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It was a time of new beginnings. I was starting a new life. I had secured a job and my employer allowed me ten days of house hunting time in my new town. I had spent the last several days meandering around my Southern city searching neighborhoods. Several days into my search, I stumbled upon a lovely area. There was a leafy park with a gorgeous fountain in its center. Across the street there was a beautiful library. Three stories tall and stately, it was an inviting oasis of tranquility away from the noises of the city. I entered a large anteroom which led to various book and digital collections, writer’s rooms, a periodical section, and an area of journals and manuscripts. I spent several hours browsing the stacks, eventually working my way up to the third floor. Off of a side hallway was an archive section. I entered and saw a lone librarian seated at her desk examining some paperwork. Engrossed in her work, she wasn’t aware I was there.
“This is a nice library. It should be in the tourist books.”
She looked up from her papers. “That’s so nice to hear. I agree with you. This library is a hidden gem in the midst of the city.” She was genuinely friendly and I was instantly attracted to her. “Are you here on vacation?”
“No, I’m brand new in town. I’ll soon start a new job and I’m in the process of finding living quarters. I saw the library and stopped in to browse. I’m afraid my house hunting has fallen behind; I’ve already spent four hours here. But I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
“Welcome to our library and our city. My name is Sandy. I’m a reference librarian here,” she said as she stood. She was dressed like a librarian. Very conservatively, almost matronly.
“I’m pleased to meet you, Sandy. My name is Tom.” We gently shook hands. I liked this woman.
“Pleased to meet you,” Sandy said. She had sincere eyes, an attractive face, and a slight British accent.
“You’re not from here,” I observed.
“No, I’m not,” Sandy replied. “I’m from Massachusetts. My mother is British. Hence the accent.”
“I like it. We’re practically neighbors. I hail from Connecticut.”
“It’s nice to meet another Yankee,” she said with a smile.
Conversation came easily with Sandy. She produced some maps and was pointing out areas in which I might be interested to live. She told me about nice neighborhoods and others I’d be wise to avoid. Eventually the subject of her impending vacation came up.
“It starts next week. First stop is Long Island. From there it’s on to Italy.”
“Oh, Long Island to change planes at JFK Airport?”
“Well that, and to visit family. My partner’s family is there.”
My face expressed joy, but my heart sank. Why were all the good ones already taken? I have no luck in love.
“Nice. How long will your trip be?”
“Four days on Long Island and nine days in Italy.”
“Two weeks. That’s a nice length of time to be away. Not too short, not too long.”
The conversation meandered on until it was time for me to leave.
“I hope to see you in our library again, Tom.”
“You can count on it, Sandy. I enjoyed my visit and I enjoyed meeting you. Thank you for your time and the tips you gave me about neighborhoods. I learned a lot.”
“My pleasure. Keep me updated on your house hunting progress.”
“I will. Thanks again, and enjoy your vacation,” I said before leaving.
In the subsequent three weeks I started with my new employer which kept my mind and my time occupied. But not so occupied that I didn’t think of Sandy from time to time. I had a physical and emotional attraction to her. Sandy was smart, presentable, well-spoken, friendly, so easy to talk to, and kind. I truly liked her and missed her. I hoped I wasn’t falling for a married woman.
The time slowly elapsed and I returned to the library. I bypassed the stacks and went straight to the archival section. I sauntered in nonchalantly. There she was.
“Hi Sandy. Welcome home. How was your vacation?”
Her pretty eyes lit up. “It was wonderful. Italy is a beautiful country. We started in Rome and meandered down to Sicily,” she explained. “The people were friendly and the food was great. I learned some new recipes that I am anxious to try.” She was radiant and seemed genuinely happy to see me.
“I’m glad you’re back. Did you take pictures?”
“Many. I’ll have to show them to you.”
“That would be nice,” I lied. I had absolutely no desire to see her and her husband together hugging and mugging for their vacation pictures. It would only hurt me.
“Great. I’ll bring them here so you can see them on our big screen in the archives. When can you come?”
“How about Thursday after work?” I was a moth attracted to a flame.
“Great. I’ll be here until 7:00 o’clock. That will give us time.” I began to wonder if she had thought about me as much as I had thought about her these last weeks.
‘What about her husband?’ I thought. ‘Will he be here too?’ I’d feel so uncomfortable and I’m sure he’d be wondering karataş escort what my interest is in his wife’s vacation pictures. And I most certainly did not want to get involved with a married woman. Undeterred, Thursday after work I trudged upstairs to her desk, expecting the worst. But she was alone.
