This site provides the first few chapters for free so you can decide if you like the story before buying the book. MATURE CONTENT: These sample chapters contain sexual temptations, discussions, and some sexual terms in descriptions of the main character's private thoughts. Later parts of the book (not in these free sample chapters) include sexually-explicit scenes between husband and wife and one scene of moderate violence.

Chapter 5

…flying… wind blowing on my face, rushing though my hair… at the front of the Titanic, leaning out, but I feel safe because Charles has his arm firmly around my waist… I have a ring on my finger again… but it’s the first time I’m really happy… with a man… I’m looking into your eyes, Charles… I want to see you… I want feel you…

Susan laid on her side hugging her extra pillow. She felt the pillow with one hand, then reached across the bed, feeling nothing else but her cover.

Charles? “Charles?”

In a few moments, her dreams vanished as she became fully awake. She took a deep breath as she opened her eyes and noticed the strong sunlight coming in through her window, then gasped. What time is it?!

She quickly turned and looked at her bedside clock. Seven thirty -three… and I have to be at work at… uh… eleven today.

She relaxed and settled down into her pillow. Guess I forgot to set the alarm last night. Last night! What a night! I danced! With Charles!

The circumstances that led to her chilled shower also came back to mind. What was that verse…? “If they can’t control themselves, they should marry?”

Her mind leapt back to their parting kiss in the car, and his hand on her breast. Did you do that on purpose Charles? I don’t know, but you sure did get my motor running… We’re going to need to be more careful until we’re married, Mr. Parker. Parker? Susan Parker… ooo, I like that! In fact I like that much better than Susan Taggart or Susan Towns. Well, Charles hasn’t proposed yet…Will you, Charles? You said that now that I’ve been in your arms you don’t ever want to let me go… Did you mean it? Doesn’t that mean you want to marry me? Surely it does… but when will you ask me? How long will we need to date before you ask me to marry you? Am I ready for that question…? I was ready last night, but I was all emotional…

Susan closed her eyes again. Mrs. Susan Parker… mmm… that sounds perrrrfect.

A moment later she rose up on her elbows in panic. Call! What time did we say… Nine? Yes, nine.

She looked at her clock again and sighed as her shoulder muscles relaxed. Seven thirty-five. How am I going to wait until nine?! I could call you… ohh, shoot, I gave you my phone number, but I didn’t get yours!

Throwing back the cover, she got up and went to the commode. Don’t need a shower this morning since I had one right before bed. Set a speed record yesterday morning, now I need to set a record for how long it takes me to get going. Well, Bible study and prayer will be a good way to fill the time. Maybe he’ll just come over at nine instead of calling first!

Susan finished in the bathroom and got dressed, choosing dark brown slacks with matching flats and a loose fitting top with buttons half way down. The top was light-brown, made of a coarse-weave, and accented with cream-colored lacey patches. She made up her bed and ate breakfast, trying unsuccessfully not to think about how very long it was until nine o’clock.

By nine, Susan was seated at her kitchen table trying to keep focused on a Bible passage while idly toying with her cell phone with one hand. Promptly at nine, her cell phone rang and she flipped it open to answer. “Aha!”

“Aha?” replied the now familiar voice.

“I gave you my phone number, but you didn’t give me yours. But now that you’ve called me, I have your number in my call-history! So… aha!”

“Well, I’m just glad you want my number. Did you get a good night’s sleep?”

“Oh, yes, wonderful,” she enthused. “And you? Any permanent damage to your feet?”

“I had a little trouble getting to sleep… but not because of my feet! And I slept well once I got to sleep,” Charles added, “so my feet and I are ready again anytime you are!”

Susan’s words rushed out. “Would you like to come over now? Have you had breakfast? I’d be happy to fix something for you…”

“Well, I’ve already eaten. I’ve been awake for a long time.”

I wish you had called me earlier then!

“And… I was wondering, would you mind if I took a look at your car… to see if I can fix it?”

“Oh, you know something about cars?”

Charles chuckled. “A little bit. And I’m pretty sure it’s not as bad as that dealership told you. Transmissions don’t prevent engines from starting.”

But I can’t afford anything to get it fixed! My house has to come first, and I can’t even get caught up on those payments!

“You’re hesitant?” Charles asked.

