An Unforgettable Melody - Chapter 7

An Unforgettable Melody - Chapter 7

An Unforgettable Melody Ch. 07

Mike awoke the next morning, Melody still cradled in his arms.  Brushing her gorgeous red hair, he kissed her forehead.  She began to stir, kissing his bare chest and cuddling as close to him as she was able to.

“Sleep ok?” Mike asked.

“Mmm hmm.  I always do when your arms are around me,” she mumbled.

Smiling, he drew her in for a slow, loving kiss.  “I’m gonna go check on Darcy,” Mike said as they parted.  “Is she ok?”

Melody nodded, sliding out of bed with Mike.  “After your wish to improve her dream, she’s doing much better.  I think she took your car to go get us some breakfast.”

Mike put on his gym shorts and an Auburn T-shirt, while Melody slipped on her robe and a pair of black panties.  Mike shook his head in mock disapproval at her use of underwear.  Sticking her tongue out at him, Melody reminded him they have a guest and that it would be considered rude to flash her like that.  As the couple entered the living area, sure enough, Darcy stood at the table with a bag from Einstein Bros.

“Morning, lovebirds!” she greeted them.

“Someone’s looking chipper this morning,” Melody said with a giggle.

“I tell you what, your sofa is magic. Soooooo comfortable… I slept great.” Pulling food out of the bag, she continued, “I got a plain bagel and a cinnamon bagel.  Wasn’t sure which you would want, Melody, but I know Mike likes both of them so pick whichever you like.”

Thinking for a moment, Melody decided on half of each of them, and put butter on the cinnamon one and cream cheese on the plain one.  Mike opted for butter on both of his, while Darcy had already dug into her poppy seed bagel with cream cheese.  Eating their breakfast in relative silence, Mike was quite relieved to see that his wish had helped give Darcy her confidence back.

Breaking the silence, Darcy said, “Oh!  You’ll love this.  Stephen texted me late last night, gave me the same bullshit he always has.  Check out my response.”

Reading the text exchange, Melody yelped in amusement at Darcy’s pointed reply.

“Atta girl,” Mike said.

Smiling with pride, Darcy continued, “I’ve already deleted his contact info and blocked his number from my phone.”

“Are you worried he might try to contact you in person again?” Melody asked.

With a wicked grin on her face, Darcy replied, “I had a thought about that.  Mike, I know you’re great at researching consumer deals.  You helped me find my computer last year, after all.  Think you can help me find a great deal on pepper spray and a Taser?”

His eyes widening at her question, he replied, “Welp, the old Darcy’s back.”

As the group erupted in laughter, they finished their breakfast and threw away their trash before heading out to Mike’s car.  Heading back to the restaurant, Darcy rode in the backseat while Mike drove.

“You know,” came Darcy’s voice, “you’re a horrible son, Mike.”

“The hell does that mean?”

Giggling, Darcy shot back, “You haven’t told your parents about your new job or your new girlfriend, have you?”

Stewing as she called him out, he replied, “Give me a break.  I’ve been in the zone all week, and Melody will meet them at the right time.”  As much as he hated admitting it to himself, she was right.  His folks would want to meet her.

Pulling into the Taco Mac parking lot, Darcy said, “Well, you better get on that, or I’ll do it for ya!”

She slid out of the car and headed to her own.  Mike called after her, “You’re an evil, sadistic girl, Darcy White!”

“You love every second of it!” she fired back, sticking her tongue out at him.

“Bye Darcy!  Let’s get together again soon!” Melody waved at her.  Another cheerful grin out the window of her car, and Darcy was headed for home.

As they rode back, Melody asked with hesitation, “So, did you want me to meet your parents?”

Thinking for a few moments, Mike replied, “They’ll want to meet you sometime, and with the successful audition, now’s probably as good a time as any. Why? You nervous?”

“Me?  Nervous?” she asked, incredulous.  “I am an all powerful sex genie, master of all matters of love!  You really think I could be made nervous by meeting my Master’s family?”

“Well, you might not be, but your shaking hands sure are,” Mike replied with his smartass grin.

Holding her hands in her lap to try to steady them, she replied, “Fine, fine, I guess I am nervous.  But I don’t know why…”

Mike replied, “Remember, in today’s world, relationships are often helped or hindered by the relationship between a girl and her partner’s mother, kind of like that of a guy and his partner’s father.  Your nerves are coming into play due to my wish for you to be an equal partner and a modern woman.  Gaining parental approval has always been a rite of passage for both parties in a relationship.  I know that’s not really fair in this situation, since you don’t have a father for me to meet, but trust me when I say that as long as you remain your normal, confident self, they’ll love you.  They don’t want or need to hear about the sexual aspects of our relationship, but you probably knew that.”

“True,” she said, giggling.  “Do you think they would disapprove of us living together?  I know in some traditions that’s frowned upon before marriage.”

Thinking for a second, he answered, “I don’t see a need to tell them unless they ask.  If they ask, they probably already know the answer.  If they don’t ask, they don’t want to know.  But either way, I doubt they’d give us any grief.  Remember, Mom’s a preacher’s kid.  She and her siblings were always watched and closely scrutinized throughout their childhood.  They didn’t even have to be doing anything wrong; it was just because their dad was the preacher.  Mom has always said that, as long as I’m an adult and not doing anything self-destructive, I won’t ever have to worry about her riding my ass for my choices.”

