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This is the second of 6 separate stories that was taken from a much larger piece. They take place on the same day, at the same time, during the same snow storm. Since each is a story all its own, it doesn’t matter which one you read first. WK
Gino Maretti smiled as he hung up the phone. So many people had called out for his shift, that they canceled it. “Sweet!” he said aloud as he made his way to the bathroom, already trying to decide what he was going to do. “Eat a little breakfast, put in a load of laundry and then go shoot some pool down in the game room,” he thought to himself as he made his omelet.
Just as the elevator door was about to close, he saw a young woman trying to hurry towards the lift, an overflowing laundry basket in her arms. “I got the door,” he called to her.
“Thank you so much,” she puffed as she set the basket down.
“Not a problem,” he smiled. “You new to the building?” he asked, looking her over. She was about 5 foot five, with wavy, brown hair and large hazel eyes. She was wearing a zip up sweatshirt and a pair of well fitting, faded blue jeans, which showed off her plump but shapely ass quite nicely.
“Yeah, I just moved in a week ago,” she told him. “This seems like a really nice place.”
He smiled and nodded, trying not to make it obvious that he was looking her over. “It better be for almost a grand a month,” he nodded. “Have you seen everything they have to offer here?”
“Only when they gave me the ‘sign here’ tour. I was glad to see they had a gym and a sauna,” she added, patting her ass. “I have to lose a few pounds.”
He made a face as he pretended to look her over for the first time and then nodded. “Yeah, I can see it,” he told her, “you got like three hairs that are way thicker than all the others. I could see where that would add some weight.” He then stuck out his hand. “Hi, I’m Gino Maretti, apartment 5C.”
“Ariel Mazzy, 5S, pleased to meet you, even though you’re a liar,” she giggled, her face suddenly bright red.
“Excuse me?” he gasped, feigning shock. “I may be many things, gorgeous, but a liar isn’t one of them!” As the doors to the basement opened, he then surprised her by picking up her basket of laundry and placing it on top of his. “Besides,” he grunted as he lifted the heavy load. “I happen to like what I see.”
“Again, thank you so much,” she gushed as he placed the baskets on one of the folding tables, “and thank you for the compliment,” she added shyly.
“Think nothing of it,” he smiled. “What’re you going to do while your clothes are washing?”
Ariel shrugged. “I don’t know. I suppose I can finish unpacking.”
“Or, you can join me in the game room for a few games of pool, if you want,” he suggested as he loaded one of the machines. “I just got a call from my boss, they canceled my shift.”
“I-I’d like that! Really! Thank you for offering!” As she spoke, her eyes seemed to light up when she smiled. “I have to warn you though, I suck at pool.”
Gino shrugged. “So? It’s been a few years since I picked up a stick as well, so I’m probably rusty, not that I was all that great when I played before.”
“What are you doing?” she asked suddenly.
“Um, putting clothes in the washing machine?” he answered, not quite sure what she was getting at.
“But, you’re putting your colors in with your whites!” The way she made it sound, it was as if he was lighting a cigarette with a lit stick of dynamite.
“Hey,” he said as he pulled a pair of chili pepper covered boxer shorts out of the machine. “See these? They used to be white. I kinda like the way they came out, myself.”
“You’re impossible!” she giggled, her nipples suddenly making their presence known. It was at that point that she had wished she worn a bra. From what Gino could see, however, he was glad she didn’t.
“Besides,” he continued, “I don’t know about you, but I can’t see paying $3.50 a shot for doing a loan of laundry. Most of this is work stuff anyway, so it’s not like I care what it looks like. Anything I need to look good, I have the dry cleaners do it.”
“What do you do?” She had unconsciously started putting her own clothes in the machine next to his.
“Usually, I take all my stuff that needs to be dry cleaned, and I walk into the dry cleaners, and I say ‘Hey, Marty, I’m back again,’ and then hand Marty my clothes.” He then shook his head. “You don’t get out much, do you?”
“I meant, what do you do for work!” she giggled, shaking her head.
“I’m a computer technician,” he replied, halting as if he were waiting for her to laugh. When she didn’t, he continued. “Well, right now they have a group of us working on writing up some software programs for in house use, but mostly I troubleshoot and fix the machines that crash at the company.”
“Wow,” she said softly, obviously impressed. “I would have never figured you for a techie.”
