The Red Piano Lounge

Info silverhawk
02 Jan. '19

It was one of those nights when I was too tired to sleep and I knew why I was that way.  Five hours on the road is bad enough anytime, but starting that five hours at six in the evening made it eleven when I rolled into the hotel parking lot, except because I’d crossed into an earlier time zone, it was midnight local time.  

My day hadn’t been all that great to start with, and when my boss said the plant in Knoxville was having problems it got a lot worse.  I like Knoxville.  I just don’t like the Knoxville plant, and I especially don’t like driving there at night.  He said I needed to leave as soon as possible.  

It took half an hour to get a rental car and reserve a room, and another half hour to go home and pack enough for a week.  As I pulled out of my drive, I was cursing the Knoxville plant for doing what they always did – trying to fix their problem until it got bad enough they would stop shipping if it wasn’t fixed, and then waiting until four in the afternoon to make the call for help.  At least it was a Wednesday and not Friday like the last time.

Dinner was in Nashville – a burger and fries, to go - and as the setting sun painted the clouds in my rear view mirror orange and purple, I drove past Lebanon.  By the time I drove into the Holiday Inn in Knoxville, I’d been up for nineteen hours and I was pissed.  I dropped my stuff in the room, and decided to find a little liquid mood changer.

The “Red Piano Lounge” didn’t look like much from the outside, and there weren’t many cars in the parking lot.  Ordinarily, I’d have steered clear of a place with few patrons, but that night, I didn’t really want to be around a lot of people.  I just wanted to sip away my mood with some really old scotch.  The sign on the door said “The Knox Five” were playing until three.  The music I heard coming through the door was jazz, and I like jazz.  I figured with the jazz and a little scotch, I’d be ready for bed in about an hour.

It appeared most of the cars in the lot belonged to the band, because other than the five older men on the tiny stage, the only other people in the place were the bartender, myself, and an older woman sitting at the bar.  I took a stool a ways from her because she looked like she was thinking about something and wouldn’t want to be disturbed.  The bartender brought my scotch, and I was soon lost in the music and the smoky taste of Glenfiddich.

The band was pretty good.  The scotch was excellent.  In about fifteen minutes, I was well on the way to relaxing because I wasn’t thinking about why I was there.  The band finished that number, and were talking among themselves about the next.  With nothing else to do, I looked around the bar, and my gaze fell on the woman.  She was maybe fifty, though I always find it hard to guess a woman’s age.  I didn’t need to guess that she was well worth looking at.  She had that quiet beauty that comes only with age, and she had the body to match.  Her black dress covered a lot of her curves, but the slit up the side showed me a slender, graceful leg cased in black nylon stockings..  Her ass was also great.  The way she was sitting, her hips flared out on the bar stool and led upwards to a nice, but not skinny, waist.  From there up, she was wonderfully large breasts that formed a delicious cleavage in the low cut neckline.  Her shoulder length brown hair framed a pretty face that had the soft lines that told me she liked to laugh.

Jack, the bartender came back and asked if he could get me another scotch.  I said yes, and then on an impulse, asked him to get another of whatever the woman was drinking and to tell her I’d paid for it.  He grinned and brought my scotch, then mixed her drink, carried it down the bar, and sat it down.  When she said something, he pointed in my direction.

The woman turned and smiled, then slid off her stool, picked up her purse and the drink, and walked over to where I sat.  She was still smiling when she climbed up on the bar stool and then turned to face me.

“Hi.  I’m Sharon, and who is this nice man who bought me another drink?

“I’m Tom, Tom Spencer.”

“Well, Tom Spencer, thank you for the drink, but I don’t know you.  Do you buy drinks for every woman you see in a bar?”

“No, not usually.  You just looked kind of lonely sitting there by yourself.”

“And you thought I’d join you if you bought me a drink?  You’re a real optimist aren’t you?”

“I just bought you a drink.  You did sort of join me, though.”

She smiled.

“I suppose I did, didn’t I?  I wasn’t really lonely, though.  I was just remembering.”


“Yes, I used to come here every Friday and Saturday night with my husband.  They had a guy who played the piano and sang then.  Dave would always ask him to play “Where Is Your Heart”, and he would.  It’s a song from an old movie that’s kind of sad, but it was my favorite song back then.  It’s kind of like me, or so Dave said, so maybe that’s why I like it.

