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Havana ClubThe back of a t-shirt

By Strickland83 


Chapter 2 – The Back of a T-Shirt

I checked in at the airport and waited for my flight. I tried reading a book I had brought along, but I was too nervous to concentrate on the story. I had to relax. The flight into Mexico was uneventful. When the plane was taxiing to the Cancun terminal, I saw a Soviet-built Cubana Air jet parked nearby. At a different time, I might have been fascinated by seeing one. Today, I knew that was probably what would be taking me away from the free world.

 Mexican customs was very slow. The airport was packed with arriving vacationers. I stood in the “line” – really just a mass of people – for about half an hour without moving much. I noticed a glassed in office to the right, with a large portrait of Presidente Fox hanging on the back wall. I finally got through Immigration without a problem. I told the agent I was there for a week’s vacation and he believed me. At Customs, I pressed the button on the traffic light and it lit up red. I had won the lottery and had to get my bags inspected. A nice lady politely went through all my bags, then helped me close them. I was in Mexico.

 I found the shuttle bus going to the Hertz office and rented a car. It was a small car that blended in with all the other cars on the road. Perfect. With few hassles, I was on my way to my hotel out on the strip of sand. I checked into the hotel and put down my bags. Up to now, I was just another tourist. Now it was time for me to take the next step. I went back down to the parking lot and got in my car. I worked my way back through traffic to the coastal highway and headed south. I had noticed in the hotel lobby that the travel agent offered “Excursions to Cuba”, but I had been told to use a certain travel agent in a little village south of here. He was well known to a friend of Ross and trustworthy. He was also very discreet. I drove south away from Cancun. The highway was incongruous. It was a modern 4-lane divided concrete road. The speed limit was about 80 MPH, but dropped to as low as 25 MPH in front of each of the numerous resorts along the coast. I found the traffic light and turned left. Now I was on a two lane road passing through what looked like marsh. I wondered if I had taken the wrong road. Finally, I arrived in the tiny village. As described, I found the main square, and its Catholic Church. On the other side of the church was the travel agent I was seeking. I parked and went inside the air-conditioned office. It was also a little out of place. On one side of the tiny room were computers connected to the Internet that could be used for a fee. The other side was the travel agency. I asked the receptionist for the name I had been given. She picked up a telephone and spoke to someone, then told me in Spanish that he would be there in a few minutes. I had a seat and leafed through the brochures on the table. One was about Cuba – big surprise.

A short, dark man walked into the back of the office and looked at me with a smile. I introduced myself and his grin widened. He had been expecting me. Unlike his secretary, he spoke English, though heavily accented.

“You want to go to Cuba, sí?” he asked.

“Yes, uh, I want to see Havana.”

“Don’t worry. I will take care of everything. You have your passport?”

I pulled it out and he handed it to his secretary.

“We must fax the first page to the Cuban embassy to get your visa. You can leave on Monday. When do you want to return?”

“Friday,” I answered, hoping this would hold true.

“Very good. I will book you in an excellent hotel.” He opened a large book on the secretary’s desk and flipped to a dog-eared page. He reached over her and picked up her telephone. Dialing a number, he spoke in rapid Spanish to someone, then someone else. I marveled at how easily he had called Cuba, as he made my reservation. When he hung up, he continued with, “You have a room at the Hotel Nacional, an excellent choice.” He opened a desk drawer and withdrew some forms. You will fly Cubana Air, OK?” I nodded. “The cost will be $250, US. You should pay in cash to avoid questions.”

I nodded and took out my wallet. I counted out $250 and dropped it on the desk. He handed it to the secretary who tucked it away in a drawer. He started filling out forms.

“You can come back tomorrow afternoon to pick up your travel documents.”

I asked, “What can you tell me about Cuba? Is there any chance my passport will get stamped?”

“No,” he reassured me, “they will not stamp your passport. They know not to stamp U.S. passports. Don’t worry about that.”

“Can I bring my camera?”

“Sure. You can take pictures and they won’t bother you. Just don’t take any pictures of military installations, soldiers or policemen.” He thought for a moment, then continued with, “You are a tourist. Ask no political questions. Be careful of what you talk about. You don’t want to get into trouble, and you don’t want to get anyone else into trouble.”

We talked awhile and he made me feel better. I drove back to my hotel. I had the weekend to hang out on the beach and relax. I tried not to think about what I was going to do on Monday. I got some sun and enjoyed the sights, especially the female tourists. Remembering that I didn’t want anyone to notice I was suddenly missing next week, I avoided getting friendly with anyone. On Saturday afternoon, I returned to the village and picked up my travel documents. Back in my hotel room, I just stared at the visa with my name on it, issued by the Republic of Cuba. I had reservations for a flight to Havana and a hotel room there. I was going to do it.

Monday morning came. I was nervous as soon as I woke up. I locked everything I wasn’t taking in the room safe. I called for a taxi to the airport. It would be less obvious to leave the car in the hotel parking lot rather than the airport. Before I left, I called the Ontario office and left the rehearsed message that, when relayed to Ross, would tell him I was leaving for Havana.

The taxi dropped me off at the Cancun airport about midmorning. My flight was for high noon – a nice bit of drama. I walked into the airport and looked for the Cubana Air desk. I found the Cubana sign and walked up to the person behind the desk. First looking to my right and my left, I told the person I was there to check in for the flight to Havana. I spoke so quietly that she couldn’t hear me over the din in the terminal. Gathering my courage, I repeated myself a little louder. She politely told me I was at the ticket office. The check-in desk was at the other end of the terminal. Embarrassed, I sought out the check-in desk.

There was a line at the desk. I waited my turn, feeling very conspicuous. When I got to the red Formica counter, I handed over my ticket. My one bag was checked. I watched it being tagged for Havana. I was given a boarding pass that was in Spanish and English. Some of the English words were misspelled.

I went through security and walked down to my gate. I felt even more conspicuous waiting at the gate. I stared at the overhead monitor. Listed along with more “conventional” destinations of Chicago, Houston and Miami was my flight going to Havana. My stomach was tied in knots. I was really going to do this. A lady came around and asked me to take a survey. I started to fill it out, then left blank anything that identified me. I remembered No Paper Trails. As the time to board neared, more people filled the waiting area. Adults, children, young couples all going to Cuba today; it was surreal. A large Marlboro sign in Spanish  was on the wall above the waiting area. A trio of Mexican immigration officials moved in behind the desk and the passengers formed a line. I took my place in line, feeling as if I was shuffling toward my execution. As I had been briefed, I slipped a twenty dollar bill in my passport along with the Mexican tourist visa before I handed it to the agent. I smiled and said, “No stamp, please.” He grunted, removed the twenty, pointed toward the door and handed my passport back. Good. There was no proof I had left Mexico. I had also just committed bribery. My first of several crimes today. I walked through the glass door. There was a brown bus waiting to take us to the plane. I was sitting on the bus facing the door to the terminal, and I noticed there was no handle on the outside of the door. It was clearly exit only. There was no returning to Mexico. No turning back. I was going to Cuba.

The wait on the bus seemed like hours. Finally, all the passengers were processed and aboard. We took a short ride to the waiting Yak-42, which looked strangely like a 727. The two big differences were the wheels and the Cuban flag painted next to the door. As I was getting off the bus, I noticed the word ESCAPE painted over the door. That is just what a part of me wanted to do. I forced my legs to carry me to the base of the stairs.

We had to wait to board the plane. As I stood there, I kept looking at the Cuban flag painted on the side of the plane. Once I boarded, I was going to Cuba. The smell of jet fuel was thick in the air. The aluminum handrail of the stairs felt strangely cold in the tropical sun. The whine of jet engines blocked all other sound. Finally, an arm clad in a white shirt stuck out the door and waved us aboard. My feet left Mexican soil and climbed the stairs. When I got to the top, I saw how short the door was. I had to stoop over to climb through.

