Ann: A Love Story Ch. 78

Asian

I’d like to thank my friend Annanova for taking on the huge task of editing for me. It’s a move long overdue, as I’ve struggled with the chore of both writing and reviewing each chapter. I’m sure many of you might be saying ‘What took you so long?’, but I’m choosing the ‘Better late than never’ path. Thanks to my readers for your patience, and once again, thank you Annanova!

~*~*~*~*~*~

Riding the elevator, I checked my reflection in the mirrored doors. It was distorted and vague, more of a shape than anything else. But I could see my outline and as I moved closer, I could sort of make out my face.

“God…that’s just what I feel like,” I said as I stared at the unrecognizable blob that was staring back at me.

In truth, I was a mess. I’d gotten back to my room a little after three in the morning and actually attempted to go to sleep. But I couldn’t, tossing and turning most of the night as my brain flashed erotic images of Ann in a red wig through my mind. I kept replaying scenes of my night with ‘Barbara’, unable to shake them enough to fall asleep. And it didn’t help that my cock had stayed hard as granite for what seemed like hours from the stimulation cream that Ann had rubbed all over it. Hell, my ass tingled all night because she’d put some in there as well.

But that was just part of the reason for my sudden bout with insomnia. A very, very small part, really. What kept me up all night was the thought that the love of my life was five floors below me in another hotel room, and I was sleeping alone. Ann had pretended to be Barbara to the very end of the evening, and any hope I had that she’d stop the fantasy and join me upstairs went out the window with the message I’d gotten from Heather when I returned to my room.

Heather said that Ann was ‘traveling’ through the night on her way to meet me for breakfast. It was Ann’s subtle way of telling me that the role playing she’d done for me wasn’t going to be over until the morning.

When I thought about it, I could come up with a couple of reasons why Ann had decided to keep us apart for the night. First, there was the way she approached our little sexual games. She played them out all the way, and stopping at the very end would have ruined what we’d done. Ann wanted the night to feel authentic, as much for herself as she did for me…and there was no way ending up in the same bed would have made that happen.

The other reason was the same one I was feeling at the moment…pure exhaustion. I was sure Ann had expended a ton of energy not only setting up our night, but also executing it. And that didn’t even include the nine-hour drive just to get to the hotel. She had to be tired. In Ann’s mind, if we had gone to bed together, she might have felt obligated to do something as a couple. I didn’t feel that way…I would have been happy just to be with her. But…between the first reason, and the second, I could sort of understand the way things played out

That didn’t mean I had to like it, though. Knowing Ann was so close, and yet to end up sleeping alone one more night…that was almost crushing. I missed her sexy body next to mine, her soft womanly curves pressing up against my muscled frame. I missed the smell of her skin, the perfume I’d come to lust over whenever I caught the slightest hint in the air. I missed the way Ann would moan softly when my hands would roam over her body during the night. I missed the sound of her cute snore whenever she was really tired.

So, I didn’t really sleep at first. I laid there and tried to sleep, but it seemed like forever before I actually drifted off. And that only happened when I switched my mindset. As I lay in that bed, I kept looking at the business card she handed me, holding it up in front of my face as I stared at the ceiling. Reading the name on the card over and over again, I saw Ann…as Barbara. And Barbara was the one downstairs in room 117. That’s the way Ann wanted it, and after all she had done to give me such an incredible night, I had no right to argue with how she wanted it to end.

The couple of hours of shut-eye that I’d managed were rudely interrupted by the wakeup call I’d sort of scheduled with Heather the night before. Sure, the voice of the young woman that was working the morning shift at the front desk was angelic, and it was enough to rouse me from my sleep in more ways than one…but it was the thought of Barbara transforming back into Ann that had me jumping out of my bed and bounding into the bathroom. I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning, the adrenaline running through my body as I took a quick shower and got myself ready.

Yet as I made my way towards the elevator, the euphoria I’d felt when first got up gave way to reality. I was tired, and I was little bit sore. I looked at the marks on my wrists, reminders of being tied to the bed for hours and used by Barbara. Other parts of my body were tender or hurt a little, although the pain was a good one, if that was possible. But the physical things I was feeling weren’t the problem. I’d often woken up tired and sore after exerting Isparta Escort a lot of energy the day or night before, although it was usually from some kind of sport instead of sex. What I was suddenly struggling with was more emotional.

