Paddlin' Madelyne Home (Revised)
Copyright© 2007 by Stultus
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A happy-go-lucky Civil Engineer meets a troublesome young lady at a party who thereafter gives him nothing but constant grief. Naturally this hampers any growth of a relationship between them, until her family offers some helpful advice. A newly revised and augmented version of an old story.
PADDLIN' MADELINE HOME
Words and Music by Harry Woods (1925)
I love a girl named Madeline, I know she loves me, too For ev'ry night the moon is bright, She rides in my canoe
At midnight on the river, I heard her father call, But she don't care and I don't care, If we get back at all
'Cause when I'm paddlin' Madeline home Gee! When I'm paddlin' Madelin' home First I drift with the tide, Then pull for the shore I hug her and kiss her, And paddle some more
Then I keep paddlin' Madeline home, Until I find a spot where we're alone Oh! She never says "No", So I kiss her and go Paddlin' Madeline, Sweet sweet Madeline Paddlin' Madeline home
'Cause when I'm paddlin' Madeline home Gee! When I'm paddlin' Madeline home First I kiss her a while, And when I get through I paddle for one mile, And drift back for two
Then I keep paddlin' Madeline home, Until I find a spot where we're alone Oh! If she'd only say "Throw your paddles away"
Paddlin' Madeline, Sweet sweet Madeline Paddlin' Madeline home
I really hadn't wanted to go to that party anyway, but my sister (step-sister actually) had an invitation that was good for two and she didn't have a date available that night to go with her. To receive an invitation at all was a fairly high honor, and being the social butterfly that she was, she very much wanted to go with someone under her arm.
This party which was held every spring and fall was a 'Singles Masked Ball', and was one of Houston's premier society events of the year and it was hosted by the wives of the prestigious Wildcatters Club. Only two hundred invitations were mailed, precisely one hundred each to the most select single men and women of the city. Supposedly, to even make it onto the preliminary 'Eligible Listing' you had to be worth at least one million dollars and of course have proper high society connections.
Heather had the fortune part quite easily; she had made a fairly large bundle when she cleaned out her ex-husband in her divorce settlement. She did have the aid of some carefully timed photographs taken by a very efficient and amoral private investigator that depicted some rather unusual acts between him and his rather dominant secretary that even in this modern and enlightened age would have been a bit too weird for 'polite society'. He paid, and paid well, to keep his secrets.
I didn't have anything close to a million in all of my own accounts combined but I was doing ok and living fairly comfortably for a guy in his early thirties. High society wasn't my scene anyway, plus I was a very marginal ex-Pro Football player (an Outside Linebacker) so I definitely didn't rate my own invite.
My pro sports career hadn't been that hot anyway. I played six seasons (long enough for the pension and medical benefits), but mostly spent my time either on the bench or on the Injury List. I'd had one bad foot injury early in my career that just never completely healed up properly, but I shouldn't complain. I made a bit of money and briefly got to live a life that others only dream about. I'm content with my mediocrity. I did get lucky my last season and the team whose bench I was riding as a fourth stringer won the Super Bowl, so I have 'The Ring', even though I never played a single down in that game.
My sister on the other hand, had always been good at schmoozing, and played the society game to the hilt, working her way up the big social ladder slowly but surely. This was her first big cue that she 'had made it' and she wanted to enjoy her first real triumph. Sis and I don't always see eye to eye, but we do sort of like each other and have tried to be 'family' and supportive when the other has really needed it.
We seem to each take after our very different mothers. I was fun loving and always the joker, while she tended to take herself far too seriously and never laughed, except for those fake polite society laughs. No matter, I said I'd be there for her and would try and have fun no matter how 'stuffy or snobby' the other three hundred and ninety eight attendees were.
Fortunately, since this party was definitely going to be by any standards 'La commedia dell'arte', I had just the perfect costume - a classic Italian Renaissance 'Harlequin' multi-colored diamond patterned suit complete with all of the silly accessories and trimmings including the red and black mask and a real theatrical slap-stick. Harlequin, with his representation of all of the riches and peculiarities of life, would be my perfect foil against anyone who took themselves far too seriously. Appropriately costumed, I was well prepared for a night of Foolery.