Immediately, it was apparent I was the guy from out of town. Everything on the plane was labeled in Russian. Most things were also labeled in Spanish. Some things, as an afterthought, were labeled in English. The seats were three across on each side, labeled according to the Cyrillic alphabet ABVGDE. I peaked into the cockpit as I passed. It looked fairly modern. The electronics were dated, but appeared to be functioning. I sat down and buckled up. Looking forward, I noticed that the cockpit door had been reinforced with metal. I found this strange. I thought the changes were mandated by the FAA after September 11. This was one plane that was never landing in the United States.

I paid special attention to the safety briefing. I had never flown on a plane like this. First, the briefing was in Spanish. I was glad I spoke Spanish because the English version was not nearly as detailed or understandable. Another difference was the lack of a ban on smoking. Cigarette smoke quickly filled the cabin as passengers and crew lit up.

We were soon in the air. As the wheels lifted off, I felt my last contact with the free world lost. When we touched down, it would be on Cuban soil. I watched the coastline of Mexico pass below. Ahead was water, and Communism. On the plane, I drank a Cuban Tucola, realizing I would not see a Coca-Cola until I returned to Mexico. If I returned to Mexico, I reminded myself.

The coast of Cuba appeared, looking beautiful. I was glued to the window, getting my first glimpses of the forbidden land. I was fascinated by the lush greenery of the crops and the red soil. Everything looked so fertile.

We flew over what looked like an abandoned airport, then a few minutes later descended towards a modern airport. There were a few sparse palm trees growing along the runway. There were planes on the ground. Many of them belonged to Cubana Air. The name on the building was Jose Marti International Airport. From the outside, everything looked just like any other airport. Our plane taxied to a building set apart from the others. As the plane turned into position to meet the portable stairs, I saw the first sign that the “embargo” was a farce. This was one of many signs I would be seeing. There were two jets parked on either side of our plane. One was American Eagle, the other Continental. After all I just went through to get to where a flight going to Havana would leave from, I saw two U.S. planes on the ground. Then I noticed something that made this airport look different from any other I had ever seen. A soldier with an automatic rifle was guarding each plane, probably to prevent anyone from stowing away in the wheel wells or sneaking aboard. The underside of each plane was patrolled, and an armed soldier also stood at the base of the stairs leading up to the plane. The soldiers wore mint green fatigues, lighter colored than I have seen soldiers wearing in other countries.

As soon as the plane stopped, the passengers crowded the aislejust like everywhere else. The door of the plane opened and the passengers exited. I bent over and moved through the hatch, stepping onto the portable stairs. I looked around. Except for the soldiers, nothing else seemed different. My stomach told me differently. There was a knot in the bottom, a reminder that I still had to pass through Cuban customs. If my passport got stamped, I was doomed. I tried to push that fear to the back of my mind but it wouldn’t budge. It was time to fish or cut bait and I hadn’t brought my knife. I was going fishing. We were herded into the building and into lines. There were booths at one end. A door unlocked and it was my turn to enter. I entered and the door closed behind me. The door locked on its own. The other end of the booth was also a locked door. A glassed-in office was to my side. Behind the glass sat a woman with curly black hair. She was dressed in mint green fatigues. I passed my visa, landing card and passport through the slot at the bottom of the window. She took it and smiled. I did my best to smile back though I was so nervous that I wanted to vomit. She put my paperwork on the desk that was below the window and out of my sight. She asked if this was my first visit to Cuba. Her English was excellent. I croaked out that it was. She asked me the purpose of my visit and I lied, “Vacation.”

“Who are you traveling with?”

I answered, “No one. I’m alone.” I felt very alone at that moment.

She picked up a rubber stamp. I heard her stamp something on the desk but I couldn’t see what she was stamping. Stamp. Stamp. Stamp. Shit! Three stamps! I had handed her three pieces of paper – my landing card, my visa and my passport. It was too late to do anything about it. I felt weak. She, however, smiled and told me to enjoy my visit to Cuba. There was a buzz to my left. The door had unlocked. I gathered my passport and visa, then exited through the door.

As soon as the door closed behind me, I nervously leafed through my passport, my hands shaking. I didn’t see any new stamps. I went through it a second time, page by page, front and back. There was no new stamp on my passport. She hadn’t stamped it. She must have stamped something else. There was sweat on my forehead, but I felt the relief washing through me. I was still alright. I had made it through immigration. I took a deep breath, then a few steps towards baggage claim. I heard a buzz behind me to one side. I looked back and saw another of the passengers exiting a booth. He was also nervously looking through his passport, a U.S. passport. He broke into a smile as he realized there was no stamp in it. I understood his relief. He looked up and our eyes met. We both smiled.

In baggage claim, I saw the second sign of the farce. Over the belt was a lit sign that said, “Need money in a hurry? Call Western Union.” The familiar black and yellow sign was very out of place in a country that wasn’t supposed to be able to do business with American companies. I was still pondering this as the belt rumbled to life. I collected my bag and moved towards the inspection queue. That was when I noticed the dogs. Blond haired cocker spaniels were weaving through people’s legs, moving through the crowd. I followed one for a minute or two with my eyes and noticed that they all were returning to a dark-haired man in a uniform who was crouched down. As a dog returned, he petted it, then pointed to someone in the crowd. The dog obediently bounded off to “inspect” that person’s baggage, returning when nothing unusual was found.

The line moved a little slowly. As I got to the head, a woman in fatigues bent down to my bag. I waited for her to inspect it, maybe even disassemble it. She was merely removing the airline tag. Then she stood and waved me on to the street. That was so easy!

I now found myself on the street. I looked for someone holding a Havanatur sign. I wandered through the crowd for only about two minutes before I found him. I showed him my paperwork and he escorted me to a van. A new Ford van. He ushered me inside. There were other passengers already in there. He left to find a few more passengers. I looked around and recognized all of them as Americans from my flight. We chatted about our trips. One family was from California, another was a group of young college students on an adventure. I peered around the driver’s seat to be sure I wasn’t imagining the Ford name on the back of the van. The Ford logo on the steering wheel confirmed it. Even the layout of the dashboard was familiar. I looked out the window and immediately discovered another icon of Cuba, American automobiles from the 1950’s. There were many of them, painted bright tropical hues of turquoise, red, and yellow. All appeared to be in excellent condition, restored to showroom perfection. It would have been like the set of a movie about the 1950’s, except for the Russian Ladas and Japanese Mitsubishis, along with a scattered Mercedes or two.

The driver returned with two more passengers. After they were onboard, he got in the driver’s seat and we drove off. I started questioning him. He spoke no English.

“This is a Ford van?” I asked in Spanish.


“A new Ford van?”

“Sí,” he answered, now with a big toothy grin.

“How is this possible?”

His answer was obvious once he said it. “From Canada.”

So that was how the Cubans were getting new American goods. Over the next few days, I would learn just how extensive this practice was. We drove out of the parking lot onto the road to Havana. Immediately I saw that none of the billboards advertised goods or services, except for one about a place where you could swim with dolphins. Every other one extolled the virtues of Cuba and the revolution, praised Castro, or reminded that the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) was watching. One caught my eye and filled my heart with unease. It was a sketch of Jose Marti and Che Guerva flanking Osama bin Laden. The caption was “Anti-Imperialists”. I tried to shrink further into my seat and look less conspicuous.

I was trying to look everywhere at once. I wished I had more eyes to take in. I was absorbing the conditions of the housing and social services. I saw the construction equipment rusting away, decaying buildings, ancient cars sharing the road with horse-drawn wagons, bicycles and motorcycles with sidecars. Anything that moved was utilized and the smaller the better. I saw these yellow scooters that looked like football helmets built onto three-wheeled motorcycles. I noticed a trailer that looked like a bus, pulled by a tractor trailer. It was packed with people until not another could be squeezed in. The driver told me it was a camel – their version of city bus. We drove down a narrow street. In the distance was a grand hotel. As we got nearer, I saw it had a palm-tree lined driveway, immaculately maintained. The vision was incongruous alongside the decaying buildings. There was a statue of a woman field worker in front. The marble façade was engraved with Hotel Nacional de Cuba. So this was my hotel. Wow!

