Circle Ch. 06Circle Ch. 06


The next day, I was distracted by thoughts of the evening in front of me. If Becca was right, if Alex and I hit it off, it would be an enjoyable evening for all. If we didn’t connect, the evening could end up being awkward and extremely unpleasant.

When I got home, Becca was in the kitchen finishing up dinner. As she shoved the main course into the oven, she told me I had about forty-five minutes to clean up and change before Alex was due to arrive. I hopped into the shower and hurried to be ready well in advance of her appearance.

Carl got home about ten minutes before Alex was due to arrive, and Becca sent him scurrying to get ready.

A few minutes later, the doorbell rang. Becca grabbed my arm and told me to stay put in the living room; she would answer the door. I sat forward on the edge of my seat in anticipation.

I stood up when they walked into the living room.

“Mike, this is Alex. Alex, Mike,” Becca said. Her abbreviated introduction complete, Becca stepped back. “I’ll leave you two alone to either start getting acquainted or enjoy a few brief moments of really awkward silence while I go see what’s taking Carl so long.”

Turning on her heels, Becca disappeared down the hall to her bedroom. Alex and I stood there, sizing one another up. Her hair cascaded down, draped loosely about her shoulders, almost covering her breasts. She wore a three quarter sleeve white button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a pale yellow skirt, and sandals. Becca had not lied about Alex’s beauty, but she had seriously understated it. There was something about her that defied explanation, yet made her a remarkably irresistible woman.

I stepped toward Alex. Her smile exuded confidence, almost giving me the impression she was privy to some tidbit of information that I wasn’t. I could see mischief dancing in her unquestionably green eyes and realized I could easily be in way over my head if I wasn’t really careful.

“It’s really nice to meet you,” I said. I leaned in and kissed her on the cheek, touching her lightly on the arm. She batted her eye lashes at me, continuing to smile. “I’m not big on awkward moments of silence. Becca’s told me so much about you.”

“Really?” Alex raised her eyebrows and tilted her head, the smile fading slightly. “I told her not to tell you too much or we wouldn’t have anything to talk about.”

“I’m sure we’ll have plenty to discuss,” I said. “Can I get you something to drink?”

“A glass of wine would be great,” she said. She brought her hands up and pushed her hair back, exposing her neck and ears.

Carl and Becca walked back into the room and I watched as he greeted Alex, remarking that it had been a while since he’d seen her as Alex kissed him on the cheek.

Dinner went well, despite the initial awkwardness of unfamiliarity. I felt almost out of place, as it became clear that Alex had been friends with them for some time before I’d become a semi-permanent fixture at their house. She and Becca had known each other since college, and while they didn’t work together, they stayed in touch as part of a group of women that went out together on a semi-regular basis, also known as “the girl’s night out.” Conversation progressed well, though, and by dinner’s end, I felt we’d built enough of a bridge that we could successfully navigate our way through the rest of the evening.

After dinner, as Carl and Alex engaged in a brief moment of conversation, Becca pulled me aside in the kitchen.

“Carl and I are going to disappear for the evening. You won’t see us again tonight,” she said.

“You’re not going to chaperone?” I asked.

“No, you’re both adults,” she said, drying her hands on a towel. “I think the two of you can handle being left alone.” Becca turned to walk out of the kitchen, then swiveled back to me. “I don’t know if she mentioned it or not, but she didn’t drive here tonight. A mutual friend of ours dropped her off, so you’ll have to take her home.”

“Not a problem,” I said, feigning comfort I certainly didn’t feel at the moment.

Alex stepped back into the kitchen to pour herself another glass of wine as Becca disappeared down the hall. When she’d finished pouring her glass, she extended the bottle offering to refill my glass, too.

“No, if I’m driving you home later, I’d probably better not,” I said. I got a glass of water.

“You’re not trying to get rid of me already, are you?” Alex asked.

“No, of course not,” I said. I turned and gestured to the living room. “Would you like to sit down and talk? Or if you want, we can go somewhere.”

“Actually, I was thinking we might go sit out back and enjoy some of the fresh night air,” she said.

“We can do that,” I said, leading the way to the patio door and opening it. I held the door as she stepped outside and shut it behind us.

