"His fingers are on the clasp of my bra, I'm not surprised he manages it first time -- " Beth raised her eyebrows at Sarah, getting a grin in return -- "even though he doesn't have a bra to deal with all that often, right?"
"I keep just a hint of modesty, catching the cups of my bra in my palms for a moment before revealing myself. He doesn't speak for a moment, just drinking in what he sees. "Beth, you're perfect."
"He reaches hesitant fingers to touch me, caress my breasts, and I smile up at him. "Want to lose my jeans too? They'll only be in the way."
"So I lift my hips, let him slide my jeans down, off. "Think I'm the one that's overdressed now," he chuckles, and quickly sheds shirt, trousers.
"He pauses for a moment, and I reach to touch the front of his boxer shorts. "It's OK."
"I take a deep breath. "Dad, I -- I know you've protected me, I'm so grateful. But I need to tell you... I'm, well, not a virgin..."
"He smiles a little sadly. "I knew my little girl would have to grow up sometime. As long as you were safe, and it was what you really wanted."
"I hesitate, then, "It is."
"He shakes his head, puzzled, but lets it go, taking me in his arms. "Mm," I whisper, "it feels good having your chest against me. And something else..."
"He chuckles. "Be patient -- all in good time."
"I feel his fingers on the front of my panties, then drifting downwards, cupping me, and at the same time -- mmm -- his lips are finally on my nipples, and I can feel myself getting wetter and wetter. "Oh, touch me..."
"He slides my panties down, off, pausing on his knees for a moment to kiss my fur, then quickly sheds his boxers, wraps his arms around me again. "Ready?"
"He guides me onto my back, I just naturally draw my knees up, part for him, and he's between my thighs, I feel his hardness touch my entrance, then -- ohhhh... -- he's entering me, all the way, then just resting there, not moving. "Everything OK?" I query.
"Another chuckle. "Your young man might have been in a hurry, but I'm not -- I want this to be everything you need."
Beth grinned. "I somehow didn't mention to him that I know how 'right now' you and he can be when you're together, Sarah."
"Good move," Sarah agreed.
"So after a while, when he's sure I'm comfortable with him being in me, he begins to move, carefully, slowly, letting me shift position a little until -- mmm... things are just right, every time he presses in I feel him slide over my most sensitive place, and he can tell I'm starting to build towards..."
Beth shivered a little with remembered pleasure. "I just feel so safe, so desired... Then he moves a little more insistently, making me gasp, tilt my head back, push my hips against him. "Ah, not yet," he murmurs, and -- mm -- just on the verge of frustrating me, but not quite -- he slows down again. "Don't worry, I'll know when you really don't want to wait any more."
"Harder again, and I can tell my face is flushed, my fingers are tightening on his back. "Oh -- yes --"
"He gives a quiet chuckle, and then -- oh, oh god -- he's really moving in me now, I can feel him stiffening a little but he's holding back, he's watching my face, I start to tense, suddenly I'm even wetter, and -- ohhhh..."
Beth swallowed. "You'd have heard me at the other end of the house, I can't help myself -- sorry, Sarah, I think my nails will have scratched his back a little -- then at the very last second, when I think I'm past the peak, he stiffens, so hard, thrusts, and -- oh, I can't believe how much he fills me, it doesn't seem to stop..."
Sarah chuckled. "He's the best, isn't he."
Beth took a long breath. "So then we just cuddled, really, he was so sweet, helped me get dressed, made us coffee, then we sat on the sofa for a while. I don't think he wanted to let me go, but we knew you'd be back, so here we are."
Bill picked that moment to walk over from the kitchen. "Sorry to break in, but dinner's ready."
We sat at the table, and Sarah nodded as she tasted the first mouthful. "Wow, Bill, this is fantastic -- something must have inspired you."
I glanced at Beth, and she just gave me a peaceful, contented smile. "It doesn't get any better than this -- family, amazing food, everything to look forward to."
We took our time eating, but as usual Sarah was the first one to stretch, cover a yawn. "Come on, Bill -- I've not really said welcome back properly yet, have I."
"Have a good night, you two," Beth wished them as they headed for the bedroom. I grinned at her as Bill's hand slid onto Sarah's bottom before they'd even reached the door. "Good that everyone's relaxing a little more."
"Talking of relaxing," she hinted. "Let's go up -- I'd like to shower, and there's still plenty to talk about."
I watched her undress, then sat on the toilet lid while she showered, her body tantalisingly visible through the droplets on the glass. Beth smiled as I held a towel for her, and we went back to the bedroom, Beth sitting to dry her hair. "So..." I prompted.
