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Introduction:

An older rock star meets a young waitress in St. Louis.

Richard

I opened my eyes, wondering, for a few moments, where the hell I was.

Buffalo.

Well, I guess somebody has to be in Buffalo.

I swung my legs out of the hotel bed and sat on the edge for a few moments. I don’t smoke anymore, but the urge still comes over me in the mornings, especially mornings when I wake up in a city that I don’t really want to be visiting. I inched myself down onto the floor and did the first few bits of the stretching routine that keeps my back in shape. A lifetime of playing bass and guitar, and over a decade of being on the road with No Known Religion, had left me nearly crippled in my early 30s. Ten years later – ten mostly clean years later – I felt in better shape than I’d ever been. At least physically. The mind and the career? Well, still question marks I suppose.

John Harvester’s 2002 Honda Odyssey, full of guitars, sound equipment, and a sleeping bag, waited for me in the parking lot. John was the only member of No Known Religion that I was still speaking to, and I was borrowing his van for a month long trip from my home in Newport, Rhode Island, to Los Angeles. My agent had booked me a couple shows en route, shows where I’d be my new self, the new Richard Danton, the former metal-head who’d recreated himself as an alt-rock singer-songwriter. I wasn’t really touring, however. At 44 I was recently unattached and homeless, and, professionally, I was unsure about this new music I was playing. A road trip seemed like a good idea – seeing the country on my own, without the van and the entourage, and hopefully stumbling across something meaningful out there on America’s open roads.

I’d come to Buffalo out of nostalgia. Part of my teenage years had been spent here, in a dumpy house on Virginia Street. That’s where I’d taught myself to play the guitar, copying Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix licks until I could play them in my sleep. To my surprise, that house was still standing and looked about as derelict as I remembered it. On my way out of town, I sat in the van outside my old house for a few moments, thinking about that kid 30 years ago – dumping his backpack on his bed after school, and picking up his guitar, and playing until midnight. Jesus, I was such a miserable teenager. Hell, I don’t know. Maybe all teenagers are miserable.

Ah well. Fuck Buffalo.

On Interstate 71, I picked up my cell phone from the passenger seat and hummed a few melodies into Dictomate, an audio recording app. A couple lyrics came to my lips:

And the forgetting would be easier

If what I was forgetting wasn’t you

About as uninspiring as the rest of the crap I was writing these days. What’s that saying? Anything too dumb to be written down gets sung instead?

A highway sign for Cincinnati gleamed in the sunshine as I blew past in the Odyssey. I dug a cigarette out of the glove box and put an old Def Leppard CD into the stereo. Lock up your daughters, Cincinnati. Here comes new age Richard Danton.

Dana

I sat on an old, rusted folding chair behind the diner smoking a cigarette. Every minute or so the wind changed direction and a strong, pungent odor filled my nostrils. It was so nice that my employer decreed that our ‘smoking area’ had to be a mere ten feet from the dumpster, I thought sarcastically.

I looked at my watch, only five minutes left on my fifteen-minute break and I’d have to get back to my tables or else the manager would yell at me again. I was his best server, and still, he treated me with contempt ever since I rebuffed his advances. What an asshole.

My life wasn’t turning out how I had dreamed it would in high school. Four years ago, I had it all. I was a cheerleader, the prom queen, and my boyfriend was the star quarterback of the football team. By all accounts, I was one of the most popular girls in my graduating class.

Four years later, life looked much different. My handsome former high school boyfriend would be graduating from Ohio State next month and was a top prospect for the NFL draft. In contrast, I was a waitress in a dead-end job, in a dead end city, St. Louis. I had grown up in a small, rural town in central Missouri. Seeking adventure and excitement, I moved to the ‘big city’. Of course, like the rest of my life, nothing turned out as I had planned.

I crushed my cigarette out under my shoe and pushed the disheveled, long locks of blonde hair out of my face and proceeded back inside the diner. My manager looked at his watch and gave me a dirty look. I was only one minute late, that’s not a mortal sin, right?

So many times I thought about just giving in and doing what he wanted. One blow job a week and I could take as many breaks as I wanted, for as long as I wanted. However, there was no way I was going to give him that satisfaction. I didn’t have much pride left, but it wasn’t non-existent, not yet anyway.

The diner was dead, or more accurately, more dead than usual. I delivered a hamburger and fries to the only guy that was sitting in my section. I gave him a big flirty smile as I re-filled his ice-tea.

“Thank you darlin’,” he said, as he ran his big sausage fingers over my arm.

He was old enough to be my grandfather. God, how pathetic am I? Flirting with a senior citizen for the hope of getting a decent tip. My depravity knew no bounds.

I looked up at the clock. It was 4:00 pm. I watched as my manager grabbed the bank deposit bag and walked out the front door, right on schedule. I had at least a half hour before he’d get back, and the diner was as quiet as a cemetery.

“Deb, could you cover my section for a few minutes?” I said to my co-worker, as she gave me a knowing smile.

I walked into the kitchen and my eyes briefly locked on the day cook, Larry. His assistant Fernando was engrossed in the task of chopping up heads of lettuce that comprised the main ingredient of the salad mix we’d be serving later on that evening.

I bypassed both of them and went into the small employee restroom that was adjacent to the kitchen. I turned around quickly, checking the handle on the door, ensuring that it was unlocked.

The bathroom was so small, maybe four feet by four feet, barely enough room for the small sink and toilet, and it was disgusting. The manager ensured that the night crew properly cleaned the customer restroom. However, he couldn’t give a shit whether they cleaned this one that the employees were required to use. Even though the tiny space had four ‘pine tree’ air fresheners hanging in each corner, it barely overpowered the smell of urine that emanated from the toilet and floor.

I stood in front of the tiny sink, washing my hands, killing time, until…

I heard the door open and peered at Larry’s face as it reflected in the mirror above the sink. Our eyes met for a brief second as he slid into the cramped space behind me and almost simultaneously closed and locked the door.
In an instant, I felt Larry behind me as he kissed the back of my neck. Without uttering a word, he reached underneath the hem of my server’s uniform and tore the thong off my body in one swift motion. I put my hands on the filthy sink and opened my legs as best I could in the cramped space, giving him better access.

I felt his coarse, calloused hands forcefully cupping the cheeks of my ass cheeks as he kissed and licked my neck. His movements were urgent, raw, and rough and I could smell the sweat on his body, the result of a long shift that began at five this morning.

Larry unceremoniously flipped the hem of my uniform up and it rested on my back. I undid the first three buttons on the front of my uniform and unclasped my bra letting my 34C breasts slip out of the cups. Observing what I had done, he stopped kissing my neck long enough to reach around and I felt his fingers roughly pinch and pull my nipples causing me to let out a low moan.

He used my body to help steady himself as he dropped down to his knees behind me. I reached behind and clutched my ass cheeks, pulling them apart, and exposing my most intimate area for him. I whimpered as I felt his tongue enter my vagina and he made loud slurping and sucking noises that vibrated off of the walls of the tiny room.

Every few seconds the tip of his tongue would haphazardly, as if almost by accident, brush up against my clit, causing my knees to go weak. As our customers could attest, Larry didn’t have many culinary skills, but thankfully, after six months of fucking him, he was finally able to eat my pussy with a small degree of skill.

