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A Sweet Romance

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“Hey there, ‘Uncle’ Alan, whatcha doing?”

I had been relaxing as I sat on my broken-down pier to the Kaneohe Bay. The waters were calm, the breeze gentle, and the sunshine warm, leaving me on the verge of drifting off. Without looking as to who was the source of the inquiry, I knew that it came from Melinda Camara.

I couldn’t help but think back to that first-time months ago when this lovely part-Hawaiian young woman befriended me. I had been lazily fishing off my pier one day when she walked up and sat down next to me. I should have been taken aback at her sudden and unexpected appearance; yet, for some strange reason, I wasn’t. Completely nonchalant and utterly charming, she told me right off to call her ‘Mel.’

“Do you know what ‘Melinda’ means?” popped from her lovely lips. “Do you know it means ‘honey sweetness?’ Like yuck! Who wants to be something that’s so syrupy sickening? Anyway, I often see you lounging around at this old pier as I walked to my aunt’s home from the bus stop…yeah, she lives two streets down and three houses in…and so I decided to introduce myself. And you are?”

“Alan…Alan Chang. A pleasure to meet you.”

“And I you, ‘Uncle’ Alan…”

“Please don’t call me ‘uncle’…I mean I know it is a courtesy title extended by younger people to their elders in Hawaii…but it makes me feel so damn fricking old…something I don’t need to be reminded of.”

“But you are ‘old’…well, at least older than my twenty-five years, ‘Uncle’ Alan,” was the quick retort that was playfully zinged back at me.

“Why bless your ‘sweet’ little heart, ‘Melinda.’ You are such a ‘honey,'” I riposted back, and said to myself, ‘Touché!’ when I saw my target flinch at my comment.

“Okay, okay! I won’t call you ‘Uncle’ if you don’t call me ‘Melinda.’ Pinky swear?”

Gripping her extended little finger with mine, I solemnly swore, “‘Pinky swear.’ Whew, now that the ground rules are laid out and vows given, tell me about yourself, Mel.”

“Okay, but you’ve got to do the same…okay? Let’s see…you know my name and age already…hmmm…I am of Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Chinese ancestry with what I think may be a little white New England missionary blood sprinkled in there somewhere. While I grew up on the Big Island, I opted to attend, board at, and graduate from the Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama where we part-Hawaiians go, and I excelled in volleyball…but not much else. Anyway, the University of Hawaii at Hilo offered me an athletic scholarship which thrilled my folks since they would get to see me play.

“However, after completing my first two years of general studies, I didn’t know where I was going academically …or for that matter, with my life. So, I dropped out and moved back to Oahu. Being twenty-one at the time, footloose and fancy-free, I messed around and messed up. I was working as a waitress in Waikiki when the Covid pandemics struck and I got laid off when my restaurant was forced to close.

“I moved in with my aunt, went on unemployment until it was exhausted, and sold my car to cut back on expenses and to save some money. I am still trying to figure out what to do with my life and especially myself. Fortunately, I haven’t hit rock bottom. Ha, but the way I think about it is that if I do, the only way to go is up. But ’nuff about me, tell me about yourself, Alan?”

I took a long moment to look at this inquisitive and yet candid young woman who was next to me. Mel was…attractive…with a caramel-tone to her, rich and inviting chocolate eyes, a cute button nose, inviting lips, and long dark brown hair. From what I could see, she had a unique blend of an athletic figure mixed with a certain sexual appeal. Taller than my five-six shortness by about two to three inches, Mel moved with a casual fluidity and unspoken sensuality.

“Well, I am fifty-five-year-old…yep three decades older than you…a full-blooded ‘pake’ (pronounced pa-keh which in the Hawaiian language means Chinese)…and a public high school graduate, unlike some pure- or at least partial-pure-blood private schooler. I then attended and graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree in business administration.

“However, I soon found I had a strong entrepreneurial streak that was aided by three natural talents. The first was the ability to size up a good investment. The second was being able to persuade others to join me or at least, back me with capital or influence. And lastly, I had a sense of timing — knowing when to let an investment ride, when to go all-in, or when to call it quits.

“By the time I was forty-five, I had amassed a sizeable fortune, held significant shares in many of the island shopping malls, had acquired land resources, and was able to selectively fund new business ventures that showed promise. My revenue streams are ‘sufficient’ to allow me to buy the A-framed three-bedroom house behind us outright and to kick back and contemplate on what to do next.”

