However Long It Lasts!
"When are you going to spend the night with me?" he asked a few weeks later as they sat in front of a blazing fire in his living room.
"When do you want me?"
"Now - tonight."
"Tonight? Oh," she sighed.
"Tonight?" he whispered, his mouth close to her ear. I need to do more than kiss you, more than touch you, PJ. I want to make love to you. Will you let me?"
"Will you let me touch you, love you, too?"
"I'm counting on it," his voice husky with desire and need and a growing feeling that this was just the beginning of something far more wonderful than either of them had imagined.
He carried her into the bedroom and closed the door so the dogs couldn't interrupt them. He kissed her gently and continued to hold her when they were in his bed. "I'm going to undress you, PJ. Is that okay?"
"Yes, but you have to let me undress you, too."
He didn't answer her, his hands roaming over her back and hips and then they were cupping her face and he was kissing her and couldn't seem to stop. When he let her up for air, his fingers slid the buttons of her blouse open, the tips brushing her soft skin. His mouth was at her throat when the fabric dropped from her shoulders and her little gasps of pleasure pleased him more than he had expected.
"I need to touch you," PJ sighed, her body's needs long dormant, now immediately responding. "Let me."
"Soon," he replied, his mouth trailing down the center of her chest, a hand reaching behind her back to unsnap her bra. She arched her back to help him and in moments, his kisses were setting her on fire.
"Is this good?"
"Hmmm," was all she could manage.
"How about this?" he asked as he moved south and then north again to catch each nipple in turn. "Do you like this?"
"Yes," she whispered, reveling in the moment, hugging it to herself, certain it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. "I want more."
Smiling at her blossoming passion, he made short work of her slacks, his hands unzipping, opening, tugging at them until they were history. His mouth followed in rapid succession, burning her skin with hot kisses, a swift flick of his tongue, her body demanding more.
When his fingers stroked her soft petals... pressed... when his mouth caressed and laved and adored... She soared, struggled to breathe, was swept away and savored a newfound sweetness in his arms.
"Come back to me, little one."
"I need a breath, maybe two and then it's my turn."
He gave her his breath, his mouth covering hers, his tongue teasing and giving her a taste of herself.
And when her pulse slowed and breathing was natural, she turned to him and touched the hardness that had been pressing into her belly.
"My turn," she murmured.
He was floored. Stunned speechless, he barely breathed while her hands found him, opened his trousers, exposed his manhood, and lay her cheek on him. And then she rubbed her face back and forth over his lower belly and groin and then kissed the length of him.
And then she stopped.
And moved up to bare his chest and when she did, he groaned at the heat her kisses generated. He was hard and needed more than kisses and demanded that she stop kissing him, and when she did, he urged her to continue. Unable to take more teasing or slow the momentum of his body's needs, he turned her onto her back, probed and entered the damp hot place he had desired for so long.
And then he loved her. In all ways, his hands, his mouth, his body adored hers and he knew then that this was just their beginning.
In the weeks that followed, he loved her fully, her body responding to his touch, his body teased by her hands and mouth before he entered her. Their exploration of each other was heightened by her lack of vision, other senses deepened as they used their hands and fingers and the continuous sweet slide of skin on skin.
They jogged together regularly, mostly on weekends but sometimes during the week if he didn't have early appointments. They had a routine; he'd come over for coffee, drive her to the jogging trail and afterward, they'd eat breakfast at his house. On this particular morning, she was still in bed.
"What's wrong?" he asked as he sat on the side of her bed, her assistant, Dana, discreetly leaving them alone.
"Intestinal stuff. It happens sometimes. I just have to suffer through it till the meds kick in. It won't last too long."
"Ahhh, you ate something wonderful without sharing it?" he teased as he gently pulled her into his arms.
"Don't make me laugh. It hurts when I laugh."
"Should I rub your tummy?" he whispered, slipping his hand under her pajama top, his warm palm beginning to circle her smooth flesh.
PJ smiled, the idea that a corporate CEO was rubbing her tummy tickled her funny bone. "I wonder what your staff would think if they could see you now."
Carl chuckled. "If you tell anyone, I'll have to kill you."
"You've told me that once before," she reminded him.
"Then, you'd better keep my secrets."
PJ snuggled closer to him. "If I promise not to tell, will you keep rubbing?"
He laughed softly, pulled her a little closer and kissed her brow and then her eyelids.
Between the rubbing and the cuddling and the medicine she took, she fell asleep. Carl made himself comfortable on top of her bed and stayed beside her, holding her and gazed at her sleeping face. He didn't know exactly when it happened, but this little bit of a woman had wiggled her way into his life and soon meant more to him than anything else.