I smiled.

“I know the movie.  I’ve seen it.  It is sad at the end.  Why is the song like you?”

Sharon frowned.

“In the song, the singer keeps asking ‘where is your heart’ and I’m kind of like that.  I have trouble saying how I feel sometimes.”

“Is that why you’re alone tonight – Dave isn’t your husband anymore?”

“Dave was still my husband until he passed away three years ago.  I just come here to have a drink and remember what we had.  Silly, huh?”

“No, not silly.  Pretty romantic actually.  You must have loved him a lot.”

“I did.  I just couldn’t tell him that.”

“How long were you married?”

“Twenty nine years.  We got married right out of high school.”

I chuckled.

“Well, if you were married for that long, I’m pretty sure he knew.  He wouldn’t have stuck around that long if he didn’t.”

Sharon sipped her drink like nothing was wrong, but I saw a tear stream down her cheek.  She fished in her purse for a tissue, dabbed her eye, and then looked at me.

“Sorry.  It just bothers me to talk about it.  Dave knew I loved him, but he always needed me to tell him that, and I just couldn’t.  I don’t know why, but I couldn’t.”

I tried to cheer her up.

“Well, let’s talk about something else then.  What do you do so you can afford to hang out here on the weekends?”

“When our kids were on their own, we bought an apartment complex.  It’s only twelve units and the rent’s not that high because it’s not fancy, but it took in enough that with Dave’s pension, we lived pretty well.  I manage it by myself now.”

“Sounds like a lot of work.”

Sharon sighed.

“It wouldn’t have to be, but you’re right, it is.  You’d think people would take care of things, but they don’t.  This morning I had to buy a new stove for one of the units.  The people who rent that unit left a plastic container in the oven and then forgot about it.  When they went to preheat the oven, the plastic melted and caught the oven on fire.  

“My insurance says I have to have a fire extinguisher in every kitchen and thank God, they had sense enough to use it so there wasn’t much of a fire.  The stove was ruined though.  I guess they don’t realize it’ll take me three months rent from them to pay for the new one and getting it installed and the old one hauled away.”

I chuckled.

“If that had happened to me, I’d probably have thrown them out.”

“Well, I could do that, but then I’d have to repaint the apartment and probably put down new carpet.  It was cheaper to let them stay.  Besides, they’re not bad tenants.  They don’t cause trouble with anybody.  They just forgot.”

Sharon sipped her drink, and then smiled at me.

“I haven’t seen you here before.  Do you live around here?”

“No, I’m in Knoxville on business.”

“Oh.  What kind of business?”

I told Sharon about the Knoxville plant and why I was there.  She laughed.

“I have a couple tenants who work there.  I don’t know what they do there, but the way they talk about the place, what you say doesn’t surprise me.”

“Oh, it’s not the people who do the work.  In my experience, they try really hard.  It’s the management that’s the problem.  Everybody has trouble now and then.  The management at Knoxville just doesn’t know when they need help until it’s almost too late.”

Sharon finished her drink, then put her hand on my arm.

“Thank you for the drink.  I’d like to stay, but I really should be getting home.  Will you be back tomorrow night?”

Up until she asked, I’d planned on just grabbing a burger and fries and spending the night watching a movie on TV.  Her face looked hopeful when she asked though, so I said if I could get away, I would.

Sharon grinned.

“I don’t usually get here until about nine.  If you’re late, I’ll just nurse one drink and wait for you.  It was nice having someone to talk with for a change and I’d like to do it again.”

When I was back in my room and taking a shower, I wondered why Sharon didn’t have anybody to talk with.  She was a pretty woman, and would surely catch any man’s eye.  I’d bought her a drink because of the way she looked, and while we talked, the thought how she’d probably be kept sneaking into my mind.  I didn’t ask, of course.  She didn’t know me at all, and would probably think the worst if I had.

The next day, I got to the plant at seven, and found out everything was in a shambles.  My boss had said they had some problems.  He didn’t tell me the most important piece of equipment in the entire process had broken down.  Without the plating line, they couldn’t make anything.

