If you've read my story 'Love Hurts' you may remember a minor character called Irene. She was one of the door staff at Guys & Dolls, a nightclub for lesbians and gay men. Irene was the diminutive bouncer whose permanent scowl made even hard men run for cover. 'Smile' is a tale that thrusts Irene into a starring role. It's a love story—there is some sex but as always it's secondary to the plot. I hope you enjoy it.

Characters in sex scenes are eighteen years old or over. All characters and places are imaginary—any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 to the author

"...You'll find that life is still worthwhile/If you just smile..."

Nat King Cole 1954

* * * * *


"Doesn't she ever smile?" I pointed to the petite doorkeeper. I asked because her expression always reminded me of that old saying—what was it? Something about a bulldog chewing on a wasp.

"Who, Irene?" My pal Maggie laughed. "I've been coming here for three or four years now and this is about as pleasant as she's ever looked. Still, Malcolm makes up for her. He's always cheerful."

Malcolm was Irene's workplace partner on the door, a huge man who seemed to exude happiness. He was even friendly and jovial when throwing people out. And did I say Malcolm was 'a huge man'? He was a giant who would have made John Wayne look like a midget, that is if you could ever have got John Wayne into a gay club which seems unlikely. Nobody ever bore Malcolm any ill-will. Irene? Well, I don't know about that. She certainly didn't go out of her way to win friends and influence people.

I'd seen them in action once. I'd been near the front of a queue to get into the club one evening. At the head of the line was a plump, red-faced man who had obviously, as they say, supped well but not wisely. He was an obnoxious loudmouth who had been complaining bitterly about the wait for fifteen minutes or so. "I'm sorry, sir," Malcolm said to him, "I think you've had enough to drink already. I can't allow you in."

With booze-induced bravado, the plump man leaned back to stare up at Malcolm's six-foot-six or -seven. "And who's going to stop me? You? I'm not scared of you, you big bastard."

"Of course you're not, sir, I could tell at a glance you're the stuff heroes are made of. I still wouldn't advise you to go into the club, though. Not a good idea." Smiling, Malcolm leaned back against the door-frame, muscular arms folded.

"Fuck you!" The drunk made as if to enter the club, only to find his way barred by five-foot-nothing Irene. "You heard my colleague, you're not coming in," she said.

"Fuck you too!" The man grabbed at Irene's shoulder to push her aside. I didn't see exactly what happened, only that suddenly he was on the ground, flabby hand clutching an elbow. "You've broken my arm," he whimpered.

"No I haven't. If I'd broken your arm you'd be in real pain." Irene's tone was neutral, as if she was greeting a casual acquaintance. "Now get up and go away before I get annoyed." I don't know about the plump man but Irene's scowl scared me and I wasn't even involved.

Malcolm reached down with a huge hand, gripped the drunk's jacket collar and lifted him to his feet as if he weighed nothing. "You see, sir, I told you it would be a bad idea. Now why don't you go home and sleep it off? Oh, and don't bother coming back here—Irene remembers faces and she holds grudges."

There had been a smattering of applause as the drunk lurched off. Remembering the incident, I told Maggie all about it.

Maggie grinned. "The damned fool. Irene's a krav maga expert."

"Krav maga? That's a new one on me."

"It's an unarmed combat system, not a sport, no gentlemanly rules like some martial arts. It's Israeli in origin and was devised for their military and intelligence personnel."

"Well, I was impressed," I commented.

"You didn't know this place when it first opened, did you?"

I shook my head.

"Dodge City on a Saturday night," Maggie told me, "All the local yobs thought it would be fun to come in and start trouble with the gays—idiots thought that all gay men are pansies. It happens a lot of the gay men in here play rugby or belong to the local boxing club. Malcolm and Irene were like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and with back-up from some of the members... well, after three or four weeks this was the quietest, safest club in this part of the city. Still get the occasional prat but not too often."

I looked again at Irene. "You know, it's a shame about that expression of hers. Look past the scowl and she's got a really nice face. If only she'd smile..."

Maggie laughed. "Annie Truscott, I do believe that you fancy Irene," she teased.

