Over the next couple of months, Sophie had been online dating furiously. She figured if she could just get this over with maybe she could stop Leann from wasting her money on these monthly fees. So far, she’d had quite a few dates most with no love match and some just flat out weird. She and Leann were having a long lunch one Wednesday discussing it.
‘He did what?’ Leann said her face was scrunched up in complete confusion. She was eating a salad, while Sophie cut into the calzone she’d ordered. They were at Star’s, a pizza joint down in Georgetown a little down from the brewery.
‘He just came out completely naked, hangin’ and swangin’. I couldn’t believe it. I’m never stopping by a guy’s house again. I should have known, the old ‘I forgot to turn off the stove’ routine. What the hell was he cooking before a date?!’
Leann started to laugh hysterically.
Sophie laughed along with her, ‘it’s not funny Leann.’
‘Yes it is,’ Leann disagreed through her guffaws, ‘oh what bad luck. How many has that been?’
‘The ninth one to end in disaster, is this over yet? One made me go Dutch, one brought his mother, one still lived with his ex-wife, and at least three the photo has been a complete lie. Someone had put up photos of themselves I know that were at least ten years old. I can’t do it anymore. Don’t you want to save some money?’
‘Oh what do I care, I just want to help a friend find love.’
‘Yea love…this one guy, Darryl remember him, the one that called me fat. Yea I certainly could go without that kind of love. Please Leann can I stop, please!’
‘Oh come on, you can’t give up now. The man of your dreams may be just one date away.’
Sophie gave her a deadpan look and replied, ‘no, he’s not.’
She’d had enough it had been the most tiring couple of months of her life. It had been a nightmare. As bad as the dates had been the rest of her life had been going well. Work had been fabulous, she was working on a new brew formula with Grant for next summer and it was coming along great. While they were finishing up work on Stevens Pass Winter Ale, they were trying to premiere it at some of the Oktoberfest events this year. So everything had been fabulous but dating had been a disaster, she didn’t have time to meet anyone outside of work. She was on a summer softball league team that was about to end soon and checking on her mom’s place since she and Thomas had gone to Nigeria and London to spend time with Thomas’ family. They wouldn’t return till the end of September. It was August hottest month ever in the Seattle area, the hotter it got the more irritated she became with these sorry dates.
‘I want out of this. I’m sick of the drama, the getting my hopes all built up just to be let down.’
‘Well what are you going to do? I’m willing to pay for it.’
‘Yea that’s awesome Leann, I’m just not willing to go on the dates. For awhile there I just thought about telling you I was dating but not actually make any dates.’
Leann looked horrified, ‘you mean you would have lied to me, just to avoid dating.’
Sophie felt bad and held her head down in shame, she knew her friend only wanted the best for her but this was not the route to get it.
‘I know, I know I should be ashamed but it’s just been too much. And I’m so busy Leann. Maybe now is not the time, I just may need to take a break.’
Leann shrugged, she looked disappointed. ‘Well if you feel that way, why not break for a while then try again in a few months. Maybe you won’t be too busy.’
Sophie was thankful for the reprieve. ‘Bless you, bless you,’ she leaned over the table to hug Leann.
She shooed her off, ‘oh stop Sophie, I love you, you’re my friend and I don’t want you unhappy and if dating is making you unhappy you should stop. At least that’s what I’ve heard the dating experts say, they say a break from dating could be good. Get your juices flowing again.’
Sophie had been breaking from dating a couple of years if this was the result she didn’t see how a couple of months could change things.
‘We’ve got yoga tomorrow.’
‘Yea yoga…’ her voice trailed off as visions of a sexy, muscular, hunk with wavy dark hair and chocolate brown eyes came to her imagination.
Leann snapped her fingers in Sophie’s face to get her out of it, ‘hello! Sophie Roberson, back to earth please.’
Sophie blinked rapidly and focused on what Leann was saying.
‘What was that about, you spaced out and got this look on your face like…well like you wanted to melt in that chair.’
Sophie just blushed, she was embarrassed to be caught thinking about Brock but she had been lately especially at night as she used that vibrator to try and relieve some pressure. After the kiss during the brewery tour, she tried her best to avoid him. She has been mortified that she reacted like that but he’d been very cool about it and hadn’t pushed her. Finally she felt like a fool because he was being very adult about the situation while she was acting like a kid. They’d talked again and he’d invited her over to talk to his class about what she did. It had been fun, he was really great with those kids and they seemed to adore him. She found herself even more attracted to him after that, they ‘d spent some time together after that but not like a date or anything. They’d had breakfast a couple of Sundays, did some hiking with some of his friends, and he’d had beer with her after work last Friday. This Saturday she was going with him to Magnusson Park, he had a buddy with a boat and wanted her to join them out on Lake Washington. She’d agreed maybe the time she could have spent online dating was being spent with Brock, who she really had no chance of dating. He’d always been a gentlemen never made any moves on her, although the women at some of these summer soirees were giving her the serious stank eye. He was very respectful but she could feel her feelings for him growing. She had to keep it under control.
