The Anonymous Valentines

Info silverhawk
03 Feb. '20

Valentine’s Day used to be really exciting for me. When I was six, I gave a valentine to my next door neighbor, Jane, and was thrilled when she said she liked it. When I was sixteen, I gave a valentine to Marsha, and was trilled when she kissed me on the cheek. When I was twenty-six, I gave a valentine to Erica, and was thrilled when she smiled, pulled her sweater over her head and said, “Show me”.

When I was thirty-six, I was divorced and hating everything about Valentine’s Day. All it was, was a holiday commercialized to the point every jeweler’s TV ad basically promised any man who gave his wife or girlfriend gold and diamonds would get laid every night until he was too old to get his cock to stand up. They always showed this gorgeous woman smiling when she opened the box, and then throwing her arms around the guy’s neck.

By the time I was forty-six, I’d given up on any woman throwing her arms around my neck for any reason. I’d been looking since a year after my divorce was final, but I wasn’t finding anything. Forty-six is kind of a rough age if you’re looking for a woman. There are a lot of women out there, but they seemed to fall into one of three categories.

There were women who still looked great and were fun to be with. They were also married because they looked great and were fun to be with. Yeah, I met a few married women who wouldn’t have minded playing around, but that didn’t work for me.

There were women who were single and looked great but weren’t fun to be with. Those were the women who’d decided on careers, and they’d become pretty hard to approach unless you were on their professional level. They didn’t need a man to take care of them financially, but they wanted a man who’d fit into the circle of their other professional friends. I was never very big on cocktail parties and the like. They just seemed to me to be a bunch of people pretending they were better than everybody else.

Then there were the women who were divorced and actively looking for a husband. Usually, I met them in bars, and they weren’t all that subtle about what they wanted or what they’d be willing to do to make that happen. After the second one put her hand on my thigh and asked if we wouldn’t be more comfortable someplace else, I decided I didn’t want one of them either. It wasn’t that it wouldn’t have been great. I’d spent a lot of years without a woman, and the thought was appealing. It was just that I wanted her to think of me as something besides a hard cock.

That’s sort of what happened with me and my ex. She’d been fantastic in the sack, not so great the rest of the time. I’d let myself get carried away by the way she rode my cock every night, and didn’t see how she really was until we got married. It lasted five years before I’d had enough of her bitching at me about everything all day long and then still wanting me to have sex with her that night. I later found out she was suffering from multiple personality disorder, or at least that’s what she told me when she said she was on medication and wanted to get back together.

I guess there was a fourth category of women too. They were the women I worked with. About half were of the happily married variety and there were three professional women I didn’t care to associate with because they didn’t seem to care to associate with me either. The rest were a mix of really young women, girls really, and women who were working because they were single and had to work to support themselves. Most of those women worked on the manufacturing floor. I didn’t try to get close to any of the latter because I figured they’d be the same as the women in the bars – looking for a husband to support them.

Yeah, I know. I’m talking about women like I was shopping for a new fishing rod and reel. That’s not how I really felt about women. It’s just that after putting up with Cheryl for five years and then getting divorced, I didn’t want to end up with a woman who wanted me either for my money or because she didn’t think she could do any better. That last part worried me the most. I didn’t look like a movie star or a body builder. I was just a forty-six year old guy with a balding head and a few extra pounds around the middle who liked fishing, old movies, and big band music.

It was Tuesday, the fourth of February, when it started, and at first, I thought it was somebody’s idea of a joke. I’d walked up to my desk that morning and found a little envelope propped on my keyboard. When I opened it, there was a little kid’s Valentine’s card inside, one of those like I’d given Jane when I was six. It was a drawing of a little blonde girl holding a heart, and all it said was “Be My Valentine”.

I looked for a name, but there wasn’t one on the card or on the envelope. I looked around the office then, but nobody was looking at me. I tossed the card in the trash and went back to work on the design for the assembly station I’d been assigned to build.

The next morning there was another envelope on my desk. It was the same size, and inside was the same type kid’s valentine card. This one was a drawing of an obviously female lion with hearts above her head, and said, “I’m just wild about you. Be my valentine”.

Again, I looked around the office, but all I saw were people talking to each other and other people with their eyes focused on their computer screens. Nobody was looking at me and smiling. I didn’t even see anybody look at me and then quickly turn away like they were working.

One card could have been a joke. Two were carrying the joke too far. I didn’t even know what the joke might have been unless it was a rumor I’d overheard on the manufacturing floor. The rumor was that I must be gay because I wasn’t married and didn’t appear to be looking for a woman. When I thought about that though, I couldn’t figure out how somebody leaving Valentines on my desk would be funny to anybody.

Like the day before, I tossed that card in the trash. I did do some thinking about it though.

Because my company is part of the military and aerospace industrial complex, a lot of what we do falls under the government’s system for classified document control. As a result, not only does the entire facility have tight security, but my office area is locked up tight at six every night and stays locked until six the next morning. An employee can access the office with the digital chip in their badge, but other than that, the only way to get in is to contact security, convince them your reason for being in the office is valid, and let them accompany you while you do what you need to do.

The only employees with access via a badge are the people who work in the office daily, so whoever was leaving the cards on my desk had to be one of them. I had no idea who it might be, but I had a way to find out. I called security and asked them if there had been any badge entries to the office the night before or that morning. When the answer was no, that meant that person had to be sitting in the office right then. They’d just gotten to work before I did, dropped off the card, and then innocently went to work.

