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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons is entirely coincidental.

I push the button on my built-in coffeemaker and hear the beep that says it's starting my favorite brew. I stretch, reaching as far toward the kitchen's copper-coffered ceiling as I can reach, luxuriating in the feeling of not having to be at the office this morning. But then I glance at the clock and nearly gasp. I've been a little too leisurely. It's seven forty-five and my visitor is supposed to be here at eight. My makeup and hair are done, but I'm most emphatically not presentable just yet.

I hurry across the front of the great room, heading for the master bedroom. My new five-inch heels beat a staccato rhythm on the entryway tile. I've been wearing them during my morning routine to make sure they'll be comfortable enough for the office. Shorter heels would probably be smarter, but I favor the taller ones to bring me eye-to-eye with the men in my department. And at the moment, the heels are all I'm wearing.

I'm just pulling a pair of panties out of the drawer when the doorbell rings. Damn, he's early. In my professional opinion, when you're supposed to be somewhere at a stated time for a one-on-one appointment, being early is just as rude as being late.

My long, thick bathrobe is hanging on a hook just inside the bedroom door for just such emergencies. I slip into it and tie it off at the waist, then walk back to the front door and look through the peephole. Damn again, it's not who I was expecting; it's Wayne from next door. If every other visit he's paid me is any indication, he's going to get in my face about some minor infraction of the Homeowners Association covenants. Which one will it be this time?

While I like to complain about the HOA, I know I probably shouldn't. Andrew and I knew very well what the covenants were when we bought this homesite. And on the positive side, they make sure the residents are diligent about upkeep and not letting our places get messy. They make our upscale subdivision a more beautiful place, which I appreciate. I work hard to be a good neighbor, so no one has ever had a negative thing to say about my home or how I maintain it.

Except for Wayne.

He never bothered us when Andrew was here, but now that I'm by myself, I get the feeling that Wayne stares at my house day and night, looking for any excuse to come over and harass me.

I'd like to pretend I'm not home (and most days I'd have been at the office by now), but my car is still parked out in the driveway due to the death of my garage door opener, which won't be replaced until Monday. Sure enough, he rings again. I sigh and open the door a few inches, frowning.

Wayne's a big guy, maybe six foot five and four-hundred pounds. He must have been an imposing figure back in the day, but now, in his early forties, he's let himself go. He's less Hulk Hogan and more Homer Simpson, and if the HOA had any rules about regular bathing or wearing clean clothes while in public, I could nail him for some major infractions.

"What is it this time, Wayne?" I demand. I'm beyond trying to be polite with him. I know from experience that any such effort won't be reciprocated.

"Your hummingbird feeder," he says. "The covenants clearly state that bird feeders aren't allowed, due to the mess they make."

"It's not making a mess," I protest, "because there's only colorless sugar-water in it. There are no seeds or hulls involved." Then it occurs to me. "Hey, wait! How do you even know I have a hummingbird feeder? It's tucked into an alcove and can't be seen from any neighboring windows or backyards. As a matter of fact, the only way you can even see if from my yard is to come up on my back deck."

Wayne looks a bit nonplussed for a moment, but it doesn't last. "Doesn't matter how I know," he says defiantly. "I'm gonna have to report you."

And he will, too. I actually had to get a lawyer involved last time when he ratted me out for having four tomato plants growing in a corner of my front flower bed. I'd somehow missed the clause decreeing that vegetables could only be grown in the backyard. Hell, I'd been complimented on them by other neighbors.

"Okay Wayne, I'll take the feeder down," I sigh. "Just don't go to the board of directors about me again. I really don't need any more of that hassle."

"Sorry, I can't start covering up violations. It wouldn't be ethical."

Ethical? I slump, defeated. "Do what you think you have to do, Wayne. Just go away."

Normally he leaves right away once he's gotten his little victory, but this time he's staring at my bathrobe. It's only now that I notice the bulge in the front of his stained, one-size-too-small sweatpants. For a long moment, I almost get the feeling that he's not going to honor my request, but then he turns and plods across my lawn, heading back to his house.

