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Miriam (MF intergen cons rom viol)


Miriam By The Star

(c) 1998, 2001 EXTAR International, Ltd. All rights reserved. Single
copies for personal, non-commercial use may be downloaded or printed. Any
other uses including posting on an archive site or reposting to a newsgroup
must have prior permission from EXTAR International. <>

Miriam A tale of romance by The Star


I couldn't believe how lonely I was. How alone I felt. The only other
time I'd felt that way, I let it lead me into the biggest mistake of my
life--my first wife! So I set my jaw, wrestled my need for people to a
draw, and continued on.

I must confess, my heart wasn't in it. After all, what's the use in
pulling off a big business deal, or being chairman of a committee for a
successful community event, if there's no one to share the victory?

Surrounded by natural beauty, I couldn't enjoy it, alone.

And the nights . . . The nights were the worst! More than once, I
finally fell into an alcoholic stupor, unable to find rest any other way.
My pain was real and enormous. For my wife--the love of my life--had left

One moment she was there, my Brenda, a warm fire at whose hearth I
warmed my spirit. The next, she was gone. A little vessel in her brain
couldn't handle its designed pressure, and killed her.

My anger and despair were enormous. My grief endless. My loneliness
was a bottomless chasm that I didn't know how to bridge.

I continued to work, but my heart wasn't in it.

My daughter stepped up and did what she could for me. Her reward was
that I treated her like dirt. Bless her! She still drove the three hours
each way to come see me every week and later, every month. Her husband--a
very nice guy, really--wasn't thrilled about being left with the kids so
much, but he understood. Kris had always been close to me and could feel
my hurt. She said she had to do whatever she could to help.

Three years after my wife's death, I was finally able to come to terms
with it. Kris saw the changes in me and started hinting, strongly, that I
needed to get back into life. By that, she meant I needed to start dating
and find some female companionship besides her. I just didn't know how
somebody my age went about it. It had been an awfully long time....

"But Kris, there aren't any women around here as good looking as you.
Why would I settle for less?" I teased her.

"I know I'm the most gorgeous creature in this part of the state," she
teased back, though her words were true, "but Mike is getting a bit
concerned about you and about the amount of time I'm taking away from him
and the boys."

Actually, I was more healed than I thought. Unconsciously, I'd been
checking out the 'available' ladies in our town--and wasn't impressed with
the crop.

While we had an unusually high percentage of beautiful women for a small
town, the good ones were all married...or had something seriously wrong
with them, like a drug problem, or room temperature I.Q. The most
interesting single women in town were college girls--WAY too young for me.

In our banter, my bright daughter brought me to a process I should have
considered long before, if I'd been conscious of the need. Basically,
after hearing my litany of what was wrong with the available women in town,
she asked me what I wanted in a woman. And by teasing and refusing to
leave it alone until I'd thought it through, she led me through the initial
stages of solving any problem: Define the problem and identify solutions.

She made me list, over a period of a few months, all the characteristics
I felt were necessary in a woman I could be interested in. The end result
was fascinating. This 'Dream Woman' had to have these traits and

* While it wasn't necessary for her to be as drop dead gorgeous as Kris,
she had to be substantially above average to look at. * She should have
superior intelligence. * She had to have class and be a lady. * It would
be nice if she had some talent, some areas of expertise. * She had to be
fun to be around, witty, energetic, a leader; yet not 'pushy.' * She could
not be 'whiny.' * She needed to be a woman of integrity. * Yet she had to
be free of prudish hangups. * She had to be capable of loving deeply and
forever. * She had to be committed to an exclusive relationship.

By the time we'd gotten this far, Kris was impressed that I knew what I
needed so well. "Well, Honey, your mom was a disaster, as you know. And
Brenda was the love of my life. You're all I have left. Although you're
my ideal woman in most ways--surely you're beautiful enough--we'd never
make it as a couple, even if you weren't my daughter and already happily
married... We'd be at each other's throats most of the time.

"I really love you. And I really appreciate the time you've given me.
Even when I've been a total crab, I've enjoyed having you around. I love
you more than anything. Thanks, Honey!"

"Thanks, Dad," Kris replied with tears in her eyes. "I love you too and
wish I could do more for you. Being with you like this is good for me,
because I'm able to repay a bit of the love and care you've given me all my
life. But you need more. You need your own woman, as I've said from time
to time."

"Yes, Kris," I said in a resigned tone. She had indeed said this
before. "But how is a fifty-something guy like me going to find a
superwoman like we've described? If such a woman exists in this town,
she's been married for years. Or she's way too young and would only cause
more problems."

"Have you looked around at church, Dad?" Kris asked.

"Yes. I have. We have some remarkably attractive ladies--all married.
And some knockout high school and college girls, who are too young to even
think about. The only single ladies otherwise are either too militant
feminist for consideration or are widows older than I am...

"That's pretty much true of the whole town. There are some knockout
ladies, but they're disqualified on other counts--age or marital status"
"Don't give up, Dad. Now that we know what we need to do, we can start
working on how to get from here to there.

"And Dad...remember what you taught me? Don't forget to pray!"

The truth is, I didn't seriously consider finding another women at that
point. I could live with the loneliness. And the things I'd said about a
shortage of suitable ladies in our town were all true. If one came along,
wonderful. If not, I'd survive.


Kris, of course, had other ideas. If it weren't for Mike, I think she'd
have moved in with me--including into my bed--just to ease my pain and
loneliness. She knows I consider her to be the ideal girl, in terms of
basic package. And we love each other a lot.

But what she really had in mind all along, was her college roommate and
best friend, Miriam.

She and Miriam had gone through a similar exercise. Miriam had endured
a brief but disastrous marriage with an ex-military guy she'd met after she
graduated from college. When she finally kicked the bum out, she'd gone to
Kris for a shoulder to cry on. At one point in her grieving and healing
process, Miriam had cried, "All I want is to be married to a good man who
will love me! Why is that too much to ask?"

From that point, Kris led her through the process, like she had me
later, of listing just what she wanted in a man and what she couldn't

Much later, Kris told me that the profile of Miriam's ideal man fit me
like a $3,000 suit. So Kris, being Kris, decided to see what she could do
as a matchmaker with her dad and her best friend--is that kinky or what? I
think, for Kris, it was the game as much as the idea of helping two people
she was so very close to.

Over the next few months, when Kris talked me into visiting them, Miriam
usually dropped by sometime during my visit. And twice, Kris brought her
along when she visited me. I treated her like another daughter and
respected her as Kris' closest friend, after Mike.

Kris and I had both gone to Pac-10 schools. I was disappointed when she
chose not to follow me to Stanford, and attended Washington instead. She
had a great time in college, though, and completed her degree successfully,
so I can't complain. And of course, we've had some fun over the years
about the relative merits of our schools' football programs. She's had
more fun than I, <darn> but it has been interesting.

So when Stanford was playing in Seattle, she insisted that I join them
for the game. Playing the role, I wore my letter jacket. (Yes, I can get
into the letter jacket... Just don't ask me to button it.) When she and
Mike swung by to pick me up, I was surprised to see Miriam in the coach;
but it wasn't a big deal as, of course, she went to Washington too.

Our plan was to drive to Seattle on Friday, stay overnight, see the game
Saturday, then stay over another night and come home on Sunday. Mike had a
nice motorhome that we planned to use as our motel on wheels. The addition
of Miriam complicated arrangements, but didn't throw a stick in the spokes.
Kris just said we'd make up the dinette into a bed for Miriam, I'd sleep in
the bunk over the cockpit and they would have their 'room' in the back.

On the trip north, Miriam and I got better acquainted. I knew her as
Kris' friend. But I began to appreciate why she was her best friend.
While her face wasn't that of a fashion model, she was more than just
attractive. It kind of grows on you until the realization strikes that she
isn't pretty--she's beautiful! Her slender but spectacular figure was set
off by full, flowing dark brown hair that moved saucily with her like a

She had an established career marketing music and musical instruments
for a national company: She had outside sales for the Pacific Northwest and
did quite well with it. Of course, she was an accomplished musician.

And I soon found that she was still as wacky and witty as she'd been in
college, though in a slightly more mature way.

I found myself drawn to this elfin girl and was, without being aware of
it, doing and saying anything I could think of to keep her attention.
(Kris and Mike were sitting up front, smirking as they saw their plan
starting to work.) We made our way to the campground just as dusk fell.
While Mike and I were outside, hooking up the water, power and sewer, and
leveling the rig, the girls started dinner.

When we were done with the 'man's work', we each popped a beer and
settled into chairs to watch the ladies work.

After our meal, I was ready to crash, but the others wanted to visit a
nightspot across the road from the campground. Letting myself be persuaded
to go 'just for an hour or so', I went along.

The place, I found, wasn't just a saloon, but had a band and good-sized
dance floor. It was also cleaner and more pleasant than I expected from
its exterior. Right after we got a table and ordered a round of drinks,
Mike and Kris hit the floor. Miriam waited until the next song, then when
she saw that I wasn't going to ask her, asked me if I would dance with her.

"Miriam," I said with a look of panic, "I don't know how to dance like
this! If they do any slow dancing, I'd be delighted."

"Nonsense!" she snorted. "Any idiot can do this. You just get out
there and move to the music. You don't even have to have a partner."

"But," I rejoined, "I always thought the idea was to get your hands on
each other, without getting slapped."

"That's what the slow dances are for," she giggled. Grabbing my hand,
she yanked me to my feet and propelled me to the floor.

I just kind of shuffled and undulated to the beat. I was entranced.
Miriam on a dance floor is a spectacle. guys all over the room were soon
watching her and not paying much attention to their own partners. At the
end of the song, Miriam just looked at my face and laughed.

"Bill, you look like you ate a bug!" she said, giggling in her
enchanting way. Snapping out of it, I took her hand and said, "Don't think
so, but I wouldn't know if I had." Which set off more giggles.

The band went into a slow dance set then and I took her into my arms.
This is the kind of dancing I know about. She moved like a professional
dancer and anticipated me perfectly. Slender, but with marvelous breasts,
Miriam seemed so light in my arms I almost couldn't tell she was there. If
it were not for the girl shape pressed against me, I'd have wondered what I
was doing.

After a couple of minutes dancing like friends, she gave a little sigh
and kind of relaxed against me, her mouth coming to rest below my right ear
and the rest of her just sort of pasted onto the front of me.

Naturally, this produced an instant reaction from the primary indicator
of my gender. I tried to pull away from her in embarrassment, but Miriam
would have none of it. "Don't you dare back away!" she whispered, running
a hand behind my head and clutching me tight. "I'd have been checking out
my equipment if that hadn't happened. Please? Hold me?"

Of course I was more than happy to, though our dancing turned to
shuffling and swaying to the music while my body started to learn the feel
of the marvelous shape pressed against it.

When the set ended and the band resumed hip hop, we returned to our
table. Kris later told me we both had sappy, dreamy expressions on our
faces. A little more conversation, another slow dance set, and two hours
had gone by. We finished our drinks and left.

Getting ready for bed was 'interesting'. On the ride north, I suggested
that maybe I should get a motel room, but Mike wouldn't hear of it. "This
expensive machine is supposed to sleep six and there are only four of us.
With a little consideration for each other, we'll be fine."

The problem was that there was no privacy curtain between my bunk, which
just swung down, and the dinette where Miriam was to sleep. I changed for
bed while Miriam was changing in the tiny bathroom. But to get to her bed,
Miriam had no way to avoid giving me quite a nice show of her incredible
body in a short, semi-opaque nightie. Spectacular!

Breakfast was preceded by another great show of spectacular
bodies--Kris' as well as Miriam's. Kris decided not to dress for the day
until after we'd eaten and saw no need to change out of her nightie in
front of her father, her husband and her college roommate who had all seen
her in less many times. Miriam changed while Kris was cooking, but not
until Mike and I both had an eyeful.

We all had a great time at the game--Stanford won for a change!--and of
course, I had to remind everyone--often--who won the day's game, which
finally led Kris to threaten to have me wear dinner rather than eat it. We
had rented a car to get to the game and went out to dinner, followed by a
visit to the nightclub again.

I can get used to dancing with Miriam!

During our ride home, Miriam and I were again forced into a 'couple' by
the configuration of Mike's coach. As we chatted, she brought up the
subject of her ex-husband, Carl. It seems that although they were only
together for a few months and have been divorced for several years, he is
still obsessive about her. Her social life is pretty tame and mostly
limited to events with close friends like this weekend. Nevertheless he
has threatened her, found out about her infrequent dates, and sometimes
even threatened the men who date her.

