She was lying on the beach blanket, masturbating. Granted, there weren’t that many people around, since her part of the beach had a rocky point sticking out into the lake. Most everybody was a good hundred yards away or more to the south, families with kids, singles young and old, playing in the sandy shallows.

The only reason I saw her was because I was walking the beach for exercise. She was probably late twenties to early thirties, and she had a killer bod. Even with gravity pulling her tits down and to the sides, she was still stacked. And her arms lay across firm, toned abs, her hands resting on her mons while she diddled herself.

She was breathing hard with her eyes closed, moaning softly and writhing all over the flat rock that formed her sunbathing spot. And I was getting an instant hard-on.

I will admit it. I am a voyeur and a letch. I stopped to watch. And to record it on my phone as I walked up to her. My timing must have been excellent. I was about six feet away with a beautifully framed video of her doing herself when she exploded.

“Oh, fuck! YES!!!” She stiffened for a couple of seconds, then convulsed several times in what was obviously orgasmic bliss. I waited until she calmed down a bit.

“Thank you,” I told her as I watched her, framed in the video display. Her eyes snapped open and she sat bolt upright, glaring at me. She didn’t even try to cover up.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing, pervert?!?!” she yelled at me. A reasonable question.

“I’m preserving a delicious memory that will be wonderful masturbatory material for later,” I told her, “and thanking you for an amazing performance. And I thought you should know, there’s another group of hikers coming along behind me, three minutes, maybe four. Good day, ma’am.” I turned to leave.

“Hey! What’s your name, asshole?” she demanded as she grabbed a beach robe and slipped it on.

“I’m sorry…” I paused and looked back. “Do I look stupid today? I really did try to wash it off before I came to the beach…” I turned to leave again, but not before catching her trying to suppress the smile.

“No, you look like a dirty old man pervert who probably won’t get any use out of that video because you’re too fucking old to get it up!” she told me. I sighed. I get that, a lot.

I am a 65-year-old weather-beaten male who looks older than I am, but whose testosterone has not deserted him, as has happened to a number of my friends. The ones that are still alive, that is. I wear very loose khaki shorts and a loose tropical shirt to the beach for a simple reason… when I get hard watching the hard-bodies, the tenting doesn’t show as much.

I slipped my phone in my pocket, turned back to the woman and dropped my pants. Oh, yes… I don’t wear underwear. Too confining. Her eyes locked on to my genitals like targeting radar.

“Oh!…” It was all she said, but I knew I’d made my point. The video of her was going to make great masturbatory material later. At least she had the good graces to compliment me by continuing to stare at my bobbing erection.

“If I may ask a personal question,” I began, continuing to expose myself to her and acutely aware that I had about a minute before the hiking group coming up on us would be in sight of me, “why would an absolutely gorgeous woman like you, albeit with an attitude, be pleasuring herself out here on the open beach, instead of being entangled with some special man, or woman, of your choice?”

She looked at me without saying a word, and I am sure she was just as aware of the group approaching us. She grabbed her purse and started fumbling in it. I waited just a bit, then sighed and started to pull up my shorts.

“Hey!” she called out, and I looked up at her. Click! That bogus shutter sound on her phone as she took a picture of me with my pants down and my rather hefty hard-on sticking out like a flagpole. “So I can identify you in the police lineup,” she commented with a smirk.

“Should be easy,” I nodded, with a slight smile, and fastened my shorts. Again, I turned to walk away.

“Hey!” she called again, and when I looked, she was holding out a piece of paper. I took the couple of steps needed to reach it and took the opportunity to survey her body. It wasn’t helping me go soft.

She had handed me a piece of an envelope on which she had scrawled “Anne” and a phone number.

“Just in case you want an actual answer to your question,” she told me, then got up and gathered her purse and towel, and headed over the rocks towards the trees and what I presumed would be the lot where she parked her car. I watched those luscious hips swaying away from me and gave a brief thought to what calling her might entail. Then I stuffed the scrap of paper in my shorts and headed on up the beach.

* * * * *

Dinner was half-backed Dungeness crab, a veggie-rice pilaf and a carafe of Chenin Blanc. Tony knew exactly how to prepare the crab to my liking, which is why I kept coming back to his place. Now I was relaxing over my wine and musing on the day’s events.

