Mack's Progress Ch. 10byDenham_Forrest©
As Lindsey had suggested there would be, there was a welcoming committee waiting for us at the Wherry. The riverside lights were on and a couple of the lads were waiting on the riverbank, ready to take the launch in hand and moor her securely for us. And, of course, to be the first at the Wherry to congratulate us on our engagement.
There was a party atmosphere for the rest of the evening with lots of hugs and kisses and congratulations for Lindsey and me from all of our regulars and their women. Although as soon as Lindsey got the chance she slipped into the kitchen to call her mother on the extension and give her the news.
When I eventually found time to call my mother, you'd have thought she'd been told that I'd won the pools or something. She went blabbering on listing everyone that she was going to have to call to give the news to, until my father came on the phone and told me that it was about time, that Lindsey was something special.
After that the telephone would ring again almost the second that it was put down, with either Lindsey's or my relatives and friends calling to congratulate us and to ask if we'd set a date for the wedding. Neither Lindsey nor I had had a chance to contemplate the date at the time.
"You might want to think about late January or early Feb, luvver," Millie suggested after she'd heard me tell the umpteenth caller that we hadn't fixed a date yet. "I think Beverley's got some plans to rehash the private accommodation upstairs once you two stopped dancing around each other." She went on, "Be kind-a handy if it was done when you're away on honeymoon, wouldn't it? You know the pub's going to be quiet then as well."
I looked at Lindsey who smiled back at me and without much more discussion, the date was selected as the third Saturday in January.
The venue for the wedding was the next problem that had to be solved. After the pub closed that evening, Lindsey and I sat in the bar and talked on the subject long and hard; but we always returned to the obvious choice, what was now our local village church.
Lindsey's folks lived around the Bristol and Bath area. Most of my folks lived in and around London. If we got married in either of those places, the other's families would have to travel and most likely most of our close friends in the village wouldn't be able to attend because we had two pubs to look after there.
We were also pretty sure that because it was out of the season, we could turn up plenty of cheap accommodation for everyone around the village as well.
Having solved that problem to our mutual satisfaction - and after a kiss and cuddle - Lindsey went up to her room, whilst I went around to check the doors were all locked and then turned out the lights.
As I entered my room I heard Lindsey in the shower. I took my shower in the other bathroom. Bev's plans, I knew, were to make the owner's suite more private and install en suite facilities in all of the other bedrooms. The Wherry was a very old building and that was going to call for some major works. Beverley had broached the subject with me a couple of times and Millie was most likely correct - Bev probably was planning to have as much of the work as possible undertaken when Lindsey and I were on honeymoon.
I heard Lindsey leave the other bathroom whilst I was still in the shower. "Night, Lindsey," I called as I passed her room, but I was a little disappointed to find that she didn't reply. I almost opened her door and repeated myself, but thought better of it.
But then when I entered my own room, I discovered why Lindsey hadn't replied; she was lying there on my bed.
I'm not sure how long I stood there staring at her, without saying a word.
"Well, are you coming to bed, or are you going to stand there with your mouth open all might?" she finally asked.
"Lindsey, I thought that you didn't want to... you know, until we are married."
"And I still would like to be a virgin when I make my vows to you, Mack. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to sleep in the same bed as you. If you want to take me now, you can have me willingly. But Millie and Billie have been teaching me all kinds of things that we can do together without actually doing it."
"Teaching?" I asked smiling and probably in a questioning tone to my voice.
Remember, I was well aware of what Millie and the twins had got up to over the years. Apparently, so was Lindsey by then.
"Whoops, no sorry, I take that back." Lindsey smiled sheepishly. "Millie and Billie have explained all sorts of things about sex to me in the last few months. Mack, Millie is the only person I know who's bi-sexual... except maybe for the twins. Oh, bugger... you know what I mean. Don't look at me like that, Mack, please."
I have no idea what expression I had on my face by then. But it was obviously embarrassing Lindsey. I laughed, and went over to the bed to lie down beside her and kiss her.
"Sorry, kiddo, but you talked yourself into that."
She didn't answer; she just pulled me close and hugged me tightly.
