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One simply does not let their husband, (He’s my husband now, I remind myself smiling into his hungry hazel eyes,) tell all their stories. I mean, please look at his last effort. He’s so mechanical and all about where he put his willy and what sort of noises we made.
Those eyes. Those chameleon coloured pools of communication that tell me constantly with their changing hues of his innermost thoughts. I soundly thrash him at card games, you know. They watch me now across the way from the other seat in the limo that rushes us to our honeymoon suite. The same hungry eyes I met that very first day I saw him.
Love at first sight… Pah! Such girlish princessy notions. That was the first flickering embers of a fire I spent the whole afternoon stoking. And I’m naughtily prodding it now with my apparent disinterest as we leave our half pissed family and friends and rocket toward this next naughty moment.
I want to tear my stupid ‘going away dress’ off and pounce on the beautiful man and ride him through several blisses until he squirts deliciously into me. But… I’m teasing and building a thing. When he does squirt later it will be hard earned.
Where was I? Oh… Beginnings. See this is why women should tell stories. There are all sorts of side roads to explore. They day we met. He thinks my smile right now is for him but its for that day. Nevermind. He’s such a lovely.
Carrie and I had split. It was gruesomely emotional. She was ‘exploring a new relationship’. I was exploring my grief. Three years I’d committed to her whimsical adventures. We were travelling in Australia, visiting my relatives when she discovered a tall blonde Australian girl with a life saver’s uniform and a surfboard.
Heartbroken, I sought refuge at my Aunt Molly’s home. I wanted to go home. I wanted my stupid large brothers to go and beat someone up for me. I wanted my Mumsy to cook me liver and bacon and brush my hair and wanted not to feel so stupidly emotional.
I’d mostly put myself back together and I was applying for nursing contracts in parts of the country that were as far away as Germany was from my old home in Birmingham. Molly was watching me tapping away at the blessed keyboard with my index fingers and scowling at the screen.
“You need to get laid.” She told me.
“You need to jolly well fuck off.” I unleashed a witty retort. “I need a job or I’m heading back to old blighty.”
“Seriously Jules, this too will change. You can’t bog down in it darling.”
“Save the platitudes Aunty M. One thing at a time. Besides, look at me… I’m easily a full stone heavier than I was when I arrived last Autumn. I need to diet and take a jog. Maybe then the getting laid will occur.” MmHmm. That’s where my self-esteem was located.
Not that I was, well, VERY fat. But I hover usually around sixty-five kilos. My present seventy-two hung a little heavily on my five foot five frame, whatever that is in centimetres. Stupid French and their silly ten’s things.
Anyhooo… Those side-tracks hmmm?
So dear Aunty M’s started doing what dear Aunties all over the world do and went on a matchmaking mission. Oh, my good lord she found some bottom dwellers from her ‘plenty more fish in the sea’ list that she selected the blind dates and ‘I have someone I’d like you to meet’ from.
Then one gloriously sunny Friday, she put her phone down on the kitchen island and pressed the speaker button while she was talking with Dudley.
“Duds,” she said in her drawling Australian attempt at the Queen’s English, “Can you get David for me please.”
“Ah… He’s busy love. Why? You want some more coaching?” My uncle replied.
“Dudley please just fetch the beautiful man. You can do that can’t you? You are still the boss?”
“Fine. Hang on.”
A short moment later a man with an intriguingly deep voice said, “Mr Gilbert?”
My pants wet. It had been more than three years since a man had interested me sexually but the moment he spoke my vadge spoke back.
“Molly…” Uncle Dudley said.
“Oh hi, Molly love. How’re you doin?” He sounded a little like crocodile Dundee. A little scary and wild.
“I’m fine Davo, but instead of our usual Sunday coaching, do you think you would like to join Dudley and I for a quick bat on Saturday afternoon? My niece Julia is visiting. We could play a set of Doubles if you like and I’ll make snacks.”
“Yeah sounds good. Nothin doin Saturday anyway and you do make some ripper snacks, love.”
“Goodo then Davo.” Oh the ‘oh’ and more oh’s these Aussies use. “See you around noon.”
“It’s a date, love.”
“Oh you…” My Aunt actually blushed before hanging up.
“You’ll love Davo. He’s good fun. Bit old for you, but good fun. Might just snap you out of your funk and by goodness, he can play tennis.”
“We’ll see about that.” I thought. I am ranked quite well in the Birmingham League. Or at least I was before I came to Australia and put some post break up pounds on.
