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Mist and haze. In the early summer, they were ever-present partners in southeast Louisiana, and in the streets of New Orleans. Darkness added an eerie quality that Dallas thought was unmatched anywhere; it was one of those things you just had to see, just had to experience. This was one of the reasons that he had suggested, off-handedly, that Carla meet him down here, instead of Boston, or Philadelphia, or New York, or any of a list of cities on the Eastern Seaboard, with their cookie-cutter blight and unattractive spots. Of course, New Orleans had them too in places, especially outside the French Quarter (also known as the Vieux Carre) but there was no place like the Big Easy; that was to be sure.
They walked slowly, over the dated sidewalks, feeling the heavy air around them, the understated fog encircling them. Eastward down Chartres Street they went, looking in each other’s eyes now and then (how easy it was to get lost in them), soaking up the scenes around them, commenting, making general conversation. After passing the western half of the Pontalba Apartments, the wrought iron fencing and landmark statue of Jackson Square appeared on their right. To the left, the St. Louis Cathedral stood, its gray and black spires lit in a striking, artificial white light. A street guitarist played a better-than-average blues riff on the sidewalk corner; Dallas flipped a dollar into his worn leather case.
New Orleans was one place that Dallas knew a good bit about, and he was making sure that Carla knew that he knew. Once in awhile he would get on a roll and he would try and show off a little in front of her intellectually. From the start of their interaction, on the website forum where they had begun to communicate innocently enough, he had always been impressed with her sophistication and intelligence. There was something different about her that he liked—the style with which she talked, the language she used, the way she carried herself in conversation, her jovial, sometimes teasing personality, her eclectic tastes. At times during some of their written exchanges, he found himself feeling a little inadequate. Afterwards, he would reflect on their discussion and realize that it wasn’t his inadequacy that was an issue. It was simply that he had not had an opportunity, in at least two decades, to meet someone of Carla’s depth—at least at this intimate a level—and he just wasn’t used to the exercise. Also, Carla loved history, and so, whenever the opportunity arose to share a little historical trivia that she may not know, he rarely let it pass.
“The Cabildo building served as the seat of the Spanish colonial government in the late 18th century. This is one of the things I find absolutely fascinating about the French Quarter. It may have been called French but there are so many influences down here. The city has a long history of different occupations. The mix of cultures is nothing short of remarkable…Carla?”
“Carla?” Dallas repeated, a little more firmly.
Dallas smiled. “I think my lecture on the history of the French Quarter must be growing tired and dull.”
Carla returned the smile and answered, “No, no, it’s not that. I am kind of lost in all this. It’s incredible…”
“But…?” Dallas replied, his question open-ended.
“But, I’m just a little tired. And I have a lot on my mind.”
“I thought part of the reason we came down here was to get some things OFF our mind.”
“It was. And some things are off my mind, yes. But others…”
Dallas was not going to press for details. As had always been the case in their relationship, if she wanted to talk, she would. When a few seconds passed and she didn’t continue, he broke the silence. “Perhaps I should skip the remainder of the history lecture for tonight.”
“Maybe so. Please don’t be offended, Dallas. Right now I’d just kind of like to walk in silence, and take it all in…OK?”
“You know there’s never a problem with telling me what you want. It’s just you and me here…and no rules.”
“Yes, but it’s more fun making you figure it out. It’s good for you.”
Dallas turned towards her with his typical “yeah right” kind of look on his face, the right corner of his mouth in a smirk. Carla giggled. “I’m joking,” she said, “I know I can tell you anything. And thank you.”
“For gosh sakes, don’t thank me. I think you know me a little better than that by now.” He smiled, looking at her. She smiled back, and once again their eyes locked for a moment.
