There was no reason to go home, so Grant decided to keep working. Katie’s death was six months in the past. And for eight-months prior, Grant cared for her through the slow, hopeless death spiral of cancer.

Looking up from his screen, he realized the office was empty. His co-workers all had families to see, and dinner to eat. Grant wasn’t hungry. His appetite disappeared with Katie’s diagnosis and never returned. The only upside was the loss of 25 pounds he didn’t need. He was 51, and felt even older.

A pang of loneliness hit him unexpectedly, and ferociously. He missed Katie. But at this moment, he longed for human contact. Someone to talk to. Someone to touch him. Reflexively, he took out his phone. He Googled “dating apps for mature adults”. After reading reviews for a few, he picked one that seemed the least intimidating and downloaded it.

Grant looked at a few pictures of singles in his area. Then decided to pay for six months of access, and make a profile. He was still working on it when the outer office door opened. Standing up in his cubicle, Grant watched a group of co-workers walk in. Leading the pack was Bethany, the newest member of the marketing team, fresh out of college. Carrying two pizza boxes, she was headed for the conference room. Of the group, he knew Bethany the least, but enjoyed her positivity and enthusiasm. She was still pumped over landing this job right after graduation.

Michael and Teresa followed next. Teresa was the team leader. She was about Grant’s age, and always wore high heels to compensate for her small stature, and a suit to cover her chunky form. Grant got along well with Teresa, though they didn’t work directly together. Michael was her right hand man, and as far as Grant could tell, gay. Even if Michael was still in the closet, the closet was made of glass, and Michael was inside it wearing a feather boa, singing along with Barbra Streisand gay. Despite having little in common, he’d spent enough time with Michael to appreciate his wit and work ethic.

“After you,” someone said from the hallway. Grant recognized Jennifer’s voice. The tall brunette had joined the company several years ago, when her youngest child went into first grade. But it wasn’t Jennifer who appeared through the doorway first, it was Claire. Apparently Jennifer was the door holder for the group. Like Jennifer, Claire was nearly 6 feet tall. It was probably the reason the two had connected right away.

If Grant were to guess, both women were in their mid-thirties. The similarities stopped there. Claire was blonde, fair, willowy, single, and on the quiet side. Jennifer’s dark hair framed a sun tanned face, full lips and figure, with a bust as big as her personality. She also had two kids and a husband. And she was the one who noticed him peering over the cubicle.

“Hey Grant. I thought everyone was long gone.”

Most of the group stopped and turned back to look at him.

“I, uh…just wanted to finish up some stuff.”

Teresa smiled and said, “Our team has a project to finish too. So I decided to get us some pizza. You’re welcome to join us.”

“No…but thanks,” he felt embarrassed for some reason. “Once I’m done, I’ll head home.” The group kept moving toward the conference room. Grant sat back down and stared at his monitor. He toggled between spreadsheets, wondering which one to pull up.

“It looks more like you’re starting, not finishing.”

Grant jumped. Jennifer was standing behind him, looking at his phone. He’d left it face up on the desk with his unfinished dating profile open. He flushed.


She pointed at his phone. “You’re starting to look for a date. Good for you.”

“Yeah, well I thought I’d give it a try,” he said with a shrug.

“Lemme see,” Jennifer said, grabbing the phone before he could protest.

She leaned over him as she scanned what he’d written. Her right breast hung an inch from his left cheek. Out of the corner of his eye, Grant stared at the straining buttons on her cream-colored, satiny blouse. He couldn’t look away. An erection sprung up so hard and so fast it hurt. His sport jacket gave him some cover. Fortunately, he was wearing jeans instead of dress pants, so there was no obvious tenting either.

“Sorry, but your headline sucks.”

“What’s wrong with it? It’s honest.”

“Honesty is good. Long and boring is not.”

Erection no longer a problem, Grant listened as she read his headline aloud.

“Good man, done grieving, ready to meet someone new and move on to a new leg of life’s journey.”

Jennifer shook her head, and made a face. “You’re dragging baggage into a relationship that hasn’t even started. You need it to be positive and intriguing. Trust me, I’m in marketing.”

“Fair enough,” Grant replied. “Work your magic.” As he said this, he pushed himself up from his desk chair and felt his elbow brush against the fabric covering her breast. He flinched. Jennifer didn’t seem to notice. She was focused on tapping words into his phone.

“Listen,” she said. “Ready to cross borders to escape boring.”

