April in Texas Ch. 07

Bathtub

“Ouch!” I said, as I was laying in bed in the Corpus Christi motel. Louie was feeling my boobs from behind and it hurt. In the early morning light, he was his typical self, hard and ready to fuck me.

“Please don’t touch my boobs. They’re really sore. I must be getting ready to start.”

“Shouldn’t be so soon. It’s the middle of your moon.”

“Then what do you call this?” I said, pointing to the spots of blood on the sheets where I had slept. I got out of bed, found a tampon, went into the bathroom and slipped the tampon in. Myself, I knew why I was bleeding, and I knew that I had probably already stopped bleeding. It was not my period. That damned Tina, and Gail with the jagged cap on the beer bottle, she had scraped me and cut me. And my tits were sore from their smacking and twisting. In the mirror, I could see small bruises on my boobs and bigger bruises from their smacks on my ass. Couldn’t tell Louie about all that, maybe someday, but not now.

Louie called out to me in the bath. “When on your period, you know that it’s time for practicing your technique, so that you’ll deliver more.”

At least he was in a good mood.

“Very funny. Right, I know, it’s my time for perfecting blowjobs. I just don’t feel like it now, ok? My head is throbbing. Maybe later before we leave if you want it that bad.”

I swallowed aspirin, took a quick shower, and wrapped myself in a towel. Then I jumped into whatever clothes I could find that would cover my bruises – and Louie was still in bed.

“Come on, man person, get up. We’re looking at a five hour drive today, minimal. We need to get going. It’s past 8:00 already.”

“Ok, I’m on my way.”

“Do you want me to suck you off now, or can you wait?”

“Don’t be crude to this dude.”

“I am offering…”

“I can wait on head, and shaving too, but there are things that I need to do.”

I’d had enough of his nonsense. “Take your shit in the bathroom, ok? I’ll get us coffees, maybe even a doughnut. Please get going.”

I milled around the motel lobby, drinking coffee and reading the USA Today newspaper, for a long enough time for Louie to complete his cleanup. When I returned with his coffee, he’d already loaded the car and was ready to go.

We may have set out to make the drive from Corpus to Fredericksburg in one day, but things happened differently than planned. Approaching San Antonio on Interstate 37, my cell phone rang. It was Lamar.

“Sheryl, where have you been?”

I held the phone down for a second. “It’s Lamar,” I said to Louie, who shook his head as I said so.

“We’ve been down to Corpus. I shut my cell phone off, till now. Why are you calling?”

“Sheryl, I’ve – we’ve – arranged for a meeting in my office this afternoon, a teleconference from Nashville about using the Texas school pool as a model for the same thing in Ohio. It was your boss John’s idea. Those Scottish guys from Lloyd’s are in Nashville this week. They may underwrite it, if we can come up with some projected numbers. I’ve been calling you for two days.”

“Hold on,” I said, and I pressed the phone against my stomach. Then I spoke to Louie. “He wants me in his office this afternoon for a conference call with the Nashville home office.”

“Tell Lamar he can suck my dick. No, don’t say that, he might say yes. A conference call…ask him how many phone lines he has.”

“Lamar…why can’t you patch me through on speaker phone? Those Nashville guys won’t know if I’m in your office or not. I don’t see a reason to be physically present for a conference call.”

“Because they want a video conference,” Lamar said. “I’ve bought all this video stuff, which the company paid for, and they expect me to use it.”

“Listen Lamar. Video conference or not, I don’t know shit about numbers in your Texas school pool. There is simply no information that I can provide, and these are vacation days for me. Nashville knows that.”

“Sheryl, your boss John wants a video conference, he wants to impress the Brits, he wants a video of you.”

“He wants what?”

“A video. John wants a video of you. It has something to do with the promo. I’m sure that you don’t want to disappoint him, do you? Lucky for us, you are back here in the area, and it’s not that much of a diversion. My office is only a few minutes from the I-37 interchange. Have Louie drop you off, we’ll have the teleconference, it will be short. Why not do it? Tell Louie to go shopping for a while, he’ll be happy. Or tell him to buy himself lunch, there’s a fine little Italian restaurant a block away. And wear something that shows you off.”

“And you’re telling me what to wear?”

“Ok. I’m sorry. But you will want to look good, if you know that it’s being videoed and that it’s being saved.”

