Miranda Parkes sang along with the car radio as she made a
right turn onto Jefferson Avenue and then a quick left over to
Madison Street. The song had been popular back in her high school
days and brought back happy memories to the forty-eight year old.
Then again, she really didn't need anything to feel good right now,
not after leaving the doctor’s office and her yearly physical a half
hour before with a clean bill of health. In her happy state and
with lunchtime so near, Miranda decided to stop by her older
sister’s house and see if she’d like to go out for lunch.
It wasn’t often that the two of them got to do that
anymore. At least not since Miranda had gone back to work a few
years back to help with the kids’ college costs. Now, with both her
son and daughter out on their own, the salt and pepper haired
woman found that she liked it too much to quit. Working at the
Office Barn might not have been her dream job, but it beat sitting
at home in a now empty house and watching the soaps.
Work wasn’t something that her sister, Alice, had ever had
to concern herself with. While Miranda’s husband, Ralph, was
successful enough as the manager of a local electronics store,
Peter Moore, whom Alice had married right out of college, owned a
string of dry cleaning stores that made the two of them much
more than comfortable. That Peter had been twelve years older
than Alice or that their marriage had been childless hadn’t seemed
A last turn down Washington Place brought Miranda to
Alice’s house, a nice Colonial at the end of the street. As she
pulled in front, Miranda was disappointed to see that neither of
their cars were in the driveway. She then remembered Alice
saying something about planning to take her car in for service this
week and it looked like this was the day. So much for going out for
“Well, maybe another day,” Miranda said to herself as she
adjusted her glasses and glanced back over her shoulder to check
traffic before pulling out.
She had just put the car in gear and was about to release
the brake when she remembered that she was still carrying some
papers from the family lawyer in her purse that Alice had asked
her to pick up for her. She had been carrying them for two weeks,
forgetting to give them to her twice.
“Maybe I’ll just leave them here before I forget them a
third time,” she thought as she put the car back into park and
turned off the engine.
Walking up to the front door, Miranda decided not to leave
the envelope in the mailbox since, after all, the information was
personal and not something that Alice might want someone else
reading. Searching through her bag once more, she quickly came
up with the emergency keys that both sisters carried.
After letting herself in through the kitchen door, Miranda
put the envelope on the counter where Alice was sure to see it and
scribbled a short note across it. Just enough to say she stopped
by and was sorry she missed her.
Miranda was about to go when she thought she heard a noise
from the living room. At first, she was sure it was her imagination,
but after hearing it a second time, she was almost sure that
someone else was in the house. Not wanting to panic, although part
of her wanted to do just that, the short haired woman decided to
take a moment to peek into the living room through the louver
doors over the counter.
If Miranda had seen a gang of thieves stealing away
everything her sister owned, it wouldn’t have startled her as much
as the image that appeared when she moved the small door open a
half inch. Despite the absence of any cars in the driveway, her
sister was indeed home. The problem was, she wasn’t alone.
As hard as it was for Miranda to believe, her dear older
sister was half naked and on her knees in front of the couch. Her
large breasts, of which Miranda had always been envious of, now
hung free as her dress was down around her waist and her bra was
clearly visible on the carpeted floor. The fifty-two year old’s
appearance wasn’t half as shocking as the fact that she was
performing oral sex on a man definitely not her husband.
The young man sitting on the couch, his eyes closed as he
tilted his head back and enjoyed Alice’s attentions, couldn’t have
been more than twenty-one at most. Shirtless himself, with his
jeans pulled halfway down his legs, the black haired youth had a
quite impressive physique. Along with a well defined chest and
arms, Miranda also noticed a rather large tattoo of a panther on
his left bicep.
Morality and everything else aside for a moment, Miranda
found it unbelievable that such a hot young man would even look
twice at her sister, much less engage in sexual acts with her.
After all, the honest truth was that when you got down to it, Alice
Moore looked like just what she was - a middle aged woman. Oh
she was still attractive for her age, especially since unlike “little
sister”, Alice refused to let her own short hair show even the
smallest traces of gray, but she hardly had the sort of body that
men lusted after.
Miranda didn’t have much time to ponder the question as the
encounter she was witnessing suddenly became even more intense.
Alice lifted her head off the young man’s cock, of which even from
her limited vantage point, Miranda could see was quite impressive,
and stood all the way up. Then, after pulling her dress all the way
off, followed by her panties, Alice climbed onto him, taking hold of
his cock and guiding it into her.
“Oh yeah, baby,” Miranda heard Alice cry out a few
moments later as she began to ride his manhood with an ever
increasing fury, “give me that beautiful cock, fill me up with it!
Fuck me hard and make momma come!”
Finally it all became too much for Miranda and she realized
that she had to get out of there. Closing the swinging door as
quietly as she could, Miranda quickly crossed the kitchen and fled
out the side door, locking it behind her. It wasn’t until she was
safely back in her car that she realized that in her dash, she had
still retained enough clarity of mind to have retrieved the envelope
on her way out.
“Thank God for that,” Miranda said to herself thankfully as
she pulled the car away as quickly as she could. The last thing she
wanted right now was for Alice to know she had ever stopped by
this morning and seen what had been going on in her living room.
Not until she could decide what, if anything, she should say about
the whole matter.
That was a question that preyed on her mind for the rest of
the week. One that caused her to avoid two of her sister’s calls,
telling Ralph that she would call her back later, which she never
did. How could she when she still didn’t know what to say?
By late Saturday morning, the matter finally came to a head.
Ralph had announced that Peter had just called and asked if he
wanted to go to the baseball game with him. Evidently, one of his
friends who were originally supposed to go had canceled at the last
minute. Seeing as Peter had season tickets right behind the first
base line, Ralph was hardly going to say no.
“Why don’t I go with you?” Miranda suggested.
“To the game?” Ralph asked, thinking that Miranda didn’t
realize that the other seats were already spoken for.
