The alarm sounded, again, in the dark. Steve gave his usual mumble of "Shit", then hit the snooze. A few minutes later, in the dark, it goes off. I chuckled softly, growing used to the routine. However, this morning, it was a little bit different. Because I was a smartass and chuckled, he started poking me in the ribs. I laughed and squirmed, trying to get away from him. He kept grabbing me, pulling me back to him, tickling me some more.
I wiggled enough around on the bed, laying sideways, my legs were up around his shoulders, and then I felt him, his hot open mouth, sliding on my hardened length. I lay still under him, letting him take in. I moaned, running my fingers through his hair as he went down on me deeper and deeper. He tickled my balls, and then slid his hand down, fingering my hole.
I had thought that last night on the new couch was great, riding him, as he lay on his back, bouncing up and down on his long hard shaft, but, this in our bed, in the dark was very hot. I could feel him sliding up and down, going faster and faster on me, fingering me, stretching me, filling me. I moaned a little louder and shot into his mouth as he bottomed out on me. Then the tight suction, draining it all out of me. I breathed deep, laying my arms out, my legs spreading wide.
"Oh, yes." I said, as he pulled off. "I love it when you do that." I felt him shift on the bed, thinking he was going to get up. He grabbed my legs, rocking up my hips. Was he? I got excited. Was he really? Yes, as his thick firm head entered my hole, followed by the rest of him, slowly in one motion. I moaned even louder, rolling my head to one side. I grabbed handfuls of the sheets. I loved his cock in my ass, going long and deep, in and out, filling me.
I could hear him breathing, not hard, but deep, rhythmic, his soft moans from his throat. He pumped me in and out. Could this last all morning, possibly all day? Oh, I wanted it so bad. Last night was awesome, but the way he was manhandling my body this morning, in the dark, oh it was so much better. Yes, yes, I thought to myself, keep going, yes. His motion got a little faster, a little more shallow. I knew he was getting close. It felt like he was mostly out of me, then with a deep thrust, pounding by my spot, he thrust all the way in. He moaned deeply and I could feel him pulsing, throbbing against my walls. God, I loved it.
We stayed like this for a couple of minutes, then he slowly slid out of me. It always saddened me when he pulled out. He patted my inner right thigh, then got off the bed, he flicked on the bathroom light, half turning, looking back at me spread out on the bed.
"You are so damned beautiful." He said softly. "I wish I didn't have to go to work."
I pulled myself up, resting on my forearms. "You could call in sick." I replied, trying to be sexy and seductive. He chuckled in reply then went to the shower, turning it on. I sighed that it wasn't working, but stayed there. A couple of minutes later, he stepped out, grabbing a towel. I watched him dry off then hung up the towel. He came out and crossed the room.
His clothes had been stacked on top of the new dresser. He pulled some off and got dressed as I had rolled my head to watch him. "Your mom is coming today, isn't she?"
"Yeah, she is."
"You don't sound happy about it." He said as he tucked himself inside of his pants, buttoning them.
"Oh, I am. I really am. I just want to spend some more time with you, that's all." I sounded a little hurt, letting my voice trail off.
He came over and sat on my side of the bed, next to my chest. "I want to spend more time with you, too." He leaned down and kissed me softly. "I have to work a few more days, then I have this Sunday off. We can spend the whole day in bed together if you want."
I perked up. "Really?"
"Well, maybe not all day." He smiled. "We'll have to go back to the store and pick up a few more things. But, then we can come back and go back to bed." I was getting hard again, thinking about all the things that we could in bed together. The list was growing, as well as my cock. He turned and looked down at me. "Looks like you're getting ready for it already."
"Well, yeah." I went to sit up, but he gently pushed me back down on the bed. He leaned down and kissed me passionately. He had to pry my arms off his neck. He kissed my forehead and got up off the bed. He went in and brushed his teeth. He came back out, climbing on the bed, over the top of me, he kissed me tenderly, then slid down and licked my length in a teasing manner. I moaned. He looked up and smiled.
"I'll try and come home early, if I can. I gotta go." He got up off the bed, walked toward the door.
"I think you forgot something." I said, still trying to be sexy, even though he was teasing me, killing me.
He stopped and turned around. "What?" He tucked his head down and shook it. "Sorry. I love you."