Dallas had posted a request for dialogue on the website forum months before; a simple invitation for anyone that may be interested to talk about the changes that life brings in love, in beliefs—and why. His life through his 30’s had been a long journey, much of it unpleasant. A thankless job and his reaction to it (using alcohol as a crutch to numb the pain of underachievement, which was a self-fulfilling prophecy in and of itself) almost killed him. He had truly stepped to the edge of the abyss, had looked in, had somehow avoided falling in, and had done it all on canlı bahis his own. He had made it through, and was stronger for it. Yet, he had arrived at 40 and found that, although things started to fall into place with a new job and a career that started to roll, some of his real trials were just beginning. Love had turned to bitterness and mistrust. When he had wanted help, as he stood at the edge of that figurative alcoholic gorge and very well could have fallen past the point of no return, there was none coming…even from those that he loved the most. That wasn’t the only problem. Sex had become a rare event in his life, and his marriage had been on the verge of qualifying as sexless for several years now. His above-average libido certainly did not help the situation. Perhaps it was elevated from lack of satisfaction. At any rate, trying to talk about it with his wife was futile. The ideal of being able to be intimate—to be able to truly talk with a soulmate in the absence of judgment, to really share what was important, and to work out differences—was nothing but a pipe dream. It had been this way for over a decade; it just hadn’t stung that bad until now, since he had spent most of those years drinking. Through his experiences, and even before, he had changed in fundamental ways that she had never, and would never, be able to accept. But, to keep the peace, he had just decided to keep quiet and take it. As time passed, he had become less and less able to rationalize it, and started to wonder: will it be this way forever? It became harder to deal with. And he realized that, surely, he wasn’t the only one who might feel this way. So he posted, and he waited.
Just as he was beginning to become certain that his post was going to fade into oblivion, along with hundreds of thousands that others make every day, Carla had answered. A lot of what he had been feeling was reflected in her words. He replied in turn. What followed was an almost daily exchange of ideas, of thoughts, of general chit-chat, and of flirting and teasing, that went on for weeks, and then months.
As luck would have it, they were fairly close geographically. They had met for coffee one day, and their rendezvous had turned into a three-hour discussion, effortless and natural. Dallas found Carla very attractive, with her green eyes and short brunette hair. He found himself staring at her several times and having to catch himself. Before he would break his gaze, on those occasions, he did notice was that Carla was staring back on those occasions, right back into his blue eyes, and not looking away.
As they were saying their goodbyes that day, they looked at each other one last time, and Dallas, caught totally off-guard by her gaze, and her voice, had thought about kissing her for a brief second. He stopped himself—it wasn’t the best of places. But in that moment, he felt an ever-so-subtle flutter that he was totally unprepared for, and one that he thought she may have shared. Time would tell.
Later, they had agreed to meet again, for a longer period, when the situation presented itself. It seemed like a faraway wish with their schedules, but not long after, an opportunity came. It was one that was much more than they had hoped for. By pure chance, they were able to get away from their substantial routine commitments for the same couple of days, and so, after Dallas’s long shot suggestion of the Big Easy, they had hopped a plane to Louis Armstrong Airport and gotten separate rooms at a fine French Quarter hotel that Dallas had stayed in on multiple occasions previously.
They had arrived early in the hot Louisiana afternoon, and had time to get settled and to scout out the area. They made the obligatory trips to the French Market and the Café du Monde for beignets, down the Riverwalk, into and out of the commercialism of Jax Brewery, walking all the while. Later, from Canal Street, a ride on the St. Charles streetcar, past the homes of the Garden District, Commander’s Palace, the home of Anne Rice, then back to the Quarter. The evening approached; a taxi back to the hotel to clean up a bit and change, then on to dinner at Antoine’s. Carla was able to read the exclusively French menu, without help. Although a little taken aback and impressed, the waiter still customarily suggested something for the evening. Dallas and Carla deferred to his suggestions, and were not disappointed.
On they had gone after dinner…past Preservation Hall and old-time Dixieland jazz…up to Bourbon Street, with music of all kinds in every corner, and trademark decadence. Dallas, embarrassingly but openly, felt led to point out the strip joint where he, in the midst of a trademark drinking binge, got bilked out of $600 years ago. It was easy to spot, with the cheesy wooden female legs swinging in and out of a narrow window. His revelation was a story that had not led itself to details, and probably never would. Inside, he was smiling; it would have been nice if he could have remembered half of what went on that night.
They stopped by Pat O’Brien’s, a “sensible” Hurricane bahis siteleri for Carla, a Mint Julep for Dallas. Finishing those off had left them a little giddy; they had turned around, making a left off of Bourbon southward, and then turning east again at Chartres.
