The Best of Bess (PG-13)

My anti-social reputation started in kindergarten where I was disliked by my classmates for good reason. From pulling pigtails to pushing and shoving, I was without a doubt a little jerk.

I was the youngest in my family and I got picked on a lot by my older siblings but that was really no excuse. Tina Olson was a snitty, snotty, smug little kindergartener who said mean things to me, stole my cookies, and stepped on my toes on purpose so she wasn't exactly the best role model for me getting a good impression of the fairer sex but I didn't have to follow her example. My father drank too much and wasn't around a lot so I was a lonely and moody kid but that really didn't give me the right to be a trouble making smart mouthed little shit either.

It didn't take me long to develop a reputation of being a little creep as I moved through the early grades. Not surprisingly, I wasn't well liked since I was constantly insulting my classmates, pushing them around, and being a mean fouled mouthed jerk. Teachers barely tolerated me and I spent plenty of time out in the hall or in the principal's office. I didn't have any friends and kids in the neighborhood avoided me. I usually got beat up by other kids' older siblings when they were informed of my constant transgressions.

My only real friend during those troubled early years was my mother who seemed to see the good in me despite my faults and problems. She knew I was acting out because of my unhappiness and she went out of her way to cut me breaks and treat me special. She took me to Johnny C's Diner for milk shakes and let me push the shopping cart at Fontaine's Family Grocery Store.

My mom wasn't exactly having a great time with a stressful marriage caused by my father's drinking and my older siblings were having their own problems as unruly teens but she never made me feel bad about the circumstances and I never heard her say a bad thing about me.

My father was a bit of a bully toward my mother and my brothers followed suit so I had little choice but to follow their lead but I think my mother saw that I was at the core different from them and she never gave up believing that I still had a chance to turn out differently.

Mom's best friend during that period was a woman named Martha Coty who lived in Greenville. I'm not sure how they met but I think Mrs. Coty offered my mother a respite from her less than happy life and she enjoyed visiting the kind, friendly, personable, humorous and hospitable woman. Mrs. Coty never came to our house because my mother was embarrassed by her husband and the older children. My mother would pile me in the car and drive to Mrs. Coty's large and handsome Victorian home in Greenville or we'd meet at a neutral location - the beach at Sun Rise Lake, the stands of Beano Field to watch an amateur Serguci League baseball game, or maybe the snack counter at Donovan's Department Store in Greenville after some shopping.

My mother seemed to relax and laugh when she was with Mrs. Coty and while the last thing I wanted to do was hang out with them I was happy to see my mother of good cheer so I never complained. It was like she was a different person when she was with Mrs. Coty. What made the visits most awkward for me was that Mrs. Coty had a daughter around my age so naturally we were expected to hang out together whenever our mothers socialized.

Of course, my mother neglected to reveal this piece of information to me when we visited the Coty's for the first time. I followed my mother into the Coty house and was introduced to Mrs. Coty who was friendly enough, but then she turned toward the kitchen.

"Bess? Could you come out here and meet somebody please?"

I glanced around Mrs. Coty and watched as a solemn faced girl entered the room, eyeing me suspiciously.

"Bess, this is the lady I was telling you about, my friend Liz Fuller," Mrs. Coty said warmly. "And this is her son, J.P."

Bess was actually taller than me, a plain girl with long black hair and a toothpick for a body.

Being an anti-social kid with a dislike for girls, this introduction was a disaster in the making but I didn't want to wreck things for my mother by creating difficulties with the kid, at least until we went up to her bedroom while our mothers visited in the living room.

I had never been in another kid's bedroom before, let alone a girl's! I had no idea how to act, what to say, or what to do, so I wasted little time in acting out and behaving like a little brat.

"Why are you being such a poop head?" Bess wanted to know fifteen minutes into the awkward visit after I pulled off a few of her Barbie heads, stripped her bed for no reason, and tossed one of her teddy bears out the window.

I really didn't have an answer to her annoyed question and that's when I realized that Bess didn't know of my reputation at home and with my peers at Hillsboro Elementary and that I actually had a chance to act normal if I so desired. So I decided to just be me when I was with Bess and we eventually became fairly good friends over time mostly because we were forced to co-exist together given that our mothers were such good friends.