I lay there hugging Lindsey, somewhat annoyed with myself. I'd let the conversation go in a direction that had embarrassed her and that prevented me from asking the one question that had been uppermost in my mind for months. The opportunity missed, I'd have to wait until the right situation cropped up again.
Lindsey's and my sex life developed by leaps and bounds over the following few weeks. We did just about everything except the actual deed itself, but, hell, I wasn't complaining. I'm going to admit to you that a couple of times we did come very close, but one or the other of us would shy off at the last minute. Lindsey wanted to be a virgin when she said, "I do!" and I was more than happy to oblige her by then.
I did have to demonstrate to her how to use her new razor though. Although thinking about it, I do believe she enjoyed having me carry out the operation for her, because she has insisted that I always do it for -- or to -- her ever since. Thinking logically, Lindsey must have been shaving under her arms and her legs, etc. for years. Possibly she enjoyed what I did right after the operation was over, much as Millie and the twins had done.
Lindsey happily demonstrated to me that Millie - and Billie, the terrible two were much like a single entity by then - had instructed her very well in the art of fellatio and she developed her skills very quickly once she started to practice them. Well, they say that practice makes perfect, don't they? Lindsey got in a lot of practice over the next few weeks and I noticed the very rapid improvement in her technique. She also very vocally praised me for some of the skills I'd developed in the preceding couple of years. But no mention was ever made of with whom I'd developed those skills.
Well, not in the bedroom anyway. The odd comment did fly around between all of the girls in the bar on occasion - usually when it was exceptionally quiet, and designed, I was sure, to embarrass me most of the time. And possibly when Lindsey made them, to show that she wasn't bearing any grudges. Jealousy developing on Lindsey's part - concerning what I'd done with Millie and the girls -- was something that I had begun to worry about.
Eventually one evening, on a customer's birthday, Lindsey had imbibed a little more than she normally did. Jesus, Lindsey rarely got tipsy, but that night she was off duty, and somehow managed to get herself really tanked up. I think that possibly Millie and Billie had a hand in that. Millie was working that night, but Billie had hit the booze harder than she usually did as well.
Anyway I summoned up the courage to broach the subject of jealousy with Lindsey whilst we were clearing up. Well, to be precise I was clearing up; Lindsey was making a pretty half-hearted job of it. I'm afraid the confusing conversation that developed between us went in directions I hadn't intended it to. But it did clear the air some.
Excess of alcohol affects different people in different ways. Some it turns into fighters, others into sex-starved lovers; and some people start spewing out verbal diarrhoea. Because Lindsey was usually very conservative in her drinking habits, I can't say that I'd ever noticed that she was a talker before.
Well, that's not exactly true; I had noticed that when Lindsey got tipsy she'd talk a lot. But because of the situations we'd generally found ourselves in when she'd got tipsy, I'd always assumed that it was because alcohol lowered her sexual inhibitions a little. For some reason I'd always taken the chat for nervous talk. I told you there were a few times when Lindsey would happily let me get her tits out and would even go as far as to give me a hand job. So I'd put all her talking down to her nervously trying to distract me from taking things any further. Well, that evening, Lindsey was to prove to me that I was wrong on that assumption.
"Jealous! Christ, Mack, of course I was bloody jealous of them. Why do you think I rushed out of the Willow's like that, that day! Jesus, when I saw you standing there with those four women, I knew that you'd... gotten laid, that's the word you use, isn't it? Of course I was bloody jealous. I just couldn't stay and had to get as far away from you and them as I could."
"I'm sorry, Lindsey. Look, if you want, after we're married we can move right away from here."
"Don't be stupid, Mack. I said 'I was' jealous of them, but I'm not any more. They are my very good friends now; I know that not one of them, or you, would... oh, Mack, you know what I mean. Look, all of these women look at life - well, sex anyway - differently to how I used to look at things. I don't know, I was repressed I suppose; I always thought the real purpose of sex was to make babies."
"Some of my friends back at college seemed to enjoy having sex with their boyfriends. But most of them treated it as a chore they only did to keep their boyfriends from straying. I never did think that was much of a basis to build a long term relationship on."
