Rings Rings

Romantic Marriage Stories

Story 18
Fanning the Flames on Laurie's Birthday

by Bill Quinn

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Laurie's birthday was coming up, and I wanted to do something very special for her this year. My strategy was twofold. For the first part, I picked out a gorgeous three-piece ensemble for her formal gift. Laurie had enough lingerie, and anyway, getting lingerie is not quite as exciting for a woman as giving it is for a man. This outfit, I hoped, would take her breath away.

My favorite item in the ensemble was a softly shimmering, metallic paisley-print skirt in rich silk with a handkerchief hem. The skirt was calf-length but of the shorter variety that left plenty of leg showing. When I bought it, I could picture it on Laurie blowing gently in the breeze as we walked together hand-in-hand.

The sleeveless V-neck top was made of soft polyester spandex designed to flatter feminine curves. The final touch was achieved by a shrunken textured blazer. What I liked most about the blazer was its three-quarter-length sleeves. There is something really special about sleeves of this length: the bare forearms, in my view, make a girl look so adorably cute.

The predominant color of the ensemble was a soft, delicate pastel called Mint Julep by the designer. The skirt had the paisley pattern, but the top and blazer were solid Mint Julep.

The overall effect of the outfit was one of delicate, flowing femininity. I was really looking forward to seeing Laurie in it.

The second part of my strategy was going to be a first for us. I went on the Internet and searched for romantic/erotic games. I found a Web site called "Making Marriage Passionate...Romancing Your Lifemate." It was a veritable fount of romantic ideas. However, I found exactly what I was looking for in a game called "Fan the Flames: A Game of Romance and Fantasy for Two." Its stated purpose was "to light the fires of romance and keep them burning brightly."

According to the description, the game would allow the couple to have fun discovering each other's romantic preferences and sharing each other's fantasies. First, each of us would fill out a "Wish Card." The winner of the game would get his wish granted by the loser. But no one really would lose because the wish was to be something romantic that we would do together that night. As the play of the game started, we would take turns picking "Guess Cards" and trying to guess each other's answers to various playful questions. If a player guessed correctly, he would move up a space on the game board and also get to take a "Flame Card." The Flame Card would contain some romantic antic that the other player would have to do. These antics were supposed to be somewhat loosely described so that the antic could be performed as either light and playful or quite erotic.

Now that sounded like just the kind of game I wanted to give Laurie for her birthday. I knew it would be fun for me, and I hoped it would be really fun for Laurie as well.

So I order the ensemble and the game. My plan was to give them to Laurie on her birthday and play the game that evening. Instead of going out to dinner for her birthday, we would go out the following weekend when she could wear her new outfit.

Of course, I had to explain the major components of my plan to Laurie ahead of time so that she would not be expecting to go out to dinner on her birthday and then be disappointed when we did not. It would be a tricky task because I did not want to reveal any real details, and I knew that Laurie would begin probing relentlessly. I waited until I had both gifts in hand and then told Laurie about my plan.

"I came up with something really special for your birthday this year."

"Oh, yeah? A mink coat?"

"No, but it does include something to wear."

"Something to wear...," she pondered thoughtfully.

"But now don't start playing 'Twenty Questions.' My lips are sealed. I want this to be a complete surprise. But I will say this: I think you'll really love it. It'll make you look stunningly beautiful."

"To everyone or just to us?"

"Ah, there you go. You're trying to trick me and cover your attempts with that air of innocence. You want me to reveal whether its outer wear or lingerie. But your subtle, cleverly worded questions will do you no good. I know your all your tricks."

"Oh, you think so?"

"Yeah, but just in case I'm overconfident, no more questions at all about that part of the present."

That piqued her interest. "That part of the present? There's another part?

"Yeah, there is. Something you'd never guess in a million years." I knew that statement would have to constitute the ultimate challenge to the female mind. "I'll give you one hint, but I'll entertain no questions. It's like nothing I've ever given you before, and we'll be able to make use of it the very night of your birthday."

"In the bedroom?" she asked with an impish smile.

"No questions."

