Of Loss and Remembrance
Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Ma/ft, Consensual, Reluctant, Fiction, Incest, Father, Daughter, First, Slow, Violent,
Desc: Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Driven away by his inability to cope with his wife's cheating and the actions of her new partner a man withdrew from the world becoming the equivalent of a modern day hermit. Then chance brings his family into his life again and he begins to realise what he lost... No sex in the first two chapters. The violence code does not apply to sexual violence.
The world is getting smaller they say. Communications and social media have connected people from all over the globe into one big family. Well, so long as you want to be part of one big family, I suppose it is, considering that the worst fights seem to happen within them.
Still it came as a surprise when my supervisor got me on my work's radio and asked me to go down into Otterburn to speak to my ex-wife about my kids. Mostly the surprise was that my supervisor would even call. Other than the occasional request to go check out something within Kielder Forest he left me well alone as I was atypically anti-social and felt no real need for human contact these days. Most of my communications with the outer world or rather the rest of the Forestry Commission were by email where I was scrupulously accurate, possibly to the point of redundancy. Still my job suited me these days as I'd more or less given up on human contact, save only for the weekly walk to the Post Office in the small village of Otterburn to pick up any physical mail. Mind you, I'd drive in the winter, I might be hardy but living in one of the most remote places in the UK mainland meant you didn't act foolishly when you might be the only living person for twenty or so miles.
A bit of history seems in order as the story looks a tad rambling so far.
I'm David, ex-Army, ex-construction industry and ex-husband too, come to that. I'm 35, in good health, tall at 6 foot and well-muscled in the way that outdoor workers in physical jobs tend to be. Blue eyes and short dark brown hair make up the rest of the ensemble and I was once thought of as handsome, though these days what people think matters very little to me.
I'd married Gwen early in life and we'd had two daughters; Jenny approaching 15 and Laurel who was only just 14. I'd offer a description of them, but other than knowing they had dark brown hair and blue/green eyes I hadn't seen either of them in over six years. Oh, I had a few pictures of them and they were quite beautiful in my eyes, but it's a case of the map not being the territory. Initially Gwen made contact difficult after the divorce for her adultery, though had since ceased her efforts. But years of only sporadic contact had led me to the conclusion that it was my role to actually try harder to keep in touch, problem being I was so used not to. The divorce was the reason I was where I am and the reason I am who I am. Most people get over a partner cheating and eventually move on. Then again most partners cheat with a person of the opposite sex...
I'd realised things weren't going too well in my marriage. I worked long hours and I wasn't giving the family the quality time they deserved. Still it came as a shock to come home early one Valentine's day with a bunch of roses to find Gwen in bed being eaten out to her clear and loud delight by another woman. I admit I went mental, though I maintain to this day I did not get violent, despite a claim in the divorce court over custody and a restraining order placed on me which prevented me from knowingly approaching within twenty miles of my ex and her new partner. Access to the girls became nigh on impossible as Gwen refused to let my Mum and Dad visit to collect them either, at least initially. I'd gathered that things had relaxed a bit since then, though I was too far off now and simply not in the mood for company, family or otherwise.
That however was the least of my problems, Nancy, the bitch who now partnered my ex, went out of her way to embarrass and make my life miserable. She was a lesbian, yes, but also a militant feminist with it. You know the type, all men are rapists, all men do is hold women back, men are the violent sex, and women can manage perfectly well without men as science has made them redundant and so on at length. The humiliation started when the guys at work discovered the details of the divorce as posted on Facebook. The construction industry, like the Army, is a bastion of male chauvinism and politically incorrect thinking and the fact that I'd lost my wife to another woman was utterly hilarious to them and cost me the respect from my team. Respect that I needed to do the job. I can take a joke as well as the best of them, but sympathy from family or contempt at work is difficult to cope with. Nor did the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community help by labelling me some sort of violent bigot and picketing my place of work. Help which caused even further strain with the management of the company. So I was getting it in the neck from above and below. The fact that I hadn't touched Nancy seems not to have made it by way of an explanation to the LGBT community. I guess she saw it as all's fair in love and war. Still the judge accepted my story that she'd actually fallen when leaping out of the bed, as the recorded injuries matched that scenario and her solicitor ran into a brick wall with my denial of touching her when I pointed out that I couldn't have as she was still alive, with reference to my army record. The judge didn't remove the restraining order though; too many verbal threats on my part and no I'm not proud of that aspect of the entire farce, but it's the only bit I feel guilty about.
