Part 1: The Beginning
The house, my house, is an oasis in a sea of concrete, brick and tarmac. My parents bought it shortly after the War; it was the only structurally sound building in a sea of devastation, all the others having been flattened by the bombs or so damaged it was cheaper to demolish them. It came with almost half an acre of land, though it took them a long time to clear away the bricks and everything that littered it.
Probably it was only because it stood on a corner that my parents were able to avoid a compulsory purchase order and save it, but they did. I once overheard something that suggested they had a friend in high places ... but the result was that our Victorian, brick-with-stone-trim, three-storey home was the only old house in the area, the rest being ugly concrete blocks of flats. Anyway, they worked so hard on the place I was born late in their lives, nineteen-seventy-one. Perhaps because of that I was over-protected, but whether it was that or something else, I was a loner.
What green there was round about was manicured (if very worn) grass and the occasional tree. My parents climbed early on the 'green' bandwagon and our garden was, let's say, informal. In fact, you could almost describe it as a jungle. It took some time, as we were some distance from the nearest park or area with meaningful gardens, but gradually our little jungle became a haven for wildlife ... mainly birds and insects, of course, but local cats loved it and had to be discouraged from decimating the bird population.
We undertook some maintenance so the plants didn't take over altogether. We cut back shrubs, particularly energetic ones like Buddleia, and twice a year cut the 'meadows' for hay. It wasn't an enormous amount, but it was warmly welcomed by a riding stable a mile or so away. Then there was the vegetable and herb garden which needed a little more attention. No formal flower beds – the meadow blossoms were quite sufficient.
I never knew what my parents did in the war, but I think that had a bearing on the fact that when I was fifteen Dad died of pulmonary disease at the age of sixty-seven, and my mother five years later, of cancer at the age of seventy. I was on my own, but I owned the house and had enough money to finish University with a physics degree. I got into computers while at University and had no problems landing a job in the industry. Not exactly on the ground floor, but probably early enough. My life was computers and the house and garden ... too shy to approach any of the young women I encountered.
I suppose the core of the story begins in about 1996, at Easter. I got in from work one day and had barely put the kettle on for tea when there was knock on the door. I grumbled a bit, but answered it to find, standing there, a young woman. Stereotyping is a bad idea, but my immediate impression was of a budding librarian. Slightly over medium height, slim, with thick-framed glasses that dominated an otherwise pretty face. Medium brown hair pinned up at the back of her head, baggy hoodie and jeans that concealed her figure.
She spoke and I was fascinated by her lips, curved and ... I had to shake my head and concentrate.
"I'm sorry, Miss ... would you mind repeating what you just said? I was a bit distracted."
"Oh ... yes ... um ... My name is Susie Shaw. I'm a student. I share a flat just there..." she waved at the ugly concrete monstrosity overlooking my own place. "I look down at the green, the flowers and trees ... I know it's cheeky, but I was wondering if I could come and sit in your garden sometimes to study? It looks so peaceful and fresh."
Now you have to realise that that was really the first encounter, on a personal level, I'd ever had with a girl of a similar age to myself – I was about five years older. I wasn't about to be fussy or critical of her attributes ... or lack of them, as the case may have been.
"Sure," I said, "help yourself. If I'm in, knock on the door and I'll see about tea or something. Otherwise, feel free. Oh, and I'm Andy Collins."
"Thanks!" She beamed at me. "Can I bring a friend, Andy?"
"Why not? Just so keep the numbers down and don't tread plants down more than absolutely necessary for access to a seat. There are benches positioned so you can usually sit either in the sun or in shade, as appropriate for the day. I'm sure you'll be quiet and not disturb the wildlife, won't you? Just sitting still won't bother the birds, but sudden movements spook them."
"Of course! This is great!"
"Come round and I'll give you a tour, if you like?"
Well, I showed her the best way to get around the house and the best paths. "Bear in mind," I told her, "that the meadows hold dew or rain quite a while and in the morning, or after rain, your legs are going to get wet unless you have wellies and over-trousers."
Greatly daring, I went on, "Have you time for a cuppa now?" I still can't believe those words came out of my mouth. Up to that point, I'd been merely responding to her interest. That was definitely a step out of my comfort-zone.
