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Old 01-24-2010, 06:45 PM   #34
chubsixtysix
 
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[Author’s Note:] Thanks to Durin and Booklover1991 for your kind words and encouragement. I'm having lots of fun writing this and it really helps to know that folks are enjoying it. Here's another chapter in Jeff's developing story...


Valentines Day

Jeff wouldn't tell Susan where they were going; only that they were going into the city and that she should dress up.

He felt good driving his new leather trimmed Land Rover with his right arm slung up over the back of the seat and his left arm on the steering wheel, humming along to Susan's favorite old Crosby, Stills Nash and Young, and chiming in when he could remember the lyrics.

The traffic was light on I-95 and he couldn't help glancing over at Susan when he could. Jeff thought Susan was always beautiful, inside and out, but damn she looked sensational when she got all gussied up. Her curls were swept up tantalizingly, looking as if they might cascade over her shoulders at any moment. The teardrop diamond earrings he gave her on their 10th anniversary caught the light of the end of the day. She looked snug in her winter white long coat and fluffy red scarf, and Jeff smirked rather lecherously thinking about the strappy red cocktail dress she wore underneath.

Susan turned her head and caught him looking. He thought she might have blushed when she scolded him to keep his eyes on the road.

"Sorry Suze, but I just can't keep my eyes off the stunningly beautiful woman sitting next to me. Do you think she might be a celebrity?" he said, both flirting and teasing.

Susan laughed. "You are in a really great mood tonight."

"Sure I am. Why wouldn't I be? I'm taking my best girl out for a fancy Valentine's dinner."

"And you love a surprise, don't you. When will you tell me where we are going?"

"Bwa ha ha!" he said in his best evil villain voice. "Never! You'll just have to wait until we get there."

Susan scowled and pretended to pout. "Alright. Be that way."

Jeff reached over and made Susan smile by giving her a playful squeeze on the shoulder. She turned her head and gave his hand a quick little nip and then a kiss.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He was lucky to find an open spot on Chestnut Street, just a block from the restaurant. Getting out of the Land Rover, he stretched his arms over his head and cracked his back. Mm, that always felt so good after being folded up in a car. Looking down, he straightened his tie over his stomach, thinking, cool, I get to see more of my tie now that it's pushed out a little for display. Seeing stray fabric, he re-tucked his shirt tails and buttoned his blazer. Last year’s overcoat, however, was just a little too tight to be comfortably buttoned.

He opened Susan’s door and she was gazing up at him with a silly sort of smile. After he helped her up, she threw her arms around his neck and gave him a nuzzled kiss just under his chin, hitting just the spot that always sent shivers down his spine.

Jeff pressed his lips lightly against her ear and whispered, “Keep that up, honey, and we’ll have to get a room.”

She giggled, “That would be OK by me,” and slid her hand under his blazer to caress his growing belly. Groaning, she whimpered, "Oh, my god, you are getting sexier every day."

Jeff grinned, tickled by Susan's out-of-character public display of affection. He took her arm and started escorting her down the pavement. "Don't you want to know where we're going?"

"A $9.99 Chinese buffet?" she asked.

"Mmh. Maybe next time. Tonight we are going to Eden."

"Eden? Aren't we a little over dressed for that, Adam?"

"Good one, Eve. Nope. According to my sources, Eden is THE place to go for a romantic gourmet dinner. Very trendy, excellent food, excellent service."

They turned a corner onto one of Philadelphia's tiny one-way streets of historic brick row houses, and there in the middle of the tree lined block was a bright purple awning extending out to the curb and inviting diners to Eden.

"Oooo," Susan cooed as couple climbed out of a stretch limousine and disappeared into the entrance. She bobbed up on her toes and pulled Jeff to walk faster, saying brightly, "Fancy schmancy."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eden was all that and more. After confirming their reservations, the maitre d' welcomed them as if they were specially invited guests. In the center of the splendid dining room, a young tuxedoed man played a grand piano. It had the feel of elegant days gone by with its low light and fine art and intricate woodwork. An artful array of columns, plants and stark modern sculpture separated the tables, lending a sense of privacy to their table for two.

