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Skater Lover

an adult short story

originally published as Skater Man

from the Warming Stories collections


Lindsay Debout

Copyright 2018 Lindsay Debout

This edition published by Smashwords

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

If you paid for the book, it may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each reader. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favourite retailer and purchase your own copy.

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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.

Pippa gazed up at the misty San Francisco sky. What just happened?

Mentally she reran the last few seconds. I was walking towards Fisherman’s Wharf. There was a clang behind me, then a shout, then something hit me in the back and spun me around.

She was lying on a very lumpy mound. Strange. It’s all pavement and benches around here. An arm lifted and waved in the air. I’m not wearing anything yellow. And I don’t have tanned hands.

Her brain finally connected the dots and she hurriedly rolled sideways. The figure she’d been lying on grunted and sucked in a lungful of air. “That didn’t go well,” he gasped.

No doubt about it, he was a local. Rollerblades, knee and elbow pads, helmet, disgustingly healthy teeth and the fashionable amount of sun tan. He was probably tall, probably fit and probably healthy, but right now he was sprawled full-length on his back. The impact and then Pippa’s weight on his chest had knocked the wind out of him.

Pippa scowled down at him. “What the Hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Trying to breathe,” he wheezed. “Give me a minute.”

Slowly he eased himself up onto his knees. Pippa parked her indignation for the time being and helped him clamber to his feet. Between them they got him to a bench where he took off his helmet.

“Sorry about that. I was trying a reverse slalom around the bollards and I got the timing wrong. Are you okay?”

He was certainly tall – she’d found that out when guiding him to the bench. The T shirt stretched over the unmistakeable shape of a muscular torso. His hair was curly. At a guess he was early thirties. Not quite Greek God material, but definitely in a pantheon somewhere.

Pippa’s analysis was interrupted by his raised eyebrow. “Oh! Sorry. I think I’m all right.” She gave herself a quick once-over. “It feels like my hand smacked the ground and my dress must have got caught on something.” She sighed as she inspected the rip. “Looks like I’ll be making more dusters.”

“We can sort that out. Can I buy you a coffee? It’s the least I can do.” Without waiting for her answer he stood up and offered his hand.

Pippa hesitated for a moment. He’s a complete stranger and a hooligan on skates. Why on Earth should I trust him? And yet… I don’t get the feeling he’s making a pass. I think this is just his way. She took his hand and he pulled her to her feet.

“There’s a restaurant right across the street. I can recommend it. I often eat there.” He led her across the boulevard. Pippa followed – not that she had much choice. He hadn’t let go of her hand and she hadn’t tried to pull free. For some reason it felt fine.

Anyway, it’ll be more interesting than what I had planned for the day. So long as I’m sensible, what can possibly go wrong?

Don’t answer that.

“Do you often take your accident victims out for lunch?”

He laughed. “No, this will be a first. In you go.” He held open the door for her, then followed her inside. “Hey, Rob!”

A chorus of shouts came from the staff. Clearly he wasn’t joking about being a regular. Plucking the ‘reserved’ sign off a table by the window, he helped Pippa into her seat and then sat opposite. He piled his skating gear on the seat next to him.

“Won’t the people with the reservation be upset?”

“It’s reserved for me. I always sit at this table. Hey, Davey!” He gave the waiter a high five. “The usual for me.” He looked Pippa over. “And the same for the young lady here.”

Pippa had been busy trying not to laugh. Oh dear. The perfect example of an all-American yuppie. Any more stereotypes you’d like to run past me? When she heard him order on her behalf, she scowled. “Don’t women have the right to choose what to eat in here?”

He looked startled. “Yes of course, but you’ll love it. You’re here on holiday aren’t you? So try some of the local food. Eggs Benedict followed by fresh waffles with maple syrup. Ambrosia.”

“I can make Eggs Benedict at home.”

“Not like these. Like, I’m sure you can get bagels in the UK but once you’ve tried a real New York bagel bought on the streets of Manhattan, you’ll never be happy with a British bagel.”

“I’ll take your word for that. I’m only visiting San Francisco.”

“Shame. You should let me take you to Manhattan.”

Now Pippa did laugh. “We only met five minutes ago!”

“True, but you will admit that I swept you off your feet.”

“Knocked me to the ground, more like.”

“At least you landed on something soft. I was sandwiched between a rock and a hard place.”

“So now I’m a rock, am I?”

“It felt like it at the time. A beautiful rock but still a rock.” The waiter reappeared with the order. “No more talking. Eat this, then tell me if it isn’t the best Eggs Benedict you’ve ever had.”

Half an hour later, Pippa had to admit defeat. “You’re right, that was the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had. The waffles were pretty damned good as well. What’s the secret?”

Her attacker cum rescuer shrugged. “No idea. I never ask Rob for his trade secrets. Come on, let’s go. We’ve got to get you a new dress.”

“Wait, wait! You can’t do that!”

He stared at her blankly. “Yes I can. I must. I tore your dress, remember?”

“Well, yes, but I can’t ask a complete stranger to go clothes shopping with me.”

He smacked his forehead. “Of course not! I’m Haze Trantor. Pleased to meet you.”

