tagFirst TimeSweet Stella

Sweet Stella

bySara2000Z©

Everyone in this story is over the age of 18.

This story takes a little while to get into the bedroom, but taking someone's virginity takes patience. I hope you enjoy reading about these two - please leave a comment if you'd like to.


*****

'Of course I'll help you, sis. But I'll need someone to help me. No way can I carry your bed and couch upstairs by myself. What floor's it on?'

'Second,' I say, frowning and biting my thumbnail.

'Bloody hell, it would be.'

'Sorry, Paul.'

'It's ok. You can pay me in beer.'

'You know I'm good for it.'

'I know. But in the meantime, I need to get my keys to you so you can stay in the flat while I'm away, that's right, isn't it?'

'Yeah, that'd be great. It should be just for a week.'

'Fine.'

'You've checked with Samir that it's ok for me to stay?'

'Sami? Yeah, yeah, course. He'll hardly know you're there anyway, he'll be working shifts or out running or whatever. I bet you'll hardly see him.'

'Well, if you're sure.'

'Course. Stop stressing about it. Anyway, got to go, Stella. I've got thieving villainous bastards to nick.'

'I owe you big time! Love you.'

But he's already gone. I put the phone down and thank heaven for my big brother. He's always there to help me. Although I like to think I reciprocate. With a mum like ours, we have to be good to each other.

I look down at my list. Moving is stressful at the best of times, and although I'm excited to be moving into my own - teeny tiny - studio flat, I'm not looking forward to the next few weeks of shuffling between my mate Becca's house and my brother's flat before I can actually get the keys and move in. I sigh. Pick up the phone again and look at who else I need to call.

++++++++++

I swing down the street, loving the warm sunshine on my arms and legs. Maybe summer has finally arrived. Ok, this is it, on the left here. My phone vibrates in my hand. It's Paul.

'In the garden sis.'

I walk through the bar and out to the back, to the beer garden.

'Stella!' He's waving at me, sitting in the middle of a group of others. 'Already got you a drink,' as he raises a bottle of beer up from the table and dangles it in front of me. I grab at it.

'Don't shake it like that,' I pretend to scold him, give him a hug and sit on the bench next to him. He starts to introduce me to the people he's with, but it's as I tip up the bottle to drink, I see who's sitting directly opposite me.

'Hi, Stella. It's been a while,' he raises his beer to me with a friendly smile.

'Samir! Hi! I didn't know you'd be here.' I tilt the beer bottle at him and smile back.

'Apparently we're going to be flatmates for a while, so Paul's warned me.'

'Oh. Yes. I hope that's ok?' I frown.

'Yeah, course it is.'

He's still smiling at me. I'd forgotten the colour of his eyes was so startling - a light brown, almost amber.

'I won't get in your way.'

'You'll be a vast improvement on Paul, that's for sure,' he laughs.

'I thought he'd be better house-trained by now?'

Samir just raises an eyebrow at that. I smile back. Like Paul, he's in shorts, which seems optimistic to me, given the unpredictability of London weather.

I drink from the bottle again, trying to remember the last time we saw each other. We were at school together, of course, but he's Paul's age, so he was three years above me and I was just the kid sister. But he's the one asking the question first.

'I think the last time we saw each other must have been ... what do you think, Paul's twenty-first?'

I sit back, considering it.

'Do you think it's that long ago? Four years?'

'I think so, yes.'

'Blimey.'

'Do you want another?' He's gesturing at my beer.

'Oh. Sure.'

He checks with the others, stands up, hops his legs over the bench and makes for the bar.

'Told you he'd be fine with it,' Paul's leaning into me. 'You worry too much.' He rubs my knee.

'I know. But you try moving from one end of the country to the other and starting a new job all in the space of a few months.'

He rubs my knee more.

'I'm glad you're here now. It's going to be really good to see more of you.'

'When you're not out making the streets of London safe for all of us?'

He punches my arm.

'Ow!'

'Hey, what's going on?'

Samir's standing over us, hands full with the round of drinks he's just bought.

'Paul can't take a joke, that's all.'

'Nothing new there, then,' he's saying, as he hands the bottles around to everyone.

'Fuck off, the both of you,' Paul's pretending to be offended and I punch him back.

'Man up, Paul. What kind of a copper are you, if you're this thin-skinned?'

'See this, Sami?' Paul's got his arm over my shoulders now. 'This is my smart mouth sister, remember her? First in the family to go to college. Brighter than anyone else I know. Right pain in the arse. Gives me no respect. Best sister in the world.'

