tagNovels and NovellasA Christmas Tart ... with a Heart

A Christmas Tart ... with a Heart

bygeronimo_appleby©

A third entry from me for the Winter Holiday competition. It turned out a tad longer than anticipated, so rather than opt for the First Time category, I might plump for Novels and Novellas (6 points in the Survivor contest if I put it in N&N). We'll see where it ends up.

OK, in this one, John -- a twenty-two year old virgin -- stumps up cash for a visit to a brothel. When he gets there he gets a surprise, a very pleasant Christmas present.

You might find [more] errors and typos [than usual!] in this piece. Sorry, but due to the deadline for the comp. and the fact I didn't start this until a couple of days ago, it might come across as a draft rather than a finished product. Again, apologies if that's the case, but I do hope you enjoy my offering all the same.

As per usual ... feedback! Send feedback.

OK, I'll STFU now and get this down the wire to Laurel.

GA -- Langkawi, Malaysia -- 6th December 2012.


John Elphinstone had second thoughts, pinprick darts of doubt. Should he go through with it? Sitting in his flat on the outskirts of Guildford, as he sipped his morning coffee, even as he doubted he knew, deep down, despite the fear, that he'd pick up the phone and make the call. John examined, yet again, the scrap of paper with the phone number scrawled across it. His stomach flipped with excitement, sexual anticipation tickling deep in his viscera and tingling in his balls when he thought about the potential that number held.

It had been a whim, scribbling the number onto the back of an old ATM receipt. He'd seen the columns of adverts amid the lurid pictures of half naked women when he'd picked up the newspaper -- if The Daily Sport deserved that appellation, the scandalous, near pornographic rag of titillation -- and, after his eyed had scanned the columns of carnal promise, while a curiously dark sensation fluttered in the pit of his stomach, John saw the dialling code of his own area leap from the page.

Exclusive service offered, he read. Elegant lady in luxurious surroundings.

Two numbers were also given. One being a mobile, with the second showing a landline prefix code of: 01252. John, with a deliciously wicked slither of excitement and fear and sexual arousal sliding through his guts, committed the six remaining digits of the phone number to memory. Feigning nonchalance as the train rattled and shook, carrying him homeward from his job in London, he left it a full three minutes before jotting the number onto the blank reverse side of an ATM receipt he found in his wallet.

Now, at midmorning on Christmas Eve, with four days of holiday between him and the daily commute, he sat in the flat and contemplated his persistent virginity.

"It's getting ridiculous," he muttered to himself. Eying the ATM receipt again he steeled his resolve. "Elegant lady," he murmured, enjoying the mental images that description conjured in his head. That single word, Lady, put him in mind of a classy, sophisticated woman, more mature in years, finely ripened and experienced enough to unveil the mysteries of the flesh to one so callow and naive as himself.

At the age of twenty-two, John had somehow hung on to his virgin status, or rather his virginity had clung to him like a nasty rash. He'd tried, oh how he'd tried to slough off the chrysalis of that pure state and emerge from the cocoon; but something always went wrong. He didn't think of himself as bad looking, but he was neither here nor there, no Brad Pitt, sure, but not the Elephant Man either. Nondescript, bland, the sort of man who would make a good real-life spy, the grey man nobody noticed in a pub or on the bus. Unfortunately women didn't notice him for the same reason.

John failed to attract women with looks or presence, but his main problem wasn't a lack of personality, it had more to do with projection. He lacked self-confidence, and this shortcoming, to which he was blind himself, had come about because of his shyness and lack of daring. This in turn meant failure to find a girlfriend through a series of embarrassing, tongue-tied encounters that, by the time he hit his twenties, became a self-fulfilling prophecy. John expected to be knocked back in his attempts to chat up the ladies, and as a result, he was.

His hand trembled as he reached for his mobile phone.

***

Jenny Standing parked outside the One-Stop and, once inside, bought cigarettes and a lottery ticket. The girl behind the counter smiled from beneath the seasonal, infuriatingly ubiquitous, red cap trimmed with white faux fur.

"Happy Christmas," the cashier said, smiling as she took the ten pound note from Jenny's fingers.

Jenny could have snorted right in the girl's face as she passed over the money and waited for her change. She didn't get it, couldn't understand why people got so fucking crazy over Christmas. When she'd been a kid it had been different, of course, but now, with her fortieth birthday looming, with no husband, no kids, and working at what she didn't even class as a real job, Jenny felt the weight of anxiety over her future settle even heavier on her shoulders than usual.