The sky was clear and full of stars, dimmed only by city lights in the distance. A gentle breeze blew, teasing her hair. We sat down on the wooden chaise lounge chairs at the edge of the istanbul escort patio and Alex kicked her shoes off. Our conversation covered a wide range of subjects including our likes and dislikes of music, food, movies, and a host of other things that helped define who we were as people. Time seemed to fly as we became more comfortable together. After a while, I noticed Alex’s glass was empty and I asked her if she wanted more wine or something else to drink. She said another glass of wine would be wonderful and followed me to the kitchen.

“It’s so quiet in here,” she said. “Do they always go to bed this early on Friday night?”

“No,” I said, “they’re probable watching a movie in their bedroom. Becca told me they were disappearing for the evening.”

I poured Alex’s glass of wine, with her standing very close to me.

“So, how much did Becca actually tell you about me?” Alex asked. She leaned against the fridge, angling her body so that I had to reach around her to set the bottle down.

“Not all that much, really, as it turns out. I learned more about you at dinner tonight than I did from her,” I said. “She told me your hair and eye color, that you were attractive, and that you liked to work with flowers as a hobby. That’s about it.”

Alex peered at me over her glass as she took a sip of her wine.

We walked back outside. I shut the patio door and turned to follow Alex back to the chairs, almost walking into her.

“So what color are my eyes?” she asked, standing there with them closed.

“Becca told me somewhere between hazel and green,” I said, “but they are definitely green.” I reached out and touched her elbows gently with my fingers, letting her know how close we were.

“Wow, I’m impressed. You get an ‘A’ for observation,” she said, leaning forward and kissing me on the cheek. “In all fairness, I should tell you that her description is pretty accurate. My eyes have trouble deciding what color they want to be. Sometimes their color is dependent on what I wear. Tonight, though, I’m wearing a pair of contact lenses with a light green tint.”

“Just to see if I was paying attention to your eye color?”

“No, I wear contacts,” she said. “Usually, I wear contacts. Sometimes I wear glasses.” She took a sip of her wine. “So if she didn’t tell you that much about me, why did you tell me that she did?”

“I don’t know. You had this really confident air about you; like you knew a secret that I didn’t. I guess I wanted to try and see if I could shake it.”

“Really confident, huh? Trust me, it’s all an act. I am not that confident,” she said, looking down at her glass and back up.

“Then you’re a very good actress,” I said. “So, Becca was right about the hair and eye color, not to mention you being attractive. Tell me about you and flowers.”

“It’s just something I learned to enjoy growing up,” she said. “I have a small collection of flowers and plants at my apartment. I like to make arrangements every now and then for friends. Flowers can say a lot, depending on how they’re used.”

“Like the meanings of their names?” I asked.

“No, I mean, literally, how they’re used. For example, if you were going to send me flowers, just to,” she paused, looking off in the distance, “say you were going to send me flowers Monday, and you wanted to communicate that you’d had a good time tonight, wanted to go out again and wanted me to have a good week. What kind of flowers would you send?”

“That sounds like a lot for flowers to say. It would probably depend in part on what kind of flowers you like,” I said.

“Really?” she asked, tilting her head to the side. “You wouldn’t automatically send me a dozen roses?”

“A dozen roses? No. Too clichéd. Too over the top from the get go,” I said. “Carnations are almost as clichéd. There are too many other flowers out there.”

“I like daisies,” she said, smiling at me over the rim of her glass. “I know that sounds ridiculous, but there one of my favorites.”

“Daisies… I’ll remember that,” I said.

She nodded, smiling. Alex crossed her legs at the ankles, and I noticed for the first time that she had a tattoo around her ankle that looked like a ring of thorns.

“Nice tattoo,” I said, gesturing to her ankle.

“Thank you,” she said. She turned her body, raising her leg to bring her ankle closer to me for inspection. Her skirt shifted slightly, exposing her knee and the top of her lower thigh. I leaned toward her and caught her ankle in my hand, holding her calf with my other. “I actually have three tattoos and two piercings Beyond the ears, I mean. I have double pierced ears on both sides and two body piercings. I’m guessing Becca didn’t tell you about those?”

I shook my head. “Should she have?” I asked.

“I don’t guess so. She’s seen them all,” Alex said. There was more meaning implied in that answer than the mere words revealed. “What about you? Any tattoos, piercings, or other interesting marks on your body?”