Still the damage was done; I resigned and slunk off with my tail between my legs, not willing to face the world anymore. A friend got me a job as a forestry ranger in Kielder and my willingness to settle in the most remote part of it and do a good job of land management helped. Kielder Forest, by the way, is a remote National Park in north east England near the border with Scotland occupying over 250 square miles and run by the Forestry Commission. For many long winter months other than my trip into Otterburn I never saw a soul and if I didn't heal, the anger and bitterness came under control. Only my parents knew where I was and I presume one of them had told Gwen. God alone knows why, she was not someone they knew I ever wished to see again, but my kids? My personal code of honour would not let me just abandon them despite my self-imposed exile and despite the fact I hadn't seen them in over five years.
I got back to the ranger cabin which doubled as my home; it was a squat low wooden building which was designed as a showpiece of environmental policies. The roof was turfed with various plants to filter rainwater into storage butts; solar panelling for electricity and heat were stationed discreetly around the site; the toilet was a dry bed affair and did not require a flush, merely a handful of sawdust after each use and a pit with a huge amount of worms and added aeration mulched the rest into humus and the excess was taken away as active fertiliser once a year by a local biomass company. Despite this, I still had a large Calor gas tank, a wood burning boiler/range and a linked mains supply attached to the local grid and was fed by a series of wind farm towers when the wind wasn't too light or too strong, redundancy writ large to an extent. The place was also well insulated and quite roomy. Although designed as a showpiece, very few visitors actually made it this deep into the forest, most preferring to stay near the Kielder reservoir with its far greater set of facilities for sport and relaxation.
Most of my work was repairs to trails, check for soil erosion, the occasional deer cull and mink extermination and some tree management. The forestry workers took care of the bulk of the trees. Very occasionally I had to escort scientists to various test stations dotted about my area, measuring God alone knows what. Mostly I was there to make sure they didn't get lost and end up falling down a gully or exposed to the moors and the four-seasons-in-one-day weather patterns up there.
All in all I lived the life of a hermit in splendid isolation and had come to enjoy it greatly. My few contacts with people being the village postmistress and the local storekeeper where I bought a few bottles of beer and groceries each week and picked up any mail order stuff from the odd foray onto the internet.
As it was getting on for evening and the nights were closing in, I decided to drive into the village using a set of forestry trails which could carefully be negotiated by a 4 x 4 or a large truck, which was another reason I was mostly left to my own devices. Most people had more sense than to try to get so deep in the forest and possibly lost in the trees as all the trails looked the same and there were no signposts. GPS was no good either as the maps didn't show the trails.
I must be mad, I thought as the Landrover lurched from one pothole to another. What on earth could have brought me down out of my hideaway to speak to my ex-wife? Yes, the kids were important to me, but they had my email address and they sent me an e-birthday/Christmas card without fail along with a few pictures showing them to be taking after their mother in looks (thank God) but showing a distinct lack of temptation to listen to both her and Nancy's silliness with regards to the male of the species.
Finally I made it onto the A68 and then the A696 main roads and cruised down to the village to the tearooms where I'd been told Gwen would meet me.
I recognised her straight away, dark haired, shapely, slim and petite, green eyes framed by a heart-shaped face with soft full lips, yet clad in an ensemble that came right out of the butch-dyke catalogue which clearly didn't suit her at all. The terms dowdy and frumpy immediately springing to mind and they even gave the impression that she was overweight.
"Gwen," I greeted her after stepping out of the Landrover.
"Hello David, you're a hard man to find these days," she replied.
"Not nearly hard enough it seems," I said, watching her flush slightly. "Care for a coffee?"
"Yes please," she replied and followed me into the tearoom.
We waited in silence until we were served and I finally asked what she wanted.
"I need a favour. We need somewhere to hide, somewhere that we won't be found," she said.
"What the hell have you done now?" I asked bluntly as I was quite perplexed.
"Not me, Jenny," she said sighing. "She got involved with a local boy with gang connections. He attempted to ply her with drink, possibly get her on drugs and probably prostitute her. She got lucky and fell out of his car when a police patrol passed. They arrested him and got her to a hospital where they pumped her stomach."
"Bloody hell, Gwen. She was lucky, but how does this involve me?" I said.
"Well, the police investigation opened a can of worms in a local community and Ali was the local Imam's son. He's been stirring the shit with the community and we have been spat on, had threatening texts and letters in order to stop her from testifying. We'd just been moved to a safe house when someone poured petrol through the letterbox of our old home and set it alight. We'd have been dead otherwise."
"But you're in a safe house?" I asked frowning.
"So we thought, but we think someone on the force has told the Imam where we are as a brick was hurled through the window this morning. I phoned your Mum and begged her to tell me where you were but all I got was your boss's number. Then we piled onto a series of buses and came up here, hoping you'd take us in till the trial," she said quietly.