"Well.. you and I have no secrets, and we've told Sarah everything, haven't we -- even about watching her and Bill."
"Your Dad is pretty sure Sarah knows about you and him, right? She even told him it was OK," I mused. "And he knows you were with someone at least once before."
Beth chuckled. "Weren't you paying attention? I hinted to Dad that 'someone' is still in the picture -- I'm sure we can drop a few more hints until he puts the clues together and gets you."
"OK," I nodded. "So the two big secrets we still have are you and Sarah, and me and her."
Another chuckle from Beth. "Dad thinks he's the one getting most of the action, but really Sarah's the one who has all of us, and she can be there -- or at least watch -- when you or Dad has me."
"Still leaves a few combinations we've not considered," I said thoughtfully.
I saw Beth's shiver of anticipation. "Mm, you and Dad with me -- oh, there are some very naughty things I've heard about that we could try."
I took a deep breath. "Anyway, one thing at a time. Do you -- that is..."
I trailed to a halt, and Beth read my hesitation. "Tim -- nothing will ever take away from what you and I have. Sure, Dad was amazing --" another shiver of recollection -- "but you're the one I'm going to wake up with."
I felt something wet on my cheeks. "Beth -- I don't say it often enough -- I love you."
"I love you, too."
Beth unwrapped her towel, slid into bed, arms inviting. "Come on -- hold me for a while, and we'll see where it takes us...
Beth put the last box in the boot of the car and shut it. "OK, that's it."
"Are you sure you don't want us to come?" Bill asked.
Beth shook her head. "It's fine, Dad. Once we're settled in, we'd love you to come and visit -- there's that big spare room, remember."
She got behind the wheel, and I took the passenger seat. "Still can't believe you beat me for this -- whose idea was rock, paper, scissors?"
Beth grinned, starting the engine. "Enjoy the ride."
The motorway wasn't too congested, and we got to our junction in good time. "The new road cross-country is a real godsend," I observed.
Beth nodded. "Only snag is, no service stations, but I bet we can find a nice pub if we pull off a little way."
Her prediction proved correct, and we parked, went inside. The landlord looked up as we entered, putting down the glass he was drying. "A very good day to you, sir, miss."
"Are we too late for lunch?" Beth queried.
"Oh, not at all," was his jovial reply. "Pick a table, I'll bring a menu -- the specials are on the board."
We sat by the window, and Beth glanced at the board. "Oo, steak and ale pie -- that's me sorted."
"Can't beat a classic," I agreed.
The landlord came over, and nodded as we gave our order. "The beef's from the farm over the way, and -- perhaps I shouldn't say -- we use the best beer."
He winked. "Don't tell the brewery man."
"We won't," I reassured him. "Beth, what would you like to drink?"
"Just orange juice, but you can have something if you like?"
I chuckled. "Maybe some of that beer in a glass as well as in the pie."
"Right you are, sir."
He brought our drinks first, and I tapped my glass against Beth's, then sipped. "Oh, yes, that's it."
Our food was next, and Beth's eyes widened at the size of the oval plates. "Think you're going to have to poke me when we start driving again, I'll definitely feel sleepy if I eat all that."
Despite her protests, we both made short work of pie, chips, perfectly-cooked vegetables, and finally Beth put down her fork. "That was fantastic."
She glanced round. "I just need to pop to the loo."
While she was gone I settled up -- "Thank you, that was fantastic --" and a couple of minutes later we were back on the road, the map in front of me. "About two hours to where we turn off, just after that small town."
The steady sound of the engine, the warm car, and it was me that dozed off. I blinked as Beth reached over to nudge me. "Wake up, sleepyhead. You said this was our turn, right?"
She negotiated the roundabout onto the B-road, and a few minutes later I pointed. "Look, there are the woods, it can't be far now."
The end of the drive was marked with neatly-painted stones, and Beth drew the car up outside the house. "Wow -- what lovely Georgian architecture."
The villa had been converted into student accommodation -- three flats and a big shared kitchen and lounge -- and Beth and I had got lucky, rented the big top floor flat. "Can't wait to see the views from those windows," Beth pointed.
We went inside, climbed the two flights of stairs, and I took a deep breath, turning the key in the lock. "Here's home, for a while, anyway."
Beth nodded. "If you bring the box with the kettle, I'll make us a drink, then we can get the rest of the stuff in."
