Mika Settler perched on her couch and nervously peered out the large paned window that overlooked Central Park. She’d decided to entertain that evening, which was unusual since it had been a while since she’d cooked anything for herself, let alone for a man. But this wasn’t just any dinner date. She’d met Rick while chatting on a forum for people who liked to live their lives a little kinkier than the rest of the world. One summer day weeks ago, she and this handsome thirty-five-year-old man had struck up a conversation, then instantly started texting each other and then had decided to finally meet in person a week later. They’d been seeing each other for a month now.
She briefly checked her reflection one more time in the full-length hallway mirror. After combing her fingers nervously through her straight, bobbed black hair, she smoothed her cotton sheath dress and sat back down. Mika’s exquisite Asian features, inherited from her mother, were highlighted by a sheer foundation and liquid eyeliner. Although short in stature, her long, lean legs gave her the appearance of being much taller than she was, especially when she sported her favorite four-inch stilettos. Not only did she love to wear high-heeled shoes, but it also made it easier for Mika to kiss her boyfriend while they were standing in front of each other, since he stood at six feet two inches. He reminded her of a young Paul Newman, and those steely, bright blue eyes of his seemed to stir jealousy in every woman that watched them walk down the street holding hands.
Quickly rising to check the clock on the wall, Mika was startled by a brisk knock on the door. She had informed her doorman Stanley that Rick would be coming, but hadn’t been alerted that he’d arrived. As she made a mental note to discuss this further with Stanley, she unlocked the deadbolt on the door, but left the chain on just to be safe. After all, a woman had to careful living alone in New York City. Peeking out of the opening, she caught a glimpse of her young, handsome friend. In no time, all of her security features were undone and Mika flung open the door.
Rick flashed his Hollywood-style smile and held out two bottles of wine—one red, one white. “I wasn’t sure what you were cooking tonight, so I decided to bring one of each.”
She stood on the balls of her feet, pecked him on the cheek and with a sultry smile, moved aside to eye him up and down as he entered her apartment.
“You look gorgeous, Mika. If I didn’t know better, I might have thought you planned to seduce me tonight.”
She took both bottles of wine, looked back over her shoulder, and arched an eyebrow at the Mrs. Robinson innuendo.
“Not talking tonight, are we?” Rick asked as he took in his new surroundings. “You didn’t tell me you lived in such a fantastic flat with a spectacular view of the city.”
“Girls are allowed to have some secrets.” Mika motioned for him to follow her to the kitchen.
“Not in my world,” he said sternly.
“Let’s see how the evening goes, and then we’ll decide,” Mika countered. “Why don’t you open that bottle of white and we’ll put it on ice. I thought we’d start with raw oysters for an appetizer and move on to seafood risotto.”
Rick spotted the corkscrew on the countertop, uncorked the wine, and poured a small amount into a glass, handing it to Mika. “See if you like this.”
She took a sip and nodded her head in approval. Rick filled her glass and poured some for himself. “Are we listening to the Moody Blues?”
“I’m surprised you know their songs. Weren’t they a bit before your time?”
He laughed at the boldness of her question and raised his glass. “The amount of knowledge I’ve incurred in my short life just might surprise you. Especially when it comes to women.”
Rick stepped in closer, took the wineglass from Mika’s hand, and set it down on the countertop. His forefinger caught the bottom of her chin, easing her face closer. As their lips met, Mika pulled away and shook her finger. “Rick, dessert will have to wait,” she said, trying to tantalize her young friend, hoping that he would come on stronger.
“Hmm, if I didn’t know better, I would think you’re teasing me.”
Mika looked at him and fluttered her eyelashes in a silly manner. “Is that what you think I am? A tease?”
“Come on, Mika. I can’t get those forum comments of yours out of my head, and we’ve been dating for a month. What exactly are we waiting for?” Rick effortlessly lifted her onto the island kitchen counter. “Don’t you want me?”
Mika turned away slightly and muttered, “Of course I do.”
“Excuse me, but I didn’t hear you clearly.”
Mika leaned forward with slow conviction. “Rick, I want you.”
He slid his hand under the hem of her short dress and whispered into her ear, “I love a woman who doesn’t wear panties.”
“I remember.” Her voice quivered nervously in response.
Rick moved her head in close with both hands and kissed her hard. Their tongues twisted and flicked as the passion of the moment overtook them. Suddenly, he stopped and pulled back.
“I also have a very good memory, Mika.” Rick lowered the dress straps over her shoulders. The front of the dress fell forward, exposing the fullness of her breasts encased in a black lace push-up bra. “Unhook your bra.”
