She was the first one I noticed as I entered the cafe. Sitting in a booth by the window she looked up briefly from contemplating her coffee cup. A pale, pretty face, no make-up, vivid blue eyes, that I thought, in that brief moment, may have been crying. A full, but not oversize bosom, emphasised by the short-sleeved blue summer dress she was wearing.

Taking a seat at a table in the next aisle, from where, through the window, I could keep an eye on my new truck, I was also able to keep the pleasant sight of her in my view. A waitress with a bosom that was four times that of the lady in blue took my order for coffee and pancakes. She treated me to an up and down stare from eyes blackened in eye shadow. “Haven’t seen you in here before,” she hummed.

“You’re off my normal route,” I told her.

The waitress gave me a provocative glance before waddling back to the counter, where a huddle of hefty truck drivers was sitting. One, an ugly looking guy with about four days’ stubble, reached out, placed his fingers under her right breast and flicked upwards.

“Time out for a quickie, Beryl?” he growled, while the others laughed.

“In your dreams, Bolo. I’ve tried your style before.” And she added with a grin, “All I got was a sore throat.” As she passed him, she stopped, said something in his ear, while nodding in the direction of the girl in blue.

Bolo looked, and his lips pursed appreciatively. Smirking, he murmured to the others, and mocking responses were audible, “No chance.” “Too fancy for you.”

Bolo lumbered between the tables before perching himself in a seat opposite the girl, who, I had time to estimate, was somewhere in her early twenties.

“What’s a bonny lass like you doing out in the wilds on your own?”

The blue eyes looked at him warily, “I’m hoping to get a lift.”

Bolo shuffled in his seat, “A lift, is it? Lifts can cost.”

“I’ve got some money,” her voice was weak and uncertain.

“Money? Aye, that’ s one way.” I didn’t like the route this was taking and could sense his intentions far too easily.

The waitress arrived with my coffee and pancakes, and when I’d paid her, she glanced across to the other table, “That Bolo,” she said, sotto voce, “just can’t keep it in his pants. Heading for Glasgow. But listen to his patter.” She chuckled, adding, “He’s in for a hell of a shock.”

Puzzled, I watched the pair, while chewing on a pancake.

“Oh, that’s too bad,” Bolo was saying, so insincere I almost choked. “So where do you need to get to?”

The girl hesitated before answering, “Near Nottingham.”

My ears pricked up. I was carrying my cargo of whiskey back to a customer in my home base of Derby, not far from Nottingham. Then I heard Bolo’s response, “Lady, this is your lucky day. That’s my route.”

“Cost?” she asked tentatively.

“Oh, we can discuss that later.” I saw his thumbs–up gesture to his mates. I gulped at my coffee, sensing the girl’s danger. Involvement might be necessary, if things took the course I feared. She was too neat, too sweet, to be a floozie that this Bolo guy might be used to.

Bolo glanced at his watch, “Hey, I should away. You finished your coffee?”

The girl looked uncertain, “You’re sure it’s all right?”

“What? Giving you a lift? Of course it will.” His pause said it all.

Bolo heaved himself to his feet, “No luggage or anything?”

Beginning to slide from her seat, the girl shook her head and reached for her handbag. Bolo lumbered toward the door, giving another thumbs-up to his mates. The waitress was wearing a strange, anticipatory smile.

The girl struggled from her seat, looking strangely clumsy. As she straightened, the reason became very clear. The front of her dress bulged hugely below the waist. God, she must have been at least seven months pregnant!

I heard the gasps and chuckles, especially from the waitress. Bolo’s face was a picture as he stared at the girl’s bump. He ushered her out of the door, and when she was out he leaned back in to his crowing mates to say, “She still has a sexy mouth.”

The door closed, and the room was almost in uproar. I knew I couldn’t just sit there. There were two pancakes left and I wrapped them in a serviette, stuck them in my pocket, and strode to the door.

Stepping outside, I saw no sign of either of them, and I knew that they could not have travelled the space to where the trucks were lined up. Then, from my right I heard a whimper, and a growl of Bolo’s voice, “Come on.. Pay time.”

Along from the entrance was a small enclave containing waste bins, and Bolo was standing with his back to me, clutching the kneeling girl’s hair as she desperately tried to keep her head turned away from what he was offering.

No time for discussions. Bolo was big, but he was no bigger than me. I’m no superhero, and normally stand well back when trouble looms. Truth was, I had never struck anyone in anger, but had donned boxing gloves a number of times at my local gym, and, right now, I was bloody angry. So, without further thought, I stepped closer and called urgently, “Bolo!”

His head turned, and my fist caught him sweetly, on the nose and mouth, as I shouldered him to one side so that he didn’t fall on the girl. He went down without a sound and his head bounced off the paving, his exposed erect penis collapsing like a deflated balloon. As he lay there groaning, I turned to the girl, and reached out to lift her to her feet.

Eyes filled with fear, and still on her knees, she tried to back away, “Don’t touch me. Please, don’t hurt me.” There was a red mark on her cheek that hadn’t been there before, so Bolo must have struck her. I gave him an extra kick in the ribs for that. Hell, I was in a bad mood all right.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” I said, trying to make my voice gentle, and contain all the truth of that promise. Definitely the original knight in shining armour, but this lady was going to take some convincing. Carefully I reached down, put my hands under her armpits, and gently lifted her trembling body to her feet. Even then she tensed away from me.

“Look, there are others in there who will gladly want to finish what that bastard started.”

“All men are bastards,” she said flatly.