I smiled back at him. "I love you, too. That's not what I meant." I looked at the bathroom, then back at him. He chuckled.
"The light? Oh, sorry, baby. Gotta go, I'm running late. I'll see you later." He turned and walked out the door, grinning.
"ARGH! Jerk! Sure, make me get out of bed! Go and turn off the light! Two hours til daylight, yeah!"
He stuck his head back from around the hallway corner. "You're a little bitchy this time of the morning, aren't you? But, you are so gorgeous when you're mad, I love it. Love you, little man. See you later."
I heard the front door shut and then a minute later the truck start. I plopped back into the bed. I rolled over and grabbed one of his pillows. I put it to my nose, breathing deep. It smelled like him. The scent made me hard again. I put the soft pillow to my hardened cock, sliding it up and down on it, tickling me, rubbing me with the ultra soft cloth. I was breathing hard in a few minutes and then moaned out as I shot all over my chest. I brought the pillow up, smelling it again deeply, in lust with the scent. I put it back in place, then scooped up my fluids and licked it off my fingers. I lay there for another hour, alone, lusting and thinking of him. Oh, ENOUGH! I screamed to myself.
I got up and went into the kitchen. I made coffee in the perculator. As it was starting to hum and perk. I sat on a stool, resting my chin in my palm. What do they say about watched pots? I thought it was kind of hot in the house already. I got up and walked to the slider, opening it. It was still dark, and I didn't think any neighbors would be up at this time of the morning. I couldn't see any lights on from the houses around us. It was warm outside. Really? The one day my mom was coming, it was going to be the hottest day of the year? Typical. Only my luck. Fuck.
I walked back into the house and turned on the lights. I went into the spare bedroom and got out the vacuum. I started it, going slowly, moving carefully over the runners that were down. Have to do something about this. It looked like shit. New carpet was going to have to go down and soon. But, I couldn't say anything to him. He had already done way to much as it was.
The carpet in the living room was fully intact. I went over it carefully. I had to change the bag as it was full. I moved the furniture, vacuuming under it, then putting it back. It looked better, but really needed to be cleaned. I went to the bedroom, and got started in there. I tried to get under the bed as best I could. I shut it off and put it away.
I put Steve's clothes away in the dresser. I left three of the new drawers for me. I put my things in them out of my bag, taking my bag and putting it in the closet. I went into the bathroom and started cleaning it, the toilet, the shower, the sink. Wow, I didn't realize what a mess it was. I organized the counter, the items on top of it.
I went into the bathroom in the hall. It was rarely, if ever used. It was quick and easy to clean. I was happy about that. I didn't do anything about the spare bedrooms, as I hadn't talked to him yet and what he planned for them. I closed those doors, still needing to do something with them too, and went back to the kitchen. I poured a cup of coffee, sitting at the counter. I sipped the hot liquid, watching the daylight creep across the back patio, bathing itself over the fence. I loved the morning.
The doorbell. I slid off the stool, my butt was stuck to it from my heat and the heat of the air. I realized I was still naked. I almost panicked. I ran down the hallway toward the bedroom. The doorbell, again. I looked around. I grabbed my jeans, hopping into them. Who the hell could it be? The doorbell, again. Maybe it was Mrs. Allen, and there was a problem across the street. I ran out of the bedroom, buttoning up my jeans as I reached the front door, grabbing the latch, throwing it open with wide eyes. It was Evie standing there. I sighed.
"Hi, Evie. Is..."
"No, there is nothing wrong. I saw Steve leave fourty two minutes ago, and I was wondering if you might want to chat or possibly read the paper..."She talked so fast, pushing the paper toward me, then walking in.
"Sure, come on in." I umumbles, closing the door.
"I thought I heard the vacuum running and I knew that you were awake. I don't want to bother you so early in the morning, but..."
I held up a hand to stop her, as I looked down at the floor. "You were wondering what I was doing, and you thought you'd come over and see. Right?"
"Well...yes. I mean at this time of the morning and the vacuum running and Steve has left and..."
"Cup of coffee, Evie? Not that you need it, but coffee?..." I showed her the way with my hand, leading toward the kitchen. She walked with me. I pulled out another cup and poured it for her. "Take anything in it?" I asked as polite as possible.
