Mixed Doubles

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Neither Don nor I would dare enter a singles tournament, his speed not quite what it takes and my backhand erratic. Maybe that’s why we do better in mixed doubles — him holding down the baseline and me up front, a case where the sum is greater than the parts. Not that we do that well against those who actually rain, but we can sometimes beat ones like us who just play for fun.

That’s how we got to know Jack and Heather, wandering onto the court at the same time and started bouncing balls back and forth.

When I lament that Don and I should have taken up the sport back when we were dating, they say it’s the same for them. The way to get better, we all agree, is to think of ourselves as again being that age.

We beat them maybe six out of ten times, not because we’re better, but because when Heather and Don face off at the net, they get to chatting and I slip a return right by her shoulder. Strategy.

What’s more even is Jack and me vs. the other two — a better distribution of brains and brawn, we say, but can’t agree on who has which.

After a hard match — well maybe not that hard, but we like to think so — the four of us take a break. team-wise on the grass, my head on Jack’s stomach or his on mine and same for our spouses. When Don’s not paying attention Maybe Jack gets a little high on me, but I’m in my sports bra.

Sundays, the way I see it, are for late breakfasts, and Jack sees it the same. The other two, our dutiful ones, hit the court to practice serves. More power to them, I say. Heather should wear a bra, but you don’t go telling your friend that sort of thing when she’s just doing serves, hardly anybody watching.

Myself and Jack, we’d rather work on technique later in the day, so we’ll do that when Heather’s playing soccer and Don’s working in his shop. If Jack lands more in, I have to carry his racket to the car. If I win, he has to carry me piggyback. That’s after we take our breather, just the two of us.

Sometimes I’m a little confused, though — the Sunday, for example, when I opened the ball bag, the same one that the other two had taken to practice serves a couple of hours earlier, and there on the top were the three unused Wilsons exactly where I’d tossed them in the day before. Don had said their practice went great. Then there was that Sunday when… but as I said, I must have been confused.

As there’s more to tennis than tennis, of course, afterwards the four of us like to stop by DQ for cones. We girls, watching our weight, just take a bit from the guys. Don and Heather like vanilla, but for Jack and me, it’s always chocolate.

Jack’s the one who found out about the Wichita All-Comers Mixed Doubles weekend. We’d be in the bottom division, he was sure, so might at least win some matches.

As the tournament’s in Wichita, Heather’s and my requirement: the guys dress up for dinner and take us to nice restaurants. Stay at the Holiday Inn, tournament headquarters, not some cheesy place where they don’t clean the toilets.

We take our van, lots to chat about. Not that Don and I don’t at home, of course, but it’s always the same stuff. As Heather’s prone to carsickness, she’s up with Don and the windows being open, the conversations don’t much cross the car seat.

A fun guy, Jack, a little bit flirty, but in a high-school way, of course. The first time his foot touches mine seems accidental, but maybe not the second. Nothing they can see from up front, eve gelen gaziantep escort though.

Why am I not surprised, him brushing against me as we’re taking out our luggage? As I said, he’s a little bit flirty. Why do I let him get away with it? Why not? It’s all in fun.

As we’re given our key-cards at the front desk, Don’s still jabbering with Heather and when he gives his name, the girl says, “Welcome to the All-Comers. Room 301. I see you’re registrants 31 and 32. Good luck,” handing him a key-card and the other to Heather.

What? She thinks that?

I expect Don to correct her error, but Jack steps forward and the girl welcomes him the same, one key-card to him and the one that should have gone to Heather, to me. “Room 314 and you’re 33 and 34. Good luck.”

If not for those behind us, I’d have explained that she’d misunderstood who’s who, but I don’t want to slow the line. We can sort out the keys in the elevator.

By the time I look around, however, Don and Heather have disappeared.

“Must have gone ahead,” guesses Jack. “Third floor.”

When we get there, they’re not in the hallway.

He looks at the doors. “Here’s 314. I’ll call the desk.”

We set down our luggage and he does that.