I'm shaking my head, pointing to the beer bottle in his hand.

'How many of these have you had already?'

I look over at Samir and he's rolling his eyes too. We both laugh. I'm sure it's the beer and the sunshine but I'm suddenly feeling rather warm. He leans over the table to hand me the beer from his round, holds onto it just a little longer than seems necessary.

'So, Stella, let me give you my number, just in case you need to get in touch with me? You know - as the caped crusader here is going to be out of reach on his top secret training mission, and even the best laid plans can go wrong at the last minute?'

So we exchanged numbers.

And Paul gave me his spare set of keys.

Which turned out to be just as well, because after three days of staying with Becca, I couldn't take any more. She'd got herself a new boyfriend. He wasn't the problem per se, but the amount of noise they were making at night was. It's hard for me to get a good night's sleep at the best of times. And I'm only a few weeks into this new job, so I don't want to be going in looking like a panda every morning.

Samir had messaged me straight after that lunchtime at the pub; 'Nice to see you today Stella.'

Simple, straight to the point, I thought. And nice. Very nice.

I'd thought about him since then. Remembering how I used to hang around them all, my brother's mates, playing footie with them when they'd let me, watching them when they wouldn't. How they used to tease me when we crossed paths at school. Samir was just one of them. One of the quieter ones.

And then one day at school, he'd come over to me and taken my arm, pulled me away, pretending to talk to me about something, getting me out of the way of a couple of the nastiest bullies in my year, just as they'd started laying into me about being a teacher's pet. I was so upset about them, I didn't even say thank you to him.

He'd done it again, a few times, actually. And then it was the end of term and he left school, together with Paul, without us ever really talking about what he'd done for me.

Anyway, I'd messaged him back straightaway; 'You too. And I owe you a beer.'

He'd replied in emojis - two beer bottles - which had made me smile. I'd left it at that, caught up with the logistics of moving into Becca's and putting in a good day's effort at work.

But by Wednesday morning I couldn't take another night of trying to block my ears. Paul was already on his police training course and out of touch, so I messaged Samir.

'Having a total nightmare at Becca's. No sleep! Is it ok for me to come stay at your flat earlier than planned?'

And he'd replied straight back; 'Course, Stella. Move in whenever you want. I'm on nights until Thursday, just so you know.'

'Brilliant. Thanks Samir.'

'Flat's tidy, although can't speak for your brother's bedroom.'

I'd replied with one of those face emojis, the one with just eyes and no mouth, which I like to use because it seems to me it can mean a whole range of things. It made me laugh to get Samir's reply which was just a ton of the same face. Yeah, Paul's a lot of great things, but he's a messy bugger.

++++++++++

It's not until I put the key in the door I realise I don't know which bedroom is Paul's. I've not been here before. Him and Samir only moved into it a bit less than a year ago, when I was living in a different city altogether. I dump my suitcase down, kick the door closed behind me and walk along the hall. It's an ex-council flat, the kitchen and living room on the right, bedrooms and bathroom to the left. It's a lot like the one we grew up in, now I think about it.

I walk into the first bedroom. It's neat. Dark blue sheets on the bed. A laptop on the bedside table. Medical textbooks on the window sill. Some washing drying on the radiator. Definitely not Paul's, and I back out, feeling embarrassed now I know I'm standing in the middle of Samir's bedroom.

Paul's bedroom isn't as bad as it could've been. His clothes are at least piled up onto a chair, not all over the floor. And it looks like he's actually changed the sheets for me. Wow. I lie down, delighted I'll be getting some sleep tonight.

I cook and eat and watch TV for a while before crashing out.

I leave a note out for Samir; 'There's leftovers in the fridge - just needs reheating.'

++++++++++

The next morning, I'm chewing on some toast, standing out on the little balcony in the early morning sun, when I hear the front door open and close - Samir, home from his shift. I lean out over the balustrade, breathing in, thinking about the day ahead, how much I need to get finished by the weekend. When I turn round, I can see Samir standing in front of the fridge, bending slightly, smelling the bowl of leftover food I'd put there last night, nodding to himself.

Although to be honest, that isn't what I was looking at most closely. No, I find myself most interested in looking at his back. He's not wearing a shirt, just trousers. And his back is a very nice sight indeed. Even without my glasses on. He's got nice skin anyway - his dad's Egyptian? Algerian? But he looks like he still exercises. Swimming, maybe?

I watch as he scrapes the food into a pan, puts it on the hob, scratches his head, mussing his black hair, pushing it around between his fingers. I sigh. I'm shocked at how much I want to stay here just to look at him, to ignore the need to get to work. I shake my head at myself, pull open the door.