"A little cream and two sugars, please. Thank you. So, I was going to ask what it was that you're doing today?" She was looking around, as I was fixing her coffee. "I see that you've been painting, it looks really good, almost like a new house. And what was that truck yesterday? I saw them bringing things in." I pointed over my shoulder toward the living room. She squealed as she got off the stool, walking toward the living room. "Oh, new furniture! I was thinking about getting a few new things myself, but it's rare when I get out to take a look in town, just to shop..." I handed her her coffee. She took it, looking at it. "Oh, no saucer. Oh, that's alright. It's okay, I'll be careful. I won't spill on the cushions. You don't mind if I try it, do you? Of, course you don't. Did you pick this out, Kevin? You must have, because Steve wouldn't. I know he has taste, but I see you in this..."
"Evie." I said. She turned to open her mouth and keep going, but I held up my hand to stop her, again. "I just wanted to say," I watched as she sipped her coffee. "my mother is coming today for a visit. I want everything to be perfect for her and my little sister. It's been a while since I've seen them. That's why I'm cleaning the house so early. I'm sorry if I disturbed you so early this morning."
She put her cup in her lap, cradling it in both of her hands. "Oh, no. You didn't disturb me. My bedroom is opposite yours. I hear the alarm go off at four, every morning." She looked at me, as her head was tipped downward.
"You hear the alarm?" I asked softly. She nodded. "Do you ever hear anything else?" I said as I was rubbing my face with my hands. She nodded again. OH MY GOD!!! "Evie, I had no idea. I am so sorry." I stood up. I looked at her in absolute horror. How she felt about Steve was made very clear to me, and here I was, probably moaning at the top of my lungs, her hearing everything, with the man she loved. Oh holy shit. I felt like such an utter asshole. As I stood there I didn't realize that my pants weren't buttoned all the way, the top two were opened and I had no shirt on. I was feeling completely naked right at this moment in front of her. I got down on my knees in front of her. I took her coffee cup and set it on the table. I took her hands. "Evie, I don't know what to say, more than I'm sorry. I'll see if we can switch rooms or something." I could see tears in her eyes.
"Kevin, it's alright. You don't have to change anything at all. I shouldn't have told you. I don't know why I even mentioned it, it was a mistake. I should go, you're going to be busy, as if you haven't already been." She pulled back her hands from mine, she touched my cheek. "I'm glad you had the time to talk to me this morning, I so enjoyed meeting you the other day, and I felt bad, you being naked and all. I mean...."
"It's okay, Evie. It's okay."
"Well, you're very sweet and very cute. I really like you. Please don't tell Steve about this, our little talk I mean. He can get so upset about some things, you know."
"No, I don't know. What do you mean?"
"Well, once, there was this person who came here from time to time to see Steve. One night, it got a little heated, shall we say, there was a lot of yelling and then he left in a hurry. I'm not sure what happened, and I mentioned it a couple of days later, Steve just walked away, like he didn't want to talk about it." I was busy thinking, hearing her, but thinking.
"Thank you, Evie. Can I ask you, did you hear a name mentioned?"
"I heard 'Mitch', several times, among other things," she almost whispered. "Do you know him? Because, I'll tell you, Kevin, you're the only one whose ever to come here that has ever talked to me, or the other neighbors."
"How many have there been?" I asked, without trying to show concern.
"Only a few. Maybe three, at the most." I sighed at her answer. I mean, as long as it wasn't a revolving door here or something. I was relieved. "Yes, it was only three. Steve never talked about it, and I didn't push the issue. He doesn't have to answer to me, you know..."
"Evie, Evie." I said, as she was getting going again. I was holding up the magic hand again. "Wow, that's a lot of information. Thank you. It will take some time to figure all of it out."
"Well, it's not that difficult, if you really think about it..."
"Whoa, hold on." I said, magic hand in front of her this time. "Let me try and figure this out, okay? I'm pretty smart, and all I have to do is ask him. Okay?" She nodded in reply. "Good. Okay, how's your coffee? You want some more?"
"A refill would be nice, thank you." She answered, handing up her cup. She looked back down as I took it from her. "Can I ask you something, Kevin?"
I stopped from turning away from her. "Sure, Evie, anything."
"Well, I mean...I know how you must..."
"Evie, it's alright. Just come right out and ask it."
"Well, okay then, are you in love with Steve?"
I dropped to my knees in front of her. I set the cup on the table. I looked at her, clasping her hands with mine. I took a deep breath, silently. "Would it bother you if I was?"
