Marriage and Other Inconvenient Things

Info silverhawk
02 Jun. '20

I hadn’t wanted to go to Italy, much less to Turin, but travel goes with the job of Engineering Manager for Blake Industries.  I knew going in that I’d have to travel.  I just hadn’t thought that meant anywhere but the US.  Our products were electrical connectors used throughout the US auto and other industries and had been for years.  It was usual for one of the Big Three purchasing agents to call our sales guys and say they needed a new connector for a new application.  My engineers would take their specs and design the connector, have some prototypes made, and then give them to the customer for testing.  Usually we got the order.  We were the number one connector supplier for the US market.

One of our customers was Chrysler Corporation, and they were using our connectors at the time Fiat acquired them.  A couple of Fiat engineers had seen our connectors and expressed interest in them.  Our Sales Manager took their specifications and passed them on to me.  I, in turn, assigned the project to two of my engineers, and after about a month, they had prototypes ready for the customer.

Sales felt that since this was our introduction to Fiat, it shouldn’t be just an engineer who delivered the prototypes.  That’s why I was on a flight from Chicago to Dublin and then on to Milan.  In Milan, I’d rent a car and drive to Turin and the hotel room I’d reserved.

The only saving grace about the trip, other than the chance to sell our connectors to Fiat, was that I’d taken a week of vacation that would start the Monday after my meeting with Fiat.  Since my meeting was on Friday afternoon, I’d spend the weekend and the next five days in Italy, taking in the sights.  All it would cost me was my hotel room and meals.

My meeting was great.  The Engineering Manager thought our connectors were excellent and was going to specify them for the next model year.  Blake would see that business in about a year and would be our first venture outside of the US.  I had dinner that night at Brun - Buona Pasta Fresca to celebrate.  I don’t speak any Italian, but the waitress spoke pretty good English and recommended the ravioli ricotta limone pistacchio with pesto alle genovese and ragu sauce.

I’d eaten ravioli in the US, but this was so much better it was unbelievable.  The waitress smiled when I told her that and said that was because everything was made right there the very same day, some of it right after I ordered.  I was stuffed, but I topped off dinner with a slice of tiramisu and a cup of Italian coffee.  

I’d already spent several nights browsing the internet for things to do In Milan and on Saturday morning, I started walking.  

I’ve always liked walking when seeing the sights.  Tours will take you to all the best known places and I intended to see those, but when you walk you can find gems that aren’t in any of the guidebooks.

First on my list was Mole Antonelliana.  It looked interesting and had an interesting history.  I almost didn’t ride the elevator to the dome because I don’t like heights and the elevator was all glass, but then I figured this would probably be my only trip here.  It was scary, but not as bad as I'd imagined.

The view from the top was fantastic even though it took about two minutes before my asshole relaxed enough I could enjoy it.  That’s what always happens when I get someplace high.  My asshole tries to retreat as far inside me as it can get.

Next on my list was the Via Po, a street built in the 17th century from The Piazza Castello to the River Po.  The walk was great, and the scenery was fantastic.  According to what I’d read, Via Po is near a university and the people on the street proved it was.  There were students all over the place on the street.  I didn’t look at the young guys all that much, but the young women were pretty awesome.  It was like being surrounded by a crowd of very young Sophia Lorens and Gina Lollabrigidas.  About all had beautiful, slender, but very feminine bodies, long black hair, olive skin, and dark eyes that made them look both beautiful and mysterious.  I found myself wishing a little that I was twenty again.

As I walked toward the River Po, I looked in the shops that lined the street.  There were a lot of book stores and I browsed through a few but didn’t find anything I wanted.  I did find a place for lunch, and Pasticceria Abrate is one of the reasons I walk.  

Pasticceria Abrate was just a small café that most people might walk past.  I went in because it looked interesting and since I’d gotten a late start, my stomach was telling me it was time to eat something.  After finding an employee who spoke English and could help me order, I had lunch at the cicchetti bar and then a piece of the cake of the day and a cappucino.  It was from that employee I learned why the interior of the place was so charming.  It had been in the same building since 1866.

By the time I turned back to my hotel, it was almost six in the afternoon, I’d been to the River Po and seen a lot of really neat places, and I was hungry.  On my way back, I stopped at Scapadaca.  From the outside it looked great with a place for open air dining.  I wasn’t sure exactly what they served, but the aromas coming from the door told me it would be good.  

Most people going in were headed to the bar, and I followed them.  The bartender spoke pretty good English and filled me in on what I could get there.  He explained the food was a buffet and I could eat as much as I wanted for one price.  Then he asked me what I wanted to drink.  I’ve sampled the local drinks and food everywhere I’ve ever been, so I asked him to make me a cocktail I wouldn’t find anywhere except in Turin.  He grinned.

“Ah…you want a tamango.  You won’t find it made better anywhere, and you’ll never forget it.”

Well, the buffet was excellent and the bartender was right about a tamango.  I don’t know what he put in that drink, but I figured it was straight grain alcohol and something that colored it red.  The first sip made my throat burn and it burned all the way down to my stomach.  I decided it tasted pretty good, but it was a drink you had to have respect for, a whole lot of respect.  I just sipped it as I enjoyed the buffet.  As the night went on, I felt the effects and by the time I finished it, I was really relaxed.  I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep that night.