After a minute or so I began to grind myself up and down on his tongue. We had been doing this enough by now that he knew that was his cue. I felt him move his head back and spit, his saliva land on my asshole. Seconds later, I felt his tongue enter my puckered hole which caused me to cry out, and I had to remind myself to keep my voice down, lest my co-workers form a line outside the bathroom door to auditorily observe our carnal pursuits.

He pressed his tongue in and out of my ass hard and fast, just the way he knew I liked it. I reached down between my legs and lightly ran my finger between my wet folds gently massaging my clit as I felt my orgasm sweep over me, causing my legs to go weak. Thankfully, I felt Larry’s strong arms on my thighs which steadied me until I could recover.

Larry stood up again and I heard the zipper on his jeans open and he pulled his short, stubby cock from his pants. I reached behind and pulled the hem of my uniform back up as it had fallen when I was thrashing about as I orgasmed. I felt him rub the head of his penis up and down my slit several times lubricating the tip in my wetness.

He pushed himself into me hard, causing me to grunt as he filled me with one short stroke. I had enough room to lay my head down on the sink as he started to slam into me with short, furious thrusts. I knew he wouldn’t last long at this pace and I quickly reached between my legs again to rub my clit. Larry wasn’t a very skilled lover, and if I was going to achieve another orgasm, I knew I had to take care of it myself. After only about thirty seconds I watched in the mirror as he began to tense up and emit low guttural grunts. Almost immediately after, I felt his semen squirt into me. Almost concurrently, my second orgasm racked my body, due more from my fingers on my clit than his cock inside of me.

I listened for a minute or so as our breathing returned to normal and I felt his cock slip out of me. Without saying a word, he put his member back into his pants, slipped out the door, and returned to the kitchen.

Once he was gone, I quickly reached for the toilet paper and wiped Larry’s excess semen from my vagina. Some of it had even starting to leak out and run down the inside of my thighs and I made sure to clean that up as well. I wanted to be able to more thoroughly wash, but this would have to do until I finished my shift, then I could go home and take a shower.

As I stood back up, I caught my reflection in the mirror and it gave me pause. Most days, I hated the person who looked back at me. However, after these sessions with Larry, I loathed myself even more.

Richard

The show at the 20th Century Theatre in Cincinnati started at 8:00pm. I had the sound check wrapped up by 6:30pm, and then just ambled up and down the streets, trying to work the stiffness of driving all day out of my butt and my back and my shoulders. I found the Oakley Pub nearby, and had a mushroom burger and a beer, and then another beer, sitting on the patio in the May sunshine.

At 7:59pm, dressed in jeans, a black shirt with a collar, and a black sports coat, I carried my 25-year-old Martin guitar out onto the stage. As 300 plus people applauded, I eased the guitar strap over my neck and shoulder, and picked up the cable and plugged in. The applause continued, but that moment was coming, that moment when an audience’s applause shifts from “we’re so glad you’re here” to “okay, show us something.” I had been listening to that slight transition for years now, and as I felt it happen, I leaned towards the mic, looked past the stage lights at the shadowy sea of faces, and said: “Hello out there beautiful people of Cincinnati.”

And two hours of music poured out of me.

*

After the show I sat in my dressing room, drinking scotch, staring at the wall, at the ceiling. Teri, the theater manager, poked her head inside eventually and moved towards me, putting her hand on my shoulder and kissing my cheek. “Richard,” she said. “Great show. Seriously – great show. I think you made the people of Cincinnati very happy.”

Teri was probably in her early fifties. She stood about 5’6 and I’d guess her weight to be around 175 to 180. She was wearing tight black slacks, a red top with a black jacket over top. She had straight dark brown hair that ran down almost to her shoulders, with the bangs on her forehead cut across in a straight line. A fairly featureless face was somewhat enlivened by bright red lipstick and what seemed to be fake eyelashes… long, with subtle rainbow colors in them. She was overweight, there was no doubt about it, but somehow she carried it well. I’d guess that she was that girl in high school who put on some weight but made up for it with sassiness, and had been living that way ever since. Anyway, I wasn’t complaining, and I wasn’t really thinking about women or sex just then either.

“Teri,” I said, “I want to play some more.”

“Play some more?” she repeated. “What, here?”

“No. Not here, and not this stuff. I want to play something loud, jam with some kids. Is there a dumpy bar near here that has live music?”

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah. I get urges for the old days. And to be honest, the 20th Century Theatre didn’t do it for me tonight.”

“Well, sorry Richard,” she said, with an “excusssseeeee meeeee..,.” hint to her voice.

“No, it wasn’t the theater Teri. This stuff I play these days…” I waved my hand slightly. “I don’t know. Sometimes I need more.”

“Well, yeah, I know a place. You want me to take you there?”

“No, it’s okay. I don’t want to waste your time. Just tell me the name and the address… I’ll find it with my phone.”

“Well, Richard,” she said, sitting on the arm of the couch. “I might like to go actually. Old school Richard Danton – that sounds like a show. And all I have at home is a surly teenager if she’s even there.”

I drank back the last of my scotch and set the glass down on the coffee table. I stood up and put my arm around Teri’s shoulders. “The Hell with your teenager,” I said. “Let’s go.”

*

Thinking that I might want to pass out in it, we took my Odyssey. Teri navigated us to some club where she winked at the bouncers and used my name as a ticket inside. The band on stage reminded me of No Known Religion’s early days – loud, and completely artless. We spoke to the sound guys who got a message to somebody who got a message to the band, and at a break between songs I shook hands with the lead guitarist and got handed a surprisingly nice Gibson electric. A hundred people in the audience? A hundred people standing in front of that crappy stage, drinking, sweating, cursing. They hooted and cheered when my name got mentioned even though most of them probably had no idea who I was. I jammed along with several of the band’s originals, taking some lead guitar riffs here and there, and even taking the mic when they conned me into playing Something Right Something Wrong from Religion’s first album.

Teri was up front all night, just at the foot of the stage. She had a bottle of beer in her hand most of the time, waving it in the air as she ground out the rhythm. I watched from the stage and was surprised at how into it she seemed to be. I was even more surprised when she hooked up with some random dude who sashayed his way up to her within the crowd of dancing or swaying bodies and pressed himself hard against her from behind. She let him grope her breasts, and she even reached a hand back for a while to clutch his ass cheek and pull him even harder against her… grinding her fat ass back against him.

At the end of the night, when the place had emptied and I was sharing a few drinks and a joint with the band and the sound guys, Teri was at a nearby table, laughing and gossiping with her dancing partner. I watched his hands go to her legs and hers to his. I didn’t feel any jealousy, or envy, just a strange sense of interest, and curiosity. When they disappeared off towards the washrooms, I watched them go, and when they were gone long enough to guess that something was happening, I set my drink down and wandered after them. I went into the men’s room and found no one there. I took a piss and then shrugged and walked into the women’s washroom, saying “Hello” as I entered.

Teri was leaning back with her ass against one of the three sinks in the room. The man she’d been flirting with was on his knees in front of her, his face buried between her legs. He was holding her left leg in his hand, holding it high against his shoulder. Her right hand was on his head, her fingers in his hair, pulling him into her. He must have known what he was doing, for Teri’s head was back, and she was moaning deeply.

