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During our Christmas vacation Bell complained of stomach pains. At first, we weren’t concerned but as the pains continued over the week, we decided to return home and get the opinion of our doctor. The next two weeks were terrible with Bell undergoing different medications and tests until on the Tuesday of the third week we were told that she had an incurable cancer: she was given two months.
Bell was amazing. The first thing she did was write her final will and after her lawyer had left her bedroom, she told me that as of now I was the owner of the company and that it would become legal once the will has been finalized after her passing. At first, I was broken after all Bell had saved my life put me through university and finally became my married partner. Obviously, I couldn’t just allow the business to slide into obscurity and so just one week before Bell died, I took the reins.
The first management group meeting was difficult because I was visibly shaken finding it difficult to discuss all the important issues that would need to be resolved. If it hadn’t been for Bell’s amazing managerial skills, I think the business would have collapsed but she had always insisted that everyone knew each other’s job so that in case of emergency the running of the business would continue smoothly. So, at this sad time, the team pulled together helping to guide me through the first few months.
The period after the funeral and Bell’s memorial service were hard on me and I found myself breaking down in tears at the most inappropriate times. Then one morning the secretary of our management group suggested I take a month off work possibly going away for a holiday. I spoke with my doctor and decided to take three weeks off but to stay at home and with the doctor’s medication and my just resting without even contacting work I was able to cope.
During the forced break I decided to take four weeks holiday over Christmas returning to our holiday home on the lake. My reasons were simple first it was the Christmas before when Bell was taken ill and we had been staying at the Lakes then, but the big reason was because Bell and I had fallen in love at the Lakes and I also knew she had been at the lakes with her parents just before their sad passing. Having made these important decisions, I returned to work a new woman and not only took over the running of the business but oversaw the expansion of our antique book and fine art auction rooms.
So, it was two weeks before Christmas that I packed the Jaguar XJ with my cases and a selection of wines and spirits. With Christmas school holidays just starting the highway was busy but taking my time and stopping regularly I final motored up to the locked gates at the private boat compound. It was comforting to be met by the same old family friend who took everything under his wing taking all my bags and boxes to the old family cruiser that Bell’s grandfather had built. When I stepped aboard, he assisted me by slipping the moorings as I slowly motored out of the dock.
It was busy on the water because being high tide all the trawlers were heading out to catch the fish for the fish market in the city. In a way it was sad as I motored carefully down channel because al the commercial skippers had known Bell and her family ever since her grandfather had built the holiday home and so they would toot their whistles giving me their condolences. Arriving at the dock I only carried the perishables to the house leaving everything else on the cruiser for the following morning.
The old house was dull and musty as I opened the shutters and turned on the electricity. Having placed everything into the cool room and freezer I removed the dust covers before taking a beer sat on the veranda watching the sun go down over the lake as the surf crashed on the ocean beach behind me. Although I had hardly eaten since breakfast, I really didn’t feel like a meal so just sat with my beer picking at a few nuts I had thrown into a bowl.
Once the sun went down, I began to find it terribly lonely sitting on the dark veranda. It was unseasonably warm with no wind at all, but I began to feel stressed much like I had felt a few weeks after the funeral. Looking about me memories came flooding back reminding me of the first time I had come here with Bell and how we had made out on the couch. Getting out of my deck chair leaving my half full glass and a few nuts I wandered through the dark cottage to the master bedroom where I lay down crying until finally falling to sleep. I was awoken by the sun streaming through the French doors which I had forgotten to shut the night before. It was hot and calm as I walked across the soft sand to the lake. After swimming for half an hour, I got out feeling hungry and refreshed my tears of the night before forgotten.
Having brought everything in from the cruiser I motored across the lake in the small runabout thinking of the first time I had done it under Bell’s instruction all those years before. Stepping into the Skua Café I ordered two fillets beşiktaş escort of fish along with two dozen oysters for my evening meal. Being quiet with the flood of holidaymakers still a week off I decided to take a pot of tea with some fish and chips for lunch. Sitting outside on the café’s deck I noticed a woman about my age staring at me from the fisherman’s cooperative across the dock from me. She was taller than me with short dirty blond hair … deeply tanned she had a pattern of bronze freckles that went across the bridge of her nose she was possibly the most beautiful mature age woman I had ever seen. Looking up as my meal was placed before me, I failed to see her turn back inside her office.
