Erotica Showcase Author-Tom Benson, The First Chapter

Today’s Showcase Author is the very talented Tom Benson.  He has a ‘hotel series’, Highland Games, and boy are things getting hot in here!  The fifth book will be out soon, and we’re biting at the bit as we wait!

Remember all, ya have to be 21.  If not, go somewhere else.  For mature audiences only… and those with open minds.

Highland Games – 1: An Erotica Novella 148 pages.

 

Jeff is 25 and runs his own interior decoration business. He discovered a niche in the market for mural painters – and is prepared to paint anything for clients. On the side of Jeff’s van is the promise:

‘Your Wish is My Command’

Cheryl, an attractive 40-year-old wants to make her remote Highland hotel unique. One day while shopping she sees Jeff”s van with his message. She also sees Jeff and a fanciful idea comes to mind ….

 

BookLinker – Universal

 

Join me reading ‘The First Chapter’.

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Scotland
Monday, 18th June
“I’ll be with you at 9 am tomorrow,” Jeff said. “Thank you for calling. Bye.” He held the phone to one side for a moment and added, “And thanks for the arousal.”
He hoped the caller was as sexy to look at as she was to listen to. Before continuing with his sketches, Jeff drew a small heart beside the number and the name Cheryl.
At 25, Jeff was young to be running a one-man business, but in his first year, he’d made a profit, and built a valuable portfolio of satisfied clients. On achieving his Degree in Visual Communication he didn’t want to work for somebody else.
Jeff was working on cartoon ideas for a single-wall mural for a children’s nursery. He’d already produced eight solutions and pinned them on his large board. Apart from recognisable characters, his brief was to involve plenty of activity in the finished idea.
The stirring sound of ‘Mission Impossible’ filled the room, and Jeff glanced at his phone. St Jude’s.
“Good morning, Mr Aintree,” Jeff said. “How may I help you?” He pulled his diary forward as he listened, and exchanged his pencil for a pen.
“I’m available on Thursday and Friday this week,” Jeff said. “Yes, an hour on both days, and a 10 am start will be okay. I look forward to it. Bye.”
Jeff grinned as he considered the talks he’d given at St Jude’s Sixth Form College. The pupils were always full of interesting questions and made the hour-long sessions worthwhile. By the time he’d finished his talk, he was fulfilled. It meant another group of teenagers had learned a variety of disciplines were available in the field of Visual Communication.
Jeff considered the bonus of spending a short time with the visitors’ liaison officer, Melanie, the Art teacher. They always enjoyed a chat either before or after Jeff dealt with his presentation.
*
Tuesday, 19th June
Jeff had set off early to enjoy the drive out to Blairgowrie. He parked his small white van in the main public car park, paying for two hours. However interesting the client’s idea was, it was doubtful it would last for longer than two hours.
As Jeff strolled along the narrow main street, it occurred to him he had no idea about his client’s appearance. During the phone call, he’d been mesmerised by the sound of her voice, he’d readily agreed to meet.
He’d made the effort to brush his thick, dark hair, and for reasons he wasn’t sure of, he’d shaved. A formal suit wasn’t in keeping with his profession, but he achieved a smart, casual look with a light safari jacket over a bright blue T-shirt, and jeans. His dark brown suede trainers were both comfortable and fashionable.
Jeff pushed open the glass door of the small, but bright Tartan Teapot. Of the eight tables in the place, four were unoccupied, and one had a single customer.
The woman was maybe in her late 30’s, but no more than 40. Her dark hair hung beyond her shoulders, and her features would attract the eye in a room full of people. When her ruby lips parted in a smile, tiny dimples appeared in her cheeks. She waved.
“Jeff,” she said, but it was enough for the voice to register.
“Good morning,” he said, approaching and reaching out his right hand. “You must be Cheryl.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t provide a description of myself, but I checked your website.” She grinned. “I’d say your bio picture doesn’t do you justice.”
“You’re too kind,” he said. “I’m sure any description you’d have given of yourself wouldn’t have done you justice.”
“I already think I’ll enjoy working with you,” she said and smiled as she arched a shapely brow. “I asked one of the ladies to reserve this table because it’s one of two which are in a secluded corner.”
“It’s a cosy place.”
A teenage girl in white blouse and short tartan skirt approached.
“Good morning. Would you like to order?”
It was agreed to have a large pot of tea and homemade shortbread. The girl gave a polite nod to both customers and departed to fetch the order.
“I shouldn’t indulge,” Cheryl said. “I treat myself occasionally, and the home-baking here is amazing.”
“I’ll take your word for it, and if necessary I’ll put in a few extra press-ups in the morning.”
“Oh, are you a fitness fanatic as well as a designer?”
“I wouldn’t say fanatic, but because a lot of my job is sedentary, I like to keep in shape.”
The waitress appeared at the table, and laid out the contents of the tray. The girl nodded politely and left, glancing back at Jeff as she did.
“It looks like you have an admirer,” Cheryl said.
Jeff’s face coloured. “She’s beautiful, but a bit young.”
“Are you aware of age difference in relationships?”
“When one partner is too young and maybe vulnerable,” he said, and caressed her features with his gaze.
“I’ll pour while you prepare to show me what you’ve got,” Cheryl said and gave a sly grin as she organised two cups of tea.
