In Dreams Ch. 03byDenham_Forrest©
As I began to waken the following morning, just as I reached that senseless half-awake half-asleep state where one usually finds you are wondering what day of the week it is. Well, I kind-a found that I was more than a little reluctant to actually open my eyes.
And for more reasons than the two that I'd instantly become acutely aware of, because I could actually feel their warm bodies against mine.
Yeah well, if you're old enough, have ever been lucky enough (and have been around the park a few times) to be able to recognize that unmistakable sensation of having two females sharing your bed with you; then one might have some clue as to what I'm talking about.
There was definitely no mistaking the fact that there was one shapely and very warm body snuggled up tight against my back and yet another pair of breasts pressing against my chest. I could also feel someone's warm breath on my face.
Please remember that I had been a bachelor -- who'd ostensibly lived alone -- for many years. But waking on the odd morning to find a warm body snuggling up close had not been a particularly unusual experience for me; if you get my drift. And I'm definitely not talking about Maud Clegg when I say that!
However I'd often found that successfully recalling the young woman's in questions correct name... Well now, that's a whole different ball game, after a good few bevvies...
Yeah-well, names have never been a strong point of mine.
So you see, on that particular morning, I had a few more important things to ruminate upon; besides those insane bloody dreams! And luckily, I was at least with-it enough, to prevent my hands from going exploring, if you get my drift.
You see, as the morning twilight turned to daylight, I lay there wondering if... Well look, if I could dream about Tara being stood on the quay that day, and all that followed after that... Well then, what the bloody hell was there to stop me dreaming about the accident and waking up in hospital to find Ottilie had come looking for me. And er, well, also discovering that I had a daughter, that I kind-a knew about from the first dream... Oh come on, you surely can understand what I'm raving on about here!
You see, there was yet another very obvious scenario, that sprang into my mind. One that -- over the years -- had happened to me, maybe a little too often; if I'm being completely honest.
Dreams, both pleasant and unpleasant of my youth, including Ottilie, had not been that uncommon for me. Not many really if you add them all up, but enough to... well, set my mind off down what might be calculated to be a more obvious path. There was the distinct possibility that I could have hooked up with a... or even a couple of lookers from the charter party the day before and... Okay, and maybe I had got carried away with the occasion, and probably tied one on a bit; in all the excitement.
I knew from experience that too much hard liquor does tend to fog one's memory of what exactly what had occurred the night before, and I was well aware that alcohol can also lead to some pretty off-the-wall dreams, or even nightmares on occasion, as well!
So you see, I was lying there that morning not daring to open my eyes; wondering about just everything.
And yes, I did have a headache. Only on reflection, I realised that it wasn't so much a hangover type headache; it was more a "Jesus I'm bloody knackered!" type of headache.
Eventually I dared to open one my eye just a fraction and (much to my relief) instantly recognised Ottilie's face smiling back at me.
I suppose my body language must have advertised that relief to Ottilie in some way, because she appeared to instinctively know what I'd been thinking.
"Feeling better, now that you know that it is me you're in bed with?" Ottilie whispered, as I kissed her on the tip of her nose.
"Oh come on, Taylor; I'm not daft. You're a handsome, virile and exceptionably eligible young man. Just look at this place, I really can't believe it. That you're still single that is!"
"Ottie I don't..."
"Taylor there's signs of all of your conquest's tucked away all over this room. Oh, and I wasn't spying honestly! I was looking for your PJ's"
"My pyjamas? Oh, that's what you've got on."
I'll admit that I had been a little curious about Ottilie's night attire; what I could see of it.
"The top, yes; you've got the bottoms on. I figured we might have company when we woke-up this morning, and we have!"
"Ah got you! I was kind of wondering myself... well, if you're there, then who is it behind me. Mind you, there was only one possible candidate on the list. But I don't recall putting these trucks on. But then again, I'm not sure I can recall much of last evening after you produced that third bottle of Champagne. That stuff don't agree with me, you know."
"So I noticed; but you were hitting the rum harder than the bubblies. And you didn't put your... trucks on, I did! You were... Well, I hate to say this, but I think I wore you out last night. It had been a long time Taylor and I... well, not for a long time anyway. However I am pleased to be able to say, that you weren't out of practice.
