Chapter 1

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Fiction, Slow, Violent, .

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Michael Stewart does a good turn for a homeless family on Christmas Eve. As he supports the family he is drawn to the abused, pretty mother, and into the family's problems. Life would not be the same after this, he thought. Little did he know how different it would be.

Sorry Mr Crosby, it's no use dreaming of a white Christmas where Michael Stewart lived. The North West of England is mild. You're lucky to get snow at all during the winter, and certainly it's rare at the festive time. So that early Christmas Eve afternoon was grey, slightly damp and warm for the time of year.

Michael owned a small company, 'Stewart Research and Development', researching and providing specialist electronic devices of various kinds, dedicated computers really, the sort that go into washing machines, cars, mobile phones and all sorts of industrial machines. Michael Stewart was his name but everyone except his mother called him Mike.

He was leaving the office where he'd been checking on the progress of a long debugging programme they were going to leave running over the holiday period.

The rest of the staff had gone to the pub at lunchtime and he had told them he did not expect them back. It was no hardship to stay in the office when everyone else was enjoying the afternoon. He would be going back to an empty house, as he had every night since his wife left him over six months earlier after four years together. Somehow to be alone on Christmas Eve seemed worse than other days.

His older sister Catherine was not returning from the USA until the next day, Christmas Day, on the overnight flight arriving early morning at six thirty. They would have Christmas Day and Boxing Day together though he suspected she would want to sleep off her jet-lag before they had Christmas dinner together. On the twenty seventh she would be off to their parents' house in Troon on the west coast of Lowland Scotland.

Christmas Day is a day for family celebrations and he had everything ready for Catherine. He had made mince pies the day before and a cake a month earlier. Catherine liked his mince pies. The wine cellar was full to bursting and he had bought some very expensive port, a drink she loved, as well as a variety of soft drinks.

He had also stocked the freezer and the fridge so he would not need to shop until the New Year, when he would be journeying north to Troon to join the family for the Hogmanay celebrations.

The whole family: Catherine, Mike's brother and his wife with their two teenage boys, and his younger sister and her partner would be there, joining his mother and father who always hosted the celebrations. Mike's parents were retired and his father had sold up his business to leave him, shall we say, well placed for the rest of his life. The house was large, large enough for the whole family and with room to spare.

Mike had bought a Christmas tree and decorated it the day before Christmas Eve. His family had never put up decorations until the eve of the feast, but this time he had suspected he would not have time any nearer the day.

He had visited Duncan House earlier in the day and given out Christmas presents to the folk there. Since his ex-wife's departure, he had been visiting The House twice a week giving a hand with the more disabled residents and having a laugh with the more aware.

The place was a home for adults who were disabled mentally or physically, where they helped each other, and though there were members of staff on the premises, the residents had as much a measure of independence as they could manage.

He always thought going there was more a privilege than a duty; it put his own comfortable though lonely life into some sort of perspective. Indeed he would have gone there on Christmas Day if Catherine had not been coming.

He had to visit the supermarket that lunchtime for some last minute supplies he had forgotten. He took the car so he could leave the stuff in it, and left it in the supermarket car park while he walked back and closed up shop, set the alarm and locked up the office car park.

Dusk was falling as he began the quarter mile walk back to the supermarket. It began to rain and the rain became heavier the further he progressed. He avoided the crowded main street, preferring to walk along the parallel back street which was deserted.

He was quickening his walk to get out of the rain he saw a young girl walking towards him. She was dressed in jeans and a white crop-top that left a gap at her midriff. The top was nearly transparent from the rain. The girl was clearly distressed and was crying, and as Mike got nearer he stopped in horror. Her cheek showed a livid bruise and her lip was swollen on one side.

She could only have been about fourteen years old.

She stopped in front of him.

"Please, can you... ?" was all she said.

"Good God," he gasped. "What's happened to you? An accident? Why are you out here in the pouring rain? Where are your parents?"

"Please?" she repeated. "My Mum ... Sister ... Brother..." She turned away.

"Wait!' he said. "What's your name?"

The girl turned back to him. "Shania Sonter," came the reply. The girl stood waiting, sniffing and sobbing.