'Shit!' Samir's turned around, an arm across his chest. 'I didn't know you were there.'

'Sorry, Samir. Sorry. I didn't think.'

He's staring at me, wide-eyed.

'No, no. you're alright, Stella. I'd totally forgotten you'd be here, that's all. Sorry - last of the twelve hour shifts last night, so I'm knackered.' He's rubbing his hand over his chest, looking self-conscious. Maybe even a bit nervous.

'Sorry,' I repeat.

'Um - and thanks for the food. It smells great.'

'I hope it tastes as good,' I smile at him, putting my plate down on the drainer.

When I come back to retrieve my bag he's sitting at the table eating.

'This is great, really. Thanks, Stella,' he says, sitting up a little straighter.

'I'm glad. Um - I have to get going or I'll be late for work.'

'Ok. See you later? I'll try to be more decent by then,' he's rubbing his hand over his chest again, definitely looking nervous.

I shrug at him, not sure what to say to that, and pick up my bag and keys.

The day doesn't go as expected. At about 1.30pm everything goes completely dead, no lights, no computers, even the phones have died, and it takes a while to find out that someone has chopped clean through all of the power and data cables a couple of streets away. It takes another half an hour before it becomes clear we won't be getting power back any time soon.

My boss comes through the offices telling us all to go home. We can't do anything without the computer network. I look outside. It's still sunny. Not too shabby a day to be sent home early, I think to myself, gathering my stuff up.

And by the time I've got to the flat, I'm so warm I've taken my jacket off. I open the front door and almost walk straight into Samir.

'Shit. Sorry!'

We both take a step backwards, as surprised as each other.

'Sorry,' we both of us repeat, and then I burst out laughing, his eyes are so wide, his hair is all over the place.

'What time is it?' He's looking very confused now.

'I'm home early - there was a massive power cut. Half of Victoria is affected and we can't work without power,' I'm explaining to him.

'Oh right. I've only just woken up.'

'I guessed that,' and I'm staring at him, his messy hair.

And that he's only in boxer shorts. That too. He mumbles something else, disappears into the bathroom. I walk into Paul's bedroom, let my bag slide off my shoulder, pull my shoes off, hear him turning on the shower, open the window and lean out. It's got a great view, this flat, out over Hackney Marshes.

I'm opening and closing doors in the kitchen looking for some shopping bags when he surprises me this time.

'What are you looking for, Stella?'

I straighten up and turn to see him standing behind me. Wearing more clothes than he's managed so far. Shorts and a t-shirt.

'Uh - do you have any shopping bags? I thought I'd go to the supermarket. For food.' I'm stuttering. It's something I still do when I get nervous.

'Yeah. They're up here.'

He's reaching up to the cupboard high above the fridge, pulling out plastic bags and holding out a handful for me to take. Showing a slice of skin between his shorts and the t-shirt he's wearing as he closes the cupboard door.

'Is the Tesco on the crossroads the nearest supermarket to here?' I ask, wondering what's got into me, that I can't stop looking at him.

'Yes. But if you can wait a minute while I find some shoes, I'll come with you and we'll drive over to the bigger one near the industrial estate. I could do with getting some food. And I need petrol. I promised my flatmate I'd help move his little sister next weekend so I need to put some more in the tank.' His eyes are laughing but he's doing his best to keep his mouth straight.

'Oh!' I crunch my shoulders up to my ears. I don't know if I'm embarrassed or thrilled. Either way, what on earth has come over me?

'Wasn't this your mum's?' I ask him as he opens the passenger door for me to get in.

He nods, leaning back, pulling the seatbelt across him.

'Yeah. I learned to drive in this thing. And taught my sisters in it. Amazed it's still going, but here she is.' And he taps the steering wheel affectionately.

'Didn't you used to have a name for this car?' I ask, remembering an until-now-forgotten moment in the school car park, an unfeasible number of us squashed into the back, giggling about something.

'Katy. She's called Katy.'

I laugh out loud now. 'That's right! Katy! Why that name?'

He's twisting his body in his seat, reversing us out of the space, his arm raised along both seatbacks, releasing the smell of soap and skin. I inhale.

'I fancied her like mad, that's why. Katy Sullivan? Year above you?'

I think back.

'Tall, long blonde hair? Mates with Neera and that crowd?'

'That's right.'

'And?'

'And what?'

'Did you ever go out with her?'

'Nah. Too crap to even ask.'