He had never been a "ladies man," but he had never lacked for female company, either. Work had always come first in his life; it had consumed him. Building a business, making it profitable and keeping it that way satisfied him like no other endeavor. Then he met PJ and his life changed. Spending time with her became as important to him as his work. Then without notice, his heart knocked twice and life before PJ seemed temporary; with her, it was filled with unlimited joy.
"You're still here?" she murmured when she woke more than an hour later, feeling the warmth of him by her side. "What are you doing?" she asked as she reached to touch his face.
"Watching you sleep. How's the tummy?" His hand had remained on her torso as she slept and now that she was awake, he slid it up toward her breasts and then slowly down to her navel, back and forth.
"Yes, much better but hungry. Are you hungry?"
"Very hungry," he whispered as his mouth roamed over her face and his hand paused to cup her breast, an urgent thumb stroking her nipple.
"Oh," she moaned. "That kind of hunger."
"Mmm," he hummed, his hand finding its way to the waistband of her pajama pants, slipping under it to run his fingers through her silky curls. Probing further, he cupped her vulva, letting one finger escape to tease the soft tissue between her labia - lingering on the center of the sensitive bundle of nerves - pressing lightly - then circling and teasing her there.
"Carl, please don't tease me," her breathing quicker now.
"I love to tease you," he replied, kissing. "And I love loving you; you're so soft and sweet."
"Are you going to love me now?"
"Do you want me to?"
"Oh yes, please. Please love me now."
A few days later, Carl took an early morning phone call regarding several international contracts that were pending. Without missing a beat, he told his secretary to make travel arrangements for an extended out-of-town trip.
"And be sure to call Pirco Jameson and let her know I'll be away for a couple of weeks. I don't want to call her at this early hour and I don't know if I'll be able to reach her once I'm at my destination."
Carl's secretary called. PJ's assistant, Dana, answered the phone but his secretary didn't know there was a "Dana," thought she had the wrong number and hung up without relaying the message.
PJ didn't see Carl every day but she was used to talking to him regularly. After a few days of not hearing from him, she was starting to feel rejected. He had given her so much confidence in herself. He had made her feel like the most special woman on earth. Was she wrong? Was he tired of her?
She needed to know.
With a great deal of trepidation, she called his office. The receptionist had the standard answers to questions strangers made when they wanted to talk to the company's CEO.
"He's unavailable at the moment. May I take a message?"
With tears stinging her eyes, PJ hung up the phone, positive that Carl has said goodbye without saying goodbye. It was the lowest point of her life, more crushing than losing her sight.
Anger, then deep hurt and humiliation filled her. Whatever made me think there was more to us than sex? Jogging and sex, that's all it was. He felt sorry for me. I'm just who I've always been - a woman with good legs, two handsome dogs and... blind.
Feeling a need to burn off excess energy, she called her dogs and told Dana she was going to take a brief walk. "Be careful," was the admonition.
With one hand on Ivan's collar, she walked one of the many wooded paths near her home. Briskly, at first, and then as her legs warmed up and her anger rose to the surface, she walked faster. Ivan was happy to increase the speed and Emma Rose trotted behind her. And then she set a jogging pace and when that wasn't enough, she ran. At top speed, she ran... and fell.
It was close to a week later before she woke up, hospitalized, her arm in a cast, her head wrapped in bandages.
The first thing Carl did when he arrived back on American soil was call PJ. All his overseas calls had been monitored by a foreign government and he didn't want anyone knowing about PJ. He didn't want his personal life involved in any way with the contract negotiations. It wasn't a security issue or a fear for her safety. It was just plain paranoia but he didn't care. There was work and there was PJ and he didn't want that mixed up.
Dana answered the phone and when she realized it was Carl, she hung up on him.
"What the hell?"
Instead of going straight to his office, he directed his driver to take him to PJ's house and when he knocked on the door, an angry Dana answered it.
"How dare you! How dare you show your face here? What the hell is the matter with you? Do you think she's dispensable just because she's blind? Do you think you can treat her like she's just one more woman to... to... What do you do? Love 'em and leave them? You're despicable!"
He wasn't sure if he was more stunned at the diatribe thrown in his face or the door that slammed before he could utter a word. But his temper boiled at this treatment and he banged on the door.
"Open this door now! What the hell is going on? Dana, I'm warning you! If you don't open this door, I'll break it down."
