The rain slashed through my headlights like miniature meteors streaking Earthward. The slap-tick of the wipers was mesmerizing. Only the gut-grinding fear of losing traction on this two-lane road in the eastern mountains of Tennessee kept me from surrendering to their metronomic pulsing and drifting off to sleep.
I was at the range of my endurance. I’d been driving over six hours, all of it in rain, and most of it in the dark. My head buzzed with random thoughts as I tried to concentrate on the road. The seat belt chaffed my shoulder, but I dared not release it. Under these conditions I realized I was only seconds away from careening into or through a guardrail and plummeting down the slick, green, wet mountainside. Only that seat belt would keep me from ghastly injuries my dead-tired mind conjured.
A brilliant bulge appeared in the road to my right. I started, and pushed steadily on the brake, slowing my vehicle as the specter passed to my right. My sleep-deprived mind slowly functioned and I recognized the figure of a hiker, slogging along the roadside in the rain. Slowed to a crawl, I pulled off to the shoulder and stopped, shaken and blurred by my near miss of the pedestrian.
Once stopped, I noticed the rain was not the torrent it appeared when I was driving. Instead, it fell in a gentle, dark drizzle. My wipers swept the small drops swiftly from the windshield. I twisted the switch to slow their frantic beating.
My breathing had slowed to near normal and my heart’s racing beats resumed their more regular pattern when I was startled by an apparition in my window. My hand flew to my throat and a small scream erupted from between my lips. In the window a very damp, young man was peering into my vehicle. In spite of his most miserable appearance, he had a smile on his face. That smile, so unassuming and genuine in the dank Tennessee mountain darkness, gave me the confidence to crack my window an inch.
“Are you all right, miss?” the young man said.
“I think so,” I told him. “I though I was going to hit you. Then you startled me.”
“Sorry,” he smiled. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“What are you doing out here at this hour?” I asked the young hiker.
“Actually, I’m hitching my way to St. Louis,” he said. “I got a ride up from Atlanta. But the guy was going north. He dropped me off about three hours ago. I’ve been waiting for a ride going west. Not much traffic out at this hour, though.”
I check the dash clock. It read 2:12 A.M.
Perhaps it was my exhaustion that clouded my judgment. Maybe it was the pathetic vision of this young guy slogging along in the middle of the night in the rain. I cracked the window open another inch. “If I give you a ride,” I asked him, “are you going to rape and murder me?”
“No, ma’am,” he said, politely, the smile getting broader. “I’m neither a murderer nor a rapist.”
My tired mind registered the “neither/nor” phrasing. This was not trailer park trash. This young man was educated and articulate. It helped me confirm my decision.
“Come around to the other side,” I instructed him. “Throw your gear in the back and climb in the front. Let’s get you out of the rain.”
The young man grinned wetly at me, again, and then worked his way around the back of the car. He tossed his backpack in the rear seat, and then climbed into the passenger seat next to me. He was literally soaked to the skin.
“If I had a towel,” I said, “I’d offer it to you. You’re going to catch your death.”
“I’m grateful to be out of the rain, ma’am,” he grinned. “You’re very, very kind. And, very brave.”
“Probably more stupid than brave,” I observed, putting the car in gear and starting off down the road. “What’s your name, anyway?”
“Jeremy,” he said. “Jeremy Shugart. My friends call me Shug. Like sugar?”
I couldn’t help but giggle. “Okay,” I said. “Shug it is. I’m Caroline. My friends call me Caroline.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Shug said.
“Tell me about yourself,” I ordered.
“I’m a second year medical student at Emory in Atlanta,” he told me. “I’m hitching home to St. Louis for spring break.”
“What,” I chuckled, “no Fort Lauderdale?”
“No, ma’am,” Shug answered, “not for me.”
“Shug,” I said, “two things. First, you’ve got to stop calling me ma’am, okay? You make me feel old.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said. “Oh, sorry.”
“Okay. Look, it’s okay. Just work on it,” I suggested. “And, the second thing is, when I saw you, I’d just about decided it was time for me to stop. So, I may not be able to take you far. I’m just too tired to keep going tonight.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Shug said. “I understand.”
