This story is of a fantasy. It is not necessarily my fantasy, although I wouldn't rule that out, just as I wouldn't rule out that the situations of this story didn't happen. It is after all just a story. CM
I heard her before I saw her, she was arguing with someone. "Get away from me you arsehole!"
"Give it to me bitch."
"No fucking way, it's mine!" I heard the sound of contact and she staggered into view from a side street before stumbling and falling to the road in front of me.
I stooped to help her to her feet. "Are you all right?" I asked.
"No I'm not fucking all right, do I look all right to you?" She had blood pouring from her nose and a promising bruise on her cheek along with grazes to her hands and knees.
She was a tiny thing, but pretty in an oddly intense way. Her bark brown hair hung in limp unwashed strands to her shoulders. But it was her eyes that caught my attention for while the whole looked like a normal street kid, they told a different story, one of someone who was searching for something. She reminded me a lot of the pictures that I've seen of the young Edith Piaf.
"Come with me, we should get you fixed up." I led her to a bench. On closer inspection I realised that she should go to the hospital emergency room if for nothing else, a tetanus shot, and her wounds needed more attention than I could give.
"Is everything okay here?" The voice was that of one of two bicycle policewomen who were a common feature around Glenelg during the weekends when many of Adelaide's population came to this beachside suburb with its restaurant and shopping precinct.
"Not really, I found this young girl and she's been beaten and has fallen over and grazed her hands and knees. I think that she should go to hospital."
"Who beat you?"
"No-one, I stumbled and fell."
"Have you been drinking?"
"No! I'm too young to drink."
"What about drugs, have you taken any recently?"
"Look lady, just because I dress in second hand clothes and I'm skinny doesn't mean that I'm some sort of druggy. I don't do that stuff, alright. And I don't want to go to any hospital."
The policewoman turned to me. "If she doesn't want to go we can't force her, and even if she knew who beat her I don't think that she'll want to press charges. Our hands are tied."
"Look, I'll give her a feed and clean her up, that's if she'll let me, that's probably all I can do for her myself."
"Good luck with that and be careful, she'll probably take you for all she can get from you, money that is."
"I'll keep an eye on her." They got back on their mountain bikes and continued their patrol.
"What's your name?" I asked her as she stared sullenly after the police.
"Nikki. Look mister, you don't need to do this, I can look after myself."
"When was the last time you ate? I'll bet that you haven't had anything today." The look that she gave me told me that I'd won the bet. "Come on, we'll find a pub and I'll buy you a counter meal."
"What's wrong with Macca's?" She pointed to the McDonalds across the other side of the square.
"If I'm going to feed you I want it to be proper food. Firstly we should get you cleaned up a bit." I took her hand and led her across the road to a pharmacy where I bought some alcohol swabs, disinfectant and bandages. Finding a bench in the park I cleaned her grazes and wiped the blood from her face before covering her knees with bandages. Her thin dress came low enough to partially cover her leg wounds.
There were a couple of hotels on the square and I chose the less trendy for our meal. "What would you like?" I asked, pointing to the menu board behind the servery.
"What are you having?" She asked.
"I'm having the salt and pepper squid with chips (fries) and salad."
"I'll have the same," she looked at me, "thank you."
I ordered the meals and a glass of the house Riesling and a lemon squash for her.
"Can I have a wine like you?"
"I thought you didn't drink."
"That's what I told the coppers."
"How old are you?" I had put her age at no more than 17.
"I'm nineteen." She caught my look of disbelief. "Look if you're worried about it I'll drink your fucking squash, alright?"
"Two Rieslings." I amended the order.
She took a sip of her wine while we sat at a table in the front bar and waited for our meals. "This isn't half bad for cheap wine."
"Oh so you're a wine connoisseur now, are you?"
"This isn't the first time I've tasted wine I'll have you know."
Our meals arrived and we ate in silence for a while. "You know my name, what's yours?"
"Mark, Mark Jeffreys."
"And what do you do with yourself when you're not picking up stray young girls?"
"I'm in the Army, but I'm on leave just now."
"How long are you on leave for?"
