“Are you okay, Mister Sweet?” Gayle, my secretary, asked as I came inching into the office. She stood, taking in the bandage on my head. “When you didn’t call yesterday and now, with that bandage and the way you’re walking, well, are you okay?”
What was wrong with the way I was walking? Damn, Peyton’s panties. I had reverently washed them the night before in my bathroom sink, hanging them to dry and when I’d donned them this morning my thought from the day before turned out to be remarkably accurate. They didn’t fit. Peyton was a tiny woman and the panties were just a wisp of fabric. I’d pulled them up my legs, getting an elicit thrill as I did. The same jolt of pleasure I always got from wearing what was deemed forbidden. I settled them against my waist, adjusting my junk in place. Peyton’s panties were tiny, and they did not quite hold all of me in place. I loved them. Partly because they were panties but mostly because they belonged to Peyton and that she had asked me to wear them. Or maybe she had commanded me.
I had stood in front of the mirror, turning around to look at the small amount of fabric snaking between my legs. My ass was practically naked. I turned back to the mirror, my cock falling from the panties to hang next to the flash of silky red. I fished myself back into the thong. I turned again, staring at myself in the mirror and then went about getting dressed. My junk had fallen free before I even had my pants on.
“I’m fine, Gayle. Thank you,” I said, feeling the heat rise on my cheeks. Of course, she’d noticed me walking funny. My tiny panties had once again shifted, leaving my junk hanging outside Peyton’s pretty panties. The accident wasn’t the reason my gait was different. Adjusting to Peyton’s panties slicing into my crotch caused that. “I’m sorry I didn’t get to call yesterday. I lost my phone in the accident.”
Gayle rushed towards me like I was an infirm old man about to take a tumble. She reached for me then caught what she was doing. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Really. I’m fine. Just a little sore. I won’t be in long today,” I admitted. “I have a bunch of things to take care of.”
“You shouldn’t be here now,” she scolded.
I shooed her away and made my way to my office. I took a seat and making sure nobody was looking I snaked my hand into my pants and adjusted my panties back in place. That felt so much better than the way the far-too-small panties dug into my scrotum when I slipped free of the fabric.
Sitting at my desk, I looked at my open office door. Gayle was sitting just outside. She was a sweet, older woman, probably close to sixty. She’d taken this job a few years ago to get away from her husband who had just retired. “He’s just always in my way and I’m constantly having to clean up after him. I need a job just to get away from him.” I’d hired her on the spot. I never once thought about what panties Gayle wore. No, that’s not true. I’ve often thought that my panties were probably prettier and today they definitely were.
I picked up the phone and made a few phone calls. Enterprise would pick me up, just as their motto proclaimed and it was a far better solution than taking Lyft everwhere. After getting a rental car I’d have to go see my insurance agent and then get a new cell phone. There were a few more people that would need to know about the accident. My parents for one.
A few of my employees poked their head in to check on me and I told them all the same thing I’d told Gayle more than once. “I’m fine. Really.” I guess some of them needed to see it for themselves. Jack, one of my best salesmen stopped in right before Enterprise showed up with my rental. “Damn, Mason, you are alive.”
I laughed, and Jack laughed with me. “Sorry to disappoint you.”
“Never stopped you before.”
“Good point,” I agreed. “I’m fine, Jack.”
We segued into the next big sale. “I expect it’ll add quite a bit of work,” Jack said, beaming. That was both good news and bad. More work meant we’d need more employees and while we were a relatively small advertising firm, we seemed to be growing far faster than I could cope with. I’d only added an HR department, a husband and wife teamed named Amber and Clayton, less than nine months earlier. If this growth kept up, I’d need a bigger break than the one I already longed for. Long hours, long days, and long months have a way of catching up with you.
“Better than no work at all,” I said, mostly believing it. I didn’t have time to take the day off but there were too many things I needed to get done. The team could handle it and maybe that was for the best. I was getting burned out. Nineteen employees under me. And thanks to Jack that number was about to climb. Again.
“Good to see you’re okay,” Jack said.
