My Only Talent Ch. 25byconanthe©
Note: The descriptions and accounts in these stories are fictional and do not portray any actual people or events. The delay in posting this chapter and perhaps the next few may be ascribed to some unexpected turbulence and travel in the author's schedule.
The twins were little jumping blonde bundles of energy as we made our way from the hotel lobby back out to the car, which proved to be a big old silver grey Range Rover, very similar to the one Peggy had sold before she left Austin, but older and even more worn, and with British plates, several add on bumpers and brush guards, some aggressively treaded winter tires to handle snowy conditions and the steering wheel on the right hand side. I just can't get used to that. They guided me into the middle of the back seat with efficient position blocking feints and shoulder bumps that suddenly reminded me of two taller blond copies of Eldee winning one of her herding trials. They each handed me one end of the middle seat belt and strapped themselves in on either side of me while I buckled up.
The unshaven and hung over tennis bum and our reluctant chauffeur, whose name turned out improbably to be Newcombe (B. for breaking) Connors, put on his own seat belt and started the engine, looking up in the mirror to gaze at the girls seamlessly pressed against my thighs and staring like I was about to be their breakfast. I had not had breakfast, and my stomach was telling me about it. They caught him looking into the back seat and cleared their throats dramatically, and in response he shrugged, donned a pair of ear buds and turned up some very heavy metal sounding tunes, effectively preventing him from listening in on the conversation. He pulled the Range Rover out onto Whitehall and I saw the big Ferris wheel across the river to my right as we then turned left. We soon passed what I thought I recognized from the guidebook as Buckingham Palace, then Paddington Station, and merged into a motorway. This looked like approximately the same route we had taken to the Tier Group offices in Watford to start our all day tour yesterday. But I soon lost all ability to try to follow our progress, as we turned onto some small and not so clearly labeled roads, and then two lovely faces and two pairs of eyes and two sizzling Suzie signals suddenly pinned me in place like a bug mounted in a collection for careful study.
"Abbie said we would like you, Robbie, and we sure do, or at least I do. Don't you, too, Terry?"
"Most assuredly, my dear sister Jerry! He is absotively scrum-diddly-umptous, just as advertised!"
I sought some clarification on our budding relationship. "Tell me, girls, where are you in school?"
"We are home schooled, Robbie, as our intensive tennis training, overall learning style and natural proclivities are not well aligned with the typical classroom atmosphere!" That I could certainly believe.
"Sister, dear, I think Robbie was trying to politely enquire as to our ages, pursuant to Newcombe's catty comment about 'jailbait', a term of American slang referring to those unfortunate girls too young to be legally consenting sexual partners."
"Oh, we have certainly debated that one very frequently over the years at our house, Robbie. We just turned 18 and are well beyond legal age in the UK. Were we born in days of yore we might have been legal at 12 or 13."
"But to address your concerns, Robbie Dear, our Mommie trumps the law around here, at least as far as we are concerned, and she has decreed that we cannot have sex with anyone unless she gives us prior approval!"
"Seems a waste of time and talent, but she says we have to wait until 'our brains develop properly'!" That familiar phrase set my teeth on edge and my mind on guard.
"She says things like 'why have some just some good stuff now when you can wait a little while and have all the very best for the rest of your life' and 'you will thank me in the future'. " Another set of familiar phrases: what were the odds?
"She says she doesn't want us to be like little girls in the candy shop and eat too much and make ourselves sick."
"I do want to eat a lot!"
"But our Mommie is not exactly a stick in the mud, if you know what I mean, so there might be something to her concerns and cautions. At any rate, even though we are eighteen, she has not yet approved anyone for us!"
"After we turn 21, we can pick out own poison, so to speak."
"So we have been making our lists of candidates for Mommie to approve since we were 14, sort of a 'bucket list' of people and things we want to do before we die, or in this case, as soon as she will let us."
"In our lighter moments, we call it our 'fuckit list'!"
"I'm penciling you in on mine, Robbie. Mommie wouldn't have had step daddy Abbie invite you if you weren't a prospect, and you look very promising to me!"
What does one say to that? "Well, girls, you are both charming and very attractive, and you certainly seem enthusiastic, but I think I'm just here to play tennis."
