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 FORTY-EIGHT

It is nearly eight o’clock as I emerge from the hotel’s elevator. I carefully place Jean’s coffee on my laptop, fish the key from my pocket and open the door to room 314. The window curtains do a good job of keeping the light of day from penetrating the room so I reach into the bathroom and turn the light on before setting my laptop down by the TV and, after walking to the head of the bed, placing Jean’s coffee on her nightstand. “Morning, beautiful,” I say softly, stroking the hair away from her face. “There’s coffee,” I add, smiling down at her.

Getting the response I expected, none, I strip off my clothes, and head to the shower. I shower quickly, eager to hit the road, and see a silhouette through the translucent shower curtain accompanied by the padding of bare feet as I rinse the shampoo from my hair and soap from my body. “You coming in here?” I call out.

Jean’s inarticulate and semi-verbal, “Mmm,” again does not surprise.

“Should I wait or are you going to be a while?” This is long time married code, a soft-sell question inquiring if I have a snowball’s chance of receiving shower nookie, an activity that will leave one of us with a sexually satisfactory beginning to our day and the other not. There is no doubt who will find orgasmic relief in a shower and who won’t. Contrariwise, the question can also be an invitation to wet, upright foreplay, a simultaneous cleansing and arousal whose climax and denouement can be carried to our waiting bed where we can luxuriate in mutual pleasuring that will bring both of us sexual satisfaction. This slow-ball, underhand pitch is the easiest invitation to ignore but may lead to a lovely though unexpected start of day.

I hear the toilet flush but no reply from my beloved. The curtain pulls away from the back of the tub and Jean’s shapely right leg steps over the nineteen inch threshold of tub as she joins me. She flaps both hands at the wrists twice and though she remains mute, in my head I ‘hear’ her declare her dismissive, “Whoosh, whoosh!” that usually accompanies this gesture. I slink from the front to the back of the tub watching the glory that is my wife’s form with growing excitement. She slides forward and adjusts the water’s temp down slightly before taking the bar of soap and rubbing it over her; breathlessly I watch, still uncertain of her plans. Body cleansed, she turns to the back of the tub and reaches for the tiny shampoo provided us. I reach out to her as she bends over and, smiling, run my hands against her wet skin. She blows me a kiss in response. My optimism, like other things, rises.

Jean turns away from me and stands beneath the shower jet. I move forward and scratch her back, use my hands to remove sudsy lather from her front and fondle alluring body parts as I press myself against her. She pushes back with her shapely behind as I press more firmly against her. Still uncertain where we are going, Jean takes matters into her own hands and we conclude our shower, one of us gasping, groaning and writhing, the other merely smiling and shaking her head. “Good morning,” she whispers in my ear as our mouths disengage from one another.

“Yes,” I agree, holding her closely, pressing her to me as tightly as I’m able. “Indeed.”