I felt my face go warm. "I'm only commenting..." But did I fancy Irene then? I'm not sure. What I was sure of was that hidden under that menacing look of hers was something quite different. Oh, she wouldn't have won any beauty contests, anything like that, but I believed I could see what most couldn't, someone decent and pleasant-looking struggling to get out.

I continued watching Irene for a few moments, almost lost in a daydream. When I tore my eyes away from her, I saw that Maggie was giving me a quizzical look. "You know, Annie, I think it's about time that you looked around for someone new," my friend said, "You've been alone long enough."

I shrugged. "After my last experience? I don't think so..."

"Not everyone's like Barbara," Maggie pointed out, "And it's what, five or six years now?" I hadn't been completely alone for all of that time—when I first met Maggie we'd had a very brief fling but then decided we'd make better friends than lovers.

"Nearer six," I said, "Whatever it is, a pet goldfish would be an improvement. It wouldn't be likely to walk out on me, anyway. " Then as an afterthought: "Neither would my vibrator."

Maggie gave a long, theatrical sigh. "So young, so cynical..." And we both laughed.

* * * * *

Despite our laughter I had been badly hurt at the time and it soured me for other lovers. One- or two- night stands, yes—other than that, no!

When I was about eleven my father was made redundant from his job. He had always been a keen amateur photographer and a good one so with Mum's encouragement he decided to have a crack at running his own business, putting a good chunk of his redundancy money into starting up. He found a vacant shop near the city centre and fitted it out as part retail outfit, part studio—clever with his hands, he was able to do much of the renovation work himself. It was tough going at first but he gradually built it up into a successful venture and in time he found himself on constant call. His work was quality and his customers recognised this.

Sadly, a short while after my twelfth birthday, my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It wasn't too bad at first but it is a progressive disease and worsened as the years went by. Dad offered to give up his business to look after her and that was one of the few occasions I remember Mum being ratty with him. "Don't you dare, Ted Truscott! You've got something good going here and you're not going to throw it away just because I'm unwell. The best thing you can do for me is to make it a success."

"Anyway," I'd chipped in, "I can take care of Mum while you're at work, Dad." And that's the way it was.

I was about sixteen or so when I admitted to myself that I was probably gay. I'd been masturbating for several years and slowly realised that my fantasies when touching myself were all about women and girls. Men and boys just didn't appeal to me. I was bothered at first—most of my school-friends seemed to be boy-crazy yet I just couldn't see what was so attractive about the pimply and immature unwashed. I started to believe that there was something unnatural about me. I was unhappy for quite a while, wanting to conform but unable to do so, until the day I read a magazine interview with a famous TV personality who admitted to being a lesbian. She understood it could be difficult in certain places and situations but said that she felt much happier, more at ease and more confident once she was, as she put it, 'out and proud'. That was when I saw the light. I thought What the hell? I was what I was and no amount of wishful thinking was going to change that, so with relief I accepted my sexuality. 'Out and proud' was my mantra from then on.

I came out to Mum and Dad before anyone and they were generally fine with it. Dad first—he said: "Okay, that's great. Would you like to see my latest camera?"

I was taken aback by his easy calm. "Dad, did you understand what I just told you?"

"Of course I did, Annie. I didn't just ride into town with straw in my hair and cow-muck on my boots. You prefer girls to boys and looking at some of the specimens of today's young manhood, I can't say I blame you." He winked. "Always preferred girls to boys myself. Guess it must run in the family. Now, about this new camera..."

Mum was a little more concerned at first, "...not because I mind you being gay, darling, but because you're likely to meet with a lot of prejudice..." Funny thing, though, I actually encountered very little bigotry. Times change, maybe slowly, but they do change and mostly for the better. I suppose living in a city helped, it might have been worse in a small town or village. All of my friends thought me being gay was cool. As for others... well, there were quite a few gay and lesbian clubs in the city, Nancy's Nook and The Twilight Time Rooms among them, so I guess most people just decided they might as well accept the situation.

As I was at school and Dad building his business, a professional carer came in during the weekdays to help Mum out. I did the early morning stuff with Mum, getting her up and making her breakfast and also the evenings when I cooked supper and got her back to bed. If Dad was free, he'd do his share. As the years went on Mum slowly worsened until towards the end she wasn't even able to feed herself.