"Fucking Christmas," she muttered to herself before offering the young woman behind the counter one of her professional smiles. Jenny could turn it on when she had to, in her line of work the charm was expected, part and parcel of the trade. Not that many of the men she serviced cared what went on in her private life; they just wanted her for her looks and her body. The guests, as they were euphemistically known, who visited the house -- a large detached near-mansion of a place in affluent Surrey -- didn't even know her real name, let alone what went on inside her head.

Most of the punters would be at home with wives and families in readiness for Christmas Eve parties, and the day ahead for Jenny would more than likely be a washout, but Avril had asked her to come in, so there she was, buying her fags on the way to work.

"I need a girl to come in," Avril had said. "Would you mind? I it would be absolutely tiresome with one of the others. You know what they can get like. It would be a miserable day with one or them, a constant litany of complaints about working Christmas Eve." Avril had grinned and added, "And we could have a couple of drinks if things are quiet. Have ourselves an office party as it were."

Jenny loved the way Avril spoke, her drawling diction told of a moneyed background and expensive education. A world apart from foster homes and comprehensive schools Jenny had endured.

Two years earlier, when Jenny first started at Avril's house, the matronly woman with her large bosom and honey-blonde hair -- Dyed of course, darling, but you know the saying about blondes having more fun -- candidly revealed the reason she engaged in the trade she did. "I simply adore cock," Avril had said. "A friend of my father's, a very wicked man ..." she added, eyes gleaming with devilment at the memory. Avril had even squirmed a little in her seat as she went on. "Just remembering gives me tingles," she said. "Anyway, a friend of Daddy's seduced me on my twenty-first birthday, darling. He fucked my virgin cunt and then, over the next year or so, used me as little more than his sex slave. No love in it whatsoever, not on his part anyway, bit of course I was smitten with him ... And the filthy things the bugger did with me ... What he made me do ... God it was an exciting, horny time."

Jenny, feeling obliged to reveal a little of her life's history after Avril's crude recollections, had replied with, "I got into the game when I got behind with rent. A neighbour of mine in the block of flats I ended up in told me about how I could make some money." Jenny shrugged as if her introduction into a life on the bash was of no consequence at all. "You know how it is, Av." She regarded the other woman for a moment and then barked a laugh. "Or maybe you don't. Not with your background." Jenny lit a cigarette and continued. "Anyway, I worked out of this shitty flat in Colchester. I was nineteen when I went on the game. It was actually one of the punters who suggested I do some escorting. He said I could earn a lot more than I was making in a pokey flat on a scrubbers estate." She lifted her shoulders in another shrug. "And here I am now working for you." Jenny gestured with a sweeping arm at the opulence of her surroundings, "Working in a decent house, for you, Av."

Avril smiled at Jenny. "Thank you," she said. "I'm pleased you think it's a decent house. I do try." She chuckled then, adding, "I wonder what Daddy would say if her were alive to comment on my little hobby? I don't doubt he'd be surprised to know I've invested some of his fortune in a house of ill repute."

Now, two years later and Jenny still worked at the house. She did escort work a couple of evenings a week. It paid well, exceptionally fucking well, truth be told; plus she got wined and dined and saw a bit of how the other half lived.

Avril, at forty-three, despite running the house, still worked when the fancy took her. OK, she might not be willowy and winsome any longer, but she still attracted the eyes of men who liked their women ripe and rubicund. Not every day, she didn't swan around in stockings and corset and lethal heels no matter how sexy and rude those garments made her feel every day, these days she was content to play the Madam, answering the phone and greeting the guests at the door, calming the nervous and making it clear to the more boisterous that she wasn't a woman to be trifled with. Sometimes though, when in a dirty frame of mind, she enjoyed dressing for sex and riding some anonymous young bloke's big cock.

Avril had asked Jenny to come in because she knew the woman didn't have anywhere to go or anyone to be with that Christmas. "You could always stay over with me." She'd invited, knowing Jenny had no one at home who would be waiting for her. Just like Avril herself in fact, and to stave off a lonely Christmas Eve, she invited Jenny to stay for the duration.

Jenny had shrugged and accepted with little comment when Avril had asked her to work and extended the offer to stay over. She hadn't anything better to do after all, and she knew from experience that Avril would be decent company. They could crack open a few bottles of wine and get merrily sloshed together.

