One Good Woman
This story is a re-working of a story I wrote a few years ago, One Good Man, but now told from Will’s perspective. I used the same dialog, but re-built their interrupted but inevitable love story from his point of view. This was one with some autobiographical inspiration.... Will himself is based on a real man, and I do mean, a real man ;) I’ve always struggled with developing fictional male voices, but I just happen to know Will pretty darn well, so this reboot came together rather quickly and naturally.
“Kurt’s on his way,” Will set his phone down and took a gulp of beer. He had just spent the last couple of days at a micro-electromechanical systems conference, exploring applications for his latest business venture. The sessions themselves were a bit of a bore, but the networking was well worth it, netting a dinner with a prospective client.
David, who was never as relaxed as Will was, glanced at his watch and tapped his fingers. David was Will’s business partner, but he also considered him his best friend. They met while undergrads at Duke. Will had bartended at a well-known Ninth Street bar, while David’s frat loyally haunted it. As students, they bonded over a common love of golf, craft beers, and advanced software technologies.
Will’s computer science focus was data aggregation and machine learning, while David was pursuing an industrial engineering degree. Inspired to turn their ‘bar talk’ ideas into reality, Will stayed on at Duke for his MBA and David picked up a masters in systems architecture from UNC. For their respective programs, they co-developed a thesis project creating a cloud platform for industrial processes that could use enterprise-wide sourcing and production data for higher operational efficiency.
Will had the gift of making the complicated sound simple, and the end result was a software concept they sold to a large engineering firm located in Research Triangle. The proceeds nested their bank accounts and a new business venture. They were both only 26 when they started up their consulting company, specializing in developing the next generation of IoT technologies.
“Hey Trevor,” Will stood up and greeted one of the young engineers he’d met at the conference. Trevor was with a chemical sensor company that he and David had been working with while developing their latest project. He was a tall, lean, good looking kid with tech smarts, but he still had a lot to learn about business.
“What’s up big man?” Trevor greeted Will with a warm smile. Will didn’t mind this. He’d been called ‘big’ since as far back as he could remember. If affability helped him in business, who cared? He was big, he figured, so why fight it?
“Kurt should be here shortly,” David shook Trevor’s hand, letting him know their customer would arrive soon.
Trevor ordered a beer and leaned back more comfortably than was appropriate at a business meeting. Will laughed to himself at how amateur the kid was, but reserved a small piece of envy in the way Trevor didn’t have to worry about how his body might spread out. Will would never dream of getting too comfortable in any pool bar chair without being sure it could handle him throwing his weight around.
Trevor looked across the bar and sat back up, “Check out the scenery over there.”
Will glanced over and observed two women: one a pretty blonde and one a brunette, or was she a red head? Her back was turned, half in the shade. When the sun’s warm rays touched her creamy, feminine shoulder, he could see some reddishness as her hair fluttered in the breeze.
“Wow, the blonde,” David murmured.
“I’d love to get a better look at Red,” Trevor had already coined a nickname for a woman whose face they had yet to see.
As Will looked back over, he observed two more women now greeting these ladies: one was a cute, chubby curly haired girl with a wide smile, and the other a less enthusiastic skinny brunette. Red, as Trevor had casually referred to her, stood up to greet her friends, and while she turned their direction, he saw her face. Wow.
Will wasn’t sure he had ever seen such beautiful green eyes piercing into his own, or that he could ever recall anyway. It could have been just another day of work, but it certainly wasn’t anymore. Not that entertaining customers on Hilton Head can ever be just another day at the office. Will knew he had been lucky in business, but not so lucky in love… as if luck had anything to do with either enterprise…
But how lucky would the man be who got a date with that girl? Will’s head was stuck in the idyllic moment that their eyes met, yet he was already despondent knowing he wouldn’t have a shot at being lucky with her at all. Even if he were single, he had a snowball’s chance in hell to get a woman who looked like that thinking about him the way he already thought about her.
Trevor was clearly smitten as well, trying to get her attention, which made Will’s carefully hidden envy grow deeper. He was the kind of kid who probably waltzed right into a date with a girl like Red. She glanced over again, but then after a moment, stood up to walked out toward the lobby area. Trevor ogled her body while Will nonchalantly observed her lovely shape. In a simple blue tank top and shorts she looked fantastic, clearly blessed with a strong, lean kind of femininity.
Will was jolted from his contemplation of her eyes by his phone buzzing, “It’s Kurt again.” Will took the call, and chatted briefly with him.
“I’ll meet him out front,” he told David and Trevor, and headed out toward the hotel portico. As he sauntered through the lobby, he saw Red was right in front of him. Before he could hitch up his pants to try and contain his bulk, her eyes were scaling up along his body, then connecting to his face. He usually didn’t mind being the fat guy, but at times like this, when a woman’s eyes were on him, he really wished he didn’t feel that jiggly sensation that was such a visible side effect of his hefty frame.
Nonetheless, he decided he might as well give her a taste of his southern charm anyway. Most women always smiled back. Even if this lovely creature wouldn’t find him attractive, it was always worth it to try and get a pretty girl to smile.
“Hello,” he grinned and nodded to her, channeling all of his confidence. Yes, he was overweight, but he had been told many times he was cute and had a great smile, so he was almost always willing to use those assets whenever necessary.
She smiled back, and shyly returned his greeting with a “Hi,” much to his relief. But what shocked him came next. After they passed each other by, just as he turned back to check her out from behind, she actually turned back to look at him too. Unfortunately, by the time Will had collected Kurt and returned to David and Trevor, the ladies had disappeared and it was all business talk from there.
After a lengthy but productive business dinner, the guys decided to return to the hotel for a nightcap, minus Trevor who had already taken off on an evening flight out. This left the grown-ups to discuss business, as Will had joked. Poor Trevor, he was such an inexperienced kid, he really said some stupid things to customers. It wasn’t anything Will couldn’t fix, but Trevor needed some coaching on professionalism, that was for sure.
Will excused himself for a quick break back to his room to give Wendy a call and check in with her. They exchanged the usual pleasantries, but he braced himself for the question, which inevitably came from her, “Are you being careful at those dinners?”
“Yes ma’am,” he took the path of least resistance. Of course he hadn’t been terribly careful. He couldn’t resist all the amazing food found at Hilton Head restaurants. “I took a nice long walk on the beach this morning too.” That part was actually true, he had been sticking with his morning walks. He loved the South Carolina beach far too much to miss the opportunity.
“Good for you,” Wendy sounded positive, which is what was needed to keep things calm when he returned home to her in Raleigh. To be fair, he had put on quite a bit of weight over the winter, and she was concerned for his health, she said, because she loved him. It was a good idea to try to drop a few pounds, she always suggested, and she was probably right about that too. It would only help him close deals and be more successful, she also reminded him regularly.
“I gotta go back to work,” he told her, subtly reminding her that he already was successful.
“Stick to club soda if you can,” she advised him.
Yeah, right. He was going to try to be healthier, but he wasn’t going to commit to an idea that silly. “Okay, talk to you tomorrow, love you.”
Will re-joined his colleagues at their table, and ordered a drink from the waitress. “Vodka and soda,” he told her, smiling to himself that he was, in fact, drinking club soda, just as Wendy had instructed.