I left five minutes after the rental car showed up, promising Gayle I’d take good care of myself. I was chauffeured to the rental car counter and thirty minutes later I was on my way to my insurance agent. I was there for an hour, and an hour after that I had a new cell phone. A newer model than the one I’d had before. But it seemed, based on the ads, that there was always a new phone right around the corner. In my business I paid attention to the ads. Some were good. Some bad. Some stupid. I remember one commercial when I was younger that showed a lone man walking along a deserted highway. A pretty woman stopped and asked if those jeans were of a certain brand. He admitted they were. And then she drove away, leaving him alone on the highway. If you’ve seen it, you know how dumb it is, right? If we had done the ad, that man would have gotten into the car with the attractive young woman. I got the point. The jeans, by that manufacturer, made him noticeable but wouldn’t it have been better if not only was he noticed but rewarded?
I called my folks and told the about the accident. Mom was concerned about my health; dad about my SUV. I smiled at the dichotomy.
Through the day I kept adjusting my crotch. My junk just wouldn’t stay in place inside Peyton’s petite panties. It was one of the reasons I preferred boy shorts and full briefs. They held me in place much better than a thong.
It was just after lunch when I started giving serious though about my date. I had far too many questions and no good way to get them answered. I didn’t have Peyton’s number and I didn’t know where she lived. Did she work today? Was I supposed to pick her up from the hospital? Would she really want to go on a date wearing scrubs? Even I knew the answer to that one. No. It was a date. A formal date and she’d want to get dressed up. I needed to get in touch with her. Should I call the hospital?
My new phone dinged. I had a text message. My phone may have changed but my number had stayed the same.
How do my panties feel?
It was Peyton. I plugged her number into my phone. I smiled. She had my number. Of course she did. She’d told me so the day before. I typed back my response. I keep falling out of them.
She sent back a smiley emoji. Aww. I know a way to keep that from happening.
You’ll find out. That was followed by a little yellow face sticking out its tongue.
What did that mean? She was a mysterious woman full of so many secrets. My phone beeped again. She gave me her address and told me to pick her up at seven. I was smiling as I typed my response. Looking forward to it.
Me too. Gotta go. Later, Sweetness.
Well, that answered that question. Now, what were we going to do?
Once, a long time ago, I took my ex-wife on our first date. At the time I thought that that would be my last first date ever. Turns out I was wrong. Turns out you can’t predict the future no matter what television psychics would have you believe. Although, truth be told, I bet I could write an ad that would make people believe.
I had thought that first date with my ex-wife had been perfect. The perfect last first date. My first date with Peyton was somehow much better. Maybe it was the novelty of it; there had been times I thought I would never date again. Before Peyton I wasn’t exactly looking for a new relationship. I wasn’t opposed to one, I just wasn’t seeking one out. Whatever would happen would happen and I would be okay with that. Only I wasn’t just okay with Peyton. I was ecstatic. She was fun and sweet and mysterious. Definitely mysterious.
After my accident, she had driven me home from the hospital telling me how much she wanted to see what other naughty things I had in my panty drawer, laughing when I told her during that drive to my house that I did actually have one. Then, once we pulled into my driveway and I invited her in she was the one that told me no, that we hadn’t had our first date yet. She was interesting and complicated, and it was fun trying to figure her out.
When I showed up at her door she had nearly taken my breath away. She was wearing a little black dress and it didn’t just fit her. If sculpted her, molding to her alluring body in a way I had been unprepared for. I had only seen her in scrubs and they hid so much that was now being revealed. The dress was low-cut giving a tantalizing view of cleavage. The dress ended just above her knees. She was wearing simple heels with an open toe. Her toes were painted a deep burgundy color. A gold necklace encircled her throat drawing my eye upward just as that small flash of cleavage drew the eye down.
“Wow.” I said and then could say no more. Her hair was coiffed and hung to her shoulders. She wore a simple flower in her hair. I didn’t know if it was a daisy or an orchid and I didn’t much care. Somehow that flower made her even more lovely than I remembered.
Peyton smiled. “You clean up pretty good yourself,” she said.
Even wearing a suit, it was obvious she outclassed me. By a lot. “Thanks. You look amazing.”
