The Making of a Gigolo (6) - Christy Brown

by Lubrican

Chapters : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Chapter Two

Bev picked up the ringing phone and listened.

"It's for you Bobby!" she yelled. "Somebody named Christy."

Bobby came to the phone, and she told him her parents had approved the work.

"When do you want to start?" he asked.

"Could we do it tomorrow?"

"We can get started," he said. "I'll come over in the morning and take a look. We'll have to choose the paint and all that. We should be able to start work by noon, but I have another job I have to do at two."

"Could we pick out the paint today?” she asked. "Then we could start working tomorrow."

"Okay," said Bobby. "It will take me a while to get there. I have to ride my bike."

"You live with your mother ... and don't have a car?" She giggled. "How about I come pick you up? I have a car and everything." He could hear the smile in her voice.

"Okay," he said.

He gave her directions, and then started walking. He'd get to the blacktop by the time she got to the same place, and it would shorten her trip.

He was waiting there when she pulled up and he got in.

"I thought you said you lived down that road," she said, pulling a U turn and heading back to town.

"I do. I just walked to save you some time."

"I walk all the time. I bet I put in five miles a day," she said.

"I can tell," he said, looking over at her.

"Don't look at me," she said, blushing. "I've lost so much weight. I hardly have any boobs left.”

"They look fine to me," he said.

She darted a look at him, and blushed.

They drove without talking to the hardware store and she spent an hour deciding which colors to use on her walls. She had decided she wanted a diagonal line, separating upper and lower, with different colors. She picked a third color for the molding. Bobby picked out a roller kit for her, and a trim brush, and they loaded the stuff in her trunk.

She opened the door to the house, while he held the paint.

"My parents are at work," she said. "I didn't exactly tell them about you."

"Why not?" he asked.

"They're very traditional," she said. "They wouldn't think it was proper for me to be here alone, with a man."

"You shouldn't sneak around behind their backs," he said. "I could have come over and met them. Who are they?"

"Harold and Betty Nickerson," she said.

"I know Harold," he said. “He works for the USDA.”

"Yeah," she said, surprised. "He works in the subsidies office."

"We used to get checks from him," said Bobby. "Back when we were still farming the land ourselves."

"They'd still be unhappy about me being here with you alone," she said.

"Well, then," said Bobby. "We'll have to make sure they don't find out about it." He looked around. "I know you were planning on starting tomorrow, but I have time to show you a couple of things. You might get some of it done today, and we can work on it more tomorrow."

"Okay," she said.

Bobby spread out a ground cloth, and got everything ready. The paint had just been shaken in the machine when it was mixed, so he didn't need to stir it. He asked for a plastic bowl, and she got it from the kitchen. He poured a dab of paint in it, and showed her how to load the brush. Then he showed her how to steady the hand with the little finger, while running the sharp edge of the brush along a piece of molding. She tried it, and her hand slid expertly down the wall.

"Wow," he said. "You're better than most, for being new at it."

"I did some painting in high school," she said, her eyes on the brush as it slid along. "Landscapes and such."

"You paint pictures?" he asked. "Can I see some?"

"I gave away most of them," she said. "I did them for people for Christmas, and birthdays, and stuff like that." She smiled and got into the closet, coming out with an album.

"What I think I was good at was photography," she said. "I loved composing pictures in my mind, and then trying to get the camera to capture them that way." She opened the book, and he leafed through it. She had an eye for buildings that showed age, or deterioration, and an eye for mixing curves and straight lines together in interesting ways. Bobby was no photographer, but he knew good pictures when he saw them.

"You're not bad," he said. "You should send some of these to magazines. Maybe you could sell them."

"That was just for high school photography club," she said. "I'm older now."

"That doesn't mean you're not a good photographer," he said. "I'd hire you to take pictures of my sisters, and mother."

"Really?" She beamed.

"They're growing up. We don't even own a camera. I'll trade you all this work for you taking portraits of each of them."

"How many are there?" she asked.

"Seven," he said. "Eight, including Mamma."

"Dalton!" she yipped. "You're Mary Dalton's brother!"

"I am, indeed," he said, smiling. "Only she's Mary Brogan now. She got married in July."

"I went to school with Mary!" she said. "I didn't know her very well. She didn't belong to any clubs and such."

"I'd want you to do a portrait of her too," he said. "She just got married, but she looks the same as when she was my sister."

"She still is your sister!" she said, chiding him.