The washroom was lit or pretended to be lit, by three dim bulbs above the mirrors at the sink. The dim light and the fog of alcohol made it a surreal scene. Teri in her black jacket and red top, her slacks and panties lying on the filthy floor. The guy barely even real, just a sexual animal presence in the shadows. I moved towards the toilet stalls, leaning against them, behind Teri and her guy. Her eyes caught mine and she smiled. “Danton,” she said, “come on over here.”

I wavered. I could imagine my tongue in Teri’s mouth. I could imagine this sassy, fleshy brunette kissing me open and wet, and likely going down on me, taking my cock deep into her mouth. And I could imagine cumming and cumming through a long orgasm, Teri drinking me down, licking up the last drops, holding my shaft in her hand as she cleaned me.

But the will, the energy, to push away from the toilet stalls wasn’t there.

I shook my head. “Can I watch?”

Teri pushed the man’s head away from her, and he rocked back on his heels. She turned, her hands on the sink, looking over her shoulder, waving her large full ass at him. “Come on baby,” she cooed, “drive mommy home.”

He never even looked at me. His hands went to his belt, his pants, unbuttoning and unzipping. His cock free, he stroked it three, four times, his right hand on Teri’s ass cheeks, caressing, measuring, assessing her. He lifted his left hand from his cock, and spit into it, then smeared his saliva up and down his thick cock. “Grab your ass cheeks for me, baby,” he moaned. “I’m going to use the back door.”

“You naughty fucker,” Teri teased, but she did as he asked, reaching behind her, taking her full ass cheeks in her hands, spreading them wide, exposing her ass crack, allowing him to guide the tip of his swollen cock against her asshole.

He wasn’t very gentle.

Teri gasped and swore angrily as he drove hard into her ass. She let go of her left ass cheek to use her arm to brace herself against the mirror on the wall, but she kept holding her right cheek and pushed herself back as he plunged into her. She hung her head low as he began thrusting hard into her, his hands firm on her waist, pulling his hips back, filling her over and over again with cock. Teri had to use both hands now to anchor herself, her left outstretched towards the mirror, her right clutching the dirty sink. He moved a hand up to her breasts, gripping the huge sloppy things through her red top and through her bra, massaging them roughly as he pounded her ass.

He gasped and shuddered when he came, Teri’s ass cheeks squeezing back on his cock as a load of hot sticky cum poured into her. She milked the cum from him, pushing back and clenching as his thrusts slowed, savoring everything she could get from this man. Finally, he slid out of her, and looking over his shoulder, said: “how’d you like that old-man?”

“Hot,” I answered, not really having thought anything about it at all. “Hot, yeah, nice.”

He moved to a sink, lifted his cock over the edge, and rinsed himself off. Tucking himself back in, he slapped Teri’s ass and left the washroom. Teri moved to a toilet stall, pushed the door open, and walked inside. I could hear her rip off lengths of toilet paper to clean herself off as well.

I moved to one of the sinks, turned on both taps, and leaning forward, splashed water over my face, rinsing some over my neck as well. The guy looking back at me in the mirror showed every single one of his 44 years, and maybe a few extras as well. Grey was seeping into my dark brown hair, but I didn’t have any urge to hide it. Didn’t even have the energy to think about hiding it. Truth be told, I was weary. The marrow in my bones was weary. No Known Religion had taken its toll on me, and I’d been glad to leave that life, and those assholes, behind. But I hadn’t really replaced that life with anything – at least not with anything that mattered to me. The singer-songwriter thing made some money, but it wasn’t “me” – whatever “me” was at this point in my life.

Teri walked out of the stall and put her hand on my lower back. “Give a girl a ride home?” she asked.

“Yeah, sure Teri,” I said. Realizing I hadn’t even remembered to book a hotel room in this city. Maybe Teri would let me use her couch.

Dana

It was nearly 10:00 pm when I finally got to my small, cramped two bedroom apartment that I shared with my roommate. I sat my backpack on the small table in the kitchen and unzipped it. After rummaging around for a few seconds I finally pulled out a small container of leftovers that Larry had managed to scrape together for me from the kitchen. I ran my finger over the cold food. Two small pieces of overcooked fried chicken, mashed potatoes with lumpy gravy, a couple of scoops of canned mixed vegetables, and a small dinner roll.

My stomach was grumbling and I was tempted to microwave the food and eat, but then I thought better of it. I needed a shower first. I felt sticky from head to toe. The old air conditioner in the diner just barely kept the heat at bay, and no matter how much antiperspirant I used, I always felt sticky at the end of my shift. It also didn’t help that I let Larry have sex with me in that disgusting bathroom. I still felt the remnants of his semen between my legs and that was enough to make me want to put off eating.

About twenty minutes later I emerged from the shower and I felt human again. I heard rustling in the kitchen and I knew that my roommate had made it home. Jill was a checker at Wal-Mart and worked the same shift that I did. I normally was able to make it home before her, though.

She looked at me and gave me a knowing smile as I entered the kitchen.

“You had sex with Larry again, didn’t you Dana?”

“No comment,” I said, giving her a sarcastic smile.

She shook her head as she pulled my leftover food out of the microwave and got two paper plates out of the cupboard.

We ate silently for a few minutes. Thankfully, she was willing to let my workplace sexual activities drop and let me eat in peace. I didn’t need her reminding me how disgusting it was to have sex with Larry or hear her lecture me about how I could do so much better.

“Don’t forget about going out tomorrow,” she said, once we had finished our meager meal, her voice breaking the silence.

“How could I possibly forget,” I said, giving her a gentle smile.

It was my first Friday night off in months and Jill and I had been planning for weeks to go to the opening of a brand new club in the trendy fashion district. However, about a week ago, she met some guy online and this new ‘boyfriend’ of hers talked her into going to some dive bar on the south side because he knew the owner and could get cheap drinks.

I had tried several times to change her mind, but she wouldn’t relent. Just my luck, the first Friday night I have off for months and I finally have the chance to do something fun and she falls for another ‘online’ guy and won’t stand up to him and tell him that she’d rather go someplace else. What was worse, she had made me promise to be a ‘third wheel’ and go with them.

“You promised that you wouldn’t back out on me Dana,” she said.

“I’ll be ready to go at eight,” I said hesitantly.

“Thank you so much,” she said cheerfully. “I know you’ll have a good time.”

I seriously doubted that. But, Jill had been there for me more times than I could remember. She was truly the only good thing in my life and I wouldn’t let her down by backing out on her.

The next day dragged on and felt like it wouldn’t end. I spent eight hours dealing with irritated customers complaining about bad food; screaming babies, an annoying manager, and a cook that wanted to get me alone in the bathroom and have his way with me. By the end of my shift, I felt like I wanted to step in front of a bus and put myself out of my misery. Thankfully, the day finally ended and I was able to get out of the diner without killing myself or someone else.

I quickly put all of my problems out of my mind, it was Friday! Things can’t ever be entirely bad on a Friday. And even better, for the first time since I could remember, I had the evening off.

The south side always scared me and I rarely ventured there. However, I promised my roommate I’d go with her and her new boy toy. What was that old Boston song that my father used to love listening to: “Doing it right on the wrong side of town” I think was the name of it.

How apropos.

I stepped out of the shower and dried off while examining myself in the mirror. My breasts weren’t that big, but they fit my small 5’4″ frame nicely and my wet blonde hair looked a bit wild now, but I’d make sure it was tamed and under control. I ran several times a week which kept my body tight and toned and I was actually a few pounds lighter than my high school cheering days. Even though I still got my fair share of looks from men, both young and old, I didn’t feel pretty anymore.

