Over-riding his better judgment, Robin had turned his minivan off the approach to the Bay Bridge and driven to Kylie's rooming house. A power outage had darkened the windswept streets, and in a moment of inspiration he reckoned he could stop by and offer to take her to dinner, as the darkness precluded her eating at home. The gesture could hardly be taken as forward, and with a rare self-satisfaction he edged up the front steps to the door, which was fortunately ajar.
Entering the utter blackness of the entryway, he closed the door behind him. With the blustery wind blocked, the warble of a heartfelt operatic song drifted down from an upstairs room; though there were no sounds of life in the two downstairs units, he detected a very faint glow from beneath the door on the right. Reckoning this was Kylie's, or Ross's, he knocked lightly and awaited a response with a suitor's anxiety. No one seemed to be home, and he wondered if it was worth trying the darkened door on the other side. Maybe Kylie had already gone out for dinner, he told himself, and with a sour dejection he edged back to the front door before telling himself, you're here; you might as well try the second door.
He knocked lightly, and a faint female voice inside beckoned him in.
Opening the door a crack, he peered into the complete blackness and was about to say, "Kylie?" when her voice came from the depths in an urgent whisper. "Close the door softly, or my upstairs neighbor will bother us."
Robin did as instructed and then carefully made his way toward her voice, hoping no furniture blocked his path. In her single-mindedness to locate the candles, Kylie had neglected to lock her door, unintentionally leaving it open for the masseuse whom she'd completely forgotten about now. Not only had she failed to find any candles, she'd also forgotten whether his name was Jordan Simon or Simon Jordan. Rather than make a fool of herself, she decided a name was unnecessary.
"You're here to give me a full-body massage, right?"
Robin was perplexed and delighted by quick turns, and whispered, "Yes."
"I'm sorry about the darkness, but the power's out, and I can't find any candles."
"We don't need any light," Robin replied very quietly, and Kylie’s own whisper telegraphed her nervousness. "I guess not. I know whispering is kind of odd, but my neighbor's the nosy type."
"I understand," Robin replied in his faintest voice. The high piercing notes of a female opera star's song penetrated the ceiling from Vonda's room upstairs, and Robin said softly, "You neighbor must have a battery-powered radio."
"That would be like her," Kylie said quietly, and then added hesitantly, "I guess I should take my clothes off, right?"
Swallowing hard at his tremendous good fortune, Robin whispered, "Yes."
Edging toward her voice, Robin waited for the rustle of clothing being removed to end and then reached out tentatively to touch the small of her deliciously warm back. Assured she was lying on her stomach, he gently ran his fingers up and down her backside. Encountering her panties, he whispered, "Do you mind taking this off, too?"
"You must think I'm horribly prudish," she whispered. "To tell the truth, I've never had a full body massage."
With the sweetest tilt of her hips, she raised her rump and allowed Robin to slowly work the thin lace down her legs and over her ankles.
Settling comfortably on her bed with her arms stretched round her pillow, Kylie murmured, "It's my right shoulder that hurts."
"I know," he replied in a barely audible whisper, and Kylie thought it was highly efficient of Mrs. Quigley to describe her injury to Simon, or Jordan.
Robin began working on her right shoulder, gently kneading her warm flesh, trying to recall what he'd learned about pulled muscles even as her small murmurs of gratitude offered keen encouragement.
Expanding his touch to her other shoulder, and then down her back to her firm derriere, he wondered what clairvoyance had enabled this young beauty to not only expect his visit but to ascertain he was worthy of her trust.
"I hope you don't find me too repulsive," she whispered as he moved his ministrations to her thighs. "What a foolish thing to say," he replied softly, wondering if she was being ironic. Emboldened by her acceptance of his touch, he moved his attention to her calves and then worked slowly back up her thighs.
As he neared areas normally reserved for a lover's intimacy she murmured, "Is your regular full body massage always so… full?"
Realizing he was edging perilously close to an intimacy she did not yet welcome, Robin whispered reassuringly, "This is part of your body."
"I know, but is this helping my shoulder?"
"Well, you forgot about your shoulder, didn't you?" he said in a barely audible voice. "Distraction is part of the therapy."
Conceding his point, Kylie relaxed and Robin continued on, shifting one hand to her shoulders and the nape of her neck. Her breathing suggested contentment, and perhaps more; fearful that he'd be unable to restrain himself, Robin moved his attentions to her arms, and then to her fingers. Squeezing each finger firmly for several seconds, he knew from experience that this was an immensely pleasing pressure; and as she murmured her approval, he left her limp arms at rest and moved back down her back to her derriere, which he'd hesitated to exploit earlier.
Capitalizing on her acceptance of his every move, he shifted his fingers to her neck and earlobes. As the piece de resistance, he turned to her nicely shaped feet and massaged each toe and each curve in turn.
Just as he moved from the toes of the left foot to her ankle the streetlights abruptly came on, and Kylie reached up and turned on her bedside light.
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