Alcide’s house was gorgeous. It was further inland out near Black Mountain State Park. The house was a little secluded from the nearest neighbors – which I admit made me a little nervous, thanks to Eric’s warning about going to the home of a stranger. Technically, that’s pretty much what Alcide was, but I hadn’t gotten any weird vibes from him.
Then again, who thought Charles Manson was a weirdo?
I took minimal comfort in knowing I was 140 miles away from Spahn Ranch. I checked.
A big Dodge 3500 pickup truck was parked in the driveway, custom painted with a corporate logo on the side panels of the truck. Herveaux & Sons Construction. I parked behind the truck and sent Eric a text like I promised I would to let him know I had arrived at Alcide’s before I carefully got out of the SUV. I had offered to bring dessert or drinks or something but Alcide wouldn’t hear of it.
My etiquette teacher at boarding school would have been horrified if I showed up empty handed so I stopped anyway for a case of beer that Amelia had insisted I try. It was pretty good, as far as beers went. What guy didn’t like beer? Even if it was fancy chick beer?
I rang the bell and waited for Alcide to answer the front door. There was a nice little sitting area right out front with an outdoor fireplace that looked like it would be a cozy spot to sit. It was also nice and private, which was good if he wasn’t a serial killer. If he was a serial killer my body might never be found.
The door swung open and there was Alcide with all his muscles and perfect teeth.
“Hi,” I smiled back at him. “I know you said not to bring anything but you know us southern girls…”
“Beer. The way to any redneck’s heart,” he laughed as he took the case from me. “Come in.”
“Thanks.” I stepped inside when he moved back to let me in.
His house was bright and airy, which I liked.
“You have a beautiful house,” I told him.
The showing I’d gone to the other day was for exactly the kind of house I was looking for. I’d put in an offer on the place before I left. The floors were glossy hardwood and looked like that intentionally distressed cedarwood I saw on those home improvement shows that people paid out their rear end for. The windows were all big and let in lots of natural light. Everything was neutral colors so I wondered if the house was staged to sell or if maybe Alcide had just recently moved in to the place.
“Thank you, I haven’t been here long,” he said, leading me toward the kitchen.
“I just put in an offer on a place the other day,” I told him. “I haven’t heard back from my realtor yet. I think the sellers are trying to play hardball.”
“I’m sure you’ll get it,” he smiled, showing me his pearly whites. When we walked into the kitchen I noticed enough Chinese food on the counter to feed a small army. “I uh… I didn’t know what you liked so I ordered one of everything…”
“Uh yeah, I see that,” I laughed. He was serious. “I guess the ginger beer was a good choice then, huh?”
“It follows the trend. I hope you like Chinese, I didn’t even think to ask,” he chuckled.
“I do. The delivery guy in New York got to know me by name. I think he even knew my birthday,” I laughed. It was a little ridiculous, if I was being honest.
“That’s pretty sad,” he laughed with me. “I take it you go against the southern grain and don’t cook?”
I was pretty sure he knew who my family was. The Stackhouse name was a common one around the south.
“That would be correct. I was mostly raised by my boarding school teachers and nannies, none of whom taught me to cook. I can throw one heck of a dinner party, as long as it’s catered,” I told him.
“Good to know.” Alcide took the beer from me. He took me by surprise when he leaned down to give me a lingering peck on the lips. “Sorry, wanted to get that out of the way,” he whispered when he pulled back.
It was amazing how much I didn’t care that he was skipping a few steps to get to the good stuff.
“That’s okay,” I replied quietly. I liked the little charge I got from it. It had been so long since I’d kissed anyone other than Bill that I forgot what a rush it could be.
“Let’s eat,” he winked. “I’m starving.”
“Me too.” I took the plate he offered me and then started to peek into the various containers sitting on the big island. “What’s your favorite dish?”
“Chicken chow mein,” he answered. “I could eat ten cartons of it. It’s all good though. Yours?”
“Depends on the day and the restaurant. The place I used to order from all the time made the best sesame chicken I’ve ever had,” I told him. “But if I wasn’t in the mood for that I’d get Mongolian beef.”
“We have a little of each,” he said. “So, what are you doing all the way out here in San Diego?”
I located a pair of chopsticks and started to plate up my food. I realized that since I started working with Eric my plating skills had gotten much artsier than they used to be. It never really mattered to me before but I was starting to understand the importance of a good looking plate.