I read in Cosmo that feeling beautiful was a state of mind and not an actual outward appearance. If that were true, then there should be a law against ‘peaking’ in high school. You know, that feeling that all of your best days are behind you and that you have to settle for letting fate decide what the rest of your life will be like.

More than anything, I just wanted to catch a break. Was it too much to ask to have a life changing event that would somehow put me on a new and different course. Realistically, if the last four years had taught me anything, it was that those types of breaks only occur in the movies. In the real world, people toil away in thankless anonymity and try to get through a meaningless existence any way they can.
As I did my hair and makeup, I tried to think back to that moment when my life changed. When I went from the popular cheerleader that everyone loved, to a downtrodden waitress. I wondered if that moment actually existed, or was it just a series of bad choices that led me to where I am?

I quickly wiped a tear from my cheek and promised myself that at least for the rest of the night, I’d stop with the self-pity. I needed to be there for Jill and I needed to put all of these dark thoughts behind me, at least for a few hours.

Walking into my small bedroom, I started rummaging through my clothes. I needed to do laundry and didn’t have a large selection of clean clothes, but I finally decided on a short, faded blue denim, jean skirt, a white, sleeveless, button crop top, matching lace bra and panty set, and gold ankle wrap sandals. I stood in front of my full-length mirror for several minutes and tried to force a smile, but it never appeared.

Richard

My agent had offered me a gig at the Horseshoe Casino in Memphis, but I’d turned him down. Something about playing a casino made me want to jump off a bridge. He got me a night at a little place called the Hi-Tone Cafe instead, and I enjoyed it. The manager was cool, the atmosphere was relaxed, and an old friend from high-school happened to be there. She’d probably been the one girl I’d really been friends with back in my miserable teenage years. We talked at the bar until the place closed, and I gave her a lift home in the Odyssey. Neither of us made any hints or floated any suggestions, and I watched her open the door to her house and walk inside, and then I drove off aimlessly. Once again I’d completely forgotten to book a hotel room, so I slept in the back of the Odyssey until the morning sunshine and my aching back woke me up.

Buying a coffee in a convenience store, I asked the kid behind the counter if there was a park nearby. She directed me to Overton Park, where I threw down a blanket and my yoga mat and spent 2 hours sipping coffee and doing my stretching routine. At one point in my life, my back was so bad that walking around I crouched my 5’11 frame down to about 5’8. It sucked. There were brief moments when my back simply said “fuck it” and seemed to disappear on me. I’d have to fall down to my knees, unable to support myself standing upright.

I took yoga for a year back in Newport. Took some Tai-Chi as well. They provided the only clarity in my life as Holly and I were separating. And thankfully, they got my back on the road to recovery as well. The stretches I did in Overton Park, watching people wander by on the trails, sunshine glittering on whatever that pond was called, were my own compilation of things that worked for me. Child’s Pose, the easiest of them all, was the stretch that always helped the most.

When I finished stretching I took my USA map to a bench near the water. I had no commitments until a show in Colorado in two weeks time. I looked at New Orleans for a while, and Texas, and then traced my finger up Interstate 55 towards St. Louis. Before No Known Religion, when I was in a terrible band that is now rightfully forgotten, we’d played St. Louis a lot. Terrible bars on the south side of the city. Noise. Jackasses yelling at us through the noise. Being 21, 22 years old and on a stage. Wow, that was a long time ago.

I closed the map. St. Louis.

*

I had no memory of the Heavy Anchor from my visits to St. Louis 20 years ago. Driving around the south side I noticed the lights and heard the music and decided to give it a try. The place is divided in two, with a fairly normal, nautical-themed, bar on the one side, and when you walk through and turn the corner, you get to a pretty rowdy, and loud, open area with a small stage crammed against the wall. There was a four-piece band making a lot of noise in there – bass, drums, guitar, the vocalist playing some rhythm guitar less than helpfully. They were, well, awful is one way to put it, but to be fair they were exactly like the band I was with back before Religion, so I guess everyone starts somewhere.

I got a beer and stood amongst the crowd of about 100 people for a while, watching, listening. Fifteen or so people were moshing a bit up at the stage, most of the rest of us just swaying and maybe nodding our heads in time to the noise. When they took a break, I watched the guitarist move to the bar and pick up some more beers. “Hey, nice set,” I half yelled, moving over beside him.

“Yeah, thanks, dude,” he answered. Big guy, wearing jeans, a black T-Shirt, baseball hat on backward. He probably worked at some box store during the day, but right now he had his “rock musician on stage” mojo going.

“I’m Richard Danton,” I yelled.

“You’re who?”

“Richard Danton! Do you remember No Known Religion?”

“The band?”

“Yeah – the band. I’m Richard Danton from No Known Religion.”

Standing at the bar, drunk 25-year-olds pressing around us shouting at each other, a lightbulb began to go off in the guy’s brain. “No Known Religion?” he said again, “Point of No Return? Bring the Voodoo? Storm Clouds?”

I nodded as he named songs from the band’s glory days.

“Holy shit,” he said, a bit of teenage-groupiness creeping over him, “what the hell are you doing here?”

“I was kind of hoping to play some music! Can I get up and do a few songs with you guys?”

“Yeah – fuck me – of course. Holy shit – come over here and meet the guys.”

So, they made space for me on that tiny stage. I took off my coat and sweated it out in jeans and a suede shirt, the cuffs rolled up to my forearms. I mostly helped with some lead and rhythm on their own songs, but we also played a Religion song with me on the microphone, and we all decided we knew Van Halen’s Jamie’s Cryin well enough to give it a go, so we did that as well. I don’t think anyone in the crowd really understood what was happening, but we had fun on stage, and I enjoyed being loud and completely artless up there with those guys.

Not wanting to completely hog their gig, I yelled “thanks” into the mic, pulled the guitar from my shoulder, and stepped down from the stage. They shouted my name a few times and talked me up, and then broke into more of their stuff. On my way to the bar, a few people who now recognized me clapped my shoulder, snapped photos with their phones, shouted random stuff at me. It was all good until some jackass with a beer in his hand appeared before me, and actually started stabbing his finger at my chest.

“What’s with the Barry Manilow crap?” he was shouting.

“What?”

“The Barry Manilow crap! This new shit you’re playing! What the fuck’s wrong with you?”
He was maybe 24, 25. Jeans, filthy t-shirt, clean shaven head, stupid look on his face. A couple girls lingered behind him, both of them looking half-concerned and half-embarrassed. “Dude!” I yelled through the noise of the band, “come on, give me a break.”

I tried to push on by him, but he shuffled in front of me again. “It’s pissing on the past Danton!” He yelled. “This crap you’re playing now – it’s like you’re pissing all over Religion.”

Fuck this guy. I reached towards him and shoved him away from me. Hard. The two girls that seemed to be with him moved to either side as he stumbled backward between them, spilling the beer he had in his hand. The running lunge he was about to make was written all over his face, and as he barreled towards me I stepped to the right, pushed his shoulders with my left hand and his ass with my right, and helped him crash back into the crowd of people that had been behind me, and then fall to the filthy beer-covered floor.

“You with this asshole?” I shouted to the two girls. They nodded but didn’t really speak.