Their table was adorned by a prismatic vase with three perfect red roses. They were immediately given a large basket of assorted bread and several spreads. The waiter served their champagne and left the bottle in an ice bucket before they had even opened their menus.

Smearing apple butter on what turned out to be pineapple bread, Jeff watched Susan as she looked around and took in all there was to see. "You like?" he asked.

With wide eyes and a wider smile, Susan nodded. "Absolutely! How did you find this place?"

Shrugging, Jeff admitted, "I just asked around. Joe recommended it. Said his kid sister was raving mad about it."

"Wow. Ask Joe more often, OK? This is great."

Jeff raised his champagne glass. "I wanted to do something special," he said as they clinked glasses. "Happy Valentines Day."

"Happy Valentines Day, dear."

Appetizers were served and from that moment on, the many courses of the prix fixe holiday menu kept coming and coming. Jeff chose oysters on the half shell for his appetizer, while Susan picked nueske bacon wrapped scallops. They both ordered the Lacroix Salad and Lobster Bisque. For the main course, Jeff ordered the 24 ounce porterhouse with sauteed mushrooms and Susan ordered a 12 ounce kobe fillet minion slathered with caramelized onions. Both entrees were accompanied with Spaghetti Squash with Oven-Dried Tomato.

Jeff couldn't quite believe how good the food was. The oysters were so perfect that he thought the rest of the dinner would have to go down hill from there. Amazingly, each course kept getting better and better.

Jeff finished his Lobster Bisque just as Susan was starting hers. He was glad to note that the waiter had already re-filled the bread basket. It was funny how, lately, good food just made him want more good food. And boy, was the cheddar and garlic spread tasty on the pumpernickel rolls. After his second thickly spread pumpernickel roll, he asked, "Do you like the soup?"

Susan put her spoon on the side of her plate and looked up with bright eyes. "It's really good, isn't it? I was just trying to figure out how to do something like this at home."

"That would be good," agreed Jeff. "Aren't you going to finish yours?"

Susan patted her flat stomach. "I don't have your stamina," she teased. "I need to pace myself."

The salad was served and Jeff continued in between bites. "So about that, Suze. You look like you've actually, um, lost weight lately..."

Surprised, Susan responded, "Yeah, I have lost a little bit. Why do you ask?"

"I dunno.” Jeff thought as he finished his salad. “I guess I'm a little surprised you went on a diet at the same time you've been encouraging me to indulge myself."

Susan hesitated before saying, "I didn't. I've just been awfully busy what with the holidays and all..."

Jeff looked a little sheepish. "So I've noticed. You've been running yourself ragged taking such good care of me. I feel bad about it."

"Oh, Jeff. Don't feel badly," Susan assured him, reaching across the table to take his hand. "I absolutely LOVE being able to do this for you. I’m having the time of my life. And I really can't finish this bisque. Would you like it?"

Jeff did not need to be persuaded and accepted her bisque. After a few delicious bites, he thanked her. "It's a mutual pleasure, believe me. But I still think you are working too hard. All your gorgeous curves are melting away."

"But...” Susan's voice cracked. “But I thought you always wanted me to trim down."

Jeff rolled his eyes as he chewed and swallowed his last spoonful of bisque. He moaned in satisfaction. After wiping his mouth, he clarified. "I know how I’ve always been. But, I don’t think I ever wanted you to be really thin. Not really. I always thought I SHOULD be Mr. Fitness, as you used to say. I suppose I wanted you to suffer with me. You know what they say, 'misery loves company.'"

"Jerk," Susan accused, only half-kidding. "I can't believe you wanted me to join you in something you hated." Then after a moment, she smiled coyly and asked, "You really like my curves?"

