Authors: Sandra Bunino
Tags: #Erotica, #Fiction
Stephanie woke to a knock at the door. Her head was foggy and it took a few moments to orient to her surroundings. She swallowed hard when she remembered what occurred in the bed she shared with Jason. A smile formed on her lips when he rolled the room service cart into the bedroom, which was filled with delicious-smelling coffee and trays of fruit and pastries.
“Good morning,” he said, smiling at her.
He was already showered and dressed. He had on a pair of perfectly pressed khakis and a blue polo shirt that matched his eyes.
“From the look of that gorgeous smile on your face, is it safe to assume that you don’t regret last night?”
She glanced behind him and panicked at the sight of the blinking alarm clock. “Power's back on?”
“Don’t worry. Cell service is not up yet. I checked the front desk for messages. Rick called. Your husband, I presume?” Stephanie hesitated, but nodded, yes. She wasn’t ready to let on about her marital status just now. It would just complicate matters when it was time to say goodbye.
“They told him about the storm and said the guest room phones were not working yet. They promised him you would receive the message when you came down to the lobby. Coffee?” Jason lifted the silver coffee pot and poured her a cup.
“Yes, milk and a touch of sugar and I would love a croissant too, I’m starving,” she said. “You’re up early and you shaved. I rather liked your scruffy look.”
He handed her a plate with fruit and a croissant and placed the cup of coffee on the bedside table. Taking a seat on the bed, he lightly touched her leg. “I have to leave in a couple of hours. My flight home is at noon. What time is your first meeting today?”
Looking at her with those hypnotic blue eyes, she couldn’t help but flash back to those same eyes she had stared wildly and intimately into the night before. His soft touch was enough to feel the desire grow between her legs once again. That was last night. This is good bye, she reminded herself. “I have a lunch meeting with a client at one this afternoon.”
“There’s a robe hanging on the bathroom door for you, along with everything you may want for a shower. Since I’m checking out of the penthouse, Max Martin would like to offer it to you for the remainder of your stay. He also offered the use of the hotel’s limousine, all due to the trouble the power outage caused last night. He will have your things moved up to the penthouse this morning.”
She smiled as he walked out of the bedroom and closed the door to give her some privacy.
Stephanie took a couple of bites of the croissant and sipped her coffee before heading into the plush bathroom. She didn’t remember the large basket of soaps, hair products, and cosmetics on the marble countertop last night. How does he do it? She only spent a handful of hours with this man, but she would definitely miss him. Stephanie replayed the night in her mind as she showered. Yes, it was fun, and she felt strange that she didn’t regret her one night stand, but it was now time to get back to reality. She laughed at the fact that her reality was not staying in a swanky penthouse. But what the hell, she wasn’t about to turn it down.
After her shower and sampling of all of the great products from the basket, she cinched the robe around her waist and walked out of the bathroom. Jason waited for her in the sitting room with a newspaper and his coffee. She couldn’t help but think what a perfectly normal scene it would appear to be from the outside. They went through the motions of everyday events just like a regular couple. She missed the companionship and decided to make this a turning point in her life. She promised herself she would begin dating again and would get her life back in order. She owed it to herself.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Yes, um, but where are my clothes?” She looked around the bedroom.
“I sent them to be cleaned. You’ll find them in your room when you get back later today.”
Stephanie smiled. “Who are you?” she asked, not really expecting an answer.
Jason told her to wait just inside the door while he went a few feet down the hall to the elevator and pressed the up button. He came back to get her and placed his hand lightly on the small of her back to guide her to the opened doors. No guests were in the hallway, and they made it into the elevator without being seen. When the doors opened, Stephanie blinked, adjusting her eyes to see a magnificent penthouse suite flooded in sunlight. She stepped into the entry that led to a living room decorated in creams and soft browns. The carpet was so plush, her feet sank into it as she walked across the room to the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking South Beach. The understated colors of the room set off the magnificent blue sky and ocean. Stephanie proceeded out the glass doors to a private deck complete with cushioned lounge chairs and a hot tub. Standing at the railing, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath of sea air. She hardly noticed that Jason appeared next to her and placed his hand on top of hers.
“This is beautiful,” she said to him as she stared out into the ocean.
“Stef, I need to see you again. When’s the next time you travel for work?”
Stephanie turned to him. “I know you are going through the motions here, and you don’t have to say it. I understand it was a one-night fling. I’m fine with it, really.”
“It’s not a line. I would really like to see you again. I wish I could stay here a little longer, but I need to check the damage over at the Pearl Del Mar, and then I have a meeting in Seattle.”
“That’s sweet, Jason. We had an incredible night together, one that I will never forget, but we’re strangers. I’m married. It just can’t happen again.” She wanted a clean break from Jason. No empty promises; she couldn’t bear to be stung by another man.
Jason looked deep into her eyes. “I’m leaving you my contact information. You don’t have to decide right now. The ball is in your court. I won’t ask for your number. Stephanie, we both deserve happiness, and I think we proved last night that we make each other happy. Just say the word and I’ll meet you anywhere, anytime. And Stef, we’re definitely not strangers.” He flashed her a smile.
