include_once("common_lab_header.php");
Excerpt for Good Apple by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

This page may contain adult content. If you are under age 18, or you arrived by accident, please do not read further.



Good Apple

an adult short story

from the Warming Stories collections

by

Lindsay Debout



Copyright 2019 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.

If the book was free, downloading separate copies for each reader shows your appreciation.

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.

Debbie’s living room was tiny. Six steps took her from wall to wall. She glanced back at her desk. The new program would be easy, if only she could concentrate. Getting code right needed a calm, clear mind. Everything she didn’t have right now.

She glared at the intercom. Sometime soon it would buzz to announce the arrival of her new PC. The thought made her shake and feel sick. Not with excitement at the thought of better kit. Fear at the thought of a man at the door. At least most of the regular deliverymen knew the score by now.

The baseball bat by the desk offered some comfort. Debbie snorted. She had an intelligent layman’s understanding of psychology - enough to know self-delusion when she saw it. Looking round the room, she also recognised the whole home as womb metaphor. That’s fine by me. I’ve no plans to go outside anytime soon. In here I’m safe. In here I’m in control.

Maybe so, but she couldn’t control other people’s schedules. She went into the even tinier kitchen and tried to make coffee. Pouring the milk into the sugar bowl instead of the mug didn’t improve her mood. Hurry up, damn you! You were supposed to be here by now!

Braced for the buzz of the intercom, she jumped and screamed when she heard a knock on the door instead. Fortunately, the mug dropped into the washing-up bowl instead of smashing on the floor.

Heart hammering and breath short, she sidled up to the door and peered through the spyhole. A total stranger was standing patiently outside, looking around with mild interest. He was tidily dressed in everyday clothes rather than the usual grubby overalls. Gripping the bat tightly in one hand, Debbie checked that all the chains were firmly fastened, carefully opened the door to the short stop and stood back.

“Who are you?”

“I’m Orloff. Orloff Peters.” He sounded puzzled, but harmless. Debbie leaned over so she could see through the narrow gap. The man was tallish, darkish and handsomish but all that interested Debbie was, he looked non-threatening. Looks can be deceiving. At his feet was a large box. From the labels she could see, it was the PC she was expecting.

“What do you want?”

She could see he was taken aback by the chilly welcome. “I moved in upstairs last weekend. There was a delivery van outside when I came home from work. The driver was writing a ‘sorry you were out’ card, so I signed for the parcel instead and brought it up.”

Debbie hesitated, but she wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice. “That’ll be the driver from Day One Deliveries. He moaned about having to walk up the stairs last time, and he was only delivering a small package.”

They stared at each other for a few moments. “Would you like me to carry this in for you?” the man offered. “It’s pretty heavy.”

“No!” Debbie’s pulse rate shot up again. “No, thank you. I can manage. Just leave it there.”

She slammed the door and backed away, holding the bat in front of her like a samurai sword.

“Oh. All right. See you.” Even his footsteps sounded bewildered as he went on up the stairs.

Debbie waited a few minutes, then used the spyhole to check that he wasn’t waiting outside to catch her by surprise. The landing was deserted. Unhooking the short chains, she opened the door far enough for a look around. The stairs were deserted as well so after unhooking the long chains, she had the door open, the box indoors and the door closed and chained again in under five seconds.

Practice makes perfect.



Setting up the new PC kept her busy for an hour, giving her nerves time to settle down again. Which made it even more of a shock when there was another knock at the door. Her nerves splintered as usual. “Who is it?” she shouted, trying to keep the panic out of her voice.

“It’s Orloff again.”

“Now what do you want?”

“Well for a start, can you at least come closer to the door so we don’t have to shout?”

Yeah, right. “No! Go away or I’ll call the police!”

Silence. Debbie snatched up the baseball bat. This time she held the bat over her shoulder, ready to bring down on any intruder’s head.

More silence. She began to relax, then stiffened again when she heard shuffling outside the door.

“It’s me, dear. Marjorie.” She recognised the voice of her neighbour across the landing. Putting down the bat, she checked through the spyhole and opened the door to the long stop. The middle-aged woman outside smiled at her. “I had Orloff round for tea last night and he seems a nice young man. I don’t think you need to worry about him.”

Debbie gave her a small smile back. “Right. Thanks for telling me, Marjorie.”

The woman leaned forward and lowered her voice. “He seems a nice young man,” she repeated. “Why don’t you invite him in?”

Debbie’s face froze. She fought the urge to slam the door in the woman’s face. “I’m not ready yet.”

“You can’t stay shut up in there forever.”

