It was barely half-past-five and as the sun went down the mercury was falling even faster. The media had been reporting on it all day. The temperature was expected to hit a record low tonight, even for this northern clime, possibly as low as forty degrees below zero. Everyone was warned to stay off the streets and there was a scramble to help the homeless to shelter.
This was in my thoughts as I walked home from work and I watched everyone rushing to wherever they needed to go, do whatever they need to do and get inside for the night. People were plugging in their cars, chimneys were puffing away and it was reassuring to think that I would be home soon too. But with that reassurance came a little guilt. There were a lot of people without homes out there. I always wondered what they did at times like this. I had helped out a little and in very small ways. I mean, what's it worth to let a freezing man into a heated bank machine enclosure to get warm? Nothing to me, everything to him, I guess.
As I walked out of the downtown core toward my residential street, I passed by a large department store's loading dock, and by chance I happened to hear a muffled whimper through my hood and the whipping wind. I stopped, looked around and there huddled down against a garbage dumpster near the loading dock doors was a girl and she was crying.
She was very young. Not twenty. And beautiful. I knew that because I'd seen her before. She lived on the streets, or at least she had for the past few months. This was the first time I'd ever seen her alone. Not only alone now, but cold and miserable too. And my heart went out to her.
I just stood there. She noticed me looking at her and she looked back, trying to dry her eyes and not doing very well.
I started to turn away, thinking I should leave. Strange if that was my instinct at a time like that. It took a moment to realize that against every instinct of apathy and indifference, I had turned back and held out a hand to the young girl.
She was wary at first, but perhaps thinking she'd die in this cold, she took a chance on me. I pulled her to her feet gently and walked her to a nearby café. The place was nearly empty and I gestured to the girl to take a seat, and keeping my feet, asked her what she would like to drink.
"Hot chocolate," she said gratefully. "Please," she added.
"Hot chocolate it is," I said. I went to the counter, got myself a coffee as well and returned to the table with our drinks. "Are you hungry?" I asked.
She was. I got her a sandwich and a salad. She devoured it in moments, washing it down with the hot drink. She had barely looked at me before she finished her meal, but now that she was done, she favoured me with a dazzling smile of gratitude and thanked me.
"You're welcome," I said.
Now that she had made eye contact, she seemed unwilling to let go of it. "Why did you do that?"
"You helped me. Do you have any idea how many people never turn to look, never slow down, just don't care?"
I thought about it. I answered as honestly as I could. "I don't know. I've walked by lots of people, lots of times, including you. I guess I always thought it would just turn out alright. But tonight, getting as cold as it's getting... well, I guess I couldn't leave it to chance. You looked so sad..."
"By the way," I said, "I'm Brent."
We talked a little while. It turned out she had been living on the streets with a boy, and though it had been hard, they were doing okay, finding places to sleep, making just enough panhandling to get a meal or two a day. She had left home to be with him when her parents disapproved of them being together. A lot of hard things were said and she didn't feel like she could ever go back there. She didn't say what had happened to the boy, but it was obvious he wasn't around anymore. When she talked about him, you could hear the sadness and the anger. She had sacrificed her family for him and he had left her. She was alone now.
I started to say something and hesitated. Then I decided just to say it. "Look, where are you going to stay tonight? I mean, if you want, you can come back to my place, have a shower, wash your clothes, sleep in a warm place." I could hear how it sounded. A man in his thirties inviting a teenage girl back to his place for the night. I thought she probably assumed I was a dirty old man. I wondered a moment if I was. I mean, she was a beautiful girl. "A bed of your own, I mean. I, um, I don't want you to get the wrong idea... I'm not trying to..." I stammered on and on. "Look, I just want to help. If you want, you can come back to my place. I won't touch you."
She listened patiently. I am sure she had heard lots of offers of help at a price before. I sincerely was not suggesting that she had to pay me in favours.
"You seem like a nice guy," she said, a little warily. "Don't you have a family?"
"Yes," I said. "I was married. Divorced now. I have two kids, a girl and a boy, younger than you. They live with their mom. I get them every second weekend."
