Just As I Am: Four Novelettes About Second Chances For Love

Just As I Am: Four Novelettes About Second Chances For Love

Christina Rhys

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Imperfect Bodies, Perfect Love! Imagine a world where a man and a woman experience lust and steamy sex while also discovering the depths of love that can still be found after their hair has become streaked with silver. Love, passion, and a yearning for that special closeness that they ultimately bring do not belong only to the young. They are the inherent rights of any person. The lovers in the five short stories offered in Just As I Am are mature and most have been battered by some of the worst that life has to offer; but irregardless all are very fortunate. Yet their dreams come true. Their pain and loneliness disappear--and their passions explode. "Marking Time": as Christina immerses Jon in a haze of sensuality will he be able to see more than skin deep to learn that love is seen in the heart and not with the eyes? "One More Day": even though their broken bodies will never heal Mac and Kasey yearn for the laughter, love, and great sex can still be theirs if they have the courage to reach for each other. "Somewhere Out There": Leah is afraid to risk her heart to a man ten years younger than herself, but can Daniel's blistering seduction during an outdoor picnic convince her otherwise? "The Best For Last": the third time at love may prove to be the best for Tevis, a cancer survivor, and Jim, a recovered alcoholic, if they can move beyond their wounds and their pasts. "Empty Spaces" as their hearts respond to the loneliness that each has heard in the other's voice sight unseen, the man and woman wonder if their imperfect bodies will also ignite if they did meet.

 
PUBLISHED BY: Renaissance E Books
ISBN:
PUBLICATION DATE:
WORD COUNT: 40000
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 1
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Romantic Fiction, Erotica, Contemporary
KEYWORDS:
 

