Can You See Me Now?

by Lubrican

Chapters : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7-25 Available On

PLEASE NOTE: This is a preview of this novel. It is available for purchase in its entirety via

Chapter Six

Riley lay in the back yard, staring up at the sky. Pikes Peak made its own weather, or at least seemed to. From where she lay she could see the clouds rushing up the slopes, obscuring the top of the mountain. She was quite sure there were tourists up there, disappointed that all those clouds were blocking the view they had anticipated after the arduous drive to get there. Riley had taken Curtis up there not long after they moved to Manitou Springs. She had expected something grand and glorious. What she had found was a big, uneven, flat gravel parking lot, with a cheesy souvenir shop. The view had been amazing, but the whole time she had looked out over what was probably a hundred miles of beautiful green, two teenagers had been bickering behind her. Like so many things in her life, she felt like Pikes Peak had let her down.

She smiled at the clouds. Even with a telescope, nobody up there could see her now. And that was good, because Riley Elaine Franklin was stark naked. She had decided to try that, on impulse, just to see how it felt. Bob wasn't up there, and the clouds ensured that anybody else who was couldn't see her, so she gave in to her urge to be naughty.

She was surprised at how hard it had been to get naked in her back yard, considering the fact that Chuck had gotten her to strip naked in the car on the way to the cabin, the first time she'd seen it. His plan had been to speed by a number of eighteen wheelers, showing her off to the drivers, and then find someplace to pull over and fuck her. It had all been a mind-boggling whirl of fun and adventure back then. She was amazed at how stupid she'd been just a few short years gone past.

So going outside naked hadn't been fun, at first. She'd walked around the outside of the house first, still clothed, looking for anyone who might be lurking in the neighborhood. Nobody was, of course. Other than the mailman and the UPS driver, the only people who came up as far as her house were lost tourists, and they never stopped. They just turned around and went back down the dusty road. She eyed that road critically. There was no haze of dust, meaning nobody had driven by her house in a while. If anybody did drive up the road, she'd hear them anyway.

So she had stripped down to nothing, taken a towel (just in case) and laid down on the chaise lounge to see how that felt.

She knew Bob wasn't watching. He was on his days off. But she was still amazed at how horny it made her to think of him peering down at her and finding her this way. How surprised would he be? She laughed, imagining the look on his face. She had no idea what he looked like, other than that one photo on his Facebook page. And who knew how old that was, or if it was even real? Still, it was all she had to work with. She decided he would have a silly grin on that face if he saw her like this.

He said he'd gotten her a gift. She hoped she liked it, because if she did, she planned on giving him one too ... lying out like this for him.

It was cloudy. Nobody could see her.

Her fingers reached to stroke bald pussy lips with a light, feather touch.

Quite soon a finger split her greasy labia to find and tease her clit.

Five minutes later, as an unusually strong orgasm washed over her body, she knew she'd be tempted to do this for Bob as well.

She lay there for another ten minutes, getting her strength back, but the clouds kept the sun from giving her all that delicious warmth on her naked body, so she got up to go inside.

She saw her phone lying beside the computer keyboard, and was surprised. Normally she didn't let the damned thing get more than five feet away from her.

She'd have heard it ring, though, even outside. Her ringtone was "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked," and it cut through most household noises.

By habit she scanned the screen, and was surprised to see a missed call with a voice mail attached. She peered closer to the screen and saw that, somehow, the phone had been put on 'vibrate.' She looked at the number. It was an area code that wasn't familiar. Nor was the number itself. The caller ID simply said "Private Caller." She had made them wait to leave a message as long as possible, to screen out those who didn't really want to talk to her. Most people, including telemarketers, wouldn't wait past about ten rings. She gave her customers the code that, when keyed or spoken, would send them directly to voice mail. So this wasn't a customer.

She told the phone to give up the mystery, her finger tapping the screen, and she listened as the voice mail delivered the message that had been left.

For the first time, she heard Bob's voice. It was a nice voice.

She couldn't believe her heart was pounding in her chest, and her pussy was getting damp again as her fingers again stroked the face of her phone, this time pushing the "redial" button.

The ringing on the other end made her want to scream. "Pick up!" she whispered instead.

The ringing was cut off mid cycle.



"Riley? Is it you? Is it really you?!"

His voice had been deep when he first picked up, but it had gotten into the higher, more tenor range as he expressed, unintentionally, his excitement.

"Hi," she said, her voice high as always. Many people said she sounded like she was twelve or thirteen. "You'll never believe what I just did."

"I can't believe it's really you," he said. "Hi! Wow! This is so cool!"