“I… it’s just… I really can’t afford any expenses to fix it. Oh, I don’t mean… I’m not trying to… what I mean is, I don’t want you putting your money into it either!” I may not be earning much, but it’s more than you are right now. “Besides, it may not even be worth fixing.”

“Uh-huh… uh-huh. Well, I don’t have much else to do, so I’d at least like to take a look at it, if you don’t mind.”

“Well, if you promise not to be disappointed if you can’t do anything with it.” Susan said. That was the wrong thing to say. The big guy needs to feel useful, especially since he’s out of work.

“Well, a second opinion would be very much appreciated,” Susan added, “if it’s not too much of an imposition.” I guess it’s safe to let him tinker with it. Besides, it already doesn’t work, so he can’t make it any worse.

“Okay, great! Charles’ voice sounded much happier. “How about if I swing by about ten-thirty, and you can take my car to work and back. Then I can look your car over while you’re at work.”

We won’t get to visit before I go to work?! “Oh… okay… and thank you…” That will keep you busy while I’m working, but couldn’t you come over now instead?

“And what about after you get off work? May I take you out to dinner tonight?”

Now you’re talking! Oh, wait… “I’d love to, Charles, but you need to watch your spending. How about if I cook for us tonight?”

“Okay, beautiful lady, that’d be great!”

Beautiful lady?! That sounded corny, but I loved it anyway. You must be the only guy in the world who thinks so, but you’re the only one whose opinion I care about.

“Oh, and Susan, do you work tomorrow morning?”

“Oh, no, I don’t work on Sundays at all.”

“Well, um, I’ve only been in town a little while, and I haven’t found a good Church, yet… and I was wondering… if you’d mind if I visited your Church?”

Oh, wow! That’s… that’s… “That would be wonderful, Charles! I’d love that! Worshipping God next to the man I love… the man I hope to marry… what could be better than that?!

“Oh, great! Thank you! I, uh… I’ll really be looking forward to that.”

“Oh, me, too!” He sounds relieved. Does he get as nervous about seeing me as I get about seeing him? Uh-oh. Should I tell him about my Church duty? Mm… maybe I could wait about that…

There was a brief silence before Charles carried on. “Well, then, I’ll see you in an hour or so, and then dinner tonight!”

“Okay, Charles, I’ll see you then!”

A few goodbye’s later, they finally hung up. Now what am I going to do? Another hour to wait… oh, phooey, I should have asked you to come over now. We’ll only be able to talk a few minutes before I have to go to work.

Susan pouted before bouncing up and getting a dust cloth and spray. This will keep me busy and help me make a better impression. If he’s the kind of guy who notices things like dust… or the lack thereof.

Susan saved dusting the living room for last, so she could be looking out the picture window at ten-thirty. Despite dusting slowly, she was on her second round, dusting small keep-sakes this time, as ten-thirty turned into ten-thirty-five and beyond. Worried thoughts had started intruding when she finally spotted Charles’ sports car pulling into her driveway, magnifying the relief and joy she now felt.

She watched and waited impatiently as Charles got out, then unhurriedly went around to the trunk of his car and opened it.

Susan was now bouncing on her toes. Ooo, what are you doing? Come in!

Charles removed something from the car and shut the trunk and as he came around its corner, she saw that it was two cases. Hmm. Both the wrong shape for brief cases… oh, something for working on cars, perhaps?

He looked in the window and smiled, and Susan waved excitedly before remembering she was standing there holding a dust cloth. Oh, no… she thought as she ran toward the kitchen, grabbing the can of dust spray and putting them back in their cabinet.

Just then the doorbell rang. “Oh, no!” I forgot the door’s locked! She ran back to the front door, unlocked it and threw it open.

Susan stood in the doorway beaming at Charles and gave a breathless sigh. “Finally…! I’m so glad to see you again!”

Charles stood there with his cases on the porch by his feet, and he didn’t move as he gazed at her from head to toe before centering his attention on her face. His eyebrows slowly went up.

“Well, aren’t you going to come inside?”

He still didn’t move, or speak.

Susan laughed merrily and tilted her head. “I promise I won’t step on your feet…!”

This time she waited as she could see he was struggling for words.

“You… look… stunning.”