Laurie began thinking out loud. "Well, you said, 'make use of it that same night.' That really makes it sound like lingerie. But you said you've never given me anything like it before. You certainly couldn't say that about lingerie!"

"No comment."

Laurie's mind was still working furiously. "Make use of it...'we,' you said...so we both can make use of it..."

"I did say 'we,' and that's the only statement I'm going to make. However, based on that statement, I will add that we won't be going out on the night of your birthday. I'll be taking you to dinner that weekend."

"When I can wear the other part of your birthday present?" Laurie asked brightly.

"Possibly."

"You can be very exasperating at times, you know that?"

I knew Laurie was putting on an act, so I thought it appropriate to be a little playful myself. I got up suddenly and before Laurie knew what was happening, I put my arms around her, put her in a bear hug, and lifted her off the floor. Laurie's head was above mine, and she put her hands on my shoulders, looking down into my eyes.

"Exasperating, am I? Well, let's see if I can change your description to passionate. Let's go into the bedroom and make love." I started carrying Laurie down the hallway.

"And why should I let you make love to me when you stubbornly refuse to give me any hints about my birthday presents?"

"Because you have implicit faith in my flair for being able to make your birthday very wonderful and very romantic."

"Romantic? Well, I...maybe...in that case..." Her voice trailed off as I began nuzzling her breasts with my face as I carried her in that bear hug.

"You promise me it'll be romantic?"

"Scout's honor," I said as I placed her on the bed.

The next day, I slipped some wrapping paper and ribbon out of the house as I left. Thus, on Laurie's birthday, I had four boxes all wrapped and ready to bring home with me that evening. I thought of the old Roy Orbison song, "Pretty Paper":

Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue:
Wrap your presents to your darling from you;
Pretty pencils to write, "I love you":
Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue.

Yes, it was a Christmas song, but in humming it on the way home, I allowed myself a certain poetic license. And anyway, it turned out to fit the occasion more than I thought it would. When I walked into the door carrying four wrapped presents, Laurie's face lit up like a Christmas tree.

"Four presents!" she exclaimed with child-like excitement.

"No, two presents. But one is in three parts." I handed them all to her: "Happy birthday, Laurie."

She took the boxes and hurried over to the sofa, her eyes sparkling with delight.

"Well, which one should I open first?"

"That one," I answered, pointing to the box with the skirt.

In seconds, Laurie ripped off the paper that had taken me considerable time to put on. She opened the box.

"Oh, Terry, this is beautiful..." Laurie reverently pulled the skirt out of the box and held it up in front of her. "Absolutely beautiful. Thank you...where did you find this?"

"Well, I don't want to reveal all my secrets, unless you want to return it."

"Return it! Are you crazy? I love it!"

"Me too. I can't wait to see you in it. But pretty as it is, I just got the impression it was incomplete."

"Incomplete?"

"It needed something to go with it--the other two boxes," I reminded her.

"Oh, yeah. Which one next?"

Next I had Laurie open the box with the Mint Julep V-neck top that matched the skirt. Finally, the blazer.

"Terry, this is really, really beautiful. It must have cost a fortune!"

"Well, make big money, spend big money."

"Yeah, right," Laurie responded in a playfully scoffing tone.

But then her attention was again fixed on her new, stunningly pretty outfit.

"I just can't wait to wear it." She looked at me with a bright smile. "You say you're taking me out to dinner this weekend?"

"That's right, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how pretty you look in it."

Laurie came over and hugged me. We kissed, but then I added, "Aren't you forgetting something...there's one more present."

"That's right! The mystery present--nothing like you ever got me before. I've been racking my brains over this one."

Laurie went back and sat on the sofa to open the last box. In it she found the game entitled, "Fan the Flames: A Game of Romance and Fantasy for Two."

"A romantic board game--yeah, I've heard of these. Wow, is this one pretty hot?"

"Well, we'll find out tonight, won't we?" I tried to put a prurient lilt in my tone. Laurie was much better at that sort of thing than I was, but she got my drift.

"Yeah, I guess we will," she said, wearing a coquettish smile.

