Forever in My Heart
Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Heterosexual, Fiction, Petting, Safe Sex,
Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A tale about true love, and hardened love in four parts
“Forever in My Heart” (One of Four Parts)
By way of introduction...
A Fathers and Daughters Trilogy
I’ve read lots and lots of Loving Wives stories, but I can’t think of one, except, damn it, D.Q. Steele’s “Separate Vacations”, that targeted what might be ‘the major factor’ in a wife’s misbehavior. If you haven’t read Steele’s little masterpiece you might not know what that infernal feminine trigger mechanism be? Shame on you if you don’t go back and read it.
You don’t know do you; well who plants the seed, who fertilizes the soil? Think about it; who for a girl just might be her first fantasy hero?
I’m finishing up a trilogy of troubled wives stories. Each I like to think focusses on some things from a girl’s parental training that brought on whatever might happen to her, and those around her, when she’s an adult.
To be sure, these aren’t stories offering excuses for feminine misbehavior, but in each case we might see some reasons, inexplicable as they might seem to the more logical male mind, for what they do. For sure, who knows, women being who they are, anything’s possible. Don’t believe me? I bet Lizzie Borden’s mom and dad would’ve appreciated a clue or two.
One thing I’m kind of confident of though. I have four daughters; if they find out I’m writing this trilogy, and they will, one’s going to ask why three and not four stories. It’s creepy...
Here goes story one: “Forever in My Heart”
It was a Thursday in April 5, 2010
It was late in the evening; maybe 11:00-11:30, the bar was slowly clearing out. It wasn’t that crowded to begin with; Friday was a work day after all. Three guys, lifelong friends were finishing the last of their beverages, two were harassing the third
“Colt,” Rick started, “when you going to go back to school and make something of yourself?”
The guys had been dicking over their friend Colton almost all night when Brian chimed in, “Yeah asshole, you can’t keep up the stupid shit up you’ve been doing the rest of your life.”
Colt, tired of the badgering smirked, “Why not? Long as I’ve got fools like you to buy the beer...”
“That’s the point,” Brian flipped back, “My wife’s sick of me being out with you almost every night. Besides she’s got a bun in the oven. She wants me home more.”
Colt guffawed, “Your wife’s a whore, and you’re a cuck.”
Brian bristled, but before he could retort Colton Stewart, one time honor student, top scorer on the SATs back in high school, but currently voted least likely to ever make anything of his life, retreated and apologized, “Come on Bri; you know I’m bullshitting. Your girl Louisa’s the best. Every guy wanted her, but she chose you. And smart thing too; you’re the best.”
The third in the trio Rick, looked askance at his two best friends. Louisa had always been a bone of contention between the two of them, and he had to agree, Colt was right Louisa had chosen the better man; not that Colt never had potential, because he did. Maybe it was Colt’s home life, his shitty family that’d ruined him. Who knew about those things? But Rick knew, like Brian, and everyone was tired of Colton’s lazy life style. His own wife had warned him it was time to stop catering to Colt’s slothful, often self-destructive and occasionally illegal ways.
Rick scowled, “Brian’s got a right to be angry Colt. Sometimes you go too far.”
Exasperated and a little too defensive he replied, “Look I’m sorry, OK?” then he checked his watch, “It’s late, and you guys have to go to work tomorrow. Let me buy one more round, and we’ll call it a night.” Then he lied, “I have an interview tomorrow anyway.”
Surprised, Brian asked, “You have an interview?”
Just as Colt was about to reply the young men got a glimpse of three gorgeous women who’d just sauntered in the front door.
Jenny, the girl last in line begged, “Jesus it’s past 11:00. Come on I want to go home.”
Dorothy, ready to agree, slowed her pace.
First in line, Madeline, the leader, turned, “Come on. I’ve heard this place isn’t that bad.”
A skeptical Dorothy grimaced, “Looks like a shithole to me.”
Jenny agreed, “Yeah, Come on Madeline let’s get out of here. Let’s go home. Besides. You’ve got court tomorrow morning.”
Madeline scoffed, “Court, I’m ready, you know that, but...” Almost ready to agree and leave she briefly scanned the barroom and empty dance floor ... and then, “Hey wait a minute. Look over there.”
Jenny squinted to see, “Look at what?”
Madeline discreetly pointed to the three scruffy men at the far end of the bar, “Over there, see.”
Bored, Dorothy said, “Yeah, three bums, so what.”
Madeline closed in on her friend and colleague, “Remember our conversation yesterday?”
Jenny thought, “You mean the Liza Doolittle thing?”
Madeline grinned mischievously, “Yes that, she turned and looked back at the three red necks, “Yeah, the Liza Doolittle thing.”
Dorothy disclaimed, “Madeline. No. Jesus no! For Christ’s sake. Them?”
Madeline absently let her fingers slide down the collar of her partially opened V-necked blouse in thought. Wearing the lowest of low cut demi-bras she felt her nipples press against the blouse’s silken material, “Let’s go over. We’ll pick one.”
Jenny was ill at ease, “You’re not serious. They’re probably all married, or drunks, or drugged out deadbeats.”
Madeline wasn’t listening; she’d already started across the floor.
Dorothy looked at Jenny, “We can’t leave her.”
Jenny shrugged, “Let’s go see what stupid thing she gets into.”
So Madeline’s two associates, Jenny her paralegal and Dorothy a fellow lawyer followed their wanton leader across the old beaten hardwood of the Wagon Wheel Restaurant and Bar. Both were certain that this time their friend was going to be in way over her head.
Madeline reached the three degenerates just as they were about to quaff the last of what they presumed would be their final beer. She wasn’t as stupid or as foolish as her friends might have thought. Already she’d eyed the three men and noted the absence of any black inked tattoos or other tell-tale signs prison. All three were short sleeved and she noted the distinct absence of any ‘track marks’, scars, piercings, or anything else, other than dirt that might’ve been a put off. She thought they didn’t look gay; she also noticed wedding rings on two of them, the two slightly better dressed and more presentable.
She eyed the third; he looked to be about the type, probably never held a job longer than a few months, under-educated, not real bright, but reasonably clean. Of course this was a risk and she still had one more front end concern, “Any of you guys got anything?”
One of the better dressed ones grinned, “What like you want some new exotic STD?”
“No,” said Madeline, already glad he wouldn’t be her target, not a drug user herself and not sure of the current street names she guessed, “Any drugs; weed, white girl, maybe some crack?”
The other cleaner one asked, “You a cop?”
Madeline, now braced by her two comrades, looked from side to side and smiled. Studying the three imbeciles in front of her she thought, ‘If they only knew’. She answered, “No, just wondered if we could score.”
It was the really scruffy one who answered, “No, and get lost. We don’t need that,” he turned back toward the last of his beer and his friends, “well is it a night?”
Both Rick and Brian nodded. Colt tossed a ‘Hamilton’ on the bar for Myra the bartender, “Let’s call it a night.” All three men started to get up to go.
Madeline, seeing she was being dismissed, something that never happened, held up her left hand daintily, “No wait, I’m sorry. As partial reparation for my crudity let me buy you each one more round.
Rick stretched, “No, not for me. Got a lady at home.”
Brian started to step away, “Me neither ... maybe Colt here would...”
Colt eyed the mouthy woman up and down. ‘Not bad, ‘ he thought, ‘a little overdressed, on the tall side, liked her look though, nice tits, she had a sexy way about her, a little on the Anne Hathaway side, much too smug to be a princess though. He smiled, “OK, one more.”
As Rick and Brian stepped away Brian leaned back in, “You coming Sunday?”
Colton replied, “Yeah, I guess so.”
Brian grimaced, “If you do, try to bring a real date and not the squirrel.”
“Brian,” Colt stammered, “ ... you know...”
“OK,” answered Brian, “Bring her if you must,” he gave Madeline a bemused look, “and anybody else ... that’s if you can get anyone.”
Colton had no come back. Caught naked, he shrugged it out, “We’ll see.”
Meanwhile, Jenny groaned, “Madeline.”
The two married men nodded at the women and started for the door. They had wives and homes to attend to. In fact both had wives who’d probably been to church.
Madeline looked at her target, her prey, the one they’d called Colt. He was well built, maybe a little too thin but he was muscular. He looked grisly, but she bet he was pretty not so long ago; a pretty boy turned gritty young man who’d one day be just another grimy old smoke. She glanced back at her friends, “It’s all right. You girls go on. I’ll get a ride with Colt here.”
Dorothy, not so sure, asked, “You know what you’re doing?”
Jenny added her reminder, “Don’t forget, court tomorrow.”
Madeline remained placid; she didn’t want the boy across from her to start thinking, “I won’t.”