I look across at his face in profile, how he's concentrating on navigating us through the mind-boggling London traffic, shifting gears, glancing up into the mirrors, switching lanes to get away from the buses.

'Would you ask her now?'

Braking, keeping back from the black cab pulling a U-turn in front of us.

'No.'

'Oh?'

'Not really my type anymore. She was just a passing phase.'

Shifting in his seat, flicking on the indicator, and we're pulling into the garage.

'Here, let me pay for this, as you're helping me to move.'

'No, Stella, you're alright. Nurse's pay isn't going to make me rich, but I can stand a few gallons of petrol. Anyway, I'm glad to help. It's going to be good to have you back in the city.'

And with that, he's out of the car, slamming the door shut.

We lug the bags into the flat, unpack them, and, as he stretches up to put the bags back in the cupboard, I enjoy another glimpse of his skin, of the line of dark hair disappearing down into his waistband. I'm not sure if he sees me or not, but he pulls his shirt down, and I turn away. Walk over to the balcony door and push it open.

'It's such a lovely afternoon.'

'Yeah. It's a shame to be indoors.' He steps out onto the balcony with me.

It's a small space, so I shuffle along to make more room for him.

'Perfect temperature for a run?'

He shakes his head.

'Nah. I'm too knackered for that today. Tomorrow maybe, after a bit more sleep.'

'I don't know how you do it. Shift work. I'd be in bits if I had such disrupted sleep patterns as you.'

'Mm. The first day off nights is bad. Like today. But I've got another three days before I go back on, so it's not so bad.'

'Three days? Nice! I'm going to have to squeeze almost a day and a half's work into tomorrow, to make up for this afternoon.' I turn around. 'Anyway, what about a beer? I already owe you one from the pub the other weekend, so - what do you say? Is there a nice pub around here?'

He smiles.

'Sure. A beer in the sunshine? What could be better?'

I walk out to where he's found us a place to sit in the sun, set the bottles down on the table.

'Cheers.'

We clink. I watch him swallow.

'I've worked out what's different about you,' he says, putting his bottle down.

'Oh?'

I sit up, put my elbows on the table, curious to know what he's going to say.

'Your hair. You've stopped straightening it.'

I can't stop my hand from flying up to my head, pulling at my hair.

'It looks good like that.'

I feel myself going red.

'Thanks. I stopped straightening it when I was at college.' I shrug.

'It looks really good. Better. And it's longer too.'

I nod, feeling totally self-conscious now.

He's got that look in his eyes again, like he's laughing inside.

'That, and your professional look.'

'Oh. What do you mean?'

'I've only ever seen you in either school uniform or jeans. Not this.'

And he's gesturing at me.

I look down at myself. It's just a white blouse and a dark skirt. Nothing special. I don't know what to do with myself, I'm so self-conscious. When I do look up again, his eyes seem more serious.

'Sorry. I didn't mean to embarrass you.'

We both take another drink, and it feels awkward between us.

'Excuse me, could I take one of these chairs?'

A blonde woman is standing over us both, pointing at one of the unused chairs at our table.

'Course, yes,' and Samir's standing up, picking up the chair. As the woman turns, I see she's pregnant, her belly rising up under her dress. Samir takes the chair over to the table for her, sets it down, gives her one of those friendly smiles of his, returns to his seat.

I smile at him. He smiles back. Swigs more beer from the bottle.

'Do you still want lots of kids? You were always on about it at school.'

'Argh! I can't believe you remember that!'

He laughs, his eyes still on mine.

'Yes. Yes, I still want kids. You know, one day. But it's finding the father that seems to be the difficulty.'

He raises his eyebrows.

'Well - I don't want to follow mum's example, do I?'

He sits up.

'Fair enough.'

'Three kids, three different dads. I don't want that. I want someone who's going to stick around. Someone kind.' I wrinkle my nose.

'Did she plan it that way, though? Things don't always turn out the way we thought they would.'

'Mum didn't plan a thing. That was the problem.'

We both take another drink.

'Another?' he motions to our bottles.

'Now we're being decadent. It's not even six o'clock.'

He shrugs and takes my reply as a yes.

Walking back to the flat we decide to share a takeaway. I insist on buying it. He carries it. I walk alongside him, asking him about his mum and dad, and his sisters, how they all are, what they're all up to these days. He chats away about them, how his eldest sister is getting married next year, how the two youngest are just finishing their second year at university, and I like the way he talks. Economical with his words. Measured.

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bySara2000Z© 7 comments/ 26636 views/ 7 favorites

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