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Old 07-14-2010, 07:01 AM   #1
Big Beautiful Dreamer
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Default The Button and the Banker - by Big Beautiful Dreamer (~~WG, Both)

~~WG, Both - Jeans that become a little too tight catch a woman's eye, but she has her own secrets.

The Button and the Banker

by Big Beautiful Dreamer


I’d always known that my complete disinclination to tend to laundry was going to get me in trouble one day.

I just hadn’t expected the trouble to be female.

It was late on a Friday morning when I’d entered the bank and scouted around for a loan-officer type. One spotted me and with a smile beckoned me into her little office. BELLA ROCKLAND, her nameplate read.

“Hi. Miss Rockland,” I said, extending my hand. “I’m Declan Evans.” She gestured me to a seat, but in the split second between eye contact and sit-down, I saw her large green eyes flick – a momentary, almost invisible flicker – to my waistband. That quickly, her eyes were meeting mine.

“What can we do for you this morning?” she was saying, and dimly my mind registered the melody of her voice, but the Adversary in the corner of my brain was saying, “SHE NOTICED YOU’VE GOT YOUR JEANS BUTTON UNDONE, BECAUSE YOUR BEER HABIT HAS MADE YOUR FAVORITE PANTS TOO TIGHT TO FASTEN, AND YOU THOUGHT NO ONE WOULD NOTICE. HA! YOU WON’T GET THE LOAN AND YOU HAVEN’T A HOPE OF GETTING THAT DATE YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD ASK FOR, EITHER … TUBBY.”

The Adversary was an old opponent, my own worst enemy. He’d fought me every step of the way: College Wasn’t For My Kind Of People; Only Snobs Got Phi Beta Kappa, Non-profit, What A Dreamer You Are, Get the Stars Out Of Your Eyes. Usually, I could tune him out with no trouble. I was nervous, though, so old Addy got his dig in early. “SHE NOTICED YOUR JEANS.”

Miss Rockland had finished looking over my application. “Mr. Evans,” she said warmly, “This application looks really good. I’ll have to run it through my manager, but if you can wait I can have a preliminary answer for you shortly. The fact that you own the building will help your application quite a bit.”

I blinked, twisted in my chair, watching her head across to another office. Did she say “help your application quite a belly”? I must have been dreaming.

My hand strayed to my waistband and almost subconsciously I fiddled the button shut, then hastily undid it. They weren’t just my favorite jeans, they were my only clean pair, but they were unquestionably a little too tight. The button, fastened, positively hurt, feeling as though it was drilling a hole into my softening waist.

Now Miss Rockland was back and beaming. “It will take some time to jump through the hoops, of course, Mr. Evans, but it looks really good.” She remained standing, my cue to stand up, shake her hand, and nod like a goof when she said to come back on Wednesday.

As I left, I told myself sagely that it was much smarter to wait until my loan app had been approved before asking her for a date. The Addy piped up: “AND MAYBE BY THEN YOU’LL HAVE A CLEAN PAIR OF JEANS YOU CAN BUTTON AROUND YOUR FAT GUT.”

Scowling, I went back to the office and resolutely put all thoughts of my waistline out of my mind. That evening, I dutifully did laundry, thinking glumly as I did so how jeans just out of the dryer tended to be snug anyway. Had it always been that way?

By Wednesday, I had achieved a pair of jeans that had been recently laundered, but that I’d worn the day before, so that I was at last, at least, fully buttoned when facing Miss Rockland.

“Mr. Evans!” She was smiling, standing up, extending her hand. “I’m pleased to tell you that your loan has been approved.” She sat, I sat, and we began going through the paperwork. I mostly managed to ignore the way my waistband was digging just a little into my belly. Now she was standing over my shoulder, pointing to sign here, and here, and this says such and such, and sign here. Did her gaze flick for just a second to my waist? Did it?

Now or never. Fumblingly, I asked if she might be free for lunch. A momentary pause. She had glanced at my waist, then beamed and answered yes.

Would I have gotten the date last Friday? Did I pass some sort of test because I could button my jeans? I resolved that that first date was not the time or place to make a pig of myself.

A lunch date that day became another lunch date that Friday became a movie that Saturday evening, and another lunch date the next week, and then … like an ungainly bird achieving flight … suddenly we were dating.

And then time and habits caught up with me, and Bella was due to knock on my door in about six minutes and the only pair of jeans that was even remotely clean enough to wear … I sucked in. Buttoned. Exhaled. Ow. Crap. I felt my shoulders slump. I undid the button, and then Bella was knocking.