Pippa giggled as she shook his hand. “Haze?”

He smiled back. “Right. I’m told it was a very hazy day when I was born. And you are…?”

“Pippa Roberts. Pleased to meet you too.”

“Okay, introductions over. We’re not strangers anymore so let’s go buy that dress. Rob will look after my gear.”

He opened the door for her, waving at the staff as they left. “We haven’t paid!” exclaimed Pippa.

“Don’t worry about it. I gave Rob the money to buy this place so he’s paying me back in kind.”

He took Pippa’s hand again. To her surprise it felt entirely natural – more like a sign of friendship than anything more intimate. Another weird American custom. Or is this just a Haze custom?

“If you live here, why aren’t you at work?” asked Pippa as they strolled past the shops.

“Oh, I don’t work anymore. Made a pile in Silicon Valley and dropped out to enjoy it. When it’s gone I’ll start again. Right now I’m having the fun I didn’t have time for before. How about you?”

“I have a boring office job. I’ve been saving for this trip for years. I planned on coming with Paul but we split up last year. Still, being here alone is much more fun than not being here at all.”

“Sorry to hear about whatshisname but I’m glad you came anyway. I might have crashed into some grumpy old man instead of a gorgeous young woman.”

Pippa giggled, blushing. “You’re incorrigible! Sorry, that means-“

“Yes, I know what it means. I’m American, not stupid. And why shouldn’t I be incorrigible? Life’s too short to tread carefully all the time. Carpe Diem! That means-“

“Yes, I know what it means. I’m British, not stupid.” She sighed. “It’s a nice idea but real life isn’t that simple.”

“It is for me. Like, do you want to fuck?”

Pippa’s jaw dropped and she yanked her hand out of his. “What? No! I don’t want to… do that! Certainly not with you. How dare you!”

Haze didn’t look at all put out. “Keep your hair on. I asked a simple question and you gave me a simple answer. Very loudly. So now we know where we stand. Wasn’t that a lot easier than the whole ‘will she/won’t she, will he/won’t he’ business? Quicker, too.”

Pippa fumed. “Whenever people say, ‘I call a spade a spade,’ what they really mean is, ‘I can’t be bothered to be polite.’”

Haze bowed solemnly. “If I offended you, I apologise. Next time I’ll give you advance warning before I call a spade a spade. Here we are.”

The sudden switch from humble apology back to business as usual took Pippa’s breath away. It’s like being caught in a hurricane. Always unpredictable, sometimes horrifying but never boring.

He ushered her into a shop that looked like it belonged in Beverly Hills. “I can’t afford this!” squeaked Pippa.

“I keep telling you, I tore your dress so I replace it. Micky! Great to see you again!”

Pippa turned, expecting to see a very… fashion-conscious man. The owner turned out to be a very fashion-conscious woman instead. Micky must be short for Michaela, she decided.

“Micky, this is Pippa, on holiday here from the UK. I ran into her this morning. Literally. Her dress got torn so I need to buy her a replacement. What have you got?”

The woman walked slowly around Pippa, studying her. “I’m sure I can find something suitable. A straight swap or something more grand?”

Pippa opened her mouth but Haze got there first. “We’ll try it all.” He glanced over at Pippa. “Unless you had other plans for the afternoon?”

Sit on the waterfront, take a few pictures, buy some postcards. Or try on dresses in a shop so far out of my league that I couldn’t afford even to look in the window? What to do… “I can spare an hour.”

“Excellent. Bring it on, Micky. I’ll escort Pippa to the changing room.” He led the way to a large room at the back of the shop. It was fitted out with mirrors on three walls, plus stools, chairs, hanging rails and a washbasin.

“This changing room is bigger than my flat!” exclaimed Pippa. “And just what do you think you’re doing?” Haze had followed her into the room and shut the door.

“I’m helping you to choose dresses, of course. You’ll need a second opinion.”

Pippa couldn’t help laughing as she pushed him out of the door. “I’ll come out when I’m ready!”

Haze looked mournful. “Aw, you’re no fun. Anyone would think I ran you down on the sidewalk.”

Micky reappeared towing two rails crammed with dresses of the sort to make Pippa’s eyes pop. Haze looked to be equally awestruck. “I think you’re gonna need more than an hour!”

Three dresses down, fifteen to go. Every one of them different, all of them gorgeous. When Pippa went out into the body of the shop in number four, Haze was lounging on a settee drinking coffee. His eyes widened when he saw her. “Wow! You look stunning. That’s definitely a keeper.”

Pippa blushed and smiled. She knew she ought to resent being admired just for her appearance, but once in a while… She went back into the changing room and picked out the next dress to try on. The invisible zip on the dress she was wearing wouldn’t co-operate so she opened the door and turned around. “Could you undo my zip, please?”

She expected Micky to do it but Haze jumped up and reached her first. “My pleasure.” His fingers tucked into the neck of the dress. She shivered as they slid over her skin but tried to ignore it.

Instead of stopping once the zip was within Pippa’s reach, Haze slowly drew it down full length. Since it ended just above her tailbone he could see the whole length of her back. “Very nice.”