I stare at the realty sign in his front yard. Please God, let that place sell fast and get the creep out of my life. I close and lock the door.

Now time is really tight. Bad enough I let Wayne see me in my bathrobe, but I know when the electrician is supposed to be here, so it would look bad if I wasn't fully dressed by then. I strip off my bathrobe as I walk back to my bedroom, but just as I hang it back on its hook, my phone rings. I retrieve it from the nightstand, then groan when I see who's calling.

"Happy Friday, Roger," I say with more enthusiasm than I feel.

"Claire, I really wish you were here right now," Roger grumbles.

"What's up, boss?" (In my experience, corporate CEO's like it when you call them that.)

I figure his call is to make sure I'm using this rare time off to meet the electrician and not for sleeping in.

"It's the Spartan account," he sighs.

Okay, so maybe I was being overly cynical about the reason for his call. For the last week, the word around the water cooler has been that there's some trouble with that project.

"How can I help?" In my role as VP of Finance, I get him the numbers he needs. But if the office scuttlebutt is even halfway accurate, his concern isn't a numbers thing. Yet.

"Well, ever since Raul and Megan left, the advertising division's supply of catchy slogans hasn't been what it was. They're having a hard time with this one, especially since Spartan's product is a bit... um... sensitive."

I can almost hear him blush over the phone. "I suppose that's one way to put it," I agree.

"Claire, you used to come up with some clever stuff when you interned with those folks back in college, and I need to have something they can develop pronto. We're scheduled to give the suits at Spartan a big presentation in two weeks."

"Well, I'm still waiting for the workman to arrive, but I'll see what I can come up with in the meantime."

"If you get me something we can use before noon, I'll throw in a thousand-dollar bonus, since it's not your department."

"I'm all over that, boss."

"Good. I'll expect to hear from you soon." With that, he's gone.

I glance at my alarm clock and realize that it's a couple of minutes after eight now. The guy could be here at any time. I glance out my window through the sheers. There he is, carrying a toolbox up my front walkway.

I frantically race for the clothes I laid out across my chair last night. I don't have time for undergarments now. I pull on my skirt, then grab my blouse and head for the door just as the bell rings.

When I arrive, I've fastened enough of the blouse's buttons to be decent and I'm zipping it into my skirt. Looking through the peephole, I confirm that the workman has the Murphy Electric logo on his shirt. I open the door and a sudden look of surprise blooms on his face. I don't know what he was expecting, but the look is just as quickly replaced by a friendly smile.

"Hi, I'm Jacob," he says, his deep voice pleasant and professional.

"Thanks for being right on time, Jacob. I'm Claire. Come on in."

He appears to be in his early thirties, maybe just a couple years older than me. He's tall, trim, clean cut, and quite handsome. His dark hair is short and conservatively cut, his uniform clean and neatly pressed, and he shows no signs of the piercings or tattoos so common in his profession nowadays. Put him in a suit, and he wouldn't look out of place in the corporate meetings I spend so much time in. I also surreptitiously notice that, like me, he's not wearing a wedding ring.

I lead him over to the east wall of the great room. The tall one. "I've hired a professional stager to help me get this place ready to sell," I say. "She insists that the entertainment system is screaming to be moved to this wall. There's no outlet here, though, and we don't want an extension cord ruining the flow of the room."

He nods sympathetically. "There's never one where you need it." Then he turns to take in the setting more fully, eventually letting out a low whistle. "I'm sorry to hear you're selling. Your home is as amazing on the inside as it is on the outside. Easily the best in the neighborhood. And that's saying something. It's... well... incredible."

Yeah, I suppose it is. Sleek, expansive and emphatically avant-garde, while somehow remaining warm, practical and timeless. My friends tell me it looks like something from the cover of Architectural Digest. The house sits on the best lot in the area too, at the top of the hill with a great view out over the city, and it's arranged in such a way that the backyard is completely private. The neighborhood is quiet, low-crime, and boasts a nationally ranked private school within walking distance.

I nod. "I'm going to miss this place. My husband and I were planning to raise kids here, but it's just me now and it's too much house for one person."