“That’s comforting.  What about your dad?”

“Be honest.  Are you worried that Dad won’t like you?” he asked with a laugh.

“No, I’m really not.  Good point.”

Arriving back home, the pair went to shower together.  There were, of course, the standard orgasms that came with the territory, but Melody also watched as Mike shaved his face.  She had never really paid attention to this aspect of his morning routine, but found it quite sexy and masculine.  In particular, she adored the results, running her hands and lips all over his smooth face and neck.  Deciding to prove to her exactly how smooth he was, he knelt down in front of her, kissing her legs and stomach before eating her pussy.

As they finished cleaning up and dried off together, Mike combed his hair and slipped back into his gym shorts and T-shirt.  Seeing that it was now past ten, he decided now was as good a time as any to call his parents.  He picked up his phone and dialed, pacing the room as he talked while Melody relaxed on the bed.

“Hey, Mom, it’s Mike… I’m good… I wanted to call to let you know how yesterday went… yes I know the results already,” he feigned a sullen voice before telling her the news.  “Well, Maestro found me afterward, and said that the decision was really easy… I got the job.”

Melody was amused at the screaming she could hear through the phone, and it wasn’t even on speakerphone.

“Dinner tonight?  Yeah, Cheesecake Factory sounds awesome… 6:30 works, but you’ll want to make the reservations for four… yes, I am bringing someone with me… my new girlfriend… no, not Darcy!” he shook his head in exasperation. “…Ok Mom, we’ll see you tonight.”

Hanging up the phone, he turned to Melody and said, “Here we go.”

Giggling, she couldn’t help but tweak him a bit.  “She’s right, you know.  You and Darcy would’ve made a cute couple.”

“On paper, maybe so.  But she means more to me than that.  I’m an only child, but she’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to a sister,” Mike explained.

“She appreciates that,” Melody agreed.  “I’m just glad we were able to repair her confidence before it shattered altogether.”

“Shattered?” Mike asked, slightly alarmed.  “You’re saying she could have been damaged beyond repair after last night if we hadn’t changed her dream?”

“Maybe not beyond repair, but close,” Melody answered.  “She was in a fragile state of mind after coming home last night, a mental crossroads, of sorts.  Either she continues to blame herself for what happened and could have happened, or she accepts that Stephen made his choices to do the things he did and moves on.”

Almost afraid to ask, Mike swallowed hard.  “So, what would have happened to her long term in the former scenario?”

Frowning, Melody replied, “Most likely, she would have been unable to have a normal relationship for a long time with anyone, even a theoretical one with you.  The few relationships she would be able to have would have turned abusive, which would’ve only pushed her farther down the path of blaming herself.  I believe your modern world refers to this as ‘battered wife’s syndrome’?”

“But she is able to have normal relationships now, right?”

“Yep.  Just get her that pepper spray and Taser and she’ll be good to go,” Melody said with a laugh.

Mike chuckled.  “That’s a relief.  So how do we help her move forward?  How soon would be long enough for her to start looking for a real relationship?”

“Right away, I think.  She’s done with Stephen and loves being friends with the two of us.  Seeing our relationship has given her confidence that such a bond can and does exist, and she’s now determined to find it for herself.”

“She always has been tough,” Mike mused.  “Does she know anyone who would fit the bill?  Someone that we might be able to nudge her towards?”

“Let me see…” Melody closed her eyes in concentration.  “There is Stuart, your tuba friend.  He’s had a secret crush on Darcy for quite some time, but she’s never been single at the right time.  He also figured she would want you over him any day, though my existence might convince him otherwise.”

Considering this possibility, Mike smiled.  For all his quirks, and the fact that tuba players were essentially frat boys that never grow up, Stuart was a good guy deep down.  In one instance, a mutual friend of theirs was bragging to Stuart and Mike on the college band bus about how he was so over his girlfriend, but was waiting until after Spring Break to end it.  In his words, he wanted one last week of solid banging to remember her by.  Stuart lit into him, calling him a pussy and not a real man.  He reminded this guy of how much guys hate it when girls play mind games and don’t say what they really want, and that he’d be no better than those girls by doing what he was talking about.  That exchange told Mike everything he needed to know about Stuart as a person.

“Stuart… would be good to her.  And good for her,” Mike replied.

“Great!  I assume you still don’t want to use any magic to get them together?”

“Correct,” Mike said.  “First, we’ll introduce you to my other friends in the ASO, Stuart included.  That’ll get him thinking that he doesn’t have to worry about me as competition.  Would confidence be an issue for him?”

“Maybe a little, but I doubt it would hold him back once he knows you’re no longer single,” said Melody.

“Ok, cool.  Now what about Darcy?  Would she be interested in him?”

“At this point, he’s not on her radar, though that would change under the right circumstances,” Melody speculated.  “For example, if she sees him interacting with me in the same way that you do, playful yet respectful, I bet she would start to feel a strong attraction for him.”

“Nice.  That’ll also be a good angle for me to convince him to ask Darcy out.  You two have become good friends in a hurry, and girls love guys that treat their girlfriends well,” Mike continued.

“If our careers turn south, we could always go into matchmaking,” Melody said with a laugh.

Picking his phone, Mike sent a group text message to Darcy, Seth, and Stuart asking them over Sunday evening.  The text said he wanted to feed them and play some video games with them as thanks for their help in his audition preparation, though the true purpose was to introduce the guys to Melody.

