tagErotic CouplingsThe Shepherd of Ashburn Court Pt. 05

The Shepherd of Ashburn Court Pt. 05


Author's Notes:

In Part 5 Ben deals with the twins, meets the new neighbors from Texas, and a moment in Ben's past catches up to him in a rather disturbing way.

All characters engaging in sexual relationships or activities are 18 years old or older.


Chapter 21

Ben sat comfortably in his living room reviewing online engineering forums on his tablet while he waited for Catherine to pick him up for their date. He'd wrapped a tensor bandage around his calf and with it he found he didn't need to use the cane. He'd take the bandage off as soon as they left the dinner but he didn't want to be carrying the cane on the date. Catherine might want to dance and he didn't want her to feel like she couldn't ask.

He glanced across the room at Tina who was using a tablet as well as she curled up on the sofa. He wasn't sure what she was doing on it but he felt her glancing over it at him from time to time. She put it on the surface of the couch while she spun around to adjust the pillows behind her. He looked over and saw a couple of chat windows open with names above them, LisaM & LoriM.

So Tina was in communication with her friends, likely trying to do damage control from their poor drunken decision making. He looked away before she turned back.

Ben shook his head and sighed to himself. He thought back on the near catastrophe the morning had almost turned into.

When he discovered the twins and Tina naked in his bed with Rochelle and himself, he'd been furious. He'd given Tina a heads up that Rochelle was staying the night and he'd closed his bedroom door. That should have been enough to give them privacy. Instead it was an invasion and Rochelle was going to be in for an unpleasant surprise.

He managed to slip out of the bed and pull the sheet up over Rochelle before he carefully woke her. She smiled and gave him a very nice kiss before he could let her know about their company who luckily remained asleep. He got Rochelle out of the bed and situated in the guest washroom in the hall so she could get dressed without waking the others. The woman was grateful to Ben for giving her the discrete escape. She gave him another kiss which tingled both of them to their toes then she slipped out the door for home.

Ben went back to his room and got his workout clothes and changed in the washroom. He did his routine in the gym then got cleaned up and dressed in the guest bathroom. Then he went to the kitchen to make himself breakfast. He made coffee for his guests.

He was just finishing up his morning meal when Tina stumbled into the kitchen with her dressing gown on. She had her head in her hands as she was obviously nursing a bad hangover. She tried to smile at him but her look was confused.

"Good morning Ben." she whispered. "How did I end up in your bed?"

Ben held up his hand to stop her questions. "Let's hold off on that until your guests are awake."

Tina pulled her hands from her face and her eyes went fully open. She spun in place and ran for the bedroom. Her equilibrium wasn't up to the demands of that action so she careened off the door jamb and bounced off the walls on the way. Ben knew when she got there as she began to yell in Korean in her dismay. The twins yelled back in pain because of her loud voice and the noise settled into mutual moans of pain from their hangovers.

Ben poured three cups of coffee and put three bottles of water next to them on the kitchen table. He heard the zombies shambling their way towards him so he waited. A very contrite Tina entered first. She made her way to Ben and knelt at his feet. She pressed her forehead to the floor in shame. Ben reached down and lifted her to her feet and sat her in front of a mug.

The twins watched and shuddered in relief when Ben picked Tina up. They assumed this indicated he wasn't expecting the same from them. When they looked at him their smiles were met by an angry scowl. Nervously they made their way to the other mugs. The three drank their coffee and sipped at their water in silence. Tina finally felt human enough to begin to apologize but Ben immediately stopped her with a gesture. He hadn't taken his eyes off of the twins who were becoming very nervous.

He waited for them to apologize but they showed no sign of remorse at all for their behavior. Tina was an innocent in this, he was sure. Certainly she had been in his bed and he would talk with her about this but the twins obviously had far more experience with clubbing than she did. Yet they appeared oblivious to the reason for his ire.

The two ladies were wearing their party clothes from the previous night so Ben was treated to expanses of glitter covered skin. He sighed as he realized he was going to have to throw out his sheets. There was no way he was going to infect his washing machine, and subsequently every piece of fabric he ran through them, with the Herpes of the Craft World. God, he hated glitter!

