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Authors Note: I’d like to thank Harvey for editing this piece.
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It was a very emotional morning and I felt miserable. Watching James walk into McCarran and leave for Los Angeles, I felt like I was being abandoned. I knew I had no right to feel that way, but I couldn’t seem to get my emotions under control. I had never felt like this before. I thought I had experienced some bad breakups in high school, but none of them felt as bad as this.
The cabbie took me to the car dealership and I picked up the Land Rover without incident. It was such a beautiful vehicle; it had every possible option: leather seats, power everything, and a sunroof. That should have made me feel better, right? It didn’t.
I wanted desperately to skip my finance class, but I couldn’t. The paper I’d written over the weekend was due today and I’d lose a lot of points if it was turned in late. We were also reviewing for our midterm, and the prof was notorious for giving away test questions and telling students what they needed to study in order to do well in the exam.
I felt numb, both emotionally and mentally. I couldn’t think, let alone concentrate like I needed to, and as hard as I tried I just couldn’t seem to pull myself together.
As the day progressed, my mood did improve somewhat. My finance class went well and I was able to go to the library and study for a few hours for my midterm exams, which were later in the week. I had also stopped by the student records office and put James’s name on my financial account like he had asked, so he would start receiving my tuition bills. I was also able to pull up my credit-card statements on my laptop and email a copy of them to James’s office. I smiled to myself when I remembered that James had told me to fax them. What’s a fax? I thought, wishing I was with him so I could tease him about using an antiquated fax machine instead of email.
I just wanted to go home, sleep, and wake up the day James was flying back into town. If only, I thought.
As I pulled into my apartment complex my jaw dropped. Oh, shit! I saw the cars of my two best friends, Sue and Samantha, parked in front of our apartment. I also saw my roommate Rachel’s car, so I knew all three of them had to be inside. Sue and Samantha never came over on a Monday afternoon; I smelled an ambush.
I used my key to open the front door and the most heavenly aroma entered my nostrils. Rachel was making her famous stir-fry vegetables with chicken breast. It was my favorite and definitely another bad sign, like a convict’s last meal before the electric chair.
“Hey, girl,” all three of them screeched in unison as I walked through the door.
“Hi, everyone,” I said.
Leave it to my best friends to pull me out of my doldrums. I immediately felt my mood start to improve. They had already finished off a bottle of wine and were starting on their second. Look out; it was going to be an interesting evening.
Rachel poured me a glass of wine and we all sat down on the sofa and loveseat in the small living room.
As Rachel handed me a glass of wine. she said, “Sam, do you know what happened to Mel this weekend? We had made plans to go to the Ghost Bar on Saturday night, but she stood me up and then was nowhere to be found.”
Samantha laughed and said, “The last I heard, Sue made her go to some fancy soirée at the Paris and no one has seen her since.”
I found it hilarious that they were talking about me as if I wasn’t in the room.
“Sue, can you give us a recap of the events of Friday evening, so we know that the record is correct before we continue?” she said, making all three of them laugh while I shook my head, trying not to smile and encourage them.
I was sure that Sue had probably told Rachel and Samantha the story of Friday night at least twenty times already.
“Well, I was letting this cute guy chat me up when I saw Melanie dancing with this handsome older man. Then she went back to his table and they talked, drank, and danced all night while she totally ignored me the entire evening. Finally, at midnight, she made me leave because she told me that she was having such a great time with him,” Sue said, smiling at me.
“Okay, Melanie, enough with the suspense, time to start dishing,” Samantha said, grinning at me.
Since we met during our freshman year in the dorms, the four of us were inseparable and we told each other everything: who we liked, who we slept with, nothing was out of bounds. We had enjoyed each other’s company in the best of times, and we had all gotten each other through some of the very worst of times. But this one was going to be difficult.
I took a deep breath.
“It’s not really that big of a deal, guys. I met him, we hooked up, and I spent the weekend with him.”
They all looked into my eyes, trying to see if there was more to the story than I had revealed.
“I’m calling bullshit,” Rachel said, smiling. “When’s the last time you fucked a guy, Melanie, and an older guy at that? There canlı bahis has to be more to the story.”
