It was noon, lunch break at the University, and I noted
that there was the usual cast of students and office workers
sitting in the warm Spring sun as I took an accustomed
shortcut to my office. Idly glancing at a woman who was
sitting with her skirt drawn up a bit, sunning her long
legs, I smiled to myself for the umpteenth time, thinking
how lucky I was to have obtained the office I had.
At first glance, it was no prize. On the ground floor,
along with three other offices, it was accessed from a
single central office, the so-called reception room. None
of the office spaces was large, for the University had been
growing at a completely unanticipated rate and over the
years, the large offices had been partitioned into ever
smaller units. Some, like mine, were almost laughable. My
space, the one I'd connived and manipulated to get, was
easily three times longer than it was wide. In comparison,
the inside hallway may have been only sightly wider. It was
so narrow that while sitting at my desk, there was
inadequate room to walk behind me. Still, I loved it.
Later I found out that my manipulation hadn't even been
tested; no one else wanted it!
You see, it had a major benefit - an outside door that
opened onto a tree-studded, sunken courtyard that in midday
was flooded with sun and oh yes, lots of good looking
students. At least the women were, I thought to myself.
More, the courtyard was open to the parking areas, the
central research laboratories, the Outpatient Clinic areas
as well as the main hospital. With an outside door, I almost
never had to take the tortuous subterranean halls to our
"reception" area; I always walked through the outside
courtyard. Mostly it was the convenience and the illusion
of great space at one end of my office, but on sunny days
like this, there was a bonus - the sun-worshiping women who
congregated there. Yes, that was a major bonus.
That morning, trailing along slowly, my hands sunk in
my pockets, head down, I might have looked like an
absent-minded professor. The professor part was
right, but my head was down because I was looking at the
various sets of legs that were on display.
"Mornin', Dr. Burbank."
I'd been speculating on the geometry of my angle of
vision, looking at the long thighs of a woman sitting on one
of the square concrete planters outside my office door. If
I were just a few inches lower, or if she lifted her legs
just a smidgen . . . .
I glanced up and saw Janey, my "administrative
assistant" smiling at me. Actually she wasn't *my*
assistant; I shared her with three other guys, but they were
gone a lot so it seemed like she was mine. Janey had once
divulged to me her take on the title, 'administrative
assistant.' "Hell, we're all secretaries - as least that's
how I think of myself - but if that call us 'admins' they
don't have to pay us overtime or buy us flowers on
Secretaries' Day." I remembered that and bought flowers.
Janey tilted her head at me and gave me that knowing
smile. She'd caught me ogling her legs (again). "Nice day,
She often called me "doc" when we were together. She
wasn't trying to be familiar or disrespectful. It never
occurred to her, I'm sure, for she was to a
well-known, full-professor - on the academic, social ladder,
placed well above me. I was what was euphemistically
referred to as "junior faculty," a new Assistant Professor,
promising perhaps, but not yet proven. Proven as in tenured
where one's Curriculum Vitae was weighed.
I liked Janey. I liked her looks and her spirit and
mostly, I liked her wit and intelligence. As many academicians, I unconsciously judged peoples' intelligence,
usually from some lofty high ground, and I'd found her's to
be keen and sometimes superior to my own. I hadn't admitted
that to her. I didn't need to. She was like me and already
"Cat got your tongue?" she asked.
"Uh . . . guess I was wool gathering," I replied,
trying not to look down at her legs. The fact of the matter
was this: I was infatuated with Janey. She didn't seem to
know this and I'd never made a move on her. She was a
respected woman in a high-profile marriage to a
politically-prominent Professor of History. There was talk
that he was on a fast track to a university presidency.
More importantly, I didn't hustle women, period.
Oh, the thought crossed my mind. All the time actually. But
it hadn't been too great a temptation. At least not as long
as I kept working the insane hours I did.
"You have some messages," she added, swinging her legs
aside as she stood up. I saw a flash of white. Her
panties? I tried not to look. And failed.
She gave me "the look," that knowing smile that said
she knew exactly what was happening. Only we didn't talk
about it. Not directly, anyway.
"None of them are important," she continued, "but they
want you to head a committee - a resident selection
committee." She wrinkled her nose.
Janey spoke of "they" as if it were Us and Them.
'They,' of course, were the entrenched power structure who
were artful at delegating scut work, like the resident
"Shit! I hate the ponderous, self-important process of
committees. They're so cumbersome and so inefficient. I
have an idea. Tell 'em I'll do it only if they'll let me
pick the rest of the committee."
