story (1) [link]
Chapter 1.2 (86)
Chapter 1.3 (201)
Chapter 1.4 (301)
Chapter 1.5 (413) (507) [link]
Chapter 2.2 (591)
END (661) It was cold, bitterly cold as the snow fell sporadically, lightly dusting the street in a white blanket. 2 At least the holidays won't suck for everyone, Tyler thought cynically. 3 His eyes wandered away from the road to the strip malls he was passing. Christmas used to be his favorite time of the year. He would watch the people busily preparing for the holiday, or just spending time with their families, and it always brightened his mood. As his eyes took in the sight that used to bring so much pleasure, Ty was saddened by how apathetic he felt toward the jovial atmosphere. 4 "Who cares?" he said aloud, his eyes briefly returning to the road, before moving back to the stores flashing by. The last year had been very difficult for him. Despite support from his family and friends, Ty felt himself sliding into a chasm that seemed bottomless. 5 With a loud sigh, he looked again at the families scurrying about happily, enjoying the light layer of snow. The scene reminded him of Christmas for the first time all season. 6 "Shit!" he screamed suddenly, as his eyes moved back to the road in front of him. Traffic had come to a sudden stop and there was no time to react. 7 Tyler slammed on the brakes and turned the wheel hard to the left in desperation, trying to avoid the semi that had stopped directly in front of him. His car spun, turning almost completely sideways, before gaining some traction. At the last second, he managed to veer into the turn lane, and then watched helplessly as he passed within inches of the stopped truck. 8 After sliding another fifty feet, the car finally came to rest in the left-turn lane, almost as if he planned it all along. Ignoring the alarmed stares of the drivers beside him, Tyler pulled his shaking hands from the steering wheel and looked at them in wonder. 9 "I should have died," he said quietly, shocked at how loud his voice sounded in the eerie silence. His hands returned to the wheel, but were shaking so badly that he decided to pull over and give himself a second to recover. 10 Looking around, his eyes settled on a familiar sight. Years earlier, Tyler lived nearby and would occasionally stop at Johnny's on the way home. In addition to being a relaxed place to hang out, they featured live entertainment. He used to love winding down there after a tough day at work. 11 He waited until there was a large gap in the traffic, then did a U-turn and pulled into the parking lot. The non-descript building looked more like a house than a place to go for a good time. Tyler stepped out of the car and was surprised to find that his legs were still wobbly. He took a moment to steady himself before walking to the front door. 12 As he entered, he was greeted by a wave of blaring dance music. There were two pool tables in back, where several young men were playing. He turned the corner to the right and managed a smile for the first time, as he caught a glimpse of the entertainment. She appeared to be in her early twenties, about five foot six with long brown hair and the most amazing ass he had seen in as long as he could remember. The woman was wearing a mesh top and a white thong with thigh-high stockings. 13 Tyler looked around, surprised that she was the only dancer in the room. Normally, he would have expected to see two or three girls working the bar. Then again, since there were only six other men in the room, it was possible that any other dancers might have gone home early. 14 He walked to the bar, where he asked a pleasant looking blonde for an import, but she told him they were out. Annoyed, he said to just give him whatever they had on tap. As he stood, impatiently waiting, he felt something brush the back of his head and realized it was the dancer saying hi as she walked toward the back of the room. It caused him to smile again, this time with a little more enthusiasm, both from the contact and the scent of her perfume. He glanced to his left, but only caught a glimpse of her before she stepped out of sight. 15 The bartender handed him a beer, which he accepted, trying to do so without indicating his displeasure. He walked over to the tables against the wall, not wanting to sit with the men at the bar. Tyler took several deep gulps, trying to calm his frayed nerves. When a new song came on, he glance around, surprised that the woman hadn't returned to the front. He glanced to the back of the room and realized that she was talking with the men playing pool. 16 Swell, he though, aggravated. I come to a strip bar and still get ignored. He quickly finished the first beer and thought about leaving, but decided he needed one more to calm his nerves. When he returned to his seat, Closer by Nine Inch Nails began blaring from the jukebox. Tyler chuckled to himself, well aware of the explicit lyrics. Just then, the dancer appeared, walking to the makeshift stage against the front wall. It had a pole mounted to the small riser that ended about a foot short of the low ceiling. The haphazard appearance added to the impression he already had formed about not expecting much from the show. 17 Tyler watched with mild interest as she began her routine to the beat of the slow, driving, primal song. Despite his mood, he was anxious to find a way to escape the negative feelings he'd had for the last few weeks. He leaned against the wall, deciding to give her a chance to atone for the slight. 18 The woman began with the typical bumping and grinding most dancers used, but caught his attention when she grabbed the top of the pole with one hand and began spinning herself like a ballroom dancer. She ran her hands down her body, bringing them between her legs, then grabbed the pole and climbed. Reaching the top, she flipped upside down, using her strong thighs to stay aloft. She caressed her smooth, tanned skin, while the music pulsated and her dancing became more and more erotic. 19 I want to fuck you like an animal I want to feel you from the inside I want to fuck you like an animal My whole existence is flawed 20 Tyler's breath quickened and he felt a stirring in his groin while he watched her amazing performance. How anyone could be so sexy while performing for a nearly empty room was beyond him. 21 She put her foot on a table, spreading her legs tantalizingly, again running her hands over her panties, staring at Tyler like it was all for him. He watched her move with a grace that was beyond most exotic dancers he had seen, while never losing the eroticism that seemed to emanate naturally from her. 22 Without warning, she dropped to the floor, quickly spinning to her knees. She looked over her shoulder, flashed a devilish grin, and slapped her ass with an open hand. Rolling over again, she spread her legs, running her fingertips up her thighs before grabbing the pole with one hand. Using it for leverage, she arched her back, her head just above the ground. She slowly brought one leg straight up until it reached the pole high above her, her toe pointed like a ballerina. 23 Suddenly the song ended and Tyler realized that he was leaning forward in his chair, anxiously waiting to see what she'd do next. He applauded enthusiastically, along with the few men present, then impatiently waited for her to make her rounds. After visiting each of the men at the bar, she made her way over to his table. 24 "Hi, did you like the dance?" she asked in a soft, sultry voice. 25 "It was amazing," he stammered, feeling foolish and cursing himself for acting like a love struck teenager. "So, are you a dancer...a professional dancer, I mean," he quickly added. 26 "No," she said, smiling at the compliment. "Not unless you count me dancing in my room. I always wanted to be, but this is as close as I'm ever going to get." She regarded him with a sly smile. "Would you like a private dance?" 27 Tyler couldn't suppress a grin. "I thought you'd never ask." 28 She offered her hand and said, "I'm Faith". 29 A flash of pain in Tyler's eyes was the only sign that her words struck a nerve, but the look was immediately replaced by one of open admiration. He took her hand and introduced himself. 30 Faith walked him to a more private area in the back of the other room. They talked for a moment while the song on the jukebox ended. The lighting was better there and he was able to look closely at her for the first time. 31 He noticed that she wore very little make-up, but still looked beautiful. Her lips were full and sensual. She had brown eyes that peeked out through oval lids, giving her the look of someone always on the verge of smiling, a mischievous smile that belied a quirky sense of humor. Her hair, dyed red in the front, gave her an untamed appearance that fit her dancing perfectly. 32 But what caught his attention the most was her chest. Through the mesh shirt, he could see a red shape that stretched from between her breasts to the middle of her stomach. 33 "Is that a drawing or a tattoo?" Tyler asked in fascination. 34 "A tattoo," Faith answered with a satisfied smile. "It's a phoenix; I designed it myself. Do you like it?" 35 "Yes," he said, staring brazenly at the tattoo. "It's beautiful." 36 She regarded him cautiously. "It's kind of a spiritual thing." 37 Tyler couldn't take his eyes off of the design. He had never seen one like it, nor one in the particular spot she had it placed. It was beautifully crafted and made him wonder about the story behind it. He smiled wryly as he realized the tattoo was distracting him from a much more interesting sight. 38 The sound of the jukebox starting again jolted him from his reverie. He heartily approved of her choice, Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On. Faith immediately began swaying to the sensual beat. Tyler resisted the urge to look at her body, finding her eyes mesmerizing. She stared back at him lustfully as she slipped the strap of her top off her shoulder, while moving toward him. Her head dipped close to his lap before dragging up his body, her hair brushing against him tantalizingly, until her lips hovered beside his cheek. 39 Tyler could feel the warmth from her face as she brushed lightly against his cheek, causing his penis to begin twitching. He'd had lap dances before, many that caused an erection, but never one that created this kind of immediate reaction. She purred into his ear, raising goose bumps on his neck, then lifted her head over his, letting her hair spill into his face. Her perfume threatened to overwhelm his senses. 40 He sighed aloud, bringing a knowing smile to Faith's lips. She had him and knew it. Standing slowly, she turned away and shrugged the straps off her shoulders, letting the garment slide down. Her skin looked smooth and soft, making him wish he could touch it, just for a second. The top bunched when it reached her hips. With a seductive shake, it dropped to the floor and she slowly reached down to retrieve it, giving him a perfect view of her ass and her mound pushing against the thong. 41 He struggled to maintain his calm, sliding his hands under his legs to avoid giving in to the temptation to touch this amazing creature. Faith stood back up and set the top on the table beside them, and then turned to face him, her hands covering her breasts. Her hips moved as she massaged them teasingly, refusing to let him see more. His breath quickened and he shifted, trying to relieve the pressure of his rapidly growing prick trapped against the seam of his pants. 42 Faith gave him her naughtiest look, as her hips swayed and her knees bent. She moved her hands down slowly, letting her small, firm breasts slide into view. Tyler felt a lump in his throat as he saw her light brown nipples for the first time. 43 She saw him staring and moved closer, pressing his face between her breasts. Normally she wouldn't be so bold, but something told her that this man wouldn't do anything she would object to. His warm breath washing over her skin made her feel weak in the knees. 44 What is going on? she wondered. Faith enjoyed teasing men, but she rarely let one get to her like this. There was something about him; something sad, vulnerable and tender that touched her. 45 Shaking her head to gain control over her emotions, Faith redoubled her efforts to arouse him. She dipped her head low toward his lap and could clearly see his erection straining against his slacks. Turning her head, she dragged her face against his clothes as she moved upward, putting her hands on his legs for balance. She nuzzled against his cheek, delighting in the slightly rough feeling of his unshaven face. 46 She put her foot on his shoulder, giving him a view of the inside of her thigh, leading up to the crotch of her panties. The material stretched and molded itself into the shape of her mound. Tyler forced himself to look into her eyes, a part of him uncomfortable with ogling her in such an obvious way. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see her hand move across the cloth, her finger teasing the opening of her sex, while he watched her smile. 47 "It's all right, you're allowed to look," she teased, amused by his shyness. 48 Tyler returned her gaze intently. "I'm looking exactly where I want to," he said firmly. He saw surprise register in her eyes, then it was replaced with the look she wore earlier. 'It must be how she looks at all the guys to make them feel special,' he thought. 49 She turned again and moved her back against his chest, leaning her head against his shoulder. Her left arm curled up and around his head, while she ground against his cock, which was now completely erect. His head spun as he tried not to embarrass himself. Just when he was afraid he couldn't hold out any longer, the song ended and she stopped moving, lingering against him for a few moments before stepping away. 50 "So I guess you enjoyed that," she said mockingly, the twinkle in her eye letting him know she intended no insult. 51 Tyler blushed, "I'm just glad the song ended when it did or you might have found out how much I enjoyed it." 52 Faith leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, her breasts brushing against his arm. "Always glad to have a fan," she teased. 53 "Forever, milady," he said flamboyantly. He reached into his pocket and grabbed his wallet to fish out the money for the dance. As he handed it to her, Tyler gave her a strange look. 54 "Can I ask you something personal?" he asked. Her expression was a little guarded, but she nodded. "Faith isn't your real name, right?" 55 She laughed warmly. "Yeah, it really is my name. I know, almost all dancers use stage names. I did when I first started, but I grew up around here. The first time a guy I went to school with came in, that was ruined. After that I just started using it because people like it as much as any of the fake ones." 56 Again, she noticed something in Tyler's expression that disturbed her, but she couldn't get a read on it. Whatever it was disappeared quickly. She decided to change the subject before the mood was ruined. 57 "Care for an encore?" she cooed. She was surprised to see his expression darken. 58 "Honestly, I'd love to, but I need to get going." 59 He smiled, but it looked strained to her. Faith tried to change the subject, not wanting to see him look so sad. "So a rain-check then?" 60 "I'd like that." This time his smile looked genuine. Impulsively, he leaned forward and gave her a quick hug. "Thank you. I really needed that." 61 She hugged him back, then watched him walk toward the front door. As she turned to reclaim her shirt, she tried to understand why she suddenly felt unhappy to have to go back to work. 62 ****** 63 Tyler pulled his car in front of the red brick house. He turned off the ignition, but paused before opening the door, his eyes fixed on the steering wheel. Despite wanting to be there, it was still so difficult. 64 He walked slowly to the door and rang the bell. There was loud barking from inside, followed by footsteps. The door opened and an older man's face appeared. He looked kind, but his appearance was marred by wrinkles and dark circles under his eyes. It looked like the weight of the world was on his shoulders. 65 "Hey Ty," he said wearily. 