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A Second Chance


A Second Chance By Alden Bradley Copyright May 2001 All rights reserved

******************************** This is a tale of erotic fiction. It
is posted only on sites and newsgroups in which erotic fiction appears. If
you are reading this on a site OTHER than one on which erotic fiction is
posted, please stop now, or assume the risk of being offended. The author
bears no responsibility for your offense if you continue to read on.

The rain slashed through my headlights like miniature meteors streaking
Earthward. The slap-tick of the wipers was mesmerizing. Only the
gut-grinding fear of losing traction on this two-lane road in the eastern
mountains of Tennessee kept me from surrendering to their metronomic
pulsing and drifting off to sleep.

I was at the range of my endurance. I'd been driving over six hours,
all of it in rain, and most of it in the dark. My head buzzed with random
thoughts as I tried to concentrate on the road. The seat belt chaffed my
shoulder, but I dared not release it. Under these conditions I realized I
was only seconds away from careening into or through a guardrail and
plummeting down the slick, green, wet mountainside. Only that seat belt
would keep me from ghastly injuries my dead-tired mind conjured.

A brilliant bulge appeared in the road to my right. I started, and
pushed steadily on the brake, slowing my vehicle as the specter passed to
my right. My sleep-deprived mind slowly functioned and I recognized the
figure of a hiker, slogging along the roadside in the rain. Slowed to a
crawl, I pulled off to the shoulder and stopped, shaken and blurred by my
near miss of the pedestrian.

Once stopped, I noticed the rain was not the torrent it appeared when I
was driving. Instead, it fell in a gentle, dark drizzle. My wipers swept
the small drops swiftly from the windshield. I twisted the switch to slow
their frantic beating.

My breathing had slowed to near normal and my heart's racing beats
resumed their more regular pattern when I was startled by an apparition in
my window. My hand flew to my throat and a small scream erupted from
between my lips. In the window a very damp, young man was peering into my
vehicle. In spite of his most miserable appearance, he had a smile on his
face. That smile, so unassuming and genuine in the dank Tennessee mountain
darkness, gave me the confidence to crack my window an inch.

"Are you all right, miss?" the young man said.

"I think so," I told him. "I though I was going to hit you. Then you
startled me."

"Sorry," he smiled. "I didn't mean to scare you."

"What are you doing out here at this hour?" I asked the young hiker.

"Actually, I'm hitching my way to St. Louis," he said. "I got a ride
up from Atlanta. But the guy was going north. He dropped me off about
three hours ago. I've been waiting for a ride going west. Not much
traffic out at this hour, though."

I check the dash clock. It read 2:12 A.M.

Perhaps it was my exhaustion that clouded my judgment. Maybe it was the
pathetic vision of this young guy slogging along in the middle of the night
in the rain. I cracked the window open another inch. "If I give you a
ride," I asked him, "are you going to rape and murder me?"

"No, ma'am," he said, politely, the smile getting broader. "I'm neither
a murderer nor a rapist."

My tired mind registered the "neither/nor" phrasing. This was not
trailer park trash. This young man was educated and articulate. It helped
me confirm my decision.

"Come around to the other side," I instructed him. "Throw your gear in
the back and climb in the front. Let's get you out of the rain."

The young man grinned wetly at me, again, then worked his way around the
back of the car. He tossed his backpack in the rear seat, then climbed
into the passenger seat next to me. He was literally soaked to the skin.

"If I had a towel," I said, "I'd offer it to you. You're going to catch
your death."

"I'm grateful to be out of the rain, ma'am," he grinned. "You're very,
very kind. And, very brave."

"Probably more stupid than brave," I observed, putting the car in gear
and starting off down the road. "What's your name, anyway?"

"Jeremy," he said. "Jeremy Shugart. My friends call me Shug. Like

I couldn't help but giggle. "Okay," I said. "Shug it is. I'm
Caroline. My friends call me Caroline."

"Yes, ma'am," Shug said.

"Tell me about yourself," I ordered.

"I'm a second year medical student at Emory in Atlanta," he told me.
"I'm hitching home to St. Louis for spring break."

"What," I chuckled, "no Fort Lauderdale?"

"No, ma'am," Shug answered, "not for me."

"Shug," I said, "two things. First, you've got to stop calling me
ma'am, okay? You make me feel old."

"Yes, ma'am," he said. "Oh, sorry."

"Okay. Look, it's okay. Just work on it," I suggested. "And, the
second thing is, when I saw you, I'd just about decided it was time for me
to stop. So, I may not be able to take you far. I'm just too tired to
keep going tonight."

"Yes, ma'am," Shug said. "I understand."

"You're really going to have to stop with the 'ma'am' stuff, Shug," I
reprimanded my passenger. "Every time you say that, I think you're going
to say 'Mom'. That would just kill me."

"I'm sorry, really," he said. "It's just my upbringing."

He changed the subject. "Are you a mom?" he asked.

I nodded. "A six-year-old son," I admitted. "Nathan. He's staying
with his grandmother while I'm on this trip. He likes that. She spoils
him incorrigibly."

Shug nodded slowly. "So then you're a married lady," he said.

"No, actually I'm not," I said. "I'm a widow. My husband died stupidly
about three years ago."

Shug was silent.

"Don't you want to know?" I asked him.

"If you want to tell me," he answered.

"He was a pilot," I explained. "A stunt pilot. He made a mistake. He
should have quit when Nathan was born, but he wouldn't. Now, he's gone and
Nathan has no father."

"I'm sorry," Shug said. "I really am sorry."

"It's all right, Shug," I told him. "I'm tired. When I get tired, I
let my emotions run away with me.

"It was just so useless and stupid," I continued. "He did it because he
liked it. No, he loved it. But, he killed himself and left me and Nathan
alone. I'm still pissed off at him about it. Then I get feeling guilty
because I'm pissed off at a dead man, and a man that I loved. Then I get
even more pissed off because I loved him but he didn't love me enough to
stop something so damned dangerous."

I stopped. Tears of anger welled up in my eyes. I realized my voice
had risen in volume and intensity.

"Sorry," I told the boy. "I didn't mean to make you the brunt of all

"It's good to get it out," Shug said quietly. "I understand."

We drove on in silence for another eight miles before the Co-Zee Rest
Motel sign loomed up out of the rain spatter night. Two miles, the sign
said, clean sheets, free TV, air conditioning. That's all I needed.

"That's where I'm going to stop," I told Shug.

"Okay," he nodded.

I pulled off the highway into the drive of the Co-Zee Rest Motel and
headed the car toward the office. As I parked out front, I turned to Shug.

"You want me to get you a room, too?" I asked him.

"I'm running short on capital," he admitted. "That's why I'm hitching."

"Oh," I answered. "How about I get us a double, then. You can have one
bed and I'll take the other."

"I couldn't impose," Shug answered. "I'd probably better be getting
back out to the highway."

"There's no way I'm letting you go stand out there in the rain and wait
for a ride this time of night," I said, sounding very motherly, I thought.
"Are you in a particular hurry?"

"Not so much," he said. "It would just be, you know, awkward."

"Shug," I said, "you need a shower and a change of clothes. You're
soaked through. You'll catch pneumonia. Come in, have a shower and
change. We'll get a good night's sleep and I'll take you to St. Louis
tomorrow. Okay?"

"Is that where you're headed?" he asked with disbelief.

"It's not," I admitted. "But it's only a few hours out of my way. I'm
willing to do that for the company. And, you can help with some of the
driving, okay?"

Shug relented. "If you're sure, then okay."

I booked a double from the sleepy Korean owner of the Co-Zee Rest Motel.
I paid with my credit card and picked up a half-dozen additional towels.
He gave me a key and pointed down to the end of the row of the somewhat
shabby structure.

"Twenty-seven," he said, "on very end row, backside."

I nodded, then took my stash of towels and ran back to the car. I
tossed them in, then jumped in the seat.

"This is very kind of you," Shug said as I started the car.

"It'll make a good story for you sometime in the future," I told him.
"You can regale your fellow interns with the tale of the night you got
picked up in the rain by this crazy old woman and forced to shower in her
motel room."

I parked outside the door labeled 27 on the backside of the motel, away
from the highway and as far from the office as one could get. I pulled my
overnight bag from the back seat, went to the door and unlocked it. I
walked in, searched a second for the light switch and snapped it on.

The room looked comfortable, if a bit seedy. All I really wanted was
what the sign had advertised, clean sheets and air conditioning. I didn't
give a damn about the free TV.

Shug followed me into the room. He looked a wreck. When I finally got
to see him vertical, he turned out to be about five-eleven and maybe 180
lbs. His hair was sandy-blond and streaked down across his brow. But,
what captivated me were the crystal clear, bright blue eyes that sparkled
out at me from under his light eyebrows.

I stood and looked at him for a few seconds. He shifted uncomfortably.
Then I asked him, "How old are you, Shug?"

"Twenty-four," he answered. "Why?"

"Eight years," I observed. "Eight years difference."

Shug nodded. "Yeah, well, uh, where do you want me to put my stuff?" he

I indicated a luggage stand off the end of the bureau. "That be okay?"
I asked.

"Sure, fine," he said. He yanked his pack onto the stand and started
fumbling with the zippers.

"Tell you what," I offered, "why don't I take my a shower first. It's
going to take a while for me to get my hair dry. You can shower while I do

"Okay," the boy said. He yanked a pair of shorts and a shirt from his

I pulled a T-shirt from my bag and walked into the bathroom, stripped
off my clothing and climbed into the shower. The spray stung my skin as I
feverishly soaped, then rinsed. I reached for the shampoo and poured it in
my hand. I quickly rubbed it into my dark curls, scrubbing with frenzy. I
stepped back under the spray to rinse, allowing the warm spray to wash over

I twisted off the taps, snatched aside the shower curtain and grabbed a
towel. I scrubbed at my hair with it, then bent over to wrap it around my
head. A twist and it was done, the make-shift turban captured my dark
curls to keep them from dripping everywhere. I took another towel from the
shelf and wiped off the droplets. Finished with my cursory drying, I
pulled the long T-shirt over my head and checked to see I was modestly
covered. Then I stepped out into the cool air of the room.

Shug was sitting on one of the beds, watching an old black-and-white
movie on the TV. He stood up and flipped the set off. He had undressed
and was wrapped in one of the motel's bath towels. He smiled his glorious
smile at me. My heart did a little flip when I saw the formation of
muscles in his chest. I took a deep breath.

"Didn't you wash off your make-up," he said.

"I did," I confirmed.

"Really?" he asked me. "You look just as pretty now as you did before."

"Why, Shug," I exclaimed. "I believe you have just paid me a

Shug looked down at his feet. "Sorry," he mumbled. "Maybe I ought to
just shower and go back out to the highway."

I took a couple of steps toward him. "Do you think I'm pretty, Shug?
Do you really?" I asked him. He nodded, almost like a little boy who
gotten caught dipping a finger in the icing. I put my hand on one of his
pecs, just resting it there and looked into his eyes.

"Then, I'd like you to stay. Stay the night with me. I couldn't bear
to think of you out in the rain, the dark and the cold when you could be in
here with me. I really want you to stay, Shug. Please."

I don't know what craziness made me do it, but I leaned up to him and
planted a soft kiss on his lips. His bright blue eyes had something of a
deer-in-the-headlights look, for about three seconds. Then it was gone,
replaced by a clarity and focus. He put his hands on my face and pulled me
toward him for another kiss. This one had more hunger than my poor
offering. It took away my breath.

When Shug released me, he spent several seconds looking at my face.
Then he whispered, "Caroline. If I stay you know what's going to happen."
It was a statement, not a question. I nodded.

"How long has it been?" he asked, his eyes roaming my face, taking in
each feature, then moving on.