In the end, she must have decided I was okay. We went back to my place and I showed her around the apartment. "Bathroom, kitchen–help yourself to anything you want there–living room–I'll crash there tonight–and over there is the bedroom, where you can sleep."
She tried not to look obviously relieved that I had not turned into Mister Hyde as soon as I got her into the apartment. Frankly, it had occurred to me to wonder if I could trust her. After all, she was living a desperate life. She might rob me blind. She seemed clear enough, but I didn't know if she was into drugs, might be looking for a fix of something, checking out my medicine cabinets. I dismissed the concern. If I was honest with myself, I had to admit that since the divorce I had damn little of any real value anyway. And there were no drugs in my house, prescription or otherwise. She could take pretty much anything and I would likely never care. She took off the thin coat she'd been wearing, left her ragged shoes at the door and sat down nervously on the couch. I turned on the TV for her, and tossed her the remote. "Go ahead."
She enjoyed that. I guess it had been awhile since she watched any television. I made her a cup of tea and she thanked me. The TV had turned out to be a good icebreaker. She was getting more relaxed and comfortable by the moment.
While she watched TV, I went into the bedroom and changed the bedsheets, leaving the door open so she could see what I was doing. Then I went to the linen closet and pulled some fresh towels and went into the washroom and set them down by the bathtub.
She looked away from the TV.
"Feel free to have a bath or a shower if you want," I said. "You can do your laundry down the hall; there's a coin laundry there. My treat."
She laughed. "Do I smell?"
"Well," I began as diplomatically as I could. "A bit, maybe."
She laughed again at my awkwardness and my honesty. She did not seem embarrassed at all, to my relief. I guess that living on the street entailed getting used to making sacrifices to a higher standard of personal hygiene.
"Well, I don't have anything to wear while I do laundry."
"I can do it for you. Go ahead, take a bath. You can wear this." I gave her my housecoat for a bathrobe. "Just toss your dirty clothes into the laundry basket; with some of my stuff, it's enough for a full wash load."
She nodded, went into the bathroom, closed the door and a moment later returned with the laundry basket. She had started running herself a bath while she was in there. She was practically giddy. She handed me the basket and said thanks. "It's been so long since I could just take a soak in a hot bath!"
"Oh, there's some bubble bath in the cupboard under the sink if you want."
She looked at me with a quizzical smile and a raised eyebrow. She was cute and I realized I had to make a conscious effort not to let my eyes trace their way down the plunging neckline of the housecoat.
I laughed. "No, it's not mine. My daughter likes to play in the bubble bath when she stays over."
She laughed then, and impulsively leaned up to me and kissed me on the cheek. "You're a sweet man, Brent," she said and ran off to the bath with a giggle, closing the door behind her. I'm sure I blushed.
I went and put the laundry on. An hour and a half later it was finished drying and I had folded it all. My clothes were put away and hers were sitting in the laundry basket. Her jacket was dry clean only unfortunately. She was still not out of the bath. I imagined she had turned into a prune by now and I began to worry that something had happened to her in there. It would be just my luck if I decided to help her just so she could cut her wrists in my bathtub or overdose on some drug she might have brought with her. But no, I could hear the splashing of the bathwater every once in a while. She was just enjoying a hot bath, and she refreshed the bath with a little more hot water every once in a while.
After a time, I heard the water draining out of the bath. A few moments later, the door opened and a great cloud of steam billowed out into the living room.
"I was beginning to think I should call a lifeguard," I said with a smile.
"Oh my God, that was fantastic," she sighed. "I feel so relaxed. And clean."
"And I smell better too," she said, leaning in close to where I was sitting on the couch so I could notice the difference.
"Mmmmmm, yes, you do," trying not to notice just how good she did smell, and again avoiding the perilous view down the neckline of the housecoat, now even more revealing as she leaned in toward me. "Oh, by the way, I sorted out something for you to wear to bed if you want."
She straightened up and arched that eyebrow at me again.
I knew she might have thought, 'here's the catch', but it was just the opposite. I definitely wanted to get her more covered up, not less. "I have a t-shirt and a pair of boxers for you, freshly cleaned, if you like."