“Oh, and what is it that I look like I do?” He was smiling and leaning against the washer as he watched her put güvenilir bahis her own clothes in the machine. When a pair of zebra striped bikini panties fell on the floor, he quickly bent down to pick them up. “Oooo!” he smiled. “Very sexy!”
“You’re such an ass,” she giggled, her face crimson as she quickly snatched the panties from his grasp.
“Hey, I showed you my undies!” he protested, making her giggle even harder. “So, I ask you again. What is it that I look like I do?”
“If I had to make a guess,” she said as she pushed her quarters into the machine. “I’d say you were either a comedian or a mechanic,” she replied, opting not to add that he also looked and sounded like he could be in the mafia.
“Wow, really?” he asked. “Most people think I’m in the mafia.” When she heard that, she almost choked. He then clapped his hands together. “So, you ready to go knock some balls around?” He then gave her a sly wink. “And then after that, we can go shoot some pool.” When she let out a loud gasp and smacked him playfully in the arm, he couldn’t help but laugh.
“Remember,” he told her as she picked up a stick, “you hit the balls with the skinny end.”
“Keep it up, buster,” she growled playfully, “and you’ll find out first hand just how hard I can hit balls.”
Gino chuckled softly. “Feisty! I like that!”
“So what would your girlfriend say if she saw you shooting pool with me?” She was trying to fish for information without being obvious about it.
“In case you haven’t noticed,” he said, tapping her stick. “This is a pool queue, not a fishing rod. All you have to do is ask.” Once again, he made her blush furiously, something that he seemed to be very good at doing.
“And if I still had a girlfriend,” he continued, “you and I probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. As it turns out, I happen to be the wrong color and the wrong gender for her, so we went our separate ways, and the last I heard, she was living in Vegas, or something.” He then gave an indifferent shrug. “I guess that’s what I get for dating a stripper.”
Once he finished racking the balls, pointed to the table. “I’ll let you break first,” he told her as he chalked the tip. “We’ll be playing straight eight ball, except I play slop, meaning, the only time you have to call your shot is when you’re going to try to sink the eight. Oh yeah, and if you sink the eight on the break, you automatically win.”
“What do I win?” she asked playfully, hating herself for not only liking this guy, but being turned on by him as well. It had been quite awhile since a guy could make her laugh and enjoy herself, and he was scoring some major points with her.
“A nice dinner, cooked by me, in my apartment,” he replied seriously.
“And what do you get if you win?”
“A nice dinner, cooked by me in my apartment, with you as my guest,” he smiled.
“So are you trying to tell me you can cook?” she asked as she slid the stick back and forth. Before he could answer, she slammed the tip into the cue ball, sending the white ball flying around the table. When it failed to hit anything other than the rails before falling slowly into a corner pocket, they both looked at each other and simply said “Wow,” in stereo.
“Try that again,” he told her trying hard not to smile, “and yes, I can cook very well, thank you. I learned from my grandfather and father.”
This time Ariel sent the rack sprawling across the table, managing to sink several balls in the process. “I’ll take solids,” she told him as she eyed the table.
“So, what is it you do?” he asked after she took a shot and missed. He didn’t want her to think he was trying to distract her while she was shooting.
“Florist,” she replied. “I own my own flower shop.”
“Very cool!” he smiled. “Gorgeous, smart and feisty! Three of the things I look for in a woman.” Then he made an odd face. “I would have put you at a beauty parlor, though. You look like a hairdresser, maybe.”
Ariel let out a small gasp. “That’s amazing!” she smiled. “That’s what I was for 5 years. I did it just to make enough money to open my shop!”
Gino nodded and patted himself comically on the back. “Yeah, I can pick ’em,” he joked.
“What else do you look for in a woman?” she asked as he sank three stripes in a row.
“Well, first of all, they are preferences, not requirements, and second of all, I’d probably offend you if I told you, at least with two of them, anyway.”
“I highly doubt if you’d offend me, but if you don’t want to answer, it’s ok.”
He then chuckled to himself. “Want to hear something funny?” he asked as he sank the eight ball. “Out of the six women that I’ve been with in all my 28 years, I’ve only had one that met some of my preferences, and they were the same ones that you have, so far.”
“If the other five didn’t meet any of your requirements…”
“Preferences,” he corrected her.
“Preferences, sorry. Why would you even date them?”
