My children were upset because I did not go home for the holidays but I just didn't feel like doing that. I invited them to come see me but they declined. Christmas Eve found me in my favorite restaurant and bar drinking my margaritas and listening to the holiday music. I had finished my meal and was in no hurry to get back to my lonely trailer. It was 8:30 p.m. and the customers were almost all gone. The employees had closed sections of the establishment and were cleaning up, preparing to close at 9 so they could go home to their families. My all time favorite waitress had been waiting on me all evening. I had noticed she seemed almost as sad as I felt. She came up to my table and said, "Last call Steve. You want another one before you go back home?"
I looked up at her and acted without thinking. I saw tear tracks on her cheek and reached out to wipe them off. She flinched when I reached for her and pulled back. I managed to grab her hand and pulled her toward me then said, "You look as sad as I feel Amanda. It looks like you have been crying. I'm sorry I scared you. I didn't think. I was just going to wipe the tear off your cheek."
Amanda slumped when I said that and the tears started in earnest. I pulled her onto my lap and held her while she cried. Her boss came out of the kitchen and stormed up to us. He reached for Amanda as he said, "Damn it Steve, what're ya doin' to Amanda? I thought ya were a good guy. Now let her go and get out of here before I call the police."
I let Amanda go and started to get up as I said, "Hey Sid. I didn't mean to upset her. I saw she was crying and asked what was wrong. She began to cry harder so I pulled her onto my lap to hold her a while. Don't make a big deal of it. I'm sorry."
I started to walk away when Amanda said through her sniffles, "No, don't go yet please Steve." She turned to Sid and said, "Sid, he didn't do nothing. We were just talking and I lost it. I was feeling sorry for myself all evening and... Well you know why and when he asked me what was wrong..."
Sid said, "Well OK Mandy but if he bothers you just yell. Why don't ya take off now? Me and tha boys'll finish up here. Try to have a Merry Christmas."
Through her sniffles Amanda said, "Merry Christmas Sid."
Amanda watched Sid walk back behind the bar then she followed him. They talked for a short while then he smiled and handed her a large pitcher of Margarita's and two glasses filled with ice. I watched as Amanda glided across the room toward me carrying our drinks. I felt my cock twitch as I enjoyed her "poetry in motion". She had the most beautiful long legs and a super tight ass. Her braless breasts were wobbling enticingly inside her tight crop top. I thought she really should be working at Hooters instead of this slightly seedy bar in Key West but I was glad she wasn't. I liked her working right here so I could watch her perambulate around the room the nights I was here also.
By the time we were half way through the pitcher Amanda had filled me in on her tears. She had been supposed to work the early shift today and had told her live in boyfriend that. Yesterday she had agreed to work the evening shift for one of her friends. The friend had wanted to go out of town for the holiday and wanted to leave early. Money had changed hands and they "traded" shifts.
Amanda had gone to the beach and relaxed then went home in time to change clothes eat a bite and go to work. She found her boyfriend in bed with two of her female friends when she got to their home. Of course she had become angry and they had fought. Since she had been living with him in his small travel trailer he had kicked her out, thrown all her clothes out the door and locked it.
"Oh, Steve," she continued. "Now I don't have anywhere to live and I don't make enough here to rent much of a place even if I could find one on Christmas Eve. Sid said I could stay in a cot in his garage for a couple of days but I don't know what I'll do after. I guess I'll have to move on, maybe go back home if my parents will let me freeload on them for a while. Hellofa thing isn't it? A 33 year old woman running back home to Momma because things didn't work for her. I catch my asshole husband cheating and divorce him and end up with nothing then I find another cheating asshole for a boyfriend and get kicked to the curb by him. Hell, every man I've found my whole life has done me wrong. I don't know why I even bother."
I sat a while thinking about Mandy and her problem. Finally I sighed and said, "Mandy I don't have much room but you're welcome to come stay with me for a while. You can use the other bed in my trailer if you want. It isn't much but I suppose it would be better than a cot in a garage." I laughed the continued, "I guess we have enough in common with what our mates put us through to owe each other some support. Besides, you seem like a pretty nice girl and I would hate to see you suffer more than you have for something some asshole did to you. And believe me, I KNOW how you feel."
