Claire watched him fade into the horizon and already missed him. His handsome face, his loving kisses, his arms around her, his cock inside her, her body reaching places it had never been before. And her orgasms, oh God, the orgasms. They were like earthquakes in her soul.
They both spent the following week thinking about each other. Lonnie was there the next Monday and the sex was even better, even more uninhibited for two naked people on the beach. They did their first sixty-nine, and Claire hit a triple on the orgasms again. She was a limp noodle on her walk back.
Later that week, Lonnie stopped into the store. He was hoping he could get her into the backroom and have a quickie, but there were customers and a couple of church people there, so he just waved and split.
On their third Monday afternoon, at one point, Claire was face-down and Lonnie was applying lotion to her back, and he got to her ass. As he rubbed and fingered her seductive flesh, slipping his fingers through her crack and pulling her cheeks apart in the process, he asked her a question.
“You ever had sex up here?” he said, as he slipped his fingertip into her asshole and wiggled it.
“What, anal?” she said, nonchalantly. “Sure. I went to college.” Then, after a long pause: “Why, do you want us to do that?”
“Well then, you better bring some lube next time. It’s been quite a while.”
After that, assfucking became a staple of their trysts. And to her own surprise, Claire found that she came just as hard, if not harder, with a dick up her ass, as she did with it anywhere else.
Over the next four months, they only missed three of their secret rendezvous. One because of bad weather, one because Claire went away on vacation, and one on Labor Day. There were a couple other times when the weather was iffy, and not conducive to swimming or sunbathing, but they met anyway. They wanted each other, so they met, and their genitals came out even if the sun didn’t.
Lonnie would stop into the store once a week, a lot more than he used to, but not often enough to raise suspicion. One time in the backroom, working on ad copy, they started making out, and Lonnie had a hand under her skirt and his fingers inside her. She was wet and he was hard, and he wanted to fuck her right there on the desk. But the bell sounded as a customer entered the store.
“We can’t do this here!” Claire whispered, as she straightened herself up.
“I’m sorry. I can’t resist you.”
She sent him out the backdoor and went up front to greet the customer. She was afraid to take him into the backroom after that.
Lonnie knew he was in love, but he couldn’t tell her, her life was complicated enough, and he knew he could never have her. The sex was incredible, but it wasn’t just that. They connected on so many levels. He loved her wit and sense of humor, and her earthiness. She seemed so genuine compared to most people he’d met. She got his jokes. Most of the women he’d been with hadn’t. Sure, she was older, but she seemed like the type of woman he’d always wanted to be with, even before he saw her on the beach that day.
He thought of Claire constantly. It saddened him to think of the loneliness she must have been feeling, and hiding, for who knows how long, every single day. He’d noticed bruises on some of the out-of-the-way places on her body, but hadn’t mentioned them. But she had an egocentric, abusive husband who had lost her and didn’t even know it. He’d put her on an island all by herself, to be rescued. That’s where the church came in, Lonnie figured. And maybe him, too.
Her orgasms were so intense. And she is so appreciative, like they are coming from outside of her, and not within. But she’s so sensual, every nerve ending she has is hot-wired, crackling, on the verge of shorting out. Her climaxes were like five kinds of rain: They could be drizzles or spritzes or showers or downpours. Or even a flash flood, like the time, after not seeing each other for two weeks, she had exploded as soon as he’d touched her down there.
It became harder for Lonnie to catch Claire alone at the store. There were customers, of course, but there were also others he’d never encountered before. There were church people, groups of bible school kids, and the occasional sales rep. Usually he just waved, said he would check her later and left.
A couple of times she signaled him over and introduced him to people from her church. One time it was the treasurer, a skinny old bald guy named Morris, who was very cordial and complimentary of the promotions Lonnie had put together for the store. Morris is the one who tracked the results and signed the checks, so Lonnie was happy to meet him, and was happy he was happy.
