Chapter 1: Pink Hair
Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Romantic, Heterosexual, Light Bond, Slow,
Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1: Pink Hair - Can you see past the surface? Bill learns to see past pink hair and piercings; Lexie learns not all men are out to use her.
It was a grey day, though the threat of rain never materialised it was cool and I was glad of the layers of clothing and water-proof oversuit. The fresh breeze meant I'd taken down a reef – a sensible precaution for a single-handed sailor in an unballasted dinghy – but I was still ready for a break and my lunch, so upriver from Woolverstone, just down from the Orwell Bridge, I beached Explorer and pulled her well up. There was a solitary walker trudging along the road, only yards away at that point, that I ignored as I bundled the mainsail and furled the foresail. I was shrugging out of my life-jacket when I was startled by a quiet, feminine voice close behind me.
"Is that a Wayfarer? It doesn't look quite right."
I jerked round and nearly lost my balance. She was slight, bundled in a startling pink – very pink duvet jacket; apart from that all I noticed was her matching pink hair as she swept off a stocking-hat ... and a lot of hardware in the form of studs and rings through ears, nose and lips.
Sorry, but I'm a fuddy-duddy, though only fifty. Hardware does not belong through the flesh of human beings and I much prefer natural hair to anything artificial. On the other hand, I'm a sailor and we sailors never dislike anyone who takes an interest in our crafts.
"No, it's a one-off," I said. "I used to have a Kestrel, but it was very lightly built and old, so eventually I built a hull to my own specifications out of ply to replace it and used the spars from the old boat. It's stiffer, heavier and more stable and there's more room when I want to sleep on board. On the other hand, it's slower." I was proud of my boat. I know it wasn't – isn't – perfect but it suits me and I can manage it solo whereas the Kestrel was a bit of a handful.
"You built it? Wow. What do you mean, stiffer?"
"Sailing jargon," I smiled, "it means it isn't as tippy when there's a gust of wind. The Kestrel was what we call 'tender' meaning it tipped very easily but came back easily too."
I was embarrassed. I wanted my sandwiches, but didn't want to run her off or eat in front of her. I came to a decision.
"I was just about to have my lunch," I said, "like a cheese-and-onion-relish sandwich with me?"
I recognised the look on her face because it's one I've worn on occasion. Courtesy warring with hunger. I could see the indecision in her. There was a long pause.
"If you don't mind, I am a little hungry," she said.
It wasn't really a big deal. No-one in their right mind sets out in a small boat without food and drink for a longer time than you're expecting to need. I dug out my little camp-stove, food bag, set up a wind-break, laid a small picnic blanket and started boiling water for tea. I sat down next to the stove and looked up at her, patting the blanket beside me. When she sat down I opened my box of sandwiches and offered it to her.
"Thank you," she said quietly as she took one. I checked the stove and when I looked back the sandwich was gone. My word ... she was hungry. I offered her the box again. "Are you sure? I don't want to run you short." I could hear indecision in her voice.
"I've plenty for now," I said, "go on, take one. I'm afraid I haven't any milk; I don't use it. I've got Redbush or ordinary tea."
"Thanks," she said, taking another sandwich. "Redbush is fine without milk."
We ate our way through my stock of sandwiches and a couple of packets of crisps. She didn't take too much persuasion to accept a piece of Bakewell tart. As we talked, I gradually stopped noticing the studs and rings, the startling pink hair. She had a lovely voice and, once I could see past the hardware, a sweet face. I guessed her age at mid-twenties.
"Did you say you sleep in her?" She looked puzzled.
"I don't have too much money," I said. "I live in an old houseboat that I wouldn't dare take to sea, but I like pretending to be an explorer. I can put up a boom-tent over Explorer, lay an air-bed in the bottom and be snug in a sleeping-bag. Of course the facilities are kind of primitive..."
She giggled. I liked the giggle and began looking at her speculatively.
"I can imagine," she said. "It can't be worse than sleeping rough, though."
"I suppose not. I've never been ... quite ... that low," I paused, thinking. It was my turn to be indecisive. The silence drew out and I several times drew breath to speak but let it out again. "Um ... are you ... living rough at the moment?"
She looked at me, met my eyes. "Yes."
"Um ... if you'd like to sail with me ... I can offer you a bunk back at my house-boat. I've got a spare sleeping-bag. It's pretty basic, but ... better than huddling under a bridge of something."
I thought it was to her credit she didn't jump at the offer but thought about it. Of course her next words could explain any reluctance;
"I've never done any sailing."
"It's pretty safe, really. As a crew, I'll tell you what to do if you want to come. I sail solo usually, but if there's someone else in the boat it makes things easier, but you will need to do things for me 'cos you'd be in my way otherwise." I started packing things away.
"Okay. What would I need to do?"
I explained the duties of a dinghy crew – the jib (foresail) sheet, centre-board and balance, furling or setting the jib; how to get the sail pulling just right.
"I ... I'd like to try, if that's okay. If I'm scared, could you put me ashore?"
