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Start Again

an adult short story

from the Warming Stories collections

by

Lindsay Debout



Copyright 2018 Lindsay Debout

This edition published by Smashwords



This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

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Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.



This story, and the characters within it are pure fiction. Any resemblance to real people or events is entirely coincidental.



All characters depicted in sexual acts in this work of fiction are 18 years of age or older.

Ee opened the front door so Tim could carry out the last crate of his belongings. In the doorway he stopped and turned back to her. “Isn’t there anything-”

“No,” she interrupted. “You know there isn’t. It’s too late. Things have gone too far.”

He looked resigned. “I guess so. I guess it’s goodbye.” He turned away and went towards the lift.

Ee closed the door and leaned back against it. She stood there for a while, working out how she felt.

Three years of my life wasted. Or were they? It started out so well. Then… What happened? I don’t think I changed. I don’t think Tim changed. So how come things went from happy to horrible?

Wasted or not, they’re history. Time to move on. I wonder if there’s any ice cream left?

She could have found it with her eyes closed. Third shelf down in their- her small freezer. Soft-scoop vanilla in the left-hand tub, frozen yoghourt next to it. It’s not as if I even like ice cream. I just know exactly where it’ll be. As predictable as the sunrise.

She pulled the top off the vanilla. A neat, rectangular slab sat in one corner. Precisely one-eighth.

Rummaging in the cutlery drawer, she pulled out a plastic spoon from its allotted place. Standing in the middle of the kitchen, she scooped out a small pellet of ice cream from the tub and carefully flicked it at one of the cupboard doors. Every door got at least one splat. And the tiled splashback, of course. That’s why it’s called a splashback, Tim. It’s designed to get splashed. The dregs were scraped out onto the worktop.

She washed out the tub and added it to the pile of empties. Then she picked up the whole pile and dropped it into the recycling bin. Who needs eighteen empty ice cream tubs?

Wiping her hands, the toaster caught her eye. The crumb tray got emptied on Tuesdays and Fridays. Which means… She pulled out the tray to reveal two days’ worth of toast crumbs. That got tipped onto the melting smear of ice cream on the worktop.

Ee stood in the kitchen doorway and took one last look around. It was my kitchen, then it was our kitchen, then it was Tim’s kitchen. Now it’s my kitchen again. She turned and went for a shower. The mess she left behind tugged at her conscience. Yes, all right, I’ll clean it up later. I’m making a point, not breeding bacteria.

Passing her bedroom door, she automatically went in and picked up her bathrobe. I never used to wear a bathrobe until Tim came along. She dropped it again.

After her shower, Ee wrapped her wet hair in a towel and went back to her bedroom. The urge to put on the robe was almost overwhelming. She opened her underwear drawer instead. Socks back left, tights back right, knickers front left, bras front right. She pulled the partitions out of the drawer, folded them up and dropped them into the wastebin. Then she reached into the drawer and gave the contents a thorough stirring. I can tell the difference between a bra and a sock just by looking, you know.

She picked out a bra, unhooked the pair of tights that came with it and dropped them back into the drawer. I’ll put the tights in a different drawer tomorrow. I have some empty ones now.

After putting on the bra, she reached for a pair of knickers. A slow, evil grin spread over her face. Going around in my underwear always used to annoy him. So how about if I go around in half my underwear? They’d probably hear his teeth grinding all the way across town!

Back in the kitchen, wearing only a towel around her head and a bra, Ee cleaned up her declaration of independence and made her tea. Coffee in a mug, bacon sandwiches on a plate, even – the horror! – a bag of crisps. It was a juggle, but she managed to carry it all into the living room without using a tray. Of course using a tray would make more sense. That’s why I’m not.

Using a tray, or making sense?

Very funny.

Slumping on a chair in front of the TV, she flicked randomly to some Channel Airhead and stared at stupid people doing stupid things while she munched her way through her meal. Crisps eaten, she very carefully held the empty bag at arm’s length and let it drift to the carpet. The shock should have shaken the universe. Licking her salty, greasy fingers, she let her hand drop to her lap. She started to ‘fiddle with herself’, as Tim would put it. Not because she particularly wanted to, but because it would have driven Tim up the wall. It was ‘crude’. ‘Rude’. ‘Impolite’. ‘Unladylike’. ‘Not something a decent woman would do.’

Sorry Tim, but when we’re alone us ‘ladies’ sometimes like to slob with the best of them. Sorry if that doesn’t meet your expectations. Sorry if we’re a disappointment to you.