"That's why I want a portrait of her," he said.

"I'll think about it," she said. "Right now I need to be a house painter."

"Well, you have the trim work down better than I thought you would. Work on that and I'll be back by later to check on you. If you stop, be sure to clean the brush carefully, or you'll ruin it."

"Okay," she said.

"And you might want to change clothes," he said. "No matter how careful you are, you'll get paint on whatever you're wearing.

"I don't have any clothes I can get paint on," she said.

"Well, pick something, because you're going to get paint on you. I promise."

He left, to go take care of a leaky faucet for Mr. Farthington, who was about eighty, and refused to go into a nursing home. The house was older than he was, and hadn't been very well maintained for the last twenty or so years. Bobby stopped by, every once in a while, and took care of whatever was needed. Mr. Farthington didn't have much money, but he had a garage full of old junk, that Bobby was welcome to any time he wanted any of it. On more than one occasion that stash of junk had supplied something Bobby needed.

The faucet needed a new washer, which Bobby had brought, so the job went quickly. Bobby went back to the Nickerson house. Her car was there, but no one answered the door. Afraid she'd fallen from the ladder he'd set up for her to use while painting up around the ceiling, he tried the door, and found it open. Loud music assailed his ears. The strident repetitive synthesizer notes of Won't Get Fooled Again, by the Who, came blasting out of her room, as he walked toward it. It was almost time for the famous "YEEEEEEEAAAAAAHAHHHH" to come in, that many people could never quite figure out, because the organ pulsed all over the place, repeating some phrases. She hit it right on the money, though, as he stepped into the room.

Apparently, she hadn't been kidding when she said she didn't own any clothes she could get paint on.

She had decided to paint in just her panties.

Her head was back, her face to the ceiling, as she sang "YEEEEEAAAAAHHHHH" along with Roger Daltrey, howling at the ceiling, with her arm thrust out, paintbrush in hand. She was facing partly away from Bobby, which is why she didn't see him until she turned, dancing, and faced him.

He admired her muscled legs, the swell of her hips, where light blue bikini panties perched. Her waist was thin, and her stomach flat as a board. He could see ribs, where they started, but only because she had taken in a huge breath to sing with. The ribs faded as they went under her breasts. Her breasts were indeed small, completely round, with tiny dark brown areolas and nipples. All in all, she looked about like she was fifteen, except that her whole body, when taken together, gave evidence of her maturity. Her dark hair, cut in a shag, had flopped over one eye as she turned.

Her mouth went into an "O" as the shock of his presence registered.

Bobby simply turned around, to face the door.

He winced, as he heard the needle scrape across the LP on the turntable, in one corner, and it was suddenly silent.

"I was afraid you'd fallen," he said. "I knocked, but you couldn't hear me."

"It's okay," she gasped. "Let me get something on."

"I can just leave," he said.

"No, it's okay, really," she said. "You said you'd be back ... I just didn't think it would be this soon."

"My other job went quicker than I thought it would," he said, still talking to the hallway.

"Okay," she said.

He turned around. She had put on a T-shirt that went to her mid thighs. She was blushing furiously.

"Shorts!" she gasped. "I forgot the shorts!"

Bobby turned around again, grinning.

"It's okay," she said, nervously, maybe thirty seconds later. "I'm covered."

He turned around again. She was pulling a pair of shorts on. The zipper gaped, showing her baby blue panties again, as she buttoned them. Then she zipped them up.

"I'm so embarrassed," she moaned.

"Don't be," he said. "It was my fault."

"I didn't want to get paint on anything," she said.

He grinned at her. She had paint on her jaw, on both hands, and spots of it on her forearms. He picked up the rag he'd used earlier, left the room to get it damp, and returned.

She stood, tentatively, as he approached her, and her eyes widened, until she realized what he was doing. He cleaned her jaw, and dabbed at two more spots on her face. Her hands would have to be washed thoroughly, but he got most of it off her arms, while she stood and let him clean her up.

"You should paint in the nude all the time," he said, casually, as he moved the rag over her arms.

She blushed again, but smiled.

"Nobody else has ever seen me like that," she said. "Well, except for Richard."

"I'm a very lucky guy," he said.

She smiled shyly. "Thank you."

"I'm surprised," he said. "Most girls would have thrown something at me."

"You turned around," she said. "Most guys wouldn't have done that."

"I didn't want to," he said.

"Now you're flirting with me," she said.

"Uh huh," he agreed.