We didn't live in the same town so I didn't see Bess all that much but we learned to get along when we were forced to hang out together. After a while I didn't even think about it anymore although I was self-conscious about being seen with her in public. Bess was shy and she attracted little attention from others. I guess we were both social outcasts which may have been one of the reasons why we got along so well: we didn't have anybody else.

Because we were often thrown together by our mothers and forced to spend quality time on our own, we learned to overcome our insecurities around each other. Bess forgot about being shy when she was with me and I stopped being an asshole when I was around her. Truth be told, it actually felt kind of good to be semi-normal for a change and while I would have denied it if I was ever asked, I kind of liked being with Bess. She was really my only friend.

We didn't talk much or do anything special when we were together. We just were. I'd pretty much do whatever it was she was doing. If she was watching television, I'd watch with her. If she was reading, I'd find something to do too. If she was sitting in the back yard, I'd sit with her. If she was drawing in a coloring book, I'd draw too.

As I continued to progress through elementary school, my behaviors began to change and I know it was because of Bess who accepted me for who I was and seemed to like me as I was. By sixth grade, girls had changed in my view and were now more pleasant to be around. I kind of started wanting to be friends with several of them and I sought to develop friendships with them by acting more like I did with Bess when I was around them but my long remembered and well deserved reputation as a jerk continued to haunt me (I was still prone to a prank, insult, or shove when I forgot to try to be nice) so making amends and overcoming my past was not a easy proposition.
By junior high, I figured out that my misbehavior had proven ineffective and it kept me labeled as 'Social Outcast'. I decided that I needed to completely revamp my image and reputation if I had any hope of salvaging a social life so I started volunteering for various extra-curricular activities, ran for student council (lost in a landslide), and I even perform a couple random acts of kindness to improve word of mouth feedback regarding my behavior and personality. I was probably saved from total doom the day I saved Debbie Lambester from choking on a piece of fish in the cafeteria during lunch when I gave her my version of the Heimlich maneuver and became an instant hero since Debbie really was turning blue.

Some of the guys started hanging out with me so I wasn't quite the outsider anymore especially when I played basketball in eighth grade and performed pretty well which helped reestablish my name some.

I didn't see Bess quite as much anymore as my mother realized I was too old to drag around with her all the time and it was around this time when I began learning about sex and what men and women together. Some of the guys talked dirt about the escapades they claimed to have experienced with girls but most of my sexual awareness came at home with my older brothers who routinely snuck girls into the house and got into fights with my mother about some of their exploits. I remember walking into the bathroom one time to find some strange girl sitting naked on the toilet. Another time my mother went ape shit when she caught my brother taking a shower with some broad. There was a pregnancy scare when my other brother thought he knocked some girl up and although it turned out to be a false alarm my mother was still all bent out shape about such shenanigans.

There always seemed to be a different girl around the house (I had three old brothers, the youngest five years older than me) so I witnessed a lot of drama in that department and although I was a late bloomer and much less successful than my older brothers because of my reputation for being a jerk, I was familiar with the realities of what went on between guys and girls.

By this time, my parents' marriage was pretty much on the rocks and they were basically going through the motions (probably for my benefit). My father's drinking had progressively worsened over the years and now my two older brothers were old enough to be drinking with him too which didn't help the home life much. I'm not sure how my mother put up with it all or why she didn't drink herself.

I observed how the girls in my class had developed breasts as their body's rounded out into those of young women and I developed a rather warped view of a satisfactory relationship between men and women from my brothers rather perverted examples. My father wasn't the kind of guy I could turn to for advice or insight so most of my sane education came from my mother who taught me to respect and honor girls and to not have sex until I was old enough and mature enough to emotionally handle it.
For most of that year I listened to classmate Earl Wingate lie to us about his sexual exploits. He'd go out with a girl a few times and kiss her passionately and then put his hand on her breast and rub it a few times (or so he claimed) and then she would take off her clothes and let him have his way with her but I never really believed him. Still, I was a kid with surging hormones who often heard one of my brothers having sex in the bedroom next to mine so I knew that stuff really happened.
There was also the problem with my wet dreams that seemed to develop around eighth grade too. I guess my subconscious knew how to let me make it with all sorts of girls. . .No names and no faces - just girls in my sleep and I would wake up with sticky underwear and stained sheets. When I learned the art of masturbation, there was no stopping me.

