Claudia Near The End Of The Road


Neil and I had driven twenty-two hours straight on summer-hot highways all the way from Phoenix, Arizona, and we pulled into Tacoma at just after midnight. We were red-eyed and stiff but happy to have reached our final destination for the day, and we immediately called Neil’s brother Earl. Neil called six times, but Earl wasn’t home, or his phone was out, or maybe Earl was fucking his girlfriend and didn’t want to be bothered.

Neil and I had about twelve bucks left between us, which wasn’t so bad because Neil was pretty sure we’d get in touch with Earl sooner or later and we didn’t need to spend any money on a motel. So, just as the warm summer Tacoma rains began to patter our windshield, we pumped four bucks into the gas tank of Neil’s old Ford and took the rest of our cash into Mindy’s Pancake House to try to comfort our grumbling bellies.

Neil vibrated with enthusiasm for Mindy’s. “Me and Claudia, we used to come here every Friday night.” Neil gesticulated widely, his arms sweeping out grand arcs as his voice rose in pitch. “We’d smoke cigarettes and make out in the booths until the night manager got mad and tossed us out on our asses.”

“Hey there, you!” Neil yelled to the waitress smacking gum and guarding the register. He read her nametag. “Maxine! Do you remember me, Maxine?”

But Maxine looked ten years too young to remember Neil from his teenage carousing days. “Two for dinner?” she said slack-jawed, her young shoulders bowed like she’d spent her shift lugging boulders on her back.

Maxine deposited Neil and me in a booth and dropped menus in front of us. I pored over the breakfast entrees looking for meals that cost less than four bucks; Neil was too excited and left his menu lying in front of him. There were two women in the booth behind ours who were whispering and drinking coffee. Neil, of course, noticed them immediately. “Sam, this was always the place to pick up chicks,” Neil said. “Any time you wanted to get laid, all you had to do was strut into Mindy’s and you’d find yourself some tail! Ha! The stories I could tell you!

“Did I ever tell you about Claudia, Sam? Oh, man! Claudia! She was something else!”

And then Neil’s attention faltered. He looked past my head like he was trying to peer around a slow-moving truck. “Don’t look now, old buddy, but I do believe there are a couple of honeys over here who are giving us the eye!”

There were angry whispers and giggling from the next table and then, from one of the girls, an audible alto voice: “You know the problem with this place? You never meet anyone new!”

Neil beamed. “Ladies, then maybe you should focus your attention on this pair of weary travelers!”

“And who might you be?” the alto replied.

“I am Neil, and my friend here is Sam.” I craned around to look at the girls. There was a blonde and a brunette, but only the blonde was looking our way. “We are visitors in your fair city,” Neil continued, “and we are in dire need of some local companionship.”

The blonde alto was doing all the talking. “You don’t get much more local than us,” she said. “This is Anne,” she motioned to her friend. “And my name is Bea.”

Neil stood to shake hands and took an immediate interest in blue-eyed Bea. We were invited to join them in their booth, and we soon paired off: Neil with Bea, and me with Anne.

This is the way things usually worked out with Neil and me. Neil would find a couple girls, peel off one for himself, and cast aside the second one for me to pick up. Girls were always drawn to Neil’s enormous energy and charm. When Neil turned it on, when he really ignited, there was no one in the world more attractive to the fairer sex.

Bea’s friend was shy, which was not unusual, but Anne was even shier than most. She nibbled the nail on her little finger and followed the conversation between Neil and Bea with eyes half curtained by her dark bangs.

It didn’t take long before Neil and Bea were footsying under the table and staring moon-eyed at one another. I had seen Neil operate often enough; it was a matter of minutes before he would propose that we find more intimate surroundings. Unfortunately, we had no money. But you can always count on Neil to dream up a plan for any occasion, especially when fucking was on the agenda.

When my Anne excused herself to use the restroom, Neil took the opportunity to swap seats and settled in next to his conquest for the night. When Anne returned, she sat down beside me, as quiet as a stone.

Neil put an arm around Bea and pressed up close. “Do you ladies have any suggestions on where we could spend the evening?” he boomed. “Someplace a little more, um, private?”

The women exchanged glances. “There’s always the Evergreen Motel,” Bea said.

“Ah, yes!” Neil exclaimed. “A fine establishment! Did I tell you girls that I once lived right in this very neighborhood, and I have experienced a handful of exceptional liaisons at that very establishment? You could say it is my good luck charm!”

