Richard's Education Ch. 02byl8bloom©
Special thanks to darkniciad for competent, helpful editing.
Louisa blinked at the steps leading up to her house. They didn't wobble under her feet, nor did they squeak.
Inside, a wonderful aroma wafted from the kitchen. She stood for a moment, eyes closed, inhaling the smell of fresh bread. Was this some kind of dream? If so, let it continue!
Richard appeared in the doorway, wiping his hands on a dish cloth. His bear hug and passionate kiss made her senses swim. It was no dream. He really did live here, and he really was good with his hands ... in more ways than one.
"Hmmmmmmm." He released her from his kiss, but kept one arm securely locked around her waist. She looked up at him. "Are you a mirage?"
"No." His voice was soft as he smoothed her hair. "How was the library today?"
"Class of first-graders came to visit." She watched his yummy ass as he turned back toward the kitchen. "You fixed the front steps."
"Yeah." He sent her a quick grin before returning his attention to the stove. "I got good news today."
"Well don't make me wait, what is it?" She thought she might know. It wasn't the money, money was not an issue. But Louisa did care very much about Richard's self-esteem. The young man was no slacker. Since moving in with her recently, he'd been diligent about trying to find a job. The way he was smiling, it looked as if he'd had some success.
He turned off the burner and put his hands on her hips. A big smile filled his youthful face. "I got the job."
"Congratulations!" Her face lit up like a fourth-of-July sky. She squeezed him tight. "Oh, I'm so happy for you!"
"Me, too. Now prepare yourself for a tasty dinner and I'll tell you all about it." He twirled her around, delighting in making her laugh, and landed her in a dining room chair.
True to his word, dinner was terrific. Richard told her what he knew so far about the construction job he'd be starting in the morning. Then his face turned thoughtful.
"There's something I've been wanting to ask you."
"You told me you were fired from your first job, but how did you decide to become a librarian?"
Louisa drew in a thoughtful breath. "Actually the seed for that dream was planted while I was still in undergrad. Right at the beginning of my freshman year I was riding the campus bus and I heard two men talking."
He couldn't figure out how this had anything to do with the point but he kept listening. He could see the memory was a happy one.
"I realized, very slowly, that they weren't speaking French -- or Spanish -- or German or even Russian. It was a language I had literally never heard before. And all at once I was overwhelmed with just how much stuff there is in the world -- great stuff, like languages, places, animals, whole fields of knowledge, subcultures. And I wanted very much to hold that door open, so to speak, so others could..." She made a gesture with her hand. "I knew I wanted to be a keeper of knowledge, not as in keeping it for myself, but as in, tending it so it would be available for anyone who was trying to find something. This was before the internet." She laughed with her eyes.
"So what happened?"
"I made the silly mistake of taking a job just for the sake of paying the rent."
"Silly, right," interjected Richard.
"And you know what happened after that. I got the sack, went back for my MLS, and started living the life I wanted to. Professionally, anyway," she added.
He wondered what an MLS was, and she explained it to him. He had never surmised that a particular degree was necessary to work in a library. "Oh, yes," she quirked a brow and nodded solemnly, "it's very competitive."
It was nice to have someone to talk to over dinner. Furthermore, Louisa could not remember the last time a man cooked dinner for her, much less fixed things around the house. Certainly her son Jerrod had pitched in his fair share of the work. But he had not been around that much: after high school, he'd taken one semester in college and then joined the military. And in any case, having a helpful son was by no means the same as having a live-in lover.
The only possible complication was that Richard was Jerrod's best friend. Well, and he was half her age. Oh, and up until a short time ago, Louisa had been something of a maternal figure in Richard's life. Okay, so things were kind of complicated.
* * *
However much he might have detested the notion of going back home after his dismal try at college, Richard had been raised well. He was determined not to take advantage of Louisa's goodwill in offering him a place to stay. To that end, he began looking for work immediately; he took on a considerable load of chores around the house; and in general he did what he could to pull his weight while living under her roof.
Even if she hadn't relieved him of his virginity, he would have done these things.