“No,” I replied. “No tattoos or piercings. escort bayan I have a few scars, but nothing with a really good story behind it. Pretty boring, huh?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” she said. “I understand you look really good in boxer briefs.”

“Really? What else has Becca told you?” I asked, not really sure I wanted to hear the answer.

“Quite a bit,” she said, her eyes sparkling as she lifted her glass to take another drink.

“Did it hurt much?” I asked, rubbing her ankle softly as I changed the subject.

“Let’s just say I was well aware I was getting a tattoo,” she said. Our eyes were locked together.

“What about the other tattoos?” I asked. I released her leg.

“You want to see my other tattoos?” she asked, a coy smile on her face.

“Sure,” I said. “Unless you’d rather I didn’t see them.”

“Hmmm.” Alex took a sip of her wine. “We’ll have to see. Maybe you can see them along with the piercings later.”

We sat for a moment, looking at one another.

“What were you thinking before I got here tonight?” she asked.

“I wasn’t really sure what to think,” I said, glancing down at the patio and then looking back into her eyes. “I’ve had two other blind dates in my life. Both of the others were complete disasters and a waste of time.”

“And this one?”

“I’m thinking I might owe Becca a thank you for setting us up. What were you thinking?”

Alex bit her lip and looked away as she turned up her glass, draining it.

“Well, at least one of us is glad to be here,” I said, shifting on the chair and starting to get up.

“No,” she said, reaching out to grab my arm to keep me from moving away. “I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be right now. I’m just not sure what I was thinking before I got here.” She sat her glass down. “I guess I was thinking about everything she told me about you and her, wondering if you and I could connect… if I’m capable of capturing your attention the way she has.”

“And now that we’ve spent most of an evening together?” I’d been afraid we might have issues.

“Let’s see. Where should I begin with what Becca told me? I mentioned you looking good in your boxers. I know the two of you slept together last night…” Alex looked at me, waiting to see my response.

“Yes, we did,” I said. There was no reason to deny it.

“And I know that for weeks now you’ve been ‘the other stud in the stable,’ as Becca says it,” Alex said, rolling onto her side. “How does that work? Do you just have a schedule set up where tonight she sleeps with Carl, tomorrow night she sleeps with you? I really don’t care, I’m just curious. I’m not even all that concerned about you sleeping with her in the future. What I am concerned about, if you and become a couple, is, will I have to worry about you sneaking around behind my back?”

“No, you won’t have to worry about that,” I said. “And we don’t have any kind of schedule, either.” I paused, looking off in the distance, then looked back at Alex. “I hadn’t heard the ‘stud in the stable’ illustration before, but it kind of fits. Most of what happens has occurred spontaneously.”

“So you would tell me if you slept with her again?” Alex asked.

“If I slept with her again, yes, I would tell you,” I said. “But if you and I are together, I don’t see myself sleeping with her again.”

“This is going to sound strange,” she said, “or maybe it won’t, but I’m not interested in stepping into a new relationship just to start killing elements of a friendship like that. If you and I are together, and we’re honest with one another as far as our expectations and what goes on between us, I think everything else will sort itself out.”

“Let me make sure you understand everything,” I said. “Initially, Carl suggested I sleep with her, and she was opposed to the idea, or at least pretended to be. Shortly thereafter, she opened up to the idea, but I’m pretty sure what started out as a ‘sympathy fuck’ will pretty well come to a complete halt with me moving out at the end of the month.”

Alex smiled. “I wasn’t kidding earlier when I told you she refers to you as the ‘other stud in the stable,'” she said. “It might have started out as a sympathy fuck, but I think she enjoys all the extra attention. She didn’t really talk about it at first, but for the last couple of weeks, our small group has had a very vicarious sex life through her. A couple of us have really given her a hard time about the fact that she’s got two men in bed with her…” Alex paused, looking away as if trying to think of the right words to finish her thought.

“There’s something more to what you were saying, isn’t there?” I asked.

Alex shifted nervously, biting her lip. She reached up and brushed her hair behind her ear as she looked at the ground.

“I haven’t been out on anything remotely resembling a date in months,” she said, looking back up at me, “and I don’t go barhopping without friends; it just makes it easier for me to stay out of trouble that way. Does that… escort istanbul connect the dots for you, or do I need to embarrass myself further?”

