For two people who hadn't dated for several years, Brew and Win enjoyed several date nights over the next few months. Dinners out, movies, a trip to the art museum in Springdale, attending Bible Class together, and attending church services as a dating couple.
It was an entirely new experience for the widower to be out and about socially with the same person while Barbara enjoyed being 'courted' again. Her early stages with Matty had been mostly on line with little actual dating before she moved in with him, agreeing to pool their finances so they could live at the upscale College Park Condos.
With Edwin, it was all about getting to know each other as people and developing and growing as individuals and a dating couple with no pressure about sex (she jumped in the sack with Matty after only their second non-Facebook in person post-high school interaction).
Edwin was an excellent communicator and he was genuinely concerned with how Barbara was feeling and what she was thinking. She fought so easily with Matty when he was dismissive of her feelings that turned into fierce and quick confrontations.
Edwin was willing to talk out issues until they reached resolution and mutual satisfaction and he had sincere empathy for her concerns. It also helped that Barb didn't drink any more.
Barb appreciated the conscious effort Edwin made to be affectionate and present in their relationship. He was willing to kiss her in public, held her hand often, and he was constantly affirming her. Edwin was proud to be seen with an attractive woman and he never left her side when they were in social settings.
For the first time in her life, Barb felt accepted and understood by a man and that made her feel blissful.
Edwin had no secrets. He told Barb about his long and loving marriage with Margie. He told her all she wanted to know about his kids. He was honest about the faults of his parents and the mistakes he made along the way as a husband and parent. He was proud of his Naval Service but humble about his accomplishments. He avoided politics as best he could.
"A successful relationship requires trust in the other person, a belief in God, and plenty of nourishment," Edwin told Barb during one of their many discussions about their chances together.
"I'm all for love and adoration," Barb said teasingly.
"You've got it from me!" Edwin grinned.
"I was broken before I became whole," Barb admitted. "That allows me to have a chance for a happy healthy balanced romance."
"That's because we both want to serve each other," Edwin replied. "Through God."
"Once I shifted my focus to what might make me happy instead of accepting misery, my life turned around," Barb said with satisfaction.
Edwin was a gentleman - a widower who honored and respected his dead wife, an older man who worried about how it might look if his developing relationship with the much younger Barb followed its natural course, concerned about how his kids might react to a new woman in his life, paranoid about whether or not he could satisfy her sexually if it came to that, and conflicted about his moral and religious beliefs in conflict with temptations and wants.
Barb realized that she would need to be the one to be assertive and aggressive if a physical relationship was to ever happen. It helped that she was convinced that the Man Upstairs was the reason why she was with Edwin and she was determined to allow Win to win at his second chance romance because that's what she wanted too.
She took it slowly but she was consistent in her adoration and attention, holding Edwin's hand, rubbing his knee, rubbing herself against him in innocent but meaningful ways when they were hugging each other goodnight.
One night, Barb invited Edwin to her place to watch a movie and she made it a point to cuddle against him on the couch, holding his hand and rubbing his leg while watching the movie.
When the film was over, Barb looked into Edwin's eyes and she asked if he was attracted to her in an intimate sort of way.
"Yes," he said in a nervous mumble.
Barb took Edwin's hand and placed it on her leg and she helped him move it up and down her thigh and underneath the skirt she purposely wore.
"Why don't you spend the night?" She suggested, placing her hand on his back and giving him a gentle rub.
She heard Edwin suck in his breath so she gave him a hug for reassurance, pulling him close and kissing him on the cheek.
"Don't you think it's time?" Barb asked.
He kissed her in reply and she scooted herself into his lap, rubbing her thighs against his, again looking to his eyes before kissing him on the lips.
"Let's go into the bedroom," Barb purred.
Edwin didn't resist or argue. Barb went into the bathroom and put on a short silky nightie she had pre-staged in hopes this might happen. When she emerged from the bathroom, Edwin was sitting on the bed in his boxers and a light blue Navy Chaplain Service tee shirt that he had been wearing under the long sleeve sweater he arrived in.
He looked nervous yet hopeful and that made Barb feel ecstatic. She knew this was going to be special.
Edwin could tell from the look on Barb's face that she was serious about her seduction. She climbed across the bed and ended up sitting in his lap facing him and she gave him a passionate kiss while touching his face with the back of her hand.
Edwin returned the kiss and he slowly explored her face, hair and neck with his hands. He was surprised when he lifted up her nightie some and realized she didn't have any panties on. He saw her bare backside in the mirror behind her and the nightie hitched up far enough for him to see the tattoo on her back above her backside - a blue butterfly resting on a vine that stretched the length of her back.
"A tattoo?" He asked with surprise, breaking from their smooching and looking into her eyes.
"Back in my foolish younger years," Barb admitted, glancing over her shoulder at her reflection in the mirror. "Sorry."
"It's your body," he said.
"It's yours now if you want it," she said and he kissed her.
They ended up making love like that - her sitting in his lap facing him and it was new, different, and wonderful when she remembered how Matty would usually poke her from behind and do it whether or not she was interested.
Edwin kept staring into her eyes with a look of wonderment and adoration on his face, refusing to close them even as their passion increased. Barbara knew that Edwin was nervous about this moment and uncertain about his performance but their lovemaking seemed to go on forever.
She wanted to laugh at the realization that they weren't doing it in the missionary position for their first time which might have been more to order given his religious background and if there was any doubt that Edwin of an older age might not be able to satisfy her, that was erased when she had several orgasms, something that hadn't happened to her in many years.
Later, as they lay together under the covers, Barb cuddled close to Edwin, she looked up into his face with excitement and hope.
"How do you feel?" She asked.
"I feel that God is Good," he replied.
"Do you think we have a future together?"
"I think the Man Upstairs has already answered that question for us," Edwin let her know.
"You're My Man Upstairs," she whispered.
"One of them," Edwin agreed, kissing her forehead.