Another time, he called on Claire and there was a large, black man behind the counter with her. He was good-looking, tall and broad-shouldered, maybe forty, and dressed impeccably in a black suit and a bright red necktie. Lonnie figured he was another sales rep giving her a pitch, but he wasn’t.
“Hi, Lonnie,” Claire said. “This is Reginald. He’s our assistant pastor. Reginald, this is Lonnie. He designs our mail promotions.”
“Hello, Lonnie,” Reginald said, as they shook hands. “Glad to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too.”
“Reginald is relatively new at church, just a couple months, and he came by to see the store, and I’ve been showing him around,” Claire said. “Not that there’s that much to see, though.”
They made small talk for a couple minutes more before Lonnie excused himself. Reginald had been very complimentary about the promotions, just as Morris had been, and that made Lonnie feel good. He said he would follow-up with Claire the next week, and left.
All through the summer, Claire and Lonnie spent their Monday afternoons together on the beach. Once a week they’d arrive at their spot separately, ravenous for each other. The sex could be slow and loving, or hard and fast, but it was always good. And adventurous. Both being athletic creatures, they found new angles and positions for all of their devilry, and did things they never expected to do. Lonnie had never stuck his tongue up a girl’s ass before Claire, but he stuck it up hers, and liked it. Claire returned the favor too, licking his salty, sweaty ass and balls after his three mile run up the beach and a dip in the ocean. Her orgasms were often and intense, Lonnie’s cock was like a lightning rod inside her, in her mouth, her pussy, or up her ass, it didn’t matter, she fucked him hard, knowing she would come.
As September rolled around, the weather was still warm and sultry. They kept their Monday dates, but Lonnie sensed a change in Claire. They’d kiss and fuck and lick and suck just like always, but it felt different. It was not quite as fervent, something was off. Claire seemed to be distant, distracted, not all there. Lonnie mentioned it a couple times, but she said things were fine. It was football season, and her husband always got very intense, he had tunnel vision, didn’t care about anything but the team and its next game, it’s okay, not to worry. It seemed like a lame defense, but Lonnie didn’t argue.
Then, on the last Monday of the month, Lonnie took his usual Monday afternoon run, northward up the beach from town to their secret spot. And Claire wasn’t there. He sat on the beach for forty-five minutes, waiting. She didn’t show. Something was wrong. He ran hard, back to town, concerned and bewildered.
Lonnie went to the store the next day, and then later in the week, and missed her both times. The lady filling in said that Claire was taking a few days off, and suggested he try again the next week. So he did.
The following Tuesday was the fourth of October, Lonnie’s birthday. He dropped by the store in the morning right after it opened. Claire came out of the backroom where she was sorting through the mail. She saw Lonnie and smiled as he approached, but Lonnie noticed it was much weaker than the grin she usually greeted him with.
“Hi, Lonnie,” she called.
“Claire, hi, how are you doing?” he said. “I’ve been worried.”
“Yes. I went to our beach spot last Monday and you never showed up. You never told me you weren’t going to be there, and that isn’t like you. I was afraid something bad had happened.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry about that. I forgot all about it.”
“Forgot all about it? How could you forget about it? We’ve been going there on Monday afternoons for months!”
“I know, please forgive me. I should have called you, but…” She hesitated. “I totally forgot. There’s been, uh, a lot on my mind. I haven’t been myself.”
“What does that mean? Is everything okay at home?”
“I’m pregnant,” she murmured, and began to cry softly. She pulled a tissue from a box behind the counter and dabbed her eyes.
Lonnie was one scintilla short of anaphylactic shock. He was blindsided, speechless. He had no idea what to say. Finally he started babbling.
“Gee, Claire. I uh, I don’t know what to say. I’m… I’m stunned.”
He had a million thoughts ping-ponging around in his head like it was an atom smasher. What’s she going to do, is it his, what does her husband think, do you want to keep it, do you not want to keep it, what about us, how do you feel, what about your parents, what about his? But it all seemed so trivial at the moment, no question would be appropriate or tactful, and she probably didn’t have the answers anyway. She must have been reading his mind.
