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--- L O U I S E   O S T L I N G

They hadn't seen each other for several months.

On the fridge, he'd taped her note she'd forgotten in the fall. The note she'd picked out of a hat at the fair they went to, Always walk in beauty, it said.

He'd watered her plant that grew crooked.

He'd drawn a picture of her on a napkin: Long hair and a big nose.

"You really like me," he said where they lay in bed at six the following not having got much sleep. "I know you do. You showed it tonight. Yes, you did. Trying to say you don't." He smiled. "Your body language said it all."


"Twisting and restless, and like pressing your vagina upwards. I saw you wanted me. I'm glad your body language said it, too, because I don't think you would have. Were you hoping I was going to make a move?"

"Yes." She had. She had stayed extra long for him to make a move, and stayed even longer when she thought the move was coming. He sat closer and closer and brushed his leg against hers, pressing his leg against hers, rubbing his leg up and down against hers. They kissed.

"I have my period."

"It's okay we can just lie down together." And then after a minute, "We can put a towel under and do it anyway. I've done that before. I don't mind."

She didn't come. He came twice. Once in the towel after fucking (he likes saying dirty words) her in the butt and once when fucking her normal, which never made him come before.

"You don't normally come there," she said.

"No," he said.

"How come you came now."

"Just making me excited to see you excited. Do you like the way I make you feel?"

"Yes," she said even though she knew he wanted her to say the whole sentence, I like the way you make me feel. How did he make her feel?

"Talk dirty to me," he said. "Say, I want you to fuck me with your big dick. I'll talk to you dirty in Spanish," he said and said something which he translated, "You turn me so on. I love to lick your pussy and it tastes good. Yes, you do like me. You really like me. You can't be without me, can you?"

He looked at her where she lay naked on his bed. he said she had the perfect body. "You really like me, don't you?" he said. "You've grown to like me, haven't you?"

Was it going to be like her friend said, back to ground zero? But he said he'd learned his lesson. "You have certainly earned my respect." he said. "You mean business. I better do as you say. I like strong women. Do you know that? I like strong, intelligent women. You have your freedom, and I'll have to respect that. Just tell me before you leave. It's rude to just leave like you did."

"I did tell you."

He caressed her stomach.

"I told a friend about you," she said. "She said to stay away from you."

"I'm glad you didn't listen. Why did she say that?"

"She said you're dangerous. I was a little scared of you."

"I'm not dangerous. I might be annoying, but I'm never dangerous," he said. "Remember that. I'd never hurt you. I'd never hurt anyone. I don't like violence. You didn't think I was going to hurt you, did you?"

"I got a little concerned when you walked by my house in the middle of the night."

"How do you know that?"

"You told me on the answering machine."

"Oh, that's right. I'm sorry about that. I feel very ashamed about leaving you all those messages in the middle of the night. I've never had a trusting relationship. I never learned that from my parents. I've been betrayed a lot," he said. "I'm going to talk to my friend the shrink so she can help me with my obsessive behavior."

They lay quiet in each other's arms.

"Do you like me sober?" he said.


"You feel more comfortable?"


"Good." He ran his hand over her stomach. "You're so sexy. Always."

"Yeah? When I come straight from work out?"

"Even more sexy, because then you're sweaty and I imagine you in one of those outfits on TV with no underwear."



He sat up, on top of her, looking down. She thought he was going to slide up like he'd done before and put his dick in her mouth. She hoped he wouldn't.

"The waitress was flirting with me today," he said. "She kept coming over to my table asking if I wanted something." He looked down at her. "I had to keep saying that I was fine. That I didn't want anything. I lost weight for you, you know. It's all that beer I'm not drinking."

He had lost weight.

"I know," she said. "That's why I try to stay away from beer. That's why I drink hard liquor when I drink."

"I know. That's why I had that Russian vodka bottle that got me in trouble that night at the strip bar when my friend got arrested and I called for you to pick me up in the middle of the night."

She left and drove home at seven a.m., making sure she told him several times she was leaving so he wouldn't be upset. Not that he was going to be upset anymore. She'd tested him in the middle of the night.

"If I'm going home..."

"You're going home?"

"No. I'm just testing you."

"That would be ok."

She doesn't regret that she went over and had sex with him yet. ("Aren't you proud of me? I've been behaving.") She might later if she finds out that everything is back to zero and feels like she can't do anything by herself like she felt before Christmas when he started leaving all those stupid messages and she was crying all the time.

But she's strong now. She can handle it. And he promised.

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