We were both out of breath by the time all our bags and boxes were in, but Beth gave a satisfied nod. "Right -- maybe we can go out for a walk later, but in the meantime, the door's closed, it's just us."
"I guess we should unpack a little?"
"Mmhm." Beth walked through to the bedroom, looking at the built-in cupboards. "Which side do you want?"
"Don't mind, really."
She opened the nearest double doors, and I heard the rattle of hangers. "Tim -- come and look at this?"
I stood behind her, peered into the cupboard. "Hmm..."
Although neatly painted over, there was the clear outline of a door at the back of the cupboard, handle still in place. Beth and I exchanged looks, and I chuckled. "Like something out of a Gothic novel, isn't it."
I grasped the handle, and it turned stiffly in my hand. "We can always repaint if it makes a bit of a mess."
I pulled hard, and the door rewarded me with a creak, tiny flakes of paint chipping off, then suddenly it was open. "Oh, wow."
In the gloom we could clearly make out a dusty landing, and narrow wooden steps leading downwards. "It must be the old servants' stairs," mused Beth.
She stepped through the doorway. "Come on, then."
I followed her more gingerly -- "Hope the woodworm haven't got to anything."
The steps led down to another landing, unpainted wooden boards facing us to left and right. "Odd," I mused, "why did they board up these doorways, but leave ours with the door in?"
"Maybe they thought it didn't matter, ours being at the back of a cupboard."
Beth reached to run her fingers down the surface of the wood. "Think they saved money on the timber, too -- have you seen how many knots there are?"
She tapped one, then "Wups" as it slid from its hole, dropped out of sight on the other side. Automatically Beth leaned forward, put her eye to the hole. "Tim..." she grinned, "you look."
I took her place, and returned her knowing grin. The knothole offered a clear view into the flat beyond, bedroom nearest, then across to the doorway of the en suite. "We seem to have all the luck."
Beth turned to the opposite side of the landing, pressing and tapping at the wood. "And... here we are."
Another knothole, this one seeming to be in the wooden panelling of the second flat's bathroom but giving a view into the bedroom. "Now we just have to wait and see what sort of housemates we get," I ventured.
Beth nodded. "They could all turn out to be studying computer science," she teased, "and we'll see absolutely nothing worth looking at."
She kissed me to reassure me she wasn't serious. "The stairs go down again," she pointed. "They must end up in the kitchen, right?"
At the bottom of the stairs was bare plasterboard, unbroken by any gaps, and Beth looked thoughtful. "Well, unless we have a party and things get kind of steamy in the kitchen, there wouldn't be much to see from here anyway."
"But we can still hear," I pointed out. "Who knows what secrets might get spilled."
Beth chuckled. "Good point."
We made our way back to our own flat, brushing dust off each other -- "Was I actually dusty there?" Beth teased as my fingers explored a little further.
"You hungry again yet?" I queried.
"Maybe sandwiches," Beth nodded.
We went down to the kitchen, and I buttered bread while Beth tapped at the walls. "Here's the spot," she pointed.
We were still sitting at the table when we heard the sound of the front door opening. "Hello?"
"Hi," called Beth in response. "We're in the kitchen."
Footsteps in the hall, then two young women appeared in the doorway. "Hi, you must be Tim and Beth, the landlord said," ventured the taller of the two. "I'm Ann."
"And I'm Pippa."
Ann was slim, pale-skinned, with long red hair caught into a ponytail, while Pippa was -- well, I admitted to myself, deliciously curvy in all the right places, her brown hair falling to her shoulders in soft waves.
"It's great to meet you," smiled Beth. "Kettle's boiled, help yourself to coffee or whatever."
"I'll make them," Ann offered, while Pippa joined us at the table. "So you two are sharing?" Beth queried.
Pippa nodded. "We know each other from school."
Her tone was casual, but I caught the affectionate look between the two as Ann brought mugs, sat down beside Pippa. Beth's almost invisible lift of her eyebrows in my direction let me know she'd noticed too, and I began to think there might be something worth seeing from our hidden vantage point sooner than we'd anticipated.
"How about you two?" Pippa asked.
Beth and I had talked about this, and decided that we'd better tell people the truth -- in part, anyway. Otherwise, as Beth pointed out, any story we told would quickly come unravelled when Bill and Sarah came to visit...
"It's the oddest thing," Beth smiled in reply. "Tim's Mum and my Dad got married, and Tim and I just clicked, so we decided we'd apply here, find a flat."
I decided Ann would make a terrible poker player -- it was obvious from her expression that she was already finding the idea of a stepsister being with her stepbrother more than a little intriguing. "OK."