She beamed at the compliment.
I held out my arm. Peyton draped her arm in mine. I led her to the car, suddenly thanking that idiot driver. Without rolling my SUV I would have never met this stunning lady. Funny how things like that can happen, something bad that leads to something much greater.
I drove to the restaurant. It wasn’t exactly a five-star restaurant, but it was clean with good food. The lighting was subdued, giving the place more of an adult feel than say a Chili’s or an Applebee’s. Couples were enjoying their meal at some tables while a family of five sat at a booth, the parents sharing a desert while their three children sat quietly, their eyes glued to their phones.
We got a seat right way. A young man came up to the table, “I’m Brad,” he greeted us with a practiced, professional smile. He was wearing black slacks with a white shirt buttoned to the collar and a thin black tie. The same outfit the whole wait-staff wore. “What would you like to drink? We have a lovely Pino that I could recommend.”
“A glass of your house merlot please,” Peyton told the waiter.
“Very good. And you, sir?”
I was driving. “Half and half tea, please.”
Peyton considered what I ordered, seemed to regard it and what it meant. She nodded and then giggled, “Oh, live a little Mason. Have a cosmopolitan.”
I knew what she was doing, and I felt my cheeks flush. My mysterious playful date was being playful. She wanted me to order a drink. A decidedly feminine drink. She was smiling at me, her head tilted to the side. Was I being tested? Probably. Did I enjoy the course? Absolutely. “On second thought,” I said, playing along with whatever game Peyton was playing, “I’ll have a Cosmo.”
“Be right back,” our waiter said.
“Oh, I wonder what Brad is thinking,” Peyton asked. “A big strong man like you ordering such a sweet, girly drink. But you follow orders very well. I do like that.”
I smiled. I liked following her orders. And so far, I liked playing her games.
We started talking, revealing little things. It was still too early in our relationship, and I did see a relationship forming, to talk about far deeper things. She told me about Louisiana State University where she went to college and I told her about attending college at UCLA and my degree in advertising. I learned more about her family and she learned equally revealing tidbits about mine.
Brad was a diligent waiter, filling our drink orders and keeping my tea full following that one embarrassing drink. Peyton had a second glass of wine and then switched to coffee stating, “I don’t have to get up early.” She made me smile when she added, “And the night is still young.”
We ordered and ate, the conversation flowing easily. There were no long, awkward pauses as we struggled to find a commonality. We talked, one subject merging seamlessly into the next. I learned about her mom and offered a sincere “I’m sorry,” when she told me more about the brother she almost had. She told me more about her father and how he never started dating after the accident that took her mother’s life. “He just doesn’t have it in him,” Peyton said. “It’s too bad, really. He is a great dad and he was a great husband.”
“Did you ever think of setting him up?”
Peyton gasped as if I said something blasphemous but then nodded, “of course, silly.” She shrugged. “Maybe someday.”
“Would either of you like desert?” Brad refilled my tea and topped of Peyton’s coffee.
“Ooh,” Payton said, her eyes lighting her face, “What do you have?”
He recited the desert menu. Peyton stopped him half way though. “The crème brûlée. Definitely.” She smiled at me. “Two spoons.”
Brad acknowledged the order and left the table. “Now,” she giggled. “Let’s do something naughty.”
“Go to the little boy’s room and take off your panties. I’ve been wondering all night which ones you’re wearing. Did you pick them out special for me?”
“No,” I admitted. “I didn’t quite think we’d get that far on a first date.”
Peyton laughed, “Good boy. I’ll do the thinking, remember? Run off now. Before Brad gets back.”
I left the table, passing two couples out on a date and a family of four where the twin girls were talking loudly about having far too much homework. I walked past the bar where single men and single women were chatting and drinking. One older man sat there eating a steak and watching Sports Center on the lone television mounted above the bar.
In the empty bathroom I entered the handicap stall. I kicked off the shoes I had polished before my date, undid my belt, and slipped off my slacks. I pulled my panties off. During the day I had worn Peyton’s red ones, but I’d changed prior to our date. My current panties were blue, the color of the deepest ocean, with dozens of little pink hearts serving as polka dots. The waistband was made of lace and a simple pink bow sat in the center. I liked them. They were cute.