She laughed. His excitement was infectious. She resisted the urge to reach and stroke her clit. What was happening to her? This was crazy!

"It's really me," she said. She almost said, "And guess what? I'm naked!" but resisted doing that too. She had already decided that she would surprise him by sunbathing fully nude.

"Wow," he said again. "How are you?"

"I'm great," she said. "How are your days off?"

"Fantastic, now," he said. "Why do I feel like I'm sixteen, and talking to a girl for the first time?"

"I don't know," she said. "Probably because when most people call and I answer the phone, they ask if my mother is home. I'm told I sound a bit young."

"That isn't it," he said. "I mean I love how your voice sounds, but that's not what's making me nervous. What's making me nervous is that I don't want to say something stupid, and I'm afraid I will."

She smiled. "What you're saying is that you don't do this much?"

"Yeah," he sighed. "You could say that."

"Don't worry about it," she said. "I've never known a man who didn't say stupid things every once in a while."

"Thanks," he said, and she was amazed to hear in his voice, that he really meant that.

"So ..." she said, suddenly wondering what to say. "What does a spy do on his days off?"

"Well, first off, I'm not a spy. I can't tell you what I do, but I can tell you I'm not a spy. Not in the sense you mean."

Riley thought to herself that he couldn't have any idea of the sense she meant, but she let that go.

"Okay. What does someone like you do on his days off?"

"Well, I go out to eat, for one thing. That's always a treat. And today I went to the mall. Did you get my email?"

"I did," she said. "What is this thing that reminded you of me?"

"I can't tell you that," he said. "It's supposed to be a surprise. Besides, I couldn't describe it to you well enough to do it justice."

"Does it involve slinky underwear?" she probed.

There was a pause that was longer than she expected. Then he answered.

"That's a hard question to answer." He was thinking of how the figurine was dressed. It was definitely slinky, but it wasn't technically "underwear."

"How hard could it be?" she asked. "It either does or doesn't."

"You're slick," he said. "But it's a surprise. So I'm not going to give you any more clues."

"You call that a clue?" she said, but without any real unhappiness in her voice. "Fine! Be mysterious. I have a secret too." She was thinking that she was standing there, stark naked, talking to him.

"That's fine," he said. "There should be parity in mysterious secrets between people."

"You don't want to know mine?" she asked

"If you told me, it wouldn't be a secret," he said.

"But you want to know ... right?"

"I'm normal," he said. "Of course I want to know. But I'm patient too. I hope this isn't the only phone call we'll ever have.”

"It's probably not," she said. "Though, to be honest, I can't believe I'm talking to a complete stranger who is a peeping Tom.”

"Then maybe we should get to know each other so I'm not a complete stranger anymore," he suggested.

And that was what led to a chat that lasted almost two hours.

There are many emotions within the human experience that are incredibly powerful. Anger is one. Sadness is a thing that can overwhelm a person. Despair can drive a human being to take his or her own life. Boredom will cause some people to do things they would never actually plan to become involved in. Passion is the same way. Sudden passion is responsible for at least as many babies as planned parenthood is, and more murders than are pre-meditated as well. Elation and hope are emotions that can drive a person to stay awake for days on end, and perform acts most people would think were impossible for a human being to accomplish.

All of those emotions are well known to mankind. For the negative ones, there are coping mechanisms that have been devised, so that life can be managed when things aren't good. The positive ones, of course, are often sought out. Counselors, either professional or not, often give advice and aid to help someone get through a bout of emotion. And the reason these advisors can help others survive an emotional situation, is because they understand what the person is feeling. They have experienced that emotion themselves.

But there is another emotion that is less well known. It happens so rarely, that some people may not ever experience it. I'm not even sure it has a name. There is a ghostly version of this emotion called 'contentment.' Perhaps it is a mixture of several other emotions. Some people who have been married for sixty or seventy years know this emotion well. A woodcarver who finishes a figurine and finds no fault in the completed project feels this emotion. It involves a kind of contentment that most people feel only rarely because as humans in modern society, we rarely stop long enough to experience real bone-deep contentment.

I'm not talking about having a beer while you relax after a hard day's work. That might be contentment of a sort, but usually the mind is still moving, planning what to do next, or worrying about what remains undone. That married couple has been through everything together. They know each other so well that they no longer need to worry about how the other will react to a given situation. They know the love is real, and unconditional, and that brings a kind of deep, inner contentment that is this emotion of which I speak. The woodcarver knows that the beauty of his art has the potential to endure long after his bones have turned to dust. He is content that he has created something precious and lasting.

