Ellen would touch the ring finger on her left hand when she thought that I was not looking. I smiled at her as she took off a jar of almond butter and put it into the trolley.
‘I only ever had peanut back home.’
She smiled as she adjusted her fringe then pushed back the sleeves of the college sweatshirt she had met me in, with blue jeans and sneakers. The denim clung to her ass and thighs, worn soft from years of wear and washing and as she stretched to grab another jar, I watched the band of tanned, taut flesh where the sweatshirt rode up. There were a melange of looks as we shopped, some hunger, some envy but she did not register any of them. Her honey blonde hair had been scraped into a pragmatic top knot but I could see the pristine manicure and the subtly expensive nude make up that she had worn. The details that would have been lost to the casual observer, but I appreciated the irony.
‘So, the next question would be, chunky or smooth?;
I leaned forward over the trolley as I narrowed my eyes.
‘As a kid, all I had was smooth but now, it’s chunky. All the way.’
She grinned at me and put in a second jar of almond plus a jar of cashew butter. We were roughly three aisles into the store, but already she had put in loaves of bread, gallon bottles of half fat milk as well as cookies, butter and a block of white mature cheddar. I looked down as I tucked in my shirt and when I raised my chin, I saw that she was casually appraising me again.
I smiled as I pushed the trolley along. She slowed down, so that she was walking alongside me and without looking away from the shelves, put her right hand out and rested it atop mine. I wore a white woven cotton shirt over black trousers, polished black shoes and a black tie that I had worn hung loose from the collar. My chin and cheeks were shaven and I had showered before I had driven over to her house.
I had worked from hotel rooms, functions, holiday homes and private residences. Never a supermarket, but that had been part of the appeal for me. Ellen’s husband worked as an executive vice president of programming, his potency and position bolstered by the runaway success of the toy spin off that he’d bullied into three films and a tv show. You know the one, recycled Japanese action sequences and fresh faced actors reacting to cheap CGI. He slept in his office a few nights a week, especially as he was negotiating a version designed to sell a tv animated show to Netflix. We were acting according to her instructions, disguised and refined into a scenario that we would both find comfortable.
‘Do you like mustard or catsup?’
I smirked at the pronounciation, a childhood of brand names and colloquialisms stayed with me and provided a small measure of amusement, both for myself and my acquaintances. I told her mustard, and she grinned as she picked up a small squeeze bottle of American and a small glass jar of French, the kind with the faux handwritten name.
I chose the French and she gave a small nod as her eyes glittered with amusement. We put in a few frozen dinners, a tub of ice cream and as an afterthought, I grabbed a strawberry cheesecake from the chilled section. Her forehead furrowed but the corners of her mouth went up as she drew out her card from her purse. Black with a row of numbers across the middle, and a small hologram in the bottom left hand corner. She turned it in her fingers as I began to unload onto the conveyor belt.
The groceries were bagged by an elderly gentleman who took more care than was necessary, but whenever I looked up, Ellen seemed entirely at ease with making small talk with the cashier, Yvonne, a bubbly Midwesterner transplanted here when her dad took on a new job in the Valley. Yvonne’s monologue stopped when Ellen handed the card over and her eyebrows went up. She paid, and I reached into my wallet and took out a pair of crisp twenties, one of which went to her and the other into the shirt pocket of the elderly assistant. As I took control of the trolley, Ellen’s eyes bore into my cheek but she held her tongue until we were outside.
‘Why did you do that?’
I shrugged my shoulders.
‘Everyone tips in restaurants, but not a lot of other places.’
Her eyes narrowed as I stared at her.
‘It’s also the card isn’t it?’
I rolled my eyes and shook my head.
‘I’ve not seen many of those.’
She opened her mouth to speak but I touched her cheek and brushed my fingers over the curve of her cheekbone. Her lips were full and they parted to show her perfect, even teeth.
‘Is this weird for you?’
I leaned forward and brushed my lips over hers as I stroked down the line of her jaw. She gave a soft sigh and her right hand came up to touch my shoulder. I drew back and smiled at her as she gave a deep sigh.
‘Guess that’ll be your answer, yeah?’
I nodded and looked out across the car park, trying to recall the general location of her car. She had gone to the trouble of using her assistant’s Prius and it took a careful circle of the car park to find it. I loaded the groceries into the boot as she returned the trolley and then we both got into the front.
We drove to a small house, parked in the driveway and she sat there, her chest rising as she breathed out, her fingers curled around the steering wheel. I unbuckled my seatbelt and opened the door. I told her to come on and I stood there, waited for the click of her door and shut my eyes until I heard it.
I got out the bags from the trunk. She unlocked the door and went in as I muscled the bags through the door and she looked over her shoulder. She grinned at me as she pointed to her left, then turned and took one of the bags from me. It was the lightest one, but I smiled as though I had been relieved of a great burden.
