Neighbors
Chapter 2

Copyright© 2011 by oyster50

Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 2 - Bill's a nice guy, just a working man getting along. Life has left him battered, but he's found stability. One day his neighbor, young Haley, shows up to help wash a car. And be a friend.

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Romantic   Heterosexual   Slow  

As the summer heated up, many days were too hot to enjoy sitting under the tree in the shade. If there was no breeze, it was miserable. Still though, Haley would come knock on my door, I would open it, she'd look at me with those big brown eyes, and I'd invite her in.

It was almost a ritual, a regular litany. I'd look at her and ask, "Did you tell your mom?"

"Yes, I did," she'd say, smiling sweetly.

And then she'd come in, and we watched TV together. Occasionally, we would play a board game. In July, she came in, looked at me, looked back at the chessboard on my bookcase, and said, "Mister Bill, d'ya think you can teach me chess?"

"I can teach you the basics," I said. "Like, where are you headed with learning chess?"

She gave me one of her little smiles. "Well," she said, "sometimes when mom asked me what I do over here, I can tell 'er you're teaching me how to play chess."

"Well, sweetie," I said, "you could tell her that even though you weren't learning how to play chess."

Her next statement told me a little bit more about how she thought about things. "Well, first, I don't want to lie. Second, suppose they asked me questions about chess. And third, I like it when you teach me things." Sweet smile. But exactly HOW innocent?

So that particular evening, I showed her the basics of chess. She's a quick study. She learned how to set the board up, the basic moves, and then we started playing, just so she could fix the ideas in her mind.

After that, on the occasional evening when we were outside under the tree it wasn't unusual to see the chessboard on the little table between us. It was just another thing that solidified the picture of Haley hanging around with me. Still, it was all perfectly innocent. As far as I was concerned, anyway.

Since that first little episode when she and I talked about sex and what she knew and what was gonna be proper and improper, she had avoided the subject. I think that after our original discussion, she realized that sex was gonna drive a wedge in our relationship. It was apparent to me that Haley wanted the relationship.

It was always a bunch of little things, you know. On the weekend, if she was in the yard and I was getting ready to go somewhere, for instance, the hardware store, to buy groceries, whatever, I'd invite her along for the ride. Just about every Saturday was yard cutting day. I had a riding lawnmower that I used for most of the yard. After I mowed the majority of the yard, then I had to resort to other tools to do the trimming. It became the norm for Haley to take over the riding lawnmower, leaving me to do the trimming, and between the two of us a three-hour job was cut to less than half.

One of the upsides to that was that it gave me an excuse to slip her a little bit of money so she'd have a little spending money on her own. I got a better excuse one weekend late in July. I saw her outside Saturday morning, and I said, "Haley, you wanna help me paint?"

"Sure!"

"Then go put on some old clothes," I said. "You're liable to get paint on the ones you're wearing."

She grinned and took off into her house. She came back wearing an old oversize T-shirt and a pair of jeans that were maybe just a little bit too tight. She looked at me. "Will this work?"

I looked at her and I smiled. She had that 'adorable ragamuffin' thing down pat. We really did paint a bedroom. At the end of the day, she went home with dabs of paint on her arms, on the T-shirt, on the jeans, and on the do-rag we'd tied over her shiny, short brown hair. Not visible was the forty dollars in her back pocket.

The end of August brought the beginning of the school year. I remember when I was Haley's age, how I used to look at the end of the summer with a mix of dread and anticipation. Naturally Haley and I talked about it at some length.

"So, this'll be your first year of middle school, won't it?" I asked.

"No," Haley said. "That was last year. This year I'm in the seventh grade."

"Oh, okay," I said. "Don't know why I thought you were in the sixth grade. I guess it's because you're twelve."

"My birthday is the first week of September," she said.

"So what you want for your birthday?" I asked.

When she thought about this, her face saddened. "What I want and what I get are two different things. Steve hasn't been working a lot of hours. Money is tight. So I don't expect much."

"Do you think Mom and Steve would be upset if I got you a little something?"

The sadness left her face, replaced by a smile. "I don't think they would," she said. "You'd do that for me? I mean, I'm not your kid."

"Haley," I said, "friends can do that. I mean, who's going to complain? Deena's not. She gets plenty of things. I don't have another girlfriend to buy things for."

You know, I didn't realize what I'd said. I was just talking. Haley, though, must've been paying more attention.

"Uh, Mister Bill, d'ya know you just called me your girlfriend?" The expression on her face was a satisfied combination of a smile and a smirk.