*
Jeff rested his laptop on the table and rapidly located the portfolio files for murals and other major artwork.
“I hope you don’t mind me bringing my laptop for this meeting,” he said. “A prospective client gets a better idea of my range this way. I do have a regular portfolio in my van.”
“This means I’ll get to see much more.”
“I take it you’ll find your way around a group of files and a keyboard?”
“I’ll trust my fingers if you do, Jeff,” Cheryl said and grinned as she gazed at him from under her long, dark lashes. She spun the lightweight computer around.
Jeff lifted his cup, and as he drank his tea he took a longer look at his companion. Her brown eyes flicked across each image as she brought them up individually to full screen. While Cheryl was concentrating on the wide-ranging portfolio, Jeff was focusing on Cheryl.
When she’d stood to shake hands, her bright summer mini-dress had hinted at a well-developed chest, and there had been a glimpse of thigh. This lady was attractive and though dressed casually, she was radiant.
“I’m impressed on several levels, Jeff,” Cheryl said as she lifted her cup. “Your murals cover a fantastic range of topics, and they’re all finished to an exceptional standard.”
“Thank you.”
“May I have a look at the Human Studies albums?”
“Of course,” Jeff said. “I will warn you, several explicit paintings appear in the Erotic Album.”
“The Erotic Album is the one which interests me the most.”
Jeff noted the flick of the right eyebrow, and the twitch at the corner of Cheryl’s lovely lips. She nodded a few times slowly. Jeff was eager to find out which of his more graphic work had impressed.
“Jeff,” Cheryl said, engaging his eyes with hers. “Have you ever brought together the format of a mural with human studies?”
“I’ve never been asked, but as a client, your wish—”
“… is my command,” she finished for him. “It’s a prominent strapline on your website, and it appealed to me.” She returned to viewing the screen.
“May I take it you’d be interested in commissioning a wall?”
“No, Jeff,” she said, looking up from the portfolio. “If I get the right person for the job, I might be interested in commissioning several walls.”
“I work out solutions to design around windows and doors, and though a complete room might be an exception, it’s possible.”
Cheryl nodded. She lifted a piece of shortbread and held it between her even white teeth as she held Jeff’s gaze.
Unsure what to say next, Jeff lifted the large teapot and topped up their drinks. Cheryl chewed with her mouth closed, but the tip of her tongue slipped out to capture tiny crumbs from her lips. Her eyes remained trained on Jeff’s. She swallowed.
“I noticed you’re based in Perth,” Cheryl said. “I’m no expert, but most designers head to the big cities, don’t they?”
“Yes, but while I was studying at the Edinburgh College of Art, I took trips north to Perth and other towns within striking distance. I fell in love with Perthshire and the surrounding area.”
“Did you always want to have your own business?”
“It didn’t occur to me until I learned how designers spent days pandering to the whim of clients, and they were under pressure by their bosses. I wanted to have a go at my own idea, and if it didn’t work out, at least it would have been an experience.”
“I take it you worked from home first?”
“No. I found a small studio flat at a reasonable cost, and it’s proved to be an ideal base for my business idea. The landlord allows me to use an old shed for storage.”
“How far are you willing to go for a job?”
“Regarding distance, I’ve travelled 20 miles, but if it’s worthwhile, I’ll go as far as necessary.”
“My place is 50 miles north in the Grampians. I’ll leave you to consider it for a moment. Please, excuse me.” She wiped her mouth with a napkin, and left the table to visit the bathroom.
Jeff gazed at the long stride of Cheryl’s shapely legs. The hem of her light dress lifted as she walked, and the young designer’s mind was a million miles from the job.
“Well?” Cheryl asked when she returned and took her seat. “What do you think?”
“I’m intrigued, and it sounds like a unique project. I’d be happy to travel to your place. You haven’t mentioned cost?”
“I’m sure you’ll ask a fair price, and I realise it might include extra for your travel. If you’d like to visit, I could explain my vision in greater detail. You might be better able to gauge the extent of the task?”
“I have a job to complete this afternoon, and Thursday and Friday are booked, but tomorrow is free. Would it be okay for you?”
“Tomorrow it is,” Cheryl said, and turned to lift a business card from her shoulder bag. “It’s a few miles before Braemar, but I’m sure you’ll find it.”
“Highland Haven,” Jeff said as he inspected the picture of a smart house nestling among the mountains. “It looks beautiful. Is it remote?”
“It’s both.”
“Would 9 am be too early?”
“It’ll be okay if it doesn’t affect your morning routine.”
“I’ll get up earlier, and do my training session.”
The pair enjoyed more tea together and discussed the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, before parting company.
*
Wednesday, 20th June
As Jeff drove through Blairgowrie, his mind wandered to his meeting the day before with the alluring Cheryl. He’d been quick to check out the Highland Haven website when he got back to Perth on Tuesday afternoon, but apart from a good picture of the house, and a selection of views around the area there wasn’t much to go on.
Most interesting was the announcement Highland Haven was a boarding house which would reopen in the late summer following a major refurbishment. The new management were listed as C and A Laurie, but no pictures of the owners appeared.