"A question with a question. Well..."
"Evie." I stopped her. "I take it that it does bother you."
She looked up into my eyes, they were welling up. "Kevin, before I answer, could I ask you something else?"
I smiled. "Sure, Evie, what?"
"Well, do you always walk around naked, or half naked?" She asked, looking into my eyes. I was embarrassed. Company in the house, pants half undone, no shirt. What would my mother say?
"You know, I'm sorry. The doorbell, I didn't get a chance to get a shirt..."
"I understand, it's okay. I mean you're cute and all, but..."
"It bothers you. It's alright. Let me go grab a shirt. Hold on a minute, I'll be right back." I got up, sighing silently. I really wanted some more information from her. I walked to the bedroom, grabbed a shirt from the drawer, pulled it on, and walked back out. I grabbed her cup and refilled her coffee, fixing it the way she had first requested. I pulled out a saucer, setting her cup on it, returning it to her. She smiled at what I had done. She picked up the cup and sipped at the coffee. She saw the shirt and was pleased, I could tell by her look at me.
"So, you asked me a question...I want you to know," as I knelt down on the floor in front of her, looking at the capret and then slowly up into her eyes. "yes, yes, I'm in love with Steve. With all my heart and soul. There is nothing or no one that is more important to me than Steve." I paused, still looking at her. Her reaction really wasn't there, at least the one I had thought. "Does that answer your question?"
"I understand." She said softly. "And, yes, it answers my question. I can see that he loves you. I can see that very clearly. It breaks my heart, but I understand it." She wiped one eye of a tear. I felt terrible, telling her the truth. "I think that we could be friends, though, don't you, Kevin?"
"Yes, Evie, yes, I do." I clasped her hands again with mine. "I'm sorry Evie. The last thing I wanted was to see you hurt."
She smiled. "I'm not hurt. I knew it, deep down. Steve doesn't, couldn't, give me the love I would want. I know that. I guess I've always known that." I was falling apart inside. Watching her, listening to her to tell me all these things. UGH! I felt like the biggest asshole in the world right now. I didn't know what to do. She took care of that for me. She stood up, her hands in front of her. "Kevin, I know that you're busy, you've got your mother coming and everything. I won't take up anymore of your time." She turned and walked toward the door. I followed her, still feeling really bad. She reached the door, grabbing the handle, she opened it, she turned, looking at me, "Thank you for the coffee. It was a nice talk."
"Evie," I stepped closer to her, "you're more than welcome anytime, here. I liked the company this morning. We should do coffee together more often." She threw her arms around my neck, giving me a quick squeeze.
"I would like that." She said as she pulled back, looking me in the face. She grabbed my cheeks with her hands. "I could bring over the paper."
I smiled at her. "Sure, anytime." She turned and walked away. I slowly shut the door, breathing out a sigh of relief, hearing it close. I went to the coffee table and picked up the cups, taking them into the kitchen. I washed the cups and saucers, putting them in the drainer. I picked up the perculator, shaking it. It was almost empty. I cleaned it out. Oh My God! I looked at the clock. It was almost nine. Oh shit! Got to get going before mom comes.
All of the last minute details were either taken care of were well under way. I put the bookcases back together and pulled all of the stuff out of the spare room. I set up the stereo and the speakers and almost had all the books arrainged, as I heard the doorbell ring. What? Mom already? Was it time? She said she would be here later in the day to catch Steve. I bounded across the living room and got to the door before it could ring again. I opened it, seeing Mrs. Allen standing there.
"Mrs. Allen. Is everything alright?" I asked really concerned, stepping out toward her.
"Oh, yes, dear. Everything is fine." She paused, wringing her bony little hands together. "I hate to bother you, dear."
"Mrs. Allen. Really? You could never be a bother. Is everything alright?" I asked as I stepped out the door, taking her hands.
She smiled that wonderful grandmotherly smile up at me. "Yes, everything is alright."
"Well, please, won't you come in? I'm sorry, I just emptied the coffe pot, but I could some more on really quick."
"Thank you, dear. Maybe another time."
She had something she needed to ask, but was having trouble with it. I wanted to make it easier for her somehow. "So, what can I do for you on a beautiful day like today?" I asked in my cheeriest voice.