And now they were making their way back towards the far-east boundary of the Vieux Carre, in silence, with a long day behind them, and who-knew-what kind of night ahead.
As they walked, Dallas extended a gentlemanly arm to Carla. She took it, and they walked that way, in silence, down the five blocks on Chartres, past the residential flats, past the old Ursuline Convent, to the hotel. They arrived and entered, making their way over the black-and-white tiled lobby to the elevator. A brief look over to the normally friendly front desk clerk revealed his preoccupation with some administrative task, and they slipped by silently.
A push on the up button, and in seconds, the doors opened and they got in. Carla pushed the “3” button, the doors closed, and the car began to rise with a slow, deliberate hitch.
Dallas thought about the moment when he had wanted to kiss Carla after their initial meeting. He wondered if this might be a little better time and place, and, no doubt being helped by the effects of the wine and the Mint Julep, decided it was. He turned her face to him, getting lost once again in those gorgeous green eyes, watching her return his gaze. He didn’t know what she had gotten quiet about earlier, but he wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity worrying about it.
He turned to her, moved in close, closed his eyes and pressed his lips gently against hers. She returned his kiss, softly, sweetly. Dallas’s lips parted and he traced her lips with his tongue for a brief second. Carla followed by parting hers and their tongues met, darting, flitting. She encircled his neck with her arms, he pulled her hips close against him. A sharp intake of breath from both of them, and Dallas slid his tongue in a little deeper. Carla followed him, their kisses becoming more and more passionate, with soft sighs and sounds, so much so that they almost missed the “DING” and the doors opening on the third floor where their rooms were.
Reluctantly, they stopped. They looked at each other, and then the eye contact broke.
“Sorry,” said Dallas. “I don’t know what came over me.”
“Yes you do,” said Carla, with a smile.
“It’s OK, Dallas.”
“Yeah…but I do need time to think.”
“Are you sure?”
They walked down the hall to their rooms, adjacent to each other.
“I hope you understand, Dallas.”
“I do, I think.”
“Are you sure?”
“OK. Let me sleep on this, and we’ll talk tomorrow. I promise.”
She took his chin in her fingers and raised it to her, so their eyes met. “Sure?”
“OK. Good night, Dallas. Sweet dreams.”
“You too, Carla.”
She gave him a quick peck on the lips, took out the key, opened the door, and entered her room, the door closing behind her.
Dallas stood there a minute, looking down, deciding that she wasn’t really coming back tonight, and so he turned and went to his door, unlocked it, walked in, pressed it shut.
He leaned back against the door, bowed his head, and closed his eyes for a few minutes, wondering and confused. What was she feeling? Had she come to think this was all some awful idea and that she was sorry she’d even come down here? Had she decided that she just didn’t feel that attraction and so she was taking things back a few steps? Or was it something else?
He made his way to the queen bed of the ornately decorated room and sat down, and then laid down, for a long time, it seemed, wondering what was going through her head, not knowing for sure what was going through his. He did know one thing. He would never forgive himself if he had wrecked what they had developed. True, they were both adults, and they both had consented to making this trip, but it had ultimately been his suggestion. He wasn’t sure how he would deal with the next few days and weeks if she decided to end their conversations. He wished for a moment that they could go back to the way things were, if only they could. That was a very big “if.”
A knock came. He went to the peephole.
Carla stood in the hall.
Dallas cracked open the door, and he saw her standing there, with her brunette hair and green eyes, and a soft smile. She had donned a terrycloth robe, tied at the waist, which hung just to the top of her thighs, revealing her long, beautiful legs. Whether or not anything was on under that robe was left to the imagination.
“Surprise,” she said. “I’m done thinking.”
Dallas raised an eyebrow, keeping the door partially open. “You sure?”
“Well, truthfully, I was sure about the time I got out of the elevator.”
“And so you made me sit in here and sweat, huh?”
“Yep,” she grinned. “That is my way. And I think I gotcha.”
Indeed she had. She bahis şirketleri had gotten him again. Maddening, but he loved it. He opened the door, stepped to the side, and watched as Carla made her way past him into the room and sat down on the edge of the bed. She turned to him, patted the spread.
“Come,” she said, “sit down.” He walked over, did as she asked.
