After what felt like a week, Clint looked at the handsome Seiko watch on his wrist and realized he’d spent more time in this mall than he had in all malls in his entire life combined. He thought he’d learned his lesson the first time he took his daughter shopping and vowed never again after a two-hour marathon which she thought was unbearably short! Kara could spend the entire day looking through a single’s mall shops and stores. Like most men, Clint never shopped. When he needed jeans, he’d go straight to the store, pick up a pair in his size, and leave.
Six hours. That’s how long they’d spent looking, trying things on, putting them back, trying on other things, paying for them, and traipsing around every store in this oversized shoebox. The only bright spot was a 20-minute break for lunch in the noisy food court. Sheesh. He was old was all he could think. Well, other than that he was exhausted and sick of shopping.
As they carried the armloads of new stuff to his car, the pain of so much shopping was offset by the pleasant, almost non-stop chatter coming from Lauren. He’d never seen her so happy and so….confident. Once the Novocain wore off, she hadn’t stopped smiling and Clint had to admit that was another big plus. Her smile was now perfect and she was simply amazing. Okay, so maybe the day had been a net positive rather than as bad as he’d thought. At least he’d spent the day with Lauren, right?
Clint was barely able to reach into his pocket and hit the remote to unlock the car due to all the stuff he was carrying. The trunk popped open and Lauren unloaded her armfuls of bags and hangars with cellophane wrappers as Clint stood there waiting for her to notice he needed help. “Oh, I’m sorry! Here. Let me get the door for you.” She moved in between him and the car and opened the back door allowing Clint to start unloading. “Hey! Careful. That dress is expensive!” she teased—kind of.
“Thanks for reminding me,” he teased back—kind of. He didn’t even want to think about the total amount they’d spent. They? What they? Actually, he meant that he’d spent. He smiled again when he thought how genuinely excited she’d been every time he signed a credit card receipt for some new item. Money most definitely couldn’t buy happiness but on days like this one, it came awfully close and he didn’t really care what the bottom line was in terms of dollars. His bottom line was seeing the new love of his life so happy. He was still smiling as he walked Lauren around to the passenger’s side and opened her door.
“What’s so funny?” she Escort asked.
“Funny? No. Nothing’s funny. I’m just so glad to see you so happy. That’s all.”
“Well, I am happy. I’m very happy!” Lauren’s eyes met his and she threw her arms around his neck again and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy in all my life. Thank you, Clint.” Before he could respond, she kissed him—on the cheek—then ducked inside the car. Another kiss on the cheek. Once again, he had that empty feeling inside that had had gnawed at him so deeply earlier in the day.
The feeling passed when Lauren slid all the way over next to him and put her head on his shoulder. Clint started the car and put his arm around her and headed for home.
“I feel like watching a move tonight,” Lauren announced during dinner. “What kind of DVDs do you have?”
Clint wasn’t much of a movie guy and honestly didn’t know what was in the house. “Well, to tell you the truth, I’m not really sure. Why don’t you take a look around Kara’s room and see what you can find. I know she had a bunch of movies. If you find something you like, I’ll watch it with you.”
Lauren had never been in Kara’s room before. It seemed somewhere between a forbidden zone and a room you just didn’t go into out of respect. “Are you sure it’s okay for me to go into your daughter’s room? We could just go to a theater or something instead.”
Her ever-present concern always touched him. Clint assumed she’d learned that from having to essentially care for her late father from such an early age. Regardless of where it came from, it always charmed him. “No. It’s fine, Lauren. Go ahead and look around.”
“Okay. If you’re sure. What would you like me to wear for you tonight, Mr. Pierce? I have so many new possibilities, you know,” she said playfully.
“I think you’d look great in any of them. Why don’t you surprise me?”
“That hardly seems fair. I’m choosing the movie and the new outfit. Don’t you have a favorite?”
“Well, sure. I mean, I liked everything you chose but I particularly liked the navy blue sweater and jeans.”
“Done! That was easy. Now why did I think you’d want to see me in the little black dress?” Lauren was positively radiant. Her large, doe eyes were set off by a perfect smile and this new confidence was very appealing.
About an hour later, Lauren snuck up behind Clint where he was setting in the large sofa in front of the huge flatscreen TV in the living room. “Close your eyes,” she said. He could hear her move around the couch and Escort Bayan in front of him. “Okay. Open!”
