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Leading up to New Year’s Day, it seemed as if the entire world wanted to discard 2020 into a trash receptacle like it was a leftover chicken salad that had been left gestating in the refrigerator for twelve months. There had been the notion that with ticking over into a new year, January 1st would magically reshape our Covid-stricken world into something resembling normality.
January passed the baton to February, bringing with it an outbreak of cases in Melbourne from yet another hotel quarantine screw up — something that Australians had become accustomed to — forcing the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews, to impose yet another set of harsh lockdown restrictions on the entire state as the situation began to spiral out of control.
For the coastal town of Port Camden, situated roughly three hours southeast of Melbourne, the continuation of the lockdown seemed superfluous beyond doubt. There had been no cases of community transmission of the virus in the Gippsland area for five days, yet the powers that be refused to lift the restrictions until their fancy magic eight ball finally told them ‘all signs point to yes’ in regard to whether the lockdown should be eased in that region, if not for the entire state.
It hadn’t affected Michael Collingwood’s plans for Valentine’s Day though, as he hadn’t been romantically involved with anyone since Rebecca Greysmith had left a void in his heart when she had ended their three year relationship a little over nine months ago.
The split hadn’t been a particularly acrimonious one, they still remained on good terms, it had just been one of those situations where their wants and needs had been travelling along the same highway but in opposing directions.
Michael supposed he still carried a torch for Bec, a small ember barely lit, but still burning just the same.
Unable to leave the house due to the lockdown, with exception to going shopping for groceries or to have up to one hour of exercise, Michael spent the day of February 14th hunched over his laptop.
He had been using the lockdown to focus on writing the lyrics for his first solo album and, while on other days he had produced decent progress, the going had been not just slow today but bordering on non-existent as thoughts of his love life, or lack thereof, had continued to plague him.
Bec had always been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day and Michael, being a bit of a hopeless romantic, had always been a willing participant in making the day special for her. Last year, just before Covid had taken a wrecking ball to reality, he had rented a houseboat for the occasion and they had slowly motored along the Murray River, Australia’s longest river which stretches a staggering 2,500 kilometres, for three days. Needless to say they only tackled a small portion of it.
In preparation for this year’s Valentine’s Day, prior to their split and in the last few months they had remained together, he had been secretly teaching himself how to play ‘My Funny Valentine’ on the guitar as well as perfecting how to sing the lyrics. It was a short song and he had mastered it well before moving out of the two bedroom rental they had shared.
He sighed, folded the laptop screen down over the keyboard and wandered over to the refrigerator to grab a beer. The clock on his microwave’s digital display told him that it was 5:35pm, which meant it was time to finish up for the day anyway.
The one bedroom flat he had rented after breaking up with Bec suited him nicely. It was nestled in a group of ten flats, each its own standalone building, five on either side of a narrow lane of bitumen. All were identical in terms of layout and design, his flat being the last one on the left at the very far end. It was low maintenance, relatively affordable on his meagre musician’s salary and the neighbours were respectful of their noise levels.
He slipped the ice cold bottle of Heineken into a stubby holder and used a bottle opener to crack open the cap. He carried the beer through the laundry, located just two steps to his right from the refrigerator, grabbed his guitar from the cupboard and exited through the back door connecting the laundry to his own private courtyard at the rear of the flat.
The area was tiny, measuring five metres long and less than half as wide, with small stones carpeting the ground that crunched underfoot with each step.
An old three seat black leather couch, a bargain he had snapped up from a mate of his in exchange for a carton of beer, backed onto the windowless brick veneer wall to his right, which happened to be his bedroom. The couch faced a yellow Colorbond fence which divided his property from his neighbour’s, and beside the couch sat a small wooden table playing host to a few empty bottles of beer.
In an effort to make the space cosier, he had strung up a couple of sets of solar powered fairy lights between the eaves of his roof and a post attached to the fence. They would switch on automatically in a couple of hours when their sensors detected that daylight istanbul escort had yielded to darkness.
There he sat, plucking away at his six string, first chugging back one beer and then another. His thoughts drifted like a man lost at sea and then as dusk descended they focused back onto Rebecca Greysmith with laser-like precision.