"You know what I mean," I said. I was thinking, though, that once you say words, you can't take 'em back.

My statement didn't change her expression. "Yes, I know what you mean." And she kept smiling.

Three days into the beginning of her school year, Haley came over, carrying her backpack. "Mister Bill," she said, "you're an engineer. I know, you know all about numbers an' calculations an' stuff like that. Mom an' Steve can't help me with math. You wanna help me?"

"You know I will, baby," I said. "D'you mind if we talk to your mom first?"

She looked at me quizzically. "Do ya think we really need to talk about this to her? I mean, it's just like any other visit."

"No, baby," I said. "All those other visits, they're just for fun. Or like when you help me paint. This is for your school. I want to make sure that your mom and Steve know that I'm helping you with your school work. That makes it a little bit different."

She took a few seconds to think about it, and then said, "Then come on, let's go talk to 'em." She stood up, leaving her books on the table.

"Okay, let's go." We walked out of my house, across the yards, and I stood outside the door when Haley walked into her house. I heard her call from inside the house, "Come on in, Mister Bill!"

Steve and Marie were sitting on the sofa in the den watching TV. Steve stood up to shake my hand. "Hey, buddy, how's things going?"

"Working myself to an early grave," I laughed. "How about yourself?"

"Well, looks like work gettin' ready to pick up. I hope so. We could sure use the money." He paused. "Haley says you need to talk to us?"

"Yeah," I said. "She asked me if I'd help her out with her school work. Math mostly. I told her that I didn't mind doing that but I wanted to make sure that you and Marie knew what was going on."

"Bill," Marie said, "she showed us some of the things she had to work on, an' I KNOW I'M not going to be able to help her. Steve looked at it and he said it's gonna be tough for him. So if you want to help, we cain't tell you how much we appreciate it."

"Then that's what we'll do," I said. "We'll either be sitting at the table in my dining room, in my office, or in the middle of the living room floor with our legs crossed. You guys are free to come over anytime. The door won't be locked."

Marie laughed. "Gee, Bill, you act like we're checking up on you. That's just plumb silly. Now, Haley, do you have work you need help with tonight?" Marie asked.

"Yes, ma'am," Haley said. "I left my books over at Mister Bill's house. I told 'im that y'all wouldn't have a problem with him helping me."

"Yeah," I laughed. "But the last thing I wanted was irate parents busting into my house thinking I was molesting their daughter."

Marie and Steve both laughed. "Y'all go do her schoolwork."

"Okay, Mom," Haley said. And she grabbed my hand and tugged me towards the door. She didn't realize until we got outside that she was holding me by the hand. Her eyes flashed at me above a grin. "Oops!" She said with a giggle. "Kinda lost my head, didn't I?"

"Uh-huh," I said. "That's the kind of thing that's gonna get me shot."

More giggles.

"Yeah, you giggle now. Let's see how you giggle we get into this math!" We were in the house. I looked at her. "So where? Dining room, or my office?"

"Dining room," she said. She took her math book out, and a notebook, and a couple printed pages. "You can look at this stuff. I'm gonna fix us something to drink."

"Okay," I said, "nothing with caffeine. It's a little late in the day and I don't wanna mess with our sleep. Especially yours."

She set our drinks in front of us, sat down, and we got into the lesson. It was pretty basic stuff for a degreed engineer, but I remember being terrorized by the same thing when I was in the seventh grade. I worked with her. I explained principles. I showed her equivalent problems, much simplified so that she understood the reasons why things were done instead of just taking a cookbook approach. "Baby," I said, "it's a whole lot better to understand the principles than it is to learn just the steps to solve one particular type of problem. That way if the problem you're working on is not exactly the same as the previous problems that you learned, you'll be able to figure it out."

She nodded enthusiastically. "You know," she said, "none of my teachers ever explained it like that."

"Yes, little one," I answered. "You have to understand that your teacher is teaching a whole classroom full of kids, and some of them are very smart, and some of them may have trouble getting these things. I just have one student. You. And I know how smart you are. So we can take time to do it right."

"Mister Bill," Haley questioned, "D'you think I'm smart?"

I knew the answer to that. I've been talking with his little girl all summer. I knew that she was a good reader. I knew she had a vocabulary way above the normal twelve-year-old. I knew that she took a logical approach to problem solving. She thought about things. "Yes, Miss Haley, as a matter of fact I DO think you're smart."

She looked at me and smiled.

"Now, let me ask you something," I said. "What kind of grades did you make in school last year?"

