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Chapter 13. JOYSTICK

Over the next months as I gallivanted around NYC with Dick Grand, life became an exciting whirlwind of new appetites and flavors. We sampled unusual foods at trendy restaurants around The City, enjoyed theatre and concerts, street fairs and shopping. And we relished exotic tastes of each other in my bed and his.

Dick’s apartment was in a concierge building on Park Avenue, just a few blocks north of my building. The first time we landed there was after a fund raiser dinner at his philanthropic club. I was thrilled by the masculine décor and wall of windows that opened to a wraparound balcony offering a festival of city lights sparkling all around me from the 33rd floor.

“Lucky you won the projection TV in the raffle.” I quipped as I sat beside him on the oversized caramel colored leather couch. “You don’t even have a television. Though I guess with this view you don’t need one.”

“I don’t?” He teased as he reached for a remote control on the coffee table. With the press of a button, the book case built into the middle of the back wall began to slide right to reveal a theatre sized television surrounded by an array of electronic equipment. “Is that big enough for you?” He asked.

“Wow, nice.” I approved. Glancing to the left side of the wall of shelves I asked, “What’s on the other side?” In response he stood, moved across the large room to push gently on the floor to ceiling shelf unit. It opened to expose a hidden bar, complete with a small sink, granite counter and refrigerator. The shelves above were stocked with a full selection of liquor, liqueurs and wines. Without comment, he pushed at the next part of the wall, and disclosed a walk-in closet.

“Did you want to hang up your wrap?”

“Oh, Dick, it’s marvelous.” I sighed as I joined him to investigate close up.

“What would you like to drink?” He asked.

“Oh please, I’ve had enough for one night.”

“Sparkling water to aid digestion?” When I nodded, he filled two glasses with ice and fizzy water and carried them back to the coffee table.

Relaxing in each other’s arms on the couch, we contemplated the incandescent skyline through the windows.

“So what will you do with the huge TV you won in the raffle tonight?”

“I’ll donate it. I have a philanthropic foundation and I work with several charities. I think someone will be happy to get a TV,” he answered.

In response, I leaned up and gave him a soft kiss on the lips. He accepted with a gentle smile. Each moment I fell a little more in love with this altruistic man, who made my loins flame with hunger.

“You mentioned Annie is having a tough time. How’s she doing?” Dick spoke comfortably. We had been together now for several months, yet were just beginning to share feelings about our families. I had opened up about my worries over Todd who was finishing high school and uncertain about college plans. Dick had shared little. A good listener, he was proving to be a man of few words and if I admitted it to myself, artfully evasive bordering on secretive.

“She’s okay, still heartbroken that the new someone started and ended so quickly.”

“Why don’t we invite her to join us for dinner and theatre next weekend? That might cheer her up.”

I tilted away from him to look into his eyes. It felt remarkable to have found this man who set my libido afire, laughed with me, and shared my intellectual curiosity. It was incredible that we both loved The City, and art and theatre, and travel and so much more yet to be discovered. And with all of that, he was generous of spirit and shared my concerns for my children. And did I mention he was so sexy I couldn’t take my hands off him?

He met my gaze. “You mean it?” I asked.

“Of course. Pick a show and I’ll get tickets for us.”

I snuggled back against his shoulder, savoring the calm moment and already anticipating the feast yet to come when we moved into the bedroom.

“What about your family?” I asked wanting to understand more about him. “Who’s older? Your sister or your brother who lives in Chicago?”

“I’m in the middle. Claire is older.”

“She lives in Naples?”

“With her husband Joe.”

We were quiet again for a few minutes until Dick said, “And there was Harry, the oldest.”

“Harry? What happened?” It was the first time I was hearing about another brother. As we sat leaning against each other, sinking more comfortably into the cushions, Dick told me about his enterprising family, post WWII, as the country was coming out of the Depression. When planned housing communities were springing up all over New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Dick’s father used veteran’s benefits to start an appliance store. Within a few years he contracted with builders to install machines in every new home in a development. His brother Harry was much older, and as soon as he finished high school he went to work in his father’s business.

“How did you get into textiles?” I asked.

“Since they sold the stoves and refrigerators, I started my own business supplying flooring and window treatments to developers. Gradually I expanded to commercial properties and corporate offices.”

“And Harry?”

Dick paused, as if he had said as much as he could. I waited and cozied into his arms knowing it was the only place in the world I wanted to be. Finally, he continued, “Harry had a heart attack and died when he was forty-eight. He left a widow and two teenage kids. My father was semi-retired by then and sold the business. Harry’s wife got a pension to help support her and the kids.”

“Dick, were you ever married?” I asked almost timidly.

“We have so much to talk about,” he answered tracing his fingers across my cheek and gently down my throat. “Ask me something you really want to know,” he said, rolling himself on top of me. All questions flew from my brain as his joystick thrust against my thigh and fireworks spread through my red zone. My legs were airborne, and the zipper of my skirt shrieked as it split open when I widened my thighs and labia in readiness. He slipped his hand under my bra to cradle my breast. “Ask me something…” he began again and interrupted himself as his moist lips peppered kisses along my neck. His mouth covered mine as his stick surged and the whole of him immersed in the liquid depth of my orgasm to end all questions for the duration.

His marital history was the first lie, a lie by omission, a non-answer. It was an omission he would maintain for many years. But I would discover it was also the most irrelevant of the lies.

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