The construction job was a blessing in many ways. Certainly the cash flow made a difference. The pay was sufficient to make divots in his student loan as well as chip in for groceries and put gas in the car. The hours were flexible to a certain extent, although there was an expectation that he be available if extra hands were needed. And the work was interesting; Richard's boss gave him a variety of odd jobs around the site, so it was never the same thing day after day.
The biggest benefit, however, was to his sense of self. The young man was simply not a mooch. It would have appalled him to even remotely consider loafing on the couch, eating food that someone else paid for, and basically doing nothing to earn his way.
Now as he put the last paver block in place, his nod was satisfied and confident. "I can take it from here, guys. Thanks again for your help."
Bill and Ed looked at each other. "Don't you want to get those plants in the ground?" asked Bill.
"Well, yeah, but that's not heavy lifting."
Ed flapped a hand and grabbed a spade. "Don't be silly. With three of us, this will only take a few minutes. Where do you want these flowers?"
Richard grinned. "Under the tree, over there." The other nice thing about his job was that the guys helped each other out from time to time. It felt good to be building a network of friends.
The job was complete a good thirty minutes before Louisa got home. From the front window he had the pleasure of seeing the look on her face.
Louisa gawped. Gone was the steep front hill that eroded further with every rain. In its place was a terraced garden that would have graced any English country cottage. Ivy made a green waterfall down the side nearest the driveway. Vinca drifted toward impatiens, which brightened the shade under the large old oak. The tree didn't look so lonely any more. And neither, for that matter, was she.
"Oh, my god!!" Louisa got out of her car and simply stared for a long moment. Amazement pulled her closer to the new landscaping. Then her eyes snapped toward the house. Richard waved from the window. In his happy gesture she saw the boy she had met when he was just fourteen. Emotion tugged at her core.
He disappeared from view and came out the front door, grinning from ear to ear. "So, you like it?"
She swung her arms around his neck. "It's too fabulous! How on earth did you do it?"
He tilted his head to one side, still grinning. "Some of the guys came over to help out." The love in his eyes was apparent as he lowered his mouth to hers. Her lips met his soft kisses like flowers drinking in rain. Her body molded to his.
Very soon it became apparent that they ought to move indoors, and they did so. Easily he lifted her into his arms and carried her to the bedroom. The mere act of entering this room never failed to cause at least a slight stir in his nerve center. Often the reaction was stronger. It was in this very room where Louisa had become Richard's first lover.
His mind fired in different directions. Mostly he was in the here and now, kissing this kind woman who was his cherished friend. Yet part of him remembered, would always remember, their first night together.
Naked from head to toe, they nurtured one another even in the dark unconsciousness of sleep. She had fallen asleep with her back pressed against his chest. It hadn't taken long for him to grow hard a second time. He'd only had one bite to sate his pent-up sexual hunger. He wanted another helping of Louisa.
He reached around to stroke her velvety peaches. Words could not describe what it did to him to cradle her breasts in his hands. Electrical impulses ping-ponged around in his gut and informed his groin. His erection prodded at her backside.
He pushed her hair aside and lipped at her ear. Slowly she woke, wiggling her bottom into his lap. His cock responded accordingly. At his groan she looked over her shoulder, smiling sleepily at him.
"Mmmmmm..." Richard pushed the head of his cock between her legs. Louisa angled her body to draw him closer to her place of warm, wet heat. He was a little more aggressive this time. Lightly he pinched both of her nipples and was rewarded with her startled cry of passion. A rush of wetness greeted the crown of his cock.
He was harder and more sensitive than ever. "OhgodLouisa." The words surged out of him. He grabbed her around her waist and she bent at knee and hip — their bodies communicated — and then she was on her hands and knees as he knelt behind her.
The probing of his finger made her shudder and cry out. Some of the wetness inside her was his own. The thought of their mingling juices kicked his arousal up another notch. He slid the tip of his cock into her sheath and watched as her back arched. Her long hair fell to one side in the dim light.
Then the lovely screwing began. He inched his way in, and withdrew. Pushed in another inch, and pulled back. Her ass cheeks were cool in his hot grip. They played the lovers' game of push-me, pull-you, grunting with every stroke. Richard thought he would die, and at the same time, had never felt so alive. He caught glimpses of her breasts as they swayed, bouncing in time to the movements of their bodies. The smell of sex was strong in the room. Her body clamped around his in a 360º hug.