I don’t see why not. She forced another smile. “When the time feels right… You understand.”

The woman sighed, turned and shuffled her slippers back to her own flat. Debbie watched her go, desperate to shut the door but not wanting to be rude to her neighbour. Why can’t you mind your own business? Okay, it’s nice that you worry about me, but it’s my life and not yours.

A movement on the stairs caught her attention. This morning’s stranger appeared on the landing. Debbie squeaked and slammed the door, hands flying over the chains to fasten them. Peering through the peephole she saw her neighbour beckon the man over to her flat and take him inside.

She’s going to tell him about me. Go on, have a good laugh. At least it’ll stop him bothering me.

She went back to her desk and slumped in the chair. He did look nice, though. She shook her head. So did Davey, and look how that turned out.



A few hours later, Debbie started the final round of tests on the new program. Work kept her sane – more sane, anyway. She knew she didn’t behave like a normal person. She knew why. She knew what to do about it, but ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ were not the same thing. Not yet.

A rustling noise distracted her. Looking round, she spotted a piece of paper sliding under her door. Obviously someone was outside but trying not to draw attention to himself.

If I don’t make a noise, whoever it is won’t know I’m here. Debbie crept over to the door and silently lifted the paper. It was a handwritten note.

Marjorie told me I frightened you. I’m so sorry. Can I buy you dinner to make up for it? Text me on 909555143

Debbie gaped at the note. Go out to dinner? With a total stranger? Does he think I’m an idiot?

You can’t tar every man with the same brush.

Maybe not, but you also can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys just by looking at them. Anyway, if he knows all about me then he knows I won’t leave my flat to go out with a stranger.

He’ll stay a stranger if you don’t go out with him.

Stalemate. To her surprise, Debbie began to feel… melancholy. Wistful. Is this what the rest of my life is going to be like? I don’t want to be alone forever. I have to start meeting people again. If not… Orloff, then who?

She shook her head. Not so soon. Maybe one day, but not yet. I need to get to know him first. But how do I do that without going out with him? And how do I explain all that in 140 characters? A thought occurred. Hurrying over to her desk, she scribbled a reply on the back of his note and slid it halfway under the door, then got out her phone and sent him a text.

See note under door

A few minutes later, she watched the piece of paper slide out of sight. After a breathless pause, her phone beeped on an incoming text.

Understood. Stay there. Pizza in an hour

That baffled her. How are we going to go out for pizza if I’m not going out?



Precisely an hour later, a subdued banging outside Debbie’s door announced that something was going on. The spyhole revealed her dinner date setting up a folding table outside her door, then putting a pair of pizza boxes down on it. He reached up and knocked on the door. With a confidence that surprised her, she unhooked the short chains and opened the door to the long stop.

“What on Earth are you doing?” she asked, staring out at Orloff through the gap. She actually had to bite back a laugh. That startled her. She hadn’t felt like laughing for years.

“Laying the table. Here.” He slid another table and a folding chair through the gap. “Set that up on your side of the door. We can have dinner together and you can feel safe at the same time. I told Marjorie what I was going to do, so she’ll be keeping an eye on you.”

Debbie hesitated, then set up the table and chair hard against the partly-open door. He passed through one of the pizzas. “Roasted vegetables. I hope that’s okay.”

Debbie opened the box and stared at the contents. As takeaway pizzas go, it was top of the line. Unconsciously she rubbed her hands up and down her hips.

He watched her anxiously. “Is it okay?” he repeated.

She shook herself back to the present. “Uh, yes, it’s fine. I love pizza. It’s just… I have issues with my weight.”

Orloff chuckled. “Don’t all women?” He paused. “Sorry. That was wrong on so many levels. Forgive me.”

Debbie was still staring at the pizza. When his words sank in, she looked up and forced a smile. “Forgiven.” She sat down and started to eat. “Tastes as good as it looks. Thank you.”

Orloff picked up a bag. “I brought a bottle of wine and some glasses as well. Or are you teetotal?”

“No, wine would be lovely.” He reached through the gap and put a glass on her table, then filled it.

He raised his own glass. “Here’s looking at you, kid!”

Debbie couldn’t help smiling as she raised her glass. “And you!” Even if there is a door in the way.

They ate in silence for a few minutes, coping with pizza that was too hot, too greasy and too floppy for polite conversation. Debbie fetched a roll of kitchen towel to do mopping-up duties.

She studied her host from under her eyebrows while picking pieces of pepper out of the pizza box. He’s nice looking. Kind. Nice looking. Polite. Nice looking. Thoughtful. Nice looking. There’s a theme going, isn’t there?