Colt caught the interchange; he realized she had something to do with the law, a lawyer maybe, something else, perhaps a clerk, no lawyer would come in here, and if she was she was definitely where she didn’t belong and definitely out of his league. Then, as if to confirm his suspicions he checked the cut of her skirt, the thin near transparency of her blouse, definitely not Walmart. He grinned sarcastically, “You think you can trust me?”
Madeline saw his not too discreet appraisal. The moisture between her legs was betraying her more sadistic impulses. She laid a twenty on the bar, “What’re you drinking?”
Colt backed down, “Heineken. You?”
Madeline made a note, ‘Heineken, a good beer, not really redneck quality.’ She said, “Yes I’ll have one.”
Myra, the bartender had been standing nearby. Though it was a Thursday and they often had a good crowd; it was Maundy Thursday and most people in this part of the country would be home or at church. No, it wasn’t the ‘Bible Belt’; and no, the area wasn’t flooded with ‘Evangelicals’ or Bible thumping Baptists, it was western Pennsylvania, a place where people still took God seriously enough to show a little respect. She chuckled to herself, ‘Yeah a place where even squares could still have a ball.’ She reached around, found two long necked Heinekens, popped off the caps, and handed them across the bar.
Colton took a sip, “So why’re you in here?”
Madeline replied, “Mainly to pick up guys.”
“This is sort of out of the way for someone like you isn’t it,” he asked?
She responded, “Slim pickings tonight. This place was our last gasp.”
With some resignation he replied, “Well, nothing here, looks like you struck out.”
Madeline looked in his face. She thought, ‘He’s not exactly handsome, more pretty than handsome, a pretty boy. He’d have made a great girl, long eye lashes, soft eyes, sort of hazel, delicate looking mouth, high cheek bones nice to look at. Bet he had trouble growing up. Then again; those weren’t a girl’s shoulders or arms, calloused hands, though they’d been washed they still looked dirty. He was thin, but not skinny. He looked pretty robust, could’ve been gay but she knew he wasn’t. She said, “You’re not nothing.”
He looked down at his beer, “I’m not what you’re looking for.”
“How do you know what I’m looking for,” was her questioning reply?
Colton felt a little foolish, a little down, like he’d been missing something, “No, I know what I am.” He put his unfinished beer on the bar, “Come on. Where do you live?”
She put hers down too, “Not far from here. Chambersburg actually, near the college, just off Norland Avenue.
Colt mentally plotted his course, Wilson College, maybe thirty-forty minutes, good area, nice homes, “OK.” He proffered his hand. She politely refused. He wasn’t surprised.
He walked her out to his late model Chevy pick-up. As they walked he apologized, “I have a dog. Truck’s clean, but it smells.”
As they walked across the gravel lot Madeline recalled as an undergraduate at Delaware Valley her time with ‘Animal Rescue’. She liked dogs, “Really? What kind?”
“An old Lab, she’s eleven, kind of crippled, can’t get in the truck without help.”
She asked, “Dog got a name?”
Colton opened the door and offered to help her in, but she ignored the proffered hand, “Black,” he said.
As he climbed in on his side Madeline commented, “Black labs are the best. They have the fewest allergies and overall the fewest ailments.”
Colton, a little surprised, “You know this?”
“Sure,” she said, “I did some animal rescue while in college.”
He started the truck, “Hope you don’t mind the noise, muffler’s going up.” He shot her a sidewise glance. He’d been surreptitiously looking her over anyway. He didn’t think she was especially pretty, but still the Anne Hathaway thing, and the tits, “You’re a lawyer aren’t you.”
“Is it that obvious?”
“Maybe, a little.”
They drove on in silence for a while, then she asked, “You lived here long?”
“Yeah, off and on all my life I guess.”
“I wandered a little. Not much. Been to Grand Cayman; fishing, swimming, drinking. You know the Hemingway thing. Went out west, San Fran; didn’t stay long, a few days, had to get home.”
Curious she asked, “What do you do for a living?”
He avoided that one as best he could, “Not much. Riding teacher some. I muck out my brother’s stables. Do a lot of babysitting.”
Surprised, she said, “Babysitting. You?”
“Yeah,” he sighed, “maybe you heard Brian mention something about a squirrel, cousin really. She’s not exactly a real cousin. Well she is, and she isn’t. I’m not exactly sure how it works. She’s young, just eighteen, not very healthy. We’re surprised she’s lived as long as she has.”
Madeline found herself interested. She thought, ‘was he for real, or was he tossing some stupid line?’ She asked, “Why the babysitting? What’s wrong with her?”
He replied, “Nothing and a lot. I don’t know. She’s diabetic. Was in a pretty bad car wreck when she was little, never got over it,” feeling testy he asked. “What do you care?”
Sensing she’d hit a nerve she switched gears, “We’re nearly there. Go to Commerce Street, then turn left on...”
Colton interrupted, “I know where Norland Avenue is. You got a number?”
Madeline told him the number.
Neither said anything until he’d pulled in front of a rather stately older home in one of the better parts of town. He asked, “This yours or you just renting?”
She answered, “I’m buying. It’s a good investment till I find out where I’m settling.”
“You’re not from around here,” he commented.
She answered, “Philadelphia. Got a job at a law firm out here. Might stay on, might not.”
Now he was interested, “Law firm got a name?”
“Schilling, Prendergast, and Hanlon.”
He grinned, “Oh, Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe.”
Then she smiled, “We’re not that bad.”
He sighed, “Well this is where you get out,” he didn’t get out to open her door for her.
Madeline started fumbling around in her purse; he shot her a look, “No payment necessary.”
She gave him a glare, “No I wasn’t...” finding what she was looking for she handed him a card, “This is my card. I heard your friend say he was having people for a picnic Sunday. I’ll be home alone. My family’s in Europe.”
Colton thought, ‘She’s feisty and forward.’ He took the card and started to read it. He was starting to feel the after effects of the beer, the usual headache and ennui. He kept his eye on the card, then looked up, “Let me walk you to your door.”
She started to say that it wasn’t necessary, but Colton was already out of his truck. He walked around and got her door. He proffered his hand to help her down. This time she took it. They stepped from the truck to the street and walked the short distance to the gate that led to her front door. He got to her gate and opened it.
She stepped through, “Thank you.”
He stepped back, “Look maybe I’ll call. I like you, but Chelsea, she’s... , and besides you don’t really want to be seen out with me.”
Madeline ignored the self-deprecation, “Chelsea’s your cousin?”
She smiled, “I understand, but if you change your mind and need a date, even if it’s just to keep your friends off your back I’ll be home all day.”
He stammered, “You sure? It would have to be after church ... what Easter and all.”
“Sure,” she said.
For several seconds they both just stood there. Finally Colton murmured, “Well, I gotta go.”
Madeline smiled, “Call if you want. I mean it. Use the cell.”
He backed away, grinning, he thought, ‘this is so stupid, ‘ he answered, “OK, maybe.” Not taking his eyes off her he walked around to his side of the truck, hitting his knee on the bumper he got in, and still watching her, he pulled away.
As Colton Stewart drove off Madeline walked up to her door, unlocked it, and went in. Closing the door behind her she pulled out her cell phone, punched up Jenny’s number, waited through two unrecognizable noises until her colleague turned her phone on.
On the other end Jenny said, “Well, what now?”
Madeline replied, “I’m not sure, but the Liza Doolittle? Maybe?”
“Oh no, you didn’t, you haven’t.”
“I’m not sure. We’ll see. He’s to go to some party Sunday. He might invite me, he might not.”
“So you won’t be with us.”
“Not sure yet. If I’m there I’m there. If not, I’ll tell you about it Monday.”
“All right,” responded Jenny, but if you’re not there Sunday the gang will be disappointed. I know Brad will.”
Madeline snorted, “Oh Brad, Brad, Brad that’s all I hear. He’s had his chances. He can dip his wick someplace else. You want him?”
“No, no,” replied Jenny, “I’ve got mine.”
Madeline throatily responded, “Oh yeah, I forgot, Mr. Melancholy.”
Jenny was sick of Madeline’s retarded remarks about her new beau, “Look I’ll tell everybody you’re out with a ‘dirt ball’ if you don’t show up.”
Madeline went low grade ballistic, “No, oh God no. Don’t tell anybody anything. Only tell them I got caught up in something. Say a family matter or something. Got it?”
“OK Delilah, try not to hurt him too much,” and with that Jenny closed her phone.
Madeline closed her phone too. ‘Delilah’, she thought, ‘Femme Fatale’; was that who she was?” She dropped her purse on the end table by the stairs and started up the steps to her bedroom, slowly taking off her blazer as she went. Femme Fatale? Not tonight. She had a date with her real boyfriend. The man she really loved. His name was Errol. He was long. He was green. He was plastic. He never spoke or interrupted, but as long as she had batteries, he was ready. Tonight she thought she’d give him a new name, at least for tonight he’d be Colton, ‘Colton the loser’. She wondered, ‘Could she take that sow’s ear and turn him into a silk purse? Was he even a sow’s ear? Time would tell. He probably wouldn’t call. Hell, an asshole like that, he’d probably lose her card.’
