Vivian’s boobs had plumped up in the past few months.
Excited to show off her new voluptuousness, the nineteen-year-old pushed her hands inside her bra, pushing her breasts upward to emphasize her cleavage.
She puckered her lips, fluttered her long lashes, and practiced her naughtiest smile in the mirror. She wore a tube top and a leather mini skirt, her dyed blonde hair was in high pigtails with gel at the ends to make the strands spike out. Her makeup was dewy with baby-pink gloss plastered on her lips—she didn’t need much help, her skin was clear and unblemished.
Glancing around her tiny bedroom, Vivian was horrified to see a baby’s bib on the bed. The doorbell rang. She hurriedly tucked the bib under the side of the mattress and made her way to the front door.
Towering in the doorway was six-foot-something Elijah. He greeted her with a relaxed smile, brushing his wavy brown hair out of his freshly-shaved face. “Hi Vivian, nice to see you again,” he said, his voice had all the low baritone resonance of a seasoned jazz singer. He handed her a bottle of 1967 Ampeau & Fils Volnay and his bright blue eyes lent his face an optimistic, boyish look.
Vivian didn’t know her wines, but her eyes lit up at the date. Her limited knowledge told her that the older the wine, the better. “You too, Elijah,” she purred in her sexiest voice taking the bottle from him. “Thank you! Come on in.”
Elijah followed Vivian into her modest apartment—one bedroom and one bathroom with a closet-sized kitchen. Vivian could sense him eyeing the outline of her ass as she strutted in front of him in her miniskirt. In the kitchen, she pulled out two long-stemmed wine glasses, which she always had on hand for special occasions like this.
After pouring the wine with skilled grace, Vivian handed one glass to Elijah and wrapped her manicured fingers around her own crystal stem. She turned to lean against the countertop, swirling the wine under her nose. “This is quite the vintage; what’s the occasion?” she asked coyly.
“Oh, uh, no occasion really. I just grabbed it from my cellar on my way out,” he said picking up the bottle and examining the label. “Wow. Yeah, this is a good one. Lucky you.” He laughed and winked at her. He sported a fitted short-sleeved Henley shirt with the top two buttons undone. Vivian’s eyes were drawn to his defined, but not overly muscular, chest and shoulders. His torso was narrow, flat as a surfboard, and virtually fat-free. Dark-washed jeans and casual black lace-up boots were the perfect complements to his outfit.
The two of them had met while standing in line at a coffee place earlier that day. They had instantly hit it off and he had asked her to join him for a drink that evening. She, instead, suggested he come over and have a drink at her place.
Taking him by his free hand, Vivian guided him toward the small two-person sofa in the small windowless stretch of carpeting between the kitchen, the bedroom, and the front door. They both plonked down onto the plush cushions.
“So, tell me about you, random girl I met in a coffee shop,” he joked. “What do you do?”
Vivian wasn’t interested in talking about herself. She wanted to know more about this handsome man’s wine cellar and the mansion that likely housed it. She’d had a feeling Elijah was loaded when they’d met; the Piaget watch was something of a giveaway, though she’d learned the hard way it wasn’t always a tell-tale sign.
“I’m an underwater ceramics technician,” she replied swiftly, hoping he wouldn’t figure out that meant she washed dishes in a local restaurant.
He cocked his head and raised an eyebrow, opening his mouth to find out more.
Vivian cut him off, “But enough about me, tell me about you. What do you do, Mr. Elijah?”
“Pine,” he chimed in then took a sip of wine.
Vivian let the silence linger in the air hoping it would spur him to continue. Instead, he contorted his face in confusion, placing his wine glass carefully on the coffee table, then reaching under his thigh. To Vivian’s horror, he pulled out a baby pacifier.
“Oh, do you have kids?” he asked holding the pacifier up and inspecting in the canned lighting.
She snatched it from his hand. “My God! I’ve been looking for that everywhere! Patsy stopped by with her baby last week and has been hounding me for it. Thank heck you found it!” She evaded his eyes just as she had evaded his question. Bolting up from the sofa, she rushed into the kitchen to toss it in the soapy water sitting in the sink.
“How long have you lived here?” he asked, looking around her living room. The walls were deep burgundy and the curtains a glossy black.
“Oh, a few years now,” she didn’t want him to ask her age for fear he’d find her too young. He was definitely in his mid- to late-twenties, so she’d hoped to pull off twenty-one or twenty-two. Fresh out of college. She moved on quickly. “Anyways, you never told me just what it is you do, Mr. Elijah Pine?” Vivian took another sip of the delicious wine then swirled it around her mouth.