The van pulled under the covered entrance and a uniformed doorman helped me out. I got my bag from the driver and walked inside. The stairs and the handrail were carved from blocks of marble. The lobby was grand. The ceiling was carved wood, the floor inlaid tile. The travel agent was right. This must be the grandest hotel in Havana. After what I had seen driving here, I never expected there was such a building as nice or as clean as this in the entire city. I checked in (in Spanish), signing the register and nervously scrawling my home address. Now there was a record, in my own handwriting, that I had been to Cuba. A bellman arrived and took my bag, leading the way up to my room.

The doors were louvered, but solid behind the louvers. Perhaps they were a holdover from before the building was air-conditioned. Now, the windows did not open. The room was spacious, but dated looking. It was like out of a brochure from the 1960’s. The bellman, who spoke English, proudly showed me around the room.

“You can watch American television. We get it by satellite.” I nodded, a little surprised. He opened the mini-bar. “Would you like a cold Coca-Cola?” OK, now I was stunned. I took the offered can and checked the label. Canned in Mexico. He pointed to the telephone on the nightstand. “On that telephone, you can call anywhere in the world.”

“But not the United States. You don’t have telephone circuits connecting there,” I countered.

He heard the first part and ignored the second, instead looking upward in thought. His fingers touched imaginary keys as he thought aloud, “For United States, dial 223 … area code … and number,” now smiling at me. With that, he left me to my dizzying thoughts. I sat on the bed, trying to absorb all I had just seen and heard. I couldn’t believe that I was in Cuba. The nervousness returned as I realized the ramifications of my trip. If I got into trouble, I was screwed. If I didn’t, I might have big troubles returning to the United States. I took a deep breath, realized I had a mission to perform, and stood. I went to the window and looked out. To my left, the blue water of Havana harbor beckoned. In front of me, a Soviet-era apartment building was decaying. Beauty and the beast.

I put away my things, then made a telephone call to Ontario. I knew Ross would be waiting to hear that I had arrived and entered the country successfully. I called the number. It rang (a funny ring) a few times, then a voice answered. I asked for Robert. A pause, then he came on the line. I ordered ten crates of chestnuts. This request, when relayed to Ross, would tell him where I was. He confirmed my request, sounding like he understood, then ended the call. Next, I set off to begin exploring. I wasn’t sure where to start. I went back down to the lobby, carrying my passport (which wouldn’t leave my body) and my digital camera.

I walked down the driveway to the street. To my left was a taxi stand of sorts, filled with more of those yellow scooters. I walked up to the group of young men standing around, apparently awaiting fares. I asked in Spanish if I could rent one of the scooters for the afternoon. There was some discussion, and some shuffling from the back of the group. The men in the front turned around to see, and moved aside. It appeared that the shortest of the men was trying to turn around a scooter and walk it out to the street. A few of the others were helping him. As he looked up, I saw he was a she. A lovely she. She looked at me with a sheepish grin and I nearly fell into her brown eyes. Her hair was long, curly and chestnut brown – almost a reddish hue. She looked about nineteen or twenty. Apparently, she was next in line at the taxi stand. With difficulty (and assistance), she got the scooter away from the sidewalk. Jumping on the starter, she coaxed the engine into starting. It made a kind of fast put-put-put sound. She waved me to the seats in the back and I took the left one. She sat in a seat but steered with motorcycle handlebars. After I was seated, she gunned the throttle and we put-putted down the street. I sat back and looked around, but my gaze kept returning to my driver. I could catch glimpses of her face as she looked left or right, checking for traffic at intersections or making turns. Like all the scooter drivers, she wore a white t-shirt that advertised Havana Club, the local rum. I figured out that, since billboards were reserved for extolling the virtues of communism, the businesses had to turn to other methods of advertising. While I’m sure it was equally effective on the male drivers, I found it very attractive on this nymph. I know all the clichés about love at first sight. I guess I was experiencing lust at first sight. All memories I might have had at that point about my last few nights with Ellen had been banished. In the breeze made by our passage, wisps of her long hair would trail behind her, glowing brownish-red in the tropical sun.

She drove for several minutes, maybe longer, before she spoke to me. I guess this was standard practice for tourists. It was a good way to see the city. The open carriage afforded an excellent view. I quickly noticed the policemen in bluish-grey uniforms and soldiers in mint green fatigues at every street corner. Occasionally, there would be another patrol in the middle of the block. Security was tight. Probably a low crime rate as a result. I’m sure it also was very effective at preventing public displays of disapproval with the current government. At a point some time into our drive, the little pixie turned around and asked where I’d like to go. I asked if she spoke English and she shook her head. I was starting to realize that English was not very common. It was now mid-afternoon and I was feeling a little hungry. Remembering where I was, I asked her to take me somewhere that I could get a good Cuban sandwich. She nodded and made a U-turn. We put-putted along a wide street, finally stopping in front of an open-air café. The sign said Bienvenidos Pan.Com. I wondered if that was a web address. Pan probably referred to the bread. She pointed to the restaurant and told me she would be back in 45 minutes to pick me up.

“I want to hire your scooter for the entire afternoon. I don’t want to wait when I am ready to leave. I will pay your fare for the entire time. Come in with me.”

She looked at me with a quizzical gaze. My request seemed very strange to her. I’m sure it was a very strange request. I didn’t like eating alone, we would be able to talk about where I wanted to go next if we were away from the noisy engine (and its gasoline fumes), and I wanted to spend some time with her face-to-face. I related the first two of these reasons to her and assured her I would pay for the meal. She looked like she was unsure if it was a good idea. Then, she looked at me and smiled. With a nod, she shut off the engine and we stepped through the arched front of the establishment.

It wasn’t very crowded, only four or five people eating. There was a patio off to the right, not under the roof, where Cuban music was playing on a stereo of sorts. An old man wearing sunglasses sat near the stereo. Near the entrance to the left, a table had been setup covered with a canvas umbrella. The umbrella advertised Tucola. I almost snorted as I saw it, now that I knew how easily a Coca-Cola could be acquired. We had to walk to the very back of the dining area to where the counter was. As we were standing there, waiting to be served, I absent-mindedly noted that most of the restaurant equipment was Canadian. I asked my driver if she would like to eat, and she readily agreed. I ordered two Cuban sandwiches and two Cristal beers. The entire meal cost me about as much (in U.S. currency) as two large Cokes at a convenience store. We watched as the sandwiches were made and pressed, then took them to a table. I noticed that the driver was looking hungrily at the food as I was purchasing it. I sat across from her and realized that I didn’t even know her name. I explained this and introduced myself.

“My name is Felicita,” she responded.

“What a lovely sounding name,” I told her. Felicita – a name that meant great happiness. That held promise. She smiled a little and looked down. “Eat,” I told her. “Don’t let it get cold.” Not that anything would get cold quickly in this heat.

With that, we started eating. The food was very good and Felicita ate with a vengeance. I wondered how regularly she got to eat. She must have sensed this because she began explaining after two bites.

She wiped the mustard from her mouth with a paper napkin, took a sip of the beer, then began, “I don’t get meat like this very often. It is hard for us to buy. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. I am glad to be able to share.”

We ate a little more in silence. Felicita shyly looked my way from time to time as she ate, clearly enjoying the meal. After we had satisfied the worst of our hunger, the conversation picked up.

“This sandwich really is wonderful. You picked a great restaurant,” I complimented my lovely dining partner.

“The tourists love this place. I’ve never eaten here before.”

My expression conveyed my unspoken question.

“They only take dollars here,” Felicita explained. “Even if we could afford the prices, they won’t take our money. Locals don’t eat at places like this.”

I looked around. Except for the workers, there were only one or two people who I might take for Cubans. Felicita saw me looking around and continued with her explanation.

“People in the government have access to dollars. Working in the tourist trade gives some dollars, like for tips. The dollars I do get are too valuable to waste on luxuries like restaurants.”

“How do you get to work in the government,” I innocently asked.

Her eyes grew a little larger. She looked to her right and left, then leaned over the table to whisper, “Not here.”

It took me a moment to comprehend. Then I got it. You never know who is listening. I was asking a political question. I looked around the restaurant again, this time sizing up the other occupants.