"Ok, but it's a bit basic and isolated," I replied.
Well what else could I do? These were my girls and although we'd been apart for five years I couldn't turn my back on them. Nor at the time did the factor of Nancy figure in my mind, which was odd as it really ought to have.
"Thank you, David," Gwen said gratefully.
"So where are the girls?" I asked.
"They're in the local, I'm sending a text now and they'll be here in five minutes," she replied.
Even then, the penny never dropped, my girls were fourteen and fifteen, and they would not have been allowed in a pub on their own, not unless they looked eighteen or over.
We finished our coffees and went outside and the penny dropped.
"Hi Dad," came the greeting from the girls, though it wasn't them I had eyes for.
"You have got to be fucking kidding me!" I exclaimed at the sight of Nancy next to my two girls.
"Please David, can't we be civilised?" Gwen asked.
"I don't do civilised with her. Hell I'm not supposed to be knowingly within 20 miles of her because of that restraining order!" I almost shouted.
"Told you this was a bad idea. He's a typical male and feels threatened by our sexuality," Nancy said snidely.
"I don't feel threatened by you at all any more than I feel threatened by shit on my shoes and pretty much regard you personally at the same level. What I won't do is allow you in my residence owing to your past record of antagonism toward me," I replied calmly.
"Antagonism? With all the threats you made towards me," she said archly.
"Countered by the gay mafia you set on me at work, despite never attacking you over your sexuality, the facebook 'revelations' and by the initial restraining order because I 'hit' you, a claim that was disproven making you out to be a liar."
"David, I know the pair of you have issues, but the girls are freezing here and I'd take it as a personal favour if you'd allow Nancy to stay with us too ... please David, we've nowhere else to go that we can trust," Gwen begged and both girls came forward to hold my hands too.
"Christ OK! But if she starts that male oppressor shit she's out," I groused knowing that I must have sucker tattooed on my forehead somewhere.
I opened up the Landrover which was still quite warm and the girls as well as the two women piled in. Oddly enough it was Nancy who ended up sitting in the passenger seat.
"Make sure you strap in as where we're going the concept of a road is a thing of the imagination," I said. "Also there's no mobile masts to give a signal and other than the direct connection to the internet at my home there's no way to communicate with the outside world."
They all gave a verbal acknowledgement as I got their bags into the back and started up, allowing warm air to flow around them, watching them relax and start pulling off hats and gloves as well as unbuttoning coats.
"The other problem, assuming it is a problem, is if you're a vegetarian, there's going to be a very limited choice. I make a lot of my own food from meat products I hunt, but other than basic veg I haven't a lot else," I sort of semi-apologised.
"We'll manage," came Gwen's voice over the stifled protest of Laurel and Nancy's frown. "It's not like we've much of a choice and we didn't exactly give you any notice. And yes, Laurel, I know you gave up meat. But for the moment you'll have to set aside your principles if you don't want to starve and it's not like your Dad is factory farming the meat he's supplying."
"Yes, Mum," sighed Laurel.
"You have guns in the house?" asked Nancy.
"Yes, a shotgun and a crossbow. I use them occasionally to cull the local deer herd and for pest control," I replied keeping my eyes on the road and trying not to look at her.
"Is that safe?" she asked.
"They're weapons, they aren't supposed to be safe," I replied. "But unless you accompany me on one of my tours, you won't even see them; they're locked away in a secure cabinet."
Out of the corner of my eye I could see Nancy frowning, but she clearly decided not to push things I guess. Knowing she was with a man she'd seriously antagonised in the past, who was potentially armed and who was taking her into the middle of nowhere seemed to have gotten to her.
"Another thing, I hope you thought to bring suitable outdoor clothing and boots, otherwise you'll be getting cabin fever before too long," I said.
"Your Mum told us to take along our camping and hiking stuff. I also got some walking boots for us in Newcastle before the bus set off for Otterburn," Gwen replied.
"That's good," I replied.
"Can we go out with you, Dad?" asked Jenny
"Yes, there's things to see," I replied as I put the Landrover's lights on as it was getting dark.
"What, like trees?" muttered Nancy whom I ignored.
"There are otters, deer, badgers, foxes and even a small colony of beaver that some environmentalists are monitoring. If you're lucky you'll spot the odd red squirrel too," I finished.
"Wow," said Laurel.
I turned off the A68 and headed along a small side road before stopping at a gate onto the forestry land, I unlocked it and drove through before locking it and headed off into the darkness along the trails that the loggers used.