At the top of the steps she stopped and reached under her skirt. She was so wet! She pressed her legs together and squeezed her vulva tightly with her thumb and fingers. She shuddered.
Colton headed back toward home. He lived only a few miles west of Chambersburg... , and that Madeline person. He lived in a small, poorly maintained rented bungalow in an equally small but well maintained town. He shared the place with his mother, his drug addicted aunt, and Chelsea his cousin.
There wasn’t too much to do. He’d do his brother’s horses early and then certainly later in the afternoon he’d see to Chelsea. Emit, his brother was still heavily into shavings and saw dust and such. Straw would be cheaper, but Emit had his ways. Yeah, up with the birds, muck the stalls, drop in a flake of hay and he’d be done for the day, except for Chelsea.
Later, after Easter, maybe Tuesday, he’d thoroughly clean the stalls including areas outside. He’d wipe things down with a little chlorinated water, and spread a little lime on the damp spots. He did that daily anyway.
Maybe Monday he’d take the back hoe and haul off the manure. He’d dump it someplace for a little nitrogen later on. Then it was off to one of the pastures. Currying and other concerns weren’t his concern, though checking hooves and the sides of the stalls were. A couple of the horses weren’t very fastidious and they’d lie down in their own shit; those he’d clean up. Overall not a lot of work, but Emit paid him well.
Colton pulled his truck in the small driveway beside his mother’s house. He thought about the lawyer. What was her name? Madeline? Madeline what? He pulled her card from his pocket, Madeline, Ms. Madeline V. Westerbrook, Esq. - Esquire! That was something; not just, Ms. Madeline V. Westerbrook, it had to be Madeline Esquire, Madeline the lawyer. She didn’t think too much of herself did she? Wonder what the V stood for? Vixen, or maybe veloci-raptor? Probably venereal disease.
He changed his mind; she was pretty, very pretty actually. He looked at himself as he passed by the hall mirror. He looked pretty good too. He wondered, if he took her out a few times, ‘How long would it take before she figured him out, before she realized what a loser he was. Smart girl like her; maybe two, three dates?’
Colton heard shallow breathing from the living room. It had to be Chelsea. He walked in and took a peak. She was fast asleep on the old sofa, mouth open, thin line of drool hanging from her lips, glasses had fallen off her face. Poor girl, could barely see.
She was dressed in her best outfit, a plane brown jumper, beige blouse, and brown shoes. It all looked a little frayed. ‘Damn’, he recalled, ‘it was Maundy Thursday. Chelsea had said something about church. He bet neither of their moms remembered. Chelsea didn’t get out much; being diabetic and prone to all the side effects of Hypoglycemia, worse than many in her situation, she didn’t have her license so she couldn’t legally drive. That dependency weighed heavily on her, and on him. Then there was the heart thing, always something.
He gave her a closer look, ‘If only she were healthy. If only she wasn’t such a damn bitch. If only she wasn’t his ... well she was.’
He wondered if his mom had given Chelsea her meds. Should he carry her upstairs or just leave her where she was? That was a ‘no brainer’; couldn’t leave her downstairs.
Dropping his jacket on the floor he leaned down and whispered, “Hey Chelsea. You awake?”
Chelsea lifted one heavy lid, “Colt?”
“Yeah, did mom give you your meds?”
Chelsea half yawned and looked around, “Church...”
“You missed it, you fell asleep.”
“Did you get your meds?”
She squinted up at her cousin, she wiped her eyes, “Don’t know, I think so. Where are my...”
“They’re here on the floor,” He handed her the glasses she wore, “Where’s mom?”
Chelsea managed to sit up, “Oh your mom, I think she went out. Mine’s upstairs.”
Colton thought, ‘That figures. He bet his mom was out with one of her truck driver friends. Chelsea’s mom was most likely upstairs passed out from whatever it was she was taking these days.’ He leaned down, got his arms under his cousin’s frail little frame, “Come on, let’s get you to bed.”
She reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck, “Will you stay and sleep with me tonight?”
She looked frazzled, agitated, he asked, “Feel a nightmare coming on?”
He pulled her up as he stood up. Her request wasn’t sexual; it was just her, “I don’t know. We’ll see,” the look on her face betrayed her fear, he whispered “I guess so, at least until I’m sure you’ll be OK. You are OK?”
She pushed her head beneath his chin, “When I’m with you I am.”
He carried her up the narrow stairway to her bedroom. As he walked up she asked, “If I take a shower and wash my hair will you brush it for me?”
Colton sighed, “Yes, I guess so.”
Together, they trooped upstairs.
For the next several minutes Chelsea showered while Colton skimmed though his “Foreign Affairs” magazine. Coming out in her thread bare cotton nightie she knelt on the floor while Colton brushed and combed her hair.
Sure he loved her, but sometimes, a lot of times, she got on his nerves. There had been times when they were younger when he occasionally wished she’d just die. It wasn’t because he was mean. He figured everybody had a mean thought once in a while. It was just that no one spent any time with her except him. She depended on him for everything. When he was out he half jumped every time his cell phone sang; he just never knew. Their moms weren’t like him; they were indifferent, that wasn’t true; his mom was indifferent, her mom was downright hostile, she hated her daughter. He knew why too, and he knew it wasn’t fair.
After a while he leaned over and asked, “Ready for bed?”
“OK,” she looked up at him, “You said...”
“I did and I will,” he got up, pulled down her sheets, the sheets he’d changed that morning, “Now in you go.”
She flounced about a little, tiny breasts flip flopping as she did. She slid all the way across her twin bed. Patting the empty area she whispered, “Now you.”
Colton got out of his boots and socks, pulled off his shirt and Tee shirt, dropped his jeans and climbed in. Grime and all she snuggled in against him. He encircled her with his arms. How long had he been doing this? She was just eighteen; this had been going on since she was ... what four? Ever since she and her mom had come to live with them.
While Chelsea slowly drifted back to sleep Colton thought about the woman in Chambersburg again. She lived on Norland Avenue. He knew about Norland and the streets connecting. Shit, he’d been around there hundreds of times, but there was more to it than that. Emit had told him. Emit was a lot older than he was. Emit remembered things.
It seemed their mother Gloria, saint that she was, thought she could fool around and Emit’s dad wouldn’t find out. Emit said they’d lived in a nice home on one of the side streets off Norland Avenue, said he remembered primary school, said his dad found out their mom was pregnant again, but not from him, and that was that. That’s what Emit said.
No divorce, nothing; he just up and left, moved to Cincinnati Emit said. Emit said he got presents for a while, but then that stopped. Emit said he heard from someone who knew his dad. They said his dad had taken up with another woman, had another whole family. Emit guessed that was when the presents stopped. Emit showed him some things; a puzzle of the forty-eight contiguous states. Emit never took the seal off it. Emit said when he got it he thought he’d wait and when his dad came back he and his dad would open it, take it all apart, and put it back together. Emit had some baseball cards and a baseball mitt his dad had sent. Emit said he never opened the cards, and he never used the mitt. Emit said when he was younger he used to sit out in front of their house and wait for his dad to come home. Emit said maybe he and his dad would play catch then. Emit never talked about his dad much, not anymore anyway.
Colton had his own dad, but nobody knew who he was. Some said it was the Jewish man who owned a dry good store in Greencastle. Others said he was a man who drove one of the big milk trucks. Then there were those who said it was some rich man who’d lived across from where his mom and Emit originally lived in Chambersburg. Colton didn’t know who his father was; figured he never would. He did know one thing; when he got married, if he did, he’d marry someone who’d be faithful, someone he could trust. Never met anyone like that. All the women and girls he’d ever met turned out to be whores; that included Louisa, Brian’s wife. He’d fucked her, fucked her a lot, but that had been before she started dating Brian.
The lawyer, Madeline Winterstock? No Westbrook; maybe he’d give her a call, take her Brian’s party. Wouldn’t that make Brian and Rick eat the cake? He thought about the looks she gave him. She was hungry. He thought he could smell her when they were in his truck, that musky erotic woman’s smell, but it was most likely his imagination. He bet he could get inside her pants, but he’d have to work fast before she figured him out.
Friday morning came awful early. Colton had a headache. He’d slipped out of Chelsea’s bed earlier and gone downstairs around 4:00 a.m. He looked in his mom’s bedroom; she still wasn’t home. He fed Heidi and let her out; old as she was she never went far from the back door. On his second cup of coffee he heard Chelsea fumbling around upstairs. It was close to 6:00 a.m. He went to the bottom of the steps, “Chelsea you up?”
“Yeah, be down in a minute.”