"Three years," I said. "I told you. Three years." In spite of the
hours of traveling and meetings, the exhaustion of this trip, my senses
were suddenly at fever pitch.

He backed away from me. "Don't disappear, okay?" he said.

"I'll be here."

I watched his strong young back as Shug took another towel and stepped
into the bathroom.

My hair dryer was in my overnighter. I pulled it out, plugged it into
the wall and pulled the towel from my head. My damp curls seemed to spring
into a wild riot around my face. I found my styling brush, and began to
dry my hair.

Shug emerged from the shower in a few minutes, still with that towel
wrapped around his waist. I looked over my shoulder to see him staring at

"What?" I said, over the hum of the dryer.

"It's the sexiest sight I've ever seen," he said. "I love watching a
woman brush her hair."

I gave him the brightest smile I could manage.

"You mean an old woman like me can still turn on a young buck like you?"

"You're not an old woman, Caroline," he said. "Please don't say that
again. You're not old."

I let my arms drop into my lap. I flipped the switch to silence the
dryer. "I feel old, Shug. I feel old and tired."

"It's late," he said, coming to me and putting his hands on my
shoulders. He gently massaged my shoulders and lower neck. "Let's get some

"My hair," I protested. "It'll be a mess if I don't dry it completely."

"You can shower again in the morning, when you're not so tired," he

"You just want to get me into bed, don't you?" I jibed at him.

"I think you need to sleep," he said.

"You're not going to make love to me?" I asked him.

Shug shook his head. "Not tonight. Tomorrow, maybe. Tonight, I'm
going to let you sleep."

"You're kidding," I said.

Shug walked to one of the two double beds. He turned back the covers
and placed the two pillows in a stack.

"This is for you," he said. Turning around, he slid under the covers of
the other bed. He threw his towel out from under the covers. "I'm
sleeping over here."

There was my way out. I could, if I wanted, climb into the other bed
and simply go to sleep. My heart pounded in my chest. I could hear the
rain outside increase in its intensity. Dampness flooded me as I made my
decision. I stood up, put my brush and dryer on the bureau. I checked the
layout of the room and snapped off the light.

In the darkness, I maneuvered between the beds. I sat on the one Shug
had turned down for me, for about ten seconds. Then I stood up, pulled my
T-shirt over my head and stood in the aisle between the beds totally nude.

"There is no way," I said very softly, "that I am sleeping in this room
by myself in that bed."

I reached for the corner of the bedclothes on Shug's bed, lifted them
and slid my body in alongside his. In the absolute pitch blackness, I
could feel his heat. As I settled into the bed, Shug wrapped his arms
around me. I put my hands up to find his shoulders, then his neck and
finally his face. My fingers located his lips and I aimed my mouth at

When I broke our long kiss, I whispered, "You are making love to me
tonight, Shug, because I want you to."

"Caroline," he murmured back, "I don't have any protection. I'd love to
make love with you, but..."

"Tell me I don't have anything to worry about, please," I begged him.

"You don't." he answered.

"Then make love to me, Shug, here, in the dark, with the rain beating

Shug's hand caressed my back and shoulder. He traced his fingers down
the front of my chest, then cupped my breast in his hand. His thumb
flicked across my nipples, sparking jolts of electricity through my body. I
moaned with the contact.

"You like that?" he whispered.

"I like that," I agreed, my own hands caressing the firm flesh of his
back and sides.

Shug tried to squirm his way down my body. His lips pressed against the
flesh of my shoulder. He licked and sucked his way toward my breasts. My
hands found his face, cupped it and pulled upward.

"Not now," I said, urgently. "Not tonight. I really want to feel you
inside me."

Shug rolled over atop me, taking his weight on his knees and elbows. I
felt his hardness probing me. I caught him in my hand, and he gasped with
unexpected contact. I positioned him at the opening to my love canal, and
whispered, "There. Now, push inside me."

He pushed. I groaned as his hardness slipped inside me. The feeling
was glorious. A warm wave of pleasure swept through me, from my hole,
across my ass, up my spine, and broke over my brain, warming my whole body.
In the darkness, Shug kissed my face, trying to center on my lips. I made
it easy for him. His tongue probed my mouth and I reciprocated, pushing my
tongue at his, wrapping around it, and sucking it into me. I hitched my
legs up and locked my ankles around his thighs.

"Let me get used to you inside me," I whispered. "It feels very good.
Full, smooth and hard." I clenched my muscles on him again and again,
adjusting to the feeling and delighting in its warmth.

"You feel good, too, Caroline," he said. "You're so warm and tight,
and, oh! You squeeze me so good!"

"I want to cum," I told him. "I'm close, Shug, really close."

"Are you?" he sounded amazed. "We haven't done anything yet."

"I've been waiting a long time," I answered. "I'm ready for it. Just
talk to me."

"Talk to you?" he said. "About what?"

"I don't know," I told him. "Talk sexy to me."

Shug took a second. "You feel so good around my cock," he said. "But,
tomorrow, when we make love, we're going to do it in the light. I want to
see your face when I enter you. I want to see your eyes when you cum."

He was good at this! I clamped on him again and again. I hitched my
hips so he slid in and out of me a little tiny bit. I bit my lip and
willed the orgasm to come.

"I'm cumming, Shug," I whispered fiercely. "Help me. Just a little."

Shug picked up my tempo and jerked in and out of me. I squeezed hard on
him and pressed against the little wave crest. My back arched upward under
him and I bit into his shoulder, grunting and nearly weeping with the

"Ow! Damn!" Shug said in shock and pain. "That hurts, Caroline."

"Sorry," I said, between gasps. "It was so...overwhelming. I'm sorry.

"I can see I'm going to have to be careful of you," he joked. "You
bite. Do you kick and scratch, too?"

"Depends on how good it is," I answered.

"The kicking I can deal with, I think," Shug told me, pushing up on his
hands. He took my wrists in his hands and pushed them down into the bed.
"The biting and scratching, that's another story."

I was pinned to the bed. The weight of his hips pressed mine down. His
hands held my wrists captive next to my head.

"What are you going to do?" I asked, only a tiny bit alarmed.

"I'm going to make love to you," Shug said. "I'm probably going to make
you want to scratch, bite and kick. You'll have to scream instead."

With that, Shug began to slowly withdraw, then press into me. I tossed
my head from one side to the other with the sensation of his cock sliding
across the nerve endings in my vagina. "Oh, dear," I said, "Oh, dear, oh
dear, oh dear!" The sensations were amazing. As he slid out of me, Shug's
cock left a trail of white light in my mind. When he punched back in there
was a brilliant blue ball of lightning traveling up my entire torso. I
wanted to reach up to him, to grab him and dig my nails into his flesh.
But he held me pinned to the bed, pounding his hips at me, alternately
filling me up then trailing the white lightning through my pussy.

"Oh, Shug," I yelled, "you're fucking me. You're fucking me, Shug. It
feels so good!"

Shug covered my mouth with his own, forcing me to breath through my
nose. I panted several times before twisting loose.

"Can't breathe, Shug," I said, gasping for air. "Oh, dear! I'm cumming
again! Oh, fuck me, Sugar. Fuck me, baby."

I needed him to move faster. I spurred him with my heels and hitched my
hips up to drive him farther and faster into me.

"Faster, Shug. Harder. Fuck me harder," I ordered. Shug pumped into
me. He drove his cock and hips at an ever-increasing tempo, guided by my
own spurring and thrusting. His cock swelled inside me, and for an instant
I thought about the ramifications of his coming inside me. Just four days
out from my last period I decided I didn't give a damn.

"I'm coming, Caroline," he groaned, his hips pounding me into the bed.

"Yes, baby," I urged him. "Come inside me. Come deep inside me. I'm
going to come with you."

Our hips pounded against each other. My legs strained to hold him
inside me. He pressed my wrists deep into the bed, raising the top of his
torso away from me. A long groan exploded from deep in his chest and I
felt the first hot spurts of his come splash deep within me. I clamped on
him, concentrated on visualizing his jism squirting out and coating my
vagina. That vision and the pulsing of his cock pushed me over the edge
one additional time. I wailed and wept with the glorious sensation.

I lay under Shug, with my wrists still pinned to the bed for what seemed
like minutes. Finally, he released me, rolling sideways and sliding his
cock out of me. We lay on our backs, listening to the rain and trying to
catch our breath for a long time. Finally, once our breathing had returned
to more normal rhythms, Shug spoke.

"Are you all right?"

I reached out to touch him in the darkness. "Absolutely. You?"

Shug chuckled. "Definitely," he said. "But, I can see I'm going to
have to invest in some restraints."

It was my turn to laugh. "Really? How kinky." I reached for the towel
that Shug had thrown off when he got into bed. After a few seconds of
feeling around in the dark, I found it. I wiped and handed it to him.

"Thank you," he said.

"I want you to know," I told my new lover, "that it was wonderful. It
was just what I needed. I think I can sleep now. Would you hold me?"

"I'd be pleased," he said.

I snuggled up to him and curled myself into a ball. He enveloped me
with his arms and body, and within minutes, I was sound asleep.

It was the best sleep I'd had in years. Looking back, I attribute it to
exhaustion, coupled with the feeling of satisfaction and complete safety.
What's remarkable is that I felt completely safe in the arms of a young man I had met less than an hour before.

We slept until nearly noon. When I awoke, I was spooned with my new
lover. His arm was protectively draped across my waist, my own arm
covering his. I lay there enjoying the warmth and safety, the feeling of a
man next to me for the first time in such a very long time. Shug's
breathing was soft, regular and slow. I lay there silently, not wanting to
disturb him.

I turned the events of the last eight hours over in my mind. I had
virtually demanded this boy make love to me. He was so kind. I recalled
his offering to let me sleep unmolested. It was my decision, I remembered,
to crawl into his bed. When I considered our joining, my desperate need
for him, his willingness to please me, I realized I wanted more. I thought
about his startlingly bright blue eyes. I wondered what they would look
like when not beset by fatigue. I didn't see how they could be more

If I allowed my mind to run wild I could imagine a relationship with
this young man. What would it be like, I wondered? He's so much younger
than I am. Maybe he wouldn't want a relationship with someone like me,
someone as old as I. Yet, perhaps it was just what he was looking for.

"I'm putting my husband through medical school," I heard myself explain
to friends. And after medical school, what? Long hours of loneliness as
he endured an internship, then a residency. Could I handle that? And,
what about all those pretty young nurses in the hospital setting. Doctors,
too, I realized. Beautiful, young women with plenty of brains and great
figures. He would be besieged, as attractive as he is.

Whoa! I told myself. This is getting way out of hand. I'd only known
this guy for less than a day. My husband? What was my motivation for that
kind of thinking? True, I'd been alone for those three awful years.
Nathan did need a father figure other than my father, who was, God bless
him, doing all he could to see the boy had a good role model. Dad took him
to ball games and carnivals. But, still, Dad was Grandpa, not Daddy.

Was it my own desperate need that took me down this path of immediate
commitment? Was I so bereft of feelings and emotions without a man around
that I would consider such a reckless decision. I really needed to put the
brakes on my own imagination. For now, I decided, I would just enjoy
Shug's company for as long as it lasted. When I'd taken him to St. Louis,
I'd probably never hear from him again. But, I would have, my mind
rationalized, wonderful memories of this night and this boy.

I twisted in the bed, rolling over to face him. I propped up on an
elbow so I could look at him. I was amazed to discover that the straight
sandy blond hair I'd seen last night had become golden and somewhat
curlier. He must have been truly soaked through by the time I'd picked him

I twirled a small lock of his hair around my finger. I smiled at his
peaceful, youthful visage. I couldn't resist planting a soft kiss on his
forehead, close to the temple. I inhaled the fragrance of him, and kissed
him lightly again.