“All right. Anything you say, but we must get away from here,” I said, and I reached out for her hand. Tentatively, she took it, and followed me out towards the trucks.

“Whatever you do to me, you won’t do anything to hurt my baby, will you?” she asked, as I tried to make pace commensurate with her condition.

“I’m not going to hurt you or your baby,” I assured her, as we reached my truck, and with some difficulty I helped her up onto the passenger seat, where she sat back clutching her swollen belly. “You all right?”

“Yes,” she said, and her worried eyes looked down at me as she asked, “Where are you taking me?”

“To Nottingham, I hope.” That brightened her features. Happy about that, I hurried round to the driver’s door, and was soon starting up the engine. From the road, I saw the cafe door open and a small group of men come out to look around. I wasn’t expecting any follow up.

“I’ve got a little money,” she said, after a while.

“I really don’t want your money,” I told her.

“What is it you want, then? Anything, as long as it doesn’t hurt my–“

“Will you stop saying that?”

“All men are bastards.”

Exasperated, I shrugged my shoulders, and asked, “A bad experience? Want to talk about it?”

“No.”

“How far on are you?”

Her hands spread over her belly, “Eight months.”

“Eight? Almost due. Christ, I’d better drive faster.”

And it was a relief to hear her give a little, if slightly bitter, laugh. The first she’d had for a while, I guessed. “You’re strange,” she said, and I sensed those vivid blue eyes searching for evidence of the bastard man. What kind of men had she been associating with?

“What do I call you?”

“Linda.” she said. “Linda Parr.”

“I’m Frank. Frank Beasley. Pleased to meet you.” A sideways glance at her puzzled face had me wondering when anyone had been nice to her.

After fifteen minutes of silence, I felt a nudge against my left shoulder as her head lolled there. I didn’t know when she had fallen asleep, but it made me feel good to have her resting against me. Was I to be her comforter? How had she reached that roadside cafe, with no luggage, no other clothes, so pregnant and vulnerable?

We were on the A9 south, in less than two hours we were through Inverness, and out into open country where the truck was suddenly buffeted by strengthening winds, while rain spattered across the windscreen. A traffic screen lit up with the words; STRONG WINDS. HIGH SIDED VEHICLES DRIVE SLOWLY.

I had observed what high winds could do to careless truck drivers. The thudding of the wind against the truck roused Linda, as her head jerked up and away from my shoulder, and she uttered an anxious little, “Oh.”

“You were tired,” I said calmly, as she was checking her handbag, and tugging her skirt down, as though fearful that I had performed some nefarious act while she slept.

“I didn’t get any sleep last night,” she said flatly.

When she made no attempt to explain why, I asked, “No luggage?”

“No.”

“I’ll listen if you want to talk about it,” I said, but she turned her face away to look out of the window, saying nothing.

The rain poured more heavily. The truck rocked alarmingly. Headlights were needed, as I peered out at shrouded hills..

“Quite a storm,” I said, and Linda gave a nervous nod. The cab radio told me that winds were gusting up to more than seventy miles per hour, and high sided vehicles were being advised to seek shelter.

“I’m going to have to pull over,” I told Linda. This route was familiar and I soon found the short loop of road with a fringe of trees that would cut off the battering of the wind.

Switching off the engine, I turned to Linda, “Are you hungry?” I asked, noticing her edge well away from me. I recovered the rumpled serviette from my pocket. I opened it out to find the misshapen pieces of pancakes..

“What did you expect?” I asked her plaintively. “A three-course lunch?” It was good to see her smile, as she looked at the mess I was offering. “Go on,” I kidded her, hoping to break her depression, not to mention her distrust of me. “Spoil yourself.”

I picked up a piece, and began chewing it, making a grand show of how delicious it was. Another slight smile as she reached out and popped a piece into her mouth. I glanced at my watch. I should have been in Pitlochry, over an hour ago. Yet we were still some two or three miles from there, and we were stationary.

I saw that Linda was tucking into the pancake fragments, as though she hadn’t eaten for a week. “You were really hungry ” I said lightly.

She looked at me guiltily before saying, “I’m sorry. I forgot you wanted…” Her voice trailed away, fearful, as though expecting punishment.

“Hey, go ahead and finish it. I’d prefer to eat big. There’s a bottle of water under the dash there if you’re thirsty.”

I watched her open the bottle take a couple of hearty gulps. Her face had attracted me in the cafe, and now I looked and admired the frail yet sensual quality about it. High cheek bones, fair skin, delicate slightly upturned nose, and those vivid blue eyes. All made slightly puffy by her condition, I guessed, but still quite lovely when framed by the dark hair, slightly dishevelled.

She caught my gaze and a little colour appeared on her cheeks, “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?” I asked, pressing back against the door, to appear less threatening.

“Like… I don’t know. Funny…”

“You have a face that demands being looked at. I like it.”

The reddening deepened, and she seemed to take that as a threat. She looked out at the rain and wind-tossed trees. “How long are we going to be here?” she asked.

I told her that I was thinking of taking a chance, and trying for Pitlochry. “I could do with a good meal—somebody ate my pancakes.”

I tried to keep my tone light, and accompanied it with a smile, so she would know I wasn’t complaining. She rewarded me with a smile of her own, as she said, “I was hungry.”

I needed to call my brother, Harry, who was also my business partner, to let him know where I was. As I dialled on my mobile Linda’s face showed some anxiety.

“My brother,“ I explained, and she looked worried. “He’s very near where you want to be.”