Oh, wow! You’ve done it again! Susan instinctively blushed and bowed her head slightly. She spoke more softly, “Thank you, Charles. I… I’m glad you think so.”

Perking up again, she pulled one side of her shirt tail out to the side as she curtsied slightly and waved an arm to usher him in. “Now please grace my humble abode by actually coming inside,” she said with her eyes twinkling.

Charles finally bent his knees and picked up his cases without taking his eyes off Susan. Then he just stood in the foyer, still lost in her eyes. “I, uh…”

“What’s in your cases?”

Charles blinked, then looked down as he hefted the cases. “Oh, yeah, these. Tools. These are tools.”

Susan laughed again, and Charles seemed all the more dumbstruck. Me Jane, you Tarzan, you have tools. “For the car?” she offered, trying to help him recover his senses.

“Uh, yeah, for the car.”

She nodded, “Okay… well, it’s in the garage, right through the kitchen.”

He didn’t turn to look, so Susan pointed, and that finally prompted him to look away from her.

“Oh, right, the car!” He put the cases down again and got his keys and parking pass out of his pocket. “You’ll… you’ll need these.”

She accepted them and waved a hand toward the kitchen. “Well, there’s plenty of food for you to fix yourself a lunch, but I’ll want to go to the grocery store this afternoon to get some more things for supper… This will be the first time I’ve cooked for you, and I want to make something special.”

“Special? Anything you make will be special.”

“Charles…! You might want to reserve that opinion until you’ve eaten some of my cooking first.”

“Oh, may I have your car keys?”

Susan laughed again while getting her purse and giving him the keys. “I guess these would help, wouldn’t they?”

He nodded seriously. “Oh, and a house key, in case I need to leave?”

Her smile dimmed a bit. Leave…? “There’s one on the keychain with the car keys… Will you be here when I get back?” she asked hopefully.

“Oh, yes. Definitely.”

Her smile returned to its previous intensity.

“It’s just in case.” Charles said. “I wouldn’t want to leave it unlocked. Well, I could just lock myself out, and then walk down to the coffee shop.”

“Well, there’s no need for that. You have both keys…”

He jingled the keys while nodding, gazing at her once again.

“It… this… was my parents’ house. I inherited it… a long time ago.”

Charles looked at her seriously. “I’ll treat it with the utmost respect.”

“Thank you,” she said while fidgeting. “Well… I guess I’d better get to work,” she said taking a step closer.

Charles barely managed a nod.

Well…? You don’t look like you’re quite yourself… but… I really would like a good-bye kiss…

Charles didn’t move.

Well… Susan closed the gap and planted a kiss on Charles’ lips.

Two loud thuds surprised her and she jumped back a step. Charles had dropped both cases.

Susan laughed and started toward the door, then paused. “Charles… are you going to be okay?”

“Yeah. Yes. Sure, of course,” he replied taking a step toward her.

“Well, I’ve got to go. Help yourself to anything in the kitchen…” she said on her way out, “and I’ll see you this afternoon! Call me if you need me!”

She pulled the door shut behind her, and a minute later, she was driving away in his car.

Susan got off work promptly at three and drove straight home, happily wondering what Charles was up to. As she got close to her house, she could see him relaxing on the front porch with the door wide open. She felt festive as she parked his car and hopped out.

“Hi, Charles!”

“Hi, Susan!”

She bounced over to the porch and sat down, and he offered her a glass of iced tea as he took a sip of his own.

“Thanks!” she said and tasted it. “Mmm. Delicious…!”

“Good day at work?”

“Pretty good. But I could hardly wait to get home!”

“I’ve been a little excited myself,” he said with a mischievous grin.

“Oh? And why are you looking like the cat that ate the canary?”

“I’ll tell you over dinner.”

“Oooh… trying to test my patience?” she asked. “I can go ahead and tell you I don’t have much.”

“Well, about our dinner plans…” he looked directly at her now. “I really am looking forward to trying your cooking… but if trying to help me save money was your primary reason… I’ve come up with a different plan, if you think you’d like it.”

“Oh, so we’ll postpone the home-cooked meal? What did you have in mind?”

“I heard about a nice restaurant about a half-hour drive up the highway, looking out over Lake Douglas.”

“Oh, that sounds beautiful! Douglas Lake is a reservoir they made when they dammed up the French Broad River.”