The silence in the room crumpled with a little hum of pleasure. I heard
Shug's voice whisper, "Good morning, pretty lady."

I apologized. "I woke you up. I'm sorry."

"It's all right," he told me. "It was a very nice way to wake up."

"Did you sleep all right?" I asked.

Shug rolled on his back and stretched. "Mm-hmm," he murmured. "I slept
great. How about you?"

"The best in years," I answered.

"Pretty weird, though," Shug acknowledged.

"I was just thinking the same thing," I told him.

"Nice," he said. "But, still, I don't know...kind of...I don't know."

"Impulsive," I offered.

"Yeah. Impulsive."

"But I don't regret it," I said.

"Maybe not right now. But, in nine months you might."

"Not to worry," I assured him. "I'm only four days from my last period.
I'm not fertile yet."

"Oh." He sounded relieved.

"Look," I told him. "I've got to pee really bad. Then I want to brush
my teeth."

"So, you're leaving me already? Screw, sleep and scoot? Is that it?"
he joked.

I popped a little fist into his side. "That's not it, at all," I
protested. "We just need to make arrangements, you know? There's only one

"Oh," he said, again. "Well, you go ahead to the bathroom first, and
I'll brush my teeth. And, I'll meet you back here in, say, six minutes?"

"Why six?" I asked.

"Because it's not five, and four is probably too short," he answered
with a reasonable tone. It struck me a curious.

"Six minutes, then," I agreed. "Right here? Or, do you want to use the
other bed?"

"I have an emotional attachment to this one," Shug said. "It's where we
first became intimate. I like this bed. I'll probably have to buy it from
the motel."

"You're crazy, aren't you?" I said.

"It is, after all," Shug said, that reasonable tone in his voice again,
"a very special bed."

"Of course it is," I nodded in agreement, trying not to smile and to use
that same reasonable tone. "I'm going to the bathroom now."

"Can I kiss you before you go?" Shug asked.

"I'd really rather not," I told him. "Morning breath and all."

"How about right here," he said, placing a finger on my shoulder.

"There would be fine," I assented.

Shug leaned upwards and planted his lips right where his finger touched.
I felt his tongue swipe at the skin. It made me shiver.

"You need a shave, too, my dear," I said.

"I'll take care of that right now," he nodded. "Although six minutes
doesn't give much time for a close shave."

I rolled toward the edge of the bed and sat up. "Do your best. Just
don't be late."

I recovered my T-shirt from the floor where I'd dropped it in the dark
and headed toward the bathroom. As I sat on the commode, I made a
definitive decision. I couldn't count on a relationship with Shug. I
wouldn't set my sights on that. But, one thing I'd been missing for years
was fun. So, I decided, what I would do for as long as we were together
would be to have fun. He had a great sense of humor. He made me laugh, or
at least giggle. I would enjoy that. If something more developed, that
would be fine. If not, I would be able to get past it. I committed to not
committing. That done, I could more easily be myself and simply enjoy
whatever hours we would be allowed to share with each other.

I yelled through the door. "Are you anxious to ditch me?"

"What?" I heard Shug holler back.

"Are you anxious to get rid of me and be on your way?"

"Now you're the one who's talking crazy," he yelled to me.

"I thought maybe you'd, you know, want to be on about your business.
You got laid and had a good night's sleep and were ready to move on."

Shug opened the door. I was startled. He peered down at me, sitting on
the commode. I felt totally vulnerable. His face was half-covered with
shaving cream. I could see the swipes he'd taken with his razor, like
plow-tracks through snow. He had a towel wrapped around his middle.
Shug's eyes were brilliant and flashing.

"Is that what you think of me, Caroline? Is that what kind of man you
think I am?"

I was trembling. "I don't know, Shug. I don't know you. I hardly know
you at all."

"I'll tell you what else you don't know, Caroline. You don't know
yourself. You don't know how incredibly attractive, no, no. Not even
attractive. Beautiful. You're beautiful, Caroline. You're beautiful and
you're kind. You're generous. You picked me up off the road in a
rainstorm and gave me a place to sleep. You gave yourself to me."

"Bitch?" I offered.

"No, goddammit," he flared. "Stop doing that. You always demean
yourself. Don't do it. First you're too old. Then you're a bitch. You
don't really believe that, do you? Do you always do that, or is it just
with me?"

"No," I stammered, shaking under the intensity of his words. "I don't.
I think it's because you're so young, and so beautiful. I feel, I don't
know, unworthy, sort of."

Shug looked exasperated. He shook his head. "Finish up in there. I
can't believe we're having an argument already. We've known each other
less than a day and we're having an argument."

"It's my fault," I said. "I just feel so...I don't know."

"Yeah, I know," he said. "Unworthy. Look, finish up in there. Then we
need to have a talk."

I nodded. "All right. Are we still going to make love?"

Shug stood stock still for a few seconds. Then his face broke into the
widest smile I had ever seen.

"You're a real piece of work, you know that?" he said. "You're just
incredible." He backed away, pulling the door. "Finish up," he said.
"I've got to pee, too." The door closed.

I finished up and flushed. I stepped out and stood next to Shug. His
shaving process had been completed and he was leaning over the sink
brushing his teeth. I put my hand on his back.

"I don't want to fight, really," I said to him, as gently as I could
manage. Shug stood up, the white toothpaste circling his lips. He looked
at my reflection and nodded, then bent down and continued to brush. I
leaned over and kissed his back where my hand rested. Shug made no move
other than to continue brushing.

My hand trailed down his back as I left him there to retrieve my own
toothbrush from my overnighter. I saw my dryer and brush on the bureau
where I'd left them all those hours ago before we'd made love, slept and
argued. I took the brush with me to the vanity. I ran it through my riot
of locks, trying to bring some order to the chaos. It was futile.

Shug finished in the bathroom and walked by me as I stood at the vanity.

"Brush your teeth," he ordered, "then come back to bed." He didn't even
look at me, just issued his order as he walked past.

When I'd finished and rinsed, I went to the bed where Shug had already
situated himself under the covers. I noticed he'd parted the draperies so
the room was flooded in light.

"Lose the shirt," Shug directed. I pulled the T-shirt over my head. I
stood in front of him feeling terribly vulnerable once again.. Shug looked
me over and smiled. He lifted the cover. "Come on," he said. I climbed
into the bed.

Shug wrapped his arms around me. "Can I kiss you now?" he asked. I

His kiss was gentle, warm and tasted of toothpaste. His tongue licked
gently at my lips. When he released my lips he kissed my cheek, my
forehead and my temple.

"I love your hair," he said. "I love all those curls just going

I put my hands on his face, feeling the smoothness from his shave. I
kissed him under the eyes. "I love your eyes," I told him. "I love their
color, their brightness, and the way they flash when you're angry."

Shug kissed my lips again, softly and quickly. "Let's talk," he said.

"Okay," I assented.

"I am very much attracted to you," Shug started out. I smiled.

"I find you warm, exciting, intoxicating," he continued. I started to
feel self-conscious.

"I hate it when you demean yourself." His voice was soft, but intense.

"I'm afraid," I admitted.

"Of me?" Shug asked, not in disbelief, but with sincerity.

I shook my head. "Of me. I have been so lonely, so angry. I've had
plenty of offers to, you know, get laid, get taken care of in return for
whatever. I've been feeling somewhat desperate this last six months or a
year. men my age..." Shug put a finger on my lips.

"No, let me finish. men my age are either married or complete losers,"
I said. "There are so very few good men in the pool. So, when I met you,
and you seem so...I don't know, so perfect. I'm afraid I'll do something
stupid. I'm afraid I'll be in too much of a hurry."

"So you do regret last night?" Shug said.

"No, I don't," I said. "Last night was marvelous. Today is what
worries me."


"Because, I don't know you, Shug," I told him. "I don't know you at
all. I don't know if you've got a wife, a fiancé, a girlfriend. I don't
know if you're an alcoholic, divorced, or even gay, for God's sake."

Shug chuckled. "Think we can pretty much eliminate the last."

"Okay," I agreed, "but still. You're twenty-four. I'm thirty-two. I'm
a mother. I have a son. I don't even know if you've got any children.
This is all happening so fast and my emotions are running rampant. Maybe
it's just hormones, or something. I don't know. But, I do know that I'm

"Caroline," Shug said, softly. "I am unattached. Remember, I'm a
medical student. I don't have time to develop a relationship."

"Back home, though?" I asked. "No high school or college sweetheart in
St. Louis?"

"I am unattached, Caroline," he confirmed. "No wife, girlfriend, and
certainly no children. I have never been married. I am single. A

"I feel better," I admitted.

"Good," he said. "As far as ages go, is this really an issue? At this
point in our relationship, who cares about our ages."

"We have a relationship?" I asked.

"Of some sort," he told me. "If nothing else, we're lovers. Aren't we?
Didn't we make love?"

"People in a one-night-stand don't have relationships," I reminded him.

"So, does that mean you're planning on using me and casting me aside?"
he asked. "Just another notch in your belt? Another conquest you can brag
about to the girls in the office?"

"You make me laugh," I confided in him. "I like how you make me laugh."

"You're very pretty when you laugh," he said. "Your eyes sparkle and
your hair bounces like crazy. I love that. I would really like to spend
some more time with you and see if I can continue to make you laugh."

I leaned toward him and kissed his lips. "Hmmm," I said. "Tastes like

Shug grinned widely. "Sugar is sweet," he said, "but sex won't rot your

"Are we done talking?" I asked.

"For the time being, I guess," he said.

"Good," I said, pushing his shoulder backward and straddling his belly
on my knees. I leaned forward, putting my forearms on his shoulders. I
looked into his sparkling blue eyes, leaned down and kissed him gently.

"No girlfriend?" I asked.

"Nope," he said, and I kissed him again.

"No fiancé?"

"Uh-uh." I kissed him again.

"No wife?"

"No wife, yet." This time I kissed him for a long time, my tongue
probing into his mouth. I broke the kiss, knelt upright and felt behind me
for his cock. It was still pretty flaccid.

"You don't seem to be ready, yet," I observed, stroking him lightly.

"It won't take long," he said. "You look so beautiful up there above
me. I can feel the desire for you building up down there already."

"Maybe this will help," I said, releasing him and falling forward. I
put my hands on the bed above him, positioning my breasts right at the
level of his face. "If you suck on these, will you get hard?"

"Oh, most definitely," I heard him say, his little puffs of breath
splashing across my nipples generating my own stimulation.

Shug, took my right nipple between his lips. His tongue tweaked it,
making sparks fly down my whole right side. Immediately I felt the
dampness develop between my thighs. He licked circles around my areolas,
then sucked the nipples between his lips. He gently nibbled, his teeth
raking across my engorged flesh. I rocked forward and back, the heat
building inside me as he suckled. His hands found my waist. He slid one
down my belly. I could feel his fingers probing into my pussy. I groaned
as his knuckle grazed my clit.

"Oh, please," I murmured in his ear. "Tell me you're ready."

"Almost," he whispered back.

I lifted up and put all my weight on my left hand. My right snaked
between us. I had to scoot backwards a few inches until I could grab him.

Shug wasn't hard, yet. He felt semi-firm, sort of rubbery. I clutched
the head of his cock and maneuvered it into the proper location.

"You can finish growing inside me," I said, pushing my bottom down on
him and forcing his semi-erect dick into my steaming hole.

Shug chuckled. "Another reference to our age difference?" he whispered.

Concentrating on the sensations, it didn't register. "What are you
talking about?"

"I can finish growing inside you?"

"Oh," I said, clutching at him with my muscles.

"How many years would I have to stay inside you to grow up?" he asked.