“Right, sorry. I’m an investor. I work with this old guy named Alvin who has kind of taken me under his wing and is teaching me the tricks of the trade. He makes a ton of money from day trading and foreign exchange.”
Vivian was immediately enamored. He’s rich, she thought to herself. Subtly, she scooched closer to him on the sofa.
He switched his wine glass to the other hand and sighed. “It’s long hours. I’m at work by seven in the morning. I have to work most evenings and weekends, too.”
Vivian reached for his hand as if to comfort him for his hard work. “Wow, that sounds intense,” she blurted out with mock empathy, without really having a full understanding of the meaning of hard work.
She got up onto her knees on the couch. “Here, move forward, let me get behind you and give you a neck massage. Sounds like you need one.”
He obeyed. “Yeah, I do, thanks.”
She started working his shoulders. Massage was a particular skill of hers, and she used it as often as possible.
“Tell me more about your job,” pried Vivian.
“Oh, yeah. Well, I really like my job. I lucked out getting Alvin as a mentor. He knows the market inside and out. I feel like I have so much to learn from him.”
Vivian was already getting bored. He wasn’t giving her much information, but it was cute how passionate he seemed to be about his career. She diverted the conversation slightly, “Sounds like it’s all work and no play for you.”
“Uh, yeah. I don’t get out much, to be honest. And my friends get annoyed with me for never hitting them up, so they’ve kinda stopped inviting me to things. Serves me right, I guess.”
“Are you sure they’re not just jealous of you climbing the corporate ladder?” she nudged him playfully.
“Haha. No, I’m not really showy with my money and I don’t feel comfortable talking about it really.”
He had probably meant that as a hint, but Vivian ignored it. “Oh, really? Come on, everyone’s gotta show off a bit. What kind of car do you drive?”
He hesitated then replied, “A second-hand Honda Accord.”
Vivian giggled behind him as she continued to work his shoulders. “You certainly don’t look like someone who would drive a second-hand Accord.”
“It’s my getaway car. No one will ever know when I rob Wallstreet for all it’s worth!”
Vivian laughed. Now they were getting somewhere. She decoded him in her mind. So, he’s wealthy but cautious with his money, but he’ll spend it on what’s important, like fine wine. “Do you travel much?” she asked him, kneading the spaces between his shoulder blades, enjoying the feeling of his hard, sinewy muscles beneath her fingers.
“Uh, I traveled quite a bit in college. Europe, Asia, South America—I even spent time volunteering in Namibia. But I haven’t been able to take much time off in the past few years. Too busy.”
“That’s a shame. But I’m sure it will all be worth it.” She thrust her fingers deeper into his tendons. She was confused about him. On the one hand, he seemed so kind, charming, relaxed, and successful. On the other, he seemed so dull. His whole life was work. Vivian had dreamed of marrying a famous person, or at least someone with an interesting career like a musician, an athlete, or an actor. Still, this guy was fit, smart, and seemed like he was making bank. She made up her mind there and then that she approved of him, continuing to massage his muscles with more intensity, breathing heavily into his ear as she did to help set the mood.
“Ah, oh ... you’re really good, Vivian.”
She leaned forward and whispered with a throaty voice in his ear, “That’s not the only thing I’m good at.”
He turned and met her sultry gaze. A moment of hesitation passed between them as they assessed one another one last time before locking lips. She maneuvered around him to straddle him then slid her hand under his shirt. Her other hand worked at undoing the shirt’s buttons, she trailed kisses from his collar bone to his chest, then his abs as his shirt exposed his hard body. As she peeled his shirt off, she noticed a tattoo of two serpents intertwined between his pecks, partially hidden beneath his chest hair. She ran her fingers over it, scrutinizing it as if committing it to memory, before going back to kissing him and grinding her panty-covered crotch against the bulge in his jeans. Meanwhile, Elijah slipped his hand up the back of her top and began to unhook her bra.
At that very moment, a high-pitched cry came from the bedroom.
“Ignore it,” she rasped in his ear.
He hesitated then continued when the crying stopped. She moaned and panted. The cries started anew.
He pushed her back gently. “You should probably go check on that,” he urged her.
She sighed, knowing he was right but not wanting to kill the mood. Though, surely, the baby had taken care of that. Vivian climbed off Elijah’s lap and hurried into the bedroom. She emerged a moment later with a tiny baby clinging to her chest, now calm and silent.
“So, you do have a kid!” Elijah exclaimed as surprise washed over his face.
