I look at the thick shock of dark hair that crowns his round face. It is his father's hair. Every strand of it! The penetrating blue eyes that he squints open occasionally are also gifts of his father. He is his father in so very many ways.
I lay here, letting him have his lunch; my breasts finally being used for their intended purpose. I lay here and I am happy. I'm happier than I have ever been in my life. He nurses and my mind drifts back to that first night when his dad and I met. It seems ages ago now.
There must have been a hundred-thousand college kids in Lauderdale last March. The colleges had disgorged them like cheap whiskey from a drunken teenager's stomach; suddenly, but not without warning. We knew they were coming. Those of us who own the bars near the beach have been working for the past five years to repair the damage to the spring break trade that the religious right did to our community. The clean-up campaign the do-gooders had instituted had cleaned the town up all right; it had almost cost us our livelihoods in the process. But those fellows had been caught fishing in their neighbors' ponds, so to speak, and the scandal had returned a more enlightened, pragmatic leadership to the local body politic.
Spring Break (capitals required for such an event!) was back!
I was tending bar in my club, The Shark's Fin, when I saw the group come in. They looked like any throng of the other faceless clients. Well, three of them did. The fourth kid caught my eye. Yes, his close-cropped black hair caught my eye: it was coal black; almost blue-black. His eyes in contrast were deep pools of azure-blue. I had never seen such deep blue eyes before that night. I would find out, later of course, that the color was true; it was not a trick of the light. The tee shirt was cut off just below his pecs, displaying a washboard-hard ribbed stomach. The shorts displayed the chiseled muscles of his right leg. He was a Greek God except for his lack of a left leg.
It was obviously missing above the knee. He wore a simple artificial leg to replace it. You've seen the kind, even though they are old fashioned now. It had the bucket for his stump, then a reinforced metal girder with a hinged knee and a tennis shoe clad foot. There was a long elastic band that ran from the base of the bucket to the middle of the 'calf', obviously to help pull the leg forward as he walked.
I felt myself get wet. I've always had this 'thing' for amputees, and above knee are my special favorite. I can remember having these feelings as long ago as when I was a little girl, as I would secretly watch a boy from down the block walk on crutches to and from school. I never knew why he had only one leg, and the family moved away before I was old enough to figure out how to ask.
As an adult, I have always been haunted by a soldier who came into a bar where I was serving just after I turned 21. He had been a little drunk and had crutched in, his pant leg pinned up. He dropped to a seat at one of my tables and I went over to take his order.
It was clear from the word go that he was looking at my cleavage. I've always been big busted, and like all barkeeps, my boss made sure I wore a top that showed them off. It improved the drink orders by at least twice. He got an eyeful as I bent over to ask him what he wanted.
"A swig from either one of those'll do just fine!" he assured me.
"From the bar, sir," I prompted crossly.
He straightened up. "I'm sorry lil' gal," he slurred. "Tell ya' wha'... I'll make uh deeel with ya..." He leaned back, and unpinned the empty pant leg. I watched, not knowing what to think as he rolled it up. In a matter of a few seconds, the end of his stump was protruding. It was healed, but not really well, and was still swollen and a little red. I looked at him, shocked.
"Wha' ya think, hon?" he asked.
"I beg your pardon, sir!"
"Here! I show'd ya my big secret! Now! How'sabout you show me one uh yours!"
The bouncer had him up and out before anything else could conspire, but I have carried the memory of that stump with me for all the days of my life. I fantasized about that young man for countless months, probably having more orgasms thinking of him than he would have ever given me in the flesh.
All of these memories and feelings came back as I saw this strikingly handsome (almost beautiful?) young man enter my establishment. He followed his companions to a table near the back and sat down. I nodded to Grindel not to worry, that I'd take the table.
"What'll it be, gents," I asked. I had to smile. Even with me past forty, those low cut tops still do the trick on the young males!
"Bud", was the chorus around the table.
"Pitcher's half price til midnight," I told them.
"Do it," the redhead on the end told me.
I drew the beer at the bar as Grindel came to make another pitcher of Margaretta. "Cute guys," she said, nodding at my latest table. "Shame about the kid without the leg. He'd be a doll except for that!"
"I think he's a doll anyway," I said with an evil grin.
"Too old for you, Karen," she jabbed back.
I just shrugged my shoulders and delivered the beer.