I really think she glanced at my waistband, that tiny, subtle flick of a glance. “SHE’S KEEPING TRACK,” the Adversary mocked. “SHE’S KEEPING SCORE.”

I knew already. I didn’t need the Addy to tell me.

If I was deeply conflicted, though, it seems Bella wasn’t. She slid her arm around my waist and her other hand rested lightly on my torso. Slid gently down to that damned button.

“Oh.” A note of surprise in her voice.

I cleared my throat. “Yeah, um … my favorite jeans, but they’re, they’re, they’re getting a little hard to button. I seem to be getting kind of soft in the belly.”

“I think it’s cute,” she pronounced. What the hell!

“Cute?” I echoed dumbly.

Her eyes crinkled with humor. “Yeah, cute. I noticed it when you first came in for that loan. I thought it was adorable.”

Whoa, first cute and now adorable.

“Um, okay?” I slid my arm, which had been on her shoulders, up and down her arm, then brought it back to parade rest. She snuggled more definitively against me and patted my belly.

When we got to the restaurant, Bella decisively said yes to the waiter’s suggestion of an appetizer. But when it came, she dutifully took one stuffed mushroom and ate it, leaving the other five just sitting there.

I ate one. Then another. They vanished quickly. I’d eaten all three of the rolls in the breadbasket. Surely not. Bella’s bread plate was clean and unsullied. We talked, laughed, companionable, and I scarfed my whole entrée.

“Ooh, I’m full,” Bella proclaimed. “I can’t finish this.” She pushed her plate toward me with a very pretty pout and I began to pile pecan-crusted trout and rice pilaf atop a 12-ounce sirloin, baked potato, broccoli, several rolls, the stuffed mushrooms, and the best part of two draft beers.

Bella was “full,” but she perked up when the waiter mentioned dessert. We collaborated, decided on the chocolate thing and two coffees. Bella dutifully took a bite, then another, and laid down her spoon.

“Mm, that was good,” she murmured, and turned her attention to her coffee. “I just wanted a taste,” she said innocently.

And then we were strolling back toward home, her arm around my stretched waist and her other hand resting unmistakably on my now swollen and aching belly, firmly full of way too much dinner, the zipper threatening to get itself out of the way of my bloat and bulge.

Bella, in the infuriatingly inscrutable way that women have, said nothing about my appetite or my stomach. She’d brought it up, she’d been checking out the tell-tale button, but having introduced the subject, she now left it alone.

Fool that I am, I pushed the envelope. I laid my hand atop hers resting on my belly, which was undeniably round and firm and full of way too much dinner, and pressed gently. A belch resulted, as expected.

“Mm. Scuse me,” I grunted. Bella giggled. I gave her a sideways glance. “I keep eating like that, these will be my ex-favorite jeans.”

Beside me, I felt Bella shrug. She said nothing.

In reasonably companionable silence, we walked. I escorted her home, gave her a lingering kiss.

“Come on in,” she suggested. “I’ll make coffee.”

She started the coffee, but as we sat on her sofa, I found myself stroking her hair, cradling her shoulders, easing the zipper of her dress down. She sighed in contentment.

“That’s better,” she murmured. “That dress is a little tight.”

“Is it?” I hadn’t noticed. “That why you hardly ate anything?”

Bella made a face. “I don’t want to get fat.”

“Uh…”

“Oh, now, you,” she said. “I really think a tummy on a guy is cute, especially with those muscles you have.” Her hands were already caressing the aforementioned muscles.

“It’s different for girls,” she said.

I let the subject drop. We were by then otherwise occupied.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I had become habituated to leaving the button undone on my favorite jeans. And the change was gradual. Gradually, I began having to leave the button undone on every pair of jeans on first wearing. Gradually, I began having to leave the button undone on every pair of jeans, all the time. I thought about giving in and getting jeans a size bigger. But Bella thought it was cute, the undone button.

At the same time, she’d begun to eat less and less, to pick at her meals (in front of me). It seemed that some of the light went out of her. She was less self-confident. Every time I asked, clumsily, “What’s the matter?” the answer was always, “Nothing.”

For once, I paid attention to my timing. I waited until one Friday night. We’d been out to dinner, which means that I’d eaten all of an appetizer, all of my entrée, two-thirds of hers, all of the bread basket, and all but a bite of dessert. We were now on the post-dinner entertainment, or rather had just completed it, in bed, damp with perspiration, her head on my chest, her hand resting on my still-full, still-bulging belly.

Gently I shifted her so that she was on her back, turned on to my side, and began tracing and caressing her. I worked my way down to her tummy. A little soft, a little cushioned, enough padding so a man wouldn’t bruise himself on those hips.

