Blue Ridge Intimacy Retreat

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Blue Ridge Intimacy Retreat

Chapter 1 — Reconnecting with an old friend

I stopped in Asheville on my way home from seeing my son at UT. I didn’t have anything I needed to get back to, so I decided to have a late lunch and a couple of craft beers at a local brewery. I’ve done nothing but bury myself in work since the divorce two years ago and needed a change of scenery. Spending time with him, watching a game and meeting his friends was a nice break.

As I sipped on the joint’s signature ‘Sasquatch Stout’, someone touched my shoulder from behind.

“John? Oh my god, it is you! I haven’t seen you in years! How have you been?” I looked up and saw a gorgeous woman standing over me. It took only a second and I immediately recognized her face. She looked the same. Older, yes. But just as stunning as the last time I saw her so many years ago.

And in that moment, time seemed to stand still. Seeing her made me feel like I was a teenager again. I was momentarily speechless, taken back in time and suddenly nervous. She left so abruptly when her father was transferred across the country and I never got a chance to tell her how I felt. So many times, over the years I’d thought about her. So many times I’d wondered how her life turned out. Was she married? Did she have kids?

My momentary silence turned into an awkward few seconds when finally, “It’s me, Carla. Carla Robinson!”

Are you kidding me Carla? I know who you are! We grew up together. You lived next door from me from elementary school until you moved the middle of our sophomore year. I’ve had the biggest crush on you since forever!

Come on John, snap out of it and say something!

“C-Carla! W-WOW! You look great! I’m so glad to see you!” I immediately stood and gave her a hug. Almost thirty years since we’d talked. Thirty years since she moved away. Thirty years of regrets for not telling her my feelings. That was a time before social media and cell phones. Her sudden move to the west coast was the end of our communication, but more importantly, our friendship. Thirty years of not knowing what happened to her. Now here she is.

“Look at you! How have you been?” We stood in silence for a moment and I could tell she was now searching for words herself. I looked into her eyes and so many memories came flooding back.

Carla was with someone and I noticed her friend had an inquisitive look on her face and broke the silence. “Hi, I’m Pattie, Carla’s business partner.” She shook my hand and looked back at Carla, touching her on the shoulder.

“I’m going to go ahead and run to those shops and leave you two alone. Looks like you two need some time to catch up. I’ll text you later when I’m done. It was nice meeting you John.” She and Carla exchanged a look, something only close girlfriends would understand. Pattie looked back at me with a smile and walked out.

“I-I don’t know what to say. I can’t believe it’s you. I’ve thought about you so many times and wondered what happened to you. I’ve even tried to look you up many times, but do you know how many Carla Robinson’s there are?” She laughed and sat at the table.

For the next hour, we talked about their move to California because of her dad’s job. He had sat me down before they left to tell me about his sudden transfer out west, as he played a father-figure role in my life. My dad ran off when I was young and despite having two daughters, he took me under his wing in a father-figure role. They lived next door and my mom was always grateful to Mr. Robinson for filling that void in my life when I was younger. While my mom had always suspected, Carla confirmed he was CIA but still wouldn’t elaborate on what he did, other than they had to leave immediately.

She told me about her time at UC Berkeley studying psychology. Her failed marriage and decision to move back east ten years ago when her best friend and business partner, Pattie, had to move to take care of her sick mother. They started their own new practice in Asheville focusing on interpersonal relationships and sex therapy. When I pressed her on the sex therapy part, she pivoted and inquired about my life.

I gave her the quick version. I met Katherine at UNC and got married after we both graduated in accounting. Our daughter just got married a few months ago and our son is a junior at UT. After he went off to college, we grew apart and walked away from our 25-year marriage. We grew apart long before then, but finally parted ways.

“I see that a lot, John. It happens. There’s a lot of work in keeping that spark alive in relationships and it’s just that, a lot of work. How about since the divorce? Have you been seeing anyone?”

“I’ve dated a few women, but nothing serious. How about you?”

She laughed. “No. I’m married to my practice. Pattie and I have worked so hard to build what we have, that relationships just don’t fit into the mix.”