It was a beautiful sunny day to be driving into the stunning scenery of the Highlands, and as Jeff left the hamlet of Bridge of Cally, his next checkpoint was Spittal of Glenshee, high on the mountain pass.
‘Isn’t She Lovely’ by Stevie Wonder played on the radio.
“She is, Stevie,” Jeff murmured as he continued on the winding, picturesque tourist route. He drove through the area known as Spittal of Glenshee and kept a lookout for the narrow track to the left a short distance later.
“Here we are.” He slowed to take the turn, and to allow a few sheep to cross the track. For a mile, the narrow road wound between foothills, and climbed. Jeff passed the point where the publicity shot of the house had been taken. He stopped his van to reverse back a few yards, and lifted Cheryl’s business card to confirm.
*
Jeff parked beside the other vehicles at the house – a red BMW 5-Series, and a dark green Mazda MX5 two-seater. He lifted his sketch pad, and laptop from the passenger seat, and as he turned, his prospective client was standing on the doorstep gazing at his company logo, and the promise underneath, ‘Your Wish is my Command’.
“Good morning.” Cheryl stepped towards him from the front door.
“Hello,” he said and rapidly appraised her from head to toe.
Cheryl’s dark hair was draped over her shoulders. She was wearing a white blouse, knotted at the front, which drew attention to her impressive chest and lightly tanned midriff. The bleached Daisy Dukes fitted like a second skin without pinching, and Cheryl’s brown sandals had a wedge heel which accentuated her superb legs.
Regardless if she was in her late 30’s, Cheryl was comfortable with her body.
“Did you enjoy the sights on the drive?”
“I did, thank you,” he said. “I didn’t think it could get any better, until now.”
Jeff’s physique stretched his white T-shirt. As he checked out his prospective client the front of his jeans were getting a similar treatment to the T-shirt. Cheryl turned to push the door open and treated him to the sight of her tight, rounded buttocks in denim.
“Let’s get indoors.”
“Lead the way,” Jeff said with sincerity.
“It’s up to you,” Cheryl said as they went along the hallway. “We’ll conduct a tour, and let you make your assessment, or have a drink first.”
“I wouldn’t mind something chilled.”
“Okay. You go through the dining room there, and out to the patio. I’ll organise a jug of fruit juice.”
Jeff went into the dining room. He noticed the brass nameplate on the white door and noted everything from the ceiling to the skirting board was white, and freshly painted. The wooden floor shone like it did in the hallway. Except for one table, all the furniture was centralised and protected by white dust sheets.
He checked the wall surfaces with his palm before stepping through the French doors to the patio. Five all-weather wooden picnic tables with bench seats were situated on the large area of wooden decking. Two tables were on the left, two on the right, and one centrally, a few feet from the doors.
“I see you’re already making an assessment of the place,” Cheryl said when she returned.
“If all the walls you’d like me to work on are like the dining room, it will be a pleasure. The surfaces are finished perfectly.” He found his mind wandering as he gazed at this woman.
A tall blonde in the classic black and white maid’s outfit walked out through the wide doorway onto the patio carrying a tray with a jug, glasses, and a small ice bucket.
Jeff was entranced by his host, but was briefly distracted by the maid, because the hem of the black dress stopped halfway up the generous thighs, which were clad in black fishnets.
“Thank you, Alex,” Cheryl said as the blonde turned and walked from the patio back through the dining room. Cheryl turned to Jeff. “It’s crucial for me, you’re happy with the surfaces, and the working environment here.”
Jeff caught Cheryl’s faint smile, and wondered if she’d caught him checking out the maid’s legs. Whatever, the lovely host sat at the table opposite to him, and used tongs to drop ice cubes into the two glasses before pouring the fresh orange juice.
“When you say, surfaces,” Jeff said, “are you thinking of having me deal with more than one room?”
“Would it be a problem?”
“No, it won’t be a problem, but I’ll have a better idea of how much time to set aside.” He sipped his chilled juice. “I noticed on your website last night, a proposed re-opening in late summer.”
“Yes, I’ll set a date when you give me an estimate for completion. Until recently I wanted the place refurbished in a contemporary style, but a couple of issues cropped up which altered my plans.”
“How many rooms do you have to be decorated?”
“Five guest rooms, a dining room, lounge, kitchen, two private rooms and a small study.”
“How many rooms would you like me to tackle before you open for business?”
“If you’re broad-minded enough to do as I ask, and you have the time, I’d like you to deal with all of the guest rooms, the dining room, lounge, and the hallway.”
Jeff choked on his juice and placed the glass on the table.
“It’s a big job?” he said, his eyes opening wide.
“Mmm ….” She smiled.
“Why would it depend on how broad-minded I am?”
Cheryl placed her elbows on the table in front of her and rested her chin on her clasped fingers. Her eyes locked onto Jeff’s.
“My plan is to make this a special retreat,” she said. “The guests will be staying in a remote location and I’d like them to relax with confidence.”
Jeff nodded and sipped his drink, keen to hear more.
“Guests should dress as they see fit without the worry of being ridiculed. They’ll all be here in the knowledge the other guests also have an unconventional attitude to sexual behaviour.”
“Right,” Jeff said. “May I ask if you have a particular sexual persuasion you intend to attract?”
“The exception will be the S and M types. I have nothing against them per se, but I’d prefer to avoid adapting the accommodation if you get my drift?”