"Years and years," I moaned. "I want you inside me for years and

Shug's member was swelling inside me. I could feel the pulsations as
the blood engorged his rod. I slid myself up and back on him fairly
gently, just enjoying the feeling of him in there. My brain was awash with
sensations. The center was, of course, at the area of our joining. But
there was so much more. The heat seemed to course through my entire
bloodstream. My fingers wanted to squeeze on him, my lips to suck on his,
my legs to squeeze him like a stallion. I wanted to melt into him, melt
around him, ride him, and hold him.

"Open your eyes," Shug commanded softly. "I told you, I want to see
your face and your eyes when you come."

I opened my eyes and looked directly into his. Their brightness seemed
doubled by the heat of our passions. I yearned to dissolve into those eyes
and become truly one with him. My lips were trembling so I bit the bottom
one, I threw my head back, then shook it with the overwhelming sensations
assaulting me.

"Look at me," Shug directed sternly.

I look into his eyes.

"You're close to coming, aren't you?" he said.

I nodded.

"Talk to me," he commanded. "Tell me what's going on."

"Oh, Shug," I poured out in a great exhalation, "I can't! I just can't.
It's so intense. So overwhelming!"

"Tell me," he ordered.

"I can feel you," I gasped. "I feel you there. It feels so good." I
gasped several times. "You're heat is flowing all through me," I told him.
"Down there, up my back, in my legs and arms. My brain is so foggy, so,

My muscles spasmed on him, contracting involuntarily. The crest of the
wave was just behind me. I could feel it building up, ready to carry me
over the top."

"Oh, Shug," I cried, "I'm coming, baby. Hold me! Hold me!"

I clutched at his neck, driving my mouth toward his. Shug wrapped his
arms around my back and pulled me toward him. My knees slid backwards and
I collapsed on top of him, his cock still lodged inside me. I twitched my
hips on his and Shug responded. He hitched upwards meeting my every

"I can't see you this way," Shug said, pushing my torso away. I looked
into his eyes. As the wave crested over me, I watched his face and saw it
break into his gorgeous smile. I wailed in ecstasy as my orgasm crashed
through me. I grabbed at his upper arms and squeezed him as hard as I

"Ow! Goddammit, Caroline!" Shug bellowed. I was confused.

"What?" I said, just barely beyond my own orgasm, and still a little

"My arms, woman," he said. "Look!"

There were red welts and scratch marks.

"Did I do that?" I asked.

"Yeah, you did," he said. He sounded hurt.

"I'm sorry, Shug," I told him. "I don't mean to hurt you."

"I know, Caroline, but, damn! We're going to have to come up with a way
... I don't know. I'm not going to last very long if you're going to claw
me viciously every time we screw."

"It's just, everything is so intense," I admitted. "I lose control."

"Okay, fine," he nodded. "That means that I can't, right? One of us
has to be in control."

"I want you to enjoy it," I said.

"Don't worry, sweetie," he told me. "I'll enjoy it a lot better if I
don't have permanent scars."

"I feel badly," I said. "I've ruined it, haven't I?"

"Caroline, do you feel this?" Shug asked, pulsing his cock inside me.

"Yeah," I told him. I could feel it, all right.

"Then we're not done. But here," he said, lifting his hands up to me,
"take my hands. Interlock the fingers."

I did as Shug instructed. With our fingers locked together, Shug
planted his elbows in the bed and held our hands between us.

"Now," he said, smiling, "now you can do your worst. Except, no biting,

"Okay," I agreed.

"You can scream, if you want. You can shout. You can curse. Whatever
makes you feel good," he said. "Just don't let go."

"Okay," I nodded.

Bless him. That little interlude must have done something for Shug's
endurance. I rode him, starting out slowly, and eventually building to a
fever pitch. I was humping him, screaming and wailing. I had three
glorious orgasms. The last one was so intense I both screamed and wept at
the same time as he pumped his come into me while my muscles tried to milk
him dry. Shug's placement of our hands gave me a wonderful point of
leverage. I thumped my hips on him, leaning forward and sliding him nearly
out of me, then plunging back down. I screamed wordlessly, my mind unable
to formulate words. It felt so thoroughly excellent to have him inside me.
When I collapsed toward him, Shug released his grip on my hands and
wrapped his arms around me. I lay panting, my head resting on his
shoulder. I kept squeezing him, voluntarily this time, trying to extend
that marvelous full feeling.

"How you doing, woman?" Shug asked.

"I'm exhausted," I answered.

"Only exhausted?" he pressed.

"And happy," I replied. Having said it, I checked in with my feelings.
Happy? Elated was more like it. I'd never had three orgasms in a single
session before.

"You were crying," Shug said. "I got worried."

"Tears of joy, believe me," I told him. "I love making love with you."

"Was that making love?"

"What did you think it was?" I asked.

"It felt like fucking. Raw passion. Lust."

"Okay," I said. "What's making love, then?"

"I'll have to show you," he said, "later. Not now. I think were both
about worn out."

"Come to think of it," I said, "I'm famished. We haven't even had
breakfast. What is it? Almost noon?"

"I've got some granola bars in my pack," Shug offered.

"That's not going to do it today, baby" I said, rolling off my lover.
"I've got to have protein. red meat. I am ravenous. We're going to have
to go out somewhere."

"Caroline," Shug looked miserable. "I'm broke, honey."

I laughed. "Of course you are. You're a student. Student's are always
broke. This is my treat."

"I feel bad about that," Shug admitted.

I put my hand on his chest. I could feel his heart beating strongly
under the smooth skin.

"Don't worry, Shug. I can afford this. I want to do this, for you.
For us. Come on, let's get dressed and go find something to eat."

"Should we check out?" Shug suggested.

"We can. You want to go down the road a bit this afternoon?"

"Fine with me," he said.

We cleaned up, dressed and packed our things. The rain had stopped but
the day was overcast and a bit cool.

We drove to the office and settled up. I asked about the nearest
restaurant and got directions. The nearest town was fifteen miles down the

When I came out of the office, I tossed Shug the keys. "You drive," I
told him. "The next town is fifteen miles. I need to make a couple of

We headed out on the highway and I dialed my mother-in-law's number.
She answered on the third ring.

"Mother? It's Caroline. I'm taking my time, dear. I don't want to get
over-tired and do something stupid. Can you keep Nathan for another day or

"He's swimming right now," she told me. "Do you want me to get him?"

"It must be warmer there than it is here," I said. "Just tell him I
called and I love him, okay? And, thank you, Mother. You're terrific."

"You be careful, dear," she said. "Call when you get back into town.
We'll be glad to keep Nathan for a few more days."

"I love you," I told her. "Thank you for helping." I rang off.

"Your mother?" Shug asked.

"Mother-in-law," I replied. "Eric's mother. Eric was my husband."

Shug nodded.

Next I called my office. I got the service. I left a message for the
manager that I was taking some time off. I said I'd call when I was coming

I clicked the phone closed and returned it to my purse.

"I got the service," I told Shug. "What day is it?"

"Sunday," he said.

"Well, that explains that," I said.

We pulled into the small town about ten minutes later. We found one of
those 24-7 breakfast joints. Shug wheeled the car into a parking slot and
we went in.

I ordered the breakfast special, with steak, eggs, hash browns, the
works. I insisted Shug have the same.

"I'm not having you searching the menu for the cheapest item," I told
him. "You eat what I eat and stop worrying."

We sat holding hands across the table until the waitress brought our
coffee. When she left Shug smiled at me.

"Have I told you today that you're beautiful?" he asked.

"You have. You're welcome to say it again."

"You're beautiful," he said. I felt like a school girl.

"Do you suppose it was some sort of fate thing, us meeting up like
this?" I asked him.

He shrugged. "Could be."

"You know I can still feel you inside me?"

"Really? Does it hurt?" He looked concerned.

I smiled. "No. It feels a little weird, but nice. It makes me want to
squinch on you."

"Squinch? That's a unique word."

"I know. But it fits, doesn't it? I mean, you know exactly what I

"Exactly. I love it when you squinch on me."

"I feel like such a slut. I haven't been this horny in years!"

"You're horny?"

I nodded. "I am. Isn't that awful? I mean, it hasn't been an hour and
I want you again, already."

"I don't think it's awful," Shug said. "It makes me, well, excited to
think about it."

"So, you're just as bad as I am," I said. "We're just a couple of nasty

"I think we should just go with it," Shug suggested. He grinned

The food arrived. We both ate like we hadn't had a meal in weeks.
Within ten minutes we had cleaned our plates. We stacked the dishes and
pushed them aside.

"We have to make some plans," Shug said.

"Why?" I wanted to know. "What kind of plans?"

"I've got to get to St. Louis, Caroline. You've got to go home to your

"I don't want to make plans," I said, feeling suddenly dejected. "Plans
are real world. I don't want to be in the real world right now. I want to
be with you."

Shug smiled. "You wouldn't believe how glad it makes me to hear you say

"Then stop trying to be so reasonable," I sulked.

"Caroline," he put his hands out to me. I placed mine in his.
"Sweetheart, I have to be back in Atlanta on the twenty-seventh. That's a
week from tomorrow."

"I know that," I said.

"That means I'm going to have to leave St. Louis on Friday, at the

"Friday? That's three whole days! It doesn't take three days to get
from St. Louis to Atlanta."

"It does when you're hitchhiking," he smiled at me.

"But, you're not hitchhiking anymore, Shug," I protested. "You're with

"That's true," he acknowledged, "but, you're going on from St. Louis
to..." he stopped. "You haven't told me where you live," he said. "Where
do you live?"

"Tulsa," I said.

"Tulsa, Oklahoma?" Shug sounded amazed.

"Yeah. People live in Tulsa, you know."

"Sure, but, you said St. Louis isn't far out of the way. St. Louis is
a long way out of the way if you're going to Tulsa!"

"You're being reasonable again," I told him.

Shug pulled his hands away from mine and planted them on the edge of the

"Don't you think one of us should occasionally touch reality?"

"I don't want to be in touch with reality, right now, Shug. I want to
drive through the countryside, stop at every cheesy motel we come across,
fuck our brains out for the next week, and then take you back to Atlanta on
the twenty-seventh."

Shug looked stunned. "I guess that's a plan of sorts," he said. "When
did you come up with that idea?"

"Just now," I admitted. "I mean, it just now clarified. I've been
thinking about it for a couple of hours."

"We've only been awake for a couple of hours," he reminded me.

I took a deep breath and looked down at the table, tracing figure eight
patterns on the top. "When I woke up this morning in your arms, I thought,
this is where I want to be. This is where I want to stay. I was so warm
and so comfortable with you. I felt safe, and protected, and...well, I
just knew, that's all."

Shug looked like somebody had just told him his dog died. I thought he
was going to cry.

"What?" I asked, softly. "You have trouble dealing with honesty? I've
just told you the deepest, most private thoughts and feelings. You can't
handle that?"

"It's not that," he answered. "I am so...touched. So honored. I feel
like you've just given me the most wonderful gift imaginable. Like, you've
shared your soul with me. I'm....I'm so very honored."

"Oh, God," I moaned, knowing that agony was only an instant away. I
took a deep breath. "Go ahead," I said. "Let the other shoe drop."

"What?" Shug now looked confused.

"You're honored? People only say that when there's an awful something
coming up. People say that just before the 'but'. You know, 'But, I don't
feel the same way about you.'"

Shug's look of confusion disappeared. He stared at me. Then he turned
toward the window. I steeled myself for the bad news. Then he started to
laugh. He reached across the table and took my hands in his once more.

"You are the most wonderful, amazing creature I have ever met," Shug
said, grinning so broadly I thought his face would split open. "There is
no other shoe, my love," he said. "I am truly honored that you shared
you're most intimate thoughts with me. I know how vulnerable it makes you
feel. That you trust me that much in the short amount of time we've had
together! You are completely wonderful."