Harry’s voice was immediately irritable, “Frank, where the hell are you?”

When I told him he became more irritable, but he did know about the northerly storms.

“Just take care of our investment.” Those were Harry’s closing words. Hell, he was more concerned about our brand new truck than about me. He’d have had a fit if I’d told him that I had a pregnant woman on board.

As I pushed the mobile back into my pocket, I told Linda, “We share the business.”

Her eyes wandered around the cab interior, “Looks very new,” she said.

“Our pride and joy,” I told her. “Now, look,” I went on, as I started up the engine, ”it’s Pitlochry or bust.” I pulled out onto the road, into the howl of the wind.

When we’d begun developing the business our father had started we had made specific rules which included no passengers, under any circumstances. I wondered whether Harry appreciate this particular circumstance.

Four o’clock and Pitlochry was busy. But I found space in a truck parking area. The wind was still fierce as we left the truck, and walked to a place I knew that served meals and let out rooms.

First, I had to square things with Linda. “You said you trusted me. There’s only one room if we have to stay the night. You trust me that much?”

A momentary frown crossed her face, but when I suggested that she might prefer to try find someone driving a car, she took only seconds to declare, “No, I think I trust you.”

“The devil you know, eh?” I joked, but at the same time, I was wondering why I should be so pleased that she opted to stay with me. God, what a pretty face can do to a man’s better instincts.

“Could I use your phone to try my sister’s number?” Linda asked.

I handed her the phone, showed how it worked, and watched her tongue show between her lips as she dialled. After a moment, she said, “Sounds engaged.” And she handed me the phone to listen. There was a dead line buzzing. I didn’t like to tell Linda what that implied. “I’ve tried a few times from different towns we were in, but,” and she shrugged, “always the same.”

We both dined voraciously on steak, sausage and mushrooms, finishing off with a coffee. “I need to repay you in some way,” she said, once again.

I held up a hand, “Payment is not necessary.” Then I paused as a thought struck me. “There is one thing you can do for me.”

Immediately her eyes clouded, as she turned her head away, “And that would be?”

“I’ve been with you for… what? Six hours, and I know nothing about you. You might be an escaped convict.” That brought an awkward chuckle, “Or an axe murderer.”

A laugh, this time, before she said, “I need the toilet. When I come back I’ll tell you what I can.” And she shuffled away to the door marked, ‘Ladies’.

Time ticked by, and I was beginning to wonder if she had made a getaway, when she appeared across the room, and I was transfixed by the change in her. With her dark hair combed out and lightly curled outwards at the shoulder, she would have looked highly alluring if it hadn’t been for that obvious bump. But the face, washed bright and shiny, unhindered by make-up was almost child-like.

“I need some fresh underwear,” she said, as she reached our table. A brief query with the owner and we were out and visiting a lady’s outfitters, which fortunately, given the pressure of that wind, was just down the street.

Our room was neat enough, and I was relieved to find it had twin beds. Linda went to change into the fresh underwear, and then we went down to the lounge where we sat, side by side, at a table in one corner near the window, with two lattes in front of us.

“Just take your time,” I urged her. “Just tell me what you want to.”

For a moment she looked uncomfortable, her eyes casting around the cosy lounge,

“Anything wrong?” I asked.

“You’re going to think I’ve been stupid.”

“Go on,” I said, “Try me.”

At first her voice was low and tentative, but as she progressed it took on a deep hardness, that matched the expressions that crossed her face. Anger filled my head as I listened to what Linda had to say.

 

o o o O o o o

 

Maybe I have been stupid. I can’t expect any sympathy, but all I wanted was a taste of the ’good life’ We weren’t well-off and my parents struggled to fund my entry into university. At nineteen I was studying journalism and English literature. Then my parents were killed in a car accident, devastated I dropped out. Briefly, grief overrode any thoughts of employment.

When I did come out of it, all I could get was clerical work with a firm of publishers, which at least, kept me under the umbrella of the written word.

One night I, with a close friend, lashed out on a visit to a high class night club, way beyond our means. That’s where I met, and was overwhelmed by, Barton Franden. Totally captivated by his looks, the cool way he dressed, stylish but subtly casual, I knew I wanted to know him better. Such seductive charm which I was soon to discover was false.

When he asked for that first dance, I was overwhelmed, but two more followed. All too good to be true, especially when he drove me home to my flat, gave me a chaste kiss, and arranged to pick me up on the following night. To my innocent mind it was all pure heaven.

For three nights, it was like living in paradise for me, as we dined in high class hotels and top restaurants. To my inexperienced eyes he was a tall, handsome, man-about-town with lavish tastes, in food, wine and the hotels he stayed in. I was totally taken by this luxurious life-style and he only spoke loosely about his business, which took him all over the country.

So when, after a few days, he asked if I’d like to see his hotel suite, I had no hesitation. Yes, it was a suite, not a just a room, and it was everything I would have expected. Immaculately furnished lounge and dining area, with a bedroom that contained a massive bed.

Although hypnotised by the aura around him, I knew what would follow. But where, I asked myself, could there be a better location in which to lose my virginity?

On that bed, without too much preamble, Barton stripped me, ogled my naked body for a moment, clutched one breast, and without any attempt at foreplay, he plunged his hardness up into me. The pure agony of losing my virginity in that way had me screaming out. Worse was the fact that he filled the condom almost immediately. “Next time will be better,” he gasped.