“And bahçeşehir escort I’m sure it hasn’t changed a bit,” murmured Anne, the first words to leave her mouth since we joined them.

“A unanimous choice, then!” Neil laughed. He leaped to his feet, and we all followed along, afraid that Neil might leave us behind. We gathered our things and left the diner.

Anne lagged, and I had to slow my pace to stay with her. This often happened with the shy girl, who would be disappointed that her friend got Neil. A quickie affair with a big, bombastic fellow like Neil was one thing; settling for his quiet sidekick was something else entirely.

The four of us piled into the Ford with the girls in back, and Neil navigated the short distance to an old, two-story motel with a bright neon sign in front. Neil killed the engine and twisted around to face the girls.

“Um, ladies, I must ask a slight favor of you,” he said. “Our travels have left us temporarily low on cash. If you could lend us enough to pay the innkeeper, I can guarantee you a speedy reimbursement.”

Anne clucked her tongue and shook her head. Bea just laughed. “We are modern women,” said Bea, pulling a credit card from her purse. “Why don’t you two stay in the car while Anne and I get the rooms.”

Neil gave one of his prize smiles, his teeth bright as chrome. “We thank you, ladies. You will not regret it!”

Neil and I sat in the car while the girls walked across the parking lot towards the lobby. “She is something, is she not?” Neil enthused as soon as they were out of earshot. “What did I tell you about Mindy’s, Sam? The girls are fast, hot, and easy! And Sam, your girl is nothing to shake your stick at, either. I wouldn’t mind getting myself a piece of that myself! Man, Sam, would you look at the asses on those chicks!”

I had to agree, both possessed wonderfully peachy bottoms displayed magnificently in their tight dungarees.

“Isn’t it funny, Sam? I spent my teenage years right here in Tacoma, but I didn’t appreciate the girls here then. I had to leave, scrutinize every inch of this big country – I had to live – before I could finally see the prize pussy I had right in my own backyard! Ha! Who says you can’t come home again!

“But I suppose it’s all for the best, Sam. If I knew how hot the girls were, I would have never drifted to New Orleans, I would have never hooked up with you, and we would have never had the adventures we’ve had. Remember those chicks in Denver, Sam? Do you remember Gwen? Man, Sam! The times we’ve had!

“I love the road, old friend. The all-night drives. And the all-night tumbles in the hay! If it wasn’t for you, Sam, where would I be right now? I could never make it out on the road by myself, you know. On these long, quiet highways alone, it would drive me fucking nuts! All this, Sam, all the places and all the chicks, I owe it all to you.

“We’ve had ourselves some fantastic ass, haven’t we, Sam? And I feel in my gut that we’re in for something great tonight, too.

“I’ll tell you, Sam, there’s a trick to scoring with chicks like these. You know what it is, don’t you? You got to let them know how much you really want them. They love it when you can’t get enough of them, and they love to put out for an appreciative gentleman like myself! Like my grandma always said, ‘There’s nothing more satisfying than feeding a hungry man!'”

Bea stepped outside the motel office and made her way back towards our car. Anne scurried the opposite direction and disappeared up the motel staircase. Bea tapped on the glass, and Neil rolled down the window.

“Rooms 231 and 233,” Bea grinned, swinging a shiny key. “Park the car and meet us there.”

Neil looked as excited as a dog getting ready to bury a bone. “You’d better hurry, honey, or I’ll beat you there!”

Neil slammed on the gas, and we peeled out around the parking lot. We shuddered to a stop more-or-less between two white lines, and Neil bounded out of the car after the retreating Bea. I hurried after them.

When I reached the rooms, Neil and Bea were already reveling boisterously inside, while Anne waited for me outside the door. “Your name is Sam, right?” Anne said.

I nodded and Anne pushed open the door to our room.

As far as motel rooms go, I’d slept in plenty worse. Well lit, unstained carpets. The art on the wall was atrocious, but at least it was nicely framed.

Anne threw her purse on the bed and shook her damp hair back. For the first time, I got a clear look at her face. Her eyes were dark and crisp, and there was a strong cut to her jaw that I had not noticed at the diner.

“So, Sam, how long are you two in town for?” she asked. She folded her raincoat over the back of a chair.

“Not long. We’ll probably head up to Seattle soon and look for work.”

“You know anybody there?”

“Neil has some connections.”