Channel Airhead was draining her IQ. An idea occurred, one that would have made Tim’s expression turn into something from a Bateman cartoon. Leaping up, she washed her hands and grabbed her laptop, then plugged it into the TV.

The Internet is wall-to-wall porn. There must be some that’s worth watching, even if only because I could never have done it with Tim in the house.

The porn might be wall-to-wall, but it still took Ee some time to find a video that didn’t make her want to gouge out her eyes or turn celibate for life. Most of this stuff has got to be illegal, surely? Even if it’s legal, it’s mostly awful. The stuff that doesn’t actively demean women, goes too far the other way. As for the so-called acting… Isn’t there any decent porn? Or is that an oxymoron?

Finally she found a video featuring a couple who actually seemed to love each other, doing things to each other that a couple in love actually would do. True, most couples wouldn’t do that sort of thing in front of an HD camera and an unknown audience, but the thought was there.

As she watched, Ee’s hand dropped back to her lap and she started to fiddle in earnest. Again, not so much because she wanted to, but because she could. She could do what she wanted, when she wanted, where she wanted.

The woman on screen was using her mouth on her partner. That’s not something Tim ever let me do to him. He thought it was too unhygienic. It was a nice change to have partnersex again, but after a while it would have been nice to have more of a change. Sex with Tim was like his favourite ice cream - plain vanilla.

The couple changed position again. This time the man was between the woman’s legs, using his mouth on her. No-one’s ever done that to me. I wonder what it feels like? She looks like she’s enjoying it. Ee’s fingers fiddled faster. She looks like she’s going to come. Just like me…

She gasped and shuddered as the spasms gripped her. At the back of her mind was an image of Tim staring in horror as she writhed in orgasm in the chair. Most unladylike!

When Ee finally came down from her peak, exhaustion followed her down like an avalanche. Turning off the TV she hauled herself to her feet and staggered towards the bedroom. Habit pushed her past and into the bathroom to clean her teeth. The toothpaste tube got squeezed in the middle, giving it a nasty surprise. It doesn’t matter whether you squeeze it in the middle or the end, Tim. Just run the tube over the edge of the basin and the contents get pushed to the top anyway.

In her bedroom, eyes already closing, she struggled out of her bra and threw it towards the laundry bin. It missed. She went to pick it up, then remembered she was alone. Alone again. I can do what I like without the heavy sigh, the sniff of disapproval, the pointed silence. She poked her tongue out at the wayward bra, then fell into bed. Seconds later, sleep tucked her in.

*

Ee’s eyes opened on the undented pillow next to her. Today’s my hundredth anniversary. One hundred mornings since Tim left. Being able to live my own life my own way has been blissful.

She surged out of bed and went for breakfast. The flat was back to her preferred state of relaxed untidiness. She knew where everything was to the nearest foot instead of the nearest quarter-inch. The spoons didn’t all face the same way in the drawer. Toast and marmalade didn’t risk trial by glare over crumbs on the table. She was able munch in comfort. And to think without always being nagged about something.

Being alone again has been fun, but coming home to an empty flat every night is beginning to get boring. I want company. Not someone from work again! I’ve had plenty of offers there – pretty much every day since I chucked Tim out – but I’m not going to make that mistake twice. At least Tim works in a different branch now, which saves some embarrassment.

She dumped her dirty dishes in the sink to be washed up after dinner, then went for her shower.

What I definitely don’t want – yet - is another long-term relationship, she thought, working the shampoo into her hair. I want something more lightweight. Someone I can socialise with. Someone I can go out with now and again without anyone expecting happy-ever-after.

Dressing for work didn’t involve too much hunting around for the right clothes. All right then, time to start again. It’s Friday. I’ll find a singles’ club where I can meet new people. Somewhere safe, somewhere I can say, ‘No’ and not have to worry about the fallout. I’ll ask around at work. One of my single friends is bound to know somewhere like that.



8 pm found her outside an unfamiliar wine bar with a slip of paper in one hand, her bag in the other and butterflies in her stomach. I’m out of practice, that’s all. Being in a relationship – even with Tim – meant I didn’t have to worry about meeting anyone new.

Inside, the place was busy but not overcrowded. Many eyes turned towards Ee as she walked in, but she expected that. It didn’t stop her feeling self-conscious as she went up to the counter, but she carefully avoided looking around. Not until she’d bought a glass of house white wine and found a table. Then she looked around.

A few singles, mostly male. A few couples. Quite a few larger groups. Quite a mix of ages as well. Interesting. Did Heather misunderstand me? Did she think I wanted somewhere I could go and not meet someone? Maybe she thought I wanted an evening out without being hassled.