"Better than I remember, if anything. I suppose that's down to all the training you've been putting in."
"Oh yeah, I seem to recall a rather energetic workout now." I said, desperate to move that conversation away from the direction Ottilie appeared to be steering it in.
"A little more than energetic Taylor, you... Well, let's just say, that I had a night I won't forget in a hurry!"
"Oh Christ, but did we...? well, are you on the.... you know?"
"Isn't it about sixteen years too late to worry about those kinds of niceties, daddy?" Tara's voice asked from behind me.
Then, when I turned my head to try and look at her, Tara raised herself up, gave me a mocking smile and then kissed me on the cheek. Then leaning right over me she kissed and said good morning to her mother.
"You're still supposed to be asleep, young lady!" I retaliated.
"Not much chance of that, if you two are awake. I'll leave you to... well, to do whatever you need to do this morning. Please don't take all day about it though; I could do with some breakfast. See you later parents!"
As Tara was speaking, she had climbed over both Ottilie and myself, and then after throwing us a last cheeky grin she exited the room; firmly closing the door behind her.
Mind, as she did so, I realised that I was going to have to do something about the squeaky springs in my supposedly antique bed. Something that had never proved to be a problem when I'd lived alone of course. Company or not, there had never been anyone else in the house to hear the noise. Who wasn't actually sharing it with me, if you get my drift?
"Am I going to have trouble with that daughter of ours?" I asked.
"I don't think so Taylor. You know she's wanted her father for so long, that probably the noise this bed of yours made during the night, assured her that... Well, I am not likely to be letting you get away again, am I?"
"Ottilie, it's been a long time; I might have changed. How can you be so sure you're going to like this Taylor Carson?"
"You're not kidding you've changed; so much more considerate in bed to start with!" Ottilie grinned at me.
"I hate to have to be the one who has to point this out to you, sweetheart. But we've never actually been in a proper bed together before!"
"Oh you're so right, Taylor. I must have been thinking of someone else."
"And that's supposed to imply?"
"Well, hopefully it will bring us to discussing that bloody great elephant!"
"You've kind-a lost me there, kiddo."
"The elephant in the room, Taylor... The man I married, William Morris! The person you seem to be so nonchalant about."
"Ah now, I've been dreading this one. And, I was hoping to avoid it, if I possibly could."
"Because basically I'm a coward when it comes to all this... emotional stuff. And your life... well, your love life at least, with Bill Morris, is of no interest to me. I'm pretty well pissed-off that he knocked you... and Tara, about, and should our paths ever cross in the future; then I'll let the bugger know exactly how annoyed I really am about that. But there's little else about that relationship I wish to hear about."
"Ottilie. Did you love him?"
"Well, I suppose I sort-a thought I loved him for a while. But I knew I didn't love him in the same way or anything like as much as I'd always loved you. When I agreed to marry Bill, I liked him, but that's about all. And Tara needed a father!
"I suppose I'd have to admit to you, that after we were married, I did begin to fall in love with Bill. You can't live with someone as man and wife, for several years and not have a special bond develop between you. I suppose that's how all those arranged marriages work!
"But then suddenly, just after he graduated from Uni, Bill turned funny and began to resent Tara; which I thought was very strange. Bill was swearing undying love for me one minute, and apparently doting over Tara. The next, he began to resent the one reason that I'd agreed to marry him in the first place, our Tara!
"Do you know why?"
"Not really. Tara and I suspect that it could have been for one of a couple of reasons. But I had made it very clear to Bill before I accepted his proposal; that the only reason I was marrying him was because... Well, I thought..."
"Your parents thought; you mean!"
"Yes, you're right, Taylor. They sort-of convinced me that Tara needed a father and that you weren't interested in the job. If I'd only seen you on that bus that day..."
"Life is full of ifs.... and buts, Ottie."
"That's right, but why aren't you... I don't know... pissed-off, that I married William Morris. And... shared... myself with him as I did with you, last night!"
"Ah now, that's hitting bellow the belt, Ottie. I'm annoyed about it, but I think I can understand why you married Bill Morris in the first place. If you don't mind I'd prefer not to think about any... conjugal issues that might pertain to that... er, situation though. In short, yes, I am bloody jealous of the bugger!