‘Who has you with that look on your face? Oh I know who it is…’ Leann started to giggle hysterically.
‘Oh come on Leann I’m embarrassed enough, it’s tragic I’m like a love sick idiot.’
”That’s why you’ve been having a hard time dating, your mind is not on your work.’
‘Leann I feel like a damn fool, I’m old as all get out. In a couple of months I’ll be 39 and he’s a kid, he’s 29 years old.’
‘So what, you’re a cougar. That’s the new thing, how does he feel about the situation?’
‘It’s totally benign on his end. After the kiss he gave me, I told him to back off so he…’
Leann furrowed her brow and blinked, ‘kiss, what kiss?’
‘Oh yea I never told you about that.’
‘What the hay is going on. Aren’t we friends?! You’re talking about lying to me now and you just decided to omit that you and a hunk of burning love were making out.’
Sophie smiled, ‘it’s not like that, during the brewery tour it just happened, he leaned over and kissed me.’
‘Aww somebody has been naughty.’
‘Now I’m paying for it, I told him to back off and he did just that he backed completely off.’
She just shook her head, maybe she’d been too hasty in shooing Brock off.
It was hot and muggy Saturday afternoon at the lake, the park was packed. Sophie finally found a spot in the upper parking lot. She was going to meet Brock by the lake, Sophie was dressed in a swimsuit cover and shorts and flip flops. She had a new pair of shades she’d gifted to herself from Lindstroms, they were DKNY fabulous and expensive as she thought about the boat ride she wondered if she should have just brought the cheap pair from Target. She hauled her beach bag out and started to walk toward the beach part of the park. It was actually kind of strange because in Seattle most beaches were just parks with grass and a little sand next to the water. But for people who spent the majority of their year in raincoats this was better than nothing. Sophie had everything she needed, including lots of suntan lotion. Just because she was black woman did not mean she couldn’t burn, she could and she had and no intention of repeating that painful experience.
She walked along the path toward the park and noticed the young couples, groups of college kids from University of Washington, friends just having a fun day in the sun. She was hoping for good things but having spent some time with Brock’s friends before she wasn’t expecting much. The guys were all nice, the girls were a tad cool towards her. The only one she’d talked to for any period of time was his friend Freddy, who they called Bandit’s, girlfriend. She was trying to remember her name when she heard her own being called.
‘Sophie! Yo Sophie!’
She looked up to spotted Brock waving her toward him, he had on some oversized plaid trunks, a Sex Pistols t-shirt and some Birkenstocks. Didn’t matter what he was wearing, he really was the sexiest thing at Magnusson park. Why was she torturing herself, she’d dissed him and now it looked like whatever interest he had in her had waned.
‘Hey!’ she shouted as she saw him jog toward her.
‘Hey,’ he said just a little out of breath, it was scorcher and it couldn’t be easy to run. He looked down her and asked if she needed help.
‘You can certainly drag this cooler.’
‘Oh no problem. What’s in it?’
‘Well I hate to come empty handed so I brought some beer.’
‘Awesome, I hope you got my favorite.’
‘Of course, I do.’
‘Cool, you’re the greatest Sophie. Why don’t you marry me?’ he smiled at her jokingly.
Sophie nervously laughed but in her thoughts, she could see herself walking down an aisle toward him. She shook her head to come out of that fantasy.
‘Sure, I know why you want me just for my beer.’
‘If I had you, I’d want you for more than that.’
Sophie looked at him, she wasn’t sure he was serious but he sounded serious. She smiled nervously and he smiled back. They just talked about random crap on the way toward the boat launch. She wasn’t trying to get her hopes up.
Out in the water it had been nice, there was good food, good music, good beer and wine and pretty good company.
The boat belonged to Brock’s friend Josh, they’d grown up together. He was nice looking not as hot as Brock but just as tall, a little thinner and not as muscular, his hair was shorter than Brock’s not the carefree boyish look but he would have been considered handsome. Bandit was short, he was Filipino, and stocky and muscular. His girlfriend, Heidi was taller than him and taller than Sophie she was thin and athletic, Sophie just felt fat next to her, she had blonde hair that was cut into shoulder length bob. She was friendly and funny. The other two women were friends of theirs from college. One was Asian, the other white. Whitney and Mara, they spoke to Sophie but didn’t talk to her as much. Mara was blonde also but it was platinum not like Heidi’s strawberry blonde, hers was straight from the bottle. They talked in whispers and every once in awhile Sophie would catch them staring at her and chatting, she was feeling paranoid but they had given her the feeling more than once that they didn’t want her around. Mara seemed particularly interested in her shoving off, Sophie figured she wanted Brock for herself but he didn’t seem the less bit interested in either one. They were all fairly successful young people. Josh worked for Microsoft, Bandit has his own auto detailing business, Heidi was a architect, Whitney was a dentist and Mara regional director for a beauty company and She looked the part. It was hot as hades out here and she had on a full face of make-up. Sophie kept thinking it might melt off under this beaming sun.
