Claire's Cousin Ch. 01byJennyGently©
This story combines three of my favourite themes in one tale. I leave it for you to discover what those themes are -- but it shouldn't be difficult to guess!
It is most definitely just a story but has a certain resonance with incidents in my own past. I have kept it from the male viewpoint because it works better that way and of course most of my audience is male. It would be fun to investigate it from Claire's point of view though.
You do need to suspend your disbelief a little -- but not too much!
It's also a bit longer than I would have preferred. Sorry, but once I got 'into' the characters, especially Tim, I just couldn't stop. There's quite a lot of dialogue so it doesn't take as long to read as you might think.
Please be patient. I think it's worth the effort.
I think I fell in love with Claire the first time I saw her, standing with her team mates in her hockey kit in the queue for dinner in the refectory of our University Hall of Residence. Dark haired, athletically built and sporty, she seemed a long way out of my class. Despite being basically tall and good-looking myself -- in great shape after many years playing rugby -- there was something about her that I found different from other girls and, frankly, intimidating but I couldn't get her out of my mind.
For many weeks I tried to find out more about her. To some extent I was lucky -- no current boyfriend, no bad reputation etc -- and I looked out for her around the block in which I knew she lived, making sure to go for my meals at times she would probably be there too. But, apart from quite literally running into her one evening as I sprinted around the corner of the refectory building, I felt unable even to approach her, going all tongue-tied and as awkward as a teenager -- which I hadn't been for nearly a year
But then came my big break! I accidentally discovered we had something in common. For the first and perhaps the only time in my life, being a half-lapsed Catholic was a big bonus.
On one of the two Sundays each term in which I felt compelled to go to Mass, to my astonishment I found myself sitting next to Claire in a pew towards the back of church. I had already sat down before I realised who my companion was and, when I looked across at her in her Sunday dress it took all my resolve not to panic and run away. But instead I smiled stupidly and said 'Hi.'
To my relief, Claire recognised me from the Hall and smiled back, a fact that made me almost glow with pleasure, and after the interminably long service we stayed behind for the obligatory coffee and attempted fundraising. If anything she looked even more beautiful in her church clothes than in her hockey kit and, as we chatted and learned more about each other, I fell even more deeply in love.
The following week I went to mass again -- most unusual for me - and made sure I sat next to her. This time after the service I asked if she would like to go to the cinema that evening. To my utter delight, almost without hesitation she said she would.
In such simple ways great romances begin.
We were both bright students, me studying Biochemistry, Claire studying English and History and we became an inseparable couple for the rest of our University career - no mean feat given student life these days - and were married soon after graduation in a big, traditional family celebration.
I know it sounds very unlikely, but up to our marriage day, we had both remained virgins. I can't think of another couple I know who could (or would) admit that but in our case it's true. To be honest, I have to say my own virgin status was not deliberate -- before I fell in love with Claire I had gone to great lengths to try and lose my cherry but without success. Claire on the other hand, was and is utterly gorgeous and could have slept with any number of boys at school or University but being a 'Good Catholic' had determined to remain 'pure' until she had a husband and, despite my best efforts to get into her panties -- a feat only my fingers and on a few memorable occasions my tongue achieved - she managed to keep her vow right up to our wedding night.
As a result of course, our first night on honeymoon was more than a little awkward -- terrifying to be honest - but my God, it was worth the wait. After the first few clumsy short-lived penetrations and messy ejaculations we were like kids with a new toy and were seldom seen in the daylight throughout the whole two week holiday.
Claire in particular found she had -- indeed still has -- a very strong sex drive. It lessened for a short while after the kids were born -- more about that later - but returned with force and even today we make love in one way or another almost every day.
And so we began our life together, divinely blessed with extraordinary good luck.