The first thing I did was spend half an hour with Ron Sims, the plant manager.  He cursed the equipment for breaking down, cursed the plating supervisor for letting it do so, cursed the maintenance department because they couldn’t seem to get it up and running again and then told me what I should do.  I listened, but only because he’d tell my boss I refused to take his advice if I didn’t.  Once he was finished, I walked out to find the plating supervisor and the maintenance supervisor.  

I found them both standing beside the plating line and talking.  I knew them both from other trips to Knoxville, so I walked up and stuck out my hand.

“Hi, guys.  Remember me, Tom Spencer, from the Springfield plant?   I hear you have a bit of a problem.”

Bill, the plating supervisor shook my hand.

“Yeah.  I told ‘em this was gonna happen, but they wouldn’t let me shut it down for an hour and fix it before it busted.”

“What broke?”

“A valve on the acid tank.  A week ago Friday when we cleaned the tank, I saw it leaking.  Jerry could have had a new valve by Monday afternoon and we don’t work weekends anyway.  We’d have lost half a day’s production at most.  When it broke, it dumped the whole tank in the containment pit.  We’ve got that all cleaned up and I got more acid, but I can’t refill that tank until Jerry replaces the valve.”

I turned to Jerry, the maintenance supervisor.

“Morning, Jerry. Sounds like you’re under a lot of pressure.”

The look on Jerry’s face told me he was pissed.

“Yeah.  I keep getting called by the front office about every half hour asking if I fixed the damned thing yet.  I keep telling them I can’t fix it if I don’t have the part.  I’d have it if they’d processed the order last week after Bill saw the leak.  It wasn’t in the budget, they said, so I’d have to wait until next month.  Well, look what waiting got them.’

I asked Jerry if he had a part number.

“Hell yes I do, but it won’t do no good.  Those valves are made to order and it takes at least four days to get one.  Even if they order it today, we’ll have run all the customers out of parts before it comes in.”

I asked him to give me the brand and part number.

“Maybe we have something that will work in Springfield.  Doesn’t hurt ask.”

I used my cell phone to call Martha, the woman who manages the MRO stores in Springfield and gave her the part number.  She said she’d have to check but she’d get right back to me.  While I waited, I went to see Walter, the purchasing manager.

“Walt, the maintenance guys say you’re holding an order they need.  It’s for a valve for the plating line.  Isn’t there any way to bust it loose and get it ordered?  That’s all they need to get back up and running again.”

Walt smiled.

“I released the order this morning after Ron said it was OK.”

“Ron was holding up the order, not you?”

Walt looked apologetic.

“Well, you have to understand.  Ron is responsible for profitability, and buying things for MRO that aren’t immediately needed just costs money with no return.”

I didn’t say what I was thinking.  Ron had already lost three days of production and catching back up would cost at least a hundred times the cost of one valve.  I just thanked Walt and went back to the plating line.

Martha called me back about five minutes later, and I put my phone on speaker so Bill and Jerry could listen in.

“Tom, we have the same brand and size valve, but the seals in yours are different.  I checked and our seals won’t work in your application.  If you can find the seals though, ours should work.”

I looked at Jerry.

“You wouldn’t happen to have a seal kit for that valve would you?”

Jerry grinned.

“I got two.  I’m supposed to change them twice a year, so they’re on automatic reorder in MRO.”

I spoke into my phone.

“Martha, I need that valve and I need it just as fast as you can get it here.  I’d settle for a cab or an expedited truck, but if you can find a charter plane that would be better.  Get it on its way and then call me and tell me when it’ll be here.”

“I can do that, but who should I charge all that too?”

“Charge it to my department and if anybody questions it, tell them I said it was all right and we’ll straighten the paperwork out when I get back.  Don’t forget to call me, OK?”

Martha is nothing but efficient.  Forty minutes later she called me back.

“I drove the valve to the airport myself and I just watched the plane take off.  It should be landing at the Downtown Island Airport in about an hour.  Either you or Jerry can sign for it.”

She gave me the pilot’s name and the FAA number of the plane.  I thanked Martha for being so quick.  She chuckled.

“You owe me a cup of coffee for this one, Tom.  I had to sweet talk the plant manager into signing the purchase order for the plane.”

I thanked Martha again, and then ended the call.  When I looked up, Jerry was gone.  I asked Bill where he went.  Bill grinned.

