Long Reliever
Chapter 1

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

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Arlie Stone, a forty-seven year old widower with two kids at home, didn't see himself as a candidate for romance. All he wanted was a mature, reliable nanny to care for his children. While Susan Munger seemed reliable, she was barely twenty-five years old. Their association would change her life -- and Arlie's too.

"Mr. Stone? This is Mary Barker. From Creighton's? The employment agency?"

"Yes. This is Arliss Stone."

"Mr. Stone, I'm calling about a candidate for the housekeeper and nanny position you've advertised with us. I understand you've turned down all of the five women we've sent out earlier for interviews —- is that correct?"

"They weren't suitable. I'm sorry, but this position involves the care of two small children. My children. I'm going to keep on being picky."

"That's certainly your prerogative, Mr. Stone. We want you to be entirely satisfied, and Creighton's will keep screening applicants until we've found you the right person for the job. But that's why I'm calling, sir. We have a young woman who's very interested in the job but who doesn't fit precisely your specifications."

"So why are you calling, then?" Arlie couldn't disguise the weariness in his tone. He desperately wanted to get this important task accomplished, and time was running very short.

"It's just that this young woman was so insistent, sir. She's quite well-qualified in most respects, but you specified that you wanted someone between the ages of thirty-five and sixty, and this young woman is only twenty-four."

"Listen, Ms ... Barker, is it? I'm a widower with two children under twelve. I travel. In my work, I travel -- a lot. I need a live-in, motherly type female to help me with my children. I need somebody who's mature, responsible, and knows something about raising kids. A twenty-four year old isn't likely to be suitable."

"Yes, sir. I understand. But this young woman was extraordinarily insistent. She says the job is perfect for her, and that she's perfect for the job. She begged me to at least call and ask you to see her. She wants a chance to convince you not to hold her relative youth against her."


"All right, sir. I'm sorry to have bothered you. I just wanted to respond to the young woman's request. Forgive me, but she was ... quite insistent, and she's a charming young thing. I just allowed myself to..."

"It's all right, Ms. Barker. But please just stick to the script and send me some mature women to interview. And make sure they understand about the job's difficult schedule. The last two people you sent for interviews just didn't get it. The idea that they couldn't take days off while I was out of town just struck them as unreasonable. Hell, maybe it is unreasonable, but it's a requirement of the job, and I've been trying to make that clear from the outset, and by being willing to pay well above-scale for the person's inconvenience."

"Well, it's hard, Mr. Stone. I mean, the salary you're offering is unusually generous —- but most people, you know, they've got families or other personal responsibilities that make the schedule you've laid out just beyond their capabilities."

"Keep trying. I've got to leave for Spring Training in Florida two weeks from today. I need someone who can step in and be here for my kids, and I need to find that person quickly. I can't just hire a stranger and not even be around here for a couple of weeks to see for myself who they are. And I damned well need someone with top-drawer references!"

"Well, that's just it, Mr. Stone. This young woman, she's just —- she would be just perfect for you except for the age thing. She has impeccable references, and she has experience with children —- she's the eldest of four children in her own family, and she's demonstrated to us that she helped to raise her younger siblings."

"Do you have any other prospects lined up for me to interview?"

"Not yet, sir, no. I'm afraid our pre-interview screening has disqualified most of the applicants who've responded to the advertisement to date."

"Well, hell. Go ahead and send this kid over, then. I'll talk to her. We're getting down to the short strokes here, damn it! My kids are in school, and I can't take them with me to Florida for seven weeks."

"I don't think you'll regret it, sir. I mean, perhaps after you've met Susan, you'll still want someone older, but I think you're wise to at least interview her."

"What's her full name?"

"Susan Munger, Mr. Stone. She's a recent University of Pennsylvania graduate. I understand that she grew up in California."

"University of Pennsylvania? That's a first-rate school. And she wants to be a full-time housekeeper and nanny?"

"She has her reasons, sir. I'll let her tell you. When she told me her story, I thought it made sense. She's a very well-grounded young lady, Mr. Stone."

"All right. Can she come over here tomorrow morning?"

"I'm certain she can. How about ten o'clock? I'll call you back to confirm after I've called her, but I'm near-certain she'll say she'll be there any time you specify."

Arlie Stone had been the Baltimore Orioles' pitching coach for six years and had been a coach in their minor league system before that.

