Transition

Amateur

[This started with a story by Casey Edwards called ‘Dawn’s Friends’. It isn’t, even implicitly, a criticism of that story. But it made me think about how the relationships described would work, and how I would handle the basic scenario differently.

This is a first cut. I’ve already done a second cut, but it isn’t any longer an erotic story; it’s become more of an exploration around the nature and meaning of incest, and isn’t really suitable for this site.]

*

“Liv!” I said, surprised. “What are you doing here?”

Here was my back doorstep – we mostly use the back door. She unfolded her long legs and stood up, still slightly coltish and awkward.

“Becks said,” she said, colouring beautifully, “that you fancied me.”

That wasn’t exactly what I had said. At breakfast that morning I had said ‘Becks, would you mind going round to Liv’s this weekend, instead of her coming here?’

Becks had looked at me. ‘OK, but why?’

I’d fiddled with my toast. ‘I’m… I’ve suddenly noticed how she’s grown. I’m… just not comfortable around her just now.’

She’d looked puzzled. ‘But… you like Liv.’

‘I do like Liv’, I’d said. ‘I like her very much. I… just need to get used to her being…’

‘Grown up?’ Becks had asked. ‘Sexy?’

Then, in the kitchen, I’d nodded, sheepishly. Now, looking at Liv, I half shrugged, and nodded again. That’s what it came down to, in effect. I fancied her.

“I fancy you too,” she said, seriously.

She moved towards me. I put my hands on her shoulders – on the beautifully smooth taut skin of her shoulders, flowing down from that impossibly graceful neck – to hold her off.

“Liv,” I said, awkwardly, “we can’t. It isn’t OK. I’m sorry…” I shook my head, vigorously, trying to clear it. “You need someone nearer your own age.”

She looked away, and then back, nervously. Big grey eyes, narrow pointed chin. Straight nose. She licked her wide, mobile lips. She’d always had these things. Suddenly they added up to something different, as if I’d gained access to a whole new calculus.

“I don’t want someone nearer my age, Mr Edwards.” The grey eyes looked straight into mine, disconcertingly near my level. “The boys my age are shits. Think of Billy Marshall…”

I thought of Billy Marshall. It wasn’t a very charitable thought; it had been Billy Marshall, the previous weekend, who had opened my eyes to the gorgeous girl who had been wandering in and out of my house as if it were her own these past eight years. Who had made me so uncomfortable, so troubled.

Saturday night – or rather, Sunday morning, about half past one. There’d been a noise in the house, an unfamiliar noise. I’d rolled out of bed, slipped a pair of jeans on, slipped through into the kitchen. Two shadows were standing by the open patio door, faintly outlined against the wash of distant streetlights.

‘What are you doing here?’ A fierce whisper. ‘Go away. I said I didn’t want to see you any more.’

‘Girls say that.’ A low mumble. ‘Look, I brought you this…’

The bulkier shadow had held out a hand. The slighter one had backed away into the room, into the house. Liv. ‘You know I don’t do that stuff!’

The bulky shadow had moved forward, too. ‘I wanted to make up to you’. The male voice had been louder, more assured.

‘Keep your voice down!’ Liv had whispered, urgently. ‘Mr Edwards will hear.’

‘And you wouldn’t like that’. There had been a tone in the voice I hadn’t liked at all, somewhere between thoughtful and gloating. ‘You wouldn’t like him to see you with a guy in his house. Not with you dressed like that.’

How was Liv dressed? I hadn’t been able to see, in the shadows. I’d caught myself trying, been shocked at myself. That had been the start…

She’d told him to go away, again, her whisper sounding more frightened.

‘Do what you wouldn’t do last night, and I’ll keep quiet.’ There had been definite cruelty in the voice. My hand had reached across the counter to where the big torch sits, had picked it up, was pointing it in the right direction. I didn’t know why I hadn’t turned it on.

‘No!’ Liv had backed further into the room, further into shadow. Again the bulky figure had followed, lifting the vase of flowers from the coffee table.

‘Do it’, the man had said, ‘or I’ll drop this.’