"And you won't pick anyone else, right?"
I nodded with a little smile. "Much faster and far
more efficient that way."
She made a fist and pulled it straight back to her
side. "I'll draft the letter."
We walked into my office and she paused to pick a dead
leaf from one of my plants by the window. "You're the only
doc with plants. Know that?"
"That's because I'm the only doc with an outside office
and has someone like you to keep 'em alive," I retorted,
stating the obvious. Before Janey I subscribed to Darwinian
selection - if they made it they made it. Life's tough.
As she reached behind the potted plant to pick a few
more questionable leaves, her blouse was drawn tightly
across her back, outlining a bra strap. I wasn't sure -
sometimes I wondered if she wore one at all. She was small
breasted (I thought) with sometimes very prominent nipples
(I knew) and in the unconscious way some have, I was
very aware of her body and what she was wearing.
I glanced at my watch in the way time-conscious people
do; I still had a half hour before my lecture. "Did you
finish my notes?" I asked.
"Yes," and she nodded to a manilla folder on the center
of my desk. Then she flashed me a sly smile. "I made a few
I groaned. "Yeah, a few. Will I even recognize 'em?
As my notes, that is?"
"Oh sure. You're a quick study."
"Do you correct Bob's papers?" I asked, suspecting she
did. Bob was her impressive - stuffed-shirt impressive -
husband. My opinions weren't confined to just the medical
She dropped the leaves in the waste basket and replied
without looking at me, "I used to, but he's become so . . .
so stuffy. (I *knew* it!). We fight over dumb things,
really little things. It's like he's got to be right all
the time. And it's getting worse. Every time he receives
an award or something, he becomes so . . . well, so stuffy."
I made a noncommittal "Hmmm" sound. I had my own
opinions about Professor Renaissance, but I kept them where
they belonged, in my head.
One leaf had fluttered and missed the wastebasket.
Janey bent at the hips to pick it up and of course, my eyes
went to her ass where the tightly-drawn skirt revealed a
clear line. As she stood, she swung around toward me,
again catching my eyes looking at her.
"Lecher," she said with a serious face, and then smiled
as she walked through to her desk, just out of sight around
We had an easy, friendly relationship, Janey and me.
With my colleagues she was polite, formal and friendly but
in a distant way. They were so concerned with their own
little worlds they hadn't a clue. My colleagues - we never
talked, at least not about anything outside of the tight,
small world of academic medicine. And let me tell you,
that's a *small* world. If they had any social interaction,
I wasn't a part of it. Thank goodness.
Picking up the new lecture notes, I pulled the swivel
chair over to the outside door and, with my feet planted on
either side of the door jamb, I leaned back to check the
form. I wasn't worried; they'd be better I knew. I just
wanted to be sure I wouldn't get lost in a new format if I
needed to look at them at all.
Paging through the notes, I gave them little more than
a cursory study. I was still thinking about my 'secretary'.
Janey didn't complain or tell tales out of school, but I
knew that things weren't going well for her and Bob. Last
week he'd stopped by, mostly, it seemed, to harangue her
about something or another. He didn't know I was right
around the corner and assumed the place was empty. He
quickly became so abusive I was embarrassed - for him, and
for Janey. When he left, she said out loud, obviously to
me, "So, what'd you think of that little scolding?"
"Sorry," I called out, "I couldn't help but hear."
"Yeah, and the people down the hall as well."
With some chagrin, I recalled the bitter disputes that
characterized the failing relationship I'd had with my not many months before she left. That'd been several years
ago. Not long after, she'd moved in with a physics post-doc
who now, I understood, was on a greased track to tenure.
I was in no position to assume any moral high-ground.
Relationships are studded with "growth opportunities" I was
told. When I'd mentioned this to Janey once, she laughed
out loud. "Is *that* what you call them?"
My courtyard entrance enabled me to slip in and out
routinely without the department secretary knowing I'd been
there. When she told someone that she'd look for me, she
really meant it. Saved lots of hassles. As often, it
seemed, those quiet-foot approaches also kept me from
Janey. Or perhaps she knew but chose to ignore it. Or
maybe she was just open. Anyway, I'd overheard several of
her conversations with someone named Marie, obviously a
friend and confidant. Janey was consistently and
embarrassingly self-revealing in those girl-girl phone
I knew, for instance, that while she and Bob had once
had a "vibrant sex life," it was now reduced to "an
occasional mercy fuck." The bitterness of her tone suggested
that it was she who was at mercy. Last week I'd overheard
her say, "I don't leave home without it. Why, my vibrator,
I banged my chair and rattled an open drawer to remind
her I was there. It appeared to make no difference. A few
minutes later, she rolled her chair back, looked into my
office and, red-faced, asked "Well, what do *you* do?"
