I am deeply indebted to PickyKinky for her editing, suggestions and generally helping to make this a better story. The story was inspired by photographs of the lovely Vanessa from the amateur pics thread on the forum. It is, of course a work of pure fiction and any resemblance between my characters and any person, living or dead, is completely coincidental
19 September 1998:
The barbeque was well underway, the food cooked and the beer was flowing, for those that could drink. Parked up in the dunes were a dozen or more motorbikes. It was the annual event for the bike club to end the season. Not so much a club, more a group of friends with a love of bikes. The life guards had left the beach and the tide was in driving the group to the edge of the dunes.
Geoff, a tall broad shouldered man with a full beard and in his mid forties, noticed her first. He knew something was odd when she turned up on the beach. Her long denim skirt, thick sweater and long overcoat would have been less out of place on a cold winter night. On this unseasonably balmy early autumn evening, with people still walking around in swim suits, she stood out like a sore thumb. Geoff walked over to her and invited her to join them. As she looked up at him he recognised something. The unkempt hair, the sunken eyes that looked as though they hadn't slept in days. All of this reminded him of something he'd seen before in the none to distant past.
She turned down the invitation and moved further down the beach. As Geoff went back to his friends he got some ribbing from them. Lenny was especially vocal as he put his arm around his friend's shoulders.
"Come on now Geoff, you're not so desperate you have to try to pick up a bag lady."
"She's no bag lady Lenny, She may look a mess, but those clothes are expensive. I don't know what the problem is but she looks very troubled."
A prime example of the changes in the biking community, Lenny was six feet tall, broad shouldered with a shaved head. By day he was known as Leonard Wiltshire and wore a pinstriped suit. Not that he liked it but a stock broker's clients expected a sober dress code. Evenings and weekends he was out on the bike dressed in his leathers and a bandanna covering his shaved head; when it wasn't covered by a helmet. He was a smooth operator and looked after Geoff's investments. Geoff was more than just a client though, he was a friend and a fellow biker.
"She's not your problem. Now come on back to the party, I'm sure we can fix you up with some female company."
As the beach party continued, Geoff kept an eye on the woman down the beach. He had no problem finding girls to dance with and even some mild snogging. Even so the vagrant woman still occupied his mind. As darkness fell the party broke up. They gathered up the rubbish and dropped it in the back of Geoff's pickup truck. One by one the bikes started up and disappeared into the night. As soon as the last person left he made his way through the dunes to where the woman sat on the sand. She appeared to be waiting for something or someone. The surf crashed on the beach and showed up white in the moonlight. As the tide retreated she got up and started walking towards the water. She reached the water's edge and continued to walk straight ahead. This is what Geoff had been afraid of. When he first saw her face he knew where he'd seen the look before. Two years before he'd caught sight of himself in a mirror and seen that very same look. As she walked into the water he knew what he had to do.
Running down the beach towards her Geoff knew what she was going to do and he'd be damned if he'd let it happen. He tore his clothes off as he ran towards her. The water was over her knees, soaking the heavy denim skirt, as Geoff reached the water's edge. He called out to her but if she heard him she took no notice. As the waves started to crash on her thighs Geoff dived into the water and swam towards her. The coat and skirt were soaked and hung heavily on her. She was about to throw herself forward into the retreating tide when Geoff stood up behind her and grabbed her around the waist.
Startled by his sudden appearance the woman started to scream while struggling to break free. Geoff shouted to make himself heard above the sound of the waves crashing to the shore.
"I'm sorry I can't let you do this."
"Leave me alone. I want to die." The woman screamed back at him.
"If we go out any further the tide will catch us and we'll both drown. Is that what you want?" He turned her round to face him.
"Let me go. I don't want to live anymore."
"If you go out there, I'll have to try and rescue you. I'm not a good swimmer and with this tide running we'll probably both die. Please, save my life and come out of the water."
Her hands came up to her mouth, as she looked straight until his sultry eyes and felt the tears roll down her cheeks and a succession of deep sobs forced their way from her stomach.