I got dressed and returned to Peyton, my panties hidden in the pocket of my slacks. Peyton was grinning. “Hand them here.”
I handed her my panties.
Peyton put them on the table, spreading them out like setting an insect on a cork board. Sitting on the white tablecloth they were impossible to miss. I glanced from the panties to Peyton and back again. My throat seemed to tighten up; my mouth went dry. I picked up my tea, took a sip, paused and took another.
Peyton laughed. “Relax. Brad will think they’re mine and that you’re going to get lucky. But, please,” she let out a throaty rumble, “keep acting nervous and maybe he’ll figure it out.” She looked towards the ceiling as if deep in thought. “Maybe he will think they’re yours. You are the one that ordered the girly drink after all.”
I took another pull of my tea. She was right. It was possible that Brad would think the panties on the table belonged to the woman at the table. After all, men didn’t wear panties. Ask my ex-wife about that one. But men didn’t order cosmopolitans, either. I place my glass on the tablecloth. My hand was shaking slightly. Brad may think they belonged to Peyton, but she and I knew those panties belonged to me. I couldn’t shake that thought.
Brad returned with the crème brûlée. He placed the desert on the table closed to Peyton. I watched him, his eyes darting from my blue panties with little pink hearts, to Peyton and then back to the panties. He glanced at me and then back to Peyton. Peyton was grinning, her eyes glued to me. I was embarrassed and slightly aroused. I could feel the heat on my face and when I reached for my tea my hand was shaking.
“Enjoy,” Brad said walking away after casting another glance at Peyton. Maybe he thought they were hers. Why would he think otherwise?
“It’s eating you up, isn’t it?”
I admitted it was.
“Good. Oh, you are so much fun.” With that she picked up the spoon and cracked the caramelized sugar topping to our shared desert. She took the first bite, letting out a soft sound of pleasure. “Oh, that’s good.”
I picked up the second spoon and joined in. The desert was creamy, the hard top deliciously decadent. It was a very good crème brûlée.
Brad returned with the check. I reached for it.
“Allow me,” Peyton said.
I shook my head. “Then it wouldn’t be a proper date,” I said. She was right to offer to pay and I was glad she made the attempt even if we both knew going in that I’d be paying for dinner. She was as polite as she was mysterious.
“Thank you,” she said, her dark eyes locked on mine.
We left the restaurant. I opened the car door for Peyton, exactly as I had when we’d left her house. She buckled herself in as I made my way to the driver’s side. I started the car and pulled out of the restaurant. “Where are we heading?”
“You’ll see,” I said. I could be mysterious, too.
“Oh, goodie, a surprise.” She exclaimed, clapping her hands together in a rapid staccato. She had a playful tone in her voice, like a child opening the biggest birthday present and not believing the present was for them.
Once, long ago, I went on my second to last first date with my ex-wife. We had gone to dinner and afterwards I’d taken her bowling. It was silly and childish and fun. A little competition mixed with a lot of laughter. We pulled out of the restaurant and twenty minutes later I was parking in front of a bowling alley boasting “thirty lanes of fun.”
“I haven’t been bowling in forever.”
“Me either,” I admitted, omitting the fact that I’d taken my ex-wife here long ago. That wasn’t important anyway. I parked and together Peyton and I climbed from the car. She stood, staring at me, her head cocked. “What?” I asked.
“You know,” she glanced down, “I’m not exactly dressed for this.”
“Oh, shit,” I hadn’t thought about that. I was so caught up in repeating a perfect first date from so long ago that it never dawned on me that Peyton was wearing a lovely black dress while my ex-wife, Linda, had been wearing slacks and a simple peasant blouse.
Peyton laughed, “I’m so going to kick your ass.” She spun around and started running towards the bowling alley.
I sprinted after her, both of us laughing. I caught her just as she reached the front door. “I win!” She cheered. She stuck her tongue out and then gave me a quick kiss, startling me. I liked being startled with lovely surprises like that.
I opened the door for her and loved that she let me.