“Those ladies from the pool bar earlier are here,” David pointed a couple of tables down. Will had walked right past them and had completely missed them. He glanced over and caught Red’s enchanting eyes for a moment before she shyly looked away.
Kurt looked as well, smiled and nodded, “This island is torture for a married man.”
Will’s glanced back at Red again, observing that she looked even prettier now. Torture indeed. He had Wendy in his life, but sometimes he couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to be with a passionate woman who enjoyed physical intimacy. He tried to block unfaithful ideas from his head, but they occasionally seeped in.
The blonde glanced over and smiled at David, prompting him to take action. “I know you guys are off the market, but I’d like to get to know her more. You mind if I invite them over?”
Will and Kurt shrugged in agreement, so David sauntered over to their table. Will’s heart pounded a little bit, but he had trained himself to stay cool around women, and that’s just what he would do with Red.
He overheard David ask them, "Would you ladies like to join us? We have extra chairs at our table and honestly, we're getting pretty bored with each other," he joked. "I'm David," he offered.
The three girls came over and she introduced herself. “I’m Alyssa,” she said, and sat down in the chair closest to him and his heart now pounded louder. Pretty name, Will thought, admiring her voice. It was lower but sweet and confident, giving her an air of intelligence.
He stood up and introduced himself, "I'm Will," he shook her hand, channeling his business confidence. He loved her handshake now too, it was firm and self-assured, matching her voice.
"Nice to meet you," she smiled warmly at him. He noticed her eyes cross his body, like they had earlier in the day, but again, not really disapprovingly. She looked more like she was just absorbing his size. The obvious way she observed his bulky physique was a little surprising, but not completely uncommon. People often had a way of ‘surveying his land,’ so to speak. After all, he was usually the largest guy in the group.
Everyone had already had a couple of cocktails, and the conversation flowed freely. Will’s infamous way with words streamed right through, and he relished how much he made Alyssa laugh. He knew he had a good sense of humor, and usually disarmed most people with it. He often thought he had done well in business more for his people skills than his technical acumen, although he was pretty good on that count too. His parents were both bright people with a lot of wit, and this passed down to him, along with the family tendency toward heaviness. He grew up in a big family, with a lot of laughter, shared over hearty meals.
When the girls went to the ladies room together, David grinned, “We need to get this project buttoned up so I can spend more time in Houston.”
Kurt smiled and joked, “I guess that’s another incentive to win the bid.”
“You really like Jenna,” Will observed, nodding, glad David was opening himself up to the prospect of dating. David hadn’t dated much over the last year since breaking up with his fiancé. She had cheated on him and as a result he had been pretty anti-woman for a while. Will was relieved to see him interested in someone new.
“She’s cute,” David played it down, but his grin revealed more. “You know, Alyssa seems to be hanging on your every word.”
Will smirked, having noticed her eyes on him, and shyly looking away when he looked at her. He just played it off though, “I’m an entertaining guy, what can I say?”
Kurt had been chatting with Kristen, in the mutual understanding that they were both married and there was no pressure to be anything other than new acquaintances. But for Will, he couldn’t really control the way he was feeling about Alyssa in the same dispassionate way.
When the girls returned, the music slowed down and David asked Jenna to dance. Alyssa looked up at Will and he went from his social comfort zone to a less comfortable place. Should he ask her to dance out of courtesy? Would she even want him to?
Before he could even come to a decision on the right course of action, a pretty boy sauntered up like he had emerged from a fog. With a European accent that Will couldn’t quite pinpoint, the man spoke to her. "I can't help but notice that you're the most beautiful woman in the room, and I would love for you to join me for a dance," motioning over to the dance floor.
For a moment Will almost laughed at the cheesiness of the line, but at the same time he felt defeated by the lean and stylish interloper. Then, almost as quickly as that wave of disappointment came over him, Alyssa did something he never expected.
"I'm very, very flattered," she smiled sweetly, delivering the response like she had obviously been hit on every single day of her adult life and was used to letting men down. "But I've been trying to get my boyfriend here to dance with me all night and he's finally agreed." she put her hand on Will's arm.
Will was confused, but he was still a fast thinker. He stood up and held his hand out for hers. She smiled sweetly and stood with him to walk over to the dance floor. As she glanced up at him, he leaned down to her ear, "I don't mind being a diversion tactic for the most beautiful woman in the room," he faked an accent.
"Well, you did end up being a diversion tactic, but I was going to ask you to dance anyway," she shared with a giggle, showing a more playful side, which he responded to with a grin, growing ever fonder of her personality.
With a new boost of confidence, he pulled her along toward the dance floor, putting his hand around her waist and guiding her closer to his body. It had been a while since he had slow danced with a woman, so he was a little startled to notice that his belly had grown big enough that he couldn’t even try to avoid it brushing along his dance partner. He secretly winced, hoping it didn’t disgust her, but her accommodating response was hard to read. Was she content with his touch, or just being nice?
As they danced, she didn’t say much. She had shown little hints of feistiness, but was still not very talkative. He felt desperate now to break the silence. "Are you always kind of shy?"
She laughed at that question and shook her head, "No, I'm the least shy person I know."
"Okay," he looked at her suspiciously. She had turned down one of the best looking guys in the room to hide out in Will’s arms, so he was a bit skeptical. "So why didn't you dance with the suave dude?"
"Not my type," she responded abruptly with a shrug, but no emotion and no explanation, so Will left it alone.
As they returned to the table, David announced an irritatingly responsible end to the evening. "It's late, kids, and I have to head out early tomorrow. But we should walk you girls over to your place. You shouldn't be out alone at night."
Will noticed as they walked along the resort grounds that Alyssa hung close to him, and again he caught her eyes scanning his body from the side. She was sending such mixed signals, it was making him totally crazy now. As if to make him even crazier, she turned to him as she was about to ascend the stairs to their villa. ”So you'll still be around tomorrow?"
"Yes ma'am," he told her, "I'm taking some customers out for golf and lunch, but after that I'm a free man until I leave on Friday morning." He sort of blurted it out, realizing after he said it that it could be taken as invitation, which given his relationship status already felt a little deceptive. He desperately wanted to see her again, but the implications were complicated.
"We'll probably be at the beach later in the day," she offered up in response like it was a completely welcome thing for him to have suggested.
He nearly whimpered out loud, imagining her in a bikini at the beach, but kept the line of conversation going along lightly. "If you make it up to the patio bar, you'll probably see me there." That was just drinks at the bar, after all, nothing deceptive.
"Cool," she smiled widely, and turned with her friends to go into their villa.
After the door was closed and they turned toward the hotel, David spoke. "I got her number," he smiled mischievously.
"Lucky guy,” Will smirked in a bit of jealousy, wishing he could have the freedom and opportunity to pursue something more with a woman like Alyssa.
"I’m telling you man, Alyssa really seemed to like you," David sensed his friend’s frustration. He was well aware of Will’s relationship issues with Wendy and wasn’t entirely supportive of him sticking with someone he seemed rather unsatisfied with.
"Maybe you’ll see her tomorrow," David offered.
"Yep, maybe,” Will sighed.
“If you see Jenna, talk up my good qualities,” David joked. “Have a good round tomorrow, but not too good,” he advised Will with a grin. Will was a notoriously talented golfer, and they had shared a long standing joke about how Will had to dumb down his game so as not to embarrass customers. “See you Monday, Man.”
