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Old 07-28-2015, 06:27 AM   #2
loopytheone
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We were distracted by the flight attendant's safety speech. The bored-looking blond mimed through all the actions described by the disembodied voice of another. When they got to the part about the procedure to follow in case of a water landing, Derek leaned over and whispered in my ear, "If we make a water landing, you can just use me as a flotation device."

I grinned and whispered back, "Yeah, because there's so much water between South Dakota and Panama City." He laughed softly.

The take-off was uneventful, and soon we were in the air, soaring through the sky toward Florida's panhandle. As soon as the ascent stopped and my stomach returned to its normal, upright position, I shifted again in my seat so I was facing Derek.

"So," I began. "Are you from South Dakota, or are you heading home?" I found myself desperately hoping that he was heading home, because that would mean that home for him was the same as home for me.

"Home," Derek replied, and my heart soared. "I grew up in South Dakota, and I was there for an uncle's funeral."

"Oh, I'm sorry. Were you close?"

"Sort of. It was mostly for moral support for my dad. They were brothers and good friends. It was hard on him."

"That's so sweet of you, to be there for your dad like that." Really, I was impressed. I was learning that this man had a big heart, and I was already finding myself to be fond of him.

Derek smiled a lopsided smile. "Yeah, my dad and I have always been close. My parents had me young, and my dad always thought of me as his little buddy. My uncle was only two years older than my dad, who is 46, so he's feeling a little panicked. I spent a week up there, hanging out with him like old times."

I grinned. "You're a good son."

Derek shrugged. "I try." He shifted a bit, and I couldn't help but watch the way his body moved. His belly looked so soft, and every time his side brushed against mine it gave me goosebumps. I tried not to stare, though, so when he talked again, my eyes snapped up to meet his. I couldn't tell if he had seen me staring at him or not.

"What about you?" he asked. "You don't look like the South Dakota type."

"Definitely not," I said with a laugh. "I was in town for a business meeting against my free will, and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Too far from the ocean for me. I felt land-locked."

Derek nodded. "Where do you live, then?"

I leaned back and smiled peacefully, thinking of my beachfront condo. "I live in Panama City Beach, right on the ocean. I absolutely love it there."

"Wow," Derek said, visibly impressed. "How do you manage to afford that?"

From there, we chatted about my job, the software I had a part in writing, the training I had to endure despite my authoring of the system, the horrors of office jobs, and the luxury that comes from doing that job anyway and being good enough at it to dictate your own hours and salary. Then we discussed Derek's job as the manager of a coffee house chain, how he graduated with a business degree but doesn't necessarily feel the ambition to do much with it beyond that coffee house that he loves but won't admit to anyone that he does. We talked about how he lived on the other side of town from where I lived and worked, but how it wasn't that far away, and how we both liked to visit some of the same bars and restaurants, and wasn't it odd that we'd never run into one another before, yet here on this plane we're seated side by side?

The conversation took up more than half of the flight with ease, and then we both started getting restless. Derek was especially uncomfortable stuffed into a seat that was built for someone less than half his size. He shifted to one side, then to the other, and finally sighed. I watched him with concern.

"These things just weren't meant for me," he said. "A drive that long would have been torture, but at least it would have been torture spread out over two days rather than stuffed into three hours."

I nodded sympathetically. "It's uncomfortable for me; I can't imagine how you feel. But at least it's more than half over. We'll be out of this sardine can before too long." He looked utterly miserable, so I layed a hand on his arm and gave it a gentle squeeze.

"Well, at least I got to meet you," he said, managing a smile. "That makes the torture worth it." This made me blush a bit, and he laughed. "What, did that embarrass you?"

I returned the laugh, sheepishly. "I guess. I'm nothing special."

Derek gave me a skeptical look. "Are you kidding me? It's not every day a gorgeous girl treats me like I'm her equal."

I stared at him quizzically. "Why wouldn't you be my equal?"

"Well, look at me. I'm a big fat blob. Most women see me and run the other way."

"I've been looking at you this whole flight, Derek," I said, feeling bold and even going so far as to look him in the eye as I spoke. "I don't see anything wrong with the way you look. And I certainly don't see a blob."

Our gazes were locked together in silence for a long moment. I had the overwhelming feeling that something profound was happening. "What do you see?" Derek asked quietly.