An hour later after a most relaxing day, I collected my order before motoring quickly home. It was a lovely afternoon lounging on the warm sand with a cold beer.
Although thoughts kept flitting through my memories of things that Bell, and I had done while staying here but unlike last night they didn’t disturb me. I was still tired that evening probably because of my disturbed sleep the night before so I took an early night having decided to go across to the ocean beach the following morning.
I awoke early on Saturday morning and skipping down to the beach took a relaxing swim before cooking pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Sitting out on the veranda with a pot of tea after breakfast I was disturbed by the roar of an outboard motor as a boat ran up onto the sand. Looking up I was surprised to see the woman from the cooperative. Dressed in a pair of tight-fitting blue denim shorts and a gray tee shirt she strode up the beach to the veranda.
“Sorry to disturb you but I just had to come over to talk with you. I am Chloe and I knew Bell the year she came hear leaving her partner at home: it’s so long ago it almost seems like ancient history.”
“Hi Chloe, take a seat … would you like some tea?”
Accepting tea, she followed me through to the kitchen where I prepared a pot of my favorite black tea lapsang-souchong.
“The past two and a half years have been very sad for me first my father was lost at sea: he was swept overboard during a storm in Bass Straight. Six months later my mother died of a broken heart. I have a younger sister but after my mother’s death she left home I understand that she’s living in Sydney, but she hasn’t spoken to me since the funeral. When at the Co-Op I commute to work from the old family home but being the Co-Op manager, I find myself at the central fish markets in the city for about a week each month. When I knew Bell, I was the manager of the Skua Café.”
“I knew Bell many years ago. She had come down to the Lakes for Christmas, but her partner didn’t want to join her. Although we got to know each other well she never brought me to this house.”
“So, this is your first time here.”
“Yes. Like everyone else here I was deeply hurt with the news of her dying: she was a remarkable woman.”
“You can certainly say she was remarkable. She left everything to me including the rural enterprises although I always knew she was an amazing manager it was not until I took over that I realized the enormity of her capabilities.”
Taking the fresh pot outside we took seats on the veranda before Chloe told her story.
“I met Bell at the Pub up the Lake where there were New Year’s celebrations: you know fireworks special menu at the Bistro … the works. She had taken a table on the edge of the festivities not far from where the cruiser was moored: anyway, I joined her … it was dusk, and everything was moving along well. We found that we liked each other in fact Bell said that she had never felt so relaxed with a stranger before. You know after the fireworks Bell and I did something that until that evening was unheard of for us that is. Although we had only known each other for just four hours we returned to the cruiser and made love all night long.”
“Fuck: Oh, sorry I shouldn’t have said that. Chloe, I am astounded because Bell was very reserved, she took almost four months to proposition me and then we didn’t do it for another three months: it was down here on the island with the old homestead on it. I think it’s called Rigby Island.”
“We made love there as well: it was the evening of the first of January we had cruised down there from an inlet that we named Bells Inlet.”
“Fancy having an inlet with your name.”
At first, I noticed Chloe blush but thinking nothing of it was about to continue when she interrupted.
“I named it Bells Inlet: that was where we first made love after the fireworks.”
It was my turn to blush and for a moment we sat in silence.
“I think Chloe we both have a lot of memories.”
For a moment I thought she was about to cry but shaking her head she simply agreed and then we sat in silence with the sounds of the sea and nature looking out over the Lake.
“Chloe, I had thought of taking a packed lunch over to the ocean beylikdüzü escort beach would you care to join me?”
“Do you know I have never been to that beach before. I suppose you could say I am a typical local because the tourists know more about the area than us locals do.”