EBOOKS BY Renaissance E Books

EBOOKS BY Christina Rhys

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Christina Rhys/

MARKING TIME

Stifling, stagnant air; shuffling footsteps; muffled coughs; impatient deep breaths; whispered words. As he sat patiently in Seat N, Row 7 all of these things registered on Jon's brain. The long flight from Quebec to Atlanta with an even lengthier layover in New York City had tired him considerably. It was an evil necessity though if he were to ever have a semblance of a normal life again. He had been making these trips every few months for the past two years for therapy and training classes. Two years since he had lost everything in one alcohol-induced car accident. Two years since he had lost his wife, his son, his job, his self-respect, his eyesight. Two years of forcing himself to arise every morning and push through another day that offered nothing of value to him. As far as he was concerned he had been only marking time; and he was weary of marking time. That fatigue was what had prompted him to make this one last trip to the Atlanta clinic. This time the doctors were going to evaluate his case for participation in a new experimental laser surgery program that had potential for restoring his sight albeit with a certain amount of risk. At this point he really wasn't worried about risk; anything would be better than this empty existence consumed only by guilt and loneliness. Slowly closing his eyelids over fatigued eyes that would probably never see anything again except through the memories stored in his mind's eye, he settled down in the airplane seat to wait to exit. He had learned long ago that a blind man using a white cane managed better if he waited until everyone else deplaned before he made the attempt.
As the moments passed he gradually lost the other sounds surrounding him and that was when the light, sensuous fragrance captured him. Focusing on that arresting fragrance he attempted to isolate where it was coming from. Ever so slowly his brain registered other signals that someone was close by–the rustle of silk cloth, the whisper of nylons as one leg rubbed against another, an occasional brush of hair against shoulder, the tap of a heel against the floor, the glide of a purse strap being slid over a shoulder, and a definitely feminine sigh. There was no mistaking that. With that sexy fragrance and all the other signals the sigh had to be female. And not only female but very, very close. Instantly he hardened and just as instantly his sightless eyes jerked open.
That had not happened since the accident. Of course before it was a frequent occurrence whenever he encountered a stunningly attractive woman; but with no visual stimulant, no physical caress, no verbal foreplay it had never happened. He was as hard as a rock and suddenly obsessed with discovering the reason why. As he braced his hand on the seatback in front of him in preparation to rising he came into contact with a firm, warm shoulder covered with the silky material. At his touch a head turned brushing equally silky hair over the back of his hand and the sensuous fragrance wafted over him again.
Christina was hot, tired, irritable, in a rush; and her foot was killing her. Cursing herself for not changing shoes she jiggled her foot once more to try to relieve the pressure on the huge blister on her heel. Damn, why hadn't she had enough sense to change into comfortable shoes? Why hadn't she enough sense to stay home in the first place? She should know by now that these trips to visit happily married friends did nothing but depress her. Instantly she felt ashamed. It was wrong to envy the happiness of others; but she had to admit she did. She realized that if everyone else were as lonely as she had been since her divorce it wouldn't lessen her loneliness or make it disappear. The world would just be full of a lot more people like her, a lot more people just marking time, and that would be a real tragedy. But nevertheless she did envy the closeness that existed when a man and a woman truly loved one another. Would she never experience that again? Would the remainder of her life be spent only viewing from the sidelines what she craved in the lives of friends? She was so tired of feeling like the proverbial child with his nose pressed against the candy store window.
Sighing with pain and dejection she jolted when strong, hot fingers clasped her shoulder. A current of electricity shot from those fingers through her body all the way to her throbbing heel. What in the world was happening now? She had never in all her years felt anything like it. Quickly turning her head to discover the source of that incredible sensation her jawbone grazed four long, strong fingers and the electricity shot through her again.
Startled she stammered, "Pardon me. Did you need something?"
At the sound of her deep, throaty voice Jon fleetingly wondered how deep it would sound at the moment of her climax. Startled by the direction of his thoughts, he was equally startled by the increase in the bulge in the front of his pants. What in the world was happening? He knew he was horny as he had not been with a woman since the accident, but he had been horny before and never felt like this. The skin on the back of his fingers felt tingly where her skin had touched his. He was acutely aware that since losing his sight all of his other senses had gone into overdrive, but never to this degree. Deliberately lifting his forefinger to barely touch the tender skin on her jaw he responded,
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you. I couldn't judge where the seatback was."
As that one fingertip slowly traced circles on her jaw Christina studied the owner. He was impeccably dressed–tasteful charcoal suit, starched white dress shirt with French cuffs stabbed by elegant gold cufflinks–and clutched in his other hand an accessory not usually seen in GQ, a white cane. A white cane used by a blind person. As awareness sank in she darted her gaze to his face where she started at the top of a dark blond head and followed the wide, white, raised scar from his hairline down a very masculine cheek over a square jaw line and down the smooth-shaven neck to disappear under the stiff white collar. Wishing she could open that shirt and see where that scar led her Christina skipped her gaze back up to his eyes. Although somewhat off -focus those eyes were the most amazing shade of gray she had ever seen and were caressed by eyelashes the exact same color of his suit. Fleetingly she wondered if the suit had been selected for its color. The man may be blind, but he did have style. Losing all track of time she studied that fascinating face before her while delighting in the recurrent darts of electricity zinging from that one fingertip to stop at her nipples before continuing on to zap her clitoris until her entire sex was swollen and wet. Laughing inwardly she thought to herself that she was indeed wet enough to conduct electricity quite well.
"Excuse me, but is something wrong? Or do you find my scar to be that mesmerizing?" Jon had hoped that this woman would be different from everyone else and was more than a little annoyed when she remained silent so long. Obviously she like many others assumed that because he couldn't see that the rest of him didn't function also. When his cock jerked slightly he thought how surprised she would be if she knew the truth. In his annoyance he was half-tempted to grab her hand and press it over his crotch so that she could feel how alive he was for herself.
