He spotted Allie on a love seat, reading a magazine. His eyes screamed, 'save me!' but she didn't notice. He kept telling himself all the reasons why he agreed to a shave and a haircut.
"Alrighty sugar," the hairstylist spoke in the sweetest Southern voice he had ever heard. "Let's give you a haircut that will make your wife be all over you."
He was about to correct her but he kept quiet. The thought of having Allie fall for him made him feel more relaxed.
"Well, butter my butt and call me a bisquit," said the hairstylist. "Boy, look at chu."
Allie popped her head up, trying to see around the woman's body. She put the magazine down on the crystal table in front of her and stood up.
"Thanks Delilah, it does look great," CJ spoke from his chair.
Delilah, who had told CJ her whole life story in a haircut session, rotated his chair around and took off the barber cape. The man pushed his hands against the armrests and met Allie's eyes.
Allie didn't show a reaction. She seemed frozen in time. CJ had the start of a beard around his jaw and lips but simply shaving off that detail had made drastic changes to his appareance. His hair was now low on the sides with a fade all around his head and it was longer at the top. The honey color gave it a gloss with a creamy texture. His bushy eyebrows were now more noticeable, accentuating his heavy brow ridge.
He looked like the first time when he opened the door to his apartment and let her into his life. She remembered thinking he looked like a young Marlon Brando. Her hand could still feel that first electrifying handshake.
"Now I'm staring to worry," he said. "You haven't said a word."
Allie opened her wallet and gave the stylist a 100 dollar bill.
"Keep the change," she said in a brittle voice and bolted out of the salon.
Delilah was left paralyzed by the gigantic tip, while she watched CJ run after Allie.
CJ called Allie's name as he prowled through the mall. He hadn't gone too far when he saw movement behind a group of mannequins in front of a clothing store.
"Hey, I almost lost you back there." He walked around them.
The girl was crying in silence with her face buried in her palms.
He placed his hand on her back then rubbed in circles. Something inside him wanted her closer, so he brought her full body into his chest.
"I look like him, don't I?" It was the only way could explain her reaction earlier and the day he met her.
Her tears poured faster, wanting to tell him.
You don't just look like him, you are him. Then what? What did she think was going to happen? Her happy ever after didn't come true 8 years ago and it wasn't coming true 8 years later.
It was as if God commended a sadist author to write her story and take pleasure in ruining her life.
She sniffed and wiped her face angrily.
"You must be so used to me crying. You know, when I took over the company, I didn't know making it grow could be so stressful. It's issue after another."
CJ's bullshit meter was blinking with warning signs all over his brain. As Allie attempted to squeeze in between the mannequins, he spun her around.
"Listen, sweetheart, I appreciate all of your help, but I feel like if I'm going to keep staying in your house and eating your food, I need to be sincere."
Allie didn't nod or made a gesture that indicated she understood what he meant. She was pretty sure her excuse had been sufficient to avoid answering questions that dealt with the topic of Dean.
"I'm still trying to figure out why you're doing all of this for me," he said, "but I need to let you know that I like you. And I'm not talking about the janitor with a crush on the boss that's out of his league. Those random kisses you keep landing on me are making me fall for you like an idiot. So I'm begging you sweetheart, don't lie to me."
Allie swallowed. His dark eyes were intimidating in a sensual way.
"I like you, too, CJ."
The corners of his mouth raised a little but he controlled his emotions.
"Do you like me because I look like him?" He did not want to hear her answer. Despite what he said, he wanted her to lie.
"The similarities are uncanny." She saw his semblance become crestfallen. "That's not the only reason why. I've only known you for three days and you've already held me while I cry, you've already punched someone for me. Those things count, I think."
Although those examples weren't convincing enough for him, CJ wondered if demanding more from her would be selfish. After all, they had just met and she had loved the father of her children for a long time. However, he had an advantage: the man he was competing with was dead.
All she had to do was let go.
Ironic. His goal was to help her forget when her goal was to help him remember.
"Okay," he said. "Just promise me that when you're overloaded, you won't run."
"I promise," she smiled and continued after a pause. "Shall we go on a shopping spree?"
"Only if you help me choose what to wear," he grinned.
Allie stood in a sea of shopping bags staring at the occupied sign over the changing room door.
"How we doing in there?" asked a beauty advisor. The tip of her nose was permanently curled up.
"Uh, great." CJ bleated from behind the door.
"Good, good. Don't hesitate to call us if you need adjustments."
"We won't," Allie waved and the woman left to help other customers.
The girl approached the changing room and spoke under her breath.
"CJ, are you sure you're okay?"
"No," his voice was choked. There was a click and the occupied sign switched to vacant.
Allie pulled on the handle and saw him fighting a red tie.
"What are you doing?" Allie made a suppressed laugh.
"I've never worn a tie. I didn't think the knot was this hard."
"Here, I got you." She unwrapped the tie off his neck then scanned his outfit. "You know what? The tie makes no difference."
She bit her lower lip as she traced her fingers down his fitted business suit. The pants made the bulge between his legs more apparent although somehow appealing. The girl's nipples began poking through her blouse and a warmth filled her hips. Usually, those feelings only happened way after she started thinking about them, but the visual was helping accelerate the process.