This might give Stuart the kick in the ass he needs to ask Darcy out.

As he finished sending the message, Melody’s voice came from the bed behind him.

“Mike…”

Turning, he was speechless at what he saw.  Melody was kneeling up tall on the bed, suddenly dressed in some of the most eye-popping lingerie Mike had ever seen.  Her torso was enveloped in a tight, black corset, which caused her amazing tits to almost defy gravity.  The corset itself blended seamlessly with her lacy black panties, and accentuated her beautiful milky white skin.  Garters extended from the bottom of the corset and down her toned legs, connecting to a set of long, soft stockings.  A pair of shiny black pumps completed her outfit. Melody kneeled near the edge of their bed, keeping her hands behind her back and subtly thrusting her chest out.

With an innocent look on her face, she said, “You were so sweet yesterday.  Fighting off that disgusting man, taking such good care of me.  You were quite the hero.  But you never received your… hero’s reward.”

As he approached her, she ran her hands down his chest before slipping his T-shirt up and over his head.  Caressing his chest and clean-shaven neck, she kissed his cheek before whispering in his ear.

“My hero…”

He wrapped his arms around her, kissing her lips with passion.  She returned the kiss with reckless abandon, running her hands through his fine, blonde hair, causing him to moan in pleasure.  Parting her lips from his, she began to kiss her way down his neck and chest, slowly approaching his pelvic region.  Looking up at him with lust and desire in her emerald eyes, she slipped her fingers into the waistband of his gym shorts and slid them to the floor.

With his hardened cock now pointing directly at her, she gave a wicked grin and began to stroke it as he stood by the bed.  After kissing his tip, she then moved to the base and licked the entire length of his shaft.  As she reached the tip, she started back down his cock, taking him into her mouth as she did so.  Mike marveled as she worked him with as much skill as she had in the first blowjob she had ever given him.  His new larger size didn’t hinder her for even a moment. She swirled her tongue around him as she continued to engulf him into her mouth, arriving at last at the base of his cock and beginning to deep throat him.

The sensations were unbelievable for Mike; no girl had ever done this to him before.  The back of Melody’s throat contracted around him, squeezing the head of his cock as she held him there.  He was worried for a moment that he might choke her, but soon remembered that nothing bad would happen to her if he didn’t want it to.  She began to suck and bob her head at a steady pace, keeping her tongue planted on the underside of his shaft.  An occasional swirl as she approached his head, and Mike was already nearing climax.  Trying his best to warn her, she was undeterred, reaching around to grab his ass cheeks as she accelerated, fucking him with her mouth for all intents and purposes.  Nearing the point of no return, Mike leaned over, steadying himself with his hands on Melody’s back, and exploded at long last, spraying his hot load of cum down her throat with a growl of ecstasy.

Drinking his seed with glee, she looked up at him with her incredible eyes and sucked him from base to tip one last time, releasing his cock from her lips with a slight pop.  As he heaved and panted, she came back up to her knees and cradled his drooping head in her arms.

“I hope you’re not done with me.”

“Not… even… close,” he managed.  “Recharge me, please.”

Tingle.  Flash.

Once more horny and pulsing with energy, he pushed Melody onto her back as she squealed with excitement, crawling over her to kiss her.  Though his romantic, loving tendencies were her favorite part of their lovemaking, she also loved when he decided to take control.  Slipping her arms below her waist as they made out, she again began to stroke his saliva-coated cock with her hand. This produced the exact reaction she desired, with him beginning to kiss her neck before working his way down to the exposed tops of her incredible cleavage.  As he explored her new outfit, she continued to egg him on.

“It’s all yours… I’m all yours… everything that disgusting son-of-a-bitch will never get to do to me… you can do to me… all… you… want…”

Mike’s explorations lingered around her breasts for some time before traveling lower, making his way to her lower body.  He caressed one of her stocking-covered legs, kissing his way up her exposed skin above the knee.  After repeating the process with her other leg, he finally arrived at her panties.  Though he was formulating a smooth way to yank them off of her, he realized that wouldn’t be necessary.

“Crotchless panties?  You bad girl…” he marveled.

Giggling, she purred, “Thought you might like that.”

“More like love it,” he replied, slipping his finger into her moist slit.  “It’s the perfect combination of convenience and kinky.”

As he fucked her with his finger, curling it up to massage her G-spot, he reached his left hand up to fondle her heaving tits.  But before he could grab them, Melody grabbed his wrist and began sucking on his middle finger.  This new sensation caused his cock to twitch, and he couldn’t wait even a second longer; he had to be inside of her.

Standing up at the edge of the bed, he grabbed her legs with playful force and dragged her to him, impaling her on his cock as he did so.  She was already soaking wet from his fingering, and she gasped with widened eyes as she felt his cock fill her completely up.  He began to pump her at a moderate pace, angling his thrusts upward to continue hitting her sensitive G-spot.  As he fucked her, she couldn’t help but fondle herself, groping her own breast with her right hand and using her left to play with her clit.  Before long, the combination of the three sensations brought her to a small, yet highly pleasurable orgasm.

Feeling her seeping juices and contracting pussy only spurred Mike further, as he assumed a power stance and increased the speed of his thrusts.  Straightening her right leg against his chest, he wrapped his left arm around it while reaching forward with his other hand to take one of her tits in his grasp.  His fervor only increased Melody’s enjoyment.  Her eyes rolled back into her head, and she kept a tight grip on the sheets, moaning all the while.