By the time Heather and I arrived an hour late to the Ball at about 8:30 (Heather will be late even to her own funeral), the party was already in full swing and couples were laughing and dancing. I lost Heather nearly immediately to a circle of 'friends', of which I doubted she actually even knew the names of more than one or two, so with a glass of wine in one hand and my slap stick in the other hand I made a preliminary circuit of the ball room just to get the lay of the land. I made a few jests and even performed a pratfall or two for the delight of some fair ladies, and made sure that my wine glass stayed refreshed.
Maybe things weren't so bad in here after all!
Around the time of my third tour around the room, and after exhibiting my skill with my slap-stick on a few nicely attired female bottoms (it was their idea - really!), I noticed that one young lady at a corner table had not once arisen for a dance with any gentleman. I had seen several would-be suitors rejected, but none of them were Harlequin!
Loading my slap-stick up with a large charge of flash powder, I snuck up behind the young lovely (putting my finger to my lip to ward off the giggles coming from her also lovely young companion) and whacked the back of her chair with my slap stick.
BANG! Off went the flask powder between the two boards of my slap stick (a noisy device, but incapable of doing anyone harm) and up she shot out of her chair like a rocket.
"Yes, certainly my lovely Columbina!" I said with a grand gesture and taking her hand. "I will certainly honor your request for this dance."
Leaving my stick with her companion who was now laughing herself utterly silly, I dragged my fair (and quite protesting) damsel out onto the dance floor. The first words out of her mouth were not encouraging for the establishment of a happy long term romance (or even a short term infatuation).
"Are you stupid or just slow? My name is not Columbia, or whatever you called me. If you can't read my name tag I can try and help you with the more difficult letters".
Ouch! Clearly my beloved Columbina had not had the benefit of a proper classical education, but I was having too much fun still to quit. I did get a better look at her name tag which said 'Ramona'. She didn't look like a Ramona very much at all to me, but I continued.
"Noble Harlequin has often been denigrated and accused of being simple and of only having one thought in his mind at one time, tis true. Oh, but what a wonderful thought indeed it is! To hold your hand and clasp my hand around your slim waist and us dance forever together. Ah! That would be Life indeed!"
Fortunately, I could at least back up a bit of what my mouth was spouting; I was in fact a decent to quite good dancer. As part of my rehabilitation for my first and very lingering ankle injury, my physical therapist had suggested I take ballroom dancing lessons. This had indeed worked wonders, and my 'improved footwork' probably lengthened my Pro career by at least two years when I could only play smarter and not faster. Alas, my fair Columbina was determined to make things difficult for us ... more so as it seemed she was not an especially good dancer and often stumbled across my feet...
"You're Nuts!" She exclaimed.
"Certainly not! I never offer them to just anyone and never on the first date, and besides it takes me forever to get into this Motley!" I glibly replied
For a moment I thought I almost saw a smile on her face before our song was over and she fled from me and the dance floor. I let her regain her seat, and I bowed before her nearly as fair companion and offered her a dance of her own.
"Hell, yes!" she replied, and off we were for another tour of the dance floor, this time with a much more genial partner. From a brief look at her name tag on her quite respectable cleavage, her name appeared to be 'Madelyne', but frankly that name didn't seem to fit her well either. In fact she didn't respond to it at all when I called her by it during our second dance.
We danced all of the next dances of the ball together (she was an excellent dancer), and we had a few laughs together until the 'Grand Unveiling' at midnight. Returning her to her seat afterwards, I left for a moment to refresh our drinks but not before I heard Madelyn call Ramona 'Maddie'. My suspicions had indeed been correct; the two ladies had switched name tags.
I returned with our three drinks and introduced myself properly, handing out a pair of my business cards and addressed each girl by their correct and proper name. Ramona, my primary dance partner for the evening, was greatly amused that I had figured out their little game, but Madelyne, if anything, just seemed to stew even more and became even surlier in tone and behavior. It seemed it was my fault that she had made the switch in the first place, in order to fend off 'wolves like me'.