Pippa looked over her shoulder at him. They locked eyes for a moment, then she smiled gently. “Thank you. I can manage from here on.” She went back into the changing room and shut the door.

Wish I’d worn more glamorous underwear, she thought as she carefully took off the dress ready to hang back up. Still, I wasn’t expecting to be shopping for a new dress today. And I certainly didn’t expect to have a hunky man in attendance.

Micky’s voice came through the thin wall. “Mr Trantor, what are you doing?”

“I’m spying on the young lady while she changes. There’s no law against that, is there?”

When Pippa looked in the mirror, she realised that the door was a few inches ajar and Haze was peering in through the gap. He had such an air of injured innocence that she burst out laughing. “I’m sure being a Peeping Tom is against the law, even in San Francisco.” He rolled his eyes but still didn’t close the door, so she held the dress in front of her while she firmly closed it for him. Just before the gap disappeared she poked her tongue out.

“Spoilsport!” he called.

The Eggs Benedict and waffles were a distant, fond memory by the time Pippa trundled her rail of ‘keepers’ out of the changing room. “I’ve got it down to four so now it’s up to you.”

Haze looked them over. “Okay, you wear this one for today. Micky will chuck away the one I tore. What about the others?”

Pippa looked at him blankly. “What about them? You’re only buying one and I can’t afford them.”

Micky and Haze exchanged glances. “Go get changed. Micky will need your hotel address and room number so she can claim back the sales tax when you take the dress out of the country.”

Pippa scribbled down the details and went back into the changing room, reappearing a few minutes later with her old dress in hand. “It seems a shame to throw it away. I’m sure I can repair it.”

Micky took it from her. “I’ll do that, then I’ll give it to charity if that’s all right with you.”

Pippa turned for a last look at the other dresses. The rail was empty. Micky must have put them back in her stock already. Be realistic. They probably cost more than you earn in a year. Each.

Once back on the street, Haze checked his watch. “Five hours! Not bad. I’ve known my sisters spend all day in there.”

“Sisters? How many?”

“Three. They’re all in their teens, from Dad’s second marriage. Now, are you hungry yet? I know a bar that does okay food but really great Irish Coffees.”

“I tried one of those once. It was all right but nothing special.”

“If you haven’t had an Irish Coffee at this bar, you haven’t had one at all.”

Haze led Pippa by the hand at a brisk pace. The bar was in sight when the long-delayed penny finally dropped. “Hey, wait a minute! Micky doesn’t claim the tax back on this dress when I leave the US, I do! And I’d need the receipt to prove it. What did she really need my hotel details for?”

“To know where to send the other dresses of course.”

Pippa tugged frantically at Haze’s hand but he was holding hers tightly. “I keep telling you, I can’t afford them! They must cost thousands! She has to take them back!”

Haze carried on walking, dragging her along with him. “No she doesn’t. I paid for them so you can stop worrying.”

“No!” Pippa yanked her hand free. “That’s enough! You can’t go around buying me things, especially things that cost so much. I didn’t ask you to do it. I don’t like you doing it. I don’t want you to do it.”

Haze turned and looked down at her. His expression was – very strange. Intense, melancholy, wistful, urgent… What it wasn’t, was threatening. Pippa felt bewildered but not frightened.

“I just like buying things for you. I’ve got more money than I could ever spend on myself so why not spend it on someone else? It makes me happy and I like to think it makes them happy too.”

“You could give it to charity.”

“I do. I use some for start-up capital as well, like Rob’s restaurant. That still leaves me with a lot. Why can’t I do what I like with it?”

“What about your sisters? It sounds as if they’ve got expensive tastes.”

Haze snorted. “You’re right there, but they’re Dad’s headache. He can afford it. He’s got more money than some countries so don’t worry on his account.”

“All right, but I still don’t like it. I can’t possibly give you anything that valuable in return.” She watched Haze smile slowly, and rolled her eyes. “Don’t say it. Or is that all you’re after? Because if that’s the case then you might as well take back the dresses right now. You can’t buy me.”

Haze’s jaw dropped so fast, his astonishment had to be genuine. “I wasn’t trying to! It never occurred to me.”

“Well, you have to learn to see it from us girls’ point of view. We’re always wondering if there’s a quid pro quo. A stranger spending huge amounts of money on us? What are we supposed to think?”

He was seriously stunned. “I’m sorry. I didn’t think of it like that.” Gently he took Pippa’s hand and gazed at her with such intensity that she shivered. “Please. Treating you to nice things makes me feel nice. You really don’t have to do anything in return. Your company is more than enough. Why don’t we just enjoy the rest of your holiday together?”

Pippa looked at him in silence for a long time. Why don’t we?

“You’re right, this is lovely.” Pippa wiped the cream moustache off her lip. “I can’t taste the whiskey though. Is there much in it?”

“Oh yes, trust me. You’d soon notice the difference if there wasn’t.”

Pippa picked up her glass again and drained it. “They cool down too quickly. May I have another?”

Haze eyed her uneasily. “Uh, yeah, but you’d better have something to eat as well. Soak up the alcohol.”