"You have a hell of a lot of nerve coming here," the young woman yelled. "Where have you been? Did you know she's in the hospital? Do you even care?"
"Hospital? Why? What happened?"
He rushed to the hospital, adrenaline surging, bile on the back of his tongue. Dana's explanation had been brief - PJ had been jogging and fell.
"I didn't plan on seeing you again." Her words were softly spoken and just a little guarded when he took her hand in his when he whispered her name.
"I... you've called me every day since we met, even on the days when we were together. Then out of the blue, I didn't hear from you. At first," and her voice faltered, "I thought you were in an accident or some other awful thing had happened. I... I called your office. They said you weren't available to speak to me. I thought maybe that was your way of saying goodbye without going through a whole long-winded explanation and... and..."
He shook his head, her explanation told him more than she realized. Her feeling of self-worth had been severely diminished and yet, she still had the courage to tell him what she was feeling.
"PJ," he whispered, the ache in his voice matching the one in his heart. "I need to hold you. Will I hurt you if I pick you up?"
"I... you want to hold me?"
"Yes," he said with assurance. "I want to hold you." Without allowing time for her to protest, he lifted her gently and both hearts knocked as he held her close to his chest.
"I have missed you so much," his voice tinged with hunger and regret. "I left town unexpectedly at an ungodly hour. I didn't want to wake you, I thought my secretary would know to call you but for some reason, there was a mixup in communication and she didn't reach you. I never meant to hurt you. Please believe me. I want to be with you. I need to be with you. You've become so important in my life."
His arms gave her more confidence, the warmth of his body touching hers firing her courage and giving her hope. "I was sure you gave up on me. It can't be any fun being with someone who's always bumping into things, can't enjoy all the things a sighted person can. I was sure that..."
"Do you remember that time I threatened to warm your backside? It was back when we were first getting to know each other. You made a remark about how you thought I'd be embarrassed by your lack of vision. Do you remember?"
She nodded her head, her face turned to his chest and sighed in remembrance. He had been angry then and he was on the verge of anger now.
"Well," she said softly. "Not being able to see has one distinct advantage."
"What's that?" he asked in a milder tone.
"I can't see you glare when you're mad at me."
His hand connected - once - a firm stroke to her backside but it was accompanied by his laughter, then he became somber. "Tell me about the bandages and the accident that put you here."
"I was running and I fell."
"Running? By yourself? Not walking briskly?"
"I was so hurt that I hadn't heard from you," she confessed. "I felt abandoned. It was almost like the time I woke up and discovered I was blind. I... I had to get rid of my energy and I was angry with you, with me, with everyone. I took Ivan and Emma Rose and we ran. And I tripped and fell and here I am."
"As soon as you're well enough to go home, I'm going to warm your backside." His words were spoken matter-of-factly and in a calm manner but there was no doubt he meant what he said.
"Really. Now why are there so many bandages around your eyes?"
"The doctors weren't sure if there was any more damage so they covered my eyes to protect them from... I don't know what but they should be coming off soon. Will you really spank me?"
"Probably, but I'll make love to you, too. God, PJ. I've missed touching you, holding you. I want to make love to you. Does this room have a lock for that door?"
Her laughter lightened his heart and the feel of his arms around her lightened hers. "I can't wait for you to take me home and love me again. Are you really happy to see me?"
"That does it; you're definitely getting spanked," he murmured as his lips found hers.
A week later, he held her hand when the doctor came in to remove her bandages. "Your vision may have improved a little allowing you to see images a little clearer sometimes," the doctor said. "But I want to warn you that your vision could also be a whole lot worse and you may have lost what little acuity you had. If that happens, the outward appearance of your eyes will, in all likelihood, also begin to deteriorate. Do you understand?"
PJ couldn't speak; she only nodded but was so grateful that Carl was holding her hand.
"I'm going to take the bandages off," the doctor said again. "Keep your eyes closed until you're ready to open them."
Within seconds, her tears flowed, but she was smiling. "There's light through my eyelids," she gasped. "There's light. I can see light."
"Open your eyes," Carl said as he palmed her cheek and turned her face toward him. "Open your eyes, PJ."
She blinked her lids, opened them and swallowed hard at the blur of images that bounced across her lens. And then her mind registered a spectrum of greys... some whites... and by the grace of God, the most handsome face in all of the world was looking back at her.
"Carl" was all she said.
He smiled and then he hugged her for all he was worth. "You can see me."
There were no promises that her vision would last. It could fade within hours or days or months. It might last forever. It didn't matter to either of them. He loved her and she loved him and for however long they had on this earth, they had each other.