All They Needed


“I’m sorry, sir, there have been severe thunderstorms in Chicago, and O’Hare airport is closed for the day. All flights in and out are canceled” The flight attendant was really tired of this. She’d been saying the same thing for an hour. It was hard to relate to the bad weather; here in Atlanta it was warm and sunny. Some people acted as if it were her fault, others were more sympathetic, but they all had the same questions. “City of the Broad Shoulders! Hah! Why do they let a little rain stop them?” “Can I get on a different plane, direct to [insert Denver, Minneapolis, Toronto, etc.]” “I expect the airline to reimburse my hotel bill!” And so on.

At least some of the passengers were cute. Like that boy she just talked to. Cute face, pretty good build, probably on the swim team, pleasant to talk to. Couple of inches taller, he might be really hot. He also looked broke, poor kid. He’d probably have to spend a miserable night here in the airport, then half the day tomorrow. At least he didn’t have to change planes again. Chicago was his destination.

Like I said, he was cute, but not so cute that she wanted to grab him, hustle him off to the local digs for flight attendants, fuck him into a daze and then pass him around to any other stews who shared the same place. Even if it had occurred to her, she was due to fly out to Philadelphia in a couple of hours, where her husband would meet the plane. So, yes, this is a porno story, but it doesn’t involve sexy flight attendants.

The boy, Carl Baldwin, really wasn’t all that young; he’d turned eighteen just last week. And 5’8″ really isn’t all that short. Otherwise, he would have agreed with her appraisal. The way he thought about it, he was good-looking enough that a girl wouldn’t kick him out of bed, but she wouldn’t knock herself out to get him into bed in the first place. That was the story of his life, anyway. He was a virgin, though not for lack of trying. He’d get shy and tongue-tied. His buddies even set him up once with a known pushover, but he botched it. (She was nice, though. She never told the guys what hadn’t happened.) The funny thing was, he had a solid, forceful personality in everything else he did, and even funnier, his schlong was a good inch or more longer than average, which looked huge hanging from his sort-of-short frame. He knew these things could be sexy assets, but he just couldn’t close the sale on a date. You’ve known guys like him. You might even be one. Mostly, he needed some self-confidence.

He was also broke. It was his fault; two days ago, the night before his buddy’s wedding, he’d gotten drunk and gambled his cash away in an Indian casino that wasn’t too diligent about examining his fake ID. He had no credit card, which was probably just as well. His parents were camping in Canada. They’d deliberately left their cell phones behind, but what could they have done anyway?

His only alternative to spending the night in the airport was to call his aunt — his mother’s oldest sister, who lived somewhere in the Atlanta metro area. The problem was that she was a large, domineering, bitch, and a borderline alcoholic as well; a thoroughly unpleasant woman. Her husband was worse. They had a daughter a couple months older than Carl, but he hadn’t seen her, or any of them, in years. He assumed his cousin was the defeated, crushed soul typical of such families.

Still, it was only for one night. He’d call. The worst that could happen was that they’d turn him down. Heart in throat, he used his AT&T card to call information. Luckily, their number was listed, and yes, he’d pay the extra fifty cents to be connected. His aunt Hildy — Hildegarde — answered on the second ring. “Hello?”

“Hello, Aunt Hildy? This is Carl Baldwin, your nephew. . . Yes, it has been a long time, how are you?. . . What do I want?” He explained his predicament. “I know it’s a lot of trouble, Aunt Hildy, but I wouldn’t have bothered you if I weren’t desperate. . . No, my mom doesn’t go around badmouthing you. . . She says she wishes you two got along better. . . I know she’s the only family you’ve got, but . . . Well, thanks; I appreciate it a lot. . . Lower level, USAir? Black BMW, ten years old? Forty minutes? . . . I’ll find it. And thanks an awful lot.” She’d hung up. ‘And goodbye to you, too,’ he thought.

He hoped she wasn’t drunk, not yet. Twenty minutes later, he’d found the rendezvous, but she was there first, standing by a car answering her description. It was lucky she’d done so, because he’d have never recognized her. He remembered her as huge — six foot one, his mother once told him, and about that much in diameter. Standing there, she seemed way over six foot one, and statuesque, or Amazonian, not obese. She was no supermodel, but she’d done some serious work on her physique; slim, for a 50-year old woman, and strong. She reminded him of an extreme version of those before and after pictures in the windows of Jenny Craig stores. Maybe even a boob job; those orbs jutted straight out escort bursa from her chest. If she were standing in the noonday sun, they’d give shade to her entire belly. Her outthrust gazongas also reinforced her whole aura of sexiness, written large. Long ponytail, past her shoulders, red with henna. Her face — well, it was easy to see that she must have been a beautiful girl, but all those years of hard drinking and hard partying had left it weathered and lined. Overall, though, a very handsome, if scary, woman.