"I don't know, I might not even get to go back. Before you ask I suppose that I should tell you that I came back from Afghanistan six or seven months ago, my unit was ambushed and my mate next to me was shot in the head. I tried to save him but I copped a couple of hits myself. They sent me to a military hospital in Germany and then shipped me home when I'd recovered from my wounds. I hadn't recovered from seeing my best mate killed next to me."
"I'm sorry." She looked at me for a while. She was trying to think of something appropriate to say to me but gave up.
"Where do you live?" I asked.
"Here and there, I usually crash in a squat in Adelaide."
"Is that where your friend lives?"
"Sometimes, sometimes he's shagging some tart and doesn't come home."
"Sounds like a nice bloke." She gave me a sharp look but said nothing. "When we've finished our meal I think we should go down the road to the Op Shop and find you something to wear, that dress's got blood on it and it's torn."
"I don't have any money."
"That's all right, I'll pay."
Nikki was like a little kid, sorting through the racks of clothes and pulling things out and holding them in front of her for my inspection. She eventually settled for a floral dress to replace her old one and, on my insistence, a pair of jeans and a top, along with a pair of sneakers. The whole lot cost me $20, but to her it might just as well have been $200. She was happy with her purchases and when the assistant asked if she wanted her to dispose of the old dress she thank her politely.
"Where are you going to stay tonight? I don't think that you should go back to the squat if your friend's going to be there, for starters you'll have to explain the new clothes."
"I've got nowhere else to stay."
"You could always stay with me, I've got a spare room." She looked at me as if she was trying to assess whether she would be safe with me.
"No, I couldn't, you've done too much for me already."
"It's nothing. Look I'd be glad of the company, even just having someone in the same room while I'm watching TV is better than what I have at the moment."
"I hope you don't want me to fuck you."
"No! I don't want anything from you."
She saw the hurt expression on my face. "I'm sorry, it's just that any time my friend gives me something he expects me to fuck him. I guess you're not like him. You're not a poof are you?"
"No, I'm not one of those. I used to have a wife, Claire, but she couldn't handle my nightmares and my jumping every time there was a loud noise. We were out shopping in the supermarket one day when someone dropped something, I threw her to the ground and lay on top of her. She left just after that, and I haven't seen her since."
We had reached my car. "Are you coming home with me or would you like me to drop you somewhere?"
"I'll come with you."
We drove in silence until we reached my home, a small house in a quiet street. I parked in the driveway and unlocked the front door. "You're not the best housekeeper are you?" She asked, surveying my clean but untidy room. I had a pile of vinyl albums on the floor that I was slowly converting to CDs. This has been my escape from the reality of my present life. I have , since I was a teenager, trawled through garage sales and second hand shops collecting vinyl, especially boxed sets, that were in good condition. I have played them rarely, not wanting to damage them but not long after my last stint in hospital I managed to find a turntable that I could hook up to my computer that came with a programme that allowed me clean up the tracks of all the snap crackle and pops, and then digitally re-master the them onto a CD. I calculate that if I do one album a day it will take me a year and a half to complete the task.
"If you want to take a shower the bathroom is down here." I said, leading the way. "I'll get you a towel. You room is this one." I opened the door and showed her the bedroom with its single bed, wardrobe and dressing table. I went to the linen press and handed her a towel and she went into the bathroom. I heard the shower hiss into life so I left her to it and returned to the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee.
Some time later she emerged with the dress on and did a pirouette for me, holding the hem so that it didn't rise up too much. "Would you like a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe something else?"
"Nah, I'm fine for now thanks."
"What would you like for dinner, I can cook us up something, or we could go out somewhere?"
"I think I'd like to stay here tonight." She sat at the table across from me and looked at me for a minute or two. "Do you miss your wife?"
"Probably more than she misses me."
"Do you still love her?"
"I don't know. After I came home I got the feeling that she wasn't in love with me and that there might have been someone else in her life, which would explain why she didn't stick around when I had my relapse."
"Maybe she just couldn't handle you hurting, she didn't know what to do to help so she gave up on you."
"You're quite the little philosopher aren't you?"
"You could say that I've experienced a lot of life in a short time."
"How long ago did you leave home?"