Ok, then. Whatever. I had never been one to stay where I clearly wasn't wanted so I bid them both a good morning (it now being after midnight) and took one last stroll around the room and had a last drink or two before calling it a night (I was taking a cab home).
Frankly I never expected to hear from either woman ever again.
Ramona had been fun to dance with, but we didn't seem to 'click' and she had not offered her phone number to me before I left. Therefore it came as a big surprise to get a phone call from Ramona on a late Thursday afternoon a few weeks later, asking if I was free for a drink after work on Friday?
"Certainly." I assured her, and she suggested the name of a club that I had vaguely heard of near downtown. I told her I thought I could be there by about 6:30 or so, depending upon Houston's nightmare rush-hour traffic in nearby Greenway Plaza, where I worked.
Sure enough, Ramona was there on time waiting for me, and I gave her a kiss on the cheek and a hug for a greeting. I ordered a round of drinks and found a table where we could almost hear ourselves think properly, and we sat down to talk. To my surprise, the main topic of conversation was Madelyne.
Right from the start, the conversation turned to business, rather than pleasure.
"This is more than a bit complicated, but Maddie is sorry for being a bitch to you at the Ball. She hadn't really wanted to go to it in the first place, even though it was something of an honor for her to have been selected as one of the one hundred most eligible single women in the city. She's got a thing about not flaunting her money, especially out in public."
"So she was rude because she was ashamed about her fortune?"
"Pretty much in a nutshell, yes. She really does have a lot of money - loads of it even, but it embarrasses and pisses her off to no end to have to display it or really even acknowledge that it is even there. In her opinion, just going to that party put her name up in lights for the golddiggers and fortune hunters to see. She expected to be 'swarmed by wolves', and thus she swapped nametags with me. So I wore the elite gold rimmed nametag while she wore the 'safer' silver Guest tag."
"Ok, fine ... so what? I fail to see how this affects me in any way? The party is done and over with ... and I was already very over her rudeness by the time I left the Ball."
You see, Maddie is 'complicated'. She has definite trust issues with strangers and was 'very bad at relationships'. This makes it a bitch for her to ask for help with a problem, any sort of problem. I should know, I've been her personal assistant for nearly five years."
"Alright, fine. But why did I need to know about this and why should I even particularly care?" Really, I didn't. I was going to give Ramona about two minutes to get to the point or else I was going to say goodbye and leave.
"To make a very long dramatic story short, Maddie was convinced that you were just one of the wolves, but the way you just walked out on her later convinced me that you weren't another fortune hunter."
"Trust me. Until the Ball I had never ever seen or heard of her before, nor did I much care a lick about any fortune she might or might not have. I've got my own money ... and my own self-respect." I was just moments from getting ready to stand up and make my farewell. Being considered as a sexual or financial predator twice in the same week from the same set of women was really digging under my skin.
"We know ... now. Maddie spent the last week having you thoroughly 'checked out' by several private investigators who didn't leave many stones left unturned. You were a good student in high school and college and had a very minor NFL career, and since your sports retirement you've worked as a Civil Engineer and all-around construction project manager for a small but successful family owned construction firm. You normally design and build strip malls but sometimes you've handled more challenging projects like large parking garages. Your 'habits seemed to be good' and always proper. Interestingly, one or two of the ladies they questioned were quoted as describing you as 'hunky' but too much of gentleman and wished that you were indeed more of a wolf."
That was more than enough. I stood up and got ready to leave, but not before giving Ramona a thoroughly bored look with an extra heavy roll of my eyebrows to emphasize my annoyance.
"Ok, so I have passed the Empresses audition, so to speak, so what? Whoop-dee-Doo! Get to the point now ... please!"
"Please don't leave! Mattie wanted to offer you a job, something personal. She really wants your help!"