“I do.” Jeff smiled as he considered such a conversion.
“Well, Jeff,” Cheryl said, continuing to hold his gaze. “How far would you be prepared to go for me?”
“I’ve always maintained the promise on the side of my van,” he said. “If I accept the job, and you’re happy with my recommendations, your wish is my command.”
“I believe we’re going to make a great team.”
Jeff’s cheeks had coloured since the mention of the retreat the boarding house was to become. Being broad-minded didn’t mean he didn’t feel embarrassed having such a conversation with a woman who aroused him by being near him.
“Whatever is said in the media regarding tolerance, we have a secret society,” Cheryl said. “Before we go inside, I’d like you to do something for me.”
“If it’s within my power, I’ll do it.”
“Take a few minutes to consider what mainstream society defines as sexual deviation.”
Jeff swallowed hard before lifting his drink.
“When you’ve had a minute or two to think about it,” Cheryl said, “I’d like you to tell me how many persuasions you’re aware of, apart from the one I mentioned.”
As Cheryl topped up both their glasses, Jeff’s eyes wandered somewhere other than his host for the first time since his arrival. He gazed at the mountains which were the backdrop to this hideaway. He nodded and turned to face Cheryl, but enjoyed another drink first.
“First,” he said, “we have the obvious categories of gay men, gay women, and bi-sexual.”
Cheryl nodded but didn’t speak. Dimples formed in her glowing cheeks.
“Next,” Jeff said, “we have transgender, which includes transvestites, cross-dressers, and transsexuals. The others which come to mind would be those who don’t always need a partner – the voyeurs, and the exhibitionists.”
“I’m impressed,” Cheryl said. “Would you say bi-curious was a category?”
“It didn’t occur to me, but I suppose I’d think of them as a sub-category to bi-sexual. Some people might be eager to try, but haven’t yet had the opportunity.”
“How do you feel about those various groups of people?”
“I don’t have any strong feelings about them one way or the other,” Jeff said. “I believe we should all be free to live as we see fit, as long as nobody is harmed.”
“I’ve seen your portfolio, and your artwork demonstrates real talent. Now you’ve impressed me with your ethics, which as you’ll find out, is important.”
“Thank you. If I’m nothing else, Cheryl, I’m honest. What you see is what you get.”
“I’m pleased to hear it.” A shapely eyebrow arched.
“If I’ve passed the test thus far, I think I’m ready to hear your plans for the rooms.”
“I’d like each room to be custom-decorated to suit the sexual tastes of the main categories we’ve agreed.”
“In each room, you’ll want more than one wall painted, and now I’m thinking you’d like large paintings of people getting it together, but in special ways.”
“Jeff, I believe we’re on the same track. Are you game?”
“I’m ready for the tour.” He lifted his pad but left his laptop on the table.
*
“Before we go upstairs,” Cheryl said. “I’ll let you see what’s down here. Through the open door at the end is where we have the kitchen. Like everywhere else, the walls are finished in white, but there’s no rush to deal with the kitchen.”
Jeff followed Cheryl along the hallway, and she opened a door which had a brass plate stating Private.
“This is my lounge, and my bedroom is interconnected. I’d like to prioritise the other areas before we discuss what to do in my private space.” She closed the door and opened the door opposite the dining room. “This is a communal lounge, which is well-lit, having French doors at one end, and a large bay window at the other end.”
Cheryl pointed along the hallway.
“We have another private room along at the end, which is the office. Like the kitchen, the private rooms could be left until later.”
“It’s nothing to do with my task, but why does the office have a ‘Private’ on the plate, instead of ‘Office’?”
“It’s a good question, and my reasoning is, guests are less inclined to disturb somebody in a private room than they are in an office.”
“Clever.” Jeff nodded, impressed by the simple logic.
As they set off upstairs, Jeff noted it was the first place he’d seen any carpet. The landing too was carpeted, and having large windows at either end, the upstairs was well-lit.
“As I’ve had done downstairs,” Cheryl said, “all of the rooms are finished in white, furnished, and prepared for the next stage of decoration.” She pushed open the doors as Jeff followed her along the landing. “The doors all have brass plates with a number.”
“I haven’t seen a bathroom up here. I take it the rooms all have en-suite facilities?”
“Yes, to suit my plan it was a necessity.”
“True,” Jeff said. “It should have registered with me after our earlier conversation.” He moved to the banister. “May I measure one of the rooms up here to get some idea of the area to be covered?”
“I’m going to leave you to your own devices for a while. Take as long as you wish, and for now, except the private rooms, you may measure or take pictures to your heart’s content.”
“I’ll start with Room One,” he said. “I’ll give you a shout if I see a problem.”
“In about an hour we’ll have tea and a sandwich if you like.”
“Sounds great … thank you.”
Jeff paused before going into Room One. He leaned forward and peered over the banister as Cheryl reached the halfway point going downstairs. The view down her blouse was superb. She stopped on the stairs, but spoke without looking up.
“The floor creaks as you cross the landing to enter Room One.” She giggled before continuing down to the ground floor.
Jeff’s face was beaming as he stepped toward Room One, and sure enough, the floorboards creaked.
“Now she thinks I’m a bloody pervert,” he murmured.
*

