The set-up for the evening was perfect. He still had her scent in his nose when he left the house that night.
He knew that she had been feeling randy. After all of these years they could read each other effortlessly. When he’d remarked that he might “take out the board tonight” she had let that thought settle in her mind for a while before she came and found him in what used to be his study. He’d been sitting at his desk, checking the Internet to see where it would be this evening. On Thursday nights it was typically at the old Sheraton off the Beltway, but he needed to check the notices. He’d found what he was looking for quickly enough.
As was her tendency when her nature was up, she didn’t say anything as she came into the room. He turned in his expensive Executive’s Chair and looked at her when he heard her enter. Funny… how they had developed such unspoken signals over time. He instantly knew her intent from the expression on her face and the fact that she said nothing. For any other purpose, her conversation would have begun steps before she even entered the room. The fact that she said nothing at all spoke volumes.
She also moved differently at times like this. When she was bringing an itch that she needed him to scratch for her, her gait took on a feline quality. Itwas like everything smoothed out and became more fluid and graceful. He wondered if she was aware of it. He had never been a cat person, so he found it ironic that he would perceive such cat-like qualities in her when she was in heat.
She was wearing that old shapeless gray sweater that she loved to wear around the house most days. It was hanging low off of her shoulders, showing off the low cut black slip she word underneath. Her legs and feet were bare. She rarely wore shoes indoors which only contributed to the cat analogy in his mind.
The "fly-on-the-wall" would have thought they’d choreographed their movements. He looked back at the dual, Flatron monitors on his desk as she approached. When she could reach him, she extended her hand to caress his neck as she walked around his right side. As she did he slid the thickly padded leather chair back from the desk to make room for her. He looked into her eyes as she sat in his lap assuming the cuddle they’d found and perfected so long ago. He could feel the curves of her body beneath the sheer black slip as she adjusted her ass cheeks to find her place in his lap. He gently moved her hair off of his face as her head fit perfectly in the crook of his neck. His face showed only a small half smile now as he held her tight with his left arm. That left arm pulled her close and provided the reassurance that she needed.
He allowed the chair to tip back as she swung her legs up and over the right armrest. The chair groaned in protest from the added weight but they seemed confident in its ability to support them yet again this evening. His practiced right hand then pulled her right leg in closer to him and reached in between her thighs. Beneath the slip that had risen higher up over her thighs, he found that she’d already removed her panties before coming into the room. She was also already wet with anticipation. He could smell her familiar aroma deep in his nose. Her whole body shivered as he cupped her mound and just held her for a bit.
He never quite remembered if she ever kissed his neck and face when they embraced in this fashion... or just buried her face under his ear. When she came to him like this it was simply clear to them both that she needed hers. He, however, would be able to register the pleasure etched across her face by simply feeling her face pressed hard against him and listening to her sounds as he gently probed and stroked her. She would routinely tease him later about his scratchy beard stubble, as was always the case at the end of the day, but he had convinced himself that she actually preferred it like that.
Of the two of them, he was the romantic. When he needed his, he preferred to take her to bed with his night music playing and sensual muted lighting. She seemed to need no such preamble. She would find her place in his arms here at his desk or on their couch… even once when he was sitting on the toilet reading. He’d actually feared they might break the toilet seat.
He knew to allow her time to reach her peak on such evenings. There was no hurry. It was still early enough for him, and she knew that once he took the board out, that she would not see him again before she retired this night. She never knew when he would find his way home on such nights, so she had come to get hers first.
On this evening, she had trembled and writhed in the grip of two noisy orgasms before she had finally relaxed across his thighs. She had taught his fingers the subtleties of her own inner folds and ridges... to the extent that he could play her like a musical instrument. When her breathing subsided and he could feel her smile against his neck… and he could hear the happy sounds that he automatically listened for... he gently eased his hand from within her. Often times, in working toward her climax she merely needed deeply embedded fingers, curved just so to thrust against.
This night she’d gripped three fingers in her slick embrace.
Still without exchanging any actual words, she squirmed around enough to reach down between them to find him hard and erect... still fully clothed. When she found him and squeezed, she leaned back just enough to see his face. He smiled fully now, with a barely perceptible shake of his head. He did not want to go any further than this when he was taking the board out. He did not want to lose his focus. She knew this, but she always asked anyway just to be sure. Had he indicated differently she would have happily swung around to ease him inside of her, or slid down to the floor and taken him in her mouth. As sated as she was right then, she would have given him anything… but she knew he was already where he wanted to be.
Thirty minutes later, he had showered, shaved and dressed in fresh clothes. He wore jeans under an old, well worn navy blazer missing some buttons and a white shirt this evening. It was one of his favorite shirts. It wasn’t a dress shirt. The collar is too small and it's frayed and you would never put a tie on such a shirt. But it was a long sleeve shirt with ivory buttons that he’d found in the Caymans many years ago and loved it instantly. He’d always been on the lookout for another just like it.. with perhaps just a little more room in the middle.