In spite of a restraining order, she has been forced to install
elaborate security systems in her apartment and has called the police on
more than one occasion when he's been stalking her, or at her apartment

When I asked why she didn't just move away, she replied, "Because I
don't want to give him the satisfaction. I grew up in that town and I
won't let him run me out!" Then, with what I was coming to see as her
irrepressible giggle, "Besides, it is only a little hassle for me, but it's
a lot of hassle for him. Think: He's eating himself up over nothing!"

I can't help but admire her spunk and attitude, but the situation
disturbed me. This guy sounded dangerous. Kris and her family were at
risk, too.

When we talked about work, she described what she did and how she really
enjoyed traveling around the northwest. In fact, she would be in Portland
most of next week, so we arranged that I would meet her on Saturday and we
would go out. She'd even get me a room in the red Lion, so I wouldn't face
a long late night drive home. We exchanged business cards and I got her
cell phone number, so we could tie up loose ends later.

By the time we arrived at my house, we had become friends in our own
right and were both really looking forward to the next weekend. As I got
off the motorhome, Miriam gave me a little kiss and thanked me for being
such good company. "Believe me, the pleasure is mine!" I assured her.
Thanking Mike and Kris, I waved them out of sight and went into my home to
see what I'd missed while I'd been gone.


My house, which I'd built for Brenda, was a lovely home atop a ridge
overlooking the west valley and coast range of Oregon. Larger than we had
really needed, we'd loved the place, since it was a good house for
entertaining and had room for overnight guests. The ground floor had space
for a large office suite for me.

With Brenda's death, entertaining had come to a halt. Other than my
secretary and a housekeeper who came in one day a week, I seldom saw
outsiders in my home anymore. Besides Kris, of course. My work was done
by phone and FAX, and visits to customers' sites.

Friends and neighbors respected my grief and seldom came by. I'd
withdrawn from most of the church and civic activities I'd been in before.

So that Sunday afternoon, I entered a large, cold, empty house. My
loneliness hit me hard. After checking for messages in the office, I nuked
a tv dinner, poured a beer, and dressed for bed. I'd watch football on the
bedroom tube and go to sleep.

That short weekend in good company and little bit of warmth from Miriam
made my lonely existence harder to bear than ever.

During the week, I found myself working hard to catch up all the details
on clients' projects. When I caught myself doing it, I realized that I was
"clearing the deck" for the coming weekend when I'd see Miriam again. I
could hardly believe it. I was acting like a high school kid, going on a
date with a cheerleader, or something. After all, we were just friends.
She was my daughter's best friend, after all. Come off it, Bill!

At any rate, on Thursday, Miriam called to say she was at the Hilton,
downtown, instead of the red Lion. She had reserved a room for me for
Saturday night, as we'd planned. We agreed that I'd come on in to town
when I finished my other chores on Saturday and call or leave a message for
her as soon as I was checked in.

Friday, I worked myself and my secretary into the ground. Then I mowed
some grass, had dinner, a shower and to bed.

Saturday morning I woke rested and eager. 'Bill, you're a basket case.
This is a girl, you idiot! Just barely older than jail bait. You're
really making an ass of yourself, if you can't straighten yourself out.'
Didn't help.

Since Portland is only a couple of hours away and I didn't want to
arrive too early, I fixed myself breakfast, cleaned up the dishes and the
kitchen; then another shower and a shave, pack a small bag for overnight,
and away I went. I still got there well before lunch. Idiot!

When I checked into the hotel, I was surprised to find that I was
already checked in and prepaid. By now I was starting to get a bit
confused. Then, in the room, I found a sheet of paper on the bed. The
note on it said,

_Welcome._ _I'm so very glad you could come._ _Please knock on the door
to your left,_ _when you've put up your bags._ _Miriam._

Glancing to my left, I saw a connecting door to the room next to mine.
So I put my bag on the stand, my coat in the closet, and ran a comb through
my hair. Stepping to the door, I knocked. Miriam opened it immediately
and followed with a big hug. I was really getting confused. I couldn't
tell if the signals I was getting were from Miriam, or my libido. I hadn't
expected adjoining rooms. And I hadn't expected Miriam to even be around
until sometime in the late afternoon. Instead, she seemed to have plotted
in advance to have me next to her and was awaiting my arrival, whenever
that might be.


I mean, I was flattered, but this girl is almost 25 years younger than I
am. I'm not a business associate or potential customer. Why so much
attention for a simple evening out with a friend?

Meanwhile, she was saying, "I'm so glad you came early. I hoped you
would. Do you have anything you have to do today? Or can we spend the day

With a bemused look on my face--and I guess in my voice, I said, "Oh,
I'm at your disposal today. I didn't expect to see you until late
afternoon, but if you're free, of course I'd like to spend the day with

And what man wouldn't? While she wasn't dressed in 'business clothes,'
she wasn't into the 'college girl' look of the prior weekend, either.
Rather, she was a classy lady--relaxed and informal--but classy.

After a moment when we each just looked at the other and decided we were
content to be together, we simultaneously asked, "What would you like to
do?", then burst into laughter. Or that delightful giggle, in Miriam's

Miriam truly didn't have any preferences. So I said I'd like to look at
boats--or yachts. Brenda hated the water, so we never had a boat. I
wasn't sure I really wanted one, but thought it might be fun to look.
Miriam enjoyed water--swimming and water skiing--and thought looking at
boats would be fun. So we did. Since it was a lovely Saturday in the
fall, a lot of boat people were out on the water. They are an interesting
lot. We chatted non-stop about boats and 'land yachts', as I call the
bigger motorhomes. About her business and mine. About what she enjoys and
what I like...

For the evening, I'd made a reservation at one of my favorite
restaurants. It's gone now, but it had an unusual atmosphere and great
food. The owner was the son of one of my college classmates, so I was
always treated well there. This night was no exception. The food was
great, the conversation sparkled, and the company was outstanding. I
hadn't had so much fun in years.

When we left, I asked Miriam what she wanted to do next. She wanted to
dance, so we made our way to her favorite nightclub. The place was packed,
but she knew the maitre-d and got us a tiny table near the dance floor.

Once again, I found myself attempting modern dancing with Miriam. I
think I was the oldest guy in the place, but I was having fun. Watching
Miriam dance is always fun. Being her partner is even more fun. She
looked at me with a mock-concerned expression. "Poor baby. All of this
bouncing must be hard on you. Cheer up. They play slow dances here, too."

I wasn't unhappy, but that made me more cheerful. Sure enough, the next
set was slow, and I once again held this marvelous woman in my arms.

This time, she just came right up against me, with both arms around my
neck, leaving me to put both arms around her. WOW!!! I was the envy of
every guy in the joint. In the back of my head a tiny voice was saying,
'Why me? Why is she doing this?' But the rest of me was just enjoying the

When the first song in the set ended, I turned to look at her face and
found her eyes about two inches from mine. What else could I do? I kissed
her--softly, gently, without passion but with more than
friendship--discovery, maybe? When the music resumed, her mouth returned
to its place below my ear and her body was even more relaxed against mine.

We danced and talked for another couple of hours. When we'd both had
enough of the club, we returned, happy, to the Hilton. Going up in the
elevator, Miriam said, "I'm having such a good time, I really don't want
this to end. Would you join me for a nightcap?"

"Sure," I answered. "Do you want to go to the bar?"

"No. I have a bottle in my room. Give me five minutes, then knock on
the door?"

Things were moving awfully fast and I didn't know just what she was
offering. So I decided to take it as it came. This was not a passive
thing. I really enjoyed this woman and wanted very much to develop a
relationship with her. She was, after all, Kris' best and closest friend,
which, in itself, was as high a recommendation as anyone could have. She
wasn't playing games with me. I could be sure of that. And I could be
sure that I wouldn't play games with her--for Kris' sake as well as hers.
So I'd give positive responses to any signals and hope for the best.

I spent the five minutes washing my face, hanging up my jacket and tie,
and changing shoes for loafers. About the time I figured five minutes were
up, there was a knock on the door. When I opened it, Miriam gave me a big
grin and giggled that she didn't want me to be late. As if a minute

She'd shed the really cute cocktail dress she'd been wearing, let her
hair down and was in a nice dressing gown. Opaque, but definitely not
street wear.

Seating me on the sofa in her room, she said, "I'm having white wine.
But there's whisky if you'd prefer?"

"Wine will be great." It was just an excuse to spend more time with her
anyway, and I didn't want to get blasted.

Giving me a glass, she put hers on the coffee table and sat beside me. I
could see she had shed her nylons, too. Is this a seduction, or is she
just that comfortable with me?

As if reading my mind, Miriam snuggled up to me, causing my arm to go
around her reflexively. Looking me in the eyes, she said, "Bill, I know
I'm coming on to you pretty strong. I like you a lot. And I think this
may turn into a serious relationship. - What a crappy term: 'serious
relationship.' This is already serious! - I'm very attracted to you. So
at this point, the choice is yours. We can drink our wine and chat a bit
before you go back through that door to sleep. Or you can kiss me and
we'll see where it goes from there."

Running through my mind at warpspeed was the thought that the
constraints on her because of her relationship with Kris were equally valid
on me. She was my only child's best friend. And that not only made her a
lot younger than I am, but if I messed it up too bad, I might mess up my
relationship with Kris, too. I'm not into casual sex. She needed to know
that, because if she just wanted to get laid, I was not her guy.

"Miriam, I'm impressed and immensely flattered. You need to know
something though: I'm not interested in a one-night stand. If we start
something, I will want it to continue. And I have trouble picturing you
being really interested in an on-going thing with a guy as old as I am...
So where does that leave us?" I asked.

Her reply, breathed into my mouth was, "Right where I hoped. Here. In
each other's arms." And my mouth was attacked with the most passionate kiss
I'd experienced in a long time. Too long. 'Kris is right,' my little
hind-brain said. 'You've been needing this.' Then it all shut down as I
concentrated on making love to this dream creature in my arms.

While my arms tightened around her, pulling her upper body to me, our
tongues dueled as our kiss became more demanding. Breaking off, I began to
kiss her eyes, nose, forehead, while her hands caressed my ears and ran
through my hair. My hands were shaping the back of her body, tracing the
marvelous curves from shoulder to waist to hip. Little whimpering sounds
came from her just before she kissed me again, hard, almost savagely.

Pulling back slightly, she attacked the buttons on my shirt in a
controlled frenzy. "Bill. Oh Bill! How I want you!" she panted. "I've
wanted you for weeks." My shirt came undone, and was ripped from my
waistband. As the T-shirt was pulled up, she continued, in a low, rapid
voice, "I talked Kris into bringing me along last weekend, so we could be
together. And the motorhome was my idea, too." My shirt was gone over my
head and tossed into a corner. Now she was working on my belt. "Kris
mentioned a few months ago that the only man she knew who met my criteria
was you--but you were too old!" The belt was gone and the button about to
surrender. "I decided you weren't too old as far as I was concerned!" The
fly was down, and she was tugging hard to get pants and shorts off of me.
"Are you too old for me?" she asked.

"I devoutly hope not," I answered, holding her slightly away from me by
putting my hands on her shoulders and pushing gently. "If we're going to
do this, let's do it in comfort and style. There's a nice big bed, right
there, instead of this cramped couch. And I'm anxious to unwrap you, too.
Shall we?" I stood, and my trousers promptly fell around my ankles and were
kicked off, with the loafers.

When I gave her my hand, she rose gracefully, allowing her wrap to fall
open. (I don't remember how it came undone or who did it.) Underneath was
just Miriam. With a groan, I took her in my arms again, my hands around
her waist under the gown, her arms around my neck. We kissed again with
growing passion as I reveled in the sensation of her skin against mine.

Breaking away, she let the gown fall from her arms, then pulled the
covers off the bed. With her elfin giggle, she plopped onto it, held out
her arms and said, "Join me?"

I paused only a second, while my brain registered with joy the sight
before me. This girl was an incredible picture. Slender and molded,
sleek, not voluptuous--except her breasts which are large, firm mounds of
delight rising from her chest even when she's on her back. Her skin is
slightly tanned, smooth as a baby's, with a perfectly clear complexion.
Her body would not disgrace any men's magazine centerfold. And her face
displayed character and the real beauty I was just coming to appreciate. A
beautiful, classy package, indeed!