“He’s a fucking jackass!”

“He’s just drunk!” one girl shouted back to me.

“No shit! But he’s also an asshole. Look…” but I was cut short when he clocked me in the back of the head with something hard. The blow knocked me forward into the girl with the white top and the jean skirt, my head cracking against hers as she tried to catch my fall. With my head throbbing I turned around to see the asshole standing there with a mason-jar beer-glass in his hand. I lunged at him, and taller and heavier than he was, I knocked him to the floor and landed on top of him. I got my hand on his forehead and bashed his head down against the floor, but still holding the mason-jar he swung it wildly and crashed it against my chin, knocking me off him. The rest is a bit of a blur. We got separated, and I have no idea what happened to him. I lay on the floor looking up into a haze, listening to mostly incoherent voices. Closing my eyes, I could feel my heartbeat, feel the blood pumping hard through my body. Christ, it was exhilarating. I almost smiled.

I opened my eyes when someone started calling me “Mister”. Jesus, that was off-putting. Made me feel like a high-school English teacher. The blonde girl in the white top that I’d butted heads with earlier was kneeling beside me, her face hanging above me. I don’t know what it was, but my hand reached up unconsciously and settled on her knee.

“Hi,” I whispered.

Dana

I looked out the window apprehensively, so this was the south side?

Jill’s new internet boyfriend had come by our apartment and picked us up about half an hour earlier in an old, beat-up Chevy Caprice. She introduced him only as ‘Axe’ and God, he looked like a real winner. He was wearing a dirty, sweat stained T-Shirt and ripped jeans that he’d probably been wearing since junior high. He had full tattoo sleeves on both arms, a shaved head, and his entire appearance just gave me the creeps. Jill and I were dressed in our best clothes and we looked so out of place with him. I wasn’t expecting him to be wearing a three-piece suit, but were clean jeans and t-shirt too much to ask? Given my sexual history, I hated to judge Jill, or the men that she chose to be around; but damn, he looked like such a loser.

We drove down Gravois Avenue as we sped past small retail stores and shops that looked like they hadn’t been updated since the 1950’s. It was like we were stuck in a time warp and it felt like James Dean would pull up beside us at any minute and challenge us to drag race.

Finally, we pulled up in front of a bar that was nestled between two businesses and it looked so out of place. What the hell is a ‘Heavy Anchor’ I wondered to myself.

Axe proceeded to walk into the bar without even holding the door open us, so much for chivalry I guess. Jill and I entered the bar and I watched Axe walk over to the bartender and vigorously shake his hand. They began talking but I couldn’t make out what they were saying because of the band that was up on the small stage. Axe’s absence gave me time to take in my surroundings.

The bar had an odd “ships and whaling” theme which seemed out of place for St. Louis. Sure we had the Mississippi, but this was a bit much. The patrons looked to be a mix of miscreants and hicks who were drinking and listening to the band play. I noticed that most of the cocktails were served in Mason-style jars with anchors on them which added to the strange maritime-hayseed feel of the place. The bar could only be described as eclectic and I honestly wasn’t sure what to make of the place.

I heard Axe’s voice which brought me back to the now.

“Come’on,'” he muttered, motioning us towards an empty table, carrying a pitcher of beer and three glasses.

We sat down at a table that wasn’t too far from the stage and Axe began filling our glasses. The band was really loud which made holding a conversation with Jill almost impossible. I could have handled the volume if the band was good. But they weren’t – they were just loud. Loud and pretending to be angry. That’s all I was really getting from them. Wow. Fun times. Thanks, Axe.

While Jill and I were sipping our beer, Axe was gulping his. He had finished off the pitcher and ordered another before Jill and I could even get our first glass down. Being a waitress who had to deal with drunks coming into the diner on a regular basis, I knew this type of ‘power drinking’ was a recipe for trouble. Still, there wasn’t much I could do about it without abandoning Jill, and I wasn’t about to do that in a place like this.

The music finally stopped and the band gave everyone in the crowd a much-needed respite from their horrible originals and the various covers they’d attempted. I watched an older guy at the bar start talking to one of the guys in the band and was still staring at them when the waitress delivered our second pitcher. Axe immediately began to fill the empty glasses and then proceeded to gulp his down.

Just as I was about to say something to Axe about pacing himself with the alcohol, the music started up again. But something had changed. The older guy who’d been chatting at the bar with the vocalist was now on stage, playing with the band. He looked out of place up there – not because he was older, but because he was such a professional, the way he moved, the way he watched the other musicians, the way he played, it seemed like he had been born on a stage.

The music coming out of the speakers, well, it was music now. The noise was gone. The older guy’s guitar playing was giving direction to what everyone else was doing, and his voice, when he stepped to a mic and helped out the lead vocalist, well crap, he could actually sing. Who the hell was that guy?

They spent a half hour knocking out about a half-dozen songs, including an old Van Halen track that I hadn’t heard since I lived at home with my father, and the crowd was really getting into it. It was like the whole vibe in the bar changed when that older guy got up on stage. Listening to the band play, I was actually starting to enjoy myself and I felt happy that I had agreed to accompany Jill on her date.

As Jill and I enjoyed the music, Axe kept downing one glass of beer after another. He kept drinking and ordering more pitchers until he was slurring and stuttering his words. I was starting to get really upset because Jill and I had to be at least thirty miles from our apartment and we didn’t have a lot of extra money to spend on cab fare. It was fast becoming a moot point, though – a cab ride was pretty much the only way we were going to be getting home alive.

Just then, the band completed a final song and the singer introduced the older guy as Richard somebody. I wasn’t able to catch the guy’s last name because Axe, in his drunken stupor, started yelling and cursing at the older guy as he started walking off the stage.

Jill and I both yelled something like “What the hell is your problem Axe?” as he stuck his face in front of the older guy and started jabbing his hand into his chest.

What happened next is still a blur. Axe and the musician having some words. A push. Axe lunging at the guy. The guy dodging him and pushing Axe to the ground. Then, as the older guy started walking away, Axe getting off the ground and hitting him in the back of the head with a Mason jar which caused him to fall into me, knocking our heads together.

I was stunned and dazed for several seconds, but just as I was starting to get my wits back about me, I witnessed three huge bouncers grab Axe and drag him away.

I looked around and saw the older guy lying on the floor. I got some napkins from the table and kneeled at his side, running my fingers through his hair feeling for blood. There was a trickle at the back right behind his ear and I pressed the napkins tight to his head, trying to stop the bleeding.

For the first time, I was able to see him up close without the stage lights shining on him. He had deep gentle brown eyes and a full head of brown but slightly graying hair. A few wrinkles on his face, but wow, handsome. Handsome with some mileage, like that old Indiana Jones line.

As I continued to put pressure on the cut in his head, he began to regain consciousness. I gently held his head against my knee in an effort to steady him. I didn’t want him to further injure himself by hitting his head on anything else.

His eyes locked onto mine and his face broke into a slight smile.

“Hi,” he said, giving me a handsome, boyish grin. “I’m Richard.”

“Hello,” I said softly, “I’m Dana.”

Richard and Dana

Richard looked up into her soft, blue eyes and saw a look of genuine concern and compassion. It was something that he hadn’t experienced from another person, especially a woman, in quite a while.