A warm, golden glow settled around me. I couldn't help but smile back
at this marvelous young man. This had been a test of fire. I shared my
inner self with him, trusted him, and he proved worthy. I was so relieved,
I felt the need to break the tension that had built up around us.

"And a pretty good fuck, too, huh?" I whispered wickedly, leaning
forward so only he could hear.

"All of that," he grinned. He leaned across the table toward me. I met
him half-way. It was a terrific little soft kiss that lasted two seconds
longer than it should have.

We settled up the bill at the cash register and walked toward the car.
Shug held the door for me, then climbed in behind the wheel. As he backed
out of the parking lot and pointed the car down the road he asked,

"Then next cheesy motel you can find, lover. I can't wait to feel you
back inside me."

Shug drove up that road for two hours before he stopped. I was furious
with him.

Each time we'd pass a Shady Rest or other little family owned motel, I'd
ask him, "How about here?"

Shug would look at it, grimace and say something like, "They probably
haven't changed the sheets in years," or "I'll bet there's mold in the
bathrooms," or some such other lame excuse. The farther we went, the
angrier I got.

What finally suited him was a Comfort Inn about an hour south of
Nashville. He rolled my car into the parking area, stopped, and twisted
the key. Then he turned to me and grinned.

"Okay," he said. "Here."

"Well, I'm certainly glad we've found somewhere fit to house your royal
highness," I fumed at him.

"Why are you so angry?" he asked.

"Two hours, Shug," I bellowed. "We've been driving for two hours. In
that time we had to have passed up twenty places we could have stopped."

He stretched his hand across the console to take mine. I jerked it

"Don't touch me," I snarled. "I am so pissed off at you."

Shug chuckled. "What are you pissed off about, Caroline?"

"I wanted to stop. You didn't stop," I growled. "You ignored me and my

"No, I didn't," he said, his hand firmly resting on mine. "I extended
the anticipation."

"Not so, buster," I said. "You just pissed me off, that's all."

"Caroline?" He twisted in the seat so he was facing toward me.


"Why did you want to stop?" he asked, almost in a whisper.

There was silence in the car. I looked up at him from my sulking rage.
He sat there, his face in a crooked grin, his eyes sparkling like a lake in
the summer sunshine.

As I thought about it, I couldn't help but laugh. I started to giggle.
"To screw," I acknowledged. It seemed so silly.

"Do you still want to?" he asked.

"No. I'm mad at you," I smiled into my lap, trying to hide it from him.
I looked out my window so he couldn't see my face. I felt his hand come to
rest on my shoulder.

"So, let me see if I've got this straight," he said, a chortle in his
voice. "You got mad at me for not stopping so we could screw. And, you're
now so mad, you don't want to screw anymore. Is that it?"

I started to laugh. I knew he could feel it, that hand on my shoulder.
I turned to face him.

"You're a mean son-of-a-bitch, Jeremy Shugart. You know that?" The two
of us were laughing out loud now. "You could have stopped hours ago."

"Caroline, my love," he said, "if we do this trip in fifteen mile
increments, stopping every fifteen miles to make love and spend the night,
it'll be July by the time we get to St. Louis. And, Christmas before you
get home to Tulsa."

"Okay, okay," I conceded, wiping the tears from under my eyes. "You're
right, I supposed. It was pretty silly, wasn't it?"

He shrugged. "It's okay, as long as we get over it." He patted my

Our chuckling and giggling subsided. I had heard what he said.
Suddenly, I had the feeling that I had to know.

"Am I?" I asked him. "Am I what you said?"

"What?" Shug asked in return. "I don't...I don't understand."

"You said 'Caroline, my love.' Am I? Am I your love, or was that just a
figure of speech?"

Shug looked uncomfortable. He shifted back in his seat and looked
forward through the windshield.

"Caroline," he began.

"Yes?" All of a sudden my gut was in a tight knot.

Shug looked at his watch. "It's been fifteen hours."

"That's all right," I said. "You don't have to answer. I'm sorry I

"You're not," he said. "You're not sorry at all."

"Yes, I am," I nodded. "I shouldn't push."

Shug nodded.

I continued. "It was an endearment. I understand. It was like
'honey', or 'sweetheart', right?"

He looked at me. This smile had none of the impish nature I'd seen
before. This one was warm and sincere. "It's so new," he said, softly.
"I want to make certain it's not just the novelty, the newness, the

"You're very mature for your age, Shug," I said. "I'm acting like a
teenager, and you're behaving like an adult. I'm learning to respect you
for that."

"I had to grow up fast when my Dad died," he said. "I had to become the
man in my family at seventeen. There was no one else to do it."

We sat in silence for a long moment. Finally, I screwed up the courage
to ask, "When do you think you'll know?"

"About what?"

"About us. Whether or not I am your love."

Shug sat quietly. I could almost hear his mind working. He looked into
the mirror and out the back of the car. "I don't know, for certain, when
I'll know. But, I'll tell you Thursday."

"Thursday?" I asked him. "Why Thursday?"

"Because it's not Monday or Friday. And, it's not Wednesday, you know,
the middle of the week. Because Tuesday would be too early. Thursday is
the perfect day," he said.

"You know, there's absolutely no sense to what you're saying," I said,
shaking my head.. "It's like that six-minutes thing this morning. But,
when you say it, you make it seem completely rational. What about Saturday
and Sunday?"

"Oh, well, that's easy," Shug gave a wave of his hand, "Saturday is way
too far off. That would be too late. And, Sunday is today. There's no
way I'm telling you that I love you today."

Shug froze. As I watched him, his face went dead white. He realized
what he'd just said and it shook him.

"It's okay, Sugar," I whispered. "There's no way I'm telling you that I
love you today, either."

Part 4

I booked us into a double at the Comfort Inn. Shug and I took our bags
into the room. I'd just set mind down when he gathered me into his arms.
He kissed me with a passion and warmth that set my head spinning.

In moments we were naked and lying in the double bed farthest from the
window. Shug had left the lights on. I could see every feature of him as
he lay himself down above me. He kissed me, beginning at my lips, then my
forehead, temples, ears. He buried his face in my neck and a could feel
his lips probing and pressing. Slowly and deliberately, in complete
silence, he worked his way down my body. He paused to suckle at my
breasts, sending those lightning shock through my body as he tongue my
nipples. My hips rose and fell, my pussy flooding with anticipation.

Shug pressed his lips to my ribs and then to my belly. His tongue
squirmed into my naval, creating a series of strange pulses that surged
through my body. His trail of kisses continued downward, his tongue
pushing into the top of my bush. I took hold of his head and lifted him

"Shug, don't," I said.

"Why not?" he wanted to know.

"Because," I told him. "It's nasty."

"Didn't Eric ever kiss you there?" he asked.

I shook my head. "No, of course not."

Shug smiled, his eyes brilliant. "You don't know what you've been
missing." He pressed downward, again.

"Shug, don't," I insisted.

"Caroline," he whispered. "This is you. This is your body. Here is
your essence. It is warm and wonderful, and I'm going to love tasting you.
Please. Let me. You'll see. It will be wonderful for you, too."

I released my grip on his head, closed my eyes and lay back,
surrendering to him, prepared to yield to his desire. His lips pressed
against me. I tossed my head from side to side. I really did not want him
to do this. It was so alien to me, a mouth there among the odors and
dankness. I was grindingly self-conscious.

A jolt of energy fired through my body. It felt as if a flow of hot gel
had been shot through my nervous system. The warm liquid enveloped my
pleasure center. I groaned with the exquisite energy. My hips
involuntarily fired upward.

Shug backed away. I felt abandoned.

"You see?" he whispered softly. "Isn't it wonderful?"

His fingers spread me apart. He renewed his oral attack on me. I
shrieked as his lips encircled my throbbing little button, his tongue
alternately rough, then smooth, chafing, then slickly sliding across the
nub. Sparkles exploded in my brain, and I suddenly realized that these
were the stars people claimed to see. There was a roaring in my ears,
while my arms convulsed and my hands sought something to grab for support.
I clenched the bed clothes and wailed as Shug continued to alternately lick
and suck on me.

His hands slid under my backside, and I felt him raise me upward.
Suddenly, something drove into the entrance of my hole and I realize he had
stuck his tongue in there. It wiggled and I screamed. I pressed my
muscles against him, wanting to capture the tiny invader and hold it. My
hips thrust toward him in a rapid motion, imitating the action of a violent
fucking. I bellowed and wailed as the sensation ripped through me, The
orgasm was as thrilling and electric as any I'd ever had. But, still, it
felt almost peripheral. Deep inside me was a longing, a vacancy I
desperately wanted filled.

"Inside me, Shug," I demanded. "I've got to have you deep inside me."

Shug stopped his ministrations, released my ass, and raised himself
above me. He kept my legs on his shoulders, bending me almost double as he
reared up. His member pressed into my sopping pussy and slid with slick
easiness into my waiting quim. Here was the occupant to fill my aching
vacancy. His cock touched base and I groaned at the sensation of being
filled, penetrated and complete.

Shug began slow undulations, withdrawing, then re-inserting. I wriggled
under him.

"Not slow, Shug. Not now. Later, maybe. Now I need you hard and

My lover complied. He fucked me like a man possessed, with speed and
force. My hips met his every thrust. I cried out, begging him to
continue, demanding he do me, urging him to prove his manhood. Shug
pounded into me, his eyes glazed, his face a grimace of effort. In spite
of the coolness in our room, we were both sweating with the exertion by the
time our screams and groans coincided and Shug poured himself out into me.

Later, as we lay in the golden afterglow, both our bodies still shining
with the moisture of our labors, I smiled at him and asked, somewhat out of
breath, "Is that what you call making love, baby?"

Shug chortled. "Well, at first, maybe. But, I don't know, Caroline.
With you, it always seems to descend into just fucking."

"That thing you did, you know, down there, with your mouth?" I asked.

"Yes," he grinned at me. "When I ate your pussy?"

I felt myself flush. "Yeah," I nodded. "It's embarrassing."

"Is it?" he said. "But it's nice, too, isn't it? It makes you

"Yes, it does that, I guess. But..."

"But, what, Caroline?" He leaned over and kissed my shoulder.

"Isn't it nasty?"

Shug rolled over on his back, spread his arms out and laughed aloud. I
looked appreciatively at his strong, young body, stretched out in front of

"There are more germs in your mouth," Shug said, in his oh-so-reasonable
tone, "than your pussy. Did you know that?"

"Really? How would you know that."

"Med student, remember? Med students, especially guy med students, have
a natural curiosity about such things."

I nodded. "Still," I persisted, "it's nasty."

Now Shug rolled back toward me. His eyes looked into mine. "It's oral
sex, Caroline. Some people believe it's nasty. Some people believe any
position other than man on top is nasty. You proved the fallacy of that
this morning, didn't you?"

I nodded, still not convinced.

"Personally," Shug continued, "I like it. I like the feel of the soft,
damp skin. I like the way you react. It's fun for me."

"So, you don't think it's gross," I said.

"Not for me," he said, rolling onto his back again. End of discussion.

I wasn't convinced but, we were done talking about that, I could tell.

We must have fallen asleep. When I awoke a few hours later I was
covered with the blanket from the sheet. I started, looked around and
realized I was alone. I sat up in the bed and looked around, taking
several seconds to orient myself. I called out to Shug and got no answer.
I crawled off the bed and checked the bathroom. Shug was gone. A strange
fear gripped my gut. Had he left me? Was he gone for good?

It couldn't be, I thought. His pack lay on the other bed, the zipper
open and articles leaking from the opening. On the long dressing table lay
a hastily scrawled note on the chain's stationary. "Gone for a run. Be
back soon." The tightness in my abdomen relaxed. I took a deep breath,
then released it slowly. I didn't like the implications of my own anxiety.

I decided to shower while I had the chance. I luxuriated under the warm
spray, cleansed my body and hair, then stepped out of the shower.

