Ambridge Affairs Ch. 3byquinn rogan©
(Author's note – In my preamble to Chapter 2, I bemoaned the absence of e-mail response to chapter 1. I've since discovered that there was a technical problem with my inbox, so, if you did write, and didn't get a response, please write to me again. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this tale – it had to be just a matter of time before Jennifer's superior legs were spread for us...)
* * * * *
The doorbell rang, and Jennifer Aldridge's heart sank. It must be Matt Crawford – ten minutes early. She checked her reflection in the full-length mirror – immaculate, as always. At least, her appearance didn't reflect the turmoil inside her.
"That'll be Matt, darling," called her husband, Brian, from his dressing-room, where he was putting the final touches to his bow-tie. "Will you get it, please? I'll be another five minutes – I have to make a call before I come down. Oh – and remember what I said about being nice to him."
Brian casual tone belied the pounding in his heart. Ever since the bastard Crawford had run across Brian and Siobhan in that restaurant in London, he had made Brian's life hell. Crawford had done a bit of local snooping, and it hadn't taken him long to discover that Brian's beautiful Irish dinner companion was the estranged wife of the Ambridge doctor – and that the cause of the estrangement had been an affair with a 'mystery' man, from which Siobhan had emerged pregnant and separated from her shocked husband.
Of course, Crawford had put two and two together – and made four! Since then, he had been able to exert his will on Brian on all decisions affecting Borchester Land, of which Crawford was chairman, and Brian was a member of the board of directors.
Brian had always loathed him, anyway – despite his wealth and power, he was a 'common' crude type of man. Brian wouldn't have been surprised to learn he had started life as a barrow-boy, or a second-hand car dealer, polishing up his natural Cockney accent to the pathetic Estuary English he affected these days.
Brian's wife, Jennifer loathed and despised Crawford, and made little secret of it. Brian had a shrewd idea that Crawford had 'tried his luck' with the cool, sophisticated Jennifer a couple of times, and had been told, in no uncertain terms, where to get off ......
As Crawford himself had said to Brian – "She looks at me as if I were the shit off her shoe, old man. Next time I see her, I hope you'll have persuaded her to treat me a bit more civilly – or I might just feel inclined to wipe the superior smile off her face by revealing your little secret ......"
Brian's blood had run cold as Crawford had grinned evilly at him, but he had nodded with apparent confidence. "Oh, that's just her way, Matt – but, I'll have a word with her."
"Good idea, Brian, old chap – tell you what – next time I'm in the area, you can have me round for dinner, and Jenny and I can get to know each other a bit better."
"Yes, of course," Brian had replied, intending no such thing, but he had reckoned without Crawford's crass nerve and, when Crawford's secretary had called a few days later to arrange a suitable evening, while Crawford was at a conference in Birmingham, he had been put on the spot ......
Jenny had protested, vehemently, but Brian had had to stick to his guns, and the arrangement had been confirmed. For a couple of days, Jenny had continually complained, but then seemed to have become resigned to the inevitability of it, and had gone quiet. She had even agreed to be as civil as she could, which Brian regarded as a major victory, and he was quite hopeful that the evening could turn out to be, if not enjoyable, quite tolerable.
As she descended the stairs, immaculate in her royal-blue, shot silk, wrap-around long dress, Jennifer's heart was pounding, furiously. If only ......
If only – what? If only she hadn't had that extra glass or two of Frascati at the Hunt Ball? If only she hadn't agreed to take a turn in the fresh air with her son-in-law, Simon, after they had danced together? It had been such an exhilarating dance, with him – he was, after all, such a charming man, with his easy manners and Canadian accent. And – it had been so thrilling to feel him against her. At first, she had thought it must be her imagination, but after a while there had been no doubt about it – he had an erection, and he was making no bones about letting her know it.
He stayed close to her for long periods, and he even moved it against her, his dark eyes smiling down into hers. She ought to have moved away but, somehow, it felt deliciously naughty, arousing her daughter's husband with her physical proximity. She thought about her daughter, Debbie, moaning and gasping passionately as the length of hard flesh Jennifer could feel, even now, pressed against her trim stomach, thrust between her opened legs, and the thought had set off a minor flood between Jennifer's own slim, graceful thighs.