66 "Hi Dad," Tyler responded, stepping in the door to embrace him. He was jarred by a weight crashing into his leg. Looking down, he smiled. "Hi Fia," he said affectionately, patting the dog hard on the ribs, then scratching behind her ear. 67 He walked into the living room as his father closed the door behind him. Glancing at the wall, he felt a heaviness on his heart as he saw his favorite picture. Desperate not to relive those emotions yet again, he turned to his father. 68 "Anything interesting happen today?" he asked, already knowing the answer. 69 The old man shrugged. "Not really. I've been pretty tired so we've stayed around the house," he said, gesturing toward the dog, who had already found a warm spot by a heating duct and was curled up for a nap. 70 Ty frowned. "Dad, this has got to stop. You can't stay cooped up here forever. Why don't you go out with friends from work? It's not like you don't have enough of them." 71 His father looked at him sharply, his exhausted appearance quickly replaced by one of concern mixed with annoyance. "Look who's talking. When's the last time you did something other than come home from work and sit by yourself?" 72 Tyler met his father's stern glare. "Well, now that you mention it, I stopped at a bar tonight. I met a nice girl and we talked." Looking at his father's skeptical expression, Ty was ashamed of himself. 73 "Fine, I don't have a life. Is that what you wanted to hear? I almost had an accident on the way here and stopped off at a bar to get a drink and calm my nerves. I paid a stripper to dance for me." 74 His dad gave him a wry smile. "Was she talented?" 75 Tyler laughed at the double entendre. "Yes, she was very beautiful, sexy and a marvelous dancer. Honestly, we had a nice chat. It's the best I've felt in a while." He paused, weighing the possible consequences of his next words. "You know the strangest part? Her name was Faith." 76 His father stared at him for several seconds with an expression of pain. He looked away, wiping his eye with the back of his hand. "Maybe you should talk to her again." 77 Tyler nodded absently while the two men sat quietly, absorbed in their own thoughts. 78 ****** 79 "Just go inside already!" Tyler scolded himself angrily. 80 He had been sitting outside Johnny's for a half hour, but hadn't gathered the courage to get out of his car. He looked again at the door, then tightened his hands around the steering wheel in frustration. Sighing, he reached into his pocket and grabbed his keys. He started the car and reached for the gearshift. 81 As he pulled the lever into reverse, a flash of movement caught his eye. He turned his head in time to see the door to the bar open and a small figure step out into the snow. 82 "Faith," he mumbled, instantly recognizing her. Without thinking, Tyler shifted the car back into park and watched, longingly. He noted how differently she appeared from the previous week. She was wearing jeans and a turtleneck sweater, topped by a light jacket. It seemed odd, since the temperature was supposed to reach single digits. She had a scarf draped over her shoulders, that she quickly pulled across her face. 83 Tyler watched as she hurried to her car, opened the door and slid inside. He faced forward again, watching his knuckles turn white as he gripped the wheel, trying to decide what to do. 84 The sound of a car door slamming startled him, shaking him from his thoughts. He looked over his shoulder and saw Faith walking to the front of her car, and then pulling up the hood. The desire to help immediately outweighed his indecision, so Tyler stepped out of his car and walked toward her, the cold wind stinging his cheeks. 85 Chapter 1.2 "Hey," he said, trying to alert Faith to his presence without scaring her. "Is there anything I can do?" 87 She looked up, obviously annoyed. "If you can make this damn thing work, you're welcome to try." She paused, then her eyes widened, "Oh, it's you...Tyler, right?" 88 Ty smiled, pleased that she recognized him and surprised that she remembered his name. He knew she had to have dozens of guys flirt with her every week. 89 "Yeah, I stopped by for a drink." He thought for a moment, then added, "I kind of hoped you'd be dancing tonight." 90 Faith grinned warmly. "Well, I was, but there's nobody here tonight. Everyone but me has something better to do on Christmas Eve. They let me go early, but my car isn't cooperating. Do you think you can help?" 91 He shrugged nervously. "I'll try. Cars aren't really my thing. I usually call Triple-A." He looked under the hood, but didn't see anything obvious. Faith tried starting it again, but the car wasn't turning over at all. 92 "Let's head back inside," Tyler said, his face beginning to feel numb. Faith nodded and they hurried back into the bar. 93 The atmosphere was far less intrusive than the last time Tyler had been there. The music was quiet and the lights turned down, giving the room a surreal quality that made him feel like he should be whispering. He sat at the bar and ordered a beer while Faith went in the back to make a phone call. As he was finishing the first one off, she joined him. 94 "So is someone coming to fix it?" Tyler asked. 95 "No, I just called a cab. Johnny's cousin is going to come by soon anyway. He always fixes it for me. If he doesn't have time or can't get it running, I'll worry about it in a couple days." 96 Ty looked at her in surprise. "What are you going to do in the meantime?" 97 Faith shrugged. "I don't have anywhere to be so it doesn't matter." 98 "Nowhere to be? What about tomorrow?" 99 She looked away. "My parents moved to Arizona a couple of years ago. I'm not seeing anyone right now and all my friends will be with their families. I was just going to sit around the apartment and relax." Faith looked back up and gave him a warm smile. "Don't worry. I'm looking forward to a peaceful day, curled up on my couch, watching TV." 100 Tyler felt sorrow for her situation, but tried not to show it. He could tell without asking that she would be offended at such a reaction. Besides, who was he to be feeling sorry for anyone that was miserable on Christmas? 101 "So how long until the cab gets here?" he asked, trying to maintain a neutral tone. 102 "Actually, they said it will be a while. They're busy, plus a lot of their drivers have the night off." 103 Tyler smiled, hoping she wouldn't notice how pleased he was that she would have to stay with him. "Would you mind me buying you a drink?" he asked. 104 "Mind," she said, looking amused, "I was hoping the night wouldn't be a total loss." 105 "Well," said Ty, delighted by her reaction, "I'd love to ask you for a dance, but I think it might be a little unfair to ask you to change again." 106 Faith looked at him with a twinkle in her eye. "The drink will be fine, thank you." 107 He ordered two beers and they walked to a table away from the bar where they sat facing each other. Tyler tried to appear casual, hoping she wouldn't realize just how nervous he was. With her hair pulled back, wearing the maroon sweater and jeans, he thought she looked even sexier than when she had danced for him the previous week. 108 "So," she said abruptly, startling him. "What brings you out here tonight?" 109 He grinned sheepishly, "I already told you, I was hoping you'd be dancing." 110 Faith smiled, appearing genuinely moved. "You came here to see me? Awww, thank you. At least I feel a little better about tonight." 111 "Well, I'm glad I could at least keep you company. While I have you here, I wanted to ask you something." He watched as she turned her head, indicating he should continue. "You told me your tattoo was 'spiritual.' I was wondering what you meant by that...if it's not too personal." 112 Faith studied him intently for a moment. Finally she cleared her throat and spoke. "I've had a lot of bad breaks since I got out of high school. I made some serious mistakes and paid dearly for them." 113 She took a drink, then continued. "Well, I was twenty and had just about done every stupid thing a kid could do. My parents moved away, but I stayed to be near my friends. After a year on my own, I was alone, broke and didn't know how to get out of it. I was close to giving up. I thought about running away and living with my parents again." She looked down at her drink. "It would have been like admitting I couldn't make it on my own. 114 "One weekend, I was sitting for two kids whose parents were friends with mine. They wanted me to read to them and I grabbed a mythology book they liked. It had a story about the Phoenix and something about it clicked in my head. I'd made mistakes and thought that I had damaged my life because I couldn't take them back. I thought life was a straight line, and if you screwed up, you would be stuck with less than you hoped for from then on. 115 "After I read the story, I thought about it for days. Finally, I decided that I could put the bad things behind me and start over again. You know, rising from the ashes," she said, with a wink. 116 "Things started turning around for me and from then on, I stopped worrying about the past and looked at ways to fix the present. I got this job and finally got out of debt. After reading some self-help books one of the girls recommended, I managed to start saving money. The first thing I did when I was out of debt was the tattoo. It might seem silly, but it's a reminder of how close I came to not living my life the way I wanted." 117 "That's really cool," Tyler said, impressed at the level of insight she displayed. He sat back and had another sip of his beer, finding himself more fascinated with her by the moment. 118 "So what's your story?" she asked with a grin. "Why are you hanging out here on Christmas eve instead of in front of a warm fire with some lucky lady in your arms?" 119 She immediately regretted the jocular tone she used when she saw the reaction on his face. 120 "Well, it's not such a great story, unfortunately. I had been dating a woman for close to a year. Despite the advice from my friends and family, I thought she was the one. Turns out they saw her a lot more clearly than I did." He took a long drink, then nervously ran a hand through his hair. 121 "Her idea of faithful and mine didn't exactly see eye to eye. I didn't find out until after I bought her an engagement ring and she had agreed to marry me. Once I found out the truth, I confronted her and told her to never bother me again." He smiled ruefully. "Of course, she didn't feel compelled to return the ring. Go figure." 122 "I'm so sorry," Faith said sympathetically, touching his hand with her own. "There are a lot of people who just don't appreciate what they've got." 123 "Thanks," Tyler answered, resisting the urge to pull his hand away. "That's nice of you to say." He finished off the remainder of the bottle. "That was four months ago. It was a really bad time," he paused and looked away, "and it hasn't gotten much better." He shook his head. "Wow, that definitely calls for another drink. Can I get you a refill?" 124 Faith nodded and studied him carefully as he walked toward the bar. What is it about this guy? she wondered. She had met plenty of good-looking guys and heard more than a few sob stories, but it seemed like everything Tyler said managed to touch her. There was just something about him that made her want to know more. She watched him walk back with their drinks, pleased with how attentive he seemed. 125 After over a year at her job, plus a lifetime of dealing with guys hitting on her, Faith knew all the normal signs. However, Tyler looked at her with affection and desire, but not the kind of unbridled lust she saw from many men. She sensed a level of compassion from him that made her want to find out more. 126 They talked quietly for the next half-hour while waiting for her cab. The conversation ranged from their childhoods, to work life, to relationships. It was relaxed and natural; more like old friends who hadn't seen each other in years than strangers getting to know one another. 127 Both of them were so absorbed in talking that they were startled by the sound of a car horn just outside. Faith jumped up and ran to the door, waving to let the cabbie know she was on her way out. She walked back to the table and grabbed her coat, scarf, and purse. 128 "Well, I really enjoyed the talk, Tyler," she said a little sadly. "I'd like to do it again if you ever have time to stop by the bar." 129 They shook hands and she turned, heading for the door. Tyler's head was pounding as he felt an overwhelming desire to say something, anything to keep her from leaving. 130 "You could spend Christmas with us if you want," he blurted, not believing the words as they tumbled from his lips. 131 Faith stopped in her tracks and turned, looking at him curiously. 132 "Us?" she asked, giving him no clue what she thought of the idea. 133 Tyler blushed, realizing there was no way to retreat from his offer. 134 "My dad and I," he said uncertainly. "It's just the two of us having a late lunch and watching the game. If you're bored, you'd be more than welcome to at least have something to eat and a little company." 135 Faith paused for several seconds before answering. "How big is it?" she finally asked, with a sly grin. 136 "Pardon me?" 137 "Your TV. How big is it?" she said, laughing at his discomfort. 138 "Oh," he said with a nod, "very funny. My dad has a fifty inch projection TV...with surround sound," he added with emphasis. 139 Faith looked at him thoughtfully for a moment. "Well, I'm not that interested in a big meal." She watched his face fall and quickly added, "But I love football. Do you think I could watch the game with you guys and maybe bring a salad?" 140 She couldn't hide her delight at the way his face lit up. It was beyond adorable. 141 "If Jimmy can fix my car tonight, I'd be happy to come by tomorrow." Faith reached into her purse and grabbed her cell phone. "Just give me your number and I'll call to let you know if I can make it. You can give me directions then." 142 Quickly, Tyler reeled off his number, almost as if he was afraid that she might change her mind. With one final hug, Faith turned and left. He watched her from the door until she climbed into the cab, then sat down at his table, where he quickly downed the rest of his drink. 143 "I must be insane," he said to no one in particular. 144 ****** 145 "...You'll see my car in the driveway. It's the dark blue Camry. Great, I'll see you then. Bye." 146 "So she's coming after all?" Ray asked. 147 "Yeah Dad, the guy got her car running last night and she just picked it up. She should be here in about twenty minutes." Tyler looked around the living room with concern. "I've got to get this mess cleaned up." 148 Ray shook his head and laughed. "Son, I don't think I've ever seen you this worked up over a girl. Especially one you just met." 149 With an embarrassed smile, Tyler nodded, conceding his father's point. "I don't know why. Something about her is just..." 150 "Special," his father said, finishing the thought. "Trust me son, I understand." The two men gave each other a quick nod. There was no need for further explanation. 151 A half hour later, the doorbell rang. Tyler couldn't stop himself from rushing to answer it excitedly. Before opening it, he took a deep breath, hoping to appear more calm and collected than he felt. With a shaking hand, he turned the doorknob and swung it inward. 152 "Hey you, Merry Christmas," Faith said with a wide smile. 153 Tyler couldn't stop himself from doing a double-take, amazed by how stunning she appeared. Although dressed casually like the previous night, there was something magical about her. She wore faded blue jeans with several patches and a light jacket. With a mischievous grin, she peeled it off to reveal an expensive Bears jersey. 154 "Nice," he cooed appreciatively. 155 "Why, thank you sir," she replied, glancing down at the logo. "My father gave it to me. I only wear it for special occasions." 156 "You know, I thought you were kidding when you said you wanted to watch the game with us," he said, stepping aside to let her in. 157 Faith leaned in and playfully punched him in the arm. "No way, buddy. I'm here to see the Packers get smashed." 158 "Well, you're not going to get any argument in this household," he chuckled. 159 Tyler took her coat and put it in the closet. He was about to lead her into the living room, when she spoke, her words stopping him in his tracks. 160 "Are these your folks?" He turned to see her pointing at a picture of him with his parents taken when he was in the third grade. It was always one of his favorites, taken at the Grand Canyon. He grimaced at the pain associated with the fond memories. 