More frantically they flew together. With every thrust his balls spanked her ass. She rocked beneath him, almost as if fighting him off. He growled and grabbed her, yanking her firmly into contact with his hips. Her cum-cry matched her internal spasm. The wet jerking sparked his own seismology...not for the final time that night. They made love so many times, he lost count.
All of this swept through his mind, and more, as he held her now. Richard loved peeling off Louisa's clothing. There was something heady about unbuttoning her silk blouse. Swirling around in his breastbone was a mix of passion, affection, power, and doing something forbidden. That, and the constant surprise of what she might have on underneath. It made him nuts that she shopped for lingerie especially for his benefit.
Today's confection was white, but definitely not the typical workaday Kevlar. Tiny seed pearls dotted the centers of lacy flowers. Sheer panels around the ribcage were punctuated with stern boning. The corset laced up the back. Fleetingly he wondered how the hell she had gotten it on. Then he spied the all-but-invisible zipper up the side.
But undoing the laces was much more fun. He untied the bow at the small of her back and loosened the cords, bit by bit, while he kissed her and teased her with his mouth. Her own soft hands worked at his clothing. She made him pause just long enough to lift off his t-shirt, and then her fingers were hungry indeed, finding every muscled inch of his torso.
She broke away from his kiss and fastened her mouth on his nipple. The sucking caused his hands to stumble in their heavenly work. Before Louisa, Richard hadn't been aware of how pleasant this could be. Now he closed his eyes and gasped.
"That's it!" he declared. Far faster than she could do it, he whipped off his pants and pinned her to the bed. Laughing, she squirmed beneath him. "Gotcha!"
"Minx. Vile temptress." He lost patience with the pretty undergarment and pulled it away, casting it over his shoulder.
Louisa quit laughing when Richard took her nipple in his mouth. Her noises quickly segued to moans of pleasure. He licked and sucked at the tender pink flesh, feeling the point go from soft and delicate to hard and erect in his mouth.
"God don't stop!" she demanded.
He mumbled something that was probably, "I'm not going to stop."
The phone rang. They ignored it. Richard buried his face in Louisa's boobs. She lifted her knees around his waist, feeling the teasing of his hardness knocking around between her legs. The intensity of his ministrations increased and she clawed his back, urging him on.
The minor pain from her fingernails spurred his arousal. His eyes blazed as he entered her. With a shuddering breath he wrapped his arms around her and rolled them both over.
"Ah!" Louisa wriggled like a speared fish. He was deep inside her now. She reared back to find he had lifted his knees, making of himself a human chair.
Richard quit moving for a moment. He wanted to memorize the sight of her impaled on his manhood. Her legs were apart, shins pressed to the linens. Her breasts rode high and proud. And she was smiling at him, looking at him the way every man wanted to be looked at, eyes sparkling with joy and sexual energy.
Sweet desire rushed through his veins. He reached out to tickle her pubic hair. The result was very satisfying.
The land line had quit ringing. Her cell phone started in. Louisa's expression changed to one of distraction. "I better answer it." She slid off. Richard sighed and remained where he was.
A few minutes later she came back. His flushed and excited lover had been replaced by someone who looked to be a victim of shock. Richard bolted upright. "What's wrong?"
"It's not wrong, exactly, it's — " she faltered. She had the oddest look on her face, something like a cross between worry, happiness, and confusion.
"What?" he asked, and simultaneously, she resumed: "Jerrod's coming home."
* * *
They had never discussed what they were going to say to Jerrod. Her son, his best friend, had no idea that Louisa and Richard had become lovers. It wasn't exactly the stuff of casual mention over the phone.
Jerrod had now completed basic training. He was due to be shipped out soon and would first be coming home for a visit. Richard and Louisa talked several times about how to handle what could turn out to be a very awkward situation.
"I've raised him to be honest." Louisa twisted her hands.
"But what do you think this particular honesty will do to him? Right before he goes overseas to stew about it for six months or more?"
She grimaced. "It's because what we're doing is wrong. We both know it."
"No, Louisa!" This hurt him, though he didn't say so. "We're consenting adults. We care about each other and we happen to have a great sex life. There is nothing wrong with that."
