I looked out over the pool to a pristine beach not one hundred steps below the chlorinated water. To the left, I saw trees and a stone fence, to the right, more palm trees and the same stone fence. Both fences transitioned into a jagged rock wall that defined the perimeter of the private beach. I couldn't see the neighbors on either side. It was perfect.

I heard the real estate agent exit the sliding glass door. She was a heavy-set woman, impeccably dressed, with a phony happy sales attitude. I didn't care for her much. She wore a bit too much perfume and always thought she knew what was best for me. Of course, I didn't really care for anyone so she was at a disadvantage to begin with.

"I'll take it." I said without turning to look at her. I heard her high heels stop on the rock patio.

"You haven't really looked at the house, Mr. Tomlinson." There she goes trying to control my thoughts again. I was only interested in the privacy. This place blocked out the rest of the world. It would be my private little slice of heaven. The house was devoid of furniture which was a good thing. It meant it was already vacant and I could close the deal quickly.

"Make the offer Mrs. Johnson. Full asking price." I raised my hand in hopes she would see that I had already made my decision. This was the fourth place I looked at and the first to meet my original qualifications. If she had just listened, she could have sold it this morning and not wasted half my day.

"Are you sure? I am quite confident we can negotiate it down ten, maybe twenty percent." God, I am glad she doesn't work for me. I would fire the bitch on the spot. What part of "make the offer" didn't she understand? I wanted the property and didn't want to deal with anyone any longer than absolutely necessary. I turned to her.

"Make the offer. Full asking price." I made it sound a bit ominous. Why did I have to repeat myself? I hated the need for agents. She stepped back a bit and reached into her purse for her phone.

"Of... of course, Mr. Tomlinson." She fumbled her phone, and it almost dropped to the stone patio. "I'll have the papers drawn up immediately. They will want ten percent in earnest money." She was back to her business self. "Would you like me to bring the paperwork to you tomorrow morning?" Like I wanted to see this woman first thing in the morning or ever again for that matter.

"A Monica Rose will call you and complete the purchase." I started walking back through the house toward my car. I wasn't interested in a conversation or politely accompanying her out. Happily, I chose not to ride with Johnson so I hopped in my car and sped off.

I entered the hotel at the rear entrance. I don't have to feign niceties to the staff that way. I needed to get my new house livable as soon as possible. I expected to close by end of next week. I had enough lawyers on the payroll to make sure that it would go smoothly. I would need furniture and all the other necessities to make it home. I called up one of the few people in the world I respected.

"Monica, its Dale Tomlinson." Monica handles things for me. She doesn't discuss options and try to help. She just does.

"Mr. Tomlinson, what can I do for you?" Yes, that's what I like to hear. No bullshit niceties. Just business.

"I am purchasing a beachfront home and need it furnished and move-in ready as soon as possible." Watch her work.

"This week, sir." She sounded a bit hesitant. Not like her at all.

"That is what 'as soon as possible means.' " I usually didn't have to repeat myself to her.

"Of course sir! Address?" I could almost see her writing it down as I regurgitated it. I told her to talk with Mrs. Johnson to finalize the sale and to access the property.

"Style?" I told her it would be classic comfort. I intended to spend a lot of time there. I don't think it was an actual style, but Monica had a wonderful way of interpreting my needs.

"Budget?" Whatever it takes. I didn't want to limit her creativity. I was going to actually live there.

"I will get a flight out tomorrow." She was fast. That's why I liked her. I don't think she cared for me personally, but that was unimportant. I knew she liked my business, and she charged me well for her speed. Fine with me; I can always make more money. It's time that is at a premium. What's funny is that I have only met her in person a couple of times. Now I just call her with what I want and it's done. I couldn't think of a more perfect arrangement. I hung up the phone—no need for goodbyes.

It took three weeks to occupy the house. Damn owners were out of country, and I had to wait till they returned. They should have made arrangements for a possible sale before they left. Assholes pretty much ruined a week of my life. I really hate people. On the other hand, Monica was wonderful as always. The house was move-in ready. I was sure it cost me an arm and a leg, but it was worth it. Even the kitchen and bar were stocked. I only had to transfer my personal effects, and I was home.