Geoff put his arms around her and hugged her to his chest as they stood there in the surf. For several minutes they battled against the waves to stay upright, then Geoff led her back to the dry sand. As they made their way back up towards the dunes he picked up the clothes he'd scattered across the beach. He knew he couldn't leave her. He had to get her away from the beach. He lifted the sodden coat from her shoulders.
"I think this coat is ruined. The skirt may be salvageable, but the sweater has probably had it. Either way you'd better get out of them, if the wind gets up you'll be frozen. Here put on my jeans and sweat shirt. I've got a jacket in the pick up, I can wear that and my swimming costume."
They looked at each other for a few seconds and the woman reached to unfasten her skirt. She looked at Geoff expectantly.
"Well go on then -- turn around."
Geoff apologised and turned his back on her, hoping that she wouldn't make a break for it and return to the sea.
"It's alright you can look now."
He turned around and immediately burst out laughing. The jeans came down over her feet and she had to hold on to the waistband to stop them falling down. The sleeves of his sweat shirt covered her hands.
"I'm sorry for laughing, but that really is an outfit that fits only where it touches. Stand still and I'll roll the legs up. There's some rope in the pickup we can use as a belt."
He knelt before her and rolled up the legs of the jeans until she was no longer standing on them. When he got up he smiled at her.
"Now you've managed to work your way into my jeans, I think I deserve to know your name."
"It's Helen, Helen McAlister."
"Well Helen, Helen McAlister, My name's Geoff Cockburn and I'm pleased to meet you. Now let's find you a belt and get off this beach before it gets cold."
They walked to the pickup Geoff found the rope threaded it though the jeans and pulled it tight to her waist. They got into the truck and Geoff turned it around.
"Geoff, why are you doing this."
"Because I want to and --because I owe someone."
He would have said more but suddenly in the moonlight he saw something. A woman, tall athletic wearing a white one piece swimsuit. She reached up and pushed her long dark hair back from her face as she strode out of the surf. He reached out putting his hand on Helen's leg and shaking it.
"Do you see that?" He pointed in the direction of the woman.
"See what? I can only see the waves and the sand."
Geoff looked again. There was nothing there and certainly no one. He sat quiet for a moment shaking his head.
"Geoff are you alright?"
"I'm fine," he said as he snapped himself back to reality. "Now I'm willing to bet you've not eaten in a while. Since you wouldn't eat any of our burgers or sausages, I'm going to treat you to the best fish and chips in the whole of Cornwall."
Geoff set off on the road to Padstow. He looked across at Helen from time to time trying to gauge her state of mind. He hoped he was doing the right thing. Showing her kindness, caring for her must do something he thought. She'd shown no interest in what they were doing and just let it happen. It was as if nothing could make things any worse.
"What do you mean, you owe someone?"
"Someone did something for me a while ago. I can't pay them back so I'm paying it forward. I can't really tell you while I'm driving. Ask me about it later."
"Where are we going?"
"Padstow, for Fish and Chips."
They continued in silence until Geoff pulled into a parking space. He jumped from the cab and walked around and opened the passenger door.
"Out you get. We've arrived."
Helen looked at the shop front. "I thought you said fish and chips. I've heard of this place. It's a restaurant run by that TV chef. It's very grand and, I imagine, very expensive. I can't go in there dressed like this. I don't even have shoes on. They came off on the beach."
"Relax, it's a chip shop, his proper restaurant is across town. They know me here. Come on."
He took her arm and guided her towards the shop door. As they walked in, the man behind the counter greeted Geoff.
"Hi Geoff, can I expect the rest of the crowd tonight."
"Not tonight Brian, I'm just looking for a table for two."
"Sorry Geoff, the restaurant closed half an hour ago."
Geoff looked around at the empty shop. "Yeah Brian I can see you are rushed off your feet. Do you think maybe, if you get a minute, you could put some cod and chips on a plate for the lady and a chip butty for me? I'll even do the washing up."
Brian laughed."You do the washing up? That'll be the day. Do you want any drinks with that?"
"I'd like a cup of coffee and I think the lady might prefer a hot chocolate."
"Right you are Geoff, go and sit down and I'll bring them over."
They found a table and Geoff excused himself to go to the toilet. He returned to find the food on the table. He sat down and when Helen looked at him he noticed a change. Her eyes no longer looked dead. She was still far from right but something had changed.
