My Missing Valentine

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I’ve gotten past all that “happily ever after” stuff. I’m never going to be the beautiful princess. I think I look pretty good for thirty-five (there, I said it), other than not enough boobs and too much butt. And I know there’s no charming prince out there with a happily ever after in his pocket – my first husband cost me that illusion. Pete’s no magical hero, but he’s real and he’s crazy about me and I trust him and that’s enough – and more than I ever had before. I’ll never live in that castle, either. When Pete was out of work for so long, we almost lost the place we have. I guess I’m kind of a velveteen rabbit. I’ve been through enough stuff that all the cute bits fell off and the shine got scuffed. I’m real now. Except for one thing. The five year old princess in me still wants something special on Valentine’s Day, and has always had enough to put the right kind of smile on her face.

This is the year I don’t get it.

Pete got a great job, hunting for almost a year. The base pay is good, the incentive bonuses come often enough that we kind of count on them now, and he can bicycle down to the local office. We have medical and dental coverage, and we’re paying off the debt that built up. The problem is, he has to travel a lot. Right now, he’s so many time zones away that he can’t even call, since our off-work hours don’t line up. That’s not the problem, really. The real problem is that he has to travel today, February fourteenth. I’m alone on Valentine’s day. It just hits me at some low, visceral level that won’t listen to reason. There was only one special, magical day left in my life, and now that’s gone.

I leave work as soon as I decently can. I know this disappointment is childish and irrational. And, after today, I’m pretty sure that I’ll never feel it again, even if I remember feeling it some times. I just want to go home, close the door, and wait for it to be tomorrow.

And, maybe worst, I might have to face Pete. He calls every day when he’s on the road, or almost every day. He’ll try to call today, between meetings, and I’m not going to cry. He waited too long and worked too hard for this job, I’m not going to let some pink, childish fantasy get in the way of having a really good life with him. He deserves better and I deserve better. So, I’ll go to bed early and tell that sad little pain inside to shut the hell up.

I really don’t welcome the knock on the door, but answer it anyway. A young guy in a uniform stands there, with two big boxes beside him. “Ms. R-” he stutters, “Ms. Rah-meer?”

“That’s Rohmer,” like ‘roamer.’ I’ve heard worse, though. “I’m very sorry, but I’m not buying today.”

“Ms. Rohmer, I’m not selling. I’m just here to drop these off.” I look again. The two boxes are big coolers, one red and one blue. The young man’s jacket has a “Chef to go” logo on it, one of the fancier catering-slash-private chef services in the area.

“There must be some mistake.”

“That’s Sarah Rohmer,” he pronounces it right this time, “at …,” the address is correct.

“Uh, yes, but I don’t understand.”

“Sorry, ma’am, but I don’t get paid enough for understanding. Cold stuff is in the blue cooler, warm things in the red one. Oh, and I’m supposed to give you this.” He holds out an envelope with Pete’s handwriting on it. “You can get the coolers back to us any time this week, or call and we’ll come by. Enjoy!”

He turns away muttering, “She’d better enjoy. That’s the biggest …”

“Wait.” I’m not ready for this. My purse sits next to the door. I can only find a ten near the top, so I fold it small and press it into his hand. “Thanks, really, it’s just that you took me by surprise.”

He glances into the little wad with the practiced eye of someone who lives on tips. His eyes get big, and he says, “Thank You, Ms. Rohmer!” He pockets the bill with sleight-of-hand ease, and jaunts down the walk.

I pull the two heavy coolers inside and open the envelope. The card shows a photo from the temple at Kajuraho. The carven female figure winds intimately around the male one. She certainly has my hips, even if I don’t have her boobs. Something low in my pelvis twitches at the image. I open the card and read, “Hey, sweet one,” a name he only ever uses in bed, “I wish I could be there today, tonight. My thoughts are there, even if I’m not.”

“Please go along with my thoughts, I hope you’ll like them. There’s a bottle of wine in the ‘cold’ cooler, and a present for you in the back of the towel closet.” I dither for a moment. Pete had left days ago, and left a present, hidden where I might find it at any moment! But I hadn’t found it. The cooler sits closer, so I look inside. A champagne bottle’s neck stands up from the ice. I get the hint that I’m not supposed to dig deeper – the present has something to do with it.