Soon the car was bouncing merrily along, lurching slightly with each rut and throwing the occupants from side to side. I was driving carefully though so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I did notice Nancy trying to memorise the route but with the darkness I doubted she'd be able to do that good a job as many trails were passed easily without her seeming to notice them. Finally an hour after leaving Otterburn we pulled up at the Ranger's cabin and I got out to unlock it for them. I put the lights on and asked them to remove their shoes before going in from the porch. Other than the lights from the Landrover and the light from the cabin porch it was pitch black and very cold as I took their luggage from the back of the vehicle and carried it in several stages into the porch. Then I turned off the ignition and went in, taking off my boots and slipping on an old ratty pair of slippers.
Inside it was warm as the range was still just alight and the solar panelling which heated water was currently pumping it around the cabin from the highly insulated storage unit built under the floor. Gwen, Nancy and the girls were just staring around, taking in my home which was comfortable if spartanly furnished.
"I'm surprised, it's lovely," said Gwen quietly.
"You thought I lived in a shed?" I asked, bemused at her attitude.
"No, no, I didn't know what to expect and this would have been low on my expectations."
"I'll show you your rooms. The girls will have to share," I said.
"What about Nancy?" Gwen asked.
"What about her?" I replied puzzled.
"Will she be in with me?"
"Well, yes. Unless you or her want to bunk in with me," I replied utterly deadpan.
"Fat fucking chance," Nancy muttered under her breath so low that I believe I was the only one to hear her.
"Oh, it's just that you didn't mention her," Gwen said.
"I'm trying like mad to ignore the presence of psychodyke here," I replied. "I'm doing this for you and the girls, not her."
"David, she has a name," Gwen said. "And I'd thank you not to use that ... term around the girls."
"What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person, so no, I will not give that unspeakable psychobitch the satisfaction of using her given name," I replied stonily, paraphrasing an obscure Biblical verse.
Both the girls were clearly trying not to laugh and even Nancy didn't seem too bothered.
"Seems I really got to him lover," she finally said. "Now which room is ours macho man?"
"First on the right. Quilts, sheets, pillowcases and extra blankets are in the storage cupboards. There's plenty of storage for clothing," I replied, pointing the way. "This one's yours girls."
I led Jenny and Laurel into the other spare room which had two single beds in it and helped them get the various bedding out of the cupboards.
"You don't like Nancy at all do you, Dad?" asked Laurel.
"What's to like?" I replied with a question.
"She's always been nice to us and she makes Mum smile ... well sometimes," Jenny said.
I shrugged, not really having anything to say.
"Hasn't been like that recently," Laurel said to Jenny. "They've been fighting a lot and this was before your trouble too. It's also when Mum started wearing those awful clothes."
"You really shouldn't be talking about them in front of me," I replied quietly. "I'm hardly a sympathetic audience, although I won't tell either."
"Will you take us out with you tomorrow?" Jenny asked, changing the subject.
"If the weather's OK and your clothing is suitable, yes. If that's what you want," I replied.
"Thanks, Dad," Jenny said with a sunny smile as I left the room to prepare dinner.
It had been years since I had cooked for more than one, but I had plenty of food stored in two large chest freezers. I settled for cooking venison sausage, mash, peas, sweetcorn and thick gravy with dumplings. I was so caught up with the preparations that I didn't notice Gwen enter the kitchen until she startled me with a request.
"Any chance of a coffee, David?" she asked.
"Er ... yes. Mugs are in the top cupboard to my right and the coffee is in the jar below, milk's in the fridge, help yourself," I replied.
"Thank you for taking us in," Gwen said after she'd sorted out a mug of coffee for herself.
"I had little choice. They're my girls, now and always," I replied.
"I meant Nancy and myself really. I never thought you'd turn the girls away. We were prepared to take a chance hitching up to Edinburgh," she said.
"I don't hate you ... either of you, not now. It's been too long," I replied.
"You could have fooled me with that comment about defiling yourself by using her name," Gwen said.
"I have little reason to like her, but for the sake of the girls I'll hold my peace," I replied.
"She's ... she's not like what you think she is," Gwen blurted out.
"You have no idea what I think she is," I replied.
"I love her," Gwen said eyes downcast.
"I know, you chose her over me," I said neutrally, feeling an old ache in my heart I hadn't felt for years.
"I ... I still loved you too, but you got so angry..." she tailed off.
"She wasn't exactly accommodating of me, now was she?"
"You frightened her, she thought you were going to kill her and then she tried to keep you out of our lives," Gwen admitted.
"By wrecking my life, by driving me to leave a life behind, by lying to a judge?" I asked mildly.
"We all do stupid things when we're angry," Gwen replied.
"Yes we do. You need to ask her about Benjy," I returned.
"What about Benjy?" said Gwen, frowning over the dog I'd raised from a pup before we'd even met and had been our daughters furry, faithful companion. "He ran off looking for you we think."