“Hurry up. Coffee’s on. Put on your boots, wear something warm. I’ll muck out the stalls, and then we’ll take a ride.” If there was one thing Chelsea could do, she could ride, not one of the big ones, but Princess, an older brown mare. Colton knew Emit had only bought her because she was small and gentle enough for Chelsea.
Chelsea came down dressed in a red flannel shirt and a pair of old jeans, hair back in a ponytail, no makeup. She looked like a kid, maybe twelve years old.
Colton pulled out a chair, “Sit while I give you your shot.”
Chelsea sat down, lowering her shirt off her shoulder so Colton could stab her.
Colt was always gentle with Chelsea. Her mom and his mom weren’t so gentle. After wiping her arm with an alcohol swab he slid the needle in, “There we go. Ready for coffee?”
They drank their unsweetened coffee, and had some scrambled eggs. He got up, tossed the plates in the sink for his mom to clean later, “Off we go,” he said.
Chelsea got her coat and followed him out the door. They both climbed in the truck.
“Hooked in?’ he asked.
“All hooked,” she said.
On the way to the stables Chelsea started in on one of her usual routines; they mostly centered on what she’d major in when she went to college, what additional electronic stuff she needed, how maybe in college she’d be able to play sports so Colt could come watch her, and then the biggie, who and what kind of man she’d marry. Both of them knew, at least he did, she’d never get to college, her grades and SATs had been good enough, but there just wasn’t any money. Prospects for any kind of athletic activity weren’t good; her being diabetic, the anemia, and her other physical frailties from that long ago accident. She was good with the electronics, but it was always the marriage thing that she liked the most; it was what irked him the most.
“Colt,” she said, “sure we’re cousins and all, but we could still get married.”
He silently groaned, ‘That again, ‘ and then said, “Chelsea you know how I feel about that.”
“Come on Colt. I know you love me, and you know I love you. We’d be good together. We could have lots of babies.”
He hated this conversation. They had it about once a week. She knew he had no plans on marrying anyone, not for a long time anyway. They both knew she had no real future; she was lucky she’d lived as long as she had. And of course, the thing she didn’t know, a thing only he knew, not even their moms. Chelsea, because of that long ago accident could never have children. How had he found out? Their family doctor had checked her once; it was part of her record, a part only he’d seen, her poor little cervix was all twisted out of shape or some such shit like that. No, she was a dead end, she just didn’t know it, and he swore she’d never find out.
“Colt,” she intruded on his thoughts again, “it wouldn’t really be totally incest. I mean...”
“Damn it Chelsea. Shut the fuck up. We’re never getting married. I might marry someday, but it won’t be you.”
She turned, looked out the window, and sighed. This conversation always ended up with him yelling at her. That was one of the ways she knew he loved her, a proof he might marry her someday. All she had to do was prove...
He drove the truck up to the barn, “You get out and walk around. Drive the tractor or something. I’ll only be a little while, then we can go riding.”
Chelsea slid down from the truck and loped over to the tractor. She enjoyed driving it around the yard and in the fields. Maybe she’d drive it up to Emit’s; he had a big house, she knew it was nice though she seldom got to go inside. Emit’s wife was funny about some things.
Emit’s house was actually his wife’s. Emit had met his wife, Irma, when they were both in community college. After two years Irma went on to Franklin-Marshall. Emit went to work for her dad. They got married when she graduated. When Irma’s dad got hurt on some machinery her dad and mom moved to Florida. It was Irma’s farm; Emit just ran it. They seemed happy enough; no children though. Chelsea thought, ‘If she was married she’d have kids, lots of kids. If she married Colt they’d have the best kids... ‘
She looked down the field, Colt was waving at her. She checked her watched. The time had really flown; he must be done. She spun the tractor around and started down the hill. Now they’d go riding!
Dorothy gave Madeline a call late Friday afternoon. Madeline picked up on the first ring, “Hello Dorothy; what’s up?
“Got a call from Jenny about your plans. Sounds silly to me.”
“Well I guess it is silly,” replied Madeline, “but I think it could be fun just as long as it doesn’t get back to the office.”
“He’s that big a cretin?” asked Dorothy.
“I don’t know yet. He doesn’t seem real ambitious. I wonder if I could give him some inspiration. It could be fun.”
“I think you already said that the other night,” added Dorothy, “but what if while you’re inspiring him he falls for you?”
Madeline laughed, “That would be his problem?” She thought on that possibility, ‘she’d never tried to get involved with a man just to get him to fall in love. But so what if he did? What would she do? Laugh probably.’
There’d been a couple guys from law school; more than a couple if she bothered to count, who’d, what do they say, ‘fallen for her’. Glenn had fallen for her. She’d broken his heart. She felt guilty about Glenn for a little while. He started out like a man, strong, self-confident, but ended up a whimpering jellyfish, a jellyfish without any sting.’ She could still hear his goofy entreaties, “Oh please Maddie. Maddie don’t do this...” She’d lost all respect for him; even laughed at him in the end.
Then there’d been the black kid; what was his name Dar, d’Artagnan. He was fun for a little while, but turned out to be just another asshole. Used to brag about his big dick. He was stupid; he fell in love. He was nice, but not that nice, she remembered she’d had bigger, and better too! No, she was no ‘size queen’. He cracked in the end. She recalled when she told him it was time to break up he couldn’t believe it.’ What’d he say, “You’d leave me. You’d say good bye to me and my big anaconda?”
She remembered laughing, she’d told him, “Come on you’re not that much. Besides if I needed a really ‘big one’ I’d buy a horse,” not that she’d ever actually would. He’d cracked, big strong self-confident d’Artagnan cried like a baby. She remembered imitating him while he cried; he’d turned into a spineless wimp. Men, they’re all the same.
Madeline wondered, ‘So, what about this Colt, or whatever his name was? Could she break his heart? She chuckled to herself, ‘bet she could, bet he had it coming. They all had it coming. Why not?’
Dorothy on the other end of the call yelled, “Madeline you still there?”
“Yes I’m here,” was her reply, “What’re we doing tonight?”
“I’m not doing anything. You have a date with Brad, remember?”
“Oh yeah, Brad,” she thought, ‘time to cut him off, ‘ “Dorothy,” she said, “Think I’ll toss Brad back tonight. Think I’ll reel in the ‘Red Neck’.
Dorothy laughed on the other end, “Madeline you are a ‘Grade A’ bitch.”
Dorothy and Madeline both flipped their phones off. Madeline looked at herself in the mirror, “Madeline my dear, let’s break Brad’s heart tonight, and if our ‘riding teacher’ calls, and I bet he will, I’ll tear his heart a new ass too. I feel like being a bitch.” She giggled malevolently, “I’ll rip it right out of his body!” Still staring at the mirror she talked on, “I bet this Colt fellow probably thinks his shit doesn’t stink. Yes, let’s do him. Let’s do him up right!”
Leaving the mirror she skipped up the steps to find Errol. All the way up she hummed, “Kick em when they’re up, kick em when they’re down...”
It was later Friday night when Chelsea and Colt got home. They’d had a busy day doing nothing.
They’d been horseback riding in late morning, and returned home after a MacDonald’s fish sandwich. That afternoon, failing to get Chelsea to take a nap, he’d let her go off to the small uninviting living room/den where he’d set up her computer and other paraphernalia. Colt spent the rest of his time doing a couple loads of laundry, tidying his and her rooms, checking the fluids on his truck, and cleaning up the riding mower and weed whacker. Dinner was a tasteless stir fry his mom made. Chelsea’s mom helped. After dinner he let Chelsea talk him into taking her to the Good Friday service; hardly anybody was there.
Going to church was always an ordeal for Colt, but Chelsea seldom missed. He supposed it had to do with some of the close calls she’d had. She’d re-pressed her brown jumper and blouse. He thought he ought to take her somewhere so she could get something new for Easter; that most likely meant a trip to Walmart. He guessed he’d take her after he did the horses; it had to be late afternoon though because he’d scheduled lessons for some elementary school kid.
Going anywhere with Chelsea had an unnerving quality; he could never quite get used to it. First it was always sort of depressing; she was pretty, most of the time bubbly and effervescent, like a happy child on her first trip to the zoo. On the other hand she never had anything to wear, nothing nice, and then there was the other thing, that other problem ... he just never knew. One minute she’d be happy, singing, skipping about, and then, just like that, she could collapse, just fall off the charts, have a seizure, break out in a cold sweat on a hot summer day, or simply drop out, fall into unconsciousness. He knew; one day she’d die on him. It bothered him; it would bother anybody.
So yeah, they’d gone to church. The place was almost empty, maybe twenty people, and that included seven choir members. He had to listen to the Pastor drone on and on about Gethsemane, Pontius Pilot, Peter, Mary and John and so forth. It was Pastor Bob, Pastor Robert McShane; he’d been at Saint Paul’s since Colt was eleven, never missed a single sermon, that man had faith.
