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Old 07-28-2015, 06:15 AM   #1
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Default Flight & Re-connection - by One Shy Writer (~BHM, Romance)

BHM, Romance - You can meet the nicest people in the confines of an airliner cabin

Flight & Re-connection
by One Shy Writer


I was returning home from a business trip I had never wanted to take. The meetings that my office had sent me to were for software training on a program I had helped write. It was senseless, like sending God to a training class on creation -- not that I had an ego about it or anything. It just felt like a waste of my time, and it wasn't as if the trip was to anywhere exotic, either. They sent me to South Dakota. They said the trip would be cathartic, relaxing. I just wanted to go home.

I was flying economy class, because my boss was a tight-wad. He called it 'frugality for the sake of the greater good;' I was not concerned with the greater good of anything other than my knees on the three hour long flight. At five feet and seven inches and a textbook average body type, I'm not terribly tall or girthy, but even my knees ached from the lack of available room on a lengthy flight. I couldn't imagine what a taller individual would have to go through. Although, if I really wanted to know, I could have just asked the fellow sitting beside me.

The plane wasn't full by any means. In fact, more than half the seats remained empty. I had the middle seat in my row, and had in fact changed my seat to an empty row so I would have the whole row to myself. I hoped to stretch out a bit and relax on the trip back home. So, I was rather disappointed when I heard a voice at my left shoulder asking if he could squeeze by.

Before turning around, I heaved a sigh. I didn't want to share my space with anyone, much less some guy who was bound to try to make small talk with me. Or, more horrifyingly, would try to hit on me, as I had experienced in the past. But as soon as I turned to look at him, my irritation faded.

He had large, gorgeous blue eyes; that was what I noticed first. Big eyes, very expressive. What I noticed second was that those eyes looked supremely apologetic. I couldn't help but smile up at him as I gathered my belongings to scoot out of his way, since his assigned seat was beside the window.

"I'm sorry," he began. "I tried to get my seat changed, but there weren't any rows with two open seats next to each other."

I looked at him questioningly, and then he stepped into full view. He was wearing an untucked striped button-down shirt of massive proportions, mostly because his body required it. If I had to guess, I'd say the shirt was at least an American size 4x. And, much to my dismay, I stared. At least I had the decency not to drool outright.

He saw me staring, and his face flushed. "I'm sorry," he said again, this time in a much quieter voice, as I moved out of his way and he squeezed into the much-too-small seat. I looked at him for a second, trying to form intelligible thoughts and make them come out as audible speech.

He was beautiful. As he moved past me, I caught a wiff of some sort of cologne, not designer but still very appealing. He looked around the same age as my 23 years, maybe even a little younger. He had shaggy brown hair that hung just over his ears, very trendy and not uncommon in Florida, and extremely flattering on him.

As he sat down, the shirt that was barely loose on him while standing was filled out gloriously by the sweetest round belly I'd ever seen up close. And the poor guy was absolutely wedged into that seat. I bit my lip as I moved out of the aisle, but I didn't sit immediately.

"Hey," I said, in my friendliest tone, "I think the arm rests move up. You'd probably be more comfortable."

He looked up at me, shifting a bit, trying to make himself comfortable even though it was clear that comfort was not going to happen. "Eh, I'll be fine. Besides, it kind of reins me in so I don't crowd you out of your seat."

I smiled genuinely at him as I sat down in my seat. "I don't mind," I said, then grabbed the arm rest and gently pushed it upward, tucking it out of the way between the seats. Unrestrained, his bulk creeped over into my seat space, pressing warmly against my side and my right arm. My throat went dry, and I had to consciously keep myself from gasping.

He looked at me through eyes narrowed out of concern. "Are you sure? You know, you could probably move into the aisle seat, if you wanted. Not saying you have to. Just... you know..." His voice trailed off, and he tried to lean even harder against the wall of the plane. Just then, a small elderly woman plopped down in the aisle seat, buckled her seatbelt, and immediately dozed off. So much for having room to myself. I looked over at my blushing seatmate and smiled apologetically.