Their nervousness was reaching a critical point where they were trading glances with each other and Tina to determine what to do next. Ben had had enough.

"Lisa. Lori. It's clear to me that you have no idea why I'm upset. The fact that you don't understand is unsettling in itself. It's time you headed home. You're not welcome back until you fully grasp what you did wrong and what you should have done. Out. Now!"

The ladies jerked to their feet like he'd hit them with a cattle prod and scurried to the front door, Ben at their heels. They yanked on their jackets, slipped on their shoes and were out the door in seconds. Ben turned back to the kitchen and saw Tina standing in the doorway with a sad look on her face.

"I'm so sorry, Ben." she cried.

Ben opened his arms and she was against his chest in a blink. She cried and he stroked her hair until he smelled the scent of smoke coming from her. He held her back and she blinked up at him in alarm.

"Sorry, you need a shower. You smell of cigarettes. Do the twins smoke?"

"No, but we stood close to the smoking deck at the club as there were some young men Lisa and Lori were dancing with who smoked."

"Another strike against their good judgement." Ben grumbled and considered what to do next. He was very concerned about the twin's inability to grasp personal responsibility. They'd be taking care of children for Pete's sake! He got a grim look on his face.

"Please go wash that stink out of your hair." he said gently to Tina and she scurried away.

Ben picked up the phone in the kitchen and called Daphne.

"Hello Daphne? It's Ben."

"Hi Ben!" she said with a smile in her voice.

"I just sent your daughters home."

"They are just coming in... oh, they look very unhappy. What did they do this time?" she said with genuine concern.

"They're there? Good. Listen, I'm having concerns about their watching over Christopher."

"What?!? Oh my god! What did they do?" she shrieked.

"No, it wasn't what they did. That was just something stupid and potentially very embarrassing which I was luckily able to avoid. The problem is they don't seem to be able to understand they need to take ownership of their mistakes. Twice they've done something irresponsible and afterwards they had no clue that they did anything wrong so they made no efforts at all to apologize. Their actions have consequences. They have to understand that. I get that they're young but they're going to be watching over children, Christopher included. I'm not comfortable knowing they have trouble accepting personal responsibility." There was silence at the other end of the phone so Ben continued. "I'm sorry if I've offended you. I just have to put Christopher's safety first."

"Thank you for expressing your concerns Ben. I'll keep the position for Christopher open in case you change your mind. I'll also have a talk with the girls this morning and get to the bottom of this." Daphne made an uncomfortable sound in her throat. "I'm so sorry, Ben."

"Me too, Daphne. Me too. Good bye." He hung up.

He turned and saw Tina standing in the doorway with a nervous look in her eye. Her hair was still damp from the shower. He gestured her to come in and she immediately rushed in to sit on his knee. He'd intended for her to sit on the chair next to him so they could talk but she looked like she needed the physical contact. She looked in his eyes for confirmation that they were still good. He took her beautiful face between his hands and tenderly kissed her. He felt her tension melt away as she leaned into his kiss. He pulled back and she swayed a little until her eyes reopened. They smiled at one another.

"What will we do for daycare for Christopher?" she asked.

"If Daphne can't work out a way to get her daughters to understand then we find another daycare. This will not affect your going to University. I promise you that." Ben said firmly.

They'd spent the rest of the day mostly in silence. Ben didn't need Tina to explain herself and her actions from the previous night. She knew what she did was wrong and she owned up to it. It was done. They moved on. He let her know that his decision to bar the twins from his home shouldn't impact her remaining friends with them. She was certainly free to have any friends that she wanted. He just hoped she would be a better influence on them and keep them from influencing her like they had. He expected better judgement from her in the future. She agreed.

So now he sat waiting for Catherine while Tina worked on her friends. Ben hoped Daphne was getting serious about them as well.

There was a honk from the driveway so Ben got up and walked to the front door. Tina followed and gave him a kiss as he stepped outside.

Catherine popped the trunk and he put his overnight bag inside then got into the passenger side. She leaned over and he gave her a kiss. "Ready for some fun?" she said with a twinkle in her eye.

"Ready and raring to go!" he smiled back.