“That deneme bonusu veren siteler doesn’t make any sense. If you are a relationship therapist, how come a relationship doesn’t fit into the mix?” The server walked over and asked if we needed another round.

“No thank you, I need to leave.” Carla looked at her phone and had two texts from Pattie. She texted back and looked back at me with a smile, completely dodging my question.

“John, it’s been so nice seeing you. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you are still, well, you. I didn’t realize how much I missed you until just now.” She stood as Pattie walked back into the restaurant holding several bags from the local merchants.

She gave me a long hug and then a kiss on the cheek as she pulled away. Just as she turned to leave, I grabbed her hand and turned her back around. She looked down at my hand in surprise and then her eyes lit up and locked on mine.

“I never had the nerve to tell you this before you moved away. I’ve had feelings for you for the longest time. You have no idea how many times I’ve thought about you and beat myself up for not telling you how much you meant to me back then. I never acted on it because we were such close friends and grew up together. Playing together, growing up next to each other, being in the same classes and your dad doing all he did for me. I remember all those times your dad would take me up to your lake house for the weekend while my mom was working a second job to make ends meet. I was always afraid to tell you how I felt because I didn’t want to lose you as a friend. But I lost you anyway.

And here you are. Well, seeing you I-I-I haven’t felt like this in I don’t know when and I can’t let you walk out that door without you knowing that. I don’t know what you mean about a relationship not fitting into the mix. I don’t know what I’m trying to say other than I want to see you again and I think you want to see me.” I started to babble on but was at a loss for words. Our eyes never broke contact.

I could see Pattie standing behind her out of the corner of my eye and know she heard my rambling. Carla took a deep breath. There was something she wasn’t telling me.

“John, I-I don’t know what to say.” I knew she didn’t want to just blow me off but there was something underneath that was holding her back.

“Carla, I’m only asking for more time. Time to catch up and learn more about what you’ve done all these years. I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck in a haze for so long and suddenly, well suddenly it’s like a breath of fresh air talking with you. I can’t explain it. I’ve thought so many ‘what ifs’ over the years about you and now is an opportunity to see if I was right. Just let me know when you are free, and I’ll come up here whenever. Lunch, dinner or even just a walk in the park. You name it. It’s only a 2 hour drive up from Charlotte. I just want to spend more time with you Carla.”

She was now silent, searching for words herself. After a few moments, she looked at Pattie and they exchanged a look the meaning of which would only be understood by them.

“John, I don’t know. My work…well, it’s just complicated.”

“Complicated? I don’t care about your work Carla. I only care about catching up with you.”

It was then that Pattie inserted herself into the conversation. “Carla, aren’t you going to be in Charlotte this week for those meetings? Surely you can break away for a while to spend time with John.”

Pattie gave me a wink and a little smile. Carla was giving her a different look. I don’t know them well enough to understand their signals, but know Carla wasn’t thrilled at Pattie’s suggestion and I didn’t want to get in the middle of it.

“Carla, look, if you don’t want to see me, I understand. Tell me now and we walk away old friends who by chance saw one another after thirty years. But I think you want to see what happens. I know I certainly do. If nothing else, I’ll at least take you out to a great dinner!” She smiled and looked back at Pattie.

Nodding her head in defeat, “Okay. Dinner. Dinner to catch up with an old friend. Nothing more.”

“Perfect! Tell me when.”

Carla gave me her number and said Tuesday evening would be best for her. As they walked out the door, Pattie looked back and me and smiled as she followed Carla. I would love to have been a passer-by on the sidewalk to hear the conversation as they walked down the street.

While I needed to begin focusing on the week ahead preparing for the audit and thinking about looking for an apartment, the rest of the drive back home was a blur. All I could think about was Carla and how beautiful she was. The memories of her as we grew up together and picking on her throughout grade school. All the times we played in the creek behind our house, jumped on her trampoline and even weekends with them at the lake.

I don’t have any gerçek para ile slot oyunları regrets though. While Katherine and I are no longer married, we have a cordial relationship because of Shannon and John Jr. She will always be part of my life but it’s time to turn the page and move on. Maybe Carla will be part of the next chapter?