The next morning, I pulled into the parking lot at ten ‘til six and was standing by the office door at five ‘til. When the clock on the badge reader said it was six and the light over the door turned green, I tried the door. It opened, so I went in.

The office was empty except for me…and the envelope on my desk. I didn’t need to open the envelope to know what was inside, but I did.

It was a drawing of a gray rabbit with a pink bow around its neck, and it said, “I long fur you. Please be my Valentine”. Knowing there wouldn’t be one, I turned to card over to look for a name, and found a poem written in the flourishing hand of a woman.

Roses are red,

This bunny is gray,

I like you a lot,

Please don’t throw my cards away.

I had to smile at the lousy attempt at poetry, but I was also thinking. The card hadn’t been on my desk when I left, but the card from the day before had been in my wastebasket. Whoever left the card must have waited until I left and then dropped off the card. In the process, they’d seen the older card in my wastebasket and had written the poem on the back of the card.

So, whoever it was wasn’t coming in early. They were staying late. Well, I could stay late as well as come in early. That night, I stayed until six thirty and smiled when I heard the lock on the office door click when I closed it behind me. I tried it, just to be sure, and it was locked. I’d been alone in the office, and there was no way possible for anyone to get into that office after hours without a digital chip in their badge or having security let them in. Either way, security would have a record of it happening.

The next morning, I got to work at ten ‘til six again, stood at the door until six, and when the light over the door changed from red to green, opened the door and went in.

Just like the day before, it was just me in the room and there was another card on my desk. I called security.

The guard sounded a little aggravated.

“Mr. Henderson, I show no badge access to the office after hours, and no record that any of the security detail let anyone in. This is the second time you’ve asked the same question. Is there a particular reason you don’t trust our security system?”

I made up an answer.

“I thought somebody opened one of my desk drawers.”

“Was anything missing?”

“No, it just looked different.”

I could almost hear him laughing.

“Well, Sir, sometimes when you close a desk drawer, things might shift around a little.”

I made one last try.

“I know it sounds like I’m being paranoid, but are you positive nobody was in the office last night or early this morning.”

He sounded pissed again.

“Mr. Henderson, any access by badge is automatically logged along with employee’s name and time of access on the security system. My records show no access last night. The only other way for someone to enter that office is if they were escorted by security. The guard uses his digital badge to open the door and I have no record of that either except for when Officer Barnes let in the woman who sweeps, dusts, and takes the trash to the shredder. She’s there every night because that’s her job.”

I thanked him, promised I wouldn’t ask again, and then hung up the phone.

Unless there was a ghost who could walk through walls to put the cards on my desk, it had to be Mrs. Robbins, the cleaning woman, but it couldn’t be. Mrs. Robbins was at least sixty and she was married. I knew that because on more than one project, I’d worked until almost midnight a couple of nights. She came in about eight and worked at sweeping, dusting, and collecting trash in the office until about eleven. Security always let her in and then followed her around while she did what she had to do to make sure she wasn’t stealing any classified information.

I seriously doubted Mrs. Robbins would be leaving me Valentines every night, but I didn’t know who else it could be. The only way to find out was to stay until she got there and then ask her.

At eight that night, the office door opened and Mrs. Robbins pushed her cart into the office. One of the security guys followed her in, closed the door, checked that it was locked, and then started following her from cubicle to cubicle. It took her an hour to get to mine, and when she walked up I smiled.

“Mrs. Robbins, why have you been leaving Valentines on my desk every night?”

She looked at me like I was crazy.

“Mr. Henderson, what make you think I’d ever do something like that? I’m a married woman and I’m almost old enough to be your mother.”

“I just…say, how do you know my name? I’ve seen you before, but we’ve never actually met.”

Mrs. Robbins smiled a smile like she probably gave her grandchildren and pointed to the wall between my cubicle and the next.

“Well, Mr. Henderson, your name is right there, on the sign on your cubicle. I was just trying to be polite.”

I backed out of my cubicle while she swept the floor and dusted the bookcase. When she picked up my wastebasket and carried it out to her cart, she was holding the card from that morning.

“Is this the card you were talking about? You shouldn’t throw something like this away. I think whoever sent it to you must really like you.”

Mrs. Robbins handed me the card, dumped the rest of my trash, and after putting my trash can back, moved to the next cubicle. I didn’t have the heart to toss the card again right in front of her, so I laid it on my desk, put on my jacket and left. I wouldn’t get a card tomorrow because if I did, Mrs. Robbins would know I’d know it was her.

I was pretty happy the next morning. I didn’t go in early because I’d already taken care of my problem. I didn’t know why Mrs. Robbins would have been leaving me Valentines, but I was sure it was her, and now that I’d confronted her, they’d stop…except they didn’t stop. There was another card on my desk right beside the older one I’d put there the night before.

This one was a drawing of a kitten with a pink bow, and said, “You make me purr. Be my Valentine.”

On the back was another poem.

 

Roses are pricey,

Looks are for free,

I really like you,

I wish you’d like me.

 

By then, I was dying of curiosity. I knew it had to be Mrs. Robbins and there was no way I was going to take her seriously, but I had to know why. I sat at my desk waiting for her, and when she got there I didn’t wait until she got to my cubicle. I walked down to the first cubicle while she was sweeping the floor.