By high school, I had pretty much gotten past the jerk reputation. I was playing football, basketball and baseball and had established enough credibility to at least be considered normal among my peers. I was really to busy to date much and because I didn't want to disappoint or hurt my mother I was very conscious and cautious about not repeating the mistakes of my brothers who broke our mother's heart with their repeated indiscretions.

While trudging through high school, I lusted after a couple of field hockey players and drama club gals and prom queen types but I never made much of a move. Passing them in the halls, my eyes bored through their tight pink polo shirts as if my X-ray vision could read operating instructions scrawled on their chests. Mostly, I willfully blended in with my peers because I merely wanted to look like and be accepted as everyone else and I dutifully hid the boner I was hiding behind my geometry notebook whenever I got excited by the thoughts of the girls in the girl's locker room

Luckily, the guys I hung out with managed to attract girls. Maybe not the school's stereotypical A-list of jocks and social butterflies, but at least the species culled from the curious underbelly of band geeks, student government groupies and Honor Society members. These girls sat with us at the male misfit table in the cafeteria and like related tribes, we found each other and it was good.

That was where I met Karen. We had a class together too and somehow she began to sit with me and my fellow cafeteria misfits. She had blue eyes, blond hair, was athletic, starting on the volleyball team. She also had an edge to her but I thought she was cute so I went to all her games. One night, after watching the volleyball team dominate yet another opponent, I asked Karen out on a date and to my surprise she agreed. We did the first date thing: we ate pizza and we walked aimlessly around town. Then, on the next date, we kissed and a few dates later and we were wrestling on her living room floor. I was falling in love!

But then, just as I had visions of seeing Karen naked, she dumped me for junior Danny Kostecki and that was the end of my first real romance but at least I had gotten my 'feet wet'.

I rarely saw my father who I was pretty sure was having a long lasting affair with some alcoholic woman who was a cashier at the taxi cab company where Dad worked as a mechanic. All my brothers were out of the house by then so it was just mostly me and my mother who worked 28 hours a week at the library. I had a part time job at Fontaine's Family Grocery Store where I now had a crush on Kitty Meadows who worked in the deli section and while she was happy to flirt with me I couldn't get her to go out with me which bummed me out.

I hadn't seen Bess Coty in a few years and I really hadn't thought about her until my mother came to me junior year and asked me if I'd be willing to be Bess's escort to her formal school dance. Bess attended St. Anne's Catholic School and a red flag immediately went up as I wondered why Bess couldn't get her own date. I tried to come up with a legitimate reason to decline my mother's request but I really couldn't think of anything other than I didn't feel like it and I figured I owed it my mother, Bess, and even Bess' mother to bite the bullet and do the right thing. Besides, it wasn't as if the girls were standing in line for me! I knew getting laid would be the last thing that would happen taking Catholic School girl Bess to the formal dance so I wrote the night off as a duty to God and my mother.

I had my driver's license by this time and while I was still saving for wheels of my own my mother let me borrow her car for the big evening. I rented a tux and I actually felt kind of good about my good deed. Nobody at St. Anne's was aware of my previous uncouth behavior and maybe this would allow me to fit in more easily with the unfamiliar crowd.

I picked Bess up at her house. She remained a rather plain looking girl with a string bean for a body, still taller than me with barely a swell where her breasts should be and an ass that was as flat and boney as a ten year olds. Her long off the shoulder length black hair framed her best feature which was her face! Her big blue eyes and creamy completion was complimented by a pert nose and a mouth that seemed to smile all the time. She was still shy and I noticed that she attracted little attention from the guys when we arrived at the dance. She was very much a wall flower as the night progressed.

I was definitely no Casanova but I was much more socially adapt than Bess because of my sports successes and I was able to mingle with Bess on my arm and the night really wasn't that bad. Bess had plenty of girlfriends who talked with us and I had to confess that I thought Bess was attractive in her own special way and I actually enjoyed my night with her.

We stayed to the end of the dance and we even went out to Dennys afterwards with some of Bess' friends and their dates and it was a fun time. As I got ready to take her home, I found myself excited between the legs and while I was surprised by the unexpected arousal I took it as a sign that perhaps if I did everything just right there might be hope for me. My quest required me to convince a girl like Bess that I now possessed sex appeal after our many years of just being reluctant and unexpected friends.

Would I somehow gain the 'know-how' and experience to seduce Bess if she let me? She might not be the most beautiful or the sexiest or whatever girl around but she was there in the passenger seat next to me as we drove home and this was the closet I had ever been to actually making a move on a girl (Karen had been the aggressor in my earlier stab at romance).