"I guess not," he said. The poor guy looked supremely uncomfortable, moreso mentally than physically.

I turned my body sideways a bit to face him and extended my right arm awkwardly, aiming for a handshake without rudely leaning on his belly. "My name's Alex," I said with my brightest smile.

He stared at me suspiciously for a moment, then smiled back. "I'm Derek."

"Derek," I said confidently, "it is a pleasure to share a seat with you."

He laughed. "Literally, sharing it," he said, prodding at the left side of his belly in a vain effort to create a little more room in the seats.

"Don't worry about it. Planes are always cold anyway, right? A little shared body heat would be nice." I was doing my best to dazzle him with friendliness.

He stared at me again for a long second. "I saw you staring at me, you know. I mean, I get that a lot, but there's not much I can do about airplane seats."

I gave him a lopsided grin. "I liked your shirt," I said honestly. I did; it was stylish, maroon and cream striped with a crisp collar, and it looked especially fabulous hugging his soft body.

He laughed out loud, a genuine chuckle. "You're a real piece of work, you know that, Alex?"

I shrugged, pretending to be sheepish when in fact I knew precisely what I was doing and regretted none of it.

"Well, I guess if I'm forced to confine myself to a single seat, I'm glad I'm sitting next to someone who likes my shirt."

Beaming now, I replied, "And he's witty, too. Be still, my heart." Derek stared at me incredulously, shaking his head, but grinning from ear to ear.

The stewardess walked by then, and informed me that I should buckle my seatbelt for departure. I looked over at her, then wriggled back into my seat and buckled my belt.

The woman then looked over at Derek, and it became clear that her smile had gone from friendly to forced. "I'll be right back," she announced, then scuttled off. I watched Derek's smile fade. He turned his head to look out the window. I pursed my lips.

The attendant returned with a seatbelt extender and handed it over with a smile, though I noticed she was holding it as one might hold a snake if one was not fond of snakes. I took it from her, smiled, and told her thank you. She returned to her work without acknowledging me. I handed the nylon strap over to Derek with a little smile and a shrug.

He dug around for the clasp end of the attached seat belt. "I knew I shouldn't have flown," he muttered. "Should have just driven."

I put my hand gently on his arm. "Don't worry about her."

His shoulders fell, the loose end of the belt flopping down onto one leg. "You don't have to be nice to me, you know."

I leaned over to see his face, and he didn't appear upset. Maybe just a little tired.

"I didn't wake up fat this morning; I've dealt with this all my life. I'm used to people looking at me like I'm a leper."

I stared at him quietly, trying to think of what to say to disarm his defenses. He went back to struggling with his seatbelt, and I noticed that he was inches away from reaching the end he was seeking. I watched for half a moment, then grabbed the elusive belt and placed it in his hand.

"I'm not being nice to you because I feel charitable, Derek. I'm being nice because I think you're worth being nice to."

He looked down at the seatbelt for a long moment, then fastened it, then shifted to face me a little more.

"And why do you think that?"

Score.

"Well, we've already established you have a sense of humor. That's always a plus."

A hint of a smile returned. "Anything else?"

"Your fashion sense," I said, testing out my smile again.

He smiled more in response. "Go on."

"Being attractive helps."

He arched his eyebrows. "I'm attractive, eh?"

I nodded. He relaxed visibly, which made my heart soar.

"Well then. Maybe this won't be such a bad flight after all."
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:27 AM   #2
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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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Old 07-28-2015, 06:31 AM   #3
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It had been two days since the flight on which I had the extraordinary pleasure of sitting next to one of the most beautiful people I'd ever met. I couldn't get him out of my mind.

That night after I got home from the airport, as I laid in bed trying fitfully and unsuccessfully to fall asleep, I let my mind replay our time on the plane over and over again, like a song on repeat. Except, instead of parting ways as we did, I'd let my mind come up with scenarios in which we didn't have to go home alone.

