Authors: Anita Claire
Surprisingly, I sleep hard. What wakes me is an unfamiliar ringing. Hearing a gruff, “shit,” I realize that Nate is still in my bed. At some point, we must have rolled away from each other. He reaches over grabbing his pants, pulling out his phone and turning off the alarm. Placing his phone on the bedside table, he turns to me, “Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you.”
Drawing my fingers down his face, I smile, “That’s fine. I think it would have freaked me out more if I woke up and you were gone.”
Smiling, he pulls me underneath him, “Last night was good.” He smiles, “real good, I’m not leaving that quickly.” Bending down, he kisses me on the cheek. His stubble prickles my skin. He proceeds to tickle me by kissing then licking my ear. As he sucks on my earlobe, he reignites my groin. Speaking into my pillow, he says, “Juliette, can I interest you in a quick one before I take off for work?”
“You’ve already started working?”
He groans, “Shit, I don’t know why I agreed to view this surgery.”
Smiling wide, I manage to say, “Yeah, a quick one would be fun.”
He grabs another condom out of his wallet, keeping eye contact as he fits it on. With a cocky smile, he lowers his head to my breast and starts sucking my nipple. His hand dances around my lower stomach before it moves farther south. Rubbing my folds, he releases my nipple, “You’re already wet.”
Reaching down, I can feel his penis getting hard. It twitches and grows as I drag my fingers up and down his shaft and around the tip. He plays with my clit in strong, knowing movements bringing me close to an orgasm, providing friction deeper into my folds, and sticking his fingers up inside of me. As he feels my breath quicken, he positions himself over me raking his penis from one end of my folds to the other as he feels for my entrance. Gasping as we join, I wrap my legs around his waist.
He strokes hard into me as he asks, “Are you close?”
I sputter out, “yeah.”
He continues to stroke hard and deep. Arching my back, I gasp with an orgasm as I see him smile with satisfaction. He strokes a few more time then releases into me. Squeezing his penis while it’s inside of me, I let the shutters of my orgasm envelop me. When he catches his breath, he pulls out. Brushing my face with his fingers and kissing my forehead he says, “That was a nice way to wake up.” Raising his torso up, he smiles down at me and says, “I’ve got to run.” He then heads to the bathroom.
Strutting back into my room naked, I have a chance to admire his well-toned body as I watch him dress. Sitting down on my bed to put his socks and shoes on, he reaches over and moves the covers so he can kiss, then lick, my breast. Raising his head to give me eye contact, he uses his fingers to lazily play with my breast, as he tells me, “I’ll be done by two. I’ll text you when I get back to my place. You’re free this afternoon, right?”
He smiles, and says, “good,” as he grabs his coat and leaves my room.
Lying back in bed, I smile. I can still feel his hands on me.
After falling back to sleep, I wake up before eight a.m. Realizing that I can still make swim practice, I race into the bathroom. Peering into the mirror, I just about die. My hair looks like a rat took refuge in it, my mascara is smeared around my eyes, and my lips are still swollen from all the kissing. First I brush my teeth to get rid of my nasty morning breath, then I pull my hair back into a very messy ponytail, finally I throw on my swimsuit. Right before I head out, I strip my bed, throw my sheets into the washer, and then head to the pool.
After practice, I use extra conditioner to work out all the knots. Amanda joins me in the locker room. “Juliette, what happened to you last night? We really missed you at happy hour. Kelly and Sean were there, so were Sam and Meredith. “
Giving her a sad smile, I say, “Zach told me he was headed for England, I didn’t know if it was cool for me to show up.”
“Hey, you’re our friend, too, you can hang with us. Anyway, has Zach been texting you?” she asks all excited.
I shake my head, “After swimming he told me his project blew up and he was heading off to England. I texted and e-mailed him, but I haven’t heard back.”
Amanda looks at me annoyed, "Those guys, they're like dogs chasing a squirrel, when work takes over their brains they forget that there’s anything else in the world.” She then gives me a little pleading look, “I bet when Zach's project gets back on track he'll been calling you. I know he really likes you."
Feeling guilty, I just shrug. "I guess.” While I debate if I should tell Amanda that I choose Nate, I decide Zach is now plan B, and keep this news to myself.
Unfortunately Amanda has other ideas as she says in a tight voice, “Were you out with the other guy last night?”
“The other guy?” I repeat.
“Yeah, the guy Zach’s competing with.”
My chest feels tight as I nod. Amanda scowls, “Shit, I was just hoping that Zach wouldn’t screw up.” Then she shrugs, “I figure if Kevin’s friends have girlfriends, it will change the dynamics. You know, make it so much easier for me.”