“Oh, god… so good… he’s so strong… he is her hero, after all… he saved her… he should do… whatever he wishes… he must take her… he must make her his… he… must… CUUUUUMMMMMMM!!!”

Her moans of pleasure, combined with the stunning visual of her lingerie-covered body, were too much for Mike to withstand.  Working to time his climax with her role-play, he finally erupted inside of her, spewing his seed into her womb as she squirmed and writhed underneath him.  Leaning his torso over her, he slid his hand up to softly caress her cheek.  She sat up slowly, keeping his softening cock inside of her, smiling as she leaned in for a slow, sweet kiss.

“You like coming up with your little role-plays,” Mike said with a smile.

“And you don’t?” she shot back.

As they basked in their mutual afterglow, Mike’s phone beeped from within his shorts, now strewn on the floor.  Melody gave a pitiful whimper as he slipped his flaccid cock out of her to retrieve it.  Reading his phone, Stuart, Seth, and Darcy had responded to his invite for the next night.

“Stuart and Darcy are in for tomorrow, but Seth’s got plans with his girlfriend.  I told him no problem, I’ll buy him lunch this week,” Mike said.

With a wicked smile, Melody replied, “That works perfectly, gives us a prime opportunity to nudge them toward each other.”

Dressing themselves once again, the couple drove to a nearby Wendy’s for lunch.  After consuming a couple of cheeseburgers, they headed to the grocery store for a much-needed resupply of food.  Beginning to wander the aisles, Melody was darting every which way, examining everything she could.  Amused to no end, Mike hadn’t seen her this excitable since she first set foot outside their apartment.  Checking coupons on his phone, Mike picked up several TV dinners, frozen lasagnas, and a bag of chicken patties from the freezer aisle before heading to the deli counter.

Waiting for their number to be called, Melody wandered around the counter, looking at each of the different kinds of meat offered.  She pointed to two that sounded particularly good: baked turkey and honey roasted ham; they ordered a half-pound of each.  Moving to the bakery area right next to the deli, Mike felt a treat was in order for winning his audition, and grabbed some sugar cookies as well as a box of mini doughnuts for breakfast that week.  After picking up milk, bread, and, at Melody’s excited request, a box of Lucky Charms, they made their way to the front to check out.  While Mike loaded their food onto the conveyer belt in the check out line, Melody flipped through a few magazines on the rack, landing on People and Entertainment Weekly.

“You know those are complete trash, right?” Mike warned her.

“What, you mean reading about the lives of people famous just for being beautiful and promiscuous?” she shot back.

“Yep, there it is.  Do you hear it?” Mike asked, placing his hand to his ear.  “It’s the sound your brain cells, screaming in agony as they’re killed off!”

Giggling, she retorted, “True, but it does pose the question.  What other kinds of magazines do they sell here?”  A naughty smile spread across her face.

“If that’s what you want, better ask Stuart tomorrow,” Mike replied, recalling his distraction efforts from earlier in the week.  “I bet he’s an expert in where to find Playboy and Penthouse magazines.”

After finishing their check out, the pair headed home and began sorting the groceries into the fridge, freezer, and cabinets.  While Melody handed items to Mike from the bags, he placed them in their proper locations for storage.  Once they finished, the couple spent the next couple of hours online in Call of Duty.

As the time neared 5:30, they powered off Mike’s PlayStation to get ready for dinner with his parents.  As it was clear she was nervous and wanting to make a good impression, Melody chose to forgo her usual look of natural beauty, opting for some light mascara and lip-gloss.  Deciding on her attire, though, was a much more difficult decision for her.  She flipped through several different outfit combinations at rapid pace before finally deciding on a black T-shirt blouse with a pair of blue jean Bermuda shorts.  Her black headband and red sneakers completed the ensemble.  As she finished, she turned to Mike for his approval, and he nodded with a smile.  He could tell that she wanted to dress a bit more conservatively for meeting his parents for the first time, with the length of her shorts and higher collar on her shirt, though she was still stunning as always. After Mike donned a pair of khaki shorts and an orange Auburn polo shirt, they were off.  Driving to the restaurant, Melody fidgeted with her hands, clearly bit of a nervous wreck.  Mike gently rubbed her knee to reassure her.

“Relax.  I’m wild about you, so they’ll love you too.  One tip: be your normal, confident self.  They like girls that are strong and self-assured.”

“Ok.  I can do that,” she replied to herself.

As they walked up to the entrance of the Cheesecake Factory, Mike’s parents waved to them from inside the waiting area.  Both in their mid-fifties, his mom, Jane, was quite short, standing only about 5’2” with light brown hair ending below her jawline.  Brad, his dad, was right about Mike’s height, or perhaps a half-inch shorter.  Melody could tell right away their facial features were almost identical; Mike was no doubt his father’s son.  But his hair was medium-to-dark brown, with longer sideburns than Mike had.  Both of his parents wore thin, wire-rimmed glasses, similar to what Mike had worn before his improved eyesight.  As Mike and Melody entered, his folks waved them over to their bench seat where they waited.

“Mom, Dad, I want you to meet Melody, my girlfriend,” Mike said as they approached.

“Hi, Melody Roberts.  Great to meet you,” she greeted them, shaking both of their hands with a firm grip.