“You’re really going to have to stop with the ‘ma’am’ stuff, Shug,” I reprimanded my passenger. “Every time you say that, I think you’re going to say ‘Mom’. That would just kill me.”
“I’m sorry, really,” he said. “It’s just my upbringing.”
He changed the subject. “Are you a mom?” he asked.
I nodded. “A six-year-old son,” I admitted. “Nathan. He’s staying with his grandmother while I’m on this trip. He likes that. She spoils him incorrigibly.”
Shug nodded slowly. “So then you’re a married lady,” he said.
“No, actually I’m not,” I said. “I’m a widow. My husband died stupidly about three years ago.”
Shug was silent.
“Don’t you want to know?” I asked him.
“If you want to tell me,” he answered.
“He was a pilot,” I explained. “A stunt pilot. He made a mistake. He should have quit when Nathan was born, but he wouldn’t. Now, he’s gone and Nathan has no father.”
“I’m sorry,” Shug said. “I really am sorry.”
“It’s all right, Shug,” I told him. “I’m tired. When I get tired, I let my emotions run away with me.
“It was just so useless and stupid,” I continued. “He did it because he liked it. No, he loved it. But, he killed himself and left Nathan and me alone. I’m still pissed off at him about it. Then I get feeling guilty because I’m pissed off at a dead man, and a man that I loved. Then I get even more pissed off because I loved him but he didn’t love me enough to stop something so damned dangerous.”
I stopped. Tears of anger welled up in my eyes. I realized my voice had risen in volume and intensity.
“Sorry,” I told the boy. “I didn’t mean to make you the brunt of all that.”
“It’s good to get it out,” Shug said quietly. “I understand.”
We drove on in silence for another eight miles before the Co-Zee Rest Motel sign loomed up out of the rain spatter night. Two miles, the sign said, clean sheets, free TV, air conditioning. That’s all I needed.
“That’s where I’m going to stop,” I told Shug.
“Okay,” he nodded.
I pulled off the highway into the drive of the Co-Zee Rest Motel and headed the car toward the office. As I parked out front, I turned to Shug.
“You want me to get you a room, too?” I asked him.
“I’m running short on capital,” he admitted. “That’s why I’m hitching.”
“Oh,” I answered. “How about I get us a double, then. You can have one bed and I’ll take the other.”
“I couldn’t impose,” Shug answered. “I’d probably better be getting back out to the highway.”
“There’s no way I’m letting you go stand out there in the rain and wait for a ride this time of night,” I said, sounding very motherly, I thought. “Are you in a particular hurry?”
“Not so much,” he said. “It would just be, you know, awkward.”
“Shug,” I said, “you need a shower and a change of clothes. You’re soaked through. You’ll catch pneumonia. Come in, have a shower and change. We’ll get a good night’s sleep and I’ll take you to St. Louis tomorrow. Okay?”
“Is that where you’re headed?” he asked with disbelief.
“It’s not,” I admitted. “But it’s only a few hours out of my way. I’m willing to do that for the company. And, you can help with some of the driving, okay?”
Shug relented. “If you’re sure, then okay.”
I booked a double from the sleepy Korean owner of the Co-Zee Rest Motel. I paid with my credit card and picked up a half-dozen additional towels. He gave me a key and pointed down to the end of the row of the somewhat shabby structure.
“Twenty-seven,” he said, “on very end row, backside.”
I nodded, then took my stash of towels and ran back to the car. I tossed them in, and then jumped in the seat.
“This is very kind of you,” Shug said as I started the car.
“It’ll make a good story for you sometime in the future,” I told him. “You can regale your fellow interns with the tale of the night you got picked up in the rain by this crazy old woman and forced to shower in her motel room.”
I parked outside the door labeled 27 on the backside of the motel, away from the highway and as far from the office as one could get. I pulled my overnight bag from the back seat, went to the door and unlocked it. I walked in, searched a second for the light switch and snapped it on.
The room looked comfortable, if a bit seedy. All I really wanted was what the sign had advertised clean sheets and air conditioning. I didn’t give a damn about the free TV.
Shug followed me into the room. He looked a wreck. When I finally got to see him vertical, he turned out to be about five-eleven and maybe 180 lbs. His hair was sandy-blond and streaked down across his brow. But, what captivated me were the crystal clear, bright blue eyes that sparkled out at me from under his light eyebrows.
