tagFirst TimeAn Innocent Weekend

An Innocent Weekend

bySTEPHENA©

It was a mild early May morning. Andrew was busy marking some maths work. It was mid term and some crucial topics had to be nailed for his students to get good grades. He had taken on more work after his gardening work had tailed off. On this particular morning he had a few trig papers to mark when his study phone rang. It was an old friend from school, Karen Appleton.

'Oh hello Karen, what a lovely surprise!'

"Thought I'd look you up, it seems so long since we spoke."

'I know, I'm sorry, time flies. You know, I've been so busy with my new job as a private maths tutor I don't seem to get time to get everything done, and that includes keeping in touch with old friends -- but it's great to hear from you.'

"You too Andrew."

'Erm how's Danielle, she must be about 16 now?'

"Eighteen. Yes, she's fine, you wouldn't recognise her I bet -- she's grown up since you saw her last. Anyway I'm not just ringing to say hello, I wondered if you would like to come over to the new house, I know how much you like the country."

'Oh, well that's a nice offer -- erm have you any particular time in mind?'

"Yes, I thought maybe this weekend. With it being so mild we could go for a walk and you might get inspiration for a poem, do you still do that?"

'Yes, I don't write as much as I would like but yes, it's a good idea, I'd love to come and see you and Danielle, will she be there?'

"Yes sure".

'Good.'

"Anyway, the address is 'The Rose cottage, Warden lane, Louth."

'OK, I'll look on Anymap, what time should I come?'

"When you like, what about 11 Saturday morning?"

'OK, sounds great.'

"Tell you what Andrew someone's at the door, I think it's a customer I'm expecting, see you Saturday, yes?"

'Cool, yes bye Karen.'

This was a great surprise and Andrew marked his papers with extra verve, now he had something special at the weekend to look forward to. He had known Karen as a kid and they had been part of the same 'gang' all through junior school and into secondary. Then she moved to Lincolnshire but they kept in touch and Andrew had been over to see her years ago and spent many happy days with Karen and 'Danny.' He remembered her sweet daughter, who was probably 12 or 13 the last time he had seen her. Danielle he remembered was pretty, intelligent and liked horses. He was fond of her and she liked him. Alas, over the last few years he and Karen just seemed to exchange Christmas cards, as they had less time and pursued their respective careers. So he was over the moon with the opportunity to be reacquainted with his old friend.

The weekend soon arrived and Andrew checked his tyre pressure and oil before setting off. It was only about 45 miles but he hardly drove anywhere now and his car was due for a quick check of the essentials. His rear offside needed a few psi otherwise everything was ticketyboo. The journey was quite good. He liked the gentle, pastoral Lincolnshire countryside. It was proper rural stuff; little thatched barns, cows and numerous tractors to get stuck behind. There wasn't much traffic but some of the roads were windy and he just enjoyed the trip. When he got to Louth, he consulted his print off of the area and found Warden Lane. It was a little road with a row of poplars on one side and a brook on the other. A few cottages and a farm were scattered in a slightly higgledy-piggledy way along the lane. It was quaint. It was on the outskirts of a larger village and the spire of the church dominated the horizon ahead.

Andrew parked up outside Rose cottage. As he pulled up, the door opened and Karen came out to greet him. Andrew got out and threw his arms around her.

'Karen, how are you -- you're looking well.'

'Thank you Andrew and you, you look a bit tanned have you been away?'

'Not really, I did a lot of gardening in the summer and I've not faded I guess.'

They both laughed at this and Karen showed him inside.

'This is a lovely place, you've got.'

'Yes, I bought it with some help from my redundancy from the Gas board and put it to the cost of my old house -- I had a bit of a break and grabbed it with both hands.'

'Cool.'

Where's Danny?', said Karen, 'I thought she'd be here to meet you, she's probably in the garden, she's growing cress for college.'

'Cress?'

'Apparently -- it's some experiment, I don't know. DANNY!!!'

Andrew sat on a kitchen stool as Karen disappeared on to the patio.

She returned a few seconds later with Danielle. Andrew stood up, then his jaw dropped. He couldn't believe his eyes. The sweet little 12-year old he had known had turned into a wonderful young woman. Her blonde hair fell way down her back. Her green eyes sparkled with life. She was wearing a tight pink top and tight jeans. She was quite slim but had an hour glass figure. Andrew's gaze involuntarily fell on her breasts, which were full and perky and were hidden under her top like two grapefruit hide in a box of plums.