Curiosity gets the better of me. I open the package before I open the bottle. Inside, I find things that I least expected as presents. One is one of our every-day wine glasses, another is one of our candlestick holders, with candle (new at least) and matchbook (used), and one of our Vivaldi CDs. Also, g├╝venilir bahis he had thrown in one of my romance novels. Well, ero-mance, really, the kind with a lot of black on the cover and a slash of red, the kind I usually end up reading one-handed when he’s away on business. I feel myself blush down to my chest. I didn’t know he knew about these – I wasn’t keeping them secrets (so I tell myself), not really. He had picked one of my steamy favorites. I think the dog-ears and pages that flops open give it away. At the bottom of the box lie some of my bath beads (a present of my own stuff again!), another package, and a note.

“Sweet one, you’ve had a long day, I’m sure. Turn off the phone, lock the door, and pretend you’re not home. Have some wine, take a nice hot bath, and save this package for after your bath. I’m thinking of you.”

I resist the urge to rip that little, soft bit of gift-wrap open. Truth is, he had just told me to do what I really want to do most. I put the CD on and turn it up loud enough to hear from the bathroom. I pour a glass of bubbly, then take book, glass, bottle, and candle to the bathroom. I run the water just a little too hot, squeeze in the scented liquid as it runs, and undress.

The bathroom is filled warm, fragrant air when I get back, even with the door open so I can hear. Maybe it’s not real romantic, but I set the candle on the toilet cover and light it, where I can see it when I lie in the bathtub. Lord, I haven’t taken a real lie-down bath in ages! I can’t remember which Vivaldi piece I’m listening to, but I like the pace. Each piece starts slowly, then builds to a frenzied crescendo of violinists who drink way too much coffee.

The funny thing is, the music matches the pace of the book. (NO! I won’t tell you the title. I still like to think of myself as respectable.) Each of the short stories starts slowly, then builds to a steamy peak within a few pages, right along with the music. At those moments, the touch of bathwater seems especially vivid. I scrunch down a little and splash so the waves bounce against my nipples. More than once, I find one hand covering my pubic hair.

The next present intrigues me. It’s small and soft, wrapped in bright tissue paper and hot-pink ribbons. I stand up, step out of the bath, and turn out the light. The candle flickers but lights the room, enough to dry off at least, and casts a warm glow over everything. I look up and startle. There is a picture on the wall of a fine-featured woman with a vulnerable look, clutching herself in a protective gesture, lit from below by an amber glow.

A second later, my rational mind kicks in. It’s the mirror, it’s me. I go back to drying myself. Still, that unfamiliar instant sticks in my mind. The image has locked in, that delicate and vulnerable woman, before I identified myself. Something odd struggles in my mind, trying to resolve that fragile beauty with Sara who farts. I look back at the candle-lit mirror. For one fleeting instant, before my eyes focus, that exotic loveliness appears again – then turns into me. I don’t know the right word. Imagine that “creepy” means something happy and mysterious, it’s that good kind of creepy.

I unwrap the flimsy little package, with occasional glances up to the mirror. Not always, but once in a while, I get that discordant look again. ‘Patrician breast’ or too-small boobs. ‘Ceramic features’ or lost in the crowd mousiness. ‘Womanly fullness,’ or hips that don’t wear the same size of bikini my top does.

Inside the package, I find lingerie. I don’t wear lingerie. I wear underwear. When it gets too many holes in it, I replace it. I hold these two pieces in one hand, close my small fist, and hide them completely. This isn’t me. I hold the two pieces up, though. A silvery camisole has spaghetti straps that come down almost too low – if I had a ‘perky’ figure, it would be too low. Black, silky tap pants don’t come up as high on my waist as I expected, or as low on my thigh. I dust with powder so the thin fabric wouldn’t stick, then accede to Pete’s request. I put them on. I feel like a frickin’ fool, until I look into the mirror.

Something happens then, I don’t know what. That silvery top shows a soft and responsive bust – the word ‘sag’ never even occurs to me. The shortie shorts show wide, womanly hips. When I stand side-on to the mirror, I see deep, muscled thighs, not a fat butt. Some weird thing happens, as if I wasn’t seeing with my own eyes. It almost scares me into a 911 call, but I like it. Whatever it is, I want to see it as it sees me. A folded scrap of paper falls out of the package, along with a CD. I take the note and CD out into proper light and read the outside. “Please read this after supper.” Some sense of honor kicks in, like not reading someone’s diary. I put the CD in, something dark and sensual by Pink Floyd. Hey, it works for me.