"Thanks," she said, and flashed me that brilliant smile again.
It was getting on to about ten at night. I made us each a tea. We sat and drank it together with the TV on and we chatted for a while and I think I persuaded her that she should give her family a call and test the water. She wasn't angry anymore, she regretted what she'd said to them and she'd like to go back. I was sure they felt the same. I told her she'd be okay. She said that she didn't think she'd have the nerve to call home and I suggested that she should just go there. I said I knew from experience that she had a face that would be hard not to take in. She laughed at that, and said that she would try that but her parents lived a few counties over and she didn't have the money to make the phone call much less the bus trip. I rolled my eyes and said, "In for a penny, in for a pound," and gave her enough to cover the fare. She had a little cry, promised to get on the first bus for home first thing in the morning and told me that I was one of the nicest people she'd ever met, that she would always remember me. I was touched. I gave her an almost paternal peck on the forehead and sent her to bed for the night.
A while later, I lay in the darkness of the living room trying to sleep, trying not to think of the beautiful girl who was sleeping on the other side of that door in my bed, a little ashamed of the attraction I felt to a teenage girl barely half my age. It was natural enough I suppose. I had divorced in the past year and not touched a woman since. Ten months. I could be proud though. I'd been a perfect gentleman. And I had really helped her. This was easy to remember when I listened to the howling wind rattling the living room window, and stared out into the darkness of night through glass frosted by the outside chill.
I finally fell asleep. I don't know when I woke up to the sound of the bedroom door creaking open. I came to almost instantly and sat up without hesitation. "Trish... you okay?"
"Uh-huh," she said. "I'm fine." She was walking toward the couch.
"Ssshhh." She stopped me from asking by gently setting a soft finger over my lips. "You've done more than enough. I want to do something for you now."
She dropped to her knees beside the couch. I could barely see her in the darkness, but I could certainly register her presence with the rest of my senses. Her scent, her touch as her fingers found their way under the quilt covering me, were setting me on fire. Her fingers traipsed across my thigh and found their way in short order to my sudden erection and she began stroking it through my boxers. I groaned with the pleasure, but I was torn by the feeling that I was doing something wrong.
"Trish," I stammered out, "You don't have to do this–"
"I know," she said. "And maybe that's partly why I want to so badly."
And that was that. After all, the girl was young but of legal age, and she obviously wanted this as much as I did and she had fewer compunctions about it. The more she stroked, the less I thought and soon I simply yielded to her touch.
She had both hands on me now. She had pushed the quilt to one side and pulled the boxers down around my knees, and before I could fully believe what was happening, she leaned in and took me in her mouth, sucking and licking while at the same time massaging the base of my penis with one hand, my balls with the other. She knew what she was about. In a very short period of time, I could feel the semen boiling up in my balls and burning its way toward release. As much a gentleman as I could be under the circumstances, I warned her. "I'm going to come, Trish."
It didn't even give her pause. She only continued, her head now bobbing even faster over my swollen and pulsing penis. The throbbing pleasure in my cock felt like wave after wave, and I held back the tide, wanting this pleasure to last as long as possible. Finally I could hold it back no longer. With a great groan of joy, I came. I came so hard I wonder I didn't pass out. Trish just kept on going until she could tell I was done and I couldn't take it anymore. Then she straightened up and I heard her swallowing my semen in a great gulp and licking her lips for anything left there. She leaned in toward the couch and lay her head on my belly and fondled my balls with one hand. I put my arm around her. I didn't know what to say. I was still in the warmth of afterglow.
After a few minutes, she straightened up and asked me to come to bed with her in an almost conspiratorial whisper.
It seemed strange to ask if she was sure she wanted me to do that. She seemed to have a pretty clear idea of what she wanted. And I wanted the same thing.
Seconds later we were in the bedroom. There was a little more light in here from the streetlights outside and as she snuggled down into bed in front of me, she smiled invitingly. I hesitated. What was I going to do next? Tear the clothes off her? It still seemed wrong somehow.
