THE POWER TO PERSUADE
(Something Addictive #2 )
"Who was that?" she asked, "Don't tell me you answered the door with no clothes on!"
"I talked through the intercom. Got everything taken care of," he said crawling back into bed and nuzzling her neck.
"Are you ready for me," he growled, "ready for bigger and better? "
"Gabe, I don't know how that could be possible," she teased, "not possible, just not possible. "
"Tonight, Reba, you're gonna get my best shot. I'm gonna love you better than ever before--give you something to remember me by--a goodbye you'll never forget."
"Sounds good," she said tickling his ribs, "what do I have to DO to get this?"
"Nothing, you haven't lready done. You've given me far more than I dreamed was possible anymore. Now, I want tonight to be YOUR best night ever, one that will make you want to come back to me, once our lives get straightened out and we are free."
"Gabe, you know, don't you? That I got the call, that my time here is up. I was planning to tell you later. I just didn't want to ruin the precious time we had left."
"Yeah, I figured. That was Lennie at the door. He came over to tell me George has been trying to get me, that corporate had let him know you'd be taking the Red-Eye out Sunday, that I needed to call you, make sure we're both at Vitale's Bistro's at noon tomorrow."
He threw off the sheet and began moving his mouth down her body as he kissed and spread her thighs with his strong hands; licking upward he took his time to tantalize her before going downward again.
Taking a deep breath, she raised her arms and covered her eyes. He was a man who knew what he was doing and did it like a man in love. He did indeed, know how to please a woman. There were things about him that she didn't know, but THAT she knew.
All thoughts of returning to her hotel room had vanished, this would no doubt be their last night together, perhaps forever.
She lay back for what seemed like heaven on earth, completely lost in the ecstasy of his touch.
His lips, his tongue, his hands, all made her feel so alive, so connected to him. It forced her to come face to face with fleeting thoughts of leaving, not only him, but her husband too.
The thought of it all made her ache, but for what, she was not sure; she suspected it was similar to the pain she'd once felt from trying to decide whether major surgery could offer her a better life, or a worse one, or end her life altogether.
Both her pleasure and her pain, ceased the instant she heard the doorbell ring. It brought her back to reality in a most unpleasant way. Once tonight was enough. Twice was aggravating.
"Ignore it! Gabe, ignore it . . . "
"Babe, I'm gonna. Nothin's gonna stop us now, 'cause I need to slip this between your legs and make you feel good . . . it'd have to be the cops breaking down my door out there before I'd leave this bed with you in it."
The ringing doorbell ceased, but not a minute later, there was a rapping on the bedroom windowpane. This time Gabe threw back the covers, slipped into his robe, and pulled back the drapes.
It was Lennie. Half-wit Lennie.
"What and hell is it now?"
"When I left after our talk, this dude pulled in your driveway and asked if you were home. I think he saw my dad's electrical truck and figured I was here on a repair."
"So, what did you tell him?"
"Told him I was here to check sumpthin' out. Told him you were coming back to meet me later. Scared me Gabe. He was dressed in army fatigues and had shot guns in his back seat."
"Hell, Lennie, that was probably my brother Gil, in his duck hunting get-up. He told me last week he was heading up this way, gonna stay over night, show me his new gun, it's gotta be him. "
By this time Reba's nerves were shot.
"Gabe I gotta get out here. If I don't, I won't be able to keep my eyes open in the morning. George is not going to be happy with my report anyway, and if I'm not on my toes, he is going to try and make me look bad to corporate. It wouldn't be good timing for me, when I'm about to leave my husband."
* * * * * * *
Pissed at both Lennie and Reba, Gabe threw his clothes on, and drove Reba back to her hotel.
Neither one of them spoke the entire way.
"See you at Vitale's, after the meeting, we can spend the afternoon together . . . "
"Whatever!" he said, driving off without a second look.
* * * * * * *
That night Reba couldn't sleep until she took some Melatonin. It put her to sleep, but all night long she had weird dreams, not about Gabe, but George, the stubborn jerk who'd become such a royal pain in the ass.
Over her early morning coffee, she tried to recall her dreams. She mumbled to herself as she made notes in her Day Planner. "The least the stubborn bastard could have done, was stay out of my dreams."
* * * * * * *
At noon she met George and Gabe at Vitale's Bistro. They were congenial and cordial at first, but when the cost cutting details of Reba's proposal were discussed, George ended up throwing a fit.
"If corporate approves your plan, I'll quit; then they'll see firsthand how much your cost cutting saves the company."
"It might put us in the hole," Gabe said, trying to pacify George, "not get us out."
Gabe tried to calm George, but to no avail. Finally the three of them went back to the factory's main floor where Reba walked them through her plan, step-by-step, patiently demonstrating on several of the affected assembly lines.