"Tell, me, Shania, What's happened and how can I help?"

The girl smiled a lop-sided smile with some hope dawning in her tired, wet eyes.

"It's my dad," she said. "He beat Mum up last night, and I tried to stop him. We've run away."

She turned away and gestured to a spot about fifty yards behind her at the entrance to a yard behind one of the shops.

"Show me." he said, and she immediately took his hand and led him to a dark corner of a yard under a small wooden roofed area where the shop's waste bins were housed. There, huddled in a shivering group was a woman, a younger girl and a little boy.

The woman was sitting on a large suitcase and the girl on a smaller one. The boy was on his mother's knee, fast asleep.

As Mike came to a stop in front of the little tableau, he was struck by the silence of the group. The woman looked up and he couldn't help his angry intake of breath.

The woman's right eye was nearly closed and a nasty blue, black, yellow bruise was spreading round the socket. Her lip was swollen like her daughter's and had been bleeding, her nose also. She looked up into his eyes blankly, vacantly.

"He did it last night," Shania said matter-of-factly. "Came home drunk again. He was shouting at Mum and I heard the fight start, so I went downstairs. He was punching and kicking Mum, so I jumped on him, but elbowed me off and knocked me down. Then he hit me and I got a kicking as well.

"We got out when he fell asleep, before he woke up. Been walking ever since. We've nowhere to go." Her comments were delivered staccato in a hopeless tone.

"You have now," he growled. "Wait here. Don't move."

The woman was suddenly animated.

"Please not the police! They didn't help last time. They'll take my children away!"

"Not the police," he snapped. "I live alone. I've plenty of room. You'll stay with me."

It was true. He'd had the house built when a very lucrative contract was signed off. Cheryl, his ex-wife had badgered him for it.

The woman shook her head. "I couldn't. I don't know you."

"Listen," he said with rather more patience, after all he was not angry with her.

"One, from what I can see, things can't get worse than they are now; two, I have a spare mobile phone so you can call for help if I'm an axe murderer; three, your man will never find you where I live so you'll be safe. You can stay as long as you need to get back on your feet."

"We've no money; we can't pay you. You'd be better leaving us alone."

"Do you want me to leave you alone?"

Silence.

"That's settled then. Wait here. I'll get the car."

To his surprise, they were still there when he drove back to them. He put their cases in the boot and watched as the oldest girl helped her mother put the two young ones in the car before getting in themselves. The children were in the back, and woman in the front.

They belted themselves into the seats, Shania doing it for the younger ones, and he drove off. The journey would take about thirty minutes along the busy roads.

"I'm Mike Stewart."

"Claire Sonter. My oldest is Shania, and then Ginny who's eight and the youngest is Ryan, five. I don't understand why you're doing this. You don't know us."

"Time for explanations later. I'm well off; I live alone; I have a big house. There's plenty of room. It will be good to have some company at this time of year. Reason enough, Christmas is not a comfortable time for us loners."

They arrived at the house and the passengers gasped as the drive lights came on and the gates opened as they approached. He had been telling them the truth; it was a very large house. The house was automated, so as they left the car the hall lights came on and the front door opened.

"You said you lived alone?" The woman, Claire, began to look worried. Who had opened the door?

"It's automated. See?" he showed her the control on his key ring and she relaxed.

He led them to the warm living room and they sat down on the first of two large sofas. They were still in their outdoor clothes.

"Take your coats off," he said. "I'll make some tea. Will the children have juice? I've not much in for children at the moment. I'll need to do a bit of shopping tomorrow." He'd forgotten there would be no shops open on Christmas Day. He'd also forgotten the array of soft drinks he had bought in case Catherine preferred them.

Claire nodded, and began to take the coats from the younger children. Shania who had no coat and was still wet through, followed him into the kitchen.

"Mr Stewart?" she whispered.

He looked at her. "Call me Mike," he said, "OK?"

She nodded, smiling at him.

"Thank you for taking us in. I didn't know what to do. Can I help?"

He directed her to the appropriate cupboards and together they made a pot of tea and she filled two glasses with orange juice.

"Two?" he asked.

"May I have tea?" she asked shyly.

"Of course you may."