161 "Tyler, are you all right?" she asked, noticing his expression. 162 "Faith, I didn't know I was going to ask you here today or that you'd accept. There's something I need to tell you." 163 She stared at him, alerted by the sudden change in his mood. "What is it?" 164 "I told you about Renee and the breakup, but that's not the only reason things have been so tough." Tyler took a deep breath. 165 "My mom...she got sick a couple of years ago. It was cancer. She fought it with everything she had, but passed away two months ago." 166 "Tyler, I'm so sorry," Faith said, stepping forward and touching his shoulder. 167 He gratefully accepted her kind gesture. "It's all right, we knew the end was coming for a while. Christmas just reminds me of her so was her holiday. She's what made it special for me and dad." 168 "Oh, your father," Faith groaned. "He must be devastated." 169 "Yeah, he doesn't know what to do with himself. I come over to spend time with him, but just don't know what to do to help. Anyway, I didn't want you to say something and feel bad when you found out. I guess I should have told you before now but I had no idea what to say." 170 "No," she said firmly. "You were trying not to dump your problems on me. Trust me, I understand." She took his hand, delighting in how warm and comfortable it felt. 171 Faith nudged Ty playfully, coaxing a grin from him. "Why don't you introduce me?" 172 ****** 173 "Are you kidding me? What kind of horseshit call was that?" Faith screamed at the television. 174 Tyler looked at her, then back at his father with a wry smile. The day had been a great success. Faith dutifully stayed by Ray's side, laughing and joking, acting more like the hostess than the guest. Once the game started, she sat between him and Ty, cheering boisterously. She rivaled them both by how emotional she got over the game. Faith had been so wonderful that Ty could see his father begin to brighten in a way that had been missing since Marie died. 175 It only helped solidify the feelings that were rapidly growing inside of him. Everything about her seemed to be perfect. She was beautiful, graceful and as caring as any woman he could have hoped to meet. Tyler even had to smile at the way she immediately started cursing like one of the guys once the game got going. She wasn't afraid to be herself, and he found that irresistible. 176 They all jumped and cheered as the kicker nailed a forty-five yard field goal to win the game. Tyler found himself in Faith's arms, causing him to blush furiously. He quickly found an excuse to run to the kitchen and compose himself while she continued to celebrate with his dad. 177 After things wound down, she grabbed her things and said goodbye. Ty gave her a quick hug and a peck on the cheek, which she accepted with a pleased expression. She took the presents he had hurriedly prepared for her the night before, just in case she was able to come by. They weren't expensive, but she had accepted them excitedly as if they were diamonds. 178 Faith gave Ray one last hug and walked out the door to her car. Tyler watched as she slid behind the wheel. After a few moments, it was obvious that the car wasn't starting and he could see her pound her hands against the steering wheel. Just as he stepped outside, her door swung open and she climbed out, appearing furious. 179 "Son of a bitch!" she snapped. Faith turned and saw him. "It's dead again. Now what do I do?" The frustration was clearly evident in her voice. 180 "Come back inside and we'll get it into the garage," Tyler said, hoping to make her feel a little better. He threw on a coat and got his dad to help him roll the car inside. Faith stood next to him fidgeting as his dad looked it over. 181 After working under the hood for about fifteen minutes, Ray looked up with a smile. 182 "Well, I can fix it." Just as Faith started to say thank you, he interrupted her. "But not until tomorrow. I'll need a few things and it will take a couple of hours. I can't believe whoever looked at it didn't notice the wiring problem. You're lucky you didn't get stuck in the middle of nowhere." 183 "I'm stranded," she moaned. "Another cab ride, just what I needed." She caught herself and her expression softened. "I'm sorry Ray, that was thoughtless. It's so kind of you to offer to fix it. I don't know how to thank you." 184 "Are you kidding?" Ray responded with an even wider grin. "This means you'll have to come back here to pick it up. That's the best news I've had in weeks." When she laughed, he added, "Honestly, I'm happy to have something important to do. I'm looking forward to taking care of this. You're such a delightful young woman, I want to make sure this gets fixed right this time." 185 "Ray, you are so sweet," she said, stepping forward and giving him a firm hug, followed by a long kiss on the cheek. 186 "Please," he sputtered. "I don't think you'll need to call a cab anyway...will she Ty?" 187 "No," Tyler answered immediately. "I'd be happy to give you a ride...if you want me too?" he added hopefully. He realized that she might be reluctant to let him know where she lived, considering how little she knew about him. 188 Faith looked at him coyly, not betraying her thoughts. "Well, if you're going to be a gentleman about it, I guess it would be wrong of me to not take you up on the offer." 189 Thirty minutes later, Tyler pulled his car in front of the apartment complex Faith pointed out. 190 "Thank you for everything today, I had a great time. Please tell your dad thanks again. He is a wonderful man." 191 Tyler shrugged. "He really is looking forward to fixing it. It's the kind of thing he loves to do. He always wanted a daughter, so is really protective toward young women." Ty smiled, "Especially ones who fawn over him endlessly. You have no idea how much he enjoyed having you over today." 192 "Just him," Faith replied, raising her eyebrows. 193 "No," Tyler admitted. "I was very glad you could make it. Everything was perfect today. Thank you." He opened his door and stepped outside. 194 "You don't have to walk me to my door. You've done enough good deeds for one night." 195 "Sorry Faith; one thing my father made sure to instill in me was to always walk a lady to her door. You're stuck with me until I know you're safely inside." 196 She smiled, but Tyler couldn't tell if it was amusement at his insistence or that she was happy with his offer. They walked inside, then took the elevator to the third floor. When they reached her door, he tried to think of a way to smoothly approach her for a kiss. While he debated what he should do, she opened the door and turned her head. 197 "Would you care for a drink? It's the least I can do, considering your chivalry," she said with an inviting wink. 198 "Uh, sure...I'd love one," Ty stammered. 199 He followed her inside and sat on the couch while she went to the kitchen. A quick glance around the apartment revealed a glimpse of her personality he hadn't had the chance to see. It was immaculate, adorned by paintings, poems and magazines, all emphasizing success and personal power. It told him that she was organized and driven. 200 Chapter 1.3 "Here we go," Faith said, walking into the room with two glasses of wine. She set them down on the table and sat next to him. 202 "Thank you," Ty said, taking a sip. 203 Faith studied him seriously. "No Tyler, thank you. Today was wonderful and I'm glad you included me." 204 He smiled wryly. "There's no need to thank me. I love my dad, but the thought of the two of us staring at each other for hours isn't exactly the Christmas I'm used to having." 205 "Would you tell me what happened to your mom?" she asked, displaying a level of sincerity that caught him of guard. 206 Tyler took a deep breath. "Well, she was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. She beat it, but at a routine checkup six months ago the doctor found it was back and had spread everywhere. He told us there was nothing that could be done, so she came home where we took care of her until the end." 207 Faith looked at him sadly. "I'm very sorry, Ty. Could you tell me about her?" 208 He wiped a tear from his eye and looked up at her with pride. "Mom was amazing. She was my role model in every way. When I was in school, she encouraged everything I tried. She attended every game, concert and student activity. After I graduated, she pushed me to find the right college, stayed on my ass to get good grades and supported me in any way I could have asked. 209 "She sang and played the piano at church, volunteered at shelters and nursing homes, took the time to know my friends who all called her Mom and never turned away anyone asking for help. There was a line out the door at her wake from friends and admirers." 210 "Wow," Faith whispered, honestly impressed. "She sounds amazing." 211 "She really was. It's so funny," he said staring at his glass. "When I met you..." his voice trailed off as he realized what he was saying. 212 "What?" she asked, leaning forward. 213 "'s stupid. Just forget I mentioned it." 214 Faith face took on a determined expression. "That's not fair. You can't bring up something like that, and then just tell me to forget it. Besides, you owe me for all my cheerfulness today," she added, elbowing him gently. 215 "Hmm, I wasn't going to say anything. I feel so stupid for even bringing it up." 216 "Go on," she encouraged. 217 "Mom was very religious," he started uncertainly. "It wasn't just going to church, she believed that good things happened if you believed. She always scolded me and Dad about not having enough faith. It was her special word, almost like a mantra. She said it all the time. When I met you, I..." Tyler trailed off again feeling foolish, still avoiding her gaze. 218 He felt her fingers under his chin as she gently urged him to meet his gaze. "You thought it was more than a coincidence? Maybe a sign...or fate?" 219 Tyler nodded, suddenly wishing he had stayed in the car. It sounded crazy to him, what would it sound like to her? 220 He was startled by the sound of soft laughter. Looking at her in confusion, he wondered if she was mocking him. 221 "You're telling the person with her spirituality tattooed on her chest, that you feel awkward for believing in signs? Tyler, trust me; if anyone would understand, it would be me." 222 "Still," he said, feeling embarrassed. "It sounds crazy. I just met you and already feel comfortable, like we've known each other for a long time. Then I throw this on you. I just..." Faith stopped him by pressing her lips against his with an urgency that left him stunned. 223 Tyler felt shock for a split second, then the sensation caused by her lips cut through the haze in his brain. They were warm and soft. He felt her nibble on his lips with her own and his uncertainty was washed away by a wave of desire. 224 Faith's kisses intensified as she leaned against him, feeling his erection growing, trapped in the confines of his jeans. Despite the promise to herself, the feel of it against her thigh stoked her own arousal, pushing her past the point of self-control. 225 His hands ran down her back, touching her gently. She shuddered at his caresses, moaning softly into his mouth. 226 Tyler pushed his hands under the soft jersey and touched her skin. She was warm, her skin impossibly smooth. His hands moved upward, his fingers grazing her ribs as his thumbs glided over her toned stomach. Faith groaned hungrily as his hands made contact with her breasts, squeezing them at the base and sliding up the sensitive sides. When he reached her nipples, he caught them between his thumb and index finger, squeezing and rolling them. 227 When she sucked against his tongue, Tyler aggressively pinched harder, pulling them slightly before letting go. Then he ran his thumbs over the erect nipples and pinched again. 228 Faith could feel the warmth of the juices seeping from her pussy. His assertiveness had triggered something primal inside her. She found her hands reaching for his slacks, seemingly of their own accord. His belt gave way and she slid her hand in, caressing his erection. 229 "Oh Faith," he moaned passionately. Tyler squeezed her breasts harder, feeling his fingers sinking into the soft flesh. He was so aroused he didn't notice her deftly undoing his pants until she slid them down partially, allowing her to grasp his shaft with the other hand as well. Although still a little cold, her grip was firm and he responded passionately to her touch. 230 She began stroking him in slow, sensuous motions, both hands squeezing him with just the right amount of pressure. Her left hand let go of his shaft and cupped his balls, lightly kneading them as the other continued to stroke his cock. He pulled his shirt off and she slid her lips away from his, running her tongue down his chin, to his chest, finally settling at his navel. Her hands caressed his sensitive flesh as her tongue teased his stomach and belly button. 231 Tyler pushed his hips upward, hoping she would take him in her mouth, but she refused, moving with him instead. Her left hand edged lower and the index finger teased his anus. 232 "Fuck," he panted urgently. "I need to be inside you." 233 "Soon baby," she cooed, her words muffled. Faith moved her mouth lower, but veered to the left, inciting a growl of frustration from Ty. She ran her tongue across his lower stomach until she reached his leg, leaving a trail of saliva. Her hands pulled off his slacks impatiently. She returned her tongue to his leg, dragging it down until she reached the middle of his thigh, and then moving to the inside. 234 When Tyler felt her reach under his scrotum, he grabbed the pillows beside him and squeezed as hard as he could. Faith sensed his arousal was at its peak and finally ran her tongue across his balls, nibbling them with her lips. She moved her hand to the back side of his cock and opened her mouth slightly, letting her lips fall on either side of the vein running up the underside of his erection. He felt her tongue dart out across the sensitive flesh as her lips moved up and down the shaft. She sucked hard against him, then resumed running her tongue across the length. 235 Tyler looked down to see her head moving back and forth as she enthusiastically pushed him toward an orgasm. "Yes," he moaned, letting his head fall back, lost in pleasure. 236 Faith sucked harder against his shaft, making small love bites up and down the warm surface. She could feel his body shake as the climax overtook him. He came explosively, drenching his stomach as his hips moved wildly. She continued sucking and licking the shaft, nursing him through a series of smaller tremors until he finally relaxed, his body limp with exhaustion. 237 "I guess that worked for you, huh?" she asked with a devilish grin. She laughed as he looked at her, his face clearly reflecting the ecstasy he felt. He was about to answer, when she slid upwards and let her tongue run across his belly, making a path through the warm fluid covering it. 238 "Oh shit," he moaned, overcome by the sight. Faith continued licking across his stomach, greedily lapping at it until there was no more. She kissed her way up his chest, then paused at his neck to run her tongue across the side. 239 "So what do we do now?" she asked, clearly amused at his reaction. 240 With a burst of energy that caught her by surprise, Tyler caught her by the shoulders, rolling on top of her. He pulled the jersey above her breasts and took a nipple into his mouth. His hand squeezed one breast as he sucked as much of the other into his mouth as he could manage. She had large nipples that were already erect. He let her breast slip from his mouth and nibbled at the bud with his teeth. 241 "Uh," she groaned. Tyler let his hand slide from her breast to the top of her jeans. He quickly unfastened them and slid his hand inside. She wasn't wearing underwear and his fingertips slid across an unexpectedly smooth surface, then made contact with the hood of her clit. 242 "Ooh, I like this," he said, pleasantly surprised. 243 "Well," she said with a grin, "when you wear as little as we do..." Her voice trailed off as he pressed down on her clit with his fingers, rotating his hand in a small circle. She moaned encouragingly, so he pushed harder, moving his hand faster. He began moving it side to side and she immediately reacted by moving her hips uncontrollably. 