"Um. I'd really like to, but I was just popping in to ask about the garden. I need to meet a friend shortly. But perhaps another time? I mean, really, another time?"
I shrugged. "Sure. Like I said, if I'm in, call." I didn't expect her to, not at all.
Just the next day, though, I found I was wrong. She must have heard the gate (cast iron – noisy when it shuts unless you're very careful) because she was at the kitchen door when I went in to make my own tea. She was in a dress ... despite the time of year, it was sunny and warm, with little wind. It was apparent that she was quite shapely, if not spectacularly so. She was carrying a cloth bag which clearly contained books. I opened the door. "Hey, Susie. Come in."
"Thanks." she said with a warm smile.
"What can I get you? Tea? Coffee? Something herbal?"
"Herbal? Got any Rooibos?"
"Oh, yes. My mother swore by it. Frequently."
She giggled as I dropped Rooibos tea bags into mugs for the two of us, then we sat each side of the kitchen table to sup our beverages. I learned that she was training to be a primary-school teacher. In my turn, I talked a little about computing. She nodded, saying that computers were finding their way into schools and colleges, but that many students couldn't really afford them.
"In a few years," I told her, "it will be almost essential to own and use a personal computer. I know, it's my field, but they're only going to get cheaper. At least, the low end is going to get cheaper."
"You think?" She looked sceptical.
"I'm sure." I paused, and once again stuck my neck out. I liked this girl. "I need to sort out something to eat. Would you like something with me?"
"Well..." I could see a conflict in her expression. "Are you sure you don't mind?"
"I'd welcome your company. Are you in a hurry? It would be best to do something from scratch if you can spare an hour..."
"Um..." her head rocked from side to side in indecision whilst I held my breath. "Okay. I'd like that. I'd better go back to studying though, if that's okay."
That was the beginning of a growing friendship. A few weeks after that first encounter, I dug her out an obsolete BBC Master computer (128K ram ... hard to believe these days, isn't it?) and an old dot-matrix printer. She was able to use those to prepare her assignments. Of course, the files weren't entirely user-friendly and they weren't compatible with my Windows equipment, but it was certainly easier to use than handwriting or a typewriter. I saw a little less of her once she had that, as she had to work in her flat ... the old computer was definitely not portable. She did come to sit in the garden, though, and several times a week she'd eat with me. After a while, we'd alternate the cooking.
You might think I'd leap at the chance to ask for a date, make her my girlfriend. I can only say that didn't occur to me. Oh, I fancied her alright; even thought of her, imagined her naked, as I wanked at night ... but despite her welcome of my previous approaches I just couldn't somehow think in terms of ... relationship.
In late May, though, there came a day when she was very quiet and subdued. She didn't tell me what was wrong before our meal, or during it. In fact, she said very little, and though she tried to show interest in something I was saying, I could tell it was much more of an effort than usual. When we'd done eating, in fact, she appeared to be about to leave.
"Susie, I can tell there's something wrong. Won't you tell me what it is?"
"I don't like to bother you, Andy."
"Susie, aren't I your friend? I thought you were my friend." I thought she was going to cry. "Please, Susie ... tell me." She picked up her mug of tea and stalked off into the lounge and I followed, in time to see her sink wearily into an armchair.
I sat quietly in another chair, fairly close, at an angle to her so I could look at her without being intimidating (I didn't know what I was doing at the time, it was just instinctive),
We sat silent for a while.
"My flat-mate has been arrested for possession of a banned substance," she said, despondently. "I told her she'd get caught out eventually if she kept using..." she looked up, directly at me. "It was only marijuana," she said, "I know it's not exactly dangerous usually, but the University is on crusade about the stuff just now, and she's been supplying it to others. I asked her to be more careful, but..." she shrugged, and stopped.
"Okay, your friend's in trouble. But other than your concern for her, how does that affect you?"
"She's the lease-holder. The landlord ... well..." she stopped again, took a deep breath. "He pretends to be disgusted, and if I want to stay I've either got to pay up, actually a lot more than the original rent ... or fuck him. Regularly." She did break down in tears then.
I went to her and squatted in front of her, reached out and took her hand. "Susie, don't cry, please. There's an easy solution."
