Maintaining Focus


An autobiographical story by XXscribbler

A five day meeting, and Edward was — as usual- at the hotel’s meeting room forty-five minutes early on day one. Two young staffers were setting out coffee and etceteras. The only other person in the room was at the nametag table: she was older, obviously in charge, and busily laying out agenda-and-background folders. As he walked towards the table he studied her. Slender, brunette with reddish highlights, pixie-cut nicely done and quite well chosen for her longish, somewhat florid face (too much sun-room, perhaps? Or a recent vacation taken considerably farther south — certainly not due to current midwinter DC sunshine!). No visible makeup, and no nail polish – odd for an admin-type in Washington, but he approved. Nearly his height, rather plain of face and lacking in figure, dressed in an absolutely perfectly tailored Harris Tweed jacket, styled halfway between man-cut and woman’s hunting. Expensive stuff: he knew – he was wearing a favorite old Harris himself. Several hundreds at least for such a nicely done piece — if American-made ‘domestic’. Considerably more if not. Under the jacket she wore a mid-calf beige-ish-yellow dress, probably silk given how it draped. Like the jacket it was clearly custom — likewise expensive. A shimmering blue boat-necked blouse, equally drapy, set off her rather startlingly blue eyes. A single strand of perfectly matched gunmetal gray pearls, no other jewelry. Classy. He was intrigued.

She looked up at him. “My! An early-bird, aren’t we?” Her tag read “Kathryn — NSF”. She waved at the table: “Beat the crowd, always a good idea. Grab your tag — have a folder!” A nice voice, vaguely southern accent, strong hint of flirt in it. A superb white-toothed smile that was completely transformative.

He picked up his tag, she took it from him, pinned it properly into place, smiled again, said “Edward! Nice to finally meet you! You’re the oceanographer who’s supposed to keep us from making silly mistakes, right?”

He nodded — that was indeed his role. “Thanks!” he said. Then, seeking grounds to start a conversation, “Beautiful bit of haberdashery, your Harris there.”

She eyed him speculatively for a moment, studied his jacket, then grinned happily: “Not many people recognize Harris. Glad you like it. I see we have parallel tastes. I had it done for me in London a couple of years ago — a complete suit. Adding the trousers would be a bit severe for today’s affair, but the jacket goes with anything!” His eyes widened — custom, London, full suit — closer to two thousand dollars than mere hundreds. Yet more interesting.

She tugged the lapels out to open the front, did a quick pirouette. The cling of the blouse made it clear that her apparent lack of bosom was real, not an artifact of the jacket’s tailoring — and also disclosed both an amazingly well developed pair of nipples and absence of brassiere. Not that it was needed. His face registered overall strong appreciation.

Kathryn giggled, laid a hand on his forearm: “I had it made by one of the old-line shops, on Saville Row would you believe it? I chose them precisely because they showed NOTHING in the window for women. You should have SEEN the poor old galoot’s face as he tried to figure out how to measure me without actually touching me! Getting the inseam and rise and chest were incredible. Thought he’d have an attack of apoplexy right there. Makes a woman feel good to cause so much fluster in a man. It surely does!” The last was delivered with an exaggerated drawl. She paused, sized him up again, finished sotto voce, “Especially if a girl simply cannot do it with her body!”

Edward snorted, said almost testily “Now Kathryn, you just quit that! You women simply cannot see yourselves properly. Trust me, I know. I’m a lifelong student of your species, and you have a fine, very attractive body. Your opinions don’t count! End of statement!”

She blushed, muttered “Why thank you, Sir! Your opinion is greatly appreciated and duly noted.”

The flood of attendees began: she spun off to attend to her duties. Lunchtime arrived, as buffet in a separate room. Waiting in line, he caught her eye, waved her over. “They’re going to need more space than they have set up — care to bring your lunch and join me in the meeting room?”

They spent the next thirty minutes delightedly exploring one another’s background and tastes, but she had to leave before he did — more ‘duties’. He watched her as she walked away. Very attractive package there, he thought. Especially between the ears — her repartee was FAST, and fun … and an incredible flirt to boot, something he thoroughly enjoyed. Rather strongly to his liking, this new and improved viewing angle suggested she had a bit more bottom than he’d first thought. In fact, he found her construction sufficiently nice that it preoccupied him throughout most of the afternoon festivities. Whenever Kathryn hove into view, there settled his gaze.

