When my friend Tommy told me he’d decided to hire a guide for our next fly-fishing trip, I gave him a hearty slap on the back. “At last,” I said. “Now maybe we’ll actually catch something.”
Tommy and I love to fish, even though we aren’t very good at it. We’ve been casting lines on Oregon’s rivers since the summer we graduated from high school, nearly five years ago. Tommy got lucky once and reeled in a huge steelhead, but he hasn’t caught much since. Neither have I, unless you count the old can I hooked while fishing the Deschutes last year. So I was pretty excited to have an expert along for our next trip.
The morning dawned sunny and mild as we bumped along the river road in Tommy’s truck. “The tackle shop should be just a few miles ahead,” he said. “The guy’s name is Sam. He’s supposed to be their best.”
“Cool.” I pictured a grizzled old dude with a beard, someone who’d spent his whole life on the river.
Bill often gives me massages when I’m feeling stressed. He isn’t a professional, but he knows how to stroke me in a way that I crave. Nice and firm and hard. We always fuck after the massages, when I’m feeling loose and completely relaxed. Sometimes, he talks to me about what it would be like if another man was touching my skin. The thought has always turned me on. Still I was surprised when he suggested that I let another man massage me.
He shook his head. “I don’t mean hire one. But I was wondering how you’d feel if I asked Joe to join us.”
Joe is a friend of Bill’s from college. He was the best man in our wedding, and he’s been over at our house hundreds of times—to watch football, play poker and barbecue in the backyard. But he’d never seemed at all interested in me.
“He’s dying to give you a rubdown,” Bill said.
“Just a rubdown?”
“Well . . . ”
I’ll admit I was pissed that night when the manager took me off the front desk and told me to run room service. We had to be a team players, he reminded me. We were understaffed, and I felt underpaid, being put on a shift I was never meant to work—but I got paid for it very well in the end.
She was long and lean and had dark brown hair that flowed down her back, nearly to her heart-shaped ass. “Look what room service sent, Gavin,” she called out, smiling at me. It was a winning smile, with nice white teeth and glossy lips that made me think dirty things.
She stepped back and gave me a coy, “Come on in, big boy.”
People tell me all the time that I look fierce. But when I gaze into the mirror, I simply see a woman who contemplates. Although not shy, I am quiet unless I have something to say. I keep my emotions contained. I know my way around the saddles, gear, and whips we sell at the horse and tack shop where I work. I present the wares with respect, in the calm, careful way I do everything.
The crush I nursed on my coworker James for the past year was just one more thing I kept to myself. I had no plans on letting him know how I felt, but recently I had an occasion to act on my feelings in a surprisingly satisfying way.
Maybe some would describe me as hiding behind a layer of armor, but I prefer to think of myself as simply serious. I don’t go in for frivolities. That’s why the leopard-print dress was something of an aberration for me. When I walked past the store window and caught sight of the short, sexy number, I did a double take. My usual wardrobe is a far cry from leopard. I wear black—my whole closet is black—and riding boots, and I am fine with that.
It had never occurred to me to ask. And apparently it had never occurred to Brad to tell. So when we were packing up to move from our tiny cracker-box apartment to an actual townhouse, it all came out by accident. Because of one simple act.
It had been a half-irritated, half-amused gesture on my part. Brad had been packing the good dishes with the everyday dishes, instead of wrapping them separately like I’d asked. I was sorting the mail at the time, and I rolled up a magazine and swatted him on the ass like he was a bad dog. It was just a joke. But the look on his face was one I’d never seen before.
“What?” I asked, warily.
He shook his head quickly, keeping his eyes lowered. “Nothing.”
It was the way he moved away from me—an odd sideways crab walk—that tipped me off.
“Brad, did I hurt you? I was only fucking arou—” By then I’d managed to bounce my way in front of him, smiling to show it had all been in good fun.
Michael knows that if I allow him to spend the night, he’s responsible for making breakfast the next day. And I expect a gourmet spread. Usually, he’s good about fulfilling his duties, and he typically makes scones with clotted cream and jam, a frittata with fresh vegetables, or French toast made from flaky croissants. He’s never failed to deliver a delicious meal—until last weekend.
When I woke Saturday morning, Michael was already up, and his pallet next to my bed was empty. I could smell coffee brewing in the kitchen, and the aroma alone had me wide awake in a matter of moments. I pulled a silk robe on over my negligee, stepped into my heeled slippers and, after stopping to fix my hair in the mirror, walked down the hall to the kitchen to see what my slave was cooking.
We bought the cabin for a song. We hadn’t even been looking for a vacation home. I’d been perusing the real-estate section of the local newspaper during brunch one Sunday morning, and an ad for the little fixer-upper by the lake caught my eye. Before long, I was picturing us spending long weekends in the woods—and imagining all of the trouble we could get into with no one around to witness our antics. I easily convinced my wife, Jessica, to go check out the cabin with me.
I loved the place immediately, but there was one thing that gave Jess pause: It was so deep in the woods that there was no connection to electricity, phone lines and—gasp!—the Internet. My better half is pretty much attached to her smart phone most of the time, so by my reckoning, being someplace where she’d have to pay more attention to me was just another reason to adore the place. Besides, I had a funny feeling that even without access to modern technology, we could find interesting ways to keep ourselves busy.
What a cute little fox,” I heard a man say behind me. I turned toward the voice, prepared to be offended. “I beg your pardon,” I said, sounding haughty. The stranger appeared to be surprised by my response. Then I looked in the direction he’d been facing. In a flash, I realized that he had been admiring a fox—a red-tailed, bristle-furred fox.
I felt myself begin to blush. Why had I been so quick to assume he was talking about me? I’d decided to visit the local zoo in order to draw pictures for one of my college art classes, but so far nothing had truly inspired me. Not until this man had appeared, anyway.
We call it having a dinner guest. We’ll have a slow and lonely night at the diner, and when an unsuspecting guy who passes Kelli’s muster walks in, I give her the nod. The door gets locked, and as my wife pulls the big industrial blinds down, she tells him he’s our last customer of the night.
All the while, he’s eating and trying not to watch her. The way her pink uniform rides up when she reaches for the shade pull. Or the way her stocking tops peek out just so. She’s an old-fashioned girl, and she likes the thigh-high kinds that stay up on their own. We let him eat, and then she makes her move as I watch from the kitchen.
Our last guest was a big trucker type. He had a turkey club before he realized he was actually going to get from Kelli the filthy things he really wanted.
Camping had never been my favorite activity, but it definitely went up a notch on the pleasure meter with my recent trip to the woods. On that weekend, my best friend, his girl and I were enjoying the great outdoors—but the last night of our trip brought an unexpected twist.
“I need a favor,” Debbie said directly in my ear. I actually jumped. The last thing you expect to find crawling in your sleeping bag in the middle of the night is your friend’s girlfriend.
“What?” I was tired and not in the mood for campfire games. I thought she was going to ask me to walk her to the outhouse since it was so dark.
“I need you to…” She petered off and exhaled loudly.
“Need me to what, Debbie? It’s the middle of the night, and I can’t see my own hand in front of my face.”