You're better off without her, be mine instead

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Miss Jo

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Karen was having such a good time with Lester. It had been so long since the two had hung out. It was nice. When he mentioned that he was unsure about dinner, she could feel the disappointment creeping on. That wasn't a feeling she liked very much.

Then he started to laugh, he was joking with her. "Honestly, yes," Lester had the type of laugh that even if you didn't know what he was laughing about, you couldn't resist laughing with him.

And then he did it again.

Mentioning Amanda brought both of their laughter to a stop. Karen shook her head, "don't worry about it." She mustered a smile. She caught his gaze and felt instantly sad. She did her best to mask her emotions. She could see the pain in his eyes.

"I'll see you at 7!"

When Lester had arrived, Karen's condo was filled with the aroma of her cooking. The aroma escaped her condo and the scent lingered outside of her door. She had grilled chicken and vegetables outside on her patio. Everything was fresh. She couldn't wait to dig in!

The doorbell rang and she greeted Lester with a hug. She had to admit that she was uncertain if he would stay true to his word. He had canceled on her before. "Come in, come in!" She led him inside and out onto the patio. "Ta-da!" She presented the patio table that was filled with food. It was more than enough for the two of them, but that was ok. She would send him home with food.
 

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Back home, Lester unpacked the bag, place everything he bought into the fridge and dropped on the couch. Surfing through channels, he soon felt asleep. It was 6:23 pm when he opened his eyes the next time. "Fuck!" he murmured and took a short shower, tried to shave quickly but ended up cutting himself in three places. At 06:44 he left his house, dressed in a dark pair of jeans and a white collar shirt.

Luckily there was no traffic. At 06:59 he was ringing the bell on Karen´s door, the smell of home cook food causing him to salivate. He stood there as she hug him, trying to show a little enthusiasm and wrapped his arms around her waist, softly petting at her back.

"This smells delicious, Karen." He stepped into the patio, looking at the table. "If you´re good as a cook as you´re a friend, I bet all this will taste perfectly." He said and pulled a chair, sitting down. "Sorry I didn't brought anything. I have been busy all day." He lied, not wanting her to know he just slept.
 
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Miss Jo

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Karen smiled, and thanked him. "Don't worry about it," she shook her head and gestured him to sit down while she plated the food. "I'm just glad you came," she smiled again as she handed him a plate of food and sat down across the table from him. Lester had always been a reliable friend, lately, however; he had not been. It was completely understandable, yet it sometimes hurt Karen's feelings.

"So what were you doing?" She questioned, unfolding the cloth napkin that contained a fork and a knife, wondering what could have kept him busy all day.
 

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Lester was hungry, so before she could end her question, he used his fingers to steal a small bite of food from the plate. "Mmm...well..." He tried to answer between bites, chewing at his food, "...just some work at home." Why did you had to lie? Lester hated himself for that, but he wanted Karen to think he was doing better, trying to sort his life.

"This is good! Very good. Now I understand why you buy everything from the market." He said looking at her, changing the subject quickly. "And again, thanks for the invitation, Karen. I needed this. It feels...normal."
 
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Clearly, Lester was very hungry. He started to eat, too impatient to use his utensils. It made Karen blush as she looked down at her plate, cutting into the piece of chicken, its tender juices pouring out of it with each slice. She nodded in agreement with him when he mentioned the market. "Everything is always fresh! It's a bit pricier, but it is worth it, especially when it comes to health."

"I needed this. It feels...normal."

Karen swallowed and it went done roughly due to the small knot that had formed in her throat. He was making her feel sentimental all over again. She washed down the knot with the wine that she poured into her glass. She took a breath and smiled at him. "You're always welcome in my home, Lester. No need to thank me."
 