Kathryn, acıbadem escort for her part, was far from unobservant. She both intuited and actually perceived his fascination… and found herself pleased to the extent that she invented for his amusement more than a few good viewing opportunities. Within all this, she found at least three surprising factors — first, she was intrigued at his obvious interest in her body, a most unusual (not to say vanishingly rare) expression by men of her acquaintance, all of whom seemed determinedly fixated on boobs only. All save one, so long ago and far away, who had been an utter, total bottom-fanatic and who had initiated and nurtured in her a reciprocal fascination and enthusiasm. Those long-submerged memories surfaced strongly now under Edward’s interest, and produced a veritable gusher between her legs — a considerable oddity these days. Finally, she was almost flabbergasted at the fact of her so actively leading him along — such behavior was more than rare and largely inexplicable – but turning out to be both easy and fun!

At the afternoon break, firmly in the grip of his fascination, he took her aside. “Kathryn — I truly don’t mean to be either pushy or out of line, but if you happen to be free, I wonder – would you be interested in joining me for dinner tonight? I’d like nothing better than to continue from where we left off at lunch.”

She cocked an eye at him, obviously entertaining the idea seriously. Encouraged, he kept on: “I’d have to depend on you to suggest a restaurant — I really don’t know this part of Arlington at all well. But I’m game for anything.”

Her smile lit him up: “Frankly, Doctor E, I was beginning to worry that you’d never get around to asking, and ever since lunch, I’ve been wondering about the propriety of ME doing the asking! I could declare today as an early Sadie Hawkins Day. I am free, and I LOVE the whole idea. I accept!” She thought for a moment. “You’re staying here in the hotel, I believe?” He nodded. “And I assume you brought an outer coat appropriate to a DC winter evening?” He nodded again. “Then here’s a plan. When we adjourn at five, you go straight to your room and get the coat, I will lock up the meeting room, and we can meet under the big lobby clock at quarter past five. My condo is only five minutes walk from here, and the whole area is rife with restaurants — the problem will be one of choosing, not finding. I can change, and we can have a glass of wine before dinner. I believe I have something potable on hand. Meet with your approval?”

It did indeed. He was at the clock five minutes early: she arrived thirty seconds later, in a full-length overcoat to match the jacket. He whistled, gave her two thumbs up. She laughed appreciatively and did another pirouette, but faster: the hem flared, rose, then sank and wrapped.

“I had the Saville Galoot hold back enough material so I could get this on a second trip.”

More than a couple of thousand, Edward realized — several. Something odd, here — what was today’s salary for her federal position, anyhow?

She linked her arm smoothly with his, said “Into the wintry blast we go, tra la! Protected by our tweeds!” and led him out the door. Arm-linked and perfectly comfortable with it, they slogged to her building — the wind made conversation almost impossible, but it didn’t seem needed.

“It’s just a small condo,” she said as they exited the elevator on 34: “… a one-bedroom, but it’s all I need and it has a killer view!” She let herself in ahead of him — she wanted to see his initial reactions. She flipped on the lights, watched his face. It was a study in surprise and pleasure as he scanned the living room, so she was happy.

‘Spartan, almost’, he thought — …’but hardly plain.’ Fine color scheme — each wall different, the overall effect pleasing. The good red-oak floors, complete with a purple-heart tracery border, were surprising in a condo. There was an old Berber area rug beneath a solid rosewood dining table, Chinese Chippendale, probably 150 years old. A big piece of art-glass, a vase with undersea motif, was centered on the table and filled with water in which floated a trio of roses.

The far wall was simplicity itself, almost museum-like. Two sconces carried small glass sculptures and flanked a gold baroque picture frame, all three lit from hidden sources. The frame contained a small drawing or print. She waved him in, kept watching him. He stepped to the wall, noticed that the glass pieces were certainly Steuben, artist-signed one-offs. He peered at the framed item, and did a serious double-take. A Rembrandt sketch, an original, presumably genuine — about 4×6, with ragged edges left and bottom, razored right and top. Cut from a larger item, from a sketch-sheet probably, God only knew when. A cherub’s head the size of a silver dollar. Two trees, a thumb, and the artist’s initials. akbatı escort He stood, turned to face her, said “Rembrandt! I’m astounded!”

