Ağu 05

Joseph’s Birthday Present

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I’d be lying to say I only visited Daniel that afternoon to congratulate him on his new job.

Certainly that was one reason. But I’m a modern woman — thanks in part to Daniel’s years of mentoring and support — and I know it’s no use in always waiting for the man to make the first move. Especially not when the man is a demure gentleman like Daniel, not to mention that he had been my boss for eight years and definitely off limits! But with him finally moving on (and me promoted to succeed him as director, but that’s beside the point), I was free at last to venture a hint or two about the feelings I’d kept bottled up for so long. So I was hoping the bottle of wine he’d invited me to his house to share wasn’t the only one we’d be opening!

But a glass of chardonnay each wasn’t nearly enough. As much as I felt my guard slipping while I shared the latest gossip about the office and how things were changing with me in charge, he remained every inch the gentleman. “Heavens, Peggy, I almost wish I’d stuck around to see you shaking the place up,” he said. “A woman in charge of the office is just what those codgers need, you know?”

“And it never would’ve happened without you, Daniel,” I said.

“Oh, stop! Peggy, you worked very hard for a very long time to get where you are. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise!”

“Thanks,” I said, and I couldn’t resist pausing for a moment to admire him across his dining room table in the afternoon sunlight. Pushing 49 if I recalled correctly — three years older than me — but he wore it well, with only a couple of extra pounds and most of his hair still there and still dark. I could only hope I looked as good to him with my own generous frame and my freshly permed and dyed hair. I was wearing a tight red skirt and a flattering white top, and feeling quite glamorous all told. “But surely you realize, Daniel, it was only when you showed up that things got any better for us ladies.”

“So I’ve heard,” Daniel said. “But I’ve always figured that was at least a little bit exaggerated?”

I shook my head as I took a long sip of my wine. We really did have Daniel to thank for putting a stop to Old Man Grotton “accidentally” brushing our breasts when we passed in the book stacks, and for putting up that stern reminder by the water cooler that locker room talk belonged in the locker room, and most of all for the fact that suddenly our applications for promotion were not invariably passed over anymore.

“Wow,” Daniel mused, as if this were news to him, which it certainly shouldn’t have been. “Just why did you stay so long if it were that bad?”

“I was in the middle of my divorce the summer you started, remember?” I said. “I was broke thanks to the lawyer’s bills and…a little shellshocked, I guess. Besides, I was also used to men treating me like that. So, thank you for providing us all with such a great example.” I took a quick breath and plowed forward. “I mean it, Daniel, you’re a hero in that place.”

“Aw, Peggy!” He grinned at me and I was sure he was letting his guard down like I’d never seen before in all that time. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were flirting with me! Especially with you looking so great in that outfit!”

And my heart skipp’d a beat! “Thank you!” I steeled myself and set my wine glass on the table. The time was right. “And as a matter of fact, Daniel…”

But my fragile resolve was shattered at the sound of the front door opening. His son Joseph, no doubt. Though my heart sank at the missed opportunity, I was delighted to get a look at Joseph. Sure enough, it was his voice floating in from the living room. “Dad?” And his well-coiffed and impeccably dressed figure appearing in the dining room doorway. “Peggy!” he said when he saw me. “Sorry, I didn’t know you were coming over today.”

“It’s been just a quick visit, to congratulate your father.” I stood up and took a moment to admire him in his tailored pants, red tie and suspenders — looking at least twice his not-quite-eighteen years — and then I ventured forth to give him a wine-soaked kiss on the cheek. “You’re too old to be shy now, Joseph, you’ve got to give me a hug,” I quipped.

“Oh…okay!” His awkward tone was nothing like his confident look, but he did as he was told.

His uncertain embrace was the closest I was going to get to being in his father’s arms for the time being, but it felt wonderful all the same. “Ohh!” I exclaimed as I enjoyed his squeeze. “You’ve grown up so much, Joseph! I hear you’re off to Amherst in the fall? I’m so proud of you!”

“Thanks, Peggy,” he said. “I hear congratulations are in order for you too? You got Dad’s old job?”

“Well deserved,” Daniel piped up. “Wouldn’t you say, Joseph?”

“Certainly! Congratulations, Peggy.”

“Thanks,” I said. “Want to join us? I’d love to hear about your last days of high school. Are you going to your prom?” I cast his father a querying look — up to him if he wanted to let Joseph drink wine, I supposed.