"Knowing your boss, I'm already 99% sure that I don't want it. She's a rather rude young lady and I don't owe her any particular favors and I certainly don't need her money. Besides I rather like the job I already have."
The rich may act this way, treating the peasants like chattel, but at heart I was very much a country boy born and raised, where a person's words were measured against their actions, and an old fashioned "handshake deal" was very much the norm and there was little need for 'big city lawyers' and signed contracts the size of a telephone book. In short, I was already pretty sure that I couldn't trust Madelyne with even so much as a burned out match.
"You're a very good dancer," Ramona said hurriedly, "probably the very best one that either of us know of personally by name. Maddie wants very badly to enter the dance contest at our company's forthcoming big Christmas party. And yes, before you ask, her father owns the company. It's your largest competitor probably, Edwards Construction. He has been after her to learn some social skills for years, and she has decided you were the one that could give her some dance lessons. This would be 'only work' and most definitely not 'a date'."
So her family owned Edwards Construction. They were the big boys in town had won every big construction project worth mentioning in the last twenty years. The odds were that they didn't even know the small company that I worked for even existed. Mattie wasn't just rich, she was so utterly filthy rich that she could probably buy her own third world country, if she wanted ... and their surrounding neighbors as well.
I felt so insulted, that I really didn't know what to do other than laugh. The thought of just saying "No, and Hell No!" did occur to me, but I decided that if she was going to be rude to me, then I could certainly at this point return the favor.
"Fine", I replied, "if she wants a teacher and this is 'just a job', then I should be paid for my time. Since she is so rich that money apparently has little if any meaning for her, my rates as a dance instructor shall be $1000 per hour, for a minimum of two hours every Tuesday and Thursday night beginning at 7 p.m. If she is late even by just a minute, it's another $1000 extra as a penalty, and if she cancels an appointment for any reason whatsoever, that's another $5000. These terms are frankly utterly outrageous, and if I were her I'd reject them! If on the other hand Madelyne could manage to 'act like a lady' for an entire evening without acting rich and spoilted, I could be willing to consider our time spent together 'as a date', and there would be no charge whatsoever for my time."
There! I thought. There was no way she would accept those conditions, and Ramona certainly seemed shocked.
"Sorry Ramona, but I don't owe her, or even you for that matter any favors or any debt of honor or even friendship, and frankly I have no pressing need, wish or desire to spend a moment of my valuable time with her, and undoubtedly listen to any more of her rudeness. This tuition cost, would probably just barely cover the extensive psychological counseling that I would require after spending the next few months with her. No debate, no discussion, no negotiation. It's my way or the highway. Take it or leave it! And remind her that the telephone book is full of professional dance instruction schools, so that when her rudeness gets her thrown out of the first school, there are still a dozen or so more she can run to for backup!"
Still a bit in shock, Ramona then finished her drink and left, offering me a small peck on the cheek on her way out. I finished my drink and sincerely hoped that I had heard the very last of Madelyn Edwards, but it was not to be.
Ramona phoned me the next Monday morning and told me that Maddie had accepted my financial terms and would be waiting for me to pick her up the following night for her first class. A few hours later a courier brought a check from her that covered the first two weeks.
Damn. My bluff had been called. Now I had to make some hasty preparations.
I called a couple of dance schools to see if they had a private room and a junior instructor or advanced student that I could rent two evenings a week. It took awhile, but I found a good place that did have a practice room and the choice of a couple of dance partners that could be hired for the two evenings a week I needed. I wrote them a check, paying them in full for the next month - the total of which didn't even begin to cover the amount Maddie was paying me for just a single hour.
Her new dance partners were going to earn his tips, because I certainly wasn't going to get any closer to her than I could help. I was already not looking forward to our first lesson on Tuesday!
Naturally, Maddie was 15 minutes late when she came out to my car for our first session. Ca-ching!
I told her she wasn't hurting my feelings at all by making me wait, it was 'her money' and she could waste it and our time as much as she wanted. Into my date book I annotated that she owed me another $1000 for this day, and we drove to the dance school in silence.