It took a minute or so for her to get her tears under control, but when she did, she looked at me sceptically. "I've tried all over to find a place I can afford to rent, but I can only find places for next term, and there aren't many of those. What's your easy answer... ?" I could see she'd bitten back what she was going to call me.
"Well, I've got three empty bedrooms and the attic upstairs. Take your pick."
She decided astonishingly quickly; but then, her options were limited.
It took a couple of hours to shift her stuff from the flat to one of the bedrooms and make up the bed. I took the precaution of photographing the flat with time-and-date stamped pictures. When the other girl was released on bail and the landlord started getting stroppy about her deposit, the pictures tipped the balance for the Rent Tribunal, though they upheld the eviction. She had a couple of weeks to move out.
At breakfast, Susie was very quiet, but it was a thoughtful quiet, rather than a despondent one. As I got up to go, she said, "You need to think about what you're going to charge me in rent."
"I don't need your money, Susie ... your company is quite enough reward, really."
"But, Andy, I can't sponge off you ... you've got me out of a hole, the least I can do is pay rent,"
I shook my head in negation. "Please, let me do this for you."
She frowned, shaking her head. "We'll talk about this tonight."
Have you ever had a 'discussion' with a woman you care about who is determined you are wrong?
How the only answer that works is 'Yes, dear', and the only question is how long it takes you to realise it? I think my father must have learned that lesson before I was born, because I can't remember them ever arguing.
When I got home that evening, Susie was at the stove, stirring a saucepan. In the nude. She looked round as I entered, giving me a nice view of her round titties, topped with very erect nipples. She dumped pasta into another pan of steaming water.
"Tea in ten minutes," she told me, and turned back to what she was doing.
Well, what do you suppose I did? Presented with the first naked female I'd seen outside the pages of magazines like Penthouse. Probably the first real woman I'd ever seen full stop.
Then turned and ran, somewhat bent over, to the bathroom, the image permanently etched into my memory.
Having taken care of a pressing necessity, I had a quick wash and got back to the kitchen as Susie was ladling sauce over pasta. She just glanced at me and said, "Good."
I tried – almost successfully – not to ogle her continuously through the meal. I couldn't help that my eyes followed the subtle gyrations of her backside as she moved around the kitchen to brew tea, then made up a tray with tea and biscuits. She took the tray and, without further comment, went to the lounge and put it on the coffee-table.
I followed ... of course. And sat in an armchair, watching her pour tea.
She was beautiful.
And, God help me, sexy.
With the natural consequence I was once more experiencing an erection as hard, no harder, than ever before.
She put two cups of tea on the table in front of me and sat in my lap.
Wrapped an arm round my shoulders and leaned her forehead against my temple.
I opened my mouth to respond, but she pressed her other hand over it.
"This is how it's going to be."
I could smell the delicate fragrance that was uniquely Susie, a mixture of apple shampoo, Italian cooking and clean, warm woman. Intoxicating. I nodded to indicate I was listening.
"You said you wouldn't accept any rent. Before you offered me a place, I was contemplating either having sex with my former landlord, who is as unpleasant an specimen of male homo sapiens as I am ever likely to encounter, or walking the streets selling my body, which was no more attractive and probably more dangerous. If I am going to stay here, I insist on two things. I will share equally in the household tasks, and I will sleep in your bed, where you will, I am sure, give me as much pleasure as I hope to give you. I do not see this as using sex to pay for living here, but rather that we will be living together. So, I offer you choices. Shall I move out and walk the streets? Shall I pay rent? Or can we live together and enjoy each other? You said my company is sufficient reward, didn't you?"
I didn't know what to say. For one thing, she was sitting on my rigid cock, which was uncomfortable and, of course, the blood-supply to my brain was diminished (that's my excuse, anyway). The situation had me in shock, of course, as well. And the very lovely, very desirable, nubile, sexy body on my lap was an impediment to straight thinking.
Then she licked my ear.
I never realised my ear was an erogenous zone.
Bugger the tea.
I kissed her and my hand unerringly found the soft firmness of her breast. I could feel the rubbery hardness of her nipple against the palm of my hand.
"Bedroom, now," I got out as I broke the kiss.
She hopped off my lap and headed out of the room with me in hot pursuit. At least, I was far enough back to fully enjoy the view, but not so far.