The old man sitting on the patio saw me studying him. He got out of his chair and walked over to our table. It wasn’t until I realized he was heading straight to us that I panicked. Great! My first afternoon in the country and I’m going to be picked up by the secret police. I felt the sweat appearing on my face. It wasn’t the temperature, though it suddenly felt a lot warmer. Why wasn’t I more careful?

The old man stopped at the edge of our table and looked down at us. He was carrying something in his hand. His voice was old and raspy.

“I heard you speaking English,” he said, then paused. He spoke as slowly as he walked. I was trying to decide whether to answer when he continued. “American, yes?” I nodded. No point in trying to deny it. “I was wondering if you would be interested in buying some music?” He held out a few CD cases. I took them from his outstretched hand. They were audio CDs. The labels looked like photocopies.

“Thank you, but I won’t be able to take them through customs. I can’t bring anything back from Cuba.”

“Open the box,” he urged.

I did. Inside each was an unlabeled CD-ROM, with a brand I immediately recognized. He had pirated the music on a computer. The discs could pass through customs as data. I thanked him, but told him I wasn’t interested. Relief spread through me as a breeze cooled my face. I told him I might return another day to buy them. He was satisfied with that, and slowly returned to his table.

“What was wrong?” Felicita asked. “You didn’t look so well.”

I gave a little laugh. “I thought he might be secret police or something. I was worried he might had been eavesdropping on our conversation.”

She laughed at that. “Him? No, not him. Don’t worry. I’ll tell you when you have to be careful. There are some things we don’t discuss in public, though.”

By then, we were both finished with the sandwiches and the beer. I stood.

“You are ready to leave now?” my companion asked, looking up at me with those lovely eyes.

“Yes, I have a city to discover. Will you show it to me?”

“Yes, let’s go. I just… well, people usually like to take a siesta after a meal.” She was starting to figure out I wasn’t just any tourist.

“I want to take my siesta on your scooter.” It was a half-hearted attempt at a lie. She didn’t seem to be concerned.

Before she started the engine, she asked where I wanted to go. I told her I wanted to see where the locals bought and sold goods. She looked quizzically at me, then shook it off. The tiny engine putted to life and we pulled onto the street.

We drove back towards the Malecon. Near the waterfront, she turned off the main road to what looked like rows of ramshackle huts. We were maybe two blocks off the main street. She parked the scooter. When I got out, she took my arm. I felt a thrill as I felt her pressed against my side. “Pretend you are with me,” she urged, then led me along the stalls. Here, you could buy books, photographs, paintings, clothes (some looked used), cheap cookware, almost anything. In the states, this would be called a flea market. It was quickly apparent I was the only person who looked like a tourist. Everyone else on the street and tending the makeshift shops was Cuban.

“What do you want to buy?” Felicita inquired.

“Nothing. I want to see how Cubans live.”

She looked directly at me. “Oh,” she said. Then, “You are not like any tourist I have ever met.”

“I can explain that. Later.”

She didn’t look too surprised at my remark.

I bent down to speak quietly into her ear and asked, “What do you call this place?”

Her answer shocked me. “Black market.”

I thought about that for a moment. I looked around. There were no soldiers or policemen around. “Here?” I asked, a little stunned.

“Yes, here.”

“Doesn’t the government know about this place?”

 “Of course they do. Some of the shoppers are soldiers and policemen.” She could see my confused expression, so she continued. “There are some things we need that we can’t buy in the stores. We have to get them somewhere. These places are allowed to operate. Tourists never come here, only locals. There will be more people here as it gets dark. We should talk about something else, I think. Later, you can ask more questions.”

I nodded. We walked along with her holding onto my arm. I was making mental notes of what was being sold and, when I could overhear, the prices being charged. I learned a lot about what goods were in short supply. We walked around for maybe half an hour, then I told her we could return to her scooter. We did and I asked her to show me a beach.

“There are no sand beaches in Havana. Those are outside the city. We have rock beaches I can show you.”

“That will be fine,” I answered.

We putt-putted along the waterfront. On the left we passed the U.S. Interests Section, located on the site of the former U.S. Embassy. It was strange to see the seal of the United States displayed on a Havana building. When I realized what it was (and how close it was to my hotel), I sat back in the seat as we passed. It was a weak attempt at concealing my face. After awhile, she pulled into a parking lot. Some teenagers were playing soccer. She led me to the seawall. We crawled over it to the “beach”. I had seen rock beaches before, but nothing like this. I expected beaches of pebbles. This was a solid section of sharp rocks jutting into the water, with surf breaking over the rock.

“We can talk here. We can’t be overheard,” she reassured me.

“I have many questions.”

“Ask them. I will answer as best I can,” she offered.

“You said earlier at the restaurant that you don’t often get meat. Is it hard to find food, or is it just too expensive? What kinds of foods do you usually eat?”

She nodded and began explaining, “Meat is a luxury. When we get meat, it is usually pork or maybe chicken. Beef is a special treat. I can have meat for the evening meal. Usually, I don’t have meat for the other two meals. It is expensive, and often in short supply at the store even if you have the money. The quality of the food you can buy with nonconvertible pesos is not the same as what you can buy with dollars. I am lucky that I work for tourists. I get tipped with dollars, so I can sometimes shop in the better stores.” She paused for me to comprehend this, then continued, “Is everyone in America rich like you?”

“Why do you think I am rich?” I asked.

“You spend money so freely. You fed your taxi driver. You dress in nice clothes. Do you do this always in America?”

“My taxi driver in America is never as pretty as you,” I told her. She put her head down. When she looked up again, she was smiling and blushing.

“I think the difference is because of the economies. What you think is expensive here is not expensive in America. It is very different.” I felt I could trust her, so I decided to break the biggest rule of my preparation. I would ask political questions. “The biggest difference I see here is the lack of freedom. I am not used to having to be careful about what things I talk about.” I took a deep breath, then came out and said it. “Do you feel oppressed by Castro?”

She tried not to react, but I saw it in her face. There was a concern, or maybe a thrill of venturing into dangerous territory. “We are afraid of Fidel. There is nothing we can do about it. We just have to live with him. After him, we are afraid Raoul will be worse.”

“You call him ‘Fidel’. Does everyone address him by his first name?”

“Of course. He wants us to think of him as a brother. A cruel brother, I think.” She gave a hard laugh. “I shouldn’t be talking like this.”

“You don’t have anything to fear from me. I will not hurt you. Let me tell you why I am here.”

 I told her my story – the real reason I was there. She listened attentively as I explained about my company’s plans for when relations between our countries changed. I said how we wanted to help improve the Cuban economy by opening trade, but the American government opposed that. I told her how I had come illegally. She could not understand that. She thought all Americans were free. I told her that there are some things that are not free, even in America. I reassured her that there really was freedom in America, and that very few things were forbidden. When I finished, she asked me questions about life in America. The emotion in her voice as she asked about living free, about being able to shop in any store, about buying as much food as you wanted, or going to school touched my heart. I wanted to hold her and tell her everything was going to change, but I knew it wouldn’t be that easy. I just wanted to hold her.

We talked for a few hours, until it started to get dark. The sound of the crashing waves had protected us with privacy. We compared lives, and she touched mine. I knew I would never be the same after that conversation. I didn’t want to be the same. I had come to peek in a window to see how the Cubans lived. Instead, she invited me in to experience her life. She understood what I was looking for. I asked her if she would be my guide for the rest of the week. I offered to hire her scooter everyday, if she would take me outside of the tourist areas, introduce me to her friends, show me what it was like to be Cuban. The look in her eyes as I explained this scared me a little. I was seeing in her expression the feelings I was starting to experience for her. It wasn’t lust I was feeling. It was something deeper and that scared me. I hadn’t felt like that for a long time, if ever. I knew my time here was limited, but I couldn’t help myself. I knew I had never felt like this about anyone else. This might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had decided not to pass those up anymore. I wasn’t about to change that new rule now.

