Duke Caine arrived home from work at 2:15, ending his workday as a shift chief electrical engineer at Fulton Mine. The mine was only a 10-minute drive away and that allowed him to rise twenty minutes before he was due to clock-in at 6 a.m. He'd attend to ablutions, dress and feed the cat before climbing into his trusty red Holden ute (pickup) he called Gipsy Rose. He'd then have breakfast in the café at work providing he didn't arrive during an electrical emergency.
The thirty-four year old lean Australian with a leathery face from spending too much time in the sun, hiking, kayaking and fishing, gave some attention to Misty his black cat with one green and one brown eye. He checked the crap he'd taken from the mailbox, put a slow roast in the oven and then took his coffee and sat on the front veranda under the corrugated iron roof overhang.
A couple of minutes later he heard the music, female voices actually. The three women never stopped talking and frequently spoke over each other but all three mothers were pretty and in warm weather displayed their tits under their smiles, er partly exposing the flesh, and these were things that appealed to Duke. He was a bachelor and his loneliness was why he regarded their chatter as being musical whereas married guys would call it something like 'the squawking of friggin' hens'.
"Good afternoon ladies," he called cheerily. "Now which one of you shall I have instead of dessert tonight?"
Although he used that line at least once of month they giggled politely and chorused, "Hello Duke."
He liked Gina best. When she talked excitedly she threw her hands about and that make her heavy tits lurched back and forth. Fortunately she had a big ass for counterbalance otherwise the sudden shift of volume mass would have sent the poor woman sprawling. Her kids were Marco and Lisa. She had the boisterous kind of laugh that tickled Duke's spine. Yeah he could really go a few rounds with Gina. She often unnerved him, giving him that quick glance that incorporated that special look women had when on heat.
Debra was always fussing with her blonde hair and she looked interesting with a hand lifted to fiddle that projected her cute 34s forward that currently were increasing in size. She had Melissa at school and was pregnant with either Basil or Wendy. She had a bubbling personality that scored big points with Duke, and probably her husband for that matter, but Gina was out on her own for natural sexiness.
Gretchen was a Hun, who'd arrived in the country as a young teenager and her family settled in Western Australia. She later married a miner and he came here to Thompson to become a senior operations engineer in the gold mining operation. Her boobs were visible, but only just, and she was the intellectual one of the three and whatever she said made the others think, well that was Duke's assessment from the few moments each time they went by each school day.
"Duke has your mail order bride from Russia arrived yet," she joked.
Gina and Debra stopped abruptly and looked at the mother of Pauline and Frederick before looking up at Duke, waiting for the answer.
"I wrote the letter but ran out of stamps," he said. "Could you bring some stamps round tonight, say about 10 o'clock?"
"In your dreams," Gretchen snorted and that didn't end the matter.
Gina said, "I'll bring the stamps. Tell me what you want?"
Duke heard Gretchen or Debra whisper he'd want more than stamps.
The women hovered uncertainly.
Duke said kindly, "Gretchen was only joking Gina. There is no letter but thank you for your offer. It was so neighbourly of you."
The three women giggled and flashed glances at Duke, Gina looking at him the longest. Off they went to wait outside the primary school gates for their children to be released.
Fifteen minutes later they walked by again.
"Hi Mr Caine," came the ragged call and he said hi kids and asked what was the news for that day.
Pauline the oldest kid said, "I received my proficiency certificate for pool lifesaving today."
"Oh great Pauline, well done," Duke said and he heard Gretchen say Pauline hadn't told her that and Pauline said she'd been saving the news for Mr Caine.
Duke jumped off the deck and pulled out a two-dollar coin and handed it across to the smiling 12-year-old.
"You shouldn't, that's spoiling her," Gretchen frowned but she relaxed when Duke grinned and said he knew that.
Gina's boy Marco asked, "How do I stop one of my friends being bashed by a bigger kid?"
"Well it's risky to jump in but you should discuss this with your mother and father. Ask them should you call your friends to jump in together and pull the bigger kid away."
"Why should I ask them when you're the one with the brains?"
"You mum is very intelligent and your father must have had the brains to become the great centre he was when he played rugby league and played for Australia in two games Marco. You are lucky to have such good parents."