“It’ll take him half an hour to get to the airport.  He wanted to make sure he’d be there when the plane landed.”

A little less than two hours later, Jerry walked up to the line with the new valve and a maintenance tech.

“One of my guys replaced the seals and we checked if for leaks.  We oughta have you back up right after lunch, Bill.”

There wasn’t really any reason for me to stand there and watch while Jerry’s guy changed the valve, but I really didn’t want to go sit in the office.  If I did, Ron would just want to talk to me again.  I’d been there before.  He’d fuck up something, I’d go fix it, and then he’d spend a hour explaining how what he did was good, sound management practice that because of something nobody could have foreseen had gone awry.  I’d have to endure that before I left anyway.  I didn’t feel like going through it twice.

Instead, I took a walk around the plant.  I knew several of the people there from other trips to bail Ron’s ass out of trouble.  I wanted to see them again while I had time.

Jesse was running her CNC lathe when I walked up.  She smiled as she used a micrometer to measure a part, and when she’d written down the measurement on her data sheet, she started the machine.  She turned back and grinned.

“Tom, you’re a long way from home.  Come to fix another screw-up for us?”

“Yeah.  Your plating line is down.  I drove over to see if I could help.”

Jesse batted her eyelashes at me.

“You could help me again.  I wouldn’t mind at all.”

I couldn’t stop from smiling.  Jesse is over sixty I think. The last time I saw her, she said she was going to retire in a few years, so she has to be about that old.  Those years show in her face, but the rest of Jesse is pretty sexy.  She knows I like her, and she isn’t bashful about flirting with me.

“Now, Jesse, you know that would get both of us in trouble”

“Not if nobody knew, and I sure wouldn’t tell anybody.”

We chatted until her machine stopped and she needed to load a new part.  When I told her to have a great day, she blew me a kiss.  

I found Randy running the same paint booth I’d fixed a year earlier.  Randy’s full name is Randella Lucille Brisson, but she doesn’t like to be called Randella. Randy is a tall, slender, blonde and is just about as hot as a woman can get even when she’s wearing jeans and a loose T-shirt.  It’s a shame that Randy doesn’t like men, well, except for me, and she doesn’t like me that way.  Randy lives with Aubrey, a tiny little brunette who isn’t quite as gorgeous, but would be if she had any tits to speak of.

Randy grinned when I walked up and stuck out my hand.  She wiped her hands on a paper towel, and then shook mine.

“Hi there, Tom.  Aubrey and I were just talking about you last night.”

“Oh, nothing too bad, I hope.”

Randy smiled.

“Nah, you know better than that.  Aubrey was just saying she’d like to see you again sometime.”

I raised my eyebrows and grinned.


Randy giggled.

“Don’t get your hopes up.  She just likes you.  You should stop by and tell her hi before you leave.”

I made a mental note to do that.  I think several people in the plant suspect Randy and Aubrey are more than just roommates, but as far as I know, I’m the only one who knows the truth.  They’re both lesbians, but they aren’t sleeping together. Randy and Aubrey just live in the same house because they’re friends. Randy has Cheryl and Aubrey has Denise.  

I met Cheryl and Denise one night about two years before.  I’d fixed Aubrey’s assembly station so it was easier for her to run and she asked if she could buy me a drink.  When I got to the bar, all four of them were sitting at a table.  I liked Randy and Aubrey from working with them at the plant.  It took all of ten minutes for me to like Cheryl and Denise too.  All four are really nice women and they’re sexy as hell.  I suppose part of that appeal is the fact they’re sort of the forbidden fruit, but having them as friends is almost as great as having them as lovers.

I did find Aubrey and we caught up a little before I went to lunch.  She was the same Aubrey, tiny, cute as a bug, and a little shy.  When I got back, Bill was filling the acid tank while Jerry and one of his guys watched the new valve to make sure there were no leaks.

It took two hours to fill the tank and another two to bring it to the right temperature.  After that, the line started running again.  By five that afternoon, bright, shiny, zinc plated parts were coming off the line and being hauled to shipping.  I was done and could go back home, or so I thought.

I called my boss, told him what I’d found and that we had everything back up an running again.  He thanked me, but then asked if I’d stick around for the week I’d planned.