“Because if you have only preferences, it türkçe bahis means you’re willing to compromise. If you have standards or requirements, that means you could pass up on a really good thing just because she didn’t meet what you happen to think your ‘perfect’ woman is. Besides, the other five only lasted 6 months to a year.” He shook his head. “The only one that came close was Roxie, the stripper.”
Ariel nodded as she racked the balls. “I’m sorry,” she said softly.
“Why? It’s not your fault. Besides, she did me a big favor.”
“How so? She broke your heart.”
“Yeah, that’s true,” he replied as he sent the rack into a flying tizzy. “But you’re mending it. And if I was still with her, I wouldn’t be here with you.”
“What did he just say?” she thought to herself. “Did he just say I was mending his heart?” She watched as he sank two stripes in succession, but scratched when sinking the third. “How long has it been?”
Gino looked at his watch. “The washer should be done by now,” he told her seriously.
She giggled softly. “I meant since you and Roxie broke up.” She hated to admit that he was doing some repairs on her heart as well.
“Oh, sorry.” He looked at the ceiling. “Wow, I guess I’ve been doing better than I thought. It’s been four months now.” She watched as he retrieved a “Game In Progress” sign from the cue rack and set it on the table. “C’mon, we’ll go throw our things in the dryer and then come back and finish winning my date with you.”
After they finished playing pool, they retrieved their clothes and as they rode the elevator, they decided to meet at the gym in an hour to sit in the sauna and take a swim afterwards. “Then, once we worked up an appetite swimming, we can go back to my place for that dinner.” He then held up his hands. “I’m sorry. I’m being pushy.”
Ariel chuckled and took his hands. “No! No, you’re not. That sounds like a wonderful plan. I-I kind of like a guy that takes charge.”
“But it should be a democracy,” he told her as the doors opened. “I mean, it’s ok to have a plan, a course of action, but if the other person feels that something could be or should be different, they should be able to voice their opinion.”
“I agree totally,” she said as she opened her apartment door. “And believe me when I say that, if I didn’t like any part of that plan, I would tell you. Trust me.”
Gino smiled at that. “Good!” He put down the two baskets of laundry and looked around. “Wow, I guess you really do have some unpacking to do. After supper, if you want I can give you a hand.”
“Thank you,” she smiled. “But why don’t we take tonight just for ourselves, and then we can work on this tomorrow, if you still want to.”
“That sounds even better,” he smiled in return. “See you in about an hour?” Biting her bottom lip, she nodded.
He was just arriving at the pool the same time she was. “Right on time,” they both said in unison, and then laughed.
“I was almost late,” she told him. I had to dig through all my stuff to find my suit.”
“Suit?” he asked seriously. “They don’t allow suits in the pool, they didn’t tell you that? It’s a skinny dipping pool only.”
She gave him a sour face. “Right. And you expect me to believe you’re naked under that robe of yours?”
“I am!” he protested. “See?” and he pulled open the robe. Ariel let out a small squeal as she quickly covered her eyes. After a moment, she peeked through her fingers and then laughed when she saw that he wasn’t naked at all.
“You are incorrigible!” she huffed. “I’ll see you on the other side.”
The way the pool entrance was designed, you had to walk through either the men’s changing area or the women’s changing area in order to get to the pool area itself. As he leaned against the wall waiting for her to come out, he could hear the sounds of other people in the pool already.
He was only slightly disappointed that she was wearing a one piece, but he had to admit that she looked fantastic in it. She also wasn’t as chunky as her jeans and sweatshirt had lead him to believe, either. “Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked as they sat in the hot room.
“No reason, I just figured you for a thong or bikini woman, that’s all,” he answered as he leaned back and closed his eyes.
Ariel made an indelicate sound with her lips. “Please! Not with this body!”
“What’s wrong with your body?”
“Look at it!” I’m fat, I have cellulite, I sag…” She almost sounded like she was going to cry.
“You know what all that tells me?” he replied, still not opening his eyes.
“That tells me that you’re a real woman. Not some anorexic, trend following, society guided wannabe super model. A real, honest to goodness, live my life like I want to and fuck what the rest of the world thinks because I’m happy, woman.” He did sit up then, and looked directly at her.
