A Replacement PartnerbyEgmontGrigor2011©
In the relative stillness of mid-morning, with most people gone to work, or school or to the mall, Freddie Lusk scratched greying hair on his chest, hitched up his briefs and went to the laundry window to peer out between the curtains, having heard voices.
He knew what it would be, yet another couple looking at the unsold house next-door.
Yes, it was a real estate agent in a yellow jacket showing a guy a patch of peeling paint on the weatherboard dwelling while she exaggerated the property's market growth potential on resale after a bit of renovation work.
She really meant heaps of overdue maintenance work.
The agent might have known Freddie would be peering because when she and the client were standing back-on looking at the drab exterior, she spread her legs slightly and casually scratched her butt over her anus.
Freddie's brow puckered as he attempted to remember what a bared female anus looked like because it had been so long but he'd been attracted by a few in his time, er female ones. He'd never looked closely at a male one and never would. Christ how disgusting!
Usually he had no time for nosey real estate agents. After Alice's funeral they'd come asking could they list his house for sale and were told to bugger off. But this one had fired his interest and now she'd turned and stared straight at the laundry window as if she'd guessed he would be, um, 'observing'. He froze, aware she wouldn't be able to see him. Well this agent was okay, probably aware he was more in need of a good fuck than the house they were looking at needed paint.
The agent and client re-entered the house from the backdoor and Freddie fed Charlie the cat and scrambled a couple of eggs for his breakfast because in living solo he ate when he felt hungry rather than according to meal-time tradition.
Two days later a crew arrived and erected scaffolding around the house next-door and on Friday a guy arrived with a noisy water-blaster to clean the exterior in preparation for repainting. Charlie disappeared and Freddie escaped to the mall for the day and took in two movies.
When the painters were done and the scaffolding removed, the movers arrived and filled the house with the personal effects of the new owners. Later Freddie saw the thickset guy he'd seen that day with the real estate agent searching the front lawn as if looking for dog shit. Freddie guessed what that was about and went over to the boundary fence.
"Hi I'm Freddie," said Freddie, thumbing over his shoulder in the direction of his house.
"Hi I'm Richard Holmes, the new owner."
"It's under the letterbox."
"What is?" said the guy sounding dumb enough to be Australian.
"The location of the tap to turn on the water."
The effect was interesting. The guy straightened and smiled and said, "Gee thanks Freddie. Come in for a beer."
Richard looked under the letterbox at the front gate of the footpath leading up to the front porch and said, "Huh?"
"Slide the lid off the steel box."
"Oh yeah," Richard said and found the valve tap.
"Lucille arrives tonight and I didn't want her to be in our new home without water."
Ah so the guy was living with someone, perhaps she was his wife or mother.
"My wife, we've been married three years," said the neighbor, pushing the cover over the water-meter and dusting ants off his hands.
The beer was cold so must have arrived already chilled. Good thinking, the guy obviously had some brains.
"What do you do Rich?"
"It's Richard. I'm manager of the accounts department of a trading company."
"Oh very... very interesting," Freddie said, stifling a yawn.
"I'm retired... retired early when my wife Alice died 2½ years ago."
"You look too young to be retired."
"I did say I retired early," Freddie said icily.
"Oh yeah. I failed to pick up on that one."
Well at least Rick, er Richard, appeared to think honestly.
"What profession were you in Fred?"
"None. I owned and operated a home improvement store that I'd inherited from my dad."
They chatted on and when a second beer wasn't offered, Freddie said he had to go and feed his cat.
"I don't like cats and like dogs because they poop on the lawn."
It didn't surprise Freddie that dour Richard didn't like cats. He mightn't like himself much either. If people really did marry opposites, there was a chance Lucille would be openly vivacious with long blonde hair and perhaps, as a bonus, would have a great rack.
Next morning Freddie was out picking peas when a musical voice at the fence called, "Hi Mr Lusk."
He turned and said, "Good morning Mrs Holmes. Please call me Freddie."
"Only if you call me Lucille."
Huh? God she was almost beautiful with great teeth, a tremendous wide smile and a mane of chestnut hair. She looked no more than forty.
"Thanks Lucille. Gosh you're a great looker."
