All this happened because of my dad staying in Atlanta. Now I was settling in to our small family cottage at the beach, but I was going to be shut in with my mom, who was going to need someone to vent to about my dad. Thank god there was going to be plenty of alcohol.
I got to the cottage before her. Unloading my things, several thoughts sunk in for me. As I carried my bags and some groceries in, I tried to work through them. Would I even be able to stand the isolation?
There was no telling how long I'd be here. Absolutely no idea. I could do my coursework online. But my gig at the restaurant was done. I had a few hundred dollars in the bank and maybe a benefits check down the road. Maybe.
It also hit me that I couldn't ever remember spending a significant amount of time alone with my mother. Certainly not as an adult. After graduating from high school and off-and-on in college till now, I'd only been around her on holidays.
Amy Moore could be quite the handful. Sometimes you'd call her lively, but just as much of the time, she could be a bitch. That's simply the truth of it.
I just hoped she left alone the whole Wendy thing. I broke up with Wendy and did us both a big favor. That relationship had been over well before we made it official. Of course, we broke up just before being shut-in, and I had no one as back-up. This felt like exile.
If mom and I could just peacefully coexist, I'd let her bitch about dad. Just so long as I could study and write. This would be the perfect time to get some writing done.
This old cottage held some great memories. Usually we'd been here during the heat of the summer. Now some coolness still lingered. Nevertheless the rich blue of the water remained the same. Nothing felt better.
I dropped my bags in the second bedroom. The master was for her, and on this trip, the third room would serve as an office, I figured. This was a nice change, since I'd typically settled for the third room. My older sister, Dana, wouldn't get the second one as she was out west with her husband. Fine by me.
Back out in the front of the place, I realized the rooms didn't look quite as big any more. I mean, they were still fine. There was just going to be the two of us.
The sofa facing the television would probably be the focal point, and the spacious kitchen and a dining room provided ample space for it all to seem enough. Damn sure beat my studio at school.
I was still standing in the living room when her Audi pulled into the driveway. Her ray bans shot straight to me as I gawked her way. Even from a distance I could see a faint smile from her. I managed to breathe out at that.
Hurrying from inside, I reached the car as she got out.
"Hey mom," hopefully there was the right spiritedness in my voice.
"Hey Jake." She beamed up at me as I went to hug her. "Not going to distance?"
I pulled her close. "I trust you. Besides. After a couple of weeks, I'll have whatever you have."
She hugged me back, and I whiffed some mix of lavender, vanilla, and something else. Was probably a fragrance more expensive than my rent. Her make-up was light but also near perfect.
Her skin appeared clearer than any twenty-something would have, certainly not that of a forty-five year old. It probably looked so clear because her thick, dark hair framed it. Even pulled up, her hair had this tossed look to it.
Still close, I couldn't believe she kept smiling.
She quipped. "Yeah? But should I trust you?"
Now that was more like what I expected from her.
I heard a click, and then her trunk lifted. I made my way back there to start getting her things. It shouldn't have surprised me to see her trunk packed full.
I looked back to her to make some remark, but she was already headed to the door. All five-seven of her moved gracefully, the years of dance growing-up still evident. Long, lean legs that still did cardio most days stepped with ease.
Her designer jeans made me wonder whether she had lost some weight lately, and I instantly recoiled at paying such attention to her. I wished I was watching those long legs on someone else.
As she got to the door, she glanced back to me, and a half-smile and shake of her head made me feel even more self-conscious.
Cowboy? What the fuck? I chuckled a bit uneasily, and she turned back to the door and let herself in.
Her crisp, white blouse and that wild, dark hair disappeared into the house.
I gathered the bags and got myself in gear to get her unloaded. Inside, she searched about, much like I did earlier. Moving right past her, I got the bags into her bedroom and onto the king-size bed, somehow without banging about.
She entered right behind me. I unzipped each bag, opening it for her to have access, so she could get settled easier. Her steps slowed, but didn't stop behind me. Hopefully she saw I was trying to show some consideration.
Shifting to turn, I expected to see her at my side. Instead, she had slipped on into the bathroom.
Making my way over to the bathroom, I stood at its doorway while she washed her hands. Both of us stared into the huge mirror that stretched from one wall to the other in front of us. Her hands rubbed vigorously, and I marveled at our contrast in the reflection.
My six foot frame and broad chest and shoulders contrasted sharply with her shorter, more delicate looking presence. She still impressed with her trim and well-kept look, but there was even more of a feminine style next to my rougher, harder image of old jeans and an older, blue t-shirt.