He’s also the first man I’ve met socially since… since I moved in here. And he’s got Marjorie’s seal of approval. Maybe… maybe I can start again.

In which case I mustn’t drive him away, which means don’t let him ask too many questions. Get him talking about himself instead. “You said you’ve only just moved in. What brings you here?”

He sighed and licked his fingers. “I used to work in Lancashire but I was made redundant. The company found me a job down here. I’ve got the flat on a short-term lease in case this job disappears as well.”

“Sorry to hear about that. What is it you do?”

“I’m a researcher, mostly for radio programmes. How about you? What do you do?” He nodded to Debbie’s left hand. “Does it have anything to do with your finger?”

Her breath whooshed out and her heart rate shot up. She stared at her hand, fighting for control.

He must have realized he’d hit a sore spot. “Sorry, there goes my big mouth again. I was asking about your job?”

She forced herself to relax. “I’m a freelance programmer. I work from home.”

“I gathered that,” he said drily, gesturing at the door. “What sort of programming?”

Maybe if I just tell him a bit at a time, it won’t hurt so much. “Anything, really. I write programs in Java, and build websites using HTML5, JavaScript and MySql. My boyfriend broke it.” She tried to keep her breathing level.

Her date didn’t pick up on it right away, but then he did a double-take. He stared at her. “Your boyfriend broke your finger? Deliberately?”

It was too much. Memories overwhelmed Debbie and she jumped to her feet. “Sorry.” She slammed and chained the door, then curled up on her bed, shaking.

After a few minutes her brain cleared enough to start working again. He’s trying to be nice to me. It’s not his fault I’ve got issues. At least I have to make him understand why I’m so messed up.

She crept back to the door. Peering through the spyhole, she fully expected him to have given up, packed up and gone home. In fact he was still there, lounging back on his chair with wineglass in one hand and the last slice of his pizza in the other.

Debbie gaped, then slowly opened the door again. Orloff gestured with his pizza slice. “If you want to talk about it, I’ll listen. If you don’t want to talk about it, I’ll understand.”

She sat down and picked up the next slice of her pizza. So am I going to tell him or not?

After a few minutes’ silence, he took the heavy hint and changed the subject. “I know you work from home, but I assume you go out for shopping and suchlike?”

She shook her head and swallowed her mouthful. “I order online and the supermarket delivers it.”

“Mail?”

“Marjorie has a copy of my mailbox key so she collects my letters when she collects hers.”

He nodded. “And I already know how you get bigger stuff delivered. But surely you have to go out sometimes? Doctors, dentists, that sort of thing?”

“Marjorie and her daughter come with me.” Debbie blanked her mind. “He used to beat me.” She couldn’t do anything to stop her heart rate shooting up again, nor about her sweaty palms.

Orloff’s jaw dropped. “Your boyfriend used to beat you? Why didn’t you just leave him?”

“It’s not that simple.” Debbie took another bite of her pizza, even though she wasn’t feeling hungry any more. A full mouth meant she couldn’t be expected to talk.

“Wow. No wonder you lock yourself in. Shame. It’s beautiful around here. You’ve seen the park and playground across the road, haven’t you? It’s always busy. And there’s a small art gallery on the other side. You should let me take you there sometime. Once you feel up to it, of course.”

He chatted on. His words went over and through Debbie, loosening her tense muscles and calming her mind. Some part of me thinks he’s a good guy. I hope it’s right.

“He starved me as well.” That snippet slipped out almost easily. Most of her mind was on what Orloff was saying, and it rippled only a little as her words slipped past and out into the air.

“Oh my God.” Orloff shook his head, looking sick. “If I’d known, I wouldn’t have made that crack about women and their weight. I’m so sorry.”

“You couldn’t have known.” Now it was in the open, it didn’t hurt so much to carry on. “Davey kept me locked in the house. He told me I was fat and only allowed me to eat his leftovers. If I tried to get into the larder or the fridge…” She shivered.

Orloff’s face was grey. “So you ended up with anorexia.”

Debbie laughed grimly. “Oh, no! Never that. Once I was finally free of him, I couldn’t stop eating. My weight shot up until I really was fat. I had to go on a strict diet – a proper, medically supervised diet – to get back to the right weight. I still crave food, but I keep it under control. Just.”

He looked forlorn. “I’ve done everything wrong, haven’t I? Brought you rubbish food, stirred up all your bad memories… I’ll understand if you want to write me off.”

Debbie smiled, genuinely smiled. “I told you, you couldn’t have known. A treat now and then is fine. I really do love pizza, and maybe the memories need stirring up. I can’t hide from them forever. Tell me some of the things you’ve researched.”