It was easiest to imagine him coming back to my place, and us curling up on the couch, or going out for a late dinner together and getting to know one another better. In fact, during that twilight awareness between being awake and drifting off to sleep, I couldn't remember what was memory and what was a product of my imagination.

Now, I was struggling to stay focused enough at work that nobody would notice that my brain was clear on the other side of the city. Specifically, it was in a quaint little coffee shop nestled into a strip mall in the older part of town, away from the high-rises and skyskrapers.

I had driven past the shop on my way home from work on the previous day, hoping to "accidentally" run into the store's blue-eyed shaggy-haired manager. Unfortunately, since his day started so much earlier than mine, it likely ended much earlier as well. And I didn't have time to stay and chat if I had run into him, so perhaps it was for the best. It was just nice to have a visual of the place where Derek spent his working hours.

I am a hopeless daydreamer.

When I wasn't imagining Derek at work, or wrapped up in a blanket on my couch, I was imagining how our dinner date for the evening would go. I had picked out an outfit in my mind, after a great deal of internal conflict. We were going to an Irish-named restaurant that was about five steps up the culinary ladder from a pub but with all the same atmosphere. It was in Derek's neighborhood, not mine, and I hadn't been there, but he promised it would not disappoint. I kept to myself that it didn't matter if we were eating out of a dumpster as long as I was near him again. I could save that for the second date.

I futzed through the rest of the day while nearly crawling out of my skin with anticipation. When four o'clock rolled around, I was out of the office like my arse was on fire and there was a big trough of water in the parking garage. If I flew, I could beat the worst of the rush-hour traffic.

I tried public transportation. It wasn't for me. While I did love Panama City, I couldn't stand the attitudes of so many of its citizens. If you didn't have a hard beach body and a perfect tan, you were second-class.

Okay, so I had a decent beach body; I got wolf whistles in a bikini. And I was tan as a byproduct of enjoying the Florida sunshine. But it was more a product of my environment and good genetics than something I worked hard to achieve. I wore board shorts and t-shirts to go grocery shopping, not tailored capris and high heels. I never went out just to be seen. That sort of narcissism never made sense to me. Those people never seemed real.

Derek was real. Aside from the fact that I was mouth-wateringly attracted to him the second I laid eyes on him, it was the whole package of a luscious body and a sharp mind that got my heart pounding.

And people of Derek's stature were painfully scarce in this corner of the world, let alone when coupled with well-paying steady employment and a good sense of wit.

No wonder my brain was buzzing.

I got home in record time, ran up three flights of stairs to the door of my high-rise beach-facing condo, shed my business attire like molting skin, and showered as if the shower was set to self-destruct in T-minus 1 minute. I dressed in comfortable khaki hip-huggers and a deep-red sleeveless blouse that revealed a dangerous amount of cleavage. So what if I didn't have to worry about convincing Derek to see me? I was fairly certain it couldn't hurt. Did my chocolate-brown hair in a fancy but easy to assemble up-do, brushed on a bit of makeup, and raced back across town.

I was an hour early.

So was Derek.

The evening was nice enough that I wouldn't have complained about sitting at the outdoor bar by myself, nursing a drink, listening to the music, people-watching and daydreaming, until Derek arrived. But apparently he couldn't wait to get there either. As I was getting out of my car, a familiar head of hair bobbed between vehicles on the other side of the parking lot. I took a few steps to the end of the row of spaces to be sure before saying something, and I announced my presence with a nervously delighted laugh. When Derek turned to see me, his face lit up like an airport in a snowstorm.

He looked amazing in cargo khaki pants, leather sandals, and a navy blue button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. I walked up to him as quickly as I could without breaking into an all-out sprint. As soon as I was within arm's reach, he leaned down, wrapped his soft, strong arms around my body beneath my arms, picked me up, and squeezed me close. I hooked my arms around his shoulders and hugged like both our lives depended on it. I took a deep breath, savoring the moment, and Derek's cologne, and the sensation of his body nearly enveloping mine.

We stayed like that for a very long moment, and probably would have stayed that way for hours, had a car not driven down the lane in which we were standing. Derek set me down gently. My hand immediately found his.