“OK, Mrs. Robbins. I know you’ve been leaving me these Valentines. I appreciate that you want to, but would you mind telling me why?”

Her smile change into a really pissed off frown.

“Mr. Henderson. Last night I told you I didn’t know what you were talking about and I still don’t. If you think I’d throw myself at a younger man…we’ll, I just wouldn’t do that to my Harvey. I don’t know why you’d think I would. I suppose you want to search me this time to find out if I have another card for you. Well, if you touch me, I’ll have James here arrest you.”

I looked at James, and he wasn’t smiling. He also had his hand resting on the butt of the pistol on his belt.

“No, Mrs. Robbins, I wouldn’t ever do anything like that. It’s just…never mind. I apologize for asking you again.”

That was a Friday. I went home still wondering how those cards were getting to my desk, and I was still wondering on Monday morning when I walked into the office. It didn’t surprise me that there was another card on my desk.

It was a drawing of a puppy with a pink collar, and it said, “You make my tail wag. Please be my Valentine.” On the back was another poem in the same handwriting.

 

Roses are red,

And the leaves are all green,

I’m not Mrs. Robbins,

I’m on the rocket machine.

 

I didn’t know how whoever it was would know I suspected Mrs. Robbins, but evidently she’d told that person. At least I had a clue to my secret admirer now.

The “rocket machine” wasn’t a machine that made rockets. The operators in the plant liked to give their machines names. One of the robots was named “Maynard” and another was “Clyde”. A machine with a long, round, white nylon bearing guide was known as “John”. When I asked Penny why it was named “John”, she grinned and asked me if I’d ever heard of John Holmes.

The “rocket machine” was a multi-station press with the press cylinders all standing up on end like candles in a candlestick. It did look a little like six rockets standing in a circle. When I’d had it built and put it on the floor, that’s what Peggy had said.

“It looks like this thing could take off to the moon. It’s a rocket machine.”

“Rocket Machine” sort of stuck, and it’s been known by that name since.

When I walked out to that machine that afternoon, I knew the operator running it. She was Veronica Ashley, and I knew her because she’d been the operator who helped me get the machine checked out and up and running production. She preferred to be called “Ronnie”, or so she’d told me after that first day.

“Mr. Henderson, could you call me Ronnie? I don’t like Veronica very much. It sounds like a name some movie star would have and I’m a long way from a movie star.”

I said I’d call her Ronnie if she’d call me Mark, and she grinned.

“That’s better. Now, what do you want me to do next?”

Ronnie had been a lot of fun to work with, but that was all. In the factory, you didn’t look at a woman’s left hand to see if she was married or not because the Safety Department had deemed rings to be a safety hazard. Instead, the married women took off their rings and pinned them to the front of their uniform shirt with a safety pin. Ronnie had an engagement ring and a wedding ring pinned over her left breast.

When I walked up to her that day, Ronnie grinned.

“Hi Mark. We don’t see you much out here anymore. How’s it goin’?”

I smiled back.

“It would be going great if I could figure out who’s leaving Valentines on my desk every night. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?”

She gave me a sheepish look.

“I might.”

“Why would you do that? You’re already married.”

Ronnie shook her head.

“Was. Not anymore. I lost my husband a year ago. They said it was a heart attack.”

I felt like a real ass then.

“I’m sorry Ronnie.”

She smiled again.

“Don’t be. We had a great life together, almost twenty-five years. I didn’t want to let him go, but sometimes you don’t have any choice. It sounds bad to say I’m over it now, but I am. I still miss him, but I know he wouldn’t want me to grieve forever. Marty wasn’t like that. He’d want me to go on living and being happy.”

“So, being happy means you put kid’s valentines with silly poems on my desk?”

“Well, sort of. I liked you a lot that time we worked so much together. I just wondered if…well, if you might have liked me a little too. I couldn’t just run in the office and ask you and you never come out here anymore. I thought maybe if I gave you a valentine, you’d come talk to me.

“They were old kid’s valentines I found in a closet when I cleaned it out after Marty died. I didn’t want to throw them away, so I put them back. I remembered them a couple of weeks ago, and decided to give you one. It was fun because you called security to find out who it was, so I kept sending them. The little poems were just to keep you interested.”

“How did you get them on my desk? Security said nobody but Mrs. Robbins was in that office after hours.”

Ronnie shook her head.

“You have to meet me after work for me too tell you that. I’m getting behind, and Gladys will wonder why I’m sitting here talking instead of working.”

Well, I did want to know, and since Ronnie wasn’t married and I did like her…

“Where would you like to meet?”

“How about the pancake place just up the road? You get off at five, right? I’ll be there at five. Uh-oh, here comes Gladys. I better get busy. See you tonight.”

The rest of that afternoon, I kept wondering about Ronnie. When I’d worked with her before, she’d been fun and joked with me a little but she’d never given me any indication she liked me. I’d liked her too, but since she was married, it was just liking her as a person.

It wasn’t that she wasn’t good looking, well, as good looking as any of the women were in their uniforms. The uniform was a shirt and pants, and though they were cut for a woman’s body, they were far from being sexy. They also had to wear hairnets so their hair wouldn’t get caught in any machinery. About the only way a woman could improve her appearance at work was with makeup, but most of them didn’t bother. Ronnie didn’t either.