His board was now leaning against the bedroom door, closed and latched. The handle was so worn from use that the inner wire was exposed and clearly visible. It actually hurt his fingers at times to carry it, but that was of no real concern. The exterior surface was battered and scuffed from too many long nights and too many years of use. It was a functional board for playing the game. Closed, the old case measured almost 21 inches wide by 16 inches deep, but when opened to its full 32 inch surface with racks, you quickly realized that it offered lots of room to maneuver.
Mostly he’d needed a large board to allow for the luxurious checkers that comfortably fit his hand, which even today still looked rich. Only upon close examination could you see the fine scratches and blemishes on the thick circular disks. The set had cost less than two hundred dollars when it was new, but he’d customized it with upgraded accessories that made it special. He still loved the brown-cream marbleized checkers with matching clear dice and the thick stitched leather shakers.
But most of all he loved his doubling cube. It was clearly his weapon of choice these days.
He had searched long and hard before finding an oversized, cream colored doubling cube that matched his set and his aggressive style of play. He’d learned early on that most players think the game is a matter of luck and if you happen to roll better dice, you will get around the board faster and win. First of all that was not necessarily true... but even if it was, that was not his game.
When he had first learned to play back in New York City, the game had become quite popular among the young party people his age. It was not uncommon to go out to night clubs and find young men and women, dressed-to-impress of course, playing backgammon in the lounge as a way of meeting new people. So he quickly learned the game, adapting to the tempo and the style of the game. Played well, this is a fast paced game with higly recommended opening moves and immediately recognizable positions -- depending upon the dice at each turn. It was even a fun spectator sport, (unlike chess which he actually played well) but watching someone else playing was like watching paint dry.
Most often he played with a friend named Earl, and they played frequently enough that they both became quite good at it. They observed tournament rules, playing a series of games where each game was worth a single point, and the first to reach a predetermined number of points would win. This is where the doubling cube came in. At the beginning of each game, the doubling cube is placed in the middle of the board, or on The Bar... and is not controlled by either player. When you feel like you have an advantage, you can choose -- before you roll the dice -- to offer a double. You now stand as the doubler. Your opponent can turn down the offer, and immediately concede that game, or one point, by doing so. (I win... but that's not the real fun.)
If your opponent accepts the offer, however, the value of the game doubles (e.g. from 1 to 2, from 2 to 4, from 4 to 8, etc.) and the game now continues, and your opponent now holds the cube. That means that he, or she, is now the only person who can make the next offer of a double in that game. The value of the game from that point forward is reflected by the number “2” on the doubling cube sitting securely on the side of the current owner. The numbers on the six-sided cube are 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64, but there is technically no limit to how many times the value of the game can double. (Now... the game is hot. There is nothing better than having him accept a hard double... only to bring the board crashing down on him.)
The real education began when they felt cocky enough to visit the Backgammon Parlors on 14th Street in Manhattan. That is where they had to get spanked a few times to learn the real game and the power of the doubling cube as a strategic weapon. They continued to play tournament rules in the parlors, but they also now played for money. There was no way to discern the casual player from the guy that made his living off the doubling cube until you found yourself several hundred dollars in the hole to a scruffy old man with bad teeth and a very cheap board. You just couldn't see them coming. These were professional hustlers with backgammon boards. (He knew he was their equal... even if the early lessons were costly.)
When you are playing for money with people who know what they are doing, it becomes a multi-dimensional experience. The unpredictability of the dice becomes almost irrelevant because you are constantly shifting strategies and placement within a single game. You learn in time, that there are just as many factors at play in backgammon as there are in poker. Timing is everything in doubling, since there are times when you want the cube accepted and times when you deliberately use it to close down the game. How you play your checkers and how you offer the cube conveys confidence or fear. Unfortunately, sometimes the illusion of “fear” was only a lure to get his opponents to accept a very bad double. (Yeah... at times like that he was steamin'.)
As he left the house this night on his way to the old Sheraton, the set-up for the night was perfect. He still had her scent in his nose when he left the house that night. When the economy had tanked and the work all but dried up, they had stumbled around blindly for a while like many others. They had gone from his comfortable six figure income to almost nothing. She went back to work. When he finally looked for a job, he discovered that he was actually older than he felt and he was competing with much younger people for the same jobs. But these were jobs he really didn’t want to do anyway.
So he’d fallen back on some all but forgotten skills. They didn’t see him coming.
His once elegant board, now looks like an old and very cheap backgammon set. He takes care to dress like one of the out-of-work “baby boomers,” down on his luck and just out looking for something to do… which in a way is exactly what he is. (Gotta look the part baby.) (Come get the poor fool who wandered in off the street. He don't know what he's doin'. Look at him carrying that big board like he knows what to do with it.) (Yeah.... steamin'.)
He’s found a few different nearby networks of backgammon players who get together at different locations throughout the city and the surrounding areas to play. (He once drove for almost two hours to play.) They maintain a well designed web site to recognize the nightly tournament winners on a regular basis. The tournament winners win the pot for that evening and there is almost always a couple of hundred dollars in the pot.
But the real excitement is in the side games. Dollar a game, sometimes five, ten or twenty dollars a game. He no longer earns six figures... but he is not looking for work anymore.