"I'm a married woman," she said firmly.

"Yes Ma'am," he said, stepping back. "No more flirting." He crossed his heart and she giggled, blushing again.

He looked around. She'd done very well, and he told her so. She beamed, but pointed out all the spots where she'd made mistakes.

"Okay," he said. "Tomorrow morning, I'll teach you how to use the roller."

"Okay!" she said brightly. "I like painting."

"I like to watch you paint," he said. He put a contrite look on his face and held up a hand. "Sorry," he said. "It's a habit."

"Oh?" she smiled. "You flirt with all the girls?"

"Only the good looking married ones, whose husbands aren't around to beat me to a pulp," he said.

"I don't think too many men could beat you up at all," she said, looking at his broad shoulders, and the muscles in his arms, where they were bare. “Richard is a Green Beret, so he might be able to ... but not many could."

He grinned. "Thank you. I like being flirted with."

"I wasn't flirting!" she yipped. She blushed again. "Ohhhh, go on. I'll see you in the morning. Don't show up until after nine. I'll try to be a little more presentable."

"Darn," he sighed.

"Ohhhh you!" she giggled. "Go on. I suddenly feel like I'm twelve again, and a man is looking at me for the first time!"

"You don't look anywhere near twelve," said Bobby. "Trust me on that."

He turned, and left, before she could respond.

Christy sat on the bed. She couldn't believe what had happened. He'd seen her naked! Almost naked, anyway. But he'd turned around ... treating her with respect. She'd seen the appreciation in his eyes, even after she was dressed. And he'd flirted with her! She felt a streak of pleasure go through her. She knew she should have been outraged. Her parents would have been outraged. But it felt good to be ... admired ... desired. She hadn't been a sexual being very long, and Richard wasn't what she'd dreamed of, at least not in bed.

She closed her eyes. The way he'd said, "You don't look anywhere near twelve," reverberated in her mind. His voice had sounded so ... sexy!

She'd flirted with him too. He was right about that. She couldn't believe she'd done that either. She'd never flirted in her whole life, as far as she knew. Maybe a little bit with Richard, when they were dating. He'd made all the moves then, kissing her and touching her, until she was so hot she let him do all kinds of things she knew she shouldn't. But they'd felt so good!

She knew she shouldn't flirt with this man either, or let him flirt with her. But it felt so good!

She sat there for another ten minutes, her mind wandering. When she caught herself imagining going to the door in the morning dressed only in panties, and letting him in, she blushed, got up, and set about cleaning up. The brush was lying where she'd tossed it while she was putting on her shirt. She looked down at her shirt. She could see her nipples poking through it, plain as day, even though it was loose. Had they been doing that when he was there?

She shook herself, and put the record back on, turning it up again.

It didn't help much, though. She kept wondering what he would look like ... painting in the nude.

It wasn't any easier the next day. When Bobby showed up, Christy couldn't keep from looking at him. He hadn't shaved, and the dark stubble on his chin made her want to feel it. She loved nothing more than being tickled and scratched on her throat, by short, stiff stubble.

What really bothered her was that he did not flirt with her. He was very businesslike. First he showed her how to draw a line where the first color would barely go over. Later, he said, they'd tape that line, and the second contrasting color would be applied. That would make a crisp, clean line between the colors. Then he taught her how to load the roller, and how to make W shapes with it, and then fill in the blanks between the lines. While she used the roller, he painted trim with astonishing speed, never once getting paint on the wall.

She had to stop when the lower halves of two walls and the upper halves of the other two walls were done. The paint had to dry before she could tape the lines, and start on the new color.

Bobby cleaned his brush, and they took a break to get a snack. Once settled into chairs, and munching, Christy looked at him. He looked so completely normal, just like any guy you might bump into on the street, and yet, somehow, he was more appealing than most men she bumped into on the street.

He was looking at her too ... just looking at her ... and it made her heart beat faster.

"I see you found something to paint in," he said, his eyes wandering over the T shirt she was wearing.

She had thought about not wearing a bra when she put that shirt on. The thought of that had made her heart beat faster too. Then she had forced herself to be sensible.

"I figured I had shocked you enough already," she said.

"I have seven sisters," he tossed off, comfortably. "I'm used to seeing good looking women running around half naked."

"It didn't look like it when I looked at your ...” She clapped a hand over her mouth, and her eyes went wide. She hadn't meant to say that out loud! Even worse, her eyes dropped, obviously telegraphing what she had been thinking about. The table blocked her view of the front of his pants, though, something she was thankful for, at the moment.