Eleven years ago, when he had been thirty-six, Arlie had been a journeyman starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. Before the Royals, he'd come up through the Oakland Athletics' system. He hadn't been a world-beater, and he'd only pitched in the majors for a little over five years. His fast ball wasn't quite fast enough, and as a result he never rose above the level of number three starter on a losing ball club.

But Arlie Stone knew how to pitch, and, more importantly, how to teach young men to be better pitchers than they were before Arlie met them. After his arm died on him, Arlie got picked up by the then-brand-new manager of the Bowie Baysox in the Eastern League as a minor-league pitching coach. He had been hired for that job by Paul Warren in Warren's first year at Bowie.

Two seasons later, Paul Warren had become manager of the Baltimore Orioles, and Arlie Stone was back in the big leagues as the big club's pitching coach.

It had been a wonderful eight years with the Orioles' organization, and he and Paul Warren had eventually enjoyed great success together. The Orioles —- every bit as hopeless an organization eight years earlier as Arlie Stone's Royals had been -- were now all the way back to their long-ago glory days: perennial contenders in the tough American League Eastern Division.

Wonderful days. At least they had been until right around the Thanksgiving Holiday fourteen months ago, when Sylvia, Arlie's wife of fifteen years, died of breast cancer. She had spent two years in a courageous but futile struggle against the disease.

Last season, Arlie's sister-in-law from Philadelphia had taken the children while Arlie, less than three months after Sylvia's death, had resumed work. The kids had been uprooted from their school, their home, and both parents, and had finished their school year in suburban Philadelphia.

During the ensuing summer, Arlie had brought his children back home to Baltimore and, with the help of friends and relatives, they'd reestablished their household. For a time, his motherless children were in the care of a fiftyish widowed cousin who had consented to becoming their live-in substitute mother.

That arrangement had worked well for a brief period, but Cousin Minerva had found love while in Baltimore. After only seven months with the family, she announced to Arlie that she was marrying a man she'd met via the Internet, and she'd be moving to Wilmington, Delaware to be with him.

At that point, available human resources within Arlie's extended family had been expended. Arlie knew he was going to have to rely on the kindness of strangers. He was going to have to hire a live-in nanny.

Cousin Minerva hadn't given him a whole lot of advance warning. Now, only a year after he'd been casting about for childcare solutions after his wife died, he was in the same fix all over again. He needed someone reliable and trustworthy, and he needed someone fast.

The employment agency he'd hired was reputed to be first-rate, but no one they'd sent to be interviewed so far had been willing to take on the job. In essence, Arlie was trying to hire a substitute mom. A substitute who would be his children's only available adult presence for long stretches of time while Arlie was in Florida for seven weeks of Spring Training.

Even when he returned home, the Orioles would be on the road for very nearly half the time between early April and the end of September. That schedule would stretch into late October if things went well for the Orioles.

Most women who sought work as nannies or housekeepers were expecting the same things that other people looking for employment wanted: time to themselves to leave the job and spend their down time elsewhere. If they'd wanted to be a single parent of two children, they'd have probably chosen to give birth to their own.

Arlie realized this and had hoped to find an older woman whose family was grown and gone. An empty-nester —- perhaps a widow —- who might welcome a roof over her head and her own bedroom, complete with cable TV. The search had proven more difficult than he'd anticipated. In fact, panic was beginning to set in.

So maybe, Arlie thought, he was being too fussy, specifying that he wanted a woman thirty-five or older to care for his kids. Maybe he'd have to give this young girl who was coming by in the morning a fair shot at the job. God knows it was getting late. He was due in Ft. Lauderdale thirteen days from tomorrow. If he didn't find somebody suitable to care for the kids, they'd have to go back to Philadelphia again and live with their aunt. They'd have to change schools (again). Arlie would be breaking up his family (again), and he'd scarcely ever get to see his kids the entire season long.

Or, perhaps Arlie should just take an emergency leave of absence, or even resign his job altogether and stay home and raise his children properly.

Maybe that's what he ought to be considering, instead of interviewing strangers for the impossible job he was offering. He could afford to quit working. He had put away money over the years. Baseball, as the cliché went, had been "berry berry good" to Arlie Stone. Quitting, Arlie knew, might be the most responsible thing he could do.

But, oh, God, he didn't want to quit! He loved his kids and wanted the best for them both. But he loved his job, too! Arlie loved the Orioles. Sure, the long, long season was a grind, even for coaches. But it had been his life, as player and coach, for the past quarter-century. At forty-seven, baseball and his children were the only things he had left. He wanted desperately to hang onto both.