She laughed, said “Don’t be too impressed. He was most god-awfully prolific — there are probably tens of thousands of pieces like mine — trivial works that are readily available and aren’t genuinely astronomical, even today. I got this in Venice years ago when it was even more reasonable. Good provenance, too — it’s real.”

He looked around — the entire room, its furnishings, her clothing and pearls — gave a consistent picture. High value, chosen and integrated with impeccable taste. “Exquisite”, he said aloud. “Every little thing in here is damn near perfect… but it all looks comfortable and used, too. Difficult balancing act, that. Well done!”

She looked quite pleased. “You do look a bit puzzled, Doctor Ed! No — I’m not some little rich kid working a job to keep my sanity. All this came out of my earnings. Care for some personal philosophy? Might explain me to thee a bit.”

Edward nodded: “If you’d like to tell, I’d be fascinated.”

She began slowly and thoughtfully. “Edward, for me, life seems to consist of three categories – things, people and experiences. It’s sort of a zero-sum game in each: a person can opt for a few of the really good, or a larger number of mediocrities. I decided years ago to make conscious choices in favor of smaller numbers of higher-intensity and higher quality — and in all three categories. It’s sometimes difficult to maintain course, but I’d much rather have the little Rembrandt than an entire wall full of something lesser. Ditto with people, double-ditto with experiences.”

Edward nodded as they held eyelock for some time. Finally he said “A truly wonderful idea — hard to do, but man and boy, you obviously manage it. I’m impressed, Madam! In fact, I don’t know when I’ve been more so. My compliments on a job awfully well done!”

Kathryn tilted her head to look at him sideways, and said softly “People, too. And experiences. That’s why you’re here tonight. If I get to choose the restaurant, you may be surprised — pleasantly, I suspect. Meanwhile, I’m going to change and add the Harris trousers, since we’re going to walk. Not far, but a person might as well get some proper use out of the clothing! I believe I offered you a glass of wine — there are several bottles, all reds, in the kitchen. Corkscrew’s in the top right drawer. You choose — any one will be fine with me.”

She disappeared and shut the bedroom door.

Four bottles in a little rack: three he recognized, each at least a hundred-dollar treat at the store, who could guess what price at a restaurant. The fourth he didn’t know — a French syrah. He opened it, found two appropriate balloons, poured noisily to aerate.

She sneaked up on him in mid-pour, making him jump slightly. She took the proffered glass and looked at the bottle, asked “Why that one?”

He smiled, imitated her shrug. “Because it’s the only one of the four I didn’t recognize. Adventures on any scale are good. People and experiences both.”

She nodded, said “Good answer!” and led him to the balcony. The view was, in fact, spectacular, out across the valley towards the Potomac, an extravaganza of city lights viewed from just enough height to begin to go abstract.

The wine proved superb. Two glasses and nearly an hour’s conversation passed in a blink. Finally, into a pause, she said “I suppose we should be heading out to find that dinner you promised — if we get started much later, we likely won’t be functional tomorrow!”

They left the building with re-linked arms, made it to the street lamp at the end of the entry walkway. There, in the cold wind and nearly-coalmine blackness -with occasional spitting drizzle – Kathryn stopped them and pointed: “North takes us into Italian and Greek. South has, of all things, French, oriental and Mexican. And Ethiopian. So – what’s your pleasure? What would you really like tonight?”

He gently took hold of her shoulders and turned her to face him. For a substantial moment they stood studying one another closely in the yellow sodium-vapor light. “Can I be completely honest?”

“Of course you can! That would be unusual between the genders, and remarkably refreshing! Please do!”

They had drifted deep into one another’s personal spaces, but it seemed perfectly natural, comfortable. Edward took a chance, dived in headlong. He reached out and slowly, deliberately undid the buttons on her overcoat. She watched his face studiously, silently, but made no protest. His hands slid inside the coat, settled on the back of her waist, at the very tops of her buttocks. Belly quivering, she studied the pressure of his palms, and a corner of her mind announced “Suspicions confirmed!”

“What I would REALLY prefer is unlisted option number three, which would be for us to turn around and go back upstairs aksaray escort right now, and make love. However you choose, and for as long as ever you wish. I haven’t been so turned on in a VERY long time, M’Lady K. Believe me, any variety of restaurant pales beside that option. In a perfect world, that’s what would happen right now.”