I nod, understanding where she’s coming from. Wanting to move off of this uncomfortable topic I ask, “Did Kelly and Sean show up together? Like really together?”
Amanda answers, “Those two deserve each other. They definitely were not cute and clingy.” Shaking like she has the chills, she adds, “I bet they break furniture when they have sex.”
I choke out a laugh as my mind flashes to last night with Nate. Then I refocus, “Yeah, I bet Kelly brings out the least gentle and most animalistic attributes in a guy,” I Chuckle. “Not that I’ve ever witnessed it, but I’m sure sex with Kelly looks like naked Greco Roman wrestling.”
“Like, what’s with that? They’re supposed to be going mountain biking today. Kelly was boasting that she planned on ruining him.”
With a big smile, I shake my head. “That’s Kelly, she’s very competitive and very physical. I think most women like her are gay.” Giving a gossipy look, I ask, “Sean’s into her?”
“I don’t think Sean has the patience to deal with normal women. Kelly’s perfect, she’s like hanging out with a guy, except at the end of the night, he can screw her.”
“Amanda, that’s the best description of Kelly ever. I’m going to have to tell her that.”
Amanda looks at me aghast. “No way, don’t repeat what I just said!”
Rolling my eyes, I say, “Kelly’s cool, she’ll like you better for saying that.” I pick up my bag. “Come on, grab your bag. I bet the guys are waiting outside.”
Austin and Kevin are waiting for us. Before anything gets weird, I ask, “Has anyone heard from Zach?”
Kevin and Austin both give each other a look. Then Kevin says, “His project blew up over Thanksgiving weekend. He pulled a couple all-nighters and then flew to England.”
Austin then asks, “Didn’t he say anything to you?”
In an attempt to play it cool I just shrug, “Yeah, no details, just things went off the rails and he was flying to London, I haven’t heard from him since.”
Kevin frowns and shakes his head. “I don’t work with him. I guess we’ll find out more when he’s back in town.” Then he looks like he’s about to say something else, but reconsiders. Instead, he says, “You going to join us for breakfast?”
Smiling, I say, “sure.” The four of us head over to Crepevine.
Once home I text Deborah. Then I wait until my sheets are dry, so I can make my bed before I head over to the arena. I’m glad I have something else to do; I don’t want to be the woman who waits around for some man to call. At the arena, the girls and horses are a lot of fun to work with; they keep my mind occupied.
At around three Nate texts.
Got stuck in surgery, heading home now.
Even knowing he’s a doctor, it’s strange to think he cuts people open.
I’m at the arena in Los Altos Hills working with horses. Meet me here when you’re ready.
Then I give him my coordinates.
The ever vigilant Deborah asks who I’m texting when I should be watching the girls. Smiling, I tell her about my very new guy.
“Do I get to meet this guy?”
“You’ll be one of the first to meet him.”
Focusing in on the girls, I try not to think about Nate. At about four, he finally shows up, I’m just glad I had something to do. He is freshly washed and shaved, he looks real good in his sneakers, jeans, and fleece jacket. He has that clean cut Boy Scout look I remember from the first time we met.
Waving, with a big smile, I head over to the split rail fence Nate’s now leaning on. My stomach jumps as I get close. “Good timing, we were just about to head back to the stables.”
Looking down at me, his eyes deepen as he appraises me. Leaning his hand over the fence, he brushes my cheek with the tips of his fingers. Then reaches out and pulls me closer with his index finger under my chin, he leans in kissing my lips lightly. My entire body lights up. In the background, I can hear the teenage girls giggling.
Catching my breath, I pull my thoughts in place. “We have a choice, I can leave Deborah with two teenagers and six horses, or you can help us bring the horses back to the stables. Deborah will bring us back here to get our cars.”
He looks at the horses, “I’ve never ridden before.”
“Then we’ll give you an easy horse.”
Smiling, he looks at me for a couple beats. Finally, he says, “OK, sure, I’ll try it.”
Turning around, I yell over to Deborah, “Nate will help us take them back.”
“It’s going to get cold, let me see if Deborah has extra gloves and ear muffs.”
“I’ve got that in my car.”
“You are a Boy Scout; all prepared for cold weather.” I say appraisingly.
Chuckling, he heads back to his car. Running back to Deborah, we discuss which horse we should give Nate, and which horse I should take.