"Now I haven't opened the box or read the directions. I thought the job of...administering the game, shall we say, should be yours. I'm sure there'll be some things that need to be done to establish the mood and atmosphere. All that's in your department."

"I'll take a look at the directions now. There's still a little time before dinner's ready."

I was sitting in my favorite chair with the Tony Hillerman novel I was currently into while Laurie was rummaging through the game and reading the directions. A caught her smiling several times, and she even giggled once. Yes, this was going to be a very interesting evening.

After dinner, Laurie said, "OK, now here's what we're going to do. I'm going to go into the bedroom to change--and no peeking tonight. You may need to perform certain...exploratory missions later, and you shouldn't know ahead of time what your going to find. When I come out, you need to go in and change also. Put on some comfortable, casual slacks and a teeshirt. I'll have a lot to do here in the living room, so don't come out until I call you. OK?"

"Yeah, sure. I've been anxious to play this game ever since I ordered it."

When Laurie came out of the bedroom, she was wearing a casual knee-length skirt that she often wears around the house and a light crewneck teeshirt. She also had on knee socks. A very cute outfit, indeed. Perhaps as the game unfolded, I would find out what she was wearing underneath.

I then retreated to the bedroom but had finished changing clothes long before Laurie called me out.

When I did come into the living room, I was astonished at the change. The only light was supplied by a number of scented candles. Laurie was also playing a CD that we had recently purchased that had soft, romantic music. She walked over to me and took my hand, and we walked to the center of the floor and sat down. I noticed that Laurie was very careful in performing this maneuver. She drew her legs up with her knees together as she sat. All very prim, proper, and discrete.

The game board was already on the floor, together with several stacks of cards. The board had two columns of numbers from 1 to 6.

"Now here's how works." Laurie grabbed the instructions, and the tone of her voice indicated that she had gotten really excited about this game. Handing me a "Wish Card," she said, "Here, this is the ultimate goal of the game. You write your romantic wish on this card, and I write mine on my card. We fulfill your wish together if you win the game, mine if I win. But we can't show each other our wishes."

We both wrote down our romantic wish for tonight and set the cards aside.

"These are four Answer Cards with the letters A, B, C, and D on them. You get a set, and I get a set. The Guess Cards here in this stack," she said while pointing to a stack of cards on the floor, "contain the multiple-choice questions that we'll ask each other. When it's your turn, you draw one of the Guess Cards, and that's the question I have to answer. You have to set the correct answer aside face down when you ask me a question, and I'll turn it over after I give my answer to see if I'm correct. We reverse the procedure when it's my turn.

"When we answer a question correctly, we move our token up one level on the board. But...now here comes the exciting part," Laurie continued. "We also get to select a Flame Card from that other stack. If you're picking the card, then you read it aloud, and I have to do what the instructions say. They vary from the sweet and innocent to the really...well, you'll see. If the card is ambiguous, then I use my imagination."

I rubbed my hands together. "Boy, this sounds pretty risque. What kind of a guy would give a girl a game like this?"

Laurie cocked her head and gave me one of those smiles that implied that she knew more than she should. "Well, I'll tell you what kind: it better be a guy who's married, and the girl better be his wife!"

"Oh? So you've looked at some of the Flame Cards?"

"Yeah, I cheated a bit. You're not supposed to look at them ahead of time. But I reshuffled them thoroughly."

"So I guess you advance on the board only if you get a question correct?"

"Right. But if you miss a question, you actually have to move back one place."

"And the one who gets to the top first gets his wish granted?"

"That's it. Are we ready to start? You go ahead: I'll be brave, and you can ask me the first question."

"Oh, you're going to be brave, heh? It seems to me that your trying to be the first one to advance on the board."

"Well, I do have to get the question right first."

"Yeah, but it also means that if neither of us misses any question, then you'll win. Maybe we should flip for it." Laurie's expression showed a little disappointment. "OK, OK. After all, it is your birthday. Let's put the odds in your favor to get your wish fulfilled. I'll go first."

I reached over and picked up one of the Guess Cards and read it to myself. Smiling, I selected the correct Answer Card and slid it face down toward Laurie. Then I read the question to her.