"You have no inkling of how enthusiastic we could be, Robbie! Officially speaking, you are here to help sell insurance to Abbie, aren't you? But something about you has piqued our Mommie's interest. Are you attracted to older women?"
"Hush, Terry. If she does him we never can! You know the rules!"
Looking out the window showed me nothing but tree lined roads running through well-kept pastures. I suddenly longed for the simpler, more solitary, agricultural life.
"Speaking of tennis, we like to play strip tennis! When you lose a game, you lose one article of clothing. Set points are so thrilling!
"And we are very strict about how we count items, too! For instance, all jewelry counts as one item, inclusive of earrings, bracelets, watches, body jewelry, anything."
"Shoes count as one item, as do socks or hosiery! None of this left and right counts as two items stuff."
Sexually charged tennis bets made me think of Lara, and I started to get hard, perhaps not the wisest thing I could do in this situation. "Does your mother know about all this?"
They laughed nervously. "Mommie knows everything about us, and about most everyone else, too. You can't lie to her and you can't fool her, and you certainly don't want to cross her!"
Terry nudged my thigh and leered openly at my erection, which was straining against the pleated crotch of my dark grey slacks. "Does YOUR mother know about THAT?"
Holy Toledo. That just made it harder, and more difficult. Change the subject, Robbie. Peggy seemed to really like Abelard's wife, but she had described the daughters as 'evil'. Was that her synonym for threatening?
"How often do you lose at tennis, girls?"
"Only when we want to - usually just a game or two to get our victims excited and set the hook. Then we scorch 'em and strip 'em. It's the primary vicarious sexual pleasure that Mommie will let us pursue, so far. She invites potential candidates for a match, and then we see how they handle being defeated and disrobed, plus we get to check out the goods, so to speak, that might make it onto our lists. It's delicious fun. I cross off the guys or girls that get all embarrassed and surly when they lose."
"And I underline the guys that get all hot and hard when they realize we are going to get to see them naked. Bonus points for boners, I always say!" Jerry took a little Filofax out of her purse and drew two obvious lines on a page, looking from it to my crotch and back.
"Are you two really any good as players?"
"Abbie and our coaches all say we are going to be the English equivalent of the Williams Sisters!" That would be pretty good. Did I really want to play tennis against these two? Was that their mother's plan?
The Range Rover bucked as we turned off the two lane country road onto an even narrower one, through a radio operated gate, and then down the winding road flanked by hundreds of huge trees. A big old house loomed in the distance on a hill, surrounded by orchards full of now dormant trees and what seemed like miles of low stone wall. Snow dotted the landscape, and wood smoke escaped from several chimneys. We went through the front gate in the stone wall, and around behind the giant home, passing a very big and tall metal building, painted in wide swaths of green and brown, almost camouflage style. Back home in Texas, a building like this would probably be painted in a khaki color, be surrounded by pickups and SUVs, have a sign that said something like 'Bubba Bob's Baseball Academy' and be full of batting cages, pitching machines, and prospective baseball scholarship recipients or direct high school draft picks. I realized this was why 'step daddy Abbie' was so confident we could deal with tennis in the cold weather, and that this edifice must be full of tennis courts and serving machines. It was camouflaged and surrounded by trees even taller than it was to keep up the otherwise baronial appearance of the estate. I was suddenly a little apprehensive to see who I was expected to play first, and who would be in the gallery.
We stopped at the back entrance of the house, where lots of cars were parked. A guy dressed in what had to be a butler's outfit drove up in a 'stretch golf cart' and took the girls coats and my little suitcase, and loaded them in the back of the cart where you would expect the golf clubs to go. This guy looked to be about 40 years old, and moved like a well conditioned cat, hardly what you would expect from a stuffy English butler. He had a clear eyed and very observant look.
He turned to me. "Come with me up to the Salmon Suite, sir, on the third floor of the main house, left hallway, the one with the salmon colored fabric on the door. My name is Jeeves, and you may call on me should need anything, anything at all." He handed me a blue duffle bag. "This is some tennis equipment and togs and that you should change into, and then join the group in the dining room on the first floor for breakfast, before the tennis tournament begins." I took the bag automatically, as the twins each took one arm and gave me a stereo wet kiss, one set of twin lips on each cheek.