“Hello! May I sit down?” Hassle Number One had already arrived. He looked clean-cut, friendly, and about ten years older than Ee.

She hesitated, then gave a mental shrug. “Be my guest.”

He sat opposite. “I haven’t seen you in here before, have I? My name’s Roger.” His manner, like his voice, was smooth. He was good-looking and well-groomed, but something about him made Ee uneasy.

“I haven’t been here before. My name’s Ee.”

“Ee? Unusual name. Is it short for something?”

“Just Ee. I can’t think of a better way of saying this, so: do you come here often?”

He laughed easily. “I’m here most Fridays.”

Ee finally realised what was making her uneasy. She nodded towards his wedding ring. “Doesn’t your wife mind you talking to other women?”

“No, not at all. Quite the opposite. That’s Margaret over there.” He pointed out an equally well-groomed women of about his age on the other side of the room. She was chatting to another girl of roughly Ee’s age.

The tenderness in his face as he watched his wife, caused Ee a pang of loneliness. It would be nice to have someone who felt that way about me. And about whom I felt the same.

Roger turned back to her. “So, what is it you’re looking for tonight? You should be able to find whatever you want here. Margaret likes to explore her, ah, feminine side so to speak. That suits me fine, because it means I get two girls for the price of one. Are you interested at all?”

Ee felt as if she’d been hit on the head. Does he really mean what I think he means? How can he be so blasé about it? Who does he think I am? What does he think I am? What the Hell am I supposed to say to that?

Thankfully he was distracted by his wife standing up. The other girl also stood up, looking pleased. “Oh, oh – looks like she’s already found a little something for the weekend.” He got up as well. “Sorry to run out on you so soon. Maybe we can get together some other time.”

Still stunned, Ee watched the trio leave together. The wife had her arm around the girl’s waist.

Ee looked around the room. No-one else seemed to have noticed anything unusual. Another trio – one woman, two men – was watching her. The woman smiled, drew back the empty chair alongside and patted the seat. The invitation was clear. Ee hastily shook her head and looked away. What have I got myself into? Isn’t there anyone normal – traditional – here?

Another voice interrupted her thoughts. A female voice. “May I?” The voice belonged to a woman of about Ee’s age, with one hand on the back of the chair just vacated by Roger. Like Roger, she was well groomed. Like Roger, she seemed smooth. Like Roger in so many ways, in fact.

Ee forced a smile. “I don’t want to waste your time. I’m a straight girl looking for a straight guy. If you want a chat then that would be fine. Anything else then I’m not your girl, sorry.”

The woman smiled ruefully, bowed slightly and walked away. Ee breathed a sigh of relief, then jumped when a man slid into the chair instead.

“Sorry to startle you, but I thought I’d get in while I had the chance. You’re not having a very good evening are you? My name’s Rod, I’m a straight guy on my own looking for a straight girl on her own and I always take No for an answer.” He held out a hand.

Ee couldn’t help laughing – relief helped. She shook his hand. “Ee. How did you know I wasn’t having a good evening?”

“I was sat at the table behind you. Every time I got up to introduce myself, someone beat me to it. We don’t often get newcomers in here. Especially not ones as attractive as you.”

Ee blushed. As chat-up lines go, she’d had worse. “Thank you. It’s nice to be appreciated, but I wasn’t expecting …” She waved her hand vaguely.

“Perverts?” replied Rod, smiling. “What did you expect when you walked into a swingers’ club?”

Ee’s jaw sagged and her eyes bugged. “Swingers’ club? Heather told me it was a singles’ club!”

He nodded slowly. “Ah, that explains it. No, this club is for people looking for, how shall I put it, less traditional liaisons. If you’re looking for romance, this isn’t the place for you. If you’re looking for new experiences, there’s nowhere better.”

I might as well save myself from any more embarrassment and go home now. On the other hand, why waste all that time spent getting ready and getting here? I can at least stay for a chat.

“I wasn’t expecting a meeting of hearts and minds from the word go, but I wasn’t expecting anything quite like this either. I just wanted to meet a man socially and see how we got on.”

“Very commendable, but you’ll probably be out of luck here. I can give you the addresses of some real singles’ bars if you like.”

Ee picked up her wine and had another sip while she thought. He’s nice. Good looking. Sociable. Non-threatening. If he’s looking for a straight girl on her own, what’s he doing in a swingers’ club? “If you’re looking for a straight girl on her own, what are you doing in a swingers’ club?”