Lindsey stopped wiping the table she was standing over, turned around and sat on it, looking at me with an embarrassed expression on her face.
"Look, Mack, most of the guys at college only wanted a girl who let them... oh, you know what I mean. If a girl had sex with too many different blokes, she soon got a reputation. She found that she had plenty of guys chatting her up all the time, but we all know it wasn't for the intellectual quality of her conversation, or her looks either. So that sort of reinforced the promise I'd made to myself that I would remain a virgin until I got married."
"Most guys didn't hang around me for very long when they found out that I had no intention of letting them... and then I met you, Mack. You were something different, kind of special. Yeah, you liked to sneak the odd grope in now and again when my defences were down. But you didn't make a big thing out of it when I told you of my plans to be a virgin bride. If I remember correctly, you just smiled."
"I did?" I commented in surprise, I thought that I'd been pretty disappointed at the time.
"And then can you remember what you did?" she asked.
"Eh, well, knowing my penchant for the dramatic, I should imagine I said something pretty memorable. But not so memorable that I can recall exactly what now, Lindsey."
"It wasn't what you said, Mack, so much as what you did. You rather ceremoniously took a pack of condoms out of your pocket and threw them in the waist bin!"
"I did?" I said trying to pretend that I couldn't recall the incident. But it had quickly jumped back into my mind. That was nearly two quid that I'd discarded that night, remember? Throwing cash away was not something I'd be likely to forget in a hurry.
"Yes, you said that we wouldn't be needing them and that you were quite happy to wait."
"Must have had too much to drink that night!" I quipped, trying to make light of the occasion.
"I don't think so, Mack. I took it as you telling me that you were willing to wait until I was ready. It told me that you were not with me for what you could get from me; but that you had genuine feelings for me!"
"Never believe in empty gestures, Lindsey. There's a condom dispenser in most pub gents, you know."
"And quite a few of the ladies conveniences as well, Mack. It was a nice gesture anyway, even if you did grow more arms than an octopus sometimes, when you got excited. I felt safe with you and I knew that I could trust you. I knew that night that you were the man I was going to marry... well, I thought I knew, until it all went wrong."
"Ah, yeah, well, I fucked up big time, didn't I? But why the hell didn't you tell me that you were on the bloody pill in the first place? God, I got it all arse about face when I found those buggers in your flat."
Lindsey walked over to the bar and refilled her glass from the optic on the wall behind it. Then after sitting on one of the bar stools and taking a sip of her Scotch, she smiled at me.
"Well, Mack, you know that I had this stupid plan to walk down the aisle a virgin."
"It isn't a stupid plan, Lindsey. You've got the perfect right to do as your conscience guides you."
I was beginning to get the feeling that Lindsey had consumed a lot more than I'd thought she had that night. She was quite definitely much more vocal than usual and I was sure that it was the alcohol doing most of the talking. But even if Lindsey was my intended, I had my barman's hat on and let her talk.
"Let me finish what I was saying, Mack. I'm having enough trouble explaining this to you as it is. You know now - well, I hope you know - that once I'd told you about my stupid plan, that I trusted you not to pressure me too hard in that direction. I also knew, because you'd mentioned it so often that you would never place yourself in a compromising situation."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked. Christ alone knew what kind of a tangent Lindsey had gone off onto then.
"Ah, well, as I remember it you were very vocal about not having sex with anyone, unless you or they had taken precautions to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Jesus, you were like a bloody preacher with all your friends!" Lindsey explained, with a contrite look on her face.
"Ah, yeah, but what's that got to do with the price of bread?" I commented. Not really having much clue as to what point Lindsey was trying to make.
"Stop taking the piss out of me, Mack. You know what I'm saying is true. I was there in the room with Billie when she told you that she was pregnant. I heard you giving her what-for for not taking precautions."
"You were there!" I was surprised to hear that Billie and Lindsey were that close when I'd been away.
"Yes, of course, she was at my flat; she was a little scared to go home and tell her parents. She called you for some moral support and... and, well, after the way you went off at her, telling her parents was a cakewalk."
"Oh, bugger, did I upset her that much?"