“Do you know why I came here with you?” she asked.
“So you could pick up a bag of gris-gris and put a spell on somebody?”
She playfully smacked his cheek.
“No, Dallas,” she continued, “I came here because I’ve always wanted to see New Orleans, and because I wanted to see it with you.”
“I kinda thought that might be the case.”
“Gosh, Dallas, I have to tell you every single thing, don’t I?” she grinned.
“Most things, I’d say. I told you I was slow.”
Carla said, “Tonight is the night, you know.”
“I kinda thought that too.” At least he had hoped. The threat of them spending the night separately had totally woken him up to how much he did want her. God, how he wanted her. And now, he finally knew for sure that she wanted him too.
“And you know what I mean?”
“This time, I think I have it.” Dallas smiled.
“A little. You?”
“Maybe. Just a little,” Carla smiled back.
“We can be nervous together, I guess.”
“I do think we’re off to a good start,” she said, “if the elevator is any indication.” She moved her face next to his, her lips right next to his ear, whispering. “Ready to pick up where we left off?”
“I think so,” Dallas answered.
He turned to her and began to kiss her again. Starting with soft, sensitive kisses, he soon reached over, tilting her head back, sliding his tongue deep within her mouth, feeling her tongue flick back against his, and then they were dueling, over and over each other. Their breaths got heavier, and occasionally a moan or a sigh would escape, with sounds of kissing and wetness and passion raising their excitement.
She reached down with both hands and began to unbutton his shirt as they kissed, one button at a time, down to the belt, and then she pulled it free from his trousers. He helped as she pushed it over his shoulders by extending his arms downward, letting it drop to the floor beside the bed. Her hands went to the sides of his face, ran through his hair as they continued to devour each other’s mouths. Their sighs became more audible; Dallas broke his lips away from Carla’s and began to kiss her neck softly. She threw her head back, eyes closed, feeling his lips on her. He moved to her ear, back down to her neck, then back to her lips, kissing her deeply again. She pressed forward against his mouth in response, her tongue dancing and probing inside.
Dallas reached down and unknotted the tie of Carla’s robe. He glanced down, noticed she had nothing on under it. She was perfectly naked. He ran his fingers inside the robe over her stomach, then across her breasts, bare and lovely. He took his hand and cupped one of her breasts lightly, and heard her breathless, wordless, sigh of approval. He moved his lips again down the front of her neck, down her chest, and then to the cupped breast, taking the nipple softly into his mouth. Carla watched him for a bit, then closed her eyes, totally taking in the feeling of him sucking on her tenderly. He switched breasts for awhile, then went back to the first, tonguing and kissing. He reached his hands up over her shoulders, slid them down her arms, taking the robe with it. It dropped to the bed, the tail of it still under Carla.
Suddenly, he stopped kissing her breasts and deeply kissed her mouth, while dragging his fingernails down her back slowly. She gasped sharply as she felt the tingle of his fingers, down, and then up. Reaching around him, Carla took her nails and likewise ran them down Dallas’s back. His head tilted back as he moaned, and then he went back to madly kissing her breasts. He felt her hands on his belt, undoing it, then his trousers, heard the zipper, felt her hand on him, outside the boxers, rubbing his already hard cock. “Mmmmmm,” he sighed, feeling himself start to throb a little, and then he slid his own hand down, between her legs, and felt her already growing wetness against his fingers.
After a couple of minutes, Dallas got up, let his pants drop to the floor, and stepped out of them. Then, he was down on his knees before her, and he had pulled her to the edge of the bed. Running his tongue down her right leg, he teased her all the way down to the ankle, then, slowly, he licked the inside of her leg just above it. He felt Carla shudder a bit as she sat up on her elbows, watching him. Moving to the left leg, kissing and licking the similar spot. The right leg, a little higher, then to the left. Up to the knee, a quick lick behind it and then continuing, alternating, rising, over the insides of the thighs, one to the other, left and right. Dallas could feel Carla’s legs trying to move under him, her hips try to push toward his head, and so he slowed his pace up her thighs, driving her crazy. She threw her head back, started to moan again, to plead, and then he continued, to the upper thighs, over the tops of her legs, his tongue now pointed but not totally rigid.
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