What I couldn’t figure out is why, after two years, she’d wanted to talk to me. The fact she was a widow made me wonder if she was one of those women looking for a man to take care of her. She was probably doing OK financially because our wages were fairly high given the area, but maybe that wasn’t enough. The fact she’d been so forward about it sort of reinforced that thought.

When I walked into the pancake house, I didn’t see her at first. I didn’t see her until she stood up and waved at me, but the woman waving wasn’t Ronnie. That’s what I thought anyway, but when I looked closer, I saw the same face. That was all that was the same.

She’d changed from her uniform into a snug top and jeans, and while they didn’t fit as tight as what I saw the young girls at the mall wearing, there was no doubt Ronnie had a pretty nice figure. She’d also let her hair down, and the waves of golden blonde were long enough to cover her shoulders. When I got closer, I could see she’d also used at least lipstick. Her lips were a pale pink and shiny.

When I sat down, Ronnie chuckled.

“Didn’t know who I was, did you?”

“No, not at first. You’re a lot different.”

Ronnie smiled.

“Well thank you. I tried.”

A waitress walked up and sat a cup of coffee down in front of Ronnie and then asked if I wanted something to drink. When I said I’d take a cup of coffee, she walked away to get it, and I turned in my chair to watch her. I turned back to Ronnie and she was grinning.

“You men just have to look at a woman’s butt, don’t you?”

“I wasn’t looking at her butt.”

“Yes you were.”

“Well maybe I was, but she’s too young for me so that’s all I was doing, just looking. Now, how did you get those Valentines on my desk.”

“I had help.”

“Who? Mrs. Robbins?”

Ronnie shook her head.

“No, it wasn’t Mrs. Robbins.”

“Then who was it?”

“Oh, here she comes with your coffee. I’ll tell you when she leaves again.”

As I was stirring three little cups of creamer into my coffee, Ronnie sipped hers and then put her cup down.

“You know that security officer who let Mrs. Robbins into the office the night you stayed over, Officer Barnes?”

“Yes.”

“He’s my sister’s husband, James.”

“So you convinced him to give me your Valentines.”

Ronnie swirled the coffee in her cup.

“No, not exactly. My sister worries about me all the time because I’m alone. She said I should be looking for another man. I told her I didn’t know any men well enough to talk to them about anything like that. She said there had to be somebody at work I liked.

“You’re the only man I really like at work, Mark, and I told her that, but I said I never saw you very often. She said I could write you a note, couldn’t I. I said I probably could, but I didn’t have any way to get it to you. That’s when James said he could.

“Well, I thought about that when I went home and decided you probably wouldn’t pay any attention to a note. That’s when I remembered the Valentines in my closet. I thought maybe if I gave you one but didn’t tell you who I was, you might be interested enough to try to find out. If you did, I’d tell you who I was. That night, I gave it to James on my way out of the plant.

“When James told me you’d called security and asked who’d been in the office, I sort of got my hopes up, so I gave James another one to give you, this time with a poem.

“You probably think I’m being pretty bold and that I want something from you. That’s not the way it is, Mark. I just wanted to talk to you. I haven’t talked to a man except my doctor and the clerks at the grocery store in over a year. What my doctor and I do together isn’t exactly fun, and the clerks at the grocery store…well, I’m old enough to be their mother.”

I had to smile then.

“Ronnie, there are a lot of men out there who’d like to talk to you. You dress up really nice, and you were fun that time we worked together.”

Ronnie frowned.

“Yes, you’d think so, but you don’t know how those men out there are. They’re either drooling over some young girl with perky boobs and a tight little butt, or they’re looking for a woman who’ll…well, I’m not jumping into bed with any man I don’t know really, really well.”

“You don’t think I’m the same way?”

Ronnie grinned.

“Well you did look at the waitress, but then you said she was too young for you. You haven’t asked me to sleep with you yet, so I haven’t decided about that part.”

“You think I might do that?”

Ronnie grinned again.

“I don’t know. Would you?”

“It’s been a while, but if I remember right, that usually requires a little seducing first.”

Ronnie sipped her coffee.

“So, are you going to seduce me, or are we just going to talk?”

I’d forgotten how Ronnie was, but I was remembering now. When we’d worked together on the rocket machine, she’d never said anything leading or risqué, but she’d always been quick to reply to some joke I made. She’d also been quick to admit she didn’t know something but really wanted to learn. That was different than most of the other women in the shop. They were working because they had to, and most of them didn’t enjoy it much less want to learn anything more than they absolutely had to.

Now, she was just as quick witted, but she was leading me on like crazy. I kind of liked that. She was the first woman I’d talked with who didn’t seem embarrassed about anything and I liked that too.

“Well, I think we’d better just talk, but not here. Have you had dinner yet?”

“No, but I’m dressed for a pancake house, not for dinner.”

“Nah, your fine. Let me pay for our coffee and then let’s go to that steakhouse over on Tenth.”

When I got to work the next morning, I had another Valentine on my desk, but this one was different. It was about normal size and was a sketch of a woman with her finger on her cheek. The front said “I was wondering what you could get me for Valentine’s Day. In the inside, it said, “I think getting lost with you would do it”.

On the back was another poem.

 

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

You finally found me,

I loved talking with you.

P.S. Can we do that again sometime?

 

Most men would probably have been irritated because Ronnie was basically asking me for a date. I wasn’t. I admit I was a little amazed, but I wasn’t irritated. Our conversation at the steak house had been great. I learned a lot about Ronnie I hadn’t known before.