The first good luck was that we were both offered good first jobs straight from University. My technical background got me onto the Graduate Training Scheme of a large Grocery Retail organisation. The intention was to join their product development team as a Technical Manager at the end of the two-year programme. For me, it was the perfect role. Claire was offered a place on a Teacher Training course, something she had wanted to do since early on in her schooldays. We were both delighted of course.
The second piece of luck was that both these jobs were based in or around London, which meant we were able to live together without the strain of long commutes and for a while things were going along swimmingly.
But life can't be all good luck, can it?
The first unexpected problem was that Claire turned out to be extremely fertile and, with our highly active sex life, the inevitable quickly happened. Claire fell pregnant within three months. This was definitely an accident and not at all part of our life plan, but as a result of her devout Catholic upbringing, Claire had extremely strong views on birth control and abortion so our first daughter was born exactly one year after our wedding. This pleased our extended families no end but put paid to Claire's part of our original life plans and she had to postpone her course.
Despite this setback -- or perhaps because of it -- her sex drive if anything increased with even more predictable consequences. Our son appeared less than eleven months after his sister and our second daughter a little more than ten months after that.
Three kids in three years? It is possible to have too many blessings!
This made our first few years together very hard, with Claire pregnant so much of the time, raising the babies on a single salary and me working long hours trying to get ahead, taking every opportunity that came my way to progress and earn more money to support my growing family.
Although it was very hard physically and financially and seemed to go on forever, eventually things began to improve. The kids grew older, were potty trained, could start going to nursery and, eventually, I started getting promotions at work.
It was around this time that I had my vasectomy.
Realising that I only had to smile at Claire to get her pregnant had forced her to re-think the whole Catholic birth-control ethos and she had gone on the pill. The babies stopped and we had at least a chance of sanity in our lives. However it wasn't many months before her conscience got the better of her and we had a 'long talk'. To be honest, at the time it wasn't a tough decision for me -- after all, we already had three kids -- and it made Claire a lot less worried so one fine day I went into the local hospital for the morning and came out sterile and sore but content.
Also around that time I was promoted to a Senior R&D job at work that required me to visit most of the factories making products for the company, wherever in the world they were based. A huge increase in salary came with the promotion which was desperately needed, what with three small kids and high London prices, and it was a big step in the right direction for my career.
Unfortunately it also required me to travel abroad much more to deal with suppliers and factories in far-flung countries. Indeed a substantial part of the salary increase was designed to help compensate for me being away a lot more than before.
Often I'd go abroad for a week or maybe two, then come back for a week then leave again for another week or two while a project lasted. This would go on for a month or so then I would be based back in London until it all started up again somewhere else.
It wasn't the best way to run my family life, but as I said, the salary was huge and we agreed it was worth it -- at least for a few years while we paid down the mortgage. We were able to move to a bigger house right away, albeit in a less desirable area. We even had a spare bedroom!
We had also started talking about having more kids. As I explained, we both came from large Catholic families and, being a little isolated in London, both missed having so many relatives close by. Now that we could afford it without Claire working, having more was a financial possibility and we began to regret my vasectomy. I had started finding out about having it reversed but hadn't gone ahead with it yet.
However, not everything was running smoothly. We hadn't bargained on just how much strain my new working arrangements would put on our relationship.
The first and most obvious problem was of course that poor Claire had to bring up three kids on her own for more than half of the time. Their close ages and all the activities kids get up to when they go to school made this very hard work. She quickly became exhausted.
The second, surprisingly important strain was the pressure it put on our sex life. As I explained, Claire's sex drive in particular was quite high and to both our surprise she found it difficult not having me in her bed and in her body most nights of the week, the lack of physical contact making her feel a bit alone and neglected. I of course felt the same, but you expect that from a man, don't you?
We persevered but, after nearly a year of on-and-off travel, it was clear that our relationship was under quite a bit of strain. Bad tempered arguments over trivial things became commonplace and eventually our parents pressured us into at least talking to the Priest.