Will was feeling utterly unstoppable on the course that morning. It was like he’d been given a little dose of golf pixie dust that stepped his game up to another level… or maybe more like three levels. He’d been lackluster on the course for months, and had started to worry that it was related to his expanding middle. But today he proved himself immune to the effects of the last several pounds he’d put on over the winter months.
David would have cringed at how well he was playing, Will laughed to himself. His customers didn’t seem to mind though. They were guys he’d played with several times, so he knew he could get away with it. It was actually kind of fun sometimes, to be the underestimated fat guy that surprised people with his talents. He definitely reveled in showing people how capable he was In spite of his weight.
After the round, he took the group to lunch. Not wanting his clothes to feel any tighter than they already were feeling, Will ordered the lighter Salmon dish. The filet looked really good, but he was still determined to go back to Wendy not looking even fatter. Just that morning, one of his clients who hadn’t seen him since last fall made the comment, “Looks like Wendy’s been feeding you well.” Will just laughed though, as he really wasn’t offended. He’d always been able to take light-hearted comments about his weight in stride. He was fat, it wasn’t a secret, and he certainly couldn’t hide it. But it never stopped him from going after what he wanted.
Well, that wasn’t entirely true. It sometimes had kept him from pursuing the women he was attracted to. Through mutual friends, Wendy had fallen into his life and it was comfortable to have someone he could spend time with. She was nice to him, cute, and easy to talk to. He’d already finished his MBA and was in the middle of setting up the company with David when they’d met. Admittedly, he’d still been under 300 at the time, so he probably felt more confident asking women out back then than he would be today. But now, three years later, he wouldn’t be shocked if he stepped on a scale and it landed closer to 350. He was a tall guy with a broad frame, so he’d always carried himself just fine. But these days his belly was hanging lower and pushing out farther. It was almost starting to feel like an extra appendage.
As his body had grown, so had related issues with Wendy. At first it was subtle. She’d make him healthy meals, and take him on walks and hikes. He actually kept his weight stable for a while, but once he started traveling more for his newly created company, meals and exercise were inconsistent, tipping the scales higher rather than lower. Wendy became less supportive and more indignant, and physical intimacy suffered. Sex with her had never been frequent, nor very passionate for that matter, but now it was pretty much non-existent.
Already, since meeting Alyssa just the day before, he’d become aware that he was missing it much more than he’d realized. Her pretty face kept popping into his head and he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her eyes; the way they looked right into him, scanned him and covered him with her attention. It was kind of scary and kind of thrilling at the same time, but also surreal too. He couldn’t shake the feeling that even his golf game improved because she had stirred virile feelings he’d been setting aside for some time.
Alyssa continued to plague his thoughts well into the afternoon. He tried to work on a revised bid proposal, but every time someone would walk through the pool bar area, he’d glance up to see if it was her. He found himself skimming over the beach several times, or at least the part he could see, but it seemed like a muddled mass of vacationing families were clouding his view.
He also couldn’t help but want to see Alyssa’s body in a bathing suit. She looked like she was fit and tight; and, well, pretty much the opposite of him, which was rather intriguing as well. It wasn’t her specific body type that made him all the more captivated, it was that she was gorgeous, with a great smile, and her body was part of that alluring package.
Thinking back, he actually had always been open to women of different sizes, and had enjoyed being with chubby girls as much as thinner ones. He smiled to himself about what a player he’d been for a while there in college, while working at the bar. There were actually quite a few girls he’d hooked up with back then. He’d always been a chubby guy, but his confidence and half-way decent looks got him pretty far with college girls of varying sizes and shapes. Come to think of it, being overweight hadn’t stopped him from having dates to every high school dance either. Maybe he hadn’t always been so unlucky in love, it just really felt like it lately...
He finally nosed down into those agonizing terms and conditions when his attention was roused by a group of young guys across the patio bar who had been progressively getting more and more drunk. They were loudly admiring a girl in a hot pink bikini who was rinsing herself off at the outdoor shower next to the deck. His curiosity turned to shock when he realized it was Alyssa whom they were obnoxiously worshiping.
It all happened faster than he could even react. He saw her horrified face, and jumped from his seat. As he left the area, he scolded the bartender, “You’re asking for trouble if you keep serving those assholes.”
He went after her, not certain what he was going to do or say to help her, but he wanted to try anyway. His whole body shook as he jogged as fast as he could to reach her and get her attention in the lobby. That jiggle made him cringe, but it wasn’t enough to deter his heroic impulse.
She slowed just enough for him to reach and touch her arm, “Hey!" he smiled to disarm her, "You move really fast."
"What?" she looked shocked, but then her eyes softened when she looked into his eyes. Damn, her eyes...
"I saw you and wanted to say hello, but you buzzed by so fast, I practically had to run to catch you," he joked, realizing as he said it, what kind of amusing image his lumbering body might invoke in her head.
"Oh, sorry," she just smiled more widely, wrapping her towel around her sexy little waist.
"You had several tongues hanging out over there you know," he laughed, hoping to make light of it, so she wouldn’t feel too embarrassed.
She rubbed her forehead, looking so sweetly self-conscious anyway, “"Um yeah, I realized too late that I was making a spectacle of myself.”
"No, no," he smiled, "you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Those guys were drunk and obnoxious. They should get tossed out. But," he paused, giving her bikini-topped and bare-waisted body an appreciative glance that he couldn’t control, "they were right about one thing, you look good."
He hoped and prayed that she wasn’t creeped out by his admiration, especially after what those guys did to her, but her face relaxed and she actually looked receptive to his flattering words. He took a chance and asked her, "Do you want to join me for a drink or something? I mean, if you don't have anything else going on?"
"Yeah," she exclaimed, much to his relief, "that would be excellent. But I have to run back to our villa to handle a work issue... emergency email."
"There's actually great wireless right here," he lifted his laptop, having instinctively grabbed it on his way to run after her.
"Excellent, it was really slow over at our place yesterday. Give me 20 minutes?" She offered.
Will felt his confidence coming back, as she was so open and kind. “I’ll be back at the bar, waiting for you,” he winked.
Almost like clockwork, and like a dream, Alyssa waltzed back into the bar looking like an angel. She matched the afternoon sun with her glowing skin wrapped in a cute yellow dress. He couldn’t help but notice her legs too. They were shapely and feminine, matching her pretty arms. He imagined them wrapped around him… well, trying to get around him, he chuckled to himself.
He had found a table with two chairs and pulled one out for her. "That was fast. You need a drink?" he asked her. Women always drew out his southern hospitality. Will’s mother was a stickler for manners and drilled every chivalrous detail into his head about how to treat a lady.
"Yeah, I would love one," she smiled. "Vodka cranberry?"
"No problem," he smiled back. From the bar he glanced back at her and noticed her eyeing his body again. He wasn’t sure what to make of it, but she wasn’t running away in terror, so he tried not to overanalyze it.
She dug into her work and was typing with a smile on her face when he returned with her drink.
"You're smiling," Will said as set her drink down.
"Oh, I just had to run interference on an issue. I'm smiling because it's a quick fix, no long winded emails to write,” she explained.