The evening was of course pure hell for the next hour and a half. Maddie seemed furious that I was not going to be her actual practice 'dance partner', despite my frequent explanations that if I was to be the teacher then I needed to see and judge her movements at all times from a different angle.
Her poor dance partner Bob (who actually may have been a technically more polished dancer than I was) was having a harder and harder time keeping a blank smile on his face and we struggled mightily teaching Maddie the simple delights of the foxtrot, my favorite dance. Her feet stepped on his constantly and he had a very difficult time in 'leading her'. I very much doubted he ever wanted to dance with her ever again on any future night, and I had to tip him an extra $200 just to get him to agree to make his next appointment with us.
That sum was still a bargain; I wouldn't have put my arms around her to dance with her for all of the gold in Fort Knox.
The ride home with her was in blessed silence, and she stomped out of the car and slammed the door shut without ever having said a single word to me. That frankly suited me just fine.
Thursday night she was a no-show, and I sat right on her doorstep from 7 to 9 p.m. cooling my heels. I passed the time by appraising her front garden (I didn't think much of it) and her house, which I did like, but that was only natural as it was in a very exclusive neighborhood and probably cost more than I was ever likely to make in my entire lifetime. It did make me feel a little better when I calculated that each minute she was making me wait was costing her $100, for the $1000 normal + $5000 'no-show' penalty.
Right at 9:05 just as I was walking back to my car, she pulled into her driveway. Naturally, I didn't expect an excuse or even an apology from her, but I thought I would make the effort anyway of making sure that she did have my cell phone number so that she could call me if she was delayed by other business.
"Oh yes", she assured me, "If anything 'important' came up she would be sure to give me a call".
With that she went straight into her house without another word and shut the door, rather harder than necessary. I began to seriously debate if any amount of this woman's money was worth even another moment of my time, but I had given my word and committed myself.
The next Tuesday session seemed to go much better (I only had to tip her dancer an extra $100 this time), and the Thursday session (her first with her regular Thursday night partner) went well enough that we started on lessons for the Waltz.
For the next month we continued to make steady progress, and by the 18th of November, Madelyne was at least minimally proficient with the Modern and classic Viennese Waltzes, the Foxtrot, the Quickstep, Rumba and Samba, and the glorious Tango. She seemed to be gaining in confidence and at times actually seemed to be enjoying herself. She was no longer a beginner and hinted (loudly) that maybe I should be now giving her some advanced lessons ... personally.
The next Tuesday she again asked if I could be her partner for all of the dances that evening. She was dressed up to the nines and looked especially pretty that evening I thought, and her manners had been quite good all evening since I picked her up, so I agreed. we dismissed Bob early (he still got his normal tip) and we danced through all of the dances at least five times. I think we had been enjoying an especially fun Tango when I noticed that our time had been up for quite awhile. Maddie was now quite a good dancer and seemed to have the enthusiasm to become a very good dancer in the not distant future. She knew the basic steps now for each dance, but from here on 99% of her progress would depend solely on her attitude and inner desire to excel.
She hadn't wanted to be taken home quite yet so we stopped at a nearby Denny's and chatted for a few hours. It was there that she finally uttered her first apology to me, a long overdue one for the way she had treated me at the party. It wasn't an especially good apology, and it was phrased fairly awkwardly, but it did sound at least mostly sincere, so I accepted it at face value.
With this burden off of her shoulders, our conversation became quite pleasant and enjoyable, and I found myself liking her quite a bit more. Maddie was a Civil Engineer also and was a graduate of UT. I had gone to Texas A&M; this gave us another natural rivalry between us, but this one could be a bit more good natured. I think we could have "talked shop" into the early hours of the morning except that I had an 8:30 a.m. presentation to give for my boss and a prospective client the next morning, so we called the evening quits around midnight.
As I took her home, I casually reminded her that Thursday was Thanksgiving, so there would be no practice. Surprisingly, she had forgotten this entirely. Her mother and father were both out of town so she would just be spending the day alone working at home.