I could tell that the wine was kicking in. Rachel never dropped the F-bomb unless it was directed at her boyfriend, and that was only after he had made her mad.
I looked down; time to come clean.
“His name is James and he lives in LA. He comes into town about once a month. I really like him and I told him I’d see him when he’s here.”
“So what’s the catch? You’re working out your daddy issues with some hot older guy, no big deal,” Samantha said, smiling at me.
I took a big gulp of wine, draining the glass.
“The catch is, he has a wife and kids and he’s been giving me gifts.”
The room went silent.
“What do you mean, giving you gifts, Melanie?” Sue said with a look of concern in her eyes.
I reached into my pocket, pulled out the tennis bracelet, and handed it to her. She examined it closely and then passed it around the room.
“Melanie, I know jewelry, this has to be worth at least $4,000,” Samantha said.
“Honestly, I don’t know what it’s worth, Sam,” I said as I refilled my wine glass.
“My God, what else did he get you, Melanie?” Sue asked.
“Look out the front window.”
They all got up and peered through the blinds.
“See the Land Rover parked in front of the sidewalk?” I asked, taking another sip of wine.
I knew their jaws were dropping and I didn’t even have to look at them. They silently looked out the window for a full minute before they came back and sat down without saying a word. It was like a dark storm cloud had come into the room and the tension was thick. No one knew what to say or how to react.
Samantha finally broke the silence.
“I know you, Melanie, and I want to tell you the truth. The bracelet, the car, your pussy just isn’t that good.”
We all broke out in a fit of laughter as I grabbed a pillow off the couch and threw it at her.
It was a little inside joke between the four of us. The first time I met Samantha we had both gotten drunk at a party and hooked up in her dorm room. We became fast friends and agreed that, while we enjoyed our night together, our relationship would be strictly platonic going forward.
Rachel looked into my eyes and said in a serious tone, “I’m not judging you, Melanie, but I know you, and this isn’t you. You don’t have sex with a guy just because he is buying you things. You are the last person on Earth that I would have thought would ever be a kept woman.”
Sugar daddy, sugar baby, kept woman were all words I would grow to loathe.
“There is a lot more to it than just sex and the monetary things he gives me; I think I’m falling for him, Rachel,” I said quietly.
They were all very concerned for me, and I had to admit I was concerned for myself.
We talked more as we ate Rachel’s delicious dinner, and of course we put away a few more bottles of wine before the evening was over. I ended up telling them about the apartment, the clothes, and the debit card. Not that I really wanted to, but we were the type of friends that didn’t keep secrets from each other. They were all very curious about the sex as well, because none of them had been with a man who wasn’t around our age. I told them the truth, the sex was great, but my attraction to James had a lot less to do with the sex and money and much more to do with the connection I felt with him when we were together.
Later that evening, after Sue and Samantha had left so they could study for their midterms, Rachel and I were sitting on the couch.
“Melanie, you could never do anything to make me stop being your friend and I love you like a sister,” Rachel said as she looked into my eyes. “I know you had a lot of problems with money and I’m glad that he is helping you with some of that. I just don’t want to see you getting hurt. He told you he’d never leave his wife, so keep things in perspective. See him when he’s here, fuck his brains out, let him take care of you, but don’t you dare let him break your heart. If he does, then that’s your fault, not his.”
She leaned over and kissed me on the cheek and gave me a big hug, then went to her room to study.
She was right. When he came into town, I would be his, just like he wanted. But the rest of the month, he wasn’t going to change how I lived my life.
I had one more thing I had to do before I studied and went to bed. I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and texted Gianna; “This is Mel, let’s meet this Friday for drinks.”
My mid-term exams went great. I found that the more I studied, the less I thought of James, and all that studying paid off as I ended up getting A’s on all my tests.
Even though I had three weeks to move out of the apartment I shared with Rachel, I was anxious to get into my new place. Between studying sessions I was able to box my things and move them in the Land Rover. By the end of that week I had the majority of everything I owned in my new apartment. I also bahis siteleri went to a furniture store and purchased a queen-size bed and two flat-screen TVs, one for my bedroom and the other for the living room. The furniture store delivered the bed and TVs on Thursday afternoon and I paid them extra to mount the TVs on the wall.
