Chapter 1 What is beauty?

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

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 What is beauty? - An unexpected holiday, an accident, a dying man and a fascinating woman with an unusual ability; can Bella change Andrew from being a confirmed bachelor? Oh, and more motorbikes.

If you wanted to be unpleasant, you could call me a dirty old man. I suppose that's accurate, depending on your definition. I'm certainly old. My mind and emotions, though are still those of a young man. There's not much point in chasing the pretty young things – the spirit is willing, but the flesh can no longer keep up. So what I do is watch. I try to make sure I'm discreet; I really don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. But ... you're a young woman, you're dressed to make the most of your figure; legs covered only by tights, perhaps a gap between your shorts or micro-mini and your top, Rather a lot of cleavage showing. What ... you don't want me to look?

But a few weeks ago, I was made to think about beauty. I suppose it's just as well different folks have different ideas of beauty. Take cars, for example. I've heard people rhapsodising over cars that I think are surpassingly ugly (like the Fiat Multipla). My ideal is the Jaguar XK8. Perhaps the curves suggesting femininity may explain that.

I don't care about ethnicity, or hair colour (though I dislike dyed hair). I'm not much bothered by height or build. What makes a person beautiful?

I want to tell you about Bella. Properly, she's Isabella, but I call her Bella. We met by accident ... literally.

I was riding my bike, a 1965 Triumph T110, through the Fens – a part of Cambridgeshire once known as the Isle of Ely. Why? Because I got lost. I thought I was taking a ... well, not so much a short cut, as avoiding some serious roadworks on the A14. The Fens are possibly the most boring area on earth. Miles and miles of reclaimed, below-sea-level, agricultural land, almost dead flat, with the occasional rise where the glaciers left a heap of gravel. I don't need to go into detail about them, except to say the roads run dead straight for a mile or so, then take a right-angled bend, often with little or no indication of what is coming. I was very tired. On a main road, I'd have stopped at the first motel, hotel or B.&B. that had a vacancy. Hell, I'd have stopped anywhere with a sign out, main road or not.

I should have seen the bungalow. I should have realised the road turned there – it had to, there was a house there ... I nearly made it round the corner, but locals cutting the corner had left an accumulation of loose gravel on the outside of the bend with the result that my precious bike slid sideways off the road, bending the footrest and scraping various important parts, closely followed by me, losing skin and gaining gravel rash in the process. I was incredibly lucky ... in more ways than one, later ... as neither the bike or I ended up in a ditch, just, sitting on the grass verge, turning the air blue. At first I was mainly bothered about the bike, but then my body began reporting in. Pain!

The motor stalled, the headlight was rapidly depleting the battery and I dragged myself over to the bike to turn the light off. Early evening in November in the Fens, no street lighting, heavy cloud cover ... it was quite incredibly dark. Just a few lights scattered around – at a considerable distance, just a slight gleam to the side of the bungalow. I managed to stand and began to drag the heavy machine upright.

"Are you alright?" The soft voice came as a shock; she hadn't used a torch. How she could see I just don't know.

I got the machine upright and on its stand and removed my helmet. "I'm sorry?"

"Are you hurt? I heard the motor, the scrape and the motor stop. People often have trouble on this corner."

"Just gravel rash and some damage to the bike," I replied.

"Would you like to bring the bike round to the side of the house? I'll have a look at your injuries and you'll have light to look at your bike."

"I don't want to put you out..." Although I was reluctant to put her to any trouble it certainly made sense.

"Nonsense; it's just Dad and me and we'd welcome a little company."

I pushed the old Triumph forward off its stand, staggered a bit and, limping, pushed it round and down the drive to the side of the house.

"Let me open the garage," the girl ... woman? said. She unlocked the big doors and I wheeled my bike in beside a small car ... an elderly Fiesta. I heaved it onto its stand again and walked round to look at the right side. I had to groan at the bent foot-rest, scraped silencer and mangled bar-end mirror.

"I'm Bella," she said, then; "your leg..." she gasped.

I looked down at myself. My leathers were shredded down my right thigh, which was red and black – the black being little bits of gravel embedded in my flesh. Just seeing it enhanced the pain ... a lot. I unzipped the front of the outfit and started to peel it down. When it got to waist level, I kicked off my boots; my thigh really stung as the leather touched it on the way down and as I bent my hip and knee. My trousers and thermal undies would never be any use again, that was for sure.