“I have friends out here and they were kind enough to let me stay with them after I decided getting married wasn’t the right move for me after all,” I explained.
“Ah, I see. It’s a good place to live I moved out with an ex that said she was ready to settle down. She met a guy at work that she ended up leaving me for, but I stayed. It’s beautiful out here.” Alcide’s plate was not as pretty.
“It’s gorgeous. The townhouse I put a bid on is right near the bay. The views from the rooftop deck are stunning.” I added a spring roll to my plate and some fried rice.
“I bet. I moved inland to feel a little more at home,” he said.
“I like being close to the water. There’s something soothing about it to me.” I took my plate over to the little table. “Are we eating inside or outside?”
“Outside, it’s a nice night.”
“Front or back?” He had more than one sitting area outside.
“Back.” He motioned to the door he wanted me to go out of. “I’ll grab the beer.”
I nodded and moved to the French door that opened out onto the back patio. The back of the property offered a lovely view of a nearby golf course and then the mountain in the distance. The sky was just starting to change colors. If I would have known he lived in such a pretty area I would have worn different shoes so we could go for a walk. Instead I took a seat at a little table on a cobblestone patio area.
“This is gorgeous. I don’t know how you manage to leave your house,” I told him.
“Easy, I have to make money to live here,” he laughed. “I also know this is what I get to come home to.”
“Two excellent points.” Eating rice with chopsticks was an art that took years to master and I had done it.
“So what do you do for work?” Alcide asked.
“I’m an expeditor at Northman’s Cafe,” I replied. “It turns out I have a good short term memory. I’m sure my ex would say that I’m hyper-organized.”
“It’s not a bad thing if you are. I think it’s funny that you don’t cook but you work at a café,” he chuckled. “Do you like what you do?”
“I do, actually. It’s been good for me. I’ve learned a few things just by watching the cooks and my boss has actually taken it upon himself to teach me how to cook. It’s a little sad that his eight-year-old is a better cook than I am,” I laughed.
Really, it was pathetic.
“Nah, I’m sure the two of you had extremely different upbringings. If her dad cooks for a living it makes sense,” he said.
“Oh I can guarantee we had different upbringings.” I took a bite of my chicken and it was delicious. Alcide was kind enough to twist a cap off a beer for me. The ginger went well with the Chinese food.
“I think it’s cool you’re learning. Better late than never, right?”
“That’s what I figured. My kids will want to eat at some point,” I smiled.
Mentioning kids on a first date was probably a taboo thing to do but I wasn’t going to try and hide the fact that I wanted them. If he didn’t, there wasn’t much point in getting to know each other in a romantic sense.
“Most likely,” Alcide chuckled. “How many do you want?”
“Honestly, I’m not sure. I have a brother but we’re not very close. I think my parents kind of wanted it that way so we wouldn’t gang up on them, but I’d like it if my kids had a better relationship than I have with Jason. I felt like an only child a lot of the time and that’s kind of sad. It would have been nice to have someone around who understood the nonsense that went on in our family. You know, an ally of sorts. Two would be okay but I wouldn’t mind more than that,” I told him.
He nodded. “I have a sister. We fought like cats and dogs but we were still pretty close. She’s still upset with me for moving out here,” he admitted. “She still calls me every Sunday morning though.”
“That’s awesome. I envy that. Amelia, the friend I’ve been staying with, she’s more of a sister than my brother ever was. I honestly don’t know where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for her,” I said sincerely.
And to think I told her she couldn’t stand up in my wedding?
Fuck, why was she even my friend?
“I’m sure you would’ve figured something out. You seem like a smart woman,” he said. “I’m honestly surprised you were able to get out of there without your mother tracking you down. I’ve heard stories about your family.”
“I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if she’s had someone following me the last few weeks,” I said seriously. “And I’m sure whatever you’ve heard is true. She’s a grade A control freak.”
“Don’t try to control you, check,” he joked.
“Advice is nice. A harpy telling me what to do all the time is not,” I clarified with a little chuckle.
“Good to know. What have you been getting into for fun around here? I’ve been in San Diego four years and I barely leave the house,” he told me. “I’ve been so focused on trying to get my construction business off the ground I usually just work and sleep.”
“I’m all about doing new things lately. I’m learning to cook and I rode a motorcycle for the first time ever. I also got a tattoo a little over a week ago,” I confessed. “I’ve spent a good amount of time out on the beach too. My tan thanks me for that.”