I'd just been thinking about what I did. Was even
thinking about going to the Men's room to do what I did. I
sputtered, feeling the heat rise in my face.
"That's what I thought!" she said in a tone that
suggested she'd been reading my mind. Her laughter removed
Over weeks and months, an easy familiarity had grown
between us. Oh, nothing was said overtly, but our nonverbal
communication was zinging. Just the day before she'd come
into my office late in the afternoon, so late I knew most
folks had gone home, and she sat on the corner of my desk.
I had gotten rid of the one other chair that used to be
there, trying to make a little more room. And to discourage
over-long visits by students and residents. The cafeteria
was my usual social and professional meeting place. It was
always deafeningly noisy and offered the relative privacy of
She dropped a document on my desk that was so marked
with a felt pen, it had a bloodied appearance.
"Oh, make a few changes?" I asked, picking up the
paper. Janey didn't just make grammatical corrections, she
often made huge formatting changes and deleted tons of good
stuff, really nifty expressions. "Do you order pens by
We'd clashed on this before. I thought I was a
better-than-average writer. "You are," she agreed, "but that
doesn't mean you can't profit from a few little changes."
Flipping through the bleeding pages, I asked, "A
She turned slightly and leaned forwards, pointing to
something on one of the pages. I never saw it, for one of
her legs dropped to the floor and the other lifted slightly,
and suddenly, almost at eye level, I was looking up her
skirt. All the way! They *were* white, and with lace trim.
Her voice had receded to an unheard murmur.
Then I became aware of the quiet. I knew that more in
retrospect, for at that moment I wasn't aware of much aside
from her. Thinking back, I could feel the sun's warmth at
my back, bouncing off the courtyard tiles and I could hear
the birds twittering in the trees and I could feel a strain
in my Calvin Klein's.
Janey had reddish, short, curly hair and I wondered
about the other. I could see a darker shadow.
"See enough?" she asked in a soft voice, breaking the
Startled and red-faced, I looked up and sputtered, "Yes
. . . I mean no . . . oh shit, I'm sorry."
Getting up, she added, "That's OK, Dr. Burbank. I
understand." And she left.
Understand what? What's to understand? That she
drives me crazy? That late at night, aroused and frustrated,
her face . . . no, her legs come to mind? That she's
Totally unnerved, I left to go on rounds. At least in
that arena I could put together a few cogent thoughts.
There, the house staff presented to me a fascinating case, a
with an impossibly complicated vascular history
compounded by advanced coronary and carotid artery disease.
Where to start? Should we even start? What's most critical?
Before I knew it, a couple of hours had past and I'd
forgotten about Janey. Or at least, Janey's legs.
The courtyard was in soft shadow in the early evening.
Someone was playing music in the distance. Most of the
lights were out; my door remained open and the lights on, a
beacon for me. I slipped in and stepping out of my loafers,
I sat down and put my feet on the desk and just stared at
the wall. I've got to change that calendar, I thought. I
mean, *two* years old! Geez, I'm too to be absent
minded, I argued, but still, what about that damn calendar?
Tap, tap, tap - I knew that sound - Janey's high heels
on the uncarpeted hallway floor outside our offices. No one
else walked with such purpose. The sound turned into our
reception room and I heard something thud against the wall -
"Shit, shit, shit," she murmured as the springs of her
office chair squeaked. Even the sound of her picking up the
phone was loud in the tomb-like silence of our wing. She
punched in some numbers, holding each one an unneeded extra
second, adding emphasis to her apparent anger.
"Marie?" she asked, leaning back in her chair. I knew
that squeaking sound as well. "Marie, I just need to vent
for a few minutes. OK?"
I was uncertain. I didn't know if I should just lay
low and allow her the opportunity to "vent" or if I should
announce my presence. Still pondering that dilemma, the
one-sided conversation continued. "Yeah, he stood me up
*again*, the bastard!"