See now? He leaves out all the romance. I read bahis firmalar─▒ his story you know, and it sounded like one of Daddies Penthouse magazine stories. “I never thought it would happen to me.” Indeed. Pfff.
I was watching that sunny Saturday late morning in September while he hoisted the net and put a few practice serves wickedly across the court. I was watching from an upstairs window at Aunty M’s Coominya homestead. I’d seen his little car rumble down the gravel drive and park near the courts and I was fascinated by his familiarity. Most ‘help’ introduce themselves at the front door before simply setting up and getting about things. What sort of ‘coach’ just waltzes around like he belongs?
A very svelte one it seemed.
He was tall. I liked that. Not giant; respectably tall and seemed well built in his white shorts and polo shirt. Neatly groomed too. No frightful beards or man buns. Ageless from my vantage but fit looking.
“Julia dear?” Aunty M positively bellowed from somewhere downstairs.
Investigation located her in the kitchen, also watching our guest as he warmed up and pranced about.
“Hi. There you are love. Could you go tell Davo that I’m almost done in the kitchen. I’ll be there directly. Soon as I change. Oh and rustle the old man up. I think he’s in the study.”
My reply of, “Sure,” translated, including the volunteered eye-roll that accompanied it to, ‘fine… I’ll play fetch the husband and go introduce myself to the man you’ve spent the last twelve hours promoting to me like he’s some kind of god’.
Dudley was easy to find. In his study as usual.
“Put the work down for a moment Uncle Duds. Mr Stimpson is here and Aunty M is keen for a hit.”
“Hit and a giggle it is then.” He is a lovely man. His hugs are genuine and generously apportioned. When he releases me I swat my butterflies aside and make my way to the court to find the latest creature my well intentioned Aunt has flung at me in a desperate attempt to lure me from my self-imposed exile from social involvement.
The steel gate to the court squeaks loudly enough to announce me.
“The infamous Mr Stimpson, I presume.” He straightens quickly, making me giggle. ‘Cute butt for an old guy,’ I think.
“Ah… Hi. The very same. David.” His broad smile and healthy teeth are my new favourite thing. As I shake his hand, I find him younger than I figured from the upstairs window. It’s hard to tell with these Aussies. All that sun and such.
“You have me at a bit of a disadvantage, love. I didn’t know Nigella Lawson’s hot little sister was going to be here today.”
“Haha. Please…. Trowel it on a little more thickly, David.”
“Do you have a name to go with the pretty face?”
“Oh dear… The whole name or just the useful parts?”
He’s still holding my hand quite nicely. Not too firmly or weakly. Warm, not dominating.
“David Earnest Stimpson, at your service ‘milady’.” He mocks my accent cheekily.
“Oh no.” I shake my head trying not to smile, “One of those funny boys. Well then. I shall bestow upon you my complete description. Elizabeth Julia Anne Bernice Gilberts. Please call me Julia.”
“Okay Jules. Very pleased to meet you.” It seems quite so. He pats my shoulder with the hand that isn’t shaking mine and positively beams those healthy teeth at me like I’m either the best thing he’s encountered this week or lunch.
“So, I was told there’d be tennis to go with the pretty ladies today. Is Moll’s about?”
“Moll’s? Oh, yes erm… Just finishing up in the kitchen. She said she’d be here as soon as she changed. Speaking of which…” I’m suddenly quite aware of my lazy attire. Yoga pants and a floppy t-shirt… Quite the first frumpy impression. “I should go throw on some trainers. I hear you’re quite the tennis coach.”
“Ah… Bit of a hack but do love the game.”
His hazel eyes… They bore into mine. They flit to my lips and chest. They remind me of hungry wild animals and they flash yellow amid the brown and green. Positively predatorial, they take a dip to my feet as we release each other’s hands and then they sensuously slurp their way back up to mine.
We’re locked in this weird standoff of staring and smiling for uncomfortably long. I haven’t felt this moment of attraction toward another human since I met Carrie all that time ago. Certainly not for a man. Certainly not for a slightly older man.
I’ve also quite certainly destroyed these knickers. Something about his presence, his smell, his voice, just reached down quickly and directly into my leggings and switched on the waterworks. Oh, my giddy aunt, I’m going to have to be very, very careful.
“Erm…” It’s Keates or Shakespeare in its eloquence.
“Yeah, Ah… I’ll get set up here. Nice to meet you Jules.” He winks. Who winks? Why is he winking. Oh sweet fuckity fuck. I need to… A thing over there.