I wasn't sure why she had put a pool table in the rec room. I never have guests so it won't get any use. I guess it was just there to take up the large space available. The pool had way too many lounge chairs, but I guess it gave the area a more lived in look. The beach itself was exactly as I envisioned. One lounger under a giant umbrella. This is why I bought the place. I aimed to spend a good portion of my life lying in that chair, reading books and letting the gentle waves wash away the rest of the world. This was paradise as far as I was concerned.

I walked down to the sand, and sure enough, the waves were playing a symphony on the bordering breaker rocks. Civilization was drowned out. The adjoining beaches were completely blocked from view so I could expect zero interruptions. I was so pleased, I decided not to go back up. I stripped to my boxers and lined the lounger up for maximum shade time. I loved the beach, the waves, and the warmth. I could do without the sun. It was way too bright and made me sweat. I lay back and let the sound of the waves roll over my body. This was by far the best purchase I had ever made. It wasn't long before I was sound asleep. It was just that peaceful.

The damn sun woke me about two hours later. It began to roast my feet by the time I had pulled myself from dreamland. There has to be an umbrella that tracks the sun. I vowed to find one as I snapped my knees up to cool my feet. There is always something in this universe that likes to screw with my well-being. Today, it was the sun.

I returned inside and fired up my laptop. It was time to review my trades. I had inherited a huge bond portfolio just before the 2008 crash. My grandmother, the only person I ever enjoyed being around, had conservatively purchased munis, federal and triple A corporate bonds. She purchased them from selling off my grandfather's position in a highly profitable internet firm at his death. She was a lovely woman whose passing I took hard. Having lost my parents early in life, Grandma was my rock and my soul. As the bonds matured and the munis were called, I dumped the money into the stock market. My timing couldn't have been better. When everyone was selling, I was buying. I grew a $100 million portfolio into a half billion dollar empire with me as the emperor.

Most people didn't even know my name, and I liked it that way. Money can buy power and influence. I used it to ensure my isolation. Monica was my wall against the world. She would handle all the crap that the money generated when it was spent. She, unfortunately, was becoming a bit irreplaceable. I paid her generously in hopes that she never moved on. It would be almost impossible to find anyone who could match her efficiency. I sometimes got shivers thinking about life without her.

With my portfolio looking as good as ever, I started opening cabinets in the kitchen looking for something to eat. Monica had seen to that with her usual perfection. There were plates and silverware, a drawer full of take-out menus sorted by Yelp ratings, the fridge and freezer filled with food, and one cabinet filled to the doors with wonderful cans of heaven. My one vice was SpaghettiOs.

High School was hell for me. I had never fit in so I spent four years trying to stay far away from others. When I failed, I suffered. I wasn't big enough, not good looking enough, and I never knew what to say. There was only one person who didn't care about my awkwardness. My Grandma would be waiting for me to return home and could tell from my expression what kind of day I had. My best memories of high school were sitting in the kitchen eating SpaghettiOs with my Grandma. It may sound sad to others, but to me it was a wonderful stress-free environment. Just the smell of the canned wonder cooking on the stove would let me forget my nameless torturers. To this day, those cans brought Grandma back to my mind. Monica was priceless; she knew me well.

I poured a can into a pot on the stove and sat back to enjoy the aroma. Just like the waves, the smell washed away the world. I could almost see Grandma's smiling face. I tried not to eat it every day so I wouldn't get bored. I grabbed a bowl and poured a serving and headed off to the flat panel to watch a movie. A nap on the beach, SpaghettiOs and a good movie. This day was better than most. I made a mental note to eat something a bit more nutritious later.

Besides some annoying interruptions by assholes that needed my signature, my week went fairly well. I allocate one day a week to clean house and do the laundry. I had a maid once, but I just couldn't stand having her around. The repeated "good mornings" and "how are you todays" made me want to puke. I decided it was easier on my soul to just handle it myself. Hell, it was the only real work I had to do anyway. It was almost therapeutic. One day of work made the other six days more valuable.

It was about four o'clock when I finished the final load a laundry. It being summer, I still had a good four hours of good beach time left. I grabbed a book, donned my swimming trunks, and headed to my lounger. I mentally kicked myself for forgetting to research a self-adjusting umbrella. I began to adjust the umbrella and felt a sharp pain in my ankle as my foot dug into the sand. Something jabbed me hard right below where the ankle bone stuck out. I whipped my foot up and saw two small welts just above the heel. It didn't look that serious although it was a bit sore. It must have been some glass or something in the sand. Just another thing trying to ruin my day.