I had to talk a little more and do some heavy convincing but that and another pitcher of Sid's really excellent Margaritas convinced Amanda to at least come with me through the holidays. When we left we could still hear Sid clanging around in the kitchen. Amanda let him know we were leaving and we staggered our way outside and down the street to my trailer.
I remember having trouble getting the key into the lock and Amanda giggling as she staggered around watching me. Finally I got the door opened and pointed to the couch that turned into a spare bed. "There's your bed Mandy. The shower and restroom are that large building in the center of the camp or you can use my small unit if you don't mind crowding. I usually use it at night and then use the camp facilities during the day.
I staggered off to bed and didn't know anything else until almost noon Christmas day. I would probably have slept through that but the damn phone ringing woke me up. I fumbled for a moment then muttered, "LO."
I heard Chelsea giggle over the roar of conversation in the background. In a much too cheerful voice she almost sang, "Merry Christmas Daddy. How are you? We sure miss you."
"I was doing fine until you woke me up Honey."
More giggles then, "Woke you up? It's after noon there. Why were you sleeping this time of day?"
I had forgotten Amanda was in the trailer and wandered into the kitchen to begin a pot of coffee. I hadn't taken the time to dress and since I sleep nude I shocked her. The first I remembered she was there was when I heard a gasp. I looked up and Mandy was blushing as she turned her head. "Oh, Crap," I said. "I'm sorry."
I turned and rushed back into my bedroom as Chelsea asked, "You're sorry for what Daddy? It's ok if you take a nap. I'm sorry we woke you up."
I stammered out a reply, "What? Oh, nothing Honey. I just wasn't thinking is all. Everything is fine."
I had pulled my swim trunks on by this time and lay the phone down while I pulled on a shirt. I wandered back into the main part of the trailer to see Amanda making the coffee. She turned and looked at me a moment and got another small blush on her face. She gave me a sickly grin and said, "I guess ya forgot I was here huh?"
"Yeah, Sorry. I hope I didn't embarrass you too much."
"Daddy who are you talking to? I thought you were still asleep? OH! Daddy, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to interrupt..."
"NO, Chelsea, it's nothing like that. One of my friends got kicked out of her house and was sleeping on my other bed. I just forgot she was here and went into the kitchen to make coffee and startled her. You didn't interrupt anything."
Chelsea giggled and I smiled as I watched Mandy's blush turn into a deep crimson. Chelsea, Alex and I visited for a couple more minutes and I hung up. Mandy handed me a cup of coffee and I said once again, "I AM sorry Mandy. I guess you know now I sleep nude and I just didn't think. I promise it won't happen again. At least I hope it won't."
For some reason Amanda and I 'clicked' and she never moved out of my trailer. The next two months flew by. Amanda insisted since I was providing the living space she provide the food and alcohol. It turns out she is a great cook and we got along super well. We became best buds but that is all. Oh, we became used to seeing each other naked and nearly naked but while I looked and appreciated her body we never had sex. We hugged and even kissed a time or two but that was all.
By the end of February it was time for me to begin moving north again. I didn't want to spend the summer on Key West and I was ready for different scenery. On one of her days off Mandy and I were lounging around the pool sipping on margaritas. I finally bit the bullet and decided I had to tell her I was moving on.
I poured us each another drink and said, "Mandy, I don't know how to say this other than just come out and hit you in the face with it. It's time for me to move on. I don't want to spend the summer here and I want to see my children again. You've helped me heal and I've enjoyed our time together but..."
I saw Amanda's eyes water slightly. There was a quiver in her voice when she said, "I've been expecting this. I knew you wanted to go back north when it warmed up. I really don't know what to do. I'm tired of working at the bar but there's not much else available here for me. I've got a little saved. I guess I'll give my notice and catch a bus back home. Maybe I'll find something there. Tourist season will be starting soon and a lot of places in Branson hire help for the summer. Mom and Dad only live a few miles out of town so I can stay with them for a while."
I went to the camp office that afternoon and let them know I was leaving at the end of the week. It was Tuesday and I figured I could tie up all the loose ends by then. I hoped Amanda could find a place to stay for the rest of the time she was in town.