“Because the straight girl I’m looking for won’t be looking for anything long-term. Women who come in here alone are usually married or in relationships but want something extra.”

Ee was shocked again. “You mean they want to cheat on their partners?”

He shrugged calmly. “Depends on your definition of ‘cheat’. Most of the time, their partners know they’re here and why. Some of them like to hear all about it afterwards. Some of them – more than you might think – feel they can’t give their partners what they want and this is the least-worst alternative to a breakup.”

“So you’re a gigolo?”

He shrugged again. “If you want to call it that. There’s no financial reward. I do it because I love women and I love pleasing them. It’s my hobby, not my profession.”

Ee shook her head. It’s a whole new world, is what it is. “I’m sorry I’m not what you’re looking for. You shouldn’t waste your time on me.”

It was his turn to shake his head. “You’re a straight girl on her own. That’s exactly what I look for, but I appreciate I might not be what you had in mind. Would you like another drink before you go?”

Ee picked up her glass and drained it while she thought. I won’t be finding a perfect friend here tonight. But I have found a Mr Nice Guy. And it is nice not to be alone in the evening yet again. “I’m not in a hurry. Another glass of house white would be lovely, thank you.”



He put down her new drink. “So, you’re here for friendship if not for fun. Why no partner?”

The first glass of wine began to work its magic on Ee’s tongue. “I was in a relationship, but he moved out a few months ago. One hundred days ago, to be precise.”

“A toast!” announced Rod, raising his glass. “Are we celebrating or commiserating?”

Ee considered while she clinked. “Mostly celebrating. Why is it the things that first attract you to someone, the things you find quirky and appealing, end up being the reasons you want to murder them?”

Rod chuckled. “I wouldn’t know. I haven’t found Miss Right - I haven’t been looking. I’m not ready for anything long-term yet.”

“I thought you’d found lots of Miss Rights? And Mrs Rights?”

Now he laughed. “True, but those encounters lasted hours, not years. Neither of us expected more of them, or of each other. We’re there for physical pleasure – nothing more, nothing less.”

If that’s what you’re looking for, it sounds perfectly sensible to me, Ee mused. If you’re up front about it, no-one should get hurt. No-one’s expecting hearts and flowers. No-one’s expecting happy-ever-after. The only thing I don’t like is the thought that there’s usually a third person involved. Although there is one other, pretty huge elephant in the room…

“If you don’t mind me saying so, isn’t it a risk? For both you and your partners? You know – STIs and suchlike.”

He grew serious. “I told you, I love women. That means not doing anything to hurt them, and that means always taking precautions. Not just against pregnancy. I get myself tested regularly, and make sure they do too. Don’t you?”

Ee coloured. “I don’t need to. I’ve only ever had two physical relationships in my life. In the first one, we were both virgins. In the second one, I’m pretty sure Tim was.”

Rod shook his head. “Not good enough. Even if you never played away, can you be sure your partners didn’t? Can you be sure?

Ee sipped some more. “100% sure? No of course not, but I would say at least 95%.”

He leaned back, looking unconvinced. “That’s better than most, but you shouldn’t bet your health on it. Nor other people’s. Get yourself tested as soon as you can.”

“All right, I will.” She cast around for a change of subject. “So, what is it these Misses and Mrs get from you that they don’t get from their partners?”

Rod shrugged. “Anything they like, so long as it doesn’t involve children or animals. Or the public. I’m not into dogging or anything like that.”

Ee stared at him, confused. “Doesn’t dogging involve animals?”

He chuckled. “You have led a sheltered life, haven’t you?”

Ee’s temper suddenly flared, surprising her as much as anyone. “Don’t patronise me! I’m not some innocent maiden from a fairy story. I’ve done things that would make you blush.”

He smiled. “Unlikely. Try me.”

Ee managed to get a grip on her temper and her tongue. She shook her head. The second glass of wine got her to look him straight in the eye instead. “I’ll show you. Not here. At my flat.”

Rod shook his head in turn. “I don’t think so. That’s just the wine talking, and I don’t make dates with alcohol. I certainly don’t take it to bed. When you’re sober, we’ll see”

Ee scowled. He’s patronising me again! She blushed. I’m lucky that’s all he’s doing. I just invited a complete stranger into my bed. “Sorry,” she muttered. “I don’t usually drink this much.”

“And the house white here isn’t the usual weak stuff you’d get in a restaurant. Forget about it.”

Ee couldn’t. I more or less asked him point blank for sex. What does that make me?