So, carrying our picnic hamper we trudged through the tea tree forest to the broad beach where the waves of Southern Ocean crashed onto the golden sand. In a way it was lonely with the beach going for miles in both directions and not a person in sight.
“Do you know Chloe the only time I have been to the ocean beach was on the second day of my first trip down here. Funny but I am glad you are with me because I think I would have become a crying mess if I had come alone. I seem to be haunted by memories: Bell and I loved it down here it was our retreat from the busy world of business.”
“I know what you mean. When I learned about Bell’s passing, I spent a day in my boat running up the lake visiting all the places we had been to. I cried most of the day.”
“Chloe do you mind if we take our lunch back to the house, I think this was a very big mistake.”
“Come on allow me to carry the basket and when we get back, I’ll prepare lunch while you sit on the veranda. I know how you are feeling: all those ghosts.”
If it hadn’t been for Chloe, I would have been in trouble that afternoon she just took over, laying the table and after lunch washing up and cleaning around. The morning had been fine until I started to remember things that I had done with Bell. It could be argued that if Chloe hadn’t arrived, I would have been okay but no, just the smallest thing would have tipped the balance. I was sorry to see her leave and hugging her on the beach begged her to return the next morning.
I was so grateful that Chloe had come over and helped to comfort me: she was a lovely woman and had obviously loved Bell dearly … I made a mental note to tell her more about me and Bell because now that Chloe had departed, I seemed to remember Bell talking about her and the short, intense love that they had shared.
Sitting on the veranda I watched the flounder fishermen wading the sandbanks on the other side of the arm: Chloe had promised to bring fresh seafood with her in the morning, so I offered a silent prayer asking God to make sure she brought two flounder across.
Lying in bed with the full moon shining through my windows I thought about Chloe understanding how easily Bell had fallen in love with her: she was the sexiest woman I think I had ever met. It was funny really because in Chloe I recognized Bell and in a small way myself. She and Bell were much the same height with similar breasts and hairstyles. Like when I first met Bell, I had found Chloe both easy to talk with and also very comforting where like Bell before her she put herself out to help me through a very stressful time regardless that she also found the memories so very sad.
I went to sleep quickly but found myself waking … it was like in a fog and all I could see was movement opening my eyes I imagined I had been dreaming. The night was dark as the moon had since gone behind the mountains and again, I found myself thinking of Chloe. Recognizing my fascination with her I asked myself if we could fall in love just as she and Bell had. It was then that I realized that in my recent dream I had possibly been making love … with Chloe? I sat up trying to clear the fog: where was I … what was the time … no it was just a dream. Again, I slipped into the ‘Land of Nod’ and it wasn’t until I heard a boat run up onto the beach that I woke.
Jumping out of bed I grabbed the first thing I saw which was a white almost see-through bathrobe and running out onto the veranda found Chloe struggling up the beach with a heavy esky: putting the esky down she hugged me and this time I felt her lips brush across mine.
“Oh, Chloe sorry I must have slept through let me dash in and get into my bikini I must swim before preparing breakfast.” As I said this, I noticed Chloe glance first at my nipples which were now very hard standing out proudly and then glancing down I noticed her smile when she noticed my naked pussy and the wet spot on my robe.
“You don’t need to apologize and anyway why change into a bikini nuddy swimming is the best.”
Walking towards the open French Doors leading into my bedroom I quickly dropped my robe around my feet and turning to collect my bikini saw Chloe standing before me. I simply stood there with my arms by my side seeing Chloe’s beautiful lips form into a broad smile as her tongue slid across her bottom lip.
“Fuck Susan I can see why Bell fell for you so hard you are beautiful.”
I know I should have dashed into my bathroom to change but standing naked in front of the sexiest woman I have ever seen I just slowly got into my bikini and stepping onto the veranda asked Chloe if she was going to join me. We stood waist-deep in the warm water Chloe in beyoğlu escort a very brief blue and white bikini while I was in my not as brief red one. I couldn’t take my eyes off Chloe’s breasts a fact that obviously didn’t escape her notice.