Three different universities offered me a place depending on my A-level results which turned out to be satisfactory. In the end I accepted the place at the city's own college so I could be close to home and Mum. First, though, I decided to take a gap year and put most of myself at Mum's disposal. I did get a part-time job so that I didn't sponge off my parents and generally things worked out well. I know they appreciated it.

Mum insisted that I take at least a couple of evenings off a week so that I could get out and do what normal nineteen-year-old girls did. Mind you, what I did wasn't what a lot of people my age would call 'normal'. 'Normal' in the city usually meant going out in a gang with other girls, getting totally shit-faced and falling down puking in the gutter while your mates laughed at you (or helped you if they were feeling kind-hearted). Oh, and if you happened to get shagged by some sleazeball along the way—known locally as a ten-second hello—that was considered 'normal' too. Evenings often ended with a ride in either a police car or an ambulance. Sorry, even if I'd been straight that sort of thing wouldn't have been my choice. 'Normal' for me usually meant going to the cinema or a concert or sometimes a nice quiet pub or club for a drink. There were times when a little company would have been good but I was okay by myself.

Most of all I liked the lesbian club on Marlborough Avenue called The Twilight Time Rooms, a swish place catering for femmes. It was a bit costly to get in but the drinks were a reasonable price and I didn't go there too often. I'd have a couple of small beers, talk to anyone who wanted to talk, have a dance or two if asked, and nobody ever pressured me into taking things further. The offers were there but if I said "No thanks" that was accepted gracefully. The Twilight was quality and it was where I met and fell for Barbara.

The DJ was playing a blaringly loud selection of 1950s rock 'n' roll and I was part of the mob on the dance floor although I was dancing by myself. Another woman dancing by herself worked her way towards me and held out her hand. I took it and she pulled me close. I reckoned she was about my height but was wearing heels that added a good three inches. How the hell she could dance in them I don't know but dance she did and very well too.

She shouted out a name, barely audible above the music. "Barbara!"

Oh, I thought, she's mistaken me for somebody else. "I'm not Barbara!" I yelled back, "My name's Annie!"

She laughed and pointed to herself. "No, I'm Barbara! It's this racket—makes it hard to hear properly!" As if the DJ heard her, the music abruptly changed to a quieter number with a different tempo, Tommy Edwards' "It's All In The Game" and Barbara pulled me in close for a slow, smoochy dance. She had a slim figure with medium-sized breasts which felt nice and firm as they pressed against me and my libido started to give me little kicks down below. Because of the extra height afforded by her heels, I was able to bury my face against Barbara's neck and enjoy the delicious fragrance she wore.

"Two questions," she said, "First, I know it's a cliché but do you come here often?"

"Only as an occasional treat," I told her, "I'm on a gap year so I'm careful with my money."

"Okay. Question two, are you with anyone tonight? If not, would you like to spend it with me?"

"Technically, that's three questions."

"Ooh! Picky, picky!" Barbara grinned.

"That's me," I said, "Miss Picky Picky herself. And yes, I'd like to spend the evening with you."

We danced some more then the DJ took a break so Barbara led me to the bar where we commandeered a couple of spare stools and ordered drinks. Her name was Barbara Fletcher and I guessed her as being four or five years older than me. She was wearing the classic little black dress and she had straight blond hair that reached almost to her waist. Like so many young people, I was easily impressed and was seduced by her confident air.

The music started again, slow and smooth this time, and Barbara took me to the dance floor where we were virtually plastered together as were most of the other couples. She kept pressing her thigh against my crotch as her lips and tongue did all sorts of interesting things around my throat and ears. I was definitely getting a little soggy around the thong region and I let out several involuntary moans.

"Know what I'd like to do now?" Barbara murmured.


"I'd really like to lick your pussy."

I groaned. "Sounds good to me," I managed to croak.

"This way." Barbara took my hand and pulled me towards the back of the club where there was a curtain concealing a small doorway. She had a quick glance round to make sure the coast was clear before opening the door which led onto a back staircase. "Not many people know this is here," she whispered, "It leads up to a studio flat which isn't in use at the moment. I'm good friends with one of the staff here, a friend-with-benefits. She showed me these stairs."