"We don't have to go right home," Bess informed me as I neared her house. "My mother didn't give me a curfew."

I glanced at my watch and saw that it was after one in the morning. I wasn't sure what to do but I recalled my brothers' jokes about watching the 'submarine races' at Benji's Point along the Blue River so I drove us there and I parked along the river bank. Bess seemed unusually warm having moved closer to me in the seat and on impulse I kissed her square on the lips. The kiss was quick, awkward, and dry as I quickly retreated in fright. Our eyes met and I saw fear etched into hers face too and it was then that I realized that maybe I had gone too far.

We tried to pretend as if nothing had happened and I hoped I hadn't done anything to damage our relationship. All I needed was to have Bess tell her mom that I was a pervert and have that get back to my mother. But Bess didn't freak out after the kiss. I went to start the car but she reached her hand out and stopped me. She was sitting as close as space would permit and she seemed to be especially warm and friendly. It was then that I saw something in her eyes even in the darkness that allowed me to lean into her, grasping her in an embrace and kissing her again. As before, it was awkward but judging from Bess's reaction it was the right thing to do.

After a moment, I kissed her again, slowly and tenderly this time as I tried to find the key that would unlock her passions and send me on my way to my goal of getting laid. It was then that her hands reached to embrace me and our kiss brought the first indication of the intimacy that I hadn't expected or understood.

After a few minutes of kissing and experimenting further than I'd ever gone on my quest than before, time seemed to stop as our necking progressed ever so slowly as our lips parted and we engaged in deep soulful kisses.. I boldly reached my hand out for her breast and I felt her bra covered lump for the first time. As we continued kissing and soul kissing, it didn't seem to be enough as I once again placed my hand on her breast and I was relieved when she didn't push it away with some sort of admonition like a slap or a knee to the balls.

Stunned by her non-resistance, I stopped for a minute and suddenly I felt more passion than I'd ever felt in my life. Our kisses grew in their strength and intensity as she responded in kind and I knew I was closer to my goal of getting laid. My hand moved instinctively to reach inside her dress and on to her bra covered breasts as I was giddy with excitement. As I moved my hand to feel the nature and extent of those breasts it quickly became apparent that the covering was padded and I wasn't close to any flesh but it was still an exciting and memorable moment.

After a few minutes of exploration of the top of her bra, I withdrew my hand and I saw tears in her eyes.

"I'm sorry," she said with true emotion. "They're just too small."

The proper thing to have said was that they were beautiful just as they were but I was an inexperienced idiot so I mumbled something about too bad and that everyone couldn't be blessed with a beautiful body.

I knew as the words rolled out of my mouth that I'd screwed up and the evening ended badly as the high level of excitement was gone.

"You can take me home now," Bess said coldly, moving away from me to her side of the car.

There was no point in arguing or even trying to apologize so I drove her home in silence and she wouldn't let me kiss her goodnight when we reached her house. I felt awful, of course, but it was not the end of our relationship or even our friendship because a few months later Hillsboro High had a formal dance of its own and I called Bess and invited her to be my date for the occasion.

She was surprised by the invite but I was happy that she accepted. We had a nice time and my peers were both surprised and happy to see me with a girl, although some of the guys commented on her "2X4" body and her "ant hill tits" when she was in the girl's room. I felt bad about such comments but I really couldn't dispute them – Bess was small chested. It was a warm night and once again I drove us to Benji's Point overlooking the Blue River where we were cloaked in darkness. I leaned over and kissed her and as I did she returned the kiss with an intensity that almost frightened me. We continued with deep soul kisses and my excitement grew with each breath I took. In seconds, I was wild and my hand slid down her dress and on to her bra where I'd only been once before. She did not reject me this time either.

We kissed again as I pulled down the front of her dress and I found the clasp on the front of her bra and opened it to expose her breasts to my touch for the first time. I was one step closer to my goal of getting laid as Bess offered little resistance in welcoming the pleasure.

With her tiny breasts exposed to my view for the first time, I was unsure of what to do next. Surely I didn't want to screw up and say or do the wrong thing now that I had seen her in such revelation.

"You're really beautiful, Bess," I told her as I felt her small but lovely breasts.

"I'm as flat as an ironing board," she sighed with embarrassment.

"I think you're sexy and wonderful," I told her and it was really the truth.