I knew that Bob had the tendency to rank almost
anything as more important than a meeting with Janey. Once
it'd been a grad student's flat tire. It was a 'she' grad
student, an attractive one at that. Janey later recounted
that Bob had asked reasonably, 'What else could I do?' AAA
turned out not to be the reply he wanted. "Well, I know
what *I'd* to with that damn tire iron!" she'd hissed into
the phone before slamming it down. I guess she was pissed.
I thought about slipping out again. Yeah, that's what
I'd do. I was good at that.
"I've been here almost two hours," she went on, "and
the son-of-a-bitch just called and said he couldn't make it.
My best black dress, heels so high I'm about to fall over,
and no bra! That's right, honest. No underpants even!
No underpants? I was frozen. In my mind's eye, I saw
her perched on the corner of my desk. I could see her
thighs, the soft skin, the deep shadows . . .
Jesus! Fifteen years of formal education after high
school - hard, competitive work requiring intense
concentration . . . and I was stopped dead in my tracks by .
. . by the image of no underpants. Suddenly I was tense
with expectation. Of what, for Christ's sake?
"I'm so damn mad at him, I feel like going out and
getting drunk. What? Oh I *know* I can't drink without
throwing up all over myself, but I still feel like it!"
I'd entertained a number of visions about Janey but
throwing up wasn't one of them. Maybe we could share a
drink, I thought. I smiled at that one. I'd never had
*one* drink in my life - that's why I didn't drink anymore
"Oh, I don't know. Go home, I guess. What else can a
middle-aged professor's do? Yeah, I know. I'm on the
Middle aged? Janey was my age, maybe a few years
older, and *that* wasn't middle aged!
"No, I don't know where *he* is either. Damn. Aren't
there *any* who show up anymore?"
I leaned back in my chair just a little bit more. And
fell right over! Down I went with a crash, my head jammed
against the wall, my legs dangling over the upended front of
my swivel chair. I was dazed and just lay there, stockinged
feet in the air, momentarily out of it. Or I was until Janey
rushed into my office.
"Bill! What are *you* doing here?"
"Uh . . . resting?"
Pushing her fingers to her mouth, she asked, "Did you
"No," I lied; I hadn't heard Marie's side. "Well, not
As if my odd, recumbent position has registered for the
first time, she rushed over to help, reaching down to pull
me up. In so doing, the low scooped neckline of her
cocktail dress fell away. She had told Marie the truth. No
She glanced down at herself and then shrugged, "Well,
you heard me. I *said* I didn't have any underwear on." Her
face was as as mine felt.
Because the back of the chair was jammed, it wouldn't
swivel and I flopped about, unable to completely extricate
myself from my upside down position. I heaved and Janey
tugged. Just as I was pulling over the top, her high heels
betrayed her. She slipped and fell on her ass, legs in the
air. Yes, it *was* the same color.
"Oh shit!" she muttered. "Can it get any worse?"
I'm strong and pulled her up easily. We came together,
belly to belly. Her eyes were blue and she had freckles
across her nose. Her lips were moist and parted. One lower
incisor was a tiny bit out of line. I could smell her
breath, her hair. We just looked at each other.
In a sudden move of unaccustomed intimacy, she placed
the tips of her fingers on my cheek and said, "Thanks,
I grabbed her wrist and said, "I'm sorry, Janey . . .
uh, sorry about your date."
She traced a line on my cheek again and with a slightly
bitter smile said, "So am I," and turned away.
"Can I do anything?" I asked, following her into her
Picking up her purse where she'd thrown it against the
wall, she shrugged her shoulders and said, "Like what?"
Christ, I didn't know what. "Uh, maybe you'd like to
talk. I mean with a guy. I mean me." I always was quick.
She faced me, at first with a puzzled look on her face
and then with a squinty skepticism. With her fists on her
hips, she asked. "Dr. Burbank, are you trying to get into my
"I thought you weren't wearing any."
"A figure of speech."
It was late. She was pissed and I was confused. We'd
been doing this unacknowledged dance for weeks. And I knew
she didn't consider herself a victim of sexual
discrimination. What the hell, I'd play it out a little.
"Janey, there's a world of difference between *wanting*
to get in your pants - hell, I'm a warm-blooded guy - and
*trying* to get in your pants. I'll cop to the former, but
what's that go to do with anything?
She sat down and crossed her legs. I managed not to
leer. "Don't be so damn dense, doc," and then she smiled at
her own D-triplet. "You heard my phone conversation."