Mika responded immediately. The authoritativeness of his command made her pussy convulse. This was what she’d been wanting and was eager to obey. As the bra slid to her lap and she involuntarily shivered, her hard nipples seemed to be begging for attention. Reaching forward, Rick outlined her aureoles with his fingers, and she steadied herself by leaning backward onto the granite counter as he tweaked and rubbed the small tips. Staring into her dark brown eyes, he quickly shed his pants and underwear, then paused for a moment to gaze at her beautiful, sculpted body.
Bending over, he let his tongue roam from her silky neck down to her chest and teased each breast with the tip of his tongue. As his arousal increased, the head of his cock sprang upward and a hint of pre-cum glistened from the opening. With muscular arms, he once again elevated Mika off the counter and watched her stand in front of him. Her dress fell to the floor, revealing a sexy woman wearing nothing but stiletto heels.
“You never mentioned that you liked to wax. I’m impressed you’re going bare,” he said, caressing her smooth mound.
“Who said anything about liking it…?”
Rick quickly turned her around and landed a brisk smack on her pale hind end. “Aren’t we sassy tonight?”
“We don’t need your neighbors to hear,” he admonished in a low tone. “Behave yourself and be quiet.”
“You know better than that.” His hand made hard contact once again with her fleshy globes.
“Yes, sir.” She imagined his cock was about to explode with happiness, since he’d waited a month to hear those two sexy words come from her mouth. But as she twisted her head around to see his expression, another sting from his firm palm met her soft backside.
“Bend over the counter.”
Taking a deep breath, she slowly presented her bare bottom.
“Mika, is this what you really want from me?”
Her head swiveled to make eye contact. Instead of speaking, she wanted him to see the hunger in her eyes.
“I’ll take that as a yes. Turn around.”
Rick spanked her cheeks until they were red as smoldering ember. She reveled in the tingling sensation of his hand smoothing her hot, tender skin and allowed her imagination to wander as she thought about what might happen next.
As she remained bent over, he pulled out a small bottle of lube from his pants on the floor, and it wasn’t long before a cool, wet finger drifted up and down the cleft of her ass.
“Are you ready for me to enter you here?”
Mika was surprised and embarrassed. After all, it was such a forbidden place for her to be taken in their first sexual experience together. But as he gradually pushed his thick, glossy finger into her smooth, puckered hole, her eyes shut tight with anxious anticipation.
“Mika, some of your texts were very specific in what you desire. Now it’s important for me to hear that you still want this.”
It was much easier to write about her desires than to say them out loud, she thought to herself. As his finger drove deeper into her warm, dark passage, she drew a sharp breath.
“I do,” she finally said quietly.
After rolling on a condom and coating himself with a dollop of thick gel, Rick held her around the waist and gradually maneuvered the tip of his wet cock into her anus. Nervously, Mika hunched over, grabbed the counter, and spread her legs farther apart, hoping he would enjoy her submission. As he continued inching the broad head of his cock into her moist opening, she tried to be brave and softly whined, slightly pressing her bottom back into him. Rick pushed inside her tightness a little further, stretching the muscles in her narrow, sensitive bottom hole. Mika wiggled her bottom and let out a loud, husky groan.
“Just a little more, baby. Are you okay?”
Mika’s eyes teared. “It hurts, Rick.”
“I’m being as gentle as I can, but you need to relax. Take a deep breath and bear down. You’ve done this before, right?”
She nodded as his throbbing, hard cock continued to fill her completely. Finally, the intense pain was gone and she was able to relish Rick’s steady metrical cadence. His thrusts were long and deep as the muscles in her little hole contracted, and she basked in the thrill of the ride. There was a sexiness to having her reddened bottom bent over the kitchen counter by this strong, younger man, and she tried to visualize the size of his cock as it entered her.
As he tightly gripped her hips, she knew he was almost ready to erupt. Reaching underneath with delicate fingers, she frantically circled the tip of her swollen, saucy clit, and with one last thrust of his full, hardened length, Rick exploded. Mika threw her head back, lost in the intensity of her spasms and climaxed, reveling in the carnal pleasure of their lustful scene.
Rick continued to glide in and out with ease until his size receded. Softening, he finally slid out, turned Mika around, and kissed her on the tip of her nose. “I hope that was as good as your fantasies.”
“It’s not a fantasy anymore,” she whispered as her eyes glittered.
As her thoughts drifted back to the present time, Mika sighed as she removed the lime from the rim of her glass and squeezed it into the vodka and cranberry juice. It was the last time she’d seen or heard from the creep. What a waste of fresh oysters on the half shell, she mused with a frown while she stirred her drink.