“They’re not that strong but I’m hungry anyway. Pass me the menu. Or are you going to order for me again?”

“I wouldn’t dare but I can recommend the nachos. They should keep you going until dinnertime.”

“No dinner for me, sorry. I’m not used to eating late.” The waiter took their order and delivered Pippa’s second Irish Coffee. She took a sip. “It was almost worth flying ten hours just for these.”

Haze still looked uneasy. “Glad you think so. Take it easy, all right?”

Pippa’s lips felt tingly. “Don’t you have a family of your own on whom to splash your cash?”

Haze sighed and shook his head. “No, not now. Maddy got tired of taking second place to my work. I can’t say I blame her.”

Pippa took another sip of her coffee. “You’re not working now. Wouldn’t she be willing to give you a second chance?”

Haze grunted. “Not with a husband and a new baby in tow, she wouldn’t.” He glanced over at Pippa. “When things were going bad between us, I tried to make up for not being home by buying her things. It didn’t work of course. Now I think about it and after what you said earlier, it probably made things worse. The last thing I bought her was a Mercedes saloon. She left me the same day. Without the Mercedes or the jewels or the other things I’d bought her. You’re very much like her.”

“In what way?”

“Independent. Smart. Stubborn. Not interested in stuff. Awesomely beautiful.”

Pippa blushed and drained her glass. “And after all that you’re still trying to buy things for people who don’t want them?”

“I told you, I’m not after anything in return. I just don’t have anything else to offer, that’s all.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. You’re rich, successful, a great-looking man. A nice one too, I think. You’ve got a lot to offer any woman. I bet you’d make a great husband and father.”

Haze sat in silence, face expressionless. The waiter reappeared with their order of nachos. “Eat up. You’ll love these as well,” said Haze.

“And I’d love another coffee, please.”

Pippa drifted awake. The room was in darkness. Her head throbbed, while her stomach…

Scrambling out of bed, she staggered to the bathroom just in time. Retching made her head pound harder but at least it got rid of the worst of the nausea. Clutching the sink while the room circled around her, she cleaned her teeth and blundered back to bed.

Pippa drifted awake. The room was filled with the grey light of dawn. Her head still throbbed but her stomach wasn’t so evil. She worked her way upright in bed and held her head until the pounding eased again. A man was slumped on the chair opposite the bed, snoring.

“Haze! What are you doing here! How did you get into my room? Ow!” The noise made her head throb even more.

Haze grunted awake and sat up, smiling at her. “Morning, sleepyhead! Feeling better?”

His ever-present cheerfulness did not improve Pippa’s hangover. “No! I feel like crap. What was wrong with those nachos?”

“There was nothing wrong with the nachos. I had them as well, remember? What I didn’t have was six Irish Coffees on top. That’s a lot of whiskey, not to mention the cream. I did try to warn you.”

“Yes, all right. How did I get back here?”

“I brought you in a cab. You gave Micky and me your address, remember? Which reminds me – I’ve hung up your new dresses in the wardrobe to save them getting creased.”

“Thank you. That doesn’t explain what you’re doing in my room in the first place.”

“I sure as Hell wasn’t going to leave you alone in your state. I had to rummage in your handbag for your room key, sorry.”

It finally dawned on Pippa that she was clad only in her underwear. “You put me to bed?”

“Yes. No fooling around, honest. I thought about stripping you down to your birthday suit but I didn’t think you’d like that.”

Even in her hungover state, Pippa realised how much he’d done for her. He didn’t have to do any of it. He certainly didn’t have to stay the night to watch over me. Even if he does have an ulterior motive, he’s having to work damned hard for it. How kind and considerate can one man be?

“Thank you again. Right now I need a glass of water and some aspirin.”

“And breakfast.”

“Do not mention food unless you’d like your T shirt redecorated. Speaking of which, hadn’t you better go home for some proper sleep and a change of clothes?”

Haze stood up and stretched. “Plenty of time for that later. Right now I’ll have a shower after you, then we need to get packing.”

“Packing? For what? You’re not expecting me to come home with you, are you?”

“No! Nothing like that. You’re going upstairs, that’s all. I’ve arranged for you to be upgraded to the penthouse suite.”

Pippa wanted to argue but her head hurt. Instead she shrugged. “Why am I surprised? Thank you.”

“My pleasure. After you’ve packed we’re going shopping again. You need new underwear.”

Pippa looked down at herself. She knew she ought to be outraged but getting mad with Haze was proving to be a waste of time and energy. “What’s wrong with this? It’s perfectly serviceable.”

“It’s a bit plain, isn’t it? Not exactly glamorous.”

“I wasn’t expecting anyone else to see it!”

“Yes, well, if you’re going to carry on getting drunk every night then I’m going to be seeing a lot more of your underwear. I do expect certain standards to be maintained, you know.”

Pippa giggled, then clutched her head again. “Ow! Don’t make me laugh, it hurts too much.”

“Go have a cool shower, it’ll make you feel better. I’ll get room service to bring up some aspirin.”