I started to object and she held up her hand, silencing
me. "Billy, I've been listening to your phone conversations
- occasionally on purpose - and I know you can't help but
hear mine. No one's fault, although it *is* embarrassing,"
she added with a little smile.
She looked at me. Staying silent seemed like the
"So you know I'm feeling unloved, unlovable, and
vulnerable as hell."
I moved around to the front of her desk and sat in a
miserably uncomfortable straight-back. I thought the desk
between us would offer her a measure of perceived safety
from pants invasion.
"Tell you what, Janey, I'll sit over here and I
*promise* I won't attack you or even make a move on you." I
said the latter with my hand over my heart, looking upward.
She burst out laughing. "God, your sincere act
wouldn't make in a second grade play."
I gave her my very best look.
"OK, OK, Billy. I *do* trust you, you know."
"That I'll do what?" I asked.
"Or not do," she answered cryptically.
We looked at each other across her desktop for long
moments and then, as if she'd made a decision, she put her
elbows on the desk and propped her chin with her hands,
saying, "So, where do we start?"
"How about at the beginning?" I suggested, stretching
out my feet, trying to imply that we had lots of time.
Her was a familiar one. We've all heard it
before. Two people, both very bright and academically
successful, fall in love, get married, one of 'em (Janey)
makes the sacrifices necessary to enhance the other's
career. He becomes successful, takes her for granted,
neglects her and eventually, little by little, they fall out
Indifference and long neglect the juices from
their marriage. Except they evolve this deal, this
partnership that is very successful on the surface and
neither are willing to just chuck it all, but aren't able to
be really honest about it. Honest with themselves much less
each other. Neither are willing to talk about it, so they
continue the dance of dishonesty and slowly grow to dislike
each other. Shit! In one form or another, I'd heard it so
many times. Once, a long time before, I'd lived it in the
very same way.
Recognizing that I didn't know how to do relationships
after my own divorce, I'd managed to stay away from
involvement, even commitment, for several years. Mostly I
was all right with that. However, there were times - often
late at night - when something was missing.
"Why dontcha just tell him?" I asked. I'd reduced
life's most vital principles down to a few hard core
"Just tell him?" She shook her head. "Too
complicated. Too difficult. Yeah, that's it. Just too damn
"Then you're screwed, you know."
"How's that?" she asked.
"I'm perhaps the last person to talk, but it's clear,
the best things in life aren't things."
"What?" She gave me the one-eyebrow-up look.
"Well, I can only talk with any certainty about my own
stuff, but it's become clear to me that I can't *buy* peace
or happiness or contentment, or whatever the hell I think I
want. I can't buy it with money and I can't buy it with
"What's left," she asked, leaning back. It did nice
things to the front of her cocktail dress.
"It's gotta be an inside job," I replied.
"That's where real peace lives. And happiness."
She looked at me for long minutes, not changing
expression. Neither accepting nor rejecting.
"So, how do ya do it?"
"It's simple - tell the truth. That and accepting life
on life's terms."
She smiled ruefully and said, "May be simple, but it's
"Never said it was, girl."
She glanced at the big clock, shook her head and stood
up. "Thanks for the talk, doc, for listening to me. It
helped. I'm not sure just how, but it did. I think I just
needed to be heard." She turned to leave and then turned
back, moving towards me. "And thanks for not hitting on me.
I don't think I could have resisted."
I held out my arms and she stepped into them. We
hugged silently for a long while. It was the first time. I
could feel her high on my chest. With those damn
high heels, she was taller than me. The push of her pubic
bone was just above my own.
"Friends?" I asked.
"Hmmm . . . more I think."
She kissed me on the lips - warm, soft, too brief and
The following week she called in sick two days, but
she'd left a message at my home that she was really OK and
she'd explain later. Then I had to fly back east to New
York and then to Dallas, first to a medical meeting and
second to give a talk at a second meeting, a surgical
symposium. When I checked my messages back home there was
another one from Janey that said something like, "Thanks for
the advice. I'd like to talk again."
That wasn't a proposition; I knew that. Still, I
tended to drive well beyond my headlights and negotiate
deals I'd not received. I began thinking in terms of how I
felt about this lady. I'd known for a long time that she
was smart and attractive - more, that she was very sexy. I
just hadn't thought about it in a personal way. It was like
fantasizing about a star - while hot, it wasn't really
personal. Janey, however, was occupying quite a bit of space
in my mind and I wasn't sure where it was going, if
anywhere. She didn't fit in any agenda I had and it was a
It wasn't about sex. Sex for me wasn't a moral issue.