Colt had to sit beside Chelsea and listen to her sing; such a beautiful voice, light, high and clear, just listening to her, “Lord listen to your children praying, Lord send your spirit in this place...” ‘Yeah beautiful, ‘ he thought, ‘but someday ... well. Yeah depressing.’
After church there was always someone, usually one of the old widows; gone back to school yet Colt? Found the right girl? Still taking care of Chelsea I see. Why don’t you, or you should... ?” They never let up.
He looked Chelsea over as she climbed into bed, “Chelsea how about we go buy you a new dress for Easter?”
She looked up and smiled, always that same sweet smile, pretty pink lips, perfect white teeth, “You think so?”
“Yeah, right after my riding lessons.”
Chelsea slid into bed and curled up in her pillow, “Maybe I’ll get something pink.”
Colt thought, ‘Maybe Belk instead of Walmart.’
A little later that same Friday night Madeline was seated across from Bradley Thompson, a systems analyst for Lingtalevought, major manufacturer of highly classified components for America’s nuclear submarine fleet; he was just thirty-five and already a millionaire, at least that’s what he said. In a few more years he said he expected to be sitting in a thickly cushioned swivel armchair in one of the more plush offices at the Pentagon, and Ms. Madeline Westerbrook was just the kind of woman he needed to round out his portfolio.
He’d said she was his dreamboat, beautiful, smart, and personable; he’d fallen head over heels in love. He hadn’t popped ‘the big question’ yet, but she figured it was imminent. The evening’s meal at the Cornell Club was a prelude to that ‘big moment’. He was a ‘Platinum Member’; she figured it was the most appropriate place to take the ‘greatest love of his life’ for the ‘warm up’ before he and she flew out to Chicago for an after Easter dinner, maybe next week, where he’d introduce her to his parents. That’s what she figured, and that’s why she dropped the bomb.
“But Maddie I don’t understand ... I thought”
“I’m sorry Brad. I truly am. I hadn’t meant to lead you on. I never wanted to...”
“Maddie what is it. Have I done something? Is there,” he gulped, “somebody else, somebody I don’t know about?”
“It’s not you, it’s me. Brad, oh I do love you, but well, I’m just not ready, not ready to commit.”
“My parents next Sunday, I thought...”
“Brad it’s no good. You’ve been great. You’re a wonderful human being. You’re a wonderful, kind, and sensitive lover. You’ve made me very happy. I’ve never been happier, it’s just...”
Bradley coughed back his tears, “Jesus Maddie I don’t know what to say. I mean. I thought. I thought you ... and ... well ... me.”
Madeline was having trouble herself. Brad Thompson was another good ole ‘one and done’. Oh he was good, he was kind and considerate; he just wasn’t what she was looking for. The truth? Madeline wasn’t looking for anyone or anything in particular. Brad was smart. He was gifted. He was certainly interesting if talking about O rings and computer chips was what she was looking for; it was too bad, too bad for Brad, she wasn’t ready to commit, probably never would be, and never with someone like Brad.
“Brad,” she said, “It’s getting late. Please take me home.”
The drive back to Norland Avenue was somber, funereal. She sat silently listening to Brad as he quietly sniffed and sniveled out his life story for the umpteenth time. She checked her watch, past 2:00 a.m. The text message the ‘clodhopper’ left said he’d be by at 10:15 Sunday. He wanted to take her to church, and then on to his friend Brian’s family party. He even apologized that he’d be bringing along his cousin, that cousin person, the cripple or whatever she was. She’d responded; she’d texted that she’d be ready. Imagine her at church. She’d texted back, “Can’t make church, but the party’s good.”
Brad pulled in front of her house. She didn’t wait, but got out immediately, “I’m sorry Brad. I really am, but you’ll find someone, someone a lot better than me,” without another backward glance, she knew the game too well to look back, she lithely, she knew that part of the game too, pulled open her front gate and walked out of his life.
She heard him pull away; smiling she thought, ‘She would’ve liked to talk to her mother and father, but like she’d told Clem, or was it Colt, they’d gone off to Europe. As usual, a big holiday; they’d gone to see her sister, of course, never her.’ Unlocking her front door she sighed, “Oh well. Time for Errol.”
Saturday at Belk...
“Colton can you afford all this?”
“Damn it Chelsea don’t worry about it. When was the last time you got a new dress anyway?”
“Look I like it, and after church tomorrow you and I and another person are going to Brian’s family dinner.”
“Person? What other person? Do I know her?”
“No she’s someone I met at the bar the other night.”
“Oh no. Nothing like that. She’s a lawyer; pretty smart too.”
“A lawyer, a woman, and she’s smart,” she giggled, “a smart woman lawyer. That’s an oxymoron. You must like her.”
“You’ll like her too. Now come on. Put on the dress and let me see it.”
“What does she look like?”
“Anne Hathaway. Now go put on the dress. I want to see it on you.”
Chelsea slipped back in the dressing room thinking, ‘A new woman, and she looks like Anna Hathaway.’ Slipping out of her Tee shirt and stepping out of her jeans Chelsea looked in the big mirror. Mumbling disconsolately, “Anne Hathaway,” she covered her breasts with her hands, “and who do I look like?” She remembered the boys in high school, ‘Chelsea the titless wonder, ‘ she could still hear them, ‘where did she come from?’ Oh yeah, ‘the lumberyard; flat as a board’. Couldn’t get a date, not for anything. Colton had to take her to her senior prom. No diploma though, just a blank sheet of paper, missed too many days, missed too many exams. What did the guidance counselors call her? An isolate. Well they didn’t have to be her.
She stood face on and looked at herself, “Why? It isn’t fair. Anne Hathaway.” She put the palm of her hand to the glass of the mirror, “Why can’t you see? Look at me! See me Colton.”
From outside she heard his masculine baritone, “Jesus Chelsea; it’s only a dress. How long does it take?”
“Be right out,” She pulled up on the top, she did everything she could but nothing worked, she still looked like she was a ten year old. She whispered to the mirror, “He has to see,” she stepped into the aisle. Hopeful until she saw his look. She knew; to him she was still just ‘his little Chelsea’. Just the same she spun about, pretending she was a ballerina, “You like?”
Colton smiled, “I like,” his mind went through the usual hoops, ‘She’s so pretty. I wonder if she knows how pretty, ‘ then the other, ‘I wonder how long. I’ll miss her. I know I will. It’s just not fair.’
Chelsea stepped up as far as she could. On tip toes she stretched up and kissed his lower lip, “I love you, but you know that.”
He leaned down and pressed his lips on her left cheek, “And I love you too.”
She held up the white patent leather two inch heels that matched the pink chiffon dress, “These along with the white panty hose and white lace panties you got me will make me...” she was thinking of saying she’d look more grown up, but held that in, “look more mature.”
He turned serious, “You get a brassiere?”
She blushed, “Not exactly.”
“I picked up a beige chemise. It’ll do the same thing.”
He nodded his satisfaction, “Let’s get you a white purse and some white gloves, and maybe a little white kerchief for your hair.”
“Why a kerchief,” she asked?
Staying with the serious motif he responded, “With your blond hair, light blue eyes, and almost transparent eye brows I think if we can bobby pin a kerchief in your hair instead of a real hat. I think if you added your pearl necklace and pearl earrings you’ll look like my...”
Chelsea stopped him, “I know your fairy princess...”
“No,” He interrupted, “my adorable Aphrodite floating in on a half shell.”
‘That was a new one, ‘ she thought. “OK, I like that ... Aphrodite.” She reconsidered, ‘Did he think I was a goddess or an oyster?’
“Well don’t get carried away. Go back and change out of those duds. I think I like you better as my ragamuffin.”
Chelsea did a little skip and retreated back to the changing room. A couple minutes later, and she was out again. From there they bought her some gloves, a kerchief, a new wristwatch, and a gold bracelet.
She held up the thin chain in her fingers. “What’s this my slave chain?”
Colton laughed, “Yes, and don’t forget it.”
From there they went to Denny’s; she for a simple omelet and one piece of toast with one pat of butter, Colton got the ‘Grand Slam’. Later they went home. Colton laid around and watched an early season baseball game, Chelsea played on the Internet. Every now and then Colton glanced over wondering, ‘What was she doing? She’s on it all the time.’
As Colton handed Chelsea down from his pick-up he had to admit; he really was kind of proud. Chelsea in her new pale pink chiffon dress; lusciously underscored with copious thin pleats, a tight but not restrictive sashed silken waist. It was almost a mini, hemmed as it was just above her knees. The blousy top had a gentle frontal plunge that gave just a hint of décolleté. Enhanced by translucent slightly capped shoulders and long sleeves that only barely revealed dainty hands at the ends of thin delicate arms, nails aglow with clear polish. He thought, ‘She looked, and was, delightfully innocent. He was happy with her choices, and glad he’d had enough money.’