I was so blinded by the luxury on offer, that, although hurt and disappointed, I accepted his invitation to give up my job and travel as his companion around the country. Naïve, I surely was, but he was so superficially macho, so handsome, so in control of his whole destiny, it seemed, that I couldn’t resist.

My ordinary life was turned around, with access to a quality that I had dreamed of. While Barton followed his business involvement, I was free to shop for elegant clothes, have beauty treatment, sip coffee in elegant cafes, and generally indulge myself.

For too long I forced myself to ignore the cruel underbelly of this existence, as step by step it worsened. Barton’s sexual demands were surprisingly limited to every four or five days. He seemed to have a very low sex drive. Just as well since, his promise of it being better next time was wrong as he would plunge his rod fiercely into me, shoot his load, and go to sleep. For a while that’s all it was, painful, frustrating but brief, and my luxury living was such solace.

Any attempts to talk about it led to him becoming angry, and comments like, “You want out of it?” So I accepted his functional use of my body.

He also ducked my questions about his work. His dark eyes glaring, he would shrug, and say something like, “It wouldn’t interest you.” I blindly lapped up the affluence of it.

When he demanded that I take him in my mouth, I was shocked but I knew to refuse would be dangerous. So I accepted his promise to pull out before he came.

But, as before, he did not keep his promise. I was told to swallow, and endured the salty bitter taste as he withdrew. Always though it was quick, and always I was reminding myself that beyond those vile moments lay an easy rich life style.

Then a new shocking development came into my life. One night, we were in a lavish hotel in Glasgow, before going out he told me that the client he was bringing back needed me to ‘entertain’ him. As the threat of his words were sinking in, Barton’s eyes were fixed on mine as though confirming the implication. He advised me to tuck myself up, naked in the silken sheets of the bed, and be ready for his return.

Accordingly I tucked myself, naked, in the silken sheets, and surprisingly, in spite of my anxiety, I fell asleep. I woke up as I felt the sheets being pulled. Time to ‘entertain’.  I kept my back turned as a hand stroked over my hip beforfe feeling for my breast. Not rough hands, and all I could think of was, ‘Lie back and remember the good life you’re leading.’

Those hands caressed over my breasts and between my thighs, in a way I had never experienced with Barton. The intimacy of touch and the pressure of his erection against my hip had me turning onto my back with an unexpected sensation of a moistening between my thighs. Could it be that there was pleasure to be had?

But even as the thought occurred he was on top of me and his rod was inside me, but travelling smoothly… So good. Yet even as he ran deep, he grunted and with several jerks of his hips, I knew he had spilled his seed too quickly. Were all men like this? In the gloom I could just make out his sallow face as he slobbered over me. Then, as his limp thing slipped out of me I felt the trickle of fluid on my thigh. He hadn’t worn a condom.

Within minutes he had muttered a sullen, “Thank you,” and was gone. And my life of luxury was intact.

 He became the first of several ‘clients’ I took to my bed. I asked myself if my rich lifestyle was worth such episodes. Did it make me a whore? But I’m ashamed to admit that I accepted the humiliation. And in the subsequent weeks I had three more insubstantial clients, finding little excitement in any of the encounters

Six weeks passed, as our travels took us from ports to cities, and I had noticed that Barton had a different car, a new car, practically every two months. Occasionally I overheard his conversations with clients but hardly understood the strange words. His sexual demands seemed more limited. Keeping me for his clients? Maybe, but still, I kept telling myself, I was living the high life, wasn’t I?

Everything changed though at the end of that six weeks, when I  realised that I had missed two periods. Worried, I visited the hospital while in York. A short examination confirmed what I had feared. I was pregnant. I didn’t need a diary to tell me that this was due to that first stranger.

How to tell Barton? So condom conscious, he would know it wasn’t his. Did I want to have the baby? That answer was easy. The likely father had been a bastard, but he was gone. This baby would be mine alone, mine to love, to care for, to hold close to my heart.

I wanted this baby more than I had ever wanted anything in my life. What if it did break into my easy living? I would live with that if it happened.

Barton would tell me to get rid of it. So, I said nothing. The months passed, with only Barton’s frugal demands on my body to cloud the issue. My breasts became just a little tender, and I derived a special thrill to stand naked and sideways to a mirror, and see that subtle bulge develop.

More and more, I directed him to my mouth, for his gratification, the three-minute job as I thought of it. Wearing a loose dress seemed to fool him. Fortunately, there had been a long gratifying break from servicing his clients, but I was fearful of the day when I could no longer hide my condition.

That day came just last week. Barton told me it was a ‘special’ client. I knew I was in trouble. This hefty, dark haired man just couldn’t wait to rip away my blouse, and tear at my skirt. My heart was beating madly, as he stepped back to view my swollen abdomen, and I saw the stunned look on his face

“Jesus, you’re pregnant. He didn’t tell me that.”

“He didn’t know,” I told him.

“Hell, I can’t. mM wife…” He stopped himself, “Just suck me off, for Christ’s sake.” Sill trying to be the tough man but failing.

Before I got down, he started rambling about his wife’s pregnancies. His erection had decreased, and he groaned, “Oh, fuck it.” He pushed me back and hurried out of the room.

Next morning, Barton came storming in, “You fucking bitch,” he screamed, and I was sure he was going to strike me as his hand reached out. But he pulled back the covers to reveal my naked bare belly.

Continuing his wild cursing, Barton demanded that I get rid of it. Desperately I told him that it was well over the twenty-four-week safe time. To abort my baby now would be murder. Still cursing. Barton, strode out of the room.