"Jake." Her higher pitch snapped me out of my thoughts. "Wash your hands, son."
Immediately, I got to the sink and lathered up.
Her tone softened a little. "I want to stay really careful, you know?"
"Uh, yeah. Yeah."
When she reached for the towel, her torso brushed mine, and I couldn't help feeling a jolt.
Her brow flexed in the mirror ahead of us. "You alright?"
As she dried off, I noticed the slightest jiggling inside her blouse. Jake, straighten up. Have you lost your mind?
"Yeah, yeah. Everything's fine. Perfect."
She nodded and then went back to the bedroom.
Digging into the suitcases, her hands worked the belongings into the appropriate drawers and the closet as I stood over by the door. Propping my hands on my hips, I couldn't think of anything else to do to help.
"Have you talked to dad anymore?"
Soon as the words were out of my mouth, I wanted them back. Was I inviting trouble with her?
"No. Not since I talked to you." Efficiently she finished with the first bag and went straight to the next one. "I'm talking to him at five."
"Oh, okay. Good."
I was still thinking of what else to ask when she reached a layer of clothing in the suitcase that was more colorful. Red, white, and some pink satiny panties as well as bras appeared. One white lace pair particularly caught my eye.
I was awestruck that these were even hers, and I must've paused a moment too long. Her hands stopped a second, and then one hand pulled a t-shirt to cover the bundle so she could put them away.
The move got my eyes up to hers, and for the briefest of moments, our eyes met. Something in the seriousness of her expression struck me. Like she was acknowledging my stare, and holding back some remark. But what?
She moved swiftly on over to her dresser where she put the underwear away.
Her voice lowered. "Everything good with you?"
My mouth fell open at first. Part of me felt embarrassed, but I also had to forget about being so self-conscious. This was Mom.
"You missing Wendy, I guess?"
I was quick to answer. "No. Not at all."
She gave a short smirk at that.
It was true I wasn't missing Wendy, but it was also true I had been missing any meaningful female connection for weeks. Now there was this.
Her voice softened. "Good. …I didn't mean to put you on the spot."
"No, no. You didn't."
She glimpsed me with some disbelief and then continued to arrange her things.
I tried to rally. "Hey, it'll be good to have this getaway, you know?"
She flinched, and chuckled. "Okay." A thought passed on her face. "Yeah, it really will."
I stood a little straighter and started leaving the room. "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you get settled in."
I went back into the living room, and checked my phone. It was hard to really focus on my phone though, because she had thrown me so just now. I tried remembering when we had really dealt with each other much recently, and I realized that we really hadn't. Occasional calls or some texts. That had been it.
Before much longer, I had the television on as well as getting on my phone, and she drifted about the place as she called dad. I braced a bit, and even wondered if I should step out to give her some privacy with him. Turning off the television, I eased back to the dining room with its long table and solid, high-back chairs.
Standing there in the dining room, I gazed out the large window that framed the rolling waves about fifty yards away. This place wasn't huge, but it was perfectly situated. The sun would soon be setting.
Mom's end of the conversation was surprisingly civil, and the anger at my dad never came. Shocked, I heard her just check on him, say she had gotten unpacked, and that I was fine and said hello. With some inconsequential small talk, she as off the phone with him as quickly as she had called him.
So far, the arrival and afternoon had gone nothing like I expected. I ran a hand through my hair, and listened as she helped herself to something from the fridge. I was about to tell her I was slipping out for a walk when she appeared at my side.
She had a glass of chardonnay in one hand and a chilled Modelo in the other. She handed me the beer.
"Thanks." I managed.
Looking out at the ocean, she took a long sip of her wine. I tossed back a good swig of my beer. She motioned out towards the water.
"I'm going to go for a walk. Want to go?"
I shrugged. "Sure."
We went out into the salty air, and I decided it didn't matter why things seemed off. Hell, everything seemed off a bit. Maybe she felt the same. We could each do our own thing, and just see how things were going to go.
As the sun hovered off on the horizon, I followed her into the back. There was a small bit of grass for several yards that yielded to white sand. Blue water moved just out in front of us.
After trudging though some sand, we got to the old walkway.
Out on the walkway, her hand went to my shoulder and propped, steadying herself as she slipped off her shoes. The beer tasted delicious, standing there until she was done. I then whipped mine off.
