Making Changes

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Note to readers. This story deals with a fetish which revolves around attractive women who smoke. Now before you go off half cocked claiming that’s something no one is in to, do a simple search of the topic before you opine. There are many sites dedicated to this fetish and although smoking has become taboo in America as well as in other countries, the fetish is still very much alive and well.

Further, if you’ve lost someone to lung cancer or emphysema, please don’t bother commenting as a way to express your disapproval as it will have zero effect. Here’s why: from the moment life begins, it comes with a death sentence. There are no exceptions. What we do in the interim is a matter of personal choice and as long as no one is forcing us to do something, then it’s no one else’s business what we do. People engage in risky behaviors every day. Young people die base jumping and scuba diving all the time. They drive too fast, drink too much, and die too young. Death is a part of life. So if you have a real hard on with smoking, please do us both a favor and read someone else’s story more to your liking. That too, is a choice you’re free to make.

In addition to smoking, this story also addresses the topics of threesomes, mild discipline, and cuckolding, both of which are also very popular sexual themes.

This story is based on my own actual experiences with my wife who did indeed start smoking later in her late 20s. For that matter, all of the stories I’ve written with the exception of Love Free or Die, are based on things which I’ve personally done or experienced to include my involvement with two different religious denominations and two affairs with older, married women my senior year in high school. The characters I write about are people I know—all of whom are still very much alive—so I’ve given nearly all of them different names for obvious reasons. I’ve left smoking out of all of them until now, but it was an integral part in several of them.

If smoking is offensive to you, this won’t be your cup of tea. If however, you are an admirer of beautiful women who smoke, I believe you may well enjoy reading it.


Chapter 1

I sat down all both boxes of party decorations and slipped the key Joan lent me into the lock on her front door. As I turned it, the door opened and there stood the birthday girl herself.

“Well, this is awkward!” I said. “Someone isn’t supposed to be here right now.”

“Oh, my goodness. I am SO sorry! I traded days with Tamara so I could go to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned and take my car to the shop.” Kate looked outside and saw everything I’d laid on the porch. “I don’t suppose it would help if I agreed to pretend I never saw you, would it?” she teased.

Like Joan, Kate was raised in South Carolina, but had just the slightest southern accent. It wasn’t thick the way Joan’s was. I’d been dating Joan for about a year and her heavy twang was something I found very off-putting most of the time. Kate’s was just barely noticeable and I found it charming. “It couldn’t hurt,” I said as optimistically as I could. “Joan can be rather unforgiving when it comes to having her plans spoiled.” I saw the look on Kate’s face then said, “Sorry. I didn’t mean it that way.”

Before I could continue, Kate said, “It’s okay. I understand. We’ve been roommates for almost two months and well, that’s probably all I should say.” Kate looked back outside and offered to help me bring everything in. I accepted her offer and we picked up everything and sat it on the dining room table.

“Um, so…can I help you set things up for my ‘surprise’ birthday party?” Kate asked sheepishly. “I really am so sorry. You said it exactly right when you said this was awkward. This is all Joan’s idea, isn’t it?”

“I’m afraid it is, Kate. And heaven help me if I don’t have it all ready by the time she gets home this evening.”

“We’ve got several hours so if you don’t mind me helping, we should be able to get everything done by then. Would that be too weird if I help you?” Kate asked.

I couldn’t help but laugh. “You know what? I don’t think things could get any more weird around here so, sure, I’d really appreciate your help.” I grabbed the Happy Birthday banner then asked, “Are you sure you can pull off a look of genuine surprise later on, though?”

Kate laughed, too. “I’m not sure, but I’ll give it my best shot.”

We found the perfect place for the banner and then started either hanging everything else up or putting it where it needed to go. At one point, I realized I was staring at Kate. “Is everything okay?” she asked.

I snapped out of it and told her, “Oh, sure. I was just trying to think of the name of this woman you look like. It wouldn’t come to me at first and then I remembered the show I saw her on called Life as We Know It. Her name is Marguerite Moreau. Do you know who she is?”

“Oh, right! She played a high school teacher who had a fling with one of her students on a show that only lasted a year. She’s very pretty. You think I look like her? Really?”

“I do. A lot. She is pretty but pendik escort I have to tell you, you’re a lot cuter than she is. For what it’s worth, my mom thinks Marguerite looks like Karen Valentine. I had to Google the name but I found her. She was on a show back in the ’70s called Room 222. You’re a nicer combination of both.”