“Dana, I think I smacked my head into yours earlier. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. I was worried about you. You were out for a minute or so.”

“Was I?”

He looked up towards the ceiling, his fingers softly touching and caressing soft skin. He lifted his head to see where his hand was, and realized he was stroking this girl’s knee.

“Oh,” he murmured, looking up at Dana, “my hand is on your knee.”

“Yeah, your hand is on my knee,” she said, smiling ever so slightly. “Are you going to move it?”

He grinned. “Well, it’s actually kind of relaxing me.”

She shook her head at him, “I think you’re going to be okay. Let’s get you up off this gross floor.”

She helped him up and led him to the table where she had been sitting earlier. Jill sat with them for a second and then got up to try and find out what the bouncers had done with Axe.

“How is your head feeling?”

“It’s sore,” he answered, “but I’ll survive.”

She stood up and moved behind him, running her fingers through his hair, searching for the spot where Axe had hit him with the mason-jar. She could feel a bump under her fingers, and feel its warmth, and sense the swelling that was about to happen. She placed her hands softly on his shoulders and leaned towards his ear, and then winced as the band started playing again. Glancing behind her at the stage, the zombie-like dancers were beginning to reassemble on the floor after the commotion of the fight. She leaned over Richard’s shoulder again, her lips at his ear.

“Richard,” she half shouted, “I’m going to get you some ice from the bar. That knock on your head is going to start swelling up soon.”

She stepped to the left, her hands leaving his shoulders, but her right hand trailing across his back as she began to move away. He gently took her hand, and she turned back towards him, finding his eyes on hers, his face, bruises and all, somehow soothing her in the middle of this shitty south-side bar.

“Dana,” he said, raising his voice above the noise, “do you want to go outside? Get out of here?”

She nodded. She looked down at him, feeling his hand gently holding hers, wanting to go with him and take a break from what had been a crappy night even before it had begun, but she had to find Jill.

“Richard, my friend… I can’t leave… I have to find her.”

“Where is she?”

“She went to find…,” she almost said his name but stopped herself. “Well, you know, the asshole that hit you with a Mason Jar.”

“Oh shit,” he sighed. “And he was probably your driver tonight?”

Oh fuck, she thought. What a stupid idea all this had been. Jill, you love to make messes. “Yes,” she said. “He drove.”

Richard smiled at her. He was still holding her hand when he stood up. “Let’s find your friend,” he said. “I’ll give you both a lift. But we’re not taking the shit-head.”

Walking through the bar, easing around people, trying to block out the noise, Dana barely noticed her hand being held in Richard’s. It was just right somehow, and what was more alarming wasn’t the idea of holding hands with this man she’d just met, but the idea of letting go. They asked at the bar about Axe and Jill, and talked to a bouncer, and eventually found the two of them out on the street in the dirty glow of the streetlights. Less than real rain, a light mist was filling the air, a refreshing touch on the skin after the sweaty alcohol-fueled intenseness of the bar.

Axe had crashed, like a child after a sugar-high. He was squatting on the curb, exhausted, mumbling apologies to Jill. When she looked up and saw Dana and Richard, Jill sighed in relief. “Okay,” she said. “Let’s find Axe’s car. I’ll drive. Or you can drive. You ready?”

Dana squeezed Richard’s hand. Hard. “You’re going to take Axe home?”

“Yeah. You coming?”

“I don’t know…,” Dana answered, staring through the mist at Jill.

“I have a van,” Richard said. “If you aren’t comfortable taking care of Axe, you could put him in a cab. I can give both of you a lift.”

Jill looked from Dana to Richard, and back to Dana again. A smile broke across her face. “Holy shit, Dana,” she grinned. “Are you picking up the Rock Star?”

“No, no, of course not.”

“Well, maybe you should,” Jill smiled.

“Yeah, maybe you should,” Richard said, squeezing her hand slightly in his.

“Either way, I’m okay with Axe. Dude – rock star guy – whatever your name is, you take Dana home. Or take her somewhere. Treat her nice. She deserves it.”

Richard helped Jill get Axe to his feet, and then they walked a block to where Axe’s car was parked, half on the sidewalk. They dumped Axe into the passenger seat and after kissing Dana on the cheek, Jill got in and drove away. Richard moved in front of Dana, looking at her in the dim light of the streetlights. He reached up and traced two fingers across her forehead, brushing locks of hair to the side, feeling the moisture from the soft mist on her skin. “Well…,” he said.

“Kiss me.”

The words spilled out of her mouth and had barely disturbed the air before Richard’s lips touched hers. He kissed her wet, and hungry, his hands going to her waist and then onto her ass, massaging his hands into her through the material of her denim skirt. He traced his lips along her cheek, to her neck, her ear, and Dana felt her body responding to him with an open, urgent lust that she hadn’t felt for years. Sex with Larry, sex with anyone over the last several years, had been sex to regret even before she’d allowed it to happen. But this… her body was aching, was ringing… her left hand went to the back of his head, her fingers lacing into his hair… her left leg lifting up against him… this was something else…

Their tongues gently played inside each other’s mouths as they kissed passionately. She felt his strong arms lightly caressing her body and she felt dizzy and mesmerized by him. He had such a soft, gentle touch. She loved the way he held her, how he smelled, his wavy hair, and that sexy, boyishly playful smile. She felt smitten by him and longed to just throw caution to the wind. All of these thoughts swirled through her head as he broke their hot, passionate, romantic kiss.

He held her against him, and her cheek settled on his chest as they stood together for a few moments, feeling each other’s heart pound. “Do you want to get a drink?” Richard asked softly.

I’d like you to take me to bed, she thought inwardly, but a drink would probably be more sensible.

“That sounds nice,” she said. She paused and looked him in the eye. “As long as we go somewhere else.”

“You don’t want to go back to the Anchor?” Richard said, smiling. He took her hand and looked around, trying to figure out where his van was. “No worries, Dana. Come on.”

*

It was called Mangia Italiano. She wasn’t sure how Richard found it – they got talking in the van, laughing about Axe, and before she knew it their conversation was happening in the restaurant, seated at the bar. They ordered Margherita pizza and a salad – Dana telling the bartender to just bring two forks so that they could share. They were seated at the far left-hand side of the bar, Dana in a bar stool against the wall, sitting turned towards Richard, her knees, and feet brushing his left leg sometimes as she moved.

In the few moments when she wasn’t looking at Richard’s face, his lips, and eyes, or at his long limber torso and legs, she could see down the length of the restaurant. Immediately behind Richard were a number of people sitting at the bar, and then further back, people were eating at restaurant tables. It was past midnight now, the restaurant slightly less than half full – a quiet “it’s the weekend now, right?” vibe in the air, and in people’s movements.

The more they talked, the more surprised Dana was that their conversation in that restaurant was even happening. As nonchalant about it as he was, and as easy as he was to talk to, there was no getting away from the fact that this guy, in jeans and a gray suede shirt with the sleeves rolled up, was a rock star – or at least had been. Every time she said something that echoed of “rock star” he shook his head, and smiled, and said something like “that was a long time ago now.”

“And you really don’t like the new stuff you’re playing? And writing?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I’m kind of indifferent to it. I like it enough to let those words and lyrics come out of my mouth, on a stage in front of a few hundred or a thousand people, and I think it is solid stuff. But, I don’t know. It just isn’t what I imagined myself playing all those years when I was working my way up.”