"You're so sweet. Well, you know when you dug up the rose yesterday. You turned over the dirt for me. The nursery is going to deliver the plants I asked for, but I don't think I can get them planted. I picked the shovel yesterday and tried to mix the soil around but it was too much for me. I was wondering..."
"If I would plant them for you? Oh, Mrs. Allen, I would be more than happy to. What time are they going to be here?"
"Later today, I'm sure." She paused, wringing her tiny, boney hands. I clasped them, as I always do with her. "They are suppose to telephone before they come over."
"Oh, later? Could we do it tomorrow then instead? You see, my mother is coming to visit this afternoon."
"Oh, my. Yes, I suppose that tomorrow would be fine rather than today." She looked so disappointed, she was breaking my heart.
"Well, let's do this. Why don't you call me after they call you. I can leave a note on the door for my mom, telling her I'm across the street, and then she can meet me over there, if it's alright with you."
Her face brightened. "Are you sure, dear? I really hate to be a bother."
"Mrs. Allen, you could never be a bother." I smiled at her. "I really don't mind at all. I mean, if it's alright that she comes over there to your house. She'll have my baby sister with her."
"That would be just fine, dear. I'll telephone you when I hear from them, alright?"
"Perfect." She reached up and patted my cheek. I bent down and she gave me a kiss. She turned and walked down the sidewalk to go across the street. I watched her make it safely then closed the door. Leaning against the door, I put my hands to my forehead. God, I still needed to shower and get ready. I walked over to the stereo, turning it on. The local radio staion came to life. It had been so long since I had listened to music. The DJ said this was a new record, by some band I had never heard of before, Little River Band? He said that the song would probably go to number one, it was 'Cool Change'. I stood and started to listen to it, and I liked it. I turned and walked toward the bedroom, shower time.
Once out, I changed into different clothes, did my hair so it was perfect, curling under at the ends with my shag. I really liked the look, my navy jeans from Steve, and a tight tee. I brushed my teeth. I was set. Ok, bring it on, I thought. Socks and then shoes. I was done.
I made the bed, and then went back to the kitchen. Some song was on, about blue jeans on. I knew it, had heard it before, but couldn't place it. Oh, well.
I put together a fruit salad in a bowl. I was getting some chicken together that I was going to put on the hibachi tonight. I wanted it to be perfect for Steve, but if mom stayed, I wanted there to be enough for all. What else? I guess I could make a green salad. I opened the fridge and stood there looking at the contents. A lot of stuff, but nothing to put together. God, I wish I had a cookbook or two! I was running out of ideas.
Well, don't worry about it right now. Okay, listen to the stereo, relax and wait. I sat on the couch, laying back in the soft cushions. It smelled so new new and clean. I was tapping my fingers to some song on the stereo. I closed my eyes and let sleep take me. I wasn't sure how much time passed, I woke up to the phone ringing. I got up off the couch, crossed the room and picked it up.
"Hello?...yes, it is. Hi, Mrs. Allen." I smiled hearing her little voice on the phone. "Yes, I would be happy to. No, it's no problem at all. Let me leave a note on the door for my mom. I'll be over in a few minutes. Ok, bye." I hung up the phone. I got a piece of paper and a pencil, writing the note out. I hung it on the front door, with a thumbtack I found. I walked down the sidewalk, as the truck from the nursery pulled up and parked. The guy got out, going to the back door. Holy crap, he was breath taking. Long black hair hanging on his shoulders, jeans that were tight, very tight, and a tee shirt that showed every possible muscle through it. I crossed the street, coming around the back of the truck. I looked in, he was bent over pulling plants in containers, sliding them to the door behind him. I watched his butt intently as he slid the containers around.
"Oh, hello, dear." Came the soft voice beside me, making me jump.
"Mrs. Allen, you scared me half to death." I said, putting an arm around her shoulders.
"I'm sorry, dear. I didn't mean to." She giggled. "I suppose you didn't hear me."
"I'll have to put little bells on your shoes or something. Steve does that to me sometimes too." I laughed.
"Have you met Jason?" She asked.
"Uh, no, I just got here." I watched as he turned around, walking toward the back end. He smiled at me, bending at the knee, reaching out his hand. I took it.
"I'm Jason." His olive skin glowed even in the back of the truck.