"The best kind are short winded," he agreed, admiring her proactive yet relaxed approach to work.
She closed her laptop and gave him a kind smile. He wanted to know more about her, so he asked her about her job, and her life. On top of being sweet and beautiful, she was smart, successful and a great listener. How could this incredible girl be single? And why did he have to be unavailable?
They had completely lost track of time, because her cell phone was buzzing with her friends looking for her. He glanced up and realized that it was now almost dusk. He couldn’t help but listen to her side of the conversation with curiosity.
"Working over at the hotel. The wireless is better over here," she told her friend, while winking at Will. "What time is it?"
Will figured it was close to dinner time because his stomach started really rumbling.
"I'm still waiting for a call back from our project engineer on this drawing problem, and then I have to shoot off another email,” he overheard her explain.
This was an interesting response, he thought. She had closed her laptop more than two hours ago and hadn’t seemed to be checking back on anything.
"Yeah, okay, let me give you a call back in a few minutes," she ended the call.
"You have dinner plans?" He couldn’t help but put her side of the phone conversation together.
"Kind of," she explained. "I guess we have a reservation at some popular steakhouse, a bird name?"
"Cranes? That's just down the road about a mile," he knew the area well.
Alyssa nodded, "I think that's it."
Cranes was stuffy and he felt the food was boring, but he didn’t want to offend. "It's a good choice, but the views at the Old Cove are better. That's seafood though," he explained.
"I love seafood, but Brooke is allergic to shellfish so we're not allowed," she frowned.
"She picked a bad place to spend a vacation then," he laughed. "There are some excellent crab places around here." Now he was really getting hungry.
"Where are you eating tonight?" She asked him with interest.
"Well, I did consider going over to the Cove. I know the owner and the food is great." Will had talked to Jamie a few weeks before about stopping by during this visit. He had been craving Jamie’s famous Peach Pie for months.
"I don't suppose you wanted company," Alyssa offered.
Now he felt yet another bolt of excitement. This was getting dangerous, but he could not say no to her. It was just dinner, right? "Yeah, absolutely… but what about your friends?"
"Oh, they'll get over it. It wouldn't be the first time work got in the way of plans," she shrugged cutely, alluding to her white lie.
"Let me call Jamie," he pulled out his cell phone, stood up and walked a few feet away to make the reservation. While he was chatting with his friend, he glanced over at Alyssa, and of course, yet again, she was eyeing his body. He was almost used to her eyes on him now, but he was dying to know what was going on inside her stunning head.
"I got a reservation at 8, is that okay?" Will asked her.
"Perfect," she smiled brightly, sipping her drink. "Do I need to change?"
"No, you look beautiful the way you are," he blurted, unable to be anything but completely honest. Who could look at this woman and say otherwise?
She smiled demurely, “I need to call Jenna back, then.” Now she stood up and paced while talking to her friend, allowing Will to check out her this time.
He overheard her make excuses that sounded not entirely accurate, something about this work issue, and to go ahead without her. He was still struggling to understand her motivations. She seemed to be genuinely interested in him, but he also entertained the possibility that she was just looking to get away from her friends, or maybe she just liked getting to know different people, and it wasn’t some kind of brewing chemistry for her like it was for him. But if she actually, really, did like him that way, he was getting himself closer to a big emotional letdown.
Jillene greeted him with open arms, “Will! I saw you on the list," she hugged him. "So good to see you again." She extended the hug a little longer and whispered in his ear, “Nice work handsome, she’s beautiful.”
Will smirked at Jillene, trying to share with his facial expression that his intentions were honorable.
"I'm Jillene," she introduced herself to Alyssa and led them to a romantic table overlooking the water.
"You were right, Will, the views are incredible," she smiled at both Will and Jillene.
He turned to Jillene with a wink "Thanks J."
After she walked away, Alyssa probed Will, "You seem to know her pretty well."
"She's dating Jamie, the owner." He explained.
"Oh," she said, "well then I guess that explains her friendliness."
"Why?" He smirked, "what did you think?"
"Well, it just seemed like she knows you very well, I kind of thought that maybe there was something between you two, the way she hugged you," she seemed almost jealous, but he couldn’t be sure.
"Oh no, I'm not her type," he said bluntly with a laugh.
"What's her type then?" Alyssa pushed him to explain.
Just then Jamie came out to say hello. Will had known Jamie since he was 12. They’d met in middle school when Jamie’s family moved to Greenville, and they quickly became good friends, playing together on the football team where Will was a lineman, of course, and Jamie the star running back. Jamie never liked the bookish side of academics the way that Will had, and pursued his love of cooking in culinary school. Through a family inheritance, he was able to open the restaurant of his dreams near Burkes Beach. Will loved going to see Jamie and eat his amazing creations every time he came to Hilton Head.
“Will!” Jamie greeted his old friend with a huge smile. Will stood up and gave him a hug. He hadn’t seen Jamie since the summer before, at the wedding of a mutual friend back in Greenville. Wendy had been in a bad mood that day, and she didn’t leave a great impression on Jamie, Jillene or any of his old friends there. No wonder Jillene was happy to see him with someone else, even if she wasn’t his girlfriend, and probably wouldn’t ever be.
Alyssa shook his hand, "Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you as well," Jamie greeted her with the same welcoming enthusiasm as Jillene had. Will talked with Jamie briefly about how the business was going and then returned to the kitchen.
"So," Will returned to her question, "He's her type."
"How do you mean?" Alyssa seemed to play dumb. Like she couldn’t see the different between his hugely fat gut and Jamie’s extremely lean physique?
"He's into triathlons and ultramarathons, stuff like that," Will explained, trying to make it clear without saying something more crude and debasing, along the lines of ‘I’m a huge fatass, so stop pretending you’re blind!’
"That's a reason to be someone's type?" she asked.
"No, I mean he's not fat," Will threw it out there with a playful smirk, as if she was really asking for him to say it out loud.
"No, he's not, I guess, but maybe she just likes him for who he is," she winked knowingly, without missing a beat. Her words perplexed him completely, but he wasn’t going to be thrown by it. He changed the subject back to some of the work related conversations they had been having back at the pool bar.
They ordered his favorites: wine, crab and peach pie. The food was so good, he hadn’t even realized how much he’d eaten until his plate was empty and Alyssa was offering him more from hers too. Wendy would have been mortified by his appetite, but Alyssa didn’t seem to bat an eye. She was lovely and kind to him, complimenting his food and wine choices, and encouraging him to enjoy it all, rather than condemning his consumption of it. He began to wonder what was even normal. Had he gotten so used to Wendy’s disapproval that a meal without negativity seemed strange?
At some point they realized that the restaurant was closing, so they said their goodbyes to Jamie and Jillene, and headed back to the resort. As he began to walk Alyssa back to the Villas, she seemed to be stalling, and then suggested, "It's a fantastic night… do you want to walk a little? The path down to the beach is really pretty."
"Sure," he tried to hide his anxiety. This was getting very dangerous now.
He followed her down the stone walkway, trying to alleviate his nervousness by just talking casually about the island, and suggesting what to do while she was still there for a couple of more days. But Alyssa seemed only focused on him, his body and his eyes. Her demeanor had really shifted from shy to persuasive, and he could no longer come up with any other scenario for her intentions. He was now quite certain that she was going to come on to him, and he started to feel a cloudy, dull ache form in his chest.