During midterm exam week I got better at keeping James at an emotional distance. We texted each other a couple times each day, but I made sure I kept my texts light and casual. He had his life, I had mine, and I felt that I was taking Rachel’s advice. He wasn’t going to break my heart, or, more accurately, I wasn’t going to let him break my heart.
I had taken my last exam Friday morning, come home, and gotten the last of my things packed and in the Land Rover by noon. I gave Rachel a big hug as I left our apartment for the last time. I’d still see her a lot, even though we would no longer be roommates, but I knew it wouldn’t be the same. As freshmen, we were dorm-mates, and then we had gotten the apartment together. Even though we had a lot of history, I knew it was time to move on and take the next step.
My moving out ended up being good for her too. Instead of finding a new place or a new roommate, she’d talked her boyfriend into moving in with her and they would be signing a new lease together. It’s a big step moving in with a guy; I knew she was getting more serious with him, and I was very happy for her.
Moving out was a big step for me as well; it was the first time that I had ever lived by myself. I loved my new apartment, but it was also a bit scary being out on my own.
I spoke to Gianna a couple of times during the week, and she told me she lived in North Las Vegas in a house she rented with two other students that she went to college with. She was a junior at the College of Southern Nevada and was a nursing major. I suggested that we meet at the Red Rock Casino in Summerlin since it was off the strip and easier to get to. Also, it was not too far from where she lived. We agreed to meet for drinks at six o’clock in one of the bars inside the casino.
I chose to dress in a white jean skirt with a light pink top and sandals. I pulled into the valet station and checked the Land Rover with the attendant, then walked into the casino and headed for the bar where we had agreed to meet. I had been to the Red Rock Casino once before about a year earlier when an old 80s band was playing there. Normally I liked the clubs on or near the strip, but this location had seemed like a better choice.
I saw the signs to the bar I was looking for. As I walked in I saw Gianna sitting in a booth in the back, away from the bar. When I walked up to the table, she stood and gave me a small peck on the cheek, which I quickly returned. I liked her style already.
It was nice not being too overt with our greeting. The Red Rock Casino catered mainly to locals, and being in a bar in Summerlin was nothing like being in a club on the strip where girls openly danced in a sexual way with each other and then made out in a booth before they went to a hotel room to hook up. Keeping our greeting casual meant we could pass as friends who were meeting for drinks on a Friday evening. A small peck on the cheek, instead of an open-mouthed kiss, meant we wouldn’t be drawing unwanted attention to ourselves, which would help keep the gawkers at bay.
When I first met Gianna in James’s restaurant, she looked great in her server’s uniform of tight black slacks and a gray blouse. Tonight, seeing her in casual clothes, she looked absolutely stunning. She was wearing blue jean shorts, a pretty white lace tank top, and sandals. Her make-up was perfect and her beautiful long brunette hair was in loose curls that hung gently around her face. She has beautiful brown eyes and a dark olive complexion with flawless skin. The tank top and shorts showed off her toned arms and legs. She was a little shorter than me, maybe 5’6″ with what I guessed to be 34C breasts that suited her petite frame perfectly.
We both sat in the booth as the waitress approached and asked me what I’d like to drink. I saw that Gianna had already ordered a margarita and I told the waitress I’d have one as well.
“How was your week?” she asked, smiling brightly at me.
“It was long,” I said, smiling back at her, “midterms were this week, but I think I did really well. How was your week?”
“I had midterms as well, but I was able to take a couple of days off from work so I could study, which really helped. I think I just did just fine too.”
We each took a sip of our drinks. I felt so comfortable with her.
“I’m so glad you wanted to meet tonight; I thought you might be spending the evening with your boyfriend.”
I took a deep breath. “He’s in Los Angeles; he lives there, but he should be back in town in a few weeks.”
“Long-distance relationships can be tough.”
“I only met him last weekend, so I think we are still at that stage of trying to figure out what we bahis şirketleri want to mean to each other.”