It was like she read my mind. As I stood looking down at her on my bed, she pulled the t-shirt up over her head and threw it over my shoulder. She giggled as she yanked the boxer shorts down to her ankles and then stretched her legs up at me so I could pull them off her. With a laugh, I did, tossing them over my shoulder where the t-shirt had landed. I got out of my own night-clothes quickly and got on the bed with her. I knelt on the edge and looked her over head to toe, drinking in the sight of beauty like a man dying of thirst.
Her beauty had a wildness to it. Her long red hair, long unkempt and untrimmed, covered the entire pillow with its shiny ringlets. Her pale white skin was lustrous in the lamplight shining in the window and I could see the thick orange-red of her pubic hair; it looked like the burning bush, and the thought made me smile. She had been on the streets a while and she had tufts of red hair curling under her armpits too, and soft hair on her legs. Of course, she would not have found a ladies'razor in my bathroom. The hair might have repulsed me on a woman in normal circumstances, but somehow it added to the feral quality of this wild child. I was burning with lust for her now and my erection was restored surprisingly soon after my release of a few minutes ago.
I had some experience with women, and I knew how to give a woman pleasure in foreplay, but her inviting expression and her hands around my waist, pulling me down to her, demanded immediate action. In a way, our whole evening had been a kind of foreplay for us both. Spending time with a beautiful girl that was (I had thought) certainly to be denied me was an aphrodisiac as it had turned out, especially after such a long period without the company of women. For her, I realized that she must have started our association dreading that I would demand sexual favours for giving her shelter, or that I was manoeuvring her into circumstances by which I might rape her, and when that did not happen, her anxiety was transformed into anticipation instead. We both needed the comfort of love tonight, even if that was all it could ever be. I gave in to her pressure, having no will to resist in any case, pausing only to reach into a bedside drawer for a condom and taking half a minute to put it on, plunged right into her.
We both grunted with pleasure. The tightness of her was a surprise to me. I had not been with a girl this young since I was a teenager myself and I had forgotten the feeling of being inside a girl that had not been stretched by years of intercourse and pregnancies. It felt so good I could almost forget about the rubber sheath I was wearing. She was very wet, and she had obviously enjoyed giving me oral sex as much as I had enjoyed receiving it. We ground together where our bodies joined for several minutes, and I was thankful for the recent blowjob because I knew I would never have lasted this long if I had not already come once. As it was, I was able to endure the pleasure. Gently grinding my pubic bone against her clitoris was having the desired effect and she seemed to be lost in the pleasure I was giving her. After a few minutes, she began to pant harder and faster and her voice was sounding in her breath, gasping now and as her eyes fixed on mine in a look of helpless surprise at the degree of ecstasy she could endure and I could give, she went over the edge. She was flooded with her juices and I could feel her body wracked with the convulsions of orgasm. I was close myself and when she looked at me again after enduring a second series of convulsions, she seemed to brace for a third. When the waves of pleasure washed over her this time, she seemed to lose all control. Her body flopped about helplessly under me and her eyes rolled back in her head. She practically howled through that whole event, and I joined her in orgasm now. I came hard, feeling as if every portion of my very being was being shot out the end of my cock. I collapsed on her in a heap, taking only enough care to ensure that I was not crushing her with my weight. We lay like that for a very long time.
Later, I woke to her touching me, and we made love again, this time with less haste and even greater pleasure.
Morning came at last and I woke to the morning sun shining in my face. I turned my head on the pillow and saw that Trish was gone. I got up, threw on my housecoat and went to find her, having no idea what to say to her when I saw her. I didn't need to worry. She was gone. There was a note on the kitchen counter. Again, she thanked me for everything, for giving her shelter and treating her like a person, and making her feel more like a woman than she ever had before. She would treasure the time we had spent together and would remember me always. What she did not write but what I knew was true, was that I would never see her again. I'm not sorry that's the case, because the differences in our ages would make any kind of relationship both tempting and impossible. But just as surely as that's so, I will never be sorry for having known Trish for that one night. She made me feel a little more human and much more of a man than I had felt in a very long time.