“Aunt Hildy?” he asked, still not sure it was her.

“Yes, Carl, I’m your Aunt Hildy, and I wish you’d been here when I arrived.”

“Sorry, Aunt Hildy, but didn’t you say. . . ” He let it go. “I’m sorry; I should have hurried. Should I put my stuff in your trunk?” He had one suitcase, because his tux for the wedding couldn’t go in an overhead-compartment sized bag. That and a thick book, the second of Shelby Foote’s three-volume history of the Civil War. Maybe not the best book to be carrying around Atlanta, come to think of it. He stuffed it into the bag.

She opened the trunk. “In here.” He guessed she meant the suitcase, not him, and hoped he’d guessed right. As she went around to the driver’s seat, he sat in front; she didn’t object. She started to drive. He didn’t think she was drunk.

“What are you doing in Atlanta, anyway?” she snapped.

“I went to a friend’s wedding in Jacksonville. I was supposed to change planes here.” He’d explained all this on the telephone.

“Well, you’re lucky I was home. Otherwise you’d have gotten Rachel” — his cousin — “and she’d have gotten lost three times on her way here.”

“How is she?” Carl asked. “And Uncle Bill?”

“Fine, fine. Bill’s away, though. Some remodeling contractors’ convention in Nassau. Probably just drinking rum and chasing girls,” she chuckled without mirth. “And the girls are probably running.”

Carl gulped. “You look great, Aunt Hildy. Have you been. . .”

She gave him a sidelong, hey-kid-what’s-your-angle look. “Quit drinking, and smoking. Doctor’s orders,” she interrupted. “Four, four-and-a-half years ago. Couldn’t stand A.A., and I had to do something, so I joined a health club.” She smiled her first happy smile for him. “Gyms are just as addictive as booze. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“Well, if you live a lot longer, and feel good and look good too, it sounds like a win-win.”

Another appraising, sidelong look. “You look pretty good yourself, Carl. Kinda short, but cute.” ‘Thanks, I guess,’ Carl was thinking. ‘I guess to her, a lot of men are short.’ She smirked, but in a friendly way. “Another tip: you probably date mostly short girls. Be bold. Go the other way. A lot of tall girls are pushovers for short guys.”

“Thanks, I guess,” he said. At one level his feelings were hurt, at another he was thinking maybe that was good advice he ought to try. His mouth started to speak without waiting for him. “You know, Aunt Hildegarde, I never thought of tall girls that way. I figured they’d want tall guys. But you know, I’ll give it a try when I get home. I promise.” As he was speaking, he was confessing to himself how turned on he could be by tall girls. Not 50+ year old inconsiderate dowagers, though. He’d stick to his own kind.

The trip was mostly boring chit chat, how’s this person, how’s that person, Braves vs. Cubs, weather, all interspersed with nasty little comments about Carl’s parents, especially his father, and her own husband. No wonder he hardly knew her or her family. Who’d want to? But all the put downs were making him angry.

They arrived in her driveway. It was a good-sized house, no mansion. You could tell it had been extensively remodeled, probably by Uncle Bill’s company when business was down. Carl just sat in the car, thinking.

“C’mon, boy, out. No Rottweiler or pit bull here. I’m the only bitch in the family.”

He gathered his courage and opened the car door. Leaning on it, he stared at his aunt. “Listen, some of the things you said about my father, and even my mother, are true. But I’m not going to spend the evening listening to you badmouth my folks. I’d rather sleep in the park.”

Her expression went from annoyed, to enraged, to ‘what the hell?’ “Okay,” she growled. “Now get your bag and come on.” She unlocked the door and took him straight to the guest room, an unused room on the main floor of the house. “In there. Did you get any supper?”

“No, but that’s okay. I can make a sandwich or have an apple or something.”

“Don’t get like that, boy,” she snapped, drawing up to her full height, filling the doorway. “You’ve used up your one wish. Me, I wish you hadn’t bothered us, but now that you have, we’ll do the Southern hospitality thing. Now, have you eaten?”

“No ma’am,” Carl almost grinned. “But please don’t go to a lot of trouble on my account. Leftovers would really be great.”