"Do you think I should ask for the jacket in a larger size?" He asked.
"No, no. You look perfect," she turned him toward the mirror and let her hands caress his wide shoulders.
"I guess I'll take it off then," he said softly.
Allie looked around the small room. Its size forced their bodies to touch. The light was dimmer than outside, creating a feeling of privacy. There was a bench opposite to the mirror, where he had left the clothes he was wearing before.
"Right." She sat on the bench to show him that she wasn't planning on leaving.
She nodded and stood back up. Her fingers reached for the button of his jacket, wanting to see what was underneath it.
He began to unbutton his shirt, then he abruptly switched to hers. The air left her lungs as he parted the top of the fabric and revealed her light purple bra. He let her pull of his belt while his tongue played with the exposed side of her breasts.
She was nervous, never having done anything like this in a public setting. Neither of them protested however. They had wanted to taste each other for too long to care about that.
She pulled off his pants and guided his member out through the opening of his boxers. It was a bit of a struggle —like making a log come out of a narrow hole sideways. Good thing the fabric stretched enough.
Seeing Dean's rod again made every muscle inside Allie's hips expand, and her nerves fired in a chain reaction. She pulled him closer and massaged him vigorously.
He moaned. Her hand was so much better than his, so he gave her a wet kiss to show her his gratitude. He began to crave more than that, but worry clouded his mind. Perhaps, if he couldn't please her like this, he couldn't please her any other way. She was the one with power and money and he...he had nothing.
"Are you okay?" She whispered, holding his now flaccid manhood.
He nodded and rested his forehead on her shoulder.
"It's sort of too tight in here to do anything. I'm not sure this is where I want my first time to happen."
"Oh, yes," she stepped back. "Sorry, I forgot about that."
"You're good," he smiled while grabbing his old clothes.
"I'll go back outside," she pointed at the door.
Before she touched the lock, his arms slithered around her waist.
"That doesn't mean you have to go," he whispered into her ear.
"If I don't, I won't be able to control myself," she replied.
"You won't have to." He made her body face the bench and tugged her jeans down mid-thigh. "Fuck, sweetheart." He cupped her buttocks. "Did you wear a thong on purpose?"
"No," she snickered. "The normal kind gives me a double butt. You know, the kind where the panty line is choking your—"
"Bend over," he said in a low voice.
Her jaw dropped as a shot of hormones traveled her body in less than a second.
"I thought you were a virgin." She lowered her chest over the bench.
"That doesn't mean I haven't done my research." He kneeled until her privates were at eye level.
He gave one of her butt cheeks a playful bite, then traced his finger down the middle of his thong. She took a deep breath and curled her toes. Slowly, his index finger hooked itself around the thinnest part of the undergarment and set it aside.
He was in the presence of a real woman. Not that he hadn't seen one before. He just hadn't seen a one he liked in real life.
Allie's flower was pouring nectar already. The anticipation had made her bud swollen and sensitive. Then she felt a suction. His mouth was embracing all of her. He didn't even do a tasting session.
As his tongue and his lips bathed in her juices, she opened her mouth wider. She closed up her throat, trying to get rid of her suppressed moans.
"Hello, did we make a decision on the color?" They heard the beauty advisor.
Allie's blood pressure increased and her heart tripled in size. She tried pulling up her pants but CJ stopped her.
"Not yet," he yelled casually. "She went to find a different shirt for me."
"Oh if it's a size issue, perhaps I can come in and help."
"No!" He held the door handle in place. As he had predicted, the woman tried to jerk it open. "We got it. Thanks."
"Okay, if you need me, I'll be folding merchandise out here."
Allie's mouth made a silent O, M, G.
"Sh." CJ pushed her head back down and his tongue back on her clitoris.
His pace was slow for a while then he went gradually faster. Her breath followed his lead to the point where they had forgotten about the woman on the other side of the door. His hands massaged her thighs until he felt them shiver. That was his signal to go faster.
"Almost there," she whispered as her blood accumulated inside her bud.
His right thumb made circles around her smaller hole. And not long after, her hips were rubbed and shook against him. She covered her mouth, letting herself go.
The man stood up and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, and his hand on his t-shirt. His pupils and chest expanded, admiring the beauty of Allie's rear. Her knees looked weak as she stumbled up. This brought a permanent smirk to his face.
As she composed her outfit, her cheeks fluttered in bright red and her back curved. He cupped her chin and landed his lips on hers.
"What are we going to do about her?" Allie glanced at the door.
CJ lifted his index finger.
"Hello, are you still there?" He yelled in a worried tone.
"Yes, Sir, how may I help you?"
"I'm feeling casual. Do you have any flowery shirts that can go with my jacket?"
"Oh I'm sorry, I don't think we have those in men's wear."
"Okay? What about my size in women's wear?"
Allie chuckled and slapped CJ's arm.
There was a long silence when the lady finally spoke.
"Will do, Sir." They heard her heelsteps fade.
The new lovers simpered at each other and kissed again.