A shower, some aspirin, clean clothes and fresh air all helped to ease the throbbing behind Pippa’s eyes. She and Haze strolled along the pavement back towards the shopping district. The sidewalk, not the pavement. In America the pavement is where the cars drive. Walking on the pavement gets you arrested for jaywalking, if you don’t get killed first. She didn’t even notice they were holding hands – with Haze, it was what you did. “Hungry yet?” he asked.

“Don’t push your luck. You can have something if you like, but keep it away from me.”

Haze laughed, then steered her towards the door of another shop. Like Micky’s dress shop it was definitely not at the lower end of the fashion market. The interior of the shop wasn’t easily visible from the street, but the window display left no doubt as to the merchandise on offer.

“Mrs Foxwell! How are you?” Haze treated this shop owner with far more deference than he had Micky. Pippa was not surprised. This woman was in her fifties or sixties and reminded her of some memsahib from the days of the British Raj, quite accustomed to keeping a whole garrison of men under her thumb. Pippa suspected that anyone foolish enough to try shoplifting from here would count themselves lucky to make it to the police station, and be very glad when they did.

“Good morning Mr Trantor, Miss Roberts. I’ve been expecting you.” Pippa was not wholly surprised to hear a cut-glass English accent.

“You knew we were coming?” she asked, startled.

“Michaela told me about your visit to her shop yesterday. She also told me that you’d been causing trouble again, young man,” the woman replied, glaring at Haze. He visibly wilted like some naughty schoolboy being given a ticking-off by his headmistress.

“This way please, Miss Roberts,” said Mrs Foxwell, leading her towards a changing room. “You,” she glared at Haze again, pointing to a chair at the other end of the shop, “sit there and don’t move.”

Pippa wanted to laugh at Haze’s expression but didn’t dare. Obediently she went past the woman and into the changing room. “Everything off please, so I can measure you properly,” the woman instructed, closing the curtain on her. “Ring the bell on the table when you’re ready.”

Pippa hesitated for a moment, then shrugged. What the Hell, it’s no worse than a medical exam, although hopefully with less poking and prodding. Especially the poking. She stripped, folding her clothes neatly on a chair, then rang the little handbell. The woman eeled through the curtain and carefully closed it tight behind her. She carried a tape measure, note book and pencil. “Turn around and raise your arms, please.”

While the woman took Pippa’s measurements she gave her the third degree. Everyday or best? Plain or patterned? More or less lace? More or less sheer? More or less support? More or less enhancement? What colour? What style? For her own benefit or her partner’s?

Usually Pippa walked into a store and picked a couple of boxes off a hook. This was far too much choice. “Whatever you suggest. You can see the type I usually wear. I don’t go out anywhere posh much although the dresses I got yesterday deserve better than the stuff I’ve got at home.”

The woman slowly circled Pippa and examined her minutely, head to toe. Pippa knew she ought to be cringing with embarrassment at being stripped and scrutinised so closely, but she felt more like a tailor’s mannequin. Finally the woman stopped in front of Pippa and nodded to herself. “Would you like a cup of tea while I select something suitable for you?”

“That would be lovely,” replied Pippa, reaching for her clothes.

“No, don’t get dressed yet. I won’t be long.” Mrs Foxwell disappeared through the curtain again.

Now Pippa felt naked. Alone in the changing room with just a curtain between her and the body of the shop. And Haze. Was he still sitting on his chair like an obedient schoolboy? She went up to the curtain and parted it just a little with her finger. Yes, he was still in his chair. He spotted the curtain moving and winked when he saw her peering out. She winked back at him, then on impulse she tugged the curtain open just an inch or two. Haze’s eyes widened when he realised that she was in the nude. He stood up and Pippa backed away from the curtain, giggling breathlessly.

She had her back to the curtain but could see it in the mirror alongside her. A tall figure appeared outside the gap and she recognised Haze’s eyes looking in at her. The thought of him seeing her naked, even if it was from behind, sent a thrill shivering through her.

At that moment his expression twisted in pain and he disappeared. “I thought I told you to sit over there, Mr Trantor?” When Pippa peered around the curtain her jaw dropped. Mrs Foxwell had hold of Haze’s ear and was dragging him across the shop. She pushed him back down into the chair. “Stay there until I tell you. Please,” she added as an afterthought.

Pippa backed away again, hands clamped over her mouth to muffle her giggles. You really, really don’t want to upset Mrs Foxwell! Does she drill the Marines in her spare time?

She managed to calm down by the time the woman came back with a selection of lingerie and a cup of tea. “You drink this while I lay these out for you.”

Pippa watched, transfixed. Everything seemed to follow the, ‘Less material, more money’, model. Some of them cost more than three months’ rent on her flat. When she carefully tried on the first set, it felt like wearing cobwebs. It looked like it as well when she studied herself in the mirror.

Mrs Foxwell surprised her yet again. “Would you like to show Mr Trantor?”

Pippa stared at her open-mouthed, mind whirling in panic. Of course not! I’m practically nude, even wearing this. Because I’m wearing this. I don’t want Haze to see me this way! Do I?

She could feel herself going pink, but nodded. Mrs Foxwell slipped through the curtain again, then Pippa heard her lock the shop door and pull down the blinds. “Whenever you’re ready, Miss Roberts. No-one else can come in.”

