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Nana Cotton’s Secret

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Nana Cotton was soft and pretty as her name with a round, friendly face that Richard loved from the time he was eight and a half years old.

Now he was thirty-five and Nancy “Nana” Cotton was sixty-eight, but she was still soft-faced and lovely. She looked like she’d cry for you if you asked her.

But long ago, when he was eight and she lived two doors away, she would often babysit Richard, playing with him on the living room floor for a while before putting him to bed.

He couldn’t pronounce the name Nancy and so he called her Nana. Except for Richard’s mom, who thought it was funny, no one else called her by that name.

At eight-thirty sharp, she would grab Richard’s little hand and lead him to his bed. He lay down on this pillow, face up, hands across his chest, and she would pull the covers up to his chin and then lean over and kiss him on the forehead.

“I love you, Nana,” he would say, unless he was too tired to speak. And the next morning he would awaken with the sun streaming into his room and sometimes he would pretend Nana Cotton was lying there next to him.

After graduating from high school, Nana stayed at his house again but not as a babysitter this time. Some kind of bug problem – Richard was never sure what kind exactly – meant her entire home had to be tented and fumigated. Nana spent three nights in Richard’s home while he husband was out of town on a business trip.

On the first night, Richard’s parents went to bed early as they usually did, but he and Nana stayed up to watch a late movie together. They laughed about her experiences babysitting him and he blushed at all the stupid things he did growing up. At around eleven they went to bed.

He was still awake when he heard her coming down the hall. He followed her footsteps past his door. Then she stopped and quietly returned to Richard’s room.

Nana walked into his room, stood there for a moment, then walked up to his bed and leaned over to kiss him, just like she used to do years ago. Her magnificent breasts pressed against the back of Richard’s hands just as they always did. The heft of her warm tits on the back of his hands turned his cock hard and made it difficult to get much sleep at all that night.

On the second night of her stay, Nana again came into the room, but this time when she leaned down, he gave vent to his lust, turning his hands over and squeezing her breasts.

Nana was not upset. “Not so hard, sweetheart,” was all she said and he eased his grip a little, feeling the lightning flash of desire burning his loins. She let his hands remain there, her breaths increasing a little. The next night – her last night in the home – she stayed away and, though disappointed, Richard stroked himself to a monumental climax.

In a few more weeks, he was off to school. His family moved across state shortly afterward and he didn’t see or communicate with Nana Cotton for another twenty years. Then there was school. A job. A marriage.

That was when he received a phone call from his mother.

“Frank Cotton passed away last week,” she said. Frank was Nana’s husband. “You know dad had the surgery last Tuesday so we can’t travel to the funeral. We’re hoping you can go. Someone in the family should be there.”

Richard changed a few plans, placed a last minute reservation and made it into town, but late to the funeral. He stood in the back of the church.

At the end of the service, an unknown man – probably a relative – stood up and invited everybody to the house. When Nana walked by on the way out of church, she did not seem to recognize Richard. This hurt him more than he expected. Nana’s face was still soft but more lined than he remembered, her hair grayer and her figure fuller.

Richard was tempted to skip the dinner at Nana’s home since he would know no one there. He decided to make a short appearance and at least reintroduce himself. He wondered if she would even remember him.

When he got to Nana’s home, he saw the other guests feeding on the casseroles and cold cuts arrayed on the dining room table. He stepped into the queue, grabbed a plastic fork and paper plate, scooped up some potato salad, rye bread and meat and sat awkwardly on a chair with the plate in his lap.

“Richard,” came a gentle, familiar voice. He looked up past the bountiful breasts to the soulful eyes of the first woman he ever cared for and lusted after. He managed to put the plate on the table, stood up and looked down at her. He was eight again and he began to cry.

“I hurt so much for you, Nana,” he said and she wrapped him in her knowing arms, his tears falling on her shoulders.

She murmured unintelligible things and patted his back with a consoling touch, as if it was he and not she who’d lost a close family member.

“I’m so glad you came, Richard,” she said. Her eyes were hazel and wide and open to understanding every kind of hurt. “I’ve thought about you often.” She pushed him away and looked him up and down. “You’ve become a big, handsome man and not the boy I remember.”