"Couldn't wait another hour either, eh?" I said, blushing a bit.

Derek gazed down at me, shaking his head slightly. "I just wanted to be here to see you make your entrance."

That got a laugh out of me. "My entrance?"

"I just figured if you were glowing as much tonight as you were when we said goodbye at the airport, all eyes would have to be on you by default."

Whoa. I was blushing so hard I was afraid my hair spray would combust. I was completely speechless. Derek paused when we got to the sidewalk in front of the restaurant and turned to face me. He took my other hand as well and looked down at me with an adorable mixture of nerves and impishness.

"And I was right."
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:36 AM   #4
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We were seated at a small table outside, per our request. It was a beautiful evening, and it would have been a shame to spend it indoors. The waitress brought us both glasses of water, took our drink orders, and went on her way. We hardly noticed. And neither of us were looking at the menu. We were doing this awkward but adorable dance between observing our surroundings, making shy eye contact, giggling, blushing, and repeating the process. At one point, I bit my lip and extended my hand across the table. Derek picked up immediately on the cue and laced his fingers through mine. It was different, looking each other in the eye, than it was sitting or standing side by side. Vulnerability is higher when you have to maintain eye contact.

The contact of our hands was like briding a gap between us. Conversation flowed out like water unleashed from a ruptured dam.

"I've missed you so much," I blurted, at the same time that Derek said, "It's so good to see you, Alex." We both laughed.

"How's work been, post-training?" Derek asked. I gave him the bare-bones details of the monotony of my job, shaking my head as I pointed out the rewrite I was working on for the software that would inevitably result in yet another training course. Although, hopefully, I would be running the next one, rather than attending. Negotiations were in the works.

"What about the coffee shop? Did it survive your absence?" I inquired. Derek reported that things had gone better than expected, and despite the weekly shipment of food being far more than the store could possibly use in a week, there were no major snags. It was good to hear about his day, so comfortable and familiar, but the tension between us was building by the minute.

When this train of thought came to its natural end, we found ourselves staring each other deep in the eye. Unlike the minutes before, we didn't uncomfortably look away, but it was still a very profound and vulnerable connection. The energy between us would have been deafening had it been translated into sound.

"Alex, what the hell are you doing here with me?" Derek asked finally. I was so taken by surprise that I couldn't do anything but shake my head and look at him with a confused expression.

"What are you talking about?"

Derek leaned back in his chair, the wood joints creaking in protest. The chair was uncomfortably small for him, it was clear. It didn't have arms, thank goodness, but it was a very small seat for a very substantial man. I tried not to focus on this, because I knew that he was uncomfortable, and it was slightly disconcerting to me that I was kind of turned on by that. He stretched one arm over his head, resting his hand on the crown of his head. He mussed that beautifully shaggy hair a bit. He appeared to be wistful, confused, hopeful and nervous, all at the same time.

"You're this gorgeous woman. You've got your life together. You have an incredible corporate job. You have job security for life, and you'll probably always be financially secure. You could have any guy in this city." Derek gestured at the plethora of attractive men milling about. I hadn't noticed any of them until Derek pointed them out. "And here you are, at this restaurant, with this 400-pound loser whose only idea of a career path is to make coffee for people who don't bother to tip. What's the catch?"

My stomach fell through the floor. Derek had seemed so confident once I got him to open up to me. Where was this self-doubt coming from?

"There is no catch, Derek," I said lamely.

He leaned forward, scooting his chair back, resting his forearms on his knees. I couldn't help but notice how his belly filled most of the space behind his arms, and I couldn't tell for sure, but I'm sure I blushed a bit at that realization. God, he was so beautiful; I hated that he was giving himself such a hard time. "No, see. There has to be a catch. Beautiful women don't like me. In fact, when I can get a beautiful woman to even acknowledge me as a human being, I have to spend forever convincing her that I'm worth getting to know, that I'm not a slob, I'm not lazy, I'm not stupid, and I'm not disgusting. And then, even if I can convince her to go on a date with me, even if she likes me as a person, it comes down to my weight. Beautiful women can't get past the fact that I wear size 54 pants, or that I can't ride roller coasters, or that I can't buy clothes at department stores. So what I want to know is whether or not you can see past that, because I'm already falling for you, and if you can't, I want to stop myself before I get hurt. Again." His face was pinched, pained. I could tell that he hadn't planned to gush out like that, but once it was out, it was out.