Ronnie had two kids, but both were grown and married. She still lived in the same house, though she said it was too big for her.

“I should probably move to a smaller place, but that house is where I raised my kids, and it’s where they come back for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I just keep the upstairs closed off until then and live in the rooms on the first floor.”

The conversation had somehow turned to what we did in our spare time. I told her I liked to fish and she grinned.

“So did Marty. He’d have had me out on his boat every weekend if we hadn’t had kids at home. I don’t fish, so when I did go with him, he fished and I sunbathed. Before the kids, I wore a bikini. After my son was born, I changed to a one-piece. Marty didn’t like it, but I wasn’t showing my tummy to anybody.”

It surprised me that Ronnie would be that frank with me, but then, she’d already surprised me a lot. That was another thing I liked about her. She was like getting presents on my birthday. I’d get a present from Mom and Dad and two others from my grandparents. It was fun opening them and finding out what was inside. That’s how Ronnie was. She’d tell me something I’d never imagined she’d tell me, and before I got that all resolved with what I originally thought about her, she’d tell me something else I didn’t expect.

She grinned when I walked out to the rocket machine that afternoon.

“Get my card?”

“Yes, I did. What would you think of dinner at Disio’s tonight?”

“I’ve never been there. How fancy is it?”

“About like the steakhouse. You could wear anything from jeans to a nice dress.”

She smiled.

“About six?”

I said six would be fine and I’d pick her up at her house.

Ronnie smiled.

“You mean like we’re having a real date? I haven’t had a real date in twenty-five years.”

“Yes, like a real date. You’ll have to tell me where you live though.”

Ronnie surprised me again when I knocked on the door of the two-story house out on the edge of the suburbs. I figured she’d be wearing pants and a blouse again, but she’d put on a blue dress that her curves filled out well enough I was wondering what those curves looked like naked. She also looked like she’d spent a lot more time on her makeup. Her lips were that pale pink again, but she’d done something with her blue eyes that made them look really sultry. I was wondering if she’d done that for me or if it was what she always did when she dressed up.

Dinner was more talking about what we’d done over the years. Ronnie listened quietly when I told her about my marriage and divorce, and then put her hand on mine.

“Mark, I can’t imagine what you must have gone through. I’m so sorry for you.”

“Well, that’s all in the past now. Like you said about your husband, I’m over it.”

Ronnie smiled.

“I don’t think you are. You might tell yourself you are, but deep down, I think you really aren’t. If you were, you’d have found another wife by now.”

“I don’t miss her, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

Ronnie stroked the back of my hand.

“No, I’m thinking you’re probably afraid of what might happen if you find another woman you like. You’re afraid it might turn out the same way.”

Her soft hand was sending little tingles down my back. I shrugged so she wouldn’t see me shiver.

“Maybe, a little.”

Ronnie looked down at the table then.

“I’m the same way. I’m afraid if I find another man, he won’t be like Marty and love me. He’ll just be a man I live with. I don’t want that anymore than you want another woman like your ex-wife.”

I pulled my hand out from under Ronnie’s to pick up my coffee cup. I would have normally used my other hand, but Ronnie’s fingers were giving me thoughts I probably shouldn’t have been having so soon.

I put down my cup after taking a sip, and grinned.

“Ronnie, all you have to do to find that man is keep dressing like you are tonight and then sort through all the guys who ask you out until you find the one you want.”

Ronnie blushed.

“That’s what you told me last night, but it hasn’t worked so far.”

“Well, how often do you dress up and go out?”

She looked at me and grinned.

“It’s kind of hard to get dressed up and go out if nobody asks you out. I can’t just dress up like this and go grocery shopping, now can I?”

I chuckled.

“The store clerks would probably appreciate it if you did.”

Ronnie waved her hand.

“They wouldn’t give me a second look, not with all those young girls running around in their leggings and skin-tight tops.”

It’s funny how sometimes you say things without realizing what you’re saying.

“I would.”

Ronnie grinned then.

“So, if you saw me in the grocery store dressed like this, what would you do, just look or try to introduce yourself?”

“Well, since I wouldn’t know you, I’d probably just look.”

She chuckled.

“If that’s all you’d do, you probably don’t have to worry about finding another woman. We can’t do it all, you know. It’s not ladylike.”

I chuckled too.

“So sending me Valentines was ladylike, but introducing yourself to me in the grocery store wouldn’t be?”

“Well, that was different. I already knew you.”

We talked some more over coffee and when Ronnie said she should probably be getting home, I realized I didn’t want to take her home. The more we talked, the more I liked her.

I did take Ronnie home, but when I walked her to her door, I asked if she’d like to have dinner again the next night. She smiled.

“You mean like another date?”

“Yeah, I guess we could call it another date.”

Ronnie stroked my arm.

“I’d like that, but I have to go see my sister tomorrow night. We could on Thursday though.”

“OK, Thursday it is. Any place special you’d like to go?”

Ronnie patted my arm.

“Wherever you decide will be fine, but if I have to dress up more, you’ll have to tell me. I don’t want you to be embarrassed to take me somewhere.”

On my way home, I was thinking Ronnie was still a riddle I hadn’t yet solved. As confident as she always seemed to be, when I’d asked her if she had a favorite restaurant, she said I should decide. She wasn’t bashful about telling me she wanted another man to be with, but when I told her that shouldn’t be a problem for her, she wasn’t confident anymore. I decided I liked both sides of her.