My hands explored her tiny tits with delight and we continued to make out and I felt myself becoming hard between the legs. I allowed my hand to drop onto her thigh and I start to move towards her crotch but I was met by her hand.

"Nothing below the waist," she whispered and her eyes told me that she meant it so I concentrated on feeling and looking at her tiny breasts and when I leaned down and put my mouth on one of her pert nipples, her head fell back against the seat and she moaned with pleasure.

After that night, Bess and I found reasons to get together. Our mothers were delighted with our renewed friendship and we found reasons to invite each other out. We went to the movies a few times a month and to dinner too and I grew more familiar with her breasts as I played with and sucked her nipples every time we had some quiet moments. Actually, I had developed real affection for Bess and we spent the rest of our high school careers being friends with semi-benefits although she held true to her conviction of 'nothing below the waist'.

That was true for me too as she declined my invitations for her to feel between my legs or to engage in any sort of oral sex. She didn't even want to see what it looked like down there and she wasn't about to let me see what she looked like down there either. I was disappointed but I understood and I was happy to have her tiny breasts as my single source of pleasure along with our frequent making out.

I tried to get her naked on more than occasion – offers to skinny dip my constant ploy - but she was shy and insecure about her body, hung up on her less than sexy frame and she wouldn't let me see anything but her breasts which she was constantly criticizing and putting down no matter how often I told her how beautiful, exciting, desirable and lovely I thought her tits (and the rest of her) – was.

We settled into a comfortable and familiar but somewhat strange friendship relationship and Bess really was my closest friend and confidant but we eventually graduated and when that summer ended she was moving on to college – at Notre Dame of all places. I was envious of her and that's when I realized that Bess was way out of my league – totally way to smart with so much potential and I was the last guy she needed to be with. Strangely, there was no real shedding of tears or sorrow when we said our goodbyes. There were no vows of love either, just a parting of friends but I was glad to have known her and I valued and embraced our special friendship and memories long after Bess was gone.

I lost contact with Bess as time moved on. I never really left Blue County after high school. I took some classes at Blue County Community College and landed a job at a local plastics company and that was pretty much my life. My parents divorced and my father basically drank himself to death a few years later and so ended that sad saga of my life. My mother shed no tears and the rest of us were finally able to move on from our family shame and embarrassment.

I met Jane at work, a hot sexy blonde who seemed to like me for some strange reason and we dated for a few years and then got married much to my mother's disgust. She thought Jane was all wrong for me and that she was bad news, "too much like your father" in terms of her drinking habits but I was so tickled that a woman as sexy as Jane was interested in me that I didn't listen to my mother and I gladly took the plunge.

Even though Jane was sexy and sexual, willing to do anything anywhere any time and an exhibitionist at heart who loved to prance around the apartment (and other places) naked, the marriage was a disaster from the start. I was interested in settling down, buying a house, and having kids but Jane loved excitement and she was interested in partying all the time. I couldn't keep up with her and we were always fighting about our social life and what we wanted out of our marriage. It didn't help that we worked together and got into pissing matches there too.

I began suspecting that maybe Jane was going behind my back to party and it was clear that she drank hard and often. Having grown up with an alcoholic father, I was in no mood to repeat the pattern in my marriage. Jane didn't mind having a beer for breakfast, bringing a nip bottle with her to work, and stopping by the tavern on the way home from work for a shot. The refrigerator was always stocked with a case of beer.

When I found out Jane was having an affair with some guy at work, I quit both my job and my marriage. Jane offered no apology and she said she was glad the marriage was over. That left scars on my psyche and the failure of my marriage made me leery of any future involvement with women. I had to move in with my mother for a while and it took me some time to work my way back up at my new job.

I was basically a 'townie' - a guy who grew up in Hillsboro and never left. People remembered me from my high school sports successes and I belonged to the Alumni Athletic and Booster Clubs. I could be seen at some of the high school sporting events and I was a regular at Beano Field watching Serguci League baseball games in the summer. I could be found shooting pool at Duffy's Tavern or watching a pro football or baseball game at The Bullpen Tavern.

I had a few relationships but nothing serious or long lasting. My mother worried about me but after the disaster with Jane she understood my reluctance and caution about getting involved again. I got my own apartment again once I got back on my feet and I lived a lunch bucket type existence. I saw Jane's name in the police log a few times for disorderly conduct – usually some late night drunken incident in front of some bar and later on she got nabbed in a high profile DUI case.