“No, just to see my sister,” she clarified, “I’ll drive myself
back home and Peter can drop you off after the game.”
“Well, okay,” Ralph said, not really wanting to give up the
car but not wanting to start a disagreement that might ruin his
going to the game either. “But I have to leave now if we want to
get to the stadium to watch batting practice.”
“No problem,” Miranda smiled, knowing full well that he was
hoping that she would say that she needed some time to change
before going and then change her mind. “Let me just get the
papers that Alice wanted me to drop off and I’ll be ready to go.”
Taking the new envelope she had transferred the papers into
from the buffet in the dining room, Miranda dropped it into her
purse and met her husband at the door. Bringing over the papers
would be a good excuse for her unexpected visit, especially since
she still didn’t know what to do about what she’d seen.
“I’m so glad you decided to stop by,” Alice was saying as she
poured her younger sister a cup of tea as they sat in her living
room. “I was almost beginning to think you were avoiding me for
some reason, that I might’ve done something to make you mad.”
“No, I’ve just been busy these past few days,” Miranda lied,
hoping that for once, Alice didn’t see through her deception.
“Really, with what?” Alice asked, pouring herself a cup
before taking a seat on the couch.
Miranda let out a soft breath, thinking that Alice was
sitting in just about the same spot where that young man had been
the other morning. A memory that reminded her of the envelope in
“Oh, I have those papers you asked me to pick up from the
lawyer’s office,” Miranda said, thinking that changing the subject
would be a good idea.
“I asked you to pick those up almost a month ago,” Alice
commented as she took a sip of tea.
“Well I did, I just kept forgetting to give them to you,”
Miranda replied, her defensive nature where her sister was
concerned kicking in automatically.
“Well I’m glad they’re not something important,” Alice
countered, “not the way you forget things.”
Falling into a pattern that had lasted a lifetime, Miranda got
even more defensive and before she knew what she was saying, let
the proverbial cat out of the bag.
“I’ll have you know I came by the other day to drop them off
but...” she started to say then stopped in mid-sentence, too late to
undo the damage.
“But what?” Alice asked.
“But you were occupied.”
“I don’t understand,” Alice replied.
“Do I have to say it?” Miranda asked.
“If you want me to know what you’re talking about, that
might be helpful,” Alice smiled.
“You were having sex on that very couch with a boy half your
age,” Miranda blurted out, having to almost force the words out of
“A boy half my age?” Alice asked, as if she didn’t know what
her sister was talking about.
“Dark hair, very nice body, large tattoo of an panther on his
arm,” Miranda went on, “I’m sure you must remember him.”
“Oh, you’re talking about Carl,” Alice finally said, her tone
not showing the least bit of embarrassment in having been caught.
“Such a nice young man, his father owns Martin’s Garage where we
get our cars done. He was nice enough to drive me home after I
dropped off the Beemer. So you’re talking about Wednesday
Miranda suddenly found herself wondering if she's come by
on Tuesday or Thursday, would she have found someone else on
that couch with Alice. From what her sister was saying, Miranda
got the impression that she just might have.
"Just how many men are you involved with? Miranda found
“Well I’m not actually sure you can call it involved,” Alice
said, still slipping her tea as if they were discussing the chance for
“What would you call it, exactly?” a stunned Miranda asked.
“Hmmm,” Alice pondered for a few seconds as she
considered the question. “Fucking I guess, just having a good
“Don’t looked so shocked, little sister,” Alice said calmly as
she put her cup down on the coffee table. “It’s not like it was the
first time I’ve done it.”
“How many...” Miranda started to say, now unable to get out
the words. “How long...”
“I’d probably have to say at least six years,” Alice said,
choosing to answer the second question first. “As far as an actual
number, I really never kept count.”
“I can’t believe this!” Miranda exclaimed. “You’ve been
married to Peter for over thirty years and ...”
“... and we haven't been sleeping together for the last
fifteen of them,” Alice completed the sentence.
“Does he know?” Miranda continued.
“I’ve never asked him,” Alice answered, “and to be honest, I
really doubt he would care.”
“How can you say that?”
"He's the one who stopped wanting to have sex, not me,"
"Did he ever say why?"
"No." Alice simply said.
"I can't imagine what it must be like to have your husband
lose interest in sex," Miranda said.
"Can't you?" Alice asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Wasn't it only a few months ago that you told me that it
had seemed like ages since you and Ralph had done it," Alice said.
"Has that changed since then?"
"No, but ..."
"But nothing," Alice interrupted, "when was the last time
you and he got all hot and sweaty?"
The question gave Miranda pause as she took a few very long
moments to consider the question. The forty-eight year old
started to count backwards and felt a shudder when weeks quickly
turned to months and then to almost two years. And the time
before that hadn't been even close either.
"Exactly." Alice said as the silent look on her younger
sister's face confirmed her belief.
"Ralph is a very busy man, what with the store and all and..."
Miranda tried to explain, but realized that she wasn't even
"It does have a way of sneaking up on you, doesn't it?"
"I guess so." Miranda admitted.
Miranda sat silent for a few long moments, not exactly sure
what to say next. She couldn't believe how casual Alice was about
all of this, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
"Can I ask you a question, Alice," Miranda said when she
regained her composure. "It's kind of personal."
"Sure why not," Alice replied.
"Putting aside the right or wrong of what you're doing,"
Miranda framed her question, "are all the men you're with like
Carl? I mean are they all ..."
"Young and hung?" Alice interrupted.
"Well, that's not exactly how I was going to say it, but I
mean that he was so young and good looking, and ..."
"... and I'm an old lady who could easily be his mother, if not
his grandmother." Alice said, again finishing her sister's thought.
"I didn't mean it that way."
"Oh yes you did," Alice smiled, "and I agree with you. I'll be
the first one to say it. But what you have to realize is that I'm
not trying to date them, just play with them a little. Put yourself
in their place. Given the chance that a woman, even one old enough
to be their mother, is offering them a blow job or a quick fuck,
with no strings attached, how many horny young men are going to
pass that up. Oh they might never admit to anyone that they
fucked some old broad, but they sure as hell enjoyed it while they
were at it. In fact, even I was surprised at how many of them
really got off on the fact that I was so much older."