She spoke softly. “Lonnie, I’ve loved the time we’ve spent together the last few months. It’s been wonderful, almost like a dream. But we can’t see each other anymore. I’m going to have a baby, and I don’t know who the father is. But going by the numbers alone, the odds are it’s not my husband. It’s scary.”
“How does he feel about it?”
“He acts like he’s happy, but I’m not so sure. I think it’s just that: an act. He thinks a child will cramp his style. We’ve talked about having children in the past, but not for a long time. It took him by complete surprise.”
“How did it…” Lonnie started, but knew instantly how lame he sounded.
“Don’t ask,” she said.
“I’m sorry. Is there anything I can do?”
“No, there’s nothing you can do. Let’s just hope the baby looks like my husband.”
He left without a kiss or a hug, but he held her hand for a moment and squeezed, and let her know to call him if he could help, or just needed to talk. She said she would, but he knew she wouldn’t.
What a shitty birthday present, he thought.
Lonnie went back to the store in November, just to see if they wanted to run their holiday promotion. Claire wasn’t there. The temp from the church told him Claire had taken a leave of absence. And she didn’t know anything about advertising or promotion or marketing or whatever you call it, he should call the church. He called the church, left a voicemail for Morris. He never heard back, so he dropped it.
He missed her. Not a day, a half a day, or even an hour went by when he didn’t think of her. He relived their loving so many times it was like a continuous loop in his brain. He could feel her, could taste her. He thought about how lonely she must be, with her secret, their secret, eating away at her conscience. So, this is love, he thought, when my gut aches in radiating swirls. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. Love sucks.
Over the winter he avoided the book store. He dated a couple gals, but they didn’t compare, were big wastes of time. He ticked off the days of the calendar, wondering when would Claire be due? He had no clear idea, really, he could only guess at when the lucky sperm found its way to her promised land. He did the math, and the baby could be due anytime in the spring.
In mid-April, he went back to the store, just curious, and he lucked out. There was a different woman minding the store. Her name was Wilma, and she was the epitome of a stereotypical church lady: Old, gray-haired, thin as a rail, in a dress that hung to her ankles, and was a gossip who loved to talk. She knew the whole story. Lonnie and Claire had kept a big secret. But it turned out Claire had another big secret of her own.
Wilma didn’t hold back, it was as if she’d been waiting for the chance to spout off.
“If you’re looking for that blonde girl who used to run this store, you won’t find her here no more,” she said. “She’s been terminated, and she won’t be back, they’re selling their house and everything. She had a baby, and it didn’t belong to her husband, and that’s for sure. It’s an embarrassment. Embarrassing to her, embarrassing to the husband, although he’s no prize, and an embarrassment for the church too. Imagine, everybody coming from all over for the birth, the grandparents, the family and friends, only to find out she had a black baby! I’d like to be a fly on the wall for that scene. And they fired that assistant pastor too, and it’s a good thing. He was a no-good, was messing around with a couple other young white girls in the church too. Hopefully they don’t end up with black babies too.”
Lonnie couldn’t believe what he was he was hearing. She kept on, but after a point it all went in one ear and out the other. He left the store in a daze. He sat in his car for a long while, thinking. How long was she seeing the preacher? When did it start, how long did it go on? He didn’t notice anything different about her until the very end. How did he not pick up on something? Was he so focused their sex on the beach that he missed all the clues? Or was she so focused on their sex because she was trying to block out the preacher, and felt even guiltier because she was cheating on the guy she was already cheating with?
Lonnie had a strange feeling, and he couldn’t control it. After all the months of thinking about Claire and the turmoil she was going through, of despising her husband, of being on edge, of not liking the way their relationship had ended, and of hoping he wasn’t the father of her baby, now, and he could hardly believe it, he wished he was.