“Oh, so you’ve been there?” he asked with a slight drop in enthusiasm.

“No, I never have…”

Charles brightened up again.

“Isn’t that sad?” she said. “I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve never been to Douglas Lake.”

“Well… would you like to go tonight? Perhaps we could eat here tomorrow night?”

You have ‘hope’ written all over your face! “I’d love to, if you’re sure you can afford it.” I can’t say no to you, Charles, and it does sound nice… even though I was really looking forward to a quiet night at home with you.

The reason for Susan’s cold shower the night before popped back into her head. Hmm, perhaps it’s too dangerous to stay home tonight, anyway. Oops… what did he just say? “I’m sorry, Charles, my mind drifted. What did you say?”

“I said I thought you might like to drive on the highway again. It’s far enough to really feel the drive, but not so far that we’ll get tired of driving.”

Susan giggled. “Are you sure you don’t mind? Obviously you enjoy driving it too, or you wouldn’t have bought it in the first place.”

“Ah, but I have an ulterior motive… I’d do anything to keep a smile on your face!”

“Oh, well…” You’re really good at that, Charles Parker! “In that case, I accept!” And I wish you’d lean over and kiss me! Well, once we get inside the house. That kiss this morning only whet my appetite…

“Great. I just need to make a call to confirm reservations. Oh… what time would you like to eat?”

“How about six?”

“How about if we have a snack soon and have dinner at eight?”

“Okay, but why do you want to have dinner so late when we don’t have anything else to do?”

Charles smiled again. “Well… dinner at eight would give us several hours out on the lake, and by dinner time it would be dark enough to appreciate the lights around the lake.”

You sure do have a busy, complex mind. “What did you mean by ‘out on the lake’?”

“They rent boats.”

Uh… “You mean those little paddle boats, or fishing boats…?”

“Well, they might have those, if you prefer. But no, I was thinking a power boat… a cabin cruiser, to be precise.”

“Oh! I’ve never been on a boat like that. That sounds fun!”

Charles started to dial his phone. “Okay, then, I’ll…”

“But Charles,” Susan interrupted, “won’t that be expensive? You still don’t have a job…”

He leaned over enough to pat her knee, twice. “Please don’t worry about that. I want to enjoy this afternoon with you, and at least for today, I don’t want either of us worrying about money.”

Susan missed most of his last comments. The moment his hand touched her knee, her sense of touch erupted and she felt an almost electric sensation over her entire body. Oh, dear Father, I… I could just melt right now. I… am I flushing? I haven’t had a hot flash in… how long? A year…? I… I don’t even dare look at him, I’m afraid I’d drag him into the house and climb all over him.

“Susan…? Are you okay?”

“Uh, yeah,” she said meekly, “I, uh, think I might be having a hot flash or something.” I wish you hadn’t asked. This is embarrassing.

“Can I get you anything?”

“No… no, you go ahead and call in the reservation,” she said as she stood up, “and I’ll go make us a snack to take with us.”

He jumped up. “I’ll walk you in, you look a little weak.”

I was trying to get away from you for a few minutes… She straightened up. “That’s okay, I’m feeling better already, and I need to go to the bathroom. You go ahead and make your call.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, absolutely. Thanks.”

She left him on the porch and went back to the master bathroom. Well, I really can stand to empty my bladder, so it wasn’t exactly a lie.

As she pulled her panties down, she noticed they were damp. Oh, no… it’s not as bad as last night, but this is troublesome. Am I getting incontinent? Am I going to have to start wearing panty liners again?

She pulled her pants and panties all the way off and started to throw the panties into the hamper, then paused, wondering about the moisture. Ew, I don’t want to do this…

She lifted her panties close to her nose and sniffed. Oh, that doesn’t smell like pee, that smells like sex.

Once again she started to toss the panties and stopped herself. I didn’t shut the bedroom door! I can’t get clean panties without… ooooh, rats!

She finished with the toilet and sullenly put her panties back on, then her pants. That’s gross! They feel cold and wet!

Susan quickly closed and locked the bedroom door and got some clean panties, then went back in the bathroom to swap them and wash her hands thoroughly. Definitely dangerous to get too physical… at least, for me. I wonder how Charles is handling it? Maybe it’s just my hormones being out of whack from the tail-end of menopause.

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