"Then why should we lie about it?"
"Because — because I keep trying to picture how I would feel if the shoe was on the other foot..."
Louisa held out one hand, palm up, as if to say, "See?"
"I just keep coming back to it. It's pretty intense, it's a lot to deal with, and he won't be around long enough for us to really work our way through it."
Louisa sighed. A frown of worry creased her pretty face.
"Okay, how about this. We don't tell him this weekend, but we do tell him next time he comes home. That will give things time to evolve."
"All right," she agreed. And she too kept a twinge of hurt to herself: by the time her son finished his tour of duty, her lover might have moved on. And then there would be nothing left to tell.
Simply because it was his day off, it fell to Richard to pick up Jerrod at the airport. Despite the uncomfortable situation, he cheered when he saw his old friend.
They slapped each other on the back.
"Good to see you, man."
"So, Mom says you're crashing at the old homestead."
"Yeah, it was really cool of her." Richard said this as he reached for Jerrod's duffle, not looking at his friend's face.
Quickly he turned the conversation to the job he'd gotten, and how it was enabling him to make headway on his student loan. He was gaining new skills and starting to get on his feet. Then he spent the drive home quizzing Jerrod about basic training, who was only too happy to extol the rigor of the exercise, and swear praisefully about the men who had shaped him into a soldier.
Richard commented with honest admiration, "That's really cool, man."
As soon as they got home, Richard excused himself to the garage, saying there was a project he had to finish before work the next day. Louisa was just getting home from work. Out of habit he took a step toward her, remembering in a split-second he wasn't supposed to kiss her. Just as he turned away, he caught the look of suspicion on Jerrod's face.
They got through dinner without too much trouble. Louisa wanted to hear about basic training, too, so a good part of the time was passed with Jerrod telling tall tales. Mother and son had always shared a sense of humour.
"So," she said, wide-eyed, "they made you scale Mount Everest with nothing but three Hershey bars and a pick-axe?"
"That's exactly right," Jerrod grinned. "And I had to buy my own axe!"
Richard guffawed into his Coke. It was almost like old times again — the three of them laughing around the dinner table. But throughout the evening, a sense of awkwardness wandered in here and there. The truth choked at Richard's throat.
Finally he cleared his plate. "I'll take out the trash," he offered.
"Let me give you a hand." Jerrod stood up.
Oh, no, here it comes. Richard straightened his back and focused his attention on the task at hand. Open the cupboard door under the sink. Pull out the wastebasket. Lift out the garbage bag. Tie it shut. Put in a fresh bag.
Jerrod picked up the garbage and strode out the back door. Richard followed his friend's retreating back, pausing only to throw a glance over his shoulder at Louisa. He mouthed, What now?
Her silent reply was to blow him a kiss.
Jerrod got right to the point. "What's going on between you and my mom?"
"It's not like that."
"Don't you lie to me. Are you shacking up with her?"
"Hold on. Just hold on, dammit—"
Jerrod's face was six inches from Richard's. The soldier poked his finger into his friend's chest. "You are not the man of this house. Don't even think about it!"
A stab of rage pierced Richard's forehead. He knew damn good and well how solidly he had been contributing to the household. "Well, you sure as hell aren't! Where are you! Going halfway around the globe to get shot at! That's a big help!"
"Motherfucker!" roared Jerrod. He grabbed Richard's shirt and the two men went down, scuffling and throwing punches. Blue language filled the air.
The screen door banged but neither looked up. "Stop it!" yelled Louisa. They paid no heed.
The sound of her retreating footsteps made no difference, either. A moment later they were both drenched by a sudden wave of water. They looked up to see her holding an empty bucket.
"I said STOP!" Louisa burst into tears. "I love you both, do you think you could not fight like dogs?!"
Immediately Richard was filled with shame. "I'm sorry," he began. He looked over at Jerrod, ready to make amends.
But Jerrod was on his feet and stomping around the side of the house. "You two enjoy your love nest!" he spat. "I'm gone."
* * *
The lovers lay in the dark, staring up at the ceiling. It was after eleven. Jerrod had not come home.
"I'm sorry." Richard apologized for at least the fifth time.