"How do you know about my father?" asked the nine-year-old.
"Because he's famous in this parts and there are photos of him and his jersey and player's medals are in a glass case at Mulligan's Pub. That's why I know. Now kids when are get home ask your mum what jobs you can do to help her. Not many kids think of doing that as it will make you special."
The three mums looked at Duke, each with a different expression, all unfathomable.
"Thank you for my two bucks Mr Caine."
"Thank you Pauline. You'll probably be a good swimmer but I expect you may really star as a tennis player. I was helping put in new windows into the tennis club pavilion last Saturday morning and saw you receiving coaching. And then later as your coach sat watching you absolutely cleaned out that older kid who looked very athletic."
"Thank you Mr Caine. I love tennis and find it easier than swimming."
Gretchen clucked, "You are putting ideas into that girl's head."
The kids were already walking off and lowering his voice Duke said, "Gretchen I'm willing to bet you $500 bucks or alternatively if you lose you can clean my house for twelve months that Pauline will be in the junior girl's team for New South Wales Country within months of her turning fourteen. That is if she continues to get the coaching."
"That's bullshit," Debra said.
"Easy Debs," Gina smiled. "Romeo here was a New South Wales schoolboy tennis champion before he became a professional Rugby League player and even these days our club pro is the only one around here who can beat him at tennis."
Gretchen appeared impressed. "I'll see to it Pauline gets all the coaching she needs if that's what she wants Duke."
"You're a great mom," Duke said, and looking at Gina said, "Thanks for your support and oh, great boobs too. Oh Jesus, what am I saying?"
Gina looked at him open mouthed.
Duke blurted, "I was hit by madness Gina. I apologize." He then ran up the steps and into the house, feeling mortified.
The women had progressed three properties along Cullen Street and Duke could still hear them chortling. God what had made him think out aloud?
Later the house phone went. Well at least that meant it wasn't a mine emergency.
"Hi it's Gina."
"I've asked the girls not to repeat to anyone what you said about my breasts. I need you to know I'm not offended. In fact it was quite the nicest thing any male apart from Bruce has said to me in years. You're a very lovely guy Duke. Bye."
"Thanks for those reassuring words Gina. Good evening."
Just over a week later the house phone went, causing Duke to mutter, "Jesus two calls in the month. I might have to get a second phone to handle the volume."
"Hello, Duke Caine speaking."
Duke, the baby of his family, wondered which one was this of his three sisters' kids, although the voice was obviously female.
"Call me Duke. Everyone does."
"Hi Duke, you sound as if you don't know which of your nieces I am?"
"Of course I do?"
"Oh yeah," she giggled.
Duke squirmed. The little bitch had him by the balls. He urged himself to think quickly. This kid was probably nearby and alone, wanting to come and stay. Most of the nieces would be too young to be let loose. So chances were it was the eldest niece...
"Oh good boy. I'm actually Angela's best friend Nikki. You did well to guess it might have been Angela.
"It was a lucky guess Nikki."
"I sort of guessed that but I bet it was said on the back of reasoning. So why am I calling?"
Duke wondered why this kid was bothering him. Well he had the time to talk.
"Two possible reasons, either you are short of money or are looking for a bed. My guess is bed."
"Good guess. I'm finding Sydney a bit terrifying as it's not at all like the township near our sheep farm in New Zealand or our servicing town of 10,000 people where I worked. I knew to expect that of course but being unaccompanied I feel more than a little vulnerable. I also expected to walk into a job but that just hasn't happened. If I go home early with my tail down dad will say he'd told me so and my friends will laugh and tease me."
"So you wish to come here to get your second wind before trying again?"
"Yes if I may."
"I'm not living with anyone so there is no chaperone."
"I'm sure you can trust me."
"It's a joke Duke. All I can say is if you can't keep your hands off me that will be okay.
"Thanks but my reputation here would take a hit. I'm known as the moral and nice bachelor."
"That's what you believe."
"Yes but based on some evidence."
"Well you can decide to tell me to buzz off, end of problem."