He smiled at the polite use of the word 'may' instead of 'can' and reached down another mug into which she poured a splash of milk.

While they waited for the tea to brew, he pointed her to biscuits which she placed on a plate. They poured the tea and returned to the living room. The scene that greeted them was touching. Claire was fast asleep, lying on the sofa, her arm round Ginny who slept by her side, and Ryan lying on top of her.

Shania went to wake her mother, but he touched her arm and whispered, "Let them sleep a little. Let's sit and drink our tea. Have a biscuit or two Shania."

"I'm so glad you found us." she said at length.

"I rather think you found me!" he grinned and she coloured up. "Don't be embarrassed. You were brave. You were trying to look after your mother and your sister and brother, and you've succeeded."

"I was feared to ask you. I didn't know what to do."

"Yes, you looked frightened to death! All the braver for that. Now you can forget that part. Your family are here because of your courage. That's all you need to remember."

She looked up and smiled. She was shivering and it was then that he realised that both she and he were both still very damp from standing so long in the rain without coats. He shivered in his turn though the house was warm.

"Finished your tea?" he asked and she nodded.

"Come on then. You need to get dry."

Immediately she looked uncertain.

"I'm going to show you to your room," he reassured her. "I'll give you some towels and a bathrobe, and a nightdress that will probably be too big for you. I'll show you where the bathroom is. Then I'll leave you to shower or bathe. There's a lock on the bathroom and on your room door."

She exhaled and smiled, following him upstairs.

The house had six bedrooms. The stairs came up in the centre of the house and there was a corridor to left and right at the top. The main bedrooms at each end of the corridor were in fact suites, with a small living area and a roomy bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and an en-suite bathroom.

Mike's room was the one at the left hand end. The room at the right end had a connecting door to a single bedroom which could also be accessed from the corridor and would have made a convenient nursery. Indeed it was that for which he had designed it. Between these three rooms were three more double bedrooms, each with a queen-sized bed. Opposite these bedrooms there was a spacious bathroom, separate toilet and a large airing cupboard.

He showed her to her bedroom which had a four-poster bed, a built in wardrobe, a dressing table with stool and an easy chair. Her eyes grew wide. She sat on the bed while Mike got things together for her.

"Awesome!" was her only comment as he stood by while she swept into the bathroom, grinned at him and shut the door. She did not lock it and he smiled at her trust. He went to his room, stripped, towelled himself off and dressed in dry clothes.

He went to the airing cupboard on the landing and laid out bedding and towels in the other rooms. Then he brought the suitcases up to the right hand suite. Next came the bedding. It took half an hour to make up the beds. and Mike was starting to feel tired.

He sat on the last bed, probably Ryan's he thought, and suddenly the enormity of what he had done came home to him. Over the six months since Cheryl had left him he'd settled into a comfortable bachelor routine.

He spent more time working, he reclaimed friends that he had lost because Cheryl didn't like them. He visited his older brother George, wife Mary and their family, and his younger sister Ann, and he emailed his older sister weekly. She was married to a Yank and lived in the States. He visited his friends at the Home.

He went drinking monthly with his staff on Fridays after work; they were a team and it was a team-building event – that was his story and he was sticking to it! Other Fridays he hit the city with his friend Tom.

Tom was a university friend who had also fancied Cheryl but felt he had had a lucky escape when she married Mike. He was right, Mike thought. After the split, Tom took Mike out most weekends. Tom was a womaniser of complete enthusiasm and not a little skill.

Mike wasn't so committed, but thanks to Tom's efforts invariably found a pretty woman in his bed on many a Sunday morning. The women they picked up had no illusions about commitment: they wanted an luxury evening with a rich bloke. They paid for the flashy car, expensive dinner and clubbing in the benefactor's bed, where Mike was sure they feigned orgasms on at least some occasions.

Michael Stewart had never been an impulsive man. He was circumspect in all his business dealings. He got the best gas and electricity tariffs. He spent weeks and months over the purchase of a new car or kitchen appliance.

Yet suddenly here he was with a woman of roughly his own age, early thirties, and her three children in his house and set to stay for a while. He knew he had acted impulsively out of anger at her husband's violence and bullying. That said, he had passed many an illegal immigrant begging at the side of the street, but had felt no inclination to invite any of them home.