“Tom! So glad you came,” she said with smiling eyes. “I closed off a room with a big screen so we’ll have it to ourselves. Come,” she said, rising and walking toward a door.
I felt a bit uneasy at the thought of being alone with her. She was another man’s woman. I couldn’t control my feelings for her and felt guilty about my crush on her. It just wasn’t right, but I feigned enthusiasm as she led me to the adjacent room.
Walking behind her gave me the opportunity to check her out. Her heels clicked on the floor as my eyes traveled up her legs. They were nice and although her dress covered the shape of her behind, I liked the way it swayed. Her hips curved nicely and her ringlets bounced playfully on her back.
We entered the archives and Sandy closed the door behind us. She bent over the computer tower to insert the jump drive and I couldn’t help but notice her breasts sway. I wasn’t sure, but she seemed rather well endowed. I felt more guilt, this time with a large dose of envy for her man. She stood back up and clicked the mouse.
“These are in Rome,” she said as she scrolled through pictures of the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. She continued through the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Neither she nor her husband was in any of the photos.
“Here is Naples and Sorrento. We also visited Capri,” she continued, as the Blue Grotto appeared on the screen in all its magnificence.
“I hope you tried a cannolo in Naples. The Neapolitans invented them,” I said.
“We did! How did you know that is where they were first created?”
“I know a few things,” I said flirtatiously. I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to take her in my arms and steal her from her husband.
“We took a bus tour along the Amalfi Coast to Salerno,” Sandy continued, as the beautiful coastline filled the screen.
“You tried some limoncello I hope!” I said as if in duress.
“We did. Do you like limoncello?”
“It has a lot of vitamin C,” I kidded. “So it’s good for you.” Her ensuing smile made me melt. If this woman wanted to use me as her toy but insisted on me being true to her, I’d agree.
The pictures continued on to the Sicilian countryside. It was there that Sandy finally appeared in one of the pictures. There in front of Mount Etna Sandy and an attractive woman stood side by side, arms around each other’s shoulders, looking happy.
“Is that the tour guide you’re with?” I asked naively.
“No Tom. That’s my partner.”
The surprise threw me off balance and the most awkward silence followed. I was totally at a loss for words. I almost blurted ‘she’s pretty’ but that seemed wrong. I felt like a jerk.
“Don’t be embarrassed. I didn’t tell you and how else would you know?” Sandy empathized.
I wouldn’t. This caught me totally unaware. In my mind I had her married to a tall, handsome, successful prince. A man who could hold her, kiss her, enjoy her pretty smile, her cute laugh, who could undress her and make love to her. But it wasn’t a man after all. It was a woman making love to her.
“I’m sorry for my reaction, Sandy. I just didn’t expect it,” I sheepishly explained.
“Neither did my mother.”
I stifled a laugh. “Your wife is beautiful and you make a fine looking couple.”
“Thanks, but we’re not married.”
“Oh. But you still make a good looking couple.”
The pictures progressed through Sicily to Palermo, the point of departure back to Rome, JFK Airport, and finally home.
“I enjoyed your pictures, Sandy. Thank you for sharing them with me.”
“You’re welcome. Thank you for your interest,” she replied, her elegant eyes sincere.
“Oh!” she said suddenly. “Now it’s my turn to be embarrassed. I was so wrapped up in myself that I forgot to ask you. Have you found a place to live yet?” she asked, her pretty face genuinely concerned.
“Sort of. I scoured the areas you recommended but was unable to find a decent rental. Apparently there is strong demand there and anything nice was taken. The real estate agent assured me that something would open up soon, so I took a furnished room for now.”
“A furnished room?” she asked, her eyebrows knit. “Does it have a kitchen?”
“Yes. Not fancy. But it works.”
“Can you cook there?”
“Yes,” I said unconvincingly. Sandy stared at me for five seconds.
“You’ll come to dinner tomorrow night.” It wasn’t an invitation. It was an order.
“I don’t want to impose, Sandy.”
“Impose?” she remonstrated with a touch of impatience.
“Maybe you should check with your partner first.”
She ignored my suggestion. “I’m trying one of the recipes I found in Italy tomorrow night. So you’ll come at seven o’clock for a drink before dinner.” She was resolute and I couldn’t say no to her.
“What should I bring?”
“Your favorite wine.”
Sandy wrote down her address, which was only two blocks from my room. She included her cell and work numbers. I took the opportunity to give her my address and numbers as well.