“I don’t know. Sounds like I’m on the run from the law.”

“Try this then…Single? Sane? Salacious? I’m in.”

“Too alliterative.”

“Then you’re going to hate this one,” Jennifer said with a smile. “Sexy, single, silver fox looking to share his den.”

“I’m not ready for this,” Grant murmured. “And false advertising won’t help.”

“There’s nothing false about that, other than you’re only gray around the temples. You should post that one, along with a profile picture, and see what happens.”

“You, um, would describe me as sexy?”

“If I wasn’t a married mother of two, with pizza waiting for me in the conference room…I’d do you right on this desk.”

In defiance of his returning hard-on, Grant countered, “I’m old enough to be your Grant-daddy.”

“Boo,” Jennifer replied as she shoved him playfully. “I don’t know whether that’s an innuendo or just a terrible dad joke. But either way, I’ve got to leave.”

Grant followed her with his eyes as she headed down the hall. Her backside swayed hypnotically in the tight black skirt. His gaze drifted lower as her long legs came into view. The memory of Jennifer saying “I’d do you right on this desk” made his cock harder than it had been in a year. He shifted it with his hand to a more comfortable position, but touching himself only increased the longing for release. Reluctantly, he sat back down to find some work.

An hour later, he decided to revisit his dating profile headline. After numerous attempts, he finally admitted that he couldn’t come up with anything better than Jennifer’s suggestions. So he settled on the silver fox version, and a username of TakeMe4Grant. After answering all the profile questions as well as he could, he scrolled through his photos looking for a decent picture.

The best one he could find was from a two-year-old fishing trip. His buddy had snapped Grant holding a nearly 5-pound largemouth bass. Grant was grinning widely. He looked suntanned, manly, successful, and happy because Katie’s diagnosis hadn’t happened yet. Putting the pic in edit mode, he cropped the unsightly gear and clutter on the boat, centered on himself, and the prize fish. He was about to upload, when he heard the conference door open. Grant turned off his phone and went back to his monitor.

A moment later, Jennifer and Claire peered over the top of his cubicle.

“I came to check on you,” Jennifer said. “And I brought reinforcements.”

“Aren’t you two supposed to be enjoying a working dinner?” “Turns out we already made our contribution,” Claire answered. “Teresa said we might as well head home while they put our ideas into motion.”

“Well I’m not going home yet,” Jennifer said defiantly. “Since hubby expects to be handling the kids all by himself tonight, I say the three of us go for drinks. Are you in?”

Grant tried not to look surprised. He knew both of them as well as you can know people you see in the office every weekday. But the three of them had never done anything together.

“Come join us,” Claire said. “Jen mentioned you were working on your dating profile. It’d be fun to help you with that. Watching you get a date is far more exciting than anything else I’d be doing.”

“We’ll go Dutch Treat,” Jennifer added. “Although that sounds a little politically incorrect.”

“Absolutely not,” blurted Grant. “I’m too old-fashioned to be in the company of two beautiful women and not pick up the check. Besides, I have nothing else to spend my money on.”


The 420 was a hipster bar across the street from the office. Grant looked around and judged himself to be the oldest person in the room. Even Claire and Jennifer looked a bit out of place. Their drinks arrived. Claire had a Fanciulli, whatever the hell that was. Jennifer’s gin and tonic, seemed more in line with his whiskey sour.

“Cheers,” he said, raising his glass.

As they all touched glasses, Jennifer yelled, “Hey, Bethany!”

Grant looked back over his shoulder to the front door and saw that the newest member of the marketing team had just entered.

“Come on over,” Jennifer said with a motion.

Bethany seemed to hesitate for a second, but then smiled, walked over, and sat down at their table opposite Grant, between the other two women.

“Michael and Teresa decided I didn’t need to stay after all.” She sounded disappointed.

“You are an eager beaver, aren’t you,” said Jennifer. “Get away while you can, is my motto.”

Grant asked Bethany for her drink order, and studied her as she thought of a response. She was significantly shorter than the two other women, which put her at normal height. Her light brown hair was in a ponytail. Her face had a healthy glow, with little or no makeup. She was wearing tight fitting black pants and a blue colored top that almost matched her eyes. Even though she was probably 30 years younger, Grant couldn’t help but note Bethany was as pretty as she was natural and refreshing. It struck him that he was sitting at a table with three lovely women, and he couldn’t help but smile.

