Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day
THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE
On Kyle’s second day as my house guest the weather was glorious again. I took him on a drive of Seattle’s premium neighborhoods, when he surprised me by requesting a shopping trip, explaining that he was hunting for a particular style of Italian white loafer. I listened to his story about the loss of his previous pair of shoes, left behind while on vacation in Rome, and learned that Kyle had been on a two-year quest to replace them. I was convinced we’d find nothing to rival Italian shoe design in Seattle, but I agreed to be his tour guide. I was up for more fieldwork to correct my knowledge deficit regarding professional black men, so that made Kyle my tour guide as well.
Men I knew didn’t shop, at least not in the international design style my new lover was proposing. And they also didn’t iron, which is how Kyle started his day, buck-naked in my kitchen, in all his Greek chiseled glory, pressing the travel wrinkles out of his Saturday day wear. The men I knew also didn’t pack for a three-day weekend with ten-day luggage. There were five pairs of shoes in his oversized suitcase, and if Seattle provided, there would soon be six.
I drove us downtown. There were two strikeouts, first at Mario’s, and next at Nordstrom’s. When we came into Kenneth Cole, I could not have been more surprised. There they were, on a sale shelf in the back of the men’s showroom, a single pair of stone-white loafers, with white on white cross-stitching and pebble-textured leather. Instead of celebrating his good luck, Kyle was contemplative with the discovery, carefully considering the differences between the two pairs of shoes. I watched in wonder. He was more like a stylist than a consumer, more thoughtful and deliberate than I ever could have imagined. While he talked with the sales clerk, I retreated to the white leather comfort of the waiting lounge and snagged a book off the table. This was an education, all right, and I was past due for recess.
After several minutes, another spousal equivalent joined me, one of a thirty-something gay couple, who had entered the store after us. We both thumbed through our coffee table titles while our other halves shopped on. This was definitely a first for me. Thirty-six hours earlier I had been anxious about my weekend guest, and now I was sitting serenely in the luxury lounge of Kenneth Cole’s men’s furnishings, in the company of another temporarily dismissed date, both of us on hold while the men in our lives shopped. What next, I wondered?
I looked up to see Kyle, dressed in the bright pop of an electric-pistachio-green pullover that contrasted richly with the mocha brown of his face and hands. “Wha’cha think?”
“I love the color, baby. It’s perfect on you.” He posed self-consciously, turning slowly, giving me all angles, so I could be sure. “Perfect,” I repeated, his little rotation reminding me of the night in October, that first time I saw him naked. When he was out of sight, the man across from me could not help himself.
“Your husband is so hot!” he whispered, gushing from the other side of the glass-topped table. Rather than clarify our actual status, I absorbed the compliment, and went right to what mattered, “You should see him with the shirt off,” I said, freeing us both to imagine the natural wonder of a clothes-free Kyle.
TOMORROW: Chapter 30
Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.