Flustered that she had been staring and that he obviously realized it, Christina stood suddenly wincing at the pain she felt in her heel. Deciding that facing the truth head on was best she took another deep breath. "I am sorry, Mr...."
"Jon. My name is Jean-Michel Emanuel Bouchette. But I prefer to be called Jon." Hearing the embarrassment in her voice he softened his own.
"All right, Jon it is; although that is one of the most beautiful, lyrical names I have ever heard. Are you French?"
"No. I'm French-Canadian. And my mother would be pleased to know someone liked the name. She put a lot of thought into it when I was born, and I don't think I have ever properly appreciated it."
Christina, aware that he was relaxing somewhat, laughed. "You will appreciate it when you meet the right woman. It is a sensual name that does funny things to a woman's stomach. Perhaps that is why your mother picked it. Mothers are women too, you know. Anyway, I am still sorry. I was staring, but not because of your blindness. You have the most amazing eyes I have ever seen and your choice of that suit does nothing but enhance them. I would think that all of the women have been staring at you ever since you left...?"
"Quebec. I live in Quebec. However, if any women have been staring at me I never noticed until you; and since all my other senses work in hyper drive, I think I would have. And your name would be..." Jon slowly stood turning slightly in the hopes that the woman would not see the tight bulge in his pants. Since she had stood he had lost that delightful electrical current and he wanted to get it back. Quickly.
As the plane was empty by this time Christina began to edge down the aisle; the pain from her heel slowing her normal pace. "My name is Christina Walsh. Before I annoy you again, let me explain that I am not walking this slowly on your behalf. I was stupid enough to buy a new pair of shoes for this trip and I am paying the price with a whopper of a blister on my heel. I think the fool thing has ruptured."
He knew it was wrong to be glad that someone else was in pain, but Jon was glad for a legitimate excuse to prolong their conversation. "It has been several years since I have been able to assist a lady in distress," he smiled, "but I would be delighted. You take my left arm since I guide myself with this cane in my right hand and together we will make our way to the moving sidewalk and out of this place."
Noticing that Jon was moving much better than she Christina gratefully looped her arm through his and instantly the electricity was arcing once more through them both. They progressed down the moving sidewalk across the open atrium that served as the hub for the hallways that tentacled off in all directions to waiting planes exchanging their respective life stories; each feeling with empathy the pain in the other. All the while Christina was impressed with the confidence and competence of the man with her. There was nothing in this man to be pitied; and whether he realized it or not women were staring at him everywhere they went. He was not extremely tall, but as his bent arm pressed perfectly in alignment with her right breast she couldn't help but think that the remaining body parts would align as well should the need ever arise. In spite of the emotional turmoil brought about by this stranger next to her and the increasing pain in her heel Christina commented upon his apparent skills.
"Thank you. My proficiency in the blind world is about all I have to show for the last two years of my life. It's odd. But most people like to treat me as if I were totally incompetent. They assume that if my eyes don't work then nothing else works either," Jon observed wryly.
Glancing over at the ever-present bulge in the front of his pants that Christina had noticed as soon as he stood she thought to herself that those people couldn't be more wrong. Wishing that she could squeeze him just a little to see if he was as hard as he looked she just replied, "Obviously they were wrong."
Noticing the slight movement of her head before her comment Jon had to wonder exactly what she thought "worked" on him. He just hoped it was the same thing that had caused him so much discomfort since meeting her, not to mention his suit pants. It was a wonder that they hadn't burst by now. It was a wonder that his erection hadn't burst by now; he sure didn't know what was stopping it. All he knew was that is was the most wonderful pain he had ever felt and he was going to prolong it as long as possible. For the first time in two years he felt as if there was more in his world than darkness. In a matter of minutes under Jon's guidance they had collected luggage, made their way slowly through the parking garage laughing at Christina's gimpy walk, and were now heading away from town in Christina's car. Both were suddenly quiet lost in private thoughts. Christina was listening to the tiny little voice inside her that was warning her not to let this man disappear from her life. One thing she had learned over the years was to listen to this little voice. Her home was rather large and occasionally she rented a room to others. Did she dare make the offer to Jon? Would he assume she was offering sex? While there was no doubt this man stirred her she was not one to indulge in one night stands or casual sex. Breathing deeply again she broached the subject.
"Jon, where are you staying?"
"I don't know yet. This trip came up rather unexpectedly. Just drop me at the usual hotel, I guess. Surely they can come up with something."
"Would you be interested in staying at my home?" Stammering nervously Christina rushed on. "My home is too big for me and I really don't like staying there by myself. I frequently rent a room to someone that I like. I enjoy the company, you know, platonic company. It might be a little more comfortable than a hotel room."
Jon wasn't too sure about the wisdom of this idea because his thoughts were definitely not platonic, but he only knew that he had to grasp at any connection that could be maintained with this incredible woman. "That sounds like a refreshing change to me. And, believe it or not, I can cook once I learn the kitchen. Chocolate mousse is my specialty. I am housebroken and very well behaved. So, homeward, James!" While trying to appear casual on the outside he was praying that this turn of events would give him the necessary time to make Christina see something in him other than his blindness.
One week later they had settled into a rather regular routine. Christina left for work first; then Jon to the daily evaluation sessions with the doctors. Arriving home first he usually had dinner almost finished when Christina arrived. The evenings were spent with Jon sprawled on the rug in front of the huge fireplace while Christina sitting in her huge rocker read aloud from a favorite novel. As ever the longer he listened to her voice and smelled her scent up close the harder he got. Neither was sleeping much. Even though they remained in their separate rooms their thoughts were always with the other wishing that things were different. Yet these thoughts were never spoken aloud. Jon had finally reached the point where he thought he had better leave; his cock was going to fall off if he didn't do something and ice cold showers were not sufficing. Thinking of what he really wanted to be doing he drifted off in a restless sleep.
 

 
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