But messing with someone's life or their marriage
potentially was. "Sport fucking's OK," I said to myself,
"but you gotta be sure it's really just sport."
That's about as far as I'd taken it - which is to say
almost nowhere - by the time we ran into each other again
the next week. Janey was watering my plants as I came
"Oops. Sorry, I'm late for a procedure. Coffee
"How about dinner?" she countered as I was lost to view
in the courtyard.
I suppose it wasn't 'til I'd finished a moderately long
surgery that I remembered what she'd said. Dinner? Hmmm.
Someplace dull, innocent and safe, like a business meeting,
or someplace dim and romantic and probably dangerous?
She opted for the danger. I tucked my trepidation away
with the rest of my denial and took her to a candle-lit,
hole-in-the-wall restaurant that usually requires several
weeks for a reservation. Except I'd operated on the guy who
owned it and he thought I was some kinda big deal. I let
him think that, evidence to the contrary.
Over coffee and desert she got down to business.
"Well, I told him."
"Good, I guess. Told him what?"
"That as far as I could tell, I didn't love him
She'd been studying her coffee with an intensity until
she looked up and added, "I asked him what he wanted to do
"And he was scared to death I'd leave him. That it'd
'look bad' or something."
I put my hand on hers and said, "Janey, what do *you*
want to do?"
She traced a pattern on the back of my hand, not
speaking for a moment. "You know, Bill, I'm not really sure.
And that's OK. I don't know where this is going, but I like
the start. I don't need to him and right now, I don't
really need to leave him. Mostly I want him to know how I
feel, that I'm a person and not a politically correct
fixture." And then with a little more vehemence, "And I'm
not some damn doormat!"
She paused, looked away a moment and then took a deep
breath before making eye contact again.
"I don't know how to say this, Billy. It sounds weird
in my head and it'll probably sound weirder when I say it,
but I've got to say it or I'll just bust."
I smiled and nodded. Words might screw it up.
"I told him that I was a sexually aware person, that I
suspected he'd been messing around and that was OK as long
as he practiced safe sex." She smiled to herself, adding,
"He almost gasped at that one but didn't deny it."
She was studying her empty coffee cup again.
"More coffee?" I asked.
"No, I'm floating already. Can I tell you more?"
I just nodded again.
"I told him that if the occasion arose and it was right
. . . well, I told him I might have sex with someone else.
And no, I didn't want to 'share stories.' I told him I
wasn't going to move out and didn't need him to move out, at
least not right now, that I wanted time to sort things and
hoped we could stay friends." She shrugged and added, "Or
at least have a truce, an understanding as it were."
Well, that was the gist of it. She was going to change
things, herself mostly, and didn't have a schedule.
"Anything I can do?" I asked.
She gave me that familiar impish look and in a
husky voice said, "I'm not looking for some guy to save me,
to rescue me or to fix me. And that includes you, big boy."
"Good, 'cuz I can't fix anyone."
"But I treasure our friendship. You're smart and . . ."
"Don't forget 'good lookin'," I interjected.
"And not-too-bad-looking. Mostly I like your energy.
That and your honesty. Remember the 'tell the truth' part?"
"Did *I* say that?"
"I'm attracted to you," she said and then added, "but
I'm not going to leave my husband for you. Yeah, yeah, I
know. You never asked me, but I want to get it out on the
She leaned forward as if to whisper something in my
ear, so I leaned forward and just happened to look down the
front of her dress. Yep, bare as far as I could see, and
that was a long way!
"You looking at my titties?"
"You'd better. I wore this dress for you and I'd be
pissed if you didn't notice."
"Uh . . . wanna have, uh, some more coffee, say at my
"Yes I would, but I want you to know up front that
we're not going to do it tonight. Not that I don't want to.
I do. But we're not going to. Understand?"
I kissed her fingers, trying to frame my response. I
couldn't, so I gave up and told her the truth. "I can't
believe how much time my mind has given you in the last
months. I wake up aroused, holding myself, thinking about
you and how much I want you."
"But it's even more important that we do whatever we
need to so we can be friends. As twitchy as I get near you,
it's more important to me that we're friends. Then, maybe
then, we might become something more."
"Yeah, that's the word I was searching for."