I wasn’t really sure why, but I felt a little nervous as I walked up to the little sign at the front of the restaurant, telling me to wait to be seated. Some of it was from fatigue…but the butterflies in my stomach were more than that. I was so excited to see Ann, and yet I wasn’t sure what to say to her about the night before.

Before I could over-think things, a hostess came to the little podium and asked how many people were in my party. It struck me as odd, first in that I was the only one standing there, and second in that I didn’t recognize her. I’d been staying at the hotel so long I was on a first name basis with a most of the staff. Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t eaten in the restaurant before…I’d only ordered room service occasionally.

Looking at my watch, I said, “I’m supposed to meet my fiancée for breakfast. She said she’d be here by…”

“You must be, Neil,” she said excitedly as she cut me off. “Right this way…Ann’s waiting for you.”

I was led through the restaurant, past groups of people already eating and several empty tables. As we turned a corner, I caught my first glimpse of Ann. She was sitting at a little corner table for two, sipping from a glass of water. Her long, curly brown hair was flowing over her shoulders and her dark eyes lit up as soon as she saw me. Standing up, she ran over to me, almost vaulting into my arms.

“UGH,” I said as the pain hit me, my sore body reacting to Ann’s tight hug.

“Are you okay?” she asked, a worried look on her face.

I had a choice to make. I could say something to the effect that Ann should know why I was wincing, because she kind of caused it. Or…I could continue to pretend that the woman I’d spent the previous night with was Barbara, a high-priced escort that Ann had hired to keep me company until she arrived.

In truth, I had a thousand questions I wanted to ask Ann about what we’d done. They came flooding into my head, from how she came up with the name ‘Barbara’, to where all the new toys came from. And then there were the 998 questions in between.

Yet as much as I wanted to learn all about what Ann had done and how she’d done it, I also had a feeling inside me when I looked into her yes. I sensed somehow that she wanted it left alone, at least for now. It was an instant reaction, but a strong one, so instead of starting a long question and answer session, I decided to go with my gut. She had done all of the things she’d done the night before for a reason; I wasn’t going to be the one to spoil all of that now.

“I’m fine, Ann. I just didn’t sleep very well last night…I was worried about you driving all night long to get here. I know you don’t like driving at night.”

“No…I don’t,” Ann smiled…and I could tell in that smile that she was thrilled I was continuing to pretend. “I probably shouldn’t have…but I couldn’t wait to be here. I’m so happy to be back in your arms again.”

Ann gave me a long loving kiss that seemed to last a week. When she finally broke it off, she took a deep breath, sighed and sat down at the table, motioning for me to join her. Before we could really start to talk, our waitress was there. I looked at Ann, and she nodded, our thoughts once again aligning. Instead of dragging out process, we ordered our food right then. I was more tired than hungry anyway, so I didn’t need to mull over a menu. I ordered an omelet and toast, and Ann smiled, saying she’d have the same. Oddly, we both avoided coffee, settling for orange juice instead.

“You don’t want any coffee?” I asked, surprised.

“I could say the same thing to you,” Ann said with a grin. “Actually, what I want… is to eat and then go to bed. It was a long night. I’m really tired.”

“Me too,” I said sincerely. The thought of going back to bed…with Ann, sounded very nice. And that had nothing to do with sex. I really was tired, and I knew I’d sleep better with Ann next to me.

We made small talk as we waited for the food to arrive. I could tell Ann was happy that I continued to pretend I’d spent the night before with Barbara instead of her. Besides, I’d already decided I wasn’t going to broach that subject for a while…at least not on my own. Instead, I started out in an entirely different direction.

“So…everyone in California is okay?” I asked, wondering about the earthquake earlier in the week.

“Yeah…they seem to be. Physically, anyway. I think there are some that are still in shock, and there’s a lot of emotional pain. It’s taking Sonya forever to get to work now because the Bay Bridge is out. A couple of our friends are dealing with minor property damage, and that’s an issue. But I talked to Aunt Helen and then I talked to Billie…and from what they told me, everyone I haven’t talked to personally is apparently okay.”

“What Isparta Escort Bayan about Rose…how did you find out about her?”