Imagine one of those magical days like a scene in a movie--where we can fall in love all over again. I'd like to:

A. Spend the day with you at a carnival
B. Walk hand-in-hand on the beach at sunset
C. Fly away with you to an exotic locale
D. Dance with you in the rain

Laurie laughed. "I know you hate rain and crowds, and you don't have much of an urge to travel. But you do seem to like holding hands with me. In fact, I believe we did it on our second date, so the choice is simple: answer B."

She flipped the Answer Card over and it was B. "Now we'll see what you're going to have to do." Laurie reached over, picked up the first Flame Card, and read it to me.

Traffic signs warn slow down on "dangerous" curves. Move your hand over one of my dangerous curves and slow down.

A smiled formed slowly on my face.

Laurie saw my look and quickly added, "Now the game's only just begun," she admonished. "You did notice that the card said only 'one' curve?"

"Sure, I heard."

I went over and sat down next to Laurie, putting my one arm around her shoulders. With my other hand, I reached across her and felt for her bra strap underneath the light material of her teeshirt. Finding it, I started to run my hand downward along the strap, as if on a road. When I felt the cup of her bra, I slowed my movement and gently traced her breast with my finger. Laurie closed her eyes, and leaned her head back slightly.

"You know, sometimes it takes awhile to learn a new game," I said after I had finished. "Do you think I'm catching on to this one yet?"

Laurie opened her eyes and scowled at me. "I don't think you need much practice for moves like that!"

I got up and returned to the other side of the board. "Well, as a teacher I know the value of positive feedback."

"Positive feedback! Humph!" She moved her token onto the board at position 1. "Now it's my turn." She picked up a Guess Card and read it. "Boy, did you luck out on this one. We actually did this one time, and you did lose!" Then she read the card to me.

If you lost a bet and had to be my servant for a day, I'd most likely have you:

A. Serve me breakfast in bed
B. Be my driver
C. Give me a very long massage
D. Clean out the garage

"Yeah, that's really a tough one. The answer's A," I said, and flipped over her Answer Card. Smirking, I moved my token onto position 1 and reached for a Flame Card.

"Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go." (Elvis Presley)
Hug me as if you would never let me go.

"Laurie smiled sweetly. "That's easy!" She came around by me and threw her arms tightly around me, pressing her face against mine with warmth and tenderness. It was a long hug, but then she released me and said, "I never do want to let you go...But for now, at least, the game must go on."

The play continued. Neither of us missed any questions, so things were getting tense. Laurie had just moved to position 5; mine was on 4. So it was her turn to pick a Guess Card.

Another place, another time. If we were going to rendezvous in that other place or time, I'd most likely choose:

A. The proper (on the surface, anyway) 1800s
B. Those indulgent days of Rome
C. The Age of Knights and chivalry
D. Our own cozy spaceship to Mars

I let out a sigh of relief. From those choices, there was little doubt what Laurie would choose.

"The Age of Knights and chivalry," I said. She turned over her Answer Card, and I was correct. I moved my token to position 5 and with relish picked up the next Flame Card.

I'm a photographer famous for capturing feelings and moods, but I need a model. Please pose for me:

A. Seductively
B. Innocently
C. Looking regal

Puzzled, I looked up at Laurie. "When there's a multiple choice on a Flame Card, who gets to pick?"

"I do," she answered with a tone of finality.

Before I could make any response, she got up and sauntered over to the sofa, while keeping her eye on me. Then to my amazement, she sat down, pulled her skirt up about four inches above her knees, and very slowly crossed her legs so carelessly that my mouth practically dropped open at the clear flash of panties I got. When Laurie finally positioned her one leg on the other, she again adjusted her skirt scandalously high.

My heart was beating rapidly. How well she understood what could drive my desires wild.

As the image of that flash lingered in my mind, I suddenly realized something was not quite right. As she had crossed her legs, I saw more white than I should have, if she were wearing ordinary panties. Instead, she was wearing something very mysterious that I did not recognize. No doubt she had been hoping for a opportunity like this. Getting a tantalizing flash up her skirt, but not being able to identify what I saw, would also drive my imagination wild.