Nana grabbed tekirdağ escort a paper napkin and touched it to her tongue before wiping it along the top of Richard’s mouth and along the side. “Potato salad is so messy,” she said, blushing a little. He remembered that she would moisten a paper towel with her lips and wipe away Kool-Aid stains on his face when he was a boy.

“You must have come a long way,” she said. “Where are you staying?”

“I don’t know,” Richard said. “I just got here. I’m sorry I’m late. I’ll find a place in town.”

“Nonsense,” Nana said. “I have two extra rooms. You’ll stay here and we’ll catch up. Just like the old days. Okay?”

Just like the old days. He felt a familiar shiver though his loins. He could refuse her nothing. Richard nodded and she patted his arm lightly before moving off to speak with another guest. A few times he saw her look in his direction and smile.

Nana’s daughter, Pagers, and her little girl, Chelsea, were also staying in Nana’s house.

Richard remembered Pagers from three decades earlier. She was about four years older than he. Different gender. Different friends. They’d never had much to do with one another.

That evening after everyone left, the three adults reminisced about Frank Cotton, laughed about his perennial battles with lawnmowers and internal combustion engines, his gentle manner.

Richard could only recall the kindness of the short man with the Friar Tuck tonsure already in his thirties. He was quiet, soft spoken, but a mystery beyond that.

At about nine, Pagers leaned over her mother and hugged her, whispered something into her ear, then hugged her again. She turned to Richard. “I’m going to bed now,” she said. “It’s been a long day and Chelsea will be up early.”

When Richard stood up to acknowledge her departure, Nana smiled. When Pagers closed the door to her bedroom, Nana went into the kitchen and brought back two glasses and a big bottle of scotch.

“My ice machine’s trying to catch up,” she said. “I hope you like it neat.”

Richard didn’t like scotch at all but he nodded and smiled as she poured two fingers into his glass.

“It wasn’t exactly a surprise about Frank,” she said, taking a long pull on her glass. “He’d been sick quite a while. I feel bad for saying it, but I was almost relieved when he passed.”

Richard said nothing. Mostly he was surprised that this saintly woman drank alcohol and was clearly comfortable doing so. He sipped slowly and felt the heat warm his throat and slowly spread to his face.

Nana laughed in that non-judgmental way, natural like a mountain waterfall. “Not a scotch drinker, huh Richard?” She stared at him a long time while saying this. Her expression was warm as always, but more probing than he remembered.

He coughed a little and tried to suppress it. “I’m getting used to it,” he said. “It’s good.”

Nana took a deep breath and put the glass down, staring off toward the dark window across the room. She said nothing for a long time and Richard remained silent too, trying not to be obvious as he scanned her mature form, her fine legs and pretty knees, still at 68-years old.

“Frank was a wonderful person,” he said, finally. “That’s what I remember about him.”

This seemed to break her reverie and she picked up the glass again and looked in his direction as if seeing him for the first time. “He was a fine man,” she said. “A good provider. A good partner. Loyal, trustworthy and honest.”

“Sounds like a Boy Scout,” Richard said, chuckling. “You two always seemed like the perfect couple.”

“Did we?” she said. “Well, things aren’t always what they seem. Are you married, Richard?”

“I was,” he said, surprised at her candor. He took another sip of the scotch and she refilled his glass. “Married the prettiest girl in school. About five years in she decided she still had a thing for the halfback and they ran off together to start their own football team.”

“Ouch,” she said.

“Yeah.”

“My folks told me Frank was a good catch,” Nana said. “Strong, good values. All the stuff parents like to see in a potential husband.” Another long drink. She’d done this before. “And they were right. He was all that.”

“So you were happy?”

“Happy is a funny word,” she said, crossing her legs so Richard caught a glance of bare thigh briefly. “You always think you can pour more in. Why can’t I be happier? Shouldn’t I be grateful for what I have?”

Richard nodded. The scotch was going down easier now and his head was light. His mood grew uncharacteristically bold. “We always want more,” he said. “That’s the way people are. What did you want?”

Nana thought about this for a while, tapped the glass rim against her front teeth. “I wanted to be willing to disappoint him. To admit to things. Dark things. And have him not be unhappy with me when he heard them. I never felt comfortable doing that.”

“Dark things,” Richard said. “I don’t think of darkness when I think of you.”

“Well, there you go,” she said, her smile forumagic.com looser now. “I’ll tell you a secret if you promise not to think less of me. Do you want to hear it?”

