Charlie and Paula had spoken scarcely a word to one another in the two months he’d been in DC. There was no animosity between them; rather they were consumed with work. John and Sarah moved home after Paula had returned to work. But Paula’s guestroom wasn’t vacant very long. Stacy moved in under the guise of being too ill to fend for herself when, in truth, she hated sleeping alone. Paula had her hands full: Stacy’s doctors’ appointments and morning sickness, helping her plan the wedding, and managing both of their workloads. But this was nothing compared to what Shawn was going through. How he juggled fourteen hour ‘high pressure’ days and Stacy was inconceivable.
Being an Airman herself, Stacy was aware of the demands placed on Shawn and never pressured him for more attention then he offered. By contrast Shawn had it pretty well; he was left out of the wedding plans whereas poor Tony had been expected to partake in every minor decision. It was the ‘being there’ for Stacy that wore on him. He was his fathers’ only son and had seen his sisters’ depression caused by her absentee husband. He wanted what his parents had: a stable family.
The days of Soldiers hunkering down for extended periods of time were long gone. It was replaced by “We’re stationing you here but we’re sending you TDY for months on end there. Please, sign and date on the dotted line”. And given their career fields and elevated security clearances, their group was in high demand. Paula, Cathy and Tess had sent the past three weeks working at Luke AFB in Phoenix. Luckily, Mo and Lisa were there to baby sit Stacy.
Charlie continued his side venture with Tony and worked increasingly longer hours in the process. Client after client rolled in, a welcomed distraction from his hollow love life. When women discovered he was once more available, the Ho Patrol formed a single file line at his door. To his credit, or to his naivety, Charlie didn’t blink in their direction. His breakup with Paula was too fresh, meaningless sex was the farthest thing from his mind. As for Paula, she refused to engage in any conversation regarding Charlie. Fortunately, everyone else felt it was time for them to move on as well. They’d hit a stalemate and needed a cooling off period. Charlie’s DC assignment couldn’t have come at a better time.
Charlie and Shawn arrived home two days before the Air Force Ball and the day after Stacy found out they were expecting twins. This came as no surprise; Stacy had out grown all of her uniforms overnight. Shawn immediately began making plans to leave the Armed Services in lieu of civilian employment—it was time to put his degree to work.
The flame of Charlie and Paula's relationship had been snuffed out, leaving only the smoldering embers of their friendship behind. But was it a true friendship? It was obvious to anyone in their presence for more than five minutes theirs was no friendship. In all sense of the word they were still a couple. Whether it was ordering one another’s meal at dinner or sleeping together, they were still a couple—although for Charlie, their “relationship” by the backdoor was wearing thin. He needed Paula to make a decision; he was getting sick of her having her cake and eating it too.
For Paula, letting go of Charlie proved difficult. He was her first love and seeing him only affirmed her folly in letting go. When Charlie was away in DC, it was easier to cope but his return shattered any notion she was over him. She didn’t know how to let go. She didn’t want to let go. She wanted him back. And seeing women fall over themselves for a shot at him pissed her off royally. Single or not, she’d staked a claimed on him; his mind, his body, and all of his baby juice belonged to her. Or at least that’s how she saw it.
“Oh my God.” Paula heard a woman say to her friend when Charlie and John stepped into the glittering ballroom in full Mess Dress. They looked as though they’d leapt from the cover of a magazine. “Is he wearing a wedding ring?”
Paula’s guts began to boil. Charlie scanned the crowd from the balcony before he caught Shawn’s eye and joined the rest of the group. He kissed Paula and sat beside her. Paula rolled her eyes at the ladies at the next table.
“You look beautiful tonight. Is that a new dress?” Charlie complimented Paula. His eyes trailed the delicate purple beaded fabric of her halter dress and stopped shy of her pillow-soft breasts.
Paula nodded and leaned close to Charlie. “You can help me get out of it later.”
He gave her a stern narrow eyed look before turning to the rest of the table. “What did we miss?”
“All of the speeches,” Tess replied. “And the awards ceremony. Dinner should be arriving any minute.”
“I’ve ordered your meal.” Paula added.
“Thanks,” Charlie gave a light cough and nodded politely at the pasty ladies at the opposite table. He then turned and kissed Paula’s hand. “Why are those women staring at me?”
“Because you’re hot and it kills them to see you with me.” She answered.
“Oh, I thought something else was afoot. I only get those looks when I’m with you.” He beamed.
“Please,” Paula rolled her eyes.
They spent half the night stealing glances and the other half openly flirting with one another. Charlie’s resistance to Paula's charm was low. As much as he wanted to rid himself of their back and forth ‘relationship’ he couldn’t, she’d gotten under his skin. She wouldn’t admit it but he had a vice grip hold on her as well. They danced and laughed and, true to his word, Charlie didn’t look at any alcohol.