It a strange sort of way, Alice made sense. Even Miranda
had to admit that.
"What's it like?" Miranda surprised herself by asking, the
inflection in her voice leaving no doubt as to what the meaning of
"Exciting," Alice broadly smiled, the single word carrying a
world of meaning.
All the rest of the day, and during a semi-sleepless night,
Miranda's conversation with her sister repeated in her head.
Never would she have imagined that Alice would be one of those
women who took lovers on the side, or that she could be so
unabashed about it all. Before afternoon tea had been over, Alice
had even mentioned the names of a half dozen young men that
she'd had sex with. The most shocking of which had been Doug
Maguire, who Miranda remembered as having gone to high school
with her son.
"Don't let the fact that Doug could afford to lose twenty or
so pounds fool you," Alice had said in reference to the portly
convenience store clerk, "that boy has a tongue made of gold."
Also very much on Miranda's mind as she greeted the early
morning sun, was the realization of how empty her own sex life had
become without her even realizing it. That at least, she told
herself she could do something about, and the sooner the better.
Waking up a half hour before she and Ralph normally got up
on a Sunday morning, Miranda put her plan into action. Carefully.
she slipped out of bed, making sure that she didn't wake her
husband. Stepping away from the bed, she slipped off her
nightshirt and the simple white panties she wore beneath it.
Taking a moment to look at herself in the mirrored sliding
doors of their bedroom's built in closet, Miranda decided that she
wasn't all that displeased with the body of the woman looking
back at her.
True, she was on the short side of fifty, and definitely
didn't have the same physique she did when she'd gotten married,
but all in all, the one she did have wasn't half bad. She'd managed
to avoid the heavy weight gain that so many of her contemporaries
had fallen victim to, currently weighting only a dozen pounds more
than she did in her twenties. Even her breasts had held up pretty
well, despite the years and two pregnancies. Sure there were a
few lines on her face, but just enough to give her character as her
mother used to say.
Turning back to the bed, Miranda lifted the light sheet that
had covered her and Ralph and climbed under it. Making a tent
with her body, she worked her way to the side her husband slept
on and took a moment to look at his body.
It would've been nice to have been able to say that Ralph
had hardly changed too, but that wouldn't have been the truth.
Too many weekends of watching the game in front of the television
with the only exercise being walking out to the kitchen to get
another beer had taken their toll. Still, she hadn't married him
only for his looks.
As was his habit, dating even back to the days before they'd
been married, Ralph wore jockey shorts to bed and little else.
From the way the folds of his underwear rested, Miranda could see
the outline of his cock. That was one thing that hadn't changed
over all the years. The man still had one impressive piece of
equipment. Reaching out with her index finger, she softly traced
the outline of his manhood.
Back when they’d first gotten married, before the kids and
all the responsibilities, their sex life had been akin to that of a
couple of rabbits. There wasn’t a room in the house that they
hadn’t screwed in, at any time of the day. Feeling his cock stir in
response to her touch, Miranda was reminded of one of the games
they used to play.
Early on in their relationship, they had established a
tradition of sorts in which Miranda would wake him up on Sunday
by performing oral sex on him. Ralph used to say he loved that
even more than intercourse. One thing would inevitably lead to
another and it would be a couple of hours before they'd make it
out of bed. Miranda had decided that it was time to revive that
Reaching down into his shorts, Miranda closed her fingers
around his cock and carefully lifted it free. It wasn't half as fun,
she remembered, if Ralph woke up too soon. Gently giving it a few
slow pumps to restore some of its firmness, Miranda leaned down
and slid the head of his cock into her mouth.
The taste of his manhood brought back pleasant memories,
making her wonder why they have ever stopped doing things like
this. Feeling his body respond to the wet embrace of her mouth,
she ran her tongue up and down his length. Aside from the mostly
gray hairs that now surrounded it, Ralph’s cock had changed little
over the years. Which was to say it didn’t take much to get it
Her head rose up and down as she began to suck him in
earnest. One hand cradled his balls, massaging them as the other
pumped him into her mouth. She'd gone on for a few minutes when
she felt Ralph began to stir. If she were lucky, she thought as she
redoubled her efforts, she would be able to make him come just as
he was waking up. He was always loved it when she did that.
“Mmmmmm,” Miranda heard Ralph moan in his sleep as she
continued to suck him enthusiastically.
With one hand still wrapped on the base of Ralph’s cock,
Miranda brought her other one down between her own legs and
began to massage herself. Deft fingers quickly made their way to
a familiar spot and Miranda began to share in the pleasures she
was bringing her husband.
“It won’t be long now,” Miranda thought as she listened to
another, louder, set of moans from Ralph and recognized both the
signs of awakening and an approaching orgasm. She wondered at
the same time if he would be able to get it up a second time so
that they could have an early morning fuck.
Then, just as he was about to climax in her mouth, Ralph
woke up. His eyes opened with a reaction that while explosive, was
hardly the one Miranda had expected.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he yelled as he
pulled the sheet off of the two of them and looked down at his
wife. His voice carried more than a touch of anger in it.
"If you don't know, I must be doing it wrong," Miranda
laughed as she lifted her head from his cock just long enough to
answer. It was incomprehensible to her that he was actually
serious in his anger.
"Don't you think we're a little old for this nonsense?" Ralph
asked as he lifted his body and pulled away from her.
"Nonsense?" Miranda repeated, realizing that he might not
be joking as she first thought. “You’re kidding, right?”
"I most certainly am not," Ralph said as he climbed up out of
the bed and reached for his bathrobe.