He mused over how she had frequently made him laugh by having blonde moments despite being a brunette; a case of her mouth opening and operating before her brain had become engaged, despite being wickedly smart. The way her pretty face would pout whenever she wanted to get her way, which had been often. Her terrible cooking. The way she made love to him, good if never spectacular. Her obsession with jazz. And hundreds upon hundreds of other thoughts and feelings stirred, flashing behind his eyes like a slideshow he couldn’t pause.
Brooding, he closed his eyes and imagined Bec sitting next to him with her head resting on his shoulder.
The fingers of his left hand slid along the fret board of his guitar with newfound purpose, while those on his right strummed.
“My funny valentine,” he sang. “Sweet comic valentine.”
The lyrics dripped with raw emotion, not just due to the words themselves but in the way in which he summoned them. There were many different artists who had tackled the song, from Frank Sinatra to Michael Bublé, but Chet Baker’s crooning rendition, in Michael’s opinion, stood out to be the best and this version had been his inspiration.
It was a short song, roughly two minutes long, yet three years of memories managed to condense within its time frame quite easily.
“Each day is Valentine’s Day…” he finished.
He placed the guitar on the seat next to him with his eyes still firmly closed, leaning it against the back of the couch. His heart thudded inside his rib cage, threatening to burst out of his chest like the alien from the movie with the same name.
“That was so beautiful,” came a soft voice out of nowhere.
“Jesus Christ!” he yelled, launching out of his seat in shock and jerking his eyes open.
In the vague twilight, still ambient enough that the solar powered fairy lights’ sensors had not been tripped, he could see his next door neighbour’s head hovering just above the top of the yellow Colorbond fence.
It was Asami Carter, staring at him with her large brown eyes and offering him an apologetic smile. There was very little that he knew about her, other than the fact that she was of Japanese descent. She had moved in recently and their brief introduction had been the only occasion they had ever spoken.
“That was so beautiful,” she repeated.
“Thanks, I didn’t know I was playing to an audience.”
“Sorry, I was emptying my rubbish bin and I heard you playing. I couldn’t help but listen, it just sounded so good.”
“It’s okay, I don’t mind that you were listening. You just scared the absolute hell out of me, that’s all.”
“It’s okay,” he laughed.
It had slipped his memory that she lived next door to him.
The previous tenant had rarely been home, his job keeping him away for long stretches at a time. Even when he had been there, Michael had never so much as heard a sound of a door slamming shut to suggest it.
Asami, it seemed, had been cut from the same cloth; he had never heard a peep out of her, either.
“My dad used to sing that song to my mum on Valentine’s Day,” she said. “He probably still does. Although he doesn’t play the guitar and he was never as good at it as you.”
“It’s a great song. I’m not a massive fan of jazz music but it’s a wonderful song, absolutely.”
“Can you please sing it to me again?”
“Anything for a fan,” he said, retaking his seat and turning to grab his guitar from where it was propped up next to him.
When he turned back to Asami he was shocked to discover her slinking over the fence as gracefully as a cat. Her bare feet hit the stones as she impacted the ground, bouncing up quickly and parking her firm backside on the seat at the other end of the couch.
“Feel free to come on over, if you like,” he offered with a grin.
“I might just do that, thanks.”
“What about Covid and the lockdown restrictions?”
“Covid schmovid,” she said, waving away his concerns. “We’ve all been in lockdown for over three weeks now. I don’t think either of us has the virus, especially since no one in the region has tested positive for it in almost a week.”
The last of the daylight faded and the fairy lights blinked on.
A soft glow surrounded them, illuminating the couch with enough light that he could see her in all her beauty. Wearing low cut shorts and a tight-fitting tank top, it was very clear that she was comfortable in her own body. Her legs were long, toned by plenty of exercise, and her skin was flawless. What really captivated him though were her eyes; big and brown, expressive but also mysterious, they hypnotised him in a way that kabataş escort he liked very much.
She smiled a knowing smile at him, almost as if she could read his thoughts, then raised an eyebrow as he continued to stare at her. “Gonna play the song?” she asked.
“Oh yeah, the song,” he said, clearing his throat.