I was surprised when Kate blushed. “Oh, my gosh. That’s just crazy!” Kate busied herself to avoid making eye contact.

“I take it no one’s ever told you that before.”

“Hardly! I’ve been in a bad marriage for so long getting a compliment of any kind would have been a major event; being told I’m prettier than two gorgeous actresses would never happen.” Kate was clearly very flustered which wasn’t my intent.

“I didn’t mean to say anything to remind you of your marriage. I only meant it in the nicest way. I’m sorry if I…”

“It’s okay. Really,” Kate said cutting me off in mid-sentence. “I’m just not used to hearing nice things.” She shuffled some things around then said quietly, “Especially not from guys who are as cute as you.” She still hadn’t looked at me. She waited for a moment then said, “Okay, so let me tell you who I think you look like. Do you wanna take a guess first?”

I laughed. “I’ve been told quite a few times I look like one of two guys on TV. Sometimes they tell me I look like the Joey character on Friends but most of the time I hear Dean Cain. You know, Superman.” I struck a pose with my hands on my hips and turned my jaw up high.

Kate finally turned around and saw me acting the fool. She smiled then threw her hands up and said, “Oh, my goodness! I totally see that. Dean Cain I mean. Oh! I just remembered the actor on that show you mentioned. Sean Farris. That was the guy who played Dino. He’s the guy I was thinking of that you look like to me. But I think Dean Cain is a better fit.”

I thanked Kate for the kind words but wanted to change the subject. I just wasn’t comfortable with compliments and I probably never would be. “I wasn’t sure I should even stop by today other than to drop off all of the party stuff,” I said. “I mean, after last night I’m probably persona non grata around here.”

Kate still hadn’t looked at me but it seemed like the fire in her cheeks had died out again. Finally she said rather timidly, “I was wondering what happened. Joan was really in a snit when she came home. I wanted to ask what was wrong but I decided not to ask as it was none of my business so… I’m sorry. Let’s just finish this up so I can get out of here and come back later and be surprised, shall we?”

“Joan told you, didn’t she?” I said. “May I ask exactly what it was she said? I mean, if you don’t mind me asking, that is.”

“Oh, boy. I’ve really done it now,” Kate said as though she regretted even mentioning last night. She finally turned to look at me and the look on her face indicated she was worried. “If Joan finds out I talked to you about this…” Kate said. “I mean, she was just so angry! I could tell she wanted to talk so I just let her know I was there for her in case she wanted to. After a lot of ranting and fussing, she decided to share some of what happened with you guys. So please don’t blame her. This is all my fault, Cal.”

I smiled and shook my head. “No, it isn’t your fault, Kate. You’re not the one who did the talking. You were the good friend who was there for her when she needed a sympathetic ear. None of this is your fault. In fact, it’s no one’s ‘fault.’ It’s just two people who seem to have come to the realization this relationship isn’t meant to be.”

Kate didn’t look surprised so obviously she at least knew the gist of last night’s conversation-gone-awry. “I’m so sorry to hear you say that. You two seemed like the perfect couple to me. And you love her son, Caleb, like he’s your own. I just thought…I mean, it seemed like things were going great for you two. Didn’t you guys recently talk about getting married?” Kate put her hands over her mouth as her eyes opened wide. “Oh, my goodness. What is wrong with me today? I can’t seem to mind my own business.”

I stopped her and said, “Again, that’s on Joan. She’s the only one who knew we’d discussed the possibility of getting married and if she confided in you then knowing it isn’t some kind of sin or anything. The truth is, we did discuss marriage and things did seem to be going reasonably well until last night.” After hesitating for a moment I added, “I say reasonably well because, well…Joan isn’t exactly the easiest person to please or even get along with and I dropped a real bombshell on her last night.”

Kate nodded and said, “I hate to agree with you because she’s been so kind by opening her home to me like this, but believe me, I know what you mean.” She finished with the last of the decorations and said, “You know it seems like you could really use a friend right now yourself. If you want to talk about this, I’m happy to listen.” She paused then said, “It’s one of my best traits, you know. Listening, that is.”