The agency representative had called back to confirm that Susan Munger would be there for her interview at the precise time specified, and she was as good as her word.

Arlie's doorbell rang at ten a.m. sharp. He let the young woman cool her heels on the front porch momentarily while he looked her over from behind the curtain in the living room.

He saw a conservatively dressed young woman of moderate height, well-formed, with dark brown hair cut short and dark eyes that flashed nervously as she waited for Arlie to respond, belatedly, to her ring.

The doorbell was noisy enough to be heard by the person pushing it, and if Ms. Susan Munger was tempted to press the button for a second time, she didn't give any sign.

He'd seen the flashing eyes, though. There was some tension there.

Finally, Arlie went to the door, opened it wide, and greeted his visitor.

"I'm Susan Munger," she said.

"Arlie Stone. Please come in." He gestured toward the living room, just to the left of the entranceway.

"You have a beautiful home, Mr. Stone," she said.

"Thank you. It's a little old-fashioned. Traditional," he said, "but we're proud of it. We've been here for almost six years."

"Ever since you joined the Orioles?" she said.

"Well, pretty soon after coming up from Bowie," he agreed. "You're a fan?"

"I follow the Orioles as a casual fan," she said. "I didn't mean to give you the impression I knew everything about you or about the club. When I found out about this job, I Googled you a little."

"Ah, yes, the Age of Google," Arlie said, smiling. "If it had occurred to me, I'd have Googled you right back."

She smiled. "I'm afraid there wouldn't have been much for you to find. I'm not a public figure, as you are."

"Pitching coaches for baseball clubs hardly rate as public figures," Arlie said.

"Actually, if you had Googled me, you might have found one of my stories or poems," she said. "I've had a few things published, including a small book of poetry."

"A writer!" Arlie said.

She blushed. "A fledgling writer," she corrected. "You probably know that there's not much money in poetry. Actually, there's practically none at all."

"It was a vanity publication, then? Your book of poems?"

She frowned. "No, sir! God knows I didn't make any money on it, but its publication was a bona fide commercial enterprise, all the same. The book sold something like three hundred copies. I'm sure my publisher took a bath on it, and I guess you could say I took a sponge bath myself. I really didn't even earn back my expenses."

"I'm impressed, all the same," Arlie said. "I can't claim to be much of a poetry-reader -— my tastes range more to mass-market detective fiction and box scores. But I admire anyone who can compose publishable poetry."

"I confess it's one of the reasons this job appeals to me so much," she said. "You know how writers, for the most part, have to hold jobs to make ends meet? Many writers are college professors or journalists. Anything to give them an income and perhaps an opportunity to write. For me, this position of yours promises to give me what I need the most —- a comfortable, affordable place to live, and adequate time to devote to my writing."

"Two young children to look after wouldn't be all that conducive to the peace and quiet necessary for a professional writer," Arlie protested.

"I'm not suggesting that I wouldn't have work to do," Susan said. "I expect you'd want a clean house and some meals on the table, too. Nevertheless, I'm an organized and efficient person, Mr. Stone. While your children were in school each day, I could accomplish a great deal. And I know how to care for children, sir. My father and mother divorced when I was fourteen, and I helped my mother raise three younger children. That's why I've only just now graduated from college at the age of twenty-five. I postponed the beginning of college until my brothers were old enough to take care of themselves, with my sister's help, while my mother was working."

"Twenty-five?" Arlie said questioningly. "The agency said you were only twenty-four."

"I'll be twenty-five next Thursday," she said, laughing. "I think I'm close enough to claim the extra year."

"My children are eleven and nine. Christy's eleven, Toby nine."

"When my father left, my mother had to go to work to support us. I had two younger brothers in that age range, along with my sister, who was twelve."

"Experience," Arlie conceded.

"Yes, sir."

"I don't know how much you're aware of the work schedule for someone involved in professional baseball," Arlie said. "I'm going to be in Florida from mid-February until the end of March. You'd be here, on your own, with these kids on a full-time basis. We don't have anybody —- no local relatives to fall back on, nobody at all. You'd be like a single mother with two children to look after, twenty-four seven."

"Well. You've been doing it," she said.

"Yes. I've done it, but I'm their father. It's not just a job for me; it's my life. In fact, I've seriously considered retiring so that I could be here for my children. Sometimes it seems to me that I'm being selfish, trying to continue with my career."