She looked at me. I could tell she was thinking. Not only that, I can tell she knew the answer to the question. The little thing was trying to figure out how best to frame it. "Uh, ... Mostly C's, but I had some B's, an' I had an A in spelling." She looked at my eyes to see how I was taking that news.

"Now, be honest, Haley," I said. "Did you really try very hard? Or did you figure out that you didn't have to try real hard because Mom and Steve were happy enough to see you making C's and B's?"

She cast her eyes downward.

"Uh-huh, I caught you, didn't I?!?"

She looked at me with a mischievous smile. "How'd you know that, Mister Bill?"

"Because I've been talking with you all summer, and the little brown-haired girl I talked to does NOT have a 'B and C' mind. Now," I said, "what you need to figure out is if YOU are gonna be satisfied with B's and C's."

"Mister Bill, I did sort of try in math. The teacher didn't do a very good job of explaining it. Not like you just did. But Mom and Steve, they was happy enough with my report card like it was."

"I can believe that," I said. "Parents of normal kids would be tickled to see that kind of report card. And if you kept going like that, you're sure to graduate from high school right in the middle of the thundering herd. Just another face in the crowd. Me, I think that's kinda like putting a racing engine in the car you drive back and forth to the grocery store. A lot of potential, but it never gets used. You have to decide, do you want to be the floor manager at Walmart, or you do set your goals a little higher than that?"

She didn't exactly look dejected, but I knew I was pressing on her a bit. "I know, Mister Bill. You're right." She fixed me with those bright brown eyes. "There's never been anybody around that I really wanted to impress. I guess it's easy enough just to get by. I can stay in the middle of the class. I didn't have to work very hard. And nobody gave me a hard time."

Now I was walking a narrow line. I mean, if I pushed too hard and she didn't want to be pushed, all she had to do was pull back and just stay away. I couldn't force her into something that she didn't want to do. All I could do was hope that she wanted to stretch out a little bit and use what she had.

"Well, Haley," I said, "this is all up to you. I mean, you can come over here for help when you get in a bind, and I'll help you. But if you want, we can do it a little bit harder, not just math, and we can watch my Haley shine."

I was happy to see when she turned her face up at me that she was smiling that little half smile. "YOUR Haley?" Her smile broadened. "Uh, first you call me a girlfriend," she giggled. "And now you call me YOUR Haley."

Okay, I got a little flustered. "Uh, I meant you were MY student."

"Okay. If you say so." Her eyes didn't look real convinced.

I watched her work the remainder of her math homework and saw that once she embraced the principles, the problems were purely mechanical. She opened up her other books and showed me where she was in the other subjects.

I told her, "Language is almost like math, with rules and structure. I can show you the principles in science. But it's not the same as math, it's a matter of what the teacher wants out of class. But literature is different. And in social studies, we'll just have to read over what you're studying and talk about it and make sure that you can keep it in your head. A lot of that's just gonna be a memory exercise. You've got a sharp mind so all you have to do is discipline yourself. And I think we'll see the difference."

I looked. The clock said seven-thirty. I sighed and said, "I guess it's time for you to go home."

She started picking up her books.

"So," I asked, "do I get the job as your tutor?", as we were walking to the front door.

I started to open the front door to let her out.

"Wait!" She said. And then she surprised me, tiptoeing up to kiss me on the cheek. "You get the job," she smiled. As I watched her walk across the yard to her old house, a million thoughts were going through my head.

So that was another step in the journey. In addition to the previous somewhat random encounters that Haley and I enjoyed, now we were together doing homework several nights a week. That is, the nights that I didn't have to work late or I wasn't out of town. Previous to acquiring my new status as Haley's tutor, I answered to no one as far as my comings and goings, like when I was working late.

Now, if I found out I was going to work late, I had to make a phone call. Haley needed to know. Otherwise, it wasn't uncommon for me to pull into my driveway and by the time I got out of my car, to see Haley headed across the lawn, backpack purposely slung over her shoulder, and usually smiling.

We fixed that into a routine too. Some days when I came in, I was a little bit sweaty, kind of rank, that being a fact of life. A lot of my work was indoors, in air-conditioned surroundings, but there was a goodly portion that wasn't. My white collar had a definite bluish tinge to it.

I remember the first time that became an issue. I'd had one of those days. Yes, it was early autumn, but along the Gulf Coast that meant that the afternoon temperatures were only in the low nineties. I'd been outside most of the day. I had sweated, and dried off under my air-conditioning. That meant I was dry, not that I smelled good. So when I sat down beside Haley to look at her work, she looked at me.