“I called her myself. It took me a while to get through to her because she’s in an area that was hit pretty hard. She’s fine…but the store is a mess.”

“Damaged pretty bad?” I asked.

“HA…no. The shop survived pretty much unscathed. But she’s using it as a shelter for missing pets. People are bringing cats and dogs they find wandering in the neighborhood to her store, and she’s taking care of them until they can be reunited with their owners. She said it’s a little chaotic, but she’s making it work. And she loves that she’s helping her community in some way.”

“Wow…I never thought of how the earthquake impacted pets. That has to be awful.”

“Yeah…but Rose said it’s been incredible when an owner comes in and finds their pet. It’s like whatever else they lost in the earthquake doesn’t matter anymore, because they’ve been given back a part of their family they thought they lost.”

“That is so…I don’t even have the words,” I said, getting a little misty.

“I know…Rose is pretty special. It was great talking to her.”

“Was she surprised you called?”

Ann smiled. “She was then. She’s not now.”

I knew what Ann meant. It was part of her internal friendship code. She had befriended Rose, feeling a real connection. Sure, Ann had gone out of her way to promote Rose’s store from afar, handing out some of her business cards to several people. But Ann did that because she thought of Rose as a friend, not just a working woman who was trying to make her mark on the world. When Ann called her, Rose found out just what friendship was really all about.

Ann said Rose broke down and cried when she realized it was her on the phone, and that she and I were genuinely concerned about her. And that led to a loving lecture on Ann’s part about how she viewed being friends.

Ann grinned and said, “That’s when she said she should have known, because of what happened when Todd and Gracie came to see her.”

“The Armstrongs?” I said with a grin.

“Yeah. Two weeks after we were in Rose’s shop, Todd and Gracie walked in.”

“They did…why?”

“To get some film developed,” Ann winked. “And they wanted to meet with Rose.”

“You mean they wanted to meet her?”

“And meet WITH her.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Todd and Gracie introduced themselves as friends of ours. And then Todd said something about Rose being a struggling business owner.”

“Where did he get that from?”

“Me. I mentioned it when we were having breakfast that morning, remember? I guess Gracie took that to heart. She’s been looking for ways to invest back into the city, kind of a tax shelter thing for her and Todd. They’re rich, but I got the impression from Rose that Gracie is one of the reasons. The woman understands money and how it works. Anyway, she asked Rose if she would be interested in having a silent, capitalist partner…someone that would give her access to better resources in marketing and financial backing.”

“And?”

“And…Gracie is now Rose’s financial advisor. Rose wasn’t comfortable with them just footing the bills. She’s independent and she likes it that way. But she isn’t stupid…she knew an opportunity when she saw one. So, they struck up a partnership of sorts. Todd convinced her that they weren’t interested in taking over calling the shots. They loved her work and saw some potential. He told Rose that he had a helping hand when he first started out, and he wanted to do the same for others…provided the person had a good idea and they showed the right work ethic.”

“So…that’s how you got the Armstrongs’ number?”

“Yeah…Rose gave it to me and I called Gracie right after I got off the phone with her.”

“How did that go?”

“She was surprised too. But not as much as Rose was.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because, Gracie said we called her and Todd friends when we were with them and they could tell that we meant it. So, she wasn’t so much surprised that I called…she was more thankful.”

“Thankful?”

“Yeah. I guess being a millionaire couple can be a little lonely,” Ann laughed. “Gracie said they have tons of friends, but other than their kids, I was the first one to call from out of the area to see if they were okay. I guess that hit home with her.”

“Nobody called them?”

“Well, friends that lived close by did and they called friends too. That’s what you do when a disaster happens; you start calling and checking on people. But Gracie said it surprised her that a couple of days went by and no one from out of state called them at all. And they have a condo in an area that got hit hard.”

“Wait…they’re millionaires, and they live in a condo?”

“That’s one of their places, Neil. It’s in the city but they’re there a lot. They just happened to be at their house in Napa when the quake hit. But none of their friends from across Escort Isparta the country would have known that.”

“Well maybe that’s it. If they have more than one home, maybe their friends didn’t know where to call.”