When I got home, I searched Google for Carla Robinson, relationship therapist, Asheville, NC. I wanted to learn more about her. I got hits with the keywords, but nothing matching her or what I was looking for. The fact she didn’t pop right up in the search should have told me something. I played with the search, taking out her last name ‘Robinson’ and added her business partner ‘Pattie’. A few results down and I found,

‘Blue Ridge Intimacy Retreat’

I clicked the link.

The site was simple. A photo of a small cabins located along a mountain creek surrounded by woods. Scrolling down the page, I found a photo of Carla leading a group of eight women in an outdoor setting with the creek in the background. They were all sitting in a circle on pillows with their legs crossed, focusing their gaze on Carla.

BINGO!

As I read the description, they offer individual and couples sex counseling, sexual wellness retreats for women only and intimacy workshops for couples.

Carla’s bio was first. I learned she held a Master’s of Counseling Psychology, specializing in Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, was a Certified Integrated Intimacy Practitioner, a Certified Sex Therapist and Licensed Massage Therapist. She had extensive training in Tantra and practiced Yoga. Pattie’s bio was almost identical.

I clicked the link for the sexual wellness retreats for women and they had several offerings, each course hosted over a different weekend with the titles, “It’s Your Vagina, Love It”, “Goddess Within” and “Sexual Empowerment”. The description said each course was held over a weekend, focusing on women’s sexuality and orgasmic enlightenment. Topics covered in the retreat were ‘getting to know your vagina, intimately’, ‘exploring sexual desire’, ‘learning to receive and knowing what to ask for’, ‘exploring various types of orgasm’ and ‘owning your sexual power’.

I read one of the reviews of the retreat.

“I had no idea there was more than one type of orgasm! The welcoming and open nature of the retreat led me to learn more about my body and sexual desire in a weekend than 20 years of marriage. Once I got over the initial fear of being exposed and vulnerable in front of others, it was comforting and freeing being able to discuss such intimate things I’ve never even discussed with my closest girlfriends. I was able to experience g-spot, anal and even nipple orgasms by the time I left! Pattie and Carla are the best and I highly recommend Blue Ridge! — Judy R., Richmond, VA

My cock was already hard, and I had pulled it out of my pants as I clicked the link for the couple’s retreat. I began slowly stroking as I read the description. It mentioned couples reclaiming their sexual connection through Tantric techniques including sensual touch, full body orgasms, falling in love with oral sex, fantasy play, prostate orgasms and building stamina for him.

This was the first review:

“Tom and I have been in a rut for many years and the couples retreat was beyond enlightening! It wasn’t at all what I had imagined. I learned new ways to tease and bring him to orgasm thanks to their hands-on instruction. I even learned how to deep throat him, something I’ve never been able to do! They also taught him how to touch me differently and by the time we left, I had squirted for the first time in my life! Thank you so much Carla and Pattie, you are the best! Kisses — Mandy and Tom, Atlanta, GA

As I began to read another review, it was too late. I shot a backed up load on to the desk and on my keyboard. I looked down and the head of my cock was purple and still leaking from my orgasm. After I finished, I grabbed a tissue and wiped off the keyboard and desk. I had made quite the mess. But I wasn’t done reading. Now that I had taken the edge off, I wanted to learn more about what she does.

My cock began to harden again as I kept reading.

The individual counseling was also held at the retreat and took a wholistic view on sexual wellness. Specialties included: Issues related to sexual orientation; Intimacy skills; Physical factors (ED, PE, Dyspareunia, Vaginismus, etc.) and Alternate lifestyles (swinging, polyamory, cuckolding, BDSM, Tantra, etc.).

My cock was now hard again thinking about Carla and her practice. While I was now somewhat intimidated by her expertise, I still wanted to learn more about her and there was no way this was going to deter me. I masturbated again after I had read all the reviews and then once again before I fell asleep. mobil slot siteleri I didn’t sleep well though. I was up most the night thinking about Carla.