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And now, the story begins… You can find Tom’s work on Kindle Unlimited.  I’ve just given you a taste of his work.  Are you ready for the action?  Keep reading on Amazon.

In 1969 at the age of 17, Tom left his native Glasgow to join the British Army. Tom’s military career spanned from 1969 to 1992. He followed this with a career in Retail Management, in which he was employed from 1992 to 2012.

Tom has been writing since 2007.
He has published seven novels, five anthologies of short stories, and a series of five anthologies of genre-based poetry. Tom is presently working on two novels, and a series of novellas.
Tom is also a self-taught artist.
And now on to our second… First Chapter.
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Our next book up in the First Chapter Showcase is Tom Benson’s Give & Take. A full feature book at 366 pages.
Nick and Kirsten are an attractive couple in their early 20’s and share an apartment. To the outside world they are perfectly matched, but behind closed doors things are not so straightforward.
Nick’s appetite for sexual experimentation goes beyond what Kirsten will allow. Kirsten’s love for Nick is pushed to the limit, however, she confides in a friend and takes a course of action that nobody would have expected – least of all her boyfriend.
The couple find themselves in a world where they will both see fantasy become reality, but at what cost?
Chapter 1
.
Monday 19th March 2007
Jedburgh, Scotland
Kirsten McCourt opened her eyes and stared at the bedroom ceiling. Before she registered the dawn chorus, a tear rolled down her cheek. The stinging of her buttocks had eased, but they had burned during the slaps of the night before. The pain had dulled in the crevice between her buttocks. She slowly turned her head left.
Nick lay facing Kirsten, his long fair hair spread over the pillow. A serene expression on his handsome face suggested innocent thoughts. His lips twitched, creating a smile as something crossed his mind. Even in sleep he laid claim to Kirsten, his left arm draped over her body and left leg over hers.
Kirsten used her right foot to ease Nick’s leg from hers, and then she gently raised his arm and slid out from under the duvet. She wiped her eyes as she gazed at Nick. She idolised but occasionally feared him. Kirsten needed to get her head straight with regards to their relationship, and not for the first time she’d do so in the shower.
Tears flowed unchecked in the hot, cleansing spray as Kirsten sobbed quietly, her arms akimbo. She created a healthy lather over her body as if it would help to wash away the memory of the night before.
Kirsten cleaned her hair and every other part of her body before slipping her fingers gingerly between her buttocks. She massaged gel over her tight rosebud. It was tender to the touch. Tears and pleading prevented full insertion into that most private place, but Nick’s first brutal effort had been frightening.
Nick’s words continually played back. ‘Come on baby, it’ll only hurt until I’m in ….’, but Kirsten was not prepared to put up with that supposedly minor discomfort. She had fought against it. Annoyed that he couldn’t have his way, Nick kept Kirsten in position and gave her a series of slaps on both buttocks, and then rammed her pussy from behind. There was no foreplay, or consideration, simply an animal urge and his sexual gratification.
*
Kirsten sat at the breakfast bar to enjoy her cereal, fruit, and orange juice. She washed it down with black coffee, treating herself to a single sweetener.
The pretty 23-year-old put the used crockery and utensils into the washer and closed it quietly so as not to disturb her boyfriend’s extended slumber. Kirsten brushed her teeth, put on her jacket and checked herself out in the hallway mirror. The inspection wasn’t through vanity, but to ensure she was presentable.
A light shake of her head and her long copper hair sat perfectly. Her blemish-free, complexion provided the ideal canvas for features that could advertise a range of cosmetics. As a beauty consultant, that made sense. Kirsten smiled at her reflection as she always did before leaving the apartment. It took a little longer than normal for the smile.
She turned left and right to ensure that she was looking good. The navy jacket, crisp white blouse and red mini-skirt worked well with navy high-heels. She inclined her head, and raised an eyebrow, practising one of the looks that she used to wow husbands or boyfriends with her charms. The men were invariably the people who asked for her advice, and they’d buy anything from her.
Kirsten walked through to the bedroom and looked at the man on the bed. He had been such a catch 11 months earlier, and she had been the envy of her friends. As Kirsten looked at Nick, she wondered if she’d ever be brave enough to talk about how shallow he could be. His selfishness only affected certain aspects of their relationship, but it would have to be addressed. Kirsten was feeling the pressure.
She closed the front door quietly and then held her head high for the world outside. She walked to her car smiling, disguising her inner turmoil.
*
Kirsten was in the small staff room at 10 am, sipping coffee, unaware of anyone else. The question sounded insistent, but she was sure she’d only heard it once.
“Kirsten,” Sarah said for the third time. “Are you okay love?”
“What?” Kirsten responded as if she’d just woken from a deep sleep.
“I asked if you were okay,” Sarah said. “You were on your own when I came in here. While I made a coffee, I was chatting away to you, but you haven’t responded.”
“Oh God, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologise, but please loosen up a bit. You’ve been sitting staring at that wall as if waiting for a death sentence.” She smiled and winked. “Don’t tell me that man of yours has been giving you a hard time … in the nicest possible way.”
Kirsten turned to look at her colleague. Sarah was 40, tall, blonde and attractive. One of the things the younger girls liked about her was that she acted more like a friend than a bitch, like the previous supervisor. Kirsten’s dark lashes fluttered a few times and her lips trembled. She placed her coffee on the table and rummaged through her bag.
“Here,” Sarah said, offering a tissue. Kirsten took long, deep breaths as she wiped her eyes. Sarah put her coffee down and stood. “Come here, you.” She held her arms out and looked down at her colleague.
Kirsten stood and fell into Sarah’s comforting embrace, sobbing uncontrollably. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled against Sarah’s shoulder.