As I scrambled beside her, into her embrace, I thought of my own
appearance. My 'body image' is of a slender young man with broad
shoulders, but a distance runner's physique, lanky, not muscular.
Unfortunately, the mirror told me I was a good 20 pounds heavier than that,
mostly in belly and butt. The hair on my head is thinner and grayer, with
the gray even invading the hair on my chest. 'What does this marvelous
woman see in me?' that hind-brain gibbered.

Then I had no time to worry about it. Miriam seemed to devour me! It
was as if she needed to kiss, touch, caress everything at once, almost in a
frenzy. My shorts were torn off, and the equipment examined, handled,
kissed, before her tour of my body took her briefly down my legs and back
up my chest to my face again, where she kissed me frantically.

She gave me little tugs and pushes, whimpering in her need, as I moved
above her. This was not going to be any artistic, protracted, gentle
lovemaking. This was NEED and HUNGER for both of us. She steered the
equipment to the right place, as women always do.

Just before I entered her, I looked into her eyes.

And saw welcome.

I found myself enveloped in a warm, moist grasp, so sensuous I gasped in
pleasure. Echoing her.

Miriam embraced me with her legs up around my waist, pulling me in as
deeply as she could, her arms around my shoulders, crushing those marvelous
breasts into two firm pillows beneath my chest. Kissing my face, neck,
chin, ears with fast kisses, still in her frenzy, she started shaking and
went into orgasmic convulsions.

Gasping, "Kiss me!" her mouth latched onto mine and I kissed her deeply
while her spasms continued. Unable to hold out against such passion, I
felt my own release start. As I stiffened and pumped into her, she
screamed out her joy and climax.

When I recovered my breath, I tried to pull away, to take my weight off
of her. She wouldn't have it. With a little whimper, she held me to her.
Then after a few minutes, wrapped her legs around mine to keep us joined
and rolled to the side. Miraculously, I was still half-erect and able to
remain in her. (That's not often the case. Oh, for the stamina of youth!)

After kissing me thoroughly, but without the urgency of a few moments
ago, Miriam grinned at me and said, "Bill, that was not just good, it was
better than I had even dreamed! I hope you're staying healthy, because I'm
going to keep you busy trying to top that."

I smiled back and said, "Girl, you're pretty fantastic yourself. I'm
really glad you were on a hair-trigger, 'cause I'd been without so long, I
couldn't have held out any longer."

"I'd expected that, Bill. I thought we'd have to wait until the second
time for it to be any good. boy was I surprised! And delighted!" she said
with a couple more kisses.

"Miriam, we both, obviously, needed this. And I'm not at all concerned
that 'we shouldn't be doing this.' We're adults, and neither of us sleep
around. What I'm leading up to is: Why me? You're young, beautiful and
could have most any man you want. Why an old, broken-down guy like me, old enough to be your dad? NOT complaining, mind you! But I really would like
to know."

With that enchanting giggle, she replied, "I probably shouldn't tell you
this--at least not so soon. You know that exercise Kris made you do?
Where she made you list all the traits you wanted in a woman?" I nodded.
"Well, she showed it to me, with a comment that it's too bad I wasn't
older, since it seemed you wanted me; except that I'm too young for you." I
nodded again, understanding. "Then a week later, she kind of dropped a
comment that, except for age, you were the match for the list I'd made,
after similar prodding and coercion from her. Naturally, that got me to
thinking about the age issue. I've always liked and admired you--as Kris'
dad. You always treated me like a real person, not like a kid. Finally I
thought, 'What the heck, he's an interesting guy, anyway. Let's get
acquainted, and see.' So I took every opportunity so see you and demanded
that Kris take me along to Seattle.

"When I forgot about age and just interacted with you as an adult, I
found that you were the most interesting--no, exciting--guy I've met in a
long time. Had you been closer to my age, I'd have jumped you weeks ago. I
just had to get my head straight. Are you uncomfortable about that?"

"No, Miriam, not at all. I'm flattered, and awed. I guess I was afraid
that this was a 'mercy fuck', or something. Though it was fantastic, I
really don't want that. So I'm happy."

This time, I kissed her and smiled at her lovely face. "So where do we
go from here?" I asked. "May I court you? Could you be interested in
anything more than an older friend who's good in bed?"

Her reply was without hesitation. "Of course, silly. I'd be hurt if
you didn't. I'm looking forward to spending a LOT of time with you. In
bed and out. I'll find out everything you like and do it for you. I'll
find out what you don't like and keep it away from you. I'll see you
living again!"

With that, I tightened my arms, pulling her against me for a long kiss
of exploration and commitment. After a moment, the kiss turned passionate
and Miriam rolled on top of me. Still joined, she tightened her vaginal
muscles around me, resulting in immediate readiness.

This time, we were able to take our time and taste each other. The
frenzy was over; we enjoyed being mated and discovering the secrets of the
other's body. We kissed and stroked and petted and loved. Finally unable
to restrain our arousal, the pace quickened and we were again able to bring
each other to the ecstatic release we craved.

I awoke to the smell of fresh coffee and the sound of the shower. And I
heard the clear sweet soprano of Miriam singing in the shower--a song of
love and joy.

In a moment the water stopped and she stepped into the room,
unselfconsciously naked, toweling her hair. Seeing my eyes on her, she
smiled, dropped the towel and rushed to pour me a cup of coffee.

"Good morning, darling," she said, as she handed me the cup.

"Who told you I need coffee first thing in the morning?" I growled, but
with a smile at the corner of my mouth.

"Nobody. I just paid attention in the motorhome. I saw that you were a
complete bear until Kris gave you coffee. Then you became a pussycat.
Women notice those things. Especially when they intend to pamper someone."

"Oh? And who are you pampering today?" I grinned.

With a mock scowl, but unable to keep the corners of her mouth from
twitching, Miriam replied, "Men! Don't have a clue! Today I'm the one who
gets pampered."

"Hmmm," I teased. "I thought women got pampered on their birthdays,
Mother's Day, things like that. The rest of the time, their function is to
pamper their men."

"Shows all you know, you old fossil," she retorted with a big grin and a
finger in my kidneys. "I happen to be a modern woman. We can be pampered
any time at all... doesn't hurt us a bit."

"Kids these days!" I muttered, still teasing. "Think they know it all.
Surest way to spoil a woman is to give her attention. Pamper one more than
a day or two a year and first thing you know, they're following you around,
jumping into your bed at night when you need your rest, fixing your
favorite dinners and all kinds of stuff."

With that, Miriam whacked me on the shoulder, then gave me a big kiss.
"Yeah! Ain't it great?" she said.

Before she could climb back in bed with me, I jumped out to take care of
severe bladder pressure. Heading for my own room, I said, "I'll be back as
soon as I clean up a bit."

Miriam stopped me with, "Darling, I moved your things into this

With a Cheshire cat grin she added, "and your bag is on the stand,
there." Her face changed to an exaggerated pout. "I wanted you here, so
you couldn't get away."

I just looked at her in amazement. "How long have you been up?" I

"Well, I was too excited to sleep much. I snuggled for awhile, then got
up and moved you in. Then I cuddled some more. It was soooo delicious!
Finally I napped a bit and got up for good about an hour ago. Go shave and
shower. I'll be here," she waved me to the bathroom.

Taking care of my immediate problem and then brushing my teeth, I
decided I'd shave in the shower. I hadn't done that for awhile, normally
using my electric razor. But a fresh blade shave is so much nicer for a
woman . . .

Just as I was finishing the shave, I was joined in the shower by a wood
nymph. Or a sprite, or elf or some other supernatural female. How else
explain that sleek figure with the voluptuous yet firm breasts? How else
describe the flowing hair, black with the water, the dainty ears, the
slightly tilted eyes? How else account for the unearthly eroticism of her
body as she took the shampoo and proceeded to wash my hair, then with soap
and cloth, the rest of my middle-aged body.

When I tried to caress or fondle her, she gently took my hands away and
told me to be patient.

After I was bathed to her satisfaction, we dried each other with the
large towels the hotel provides and put on the terry bathrobes I found
hanging in the room. Emerging, I discovered a large room-service breakfast
set out on the table.

I'd expected to sample some other delights in bed, then go out to
breakfast. Miriam had other ideas. "Sit. Eat," she said. "I have a
feeling you need to build up your energy after such marvelous exertion last

"Dear girl, you amaze me," I said, sitting. "I came here expecting a
pleasant evening with a young friend. And I've found instead an enchanted
lover who surprises and amazes me at every turn. I'm afraid I'll wake up.
This is too wonderful a dream to end."

Sitting by me at the table, Miriam smiled and said, "Who says it has to
end?" Really surprised, I answered, "How can it not? We both have to get
back to work bright and early in the morning. You travel most of the time.
I travel some, but am really tied to my phone and FAX. We live three hours
apart. How can it not end when I go home today?"

"Well, darling," she said, "why do you have to go home today? Can't you
wait until tomorrow morning? So we could share another night?"

"Sure--I suppose..." I agreed.

"And as soon as I finish this trip, would you be offended if I asked to
be a houseguest?"

I paused a moment to think through what I was hearing. My hesitation
didn't go unnoticed and Miriam thought I wasn't thrilled with the prospect.
Seeing her face change from its innocent enthusiasm to concern, I quickly
said, "Oh, I'd love to have you. I'm just trying to visualize where this
is all going."

With that, she propelled herself onto my lap and kissed me quite
soundly. Then she got up and required me to eat my breakfast, saying with a
sly grin I was going to need my strength.

As we ate, Miriam asked what I'd like to do that day. When my eyes
involuntarily flicked to the bed, she grinned, "Besides that?" Answering
her own question, "I'd kind of like to go to church and do a little
shopping this afternoon. Would you mind?"

"Church is a great idea. But what are you shopping for?" I asked,

The sly grin was back. "I need some country clothes, if I'm going to be
your guest. Other than clothes for work, everything I have is either
evening wear, or suitable for my apartment. I don't have anything I could
wear at your place. No jeans, for example. Or proper shoes."

To change the subject from shopping, I suggested, "We'd best move out if
we're going to church."

So we quickly got ready, took a spin around 'my' room to ensure nothing
was left there, checked out of 'my' room at the desk, and headed for a
church about a mile away. Miriam was dressed in a suit, complete with hat
and gloves. A remarkably classy package. I was proud to be with her!

The service was well presented and the sermon excellent. The people
were very friendly--we received three invitations to lunch. If we hadn't
just had a big breakfast, we'd have accepted one.

On the way back to the Hilton, I suggested that Miriam would do better
getting country clothing at the farm co-op in my town, rather than paying
big city prices. Obviously, a mere man like me doesn't understand
anything. She loves to shop. And she was testing to see how much of it I
would tolerate.

Seeing my expression, she decided not to press her luck. She said, "Why
don't we check with the concierge? Perhaps we could take an afternoon
river cruise?" There was one available on a sternwheeler, so we did it.
Very peaceful and relaxing, to cruise the river and see the city from the
water. We pointed out favorite sights, chatted, held hands and worked on
the delightful bonding process.

When the afternoon trip was over, I asked where she would prefer to have
dinner. "How about pizza in bed?" she asked with a big grin.

"Best offer I've had all day!" I agreed.

Returning to the hotel, I called room service while Miriam was doing
some cleaning up in the bathroom. Yes, they'd be happy to make us a pizza.
What did we want on it? Miriam just wanted three cheeses, while I wanted
sausage, mushroom, olive, pepperoni and extra jack cheese. With our order,
I asked for a chilled bottle of cabernet sauvignon.

Assured it was not problem and that the pizza would be ready within a
half hour, I turned on CNN, watching with half my attention while I
considered the events of the past two weekends and wondered where I would
be going from here. Although I had initiated our 'date' for this weekend,
I was becoming aware that I had done it because Kris and Miriam had
conspired to put me in a position where I would want to. And I had been
pretty much a passive participant this weekend, in the sense of accepting
Miriam's plans. I needed to decide for myself what I wanted. What would
be my 'best case' result? How could I get from here to there? I made
myself a note to work on it as if it were a problem for one of my clients.
I'd start on my own case on Monday.

Miriam came out of the bathroom scrubbed clean and with her hair back in
a kind of ponytail. She was wearing the hotel bathrobe and, I suspected,
nothing else. My, she was beautiful!

Giving me a little smile, she said, "Aren't you uncomfortable in all
those clothes? Why don't you freshen up and get into a robe, too?"

Grinning I replied, "The room service waiter will be here with our pizza
in about fifteen minutes. I wouldn't want to shock him by making him think
we were doing lewd things in this room. Besides, I need someplace for my
billfold. I'll change after dinner."