“Glad to meet you, too.  I’m Jane, and this is my husband, Brad,” his mom replied.

As the greetings were exchanged, the hostess called their name, indicating their table was ready.  The group was lead to a booth in the back of the restaurant, which was much quieter than the entrance area.  Mike and Melody sat together on one side with Melody on the outer edge of the seat, across from Brad.  After placing their orders, Mike went into their now-familiar story of how they met. Though his parents did not show any sign of disbelief in Melody being an orphan, or her Texan roots, they both got skeptical looks on their faces when Mike mentioned that they had met through online dating.

“Mike, I thought I’ve always told you to stay away from meeting people online.  It’s not safe,” his mom began.

As Melody tried to suppress a panicked look on her face, Mike gently ran his finger on her thigh to calm her nerves.

“Mom, you’re stuck in the past.  Online dating is a normal, mainstream way to meet people nowadays, and it’s completely safe as long as you’re not stupid, which you know I’m not.”

Seeing the firm look in his eye told Jane all she needed to know: he had done his due diligence.  “Well, as long as you’re careful…”

“Melody and I have been seeing each other for, what is it?  A month and a half?  Two months now?” said, turning to Melody.

“Yeah two months is about right,” she replied.

Mike continued, “And she hasn’t stolen my wallet, chloroformed me, or gone all Annie Wilkes yet, so I think I’m in the clear.”

The Misery reference elicited a jovial laugh from the entire table, helping the conversation flow much easier from that moment on.  Melody talked about her background, her success in school that helped her get a scholarship to the University of Houston, and her move to Atlanta to start her photography business, as well as a new life.  This caused Jane’s ears to perk up; though her degree was in math, Jane had a long-standing love affair with photography. Melody showed her some samples from her website on her phone, which Jane flipped through with pleasure.  Each time she asked Melody where a picture was taken, she was able to answer with confidence.  Mike and Brad exchanged knowing looks; they could tell Melody had impressed his mom.

Their food soon arrived, and the conversation became more intermittent, taking place between chewing and comments on how good the food was.  Soon, the talk turned to Mike’s audition and new job.  He first told them of the audition itself and which pieces he had worked up.  Both of his parents were singers, and Jane also played the flute in church, so they were quite familiar with most of the excerpts.  They were also stunned when they learned that Philip Smith had been one of the panelists, and that he had been impressed.

“Like I told Mike while he was preparing, he’s just a man.  Like any other, he can be impressed,” Melody chimed in.

“She was right.  Truth be told, the fire drill I got from Darcy, Stuart, and Seth helped as well,” Mike agreed.

“Seemed to work well for Darcy last year, too,” Jane mused.  “So, what are you two doing tomorrow?  Any plans?”

Mike replied, “Well, we’re going to church together tomorrow morning, then we’ll have Stuart and Darcy over as a thank you for their help in preparing me for yesterday.  I figure the least I can do is feed them.”

“Awesome!  Melody, did you grow up in church?” Mike’s mom asked.

“Sadly, no.  The orphanage I lived in was state-run, and faith was in short supply in general, so it was never at the forefront of my mind.  But in all honesty, that’s one of the biggest things in Mike that I’m attracted to.  He’s grown into such a good, honest, decent person, and his faith was a big part of that, so I figured I should check it out and see for myself.  So far, it’s done wonders for me, and in particular in the self worth department.”

Nodding with approval, Jane replied, “That’s wonderful.  Has Mike told you about my Daddy?  He was a preacher himself.”

“He has talked about him on several occasions,” she said, looking at Mike with a big smile on her face.  “Mike says he was a great man, better than most.  The perfect combination of cut-up and wizened sage, as he describes it.”

“That pretty much sums him up…” Jane replied, remembering him.

As they finished their food, Melody excused herself to use the restroom and freshen up a bit.  After she had left, Jane turned to her son.

“She’s impressive, Mike; very confident.  I like her a lot.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

“Still, please be careful.  I don’t want what happened with Amanda to happen again.”

“I know Mom.  Darcy said the same thing,” Mike replied.  “In all honesty, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.  This is serious.”

“I believe him,” Brad said to Jane, his tone quite serious.  Jane nodded in agreement.

Mike breathed a slight sigh of relief in gaining his parents’ approval.  He never had any real doubt, but it would be sure to ease Melody’s mind.  After she returned from the restroom, Melody and Mike split a piece of original cheesecake at Jane’s insistence, while his parents had a piece of Oreo crunch cheesecake for themselves.  As the time neared 8:00, the couple decided to head home for the evening, and left Mike’s parents with several exchanges of thank you and goodbye.  Beginning the drive home, Melody seemed much more at ease.

“Do you think it went well?” she asked.

“I think so,” Mike replied.  “They like you a lot.  Mom’s description was confident.”

“I’m glad.”

“Well you got her talking on photography!  No way she won’t love you if that’s your profession,” Mike said with a wink.

After arriving home, Melody washed her face and changed into her favorite robe, helping her feel quite refreshed.  Relaxing with Mike on the sofa, they watched a few CSI: Miami reruns, accompanied by plentiful making out.  This soon deteriorated into fondling and jerking, followed by a long, fun session of missionary sex.  Finally spent for the evening, they went to bed around 11:30.