“Yeah. I’ll just be a sec. She soaked the sheets.” Vivian went back into the bedroom and admired the mess. “You really know how to ruin Mommy’s fun, don’t you, my little Sophie?” she joked with her daughter as she laid her down on her changing table. Wiped her dry, Vivian slapping on a fresh, clean diaper. Baby Sophie giggled with delight, Vivian touched her adorable button nose affectionately.
Elijah leaned in the doorway. “Want some help?”
Dammit, this is really a mood killer. The baby had peed so much, it had soaked not just her diaper, but her crib sheets and the mattress beneath. Vivian was going to have to do a wash. She decided she could use an extra set of hands. “Sure, thanks,” she replied, running to the kitchen and returning to hand him a bottle of breast milk she’d pumped earlier. “Would you feed her while I wash the sheets, please?”
Shirtless Elijah obliged and walked over to carefully pick up Baby Sophie while Vivian proceeded to strip the crib. As she bundled up the pee-soaked sheets and walked through the doorway to put them in the washing machine, she caught Elijah feeding her daughter and swooned ever so slightly. When the bottle was done, he altered the baby’s position, so she was over his shoulder and calmly rubbed her back in an attempt to burp her.
“You seem to know what you’re doing!” called out Vivian from the kitchen as she slammed the washing machine door shut and turned it on.
“Yeah, I grew up with three younger sisters. Comes with the territory.”
Vivian put soap on a cloth and wet it under the kitchen tap. “That’s a lot of estrogen in one house.”
The baby must have burped because Elijah cupped her head and lifted her in front of him. He blew raspberries on Sophie’s belly button. The baby squealed with delight. Vivian’s heart was melting.
After she’d finished wiping down the mattress, Vivian came back through to the living room to find Elijah sitting on the sofa, the baby had fallen asleep on his chest. “Sh,” he said, pressing a finger to his lips. “Fifi’s sleeping.”
Vivian sat down next to him, leaned in, and kissed Elijah on the cheek. Gently she took the baby. As she was carefully making the transfer, the baby vomited all over Elijah’s shoulder.
Mortified, Vivian took the now-crying baby and rushed to the kitchen to soap up yet another cloth. “I’m so, so, sorry!”
Elijah was laughing when she handed him the cloth. “Honestly, don’t worry about it. She’s a baby. Liquid comes out all ends. I know what it’s like.” He looked at his watch. “Oh, shit! It’s getting late. I gotta jet. I have to be up early for work tomorrow morning,” he said, getting up and kissing baby-laden Vivian on the cheek. “Duty calls.” He slipped his hand down Vivian’s backside to help himself to one last handful of her perky butt cheek.
“But it’s Saturday,” she whined playfully.
“Seven days a week, darlin’.” He smirked and picked up his car keys then buttoned up his shirt.
Vivian finally got the hint, he was really leaving. Disappointed, she walked him to the door. “Good night then,” she murmured.
He turned back around in the threshold and she was once again taken aback by how handsome he was. Leaning in for one last kiss--this time a soft, sweet kiss on the lips--he said, “Goodnight Vivian, and take good care of Fifi.”
She watched him walk to the elevator and when he disappeared behind the double doors, she walked swiftly to the bedroom window facing the street below. Elijah walked to his second-hand Accord then drove off.
The next morning, Sophie let Vivian sleep in a bit, for which she was grateful. When the baby finally woke up crying, Vivian felt well-rested. She had, after all, gone to bed at 10:30 PM on a Saturday night.
Vivian walked to her daughter’s crib and scooped her up. “You must have been all tuckered out after your little performance last night, young lady!”
Sophie stopped crying as Vivian walked around, bouncing her against her hip. She approached the window, and something on the front lawn of her apartment building caught her eye. A red wheelbarrow filled with—what was that? Vivian narrowed her eyes to read the lettering on the side. E-L-I—Elijah! He’d left her a present.
With Sophie still on her hips, she bounded to the elevator and smacked the button for the first floor. Approaching the wheelbarrow, she realized it was filled with books. A lot of books, maybe hundreds. She shook her head frowning. What were you expecting it to be filled with, Vivian, diamonds, she scolded herself.
A note taped to one of the book spines flapped in the morning breeze. It read:
Dear Vivian and Fifi,
These books shaped me as a child, and have continued to shape me as a man. They made me fall in love with the written word, think critically, and made me who I am today. I hope Fifi will benefit from them as much as I have.
Vivian looked at her daughter, who was cooing and smiling, happy to be outside in the morning sun. “Well, Fifi, you sure know how to make an impression!”