Father William, blessedly forward-looking in attitude, quickly spotted a potentially serious problem in his flock and referred us to a local marriage counsellor who we reluctantly agreed to see when I returned from my next overseas visit.
I had not been looking forward to the meeting but, to our joint surprise, the counsellor identified almost immediately that our 'problems' were more practical than relationship based and, working together, we tried to find solutions.
The sex issue was solved surprisingly easily in a way neither of us would have thought of on our own -- Phone Sex! Once the idea had been explained, initially to looks of bafflement, it was agreed that whenever I was away, we would arrange a private time where I was alone in my room and Claire could be child-free and without danger of interruptions at home. I would then call her and we would arouse each other as much as we wanted over the telephone, bringing ourselves individually to a mutual climax.
It took some persuasion before Claire accepted that masturbation wasn't a sin and in fact could be a positive thing in a marriage. The counsellor also had to provide her with a selection of pornographic material -- books and videos, Claire was too embarrassed to let me know the details - to help her think of things to say and fantasies to enjoy as we spoke but she was prepared to give the idea a go.
After a slightly awkward start, within a week of my next departure we were both enjoying the new experience immensely and at least part of the strain in our marriage had been addressed. As she was still a little shy, typically I would have to take the lead and ask Claire questions to which she would provide exciting answers...
'What are you wearing tonight?'
'My tennis skirt and top. White socks.'
'Are your legs spread?"
"Just a little!"
"Where shall I touch you?'
'Your fingers are sliding slowly up my thighs'
'How far up have they reached?'
'They're tangled in my pubic hair.'
'What are you doing?'
'I'm opened my thighs wider for you.'
'How do you feel?'
'Mmmm Wet. I want you badly.'
'What am I doing now?'
'You're slipping a finger inside me...'
You get the picture? It drove me crazy, especially when I could hear Claire touching herself noisily in the background or the low buzz of the vibrator she had secretly bought (and thought I didn't know about). We would often climax together though many miles apart.
It wasn't nearly as good as real sex but it was a lot better than doing nothing.
The problem of Claire's workload was harder to solve but a temporary solution came unexpectedly about six weeks later. We were both at home one evening when the phone rang.
"It's your Aunt Caroline." I said, handing the receiver to Claire, who went into the kitchen to take the call. When she returned, she had a puzzled look on her face.
"You remember my Cousin Simon?" She asked. I did indeed, although I hadn't seen him for several years. A tall, sporty kid as I recalled with an obsession with football, but pleasant enough. I said as much and Claire explained that Simon was doing a degree in Sports Science at University and had won a fantastic placement with one of London's top Premier League football clubs -- a real triumph and not to be missed. However he was finding it impossible to get affordable accommodation close to the ground so his mother, Claire's Aunt, had wondered whether Simon could stay with us for the duration of the twelve-week course, going home at weekends. She had offered to pay towards his board.
We talked about it for a short time but I could see nothing to worry about. Simon was family after all and families should support each other. It would be company for Claire too while I was away and he would be able to help with the kids' logistics, particularly as I had a heavy travel schedule coming up.
Claire was concerned about 'having yet another kid in the house' but I pointed out he was twenty years old. She herself was only twenty-nine. In addition, he had a driving licence...
And so it was agreed. Simon would come and stay for a term, starting in only three weeks.
I had two short trips abroad during the following weeks during which Claire became much more confident in our phone sex sessions, probably feeling more relaxed at the idea of having some help around the house. This became clear as she began to take increasing control of the scenarios we used, leading us down a few new lines, probably as a result of her reading more of the 'material' the counsellor had loaned her. I wasn't going to complain.
"So where did you go today?"
"I took the kids to school then went to the supermarket."
"What were you wearing?"
"My short green denim skirt and a white top."
"The red one."
"In my handbag!"
"Who did you meet?"
"Carol and Sue at school. John McDonald at the supermarket."
"How did you feel being out without knickers?"
"Mmmm. Very sexy! Very exposed!"