I hadn't seen Bess since she left for college a good fifteen years earlier but my mother and Bess' mother remained friends and my mother kept me posted on Bess' achievements (and failures). I knew she did well at Notre Dame and ended up with some fancy political job in DC where she married and eventually was divorced. I didn't ask a lot of questions and I figured I'd never see Bess again - why would she come home when she was a big deal in the nation's capital?

My mother called me early one morning crying, informing me that Mrs. Coty had suffered a serious stroke and that she was in the ICU. Her chances for survival didn't look good and I helped my mother stand vigil at the hospital during the next few days. Bess flew home, of course, and I recognized her right away as she came down the hall. She was still as thin as a rail with a tiny chest but she was beautiful in a natural way and I tried not to stare at her as she approached.

This was not the time to hit on the woman, of course, so I mostly just tried to be an emotional support for both Bess and my mother during a trying time for both of them. Mrs. Coty was in a coma and the doctors had little hope that she would regain consciousness. I sat with Bess as she tried to come to terms with her mom's condition. We talked a little bit about old times and I offered Bess my memories of her mom.

I realized that even after all these years I knew very little of Bess' story. There had never been a Mr. Coty but I never asked questions about her family life until those days of waiting at the hospital when I learned a lot more about Bess than her chest size in the front seat of my car all those years ago.

Bess' father had drowned in a fishing accident when Bess was a year old. She had no memories of the man. Her mom moved back in with her widowed father who was a successful Greenville business man so money was never an issue My father had gone to school with Bess' Dad and my mom had been supportive of Mrs. Coty after her husband died and that's how they became friends. Bess insisted that I had met her grandfather a couple of times but I have no memory of him. It wasn't until she mentioned his name (Gerald McMartin) that I realized that Bess was the granddaughter of one of the most successful men in Blue County. Unfortunately, he had died a few years earlier.

I was amazed that I had missed this big piece of Bess' life and I felt kind of stupid for not being more in the know. Did I ever take the time to know her? Bess hardly left the hospital, sleeping in the chair by her mother's bed and only going home to shower. My mother and I took turns keeping Bess company and I was with her when her mom finally passed away after lingering for three long days. I felt privileged to be with Bess at that moment and I gave her a long hug once she let go of her mother's hand.

Bess inherited her grandfather's estate with her mother's passing and she decided to quit her job in DC and come back to Hillsboro to help run the business with her late grandfather's partners. I was working a nothing job in a manufacturing factory and the thought occurred to me that maybe I could work for one of Bess' companies although I would never ask her for a handout.

I didn't see much of Bess once the funeral was over. She had gone back to DC to wrap up her affairs there and it was only when my mother mentioned that Bess was back in Blue County for good several months later that I wondered if she'd be interested in seeing me again. I was afraid to call her or look her up because I didn't want to come across as a gold digger trying to take advantage of her situation but when I thought about it Bess Coty was the only girl I ever truly had a meaningful relationship with in all my years of romantic pursuits. I certainly knew her longer than any other person in my life.

It was my mischievous mother who actually set up our first date without either of us knowing. Bess and I both thought we were meeting my mom at Serguci's Family Italian Restaurant and we were both surprised to find each other at the restaurant with no sign of my mother who eventually called my cell and reported that she couldn't make it but that Bess and I should enjoy a night out together.

So we had a delicious dinner and a pleasant evening exchanging stories of our lives and for the first time since we had known each other we spoke freely and openly about ourselves. I expounded on my ineptitude around women and my uncanny ability to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and she spoke of her fears and concerns growing up that still persisted to some degree in her present life.

We also talked about our failed marriages. Bess explained that she had married out of a sense of desperation to the first man who proposed to her. She tried to make it work but the guy she'd married was soon involved in shady politics that submarined his career and she left him so she wouldn't' be tainted by his soiled reputation.

"J.P., Did you ever have feelings for me when we were seeing each other in high school or were you just looking for a chance for sex?"

I was embarrassed by the question because I didn't want to be truthful in my response but I felt I owed her that much. "I was stupid," I told her. "At the time, I thought it was hormones but in looking back I realize it was much more."

"I'm sorry I wouldn't let you have sex with me," she sighed in a moment of surprising candidness. "I should have let you, you know?"

"Why didn't you?" I asked with curiosity.