“There are jobs there, but Seattle’s expensive. I hope you have a place to stay.”

“What bakırköy escort about you? Where do you work?”

“I’m a cashier in Albertson’s. Been there six years.” She tried to sound like it was something she was proud of, working as a cashier for six years, but there was a sadness deep down in her belly, a sadness that shadowed her words.

“Do you do OK there? Is this all right, us bumming money off you?”

She scrunched up her nose. “You don’t need to worry about me.”

“It’s just that Neil can be a little pushy sometimes.”

“I know guys like Neil,” she said. “You have to watch out for his kind. I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into, following him around like this.”

“Neil is all right. You don’t know him like I do.” It was a common litany of mine, sticking up for Neil. People were always telling me that Neil was irresponsible, that he was nothing but trouble.

We had an awkward moment. Anne looked around the room and sighed. “So what are we going to do here?” she said.

“Look, you don’t have to do anything with me if you don’t want to,” I said. This was another conversation I often had, letting the second-place girl know that I didn’t expect her to fuck me just because Neil was banging her best friend in the next room.

“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that!” Anne said.

“It’s just that this kind of thing happens sometimes. All the girls seem to like Neil. I mean, no one even asked if you wanted to spend the night with me. And here we are.”

Anne sighed again. “And here we are.”

We had another awkward moment. It didn’t look like I’d be popping my cork this particular night. It was time to hunker down, make a little small talk to pass the time. If nothing else, these girls always like to hear more about my traveling companion.

“So, I wonder if your friend will be able to keep up with Neil.”

Anne laughed. She had a sparkling laugh, one that took me by surprise. “Oh, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Darlene’s looking for an excuse to cut loose. She just separated from her husband.”

“Darlene?” I questioned.

“Oops. I meant Bea. Darlene is another friend of mine. She just got separated too.”

“You had two friends get separated at the same time?”

“I don’t want to talk about it. It’s kind of complicated.”

She was hiding something, but who was I to make a scene? The last thing she needed was to have some guy she’d never met before probe into her personal affairs. It would be smarter to keep the conversation easy.

“So what was the plan for tonight? Were you just spending time with a good friend who needed a little companionship?”

“Yeah, something like that. Actually, I just recently broke up with someone too. Bea and I were consoling each other.”

I was about to ask her if everyone she knew was splitting up, but I decided to let it pass. “What about you? You’re not looking to cut loose tonight?”

She looked at me out of the corner of her eye. A tiny smile touched the corners of her mouth. “Me and Bea, we cut loose in different ways.”

“How so?”

“For one thing, Bea was married for seven years. She’s been out of circulation for a long time. And when I was younger, I lived the wild life. I already know what it’s like. I don’t need to experience it again.

“Life is a lot different for a single woman, Sam. When you’re not married, you live a little closer to loneliness all the time. And so you fall for your lovers more quickly. And most of the time, it doesn’t turn out well. So what can I do? I can’t beat myself up over every stupid one-night stand. At least those relationships ended before they turned into something long-term and disastrous. And I’m still out there trying. I’m an expert at picking myself up and dusting myself off.

“Not that I’m complaining. It makes life fun. I get the excitement I need in life with all the stops and gos. I don’t need to experience something crazy to keep my life entertaining.”

This was a conversation I could enjoy. I enthusiastically chimed in. “That’s what I like about traveling around the country with Neil,” I said. “I like starting something new. We’re in a different city every week. It’s like every time I stand up and look around, the scenery is new and wonderful. It makes starting over again an exciting adventure.”

The bedsprings next door began screeching. Anne smiled and shook her head. We stood and listened for a moment. Bea’s muffled moans floated above the dissonant, shrieking chords.

“I take it Neil gets a lot of girls,” Anne said.

“Yes, probably more than his fair share.”

“Doesn’t he ever get tired of it? Doesn’t he ever want to settle down?”

“No, not that I know of. Oh, sure, there are a few girls he still talks about. Mostly the wild nights. And sometimes he talks about the mistakes.”

“Have there been a lot of mistakes?”

“Not according to Neil. If he can get his rocks off, he doesn’t complain much.”

The başakşehir escort conversation paused for a moment, the bedsprings still singing next door, and then Anne smiled. “So what do you think, Sam? About you and me. If we got together tonight, would we be a mistake? Do you think I’ll be dusting myself off in the morning?”

I shrugged. “Probably,” I admitted.