Thursday afternoon, I walked out to the rocket machine and asked Ronnie if she liked Chinese food. When she said she loved egg rolls and about anything stir-fried, I said we’d go to The Royal Mandarin, and she didn’t need to dress up.

When I picked Ronnie up that night, I figured she must not have understood what not dressing up meant. Her black dress was cut low enough in front the swell of her breasts was showing, and the hem was high enough I figured she had to be wearing pantyhose. She was almost as tall as I in her shiny black heels, and like before, her face and hair were beautiful.

That night would have been about like the other dinners we’d had together if the young, Chinese waitress hadn’t said what she did when she took our order.

“Would you like to order separate selections, or would you like to share our sampler? Many married couples like to share.”

Ronnie chuckled.

“We’re not married. We’re just having dinner together.”

The girl blushed then.

“I’m sorry. It just looked like you were a man and his wife.”

After the girl took our order and walked back to get our drinks, Ronny grinned.

“I wonder why she thought we were married. Do we look married?”

I shrugged.

“I don’t think I know what looking married looks like.”

The subject didn’t come up again during dinner, but I didn’t forget about it. I kept asking myself why the girl would have thought that. I didn’t think I was acting any different than if Ronnie was just a friend. Yes, sometimes when she looked at me, she looked a little different, but in my experience, all women change their facial expression depending upon what they’re talking about. It was just the way women are. They tend to let their thoughts reflect in their faces a lot more then men.

Maybe that was it. Maybe the girl had seen Ronnie smile some way that was probably innocent enough, but looked to the girl like Ronnie was smiling at me. Ronnie smiled all the time, so yeah, that was probably what it was.

When I took Ronnie home that night, she was pretty quiet until I walked her to her front door. She started to unlock the door, but then turned back and smiled.

“Mark, I had a nice time tonight, but I can’t let you keep spending money on me.”

Well, that made me feel pretty low. The money wasn’t anything to me. Being with Ronnie was, and it sounded like she was saying she didn’t want to go out with me again.

“Ronnie, I’m not spending more than I can afford to spend, and I can’t think of any way of spending it I’d like more. I hope you’re not saying we can’t do this again.”

Ronnie put her hand on my arm.

“No, I’m not saying that. I’m just saying…well, could I make dinner for you tomorrow night?”

I didn’t know what to expect when I drove into Ronnie’s drive Friday night. She’d surprised me again. I knew she liked me, and maybe she liked me a lot, but inviting me into her house for dinner was maybe more than just liking me.

Over the past week, I’d discovered I liked Ronnie a lot too, more than any other woman I knew. It was an odd feeling. After the first two dinners, I found myself not wanting to take her home, but afraid that if I told her that, she’d just laugh and say we were just friends.

I did consider us to be friends, but I was starting to think we could be more. I just didn’t know how to tell her something like that.

When Ronnie answered the door, I just stood there for a couple of seconds, and she noticed.

“Are you going to come in, or do I have to drag you in?”

I laughed.

“I wasn’t sure I got the right house. You look fantastic.”

She did look fantastic too. Her dress was red and scooped so low at the neck, the cleavage I’d always imagined was right there, an inviting cleft between the two soft mounds of her breasts. The bottom of the dress was pretty great too. It wasn’t that it was so short because it wasn’t. It was the slit up both sides that ended so high I wasn’t sure how Ronnie could be wearing anything underneath. The creamy skin of her nylon encased thighs that peeked out of the slits just made it all even better.

Ronnie grinned.

“I got this for a party years ago. Marty thought I should look sexy and I thought this dress would do that. He did too. It still fit, so I thought, hey, it’s almost Valentines Day and the color fits the season so I’ll dress like a valentine.”

I grinned back at her.

“Well, I’ve never seen a valentine this sexy in my life.”

“Well, thank you. Now, come on in. Dinner’s almost ready.”

Besides looking absolutely fabulous, Ronnie was a good cook. She’d made a roast with potatoes and carrots, one of my favorites. After we ate, she asked if I’d like a cup of coffee, and when I said I would, she got up to start the coffee maker.

“While I’m making coffee and cleaning up a little, why don’t you go in the living room and have a seat on the couch. When our coffee’s done, I’ll bring it in there.”

Ronnie’s living room showed the touch of a woman, but not overly so. I didn’t have little pillows on my couch like she did, but my layout was basically the same – couch with a coffee table in front of it, one chair on either side with a table and a reading lamp on each. There were a few pictures on the wall, and one caught my eye so I walked over for a closer look.

What had caught my eye at first was the picture of what looked like a bass boat sitting in the water. When I got closer, that picture was a lot more interesting. It was a woman stretched out on the casting floor of the bow. The woman in the white bikini was a lot younger and didn’t have as much figure, but the face was Ronnie’s.

“That was me when I was young and skinny.”

Ronnie had slipped up behind me without me knowing anybody was there.

She smiled when I looked at her.

“Marty took that picture of me and hung it right there. I should take it down, but somehow, I can’t. When my kids come home they always kid me about it, but it brings back memories, so I leave it up there.”

“You should. You were a really good-looking woman then. Not as good as now, but still pretty good.”

“That’s what Marty always said. After the kids were born, my boobs got bigger and he liked that.”

She frowned then.

“So did my butt. Marty said he liked that too, but I didn’t believe that part.”

“Why not?”

She shrugged.