She shrugged. "I was afraid. And ashamed."

"You had nothing to be ashamed about," I told her.

"What did you mean when you just said you realized it was much more?" She wanted to know.

"Just that you were the only girl in my life who mattered to me," I sighed.

Our eyes met and I saw something I'd never recognized before and it made me both nervous and excited.

"Is it too late to start over and see if it was meant to be?" I dared to ask.

"I'd like to try," she said. "Perhaps we could kindle that old flame."

The years had changed Bess for the better, not just in her appearance but in her confidence, attitude, and demeanor. I found myself fascinated just being with her and I knew this would be my defining moment. Whatever I communicated to her would affect our future but I remained silent as I let my eyes adore her and she seemed to appreciate that.

I paid the bill and as we left the restaurant I whispered into her ear: "You're very beautiful and I adore you."

She stopped walking and turned to me and I saw a rather faint smile as her eyes studied me but she didn't say anything in reply as we left the restaurant in high spirits. I walked her to her car and I was about to say goodnight and maybe give her a friendly good night kiss when she whispered: "Why don't you follow me back to my place?"

"Really?" I asked with surprise.

"I want to be with you."

She had revealed the words I had waited all my life to hear. I kissed her lightly on the cheek. "Thank you!" I said and Bess laughed.

As I followed Bess back to her house I wondered if it been a case of only 'the hots' for her all these years or was it love? Was I capable of being the man that she deserved? I decided that I was after her heart, soul, mind and body – the very essence that was Bess, that beautiful and wonderful essence that I'd come to know so many years ago.

I pulled into the driveway behind her car. I hadn't been to the house since she let for Notre Dame and it felt strangely comforting to be back again.

"What were you thinking about as you drove over here?" Bess asked, meeting me in the driveway.

"I was thinking about you," I admitted.

"What were you thinking about me?" She asked with raised eyebrows.

"I was thinking about how lucky I was to know you and how foolish I was to have let you go."

"Are you sure now?" She asked.

"I am," I confirmed. "How about you?"

"It's been a long time and I've learned a lot about men over the years," she told me as we stood on her front lawn. "I'm hoping, but I'm kinda' scared that you may not be what you seem."

"Perhaps we should cool it for a while and get reacquainted again first," I suggested, worried that I might screw things up with her even after all this time.

Bess's eyes blazed. "No! I want us to carry through with this and find out if we're really suited for each other. Right now, I want you more than I could ever tell you. Please bear with me, J.P.!"

We went into the house and it was obvious that she was having work done. Rooms were stripped and naked of furniture and workmen's equipment and supplies were piled throughout the house.

"Sorry for the mess," Bess said with a smile. "The house needed to be modernized. Nobody had done anything to it since my grandmother died forty years ago."

"I'm sure it's going to look great," I said as I glanced around.

Bess seemed in high spirits, higher than I'd ever seen her before. I was still studying the work being done and when I turned I found Bess facing me, her face inches from mine. Her hands reached out and embraced me and her lips met mine in a tender kiss. I responded by holding the embrace and returning the kiss in the manner it had been given. I hadn't been kissed like that since we'd made out those many years ago. The memories flooded back and I smiled with contentment when we parted to catch our breath.

"Damn, you're really good at that."

Bess smiled. "You taught me everything I know about kissing."

I bit on my lip. "We were good together weren't we?"

Our eyes met and I saw passion clearly in her eyes. "Please take me to bed," she whispered.

There was no point in making small talk as we waited for what was about to unfold. Our hearts, minds and souls were seeking as we searched and explored and familiarized ourselves with each other again.

There was no place to sit on the first floor so Bess took me upstairs where work was also being done but her childhood bedroom was still intact the way it had always been and she led me into the room, closing the door behind her.

I sat on the bed while she opened the closet door and slipped out of her dress behind it before coming out in a white robe. She sat next to me on the bed.

"Now it's your turn," She said as she began removing my tie and suit coat and then my shirt while laying gentle kisses on me and before I knew it I was clad only in my undershirt and boxers. She moved close to me and I felt her warmth and to my surprise my cock grew immediately erect!

"Did I cause that?" Bess asked proudly. "Do you really like me that much?"

"Oh yes and so very much more!"

With that, she bent over and grasped my tool from my boxers and proceeded to jack it gently as she seemed to be uncertain of her next move. After a time, she bent and kissed the tip before licking and kissing up and down the shaft although she was tentative in her actions.