I followed her to the master bedroom, where she stood by the bed, clearly, now, uncertain and nervous.
I stepped up to her and lifted her chin with one finger ... lowered my lips gently to hers. "You are very special to me, Susie. You do not have to do this."
She gasped a deep lungful of air. "Oh, but I want to. I really do, Andy. It's just ... well ... I've never done this before. I've been thinking about it, I'm on the Pill, but ... it's ... a bit scary, even with you."
"Why don't you get into bed and get comfortable? I'll get undressed. And, Susie, you can call a halt, but there may come a point where there's no turning back. Are you really sure?"
She didn't answer, but she did get between the sheets. I stripped off and was about to get into bed with her, but had a thought and stopped. "I've got an idea," I said. "I could do with a shower ... why don't you join me?"
It's not a great shower as it depends on the height of water from a tank in the attic, but it is en suite and it is a shower. The lack of force in the head merely meant we spent longer making sure we got all the shampoo and gel off each other. By the time we'd done we were both panting and almost ran back to the bed; Susie having her hair wrapped in a towel. How do they do that?
Fortunately for our joint inexperience we were both very ready. It was not spectacular. I came much too quickly and Susie didn't, but I managed to put that right with my finger as we kissed some more. Then we cuddled, which was ... very nice ... until nature reasserted herself and I got hard again.
We took things slower the second time and I was able to make sure Susie enjoyed several orgasms before I even entered her, when I lasted long enough to bring her to another. That was enough to ensure we both slept very well.
Susie being a student and me being, well, a fully paid-up geek, we had a pretty good idea that, while very enjoyable, sex could be better than we'd experienced. Research was the answer, and within a few weeks we were exploring many options; oral, of course, and different positions. We both deferred the exploration of anal sex. At best we were curious, at worst, I was slightly repelled and Susie was scared. But in most other respects we were enjoying a most satisfactory physical relationship, rewarding to both of us. Susie made no other mention of paying rent, for which I was thankful.
I brought home and set up another computer, with Windows 95. We'd have to share the phone line, but I didn't use the internet that much. Susie was very, demonstratively, appreciative.
I was wondering if I ought to consider formalising our relationship when Susie brought Alice home. Alice Blenkinsop being Susie's former flat-mate.
Part 2: Changes
Alice was ... my parents would have said 'flighty' or, perhaps, 'scatterbrained'. Susie had thought we might help her out by letting her use one of the other bedrooms. Initially, I didn't much mind the idea. She was quite attractive, in a flower-power sort of way; not overweight, but earth-mother curvy and padded. Not that I had any thoughts of sex with her; Susie was quite enough. We were still in the honeymoon period where our attention was more on each other than anything else. But who minds having a pretty girl around?
What tipped the balance was a throw-away remark from me.
"Of course, if you come to live here, there's no question of using drugs," I said.
Both Susie and I saw the girl's face fall before she schooled her expression and said, brightly, "Of course not. Wouldn't dream of it."
It was Susie who picked up on it. "Alice, you're still using the stuff, aren't you? You know I can tell if you're lying and I could see it in your face. I won't have Andy put at risk, and I won't have my home put at risk. Again."
The girl protested, and begged and, finally, turned on the tears, but without avail. Susie had spoken and I trusted her and backed her up. Of course, the fact that while we were alone we liked to go about the house naked didn't have any impact on the decision. It was nice, though, to have that freedom, and we were naked as soon as the door closed behind Alice.
"I think we need an early night," declared Susie.
When I got there, she was on her knees on the bed, waggling her bottom at me. It was just about the right height. I sank into her with a groan and reached round, one hand for a lovely breast, the other for her clit. Someday, I'd like to learn to make that last longer. Still, once we'd released the tension, we had a much more leisurely session face to face.
Laid there in the after-glow I could tell Susie was thoughtful – pensive, even.
"Penny for them?" I asked.
"Um ... I don't quite know how to say this..." she paused and I let her think. "It's just ... I know one or two ... perhaps even three or four ... girls who could do with economical accommodation near the Uni."
"It's nice having the house to ourselves, though. I mean, I love watching you naked..."
"Mmm. Likewise, I like watching you. But why should that stop? Would you mind having more female flesh to ogle? It could be a house rule; no clothes unless we have visitors."