We unpacked, but after the first bag, I moved into her space, our hips touching and exchanging looks then smiles before she stopped, brought her hand to her mouth.
‘I bet this has to be the strangest thing you’ve done.’
I ran my tongue over my lips as I flexed my fingers then reached for another jar from the bag.
‘It’s not strange.’
She dropped her chin but I put my fingers to her chin and lifted her face. I put my lips to hers as her chin rested on my fingertips. Her hands pressed against my shoulders but there was no force as she plucked the material upwards, untucking my shirt from the waistband of my trousers. She drew back and touched my face.
‘No, it is.’
I leaned backwards and studied her.
‘Do you still want to do this, Ellen?’
She wrapped her arms around herself, and my stomach lurched with the concern that this, in it’s own sad way, was a little too much for her.
Her eyes shone with tears and she leaned forward at the waist.
‘See, if I’d wanted you to fuck me in the ass, you wouldn’t have battered an eyelid.’
‘Or come on my face, or tie me up and slap me around.’
Her cheeks were red and the tears welled up as they fell down her face.
‘But I can get those anytime I want.’
I nodded and put my hands out, to touch her shoulders. I pressed my palms and smoothed them down to her upper arms. She reached out and adjusted my tie.
‘Paul always says that if you’re interested in something, you’ll look for it as cheap as you can get it.’
She tugged at the tie, unknotting it carefully. I swallowed but my breath was heavy in my lungs as I struggled to meet her gaze.
‘But if you need something, you’ll pay anything for it.’
She took the tie in her right hand and slid it through my collar as she looked at me, her teeth resting on her lower lip.
‘And he doesn’t get why I miss going shopping for groceries. With him.’
I gave a small nod as I looked at her bright, pleading eyes.
‘Let me take care of you.’
I put my hands on her hips and guided her backwards. I ran my fingers up her sides, she shivered and gave a small cry as my fingertips danced over her ribs. I took her face in my hands and I looked at her, brushing the hair from her face as I swallowed the sadness that pooled in my joints. She put her hand over my chest and pressed her palm against my chest.
‘Your heart is pounding.’
I kissed her before she could say anything else. My eyes shut and my nerves sparked, where our mouths went, where her hands moved over me. We stood like that against the counter, our lips and hands tugging at our clothes, still covering us, but we found the skin beneath, and her fingers in the hair on my stomach as I stroked the warm strong curve of her lower back. I cupped her ass and she pushed towards me as we kissed again. Heat came off her in waves, like a fever that she wanted to sweat out. She stopped touching me, in order to lift her shirt but I stopped her by putting my hands over her wrists and shook my head.
My fingers trembled to touch her, but with each inch I raised the fabric, some measure of control returned to me, the nerves burned away by lust. The divine cocktail of touch and intention that we tasted on one another.
She moved around me, and took my hand as she led me through to the bedroom. It was bigger than my apartment, and I imagined, vastly smaller than her house. I wanted to ask more, but my head was thick with want. She turned around and took her bra off. Her arms were down by her sides and I put my hands up to cup her face as I drew her in for another kiss.
She whimpered and I let my fingers trail down her throat and the flesh raised in goosebumps where my touch danced across her. I ran my thumb over her nipple and her mouth fell open.
‘Don’t be gentle. I want to feel it.’
I pinched it between my thumb and forefinger as I leaned forward and ran the tip of my tongue around it. Her hand moved to the back of my head. I suckled her as I used my tongue until I had coaxed it into a stiff peak of warm flesh. Her other hand went to her waistband and lowered her fly. I kissed along to the other one, as I tugged her jeans down her thighs and she reached up. I looked up at her as her hair spilled down to her shoulders and, in the light of the afternoon, fixed me with a look that I couldn’t hold without losing my self within it.
I wrapped my right arm around the back of her thighs and lifted her as she shrieked and clutched me to her stomach as I staggered to the bed. I kept control so that I delivered her to the mattress and she pushed my jacket away from my shoulders as she kissed the top of my head. I let the jacket fall away as I kicked off my shoes and let them fall to the floor.
She wrapped her hands around my hair and raked it through her fingers as I slipped her jeans from her ankles and tossed them behind me. She raised her shoulders from the mattress, and began to slide her peach silk panties off but I shook my head. I gazed into her eyes. She glowed, in the soft afternoon light as though her skin held sunlight in reserve, and I drew her towards me, my hands under the backs of her knees. I dragged off the underwear and placed the panties in my pocket.
I kissed the soft curve of her stomach and nuzzled the patch of neat blonde hair around her pussy. She breathed out a single word.
I stripped off my shirt and laid it to one side as I made my shoulders level with the bed and slipped her legs over so that she was pinned against my mouth. I wrapped my arms around her thighs and licked my lips before I kissed the labia, nudged it to one side with my tongue as a well of moisture ran to my tongue. She gasped as she pushed against me, and I kept my tongue firm as she dipped herself at an angle so that she could piston herself against my mouth for the friction that met her needs.