“Why don’t you and the girls gallop back to the stable with the extra horses. Nate and I can take our time walking our horses back. By the time we get to the stable, you’ll have the other horses un-tacked, it won’t take long to brush, feed, and blanket these two if we all work together.” I suggest.
Nodding, Deborah says, “And it gives you some alone time with your cute, new guy.”
Nate joins us—probably hearing that comment. He’s carrying old winter gloves and a knit ear-warmer.
He extends his hand introducing himself to Deborah. In her loud straightforward manner, she says “hello”, then turns to me, “Nice, Juliette. This one’s cute and has manners.”
Nate smirks, while I can’t wipe the goofy smile off my face.
Deborah always travels with a backpack of extras, including riding helmets. She hands a large helmet to Nate. He fiddles around adjusting it, then looks at the horses, “Which one do I ride?”
Taking him over to Jackson, a mellow, sweet-tempered bay, I show him how to mount. I then lead Jackson and Velvet, a feisty paint I chose because she and Jackson ride well together, to the other end of the arena. After showing Nate how to hold the reins, turn left, turn right, and stop, I also make him practice an emergency dismount.
While we’re practicing, Deborah starts to leave with the teenagers.
“We need to keep Velvet busy, so she doesn’t see them leave.” I warn Nate.
“It’s now almost four thirty, we have about twenty minutes before sunset, hopefully we’ll get to the barn before it’s completely dark.” I explain as I string battery-operated lights over the horses’ necks, and hand Nate a safety vest with a battery powered light bar. Taking Jackson’s lead, I guide both horses out of the arena, closing the gate behind us. Mounting Velvet I tell Nate, “You need to be on my left side,” as I move the lead rope to my right hand and double it up. Jackson’s head is at the level of my saddle, making it easy for me to hear Nate, but much harder for him to hear me. We only have a short amount of time on the road before we reach one of the public paths that intersect Los Altos Hills. The air is cold, but the sky is amazingly blue, and the sunset should be beautiful. Luckily, Velvet is in a mellow mood. She likes to run along the trails; that’s why I wanted the others to go ahead.
“How long will this take?” Nate asks.
“About forty-five minutes, these guys walk about four miles an hour.” Pointing, I say, “The trail head for the path is right ahead. I hate riding on the street. People in this town like to drive real fast.” As we ride, I can feel the air getting colder. The lots in Los Altos Hills are a minimum of an acre, and there aren’t any streetlights, which make it great for stargazing and sunset watching, but bad for walking horses back to their stables safely. The only illumination comes from lights inside private homes.
“Are you sure you know the way back?” Nate asks.
Chuckling, I respond, “These guys take this path almost every day. They know dinner’s at the other end of the trail. I guarantee they know the way home.”
As we ride, I watch the light from the setting sun turn the mountains pink, the sky purple, and the ground gray. The lights around the horses’ necks cast an eerie glow.
Nate says, “Blauschimmer. Wasn’t that the word your German friend had for the pink hills at dawn and dusk?”
Nodding, I say, “Yeah, I’m glad I get to share one of my favorite places—and times of day—with you.”
The pink starts fading until the trees are backlit against the sky; my favorite part of the sunset. We both ride in comfortable silence. Thankfully, nothing spooks either horse. Soon our only illumination is the blue and green lights strung around the horses’ necks, and the light from our vests. Finally, I see the lights of the barn; they look like a beacon calling us home. The horses know we’re close, I can feel their gait increase. I have to hold them back from trotting up the hill. Deborah comes out to greet us, taking Jackson’s lead rope as Nate dismounts. The teenage girls look at Nate and giggle as they run off to one of their mom’s car.
Giving him the elbow, I grin and say, “You’re a hit with teens.”
He smirks and shakes his head.
We then secure each horse with the lead rope and halter. Showing Nate how to do it, we remove the tack, unbuckle and take off the bridle, and then unhitch the cinch of the saddle. Deborah shows Nate where to put the tack, and how to flip the saddle pad so the sweat can dry off.
“This is my favorite part. I love grooming the horses. I think it’s because the horses enjoy being groomed.” I tell Nate as we brush out their coats with a currycomb, and then a body brush. Deborah and I each check their hooves. Nate helps us put on their blankets. We then lead them into their stall, where I see the girls had already filled their troughs with food and water before they took off. The whole activity probably takes half an hour, including Deborah dropping us off at our cars. Nate stands at my car as she drives away.
Shivering in the cold and dark, I say, “Do you want to meet me at my place?”
Cupping my face, he leans over and gives me a panty wetting kiss, smiles, nods, and says, “your place.”