Mike awoke first on Sunday, treating a sleeping Melody to some oral sex in waking her up.  She, in turn, showed her appreciation by giving him a long, soapy handjob in the shower, finishing him off with him cumming on her tits, much to Mike’s delight.  As they got dressed for church, Mike wore a white button up shirt with tan khakis, while Melody opted for a black pencil skirt and a white button up blouse.  After grabbing breakfast at Dunkin’ Doughnuts, they headed for Mike’s church.

This week Melody heard the senior pastor, Dan Black, preach the sermon.  She liked his polished delivery, but still felt a connection to Ashley’s practical, real-world style.  After chatting with Ashley and Trey after the service, the pair headed back to Mike’s car.  On the way, Melody expressed an interest in owning a Bible of her own and wanting to do more reading and research on her own time, rather than just on Sundays.  Smiling at this prospect, Mike stopped at a local bookstore on the way home.  After comparing the wording of several sections in the different versions offered, Melody decided on the Common English edition, to which Mike gave his personal seal of approval.  After a quick lunch at Arby’s, they made their way back to their apartment.

As Mike played on his handheld game system, Melody began skimming through her new acquisition.  She was quite familiar with many of the stories in the Old Testament, such as Noah, Moses, and the battle of Jericho.  Mike was impressed with her quick grasp of the historical events described in it, before remembering that her vessel was created somewhere in the Middle East centuries ago.  In those days, such things were an important part of historical lore, regardless of religious affiliation.  Sensing that she wanted to delve further into what made Mike’s faith unique from other world religions, he suggested that she look over several passages in the New Testament, as they describe the events leading up to the formation of the first formal Christian churches.

With Melody now engrossed in her research, Mike’s curiosity was peaked, and he felt a strange urge to examine the locket that he had first released Melody from. Walking back to his bedroom, he pulled the locket out from the drawer of his nightstand, running his finger over it.  It made no movements, and the stone did not glow at all.  He did notice that the markings on the back, which had previously been illuminated when he touched the stone on the front, now appeared as engravings instead.  Before he could ponder what this could mean, he heard Melody’s voice behind him.

“Master?  Is everything alright?”

Taking a sharp breath in at her use of the title of Master, he replied, “Yeah… yeah everything’s fine.  It’s strange, but I just got this urge to check this thing over again.  I haven’t touched it since the day you were born.”

“Ok,” she said, appearing to sigh in relief.  “I’m sorry, I was just worried that you were considering-”

“No way,” he interrupted, standing to move towards her.  “You are the most wonderful thing to ever happen to me.  I would never wish to get rid of you, nor to imprison you back in this thing for any length of time.”

Giving him a sweet kiss, she replied, “I’m glad.”

Studying the locket, Mike asked, “There isn’t any way that keeping this around would result in you returning to your vessel by accident, is there?”

“Not at all.  As the one who released me, you are in complete control of me, as well as my powers and my vessel.  If it is not your wish for me to return to my vessel, I will not, even if I were to hold it in my hand.  As I mentioned before, all its magical qualities seem to have dissipated from it since my release.”

“Good to know,” he replied, sitting back on the bed.  “Still, this is strange.  Look on the back.  The inscription here wasn’t an inscription before I released you; it only appeared when I touched the stone on the front.  What do you think that means?”

Examining the locket, Melody responded, “I’m not sure.  I can’t speak to the specific nature of the vessel.”

“So, what did you experience while you were inside of it?”

“Well, in truth, I was not inside the locket,” she explained.  “The locket is merely the doorway to my actual vessel.  Think of it as a lock, and the puzzle you solved was the key.  My vessel itself is more of a separate dimension.  While in it, I did not perceive anything from the outside world, not even the passage of time.  I just… existed.”

“That’s awful!”

“While it was not an unpleasant experience, I would have no desire to go back, if given the choice, of course.”

“Hmm… So I assume you were created by a Jinn or Genie more powerful than yourself, correct?” Mike inquired.

“Yes, although my knowledge of who that being was seems to be unknown to me.”

“You have no idea who created you?”

“No.  It may fall under the restriction of being unable to detect other magical beings, though I am again unsure,” Melody speculated.

“Well, did you exist before being placed inside the vessel, or were you brought into existence while inside of it?”

She closed her eyes, searching her mind for any sort of answer.  Finally, she said, “I can tell that I was created before being placed in the vessel, yet it seems I am unable to access any memories of my existence before being placed in my vessel.  I can’t say for sure the reason for my lack of knowledge of my past, but it does strike me as odd.”

“Wow.  So you have no idea where you came from… I wonder if the inscription on the locket might hold any clues?” Mike wondered.

Turning to the verse in her new Bible indicated by the inscription, Melody read it a few times, but was unable to find any significance hidden within it.

“Hmm… I’ll file it away for future reference,” she said.  “Still, I don’t think we should dwell on this too much.  I’m focused on the here and now, and I couldn’t be happier with my life and everything the future holds.”

“No arguments there,” Mike agreed, pulling her in for a kiss.

Putting the locket away for the time being, Mike and Melody spent the next couple of hours playing video games.  Mike introduced her to one of his favorite games: the Uncharted series.  Melody quite liked the fun, yet realistic tone of the stories, and was charmed by the memorable characters.  She saw much of Mike’s sarcastic yet lovable personality in Nathan Drake’s character.  Around 5:30, they changed out of their lounging clothes and began to prepare some food for Stuart and Darcy’s arrival.  Mike made some frozen chicken nuggets and mozzarella sticks while Melody cooked some meatballs in spaghetti sauce on the stovetop.  Almost as soon as the food was done, there was a knock at their door.