I stood and looked at him for a few seconds. He shifted uncomfortably. Then I asked him, “How old are you, Shug?”
“Twenty-four,” he answered. “Why?”
“Eight years,” I observed. “Eight years difference.”
Shug nodded. “Yeah, well, uh, where do you want me to put my stuff?” he asked.
I indicated a luggage stand off the end of the bureau. “That be okay?” I asked.
“Sure, fine,” he said. He yanked his pack onto the stand and started fumbling with the zippers.
“Tell you what,” I offered, “why don’t I take my a shower first. It’s going to take a while for me to get my hair dry. You can shower while I do that.”
“Okay,” the boy said. He yanked a pair of shorts and a shirt from his pack.
I pulled a T-shirt from my bag and walked into the bathroom, stripped off my clothing and climbed into the shower. The spray stung my skin as I feverishly soaped, then rinsed. I reached for the shampoo and poured it in my hand. I quickly rubbed it into my dark curls, scrubbing with frenzy. I stepped back under the spray to rinse, allowing the warm spray to wash over me.
I twisted off the taps, snatched aside the shower curtain and grabbed a towel. I scrubbed at my hair with it, then bent over to wrap it around my head. A twist and it was done, the makeshift turban captured my dark curls to keep them from dripping everywhere. I took another towel from the shelf and wiped off the droplets. Finished with my cursory drying, I pulled the long T-shirt over my head and checked to see I was modestly covered. Then I stepped out into the cool air of the room.
Shug was sitting on one of the beds, watching an old black-and-white movie on the TV. He stood up and flipped the set off. He had undressed and was wrapped in one of the motel’s bath towels. He smiled his glorious smile at me. My heart did a little flip when I saw the formation of muscles in his chest. I took a deep breath.
“Didn’t you wash off your make-up,” he said.
“I did,” I confirmed.
“Really?” he asked me. “You look just as pretty now as you did before.”
“Why, Shug,” I exclaimed. “I believe you have just paid me a compliment.”
Shug looked down at his feet. “Sorry,” he mumbled. “Maybe I ought to just shower and go back out to the highway.”
I took a couple of steps toward him. “Do you think I’m pretty, Shug? Do you really?” I asked him. He nodded, almost like a little boy who gotten caught dipping a finger in the icing. I put my hand on one of his pecs, just resting it there and looked into his eyes.
“Then, I’d like you to stay. Stay the night with me. I couldn’t bear to think of you out in the rain, the dark and the cold when you could be in here with me. I really want you to stay, Shug. Please.”
I don’t know what craziness made me do it, but I leaned up to him and planted a soft kiss on his lips. His bright blue eyes had something of a deer-in-the-headlights look, for about three seconds. Then it was gone, replaced by a clarity and focus. He put his hands on my face and pulled me toward him for another kiss. This one had more hunger than my poor offering. It took away my breath.
When Shug released me, he spent several seconds looking at my face. Then he whispered, “Caroline. If I stay you know what’s going to happen.” It was a statement, not a question. I nodded.
“How long has it been?” he asked, his eyes roaming my face, taking in each feature, then moving on.
“Three years,” I said. “I told you. Three years.” In spite of the hours of traveling and meetings, the exhaustion of this trip, my senses were suddenly at fever pitch.
He backed away from me. “Don’t disappear, okay?” he said.
“I’ll be here.”
I watched his strong young back as Shug took another towel and stepped into the bathroom.
My hair dryer was in my overnighter. I pulled it out, plugged it into the wall and pulled the towel from my head. My damp curls seemed to spring into a wild riot around my face. I found my styling brush, and began to dry my hair.
Shug emerged from the shower in a few minutes, still with that towel wrapped around his waist. I looked over my shoulder to see him staring at me.
“What?” I said, over the hum of the dryer.
“It’s the sexiest sight I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I love watching a woman brush her hair.”
I gave him the brightest smile I could manage.
“You mean an old woman like me can still turn on a young buck like you?”
“You’re not an old woman, Caroline,” he said. “Please don’t say that again. You’re not old.”
I let my arms drop into my lap. I flipped the switch to silence the dryer. “I feel old, Shug. I feel old and tired.”