Bella stiffened.

“Bella,” I crooned. “Isabella. Dear,” I said. “Would it surprise you to learn that I think your tummy is also very, very cute?”

“Fat,” she said automatically.

“Cute,” I corrected. “Women have curves. Here,” I nuzzled her breasts, “and here,” I cuddled her hips, squeezed what I could of her buttocks, “and here,” I laid a long, soft kiss in her belly button.

“Not here,” she said, wistfully, squirming away.

“Yes, here,” I said. I caught her again, held her. “Stop fretting. Stop worrying. Love yourself. That’s the prime directive.”

Against her will, she giggled.

The next night, she was cooking me dinner. We drank the wine I had brought, I helped, she assembled. I waited until she had served up the lasagna, then deliberately switched the plates.

“Oh no,” she said.

“Oh yes,” I said.

To my amazement, she started to cry. “Hey now, hey now,” I said. I got up and stood behind her, rubbed her shoulders.

“I used to be fat,” she sniffled. She got up and came back with a small photo album. Dinner forgotten, we sat down on the sofa and she gave me the guided tour. I saw a normal, solidly built child with her sister and brother, mom and dad. Mom a little chubby, Dad paunchy in middle age.

I saw a preteen beginning to develop, a rounded face, hints of a double chin. By now she’d stopped smiling for the camera.

I saw a fat teenage girl, solemn and radiating unhappiness, wearing drapey, unflattering tops, face rounded and flushed.

A few, very few, pictures from her college years. She’d gotten very thin, dangerously thin, and by graduation had seemingly stabilized, looking a little healthier, smiling dutifully but without any real happiness.

“Kids teased me so bad, so bad,” she said, dabbing at her tears. “I thought if I could get thin I would be happy like everyone else.”

“Everyone else isn’t happy,” I said, stroking her arm.

“I didn’t know that,” she said, a damp little laugh burbling up.

“Me, I was always thin, all elbows and knees. Last few years, I’ve started to get a little thick around the middle. No drama, no story, just a pot belly my girl says is cute.”

“Do you believe me?” Bella asked.

“In general,” I said. “I can’t imagine why you think it’s cute, but you do seem to.” In a burst of inspiration, I added: “Do you believe the things I say?”

“In general,” Bella said slowly.

“So believe me when I tell you you’re beautiful and that women have curves. I want you to love yourself at least as much as I love you,” I added. I got up and tugged at her hand.

“Come on. Dinner’s cold. You can’t really reheat lasagna. Let me take you out. And this time I want you to enjoy the evening, enjoy the food, enjoy life!” I said. I gave her a twirl, and the laugh bubbled up.

“I’ll try,” she said.

It took some coaxing that evening, and a glass or two of wine, but I saw Bella behave as though eating were a normal process. Not a minefield, not a test, not a trap. She ate some of the appetizer, some of the bread, and slowly, groaning a little, cleaned her plate.

“Oh,” she huffed, laying down her fork. “I really am full.” Her face was rosy, the vee of her throat a little damp. She suppressed a hiccup.

“Dessert,” I said.

“Oh. Hic. No. Declan, really.”

“A walk,” I proposed. “Maybe ice cream in a little while.”

We walked, slowly, sat on a bench. I let my hand rest on her tummy. It was roundly full, a firm little bulge. I found it incredibly sexy and said so.

“Our tummies match,” Bella suggested.

“I need new jeans,” I said, shifting uncomfortably. The button had started out undone; the zipper was firmly constraining my full belly, and the belly wanted out.

“But, but, but, if you get new jeans, they won’t need to be unbuttoned,” Bella protested.

“Not now …” I said slowly. “But we can work on that.”

I found the waistband of her jeans. Undid the button.

“Cute,” I said.

In the twilight, I felt Bella snuggle against me. The sigh she let out was one of contentment.

Last edited by Lou Grant; 07-14-2010 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:43 PM   #2
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Another perfect little gem of a piece. Your writing is gorgeous!
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:08 AM   #3
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Thank you for writing so beautifully about one of my all-time favorite things -- a cute guy who can't quite button his jeans!
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:13 PM   #4
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Another great story. You always introduce me to the most wonderful characters, and I can't help but to fall in love with them.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:00 AM   #5
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the story was massive cute. well done.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anarcha View Post
Another perfect little gem of a piece. Your writing is gorgeous!
You took the words out of my mouth.

Perfect.

Little.

Gem.

I am always so delighted when I see you've posted something new.
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