My heart was pounding in my chest and my mind was racing so fast that I couldn't tell the difference between thoughts and white noise. So, I went with instinct. I reached a hand across and layed it gently on his belly. The shirt held his skin taut and warm, but there was still a bit of give when my hand made contact. I felt him gasp just the tiniest bit, but he didn't push me away or give me any reason to believe he was uncomfortable. So, I let my hand rest there for a moment, then gave his belly an affectionate little rub. "I see someone I want to get to know better. A lot better."

Derek stared at my hand, resting on the soft expanse of his midsection. He looked at it as if he couldn't understand what it was doing there. I reveled in the sensations, the heat transfer between his flesh and mine, the way his belly was so soft and yielding even packed into that shirt. My whole body was tense and tingling, and this was just from a simple touch!

I gave his belly a bit more of a rub, very gentle and tender. I couldn't find words to express just what I saw when I looked at him, so I let my hand do the talking for me. I pressed in just a little, sort of a half-hug, to show that I wasn't just touching to show that I was okay with his size, but rather that I liked what I saw, and that it was desirable to me. And it was so desirable, clearly as much for him as it was for me. When I had first touched him, he had tensed up; now, he was relaxing, and his belly had expanded to its full girth, perhaps for the first time since he had sat down.

He was tall, with long legs that pressed into the seat in front of him. His belly took up nearly half his lap space when seated. From the position I was in, I couldn't reach even three quarters of the way around it. I found myself breathing just the slightest bit heavily, my mouth open in an expression of wonder. I spread my fingers out to touch as much of his soft middle as I could, then gave another light press and an equally light squeeze.

Derek was breathing as hard as I was. With his right hand, he was rubbing the side of his belly that I couldn't reach, but it was so discrete that I barely noticed it. Then, with his left hand, he ever so gently brushed my cheek with the back of his fingers.

This snapped me out of the trance that his belly had cast on me. I looked up at him, and for just a second, I made eye contact with him with my face full of wonder. But it lasted only a second before I realized what I had been doing, and I blushed furiously. Derek drew his hand back, but held it in mid-air, fingers still curled for the touch. We both looked stunned.

And then we laughed. We both started laughing at the same time, most likely to ease the tension.

"I'm sorry, I don't know what I was thinking," I said apologetically.

"No, please don't be sorry!" Derek insisted. "I... it's been a long time since anyone's touched me like that."

I bit my lip, trying to think of what to say next. I knew what I wanted to say, but I wasn't sure if it was too forward. So, I looked up at him to gauge the appropriateness of my thoughts by the expression on his face. He looked stunned, but happy. And I went for it.

"Maybe... I could do it again sometime?" I gave him a hopeful little smile.

He grinned. "You can touch me like that any time you like."

I smiled back, still feeling sheepish. But who was I to turn down such an invitation? With about 45 minutes left in the flight, I draped my arm across Derek's soft and inviting belly, then layed my head on his shoulder. It was, in fact, cold in the plane, but I had more reasons than warmth to want to snuggle up to this man. And he didn't seem to mind; his arm wrapped around my back and rested on my side like it was the most natural thing in the world. We stayed cuddled together like that for the rest of the ride, neither of us saying much.

Finally, the plane landed, we deboarded, and we found ourselves standing around the luggage carousel with our bags, but not wanting to leave.

I shifted and stalled, trying to make small talk, but it was Derek who finally broke the tension.

"I have to get going; I need to stop by the coffee house tonight and see what kind of damage my employees have done while I was gone, and then I have to be up early to open in the morning. That's my penance for being gone for an entire week -- a week's worth of morning shifts."

I nodded, trying not to look as disappointed as I felt. Derek put a hand gently on my cheek and tilted my chin up so I was looking him in the eye. "I want to see you again, Alex."

I smiled. "I want to see you again, too." I reached into my purse and pulled out a business card. "It has my cell number on there. Call me. And don't... worry about anything silly like the two-day rule. Call me as soon as you like."

He said nothing, but stroked my cheek gently. Then he leaned in and layed a gentle kiss on my opposite cheek. He smiled down at me, his hand trailed down my neck to my shoulder, he gave my shoulder a squeeze, and then he walked off. I watched him leave, surprised at the amount of grace he possessed despite being as large as he was. I watched until he turned a corner and I couldn't see him anymore, and then I hailed a cab.

It was only five minutes before my cell phone rang. I smiled. It had turned into such an interesting day...
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