"Ask her and ask her to be honest with you," was all I would say as I went back to the dinner I was preparing.
Gwen returned to her room looking troubled, a few minutes later there were the sounds of a furious row.
Soon enough a tearful Gwen and an angry looking Nancy came out of the room to face me.
"Tell him!" Gwen demanded of her.
"Please, don't make me do this," Nancy begged as I spotted the faces of the girls at their bedroom door.
"If you don't, you and I are over," Gwen said angrily.
"I ... I apologise for Benjy. I just wanted to hurt you so badly," she said eventually to me.
"You took our dog to the vets and had him euthanized, simply to spite me," I said. "And you have the nerve to tell everyone that you are a better person than me. Sure I got verbal, but I never hit you and I never did anything else to harm the family, but you couldn't let it rest could you?"
"How ... how did you find out?" Nancy asked as Gwen and the girls looked at her in horror and disgust.
"The vet's service also included cremation. They rang me to ask where I wanted the ashes sent as my mobile was all they had," I replied. "I asked for a copy of the bill, seeing as there was little else I could do then and it wasn't like you were answering my calls at the time."
"I ... I guess I'd better pack and go," Nancy finally said looking at all our faces.
"No..." I sighed. "There's no need to on my part at least."
"You'd let me stay?" Nancy asked shocked.
"Me yes, but you need to sort it out with Gwen and the girls, that's definitely your problem, not mine," I said and turned back to the range.
"I'm so sorry," Nancy said to Jenny and Laurel. "I just wanted to remove any memories of your father and I should never have gone so far."
"How could you?" Laurel asked in tears. "He was old and he was ours, you had no right!"
"No, no I didn't. I acted irrationally and regretted what I did, but it wasn't something I could admit then at the time. I didn't want you or Gwen to hate me," Nancy said despondently.
"And you went on and on about men using and abusing women and how Dad threatened you and yet look what you did, you fucking hypocrite!" screamed Jenny, who went into her room slamming the door behind her.
"Jenny I..." Nancy said to her back before the crash of the door closing.
"I'll go and to talk to them," said Gwen. "I suggest you remain here and try and keep a low profile whilst I try to fix the damage you caused."
"But ... but he caused it by telling you after all this time," Nancy wailed.
"Does that make what you did justifiable? I love you Nancy, but at the moment I don't like you one little bit. I suggest you make plans to sleep on the couch tonight," Gwen stormed as she turned her back on Nancy and took Laurel into the bedroom to comfort a weeping Jenny.
"Bet you loved that," snarled Nancy to me. "And smart move in letting me stay, made you look all magnanimous you utter shit."
"There was no malice on my part, I just wanted an apology. I forgave you over four years ago," I replied. "Still doesn't mean I like you though, but at least you won't be able to pull that better than you are crap anymore."
"And possibly wrecked my relationship with your ex and your kids," Nancy said bitterly.
"They'll forgive you, Gwen loves you remember?" I stated and turned to look at her.
"Easy enough for you to say," she replied.
Nancy was tall at 5' 11" and fitted the term Valkyrie to a tee; blonde, blue eyed, magnificent bosom, shapely form, all in all a lovely wet dream for most guys ... well, those who didn't know her sexual preferences and hostility for their gender.
"You can sleep in my room tonight. I'll change the sheets. There's a cot in the office I can use," I said.
"Why are you doing this? I don't understand you at all?" Nancy finally said plaintively.
"Despite your problems with me, you've been ok with my girls. They do like you, although that's taken a hit today, but not enough to cause a permanent rift I hope. Sooner or later you'll be able to go home and things will go back to normal. There's no way I can go back to that life, not now. But I do want the girls and Gwen to be happy. I couldn't allow you to think you'd gotten away with Benjy, nor allow you to cover it up. He was their dog too," I said at length.
"And you won't interfere with Gwen and me?" she asked cautiously.
"No. Gwen's your problem. But from a short conversation I had with the girls, you really need to sort out the clothing thing and any other problems you have," I said.
"I just get so jealous," Nancy said quietly. "I'm so afraid that some girl or guy will snatch her away from me."
"So you made her dress in stuff my gran would think was dowdy?" I asked as I turned the sausages.
"Yes ... it was wrong, but yes," she said. "Anyway, why am I talking to you about this, you don't even like me?"
"Possibly because it'll go no further," I said.
"I'll think about it and thanks for the use of the bed," she said.
"You're welcome," I replied and went back to my cooking.