I lay on the lounger and opened my book at the marker. It wasn't a great book, but I had a rule about finishing every book I start. It even paid off one time with a fantastic ending that made the slog through the rest more than worthwhile. I flexed my leg and ankle a bit trying to shake off the noticeable discomfort from the sand bite. I figured I would be stuck with the pain till I was able to sleep it off tonight. I went back to my book.

An incessant uneven humming began to disturb my world. I looked up from the book and saw a boat breaking the waves not far off shore. It seemed too small for the ocean. Every time a wave went by, it pulled the small engine out of the water and it emitted a high pitched scream. Fucking idiots. They had a whole ocean to play in, and they picked my back yard. I went back to my book figuring they would pass in a moment. The engine got louder as I read.

I looked back up and saw the small craft heading toward my beach. It sounded like the throttle was opened all the way. I lost the grip on my book and it dropped closed. "Son of a bitch!" I said as I realized I would have to spend the next five minutes trying to find my place again. I was really beginning to dislike the captain of the annoying vessel. The boat wasn't slowing and was still heading to my beach. If they thought they were landing here, they had better think again. I grabbed my phone in case I had to call the police.

The boat began veering off to the left toward the breakwater. The idiots should be able to see the rocks. That's all I need is a smashed up boat to ruin my pristine view. "Hey, wake up!" I shouted and waived my arm. The boat kept coming and didn't slow a bit. I screamed again, signaling with both arms, but the boat stayed to its course and slammed into the rocks. I heard wood give way when it hit and saw what looked like a naked body fly out toward the rocks.

I stood quickly from my chair. A little too quickly as my leg had seemed to go numb a bit. I moved toward the shore trying to work the sleep out of it yelling for whoever would listen. "Hey asshole! This is a private beach." I received no response, but saw something bobbing close to shore. It looked like a body. Fuck, that's all I need. Someone came all the way to my house to die. I moved quickly to water in hopes of forestalling a visit from the coroner. My arm didn't really want to cooperate as numbness ran up my side and toward my neck. I moved quickly into the shallows and rolled what I now realized was a naked woman onto her back.

She sputtered a little water out of her mouth and looked up to me with hugely dilated eyes. "Should have just left me," she said with a Spanish accent before she broke into laughter. Pissed, I grabbed her wrist and began pulling her lethargic body toward the sand with my good arm. Her head was oozing a bit of blood although it didn't look too serious. Suddenly, pain forced me to my knees. Something was really wrong. I didn't have any energy to stand back up. My whole chest felt like it was collapsing in on itself. I dropped her arm and remembered my phone. I picked the first number in my recent list and dialed Monica.

"Monica... Monica." I couldn't finish the sentence. I didn't have enough air in my lungs. I realized I might be dying. A wave a fear ran through me. I wasn't ready to go yet. I haven't even finished the book.

"Fuck! You're having a heart attack!" The woman sat up, and two rather attractive breasts bounced on her chest. She was failing miserably at trying to hold back laughter. My vision was drifting in and out which made the whole situation surreal. I fell backward, half in and half out of the water. She grabbed my phone before it got wet. "Mr. Private Beach needs a doctor." She laughed into the phone and threw it over her shoulder into the water. The last thing I remember was her Spanish laughter as she straddled my stomach.

I awoke in a quiet beige and white sanitized room. I could barely hear movement and muffled conversations beyond the door. My memory came back slowly. Obviously, I survived. I moved my arm and leg, and the numbness was gone. That was a good sign. I tried to sit up and decided it really wasn't worth the effort. Still a bit weak. I closed my eyes again and was soon fast asleep.

"Mr. Tomlinson... Mr. Tomlinson?" A woman's voice woke me from my sleep. "Good morning, Mr. Tomlinson," she added when my eyes opened. It was a nurse, dressed in a blue set of smocks. "You're in St. Vincent's. You experienced a sudden cardiac arrest." No shit, I thought. Even the naked lady on the beach knew that. "Dr. Heller wanted me to wake you up before he began his rounds." She checked an IV bag that was attached to my arm. "Would you like to sit up?"