Strangely, after that, I thought he was accepting the idea. But his attitude changed, and he was less generous with any money he allowed me.

Frequent visits to different clinics had kept me reassured about the condition of myself and the baby. Then came that fateful night. We were in a hotel near Wick, in the far north of Scotland. A fishing port, so I guessed Barton was probably collecting something. Our travels always included a port before moving inland.

“Come and have a drink,” he called. This had happened on occasions but there had been a long spell since last time. Still if it meant a change of heart I would accept that.

I was wearing this same blue summer dress. I kept it on, hoping it would be less provocative. I almost laughed at myself trying to look normal, with a jutting belly.

Barton was leaning back on a sofa, a drink in his hand. He looked at me, and just smiled, “Ah, Linda, have a drink?”

I shook my head, and he grinned as he directed me to a tall glass of milk on the sideboard. He grinned almost wickedly as he said, “See, I didn’t forget.”I collected the tall glass, and took a long, pleasingly cool, gulp at it. I returned to stand over Barton.

His eyes swept over me and he chuckled, “Swell, Linda, simply swell.” Was I out here to be mocked? Furious, I took another mouthful of milk.

As I looked back towards the door to my bedroom, it bent crazily sideways. I blinked, wondering why my head was spinning. In fact, everything was spinning and twisting. Barton’s smirking face was distorted. Desperately, as looked at my glass in realisation, it slipped from hand, and fell. I too, was falling, falling, unable to keep myself from the blackness that opened up to swallow me.

Slowly, very slowly, I found myself wishing the pounding noise would stop. I opened my eyes to a dark night, with a few stars above me. How was I out here? Out where? The dawning was painful.

My thin blue dress hardly protected me from the chill night air. Across a field I sensed, despite the dark, that the land fell away, and beyond was the glow of a heaving sea. Hence the pounding as it rolled over rocks.

I had been dumped out here, alone. Barton, the bastard. His way of disposing of me and my baby. I stood, unsteady for a moment, praying that the drug, and this exposure had not hurt my baby. An instinct told me I needed to follow the coast to my right, that would be south.

All the lovely clothes I’d bought so extravagantly were gone. No luggage, but I was surprised to find I’d been left with a tiny shoulder bag in which I found a small wad of paper money. What a generous bastard, paying me off like some cheap call-girl.

I began walking, and my mind teasingly told me, ‘If something appears to be too good to be true, it probably is.’ The cruelty of that lay heavily over me. This was where my desire for luxury had led me.

By early morning, weary and cold, I spotted this cafe, and there were trucks lined up outside. Maybe I could get a lift south, to my sister’s.

 

o o o O o o o

 

The eyes looking at me were filled with tears, as she shrugged, sipped at her coffee, and said, “And that’s it. I was in that cafe an hour and a half before you came in.” Her mouth puckered before she added, “Virgin to slut in less than twelve months. I feel so ashamed.”

I don’t know at what point in Linda’s story I had covered her hand with mine. I suddenly realised it was there, and she hadn’t flinched away from my touch. Her account had been so open, so frank in her revelations, that shock, surprise and disgust had flowed through my head. Not for her, but for those who had treated her in that way.

I was hard to handle the anger I was feeling, as I asked her, “What was one of the first things you said to me?”

Linda looked uncertain, before shaking her head.

“All men are bastards,” I told her, “and I can see exactly why you’d come to that conclusion.”

Her head tilted to one side as though in apology, “I didn’t mean -“

“You had every right. My God, those men…”

My anger could only burst out in words, and Linda stared at me, her blue eyes wide in surprise at my vehemence.

All I could do in my feeling of futility, was talk big. “Linda, you know when I punched that guy back at the cafe?”

Linda nodded, still unsure of my mood, “He was the first person I have ever struck in anger, but, right at this moment, if I had the guys you’ve told me about here in front of me I would cheerfully smash them to pieces.”

Yes, it was a little extreme, but it was a release for the frustration I felt. “I’m sorry I made you angry,” Linda said softly,”but I’m glad as well. It means you believe me.”

Her hand was still there under mine, and I gave it a squeeze.

“Why are you being so kind to me?” she asked, then suddenly grunted in shock, and her mouth went into a little ‘ooh’ shape.

“What’s wrong?” I asked anxiously.

But she gave me an enigmatic smile, lifted my hand, and pulled it to a certain spot on her swollen belly. Any embarrassment I might have felt was instantly dispelled by a sudden thump against my hand.

“Feel it?” she asked. “It’s kicking time.”

I couldn’t help laughing with the pleasure and relief of it, “Does that happen often?”

“Lately, yes.”

“I’d say you’ve got a centre forward in there.”

We laughed together for just a moment before her eyes looked into mine again, “You didn’t answer my question.”

“Don’t you think it’s about time someone was kind to you?”

“Yes, but…”

“Linda, clear your mind, there is nothing I want but to see you safely delivered to your sister.”

I brought up the subject she had recently talked about. “His activities were mysterious?”

When she nodded I asked her to think about anything she could that connected to what he did for a living. In the next few minutes of troubled reflection she had informed of the use of ports, how they always seemed to start there. The upper class hotels they stayed in,living style, the changing of cars. the current car registration, and then the clincher. When she’d heard him talking business on his phone often she’d noticed the strange word ‘hairy’ linked with ‘pure’.

“Doesn’t fit in, does it?”

My fists clenched, “Oh, yes it does.” I’d heard the term ‘hairy’ on the road, I knew it referred to heroin.