“You’re just in time,” Jennifer told her. “We’re going to help Grant with his dating profile.”

“That’s right,” Claire exclaimed. “I haven’t even seen it yet. Pull it out Grant!”

There was a half second of silence before Jennifer and Bethany burst out laughing. Claire’s face immediately flushed, and Grant couldn’t help but smile. He slowly slipped the phone out of his sport jacket.

“Here it is ladies,” he said in a deep, husky voice. “My p…rofile.”

He winked at Claire, who was a little embarrassed, but not humiliated. She seemed as classy and confident as she was quiet. Claire folded her arms over her chest, crossed her legs, and stared back at him. He glanced at her ankle high black boot that zipped down the side. It had a heel. Claire had no qualms about towering over everyone. Grey pants covered her long legs, and the matching jacket covered her red blouse. Grants gaze quickly traveled upward to meet her eyes. It was his turn to blush.

“What is that?” Bethany asked. She pointed at his phone. Grant’s facial recognition had unlocked the screen and his fish picture was still in edit mode.

“That’s going to be my profile pic,” he said confidently.

“Not if you ever want to get a date,” Bethany retorted.

“You need more help than I thought,” agreed Jennifer.

“What’s wrong with it. I think I look fine. I’m happy. Outdoorsy. Successful.”

“If the reaction you’re going for is ewww,” added Claire, “you’ve nailed it.”

“I’m going to take a good pic of you right now,” Bethany said while grabbing his phone. “But first, I’m deleting this pussy-repellent.”

Grant was too baffled to object. And when Bethany ordered him to smile, Jennifer stuck out her tongue and slowly licked her lips.

“That’s deer in the headlights,” Claire scolded. “Pretend like you’re having a good time at a bar with three women. Which you definitely are!”

Grant tried again, and this time Jennifer put both hands under her boobs and jiggled them twice.

“More leer than smile,” Bethany said, “but better. What do you think girls?”

They all leaned in as she placed the phone in the center of the table. It looked like a candid shot, since Grant wasn’t looking at the camera. His black blazer and buttoned down blue striped shirt showed up well against the dark background of the bar. His smile had reached his eyes, which were also a little wide, given that he had been staring at Jennifer’s tits.

“Looks good to me,” said Claire.

“Me too,” Jennifer added. “Hurry up and post it, I want to see what kind of fish you catch with this bait.”

Grant finalized his profile, and started to order another round of drinks. Then remembering that he was the only one who hadn’t eaten anything, he ordered three different appetizers to share instead. He was beginning to feel the first drink and delayed a second round until the food arrived.

They all were having a good time. Talk about Grant’s dating led the women to open up about their own romantic lives. Claire’s long-time boyfriend had moved out months ago, taking a job on the west coast. Texts and calls were becoming less frequent. He didn’t seem ready to move back, and she didn’t want to move there. Claire didn’t appear all that bothered by it.

Bethany was still attached to her college boyfriend. He had moved on to grad school, hoping a Masters would guarantee a better job, and eventually allow him to pay off his loans. She sounded wistful when talking about him, but Grant couldn’t even remember the guy’s name when she finished.

Grant’s story and status was already known. Claire and Jennifer were even part of the group from work that attended Katie’s funeral. So they turned to Jennifer for her romantic update. She held up both hands.

“I’ve got nothing to share. I’m married with two little kids, so Danny and I don’t even have sex.”

“Obviously you did at some point,” Grant observed.

“Hilarious, bass boat boy. Yes, we did, and occasionally still do have sex. On birthdays, anniversaries, major holidays. But we both come home from work, take care of the kids, fix dinner, do housework, and collapse into unconsciousness. Once, I came home late and found Danny had fed the kids, bathed and put them to bed, loaded the dishwasher, and was asleep on the couch still holding the vacuum cleaner. I had an orgasm right there.”

“Did he get anything out of it?” Claire asked.

“I opened his zipper and tried to kiss it to life, but he was too tired to get hard. Then in the middle of the night, I woke up to him rubbing his cock on my ass. I almost told him to beat it, literally. But then I rolled on my back and said, ‘pull my nightie down when you’re done.’ Just about the time he was finished, I started to get interested. Then it was over.”

Bethany said, “Married life sounds great. A few years of that and I’d be praying for an early death.”

Her face paled, and she turned to Grant.