"Just me" doesn't begin to relay the awful truth of it. Two years ago, the boy I'd married while we were still in high school, the man who had become the rising architect who'd designed this spectacular home just for us, had been taken from me in a motorcycle accident. Andrew had always told me he'd sell that damned bike the instant we got pregnant, but neither of those things ever happened.

"I can understand that," Jacob says. "I sold my house last year when I found myself on my own. I miss the memories, but my apartment is a lot less hassle."

"My reasoning precisely."

He takes a deep breath, as if he's pushing back painful memories the way I am, then turns back to me. "Okay, show me exactly where I need to put this thing."

"I'd like you to put it right here," I say, leaning down to mark the location. It's only when the words are out of my mouth that I realize I could have chosen them a lot better, especially following Jacob's own rather unfortunate phrasing.

I'm bent way over in front of him, so close that he could reach out and stroke my proffered ass, or even step up behind me, wrap those big hands around my waist and...

I stand up quickly, embarrassed at my unintentional double entendre and my wildly inappropriate fantasy. Unfortunately though, I've stood up too quickly and I somehow lose my balance up here on my ridiculous shoes. I start to stumble and try to stick a foot out to regain my equilibrium, but my heel catches on the thick carpet.

Unbelievably, I'm falling unhindered toward the stone and glass coffee table. I'm in a bad orientation too, and I realize that, incredibly, I'm not going to be able to get a hand out to break my fall.

Then I'm in Jacob's arms. "Gotcha," he says calmly. "Are you all right, ma'am?"

"Uh..." I say artfully. Then I regroup for an attempt to come up with something moderately coherent. It's not easy. I haven't been held by a man in a long time, and this feels really good. My shoulders are pressed against the heavy muscles of Jacob's chest, and I like the sensation of his strong arms wrapped around me, right up under my breasts. A sense of rightness washes over me, like I've been waiting for this for a long time.

Then I remind myself that Jacob's not embracing me out of any romantic interest. I've just taken a bad step and he's saved me from what could have been a serious injury. And he's still holding me, probably waiting for my response before trusting me to stand on my own again.

Then, even worse, I realize that in my hurry I didn't button my blouse up quite as high as I would have if I'd had more time. In my current position, it's tented way out and I can see both of my bare nipples. If he's looking down (and he most likely is) he's seeing them too. Yeah, real professional, Claire.

"I'm fine," I finally manage, doing my best to employ the cool and confident tone I use at work. "I just tripped. Thanks, Jacob. That was really clumsy of me."

"Hey, it happens to everyone from time to time. I'm just glad I was there to catch you."

Only now does he set me back upright. He lets go slowly, as if waiting to make sure I'm competent to stand on my own two feet. Or else he's enjoying the view.

I realize that I'm blushing fiercely. To make matters worse, he's noticed this. It's an awkward moment, but then he steps in and bails me out. "Okay then," he says, his self-assured tone quite welcome under the circumstances, "I'll get right to it."

"I'll be in the next room," I say, finally regaining my composure. "Just let me know if there's anything you need."

"Will do. Thanks." As I turn, I catch another unexpected look on his face. It says he's waiting for me to say or do something more, but I have no idea what that might be.

Once I'm safely back in my room, I find that I'm almost shivering from the thrill of being held in Jacobs arms. My skin is tingling everywhere that we'd touched. He'd held me for a lot longer than necessary, but nowhere near as long as I would have liked.

"You're not going to sleep with him, Claire," I whisper to myself. Then that train of thought comes to an abrupt halt. Since when would I need a warning like that? I've only slept with one man in my entire life, and even then, only after we were married. I'm absolutely not going to start hooking up now.

Still, there was something so solid, so masculine and so competent about him that I can feel myself getting wet down below just from the memory. Somehow, this humble electrician does things to me that I'd never realized were possible.

Then an amazingly wanton idea comes to me. I almost blush again at the thought of it. I categorically push it away as needlessly indulgent and wildly improper, but then pause to reconsider. Why the hell not? I'm a grown woman and I can do whatever I want, so dammit, I will. As soon as he leaves, I'm going to pull out my vibrator and have some fun, fueled by the memory of his touch. After all, the job shouldn't take him long and I don't have to be back at the office until after lunch.