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Lester picked up the fork and knife, following Karen´s example. He was hungry and soon, his plate was almost empty, chewing quickly at his food, moaning and groaning between bites. Washing the food with half a glass of wine, he lean back on his chair and looked at Karen, as she was still eating. The words from the coffee shops, the words those young guys used to describe Karen came back to him. Karen was indeed a very beautiful woman. He kept studying her face, trying to find some resemblance between her and Amanda. But there was none. Except for the eyes maybe. They both had their mother´s eyes. But other than that, nothing alike. They both were beautiful, thought. Amanda was always wearing make up, used tight clothes, enjoying the attention she was getting from males. But Karen was much more younger and the age different could easily be seen. She was like a hidden jewel, with perfect skin, sexy fully lips and a perfect body, hidden by the normal clothes she liked to wear.

Realizing he was staring at her, Lester moved his eyes down to the plate and took his last bite. "That was perfect, Karen! You are indeed a good cook. Just as you are beautiful. Whoever will marry you, will surely hit the jackpot!" He said smiling. The wine was quickly raising up his head, making his cheek red.
 
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Things were quiet for a while and Karen chose to look down at her food while she ate, uncertain of what to say. She listened to the way the leaves moved with the wind, and the distant cars zooming past each other on the main roads. She closed her eyes for a moment, took a deep breath. A scent mixture of food and the earth entered through her nasal passage and into her lungs. It was a lovely night, and who better to spend it with than Lester?

She looked up at caught his before he looked down at his plate. The momentary gaze caused her to blush. She brushed strands of hair behind her ear three times in a nervous manner. Why did she always have to blush when he was around? She was thankful that it was dim lighting, and that he was not looking at her to see the blush.

Karen blushed even harder when he mentioned how beautiful he thought she was. That was the second time that day. "Heh, thanks." She chuckled nervously, she was not sure if he was just being nice because he was hungry. She continued to eat at her slow pace, "I don't think I will ever marry," she admitted.
 

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"Never marry? Why is that?" Lester asked curiously, filling his glass again. He noticed she was blushing and start to wonder. Was it because he was making her compliments? But he always thought of Karen like kind of a younger sister. For sure he had complimented her before. He tried to remember if she always blushed as his compliments, but every time he saw Karen before, Amanda was there. Except a few times, but if ever praised her beauty, well, he had no idea.

"I mean...you´re pretty, you´ll find a guy to make you happy. Or...are you gay?" He asked and start laughing at his own silly question. "Sorry about that, but I can´t really see a reason why you will think such a thing."
 
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Karen too, started to think on the past and asked herself if Lester had complimented her the way he had. She could no recall any times that he had done so. If anything, he had mentioned if she looked nice, or if he noticed that she had done something differently with he hair. It was always friendly, and it had always caused her blush, no matter how innocent his comments had been.

But today was different. Perhaps it was the wine. No, it couldn't have been. Unless he had alcohol earlier that day?

"I haven't been on a date in months," she replied as she finished her last bite of food, washing it down with the last bit of wine in her class. "I don't have time for that. I'm just- am ...gay?" She choked on air, patting her chest as if that would help her catch her breath.

"No, no. Of course not. I like men," she assured him. "Though.. I suppose I can see how you would think that. I've never really had a boyfriend." She did not want to admit that it wasn't because she did not want one, it was because the man she wanted had always been off limits to her. She always wondered if she had shown interest if he would have chose to be with her. She would have never introduced him to her sister. But would Amanda have won him over with her looks? Karen didn't take Lester as a shallow man, but Amanda always wanted to have better things than Karen.
 

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"Exactly. I never saw you with a boyfriend. Karen, the life is short. Take it from me. I´m a middle age man and found myself alone at this age. That is not something I´ll want for you. You need to get out there, meet people your age, go dancing, have fun." Lester said and sip from his glass. "Not cooking me dinner." He finally said and smiled. "I´m what they call...a lost battle."

He stood up and picked his plate and hers. "Let me clean this. Is the least I can do." He said and walked inside the house. "Is there dessert?" He yelled from the kitchen, placing the plates on the sink. It felt like...him and Amanda again. He always did the dishes and they always had dessert. Again Amanda. Biting at the inside of his cheek, a sort of punishment for thinking about her again, Lester turned around and walked back to the patio. "You know what. Let´s go out! I want to dance tonight. I want to have fun. What do you say?" He asked, not sure if that was a good idea.
 