"Would you like a hand with your stuff?" I volunteered. "Beth and I are already sorted, and believe me, you don't want to make more trips up those stairs than you have to."
"Sure," nodded Pippa. "That'd really help -- thanks, Tim."
I admired their car -- an old-style Beetle -- then chose the heaviest box, lugging it up to the first floor. "Oh, can you put that in the bedroom?" Ann requested.
I complied, putting the box down carefully and taking a moment to stretch my back. I ran my eyes over the walls, the panelling either side of the fitted wardrobe, but nothing was obvious -- unless the girls decided to hang a picture in exactly the wrong spot, our view was safe.
I stepped back, and something dug into my foot. "Ow!" then I grinned to myself, pocketing the small, round object.
I went back out to the car. "Anything else?"
"Can you manage one end of Pippa's keyboard?" asked Ann, wrestling the bulky object from the back seat.
Finally everything was in, and the girls thanked me -- "As soon as we're properly settled, it's definitely our turn to cook something for you two," Pippa promised.
I went back to our flat, finding Beth hanging clothes in the wardrobe next to our secret doorway. "Look what I found." I fished the object I'd retrieved out of my pocket and held it out to her on my palm.
"Well done," she grinned, leaning over to kiss me. "Now there's nothing at all to make anyone curious."
We carried on unpacking, arranging everything the way we wanted it, and it was starting to go dark by the time we'd finished. "Hungry?" Beth queried.
I nodded. "Why don't we offer the girls to share a takeaway? We're not really that far from town, there must be places that deliver."
"Mm, good idea. I'll go and ask them."
Beth returned with the girls following her. "Sorry, Tim, you're outvoted -- we decided on Chinese this time."
I chuckled. "Oh, I think I'll live -- they're bound to do something with Szechuan sauce. Make yourselves at home, you two."
Our lounge had a pair of long sofas facing the fireplace -- I'd already lit a fire to chase off the autumn chill -- and the girls took one, sprawling at either end. "Mm, comfy," nodded Pippa.
Beth snuggled up against me on the other sofa, curling her legs under her so that her bare feet were visible, and I thought I caught a flash of interest from Ann. "So what are you studying?" she asked.
I got in before Beth could give her usual teasing reply. "Well, I'm the geek -- computer science -- and Beth's doing psychology and maths."
Pippa nodded. "Psychology as in rats and mazes, or the get-inside-your-head kind?"
"Try and guess," Beth gave a quirky smile, and Pippa laughed. "Damn, you got me there."
"How about you guys?" I chipped in.
"Pippa's doing music -- hence the keyboard," Ann explained. "And I'm starting medicine -- I must be mad, though, the hours are ridiculous."
"But you'll stand a chance of meeting a dishy junior doctor -- or two." Beth was obviously fishing, and I watched Pippa's face for a reaction.
She grinned. "Oh, I wouldn't mind double-dating with Ann."
I took out my phone, tapping the screen. "Looks like Wong's is happy to come out here -- what's everyone fancy? Our treat."
"Well, if you're sure," smiled Ann. "Pip, you want your usual?"
"So crispy chicken, lemon sauce, fried rice. And I like the sweet and sour pork." Ann looked a little guilty. "My parents are vegans, so it always feels a bit naughty having meat."
She sighed. "But I just can't resist the taste."
I tapped again. "OK -- all our favourites, they reckon about twenty minutes."
"I'll get us drinks," Beth offered, extracting herself from her comfy spot. "You two OK with wine? It's been chilling since we got here."
"Wow, perfect," nodded Pippa.
Beth returned with the bottle, glasses, and poured for us. "A toast?"
Ann leaned to tap her glass against each in turn. "New friends, new adventures."
"Mm, I like that," nodded Beth as she sipped.
"Is the other flat let?" Pippa queried.
"I think the landlord was talking to the accommodation office yesterday," I recalled. "He's not said if there was someone definite yet."
Ann nodded. "Well, it'll be nice for us all to get used to one another for a couple of days."
There was a knock on the front door, and I blinked. "That's fast. We can order from there again."
I retrieved our food while Beth found cutlery. "We don't need plates, do we."
Ann took a bite, closing her eyes. "Mm, definitely a guilty pleasure."
The food was fantastic, and I made sure glasses were topped up. "Shall I open another one?"
Ann glanced at Pippa, shook her head. "'Fraid we both have induction sessions tomorrow, so it's an early start. But how about we do this again on Friday night? We can go a little wild, then the weekend to relax."