“Lamar, I’m pissed. If this takes more than twenty minutes, I may strangle you. I’ll be there at ten till one, I’ll change, we’ll do the conference, and then I’m leaving for hill country. Goodbye.”

The fact is that Louie didn’t mind stopping tuzla escort in San Antonio again. Didn’t mind at all. When we drove long distances, we always stopped every couple of hours, it breaks up the monotony of freeway driving. I didn’t know it then, but I know now that Louie didn’t mind getting away from me. It had been years since he expressed his frustrations about my devotion to my job, he internalized it, and it must have been tough to tolerate.

He dropped me off at Lamar’s office, which was a tiny two-room suite in an old office building, and Louie didn’t even blink when I took my clothes bag in with me. I directed him to the restaurant, Louie said he’d be back in an hour, and he drove away.

“Thanks for coming,” Lamar said as I walked into his office. No secretary, no associates, only Lamar.

“What’s in the bag?”

“Obviously my clothes. I need to change.”

“Relax. We have some time. I’ve opened an Italian Pinot Grigio for you.” Lamar had one of those little brown office refrigerators, he pulled the wine out and poured me a glass.

“You can change in the bathroom down the hall. There’s no one else here today, so take your time.”

And I did take a few minutes, savoring the wine, which was from a vineyard near Udine, in the Friuli region of Italy. The wine was crisp, and pleasant. Then I made my way to the bathroom, and I undressed with the door locked. The bath was big – a couple of stalls, a man’s urinal, sinks, room to move around. In a minute I was nude, rummaging through my bag, deciding what to wear for the video teleconference. No business ‘look’ for me, fuck that, I was on vacation and traveling. Next I did a fun thing, something I’ll do when I have the chance. Facing backwards, I peed in the men’s urinal. I watched myself in the mirror as the golden stream shot down, and I recalled the memories of my second husband urinating on me. What a different life I led then.

So John the boss wants the Scots to see me, so what. I’d met those guys before. Two brothers, Sean and Ralph, who were a couple of flirts. Each was about 6’5, arguably the tallest Scots in history, easily the tallest I’d ever seen. One thing I didn’t need anymore was that tampon. I sat back naked on the toilet seat and withdrew it from my vagina, no blood. Relieved, I flushed it for the San Antonio sewer.

Glancing, and then staring at the mirror, I saw that my boobs were burned from the Padre sun. I had sunburned tits, and as I touched them I realized that the sunburn had as much to do with the soreness as did my beach encounter. In my bag there was a tube of sunburn cream. Standing before the mirror, I slowly massaged the cream onto my breasts. Immediately I felt relief. Then I rubbed more cream on my crotch and on my fanny, onto those sunburned areas of my body that had not been so exposed since Europe. The cream would help the fanny bruises too, I thought, and I rubbed it on each cheek with both hands as I arched my back before the mirror.

Enough, already, I thought, I need to get dressed. I pulled on a clean pair of sheer white lace panties, a short blue jean skirt, and an armless shirt I bought at McGregor Vineyards in the Finger Lakes of New York. The top hung loose and had big loops on each side, like a man’s basketball jersey, exposing most of my boobs. My face was a little sun swollen too, but I didn’t think anyone would notice it. I covered up with extra eyeliner. My high heal sandals completed my ‘on vacation’ look, and I walked back to Lamar’s office.

As I walked in, I saw that Lamar was fiddling with his video link. He activated a camera on a shelf, and directed me to sit in a soft chair that faced the camera and that showed all of my legs. Lamar then stood behind me to get himself in the picture and to see my boobs.

“Hello Sheryl.” I heard the voice of my boss John through the computer speakers. “We’ve been chatting with Lamar for the past fifteen minutes, he says that you and Louie love it in Texas. Lamar’s video link seems to be worth the money.”

“John, what Lamar has shown me is how successful the school pool has been here in Texas. The ratio of premiums taken in against claims paid is in the top categories. The school pool is almost pure profit. It’s as if none of these Mexicans file claims against their schools, other than the low end broken arm in the playground sort of stuff.”

I was flat out lying. Lamar hadn’t shown me anything.

“Can you project the same thing for Ohio?” John asked me.

“To a certain extent, we can say that. But we can also say that there will be more claims against schools in Ohio, it’s a fact that more claims have always been filed in Ohio. With that precedent, we can charge much higher premiums. We need to examine who the competition is, what we have to beat, and complete a much better package of coverage before we start soliciting. There will be more to it, a lot more, than simply duplicating the Texas model.”