Andrew gulped.

'Danielle, well what a pleasure it is to meet you again after all these years.' He took her hand and kissed it.

'Thank you Andy, I'm called Danny nowadays. It's great to see you too, I was just watering my garden for college, sorry.'

'That's OK.'

'Do you want to have a look, we're experimenting on the effects of global warming to see what will grow in the spring, growth rates and stuff, then we'll do the same in July and measure the differences.'

'OK I see.'

As he followed Danielle down the path, Andrew couldn't take his eyes off her gorgeous bottom. It was a peach. Not too big, but just perfectly pert and it wiggled just a bit as she walked.

'Are you at horticultural college then?'

'Yes, that's right, I've been there for a year, I want to run my own nursery, I love growing things and stuff.'

She spoke with a soft Lincolnshire lilt, which Andrew liked. It seemed to suit her somehow.

'You should see my garden', said Andrew, 'It's a bit of a wilderness at the moment.'

'Oh bet you get lots of butterflies and stuff though.'

'That's right and birds, it's good for that, I just feel a bit guilty leaving it.'

'No, it's good to have the odd rambling one', encouraged Danielle.

'OK, well you're the expert.'

Karen interrupted them from the kitchen.

'Danny, Andrew -- coffee!'

The three chatted inside over fresh coffee and some cookies that Karen had baked the previous day.

'Hmmm, these are nice, said Andrew, you're a dab hand at baking.'

'Thanks', said Karen, I enjoy it in my spare time not difficult really.'

'Oh, obviously the creative streak runs in the family, what with Danielle and her plants.' The two women chuckled.

It was later in the day and Andrew had been shown to his room at the back of the cottage and Danielle had gone out to see Natalie, one of her college friends. Andrew was now sitting in the conservatory browsing through a Reader's Digest while Karen was at the local shop buying some groceries for dinner. He could not really concentrate on his book as his mind was still bamboozled by Karen's beautiful daughter. Danielle was not only gorgeous but intelligent and well spoken. He body was so good, she must have done some running or gym work he thought. He hesitated in dwelling on her too much in any lurid way as he had known her as a child but was finding it difficult to block out her girlie charms. However his attention was soon diverted by Karen who came back with a few bags of vegetables and some pasta.

'Do you like Italian food Andrew?'

'Yes, I love it.'

'OK, well I'm going to do a dish I picked up in Bologna last year.'

There was a pause as Karen unpacked the shopping.

'Do you want a hand with anything?'

'No it's OK Andrew you're my guest just put your feet up. Danny will be back soon and she will help me a bit anyway -- she's ever so good.'

'She's really blossomed hasn't she?'

'Not half, bet you had a surprise eh?'

'Absolutely, she's stunning.'

It was evening and Andrew and Karen were reminiscing about their schooldays. Danielle was in the shower.

'Would you like a drink? I've got some beer in the fridge or maybe you would like some whisky?'

'Oh I don't' drink spirits thanks, a beer would be nice though'

'Ok, I like the odd nip at this time of year, it's OK with lemonade.'

Karen went to fetch the drinks as Danielle came down and joined Andrew on the sofa. She was dressed in a pink dressing gown. Her hair was still damp from her shower and she had a lovely glow about her young face. Andrew caught a waft of the shower gel she had used as she sat down -- it was lovely.

'Are we going for a walk in the morning? Through the fields?' Asked Danielle.

'Yes, I'd like that, the countryside looked groovy on my way in.'

'Yes, it's nice round here, there's loads of interesting things to see. I like local history and stuff it's good.'

'Unusual for a girl your age -- but appealing though, you give blondes a good name!'

'Haaaa thanks', yes well I've got no time for clubbing and stuff, I want to get my qualifications with a clear head, there's loads of time to let my hair down isn't there?'

'Oh definitely.'

Andrew looked at her face and her long hair and involuntarily allowed his gaze to wander down her body, right down to her pink fluffy slippers. Danielle looked down and blushed slightly and then looked at Andrew awkwardly but smiled. There was a slightly embarrassed silence, before Karen came and handed him a glass of beer.

'Thanks Karen.' Andrew put the glass to his lips and instantly recognised his favourite brew.

'Gosh is this Amstel -- you remembered -- my favourite!' He put his glass on a mat and jumped up and gave her a big hug.

'That's so sweet of you to remember.'