She had been enjoying most of her afternoon, she’d finally had the courage to show off the new bikini she’d bought for today. She figured why not be at her best. It was string with a yellow and white striped bottom and yellow top. She noticed some appreciative glances, one coming from Brock himself and he gave her the thumbs up, she blushed profusely.
But she was sitting just enjoying Bainbridge Island Brown Ale when Mara came up and sat down next to her. She didn’t acknowledge her but she knew that hussy was waiting for her to do so. Sophie thought to herself, too bad chick, wait. She would not be that obliging.
‘Sophie? That’s it…right?’
Sophie turned to look at her, they were both wearing shades so Sophie couldn’t see her eyes but her guess was the look was as insincere as that tone.
‘That’s right and it’s uhh…Mara isn’t it.’ If she was going to lay it on thick Sophie decided to play her game.
She did a fake smile at Sophie. Sophie did not feel like dealing with her this moment.
‘Yea, I wanted to tell you. I really think your bikini is so…cute,’ she said condescendingly.
‘Yea you really pull it off pretty well for a woman of your age.’
Sophie’s brow furrowed and her lips went into a flat line. Mara smiled, it was genuine that time she knew she’d gotten to her and Sophie knew it too.
A shadow appeared across them. ‘Hey what you two chatting about?’ It was Brock she was glad he had come over hopefully Mara would keep stepping.
‘Nothing,’ Mara replied, ‘what you up to?’
‘Nothing just wanted to come over and see what you beautiful ladies were chatting about and maybe I could join in.’
‘Oh sure you Brock,’ Mara was giddy as a school girl, she scooted down the bench and Brock sat down.
Sophie figured it was time for her to leave, she couldn’t take another moment of Mara fawning all over Brock.
‘Excuse me,’ said Sophie and got up to leave she noticed a little look of despondence on Brock’s face at her exit. But she had to excuse herself from that scene.
Sophie went below deck to use the bathroom and make sure she looked okay. She sat for a moment looking in the mirror wondering why and how she’d gotten herself into this mess. She was old and these folks had their whole lives ahead of them, she looked down at herself and felt the sting of the words from Mara. She tried her best to keep in shape but she still had extra pounds in places she knew it wasn’t needed. Her stomach had a small pooch, she tried and tried but she figured with all the beer drinking she did it wasn’t going anywhere soon.
‘Someone is in here,’ she said.
‘I know someone is in there. Did you fall in?’ It was Brock’s deep sexy timbre on the other side of the door. Time to make your reappearance for better or worse.
She opened the door and there he was standing leaning back on the wall looking sexy as hell. He’d abandoned his shirt as soon as they got on the boat and there was nothing but rippling muscles she longed to touch. He cleared his throat, oh goodness how embarrassing he’d caught her staring. When had she become this wanton sex pot? It was getting ridiculous.
‘You okay?’ He asked, the boat was rocking And suddenly must have caught a big wave because she lost her footing and fell straight toward him.
Brock brought up his arms to catch her and her hands came up to brace herself against that wall of muscle he called a chest. He was solid, she looked up embarrassed.
‘I’m sorry Brock that shake made me loose my balance.’
‘Lucky I was here to catch you.’
He was looking into her eyes and Sophie noticed his gaze soften, she swallowed because suddenly her throat was dry. She licked her lips and he leaned in, Sophie closed her eyes she was ready to be kissed by this man again.
‘Hey, what you two up to down here? Brock, dude, bring up some more beers, were out brother.’ It was Bandit.
He’d come in at the wrong time, Sophie’s eyes sprang open. Brock was standing in front of her, his arms had moved from her arms down her back and had settled just at the base above her butt. Hers had encircled his neck, Sophie was aware what had been interrupted.
She tried to step back out of his embrace, he pulled her toward him again.
‘Sophie we’ve been interrupted before but now I’m not going to let this go. We’re going to continue this later.’
‘Brock I don’t think…’
‘I don’t care what you think, your mouth is saying one thing, your body another. Time to clear this up. Just to let you know how serious I am.’
Brock pulled her in tight and kissed her soundly. It was a deep kiss and she didn’t resist, this time she gave in, she could feel his cock harden against her thigh. Their tongues caressed as he sought her out to deepen that connection.
He stopped first and Sophie almost melted to the floor, she’d never been kissed like that. He lightly caressed her backside and once again reiterated.
‘We’ll discuss this…later.’
They unraveled from one another and then he left her in front of the bathroom trying not cream all over herself. She was breathing hard, trying to get it together but she was also wondering if this happened now, what the hell would later be like. © EugeniaBerg 2013