“It’s late,” he said, coming to me and putting his hands on my shoulders. He gently massaged my shoulders and lower neck. “Let’s get some sleep.”
“My hair,” I protested. “It’ll be a mess if I don’t dry it completely.”
“You can shower again in the morning, when you’re not so tired,” he suggested.
“You just want to get me into bed, don’t you?” I jibed at him.
“I think you need to sleep,” he said.
“You’re not going to make love to me?” I asked him.
Shug shook his head. “Not tonight. Tomorrow, maybe. Tonight, I’m going to let you sleep.”
“You’re kidding,” I said.
Shug walked to one of the two double beds. He turned back the covers and placed the two pillows in a stack.
“This is for you,” he said. Turning around, he slid under the covers of the other bed. He threw his towel out from under the covers. “I’m sleeping over here.”
There was my way out. I could, if I wanted, climb into the other bed and simply go to sleep. My heart pounded in my chest. I could hear the rain outside increase in its intensity. Dampness flooded me as I made my decision. I stood up, put my brush and dryer on the bureau. I checked the layout of the room and snapped off the light.
In the darkness, I maneuvered between the beds. I sat on the one Shug had turned down for me, for about ten seconds. Then I stood up, pulled my T-shirt over my head and stood in the aisle between the beds totally nude.
“There is no way,” I said very softly, “that I am sleeping in this room by myself in that bed.”
I reached for the corner of the bedclothes on Shug’s bed, lifted them and slid my body in alongside his. In the absolute pitch blackness, I could feel his heat. As I settled into the bed, Shug wrapped his arms around me. I put my hands up to find his shoulders, then his neck and finally his face. My fingers located his lips and I aimed my mouth at them.
When I broke our long kiss, I whispered, “You are making love to me tonight, Shug, because I want you to.”
“Caroline,” he murmured back, “I don’t have any protection. I’d love to make love with you, but…”
“Tell me I don’t have anything to worry about, please,” I begged him.
“You don’t.” he answered.
“Then make love to me, Shug, here, in the dark, with the rain beating down.”
Shug’s hand caressed my back and shoulder. He traced his fingers down the front of my chest, then cupped my breast in his hand. His thumb flicked across my nipples, sparking jolts of electricity through my body. I moaned with the contact.
“You like that?” he whispered.
“I like that,” I agreed, my own hands caressing the firm flesh of his back and sides.
Shug tried to squirm his way down my body. His lips pressed against the flesh of my shoulder. He licked and sucked his way toward my breasts. My hands found his face, cupped it and pulled upward.
“Not now,” I said, urgently. “Not tonight. I really want to feel you inside me.”
Shug rolled over atop me, taking his weight on his knees and elbows. I felt his hardness probing me. I caught him in my hand, and he gasped with unexpected contact. I positioned him at the opening to my love canal, and whispered, “There. Now, push inside me.”
He pushed. I groaned as his hardness slipped inside me. The feeling was glorious. A warm wave of pleasure swept through me, from my hole, across my ass, up my spine, and broke over my brain, warming my whole body. In the darkness, Shug kissed my face, trying to center on my lips. I made it easy for him. His tongue probed my mouth and I reciprocated, pushing my tongue at his, wrapping around it, and sucking it into me. I hitched my legs up and locked my ankles around his thighs.
“Let me get used to you inside me,” I whispered. “It feels very good. Full, smooth and hard.” I clenched my muscles on him again and again, adjusting to the feeling and delighting in its warmth.
“You feel good, too, Caroline,” he said. “You’re so warm and tight, and, oh! You squeeze me so good!”
“I want to cum,” I told him. “I’m close, Shug, really close.”
“Are you?” he sounded amazed. “We haven’t done anything yet.”
“I’ve been waiting a long time,” I answered. “I’m ready for it. Just talk to me.”
“Talk to you?” he said. “About what?”
“I don’t know,” I told him. “Talk sexy to me.”
Shug took a second. “You feel so good around my cock,” he said. “But, tomorrow, when we make love, we’re going to do it in the light. I want to see your face when I enter you. I want to see your eyes when you cum.”
He was good at this! I clamped on him again and again. I hitched my hips so he slid in and out of me a little tiny bit. I bit my lip and willed the orgasm to come.
