Love In The Afternoons
They met at one of the chain motels out by the interstate. In a room facing the back parking lot as far away from the front entrance as possible. She arrived first, paid in cash, wearing a scarf to cover her hair, and signing her sister’s married name at the desk. She waited in the room on one of the two queen-size beds, nervously picking at her nails while she watched the door. When there was a soft knock she jumped up and pulled the curtain an inch away from window to peek outside.
North Karlson stood with his head down, his car parked a few spots away, his hand on the knob. When Joellen opened the door a crack, he bolted through and quickly shut it behind him. Once inside he stood with his back to the door facing her, one hand behind him still holding the doorknob.
“I thought you might change your mind,” Joellen spoke first, her voice slightly shaky from nerves.
“When I got your note I wasn’t sure if you were serious. I told you it’s dangerous,” he answered.
“I know. But I couldn’t leave without seeing you. And at the church, well, it would be even more dangerous there, don’t you think?” She pulled the scarf off her head and held it tightly in her fist.
They didn’t speak again for a few minutes. Finally he came to stand by her.
“How is that cut?” he asked.
She could feel the soft warmth of his breath on her neck.
“I think I’ll have a small scar.” She pulled her hair back so he could see it more clearly.
He bent down to look at it, his lips inches from her. She turned toward him and whatever distance was between them vanished in a second.
“We don’t have much time,” he said. “I have to be back for youth group at three.”
She unbuttoned her blouse and slid off her shoes. He slipped his hand inside her blouse before she got it fully unbuttoned. His fingers caressed her breast and she moaned at his touch. They kissed as his hands moved to push her blouse back over her shoulders and she unbuckled his belt and opened his trousers. He held her head on either side, tilting her back and then slid his hands down and lifted her up and moved with her to the bed. He pulled off his pants and slid his hands along the insides of her legs, up her thighs.
“Wait,” she said and raised her hips so he could pull off her skirt and panties.
They rolled together on the bed. The rest was a blur of hands and the feel of fabric and their bodies moving together. So delicious, she could not think, but only feel the weight of him and his pushing and her answering. She closed her eyes and gave in.
After a time he led her to the bathroom. He turned on the shower and let it run until it was warm. In the shower, he slid a small bar of soap between her legs and held onto her hips from behind. When it was over, after they toweled each other dry, he dressed himself and looked down at her, lying in the bed, naked, soft, inviting.
“Don’t you have to go home to your children?” he asked.
“Jamie’s at after-school practice and Noreen got picked up by one of the other mothers and stayed at their house for early dinner,” Joellen told him.
“Oh,” was all he said. He looked in the mirror to straighten his clerical collar.
“Can’t you stay for just a few more minutes?” she asked.
“I wish I could,” he said. “I wish I could climb back into that bed and do it all over again.”
Joellen opened the covers. North came to sit on the edge of the bed and let his hand wander between her thighs until she closed her eyes.