I found myself filled with mixed emotions and feelings. I liked what Bess was doing (it felt good!) and I wanted more but I wanted to please her too. I wanted to touch every part of her very essence and leave a favorable impression on every aspect of her being. I recalled all those times of frustration when Bess would say 'nothing below the waist' and how I would go home with a stiff and sore dick and have to relief myself and now here Bess was, finally, with her hand on my cock pleasing me after so long.

After a few more minutes she stopped her ministrations and moved up to kiss me on my lips. "Did you like that?" She asked.

Then, before I could respond, she kissed me hard on the lips, unlike ever before.

As we kissed, the top of her robe fell open and her small breasts were free for my inspection.

"Beautiful!" I said.

"My husband used to call them tiny titties," she replied with some embarrassment.

"What the hell does he know?" I asked. "He let a beautiful woman get away from him. "You have the best breasts of any girl I've ever been with," I assured her and I thought she was going to cry.

As I kissed and ravished her breasts, a flood of old memories returned and I felt a surge of passion. The old longing for her was back and was it was growing as we worked together, exploring new aspects of our relationship.

For years, I had waited to get "below the waist' and now it appeared that I was finally going to get there as my hand moved inside her robe and across her belly. I pulled the robe strap open and the robe opened to expose her hairy mound, something I had waited years to see. I felt her stiffen and then as I hesitated she relaxed and her genital area was mine to explore as she removed the robe totally and fell back on the bed.

My fingers moved over her labia and parted her pubes and I felt the soft smooth inner flesh of her vestibule which was already slick with her fluids.

"Do me now!" She begged. "Please, do it! I'm so hot!" Bess cried out and I was surprised by the suddenness and honestly of her needs and wants.

But I was also driven by my needs. They were urgent now so I removed my boxers and moved over her into the classical position for intercourse. As I hovered over her I suddenly felt uncertainty.

"Are you ready for this?" I asked, remembering all those times she resisted me and denied me 'below the waist.'

"Just do it. . .NOW!"

I pressed my cock into her well prepared vagina. All these years I had waited, anticipated, lost hope, and now I was fulfilling my dream only it was so much more than I had anticipated back in high school! More than the physical act I was seeking back then, her precious total essence was mine now as mine was hers!

As I felt my cock touch her cervix, I stopped and remained motionless and then I kissed her on the lips and our eyes met. We remained silent as we communicated with our eyes and bodies and reveled in the sensations we were receiving from each other. "You do me so well," she said.

"That's because of the encouragement I get from you," I told her. "Did I ever tell you what a beautiful heart and soul you have to go along with that gorgeous body?"

As we lay there fully joined I knew that this was the woman I wanted for the rest of my life and after a time we began to move in a perfect synchronous coital motion as though driven and coordinated by some unseen force that brought pleasure. Unhurried at first as we explored and familiarized ourselves with each other, our needs and desires gradually grew in their urgency and intensity until we were acting on instinct alone.

It was wonderful. . . the best! Then, in a crescendo of conflicting feelings, emotions and thoughts we peaked together as my cock delivered its spurts of semen into her depths. We kissed and drew each other into a tight embrace. Then, as the last of my spurts entered her belly, we lay hugging each other as we enjoyed the intimacy that follows good sex.

As the peace and contentment settled over us, we loosened our grips on each other and I started to roll off of her but she grabbed me. "Stay where you are."

So I lay on top of her as we embraced each other and nestled together.

"Was it worth waiting all these years for? Bess asked quietly after a while.

"I'm only sorry we hadn't done this sooner."

"It was more special this way," Bess determined. "It means more now."

"Yes, it does," I agreed.

"But we're still under no obligation. . ." she started to say.

"The hell we're not," I cut her off. "I want to see where this relationship takes us. You're very special and unique and I don't want to lose you this time."

I felt my flaccid cock begin to rise again where it was still embedded in Bess's love canal. She felt it too as we both began to respond with delight.

An hour later, we lay exhausted in the bed. "I hope this works out for us," Bess said quietly. "We have no idea where this relationship's going to take us."

I quit my job and went to work for Bess, managing one of the smaller businesses in South County. She finished rehabbing the house and I moved in. A year later, we married. We still cuddle close in bed at night and make slow familiar love and I think Bess is content with where our relationship is taking us! I know I am!