It was after 2:00am when Charlie and Paula arrived at her house. Paula stood watching Charlie remove his tux in their once shared closet. She loved his strong shapely legs and well defined back. He glanced over his shoulders to find her spying on him and gave a short laugh. She was on the prowl and he was in her crosshairs. He wasn’t having it.
Paula wasn’t giving up so easily. She went to him and wrapped her arms around his waist and kissed the center of his back, between his shoulder blades—his spot.
Charlie released a low groan. “Paula, stop it.”
Like hell she would. She kissed his back again only this time she allowed the tip of her tongue taste his skin.
“You know what that does to me.” His resistance waned as one of her hands caressed his chest while the other slid into his boxer briefs, encircled his cock, freeing it from its confined, and began to stroked it—all the while she kissed his spot. “We can’t keep doing this.”
“Why not?” she stroked. Charlie tried to pull away but she held him in place. “Don’t you like it?
Charlie grew hard in her hand. “You know I do.” He moaned aloud. “Tell me what you want.”
“I want it rough. I want you to use me.” Her lips on his back, his cock in her hand, her words in his head; she had him right where she wanted him.
“We can’t keep doing this,” He breathed as though it’d taken every ounce of his will power to force the words passed his lips, and even more to pull away from her and go to bed. It wasn’t long before he felt Paula’s arm drape over him and he rolled over to face her. In the darkness he couldn’t see her eyes but he felt them mere inches from his. “Paula, we have to stop. I can’t be your Mr. Fix-it anymore.” His voice was heavy.
“I don’t want you to be my Mr. Fix-it.” Her voice quavered. “I want you—I want us again. I want to go back to the way we were.”
Charlie shook his head. “I don’t wanna go back to the way we were. I wanna do this better than before. You have to trust me, wholeheartedly. And I’ll never touch another drop of alcohol as long as I live.”
“I never doubted you. I was being stubborn.” She kissed lips softly. “I never thought you’d leave me but the night you walked out, I knew you were serious. I had to get my act together or lose you.”
“Don’t put me on a pedestal. I’m a work in progress. I walked out because I saw our relationship about to self-destruct.” He paused. “Are you sure this is what you want?” He heard her breathing pattern change slightly. “Did you just have an orgasm?”
She nodded as a slow bashful smile spread across her face. “I can’t help it, I love you.
“So, you’re one hundred percent certain this is what you want?”
“Yes, I am.”
Charlie was silent for a moment as though he were awaiting something catastrophe to befall them. “I love you, baby.” He said with that slow drawl of his. “I’m sorry for hurting you.” His fingers wandered over her skin, taking in every inch of her. Heat emanated from his trailing touch.
“And I’m sorry for hurting you.” A soft moan escaped her lips and she shivered slightly.
“I’ll try like hell to never hurt you again.” He said against her mouth and then her cheek. “Tell me again what you want and I'll make it happen,” he whispered in her ear, his hand on her breast.
Paula could barely think much less articulate a sentence. She mumbled, “Fuck me”.
“Say it louder,” he breathed, his own arousal trembled in his voice.
Her voice quavered. “Fuck me.” she said louder. "I want it hard. I want it rough. I want you to bend me over and fuck me hard. Grab my hair, pull my head back and take me.”
Charlie gave a clipped snort, his hand cupped her bottom. “You know me too well.”
“Please Charlie,” she whimpered before he rolled her on her stomach and began kissing up the back of her legs. She was on the verge of coming out of her skin but she dare not move. The warmth of his breath, and the softness of his kisses and licks on her spot—the crease where her butt met her thighs, were maddening. She felt the tiny drops of dew gather in her cavern. He parted her farther and stroked her thighs…Paula closed her eyes, and gave in to the feelings. He knew just how to touch her. Willingly, she opened herself to him. She was his to do with as he pleased.
Flat on her stomach, exposed and submissive to Charlie was how Paula affirmed her devotion to him—to their relationship. The joining of their bodies in this archaic ballet of sensations encompassed everything she felt for him: her trust, her willingness to submit, the giving and receiving of pleasure. She bit and gripped the sheets as his thickness thrust deep even strokes into her wet pussy. He moaned and she groaned as her walls sucked him off: her inner muscles lapping at the head of his cock. She never felt so exposed or so aroused in her life when he took her in this position…and she loved it. The sheer greediness of it all, the ineffable helplessness she felt with his hand pressed into the small of her back, the slick slapping sounds of arousal their bodies produced was well worth the pleasure-pain she’d feel the next day
“Pull my hair. Make me beg.” She muttered.
Charlie took a fistful of her hair and pulled her back against his shoulder and stroked into her. “Is that better?” he said in a provocative manner, his cock burning inside of her. “Cum on me,” He moaned. “Cum all over my cock, baby. I’m gonna fuck you like this for the rest of your life.”