"Mr. Stone, you're still a young man, and, from what I understand, quite successful in your chosen profession. Of course you'd want to continue in baseball! All you've got to do is find the right person to care for your children. I think I'm that person! I have references all over the place, and I have relevant experience! And I can help your kids with their homework, and drive them wherever they need to go! I have my own car!"

"You wouldn't need to use your own car. My car will be here when I'm traveling, and we still have Sylvia's car —- my wife's car -— as well."

"Mr. Stone, I swear to you, sir, you needn't worry about my age. I know how to care for children, and I love doing it!"

"The agency said you'd recently graduated from Penn. How'd you end up in Baltimore?" Arlie asked.

Susan blushed. "I came here because my fiancé was from this area. I've been here for almost a year."

"Do you have a date set for the wedding? If you're close to getting married, that's another excellent reason why you wouldn't be right for..."

"There's not going to be any wedding," Susan said, her face crimson with embarrassment now. "Things ... didn't work out for us."

"I'm sorry," Arlie said. "I'm surprised you've decided to stay in Baltimore."

"My mother —- my whole family — is on the West Coast. I think the cost of living is better here than out there, and I'd kind of like to strike out on my own a little bit, anyway. I got this idea of working for someone on a live-in basis, and it seems to me that I can do that as well here as anywhere. And I like Baltimore, what I've seen of it."

"I think working here would meet your needs pretty well," Arlie said, "although there are a couple of drawbacks that you need to consider. First of all,

understand: I'm going to be gone from here a lot, and I wouldn't want you farming out my kids to baby sitters -— not even to people you knew and trusted.

"There might be special circumstances where something like that would be okay, but I'd want a hand, always, in making that kind of determination. Otherwise, I would expect you to be their caregiver, period! When I get back from Florida the first of April, there would be plenty of time during the team's home stands when you'd have ample free time away from here. But while I'm in Florida, and later on during the regular season when the club was on the road, I'd expect you to stick as close to those kids as I would if I were here with them myself!"

"That's understood, Mr. Stone! I understand perfectly."

"The other thing is, you'd need to come to Florida for eight or nine days in March with the children. They get out of school for Easter vacation in March, right in the heart of our Spring Training schedule, and I'll want them down there during that time. They're old enough that they can travel with me on a couple of brief Florida road trips, and you would have the option of going your own way for those days."

"Where does the team train?"

"Ft. Lauderdale. A very pleasant place to be in March. The club's lodging facilities there are first-rate. I'd have you sharing a room with Christy, and Toby could stay with me nights. When I'm on the road down there with the club, you'd have the use of my car. Now, you know what the job would pay, right?"

"The pay you're offering is generous, sir. Obviously, you're trying to purchase peace of mind and the assurance that your children will be well-cared-for."

"That's exactly right. But I expected an older woman -— perhaps a mother of grown-up children. Hell, I might even accept a mother who was still raising a kid of her own -— we've certainly got room enough in this big old house!"

"Mr. Stone, I can keep house. I can cook decent meals. I can manage your household bills and accounts to the extent you wanted me to, and I can take excellent care of your children. I will make them feel secure and protected and even loved. Just give me a chance, sir!"

"You make it sound like a lot of work for someone who wants to be a writer, and who's looking for a roof over her head while she writes."

"You're going to find that I'm right here in your house most of the time, even when you're in town for home games. When you're here and prepared to send me off to the movies or to visit with friends, chances are most of the time I'll just retreat to my room and get out my laptop. This job is ideal for me, Mr. Stone. Please."

"Well, I've already reviewed your references, and they're more than satisfactory. But I'm in a bind, Susan. Thirteen days from today, I've got to leave town with the club. That's how much time you and I have to get acquainted and for you to meet my children and bond with them to the extent necessary for this to work. After that time, if it isn't working out —- for any reason —- my only remaining choice will be to send my children to my sister-in-law in Philadelphia, or else resign my job without giving any notice. So I'm taking a helluva chance on you here, Susan."

"You won't be sorry."

"Next two weeks, you're not going to get many poems written."

"I don't expect to, sir."

"Call me Arlie. Name's Arliss, but everybody uses 'Arlie.'"

"Arlie," she said.

"When can you move in?" he said.

"This afternoon! I'll be back this afternoon with my stuff."

"Don't you want to see your room?"

"I'll see it when I get back. I'll be back before your children are due home from school. You're not going to be sorry, Mr. Stone, I promise you!"

"Arlie," he said.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Consensual / Romantic / Heterosexual / Slow /