from the gazebo. Not only was it getting just a bit too chilly to remain outside, we were also both conscious of the fact that our little murmurs and moans were going to attract the attention of the neighbor behind me, who had an open upstairs window, if we kept on with our exploration of one another in the gazebo.
The dessert I’d planned was forgotten. Instead, Jake and I made dessert of one another. We didn’t know one another’s bodies and had to experiment a bit with them, just as I have so often experimented with the ingredients in so many dishes I make, including desserts, to find the right combination of individual ingredients to make the result all the more delectable. Jake was, himself, delectable. No accoutrements or additional spices needed. He not only had a beautiful body, he was a generous lover. And that generosity was generative, giving rise to willing abandon on my part.
It was midnight before he left. I had a massage early the next morning; he had plans for the entire day. But even if we hadn’t each had reasons to finally split from one another, being fully spent, it would have been necessary. Sleeping together would have taken the intimacy to an even deeper place, and neither of us was ready for that. We each needed to take a deep breath and withdraw back into ourselves.
Whatever I thought might happen that evening was pale in comparison to what had actually happened: lust coupled with sweetness; exploration coupled with deliverance; goodwill coupled with generosity. Before that dinner, I felt that Jake and I were playful comrades, unlikely to be more than mutually supportive on our individual quests for romance. Had we just shifted to a friends with benefits relationship?
Note: The name Jake is fictitious and has been used out of respect for the man involved.
Copyright 2016 by Melanie Mulhall