“I know you’d rather be back here, but Randall would like us to baby-sit Knoxville for the next few days just in case something else goes wrong.  They would have stopped shipping in another day, and he wants to make sure they get caught back up before you leave.  While you’re there, Randall wants you to look around and see if there’s anything else that needs fixing.”

I knew what that meant.  It meant I’d walk around the plant and find a bunch of things that could be done better.  That would piss Ron off, and I’d have to report daily to him on what I’d found so he could tell Randall he already knew and they were eighty percent complete with the fix.  I’d been impressed the first time I heard Ron say that.  

When I had to go back to Knoxville and actually fix the problem, I wasn’t impressed anymore.  To Ron, identifying the problem and assigning it to someone was eighty percent of the task.  The other twenty percent might take two years to finish, but to his way of thinking, it was the minor part of the job.

There was no use in arguing about it.  Randall was Randall Macey, the VP of Operations, and whatever Randall wanted to happen always did.  I figured I’d spend the days looking for potential problems and fixing them if I could.  The nights I’d spend listening to jazz and sipping a scotch or two at The Red Piano Lounge.  With any luck, Sharon would be there a couple of nights so I’d have somebody to talk to.

After a pizza I bought and took back to my room, I drove to the bar.  Sharon wasn’t there, but it was only about eight thirty.  Jack brought my scotch, and I’d just taken the first sip when Sharon walked through the door.  That night, she wore a different dress that was a little shorter and had a lower neckline.  The heels and the stockings were the same.  It looked like she’d done something with her hair too.

She walked up beside me and smiled.

“Is this seat taken?”

I grinned.

“It will be as soon as you sit down.”

When Sharon climbed up on the bar stool, her dress rode up her thigh enough I could see the lace top of her stockings, and on the side closest to me, the clip of the garter belt that held them up.  She didn’t try to pull it back down.  I didn’t know if she didn’t notice or if she just didn’t care, but I didn’t care either.  

I was sitting there imagining the soft skin just above those stocking tops when Jack brought her drink.  Sharon took a sip, and then asked how my day had gone.

I told her about what I’d found and how we’d gotten it fixed.  She smiled.

“I wish I had somebody like you around.  This morning, one of my tenants called me to say their ceiling fan stopped working.  Would you believe it cost me two hundred dollars to have an electrician come out and look at it?  He charged me twenty five dollars for the switch he replaced too.”

“Yeah, I can believe it.  Electricians are getting a hundred an hour back in Springfield and you pay for their travel time to and from the job.  They mark up parts by at least two hundred percent too.  That’s why I do most of my own home repairs.  I could have probably fixed your fan in half an hour and the switch couldn’t have cost more than five or six.  I could have replaced the whole fan in an hour and it still wouldn’t have cost that much.

Sharon giggled.

“Do you do house calls?”

“Well, it’s a long drive from Springfield to Knoxville, so probably not.”

“Damn”, she chuckled.  “I thought I was on to something.”

I liked Sharon.  She wasn’t all that sophisticated, but a lot of the time, sophisticated turns into stuck-up, and I don’t like stuck-up at all.  Sharon was just an ordinary, if better looking than most, woman with a sense of humor.  It didn’t hurt that when she was making a point, she’d put her small hand on my arm.  When that happened, I’d feel a tingle race through me.

We talked through that drink and then another.  I didn’t want Sharon to leave, but she said she had to clean an apartment after one of her tenants moved out.  I walked her to her car, and just before she got in, I told her I’d be in Knoxville for the next six days.

“Since I’ll be here and I don’t have anything to do in the evening, would you let me buy your dinner?”

Sharon laughed.

“You must really be bored if you want to do that.”

“I am bored, but that’s not the reason.  I just like you.”

“Well, I like you too, so I’ll accept.  What time and where?”

“I’ll leave the plant about five, so maybe six thirty?  As for where, I don’t know any good places in Knoxville.  I usually just have a pizza or a burger.  You tell me where you’d like to go and we’ll go there.”

Sharon touched my arm.

“Do you like barbecue?  Sweet P’s makes some of the best in Knoxville.  It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but it’s not really expensive and the food is great.”