When they reached the beach, she slipped off her pretty sandals and dug her feet in the sand. The moonlight framed her face, and gave her a seductive glow. She took a deep breath. "It really is peaceful here when no one else is around," she suggested, smiling knowingly into his eyes.
He smiled back but didn’t take a step forward. Undeterred, she walked back over to him and stood face to face with him, put her hands on his shoulders and reached up to kiss him.
Unable to stop himself, like a natural reflex, he brushed his lips on hers and felt the deepest jolt of electricity yet. She looked up at him, grinning, while her hands roamed down his love handles. Those same mounds of fat that Wendy would never touch, but Alyssa’s hands seemed to be drawn to them like a magnet.
Wendy… damn her. Will was not a cheater and he didn’t intend to start now. He may have been a little man-slutty in his younger days, but never while in a relationship with expectations of commitment. No matter how much he wanted Alyssa, nor how much faith he had lost in his relationship with Wendy, he wasn’t going to be that guy, for Alyssa’s sake as much as Wendy’s. The frustrated pit buried inside him was now nearly as enormous as his belly. He took a step back, put his hands in his pockets and looked down, fearing his resolve would melt away if he looked back into her piercing eyes in that moment.
"What's wrong?" she asked with growing frustration in her tone.
"Alyssa, there's something I should tell you," he sighed, now wishing he had said something earlier, but hadn’t quite found the right point in their conversations.
She stepped toward him again, with her hand on his arm, and murmured in a reassuring tone, "Will, I am very attracted to you." She was making this so much harder with that revelation. Alyssa was honestly and sincerely attracted to him?
He stepped back again, and with a serious look on his face he told her, "You're gorgeous and amazing, Alyssa, it's just that…"
"It's just that what, Will?" now she sounded even more frustrated.
"I have a girlfriend," he admitted, feeling a dry choke in the back of his throat.
"You what?" she almost shouted.
He shook his head, "I'm sorry, I should have said something sooner, I wasn't sure you were really interested in me that way," he explained.
"Well, I feel like a fool," she said coldly.
"No, don't. I'm the jerk," he tried to apologize.
She was obviously holding back tears. "Can you just walk me back to the villa, I feel cold."
"Sure," he agreed softly, now utterly hating himself for hurting her this way.
They walked back silently. As she started to open the door, he realized he’d probably never see her again. He touched her arm, trying to find the right words to explain how he really felt, but nothing right came to mind.
"I wish the circumstances were different. You have no idea…" he started to say, but stopped himself. How was he going to explain that he was in a relationship with a woman that he wasn’t satisfied with? That she withheld physical affection because he had gotten so fat? He was a man with dignity and pride, and he couldn’t bring himself to share that detail of humiliation; he just couldn’t.
She looked at him with an angry longing all over her face, but her words shut it all down. "Don't worry about it, it's not a big deal, have a safe trip home," she forced a half-smile, unlocked the door and slipped inside without so much as a backwards glance.
Will wanted to die inside. He wasn’t sure he had ever felt emptier. But then, as he walked back to the hotel, that dry emptiness gave way to a flood of emotions, including those he’d felt before he’d ever laid eyes on this sweet nymph named Alyssa. All the resentment he’d been repressing over the way Wendy had been cuckolding him was now seeping out. And regrets, as well as anger at himself. Though he wanted to blame Wendy, he knew that it was his own fault he was in this position. Just like everything else in his life, if he wanted something, he’d have to start to deal with it head on, and not let it slip through his fingers.
The five hour drive back to Raleigh gave Will plenty of time to think and plan. He needed to make a change in his life. But unlike every other return to Wendy, that change didn’t involve a diet plan or gym membership. This time he was going to lose weight the easy way, by dropping all 130 pounds of Wendy.
It felt good to get a little angry. He was going to reclaim control over his life and how he felt about himself. He wasn’t some sad, desperate project that needed saving from his appetite. He was a successful man that maybe some other women still found attractive. Well, at least one said she did, and that was enough to give him motivation to get his old self back: the guy he liked, not the one he’d been tolerating.
When he got back to his condo, Wendy wasn’t there. He remembered she was going to her sister’s place in Charlotte for a few days, so he’d have to sit and stew on it a little longer. He may have been ready to dump her now, but he was still a gentleman and would do it in person, and give her time to move out.
All the while, Alyssa had been haunting his thoughts more than ever. He tried to concentrate on work, focusing on getting their latest proposal in position to win, but it hadn’t been easy. Making it worse, David had been talking about Jenna. Will felt so frustrated that he couldn’t reach out to Alyssa, but after seeing her hurt face that night on the beach, he knew he’d been an idiot and had ruined his chances with her. And he sure as hell couldn’t do a damn thing about it anyway while Wendy was still in the picture.
Some relief came when Wendy returned home from Charlotte. Finally, after an agonizingly long week and a half of simmering, he sat Wendy down to talk.
“It’s time we were honest about where this is headed,” he started.
“Will, don’t,” Wendy stopped him. “You need to get your weight under control first.”
“What?” he was confused. He was trying to break up with her, but she just brought up his damn weight again. That anger kicked back in, but he forced himself to stay cool and focused.
“We can’t take the next step,” she shook her head, “not until you get some help with your weight problem.”
“Next step?” He was sure they were not on the same page now. Of course that was nothing new.
“I talked to my sister, and she suggested we get counseling, you know... And you could see a dietician, and figure out why you overeat. Once you make a commitment to your health, then we can talk about marriage,” she nodded as if these were reassuring words.
Will’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. He started laughing, amazed by how long it took him to see that they were completely incompatible. “You thought I was going to ask you to marry me?”
“Well, yeah, you’ve been saying you want to settle down for a long time,” she explained.
“I would like to settle down, but I know now that it can’t be with you,” he stated more quietly, but still resolutely.
“What?” Now it was her turn to be confused
“You need to be with someone you are attracted to,” he started.
She interrupted, “Will, I am attracted to you, you’re an amazing person. You just need to drop this extra weight… but I can help you.”
“You’ve been trying to help me for three years, Wendy, and look where it’s gotten you? And Me?” he grabbed his soft gut. “I’ve always been fat, and I’m mostly okay with that, but you’re not.”
“It’s not healthy,” she started to say.
Will cut her off, “Yeah, it’s not healthy to be in a relationship with someone that doesn’t make you happy… someone you don’t feel passion for,” he felt his anger resurfacing and took a deep breath to calm himself. “It’s time we both admitted that it’s not working for either of us and move on.”
Wendy began to cry, now clearly processing that Will was ending their relationship.
“I know it sounds cliché, but you’ll thank me when you meet someone who fits your idea of a future husband. You’ll be glad we ended this now, not later,” he touched her shoulder. He certainly knew that he already felt this way, but he wasn’t going to elaborate about what, or who, changed his entire perspective.
“I need a couple of weeks to find my own place,” she whispered through her tears, conceding his position.
“Of course,” he agreed, nodding. He dreaded the days they’d still have to be together under the same roof, but he couldn’t throw her out on the street either. She had some friends in the area, and her parents lived out near Hillsborough. It wasn’t like she didn’t have any options, so that alleviated some of his guilt.