Since the next day was Sunday, I didn’t figure many places would be open so I’d planned on a trip to Lake Como.  It looked like a beautiful lake with lots of places to walk, and I enjoy walking along a lake shore.

I got there about ten after getting a little confused with my directions.  I had intended to just walk around and take some pictures, and that’s what I started to do.  

There were a lot of things to take pictures of.  It seemed every where I turned I saw an older building or a mountain.  Just the lake was beautiful and I took pictures of it.  I took pictures of the docks where the boats lay tied up, and I took pictures of more slender, black – haired young women in bikinis.  

I was taking pictures of the boats tied up at the dock when I discovered I wasn’t the only person there who didn’t speak Italian.  A man and his wife were talking to a man about renting a boat, but they weren’t getting through to him.  I’d started walking toward them to say hello and ask where they were from when a woman with short, red hair and fair skin walked up and said something in Italian to the man who rented boats.  He nodded knowingly and then said something back to her.

The woman turned to the man and his wife.

“He doesn’t English understand very well.  Now he knows what you want to do.  He said to use the little boat is two hours for ten euros.”

The man and wife thanked the woman and then walked away with the man toward the boats.  

The woman didn’t look Italian at all, at least not what I’d always thought of as Italian.  She looked about my age, and she didn’t have the slender figure like all the young women I’d been seeing.  Instead she had some very nice curves that started with large breasts, narrowed to a smaller waist, and then swelled again into hips wide enough to be sensuous without being fat.

I walked up to her and smiled.

“Ma’am, from what I could tell, Italian must be your native language, but you speak English better than any Italian I’ve met so far.  I don’t mean to be rude, but where are you from?”

She smiled a smile that made me smile back.

“I was born and raised in a town near here, in Ivrea.  You probably think I from somewhere else because I look not like Italian women in American movies, yes?  

“Well, yes.  I didn’t know any Italians had red hair.”

“We come in all hair colors, and we don’t all have olive skin and brown eyes.  Where do you live in the US?”

“How do you know I’m from the US?”

She chuckled.

“I live in Chicago so I know how American’s talk. You talk like a man I work with.  He is from Kentucky.”

“Well, actually, I live in South Bend, Indiana, but I used to live in Tennessee, near Nashville.”

She nodded.

“I know Nashville.  I went Nashville once.”

I stuck out my hand.

“I’m Jack Montgomery.  Pleased to meet you.”

She smiled.

“My name Rufina Roncalli.  I pleased meet you too.”

My watch said it was noon, and I was hungry.  

“Rufina, would you let me buy your lunch?  It’s the least I can do for a fellow American.”

She smiled.

“It is too early for lunch.  Italians eat lunch at two.”

“I can wait until two if you’ll have lunch with me.”

“Why do you want to have lunch with me?”

Ah, that was a question I hadn’t asked myself until then.  The answer wasn’t something she’d want to hear.  I didn’t really know her, but I already liked her.  When I asked myself why, it was a lot of things.

Rufina was a pretty woman and obviously an intelligent woman.  I loved the way she talked too.  I’d heard a lot of Italian men at Fiat speaking English and they were hard to understand.  Rufina didn’t use proper English part of the time, but I could understand her and her soft voice and accent were almost musical.

I smiled.

“I hate eating by myself, and I like the way you talk.”

She laughed.

“I sound like little girl and my accent too strong.  It is embarrassing me.”

I decided to risk it.

“I think it’s sexy.  You sound a little like Sophia Loren.”

I think that did embarrass her, because she stopped looking at me and looked at her feet.

“No one ever tell me that before, even my husband.”

“I didn’t know you were married.  Are you and your husband going to eat lunch together.”

Rufina shook her head.

“He in Chicago working.  I came by myself to see family.”

“Well, will you have lunch with me?”

Rufina smiled.

“I like La Vita e Bella.  We can walk there.”

I figured the place must be good, because we waited almost half an hour for a table.  That was hard for me to do because of the aromas coming from the place.  I was starving by then, and every little smell just made me hungrier.

When we finally got a table, Rufina smiled.

“What you’d like to eat?”

“I don’t know.  What’s good?”

“If you like veal, try the ossobouco milanese.  I will have that.”

Lunch was great, and the portion was so large I wasn’t sure I could finish it, but I did.  I leaned back then and grinned.

“Rufina, that was really great.  Thanks for recommending it.”

She smiled.

“Now, we must have tiramisu and coffee.”

I tried to say I was too full, but Rufina shook her head.

“You must have tiramisu or you will not know real Italian food.”

I managed to stuff the tiramisu into my stomach.  Well, actually, it was just as fantastic as the ossobouco milanese.  By the time we were finishing our coffee, I was full as a tick and needed to walk before I fell asleep.  Rufina smiled when I told her that.

“We walk and see many things then.  I like walk.  I see more when walk.”

We walked around the lakeshore, and every so often, Rufina would touch my arm and point to a building.  We’d walk there and she’d give me a sort of a guided tour.  By the time the sun started turning the water from blue to orange she’d taken me to Castello di Vezio, Villa Le Fontanelle, and Cathedral of Como.  Of them all, I was most impressed by the cathedral, and when I told Rufina that, she said I would like to see the Cathedral of Ivrea.