"Good. Let's go to your place and . . . and be
friends." She paused and then added with a smile, "Either
you're just saying all the right things . . . or you have
"Me? Technique? Hah!"
As we drove to my house I shared with her that I'd been
out of the dating game so long I didn't know what
'technique' was. I thought my greatest technique was asking
the Department Chairman's to dance at the annual party.
What more was there?
I had a nice place in the hills, far too big for one
guy, but that was the detritus of my former marriage. I'd
done most of my own work, including the decorating. I was
proud of that. Once, after having given a brief tour to a
woman at a party there, she'd looked around and said, "Not
bad. Who's your decorator?" I swelled up and trying to
sound modest, answered, "Me." She looked skeptical and
remarked, "Not bad . . . for a guy."
Janey glanced around and said "Nice digs," as she
plopped down in a large sofa in front of the fireplace,
patting the place next to her. I sat a place away that I
might give her room and be able to face her.
She slipped her pumps off and turned to face me. The
hemline of her dress, which had started out several inches
above the knee, was pulled to mid thigh. Was it because she
was slender that her legs looked so long?
"Don't get carried away with this 'friends' thing. Sit
closer to me, please."
That was easy. I moved next to her and laid a hand
across her shoulder. "Do you have a witching hour?"
"I told him I was having dinner and not to wait up -
not that he would - that I'd be home quite late. He asked,
'Tomorrow?' I said, 'Maybe.'"
"Will you stay?"
"I don't know. Probably not, but let's just see." She
turned to look at me again and added, "This is all new to
me, you know."
"That makes two of us . . . the blind leading the
blind. Boy! Are we hot or what?"
She leaned against me and said, "You're sweet. Not a
stud, but sweet."
"That make me a studless muffin?"
"I suppose I'll find out, if I hang around long
enough." She snuggled closer and looked up at me.
I recognized the offer and knew it wouldn't be made too
many times. "Can I kiss you? I asked.
She answered by pursing her lips and closing her eyes.
I just touched her lips with mine, initially softly, even
chastely. That lasted a few seconds until her mouth
softened and opened and I felt the tip of her tongue trace
the underside of my upper lip.
It lasted a long time. She was breathing in my mouth
and leaning into me. She somehow twisted around to face me.
I guess I'd pulled back to give her more room, for when she
wrapped her arm around my neck, her torso was draped across
mine, half on top. I could feel her against me.
She began licking my neck near my clavicle and I was
running my hand up and down the bare skin of her back. I
didn't know where to touch. My hand caught the back of her
dress and tugged on it.
"Wait," she said, as she stood and slowly pulled up the
hem of her brief cocktail dress. She paused, showing me a
tantalizing view of her thighs and a peek of her panties.
"Yes!" My throat was dry and my voice suddenly hoarse.
As she pulled the dress up over one breast, I saw her
taut nipple, a prominent highlight contrasted to the deeper
shadows under the bunched hem.
She smiled at me and then pulled the dress over her
head and dropped it to the floor. "There, that's better."
It sure was. In the subdued light she stood there
wearing only very brief panties. "I'm gonna leave these
on," she added, I supposed setting boundaries.
I admired her small, firm with prominent
nipples and slightly puffy areolae. She was lean with a
narrow waist and womanly hips. Her pantied mons was
prominent and terribly feminine. "You're beautiful, Janey.
You're simply awesome, know that?"
Falling on me again, she wormed her way closer and
replied, "No, but I love to hear it, doc. Tell me more!
But first, aren't you way overdressed?"
Following her example, I shed my clothes in front of
her, slowly dropping each item alongside hers and like her,
I left my briefs on. I felt a little embarrassed because of
the obvious tent until she touched my thigh with the tips of
her fingers, just inches from my bulge, and said, "Nice."
She pulled me down to her, again managing to land
partially on top of me. "Any music?" she asked.
I popped up again and pushed the CD Play button. The
sound system was always on. "I feel like a yo-yo," I
"Buster, you don't look like a yo-yo. Let's try it
again. Oops, I gotta first; where's the Ladies?"
Gesturing, I said, "Right around the corner. It's on
the other side of the fireplace. Can't miss it."
"Be right back," she said. I liked the way the
near-thong of her exposed about two-thirds of her
After a brief minute or so, she yelled out, "Can I use
"Help yourself. Anything." I yelled back.
Things seemed to go so much smoother in the movies.