Unconsciously, she had returned Simon's pressure, luxuriating in the feel of rotating her groin against his, and had smiled at him, conspiratorially. Oh, Debbie had better watch out tonight – little would she know, as Simon took her, quickly and roughly, that it was her own mother who had stoked up the fires ......
The music had stopped, and Jennifer had reluctantly eased away from her partner, flushed with her thoughts. His suggestion that they take a turn on the terrace, to get some air, had seemed like a good one – she needed to cool down, and to restore their relationship to its 'proper' footing. He retained possession of her hand as they strolled out through the French windows on to the terrace, and that seemed perfectly natural ......
It was a glorious midsummer night – the moon full and round in a cloudless sky. The air was still warm, and Jennifer could hear birds singing. Simon led her down the wide steps on to the lawn, and they took one of the avenues leading through the well-kept grounds. The avenue was flanked with bushes and tall trees, the leaves whispering in the slight breeze.
"You're a lovely dancer, Jennifer," Simon had said.
"Thank you," she replied, enjoying the warmth of his hand, holding hers, and occasionally brushing against her thigh as they walked together.
"In fact," he went on, "you're kinda lovely, altogether. No-one would believe you're Debbie's mother."
Jennifer laughed, softly. "Well, I did have her when I was quite young," she murmured, modestly. His hand left hers and slipped round her waist – it seemed only natural to return the gesture. Jennifer was feeling a little light-headed – the wine, and the music, and the dancing, she supposed. They'd soon have to turn back – she hadn't better leave Brian on his own for too long ......
The avenue widened out into a little tree-lined glade. The sound of the music from the ball was only barely discernible, and the lights from the hotel did not permeate this far. There was no exit from the glade – only the way they had come.
They stopped, and turned. Only – they turned in opposite directions and, for a moment, they were facing each other.
"Oops – sorry," giggled Jennifer. Startled by Simon's close proximity, she staggered a little, and he supported her instinctively, his hand round her waist, pulling her against him. Again Jennifer felt the hardness of his erection against him, and she let out an involuntary gasp.
Then both his hands were behind her, sliding over her hips, pulling her into him, grinding her against his tumescent penis. Jennifer closed her eyes, and pushed against his hardness. Her hands slid up the back of Simon's evening jacket and, as his mouth descended on hers, she kissed him, fiercely, passionately.
Somewhere, in the deepest recesses of her mind, the voice of her conscience was struggling to make itself heard, but her lips mashed against her son-in-laws', and her mouth opened to let his tongue slide in ......
His right hand slid up from Jennifer's gyrating bottom, and she groaned as it found her silk-encased breast, his fingers seeking out, and finding, her erect nipple. One of her hands pushed up into his thick, bushy hair, pulling his mouth harder against her own.
Jennifer felt the zip at the back of her dress slide smoothly down, then felt the cool air on her exposed breasts. Simon's hand quickly covered one of them, then she thrilled as his lips fastened on the other and his tongue teased her nipple with almost unbearable dexterity.
She leaned forward to kiss his exposed neck – and saw a shadow move among the trees, slipping away, through the bushes. It was like a dash of ice-cold water, and Jennifer pushed frantically at Simon's shoulders.
"No," she gasped. "No, Simon – stop! Please!"
He stepped back and, for a moment, the expression of frustrated rage on his face alarmed Jennifer, then it resumed its customary urbanity, and he nodded.
"Yeah," he assented. "I'm sorry – I guess I got a bit carried away."
Jennifer was on the point of telling him what she had seen, but then decided against it – she would have stopped him, anyway. It was unthinkable that she ... with her daughter's husband ... anyway, she wasn't at all sure, now, what she had seen, and she was already in the process of convincing herself that she had been about to stop him, anyway ......
Turning away from Simon, she bent forward to cover herself up again, zipping up her dress. She realised her legs were trembling as she turned to face him again.
"You stay here," she said, with an attempt at her usual sang-froid. "Wait five minutes before you come back." She turned on her heel and hurried down the path, slowing her pace only when the lights of the hotel flooded over the lawn. She decided not to enter through the French windows and, instead, went in by the main reception, hurrying into the adjacent powder room, to check her appearance.
Having carried out minor repairs, she took several deep breaths and emerged into the hotel lobby. Matt Crawford was sitting in an easy chair, leafing disinterestedly through a glossy magazine. He rose to his feet as he saw Jennifer.
"Jennifer!" he called, with his usual odious bonhomie. "How are you? How nice to see you! Where's my old mate, Brian?"