'I know it's you're favourite from way back, thought I'd surprise you.'

Andrew sipped the deep bronze beer and admired Danielle who smiled at him. Andrew liked her. The more he got to know here the more she impressed him. She had her Mother's attentiveness but had her own vivacity and charm. It was an innocent, though not naïve charm and she showed an exuberance of spirit, Andrew had rarely encountered. She was certainly a league ahead of any of his students in her sophistication. The three continued to chat about old times and an hour or two passed until there were unanimous yawns and they each turned in.

Andrew lay awake in bed thinking of Danielle. He was torn between his respect for her and as his friend's daughter and how he had seen her that morning in her tight top and jeans. There was something about her unaffected, rural manner that appealed to him. She knew what was what, but she did not have the precocious, almost cynical ways of her urban peers. A life brought up in the country had moulded her in to a fine young woman with a level head. Andrew wondered if she was a virgin. He suspected she might be. In fact he was sure she was. As he pondered this, he drifted off to sleep.

The next morning everyone was up early and breakfasted together in the kitchen. The muesli was from a local mill and was patently better than his usual cereal as a result. Outside it was sunny and dry, perfect in fact for a walk. After some poached eggs and toast, Andrew fetched his boots from the car and everyone got ready for the walk.

'By the way, Natalie is meeting us for the walk Andrew -- in fact here she is now.'

Andrew looked up from tying his laces to see a teenage girl approaching, wearing black jogger bottoms and a short water proof coat. Natalie was not as tall as Danielle and had shortish mousy hair with dark brown highlights at the ends. She was pretty, but had a slightly mischievous, yet cute look about her. He could tell straight away she was not as pure as her blonde friend.

'Are we ready then? Oh hi Nat' called Karen.

They set off together in the direction of the church. The ground was soft with the mild weather but not too muddy. They took a turn to the right and followed a large hedgerow.

'This is a really ancient hedge Andy', Danielle pointed out. 'See how many different species there are.'

'How old do you think?' Asked Andrew.

'Oh I guess this has been here since the Middle Ages at least!'

'That's old', said Karen.

'I know, the more species you have the older it is generally -- it's Eraldson's law of biodiversity.'

'Gosh you know you're stuff Danny', said Andrew.

Danielle beamed proudly.

'I love botany and horticulture, there's so much to learn though.'

'Well stick at it my dear, I'm sure you'll realise your dream to run a nursery.'

'Do you think?'

'I know.'

Danielle gave him the same shy glance that he had seen the night before. It was an enigmatic look. It confused him.

They continued on the walk, following a river for a while and were lucky enough to shoo a Kingfisher from its post and saw the bright turquoise upperparts as it sped off upstream. There were a few remains of a Danish burial ground and there had been some archaeological works done there by Time Team. Danielle had been down to see some of the filming and had even spoken to Tony Robertson briefly. After a couple of miles they passed by a small village hall, which was doing teas and scones.

'Shall we go in?' Suggested Karen.

'Isn't it going to be full of grannies?' asked Nathalie.

'What's wrong with grannies?' Inquired Andrew. Nathalie shrugged her shoulders.

She was clearly not as at home in the country as Danielle who had already gone inside. Karen followed with Andrew as Nathalie lagged behind.

'Grannies?' Asked Andrew.

'Nathalie is from Hull, her parents came here last year and she wants the city again. But she's great friends with Danny, they're really close and that's the only thing that's keeping her sane.

'Will she adjust?'

'Well she's 18 so she can do what she likes when she's finished college. I think she wants to go to Uni. with Danny, but you can't plan your life around another person. She's a good girl though.'

'Yeah she's super.'

The quartet had their tea and scones and then followed the tracks back to the hamlet, where the girls said farewell for the day with a kiss and a hug Nathalie went home to the village.

******

It was later in the afternoon and the sun had gone down leaving a grey glow on the flat expanse of Lincolnshire. The phone rang and Karen picked it up and suddenly sounded a bit flustered.

'Oh but I've got a visitor can't it wait?'

----

'Really?'

-----

'OK, well I'll get ready in a bit and come over.'

She slammed the phone down.

'Bloody ell!'

'What is it Karen?'

'Oh my partner at the florists has just had a phonecall from one of the staff and she can't get in tomorrow, which means we wont be able to complete a very important order unless we both chip in and finish it off tonight. I'm sorry Andrew I'll have to go and do it, but you'll be OK wont you? I should be back for 10, sorry.'