Richard got up and moved over to the couch next to her. He could see fine lines in her face and thick streaks of gray in her hair. He picked up her left hand. “Tell me,” he said.

She left her hand in his, looked left and right conspiratorially, and whispered to him. “Do you remember what happened when I stayed at your house that one time? It was just after you graduated from high school.”

Like he could ever forget that. Richard shook his head.

“You touched my breasts and I didn’t stop you,” she said, emptying her glass. “I didn’t want to. Does that shock you?”

If he weren’t slightly buzzed, Richard was sure he would have blushed. He shook his head as if he didn’t understand.

Nana laughed loud in that musical way of hers, then put her fingers against her mouth to dampen the sound. “You do remember,” she said and her face reddened and not from the scotch. She tapped his hand consolingly.

He took another drink, lowered his head and smiled. “How could I forget it? It was a comfort and a little naughty. It was a secret we shared. I loved you more for it.”

Nana looked at him a long time, surprised, reconsidering. He wasn’t sure which.

“I let you do it,” she said. “Even though I knew it was wrong. I felt like I was tip-toeing into a dark pond Frank would never understand. And I enjoyed it for that reason alone.”

Before long, the talk turned to his job, her flowers and his family. When he went to bed, he slept on his back like he used to do so long ago. He left the bedroom door half open and soon heard the soft padding of her feet and a sweep of light crossed his face as she opened the door and came in.

Nana sat on the edge of his bed like she always did. But this time she was wearing a medium-length nightgown and her smile was soft and gentle. Against the light from the door, he could see through the nightgown to the sway of her large breasts and the tiny tummy roll below them.

“Goodnight, Richard,” she said as she brushed his cheek with her soft, warm hand. She leaned over to kiss his forehead and Richard turned his hands palm up and cupped each soft breast while she lingered over him.

“You have a much gentler touch now,” she said to him and then kissed him lightly on the lips and he could taste the scotch there. Richard pulled her closer as she moved to get up and she smiled, as if surprised. He stroked her right breast and moved his right hand down her back to the soft pillow of her ass, pulling her forward. He kissed her more firmly, gently probing her mouth with his tongue until she responded, though a little tentatively.

“I love you, Nana,” he said, before cupping both breasts again and finally dropping his hands and closing his eyes.

**************************************

Richard awoke next morning with a sense of fresh intimacy, a smile and a hardon.

Nana wished him a cheerful good morning as he strode into the kitchen wearing only his pajama bottoms and no shirt. She tended to bacon and sausage on the griddle while a stack of cooked hotcakes huddled against a corner.

“Eggs?” she asked. “I feel like making a big breakfast today.”

She wore a robe over her nightgown but neither hid the smoothness of her bare calves or the proud ass underneath.

He walked up to her and turned her around as she muttered a half-hearted objection. She looked at his bare chest and smiled as if he was an energetic boy trying to be mischievous.

Then he placed his hands on each side of her face and pulled her lips to him. Even as she did so, he was surprised at how wide her face was, how warm. She closed her eyes as he pressed his wet lips against her dry ones but within seconds, he knew it was a mistake.

His hardon, which had stayed mercifully clear of her body, drooped away in humiliation. His tongue, which poked at her mouth, was blocked by adamantly shut teeth. She turned away sharply and flipped the sausages which needed no flipping.

Only dots of color on both wide cheeks betrayed any emotion at all. Richard sat down at the table, said nothing, and finally asked if he could pour out orange juice to which Nana nodded absently.

It took two plates to carry all the food to the table but neither of them ate much. Richard had a single strip of bacon and half a link sausage. Nana had a single hotcake and drank all the juice.

Richard returned to his room, showered and got dressed. When he returned to the kitchen, Nana’s daughter, Pagers, and her daughter Chelsea were supping hungrily on the hotcakes. Suitcases rested against the far wall.

” ‘Morning, Richard,” she said. “I thought Chelsea would get me up early, but I guess all of yesterday’s excitement wore her out.” Richard looked guiltily at Nana but she was smiling at Chelsea. “Mom said she’d drive us to the airport but she’s the slowest driver on the planet.”

“I’ve got a rental car,” Richard said. “And I’m already dressed. Let me take you.”

Pagers stuffed a piece of bacon into her mouth and Richard could see that her face would grow broad like her mother’s in a few decades. “I was hoping you’d say that,” she said, looking just a little bit guilty.