He couldn’t concentrate on his work, so he drove around aimlessly for a while. He drove by Claire’s house–or to be more accurate, former house–and sure enough there was a for-sale sign out front. The place was abandoned, but was a nice house, a one-story stucco with a red tile roof, a well-trimmed lawn and hedges along the front and what looked to be a pool cage in the back.
Lonnie still couldn’t get her out of his head. His stomach ached, he couldn’t eat, he jerked off at night.
He called Morris at the church and left a voicemail asking him to please call back, it was about the contract the church had with his company. He really wanted to find out more about Claire, but the message did its job and he got a callback.
Morris asked if the bookstore could pull out of the contract. He said the church was in a state of confusion, they didn’t know who was running the store one day to the next, and he had no idea when they’d find a permanent replacement to manage the place. Lonnie told him that would not be a problem. He didn’t care about that. He wanted to know about Claire.
“It’s a shame, it really is, Lonnie,” Morris said. “She’s a fine woman, everybody liked her. Can’t say much for her husband, but she was the cat’s meow. Did a good job at the store, too. Too bad she got hooked up with Reginald. I had a bad feeling about that guy from the get-go.”
“How did that happen?”
“Not for sure, but he got her under his spell somehow, her and a couple other white gals. Must have had a way with the women, I guess. How he juggled them, I have no idea.”
“Do you know where Claire is now?”
“Staying with her parents for a while, as I understand it.”
“Do you have a phone number for her?”
“No, I don’t. I just have an address. It’s to send her her… uh, to forward any mail she might get at the church.”
“Could I have the address? I’d like to touch base with her. I dealt with her for nearly three years, and then bingo, she was gone. I’d like to talk to her, say hi, at least.”
“Well, I’m not supposed to do that. But under the circumstances, I think it would be alright. I don’t have it right now, I’m at my real job. I have it at my office at the church. I’ll email it to you.”
“Thank you, Morris, that’s very kind of you. Since I heard about what happened, I’ve thought about what that poor lady has been going through.”
“I know what you mean,” Morris said. “Give her my best when you talk to her.”
Yeah right, Lonnie thought, as they ended the call.
Lonnie was running down the beach toward their secret spot. As he approached he saw his lover Claire, lying on her beach towels, naked. She was beckoning to him, and he picked up his pace. When he got close he slowed to a walk and noticed that her suntan was darker and richer than ever, a more striking contrast to her beach blonde hair. Then he stood in front of her, looked down at her exquisite body, and saw that it wasn’t her suntan at all. Claire was black.
“Come on, Honey,” she said, reaching for his shorts. “Take these off and make love to me before high tide. It’s rolling in now and soon we’ll be under water.”
She pulled down his shorts and he was instantly on the blanket beside her, kissing her. He felt her tongue slither in his mouth, and her black hand wrapped around his burgeoning cock. He was soon kissing her neck, her shoulders, her swelled breasts, and finally her shaved black twat.
“Ooh yes, baby, that’s it. Eat my pussy. Then you can fuck it. Uh huh. Uh huh, that’s it baby. Eat that black pussy.”
Lonnie was licking and eating and sucking her cunt, her lips, and her clit, which was as plump as an overcooked okra. She was pink on the inside, contrasting her dark skin, which seemed to make him dive into it with extra gusto. The cold salt water was rising on the beach, he now could feel it on his feet.
His dick was big and hard, and he rubbed it against the towel as he tongue-fucked her. It didn’t take long. Her twat was like an oozing, juicy fruit.
“Here I come, Baby,” she barked at him.
She came on his face with a feral force, and he tasted her slimy zest, her throbbing torso was a moving target.
The seawater reached the towels, each wave washing over their ankles before it ebbed.
“Fuck me, Baby. Put your white cock in my black pussy. I want your sperm inside me, so I can have your baby. A white baby, or half-white baby. I don’t care what my husband thinks, or what anybody else thinks, or if the baby looks different, give me your white seed…”
Claire’s body was writhing, back and forth, up and down, and Lonnie’s cock was following her pussy around as best it could, but she wouldn’t hold still long enough for him to be able to put it in. A small wave washed over their thighs.