She seemed struck dumb for a few seconds: he waited. Even in the streetlamp’s yellow sodium glow he could see her color deepen. She finally got her voice to work: “Um… well, I guess it’s three cheers for honesty!”

Then, with no warning, she caught the back of his neck in her hands and pulled him into a ferocious kiss. It went on long enough to intrigue or embarrass several passers-by. In the middle of it, she released his neck, caught his hands in hers and slid them down from her waist to cup her buttocks properly. She swayed forward to grind their crotches together, rolling his hardon between them. Finally she broke the kiss, pulled back to where she could focus on his face: “As I said before we were so beautifully distracted…. ‘Ummmmm!’ Let me enlarge on that, please! YES, I do believe that could be arranged. Even in this non-perfect world of ours. I’ve been in that particular head-space myself most of the day. Yet another parallel!”

She grinned, ground their pubes together again, making it obvious she was exploring. He responded with grippings on her bottom. She looked as if she wanted to say something more, and when she didn’t, Edward cupped her chin in one hand and asked “What?”

She took a deep breath: “Edward — we all have personal preferences and prejudices and desires and needs and fantasies… so tell me, if you will — have you been eyeing my butt as thoroughly as I believe you have?”

Edward almost giggled, muttered “Jeez. Have I been THAT obvious?”

She laughed lightly, kissed him again gently and said “Yes, from my point of view, but probably NO for the rest of the world. But it pleases me that you find my bottom attractive.” She wriggled against his hands. “It’s a very special and sensitive bit of my anatomy.” She waited a moment, and finished up: “So— tell me, Dr Edward, does this fascination of yours for bottoms run deeper than, let us say, the merely visual?”

He nodded, squeezed her to him full frontal. “Oh, yes indeed. Much, much deeper, believe me. Bottoms have, in most ways, been my absolute favorite lust object for forty years. And, Lady Kathryn, yours scores extremely high on the desirability scale. Extremely! I could, if given the opportunity, gladly make love to it for the rest of tonight. And god knows how much of tomorrow.” Then, fearing he’d overstepped, “Of course, there are lots of other approaches, too — all of which I tend to like. Happy to provide whatever M’Lady desires. Just name it.”

She returned his next kiss, then said “M’Lady just did so. My bottom has been positively a-tingle all day, ever since spotting you. And as to all the other possibilities… well, Sirrah, in keeping with my personal philosophy, I would greatly prefer to focus sharply on achieving extremely high intensity in one topic… tight focus, yes, but certainly not to the absolute exclusion of all else! Smorgasbords are great fun when well planned, but unlike a concentration on one particular dish they usually provide no genuinely memorable moments. You give a strong impression of being able to concentrate. Is my little plan okay with you?”

Edward admitted that it was, in fact, okay. “Good!” she said, taking him by the hand, turning them back towards her building. “But there is at least one problem I can think of.”

He opened the door, asked “Such as…?”

She giggled at him, punched the elevator call button. “Such as, dinner is likely to be delayed. Quite seriously delayed. Can you handle that?”

The elevator was empty: he ushered them in and as the door closed kissed her with a single-minded intensity that left her gasping. “That was a focused kiss, Madam. Just in case you needed to check on my ability to concentrate. As to delayed dinner? Sure, I can handle it. But, you know, I’ll bet if we look around your place we’ll find something I would be happy to eat!” She looked at him, went pink, tee-heed, and drawled “Why, whatever might the gentleman mean?” Then she went briefly serious: “Edward — I meant it about focus — and something else, too — it seems to me that even a focused experience looses something major if there’s too much overt, altruistic concern for the other person. Too much gentlemanliness, or deference, for example. After all, in every endeavor, someone has to be in charge…” She ran down, stopped, looked coy and bit her lip.

His expression and nod showed that he’d gotten the message — she wanted him to be in charge, and not to be overly considerate. Strong sensations, yielding of control. He replied “Agreed. So long as occasional turnabout, some role reversal, is part of the overall strategy?” She grinned and nodded happily.

In the apartment, she laid another prolonged kiss on him, then turned towards the bedroom. “The bottle’s not quite dry, so why don’t you pour again? I need to get a bit less formal. Back in just a sec.”

Getting down two clean glasses and pouring took perhaps three quarters of a minute. As he finished, from behind him came a gentle “Ahem!”

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