She grinned. “Yes, I think you’re probably right. But you know what, Sam? There’s one thing I’ve learned how to do over the years: I can look at a man and size him up. Looking at you, I can tell you’re an OK guy. I’ve definitely fucked worse.”

This is not the way these conversations usually go. Oh sure, as often as not I get to sleep with the other girl. I usually make vague references to Neil, get the other girl to think she might still have a shot. And they sometimes jump at the chance that fucking me might help them get to Neil. But I always felt a little dirty afterwards, like I’d cheated my way into her panties. This time, with Anne, it was not like that. When I said, “Probably,” I’d never played a note of such honesty before.

Anne kicked off her shoes. “So now I’m curious, Sam. What’s it going to be? Wham bam thank-you ma’am? Or you the type who wants to ‘make love?'”

I replied immediately. One thing about driving around the country with Neil, you have a lot of time behind the wheel to discuss things like ‘love.’

“I don’t like to call it making love. What does ‘love’ mean, after all? Are you and I in love?”

She grinned. “I suppose not.”

“If it were up to me,” I added, “we’d just get together and make each other feel good for a little while.”

“Such a noble cause.”

I almost got angry, but it is hard to be angry with a beautiful woman who is about to fuck you. “Don’t make fun of me,” I said. “There is already far too much cynicism in the world. I can do without the complexity and negativity.”

Anne stared at me with eyes that wanted to open me up to look inside. “So what are you trying to tell me, Sam? That life is simple? That all I have to do is sit back and enjoy it?”

“Yes,” I said emphatically, meaning as far as I was concerned, the conversation was over. I stepped up close to her. I put my thumb under her strong chin and tipped her head back until those dark eyes stared at me like a moonbeam.

And we kissed.

It was like her entire body exhaled, and all Anne’s pent-up resistance suddenly vanished, dispersing into the atmosphere where it would never bother anyone again. The change in her was thrilling, and I knew at once that I was in for something special tonight.

We helped each other undress. When her bra was off, I ran the back of my hands down the slope of her breasts. When my boxers hit the floor, she briefly petted my stiff penis. When her panties were gone, I cupped her hairy mound.

She sat back against the bed’s headboard with her knees apart. Black crinkly hair covered her sex. She breathed deeply.

I crawled up on the bed and stared at her most female center. The aroma of her tickled my nose. The soft, smooth skin of her inner thighs seemed to beg for the soft, smooth touch of my lips.

I watched her face as I kissed one knee then the other. Her eyes sparkled, and she bit her lower lip with her small white teeth.

I rubbed my cheek against her inner thigh. Her skin was warm and smooth. From this closer viewpoint, I could see her sexy slit through the dark, dense pubes.

My lips brushed through her hair. The musk of her was thick there. I tugged on her hair with my teeth. I pushed my face inwards and nestled against her crotch. I buried my nose in Anne’s soft, fragrant flesh.

My nose worked between her folds and I opened my mouth and gobbled her outer lips. With my tongue, I parted her. I tasted her. I licked her.

I grabbed her thighs with both hands and sucked her clitoris. She ground back against my face, and I licked her clit.

Her hips rumbled as I settled on her clit, and with firm, slow strokes, I wiped her swollen bulb over and over.

She spoke. First, with simple exclamations: “Oh God!” “There!” And digressing into vowel sounds: “Aaaa!” “Oooo!” And finally the long, drawn out “Uuuuugh!” as she gasped and arched. I pulled back as her body throbbed like a heartbeat. As she came, her dark nipples pulled up in tight knots.

As she recovered, I lay down beside her, and Anne wiped the sweat off her cheek. “Thank you,” she whispered. “You are a very sweet man, Sam.”

Just then there was a loud pounding on the motel door. “Sam!” Neil yelled. “You in there, Sam? Come on, I got hold of Earl! He’s got a party going on. I’ll bet he didn’t know it was a Welcome Home Party for his long lost brother Neil!”

Anne and I looked at each other. “Whatever you want to do,” she said.

“We’d better go, then,” I said.

Anne dressed efficiently and silently. I was not sure if she were angry or not. I felt like the energy had been drained out of me, but I wasn’t about to let Neil leave me in an out-of-the-way motel while he gallivanted the night away. We shuffled out to the car, where Neil and Bea had already taken their places in front and were bouncing in their seats to the song on the radio turned up so loud the tiny speakers buzzed with distortion.

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