244 Tyler took the opportunity to slide off the couch and grab her jeans with both hands. She lifted her hips off the cushion as he eased them down into a pile at her feet. He moved quickly up her legs, letting his fingertips caress her skin. His mouth covered her sex; his tongue tracing her outer lips. 245 Faith moved a leg over his shoulder as he pushed against her urgently. His tongue dipped between her lips, tasting her for the first time. She was tangy, almost sweet, the flavor enflaming his passion. He moved his lips to her clit, while his hand reached around her leg, his fingertips pulling back her hood, exposing the sensitive bud to him. Tyler wrapped his lips around it and sucked, then flicked his tongue rapidly, drawing even more prominent notes of pleasure from her. 246 He pressed two fingers against her soaking pussy, sliding them inside to the second knuckle. He couldn't push further, so he slid them back out, twisted his hand and pushed them in again, reaching another inch inside her. He continued pulling them out, twisting, then pushing them back in until his hand reached her entrance. Then he stopped, letting his fingertips dance across the sensitive walls of her sex. 247 "Yes Tyler, please...I need to cum," she pleaded. Her body twisted back and forth, seeking release as he skillfully pushed her closer to the edge. When he dragged his teeth across her clit, she exploded against him, her entire body wracked with spasms from the force of the orgasm and the smaller ripples that followed. 248 Tyler continued licking around her lips, avoiding her clit until she finally slumped back against the couch. 249 "You were saying?" he asked mischievously. 250 She exploded in laughter, her face glowing. "Okay, we're even," she said, unable to stop chuckling. 251 "Oh no we're not," Tyler said forcefully. 252 He stood, pulling Faith to her feet. Their lips met again as he slowly walked backwards, pulling her with him. When they reached the side of the couch, he unexpectedly spun her around and pushed down on her shoulders, forcing her to lay her upper body across the arm and back of the plush sofa. 253 Tyler kneeled, again running his tongue across the lips of her pussy, then letting it run briefly across her anus, drawing a different, deeper moan from her. 254 "Later," he said purposefully. He stood, using his right hand to push his erection against her wet folds, seeking her entrance. She whimpered as the tip slipped between, lodging itself inside her. He took a second to savor the sensations, as her pussy wrapped around his cock. He grabbed her hips and pushed, sliding another inch inside. Again he paused, relishing the feel of her body shuddering as she tried to push back against him, desperate to draw him further inside. 255 He reached his right arm around her chest, his hand settling on her breast, then moved his mouth to her upper back. He bit the skin between her shoulders playfully as he pushed again, sliding further into her. 256 "Tyler, please stop teasing. Fuck me now," she pleaded in a shaky voice. 257 He moved his mouth a little higher, his teeth digging into her skin at the base of her neck. Just as she moaned her approval, he slid the rest of the way inside her. 258 The position Tyler had Faith trapped in left her helpless to do anything but enjoy the feel of his cock slipping between her lips. His teeth against her skin combined with the feeling of his body against hers made her head swim. He slipped further inside her, his cock seeming to touch all the right places at the same time. Just when she felt herself swooning from the sensations, he pulled back, leaving her feeling empty. It seemed like she could feel every vein of his erection as it moved through her, pausing at the entrance briefly, then quickly sliding all the way inside again. 259 She felt her eyes water at the combination of pleasure and pain he was causing, her hands gripping the cushions in ecstasy. Tyler turned his hips slightly, and pressed forward again. The new angle of penetration pushed the tip of his penis against her walls differently, making her cry out louder as the friction caused a series of tremors throughout her body; each larger than the last. Every time their bodies met, her moans changed, becoming higher pitched, her breathing erratic. 260 Suddenly he shifted again and pushed deep inside her. "Yes!" he heard her cry out, indicating she was close. Tyler willed himself to move even faster, longing to bring her to an orgasm before he came. His hips surged forward relentlessly as he stood up straight, crashing into her so hard, her body shook from the impact. 261 Faith's moans and pleadings were escalating, so he continued, grabbing her hips to maximize his penetration and speed. I can't keep this up, he thought. 262 Just as he felt the precursor to his second orgasm, Faith screamed out, her body writhing uncontrollably. He leaned forward, burying himself inside her, the sweat on her back feeling slick and warm against his chest. Lying still, Tyler allowed her movements to do the work, triggering his release and he came deep inside her. Wave after wave of pleasure washed over him, the feeling of her muscles clenching against his shaft threatening to overwhelm his senses. 263 They lay still for several minutes, neither wanting to disturb the other's pleasure. Finally, he pulled back, his deflating penis slipping out of her. She stood and turned, looking at him with an expression of awe. 264 "You were wonderful," she said, leaning forward to kiss him. She wrapped her arms around Tyler, who swept her up, carrying her towards her bedroom. He gently placed her on the bed and slid behind her, wrapping his arms around her, too overcome to do anything other than hold her close. 265 He leaned his forehead against her shoulder, amazed at the most intense sexual experience of his life. Faith was unlike anyone he'd ever been with. Her skin was on fire. He could feel the sweat dripping down her back; the smell of sex was everywhere. 266 His thoughts were interrupted by a shudder running through her body. After a brief pause, he felt another. "Faith," he whispered, concerned. "Are you all right?" 267 She didn't answer so he propped himself up on his elbow. He put his hand on her shoulder, gently turning her toward him. Tyler was shocked to see tears falling down her cheeks. 268 He sat up abruptly. "Faith, what's wrong?" He pulled her up to a sitting position facing him. 269 "This wasn't how it was supposed to happen," she murmured through her sobs. "I didn't want it to be like this." 270 "Why, did I do something wrong?" 271 "No," she quickly replied. "It's me. I don't want you to think . . ." She stopped, hiding her face in his chest. 272 "What, Faith?" Tyler asked softly, stroking her hair. 273 "The dancing, going out with someone I met there, then sleeping with you on the first date. It's not me. I don't want to ruin this. Not after the way you made me feel about you." 274 Tyler was stunned. "What way?" 275 Faith wiped her tears, looking at him in disbelief. "Do you really think you're the only one who felt something special? Why did you think I went to your dad's house today?" 276 He stared at her, lost for words. "I just thought you didn't have anything else to do." 277 "So I'd go to some guy's house I've never met?" she incredulously. "I knew from the second I started talking to you that you were special. Every person who works there knows about you because I told them all about this amazing guy I met. I waited all week, hoping you'd come back. It's crazy. I can't explain it any more than you can tell me why my name means something to you." 278 Tyler shook his head. "So why are you crying? This is a good thing." 279 "Because I didn't want to ruin this. I wanted to wait until I got to know you better. I'm not some bimbo that strips in a bar, who just falls on her back when a guy asks her out." 280 "Is that what you think?" he demanded. "That this would change the way I feel about you?" 281 "You can't understand what it's like for me," she said, staring at him sadly. "How many guys are interested in me until they get what they want? Today was the first time anyone introduced me to their family since I started this job. What's your father going to say when you tell him the truth about me?" 282 Tyler looked at her tenderly, tenderly stroking her cheek with the back of his fingers. "He said that you must have been a really good dancer to make that kind of impression on me." 283 Faith stared at him in shock, the tears staining her face. "You told him already?" 284 "Yes," he said with a chuckle. "The day I met you." 285 "He didn't have a problem with what I do?" 286 Tyler tenderly ran his fingers through her hair. "I think if anything, he's jealous of me." 287 Now it was Faith's turn to smile. "Well at least now I know how to repay him for working on the car." 288 They shared a subdued laugh. Tyler wiped away her tears, then kissed her gently, trying to reassure her. 289 "We don't know each other that well and maybe we should have taken things slower, but we didn't. Since it's too late to change that, all we can do is promise to be up front with each other from now on. To be honest, now that I've been with you I can't imagine trying to slow this down." 290 Faith stroked his cheek, looking at him intently, trying to decide if it was possible to be this lucky. 291 ****** 292 "Come on Ty," Dan said in frustration. "You know I'm right about this." 293 "It's not a question of being right, it's about me trusting her." 294 Dan shook his head, staring at his friend in frustration. "Trust is one thing, but five hours a day in that place...five days a week? That's asking too much from anyone, especially you." 295 "Look, I understand what you're saying, but it's not that simple." 296 "Now you're just being pig-headed. You cannot sit there and tell me this isn't tearing you apart. She's there for hours in her underwear, with guys buying her drinks and telling her anything, trying to get laid. Any time someone wants to feel your girlfriend grind against them, they just have to give her twenty bucks. It's been five months. How can you keep going along with it?" 297 Tyler gave him a smoldering glare. "It's not like I have a choice. I love her, but this is what she does right now. No, I'm not happy, but I trust her." 298 Dan's expression softened, trying to be conciliatory. "Ty, I'm not attacking you...or Faith. I think she's great. Hell, I wish I would have been lucky enough to meet her first. But one of these days, she's going to drink too much or run into some guy who knows just the right thing to say. There's no way she can live like that and not eventually slip up. Could you?" 299 Tyler looked at Dan, his eyes blank as if he couldn't even see his friend. "No, I couldn't." 300 Chapter 1.4 ****** 302 Pulling up to Johnny's, Tyler turned off the ignition and stared at Faith's car. His mind flashed back to the night he got up the nerve to invite her over for Christmas. That day had been perfect, the night even better. Everything had just fallen into place after that, like a jigsaw puzzle when you finally find the one piece that makes it all work. 303 They had been inseparable since then, enjoying everything together. Their interests were similar, but even when they weren't, both of them enjoyed seeing new things through each other's eyes. 304 The only area of disagreement between them seemed to be her job. It was a knife, twisting in Tyler's gut, pushing the two of them slowly apart. All of his friends saw it, although his father felt it more keenly than anyone. 305 Ray had come to love Faith like a daughter. Seeing the two of them going through something that could rip them apart was very painful for him. Every time he tried to help, however, it only seemed to make things worse. He finally decided just to be there for both young people and hope for the best. At night, he would talk to Marie, just like when she was alive. He wished there was a way she could answer him. She had always been better at dealing with people and their emotions. 306 "Faith," he would whisper. "You'd tell me to have faith, wouldn't you, honey?" After the talks with Marie, he'd stare at the ceiling restlessly, trying to find a way to believe as passionately as she would have. 307 Nothing Ray, Tyler's friends, or even Faith said seemed to help. Despite every effort to understand and not blame, Tyler felt the nagging doubt. 308 Just like Renee, the voice would taunt him. Tyler was unable to forget how she had manipulated and lied to him. After it ended, it was so easy to see the signs he had ignored. The way she acted when she had been with the other guy, how she put distance between them, yet told him it was his imagination. He felt like a complete fool for believing her. Now he was in a similar situation. Was he playing the fool again? 309 He stared at her car for several minutes, trying to wash the doubt from his mind with memories of how happy she made him. Faith was warm, caring and supportive. She embodied everything he had been looking for in a woman, plus a number of things he never imagined being lucky enough to find. She was adventurous, witty and had a wry sense of humor that often had him guessing what she might do next. The way she constantly surprised him was something he looked forward to every day. 310 Thinking about her wonderful qualities caused him to feel guilty for his doubts. What are you doing? She's nothing like Renee, Tyler scolded himself. 311 Pushing Dan's warnings from his mind helped him feel a little better. Tyler got out of his car and headed for the entrance. Faith was already supposed to be off work, so he didn't hesitate to go in. Tyler found out long ago that he couldn't watch her work with customers. Instead of driving himself crazy (and her too in the process), he had learned to just meet her after work. It was easier not to think about what she might have done that day, or with whom. 312 He shoved the front door open and stepped inside. The place was more crowded than usual for that time of night. It was strange because there weren't more cars than he would expect, but almost twice as many men. There was a large group in the back by the pool tables hooting and hollering, but it was impossible to see what they were doing. Tyler turned to the front, but didn't see Faith anywhere. He walked to the bar to say hi to Susie, the bartender. 313 "Hey gorgeous, how's it going?" he asked with a smile. 314 "Tyler!" she said, reaching over and grabbing him in a hug. "I haven't seen you in ages." 315 "Well, you know," he said, a little embarrassed. "I don't like to watch her work." 316 Susie looked at him sympathetically. "I understand, Ty. You should know that she's still working." 317 Tyler looked at her, confused. "She is? I thought she was supposed to be off twenty minutes ago." 318 "She was, but we got a group of yuppies in here an hour ago and they've been dropping a lot of cash. None of the girls have left." Susie looked around nervously. "Maybe you should come back a little later." 319 "Why, where is she?" Ty asked, looking around the front. Suddenly it hit him. "She's in the back with them, isn't she?" he said with an edge to his voice. When Susie nodded, he could feel the anger building. "What's going on with the group back there? I thought you had a rule about only one at a time for the dances." 320 "Well," she said evasively, looking away from him. "You know how it is. Sometimes when they're dropping a lot of cash, the rules get bent a little." She looked back apologetically. "Seriously, she won't be on much longer. Why don't you go grab a bite to eat and I'll tell her to call you?" 321 "Fine," Tyler said hotly. He turned without another word and headed for the bathroom before leaving. He resisted the temptation to look over, afraid it would only make things worse. 322 He walked in and headed to one of the stalls. As he unzipped his pants, he heard the door opening and the noise level rise, then fall again. 323 "Shit, can you believe her? What a fucking slut!" 324 "I told you, man. Paul's a fucking machine. He nails more of these bimbos than anybody I've ever met." Tyler felt his throat tightening as the other man responded. 325 "You think he'll really get to fuck her? She is so hot!" 326 "Dude, he knows all the tricks. Spend the money on them, get 'em all hot and bothered, then work out the details. Shit, have you ever seen a stripper let a guy touch her like that? It's in the bag." 327 "Well, maybe he can get her to come over for a party. I'd love a piece of that." 328 "You never know. Paul's cool. If he can work it out, there'll be enough for everyone." 