Jason picked up her hand and turned it so that her palm faced up. Lightly, he kissed the soft, sensitive skin right below her thumb. His kiss sent a current through her body. God, he turned her on like no other man ever had. It was a gift, one that she could never have again.
Stephanie rubbed her fingertips over the spot he kissed and followed him to the elevator. “Jason, I’m serious. We had one fantastic night, but that’s where it ends.”
“You can look at it as an ending, or you can consider it a beginning. The choice is yours.” He leaned in and whispered in her ear as the elevator door opened, “I hope you decide it’s a beginning. You know, I haven’t tasted you yet.”
She gave him a questioning look. It took a moment but when she understood the meaning of his last statement, her knees buckled.
“I don’t just want to see you again, I need to see you again, Stef, and I think you feel the same way. Please think about it.”
He walked into the elevator and winked at her as the doors closed.
Stephanie spent another three glorious days in The Hotel Del Santos penthouse suite. As promised, Max Martin left the hotel’s limousine at her disposal. It was her transportation to and from the hotel to the convention center in downtown Miami. The limo also came in handy when entertaining clients. One night she took a hospital administrator to dinner whose account she had been trying to nail for months. It made a great impression, and the evening ended with the commitment of a large order. Stephanie sensed a change within herself as well as a new found confidence. During a call to her office, Rick commented that there must be something in the Miami water because she was on fire. He was pleased with the new business she brought in during her time there.
Until her divorce, Stephanie was always a confident person. She chalked it up to the years of playing competitive tennis in high school and college. Tennis was as much a psychological game as a physical one. Her night with Jason not only brought back her confidence, it also awakened something that lay dormant in her for many years. She never realized that she missed the feeling of being sought after, of being wanted. That one night renewed the promise that she would find love again.
The day after Jason left, she was greeted at the suite with two-dozen long-stemmed red roses. Plucking the small card from the bouquet, she read, “Sweet Stephanie, I can’t get you out of my mind. Until next time… J.” A smile crossed her face; he really was one hell of a marketing genius. Sure, it was probably part of his repertoire with women. She was convinced he had a reminder set in his Blackberry - Remember to send flowers after fuck.
Throughout her stay, try as she did, Stephanie couldn’t control her wandering mind. She fantasized what it would be like to have Jason there with her in the penthouse. Wherever she was, she imagined him there. She envisioned them having drinks together on the terrace, taking walks on the beach to watch the sunset, showering in that grand bathroom with three showerheads and a bench. Oh, what they could do on that bench! She just couldn’t shake the thought of him. No matter where she was, her mind constantly replayed the last thing he said, I haven’t tasted you yet. Lying in the huge overstuffed king sized bed, heat rose and prickled her body with the knowledge that he slept in the same bed only nights ago. She longed to smell him on her pillow and cursed housekeeping for changing the linens.
I haven’t tasted you yet.
What would it be like? She wondered. Reaching under her nightgown, she caressed her breasts and recalled how his tongue felt caressing her nipples. A sigh escaped her lips as her hand slowly teased the outside of her panties. She imagined cradling Jason’s body above hers, his hips seeking their perfect fit as she encircled him with her legs. She pictured him showering light kisses across her body. Visions of him coaxed her fingertips along her breasts and trailed to the inside of her thigh.
I haven’t tasted you yet.
Envisioning Jason’s mouth teasing the inside of her thighs, her fingers mimicked the action. She felt his hands grab her ass and his tongue sink inside her pussy. Stephanie reached behind her head and fisted her pillow as she slid two fingers deep inside her core.
I haven’t tasted you yet.
She couldn’t hang on much longer. Her mind conjured Jason’s warm tongue tracing slowly up her sex and parting her soft folds. Her fingers teased, as she knew Jason’s would by barely touching the bundle of nerve endings that needed attention. “Oh Jason.” She called his name breathlessly as she came hard and fast. The walls of her pussy contracted against her fingers and she pressed down on her clit to enjoy wave upon wave of sheer bliss. Yes, that’s what it would be like, she smiled. Only better.
Stephanie neared the end of her trip and prepared to head back home. She walked through the lobby on her way back from an early evening run on the beach when she heard a familiar voice.
Hearing her name stopped her in her tracks. She cursed the sound of that voice. Ignore it and keep walking. But she couldn’t. She knew she wouldn’t get rid of him that fast. Turning toward the voice, she spotted him leaning against the wall under the grand staircase with his arms folded. He wore sunglasses, but she didn’t need to see his eyes to know how they looked blazing down on her.
"What the hell are you doing here, Gary?" she asked him accusingly. She was angry with him not only because of what he had put her through, but also because his presence violated her healing process. This was her oasis, her therapy, how dare he enter her special world, the one she shared with Jason.
He slowly walked to her. "You wouldn't return my calls, and I needed to talk to you. We have some business to discuss."