"No, not really, but I think she was more worried about how you would take the news than anyone else. That's why you were the first in your family to know. You do realise that she looks on you as her big brother, don't you?"
"Yeah, she's a good kid."
"She's not a kid anymore, Mack. She's a wife and a mother; and a damned good one too. Anyway I've gotten off the subject. You wanted to know why I never told you about those damned birth control pills of mine. Well, it was because I didn't trust myself!"
By then she had lost me completely. What did she mean; she couldn't trust herself not to let some other bugger shag her? That didn't make much sense; Lindsey must have seen the confusion on my face.
"Mack, when you used to stay over at my place after we'd been out drinking, things got a little heavy sometimes... well, heavy for me anyway. Damn... look, I had trouble controlling my emotions sometimes, it's not only you guys who have hormones, you know. If you had pushed hard enough, then I probably would have... oh, shit, look I knew that you wouldn't because you thought that I wasn't on birth control."
They weren't Lindsey's exact words and it all took some unravelling in my mind; but I got the gist of the idea that Lindsey had relied on my phobia about unwanted - or rather unplanned - pregnancies to make sure that she'd remained a virgin.
"Lindsey, you relied on my self-control. You were pushing your luck a bit, weren't you?" I finally retorted.
"No, I knew my man... well, I thought I did. There was my phobia about letting myself go as well. That meant that you never pushed me very hard to start with. But there were a couple of times when I'd drunk a damned sight more that I should have done... oh, and I might point out, than I wouldn't have done if I'd been with anyone else but you. But more than once, I'd have happily let you take me! I just abdicated my responsibilities and left it up to you."
"Jesus, you really pushed your bleeding luck girl."
"Maybe I did, but I was right in my judgement of my man, wasn't I? You've had every opportunity in the last few weeks and you still haven't disappointed me."
"Well, we'll be married in a couple of months; not that there's much we haven't' tried in the meantime; I suppose we have to save something for the big day."
"Or night! Are you coming to bed now?" she said after emptying her glass then giving me her 'I'm in the mood to play' look.
"No, I've still got clearing up to do. You go and sleep off some of that booze you've drunk this evening."
Lindsey slid off her stool and kissed me. "Look, Mack, whilst we were apart everyone told me to forget you and move on with my life. I tried, but I couldn't because you were the best thing that's ever happened to me. I was in a kind of limbo for a long time, I didn't know what I'd done wrong, and I had no idea how to put it right again."
Lindsey suddenly burst into tears and hung onto me very tightly.
"Then I came up here looking for you and that Craig guy told everyone in the village about you and Codi and I really thought I'd lost you. I don't know what I'd thought up to then, but somehow I'd been convinced that someday we'd finish up together again. I was really on the verge of giving up and going back home when that American detective turned up and started asking questions about you all around the village. Word soon went around about why he was asking questions. You know, he was employed by Codi's father checking whether you were a suitable marriage candidate for his daughter."
"When Codi's dad turned up to see Beverley, I really did think it was a done deal and actually went up to my room and got my stuff packed whilst he, Beverley and George were talking in the bar."
I couldn't see Lindsey's face whilst she was talking, but my shirt was getting very wet from her tears. She'd gone quiet for a few seconds, so I asked, "How come you were still here when I arrived then?"
"I wouldn't have been if Codi had been with you. Beverley talked me into staying; for some reason she seemed convinced that you'd more likely than not arrive back at the Willow's alone. But she wouldn't explain why! Anyway she said that if you did arrive alone then she thought that I needed to be here. If you had Codi tagging along, then Julia would tip her the wink."
Lindsey lifted her head and looked into my eyes. "Anyway Beverley told me that she thought that I should stay in the village, for a little while at least. Bev told me that I should stay and fight Codi for you; oh, not in the literal sense. But Beverley said that she'd messed up and made a big mistake when she was young; she told me that she didn't want us - you and me - to make the same one. Has she ever told you about her and George?"
"Yeah, I doubt there's many in the village who don't know the tale. I doubt that there's many who don't know the intricate details of our relationship either. This is a small community and they gossip a lot."