Most of us can't even understand that kind of thing, because we haven't been through what that couple married seventy years has experienced. We literally cannot understand how they feel. Nor are most of us capable of creating a work of art that rises to museum quality. That's why there are museums, in fact, to collect these rare and precious objects. So we can't feel what the artist feels as she completes a work of art.

But we can experience this emotion. Not everyone, perhaps, but it is possible to find, and it happens every day. "Find" is the wrong word, really, because the situation that results in this emotion most often is almost never planned.

It isn't the right word, but for now, let us call this emotion "chemistry."

You can't plan for chemistry to happen when two people meet. Usually, it requires a face to face exposure. It can be sought, that is to say, you can go looking for it, but that almost never meets with success. The very act of seeking chemistry between yourself and someone else seems to inhibit the success of that endeavor.

For most of us, chemistry just happens. We can't control it, or train for it, or buy it. We can't even prepare ourselves for it. Love at first sight? That's chemistry. Finding your "one true love?" That's chemistry. Still being in love after seventy years of trials and tribulations, and raising a family, and having countless marital fights? That's chemistry. Having an idea in your head, and making that idea come to life from a piece of lifeless wood — seeing something you created from literally nothing and knowing it is perfect? That's chemistry.

Imagine two people whose lives have been drab and basically listless for a long time. They've been lonely for a long time, and hope really hasn't had much of a role in their lives. Neither has an outlet for passion, really, other than the satisfaction of a job well done. One has a little boy to love, but that is a different kind of passion that brings with it worries that do not relax one. Basically, their lives have consisted of getting up, working, and going to bed. There has been little to be content about, and what there was consisted of basically shallow things.

Now imagine those two people talking on the phone for two hours, and being so wrapped up in what was being said that their eyes experienced a kind of blindness that didn't actually focus on anything. No multitasking went on, or at least nothing extended. A cup might be reached for, and a sip taken, but it was automatic, rather than consciously thought of. The content of the conversation wasn't anything momentous. It involved where people grew up, and little stories about their backgrounds. Movies were discussed. What kind of pizza each liked came up. A thousand other minor details of each person's life were voiced and traded.

And through it all, neither person wanted to do anything except stay engaged in this silly exchange of information. History would not document those two hours. No other human beings on the face of the planet were aware that this conversation was even taking place. The gods did not mutter in the firmament, and fate took no notice whatsoever of this telephonic meeting.

But there was chemistry between Bob and Riley ... big time chemistry.

By the time that first conversation was over, both knew there would be more phone calls ... many more. Both knew that life for them had changed, somehow, though the extent of that change was still nebulous and unformed. For just those two people, the moment was, in fact, momentous ... except they wouldn't have characterized it that way.

To the omniscient observer, it would have been noted that hope came rushing into their lives. It was an unstated hope, to be sure, but the unexpected, satisfying experience of just talking to each other for two hours would create a hunger for more of that rare emotion.

And it all came from an analyst accidentally zooming in on a woman laying out in her back yard, a woman who had, on a lark, painted a sheet in protest that her government didn't respect her privacy.

Over the next thirty-six hours, Bob slept for sixteen of them, spent maybe two hours cooking and eating, had to waste (his opinion) six hours getting the oil changed in his car and doing some shopping. He sat, trying to watch a movie (but staring more at his phone than the computer screen) for an hour and a half. He didn't time himself, but he probably spent the equivalent of a full hour wishing he was back at work so he could center the camera on Colorado. And not only around noon. He took two showers, and masturbated four times, which was double what he normally would have done.

But that still left him with seven and a half hours of time in which he tried to resist calling Riley back.

Basically, he resisted for a total of roughly five of those hours, depending on how you want to account for the time. He called her three times before he got back into his newly serviced car and went back to the agency. The first time he confessed that he had nothing to talk about, but just wanted to hear her voice. He also said he was pathetic. The second time, she answered the phone and said he was, indeed, pathetic, but then talked to him for almost an hour. The last time was only a five minute conversation, in which he said he was about to go back to work, and would not be able to talk to her for almost 80 hours. She laughed, called him pathetic again, and said she'd lay out longer the next day, if she could.

What saddened him the most, as he drove back to work, was that the package he'd sent her hadn't arrived during the time when they could have talked about it on the phone.

Riley pulled the earpiece out of her ear and dropped it on the desk beside her phone. She wiggled a fingertip in her ear, scratching the itch caused by the extended use of the earpiece. Whenever Bob had called, she'd plugged that in, because she could then talk, hands free, and keep working, or cooking, or whatever she was doing. That was a conscious decision, based on the fact that, after their first conversation, she had realized, with shock, that she was still stark naked, and could not remember having done a single thing while they talked.