Several more steps, and we were going down the steps of the walkway that put us on the beach. She impressed me with how she balanced her wine glass so as not to spill a drop. My hand already had the wet, stickiness of beer sloshed about.
A quick look up and down the beach showed there were just a few venturing out, and they were a good ways off.
"You sure about this?" I asked.
"Yeah, of course."
"But," I tried for as cool a tone as I could muster given I was showing more concern than her, "I'm pretty sure we're not supposed to be out like this."
She shook her head. "First, we live here part of the year, you know? And also, I don't know about you, but getting out here is going to be a pretty important part of me getting some exercise. I've got to."
"Hey, good points."
She looked over at me, making sure I wasn't mocking her. I wasn't at all. I was actually a little relieved.
My phone rang, and we both saw it was dad calling in. I hesitated, pondering whether to let it go to voicemail.
She didn't hesitate at all. "Go ahead."
Dad's voice was tight. "You guys doing alright?"
"Yeah, yeah. You?"
"Oh, I'm just fine." Dad didn't take long with me. "Hey, how's your mom seem?"
"She's fine. We're headed down to the beach."
"Listen, she's probably pissed with me. Me having to stay up here and all. Talk to her for me, okay?"
"I'll talk to her." I was caught way off guard and said what I thought I should.
My mom kept walking with me, and stared out to the waves rolling in.
My dad got what he wanted and signed off with me. "Talk to you later, son."
I braced and swigged my beer. Mom tilted her wine. The salt air hopefully soothed us both.
We walked some more without either of us speaking, and only closer to the water did she speak. It wasn't with hostility though, as I expected. She actually had a bit of sarcasm she tossed my way.
"You going to talk to me?" She smirked at me, but didn't hold my look. Her eyes went back to the water.
"I didn't know what else to say."
"I understand. Don't worry about it. … At all."
This threw me some. "Yeah?"
I pitched in. Go ahead and get this out. Vent. "I don't blame you for being upset."
"Thanks for that. But you know what?"
I glanced over to her.
She continued. "I'm not. I've decided to stop being angry."
I stopped in my tracks. "You what?"
She stopped there on the beach with me. Looking up at me, she hesitated to speak. She didn't move from me, but her eyes did pan out at the water as she weighed something. Like, whether to open up.
"I shouldn't say much but," her eyes eased back up at mine, "I'm done being mad about it. I just am."
Standing there, her words were sinking in, when she must have seen the shock on my face. Her hand went to my arm and held there.
"Jake, I hope you don't hate me. Or, think bad of me."
"What? Of course not. I'm just surprised is all."
She hooked her arm around mine, and we kept walking along the beach.
"On the way down here, I thought things over. I decided I was tired of wanting him to change."
I just listened.
"He can be however he wants to be."
We both drank and strolled on, and I tried to process whether my mom had just told me she had decided to leave my dad.
The cooped-up situation turned out to be both good and bad. The first couple weeks or so, we settled into our own routines. I got some of the pockets of time I wanted.
So did mom, I guess. She worked from her laptop from the dining room, while I was either in my bedroom or out in the living room. She didn't interrupt me, and I didn't bother her.
I spent about a quarter of the time doing my coursework, a quarter doing some writing, and all the rest on porn and surfing the internet. This breakdown was rough estimates, but the bright side was that I was getting at least some school work done.
She seemed to be wrapped tight in two clients' projects. Her interior design work was often on site, but there seemed to be job orders of some kind being made, and price bids bandied about. It all kept her busy during the day.
What changed over that first week was the time in the evenings. Our routines started to converge to where we ate something around the same time, and then either took our laptops together to the living room, or watched something on tv together.
By the end of that first week, we were binge-watching some shows, and downing drinks. This turned out to be something we both easily got used to. She liked her chardonnay, and I devoured Mexican beer. I was open to trying different red wines, and so was she, but neither of us were pushing to change from what we liked.
One Friday night, it was her turn to pick the series for the night. We settled in on the sofa and savored our drinks. The first couple of rounds went down easily.
She absolutely loved this show that involved a woman traveling through time and being pretty adventurous. I started off thinking it was a chick flick and I wasn't going to like it, but it surprised me.
We breezed through the first episode and the drinks, and I was already feeling relaxed. It was fine by me to dig into the third episode.
Another habit we'd fallen into was kicking back on the couch and propping our feet on the large coffee table in front of us. The couch was a regular size, and she perched on one end, and I did on the other.