"They think a lot of you here."
"Brian's a mate, a frustrated biker."
"Well the waitress speaks very highly of you."
"What waitress? The restaurant is closed."
"The girl who wiped the tables down. Tall girl, mid thirties, dark hair brown eyes, nice figure quite a pretty face."
Geoff looked around the empty restaurant. "Point her out to me."
"Well I can't, she's gone now, but she said very good things about you. Is there something wrong, you look a bit pale."
"The restaurant closed half an hour ago. All the staff have gone home. Brian is alone here."
"I can't help that. I know what happened. She was here and she was dressed as a waitress. I have to say with her looks she could do a lot better than waiting tables in a chip shop. We spoke, and when I told her I was here with you she smiled and said you were the nicest man she knew. It really happened I know I'm not imagining it."
"No I'm sure you're not. It's just that your description sounded like someone I used to know, but it couldn't possibly be her."
Geoff shook his head to clear it. He nodded towards her plate."Get stuck in and tell me what you think."
Geoff looked across; Helen was fast asleep in the seat beside him. She'd said she'd enjoyed her meal but hadn't been able to finish it. Now he was driving her back to his place for some much needed sleep. Helen obviously couldn't wait.
He'd expected her to wake when he stopped in his drive and switched off the engine. Helen just moved in the seat and continued to sleep. Gently closing the door of his truck Geoff walked up and opened his front door before returning for Helen. He lifted her from the seat and carried her up to the guest bedroom and laid her out on the bed. He untied the rope around her waist and pulled his jeans from her legs. Easing the sweat shirt off his gaze fell upon her body. She was really quite something, about 5ft 4 inches tall, slim shapely body pulled in nicely at the waist. Her breasts, although not small, were in perfect proportion to the rest of her body. Geoff remembered his father's saying.
"More than a handful is a waste son"
If dad was right she wasn't wasting much. Her skin was pale with freckles on her shoulders and down to the top of her breasts. Her bra was all silk and lace, skimpy and thin. He could see the shape of her nipples, erect because of the cold night air, showing through the thin silk. Geoff's gaze wandered down to the curve of her hips. Her panties were brief and pink. He could see the shadow of a strip of red hair through the thin fabric.
If you'd asked him to describe his ideal woman, it certainly wouldn't fit the one on the bed. He'd always said he preferred more meat on the bones, bigger tits and arse; someone more like his ex-wife, Jackie. So why was he getting a warm feeling in his chest and a hardening in his groin as he looked at this girl who must be ten years his junior. As she lay sleeping her face looked angelic, even framed, as it was, by her greasy uncombed red hair. "God you're beautiful, what fool damaged you so badly?" He thought. Covering her with the duvet, he got a towelling bathrobe from the wardrobe and hung it on the door.
"Sweet dreams fair princess" he whispered as he left the room.
Geoff left Helen sleeping, went back out and locked up his truck then settled down with a glass of wine. He wondered what had happened to put her into such a state. One thing he was sure of, it wasn't money. Even the quick glimpse of her underwear told him it was not cheap, all silk and lace if he was not mistaken. It reminded him of the lingerie Jackie used to wear.
For a moment he was back there, sitting on his bed in Richmond, watching Jackie dress to go out. Her foot was up on the bed as she smoothed her stockings slowly up her thigh, and attached the suspender. She ran her hands up over her hips and stomach until, cupping her breasts, she rubbed her thumb over her nipples; making them erect, and noticeable through her bra. She moved her foot back down to the floor, turned away from him and brought her hands down and ran them over her shapely bum. She gave one of the cheeks a slap as she looked back at him.
"See anything you fancy, big boy?" she asked.
Geoff tried to shake the thoughts from his head, He hadn't thought about Jackie for months. Now a new woman was in his house and the memories returned. But that was all they were memories. There was no longing, no regrets. She had betrayed him in the worst possible way but now it was history. The betrayal no longer dominated his thoughts and he was pleased that he could remember more pleasant times.
The image of Helen returned to occupy his thoughts. Once again, there was that warm feeling in his chest. Whatever the problem, it could wait until the morning. He put his jeans, sweat shirt and her skirt in the washing machine, set it to wash and dry and switched it on. By morning they'd be clean and dry.