I took a chance. Again. I had risked a lot telling her all this. She had taken a bigger risk by speaking openly with me. I was going home in a few days. She wasn’t. If I couldn’t be trusted, I could ruin her life. Maybe I could be the cause for ending it. She had only known me for an afternoon. She saw in me what I was seeing in her. I put my arms around her. I wasn’t sure how she would react. I knew what I wanted to see, but I was prepared for a different outcome. She looked into my eyes. Those big brown eyes of hers glistened with unshed tears. Were they tears of joy, fear, love? She put her arms around my neck. I felt her warm skin touching mine. I hugged her. I could feel her slight body beneath her thin t-shirt pressing against me. Her breasts flattened only slightly as she pressed herself against me. My face was in that brown hair I had admired all day from the back seat. My hands ran over the back of a t-shirt, my fingers passing over her bra strap. We held each other, as I stared out to sea. Ninety miles away to my right was all I had ever known. Here was all I had been searching for. I just hadn’t known it until that moment. I pushed her back. She looked quizzically at me, wondering why I was pushing her away. I tilted my head, and I kissed her. She met the kiss with such passion that the half erection she had given me became full. Our mouths intertwined. Two tongues, one free, one oppressed, met. I held her and felt her holding me. My heart was racing, my erection was pulsing. I wanted to slip my hand into her pants or at least cup her breast. I had been admiring the way her tits looked through the thin fabric of the t-shirt all afternoon. I wanted to go further, but I didn’t want to go too fast. I didn’t know the cultural rules. I restrained myself, content to hold her and kiss her.

When our lips parted, we were both smiling.

“I have never kissed a capitalist before,” she said with a grin.

“And I have never kissed a communist. I think I want to do that again.” I matched her smile.

I became aware of how late it was becoming. “Felicita, would you join me for dinner tonight at my hotel?”

I thought I was making a gracious invitation. I didn’t know about the cultural rule I was breaking.

“I can’t,” she said, looking down. My heart felt like it was tearing. She saw it in my face and quickly explained. “The hotel does not let locals inside. I would not be welcome there.”

 “Not even as my guest?” I asked.

“Dressed like this, I am a worker. Your hotel is not for the working class.”

“What if you changed first?”

She thought for a minute, then smiled. “I can take you back and go home. When I come back, maybe you can meet me on the sidewalk and we can go in together. I would like that, Christopher.”

“How will you get back?”

“I can take the bus. It will take me about an hour or so to get ready and return.”

“Then take me back to my hotel and go get ready. I would like you to show me what Cubans do in the evening.”

I was referring to dinner and dancing. Her embarrassed look indicated she thought I meant something else. She nodded, then we got up and walked hand in hand back to the scooter. As we drove back to the Hotel Nacional, I noticed couples sitting on the seawall along the Malecon. They were in each other’s arms, embracing and kissing. Felicita dropped me off a short distance from the hotel entrance.

“I don’t want them to recognize me,” she explained. “Meet me here in an hour – on the sidewalk. I have to turn in the scooter, then go home and clean up.”

“I’ll do the same and be waiting here for you. Until later.”

I paid the fare and gave her a generous tip.

“You don’t have to tip me,” she said.

“It is so you can have meat three times a day.”

We both smiled at that.

“Thank you, Christopher. I will see you soon.”

With that, she putted away. I stood there, watching the red lights crest the hill and disappear. Then, I went back to my room and showered. I dressed for dinner and went down to stroll along the front of the hotel until Felicita returned.

I had to wait about twenty minutes for her to arrive. When she did, I was taken aback. The young girl in the Havana Club t-shirt and shorts had been transformed into a lovely young lady in a dress. She was beautiful earlier today. Now, she was elegant. When she recognized me, her face lit up. I am certain mine did as well. I kissed her, enjoying the feel of her lithe body against mine.

“You must be hungry. I know I am. Let’s go have dinner.”

She nodded. I took her by the arm and we walked up the palm tree lined walk to the entrance of the hotel. I could tell Felicita was nervous. I whispered, “Don’t worry. You are with me now.” She gave an almost imperceptible nod. The doorman opened the door for us, not giving her a second glance. We walked into that elegant lobby with its carved wood ceiling and marble appointments. As always, the photographic display of the revolution caught my eye, but we turned instead to our right and headed down the corridor to the Comedor de Aquiar. The glass door with its etched title and hotel crest filling the archway might have impressed me earlier. Now, I only noticed how it reflected my partner’s lovely figure. We entered and were shown to a table. Contrary to Felicita’s earlier misgivings, she had no difficulty entering the hotel.

After we sat and were alone again, she leaned over the table, took my hand, and said to me, “It is because I am with you.”

My expression showed my confusion.

 “It is because I am with you,” she said a little louder. “I passed this hotel many times, wondering what it was like inside. I thought I would never get to see the inside. Now, I am here. I am only allowed to enter because I am with you.”

“I am the fortunate one,” I said. She shook her head.

“Yes, I am. I get to dine with you.”

 That made her blush. I liked making her do that. She looked so sweet, so vulnerable, when I made her blush.

The waiter returned to take our drink order.

“You must have a mojito,” she said. “It is the national drink.” I nodded. “Two,” she said to the waiter. He nodded and was off to the bar. “This is fun. I feel like a princess. An American princess.”

“We don’t have princesses in America. No royalty.”

“Really?” she asked with astonishment.

“Really,” I replied. “Sometimes, fathers call their daughters ‘Princess’ to make them feel special.”

“I feel special being with you,” she said with much emotion.

“I feel very lucky being with you,” I told her.

The mojitos arrived. I took a sip of the cold mixture of sugar cane juice, sugar, rum and mint. It was delightful, but potent. She saw the look of approval on my face and smiled.

“It is good, yes?”

“Yes,” I answered.

“They use Havana Club here. It is a very good rum.”

“I like it. The flavor of the sugar cane is very strong.”

Remembering her earlier admonishments, I kept the conversation along these lines, not daring to venture into political discussions. I was no longer worried about bringing harm to myself. I didn’t want to do anything to put my lovely Felicita in any danger. It wasn’t that I didn’t have questions. I had hundreds. There would be time for that later.

Dinner was wonderful. She introduced me to Ropa Vieja – old clothes. I made a face at the name, but tried it on her recommendation. She said it was a traditional Cuban dish. It was delicious. The name comes from the appearance of the skirt steak that is cooked until the fat dissolves, leaving the edges of the meat looking like ragged old cloth. After the mojitos, she suggested another Cuban drink – the daiquiri. I laughed and told her we had daiquiris in America. I didn’t know they had been invented in Cuba.

After the food and the drinks, I was feeling very happy. She looked the same. As we walked out of the restaurant, I suggested she take me to a club for dancing. She turned to me, putting her arms around my neck and pulling me closer to her. I was so excited that I knew she could feel my erection through her dress.

“We can do that another night. I have to go to work early tomorrow. A rich American wants to rent my scooter for the entire day. Let’s go to bed early tonight.”

I couldn’t even hope she was implying what it sounded like. I knew I was mistaken, my brain in testosterone overload. “But, I’m not ready to say goodbye yet.” I tried to say that with as much emotion as I could.

Felicita smiled sweetly, pulled me towards the elevator, and said, “Not goodbye, just goodnight.”

I raised my eyebrows. She nodded. We boarded the elevator.

“Forgive me. In America, it is unusual for a lady to sleep with a man the first time they meet.”

“But this is the second time,” she answered. Then she continued, grinning broadly, “In Cuba, we have a saying. Sex is the only thing Fidel cannot ration.”

If I hadn’t been so horny, I would have been shocked. As it was, I almost came in my pants. We held each other close as the elevator ascended to my floor. We walked in silence to my room holding hands. I was reveling in the warm softness of her hand. Once in my room with the door closed behind us, I pulled Felicita to me, a little more roughly this time. I could see she liked feeling her body pressed so tightly against mine. I liked it, too. We kissed. This time, my hands roamed freely across her bottom. She moaned softly as I felt her ass. Her hands were around my neck, then holding my face as we kissed, our tongues in each other’s mouths. My hands strayed up to her neck and my fingers found her zipper.

