A Short Story About True Love

He was a fairly worldly man, just to the left of sixty. Not bad looking, a quiet type, you might call him…unless of course you knew something more than the staged public persona. In private, he had a capacity for clowning that most would never know. But she knew. He had made her laugh a thousand fold already. And she could cross him right up with her infectious laugh and clever retorts. She had his height in every way. Only a year his junior, yet to look at her you would think a decade younger. A sexy, leggy lady with a no-nonsense style…unless you happened to be one of the chosen few who she treated to her consummate mind and her swift wit. They both had been loners, enjoying privacy and the pleasure of their own company. You might just say this was a match made in heaven. You might just say this guy and this gal were nutso-smack-dab-bonkers in love.

They loved and felt things with the same ferocity as hormonal teens young enough to be their grandkids. The truth is, they could not keep their hands off each another. The truth is that neither of them had the slightest doubt that they were actually in their frisky twenties. She employed hundreds of ways to keep him interested. It came natural to her. Hiking up her skirt while he was trying to drive the car was a favorite of both. He would try to ignore her, and she would tease him unrelentingly until she won the game as evidenced by the bulge in his pants. If he hadn’t yet cried “uncle” she would slip off her right shoe, cross the right thigh over the left and slowly reach for his lap with her foot and caress him with her naked toes. Or perhaps while making their salad she might probe him gently with a wooden spoon in any number of secret places that thrilled him. Once, while he was perfecting a French Dijon sauce to put over the capons he had grilled, she lay on her back on the kitchen floor and proceed to make extremely suggestive motions with her hips and legs. He took a spoon of his creamy sauce, blew on it to cool it and then knelt over her. She began to giggle as he raised her skirt over her hips and dripped his sauce into her navel and licked it up passionately. He would rise and intone, “Hmmm…just a dash of paprika.” Yes, he could reciprocate when she was naughty. He had a look that could melt her…bring her to her knees. They delighted in the attraction they felt and displayed to one another.

It was opening day at Santa Anita Race Track. She was out for a month-long stay to work into her new job before going back to the swamps to sell her pickup truck and pet gator. Her worldly goods were already en route to his town house. He was an excellent handicapper and he was excited about teaching her the game, because he suspected that ultimately she would probably become his equal, if not superior when it came to picking winners. “Hey, you picked me, didn’t you?” he’d quip, and without missing a beat she would counter, “Sure, I picked the longest shot on the board…the old gray one.” Mostly though, today he wanted her to take in the wonderful throwback ambiance of the place with its rich Deco decor and lush gardens, the scenic mountain backdrop and the paddock which played host to some of the most beautiful horse flesh in the world. He wanted her to enjoy as he did the grace and exquisite beauty of these thoroughbreds. She had always reminded him of an exquisite, spirited thoroughbred filly.

They had not yet scored a race although they were very much alive in the pick-six. He was going over the form with her, showing how to glean trainer intent and how to compute speed ratings.

Then it happened. It was just a simple move really. She leaned in to him and pointed to a set of calculations he had scrawled on the form. Suddenly he saw nothing but the smooth texture of her hand and delicate sculpted elegance of her fingers. He lost all concentration as he felt her nuzzle him lightly on the neck. A quick little electric synapse went off and exploded several million little nerve endings. The Daily Racing form became limp in his lap but fuel fired in his eyes and he turned to her slowly and deliberately as in a slo-mo sequence on screen. Her mouth was just barely parted. His nostrils flared at that quick, allusive waft of something that only her body could invent. She met his eyes with a challenge that melted into simple girlish innocence.He moved to her. Her hand caressed his tanned cheek. His hand found the small of her back, and like a master of the Tango he pulled her in to him. They kissed. 

A fat Swedish mound of a lady across the aisle looked over and then quickly averted her eyes from a mixture of embarrassment and titillation. Two little boys pointed and giggled. A young girl at the rail happened to turn and see the kiss. Tears formed from the memory of her parent’s last fight. A delicate bleached blonde man sitting sidesaddle in his chair gave a secretive, side glance and swiveled in his seat. The pork-fed man in the stained Panama who sat behind them sneered slightly…an automatic cynical tick. Seated dutifully at his side was an ancient dyed-redheaded woman with ashy roots hugging her flaking scalp.

The couple in love pulled back from the tender kiss and just looked at each other. A bit of breath-catching from them both and then a gentle smile.

The cynic leaned forward and with a flaccid forefinger tapped the man and said, “Mister, I’m a gambling man. I just made a $100 wager with my wife. You guys haven’t been screwing for more than a month. Right? You guys ain’t havin’ known each other more than four weeks, huh? Do I got it right?” he snorted.

The woman in love turned to her man as if to say, “Daddy, do you want to take this one or shall I?” He said softly, “Go ahead, Angel, he’s all yours.” She turned to the couple behind them, a slight patrician lift to the head, “Actually, no—you tedious jackanapes. On May 25, we celebrated our fortieth anniversary, not that it is any of your fucking business. Now go out and buy your sweet wife a $100 hat.”

The end

Epilogue: As luck would have it, the couple had bet two long shots in the seventh race. Neither wager was based on sound logic; the bets were made just for fun and because of the names of the two horses. His was Cyranose with odds of 135:1, and hers was Queen Bee at 320:1. In a mock contest, hey had both bet their ponies to win and made a side bet coupling the two horses in the quinella. The race broke a thirty-seven year record for a payoff when the two thoroughbreds hit the wire in a photo finish dead heat. Two of the track’s armed guards escorted the couple and their cash to his classic red sports car. The engine roared in cachinnation  as the lovers headed up the Pacific coast.