“Likewise, David. I’ll, erm… The… house and…” Oh good lord shoot me. I’m going to leave two snail trails all the way back to ka├žak iddaa the house. One from my useless drooling mouth and one from my nethers.
“Infamous? Bloody Moll’s been blowing smoke up my arse again hasn’t she.”
“Haha.” Thank you beautiful man for the levity. So, I tick off my fingers and list, “Devastatingly handsome. Mind of a genius. Heart of a poet. The usual fare, David.”
He blushes slightly and examines his feet for a moment. “Well, hopefully you’re not too disappointed. I had better get warmed up, so you all don’t make a fool of me on the court.”
“And I had best change.” I smile and take my leave with some shreds of dignity still courtesy of his self-deprecation and well… him.
“David.” I call from the gate. It can’t hurt to wind the man up a little. He could be a bit of fun. “Not too disappointed at all.” I return his wink and hurry away feeling every bit as silly as a schoolgirl trying to flirt.
In my room I struggled with clothing choices. Clearly selecting a bra was simple. It had to be the thing I wore when riding. A straight jacket of lycra that kept me from taking an eye out. But these clothes laid out on my bed mocked me.
One simply does not, NOT wear, one’s tennis clothes when playing tennis. This plain white sports blouse and this simple sensible skirt are a uniform of sorts and obviously the correct choice; six months ago. Six months ago, when I was my sixty-two kilo, dieting like a good girl self. Part of me wishes to defy convention and wear my yoga pants, they conceal a multitude of sins and are super comfy.
Another part of me smiles at the way my breasts stretch the blouse and refuse to allow the top two buttons to close. It looks a little saucy, I decide turning this way and that in the mirror. What am I thinking? I’m too fat for saucy. It will just look like what it is; I’ve consoled myself with far too much cheesecake and ice cream and my clothes don’t fit. Ridiculous!
The skirt when I decide to attempt the entire ensemble should fall respectably to about mid-thigh. Thankfully it still secures around my waist. Perhaps I haven’t gained too much tummy at least. But my bottom lifts the hem almost scandalously now.
I want to cry. Six months ago, I felt so good in this outfit. Healthy and curvy. Now I feel silly and lewd.
As I tie my trainers and pull my little white socks up, I remind myself to pull on a pair of lycra cycle shorts. Perhaps that will save the day if the now too short skirt betrays me on the court.
“At least it will stop those thunder thighs rubbing.” I tell myself aloud.
Scowling at myself in the mirror, I assemble my unruly locks in a loose bun and watch as the tears start without permission. “Nothing a jog around the block won’t fix. How’re you going at the gym? That diet’s really working.” Yeah, well fuck you Carrie. Fuck you very much. This is me. No matter how hard you squeeze me, I’m not going to fit in the mould you picture for me.
I tried so hard for her approval. I apologised for every pound and every stolen calorie. “Sorry, this fit last month. Sorry, I’ve been working really hard.” Well, no more fucking apologising. This is me. If that lovely man downstairs or any other person on this planet ever earns my love it will be because they accept me as I am.
Sucking in a deep breath I sternly tell my reflection. “Elizabeth Julia Ann Bernice Gilbert, you will not apologise for any aspect of who you are. You are wonderful and complete just as you stand here.”
And I find myself almost believing it as I fix my scant make up and wonder how tennis will go. I do so hope to put in a good showing at least. He wouldn’t be the first tennis coach I’ve humbled.
We’ve agreed to mixed doubles and a single set on this sweltering spring afternoon. I’m paired with Uncle Dud’s which suits me; I rather hoped for the opportunity to oppose the devilishly confident Mr Stimpson.
The score stands now at five games to two in their advantage and forty-love.
At first it was quite amusing. My outfit had quite the effect on David. Uncle Dud’s commented on the brevity of my skirt and from that moment, David was tripping over himself to get a look either down my top or up my skirt when I bent to retrieve a ball. Quite literally. At one point, I was leaning down to tie a lace and he was running to return a volley from Uncle Duds. The resultant fall was quite comical.
But as the game progressed, I noted that despite his masterful precision and form, his game lacked any power. We shared some quite vigorous volleys but to be honest, Aunt M returned her balls more forcefully.
Nonetheless, he surgically placed his shots and chance alone gave us our two wins. He was playing with us. I’m not a poor sport. I don’t mind losing; especially when playing against someone with his obvious skill. But the cad was playing with me like a cat plays with a mouse. Either that or patronising me by lobbing things gently for the ‘little’ girl.