That was a lie and I regretted saying it as soon as the words left my lips. James and I had everything very well defined. James liked having rough, aggressive sex with me and buying me gifts, and I liked having sex with him. The rest of the time I was busy trying to figure out how not to fall for him any more than I already had; it was really pretty simple.
“That’s interesting; when I saw you together in the restaurant, you looked like a couple who had been together for a while.”
I could tell she was anxious to ask more questions about James, and I quickly changed the subject so she couldn’t.
“So what about you, are you seeing anyone?”
“I have a boyfriend that I’ve been seeing for about six months. We met in school and he’s studying to be an RN as well.”
We spent the next half hour talking about her work, our respective schools, and her boyfriend. I had so much respect for her, working a full-time job and going to school full time. She seemed to have her life really together.
We were on our third round of margaritas, and I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, so I was starting to feel the effects of the alcohol.
“I’m really hungry, Gianna, would you like to get something to eat?”
“That would be great.”
We pulled a menu off the table, thumbed through it together, and decided on nachos.
I once heard someone describe alcohol as being a social lubricant, and that was true in our case. The more we drank, the more intimate our conversation became. It was nice to get past the friendly-getting-to-know-you chit-chat and move on to more fun topics.
“Does James know you … um … are into girls?”
I smiled at her, “He does. I told him I like to make out in bathroom stalls with pretty Italian girls in his restaurant.”
Her face split into a grin.
“Does your boyfriend know you are into girls?”
“He doesn’t, and I haven’t found a way to tell him yet.” She looked down. “I’m not sure what he would think, and I’m afraid he would feel threatened by it. I’m also afraid of losing him over it,” she said softly.
I was taken aback by her brutal honesty. This girl could have whoever she wanted, male or female, and she was afraid of losing him? I thought he must be very special to hold her heart like that.
My conscience was starting to bother me concerning what I’d said earlier regarding my relationship with James, and I felt like I needed to clear the air.
“I need to make a confession, Gianna. James is married, and I’ve found myself having feelings for him that I know I shouldn’t. I’ve been spending the last week trying to sort that out,” I said as I looked into her eyes.
We were interrupted by the waitress putting a huge plate of nachos in front of us. We slid together until our thighs touched. At that point I was buzzed and turned on by this beautiful woman next to me, and I didn’t care what the other people in the bar thought about it.
We started eating the delicious nachos. Feeling her thigh rub against mine was slowly stoking the desire I was feeling for her.
“He has money, doesn’t he?”
“He does, yes,” I replied simply.
“Melanie, don’t feel guilty about any of it, just make him make you happy.”
Her statement made me realize that I did feel guilty about what James had done for me financially. I came from a middle-class family, but my parents never spoiled me or my brothers. During my childhood, my older brothers were always helping my father by working with him at our family’s small construction company or doing odd jobs around our neighborhood. During high school, I helped my father with the books, which is why I got interested in accounting and why I decided to major in it in college. Very little had ever been given to me without working for it, so I knew James’s generosity, and my guilt over it, played into the complex feelings I had towards him.
I cleared my mind of James and our dysfunctional relationship and concentrated on Gianna. I offered her some advice concerning her situation with her boyfriend.
“When you’re ready, tell your boyfriend that you’re into girls. If he loves you, and it’s meant to be, then he’ll deal with his issues, because he’ll want the woman he loves to be happy,”
I felt her hand rub my knee and it sent shivers down my spine.
Gianna looked into my eyes and said seductively, “The moment I saw you, I wanted you. I even got the server who was working your section to let me have your table so I could meet you. I also got my roommate to give me a ride here, because I knew I’d be spending the night with you.”
Those were the most erotic words I’d ever heard.
“Should we get a room here or would you like to see my new apartment?” I said, smiling seductively.
“It would be easier for me to make you breakfast tomorrow morning if we were in your apartment.”
We quickly finished the nachos and I asked for the check. We held hands as we walked through the casino and out to the valet station. At that point, I wanted her so much, and I didn’t care who saw us together or what they thought about it.
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