Well, Sweet P’s was great.  I love barbecue anyway, and the half rack of ribs was the best I’d ever had.  Sharon’s plate of chicken breast looked really good too.  Even better was sitting there with Sharon and talking.  She hadn’t dressed up quite as much, but she was still giving me ideas.  I think it was the way her jeans and top fit as much as anything.  Her jeans weren’t all that tight, but they were tight enough to show me she was all sensuous woman.  Her top didn’t fit that snugly either, but the low neckline didn’t do anything to hide the soft swell of her breasts.

We ended up back at The Red Piano Lounge for a drink before we said goodbye for the night.  Well, I hoped it was only for the night anyway.  I was getting to like Sharon a lot more every time I saw her.   It wasn’t the fact that she was a pretty woman or that she was sexy without seeming to know that.  It was just something about her that I couldn’t really explain, but it was there.

We were half way through our drinks when Sharon excused herself.  As she walked back to the ladies room, an idea popped into my head.  I walked over to the low stage where the band had set up and asked the sax player if they knew “Where Is Your Heart”.  He leafed through a stack of loose music, then pulled out one sheet.

“Yeah, I thought we had it.  Don’t get many requests for that one, so it was on the bottom.  Let me tell the other guys and we’ll play it for you.”

I asked him to wait until Sharon came back.  He just grinned.

“I know Sharon.  We’ll wait.”

Sharon came back a couple minutes later and climbed up on the stool beside me.

“Now, where were we?”

I smiled.

“I don’t remember.  How about if I just tell you I had a fantastic time tonight and I want to do it again tomorrow night?”

Sharon opened her mouth to answer, but stopped when the band started playing “Where Is Your Heart”.  I saw tears in her eyes a few seconds later.  For the whole song, Sharon just looked at me and dabbed her eyes with a cocktail napkin.  When the song ended, put her hand on mine.

“You did this, didn’t you?”

“Did what?”

“You had the band play my song.”

“Oh, that.  Well, yes.  I thought you’d like it.”

“I did.  It was like when Dave used to bring me here.”

“That makes me happy then.”

Sharon squeezed my hand.

“That song always makes me cry, but tonight it made me happy too.”

“If there’s another song you’d like to hear, I’ll go ask them if they have it.  Maybe it won’t make you cry.”

Sharon stroked my arm.

“I don’t need another song.  I need something else.”

I hoped the way her voice had gotten so soft was telling me what I thought I was hearing.

“Sharon, I’m not sure what you’re asking?”

“You could come home with me and find out if you’d like.”

I said earlier that Sharon was an ordinary woman, but she was far from ordinary that night.  An ordinary woman wouldn’t have put her arms around my neck and kissed me like Sharon did as soon as we were inside.  An ordinary woman wouldn’t have pressed her cheek against mine and whispered, “I need you to make love to me” like Sharon did.  An ordinary woman wouldn’t have taken my hand then and led me into her bedroom like Sharon did.

Sharon was pretty and sensuous when she was dressed.  When she was naked and lying on her bed with her arms outstretched, she was pure sexuality with dark brown hair that splayed out on the pillow and trimmed dark brown hair on her mound.  As I eased down beside her, she stroked my chest.

“Tom, I haven’t done this for a long time because I never found a man I liked enough.  Go slow, OK.”

I did go slow because I didn’t want to go fast.  Fast would have meant ending things too quickly, and I wanted to savor Sharon for as long as I could.  As it was, I did have to try to slow down.  Sharon was so responsive she had me wanting to feel my cock in her long before I was ready to take that step.

It was sort of torture, having to go slow, but it was a torture of making it last so we were both so in need of each other we couldn’t do anything else.  I couldn’t  get enough of the feeling of her soft breasts when I fondled them, and her little moans just made that feeling more intense.  Sharon’s nipples rose at my gentle touch, and got even tighter when she pulled my face to hers and kissed me.  I felt her tongue trying to reach mine, and then the little purring sound she made when it did.

She stroked my hair when I closed my lips around her right nipple, and then caught her breath when I licked the tip.  I was nibbling her left nipple when I felt her small, soft fingers close around my cock and slowly stroke my shaft.

Sharon’s tummy wasn’t flat and she had a few stretch marks, but that just made her all that much more erotic.  I’ve always thought a rounded tummy was erotic, and stretch marks on that tummy are just the proof that a woman is all woman.  As I nuzzled my way down over Sharon’s tummy while I lightly pinched her nipple, I felt it roll a little.