Jennifer bared her teeth in an unwelcoming smile.
"Good evening, Matt," she said, in her most glacial manner. "I'm just on my way to find Brian. Are you staying here?"
"Yes," he drawled. "Short notice visit – couldn't book anywhere decent – still, it's only for one night."
Jennifer bridled. The man was so rude – so uncouth. She smiled distantly again, and made to brush past him. He raised a hand and Jennifer drew back, thinking for a second that he was going to actually touch her.
"I've just had a little walk round the grounds," Crawford went on, and Jennifer stopped. Her stomach lurched. Crawford grinned, an evil, lascivious smile.
"Surprising what you see – isn't it, Jennifer?" he murmured, then – "oh, don't worry, Jennifer. I'm not a blabbermouth."
Jennifer stood stockstill.
"Was that – you?" she eventually stammered. He leered, smugly, at her.
"Yes," he said. "Actually, I saw you and the young man come out, and thought I'd just – take a look. But don't worry – your secret's safe with me. Just make sure you say the right things to Brian – about Borchester Land, and the housing development – you know?"
Jennifer nodded, dumbly, resisting the impulse to try to explain her momentary lapse. As if this – animal – would understand. Anyway, at least she now knew who it was, and she was able to influence her husband in his business affairs, so, with any luck, she would be able to keep it quiet.
"Yes – Matt," she forced his name out, with an attempt at friendliness. She tried to smile, but it was a ghastly failure, and she turned on her heel.
"You scratch my back …" he had called after her, and Jennifer had shuddered .....
Her heels clicked across the hall as Jennifer walked to the door. This was the first time she had seen Matt Crawford since that terrible night. He had been true to his word, though, and she was beginning to feel a little safer. For weeks afterwards, she had been able to think of little else – her worries were more, even, about Debbie than Brian. What would she think, if she knew? It would destroy her.
It had become clear to Jennifer that Simon was a philanderer, and she knew that, one day, her daughter would be turning to her for support, when he was finally found out – just as long as it was with someone else! Simon had betrayed not a trace of embarrassment since that night ......
Jennifer opened the door. Crawford stood in the porch, half-hidden by a massive bunch of red roses. He thrust them towards her.
"For my beautiful hostess," he pronounced, and leant forward to kiss Jennifer, lightly, on the cheek. Succumbing to the kiss as graciously as possible, Jennifer suddenly started as she felt his hand lightly caress her bottom.
She leapt back, outraged. "How dare you?" she snapped, her anger taking her over, but he just grinned. Reaching forward, he dexterously extracted an envelope from the bunch of flowers, and handed it to Jennifer.
"There's a card, too, " he said. Jennifer made to re-enter the hall, but he held her arm.
"I think you'd better read it here," he said, and something in his voice made Jennifer obey. Holding the bouquet in the crook of her arm, she opened the envelope, and slid out the white card inside.
Her face turned ashen. It wasn't a card – it was a photograph, showing Jennifer's face, her mouth frozen open in a gasp, in Simon's embrace. She was clearly naked to the waist, her breasts invisible only because of Simon's hand, and the back of his head, as he fondled and kissed them. Simon's face could not be seen, but the back of his distinctive dinner jacket made his identity easily recognisable by anyone who knew him.
Jennifer's head reeled as she stared at Crawford, horror-struck. He sniggered at the expression on her face.
"I had my new digi-camera with me," he explained. "You never know when it'll come in handy, do you? I bet Brian would just love to see that – not to mention Debbie!"
He took a step towards Jennifer, and, once again, his hand slid round behind her. Arrogantly, confidently, it closed on the shapely, firm contours of her bottom, and he squeezed her flesh through the silk. Jennifer's skin crawled in revulsion, but she forced herself to stand still, submitting to the ordeal.
"That's better," he murmured, in a low, self-satisfied tone. "I've always admired your bum, Jenny – it's one of your best features."
Jennifer swallowed, hard, cursing her moment of weakness with Simon – what a price she was paying, now. His fingers were pushing the silk underneath the trim of her panties, lifting them away from her hip.
"Just one more thing," he breathed. "Take these off – I'll want to know you're bare-arsed, sitting beside me tonight." He released the elastic and her panty-leg snapped against Jennifer's thigh.
"No!" she expostulated, instinctively, her face flaming.