329 "All right, I'll catch you back there," the first man said excitedly. "I want to see what he'll be able to get her to do." 330 The volume swelled as the bathroom door opened, then faded. Tyler stood silently, frozen in shock, unable to say or do anything. Finally, he heard the other man leave and he stepped out of the stall. He turned on the faucet and washed his hands, watching in detached fascination as they shook uncontrollably. When he finished, his eyes rose until he saw himself in the mirror. His face was pale, sweat beaded on his forehead. 331 "Get it together," he said quietly, closing his eyes. "They're full of shit, and you know it." 332 Tyler took a second to compose himself, then reached for the door, realizing that his hand was still shaking. He stepped back into the bar, the scene feeling more like a dream than reality. In a haze, he walked robotically to the back of the room where there was still a group of eight men blocking his view of the area where the women danced. 333 As he walked toward the scene, he had a vision of the first time she danced for him. It was still so clear in his mind that he could remember most of the details, even after so long. He reached to the group of men and pushed his way through until he could see what everyone was cheering about. 334 Faith was dancing in front of a man, but Tyler couldn't see what the man looked like because she was blocking his face. She was between the man's legs, grinding her ass against the crotch of his slacks. Her head was back on his shoulder, her cheek rubbing against his as her hips moved to the beat of the music. 335 Although her dancing was very erotic, what caught Tyler's attention was the fact that the man's hands were running from her hips to her ribs, then back down again. There wasn't supposed to be any touching at the bar, at least by the customers. A couple of times the man's fingers caught in the waistband of her panties, threatening to pull them down. Faith managed to reach down and grab them, although she did it with a laughing reprimand. It did little to discourage his attempts. 336 When the song ended, he reached both hands around her stomach, touching her just over the top of her panties, then held her against his crotch as he moved his hips in a thrusting motion against her. Again she laughed and playfully swatted away his hands. There was a pile of twenty-dollar bills on the table next to her, and the man reached into his pocket and pulled out another, setting it down on top of them. 337 "More, more," the group chanted as the man rested his hands on her hips, his fingers caressing the top of her thighs. He gently prevented her from getting up as she was now straddling his leg. The man was bouncing her on his thigh to the delight of his friends. Tyler knew her thong-covered pussy was being pressed into his leg. 338 "How about it Faith," he asked, kissing her on the cheek. "One more dance?" 339 She smiled, then looked back at the group. "What do you say guys, one more d..." Her voice stopped abruptly and her smile disappeared as her eyes locked onto Tyler's. He could see her lips moving, but no sound came out. Without a word, he turned and walked quickly toward the door. 340 Tyler wasn't aware of any sound or feeling as he stumbled through the door into the warm night air. The fog he was in as he left the bathroom had deepened, and he barely comprehended anything except the need to get to his car immediately. Once he reached it, Ty realized he couldn't get his keys out of his pocket because his hands were shaking so badly. In frustration, he stepped forward and brought his right hand down, striking the hood as hard as he could. The sound ricocheted through the parking lot, bouncing back to him a split second before the pain hit. 341 "Ahhh!" he screamed, cradling his injured hand against his chest. 342 "Ty!" he heard Faith yell, her voice wavering. "What are you doing?" 343 Shocked, he realized that she had followed him out of the club. She stood there staring at him, wearing just her panties and a jacket pulled over her shoulders, looking at him with concern. 344 "What was going on in there?" he demanded angrily. 345 She looked down, unable to meet his glare. "I was just working late." 346 "Really," he said sarcastically. "So when did the bar start doing shows for groups of men in the back?" 347 "Look, I can explain Ty, just calm down, please," she implored. "They came in together from a bachelor party and were throwing money around like crazy to all the girls. After a while, they started singling me out for dances. Once I started dancing for this one guy..." 348 "Paul," Tyler interrupted with a snarl. 349 Faith seemed to be caught off guard by Tyler's comment. ", he started asking for dance after dance. His friends came back after the first couple. I told them they couldn't stay, but he insisted." 350 "Yeah, well good to know how much influence Paul has over you." 351 "How do you...never mind. Ty, I know it was wrong, but I made more in the last hour than I normally make all night." 352 "And why do you think that is, Faith? You know how I feel about this and you know why. Then, even when you know I'm coming by, you break a half-dozen rules and rub my nose in it." 353 "That's not true!" Faith said, defensively. "Yes, I let it go further than I should have, but it was no big deal. I wouldn't have let it get out of control." 354 "Well maybe you should have let Paul know that. His friends were under the impression you'd be fucking him tonight. They also were hoping for a little gang bang later." 355 "What?" she shrieked. "Please don't tell me you believed them." 356 "I believe my eyes," he shot back, daring her to deny it. 357 "Listen," she said, refusing to back down. "I admit it, I shouldn't have danced in front of them." 358 "Or let him touch you like that?" Tyler added venomously. 359 Faith took a deep breath. "No," she said quietly. "I shouldn't have let him touch me. It was wrong and I'm sorry. But you have to understand, he had already paid me over two hundred dollars." 360 "Yeah, what would he have gotten for three hundred?" 361 There was a moment of silence while Faith felt his words cut into her, slicing deeper than she thought possible. Without thinking, she reached up and slapped him. 362 Tyler looked back at her unmoved. "Why don't you go back inside, before you lose a good thing," he said. Then he pulled his keys out, ducked into the car and drove away before Faith could make herself move. 363 As she watched the car pull onto the street, she whispered, "Tyler, I'm sorry." 364 ****** 365 "Uncle Tyler, can we go see Santa now?" Janie whined. 366 Tyler did his best grinch face, then laughed. "He's on break for a little bit. As soon as it's over, I promise we'll see him." 367 "Yay!" both kids shouted. 368 "Until then," he said, waving his arms to calm them. "We have some shopping to do for your parents. Let try this place." He pointed to a store that sold knickknacks. He saw some fancy birdhouses in the window that he knew their mother would like. 369 Tyler used shopping as an excuse to take out his cousin Randi's kids. He hadn't been the same since the breakup with Faith. With Christmas just one week away, he just wanted to do something with them to make himself feel alive again. He wouldn't have believed it was possible, but he actually felt worse this year than the previous one. 370 He had avoided Faith for weeks after the fight, so angry that he couldn't bear the thought of talking to her. She tried calling a number of times, but he refused to speak to her. The anger hadn't been one sided. She talked to his father several times and Ray confided that she was very hurt and angry about the way he had treated her. Tyler tried to explain what he had seen, but his father wouldn't hear it. He really cared about Faith and couldn't see her as anything like Renee. 371 After about a month, Tyler decided that he missed her so much he couldn't take it. He went to the bar to apologize and see if there was any way to fix the mess. Unfortunately, Susie let him know Faith was gone. She had quit soon after the blow up in the parking lot. He went by her apartment, but she had moved. 372 Although he had met a couple of her friends, Tyler didn't have their phone numbers or addresses. He was supposed to meet her parents, but the fight happened about a month before the visit, so had never even talked to them. There was no way to contact her and even if he could, Ty had to admit to himself that he had gone too far. It was doubtful she would ever talk to him again. 373 He looked down at Janie and Steven's smiling faces and tried to forget about how empty he felt. They walked through the store until the kids picked out a set of wind chimes they liked. Tyler grabbed a box and walked to the front counter. There was one other person in line, so he joked with the children for a moment. The man in front of him turned to leave, revealing the attractive woman behind the counter. 374 "Faith?" he stammered. Her reaction was a mirror of his own surprise. 375 "Tyler," she stuttered. "What are you doing here?" 376 He looked around behind him, struggling to regain his equilibrium. "I'm here with my cousin's kids." He turned to the two children. "Janie, Steven, this is my friend, Faith." 377 They enthusiastically said hello, and Ty was deeply moved to see how affectionately she greeted them. It was exactly the way he remembered her, warm and loving. 378 "So, what are you doing here?" he asked timidly. 379 She shrugged. "I started here a while ago. It's been really crazy because of the Christmas rush." She glanced behind him, making Ty realize there were other customers waiting. He put the box on the counter, nervously trying to think of something to say. 380 "I'm taking them to see Santa. Do you think I could buy you a cup of coffee?" 381 Faith looked at him thoughtfully, considering her response. "I have a break in about fifteen minutes. Would you like to meet me by the coffee stand?" 382 Tyler breathed a sigh of relief. "Sure, I'd really like that. I have to keep an eye on them, but that should work out." He took the gift and smiled nervously, before urging the children toward the exit. 383 "Was that your girlfriend?" Steven asked, sensing the tension between them. 384 Tyler took a quick glance over his shoulder to see her waiting on another person. "She used to be," he said somberly. 385 Twenty minutes later, the kids were standing in line to see Santa and Tyler was sitting at a table in front of the coffee stand, sipping on a café mocha. 386 "Hey, sorry I'm late," Faith said nervously, startling him. 387 "Don't worry about it. I'm just keeping an eye on them." He gestured over to the stand. "What would you like?" 388 "Actually, I only have five minutes. We're really busy and someone called in sick." She paused and smiled. "I think I've had enough coffee to last a week, anyway." She pulled up a chair facing him, so he could keep an eye on both children while talking. 389 "So, how have you been?" she said tentatively. 390 Tyler shrugged, "You know how it is, Christmas...'tis the season." His solemn expression spoke volumes to her about his mood. "And you?" 391 "Just working hard. Who knew retail would be this tough?" She tried to smile, but looked uncomfortable. 392 "Faith, I tried seeing you after...I was such a jerk. I'm sorry." 393 She looked at him with regret. "It was a fight. We were both jerks. I should have never slapped you." 394 Tyler shook his head. "Don't worry about it. Everything was crazy that night." He shifted awkwardly, trying to think of a way to turn the conversation in a positive direction. "So how did you end up working here?" 395 "That's a long story. I guess I finally realized it was time to move on. The dancing thing was fun; I don't regret it, but it wasn't exactly a great long-term career. Since I already had enough in the bank, I moved in with a friend to save money and found this job. It started slow, but I'm already an assistant manager and enjoy what I'm doing." She paused as if there was something she wanted to add, but instead remained silent. 396 "I'm glad it's working out for you," Tyler said. "I..." 397 They were interrupted by the sound of her cell phone ringing. "Hello," Faith said answering it with a frown. "OK, I'll be right there." She hung up and put it in her purse. 398 "I'm sorry, Ty. That was the store. They need me back there right now." She stood to leave. 399 "Well," he stammered, trying to think of something to say that would make any difference, but came up empty. "It was good to see you again," he finally managed. 400 Faith looked at him with an expression he couldn't place. " was good to see you too," she said sadly. 401 She turned and walked away. Tyler watched her go, suddenly wishing he had stayed home. 402 ****** 403 "Stupid, stupid, stupid," Faith scolded herself quietly, as she walked down the snow-covered path. "Why didn't you say something? Who knew retail would be this tough?" she said in a mocking voice. "I sounded like an idiot." 404 "Oh, I doubt that, dearie," came a soft voice from behind her. 405 Faith spun quickly and found herself facing an elderly woman sitting on a bench. She was bundled in coat with a shawl pulled over her shoulders. The woman had a kind, friendly face that was so warm it seemed almost familiar. 406 "Excuse me," Faith stammered. "I didn't know anyone was there." 407 "That's obvious," the woman said with a laugh. "I didn't mean to startle you. You just sounded like someone who needed a friendly ear." 408 Faith looked at her skeptically, but couldn't see anything other than compassion in her smile. She let her shoulders slump and confessed, "I ran into my ex-boyfriend today. Even though he was trying to be nice, I couldn't think of anything to say to him. I made a complete fool out of myself." 409 "Oh, do you not like him anymore?" 410 "Well," Faith said, unsure of her own feelings. "I miss him, but things ended really badly. We both hurt each other and didn't speak again until today." 411 "So, you think he doesn't like you," she said in a sly way that implied she already knew the answer. 412 Chapter 1.5 "I don't know," Faith admitted. "He seemed kind of happy to see me. You don't understand; his old girlfriend hurt him really badly. I did something that made him think he couldn't trust me. I didn't mean to, but I know I ruined everything. He's such an amazing man; I still can't forgive myself." She absently wiped a tear away from her eye. 414 "Young people today," the old woman muttered. "What's your name, sweetheart?" 415 "Faith," she said, distractedly. 416 "Oh, what a lovely name. Well, Faith, I've been married forty years and do you know what I've learned?" 417 "What?" Faith mumbled. 418 "That people these days don't seem to have a clue about love. You miss him, he misses you, but instead of telling him so, you hide and hope something happens to fix everything. I'd hazard a guess that right now he's doing the same thing. 419 "I had more knock-down, drag-out fights with my husband than you'd believe, but I wouldn't trade a second of my life...even the tough times. They are what made us strong, because we never gave up on each other. That's how you know someone loves you; when things go wrong, but the person is still there for you. A trust develops that is a stronger bond than how cute he is or how much money he makes." 420 The old woman pulled the shawl tighter around her shoulders, then continued. "I became very ill and was frightened out of my mind. My husband stood by me every second of my illness and let me know I was never alone. I didn't know that it was possible for one human being to love that much. We still talk about our lives every day, although mostly he talks and I listen," she said with a grin. "That would have never happened if the first time we had a fight I ran away and waited for it to get better." 421 Faith blushed. "I didn't run away. He refused to talk to me." 422 "Yes dear, so you said. You also said that he had a good reason to be hurt." She raised her eyebrows questioningly. 423 "He did," she said grudgingly. "But he said things to hurt me, too." 424 "I believe you, Faith. How do you think he feels about that?" 425 She looked down. "He told me he was sorry and had tried to contact me." 426 "That's not what I asked," the old woman prodded. 