Yet the dress was flagrantly diminished by her adorably perfect heart shaped face, tiny partly puckered cherry lips, high cheek bones, vivid, no luminous big blue eyes surrounded by long thick lashes. The thin string of pearls, though not real, stood out joyously on her naturally elegant swan-like neck. Colton imagined, ‘Someday someone will have to buy her real pearls.’
And her hair! Oh that soft frothy almost white hair. Cut short, brilliantly blond, delicate tendrils danced around her ears and cheeks, long bangs swept cross a perfect forehead.
With a lump in his throat, he gulped; she annoyed him. She wasn’t a child anymore; no Chelsea, though in every way diminutive, was a woman grown. He realized, and it daunted him, like the fairytale; the ‘ugly duckling’ had indeed grown into a beautiful swan. If she wasn’t his cousin, if she weren’t so sick, if only...
Colton grunted, “Don’t stray too far,” pointing in the direction of a pack of wide-eyed hungry looking men who were openly ogling her, “I don’t want any of that bunch getting too close.”
Chelsea grinned furiously as she looped her arm in through his, “Don’t worry. I know where I belong and who needs me.”
He wondered at that, ‘Needs me? I need her?’ “Come on,” he grumbled as he pushed through the scattered groups outside the front of the church. He shortened his stride so side by side they could march their way in.
Inside they found their usual pew; it was already half filled, mostly C&E types. To his surprise at the very last moment Chelsea did a one-eighty. Turning up she took her two hands, “Your tie ... here.” She went to work fixing it.
He felt her fingers as they brushed his chin, neck, and cheeks. He smelled her perfume, ‘Chanel Chance’, something he’d bought her for Christmas. Looking down, those lips, she needed to be kissed, oh did she need a good kissing! He felt himself blushing. His brain told his dick, ‘Shut up stupid. She’s your cousin. It wasn’t listening.’
He involuntarily reached out, but she stepped back, she used her fingers to pick at some invisible piece of jacket lint, “There, that’s better,” she smiled.
‘Did she know?’ he wondered, ‘Could she feel ... the tension?’ He muttered, “Thanks, now sit down.”
Her swift swivel to the left, the manner she sat, more curtsy than seating. She patted the place beside her, “Right here. You get the aisle seat.”
All throughout the service he felt uncomfortable. How could one man make such a simple thing as a resurrection take so long? So many hymns, too many prayers, the up and downs, communion, passing the peace, blocking the oglers, keeping his hands off...
Damn it, he was only human. When had Chelsea? Last week she’d been a kid. And now! Crap! He’d worn a pair of loose fitting cotton slacks and a pair of boxers. If he’d worn tighty whities things would have been different, no room for friction. He was afraid to move, to get up. People would notice, they’d see! He didn’t know what to do with his hands. OK, his right hand could sit comfortably on the aisle arm rest, but his left hand? His left hand kept betraying him. Unconsciously his treasonous left hand and arm kept circling around behind the back of Chelsea’s head. He kept willing his fingers to stop caressing the back of her neck.
She kept singing. Every time his fingers glanced the nape of her neck she felt a tingling.
He wished she would stop smiling! Why did she keep looking up at him like that? When had she gotten so pretty?
At last church was over. They could go home. No such luck. Every old maid and widow in their small town must have been outside waiting for them. Talk about a gauntlet! They’d no sooner gotten out the front doors than all the old biddies closed in.
“My, my,” squealed old Mrs. Bidwell.
Mrs. Rooney was right behind her; she closed in on Chelsea, “Well look at you,” she reached down and took both Chelsea’s hands and pulling them up and out and gabbled her away from Colton toward a nearby gaggle of old geese, “You’re just as pretty as a picture,” she said as she tugged Chelsea away toward another old widow, “Martha, just look at our little girl, right out of a storybook, I swear.”
Martha Tipton, rotund as a beach ball, affable as a grandmother should be, and Colt’s favorite since he could remember, pounced, “This is little Chelsea? My goodness.”
She turned to Colt, “Such a shame you’re cousins. You make such a beautiful couple.”
He was speechless, dumbfounded, “I ... I...”
Just at that moment a light breeze blew up; the feathery fabric of Chelsea’s dress was caught in its flow. Up and around her waist the dress did swirl. He made a move to shield her, but was too late, all eyes were on her. Everyone bore witness to two freshly minted and very shapely calves and their companions; two muscular perfectly shaped thighs. She was delicious, absolutely scrumptious.
Worse, the translucent character of the material plus the soft sheer aspects of her chemise left nothing to the imagination. Even worse, the cool breeze had the exact effect one would expect on her delightful little breasts. As the breeze hit her chest, her dark nipples responded as nature willed, drawing everyone’s eyes to two delectable little mounds, their dark brown aureole, simply mouthwatering, like two rosebuds.
Colt had been uncomfortable in church. Inwardly he cringed, his mind was all at sea, ‘God, no one look at me!’ How could I have known? I’d been sleeping with this visage just the other night.’
He knew they had to get away from there. He had to get away from there! He took Chelsea’s arm; he looked down, “Come on Chelsea, we’ve got to get to Brian’s.”
He wished he hadn’t looked down. The wind was pressing the blouse of her dress against her chest. Nothing, absolutely nothing was left to the imagination! He was a young man, just twenty-three. He’d not been with a woman, any woman in weeks. He was a disciplined man. He didn’t abuse his body! Oh traitor that it was, his manhood was offering a pitiless display.
Chelsea saw; she understood his discomfort. Blessed saint, she stepped in front of him. No one would see.
‘Thank God, ‘ he thought. They turned, Oh shit!
Closing in fast were the two Brady brothers, Harry and Steve, and their infamous cohorts John and Ralph Girty; some of the nastiest cruds in the county.
Colton’s thought on the matter, ‘Had all the county’s skid row chosen their church this Easter Sunday?’
John Girty was in the forefront, just a year or so older than Chelsea he was sure he remembered her. Had she remembered him? He was followed by brother Ralph and the only slightly less reprehensible Harry and Steve Brady.
Girty tried to sidle up and get between her and Colt. She wouldn’t let him. He gave her his usual salacious grin, “Chelsea, how’ve you been?”
She smiled woodenly, “Just fine, you?”
“Nowhere until now. Got a steady?” was his reply and question.
Chelsea squeezed her cousin’s arm, “You see who I’m with.”
Girty chortled maliciously, “No, I mean a real boyfriend. You know, a fella.”
She tersely responded, “I know what you mean,” she started pulling Colt toward the truck. As they moved away she whispered, “Ever notice when some people smile it isn’t really a smile at all?”
Just as the scum started to step away the younger Brady hung back. He shyly muttered, “Hi Chelsea.”
Chelsea gave him a weak smile, “Hi Steve,” then she pulled Colton’s arm, “Come on cowboy,” she said that but not without still giving the much too skinny Steve on last backward glance, a glance the boy worshipfully acknowledged. They weren’t all bad.
Oblivious of his cousin’s discreet exchange Colton thought, ‘Why did she always make him feel this good?’ Her smooth hand as it wrapped around his thickly muscled forearm made him feel ... proud. He promised himself that today he wasn’t going to think about anything but having a good time. No macabre thoughts today, he said, “We’ll probably be a little early for Brian’s, but I bet once they see you I don’t think they’ll care.”
Then cold water! Chelsea said, “Weren’t we taking someone from Chambersburg?”
Shit he’d completely forgotten about the lawyer woman. Why had he invited her? He replied, “Yeah, we better get her first.”
Madeline scanned her closet. What should she wear? She reflected aloud, “These were ‘his’ friends’; shouldn’t be too provocative, but...”
Standing at her vanity she applied the necessary war paint, her usual; a touch of pink lipstick, a dash of rouge for each cheek, black lash liner, a hint of blue eye shadow. She sprayed on a little perfume, ‘Chanel’ something. Yes, looking in the mirror she thought, ‘Just right, ‘less is always more’.
Next the clothes. After slipping into a white lace demi-bra and coordinating panties she reached in the closet and pulled out a slack outfit. Yes, loosely fitting dark blue slacks, matching blazer, and a slightly iridescent snow white blouse. She fitted herself into the jacket. Examined what she looked like in the mirror, she undid the top three buttons.
Jewelry, yes, something with reflective qualities. She passed on the Miki Moto pearls she’d gotten from her one time law school lover Jason and the rubies the fool Brad had bought her. What was it? Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. The diamonds from her ‘sugar daddy’. Not her real dad, no, her ‘special daddy’, Mr. Hanlon, partner in the firm, nearly sixty with daughters her age, but a man with more money than Croesus and a libido to match. Well he thought so.