“They’re in 301,” he reports as if it was just informational,

Jack opens the bathroom door. “We could have a tournament in that shower.” He’s into things like ecology, opposite of Don, who sells chemicals.

Jack thinks a moment. “Maybe I’ll wear shorts,” and without ado, pulls a pair of Bermudas from his suitcase and changes, right there in front of me.

My goodness! I guess it’s no big deal to see your tennis partner’s undershorts, but, even still!

But, then again, we’re on a trip. “Give me a second,” I decide. He’s seen my bra a million times on the court, but for our trip I’d worn something nicer. We’d planned to dress up, hadn’t we? I face away, of course.

Don has no idea what I’d paid for the thing. Good to have somebody notice it, at least.

The phone rings and it’s Don saying we should come over for drinks, but before I can grab my bag, we’re out the door.

Don lets us in. But wait! His suitcase is emptied and Heather’s clothes are in the wardrobe. The bra she’d traveled in — a nice one, too — is by the TV and she’s kicked back without one, whatsoever.

Maybe I’d changed my top in front of Jack, but not my bra. What’s going on here?

Heather asks if we’d like a rum and Coke, as Don’s brought a bottle, as if I didn’t know. “We won’t use much Coke.”

“What about the rooms?” I wonder, to which Don says they cost the same and we should take our drinks down by the pool.

“I don’t think we can have alcohol down there,” I point out, still confused by the room situation.

“Booze in the Coke bottle,” Jack’s solution. “Like in high school, except not skinny dipping.”

I never did that myself, but I knew girls who said they did.

I want to fix the room situation, not swim, but I picture us at that age, spiked Cokes, naked together.

“We’ll go change,” says Jack, steering me out the door, which I guess makes sense, as that’s where our suits are.

Heather flops onto the bed and says that they’ll meet us at the pool later.

I change in the bathroom and when I come out, Jack’s changed as well.

“Want me to lotion you before we go down?” he offers. gaziantep eve gelen escort Don never thinks ahead.

“My shoulders,” as that’s where I burn easiest.

Jack sets me in front of the dresser and gives a squirt suffice for my back as well, with some left over. No need to do under my straps, I should tell him, but it’s too late, and instead, I mention seeing a coffee pot in the lobby.

He goes under my straps and for good measure, pulls them over my shoulder and goes around to do my neck. In the mirror, I watch him, half way under where the straps begin. I point out that it’s smarter to drink coffee there than to pay for it in the restaurant. He doesn’t reach my nipples, but close.

The only others in the Jacuzzi are a couple who wave us to join them. She’s on his lap and he’s giving her a back massage. Mayne more than that, even, but I can’t totally see under the bubbles. I guess you needn’t worry that much at a Holiday Inn if you stay subsurface.

The woman says they’re from Alabama and come to compete every year. “Everybody wins! Don’t you love this place? The showers have the nicest soaps. You’ll love the lavender.”

I say I’ll give it a try.

“Saw y’all come in,” she goes on. “Looks like you play tennis, the rackets and everything,” what seemed a curious comment, given why we’d here, but before I can ask what she meant, “Channel 109 has the highlights from last year,” she adds. “Password’s in your registration. It was a remix, you know, where they mix us up. Look for number 17 and 51. That’s me and this guy from Boston. Must have switched advantage twenty times. Also me and number 29 from the junior division. Not that long of a match, though, but he’ll soon be a contender, what I told him.”

I’d not realized that the tournament included such, but hopefully they’ll remix me with a partner who can get there when the ball gets lobbed over me.

As it’s smart to scout out the competition, Jack and I would for sure check out that channel, though. “I play mostly up,” I volunteer, as it seems wrong to scout without your competitors knowing something in return.

She says so does she, “but you never know what’s going to be called for.”

“It’s all about doing your best,” what I say when we don’t win.

“Exactly,” she concurs. “Both of you.”

It’s why Jack and I win sometimes. Don’s too often caught flat-footed on the backcourt, but I don’t want to disparage my husband as he does his best.

Mayne because she notices me looking where she’s being massaged, she advises that it’s a great way to loosen up for the tournament.