After my encounter with Anne, presuming that was her real name, I had finished my walk ending up back at the family section of the beach and the lot where I’d parked my car. I retrieved some chilled juice from my trunk and then hung around, people watching until sunset. I really do love the sunsets over the lake.

I tossed a mental coin and decided to head back to my place, to change clothes before heading out to dinner. This was Friday night and it was a weekend habit of mine to go people-watching in town. I’m comfortably retired and can do whatever I want, but I’ve found a certain routine amuses me, so I generally stick to it. Watching people and speculating on their histories is one of them. Writing fictional accounts based on my musings is another.

My “place” is my vacation-turned-retirement home on the shores of the lake, about 15 minutes north of the town and the public beach. About 800 shore-feet, and from the lake to the highway which averages 400 feet deep, mostly evergreen and birch woods with some oak, maple and elm thrown in for fall color. Just about 7 acres of heaven, from my point of view. I inherited it from my father and grandfather, who had built it in the early 1950’s. It was ahead of its time, but has had some technological upgrades since then. It is simple, not pretentious.

It is the place I chose for my retirement. I’d done 20 years in the Navy, 20 working for the CIA and 5 as a private contractor. After that, I figured I’d earned the right to call it quits. Along the way, I’d gotten married to Wife One, Betty, had a kid, gotten divorced, gotten remarried to Wife Two, Julie, gotten two more kids, got my Widower Card when Julie died from cancer, and finally retired.

These days I liked to keep my hand into a wide range of hobbies. Sailing, diving, automotives (which includes bikes, cars and trucks), hunting, fishing, woodworking, music and sex. Especially sex. Sex had replaced, most agreeably, the contact sports I’d loved.

It’s a knock on our culture that the only “old guys” that are deemed sexy are the ones with a seven-figure income or a lot of screen time. Especially if the woman is under thirty. Sean Connery and Patrick Stewart may rank high on their lists, but Jason Smeltnish doesn’t. Never heard of Jason? Neither has anyone else. He’s an 82-year-old veteran whose paperwork keeps getting screwed up by the VA.

In any case, in the pursuit of sex, I’d taken to ogling as a precursor. And the beach was a great place to ogle. There was a wide range of bikinis there, from Very Young to Well Aged. If I was lucky, there would be women there who liked to be ogled, and flirted with, and dated, and eventually bedded. Currently, I wasn’t so lucky.

My two Friends With Benefits for the last couple of years had left town. Myrtle had gone to live with her older sister and help her out after a nasty illness. No idea when she’d be back. Jasmine had left to go stay with her daughter, who’d just had her third child and needed some help running roughshod over the others. No idea when she’d be back, either.

So I would occasionally entertain myself by ogling the women at the beach and having the occasional dinner at Tony’s, and ogling the women there. It generally kept me out of trouble. Which is why I’d decided to come to Tony’s tonight.

* * * * *

I saw Anne enter the restaurant and the hostess direct her to a small table near the front. Dining alone, I thought, then motioned my usual waitress over.

“Suzanne, do you see that woman just being seated?” I asked and she nodded. “Whatever she orders, give me the check. I’m covering it. Don’t tell her it’s on me or point me out or anything. Okay?”

“Sure, Mr. Stevens,” she smiled slightly, “but you sure do have a strange way of picking up women…”

“Now you be careful with that mouth, young lady,” I told her with a smile, “or I might have to put you over my knee.”

“Promises, promises,” she quipped, then moved off to handle her other customers. I just sat in my booth in the back, my favorite for people-watching. And now, for Anne-watching.

When most people look around a room, they look in the brighter lit spots, and where there’s more traffic, and so forth. Not so much in the corners or dimly lit areas. Or ones partially blocked by the busboy’s station. Anne looked around, as I had expected. She didn’t see me, as I had hoped. I saw that she ordered a Chef’s Salad and apparently iced tea to go with it. Tony makes a mean house dressing… the kind that takes an extra 20 minutes’ workout to burn it off. Anne appeared willing to do the extra minutes.

When she asked for her check, Suzanne went and got it, and brought it to me. I paid it and the receipt for the meal went to Anne, who appeared shocked and started looking around. I made myself as obscure as possible behind the busboys and it appeared she didn’t notice me. So far, so good. I paid my bill and waited, finishing my wine and waiting for Anne to leave. When she did, I gave her a reasonable head start, then ambled up to the front of the restaurant, where I could see the parking lot.