Casually, he retrieved the picture from Jennifer's nerveless fingers, and slipped it into his jacket pocket.
"It's up to you," he said, "but I wouldn't like to be you, waiting for this to appear on the table halfway through the meat course."
"You bastard," hissed Jennifer, her face white as a sheet, her whole body trembling.
"Oh," he added, cheerfully, "and give the panties to me – when Brian's not watching."
He stepped back, and looked beyond Jennifer, into the hall.
"Brian!" he called out. "Good to see you, old mate. I think I've just bowled over your good lady with a few roses ......"
"Matt!" Brian reciprocated, striding forward, hand outstretched. "Welcome! And what lovely flowers – aren't they, darling?"
"Oh, yes," muttered Jennifer, weakly. "I – I must put them in water."
She fled, on shaking legs, to the kitchen.
"Come in and have a drink, Matt," said Brian, heartily. "Let me take your coat."
Fighting panic, Jennifer spent the next fifteen minutes in the kitchen, automatically preparing the soup starter for dinner, but it wasn't until Brian appeared at the door to ask if she was ready that she agreed she should all sit down, now.
As Brian turned away, she took a deep breath, and quickly slipped her panties off. They folded into a very small bundle in her fist, and she shuddered at the thought that Matt Crawford would be able to examine and handle them, in the privacy of his hotel room ...... She put the starters on a tray, and, squaring her shoulders, entered the dining-room. They were using the small, circular dining-table, as there were only the three of them, and, as Jennifer served the soup, she contrived to drop the miniscule bundle in her hand onto Crawford's lap. Unobserved by Brian, he casually slipped the panties into his pocket, beside the photograph.
Jennifer was uncomfortably aware of the proximity of the two men, at the small, intimate table, as she tried to show some sort of appetite, for both the food, and the conversation. She was aware that Brian, too, seemed to be under a strain, his replies to Crawford's ebullient chatter seeming very forced – as were her own.
But the conversation didn't take any dangerous turns, and Crawford kept his distance from her, apart from the occasional brush of thigh against thigh under the table. Jennifer reasoned that he was hardly likely to do anything with Brian around and, provided she made sure she wasn't alone with him again, she ought to survive the evening, at any rate. Although what the future might bring was very worrying ......
Gradually, though, she began to relax a little, and even managed to maintain her end of the conversation throughout the soup and main courses. She served the sweets and began to think about coffee and brandy, and, even, Crawford's departure to his, no doubt, five-star hotel ......
Then, she suddenly felt a hand on her thigh, and froze. Crawford continued to talk, easily, but his left hand pressed the flesh halfway up her left thigh. Automatically, Jennifer tried to move her legs together, but the grip tightened, as if in a warning, and she forced herself to relax her legs again.
His hand began to caress her thigh, then, and the bile rose in Jennifer's throat.
"Are you all right, darling?" asked Brian, concern in his voice, and, swallowing hard, Jennifer nodded. Crawford's hand was sliding confidently up her thigh, now, slithering over the folds of loose silk, closer and closer to the top. Jennifer lifted her spoon to her lips. She was utterly helpless – one word of complaint, of protest, and Crawford would go into his jacket pocket and ......
His fingers were parting the folds of her dress, easily, insouciantly, and her dress slid away to the sides of her thighs. Then, his fingertips were resting on the tops of her stockings, and Jennifer knew that, under the table, her dress was parted up to her groin. Her fingers were shaking uncontrollably, and she put her spoon down.
She just couldn't stand it any longer – she would have to stand up – then, suddenly, the hand was withdrawn, and Crawford sat back with a sigh of satisfaction, placing both hands on the table.
"Ah, that was good," he said. "My compliments, Jennifer!"
She couldn't speak, but, in response to a frown from Brian, tried to smile. Crawford chuckled.
"Ah, you are a lucky man, Brian. Such a good-looking wife – and a great cook, too. No wonder you're so contented with your lot. It's not fair on the rest of us – you should hire her out!"
Brian laughed, a little weakly, as if detecting an undercurrent he didn't quite understand.
"I might have to, if this Hungarian thing doesn't work out!" he tried to joke.
Crawford turned, putting his arm casually across the back of Jennifer's chair.
"No, I mean it, old man," he said. "Just look at me, going back to my lonely hotel room tonight, while you – well, you have this lovely woman all to yourself."