“Close the drapes first,” she pleaded. “It is not good to be seen doing this.” I complied, then returned to her. Holding her in my arms, I reached behind her and found the tab of her zipper. We smiled at each other as I slid the zipper as far down as it would go. Using my fingertips, I slipped the dress off her arms and it fell to the floor, pooling around her feet. She lifted first one foot, then the other to free herself from the clothing, then gently kicked it to the side. The lovely Felicita was now standing in front of me clad only in bra and panties. I had been thinking of undressing her all through dinner and that thought had kept me hard. Now, with her almost naked in front of me, I was downright stiff. She started removing my shirt, one button at a time. Her pace was agonizingly slow. It was as if she was savoring the undoing of each button. It was as if the slow-paced Caribbean culture was carrying over into the bedroom. I wanted to grab the shirt and rip it off myself. I was anxious to feel her naked skin against mine. I am proud to say I behaved myself, standing there still as she undressed me. When the shirt had finally joined her dress on the carpet, she knelt before me and removed my belt. She was as unhurried as before. It took an almost physical effort to be patient with the delightful beauty on her knees before me. Next, my pants were unfastened. They would have fallen like her dress if she hadn’t held them as her hands moved down my legs. Her hands passed first across my underwear before contacting my skin. It was agonizing pleasure to feel her flesh contact me. The feel I was craving was moving far too slowly for me. I wanted to get inside her panties. She, on the other hand, wanted to prolong the moment. I willed my legs to behave themselves and I gently kicked the pants aside. As horny as I was, as much as I wanted to get both of us naked, I didn’t want to break the spell she was casting. The magic of the moment was like a physical thing, like she was suspending time. As if time itself was flowing like cane syrup, oozing and dripping through the air. She also insisted on removing my shoes and socks. Now we were dressed alike, except she still wore her high heel shoes. She stood now, a vision of an angel. We embraced. I gasped as I felt her warm skin against mine, the only interrupted contact at our underwear. As we kissed and our tongues met, she lifted one leg. I felt her smooth thigh glide along my leg. She moaned, or maybe it was me. Probably both. By now, I was making a wet spot with the precum oozing out of me.

She broke the kiss and spoke for the first time in many minutes. Her voice was a whisper, as if to not break the spell. “Finish undressing me,” she breathed. I reached around her to undo the clasp holding her bra together. I fumbled for a moment, then let the ends fall free. I tugged each strap off her arms and let the garment flutter to the floor. Her breasts were only slighter lighter than the rest of her skin. If I hadn’t turned on a lamp when I closed the drapes, I wouldn’t have been able to see the difference at all. Perhaps she tanned topless. Her nipples were prominent and pointed upward – a testament to her youth. I tore my eyes away from admiring her breasts only with difficulty. When I looked into her eyes, I was smiling broadly. She had a smaller smile on her face – more a look of embarrassment. In the dim light of the lamp, I thought she might be blushing.

“You are so beautiful,” I said, softly.

“You like my body?” she asked, shyly.

“Yes, very much.”

“I am sorry I am wearing regular underwear. I wish I had something sexy to wear for you, like American women wear. Thong panties are most difficult to find in Cuba.”

I almost laughed a little at her concern. I could tell she was serious and I didn’t want to make her feel any more embarrassed. “Most American women don’t wear thongs. Some do. Some do for very special occasions, like tonight. I like what you are wearing… and what you are not wearing.” At that, she smiled a little more, but I could clearly see now she was also blushing. It was time to take her mind off worrying how I might not like her underwear. Maintaining eye contact, I bent down until I could delicately take her left nipple in my mouth. I opened my lips and sucked the nipple inside, letting my teeth graze her flesh as gently as possible. When I applied suction, she moaned. Her eyelids started to close and her arms encircled my head. I opened my mouth a little wider. This time, as I sucked in her nipple, my teeth grazed the tender skin around the nipple. She sounded like she liked that as well. As I continued to suck, my left hand reached out for her right breast. I didn’t squeeze at first. I slowly closed my hand and caressed her firmness. I closed my palm, rubbing her so gently it barely felt like I was touching her. My fingertips brushed against her smooth skin. After the third time of this, I squeezed and pulled, ending with a grasp around the nipple.

Felicita gave a loud moan. Her eyes were closed. As she moaned, her face turned upward. I extended my tongue and licked from her nipple, across the inside of her breast, across the valley, and up the other mound until I could pull her right nipple into my mouth. I gave the right the same treatment I had given the left. My right hand now caressed her left breast. I could feel where my saliva still wet the skin. I was anxious to get her out of her panties, but I gave my best effort to prolong the foreplay. I wanted to cast the same magical spell she had. When I could convince myself to delay no longer, I shifted a little further away from her body until my cheek was no longer against her chest. When she felt me move, Felicita opened her eyes and looked down at me. What a sight that must have been for her. My ministrations had left both of her nipples erect. They were jutting out proudly, and a little redder than before.

“Where are you going?” she asked. Then, as I kissed down her stomach,  she said, “Oh… ohhhhh.”

My mouth was now at the waistband of her panties. I ran my right hand down the front of the material. I could feel her bush, then the outline of her lips. I pressed my index finger into the indentation made by her slit, moving that finger back and forth. The cotton was already damp, and more moisture was soaking the fabric as I rubbed. I leaned forward and kissed the top of her slit. I looked up and saw her watching my moves intently. The look on her face was one of wonder. I opened my mouth a little and grabbed the elastic waistband with my teeth. I pulled away and down. I could just barely see the top of her bush. My right hand reluctantly left her crease, taking its place at her side. Each hand now had a finger in the waistband. As my fingers pulled down, I moved my face downward as well. As. I pulled her panties off her aroused body, I had a close-up view of her pussy. The hair, I could now see, was also a light brown. Not blonde or red, more brownish. In the sunlight, it would probably have a reddish hue. Here, it was the color of somewhere between milk chocolate and honey. As I moved further down, her curly hair rasped against my chin. She gasped. I let go with my teeth and let my hands finish sliding her panties down her legs. I could see how wet she was. The hair at the juncture of her thighs glistened with her dew. A tiny jewel-like strand of her juices had drawn out from her lips to the soft lining of her panties. The inside of her panties was soaked. As the last of her clothes moved down to her knees and then off her body, the strand drew out finer and finer until it finally broke. I pulled the panties over her shoes and gently laid them aside, moist side up.

As I admired that part of her I was going to fuck, I forced my hands to move back up toward her waist with agonizing slowness. I don’t know if it was more agony for me or for her. I slid my hands around as they moved up, so I was sliding my palms against the silky insides of her thighs. The skin was so soft there. When I felt the first wisps of curly hairs contact my fingers, I leaned forward and extended my tongue. Just as my fingers were able to grasp the lips, I pulled them apart and my tongue pressed into her most private place. She was so wet now that it was like I was taking a drink. I was drinking from her soul. I pressed my face into her cunt. I could taste her as I explored her inner recesses with my tongue and lips. I could smell her juices as well. Her hair tickled my nose. I pulled at her lips with my lips, drawing the delicate tissues into my mouth where I sucked on them before releasing. I felt her adjust her stance, moving her legs further apart and holding onto my head. I let the tip of my tongue move up and seek out her clit. I heard her give a high-pitched, happy “Ooh” when I found the treasure I sought. She held onto my head a little firmer, and spoke, her voice a little shaky.

“Let’s move to the bed. I don’t know how much longer I can stand.”

I nodded with my face still buried in her lap. The movement made her press herself harder against me. I drew back to give her room to move, keeping my hands around her ass. I could feel how wet my cheeks were with her juices. We turned until her back was to the bed, then she shuffled and I crawled until her ass touched the mattress. The bed had been turned down while we were at dinner. She took her hands away from my head to reach behind herself for support. She lay back on the bed with her legs hanging over the side. The view of her body lain across my bed was one I’ll never forget. Her hair was spread out on either side of her face, her breasts firm enough to still stand proudly even though she was on her back, the brown hair framing her pussy lit softly by the lamp. The bed was rather low. Even though I was kneeling, I had to bend over some to put my face back into her pussy. I licked more forcefully now, encouraged by her moaning. Her hands were constantly in motion, first grasping at the sheets in big handfuls with the desperation of a person drowning, next mauling her tits, then pulling at my hair and drawing my face into her until it was hard for me to breathe, then along the sides of her face. She squirmed against the sheets as her pleasure built.