“Why did you watch that waitress walk away at the pancake house?”

I put my hand on her shoulder.

“Ronnie, just because a man looks doesn’t mean he wants what he’s looking at. Some us like women to be soft and round.”

“Is that why you looked at me like you did when I answered the door?”

I grinned.

“Well, you surprised me.”

“So you didn’t like what you saw?”

I shook my head.

“No, Ronnie, I liked what I saw a lot. You’re a beautiful woman.”

Ronnie took a step closer and stroked her index finger down my cheek.

“If a beautiful woman asked you to do something for her, would you?”

“I guess that would depend on what she asked me to do.”

Ronnie put her arms around my neck.

“What if she asked you to kiss her?”

“I could probably do that.”

Ronnie stepped close enough her soft breasts pressed into my chest. Her voice was soft, low, and a little husky.

“Then what are you waiting for?”

I hadn’t been waiting on anything. I’d been ready to kiss her when she put her finger on my cheek. That feather touch had sent a shock down my spine that ended up in my cock.

I thought kissing Ronnie would be nice. It was a lot more than just nice. By the time she broke the kiss, I was ready to pick her up and carry her off to bed. I didn’t, of course, but I was ready to do that.

Ronnie smiled.

“Is that how you kiss all your beautiful women?”

“I don’t know. You’re the only beautiful woman I know.”

Ronnie still hadn’t backed up, so her breasts were still pressed against my chest. I knew she had to be feeling my cock pressing against her tummy too, because it already hard.

Ronnie grinned then.

“The way you kiss is nice. If I’m feeling what I think I’m feeling, you must have liked it too.”

Well, what could I say except to tell her the truth.

“I did. I’m sorry about the other thing, but kissing beautiful women does that to me.”

Ronnie moved her body from side to side and rubbed her mound over my cock, and then smiled.

“It does the same thing to women too. You just can’t feel it. You could though, if you wanted to.”

Ronnie was leading me on again, and it wasn’t like I needed any leading. I just wasn’t sure that’s what she really wanted.

“Ronnie, I want to, but isn’t it kind of soon?”

Ronnie moved her body again and smiled when my cock lurched a little.

“Don’t you think we’re both old enough to know what we’re doing? It’s not like we’re eighteen and in the back seat of your car at the drive-in. We’re here, just a few feet from my bed.”

“Well, yes, but I never expected anything like this.”

Ronnie smiled.

“Mark, sometimes it’s better to just accept things that happen and not question them.”

It was easy to accept Ronnie leading me back to her bedroom. It was easy to accept it when she pulled the spread, blanket and sheet down to the foot of the bed. It was when she put her arms around my neck again that I forgot about questioning anything.

“My dress unzips down the back. Undress me”, she whispered in my ear, and then sent another shock down my spine when she nibbled my earlobe.

The zipper was easy. Getting the dress off her was a little harder, but once I lifted it over her head, I knew it was worth all the effort. Ronnie wasn’t the slender girl in the picture, but I liked the now Ronnie a lot better.

When I unhooked her bra, her breasts sagged a little because of their weight, but they were soft mounds that tempted me as soon as I slipped the bra off her shoulders. Ronnie shivered when I cupped them, and shivered again when I stroked my thumbs over her darker nipples.

I kissed her then, more to prolong the pleasure of undressing her than because I needed any more encouragement. It was the same soft kiss, except Ronnie slipped her tongue between my lips and then into my mouth. I felt like moaning when our tongues touched, but I stopped it. Ronnie didn’t.

She moaned again when I stroked my hands down her back and cupped her hips. They weren’t tight and firm. They were soft, round, and moved away from my hands when I squeezed gently and I loved how that felt. I hooked my thumbs in the waistband of her thong panties, and then eased back so I could pull them down her legs.

Once I had her panties down to her ankles, Ronnie stepped out of them and then laid back on her bed.

“Shouldn’t you be getting your clothes off now”, she grinned.

It didn’t take me long to do that. I stretched out beside Ronnie, and stroked her right breast. She closed her eyes and smiled.

“I remember this part. Do you remember what comes next?”

A lot of things came next that night, things I remembered how to do, but didn’t remember ever causing the effect they had on Ronnie. Just a few strokes to her nipples made them stand up taut and all covered with little ridges on the sides. A kiss to her nipple caused Ronnie to moan and hold my face there. When I closed my lips around that rigid nipple and then sucked, Ronnie’s hips lifted up a little and she moaned again.

After that, I stopped being amazed and just enjoyed. I loved Ronnie’s breasts and nipples, the way her breasts sort of flowed away from my touch only to settle softly back onto her chest, and the way her nipples seemed to pop up when first touched and then stay that way. I love the way she moaned when her nipple beds tightened into a darker mass of ripples and little bumps.

I loved the way she stroked down my belly until she found my cock, closed her fingers around it, and then began stroking me gently. When I cupped her mound and then slipped a fingertip between her lips to gently separate the hair, she stopped stroking for a second. When I slipped my finger between her soft lips, she moaned and started stroking me again.

From that point on, I wasn’t making love to Ronnie. We were making love to each other and that was a new experience for me. Once I’d slipped a finger inside her entrance, Ronnie put her arm over my chest and pulled herself up so she could kiss me. There was no doubt about what that kiss meant because it wasn’t kissing. It was Ronnie making love to my mouth at the same time I made love to her soft, puffy lips, stiff little clit, and snug entrance.