I half expected her to lie in wait, to see who was stalking her. In fact, she did — just beyond the edge of the porch, where the steps went down to the lot. From where I was, I could see her and she couldn’t see me. Even more perfect. I waited until she gave up and headed for her car, then followed along behind until I found out which one was hers. I noted the license plate number, then moved — unnoticed, I hoped — over to my car and got in.

When she left, I tailed her. She wasn’t being careful, which made it easy on me. The town isn’t large and if she wasn’t going home, there were only a couple places she might go, and Margie’s Emporium was one of them, and was in fact the place she picked. Margie is my cousin-in-law, or whatever you’d call it. She’s my first cousin Ben’s wife. Anyway, while Anne was browsing, I slipped inside and pulled Margie into a private conversation.

“Whatever she buys,” I told Margie, “tell her it’s paid for, then put it on my bill. Leave my name out of it, okay?”

“Jack, are you trying to get laid again?” was Margie’s initial response. To my look, she added, “okay, okay, I know… ‘this one is special’… fine. Whatever she buys, goes on your tab.”

“Thank you, luv,” I told her and kissed her forehead. “I’m not going to screw around with her very much longer, I promise. I just want today to be memorable.”

“Oh, it’ll be memorable, alright,” Margie snickered. “I just want to be there when she finds out it’s you.”

I suddenly became suspicious. “Why?” I asked, in my best suspicious voice.

“You know who that is, right?” was Margie’s response.

“No…” I got that uneasy feeling that it would definitely be in my best interests to know who she was.

“That’s Anne Richards, widow of Lawrence Richards,” Margie told me and I started to get a knot in my gut. I definitely knew the name. Never had a face to go with it. “Ex-Special Forces, then trophy wife, now rich widow in her own right,” Margie went on. “She is not going to take kindly to being fucked with.”

“Okay…” I let go the breath I was holding. “Do the bill-me thing anyway and don’t let her know it’s me, okay? And do you happen to have a home address for her?”

“Jack, please tell me you’re not going to do anything illegal, right?” Margie had reason to be suspicious, I’ll admit. “Or stupid?”

“Nope, I won’t do anything illegal,” I crossed my heart. “I won’t even go near the place.”

She gave me the hairy eyeball on that one, but got me the address anyway. Once I got it, I snuck out and drove over to the mortuary. John, the mortician, was also the town florist. I ordered a dozen peach roses and one white one, and had them delivered to Anne’s address with a note.

“Thanks for a wonderful day,” I put in the note. “I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.” I signed it “J”.

Then I drove on home, satisfied with my day’s work of wreaking havoc, sowing doubt and confusion and generally just enjoying myself. My phone didn’t ring until 10pm. It was John.

“I know you said to keep it anonymous,” he told me in a hurried voice. “But Jesus, Jack! Anne Richards just called — my home number, Jack — and wanted to know who ordered the flowers! She is not someone to mess with, Jack, trust me… she can be really intimidating. I told her I wasn’t sure. Just, some guy comes in off the street and orders the flowers, pays cash and leaves. She gave me your description, Jack! She asked if it was you. I told her maybe… the guy she described could have been the guy that ordered the flowers. But I didn’t let on to knowing you, Jack. You better watch yourself, dude… she isn’t one to take ‘no’ for an answer!”

“I hear you, John, and thanks for the call,” I told him. “She’s going to figure it out pretty soon, I’m sure. It’s just a friendly little allurement. If she puts my name to the description, you don’t have to deny it. You’re cool. And thanks again.”

“Okay, Jack, well… you just watch yourself, hear?” John was one of my longer-time friends in the town.

“Sure, John, I will. You have a great night.”

We rang off and I thought about it for awhile. I decided to walk the beach again tomorrow. She might be there, she might not. I needed the exercise, regardless.

* * * * *

She was there. Gloriously nude, stretched out on her bit of flat rock to catch the midday sun. Little beads of moisture breaking loose and running down her curves in rivulets. Absolutely tantalizing.

“Hello,” she said as I drew near, before I got particularly close, and without opening her eyes. “Back for more fapping material?”

“Not really,” I smiled. “The video was good for a couple of orgasms. This is my midday Constitutional.”