Hurried good-byes followed and Richard broke more than a few speed limits getting her to the airport on time.

“Mom’s a little lonely,” Pagers said. “I wish I could stay longer but work . . . She needs to pack some things up. Get on with the business of moving on. If you can’t stick around to help, that’s fine. I’ll be back at Thanksgiving.” But her eyes looked imploringly at Richard’s.

“I’ll play it by ear,” he said and she patted his hand and kissed him on the cheek. Then they were gone.

When he returned to Nana’s home, she was dressed in a long blouse and ankle-length skirt. She was stripping the beds in Pagers’ room so Richard found a dish towel and dried and put away the breakfast dishes. Nana walked into the kitchen looking uncomfortable but managed to smile unevenly when she saw him at work.

“Why Pagers?” Richard asked while draping the towel over a rack next to the refrigerator.

“What?”

“It’s an unusual name,” he said. “Where did it come from?”

This served the purpose of defusing the earlier uncomfortableness. It turned out her daughter’s given name was Katherine but when she was an infant, she squeaked in a way that reminded Nana of her husband’s office pager.

“Nobody calls her Katherine anymore,” Nana said, blushing. “Maybe at work, I don’t know.”

The blousy white shirt only suggested at the bounty underneath. A long silence hung between them before he spoke again.

“I didn’t make a reservation for a return flight,” he said. “It’s probably too late for today but I can be out of here tomorrow. If that’s okay.”

She patted his hand without looking at him. Said nothing.

Richard returned to his room and stuffed the few clothes he brought into his carryon bag. There was a light knock on the door.

“You know,” she said, actually blushing now, “I could use a little help moving a few boxes into the garage. If you don’t mind.”

“I don’t mind at all,” he said.

Apparently she had packed a lot of husband Frank’s clothes away after his sickness began eating away at his once robust frame. Richard moved them onto a high shelf in the garage then, without prompting, hung up the remainder of his clothes in a small closet built into a corner.

It took less than an hour to do it all.

When he returned to the living room, Nana was sitting on the couch, nursing some kind of drink.

“Does Cascade Park still have those beautiful gardens?” he asked her.

She looked up and tried to smile. He couldn’t tell if she had been crying. “Yes,” she said. “The daffodils are gone but I’ll bet the tulips are in bloom.”

She got into his car and they drove to the city park, surprised he still remembered the way. Red and yellow tulips festooned the beds along the walkway. The two of them walked arm in arm only occasionally passing anyone else. Nana brushed some of the tulip heads until yellow pollen coated her fingers.

“Did you know you can eat tulip leaves?” she said, touching her tongue to her fingers. “They’re a little sweet.”

“And the pollen?” Richard asked.

Nana turned away and tried to spit in a ladylike way. “Not as good,” she said.

They both laughed and she snuggled closer to him, her right breast firm against his elbow. “This is nice,” she said. “I needed this.”

Nana reached up to kiss him on the cheek, letting her lips linger before looking away shyly. The spots of color bloomed quickly on her cheeks like red tulips opening to the spring.

They had lunch in town after the garden stroll. He enjoyed watching her back out of the passenger side seat, her round ass and fine legs showing off to advantage in the midday sun. When they returned to the car after lunch, she held his hand and, to Richard’s surprise, kissed the top of it once.

“You stay as long as you want, Richard,” she said. “I’ve forgotten how much fun it is having you around.” Then she patted his hand the way an aged aunt might when she saw her young nephew after a long separation.

That evening they enjoyed a light dinner after the late lunch downtown. She sat on one end of the couch while Richard sat on the other. She enjoyed game shows and called out answers in a loud voice, getting them wrong most times, then laughing at herself. After the shows were over, she went to the cupboard and removed two tumbler glasses. She lifted one up to Richard with a questioning glance.

“Sure,” he said.

“And today I’ve got ice,” she said, giggling.

They watched some mindless programs for a while and Nana downed two glasses of scotch.

“We used to do this when I babysat you all those years ago,” she said, looking at him, a glow on her face that wasn’t a reflection from the television. “Do you remember?”

He hadn’t until she mentioned it but then it came back to him. “Yes,” Richard said, smiling widely. His mouth, unused to scotch, felt slightly anesthetized. “I would lay in your lap and fall asleep. I forgot about that.”

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