She giggled to herself, “It was fun, playing with John Hanlon in his office, trying to get that aged usually limp dick up, He wanted her on her knees under his desk while clients discussed business. Not her! Too degrading. Then there’d been Brad, the empty headed wonder, he’d kiss her, and then drop down so he could lick up and down her neatly trimmed slit. That was her style; men knelt for her.
Yes, diamonds for today. On each lobe she fastened a half karat stud. She wrapped an expensive choker round her neck. Diamond tennis bracelet, and diamond studded watch finished things off.
On went the short flesh toned hose, followed at last by a pair of three inch dark blue closed toe heels. She twisted and turned; even with the loose pants the heels highlighted her shapely legs. Ready, she went in, sat down, and turned on the TV to wait. She didn’t have to wait very long.
Colt pulled his truck to the front of the mailbox marked Westerbrook. He could see she’d already started her spring spruce up. Well not her he imagined, probably a bunch of Mexicans, illegals likely. There was mulch in her driveway, looked good too. Somebody’d already cut her grass at least once. He parked his truck and started to get out. Turning to Chelsea he said, “Wait here, if she’s not ready we’ll go on without her.”
Chelsea smiled as he headed toward the gate and Madeline Westerbrook’s front door. This was a mistake, he didn’t need this. He’d only invited her to show up Brian, Rick, and the others. Hell, with Chelsea on his arm, cousin or not, he didn’t need anybody else.
He got to the door and rang the bell. It opened almost instantly. Madeline said, “You came!”
“Invited you didn’t I.”
Not put off at all she answered, “Is your cousin with you?”
“Out in the truck.”
She held out her arm. He took it. They walked back to the truck. He’d stopped at the Jiffy Wash the earlier evening. They’d soaped it up good and cleaned it out inside. He’d done it for Chelsea, not the woman holding his arm.
He couldn’t help it. Try as he might he had to give her a side-long glance. He recognized the perfume right away; she had good taste. ‘Wow, ‘ was the only expletive he could come up with, she looked terrific.
Walking her around to the passenger’s side door he faced his first conundrum. Opening the door he said, “Chelsea maybe you could sit in the back,” She looked terrified. He wondered why, “Chelsea this is Madeline. Madeline my cousin Chelsea,” Finding cover, he elaborated, “Chelsea honey, Madeline here is a lot taller than you. She’d be all squinched up back there.”
Chelsea climbed out and crawled in the back. She felt like her world was crumbling around her. Sure, she’d met most, if not all Colt’s ‘girls’. Most of them were pretty nice, some stunning, but this one! God she was older, and the perfume, that outfit, her hair, and all those diamonds! She thought, ‘If some of Colt’s earlier girlfriends were predatory, this one was a Great White Shark. Jesus, if this one wanted him, she’d could get him. He was clueless.’
Madeline let Colton hand her in the truck. She fastened her seatbelt and turned around, reaching her hand over the seat to the woman behind her, “Colt told me a little about you the other day, he said you were pretty, but he was wrong, you’re down right beautiful. I love that dress.”
She and Chelsea shook hands. Madeline immediately sized her up. One look and she knew; this ‘girl’ was in love. Cousin or not; she’d marry Colt in a ‘New York minute’. ‘Interesting, ‘ she thought, ‘kind of added a little extra spice to the whole thing; she could take Mr. Sourdough and turn him into a well-baked pie and watch his little flower girl wilt at the same time. It could be fun!’
Colt peaked at his cousin through the rear-view mirror, ‘What was wrong with her? Was she about to have an attack? She looked ... not good, ‘ “Madeline here says she’s from Philadelphia. Where’d you say you went to school?”
Madeline replied, “I didn’t. I started at “State” but finished at my undergrad at Delaware Valley, and then went on to law school at Pennsylvania,” she changed the subject, “Chelsea, where’d you go to school?”
Chelsea trembled, eyes wide, self-conscious, she answered, “Never, no, I haven’t.”
Madeline knew she hadn’t. Everything about her reeked lower class, ill-prepared, young, maybe eighteen, insecure, public schools, naïve, probably not much upstairs. Definitely Walmart material, real troglodyte, “Really, I would’ve guessed maybe a sophomore someplace. Any plans?”
Chelsea didn’t know what to say, “No I...”
Colton came to her rescue, “Chelsea’s just nineteen, he’d added a year, fresh out of high school. She said something about time off. Right Chelsea?”
Chelsea breathed a sigh of relief, her Colt, “Um, yeah, time off, maybe travel, see some things.”
“That’s a great idea,” responded Madeline, “Get out, see the country. Go to Europe.”
Colton grinned at Chelsea through the rear-view, “Maybe not right away. Let’s do Brian’s first.”
Chelsea wanted to die. This Madeline woman; she looked so, so sophisticated. Chelsea wished ... that Madeline, she looked at Colton like...
Madeline smiled at Colt, “So how about you?”
“You and college.”
“Oh, well,” Colton started, “Not much, not...”
Chelsea interrupted, “State College, three years, math, engineering, Dean’s List all six semesters...”
Colton was back at her, “Chelsea!”
“It’s true!” was her reply.
Madeline interjected, “What happened?”
Colton flicked his vision from Chelsea to Madeline, silently warning Chelsea not to interrupt, “I was on scholarship. Program ran out. No money so...”
Chelsea wouldn’t stay quiet, “Tell her,” Chelsea didn’t give him a chance, “It wasn’t money. It was me. Diabetic, other stuff. My mom’s an addict; been living off my Social Security since dad ... since my dad died. His mom has to work. He stopped because of me.”
Colton chastened, “That’s not true. Well only a little bit. School and me, we just didn’t get along.”
Madeline murmured, “Oh,” she inwardly chuckled, ‘the hero and the cripple ... how nice, how sweetly nice.’
Colton raised his voice, “Here we are!” And they were there indeed. Brian, one of his oldest and dearest friends, and his wife Louisa, and Rick and his wife, and God knows who else. Colton pulled up and parked on the grass.
The after Easter party was already up and running! There was beer aplenty, mostly Budweiser but a few cans of Miller’s scattered about. The girls had their choices; a cheap white wine or an even cheaper Rose’. The table was spread with homemade salads; Cole slaw, three kinds of potato salad, a macaroni salad and something odd looking one of men’s wives brought. Nobody ate it. The meats were the usual; hot dogs and store packaged burgers. These were working people; they came for the conversation, the camaraderie.
Madeline had been to events like this, not that she particularly enjoyed them, but she had been to some. A well brought up woman, trained in the social skills she knew how to mask her distaste. She kept an eye out; watching the interplay. Upon first glance the dominant man in the group was a big strapping fellow named Aaron, tall, muscular, a two fisted drinker he had opinions on everything. But looking closer she could see it was Colt the men deferred to. Yeah, Aaron might have been the standout, but it was Colt with the ideas. Colt was the bright one, the leader.
Chelsea watched Madeline watch the other guests; yeah she watched her as Madeline watched, no studied, Colt. The more Chelsea watched the more she saw, the more anxious she became. She had a white wine. Then she had another, and then another. In the past she’d seen Colt with women. He’d never let himself get too attached. Not that he was ever ungentlemanly; no woman who dated Colt had ever had any but the nicest things to say. She had another wine. Chelsea thought, ‘She lived with the man; she’d never heard him brag about a conquest, she’d never heard him diminish or degrade any of the women he’d enjoyed, and he’d enjoyed his share, just never her, but she was eighteen now.
She reached for the wine bottle again.
Angie Dickson, one of the girlfriends looked over, concerned, “You sure you want another one?”
Chelsea filled her solo cup to over half full, “I’m good.”
Madeline watched Chelsea, and saw she was drinking too much. She watched Colton with the women with fascination. She could sort of tell he’d probably bedded half the women there. She saw a couple of the men were watching Colton too. They were watching him watch their wives. She chuckled to herself, ‘this could have been a cattle ranch; half the men there were wearing horns.’ Then it occurred to her; Colton was watching her just like he was watching those other women.
Madeline softly laughed; he didn’t know who the real predator was.
Maybe it was the party, the excitement of church, the early spring sunshine, the wine she wasn’t supposed to drink or the carbs she wasn’t eating, but after a short time Chelsea felt the onset of an attack. She needed to go someplace, lie down, find a cool dark place to rest. Colt had brought her medications so if she got too bad she knew he’d be there to handle it. She whispered something to one of girls, and quietly slipped in the house.
It didn’t take Colt long to notice someone was missing. He found Louisa, “Where’s Chelsea?”
“She felt tired so she went inside.”
Madeline had been watching; that fast she was by his side, “What’s wrong?”
“It’s Chelsea. Wait here.” Colt made his way through the gathering toward the back door.