“And stay clear of the Catholic schools,” one of the Scot brothers chimed in. “We don’t göztepe escort want to be paying for their gay priests.”

We all laughed.

“And let me say that you are looking very sharp today, Sheryl, and thinking sharp too. Brains plus beauty, we appreciate that. Lamar has sent us some of the photos from your dinner outing, I expect him to send more. The brokerage will package this idea, as you say, and they will prepare a color portfolio offering with a DVD. You will be featured, that’s why we need more digital footage of you. And digital photos of the Ohio schools, complete with children and buildings. We are considering using your voice in the narrative too. With someone like you drawing the attention, you look very proper English you know, I think we’ll do well with it in London.”

“Thank you very much” I said, beaming a bit on the thought that I would be featured. But I wondered what photos Lamar had sent. I didn’t remember Lamar taking any photos other than close ups of me having sex.

“If this works out, Sheryl,” the Scot brother Sean said, “I expect to see you in London for our annual February conference. Perhaps we’ll have time to socialize, maybe take in an Eric Clapton concert. Does that interest you?”

“Everything except the Eric Clapton concert,” I said. “Mr. Clapton lives in Columbus, we’ve seen him around town with his fat child bride Kathy McInery protecting him. If I’m in England, I don’t need to see a guy who lives in Ohio.”

We all had another laugh.

“Lamar, what do you have there, three cameras?” John asked. “Where’s the other one?”

“It’s on the front of the building,” Lamar said. “That way, I can see everything that happens outside my door – out front, in the hallway, in the bathroom – without having to open the door. It’s a great system. Has the feed been coming through all right?”

“We all agree that the picture has been greatly improved since Sheryl first sipped her wine,” the other brother Ralph added.

I could hear the humor in his voice, and I detected something underhanded. Yes, I was a bit slow in figuring things out. True to form, I guessed that Lamar had probably sent them the video feed of my time spent in the bathroom. But then again, maybe he didn’t. I decided to play dumb. Whatever, they all apparently liked looking at me.

“John,” I said, “Louie has made reservations at a really expensive bed and breakfast in Fredericksburg for tonight. We absolutely have to get going, it’s mostly back road driving to get there from San Antonio. I’ll touch base with you in a couple of days. I know that there’s not much in Nashville other than fried catfish, potato puffs and pink wine, but I am sure that you can find someway to entertain those brothers while they’re here. Take care of them for me. Bye.”

“Gentlemen, we’ll speak later,” Lamar said, and with that he closed down the video link. I went to the little refrigerator and poured myself another glass of wine. Looking at Lamar, I wondered what the hell was going on.

“Sheryl, you were great, just great. How did you know about the premiums to claims paid ratios? You may have found an underwriter for my program, and my head is spinning with success. The market for school insurance is wide open, after shit like Columbine and the teacher sex scandals. We may go national with this. I need to copyright my plan, maybe even a design patent…”

“Settle down, Lamar. All I did was sling typical insurance bullshit. But I have kept track of the claims paid here in Texas, and that’s without input from you. You may not realize it, but I do my job well.”

The clock told me it was 2:15. I had been there nearly an hour and a half. Louie was nowhere to be found. We didn’t really have any reservations in Fredericksburg, and I hate being stuck after 6:00 in some strange place without a hotel room. Louie knew that. We’d had disasters in France when we were stranded along the Atlantic coast, west of Bordeaux, with no hotel. Where was he?

It was thirty more minutes before he returned. By that time, I’d finished the Pinot Grigio, and I was drinking celebration Champaign with Lamar. And we were celebrating. Lifting my shirt, I told Lamar that I would show him my sunburn if he would show me his penis. We had another laugh. He kept his pants on, I showed him anyway.

“Do you want to see the video?” Lamar asked.

“What video?”

“Strip for me now and I’ll show you.”

Stripping wasn’t a hard thing to do, I already had my top off. Lamar waited. Once I was nude, Lamar pushed some buttons and the screen came back on. He backed the DVD and there I was, sitting in the soft chair, talking insurance with my boss John and with the Scots. I hadn’t realized at the time that my legs were spread and that the video showed a constant shot of my nearly bare crotch.

Lamar was exerting control over me, again. He backed up the video further and I was standing nude in the bathroom, rubbing cream on my sunburn.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I didn’t send this üsküdar escort segment to Nashville. You have to admit it’s hot though. You’re one of the few older women who look better nude than when you’re dressed. If I put these all together, plus what I’m shooting now, and plug in the Colorado Springs’ scenes, I have nearly an hour of you in action.”