What does that make everyone else in the room? They’re all here for one thing. They all know it. They’re not embarrassed about it. Why should I be?

Because I didn’t come here for sex! I only came here to meet someone socially!

I’m doing that, so what’s the problem? I thought I didn’t want to risk another Tim so soon after the last one?

She sighed. “I’d better get home before I make an even bigger fool of myself. Thank you for a very… interesting evening. You’ve given me a lot to think about.”

“My pleasure. If you want another chat, I’m here most Friday evenings. Unless I’m entertaining.”

*

Ee closed the door behind her and picked up the letter from the mat. She knew at once what was in it. Hands shaking, she tore it open and scanned the contents. She sagged with relief. All clear. I’d have been horrified if I wasn’t. Horrified and baffled. Even so, it’s good to be sure.

Her mind went back to the gigolo while she hung up her coat and made a cup of tea. What was his name? Ralph? Rod, that’s it. Well, Rod, I was right and you were wrong. Although I suppose it makes sense to be suspicious if you’re doing a new, um, good deed every week.

Rod lounged in her head while she sipped. You never did give me that list of singles’ clubs. After what happened last time, I don’t fancy asking around at work again. Maybe I can drop by and ask you for it tonight. The list, that is. I don’t have to stay for a chat. She shuddered. I certainly won’t be having a drink. That stuff went straight to my mouth.



Now she knew what to expect, it was obvious that the wine bar’s clientele were not the usual Friday evening yuppies out to flash their cash. She still felt like a side of meat in a butcher’s shop window, but with an added layer of I know exactly what they’re here for. They think they know exactly what I’m here for. They’re all wondering if I’m interested in the same… variation they are.

Quickly she looked around the room, being careful not to catch anyone’s eye. Relief bubbled up when she spotted Rod alone at one of the smaller tables.

He looked up as she approached. Even though she was watching for it, she almost missed the moment’s hesitation as he flicked through his mental card index. “Ee! When you didn’t come in last week I didn’t expect to see you again. May I get you a drink? House white, isn’t it?”

She found herself smiling, really smiling. There was something about Rod that suited her. Maybe it was his honesty. Maybe it was his obvious love of women. Maybe it was the fact he wasn’t Tim. Whatever it was, she found herself sitting opposite him. “Thank you, that would be lovely.”

Hang on, I thought I wasn’t stopping? I thought I definitely wasn’t going to have a drink?

It’s a Friday evening and I’m still bored being stuck at home on my own. We got on well when we first met, so he’s a safer bet than trying my luck with a stranger in a strange bar.

He returned with a drink each. “So, what brings you back here? Don’t tell me you found a new man and you’re already fed up with him after a fortnight?”

She chuckled. “No! I wanted to ask you for that list of singles’ clubs. I don’t want to ask around at work in case I get set up again.”

“And here’s me thinking you were pining for my company!” He reached into his jacket for a pen and small notebook.

Ee watched him while he wrote. He is nice. Just the sort of man with whom I could have an… association. Shame he’d be getting jumpy by Monday morning.

The wine nudged her. Isn’t that what I wanted? Being able to have a dirty weekend just for its own sake? No-one would get hurt. It would be safe in boring, practical terms. And if we didn’t get on, we wouldn’t have to see each other ever again.

She giggled to herself. That wine’s powerful stuff! I’m seriously thinking about having a one-night stand with a stranger. Maybe two nights.

Wait a minute. She checked her glass. It was brim full. I haven’t had anything to drink yet. This isn’t the wine talking, this is me. If I do this, it’s because I want to do it. I can’t blame the alcohol.

Ee quickly rummaged in her handbag and found the letter. She held it out to him just as he held out the list of addresses. “What’s this?” he asked.

“I took your advice,” she said, flushing. “That’s my test results. Take a look.”

He opened the letter and read it carefully. He nodded. “So you were right. I’m sorry I doubted you. Oddly enough, I had the results of my latest round of tests just this week.” He reached into his jacket and proffered an envelope that looked very like Ee’s. “It seems we’re both in the clear.”

Ee scanned his letter. All negative. So there really is nothing to stop me. Unless he’s not interested.

She took a deep breath and looked Rod in the eye. “I know what you usually look for in a woman. I don’t already have a partner. Does that rule me out?”

He smiled slowly. “Not at all, although I never… entertain anyone without at least knowing the other party’s name. Ee’s just an abbreviation, isn’t it? A nickname. What’s your real name?”

Ee blushed deeply and took a large gulp of wine. This was more embarrassing than inviting him home for sex. “Eowyn,” she mumbled.