Monday was very much the same. I work from home and while I had to finish preparing for an audit, I kept going back to their website. I read her biography, the descriptions of their offerings and all the reviews at least a dozen times. Instead of looking at my regular sites for inspiration, reading their webpage was all I needed to get me primed and loaded. I ended up jerking off five times throughout the course of the day. Usually it’s once or twice.

Monday evening, I texted her to confirm we were still on for the following day and she replied, ‘yes’ a while later. She said she would be downtown, so I made a reservation at 7 at a new restaurant called Pacific Rim, a fusion place that just opened. I was to meet her in the lobby of the Marriott at 6.

I made to the hotel quarter of 6 and waited in one of the chairs close to the elevator. About ten after, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around. She looked even more beautiful than at the brewery on Sunday. She had on a floral print dress which came up above her knees and was cut low enough to show off her cleavage. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and asked if she wanted a drink before dinner.

“Could we go somewhere else? I’d really prefer walk a bit, it’s such a lovely afternoon.”

As we walked down the street, I asked about her drive down and how her meetings went. She made small talk for a couple of blocks but didn’t say anything about her meetings. When there was a break in the conversation, I decided to interject.

“Don’t get mad, but I looked you up. It took some searching and alternate keywords, but I found Blue Ridge Intimacy Retreat.” She immediately stopped walking and looked at the ground.

“DAMN! I mean, I didn’t know places like that existed. You and Pattie seem to know what you are doing. The reviews were all raving about the place and about you!” Her response is not what I had anticipated. Instead of smiling and saying ‘thank you’, she had a solemn look on her face, almost fearful.

“John, I should have told you. I’m sorry.” She finally looked up at me, “This is not a good idea.”

“What do you mean not a good idea? Carla, I don’t care what you do. Actually, that place sounds amazing! Look, I just want to learn more about you and see what happens from there. Just old friends, ok?” She smiled and looked me deep into the eyes, again searching for words.

“Is there somewhere else we can go?”

“What do you mean, for dinner? Sure, there’s” She cut me off mid-sentence.

“No, someplace more private. How far is your place from here?”

“My place? Well, uh, yes, we can go there, I guess. I live up on the lake. It’s a mess though, you know, single guy?”

“I don’t care about the mess. Where is it?”

“Actually, not far from your parent’s old place. It’s about 30 minutes from here.”

“That’s perfect. What’s the address? I’ll meet you there. That way you don’t have to drive me back down here later. I would rather talk to you in a more private setting, I owe you that.” She smiled but seemed nervous.

Owed me that?

The drive to the lake was confusing. I arrived before her and straightened up as quickly as I could. I wasn’t expecting company and had a mess in the kitchen and living room. I threw everything I could in the spare bedroom and closed the door. Just as I ran a brush through the guest toilet and closed the door, I saw her pull down the long drive.

“How long have you had this place? It’s gorgeous!” I hugged her again and gave her a kiss on the cheek as she walked inside.

“I’m renting it. Katherine got the house in the divorce and I wanted to get away from town. I can’t afford to buy anything like this but am going to have to find someplace else. The owner has decided to sell and gave me my 30-day notice.”

“Where are you going to live?”

“I’ve found a couple apartments that will do month to month, but I would rather be out in the country. I’ve got a little time to look but will most likely just sign something short term in town until I find what I want.”

I walked to the fridge. “Cocktail? Wine? Beer?” I threw my hands up in the universal ‘I don’t know’ signal.

“A beer on that deck overlooking the water sounds great. Let me hit the ladies’ room and I’ll meet you out there.”

“Beer it is.”

She walked out on the deck and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I handed her a German-style beer from a local brewery.

“Hopefully you like this. It isn’t an IPA like you were drinking the other day, but hopefully you like variety.” She smiled, clanged my bottle with a toast and took a swig.

Taking a deep breath and looking around, she pointed to the open water at the end of the slough. “Isn’t that Pelican Bend?”

“Yes, it is! You know your water.”

“I spent so much time on this lake when I was younger You spent a lot of time up here with us too. My dad always loved you like the son he never had.”

“How is he doing?”

“He passed away 15 years ago from a heart attack. My mom died a couple years after him. They say a broken heart isn’t a cause of death, but for her it was.”

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