It was a blatant change of subject, but he ran with it. His stories were fascinating, and Debbie was surprised to find she was fascinated. She allowed herself to be entertained.

Pizzas eaten and wine drunk, Orloff leaned back in his chair and sighed. “I took up smoking when I started at university. Big mistake. I gave it up after a few months because it tasted foul, but I still get the cravings. It’s worst after a meal. How about you? Do you smoke?”

“No.” Debbie drew back the sleeve of her baggy jumper. “Davey did.”

Orloff glanced at the burn scars on her arm and looked away quickly. Now he looked green, not grey. He found his voice. “I’m so sorry. Not all men are like that. Just a few bad apples.”

Debbie covered her arm again. “I know. It was my bad luck I met Davey. You understand why I’m not in a hurry to meet anyone else?”

He shook his head sadly and started to pack up. When Debbie passed him the wineglass, he was very careful not to touch her hand. As he fielded the folded table and chair that she slid through the gap, he cleared his throat. “Listen, would you mind if I come down and sit with you in the evening? I don’t know anyone else around here yet, and it’s a bit lonely being stuck in the flat on my own.”

Debbie stared. He doesn’t really think I’m going to let him in, does he? The pizza was good, but not that good.

He must have guessed what she was thinking. “I don’t mean actually come into your flat. I mean I sit here, outside your door. You can keep it closed if you like. It would just be nice to know that… at least someone knew I was here.”

She held his gaze. He flushed and looked away, surprising her yet again. I don’t think that’s an act. I never knew- I never imagined that other people might have trouble dealing with the world.

“That sounds nice. All right. Send me a text before you come down. Please don’t just knock.”

He smiled, relieved. “No problem. See you tomorrow night.”

*

Evenings drifted by. So did the days of course, but there was nothing remarkable about those. It was the evenings that stuck in the mind. Before long, Debbie knew she was in trouble. She began to lose concentration earlier and earlier in the afternoon. Her nerves wound up so that even the quiet beep of Orloff’s text made her jump. Her heart, though… that jumped in a different way. She wasn’t terrified, she was… pleased.

The first few evenings had been tense. Debbie worried about what he would say, what she would say, whether she would sound as worthless as she felt. Finally it dawned on her that Orloff felt the same. I thought all men were brash, arrogant, rude, selfish, cruel, domineering… Maybe they’re not all like that. Maybe most of them are just like us – not that I’m a role model for today’s woman.

A routine developed. She made the coffee while Orloff set up his chair on the landing. Opening the door to its long stop, she set up her own chair next to it and handed Orloff his coffee through the gap. Then they settled down next to each other, door between them, and read. Or listened to music. Sometimes they talked but mostly they sat in silence, simply enjoying each other’s company.

One evening a thought crept out of hiding, one she barely recognised let alone remembered.

I’m happy.



Packing up that same evening, Orloff hesitated. “Um… can I ask you something? I don’t know if you have any plans for the weekend-” Her snort interrupted him. “-but how about you and I sit out in the park tomorrow afternoon? We don’t have to go anywhere else. It’s going to be a sunny day so there will be plenty of people around to keep an eye on you.”

Debbie’s chest tightened again. Go outside? Away from home? With a stranger – well, maybe not a stranger, but I still don’t know him that well. With a man, then?

You’re going to have to start sometime. And with someone. Why not Orloff?

“I’ll think about it. Ask me again tomorrow.”

“Fine! I’ll buy some munchies and we can have a picnic. I’ll send you a text around three.”

*

Orloff’s text arrived next day on the dot of 3pm. Debbie had been ready for hours but her stomach still twisted when she heard the chime. This is it. This is when I decide who’s in control of my life. Head held high and with a firm grip on the unholy fusion of fear and panic bubbling inside, she unfastened all the chains on the door and opened it wide just as Orloff appeared on the landing.

His face lit up when he saw her. “Ready?” He lifted the bag he was holding. “I’ve got the goodies.”

Debbie forced a smile and pulled the door closed behind her. The click echoed around the stairwell. Symbolic. The end of the past and the beginning of the future. Or is it the death of common sense?

Symbolism be… damned. It doesn’t mean anything except the door’s locked.

Slowly she followed Orloff down the stairs to the main entrance. He held it open for her. Taking a deep breath, she stepped forward. Too many painful lessons made her stop in the doorway and look carefully all around for any signs of… danger. Nothing. Staring straight ahead and forcing her mind clear, she took another step. She was outside the building. Out in the open air.