But if I'd thought that idea was out of character for me, the next one seems like it's from someone else's brain entirely. Why wait? Suddenly the risky and gratuitous fantasy of pleasuring myself while he's still in the house becomes absolutely irresistible.

I kick off my heels, then peel off my blouse and skirt, draping them neatly back over the chair in case I need to get into them in a hurry again. Then I retrieve my vibrator from the nightstand drawer and do an evaluation in my full-length mirror.

I was a competitive gymnast in high school and college, but at five foot seven, I was too tall to compete at the elite level. I've worked ridiculously hard to keep that body, though, and I'm proud to say that I don't look a whole lot different than I did then. My waist is small, my hips curved just enough to be womanly, my stomach flat and defined. My breasts are bigger now, of course, but they still sit up nice and high, even without a bra. I've got a light, lineless tan from occasional nude sunbathing sessions on my back deck. My friends tell me I look early twenties, not late.

I imagine myself walking out to check on Jacob's progress like this. He'd gasp when he saw me, then get a sly smile on his face before walking over and wrapping me in his arms again. He'd stroke the warm flesh of my naked body with those big hands, cupping my ass cheeks. I'd grind my bare pussy against his hard cock through his jeans, then...

My nipples are rock hard now and sticking out like pencil erasers. I'm almost shivering with my desire. I reach down and touch myself. I'm swollen and slick. Yeah, Jacob's got me totally worked up.

I know I've been masturbating way too much lately, (even keeping myself shaved bare to indulge my fantasies) but this time I've got some fresh material to work with. I prop my foot up on the chair, then bring the vibrator close to my center.

I hit the switch and the device comes to life. It makes some noise, but with the thick acoustic insulation built into the wall between this room and the great room, it's nowhere nearly enough that Jacob would be able to hear it. I lay the shaft down into the embrace of my folds, then shiver from the sensations that travel through my body. Yeah, this is gonna be good.

I insert the tip inside myself, moving it around a little to get it wet and slippery, but find that this really isn't necessary. I'm much wetter than usual. I begin to push it up inside, watching in the mirror as it disappears. Oh God that's sweet.

Then I hear the soft, musical chime from the alarm system that says the front door has opened. I slide the vibrator out and walk over to the front window.

Jacob's heading down the walkway toward his truck. He's got it parked in the nearest space available, which is, unfortunately for him, clear at the other side of the cul-de-sac. Funny how Wayne never makes a peep when the neighbors park their cars on the street in violation of the covenants.

I watch my handsome electrician intently. His gait is confident and strong, his back straight and his stride long. He's got the perfect ass, too, and it's enhanced by jeans that aren't tight, but fit him wonderfully. Oh my God, what he does to me!

I put a foot up on the window bench and slide the vibrator home as I watch him through the sheers. I moan from both the physical and visual stimulation.

When Jacob arrives at his truck, he reaches up and flips some levers or something on the rack that holds a couple of ladders above the roof. He grabs the longer one and lifts it down like it weighs nothing at all. He turns it in one hand above his head as he takes a few steps away from the truck, then rests it on his shoulder as he starts to walk back toward the house.

Only then does it occur to me that I'm in full view. I freeze. Then I realize that since the sun is in his eyes and my window is in the shade of the front porch, I'm not terribly conspicuous. Hell, with the sheers, he probably couldn't actually see me if he was looking. Still, it's probably best to not make any motions that would draw his eye. I stay stock-still with my toy buzzing away inside me as he approaches. I feel a bead of my fluids run down the inside of my finger.

Jacob doesn't appear to notice me as he steps up onto the porch. Then he turns his back momentarily as he opens the door, and I use the opportunity to step away from the window, going back to the mirror and watching myself as I get off to the vision of this handsome stranger.

I take more and more of the tool, the vibrations on my inner tissues an amazing cocktail of erotic pleasure, but then it's finally inside far enough that the magic can start.