“Wow,” casino siteleri Mel gasped in utter surprise, “compared to you, I’m some lousy beggar who has nothing to show…”

“Mel Camara, don’t sell yourself short! I know that we have just met but I see a definite ‘promise’ in you. Look, you said that you ‘messed around and messed up.’ That’s something that I’ve never done. For me, it has always been the fricking straight and narrow…all business…no distractions…just make money and then make more. And yet, once I did, I found my life utterly empty and boring. I sit here many days like today just reflecting on where I went wrong…and what could I do to capture that which has eluded me so far.”

“Then count your blessings, Alan, that Mel Camara dropped into your life today. Maybe… just maybe…we can help each other to find what we’re looking for. The way I see it, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. What do you say?

“Hmmm, would you like to do some barbecuing with me? I was planning to grill some hamburger patties…and you know that there are always eight buns to a pack…I made some potato salad earlier and planned to microwave some corn on the cob. I usually eat out on my patio and watch the sun go down while sipping on a beer. Are you open to a dinner invitation?”

“You are a sly dog, Alan Chang. Are you asking me out on a date within minutes of meeting me? Ooh, this girl had better watch herself…or more so you…before you sweep me off of my feet with your smooth moves. Never messed around, huh? Ha! Could have fooled me! Let me call my aunt to tell her that won’t be home soon…and maybe not tonight.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“God, Alan, your home is fantastic! I often wondered about it and its owner, and now I know. And munching burgers and sipping on a beer while lounging on your patio that overlooks the bay as the sun sets is unbelievable. Thank you…oh, thank you.”

“Mel, if you keep that up my head is likely to explode from swelling with all your praise. If anything, I should be thanking you…for giving me such a treat as having a lovely cosmopolitan young woman over for dinner…albeit rather basic. You grace my life with your beautiful presence.”

Before I knew it, Mel leaned over to pull my head to hers and kissed me affectionately on the cheeks. “All business and no pleasure…huh?…you sure are a devious ‘pake’ charmer. I assume by the way you asked me to have dinner that you’re not attached and that some jealous girlfriend or pissed-off wife is going to show up at any moment. You aren’t, are you?”

“How I wish I was,” I admitted reluctantly as I was stunned at the unexpected change of topics. “But other than with you, I am quite a klutz…really inept….when it comes to the feminine gender. Now, I have to ask if you in return if you are attached to someone special…who would beat me to a pulp if he caught you here with me?”

“Alan,” sighed Mel as she leaned back into her lounge chair to take a deep swig of her beer, “I want to make it clear that I’m not playing with your affections…nor am I some easy slut. I am just naturally affectionate with those whom I feel comfortable with…and even though we met just a couple of hours ago, I feel that way with you …and like you.

“Currently I am unattached. I have not found that special person…guy or gal…yes, I am bisexual…who is willing to commit to the long run.” With that, Mel openly disclosed her previous love (more like sex) life to me. “When I mentioned that I messed up, it was with people from both sides of the fence who were into using and abusing…and not to a committed and monogamous future together. I hope that my sexuality or my past don’t bother you.”

“Hey, give yourself a fricking break, Mel. At least you tried! I on the other hand have had a few…affairs…but…I soon discovered that they were more like ‘business liaisons’…than romances…with women who wanted to get my business insight or access to my money. Believe me when I say that I know what it is to be ‘used and abused.'”

“Jeez, they say that birds of the same feather flock together…and now I know what they mean. We are two of the same kind, aren’t we? No wonder you drew me to you. I don’t know where the hell we’re going, Alan,” commented Mel softly as she held my face to look me in the eyes, “but I’ll be there with you…every step along the way.” And with that, Mel kissed me lightly to seal her promise.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Hey, Mel!” blurted out of my mouth as I quickly returned to the here-and-now from my reflections of the past. “Do you have any plans for the weekend? You don’t? Good! Then pack an overnighter bag because we’re flying inter-island to Molokai tomorrow. It’ll be my treat…first-class airfare, ground transportation, hotel accommodations, and dining and shopping.”

My cosmopolitan lovely looked at me in an apprehensive way before asking, “Are you trying to become my ‘Sugar Daddy?”

“What? What do you mean by that?” was my güvenilir casino stunned reply.