We'd both been running most days to get in some exercise, and on this night, her legs were feeling it. After the second time she worried about them, I decided to help. I chalk this up to the beer as well as to the confinement.
I reached over and took her ankles in my hands. She had on some khaki shorts, and her bare feet looked helpless from my side. When I maneuvered them from the coffee table over to my lap, it surprised her. It also angled her so she laid straight down the couch.
"Hey, what are you doing?" Her eyes were wide and a half-smile broadened.
"Just helping out. Don't mind me."
I looked back to the screen and so did she. My hands started working her feet in a way I'd done from time to time before, but not recently. Kneading the soles and rubbing the tops, I took my time. My hands worked her toes here and there, too. I actually liked doing it. The beer probably helped.
"Oh god, that feels good." Her eyes were still on the tv, but I could tell they were a little narrowed.
"Oh yeah?" I piped up. "You can do mine tomorrow night."
She kept watching the show, but after a few seconds, she spoke softly. "Okay."
As the characters on screen got to an intimate part between them, I was still massaging her feet and decided not to let up. It felt kind of weird, but then again this whole damn thing felt weird with her, shut in together for god knows how long. Plus, I was on beer number four.
The scene unfolding on the show had the hot female character getting nude, and panic set in with me. Blood headed to my middle at the sight of the actress's breasts bared. Knowing the male lead was about to have her got me going. I kept her feet away from what was happening in my shorts.
The male stripped his shirt and started on his trousers, and the realization I was going to see more of this in front of her began to rock me. That was when she spoke up.
That same muted tone. "Damn, he's hot."
Right then, her attention was still riveted to the tv, but her foot rested in my hands. Her legs stretched to me on the sofa, and they were so relaxed the knees opened apart. The crotch of her shorts formed a tight v that stared at me.
Something about it all hit me hard. Her stance, provocative and open before me, the alcohol, the days upon days of it just being us two in that house. My cock raged full of blood where I sat.
I let her have her moment watching the young guy with his chest as broad as mine take the woman on screen. I soothed her foot, and knew I'd need to take care of myself soon.
As the scene ended, I started a sigh at the same time she did. We both chuckled. Our eyes met, and she had this really laid back look about her. Her glance lingered only a moment, and then went right back to the tv.
She sipped her drink, and then did a double-take at it. It was empty. Instantly, I hopped up.
"Here, I'll take that. I'm ready, too."
I got up and went to her for her glass. Right in front of her but hovering over her, I didn't get the awkwardness of it till I was right there. My crotch wasn't far from her face as I took her glass from her.
And I was still semi-hard.
For a long moment, she stared at it. Like she couldn't quite process it all. What she saw. Perhaps what she felt.
I glimpsed down, hoping it wasn't as bad as I thought. But the bulge strained the shorts tight, and the distinct, solid curve of me that bent to the left was plain.
Her eyes eased up to meet mine, and while there was the hint of a smile at her lips, there was also a seriousness in her gaze that I didn't immediately understand.
I went with her glass and got us drinks. The question of whether to say something about what had just happened puzzled me. It was late so I just decided to wait.
We watched the rest of the episode, and as soon as it was ending, she was saying it was time to turn in. I agreed.
There in the house alone with her, it all felt so other-worldly. She had already seemed different here, and now tonight she showed this deeply feminine side rather than the maternal role I'd always known. I figured it had to be similar for her. It had to be, right?
I wanted to know.
We headed from the living room to the hall where we'd each go to our separate bedrooms. The place was really quiet with the television finally off. Some bathroom light hovered, but otherwise it was dim.
I took a deep breath and decided to try to gauge things.
"Well goodnight, Amy."
The sound of her name rather than 'mom' dropped her mouth open and caused a hearty chuckle.
She started to say one thing, but then it was like she changed her mind. Her hand lifted to my chest and lightly traced.
"So, it's Amy, now, huh?"
She looked up at me with knowing eyes that put things right back on me. It threw me, and I went with what I had already planned to do.
I hugged her. "Goodnight."
She hugged back, and the moment held a second longer. She didn't shrink from my holding her tight. It felt much better than it should have, so I took a chance as we separated.
As her face eased back, I put my lips to her cheek, and pecked there.
I was still withdrawing my face from hers, when she promptly reacted. She put one hand to steady my cheek, and brought her lips to my other cheek. The softest touch of her planting her kiss lingered.
I was still absorbing it when she backed from me, and grinned. It was a great grin. She winked, and then turned and went down the hall.
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