"Oooh, I have a flirty neighbor. How lovely. When Richard told me he'd had a beer with the old retired guy at Number 37 I never thought you would be a handsome 40-year old."
Freddie laughed and said, "You can lean on our shared fence and talk to me any old time. Um here, you have these peas. There are plenty that are ready with more to come."
"Oh I only know how to cook frozen peas."
"Nice try Lucille but I don't buy it. You look all brains to me. I detect a slight accent. Where do you hail from?"
"Well it wasn't a slight accent when I arrived here with my parents fourteen years ago. I was born in Amarillo."
"Oh is that near Wellington?"
"I don't think you are that stupid Freddie," she giggled.
He grinned and said, "Is This the Way to Amarillo' used to play here on the Hit Parade on radio."
"God it reached all the way to here? I know how far it is to Texas because I've just been home with my mother to visit my frail grandmother. She's been a smoker since she was seventeen and now is paying for the vice."
"How old is she?"
"Sixty-one or twenty-two years older than me."
Handing Lucille the bowl of peas, Freddie said, "Then look at it this way Lucille. Think of all those years she enjoyed her vice."
She patted the side of his face and said he was a very nice man.
Rick er Richard came over that evening to return the bowl. It was full of marmalade muffins, Freddie's second favorite choice after raspberry and white chocolate muffins.
"Lucille said I was to return the bowl and say, 'From Lucille with love'."
"Thanks. She's lovely Richard. I'll poke my nose into your business and say treasure her."
Richard frowned. "You two appear to have made an instant impression on each other."
"Well she comes from Amarillo. I know the song."
Richard looked blank.
"Oh there's something I have to ask. I had mentioned to Lucille you'd retired from a home improvement center. We decided to ask could advise us about improving our new home internally. You know, a bit of paint and a bit of wallpaper."
"Um Lucille is in the bath."
"Then let's start with the bathroom."
Richard began laughing nervously and when Freddie winked he accepted it was a joke and laughed louder.
"Call me over at a time to suit on Saturday morning Richard."
Richard called a few minutes later.
"Lucille wishes to talk to you."
Freddie waited and heard the phone being handed over and Richard say he'd be watching TV.
"Hi. I have my eyes shut."
"You're probably still in the bath."
"Oh that. I don't mind you looking at me but unfortunately we don't have that kind of phone. Look please come over at 5:30 on Saturday afternoon and we'll grab a drink and tour the house."
"Shouldn't Richard be there?"
"In saying we I include Richard," she giggled.
"Yeah right but he needs to be there if he's to sign the cheques for your improvements."
"But darling, gran has given me ten thousand bucks to spend on our new house. We don't really need Richard's consent."
"Are you allowed to call me darling?"
"I suppose not, at least by Richard. But it's done now. Guess what I'm touching right now?"
Freddie's mind stretched boundaries but he pushed aside those wild thoughts and said, "You have picked up the soap?"
"God that's an unexpected answer and yes, you are right. I'm placing it in the holder. Well until 5:30 on Saturday and yes Richard will be there. Please stay to dinner."
"Sleep tight Freddie."
Freddie wondered if he was in love.
From that day Lucille called Freddie each morning to chat as soon as Richard left for the office at 8:15. She was a computer graphics designer for a magazine, working from 9:00 to 4:30.
The house tour produced some interesting conclusions: instead of getting in professional decorators, Lucille said she could start at the office at noon and work shorter hours for a fortnight while she painted and hung wallpaper.
"Yes I know you have done that work previously," Richard said sternly, "but it's really a two person job. I suppose we could hire someone to help with the hanging and with the ladders and trestles."
"Freddie could assist couldn't you Freddie?"
"I suppose so."
"How much an hour?" Richard asked.
"For cash so I can escape tax deductions?"
"No under the table payments," Richard frowned.
"Yes," said Lucille, eyeing Richard sternly and of course she won.
"Twenty bucks an hour."
Richard's mouth dropped open.
"Jesus Freddie, that's practically the rate for an inexperienced 16-year old."
"Pocket money is all I need and I'll be chatting away in the company of your gorgeous wife."
"Who'll be working in overalls and a scarf over her head or wearing a cap," Lucille smiled.