“The Cathedral of Ivrea is very famous in Italy.  We also have castle, The Castle of Ivrea.  You would like them both, I think.  I will show you if you come to Ivrea.”

I thought about that for a minute.  I could either go back to Turin and walk around by myself, or I could go to Ivrea and have my own personal guided tour by a woman I was starting to like a lot.  I was liking her enough I had to keep reminding myself we were both married.  

That was a hard thing to do.  Every time I watched Rufina walk, I remembered another time, a time when my own marriage seemed to be working well.  I’d watch Sue, my wife walking, and think about what we’d do in bed that night.  Sue had a great ass, still does, but over the years, she’d decided she didn’t like sex.  It had been years since we’d been together that way.

I’d pretty much accepted the fact that our love life was over.  I still loved Sue for the person she was, but when we stopped being intimate, something had gone out of my life.

When Rufina walked in front of me, I couldn’t help seeing how her ass swayed sensuously from side to side.  When she was facing me, I couldn’t help but stare at her heavy breasts.  She didn’t seem to be wearing a bra with much support, and every time she moved, her breasts moved seductively.  Both those things were stirring feelings I hadn’t had in a long, long time.

It was ridiculous that I was thinking that, of course.  She was just a woman who liked showing me the sights of her home country.  I didn’t know why she was so eager to do that, but that’s all it could be.

“Rufina, I’ve had such a wonderful time with you this afternoon.  I would like to see Ivrea with you too.  I think I would have to stay in Ivrea though.  If I don’t, I’ll spend a lot of time driving to and from Turin.  I can’t get back to Turin and then back to Ivrea tonight, but I’ll do that tomorrow.

“Would you meet me here tomorrow for lunch?  We could see some more here, then have dinner, and then drive back to Ivrea to stay for the rest of my trip.  What would you say to that?”

Rufina eyed me suspiciously.

“Why you want me do that?”

“Well, like I said, I had a wonderful time today.  I can walk around by myself, but since I don’t speak Italian, I can’t read the signs or read about what I’m seeing.  You made what we saw so much better.  I have to eat and I don’t like eating alone.  If I buy your lunch and dinner, I won’t have to eat alone and I can repay you for helping me.”

I couldn’t tell by her face what she really was thinking, but after realizing what I’d said, it probably wasn’t good.  I’d pretty much just asked a married woman out on a date.  It might have even sounded like I wanted her to stay with me once we got to Ivrea.  

“Rufina, I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I didn’t mean any more that what I said.  I’d just like you to show me more of Lake Como and have lunch and dinner with me.

She smiled then.

‘I borrow my brother’s car for today.  I can take train tomorrow though.  I meet you at train station here."

I smiled back.  "How much is a train ticket?  I’ll pay for that too if you’ll come.”

It was about five when I drove back to Milan. Rufina had said La Villa was a nice hotel that wasn’t as expensive than some in Ivrea, and she’d used her cell phone to make a reservation for me.  I went to sleep that night wondering what we’d see tomorrow and the rest of my week in Italy, and knowing I was going to enjoy whatever that was because Rufina would be with me.  

I picked Rufina up at the train station at the south end of Lake Como, and it was another great day.  By the time we stopped walking around for dinner, I’d seen all the things I’d read about in the tourist guides on-line, and Rufina had taken me to several really old, really interesting places I wouldn’t have seen if she hadn’t shown them to me.

We finished dinner at a little restaurant that wasn’t on any tourist guide, and were walking back to the parking lot when Rufina looked up at the sky.

“The moon is full tonight.  When I was a girl, I came here with friends and sit on the grass for a while just listening to the lake and watching the moon.”

I said that must have been really romantic, but Rufina just laughed.

“It would have been romantic if I had boyfriend, but I didn’t.  I was over-weight then so boys didn’t like me.”

“I can’t believe that.  You must have been a pretty girl, because you’re a pretty woman now.”

“No, I’m not.  I’m still overweight.”

I couldn’t let her believe I thought that.

“Then Italian standards aren’t the same as American standards.  Rufina, you’re not overweight at all.  You’re just a very sensuous woman.”

She laughed then.

“I saw you looking at all the young girls in their bikinis.”

“Yes, I looked, but that doesn’t mean they do anything for me.  They’re pretty girls, but they’re not…they’re not something I’d want.  I like a woman to look like a woman…“

I had to pause there because I didn’t know how Rufina would take what I was thinking.  I decided it didn’t matter, because she needed to hear it.

“like you do.”

I expected Rufina to tell me she didn’t believe me.  Instead, she stopped walking and put her hand on my arm.

“Do you mean that?”

“Yes.  I wouldn’t lie about something like that.”

“You not think my butt is too big?”

I shook my head.

“No, I think it’s just right.”

“How is it right?”

That was a question I didn’t really want to answer, because I’d answered it before when my wife had asked me the same thing.  There really isn’t any right answer.  I did try though, and I was surprised by what Rufina said.

“Well, you’re just round and soft in all the right places.”

She touched my arm again.

“Thank you.  Nobody ever tell me that.  My mother and my sisters always say my butt too big.  That why I only sit on grass and look at moon with other girls who not have boyfriends.”