"Yeah good idea but since you are Nikki's best friend and are alone and apprehensive in the Big Smoke of Sydney I guess Nikki and her mom would want me to take some responsibility and your mom too. Look, get to the Sydney Railway Station early tomorrow and buy a ticket on the Countrylink XPT train leaving at 7:10. It will arrive at Orange, all being well, at noon. I'll meet you at Orange. Take my cell phone number and call me if you miss the train or decide to take a later one."
"Okay, give me the number. It will be great seeing you again although you probably don't remember me because you'll be an old man now."
Duke sighed. Kids.
Duke took Misty with him as the cat liked to travel or probably liked being in his company. It was a two-hour drive to Orange and on the way he attempted to work out how old Angela was because Nikki had been in her class at high school so they would be the same age. He eventually gave up, thinking probably nineteen or twenty. He sent everyone money for birthdays and Christmas so had no reason to know how old the kids were. Also if he remembered correctly Nikki was tall and skinny with knocking knees and freckles. So looking like that how could she feel threatened in Sydney? The place was teeming with good-looking broads and even most of the street prostitutes looked okay although were not someone to take home to mother?
Before he'd ended that call with Nikki she said she'd stand on the platform with a newspaper under her arm. She said she was reading a detective romance set in the 1930s in London and that's what the heroine did when waiting on Charing Cross Station for the hero. He suggested it would be more conventional for her to wear a red hat with a white rose clipped to it and she'd just giggled and said he was funny.
Duke arrived a few minutes late to find the train had been and gone and the single one-sided platform was largely cleared. He saw a woman with a newspaper under her arm but she was wearing a red hat and was at least twenty-two and looked beautiful with great tits.
"Stupid bitch... she either missed the train or has wandered off," he grouched. He decided to wait near the toilets thinking Nikki must have gone in to, er, powder her nose, when he heard a woman call, "Hey Duke. Snubbing me eh?"
Jesus, he thought astounded. That caller could only be the young woman in the red hat.
He turned and waited for her, not knowing what to do with his hands and then wondered did he kiss his niece's best friend who'd miraculously grown into a young woman or just shake her hand. He found he didn't have to worry.
Pulling two bags on wheels, she stopped in front of him and taking off the cheap straw hat said, "Aren't you going to kiss me?"
"Y-you are all grown up?"
"Ohmigod, you know Angela is twenty-three so I must be twenty-three or thereabouts. What did you expect?"
Knocked off his perch of certainty, Duke went to scratch his nuts but tugged an ear instead and he was about to check out her tits when the cheeky young bitch said, "Angela was obviously wrong about you being the brains of her mom's family."
Duke grabbed her and gave her a peck on the cheek.
She grabbed him, pulled him forward and gave him a wet kiss on the lips and was cheeky again.
"God do I have to teach you to kiss while living with you?"
He decided to show who was boss. He looked at her breasts and said nice tits and prepared to grab a swinging slapping arm. But she being a country kid raised on a farm out-smarted him and kneed towards his groin but pulled up short, only just short.
"Jesus," he said, feeling blood drain from his face and she cackled in laughter and he thought well so she should. She could have brought him to his knees in agony.
"I like you already grown-up Nikki," he smiled, eating humble pie but she smiled and kissed him ever so sweetly.
Jesus. He'd have to chain himself to his bed at nights in case he awoke feeling lusty and went looking for it. Although he was a bachelor that didn't mean he didn't go after sex.
He took one of the suitcases on wheels and she hooked his arm through his.
"You look real cool with that tanned face framed by your curly sandy hair and blue eyes that I guess constantly undress women. How did I look?"
"Good. Your tits appear to sit at the same height and your other curves appear as enhancements to your body but surely I ought not be talking to my niece's friend like this?"
"Oh but I'm not your niece... and she is about one and a half thousand miles away from here and won't know what's going on."
"Oh yeah. So I may talk sexy to you and, um, touch you?"
"Yes I suppose so," she said nonchalantly but squeezing his arm against the side of her breast.
While wondering exactly what was her definition of 'touching' he stopped and wheezed, "We've overshot the exit."
They backtracked, laughing.
Nikki winced as he tossed the two cases into the tray of the ute. She went to open her door and said in surprise, "Oh god, you travel with a cat instead of a dog?"
"Yeah do you know how to open a car door? Aussie guys don't open doors for shelias unless they are wanting something but usually they make exceptions for their mother or the infirm."