"Yes." I said a bit hoarsely. I was feeling a bit vulnerable fully on my back. She adjusted the bed a bit and then helped me raise my shoulders.

"I'll get you some fresh water." She grabbed a pitcher that was next to the bed and headed out the door. At least I had a private room. The walls seemed thick enough so I didn't feel crushed by the number of people that were obviously in the building. All in all, it could have been a lot worse.

She returned with a full pitcher and a cup with a built-in lid and straw. It looked a little juvenile, but I was pretty thirsty. She filled the cup and place it in my hand. For a second there, I thought she was going to hold the cup to my lips so I kind of fumbled the handoff. Good thing it had a lid. I took a few sips and relieved my dry throat.

"Do you have any questions?" She looked at me quizzically. I wasn't sure what to ask. I felt kind of like I had to ask something.

"Yes! How did I get here?" It was simple enough and showed I wasn't completely without my wits.

"I wasn't here last night, but I understand you were brought in by helicopter." She said pointing to the roof. "You were very lucky. I understand you flat-lined in transit, but the paramedics were able to revive you. Dr. Heller will have to explain the treatment you received once you arrived. He should be here in a few minutes." Fuck, I died in a helicopter. As if on cue, the doctor wearing the same color smocks as the nurse walked in with a clipboard.

"Good morning Mr. Tomlinson." This was getting a bit repetitive. "It's good to see you awake." I felt the need to respond.

"Good morning." I said. A lot of my hoarseness was gone.

"I'm Dr. Heller, and I was the attending physician when you came in last night." He looked up from the clipboard. "You had a very close call. Luckily you had some good first aid." He went over to a terminal on the wall that was wired to a clip on my left finger. After playing with the settings a bit he returned his face to mine again. "We were unable to locate a next of kin so I had to accept that Monica..." he looked at his clipboard "Rose was acting in your interest."

"Yes, she always does." I said carefully.

"You were stung on the foot by a jellyfish." He was looking at me closely. "You had a rather strong allergic reaction and your heart stopped. Usually these things are just uncomfortable, but reactions like yours are not completely uncommon."

"I don't remember going in the water." I tried hard to think back.

"Actually, the animal can remain quite potent a few days after death. You could have just step on one on the beach." He leaned over the bed and disconnected the clip on my finger. I remembered the sting when I was adjusting that damn umbrella.

"Are there any lasting effects?" I wiggled my toes again to make sure they were still working right.

"No." He chuckled. "At least not normally. Some Benadryl for the symptoms. The toxin flushes itself out in a few days. Believe it or not, we're only going to keep you overnight. Once we make sure you won't relapse, we'll release you." He was pretty cheerful sounding. "You should be able to continue on with your life as normal, but I would recommend you see a cardiologist in a week so just to make sure there is no permanent damage." Wow, drive-through medicine.

"Thanks, Doctor." I wasn't sure if there was a protocol for what to say to someone who saved your life. I was afraid to add any embellishments that might sound fake. He just patted my on the shoulder.

"I'll see you before you leave tomorrow." He walked out to continue his rounds.

"Monica Rose is waiting outside to see you. Do you feel up to a visitor?" The nurse smiled like it was a good thing. I wasn't excited about seeing her in my weakened state, but I am sure she was instrumental in my survival.

"Yes, of course." I tried to smile because I felt the nurse expected me too. I hated dealing with people. Everything felt uncomfortable. Good thing I was going home tomorrow. She opened the door and waved Monica in on her way out.

"I understand you're going home tomorrow." Monica didn't say hello. God she was easy to talk to.

"Yes. I guess I have you to thank for the helicopter and private room." I almost died. I have to thank someone or they might just let me go next time.