Orloff appeared beside her. To their mutual surprise, Debbie snatched at his hand and held it tight. She was panting with the effort of keeping herself under control. “Don’t say anything yet. Let’s just get across the road and into the park.”

The following fifty yards were the longest and hardest in Debbie’s life. She knew she was in no danger. She knew the other people in the park weren’t interested in her. She knew the screams and shouts were just children playing. Her nerves thought otherwise. Her heart couldn’t go any faster without giving up altogether. When they finally reached a bench and sat down, Orloff had to use his other hand to free the one she was gripping.

He smiled at her while massaging his hand back to life. “To be honest, I was expecting you either to turn me down flat, or to turn around at the main door. You’re really brave, you know that? If you can do this, you can do anything.”

Startled, Debbie stared at him. His smile certainly looked genuine. He’s right, isn’t he? If I can do this, I can do anything. “It’s all thanks to you.”

“No it isn’t. You did it. You had to want to do it. All I did was give you the chance to prove it.”

Suddenly Debbie felt elated. She looked around the pretty park and up at the blue sky. It was a beautiful Autumn day, and she was alongside a beautiful man. Not just beautiful on the outside – although he was very easy on the eye – but beautiful on the inside as well. Her tension ticked back. “I’m starving. What have you got in the bag?”

“By rights it should be cold chicken cold tongue cold ham cold beef pickled gherkins salad French rolls cress sandwiches potted meat ginger beer lemonade soda water and so on.” He gasped for breath. “But in reality it’s a few shop-bought sandwiches and cakes, and some soft drinks.”

Debbie laughed. “Your parents read you The Wind in the Willows when you were young.”

“Whatever gave you that idea? Take your pick.”



Wiping his mouth with a tissue, Orloff stood up. “Are you going to be okay here while I put the rubbish in the bin?”

Debbie burped discreetly. “Pardon me. Yes, I’ll be fine.” To her surprise, she was. She watched him amble across the playground to the bin on the far side. Panic didn’t grip her. She didn’t feel danger lurking in every shadow. All she felt was peace and contentment.

He stopped to talk to one of the mothers sitting on the bench next to the bin. After a few seconds, Debbie surprised herself yet again by getting up and strolling across the playground towards him. She didn’t feel the urge to sprint. She didn’t feel the urge – too much – to keep looking around to see if anyone or anything might be a threat to her.

She was still a few yards away when Orloff realised she was there. He was so obviously thrilled. No-one could have faked that. Excusing himself from his conversation, he came up to meet her. “You made it on your own! I’m proud of you.” He took both her hands in his and squeezed them.

“It’s all thanks to you,” she repeated. “Would you mind if we go now? The breeze is chilling me.”

“Of course.” They turned and walked briskly back towards the block of flats. “I don’t like to ask but I have to know. Where’s Davey now?”

Fear stabbed Debbie, but her buoyant mood stopped it hurting too much. “In prison. He’ll be out on parole next year.” She shivered, mostly because of the cold.

Orloff put his arm around her, pulling her close. “Don’t worry about him. You’re strong enough to deal with him now. And he’ll have to get past me first.”

Debbie should have been alarmed. It sounded as if Orloff was claiming her as his property. And yet she wasn’t alarmed – she was comforted. He wasn’t trying to own her. He was trying to support her.

How do I know that? How do I know he is different from Davey?

How do I know the Sun will rise in the East tomorrow? I just do. How do I know Orloff is different from Davey? I just do. Some things just are.



By the time they reached her flat, Debbie was shivering uncontrollably. The sun had been warm, but the cool breeze had been non-stop. Her hands were shaking so much, Orloff had to unlock the door for her. He handed back the key. “Thanks for a wonderful time. Have a good evening and I’ll see you tomorrow.” He turned to go, but Debbie grabbed his arm and towed him into her flat before her brain could put up a fight.

“M-make us c-coffee while I get the d-duvet off my b-bed.”

She covered herself in the duvet and sat shivering on the small settee in her living room. Orloff handed her a mug of coffee. “Have you got a hot water bottle I can fill for you?”

“N-no. I-I don’t n-normally get this cold. I-I don’t l-leave the f-flat, remember?”

Orloff took off his jacket. “Budge up. If you’re already cold then the duvet won’t help. I’ll sit behind you as a human hot water bottle.”

The room froze for a moment – nothing to do with the temperature. Holding hands is one thing. Cuddling under a duvet is something else. Do I want to let him get so close so soon?

You mean after only two weeks of sitting either side of a door? It’s not exactly rushing things!