"Sure. At least, until we pass Harwich. Once we're at sea you're stuck with me until we get to where I'm going."
"And ... I don't know your name. I'm Lexie."
"Glad to meet you Lexie," strangely, that wasn't just a politeness; I really meant it. "You can call me Bill."
I always carry a spare life-jacket and dry clothes in a 'dry-bag'. It's just common sense.
It was easy sailing. With the off-shore breeze, we were away without difficulty. There was enough wind to keep the speed up to about five knots, about as fast as Explorer will go and we were reaching, the fastest and easiest point of sailing. That meant just under two hours to Harwich. As we passed Shotley point, I said loudly;
"Decision time. Stop, or go on?"
"Go on! I'm a bit tired, but ... I love it!"
Passing Harwich we were close-hauled. We got a bit tossed about by the wash from a big container ship coming in to Felixstowe, but all it really did was slow us for a minute or two.
Past Landguard Point, I turned north-east. It was a dead run, meaning we were heading straight down-wind, and the wind was stronger. I had Lexie pull the centre-board nearly right up. Running is not a fast point of sailing and can be dangerous. To the layman, it looks as though it ought to be easy but several things can go wrong; there's a tendency for the boat to start rocking from side to side, which is uncomfortable and can get out of control, and the wind can shift and slam the sail across; that can damage the boom, rigging or sail and seriously unbalance the boat; it's the most common cause of a capsize. I kept the boat heading a little further east than I needed to give me a larger margin of safety.
"Lexie!" I called to her and she moved nearer. "I'm going to get the mainsail across – that's called gybing – I'll warn you, then call 'gybe-oh'. Duck your head, and you'll probably have to change sides with the jib. Okay?"
"Okay!" Her eyes were sparkling. Oh, the enthusiasm of the young...
Four hours after starting, I headed in toward the Deben; the tide was still ebbing, there wouldn't be much water over the bar and it was wind against tide, so it would be rough.
"Lexie, it's going to be rough for a bit, okay? But we should be alright. Just hang on. Centre-board about half-way down, please."
She nodded, trimmed the set of the jib as I turned in, and started working the centre-board down, then we were in the choppy water over the bar. There are two problems in dealing with broken water, especially in a small boat. Firstly, it really slows the boat down, and secondly, if you've got the slightest tendency to sea-sickness, it'll turn you up. We were lucky, in that we were close-reaching rather than close-hauled, but we still had about ten minutes in very unpleasant motion. Lexie looked a bit green, but I expect I did too. I had the advantage of controlling the boat, which gave me something to think about. But then, we were through, and broad-reaching up river. It was the last of the ebb which meant quite a current to fight though less than at the peak time about two hours before. It took maybe half an hour to reach the Ferry, land and park the dinghy in the boat-yard; plus nearly an hour to put the boat to bed.
It was quite dark, and past eight in the evening when I showed her into the old boat. She watched in disbelief as I lit gas lamps. The stove was banked and still burning, so I just opened it up and put on some coke.
"No electric?" She looked flabbergasted.
"I've got a small generator, batteries and an inverter," I could see she didn't really know what I was talking about, "don't worry about it. I've got electricity when I need it, to charge my mobile, or the computer, or the radio. The rest of the time – gas for light, cooking and sometimes heating, or wood or coke for the stove. There're a couple of hurricane lamps in the lazarette, and several decent torches."
"But ... what do you do?"
"I read, walk, watch birds and sail my boat. Sometimes do some odd jobs for people. Sometimes someone needs a competent crew, or a Mate; that pays fairly well, enough to keep me. Anyway ... come through, forward."
I showed her the chemical toilet and how to use the little pump for water.
"There's a tank on the flue of the stove for hot water ... but there's not much of it, so ... please go easy on it and remember to top up the tank if you take some. The toilet is there for at night and emergencies. It has to be emptied, so use the public one next to the boat-yard whenever possible." I led her to the small cabin opposite, just big enough for a single bunk and a small (read tiny) wardrobe and chest of drawers. "There's a little electric light, but it runs off the battery, so please don't use it more than you have to, okay?"
She nodded. "May I see your room?"
"My cabin? Yes." That was the forward-most part of the accommodation; there was a hatch into a fo'c's'le – just a glory-hole really, but a useful store for my hand-tools, spare gas-bottle and such-like. There was a larger hatch in the fore-deck which I usually used. Otherwise, a largish bed, not quite double in width, chest-of-drawers, small wardrobe, radio and light, repeaters for wind indicator and strength, barometer and chronometer. I dug in the bottom of the wardrobe for a sleeping-bag.
"This is clean; I just keep a spare in case of emergencies," I said, holding it out to her. She was slow taking it; when she did I went again and pulled out a reasonable pillow and slip. "Let's go back to your cabin," I said, inserting the pillow into its case.
