'Don't forget Mac Glint's. He complained last time you were late and had to finish up the next day. He is a good customer and in this economy, customers are worth more than workers, if you get my meaning?'
'Yep!' Ralph thought. This economy had really turned sour. Very few farms even bothered to plant let alone clear the fields and bush out. What should have been a busy time was now barely moving at all.
Ralph had come to this valley to forget a lot of things. In a few months though, he found more work than he ever would imagine. Work mind you, not wages. The things people needed or wanted did not command the kind of wages he was used to. No matter, he liked his neighbors, they treated him well and had accepted him in town. That to Ralph meant more than anything. He started to get dressed, eat some breakfast and thought he would head out to Mac Glint's place early this time when he heard a knock on the side door.
"Be right there! Come in and make the coffee, I'll be down in a second." Thinking it was his neighbor Sam, he did not hurry. It was a neighbor all right, but not Sam. When he got into the kitchen, three girls were standing there, each trying to make coffee and crying their eyes out.
"Whoa, hold on there girls, I'll never have enough coffee to make anything with all them tears your making. Now get some juice for yourself from the fridge and sit down. If that deluge of tears slows down maybe one of you gorgeous creatures can tell me what's the matter?"
Like girls anywhere and of any age, a compliment went a long way in making almost anything look better, these three were no different. One, who looked to be the oldest, stopped her crying, "Are we really gorgeous Mister?" The two others had stopped and were now staring.
"You, my loves, are more beautiful than angels. Those are the prettiest things I can think of, so yes, you are, all three of you. I only wish I was five years younger. Now, can you tell me your names, I know you live next to me cuz I've seen you playing and running around. If you then tell me what's wrong I just know we can fix it."
"Sniff, sniff" was now trebled. "Home, we got problems home. Papa did not come home last night. Mama just is staying in bed, crying and won't say 'nuthin'! I'm Mandy, I'm the oldest, almost 'full growed', see" as she turned around, a smile that girls seem to naturally learn when they get older, on her face. "Jenna and Beth are my sisters, Jenna is 15, Beth 14 and I was 16 last week. If I tell you 'sumthin', you got to promise not to tell anyone, K?"
I almost did not hear what she had said. I just nodded my head. Here were three rag-a-muffin like kids, red eyes, hair straight back no shoes but they were clean, clothes neat and tidy and they were very polite as they sipped the juice.
"I heard Papa and Mama arguing. All last week that's all they did when they thought we were outside or fell asleep. I don't think he is really our Papa but that's what we call him. Mama works at the cafe in town but recently her hours were cut back. Papa and her argue about money and he told her to get another job. Mister, there 'aint' much in the way of jobs around here now. These are tough times and Mama told him so. I think he left us all."
It was a story that was being repeated all over, our little valley was not the only place to feel the economic woes. My own life saw signs of that when my girlfriend, Gwen, brought our engagement to an end to marry a more prosperous candidate. If she only knew my parents had left me more than I ever would need, I might still be stuck with a gold digger wife...
"Hell girls, doesn't sound so bad. We may have to work a little harder for a while but I need help right here, a lot of help, so what say you finish your juice, we hop into my truck and go to see your Mom, let her know you all are going to be my helpers, get paid for it and let her start taking care of my house, as a job, whenever she has time, starting right now?"
We may have been in a poor area, these girls were not big strong lumberjacks but they had something about them any employer would love to have, enthusiasm. Now if only their Mom showed some ambition they would make this problem go away. 'We took care of our own!' and since the town had accepted me, no questions asked, I would take care of my neighbors. We piled into the truck, Beth coyly squeezed her legs together and whispered to something to Mandy, who quietly asked if they could use the bathroom. "Go, all three of you, a reward to the one who finds it first". That little thing would start my undoing.