“People grow. And change.”

“Yeah. True. They do. How have you changed, Ms. Dana from St. Louis? What part of your current life would be the biggest surprise to the teenager you used to be?”

Oh, Jesus, she thought. Larry. And that fucking diner. And her fucking job at that goddamned diner and what the fuck anyway – how did she ever end up like this? “Oh,” she said softly, running a fingertip along the rim of her wineglass, “almost all of it. This isn’t the life I thought I was going to have.”

“Maybe you need a change. Hair color – though your hair,” he smiled, and he smiled a lot, and every time he did she wanted to press her lips to his and bury her tongue in his mouth, “is, of course, gorgeous and you shouldn’t change it for the world – but your apartment, your job, your city. Maybe you should mix things up.”

“That’s not so easy when you’re living paycheque to paycheque. Barely squeaking by from paycheque to paycheque actually.”

He put his hand on her leg, on her knee. She felt a rush of warmth soar up inside her and reaching down she covered his hand with hers, squeezing softly. “What’s your last name, Dana?” he asked, staring into her eyes.

“Paterson,” she answered. And it felt like she had just told him everything. Every single tiny little thing that there was to know. “I’m Dana Paterson,” she said again, looking into his face, feeling his skin on hers.

“Dana, when we finish these drinks, what are we going to do?”

She didn’t answer. They stared at each other for a little while. Richard smiled, then emptied his glass and set it on the bar. “Dana,” he whispered.

*

He whispered her name again in the hotel room, standing behind her, his hands on her waist, his lips touching her neck. Say my name again, she thought to herself, and when he did, and when his hands, at the same moment, went to her breasts, squeezing them firm and warm, any doubts she had about saying no to the ride home, and yes to the hotel, vanished.

She could feel his strong, yet gentle hands exploring her body. His touch, combined with the heat of his mouth as he applied soft butterfly kisses to the delicate, sensitive flesh on the nape of her neck, caused her to moan softly.

He turned her to face him, and his lips crushed against hers as they kissed passionately, their tongues exploring each other’s mouths. Their hands began roaming over each other’s bodies as they began to desperately remove the others clothes and eliminate any barriers between the flesh on flesh contact that each of them wanted so desperately to feel. Moments later, his briefs and her thong were added to the pile of clothes that lay on the floor beside them. As he pulled her on top of him on the large, king size bed, their lips touched again, their tongues exploring – , urgent, wet, hungry, as she wrapped her naked body down onto his.

Her breasts crushed against his chest as she felt his hands move over her back, and then lower, as he frenziedly cupped her ass as their bodies continued to rub together. She could feel his erection press against her thigh and immediately, she had the overwhelming desire to have this man in her mouth.

She pulled back, breaking their fervid embrace and began to kiss down his neck until her mouth reached his chest. She loved how his light patch of chest hairs tickled her nose and the prodigiously wonderful, manly scent that emanated from the pores of his skin.

She heard him groan when she licked his nipple. Adding to the teasing sensation of her mouth, she ran her fingernails lightly down the sides of his torso causing his body to tense up. She moved to his other nipple, her mouth enveloping it in one swift motion.

His body tensed up under her when she moved lower, leaving a trail of saliva down his stomach until she rested herself between his legs. God, he smelled so good; she inhaled deeply, as her nostrils filled with his manly, musky scent. Richard’s member was fully erect, twitching and throbbing in time with his heartbeat. His cock was long and thick and his seminal fluid was leaking freely from the head as her mouth watered in anticipation of what they both knew was coming.

Without using her hands, she took him into her mouth, hearing him let out a low moan. She took him slowly in deeper, getting acquainted with his taste. She continued to take him deeper into her mouth until his head reached the back of her throat. Then slowly, she worked him back out again.

Dana loved having a man in her mouth. However, it was an undertaking that she rarely participated in with Larry, even though he almost continually begged for it. She reasoned that letting him put that inside of her was more than he probably deserved, and she wasn’t sure she could live with herself if she allowed him access to her mouth as well.

However, with Richard, it just felt like the consummate, perfect act that so greatly enhanced the moment. It was as if nothing felt as felicitous in her entire life.

She gazed upward and inwardly smiled when she saw that Richard had closed his eyes and was white knuckling the sheets as her talented mouth soothingly vacillated on his engorged member. She had completely relaxed her throat and was now taking him down to the base and his soft moans wordlessly communicated the immense pleasure her mouth was providing.

Richard opened his eyes and looked down at her. She was taking him almost completely out of her mouth and then plunging back down on him in smooth, rapid successions. In his lust filled haze, he observed that his cock was wet and shiny from her saliva and he could even feel some of it drip down onto his testicles. The sensuous afterimage was just too much, and begin to lose control.

She could feel him start to tense up, and she knew he had to be getting close.

“Oh God, Dana,” he moaned, barely able to get the words out amidst his labored breathing.
Instinctively, she increased the pressure of her mouth on him and quickened the pace as she heard him begin to gasp as thick ropes of semen blasted to the back of her throat. Again, almost unconsciously, she started to swallow and kept her mouth tight on him until the volleys of fluid began to subside.

She opened her mouth and let his cock gently slip out and looked up at him, gently rubbing his thigh as she waited for him to recover from his incredibly intense orgasm.

“Oh God, Dana,” Richard sighed. “I’m sorry. I wanted that to be inside you. I wanted you to feel that too.”

“Oh I felt it,” she answered, grinning slightly, softly kissing his cock. “This was what I wanted. I wanted you like this.”

“I want to fuck you, Dana,” he said. “I want my cock deep inside you.”

As wet as she already was, his words made something inside of her simply drip with lust. “Richard,” she moaned. “I think I can get you ready again.”

Her hand went to his softening cock, squeezing around it, her tongue licked her lips, anticipating having him inside her mouth again.

“Dana, I want … 69… get on top of me… I want to taste you too…”

She put her mouth on his purple tip and sucked him once, twice, and then moved on her hands and knees, throwing a leg over his head, feeling his hands go to her waist, her sides.

Dana slid herself back on Richard’s stomach until she felt her vagina rest on his waiting mouth. She gasped and cried out as he slid his tongue inside of her and felt his arms wrap around her thighs. He slowly and methodically licked the walls of her vagina, making it increasingly difficult to concentrate on his cock in her mouth.

She moaned loudly as his tongue flicked and caressed her clit causing his penis to slip out of her mouth as lighting bolts of pleasure moved over her body. Concentrating, she took his hardening member back into her mouth and once again began to fellate him. God, his cock tasted so good to her.

For several minutes they concentrated on giving pleasure to the other. Richard began driving his tongue deep inside her, drinking in her wetness, burying his face inside her pussy. When his tongue once again returned to her clit and made small circles over it, she could no longer hold herself back. She felt her body begin to shake as her orgasm washed over her and she collapsed on top of him.

He gave her a moment to recover by withdrawing his mouth from her sex. He ran his hands up and down her naked legs, her sides, massaging and stroking her. Digging his fingers into her ass cheeks and squeezing. Oh Richard, she thought, I want you.

She turned herself around, faced him, and looked deep into his brown eyes and kissed him hard, tasting herself on his lips. Breaking their kiss, she slid down on his stomach until she felt his hard cock rest against her vagina. She reached behind her and grasped his shaft at the base. She looked into his eyes as she teased his purple head against the wet lips of her sex.