We went into the building. Most of the overhead fluorescents were out; the building was lit with black lights. Neon paint on the walls showed happy anthropomorphic bowling balls stalking equally humanized bowling pins. Overhead, in the middle of the bowling alley, a disco ball was spinning, sending bright points of light to all corners of the building. Music was playing, some upbeat, rhythmic song that I didn’t know but found it to be quite catching. It was a beat you could dance to.
I had reserved the lane and even though we were ten minutes early the lane was clear. We got our shoes and our balls and while Peyton was swapping her delicious heels for the bowling shoes and disposable socks I was getting each of us a beer.
“Ready?” Peyton asked, as I returned, a cold bottle of beer for each of us.
I smiled, “yep.”
“What’s the stakes?”
Her playful streak was shining through. “What did you have in mind?”
“Hmm,” she said, tapping her chin with one long, perfectly painted finger. “How about winner gives the loser a massage.”
“Sounds like I win either way.”
She laughed. She rushed towards me, planted a little kiss on the tip of my nose, “I go first.”
I laughed right along with her. Peyton sat at down and plugged our names into the computerized score card. Her name first. For my name she entered Sweetness. The song changed into one I’d heard, asking what a fox says. It, like the song before was catchy and upbeat. The lights above the disco ball changed colors, now reds and blues and greens were spinning over the lanes and the ceiling and the walls. On either side of us couples and singles and families continued their own games, each of them lost in their own oasis just as Peyton and I were. I took a sip of my beer and watched at Peyton sashayed up to our lane. She picked up the ball, waggled her lovely behind at me, drawing my attention to the shape of her legs, the swell of her hips and the softness of her ass. It was a delightful weapon in her arsenal for sure.
Peyton brought the ball up, her arms folded towards her chest. She concentrated, staring down the lane. The disco lights bounced off her arms and back and hair. She took the first step forward, her arm dropping. Another step and the ball continued falling backwards. A third step found the ball moving forward, fast, faster, almost a blur. The fourth step and the ball slipped from her hands. It spun towards the gutter and curved just before dipping into oblivion. It spun towards the pins, striking just to the left of the head pin. The sound was loud as eight pins toppled. She turned towards me, her brown eyes big, those lips that had already given two gentle kisses pulled upward with a joyous smile.
I was nodding. “I’m in trouble.”
She shrugged. “Maybe.” She blew me a kiss while waiting for her ball to return. She picked it up and focused again. She threw the ball and made the spare.
“Definitely in trouble.”
We passed each other next to the scoring table. She ran one finger along my hand, giving me chills. I picked up my ball, glanced at the pins, back to Peyton, and to the pins again. Peyton had hooked her ball into the pins, I tended to throw my ball straight. My ball hit to the right of the foremost pin, somehow taking out a total of five. My second throw went exactly where the first one went, only this time the ball hit nothing but air. I have five points; Peyton was sitting on a spare.
“Hmm, now what should I get for winning the frame?” Peyton asked, toying with me.
“So, we’re playing frame by frame, are we?”
She shrugged, took a sip of her beer, and took my hand briefly before passing me towards the elevated lane.
There were a lot of little touches as we played. We held hands, had two chaste kisses, and one long swaying hug through a John Cougar Mellencamp song that we both loved. We smiled. We laughed. We touched. At the end, I won one game and Peyton won two. Years earlier I’d beaten Linda three games to none. The joyous look of victory on Peyton’s face was a pleasure to behold. She didn’t gloat, but she did let me know how much she was looking forward to her massage. I told her that I was looking forward to it as well.
“I bet you are.”
We left the bowling alley, once again Peyton letting me get the door for her. I knew her to be a strong, powerful woman so her allowing me to be chivalrous told me everything I needed to know about the strength of her character.
“That was fun, thank you,” Peyton said as I climbed in the car.
“It was. And you’re welcome.”
I put my rental car in gear and started driving. Peyton was quiet, staring out the side window. When she spoke her voice was low, muffled by her hanging head and by the seriousness of her words. “You’re not going to cheat on me, are you?”