"Darn it, Robbie. Thanks to the tournament, we won't get to strip you. Mommies' tennis tournaments are nothing more than thinly disguised social devices to get the proper people to meet each other and talk. She lays out the seeds in each bracket so that people she wants to put together get eliminated early, and end up sitting and talking with each other, assuming she has handicapped the matches properly. Since you most regrettably haven't invited us to come and watch you change clothes, we'll just see you downstairs at breakfast."
Jeeves led the way up the massive stairs, and I got a load of the house, or perhaps I should say castle. This thing was huge and built a long time before indoor plumbing and electricity, and the primary components seemed to be giant blocks of granite. These steps would not have been out of place on an Incan pyramid. There were at least six levels above the ground floor, each separated by many widely spaced steps, up which we now trudged, although Jeeves seemed pretty light on his feet, even carrying my bag and what looked like someone else's much larger suitcase. We turned left at the third floor, and I saw a huge wooden door at the far end of the landing with a center decorative panel of what looked like salmon colored satin upholstery on it. Jeeves entered the suite, delivering quite a push to move the massive door open, and deftly hung up my clothes in the closet and put my Dopp kit in the bathroom, then hurried out on some other mission.
I opened the blue duffle bag he had given me, and discovered a brand new Wilson Steam racquet, with the correct 5 grip, a pair of Nike 'ballistecs in the correct 12 wide, and some rightly sized and very high quality tennis whites with that ubiquitous 'Liverpool Tennis Center' logo in the same blue, complete with a blue tennis jacket that matched the color of the lettering and the laces in the shoes, and a custom grip wrap and sweat band, also in the same color coordinated blue. I was impressed, and I now had no excuse for poor performance on the court. I actually hadn't played anything but the charity tournaments since my match with Lara. I dressed out and then looked at myself in the mirror, and discovered that my newly developed thighs and butt did make me look very different in these tight whites than I would have back when ESU classes began.
I took a look around in the huge suite, which was decorated like some sort of a steam punk version of a fancy hotel room. Everything that wasn't metal was colored in whites and blues, and the only salmon color I had seen was on the door. Then I looked in the corner near the window and saw a big salmon colored lump of something. On closer inspection, it was either a broken down old re-upholstered chair, or a very strange foot rest or ottoman. It stood like a toadstool up out of the floor, five feet across, except that it wasn't round and symmetrical like a toadstool. It had a five lobed top like the underside of a big strawberry, with the center elevated, and with a little depression in the very top. It didn't look like it would support your feet very well, as it was a little too high for that, and there was no chair nearby anyway. There were little areas scooped out of the wood base around the perimeter and lined with something smooth that looked like black leather that you could put something the size of a big grapefruit in snugly. It was apparently stuffed with horsehair padding, and covered in strange salmon colored leather that looked very smooth, but thick and very strong. There was also a row of old looking snap fasteners and brand new hook and ring strips around the very bottom of its circumference.
I was still staring at it uncomprehendingly when I heard footfalls and laughter outside on the stairway, and noted that other people were heading down to breakfast, presumably from other suites on my floor or those above. I stuck my head out and saw two couples in their thirties, well dressed, each holding hands, and descending the staircase. I fell into step in between the two couples.
"I wonder who we will have to endure today?" the woman closest to me hissed at her companion. "You'd think he would impose all this only on his direct employees, not other museum donors! Does he want to humiliate us because we don't give the museum as much as he does?"
"Nobody gives as much has he does. What's humiliating about meeting other donors, and playing tennis with them, plus free lodging, food and drink for the weekend?
"I just don't like it. I think there is stuff going on here that we don't get invited to!"
"I don't. If you know something, then please tell me."
"I heard something in the bathroom of the tennis building last time we were here. One woman said to another "If I wanted to go dogging, this would be the place to try it!"
"I thought some of the guests that did not play tennis went out 'birding' in the woods. We have been invited to do that, we just never went. What's dogging?"
"I do not!"