“Your tan looks good,” he smiled. “But tattoos and motorcycles? Sounds like you’re turning into a regular biker babe.”
“I don’t think so,” I laughed. “Have you heard of Dawson’s Garage? They do rebuilds on hotrods and make custom motorcycles.”
“Nope, haven’t heard of it. That’s not really my cup of tea anyway. I love my truck,” he chuckled. “The calluses on my hands are all the tattoo I need.”
“Ah ha. Well, I’m staying with the owner of the garage. My boss is a close friend of his and it was his bike I went for a ride on. It was a pretty neat experience. I enjoyed it.” We didn’t have to like all the same things.
As long as he didn’t have a problem with the things I liked we would be just fine.
He gave me a look I couldn’t really decipher. “To each their own, I guess.”
“Absolutely,” I nodded. I was sure he had interests that weren’t really my thing. If I was to go by looks alone I would have to assume he had been a football player or something in high school. I couldn’t care less about sports but if they were fun for him, that’s all that mattered.
Conversation continued throughout dinner. I learned that he did, in fact, play football in high school. He was a big Cowboys fan and had thought he might try to play pro at some point, but then he messed up his shoulder in college and that dream went out the window. His father had been in construction, which was how Alcide got into it. He had spent his summers in high school doing frame work for his father’s company back in Mississippi. It was admirable that Alcide wanted to continue a family tradition, of sorts, when it came to business.
And he was doing it because he wanted to, not just to collect a paycheck like my scuzzball brother.
“Would you like to go in?” he asked after we ate dinner.
“Sure,” I nodded. I noticed that with the sun going away the air was cooling down quite a bit.
I picked up my plate and my beer bottle to follow Alcide back into the house. It glowed nicely in the fading daylight.
“What’s your favorite part of this house?” I asked him.
“Hmm, I’d have to say my room. The view from out the window in there is amazing,” he answered. “I can show it to you if you like?”
A little voice in my head threw up a warning signal but I ignored it.
“I’d love to,” I replied.
He gave me a charming smile before he took my hand to lead me to his bedroom. When we got there the curtains were open and he did indeed have an amazing view behind his house. Alcide shifted to stand behind me, settling his large hands on my hips.
“I could stare at this view for hours,” he told me.
I smiled and asked, “Were you referring to the mountain or me?”
“Both.” I felt Alcide’s breath on my neck, quickly followed by his lips. They were soft and warm trailing up to my jaw.
He definitely knew what he was doing and even though I probably should have moved away from him I couldn’t seem to get my body to do what I told it to. Instead my head turned at the right time and his lips caught mine. At first it was a sweet, lingering peck that made my heart race but it turned into something a little more demanding pretty quick. I didn’t mind it at all.
I turned to face him and those big hands of his went right back to my hips to pull me closer to him. My lips parted and his tongue rubbed against mine. I could taste the ginger from the beer on him. He was stronger, sturdier than Bill. It was different but still nice. Very nice.
His hands started roaming which I didn’t mind either. They moved up my back first, only to about where my bra band was and then they moved south again. My head tilted to the side, moving in rhythm with the kiss. Alcide’s hands found their way to my backside and he gave me a good squeeze that made me moan into the kiss. I was easily almost a foot shorter than him.
I used that to rationalize that it was perfectly acceptable for him to not just pick me up, but set me down on his big bed. It was better for his neck, right?
Alcide continued to kiss me as he pushed me back on the bed, settling his considerable weight on me. My legs went up to wrap around his hips. Alcide took that as an invitation to rock his hips against me. I could feel him getting harder as he rocked. It was obvious he was bigger than Bill, which made me nervous and excited at the same time.
He broke the kiss after a few minutes. “I’ll be right back,” he whispered, giving me a quick peck. Alcide got up from the bed and opened his dresser drawer, producing a condom a few seconds later. “Better safe than sorry,” he winked. He tossed the foil packet on the bed before he went to turn off the bedroom light, and then rejoined me on the bed.
Sleeping with him wasn’t part of the plan but I figured out I wanted to. Badly. It was my mother’s voice telling me I’d be a slut to do it.
“Do you always seduce your first dates?” I asked him.
“If you don’t want to we don’t have to,” was his response as he settled between my thighs again.
“I was just curious.” He didn’t really answer my question which made me wonder if I was right.
“I don’t usually, no.”
Well there was that.
I stopped talking then. There were more important things to do with my mouth.