When Shug returned I was seated in front of the mirror, the dryer
blowing on my hair. Shug walked in the door, his face covered with the
sheen of his exertion. His T-shirt hung damply on his lean frame. I
smiled at him.

"I thought for a second you'd run away," I said over the hum of the

Shug shook his head. "Uh uh. I left you a note."

"I found it, finally. Not before I got scared you were gone."

Shug knelt down in front of me, his bright, blue eyes gleaming. "What,
and give up my ride into St. Louis?" he chuckled. He bent down and kissed
my knee. I felt that stirring down there.

"I can't believe what you do to me," I told him.

"What did I do?"

"When you kissed me just now. You got my juices flowing again."

"Really?" Shug looked amused. He leaned over and kissed my other knee.
"Like that?"

"Just like that," I nodded. "I can't be wandering around in this high
state of arousal all the time," I added.

"Why not?" he said. "I like that I do that to you. You do it to me,
too, you know." He stood up and showed me the bulge in his running shorts.
He leaned over and kissed me on the lips, softly, but gently sucking my
lips into his own. I caught the odor of his exercise.

"Whew, baby," I said. "You need a shower."

"On my way," he said, stripping his sopping T-shirt over his head.

While Shug showered, I dressed in a pair of white shorts and a
black-on-white blouse which I knotted around my midriff. I tried
desperately to bring some order to the curls around my head, finally giving
up and going for the "just-out-of-bed" look.

Shug came out of the shower wrapped in his towel.

"Getting modest, are we?" I commented.

"You're dressed," he noticed.

"We're going to dinner. You'll have to wear more than that towel."

Shug dug into his pack for a shirt and pair of shorts. "We're going to
have to find a Laundromat," he said, "or go on into St. Louis. I'm
running out of clothes."

We went to dinner in a little diner down the highway a couple of miles
from the motel. I ordered light, just a large salad and iced tea. Shug
had a hamburger and fries. I was tickled when he told the tired waitress
to hold the onions.

"How far is St. Louis?" I asked him while we waited for our food.

"Seven, maybe eight hours," he answered.

"How about we do it tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow's fine."

"What's going to happen when we get there?" I wanted to know.

He shrugged. "I don't know. I've got to see my Mom. Then, I have to
visit my sister."

"Does your sister live with your Mom?"

"No," he said. There was a flat numbness in his voice.

We ate our meal in near silence. Shug devoured his hamburger, drinking
three tall glasses of coke along with it.

We drove back to the motel. Shug propped himself up on a couple of
pillows and clicked on the TV. I put some things back in my bag and went
to sit next to him.

"Do you mind if I join you?" I asked. Shug scooted himself over on the
bed and crooked his arm for me. I lay next to him, my head on his
shoulder. I wrapped my free arm around him and held him gently. We lay
like that for nearly an hour.

Finally, I told him, "Shug, I'm tired. Let's get into bed."

We stood, stripped and climbed back into the bed, sliding under the
covers. Shug made love to me, slowly, gently. When I tried to spur him on
to more vigorous activity, he resisted. "We're making love," he said.
"Let me just make love to you."

I let him. It was glorious. He would bring me to the edge of ecstasy,
then back off. Several time he repeated the process until my body screamed
for release. Finally, he let me blast over the top with one of the most
magnificent orgasms I'd ever experienced. I moaned and wailed my
gratitude. My hands clutched his hands and my lips sucked at his. He
spilled his seed into me with a groan that reverberated throughout my body.

We did the "primitive fuck" thing in the morning before packing the car
for the run into St. Louis. I drove the first four hours. Shug took the
wheel at lunch time and we motored toward the Gateway Arch. The closer we
got, the more apprehensive Shug became. His jaw was set and he appeared
nearly morose.

"What is it, Shug?" I asked him. "What's the matter?"

"My family. We have...I don't know...baggage, I guess," he admitted.

"All of us do, baby," I tried to reassure him.

"This is hard for me to do," he told me. "It's my sister."

"The one you're going to visit?" I asked. He nodded.

"It's not...well, I'm not really visiting her," he confessed. "It's her

"Oh," was all I said.

"She died. When I was twelve."

"She was your older sister?" I tried to make my voice as soft as I

Shug shook his head. "Younger."

He spoke no more of her. I let it drop. I pressed my hand against his
thigh as he drove, trying to reassure him.

The following day, at lunch with his mother, Madeline, I got the full

Madeline was forty-six. She was an attractive woman with a ready smile.
Shug had inherited her good looks. I found that she was the source of his
sparkling, dazzling blue eyes. She proposed the "getting-to-know-you"
lunch while Shug visited his sister's grave.

"I'm very proud of Jeremy," Madeline told me after she'd ordered for us.
We sat in the dining room of her country club. Sole was the special of the
day. She'd asked if I minded her ordering for both of us. I agreeed.

"You have every right to be, Mrs, Shugart," I said. "He's a fine young man."

"Accent on the 'young'?" she smiled. "And, please. Call me Madeline."

"Do you think I'm too old for him, Madeline?"

"I don't know, Caroline. He seems as happy as he's ever been."

"I'll have to admit that this has all happened very quickly. I'm
somewhat uneasy with that. Yet, Shug seems to have his head screwed on
pretty well."

"Oh," Madeline said, with a broad smile. "You mean Jeremy. I can't get
used to that nickname for him. Shug was my husband, you see. Jeremy's

"I guess it comes naturally with the last name," I agreed. "Jeremy,
then. He seems to be very mature for his age."

"Jeremy grew up quite early," Madeline told me. "Tragedy has a way of
doing that."

"His sister?"

She nodded. "Jennifer was five. Jeremy doted on her," she said. "I
remember when we brought her home from the hospital. He was about seven.
He would hold her in his arms and rock her for endless hours. Her death
devastated him.

"Their relationship was quite unique, really. Jeremy reveled in his
role as older brother. boys of nine and ten usually want to play with
their friends, ride bikes and so forth. But, Jeremy forswore all that to
be with his sister. Looking back, it seems like she was put here to teach
him how to love. He made a good job of it.

"When Jennifer fell ill, she was about four. Leukemia. When they were
doing all the tests, all those blood tests, the shots and IVs, it was
Jeremy's name she would call. She would scream for him not to let them
hurt her." Tears welled up in Madeline's eyes. "I can still hear her
crying for him."

"You were hurt that she didn't cry out for her mother, weren't you?"

"I could have been, maybe a little," Madeline said. "But, even hearing
her scream for him. I don't know how I would have managed if she'd been
screaming for me."

She cleared her throat and dabbed at the corner of her eyes with the
white linen napkin.

"It was very hard on all of us. Of course, because he was so young,
Jeremy couldn't be with her. The hospital staff just wouldn't allow it.
Until the end, that is.

"Just before she died, they let Jeremy come into her room with us. He
held her hand. She was just five. Just a baby, really."

"That must have been terrible for you," I told her.

Madeline nodded. "She looked up at him and said, 'Thank you for being
my big brother.' Then she told him, 'I have to go now. The other children
are calling me.' She closed her eyes. A minutes later she was gone."

The two of us sat there, tear streaming down our cheeks.

"Jeremy walked out of that hospital with a determination that was
frightening. He decided he would become a doctor. Eventually he confided
that he wanted to do everything he could to make certain no other big
brothers had to go through what he had," Madeline said. "He has stayed
true to that goal since he was twelve."

"And you think I'm going to mess it up for him," I said.

"I don't know that, Caroline. I'm his mother. I'm concerned."

"I understand," I said.

"The thing is," she said, idly thumbing the handle of her fork,
"Jennifer had one feature that caused constant comment. Before all the
chemo, she had beautiful, dark, curly locks. A wild riot of dark, curly
hair, just like yours."

Shug and I slept apart that night, he in his room in the big house, and
I in the guest room. We didn't have time together alone until we left the
following morning.

Madeline came out to the car as Shug loaded our bags into the trunk.

"Where are you two headed now?" she asked.

"Tulsa," Shug replied. "Caroline has to go home to her son."

"And, you're going with her?" Madeline asked him.

"Do you want me to leave you two alone?" I offered Madeline.

"It's all right," Shug said. "Mother, I love you. You can come with
us, if you want. But, yes. I have to go to Tulsa with Caroline."

Madeline smiled. "You don't need me trailing along with you. And, I
understand." She leaned toward me and offered me a kiss on the cheek.
"Take good care of him, Caroline. I like you. I think you're good for

She turned toward her son and wrapped him in a tight embrace. "Don't
slack off your studies just because you're in love," she said. "Remember,
you owe the people of Carson's Mill six years of your life."

"I remember, Mother," Shug said, kissing her lovingly on the cheek.
"You take care."

Madeline stood in the drive and waved until we turned the corner and
were lost to her sight.

"What's Carson's Mill, and why do you owe them six years of your life?"
I asked him.

"It's a small town in the southwester corner of the state. Rural
country. They're paying my way through Emory. Two-hundred and fifty
thousand dollars. In return, I'll be their doctor for six years," he

"That's an interesting development," I said.

"The commitment was made before I met you," Shug told me. "Actually,
you're the interesting development."

Shug drove for a full hour before I had the nerve to tell him what
Madeline had explained to me.

"You're mother told me about Jennifer," I said. "My heart broke for

Shug nodded, his face stony.

"She also told me Jennifer had dark, curly hair, just like mine," I

Shug drove on in silence for a while. "So, you think I've got some sort
of sick idea that you're an incarnation of my dead sister?" There was a
harshness, a cruelty in his tone that stunned me.

"Pull the car over, Jeremy," I commanded him. "Pull off to the side of
the road now."

Shug slowed the vehicle. The tires crunched on the gravel of the
shoulder. We stopped, and he put the gearshift into park. He crossed his
hands over the top of the steering wheel, then laid his head on his hands.

I began. "What you just said, that comment of yours was as cold and
cruel a comment as I've heard in years. I don't know what I am to you,
Jeremy. I want to be your love. I want to be something special to you.
But, you're right. If you think I'm an incarnation of your sister, it's
sick and I want nothing to do with it."

"You're not," he said, miserably.

"I'm not what?" I asked.

"You're not an incarnation of my sister," he said.

"Then what is this?"

"Look, Caroline. I loved my sister. Part of me died when she did.
There has been a hole in my heart ever since. I was frustrated at my own
impotence to stop what was happening to her, my complete inability to help
her, to heal her, to protect her. Certainly it has had an impact on my
life. It has shaped who I am and what I have set out to do. But, I'm not
a sicko, Caroline.

"If I love you, and I probably do, it is about who you are and how you
make me feel," he continued. "We've got some pretty fair sized hurdles to
leap for our relationship work. We'll have to deal with those. But, there
is nothing in our relationship that is associated with my sister or her

"Except for the fact that it hurts you," I reminded him. "That impacts
on everything."

"It does," he admitted. "The hurt and frustration propelled me into
medical school. Those emotions drive me to succeed. They permitted me to
make the agreement with Carson's Mill. Up until now, those were the
driving forces behind my life. You, my dear, sweet, beautiful Caroline,
you are the fly in the ointment."

"You don't have to worry about me, Shug," I said. "I can take care of

"That's not the point, Caroline," he said. "The point is that I want to
take care of you. I want to be with you. My honor, my integrity may be at
stake. I owe the people of Carson's Mill. I have to fulfill that
obligation. I don't know how I can do both, how I can take care of you and
honor my obligation to Carson's Mill."

"And, I don't know," I said to him, "how we can be in love with you in
Atlanta and me in Tulsa."

"So, what are we going to do?" he asked, still with his head on his

"I don't know, Shug. I don't know, yet. Do we have to decide all of
this right now?"