He was ignored. Nikki climbed in and patted her knee and Misty jumped up and purred.
"Jesus Misty usually gets bitchy with strangers."
Nikki ignored that and said she hoped Misty was wormed and fleaed.
"Yeah I treat Misty better than many women care for their children."
"Have you any idea what children are or how to react to them?"
Duke decided to let that one ride. She'd learn something that afternoon.
He'd taken most of the day off but called his deputy at the mine and was told everything was going swimmingly."
"And you haven't created any fuck-ups Ned?"
Nikki smiled when she heard the guy replied, "Get off my arse Duke."
Well they were miners.
When they drove on to the pebble drive to park beside the house Nikki gaped, "But this is the best-looking house on the street from what I've seen."
"Yeah, yeah. When a guy doesn't have a nagging wife and kids pestering him he can give a bit of time to house maintenance and home improvements."
"You're a craftsman Duke... I can pick out some of the improvements including extensions. God look at the balance you have achieved with I guess new filigrees and fretwork for barge trims, gables, veranda brackets, gable vents, window canopies and those beautiful friezes are probably new additions and all working in harmoniously."
"Yeah, yeah," Duke said, scratching his balls in embarrassment as Nikki followed Misty on to the front veranda.
"That trim is either external grade plywood or western red cedar for longevity. The exterior is double brick. I cut in some new windows with double glazing and I lifted the roof a metre and built a new roof structure and ran the iron roofing out over the front porch, making that into a full veranda and ran sub verandas down both sides and insulated everything heavily... are you listening?" he snorted.
""Yeah, yeah," she laughed, aping what appeared to be one of his favourite responses if he felt cornered. "I can't wait till I get inside and see what you did after gutting the interior."
Mystified he asked, "How can you tell from outside that the interior was extensively gutted?"
"I'm a qualified draftswoman Duke. I prepare working drawings for architects. You wouldn't have demolished the old roof without ripping walls asunder down below unless you were an ape man hanging off a tree."
Duke was becoming very impressed with Miss Armstrong and felt a desire to pat her tight-looking butt.
Nikki picked up Misty who offered no protest and waited for Duke to unlock.
"Go in, it's not locked. Way out here we shoot intruders. The word got around and know we have no intruders to shoot."
Nikki turned the brass door handle and walked in and gaped at the open plan living and the soaring ceilings. The dark polished wood flooring had scattered rugs on it in places and the sofas and chairs were leather and new and the TV set up was appropriate for a bachelor, the screen being even bigger than the one her father had purchased recently.
"This is truly magnificent," Nikki marvelled. "You must have some very good trades people here in Thompson."
"I did all the work myself apart from reconnecting to the sewer and electricity services and of course hired help with the roofing and had to use a registered guy to connect the gas appliances and to install the reverse cycle air-conditioning."
"Oh you are a clever man."
She giggled as Duke shuffled in embarrassment.
They went down the central hallway.
"I converted two bedrooms on this side to the one master bedroom with en suite and dressing room and made the two bedrooms on this other side smaller to add a shared bathroom between them."
"Where's the laundry, inconveniently placed out in a garden shed?"
"No in the kitchen. I'm a bachelor with no known kids."
"Oh yes, of course. I daresay brilliantly positioned in that case. You can always add an laundry extension at the back if you plan to sell to a family."
Nikki began turning into the main bedroom with the bag she was now carrying.
"Um I want you to think deeply about this Nikki. Your mom could maim you and kill me."
"That's an exaggeration. She'll get use to the idea when she finds out. I spent four hours on the train thinking about being shafted by you and attempting to work out possible repercussions and decided mom and dad wouldn't like me sleeping with someone so old as you and my boyfriend wouldn't be happy about it but he's not happy about many things. So I decided to go ahead and sleep with you. I hope you know how to fuck but I guess I can coach you."
Duke patted his genitals affectionately and openly. He enjoyed watching the kid's eyes widen and slowly the tip of her tongue protruded through her lips.
"M-may we have coffee?" she asked hoarsely.
He checked his watch and said it will be served on the front veranda in ten minutes. "You unpack and choose which side of the bed you want. You may have to remove videos from the top drawer of the bedside cabinet if you take the left-hand side."