His words slurped at her clit and her juices spilled over his cock and he swelled inside of her. Each thrust drilled more wetness from her and she screamed for deliverance yet begged for his cum.
Her convulsing pussy straightened its resolve to take what belonged to it: his cum. It felt like tiny fingers jerking him off. It was too much to bear. “Baby, I’m cumming.”
“Cum in me.” She all but ordered.
He groaned heavily and pumped his cock as his cum began to surge through it, shooting deep, deeper, deepest into Paula sated little hole. “Oh, God,” He moaned and collapsed beside her—but she wasn’t done with him quite yet. He uttered a sigh and she wrapped her lips around him once more, urging him to give his remaining cum to her. She worked her mouth gently over his cock, drew out the last of his lust and licked him clean. Charlie trembled with one hand on her head while the other palmed his forehead. “Damn...mmm shit” he stammered. “I think you gave me a speech impediment!” he exhaled.
Paula laughed and gave his head one long lick.
The next morning, everyone met at Lisa’s house for breakfast and last goodbyes. Charlie and Shawn only had two more weeks left in DC however judging from the crowd and Stacy’s tears; you would’ve thought she’d never see Shawn again. After breakfast they loaded Tony’s truck, had their final laughs and (really this time) goodbyes.
Stacy seemed almost shaken, she wouldn’t let Shawn leave. Every time he tried she’d well up again and he would go back to comfort her. He spoke to her softly and she nodded in time. They exchanged a few more kisses and she let him go.
In the days that followed, Stacy suffered unexplained grief. Shawn called three maybe four times a day yet she couldn’t pull herself together. He worried about her and needed to return home as soon as possible. Peggy, Charlie’s mother, arranged to have them flown home immediately after their morning briefing on Bolling.
The last meeting was over and Charlie and Shawn hurriedly packed their belongings in order to catch their flight.
“Slow down cowboys!” Major Ferguson said waving two pieces of paper in the air. “You have orders from Sgt Hale.” He pulled up a nearby chair and sat. “One of you is to report to The Pentagon for briefing and the other is headed to Travis Air Force Base, California. The choice is yours.”
“How long is the Travis trip?” Shawn asked pensively.
“Three weeks,” answered the Major. “Whoever takes The Pentagon detail goes home afterwards.”
“I’ll take the Travis,” Charlie volunteered without battering an eye. “Shawn, you go home. Paula will understand. Hell, I might fly her out to see me for a few days.” He laughed.
“Are you sure?”
“Yep, I’m sure,” Charlie said taking his orders from the Major. He quickly looked over the papers. “Shit, I gotta get movin’. My flight leaves in thirty minutes. I’ll call Paula when I land.”
“I’ll call ahead and tell them you’re on your way.” Major Ferguson said and left for his office.
“Thanks man. I appreciate this.” Shawn stood and hugged Charlie tightly.
“No problem. I’ll see you at home.”
Hours later Paula and crew were kicked back sipping coffee in the office and laughing as Tess give an overdramatic account of her last date. Paula’s phone rang; it was Mark Rhodes calling from Boston. He called to tell everyone that his wife was expecting another baby and they would be visiting Gunter soon. He and Paula had chatted for over an hour when he was pulled away, he told Paula he’d call her right back—there seems to be a hijack simulation going on.
Within minutes, Paula’s phone rang again.
“Ms. Williams, this is Major Rhodes,” Mark said authoritatively. “This is not, I repeat, not a simulation. The World Trade Center has been hit. I need to you pull the specs on my plane. Otis is mobilizing.”
The air was sucked from Paula’s lungs and she fell back on her training. Quickly, she relayed the information Mark requested.
“Thank you, Ms. Williams. I’ll be in contact.” And just like that Mark was gone.
Paula ran to the Colonel’s office, interrupted a meeting with the Majors and told them what happened. They marched to the floor, now in confusion as to why Paula shot from the room. Paula sat at her desk and logged into their news wire per the Cols request.
“Paula, what going on?” Lisa asked.
Paula ignored Lisa, the brass waked over her shoulder until she connected her computer monitor to the six large wall mounted plasma screens, five displayed the DoD news wire and one displayed CNN (playing their regular morning news).
The room gasped as the news thread.
“Great, CNN hadn’t gotten wind of the news,” Colonel Wilson said. “They’re normally thirty minutes behind us. Who did you say was mobilizing?”
“Otis Air National Guard out of Massachusetts has been mobilized. They’ll be the first to recon the area.” Paula answered.
Colonel Wilson looked out at the awestruck faces, Military and Civilian alike. The gravity of the situation wasn’t lost on her. “We all know what to do.” She paused. “Let’s do it.” She turned and left with the rest of the brass in tow. “Paula,” she shouted. “Get someone from Otis on line and find Sgts' Willis and Lowry!”
Spread The Word
This article is part 11 of a 13 part series. Other articles in this series are shown below:
Office Politics: Part Eleven