"Well, I assume I'm used to seeing them," he said. "You'd be surprised, though. Sometimes I even react to them. I'm just a man, after all."

"I bet that really gets a rise out of them," she said. She blinked. That hadn't come out quite right either.

He laughed, though, and she felt better.

"I think they're used to it by now," he said. "I hope I didn't make you feel too uncomfortable."

"Most guys would be all proud of their ..." Christy put her fork down, closed her eyes, and looked away. Her mouth just wouldn't cooperate with her, today. "Please don't listen to me," she added. "I think I'll just be quiet for a little bit."

He laughed again. "Don't worry about it. Everybody's human, and reacts to things like that, whether they want to admit it or not. It's part of being a man or woman. We were made to try to attract each other."

She looked back up, and his face was serious looking again.

"It's just that I'm married, and married women aren't supposed to ... notice things ... not like that."

"Walking down the aisle doesn't make you less human," he said. "In fact, I think it makes you more human, at least in our culture. It allows you to express yourself the way you wanted to in the first place."

"You're right!" she said, sensing the truth in his words. "Before we were married, I wanted to do all these things, and it was against the rules, and wrong and all that, and then, suddenly, it was okay!"

"That's what I mean," he said. "We have all these human feelings, but society says 'Hey! Knock that off!' and we try to stop them. But they're part of who we are. I couldn't help but notice how sexy you looked, when I saw you that way. I knew I couldn't do anything about it, but I still felt it."

"What would you have done if I hadn't been married?" she asked.

"I would have tried to keep you exactly like you were," he said. "More than that, actually."

She felt her heart thumping in her chest.

"I don't think I'm used to a man being so ... honest," she sighed.

"Well, like I said, I hope I don't make you feel uncomfortable," he said. "I don't ever want to make you feel uncomfortable."

"I think that's one of the things that makes you so attractive," she said, again, not meaning to say it out loud.

He grinned.

"Now that we both know how attracted we are to each other ... how about we do some more painting?" He grinned wider. "You can stay dressed, as much as it pains me to say it."

"Oh you!" she moaned. "I'll meet you there. I have to go potty."

She did feel a little bladder pressure, but the primary reason she went to the bathroom was to separate herself from him, and give herself time to get a grip. She dropped her shorts, and sat. Then she stared at her naked legs, and giggled, realizing that, while he had said she could stay clothed, she had just come in here and made her legs naked. On impulse, she reached back, under her shirt, and unclipped her bra. She pulled it through the arm holes of her shirt, and tossed it on top of the clothes in the hamper. It felt deliciously naughty to stand up, pull her shorts back up, and feel the shirt against her nipples, which were already hard.

She stood, looking in the mirror. They were obvious. She saw spots of paint on her face. Ignoring them, she went to put herself with him again.

As he helped her put up the tape that would make the diagonal separation between the lighter color, which she had put on the wall first, and the darker color, which would complete the wall, their bodies touched. That touch was electric, to Christy, and she felt a semi-permanent heat in her face. She couldn't believe she was so attracted to him. She was married, but she wanted another man! She tried to convince herself that it was only because Richard had been gone eight months, during which no wall knocking had happened, and she had had no orgasms. Then, her rational mind reminded her that, even when Richard was there, and the bed knocked the wall, there had been very few orgasms anyway. She'd never played with herself ... not intentionally. Her upbringing had stressed that. She was still terrified that her parents would find out that she wasn't a virgin when she wore that white dress at her wedding. That was part of what made her attraction to Bobby seem so terrible. She knew her parents would be furious with her for even entertaining such feelings, much less going braless intentionally around him.

"Damn!" she blurted, as the roller went over the tape, making a big, dark blue mistake on the lighter color below it. She was so distracted by Bobby that she hadn't been paying attention.

"No problem," he said, wiping at the mistake with a damp rag. It came off beautifully, and she felt better.

She tried to clamp down on her emotions, and paid better attention to what she was doing. To avoid thinking about Bobby, she tried to think about Richard. But, as so often happens when situations are left unresolved, all she could think about was his flaws ... the neglect she felt, even when he was in bed with her ... the lack of fulfilling physical love in her life. Her frustration grew, instead of abating, and she ran the roller into the ceiling.

"Damn!" she moaned again.

"That, we'll have to touch up," he said calmly, from behind her. "The ceiling is pebbled, and I can't wipe that off. You need to be a little more careful."