Swallowing hard and taking a deep breath, Pippa pushed through the curtain and into the shop. Haze gasped and his eyes saucered. “Wow!” was all he could manage. Pippa giggled shyly but moved up closer to his chair and did a slow pirouette. When she was facing Haze again she could see he was having trouble swallowing. “Wow!”

By the time she’d modelled the fourth set, Pippa wasn’t sure she could carry on. Even though Haze wasn’t seeing any more of her than he had when he put her to bed, she felt as if he’d examined every inch of her body. Her body seemed to think so as well. Her nipples were achingly hard and she knew that Haze could see them clearly even though they were covered by fabric. Her hands were shaking so much, she was having trouble with the clasps on the bras. Arousal filled her whole being, and the thought Haze might realise that made it even worse. Better. Worse.

“Ready?” she called, preparing to parade set number five. Silence. When Pippa looked out, Haze was nowhere in sight. Just then Mrs Foxwell appeared. “Where’s Haze? Mr Trantor?” asked Pippa.

“He was getting quite… hot, so I suggested that he might like to make himself more comfortable. I shouldn’t think he’d be long.”

Pippa gaped at her. Do you mean what I think you mean…? The woman’s face gave nothing away and at that moment Haze reappeared. Pippa raised an eyebrow at him and he blushed. Oho! Am I really having that much of an effect on you? That’s something I’m going to have to think about. Later. Right now I’ve got five more sets to try on after this one.

“That was fun,” said Pippa as they made their way back to her hotel. The bag she was holding was ludicrously small given that it held four sets of underwear that between them cost as much as a car.

“It certainly was. Don’t take this the wrong way but you could earn a fortune as a lingerie model.”

“Thank you, I think. And thank you for these.” She raised the bag.

“My pleasure. It was worth every penny.” He nudged her with his elbow. “You looked as if you enjoyed the modelling.”

Pippa poked him back. “And you! Mrs Foxwell had to order you to go make yourself comfortable.”

Haze shuddered. “Don’t remind me. She made it almost impossible. Knowing that she knew.”

“I imagine she’s used to it, given what she sells. I’m looking forward to seeing my new suite. What’s it like?”

“A bit bigger than your old room, that’s for sure. Are you feeling up to lunch?”

“My hangover’s gone and I could eat a horse. Why?”

“Shall we have room service in your suite? It has a separate dining room.”

Pippa gazed up at him thoughtfully while they walked.

Don’t panic. He’s only suggesting lunch.

Yeah, right, just ‘lunch’. What’s for dessert? Or should that be ‘who’?

So what? Would that be so bad? Right now I could do with a long, slow… shower. So could he.

And maybe I’m reading more into it than he intended. Let’s have lunch. After that, we’ll see.

“That sounds wonderful.”

The suite was ridiculously grand. Lunch was served in a room larger than the average family house in the UK. After they’d finished, Pippa wandered out onto the massive balcony with a view across most of San Francisco bay. Screens to the side ensured they weren’t overlooked. Haze was lounging in one of the chairs with his bare feet up on the other. Pippa glared at him. “If you’re such a gentleman, how come you won’t let a lady sit down?”

He glared back up at her in mock horror. “Who says I’m a gentleman? Give me their names and I’ll have them sued for slander.” He patted his lap. “You can sit here. That’s how we met, remember? You sat on me. In the middle of the street, too.”

“Not so much ‘sat’ as ‘sprawled’. I didn’t do it on purpose, either.” She hesitated, then turned and sat sideways on his lap. Haze put his arms around her waist and she put her arms around his neck.

“Do I get a birthday kiss?” Haze asked.

Pippa stared at him in surprise. “I didn’t know it was your birthday today! You should have said.”

“Oh, it isn’t my birthday. That’s not for months yet. But it’s bound to be someone’s birthday.”

Pippa laughed. “You are incorrigible. Happy unbirthday.” She leaned in and kissed him.

Oh my, this feels nice. He feels nice. He kisses wonderfully as well.

It wasn’t a passionate kiss. There was no grunting or gasping or slobbering or gnawing. Just a long, slow, sensual exploration. Pippa’s heart began to pound harder. Her body glowed and a throb of arousal started low in her lap. Beneath her she could feel Haze also becoming aroused.

If I don’t want to go too far, now’s the time to stop. I can’t rely on his self-control. That’s not fair on him, let alone me.

She didn’t stop. The kiss lasted a lot longer before Pippa finally broke it and leaned back, gazing into his eyes. They smiled fondly at each other, then Haze looked down. He poked one of Pippa’s breasts gently with a finger. “Have you got a present under there for me? It’s beautifully wrapped.”

She smiled wider. “Maybe. We’ll see. Don’t be in too much of a rush or you’ll spoil the surprise.”

He chuckled, making her bounce on his lap. “Let’s see if I can guess what it is.” He began to trace his fingertip over her breast. Pippa’s mouth went dry but she didn’t try to stop him. Up it stroked, then down around the curve and up underneath the swell. Slowly he circled it around the nipple that was pushing against the fabric of her dress. “Now, what have we got here?” he said softly, then gently ran his finger over the tip.