In the meantime, Will said nothing to David. He kept things business as usual as he didn’t want this to distract all the critical work they had brewing. Will actually took advantage of the situation and scheduled a series of business trips to visit customers while Wendy figured out a plan and got her things moved out.
He lived out of his suitcase for the better part of that month, in one city after another, pouring over specifications with project partners and building potential business relationships. He started to lose track of his time zone… Cincinnati, San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta… and then David brought it up: Houston. They needed to close the deal in Houston.
“I’ve been talking to Jenna almost every day,” David admitted, while they ate lunch in their office, preparing their final presentation package.
Will nodded and smiled in support of his friend, hiding his irrational jealousy, “That’s great, man.”
“I’m going to see her when we’re there,” he explained.
“Cool,” Will took a big bite from his sandwich.
David paused, and then spoke seriously, “I know it’s not my place, but I just don’t understand why you stay with Wendy, when you have a chance with someone like Alyssa… she really seemed to be into you,” David blurted.
He had a point about Wendy, he always did. But what did David know about Alyssa? She could only be angry and disappointed in Will at this point. Still, Will figured it was time to admit to David that he was no longer with Wendy. He certainly didn’t want to lie about it.
“Wendy and I called it quits,” Will stated plainly.
David nearly choked on his sandwich, but then broke into a smile, “Really?”
“Yeah, we agreed it was over,” he didn’t want to drag him through the awkward details. David already had a sense of their incompatibility issues.
“When did this happen?” David still look shocked.
“About three weeks ago, but it took a couple of more weeks for her to move out,” he explained.
“Wow, I don’t know whether to say I’m sorry, or congratulate you,” David shook his head.
“Neither. It is what it is,” he shrugged, taking another big bite of lunch.
David’s eyes now grew wide and excited. “You have to see Alyssa when we’re in Houston next week.”
“I don’t think she wants to see me ever again,” he murmured. He could still feel the sting of her disappointment that night outside the villa.
“Well, now that you don’t have Wendy’s noose around your neck, I can tell you something… Jenna said Alyssa really liked you,” David grinned.
“Well, sure, we had a good time together,” Will played it off, not wanting to get his hopes up.
“No, I mean she was really into you,” David detailed what Jenna had shared.
“I’m sure she’s moved on,” Will smiled at his friend’s enthusiasm, shoving the rest of his sandwich in his mouth.
“No, you don’t understand, Jenna is her best friend. Alyssa told her she still misses you,” David raised his voice in frustration.
Will’s heart pounded as he chewed, processing what David was saying. “Come on man, she doesn’t strike me as someone who would wait around. I know I’m a decent guy, but I’m not exactly the kind of Adonis that could keep a girl like that pining away,” he admitted to David.
“Dude, no, Jenna told me something else about her,” David was really grinning now.
“What?” Will was amazed by all of this information David suddenly was sharing.
“She doesn’t want an Adonis. I mean, apparently she only dates big guys,” his grin continued.
“She likes fat guys?” Will kind of laughed in nervousness, now acutely aware of the way his belly pushed the buttons on a shirt that felt loose only a few months before.
“Jenna used the term ‘Teddy Bear,’” David smirked. “I think she avoided saying the word ‘fat,’ but that’s what it sounds like,” David laughed along with him.
Will shook his head in disbelief. No wonder she had been appraising his body like that, but never really judging him, nor ever disgusted by his appetite. His hands fell to the mass of flab in his lap behind his desk, subconsciously feeling its expanse. Alyssa was a chubby chaser? Holy hell, like he even needed one more thing to love about her.
“Well that settles it, I guess we’ll need to have dinner with them while we’re in Houston,” Will shrugged in joking reluctance.
“Yes!” David fist pumped Will’s renewed interest. “I love having ‘aggressive Will’ back in the game.”
“So this is all just to get me fired up to get this project closed?” Will joked.
“It’s animal instinct, man. I can see the fire in your eyes,” David joked back. “I missed that guy.”
Will had asked David not to say anything about his break-up to Jenna. He wanted to tell Alyssa himself, in person. It was all too personal to share any other way. David understood, and just asked Jenna if Alyssa would be open to a dinner foursome. At first Jenna was reluctant, having watched her best friend try in vain to get over Will, not wanting to prolong the brooding. But David convinced Jenna that Will wanted a chance to explain. Not to mention, they’d eventually have to see each other now that David and Jenna were growing closer, so she agreed it was a good idea to clear the air.
Will took a deep breath and called Alyssa to ask her to dinner. His heart pounded but he talked himself into sounding calm, cool and collected. He got her voicemail and left a message, "Hi Alyssa, its Will. I'm here in Houston and I’d like to see you. Give me a call when you get a chance."
Those few hours felt like an eternity until his phone buzzed back with Alyssa’s name showing up on his phone. His heart pounded again, but he answered right away, not wanting to miss one of the most important calls he’d gotten in a long time.
"Hi Will, it's Alyssa," she sounded happy and relaxed, the way he’d remembered her voice, putting him at ease.
"Hi Alyssa, how are you?" he asked sincerely, breaking the ice.
"Um, great, just a little tired from traveling. The weather was bad in Philly, so my flight was delayed and then I got stuck in heavy traffic coming home," she explained travel frustrations that he knew all too well.
"Aw, that's the worst, especially when you just want to get home after a long trip," he commiserated.
"Exactly," she sighed.
"So… then do you think you'd be up for dinner tonight?" He asked, hoping that David’s understanding of the situation was actually correct.
"Um, yeah, I don't have any plans," he heard a hint of hesitation in her voice, but she was just positive enough to keep him hopeful.
"David and Jenna wanted to know if you and I would like to join them at Fogo de Chao," he tried to stay casual in his tone, to keep the pressure off anything.
"I haven't been there in ages but I know it well. Great place to take customers," she was nonchalant about it in return.
"I've heard it's good. There's a Brazilian place in Raleigh but David said this one is better. Can you meet us there at 7:30?" He crossed his fingers, still pulling out all of the confidence mojo he had.
“Yeah, sounds great,” she agreed.
Yes! He felt his own fist pumping in the air. Was he finally going to get close enough to her so he could kiss her the way he had wanted to the first time?
Will met David in their hotel lobby and they walked together down Westheimer toward the restaurant.
“I really like Jenna, she’s a sweet girl,” David seemed smitten.
“I’m glad you’re back in it,” Will alluded to his friend’s hiatus from romance since he dumped his cheating ex. “Alyssa made her sound like a really great friend, so that bodes well.”
“Jenna spoke well of Alyssa too,” David nodded knowingly. “I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that you’ve moved on from Wendy.”
Will shrugged. He was used to the anti-Wendy sentiments from his friends. He knew why, but since he did the dumping, he felt obligated to defend her, “Wendy wasn’t a bad person. It just wasn’t a good fit.”
“You already seem so much happier though,” David shared his observations. “You’re like the old Will I know: hungry for the deal, ready to go in for the kill,” he laughed, slapping his best friend on the back.
Will just chuckled, amazed at how well his friend really knew him. They waited in the lobby for a few minutes before Jenna entered, and Alyssa right behind her.