"I left a couple of years ago. It was the usual story, my parents split up and my mother re-married not long after to a bastard, who tried to fuck me one day while she was out shopping, so I pissed off. I went to find my father but he had disappeared. I heard that he was working on one of the mine sites somewhere, but no-one could tell me where. I stayed at a shelter for a while until I met Brett, we've lived rough since then. He was full of shit, told me of his great plans for the future, but he had no idea how he was going to get there. He wanted me to turn tricks for him. We fought over some money that I'd managed to beg from a guy when he hit me and you picked me up."
"We've had a rough trot haven't we?"
"You could say that." She looked at me for a while. "Remember when I said earlier that I hoped that you didn't want to fuck me?"
"How could I forget?"
"Well I was thinking that if you asked me nicely I just might let you."
"Let's not go down that path. I'm much too old for you, here I am thirty-five years old and you, well you said that you were nineteen but you don't look a day over fifteen. Let's face it, not only isn't it right, it just doesn't feel right."
"I'll bet that it's because you think I might have some disease or something? Well I'm clean, I don't fuck around with just anyone."
"I never even thought that you would. That has nothing to do with it. My neighbours are all old people who are very set in their ways. While we mightn't see them you can be sure that they see us, and if they see you and me together here they will think that I'm some sort of dirty old pervert and report me to the police."
We said no more about it and Nikki sat on the floor with me while I did my thing with an album. After I'd burned the CD I played it through my surround sound system. She sat there with her eyes closed as the digitally re-mastered tracks played. After it had finished she picked up the album cover and read it. "Wow! That was really great, I've never heard Fleetwood Mac before, they're good."
"They were good. I'd better get us something to eat, I can't have you starving to death."
"Can I help?"
"Can you cook?"
"No, but I'd still like to help you."
I was beginning to like this girl, she may not have known much about cooking but she made up for that with her enthusiasm. I taught her the safe way to use a knife and she was soon slicing vegetables like a celebrity chef. She didn't even complain when slicing the onion. I kept the meal simple, a couple of steaks cooked in a griddle pan with a tossed salad. Nikki got the plates and cutlery out and set the table while I used some port to deglaze the pan and make the sauce for the steak.
"What the hell." I said as I got a bottle of red wine from my wine rack and opened it. I poured each of us a glass of Shiraz and we sat down and attacked the food.
"This is nice." Nikki said as she sipped the wine. "I could get used to this."
"I'm glad that you like it, it's my favourite wine and goes really well with steak." We chatted during the meal and after as we cleared up and washed the dishes. She seemed to have settled in and it left me wondering what I was going to do with her. On one hand I was still unsure of whether I would allow her to stay with me, while on the other hand I didn't want her to leave, nor did I know how I was going to tell her that she had to leave when the time came.
We watched TV for a while and around ten o'clock I felt that it was time for me to go to bed. I had a shower and she took herself off to bed while I was in the bathroom. I knocked on her door. "Good night Nikki, I'll see you in the morning."
"Good night Mark, and thank you for everything."
What should have been a good night's sleep turned out to be anything but. I don't know what time it was but I was in that stage between sleep and awake when it happened. It was my constant enemy this nightmare that I've had ever since my mate got shot. The shout was 'Incoming!" as an RPG round headed our way. We ducked for shelter in a roadside ditch but Gary copped a bad one and became exposed to the enemy. I crawled to him and covered him with my body to protect him until the Medics arrived. There were bullets all around us, some passing overhead, others to either side but a couple hit me and that was the last that I knew until I woke back at base in the First Aid station. "How's Gary?" I asked. "He didn't make it I was told.
That was my usual nightmare, but tonight there was someone to hear me yell out 'Incoming!' before I threw myself to the floor and scrambled under my bed.
"Mark, where are you?" Nikki called as she came through the door. She heard me under the bed and crawled under it with me and put her arms around me. "It's all right Mark, you are safe, they can't get you here." She held me close and I put my arms around her. It was then that I realised that she had no clothes on, and her breasts were pressing in to me through my tee shirt. When I stopped shaking she took my hand and placed it on one of her breasts and I could feel her rubbery nipple. I went to withdraw my hand but she held it to her. "Leave it there Mark, just relax and everything will be okay, I'm here."