"Don't you think it might be fun to spend the morning in bed
like we used to?" Miranda asked. "After all, the kids are all grown
and we do have the house to ourselves. Don't you miss those
"No, actually, I don't," Ralph said as he tightened the sash
on his robe. "Oh I'll be the first to say that they were a lot of fun
and I'm glad we had them," he went on, "but there has to be a
point where you finally grow up."
"Grow up?" Miranda asked, unable to believe he actually felt
"Yes, grow up," Ralph said once more as he put on his
slippers, "after all, we're practically grandparents for Pete's
sake." he added as he alluded to their daughter's recent
"And grandparents don't fuck?" Miranda thought but didn't
say. Instead she asked, "Wouldn't it be fun to spend the morning
in bed and cuddle like we used to?"
"Not when I have way too much to do," Ralph replied. "I
want to be down at the store by nine."
"But it's Sunday," Miranda countered.
"We're having a big sale tomorrow," Ralph explained, "I
want to go over everything and make sure those kids they hired
labeled everything right."
Miranda started to say something more, then thought
better of it. No amount of talking was going to change things.
Their life together had undergone a transition and she hadn't even
noticed it happening. The thought sent a sad feeling through her.
"Don't you think you should put some clothes on before
someone sees you through the window?" Ralph said, making his only
reference to her nudity. "The streets already full of kids playing
"At least one of them might be interested in looking,"
Miranda thought as Ralph exited through the doorway and she
reached for her own robe.
The events of that Sunday morning weighed heavily on
Miranda's mind all the following week. She didn't mention them
again to Ralph, and it was pretty obvious that he considered the
matter settled. Nor did she broach the subject with her sister,
Alice, both out of a reluctance to admit to her that she had been
right, and a fear that she might have to listen to more of her
exploits. Or worse, walk in on one of them again.
No, she told herself repeatedly, she had to accept the fact
that her sex life was now a thing of the past. It was strange, she
pondered, that such a thought bothered her as much as it did.
After all, it wasn't as if she and Ralph had been burning the sheets
these last few years. In fact, as she had told Alice the week
before, they hadn’t made love more than three times in the last
three years. Yet somehow, the prospect that they might fall back
into the habit at any time had made it okay. Now, with that
possibility gone, she felt that she had lost something very precious.
Other than that, the week went by quickly enough, as she
spent the better part of her days working at Office Barn. Like
she said many times before, it might not have been the best of
jobs, but the people she worked with were first rate.
“Showtime, girls,” Mandy Clark said to her two co-workers
as they enjoyed their late afternoon coffee break. “It looks like
Josh is setting himself up for a fall again.”
All three sets of eyes, those of Mandy, Lois Parker, and
Miranda turned to watch Josh Allen walk up to Jennifer Forrest.
Josh was a cute kid, most would say, five seven and about a
hundred and thirty-five pounds. He had short sandy hair and the
sort of average build that was so average that you never really
took notice of it. His only real drawback, most would agree was a
baby face that made the nineteen year old look like he was still a
high school freshman.
Jennifer, on the other hand, always looked older than her
eighteen years, due partly to having physically developed at an
early age and always dressing to show off her assets to her
advantage. Long brown hair ran down her back, draping over a near
perfect body who's only fault was that her breasts were just a bit
too large for her frame. Few men, however, were about to
complain about that.
The two teenagers exchanged a few words too low to be
overheard. Then, true to form, Josh walked away a few seconds
later, a look of dejection on his face.
"Kerplunk!" Lois laughed softly.
“Doesn’t that boy ever get tired of being rejected?” Lois
said as she brought her cup up to drain the last of her coffee.
“Evidently not,” Mandy laughed.
“You’d think he’d realize by now that Jennifer was way out
of his league,” Lois added.
“You’d think, wouldn’t you?” Mandy replied.
“I actually feel sorry for him,” Miranda offered. “He really
is a nice young man.”
“I never said he wasn’t,” Lois agreed, “I just said that if he
had any sense at all he’d stop wasting his time and give up the
“Maybe he thought she might feel guilty about letting him
take the fall for her when she screwed up that supply order last
month and finally say yes when he asked her out for dinner,”
Miranda suggested. “After all, Josh got docked a day’s pay for
“You think she’d really care that he was that stupid to stand
up for her?” Mandy asked.
“Yeah, like there was any chance Bob Carpenter was going to
blame Jennifer for anything she does wrong,” Lois added.
“Am I missing something here?” Miranda asked.
“You mean you don’t know?” Mandy asked, lowering her
The look on Miranda’s face said that she had no idea what
they were talking about.
“Jennifer is fucking Bob Carpenter,” Mandy whispered.
“No way,” Miranda replied.
“Okay, then she’s just bending over and spreading her legs
while he sticks his cock in between them,” Lois grinned in a low
“Damn,” Miranda said as she let out a long breath.
“Well time to get back to work,” Mandy said as she looked
up at her watch and tossed her paper cup into the trash.
Miranda stood behind a few moments longer, looking across
the store at Josh. It really was a shame he had such a crush on a
heartless bitch like Jennifer. Imagine letting him take the rap for
her when she knew Bob wouldn’t even say a bad word about her
The image of the store manager put an even more depressing
thought into Miranda’s head. Bob Carpenter was just about Ralph’s
age and obviously, he had no problem with his libido. Was it
possible that Ralph had his own ‘Jennifer’ at his store? Or was he
telling the truth when he said that he’d lost any interest in sex?
The only thing she was certain of was that, either way, he had no
more interest in her.
The rest of the day passed quickly and before they knew it,
quitting time was just about there. Mandy, Lois and Miranda were
closing out their registers, they usually wound up on them at the
end of the day, when they heard Bob Carpenter call Josh over to
the customer service desk behind them.
“I’m going to need you to stay late next weekend to help
with inventory,” Bob said to the junior associate. “I just thought
I’d let you know now in case you’d made any plans.”
“But I stood for inventory last month, Mr. Carpenter,” the
sandy haired nineteen year old said, his voice showing respect for
his boss mixed with a measure of disappointment. “According to
the schedule, this is supposed to be Jennifer’s turn.”