I grabbed the two empty boxes then told her, “Thank you, Kate. You really maltepe escort are a good friend. I don’t know you all that well, but from the couple of very brief times we’ve talked, I have to agree. You most definitely are a good listener and frankly, I find it hard to believe your husband couldn’t see all of the good qualities you have. I know your divorce isn’t final yet, but trust me, you won’t have any problem finding a really great guy who will appreciate those qualities once it is. Besides, I really meant what I said. You’re a very attractive young woman and my money’s on you not lasting six months on the open market before Mr. Right comes along and snatches you up.”

Kate’s cheeks glowed again as she turned away from me to find something else to pretend to be doing even though there was nothing left to do. “Listen to you!” Kate exclaimed. “Calling me a young woman! You may not have heard I’m turning twenty-nine—the real twenty-nine—today and after the hell I’ve been through in my marriage, I don’t feel very young. I mean, I’m living here with another divorcee after finally getting up the nerve to leave, Andy, my soon-to-be ex-husband of nine years. He’s an angry, abusive alcoholic, my car has major problems, and I’m barely able to pay my bills even working full-time.” Kate looked sad and yet she still managed to smile. “So I don’t feel either young or pretty but thank you for saying that just the same, Cal. It means a lot coming from a guy who really is young and…well…someone who really is very good looking. And while I’m saying everything else wrong I may as well add this. If Joan doesn’t see what a great guy you are and if she can’t put last night aside, then she doesn’t deserve you.”

I carried the empty cardboard boxes toward the front door. Kate opened it for me so I could get through and take the boxes out to my car. As I passed her I told her, “My age is another sticking point with Joan—among many other things. For some reason, the thought of marrying a guy who’s three and a half years younger than her really bothers her. She said, I’ll be twenty-five years old while you’re still just twenty-one and I’m not sure I can handle that.”

Kate followed me outside. “Seriously? You can’t be serious! SHE can’t be serious. I’m almost 30…okay, twenty-nine, but not technically until 8:47pm this evening…but I would LOVE to find a good, decent man who was three or even four years younger than me.” I opened the trunk and put the boxes inside then shut it tight. “Especially if he was smart, funny, caring, loved my son, and was…really cute.” Kate’s voice trailed off as she said that and when I turned toward her and my eyes met hers she immediately looked away.

I didn’t respond but to what Kate said but I did thank her for her help. “Did you need to grab anything before we go?” I asked.

“Just my purse and sweater. It’s starting to get chilly. I’ll be right back.”

“Wait a second,” I said. “Where did you say your car was? I just noticed it isn’t here. That’s why I was so surprised you were here.”

Kate stopped and turned around as she said, “I got my mamma to drop me off. I had my car taken in because the engine is making a noise and the guy said I need an oil change, too. It’s been over a year and I’m just hoping it something serious because I don’t have the money for it.”

“A year? Oh, my goodness, Kate. No wonder your car has problems. Your engine’s gonna be nothing but sludge. Didn’t that sorry lout of a husband do anything around the house?” I saw the smile fade from her face as I realized what I’d said. “Oh, man. That was not how I meant that. I’m so sor…”

“It’s okay,” Kate said. “It’s the truth. He didn’t do much of anything except drink, spend all the money I made, and…throw me around…” Kate stopped talking and said, “I’ll be right back out, okay?”

In less than a minute we were on the way to my place which was less than five minutes from where she currently lived with Joan. Kate went to get out and I said, “No, ma’am. Not in my car. Ladies don’t open their doors. Please wait right there.” Kate wasn’t used to be treated nicely and she was thrilled to have something so basic done for her. I thought she was going to hug me when I took her hand and helped her out of the car but she just smiled that gorgeous smile of hers and thanked me for being such a gentleman.

“Come on in,” I said as I unlocked the door and opened it for her.

She stepped past me, took a quick look around and said, “Oh, my!” she said. “I can tell a bachelor lives here!” Another look of horror followed by, “Ugh! What is wrong with me! I just meant that it’s very um…spartan. It’s actually quite clean.” She quickly added, “And nice!”

I sat my car keys on the coffee table and said, “No worries! That’s my only real goal. Clean and functional. It definitely isn’t nice but thank you anyway. I’m hopeful that some day I’ll have a wife who’ll be able to take care of the decorating and what not because that’s just not something I’m good at. For now, I just make sure to keep things picked up and put away.”

“Well, you’ve kartal escort certainly managed to do that,” Kate said cheerfully. “So how much longer do you have before you get out?” she asked me.