"Actually, it is Mia Perez you need to thank. You will get the bill for my services." She wasn't smiling just all business

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The past year for Cheri had been about as boring as a year could get. She couldn't even find a guy who wanted to go see SUNSET OF THE LIVING DEAD with her! "I mean," she sighed, "I thought ALL guys liked these scary flicks. Or is it just me they don't like? Maybe it's because I keep insisting that they rub my feet for me. Oh, sure, they're all ready and willing to rub other things...but my feet? Oh, GOD FORBID!" She sighed, taking the soda from the man behind the counter and throwing entirely too much money at him for it. She got her ticket torn and walked back to the screening room, still bemoaning her less than satisfying personal life. Work had been pure hell, and she was tired and aggravated. She'd worn a brand new pair of shoes to work and had paid the price for not waiting until they were properly broken in first. The shoes seemed to have teeth...gnawing on her delicate feet for eight nonstop hours. All she wanted to do was drown her sorrows in soda and zombies. It was a little too early to eat, though, so the soda would be enough until after the movie. That was the beauty of coming to the theater directly from work. She could see a great horror flick and then pick up some fast food on the way home. Great entertainment, and no dishes to wash. Couldn't be any better. Well,...unless she had a man to share this coup with, of course. She smiled as her brain added, a man who'd maybe rub her sore feet while she watched the movie. She sighed. What were the chances of finding a decent guy at all, let alone one who'd be willing to pamper her achy feet for her? She mentally slapped herself, telling herself she needed to come back to reality. Inside the theater, the usual boring ads were screening...the usual pleas to buy the theater's popcorn and candy at ridiculous prices. She ignored them as she chose a seat several rows up and near the center. She plopped into it, tired and feeling a bit down, despite knowing that she'd soon be watching a movie she'd waited months to see. Exhausted from the day's stress, she sunk deep into the seat, a soft sigh escaping her lips. She took a quick sip of her soda, then placed it and the napkins in the convenient cup holder in the arm of the seat. Now it was time to get down to business...to get comfortable once and for all on this otherwise crappy day. Putting toe to heel, she grunted and strained to get her right shoe off. It resisted. She persevered, and finally got the evil shoe to slip off her foot, though not without a fight. It was a good thing she was wearing thigh highs, as the silkiness of the nylon helped her foot to slide free of the stubborn leather. The shoe was pushed free of her foot with a loud "whoosh"ing noise - the sound of silky nylon rejecting cloying leather - after which it clunked to the floor, landing somewhere in the darkness beneath her seat. It's evil twin soon followed. Cheri noted that the theater was empty, and that the movie was due to begin in only minutes. Figuring most people were still at work and the theater would probably be empty throughout the movie, she felt secure enough to lift her legs and rest them on the seat back just in front of her. She stretched and wiggled her toes, spreading them to see what the gossamer nylon looked like with the light of the movie screen peering through it from behind. There was still enough light in the room for her to see her blue toenails, even through the sheer nylon. For some reason, blue nail polish always seemed to make her toes seem even cuter. She admired her toes. She'd always thought her feet were pretty, which is why she couldn't understand why men didn't want to play with them. "What's wrong with my feet?" she thought, and then answered herself, "Not a damn thing. Those are two cute feet ya got there, Cheri. Men are just too focused on other body parts to appreciate them, but those feet are damn sexy. If men can't see that, to Hell with them...every last tit-groping one of them!" She took another look at the nylons. Nope...her feet weren't comfortable enough...free enough. They needed total comfort...and they deserved it, after the day she'd had. So, lowering her legs, she crossed her left calf over her right knee and removed the stocking from her left foot. Changing legs, she repeated the nylon removal on the other foot. When she had removed both, she simply dropped them, letting them drift softly to the floor to join her rejected shoes. Ahh...now her cute, neglected piggies were totally free. Back up over the seat back they went. Again, she admired her feet, the blue-painted toes even more attractive wiggling free of the nylon. She stretched her legs as straight and far as they'd go, and fantasized some cute, attentive man holding them by the heels and romantically pleading to kiss her lacquered toes, asking sweetly with puppydog eyes if he could pretty please massage them for her. She smiled and sighed, even though she knew it was all just a sweet, impossible dream. Men! Damn their selfish hides! Cheri sipped her soda, smiling as the cool air of the air conditioned room soothed her bare feet as