Digging around in the bread basket and pulling out a corn muffin, Jeff affirmed, “I don’t just like your curves, honey. I love them. You’ve always accused me of being a chest man, and it’s true. That’s just because boobs are the only decent curves most women have. You, my love, have always had spectacular curves in all the right places. I’d hate to see them go away.”

“Hm,” Susan said shortly. “Good to know after all these years.”

Jeff was chagrined. “I’m sorry, honey. It’s not like I kept it from you on purpose. It’s more like I was in denial about that and a whole lot of other things. I’m just figuring it all out now.”

Their dinner plates were served and conversation stopped as they were captivated by their food.

Jeff was already pleasantly full when the main course arrived, but attacked it with undiminished enthusiasm. The porterhouse was even better than all the delicious food so far tonight; it absolutely melted in his mouth and the sides provided wonderful contrast. With each tempting bite, his stomach was stretched further and tighter. With nowhere else to expand, his belly bulged further as he continued eating. He was sure he could see more of his tie over his expanding stomach. As he was finishing, he couldn’t resist pressing down on his stomach to make that exquisite fullness mount to a moment of excruciating pain. He closed his eyes, unable to breath as the sharp sensation cut through him. Oh. So good. And then he was just extremely full again.

Jeff began munching on the bread sticks littering the bottom of the bread basket and watching Susan thoroughly enjoy her own meal. She had eaten less than half of her fillet and barely touched her side dishes when she heaved a deep sigh and said, “Ugh. This is fabulous, but I can’t eat another bite. Do you want any of this?” she asked him.

For the first time in weeks, Jeff was more concerned about his overworked wife than he was in stuffing his face. “No thanks, honey. You should eat your own dinner. I should probably save room for dessert.”

Susan wheedled. “Awe, come on. I can't eat any more. You can have this and still have dessert.”

Jeff was sorely tempted.

Susan seduced. “You know you want it.”

Not motivated to resist, Jeff caved in. “Yeah. OK. Twist my arm. I would love to have it, thanks,” he said as they swapped plates. “Oh, yes,” he said around his first bite of fillet minion. “This is far too good to pass up.” Without another word, he went to work on Susan’s plate. When the prime rib was gone, he took a deep breath and drank some water. He groaned and shifted his upper body after finishing the sweet potato. Finally, he scraped the last puddle of sauce up with the last piece of asparagus and put the forkful into his mouth almost reverently. He closed his eyes as he chewed this last bite, swallowed and fell back against his chair with an ‘oomph’.

Slumped back in his chair like that, Jeff’s brand new X-Large dress shirt strained over his full-fledged round bump of a belly. The pad of fat over his belly seemed to have thickened quite a bit this week, and this meal pushed it out proudly. Jeff rolled his head to look down, picked up his tie and saw the row of buttons straining to stay in their button holes. Dropping his tie and smoothing it down, he grinned a dopey grin. “They say, ‘in for a penny, in for a pound.’ I think it’s safe to say that I’m in all the way.”

Susan looked mischievous as she pulled her cell phone out of her evening bag and snapped a picture of slumping sated Jeff. Giving him a meaningful look, she told him, “I’m glad you’re in. Really glad.”

Walking up to the table to find Jeff in his current state, the waiter offered to serve coffee to let them “rest” before dessert, for which Jeff grunted his thanks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Oh,” he sighed ten minutes later, when he finally had energy to sip his coffee. “Good coffee. I’m glad we have a little break before dessert. It gives us a good chance to talk about a few things.” He winced as he sat up straight and leaned forward. He tried to give Susan a sharp look and gave a very bad imitation of Ricky Ricardo, “Lucy. You’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do.”

Never one to admit guilt until she was truly caught, Susan raised her eyebrows and fluttered her lashes. “Excuse me?” she asked.

Unable to hold either his stern face or his uncomfortable forward-leaning position any longer, Jeff relaxed back and smiled like the cat who caught the mouse. “I found a certain snow globe in a kitchen cupboard the other day…” he began.