"And besides, although I never got married... Well, as you so delicately pointed out to our daughter this morning. No one could claim that I've been celibate for the last..."
"Yes I know, Mina and Totto. Uncle Percy made that quite clear to me!" She grinned.
"And you're not annoyed?"
"Good heavens no! That could be construed, as the kettle calling the pot black, couldn't it? Wasn't there an old song, something about if you can't be with the one you love; then love the one you're with?
"So I can understand that, but I'll admit that I'm more than a little Jealous of those two; more than I am about any of your so obvious more recent conquests. Do any of them live locally by the way; are we likely to run into anyone who thinks she's staked her claim?"
"I don't believe so, Ottilie. Why do you ask?"
"I don't know really. Maybe I thought I might be able to prove something to you, if I showed you that I was prepared to fight for my man!"
"No, you won't have to do that. Good old Carson's, alright to have some fun with, but most females around here think I don't take the institution of marriage seriously enough to make it worth their while working on a long term relationship with him."
"Well a couple of the women I've... had the odd encounter with, were not... strictly eligible, if you get my drift."
A confused expression had come over Ottilie's face; so I continued.
"Holiday romances Ottie. Some women like to forget that they are married when they are away on holiday; without hubby!"
"How would you know, if they didn't wear their wedding rings?"
"Usually a ring leaves a... well, shadow, and... well, most of the local guys keep their eyes open for that little white mark around that finger. It's like an advert that the female is looking for a bit of strange. Besides that, where would they get all the kids from, if they weren't married; and who the hell is paying for their trip if they are divorced? Widows and divorcees who are not actively... well they, tend to keep wearing their wedding rings, by the way."
"They do Ottie. You'd never make a seaside gigolo, you know."
"Is that what you've been?"
"No, well I hope I haven't. Although I can't claim that I've ever been one to pass-up on a sure thing. Christ, I'm only human! Here, I thought that you were telling me why you thought Morris turned all uppity on you, anyway?"
"Oh yeah, sorry. Well, after Bill graduated, my dad got him a job on the management of Ballard's. Poor Bill, he never was the brightest light on the Christmas tree and he always did have a pretty inflated opinion of his own capabilities back then.
"Bill had no idea of diplomacy; I should imagine he stormed into Ballard's thinking that he knew it all, and rubbed his subordinates... bloody hell, most likely he rubbed everyone up the wrong way. I know he upset a lot of the other managers; they complained to my father about him.
"Anyway instead of being a new broom that whipped his department into line. Very quickly strange and unexpected things began to go wrong for Bill, and somehow things kept going wrong; from what I understand from my father.
"I think that my father made things worse for Bill, by stopping him getting fired right at the start. When it became obvious that he couldn't handle the job.
"Everyone at Ballard's knew that the only reason Bill had got that job in the first place was because he was Frank Thorn's son-in-law. I believe they... well, I don't think people would have minded that so much, if Bill had been able to handle the position. The truth is that he couldn't, he was completely out of his depth and I suspect they did everything they could to undermine him.
"I also know that at least one person there did their homework. Someone must have worked out that Tara was more likely to be your daughter than Bill's. And they let Bill know that they knew."
"How would they know that; did he tell you?"
"No, Taylor. I think it was Tara's age, and how long Bill and I had been married. All those delicate details were on Bill's personnel file after all and I think some vicious bugger must have gained access to them."
"Anyway, after I had the police remove Bill from the house; I went nosing around his computer and found... well, some rather nasty emails. Anonymous of course. In brief they claimed that you and I were still... Well, getting at it!"
"How did they know about me in the first place?"
"Taylor, when we were young; everyone around our way had heard of Taylor Carson, even if they'd never clapped eyes on him. It was also common knowledge that you and I had been... an item, since the year dot!"
"Not quite, Ottie."
"Near enough Taylor. At least one person in the management at Ballard's must have worked it out anyway. And they made it their business to let Bill think... I can't believe that it actually was a widely known fact. Anyway, Bill began to believe everyone he worked with was talking about him behind his back. He thought that they knew that he was raising Taylor Carson's child.