“Put your cock in me!” she said, with raised voice. “Give me your white cock NOW!”
He lunged at her pussy one more time and missed, and he ejaculated into thin air, multiple shots of his cum landing on her legs, the towel, and the receding surf.
Then Lonnie lost it, her image was gone. He woke up in a sweat, not sure where he was for a moment. Then he recognized his bedroom. The clock on his nightstand read 3:31 a.m. What a crazy dream, he thought, what a deep sleep. He didn’t dream that often, and when he did it was usually superficial and he knew he was dreaming, but not this time. It all seemed so real. Scary real. He felt wetness down below. He reached into his boxers and they were soaked with his cum.
Lonnie stared at the ceiling, thinking about two things he had to do. One, he needed to go the bathroom and clean himself up. And two, he had to find her.
Over the next week or so, Lonnie learned a few interesting tidbits.
The first one was was about Claire’s husband. It was in the news. He was fired by the school system. The coach was pissed off at halftime of a big rivalry game. They were behind by two touchdowns at home, and he decided to curse out his team and slap around one of his players who had screwed up an assignment on one of the scores. It was all caught on the camera of somebody’s cell phone. He was remorseful and apologetic, and blamed it on the stress he was under with his impending divorce, but it didn’t hold much water. He was toast.
The second was about the assistant pastor. Lonnie had a friend he had grown up with who worked for a security firm. His name was Mike. He asked him for some help looking into this now-gone assistant pastor. Mike discovered that good old Reginald had a pretty wicked background.
“This guy’s a real piece of work, Lonnie,” Mike said. “He’s never been busted, just a couple complaints and one sexual harassment accusation that didn’t stick. This is at least the third church, that I could find, in three different states, where he’s left under a cloud. And of course the churches all keep everything hush-hush. Always the same, sex with white women, eight that we know of, and at least two were impregnated, and there could be others because a couple of them dropped out of sight. But he said they all were consensual, and it couldn’t be proven otherwise. Some of the women wouldn’t talk, and the ones that did couldn’t remember things. He’d sweet-talk them, get them into his office, supposedly to help him with church stuff, they’d have a glass of wine, next thing you know he’s seducing them, touching them, and then they’re having sex. Maybe drugged them. Smooth, slippery guy, all in the name of God. He’s probably in another state applying for minister jobs as we speak.”
Lonnie was flabbergasted at the news. “Wow, that’s incredible, Mike. Thank you for that. Send me the bill and I’ll happily pay it.”
“Nah, forget it, happy to help. It didn’t take up that much time, and it was fun. This guy Reginald is a bad apple. Good thing he’s not an ax murderer.”
It was a warm, clear Thursday, and Lonnie blew off work for the afternoon. Morris had emailed him the address as promised, and Lonnie was going to go a-calling. Claire’s parents lived in an upscale, gated community, about fifteen miles west of town. Horse country.
Lonnie didn’t have the gate code so he had to hang around close by until another vehicle entered, and he followed it through the gate. It took him a while to find the address, the lanes wound around and through the trees, circled here and dead-ended there, but when found the place he was quite impressed. It was a large brick Colonial, with a three car garage and two pillars out front, sitting up on a rise and covered by a canopy of oak.
He parked on the street, walked up to the front door and rang the bell. The door soon opened and he was greeted by an attractive woman, perhaps in her mid-fifties, slim with short, grayish blonde hair and dressed in jeans.
“Hi, my name is Lonnie,” he said. “I’m sorry to drop by unexpectedly. I’m a friend of Claire’s. I was told that she was staying here with you, and…”
“You’re a friend of Claire’s?”
“What kind of friend?”
“I used to call on her at the bookstore. Then she was gone, and then after a while they said she wasn’t coming back. I was concerned about her, and they had this address…”
“You’re concerned about her?”