In an effort to meet George half-way, she told him she'd be willing to modify her plan if he could offer alternative suggestions that would work as well. Grim and tight lipped, George kept his mouth shut, but shook his head side ways in disbelief.
When they all got back to the conference room, George called headquarters and talked to Tim Thompson, Executive Vice-President of Manufacturing. Mincing no words, he told him he had serious misgivings, regarding Reba's suggestions.
"There's no way in hell, I'm going to go along with this proposal."
He ranted and raved until Tim finally raised his voice said, "Knock it off. It's all going to work out, but not with you being so emotional about this."
"Look, I'm NOT a woman. I don't get emotional, I'm angry that I was not kept in the loop, that you went over my head."
"I get it George. You're angry. But know, anger, IS being emotional. But I see it as an admirable quality. And, it's one that I've always valued in you. Your sensitivity, your BEING so emotionally involved and unafraid to speak your mind. iI's what makes you valuable to us."
"Well, I gotta tell you, it didn't feel like it, this past month."
"I told you long ago, when you feel strongly about a matter that affects the company, I want you to play devil's advocate. I didn't hire you to be another 'yes man'."
"Good Tim, because I'm taking a stand and need you to hear me out. Where do we go from here?"
"George, you need to come back with Reba on the next available flight. I can't get away come to you, and besides I need Reba here next week."
"And how is that supposed to work? How are YOU gonna find the time?"
"Look George, if you're here with me in Boston, we can work all week. Meet throughout the day, go for lunch, go for dinner, do whatever it takes."
"Okay, I guess it could work."
"It can, I guarantee. This way, the three of us will have time to get the details all hashed out, and make modifications. It can turn out better, than if we had agreed originally. "
George hung up and glanced up at Reba and Gabe who nodded their approval.
"Well, I guess it's all settled, I'm flying out of here. You guys will have to excuse me for a half hour, I need to make arrangements with my ex-wife, if I'm going to be gone a week."
* * * * * * *
Twenty minutes later Tim called back when Gabe and Reba were in the break room having a cup of coffee.
"George, Tim said chuckling, "I was able to get a seat on the red-eye, the same one Reba's flying out on tonight, your seats are next to each other, so I suggest you be civil. Talk about things other than work; maybe that will help you two communicate better."
"Hey, it's nothing personal with Reba, but I hear you loud and clear. Feed em on the soft corn, choke 'em on the cob."
"George, I'll pretend I didn't hear you say that. Get your good guy's hat on. Be nice to Reba, and get your ass down here."
"I've already said I'd come."
"You did, but adjust your attitude before you get here, I'm counting on you . . . by the way, I'd like you to get Gabe to cover for you while you are gone. Do you have any problem with that?"
"Nope, I'll do it. I will have him stay for an hour and go over everything with him for the coming week, bring him up to speed, get him current. I assume, the shop continues as usual? For now anyway?"
"Of course George, no problem. Also, I made reservations for you at the Charles in Harvard Square with an early check-in. See you noon Monday, in the lobby. We'll go for lunch. Just you and me."
* * * * * * *
Reba returned to her hotel room and packed. Two hours later, Gabe called and said he'd join her in the hotel dinning room. She wasn't looking forward to their last dinner, but the time had come to say goodbye, it had to be done, with or without food.
Her heart was breaking and she had a splitting headache, not only because of so little food, but because her hunger for Gabe was not satisfied the night before.
Mixed feelings, about work, and having to leave her lover behind, as well as the upcoming challenge of separating from her husband, were taking their toll and totally stressing her out.
But being aware of the probable causes, didn't help much. Gabe's earlier coldness, kept her in a stew. She kept muttering to herself as she packed.
"What the hell did I do wrong . . . ?"
True, they had to be business like at work, but his rudeness was completely uncalled for, yet she was almost glad he'd shown his true colors. The last thing she needed in her life right now was an inconsiderate lover. Sure he was disappointed about the night before, but so was she. It was no excuse for him to act like such a jerk.
* * * * * * *
She arrived early and ordered wine for Gabe and herself. Ten minutes later, her heart skipped a beat when she spotted him walking towards her table. Her indignation along with her headache, vanished at the sight of him.
Maybe nothing is wrong after all, she told herself. It will be our last night and we should part on a high note. I'm going to make the best of it, no matter what.
"I'm glad you could meet with me," he said leaning over and giving her a quick hug and a peck on the cheek. We need to talk."
"I know darling. It's what I want too, but let's have a glass of wine first, I ordered your favorite. It will be here in a minute."
"Thanks Reba, I need it."
* * * * * * *
Once they'd placed their order and the waiter had left, Gabe proposed a toast.