Right about the time that it was crossing my mind that the most inappropriate place for this conversation was a very busy restaurant, the waitress walked up and asked if we had decided on what we wanted. I looked up at her in a daze. She stared at me for a moment, I remained speechless, and she walked away, saying she'd come back in a few.

I sighed, and leaned forward on the table, speaking in a soft voice so as not to broadcast myself to every patron in the place.

"No, Derek, I can't see past it." I paused to make a point. Derek's face fell. I continued. "And I don't want to. Don't you remember how we were on the plane? How... the way I touched you? I can't imagine you forgot that already. You told me I could touch you like that any time. Remember?"

"Yeah, I remember," Derek said.

"Well? Between that and me not complaining about sharing half my seat with you, shouldn't that have clued you into a little insight about me?"

Derek stared at me. I could tell he was thinking hard, but nothing was coming out.

"You don't get it, do you?" He kept staring, eyebrows furrowed together. "I can't see past it because I don't want to see past it. I like your size, Derek. I like your body. I think you're stunning."

I was blushing furiously at this point, because even though I meant it, it was a very awkward thing to admit. Especially since it was clear that he wasn't going to just accept my confession. In fact, he was speechless for a long time.

"You don't make any sense," he finally said, in a soft voice. He didn't appear angry, just confused.

I couldn't help but laugh. "Take it at face value, hon. A beautiful woman thinks you're beautiful. What's to complain about?" I gave him my best gentle, warm, inviting smile. I didn't want him to doubt me, and certainly not doubt how attracted I was to him.

He smiled back at me, though his was a sad one. He picked up the menu and started browsing. With a sigh, I did the same. We studied the entrees in silence for a bit. At one point, Derek mumbled under his breath, "I'm damned starving." I laughed softly. Without putting my menu down, I replied with, "Then eat."

Derek peeked over his menu at me. I winked at him over mine. There was still that awkward tension that comes after a vulnerability is revealed, but I was determined to make him feel comfortable again.

When the waitress returned, she looked to me first. I gestured to Derek to place his order before mine. Derek went ahead and ordered, choosing a steak and pasta combination. The steak he ordered was a very large 18 ounce T-bone. He also ordered cream of potato soup and mashed potatoes as a side. I grinned at him, and he blushed a little, but smiled shyly. "Can't go to an Irish restaurant and not get potatoes," he said.

I agreed, and told the waitress I'd have the same. Both her eyes and Derek's got wide, though Derek's expression was considerably more surprised. It was a large amount of food. The best part was, I knew I couldn't finish all of it. Oh, I was going to try. And in the meantime, I was going to make Derek feel comfortable because even if he was eating a mountain of food, he wouldn't be alone. Well, maybe it would make him comfortable. I hoped. Otherwise I was going to eat a lot of food for nothing.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:41 AM   #5
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I put my hand back on the table, palm-up, just as before. Derek took my hand again, squeezing it tight. I rubbed his fingers with my thumb gently, just trying to ease his mind.

Speaking of minds, I couldn't stop myself from pulling the oldest trick in a girl's book. I asked the question that most men can't stand hearing: "What are you thinking?" Normally, I was above such cheap conversation tactics; I've learned to accept that a man will reveal his thoughts in good time, if you're meant to know them. But these were special circumstances. I was really afraid that Derek was going to withdraw from me completely. I genuinely felt that I only had one shot at getting this right.

Derek laughed softly. "Where should I start?"

I smiled gently. "Start with whether or not you believe what I told you."

"That you think I'm beautiful."

"Yeah, that."