The next day Mandy came home and told me she had given her notice. She had agreed to finish the week and train her replacement. Sid had not wanted the traditional two weeks' notice. She smiled and said, "I would appreciate it if you could give me a lift to the bus station when you pull out Saturday."
"Sure. Anything for a friend Mandy."
By Friday evening I had everything packed and loaded into its traveling space. All I would have to do the next morning was pull the connections to power, water and sewer services and drive off. Amanda was watching me as I made the final checks. All at once I had a thought. I said, "Hey Mandy. I'm going north and that's on the way back to Missouri. Hell, my family is only seventy or so miles from Branson. If you're not in a hurry to get there why don't you just ride along with me? I plan to stop along the way and really don't plan to arrive home until mid April but if you want to leave sooner you could. Hell, every town closer to home we get the cost of your ticket will be less. What do you say?"
Amanda sat looking at me a moment then she smiled. "I say yes. Thank you. I would enjoy riding with you and that would save me some money. I don't think I'll stay with you the entire trip though because I will need to find a job early. Many of the places begin hiring in March."
I decided to drive up the west coast of Florida. When I got to Ft. Myers I stopped for a week and Mandy and I enjoyed lying on the beach, swimming in the gulf and relaxing. She was special. We just seemed to know what the other was thinking and we enjoyed doing most of the same things. One evening we were in a small beachfront dive that had really excellent shrimp. We shared a couple pitchers of beer and tons of their all you can eat shrimp. A younger crowd was in the majority and seemed to resent the few older people as they classed Mandy and me.
A couple of times one or another of the young men at a table near us came to ask Mandy to dance. She was always polite in her refusal but as each of them was refused the anger built. We overheard several comments about her being a tease and me being an old asshole. We decided to leave and took a restroom break before doing so. When I came out of the restroom I heard a commotion in the ladies room. Mandy was not in sight then I heard her voice saying, "NO asshole. Get your ass out of here and leave me alone. I told you I didn't want to dance with you."
"Listen Honey. You're a real MILF and I wantta dance with you. Now come on. When we're done dancing if you still want to be with that old fart you're with ya can go find him again. We're on spring break and here to par tay so let's get with it."
The women's room door opened and one of the punks that had been harassing Mandy came out pulling a crying Amanda behind him. He saw me and smirked. Mandy looked at me in fear. I didn't say anything. I took a half step toward the punk and kicked. I hit him in the nuts. He let loose of Amanda's hand and bent forward. I raised my knee and slammed it into his face as I pushed his head down. Damn that hurt. He groaned and collapsed onto the floor. I looked at him as he writhed, one hand on his face, one in his crotch. He had left a large smear of blood on my trousers.
I quickly pulled Mandy toward the door. We were almost to it when one of the men at the table saw us. He half stood and said, "What the hell? I thought Joe went to get that bitch. Two others started toward the hallway the rest rooms were in. I sped up and pulled Amanda out the door. As it closed I heard a yell. We rushed into the truck and I raced for the street. We were several feet down the road when the door to the bar opened and three young men rushed out. They stood watching as we drove off.
Amanda was crying silently. I reached for her and held her hand across the console for a moment. It took us ten minutes to get to our RV Park. I led Amanda into the trailer and pulled her to me for a hug. She was shaking and crying as I gently led her to my bed. I sat her down and took her shoes off then lay her back. I removed my shoes and crawled into the bed to cuddle her. We both drifted off to sleep. I woke once in the night to relieve myself. I then went to the front of the trailer and made up Amanda's bed. I spent the rest of the night there. The next morning Amanda woke me making our coffee.
"Steve thank you so much for last night. I know you were in bed holding me for a while. Why did you leave? I didn't mean to run you out of your bed."
"Mandy I had to use the rest room and, well, you didn't need an old man molesting you after what you went through last night. I decided it was better for both of us if I finished the night here."
"You weren't molesting me! I know you'd never do anything like that. Why would I even think..." She looked at my morning wood tenting my pants and blushed a little then continued, "OH. Well I know you would never do anything I didn't want you to do."
Amanda sat quietly through coffee then looked at me. "Steve I've had it. I want to go home. I think if you'll take me to the bus station I'll just leave you here."