“I’m cumming, Shug,” I whispered fiercely. “Help me. Just a little.”
Shug picked up my tempo and jerked in and out of me. I squeezed hard on him and pressed against the little wave crest. My back arched upward under him and I bit into his shoulder, grunting and nearly weeping with the release.
“Ow! Damn!” Shug said in shock and pain. “That hurts, Caroline.”
“Sorry,” I said, between gasps. “It was so…overwhelming. I’m sorry. Really.”
“I can see I’m going to have to be careful of you,” he joked. “You bite. Do you kick and scratch, too?”
“Depends on how good it is,” I answered.
“The kicking I can deal with, I think,” Shug told me, pushing up on his hands. He took my wrists in his hands and pushed them down into the bed. “The biting and scratching, that’s another story.”
I was pinned to the bed. The weight of his hips pressed mine down. His hands held my wrists captive next to my head.
“What are you going to do?” I asked, only a tiny bit alarmed.
“I’m going to make love to you,” Shug said. “I’m probably going to make you want to scratch, bite and kick. You’ll have to scream instead.”
With that, Shug began to slowly withdraw, then press into me. I tossed my head from one side to the other with the sensation of his cock sliding across the nerve endings in my vagina. “Oh, dear,” I said, “Oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear!” The sensations were amazing. As he slid out of me, Shug’s cock left a trail of white light in my mind. When he punched back in there was a brilliant blue ball of lightning traveling up my entire torso. I wanted to reach up to him, to grab him and dig my nails into his flesh. But he held me pinned to the bed, pounding his hips at me, alternately filling me up then trailing the white lightning through my pussy.
“Oh, Shug,” I yelled, “You’re fucking me. You’re fucking me, Shug. It feels so good!”
Shug covered my mouth with his own, forcing me to breath through my nose. I panted several times before twisting loose.
“Can’t breathe, Shug,” I said, gasping for air. “Oh, dear! I’m cumming again! Oh, fuck me, Sugar. Fuck me, baby.”
I needed him to move faster. I spurred him with my heels and hitched my hips up to drive him farther and faster into me.
“Faster, Shug. Harder. Fuck me harder,” I ordered. Shug pumped into me. He drove his cock and hips at an ever-increasing tempo, guided by my own spurring and thrusting. His cock swelled inside me, and for an instant I thought about the ramifications of his coming inside me. Just four days out from my last period I decided I didn’t give a damn.
“I’m coming, Caroline,” he groaned, his hips pounding me into the bed.
“Yes, baby,” I urged him. “Come inside me. Come deep inside me. I’m going to come with you.”
Our hips pounded against each other. My legs strained to hold him inside me. He pressed my wrists deep into the bed, raising the top of his torso away from me. A long groan exploded from deep in his chest and I felt the first hot spurts of his come splash deep within me. I clamped on him, concentrated on visualizing his jism squirting out and coating my vagina. That vision and the pulsing of his cock pushed me over the edge one additional time. I wailed and wept with the glorious sensation.
I lay under Shug, with my wrists still pinned to the bed for what seemed like minutes. Finally, he released me, rolling sideways and sliding his cock out of me. We lay on our backs, listening to the rain and trying to catch our breath for a long time. Finally, once our breathing had returned to more normal rhythms, Shug spoke.
“Are you all right?”
I reached out to touch him in the darkness. “Absolutely. You?”
Shug chuckled. “Definitely,” he said. “But, I can see I’m going to have to invest in some restraints.”
It was my turn to laugh. “Really? How kinky.” I reached for the towel that Shug had thrown off when he got into bed. After a few seconds of feeling around in the dark, I found it. I wiped and handed it to him.
“Thank you,” he said.
“I want you to know,” I told my new lover, “that it was wonderful. It was just what I needed. I think I can sleep now. Would you hold me?”
“I’d be pleased,” he said.
I snuggled up to him and curled myself into a ball. He enveloped me with his arms and body, and within minutes, I was sound asleep.
It was the best sleep I’d had in years. Looking back, I attribute it to exhaustion, coupled with the feeling of satisfaction and complete safety. What’s remarkable is that I felt completely safe in the arms of a young man I had met less than an hour before.