He went downstairs where Claire and the youngsters were still sleeping. Looking at Claire's bruised and swollen face and the innocence of the two cherubs sleeping with her he knew he'd done the right thing. After all, wasn't the Christian message of Christmas about a homeless family forced to live in a shack? There was room in his inn; he could offer more to them than a stable and he started to feel warm and good about this change in his life. Life would not be the same after this, he thought. Little did he know how different it would be.

The tea was cold, so he made some more and brought it to the living room where Claire was. He called her name quietly but there was no response, so he touched her shoulder. Her reaction was dramatic. Her eyes flew open with a look of sheer terror and she flinched visibly. Then she realised where she was and relaxed. She smiled.

"Perhaps you'd like see your rooms?" he suggested gently. "Shania is having a bath. I'll bring your tea up."

She nodded and smiled a lop-sided smile with her swollen lip. He picked up little Ryan who woke and snuggled into his chest, and Claire got up and took the boy from him. Then Mike took the tea, and they ascended the stairs together, leaving Ginny sleeping on the sofa.

Claire gasped when she saw her suite. "It's huge!" she said quietly.

Mike showed her the second bedroom opening off it.

"For Ryan," he said. "Ginny can have the next-door room. Shania is in the one after that. I'm in a room like this one at the other end of the house. I'll leave you to unpack and sort Ryan out."

He put the car away and brought in his briefcase. Then he found some homemade pizza in the freezer and put the oven on to cook it. He chose a bottle of red wine and opened it to breathe. He knew that most modern wines do not need such treatment but old habits die hard. In the pantry he found some lemonade bottles from when George and his family last visited, and he wondered if Shania and Ginny liked the stuff.

By the time the pizza was about ready, Claire arrived downstairs with Ryan who looked freshly washed and was in a pair of pyjamas. Claire had cleaned her own face up and had changed into a pretty top; red with shiny embroidery, and a black velvet skirt which grazed her knees. Mike smiled.

"You look very good in that." He was careful with his praise. He needed to show her that he was keeping his distance, for he knew that none of this family needed to trust him yet. She smiled and murmured her thanks.

"I'll let Ryan sleep with me tonight," she said. "He might be frightened if he wakes up alone in a strange bedroom."

He nodded.

Ginny awoke as Shania arrived in one of Cheryl's nightdresses which Mike had found for her. It was a little short, and it struck him that this girl was already taller than Cheryl. She looked red faced and healthy after her long bath. Claire bundled Ginny upstairs and was back with her in no time having changed her clothes and given her a wash.

"I found some pizza in the freezer, cheese and tomato, ok?" Everyone nodded vigorously and Ginny shouted "Yummy!" which Ryan echoed as young children do. Mike poured the wine.

"Wine for you Shania?" he allowed himself the joke and smiled wickedly. Before she could answer he got the response he expected from Claire.

"No way! Shania, you can have juice, and the same for Ryan and Ginny."

Mike laughed out loud and nodded to Shania, "There's some lemonade?"

"Yes please," she said and he poured it for her. This girl was so polite, he thought. A teenager? Polite? Surreal!

The four visitors were ravenously hungry and the large pizza disappeared quickly. He unearthed some mince pies and warmed them. These disappeared as well.

"Who cooks for you Mike? These are delicious!" exclaimed Claire between mouthfuls.

"All my own work I'm afraid," he replied. "I fend for myself here."

When the four of them finished eating and sat back satisfied, Mike stood up.

"Time to move back to the living room and get to know each other a little better." So that is what they did.

Claire sat on her preferred sofa. Mike sat in 'his' chair. Shania asked to put the TV on for Ryan, and found a programme suitable for him. Mike gave her a set of wireless headphones so the little one could watch without disturbing them. Ginny cuddled against her mother and fell asleep again. Shania sat next to her mother on her other side. He smiled at her protectiveness of her mother and was sad she had to feel so responsible at her age.

"I don't know how to thank you enough for helping us like this. We'll be going tomorrow. Get out of your way." Claire was twisting her hands together, eyes cast down.

"Where will you go? Have you relatives to go to?"