I tensed up my shoulders and drew my tongue upwards to make small deliberate circles around her clit and she pulled my hair as she pushed herself upwards and forwards, straining with joy as she held me between her thighs. There was fight here, but I stayed with her as she spasmed her way into the moment. I did not shrink from her as she sagged against me, but I took the opportunity to look at her.
She gazed at me as her eyes blazed and she stroked my face, pouting as I kept easing my tongue inside her, craving the salty sweetness of her, how it changed with each motion of my mouth until I felt the pulse of her as it reached another crescendo and she shudder-fucked her way to another sharp, fast orgasm. I lifted her trembling legs up as I snaked around to her left and wiped her from my mouth using the back of my hand. I looked at her, laid there on the bed as I let my trousers fall away, and my chest hurt as I got out a condom and unwrapped it. She squeezed her thighs together.
‘Show me how you want it,’ I said.
My voice was gruff, and she took the condom from my fingers. I shut my eyes when her breath tickled the skin of my scrotum and then the latex, made warm by her fingers rolling it onto my cock before she took my scrotum into her mouth and bathed it with the flat of her tongue. I groaned and she pulled me down on top of her, her legs came around the backs of mine as she clutched me to her and pressed her forehead to mine.
‘I want you to fuck me close.’
I guided the head of my cock with my right hand and she held me to her with her arms and legs, rubbing her face against mine as I pushed forwards and shut my eyes. She told me to open them and then her fingers touched my cheek.
‘Look at me, please. I want you to see me, David.’
I did not correct her, I liked how my name sounded in her mouth. I raised myself on my arms and looked down at her, into her as I drove my cock deep. I took my time with that first stroke, studied her as each moment was born, grew and died until I was inside her up to the hilt. Her skin was warm and soft against mine, as she flexed her hips to rock herself against my cock. She kissed the corner of my mouth then took my earlobe between her teeth and bit down as we worked together, the percussive wet motion of our bodies urging us both on. Every hair on my body was an aerial, and we wound ourselves around one another until I was fucking her in long, slow strokes that shifted us up the bed until she had to lift herself up to avoid concussion from the headboard. She whispered for me to look at her and I blinked as I met her eyes.
‘Thank you, David.’ she said.
She told me that she was close and gave a short cry that made my own orgasm lick it’s intentions up my spine as I concentrated on my breath and remaining with her until she came again. I touched her face slowly so that I could hide the clumsy need that was here. I stared at her, everything focused on seeing that face break apart with joy until she fixed me with a stare hard enough to pin me to her and she bucked underneath me as she screwed her face up. Her body clenched like a fist and then she sagged as she stroked my cheek and told me that she wanted to feel me come.
I pulled her to me so that we were locked together, the only separation being so that I could drive my cock into her, hard and full, over and over, lost to the damp reflex of my impending ecstacy. I came with a wrenching, jagged rush as my senses were torn from me. I came into the condom and collapsed onto the mattress with her as she buried her face in my shoulder and I felt the damp heat of her emotions as she laid beneath me.
We stayed there, without speaking until the light began to fade and she whispered that she needed to use the bathroom. I drew out, held onto the condom to stop it from slipping off and rolled onto my side as she got up from the bed. I laid there, swallowed as I stared at the thickening shadows and slipped the condom off my tender cock.
I heard the shower running and I went into the bathroom, wrapped it in a piece of tissue as I saw her behind the curtain. Over the water, I heard her sobs and I stood there.
‘I’m okay. It’s fine. You can go now.’ she said.
I went to pull the curtain but she tugged it back.
‘I said you can go now.’
Her voice was fragile but loud and I stood there as I tossed the tissue into the bin. I looked at her silhouette through the material.
‘I’ll see you, Ellen. Did you want me to take the shopping or -‘
‘Just go, please, I’m sorry.’
My legs felt heavy as the ache spread through me with clear sorrow. I went back to the bedroom, dressed and left.
I took the two jars of almond and cashew butter with me, and took a small spoon from the drawer whilst I waited for the driver to pick me up. I cast glances back over my shoulder but the curtains did not twitch nor did the door open.
When the car arrived, I took another look and saw her, peering at me through the curtains and I held her gaze as well as the light and the glass would allow me to. I got into the car and shut the door.
I shut my eyes, felt the road roll away beneath the wheels and with each minute, the ache in my chest throbbed like a rotten tooth, a sore cock and for the first time, I felt not alone but lonely. I looked at my reflection in the glass, but I couldn’t meet it for too long. I unscrewed the lid of the cashew butter, stuck the spoon in and began to eat in mechanical, grinding motions until the sadness went away.