427 Faith looked up at her. "I'm sure he's hurting. He's the kindest man I've ever met." 428 "Well?" the old woman asked, a sly smile on her face. 429 "What if he's found someone else?" 430 "Honey, I'm sure you know him well enough to know if that's true. Besides, I don't think that's what's really bothering you." She looked sternly at Faith, the intensity of her gaze causing the younger woman to look away. 431 "What if he doesn't want me anymore?" she asked, her voice barely above a whisper. 432 "Now there's the question. The answer is plain to see. Do you care more about his pain, or your own fear?" 433 "I...yes," she admitted slowly, beginning to understand what she needed to do. 434 "That's good to hear," the woman said, sounding exhausted. "You are a sweet young woman and deserve good things. I sincerely hope it works out for you and your young man. Now if you'll excuse me, I've been away for too long. I need to get back. These old bones need their rest," she said with a smile. 435 "Would you like some help?" Faith asked, concerned with the woman's fragile appearance. 436 "No dear, I'll be fine. Give it some thought and decide what would be best. I'm sure you'll do the right thing." 437 Faith nodded and watched the woman slowly walk away, scolding herself for not thinking to shake her hand or give her a hug for her advice. She turned and walked the opposite way, taking one last look over her shoulder, but the old woman was already out of sight. 438 ****** 439 "Come on Ty, hurry up. Everybody's waiting for you," Ray scolded his son from the doorway. 440 "I'll be there in a second, Dad," Tyler grumbled, digging through his car for the rest of the presents. When he finished getting them together, he headed for the front door. 441 At least this year won't just be us, he thought. 442 Randi, her husband and both kids were already there. They had decided to start making Christmas more of a family affair. The kids were looking forward to it because they knew they'd be getting more presents. Their parents were looking forward to having no mess to clean up afterwards. Ray was happy to have a house full of guests and couldn't wait to make dinner for everyone. 443 Tyler was the lone exception. He was trying to put on a good face, but the encounter with Faith had devastated him. More than anything, he wanted to make her understand that he still loved her and was sorry for what had happened. But her reaction at the mall showed that although she didn't seem angry, there may not be any feelings left for him. Anger he could deal with; he could always try to win her back. But if she just didn't care... 444 He opened the door and stumbled into the hallway. "Uncle Ty," the kids screamed as they ran to him, hugging him and then quickly shifting into Christmas mode, searching his gift bag for presents. 445 "Hold it," he scolded. "Let me get my coat off, and we'll all open presents, OK?" 446 The kids giggled and grabbed the bag, dragging it into the living room. Tyler hung up his coat and followed them. 447 "All right, I'm here. Let's start ripping open the presents before..." His voice trailed off as he turned toward the tree to see Faith sitting in front, dressed in a white sweater and blue jeans, with a large bow on top of her head. He stood, frozen in place, unable to say anything. Janie and Steven ran back to her side and looked at him with excited faces. 448 "Merry Christmas," the kids shouted, prompting a laugh from everyone. Faith got up and walked over to him. 449 "Ty, I hope this is all right. I asked your dad if I could come over and surprise you. He thought it was a good idea. If you don't want me here..." 450 He interrupted her by suddenly pulling her close and kissing her urgently. 451 Faith felt her knees go weak at the sudden release of tension and fear she had been feeling. She clung tightly to Tyler, savoring the way her body seemed to fit perfectly against his. The kiss sent shivers of pleasure through her body, stirring up passionate memories. 452 When he slowly broke the kiss, Tyler looked over her shoulder at his father. "You really got a kick out of watching me mope, didn't you," he said with a mock frown. 453 Ray looked at his son with fondness. "Well, you wouldn't listen to me, so I figured this was the best way. Besides, I wanted to see the look on your face," he said, laughing. 454 "All right, you vultures," Tyler chided. "Give us a second." He pulled Faith into the hallway, ignoring the outraged cries of the kids, who desperately wanted to start opening presents. After guiding her into his old bedroom, he closed the door behind them. 455 "Ok, now I need to know what's really going on." Despite his joy at seeing her, Ty didn't want to risk jumping to the wrong conclusions. 456 Faith sat on the edge of the bed, patting the spot next to her. When Tyler sat down, she spoke softly. 457 "I was wrong about dancing. Even though I enjoyed it, I knew how it made you feel. It was selfish of me not to listen more to what you were saying." Tyler tried to object, but she silenced him by putting her fingers against his lips. 458 "Ty, you were right about everything. I didn't have health insurance. If I got sick or hurt, I wouldn't have been able to dance and there's no way I could have made ends meet. Even if nothing bad happened, I wasn't going to keep making the same kind of money indefinitely. Eventually I would have had to go someplace else; someplace where I had to do more." She looked down sadly. 459 Tyler put his hand under her chin and tilted it up. "I was wrong not to trust you. It wasn't just what happened that night. I was afraid something would happen like it did with Renee. That wasn't your fault, and I shouldn't have punished you because of what she did." 460 "Fine," she conceded. "But I did go too far that night. When I saw the look in your eyes, I felt so terrible. I knew how much I had hurt you. You have to believe me, Ty, nothing would have happened between them and me, no matter what they thought." 461 He nodded sympathetically. "I believe you. That night I was angry, afraid, and I let it control me. To be honest, after the way I acted, I didn't hold out much hope that you'd ever talk to me again." 462 Faith looked at him with tears in her eyes. "I didn't think you'd ever forgive me. After calling in sick a couple of times, I just quit. I couldn't bear the thought of going back after what happened." 463 Tyler leaned in and kissed her again, this time softly. His tongue caressed her lips, then slipped between, dancing with hers. Her hands ran down his back, grabbing him and pulling her chest against his. 464 His hands slipped under her sweater, sliding up the smooth skin of her back, then to her bra. In one motion, he deftly unclasped it, then ran his fingers under the strap, moving them around to the front where he cupped her breasts. 465 "Ty!" she scolded. "Everyone's out there waiting for us." 466 "Let them wait," he mumbled, kissing his way down to her breasts. He pinched the nipple of one breast with his fingers, while his lips found the other. He ran his tongue in circles around her nipple, then took it between his lips and sucked. She moaned her encouragement as he slid to one knee, freeing up a hand to reach for her belt. 467 "Umm," she groaned as his fingers unsnapped the jeans, his other hand slipping inside. His fingers slid under her panties, brushing across the coarse pubic hair. Although unexpected, the sensation was arousing, almost like touching her for the first time. 468 His fingertip brushed across her clit, drawing a louder moan from her. She was already wet and his middle finger slid along her slit, quickly sinking into her moist, warm entrance. 469 "Ty, that feels so good." 470 He smiled, reveling in her surrender. Ty gently pushed Faith onto her back, sliding off her jeans. His fingers hooked into the waistband of her panties, and he pulled them down her legs, watching as the material dragged across the smooth surface of her skin. He pushed a finger deeply inside her, bending it and stroking the soft walls of her pussy. 471 Faith couldn't remember ever feeling so turned on. She could feel the juices running down her skin as he began plunging it in and out of her. He moved his mouth down to taste her, but she stopped him. 472 "There's time for that later. I need you inside me," she pleaded. 473 Tyler nodded, feeling the same. He stood and quickly shed his clothes, while she pulled the sweater over her head. She lay back on the bed and he covered her body with his, kissing her navel and letting his tongue roam the sensitive area. Slowly, he slid his body up hers, feeling her shiver with anticipation. 474 He was already erect, and as his lips reached her neck, the tip of his cock made contact with her labia. Faith arched her back, anxious to feel him inside her. He reached between them and rubbed the tip along her folds, preparing them both. Finally, it slid between her outer lips and found her opening. 475 Tyler pulled one leg up, hooking his arm under her knee, then leaned back against her, watching her expression as he slid inside. 476 "Yes," he heard her moan as he pushed half his length into her. The emotion of the reunion, combined with the feel of her warm flesh, threatened to push him to the edge too quickly. He paused to regain control, then pulled back a few inches. As he moved, Tyler could feel the muscles inside her grab at his shaft, almost as if they didn't want to let him go. He lunged forward, burying himself all the way inside her, causing them both to moan in satisfaction. He pulled out again until only the tip remained inside her, then moved forward, his hips at a slight angle that he knew she loved. 477 "Oh baby, that's perfect," she cooed. Her hips began moving, encouraging him to thrust faster. Tyler responded by pushing her leg a little higher and using the improved angle to crash hard against her. His speed increased until he felt the beginnings of an impending orgasm. He stopped mid-thrust, trying to stave off cumming. 478 "Don't stop," Faith complained. 479 "I almost's been a while," he gasped with a sheepish grin. 480 "It doesn't matter, I just want to feel you inside me." 481 Tyler kissed her, fucking her in rapid, long strokes. Quickly, he felt himself on the edge. 482 "Faith," he groaned. "I'm cumming." 483 "Faster Ty, fuck me faster." 484 Tyler moved as fast as he could, his orgasm hitting him like an explosion. He forced her leg even higher, thrusting as deeply inside her as he could; their bodies joined as he came. The feeling triggered Faith's orgasm and she wrapped her other leg around him, trying to pull him even further into her. She bucked against him wildly, kissing him to keep from screaming. 485 They held each other as the passion began to drain away, leaving them with the warmth of each other's body. Tyler looked down at her face, which looked more peaceful than he thought was possible. 486 "I love you," he said, kissing her. 487 "I love you too, honey," she responded, snuggling against his neck. 488 He savored the feel of her skin against his for a moment longer, then looked at her in embarrassment. 489 "Um, Faith...I think we should get back now, before the kids come and drag us out of here." They shared a quick laugh, then took turns in the bathroom, removing the evidence of their tryst. After finishing, they dressed quickly and rejoined the others. The kids barely noticed them returning, obsessed with the gifts Ray had given them while they waited. The adults looked at them with knowing smiles. 490 After all the presents had been opened, they sat and talked while Ray finished lunch. Faith watched Tyler play with the children, amazed at how he never seemed to get tired of their games. 491 "He'll make a good father," Randi joked. 492 Faith got up and walked to Tyler. She embracing him tightly and whispered, "I know." As she rested her chin on his shoulder, she noticed a picture over the fireplace that she hadn't seen before. Something in it caused her knees to give out, forcing her to lean heavily against him. 493 "Ty, who is that?" she said shakily. 494 He turned, then smiled fondly. "It's the last picture of the three of us. That was when Mom was really sick. She changed so much in the last year that it was like a different person. Dad put it away because he couldn't bear to see her like that. I finally convinced him to put it back up this week." 495 She studied the picture, unable to grasp what she saw. The woman looked exactly like the old woman in the park. It can't be, she told herself. Just then Ray walked back into the room. 496 "Lunch is ready," he said cheerfully. 497 Faith turned and looked at him. "Ray, how long were you married to your wife?" 498 He looked surprised at the question, but quickly responded. "It was thirty-nine years." 499 "Oh," she said, leaning against Tyler again, remembering the woman's words. Just your imagination, she chided herself. 500 "It would have been forty last March," he continued, not noticing how pale she suddenly was. "You know, I still talk to her every night. I know it's silly, but I really feel like she's listening sometimes." 501 Faith hugged Tyler tightly, trying to make sense of what she knew was impossible. 502 "What is it, sweetheart?" he asked, stroking her hair. 503 She looked at the picture again, trying to decide if she was imagining things or just crazy. Shaking her head, Faith decided it didn't matter. She was where she wanted to be and it didn't make any difference how it happened. Turning, she grabbed Ray's hand and they walked to the kitchen. 504 "Would you tell me about Marie, Ray?" she asked, knowing she could never explain the thoughts she was having. She glanced back toward the living room at the picture above the fireplace. I don't know if I'm crazy, she thought somberly, but thank you. 505 * Authors Note: I'd like to give a heartfelt thank you to the real Faith for letting me write a story, using her as a character. You can find her in the club I described, if you are in the area. Although most of the details are products of my imagination, her dancing is even more amazing than I could describe. The tattoo is really cool too. 506 "Hey Johnny, how's it going?" the man at the door asked, with a friendly smile that seemed out of place, considering his imposing appearance. 508 "Well, let's see," I replied, closing the distance between us and grabbing him in a bear hug. I lifted until I saw stars, but was barely able to get his feet off the ground. "Damn Curt, either I'm getting old, or you put on weight." 509 With a sheepish grin he replied, "What do you expect? You've tried my wife's cooking. I'm lucky I can still fit through the door." 510 I laughed, glad to see him in such good spirits. It was only a few months ago that he was injured when a fight in the bar spilled out to the street. While trying to break up the melee, a thug pulled a knife and caught him under the ribs. He had been in the hospital for a week, then at home for another ten days before being able to return to work on restricted duty. I stopped by to see him several times, along with virtually everyone who worked or played at the club on a regular basis. 511 Curt was very popular, for good reason. He would always offer to help if you were loading gear into the club, he personally escorted every waitress to her car at the end of the night and, unlike many of the bouncers in town, worried about the people like me who worked at the club occasionally. He would always find a way to help you get work when he knew you needed it. There were a lot of sound engineers competing for gigs in the city, so it could be hard to make ends meet. Once Curt got to know you, he'd go to the mat to make sure the bands and agents knew who you were. 512 Some people tried to network with fancy advertising or by constantly making phone calls. I knew the best way to stay busy was to make friends with the people in the trenches and do a good job. Word of mouth had made me a fairly good living. That's why when there was a last minute cancellation for this gig, I received a panicked phone call from Mike, the manager of the club. The headlining band had told him they wouldn't work with anyone but me (and I knew that probably came from Curt whispering in someone's ear). 513 "So should I be thanking anyone in particular for tonight?" I asked with a smile. 