"What did you do about it?"
"I came home and finished myself off in the bedroom!"
"With your vibrator?"
"Mmmm yes -- Hey! How long have you known about that?"
It did sometimes cross my mind that Claire's scenarios were very vividly painted indeed -- sometimes almost too vivid! This made for really excellent phone sex, but I did occasionally just wonder if perhaps -- just perhaps -- they were a bit more real than they were supposed to be. But then she was an English graduate and her imagination was supposed to be good, wasn't it?
Anyway, a few weeks later Simon arrived by train from 'the North' one Sunday evening as planned. The doorbell rang at about eight o'clock and I opened it, stepping back in surprise. Not having seen Simon for at least five years, I hadn't really appreciated the difference that period makes to a teenage boy. Instead of the spotty, slightly sullen, football obsessed teenager I remembered, there stood a tall, powerfully built, athletic young man in knee length shorts and a tight shirt that seemed -- probably was -- designed to show off his admittedly rather impressive physique.
"Hi!"He said. "I'm Simon. "You must be Uncle Tim."
I recovered from my surprise. "Just Tim please. Come in and meet everyone..."
Claire seemed equally surprised by Simon's appearance but we all quickly adjusted. The kids were brought down in their pyjamas to meet their -- well we agreed to call him Cousin Simon, I lose track of 'once removed, half cousin' etc -- and we drank tea together and chatted before going early to bed in readiness for a busy week.
Once our lovemaking was over for the night, Claire and I lay side by side in bed.
"He seems a nice kid." I offered.
"He's still a bit shy but yes, he's a lovely lad." She agreed. "He's a bit too aware of his good looks though."
I laughed. "I spotted that too." I pinched her on the arm. "Just make sure you don't notice them too much."
And so a new, more relaxed lifestyle began. Simon proved to be a perfect gentleman and a great help for Claire, getting the kids ready for school and nursery in the mornings before going to work himself, and then helping get them to bed in the evenings, as well as reading to and listening to them after work.
He managed to get Claire to start exercising again, with short, then longer runs around the London Park near to our home, and more regular visits to the local gym where our membership had all but lapsed. Over the weeks, Claire's pre-childbirth sporty body began to return, much to my delight. Simon even got me exercising again, my once-tight rugby-playing physique starting to re-emerge. Claire was brighter and happier just having 'another grown up to talk to' and we became a very happy household.
My travel schedule was, as predicted, really hectic throughout this period and in the first four weeks I was only home for a handful of nights so our phone sex sessions became more and more important.
For the first three weeks Claire seemed to be really getting into it and the scenarios became more and more realistic and risqué, including being naked in public and being watched making love, depending on which chapter of the Counsellor's book she had just finished reading, I suppose.
At the beginning of the fourth week we were well into a scenario in which we were having sex on a beach where we could be overseen by a tall, good looking man when out of the blue Claire took the narrative down a new track. The man came over and began to join in, touching her and kissing her in many places in front of me. I could clearly hear her vibrator in the background. This entirely new and unexpected direction was so arousing that I came far too early so I'm not sure how far she would have let the stranger go with her but it was an incredible turn on and I told her so as she finished herself off with her toy while I listened, still highly aroused.
The next few days were rather strange though. Although we still had phone sex, the 'third person' scenario was not repeated -- in fact Claire's heart seemed to have gone out of the whole process a little. Naturally I was upset and disappointed about this, as well as puzzled.
When I returned home at the weekend we had a follow-up meeting with our Counsellor who could immediately tell something had changed. After briefly talking to us together he then chatted to each of us separately before bringing us back into the room.
"It's clear that during your phone session last week, something happened that upset one or perhaps both of you. It's also clear that you both really enjoyed the session and perhaps have frightened yourselves at how strongly one particular scenario made you feel. I believe that at least one of you (Claire blushed at this) feels guilty about enjoying it so much and feels a little threatened by it."