Mandy and the girls came back skipping and smiling. Wonder of wonders what OJ and a bathroom can do. "I found it first" sang out Mandy, "What's my prize?" Like a dummy, a big dummy, I motioned her to me before she got in, leaned out and kissed her cheek. I think if she had been hit over the head there would have been less of an impact. She just stood there, hand to her cheek, in a daze. I was not much better. She seemed to react to such a simple gesture of affection that I began to think of how I had the opposite reaction when Gwen left me. There was no way I could expect a 16 year old to take her place, or could I? They piled in. Mandy climbed into the front seat this time, if she did not have on jeans, it would truly be a sight I began to imagine. 'Wait!' I thought.
We drove up their drive. "Tell your Mama I'm coming in about 5 minutes. To get decent and then we'll outline what she needs to do this week and explain how you three are my new assistants for work.
I waited a few minutes then walked in. "Mrs. Err I don't know your name?"
"Evie, Evie Brown, and you be?"
"Ralph, Ralph Kincaid. Pleased to meet the mother of these three wonderful girls. I can see where they get their great beauty from."
Yep, works on them all, any age. A smile swept across her face.
"The girls came over to see if I needed any help, which I do. They said your job was cutting back and you might be willing to help take care of my house, maybe cook some meals and the like. This would pay you a full time salary and when you did the work is of no matter to me, I'm right next door. This would be ongoing, as is the girls work helping me. Even when they go to school I have tons of things that need to get done. I will pay them whatever you and the school say. There is a little bonus from time to time that you and the school won't know about. Now, the girls and I need to get to work, lunch and breaks are provided for and if you can make dinner for us at my house, everything should be there. Here is some money($50), keys to the car(4-WD Subaru) are hanging by the phone if I did not have everything you need and we will be back by 6pm. If you have any questions, my cell number is by the phone in the kitchen. Dress is casual but you may not want to work in what you have on?(She was still in bed in underwear, I suspected.)"
With that answer I knew she was a 'Submissive'. No doubt about it. Great, if we made this work out not only would those money problems get straightened out but the family could start healing.
Might as well push my luck. "Mandy, honey, make sure everyone has shoes on. We'll stop in town, get you all work clothes, boots, gloves, goggles and some supplies. If you have an ice thing and a water jug bring that and some cups, we'll get food and drinks in town before we head out. My treat for everything so I don't want to hear why you don't need stuff, now get everything and head to the truck sweetie! Mrs. Brown, we will be at Mac Glint's farm after town then head back home. I really appreciate all this, I don't know what I would do if you and the girls were not helping me." I thought I heard something like, "She's full growed, you know!" That was more obvious now as Mandy had seemed to change into a tank top, no bra and shorts that would make Daisy Duke blush.
"Here Hon!" handing me an ice chest and sliding her hand along my arm as she released it. Did she say she was only 16 last week? The other two bounced in front of me carrying the jug and cups. They too had adopted their sister's dress code, white tank tops but rolled up a little high though, and no bra unless 'pink' was a natural chest colour. Oh well I thought.
There were now four of us in the front seat. Poor Mandy had to almost sit on my lap. She made room by putting her arm around my waist and bumping me every few seconds, as her sisters kept pushing over. It was hard to drive, and not just from the road. Little fingers were playing some tune on my back as Mandy just looked ahead and smiled.
We had two choices, 'Cheyenne Guns and Things' and 'Wally-Mart'. Trying to sneak a look over to my trio with their tops ever rising up and shorts lowering 'Wally' would probably be a good choice to outfit three teens, then again what they were now 'almost' wearing might not be a bad choice, I thought.
Inside my 'troops' lined up. I want you to get everything, I mean everything. Pants, shoes, socks, shirts, hats, work gloves, goggles, bras, panties and any personal items you may need for the next month, everything. Get everything too for your Mom, she may need them around for housework?"
"Honey, what colour bra and panties should we get, and will we need anything for bed?" asked the vixen Mandy.
Now it became very evident who was in control. She said she was 16, right? "No, ... Yes, maybe ... just get whatever you need, Jeez! Meet me by the boots, Beth help your sister get a cart, Mandy, please be nice, Okay?"
"Honey, I can be very nice! No one has ever treated Mama and us as nice as you have. In case you didn't notice(as she pulled her tank top tight across her 38 D chest) I'm full 'growed up' and Suzy and Bella in school already are pregnant?"