"Nice to meet you. Okay, auntie, they're all here." He said, taking back his hand, looking at Mrs. Allen. "You want them in the backyard?"
"Yes, dear." She looked at me, I was apparently looking stunned. "Jason is my great nephew, my sisters grandson."
"Ohhh, I see." I backed up a little, as Jason jumped out of the back of the truck. He turned and looked at me.
"So, did you get roped into putting these in?" Jason smiled out of the corner of his mouth.
"Well, not roped, but she asked if I could help her."
"I see. Auntie is the gate open?"
"Yes it is, dear. Are you in a hurry again?" She turned and looked at me. "He never has two minutes to rub together. He is always go, go, go."
"Well, I guess I should give him a hand then." I said, grabbing a couple of pots, and started to follow him. We went through the gate, I was a few paces behind him, up the sidewalk to the backyard. He set the plants by the turned over bed. I did the same. He looked at me, I looked at him as I stood. His eyes were so intense, deep blue in color, they looked like they were cutting right through me. I had to look away for a moment.
"Did she hire you?" He asked quietly.
"No. I live across the street. I volunteered. I seems like they need some help from time to time."
He chuckled. "That they do." He turned and started toward the front. I followed, watching his jeans with real interest. We got back to the truck, grabbed the last and walked back. Mrs. Allen came through the slider. She came down the step. Jason said he left the clipboard in the truck, that he would be right back. I moved the plants around, looking at them, as Jason returned. He wrote a couple of things down and then handed her the clipboard to have her sign it.
"You know, Auntie, there's really not enough room in this bed for all of these. They need more space to grow."
"Let me show you. Kevin, can you give me a hand?" I nodded. "Take this one, put it there, I'll put this one over here." I was bent over , he brushed my butt, as he walked by. I almost jumped on him right there. I stood, watching him place them, I saw the spacing and then jumped in with the rest of them, helping him. We were done, it was going to take all day to do this. Tons of digging to do.
"Oh, dear. Did I order too many of them?"
"No, Auntie." Jason said, stepping up next to her. "It's just that they're going to get bigger, and in a hurry. And, I know how you grow things, they'll be reaching the top of the fence by next week."
"Oh, Jason, you're such a kidder." She elbowed him in his tight ribs. He feigned it hurting. She smiled up at him. He chuckled.
"Listen, Auntie. I have tomorrow off. How about I stop by in the morning. I'll put them in and move these other that are there now."
"Really, dear? Then I don't have to bother poor Kevin. I've imposed on him too much already."
I smiled, feeling like I was being left out. "Nonsense. Now, Mrs. Allen, I told you it was no bother at all. I mean, how long could all of this take? A few hours?"
"Better part of a day." Jason said, flatly. "Now, Auntie, I'll see you in the morning. Have breakfast ready. You make sure the coffee is on."
"Would you like some help?" I asked.
"That would be great, I'd appreciate that." He reached out his hand to me. I took it. "Eight too early?"
"Really? I'm up at four." I said flatly, rolling my eyes.
"No, are you?"
"Yep, fraid so."
"Wow. I thought I was bad. You've got me beat, morning man."
"I am that."
"I bet you are." He smiled wide. He turned, giving her a gentle hug. I was thinking where was mine? "I'll see you in the morning." He turned, looking at me, "See you, too." He winked and walked away.
Wait, was he hitting on me...is that what that was? My heart was beating hard in my chest. I snapped around. I walked over to her, giving her a gentle hug as well. She patted my shoulders.
"I guess we're going to do this in the morning then? I'll be here at eight."
"I'll have breakfast ready." She smiled.
"See you in the morning." I turned and walked away, going through the gate. I closed it behind me. The truck was running, he was just looking at me, then smiled. I smiled back, walking around the front to his door. He rolled the window down. "Hi." I said.
"Hi. So which house is yours?" I pointed over my shoulder. His eyes widened. "Doesn't Steve live there?" I nodded in answer. "Are you two involved?" I got nervous. I nodded again. A devilish grin came out of the corner of his mouth.
"What? Do you know Steve?"
"Do me a favor, don't tell him you met me today. Don't say anything about us talking or anything. Can you do that?"
"You do know him."
"Very well. Can you do that?" I nodded.
I heard a car pull up behind me. I looked over my shoulder, it was my mom. I got excited. I turned back to Jason. "See you in the morning." I walked away from him.