"OK," she said in a sultry voice. "Take your picture."

She sat there as I gaped at her, then got up and walked back to the game on the floor and sat down, once again the quintessence of modesty.

"Well, we do have a game to finish. It's your turn," she said, smiling sweetly.

While trying to catch my breath, I read the next card to her.

If you were to surprise me with an invitation to a romantic lunch date during the workweek, I'm most likely to hope we're going to meet:

A. Somewhere in the park
B. At home--hmmm
C. At a little out-of-the-way cafe
D. At an "executive" restaurant

With a smirk on her face, Laurie said, "I know exactly what you'd hope for: at home, and I know why too. You'd want to make love."

She flipped over my Answer Card and of course was right. After moving her token to position 6, the last stop before winning, she picked up a Flame Card. As Laurie looked at the card, the smirk disappeared and she actually blushed a little. Then she read it to me.

Soft shapes and mysterious shadows can be suggestive. Tenderly stroke me where I have soft shapes and shadows.

Probably thinking of my Flame Card that she had just performed and the effect it had had on me, she added sheepishly, "Well, this one couldn't have come up at a better time for you."

"Ah, yes, perfect timing."

While watching her eyes, I made my way over to where Laurie was sitting. What was that look in her eyes? It was difficult to discern her exact emotion, but it seemed obvious to me that she had little doubt what soft shapes and mysterious shadows I had in mind.

I eased her into a prone position on the floor and knelt down beside her. Wrapping my hands gently around her legs, I started slowing pushing up her skirt, letting my hands caress her bare legs. My heart was pounding and my eyes were riveted on her seductively rising hem. Then my hands detected soft cotton, that hidden wonder she was wearing under her skirt. I continued raising her skirt higher and higher.

Laurie was not wearing ordinary girl-style panties but rather that newer boy-leg style, considered very sexy now days. They were cotton but obviously with enough spandex to make them skin tight. Both leg bands and the waistband were of fancy, delicate lace. Very feminine and yes, very sexy.

Dropping the hem of her skirt near her waist, I squeezed her hips with both hands just to indulge the fire burning within me to caress those panties. But there was also the Flame Card to perform.

It had said, "tenderly stroke me where I have soft shapes and mysterious shadows." I slid my hand around to the front of her panties, let it slip down to her inner thigh, then brought it forward, tenderly stroking that soft place of mysterious shadows between her legs.

Laurie moaned softly as she pressed her head against the carpet and arched her back just slightly, pushing against my hand.

As aroused as we both were at this point, I did want to stay within the parameters of the game. I took her skirt and brought it back down. Then I took Laurie's hand in mine, caressed it just for a moment, and helped her up. She too was breathing heavily but soon refocused on the game.

My token was still on 5, but it was Laurie's turn to pick a Guess Card.

It's fun to fantasize about romance in a "forbidden" place. I'm most likely to daydream about our being together:

A. After hours at the office
B. In a slightly run-down hotel
C. At a drive-in movie
D. In a "private" room in a restaurant

For the first time, I was in trouble. I really was not sure which of these answers Laurie would pick. But no matter. Even if I got it right, if Laurie got my next question right, she would win. And as I had told her, it was her birthday. However, I would give it my best shot.

I watched as Laurie slid out the Answer Card face down in front of me. Then she sat back and watched me intently.

"At a drive-in movie."

Laurie smiled and shook her head. I flipped over the Answer Card, and sure enough, she had picked "after hours at the office."

Well, Laurie easily answered the next Guess Card and won the game.

I looked at her expectantly. "OK, let's see your wish."

She picked up her wish card and showed it to me.

I wish you would take me up in your arms, carry me into the bedroom, and make sweet love to me.

I smiled. Laurie looked at me, and her eyes glowed as if to say that was what she wanted with all her heart.

Together, we fulfilled Laurie's birthday wish.

Then that weekend we went out to dinner. When we left the house for the restaurant, Laurie was really excited about her new outfit. As for me, I could hardly take my eyes off of her as we walked to the car holding hands.

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The romantic game descibed in this story is available at one of my favorite Web sites: Romance Between the Lines.

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