“Why are you asking these questions now?”

I took a breath, “Linda, I can’t punch this guy’s lights out but the police might be very interested in his activities.”

Her face showed utter dismay, “Oh, not the police.”

I reassured her that there would be no involvement. I’d give the information anonymously. “If they want to act on that, then fine. If not—well, at least we tried. Okay?”

“While I’m out, have a good soak in the bath” I suggested. “Then tuck yourself up in one of those beds.”

From a public phone, I got through to a police sergeant, in the Caithness area. I withheld my name and he sounded very dubious as I gave all the details Linda had given me. I hung up. It was up to them now.

When I got back I thought Linda was asleep, but she opened her eyes, immediately, and said, “I was worrying you might not come back.”

“Forget that,” I told her firmly. “Anyway, job done. The police will act or they won’t. They’re suspicious of anonymous phone calls.”

Linda pulled the covers closer around her bare shoulders, and, as she settled down, she murmured, “Thank you, Frank.”

The first time she had used my name, now why should that give me such a buzz? I stripped down to my boxers, climbed into bed, and pondered this unlikely situation. Me, alone in a bedroom with a lady I considered special, and no thought of sex.

Travelling, I had shared rooms with one or two lively ladies. I had been gleefully initiated, when I was eighteen, by an amazing divorced lady, Lorna, who actively led me through all the ways of pleasing a lady. I especially recalled her advice, “Always treat her with respect.”

Remembering that, as I lay in the single bed, I was thinking of how little respect Linda had known. With good thoughts in my mind I, at last, fell into a deep sleep.

The following morning, there was little sign of the ferocity of the previous day. Linda looked good, refreshed after a settled night. Just seeing her face afforded me much pleasure.

On the road again, through Edinburgh in an hour and a quarter, we had a brief coffee and toilet stop at Dunbar, and by-passing Newcastle, I reckoned we were less than three hours from Nottingham. Occasionally, Linda castigated herself for succumbing so easily to the demands of Barton Franden.

“Linda, it’s easy to understand.” I told her. “You were dazzled by the lure of luxury.”

Hell, Nottingham would be goodbye time. Bloody idiot, why should that bother you? But it did. And I had to admit it

An urgent toilet stop at Harrogate changed everything, as what I’d half feared the whole trip, actually happened. Linda’s waters broke. Luckily, a grey haired lady had been in the toilet when it happened. “You’ll never get a large truck in that hospital car park.” And she kindly offered to drive us.

Within twenty minutes, Linda had been checked and it was confirmed that she was close. I heard a nurse report, “Yes, definitely two fingers. Action time.

When they wheeled Linda out, her face was drawn with pain. I held her hand as the nurse said, “This might be a quick one. Follow us. Deep breaths, Linda.”

A waiting alcove was indicated, and, as she was wheeled away, Linda managed to grunt anxiously, “You will wait, won’t you?”

Foolishly, I almost said, “Forever.” But I did manage, “I’ll be here. Bet it’s a boy.”

Her smile was weak, and then she was gone. Now, I had time to ring my brother. He was not going to be very pleased.

He was bloody furious, “A what? Maternity hospital? How the fuck did you manage that?”

I tried to explain, but he was near apoplectic, and didn’t want to know anything except when I’d be back. Angrily, he said he’d advise the distributor waiting for the whiskey that I’d be late. His final words were, “Just phone when you’re on your way.”

Feeling as restless as the standard expectant father, I just prayed that Linda would come through it all right. This woman who I’d only known for some thirty six hours! At exactly five minutes to seven the nurse appeared, smiling, “Linda has had a baby girl, six pounds ten ounces, all intact, and mother and baby are both well. They’re just tidying her up.”

I could not believe how strongly my heart was beating. It wasn’t my baby, for God’s sake. When finally, I was shown into the ward and saw Linda, face flushed, but looking exhausted, I was breathless myself. She smiled weakly as she said, “You lost your bet.”

Having only touched her hand once, I was compelled to go directly to her and kiss her forehead. Looking slightly startled, she indicated the other side of the bed. I went round and looked into the small cot at a tiny, pinched red face topped by a mop of black hair.

“She’s beautiful,” I said, and then, looking up, I added, gallantly or truthfully, “Just like her mother.” And Linda blushed.

“Oh, thank you for staying,” she sighed.

I then told her of my need to make my delivery. She nodded her understanding, but looked sad, and that gladdened me, as I promised to be there to pick her up, when the time came.

“But you’ve done so much.”

“It will be my pleasure,” I told her. “Now you rest, and think of a name for your baby.”

As I left, she called gently, “Frank…” she paused before adding, “not all men.”

I was on the corridor before I realised the significance of what she’d said.

A taxi took me back to the truck, I phoned Harry, and I was able to deliver the whiskey by ten that evening.

My Honda Civic was parked near our offices and I drove to the three bed-roomed house which I’d purchased two years earlier, drawn by the open country at the rear.

Next day, I phoned the hospital and was informed that after a satisfactory night, mother and baby would be released the following day. I wondered how Linda would look without the bulge. I tried her sister’s number again, with the same result. So what would we find when we got to Nottingham? That day dragged. My brother had the truck, while I cleared up some business paper work. The day dragged, the night too.

Next day, I may have exceeded speed limits, heading up to Harrogate, where I found Linda looking. A subtle touch of make-up enhanced a face that, I knew, needed no enhancing. Her figure was as trim as I had imagined it would be, with just only suggestion of a swell when she stood sideways.