There was silence.

"I thought not."

"I have two brothers," she ventured. "Both my parents are dead. One brother is in North Scotland. He lives in a crofter's bothy, one room. The other brother hates me and always has. Gary's family don't like me."

"What happened to you?"

"It's Dad," interrupted Shania. "He beats mum up when he comes home drunk. Sometimes he hits her when they have a bust up. Last night was the worst. He laid into Ginny as well when she tried to stop him. After Dad fell asleep, Mum packed for us and we left very early this morning. We couldn't take much stuff with us. If he finds us he'll kill us."

Claire said nothing. She looked as she had when Mike had first seen her, pale, apathetic and vacant. A tear started and ran down her cheek.

"Claire," he said.

No reaction.

"Claire?" A little louder.

She jumped and came back to them.

"Claire," he continued, "Do you have any money? Any access to money?"

"No Mike."

She paused as if she thought she was traducing her husband but it was the truth. "Gary keeps all the money. All the accounts are in his name."

Mike looked at the two of them and knew they expected nothing from him. He knew they had their pride but he also knew that they felt they were in a cul-de-sac.

"Has it been going on long? This abuse I mean?"

"Since I was little," interrupted Shania again. "Mum put up with it because of us."

"Shania!" Claire was embarrassed.

"Well, mother!" Shania exclaimed. "Mike doesn't know us. He doesn't know where we live. You can be honest. God, mother, he's taken us in hasn't he?"

Claire was about to speak and then stopped. Mike knew what she was thinking.

"OK Claire," he began. "Now you're wondering what my ulterior motives are for inviting you here."

She began to protest, but he held up his hand. "No, listen. You have a right to know. Your children are here under my roof.

"Last summer after four years of marriage, I came home one evening after work to find my wife had gone. All her clothes, all her perfumes and stuff from the bathroom. Not a trace of her, apart from what she'd left in the wash basket, most of which Shania is wearing. There was a note. Very brief. It went something like this:

Mike, you bore me silly. I've left you. I've found an interesting bloke. He's good in bed. Get over it. I'll be divorcing you. I don't want anything from you. I've got enough money and he's loaded.

"That was all. Nothing since. Cheryl hasn't looked back. She did divorce me. I didn't protest. She was as good as her word and didn't ask for anything."

"You poor thing!" With all her own troubles Claire was sorry for him and he was touched.

"Not so poor, Claire. She was immature, never satisfied. Always wanted more than I could give her or could do for her. Marrying her was a mistake but I was too besotted with her to realise it until she went.

"So I'm on my own in this huge house that I built because she wanted it. Even this wasn't good enough for her.

"So now I'm very well off. I own my own company; I built this house and automated it to my own design. I've more money than I can ever use and I have simple tastes. Cheryl was probably right, I am boring. I must say I've often felt lonely over the past six months, but I've buried myself in my work and I have good friends and family.

"Just having you all here for this short time has convinced me I could do with some company at home, instead of coming home to an empty barn of a house every night. It would be good to have a family round the place, that's something neither the house nor I have had up to now.

"So I want you to stay here Claire. Stay at least until your bruises have healed and you have found some way of surviving financially. There need be no limit on how long you stay. You'll know when and if it's time to go. There are locks on all your doors so you can feel safe here."

Claire sat in silence, looking into space.

Shania shook her arm. "Mum, say something."

She looked up and into his eyes. "I still don't understand why you would want to do this."

Mike must have looked amazed, for she carried on, "I mean, there's nothing in it for you is there? We'll be messing up your life."

Mike continued to stare speechless at her. Then he found his voice.

"Claire," he said, "I spent four years with a woman who could only see self-interest in her own life. She couldn't credit anyone with enough commitment to just help other people out because it's a good thing to do; that it's better to give than receive.

"She couldn't grasp that, but I rather think you can; in any case it doesn't matter. My offer stands; you can stay as long as you need to. I want to help because I can. I need nothing 'else' from you, you understand my meaning here?"

Her eyes filled with tears. "I'm sorry, I'm not used to kindness."

"Just learn to accept it. I've got a house, you need a house. I've got money, you need money.