“I may be wrong but isn’t a Sugar Daddy an older man who showers a much younger and good-looking woman…ahem, like myself…with all kinds of ‘gifts and benefits’…or blessings as it usually referred to…in exchange for sexual favors?”

I was shocked but could immediately see how Mel might take my offer to mean such. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, I countered, “No, my offer was made without any strings attached…and especially the expectation that you would…ah…end up in my bed.

“I should have prefaced my offer with some background. I know this guy who has invited a group of possible investors which includes me for a Molokai weekend on his tab. The reason for doing so is that Jim…yeah, the guy…and his two cronies… have a resort development proposal that he wants to show us in the hopes that we will financially back his proposal. Jim is a real hard-charger and can be persuasive as all hell…but he’s had some real flops in the past because he failed to consider all of the possible factors.

“I want a fresh and unbiased opinion as to the feasibility of the proposed project…and that will be from you. Don’t worry about not having the high-finance expertise…I need some commonsense feedback…and that I know you can provide me with that. You are my ace-in-the-hole…something my fellow investors will not expect. No, they are all basically good guys; however, when money is involved, they…well…you’ll see.”

“Ah, this is kind of sudden,” murmured a still hesitant Mel. “Will I be the only female… and what will be the overnight arrangements?”

“Hey, if Jim is treating, the guys will bring female companionship. However, as I said earlier, I will be picking up all of your expenses…which includes me arranging for you having own room. I don’t want to owe Jim for you. Besides, by us having separate rooms, a certain attractive Hawaiian young woman won’t be construed as my Sugar Baby. God, if you jumped into my bed at night…you would probably give me a heart attack. Shit, it sucks being old!”

“‘Sugar Baby?’ Well, now that you mentioned it, I can see how I might be thought of as using my feminine wiles to seduce and take advantage of a lonely dirty-old man…I mean you are three decades older than me…heh, heh, heh. Okay, I’ll go with you, Alan…my secret Sugar Daddy in the making.’ Now, what’s the plan and what should I pack?”

“To start with, wear something comfortably for we will be going into the field after we check in our bags at the resort. I’ve got to warn you that you’ll probably be the only female with us when Jim shows us his proposed but unimproved project site. From past experience, Jim’s wife, the other wives, and longtime girlfriends aren’t the field type… they tend to gravitate to the resort pool, lounges, or shops.

“So, wear jeans, sensible shoes…I’m wearing hiking boots…a light shirt…and bring a windbreaker just in case. However, we are supposed to be having dinner with the group at the island’s finest dining establishment…so, bring something suited for a night of fine dining.

“Are you game? You are? Good. I’ll pick you up from your aunt’s place on Saturday at six o’clock…yep, you heard me right. This is a high-finance business, so make sure you get a good night’s sleep because we’ll have a full day and night of business, my part-Hawaiian Sugar Baby. Ha! You started it…aha, you did…nah ah, don’t blame me.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Folks, this is a diamond-in-the-rough that is just begging to be developed,” boasted Jim McCullen, the primary promoter of the project to his small group of potential investors. “We have an opportunity to grab a sizeable chunk of land from the major highway to the pristine beach, and develop a world-class tourist destination.” Jim then rattled off how depressed the island’s economy was, how impoverished the island inhabitants were, and how they should readily welcome the proposed tourism resort.

Discretely pulling me to the side as Jim continued in his high-pressured sales pitch, Mel whispered, “Alan, you told me that you wanted my unvarnished advice. Here it is. Don’t do it! I know Molokai is called the ‘Friendly Island’ but it is far from it when it comes to outsiders. My Molokai high school classmates have told me that development…and especially tourism developments as proposed by that haole (Hawaiian for Caucasians) are not well-accepted. The project that Jim is proposing is certain to meet with strong community resistance and more. Your money will be tied up for a long time. It’s not worth it.”

“Hmmm, you’ve got a point…something is not right. Plus, Jim is kind of laying on thick and getting very pushy if you know what I mean. I think…”

It was then that Jim rudely intruded into our conversation, saying, “So, Alan, what do you and your cutie of a girlfriend think of my proposal? You two will be joining with the rest of canlı casino us for dinner and drinks — my treat — when we talk further about the project and find out who’s in or out? Then Jim slipped in a nasty insinuation, “That is if you two aren’t too busy with one another?”