Stuart and Darcy had arrived almost at the same time; he was walking up the sidewalk right after the door had opened.  Stuart wore his ASO Low Brass T-shirt, complete with the section’s nickname of “Heavy Metal.”  Darcy wore a navy blue tank top, lower cut than was typical for her, along with a pair of tan capris. As Stuart entered, Mike introduced him to Melody, eliciting an inquisitive look from him.  As Stuart extended his hand to shake hers, he flipped his double-jointed fingers back and forth, causing Melody to squeal and laugh in amusement.  A few more exchanged pleasantries, and the group headed to the kitchen to fill their plates with food.

Enjoying their munchies in the living room, Stuart listened to Mike and Melody’s story of how they met.  He turned to Darcy, questioning how she’s not more intrigued by all this, who responded that she met Melody on Friday when she came to pick Mike up.  As the conversation turned to Melody’s photography business, Darcy asked to see her full website, rather than just the samples she had seen on her phone.  The girls grabbed Mike’s laptop and adjourned to the small table near the kitchen, laughing and giggling all the while.

I’m gonna try to plant the seeds of interest for Stuart in Darcy, try to gauge her receptiveness, she thought to Mike.

Sounds good, I’ll work on Stuart’s confidence myself.

As the girls conversed at the table, Mike and Stuart fired up Mario Kart Wii, having played each other before.  They were a pretty even matchup, though Mike’s recent races with Melody ensured that he was in great practice.  As they played, Stuart and Mike chatted quietly.

“Dude, your girlfriend’s something else,” Stuart said.

“Yep, she’s one of a kind,” Mike agreed.

Stuart mused, “Wish I could find someone like that…”

Leaning a bit closer to him, Mike asked, “Who says you can’t?”  He tilted his head towards Darcy.

Snorting, Stuart replied, “You’re crazy man.  I’d never have a shot with her.  She’s way out of my league.”

“I disagree.  She just broke up with her boyfriend who, as we both know, was a total dickhead.  Believe me, she’s over him, ready to move on.  She wants something… real.”

“Ok, that’s all well and good, but I’m not even on her radar,” Stuart protested.

“So?” Mike retorted.  “If you’re not on her radar, all that means is she’s never thought about you in that capacity.  But that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t find you attractive if she were to see you in that light.”

Thinking for a few minutes as they finished their race, Stuart finally asked, “So, how do I get her to see me in that light?”

“Well, you’ve already started the process.  You were your usual, friendly, if weird self in meeting Melody.  Those two have bonded and become good friends, as you can see, and girls love a guy who treats their girlfriends well.”

“Dude, LOOK at her!  It’s impossible not to be nice to her.  She’s not just pretty, her personality is infectious.”

Chuckling to himself, Mike replied, “That’s why I know you two would be great together.  Stephen was with Darcy when the two of us met them for dinner on Friday.  By the end of the night, Stephen was doing everything he could think of to try and steal Melody from me.  He even grabbed her on the dance floor and tried to force her to dance with him.”

Wide-eyed, Stuart asked, “What happened then?”

“Darcy tried to stop him, but he kicked her to the ground, then tried to take a few swings at me when I pulled him off of Melody.  He was too drunk to do anything serious, but still, he showed his true colors.  Just like you’re showing yours.”

“Huh… so you’re sayin’ it’s actually possible for good guys to get the girl?”

“In Darcy’s current mindset?  Hell yes.”

“So where do I go from here?”

“Just ask her out, dude,” Mike said, giving him a playful slap him on the back of the head.

“Just like that?”

“Just like that.  Melody’s in your corner, too.  I, uh, told her about that time on the band bus.  When you lit into that asshole for wanting to wait ‘til after spring break to end things with his girlfriend.”

“You told her about that?”

“Yep.  We were trying to think of good guys to try and steer Darcy towards, and that story stuck out in my mind.  Believe me, Melody’s probably talkin’ you up right now,” Mike said with his smartass grin.

By this time, the girls had migrated to the back bedroom, continuing to bond over Melody’s photography website.  Darcy recommended a few friends of hers for Melody to contact on Facebook as well.  While Melody sent messages to them, Darcy couldn’t resist being her nosey self, exploring their bedroom a bit.  Soon, she came across Melody’s corset and stockings hanging from the door to the walk in closet.

“Nice,” she said with a smirk.

Giggling, Melody replied, “Yeah, a little something I cooked up for Mike.  He’s worked so hard this week, so I figured he deserved a little reward.”

“Wish I could find someone worth all that effort,” Darcy muttered to herself.

Closing the laptop, Melody replied, “You will.  In fact, that someone may be closer than you realize.”

“What do you mean?” Darcy asked, eyeing her.

“Well, what are the most important things you want in a guy?”

“Let me see… honest, decent, respectful, and he has to make me laugh.  Those are all top of the list.”

“So, everything Dickhead wasn’t?” Melody said with a smile.

“Exactly!” Darcy said, erupting into laughter.

Thinking for a moment, Melody said, “I couldn’t help but notice that… Stuart does seem to fit those qualities.”

At first giving her a funny look, Darcy then said, “Huh… I’ve never even thought about Stuart.  Haven’t worked with him a whole lot, to be honest.  He’s in the brass, I’m a woodwind.”

“Mike’s in the brass.”

“Well, yeah, but he and I have been friends for years.”