"We have no business, Gary. Papers are signed. We’re waiting for the house to sell and then I plan to never see you again.”
"That's the thing, Stephanie, an offer came in on the house that we need to discuss."
"Just take the offer, whatever it is, I don't care. Goodbye, Gary." Stephanie started to walk away when he yelled back.
"I don't want to sell the house, Stef. I want you back. I want things to be the way they were with us."
The activity in the lobby came to a halt. All the hotel guests shifted their eyes to her. She moved to him quickly. "Are you nuts? Stop it!" The words hissed out between her teeth.
Gary took off his sunglasses and looked at her with red-rimmed eyes. "Please Stef, can we just go to your room and talk?"
She almost felt sorry for him for just a moment. Glancing around the lobby, she caught a few lingering stares and took a deep breath. "Fine, come with me."
He followed her into the elevator where she inserted her key to unlock the PH button.
"You're in the penthouse?"
“I'm the one who should be asking questions here. Where's Kristy?"
"Kristy and I broke up. Stef, that was the biggest mistake of my life. I don't know what I was thinking."
The doors opened to her suite bathed in light from the beautiful Miami sunset. Gary’s eyes rested on the large vase of roses.
"Are you here with someone?"
"My life is no longer your concern, Gary. Let's talk about the offer on the house."
He looked at her sheepishly, "There is no offer. I just needed to talk to you, to work things out between us."
He stood near the glass doors that led to the terrace, not far from where Jason was a few days before. As much as she hated him, she couldn’t ignore his good looks. Back in college, everyone thought they were the perfect couple. They were both long and lanky, his spiky blonde hair contrasted with her long dark tresses. They made a striking couple.
It seemed natural for Stephanie to compare Gary with Jason. Admittedly, she didn't know Jason well, but well enough to see all of the comparisons between them. Physically, Jason was stronger, tougher and rugged. He had calluses on his hands from hard work. He was at least ten years older, and so much more worldly and experienced. Gary seemed like a selfish, sheltered, and self-centered little boy compared to Jason. However it was more than that. In the short time she spent with Jason, she already understood the differences between the two men were as expansive as the Atlantic Ocean. Jason was a giver; Gary a taker. Jason was selfless, caring, and kind. Gary, on the other hand, was needy, selfish and sapped her of energy. Jason tried to make her life easier. Gary found ways to make it harder.
“So you lied to me to get into my room?”
“I lied to you so that I could have a chance to explain.”
“There is nothing to explain and no way would I ever take you back. Get out now.”
“Stef, hold on.” He came up next to her, ran his fingers down her arm and whispered in her ear. “Please, I was wrong and I’ll make it up to you, just give me another chance.”
What was it she ever saw in him? There was a time, probably right up until her Miami trip that she would have considered taking him back. Now? Not a chance.
“I won’t take you back, Gary. Not now, not ever. You destroyed whatever it was we had with your infidelity. Actually, I have to thank you because I now realize that we never had a good marriage in the first place, and if it wasn’t for your affair I probably wouldn’t have known until it was much too late. Goodbye, Gary.”
There was nothing more to say. She walked over to the elevator doors and pressed the down button. Gary reluctantly shuffled slowly behind her. He seemed to attempt a reply, but the only word he was able to say as he walked into the elevator was “goodbye.”
As difficult as it was to face Gary one last time, it was as if the last bit of weight lifted from her shoulders. Stephanie was finally free of her old life and feelings of inadequacy. The end of her stay was bittersweet. She looked forward to a new start but would miss Miami, and especially the time she spent with Jason.
The staff of the Hotel Del Santos spoiled her. Each morning they delivered a tray of coffee, pastries and fruit arrived to her room along with her freshly laundered clothes from the day before. Every night she returned to find a small bottle of champagne, a bowl of ripe strawberries and a few gourmet chocolates, all at Jason’s request. She tried to have the deliveries stopped but the front desk explained Jason Royce insisted she receive the treats each day. She looked forward to the end of the day, when she took her champagne glass out to the deck, put her hair up, and enjoyed the lulling, hypnotic sounds of the surf while soaking in the hot tub. Her last day arrived, and she reluctantly packed and called the limousine driver for her ride to the airport. This was a trip she would never forget, but it was over now, and she needed to prepare herself for return to her everyday life.
As the bellman collected her bags, she took one last look around the suite. She sighed and followed him into the elevator when something caught her eye. Next to the vase of roses on the foyer table was Jason’s engraved business card, right where he left it. “Don’t go back,” Stephanie whispered as she waited for the doors to close. His silky voice played back in her head. You can look at it as an ending, or you can consider it a beginning. The choice is yours. She stuck her foot between the closing doors which opened again.
“Did you forget something, Miss?” the bellman asked.
“Shit,” she said under her breath and walked over to the table. She took one long-stemmed rose and snatched the card off the table. Even though they were just words on a card, she felt closer to Jason by holding on to something that was his. She tucked the card into her purse and walked back to the elevator. The corners of her mouth upturned to a sly smile as the elevator doors closed.