Dinner was a tense affair, neither of the girls were talking to Nancy and Gwen was monosyllabic to anything Nancy said. As for me, well I think I'd talked myself out over the last couple of hours, having said more in that time than I had in something like three months. Still I did get thanks off them all, including Laurel, for the meals, as although she'd been reluctant to taste the meat in the end she'd tucked in like the best of them. Afterwards the girls asked if they could go on my PC, to which I agreed, but warned them the work server was site limited and also not to give out any details of where they were.
Gwen retired to her room leaving just Nancy and I to tackle the mountain of dishes which took a while and was done in silence. Afterwards I went to my room and stripped the bed and got out fresh stuff for Nancy and made sure I had the book I'd been reading before going out to sit on the sofa in silence, which was only punctuated by the odd giggle from the office.
"How do you manage?" came Nancy's voice.
"Manage what?" I asked puzzled.
"It's so quiet, there's fuck all to do and I'm bored," she said.
"I have books and the PC is yours to use when the girls finish with it," I replied.
"I still don't know how you manage," she said.
"For a long time I couldn't cope with company," I replied. "I just wanted to be left alone to get over what you did to me."
"Five or so years of sulking seems a tad excessive, even by a man's standards," she replied making me glance up to see what I was certain was a concealed smile and twinkling eyes.
"I just got used to it and I think I'm naturally anti-social anyway," I surprised myself with a chuckle.
"So what is there to do other than read?" she asked.
"Through the day there's lots, but it's all work related," I replied.
"I'll look at your book collection later, if that's all right with you," she said.
"No problem, hope you can find something you enjoy," I said.
"I hope so, I'm at my wits end here. We left with only a few suitcases full of clothes and precious little else," she admitted.
"The trial will be soon?" I queried.
"It keeps getting delayed, new evidence, legal delays, stuff like that, a lot of it is due to witness intimidation too," Nancy admitted.
"You'll be safe here, even if they find out where you are it's not easy to find and even my boss who's been here a few times can't find it on his own," I said.
"That's reassuring," she replied. "Do you still love Gwen?" she finished in almost a strangled tone.
"Yes," I simply replied.
"It was always my greatest fear that Gwen would go back to you one day," Nancy admitted. "It still is."
"There's nothing here for her and I won't move, not now," I said.
"You're wrong, David. There's you and I know she loves you still," Nancy replied tears in her eyes.
"She loves you more," I replied.
"Can I tell you something in confidence?" Nancy asked.
"Who the hell do you think I'll tell?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Gwen is the only person I've ever loved. I'm not even sure if I'm a lesbian," she said.
"But you..." I tapered off, completely lost for words.
"I was a normal girl. I was interested in boys. I had strict religious parents that I loved dearly, so was still a virgin when I went to Uni, planning on staying that way till I married. It was fun and I was doing well until I got invited to a party and someone spiked my drink. Apparently the guy who did it stuffed me into a cupboard till all the guests left and then tied me face down on a bed, raped me vaginally and anally and then left a sign lipsticked on my backside 'free use for all' for the rest of his flatmates. I may have been raped by up to twelve guys before one took pity on me, dressed me and put me in a taxi back to my dorm. Thing is, I can't remember any of it, not really, just occasional horrific flashbacks ... and then there was the video..." Nancy said quietly, tears streaming down her face.
"Oh dear Lord," I murmured, shocked to my core.
"One of my flatmates saw it, told me and I got in contact with the police and the guys in it were arrested. But by then there was little physical evidence. The trauma mentally made me suicidal for a while, which wasn't helped by my parents shunning me and calling me a whore and harlot to my face when I tried to see them. It took a year before I was able to cope in society. I had a very good therapist, but I hated men, all men and kept the company of women and was even sexually involved with a few although it didn't do anything for me, not really. Then I met Gwen and it was love at first sight ... for both of us I think. I suspect there's always been a little bit of a bi side to her nature, or perhaps it was just me. We became lovers even though she kept threatening to end it as she hated cheating on you. You discovered us and got so angry we both feared for our lives. It was fear of you that enabled me to drive a wedge between you even though I knew if you'd asked she might have gone back to you. But I engineered things to drive you away and out of our lives so I could keep Gwen for myself as I doubted you'd share," Nancy finished.
"Fucking hell," I muttered.
"So that's why and no, I'm not sorry, David. I need Gwen far more than you do as I think I might just end things were I to lose her," Nancy said quietly but emotionally.
"We'd best make sure you keep her then," I replied.
"You'd help?" she asked, astonished.
"If it keeps my girls happy, but that depends on how they handle your lies and deceit," I replied.
"Yes ... I guess it would," she sighed.
At this point Jenny and Laurel came out of my office looking relaxed and happy though clearly ignoring Nancy.
"I'll er ... sort out my emails if you don't mind, David," Nancy announced.