"Your children need their mother and you said yourself you're scared they'll might be taken away from you. You want to be there for them. Your children need your love and you want to give it.

"It so happens that at present their needs can be met by allowing me to look after you. I mean caring for you and your family, nothing more. Let me do this because it's good and it's right and my reward is to get a family for a while. Believe me, you're safe here and you are doing me a favour."

She nodded. "I'm sorry, yes I understand. Thank you."

"Good," he replied. "Tomorrow we talk some more."

"Can we put the sound on the TV?" asked Shania. She saw the discussion was over and she had already moved on! Claire frowned and looked to Mike to see his reaction.

"Shania, treat this house as your home. If your mother doesn't mind of course you can watch TV. I have a desktop computer but it's set up for my work. I'll organise some games for you if you like tomorrow."

He left them to watch what Ryan had on and made his way upstairs. It was a sneaky thing to do and if he was caught they would really think he was a pervert but he had an idea. He went to Claire's room and looked at her clothes and underwear and made some notes. Then the same for Shania. What a name! He didn't think he could carry on using it much longer and he wondered about Sían as an alternative.

Next he got on the phone to Catherine, his sister. It would be midday in New York. Her plane was not until six. They talked about his new family and she asked questions and made her promises, though she complained that Christmas Eve was not ideal for shopping at such short notice. In view of his new visitors she told him not to meet her but she would take a taxi. She was excited at the prospect of meeting them.

When he returned downstairs they were watching 'A Christmas Carol'. He went to the kitchen and filled bowls with nuts, crisps and spicy biscuits (cookies). Bringing them in he refilled Claire's glass with the remains of the wine and sent Shania to refill the children's glasses.

After the film finished he got out a games compendium and they played games until it was time for Ryan to go to bed. Claire told Ginny to go as well. She protested but not too strongly, it was obvious she was worn out after the ordeals of the night before and of the day. Claire took Ryan up and bathed him in her own suite. After about half an hour Ryan and she came downstairs.

"Ryan wants to say goodnight." said Claire, and the boy ran to him and climbed on his knee, giving him a tight hug.

"Night night Uncle Mike," he said.

"Goodnight Lad!" he replied though he found it hard to get the words out, he was so touched by the boy's trust and love.

Claire was all smiles at his emotional state and winked at him with her good eye, which looked comical. The boy climbed down, hugged and kissed his big sister and taking Claire's hand led her away 'for a story'.

Shania kept her eyes firmly on the TV screen but Mike could see she was smiling.

When it was time for Shania to retire Claire said she would go too. It had been a long day for them all. Shania came, leaned over Mike and kissed him.

"Goodnight Mike," she said with a grin.

"Don't be cheeky Shania," scolded her mother.

"It's OK, Claire. It's my name," he said.

"Nevertheless it was cheeky." She scowled at Shania who had the grace to look guilty.

"I did tell her to call me Mike while you were asleep. Is that OK?"

"I suppose so," she said, allowing a smile to cross her face.

He stood and faced her. "Come on!" he laughed. "Goodnight hug!"

Claire stepped forward and they embraced briefly and said goodnight. Shania whistled and Claire cast a warning eye at Shania, then smiled shyly at Mike, coloured up, and once again there were tears welling up in her eyes.

"Come on, Shania," she said briskly, breaking the embrace to cover her feelings. "I've unpacked your stuff. You can change into something your own size!"

Mike toured the house locking up and setting the perimeter alarms for the house and garden, washing up and setting the table for breakfast. He went upstairs and knocked on Claire's door. When she opened it, he warned her not to open any outer doors or windows and he gave her his second mobile phone.

"To make you feel safer," he said. "My other mobile number is on there, or you can use the house phones. Your number is three, and mine is two." He turned and left to avoid giving her the discomfort of shutting the door in his face.

Since it was only ten o'clock he decided to read for an hour before turning in. Mike slept naked so he undressed and put on a dressing gown. Then he had second thoughts and donned a pair of loose boxer shorts, adding the dressing gown before settling in his armchair, lit only by the reading lamp by his side.

He heard the movements and talk cease, and realising he needed to be up early, went to bed and slept the sleep of the just.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Consensual / Romantic / Fiction / Slow / Violent /