“Bathroom’s over there.” She pointed. “I’ll have Rachel bursa merkez eskort get you some towels.” His aunt marched down the hallway, then shouted up the stairs. “Rachel! Rachel!” Carl could hear his cousin’s voice, but not her words. “Come down her and meet your cousin and get him some towels from the linen closet. . . Yes, now, Rachel. Were there any calls while I was gone?”

Carl retreated into the guest room, and looked around. It was the usual guest room, half taken over by projects; music stand and dusty violin case in the corner, sewing table, boxes of jigsaw puzzles. Outside the window, though, he could see the back yard. It was dominated by a swimming pool, but not your ordinary household pool. The lot was much longer than normal, and the pool was long and narrow. An exercise pool. Twenty-five yards, he guessed, and two lanes. High hedges for privacy. Wow.

A knock on the open door turned him around, to see the girl who was obviously the principal user of the pool. His cousin tall, like her mother, and had the shoulders of an Olympian and the boobs of the proverbial brick shithouse. And legs to match, he imagined, through her tight jeans. Pretty, in a way, but probably hardly anyone looked at her face, anyway. They’d be drooling over her body. Still, decent makeup and a better hair-do would help a lot. Even so, no bag over the head for this girl.

“Rachel?” he asked, extending his hand.

“Who did you expect!” she snapped, throwing his towels on the bed. “I assume you’re my long-lost cousin Carl.”

‘Whoa!’ he thought. ‘What’s with the women in this house?’ He smiled, though, determined to face this one down, big and cranky as she was. “Why yes,” he replied. “Who did you expect?” He’d opted not to use the correct form, “whom.” No sense in pouring gasoline onto this fire. Before she could speak, he added, “That’s a great pool out there. Did your dad install it for you? You look like you get a lot of use out of it.”

“No, it was here when we moved in. Yeah, I do use it. Mom was bugging me to join her health club. Can you imagine! I started swimming to shut her up. It gets boring, but I’m good at it. Done wonders for my bod.” She pointed her finger almost in his face. “I saw you looking!” Almost to herself, she went on: “Swimming’ll get me into college. Then I can quit.” She apparently heard herself grousing and added, “Sorry I’m not more gracious, cousin, but you wrecked my plans. When you called, Mother said I had to stay home because you’d be here. So I’m pissed off, but not really at you. It’s not your fault.” She didn’t need to add, “Except for being such a dumbshit as to blow all your cash in a casino,” she transmitted that part without words. She gave a huge obviously fake smile, an air kiss, pumped his arm in an exaggerated handshake, and left the room without another word.

‘I guess I’ll get plenty of sleep tonight,’ Carl thought. ‘Just to keep out of the way.’ He found his aunt in the kitchen, throwing together a salad and warming up some broiled chicken.

“When the cat’s away, the mice eat healthy,” she said. “Bill only wants steak, pork chops, steak, bacon, pork chops. And bourbon. Jim, Jack, Kroger brand, he doesn’t care. You want some? There’s a case around here somewhere.”

“So he’s not your gym partner?” Carl grinned. He was nervous, but he’d decided that it reflected poorly on his mother to let himself be pushed around here.

“Him!? Two hundred eighty pounds, none of it muscle except in his head. I’m almost afraid to f– to make love because his cardiac arrest would mean Hildy’s actual arrest.”

Aunt Hildy quickly laid out a place setting, complete with supper, on the kitchen table. With brusque politeness she used the good ol’ headache excuse and disappeared. As Carl ate, Rachel came in. She invaded his comfort zone, looming over him. She probably did that a lot. Daughter of a bitch. Looking down over her tits, she growled, “Mother has a headache. She sometimes gets migraines. She says I’ve gotta keep you company.” Exaggerated martyrs’ sigh. “Here I am.”

Carl was getting annoyed. He didn’t need this. Not from either one of them. “Hey, it isn’t my fault, not even a little bit. I didn’t ask her to bother you. But if you’re stuck here with me, we may as well chat. But sit down so I can see your face. You’ve got great tits, but I don’t want to talk through them.” There was no way to tell which of them was more astonished by this outburst, but she sat.

He ate a few more bites of his dinner, letting the silence stretch. She was giving a crummy performance of bored drama queen. Then without warning he started yakking. He gave her an upbeat account of his life — he was no jock, but he had played JV soccer and track and had tried out for his high school teams. He was a good swimmer but something was wrong in his middle ear – he couldn’t flip turn. He was going to Southern Illinois University in the fall, at the other end of the state bursa sınırsız escort from his home in Rockford. He was in between girl friends, and played the drums in a garage band. They stunk, he admitted, but it was fun. Bashing drums is good therapy.