"Andrew Briggs," I said, holding out my hand. She took it. I thought I felt an electric shock as we touched. "Pleased to meet you," I added

Releasing her hand, I turned and rummaged in my pannier for my overnight bag ... the pannier was scraped too, but that wouldn't be too difficult to replace. But then I turned and looked at my rescuer for the first time.

You'll gather I like girls, though I'm really too old to do anything but look. I wouldn't have looked twice at her at any other time. She wasn't exactly ugly, but somehow nothing seemed quite in the right proportions. She looked kind, though, and genuinely concerned for me.

"Come into the kitchen," she said.

She sat me on a hard chair by the kitchen table and began assembling medical supplies. I wondered why she would have sealed, sterile packs of saline solution, gauze, forceps, but said nothing. She was gentle, careful, thorough. It hurt, but it could have been a lot worse. When she'd picked out the last bit of gravel she held up a packet.

"Paraffin gauze," she said, "with a topical antibiotic. You don't need to get an infection in that scrape."

It was cool and soothing as she smoothed it on, padded it with gauze and wrapped my thigh with a crepe bandage.

"Thank you..." I paused, "you're very gentle. I ... doubt if I'd get a better job in a casualty unit."

"I worked in one," she said. "This isn't the first time for you, is it?"

"Hardly," I answered, "but I've never had better care."

She nodded in acceptance, frowning. "Are you on a schedule? That bike is going to be difficult to ride until you straighten that footrest, your thigh is going to hurt, and you're at least an hour from the A1. These are not roads to ride fast on ... as you've discovered."

"I'm ... on holiday. Sort of. No, I'm not on a schedule; I was going to stay where-ever was available when I got tired."

"Well, we have a spare room if you'd like to stop here. My father and I would welcome your company."

It made sense. My leg was easier than it was, but it was going to be stiff and uncomfortable and she was right – I did need to sort the bike out before I went much further.

"Thank you," I said, "I'm grateful. I'm happy to pay..."

"Not necessary," she smiled, and for a moment she seemed ... different. "Come through with me."

She opened a door and I followed her into the living-room which was the whole width of the house. A hospital bed stood on one side, positioned so the occupant could see out of patio doors to one side. A man – presumably her father - sat propped in the bed, jaundiced and skeletally thin. She walked over to the bed and seemed to ... blur ... for a moment, but I was distracted by the approach of a very large, long-haired Alsatian dog, which proceeded to sniff me thoroughly before sitting and looking up at me as if to say 'Don't I get a pat, then?'

"Meet Helen," my hostess said.

"Helen, indeed? You are, indeed, beautiful," I told the dog, stroking her head. She turned her head slightly and closed her teeth on the cuff of my sweater, stood and tugged me over to the bed.

The man there was obviously very ill, but his eyes were bright with interest and intelligence.

"Dad," Bella said, "this is Andrew Briggs. His T110 is in the garage. If it's okay with you, I'll let him use your tools to straighten the footrest."

"Of course. How do you do, Andrew. My friends call me Zeke. Once upon a time, I rode Vincent-HRDs. I don't suppose you play chess?"

"Yes, but not well ... Zeke."

"Excellent. Perhaps you'd give me a game while Bella sorts out some supper? Sadly, I can't do justice to her cooking, but she insists on trying."

The dog pushed her nose under his hand and he absent-mindedly scratched her behind the ears. I looked round for Bella, who was bringing a chair for me. Once more I had the odd sensation that she ... blurred as I looked at her. I sat, facing Zeke. Helen came and sat next to me, leaning against my leg and resting her head on my knee.

"Well," Zeke smiled, "Helen is an excellent judge of character. I don't think we'll need your references."

Bella came back with a bed-table she placed over his lap and a chess set, which we set up. He beat me twice in fairly quick succession. Although I won the third game I was quite sure he let me. We got talking about motorbikes; it seemed he'd ridden every make from ABC to Zundapp. We got onto the subject of women from Vincents (big V-twins).