“They have call forwarding, baby. That’s how I got in touch with them. Anyway, Gracie said she was thrilled that we thought enough of them to call and that they were right about us really being friends. And I guess I can understand that. We only met them that one day…well, two. You know what I mean. Anyway, I know I’m different. I take friendship a little too seriously sometimes.”

“Actually, I think you’re the one that’s got it right, Ann. That’s why it affected Gracie so much. You get it…and the other people she’s considered her friends a lot longer don’t. That probably stings a little.”

“Yeah…I suppose. Anyway, if you had any doubt before, Todd and Gracie are definitely our real friends now. And so is Rose.”

“Well, I WAS a little surprised that you called Gracie. I know we said they were friends, but I figured they were going to turn out to be more like acquaintances. Leave it to you to prove me wrong, although I’m glad I was wrong.”

Ann started to say something, but our waitress showed up with our breakfast. We spent a few quiet moments doctoring our food with a dash of salt and pepper and I put some strawberry preserves on my toast. When we started eating, Ann took the momentary pause in our conversation as a way move on to a different subject, going straight for the big change, ignoring any subtle hints or vague innuendo.

She waited until just the right moment, when I was taking the first bite of my omelet.

“So…did you have a good time with Barbara last night, Neil?”

~*~*~*~*~*~

I’d never taken so long to chew my food in my life. I watched Ann as my mouth worked on the bite of omelet like I was chewing a two-dollar steak. All the while, I was trying to read her, so that when I finally swallowed, I’d be able to answer the question correctly.

Of course, I KNEW the answer to Ann’s question. I just didn’t know if I was supposed to say it. The entire subject seemed so odd, what with Ann actually being the Barbara she referred to. I felt my fork cutting off another bite of my omelet, ready to stab it quickly in case I needed to stall for more time. But I realized that would be rude. Ann asked me a question, and she deserved an answer. So, I gave her one.

“Yes…I did,” I said, playing coy. I decided if Ann wanted to talk about what happened between us the night before, I’d make her force it out of me. Or more accurately, I’d let her lead me along the path she wanted to go.

“That’s it…no details?” she said with a little laugh.

“What would you like to know?” I said as I took that second bite.

“Did you enjoy it?”

“What’s ‘it’?”

“The experience…being with an escort?”

“Well, Barbara is a lot like you. She just has a job that’s a lot different than most. But to be honest, she’s beautiful, intelligent, funny, sensuous, sexual…so yes, I enjoyed being with her.”

“Was she worth a thousand dollars?”

“I don’t know, Ann. I’ve never been with an escort before, so I don’t have anything to compare her against. But I will say, if she was worth a thousand, that would make you worth a million,” I winked.

“Aw…that’s so sweet. I think,” she giggled.

“Any other questions?” I asked as I took a bite of my wheat toast.

“Well, I don’t think it would be fair of me to ask for the blow-by-blow details of your night with Barbara. I didn’t hire her for that.”

“Why did you hire her?”

“Because I felt guilty about not being able to be here sooner and you’d gone long enough without getting laid.”

“But you got here today, Ann. I could have waited one more day.”

“Maybe…but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Besides, it looks like you had a good time,” Ann said as she pointed at the rope marks on my left wrist. “Did you request that, or did you just get in over your head?”

“Barbara would never have done anything that I didn’t ask for, Ann. She tied me up because I asked her to.”

“Hmm…that’s interesting. Is there something you want to tell me?

“Not really…why?” I said, seeing just how badly Ann wanted me to delve into that part of the evening. The truth was I didn’t mind letting Ann tie me up and, well…dominate me. It wasn’t something that I enjoyed so much that I’d be looking to do it again. So I didn’t want to give her the impression that I was.

“You know…I said it wasn’t something I needed to know and I don’t. I’m just glad you had fun. Do you think I’m horrible for setting it up…are you upset?”

“No. Like I said, I had a good time. Barbara was wonderful…and it was an amazing night. But it was only amazing BECAUSE you set it up for me.”

“Is it something you’d ever consider doing again sometime?” Ann asked, actually biting her lip nervously.

“Yeah…maybe I would, if you were okay with it. I’d probably try different things though. Barbara said she does threesomes, so maybe we could both be with her,” I said, throwing out an impossible fantasy. “But I think before I’d ever let you hire Barbara again, I might want to hire a gigolo for you…they have MALE escorts too, you know.”

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