Pippa swallowed hard and her eyes closed. She leaned her head against his shoulder. Haze’s fingertip sent pulses of pleasure flooding through her every time it brushed over her nipple. The pulses grew stronger when he lightly pinched her nipple between thumb and forefinger. “You can-” She had to swallow and start again. “You can use your hand if you like. Get a better... feel for it.” At once she felt his hand slide over breast and cup it, then squeeze gently. His thumb brushed over her nipple. “Is this okay?” Her mouth was too dry for words so she nodded against his shoulder.

Minutes passed but Pippa was aware only of Haze’s hand exploring her breast. He was slow, and gentle, and patient, and thorough. Beneath her she could feel his arousal straining to be released but he was too busy concentrating on her.

“If you want to unwrap it, you can,” she whispered huskily. “See if it’s what you think it is.”

The hand behind Pippa’s back went to the zip of her dress and slowly worked it down. Underneath she was wearing one of Mrs Foxwell’s finest creations. “Oh, wow!” breathed Haze. “Such beautiful packaging! And there’s two of them!” His hand moved onto her other breast.

“I think-” Pippa had to cough her throat clear. “I think you can open your presents now.”

Haze’s free hand deftly undid the clasp behind her back, then his other hand eased the delicate garment down her arms. He put it carefully on the table and leaned back in his chair so that he could study Pippa properly. She shivered as his gaze caressed her bare breasts.

“You have no idea how beautiful you are,” he breathed. “I could look at you all day.”

“I could- I could let you,” she whispered back.

Haze let his attention drop. Pippa’s dress had ridden up to mid-thigh and Haze drew his fingertips along the exposed skin. Pippa shuddered. Haze smiled. “You got another present for me hidden under there?” His fingers disappeared under her dress and moved slowly upwards.

“No, stop!” Pippa gasped.

Instantly Haze pulled his hand back. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to…”

“I need to take off my dress first. I don’t want to make it… I don’t want it to get…” Blushing scarlet, she got off Haze’s lap and stepped out of the dress, folded it carefully and laid it on the table. Clad only in a froth of silk and fresh air she settled back onto Haze’s lap with her legs parted.

“Are you sure you want me to carry on?” asked Haze. Pippa took hold of his hand and put it high up between her legs. He took the hint but he didn’t go straight for the prize. Instead he stroked gently along the sensitive inside of her thighs until Pippa couldn’t stand it anymore. Grabbing his hand again, she pressed it to her groin. Haze chuckled. “Now I know why you wanted to take your dress off. Didn’t want it getting messy.”

For all the protection Pippa’s posh panties offered, Haze’s fingers might just as well have been roaming over her bare skin. He explored every part of her, sliding along the length of the lips to the little pebble at the top, then down again and inside to gather up the slipperiness pouring out of her.

Pippa’s head was filled with the feel of Haze's fingers learning her body. The small part of her mind still working, nudged her. “Take them off,” she mumbled.

Haze started to work her panties down but stopped almost at once. “They’re too delicate. I’ll ruin them. You’ll have to do it.” Without hesitation, Pippa stood up, carefully stripped off her panties and dropped them on the other chair, then sat back down on Haze’s lap. Being completely naked was a relief. There was nothing to get in the way of his explorations.

Which didn’t last much longer. Almost as soon as Haze’s fingers took possession of her again, Pippa’s climax struck. She moaned and writhed on his lap, past caring that he was watching every twitch and shudder from inches away. With his arms holding her so tight, he could feel her orgasm.

Seconds or hours later, Pippa slumped back exhausted in his arms. “Oh my, that was amazing. You’re so good at that,” she panted. Haze looked smug.

Pippa could feel the bulge in Haze’s lap. She looked into his eyes. “Your turn now, but you have to know that I don’t have any protection. I didn’t come on holiday for sex so I didn’t pack anything.”

He chuckled. “No problem. I always have protection. This is San Francisco, after all.”

Pippa got up, took Haze’s hand and led him into the vast bedroom. The bed itself was the size of a small city park. She undressed him slowly, stroking and kissing every inch of skin as it appeared. His body was as good as she’d imagined. When she gently pulled down Haze’s undershorts, his erection was finally released. In Pippa’s limited experience it looked wonderful. She took it in her hand and squeezed it gently. Haze sighed. “That feels so good.”

Pippa smiled up at him. “Do you want me to carry on doing this or would you like to, um…?”

“‘Um’, please. There’s a pack of condoms in my back pocket.”

Pippa rummaged in his jeans and produced the little box, then extricated a foil wrapper from it. Excitement made her hands shake and it took her several attempts to open it, but finally she was unrolling the condom down the length of Haze’s erection. “Would you like anything special?”

Haze pulled Pippa to her feet and put his arms around her, his erection nudging against her belly. “Just you. That’s all I want.”

Pippa clambered onto the acres of bed and rolled onto her back. Haze hoisted himself up after her, then carefully stretched out on top of her. She gazed tenderly up at him, put her arms around his neck and eased her thighs apart. Haze shifted position until he was at the perfect angle, then slowly slid into her. Pippa’s eyes closed and her mouth sighed open. ”That’s so lovely.”