“Sorry, that was stupid and insensitive. I was just being a smart ass.” “No worries,” replied Grant. “But hopefully you get in enough good times to outweigh the bad before death. Katie and I did.”

Claire patted his shoulder. Grant found it comforting, but it also stoked his longing for human touch and connection.

“We need to get you back up on the horse, bass boy,” Jennifer smirked. “I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. I think you can land something better looking than brood mare.”

They checked the app. No responses. Grant felt relieved. But no sooner did he put the phone down, then a notification popped up. All three women demanded to see. They leaned over him as Grant opened the app and read aloud.

ZenDenMother41-Sun worshipper, meat eater, fun collector, risk taker. Dear TakeMe4Grant: I like your profile and your look. Sharing your den could be fun, but I already have one. Want to chat?

“Sounds interesting,” Jennifer said, “but let’s see what she looks like.”

Grant touched the thumbnail and ZenDen filled the screen. She was posed in a beach chair, under an umbrella. A bit of the ocean was in view in the upper left corner. Her blonde hair almost matched the sand. She was wearing a dark blue one-piece bathing suit.

Claire spoke first. “Doesn’t look shopped. Not bad. I’d guess she’s about 40.”

“Too young for you Grant daddy?” quipped Jennifer. Seeing the looks on the other girls faces, she said, “That’s a joke from earlier.” Turning to Grant, she added, “Or do you prefer bass boat boy?”

“Neither would be great.”

“Message her NOW,” Bethany insisted. “I want to see you in action.”

“What should I say?”

“Lure her in with your words,” Jennifer urged. “Draw her like one of your French girls.”

Grant sighed and paused. Then started tapping. Dear ZenDenMother41: Your profile is intriguing. Your look is mesmerizing. If there was a “like” button I would push it repeatedly. Chatting would be fun. Here’s my number if you’d like to call.

Hearing no objections, Grant sent the message.

“You did good, Grant,” Jennifer said with approval. “I’m surprised…and a little moist.”

Grant almost dropped the phone when it buzzed. He stabbed at the green button three times before managing to answer.

“Hello, this is Grant.”

“This is your friendly neighborhood den mother.” The voice was sultry, rich, and inviting. “You can call me Issa.”

“Ok, Issa. You can call me…”

“Grant,” she finished. “I got that part. Is now a good time to talk?”

Surrounded by three women vigorously shaking their heads in approval, Grant said it was. Clearly they could hear what Issa was saying, even though she wasn’t on speaker.

“Are you home alone?” She asked. “Don’t answer that. I just realized that if you asked me that question it would sound really creepy.”

He laughed. “I’ll answer anyway. It’s no to both. I’m not home or alone. I’m at the 420 Bar with three…um, colleagues.” He glanced up at them as if to verify their presence.

“Boys night out?”

“Not really. They are female girls…I mean women.” Grant was flustered.

“You sound popular.”

“No, I sound like an idiot. We just decided to have a drink after work. And they were helping me get up and running on this dating site.”

“I saw you were a newbie. They don’t mind you talking to a fourth female girl?”

“Absolutely not!” yelled Jennifer, with a slight slur in speech. She was one round ahead of the rest. “Why don’t you come have drink with us? It’s only 7:30.”

“And there’s safety in numbers,” Bethany added.

There was dead silence for a moment, before Issa said, “That ok with you Grant?”

“Sure. Sounds good. Let me give you the address.”

Issa gave a throaty laugh. “What is this, 1990? Besides, the 420 is like 5 minutes from me. I’ll be there in 15.”


The four finished the appetizers and the second round of drinks while waiting for their guest.

Grant was facing the door, and spotted Issa as she stepped into the room. She was wearing a dark blue dress that clung to her curvy form. He waved at her. She smiled and moved toward them. Issa was thicc. Grant stood, grabbed a chair from the empty next table next to them, and motioned her to it.

“I assume the guy surrounded by lovely women is Grant,” said Issa.

“You look just like your picture,” Grant responded. “Minus the bathing suit, of course.”

“Minus the bathing suit,” mocked Jennifer. “In your dreams, bass boy.”

Issa looked slightly confused, but laughed along with the other women.

“Don’t mind Jennifer,” Claire explained. “Her mind’s in the gutter, even more than usual. There was some sex talk before you arrived.”

“Sounds fun,” replied Issa. Turning to Grant she said, “And you look just like your picture. You’re even wearing the same clothes.”

“I’m sure you could talk him out of them,” Jennifer blurted.