She was wet and slippery when I slipped a second finger in beside the first. Ronnie moaned, arched her body into my fingers, and then began pulling on my cock. She didn’t have to tell me what that meant.

Ronnie spread her thighs wide when I raised up, and when I knelt between them, she pulled me down on top of her. It took a little probing to find her entrance with my cock head, but when I did, Ronnie caught her breath and then held it while I worked my cock in and out until the base flattened her lips into her thighs. She gasped for air, then moaned and held her breath as I stroked back out.

We made love slowly, I suppose because we both wanted to prolong the conclusion in order to enjoy the sensation of being one. I know that’s what I wanted to do because it really felt like we were one. I felt Ronnie’s hands stroking my back or holding me tight, and I felt her press her thighs into my sides to keep me inside her when I started stroking back out. She always let me after a few seconds, and when I stroked back in, she’d open her thighs to let me push my cock in as far as I could.

If we hadn’t been taking it slow, all those sensations would have quickly pushed me over the edge. The slow pace just kept me approaching that edge but never quite getting there. I think it was the same for her because she didn’t try to hurry anything. She just lay there underneath me stroking my back or pulling on my hips to hold my cock inside her.

That began to change after a while though, and Ronnie was the one who made the change. She started to breathe a little faster and I started feeling little contractions around my cock. A minute or so later, she was panting and pulling on my hips with every stroke. Then I felt her begin to tense up, and a few strokes after that, she raised her hips up off the bed enough to lift us both. She gasped then because my cock slipped a little deeper inside her, then held her breath while her thighs shook.

She fell back down only to lift us up again when I stroked in, and this time she made a tiny little cry. She fell back down, then arched up high, dug her nails into my back, and then gasped again. The thighs hugging my waist began to quiver, then shake, and the contractions around my cock kept increasing in speed. A second later, Ronnie cried out again and quickly rocked her body up and down over my cock. I lost control and spurted inside her three times, then kept stroking because it felt so good.

When Ronnie eased back down on the bed, she pulled me down with her and locked her thighs around my waist to keep my cock inside her. The little contractions I was still feeling pushed it out after a while, but Ronnie still wouldn’t let me go. She just held me where I was with her thighs, stroked my back, and breathed against my neck.

The contractions in her tummy ended a little later, and Ronnie nibbled my earlobe, then whispered, “I’m not going to let you go unless you promise to spend the night with me.”

I kissed her, just a soft kiss, and then stroked her cheek.

“Ronnie, wild horses couldn’t drag me out of this bed.”

I woke up the next morning and remembered where I was when Ronnie stroked my chest.

“Did you sleep well?”

“I guess so. I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night.”

Ronnie kissed me and then grinned.

“What would you like for breakfast…me or something else?”

We did eat breakfast about ten and skipped lunch because we were back in bed together. We took a shower together afterward, the first shower I’d taken with a woman in a lot of years. I’d forgotten how fantastic it feels to have soapy breasts against my chest.

We got dressed then, mostly because we couldn’t very well sit on her couch naked. Ronnie fixed coffee, and after she sat the cups on the coffee table, she sat down beside me and put her hand on my thigh.

“Mark, you can’t imagine how good I feel right now. I feel…I feel so good I don’t know how to tell you how good I feel.”

I put my arm around her then.

“I feel great too, but I have to ask why you wanted this to happen. I mean, I’ve thought about it over the past few days, but I wouldn’t have tried anything with you, not until we’d been together for a while.”

Ronnie laid her head on my shoulder.

“It was what my sister said about sending you a note. When I came home, I thought about that for a while, and while I was thinking, I remembered working with you that time. Marty was still with me then, but all women think about other men sometimes. When we worked together that time, I thought to myself if something ever happened to Marty, you’re the man I’d choose.

“It took me a year to come to grips with losing him. For a long time, I missed him, missed him being with me and missed making love with him, but after a while, all I felt was lonely. My kids were gone, Marty was gone, and I was all by myself. I decided to see if there was anything there. I thought there might be because you seemed to like me then. I didn’t think you’d ever see me that way, so I decided I’d have to make you see me.”

I gave Ronnie a little hug.

“Well, you sure did a good job at that. I’m not sure I can not see you ever again. I don’t know where we’re going with this though. We still don’t know much about each other.”

“I know. Could we just keep seeing each other until we do?”

“You mean like dating?”

“No, I mean dating and ending up like we did last night. I don’t think I can give that up again.”

Well, we’ve been “dating” for almost six months now. It’s funny how you can like a woman and then suddenly decide you can’t live without her, but that’s what happened to me. It wasn’t the sex, though that just got better and better. It was just how Ronnie is. That time we worked together, I knew she was fun to be with. After that night, and then waking up with her two days in a row, I decided Ronnie was a lot more than fun. She was the woman I’d always hoped to find but never had.

I know she feels the same way about me. I know because that picture of her in a bikini is now in her bedroom closet. In its place is a picture I took of her on the bow on my boat. Ronnie wouldn’t buy a bikini no matter what I said, but she’s there in her one-piece suit, stretched out on the bow and looking beautiful.

We haven’t made any firm plans yet, though we both know where we want this to go. I have to meet her kids yet and that won’t happen until Thanksgiving. They know about me, but they’re a little leery. I understand that. I’ll just have to show them I love their mother like life itself. That should be easy, because it’s true.

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