I don't know how long we were there before she kissed me, but it wasn't much after that that I kissed her. That was about the time that I realised just how much I missed the companionship of a woman, even though Nikki was yet to reach womanhood, it didn't diminish the feeling that something was missing in my life.
"Come on, let's get you back into bed."
She crawled out from under the bed and held her hand out to me. The significance of this gesture wasn't lost on me, she was pulling me into her life. I didn't say anything when she climbed into bed with me and hugged me to her. "It's okay, I'm here for you, just hold me until you go back to sleep."
I was certain that Nikki was in bed with me last night but she wasn't there this morning and I had the beginnings of a panic attack, but then she came into the room looking bright and cheerful. The sun shone through the window as she opened the curtains and, from her silhouette I was almost certain that she wore no underwear. "I don't suppose that your wife left any knickers behind did she?" Now I was certain.
"No, I'm afraid that you're out of luck on that score, we'll have to go shopping for some."
"No rush, it's not as if we're going out anywhere special and if necessary I can wear my jeans commando. In the mean time it feels so free without any."
"Are you sure that you can trust me not to be tempted?" Nikki came to me and slipped her dress over her head as she came. Her body was so slim, her breasts were almost tiny and she looked so very young. "Oh my god, you are beautiful."
"Ssh, don't say anything." Her hand had slipped under the waist band of my shorts and found my cock and was stroking it. "Lift your bum." I lifted it and she pulled my shorts down far enough that she could straddle me and feed my cock into her soft and moist pussy. I got the impression that this wasn't the first time that she'd done this, but I was now beyond caring about her past life. My hips began to move with her and she was making these little noises as she lifted herself up and down on him. "Oh god, I'm coming." She came, as did I.
"Nikki, what am I going to do, what are we going to do? I don't think that it's right what we've just done, but somehow it felt so right. I don't know whether it was just me missing a woman in my life or whether I really like you and want to see where this takes us. I'm so confused. I don't want you to do this because you feel sorry for me and yet I want you to do this so much. I know this sounds stupid, me asking a young girl, but will you help me?"
"I can understand that you're confused, I have a habit of confusing people so let's take this a day at a time, and yes, I will help you, and while we're at it, you can help me. I want so much from life and, because of some bad choices I've made, I've almost lost all hope of finding what I'm looking for."
The more that I knew of Nikki that more that I was convinced that she was an intelligent young girl, probably from a good home, who had rebelled against the authority of her parents and, to shock them, took a path so far removed from her previous life. Did her parents miss her, or was the situation as she had told me? Was this a complication in my life that I needed right now?
"Stop thinking about it and let's just do whatever we feel like, okay? Right now I'm going to wander around this house with no clothes on just because I feel like it." She headed for the kitchen. "Breakfast will be in five." She said over her shoulder.
I wandered into the kitchen in just my shorts, I hadn't had the courage to be totally naked.
"Now I'm disappointed, here I am trying to be sexy for you and you come in wearing those horrible old shorts." I wasn't wearing them for much longer, she walked over and grabbed them, pulling them to the floor. "Now doesn't that feel so much better, he's free to hang there or to stand up, as the mood takes him." His mood took him onwards and upwards and breakfast had to wait.
My life changed, and it wasn't just the voyeuristic pleasure of seeing this young girl (I still couldn't believe that she was nineteen, but had taken her word for it) walking about with her small breasts with their hard nipples and her sparse pubic bush, as if she had not a care in the world, and in the process she was making me forget my cares and start to think about what might be. I sat on the carpet watching the computer screen as another album was loaded onto it ready for the process of cleaning and re-mastering before burning to a CD. Nikki sat down and scrambled between my legs and leaned back against me. "Hold me." She took my hands and wrapped herself in my arms. "Mmmm, that feels so nice." My hands moved to her breasts and fingers to her nipples. She grabbed my cock and raised it up between us and squirmed back so my erection was trapped between us. "You should feel my pussy, it's so wet." She took a hand and placed it between her legs, she was right. "Mark."