"Thanks, Av," Jenny had replied, warming to the idea. But when she'd woken up that morning the reminder that, despite Avril's invitation, she was still all alone, with middle age charging towards her like Santa's fucking sleigh, loomed large.

And the bloody weather didn't help her mood either.

Out of habit from long years of practice, Jenny smiled at the One-Stop cashier. "And a happy Christmas to you too," she said brightly.

It had started raining during Jenny's brief interlude inside the shop, a fine mist of dampness more than proper rain, an invidious spray that somehow snuck inside clothing and soaked a body worse than a real downpour.

Sighing, Jenny unwrapped the packet of cigarettes. She opened it and then lit up, taking a deep drag while peering from the beneath the protective shelter of the awning at the dismal scene in front of her. Cars passed, tyres hissing against the oil-black tarmac as they slowed to negotiate the speed bumps. An elderly man holding a futile umbrella in defiance at the damp, misty air walked past with a reluctant Jack Russell following behind at the end of its lead. The entire sky seemed low enough to touch as it glowered with grey, sullen menace.

The Jack Russell glanced at Jenny huddled in the doorway as it trotted past. Jenny almost burst out laughing when she read the expression on the foxy little muzzle and sad-eyed dog. "Merry fucking Christmas," the dog's face seemed to convey. "I wish I was indoors instead of out for a walk with this sad twat."

There's always someone worse off. Jenny brightened, her mood lifting slightly when she thought about spending Christmas day with Avril. "Fuck it," she muttered, sighing resignedly at the rain. She flicked the half-smoked butt into the gutter. The tab-end floated away in the rush of rain water as Jenny strode quickly to her car. Thirty minutes later she heard the gravel crunch under the car's wheels after turning into the driveway of the big house.

Avril opened the back door as Jenny approached quickly. The front door was for Guests only, and all the girls, even Avril herself used the door at the rear of the house. "The tradesmen's' entrance," Avril had christened it with a bawdy laugh.

"We've got an hour," Avril said, "an eleven thirty appointment."

"So much for a quiet day, eh?" Jenny responded as she shrugged out of her coat.

Avril took Jenny's coat and hung it on a hook behind the door. "He sounded quite nice on the phone. One of the nervous brigade." Avril shrugged her shoulders. "He might turn out to be a no-show, he didn't sound too confident on the phone."

"What does he want?" Jenny asked.

"An hour. Full personal. Fancy a wine while you're getting dressed?"

An hour, a cigarette and two glasses of Merlot later and Jenny was ready for work. She sat in the lounge on the ground floor of the house, an anachronism from some dinner party at midday in her evening dress, stockings and shoes. Wispy tendrils of hair fell loose from the fastenings holding her long blonde tresses in place.

"That collar looks sexy, Jenny," Avril commented as she poured yet another glass of wine.

"It's supposed to, Av," Jenny grinned, relaxed and in a more mellow mood thanks to the alcohol so early in the day. She fingered the velvet collar at her throat. "But I can't help feeling a bit daft." She gestured towards her vertiginous décolletage with one hand. "All done up like a dog's dinner at this time of day." Rolling her eyes, she added, "And half the buggers don't even notice. They just come in slavering and pawing at me as soon as the bedroom fucking door's closed."

"There are some decent ones though, Jenny," Avril replied. "To be fair. They're not all dogs on heat." She eyed her friend. "You're just jaded and a little miffed. I understand. This time of year gets you down, doesn't it?" Jenny had no opportunity to respond when Avril's head lifted at the ring of the doorbell. Avril checked the slim-strapped watch that decorated her left wrist. "He's ten minutes early," she commented. Giving Jenny a lascivious grin and a theatrical wink as she left room, Avril called out, "He must be keen!"

***

John Elphinstone stood on the step at the front of the house, protected from the seemingly incessant drizzle, it seemed that it wouldn't cease until May, by the covered porch. Poised on the brink of his great adventure, John experienced a heady mix of anticipation and fear. His guts twisted as he paused, finger poised to press the button. He knew that the bell would summon whoever to the door, and from then on, he hoped, with a curious half-dread spiking his belly, his life would be changed forever.

"Get a fucking grip on yourself, John," he muttered. "It's only a fuck. No big deal."