Two o'clock came, and I got on the PA to tell everyone it was time to go home. We were closing. The group of four was still at the back table, and seemed grandly offended that I would deem to close the place. Finally, they got up and started to shuffle out.
They made it almost to the door when suddenly the dark headed boy on the mechanical leg took a nose-dive and hit the floor hard. I went over to see what had happened, but his friends had already helped him up.
"Damn!" he said. It was the first word other than a drink name I had head him utter. "Look at this shit!" He was holding the disconnected bottom half of his limb in his left hand. Only the elastic band now connected it to the upper half. "The damn bolt fell out! I'll never find it in all this sawdust!"
"Got a problem?" I asked.
"Yes, Ma'am," he answered. "My leg came apart."
"Anything I can do to help?"
The boys looked at each other. "We didn't bring a car," the redhead told me. "We knew we were all gonna drink."
"And the motel is a couple of miles from here," another kid told me.
"You got a pair of crutches I could borrow?" the young man asked me, his azure eyes almost pleading.
"Afraid not," I answered.
The guys sort of looked around at each other, trying to decide what to do.
"But tell ya what," I started. "I'll be finished closing up here in just a few minutes. I have my car out back. I'd be happy to give you a lift."
"That'd be great!" they all answered at once.
"Well, not all of you," I corrected. "It's an MG... that's a two-seater."
The group assured their buddy that it was okay to take the ride, that they would meet him back at the motel. He waved them out the door, and took a seat to wait for me. I finished wiping down the bar, aware that his eyes were on me. The exhibitionist in me was to blame for the extra jiggles that he was treated to, but heck, I could tell he was enjoying it, too.
"Do you mind if I take the rest of this leg off," he asked as I came to the table.
"Not at all," I answered.
"It'll be easier to hop without it," he explained. In just a couple of moments, he had removed the damaged limb, and rose on that incredibly muscular right leg. "Let's go," he said!
The moon was up and the night was quiet, save the sound of the gulf breakers a few blocks away. He sat there in the car as I went around to the driver's side. The moonlight caught and highlighted his profile. The young man was drop-dead gorgeous! I found myself thinking some very un-motherly thoughts about this child!
"It's really nice of you to do this," he started. "I'm just a little too drunk to hop it all the way."
"No problem," I told him. I saw an opening. "Need a cup of coffee to help sober up a bit before you go home?"
"That'd be great!"
"Good. I know a drive-in that's still open. We can pull in there."
Three minutes later I had ordered two cups of black coffee, and we were parked waiting on the cups to come.
"What's your name?" I asked him casually.
"Ryan," he answered.
"First or last?"
"First. The last name is Russian. You wouldn't be able to pronounce it anyway." He paused. "That's not really my first name, either. Again, Russian. But Ryan is works for the American version."
I laughed. "You certainly don't have an accent."
"Thanks. I do speak Russian, too. My parents moved to the states just after the Soviet Union broke up. My dad is an electronics engineer, and figured he could do better over here than there. He was right."
"What part of Russia were you from?"
"South of Moscow."
"Well, glad to have you in America. Where do you live now?"
"California. That's where all the electronics jobs are."
"So you're a long way from home."
"Yeah, either way you look at it!"
"And is that ID for real? Are you really 21, or is it a phoney to get me to serve you?"
"It's real. Just turned 21 a few weeks back!"
Momentarily, I was out of anything to say. I looked at his leg stump protruding from the opening of his swimming trunks, and decided to chance it. "Mind if I ask how you lost it?"
He glanced down as if noticing the missing limb for the first time. "Lost it? Why no. I mean, I don't mind. I never had it. I was born this way." There was not the faintest trace of embarrassment or self-consciousness on his face or in his voice.
"You must think me rude to ask," I said.
"Naw. Not at all. Most people ask sooner or later. The doctor told my mother that either the cord got tangled up around it, or it was some sort of genetic thing. They decided to be sure I got to grow up 'normal', and I did! I seldom think anything about it. I've always had an artificial leg of some sort, so I've always been able to walk and do whatever I want to. People talk about how tough it is, and how sorry they are for me. Heck, the only problem I have is getting them to forget about it!"
"You're quite a young man," I say with true admiration.
"What's your name," he asks.
"Karen. Karen Wallace. And I was born and raised right here in Ft. Lauderdale."