Moments later we were in a sitting room with a comfortable-looking sofa and several armchairs. Barbara sat me on the sofa and knelt at my feet, tugging at the side zip on my skirt. I lifted my backside to help her remove the garment and again so that she could slip off my thong which was very moist by this time.

"Mmmm... somebody's ready," Barbara purred and she held the damp gusset of the thong to her nose and inhaled. "Mmmm, yes... somebody's more than ready."

She pulled me towards the edge of the seat and spread my legs wide. I lifted my legs and held them apart, hands behind the knees. Barbara drew a long forefinger down my cleft and sucked off the juice. "Young come," she said, "There's nothing quite like it." As if to prove a point, she soaked her finger again and held it to my lips for me to lick.

Using both forefingers, Barbara eased my labia apart. "You've got a lovely little pussy, Annie, and a lot girls would kill for such a neat backside. Can't wait any longer." She lowered her head and gave a single long lick from my perineum to clit. My hips jerked and I gave a little cry. I could feel a middle finger entering me and my walls tightened. At the same time, Barbara did amazing things with her tongue and it didn't take long for me to explode.

While I was still shaking and panting, Barbara stood, reached under her skirt and removed her expensive-looking knickers. She knelt over me, a leg either side of my shoulders and presented her honeypot for my attention. She was shaven clean—something I'd never seen before, didn't realise people did that—and there was a tattoo on her mound, a phoenix arising from the ashes. The tattoo looked good but I did cringe a little inwardly at the thought of having it done right there. Her slit was shiny with moisture and I found it easy to penetrate her with two fingers. Her natural scent was strong and musky as was her taste when I started to lick at her.

I was probably a bit clumsy compared with Barbara but I certainly loved what I was doing. I licked at the hollows where her legs and hips met and I kissed the phoenix then licked all around her outer lips, kissed the phoenix yet again then lapped at her cleft and very prominent clit. Inexperienced I may have been but Barbara acted as if she was enjoying every flick of my tongue, pressing my head firmly to her pussy and emitting little staccato cries until she came.

After a while we returned to the club's bar and had another glass of wine. I thought that would be it but Barbara asked me if I'd like a date and one thing led to another...

There's not too much more to tell and what there is doesn't make for pleasant reading. It was my first proper love affair and I certainly fell for Barbara in a big way but I should have seen the warning signs when I introduced her to my parents. She was fine with my father, fair enough, but she was obviously very uncomfortable with my mother.

She dropped her little bombshell when we'd been dating for about six months. She told me quite bluntly we were through. "...and it's only fair to tell you why, Annie. I can't handle sickness. Never have been able to, not even in my own family. Seeing your mother in that wheelchair and you or your father spoon-feeding her like a baby, well, it just puts me off. I'm sorry..." and she simply turned and walked away.

I was heart-broken initially but what were my emotional problems compared to my mother's terminal illness. Nothing really.

That wasn't quite the end of it. Mum died several months after I started at university. I took the time off so I was with her when she passed. For her, death was probably welcome; her quality of life was non-existent, her poor body had taken all the crap that the disease could throw at her. For Dad and I, it was as if part of us had been severed. We just held each other and wept.

A day or two after the funeral, as I was preparing to return to uni, there was a knock at our front door. It was Barbara. "Hi Annie. I heard about your mother and came to offer my condolences."

"Thank you," I said.

"Annie..." she was hesitant. " you think we could get back together again? Now that your mother's gone, I mean..."

For a moment I didn't know how to react, then: "You want to come back? Because my Mum's dead. And supposing Dad or I get seriously ill? You just going to walk away again because you can't handle sickness? No thanks, Barbara!" I slammed the door in her face.

I never went to The Twilight Time Rooms again—I didn't want to risk meeting Barbara. I might not have been responsible for my actions.

* * * * *

Dad had always hoped I'd be joining him in his business but my camera skills are little better than snapshot standard. Dad understood and in time found himself a really talented assistant called Nicole. My degree is in History and I'd been lucky when I graduated for there was a vacancy, unfilled for several months, in the City Museum. I was offered the job and jumped at it. So for the past few years I've been an assistant curator, a post less grand than it sounds. And the salary wasn't much to start with—still isn't come to that—but I loved the work.

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byMaonaigh© 27 comments/ 18461 views/ 63 favorites

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