She put down her mug and sat up. Orloff sat down behind her, legs either side of her. She shuffled back against him. His arms went around her waist and she pulled the duvet close again.

His body felt wonderfully warm against her back. His arms enclosed her protectively. His breath brushed her hair and tickled her ear. She shivered again.

“Still cold?” He started to rub his hands up and down her arms. As he did so, his arms bumped gently against her breasts. His head dipped forward until his face was resting against her hair. “You smell wonderful, you know that?”

One hand moved off an arm and onto a breast. It rested there for a moment, then slowly began to explore. Debbie’s heart began to pound. I was wrong. He’s no different. He does only want my body. He’s going to take it. He’s going to take me. He’s just like Davey. They’re all like Davey.

She tried to put a brake on her racing thoughts. Of course they’re not all like Davey. Orloff’s a man, I’m a woman, he’s bound to want to do things to me. With me. It’s only natural.

She tried to relax, but every muscle was locked. She fought the urge to leap off the couch, to run and hide. I can’t do this. I can’t cope with another Davey. “Please don’t.”

Orloff lifted his hand at once. “I’m sorry. It’s just… you’re so beautiful. Do you want me to go?”

He stopped right away! Not like Davey. All right. So do I want him to go? I didn’t mind what he was doing. I’m afraid of what he might do.

“You stopped when I asked. That matters to me. A lot.”

“I will always stop if you ask. Whatever it is I’m doing. I’m sorry I didn’t ask your permission first. That was very rude of me.”

Startled, Debbie had to laugh. “No-one’s ever asked my permission before!”

“Well, they should have. If nothing else, it’s simply good manners.”

I shouldn’t let him do that sort of thing to me. I shouldn’t let myself enjoy it.

Why not? Why shouldn’t I enjoy it? It is my own body after all! “Go ahead,” she murmured.

He slid both hands lightly over her breasts. The sensations slid through her. She stiffened again, then relaxed back against him. A long-forgotten pulse started in her lap. “Harder,” she whispered.

Orloff pressed more firmly. He cupped and squeezed her breasts. Debbie’s breathing deepened. Another squeeze made her sigh. Orloff responded by sliding one hand down the front of her jumper and back up underneath. It moved over her bra. Only thin cotton separated his skin from hers. She sighed again, and his other hand slid up under her jumper to join in the fun.

More minutes passed. To her shame, Debbie realised that her nipples were hard. Orloff’s fingers found them, stroking, tweaking and gently pinching them. The sensations grew, sending ripples through her. The pulse in her lap beat stronger. Debbie’s heartrate and temperature soared and she had to flip the duvet down.

Now the whole world could see Orloff’s hands moving under her clothes. The whole world could see her letting him do it. He caught hold of the hem of her jumper and tugged it up. He’s trying to undress me! I mustn’t let him do that! This isn’t a fantasy! Her shaky self-esteem finally stood up for itself. Oh, shut up and sod off, world! This is what I want. She leaned forward and lifted her arms so he could pull the jumper off over her head, then leaned back against him.

“May I?” he asked. She took hold of his hands and put them back on her breasts. He didn’t ask again.

After a few more minutes, she felt his fingers hook under the bottom edge of her bra cups and start to lift them up. “You won’t like it,” she mumbled. He didn’t take the hint. She opened her mouth to say Stop! She closed it again. I don’t want him to stop. I’m just scared of what he’ll think. Panic began to rise, along with her bra. “You won’t like it!” He ignored her and pulled the bra up until her breasts were fully exposed. In silence he stared down over her shoulder at them. She squeezed her eyes shut, dreading what would come next. The disgust in his voice. The contempt. The loathing.

“You. Are. So. Beautiful,” he breathed. His hands went back to her breasts and stroked softly over her bare skin. He caught her exposed nipples between his fingers, teasing and pinching them gently. “God, you’re lovely. How could anyone possibly not like them?”

“Well… the hairs.”

“You mean these?” He tugged gently on one of the strands bordering the dark circles of her areolae. “What’s wrong with them? The hair on your head is thick and dark, so you’re going to see it in other places as well. Millions of women are like that. Personally…” he leaned lower and put his mouth next to her ear. “… I think it’s sexy. It shows you’re a real woman, not someone pretending to be a plastic doll.” He caught the top of her ear between his teeth and nipped it. She shivered.

Davey called me a walking monkey. He said I must be an animal because I’m so hairy.

Maybe it’s time I stopped believing everything Davey said. Maybe it’s time I started believing the exact opposite of everything Davey said.