514 He shrugged, trying to appear innocent. The truth was written all over his face. Curt liked to help, but only behind the scenes. It embarrassed him to take credit for his good deeds. I shook his hand and walked inside, not wanting to make him feel awkward. It didn't matter, we had an understanding. I knew that he was aware of how grateful I was. 515 The club was already loud, despite the small crowd. I made my way to the back as I slipped in ear plugs, not wanting to get a headache early, then have to sit through three hours of live bands. On the other side of the stage area was the DJ's booth, which was next to the load-in door. I said hi to Sherrie, the cute redhead who worked on Saturday night and stepped out the door. 516 The back of the club was about fifteen feet above the alley, with a catwalk leading to a second door with access to the freight elevator that serviced the whole building. I spent the next half-hour moving my gear up to the stage, then started working at breakneck speed to get set up in time. Even though I got called at the last minute, I knew from experience that the only thing people would remember is if the band started on time. 517 Everything went smoothly and we hit the sound check for the opening band a few minutes late, but finished within the designated time. I glanced at my watch and saw it was ten minutes until show time, so I went to the bar to grab a drink. 518 "Hey Connie, can I get a pitcher?" I asked the bartender. 519 She was beautiful and had an amazing body, like all the women Mike hired. He knew how to make an impression on the male customers by hiring attractive women who were friendly and smart as well. I knew to ask for a pitcher because Connie would soon be deluged with guys trying to talk to her and it would be tough to get a drink quickly. 520 While I was waiting, I turned to my left and saw a woman just outside the door talking to Curt. She had long blonde hair that was obscuring her face. What I noticed most, however, were her legs. She was wearing a pink miniskirt that showed off an incredible pair of long, tanned, toned legs. They disappeared under the skirt where I saw a beautifully curved ass that looked like something out of my dreams. It took Connie three tries to get my attention to hand me my beer. 521 I stumbled toward the stage, looking over my shoulder to catch another glimpse of her, wondering what she looked like. She stayed in the doorway, just out of my sight, so I finally gave up and sat behind the mixer, ready to start the show. 522 The singer gave me the thumbs up, so I brought up the system and the opening band started. I hadn't worked with them before, but their set list indicated they were playing all cover songs that were easy to dance to. This club got a lot of different acts, but I knew these types of bands really got the crowd going. Sure enough, about two minutes into the first song, several young women came out on the dance floor. 523 Two songs later, the dance floor was packed. I had the band dialed in, so my eyes wandered to the people dancing. It was a predictable group, mostly women in their early twenties, a few of them able to drag their boyfriends onto the floor. 524 I noticed one guy dancing like he knew what he was doing. He looked comfortable and confident, moving with gracefulness that most men lack. When he turned, I realized that he was dancing with the woman I saw earlier. What I saw took my breath away. 525 She was absolutely stunning, with a beautiful thin face, high cheekbones and full lips. Her blue eyes were so bright, they seemed to shine. The white top she was wearing was sleeveless and buttoned down the front, showing just the perfect amount of cleavage to be sexy. As she danced, her long hair flew around her, giving her a wild appearance that made me feel a deep longing, as strong as any I could remember. 526 I watched in awe as she moved like sex itself. She grinded against her partner, allowing his hands to access her body at will. Soon, a space had cleared for them as others enjoyed the wild display. When the song ended, the band began talking to the crowd about their web site and upcoming gigs, giving the dancers a chance to run back for another drink. 527 The woman disappeared in the crowd and I shook my head as I turned back to make sure everything was all right on the stage. 'How can anyone be that sexy?' I wondered. 528 It's not that I didn't date, but I hadn't been with anyone who looked remotely like her since I stopped playing in bands, years before. Being in clubs always gave me mixed feelings; being so close to so much beauty and passion, but still not a part of it. I did sometimes flirt with women in the crowd, but since my job revolved around making the band sound good and keeping everything running, there was rarely time. It would look really bad if there was a problem and the sound guy was gone, trying to pick up a girl. Because of the potential problems, I usually resolved to stay in my corner and watch life happening around me. 529 The band launched into another song, drawing my attention back to the stage. Within seconds, the dancers started returning to the floor. About halfway through the song, something I saw out of the corner of my eye drew my attention. My little hottie was back on the floor with a different guy. This dance was exactly like the last one except the guy was doing very little dancing and mostly groping. 530 'Son of a bitch,' I swore to myself. 'That wasn't her boyfriend?' I watched her dance and looked over her new partner. He was a decent looking guy, but nothing like the first one. It was a little puzzling. I would have said she's just nice, but the dancing was well past that line. 531 My thoughts about her motives evaporated as I watched her short skirt twirl, giving me tantalizing glimpses of her black panties. It fueled the desire that was already growing inside me. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. 532 When the song ended, she went back to the bar, only to come out with a different guy during the next song. Over the next half hour, she danced with at least five different men. They seemed to have nothing in common, other than being happy over her attentions. 533 I watched as another song ended and she passed close by me, flashing a quick smile. Time seemed to slow as I took in every detail. The way the perspiration was making her top cling to her body, her breasts clearly outlined through the thin material. The scent of her perfume, the sexy way her hips swayed as she walked, her body language screaming that she was looking for something or someone. 534 The band launched into its last few songs and she headed back out towards me again, this time with the first man she had danced with. I could feel my heart beating harder and faster as I watched her glide with him. Their movements were so erotic it was like watching people make love. My mouth went dry as he dipped her, giving me a perfect view of her breasts down her top. 535 They danced for one more song, then she finished the last song of the set with a new partner. This one was the most puzzling of all. He was very plain, not well dressed and wasn't very smooth on the dance floor. She picked up on his tentativeness and moved her body against his, swaying her hips while dancing in one spot. This let him basically stand in place, but still move with her and look like he was competent. If I hadn't been watching closely, I probably wouldn't have noticed. 536 When the song ended, I went up to the stage and pulled all the mics so the bands could change over. The headlining band already had their gear set up and checked, so I had about a half-hour of downtime while Sherrie worked the crowd. I walked toward the back door to put my mics away. 537 As I finished and closed the case, I looked up in time to see a flash of pink. My mystery woman stepped by me and said something to Sherrie. After they laughed for a second, she stepped away from the booth and quickly looked in both directions, then pushed on the back door, stepping out into the night. Before it shut, the breeze from the motion of the door caused her skirt to blow up giving me a perfect view of her ass cheeks, barely covered by the lacy panties. 538 I knew no one was supposed to be out there, but after thinking about it for a moment, I decided it wasn't my job to tell her so. Just as I was getting ready to walk back to the bar, the image of the her dancing popped into my head. Something about the way she was behaving just didn't add up. 539 I've seen plenty of women just out for a good time. Often the really beautiful ones are trying to hook up with a good-looking guy or someone with some money to splash around. There are also ones who look for a good guy who'll treat them right. She didn't seem to fit into any of those categories I had grown accustomed to seeing. 540 An idea started forming in my head. I took a second look at the door, thinking about how amazing her legs and ass looked as she walked outside. The more I tried to tell myself I was crazy, the more I felt myself being drawn toward the door. I felt hot and was having trouble thinking about anything except how sexy she was and how she had been acting. There was a pounding in my head, drowning out the cautious voice I usually listened to. 541 I reached forward and pushed the door open, then stepped outside quickly, before I lost my nerve. It shut behind me, causing me to jump at the sound. 542 She was standing just in front of me, facing the alley, leaning against the railing. I could see all of her legs except for the last few inches hidden by the short skirt. Her legs were crossed and hips arched out in an exaggerated pose. I thought she was the most fuckable woman I had ever seen. 543 In the wild days of my youth, I did a lot of stupid things and was lucky to have gotten through it without a disease, a stalker, or a kid. I wasn't interested in quickies or one-night stands any longer. 544 Looking at the incredible sight before me, all that changed. All I wanted was the chance to be inside her, experiencing the amazing passion and heat that seemed to emanate from her. 545 Without thinking, I stepped forward and softly touched her shoulders, letting my thumbs rotate against the muscles in her neck. 546 "Mmm," she moaned, making no effort to turn around. 547 I realized she probably thought I was one of her dance partners, following her outside for some privacy. Her shoulders slumped and I felt her relax against the railing. Encouraged by her reaction, I massaged a little deeper, moving forward until my hips were touching hers. 548 "So do you like that?" I said in a throaty whisper. 549 "Oh yeah," she murmured, her voice barely audible above the noise from inside the club. 550 "You were putting on quite a show in there," I said softly, not knowing if she would realize my voice was one she didn't recognize. I continued my massage, beginning to work my fingers forward to the front of her shoulders before sliding my hands back to again use my thumbs on the back of her neck. 551 "Yeah, fuck him and his opinion," she slurred, sounding a little drunk. "Prim and proper my ass," she said angrily. 552 I smiled to myself as her words confirmed my suspicions. Instead of replying, I just increased the pressure on her shoulders, drawing a deep moan from her that I felt more than I heard. 553 I leaned against her harder and moved my hands to the sides of her head, massaging her temples. Within seconds I could feel her hips moving slightly, brushing against me. I didn't know if it was intentional or not, but she was definitely turned on and now I believed I knew why. 554 Moving my lips closer to her ear, I pressed my body against her completely. "You want to show him, don't you," I said, not stopping the motion of my fingers against her skin. 555 She moaned again and I moved my hands back to her shoulders, but continued to lean against her, careful to keep the contact light. I felt her body reacting to my touch. There was a slight shaking and her movement against me became more pronounced. The pressure was causing me to become erect, but I resisted the urge to grind back against her. 556 I leaned back a little to give myself some room and moved my hands lower down her back. She made no move to stop me as my hands reached down to the midpoint of her back, then moved toward her sides. My fingers reached around her ribs and brushed the edges of her breasts through the top. I felt her stiffen and knew that this was the moment that would decide how far this would go. 557 I ground my erection against her as softly as I could manage. She started to stand and I let her, taking the opportunity to slide my hands the rest of the way around her chest, cupping her breasts with my hands and rubbing her nipples with my thumbs. 558 "No," she moaned, making no effort to stop my touches. 559 "Shh, I thought you wanted to show him," I answered, hoping to tap into her anger. 560 She was quiet for a moment while I continued my touches, slowing them to a soft tease. 561 When she didn't respond, I said, "I don't think you want to show him at all. I think you want to prove something to yourself." With that, I deftly unsnapped the button keeping her breasts bound in the shirt and slid my hand inside. I pinched the nipple softly and kissed her behind her ear, just at the top of her neck. 562 She sighed and her body shuddered, but then she started to pull away. "I can't," she whined. 563 "You can and I think you want to," I said, squeezing her breast more firmly and grinding my hips against her, no longer trying to hide my intention or my arousal. "You're afraid he's right, that you can't let yourself go. That's what the show on the dance floor was all about. Trying to prove who you really are." 564 "Please stop," she said, so softly that I barely could distinguish the words. 565 "I will if that's what you want," I said teasingly, "but we both know you came here for something else." 566 While massaging her breast, I used my other hand to undo the remaining buttons until her shirt hung free. I took the opportunity to take both breasts in my hands, roughly rubbing the nipples and bringing louder moans of pleasure from her. 567 I knew she was too far gone to turn back. She was grinding against me much harder and made no effort to cover herself. I kissed the back of her neck, letting my tongue glide back and forth, searching for the areas that she reacted to the most. My hands slid across her skin and pulled her shirt back until it slid off the back of her shoulders and I pulled it down her arms. 568 "We can't," she protested, trying to turn as her arms came up reflexively, preventing the shirt from falling off. 569 "Don't turn around," I told her. "You want this . . . you need this to prove you're not the mousy little girl everyone says you are. This is your chance to do something you'll never forget. No names, no faces, just me fucking you out here where anyone could see you." 570 I felt a shiver run through her body as she looked down at the alley, realizing how exposed she was. There was a light overhead and anyone driving or walking past could clearly see us. I used her moment of surprise to return my hands to her breasts as I pulled her firmly against me. Tilting my head forward, I took her earlobe between my lips and began nibbling and running my tongue across it and the top of her neck. 571 She relaxed her body against me. "Put your hands on the rail," I said in a soft but firm voice. 572 Her body stiffened for a moment, then she leaned forward slightly and put both hands against the metal rail. I moved my right hand down her skin, relishing the feel of her skin until I reached her navel, teasing it with a finger and drawing another shiver from her. 573 I slid my hand lower, pressing against her stomach to get past the waistband of her skirt. I pushed under her panties, feeling the soft pubic hair with my fingers before moving the last few inches and reaching the top of her pussy. My middle finger slid across the top of her labia, then pushed in slightly. She was already so wet, it easily slid in. I slid the finger back up, drawing it across her clit. 574 "Now tell me," I whispered into her ear. 575 "What?" she asked, her voice quivering. 576 "Tell me what you want." I rubbed my finger back and forth across her clit several times, then pushed it between her outer lips, letting it sink deeper inside her. "Tell me." 577 "I want you." 578 "That's not enough," I scolded. "Tell me what you want." 579 She made a high-pitched whining noise as her body shuddered again. "I want you to fuck me," she answered. 