I'd pay for that.

Miriam decided to spend the time until the food was delivered in my lap.
In theory, she was watching the news with me. Actually, she was seeing how
turned on she could get me and if she could get me undressed before our
dinner arrived.

She was indeed covered by the robe and skin. She made sure that, when
she sat on me, she was not sitting on robe. Then she wiggled her bare
bottom over the bulge in my trousers regularly. Just maintaining my
interest, you understand. Turning to kiss me, she also made sure the robe
gaped open, putting her marvelous breasts on display. (The nipple against
my chest felt like it was boring a hole through my shirt!) Kissing me
wetly, arms around my neck and hands in my hair, I had no place to put my
free hand but on her other nipple. Moving my palm over her hard nub caused
a delay in her kissing, while she gasped, then moaned into my mouth.
"Darling, I hope you don't know just how much you turn me on!" she
whispered, before her mouth devoured mine again. Grinning inwardly--I
still had clothes on, after all--I put all the passion I could into the
kiss, while continuing to caress and pull the nipple on her breast.

In minutes, her hips were pumping and she started her little whimpers.
She needed help. So I put an arm under her legs and stood up, then placed
her on the edge of the bed. Laying her back, I knelt between her legs, and
kissed her inner thighs, quickly working my way up to her center. When I
licked from bottom to top, parting her lovely lips as I went, she went

"Ooooh, YES! Like that! There! OOOHHH!!" She bucked so hard I was
afraid she would hurt herself against a tooth, or my chin, so I grabbed her
hips, held on and rode it with her through her climax.

I did that OK, but her climax didn't end. Rather, it kept building
until, finally, she pushed me away, saying, weakly, "Oh, darling, please
stop. I can't take any more!"

Wow! I'd given pleasure to a woman before, but had never seen one go
into multi-orgasmic spasms like that! It was a tremendous boost to my
middle-aged ego to know that I could ring her chimes so well--and so
thoroughly. When she let go of my hair and collapsed on the bed, I kissed
her briefly and went to the bathroom to wash my face. Getting a clean
washcloth, I moistened it with warm water, returned to her and gently
cleaned her face, then wiped her legs and between them. She murmured and
smiled her pleasure at my ministrations.

I had just finished when the room service waiter knocked on the door.
What timing!

Giving her a hand, I helped her to her feet and steered her to the
bathroom. Then I opened the door and allowed the waiter to set a table for
our dinner. When he was gone, Miriam came prancing out into the room, full
of energy as if rejuvenated.

And naked as the day she was born.

Going to the table, she poured two glasses of the wine, then took them
to the bed, along with the bottle.

"Grab a couple slices for each of us and the napkins and get over here!"
she commanded.

By the time I did that, she had a wine glass on each nightstand and was
watching me critically.

"How are we going to make love and eat pizza in bed if you're still
dressed?" she asked, reasonably.

"Easily remedied," I replied. "Just give me a minute to arrange dinner
a little more conveniently and I'll be with you." While I was talking, I
moved the table over near the bed. Then I shed my clothes in record time
and jumped in with her.

Grabbing naked girl in one hand, and the wine glass in the other, I
proposed a toast. "Here's to us: to love, trust, caring, and faith."

Miriam responded, "God grant that we will always put each other first,
after only Him."

We clicked our glasses together, and sipped the excellent Oregon
vintage. While we were doing this, I replayed what I had just heard. Was
Miriam proposing?

Putting my glass down and picking up a plate of pizza, I paused, looking
intently at her. She sat with her eyes shadowed by her long lashes. I put
the pizza back down and said, "Miriam, we seem to agree that we'll see a
lot more of each other. Are you looking for a permanent relationship?
What is it you're asking for?"

That was really clumsy. But I had to know where she was coming from. I
guess Miriam sensed I was serious. She looked up at me, without any trace
of her usual mocking grin, or sly mischievousness. "Bill. I'm a simple
girl, really. I just want whatever I can get. I love you. I want your
love. Whatever you're willing to give me, I'll accept with gratitude.

"All I ask is that you don't hurt me spitefully. If you feel we need to
break it off, please do it cleanly and like a gentleman--which I know you
are." Was I surprised!? I took a moment to think about it, to be sure of
my own feelings. "Miriam, 'love' can be a slippery word. What do you mean
when you say you 'love' me. Does that mean what we've done in bed? Or
spending a little time together on a date? Or something more?"

"Bill, we mentioned that Kris had coerced me into listing what I want in
a man, before she did the same to you. And I think I told you she showed
me your list a little while back--I see her fine Irish hand in all of this.
I think she and Mike are trying to get us together... But because they
love us and think it might work--Anyway, the most important thing I told
Kris is that I want a man who will love me. And I asked if that wasn't too
much to ask from life.

"If you will just love me, that's all I'll ask of you. I don't need
more. In return, I offer my love, my loyalty, my body, my time--whatever
you will take. For as long as you want it."

Meanwhile, I still had one arm full of delightful, naked girl, while my
free hand tried to deal with a slice of pizza. Lots of guys would kill to
take my place at that moment.

Finally--more than the one big bite of pizza later--Miriam turned to
face me directly again. "Bill, please understand that I love you.
Completely. Passionately. For as long as you want me, I want to be with

"Can you do that?" I asked, thinking of her job and the amount of time
she spent on the road.

"You mean Carl, my "ex"?" she asked, misunderstanding my question.

"Well, no. I was thinking about your job. But how much of a concern is
your "ex"? Carl?"

"I can manage the job. I don't really need to spend much time 'at the
shop' and I can make my travel schedule fit whatever you want. Carl is a
problem, though."

"I'm not afraid of him!" I said.

"I know you aren't. Frankly I wish you were. He's not sane. He's
completely obsessive about me. I told you a little about him. He's an
ex-SEAL. The Navy gave him a Bad Conduct Discharge after he beat a
prostitute within an inch of her life. Merely because she'd entertained
another customer after she was with him.

"The restraining order just makes him careful when he watches me. He
keeps his distance--mostly--now. Except when he's drunk and then all bets
are off. When I'm on trips, he usually doesn't worry about me. He knows
I'm not a slut and don't 'put out' for customers or people I meet on sales
trips. But when I'm home, he knows everything I do and everyone I see. I
suspect my apartment and phones are bugged. I've had a service in, but
he's better than most commercial services.

"He slapped me around pretty bad when we were married. And threatened
me, often. One thing he's said, several times, is that he'll kill any man I let into my bed. I believe he means it."

"So he won't accept the reality that it is over between you?" I asked.

"No. That's what I'm saying. He's completely
obsessive--irrational--about this. He just won't let it go. One guy I
just dated a couple of times--all he got was a good night kiss when he
brought me home--got beat up pretty thoroughly. The guy says he couldn't
tell who assaulted him. But he never called me again, either. Of course,
the police couldn't do anything."

"Miriam, I refuse to live in fear of a scumbag like that. My life isn't
worth it if I have to worry about his like. I'm willing to take reasonable
precautions. And I thank you for letting me know what we're involved with.
I'll think of something. We'll be OK."

Carefully putting my pizza on the nightstand, I reached for her. She
wasn't quite as careful and we ended up with cheese in some interesting
places. No harm done. I got to lick it off.

Our lovemaking that night was passionate, but not frantic. Miriam's
body seemed to flow under my hands. And she gave as good as she got.

When we had spent our first passion and were just holding each other,
neither of us was willing to sleep. We turned off the tv and talked.

"Darling, can you imagine how happy you've made me?" Miriam asked.

"Sure I can. I'm a pretty cheerful guy myself, right now. In fact, I'm
really amazed that a lovely young woman like you would want to live with
someone as old and worn out as I am. I sure hope you really know what that
means, 'cause I don't think either of us needs any nasty surprises--or

"Bill, how could you disappoint me? You've already given me much more
than I ever expected. And you've given me the satisfaction of watching the
saddest eyes I've ever seen come alive." With a bashful smile, "I like the
way you look at me, dear one. It makes me feel warm and secure--loved and

That prompted a tender kiss, which I followed with, "But Miriam, what
you don't realize is that my body is starting to wear out. There are many
physical activities I can't do any more, which were easy only a few years
ago. I'm taking pills every day now--and will for the rest of my life."

This surprised her and she asked why, when I seem so healthy.

"It's a matter of prevention and maintenance. I never took pills
before. But the doctors have convinced me that I will live a healthier,
longer, more satisfying life if I take these pills daily. The way it was
put to me: If the chemicals can keep me healthy longer, by replacing what
the body no longer produces, why not? My response was, 'Why not, indeed!'"

"I guess I understand. I'm surprised, is all," she said.

"There's at least one other 'surprise' you need to know about," I said.

"Sometimes I can't get it up--can't achieve or maintain an erection.
We've been lucky so far. In fact, I'm a bit amazed that I've been able to
do nearly as well in bed as I have this weekend. The last year with Brenda
I had to use the shots."

"Shots?!" Miriam asked, with no idea of what I was talking about.

"Yeah, shots. There is a safe compound that is injected into the penile
tissue, which results in erection. I prefer to avoid them, but believe me,
the shots are better than going without!"


"Without sex."

"Oh... OH!... I can see that!" Miriam agreed. "Any other skeletons in
your closet?"

"There's a new drug out now, a pill--Viagra. I'll see about it...
Other than that, occasional insomnia. I normally only average about six
hours sleep a night now. Melatonin helps, but it's not a cure. And that's
all I can think of, love."

"Well, good. I'm glad you shared that with me, although I'm not
concerned or frightened by any of it. Now, since we're both still awake,
and naked, here in this bed, do you suppose we can think of something
really interesting to do?" With a big grin, I turned to her as if I were
going to kiss her. But instead I latched my mouth onto one of her
spectacular breasts. This resulted in Miriam's head tossing back, with a
gasp. Then her hands were in my hair, holding my mouth to her needy
breast. While my tongue massaged one nipple, my palm was working its magic
on the other.

Soon, she was whimpering again, so I moved my free hand from breast to
vagina, where it stroked and petted for a bit. This didn't last long,
though, for she was soon thrusting herself at my hand, to increase the
friction. I parted her lips, stroking up and down, spreading her wetness
over the area. When I finally touched her button, her whimpers changed to
a groan. She was still holding my head tightly to a breast, so I knew she
was enjoying that attention. I felt she needed some penetration and
inserted one, then two fingers into her. Immediately, I could feel her
vaginal sphincter start to clench on those fingers. I guess that was what
she wanted all right. With the thumb, I started to gently rub her clit,
and she went right over the top and kept climbing! Her whimpers became
screams, and her whole body vibrated, then convulsed as she screamed my
name, over and over.

Have I mentioned I really enjoy turning this woman on?!! After a few
minutes, her eyes focused again and she saw me gazing at her. She looked
back, then her face split into a big grin. You know what kind. She dove
for my crotch and swallowed me--only until it was hard again. Then she
pivoted around and swung a leg up and over so she could impale herself.

Every time was better than the time before. She was so hot, so tight, I
had to think about interest rates and internal rates of return to keep from
blowing my load right then. When she started to slide up and down, with
her back arched and those marvelous breasts I'd just been chewing jutting
out for my inspection, I was transfixed. I didn't move. I just lay there
and watched and felt and enjoyed. I won't compare making love with Miriam
to Brenda. Brenda is gone and Miriam was there and loved me! She was
marvelous! Soon her tempo increased and she started 'milking' me with her
sphincters. I'd never experienced that before. It is an incredible
sensation. As she sped up, she leaned towards me, her hands on the bed by
my shoulders, her breasts abrading my chest with those hard, hard nipples.
Then, suddenly, she went from whimper to scream and, in mid-scream, kissed
me frantically. Again I could feel her start to convulse. First in the
flat muscles of her shapely tummy, then her legs, then her entire body was
involved. Her mouth left mine as her head whipped around and her screams
again echoed in the room.

With that stimulation, I just couldn't hold back any longer and shot
load after creamy load into her greedy belly.

Falling forward again, Miriam kissed me deeply, then collapsed on top of
me. Still joined, with the curviest 'comforter' I've ever had, I pulled a
blanket over her and we fell asleep.

I woke a couple of times, but each time I would have moved from under
her, she whimpered in her sleep, so I stayed in place. Her vaginal
sphincter was so tight it clung to me, though I was almost limp. The
occasional twitch was enough to keep me partially erect most of the night,
even while asleep. If you've never tried this, dreams are something else
when you're plugged in! Bladder pressure finally did me in. I gently
moved her aside and went into the bathroom. Once I had emptied the tank, I
looked at my watch and decided I needed to get up and get moving anyway. I
had a busy week ahead and needed to get on with it. I faced a two-hour
drive just to get home. Not complaining mind you! I brushed my teeth and
started the shower when Miriam came into the bath. With a big grin, I
offered to share the shower with her. She eyed the toilet and said she'd
join me in a minute.