Shug raised his head and looked forward through the windshield. "It all
impacts, Caroline. If I am to fall in love with you, there has to be some
hope of us being together. Otherwise, there's no point in continuing the
relationship, is there?"

"I guess there isn't." Now my guts were knotted. A deep dread settled
over me.

"'Tis better to have loved and lost," he whispered.

"Oh, god, Jeremy. Don't. Please don't do this," I whimpered.

"Can you come live in Atlanta for the next two years?" he asked.

I shook my head. "I can't. Nathan. His grandparents."

"What about Carson's Mill?"

I thought for a minute. "I don't know. I could, I guess. Maybe. I
don't know."

There was absolute silence in the car. In my heart I knew there were
tough questions to be answered, hard decisions to make. A huge lump
settled in my chest as I pondered the many challenges that lay in front of
us. The dread welled up inside me, running up my throat, constricting it,
nearly choking me, and forcing tears to well up in my eyes.

"Please, baby," I begged him, my hand clasping his arm, "don't make me
do this now. I don't want to do this now. We don't have to do this now,
do we?"

I know I looked a wreck. Tears streamed down my face. I knew it had to
be flushed. And, dammit, I thought, why can't they make a damned mascara
that didn't streak all over you when you shed a little tear.

Shug looked straight at me. He smiled, then clasped his hand over mine.

"You just want to live for today, huh?" he asked. "Don't worry about
tomorrow. Just pretend tomorrow never comes. Is that it?"

I nodded. "Something like that," I told him. "I just want to be with
you, and love you, and put all that reasonable stuff off until...I don't
know...until we have to face it."

He leaned over, put his hand under my chin and pulled my face toward
his. He kissed me so softly, so tenderly, I nearly wept again.

"I must look awful," I said, pulling back from him. I turned to the
visor and flipped down the vanity mirror. Sure enough, black circles and
streaks marked my eyes and my cheeks. I dabbed at them with a tissue.

"You know, you don't need to wear all that stuff," Shug said, starting
the car and pulling back onto the highway. "You're beautiful without it."

"You're a practiced flatterer, aren't you?" I responded. "That kind of
flattery will get you laid."

"Really? When?" he asked. "Remember, it's been almost a full day."

"Are you horny?" I jibed at him.

"Completely," he nodded. "I want to make love with you so bad I ache."

"No making love this time, buddy," I said. "I need a primitive fuck."


"Next exit with a hotel," I told him. "And, this time, do be so

"I got some money at home," he said. "I can help with the expenses."

"Is your manhood challenged because I'm paying for everything?"

"It just didn't seem fair."

"You shouldn't worry about stuff like that, Shug. I'm rich," I told

"Are you?" He seemed amused.

"When Eric and I were married we had very little. We accumulated very
little. The insurance premiums for a stunt pilot are extremely high, but
Eric said it was vital to keep them up. For three years we scrimped and
scavenged, we did without a house and furniture, all so we could pay those
damned premiums. In the end, though, they paid off. When Eric was killed,
he left me a three-million dollar policy. I'm rich, Shug. And, I don't
give a damn about money."

"What did you do with it all?" he asked. "If you don't mind me asking."

"I put one million in the bank. The government took a lot of it. The
other two I invested in a diversified portfolio. I've got a great
financial whiz-kid who keeps track of it for me. Every month I get a check
for about six-thousand. That's what Nathan and I live on."

"Sounds like you've got it well in hand."

"I do," I said. "So, quit worrying about paying for stuff. This is my
trip and my treat."

Shug let go of the wheel and raised his hands toward the ceiling, palms
up. "I surrender."

"As well you should," I grinned. "Look! There's a Best Western."


Shug and I spent the rest of Tuesday in that Best Western motel just two
hours outside of St. Louis. We made love. We ordered in pizza. We made
love again. We actually did venture out for dinner. It was fast food, and
as fast as it was, we couldn't wait to finish it and get back to the hotel.
We spent most of the night naked, exploring each other with fingertips,
tongues, hands and eyes. I realized that we'd really hadn't spent a lot of
time getting to know each other's bodies. Up to this point, we had merely
grappled and groped. What was wonderful about Tuesday night was the way we
both took time to explore each curve, bump and crevice of each other.

The first time I took him in my mouth Shug tried to protest.

"Please," he said, "I'd really rather you didn't do that."

I released him and asked, "Why, Shug? I want to."

"It's just..I don't know..I think it's kind of demeaning, don't you?" he

"I don't see why it has to be," I answered. "If I want to, and it makes
you feel good, why shouldn't we?"

"Because," he said, "it makes me feel uncomfortable."

I laughed. "You didn't seem to mind kissing my pussy, baby, and that
made me very uncomfortable, remember?"

"Yeah," he told me, "but that was different."

"No, it isn't. There's no difference at all. I want to kiss and suck
you here," I said, caressing his cock with my hand. "I like it. I haven't
had a nice cock like this in three years. If I want to suck it, I will."

Shug groaned and lay his head back down on the pillow. I took him back
into my mouth and licked up and down the length. The texture was like hard
rubber covered in silk. My lips tingled with the sensation. When I
pressed my tongue into the sensitive area just below the head, Shug groaned

"I take it you're enjoying this, now?" I asked.

"I'm not," he insisted.

"Oh, really? What do I have to do to improve your enjoyment, then?"

"You could stop," Shug suggested.

I kissed the tip. "I'll tell you what," I said, kissing the tip between
each phrase, "I'll stop, after you come, in my mouth, then I'll stop."

"Oh, god!" Shug moaned.

"It's my toy," I asserted, "and I'll play with it as long, and in any
way that I like." Then I slid my lips around him and sucked him all the way
into my mouth. My hand cupped his balls, gently massaging and squeezing,
encouraging him to spurt.

"I'm going to come, Caroline, seriously," Shug said in warning.

I hummed around him, "Umm Hmmm!"

"I mean it, Caroline," he said, his voice sounding strained.

"Umm Hmmmm?"

"I'm not going to be able to hold back much longer." He sounded nearly

"Ummm Hmmmm."

Shug's thighs got tight and his ass rose off the bed. I felt his cock
swell in my mouth and then the pulsations began. Spurts of warm come
splashed in my mouth and I swallowed hard, sucking him, feeling him spasm
and squirt his gism into my mouth. Another swallow and Shug was finished.
I licked him up and down, my tongue flicking lightly over the sensitive

"Okay," I said, my voice a little thick with the coating of come. "I'm
done now."

Wednesday morning we rose early. Well, Shug rose, then I rose up and
rode him. Afterwards he wanted to talk.

"About last night," he said.

"What about it?"

"I don't want you to get the idea I expect that," he said.

"That's fine, puddin', as long as you remember that I expect to be able
to do that whenever I want."

"I just don't want you to think you owe me, or anything."

I laughed at him. "Are you keeping score, Shug? Are you?"

"Keeping score?"

"Yeah, you know, you eat me, I blow you? That kind of score."

"No, of course not, Caroline. That's ridiculous."

"Sure is," I assured him. "So cut it out. I'm a big girl. I do what I
want, when I want. Okay? No keeping score."

Shug nodded.

"By the way," I added, "your come tastes like oysters. Did I ever tell
you how much I adore oysters?"

"You haven't."

"Well, I do. And, since we don't have many oysters in Tulsa, I found a
ready supply of the flavor I adore."

"You're embarrassing me," Shug complained.

"I am? Why?"

"Because," he said, then added very softly, "that's what hookers do."

I laughed out loud. "It's okay, baby. I'll be your hooker. I will be
your whore, sweetie. I don't mind that one little bit."

"I don't want to think of you that way, Caroline."

"Shug, I think you're trying to pick a fight with me. Are you?"

He seemed surprised. "No, Caroline, I'm not. Really."

"Yes, you are," I asserted. "For the last three days you and I have
screwed each other silly. We've lusted, made love, rutted and fucked.
I've been behaving like a bitch in heat. True?"

"I.." he stammered. "What..I..I don't know what to say."

"Say it's true, sugar. It is."

"Okay, if you say so."

"I say so. And, I say you haven't complained, not once until I sucked you off."

"What's your point?"

"Just this. You've been enjoying every minute of our mobile fuck-fest.
So have I. But, this one thing, this one little thing has you tied up in

"I wouldn't say that," he argued.

"Whatever. The point is, I am ready, willing and able to continue
acting your whore. Now, if you want to change something, anything, sing
out. Otherwise, you need to trust me when I say I like it and want to
continue to give you and myself enjoyment like that in the future. Okay?
So, if you don't want to piss me off and ruin a perfectly good, sensual,
sexual and thoroughly enjoyable physical relationship, just shut up!"

Shug shut up.

We actually drove close to four hundred miles on Wednesday. Shug
offered to take us on into Tulsa if I wanted. I told him I'd rather spend
one more night with him out on the road. We booked ourselves into another
non-descript chain motel at about eight that night, showered and lay in
bed, naked, just holding each other.

"You know what tomorrow is?" I asked him.

"The twelfth?" Shug offered.

"It's Thursday," I reminded him.


"You know what happens tomorrow?" I tried.

"The Mets and Braves?"

I poked him in the ribs. "No. Maybe. I don't know about that.
Something else."

"I know," he nodded.

"Should I be scared?"

"Maybe. It all depends on your outlook."

"What does that mean?" I asked.

"If you want an empty, physical relationship, with no commitment, then
perhaps you should be scared."

"You know that's not what I want."

"If your outlook is that a long-term relationship has enormous challenges and pitfalls in it, you might also be scared."

"Are you trying to give me a hint? If you are, it's not working."

Shug chuckled. "I'm not hinting at anything. I just said, depending on
your outlook, either way could be scary."

"You're a smug son-of-a-bitch," I shot at him. "You know, don't you?
You know and you're just not telling."

"It's not Thursday, yet."

"If I give you another blowjob, will you tell me?"

"I'll tell you tomorrow."

"If I fuck your brains out, will you tell me?"


"Okay, how about if I go over there in that bed and go to sleep. Will
you tell me, then?"

"I said, I will tell you tomorrow," Shug insisted.

"But, you do love me, don't you?" I tried one more time.

"Tomorrow, Caroline. You'll just have to wait until tomorrow."

I lay there, trying to decide. I could pout. I could just withdraw and
spend the night alone and wondering. Or, I could surrender to the ordeal
at hand and make the best of it, holding him, loving him, feeling him love
me. I chose the latter.

"Come over here," I ordered him. "I want to feel you inside me, again."

Shug raised up over me. I took his face in my hands and looked into
those crystal blue eyes as he entered me. I could see it. Down inside his
soul, I could see what I wanted to see. I knew as we joined again in the
dance of lovers that he was mine and I was his and we were linked to each
other. I smiled at him as he began to move inside me. I clamped my
muscles on his hardness and squeezed him with all my strength, trying to
hold him at his deepest penetration. I looked square into those eyes.

"I've got you," I whispered.

The bedside clock said three seventeen when I woke up. Shug was warm
and fragrant beside me. I struggled free of the bedclothes and walked
naked to the bathroom to relieve myself. As I crawled back into our warm
bed, the thought struck me. Three in the morning. Thursday morning. I
shoved against Shug's shoulder. He groaned. I shoved harder. His eyes
struggled open.

"Is anything wrong," he mumbled.

"No," I said. "But, it's time and I want to know."

"What time? What are you talking about?"

"It's three twenty, Thursday morning. Tell me."

"Three in the morning? Are you crazy?"

"It's Thursday, Shug. Now dammit, tell me!"

"All right," he groused, tossing the covers off his naked shoulder and
propping himself up on his elbow. "Yes, Caroline, I love you."

A surge of immeasurable joy swept over me. I put my arms around him and
held him as tightly as I was able. Tears leapt into my eyes. "I knew it,"
I whispered. "I knew it, I just knew it. Oh, Shug, I love you so much.
So very much. So, tell me, when did you really know?"