“And he’s known Stuart since college,” Melody said.  “I’ll be honest with you. Mike and I have been scheming to try and find a good guy to set you up with, and based on his time knowing Stuart, we happen to think he’s a great guy.  I mean he is odd, a bit of an ‘acquired taste’ as Mike puts it, but that’s pretty par for the course with musicians.  And he’s been nothing short of polite and respectful to me tonight, the total opposite of Dickhead.”

“True,” Darcy said, thinking to herself for a few moments.  “Stuart’s also the one who approached us about the fire drill this week.  That shows a lot of loyalty and dedication.  But what if he’s not even into me?”

Melody deadpanned, “You’ve known Mike for years.  Do you really think he would have suggested Stuart if he didn’t know whether he was into you or not?”

Shaking her head in disbelief, Darcy sighed and said,  “Dammit, you two are evil, diabolical, and quite possibly the best friends I could’ve ever asked for.”  After hugging Melody in gratitude, Darcy asked, “So where do I go from here?  I mean I’ve never been the kind of girl to ask guys out myself.  How do I know if he’ll make a move?”

“Mike’s working on his confidence,” Melody assured her, “but even so, you can increase your chances.  Be playful and banter with him like you do with Mike; it won’t take him long to get the hint.”

By this time, the girls were moving back to the living room to rejoin the guys, finding them starting up Super Smash Brothers: Brawl.  With the girls wanting to join in, the group decided to play in teams of two against two.  Darcy volunteered to be on Stuart’s team against Mike and Melody.  The room was soon a mash-up of squeals of excitement, groans of defeat, and explosions coming from the TV speakers.  After half an hour, the tournament was tied at two wins for each team.

“Ok, this is for the championship,” Mike declared.

“Y’all are goin’ down, dude!” came Stuart’s reply.

He was in a great mood, as he and Darcy made a strong team in this game. Additionally, Darcy was sitting closer to him than she otherwise would have, giving him a playful nudge every so often.  As the match began, each player spawned in with two lives.  Mike got off to a strong start, dealing heavy damage to Stuart, but his streak ended when Darcy got off a well-timed projectile shot near the edge, causing him to fall to his doom.  As Stuart and Darcy cheered, they soon felt Melody’s wrath.

“That’s my boyfriend, you BITCH!” she yelled in mock anger, eliciting snorts of laughter from Darcy.

Her laughter was enough to distract her from Melody’s onslaught, sending Darcy to her death as well.  As both Darcy and Mike spawned back in, Mike resumed his attacks on Stuart, bringing him to his first death, while Darcy went straight for Melody, knowing that she was the bigger threat.  Stuart joined her upon respawning, helping Darcy to double-team Melody.  This finally brought Melody to her first death, though she managed to drag Darcy down with her, eliminating her from the match.

“Ah, shit!  Sorry Stuart, you’re on your own,” she said, rubbing his shoulder.

Redoubling his focus, he replied, “I got this.”

Mike attempted to attack him from behind, but Stuart was ready with a quick evade, and gained the upper hand on him.  Melody attempted to jump in and help, but Stuart was able to fend her off for long enough to eliminate Mike from the game.  Now one-on-one, both players with about fifty percent damage, Stuart charged straight at Melody.  She evaded with ease, but still took a light hit in the process.  Changing up her tactics, Melody shifted to an aerial assault, scoring a couple of hits on Stuart before he could counter.  After studying her patterns for a couple of passes, he finally managed to strike back hard, landing the knockout blow on Melody and winning the tournament.

“Ha ha!  YEAH!” Stuart cried, pumping his fist in victory.

Darcy cheered in excitement, jumping up to hug Stuart in her exuberance. Though they separated a bit awkwardly after the sudden physical contact, the duo still shared a quick glance of mutual admiration.  The tension between them was glairing; Mike and Melody beamed with pride.  Darcy decided to head home, as it was nearing 10:30.  Stuart agreed, offering to walk her to her car, which she gladly accepted.  As Darcy walked out the door ahead of him, Stuart looked over his shoulder with a look of thanks in his eye, pointing at Mike.  He smirked and nodded in silent reply.  Locking the door behind them, Mike grabbed Melody in a celebratory hug.

“How long do you think it’ll take him to ask her out?” Mike asked.

Giggling, Melody replied, “About ten seconds.  He’s keeping it low key, but she’s still happy; she hasn’t been this excited about a guy since high school.”

“Awesome.  She deserves it.  They both do.”

After cleaning up the dishes, the couple called it a night and retreated to their bedroom.  As they relaxed in bed, a light yet audible rainfall began outside.

“Oh, wow… that sounds so relaxing…” Melody murmured.

“Couldn’t agree more,” Mike replied, rolling over to spoon with her.

He slipped lower, rubbing his cock against her ass as he moved.  After rubbing the tip of his cock against her entrance for a few minutes, he slid himself into her moist pussy, eliciting a slight gasp from Melody.  As they made love, he caressed her breasts and kissed every part of her that he could reach, from her mid back, to her shoulders, and up to her neck and earlobes.  She ran her fingers up and down his strong arms; she loved the feeling of safety and security that they always provided her.  After twenty minutes of lazy thrusts, he finally unleashed a load of his cum into her convulsing pussy.  They continued to spoon, his soft cock still at home in her pussy, as the two lovers were soon lulled to sleep by the peaceful sound of the raindrops.

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