Her nose wrinkled.

I caught the expression. "I can't tell, Haley. Do I smell THAT bad?"

"I tried not to say anything," she said. "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

"You're not hurting my feelings, baby," I said. "You wanna go home and come back in about forty-five minutes? I'll have a shower."

She fixed me with her eyes. "Why don't you go take your shower. I'll start working on some of this stuff, and save the stuff that I need help on until you get back."

"Okay," I said, "I'll use the bathroom off the master bedroom."

Giggle. "What?!? D'you think I'm gonna go sneak a peek?" Giggle.

I stood up, laughing. "I'm horrified that the thought even crossed your mind, little girl."

I enjoyed the shower. I always did after one of those outside days. After I showered, I took the time to shave, and after that I splashed on a little aftershave. I dressed in baggy shorts and a T-shirt, appropriate for the remainder of the day. It felt so much better to be clean. I walked back into the dining room, and Haley turned to look at me.

"Mmmmm," she said, "I always did like that smell on you."

"You're supposed to be keeping your nose to yourself, little girl," I laughed.

That got me a giggle. "Uh, you weren't keeping your SMELL to yourself while ago, so why are you being all freaky about it now?" Her giggle matched her eyes. She pointed to her homework. "I got a handle on this math stuff," she said, "and now it's kinda like going through the motions. I look at the problem, an' I think about those principles, and the solution is easy."

"What about your other subjects?"

She smiled. "After SOMEBODY got on to me about paying attention, I'm not having any problems. I don't think A's are going to be a problem at all."

"That's great," I said. A thought crossed my mind. "Why don't you call your mom and see if it's okay if I take you out to eat."

Squeal! "I'd LOVE that," she said.

I tossed her my cell phone. She punched up her mom's phone number, and put the phone to her ear.

"Hi, Mom!" Pause. "Yeah, I just finished my homework. Mister Bill wants to know if I can go out to eat with him," Haley chirped. She paused. "Yeah, Mom. I'm sure it'll be someplace close." Pause. "No, Mom. I won't order the most expensive thing on the menu." Pause. "Yes, Mom. I will mind my manners. Thanks, Mom!" Haley looked at me, her eyes twinkling. "So where you taking me?"

I named a little chain restaurant up the road, not too far, and a decent step above fast food. She squealed in agreement "I've eaten there one time," she said.

"Okay, then," I said. "This'll make twice. Let's go." I followed her out to the car. Twelve years old, okay, a week shy of thirteen now, and when she was happy, she couldn't resist a skip. I clicked my keyfob to unlock the doors. She slid into the passenger seat and buckled up. By the time I got buckled in and got the car started, she was turned toward me, a big smile on her face. This was the first time that I'd taken her to a restaurant that didn't have a cartoon character as a mascot. Up to this point it was strictly fast food.

We went inside, had a good meal, and then I brought her home. We went back in the house so she could retrieve her books to go home. She called me at the door again. Another little kiss, this one a little farther forward on my cheek. She was getting dangerously close to kissing me on the lips. I watched her going across the yard to her house again, shaking my head.

A week later was her birthday. It wasn't much of a party. I was invited, as were an aunt, an uncle, a handful of cousins who showed up. I was surprised to see nobody from school. She had a birthday cake and a few presents. They sang 'Happy Birthday' and that was pretty much the party. Haley was thirteen.

I pulled Marie off to the side. "Marie, Haley helped me around the house and around the yard all summer. I slipped her a few dollars, but it's worth more than that to me. Would you mind if I took her to the mall and let her get a couple of outfits or something?"

"Oh, no, Bill," she said. "Steve an' me are just get'n caught up on bills again since he started working more hours. Money's tight, or we'd have bought her more stuff. I know she'll appreciate it."

"Tomorrow after school okay?" I asked.

"Sure, any time you feel like it," Marie said, smiling. "You gotta know how much Steve an' I appreciate your help'n with her school. She sure acts more comfortable about it. It really shows."

"Uh, Marie, she's an easy kid to work with. I wouldn't do it, except she is smart and she's really caring about her work."

We walked back into the living room. When I got a chance, I whispered in Haley's ear, "after school tomorrow, I'm taking you to the mall to get some things."

She looked at me and smiled.

"We can call that my birthday present to you."

I shook hands with the adults and left to go to my own house. I had just kicked my shoes off and was sitting in my recliner, wiggling my toes when I heard a knock on the door. I got up reluctantly and went to the door. I looked through the peep hole and saw Haley's face. I unlocked the door and let her in.