Thinking back now, the idea that popped into my head was probably too much, too fast, but it slipped out before I realized it.

“Rufina, I’d have been happy to sit on the grass and look at the moon with you.  Still would.”

She squeezed my arm a little.

“Really?”

“Yes, really.”

There were a few other couples on the grassy area in front of the lake when we got there, and it was pretty easy to tell they weren’t there to listen to the waves lapping at the lake shore or to look at the moon.  Most were stretched out side by side in each other’s arms and kissing.

Rufina looked around and then chuckled, “I think they don’t hear the waves or see the moon.”

I grinned because she was grinning.

“Well, they look like they’re having fun though.”

She sighed.

“Yes, I missed that fun when I was young, and now…”

“What about now?”

“It’s not important.  Let’s just sit here for a while and then go Ivrea.”

It was warm during the day, so Rufina had dressed appropriately in a skirt and light blouse.  Sitting there on the grass beside the lake once the sun went down was a lot cooler because a light breeze blowing off the lake.

Rufina shivered.

“I should have brought a light jacket, but I didn’t imagine we’d be sitting on the grass tonight.”

I chuckled.

“They don’t seem to be cold.”

“No, but they’re keeping each other warm.”

I started to get up.

“Well, let’s drive to Ivrea then. You’ll be warm in the car.”

Rufina touched my shoulder.

“No, I fine for while.  I like sit here with you.  If you sit closer, I’ll be warmer.”

I wasn’t quite sure how to take that.  Was she trying to tell me something, or was she just staying because she wanted to?  I was pretty nervous when I sat down close enough our shoulders were touching.  Rufina didn’t try to move away.  

She sighed then.

“It’s nice to be here.  I can imagine what the girls out there are feeling.”

“Oh, what are they feeling.”

Rufina paused for a few moments before she answered, and when she did, she looked at me and smiled.

“They’re feeling warm and safe and loved.”

Rufina frowned then.

“That not too much for woman to ask for, is it?”

Her frown told me there was a lot more to Rufina than I knew or probably would ever know.

“No, it’s not.  I’d imagine all women want to feel that way.”

She looked at her cell phone then.

“Oh my, it’s later than I think it was.  My mother will wonder what I’ve been doing.  We should probably leave for Ivrea now.”

Well, that was a little confusing.  Two minutes before, Rufina had wanted to sit on the grass close to me and now she wanted to go.   After the last thing she’d said about wanting to feel warm, safe, and loved, I thought maybe she felt that way with me.  That made me feel pretty good.  That changed when she wanted to leave.  

Rufina didn’t say anything on the hour and half drive from Lake Como to Ivrea except to tell me where to turn off the A4 onto the SP143, and then guide me through the two roundabouts.  She also directed me through the roundabout from the SP143 to the SP228 and then told me where to get off to take her to her parent’s house.  

It was almost eleven when I pulled into the parking lot of La Villa.  It was easier to check in than I thought.  The man behind the counter spoke English very well.  Fifteen minutes later, I was undressed and in bed.

I couldn’t go to sleep even though I was pretty tired.  It was what Rufina said just before she got out of my car.  We’d arranged that I would drive to her house in the morning and then we’d walk to a place she liked for breakfast.  That all done, she looked at me and smiled a funny little smile.

“We do, you know.”

“You do what?”

“We women like feel safe and loved.”

Before I could say anything, she got out and closed the door.  I couldn’t figure out why she’d tell me something like that.

The next morning, Rufina was waiting for me outside when I drove up to her house.  She’d changed from a skirt and blouse to pants and a stretchy top, and both fit well enough there was no doubt she was a very sensuous woman.  I grinned.

“I’m going to have a lot of competition today.”

Rufina cocked her head.

“Why?”

“Because you look really good in those pants and that top, that’s why.”

She blushed then.

“It’s just what I wear when I go walking.”

“Well, all the men who see us are going to be jealous of me.”

She smiled then.

“Are you ready for a real Italian breakfast?”

The place Rufina took us to was named Bottega Del Canestrello.  I noticed I didn’t smell any bacon or ham, and when I asked her, Rufina smiled.

“Italians eat pastry and sweet things for breakfast that not need to cook.  Try the brioche and the canestrelli.  I’m sure you’ll like it.”

We spent the day walking around Ivrea, and I decided Rufina was right.  Ivrea was kind of two cities, one, a modern industrial city, and the other, the Ivrea that had been there for centuries.  We spent almost two hours in the cathedral.  Rufina told me the history about how it was built and rebuilt in stages over the years.  After that, we walked to Castello di Ivrea, a real castle and the first I’d ever seen.  We couldn’t go inside.  Rufina said the castle needed a lot of repairs before tourists could see the inside, but even the outside was fantastic.

What with walking everywhere and spending time at the cathedral and the castle, it was almost two.  Rufina said we should have lunch and walked down a side street to a tiny little restaurant.

“I went to school with the owner”, she said.  “It not fancy, but the food will be very good.”

The food was good.  I’d never had a panino before, but the bread was fresh and the filling of prosciutto crudo - uncooked proscuitto ham - was excellent.  

After lunch, we kept walking and I was enjoying every second because I was seeing the real Ivrea, not what some tour would have shown me.  Rufina knew several of the people working in the shops, and I bought a few souvenirs to take home.