“I have a special project that I want Jennifer to work on,”
the store manager said in way of explanation. “Something that
she’s uniquely suited for. So you’ll just have to take her turn as
well. That’s not going to be a problem, is it?”
“No sir,” Josh said.
“Good boy, I knew I could count on you.” the older man
smiled as he turned and walked away.
“A special job that she’s uniquely suited for,” Mandy
parroted after Josh had walked away. “I can imagine what that
“Maybe she should stop next door at the hardware store and
pick up a pair of knee pads,” Lois suggested. “I bet she could
charge it as a work related expense.”
Both women laughed at the joke, but Miranda was still
feeling sorry for Josh. At least this time he didn’t automatically
let Jennifer walk over him, at least figuratively. Maybe he was
finally getting over her.
“Still feeling sorry for Josh?” Lois asked, interrupting
“A little,” Miranda admitted.
“Well you better save a little bit of that for yourself,”
“Excuse me?” Miranda asked.
“In case you haven’t looked at the scheduling board lately,
guess who else is supposed to be pulling inventory duty this
month?” Mandy smiled.
“Oh shit, I forgot all about it.” Miranda replied.
“Yeah, I bet,” Lois grinned. ”And don’t even think of asking
either one of us to do it for you, Mandy and I have tickets to see
'Grease' over at the community college and we have no plans to
“I wouldn’t even have thought of asking,” Miranda lied,
thinking how much she hated inventory.
With that, the clock on the wall struck six and their
workday was over.
Miranda’s main concern with having to work late over the
weekend was how would Ralph react. He wasn’t that happy that
she had kept her job after the kids finished college in the first
place, and practically went ballistic the last time she had worked
late doing inventory. It turned out to be the same weekend that
was his turn to host the rotating poker game.
Luckily, all she got out of Ralph was an unintelligible grunt
after she told him. Rather than play poker at home next weekend,
he and his buddies were headed up to Lake Armstrong to fish and
play cards. It was, Miranda knew, a chance for them to also get
very drunk and not have to explain it to the wives the next
So early Saturday morning, Miranda got up and helped Ralph
pack the car with his fishing gear and provisions for the overnight
trip. Supplies that included a case of beer, a six-pack of which
was already cold in the cooler. She wished him luck, knowing that
if he planned to bring home any fish from his weekend excursion,
they would be coming from Peterson’s fish store out on Route 8. In
all the years he had been making these fishing trips, Ralph had yet
to bring home enough to cook as a meal. Of course there were
always the stories of the big one that got away.
Knowing that her work day didn't begin until noon and would
run until the early evening because of inventory, Miranda decided
to go back to bed and get a few more hours sleep. When she got
up again a little after nine, she was glad she did. The three extra
hours had made a lot of difference.
Office Barn closed at noon on Saturdays, so there was no
reason to dress as she would if she was expected to deal with the
public. So instead of a nice blouse and skirt combo, Miranda laid
out sneakers, a pair of jeans and a comfortable red sweatshirt
before heading for the shower.
The cold water helped her shake off the last vestiges of
sleep. After drying off, she put on the clothes she had selected
and was ready to face the day. Walking into the kitchen, Miranda
opened the refrigerator door to get some eggs for breakfast, then
remembered that she'd forgotten to pick any up when she went
shopping the other day.
"I could just have cereal," she thought as she closed the
door, "but why not treat myself." It had been a while since anyone
had treated her to anything.
Picking up her purse and transferring her essentials to the
fanny pack she then strapped around her waist, Miranda headed
out to the car. Cara's Breakfast Nook ran a weekend special until
eleven and her French toast was a delight to behold. Since it was
only two blocks from Office Barn, she had plenty of time to enjoy
breakfast and still get to work with time to spare.
"Can I get you another refill on that coffee?" Ruth Hasset,
one of the waitress' at the Breakfast Nook asked as she looked
down at the empty cup in front of Miranda.
Miranda glanced down as well, both at the empty cup and the
small remnants of what had been a truly enjoyable breakfast. She
then checked her watch and decided that she still had plenty of
"Just a half a cup," she said to Ruth who dutifully poured
just that amount, then wished her a good day and went on to
another of her tables.
Miranda brought the cup to her lips and was enjoying the
rich mix when a male voice from behind her also wished her a good
morning. It was a voice quite familiar but nevertheless
"Jim," she said in surprise, almost spilling her coffee as she
looked up at the white haired man standing next to the table.
"Something wrong?" the fifty year old asked as he saw that
he had startled her.
"No, I just didn't expect to see you, that's all," Miranda
"I don't know why not," Jim smiled in return. "Gary and I
have been having breakfast here every Saturday for the last
twenty years. You know that."
The mention of the second man's name drew Miranda's
attention past Jim's shoulder where she saw another man about
the same age standing at the register and paying their bill. Now
she was even more confused. Jim Collins and Gary Paris were half
of Ralph's poker playing circle, and had been for over a decade. If
they were here, who had her husband gone fishing with? Or were
they planning a late start to just take part in the game tonight?
"I guess I just forgot for a moment," she said, the puzzled
look on her face helping her explanation.
"Yeah, we're all getting to that age," Jim laughed as Gary
caught up to the two of them and handed the other man his part of
Gary said hello as well, asking her how she was doing and
remarking that he hadn't seen her sister around lately. Something
that was unusual since he lived just down the block from her.
"What did she do, pick up a new hobby?" he grinned.
"Something like that," Miranda replied, thinking that her
neighbor would be shocked to know what that hobby was.
"Well you tell her I was asking about her," Gary said.
"I will," Miranda replied as the two of them turned to leave
her to finish her coffee.
They had only gone a step or two further, when Miranda
asked them a question she was almost afraid to get the answer to.
"Are the two of you going up to the lake this weekend?"
"Up to the cabin?" Jim asked in turn, to which she nodded
her head in acknowledgment.