This time, rather than singing to the ghost of his underserving ex, he locked his eyes onto Asami’s and serenaded her with ‘My Funny Valentine’ instead.
Being his own worst critic at times, he could safely say that not only was it better than when he had played it earlier — it was one of the best renditions of a song by another artist that he had ever performed.
It was no secret that being able to sing and play the guitar gave him an edge when it came to attracting the fairer sex. Since Bec, however, he had either become oblivious to the reaction or simply outright dismissed it when it occurred.
That was not the case with Asami.
The way she was looking at him told him everything he needed to know. The fact that he had just delivered a powerfully romantic song which held such emotional value to her — on Valentine’s Day of all days — had seemingly created an instant connection between them.
“Wow,” she said, her eyes appearing slightly wet. “That was amazing.”
Even he had been moved by the song. He suspected he owed a lot of the performance to his new muse sitting across from him, the delectable Asami Carter.
“It’s Michael, right?”
“Yup, Michael or Mike, either is fine by me. Asami, yeah? Am I pronouncing it right?”
“It’s close enough,” she said. “Sam is also good.”
“I like Asami, it’s a very pretty name.”
“Mum wanted me to have something authentically Japanese for my first name. She’s second generation Australian but she still likes to think she’s old school.”
“Does it have a specific meaning?” he asked.
Asami glanced away from him, tucking loose strands of her shoulder length black hair behind both ears. “It actually has a few different meanings,” she said.
“And the meaning that your mum intended?”
Her eyes returned to his. They were inscrutable, taking in everything and giving back nothing. “Morning beauty,” she said.
“Morning beauty,” he echoed. “How appropriate.”
“Yeah, it suits you perfectly.”
A blanket of silence fell over them, comfortable and intimate. There was an undeniable chemistry brewing between them, a cocktail of elements made up of equal parts attraction and sexual tension. The urge to kiss her began as a small flame of desire, fanning into a roaring inferno the longer he sat there gazing at her beautiful face.
“Would you like to stay for a drink?” he asked, his mouth suddenly very dry. “I have beer and…probably just beer.”
“A beer sounds great.”
“Good choice. I’ll be right back.”
Michael placed the guitar back onto the seat next to him and crunched his way to the back door, entering it and leaving it slightly ajar. He opened the refrigerator, removed two bottles of Heineken and placed them both on the kitchen counter.
He stood there for a moment, basking in the fluorescent glow of the kitchen light, shaking his head and chuckling to himself. Life sure had a way of pitching curve balls at you, that’s for sure.
“Just don’t be an idiot,” he muttered, popping both of the caps off with the bottle opener lying on the kitchen counter. “She seems to like you, don’t mess it up.”
Picking up both bottles of Heineken, he turned around and crashed into Asami, who had popped out of nowhere again, as stealthy as a ninja. Both bottles frothed up with the sudden impact and gushed all over Asami’s tank top. The light green fabric, thin as it was, instantly became see-through and a blind man could have seen that she wasn’t wearing a bra.
The beer was ice cold, the only way to drink it, causing her nipples to become hard and even more pronounced through the transparent material.
“Oh shit!” he said, returning both bottles back to the kitchen counter. “I’m so sorry, I can’t believe I did that.”
He turned, already working himself into a frenzy over what a giant space cadet he was, and grabbed a hand towel hanging from one of the kitchen cupboard’s door handles. With the towel in hand he proceeded to press it against her breasts and stomach, attempting to absorb the beer out of her ruined top.
He stopped almost as soon as he started, his mouth dropping open comically as he realised what he was doing.
Asami’s arms remained at her sides. She had made no move to deflect his hand as he had massaged the towel against her body. Her amused eyes searched his as he dropped the towel onto the kitchen bench next to the two bottles of Heineken.
Despite the embarrassment of being such an absolute clown, he could feel the familiar stirring between his legs as a smirk crept across her lips.
“Why did you stop?” she asked, looking down at her breasts. “There’s still kadıköy escort so much of it soaked in.”
Asami ran a hand over her left breast, plucking at the wet material as if to say ‘see, you didn’t do a very good job’ and then returned her gaze to his, offering him a questioning look.