It was almost five when I asked Rufina if I could buy her dinner again.  

She smiled.

“I thought you probably have enough of me for one day.”

I hadn’t had enough of Rufina, not nearly enough.  Walking around with her all day had shown me just how much I was missing with my wife.  Over the years, and especially once our kids left home, Sue and I had grown apart and it wasn’t just that we didn’t have sex any more.  We hardly ever did anything together other than an occasional shopping trip to one of the malls in South Bend.  Even then, we’d part and go our separate ways.  When she was done, she’d call me on my cell phone and say she was ready to leave.  Usually I took the call sitting on a bench and watching people go by.

Rufina was a joy to be with because she actually acted like I was there.  She told me about what we were seeing, of course, but we talked about other things too, things like what I did for a living and what she did.  She seemed very interested that I was an engineer in charge of other engineers, and wanted to know all about my meeting in Turin.  I was really interested in the fact that she worked as a cook in an Italian restaurant in Chicago because she said the food and atmosphere was as close to real Italian as you could get without going to Ivrea.

What I said didn’t come out exactly like I’d planned.

“Rufina, I don’t think I could ever get enough of you.  It’s so much fun being with you, more fun than I’ve had in years.”

Rufina pursed her lips then.

“Don’t you and your wife have fun together?”

How could I answer that question without coming off as some guy wanting sympathy?  If I told Rufina the truth, that’s what she’d think.  If I lied…well, I’m not very good at telling lies.  It always shows in my face, or at least that’s what my mother always told me.  I decided to tell the truth, but not all of it.

“Well, sometimes we do.  We go shopping together.”

Rufina smiled then.

“Do you like pizza?  We could have real Italian pizza for dinner.”

I went to bed that night wondering if I was thinking like a husband or like a man who hadn’t been intimate with a woman in several years.  I’d started to like Rufina a lot more than as just a tour guide.  The best way to describe it is I was becoming very comfortable with her.  

No, that’s not really right.  It wasn’t a feeling of comfort.  It was a feeling of wanting more from her and more than I was sure she was willing to give.  Several times that day, I’d had to stop myself from putting my arm around her shoulders or waist and giving her a hug.  

I knew it was just the lack of physical contact with a woman that caused that feeling, but it was still there and it wouldn’t go away.  When I walked her back to her parent’s house that night, it was very hard to say good night.  A simple “good night Rufina" just wasn’t enough for me.  I figured I was probably imagining things when it seemed as if she didn’t want to say good night either.  

Rufina said she’d be busy with some family things the next morning, so I picked her up for lunch instead of breakfast.  She seemed a little down, and when I asked her why, she wouldn’t really tell me.

“It’s nothing.  It’s just me.  What do you want to see today?”

We went to several places, both tourist attractions as well as more little shops where Rufina knew the owners.  She explained everything like before, but I could tell something was bothering her.  When we had dinner together that night, I tried to ask her again.

“Rufina, I don’t know you all that well, but something has changed.  You’re not as happy as you were yesterday.  Did I say or do something to cause this to happen?  If I did, tell me so I won’t do it again.  I don’t like seeing you this way and thinking I might have caused it.”

Rufina smiled.

“No, you didn’t do anything wrong.  You do everything right and that what my problem is.”

“If it’s not me, then what is it?”

Rufina looked down at her empty plate.

“You not understand.”

“I sure won’t unless you tell me.”

Rufina looked up at me then.

“I can’t say here.  Can we go to your hotel...to talk?”

I thought Rufina probably meant the lobby, but when we walked inside, she turned and asked if we could go up to my room.  I didn’t know what she had in mind, but I couldn’t tell her no.

Once we were in my room, Rufina smiled a weak little smile, then sat down in one of the chairs and then patted the chair beside her.

When I sat down, I asked her what she wanted to talk about.

She smiled a weak little smile.

“You think I sad, and I am, but I happy too.  I talk to my husband this morning and that’s why I’m sad.”

I said I thought that would make her happy, but Rufina shook her head.

“No, I love my husband but he isn’t loving to me.”

“I’m not sure I know what you mean.”

Rufina took a deep breath.

“We do not make love now.  He does not want me.”

“Well, maybe he’s just tired from work.  I get that way sometimes.”

Rufina smiled the same weak smile.

“Do you still make love sometimes?”

If I answered that question honestly, Rufina would probably think the worst and just leave.

“Well, yes…sometimes.”

Rufina looked at me and frowned.

“Jack, a woman as old as I am know when a man is lying to them.  You lying to me right now.”

“Rufina, I don’t think this is something we should be discussing.”

“Why?  I not know anyone else to tell how I feel.”

“Well, because…if I tell you the truth, you’ll think I’m trying to talk you into something.”

Rufina smiled a bigger smile then.

“You not make love with your wife, do you?”

“No, not for years.”

“You think about making love with me?”

“Rufina, what I think and what I’d do are two different things.  You’re married.  I couldn’t do that to you.”

“I am happy because I think you want to.  I will be happy if we do.”

I shook my head.

“I think I’d better take you back to your parent’s house now.   They’ll wonder what you’re doing out so late.”

Rufina shook her head.

“No.  I tell them I have dinner and spend the night with friend from school.”

“You want to spend the night with me, here?”