I admit, the silky bits tickle as I look into the coolers. Something big with garlic and mushrooms come out of the red one, and some vegetables, and a foil-wrapped package labeled ‘dessert.’ I also find soup, some veg, and a lengthy list of more stuff. t├╝rk├že bahis The blue cooler, with ice in it, has butter for the warm bread, salad, a cold veg, and another package labeled ‘dessert’. Everything comes on nice plastic plates and dishes labeled ‘dishwasher and microwave safe,’ but the delivery guy said they wanted only the coolers back.

Our table for two is covered by the time I empty the coolers. Half of what comes out is ‘comfort food,’ warm and soft. The other half is extravagant luxury.

I still have the wanking book (well, that’s what it is) in my hand as I sit to eat. The camisole turns into silky teases across my nipples, panties turn into an exercise of what I can squeeze against where. They had soaked through long before dessert – I’m glad that the wooden chair’s finish can take the wetness.

Hot food is hot, cold food is cold, my clothing caresses me, and my reading seduces me. It suddenly strikes me: I’m solitary but no way lonely. And, that other note still waits for me.

Pink Floyd winds down to some dark, gut-wrenching note just as I finish eating, or decide I’m done. I put the food away but leave the dishes in the sink. I’m too eager to read the next note.

Another card, a black and white photo of a couple, the most elegant image of sex I have ever seen. My hand brushes my own nipple unconsciously and I realize it had tightened to a firm nub – a “raspberry,” as Pete would say. I linger over that picture and brush again before I open the card to read it.

“Sweet one, there’s another package for you, in the Christmas closet.” That’s the one where we store the seasonal decorations. I usually open that door about three times a year. “There’s a voice recording on your phone, too. Thinking of you!” Next to his scrawled name, he had drawn a little graffito of a smiling penis spurting. I laugh.

My phone’s right at hand, so I open that first. Pete knows I never use all these fancy features, so it takes me a moment to navigate into the voice recordings. When I do, I see one message labeled ‘Lover lady.’

“Sweet one,” it starts. I feel a twitch low in my belly, and feel the panties tug against me when my legs cross. “Think of me having raspberries and cream for dessert!” I certainly have raspberries for him, and the ‘cream’ oozes out of me.

I play it a few times on my way to the Christmas closet, just to hear his voice. A box covered in pink paper sits on the floor. Too eager to bring it downstairs, I plop down right there and tear the paper off.

It contains smaller packages, individually wrapped and numbered. Number one holds a small, framed picture of Pete, with a message on a yellow sticky note: “Bring me to bed with you, I want to watch.” I take the hint and bring the box with the rest of the presents down to the bedroom. I set his picture on the bedside table, facing me. Then I sit on the bed, feeling like a girl at a slumber party, and open number two. Candles again, with some cute, solid-looking glass holders. I light them and turn out the overhead. They give plenty of light, especially when my eyes adapt to their warm glow. Number three holds a little box of Godiva chocolates. I nibble at one, to draw out the enjoyment. Number four contains a vibrator, the kind that straps to the back of your hand. I’m not so sure about this one, but it slips on easily. The buzzing goes all through my fingers, and I just have to try it.

I lie back and slide my hand under the dark panties. I’m so turned on I was going to masturbate anyway, but this adds a whole new feeling. I always thought those plastic sex toys looked kind of gross, but this is just my hand – with a little extra. At first, I just cup my vulva, feeling its warmth. I feel its fullness, too, the kind that only happens when I’m excited. The vibrator makes my hand into something more, though. I skip the usual steps in my solo play, and press two fingers against my vagina, not inside but pressing hard. The feeling is beyond belief. I look over at that picture of Pete again, at his wide smile. Then I realize it’s the same smile as when he sees me getting turned on. I look away for a moment, as my body squirms with the new feelings.

I notice, then, that the closet door had swung open. It happens again. I see an image on the back of the closet door: a face in the candle light, her mouth half open in a sexual moan, breasts bobbing softly under a silver, silken cover, nipples silhouetted by the candles. My body responds to that glowing sexuality with a deep quiver and tension all through my pelvis, before I recognize myself in the mirror. I feel it inside, I’m getting close to orgasm, but I had never seen myself in that state before. I look back to Pete’s smile, and it pulls my tingling fingers to my clitoris. When that huge, nameless swell rises up inside me, I shift my hand. The heel of my hand grinds against my clit, rocking its thickness against the firm bed below it, and a buzzing finger pierces my vagina. My body curls around that massive feeling, and I glimpse myself in the mirror again. This time, I see both things: a delicate face lying beside heaving breasts, g├╝venilir bahis siteleri moaning its way through the deepest orgasm in months, and plain old Sara. I press my finger deeper and curl its buzzing upward, and see the orgasm grasp that slender body even tighter. After a moment, I see shoulders unfold by stages, with occasional waves of tension still passing through them. I lie there, gasping, my hand still holding my vulva, enjoying the aftershocks and watching them strike the face in the mirror. I look back to Pete’s picture.