She didn’t thaw, exactly, but even sullen, minimum politeness required her to reciprocate. She had a boy friend, whom she wasn’t seeing this evening, thanks to Carl, which was too bad because she needed a good fuck. School was okay, but it’d be swimming, not her grades, that got her into a good university. She was a year behind because of being sick in bed for almost a year, when she was nine. She was looking forward to crushing all the other girls in the next swim season. She wanted to go to Georgia Tech, close to home and boyfriend. Abruptly, she asked, “Are you finished eating? Here, let me take care of your dishes.”

He’d wanted more salad, but he let it go. She scraped, rinsed and put the dishes in the dishwasher, then with a wrist-flip of a wave, left the room. Carl wandered around the main floor, inspected the spines of the few books on a bookshelf, ran out of sights to see. Rather than invade the family space upstairs, he found some paper and a large book for a base, sat on the couch and began to sketch some of the things in the room. He was no artist, but he’d found that sketching forced him to look closely at things, and notice their details, which he’d never done before, for any purpose. It also helped pass the time, and you could find a piece of paper almost anywhere.

At a few minutes before eleven, he rose to get ready for bed just as Aunt Hildy came down the stairs. “I’m sorry, Carl,” she said, meaning it this time, “I did have a headache, but also I had to call my husband.”

“How’s he doing?”

“He wasn’t in his hotel room, the fat bastard. Off spending Rachel’s college money on some whore, probably. I got so mad that I lay on the floor to do my relaxation exercises, and fell asleep. Not a very good hostess tonight, I’m afraid.” She put a hand on his tricep. “Please forgive me?” Carl noticed without understanding her change in tone, from bitch on a broom to friendly, even flirtatious. ‘What was that about?’

“But at least you’re feeling better?”

Aunt Hildy didn’t answer. Carl started to think she was nervous about something. Or else she thought she needed a drink and was battling with herself about it.

She spied his drawings. “Oh, an artist!” she cooed. “You’re so fortunate to have such talent.”

In fact, he didn’t have much talent, but after a lot of practice he could draw a mantelpiece that looked like a mantelpiece and gewgaws that looked like gewgaws He started to explain, but checked himself. What was the point? So he just said, “Thanks, Aunt Hildy. It’s just something I like to do when I have a free moment.”

“And I rudely left you with too many free moments,” she replied, then lapsed into an awkward pause. “I’m even going to take a moonlight swim.” She leaned over him to whisper in his ear. “Whenever I feel like drinking, I exercise. Like right now.” She stood up and resumed a conversational volume. “Care to join me? It’s a warm night, even for June in Atlanta, and I’m a lot more fun and vivacious in the water than out of it. Besides, Rachel says you admire our pool.”

Carl loved to swim. In fact, he’d been swimming just that morning, at his hotel before leaving for the airport. He’d also left his wet swimming trunks hanging in the hotel bathroom. “I’d love to, Auntie, but I left my trunks in my hotel room this morning.”

“‘Auntie?'” she echoed, eyes amused under raised eyebrows. “Well, Nephie, I think we can fix you up. That fat husband of mine thinks some day he’ll lose a hundred pounds, and keeps all his old clothes. You just wait here a minute.” She disappeared into a doorway, Carl assumed to the basement, and reappeared sooner than he expected. “These are the best I could do,” she said. “They’re ugly, but clean, and it’s just us two in the dark, anyway.”

“Okay, Auntie,” he smiled, “I’m good to go. Let me go change and I’ll meet you at the pool.”

He changed quickly, grabbed a towel, made a quick pit stop across the hall, then almost trotted out to the pool. He’d expected to be first in the water, but as soon as he stepped outside, he could see ripples and hear the soft noises of his aunt, swimming far down toward the other end of the lane. Her robe was draped over a patio table. ‘She must be a real quick-change artist,’ he thought.

The trunks were too big, and even with the string drawn as tightly as possible, they felt like they might fall off. Just to be safe, he didn’t dive in, but used the ladder. As a lap pool, it was only about four feet deep. Still concerned about losing his trunks, he used a stately breast stroke to approach the far end, where he could see his aunt’s dim silhouette.

As he reached her, he was astonished to learn how she’d beaten him to the pool. She’d come straight outside from the living room and dropped her robe to go swimming in the nude. She must have been naked under her robe when they talked. ‘Well, this is a pretty good surprise,’ he mused, then his natural pessimism slapped him. ‘Seductress or cock-teaser?’ an inner voice taunted. ‘She ain’t Miss Congeniality, you know.’

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