Sarah whispered. “Just let it all out, honey.” Kirsten sobbed freely. A lot of frustration was being released. There was a click as the door to the small staff room opened, but a sharp nod from Sarah sent the person away without a word. She embraced Kirsten until she settled.
“Now,” Sarah said. “I’m going to make us both a nice fresh coffee, with sugar instead of bloody sweeteners. While I’m doing that, you’re going to tidy up that pretty face.”
*
Five minutes later the pair were sat opposite in the staff room again. Unknown to Kirsten, Sarah had visited the sales floor and told one of the other girls to pass around, that morning breaks would be 15 minutes late. Only then had she returned to organise coffees.
“Okay, you’re looking better now,” Sarah said. “We have a couple of ways to deal with this situation. One idea would be to do nothing, which is not an option. While I consider something else, I’d like you to enjoy your coffee and answer a couple of questions if you will.”
Kirsten nodded and lifted the steaming drink to her lips.
Sarah said, “I have no right to pry. You have no need to tell me what is going on, but I can see that things are not all rosy in the garden.” She paused and sipped her coffee, savouring the sweetness of real sugar.
Kirsten sipped her coffee and peered over the rim of her mug.
Sarah continued. “I’m going out on a limb here honey, so please forgive me if I’m way off track.” She paused. “How would it sound if I suggested that your gorgeous guy was just that, but maybe in some respects he could be a total bastard?”
Kirsten closed her eyes briefly. When she opened her eyes and caught Sarah’s gaze, she couldn’t hold it, and looked down. She bit her trembling lip.
“Bulls-eye,” Sarah said, in confirmation, but not triumph. “Once again Kirsten, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. Is it the whole domestic scene, or the bedroom?”
Kirsten swallowed. “Bedroom,” she whispered.
“Look at me,” Sarah said, and waited. “How long has he lived at your place?”
“Nearly a year, but it was only a couple of months ago that things started-,”
“Do you love him?”
“Yes, I’m bloody crazy about him, and most of the time he’s adorable, but-,”
“Does he love you?”
“Yes, he tells me every day, sometimes does the shopping, and helps around the apartment. He does stuff like that, but it’s the other part of our relationship that isn’t right.”
“The intimate part isn’t right?”
“Mmmm,” Kirsten murmured and looked down again.
“Have you any plans for lunch-time today?”
“No. Why?” Kirsten lifted her head.
Sarah reached out and placed a hand on Kirsten’s. “Lunch is on me today. We’ll be going out at 12 noon to a quiet little place I know and we’ll have a chat.”
Kirsten forced a smile. “Thank you,”
*
Kirsten and Nick finished their evening meal. They were still seated at the dining table when an unexpected piece of news set certain wheels in motion.
“Well, it’s finally happened,” Nick said. “I’m at work until a week on Saturday, and then there are two of us on paid leave for two weeks, before a decision.”
“What do you mean, ‘paid leave for two weeks, before a decision’?”
“Joe said the garage hasn’t got enough work for everybody at the moment, so he’s prepared to keep two of us on the books if we’ll accept half-wages for two weeks. We’ve to take the time off as a holiday, but it will be unofficial.”
“You volunteered to do that without telling me?”
“Well baby, it was me or somebody else, and I might as well have the time off.”
Kirsten imagined how horny Nick would be sitting around all day, every day. He would pounce on her when she arrived home from a day at work.
She considered that he’d take inspiration from the Internet sites he visited. He was probably unaware that he had failed to cover his tracks a couple of times. She had discovered peculiar websites in the browsing history of her laptop, but she was in denial about it.
“So,” Kirsten murmured. “You’re at work normally for two weeks and then you’re off for two weeks?”
“That’s what I said honey-bunch,” he said and winked. “It means I’ll be all rested every day and ready to take you to Heaven and back before bedtime, and then again later.”
Kirsten feigned a smile and thought – he believes that’s how it is. She sipped some water and stood, her mind made up. Since her lunchtime chat with Sarah, she had worried about taking the advice that Sarah gave her. Kirsten had no choice. A discussion didn’t work with Nick. She’d tried often.
She said, “Would you mind clearing the dishes Nick? I have to chase up a couple of things on the company website before I forget.”
“Sure,” he said and winked. “Maybe some night this week we’ll pick up with some bedroom adventures.”
Dimples appeared on Kirsten’s cheeks as she turned to leave the room. She had already decided that they would not be taking his idea of bedroom adventures any further. If necessary she would keep her underwear on in bed, or suggest that Nick slept on the sofa.
*
Kirsten powered up her laptop at the small desk in the spare room. By the time it was ready, her breathing was erratic. She glanced over her shoulder at the partly closed bedroom door and then went straight to her Inbox.
She checked the email address that Sarah had given her, and entered secs@gmail.com into the contact line. She entered, ‘Initial Contact – Urgent’, in the subject line. Kirsten worried that Nick might sneak up on her for a laugh while she was writing. She had just composed a brief explanation when there was a noise behind her. Kirsten looked over her shoulder, only to see that Nick was visiting the bathroom.
When Kirsten checked over her message and considered that she was sending it to a complete stranger, it shocked her. She hesitated with the cursor over the ‘Send’ button. She didn’t have the courage to press it and bit her lip as she looked at the wall in front of her.
Kirsten considered a two-week period of Nick’s unusual sexual demands and then after a few seconds she looked down at the screen. In a neat little window above her message, there was an assurance that it had gone. She gasped, and closed her eyes.
Nick believed Kirsten when she told him that she wasn’t feeling well. She didn’t look well, but he didn’t know it was because she was worried about his sexual yearnings. She was already wondering how far she would take her enquiry. An email was one thing, but what would happen if there was a reply? Would she be able to continue?