Will couldn’t understand how that girl got more beautiful each time he saw her. She was outright sexy in a white and black outfit that reminded him of how lustful she’d made him feel back on Hilton Head. For a moment he wondered how the hell he was going to convince her to give him another chance. But then he reminded himself that she already admitted she was attracted to him, so he flashed her his most self-assured smile.
She shook his hand as a friendly but obviously guarded gesture, yet her pretty green eyes were much kinder than when they last departed from each other. And then, predictably, those same damn eyes skimmed along his body like they had done from the first time they saw each other. At least now he knew she liked some bulk on a man, so that gave him a little more clarity than confusion about what was possible between them.
Through all the small talk and chatting at the table, Will matched Alyssa’s passing glances with gazes of his own, growing more excited by this virtual game of chase… trying to get a sense of her inhibitions and breaking them down, one flirtatious look after another.
Before they had a chance to order, Will’s phone buzzed in his pocket. He glanced down and saw it was probably the bid decision they’d been working for months to win. "I'm really sorry, I have to take this. Go ahead and get started," and he excused himself.
As if he already hadn’t been feeling great, the news came in. Will and David were successful in the bid. It was a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal and it went their way. Will came back to the table with a huge grin, "We got the job."
David clenched his fist, "Yes!"
Will looked at Alyssa, and she smiled warmly at him with admiration in her eyes, "Congratulations," she nodded to him.
"It's been a rough couple of months," Will sighed. "I'm just glad it's over."
"It's not over," David joked. "Now we have a ton of work to do." He paused and then chuckled, "Unless of course you're talking about your ex, in which case, I'm glad that's over too."
Will glared at David. He hadn’t said anything yet to Alyssa, and wasn’t sure he wanted her to learn of it this way, but the news was out in the open now.
"What?" David smiled, "Am I wrong?"
"It's just, I haven't talked about it…" he stuttered, glancing at Alyssa’s stunned face.
David looked at Will with remorse, "Sorry, man. I thought you already…" he stopped.
Alyssa still looked rather shocked, took a sip of water and then stuttered, "I, um, have to use the ladies room," and jumped up from the table. Will felt a wave of regret wash over him again. Did he blow it again but not telling her sooner? Would this make her even angrier at him for again keeping his relationship status guarded?
Jenna sat stunned, glaring at David “Why didn’t you tell me?” And then she glared at Will, “Or her?”
“I wanted to tell her myself,” Will mumbled. He wasn’t hiding it from her to be a jerk, he just wanted to explain in his own way, so she wouldn’t jump to conclusions about what kind of guy he was. Relating why he had been so open to Alyssa’s flirtations, and why he was now ready to move on meant delving into whole reason he had been unhappy. The fact that his weight had been such a wedge between he and Wendy wasn’t something easily shared.
“When did this happen?” Jenna pressed them both.
“A few weeks ago, now,” Will admitted.
“Oh Lord,” Jenna rolled her eyes and sighed in frustration over her best friend’s torment about Will during those last few weeks, and got up to go after Alyssa.
“Sorry man, I forgot that it wasn’t known yet,” David explained. “I was just so psyched about the project news.”
“It’s fine,” Will put David at ease, as he always did. “At least now she knows that I’m not a complete cheating heel when I flirt with her,” he smirked.
“I’m definitely seeing a game of cat and mouse playing out here between you two,” David smiled.
When Alyssa returned, Will stood up and pulled her chair out for her to sit down.
"Sorry, I choked a little on my water, I didn't want to make a spectacle here at the table," she excused her abrupt departure.
There was an awkward silence for a few moments, when David broke it, "So this new project is going to bring us back to Houston again in a couple of weeks," he shared.
Jenna looked at Alyssa and then smiled at David and Will, "I hope you make time to see us."
Alyssa glanced at Will and he gave her a sincere look to reassure her that his intentions were honorable. She returned a kind smile letting him know she wasn’t angry either. The volley of coy glimpses and lusty stares continued in an even more flirtatious and obvious way throughout dinner. Will’s own non-verbal efforts were meant to let her know exactly what he wanted; the same way she had scanned his body so many times.
At the end of dinner, David mentioned that he and Jenna had considered going to a country bar further down on Westheimer.
"I know you hate country music, Alyssa, but it could be fun," Jenna urged.
Will shook his head at David. His best friend knew full well that Will did not like country music, nor country bars, nor any line dancing of any sort, whatsoever.
Will and Alyssa exchanged a mutually understanding smirk on this count. If she didn’t like the music either, this would be his opportunity to get her alone to talk, explain, and … well, anything else she wanted. "I'm not a fan either. Just because I'm a southern boy, doesn't mean I'm a redneck too," he joked.
"The hotel you're staying at has a really nice observation deck attached to the bar," Alyssa suggested to him, raising her eyebrows in an unspoken invitation.
"That's more my speed," Will nodded back.
"Do you two mind boot scooting without us?" Alyssa questioned David and Jenna.
They agreed and the two couples parted ways for the evening.
Will and Alyssa sat down next to each other on a bench overlooking the uptown area. This was her turf now, so it was her turn to give him a rundown of the city. She pointed out some of the buildings and landmarks that could be seen from the bar’s floor to ceiling windows. He hung on her every word like he’d be quizzed later.
After a moment of quiet between them, Will found the right moment to clear the air about his newly ended relationship. "I really want to apologize again for how I left things in Hilton Head," he explained.
"No, you don't have to. You were honest and that's all I could have asked for," she was so generous in her understanding.
"But I really didn't tell you the whole story," he continued to head first into his explanation. "Wendy was still living with me, but we had been falling apart for a while," he looked her in the eyes. "I didn't tell you all of this before because it seemed calculating, you know? To use that as an excuse to cheat would be kind of low.”
She nodded in understanding while he paused and took a deep breath, “And I was embarrassed about the situation," he admitted. He paused again, and then decided that Alyssa was worth sharing everything, even the uncomfortable parts. "We broke up over my weight."
Right away, Alyssa looked like she wanted to reassure him, but she paused and took a moment to respond. Then asked, "She didn't like your size?"
"That's an understatement," Will couldn’t help but laugh. "She always talked about getting counseling for our relationship, but really she just wanted me to get diet counseling."
Alyssa made a judgmental face, "It doesn't sound like you were meant to be together."
"I guess not. I was heavy when we met. Shoot, I've always been fat, but I think she thought she could change me or something," he explained, wanting to be honest about his weight history. If it turned out Alyssa didn’t actually like guys as big as he was, she had the chance now to back out. He sure didn’t want to go through what he went through with Wendy all over again.
But Alyssa just shook her head in solidarity with his situation. "I have to ask, why would she invest in a relationship with someone she wanted to change?"
"Honestly, looking back, I think she liked my money and security," Will acknowledged what he had been afraid to say out loud, even to Wendy herself; that sometimes she seemed more attracted to his success and his large bank account, than anything else.
"I can't say I think very highly of her," Alyssa was blunt.
Will liked her bluntness, though and continued with more bluntness of his own. "Meeting you made me realize that I didn't have to settle for someone who found me unattractive," he smiled, "and that I could be with someone new."
She smiled back and bumped his arm flirtatiously, "Just anyone new?"
"Well, I'm not saying I broke up with her for you, but to have an incredibly beautiful woman tell me that she finds me attractive makes me think I might have a shot at another date," he grinned with a wink.