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Miss Jo

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Karen listened to him as she finished the last of her food. She looked down at her plate and sighed. He did not know, and it was better that way, but oh, did it hurt her heart. She did not know how much she was ok with settling for being alone, but if that is the way it was meant to be, there was nothing that she could do about it. Having Lester as a friend was better than not having him in her life at all.

"Thank you," she allowed him to take the plates without protest and watched him walk inside. "No, dessert, sorry!" She felt bad for not thinking of that. She rarely had dessert, as she was always full with the main course. When Lester made it back to the patio to join her, she was cleaning up the rest of the table. He mentioned dancing again. "You want to go dancing?" She chuckled, "I haven't gone dancing in ages... but that sounds like a lot of fun. Let's go!" She tried to be enthusiastic as possible, even though part of her just wanted to stay home and wallow in her self pity. But tonight wasn't about Karen, it was about Lester. He needed this, to get out and have fun. God only knows how long it has been since he has had that sort of entertainment.
 

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"Well, I haven't done that too, but I still got the moves!" Lester said and made a few dancing moves around the floor, looking some how comically. Grabbing her hand, he pulled Karen to him and made her do a few pirouettes. "You see, we are quite good at this!" He laughed and pulled her close to him, wrapping an arm around her waist, the other one holding at her hand. "I can also do tango and waltz." Giggling, Lester made a serious face and did a few tango steps with Karen in his arms, just to notice he was now keeping her tight into him and her breasts were pushing hard into his chest. Immediately he let go of her and blushed.

He was about to apologies, but changed his mind. Why he always had to apologies? Why can´t he enjoy the time with Karen? She was beautiful, young and eager to spend time with him. What else could you hope from a friend? "Let´s go then! I know just the place. Is not your type of club, or whatever place you young girls go to dance, is more like restaurant slash pub. They have good music, a small dance floor and the people are old enough to behave nicely."
 
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Karen giggled as she watched Lester. She was happy to see him acting silly. She clapped for him, amused. Then without notice, he grabbed her and danced tango with her, pulling her close and she almost could not keep up. Her mind was getting foggy from how close she was to him. She had small breasts and hardly wore Bras, she started to feel effects from being pressed so hard against. She gulped and was glad when he let her go.

Glad to see she was not the only one blushing, she smiled at him. "That's all right," she nodded, "I hardly go to clubs. I also took ballroom dance classes in college, so wherever you are taking us will be just fine. Don't worry about cleaning up, the dishes will be there tomorrow," she stated simply, covering the lid on the left overs and placed them in the fridge.

"What should I wear?"
 

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Scratching her beard, Lester took a thinking posture, one leg in front of the other, leaning backward slightly and look at Karen from top to bottom and back. "Well, you may want to do something about the way you dress," he began talking funny with a France accent, "maybe some evening elegant dress, showing a little skin for the prying eye? You never know when the right one will walk your way and swap you off your feet." Lester start laughing at his own impersonation. "Sorry, I couldn't help myself." He finally stop laughing and wiped happy tears from his eyes.

"You can wear whatever is comfortable, is a casual place, nothing too fancy. And they have dessert! The best chocolate mousse in town! You´ll love it!" Lester said, trying to to look at her erect nipples now visible through the thin material of her clothes. "And you may take a scarf or something, is a little cold already."
He said, blaming the cold air for what happened to her.
 
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Karen couldn't keep it together once Lester started to use his French accent. She tried her best just to smile but her laughter could be suppressed no longer, and she went into a fit of giggles. "Ok.. Ok..." She held onto her stomach, "all of this laughing is going to give me a an ab work out," she joked and rubbed her cheeks. They stung a bit from all of the laughing. Tonight is going great, she thought.

Karen was wearing jeans and a long sleeved button up shirt. She shrugged, deciding that it was comfortable enough to dance in. "If it's a casual place, I'll just go in this.. Thanks for reminding me!" She was oblivious to the fact that he had noticed her erect nipples as she walked over to the coat closet to pick out a scarf.

"Let's go then, shall we?"
 
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