“I’m glad you think so,” murmured Haze. “And it’s going to get better.”


Pippa shook herself back to the here and now. For some strange reason the piles of paperwork on her desk couldn’t hold her attention. San Francisco might be three weeks in the past but the memories of Haze were as sharp and vivid as ever. And as arousing. It was just as well her new suite had been so huge – they’d spent most of the remaining ten days of her holiday in it. The grey and soggy view outside the office window couldn’t compare to the view from her balcony. Nor the sight of Haze’s eyes gazing lovingly into hers while he thrust deep inside her.

She shook herself again. Her next holiday with Haze was months away so she had to stop daydreaming or risk losing her job. Concentrate! Sighing, she picked up the next invoice.

A disturbance from the direction of Mr Frank’s office was a welcome interruption. Less welcome was the procession making its way to her desk with Mr Frank in the lead. What have I done now?

“Pippa, Mr Donati here is a lawyer from the US. He has something he’d like to discuss with you. You can use the boardroom.”

All eyes in the office followed Pippa as she led the way into the boardroom and closed the door. The elderly gentleman helped her to her seat, then eased himself onto a chair. “I’m sorry to call on you at your office, Miss Roberts, but this is quite urgent. First of all, I have to give you some very sad news. Mr Trantor – Haze Trantor – died a few days ago.”

Pippa’s mouth fell open and she lost her breath. The lawyer hoisted himself to his feet, filled a cup of water from the cooler and handed it to her. Her hands shook as she took a sip. “What happened? Was it an accident?”

“No, it was natural causes. Haze – Mr Trantor – had an aneurism deep in his brain that ruptured. All the major blood vessels in his brain were riddled with them for some reason. A rupture was inevitable. The only unknown was precisely when it would happen.”

“Did Haze know that?” whispered Pippa.

“Oh, yes. He’d known for several years. That was why he gave up work. He couldn’t see the point of trying to make yet more money when he wouldn’t be around to enjoy it.” The man paused. “This isn’t a complete surprise to you, is it?”

Pippa shook her head. “I knew something wasn’t right. Haze didn’t say the right things. For instance, if you tell a man he’d make a great father, most men will joke about it. Haze just looked at me. I didn’t think anything of it at the time but now... it makes sense.” She realised that her cheeks were wet and wiped her face. “He was a good man. And it was good of you to come all this way.”

“That’s not the main reason I’m here. Haze named you the sole beneficiary of his estate.”

Pippa gaped at him, then laughed through her tears. “So he did manage to spend it all in the end? Good for him. What’s left – his rollerblades?”

The man smiled. “Those were right at the top of the list. Followed by six properties around the world, assorted stocks, bonds, goods and chattels and a sum of money as well.” He slid a piece of paper across to her. “This is the approximate value of Haze’s estate in pounds sterling.”

Pippa’s jaw dropped. “Are you sure this isn’t a telephone number?” He smiled wider and shook his head. Pippa shook hers in return. “That’s ridiculous. I can’t accept all that. Not for ten days’… companionship.”

He extracted an envelope from his case. “Haze asked me to give you this when the time came.”

It was addressed simply Pippa in Haze’s carefree scrawl. It held a single sheet of paper which she unfolded to reveal two words.

Thank you.

Pippa stared at the letter for a long time. “I’ll keep this if I may. That’s all I want.”

“I must ask you to be clear. Are you saying that you refuse Haze’s bequest?”

Pippa knew she had to reply formally. “Yes, I do. I don’t want any of it. I did nothing to deserve it.”

Mr Donati nodded. “Haze thought you would say that. In which case, his estate passes to his father.”

Pippa also nodded. “That makes much more sense.”

“Mr Trantor senior has given instructions that if you refuse Haze’s bequest, it is to be held in trust and you will receive the income from it.” He slid another piece of paper over. “This is an estimate of the likely annual income at today’s market rates.”

The new figure was only slightly smaller than the first.

“What you do with that is, of course, entirely up to you. Mr Trantor also gave me a letter of his own for you.” He handed over a second envelope. It too contained a single sheet.

Thank you for making Haze happy again. No money could buy the peace you brought him.

Pippa wiped her eyes. “I’d give it all away right now to bring Haze back.”

Mr Donati sighed. “Don’t mourn Haze, my dear. Celebrate him. Understand how important you were to him. You brought contentment to his final days. Be proud of that, and of yourself.”

Alone in the boardroom, Pippa smiled damply. Typical Haze. Giving me far too much. He never understood why it always made me mad. Well, I can’t force him to take it back now.

Her head lifted. All right then. I’ll spend his money the way he would have – making people happy. Not by giving them presents but by giving them opportunities, like he did for Rob and his restaurant. Dresses wear out. Dreams never do.

She raised her cup of water in a silent toast. To Haze. May your legacy never dwindle. She grinned fiercely. And it won’t while I’m in charge!


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

Volume Two

Volume Three

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

If you also like full-length romance novels, you should try

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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