“Sandy, what’s your partner’s name?”
“Lisa. You’ll love her.” I certainly loved her taste in women and if she was anything like Sandy, I’m sure I would.
I rang Sandy and Lisa’s doorbell promptly at 7:00, two bottles of wine in hand. I also had flowers for the ladies hidden behind my back. Sandy opened the door wrapped in an apron, a spatula in her hand.
“Hi Tom. Come in,” she said warmly.
“Hi Sandy. Thank you for the invitation. Would you like me to remove my shoes?” I offered.
“Of course not. Make yourself at home,” she instructed.
The woman in the picture appeared from the kitchen. She was about 5’7″, slim with blond hair, keen eyes and unsmiling, but still nice looking.
“Tom, this is Lisa. Lisa, this is Tom, my library friend.”
“Hello Tom. I’m pleased to meet you,” Lisa said in her sultry voice. “Sandy has told me you’re new in town. Welcome to our city.”
“Thank you, Lisa. Pleased to meet you.” Her eyes held me fast. Did she see me as an interloper?
“Flowers for the ladies,” I said, easing the tension, as I produced the bouquet from behind my back. Lisa took them and placed them in a vase while Sandy returned to the kitchen.
“Thank you, Tom. They’re pretty,” Lisa said, fingering them. “Come on in the kitchen,” she said in her bedroom voice, leading me. The kitchen was spacious and well equipped.
“Need any help?” I asked my friend, placing the wine on the granite counter top.
“Yes. Pour me a glass.”
“Barolo or Pinot Grigio?” I asked as I removed the bottles from the bag.
“Lisa? May I?”
“Sure Tom. Pinot Grigio for now. I’ll try the red later.” I poured.
Dinner consisted of a tomato and mozzarella salad drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and breaded pork chops. It was the first home cooked meal I had in weeks.
“Sandy, this is delicious,” I flattered her as I ate.
“Thanks. It’s real simple to make. Take more.”
“Thank you. I will.”
“We learned the recipe in Sicily,” Lisa informed me.
The conversation turned to their vacation and the pictures. Talk came easily with these ladies, probably helped by the wine. But when I addressed Sandy or she did me, I’d feel Lisa’s jaded eyes burning into me…or so I thought. She seemed to be evaluating me and my intentions. I had no intent to crowd into their relationship, but it was only natural for Lisa to suspect. Sandy, on the other hand, had no suspicion whatsoever. She treated me like we’d known each other since first grade.
We finished dinner and I stood to clear the table. “No Tom,” they said in unison.
“Yes, ladies. Allow me,” I insisted. “You told me to make myself at home. This is what I do at home.” I cleared the table and loaded the dishwasher with Lisa’s help and then washed the pots. Soon all was clean and we repaired to the living room to enjoy more conversation and wine. They were hospitable and seemed to appreciate my company. Even Lisa was loosening up. It was obvious the women loved one another. Being in the company of a loving couple always brings a good feeling. I felt comfortable with these women.
Alas, it was time to leave. I thanked the women profusely for sharing their home and their meal with me. I told them how I hadn’t had a home cooked meal in weeks and that I thoroughly enjoyed their company.
“Good,” said Sandy. “That means you’ll come again on Sunday for dinner.”
These dinner invitations kept coming and to repay I would do some light repairs in their home. In the ensuing weeks I replaced a light switch that was dead. I altered the position of their internet router, allowing for better wireless coverage in their home. I replaced the leaking stopper in their toilet tank. Lisa no longer saw me as a threat and remarked that it was nice to have me around.
One Saturday while repairing their under-sink garbage disposal, which had quit some months before, I cut my thumb on the shredder plate/impeller assembly. It was only a superficial cut, but it was a bleeder, which caused the women some alarm. Sandy and Lisa cleaned and dressed the cut and then prepared dinner while I showered with my hand wrapped in a plastic bag. After dinner, wine, and a DVD, I fell asleep on their couch. At 1:30 in the morning I awoke to someone touching my arm. It was Sandy.
“How is your thumb?”
“It’s good,” I lied; it was throbbing.
Come upstairs,” she said. “You’ll be more comfortable.”
“I’m fine here, Sandy,” I said unconvincingly.
Lisa appeared and offered the same invitation. “Come on Tom. There’s plenty of room. Sleeping on the couch will give you a stiff neck.”
“Thanks Lisa. It’s OK.”
“No, it’s not. You are our guest. Would you ask a guest to sleep on your couch?”