Suddenly, I know a lot more about that smile. I still can’t admit it to myself. The plain old Sara inside me has little patience for the thought, but it keeps sneaking back. I see something incredible in myself, as if it weren’t really myself, and I love it. I look back to the mirror, but it’s gone. I have the strangest impression that the beautiful face I had seen is still in there, waiting behind a layer of glass for the right moment to return.

My whole body was vibrates like a guitar string. Suddenly, that buzzing near my clitoris becomes unbearable. I flick the vibrator off and rub my swollen genitals. Then I remember one more package in the box.

I feel as if I can barely move. I roll onto my stomach and drag the box over. I pull the last gift-wrapped parcel out and bat the empty box off the bed. The bright ribbon and paper come off easily, and I open it.

It is beautiful. It’s proportions and organic curves draw my hand. My fingers slide over the slick, shiny finish on the wood. I never thought a dildo could be this gorgeous. A note in the box says, “From the apple tree and me.”

During his long unemployment, Pete started woodworking again. We had lots of wood scraps, so it cost almost nothing. We also had a trunk from the apple tree that had collapsed after an ice storm – I guess this lovely toy was made from that. He had turned some very nice things on the lathe, but I hadn’t known about this. To tell the truth, I probably wouldn’t have approved. I’m glad that I hadn’t known. My body is still humming, and the toy is what I hadn’t known I wanted. I notice a little bottle of lubricant in the box with it. I’m so wet it seems redundant.

I don’t even bother to take off the panties, I want it now! I tug one of the legs wide open, and touch the tip of the toy to the crevice between my labia. It slides in easily enough, and I press it low into the softness of my body’s entry. I love the firm, cool thickness, but the lube suddenly seems like a good idea. I dribble a little onto the tip of the toy, play with it again, and alternate between putting more on the toy and pressing the slickness inside me.

After three or four transfers of slippery stuff, the rounded tip of the narrow toy presses against that ring of muscle, the point that defines “inside.” The smooth knob gently opens the resisting ring, and slides easily to where the rod narrows. A deep breath rushes out, and I explore the unfamiliar feeling. I rock the toy back and forth a little, feeling the width of the leading knob widen inside me, then press again. Even this little depth feels incredible.

My other hand moves to my clit again, and rubs at an easy pace. That much seems familiar, but slickness from the toy and the fullness inside makes it into a new experience. (I’ll be keeping that stuff around from now on.) The rod is barely inside me, but I can already feel an orgasm starting to build around it. I press it deeper. The next bulge along its shaft spreads me open, then lets me close around it as the wide part passes. Something grabs my whole body below the waist and squeezes – I feel every muscle tighten, down to my curled toes. That firm, stiff toy inside me seems to be at the center of it all. I work the next bulge into me, and feel something all the way inside, something I’ve almost never felt. I pant over that deep intrusion, shifting it against my inner muscles.

I let go – the bulge holds it inside me – and reach out across the empty bed. My fingers knot in the sheets as my other hand plays between my labia. Pete’s candle-lit picture smiles across at me, and I suddenly feel him inside. I know that touch is the hard wooden toy, resisting the muscles tightening around it, but it’s his touch, too. Another wave rises up inside me, fighting against that firm phallus, and I writhe on the bed.

I look over at the closet again, and that dim, delicate face looks back at me. I see the beauty of excitement in that face again. I know, too, that the body I see there is pierced, deeply, with an erotic toy. The wooden peg that I know moves inside her seems to pin her to the bed, to hold her in place while it builds her inner excitement.

My free hand moves to the dildo and presses just a little more, just short of what could be pain. I see eyes and mouth pop open, in a surprise that goes on and on. Short gasps rock her chest as the toy takes her over from inside. She seems trying to say something, to give me something, as if the coming orgasm is dedicated to me. Then she comes. I lose sight of her when my head and hips press down into the mattress, then curl upward. Even after the first waves of orgasm rock me, it continues to build. I have no idea how long it goes on, time doesn’t mean anything. That hard resistance inside becomes part of me, an essential part of this intense moment.

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