She didn't really think he was pathetic. She thought he was sweet. Most guys she had known during her life would have wanted to have phone sex with her. He had, in fact, asked if she was going to sunbathe when he got back to work. She could hear the longing in his voice, and had giggled, telling him how awful he was. He had admitted it. Her drawn out "Maaaaybe" had caused a silence that dragged out until he finally said, "I have no idea what to say now."

"If I lay out, will you spy on me?" she asked.

"Of course I will," he said, immediately. "It's the highpoint of my day."

"You seriously need a woman in your life," she said, laughing.

"I have a woman in my life," he said. "She's just fifteen hundred miles away and I've never actually met her."

"Is that all?" She giggled again.

"Minor issues," he scoffed.

Then he had asked her about her latest book, wanting to know what the plot line was and how far along she was with it, and when he'd be able to read it. He hadn't asked her to get undressed, or use her vibrator while he listened, or any of that kind of thing.

She was mildly astonished to find that she wished he wasn't so far away.

All in all it had been a lovely couple of days. Rather than being disgusted at all his calls, she found that she liked having a man so interested in her that he couldn't resist calling for no reason other than to hear her voice.

It wasn't until he'd hung up and was probably on his way to work, that the solution to the problem reared up and looked her in the face. She couldn't believe she hadn't thought of it already. And they'd wasted two whole days because she hadn't.

Bob's first day back at work was so busy that there was no way he could take time out to turn the camera on Colorado. That was because there were over a hundred and sixty wildfires threatening to destroy the entire west coast of the country. At least that was the mindset of the forest service, which had asked for unprecedented access to satellite images of the fires. And they wanted close-ups too. Using the sats freed up valuable aircraft, and there was no refueling involved or any of the other detriments involved with using aircraft.

What nobody had thought about, and which was obvious to Bob immediately, was that it was child's play to visualize exactly where the fire was in relation to fire fighters, or other people on the ground, and the computer was easily capable of gathering wind speed, visual fire creep and other factors that allowed him to estimate exactly how much time would elapse before the fire he was seeing would reach the people he was also seeing.

His images were digital, and could be emailed within seconds of being taken. The fire managers suddenly had better and more reliable data than they'd ever dreamed of. It didn't make fighting the fires any easier, really, but it helped immensely in managing the safety of the people who might be killed by those fires.

He was moving all day, shifting the cameras from one fire to another, and back again. He spent almost an hour on one fire, talking to managers on the phone and then sending them images to document what he was telling them. When Phil Stevens relieved him, he was too tired to eat.

But he wasn't too tired to check his email. There were two from Riley.

"Skype me, you fool!" was all the first one said.

The second one was more verbose, primarily because he hadn't responded to the first one. She asked all the normal things. How was his day going? Was he busy? Why hadn't they thought about Skyping when he was home, and could talk to her in his pajamas? Did he wear pajamas? Had he seen her laying out at noon? Did he like her new bikini? She'd gotten it just for him. Then there was a paragraph in which she described her own day, and her hope that he had Skype on his computer and would use it to call her when he could.

He opened his laptop. He didn't have Skype. Why would he? If he wanted to video conference with someone, he had the best software available and a room full of electronics to make it happen. But he couldn't use that with Riley, of course. It was bad enough that he had already diverted sat time worth probably a million dollars, just to ogle her half naked body.

Ten minutes later he was frustrated. He'd installed the program, and he'd located her in the search protocol, but he couldn't contact her without her permission. He sent her a request. Then, having been revived a bit by the hope he'd be able to see her in real time (without misappropriating government equipment to do so) he ate something and took a shower. He checked the computer, but she hadn't responded to his request yet.

Reluctantly, he shut the laptop. He had to sleep. His next shift was probably going to be a repeat of his last. Phil had grumbled that all the routine surveillance jobs that hadn't gotten done on Bob's shift (because of the fires) were on his sheet for completing that night.

He sent Riley a short email, explaining that he'd had a rough day, and expected the next one to be just as rough. He said he'd downloaded Skype and would try to call her after his next shift. He told her his next shift wouldn't cover the time she usually laid out, and that he was very sad about that.

He stared at the message, wondering how to sign off.

Swallowing, he typed: "Hugs and kisses."

It wasn't until after he'd punched the send button, that he decided he shouldn't have done that.

But it was far too late. His hugs and kisses were already in her inbox, and there was nothing he could do about it now.


<< Previous Chapter

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this preview and would like to read the rest of Can You See Me Now?,
click the Smashwords logo below to purchase it as an ebook for just $2.99.