"Be my guest, take your time," I replied.
The two girls sat and waited till Nancy had gone into the office and shut the door.
"Why are you being so nice to her?" asked Jenny.
"Because for all she caused me no end of problems including my marriage, I can't bring myself to hate her anymore," I replied.
"But when you picked us up you nearly didn't let her come," said Laurel.
"Was no chance of that, your Mum wouldn't have not asked," I replied with a wry smile.
"But Benjy..." Jenny said.
"Kicking a woman out into the cold wouldn't bring him back, besides I've had five years to get over it, unlike you who discovered it today," I said.
"I hate her," said Laurel.
"I don't and you shouldn't. She had her reasons, not very good ones from my standpoint, but these things aren't clear cut despite what you think," I responded.
The faces of both the girls told me that at the moment I wasn't getting through so I changed the subject.
"So Jenny, you'll have to testify in court?" I asked.
"Yes. I'd heard a few rumours about Ali not being a nice guy but he was nice to me ... well, until he forced me to drink a bottle of vodka," she sighed a tear rolling down her cheek.
"You were lucky, then again so was he. Because if he'd been successful and I'd found out he wouldn't have survived a visit from me," I replied.
"Dad! You wouldn't," said a very shocked Jenny.
"Believe me I would, I may not be the best dad in the world, but no one hurts my girls and gets away with it, not like that," I said in tones that made both Laurel and Jenny shiver slightly.
Then Laurel just leapt from the chair to give me a hug and a kiss, her lithe petite form moulding itself to me, she was joined a second later by Jenny.
"I love you and missed you, Dad," Laurel whispered, tears flowing.
"So did I, Dad. Nancy was nice to us, but she wasn't you and you would never tell us where you were," Jenny said.
"You were better off where you were," I replied stretching my arms around their waists to hold them close. "But I did plan to tell you when you were sixteen little one," I told Jenny.
"Well, we're here now and safe, thank you Dad," Jenny replied and kissed my cheek.
We all just held one another and talked for a while, the girls filling me in with details of their lives until Gwen came out of her room and just stared for a while.
"That looks so ... so natural. I've never seen them give out hugs like that, not even to me," she finally said with a small catch in her voice.
"I'm fairly sure I don't deserve it, but I've missed my girls. Worse yet, I'd forgotten how they made me feel when I held them," I sighed, giving both Jenny and Laurel another squeeze.
"I'm so sorry that you felt driven to run, David," said Gwen softly.
"It's OK. I understand why. That's not to say I liked it and I still have a few moments of anger over it, but I do understand," I replied.
"You've changed. I don't think I know you anymore," she replied.
"That's one of the things about living alone in isolation ... assuming you can stand it. You really learn to think things through and drop all the wishful thinking," I said. "Problem is, it also destroys your social skills and the need for company too."
"You seem to be managing OK," she replied, looking at the girls still snuggling into their dad.
"They helped me remember what I'd lost," I replied simply.
Gwen just nodded before changing the subject.
"Do you have a wireless internet access?" she asked.
"Yes, the scientists who occasionally come here use it," I replied.
"The girls are supposed to be on a home tutoring program and if I can get a hold of a couple of laptops then they can re-join it," Gwen said.
"I'll arrange for Amazon to deliver a couple to the post office here and pick them up, won't be till the day after tomorrow though," I said.
"You don't have to buy them, David," Gwen said.
"I know, but I will for my special girls, besides it will be harder to trace them to you," I replied getting more hugs and a kiss from Laurel.
At this point Nancy came back through and although the girls pointedly ignored her, I did ask if they wanted hot drinks, making a point to ask Nancy.
I was given a list varying from coffee to hot chocolate and went off to the kitchen to make them leaving the family to try and get over the awkwardness.
Once back I found Nancy sitting with Gwen on the sofa and the girls in the two easy chairs. There was still a bit of an atmosphere, but nothing like the anger of earlier.
"Dad says we can go out with him on his rounds tomorrow," Jenny said to no one in particular.
"I'd like to come too, but I have to contact certain people via my solicitors and let them know we're OK," said Gwen.
"Would you mind if I accompany you?" asked Nancy tentatively.
"Not at all," I replied seeing the frowns of the girls. "Make sure you wrap up well and wear your hiking boots."
"I will, thank you, David," she replied.
"What will we see tomorrow?" asked Jenny.
"At this time of year a few deer, maybe a fox or two, but they tend to be nocturnal and you have to be quiet," I replied. "Anything else would be a bit of a bagatelle as there's no telling what might be out there."
"How long will we be out there and will we need lunch," asked Nancy.