Without thinking, I immediately offered her an invitation to come to my stepmother's house for holiday dinner there, and to my considerable shock and surprise, she accepted. Dinner would be around 4 p.m. I told her, and I could pick either pick her up or else I could give her the address to come on her own. She elected to come on her own; she was working on a presentation herself and would be doing some homework. And so it was agreed.
Like my half-sister Heather, my stepmother and I had always gotten along. My birth mother had died when I was just a toddler and Dad got remarried when I was about six, so in many ways she has been the only real Mother I've ever known. She's a great old gal and we try to stay close. She keeps a stern exterior at all times but in the heart she's a real softy, and her advice is often blunt but invariably correct.
Dad didn't live quite long enough to ever see me play in the NFL. He died two weeks before my first rookie game and was buried with his game ticket unused in his suit pocket and a football that I'd had all of my teammates sign for him. Mom on the other hand had never missed a single one of the televised games on the satellite for any team that I ever played for, and somewhere she has stored boxes of VHS tapes of every game that I played even a single down in.
Thanksgiving Thursday 4 p.m. came and went, and there was no sign of Madelyne. At 5 p.m. my stepmother (I'll just call her Mom) and sister started to dish up without her and I called her cell phone repeatedly until 5:40 when she finally answered. She had lost track of the time, but would be right on her way. Her house was only about fifteen minutes away (Mom had a bit of money from Dad's life insurance and lived in a good older middle-class neighborhood nearby) and so I then told folks to expect her around 6 p.m., but it was much closer to 7 p.m. when finally she arrived; of course without offering any apology.
The wonderful turkey dinner my mother had prepared (my sister Heather was incapable of even boiling water) was now pretty much cold, to say nothing else of the other lovely and delicious side dishes which were no longer at their best. Madelyne and my mother did seem to hit it off together nearly immediately and they had lots of fun as Mom told her naughty stories from my childhood to an increasingly amused Maddie, who was now enjoying a fourth cup of my mother's unparalleled coffee and a second helping of pie. But at no point did Madelyne ever offer an apology for her tardiness and making everyone wait for her.
The good humor of the evening had not completely washed away my annoyance at her, and at 9:30 when I was walking Madelyne to her car, I took the opportunity to admonish her gently.
"When you're late for dance practice, that is just your own time and money your wasting, and I don't much care, but tonight your inconsideration also inconvenienced several other folks, who postponed the enjoyment of their holiday feast so that you could join them. That was wrong, and it is not me that you should owe your apology to."
Her eyes seem to twitch for a moment and then she glared at me and snapped,
"My project was very important and I couldn't quit until I was done with it".
Over the last month, I had clearly decided that two different people lived inside Maddie's head. There was the 'Old' self-absorbed Madelyne that somehow always said the wrong thing at the wrong time and lived an emotional roller coaster life of constant ups and downs. On the other hand, somewhere in the middle of those wild peaks and valleys was an interesting young lady we all called Maddie, who was actually pleasant and a lot of fun sometimes to be around.
Tonight Madelyne was back, and I had an instant reminder of why I didn't care for that particular woman at all. I shrugged and gave her a faint wave goodbye as she left.
Awhile later, Mom thought it over at great length before she offered her personal opinion of Madelyne.
"I think I like her, but she's not a 'people person' and don't think she does well in dealing emotionally with people, and she probably gets 'worse' the closer she is to them."
Heather was much less blunt later in private, "What a total self-absorbed cunt! What do you see in that exasperating twat?"
I explained again that we didn't have a 'relationship' or had ever even been on a date together. At this point, and for the next few weeks remaining weeks or so, she was just a business friend, that's all. And for the next two weeks, that's just what it was. We were again quite chilly to each other for our remaining practices together and we shared very little personal conversation.
The evening of December 17th was the night of her big company Christmas Party, and for me it could not have come soon enough. Our last Tuesday practice had gone so roughly that I cancelled the Thursday one.
"Get some extra sleep and pray for the Sandman to sweeten your disposition a little bit at the same time." I suggested as she slammed my car door after I had taken her home.