It didn't take long to drive downtown to the hotel. They parked and checked in. After dropping the bags off in the room, they resisted the urge to 'try out the bed' and made their way down to the banquet room. The charity dinner was to begin at 8PM and Catherine's assistants had done most of the preparation work. She just needed to check in with them by 7:30 to ensure there weren't any surprises. They poked their heads in the banquet hall and were stunned to see how beautifully decorated it was. Elegant, opulent, and classic, the décor spoke of wealth and success. Ben and Catherine shared impressed looks and made their way to the small office next to the banquet room. Ben saw three ladies leaning over a desk reviewing some kind of checklist. They looked up with bright smiles as Catherine swept into the room. She immediately gave them all big hugs and congratulated them on the fabulous job they'd done on making the room look stunning. They turned to Ben and Catherine made the introductions.

The tall very slim blonde hiding behind her oversized glasses was Ingrid. Catherine explained that logistics was her specialty. Her yellow blond tresses fell a little past her shoulders and she wore a pretty pale green dress with matching shoes. When Ben shook her hand she was blushing and trembling so he immediately recognized her shyness. He'd been the same way through high school. He gave her hand a sympathetic squeeze before he moved to the next introduction.

Darcy was just a little taller than Tina. Catherine said she was in charge of the finances for the dinner and tracking the donations as well. The woman wore her brown hair very short and she carried a little too much weight on her small frame. Her eyes positively gleamed as she ran them over Ben's body. She boldly asked Ben to save a few dances for her and Ingrid blushed at her audacity to say such a thing in front of their boss. Darcy just laughed at Ingrid's expression and straightened her low cut strapless blue dress to more favorably present 'the girls' for Ben's enjoyment. Ben blushed too which surprised Ingrid.

Ashanti was a lovely woman in her mid-thirties with skin the color of dark chocolate. She accentuated her skin with a gorgeous ivory colored dress which seemed to sweep around her slim body. She was apparently the designer of the group and had been primarily responsible for the look of the event. She rolled her eyes at Darcy's antics. Both Darcy and Ashanti wore wedding bands though Ingrid did not.

After Catherine thanked them again Ashanti pulled her aside to whisper something in her ear. The smile dimmed on Catherine's face but she patted her assistant's hand. She and Ben returned to the reception area in the hall outside of the banquet room.

She looked at Ben's questioning glance and smiled. "It's fine. Ashanti was just telling me about a last minute guest. An old nemesis of mine come to gloat over how her charity collected more in pledges than mine. The woman is tiresome. The charities are not a competition but she always finds a way to spoil the mood. Not this time! I don't care what she made. We had a very good year and with tonight's turn out we surpassed last year's pledges. Oh! Pardon me Ben, I have to go speak with that couple. I'll introduce you to them later, I just need have a private word with them."

Ben nodded and watched her move quickly and gracefully across the room to catch the eye of an older, white haired couple. Left to himself he looked around and saw the three assistants coming into the hall. He wanted to have a quick word with them so he caught their eye.

Catherine was glowing with happiness. Dinner had been delicious and well received by everyone she spoke with. She'd circulated during dinner to see how everyone was doing and once the meal was over she introduced Ben to a number of her favorite patrons. She'd even managed to avoid her nemesis. The dancing began shortly afterwards and Ben had practically swept her off her feet on the dancefloor. She was having a marvelous time. Their last dance was a slow number and Ben felt so good pressed up against her. Especially when he started to react to her.

As they returned to their table their path was suddenly blocked by a tall raven haired woman in an elegant black and white striped cocktail dress. Her smile was as fake as her breasts which appeared to be attempting to escape by floating up out of her dress.

Cat sighed and resigned herself to listening to the pompous airbag's gloating. It didn't really matter as nothing was going to spoil this night for her.

"Catherine, darling! So good to finally catch you as you scurry around your little fundraiser." the woman said with a light but condescending tone.

She saw Ben's hackles go up and placed a hand on the big man's arm. He immediately relaxed.

"Hello Jacqueline. So glad you could come."