"Mister Bill," she said, "you told Mom that you wanted to take me to the mall and buy stuff?"

"Yeah, Haley," I admitted. "Did I do something wrong?"

Her face was soft, her eyes sparkling happily. "Oh, no," she sighed. "You know, you're always so nice to me. I got to go home now." She hooked a hand behind my head, tugging me downward. This time, the kiss was on the corner of my mouth. She smiled as she was leaving. I stood on the porch watching her cross back to her house.

The next day she heard me pull into the driveway. She was there beside me as I got out of the car. "Haley, I really need to take a shower and change clothes. It's been another one of those days."

I assumed she would receive this information and go back to her home and wait. She didn't. She followed me into the house.

"I'll just sit here watch TV if you don't mind, Mister Bill." The way she looked at me, I could tell that she didn't expect me to say no.

So I didn't say 'no'. I simply went into the bedroom, closed the door, and went through the ritual of bathing, shaving, and then dressing informally. I went back out into the living room, carrying a clean pair of socks and a pair of athletic shoes. She watched as I put my socks and shoes on.

"Anxious, are we?" I smiled.

"Yes sir. Sort of. You know, I like going places with you. I mean, I love my mom, and my little brother, an' even Steve. I really do. But when we all go places together, it's pure turmoil. I mean, Stevie Junior's just a little bit spoiled. Not that we go to restaurants very often, but he makes it miserable. So I'm looking forward to going to the mall with you."

I finished putting my shoes on and stood up. "Okay. Let's go."

In a couple of minutes we were headed down the road. I glanced away from the road for a moment, looking at Haley. She was sitting there, a smile on her face in anticipation. I'm not usually a mall type. Like many guys, malls are not my thing. I used to dread trips to the mall when I went with my wife and daughter. I can't say I was really looking forward to going with Haley. I had no idea how she was going to act. I had a vague idea that I was gonna let her choose a couple of stores and buy her a few things she wanted. Of course, I hoped that what she wanted was something that made sense. I wasn't particularly worried about the cost.

Being the middle of the week, the mall wasn't as crowded as it could've been. Of course, it was after school and still somewhat unpleasantly hot outside, so there were a lot of young people there knowing it was a place to see and be seen. I found a parking spot reasonably close, and Haley and I walked into the mall.

I guess we look exactly like a dad and daughter at the mall. She looked at me. "So where are you taking me?" She asked.

"Haley, that's not the way this is supposed to work. You tell me where you wanna go." I smiled at her.

"Mister Bill, about the only place we ever shop is Walmart. I hear some of the girls in school talkin' about Penney's. Can we go there and at least look?" She asked.

"Let's go, little one." I thought she made one of the better choices. We walked in, headed to the girls department, and a fifty-ish saleswoman took us under her wing. I explained that I wanted to get a few outfits for Haley. Haley looked back and forth between the sales lady and me. "Haley, I don't know enough about girl's clothing to do any good here. I'm gonna go sit over there and you can come get me when you're ready."

"But, Mister Bill, how much?" She asked.

I looked at the sales lady, then at Haley, and held up three fingers. Haley's eyes got big. I whispered to the sales lady, "and maybe four. Don't kill me." I turned on my heel and walked off to sit on a bench nearby. I spent my time waiting by watching the wildlife, the mall rats, young people walking back and forth without purpose, all trying to look sophisticated and casual at the same time. It was amusing.

After some period of time, I noticed Haley walking towards me. I turned in her direction and she crooked her finger, beckoning me over. I got up and walked over; she took my hand and led me to the checkout counter.

The sales lady smiled. "We have four informal outfits, you know, for school and after school functions. And we got her one nice dress that will work very well if she needs to go someplace special. An inexpensive pair of shoes to match the dress of course."

"And exactly how much does this exercise in good taste cost me?" I said, smiling.

"Three hundred and forty-two dollars and seventy cents," the sales lady said. "But sir, these are really nice."

I retrieved my wallet and pulled out a credit card, giving it to the sales clerk. In a couple minutes I signed the ticket, took my copy, and we started to walk out of the store. We got about half way out the door before Haley retrieved my hand, holding it in hers. I looked at her.

The look on her face told me that she expected me to pull my hand back. I didn't. I asked, "Wanna do the food court for supper?"

I got an enthusiastic head bobbed in the affirmative. We walked the length of the mall, hand-in-hand. In one hand I had colorful plastic bags, and in the other hand I had a happy little brown haired girl.

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