As the evening went on, so the more uptight Kirsten felt. She excused herself more than once and then stood in front of the bathroom mirror. She had opened a bottle of wine at dinner, and after sipping hers, continually topped up Nick’s. He happily swallowed glass after glass.
By bedtime, Kirsten had opened another bottle. Nick’s eyes flickered as he reached the last of the second bottle. He was okay on beer, but Kirsten knew that although he had difficulty handling wine, he enjoyed the taste. Nick fell asleep on the sofa, and Kirsten threw a heavy blanket over him.
It was late when Kirsten crept into the spare room to check her Inbox. There was a response signed ‘Heather’. Kirsten simultaneously smiled and began fretting. The confidential, wild option that Sarah had suggested was now a real possibility. Kirsten responded to the message, by saying that she would like to take the enquiry a stage further. She assured Heather that the initial personal information would be forwarded the next day.
Unknown to Kirsten, at around 2 am, Nick woke up disorientated, and with a dry mouth. He brushed his teeth and crept into the bedroom ready to surprise Kirsten with his raging erection.
“Well baby,” he murmured as he arrived at the foot of the bed. “You’ll probably resist, but you left me on the sofa. I’ll fix you up in no time.”
Kirsten was stretched out and wrapped in the duvet. Her body was lying at an angle and her head was at the edge of the bed. Near the bed on the floor was a small round basin with a brown coloured liquid in the bottom, and it had an unusual aroma.
Nick headed to the sofa and wrapped up in the blanket.
*
Monday 26th March 2007
Each evening for a week, Kirsten insisted that she wasn’t feeling well, but hinted that she was considering Nick’s suggestions. She went to the spare room every night and sent responses to Heather’s questions.
Kirsten had difficulty writing about her situation at first, but by the fourth evening she had begun to open up. Areas that she highlighted were her concerns about Nick’s desires, and suspicions that she had about his behaviour.
A request came in an email from Heather – urine samples from Kirsten and Nick, and in the same message was a proposed booking date if all were clear and Kirsten wished to go ahead. It was easy to convince Nick that Kirsten had them both checked privately to make sure that she didn’t have a condition that she might have passed to him. Neither of them had ever suffered from that type of thing.
Nick’s main concern was the lack of regular sex, but Kirsten managed to appease him a few times by taking him in hand. She explained that until she was happy that all was clear, she wasn’t prepared for them to mix body fluids. Nick said he was happy enough because at least he wasn’t reduced to dealing with his frustration, although he still did occasionally.
*
Saturday 31st March 2007
Kirsten continued the practise of opening a bottle of wine more regularly after dinner. She knew that if Nick weren’t getting his leg over every night, he would be content to sink a few glasses of wine. Nick loved the taste, and it tended to make him more relaxed. Kirsten had promised him the previous week that everything ought to be back to normal in the bedroom by the end of the month.
When Nick woke up and looked around, there was no sign of Kirsten in the apartment. Her car wasn’t in her space outside. She must have been okay for work again, so surely everything was okay? A smile crept over Nick’s face when he checked the calendar.
“Well baby,” Nick said aloud. “You might have been sick for a couple of weeks, but you are getting a right royal shagging tonight.” He grinned. By the end of the day, he would have two weeks of lazing around. He’d have time on the Internet and his needs met at least twice a day. Once dealt with by himself, and then later by his lovely girlfriend.
He stroked his cock lovingly. “Oh yes,” he said. “I have a hard time planned for you, my friend.” Nick had breakfast and got dressed for work, a smile never far away.
*
In the evening, Nick was home first and quickly showered and changed. He was eager to keep Kirsten to her word and he wanted to be acceptable when he sidled up to her after dinner. Things didn’t work out exactly as he had planned.
“This is nice,” Nick said. “But why are we having such a light meal in the evening?” He waited. Kirsten looked at him. “Are you making sure you’re ready for action?”
“No,” she said. “I didn’t want to eat too much because I’ll be driving for a couple of hours later.”
“Where are you going on a Saturday night?”
“It’s not so much where I’m going – it’s where we’re going,” she said. “I’ve been thinking about some of those things that you want us to do, in the bedroom.”
“Oh yeah,” he said. “What’s on your mind baby?”
“I know I shouldn’t have said anything to anybody,” Kirsten said. “It’s just that I know this girl that will do anything for her boyfriend, so I asked her advice.”
“It’s not like you to talk to anybody about sex. So what did she say?”
“She gave me an idea,” Kirsten said. “As long as you don’t fly off the handle with me, I’ve organised something special to celebrate our first year together.”
Nick’s brow furrowed. “Go on,”
Kirsten said, “I’ve set up a short break to help us deal with our sexual issues.”
“This sounds interesting,” he said, his eyes sparkling. “I’m listening.”
“I’ve booked us into a special place for a few days for SECS sessions. It’s a private clinic a couple of hours’ drive from here.”
“This gets better as you go on,” Nick said and grinned. “Sex sessions …?”
“It’s S.E.C.S. – that’s an abbreviation for Sexual Exploration and Consultation Services.”
“Why do we have to book into some clinic? We can discuss things here and then just try them out.”
“We can’t discuss things, Nick. We’ve tried that more than once. All you want to do is convince me how inhibited I am, and how much we should experiment.”
“So how is this private place going to help?”
“This person told me that I might be uptight because of my strict upbringing, combined with my present surroundings. She said that it worked for her and her boyfriend, to get right away from it all.”
“You know I hate a long drive,” Nick said. “I get car-sick.”
“You’d like us to have a more adventurous love life wouldn’t you?”
“Yeah, of course, I would, but do we have to travel?”
“Do you want me to take part in experiments in bed, or not?”
“Yeah baby, but a long car journey ….”
Kirsten knew it was make or break time. “Well my love,” she paused to muster confidence. “You can forget any chance of trying your ideas of fun in bed, or you can sleep on the journey.”
Nick nodded slowly. His brow furrowed as he looked across the table.