Rufina nodded and her smile looked hopeful.

“I do if you want me.  I want you want me.  Please want me.”

I knew it was the wrong thing to do, but when I looked at Rufina sitting there with that look on her face…

“Rufina, are you sure about this?”

“No, I not sure, but I not know any other way to feel better.  I want to be touched.  I need to be touched.  I need to feel a man with me, to feel us together.  I can’t think about anything else all day.  If you not want me, I not know what I do, but I not can be like I am now.”

“Rufina, it’s not that I don’t want you.  I just don’t want to do something you’ll regret tomorrow.”

Rufina smiled.

“I not regret something that make me happy.”

She stood up then, pulled on my hands until I stood up, and then put her arms around my neck.  I felt her big breasts pressing into my chest as she stroked the back of my head.

“Make me happy, Jack.  Make love to me.”

If Rufina hadn’t been staring into my eyes, I might have had the will to tell her no, but her green eyes were wide open and seemed to sparkle a little.  When she nibbled my bottom lip with hers, all the sensations I used to feel with Sue came back, except they were never this strong with Sue.

Undressing Rufina was a joy because every time I touched her, she either caught her breath or moaned a quiet little moan.  I wasn’t moaning but that wasn’t because Rufina wasn’t arousing me.  By the time I had her top off, my cock was standing tall.  By the time I slipped her bra off her soft shoulders and tossed in on the chair behind us, I was as ready to slide my cock inside her as I ever would be.

When I took off my shirt, Rufina pressed her bare breasts into my chest, kissed me, and then whispered, “Make me feel like woman I want feel like.”  As soon as I got my pants and underwear off, I tried to do what she wanted.

It had been a very long time since I’d been with a woman other than Sue, but I hadn’t forgotten the women before Sue.  None of them were like Rufina.  A couple had been eager, but most, including Sue, really didn’t participate much.  At the time, I thought Rufina was so erotic because she hadn’t been with a man for a long time.

It was like she couldn’t get enough of my hands on her body and her hands on me.  She couldn’t keep her lips off mine except to breathe, and in between breaths, she made love to my mouth with hers.  I never realized just how arousing a woman can be when she kisses you, but Rufina was amazingly erotic.

It wasn’t just her kisses either.  Every way I touched her, from lightly stroking her breasts to gently rolling her stiff nipples to cupping her hips caused her to moan and push her mound into my leg.  I felt her hands stroking my back, then pulling me tight against her as she hooked a smooth thigh over my legs and pressed her mound against my rigid cock.

I was able to pull my face away from her nibbling lips long enough to kiss her neck and then nibble down her shoulder to the rise of her heavy breasts.  Rufina shuddered when I kissed down that rise to her nipple bed, moaned, and moved away enough I could wrap my lips around her left nipple.  

When I sucked gently, she gasped, then moaned a low, soft, “ohhhhh”, and pushed that breast into my face.  I felt her hand stroke down my back to my ass and try to pull me between her thighs.

I was ready to put my cock in her, but the way she was responding to everything I did was too wonderful to end.  I gently pushed her over so I could reach her left nipple, and while I was nibbling and sucking the rigid nub, I felt down her tummy to her mound, swirled my fingers through the hair there, and then cupped her sex.  I felt her nails dig into my back when I slipped a fingertip between her hair-fringed lips.

Sometimes, Sue hadn’t gotten very wet, so we kept a bottle of lube in the nightstand on my side of the bed.  I didn’t have to worry about Rufina.  As soon as my fingertip slipped over her rippled inner lips, I felt that slippery/sticky wetness that says a woman is ready and wants to be penetrated.  After that first stroke Rufina moaned and I felt her hand searching for my cock.

When she found it, she didn’t stroke it or pull.  She just made feather light touches up and down my shaft before lightly circling the swollen head with a fingertip.  

After I slipped my finger though her soft, wet lips and into her entrance, Rufina did close her hand around my cock and pull gently.

“Jack, no more finger…just you…inside me.”

I’d thought Rufina was the most erotic woman I’d ever been with until I knelt between her upraised thighs and probed for her entrance with my cock head.  It wasn’t hard to find the spot, because Rufina spread her thighs wide and her lips opened for me.  I felt her inner lips against my cock head, moved it down a little, and when I found the right place, pushed in gently.

Rufina had been moving her hips up and down a little before that, but when my cock head started slipping inside her, she caught her breath, held it, and lifted herself up.  She gasped when my cock head slipped up against the tight spot just inside her, then rocked her hips up higher.  If I hadn’t willed myself to hold back, I’d have cum as soon as my cock slipped inside her.

I’d no sooner started stroking my cock in and out than Rufina put her hand on the back of my head, pulled my lips to hers and kissed me, except it wasn’t just a kiss.  While I was stroking my cock in and out of her clasping passage, she stroked her tongue in and out over my own tongue.  It was the damnedest, most erotic way I’d ever been kissed in my life.  Between that and the way her soft, wet passage was massaging my cock head, I had to keep trying not to let myself get carried away.

That worked until Rufina started arching up into my strokes.  She’d hold her breath as she lifted her hips up, then let it out in a low moan when I started stoking back out.  After a few times, she began raising her body a little higher, and a while after that, she put both hands on my ass, dug in her nails, and moaned, “Oh Jack, keep going.”