Leaving Chloe to shower in my small ensuite I went to the kitchen to prepare a big breakfast of bacon and eggs with mushrooms and tomato. I was wearing a pair of cotton shorts and singlet and I don’t know why but as I cooked, I swayed my hips singing what I had called Bell’s breakfast song: I was in my own small world when my thoughts were interrupted by Chloe giving me a hug as she reached for a glass of tomato juice. Turning to look at her I gasped when I saw that she had changed into a dry red and yellow bikini: she looked good enough to eat.
After breakfast we sat in the shade of the veranda with a pot of green tea.
“Chloe yesterday you told me how you and Bell had met explaining how quickly you both fell in love. I think it only fair to tell of how Bell and I met although it took a lot longer for us to fall in love.”
“I am an only child and my parents are born again Christians: they are quite fanatical about their religion which made my upbringing difficult and lonely. Anyway, it all began when my mother found a small bag of marijuana in my bedside drawer: it had been given to me by my lover the son of my parent’s best friends. I had just left school and was looking forward to studying business management and marketing at university the following year while he was two years older than me and in his final year’s apprenticeship studying motor mechanics. We had been lovers for almost three months and every Sunday evening he would give me a small bag of dope to tide me over until the following Friday.”
“The argument was terrible with my parents telling me that I was a slut and a whore which made me shout at them explaining that I had been having sex for almost five months. Well as you can imagine that did it and my father packed a small bag with my clothes: I don’t know how I managed it, but I threw my wallet with one hundred and twenty dollars left from my last pay from the café I waitressed at. I slept that night with four Street Kids in the bandstand in the big park in the center of town and it was close to one in the morning when I was woken by a man groping me. He told me that if I made a noise, he would cut my throat, so I lay there while he masturbated me. When I finally came, he grabbed my bag and ran into the night. “
“The following morning, I found twenty dollars in my back pocket, so I went to a café popular with my school friends and had a milkshake and raisin toast for breakfast. The day was not exactly hot, but it was very humid with rain forecast that night, so I decided to work my way towards the train station where I hoped to find shelter. It was about five when the man who had molested me in the bandstand pushed me into an alley but this time, I managed to knee him in the nuts.”
“Well done babe.”
“He ran after me, but I ducked into a wine bar which at the time I didn’t know was a gay and lesbian establishment. Ordering a glass of red wine, I sat at a small table: Bell joined me shortly after. I told her the story I have just related to you and she invited me to her house where she gave me a warm bath to soak in and later a good meal. The following morning, she bought clothes for me and hearing my full story offered me a job: Bell also put me through university and gave me a managerial position when I graduated.”
“It wasn’t until later in the year that we became lovers and I decided that I was obviously bisexual with a leaning towards women.”
“What a beautiful but sad story.”
“Chloe there is one more thing I should tell you it was just after Bell had brought me down to the Lakes: the time when she seduced me. We were sitting pretty well where we are sitting now, and Bell started hesitantly but seeing that I was calm became more confident. She explained how she had met you: even naming you. Although she didn’t elaborate, she explained how you both fell in love and of the day she dropped you off where your mother was waiting for you. What you don’t know is that she had to stop the boat and drift for an hour while she cried: Bell truly loved you. She told me that on arriving home and learning that her partner had deserted her she thought of phoning you but decided that you would hate the city.”
When I finished Chloe was crying openly and as she had done yesterday, I took her in my arms comforting her until she had recovered.
“Thank you for telling me that and thanks for comforting me you see I have never ceased loving Bell but at the time she was right I was the manager of the Skua Café it was a small job with little responsibility. I was a country girl and had never been to the city. Today it’s different if Bell were alive today and asked me to join her in Sydney, I would be there faster than superman’s speeding bullet. You see I made a great success of the Skua Café building it up from the run-down place the previous manager had brought it to and one afternoon was told that I was to go to college to study business skills and when I topped the state I was made assistant manager of the whole fisherman’s cooperative: today I am the manager and as such spend about a week each month at the central fish market in the city.”
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