There was no modesty about me watching her, but watching someone pee didn't do anything for me when I was a kid, and it still doesn't. Watching
Miriam, naked, do anything, however....

I stepped into the big shower stall, and in a couple of minutes, Miriam
joined me, with a big, sloppy, 'good morning' kiss. We were both still
pretty sated after the wonderful lovemaking the night before, so other than
a little friendly groping, our play in the shower was just that-- play. We
were sensual, not sexual. We shampooed each other's hair--a really cool,
sharing experience. She'd found her mate and was caring for him. I
reciprocated. Next a quick cup of coffee, dress, pack, and I was ready to
'get outta there.' Miriam insisted I have breakfast with her--not that I
took much persuading--so we did, in the coffee shop. "When will I see you
again?" I asked over the waffles.

"I have two more days' work here, then I'm home for a week. Could you
stand it if I come to your place tomorrow evening?"

Grinning, I said, "Only if you can't come tonight! Seriously, I'd be
happy if you just move in."

"Oh, Bill. That sounds like heaven! I wish it were that easy. But
we'll work it out. And we'll work out more details after tomorrow." The
rest of our conversation was just the drivel you'd expect from two people
in love. Good drivel, but not worth repeating.

All too soon, I was in my car driving home for another week of work and
Miriam was headed for the first of her appointments for the day, as she
reminded her customers why her employer's instruments and sheet music were
better than anyone else's.

*Book Two*

Monday I spent the whole day on the phone. I couldn't get off of it to
get any real work done. And I'd promised myself to examine my own
situation and decide what I really wanted. The only time I had for that
was during "Monday Night Football." Al, Boomer and Dan didn't get much of
my attention that night, as I wrestled with the pros and cons of a
relationship with Miriam. Finally, it came down to asking myself; "Can I
live without her?" That thought scared me silly, so I guessed I'd better
settle some permanent arrangement pretty soon. Yep. I was (and am) in

My 'best case' scenario: Marry the girl, if she'd have me.

On Tuesday I was really under pressure. I had a lot of work to catch up
and I had this niggling idea in my head that I'd better start preparing for
Miriam's 'ex'. Finally, I couldn't stand it, and called the sheriff
requesting an appointment. Since we knew each other socially and I'd
hosted a campaign meeting for him, he granted me some time that afternoon.
In fact, he even drove out to see me--said he needed to check on his
deputies in this end of the county anyway. It was very gracious of him and
I thanked him for it.

What I wanted was advice. And an ally. I knew that until Carl did
something, the sheriff's hands were tied. But I was afraid that if he did
something it could be very final. I wanted to prevent that if I could.

I'm familiar with many security measures. Some are common sense; others
involve avoiding patterns. But I was tied to a place, most of the time. I
lived and worked at the end of a long driveway at the top of a dead-end
county road. I could move, but he could find me elsewhere, if he could
find me at all. And I didn't have any notion that I'd be hard to find.
Besides, I didn't want to move. I wanted to make things so difficult he'd
give up and leave us alone.

Miriam was the link. I had to arrange it so he'd have to physically
follow her to find her and me. That would take some careful preparation.
Miriam's boss, for example, could give her away in a second, without having
any idea he'd done it. So could the receptionist, or any of a dozen other
people. Somehow, I had to arrange things so that Miriam could 'disappear'
yet be available by phone. And the phone couldn't be traceable either.

As Norm, the sheriff, and I kicked ideas around, he said he could work a
deal with the phone company to get me a Salem line. We could get Miriam a
Salem address and use a Salem phone number. Just tell everybody she got
tired of the crap from Carl and the extra driving and moved to Salem. Her
paychecks could be deposited directly into her account, which she would
move to a Salem branch of her bank.

That would make her hard to find, assuming Carl had no link to me.
Would he be likely to come after Kris? Hard to say. Probably not, since
that would tip us off and would give the law a reason to come after him...

At one point, Norm asked me if this woman was worth all of this.
"Seriously, Bill, don't you think you could find a girl with less 'baggage'
than this one?" "Not likely, Norm," I replied. He dropped it. "A question
I had for you: I'd like to start carrying a weapon again, at least in the
car. Can I get concealed weapons permits for more than one weapon? That
is, a permit for me, without specifying a particular weapon?"

"Sure. We do that all the time. You'll have to come to the courthouse,

We batted around a few more ideas, including installing an alarm system
tied in to his substation in town, then Norm left to check on his deputies,
with my thanks and gratitude.

I called the security company Norm recommended and made an appointment
for someone to see me the following day.

Just as I was making my list of tasks for the next day, Miriam drove in.


Bouncing out of her car and over to give me a big hug, she kissed me
wetly and said, "Hi, lover. What's for dinner?"

I lost it. When I stopped laughing, I said, "What do you mean, 'what's
for dinner,' woman? What do you think I keep you around for? Get to
cookin'!" with a faked smack on her butt.

"Insensitive brute!" she fell into the game and faked an accent. "I've
been out in the hot sun chopping weeds all day, while all you've done is
tend that still. And you want me to fix dinner too?"

Happy. Together. This is how it's supposed to be.

I grabbed her bags, and carried them into my room. Although Miriam had
been to the house a couple of times with Kris, she'd never seen that room.
To my relief, she liked it.

There was plenty of space. I pointed to the walk-in closet. "That's
yours, love. And if you need more drawer space, you can use some of the
dresser there," I said, putting her bags in the closet. I wanted her to
feel 'at home' from the start. I felt, and she confirmed, that she moved
in as of that moment, even though it would be a few weeks before we
arranged to move things from her apartment.

In the kitchen, I quickly laid out dinner.

Miriam kicked off her shoes and tossed her jacket over a dinette chair.
"I'm not normally this messy," she declared, "but I want to be with you
more than I want to put things away." Looking appreciatively around the
light and spacious kitchen, she added, "A girl can get real spoiled real
fast in a place like this. And such a handsome cook, too! I don't know
how I'll handle such prosperity."

"You'll handle it often, I hope," I joked back at her. My goodness, I
was glad to see her--to have her here!

In minutes, the potatoes were in the oven, the salad prepared and in the
refrigerator and the charcoal was lighted. Selecting a bottle of a good
local wine, I poured two glasses.

"Here's welcome home. May you find love, joy and peace here." Miriam
beamed as she touched her glass to mine, then sipped.

Obviously tired, she was too keyed up to be able to let go and relax.
After a few minutes, she got up and announced she was going to put her
things away. Fifteen minutes later, she returned in casual clothing with
her face scrubbed free of makeup and her hair in a ponytail. Seeing the
look of appreciation on my face, she stopped and struck a pose in the
kitchen door. It was a different look than that of the sophisticated
business chick she had been when she arrived, and I found her lovelier
without the makeup and tailored clothing. "We have another 20 minutes or
so before I can do anything more about dinner. Would you like me to give
you the $3 tour, or would you rather just rest?"

"The tour, by all means!" she said. "I've only been in the living room
and Kris's room before. Show me. Show me!" I'd forgotten about her
incredible energy level. Can I keep up with this girl? This woman?

To my great satisfaction, she was delighted with the place. It's bigger
than she's used to, though not overwhelming. She didn't seem to be looking
for things she could change, but rather getting acquainted with her new
home and what it contained.

She was impressed with my office suite and asked if there would be room
for a desk for her. I hadn't really thought that through, but we'll surely
make room for her to have her own workspace. I suspect I'll convert a
guestroom for her. In the kitchen again, Miriam found a comfortable seat
while I put the steaks on the fire, and refilled our wineglasses.

[Maybe you're wondering why we weren't already in bed, or at least
'making out' all of this time. Remember: Neither of us are teenagers. We
were constantly touching each other. Our attention was focused on the
other. We'd get to bed.]

After a comfortable pause--neither felt a need to speak, but rather just
enjoyed the other's presence--Miriam said, "I feel I'm 'letting down the
side' somehow, making you do all the cooking. But you can't believe how
good it feels to come here, after the stress of a trip, and have you here.
I'm more relaxed than I think I've been in a year. Normally I come home,
cautiously, to a cold, empty apartment. Here I'm not worried about my
safety and I'm not returning alone, to a lonely place."

I kissed her, went to turn the steaks and while checking the potatoes
said, "I'm glad you feel that way. I'm going to do all I can to keep this
place a haven for you. But you know it isn't just a one-way street. I'm
really blessed. Otherwise, I'd be nuking a tv dinner and watching hockey
on satellite TV, then going to a lonely bed in this big house. Having you
here is, literally, an answer to prayer."

"You know, Bill--in spite of the fact that I set out to snare you, if I
could--I still have to pinch myself to convince myself I'm really here.
And that you really love me. I'm so much younger. Why me, instead of a
woman who has your level of experience and accomplishment?"

"It's no secret, dear. One of the important criteria I listed was that
my woman had to be physically attractive. Not spectacular,
necessarily--not a 'trophy wife'--but substantially above average. The
reason is that I'm stimulated visually. And I need a woman who turns me
on, because sex is important in a relationship. The other stuff,
intelligence, ability, and so on is still vital, but I felt sexual
attraction was a key element for me. "There aren't many women my age who
have maintained their appearance well enough to excite me. And those who
have are mostly either married or are tramps."

At that point I broke off to see if the steaks were done--as they were.
So we set the food on the table, and dug in. When we'd beat back
starvation a bit, we returned to the subject.

"Bill, don't I run a high risk of turning out to be immature, childish
even, in your eyes after you've lived with me awhile? Or even worse, do
you expect me to think like a middle-aged woman?"

"That's a risk we're both taking, love. I just don't know. I do know
we'll have to have a lot of patience and tolerance to make this succeed.
But, since He answered my prayers with you, I assume that you are the woman
God intended for me. And from a comment or two Kris has let slip, the same
applies to you--true?"

"Yes, I suppose it is true," she said. "I set out to get you only after
I'd really studied the list Kris conned me into generating--and she said
you're the only man she knew who met my criteria. That got me thinking
about you, which got me interested in you, which got me turned on just
thinking about you, and so on. Prayer was definitely a part of it."

"Love, it seems to me that our concerns about each other are mirror
images. Let's promise, right here, between ourselves, that either of us
can remind the other that we're needing some help in any area. If we can
do that, I think we're sensitive enough to be able to meet the other's
needs of the moment?"

"Sure, Bill," Miriam agreed with a grin, "I can do that. I'm a woman.
But can you?"

"With the help of God and a good woman, I can!" I replied.

That was enough of the 'deep' stuff for the evening. Offered dessert,
Miriam declined. "What I'd really like, darling, is to try out that hot
tub I saw outside the bedroom. Is it ready to go? Or do you need to set
it up?"

"Your wish is my command. It's ready to go as soon as you're ready to
get into it. Do you want pure relaxation, or do you want company?"

The delightful giggle again: "Of course I want company. Would m'lord do
me the honor of accompanying me to the bath?" Taking her hand, I helped her
to her feet, and led the way to our room where we shed clothes and I
gathered two large towels before opening the doors to the deck and the tub.
Removing the cover, I checked the water temperature by hand. It seemed
just right to me--less than boiling. Turning on the jet pumps, I offered
my hand to Miriam, to help her step in. Then I froze. She was flat-out
gorgeous, in the light of the half-moon and the lamps from the bedroom.
Her giggle--my reaction was noticed and appreciated--broke the spell, and I
helped her in.

Oops! Seems not everyone likes water as hot as I do. With comments
that she is neither Japanese nor lobster, she eased herself into the water
inch by slow inch. It was fun to watch, even knowing that she was
uncomfortable. My tub contains a sort of contoured couch, as well as
several seats, and the usual assortment of bubbling water jets. I tried to
steer Miriam to the couch, knowing that she was tired, and thinking this
would be the most relaxing to her.

"Bill, if you don't take me in your arms, and hold me and cuddle me and
soothe me, right now, I'll scream!"

Well, if this isn't every boy's wet dream, I don't know what is! With
arms wide, I invited her onto my lap, where she came like she fit. We were
sitting with just our shoulders out of the water, her legs stretched to my
right, my left arm supporting her back and waist, her right arm around my
neck. Once she was settled, I got a very wet kiss, and a pair of hard
nipples pressed into my chest.