I saw Mel bristled at Jim’s crass innuendo but before she could react, I reached out and held her hand as I answered, “Thanks for asking…but it’s up to Mel.” Jim’s confusion as to what to think of my reply and who Mel was to me was apparent, and I felt Mel relax as she squeezed my hand.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I knocked on Mel’s door at the time we had set to go to for drinks and the group dinner. To my knowledge, the group’s females consisted mainly of middle-aged wives or longstanding girlfriends. This meant that Mel would be the only woman in attendance whose status and relationship to me were unclear. Mel’s mystery was compounded in that I had never been seen with a woman and that she was clearly much younger than me.

I was about to knock a second time when her room door opened and I was completely blown away. There before me stood my part-Hawaiian lovely with light makeup that enhanced her eyes and luscious lips. Her formfitting spaghetti-strapped purple mini-dress that ended several inches above her knees, clung sensuously to her as if it was painted on. A telltale jiggle of her exposed breast tops and hinted nipple bumps indicated that she was braless, and intriguingly there was an absence of any visible panty lines. A zipper that ran between her full breasts ended just above her hidden belly button, and when combined with simple dangling earrings, three-inch high heels (which had her towering over me), and a dazzling smile, Mel was simply breathtaking.

Before I knew it, “God, you look ravishing!” escaped from my surprised mouth.

At this, Mel beamed in silent appreciation and slipping her hand behind my neck, pulled me to her, and the lifting my chin, kissed me spontaneously with a strange mixture of gratitude, acceptance, and something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Seeing a surprised look on my face, she purred, “Thank you for heeding my advice and stopping me before I made a fool of myself responding to Jim’s shit-ass remark about us.” Then kissing me tenderly again, she continued, “That’s thanks in advance. I know that I may cause you a lot of unwanted attention and speculation tonight. But I know that my Sugar Daddy will be there for his Sugar Baby as I will be for you.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mel was spot on in her predictions. The moment we stepped into the dining room, all eyes were turned our way as the conversation ceased. It could be because I had never appeared with a woman. Or it could have been because Mel was a strikingly tall and young cosmopolitan beauty who had her arm comfortably draped over one of my shoulders. But I think, however, it was because no one knew who Mel was and more importantly, what she was to me.

Think of a school of piranhas frantically swam to a possible prey and you will understand what happened after the initial shock of our appearance wore off. The feeding frenzy of Grace, Jim’s peroxide-blond and surgically-enhanced wife, along with Gloria and Karen, the wives of Jim’s primary co-conspirators, Harry and Brenton, separated Mel from me in the blink of an eye. While I hauled to the bar and had drinks forced upon me, I could see that Mel was cornered and being not too subtly interrogated about herself and us.

After a while of being subjected to the full-court-press by Jim and his cronies, I managed to refill my drink, grabbed a beer for Mel, and broke free. Heading to the group of spouses, I butted in and assertively stated, “Excuse me, ladies, but I promised Mel a beer and some private ‘us-time.’ Mel, would you care to join me for a tour of the restaurant and grounds before dinner?”

I never saw a more relieved Mel as she bolted from her female encirclement and to the gasp of the spouses, took a deep swig of her beer. “God, I needed that!” was uttered before she threw an arm around my shoulder, hugged me to her, and let me lead her away. Leaning down to kiss me on the cheek, she sighed, “Thank you for rescuing me…heh, heh…the beer and my display of affection with you should set those bitches’ tongues wagging.”

I gently slipped my arm around her waist and was pleased when Mel leaned into me. “Sheesh, Alan, you didn’t tell me that you were such an important guy…I mean I knew you were rich and financially smart, but not so damn influential that I would be cross-examined like I was by those witches. Oh, they probably thought they were being subtle when they pumped me for information about myself and us…yeah, right, they were about as subtle as a sledgehammer. I’m surprised that they didn’t ask me how many guys I’ve spread my legs for and what was my damn bra size.

“Well, if it’s any consolation to you, the same thing happened with the guys. The only exception was that they were more demanding, graphic, and downright crude. Can you imagine it that a tipsy Jim had the balls to ask me, ‘Fuck, what the hell is a short Chinese old fart like you banging a hot Hawaiian amazon? She looks too sexy for you, Alan. She’s Hawaiian so I bet she is a fucking easy lay. She is, isn’t she?'”

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