She could feel his breath on her neck, and she shuddered. She turned, tears in her eyes. He was right there, inches away from her.

"Hey," he said, his voice soft. "It's not that big a deal."

She might have been all right, if he hadn't raised his thumb, to wipe away one tear that rolled down her cheek. His touch, gentle as it was felt like a body blow to her. Instinct took over, and she rose on tiptoes, her arms, one hand still holding the roller, went around his neck as she kissed the lips in front of her face.

Her mind reported instantly that this was the wrong thing to do ... that it was insane ... that it was unthinkable.

The kiss he returned, though, blew all that out of her brain like a strong breath blows the seeds off a dandelion head. In his lips, she felt passion that threatened to overwhelm her, and yet, he didn't press hard. While she didn't know it, he was kissing her almost exactly like he had kissed Florence, the night before, trying not to scare her. His kiss was tender in a way she had never been kissed before, and it stoked the fires in her belly, until she pulled with her arms, the roller impacting the shoulder of his shirt, and she crushed her lips to his.

She had to stop to breathe, and pulled away, her eyes still closed.

"Why did you do that?" Her voice was airy, and breathless. Her mind chuckled and told her he hadn't done anything ... that she was the one who did this ... and yet she was trying to push it all off on him.

"You took off your bra," he said.

She opened her eyes, and felt her breasts pushing into his chest.

"You noticed?" she whispered.

"Of course. I love nipples."

"I didn't mean ..."

"I know," he said, still holding her gently. "It felt like you needed a kiss."

"I need more," she moaned.

"I know that too," he said, leaning down to brush his lips against hers. "But you aren't ready for that."

"What do you mean?" she moaned.

"I don't want you to do something you'll feel guilty about later," he said. "You need to think this over."

"But ..."

He cut her off with another kiss, just like the first one, and she felt thrills shoot through her belly.

"I'd like nothing more than to paint with you naked," he said. "But it's not the right thing to do right now."

She slumped. He was right. She knew he was right. As much as she wanted to kiss him more, and feel his hands on her body, she knew she wouldn't be able to enjoy it. Not really. She felt terribly guilty already.

"You're right," she sighed.

"Good girl," he said, patting her back. "You're almost done. Think about the paint."

She tried. It was a little easier, in a way. For one thing, one of her questions had been answered. She now had some idea of what it was like to kiss him. That knowledge wasn't very comforting, because she now knew she wanted to do it again. On the other hand, he had enough control to stop her, and some of his control had leached into her, somehow.

As she painted, she thought about that. He had stopped. She wasn't all that experienced, but the limited knowledge she did have suggested that men didn't just stop. Men went for what they wanted. They weren't concerned, it didn't seem, for what the woman wanted. If given an opening, they just went for it. She had given him an opening, even though she hadn't intended to. He had noticed the removal of her bra, and she had kissed him. Most men would have had her naked immediately and been knocking the wall with the bed.

She wondered why he'd stopped. More correctly, she wondered why he'd been able to stop. If he'd have pressed her, she'd have done anything he wanted to do. She was quite sure of that. She remembered thinking, during one of those kisses - she couldn't remember which one - that, if he told her to strip and spread her legs, she'd have done it in an instant. So ... how could he stop? Was it because he wasn't really attracted to her?

She got near the ceiling again, and concentrated on going only to where the brush had already trimmed it. When that was over, her mind fell immediately back to the question.

How could he stop? She remembered the kisses. Those were not from a man who was turned off by the woman he was kissing. She had felt his want, in those kisses. His hands had said the same thing, as they softly stroked her sides.

She thought about his hands. They had been on her sides ... right next to her breasts ... but he hadn't groped her. She wondered briefly if her small breasts weren't desirable. Then she remembered his voice, when he said she didn't look anything like a twelve year old. No ... he liked her breasts.

The inevitable conclusion that she drew was that he was right. He wanted her, but he cared more about her feelings than his own want. In that instant, she knew that she would give herself to him. Some how ... some way ... she wanted to give him what he wanted. That it would be fantastic for her, too, was a given.

Then she thought about that. How could she know that whatever he did, she would love it? She didn't love all the things Richard did, and she'd married Richard. She turned, to look over her shoulder at him. Did she wish she was married to him?