Clint gasped involuntarily. “Oh, my goodness. Lauren, you look amazing!” He wasn’t just flattering her. She’d washed and styled her hair with the new curling iron and it now long and full with a soft wave which framed her oval face. He’d never seen her wear makeup before and he was simply stunned at how beautiful her eyes were with a bit of shadow and some mascara. She cleaned up her once-bushy brows and was sporting a coat of lip gloss on her full lips. Before he could say anything else, the scent of her perfume hit him. He felt physically dazed. He sat there for a moment taking her in then realized he hadn’t felt that kind of stirring in a very, very long time.
“Wow. I don’t know what else to say. You are truly beautiful.”
“Thank you, Clint and that’s more than enough–for now at least,” Lauren told him while showing off her new smile. He was so taken by her beautiful face he hadn’t noticed how great her body looked. The sweater hugged her slim figure and the jeans showed off her great-looking ass. In a word, she was hot. His generation said “fox” or “babe” but somehow hot seemed more appropriate as he felt warm all over.
“So how about this?” Lauren asked holding up the DVD cover to Sleepless in Seattle.
“Looks good to me. I haven’t seen it so this should be fun.”
“You haven’t seen Sleepless in Seattle and you live in Seattle? What in the world is wrong with you Clint Pierce? This is a romantic classic.”
Clint didn’t feel like explaining why he hadn’t had any interest in romantic movies or even romance for that matter for the last two years. Instead, he just told Lauren to pop it in and have a seat.
She put the DVD in the Blu-Ray’s disk tray then said, “Okay. We have to have popcorn if we’re going to watch a movie. Please tell me you have popcorn in the pantry.”
Clint thought for a moment then said, “If you look on the top shelf I’m pretty sure there’s a box of microwave popcorn right there.”
In less than three minutes, Lauren came in with a bowl of hot microwave popcorn in a large bowl. She also brought in two Diet Cokes and sat them on the coasters on the table in front of them. She handed Clint the bowl then plopped down right next to him.
For the next 30 minutes, they watched the movie, munched popcorn, and exchanged comments about Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. “She’s just so cute!” Lauren said as she grabbed a few pieces of popcorn.
“No cuter than you, Bayan Escort sweetie,” Clint said as he also grabbed another handful.
“Am I cute enough to attract an older man?” she asked rather seriously.
“Uh, you are more than cute enough to do that. Why do you ask? Is there some older man in particular you have in mind?” Clint’s heart was pounding as she rested her head on his broad shoulders. Between the smell of her hair and her perfume, his cock was rock hard with anticipation.
“Just wondering,” she said as she popped another kernel into her mouth. Then she added, “And yes. There is someone special I’d love to have ask me out.”
Clint was reaching to put his arm around her. He was determined to by-God kiss her this time. Just as he lifted up his massive arm, the phone rang. “Damn it all to hell!” he thought to himself. Who could be calling him at nine o’clock? He excused himself to get up and answer the phone making sure to keep his back to Lauren so she couldn’t see the bulge in his jeans. “Hello? Oh, sure. Hey doc. No, she’s doing just fine. We had quite a day, though. I now know more about The Southcenter Mall than I ever cared to find out. Yeah, sure. She’s here. Hold on.”
Clint brought the cordless phone to Lauren and said, “It’s Dr. Hansen. He’s calling to see how you’re doing after the procedure today.” He smiled and winked at her as he handed her the phone. He just couldn’t stop staring at this young woman and he couldn’t wait to tell her he felt the same about her.
“Hello? Yes! No, I’m doing just fine, thank you. No, nothing hurts. Well, except for my mouth from smiling so much! Uh, huh. Really? Yes!!! I’d love to! When? Okay, sure. That sounds great! Thank you so much, Rick. I’ll see you then.”
Lauren handed the phone back to Clint. “You were right. I am cute enough to attract and older man! I was just sitting here daydreaming about him asking me out when the phone rang. Rick just asked me to have dinner with him tomorrow night! Isn’t that wonderful, Clint?” Lauren was absolutely beaming with happiness.
Clint took the phone, turned away from her, and forced himself to say, “Yes. That’s great news.” He hung up the phone and stood there for a moment as waves of emotion flooded over him. He was so overwhelmed he couldn’t even describe everything he was feeling. Hurt. Sadness. Frustration. Maybe even anger? How could she repay him like this? How could he have so misread her? How could he be that foolish?
Clint barely spoke two words the rest of the movie. Even when Lauren asked, “What’s wrong?” he only said ‘nothing’ in more than a whisper. When she hugged him goodnight, he didn’t even put his arms around her. He just mumbled, “Good night, Lauren,” and headed off to his empty king-sized bed alone—again—as usual.