A loud pop of a Suzie signal emerged from the woman, not for her companion, or anyone in particular, just a generic 'woman signaling for man' desire signal. It quickly grew stronger, with a wild overtone. "It's when a woman goes out into the woods and...." She paused just as they turned a corner toward the dining room, and then noticed me and the other couple just behind me. Her face became a mask of alarm, and she instantly grew silent. Her Suzie signal wavered and died out.
By that time they had reached the dining room, which looked like it could seat at least 200 people. I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye and saw the twins waving enthusiastically at me. Next to them were my old ESU football game buddy Abelard Peters, and a tall and beautiful platinum haired woman that seemed to be about 45 years old to Abelard's almost 80. Both girls reached for an arm when I approached the group.
"Mommie, this is Robbie. He is on both our lists already!"
The woman looked incredulous, but Abelard laughed loudly, taking her upper arm. "Oh how you will serve me tonight, wench! I'll teach you to bet against me! "
She reached over and patted his butt. 'I already do anything you want, you old goat!" She smiled, pulled the arm away from him and held out her hand to me. "I am Belinda Hatch-Peters, Abelard's second and final wife."
I'm not sure why the inspiration struck me, but I took her hand, held it up to my lips and gave the back of it a lingering kiss. The twins bounced up and down as they watched, then both put their hands out to me. I passed on their implied offer and spoke to their mother, still holding her gaze. "The pleasure is mine. My opinion of Abelard, already high, has now soared after meeting you and your lovely daughters. "
She laughed heartily. "What a shameless hound dog you are young man. We'll get along famously!"
Abelard spoke up. "I usually introduce her as 'my current wife' and she was just trying to forestall my little joke. I am glad you could join us, Robbie."
We sat at a big table with about eight other people and breakfast was served family style in big bowls. I counted eight tables of about a dozen people each, and there would have been room for lots more. My stomach, growling all during the car trip, was delighted by the contents of the bowls: eggs, sausages, kippers, scones, strawberries, oranges, melon balls, and French toast dusted with powdered sugar. Yee Haw! The conversation included the entire table and ranged from the latest additions to the museum's various collections, to tennis, to Formula One racing, to geopolitics. I enjoyed listening, but I was too busy filling my hollow leg to participate. Perhaps getting my blood sugar back up to normal increased my Suzie sensitivity, as I began to hear subtle and not so subtle Suzie signals from all over the room. The twins provided their constant background noise of little jumping puppy Suzie signals popping all around, almost randomly signaling for a wide assortment of targets. Occasional signals from adjacent tables would override the twins, with stronger and more developed desire signals for specific people.
As breakfast wound down, Belinda changed the subject from Obama's treatment of Britain to tennis, "Robbie, I have seeded you for this morning's tournament based solely on Abelard's assessment of your tennis ability. For my sake I hope he was not too optimistic. But I understand my girls are hoping that you are hopelessly inept and will fall victim to their skills later in your visit." With that she stood up and walked over to a large board on a stand at the front of the room, which was covered with a blue plastic tarp. All conversations instantly stopped at the other tables, and several frantic Suzies sprang forth, all tinged with raucous overtones of various kinds of wildness.
The woman to my left leaned over and whispered to the man next to her, but loudly enough for me to hear, "If they get eliminated early, I am going to throw my match so I am free to be with them! Promise me you will, too!" I instantly heard a strange spike of some mixed male signaling for female and some male signaling for male Suzies, but could not hear his verbal reply. Belinda Hatch-Peters reached the stand and pulled off the blue tarp, revealing a fairly standard looking ladder of seeds for a tennis tournament. Most of the names I did not recognize, but I saw my own name, paired with Belinda's, seeded as second highest mixed doubles pair.
Abelard leaned closer to me. "Belinda's tournaments are unusual. It looks like a regular mixed doubles setup, but there is an overall handicapping formula and then a separate ongoing ranking ladder for males and females. The main purpose is to stimulate giving for the museum, but some of our guests have 'side bets' that stimulate other things, you might say. You have probably noticed that Belinda is a very vital and striking woman, and I must tell you that we have a very open and understanding relationship; you could say, especially with regard to our libidos. Her needs are ten times mine, and while she can satisfy me completely, I also enjoy watching her satisfying herself and other people, with my complete approval."