What would be the harm in a little fling? What would be so bad about bedding a young man who could technically be my son? He wasn’t my son. He wasn’t my anything. But he could possibly, if I could unclench my ass long enough, be my lover.
What was so bad?
“I just realized that you were born the year before I graduated.” I suddenly felt less sexy older woman and more of a creepy aged predator.
“So?” He went to the counter and I saw that Pat was working. I waved to her. She looked at me and then at Charlie and gave me a grin. She was only a few years younger than me.
I couldn’t look directly at her and was having vivid fantasies about bursting into flames or the floor opening up and swallowing me whole.
What is wrong with you? He’s a grown man, not a child. He’s young but he’s obviously smart and honest. Who are you to question his attraction to you?
The thought startled me and I pushed my lips together as he paid her for his snack and turned to me. When he looped his arm through mine I felt my body go rigid. “You’re an ageist,” he said in my ear as he led me out of the store.
I put the brakes on in the foyer. It was chilly but there was still heat blowing down from the overhead vents. Charlie looked down at me, his slouchy beanie at the perfect angle on his head to accent how damn pretty he was.
“I am not an ageist!” I hissed. “I’m just a little thrown…is all. I’m…out of practice,” I finished weakly.
“Surely men have flirted with you even when you were married.” He led me out into the whipping wind. Small wet snowflakes were beginning to dot the pavement.
“I guess. I mean, yes, once or twice. But you are—“
He turned to me, his face suddenly serious in the stark white light from the streetlamps that lit the parking lot. “Please don’t tell me I’m not a man, Ace.”
I bit my tongue. Had I been about to say that?
“Oh, I wouldn’t. I mean, I know you are. Just to me you’re so…new,” I said, smiling. I felt almost sad. “You’re so new and your life is stretched out before you. You have all this stuff to do and experience and live. You have lots of marrow to suck up.” I clicked the button on my key fob to unlock the door.
“And your marrow has dried up?” he asked me over the hood of the car.
“What? No! I have plenty of marrow! I just meant…”
“Well, that’s how you’re making it sound.” He opened the door and climbed in. We both shut our doors in unison. He set his chips and soda on the floor and turned to me. “Did it ever occur you, Abby, that I might be your marrow?”
Before I could react or answer, he tucked his palm behind my head and pulled me to him. His mouth was warm and soft. His tongue tasted of the sweet coffee he must have been drinking at work.
I kissed him back. For all I was worth. For every thing I’d once thought I would do but hadn’t. For every dream I hadn’t given a shot. For every wish I’d let drift off into the ether. I kissed Charlie for every single one of those and all the fresh ones I still wanted to give a shot. I kissed him because in that moment in time, he was my damn marrow.
And he was so much smarter than I’d ever even considered.
His fingers slid along my scalp, sifted through my hair. He kissed me deeper, his tongue hot against mine. He paused to push his face to my hair and inhale deeply. My stomach felt like it dropped a foot.
“You smell really good, Ace.”
“Thank you,” I whispered.
“Now was that so terrible?”
He chuckled in the cold darkness of my car. “Good to know it wasn’t terrible.”
I couldn’t bring myself to say anything beyond, “Do it again. Please. Do it again.” I didn’t recognize my voice as my own. There was so much life in it. A husky, smoky kind of want that resonated through the silence.
He pulled me to him again and teased me with the softest kiss I’d ever received. For a moment I wasn’t sure he was actually toughing his lips to mine but then he pressed his mouth to mine a bit firmer and I felt a shuddery little breath shake through me.
This book was added to our catalog on Tuesday 15 April, 2014.