Crazily, I wanted to take her in my arms, and had to remind myself that we had only just got to the forehead kissing stage. But I boldly put my hands on her shoulders and kissed her on the cheek. She didn’t resist, and I tried to read something into that closeness, and the warm look in her eyes.

Outside, with the baby hugged close to her, she voiced her surprise on seeing the car. “I know you’re used to Jaguars but–“I began.

“This is just wonderful,” she enthused.

As I drove she told me that her baby girl would be,. “Frances,” she said emphatically, “to remind me of someone who I’ll always be grateful to.” The emotional impact of that statement hit me hard because, as well as the compliment, it contained the elements of a farewell. That was something I did not want.

However, when we reached Nottingham, found Linda’s sister’s street, and a ‘For Sale’ outside the house, a neighbour was able to tell of her sister’s husband’s work taking them off to South Africa, and the house had been empty for three months.

Now, selfishly, I knew exactly what I wanted to suggest.

There were tears in her eyes as she looked down at her baby and then up at me. “What’ll I do?”

I made my offer, feeling that my whole future rested on the nature of her response.

“You have a house?”

“No, I live in a cave,” Relieved to bring a smile to her worried face. “Only if you trust me.”

“Of course, I do. But will it be all right?”

“Let me show you. It might be all right, until you find somewhere.”

When we pulled up outside my place on the outskirts of Derby, Linda was absolutely taken with it. “If this is not a form of luxury, what is?” she declared. Then her face fell. “But how can I pay you in the time I’m here?”

“By getting used to your baby, by tidying up after me,” I said that only half joking. More seriously, and watching her reaction closely I added, “I would like you to stay as long as you feel comfortable. You’ll have your own room, of course.” God, how was I steering clear of the romantic angle that welled inside me?

“But… but… I can’t impose on you, like this.”

“Maybe I need the company. You’ll stay? No strings.”

Her blue eyes held mine for a brief moment as she said, “What if I want strings?”

My breath felt caught up in my throat, as I tried to hide the feelings that would not be suppressed. Later in the day when I went alone, to see my brother, Harry, and told him all the facts, and the arrangements we had come to, he gave me a hard stare before saying, “Bloody hell, you’re hooked, aren’t you?”

And that was the first time I was able to admit it to myself. I was hooked, totally. I wanted to be near her, to hear her voice, to look at that lovely face, but, until everything was certain, not to touch.

Before I visited Harry, Linda and I had already been out on a shopping expedition. “I’m sick of that blue dress,” I said lightly. So we bought her a variety of clothes including nightwear, and then spent considerable time loading up with items essential for having a baby in the house. I couldn’t help thinking, it was domesticity gone wild.

A visit to my doctor fixed her and the baby with a regular check-up over the next six weeks.

We settled quickly into a routine. Harry was good enough to ensure that I only made the trips that ensured that I was home every night. Linda quickly showed what an asset she could be, buying food at the local supermarket, and having good meals ready for me at night. Being on her own through the day was obviously allayed by caring for Frances.

When Harry’s wife Sandra saw Frances for the first time, she was gaga about the baby, “Oh, she’s adorable,” she cooed, and glancing at Harry she added, “I think we’ll have to have another one.” They already had three year old, Jack.

Harry glared at me, “Troublemaker,” he snapped.

My life was definitely moving into a new phase. After about five weeks, we came face to face in a doorway, and without any thought we were kissing, gently, mouth to mouth. The warmth of it increased my heartbeat. When we broke, her eyes definitely held a new light. “Oh, we must practice that again sometime.”

“You think so?”

“I’ve wondered what it might be like… with you.”

“You really feel that way?”

“Only since Pitlochry,” she laughed. Then she reached up to place her hand on my face. “You’ve driven all my past away.”

Her touch was electrical, and I knew it was me who held all the reticence. “Linda, my mind is too full of the pain others have inflicted on you. How long is it before you are medically clear?”

“Only a few days.”

“So let’s keep it right.”

Reluctantly, Linda agreed, and for the next few evenings we sat arm in arm on the sofa, occasional kisses were allowed, as we watched the television.

On the evening of the day her final check-up was due, I arrived home, and she gave me a chaste kiss on the cheek. Over our meal, I asked her how the medical had gone, and all she said was, “Fine.”

Rather cool, I thought, especially when she added, “You go get your shower, you usually do that before eating.” It was almost a scolding tone, and, like a naughty schoolboy, I did as I was told.

Showered, and rather worried by her coolness, I came downstairs, and sat on the sofa to watch the evening news. I heard Linda going upstairs, and was tempted to follow to ask what was wrong.

When she came back, I heard her go to the window and draw the curtains. That alerted me to the fact that she was wearing a silken dressing gown, and not only that, a rather lascivious smile. She stood in front of me, and asked, “Did I ever show you what’s left of my pot belly?” And she opened her gown wide.

My breath caught in my throat at my first real sight of her naked body. Her breasts, brown tipped and erect, pointed straight at me, and there was only that very slight swell to her belly. With her shaved area only just acquiring a stubble, I could make out the lips of her slit. My cock gave an instant response.

I tried to act cool, “I can’t see the telly,” I said.

“I’ll just go then, should I?”

Laughing, I grabbed her arm and pulled her down beside me, my hands instantly pushing the robe from her shoulders, as our mouths came together in mutual passion. She smelled of lavender, jasmine and roses, direct from the shower. I stroked her shoulders, loving the smooth curve of them, before moving my hand down to her breasts, to enjoy the firm, yet soft, roundness.