'It's OK, I'll be fine, Danielle is great company.'

Danielle was in her room but came out when her Mum had told her what had happened. A few minutes later Karen was off.

'Well that's unexpected', said Danielle. 'Mum's really keen on this business, they've been busy really and she can't afford to let anyone down.'

'I know, it's a competitive business.'

'Erm Andrew, I'm just going to take a shower, now you've had yours, I'll be back in a bit.'

'OK then I'll put the kettle on when you come back.'

'Ooh alright, good, we can have some of Mum's cookies.'

Andrew switched on the TV but like most Sunday afternoons it was like watching paint dry. He always looked forward to The Antiques Roadshow, but that was about it, so he sat quietly for a while and thought what to do. Karen going out suddenly had created a bit of an anti-climax and he felt at a loose end. A little while later he heard a few doors banging at the back of the cottage; Danielle was out of the shower, so he put the kettle on.

It took him longer than it might to make the drinks, as he didn't know where anything was in the kitchen. As he turned round, he noticed Danielle who had come down quietly. He did a double take as she was wearing a short Garfield night shirt that finished not that far below her waist.

'Oh Danielle, you surprised me. He nodded towards her night shirt 'Erm you look ready for bed.'

She was clearly wearing no bra and her lovely uptilted breasts were jiggling beneath the nightwear. Her hair, which she had not properly dried fell around her shoulders in that slightly tangled, just washed way. Andrew was stunned. She looked amazing. Eighteen, fresh, innocent and amazing. She was almost too good to be true. Almost not real, but real she was and she stood there looking just about as delectable as any woman Andrew had ever lay his eyes on.

'Danny, I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but I'm not sure your mother would be happy with you walking around in just your night shirt when I'm around.

Danielle went rather coy and looked at Andrew imploringly.

'Why not?'

'Now you're not that naïve Danny, you know why not, I just wonder why you haven't got your dressing gown on.'

'Why do you think Andrew? Do you think I would be like this if my Mum was here?'

'That's a good question.'

'Do you like me like this?'

'It's not the point what I like. You are the daughter of my best friend and there are certain things that are a bit, well awkward.'

'Give me the coffee Andrew and we can sit down. I'm not the little girl you remember you know, I'm a woman now.'

'Yes, I know but I can't unremember the little girl. The sweet little girl who liked the horses and ran round the garden chasing her shadow. It's an issue for me Danielle.

'Don't let it be an issue Andy. That was then and now I've grown up. When I saw you yesterday I saw you through the eyes of a woman and I liked what I saw. What I was like when I was nine is irrelevant. Can you not just see me for how I am now?'

'Oh Danielle. If only I could find the words to express what a wonderful young woman you have turned into. You are pure poetry.'

'Thank you.'

Danielle was sitting with her legs together and had pulled her night shirt across her thighs a little too hide her modesty.

'Do you know what I'm wearing under this Andrew?'

Andrew closed his eyes. He could smell the sweetness of her body mingling with the delicate scent of the soap as she sat next to him on the sofa.

Andrew didn't speak but shook his head.

Danielle stood up.

'It's OK, there's no need to guess.'

'Danny please!'

Andrew was startled, he didn't know how to control the situation. He had to treat it sensitively without upsetting his young friend. She sat down again and held Andrew's hand and looked him in the eyes with the purity of spirit, which her young heart possessed.

'Andy, I want you to be my first lover, will you take me tonight -- here? I don't ask you this for any reason but that it feels right. I have waited too long. I don't want to date some stupid jerk from college and get fumbled and hurt. I've heard about the first time and I want my first time to be beautiful. And I can't think of any more beautiful way than with my old friend Andrew.

'I don't know what to say Danny, though I'm really flattered and heart-warmed by you feeling this way. I admit I find you very attractive, but you're still my little friend in a way; I'm not sure I can get past that.'

'Andy, you were always good to me. I remember lots of the little things from when I was young. I remember the daisy chain you made me in the paddocks and I remember you hugging me when I dropped my ice cream. You were good to Danielle the little girl, now can't you be good to Danielle the woman, please?'

Andrew felt incredibly moved at these words. He could feel himself trembling and was now torn apart. For the first time he did not relish being enticed by an eighteen year old. Any man would normally jump at the chance. But this was his best friend's daughter, someone who he had almost watch grow up.

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