they dangled and wiggled in front of her. Her feet, once hot from the suffocating shoes, were now being nicely cooled by the moving air. She could even feel the cool air moving between her toes when she spread them apart. She giggled at the feel of it. As she saw the light sneaking between her spread toes, she sighed. The imaginary man who'd begged to rub and kiss her feet was now smiling wickedly at her...leaning forward...opening his mouth...sticking out his tongue...slipping it between her toes. She squirmed in the seat, feeling a burning itch begin between her legs. The itch intensified when she saw the dashing fellow slowly take her toes, one by one, into his mouth and suck them, licking the underside of each as he did. Her pulse quickened and she sighed heavily, feeling the urge to slip a hand between her legs and play in her sweating honeypot. So intense was the erotic flood of sensations tingling every inch of her body as she fantasized in greater and greater detail about her attractive foot admirer, that her vision got blurry. She could barely see her wiggling feet, her now hormone-jazzed toes dancing, curling and flexing madly. The lit screen beyond those toes almost didn't exist at all, except as an aid in illuminating and highlighting her feet. She didn't sip her soda,now, but gulped it, hoping the icy liquid would go through her body all the way to her burning sex and yearning toes to quench the growing flames of desire searing ever hotter in both locations. It was just as she was humorously pretending she could see steam rising from her feet and from between her legs thanks to the flame extinguishing soda, that light flooded one side of the theater. Someone else had entered the dimly lit room and was walking toward the rows of seats. "Damn," she thought, "another few minutes and I could've had myself one heck of an orgasm right here in my seat!" In the darkness, she scowled at the newcomer who made her imaginary foot lover disappear. The silhouette walking toward the seats slowly took more distinctive shape. It was a man...by himself. "Oh, wonderful," she thought, "just what I need. Some loser without a girlfriend who skulked around watching horror movies all by himself." But, then, she realized that except for gender, she was doing the exact same thing...and she definitely did not consider herself a loser. "Oh, okay," she conceded, "maybe he's not a loser. But, still, he'll probably be grossed out by me putting my feet up on the seat in front of me. He might even ask me to take my feet down. Well, screw him...I'm comfortable, and he doesn't have to sit anywhere near me. We're the only two people in here, so he has lots of far away seats to choose from. If he DARES ask me to put my feet down after the day I've had, I'll show him how my feet can turn his balls into earmuffs!" The man walked slowly - his eyes possibly adjusting to the dim lighting? - deciding where he wanted to sit...and then made a beeline for Cheri, walking to the row of seats in front of hers. He seemed to hesitate at first, but then continued. Sure enough, he headed down that aisle, walking ever closer to her cool, comfy feet. She tensed for a confrontation. She pictured his balls wrapped around his ears, warming them nicely. The thought amused her greatly, and she prepared her litany of exotic threats should he even mention the word "feet" in anything but a pleading-to-kiss-them manner. Slowly he walked past seat after seat. Along the way, he spilled some of his popcorn. Oh, great, Cheri thought...just my luck...a clumsy, nerdy loser. Her luck, she feared, was running true to form. She watched him advance down the aisle, bumping into seats and depositing puffed kernels of popcorn onto the sticky floor for the hired help to clean up later. Finally, only three seats from Cheri's comfortably propped feet, he sat down, still seeming awkward and uncoordinated. When he looked her way, she smiled at him. He WAS cute, after all, in a klutzy sort of way. He smiled back pleasantly, if a little shyly. Still, she made no move to take her feet off their perch. In fact, if anything, they wiggled and danced more than ever...perhaps defiantly. She giggled to herself, wondering if she wasn't subconsciously hoping to tease and entice this stranger into desiring her feet...to the point where he'd fall on his knees and beg just to kiss her big toe...fawning away at her feet. But then reality slammed her back down to earth, and she realized that was a hopeless fantasy. Her swoony smile reverted back to gritty defiance. And just that quickly her thoughts went from pussy-moistening reverie to "If he doesn't like my feet up like this....TOUGH!!" After sitting down and seeming to settle into his seat, the man unexpectedly got up and slid smoothly to his left, moving yet another seat closer to her. Cheri only assumed that the floor was extra sticky in front of his original seat, or that the cup holder was broken, or some such. She thought nothing much of the move, but again tensed for a confrontation should he ask her to move her feet. Then she noticed something that first took her by surprise, and then started the gears turning in her head. Did she imagine it, or was this guy actually sneaking peeks at her feet? Was he going to ask