 As she was in ecstasy, I was enjoying being between her legs. I could feel the silkiness of her thighs against the sides of my face. My nose was buried in her pubic hair, the smell of the soap she had used still present. My mouth was awash in the flood of juices issuing forth from her. I indulged in the taste, the smell, the texture that was her arousal. She was so wet because she was anticipating me penetrating her. That would happen, but I would make her cum first. I was so excited that I wasn’t sure I would be able to last very long inside her, feeling her tight pussy surrounding my dick as I looked into her lovely face. I moved my tongue up to focus on her clit as two fingers of my left hand entered her pussy. She thrashed more vigorously and began moaning as I overloaded her clit with my attentions. A third finger joined the other two and her legs clamped down on my head. I was surprised at her strength. She held me between her legs in a grip that I wouldn’t escape. I would have to ride out her orgasm right there. She lifted her hips off the bed, my mouth still attached to her, and she cried out. Her hands were now pulling my face into her pussy. It was all I could do to keep my nose where I could still breathe. Her juices were flowing before, now they ran. I was swallowing all I could. The excess was coating my chin and cheeks. I could feel the sheets beneath me starting to get wet.

With a final cry, Felicita (true to her name) relaxed and fell back onto the bed. Her legs released me and I could get a good look at her face. Great happiness was her expression. She was panting with her eyes still closed. Sweat caused some of the hair around her face to stick to her skin. She was flushed a dark red from her neck down to her breasts. Her arms now lay motionless. She was resting and recovering. Meanwhile, my dick (still trapped in my underwear) was throbbing against the sheets. My body wanted to cum. My heart was glowing in the joy of what I had just done for my Felicita. As I lay there, I was almost subconsciously pressing my groin against the bed, the rhythm my body’s attempt at release. I wouldn’t let myself get anywhere near orgasm. I didn’t want to spend myself against the bed, not with the lovely body in front of me. I would cum, but in her. With her.

When she had recovered, Felicita opened her eyes and said just one word. “Caramba.” I knew what she meant. We both smiled. I could see in her eyes that she was still returning to the here and now. I had sent her someplace else. Now she was coming back to me. “Now, it is my turn to do that to you,” she promised. With that, she lifted herself up on her forearms and sat up. I sat to meet her. She took my slippery cheeks in her hands and kissed me. My face was slippery from her juices but she didn’t mind. She tasted and felt her own lubrication as our mouths joined. She was thanking me. She wasn’t concerned about what I tasted like or smelled like. That thought excited me. When she finally released me, her words confirmed what I had been thinking. “Christopher, you taste like me.”

“Yes, I do. I like the way you taste.”

“I’m glad you like it. Now, I want to taste like you.”

With those words, she pushed me to the side and back onto the bed. My head fell into the softness of the pillow. It was warm where her head had been but I could also feel the coolness where her perspiration was evaporating. She didn’t give me time to dwell on any of that. She firmly gripped the waistband of my last remaining piece of clothes and shucked it off me. I was now naked. My dick stood proudly before her as she lowered her head between my legs. She gazed at my erection. Part of the tip was shiny with precum. She reached out with her tongue and the tip touched my dick. The contact made my cock jump. She giggled. I was speechless. She reached out again and touched me. My dick must have decided it liked her touch because it hardly moved. Her tongue slid along the head. She was tasting my precum and, at the same time, covering me with her saliva. After she had explored the head, she moved down to the shaft. Her touch was light, wet and warm. I was in ecstasy. I could not take my eyes away from where her tongue was touching me. Seeing Felicita’s face next to my dick was as exciting as feeling her licking my dick. Occasionally, she would pull her tongue back into her mouth to swallow and wet her tongue again. When she did, sometimes a strand of precum would link her mouth to my dick. The strand glistened in the soft light of the lamps. If the Secret Police had chosen that moment to break into the room, I would probably have asked them to wait to arrest us until she was finished. I was mesmerized. She was enjoying herself so totally with my body that I could do nothing but watch. The vision and the sensation of her touch kept me powerless to move. I wanted to do nothing to interrupt her intricate dance with my cock. My erection even managed to grow a little further. The licking was driving me crazy. I wanted to sink my dick into something warm and wet. Each lick was making my dick throb.

She seemed to sense when I could stand waiting no longer and sank her mouth over me. I gasped as her mouth enveloped me. She took me surprisingly deep. She was quite adept at giving head. Instead of wondering about how many men she had done this with before, I was grateful to be the recipient of all that experience. She bobbed up and down, her eyes tied to mine. I watched her, barely breathing. She was smiling with her eyes. One hand was holding my dick; the other must have been beneath her. Perhaps it was stroking her pussy. I couldn’t see in that position and I certainly didn’t want to move and break the rhythm. In time, the throbbing of my dick became more pronounced. I knew I would be cumming soon. The look in her eyes told me she also knew this. She was sucking harder now, her tongue caressing my shaft and head more intently. Her left hand seemed to be moving beneath her. She must be masturbating in time to the sucking. I throbbed particularly hard and the pulsations continued. There was one strong pulse that felt so hard it almost hurt. Then the floodgates burst. I was squirting sperm into her mouth. What started as a gasp in my throat grew to a moan, almost a cry. She moaned as well, but her sound was muffled by my erection and the semen filling her mouth. I could see and feel her swallowing rapidly. She never stopped swallowing or sucking. The pleasure kept growing in intensity until it became painful. My dick had become too sensitive. I was finished squirting but she was still sucking me. I couldn’t tell if I was feeling pain or pleasure. It was too intense to distinguish tone. I wanted to push her face away from me, but I didn’t want the pleasure to stop. I willed my hands not to move. I tried to put them under my ass to hold them down. After two more strokes from her mouth, my hands moved of their own volition and pushed at her face. She was looking at me as I pushed her away. When her lips left my dick, fine strands of my cum joined the two for a few inches. Finally, the strands broke and she moved back. She swallowed hard one more time and smiled.

“Did you enjoy that?” she asked.

I couldn’t speak yet. I moaned my approval. After a short moment, I managed a nod. A few deep breaths and I could finally speak. “That was so amazing! I don’t think I have ever cum so hard before. Thank you.”

“You taste very good,” she said. I could see her tongue moving in her mouth. She must have been savoring the flavor. She shifted slightly and pulled her left hand from beneath her. She pressed it to my mouth. I could see it was glistening. As her fingers approached my face, I could smell her pussy. I opened my mouth to accept the gift and sucked in her fingers. They were coated with her moisture. I sucked them until I could extract no more flavor. As I released her fingers, I spoke again.

You taste very good.”

She wrinkled her nose. “I have tasted myself before. It is not too bad, but I much prefer your taste.”

“I know what you mean. I don’t mind tasting my cum on you, but I much prefer tasting your pussy.”

That seemed to surprise her. “Really?” she asked. Then she leaned forward, crawling over me to kiss me. I parted my lips and let her invade my mouth. When her tongue retreated, mine followed into her mouth. She had swallowed what I had ejaculated in there, but there was still a faint taste left.

When we broke the kiss, her eyes were open, studying my face. “Men don’t like to taste themselves, but they like it if I taste myself. You are not like most men. I think I like that.”

“I’m glad.”

I put my arms around her and held her tightly against me. The feeling of her warm body on top of me was starting to arouse my dick a second time. She felt it.

“You have to wear a rubber to do it with me. I have some.”

I was surprised by the word she used. She got up and sought out her purse. It had been discarded on the table near the door when we had entered. She withdrew a cardboard box with a familiar shape but an unfamiliar white label and returned to the bed. She tore open the box with the rose and the kissing couple on the front, extracting a packet. I picked up the box and examined it as she started fitting the condom on my renewed erection. The label said the box contained “12 Romantic Love Rubbers.” I laughed.

“What is so funny?” Felicita asked.

“I’m sorry. The name on the box is funny to me. We call these by a different name. Do you really call them ‘love rubbers’?” I was still giggling a little.

“That is what they are,” she answered. “Is that a funny name where you are from?”

 “Yes, it’s very funny. But that doesn’t matter. What we are going to use it for isn’t funny at all.”