Her scent filled my nose as I moved further down, and when my lips felt the coarse hair, Sharon opened her thighs.  When I teased that hair apart with a fingertip, Sharon caught her breath and then murmured, “Oh God, yes.”

I took that as a request, and moved on the bed until I was kneeling between her upraised thighs.  Just one lick of my tongue over Sharon’s slender lips told me I was right.  The second lick brought her hands to my head and a little moan.

Sharon tasted about like all women I’ve tasted – a little tart, a little musky, and all female.  Her folds were rippled and when I sucked them into my mouth, Sharon lifted her hips a little.  When I licked up between them to the little button where they joined, she didn’t lift her hips.  She lifted us both off the bed and gasped.

She was beginning to breathe faster when she pulled on my shoulders and whispered, “I need you now…inside me.”

It was more torture to not just ram my cock inside Sharon and pump away until I couldn’t hold back any longer, but it was an exquisite pleasure to feel my cock being slowly sheathed in her warmth.  I didn’t get to go as slowly as I’d planned though.  Sharon met that slow stroke by raising her hips until I was inside her as far as I could reach.  She ran her nails down my back and then eased back down.

Most of the women I’d been with just sort of laid there and let me take them to their orgasm.  Sharon didn’t.  The longer I stroked my cock in and out, the more frequent were her little moans and gasping breaths.  Those sounds really wind my clock, and I had to struggle to keep control of my self.  The other ways in which she responded were also making that difficult, because they were making her extremely erotic.  

It was the way she rocked herself up into my slow strokes and then gasped when the base of my cock bottomed out against her lips.  It was the way her body seemed to open to me and then tighten up around my shaft.  It was the way I kept feeling little flows of wet warmth around my cock when I pushed in.

I could tell Sharon was getting close when she dug her nails into my ass cheeks and murmured, “Oh God, Tom…don’t stop.”

She was panting hard by then, and a minute or so later, Sharon gasped, arched her back, and her legs started to shake.  I couldn’t do anything about the surge that raced up my cock.  All I could do was push my cock inside Sharon as deep as I could while the sensation blinded me to everything else.  

Sharon fell back down, then arched up again and cried out.  Her hips were rocking so fast then I couldn’t do anything except try to keep my cock inside her.  I spurted inside her clasping passage twice more and then groaned because she was still shaking and my cock was throbbing like mad.

Sharon made one last little cry and then pulled me down with her as she eased back down on the mattress.  She hugged me tight and kissed me again, then jerked as a little contraction squeezed my shaft.

When my cock slipped out of her, Sharon stroked my hair.

“Can you spend the night?”

“Wild horses couldn’t drag me away from you.”

“Mmm…then tomorrow morning, we can do this again.”

“If that’s what you want.”

Sharon stroked my back,

“I want that more than anything I’ve wanted in a long, long time.”

Saturday morning was a repeat of the night before, but better in some ways.  I found out Sharon liked being on top sometimes, and watching her breasts bounce and shimmy when she shook out the orgasm was enough I didn’t want to leave.  I had to go check on the plant though.  Sharon kissed me before I left and made me promise to come back.  I didn’t need any encouragement to do that.

I spent an hour in the plant that Saturday, but things were running fine.  I told Bill and Jerry to call me if anything happened, and then went back to Sharon’s house.  We didn’t make love again.  I took Sharon to lunch and then we drove around Knoxville seeing the sights.  It felt good to have her sitting in the seat beside me.  It felt better when we had dinner that night at another place she picked.  When she put her arms around my neck in her living room again, I knew I wouldn’t be leaving until Sunday morning.

Sunday was about the same, except the restaurant Sunday night was different, and Sharon and I made love twice.  We didn’t have time on Monday morning because I had to be at the plant at seven.  Sharon just grinned and said, “Then we’ll have to make up for that tonight, won’t we?”

I got to the plant at a little after seven.  I couldn’t get Sharon to stop kissing me, so I was a little late.  When I walked into the office to drop my laptop on an empty desk, Maggie, Ron’s secretary hustled over.

“You need to go to Ron’s office right now.  Mr. Macey is in there.”