I did not want to discuss that with her, nor did I need to think too much about what she might be saying. She was barely 16. Barely, there I was again, get your mind out of the gutter I told myself then looked again at the pulled down tank top. Oh man, this was not going quite the way I thought it would. I quickly walked away towards boots, lest my hormones give things away. I was thinking of getting some jeans and boots for myself too. Mandy came over holding some things. "We want you to see if these fit OK and we have the right colours. We each got 2 of everything so we can wear one set and wash the other, except for the bed stuff, that's no problem since we usually sleep nude."
It might not be a problem for her but my imagination was now acting up again. "Tell everyone to get 2 of those also and get your mother some. I think I can trust your judgment on what to get." She turned away with a smirk, then dropped, by accident I was certain, the smallest, transparent thong ever made. "We'll show you later then!"
There was a sale on my jeans, obviously all females once they find out someone else is paying frown on the label 'on sale'. My new assistants were no different. The twozzy thing applied now to boots and light work shoes. I sent them back for more socks and told them to get some one size larger too. 'Smart Ass' Mandy suggested I should check her breasts to see if the bra size was OK. As I pretended to start to reach for her, Beth ran up and started shouting, "Me First" and all of a sudden we were getting looks.
I did not know 'Doc Martin's' cost $275 each, we each got 2 sets, Evie too. The gal at the check out must have been on commission as the total, now for two carts, showed $4,798.37 and she smiled. "Your wife forgot something, I'll wait to ring up. Are those other girls your children?"
"I now was roped, hog tied and destined to become the youngest father of a 15 year old on record. Mandy was running back, freely bouncing now in her tank top. Yep, 38 D or bigger I thought. We were getting looks now and these were not at me, Beth or Jenna. I had to take a deep breath. As Mandy put down an armful of items the clerk started ringing them up. She stopped at one point and just looked at me.
"I got a few personal things for us and you too, just in case ... Ahhh ... well ... this is all sort of new to us 'y'know'."
I now was confused, who exactly did she mean 'by us' and what was 'new'. Then the light came on and things dawned on me.
I asked them if they wanted to change at the store or later? "We'll change on the way!" was echoed as the clothes they were wearing started flying off. Mandy was in front, Beth and Jenna in the back and luckily the truck had smoked glass all around. I was the clothes changing station and even if I wanted not to look, the myriad of girly things being handed to me required my undivided attention. Sure, if you believe that, I have some land for sale too, land when the tide is out.
It was now to the point that I even was not sure if we were a family or what. When Mandy shucked off her dukes and peeled off her panties, held out her hand and I sat transfixed, I knew what the answer was. She really was 'full growed' and I would be proud if she and I were ever man and wife. From the sparkle and look in her eyes she too seemed to be thinking along the same lines as I was now. I woke up when she hit me and moved her hands up and down. "Hurry up, when your finished inspecting me, give me new clothes, it's cold like this." Our back seat assistants did not seem to be too cold, with mouths opened they seemed engrossed just to observe the goings on. "I think your fine?' That got me a smile that would melt Alaska and another slap on the hand. "Clothes, buster. At least for now!"
As they finished dressing, I started up and drove to the Mini Mart and Gas. I handed Mandy some money and told her to get drinks, snacks and ice, while I gassed up. She looked at me as though no one had ever trusted her with such a task. I added. "Oh, and Honey, pick up things we may need at home too!" You would think she died and went to heaven, twice. A second time when her sisters held hands to their mouth while following her. 'Full growed' I thought to myself.
The ride to Mac Glint's was quiet and sedate. They all were in back now whispering. It was not a good sign; for me. By now I had learned these three could manipulate a man to do just about anything. When she asked to use my cell and what my number at home was I started to panic.
She called her house first, got Evie by the sound of things and then huddled with Jenna and Beth around whispering things like; "Ug huh, Yep, Mmmm. Yep. When she handed the cell back to me, I jokingly asked who was going to be the 'Maid of Honour', to which she said Jenna and that Beth would carry the rings."