“Seventy-eight days,” I said. “If I were counting.” That was a common phrase for short-timers like me. Marines who were close to their EAS (expiration of active service) and who were due to be discharged in the near future.

“So what will you do when you go back home? You’re from Seattle, right?” Kate asked.

“Near there but I always just say Seattle because no one’s heard of all the little nearby towns with Indian names like Puyallup, Enumclaw, or Snohomish. I’m going to go to the University of Washington and plan on majoring in engineering,” I replied. “But for the first year I’m going to a community college in a town called Auburn to take a bunch of the prerequisites in math and science in a setting with smaller class sizes.”

“Engineering? I knew you were smart but that’s impressive. What do you plan to do once you get your degree?” she inquired earnestly.

“I’m still not sure. I’ve always loved aviation so my plan—for now at least—is to get a dual degree in aerospace and mechanical engineering and then try to work for a company like Boeing or maybe McDonnell-Douglas. Can I get you something to drink, Kate?” I asked.

“Yes, please. I’d love some iced tea if…” She stopped dead in her tracks.

“Oh, my goodness! I am SO, so sorry! That’s just such an engrained habit. My apologies. I know Mormons don’t drink tea and I don’t either anymore. I mean, since I’m planning on joining the Church once I finish all of the discussions with the missionaries. Maybe just some water?”

“Again, no need to apologize. I don’t think drinking a glass of iced tea—or as you southern belles say—’sweet tea’—is a capital offense or anything.”

I handed her a glass of water and Kate said, “That kind of surprises me, Cal. Don’t you think the Word of Wisdom is really important?”

*”The Word of Wisdom” is an umbrella term members of the LDS or Latter-day Saints (Mormon) Church used to describe their complete abstinence from alcohol, tobacco in any form, coffee, and tea. Colas and chocolate also contain caffeine, but they aren’t prohibited. The others are strictly taboo and any use of them disqualifies a church member from being able to go to the Mormon Temple. If one can’t go to the Temple, one can’t be married for “all time and eternity” and therefore cannot be exalted which means to become a God or Goddess in the next life. Mormons believe that God, whom they call “Heavenly Father”, was once a mortal man like us who “lived worthily”, married a good Mormon woman in a temple on his earth, and who then become our God and our Heavenly Father and so on for eternity past. Jesus is our “elder brother” and a god, but not Heavenly Father. He was just the firstborn spirit of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother in the pre-existence from whence we all can. We can likewise do the same and become Gods and Goddess “creating worlds without end” if we “live faithfully and endure to the end.” A huge part of that is obeying the Word of Wisdom—in full.

“I can certainly see the appeal of life without alcohol after all you’ve been through, Kate. It’s none of my business, but if I understood you earlier, you put up with things no woman should ever have to endure. Sadly, it seems like far too many women do put up with it. None of them should have to—especially one as attractive and as nice as you. Okay, that didn’t come out right. It makes no difference what a woman looks like. No one deserves to be abused.”

Kate didn’t blush this time, but I was pretty sure I saw her tear up. Just as she’d done when she’d blushed, Kate quickly turned away. She grabbed a chair and sat down facing away from me. The she said quietly, “Thank you. That means so much to me and your comment about looks not mattering…that’s not something most guys would say. As to me, I definitely don’t feel pretty or even…wanted. I just feel…”

I sat my glass down, stood up, and walked over to her. I pulled a chair next to hers and said, “Kate. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through and I would never ask. But you really are a wonderful person and unless you need glasses really, really badly, you can’t possibly not see how beautiful you are.” I waited for her to look up and me then said, “Joan is a very nice looking girl, but she’s not even in your league. You, my dear, are what we young’uns call a hottie.”

Kate looked up and this time I did indeed see a tear fall from her eye followed by a brave attempt to smile. I reached out and wiped away the tear with the back side of my finger. “If only you were available. Well, and if only I was five years younger,” she added.

I reached out and took her hand and said, “Kate. If I were available, I would ask you out in a minute. And for the record, I wouldn’t want you to be one day younger. I probably shouldn’t mention this but since it’s true…” I paused and noticed she was looking directly into my eyes now. “Among many other things, I have a huge thing for older women. Not just 3-4 years older but well…let me just say that you’re exactly the kind of woman I would be searching for if I wasn’t dating Joan.” I paused again then said, “And after last night, that may not be for much longer.”

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