“I don’t think we need this anymore.” Orloff pulled up her bra. She hesitated, then raised her arms so he could lift it over her head and drop it on the floor. Now he had free access. Now she let him.

Minutes passed while Orloff explored her body. He didn’t seem to be any rush. His hands cupped, stroked, kneaded, scratched, pinched… All the while a part of her mind kept nagging, kept telling her to stop him, to stop herself. The rest of her mind had the casting vote. If not now, when? If not Orloff, who? And whose decision is it anyway? Mine, that’s whose.

The internal argument got louder when a hand started drifting down across her bare belly. She put a hand over it, and it stopped moving at once. Instead Orloff started to stroke his other hand higher, caressing her chest and throat. Why the Hell did I stop him? Am I protecting my modesty? A bit late for that! Am I afraid he might hurt me? If that was what he had in mind, he’s going the long way around. Am I ashamed to admit I want him to go lower? Yes, but why should that matter? For Goodness’ sake, I’m a grown woman! No-one has the right to tell me what to do!

Quickly she unzipped her jeans and pushed them down before she could change her mind. Her knickers followed. After kicking both garments off her feet, she was naked in his arms.

“Are you sure about this?” murmured Orloff.

“No, but I want you to do it anyway.”

“I’ll stop any time you say, all right? That’s a promise.”

He slowly stroked his hand down her belly. When his fingers tangled in her curls, he sighed happily. “Wonderful. I took it for granted you shaved down there. I never understood why so many women want to look like toddlers. I love the thought of a woman who looks like a woman.”

Debbie opened her mouth to reply, but swallowed hard instead when his fingers slid further down and over her softness. He explored her delicately, tracing along the lips and folds, dipping his finger between them to gather the moisture there. A fingertip found the entrance to her body, but he didn’t try to penetrate her. Instead he drew his fingers back up the length of her slit until it reached the hard little pebble hidden at the top.

He began to stroke it gently. Powerful pulses of pleasure surged through Debbie’s body. She began to breath heavy. Her muscles twitched, making her sigh. Her hips lifted.

Without warning, Orloff pressed harder and rubbed faster. The surge of pleasure powered to a peak and an intense orgasm overwhelmed Debbie. She gasped, shook and shuddered in his arms, unable to hide the effect of the climax on her body. Orloff would know what had happened to her.

A long time later, she slumped back. She began to sob, hiding her face in her hands and cringing away from him. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I couldn’t help it! Please don’t hit me!”

Orloff said nothing, just held her close and cuddled her until she calmed down.

“Are you seriously telling me that Davey beat you for having an orgasm?”

Debbie wiped her eyes with the corner of the duvet. “Yes. He said only whores and sluts let themselves go like that.”

“Oh. My. God. That is so… evil. Women are meant to have orgasms – that’s the only thing the clitoris is for. Most men – most normal men – love to think they can make their partner come. I love to think I can make you come. It’s the biggest compliment you can pay any man.” He leaned back and tried to stretch. “Sorry, I need to stand up. Bits of me have seized.”

Debbie leaned forward so he could disentangle himself. Hurriedly she pulled up the duvet to cover herself while he stood up and stretched properly. He turned towards the tiny kitchen. “I’m going to have the bottle of pop if I may. Unless you want it?”

She shook her head and watched him walk away. I let him do it. I let him touch me everywhere. I let him bring me off. And I don’t care! If he ever wants to do it again, I’ll let him! She sat up straighter. He’ll want to do more. Am I ready for that yet? It’s not something you can decide at the last minute. That wouldn’t be fair on him. It would be asking for trouble as well.

Orloff reappeared in the kitchen doorway carrying a small, shaped bottle. Terror instantly overwhelmed Debbie. “Stay away from me!” she screamed, lunging off the settee. Snatching up the baseball bat she swung it at Orloff’s head.

The moment she screamed Orloff turned towards the front door, expecting to see someone coming through it. The movement saved his skull. The bat swept across his ear instead, almost tearing it off. Whirling, he stared at Debbie open-mouthed as she swung the bat at him again. This time he saw the blow coming and was able to parry it. Edging towards the front door he protected his head with one arm while he wrestled with the chains. Debbie followed, screaming incoherently and raining blows on him. Finally, Orloff gave up trying to get out of the flat and dodged into the kitchen instead, slamming the door and leaning against it. Debbie beat at it with the bat.



The WPC rubbed Debbie’s back gently while she shivered on a chair with the duvet around her. “It’s all right, you’re safe. Nothing’s going to happen to you. Do you want a cup of coffee?”