"Don't take this the wrong way, Susie, but is this a trick question? You know what could happen if there were more young women ... naked young women ... wandering around the house."
"Actually, bearing in mind how difficult it was to get you into bed in the first place, how noble you insisted on being, I don't. But If I said ... that I wouldn't mind what happened ... that it could even be a condition of their staying here, would it change the way you see me?"
"I don't know. But, Susie – it sounds as though you want to set me up with a harem!"
"Yes ... it does ... doesn't it? But ... oh, I don't know, either. Would you mind giving it a try?"
"It sounds like a man's dream, but you know, Susie, sex changes things. I don't want to upset how things are just now."
She snuggled closer and breathed against my neck. I could feel her breasts against me, her hand on me, my hand on her silky skin. After a while, I realised she'd gone to sleep.
Many landlords of student accommodation require the rooms to be empty, at least in August, for renovation. If a student has work, or an internship, locally during the summer, this can be a problem. Despite my reservations, I agreed that two of Susie's friends could stay with us during the summer. I got home from work one day in July to hear giggling coming from the kitchen.
There were two of them and Susie and they seemed to be having a great time; stark naked. Sitting at the table, which was laid with a cold tea, food covered with cloths against the threat of flies, they stood when I entered.
Barbara was tall, with short, dark hair. At six foot, nearly as tall as me. She was lean, with a gymnast's build; shaved, every detail of her body was visible. Breasts appeared small, high and tight to her chest, but her hips were womanly. There was an open triangle at the top of her thighs so her sex was on display.
Helen was the antithesis. Not much over five foot, she had a generously curved body showing a few extra pounds, with breasts that sagged a little, inevitably, and proportional hips. Long, wavy red hair and a matching bush.
My body reacted, and I didn't fight it.
"There, what did I tell you?" Susie was saying to the other two.
"Is that really for us?" the redhead asked me directly.
I shrugged, "Of course. Don't worry, it'll go down on its own in a while," I looked at Susie and grinned, "unless it's encouraged, of course. You get used to nudity after a while; if you two stay, we'll hardly notice we're naked after a couple of weeks."
"So, does that mean we're not sexy?" That was Barbara.
"No, it doesn't. Susie is sexy, but we're used to each other now, so I don't get hard unless ... well, you know."
"No, not really. But I suppose we'll take your word for it."
I gave Susie a workout that night. And the next night. And the night after that.
As we relaxed in the after-glow, she said, "Perhaps you should treat Helen to some of that. She's getting horny, you know."
"Tired of me?"
"Not at all. But my period's due tomorrow. I will do it anyway if you want, but I'd rather not."
I suppose I must be strange, but I liked sleeping with Susie in my arms, even without intercourse, and we made it through the next week. Helen looked disappointed. In August, though, when Susie's 'friend' visited on schedule, Helen cornered me.
"I'm getting upset," she said, entering my personal space. I backed up and she followed.
Her proximity ... actually, her nipples scraping on my lower chest ... caused an inevitable reaction.
"Oh, goody!" and she pushed me so I fell back into a chair we called 'The Predicament' because it was (a) comfortable and (b) extremely difficult to get out of. Almost before I knew it she was straddling me and lowering herself onto my ... rigid rod.
It was enjoyable. Very pleasurable, in fact. She was wet and not as tight as Susie; she wasn't in a hurry and seemed to be enjoying moving on me. "At last," she said. "I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever get to try you out. Oh, and don't worry, Susie insisted I get tested and I'm on the Pill anyway. So relax and let me drive."
So I did. I thought I might as well get the maximum pleasure out of the experience, and let my hands wander. She could probably best be described as 'voluptuous'. In retrospect, I was intent on enjoying Helen and she was intent on getting pleasure from me, whereas with Susie it was more about what we did for each other – a sharing, rather than a using. But that's in retrospect.
That night I cuddled Susie and pondered.
I was glad to resume relations with Susie. From time to time, Helen would corner me and we'd ... well ... fuck like bunnies, I suppose. But we never slept together, even when we had sex in bed.
Towards the end of August, one Saturday, Susie took me for a walk. We wandered round the park and tossed scraps of stale bread to the ducks, which ignored us.
"Babs is feeling left out," she announced.
"Why doesn't she do what Helen does, then?"