She went in first and put the bag on the bunk; when she turned I handed her the pillow. Again, she was very slow taking it; I wondered why. I left her there and went into the saloon, wondering what to eat. It would have to be soup, I thought; it was rather late for serious cooking. Had I any French sticks? Yes. Garlic butter, then and pop them in the oven for a bit to melt the butter and crisp them. I was well into preparing our meal when I realised she was standing watching. Her expression was indecipherable. She was no longer wearing the padded pink jacket. She was ... overlooking the hardware ... very attractive. I turned back to what I was doing, the image burned into my mind. Not slim, no, but, I thought ... just right. Average height. Brown eyes? Yes, brown eyes. I wondered what her natural hair colour would be.
The scent of the bread and garlic butter permeated the space; the soup was hot and I poured it into bowls and placed them on the table, turning back to the oven to take the bread out.
"Wouldn't you like to sit down?"
She started ... and moved to sit at the table by one of the bowls – I followed suit. She continued to look at me ... I don't know ... almost as though I had two heads or something like that.
I've always said a little prayer before eating; one of many things that irritated my ex-wife.
"Thank you, Lord, that we are home safe and have this food to eat. Amen"
Her response, "Amen," was clear enough, but her tone was sort of puzzled.
I opened my eyes and smiled at her. Was that the first smile I'd given her? Really?
"Go on, tuck in! If you're anything like me you're famished," I said, tearing off a piece of garlic bread and picking up my spoon. Okay, it was tinned soup, but with the garlic bread it made a decent meal and I put out frangipane to finish.
She dabbed at the crumbs on her plate and licked her fingers with a sigh.
"Thanks," she said, "that was really good. They do say hunger makes the best sauce."
"Indeed. I'm for bed after I clean my teeth. You'll gather the hygiene facilities here are basic. If you want to have a good wash, this is the only part of the boat that's heated. I promise not to peek."
She snorted. "That's about the least of my worries, thanks. It's been a long time since I worried about men looking at me." When she stopped, I had the feeling that she'd had something to add, but had bitten it off.
"Okay, then. Sleep well and may good dreams accompany your rest."
She looked at me hard and after a longish pause said, "You're strange ... but it's a good strange."
I banked the fire, closing the draught. "If you use water out of the tank," I pointed at the copper and brass contraption on the chimney, "just top it up before leaving it, and we'll have hot water in the morning." I rinsed the bowls and put a little water in the bottom of the pan, placing it all on the draining-board. Normally, I'm fussy about washing-up immediately, but ... not that night.
Before settling down, I climbed through the hatch in the coach-roof and relieved myself over the side of the fore-deck.
I lay awake for a long time, wondering what I'd got into, why I was doing what I was doing. Remembering ... my wife in the throes of ecstasy, her naked backside striped with red from the cane in front of her, the strange man thrusting into her as she bent over the kitchen table ... snapping the scene with my mobile phone and walking quietly away. Later, her lack of shock when I confronted her with the evidence of her infidelity. Her insouciant shrug. The legal process and the settlement. The emasculation of it all; my impotence despite the skills of the 'working girls' I hired. The fragile peace I'd found in this quiet backwater. But always returning to a sweet face framed in pink hair and disfigured by black, white and yellow metal. I slept little and badly and woke before dawn.
Sometimes ... and this was clearly one of them ... there is absolutely no point in staying in bed once I'm awake. I dressed quickly and walked as quietly as I could through to the saloon. She'd obviously taken up my offer – there were panties and bra draped over the little rack near the stove. The tank was full and warm at least ... and she'd washed up. Clearly she had virtues other than physical appearance. Not that I was interested in her that way, of course. Sure, and just who are you trying to kid, buster?
I put the kettle on. Having nothing else to do ... sort of ... I found myself checking out the label in the bra. Thirty-four B. Come on, who are you kidding... ? Admit it, you like her. Hardware, pink hair and all. The kettle began to sing and I poured hot water onto the grounds in the cafetiere. Real coffee is my weakness, my big indulgence. Well, one of them.
I took my favourite mug – Snoopy... "I'm not worth a thing before coffee break." Filled it with coffee and went on deck. The sky was lightening, the stars fading in the clear sky, the air cool in the spring pre-dawn. I sat in what was once the cockpit, facing east, waiting for the sun to appear. It's a magical time and I never tire of it. I sipped my coffee and waited.
Movement in the saloon and she emerged; our eyes met and she silently sat beside me. Her eyes flicked to the mug and back to mine; I offered it to her, she smiled, took it, took a sip and handed it back. Such a small thing, but freighted with such significance.
The first sliver of sun showed behind the sheds and boatyard clutter. A new day and ... what else?
We went below. Out of habit I checked the battery condition; I'd need to run the generator soon. It wouldn't do to run out of juice – I liked my tiny twelve-volt refrigerator and lights, not to mention the radio and computer. I wondered if I'd have time to write.
We breakfasted on muesli and orange juice, washed up, and I turned to Lexie.
"I suggest," I said, "we go for a gentle walk ... and you tell me your story."