There was a sadness in her words. I could hear a long-ago heartbreak rising to the surface like a horrible monster about to wreak havoc on some innocent fishing village. She was looking away, as if she couldn’t face me, too afraid of the answer I might give. I felt my heart ache a little. She sounded small and insecure, hurt and both scared and scarred. Someone, long before me, had hurt her and that pain still stung.
I glanced at her as she rested her head on the passenger side window. “No,” I said. I pulled into a parking space next to a closed furniture store. Peyton’s words and tone let me know that this conversation was important and needed more attention than I could give while driving. I parked the car, turned off the headlights, and turned to face her. I took the hand closest to me. She flinched but didn’t pull away. “I’m not like that,” I said. “I’ve never been like that.”
Peyton sat up. She faced me. Her eyes were damp. She wasn’t crying but it was close. “I really had a good time and you’ve been good to me. Good for me. I’ve been…”
“He cheated on you?”
She nodded. “With my best friend. Two for the price of one,” she tried to smile and failed.
I knew what she meant. She lost her friend and her boyfriend in on fail swoop. I thought of Linda and how it would have felt if she’d have cheated on me. I couldn’t imagine a worse feeling and by the sadness in Peyton’s words and the tone of her quivering voice I knew she had felt what I could not imagine. I rubbed the top of her hand with my thumb. She was facing me now but still out of reach. “I would never ever do that,” I said. “Ever.”
Her lips lifted in a smile but faded away. “Sorry. It’s just.”
“No. No you don’t. It wasn’t just that he cheated on me or who it was with it was that he didn’t even try and deny it. I caught them. I was supposed to take a shift for another nurse because her son had been arrested. Drugs,” she shrugged. “She showed up for work right on time and I was surprised to see her. ‘What happened?’ I had asked. I still remember her saying how it was probably best that her son spent the night in jail. ‘Maybe he’ll learn something.’ She’d said that like she didn’t exactly believe it.
“So, I left after my scheduled shift. When I got home they were, well,” she gave a defeated shrug, “on the same kitchen counter where I’d cooked dinner so many nights. Jason, my ex, looked at me, grinning, while Kathy, looked away embarrassed. Jason reached out and said, ‘join us.’ He didn’t stop what he was doing. Neither of them did. There wasn’t any shame on his face. He didn’t feel guilty or if he did it didn’t look like it to me.”
I stayed quiet. Letting her speak. The sad look on her face was replaced with something primal. It wasn’t exactly anger but that was there, too. It was something stronger than that. Rage maybe. Tinged with shame. “I turned around and was gone a moment later. Jason never came running out. Kathy tried calling me later, but I didn’t answer. I haven’t talked to her since.” She sighed, finally pulling her hand from mine. “If you’re going to cheat on me…”
The rest hung in the air, weighing on both of us. “I won’t. I’m a one-woman man. Honest.” I don’t know if she believed me, but I knew she would in time. I’d never cheated on Linda. The thought had never entered my mind.
“Okay.” She considered what I said and then perked up slightly. “Okay,” she repeated a little bit stronger. A smile returned to her face. “You owe me a massage and I am dying to see your panty collection and those heels you told me about.” She paused in thought. “Can you take me home? I have plans tomorrow. How about you show me your collection Monday after work?”
I took her home. We talked during the drive about television shows we liked and our favorite singers. The conversation was light and while it wasn’t strained there was the specter of Peyton’s worries clouding what we said. She grew more animated and was giving honest smiles by the time I kissed her goodnight. This kiss wasn’t the coy, playful kisses we’d given each other while bowling. There was true emotion behind this kiss. One that had Peyton saying I’m holding to your promise while mine saying I won’t let you down. It was honest, sweet, and inquisitive, hinting at what could be. It took my breath away.
“Good night,” she said.
She stood at her front door until I backed out of her driveway. I waved, and she waved back. I was smiling into my rear-view mirror as Peyton shut the door. Once long ago I took Linda on our first date and I had thought that that date was perfect. The one with Peyton, my truly last first date, went so much better. Not just because of who she was but because of the vulnerability she’d revealed in telling me about her final heartbreak. She’d intrigued me when she revealed she knew my secret. She enamored me by telling me hers. Monday couldn’t get her soon enough.