"We'll be back here for lunch, I basically do a figure of eight mornings and afternoons over four days. It looks a little like a cloverleaf from the air," I replied.
"OK," was all Nancy said.
"Well, if there's nothing else and if no one else needs to use the PC I'll retire for the night. There's food and drink available in the cupboards and fridge and if necessary I can do a run into the village tomorrow to get basics. Anything a bit special I can get the store keeper to order for you," I said.
I got a series of goodnights and an odd look from Gwen who didn't know that I'd given Nancy my room. As it was everyone retired early. When it's pitch black outside and bugger all else to do, you do that and get up with the sun.
I had just sorted out a few things including an order to the local shop online for a lot of bulk staples foodwise and had undressed and gotten into the folding cot bed when the room door opened and someone slipped quietly inside.
As it was pitch black I simply waited for some sort of clue as to who had chosen to disturb me.
"Are you asleep, David?" came Gwen's quiet voice.
"No, I'd just turned in," I replied.
"What's going on with you and Nancy?" she finally asked.
"Nothing, I don't think she even fancies me," I remarked wryly.
"Ha, ha, you know exactly what I mean," she said.
"She's a guest and now I've knocked some of her superiority complex aside, I'll treat her fairly," I replied.
"But Benjy..." Gwen began.
"Was five years ago, as I told the girls, I've had a lot more time to get over it," I said.
"So why tell us?" Gwen asked puzzled. "Unless it was to drive a wedge between Nancy and me."
"No, it was purely to forestall any attempt by Nancy to stir up shit thinking she could hide behind you. She knows, even if you don't, that I still have feelings for you and would have tried to make us antagonise each other to keep us apart," I said.
"You still have feelings?" Gwen asked sounding surprised.
"Yes, but I know you love Nancy and she makes you happy ... well, when she's not the green-eyed monster," I said.
"God, you see too bloody much, David," Gwen sighed.
"Just drop the frumpy granny butch look and be you, Gwen. Nancy has nothing to fear from me," I said.
"Yeah, well, she might have something to fear from me," said Gwen and then planted a searing kiss on my lips, her tongue snaking into my mouth to swirl around taking me completely by surprise and leaving me with a raging hard on. "You aren't the only one who has feelings for their ex."
"Clearly not," I replied as Gwen stood and left.
Five minutes later the door opened again and someone else came to the side of the cot.
"David?" came Nancy's voice.
"What did Gwen want?" she asked in fearful tones.
I was about to tell her to mind her own, but our earlier conversation came back to me.
"She wanted to know why I was being so nice to you after the Benjy revelation," I finally said.
"Oh," she answered sadly. "What did you say?"
"That I'd had a lot more time to get over it than she did and I didn't do it to drive a wedge between her and you," I said. "I also told her that frump is never going to be her style."
"It isn't and I'll correct that as soon as we can talk properly," Nancy replied.
"I told her that I knew she loved you and that you make her happy and that was pretty much it," I finished.
"Thank you," Nancy said and then surprised me by leaning over and giving me a soft kiss on the lips. "Interesting," she said.
"I felt nothing."
"I don't know whether to be insulted or not," I said humorously.
"No, I meant no revulsion, fear, anger, loathing, things like that, it was just a kiss and a nice one too," Nancy said.
"I don't think I cured you," I replied a bit bemused.
"No, the thought of other men still makes me cringe inside, but not you ... as I said, interesting,"
"It was a nice kiss, your lips are very soft," I said for want of anything else to add.
"Thank you," she replied then kissed me again before rising and leaving the room.
This can't be happening I thought as five minutes later the door opened again.
"Just wanted to say goodnight, Dad," came Jenny's voice.
"Goodnight, little one," I said only to find her in my arms her small firm breasts with hardened nipples pushing against my chest from under her nighty.
She gave me a soft wet lingering kiss which I'm pretty sure daughters shouldn't give their dads before scooting out of the room at which point Laurel I presume came in also to wish me goodnight.
"Night, Dad," came her voice confirming my suspicion.
"Night, Laurel," I said as she hugged me and held me for the longest time.
"I missed you so," came a muffled sob.
"I'm sorry. I couldn't stay. I might have hurt someone," I sighed.
"I know but I missed my Dad," she said and kissed me again in a manner I would not have expected from my daughter even grabbing my hand and placing it on her small breast.
"Er Laurel..." I began as I pulled back.
"You can have me. I'm a virgin. Just never leave me again, please Dad, please," she begged.
"I can't do that little lady," I said. "But I'll keep in touch, I promise."
"Please Dad, I miss you," she said, tears flowing freely and dripping onto my face.
"We'll see," was all I could think to say as I hugged my precious daughter wondering why life had hard choices for me again...