He lifted his hand slowly, and under her watchful eyes he caressed her breast in the same area her hand had been, feeling the cold, damp fabric under his fingertips. Her breast was soft and jiggled with the movement of his touch.
“You’re right, your top is pretty soaked. I’m not so sure that we can get it all out with the hand towel.”
“What do you suggest?”
There was an air of naughty playfulness about her that definitely turned him on, but what really appealed to him was the underlying warmth emanating from her. She was outwardly beautiful, yes, but he also sensed an inner beauty he was yet to truly tap into.
He wrapped his arms around her waist and drew her close, savouring the warmth of her lower body as his lips met hers. It was a sensual kiss, all soft tongues and low murmurs, and he could feel his erection grow to full mast as his desire for her intensified.
Asami broke the kiss and caressed his cheek with hers. “You’re already so hard,” she whispered into his ear, her voice husky. “Why are you so hard?”
“Because you are so damn sexy, that’s why.”
“I’m not doing anything. I was just coming in to help and then you poured beer all over me. You’ve made me extremely wet.”
It was in this moment that she began to move her hips against his. First slowly, gently, grinding his erection between their bodies with immensely pleasurable results. Her hands were suddenly all over his arse, squeezing it, pulling the lower half of his body against hers, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet as she dry humped him.
“I think you know exactly what you are doing,” he groaned.
He kissed her again, more passionately, crushing his lips against hers, cupping her face in his hands as she moaned into his mouth.
The desire he felt for her was not just overwhelming; it was all-consuming. Nothing else existed, only her body and her mouth and her large brown eyes, all charged with a sexual energy for him that mirrored his own for her.
They yanked at each other’s clothes with frantic hands. As he pulled her towards the bedroom, he managed to slide her tank top inside out up her body and over her raised arms, flinging it somewhere into the living room. His t-shirt came next, sharing the same fate as her tank top.
The door to his bedroom stood closed and they burst through it in haste, his hand searching blindly for the light switch. They were both trying to pull each other’s shorts down at the same time, almost tripping each other over as they stumbled towards the bed.
Michael lowered Asami onto the mattress and climbed on next to her. His trembling fingers undid the button at the front of her low cut shorts, pulled down the zipper, and then slid the fabric down her long legs, leaving her lying below him in just her purple lace panties and nothing else.
Every square inch of her bare skin was dusky, with no tan lines evident. Her body was lovely, fit and toned, her breasts shapely with puffy, light pink areoles surrounding her stiff nipples.
She raised herself up onto her elbows, pushing her breasts out at him in an extremely provocative way. Her smile was large and extended all the way to her eyes, which were big and brown and shining brightly, clearly delighted by the way he was admiring her body as if it was a fine piece of art.
“Do you like what you see?” she asked.
“You could say that.”
“But would you say that? I want to hear you say the words.”
“Your body is incredible.”
“That wasn’t so hard, was it?” she teased.
“I don’t know,” he answered, looking down at the tent protruding from the front of his shorts. “It looks pretty hard to me.”
Still resting on one elbow, she reached out and massaged the tent, trying to wrap her fingers around him through the fabric. “It feels as hard as it looks,” she said.
Michael reached down as she continued to play with him, running his hand through her thick, dark hair. Asami turned her head and kissed the palm of his stroking hand, the gesture tender and loving. His other hand caressed her cheek with the backs of his fingers, then he grazed his fingertips down her neck and over her breasts, teasing her nipples with the briefest of touches, finally moving the tips of his fingers lightly over her stomach towards her panties. Those same fingertips found the elastic band of her underwear and tugged downwards, pulling her panties inside out down her thighs, past her calves and over the tips of her toes.
“Now it’s your turn,” she said, tugging at the hem of his shorts.
Doing the honours for her, he stood up quickly from the bed and shed the last of his own clothes, tossing them aside. His erection swung wildly as he moved, pointing towards her like a needle on a compass, guiding him where to go.
Laying back, Asami cupped her left breast with her right hand, pulling gently on her nipple as she flashed him a sultry look, and then spread her legs apart and reached down with her free fingers to rub her glistening vagina.
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