“If it makes you feel any better,” I said, “I don’t go barhopping with or without friends. It’s just never been something I do. Every now and then, I go shoot pool with some of the guys, but that’s about it.”

“How long had it been for you when you and Becca slept together the first time?” Alex stretched out on the chair, laying her head on her outstretched arm.

“I don’t know, but ‘months’ is a good rough estimate,” I said. “In fact, I’d been here living with them off and on, and then full-time for at least eight months before we ended up in bed together. Trust me, you have nothing to be embarrassed about.” I leaned over and kissed the top of her head, plunging my fingers into her hair above her ear, caressing her.

Alex’s eyes closed as her lips broke into a smile, and she reached up, covering my hand with hers.

I leaned over again, this time kissing her cheek.

“I think you missed,” she said. She looked up at me, her eyes sparkling.

“What do you mean, I missed?”

Alex raised up, leaning on her elbow. “I think,” she said, “you meant to kiss here,” her fingers pointed to her lips, “not here,” she pointed to her cheek.

“Let me try again,” I said. Our lips connected, tentatively at first. As we deepened our kiss, I reached out with my tongue to touch her upper lip and at the same time felt her tongue reach out to me. We released the kiss only to gaze at each other, both of us breathing a little harder than we had been a minute ago.

“Your aim was much better that time,” she said, smiling. Still holding my hand, Alex tugged on it to indicate she wanted me closer.

“I don’t normally miss the target,” I said, sitting down beside her.

“So tell me about this apartment you’re moving into. Where is it?” she asked.

I told her where the apartment was. As it turned out, we would be living less than a mile apart. She promised to show me the better places to shop around the area where I would be living.

“What kind of furniture do you have?” she asked.

“Furniture will be a little challenging initially,” I said. “I’ve got a desk lined up, a chair for the living room, a kitchen table…”

“What are you doing for a bed?”

“I’m not completely sure yet. What did you do for a bed when you moved into your apartment?” I asked her. “Wait… do you have roommates?”

“No. No roommates,” she said. “I have a full-size bed. I prefer a queen size, but it really takes up a lot of space and there’s no point in it if you don’t have someone to share it with on a regular basis.”

“I’ve thought about getting one of those futon sofas that converts to a bed,” I said.

“Are those very comfortable?”

“I’ve slept on one before and I enjoyed it,” I replied. “When I get mine assembled, you can try it out.”

“You’d sacrifice and let me sleep on your new bed?” she asked.

“I’ll even leave so you don’t have to worry about me watching you drool on the pillow while you snooze,” I said.

“What if I don’t want you to leave?” She leaned forward and put an arm around my neck. “What if I want you to watch me sleep, so you can see first hand that I don’t drool on the pillow?”

“I’m sure we could arrange something,” I said.

“Is the sex good?”

“What?” Alex had completely changed the subject again, once again catching me off-guard.

“Is the sex good?” she asked again. “When you’re fucking Becca, is it as good as any sex you’ve ever had; is it better?” She leaned back against the chair.

I took a deep breath, not quite sure how to answer.

“Yeah, it’s good,” I said. “Sex with a partner who enjoys what they’re doing is almost always better than with someone who wishes they were somewhere else. But, she’s married to Carl. Happily married. And I’m not at all interested in doing anything to try and break them up.”

“I didn’t say you were,” she said. “I was just curious as to whether or not you think you would miss being in bed with her.”

“You’ll probably laugh at this,” I said, “but, sex completely removed from the equation, I’m closer to her now than I am Carl, and he and I have known each other for years. The sex and the intimacy have contributed to that closeness between me and her, but our friendship isn’t dependent on it.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

“Would I miss having sex with her? Sure. But I won’t cling to that aspect of my relationship with her at the expense of developing a relationship with someone else. I think you’re concerned about me comparing the two of you.”


“There is no comparison between the two of you,” I said.

“That’s weak,” she said. “There are always comparisons.”

“And where they exist, they’re not fair,” I said. “You are both very attractive women; each of you with your own separate, distinct personality. I’m actually very partial to redheads. And long hair. So, you had my full, undivided attention five seconds after you walked through the front door tonight. And for most of the evening, you have exuded this confidence that you claim is merely an act.”

“Most of the evening?”

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