"There's something about the vibration of a big V-twin," he mused, "Bella's mother couldn't resist me after a few miles on my Black Knight." He fell silent, then, "she died riding my Comet..."

I didn't try to say anything; I don't know if he'd have heard anyway ... he looked to be far distant both in space and time.

"Is there anyone on your life?" He returned to me with the question.

"No," I replied, "no-one can put up with me for more than a month or two."

"Hm..." he mused for a moment, then, "everyone should have a ... mate." He looked at me, intensely, for several seconds.

"I'm a bit long in the tooth for romance," I said.

"No-one is too old for romance," he said. "I strongly believe there's someone out there for you."

I shrugged. "Maybe."

Bella served soup – rich, spicy and excellent – with crusty bread and Wensleydale cheese, moist and crumbly. Zeke managed his bowl of soup, but rested back and closed his eyes.

"There's more," Bella said, "Dad won't eat more but we both need to."

"Thank you," I said, "It's very good."

I looked at her as she served more soup, puzzled. Why had she seemed to blur? She was perfectly clear. What was it about her? We chatted over the soup and the home-made cake that followed, then we chatted as I helped her clear up and wash the dishes. I couldn't remember ever being so comfortable with a woman ... not since I was a child, anyway.

"See if you can find a book to read, unless you want to watch t/v," she told me.

The books in the living room were an eclectic selection.

"There are more in the bedrooms," she said.

I took down one by Robert Heinlein... "Time Enough for Love." "This is fine," I said.

She lowered the lights in the living room and we sat together, reading by the light of a standard lamp, except for her periodic checks of her father. I'd been tired before my crash and I soon had difficulty keeping my eyes open.

"I'd better have a wash and get to bed," I said quietly.

"Surely! Bathroom through the kitchen. I'll show you your room..."

I dreamed. I couldn't remember them, but I woke with a sense of peace, feeling rested. I dressed, and made my way through to the kitchen. I looked at Zeke on the way through and thought for a moment he was dead, but then his chest rose shallowly.

I move quietly and I think Bella was startled when I entered the kitchen. I didn't recognise her for a moment, but she seemed to blur for a moment and then she was the kind, gentle, rather plain young woman I remembered from the previous night.

"Good morning," she said brightly.

"Good morning," I answered, crossing the room to the bathroom.

"Porridge?" Bella looked round at me as I returned to the kitchen. "Toast? Coffee?"

"Yes, yes and yes, please," I smiled sitting at the kitchen table where there were two places set.

She placed two bowls full on the table, one in front of me. "There's milk, syrup, maple syrup, white or Demerara sugar," indicating each in turn.

"There is a school of thought that says the only thing to have with porridge is salt," I said.

She raised an eyebrow, "I can get the salt out if you like..."

"No, thanks, I was just teasing. I like Demerara sugar. In fact I like anything sweet with my porridge. It was just the way you reeled off the list."

She smiled, "When you've eaten, I'll move the car and you can use Zeke's bench and tools to sort out your bike."

We ate our porridge in what I would call a companionable silence. I'd just started on some toast when there was a sound from the other room and Bella immediately got up to attend to her father. It seemed best to keep out of her way and give them privacy; besides, she'd made some great coffee. I suppose it was about half an hour later she came back...

"Could you sit with Dad a minute while I move the car?"

I didn't have any medical training, but I could see he was in a bad way, supported by pillows and hardly able to lift his hand, but he reached out to me and when I took his hand he gripped it firmly.

"Andrew ... Bella might need you," he stopped, closed his eyes and just breathed, his breathing laboured, frightening to me, but I sat there trying to keep a neutral expression and holding that hand. "Do you ... have ... a card or something?"

I shook my head.

"I know it's out of your way, but ... would you come back here soon?"

I didn't know what to say, but I had no plans, no schedule; I just nodded.

"Thank you..." his eyes closed again and his grip relaxed.

The garage was really well equipped, though some of the tools had a patina of rust. There was a propane torch and a little anvil. I was able to straighten the footrest, though I wasn't certain it was still as strong as before. I washed up and was about to take my leave, but Bella insisted she make me some sandwiches and more coffee, so it was afternoon before I set off ... to Peterborough in the first instance for more gear.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Consensual / Romantic / Heterosexual / Fiction / Paranormal / First / Slow /