When I walked into Ron’s office, he wasn’t there.  Randall asked me to close the door and have a seat.  He was frowning when he started to speak.

“Tom, you’ve been over here what, six times in the last year?”

“Yes, about that many I guess.”

“What do you think of the place?”

I’d worked with Randall before and knew he wanted the truth, not something designed to make him feel good, so I didn’t hold back.

“Well, it’s a nice plant and the people work hard.  They just aren’t getting the support they need.  The plating line I just fixed is a good example.  That could all have been avoided if they’d just ordered the part like the maintenance supervisor requested.”

“Ron told me the cost was too high and it would have hurt their profit forecast.  Delaying the order seems like the logical thing to do, or don’t you agree?”

That statement made my neck warm.  It was the type of logic that isn’t logical if you know how to run a plant.  I thought Randall was better than that.

“That’s what I heard from Jerry, the maintenance supervisor, but how much did the three day shutdown hurt that profit?  They paid overtime to most of the shop for Saturday and Sunday to get caught up and unless I miss my guess, they’re paying for expedited shipping to at least some customers.  I’m no accountant, but there had to be somewhere else to reduce expenses in order to get that valve in stock.”

Randall smiled then.

“That’s what Harry, the Controller said too.  He recommended they cut the travel budget by a little or cut back on staff meeting lunches for a month or two.”

“Well, it would have been nice if he’d told Ron that before everything went to hell.”

Randall stood up and walked around the desk, then sat on the corner.

“He did.  Ron wouldn’t listen.  That and several other reasons are why Ron isn’t the Plant Manager anymore.”

“You fired him?”

“Let’s just say Ron’s exploring opportunities outside the company.  The rumor mill’s probably working overtime already.  No sense in adding fuel to the fire.  I need a replacement.  You interested in the job?”

Randall had caught me completely off guard, so I couldn’t say anything for a while.  I wasn’t really qualified.  It was a corporate policy that all managers and above had to have an MBA.  I didn’t.  I also didn’t have any experience in Purchasing or Human Resources.  That’s what I told Randall.  He just waved his hand.

“That corporate policy is just there so we have a legally defensive way of saying no to applicants we don’t like for some other reason.  I don’t need a guy with an MBA.  I need a plant manager who knows how to run a manufacturing operation.  Harry can keep track of the dollars and cents, and you can trust Walt to keep the purchased part and MRO costs in line.  As for the HR thing, all the government regulations are so complex the only people who understand them are HR people anyway.  June will keep you out of trouble.  What do you say?”

I walked into that office as an engineer.  I walked out as the new Plant Manager of the Knoxville plant.  I wasn’t sure I’d made the right decision.  Randall said he’d be all over my ass for profits but he was sure I’d find a way to meet budget.  That afternoon, Randall called a staff meeting and told the other managers the news.  The smiles told me they were pretty pleased.

I told Sharon that night over dinner.  She put down her fork, put her hand on mine and said “I’m happy for you.  I suppose we’ll have to stop seeing each other though.  A plant manager can’t be seeing a woman who runs an apartment complex.”

I just grinned.

“The last plant manager’s wife was a former stripper, or at least that’s what I heard.  I don’t think anybody would care if I’m seeing a successful business woman…or if it went further than that.”

Sharon smiled.

“I understand what your saying, Tom, but it’s too soon for talk like that.  Can’t we just go on like we are?”

Well, we are going on just like we were, except that once I bought a house, Sharon spends as much time there as she does at home.  Saturdays and Sundays are fix-it days.  Well, that’s what Sharon calls them.  I go to her apartment complex with her and fix whatever needs fixing.  After that, we go back to my house and fix whatever needs fixing there.  Usually, that means Sharon and I ending up locked together while both of us gasp out the orgasms and then lay there together until our hearts stop racing.

I keep telling her I love her, and she wouldn’t act like she does if she didn’t love me, but she hasn’t been able to say that yet.  Maybe someday, I’ll convince her to make it a permanent thing. I’ll keep trying because I can’t imagine a life without her, but I won’t push.  I’ll just take her to The Red Piano Lounge and ask Jimmy, the sax player, if he can find “Where Is Your Heart” again.  I’ve heard it so many times I can mouth the words right along with Sharon.