“Yes, Ma’am. I know it’s strange to knock on your door clear out of the blue like this…”
“Wait here,” she said, and closed the door. A couple minutes later the door reopened. She said, “Take the path around to the back of the garage. She’s in the guesthouse.”
Claire was waiting at the door when he turned the corner behind the garage. She was a beautiful site for his suddenly watery eyes. She wore white cotton shorts and a yellow, short-sleeved top, was barefoot, and of course, tanned. Her hair was longer, and tied back. She looked thinner, especially in her face. She seemed surprised, and gave him her shy smile, even if it did look a little tired. Lonnie didn’t know exactly what to say, so he hugged her. She was stiff at first, but soon her body relaxed and he felt her arms curl around him. He held her for a long, frozen moment.
She led him inside. There was a living area and a small eat-in kitchen. A hallway led to what he presumed was the bathroom and bedroom. They sat in chairs in front of a large window facing the oaks.
“How did you find me?” Claire asked.
“Morris gave me the address. He said he wasn’t supposed to, but he did. I charmed him into it.”
Claire smiled. “You always were a charmer. Charmed me, that’s for sure.”
“I think the charms went both ways with us.”
“So, what brings you way out here to the country? I didn’t think you’d ever want to see me again.”
“Why would you think that?”
“Because I figured you thought I was some kind of whore. That’s what most people think.”
“Oh no, no, no, Claire, don’t think that, I don’t think that. I don’t think that at all, please believe that.” Lonnie licked his lips and slid his butt forward on his chair. “I was surprised at first, probably in shock, because you stood me up on the beach that day, and then told me you were pregnant and we couldn’t see each other anymore. I was twisting in the wind for months, hoping I wasn’t the father, hoping your husband was, just so it wouldn’t make your life miserable. But then when I finally found out, long after, that your husband was not the father, but somebody else was, I, uh…”
Lonnie’s shoulders sagged, he looked down at the floor.
He raised his head, looked her in the eye. “I wished your baby was mine.”
Claire stood up, looked out the window at the hanging strands of Spanish moss wiggling in the breeze. She turned to face him.
“Really?” she asked, incredulously.
“Yes, really,” he said. “I didn’t look you up and drive out here to annoy your mother and lie to you.”
“Huh,” she said as she sat back down. “Don’t worry about Mom, she’s just being protective. She must have sensed something good about you or she would have sent you packing.”
They both chuckled. Claire asked Lonnie if he would like some iced tea. He accepted, assuming that was a good sign. She left, came back with two tall tumblers and placed them on the table between them, and sat down.
“I’ve missed you,” Lonnie said, after sipping his tea.
“I’ve missed you, too,” she said. “It was nice of you to come. Very unexpected, but very nice.”
“So, tell me. Despite all that you’ve been through, how are you really doing?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Okay, I guess. Just taking it a day at a time. Learning a lot of new things. How to be a mother, how to be a divorcee, how to forgive myself for being so stupid…”
“Claire, look,” Lonnie said, “You have to give yourself a break. I have a friend who is a detective and he did a little research on that pastor. Reginald is not a good man. He found two other churches in two other states where he did the same thing, used God and the church to seduce and manipulate attractive young white women, and he got run out of town from all of them. And you’re not the only one who got pregnant. The guy is smooth, I could tell that when I met him, he knows how to say all the right things. But he is a sleazeball. He’s a predator, and you were one of his victims. My friend said he thought the guy probably drugged the women somehow too.”
“Really?” Claire said softly. “Hmm.”
“I’ve thought about that,” she said. “I didn’t say anything because I thought it would just sound like an excuse.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, I couldn’t remember things. He took an interest in the store, and then asked me to help him with some things after church on Sundays. I said okay, because my husband always played golf on Sunday afternoons anyway.”
“Help you with what things?”