She looked shyly at me, and then smiled. She had the condom fully fitted. She crawled on her knees until she was poised over my midsection. She took my latex-covered erection in her right hand, her left on her lips, and guided me to her opening. I could feel her heat through the covering. I watched, fascinated, as she moved the head around her lips. I could see her wetness making the condom shiny. Her face showed concentration as she aligned each of us for the penetration. When we were in the proper position, she slowly sat down on me. I felt the pressure on my cock, then her lips relinquished their resistance. I could feel each ridge of her cunt as I entered her. Her face went from concentration to ecstasy as I filled her up. I lay there and watched. Her naked body was so beautiful. At the bottom, I could see myself sticking out of her. My shaft was surrounded by the light brown hair lining her outer lips. Now, she was fully seated and I was completely inside her. I could feel her ass pressing against my balls. She reached forward and put her hands on my chest. Her breasts were dangling with the nipples just out of reach of my mouth. She looked me in the eye as we shared a smile. I felt her tighten her pussy muscles around me. I moaned.

She took a deep breath, almost a sigh, and raised herself up. The condom was revealed as covered in her juices. She lowered herself slowly again, then back up. Now she settled into a rhythm, riding me. I couldn’t believe I was having sex with such a lovely creature. Her tits swayed back and forth, as much as their firmness allowed. She leaned over a little more and I lifted my head until our lips met. It was a slight strain to kiss in that position, but I didn’t mind. Her tongue sparred with mine. I reveled in the feel of her. Her legs were clasped tightly against my sides. Her hands roamed my chest, occasionally one straying up to my face. I shivered a little as her hand ran up my face. We were so overcome with the feelings of making love to each other that we didn’t speak. She repeatedly impaled herself on me. I thought about how I was inside the body I had been fantasizing about earlier that day and slipped past the point of no return.

 “I’m cumming,” I warned her.

She hadn’t cum yet, but she didn’t show it if she was disappointed. She squeezed her pussy tighter, driving me higher on the climb to ecstasy. She moved more upright and put a hand on her clit. Her hand rubbed faster and faster. Her face showed her own climax was approaching.

“Ahhh!” I exclaimed. I could feel myself emptying into her body. I looked her in the eyes as I shot my sperm into her, intensifying the throbs of orgasm. When she felt the warmth of my sperm filling the condom, that pushed her over the edge. She was quieter than me, but her expression spoke volumes. It wasn’t just my dick or her finger on her clit. The idea that I was shooting off inside her body was making her cum. Her face was the epitome of love. If we hadn’t been fully in love with each other before, that moment consummated it. We had shared something special. We were one.

Shortly after I finished cumming, my dick started to soften. She reached down and, one hand on the condom, deftly lifted herself off me. The end of the condom showed the white residue of my orgasm. She gingerly removed it from my soft dick and leaned over to throw it in the plastic trashcan next to the bed. She slid down next to me on her stomach, supporting herself on her arms, and looked at me. Her smile was infectious.

“You are like no tourist I have ever met,” she said with a sigh.

“You are like no Cuban I have ever known,” I replied.

 “How many Cubans have you known?”

I made a show of thinking about it. “Uh … one.” She laughed. “One very special one,” I said slowly, the emotion revealing itself in my voice. With that, she kissed me. My arms went around her trim waist of their own accord. All was well. I was in bed with Felicita. I was happy. I was beyond great happiness.

Felicita yawned.

“Do you want to go to sleep?” I offered. Sleeping next to her would be wonderful.

“I can’t stay all night. I have to be at work early, and I need to get home to change. And get some sleep.”

I wanted to protest, but I knew what she said was true. Ordinarily, I would have told her to forget about work and take a day off. Here, drawing attention to our relationship might cause trouble. I had to avoid trouble at all costs.

“How much longer can you stay?” I asked her.

She turned and looked at the clock. “It’s 23. I need to leave by midnight to catch a bus home.”

“I can send you in a taxi.”

“I can’t go home in a taxi. That would be very obvious. I wouldn’t want the CDR seeing me getting out of a taxi after midnight.”

I nodded at her remark. Nosy neighbors were one thing. The Communist Party was quite another.

“Well, we have another hour,” I said as cheerily as I could. I rolled us over until I was on top of her. Even though I had cum only a short while ago, feeling her soft (and wet) lips against my dick was getting me hard again. “Now, where is that box of ‘love rubbers’?”

She pointed to the nightstand. I extracted one and put it on. She watched with wet fascination, spreading her legs as I moved into position. Her cunt still glistened with her lubrication from our last coupling. The point of my cock parted her inner lips. She sighed as I entered her, protected by communist latex. Her juices clung to the condom as I pulled back, then reentered her. On the third thrust, I leaned forward to kiss her and settled on top. Her legs entwined around mine. Her hands went around the back of my head as we kissed, then slid down my back to my butt. I thrust harder and felt her fingernails digging into my skin, pulling me deeper into her. The smell of her perfume and the soft tickle of her hair against my face delighted me. We were as together as a man and woman could be. Making love to her was a full-body experience. We connected body and soul. It was as if we left our bodies and touched spirits. Instinct drove our bodies in the primal rhythm. We bathed in the glow of love. We stayed in the missionary position, savoring the touch of each other. I opened my eyes once during the continual kiss. Seeing her face, eyes closed and lost in passion, I felt an ache in my chest. My heart wanted to burst. I had fallen for my Felicita. A few days ago, I couldn’t make a commitment. There, in that bed with her, I didn’t know if I could live apart from her. We made love for over half an hour. When necessary, I slowed down or shifted position to keep under control and last longer. I could usually last a long time. The problem was looking at Felicita. Her body did things to my resolve to take a long time. My heart wanted to make love to her for hours. My dick wanted to fuck her and cum buckets. In the end, a compromise was struck. After she came three times, I finally tensed, pushed myself as far into her as possible and spurted. Once we were done, we took a shower together in the aged shower/bathtub combo. It was porcelain and very rounded, so we had to be careful not to slip. It’s a wonder more people in the 1950’s didn’t die having sex in the shower. Modern shower design makes the process a lot safer. Anyway, we managed to rub against each other a lot as we cleaned off the remnants of our love making. Kissing her as the meager trickle of warm water ran over our bodies made me tingle. I was savoring every minute we had left. I was careful not to swallow the water, remembering the warning sticker on the white tile over the lavatory. Even in the capital city, foreigners were warned not to drink the tap water. I certainly didn’t want to end up in a hospital in this place, but I figured kissing Felicita’s water slick body should be safe. We fondled each other as we cleaned. She got me hard again, but I hadn’t brought any condoms into the bathroom so I didn’t penetrate her. She offered to suck me off, but I told her I could wait until tomorrow night. She said, with a smile, that she would make it worth the wait. As she said this, I slid two fingers of my right hand deep into her cunt and watched her smile turn to a grimace. Her knees buckled slightly and she leaned harder against me. I pulled her naked body to mine and kissed her deeply. Neither of our groans could be heard above the sound of the shower, but they were there.

When I turned off the shower, I reached out and grabbed two of the white towels, handing one to her. She flashed me a smile, raised her eyebrows and started drying me. I caught on and dried her body. It was more fondling and giggling than drying, but we finally got the job done. She fixed her hair and got dressed. I reluctantly watched as she covered my favorite parts of her body with clothes.

“Aren’t you getting dressed?” she asked.

“No, I’ll sleep naked. I’ll be dreaming of you.”

She got this dreamy look in her eyes and held her arms out to me. We kissed again, my erection pressed against her dress. When we parted, she looked down at my waist and said (in a tone used to address a child), “You be good and I’ll have a treat for you tomorrow.”

We laughed, then kissed again before she left. As the door closed, I sighed. I was remembering how she felt against me.  I turned off the light and fell asleep with a smile on my face. Once during the night, I woke up and found myself in a wet spot. I remembered why and it made me want to jack off. I decided to save it instead for my Felicita. When I woke the next time, it was 6:30. I got up and began getting ready. I was having breakfast at the hotel (part of my package), then meeting Felicita in front of the hotel for my daily tour on her scooter.

To Be Continued in

Chapter 3 – The Outdoor Living Room


This story is Copyright © 2004 by Strickland83. All rights reserved.

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