“You’re filming now?”

Lamar flipped another switch and a live shot of me nude in his office showed on the screen.

Trapped again. I put my clothes back on and didn’t say another thing. Once I saw the Mercury pull up, I grabbed my bag and left Lamar’s office.

“Where have you been?” I asked Louie, as I sat back in the Mercury’s comfortable front seat.

“Nowhere really. I found a mall and wandered around. The mall had a half price discount bookstore next to a wine shop that had free tastings. Nice crowd of attractive San Antonio housewives, drinking themselves silly. The gals were very friendly. It was an easy place for me to relax and to kill time. How did the teleconference go?”

We were easing onto the interstate, heading northwest from San An.

“It went very well…I did it…my best bullshit, though I sense that Lamar is using me as his wingman to sell his ideas to management. But let’s forget about that hon. Sometimes I wish I could forget about my job, for even a few days, the way you do your law practice. Now we are in a rush to get to someplace where we’ve never been, and I’m wired out.”

“Why? Did I do something?”

“No, although you could zip your pants up, and you reek of perfume. It’s Lamar. I had a free moment in his office and his email was on. I went to ‘sent mail’. Lamar has sent some of the photos he took of us at his house to the Nashville office for use in a sales promo.”

As I heard the words come out of my mouth, I knew that I was lying to Louie again. I hadn’t opened any of Lamar’s emails, what I had done was model for a nude video scene. And I kept on with my dishonest variation of what happened.

“The pictures I opened had been cropped and resized so that the sexual activity was removed, but it was obvious that I was giving head. I don’t know, maybe it wasn’t so obvious, maybe it’s because I knew what the whole photo showed. It’s a whirlwind. I’m sick of it.”

“I’m not bothered by it,” Louie said. “Strangers took photos of you topless at Grada, in Italy, you just laughed and posed for them when they did. And remember those other times in Europe when we sunbathed nude?”

“Of course I remember.”

“And that Turk who followed us around in Swaubeeland? You fucked me and sucked me while he watched from the bushes. Believe me, soon enough, people will loose interest in your body. The world’s full of boob job bimbos, I am surprised your bosses are not fishing for a twenty year old to picture in a sales promo. And I have my doubts, strong doubts, about Lamar sharing any photos that might be the basis for a sexual harassment claim. He’s a creep, but he’s not that dumb.”

Settling back into the drive, I dug out my maps for Texas hill country and my internet downloads about the wineries. Our route to Fredericksburg was simple enough – only one exit from I-37, onto route 87 which went directly into Fredericksburg. That was a two-lane road, lined sporadically with single-family homes and small farms. Some were singlewide house trailers, others were new built country estates, but they all had one thing in common – their driveway gates. Virtually every property had an elaborate driveway entrance gate, some were made of stone built in an arch, others brick, we saw wrought iron gates, we saw so many properties where they put more money in their entrance gate than they did in their house. The phrase ‘Texas gate’ still remains in my everyday vocabulary, it was a geographical oddity.

The country did rise, elevation wise. As we drove up US 87, Louie pointed out the hills with limestone outcroppings that were visible from the road.

“Sheryl, look at that stone base. It reminds me of the limestone we saw in Burgundy, south of Dijon.”

“Don’t jump to any quick comparisons. We haven’t seen a vineyard yet. There are reports on the net that all the vineyards here suffer from Pierce’s Disease, and that much of the grapes used in their wine are imported, even from California.”

“Really. What’s Jancis say?”

“Her review, and I don’t think she wrote it, recites that most of the Texas grapes are not grown here. She has little praise for Texas Hill Country. Eighty percent of the Texas grapes are grown in other parts of the state, although this is the only region known for estate bottled wines and fine European vinifera. I printed some other articles off the net, one’s pretty detailed by a Brit named Peter May, it was linked to Texas Wine Lovers dot com. I’ll find it for your morning read.”

“We’ll judge for ourselves, if we ever find a winery. For now, it’s after 5:00, we need to find a hotel.”

Then we were there, in ‘downtown’ Fredericksburg, a tiny town that had about two main roads, a place where all the buildings lined one street, we’d call it a postage stamp back east. But we spotted a fine old Inn, maybe the town’s best, and Louie sent me inside to ask about accommodations. A minute later, I was back outside.

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