"The lake's been put off limits for fishing until next month
at least," Gary said, answering for his friend. "They had some kind
of spill there over the winter and they want to make sure it's
totally clear before they let anyone fish again. Not that we ever
really catch anything."
"Oh, I didn't know," Miranda said.
"Well we'd better get going," Jim now chimed in. "Say hello
to Ralph for us as well. Tell him the next time he decides to skip
our game to go on a business trip, he could at least just send the
money he usually loses." he added with a laugh. "That way he
won't be missed as much."
With that, both men were gone, leaving behind a now quite
The rest of the coffee grew cold in her cup as she silently
sat there. Her first impulse was to call Ralph on his cell phone,
then decided against it. She wasn't sure that she wanted to know
where he really was at this moment, or with whom.
Leaving Ruth a tip, she picked up her check and headed to
the register herself. She was so dazed at the moment, she didn't
hear Ruth say goodbye as she walked past her, or notice anyone
around her as she walked to last two blocks to work.
The question weighed heavily on her mind the next few hours
as she, Josh and two other employee's did the store's inventory.
Distracted as she was, Miranda knew she wasn't really doing her
share, but Josh seemed more than willing to pick up the slack.
Miranda promised herself she would make it up to him another
"Tony and Karen are going over to TJ's to grab a pizza,"
Josh said to Miranda as he found the aisle where she was working.
"Want to come along?"
The question made Miranda look at the large clock on the
wall. She hadn't realized it was already after six. The last few
hours had just raced by.
"No thanks, Josh," she smiled at the sandy haired young
man, "but could you do me a favor?"
"Sure, what do you need?"
"Can I borrow your car for a little while?" she asked. "I
took the bus to work and I really need to run a little errand."
"Do you want me to drive you?" he offered.
"No, you don't have to," she replied, "and I won't be long, I
promise. I just have to run over to my husband's store and pick
"No problem," Josh said as he handed her the keys.
As she pulled out of the parking lot and quickly covered the
twelve blocks to Crazy Al's, Miranda had to admit that she had no
idea what she was doing. Or what she expected to find.
The store was still open, as was the norm for a Saturday,
and no sooner had she entered when Artie Davis, the assistant
manager, met her. The forty-one year old had a smile on his face,
but behind it he had a feeling of concern.
"What brings you here this time of night, Miranda," he
asked. "don't tell me that after all these years that Ralph doesn't
trust me to run the place when he's gone and sent you over to
make sure everything is okay?"
The question had been said with humor, but Miranda knew
that there was some truth in it as well. She knew that Ralph
worried about Artie, but not for the reason the younger man
thought. He was constantly worried that the owners might realize
that the assistant manager was better at the job than his boss and
that they might decide to do something about it.
"No, I'm not here to check up on you, Artie," Miranda
smiled reassuringly. "I just wanted to check Ralph's desk and see
if he left some papers that he was supposed to sign. I can't find
them at home and thought that he might have left them here."
"Well you know where his office is," Artie replied as he
stepped out of her way, only half believing her explanation.
Miranda took a few minutes to check the drawers of Ralph's
desk, at least the ones that he didn't lock. She really didn't
expect to find anything, but at least looking was something.
"Find what you were looking for?" Artie asked when he saw
her come out of the office.
"No, maybe he still has them with him," Miranda mused,
hoping that would satisfy his curiosity. "Do me a favor, don't tell
him I came by, okay. You know how he can be about people going
through his stuff, even his wife."
"I understand," Artie said with an knowing grin, "you were
"Looks like you're having a pretty good night," Miranda said
as she changed the subject to the large number of customers in
"Yes we are," the blond haired man agreed, "I just wish we
weren't short handed as well."
"Someone not come in?" Miranda asked, hoping it didn't
sound like more than idle curiosity.
"Peggy Elliot," Artie said, the touch of annoyance in his
voice saying a lot of what he thought of the sales associate. "She
calls in late last night and says she'll be out all weekend. Why your
husband puts up with all her crap I'll never know. She has the
lowest sales record of anyone in the store and she's constantly
late or calling in sick. If it was up to me, she'd have been out on
her ass a long time ago."
The assistant store manager realized that he might have
gone over the line in questioning his boss's judgment, especially to
his wife. He quickly apologized and asked her not to repeat what
he had just said.
"How could I repeat anything that I wasn't here to hear in
the first place?" Miranda smiled as she bid him a good night,
thinking that she had taken too long on her break as well.
Retracing the streets back to the Office Barn, Miranda
conjured up the image of Peggy Elliot in her mind. A long haired
brunette in her early thirties, Miranda had gotten the impression
from their few brief meetings in the store that her intelligence
was greatly overshadowed by her bust size. Something that
seemed to be an asset when dealing with some customers, but not
enough to satisfy Artie Davis evidently. The thought made
Miranda wonder how she managed to satisfy Ralph's own strict
Finally, after parking Josh's car back in the employee
section of the parking lot, Miranda decided that she now had to
know. Pulling her cell phone from her pack, she dialed the number
for Ralph's cell.
"Hi honey," she heard him say after recognizing her voice,
"what's up? Nothings wrong is it?"
"No, everything's fine," she lied, "I just wanted to see how
you were doing, that's all. Catch any fish?"
"Actually, I did pretty good," she heard him say, "caught
two beautiful trout but we fried them up for dinner. Sorry I
couldn't save you some"
"That's okay," Miranda said, "as long as you enjoyed them."
"Well I have to go," she said, thinking that now she was very
late. "Don't let Jim and Gary take all of your money this time."
she said in closing.
"Not a chance," Ralph laughed, "both of them are playing
like shit. This time, I'm going to be winning the big pots."
The connection broke as she heard him hit the call end
button. Miranda sat there for a few more minutes, just staring at
the phone and thinking about the conversation that she'd just had.
"Fucking lying bastard!" she finally said as she tossed it
back into her bag.