"Oh I wouldn't miss it for the world, dear! And who is this fine fellow escorting you tonight? He's new! I don't believe I've ever met him at any of your previous parties or mine for that matter." The woman was devouring Ben with her eyes and he found it more than a little disturbing. Wait... did she just suggest he was a male escort?

"Ben Shepherd, this is Jacqueline Forrester. She heads up the Heaven's Heralds Foundation. Their fund raising sponsors the building of Christian churches and schools in villages in Africa. Ben is my neighbor and very good friend." Catherine said with a smile.

Jacqueline had been unabashedly enjoying the view of Ben's physique and her eyes widened with excitement when she caught the outline of his prominent bulge. She looked back up to Ben's eyes and her smile trembled a little as Catherine's words finally sunk in. "Your... neighbor?"

"Right next door. For years." he said, his tone making it clear he wasn't pleased with her assumption.

Jacqueline's face flushed and her mouth worked as she tried to think of a way out of her gaff. It was Catherine who came to her rescue.

"I understand congratulations are in order. You're charity is poised to be nominated as top fundraiser again this year. That will be ten years in a row! Very impressive!" she said with a genuine smile.

Jacqueline seized the lifeline and gushed her thanks to the woman.

Ashanti arrived at Catherine's elbow and whispered something in her ear.

"I'm sorry, I have to go speak with Darcy. If you will excuse me for a minute." She squeezed Ben's hand then slipped away.

Ben was left facing the woman whose face had returned to a look of embarrassment. The music started again and though he didn't recognize the piece Ben thought he had a way out of the awkwardness. "Would you care to dance?"

Jacqueline smiled and Ben led her to the floor. Just as they arrived the music's beat slowed and they realized it was going to be a slow number. Once more the woman's face flushed. Ben just took her hand, pulled her in and they moved with the others.

The dancefloor was full so they had to stay fairly close. This led to unintentional brushes against each other's body. Jacqueline's large breasts pressed against Ben's chest and occasionally her leg would bump into Ben's straining erection. More people joined the dancefloor and Ben found himself holding Jacqueline up against his body to avoid bumping into the other dancers. The woman was beginning to look a little glassy eyed and her breathing was getting heavier though she tried to maintain her poise.

Ben was getting worried that Jacqueline might pass out so he made to lead them from the dancefloor but the woman pulled him back with an almost frantic shake of her head and a quick smile to show she was fine. She began to grind against his erection subtly as they danced. Her face was flushed and her breathing was rough.

Then the music stopped and the lights brightened slightly. Ben pulled away and Jacqueline made an unconscious whining sound. A spot light lit up the stage and Catherine's assistants were standing together.

Darcy had the microphone. "Excuse me everyone, excuse me? We just have one brief announcement then everyone can get back to the dancing. We have the final results of this year's fund raising. Due to tonight's excellent turnout and a last minute anonymous donation of $300,000 we have surpassed last year's record. We've also catapulted into first place amongst all local charities! Thank you so much!"

There was a huge surge of applause and the crowd parted as Catherine walked up to Ben with tears in her eyes. Ben picked her up in his arms and hugged her tight. She burst into tears and laughter and kissed him. She knew who the anonymous donor was.

Jacqueline was stunned. The delicious tingle of her imminent orgasm suddenly vanished and her face lost all expression. She watched the woman she had come to crush steal away her victory. She struggled to control her emotions. She desperately wanted to scream and attack the blonde in the big man's arms but instead she forced a gracious if trembling smile on her face and joined the applause.

Ben gently set Catherine back on her feet and they turned to face the people around them. She shook the hands of many of her guests until she was facing Jacqueline.

"I guess congratulations are actually owed to you tonight Catherine." Jacqueline ground out through her teeth and fake smile.

"Thank you so much Jacqueline! Sorry for breaking your winning streak but there's no shame in being number 2." she replied with a giggle. Ben was behind her and wrapped his arms around her to give her another huge hug and Catherine's eyes lit up as she felt his stiffness pressed against her ass. She gasped and smiled at Jacqueline. "I guess I should thank you for keeping Ben all charged up for me. I'm going to enjoy that, all night long." she said with a wicked grin as she pressed back against him.

It was too much for Jacqueline whose smile finally cracked. She nodded, spun and stiffly marched away.

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