Daniel looked willing, but Joseph declined. “Oh, thanks, but I’ve got homework to take care pendik sınırsız escort of,” he said. “Finals coming up, you know? See you for graduation, maybe?”

“I hope it won’t be that long, Joseph,” I said, passing over in silence the fact that it was Friday. “But yes, I’d love to go to your graduation.”

“I’d love that too,” Daniel said. “Dinner about six-thirty, son?”

“Sure,” Joseph said over his shoulder, already on his way up the stairs.

“Daniel,” I asked as soon as Joseph was out of earshot. “How on earth did you talk him into dressing up like a banker for school?”

“I didn’t. He decided to do that on his own. Something about how he likes seeing girls all dressed up and fair’s fair, and how it’s time to grow up anyway.”

I couldn’t help laughing. “Eighteen going on forty, isn’t he? But then, he’s always been mature for his age. As long as I can remember, anyway.” He’d been ten when Daniel had started working with me, and I recalled a painfully shy but splendidly behaved little boy who turned up periodically at the office. Never a word out of line, and always treating everyone with respect. Of course I’d adored him like a big sister for as long as I cared to recall.

“In some ways,” Daniel allowed, sipping his wine. “I’m very proud of him all right, but honestly, Peggy, sometimes I think he’s missed out on being a teenager.”

“I cannot imagine you’d say that if you knew what it was like for most of his friends’ parents!” I pointed out.

“You’re probably right,” Daniel chuckled. “It’s just that I tend to think I didn’t set the best example.”

“Daniel, how on earth can you say that? He’s a perfect gentleman and he’s done great in school, and…I don’t understand!”

“He doesn’t seem to have much of a life outside of school,” Daniel said. “And I don’t think he’s even given any thought to dating. You’ll notice how he dodged your question about the prom.”

“Oh dear,” I said. “Did I hit a raw nerve?”

“Yes and no. I’ve asked and he says he’s got no interest in it. Maybe he really doesn’t, but I’m worried it’s more that he’s just following my lead and keeping his distance from women in general.”

I could resist no longer. “Just why do you do that, Daniel? You’re hardly over the hill, you know, and in all these years I’ve never even heard you mention a date.”

“If you knew his mother, you’d understand just fine, Peggy.”

That was Daniel’s first-ever mention of his ex-wife, and I was more than a bit taken aback by it. “I’m…I’m sorry, Daniel, I know you don’t like to talk about her.”

“It’s okay, really,” he said. “But,” he added, holding up his nearly empty wine glass, “We might need more of this. I’ll be right back.”

Returning a moment later with a refill for each of us, he continued. “It’s no great mystery what happened to Joseph’s mother. I just never told you before because you never asked. Martha and I married very young, we were both from very religious families, and I grew out of that and she didn’t. In fact, she got a lot more fanatical about gender roles and sexuality, and I didn’t like the influence she was having on Daniel. That’s why I moved here with him after we separated, and honestly, if you’re thinking I’m some super-duper feminist, that’s why I am. Because I saw what growing up oppressed did to Martha, and I didn’t want that for any other woman. And I certainly didn’t want my son growing up to think that was appropriate.”

“Oh, Daniel.” I wanted more than ever to hug him, but that was out of the question. “I’m sorry, and good job. You succeeded, that’s why I’m here now! But I’m surprised she agreed to a divorce if she was that old fashioned.”

“She didn’t,” Daniel observed drily. “She also believed in spare the rod, spoil the child. She gave Joseph a black eye once when he hit a baseball through our kitchen window. When I got home from work that night and saw what she’d done, I moved him out of the house that night and never went back. Spent a couple of weeks with friends of mine, and then we moved here. I made up my mind to teach Joseph to treat women right, but I never really got over my own experience with Martha.”

“Oh my God, Daniel!” I wanted to cry now, thinking of dear, sweet Joseph, and all at once I felt absolutely ashamed to be a woman. “I never should have brought up the prom, then, huh?”

Daniel laughed, to my pleasant surprise, but he didn’t say anything.

I hung my head. “God, I am still so sorry about that! You know, I could bring over my own prom photo to show him just how much he really didn’t miss anything! You should see it, Daniel, my hair teased every which way and my eyes peeking out from behind saucer-sized glasses, I’m in a taffeta gown in a shade of orange I don’t think they even make anymore, and my date has a mullet down to here…I can’t even remember his last name, if you can believe that!”