I say probably so and she offers for the two of them to show us how great it feels.

“Maybe we can get together before the get-together,” she suggests and gives us their room number. “They have this great buffet.” rising enough from the bubbles to garner Jack’s attention.

Jack repeats the number so he’ll remember, but I say we’ve plans to meet up with others, not adding that it’s our spouses, the Alabamans not knowing our tennis partnering.

Southerners are difficult to understand, but they probably think the same about us. She should be more careful about not showing too much, though.

“Looking forward to getting together with them, too,” she grins. “Your racket covers gave away who’s who back home.”

As I said, Southerners can be difficult to understand.

Jack gaziantep eve gelen escort bayan and I move to the big pool. He pushes me in, actually — so high-schoolish but then again, it helps our game to think of ourselves as younger. He ends up wrapped around me, and squirming to escape doesn’t work, but when you’re acting younger, escape’s not always the goal.

I should have bought a suit that fits better, though. It’s not just the nipple thing; it’s also that cups slip open a little, and you can’t squirm around without bending.

How Jack and I end up on the pool steps, me on his lap, is just how we end up. I remember how unnerving it was the first time I felt a penis. The Junior Prom. Robert was probably as unnerved as I was, but we just kept dancing and I’d let him move his hand onto my breast. That’s all, though.

As for why Jack’s as he is, probably because of that woman from Alabama. He’s got to know I can tell, but us being friends, neither of us mentions it. He shouldn’t be slipping my straps off my shoulders, however, but as nobody’s close, I sit lower and let him get away with a little peekaboo.

Tonight at the buffet, I’ll be chatting with Heather, her not knowing that her husband saw my breasts and that I’d felt his erection. She’d not approve any more than I’d approve of Don and her doing the same, but either way, it’s nothing more than a little high-schoolishness.

“What’s taking them so long?” I wonder, thinking it best to get my straps back up and get off his lap between us before the others arrive. I’ll go paddle beside Don and we’d figure out which of us should change rooms to be together.

“I think they’ll be a while, actually,” Jack’s prediction as he takes his time. “Maybe not even come down at all.”

I look up, and there’s the pair from Alabama plus another couple I don’t know, arms around the wrong spouse. Maybe an Alabama thing. They’re taking selfies. Even at the distance, I can tell the new guy’s in one of those cling-around trunks. Might just as well skinny-dip. I imagine a telescopic shot of my nipples in Sports Illustrated.

The Alabama woman sees me looking, grins and gives me a thumbs-up, and flashes me a five and a one with her fingers before she and 51 leave together. Mr. Alabama is lotioning the other — last year’s number 52? — her on her stomach, top already unhooked.

“We could go practice our serves,” my suggestion to Jack.

“We’re on vacation,” his hand slipping under my top from below

“To win the tournament,” I point out, always optimistic, pretending not to notice.

Jack looks at me, “Tennis? I guess there are courts somewhere. Didn’t Don tell you?” finding a nipple.

“Tell me what?”

“It’s an all-comers. Guaranteed,” now dropping to my thigh, safer, in my opinion, it being more underwater.

“What’s guaranteed?”

“That everybody comes,” giving me a press.

“Comes?” as I must have missed something.

“Climaxes. You know, orgasms. It’s a mixed doubles. The old hands help us new ones.”

“Oh.” Oh, indeed! We’re talking sex, the two of us almost pretending to be having it, actually.

I give it some thought. This isn’t the kind of event I’d thought I was coming to, but here we are, so I think some more. “It’s not that Don has a dysfunction or anything,” I clarify.

I’m not sure I want Mr. Alabama, however. “We’re already a mixed double, right?”

“Exactly what I was thinking.” Jack agrees. “We’ve got an hour for a pre-get-together, maybe?”

I look at my watch. It’s waterproof. “An hour, ten,”

“There’s a zillion soaps in the shower.”

“Dibs on the lavender.”

Tonight at the buffet, I’ll be chatting with Heather, both of us having just had sex each other’s husband. Tomorrow evening we’ll make them dress up and take us to a restaurant better than the get-together buffet.

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