"Well, I can do that if you want but I think I'm ready to move on also. Why don't we just pack up and pull out. If I find somewhere I want to stop again I can take you to the bus station there. That'll save you more money and it sure won't cost me anything extra since I'll be burning the fuel to move on down the road anyway."
Amanda smiled and nodded her head yes. "Ok if you're really going to leave anyway I'll stay with you until you stop again. Just don't leave on my account."
"No after last night I'm ready to move on too. I doubt those assholes will turn us in even if they did get the license number of the truck but I would just as well move on anyway. I would hate to run into them again later where all of them could come at us at once if they were feeling vengeful. I had planned to move on to Bradenton or Clearwater in a couple of days anyway."
Mandy smiled her thousand watt smile and gave me a big hug. "Anything I can do to help get us on the road boss?"
I gave her a couple of the easier jobs then began my tasks to ready the rig for motion. It was strange but I was beginning to be anxious to return back home to Missouri. I had seen some beautiful country, met some wonderful people and relaxed but I was ready to get back into the traces. I was tired of my life of leisure and ready for a challenge, for some productive work. What surprised me though was I was not looking forward to returning to my home town and business. I still felt sickness in my soul thinking about Joan and revisiting the locations we had been.
As we were driving down the road Mandy and I talked about home. She said her parents had a large lot on the lake around Hollister, Missouri, a small town just south of Branson. She reminisced about her childhood and the fun they had in the lake and running the hills. Her description reminded me of a piece of property I had inherited from my wife when she died. It totaled a little less than 26 Acres and was on the lake near Hollister also. She had inherited it from her parents when they died. It had been her maternal grandfathers until he had died. It was all that was left of a rather substantial farm that had been appropriated by the government when the lake was built. He had retained ownership to that small parcel and at one time had operated a fishing camp on it.
When we came to the turn off to Bradenton I kept the truck heading north. As we passed one after another of the exits for Clearwater Mandy would look over at me. I saw her looking at several RV parks that would have normally caused me to pull off and stay a while. Finally she turned to me and asked, "Steve why are we going on? I thought you planned to stay in this area for a while?"
"You know Mandy sometime this morning I decided I was tired of Florida and was ready to be home. It's nice weather here this time of the year but I suppose I have moved on and healed. Listening to you talk about your home and the lake and hills has made me homesick. I think I will just go on back to Missouri at least for the summer. I can drop you off at a bus station if you want but since I'm going back home I thought you could just ride along with me. I should get us back home almost as soon as a bus would and it will be a hell of a lot more comfortable for you."
"You sure Steve? You're not just doing this for me are you? I wouldn't like that. I appreciate all the help you have given me and the ride especially but I don't want to ruin your trip."
"Naw. While you were talking I remembered a small parcel of land my wife and I...Uh I own on the lake near Hollister. I haven't been there in years. My wife inherited it from her family and now I suppose it's mine. There used to be a fishing camp or resort on it. I think I'll find it and see what it's like. I may just pull my rig down there and stay a while. I am still not ready to return to my old home and face everyone. I'm sure the whole town knows what Joan did to me and I don't want to face that. For some reason I can't get excited about returning to my company either. My son and daughter are running it as well as I could from the financial reports I have been receiving so why bother. Besides if I return their income would decline some and they are young and need the money to get started in life."
"Ok Steve. If you're sure you're not doing this just for me I'm fine with it."
We made it back to Amanda's home in three days. It was a real bear getting the rig down some of the small narrow roads to her parent's home but we did it. She was welcomed with open arms and a lot of tears. After meeting them I tried to make my exit but her father would not hear of it. He had me pull my trailer up next to their house and plugged me into their water and electrical system.
Amanda had told her parents how I had helped her so they treated me like royalty. I did notice a few questioning looks though and I was sure they were wondering about Mandy's virtue. I mean, come on. A beautiful sexy woman living with a man for almost three months and they aren't sleeping together. Hell, even I wouldn't believe that one even though I knew it was true. I loved Amanda to death but we were friends not lovers. I just can't explain it. She was one of the very few available women I had known that I hadn't either fucked or wanted to fuck. Oh, sure, I perved over her but not to the extent I decided to test the waters, to sample her wares. After a week I think we even convinced her parents of that fact.