‘Please no…’

‘Kneel down’ he’d said, almost caressingly, moving closer, into shadow.

There had been a movement in the gloom.

‘Unzip me.’

‘No!’

‘I’ll drop it!’

I switched the torch on, full in his face, and he did. It shattered loudly on the floor, scattering water and tulips.

‘Billy Marshall’, I’d said, carefully, hearing the ferocity in my own voice. ‘Care to accompany me down to the police station while I file a charge of attempted rape?’

It hadn’t taken me long to get him out of the house. It hadn’t taken me long to get a promise out of him never to come near either of the girls again. He’d suddenly become a very frightened kid. As he’d deserved.

I’d gone back in, shut and locked the patio door. Liv had been still Betturkey kneeling there, shuddering and sobbing. I pulled her to her feet and hugged her. Of course I hugged her. I’d hugged her many times before when she’d been frightened, when she’s cried. She was wearing just the same sloppy t-shirt she’d been wearing when I’d kissed her good night only three hours previously. But suddenly it meant something different. The pressure against my chest was breasts. Small breasts, but… breasts. The head that nestled into my shoulder had lips which could suddenly be kissed in a very different way.

I’d pushed her away, gently but firmly, carefully not kissing them.

‘It’s all right now, Liv’, I’d said. ‘He’s gone. Go back to bed, and sleep’.

I’d gone back to my bed, myself. I hadn’t slept.

And now I looked at her on the doorstep, dressed in a light sun dress with not a lot, I could tell, under it… perhaps, probably, nothing under it… it was painful to touch her. Viscerally painful.

“I’m sorry, Liv. We can’t.”

“Justify that!”

My own catch phrase, almost. Something I’d said to the two of them, over and over, whenever they’d said something without thinking. Justify that.

And I couldn’t.

“I’m too old,” I said. “You’re too young. If I was twenty years younger… If you were even five years older… but we’re not. We can’t. I can’t. It would be wrong.”

“Why?” She was pleading. “Lots of men have lovers who are younger than them…”

“Thirty years?”

“Twenty eight,” she said, precisely. “And anyway, why not? You want me. I want you. Why not?”

“You’re eighteen, Liv,” I said, desperately. “If you were even twenty-one…”

She looked down. There were tears welling in the big eyes, not quite spilling. I’d never made her cry before. I’d always been the one who’d made it better… She blinked furiously. She tossed her head up and looked at me hard.

“OK,” she said, “OK. We’ll do a deal. Wait for me. I won’t see anyone for three years. Promise me you won’t see anyone for three years either.”

“Liv, we can’t. You’re practically my daughter. You are my daughter’s best friend. We just can’t.”

The tears did spill. No big production, just tears trickling down over her high cheekbones into the corners of her wide mouth. I so, so, so wanted to hug her, to hold her, to comfort her as I had so many times before. I pushed her away, as gently as I could.

“I’m sorry, Liv. You have to go.”

She went. The evening sun caught her as she turned the corner of the house, outlining her against the light. There was nothing under that thin dress.

——

It’s quite a big house to be alone in. I hadn’t ever felt alone in it before. It wasn’t the first time Becks had stayed at Liv’s, of course. They’d been inseparable since primary school. I’d sometimes joked that it was because of Liv that Becks had chosen to live with me, instead of moving out with her mother and the boys. It had been Becks, at twelve, unprompted, who’d argued with the judge that we should be allowed to keep the family home because her mother had left us and anyway her new boyfriend had a bigger house – which was true. I’d been embarrassed. But I’d been proud of her. I still was proud of her; I’ll always be proud of her.

Six years. I hadn’t slept with anyone in six years. Most of the time, I hadn’t missed sex desperately. It was something that wasn’t there, and sometimes it did hurt. But it wasn’t something I’d ever thought of in the same breath as the girls. They’d been children. I’d watched them grow, I’d watched them learn and develop. I’d been proud of them. Of Becks of course, but also of Liv. She’d been with us so long, she’d felt part of the family. I worked from home – mainly because of needing to be home for Becks. Her mother, also a single parent and more ambitious than me, didn’t. So it had become normal that Liv came home with Becks after school, played, did homework, had tea, increasingly often stayed overnight.