“Choosing materials for the study groups, stuff like that. That was kind of vague, I guess now we know why. But I was flattered that he took my position seriously and wanted my input. I’d go to his office, we’d have wine. He always had wine ready. He came on to me. I still can’t believe I put myself in that position, but I responded to it, let it happen. I remember nodding out a couple times, would wake up on the couch in his office. He must have given me something. He was very anti-birth control too, fanatically so. He asked me to bring my birth control pills with me once. He washed them down the drain, said I didn’t need them. I was shocked. He said, ‘It’s God’s will, throw away the pill’.” Can you believe that?”
Lonnie shook his head. “I’m sorry you had to go through that. At least it’s over now, and you can heal, recover.”
“Yeah. That explains why the church is paying me a lot of money. They don’t want me to sue them.”
“Well, there you go. So stop beating yourself up. Think of positive things. Like this house here, it’s a nice place to live in.”
“I’m lucky in that way, yes. This guesthouse is rarely used, so my parents said I could move in. Not easy being so close, but it’s just temporary. Till I figure out was comes next. I guess you heard about my husband.”
“Yes. The consensus around town is that is couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”
Claire just nodded, shrugged, and they sat in silence for a moment. Then the sound of a baby crying came from a back room.
She looked at Lonnie, and said: “Want to meet Oliver?”
“Sure. I’d love to meet Oliver.”
He followed her into the bedroom, and over to the crib by the window. He looked down at the baby. His dark skin, curly black hair, wide nose.
“Cute little guy,” Lonnie said. “He’s got my ears.”
Claire laughed, and put her hand on his shoulder as she did so. It was the first time they’d touched since their initial hug when Lonnie arrived.
“You are funny,” she said. “Want to hold him?”
“I’m not sure I know how.”
“Oh, sure you do.” She picked up Oliver and handed him to Lonnie. “Here, like this.”
He held Oliver daintily in his arms for a minute. The baby went from fussing to smiling.
“He likes you,” Claire said. “But I have to change his diaper. I’ll just be a minute.”
Lonnie went back to the living room, sat down and drank the rest of his tea. Claire returned with Oliver and his bottle. She sat down to feed him. The phone rang.
“Do you mind?” she said, handing the baby to Lonnie. He fed the baby while she answered the phone.
“Hello, Mom…Yes, everything is fine…I know…We’ve been talking…It’s okay, Mom…Okay, bye.”
“Dear old Mom,” Claire said, taking the baby back. “Looking out for her only daughter.”
“That’s what good moms do.” He looked at his watch. He was surprised to see that they’d been talking for nearly two hours. He rose. “Well, it’s probably time I got going.”
“Lonnie, you don’t have to. My mom is just cautious and overprotective.”
“No, it’s okay, I understand. I came here unexpectedly, and I appreciate that she let me see you. And I appreciate this time we had together, and the opportunity to see you again.”
They walked to the door.
“May I ask you one question before I go?” Lonnie said.
“Of course,” Claire said, half happy and half scared.
“Would you like to have dinner with me sometime?”
Her eyes widened, her lips pursed. “Really? Yes, I’d love to. When?”
“How about Monday? That always was our day.”
Claire smiled, said, “I think that’s perfect.”
“Can you get a sitter?”
“I think Mom would jump at the chance. She wants to protect me, but she wants me to get out more, too.”
“Good. I’ll pick you up at six. I know a nice, funky little place on the river, far from town.”
“Sounds just right,” she said, with a sigh.
“Good. I’ll see you then.” He leaned in and kissed Claire on her cheek, then kissed Oliver on his forehead. “Looking forward to it.”
He went out the door and walked to his car, half giddy. He meandered through the maze of the neighborhood until he found the gate. He hit the highway and headed home.
He felt like a schoolboy on prom night, floating on air. As he drove home, his mind was only partly on driving. It was mostly on Claire. He thought about how they met, and how well they worked together, and how she shared her secret with him, and how they met on the beach on Mondays. And how many times they’d kissed and licked and sucked and fucked and held each other. And now finally, after all of that, come Monday they would be going out on their first date.