Daniel laughed along with me. “It’s fine, Peggy, really. I’m sure Joseph wasn’t offended. He hates dance music anyway, he be miserable if he went, I’m sure of that.” pendik yeni escort

“But if you don’t mind, Daniel, is it the memory of his mother? Is that why the poor kid hasn’t been dating? I mean, I’d have killed for a guy like him when I was his age. I don’t see how he doesn’t have girls falling all over him.”

“I think he probably does, and doesn’t notice it,” Daniel said. “And yes, what he went through with his mother probably does have something to do with it. The poor kid doesn’t know how to relate to women, and I’m so little use in helping him.”

“Oh, Daniel!” I reached across the table and took his hand in mine, and to my delight he clutched back. “Who really does know how to relate at his age? He’s only…eighteen, right?”

“He will be next month,” Daniel said. “July the seventh.”

“I don’t think anyone that age really understands love and attraction and so forth,” I mused, already trying to tamp down the deliciously evil idea that Daniel had just planted in my mind — and not quite succeeding.

“I know,” Daniel said, “But honestly, Peggy, I’m worried about him. I was hoping he’d figure out how to relate to women on his own and, well, he hasn’t.”

I couldn’t help grinning. “I could certainly talk to him about us,” I quipped.

“Thank you, Peggy, but I don’t think it’s talking he needs help with!”

I was smart enough to join in on his laugh without saying anything else — heaven knew how Daniel would react to the offer I felt like making at that moment!

“Seriously, though, Peggy, there is a way you could help with him,” Daniel said.

“I’d love to!” It was the wine talking, not me, and I saved the day by bursting into laughter. Thank heavens, he joined in!

“Not that,” Daniel said, never missing a beat as usual. “I was talking about having him intern in the office over the summer. That’s another reason why he’s been dressing up. He’s looking for jobs and internships, and he always says he wants to be prepared if he gets a call for an interview at school.”

“Whew!” I said with a grin. “Well, I’d love that, too, Daniel. We could certainly use the help.”

“That too,” Daniel repeated. For a moment I was horribly afraid I’d destroyed our friendship, and with it any hope of anything more. But on forcing myself to meet his eyes, I was relieved to see he was smiling. “Peggy, are you offering what I think you are?”

“I’m sorry, Daniel. Too much wine, that’s all.”

“It’s quite all right if you did mean it, you know,” Daniel said.

“What? You’re kidding, right?”

Daniel stood up and strode over to the window overlooking his big backyard. “Peggy,” he began, still looking outside rather than at me. “My ex-wife and I were together since we were nineteen. Neither of us knew anything about love or sex besides what we could teach each other, and then she went off the deep end and turned into the abusive monster you just learned about. I was lucky enough to escape, but I still bear the scars. I don’t want that for my son. I want his first time to be with someone who can teach him things, someone who’ll make it fun…most of all, someone who enjoys sex and will show him it’s okay to enjoy it.”


“Relax, Peggy, I would never in a million years ask you to do a thing like that.” He turned back towards me, a rare vulnerable look in his eyes. “But, if you wanted to do it, well, you’d have my blessing.”

I sucked in my breath. “Permission to speak freely, Daniel?”

“This isn’t the army and I’m not your boss anymore. Say whatever you want.”

“If you’re sure, and if he wants to do it…”

“Then you’d be okay with it?”

“Then I’d love it, Daniel!” I heard myself say.

“You’re sure?” Daniel set his glass back down on the table and gingerly retook his seat across from me.

“He’s such a sweet kid, Daniel, and to think of the nasty memories he’s been living with…yes, I’m sure!”

I wanted so to add that the one I really wanted to make love to was Daniel himself. But in that moment he looked so elated and relieved that I just couldn’t. I did, though, help myself to a long, tight hug as he thanked me and promised to bring up the subject with Joseph.

Then it was on to details. “Like I said, he’ll be eighteen on the seventh,” Daniel said. “Legal, in other words. So it could be his birthday present.”

“Maybe we could all go away together for a weekend,” I said. “The beach!” I was very pleased with myself as I realized that would give Daniel himself an eyeful of my curvy body in a swimsuit — maybe that would finally get through to him once I was done with his son.

“Why would I come along for that?” Daniel asked.

“So he’ll have your room to stay in if he says no,” I said hastily. “Besides, if it’s to celebrate his birthday, then you ought to be there.”

Daniel looked me over, deep in thought as far as I could tell. At last he said, “I think I’d like that, Peggy.”

And it was settled. I’d have Joseph at work starting after graduation, and he’d have me for his birthday sancaktepe escort if he so desired.