Seeking out Josh to return his keys and again thank him,
Miranda was surprised to discover that not only wasn't he angry
about her being late, he had worked through his own break and had
nearly completed both of their tasks. Feeling a little guilty, the
older woman suggested that maybe Josh take off early and she
would stay and finish up whatever was left. Without even
considering it, he said he'd rather stay and wait until they were
both done. Miranda promised herself to at least carry her own
weight the rest of the evening, despite her problems.
Ninety minutes later, the last box had been counted and
they could call it a night. As the senior employee, it was Miranda's
responsibility to make sure that everything was locked up tight, so
she was the last to leave.
Checking the side door from which she'd exited one last
time, Miranda turned around to find Josh waiting in the parking
lot. She was sure he had left with the others ten minutes before.
"I remember you saying you came in on the bus," Josh said
in way of explanation, "so I figured you might need a ride home."
"You didn't have to do that," Miranda replied, "but I do
really appreciate it. As long as it's not out of your way that is."
"It's not," Josh answered, even though it was in the
It didn't take more then ten minutes for them to reach
Miranda's house, even with the heavy Saturday night traffic. Josh
pulled right into the empty driveway and waited until his co-worker
reached the front door. Keys in hand, Miranda paused at the door
for a second, then walked back to the driver's side of the car.
"Josh, could you do me another favor?" she asked as she
leaned forward against the open window. "I know I've already
probably used up my quota for the month. My husband is away for
the weekend and even though the timers turned the lights on, I
really feel funny walking into an empty house and ..."
"Sure, no problem," the nineteen year old said as he opened
the car and stepped out. "My mom feels the same way."
The analogy made Miranda suddenly feel her age. For all she
knew, she was possibly even older than Josh's mother.
Taking the keys from her hand, he opened the door and
stepped inside the semi-lit house. It only took a few minutes for
him to check out the two floors and the basement, declaring them
to be empty. When he came back into the living room where
Miranda had waited, she asked him if he would like something to
"After the day I've had, I really need a drink," Miranda
said, "would you like to join me? I have soda too if you'd like
"A drink would be fine," Josh replied, hiding the fact that
his experience with alcohol was extremely limited.
Miranda led him into the kitchen were she took a fifth of
Johnny Walker Blue Label from the back of one of the cabinets,
then two tumblers from another. The bottle belonged to Ralph and
was usually saved for only the most special of occasions. That she
was going to share it with this kid who wouldn’t know good scotch
from lemonade would surely send her husband into a rage. That
was the least of her concerns right now.
Filling both glasses a quarter of the way, she handed one to
Josh. He looked at the amber liquid for a moment, then brought it
up to his lips. Miranda was about to warn him to take it easy when
in one quick motion he downed the contents.
The results were predictable, especially with someone who,
it quickly became obvious, had never tasted scotch in his life. Josh
gagged on the liquid and his face turned a bright shade of red.
“Are you okay?” Miranda asked, her concern hiding the
amusement she felt at the same time.
“I’m fine,” Josh replied after taking a deep breath, looking
at the empty glass in his hand.
“This is pretty strong stuff,” Miranda smiled as she brought
her own glass up, “it helps if you just sip it, at least at first.”
“I’ll remember that next time,” Josh answered as he put
the empty glass down on the counter.
Picking up the bottle, Miranda refilled both glasses and
watched with interest as the young man picked it up and again
brought it to his mouth. This time, he was a little more cautious
and only took a little taste.
“That’s better,” she said as she watched him bring the glass
back down, and then took a longer sample of her own.
Josh tried the drink again, this time he handled it even
better. “It’s pretty good,” he offered.
“For what it costs a bottle it had better be,” Miranda
thought as she again refilled both glasses.
With the bottle still in her hand, Miranda led Josh to the
kitchen table and directed him to an empty seat. After he had sat
down, she took the other one next to him.
“So what’s the deal between you and Jennifer?” Miranda
asked after they had again drained their glasses, only to see them
fill up once more.
“I don’t understand,” Josh replied.
“Why do you waste your time with a tramp like that?” the
salt and pepper haired woman expanded as she remembered the
gossip Mandy and Lois had shared with her. “A nice looking boy like
you could do a lot better.”
“It’s kind of complicated,” he answered, hiding what he
considered an embarrassing secret.
“Things are only complicated if you let them be,” Miranda
commented. “Whatever it is, I wouldn’t hold it against you.”
“She and I, what I mean she once ...” he started to say, his
tongue loosened by the alcohol.
“The two of you went out?” Miranda asked.
“Well, not really went out.”
“Then, what did ...” she started to ask, then realized what
he was talking about. Or at least she thought she did. “Did the
two of you sleep together?”
“She blew you?” Miranda asked, her own tongue also
loosened a bit.
“She used her hand,” Josh finally admitted.
“She gave you a hand-job,” she blurted out, trying hard not
Josh went on to explain that one night last month, Jennifer
had cornered him in the break room one night and asked him to
cover for her after she made a mistake on a major supply order.
She had read the stock numbers wrong and undercharged the
client almost a thousand dollars. She was afraid that if the
manager found out it was her, especially after a few other
mistakes, he would have to get rid of her.
What she didn’t tell him, Miranda supposed, was that she
was already doing a lot more for Bob Carpenter than just jerking
him off. It was that she wasn’t yet sure enough of her ability to
get him to overlook such a costly mistake. Once Josh had taken
the fall, and she no longer worried about being fired, she’d rather
forget the incident in the break room had ever happened.
“Was Jennifer the only girl you’ve ever been with?” Miranda
asked, surprised at how personal this conversation was becoming.
“I’ve dated other girls,” Josh admitted, “but I’ve never ...
gone all the way.”
“And you figure that Jennifer would be the one who would
want to go all the way.”
The look on his face said that Miranda had hit the truth
right on the mark. It was a look of confirmation, mixed with
discomfort at having been revealed as a horny teenager just
looking to get laid.