Alyssa blushed and looked down. He could feel her coming around to his way of thinking.
"Will, I have a confession to make too," she gazed back into his eyes. "I've been thinking about you a lot over the last couple of months."
"Really?" He smiled. Her words excited him so much. David had alluded to Jenna’s report of her true feelings, but he desperately needed to hear them come straight from her mouth.
She nodded grinning, "Can't you tell that I've been a total basket case around you all night? And you've been a rock. You seem so calm and cool about all of this," she was exasperated.
"It helps to know that you like big guys," he admitted with a wide, loopy grin.
"What?" she blushed fiercely.
"Jenna told David you date big teddy bears," he couldn’t help but laugh at that description again.
"Jenna has a big mouth," she shook her head and smirked, but the continued blushing gave her away. "Does that bother you at all?"
"Bother me? It's the greatest news ever," he laughed more. "How lucky am I?"
"I don't know… how lucky are you?" she flirted.
Now Will felt himself turning pink, but responded in kind, "I never did get to finish that kiss on the beach."
"Well I tried to," she flirted even more, looking into his eyes.
He gently put his hand under her chin, pulled her lips to his and gave her the kiss he’d wanted to return back to her on that beach a few weeks before. After a sweet moment, she looked at him with the most mischievous smile, and went in for a much bigger kiss. He responded in kind.
Damn if his phone didn’t ring right at that moment, but he knew he’d have to take this one again. He stood up and paced through his new customer’s questions, immensely frustrated that he was having this stupid software conversation on a Friday night, when all he wanted to do was take Alyssa in his arms and give her more kisses like the one they’d just shared.
He glanced over to her and she was now intensely admiring him, her eyes burning across his body more wantonly than ever. She clearly knew she’d been caught, and looked at him like the cat that ate the canary. He was completely enjoying those looks now, and returned one of his own, overtly appreciating her beauty and sexy silhouette. She moved on the offensive now, standing up and walking past him, with a wicked smile that said, ‘follow me now or lose me forever.’
Some things were even more important than business, so he abruptly ended the call and followed quickly behind her. He almost didn’t mind that old jigging feeling he got when his belly reminded him that he wasn’t meant to move too quickly. He definitely didn’t mind the look Alyssa gave him when she glanced back to make sure he was keeping up.
Now in a hallway corridor, he took her hand, pulled her close to his body and pressed his lips deeply into hers. Her hands were instantly and firmly back on his love handles, just like they had so quickly gone there before. He loved the way it felt when she used that grip to pull him closer into her body.
A few smirking young guys walked by, having witnessed this public display of lust with laughter. Will couldn’t help but comment on the obvious. "I suppose they've never seen a guy so fat with a girl so sexy," he snickered. He himself had been thinking that they really did look like a pair of opposites with her willowy frame being consumed into his big, soft one.
"I don't know about that. We really were making a scene, you know," she reasoned.
"Perhaps we should make our scene a little more private?" Will suggested. He was bold in his suggestion, but she nodded enthusiastically. He took her hand and led her up to his room.
Once inside, Alyssa was quick to grab at Will’s collar and unpluck the first button. But then she slowed down her pace, her fingers moving one at a time down his button panel. When she got down to his softest territory, she struggled a bit longer with the tautest ones, strained by his girth, helped along by the generous meals he’d indulged in since Wendy left. In a moment of uneasiness, he whispered, "Are you sure you want to do that?"
"Mmmm, yes, Will. I've been waiting ever since I laid eyes on you to get your shirt off," she murmured, slipping her fingers into the button gaps and pressing into his flesh.
"You're such a liar," he laughed, almost involuntarily stopping her hands. He had become so conditioned by the way Wendy’s avoided touching his chubbiest parts, it was like second nature to protect his fattest parts from female scrutiny.
Alyssa looked at him with desire, and touched him under his soft chin, "Do you remember seeing me the first time? In the hotel bar?"
"How could I forget?" he recalled, that was such a ‘wow’ moment.
"I thought you were the most incredibly handsome man," she told him.
"You don't have to tell me that to get me into bed, you know," he couldn’t help but tease her.
"I'm just telling you so you understand that I can't wait to get you into bed," she was now being crystal clear on that point. Her assertive, sexual words made him even harder and she hadn’t even moved her hand down below his belly yet.
He grabbed her around the waist, kissed her again and admitted, "When I first saw you, I was a little amazed by the way you looked at me."
"Your eyes overwhelmed me," she told him. "And then when I saw the rest of you," she grazed her hand over his soft paunch, softly grabbing a bit of it, "I was pretty much mesmerized."
He felt himself blush now, quickly learning to enjoy the combination of her playful grabbing and flattering praise.
"Are you a little shy?" she teased him, clutching a handful of his side flab now.
"I could be," he narrowed his eyes teasingly, "but I have a feeling you're not going to let me be shy."
She returned his smirk with a mischievous half-smile, "No way, I've been wanting this for far too long," her fingers danced again along his chest and belly, and back to the last buttons on his shirt.
It wasn’t long before her hands were cupping his bare hanging chub. The combination of her unrestrained kisses with her grabbing of his belly now seemed to allow his brain to reconnect his whole body with passionate feelings, even the flabbiest parts. She pulled him onto the bed where the kissing and groping continued more intensely. Her hands explored everywhere, not missing a single pudgy inch of his torso and arms.
"Seriously," he paused, looking into her eyes and running his fingers through her hair, "where did you come from?"
"Wyoming, originally," she smiled, reminding him where she spent her early years..
"Is that where they hide the hot women who like fat guys?" He joked.
"I don't think it's a geography thing," she smirked. "But if it is, the South certainly does produce some stunning men," she flattered him right back.
She tore his undershirt off and sighed, "Will, you have a fantastic body." He was amazed by how utterly relentless she was in expressing her desire for him.
"Mmm hmmm…" he smirked anyway, feeling along the delicious curve of her figure.
Alyssa had already made her way down to unbuckling his belt and unzipping his pants. She was well on her way to getting him completely naked. Amazed at the way her hands pawed every rolling quiver of flab along his torso, he almost forgot that she was still fully clothed. "Wait a minute," he drawled, "what about you?" tugging on her shirt with a sly smile.
She grinned as he slid his hands under her top and slipped it off over her head. The sight of her cleavage in a sexy black bra made him crazy. “You are incredible," he blurted, freeing her breasts from her bra and kissing them hungrily.
She helped him along then, unzipping her pants, and letting them fall off her body. He pulled her back into the bed, and let her continue to strip him of everything. With nothing left in the way but her panties, he slipped his fingers inside them, and took a moment to give her a gentle, teasing caress. She moaned and shivered, clearly wanting more, so he slid them down slowly. As he touched each part of her body, she responded with aroused sighs, seeming to love his hands exploring every part of her body.
"Don't hold back, please," she begged him in a whisper, grabbing his manhood and pulling him into her. Her face radiated with surrender, inviting him to take over. She had inspired a new hunger in him in the moment he laid eyes on her, and he felt every pang of it as he pulled her naked body into his. His body experienced the culmination of finally consuming his prey and making her his for the night, and many nights that followed. Will had almost forgotten that he needed something more in his life, and now he had found it, with this one good woman.
© 2015 Ashblonde / Ashley B