Janey came running back and launched herself at me. I
fell back onto the couch, holding this wriggling, feminine
body, one hand cupping her pantied butt and the other
wrapped around her waist. She had both arms wrapped around
my head, her thighs astraddle mine and was planting little
kisses all over my face.
Unplanned, the fingers of my hand slipped inside her
and I yanked it back, fearing I'd gone too fast, too
far; that I'd offended her.
"That's OK. I like it when you feel my butt." She
wriggled to signal her pleasure as I cupped her cheek again.
It was soft and surprisingly firm at the same time. "I
think I've got a good butt. What do you think, guy?" She
held my face in both hands and continued kissing my eyes and
my mouth, my neck and my ears. Soft, nibbly little kisses
with touches of wet tongue, the tips of her nipples just
touching my chest.
I was getting harder and it was cramped, caught in my
briefs. I tried to readjust myself with one hand and she
looked down. "Hey, are you hiding something from me?"
She slid back off my thighs and grabbed my tented
undershorts in both hands. "Come on, doc, lift up. Help me
What could I do? It sprang out, spring-loaded, almost
She paused, her head tilted to one side. "Nice cock,
Kneeling between my splayed legs, she rested her hands
on my thighs and brushed her curly hair back and forth
across my hardness, murmuring and cooing. The pleasure was
exquisite. I knew I couldn't hold it much longer, for that
worm of deep desire was moving through my pelvis.
She kissed the head of my shaft and then took about an
inch or so into her mouth, softly.
"Jesus! Janey . . . that's incredible!"
She wrapped her hand about the base and began inching
me further into her mouth as she continued to slowly stroke
me. It was so intensely pleasurable I couldn't believe it
was happening, that I was that lucky. Was this 'not doin'
On mindless automatic, my hips were lifting, thrusting
upward, trying to get deeper into her. I held her head and
she held my insistent cock in a firm grip, controlling my
depth. Then I began to lose resolution. I couldn't tell
just what was happening. My back was arched; I was touching
with my shoulders and my heels, and her wet warmth went down
and down around the base of my shaft.
"Uh . . . Janey . . . Janey, I don't think I can hold
it back. I'll if you keep that up, babe."
She took me deeper. That was it! I began to lose it.
At that pinnacle, I couldn't think of her or myself or
anything; I was simply frozen in the moment. It started and
all I could do was groan. Near-painful spurts of pleasure
rocketed from my depths. It seemed to go on and on, never
ending. I sagged and then fell back, drained, empty.
Some time later - I don't know how long - I gradually
became aware of the sound of the stereo and a weight - Janey
- on my thighs. She was still holding my cock, now soft and
totally spent. I guess we both drifted off.
Still later I awoke to silence, still on the coach,
spooned around her, a blanket over us. I could smell the
freshness of her hair and the musk of us. I cupped her
and kissed her hair before falling to sleep again.
The sun light woke me. Or perhaps it was the smell of
"Rise and shine, studmiffin."
She stood before me wearing one of my dress shirts, one
button holding it kind of closed. "Coffee, doc?"
"You OK?" I asked, scrubbing my face with my hands.
"How do I look?" she asked.
The morning sun light was at her back. It made a small
halo about her freshly brushed hair. She looked fantastic.
I felt a little ache.
"You look fantastic, Janey!"
"Well that's how I feel. And before you ask, I had a
wonderful time last night, especially the last part! I feel
so . . . so feminine and so damn sexy. Thanks for that and
more, thanks for not pushing it, for going slow with me."
"Janey, if that was slow, I'll become an empty shell if
you ever speed up!"
"Start taking your vitamins, doc, I have plans for you!
I've got a lot of catching up to do and I won't *even* tell
you how many things I want to try. Think you're up to it?"
I looked under the covers and then grinned.
That was the beginning really of a friendship that
lasted years. We were colleagues and friends and occasional
lovers. Janey's marriage - its ups and downs and the
stresses involved with two different people heading in
different directions - eventually ended. It ended not with
vitriolic sparks and flames but with a quiet acceptance.
Eventually, Janey fell in love with a guy, a business type
in a software startup firm. He was ten years younger than
she, but only chronologically. Her biologic age and her
emotional age was very and more, vibrant and alive.
I see her now and then and there's a special warmth we
share. We've not been lovers in a long time but I remember
that last time when she said, "After I remarry, we won't do
this anymore, but in case you're wondering, yes, this has
been awesome. I don't know - maybe it'll never be as good;
I want you to know that."