Suddenly Mika’s thoughts were interrupted. “Excuse me, is that your cell phone?” the handsome young man sitting next to her at the bar asked.
“Oh, my God. I’m sorry, I didn’t hear it.”
The man smiled and watched with curiosity as she retrieved it from her ivory leather handbag, read the text, and quickly replied.
“I try not to use my phone in public places,” she said, sheepishly placing it on the counter.
“Is everything okay? You look a bit upset.”
She shook her head. “It’s not a big deal. I’m meeting my son and daughter-in-law for dinner and now they’re going to be late.”
“Would you like some company while you wait?” he asked, looking down at her hand to check for a wedding band.
The bartender grinned and handed him a glass of Bulleit Bourbon on ice.
Mika looked at the stranger, tossed her hair flirtatiously, and ran her finger around the rim of her short, thick glass. “I suppose I could use a little distraction while I wait, and you seem harmless.”
“One can’t be too careful these days.” The man hesitated for a short moment, then extended his hand. “I’m Jackson McKenna, and my friend behind the bar, Benny, can vouch for my character. I didn’t catch your name.”
“I don’t remember giving it,” Mika countered playfully.
“I usually pick up on those things, but unfortunately, I’m not as sharp when preoccupied. And I meant what I said about being careful.”
“I’m Mika Settler. I didn’t mean to be so standoffish. I’m just a little disturbed right now.”
“Is it because your son is late?”
“I can’t really blame him. It’s a bad habit that runs in the family.”
“Ah, I see. And yet, here you are… on time, a good personality trait in my opinion.” Jackson offered up his drink and clinked with Mika’s. “Well, it’s my good fortune then that your son is late. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet you.”
“I suppose that’s true.” Mika settled back on her barstool to take stock of the man sitting next to her. Jackson McKenna, by her account, appeared to be in his early thirties. Even though he wasn’t standing, she figured he was about six feet, and beneath the coat and tie he seemed to have a sturdy build. She was struck by his stark blue eyes, cropped reddish brown hair, and fair skin. Drifting off, she wondered how it would feel to be lying next to him in bed.
“Mika, have I lost your attention already?”
She smiled and touched his arm. “I’m sorry, I allowed my imagination get the best of me for a moment.”
Jackson raised his glass again and gestured as if to make a toast. “Here’s to a vivid imagination. It makes life so much more interesting.” Benny walked over and Jackson held up his hand to indicate that he had enough. “My new friend might enjoy another drink, though.”
“No, but thanks for the offer.” She paused and looked around the bar. “So, Mr. McKenna, do you come here regularly to strike up conversations with complete strangers?”
“I do come here often, but not for the purpose of talking to people I don’t know. This place is close to where I work, so every once in a while, I come here to think about what’s going on in the world.”
“You’re a deep thinker, eh?”
Jackson burst out laughing. “I wouldn’t describe it in such poetic terms. On occasion, my job takes me to dark places and I need some solitude to mull things over. Out of curiosity, was it you or your son who decided this was a good place to meet?”
“My son and his wife work in the city, and I don’t live far from here, so I thought it would be convenient.”
“Are you a transplant? I’m just guessing, since you don’t have a New York accent.”
“Believe it or not, I’ve lived in this wonderful city for twenty-five years. I’m not originally from New York, but how many of us who live in Manhattan are?”
She noticed that Jackson was observing her with a smile on his face. While it’s true she was older, she still felt beautiful and hoped there was an instant attraction when he first saw her sitting at the bar.
From the corner of her eye, Mika spotted her family walking toward them. Her daughter-in-law looked amused, but her son did not.
“Sorry we’re late, mom. I had a longer day at the office than I expected,” Evan muttered as he glowered at the man seated next to her. Mika turned and gave her son a hug. Jessie edged in and they exchanged cheek kisses.
“No problem. It gave me the opportunity to make a new friend.” She tilted her head slightly to the left. “Jackson, this is my son, Evan and his wife, Jessie.”
“Nice to meet you, Jackson.” Jessie stepped forward to shake hands with the handsome man, and Evan mimicked his wife’s movements and nodded reluctantly.
“It was my pleasure to occupy your mother’s time while she was waiting. Please let me buy you all a drink, and I’ll be on my way.”
“It’s nice of you to offer, but we have to go. We’re going to be late for our reservation, mom.” Evan pulled out his credit card to close out her tab.
Jackson stopped him abruptly. “I’ve already taken care of that,” he indicated with a wink in Benny’s direction. Turning to Mika, he handed her his business card. “I’d love to see you again. If you’re interested, give me a call at this number.”