"Monday, I guess," he said. "Tuesday, for sure."

"The blowjob, right? Is that what convinced you?"

"For heaven's sake, Caroline!" Shug exploded. "That.. That.. Well, it
wasn't even part of the consideration. It's.. Look, not everything about
our relationship revolves around the sex, you know?"

"Then why?" I asked.

"Why what?" he responded.

"Why do you love me?"

"Oh," Shug scratched his head. "Because your funny, and bright, and
brave. You're understanding, compassionate, and caring. Because you're
beautiful, sensuous, open and sexy. And, you give the best head this side
of the Rocky Mountains."

"Aha!" I exulted. "You noticed!"

"It was a joke," he said, grinning. "And, of course, I noticed."

"You want another one?"


"Sure, now. Why not?"

"Caroline, I'm not even, you know, half-way hard."

"That's all right," I told him, pushing back the covers for access to
his member. "I like to feel it grow. It give me a sense of power."

So, I took his flaccid member in my lips, tickled it with my tongue,
slid my lips across it and manipulated it with his fingers until the
pulsing began. Then I slid him between my lips, pressing my tongue against
the underside and just held him there while the blood engorged him,
eventually hardening him to his full length and girth.

"There is one thing I want to say to you, before we start," I said,
removing my lips from his rod.

"What's that?" he wanted to know.

"I love you, Shug," I said.

"I love you, too, Caroline," he answered.

"I am thoroughly delighted to hear that," I told him, before taking him
back inside my mouth and urging him to shoot his oyster-juice into my

Shug and I drove into Tulsa about noon. I took him directly to my
house, into my bedroom and into my bed. When we were both momentarily
sated I hitched up on an elbow and toyed with the skin on his chest.

"I'm going to have to ask you to do something," I said. "I don't want
to, but I have to."


"I'm going to have to ask you to stay at a hotel. Your being here
presents a problem for me right now. People in the neighborhood just
wouldn't understand."

"All right," he agreed. "I understand."

"You can stay here all day," I told him. "At night, though, I can't
have you sleeping in my house. There's Nathan and the neighbors, not to
mention my mother-in-law."

"It's okay," he said. "I understand."

I got out of the bed and started to put my clothes on. "I've got to go
get Nathan," I said. "I'm going to call my mother-in-law and tell her I'm
coming for him."

"Okay. You want me to leave now?" Shug asked.

"No," I said. "I want you to stay here and get dressed. Make yourself
at home. I want you to meet Nathan, though."


I called from the kitchen phone.


"Caroline," she said. "Are you back?"

"Yes. I just got in about an hour ago. Can I come pick him up?"

"Just a second," she said. I heard her call to my son. There was a
rustle on the receiver and Nathan's near-breathless voice said, "Hello?"

"Nathan? It's Mom."

"Hi, Mom. Where are you?" my son asked.

"I'm at home, baby. Can I come get you?"

"Yeah, sure," he said. "Grammaw said I'm starting to look like a

I laughed. "Too much time in the pool, huh?"

"I guess. When are you coming?"

"I'll be there in about a half-hour. Will you be ready?"

"Yep," he said.

"Okay, baby," I told him. "I'll see you in a little while."

"Okay. Bye, Mom."

"Bye bye, punkin'" I said, and heard the click on the other end of the

Shug's hand rested on my shoulder. I covered it with my own.

"Everything all right?" he asked.

"Fine. I'll be back in an hour or so. I'll pick up some groceries,
then get Nathan."

"You're worried about him, aren't you?" Shug suggested.

"I want him to like you," I admitted.

"It'll be fine," Shug promised. "Honest."

I stopped at a quick mart for milk, bread and eggs. Then I headed for
my mother-in-law's house.

Nathan looked just like his father. His blond hair was tousled and his
skin had a healthy tan. He ran to the door and grabbed me around the neck
and hugged me hard.

"Did you miss me, baby?" I asked.

"Uh huh," he said. "I had fun."

"I'm glad. Go get your things and let me talk to Gram for a second," I
told him.

"You're looking well," my mother-in-law said. "Better than I've seen
you in some time."

"It was a good trip," I nodded. "I needed to get away for a few days."

"You're in love, aren't you, Caroline?" she observed.

I was astounded that it showed. I nodded.

"Good," she said with finality. "It's about time."

"I love Eric," I told her.

"I know you do," she smiled at me. "But, your young and beautiful. I
know he would want you to be in love again. I'm happy for you."

She reach across my shoulder and hugged me gently.

"So," she said, "you want to tell me about him?"

"He's a med school student," I said. "He's younger than I, but so
incredibly sweet and tender. And, most importantly, he loves me, too."

"That's wonderful," she said, clapping her hands together, her eyes
aglow. "I want you to be happy, Caroline. You look happy."

"I am, Mother," I answered. "Thank you for being so understanding."

"Nonsense!" she said. "You're due. I'm happy for you."

Nathan and I climbed into the car, and with waves and blown kisses,
pulled away from the brick ranchhouse.

"When we get home," I told Nathan, "there's somebody I want you to

"Okay," my son said simply.

We pulled up into the driveway. Shug was sitting on the front stoop.
He stood up as I got out of the car. Nathan jumped out and pulled his bag
from the back seat. I caught up to him and we made our way toward the

"Nathan," I began, "this is Mister Shugart."

I was totally unprepared for what happened next. Shug came down off the
stoop in three steps. He went down to Nathan's level so quickly it made me
dizzy. It was like sitting on a train and watching the others. As a train
pulls slowly forward you get the feeling your going backward. Shug went
down so fast I felt like my feet had left the earth and I was floating

"Hey, sport," Shug said. "You can forget about that Mister stuff. I'm
Shug!" He stuck out his hand. Nathan took it rather tentatively.

"So," Shug asked him, pulling a blade of grass from the lawn, "you got a

Nathan nodded.

"Can you do tricks?" Shug stuck the grass between his lips.

"Sure I can," Nathan answered.

"You want to show me?" Shug suggested.

"Sure!" Nathan told him.

In a flash, Nathan had his bike out from the backyard. Shug sat in the
grass whooping and hollering as Nathan zipped around him doing things that
I thought were at least marginally dangerous.

"I'm going to go unpack," I yelled from the front door. The two boys seemed not to heed a word I said. "Be careful, Nathan," I admonished him.
"You don't want to get hurt." They ignored me. Nathan had the same
daredevil spirit in him his father had. It put an ache in my heart.

After a supper of omelets and, under protest, settling Nathan into his
bed, Shug and I sat on the front steps with ice cold lemonades.

"He's a handful," I observed.

"He's great," Shug nodded.

"You guys sure seemed to hit it off well."

Shug nodded.

There was a long silence while I worked up the courage to ask, "You
think he'll like having you as his father?"

"I won't ever be his father," Shug protested. My heart, I'm sure,
skipped several beats. "Eric was his father," he continued. "You should
never let him forget that."

I nodded in agreement. "All right. But, he was only three when Eric
was killed. I doubt he remembers much about him."

"You don't know that, Caroline," Shug argued. "He may have some
wonderful memories of his father that only he knows about."

"Anyway, I was really impressed by the way you instantly connected with

He shrugged. "I know how to act like an older brother."

Silence again. We both listened to the sounds of the early evening.
From deep within me a ball of doubt and dread seemed to billow, then burst
to the surface. I felt an incredible sense of loss and depression
overwhelm me. Tears welled up in my eyes. Within seconds I was openly

Shug was genuinely concerned. He put a hand on my shoulder.

"Caroline? What is it?" His voice was tinted with gravity.

"I - don't - know," I sobbed. "I'm - afraid. I'm - scared. I - just -
felt so lonely - all of a - sudden." I managed to squeeze the words out
between the sobs.

My chest was pounding and I was overcome by a terrible sense of futility
and anguish. Shug wrapped his arms around me. He held me close to him.

"Shhhh" he whispered in my ear. "I'm here for you. I love you."

"I know," I sobbed. "But, you're leaving."

"I have to leave, Caroline. I can't stay here. The neighbors."

"Not that," I wailed. "You're leaving for Atlanta. You're going away."

"Caroline, my love," he chuckled, wrapping me in his arms. "It's okay,
really. I'll come back."

"No you won't," I sobbed into his shoulder. "You'll fall in love - with
some young, pretty nurse or one of those young and beautiful lady doctors -
and I'll never see you again."

"Ahhhhh," Shug hummed with revelation. "Worried about the age
difference, are we?"

I was slowly gaining control of my sobbing. I gradually became more
able to breathe, and speak with some coherence.

"And the distance," I sniffed. "And the fact that you'll be gone for
months at a time. And, I won't be able to hold you, and love you, and," I
took several gasps of air, "Oh, Shug, I'm so tired of being lonely and

Shug almost laughed. "They're not the same?" he chuckled.

I slugged his arm. "Don't laugh at me!"

"I'm not," he protested quickly, his voice not completely void of humor.
"I'm not laughing at you, Caroline. I love you. I really do. If you're
scared, I want to protect you. If you're lonely, I'll be with you."

"You can't," I snapped. "You'll be in Atlanta. I'll be here."

"Oh," he said simply. "Well," he mused for a moment, "but, I'll still
love you."

He was talking to me like I was a child. My desperation had reduced me
to that level. I gathered myself together, wrapped my arms around him
tightly, kissed his neck gently and mentally closed the door on that large,
dark room of fear.

"I'm sorry, Shug," I whispered, afraid my voice would crack. "You've
just seen a miserable display of my raw, unrestrained, emotions. It seems
that as much as I love you, I'm afraid of losing you."

"The wall of self-confidence has some chinks in it," he observed,
holding me to him. "It's all right. I don't know what else to tell you,
Caroline, except that I do love you, and, that I'll come back to you. I
don't want to be with anyone except you. I love you and I love being with

"If I allowed myself to admit it," I told him, "I'm besieged by a
terrible sense of desperation. That's not a good thing."

"True," Shug agreed.

"I don't like being dependent," I said with firmness.

"We could be co-dependent," he suggested with a chortle.

"Cute," I said, not amused. "When Eric was killed I was devastated. It
took me months to get hold of myself. I finally realized that my
dependence on him left me unprepared for living without him. I don't ever
want to be that way again."

"So," he observed, "there will always be this wall between us. You'll
never fully love or trust me, because something bad might happen?"

I was astonished. "I do love you," I protested.

"Okay," Shug said reasonably. "I'll take your word for it. But, you're
going to have to achieve some balance between your love and your fear.
When your fear overwhelms you, as it just did, it can destroy us both."

I nodded. "I know."

"You can't live in constant fear that you'll be devastated again," Shug
confirmed. "If you do, there will always be this little corner of you that
I can't reach. That would break my heart."

"I don't know how," I admitted. "I'd be so afraid."

"Caroline," Shug said, very quietly, "what happened to you was tragic.
Because I love you, I want to heal that hurt. That's in my nature. I'd do
anything to take away the agony you suffered. The only way I know how to
do that is to replace is with my own love for you. As long as you keep
that corner of yourself trapped away from my love, I can't heal all the
hurt. I can't even touch it. But, one day, sometime in the future, you'll
have to let me in there. And, you know, I think you will, someday, want me
there. Someday, you'll open up that little part of yourself and let me in
because you won't want to hurt there anymore."

I stayed very still in his arms, just listening.

"So, I'll just be patient," he continued. "I'll love all of you that
you'll allow. And, sometime in the future, you will open yourself to me
completely and all the hurt will be gone."

"You're too young to be so wise," I whispered, my heart full of love for
this young man.

"Or, too wise to be so young?" he whispered back.

"Come inside," I told him. "Come make love with me."

"The neighbors?" he asked.

"Screw 'em," I said decisively. "I'm not letting you out of sight while
I can have you here.

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