Then she broke the kiss, so we both could breathe, and let me get a hand
on her breast. Of course, she had to move a bit, to get us both
comfortable. Of course she did. And, of course, her bare bottom on my
bare lap was cause for a gallant response.

Feeling my erection, she squealed in delight, reached between her legs
to grasp the intruder, and made sure it intruded where it could do some

It had only been two days, but she was hotter and tighter than I
remembered. "Oh, my love, what you do to me!" I panted.

She gave me a smirk and a little giggle, proud of her ability to turn me
on. I couldn't let her think she was in control. So I flexed my crotch
muscles, causing additional penetration. Her eyes snapped shut as she

"Darling, you do OK yourself, believe me!" she breathed, huskily.

I kissed her, my tongue trying to penetrate her mouth as deeply as I had
her vagina. When she went limp in my arms, I broke the kiss, and asked,
quietly, if she'd had enough of the tub, and was ready for bed.

"Absolutely. Except that I think I'm going to need you to carry me.
I've come twice already!"

"No problem!" I said, standing with her in my arms--unfortunately coming
unplugged in the process. I carried her out of the tub and over to the
sliding doors. Proceeding inside, I gently deposited her on the bed and
assured her I'd be right back.

I shut off the pumps and lights, covered the pool, and got back into the
bedroom in record time, to discover that she had turned down the bed and
was in it, covered to her chin in my down comforter.

"Cold, love?" I asked. It wasn't as warm as the hot tub, certainly. I
normally like to cool down fast when I've been in the tub, but maybe she
felt chilled.

"No, I'm just waiting for my lover. I don't want to expose myself to
any strange man who might come along."

That was all I needed. I flipped the cover off her, then gazed
rapturously at her fantastic body. Naturally, I was hard as a rod.
Eventually, Miriam got tired of my just looking, and sat up to grab that
rod and pull it down to where it could do something useful. Feeling myself
sinking into her heat and softness, I couldn't help but pity the man I was
a mere week ago. Then my spirit soared! This woman had committed herself
to me for as long as I would have her! I would experience this whenever I

Or she wanted.

Thank you, Lord!


In the morning, I awoke feeling 'watched'. Then I remembered.

Miriam was here!

Opening my eyes, I found her propped up on her pillows and an elbow,
gazing at me with a sappy expression on her face.

"Good morning, darling," she said, when she saw my eyes open.

"Morning, love," I mumbled, but with a smile. (I'm NOT a 'morning
person'!) Then I staggered into the bathroom and, having emptied the tank,
remembered I wasn't alone and brushed my teeth.

Stumbling back to bed, I smiled again--Miriam hadn't moved, as far as I
could tell--and asked what her schedule was. With a BIG grin, (she is, God
help me! a morning person) she asked, "Do you mean my menstrual cycle, my
work requirements, or my plan for today?"

"Don't be a wise ass. Nobody likes a wise ass in skirts!" I grumbled,
but with a smile. "I'm most interested in what you need to do today--and
the rest of the week, I guess."

"I told my boss I was taking today off. I wanted to find out how much
'moving in' you wanted me to do, and plan how to go about it. Then I
thought I'd organize my life a bit. Tomorrow, I need to tell my boss where
I am and how to reach me."

"Great!" I affirmed. "I have about three hours I have to get in today,
but it will keep until later. How can I help?"

"Bill, this has all been really fast. Do you really want me to move in
with you? That wasn't just something generated by the passion of the
moment?" "Miriam, relax. I love you! I really want you here! The sooner
the better. OK?"

"Darling, Bill, thank you!" she said, and planted a kiss full on my

"That does remove some confusion, doesn't it? ... About moving: Should
I just call a moving company and have everything packed and delivered

Without hesitation, I said, "Absolutely not!" THEN I noticed the effect
this outburst had on Miriam.

"Love, I'm not having second thoughts! But I want to do the best I can
to avoid problems from your ex. I don't think Carl knows about me. I'd
like to keep it that way. So what I think we should do is move your things
to a storage site in Salem about a month from now. Meanwhile, is there any
reason you need to go back to your apartment right away?"

"Sure is. I need my clothes, and need to water the plants. I need to
check phone messages and check in with my boss. I thought I'd do those
things tomorrow. Why?"

"That should be OK. I have some security concerns and ideas. We'll go
into detail later, but your plan for tomorrow should be all right. If
anyone asks why you're taking more clothes, just say you're going on an
extended swing through your territory, and will need them before you get

"Don't give your boss, or anybody, this phone number, address, or even
my name, OK? We don't want anybody to link you with me for as long as
possible... Do you have any friends, other than Kris, who could water the
plants and keep an eye on things for you? Kris is a link to me. Not that
that is so important, except that it's a link to where you will be, so we
need someone else who's discreet and reliable."

"Mary, in the apartment next door, is nice. She'd look after things for
me." "Great!" I said. "Now let's talk about your job. You'll tell them
you're moving to Salem. When they ask why, you can tell them that it's
more central to your territory, but hint about being tired of Carl.... As
soon as you have a new phone number, you'll give it to them. Meanwhile,
you'll check the machine in your apartment at least daily for messages...
Does all this make sense?"

"Yes, Darling. And even if it didn't, I'll do whatever you say."

"Marvelous. But it's better if you understand and agree with the

She nodded.

"OK. Here's the plan: We'll put most of your things in storage in
Salem. We'll get you a mailing address at one of those private mail box
places. We'll have to arrange for somebody to pick up that mail regularly,
but that shouldn't be a problem. Have your pay deposited directly to your
bank account.

"What we're trying to do here is create as many 'dead ends' as possible.
A determined investigator could get through all of this. But I'm hoping an
amateur can't. So we'll 'move' you to Salem, as far as the world is
concerned. But Salem will be a dead end. Your furniture and things will
disappear there. Your address will be there, but a dead end. We'll get
you a Salem phone line, into here. But the sheriff assures me he can get
your address and number completely buried, so no one can get to them. If
your boss or a customer calls you, all they will be able to find out is
that it is a Salem number. They'll never be able to connect the number to
an address. Of course, Carl is the real target of all this.

"So go ahead. Get whatever you need tomorrow. But count on buying
everything else for at least the short term. Set your answering machine so
that you can access it remotely. Give your neighbor a key. And say
goodbye to the place."

"Wow! You have been thinking about this, haven't you?" she said,

"Of course I have. Now that I've found you, I'm not about to lose you
to some obsessive maniac. I want to look forward to spending the next
twenty or thirty years--however long I'm given--with my cock buried in your
cunt! And I want to be looking at you, not over my shoulder, while I'm
doing it."

Giggling, Miriam agreed.

My shower isn't as big as the one in the hotel. But we found that two
could use it at the same time if they wanted to.

We wanted to.


While I got some essential work out of the way, Miriam called Norm, the
sheriff, to enlist his help in getting a completely unlisted Salem phone
line installed at my house. It won't be cheap, but well worth its cost.
Then she called her landlord and gave notice for six weeks in the future.
And tomorrow the private security guy will call on me here.

Miriam spent the rest of the morning looking around the house; opening
cupboards and closets, checking supplies and groceries, making notes about
silver and china for entertaining, and all the other things a woman must do
when taking over a house.

After a light lunch, I suggested we go to Salem for a quick shopping
trip. I think I goofed. I meant to go to Costco to stock up on food and
printer paper. Miriam heard 'shopping' and envisioned Meier & Frank,
Nordstrom's, Bullocks, I. Magnin, and so forth. In the end we
compromised. We went to the farm co-op store in Dallas and bought 'country'
clothes for Miriam. My, does she make a fine country girl! Half a dozen
shirts, 4 pair of jeans, three dresses (size 6!), socks, boots, two pair of
shoes, hat, belt, and she still needed new underwear! She found that at
Penney's--and Victoria's Secret.

I hate shopping! But you know? I enjoyed the day. I was providing for
my woman. I needed to do that.

When we returned home and her loot was stowed, Miriam insisted she would
fix dinner. "Didn't Brenda cook for you, Bill?" she asked.

"Well, sure. But . . ."

"But, nothing! I'm cooking. If you can't find anything more
interesting on TV, you can sit over there and keep me company. <mumble,
grumble> The day I can't cook for my man, I'll turn in my <mumble, grumble>
. . . ."

The girl obviously felt strongly about it.

Dinner was very nice, although simple. But then, she didn't have a feel
for the kitchen yet, and hadn't laid in her own stock of groceries. What I
had, leaned heavily towards frozen, nuke-able dinners, and stuff in cans.

Miriam was vivacious. She seemed energized by the efforts of the day.
And she was a funny, witty, charming, entertaining sprite at night.

She was really impressed with the house and the property. She wanted to
know 'why' a lot of things were as they were. In the house, the answer
was, mostly, 'Brenda wanted it that way.' And outdoors it was mostly,
'That's all I've had time to do.' I suppose she'll make some changes, but
she was quite satisfied with what she found here, and was merely curious.

When we'd finished dinner, she shooed me out saying, "I'll handle it.
You go watch the news. Call me when the weather forecast comes on!

Ten minutes later the dishwasher was running and a lovely female joined
me to watch the news. But she said she couldn't see properly from anywhere
in the room, except in my lap. I thought I could handle that. And I did.
I handled that...and that...and that. Most fun I've had watching Dan
Rather in years. The kisses were very nice, too.

Soon we were ready for bed, though far from sleepy. We handled that,

The next day, Miriam drove to her apartment and packed, as planned.
Bringing clothing and items she felt she needed immediately, she pretty
well filled her car. It would be hard to maintain that she was just going
on another sales trip. But she ran her errands first and told a convincing
tale to her boss. Then she hit the road, coming home.

It was late when she arrived, so I fixed a simple dinner. I helped
unload her car, which we parked in the garage alongside my Chrysler, my
little pickup being relegated to the cold and wet. I just hung the garment
bags in her closet. The suitcases went there too, until she could unpack
them. There were a few boxes that found an overnight home on the floor of
my closet. Then I fed my mate and took her to bed.

Making love was more 'moving' that night, which made it particularly
memorable. It wasn't very energetic--Miriam was tired--but it was an
expression of love and commitment, now that she had moved in to stay.

*Book 3*

During the next week the Salem line was installed and Miriam arranged
for her address at a commercial mailbox facility. Meanwhile, I had the
house wired with the best alarm system I could buy, including 'panic
buttons,' all wired straight to the sheriff's station in town.

And that was all I was willing to do. I would not turn my home into a
fortress, nor live in fear of a crazy man. Miriam seemed more relaxed and
content than I'd seen her since her college days. And I was ecstatic.

Shortly after we had the Salem line installed and an answering machine
attached, Miriam gave her new address and phone number to the people where
she worked. Customers could still call her old number: Miriam would check
that recorder daily and return calls.

One thing I insisted on: Miriam would not answer the phone directly.
She would let the answering machine screen her incoming calls.

That was a wise precaution.

As I half expected, about three weeks later her ex was on the line,
demanding to know where she was. I made a copy of the tape and gave it,
along with a copy of the restraining order, to Norm, who passed it to the
Marion County Sheriff. Since we were trying to let the world think Miriam
was in Salem, it had to come from there. From Marion County, a complaint
went to the DA in Lake County. Carl, her ex, would be cited for violation
of the restraining order and, we hoped, be fined or even jailed. Our goal
was to cause him to back off some. We hoped that by the time he thought
the coast was clear again, Miriam's trail would be too cold for him to

I did not want to live in fear of this jerk. Problem was, he was not
only a homicidal maniac; he was a smart, well-trained homicidal maniac. It
seemed to me that some really strong preventative measures were indicated,
to keep this idiot at bay.

A very good friend was closely connected with a retired Marine Corps
Commandant. I called Paul and laid my problem out for him, requesting that
he call General O'Reilly and ask for a name and phone number of someone I
could talk to.

Two days later, I had the name of the commander of the SEAL detachment
in Coronado, along with General O'Reilly's permission to use his name and
to ask him for any additional help he could give. Paul said, "The General
read this guy's jacket--Don't ask how he got it. Retired Commandants can
get anything!--and decided no Marine should have to put up with this
scumbag! He'll do whatever he can to help."

When I called Commander Kochenskii, he knew who I was and the basics of
what I wanted. General O'Reilly had already called him! We arranged to
meet in San Francisco in three days.