Some part of her intelligence, deep down, saw in Bobby a beautiful wild animal that couldn't be tamed. He was older than her. He was gorgeous. He was the sexiest man she could remember ever meeting. Other women had to have seen this in him ... but none of them could capture him. She almost giggled, as she compared him to a poem, written, perhaps, for one person, but shared, and owned by the world. Thousands of people benefited from the poem, but no one owned it, not even the person who it had been written for.

Then, suddenly, the walls were finished. Bobby carefully peeled the tape off. He had finished the trim and, unknown to her, had simply watched her paint. His thoughts, she would never know. She would never know that his desire was controlled by the need of the woman he was with. He knew very well that there were women who didn't need what he had to offer, and that to force it on them wouldn't work. But there were women who did need what he offered. For Bobby, it was just a natural part of his makeup to use his talents to help other people. If that included his talent for listening, and understanding, and sympathizing, that was fine. If it included the talent between his legs, that was okay too. Sometimes it was sensational. He wondered idly what it would be like to lie with Christy. He had recognized the conflicting emotions in her behavior. She was lonely, but that wasn't a good reason for him to engage her sexually. She was beautiful and sexy too, but again, those weren't good enough reasons. Time would tell.

He had time.

While they cleaned up - cleaning the roller cover and brush, sealing the paint cans back up, picking up the drop cloth, and taking the ladder back to the garage - Christy was still thinking about what he had said. She was more convinced than ever that he was right ... had done exactly the right thing for her. She was married. Richard was serving his country, a country that was less than thankful for that service. She would not dishonor him by giving in to emotions that she had no business feeling. At the same time, she needed some attention, and the pure, unbridled joy of knowing that a man desired her had given her a tremendous lift. He had stopped. He had control. He hadn't complained that she was making his balls hurt, or used any guilt trips on her, like boys had tried to do when she was dating. Flirting was all right. Flirting felt good.

"Can I still flirt with you?" she asked suddenly, turning to look at him.

"I love it when women flirt with me," he said.

"Thank you," she said, thinking about him stopping.

"You're very welcome."

"Would you clean me up?" she asked.

He looked her over ... all over ... and she felt the thrill in her belly.

"In the hands of a novice, the roller puts little spatters of paint all over the place," he said. "You, my pretty painter, are a novice, but I think I can get most of them."

She stood there, amazed at the ecstasy she felt as he rubbed the damp rag over her exposed skin. One of his hands held her arm, while the rag removed tiny specks of paint, and she gloried in the feel of that strong hand, which felt so good, but wasn't the slightest bit threatening. She arched her neck, as he stroked it, and stood quietly as he wrapped the rag around one finger and took three or four full minutes to dab all over her face. When he knelt and worked on her legs, she felt the heat in her loins again.

"You have such beautiful legs," he said. "Your muscles are so well defined."

"It's because of my hikes," she said. A sudden thought leapt into her mind. This project was over. She had no need to see him again. But she wanted to see him again ... to be around him. He made her feel so good!

"Do you want to go on a hike with me?" she said. "I can show you some neat things."

Bobby didn't mention that he'd lived in Granger all his life, and, as a child, ridden his bike over every road and path that existed.

"Sure," he said. "I'd like that. I need the exercise anyway."

"You're in better shape than any man I know," she said, scoffing.

"Yeah," he said. "But I don't get that kind of exercise. The closest I get to that is riding my bike."

"Why don't you have a car?" she asked.

"Mamma has a truck," he said. "A car would be nice, but I don't really have to have one. It's kind of a luxury, right now. Most of what I make goes to the farm."

He started working on her upper chest, and she sighed as the rag dipped down and pushed at her T shirt collar.

"I could take it off," she sighed. She hadn't meant to say that either, but, somehow, it wasn't so embarrassing any more.

"I'd love that," he said. "But it's not needed. You're done."

He dropped the rag, held her face with both hands, and kissed her gently on the lips. She almost wiggled with pleasure.

"That's how I flirt," he said, grinning. "You sure you want to keep flirting?"

"I'm sure," she said, meaning it completely.

They set a date for the hike. He was busy the following Saturday, so they set it for the Saturday after that.

"Bring your camera," said Bobby.

"Okay, I will!" she said.

Christy felt much better, for some reason. It wasn't because he had left, and the temptation was gone. She decided that it was because she had wanted to do something she'd be sorry for, and hadn't done it. She credited him with that, not herself. Still, it hadn't happened, and she was glad about that. The kisses had happened, but she was glad about that too.

That got her to wondering if she would have really felt guilty, if something more had happened, or not.

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