He nodded. “Ah. No prizes for guessing your parents’ favourite book. There is one more rule. I don’t kiss – not on the mouth, anyway. That’s for partners. So, your place or mine?”



“Sorry about the mess,” said Ee automatically as she turned on the light in the living room.

Rod chuckled as he went to the middle of the room and looked around. “What mess? You haven’t seen my flat. This is immaculate in comparison.” He turned back to her. “So, what would you like?”

Ee lost her breath. Too fast! “Uh, I hadn’t really thought about it!”

He picked up on it. “Sorry, am I going too fast? Let’s have something to drink – nothing alcoholic. If you wouldn’t do something when you’re sober, doing it when you’re drunk is a very bad idea.”

Relieved, Ee led the way into the kitchen and started brewing a pot of coffee.

Rod sat at the table. “Do you have any toys?”

Blushing, Ee shook her head.

“We’ll go shopping tomorrow. Any fantasies? Anything you’ve tried before that you’d like to try again? Anything you’d like to try for the first time? Don’t worry about shocking me – you can’t.”

Ee hesitated, then shook her head again. “Sorry I’m such a wuss,” she mumbled.

“You’re not. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to do whatever you want. If that means having a quiet evening in front of the TV, that’s fine by me.”

Ee smiled at him. “Thank you. We’ll see. Shall we order a takeaway?”



Ninety minutes later. Ee’s coffee table was strewn with empty foil cartons. She leaned back and patted her stomach with a sigh. “Lovely. I haven’t had a takeaway for years. Tim wouldn’t have them in the flat. He said they were dirty, smelly and unhealthy.”

Alongside her on the settee, Rod tried in vain to mop himself with one of the tiny towelettes that came with the order. “No good, I’m going to have to wash up properly. Excuse me.”

He got up and disappeared into the bathroom. It gave Ee the chance to pack up the empties and take them into the kitchen. It also gave her the chance to think. So, what do I want to do now? Sit in front of the TV all night? That would be nice, but also a waste. He’s here to do whatever I want. I knew that before I asked him here. It’s why I asked him here. So why not?

She went back into the living room just as Rod reappeared. He smiled at her. “So, what do you want to do now?”

She smiled and flushed at the same time. “I was just thinking about that. I would… I’d like… I do have some ideas, but I’m not used to… you know… asking for it straight out.”

He pulled a face. “Let me guess. You’re more used to thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if…’ and, ‘I wish he would…’ and, ‘Dare I ask…’ instead of putting yourself first. Not tonight. Tonight you get to ask for exactly what you want. Whatever it is. What’s the worst that could happen? I’d say, ‘No,’ and I won’t be doing that.”

Ee slowly turned deep red. “Well… no-one’s ever used their mouth on me before,” she mumbled.

“You want me to go down on you? Excellent choice. I’m very good at that, if I do say so myself. How high is the mattress on your bed?”

She looked at him blankly, then held her hand out at knee level. “About there.”

“Fine, we’ll do it in your bedroom. Go have a shower so you don’t get uptight about being fresh. Don’t put on scent and don’t bother shaving if you haven’t already. Smooth or furry, I like it both.”



Ee was already shaking even before she got into the shower. Nerves and excitement. This is it! It’s going to happen! I’m going to let an almost complete stranger use his mouth on me! That thought made her stop. I don’t know anything about him. He could be the local Jack the Ripper for all I know. She carried on soaping herself. And I could get killed crossing the road tomorrow. Playing it safe hasn’t got me anything much out of life so far. Maybe a little less ‘playing it safe’ now and again won’t be a bad thing.



After drying herself, Ee chickened out and put on the despised bathrobe. Going naked would seem the obvious thing to do, but she couldn’t go through with it. Not yet, anyway.

Rod was stood at the foot of the bed waiting for her. He’d stripped to his boxer shorts and his body was lean and fit. “Lie down with your bum on the edge and your feet on the floor,” he instructed.

Ee did as she was told and waited anxiously, heart pounding. She expected Rod to part her legs and get between them straight away. Instead he sat on the floor next to her legs and began to run his hands over them. Caressing them. He started at her feet and worked slowly up from there, stroking the calves and over the shins, then moving higher up. Ee discovered that the soft skin behind her knees was surprisingly sensitive, surprisingly sensual.

One hand slid up the backs of her thighs almost to her bottom. The sensation sent shivers through her body. This was much more erotic than anything either of her previous lovers had managed, even when having full sex with her.