"To us, for better days to come and for our loved ones too . . . "
Reba suddenly had a premonition and it wasn't a good one. She raised her glass to his, and said,
"Yes, to better days for us. For all . . . "
They silently sipped their wine until Gabe reached for her hand and looked straight into her eyes.
"I can't go on like this and I have to get this said before you leave. As you know, my wife's sick, and I have no idea what's going to happen in the months to come. We have to cut this off, everything, not even talk on the phone. I'm sorry, I never thought, we'd get so involved."
"You're sorry? You owe me more than that. Explain."
"Reba, you were the straw that broke the camel's back. After we met, after I held you and my arms and we kissed, I couldn't stand another night of sleeping alone. I wanted you body and soul. I needed you, and badly . . ."
"I know, I needed you too, Gabe."
"Reba, I love what we've had, you are a wonderful woman, but my conscience is getting the best of me. Besides, it's like YOU said, what we've had the past two weeks has GOT to end, has GOT to be put on hold until further notice; I need to go home without the smell of your perfume on me."
"Hey," she said giving him a playful poke in the ribs, "I told you before, the way you get around that is to buy your wife a bottle of MY perfume, and insist she wear it."
"Gawd Reba, that is so sick . . ."
"Sorry, I was just trying to lighten the mood, I didn't mean to come across like an insensitive husband stealing wench . . . pardon the pun, but my perfume joke stunk. Sorry."
"I know you didn't mean it. I really know that . . . I guess I was trying to convince myself that I'm not THAT devious. But guess I'm a little late, I can't stand to look in the mirror anymore."
"I know Gabe. You need to do, what you need to do."
"Yeah, and you do too Reba, do the right thing no matter what--but guess I'm preaching to the choir, huh? I know who you are, you're a good woman, a practical woman. I want to say a sexy woman, one I want to love, but you don't really want to hear that, and I am in no position to even think it."
"It's okay, I understand, you have to do what you know is the right thing and so do I, but do you honestly think that one more night of us loving each other is going to hurt anyone?"
Hanging his head, he said nothing.
"Be realistic Gabe. Let me give you a good send off. After we eat, we can go back up to my room and I'll give you enough love to last you awhile. I need that too. We both need it, to get us through the months ahead; it'll be our final gift to each other."
"I'd like that," he said, "I'd like that a lot, but I can't."
Sliding over in the booth, Reba asked, "Are you sure Gabe?"
Kissing him softly, she caressed his leg under the long tablecloth. He jerked. She felt his breath stop. Something deep inside her came alive that egged her on. She became bolder than she'd ever been in her life.
Her hand dropped down and rested upon his bulging erection where she toyed casually with the zipper on his pants.
"I want you Gabe," she whispered in a voice she nearly didn't recognize as her own. "Everything you've got to give me."
"Wider," he murmured, pushing her dress up with his left hand and sliding his right hand under it to rest on her bare leg. "I need to feel you down there, one more time; feel you all bare and wet and wanting me."
The sweetness of her arousal wafted up and clouded his senses. He rubbed one finger down the center of her belly, circling her swollen mound and finally letting his fingers gradually wade into the depths of her warm wet pool.
Arching her back slightly, she raised herself upward to thrust against his fingers as she discretely unzipped his fly under the tablecloth never taking her eyes off the unsuspecting waiters in the distance.
"I need to feel you down there too," she murmured. He nodded and moved slightly to grant her better access as her hand found its way to his bareness where she stroked rhythmically as the waiter began to walk towards their table with appetizers.
Setting them down he said, "Your dinners will be up shortly, is there anything else in the meantime?"
"Yes, I mean no," Gabe stuttered, "we are fine, thank you."
When the waiter left, he murmured, "Reba, how are we ever going to make this work? I need you, need you every day."
In the midst of the intimacy and tenderness between them, she sensed his internal conflict; and though It brought tears to her eyes, it didn't extinguish the sparks between her legs, or dampen the lust aflame in every fiber of her being.
The sensation of feeling his fingers inside her was like being sucked into a rapid whirlpool she couldn't escape. She knew at that moment, he could no more fight it than she could. Yes, she thought, he will give me what I need. The certainty gave her the freedom to take charge.
Wrapping her hand around him, she stroked away his will to leave.
His breath escaped slowly as she kissed him--slid her velvety tongue in and out of his mouth--milked his throbbing shaft.
She was too good. He couldn't stop. He jerked. He thrust and then spilled himself all over the red napkin that lay between the juncture of her thighs. Oblivious to patrons nearby he moaned and growled.
"Oh my gawd, my sweet wicked temptress, you do have the power to persuade. . . . "
To Be Continued (Part 3)