I did, and a few seconds later, Rufina dug her heels into the mattress and arched up high enough she lifted us both.  I felt her thighs begin to quiver just before she started rocking herself over my cock.  She held her breath for a few seconds, then with an explosive cry of “Oh Dio”, she started to shake so hard I couldn’t hold back any more.  I pumped my cock inside her three times and filled her with my seed before just holding myself up by my arms and enjoying the way her passage sucked at my cock.

When she finally eased back down on the bed, I brushed the hair from her forehead and kissed her, then asked what “Oh Dio” meant.  Rufina stretched her arms over her head and then smiled at me.

“It means, ‘Oh God’.  Did I say that?  I never said that before.”

“Yes, you did, right when you…when you started to shake.”

Rufina closed her eyes and smiled.

“I know why I did.  I did because I’ve never felt that before.  I think I stay with you tonight, and we do it again if you want.”

I eased over her leg and then laid down beside her.

“Rufina, I never felt this way before either.  I want you to spend the night with me.”

She smiled and stroked my chest.

“You call me “Fina” now.  I not want to sleep, not yet.  I want feel this way again.”

We did that night, and the next morning too.  After we showered together, I drove Rufina back to her parent’s house, but stopped at the end of the street so it would look like she’d walked home.  We’d already decided I’d pick her up there at about seven for dinner.  She was going to tell her parents she was having dinner and spending the night with the same friend again.

The rest of my week in Italy was like that.  Sometimes we’d meet for lunch and do a little sightseeing before dinner.  Sometimes, depending upon what Rufina had to do with her family, it was just dinner.  She spent every night with me, and by the time I needed to leave for Milan, I couldn’t imagine leaving her.

When that day came, Rufina told her parents she was going to Milan to visit another friend and she’d take the last train back to Ivrea.  I drove us to Milan the afternoon before my flight and we spent the night together.

Leaving was hard for us both.  She walked into the airport with me as far as she could go without a ticket, and we talked until I had to go through security or miss my flight.  We didn’t really talk about much though.  It was too hard to be happy because we were both sad.  The last thing I did before I kissed her good-bye was to give her my cell phone number.

“Fina, I don’t know if we can get together when we both get home, but we can maybe at least talk.  This is my cell phone number.  If you feel like talking someday, all you have to do is call me.”

She was wiping her eyes with a tissue when I went through security.  I couldn’t look back or I’d have had to wipe my eyes too.

I knew Rufina was going to be in Italy for another week, so I didn’t expect to get a call before then.  When that day came and passed, I figured she was just recovering from jet lag.  When another week had passed, I figured what we had in Italy was just a one time thing between two people with similar problems who happened to find each other.  Once she got home, she’d probably gotten immersed in work and family and I was just a memory.

I was pretty down the next week, but by Friday, I was starting to come to grips with it.  What we’d had together those few days in Ivrea had been the best days of my life, but I couldn’t expect Fina to feel the same way.  By the end of my third week home, things were about back to normal.  Things weren’t any different at home but I was getting back into the swing of things at work and that was taking my mind off the beautiful red-headed Italian woman who made love like it was the only thing she lived for.

It was that third Friday my call phone rang while I was walking to my car after work.  When I answered it, I heard a familiar Italian accent.

“Jack, this is Fina.  Please not hang up.  I need talk to you.”

I sat there in my car for half an hour while Fina explained and then we talked.

“I got home and missed you, but I not call because I not know if you really want that.  I tried to not want it, but I couldn’t.  Instead, I email my friend in Milan and tell her what we did and ask her if she think it was right.  My friend say it was good to find a man like you, but she not know how I would make it work.

“I spent the last week trying to figure out way but I can’t but I need to see you again, even if just to make love one more time.  I hope you not mad at me.”

I tried not to sound too excited.

“Fina, I thought you’d probably forgotten about me, but I haven’t forgotten about you.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget about you.   I want to see you again too, but it’s difficult.”

“Do you ever come to Chicago?” she asked.

I hadn’t thought about that when we were in Italy, but I did go to Chicago almost once a month to different shows.  I was there to demonstrate our connector technology to the auto industry, motorcycle industry, and boating industry.  In between those shows were some minor shows I usually avoided by sending a couple of engineers, but I could go instead.

“Yes, I go to Chicago for the Tool Show in two weeks.”

“How long will you stay?”

The International Machine Tool Show lasted six days and normally, I drove back and forth from South Bend.  I wouldn’t have to do it that way because Blake would pay for a hotel room and my meals.

“I’ll probably be there for six nights.”

Fina didn’t say anything for a while, and when she did, she didn’t sound like the happy woman I’d known in Italy.

“I talk to my husband last night and tell him about Italy and you.”

That sent a chill down my back.  I didn’t need a jealous husband hunting me down, no matter how great Fina was.

“You actually told him that?  What did he say?”

“He said he not want me to leave him, but he doesn’t want me that way any more.  He said if it was only with you and he never met you, we could live together like we were before and I could see you.”

Well, Italy was one thing, and this was another.  I didn’t feel right about spending time with Fina when Sue sat at home thinking I was just at another trade show.