"I believe that was what pushed Bill down the drink road, and when he was drinking he didn't do much thinking... or maybe he thought too much. Eventually he lost it, and I ended up in St Thomas's."
"If I'd known about that..."
"Taylor, you don't have to say it. I know what Taylor Carson's reaction would have been, had he known what was going on. I've seen you in action, more times than I care to remember; if I'm being honest!"
"And the other reason Bill got uppity? You implied that there was more than one."
"Oh yes, Tara's theory. Well Taylor, it would appear that I sometimes talk... mumble really, in my sleep. I didn't know I did it until Tara told me that I did. Tara claims that she's heard me say the name Bouncer more than a few times. And she suggests that Bill must also have heard me say your name and maybe he got... well annoyed about that as well."
"I can understand that that wouldn't do much for a man's self-esteem. I... well one time, I was with a... anyway she called out someone else's name at a very inopportune moment. Kind a squashed my ego flat, I can tell you!"
For some reason me saying that brought a massive grin to Ottilie's face.
"Are we done with all that breast-beating malarkey now?" I asked her.
"If you're completely happy, yes!"
"I'm just happy that you and Tara are actually here this morning Ottie. I don't want to think about the past ever again."
"Okay then, Elvis has left the building."
I'm not sure what expression Ottilie saying that, brought to my face; but it caused her to add.
"The elephant has gone back to the zoo Taylor! What shall we do now?"
"Breakfast would be nice." I suggested.
"Yeah, but later." Ottilie replied, and pulled me real close.
Some -- indeterminate -- time later, I staggered down stairs to find that everyone else -- except Ottilie and myself -- had already eaten. They (including Maud) were all out in the yard watching my new friend (from the hospital), George's young lad, John, mowing what I used to loosely describe, as my lawn.
Ottilie and I did not join them; we snuck into the kitchen and prepared our... brunch. Then we sat there like a couple of teenagers, giggling about nothing, as we ate it.
"I'd have cooked that for you." Maud said when she joined us a little later.
"Sorry Maud, but I needed to prove to my man that I do know how to feed him." Ottilie replied.
"I..." was as far as got when Maud cut in with.
"Taylor, be quiet man! In the kitchen Ottilie's in charge... when I'm not here that is! Honestly Ottilie, he's positively dangerous in here. How he has never poisoned himself or burnt the bloody house down, I just don't understand! I'm forever throwing out-of-date stuff out of his cupboards. And don't trust him shopping for food either, especially if he's hungry. Taylor will buy anything he can eat in the car on the way home, and forget to buy what he went to shop for in the first place."
"Par for the course!" Ottilie replied.
"I think I'll go and see how young John's getting on with that old lawnmower." I said, and made a quick exit.
By the way the lawnmower wasn't old, I'd bought it (discounted) at the end of the previous season.
Tara greeted me with a hug and a kiss when I joined the others outside. Yes, I had ignored the conversation that I knew was going on in the kitchen. The sooner Ottilie learnt of all my... failings the better, as far as I was concerned.
We had lunch at the pub (well Ottilie and I had a liquid lunch) and then the six of us (Maud having gone home from there) walked down to Parson's boatyard to inspect Quiet Times.
Not really the damage, because the repairs were almost complete; there was just a few layers of varnish that needed to harden. The longer it can be left to dry, the better.
I learnt that there had been some suspicion that Quiet Times stern gear might have sustained some minor damage while it was being moved from above the old biddie's car. A manoeuvre necessary to facilitate the removal of said "obstruction to navigation" from the harbour I was informed. The harbour master had been in somewhat of a hurry to do that, or so I'm told.
Whatever, some of the boys took her straight to Parson's boatyard for safety's sake. Who in turn had lifted her out of the water so that the old biddie's insurance company's loss adjusters could inspect her. There was some minor damage to the rudder, more than likely sustained when Quiet Times scraped the bottom at sometime in the past. But who's to know for sure?
Then, because the insurance company had accepted responsibly for rudder as well as the damage to foreword cabin roof, and a few scrapes on her side. Old man Parsons had got on with the repairs while the getting was good, so to speak. He figured (correctly) that I would want Quiet Times back in the water as soon as I was well enough to use her again.