her to move them after all (at his own peril)? No...she didn't think so. It seemed he couldn't keep from looking at them. But the look on his face when he did glance over was not one of disgust or even inconvenience. No, he seemed to be...yes..he definitely was!...he was smiling!! He even appeared to slink down in his seat so he could glance over more discreetly...so she wouldn't notice him looking! Suddenly, Cheri was getting warm all over. Lifting her hand to her mouth, she tried to stifle an excited, giddy giggle. She didn't do a very good job of it, and the giggle escaped. She wondered if the man heard her, because he seemed to stiffen and then slink down lower in his seat, as if he was embarrassed or suddenly trying to hide. The movie began. Clever opticals and special effects enhanced the opening titles and credits. No name actors and actresses had their no names emblazoned on the screen with blood dripping from each letter. Eerie music sounded from the partially disguised speakers spaced along the upper walls of the theater. Zombies roamed about a deserted street, their only company wind-blown newspapers proclaiming the "Zombie plague!" Symbolically, the sun in the background was setting, the ever darkening sky becoming more and more blood red. SUNSET OF THE LIVING DEAD had begun to strut its stuff. Being a horror movie, there were very few scenes that were bright enough for human eyes to see about the large screening room. But every now and then, especially at the beginning of the film, a daylight scene or interior scene with lighting did occur. And each one of those scenes found Cheri stifling yet more giggles, and squirming in her seat. She was sure of it now. Every time a brightly lit scene flashed on the movie screen, the slumped down man would quickly look over at her feet. Being slumped so low, he had to look to his left and then upward at such an obvious angle that she knew he could only be looking at her feet. He was apparently taking every possible opportunity to admire them. Even during the darker scenes, if she wiggled her feet or stretched her legs...almost any movement at all...his head would swivel in their direction, even though he presumably couldn't really see much. She thought he must indeed be attracted to her feet if even such slight movements in the dark caught his immediate attention. It was making her giddier by the second! Feeling in her heart and mind that the man was definitely interested in her feet, Cheri decided on a bold move. She took her feet off the seat back. When she did, she could swear the man looked over, peering intently in the darkness, trying desperately to see them again. He sighed, and, to Cheri's pleasure, seemed disappointed when he couldn't. Not wasting an instant, Cheri repositioned her feet, this time sticking them between the seats in front of her, on the side closest to her apparent foot admirer, resting them between the seats. She was eager to see what his reaction would be. She crossed her legs, one foot over the other, and wiggled them about energetically, hoping he'd see them and resume his visual fascination with them. It worked...in spades. Even through the noisy din of the zombie battle on the movie screen, she was sure she heard him sigh. He repositioned himself in his seat, moving more to his side, trying to hunch down below the seat back so as not to be seen. But that's the beauty of stadium riser seats. Try as he might to hide, Cheri could see him turning his head to stare at her boldly displayed feet. And she kept up the pressure on him. She wiggled her toes with more energy than ever. She rubbed her feet together. Occasionally, she'd raise the upper foot and rotate it in the air, then lower it to repeat the same actions with her other foot. She kept crossing her legs, first with one foot on top, then the other. She even rubbed the sides of her feet on the sides of the two seat backs on either side of them, ever so slowly sliding her feet up and down along the soft material. It was working perfectly. She could see the man squirming in his seat. His head constantly swiveled to his left, his eyes locking on any movement her feet made. It wasn't long before he was watching her feet more than the movie. He wiped his brow several times. Once he even slapped his cheek as if to divert his attention from her teasing distraction....or perhaps to see if he was dreaming. She was ecstatic that she was turning this rather cute looking fellow into a sighing, squirming, sweating puddle of goo. His every move proved she was doing exactly that. She had no doubt of it. A woman instinctively knows these things anyway, but in this case it was a crystal clear "no brainer". And not only that, but she was driving him nuts with her feet...not her breasts or her ass or her legs or even her pretty eyes.....but her FEET! And that was making her squirm easily as much as he was. She knew she had him. A slight, but growing, feeling of power washed over her like a warm shower. She knew if she tried, she could get him to touch her feet....probably massage them for her. And maybe...maybe even get him to do more....much more. The fantasy of her toes sliding into the warmth of a sucking mouth came back, with a vengeance. She knew that she could probably