"Wow! You work at that bar long?"
"About 14 years. I own it."
"No kidding! Wow!"
"Surprised that a woman owns a bar?"
"No, no. Just thinking how much fun it must be!"
"Honey," I tell him, "it's like having these big tits," and I gesture to my bust line, "it looks a lot better than it really is."
Even under the garish lights of the Sonic drive-in I see him blush.
"I'm sorry," I say with a smile. "I embarrassed you, and I didn't mean to."
"It's not that," he stammered. "I, uh, I must admit that I've been admiring you all evening, and I was afraid I had offended you!"
"Well, a compliment like that coming from a young man makes an old lady like me feel really special," I tell him.
"I, uh..." he began, then stopped.
"I, uh, well.... I had a girlfriend who was, uh, large there one time..."
"Yeah." I waited a moment. He said nothing. "Is there more to that story?" I ask.
He blushed again.
"And she wasn't much on sharing the wealth, right?" I asked.
"Naw, not really," he said with great embarrassment.
I looked at this young man for a long moment. What the hell, I thought. Go for it, old girl!
"Well, I'm going to give you a very great shock, Ryan," I began.
He turned his face full to me, his eyes widening.
"You confess that you like big breasts," I began. "Well, I have a confession to make to you. I think that guys with missing legs are just about the sexiest thing on this planet."
"You're a dev?" he asked, incredulous.
He didn't bat en eye. "I've run into a couple of girls and even a guy or two before," he said, smiling.
"Both the girls were really nice. One of the guys was a real jerk about it."
There was a moment of silence. I broke it.
"Well, I tell you what," I began. "If you're interested, I vote we drop by my house. It's not far. And there, if you are willing, we can play a little doctor."
"How's that," he asked, clueless.
"I'll show you mine if you'll show my yours!"
Ryan had quickly brushed away my attempts to help him into the house. After all, it wasn't a difficult trip. The ranch actually had only one step up from yard level. He came in, and I gestured for him to have a seat on the couch. I put some cool jazz on the stereo and sat beside him.
He looked at my chest eagerly. "You're sure you don't think I'm some sort of perv for doing this, do you?" he asked me with genuine concern.
I laughed out loud. "I was about to ask you the same question."
He laughed, easily.
Ryan turned his body toward me. He reached down to the dark red swimsuit and pulled the loose leg of the garment up as far as it would go. "This is it," he said simply. He raised the stump a little. "It's Okay... you can touch it. It's not sore or anything."
I was fascinated. There was no scar across the end of the stump. I almost asked about it, then I remembered: he was a congenital amputee. There had never been a leg here. The half-thigh was marvelously rounded and beautifully contoured. It appeared perfectly natural. I slipped my right hand under it, and lay my left on top.
"What do you think?" he asked.
"I think it's lovely, Ryan. This is as pretty as the rest of you!"
He blushed, yet again.
I looked up into his eyes without raising my head. "Well, you've fulfilled your part of the bargain," I said. "Now it's my turn."
I reached with both hands to grasp the tail of the scoop-neck pullover. It came off easily. Ryan's eyes lit up as he saw my bra, and realized how large it was. I reached in back and unhooked the closures, the dropped my arms and left the garment slip down them.
"Dear God," the boy whispered.
"Do they sag that badly," I teased.
"Uh... no...." he stammered. "They... uh.... they're BEAUTIFUL!"
I smiled back at him. "Like you told me... it's ok if you want to touch them... they're not sore or anything." I smiled at my little joke, bouncing his own words back to him.
Ryan reached out a trembling hand and lightly touched his fingertips to my right breast. I could tell he was frightened. I was just too much older than the girls he was used to being around. And here I was, a stranger, offering to let him play with something young men usually must bargain and beg for. I took his hand in mine, and pressed it against me.
"They feel so... soft," he sighed.
I slid next to him, and put an arm around him. "Come on, " I said softly. "Come on, do what you want to do with them. It's Okay."
It took him a few moments of fondling, watching my face to see if it was going to be all right. He was afraid I was going to snatch the treat away. When I didn't, he finally bent his head to a nipple and began to suck, greedily.
At the same time, my hands were back on his stump, fondling and playing with it. It didn't take me long to realize that either my stroking or his suckling or both were having other effects on him. He couldn't hide how excited he was becoming.