She thanked him and the three of them walked toward the door. “Look who’s suddenly worried about being late.” Mika turned her head and smiled at Jackson as he watched them leave.
“Since when do you talk to total strangers in bars?” Evan asked as they stood outside the rustic-looking establishment.
“Since my son is an hour late for dinner.” She crossed her arms and looked straight into his dark brown eyes.
“Mom, haven’t you been keeping up with the news? There’s a killer on the loose in this town. You need to be careful, for God’s sake.”
Mika glanced down at the card that Jackson had slipped into her hand and looked back up at Evan as she handed him the card. “I don’t think I need to worry about this man.”
Evan didn’t speak, but his lips moved as he read the card. Jackson McKenna—Detective—New York Police Department.
As they walked the streets of Manhattan, Mika asked questions about their day at work. Jessie was an advertising executive and Evan was in the family business working side by side with his dad. Both were successful and, most important, they were extremely happy together. What was the saying about only being as happy as your unhappiest child? She smiled as she took a deep breath.
“Mom, you’re asking questions, but are you listening to the answers?”
“Of course. I’m always interested in what you have to say.”
He tilted his head. “Really? Because Jessie and I have been complaining about problems we’re dealing with at work and yet you’re grinning from ear to ear.”
“Maybe someone slipped a happy pill into her drink.” Jessie raised an eyebrow at Evan as he respectfully opened the heavy door to the restaurant for his women.
Two hostesses stood at the entrance as they checked in. “Your table is ready, Mr. Settler.” A tall, slender woman with short strawberry blond hair picked up three large menus and cradled them in her long arms. “Follow me, please.”
Just as the three of them were seated, a waiter approached the table to see if they wanted anything from the bar.
“So, what are you guys having?” Mika’s demeanor was animated and upbeat as she looked from Jessie to Evan.
“Someone’s in a good mood tonight,” Jessie observed as she tapped Evan’s leg under the table with her foot. “I’m going to have a Maker’s Mark on the rocks.”
“I’ll have the same.” He pushed his menu aside and looked up at their server.
“I’ll have a Stoli on the rocks with a splash of cranberry and a lime, please.”
The server bobbed her head. “I’ll be right back with those.”
“You’re not really going to call him, are you?” Evan asked as he leaned closer and arched an eyebrow.
“I haven’t really given it much thought yet.”
Jessie reached forward and palmed Mika’s face with both hands. “If you want to sound convincing, I would say that without blushing.”
“Is it that obvious?”
“How old is this guy? He can’t be much older than I am.” Evan’s lips formed a straight line in obvious disapproval.
“But it’s okay for your father to leave me for a younger woman?”
“Touché,” Jessie chimed in enthusiastically.
“She’s not half his age.”
“Look, I didn’t ask Jackson for a birth certificate. He kept me company while I waited for you.”
“Jackson? You’re on a first-name basis with this man already?”
“Saved by the drinks,” Mika called out as their server approached with a tray of cocktails.
“Let’s toast to your mom looking fabulous enough to be approached by a thirty-something-year-old detective.”
“To the NYPD,” Mika cheered as they raised their glasses.
Removing the clear glass mug from her Keurig coffeemaker, Mika turned and focused her eyes on the attractive local newscaster as she watched the morning update on the ‘Manhattan Murderer.’
“After the latest murder in Astoria, Queens last night, a taskforce was put together to find out who had committed these heinous crimes. Patrick Hurrell, chief of police, assured the city of New York that their newly assembled group will work around the clock to capture the person responsible. In the last month there have been three women murdered, two in their late forties and one in her early fifties. Each was strangled in her own apartment, and there was no sign of forced entry, which leads us to believe that the women probably knew their killer. Unfortunately, our crime scene units have not been able to identify the perpetrator, since there wasn’t any physical evidence left behind…”
Mika picked up the television remote and pressed the red power button. She had no desire to ruin a beautiful summer day with such morbid reports. Living in a secure building with a state-of-the-art deadbolt on her door, she always felt safe. Of course, there was that one time when Stanley forgot to announce that she had company. Naturally, she broached the subject with him, and he apologized profusely. Unfortunately, she hadn’t had another opportunity to test her doorman’s abilities, because that was the last time she entertained a man in her apartment. Now, with this lunatic on the loose, she needed to be extra careful when choosing new friends.
She walked over to her handbag and reached inside the outer pocket. Pulling out a business card, Mika stared up at the ceiling and smiled. He’s probably vanilla. I’ll save him for a rainy day.