“Only a couple?” she chided me. “I’m disappointed. I would have thought I was worth more than a couple.”

“Well, I didn’t have the entire masturbatory scene on video,” I temporized. “Only the last little bit. And besides, it was a late night for a dirty old man pervert like me. I was a bit rushed.”

“A late night sneaking around, paying widow’s bills for them, Santa?” she asked and we both knew she was fishing.

“Don’t let the white beard and bit of a gut fool you,” I told her. “Actually, I’m only one of his helpers. I was up late working on a dollhouse.”

“A dollhouse?” Now she sounded intrigued.

“Yes, for my granddaughter. I want to have it done by her birthday.” On the word granddaughter, Anne had struggled to sit up a bit, open her eyes and stare pointedly at my left hand.

“Granddaughter,” she iterated. “No wedding ring…”

“Widower,” I told her. “I put it away the day after I buried her. It will go to my son when I’m gone. I don’t want to bother you, Anne. I saw you sunning, beautiful as ever, and decided to say hello. I’ve the rest of my walk to do, so I’ll get going.”

“Where are you walking to?” she asked, looking north along the shoreline.

“The old cannery ruins,” I told her. “That makes about a 5 mile round trip when I start back at the family beach. Anyway, I’ll leave you to your sun-worship, Anne. Have a great day…” I turned and started to walk away.

“Just a moment…” and after a long pause, “Jack!” I stopped. She’d obviously been a busy girl herself.

“Stop here on your way back,” she smiled, thinking she’d surprised me. “I’d like to talk to you for a bit.”

“As you wish, Ms. Richards,” I told her with a bit of a smile and a nod, then turned and headed on up the beach. We were both obviously dancing around each other, I knew. I just didn’t know the point to the dance. For me, it was being able to mess with her mind in nice ways. For her… I hadn’t a clue.

I spent the rest of the walk musing about the meaning of our dance, and her gravity-defying tits. She shaved her pussy, as well. And, I’m betting, legs, arms, armpits and maybe her face, for all I knew. She was beautiful and she knew it. Light auburn hair with red and reddish-gold streaks to her waist, tanning salon skin — unless she spent the winters in the tropics on private property, which was a possibility — crystal blue eyes that kind of had their own inner light, all on a frame that was 5’5″ or 5’6″ — hard to tell in town, when she had on heels — and I would guess 34-24-36. Probably a C, maybe a D.

And she walked with a confidence a lot of women don’t have. Maybe it was the Service, maybe the money. It didn’t matter. She was hot and she knew it. She was a lot like a modern Rita Hayworth. I was starting to think she might be out of my league. Except, I’ve never been particularly good at knowing my place. Or staying there.

She was still there when I got back, but now she had on a tiny white bikini. Tiny, as in Band-Aids would have covered more. She was sitting up with a floppy hat shading her face as she worked her cell phone.

“Hi, Jack!” she called out as I approached. “Would you like something to drink?”

“Hello, Anne,” I answered as I moved to her rock. “As long as drinking you in with my eyes doesn’t count, then yes, please.”

“You are so smooth, Mr. Stevens,” she smiled as she fished out a bottle of cold lemonade from a cooler off to the side. “A man of mystery who isn’t all that easy to ferret out.”

“Really?” I answered, sitting down and accepting the drink. “I didn’t think I was the type to try to hide anything.”

“Well, you gave three of my private investigators fits, trying to find out who you were and what kind of insidious game you were playing with my mind,” she chuckled. “They didn’t think to ask the waitresses at the restaurant whether they knew who you were… with a picture suitably edited, of course. Thank goodness, I did.”

“If I were you, I wouldn’t pay them,” I told her. “They aren’t particularly good at their jobs.”

“No, they aren’t,” she agreed, still smiling. “They did find out you have a long history with the Navy and the CIA. And private contracting. All that stink of government secrets could have a lot of interesting stories hidden in there.”

I dismissed it with a wave of my hand. “A forty-five year job,” I told her. “I’m retired, now. A boring old nobody.”

“Uh-huh,” she agreed with about as much skepticism as you can pack into two syllables. “That was a cute trick with the roses… and I have no idea how you knew I love peach roses! For all you laid out for me — and it wasn’t even a date! — I’d like to return the favor. If you are willing, I’d like to invite you to dinner.”