I argued with myself exactly ten seconds. Taking hold of the elastic band at the top of his trunks, I tugged them down. He drew back from my breast and looked at me, questioningly. My eyes flicked to his erect penis, and then to the crotch of my shorts. I flicked my eyes back to his organ, then again to my lap. He smiled, his excitement just about to consume him.
Suddenly, he stopped. "Uh, Karen...."
"What is it?" I asked, my heart sinking.
"I can't do this."
"Why not?" I asked, crestfallen.
"Uh... do you have an rubbers?"
"No," I told him. "I'm afraid I haven't needed anything like that around here for quite some time."
"You mean, you don't have a boyfriend or...."
I thought a moment. "Do you know for a fact that you're clean?" I asked him.
"Yeah," he said innocently. "I tested before I came here. And it's been six months since Mona and I broke up."
"Well, honey, it's been five years here. I think this is one of those rare times when we can throw that caution to the winds!"
He wasn't convinced. "Well, uh, sure... but, uh... I mean... I don't want you to get... uh... you know..."
I almost laughed. "Honey, that is the last thing you need to worry about. Women in my family hit the change early. My period is so irregular you couldn't make a baby for me if you tried!"
Ryan weighed it all for a moment and then happily returned to his play at my breasts. I wiggled out of my bottoms and snuggled up against him.
We made love four times that night. It was he who finally called the halt. He and his buddies were leaving to go back to the coast that morning, and he was afraid he'd miss his plane. I dropped him off at the motel, and watched him hop to a ground-level door. He paused there, knocked, and then turned and waved to me. Then, almost as an afterthought, he looked back one more time and blew me a kiss. The door opened about that time, and he was pulled back into his world and out of mine.
I opened the bar that evening with feelings that had elements of both floating on a cloud, and living under one. I knew that Ryan would not be coming back through the door. Still, I was missing him, remembering the night of love we had spent, and the special thrills we had shown each other that neither would ever be able to banish from memory.
Then I saw it. The picture. My photographer had taken the usual table pictures last night, and here they were, laid out on the table, ready for return clients to look at, and he hoped, want to purchase. There, near one end, was the picture of Ryan's table.
I grabbed Donnie by the arm and told him I wanted an eight by ten of that picture, and he said, fine, he'd have it the next evening. I was on cloud nine. At least I would have some sort of memento of the night that I had dreamed of for so many years.
The next night he handed me the enlargement. The picture was very clear. I looked closely and pointed to the dark headed boy. "Could you do a blow up of just him?" I asked. "Would it be clear enough?"
Donnie looked. "I think so. Want me to try it?"
"Yeah," I told him. Make two if they are any good.
Donnie had them the following evening. I opened the envelope long enough to see that they looked good. "Only five by seven's," he said. "That was all the negative would take."
I thanked him. I was back on cloud nine.
It was about four months later when I realized that perhaps I had yet another memento of that night. As I had told Ryan, my period had become very irregular, so I thought nothing of it not coming around. But there was a strange tickle deep in my pelvis that I had never felt before. Something like a butterfly fluttering its wings inside me.
Grindel knew exactly what it was, but I didn't believe her. "So go get one of those home pregnancy tests and find out," she said.
And, of course, she was right. I was pregnant. The doctor asked me if I wanted to keep the baby. I must admit that for about half of a second I wondered if I really wanted to raise a child on my own at this stage in life. I had only the most general idea of where Ryan lived, and no idea at all of his last name. And besides, there was no way that we could or even should marry. The truth was if I kept the baby it would be mine, and mine alone.
I was 41 and single. In my younger days, the guys had looked at me and decided I must have implants, and therefore was a whore. Not a great place to build a relationship. So I was alone. But I was successful, and I could provide easily for this small life I was about to launch. And, I thought with some sentiment, it was a part of Ryan. Each time I looked at the child, I would remember him.
Little did I know!
So, here I am, nursing my child. I'm so very pleased that I have a picture of his father to show him. He will want to know about that someday. I've had one of the five by seven's framed, and it's hanging in the nursery right this moment. That is the least I can do.
I wish I could contact Ryan. It's not that I want him to do anything... only that I wish he knew just how wonderful and magical that night of love turned out to be.
I gave the baby his name. It seemed so proper to do that. And little Ryan is so like his father. The hair, the eyes... it is all there: right down to the small, perfect, rounded little stump that is his left leg.