Richard nodded and said, "Well you two work it out. My thinking is at that low rate we could redecorate the entire house."
Freddie pictured Lucille on her hands and knees painting a skirting board and without wearing her overalls and he kneeling behind and ramming in his dick. He was almost panting in desire, feeling weak at the knees.
Oh yeah? She was too classy to allow an old yobber like him to touch her. God he was fifty-five.
A day later, Lucille gave Freddie five hundred bucks and a list of items to buy or hire. The list included new overalls and a painter's cap and hairnet as well as hire equipment and paint and painting aids that he said he could purchase at trade rates.
But a fucking hairnet? Where the hell would he go to buy that?
Freddie went to the home renovation center he once owned and purchased various things and Steve the new owner didn't blink when he read the list and saw hairnet. He disappeared into the accessories aisles and returned with a hairnet.
"You didn't stock these but we do," Steve grinned. "Trying to catch me out eh?"
Freddie hitched up his small SUV to the hire trailer loaded with the gear he'd hired or purchased and minutes later backed down the side driveway to the Holmes' home. He used a key Richard had given him to take everything into the living room or to store out the way in tone of the bedrooms.
He saw Lucille arrive home and grinned, waiting for the call.
She gritted hi and then said, "What's this fucking machine doing in my living room?"
"Oh hi Lucille. I guess you had busy and tense day at the office by the sound of your voice."
He waited and so did she.
He sighed and continued.
"There's been a change of plan. I've decided we should do a professional quality do-over. That machine is a spray painting unit. There will be no wallpaper, it's all to come off and the walls prepared for spraying in off-white but I have several tints that you can choose from. I'll spray the walls and ceilings. We then dump the carpet and I'll get a retired mate in who'll restore your beautiful Rimu-wood flooring back almost original pristine condition. Geoff is a master restorer."
"Freddie," she gritted ominously. "Are you not aware of the word 'consultation'?"
"Yeah I know what it means but knew you were busy at work and knew you'd left me in sole charge. Believe me baby, when we have finished with this room your pride will swell your cute breasts."
"You idiot, who wants polished floors?"
"You and Richard do."
"And why are you calling me baby and talking about my breasts?"
"It's a mere turn of phrases my dear."
"Well I'm not your dear and you're fired."
"Um before you act and do something you'll forever regret and call three of your most respected girlfriends right now and ask them if money was no object, what type of flooring they would have in their living rooms if they decided to renovate."
"God you are goading me right to the edge Mr Fucking Lusk."
"Yeah and it sounds like it. Call them," Freddie said, and slid his phone shut.
He poured a beer and waited.
Fifteen minutes later he heard the backdoor crash open and Lucille rushed in and shrieked, "Where are you, you darling man?"
Just as well he was on the sofa rather than on a kitchen chair and not nursing Charlie.
Lucille threw herself at him, almost winding him and kissed him hard on the mouth and then panting said, "Omigod, I'm aroused."
"Then get off me. I'm not prepared to relieve you because you abused me."
She giggled, grabbed his beer and took a big swig.
He looked at her poker-faced and said he gathered all three had said their top choice would be polished floors with throw rugs.
She nodded and dribbled and wiped that away, not looking at all embarrassed. Her nipples were very noticeable, appearing ready to burst through the bra and dress front.
He said, sounding as if he were in command, "Kiss me again and no tonguing."
She obeyed meekly and he could feel her heat.
He pushed her away and stood and told her to follow him.
They went into the living room and she gasped.
The ceiling was white, the walls with just the faintest hint of lilac and the Rimu flooring transmitted the wonderful subtleties of tongue and groove carefully matched heart native timber.
"Omigod," she said, her arm linked in his and he could feel her trembling.
"This floor is a top example of my pal Geoff's master craftsmanship. As in your house, that Rimu had been buried under carpet for at least half a century but I'm telling you, it takes real love and sweat to get a floor looking this good. This is what I wish to have replicated for you."
Lucille said, "And the kitchen flooring?"
"If you wish."
She hugged him tightly and said thank you. Lucille said she and Richard would clear the living room of everything and he'd already had a couple of guys on standby to come and lift the carpet and take it away for resale because it was in excellent condition.