Ah, but, despite the nonchalance of his words, John couldn't lessen the anxiety he felt at this personally portentous moment.

Then, seemingly with a mind of its own, his finger moved to depress the button. He heard the faint ring from within and waited anxiously for the door to open.

What if he didn't fancy the woman? Doubt curdled his guts and he feared he might just shit himself right there. Literally crap himself. Oh, God, what if she turned out to be some wrinkled old crone or some drug addled junkie with track marks and blistered lips?

He could hardly sue for false advertising.

But, to his immense relief, the woman who greeted him with a smile turned out to be right up his street.

"John," the woman greeted with no trace of sarcasm in her voice at his name. John hadn't even considered using an alias, but it suddenly dawned on him that he was, indeed, another John knocking on the knocking shop door. "Come in, darling," the woman added warmly, even leaning in to kiss his cheek. He caught a waft of her scent and an eyeful of her generous bosom when her blouse parted at the neck. "I'm Avril. We spoke on the phone."

Sexy, John thought as he stepped over the threshold. He stood to one side and Avril closed the door. Then, as he ogled Avril's rump and legs, the woman led him along a corridor garlanded with Christmas streamers.

When Avril led him into a room at the end of the hallway, John found himself struck dumb, his feet rooted to the carpet. "This is Jenny," he heard Avril say.

"Oh!" John blurted in surprise. "I thought ..." A hot wave of embarrassment flushed his cheeks scarlet.

Avril chuckled. "No, John. Jenny's the lady you've come to see." Recognising the young man's chagrin, and sensing the reason for his visit now she'd seen him face-to-face, Avril bade him to relax and take a seat.

Avoiding Jenny's eyes, John settled into a leather armchair.

"Is there anything I can get you?" Avril asked. "A drink or something ...?" She swept an arm in the direction of Jenny, who by then had straightened her back and crossed her legs, knowing the effect her pose had on men. "We're in the Christmas spirit already," Avril continued. "You might like to join us in a glass of wine, perhaps?"

His mind still reeling from the shocking realisation that the beautiful woman in the long dress was shortly going to allow him access to her body, John squirmed his backside against the leather seat beneath him. "Uh," he managed to mumble. "A drink would be good. Uhm ... Yeah. Wine. Great. Thanks."

"It's all right, John," Avril said kindly. "You can relax. Take your time. Get used to being here. Is this your first time in a house like this?" Avril had her suspicions but thought it crass to voice them. The poor lad was already embarrassed enough.

An expression of some darker emotion flickered across John's face. "Yes," he said, nodding. "I've never been to a ..." John's speech stumbled to a halt. What could he say? Prostitute? Whore?

Avril came to his rescue. "Never visited a working girl before, John?"

Relieved at Avril's kind lifeline, John shook his head. "No. never," he confirmed.

"Well you just relax. There's nothing to worry about. Jenny will look after you." Avril's blonde bobbed hair shimmered as she turned to her best girl. "Won't you, Jenny? You'll look after John for his first time."

John flinched at the words. How the hell could Avril tell he was a virgin? Then he relaxed when he realised that she meant his first time in a professional house.

"Are you sure wine would be all right, John? I could get you something stronger, if you prefer?"

"No, thanks, wine will be great." John began to babble. "Can't drink too much anyway," he added. "Driving. Wouldn't want to get pulled by the old Bill for drunk driving." He mimed holding a steering wheel and grinned weakly.

When Avril left the room John surreptitiously ogled Jenny. He took in her figure as best he could, what with her being seated at the time. He saw Jenny was younger than Avril by an estimated half a dozen years or so as he appreciated the plane of her cheeks, snub nose and painted bow-shaped lips. He found his eyes drawn to the plunging neckline of the dress, his cock stirring when he noticed that the woman must be close to naked beneath the elegant, backless gown.

"You OK, John?" Jenny asked.

John placed Jenny's accent correctly, noting the differences of enunciation between the two women. One seemed posh, Avril with her la-de-dah while Jenny came across as more gritty and down-to-Earth; Essex if he wasn't mistaken. Still, despite their apparent differences, they were both, in John's opinion, sexy as fuck.

"Juh ... just a little nervous," John replied with understated truthfulness. He shrugged his shoulders, a little unnerved at being left alone with Jenny. When Avril had been in the room with them it seemed like she filled the void with her talk. Now the atmosphere felt awkward -- Just like his disastrous dates.

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