I’m sure it shows on my face. When ka├žak bahis I anger, I have a flare of blush that spreads down my neck. I can feel the heat of it now as he serves a gentle ace that I should have returned but failed to predict. It lands perfectly inside the very corner I thought it would miss. A man with his height and strength should be slamming them through.
When we shake hands as Aunt M takes the last point, and the game, and set, he thanks me for the game politely and comments on my back hand.
“You’re very agile and quite skilled. If you had a little more accuracy in your backhand, you’d have taken a few more points, love.” The condescending cunt. I abhor the c-word. But there are times it needs deployment, even if just in my mind. I nod and make for a courtside drink.
Watching as he compliments my Uncle and Aunt on their game and suggests coaching tips, I notice his eyes flit sideways to find me occasionally. If he thinks he’s in with half a chance after treating me like little princess Polly, he has yet to meet an angry Julia.
I follow them crankily to the pool where Aunty M has assembled hors d’oeuvres and a nice punch. They chat and eat and I skirt the conversation politely. Inside, I grow angrier by the moment at his smug familiarity.
Soon enough, the pleasantries seem to come to an end.
“Ah, well… If I may be excused, I have several work calls to make this afternoon.” Uncle Dudley hastens away toward the house.
“And David if you don’t mind, I need to clear this mess. I’ll leave you two kids to the pool. A swim would probably be in order.” She kisses his cheeks and I ponder the stupidity of leaving him alone with me in an obvious set up play. Has she not read my face and present demeanour?
He’s chewing the last of some small treat and sipping at his punch. I’m stewing silently on a pool chair trying not to look at him.
“You play very well, Jules. You had me beat a few times there.”
Jules? I calmly stand and place my plate of crumbs on the table and turn to face him. His eyes find mine and recognise the anger, scant moments before I lose control of my mouth and the following blisters his face.
“You smug bastard. Do you think I don’t know you were pulling all your shots? And those serves. For fucks sake, Aunt Molly put more oomph into her game than you did. Then you played games with us, surgically embarrassing us while doing it with one hand behind your back. I don’t mind fucking losing you arrogant pig, but I do hate losing to a posing ponce. You can shove your patronising tips up your arse, David Earnest Stimpson.”
I’m not one to flame and run. If I give someone the news, I stand in my moment and see what they have to say for themselves. His face registers shock, then understanding and then he sighs and shakes his head.
I watch sternly as he shrugs and pulls his sweat stained shirt off. Despite my anger, naughty parts of me wish I wasn’t so presently volatile, as I see his toned stomach and chest and ‘fuck me’… His scar.
“Bit of a bingle on a horse, love. I’ll be sore for a week after today thanks to you. Need to put some movement through the shoulder and cool it down. Maybe you could use a cool down yourself, Jules.” His raised eyebrow infuriates me, as does his chuckle when he bomb dives into the pool like an adolescent, splashing me with water.
I’ve showered. I’ve brushed my hair. I’ve thrown my pillow at the wall and cursed myself. Then picked it up and fluffed it and returned it to the bed. I’ve watched him swim gentle laps out the window. Clearly, exercising his rotor cuff after our game. I have not, not even slightly, forgiven myself for making assumptions and a total cock of myself.
My father treated me like his little princess all my life. His patronising lack of expectations for me and… I need to let this go.
“One moment.” I wrap my towel around my naked body. “Okay.”
“Hi.” She says, placing a tray with a small pot of tea, two cups and some cream on the dresser.
“Oh god…” I fall back on the bed and hold my scarlet face.
“Hahaha… I heard, darling.” She pours tea and sips hers while I hide in my hands. “He won the Australian Open at age twenty-three. A complete outsider. Had only been pro for a year. Went on to rank in the world’s top 50 before the accident. Nasty business. Ended his career. That’s when we met him. Came to work for Duds. He does a little coaching on the side for a select few clients.”
“He obviously had a reconstruction. With physio…” I offer.
“Yes. There was bone damage too. Some plates. You’d have to ask him for the details.”
“Like he’s ever going to speak to me again. A shrew! I was a total shrew.”
“Ha phhh… He finds the humour in most things, our Davo. Give him a chance.”
“A chance? I positively sprayed him.”
“Hmmm. Your tea is going cold.”
The good old cup of tea. Although this stuff that passes for tea in Australia is an acquired taste, I’m sure. I rise and frown at my black tea and sip its wisdom.
“So, what now, Aunty M?”
“Fucks me.” She laughs. “He does seem rather fond of you. Or at least some parts of you. His fall was spectacular.”
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