Tears wanted to start falling but I managed a choked up, 'Oh' and started swallowing a lot and clearing my throat. I had meet her a few hours ago and if I was honest with myself, in about 60 seconds I knew she was special, a good person, kind, considerate and trustworthy; just the kind of person I never thought I would find. But, she was 16 and almost 5 years younger than me.
Mac Glint's was going to take several days as this was the planting season. It would also be when my new team showed me just how wrong I could have been about them.
Remember when I said they were not lumberjacks? When we took a break for lunch, I noticed two things. First we never bought any and secondly, the only rest my girls took was for water or soda. They had worked nearly three hours straight and we had already filled up the truck bed and trailer more than I could have myself working all day. I told them that.
"Change of plans, gang. Food, them we unload this trash and either swim a bit then or go home early." I hoped there was not a Victoria's or the like around. They did not need designer swimwear. Lunch was more like a Pizza buffet. Almost everything you could imagine filled their plates, that and three pitchers of beer, root beer, thank you very much. When we rolled out I felt really and truly that we were a family. Two boys, from school I guess, called out to the girls. One was paying Mandy extra attention. This was an unexpected event for me, the 'green-eyed monster' was emerging from my interest in a 16 year old, 'full growed' woman.
Mandy was pleasant to them in reply but I noticed a shake of her head to the one boy and her raised eyebrows when she came back. "School will start up in September Buster and you and me better have worked things out by then or..."
We went to a yard where the company I did work for recycled various waste. Without really thinking I introduced Mandy and the girls around, saying they were her sisters. I heard several replies of, "hello Mrs. Kincaid" and I did nothing to correct them. Mandy did not either but seemed to sigh at that label.
We were ahead of schedule, cooler in back, snacks inside the cab and four very tired landscapers were headed home. No swimming today. Mandy asked to use the phone, called my house this time and told Evie we were coming home early. Home, I liked the sound of it.
When we got home, Evie was in the kitchen cooking. She was crying. "Onions? I chided?"
"No, I had to get a few things fresh and stopped at the cafe. Jim, the boss told me he could not keep me. What am I going to do now? I hate to ask, but how much will this job pay me?"
"Great news Evie. I told you this job is full time and permanent. I got another surprise today, these three are the best. We are way ahead of schedule. As far as money, tell me what you were making before, I'll add 20% to it and pay for benefits from the company I work for. You will make more now plus the money the girls make will help for school."
Now she started crying. Why do women always cry? I took her in my arms. The hug was innocent, but Mandy walked in, saw her Mom in my arms and the 'green-eyed monster' I had felt was visiting her. One air kiss and a smile from me, or was it the sight of tears in her mom's eyes made her jealousy fly away. I motioned her to us, then called the other girls. We all stood there hugging.
Then like women the world over each began relating their 'news'. The shopping we did, Evie's new dudes, her new job, the pay raise, now benefits, our lunch, the farm work, etc,. etc., etc. I had never understood how women could listen to, understand and ask questions about things four different speakers were saying at the same time, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
We ate dinner. Fresh greens, mashed potatoes, a beef roast, carrots, salad and desert. Apple pie. Mandy took me aside, asked me something, smiled and took her Mom and the girls by the hands.
I sat down to another slice of pie and two more coffees. We were all sweaty, dirty and tired. Mandy had asked that we all shower or bathe here then go to bed. And sleep, she emphasized 'just sleep', Mom did not want to be alone and neither did Mandy it seemed. It was my turn to clean up while the girls and Evie readied for bed. When I came out with my boxers and Dallas Cowboy's sweatshirt on I went to the bedroom.
I froze when I got there. Four angels all in matching Baby Doll outfits were cuddled on my bed. Mandy raised the light cover revealing everyone then motioned me over. "Sleep" she said.
She started pulling me onto the bed, pulling the covers over all, then held my hand. We cuddled, only cuddled all night. In the morning, Mandy faced me, lightly kissed my lips and asked. "What are we going to do now?"
"What do you mean, now? I asked her.
"We all are in love with you Stupid? Now what?"