Kirsten forced a smile and held up a small sachet. “This is harmless, so the most you’ll have to put up with is a mild headache when you wake up.”
“And this trip to the land of make-believe is tonight?”
“Yes, tonight,” she said. She smiled inwardly, pleased to have pushed herself, but she knew that he might knock her confidence. Kirsten placed a forkful of food in her mouth to give her reason to stop talking.
Nick’s eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped. “You were sick for a week, and you’ve been recovering for a week, but now you can handle a long drive. That sounds strange.”
Kirsten forced herself to be calm. She swallowed her food and took a drink of water. “Believe what you want, Nick, but don’t start looking for excuses, please.”
“Before we go running off, did you ever try this with your previous boyfriend? What was his name – Phillip?”
“No, I explained before, he was just a lazy, drunken shit.” She put her head in her hands. “I don’t want to talk about him again.”
“Okay, so tell me one thing. Did you have a sex life with him, or not?”
“That’s not fair Nick. I’m trying to save our relationship. You are so unlike him, in many ways, but you can be so bloody selfish. I want to try the things that you suggest, but you’re just so … impatient.” She left the table and strode to the window, where she looked down at the street.
Nick said, “You’ve had two previous boyfriends. One of them got nowhere with you and left you, and one was a drunk. You’ve got me who wants to do lots of things with you, and you don’t like to do more than lay back and think of England.”
She turned and looked at him, her lips parting, but she was unable to speak.
Nick held his hands up. “I’m sorry Kirsten, love. That was unfair. It’s just that there’s more to sex than me doing press-ups on top of you.” She squinted at him but said nothing. Her blinking eyes glistened.
“Okay, okay, I’m making a right bloody mess of this,” he said. “I know that sounded awful, but you have to admit, we don’t have the most exciting times in bed.”
“I’m going to pack a bag for the week, Nick. You could do likewise if you want to do this. I’ll prepare a drink for you – if we’re going.”
“You mean a secret potion because you’re a witch,” he said and laughed. She didn’t laugh, and her lips merely twitched when she tried to force a smile.
“Maybe you want me to try too many new things; I don’t know.” Kirsten sighed. “If we do this, I’m hoping that we’ll get things sorted out so that it satisfies both of us.”
“Hey,” he said, smiling as he approached her. “Maybe I’m just oversexed, eh?”
“Yes, Nick, maybe you are,” she said. She couldn’t laugh it off. His remarks had been cutting. “Maybe I haven’t learned to appreciate sexual experimentation.”
Nick’s smile faded. Kirsten squeezed past him to go pack. She managed to hold back her tears but was glad that she’d taken Sarah’s advice and contacted Heather.
*
An hour later, Kirsten poured a glass of pineapple juice. “I’ve used a stronger juice so that it doesn’t taste unpleasant. I want you relaxed on the journey.”
“I’m sure I’ll be fine,” he said and swallowed the concoction. “If this does anything strange to me, I’ll expect compensation of a special kind.” He winked at her.
“You really can’t stop yourself, can you?” she said. “Compensation will be yours when we get where we’re going.” She treated him to a smile, because she didn’t want to set off with bad feeling between them. When Nick was beaten, he always tried humour.
“I am sorry for spouting off, Kirsten, love,” he said. “I promise, I’ll do whatever it takes to improve things for us.” He held his arms out and they embraced. There was still tension when their lips met briefly. They held each other in silence for a minute.
Kirsten realised this could be a turning point, and she wondered if Nick sensed it.
While Nick prepared the apartment for leaving; Kirsten packed the car.
*
Kirsten drove from Jedburgh towards Hawick. Nick’s eyes were closing for long periods, but he sat silently, grinning like the cat that got the cream. He adjusted himself three times inside 15 minutes. Perhaps the powder did have strange side-effects.
A glance at the car clock and then at Nick’s face told Kirsten that things were going to plan. She nudged the heater control up a little as she changed gear. Five minutes later, Nick’s eyelids were fluttering like butterfly’s wings. Kirsten nudged the heater control up again. Two minutes later, Nick was asleep. Kirsten turned down the heater.
“You forced me into this,” Kirsten whispered. “I hope I haven’t made a huge mistake.” The only response from Nick was the sound of light snoring. Kirsten knew that she would be the weak link. She accelerated and headed west towards the A74 (M). She took the northbound carriageway of the motorway and headed for the Scottish Highlands.
They passed the services area at Lockerbie and by then, Kirsten was able to judge journey time. Traffic was light, so they would make it to their destination in a couple of hours. She needed to think, so had no music playing. The car cruised along with the steady throb of the engine and the sound of the wind whistling past.
Kirsten considered the things she’d found on Nick’s favourite websites. Had he intended her to find those links, as if by accident? It wasn’t only pictures that had been on the websites – there had been videos too. Nick had visited a wide variety of activities, including same-sex couples of both genders, two of one sex with one of another and some people who were in a different category altogether. There were some very unusual people out there.
“Oh, my ….” Kirsten gasped. She had been imagining herself in some of the scenes and realised that the thought of being with another woman had made her cheeks warm but had also affected her elsewhere in an unexpected way.
She shook her head. It was all very well being curious, but it might feel different when faced with the reality. Kirsten wondered how brave she would be when she met Heather, the woman she had been in touch with by email. It occurred to her that she didn’t even know what Heather looked like, or how many other people worked at the clinic.
Kirsten was zipping past other vehicles and realised that she was in the outside lane, exceeding the speed limit. She bit her lip and slowed. “Get a grip, Kirsten,” she said aloud. She couldn’t decide whether it was apprehension or excitement that was gaining the upper hand, but whatever it was caused her to tremble occasionally.
***
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