Breaking the kiss, I moved my lips down to linger around her nipples, which made her giggle with her comment, “Sorry, no milk left.” She had started bottle feeding Frances. Her hand moved to rub over my erection crammed inside my pants.

This was all so delicate. I was longing to possess her, but feared I wouldn’t have the skill to overcome her bad experiences.

Looking up into her lovely eyes, I told her this.

“Frank, I have no fear while in your arms, and this isn’t just gratitude I’m feeling,” she said, moving her hand from my erection onto her own pudenda. “Down here, I have a physical ache, which isn’t from childbirth. I’m sure of that. It came on every time you looked at me after Pitlochry. It’s from wanting you.”

While she spoke she had unfastened my belt and I eased my body up so that my pants could be pushed down and away. So gratified by her words, I bent to bestow more kisses on her breasts, and felt her fingers trail over my erect cock. “Ah,” she murmured, “this holds no fears for me.”

Without moving my lips from her nipples, I trailed my hand down, spreading my fingers as they passed over her belly. Practically, walking my fingers over her shaved, bristly pudenda, I moved my head up to resume our kissing. Her tongue latched onto mine as we melded together.

Slowly, carefully, I moved my hand so that the tips of my fingers tickled at the beginning of her labia, as though I’d turned a key, her thighs parted, and I felt her hand tighten around my cock, while her tongue ran wild around my mouth.

Probing along those lower lips, my fingers sank into the moistness that was already there. I guessed her clit might not be too hard to locate. Sure enough, within seconds, my fingertips picked up that little erection inside her, and when I rubbed over it, she tore her lips away from mine to gasp, “Oh, Frank, Frank. That is so.. it’s… no one has—Oh.”

Her hand worked feverishly along my solid length, pulling at it, and I knew I was going to need all my will power to stay in this game. This game was new, even to me, for this game was full of feelings which were not all physical.

I continued caressing on and around her clitoris. Normally, I would have made some play in and around her entry, but something held me back from that. Linda’s breathing had become heavier, more a kind of panting. Then, suddenly her whole body stiffened, and she sighed, “Oh, Frank, I’m almost… put it in me! Please…”

“But it might still be painful,” I warned her, “Harry told me, Sandra had found that.” I didn’t mention my other fear, connected to the harsh treatment of entry she had experienced with those other men.

Linda’s voice was a strangled cry, “I’m going… please, Frank, in me.” And she heaved on my hardness, desperately trying to draw it to her entry.

I took a deep breath, nervous as some virgin teenager, yet longing for it. My cock head was at her entry. The heft of her own hips drew me inside her. Losing my inhibition, I pushed slowly, gently into her warm wet passage. Her walls were rubber rings that heaved on my rod.

Again I heard her cry out, and with that cry, her hips gave a mighty heave, and, along with my own cautious efforts, I knew I was filling her completely. I also knew that her gasps, groans, and yelps had little to do with pain. She’d had her first orgasm, and I was so relieved.

As she slowly relaxed, I realised that my balls were still aching for release. A few more, less than regular, pushes inside her warm and welcoming interior brought me to my own guarded release. I seemed to be bucking for ages as I pumped the last drops into her.

Lying there, her head on my chest, perspiration welding us together, she sighed, “I just knew it should be like this.”

I told her of the relief I felt at hearing her climax, and she gave another sigh, “Why couldn’t I have met you a year ago?”

“Uneasy as it was, I’m just glad we met.”

She raised her head, and her eyes were bright as she asked, “When did you know you wanted me?”

I had given that much thought already. Only one true answer, “The moment I walked through that cafe doorway.”

She reached up to kiss me, and that was when we heard Frances protest. For the next half hour we were busy with feeds, and baby baths. While Linda was giving Frances her bottle, I casually flicked on the television. It was in the middle of a news bulletin, and there was a picture of what appeared to be a hotel. It was the commentary that caught my attention:

“—was tracked from the north of Scotland, to several locations around the country, after an anonymous tip off. Police say they had already some knowledge of the man who is thought to be the ring leader, and several other people have been arrested. Police believe it is one of the biggest drug cartels ever arrested…” I turned to look at Linda, but she was staring open mouthed at the screen. “Those hotels, I know some of them.”

I laughed, “My God, could this night get any better?”

When Frances was settled and we’d shared a few minutes of savouring an element of vengeance, I talked Linda into taking a shower with me. The sheer sensual pleasure of standing close together, skin on skin, as the water cascaded over us, was marvellous. My hands soaped over her breasts down her trim waist, ran up the incredible smoothness of her inner thigh, and she gasped as my hand nestled between her thighs. At the same time, her fingers reaching for my semi-erect cock, her touch became a massage of tenderness, stroking, squeezing with such delicacy.

“Ooh,” she laughed, “it’s growing.”

I kissed her as the water ran over our faces, and I said, “He has to be back on duty soon.”

“Does he know it will be for the rest of his life?”

I laughed, “Did you not feel him jump for joy when you said that?”

She laughed and then gave a long sigh, “Oh, Frank,” she said, as I switched off the shower, “you rescued me and now you’ve washed all my sins away.”

I kissed her gratefully, “No sins to wash away,” I told her. “Only bad memories. From now on we make our own memories.”

“And I’m going to give you plenty of those,” Linda whispered.

“Yes,” I sighed, as a huge wave of love flowed over me, “we’re going to make every minute special.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than Lushstories.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright edgiver83 2018
The right of edgiver83 to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Design, and Patents Act 1988

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