They didn’t wait for an answer. Each took an arm and pulled me up and led me to their king-sized bed. Sandy lent me a pair of sweat shorts to wear. They were right; there was plenty of room. They put me in their bed and Sandy slid in next to me, Lisa next to her. The women quickly fell asleep, but now I was wide awake with my throbbing thumb. How did I end up in bed with two women? I wasn’t sure, but I liked it. Eventually I fell asleep.
I awoke to the smell of pancakes. I dressed and came downstairs to find the women setting the table for breakfast.
“Good morning, sleeping beauty,” Sandy greeted in her cute accent. “How’s the thumb?”
“It feels better.” They both came over to fuss with the bandage.
“How did you sleep?” Lisa asked, holding my hand.
“With two beautiful women as bed mates, I couldn’t have been more content.” The women exchanged a satisfied smile. This was nice.
“Thank you, ladies,” I said as I was leaving later that morning. “You’re my first and only friends here. I came here a stranger, not knowing anyone, and you’ve extended such kindness. I truly appreciate your friendship.”
“We appreciate yours, too, Tom. And all you’ve done for us,” replied Sandy, Lisa nodding in agreement. I left a happy guy.
One night while I was sitting at home alone, the doorbell rang. It was Lisa. I buzzed her up and she entered. I didn’t know what to expect. Was she going to tell me to back off her woman? I had no designs on Sandy and I wouldn’t do anything to intrude on their beautiful relationship. She should know that. I braced for the worst. After inquiring about how my thumb was healing, Lisa got to the point.
“Sandy really likes you, Tom. I know you’re fond of Sandy. I like you too, and we enjoy your company.” She hesitated, looked around, and then continued.
“I met Sandy four years ago. We knew each other as friends. Sandy was dating a man. He wasn’t right for her. He didn’t appreciate her and was disrespectful. He dumped her for some cheap floozy and hurt her badly. In her pain she swore off men. Me? I had already changed direction; I had long been attracted to women and had fought the feeling long enough. Having been hurt by men several times, the thought of relations with a man became repugnant to me. But Sandy’s case is less extreme. She swore off men due to her heartache, not because of an innate loathing of men.”
She hesitated again and concluded, “Sandy needs a man.”
I sat looking at her, askance. She stared back, and then took a deep breath.
“Tom, I want you to get intimate with Sandy.”
Silence. “What? I can’t do that, Lisa. I respect Sandy. I love Sandy. Besides, Sandy is your woman. I couldn’t do anything to violate your relationship.”
“You wouldn’t be violating our relationship. I’m inviting you. Look, I love Sandy, too. I’d give her anything she wants, anything she needs. And she needs a man to give her the things I can’t give her. She deserves that. I’m only suggesting this because I love Sandy.”
I sat, thinking. “Have you discussed this with Sandy?”
“Yes, and she’s amenable. I told you, she likes you.”
“I feel uneasy about this.”
“Tom, we love you. You’re a nice guy. You’re humble, generous, and a gentleman. Our lifestyle isn’t generally tolerated here. Some people hate us; you respect our relationship. You’ve even been in our bed with us and respected us.” I smiled. “It meant a lot to us. Sandy stopped believing such men still existed,” she continued, then paused. “I did too,” she added dolefully.
Lisa continued. “I feel like I’m keeping a bird in a cage and it bothers me,” she lamented, her eyes on the floor. I want Sandy to have what she needs, but I couldn’t bear the thought of her being used again by a man. You wouldn’t do that.” She lifted her gaze and looked straight into my eyes.
“Help me with this, Tom. Please.”
“I still feel funny,” I added as I sat thinking. This would change the whole relationship. Lisa says she wants this for Sandy, but how can this work? How will Lisa feel when I’m intimate with her woman? It would lead to jealousy and conflict. It would ruin their relationship and our friendship.
“I couldn’t do such a thing with Sandy all alone. It would jeopardize the friendship the three of us share. I’d feel terribly guilty doing that behind your back. If I do this at all I want you there, Lisa.”
“I’ll be there. Let’s plan for this weekend. I won’t tell Sandy that we organized this. I’d rather it be more spontaneous for her. The way it should be. Come for dinner. Spend the night. Take care of Sandy,” Lisa said. She rose and left, leaving my head spinning, still wondering if this was right.
Saturday night came and we feasted on another of Sandy’s Italian recipes. After dinner and another DVD Lisa led me to their bedroom and called Sandy in. Lisa took Sandy in her arms and kissed her.
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