“That’s nothing to be ashamed about,” Miranda smiled as
she reached across the table and laid her hand on top of his. “I
would think that almost every boy your age thinks pretty much the
same way at one time or another.”
“Really?” Josh said.
“You should meet my sister,” Miranda laughed, thinking that
this was probably exactly the kind of young man she specialized in.
“Your sister?” Josh asked in confusion.
“Forget it, my mind was wandering,” she replied as she put
the cap back on the bottle, realizing that she’d had enough. As it
was, her mind was further drifting in a much more dangerous
If Alice were here in her place, Miranda was certain, the
young man sitting across the table from her would never have to
wonder again what it was like to be with a woman. In fact, he’d
probably have lost his virginity not long after stepping over the
But of course she wasn’t Alice, or so she’d reminded herself
many times over the last two weeks. She couldn’t imagine cheating
on her husband, or at least she couldn’t until today.
“Miranda?” Josh asked, then repeated when he got no
“You looked like you zoned out for a minute,” he said with
concern. “Are you all right?”
“I’m fine,” she smiled as her thoughts shifted to a
different, yet adjacent track.
“Maybe I should be going,” Josh suggested as he looked at
the clock on the wall, noting that it was almost half past nine.
“Do you have to?” Miranda asked. “It’s still pretty early.”
Josh seemed to hesitate on the answer.
“Of course if I’m boring you, or you have someplace more
important to go, I understand,” Miranda said.
“No, I don’t have anyplace to go.”
“Then why not stay a little longer then,” Miranda replied,
“at least until you let some of the scotch work its way out of your
system. We wouldn’t want you to get stopped at one of those
checkpoints they put up on weekends.”
The comment reminded Josh that he really wasn’t old enough
to legally drink, even though his father let him have a beer or two
at family functions. If the police, however unlikely, stopped him, it
could cost him his drivers license. They were pretty strict about
DWI around here, especially with teenagers.
“Okay, I’ll stay a while longer.”
“Excellent,” Miranda smiled, “because I am so enjoying our
“I guess I am too,” Josh replied, realizing that he really
didn’t want to leave after all.
“Why Jennifer?” Miranda asked as she went on, “I mean
aside from her obvious looks and the fact that she groped you.
Why not take a chance on one of the other girls in the store, say
Tina Maxwell? She’s pretty too and I know she likes you enough as
a co-worker. Why not ask her or one of the other girls out?”
“Tina is really nice,” Josh answered, “and if I was going to
be staying in town I would want to date her. But since I’m not, I
doubt a relationship would go very far. I don’t think any of the
girls are going to want to sleep with a guy who's leaving in two
“My family can’t afford college, and my grades aren’t enough
for a scholarship, so I’m going in the Air Force,” he explained.
“It’s a delayed enlistment, so I don’t leave for another six weeks.”
“And you didn’t want to go in the military a virgin.” Miranda
said, again hitting the nail right on the head. “Well I can
“I know it’s stupid but ...”
“It’s not stupid,” Miranda interrupted him. “At least not all
of it. I think the only stupid part of it all would be for you to
spend your first time with Jennifer. For all she cares about you, it
might as well as be with a prostitute, and that wouldn’t be a very
happy memory I’m sure.”
“Well I didn’t see myself as having many other options.”
“What about the other women in the store, some of the
older ones,” Miranda asked, thinking that she might be going out
on a limb here, “do you find any of them attractive?”
Josh again seemed a little embarrassed to answer.
“Come on, I won’t tell them if that’s what you’re worried
“Actually, I was afraid that you’d laugh,” he replied.
“Not a chance,” Miranda promised.
“Well, I think Lois Parker is nice looking, and Sally Sullivan
too,” he admitted.
“Did you ever think that one of them might feel the same
way about you?” Miranda asked, picturing both women in her mind.
“Because I don’t think women like that want someone like
me?” he said.
“Just because you’re cute, young and have a nice body,”
“Because they’d be with someone who really wasn’t sure what
they were doing,” Josh said, putting forth a line of reasoning that
he was suddenly beginning to wonder if it might be flawed.
“Some might have a problem with that,” Miranda answered,
“then again, some women might consider it a challenge as well.”
Josh’s expression said that was a possibility he’d never
considered before. Miranda gave him a minute or two to think
about it, then asked him a question that she’d been considering for
the last few minutes.
“Josh, when you look at the other women at work,” she
asked, “have you ever looked at me in that way?”
Josh hesitated before answering.
“If the answer is no, I won’t be offended,” Miranda added,
“and if it’s yes, well I wouldn’t be offended either. In fact, I’d be
“Yes,” he said in a very low voice.
Now it was it was Miranda who hesitated, as she considered
the line in front of her and if she was really prepared to cross it.
Then she realized that deep in her thoughts, she already had. She
wasn’t sure when she had really made the decision, but she knew
that before the night was over she was going to end her sexual dry
“Josh, do you trust me?” Miranda abruptly asked.
”Of course,” he replied, wondering if he done something
wrong for her to ask such a question.
“And you know I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you, right?”
He nodded his head in agreement, still wondering what she
was talking about.
“Then just close your eyes for a minute and trust me.”
Totally bewildered, Josh did as she asked, keeping them
closed even as he felt her hands come to rest on his shoulders.
Even as he felt her move closer to him and the softness of her lips
pressed against his own.
For a heartbeat, the nineteen year old was too stunned to
respond. Then, as he felt the wetness of her tongue pressing
against his mouth, he opened his lips to admit it. It was hardly the
first time he’d had a girl’s tongue against his own, but he’d never
been so excited about it before.
The kiss seemed to go on forever as Miranda dropped her
arms and wrapped them around his body. As she ran her hands
across his back, she was surprised to find that beneath his loose
fitting shirt was a rather solid build.
“You really are a very handsome young man,” she said as she
pulled him even closer, her lips finding his once more.
This time he was quick to respond as he felt Miranda’s
tongue press past his lips and into his mouth, his own arms now
wrapping around her. He held her tight as she reached down below
the table and