Rod kissed along the leg nearest him while his other hand moved over the top of her thighs. It brushed from her knee almost to her groin and back again. The shivers grew stronger. Ee could feel herself getting slippery. And he hasn’t even touched me there yet! This is what I call foreplay!

Finally Rod put his hands on her knees and gently moved them apart, exposing her. He whistled softly. “Wow! That’s the prettiest one I’ve ever seen.”

Ee glowed. He’s only saying that to make me feel good about myself.

It’s working!

Rod shuffled around until he was between Ee’s thighs. She closed her eyes, then for the first time in her life she felt a man’s mouth press against her. His tongue moved over her folds. It explored the creases. It dipped between the lips, sliding up their length and back again. It teased the entrance to her body, invading then retreating.

Rod’s tongue felt different from a finger. Warmer. Softer. Smoother. Slipperier. Soft it might be, but it still had the strength to stroke and stimulate.

At first it felt… icky was the only word Ee could find. She felt uncomfortable about having someone so close to the most intimate part of her body. Licking her there. Tasting her.

As the minutes passed, the shivers strengthened. The warmth inside her grew. And then Rod moved his attention, and his mouth, to her clitoris.

Every movement of his tongue over the sensitive bud sent fire through her. Before long, Ee’s hips were arching with every touch, trying to urge her body against his mouth. His tongue flickered harder, faster. Ee moaned louder. Her hands tangled in his hair, pulling him against her.

Moisture leaked out of her, trickling down to her bottom. She felt a finger stroke her, gathering the slickness. The touch added a new thread to the tapestry of sensations already filling her senses.

The pleasure built to its peak. Ee knew her climax was only moments away. “Don’t stop,” she gasped. “Don’t stop!”

Suddenly she felt the finger slip into the tight little hole in her rear. No-one had ever done that before. The shock pushed her over the edge and she fell into orgasm.

Her muscles clenched in spasms and as the waves of ecstasy coursed through her. She moaned and shuddered, hands twisting painfully in Rod’s hair. He wasn’t distracted. His tongue lapped over her clitoris, his finger moved inside her rear. Every time the climax ebbed, Rod set it off again.

Ee never knew how long she was in orgasm. All she knew was Rod finally easing away from her. Little sparkles of pleasure darted through her, making her body twitch. She had no strength left.

“That. Was. Amazing,” she panted. “It’s never felt as good as that before.”

Rod smiled at her smugly. “Thank you. I enjoyed every moment of it. You taste as good as you look, you know that? In fact, I think I’d like a second helping.” He leaned forward again.

*

Ee’s eyes opened on the pillow next to her, and she jumped. It was occupied. Settling back, she watched Rod while he slept. That was the most incredible, embarrassing, nerve-wracking, wonderful night of my life. And we didn’t even Do It! Goodness knows how much time he spent going down on me. No-one could possibly do it better than he did.

So now what? It was billed as a one-night stand, but do I really just want him as an entry in my Little Black Book? Someone I can call any time I want to be pampered, and then show the door?

Isn’t that what I wanted? He’s not offering more. He’s not expecting more. I wasn’t expecting more.

This isn’t as simple as advertised, is it? It’s not as easy as I thought to separate the physical from the emotional. Not for me, anyway.

Rod’s eyes opened. He blinked for a moment, getting his bearings, then smiled. “Good morning!”

Ee smiled back. “Good morning! Breakfast?”

“That would be lovely.”

Ee got up and padded towards the kitchen. She glanced at her discarded bathrobe, then ignored it. Too late to be shy now!

Rod appeared in the kitchen soon after, still wearing his boxer shorts. He sat to the table while Ee poured the coffee and started the toast. “You live on your own, I assume?” she asked.

“Yep. As I said, I haven’t found Miss Right yet, and I’m not in the hunt. Being single means there are no complications. I can have someone to stay, or go to stay with someone, any time I like.”

“Don’t you mind coming home to an empty flat? Not having anyone with whom to share your life?”

He laughed. “I like variety. There are hundreds of women around here wanting what I have to offer. Why would I want to restrict myself just to one?”

Ee smiled down at him. “That’s very public-spirited of you, but you know what I mean.”

Rod shrugged. “I know. I’m sure it’ll happen one day, but I can’t see it happening anytime soon.”

Ee put the toast and butter on the table and sat down. “So, what now? Us, I mean,” she asked.

“We go shopping for toys. I know some very good stores, with some very good staff. You can get whatever you like there without feeling embarrassed. They’ve seen it all before. After that, it’s up to you. I’m at your disposal until I leave for work on Monday morning.”