The Commander was a compact, muscular guy. Just what I expected a SEAL
to look like. I gave him all the details I could about Miriam's ex, Carl,
including a copy of the restraining order, some pictures, and everything I
could remember about what she'd told me regarding his past and present

I was moderately surprised to learn that the Commander had not only read
his complete record jacket, but had seen the files regarding his discharge.
Then he had interviewed a half dozen SEALs who remembered the guy.

"This is the kind of turkey we try to weed out long before they become a
SEAL," he said. "Somehow, this jerk slipped through a crack... Happens.
We can't catch them all... Anyway, we'll do what we can to help. I can
help right away, by detailing a team for 'training' in southern Oregon.
We're a lot more sophisticated now than when he was with us. We'll tap his
phones. We'll watch him. The first time he even looks like he's trying to
contact you or Miriam, we'll put the fear of God in him!

"If this guy is really insane, though, I don't think that will end it.
Probably, he'll just get more cautious. We'll be ready for that and nail
him again--with some physical incentive to let it go.

"If there is a third time, we'll have to arrange a
non-fatal--unfortunately--'accident' for him. While he's still in the
hospital, we'll make sure he knows that he's had his three strikes and he's
out. He'll need to move to Florida right away if he doesn't want to be
back in the hospital."

This guy was serious! And he was saying just what I wanted to hear!
"Do you think that will really do it?" I asked.

"Not over the long haul," he answered, candidly. "But it will get you
free and clear for a year or two. May I offer some suggestions?"

"Please do!" I replied.

"As soon as we have him out of circulation for a bit, Miriam needs to
'disappear'. By that I mean, she needs to quit her job and vanish."

"I have no problem with that. I can certainly support her OK," I said.
"I'm not sure how she would take it, though. She's proud of what she's
accomplished in her career and might be reluctant to give it up."

"Well, it's a suggestion. But a strong one. Think about it...

"Another thing:" he continued, "Your daughter is a link. Even if we're
successful, he could always come to her for information about Miriam's
whereabouts. And no matter what, that can't be entirely prevented."

"Yeah, I see that. And I don't see any solution, either. If you come
up with any ideas, I'd sure like to hear them."

We had to leave it at that. Commander Kochenskii promised to keep me
posted with progress reports, and I promised to do the same.

I called Paul with an update and my thanks before I left San Francisco.
I don't think I'm at risk yet, but why take chances when I can call from a
line I know isn't tapped?


Back home, I waited a couple of days for Miriam to return from her
latest sales trip. This one was to Cour 'd Elene, Idaho.

When she'd returned, unpacked, put the dirty clothes in the laundry,
eaten the dinner I'd prepared, and we were sitting in the hot tub, I asked,


"How hard would it be for you to give up your job?"

Her eyes narrowed. "Why?"

I smiled and pulled her to me. "Two reasons. First, I miss you a lot
when you're on a trip. Second, I think you need to 'disappear' soon after
we move your things out of your apartment."

"That doesn't happen for a week yet," she mused, relaxing in my arms.
"But I can give my 30-day notice tomorrow."

"No. Don't do that. Just disappear."

"Bill! I can't do that! They've been good to me there. I can't just
not show up."

"OK... I can see that... I'll tell you what we'll do. I'll get Norm
to call the sheriff in your old town. He'll tell him the situation--but
not where you are--and get him to arrange to see your boss discreetly.
Your boss already knows all about Carl, you said. If the sheriff tells him
why you had to take off, I think he'll understand. Once you disappear, you
can pack up everything you need to return to your boss - confidential
client information and so on - and ship it from the mail place in Salem. A
couple of weeks later, you can write him a letter, outlining any business
things you need to. You can tell him you were afraid for your life, being
constantly stalked, and just had to leave. And you can ask him not to say
anything to anybody."

"Do you think that will work?" she asked optimistically.

"No. But it will buy us some time." I looked at her, turning to mush
inside as I did. "Most of all, it will make me a lot more comfortable,
having you here where I can protect you. You don't 'disappear' until
Commander Kochenskii says to. He plans to put Carl out of business for a
bit. You'll fade then." "When will all this happen? Will I go on another
trip first?"

"I think as soon as your things are moved, Carl will act. When that
happens, Commander Kochenskii will act, too. As soon as he says Carl's out
of the way, you'll disappear--here.

"Having studied his records, and listened to those who knew him,
Commander Kochenskii believes this is a guy who thinks only with his fists
or his prick. Since he's so physical, the plan is to have him so busy on
the receiving end of physical he'll finally decide he'd be better off
somewhere else, finding someone easier to pick on."

Giving us both a moment to digest what I'd said, I continued, "It seems
the SEALs feel bad about giving all that training to someone without enough
conscience and self-discipline to use it properly. They really don't want
to turn trained homicidal maniacs loose on the civilian population.

"They will do all they can to make it up to you."

"But, Bill. How can they insure my safety unless they kill him?" Miriam
asked, with more insight than I had expected--I'd underestimated her again.

"They can't, but they have to try," I answered. "They'll take it in
escalating steps--I guess I didn't explain this very well--each one doing
more damage. If Carl ends up on a slab, no one will lose any sleep over
it. But they'll try to convince him to move across the country and leave
you be, first."

The next day I arranged to speak with Norm again. He agreed with the
plan we'd worked out and would talk with the Lake County sheriff. He knew
the guy well and didn't see a need to use the Marion County Sheriff as a
'cutout.' Miriam wouldn't make any more trips, and in two or three weeks,
she'd disappear.

Soon after the van arrived to pick up the things from Miriam's
apartment, Carl showed up, wondering where his 'girl friend's' things were
going. The next morning, the local police picked him up in an alley and
briefly jailed him for public drunkenness and vagrancy, until he convinced
them that he had a place to live and had been 'mugged.' He didn't tell
anyone about the bruises around his ribs and thighs.

The next day, there was another message from him on the recorder, almost
incoherent with raving and threats. This time, copies were not only sent
to the Lake County DA for probation violation, but to the SEAL team.

Two days later, Carl was pulled from the wreckage of his car, which had
apparently skidded off the road and rolled down a steep embankment. Carl
had a broken arm and leg, and several ribs were broken--as well as his
nose. Both eyes were black and an ear was torn, too.

He'd be in the hospital for a week, with heavy casts immobilizing
him--then he'd be in the county jail on the probation violation.

It was time for Miriam to 'disappear'.


At first, coping with all the free time was really tough for her--not
having work responsibilities. And we both felt that we had been forced
into this situation, which rankled, to say the least.

Miriam busied herself with 'homemaker' tasks--cleaning, buying
groceries, cooking, laundry. Even sewing. (She repaired clothes I didn't
think I'd ever be able to use again.) But after two weeks, it was obvious
to us both that she needed something more. She had, after all,
successfully built a career in outside sales over a large territory. She
was used to travel and to a busy schedule. To seeing new faces, and to the
requirement to use her considerable powers of persuasion to sell her
product line.

Our growing and deepening love for each other, while becoming more
important to us both daily, could not fill that need.

But it was hard for us to plan for her future--or our future--with Carl
still lurking in the background. While Commander Kochenskii and his people
had put Carl out of the picture for a couple of months, none of us had any
misconceptions that we'd heard the last of him. He would find us. And he
would try to do something about it.

Miriam asked me to put her to work. So I did. I took her out with me
on a couple of short trips to interview prospective consulting clients. As
soon as she had a good idea of what I was trying to do, I let her handle
selling the service. Turned out, she's a lot better at it than I am. No
surprise there. And I enlisted her expertise in the marketing and sales
parts of the consulting work I was doing. It also turned out she's a very
good consultant. I built a low partition and made her a space of her own
in my office.

In the evenings, we fixed elaborate meals--high in flavor, low in
calories--for each other. And at night, we loved each other. Sometimes
elaborately, with warm oil massage, candles, and the whole nine yards.
Other times simply, with simple love, trust and passion.

All too soon, I heard from Commander Kochenskii again. Carl was 'on the
prowl'. The SEALs would do their best, but I needed to be prepared, too.
From that time, I went armed constantly.

We hated it! Our simple joy with each other, and our growing love, had
this big dark cloud hanging over it. We just wanted to be left alone, to
live our lives in peace. We were forced to live with constant vigilance,
always concerned about security--always checking behind, for what might be
lurking. While this might be a good thing, and surely taught us not to
take anything life gave us for granted, it was wearing and disgusting, that
this animal could so threaten us.

I had to visit a client in Bend for a few days. I tried to get Miriam
to go with me--it's lovely country, after all. But she said she'd stay
home. The client didn't have any sales problem and she had work in plenty
to do. She'd be fine.

This was the first time we were separated by my work.

The first two nights, I called from my motel, chatting about the events
of the day. Nothing much, really, from either of us, except that we needed
the contact. I'd head home the third morning, and promised to call just
before I left Bend, so Miriam would have an idea of when to expect me.

But when I called, there was no answer. We habitually disabled the
answering machines when we were at home, but were also punctilious about
turning them on when we left. I called again 10 minutes later, still with
no answer. I was getting quietly panicked. So I called the sheriff's
office and asked for Norm, himself.

He finally came on the line and I told him the situation. We both hoped
it was a simple oversight, but Norm understood the problem and said he'd
have my place checked out. I told him I'd see about getting the SEALs
there, too.

Then I called Commander Kochenskii in Coronado. He'd have his team
alerted, and send somebody, but it would take three hours for the nearest
SEAL to get there. He hadn't heard anything from the team that was keeping
an eye on Carl, but it would have been easy for him to slip the leash,
since they weren't keeping a tight surveillance on him.

My next move was to start burning up the highway on my way home. I was
two hours away, but determined to find out what was wrong with my woman.

An hour down the road, I stopped for gas and nature. While stopped, I
called home again. Still no answer. Did Norm's deputies get there? What
is going on? Why doesn't anybody answer the phone? The questions buzzed
around in my head, sending me down the road faster and faster.

Just outside Salem, I saw a police car, lights flashing, with a
pulled-over motorist. That gave me a little sanity check and slowed me

Finally, I neared home. First stopping in town, I tried once more to
call. Still no response! Didn't the sheriff's people find her yet? I
wondered. Driving up the county road, I decided caution was probably
advisable, so I parked in a neighbor's driveway, a half mile from my house,
deciding to walk to the top of the hill and approach through the trees from
above. Take the high ground! my Marine Corps tactics instructors used to
preach. I had two pistols, the snub barreled .38 I carried, and the long
.357 from the car.

Passing my driveway, I saw a sheriff's car, but no sign of any deputies.
Then, from above the house, I saw a still body, in uniform, on my back
deck. This indicated that Carl was, indeed, there and had laid the deputy
out. I just hoped he hadn't killed him.

My house was a trap--for me.

Very slowly, very carefully, I worked my way closer. I'm really too old for this! I thought. It also occurred to me that SEAL reinforcements
should be showing up any time now. About 20 yards from the house, I
stopped and studied everything. I finally saw a figure sitting in a dining
room chair. Looking again through the small binoculars I carry in the car,
I could see that it was Miriam. From time to time her head moved and she
was sitting upright. So it seemed she was awake. But then I saw that she
was tied to the chair and gagged.

Where was Carl?

I had to remain still for over half an hour, before he finally moved.
He'd been on a sofa in the living room. He got up to make a 'patrol' of
the house, giving me a chance to slip to the side of the house and reach
the disguised, buried alarm box. I was able to trip the silent 'panic
button', and also to disable the house alarm system. Now I could be an
intruder in my own home, without advertising the fact to the intruder

While Carl was in the bedrooms, I entered the kitchen.

As soon as he came out of the hall, I shot him.

Even with both hands on the pistol, leaning against the kitchen
doorjamb, I'm ashamed to admit I almost missed. But it was good enough. I
just skinned his head, knocking him out for a minute--all I needed to truss
him up like a turkey. The scalp wound bled like a stuck pig.

Let those who've been raised on 'Ivanhoe' and tales of cowboy heroes who
shoot pistols out of bad guys' hands try chivalry. For those of us who've
been shot at, the priority is getting the opponent DOWN! If he survives,
that's his good luck. My own survival, and Miriam's, was my only concern.
I'd meant to nail the bastard right through the chest!

Freeing Miriam, the gag came off first. "Are you OK?" was my first,
breathless, question. Assured she was, I asked, as I freed her hands, "Did
he bring anyone with him?"

"Not that I know of," Miriam answered, understanding the question.
"How's the guy on the back patio?"

"Dunno. I haven't had time to check. You can do that in a minute. We
have a couple of decisions to make. First, do we let him live?"

Miriam couldn't believe I'd asked that, but it was a pertinent question.
OK, he'd survive us.