Jeff explained that he found Mrs. Claus’ snow globe when he was rummaging around for a midnight snack. He was about to put it away with the rest of the Christmas decorations when he really looked at it and saw that Mini-Susan and Mini-Jeff working together in their kitchen. He thought he was seeing things and rubbed the glass clean, which brought Mrs. Claus right to him. She had come prepared with a steaming hot chocolate soufflé with pitchers of hot vanilla and chocolate sauces. Finding the whole situation so bizarre that he thought he must be dreaming, Jeff invited her to sit down and accepted the soufflé, which was incredible, by the way. She let him eat in peace and even made him a mug of hot chocolate.

After he ate, they chatted and he learned about Mrs. Claus’ gift to Susan. He was surprised – shocked, really – but it did explain a lot of things he had been wondering about since Christmas. Mrs. Claus told him he could either stop the experience right then and go back to his December 22nd body and appetite, or he could chose to continue through to next Christmas when he would have the same opportunity to undo the whole year then if he wanted. While the thought he probably should stop eating to his heart's content, he just couldn't bear to stop yet. He doubted very much that he would chose a permanent lifestyle of overindulgence, but so long as there were no real consequences to it, he couldn't resist continuing with the experience for the year.

Susan was still a little bit nervous and had to ask, “Are you angry?”

“Nah. How could I be angry? I met Mrs. Claus and can imagine just how convincing she must have been. Besides that, I’m having the time of my life. It took a little thinking about it, but, no I’m not angry.”

Susan had just breathed a sigh of relief when Jeff continued, “But I would like to make one very important change, if it’s OK with you.”

With her stomach plummeting, Susan asked, “What’s that?”

“I want to get you some help in the kitchen. When I realized that you are running yourself ragged trying to do so much for me, I started helping more with dinner. But that’s hardly any help at all. I spoke with Mrs. Claus about it and she recommended a young chef she knows who has young kids at home and is looking for something part time. If you are willing, I’d like to ask her to come for an interview. What do you think?”

Susan’s mouth hung open in the shape of an ‘O.’ “Wow,” she said. “Wow, that’s a really great offer. I guess I could use some help. It couldn’t hurt to meet her, could it?”

“Couldn’t hurt,” Jeff agreed. “And if you don’t like her, there are other options. We could interview other people. There are catering companies. There’s always take-out.”

Nodding as she warmed to the idea, Susan said, “Sure. But not lots of take-out. I really like the home cooked meals.”

Relieved that Susan did not fight the idea of another person in her kitchen, Jeff was happy to agree not to rely on take-out. “I can’t wait to get some help set up for you. I’d really love to see you have more time to enjoy some of the good food you have been cooking.”

“Thanks, honey. Me too.”

By happy coincidence – Jeff suspected Mrs. Claus’ influence – their most excellent Valentine’s dinner was topped off by his and hers chocolate soufflés. They were served with piping hot pitchers of vanilla sauce, chocolate sauce and a heaping bowl of whipped cream.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two and a half hours after they had arrived in Eden, a very satisfied Jeff and Susan walked out. They were flushed from wine, stuffed with good food and happy to have discussed their intentions so openly. Walking Susan back o the car, Jeff felt strong, energetic and larger than life. His sense of well-being was cut in half when he climbed into his Land Rover and his waist cut deeply into his expanded stomach. Not liking the sick feeling or the possibility of ripping his trousers, Jeff unfastened his belt and trousers to relieve the pressure on his swollen middle.

“Do you feel better, dear?” Susan asked in a tender tone.

Two slow deep breaths and his nausea receded. One more breath and he was back in his full and happy zone. Jeff clapped a hand against his stomach and told her, “Oh, yes,” he said with intense feeling. “I feel wonderful, thanks. And it’s going to get more and more wonderful from here.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


TBC
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Chubsixtysix
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Last edited by Lou Grant; 06-14-2010 at 03:05 AM.
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