580 "Where?" 581 "Right here," she said louder. "I want you to fuck me right here where anyone could see us." Her hips moved back and forth, trying to force my fingers to touch her where she needed. 582 "Why would you want something like that?" I asked, stopping my touches for a moment. "Unless you're a slut." 583 She groaned in frustration, leaning back to try to force me to touch her. 584 "Are you?" I asked, more firmly. 585 "Yes," she said loudly. "I want you to fuck me right now, please," she begged. 586 I smiled, knowing this night was going to be amazing for both of us. "I want you to make yourself cum first," I whispered. 587 "No, I can't," she protested. 588 My finger pushed back inside her pussy, as deeply as I could reach. I gently took her left hand and guided it across her breast, forcing her to squeeze. I let go, letting my hand slide up her arm, softly grazing her skin and could feel her muscles clench as she continued to knead her breast on her own. 589 Closing my eyes, I leaned my head against the back of hers, reveling in the sensations of being so close to such an astonishing creature. I was thrusting my finger inside her, then pulling it back, letting it drag across her clit, then repeating the motion. It was incredibly difficult not to take her right then, but I knew it would be so much better for us both if I was just patient a little longer. 590 Chapter 2.2 I was startled when I felt her hand close around mine, forcing me to cup her pussy, my finger still lodged inside her. Her hips moved in a seductive dance, trapping my confined cock against her ass. I slid my hand out of her skirt slowly and was rewarded by seeing her reach down. From my angle, I couldn't see what she was doing, but her moans were coming faster and I could feel her breathing get shallower. 592 My hand slid up her body and I put my finger between her lips. She ran her tongue across it for a moment, then greedily took it into her mouth. Then I slid down on my knees behind her and flipped up the back of her skirt. 593 She was rubbing several fingers against the top of her pussy in a rotating motion. I used both hands and rolled her panties down. When they reached the bottom of her hips, she grabbed them with her other hand, but I leaned forward and ran my tongue between the cheeks of her ass until I touched the spot just below her pussy. She made a much louder moan and relaxed her grip, allowing me to slide them the rest of the way down. When they reached her feet, she stepped out of them, spreading her legs wider and giving me a perfect view of her sex. 594 I slipped them into my pocket and grabbed her hips with both hands. "Now cum for me," I said, leaning forward until my lips were within an inch of her. She responded by moving her hand faster. I let my tongue graze across her outer lips, then slid it just inside her. Her whole body shook and I was afraid her legs were about to give out. 595 Her moans became louder and I thought she was close, so I stood back up and leaned close to her ear again. "Show me what a dirty slut you really are. Cum for me now, here where anyone can see you." 596 She started to cry out, then moved her hand to her mouth to muffle the sound. Her entire body shook and I had to steady her when I felt her knees buckle. I kissed the back of her neck and whispered to her encouragingly. 597 Worried that the moment might slip away, I kicked off my shoes, quickly pulled down my pants and grabbed a condom from my wallet. I didn't need any foreplay since I was already as hard as a rock, so slipped it on and slid my cock between her legs, brushing the top of the shaft against her pussy. 598 "Are you ready to fuck?" I asked, sliding my hips back and forth, relishing the heat emanating from her. 599 "Yes," she said breathlessly. 600 "Then put it inside you." 601 She reached down and took me in her hand, rubbing the shaft against her outer lips for a moment before sliding forward and lining the tip up against the opening of her pussy. I stood there, not moving, as she eased back against me, forcing my cock inside her. I couldn't believe how much the sensations were magnified because of the situation. It was unlike anything I had done before. 602 Even through the condom, I could feel how warm and wet she was, her pussy squeezing me so tightly it was difficult to control my arousal. I didn't move, letting her work me in at her own pace. When I was all the way inside her, I stopped her and held her for a second. Although I didn't want to break the magic of the moment, I desperately wanted to remember this feeling forever. She wasn't just beautiful, she was like something out of a dream, opening herself up to me completely. 603 Reluctantly, I let go, putting a gentle pressure on her shoulders so she would lean forward. I pulled back feeling her pussy grip me like it was afraid to let go, then pushed forward, in awe of the sensation of being inside her. I started moving faster, which triggered a new series of moans from her, slightly different from the ones before. 604 I looked across the alley, trying to distract myself from the sensations that threatened to overwhelm me and saw a car that had come to a stop below us. It was a convertible with the top down. There was a young man and a woman inside who looked to be barely old enough to get into the club. They were both staring up at us in shock, the man's hand stroking his girlfriend's thigh, inching toward her skirt. 605 "Do you see that," I said in a low voice. "I think we have an audience." 606 With a startled cry, she reached for her shirt. 607 "No," I said forcefully, restraining her arms and sliding fully inside her then stopping. "You're a slut. You want them to see you, just like you wanted everyone in the club to see you dance like that." I pulled the shirt off of her arms so that she was completely exposed and dropped it behind us. "Now tell me what you want them to see," I said, my hips moving again. I took her breasts in my hand and squeezed, never taking my eyes off the couple in the car. 608 "I want them to watch," she gasped. There was surprise in her voice that indicated she couldn't believe her own words. 609 "Not good enough," I said, thrusting harder. "Tell me." 610 "I want them to watch . . . to watch you fuck me," she cried. "To see me be a dirty slut. I want to cum for them." 611 The man in the car had his hand under the girls skirt and had pulled her top down, exposing her breasts. I had the feeling that if I could hold on long enough, we'd be getting a show of our own, but knew I was too close to cumming. Before I did though, I had to make sure my blonde angel came again. This was a once in a lifetime chance and I wanted it to be perfect. 612 Her breathing quickened and I could see her body shift every time my cock hit a sensitive spot inside her. I knew I couldn't hold out much longer and had to do something to make her cum first. 613 "Touch yourself," I said forcefully. "Do it so they can see what a dirty little whore you are. Show that girl what it's like to be a complete slut. You are the sexiest woman in this club and don't have anything to be ashamed of." 614 I saw her move a hand down between her legs, then she immediately started moaning louder. 615 "I'm doing it. I'm going to cum. You feel so good inside me, please fuck me harder." 616 Giving up on trying to hold out any longer, I began crashing into her as fast as I could. Her body lurched forward every time our hips met and her cries became loud enough for anyone nearby to hear. 617 "Ahh!" I bellowed, pushing into her one last time and wrapping my arms around her. My body shook as my orgasm hit me with a force I couldn't have anticipated. I held her body close as the waves of pleasure washed over me, then moments later I felt her orgasm start. 618 I've never felt anything like what happened to her. She screamed as it engulfed her, every inch of her body seemed to melt. Luckily my arm was already around her because her legs gave out and she almost fell to the catwalk. I awkwardly kept her on her feet as she continued to shudder, seeming to have several smaller orgasms after the first big one. 619 Looking down at the kids, I could clearly see the boy fingering his girlfriend, her eyes locked on us in awe. I smiled at the scene, wishing that we had more time. Although I would have given anything to stay with her, I knew that the spontaneity of the moment would soon fade, leaving us with the reality of what we had done. I made the decision to end it now, while everything was still perfect. 620 I leaned close to her again and said, "That was amazing. Whoever he was, he never understood you and didn't deserve you. Don't ever forget what you are capable of. You are the most exciting woman I've ever met." 621 She started to turn, but I stopped her gently with my hand against her cheek. 622 "Don't look. You did exactly what you wanted to do, prove to yourself you're more than he thought you were. There's nowhere to go from here. Give me a second to get back inside, then you can do whatever you want." 623 I reached down and quickly pulled my pants back up and stepped back into my shoes. Backing up toward the door, I took one last look at the incredible sight in front of me. I grabbed the handle, stepped inside quickly and shut the door behind me, the image of her still bent over the railing watching the kids in the car below burned into my mind forever. 624 The atmosphere of the club shocked me back into reality. It was loud, smoky and the lights flashed in an obscene display of technology. It was the antithesis of our encounter outside and made me wish I could go back. I quickly walked to the bathroom and straightened myself up. Once I had it together, I went back to my FOH mixer to wait for the headlining band. 625 Just as I sat down, I saw the door in back open and she stepped back into the club, looking around nervously. I'm not sure if she was worried about someone suspecting what happened or if she was trying to get an idea who her mystery lover was. I intentionally looked away to avoid suspicion. 626 As she walked toward the front of the club, I put my hand in my pocket and touched her panties, still wet with her juices. I smiled, but it was already accompanied by an empty feeling as I watched her exit the club and step out into the night, out of my life forever. 627 ~~~~~ 628 "Johnny, what the hell happened to you?" Curt exclaimed, concern clearly etched on his face. 629 It had been two weeks since the night I worked at the club. They hadn't been easy on me. Once the high of my encounter with the woman had ended, I was faced with a feeling of emptiness, almost like losing a lover. I told myself it was insane, how could I miss someone whose name I didn't even know. Somehow, it felt like more than sex to me and I had been sleepwalking through the last two weeks, barely alive. 630 "Johnny?" Curt repeated. I looked up and tried to smile. 631 "You know, same old shit," I answered, trying to sound nonchalant. 632 "The way I heard it, you should be in a lot better mood," he said with a wink. 633 "Oh shit, don't tell me you know about the alley," I said in embarrassment. 634 Curt smiled. "Don't you know by now that there are eyes everywhere in this place. You're becoming quite a legend around here, my friend." 635 "I'm not going to get in trouble over that, am I?" I asked, both embarrassed and concerned. I knew that getting laid wasn't why I was hired and all it took was to get on the bad side of one club manager for work to dry up quickly. 636 "Please," Curt laughed, "you're not going to get anything but pats on the back. So why don't you tell me why you look like your dog died?" 637 I grinned weakly, "You have such a way with words." I shrugged, "She was amazing, man. I can't get her out of my head." 638 "So call her." 639 I looked down, "I can't. I don't know her name." Curt's jaw dropped. "I know, sounds like every guy's fantasy, right? Well it isn't. I've never been with anyone like her. It's tearing me up." 640 Curt looked at me, clearly confused. "Why didn't you get her name or number?" 641 "Shit, I didn't even let her see my face. It seemed perfect. A nice little fantasy with the two of us out there. Once it ended, I realized she would turn around and see me. I couldn't stomach the thought that she would be disappointed." 642 "Disappointed?" he asked in shock. "What would make you think that?" 643 I shrugged, "You should have seen her Curt, she was gorgeous. She had a passion I've never seen in a woman. It was amazing. Look at me. I'm in my thirties, I'm average looking, barely making ends meet and the only thing exciting about me is the people I work with. She would have taken one look at me and it would have ruined her fantasy. I would have felt like total shit." 644 "Come on, you don't really believe that, do you?" he said. "You're a good guy. All the girls here love you to death. Shit, my wife thinks you're great. You should have given her a chance to decide for herself." 645 I thought for a second. "Maybe you're right; I just don't know. It doesn't make any difference. She's gone forever. Even if I saw her again, what do I do, walk up and say, 'Hey, I'm the guy who fucked you in the alley, want a date?' There's no way I'll ever get another chance." 646 He tried to cheer me up for a while, but there just wasn't anything he could say. I tried to lose myself in my work, not talking to anyone all night. Everyone noticed that I wasn't myself, but let me be. I wondered how many of the staff knew about the alley. It should have made me feel some sense of pride, but instead it just reminded me of how much I felt like I missed out on an amazing opportunity. Something that was once in a lifetime. 647 There were three bands that night, each playing short sets, so I was very busy. It was nice because it kept me from thinking about how depressed I felt. 648 I watched the crowd listlessly all night, some part of me hoping to see her, but a bigger part afraid I might. I had no idea what I could possibly say to her, so seeing her would only add to my torment. 649 Shaking my head at how pathetic I felt, I walked toward the back door. The band needed about fifteen minutes to pack their stuff before I could start breaking down and I didn't want to be around anyone. I stepped out the door and stood on the catwalk, running my hands over the railing where she had been leaning that night. 650 Closing my eyes, I thought about her. The way she moved, the feel of her body and the way everything she did affected me. I felt like I was drowning in the memory when I heard the door open behind me. 651 "Yeah, I'll be there in a minute," I said without turning around. Cursing myself for being too much of a coward to talk to her and knowing what it probably cost me, I lowered my head. 652 I was startled out of my reverie by a touch on my shoulder. "Give me a second," I snapped, trying to get myself together. 653 I pushed away from the railing and started to spin when a familiar voice said, "Sure," stopping me dead in my tracks. 654 My breath caught in my throat and my pulse quickened. I didn't know what to do next, afraid that it was my imagination playing a trick on me. 655 "Don't turn around," she said, her body touching mine while her hands wrapped around my chest. "It's more fun if you don't look." Her voice betrayed such amusement at my stunned reaction, I swear I could hear her smile. 656 "How . . . what . . ." I stammered, trying to ask a dozen questions at once. 657 "Shh," she whispered, her hands working their way down my chest until they reached my pants. "We have a mutual friend." 658 It hit me instantly. 'Son of a bitch . . . Curt', I thought, remembering her talking to him at the door the first time I saw her. 'That's how he knew what happened.' 659 I turned around and looked at her, struck by the fact that I still didn't know her name. She was every bit as beautiful as I remembered. Her eyes twinkled with excitement, showing none of the disappointment I had feared. I leaned forward and kissed her, savoring the taste of her lips for the first time. It was so exquisite; I wanted to stay locked in the embrace forever. She had other ideas, however and pushed me away. 660 I looked down and saw her undoing my belt, then slide a hand into my pants where she grabbed my prick. "We can talk later. Right now, just think about how the band could walk out the door at any second. We better hurry . . ." 661 END