"OK, love. But I want to make sure he doesn't feel real eager to come
back. I intend to break him a little. Will you forgive me that?"

"What do you have in mind?" she asked. I misunderstood her. I thought
she was going to object. The female is the more dangerous of the species!

"I had in mind both knees, and the right hand and wrist," I said. "If I
do a good job, he'll recover eventually, but not without a lot of pain, and
not completely."

"Oh. I agree! One hundred percent!" Miriam answered. "But those three
areas need to be shattered, not just broken! Maybe a break in the jaw
would help the pain quotient, and thus reinforce the lesson, too?"

Dragging him outside, we propped him on a built-in bench. I went to get
a heavy piece of pipe, while Miriam checked the deputy. "He's breathing,
Bill!" she called, just as I swung the pipe like I was going to hit one out
of the park.

The pain of his right knee being broken woke Carl back to consciousness.
But when the left one was also broken, he went right back out. I hit each
a couple more heavy swats, to make sure the damage would be complete. Then
we untied him carefully, and laid the right arm over the back of the bench.
Miriam asked if she could do the honors. After all, he had terrorized
her for years. She was owed. After beating the right wrist, hand, and
forearm repeatedly, she shoved him off the bench, so he was lying on the
patio. Miriam asked me to stomp the wrist and fingers, to make it look
more like the results of a fight. I was happy to. And added a few good
kicks to the ribs and kidneys. I wanted to break bones. I wanted to hurt him so much he'd change his way of thinking about me and about Miriam. I

Then my quick-thinking lover scraped my hands on the bricks of a planter
to skin the knuckles, and artistically mussed my hair and rubbed some dirt
into my face. Ripping a knee of my trousers, she dirtied that up, too, and
demanded my shirt. "We'll tell anyone who comes you've already changed
into a new t-shirt," she said.

As if on cue, a young man I recognized as one of the SEALs stepped onto
the patio from the same trees I'd used to screen my approach.

"Very artistic. I like your style, Ma'am." He nodded to me, "Sir... I
saw it all from the trees, where I stayed in case you needed a backup. You
overpowered him, after taking a couple of hits and giving out some good
shots of your own. You stomped his hand when he wouldn't let go of the
.357 he'd stolen from your bedroom...

"There's a couple of deputy sheriffs about 50 yards downslope, closing
fast. You tripped the silent alarm, so they didn't use sirens. But they
won't waste around with one of their own already here and not reporting."

"No problem," I replied. "We'll just move very slowly, with our hands
visible, until they settle down. Their other deputy is probably OK.
That'll help." Almost at once, we heard, "Freeze! Hands straight out to
your sides! Everybody turn and face me--slowly!" We complied, as one
deputy came around each corner of the house, weapon drawn, scanning the
area in the approved manner.

"Deputies, I'm Bill. The owner of this house. The lady is Miriam, my
fiancée. The other gentleman on his feet is a SEAL. I think your other
deputy is OK. He's just inside the house. The bad guy is the one on the
deck there. He's out, but you'll want to cuff him before he comes around.
He's a really bad one!"

While the deputy behind us cuffed Carl, muttering an exclamation under
his breath when he saw his right hand, the other, never wavering from his
stance with his weapon 'covering' us, said, "May we see some identification
please? You first, Bill. Slowly, with your left hand, please."

"No problem, deputy. But you need to know I'm armed. There is a pistol
at the small of my back. I'll turn around so you can watch it and your
partner can watch me in front. I don't want anybody else hurt here."

"Yes, sir!" the deputy responded. "Just stand still and my partner will
take the weapon. He'll also get your wallet--right hip?"

"Sure," I said, glad things were calming down. And once he'd compared
my driver's license picture, he put his weapon away and suggested we all
have a seat. Carl, on the ground, wasn't going anywhere and we were OK.

Just as the deputy who seemed to be in charge started to ask what was
going on, the first deputy came staggering out of the house, supported by
the other. Rubbing the back of his head, he looked really sheepish and
said, "I never even saw him. I got the call from Norm, and was checking
the place out when I felt a blow to the side of my head. That's all I

"OK, Chuck. If you feel up to it, drive back to the station.
Otherwise, you can have the medic check you over... In fact, I think you'd
better do that, and ride back with Andy."

"Sounds good to me. I'll just sit down over here."

"Now. What happened here?" the senior deputy asked.

The three of us filled him in on Carl's sorry history of violence and
intimidation. And that he was more dangerous than most because of his SEAL
training and experience. We also assured him that Carl was not sane, by
most standards, and was capable of extreme violence.

"Your deputy--Chuck?--was real lucky!" the SEAL said. "Carl could have
killed him easy by hitting him just a tiny bit harder. Maybe he's got an
especially think skull. Anyway, I'll light a couple of candles in thanks
for him. Chuck should spring for a whole novena, if he's Catholic, or be
real grateful if he's not."

Miriam confirmed that. She felt the only reason she hadn't been
mistreated much more than she was (her eye was turning black, and she had
some nasty bruises on face, chest, arms and legs; where Carl had pummeled
her in his frustration), was that he, somehow, felt he needed to 'win her
back' by eliminating anyone who showed any interest in her. "Bill was
determined and lucky. He slowed Carl early with a kick to a knee, then was
able to damage him more with kicks as they scuffled. When he went to free
me, Carl got a gun. That's when the arm happened. It was all pretty fast
and really scary!"

The SEAL, (Chief Hanrahan, we learned later) confirmed everything we
said. I could tell that the deputy wasn't convinced, but he wasn't going
to push it, either. After all, a very dangerous guy, who had just missed
killing one of his fellow deputies, was out of commission and under arrest.
The citizens had defended their home. Everybody seemed happy. All he had
to do was wait for the ambulance to fetch Carl, go home and write up his
reports. Andy, he decided, could book the prisoner in. He'd take Chuck
back to the station if the paramedic said he was OK.

Chief Hanrahan politely asked if he could accompany Andy in the
ambulance, "Just to make sure the prisoner gets where he needs to go. I'm
more familiar with his training, and maybe could prevent something
upsetting from happening." Quite happy for the help, the deputy agreed.

"Would it be all right if we go clean up?" I asked. "We've had a lot of
wear and tear this morning. I need a shower and clean clothes. Miriam
needs a stint in the hot tub, ice packs, and some time in bed. Could I
leave you to handle things out here, or will we be needed some more today?"

After a brief moment to consider, the deputy said, "Go ahead. Please
call Norm as soon as you can. He'll be in touch, or I will, if we need
anything more." Miriam and I went gingerly to our room, where we collapsed
into each other's arms.

Clutching me as strongly as I was her, Miriam put her head to my neck
and let it go. I'd never seen her cry like that. She wasn't hysterical.
But she wasn't just sitting with tears in her eyes, either. Strong sobs
shook her frame. Her tears flowed from her, as she poured out years of
tension, fear, frustration and rage.

When she finally stopped sobbing, she stood, took my hand, and pulled me
up. Without a word, she undressed us both, then led me into the shower,
where we tenderly washed each other's hurts. When we were dried, we
treated our abrasions with antiseptic cream--after I'd taken several
Polaroid shots of her bruises.

"What's your pleasure, love? Ice packs or hot tub?" I asked.

"Hot tub first."

We retreated to the hot tub at the corner of our deck. The tub has a
marvelous view, but is not visible except from our bedroom or the upper
deck. Holding each other in the soothing hot water, feeling my aches melt
away as the heat and water jets did their work, I could see Miriam
relaxing, too.

"Is that the end of him?" she asked.

"I think so. I hope so. The Chief says they'll do a little
conditioning on him before he gets to prison. I don't think, personally,
that he'll survive prison. If he does, he's in no shape to come after us
again. His right hand will never recover, and may have to be amputated.
Both knees will always be crippled, even if he gets artificial joints...
He thought he was a tough guy. He just didn't have sense enough to realize
he'd run into people who were tougher. You impress me a lot, Love! ... I
need to call Norm. Do you mind?" When she signaled OK, I picked up the
outside phone and put the call on the speakers, so Miriam could listen.

"Bill! I'm very glad to hear your voice," Norm said.

"I'll bet you are!" I replied. "Have you heard from your people?"

"Just a preliminary from the dispatcher. They're OK, and they have the
perpetrator. How about filling me in?"

"Glad to, Norm, although the senior deputy out here seems to have his
stuff together. You'll want to hear from him, too." I proceeded to give
Norm the 'official' version of events. When I finished, I asked, "Norm,
how can we be sure this guy doesn't get off--or out in two years courtesy
of our wonderful parole board--and come after us again?"

Norm laughed! (I didn't think any of this was a laughing matter!) "I
don't think you'll need to worry about that. That SEAL commander..."

"Commander Kochenskii?"

"Yeah, him. Anyway, he and I were talking half an hour ago. Seems the
Feds want him for investigation of criminal violation of national security.
So while he's still in casts--that Chief thinks you do good work, by the
way. He's been on the horn to the Commander. They're impressed. For an
old jarhead, they think you're OK. High praise indeed, Bill!--anyway, the
Feds will borrow him for a couple of weeks. While they're 'investigating'
him, he'll receive some pretty powerful conditioning. I think he'll be
scared spitless of you and Miriam when they're done with him.

"Then we'll get him back and try him for attempted murder and anything
else we can think of. I've spoken with the DA. There will be no plea
bargains for this guy. The judges can't do much with the sentencing
guidelines and the parole board is a law unto themselves. But he'll be in
for a good while. I think when he finally gets out--if he ever does--he'll
get as far away from Oregon as he can."

"OK. Thanks again, Norm. We're really glad your deputy is going to be
all right." With that, we hung up.

"We'd better get out of this tub, dear. We've been in here too long
already. And I want to get an ice pack on your eye."

After steering Miriam to bed even though it was early afternoon, I put
on shorts and slippers and made a tour of the place. Everyone was gone and
someone had even brought my car up to the garage. I locked up, and crushed
ice for an ice bag for Miriam's eye.

She didn't like the cold, but knew it would help. Her shiner would be
pretty spectacular for the next week!

Lying there, cuddling, both of us too beat up to even pet each other--or
welcome the petting--we were lost in our own thoughts for a long while, as
we watched the sun set over the valley. (At least it hadn't rained! A bit
unusual, though very welcome, for that time of year.)

Although my body was beat up, my mind was in bliss. What a miracle!
This woman not only met every criteria on my list, she was more than I had
dreamed possible. One tough lady, she'd done what needed to be done
without whining or pussyfooting. And she'd contributed her share. Some
pieces clicked together in my head. And in my heart.


"Yes, Bill."

"Would you marry me?"

I saw an expression on her face I'd never seen before. Her lips began
to quiver, and her eyes filled with tears. She had a look of incredible
yearning, and love, and joy--and deep sadness.

After kissing me slowly, tenderly, she sat back and said, "No, Bill. I
can't do that. Ask anything else and I will, gladly."

"Miriam, I'm confused. I love you. You love me. You've offered
yourself without reservation. This is what I want more than anything.
Why? Is it because I'm too old?"

"Darling Bill. I'm a slut who let a worthless jerk push me around. I
put you in danger. I put my best friend, your daughter, in danger, and
your grandchildren. Just love me as long as you can. Let me live with
you--for as long as you can. Then let me go, when you don't want me around
any more. That's all I need. That's all I ask."

"What crap! I repeat: Miriam, will you marry me?"

Tears streaming from her eyes, she answered, "You fool, Bill! If you
really want me that much, of course I will. I'll be proud to be your

We were married two weeks later.

Two years had passed when our son was baptized. Miriam wanted at least
one child of her own. I was more than happy to indulge her.

We heard that Carl had suffered additional injuries in prison--the state
had sent him to a prison in Ohio under a prisoner exchange program where
the states help each other out with 'problem' prisoners--which resulted in
a shattered ankle. Apparently he'd been raped by a couple of inmates twice
his size, who didn't appreciate it when he tried to protect himself. He'd
never get out of a wheelchair. They bashed his head against the floor a
few times, too. Then he had a massive stroke, which caused severe and
permanent paralysis. Carl is out of our lives forever.

Miriam works on sales projects on a commission basis and is bringing in
more money than I ever made.

I've reduced my workload drastically, taking only projects that have a
special fascination. Everything else that comes to us is referred to a
group that can handle the projects competently and pays us a fee for the
referral. My days are spent about one-fourth on work, one-fourth on
community events, and the rest raising my son and enjoying my wife.

Miriam works harder than I do, but still has plenty of time for the men in her life.

We are content.


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