Madeline was right behind. Surprised, Colton the predator had become someone else, he’d become the protective papa grizzly. He got to the door and saw he was followed, “No you...”
Pretending to show concern, something she was good at, Madeline responded, “Maybe I can help.”
Colt shrugged, turned and continued inside. He found Chelsea curled up on an old sofa. No surprises; He knew the routine. He hurried to her side, leaned down, and whispered, “Chelsea, you OK?”
She looked up. He knew, turning to Madeline, he murmured, “In my truck there’s a brown satchel. Get it please.”
Madeline was gone.
He pressed his hand to Chelsea’s face, clammy. He checked her pulse, racing. Odd combination. He carefully, gently pulled her to a sitting position, “Come on sweetie. Let’s get you up.” He kissed her temple. He couldn’t remember how many times had he done this; first it was one thing, then another. Ever since she first came. She was what, four? He’d been eight? Nine? Couldn’t remember. Ever since she’d come it’d only been him, no one else. You’d of thought a mom, an aunt ... didn’t matter, just him and her. He hated her at first. Now? No now it was different.
Madeline was at his side with the bag. He muttered, “Get out the crackers. We’ll try that first.” He took Chelsea’s cheeks and squeezed them open.
Madeline asked, “What’re you doing?”
He replied, “Who knows? Some doctors say it Addison’s. Then it’s Neuroglycopenia. Others say who knows what? That, plus the accident... ,” Gums and mouth seemed OK, he asked Chelsea, “What’d you have to eat?”
Chelsea knew she was in for it, “Nothing ... I ... a burger, no, piece of bread, a pickle, a small glass of...”
Disgusted, Colton finished her sentence, “You’ve been drinking. Wine I’ll bet.”
“Just a small glass.”
Madeline touched his arm.
Ignoring Madeline, at first he, not unkindly, scolded Chelsea, “You stupid girl,” looking at Madeline, “There were some lemon slices. Get some,” back to Chelsea, “So, nothing to eat, hot day preceded by church, a party, and not to understate meeting a new woman,” then in a more sympathetic tone, wiping her cheek, he added, “Dare I say rival?”
Tears started dribbling from the corners of Chelsea’s eyes.
He turned cold, “Not going to happen, not ever. We’re cousins. You’re more like a kid sister, and not a very good one,” he softened, “Look dear-heart, we’ll always be together, just us, just us two, just not that way,” he heard a stirring behind him and knew it was Madeline. He wondered what she heard.
Chelsea was already recovering, but Colton made her chew through two lemons before he let up. He was glum, party over, at least for him and Chelsea. He peered over at Madeline who’d been on the floor beside him, “I’ve got to take her home. She needs a nap, a real nap, in bed. You can stay if you want. I’m sure Brian or somebody would be glad to take you home later.”
Madeline, honestly affronted, leaned back. Giving Colton her best umbrage, “No, I’ll leave with you two.”
Faintly smiling, a little pleased, an unconscious gesture Madeline noted, he remarked, “All right then,” he got up and helped Chelsea to her feet. The three of them, Colton steadying Chelsea with an arm, worked their way back outside. He expressed his regrets. Madeline acknowledged their friendliness to a stranger. The three rode home; Chelsea and Madeline together in the back.
Back home Colton got a wobbly Chelsea in bed. Not finding his or her mother he said, “You stay here. Be quiet. I need to get Madeline home.” Placing her cell phone by her bed he added, “You feel bad again don’t fool around. Call 911,” Normally he would have stayed, watched her, put cool cloths on her forehead, but he left and went back downstairs to a waiting Madeline, “Come on, let me get you home.”
Off to the truck they went. He couldn’t have known, but as soon as the side door closed, even before he’d started his truck, the nearly recovered Chelsea was out of bed and at her desk turning on her ‘desk top’.
Colton got Madeline back to her house. He handed her out and walked as far as her gate. She asked, “Won’t you come in for a moment?”
He demurred, “No, I better get back.”
Plying him with a despondent smile she pleaded, “Please, just a moment.”
He caved, “Oh well, just a moment.” So up and into Madeline’s house Colton strolled.
Inside Madeline smiled sheepishly, “I’m tired myself. Would you mind staying just a few?”
“I’d like to get out this suit; it’s a work thing, and I feel trapped in it. Maybe you could make us each a cup of coffee. I’ve got a Couric in the kitchen, coffee packets in the top cupboard above the dishwasher,” not waiting for an answer she started upstairs.
Colt thought, ‘What the hell, ‘ he started toward the kitchen. He couldn’t help but notice the house and furnishings. He’d been in places like this before; upscale, rich, luxuriant. Chelsea would like it.
He had both coffees ready and was seated at her kitchen table when Madeline walked in; he was mildly surprised. He expected maybe dungarees and a shirt, not what he saw. Madeline was barefoot, no stockings, only a short white slip, something she might have worn beneath a mini-dress. It left almost nothing to the imagination.
She sat catty-cornered from him, “Sorry, not trying to be anything but comfortable, just need to unwind.”
For a moment he couldn’t take his eyes off her breasts. When he looked up he saw she was smiling, “Sorry,” he said.
“No problem. Guess I’m sorry too. I wanted you to see me, just wasn’t sure ... look I’ll go put something else on.”
“No you’re good, I mean it’s all right,” He knew he should leave. He knew she shouldn’t have come down dressed like that. He didn’t know how he should feel, what he should say. Any other woman and he would’ve taken the cue. He should’ve, but he didn’t, “Just stay where you are. It’s your home. I should be leaving,” he got up to go.
She got up too.
He didn’t plan for it to happen. He stood up. She stood up. Then they were in each other’s arms. Her hands; one on his waist, the other behind his head. Her fingers, his nape, the chills, her kiss, that first kiss. His hands, soft breasts. The soft material of her slip, soft flesh against muscle. Her hot breath on his neck, her crease, the moisture. His pants fell to the floor. Up against the sink his penis penetrated her vagina. He heard her nearly inaudible sighs. He controlled his own. She was that good, or more likely it was his own anticipation. Sure, that’s what it was...
He got home later. Chelsea was asleep. His mom wasn’t home, her mom wasn’t either.
All the way home he kept replaying what had happened. There was no rhyme or reason for it; it just happened. He kept thinking, ‘Anne Hathaway; he’d made love to Anne Hathaway. How many men like him could ever say they’d done that? She was almost everything he might have imagined, almost. Warm soft lips, healthy arms and thighs, not hard or muscular but a shapely comfortable body. Her flesh was pink, pink all over, and hot to the touch, hot everywhere. The way her hands, her fingers wandered over his body, over his face, his chest, around his waist, down to his... ‘ She knew the score. Thankfully he’d pulled out just before, but the sight of her abdomen, soft, flushed pink covered with a sheen of sweat and snow white semen splattered on it, her trimmed vagina, her stomach, not exactly flat, but not fat either, just like what he’d imagined.
She hadn’t tried to clean up. When they’d finished she’d readjusted her slip and helped him with his trousers. She’d stuffed his penis back in his boxers. She slathered a finger across it and tasted what she’d collected. She’d seen a renewed tumescence, but they hadn’t ... They’d walked to her front door in silence. They’d kissed there, no other contact, just lips, “Call me,” she’d said.
Later he lay in bed with a hard on. He felt stupid, foolish – one and done- that had been him. He could only imagine what she must have thought.
And she had thought about it ... and him too. As soon as his truck pulled away, leaning against the door she took the fingers of her left hand, touched them to her stomach, and pulled up some more of his still sticky semen. She put it to her lips. It tasted sweet, she smiled as she thought, ‘He was good. This was going to be fun.’
Back in her bedroom she showered and toweled off. Sliding into bed she saw the blinking light. Leaning across the bed she hit the button, three messages.
The first was from her father, “Hello Dumplin? It’s Daddy. Your mom and I are at the airport saying goodbye to sissy. We’ll be home sometime tomorrow, we’ll rest up first, jet lag you know, and then I’ll call. When can I see you? I love you and miss you. Bye now. Daddy.”
‘Gosh, ‘ she thought, ‘Daddy. She wished he’d stop it with the dumplin thing. She wasn’t fat any more.’
Then there was one from Brad, “Maddie can’t we get together? We need to talk. I love you so much. Please,” she groaned, just as Brad started crying she went to the third message. It was Mr. Hanlon her boss, “Maddie it’s me. Be in my office early, 9:00 a.m. Be at your best.”
She chuckled, “Seems that partnership was closer than ever.” She lay back naked, Errol in her left hand. Who could say? Another year in Hicksville? Back to Philadelphia with a partnership in her hands? Back to daddy? Her father? No, she’d stay right where she was. Chambersburg wasn’t as bad as all that. She lay back comfortably. No, if daddy wanted to see her he knew where she was. Errol hummed softly inside her as she fell off to sleep.