"I don't know what to think." he laughed softly; such a typical guy response. "I've never had anybody say that to me before."

"You said you've had girlfriends. You mean to tell me that none of them ever complimented you?"

"Oh, sure. They told me I had a nice smile, or great hair, or pretty eyes. But that's a lot different than what you said."

I shook my head sadly. "I can't believe you've never been with a girl who loved your body."

"Look at me!" Derek said, laughing, one hand on either side of his belly. He gave it a shake that almost gave me need for a clean pair of underwear. "If you really think all this is sexy, you're in such a small minority that I wasn't even aware of your existence."

Very slowly, a grin of an extremely devious nature spread across my face. He didn't remove his hands from their plant on his love handles. I was staring very intently at his beautiful mid-section, allowing myself to truly take in every detail of his body for the first time since we were stuffed into the plane's too-small cabin.

His legs were spread slightly to fully support the mass of stomach that rested on them. The flesh of his belly was firm enough to hold a mostly round shape; it filled the front of his shirt as flawlessly as if a balloon had been gently inflated beneath the fabric. I marvelled at its roundness; it wasn't quite a ball-belly, and it wasn't a completely shapeless pillow of fat either. It was the perfect mix of the two -- soft and round. So soft. So round. The apex of his belly came just an inch or two short of his knees when he was leaning forward, and curved gently into his chest when reclining.

His thighs were muscular, beneath the fat. In fact, the tops of them, I could see when he flexed his legs, had retained that cut that defined the area of the quadriceps. But past that, it was all soft and cushion. My mind had a hard time not imagining myself perched between those thighs.

His chest also held some amount of definition, which was surprising given the amount of fat covering it. It was clear that Derek was quite strong beneath all the glorious extra flesh he was carrying around. His breasts were round and soft, with curiously little sag. It must have had something to do with muscle mass. I didn't care. It looked fabulous. And delicious. I wanted to lay my head there. I wanted to wrap my arms around his fabulous belly and get lost in its softness.

I was definitely going to have to change my underwear if I didn't snap out of my trance.

Derek noticed. Mercilessly, he wasn't confused or offended. His grin matched mine, tooth for tooth, devious tilt to devious tilt. He gave the sides of his belly another shake, this one a little slower, a little more deliberate. My mouth went dry and my breathing became shallow. Derek's grin doubled in size. He spread his fingers wide and moved them slowly together, rubbing all the parts of his belly that I wanted to bury my face in.

"Okay, stop." I said. "Mercy. Please. I'm saying 'uncle'."

Derek laughed. "You're giving me the most salacious bedroom eyes I've ever seen. And you're blushing so bad I'm afraid I'm going to have to make a dive for the fire extinguisher."

"Well, do you believe me now, about being attracted to you?" I said, laughing to relieve tension.

"Actions speak louder than words, babe."

The waitress came by then with our soup. We immediately set into the food. It was creamy and savory, the potatoes were tender and flavorful, and the little chunks of bacon were clearly real bacon, not dehydrated leftover meat bits. Derek and I were both taking slow bites, taking the time to really enjoy the soup. Neither of us said anything. Then Derek caught my eye with a little twinkle. I raised my eyebrows. He started spooning the soup into his mouth faster. I grinned and put my soup spoon down, enjoying the view. Without being theatrical, Derek made it clear that he was enjoying indulging himself with the soup.

When he got to the bottom of the soup bowl, he looked sad that it was gone. I knew he was acting, but this was like a dream come true. I slid my soup bowl toward him. He laughed and broke 'character' for a moment. "You don't have to do that, I have to save room for dinner anyway."

I shook my head no, and nudged the soup bowl a little closer to him. "You opened Pandora's box, baby." He laughed, shrugged, and set into my soup the same way. When the waitress came by to remove the empty bowls, she came to the table to see me leaning on my elbows on the table, staring at Derek like I was about to strip him naked and have my way with him there on the deck, and two empty bowls in front of Derek. She blinked once, no expression on her face, then walked off. I could not care less. The main course was next.


The End

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