He took himself off to bed where he reflected on the events of the day before picking up his book. Just after midnight his bedroom door opened.
"Oh! I'm sorry I...I was just checking it wasn't a dream." Helen had put on the robe he'd left in her room.
"Couldn't you sleep?" Geoff asked.
"I just woke up somewhere strange and I panicked. Did you undress me?"
"Yes, but I never touched your underwear. Your skirt is in the wash."
"Oh! I see, thank you." Helen blushed, and then continued. "I don't suppose you have something I can sleep in? I'd like to rinse my bra and pants. I don't have any clean ones."
"Sorry I haven't worn pyjamas since I was a kid. I have some nice long shirts with tails in the wardrobe and tee shirts in the second drawer down."
She went to the wardrobe and grabbed a shirt and went to the bathroom. Geoff heard the shower running as he settled down to sleep. Sometime later that he felt the bed move as she climbed in with him.
"Geoff, would you hold me please? I really need someone to hold me." She started to sob almost immediately. He took her in his arms and held her close as she cried. As the crying stopped Geoff turned over and she spooned into him.
"Thank god tomorrow's Sunday." Geoff thought to himself as they drifted off to sleep.
Geoff woke up alone, had a shower and made his way down to the kitchen, half expecting to be alone as normal. Instead he found Helen searching through cupboards. She'd already made coffee and toast.
"I was going to start breakfast but I didn't know what you liked. I was just trying to find something to iron my skirt. Do you have an iron and ironing board?"
Geoff went to the cupboard under the stairs and got out the required implements and took them to her.
"Thank you, my skirt is so full of creases I couldn't possibly wear it."
Geoff looked at her. His shirt never looked that good when he wore it. Her bare legs were long and shapely. She had her hair wrapped up in towel. In the light of day he could see her eyes were green and that her young, girlish, face was freckled.
"Egg and bacon OK for you?" he asked. She nodded and he started the cooking.
As they ate in silence Helen repeatedly looked into Geoff's eyes. She saw kindness there but also sadness. When he topped up the coffee he tried to get her to open up.
"So do you want to tell me about what led up to last night?"
"I don't want to burden you with my problems. You've done more than enough already. I should go."
"You can leave now, if that's what you want. It might be a bit difficult in only your skirt and your underwear. I'll drive you wherever you want to go." As she put the last piece of toast into her mouth Geoff glanced at her left hand. He noticed the gold wedding band, topped off with another holding a large sparkling diamond.
"I see you are married, do you want to call your husband and tell him where you are?"
At the mention of her husband she crying stared again. Geoff immediately knew what the problem was; he got up and stood beside her holding her face to his waist.
"So its husband troubles, what's he done?"
"I don't have a husband anymore, he's divorcing me."
Geoff sat down again and took her hands in his. He waited for her to control her sobbing.
"So that's what brought you to the beach last night?"
"Partly, I suppose. I don't know Geoff, this is so unlike me. I'm normally the one other people depend on. Can you believe that? I run a team of accountants devising custom made plans to help people pay less tax. Now here I am unable to cope with a marriage break up,
"There's nothing silly about that psychologists rate it as stressful as the death of a loved one. You didn't see any warning signs?"
None, Douglas and I had been married for ten years. I thought we were doing OK. We'd been trying to start a family, but without success. Three weeks ago he told me he was in love with someone else and he moved out."
"But that was three weeks ago. What's happened since then?"
"I saw him with her on Friday. They were going into Mothercare, she's pregnant. She's giving him the baby I couldn't. I don't know what got into me. I don't suppose a man can understand how it feels for a woman to know she must be infertile. He'd left me for someone who could give him the children he wanted."
"So you felt worthless and unloved?"
"I suppose so; I don't know how I felt really. Suddenly my reason for being was gone. I wasn't a whole woman. It didn't matter if I lived or died. I don't know why but I got on a train and ended up here."
"Do you still feel that way?"
"I don't know, I don't think so." She squeezed Geoff's hands."If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be here this morning, thank you. I am still alive, and I owe it to both of us to make the best of that."