get this man's mouth in just that position if she played her cards right. So, she decided it was time to do just that. It was time, she thought, to reel him in...to drag him, sighing and drooling, to her sorely neglected tootsies. Those feet were screaming to her, "Now! Do it now! Get this guy rubbing and kissing us RIGHT THIS MINUTE!" Cheri agreed, complying instantly with their urgent pleas. It was definitely time to capture her prey. She trembled from head to toe, both with nervousness and with expectation, as she leaned forward in the darkened theater to make her bid. "It just has to work," she thought as she opened her mouth, "It just HAS to!" ************ If there was one thing Mike was getting tired of doing, it was going to horror movies alone. None of his friends liked scary fare...especially if there was even a drop of the red stuff in it. He had one female friend who liked horror movies, but her weightlifter boyfriend was just a tad on the possessive side...not to mention jealous enough to yank Mike's gonads up over his head and tie them into knots...just for looking at her. And even his more adventuresome relatives balked at any movie where the actors employed anything stronger than harsh words. God, people could be so repressed! Wherever the non-wussies of the world were hiding, he couldn't find them. And why is it only one woman out of a million likes horror movies? What's up with that?! And so it came to pass that once again poor Mike was forced to go see a scary movie by himself. He went straight from work, having just enough time to get to the theater by showtime. Not only was the theater conveniently just a mile or two down the road from his place of employment, but the early showtime meant that the theater would be mostly devoid of movie-goers. No giggling, smart mouthed teens to listen to - and have to screech at - throughout the movie. No restless, fidgety kids kicking the back of his seat. No nervous, clingy girl clutching onto her boyfriend and yelping at every other frame. No idiots with cell phones who just can't bear to turn them off during the movie. Ahh....a nice, quiet, dark room with wall to wall scary movie. No date, either...but it would have to do. Sometimes you have to embrace the positives and try to ignore the negatives of life. Mike paid for his ticket, making sure to get his "frequent movie-goer" stub punched by the girl with way too much eye shadow who lurked behind the great glass window. He stopped at the snack bar and bought a microscopic popcorn (almost literally microscopic) and a small fruit drink (ironically, big enough to fill the stomachs of a roomful of Hulk Hogans), nearly having to refinance his car to do so. He handed his ticket to the white haired man who collected them from the customers, who promptly tore it in half and handed half of it back to him. "Theater ten," the man mumbled disinterestedly, and that's where Mike's tired dogs shuffled him off to. Dim lights still partially illuminated the theater, and the pre-movie advertisements were still rolling along when he entered. He looked around. Hallelujah! No other patrons! His prayers had been answered! He'd get to see SUNSET OF THE LIVING DEAD in a nice, quiet, dark theater...all by himself. A private showing. How cool is that?! Moving up to the fifth row of the stadium riser seats, he started to enter the row. But, then he noticed something. He wasn't alone. Two rows up, hunkered down low in her seat, was a woman. It was hard to tell in the low light, but she looked to be about his age or younger, and was sitting quietly slurping a soft drink, waiting patiently for the movie. Oh, well, he thought, at least she seemed quiet. She was alone, so she didn't have anyone to talk to or cling to while yelping during the "cheap scare scenes". So, it was still good...if only she had the common sense not to bring a cell phone, or at least keep the damn thing turned off during the movie. But then Mike noticed something that made him break out in a sweat. Just as the final local ads were playing out their mostly unimaginative come-ons, he noticed the woman, hunched way down in her chair, her head almost obscured from view behind the seat back that loomed in front of her, had her feet up on that seat back and those energetic puppies were happily dancing and wiggling about. His eyes focused on the splaying and scrunching toes as if his irises together worked as one to bring the enticing image right up to his nose. His eyes had instantly become very efficient biological binoculars. Something almost immediately stirred in his sexual psyche. He felt his breathing become a bit labored, and his heart was pounding out the same kind of intense beat that he'd heard hundreds of times in the thriller movies and cheap, "B" horror flicks he so enjoyed.

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Updated: Jun 15, 2021

“Graze your fingers against my skin like a soldier crossing a landmine throw your kisses like grenades into the trenches of my mouth carve bullet holes onto my chest and remind me of where it hurts let your moans sound like gunfire and your breath feel like death I'll come unarmed if you promise to destroy me make war not love?”

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