Two hours into the first day of work, stripping wallpaper in the living room, Lucille said, looking very unsexy in her white overalls and white painter's cap, "Time for a break."
"I'm hot and will remove my overalls. Don't be repulsed."
She was wearing pink underwear and asked, "What do you think?"
"You look sweet. I'm about to ejaculate."
She giggled and went off to make coffee, returning with it on a try and with pumpkin muffins.
Freddie was aware she was being deliberately provocative because she could have stripped off in the kitchen.
"Do you think my breasts are too large?"
"Nope. They move a bit when you walk and that's appealing."
"What to you?"
He didn't answer.
"Freddie are you saying you'd like to have sex with me?"
"I'm saying nothing. I'm drinking coffee and having a work break."
She sipped her coffee and then pouted.
"I thought you might be interested."
He looked at the ceiling and said, "I'm saying nothing."
"Should I show you my pussy?"
Freddie stood and said, "It's getting steamy here; I'm going outside to finish my coffee."
She didn't follow and Freddie didn't know whether to feel disappointed or relieved. Of course he wanted to fuck her. Did she think he was carved out of stone?
He returned inside and she'd gone from the kitchen. He found her in the living room already back at work, stripped wallpaper high up, using a ladder. She was back wearing her overalls and cap.
Freddie found she'd taken off her panties and left them on his cap.
He picked up the panties and sniffed them, and buried his nose into them and looked up to see Lucille pulling back to regain her balance on the ladder. She must have become over-excited watching him sniff her musk.
Jesus, was she hot or what?
They worked solidly for the next two hours, not talking, and then she went off and ten minutes later called from the kitchen that lunch was ready.
Lucille had made chicken salad and had poured two glasses of wine.
"This looks great."
"Thanks. Will you take me away for a dirty weekend, somewhere private?"
"What would you like to do to me if we did that?"
"Fuck every hole."
Lucille's fork banged on to her plate and she spluttered the wine she'd just taken into her mouth.
"Excuse me. You must think my table manners are foul."
"Either that or I shocked you."
She smiled and said, "Well you're not wide of the mark with that comment."
Freddie changed the topic to progress they were making on removing the wallpaper and the preparation he'd need to make before spraying including sanding the floor to remove grime and imperfections and get it even.
"I'll then call Geoff in."
"I hadn't realized stripping wallpaper would take quite this long."
He said well it did.
Freddie said, "About your suggestion we go away for a weekend."
"You need to know I'm fifty-five."
That yes presented as a question threw Freddie.
"Um you would be dealing with an old man."
"Bullshit and I already had guessed you were in your mid-fifties. I suppose you are unaware Richard turns fifty next year?"
"Jesus, will he? How did you two meet?"
"I immigrated here to New Zealand with my parents when I was twenty-five. I had just divorced my first husband on the grounds of desertion of one year. He'd found another woman and had taken off. We had been scrapping for some time because he was frequently drunk and abusive. We had been living in South Carolina and the divorce went smoothly as all legal attempts to contact him failed. Dad was head-hunted for a high-powered job with the New Zealand Government and because I had been living at home for more than a year and wished to continue living with them, I applied for permanent entry to this country and got it. I met Richard, who'd also been married once, when I was contracted by the company he worked for to design a bunch of brochures for a line of new products and he was in charge of that project."
"Tell me, why this interest in me when you remarried only three years ago?"
"Do you really wish to know?"
"Yes please because in my mind the reasons could justify me being involved in an adulterous relationship with you."
"You may have noticed Richard is rather dour, rarely smiles and also he no longer wishes to do anything exciting and he's nowhere near as soft as you are in your manner and he's not as kind to me as you are."
"So you are after a bit of tenderness?"
"And you don't think us just being very close friends would achieve that desire?"
"No I want you inside me, to briefly own me."
"Jesus," snorted Freddie, surprised at her bluntness. "Well okay then, I will go away with you when the opportunity arises. In the meantime I suggest we don't grope passionately."
"But we can kiss and may reach down to feel your cock if the mood takes me?"
"Isn't that groping passionately?"
"Not unless I grope passionately."
"Oh right. You have a clever way with your thoughts and your words at times."
She giggled and said Richard never spoke to her with that level of engagement.