She placed the tip where she wanted it, and then slowly began to slide back, wincing in ecstasy as he opened her, as he filled her. Putting her hands on his chest for leverage, she let out a low moan, as he penetrated her depth until she felt him bury completely inside of her.

Bending down again, she kissed him passionately, their bodies motionless as she adjusted to the feel of him. Then slowly, she started to flex her hips as she gently moved him in and out of her.

He wrapped his arms around her and began thrusting deeply inside her. They moved in unison, their lips never parting, never breaking that romantic embrace, as they moved their bodies steadily together. After only a couple of minutes, she felt herself climbing again. She changed the angle slightly and was able to ground her clit into his pubic bone which caused her to instantly explode in climax. Seeing her release, he slowed his tempo but continued to thrust powerfully into her through her orgasm.

As Dana’s orgasm slowed, Richard felt her body relax on top of him. She buried her face into his neck, into his scent and the touch of his skin. He ran his hands up and down her naked body as she lay on top of him, fingertips up and down her spine, then his fingers on her ass cheeks, digging into her flesh as he softly moved his hips, his ass, gently rocking his still-hard cock within her. She moaned into his neck in pleasure, a slight gentle spasm, like a shiver of warmth instead of a shiver of cold, spreading through her.

“Dana,” he whispered, and when she lifted her face from his neck to look into his eyes, he kissed her gently, and then cupped his left hand on the back of her head, his right on her hip, and rolled her over onto her back. Richard kept himself buried deep inside her as he rolled and moved on top of her. She opened her legs wide allowing his legs to lie within hers, and she moaned again as the gentle movements he was making drove his long, hard, cock, back and forth inside her.

Naked and strong, his body floated on top of her. He slid his right hand up her side, to her left breast, and cupped and squeezed it as his lips went to hers. Their mouths opened, wide, wet, kissing deeply, hungrily. Richard lifted his hips and began slow tender thrusts into her, and she moaned hard with her tongue inside his mouth. She moaned his name, still kissing him, and reached her hands to his ass, brushing her hands over them and then cupping them hard and pulling him towards her, thrusting herself up onto him.

Richard slid his right hand down her side, slowly down to her knee, and pulled her leg up against him, thrusting harder now. “My God, Dana,” he whispered, breaking their kiss, “you have no idea how much I want this, how much I want to fuck you…”

“Fuck me…” she moaned, her head back, her eyes closed, losing touch with everything in her life except the deep penetrating bliss driving inside her.

“Dana, can you feel my cock?” he whispered. She bit her lower lip in response. “Feel it swollen and hard inside you… Dana…” his voice was rough, thick with lust and exertion… “Dana, I’m going to cum inside you…”

“Oh god…” she whispered, her hands on the bed, her fingers clutching huge handfuls of sheets as she opened herself completely to this man – every muscle, every thought, everything she’d ever known was becoming a distant hazy memory from another world, replaced entirely by the deep shuddering sensation of his long, swollen cock sliding in and out of her, so slick with their cum, plunging in and out and his purple tip and the thickness and feeling him squeezing him his body on hers oh god was this all orgasm his hand touching moving her leg oh god he was deeper there was more this was all orgasm it wouldn’t end it couldn’t end…

Richard’s left elbow and forearm were buried in the sheets and mattress, his right hand still holding Dana’s leg against him, shifting her leg slightly as he changed the angle of his body, driving deeper or shallower or longer into her. He stared down at Dana’s face, watching wave after wave of something wash over her. Her eyes were closed, her neck arched, her lips twitching and opening as she sighed and moaned and drifted beneath him. He had never wanted to pleasure a woman as much as he wanted to pleasure Dana. All those groupies and one-nighters when he was with No Known Religion, his long but never right relationship with Holly – it had never been like this. Dripping precum and already slick from their previous orgasms, he thrust seven and a half inches of cock in and out of her dripping wet pussy. Having found the spot, the angle, where he could feel Dana’s pussy grip and milk every inch of his long cock, he softly and caressingly thrust himself into her. Inches and inches of cock stroking within her as his face hung above hers, as he watched her lips, her eyelashes, watched the intense flush on her cheeks and watched the flush grow deeper and redder as he steadily lifted his hips up and down and slid his dripping hot length in and out of her.

His orgasm brought Dana back to him, to his arms, his touch, to the hotel room. Lost in some other place, she felt the dripping sticky heat of his cum gush inside her, felt his cock shudder, his body spasm. In a daze, she smoothed her hands up onto his ass cheeks and felt them clench and relax and clench again as he milked cum into her. He continued to thrust through his orgasm, continued to thrust as he spilled more and more delicious heat into her pussy. Dana’s own orgasm was something new, something she’d never felt before. A whiteness went through her mind as she simply melted beneath him. She felt her pussy become liquid, felt herself become an ocean that Richard was floating inside of.

He didn’t ruin it by speaking. He lay quietly on top of her, his heart beating hard, sounding a rhythm into her body. She traced the fingers of her right hand softly up and down his side, listening to him breathing, softly urging him to fall asleep just as he was – inside her, on top of her, so she could hold him and feel his weight until she fell asleep as well.

*

In the morning they showered together, and though their hands touched and explored, they didn’t have sex, and barely kissed. They checked out of the hotel and drove to central St. Louis in the van, looking for a place to have breakfast. Something hung between them, making them quiet. Last night had been monumental, had been shattering, and in a way, they were both afraid to mention it, afraid to ruin it by saying it aloud.

With his knack for finding green peaceful places, Richard got them to Forest Park, where they walked hand in hand through the grass, looking for water, for a bench.

She was wearing an old jacket of Richard’s. She pressed against him for warmth in the cool morning air. “So this is St. Louis,” Richard said, looking out over the pond.

“This is St. Louis,” she said.

“It’s nice. This is nice anyway.”

Dana nodded. “I’m not sure if I’ve ever been to Forest Park before. It is nice.”

Richard looked out at the pond for a while, at the sunlight on the water.

“I think that, if I try to drive away from St. Louis today, without you, something is going to rip out of my soul.”

She glanced at him, and trying to be strong, and casual, or at least to keep her voice steady, she said: “Well, don’t drive away.”

“Well,” he said, clearing his throat slightly, “driving is kind of what I’m doing right now. But maybe I don’t need to be driving alone.”

She looked at him, at his strong handsome face, at his hands clasped lightly in his lap. “Maybe you should come with me. Actually, sorry, let me say this more meaningfully, more honestly. Dana,” he said, turning fully to her on that bench, and stroking fingertips through the bangs of hair hanging over her forehead, “come on the road with me. Come and get lost with me.”

She didn’t answer. She stared at him for a few seconds and then turned to look out over the water. She’d just met him last night. It was crazy. He could be a maniac.

“Dana?”

But Jesus, last night had been… she couldn’t even describe it. And the only thing she really cared about in St. Louis was Jill.

She sat there beside Richard, wearing his jean jacket, loving it’s warmth on her shoulders, loving how it smelled of him. She had known him less than a day. Hell, it might not even have been 12 hours yet. Oh God, she thought, tugging his jacket more tightly around her, burying herself deeper inside its’ warmth.

“You’re not an ax murderer are you?” she asked.

“No,” he said, smiling. “No. I’m Richard Danton. I used to play in a band.”

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