Ee blushed, then smiled. “That sounds lovely.” She changed the subject. “So, you don’t play sports or anything? Go to the theatre?”



They chatted until breakfast was over. Rod picked up the dirty dishes and put them in sink, then started washing them up.

“You don’t have to do that,” said Ee. “I usually do it in the evening after dinner.”

“All part of the service.”

Ee watched him working, mind idling while she admired the view.

I could get used to this. He’s happy to… entertain me for a day or two, then to disappear again. He does what I want. He doesn’t do anything I don’t want. He’s completely honest about what he wants and doesn’t want. If – when – I get into a real relationship, I know he’ll be thrilled for me.

Her eyes settled on a dark mark on his back, tucked into the dip next to a shoulder blade. She got up and moved closer, studying it.

“Have you always had a mark here?” She touched it lightly.

“The freckle? Since I was born.”

“What does it look like?”

He turned his head to look at her, bemused. “I don’t have prehensile eyes, you know! It looks like a freckle, I suppose. A small, light brown mark.”

“How big is it?”

“You tell me! I don’t know… maybe a couple of millimetres square? About like that.” He pointed to a crumb on the counter.

Ee nodded to herself. “I thought so. Change of plan. As soon as you’re ready, we’re going to A&E.”

He laughed uncertainly. “You’re joking!”

“No, I’m not. It’s probably nothing, but you told me that you shouldn’t take chances with your health. That’s why we’re going to A&E. It’s my special request for the day.”

*

Ee waited outside the consulting room. Of all the things I’d expected to be doing today, sitting in a hospital was not one of them. What on Earth are they doing in there? It’s been ages.

The door opened. Rod came out, face chalk white. Ee leapt up and steered him to a chair. He slumped onto it, wincing when his back touched the wall.

The doctor followed him out of the room. “We’ll send the results of the biopsy to your local GP and he’ll get in touch with you. He should get the letter by the end of the week.” He shook hands with Rod and Ee and then hurried off to his next patient.

Ee stared. Rod’s cheerfulness, his easy-going manner – all gone. “Was it Melanoma?” she asked, although she already knew the answer. An aunt had got hers diagnosed too late to be treated, and made sure all her relatives knew enough not to make the same mistake.

He nodded. “He cut it out right away. He’s pretty sure we caught it before it spread, but we won’t know for certain until we get the results.” His face twisted in horror. “That’s days away!”

She looked at him thoughtfully. One moment everything’s running along all smooth and predictable. The next moment, life turns and bites you on the bum. “You can’t stay on your own with something like that hanging over you. Do you have anyone to keep you company until then? Any family you can go to stay with?”

Rod was staring into space. He shook himself. “My parents emigrated to Canada a few years ago. I don’t have any other family.”

“Any friends who can at least call in and check up on you?”

“Not really, no. I don’t have that sort of friend.”

Ee stood up and reached out her hand. “You do now. You’re staying with me, at least until you get your results.”

Startled, Rod looked up at her. “You’d do that for me? You hardly know me! Not in that way.”

“I know you like doing things for other people. It’s time to let someone do something for you. Being independent is all very well but right now you need moral support. I’m offering.”

He took her hand and she pulled him to his feet. They set off down the corridor hand in hand. “Don’t get me wrong,” she said quietly. “I’m not suggesting anything long-term. This is just until you get your results. After that, we’ll see.”

Back out in the open air, Ee took a deep breath. “Let’s start the day again. You were taking me shopping, remember? Don’t think you can wriggle out of it that easily.” She smiled up at him.

Slowly Rod smiled back, his old, familiar smile. Colour was beginning to return to his face. He squeezed her hand. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”

“And I’m still determined to make you blush. Are you in for a surprise when we get home!”

They walked on into the sunshine.



Ends

About the author



Lindsay lives in the English countryside with a loving spouse, two equally wonderful children and assorted pets who have their affectionate moments – usually when they’re hungry. Writing is an occasional pastime, the genre of choice being adult-themed short stories from the female perspective. The goal isn’t fabulous riches, but simply to entertain.



All the Warming Stories collections are available for free download from SmashWords:

Volume One www.smashwords.com/books/view/562011

Volume Two www.smashwords.com/books/view/582234

Volume Three www.smashwords.com/books/view/611521

and from major online eBook retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple.



If you also like full-length romance novels, you should try www.christinahollis.com



This story, and the characters within it are pure fiction. Any resemblance to real people or events is entirely coincidental.

All characters depicted in sexual acts in this work of fiction are 18 years of age or older





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