My head was swimming as I drove home later that evening, and I have to confess that wasn’t all that was wet!

I was more frustrated than ever that I still hadn’t told Daniel about my feelings for him. But then I knew the timing just wasn’t right, not after what he’d told me about his ex-wife and especially not after his request about Joseph. The way he had opened up to me about her was both touching and titillating: I felt awful for what he and Joseph had been through, but I also felt absolutely tickled that he’d trusted me enough to tell me about it. I’d admired Daniel more than any man I knew for eight years, and I’d had a crush on him for at least half that time. I’d served as his platonic date to any number of Christmas parties and Joseph’s school events, and he’d even helped me move in to my loft apartment a few years before and brought Joseph to the housewarming. I remembered now how Joseph, probably fifteen at the time, had mingled flawlessly with all the adults. Through all those years I’d wondered just why there was never any other woman in the picture, not to mention a nice girl for Joseph.

Now, I supposed, I knew. And that meant at long last I might have a way of breaking through his defenses. And in the meantime, Joseph — dear, sweet Joseph!

I knew, of course, it really wasn’t right. Joseph would be legal in a few weeks, but it still wasn’t right. Not when I was over twice his age and it was really his father I wanted. But if I could help him get over his kid fears and teach him about women and intimacy and adulthood…well, it still wasn’t really right, I couldn’t help thinking. But by the time I got home and kicked off my shoes and turned on the air-conditioner and began to settle down for the night, I almost had it rationalized. Joseph was perfectly capable of saying no, and he more than likely would, and that was fine. Either way, his father would appreciate my making the offer.

And if he did say yes?

As I drew the curtains and watched my view of the downtown skyline disappear, I smiled in spite of myself. There was no denying, the idea of being someone’s very first at my age was absolutely delicious. The idea of being Joseph’s first in particular? Beyond delicious!

I needed to pee quite badly, thanks to the wine and then the coffee after dinner on top of that. When I got my panties down in the bathroom and got a good look at them, I realized just how far beyond delicious I was finding the whole idea — they were saturated with my arousal! So I wasn’t at all surprised when I wiped my pussy after I finished and found it delightfully wet. After flushing and washing my hands, I quickly unzipped my skirt and dropped it in the clothes hamper along with my panties, and pranced happily barebottom off to my bedroom.

Visions of Joseph, naked and hard, shy but welcoming, danced in my head as I settled myself on my bed with my legs spread and got my vibrator out of the bedside table drawer. In no time I was imagining his hands firm but gentle on my breasts, in my pussy, all over my bare body, his virgin eyes adoring me the way no man had done in years, while my electric friend had me writhing and gasping in pleasure all over my bed. If only Joseph could see this! What would he think? What could I teach him with it? What couldn’t I teach him? What sort of memories and fantasies would our encounter inspire for him?

I easily plowed my way through three orgasms, each time imagining him coming in me as I humped at the air while never quite rubbing my clit in order to draw it out. It was only afterward, when I’d put my toy away and was taking off my blouse and bra, that I realized I’d thought only of Joseph, not Daniel. I’d thought of Daniel plenty of times before while playing with myself, of course, but not this time. Perhaps, I concluded as I pulled my nightgown on, I needed the encounter with Joseph just as much as Daniel wanted it. Now that the suggestion had been made and he was on my mind, I didn’t see how else I’d get him out of my system!

I was still feeling that pleasant naughty tickle two weeks later when Joseph graduated. “Can you get away for the ceremony?” Daniel asked me on the phone three days before the big day. “You know how scintillating a high school graduation is, after all!” he chuckled.

“I would never make you go through that alone,” I reassured him. “But what about…”

“I haven’t told him yet.”

“Oh, good,” I sighed. “We wouldn’t want to make him uncomfortable.”

“That’s another reason why I want you there, Peggy. I want you and Joseph to have some quality time together without that on the table, so we can ease him into it. Besides, you need to talk to him about his internship anyway.”

“True,” I said. “But Daniel, we can only put it off so long. When do you plan to ask him?”

“I’m his father, I’ll know when the time is right.”

Now, Webster’s defines ‘cliché’ as any high school graduation that isn’t your own! But I loved spending the ceremony side by side with Daniel, close enough to smell his after-shave, and admiring Joseph from afar among the honors graduates in their gold robes. “I’m so proud of him, Daniel,” I said, feeling misty-eyed as I recalled the polite youngster I used to let play with my inkstamps at work when Daniel was too busy to look after him.

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