“Look at me. I’m no body builder either, you know. I could give two shits in a hollow tree at what people think of güvenilir bahis siteleri the way I look. I’m not out to please them, I’m here for me. They don’t like the way I look, they don’t think I conform to the way they think people should look, so fucking what?” He then gave her a lecherous smile. “Besides, I’d have to see you naked to make any concrete judgments.” Ariel squealed and giggled at that, instantly covering herself up. If he knew that she was thinking at that moment, they would have gone straight back to his apartment and worked an appetite up a different way.
“I can’t take anymore,” she panted, sitting up.
“Wimp,” he mumbled, smiling. His stomach then gave a loud rumble. “Ok. The boss says it’s time to go, too,” he said, patting his stomach. After a brief swim just to get themselves cooled off and somewhat re-hydrated, they headed for the showers.
“I’ll just go get changed and then I’ll meet you at your place?” she asked as they rode the elevator.
“Why get changed?”
“Because I don’t want to sit around in a wet bathing suit all night,” she smiled.
“So, as soon as we get in the door, take it off, I won’t mind.”
“I just bet you wouldn’t, creep,” she smiled at him. “I’ll be there in a jiffy, ok?”
“K,” he smiled back, and then surprised her by leaning in and giving her a kiss on the cheek. As he walked back to his apartment, Gino shook his head. For the first time in his life, at least as far as he could remember, he wasn’t getting to know Ariel just to get into her pants. He truly liked her for her, and it was a feeling that was as unsettling to him as it was joyful.
Maybe Roxie breaking up with him was the best thing for him. He had always gone out with her type, and he saw that all he was getting out of it was a piece of ass and a thinner wallet. Not that the sex wasn’t good, but there was always something lacking. The words “I love you” were very seldom spoken, if at all, and if they were, it was usually after buying her something expensive to keep her happy and her legs open.
Ariel was the complete opposite of the spectrum. She was intelligent, funny, and truly beautiful, not in a make up, bleach blonde, silicone tits way, but in a ‘this is the way I was born’, way. It’s funny how you find something or someone you’ve been searching for your whole life, and never knew that’s what you were really looking for.
“No,” he muttered to himself as he checked the pan of homemade spaghetti sauce on the stove. “Ariel is defiantly different.” As he showered, his mind wandered to the distant future. He saw himself coming home from work, and there was Ariel, waiting to greet him at the door. They would hug and kiss, and then tell each other about their day, and then either sit down to a meal she had made for them, or they would decide together on what they wanted to eat, and then cook it together.
The thought delighted him and scared the shit out of him at the same time. “Slow down, buddy boy,” he told himself. “You’re getting way too ahead of yourself here. Take it slow.” When he emerged from the shower, he could already smell the aroma of his homemade sauce filling the apartment.
Still naked except for the towel wrapped around his waist he gave the sauce a good stir, breaking apart some of the still frozen chunks of sausage and meatballs that filled the pan. Without even realizing it, he was whistling “Here Comes The Bride” to himself as he stirred.
Back in her apartment, Ariel was having a similar conversation with herself, as well. She was also having the same visual Gino had, only hers went a step further by greeting him at the door with their baby in her arms.
“What the hell are you thinking?” she asked herself as she scrubbed between her legs. “You don’t want kids!” She then realized it was her mother’s voice in her head. “Great!” she muttered as she rinsed herself off. “Now I’m starting to sound like my mother. That’s enough to scare anyone off.”
She then spent the next twenty minutes standing in front of her closet, trying to think of what to wear. “Was this a date? He called it a date. But we aren’t going anywhere. That doesn’t mean you can’t dress nice. But, what if I show up dressed nice, and he’s dressed casual? Then again, what if I show up casual, and he’s dressed nice?”
With a heavy sigh and a shrug of her shoulders, she opted for the nice and casual look. A pair of black, well worn jeans and her favorite turquoise blue blouse. She then spent the next ten minutes pawing through boxes to find the turquoise blue bra that she had bought specifically to go with the blouse.
When Gino heard the knock on his door, his heart stopped. A woman that’s on time, go figure. With a quick glance around the apartment, he let out a long, slow breath, and then opened the door. “Wow! You look great!” he smiled at her.
“Oh my God! You’re still in a towel!” she gasped. “Am I too early?”
Gino chuckled softly as he shook his head. “Right on time, actually.” He then waved a hand to encompass himself. “I didn’t know how you were gonna dress, so I decided to wait and see how you showed up, and then would dress accordingly.”
“That’s rather cleaver,” she giggled. “I’ve never heard of it before, but it works.”
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