“Fina, can I call you back tomorrow night?  I need to do something before I tell you we can be together.  That doesn’t mean I don’t want to because I do.  I just have to figure out a way, like you did.”

That night, I turned off the TV and sat down with Sue.

“Sue, we need to talk about something.”

Sue looked at me in shock.

“How did you find out?  You were in Italy.”

“How did I find out what?”

Sue looked at her lap.

“I guess you didn’t find out.  I was going to tell you, but I hadn’t worked up the courage yet.  I guess I have to now.”

“What were you going to tell me?”

Sue took a deep breath.

“Jack, I love you, but it's different than it used to be.  I don’t know why, but I don’t want you to even touch me.”

I nodded.

“OK, I figured that out a long time ago, so you’re not telling me anything.”

Sue looked up at me then.

“Jack, it’s not because I don’t have those feelings any more.  I do, just not about you.  I’ve been going crazy trying to figure out what changed and how to fix it.  Up until the day after you went to Italy, I still didn’t know.  That’s why I called Vanessa.”

‘Vanessa, your friend who always wears cowboy boots?”

Sue nodded.

“Jack, I had to talk to somebody and I thought Vanessa might understand and be able to help.  She did both.”

I was getting a little irritated because Sue was saying a lot of words but she wasn’t telling me anything.

“I still don’t know what the hell your talking about.”

Sue looked at her lap again, and her voice was a lot softer than usual.

“Jack, I didn’t mean for it to happen, I promise, but it did, and now that it has, I want it to keep happening.”

“You want what to keep happening – talking to her about our problems?”

“No, Jack, Vanessa understood more than I thought she would.  She and I…we made love together…and I liked it.  I liked it a lot.”

“So, you want a divorce so you can live with Vanessa?”

“No.  I don’t want a divorce because I love you and I want to keep living with you.  It’s just that after I slept with her, I realized that was what I really needed.  Vanessa and I don’t want to live together.  She just wants me when I want her and I want her when she wants me.  I don’t expect you to approve of that.  I just want you to try to understand.”

“You want to keep seeing her?”

“Yes.  I can’t imagine not being with her again.”

“Do you love her?”

“I think so, but it’s different than the way I love you.  I feel safe with you and I like you.  I just don’t like having sex with you like I do with Vanessa.  Please don’t hate me because of what I did.  I was just trying to be happy again.”

I had to think about that for a minute.  We had no sex life at all, hadn’t in years, and I thought it was all me.  How did I really feel about Sue having sex with another woman but still living with me?”

“So I just keep going like I have been while you sleep with Vanessa?”

“No, I’ve thought about that a lot.  It’s not fair to you to have me living with you but having sex with somebody else.  I love you too much to put you through that.  If you want to and you find somebody else…”

Sue took a deep breath then.

“Well, if you do, I won’t say anything.  I just don’t want to know who she is or ever meet her.  That way, I can’t compare myself to her.”

“Sue, are you telling me you want me to find another woman?”

She nodded,

“If that’s what will make you happy like I’m happy now, yes, I do.”

I wasn’t sure how I felt about that arrangement.  It was a little like I’d failed as a husband but it was also like Sue had failed as my wife.  When I thought back over the past five years or so, what I started to realize is neither one of us had really failed.  We’d just changed.  We still loved each other, but it was more like we were comfortable with each other, so comfortable being together we couldn’t bear to split up.  It was only the lack of intimacy that kept us apart.  If we both went our separate ways as far as sex partners were concerned, nothing would have changed except we’d both be happier.

I called Fina the next evening.

“Hi Jack”, she said when she answered.

“Fina, do you still feel about us like you did in Italy?”

Her voice got softer.

“Jack, I not able to think about anything else.”

“Do you know where the Palmer House is?”

The tool show that year was the best I’d ever attended.  Our booth got a lot of interest from several machinetool manufacturers including a couple from Japan and one from Korea.  I came home to South Bend with some design specs and drawings in my briefcase.  

The best part though was being with Fina.  We spent six nights together, six nights of reliving our nights together in that hotel in Ivrea and six nights of me remembering how erotic one woman can really be.

I’m in Chicago about once a month now.  After the tool show, our Sales department wanted to add appliance manufacturers to our list of customers, and they wanted me there to explain our design and manufacturing capabilities.  Most of the shows are only three days, but that’s three days Fina and I can be together.  

I usually leave the show about five and meet Fina for dinner.  She knows some authentic Italian restaurants and we’ll usually eat in one.  Then we go back to my hotel for the night and rediscover how fantastic sex with each other can be.  Between shows, we’ve found a little motel in Michigan City and we spend a night together every couple of weeks.  If it’s warm enough, we’ll spend some time on the beach listening to the waves lapping at the shore and looking at the moon and stars.

It’s sort of a weird life, I guess, but it works for us.  Fina says she’s never been happier.  I know the same is true for me and it’s also true for Sue.  Before my trip to Italy, it was getting difficult to live with Sue.  Now…well, she’s happy too and we’ve started doing a few things together besides grocery shopping.  Like I said before, we’re comfortable with each other, like really good friends would be.  

I would never have believed one person could love two people at the same time, but that’s how things turned out.  It’s probably not what most people would describe as love, but I don’t think there really is a single description that fits love.  Love is what you make it, and we’ve made it special for each of us.

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