Debbie shook her head, still rocking on the chair and shaking with reaction. Everything good that had happened in the last few weeks had been blown away in a few horrible moments. She was right back where she started. Worse, she’d lashed out at the one man who’d shown any real affection for her. Who’d treated her kindly. Who’d tried to help her. “Is Orloff going to be all right?”

“Oh, I’m sure he’ll be fine. The paramedics are giving him a thorough check-up. If they think he needs to go to hospital, they’ll take him.” A male PC appeared in the doorway. “Excuse me a moment. I won’t go out of sight.”

The woman went over to her colleague and they had a quiet conversation. She came back and sat down again. “Mr Peters is fine. He’s got lots of heavy bruising and maybe a cracked rib, but nothing too serious. He refused to go to hospital.” She paused. “He also refused to tell us what happened. He claims it was all just a misunderstanding. Your neighbour called us when she heard you screaming, but she didn’t see anything. What really happened? Did Mr Peters attack you?”

Shocked, Debbie gaped at her. “Orloff attack me? It wasn’t like that at all. He’d… we’d…” She blushed. “I mean, everything was fine. He went to the kitchen to get himself a drink but when he came back with a Coke bottle, I panicked and started hitting him the bat. I’m so sorry.”

The woman was trying to swallow a smile. “You have a phobia about Coke bottles?”

Debbie stared into the cesspit of her memories. “My ex attacked me with one. He raped me with it. Front and back. When I saw the bottle in Orloff’s hand…” She shivered even more.

The WPC wasn’t smiling now. She put her arms around Debbie and gave her a long hug. “Mr Peters isn’t making a complaint against you. Do you want to make a complaint against him?”

Debbie snorted and shook her head.

“In that case, we won’t get involved this time. But listen, if it happens again then we will have to get involved. Whoever might or might not have started it. Do you understand?”

Debbie nodded. The WPC patted her on the arm and handed her a card. “If you want someone to talk to, if you want any help at all, call me at the station.” She left.



Twenty minutes later, Debbie heard shuffling outside her door. She assumed it was Marjorie, so she jumped when she heard Orloff’s voice.

“Debbie? It’s me. Orloff. I just wanted to say I’m sorry for scaring you.”

Still shrouded in the duvet, she went to the door and opened it all the way. She gaped at the bruises on Orloff’s hands and the bandage around his head. “You’re sorry? After I what I did to you?”

“The WPC explained why you panicked.” He looked sick. “I’m so sorry. If only I’d known…”

They held each other’s gaze for a long time. “Can we start this afternoon again?” asked Debbie wistfully. “It was wonderful right up to the last bit.”

He smiled. “It’s a bit too cold and dark to be sitting in the park, but I’d like that too.”

“Come in and I’ll make us some tea. It won’t be much.” She led the way back into her flat. “And I’d better put my clothes back on.”



There wasn’t much food in the flat, but neither of them were very hungry anyway. After clearing up, they sat together on the settee. Debbie tried to hold Orloff’s hand but it was too tender. She had to be content with letting him rest his hand on hers. Whose fault is that anyway?

Both jumped when there was a knock at the door. Orloff limped over and peered through the spyhole, then to Debbie’s horror he opened the door without asking her first.

The WPC was back. “I have some news that I think you should hear, Miss Crown.”

Debbie nodded and the woman came in, eyeing Orloff with curiosity as she passed him.

“You’ll want some privacy,” he said and turned to leave the flat.

“Please stay,” said Debbie. She turned back to the young woman. “It’s probably better for everyone if Orloff and I don’t have any secrets from each other.” They all smiled.

The WPC spoke. “I believe you know David Miller?” The smiles vanished.

Debbie shuddered. Orloff quickly hobbled around the settee and rested a hand on her shoulder.

“I thought so. When I was writing my report back at the station, I looked you up. The case notes led me to your ex. It seems he got into a fight in jail last month. He died in hospital last week.”



Alone again, Debbie and Orloff sat in shocked silence. Finally, she broke it. “Is it wicked of me to be glad he’s dead? To hope there is a Hell so he can rot in it forever?”

Orloff put an arm around her. “Forgiveness works for some people, but it doesn’t mean they’re better people. It’s what helps them get on with their lives, that’s all. Of course you hate Davey, but now you don’t have to waste your time doing even that. He won’t be squatting in your head any more. You’re free to do what you want and go where you want.”

Debbie looked at him thoughtfully, then smiled. Really smiled. The depression, the paranoia, the bad memories, the suppressed terror, all evaporated. “I will. And I’d like you to come with me.”

He smiled back. “Anywhere.”



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





Download this book for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-26 show above.)