She’d been a little, shy, pale shrimp of a thing when she first came, uncertain, nervous, but bristling with intelligence, with eagerness to learn. She had been unsure of me at first, nervous around men. Her father, who’d killed himself driving when drunk, had, it seemed, been unpredictable and violent. Later, she’d come to me for comfort when she was upset or frightened, and that had felt the biggest compliment anyone ever paid me. From when she was thirteen she’d stayed with us all through the summers, as her mother marked exam scripts and went off around the world to academic conferences.

She’d been a delight. A pretty, quiet, well mannered child, more responsible than Becks, able to rein in some of Becks’ wilder flights. Around Becks you almost didn’t notice her; Becks so much more vivid, louder, more confident, physically developing much earlier. I had grown used to Becks being nubile; she’d had a bra at twelve, and by thirteen had needed one. Liv had always been pale, very fair, slightly freckled. She’d grown gawky and coltish, in her early teens susceptible to illness Betturkey Giriş as a result of growing too fast, too tall, too thin, awkward and clumsy in her skin.

I’d seen her, I’d thought, as an extra daughter. I’d loved her almost as much as I loved Becks, and, I’d thought, in the same way. Their friendship – their inseparability – surprised a lot of people, but it didn’t surprise me. Becks saw in Liv what I saw: both the vulnerable child who needed to be protected, and the person whose wit and imagination could keep you entertained and stimulated indefinitely. For Liv, Becks was at once a protector and a foil: someone who would always, reliably, stand between her and the playground bullies, and someone with the wit to spark off hers.

Even the name ‘Liv’ was Becks’ invention. Liv’s mother still called her ‘Lavinia’; when we’d moved into the area and Becks had first gone to Liv’s primary school, everyone there had called her ‘Lavvy’. Becks had, through sheer force of personality, killed that hated nickname; I hadn’t heard anyone use it for years.

I sat in my study, looking through old photographs. Photographs of the two of them, of Liv by herself. A lowriesque, stork-like child with a wonderfully mobile, expressive face; often serious, but when she did grin, such a grin. I thought about how precious she was to me, how important to me our relationship – our adult to child relationship – had been. Billy Marshall had killed that, had destroyed it. I would never look at her innocently again, never touch her innocently. I got drunk, and wept, and went to bed, and wanked, and hated myself.

——

“I thought I’d asked you to stay away for the weekend?”

It was quite late on Saturday morning. I was just up, feeling groggy, drinking black coffee in the kitchen; they’d just tumbled in through the back door. Liv, in a shapeless jersey over baggy dungarees, was staying behind Becks and looking apprehensive.

Becks looked at me hard. “What’s wrong with you?” she asked.

“Didn’t sleep very well,” I said. “I thought I’d asked you to stay away?”

“Professor Jennings told us to give you this,” said Becks.

I wondered hazily why Liv’s mum was suddenly ‘Professor Jennings’ and not just ‘Liv’s mum’. ‘This’ was a well wrapped parcel, addressed to me. I looked at it. I realised that ‘Professor Jennings’ probably meant that Becks was angry with me.

“Aren’t you going to open it?” said Becks.

“Mum said…” started Liv, nervously.

“Aren’t you going to open it?” asked Becks, again.

I opened it.

Inside was a large – a very large – box of condoms, and a note, in Professor Jennings distinctive fountain-pen scrawl.

‘Be gentle with her’

I looked up at the girls. Becks was looking at me, challengingly. Liv was staring at the condoms, frightened. Frightened of me, frightened of sex, frightened of being rejected? I couldn’t tell.

“Well?” demanded Becks, “What does it say?”

I stepped past her, and handed the note to Liv. She looked up at me, startled, looked at the note, and looked up again, slowly, hopefully, blazingly smiling.

“Oh!”

From somewhere behind me, Becks voice, surprised.

“Oh… You won’t be wanting a gooseberry, then.”

From somewhere behind me, I heard her go out of the patio door; she obviously didn’t want to push past us. We just looked at each other. Neither of us moved. After a bit the smile started to tremble, started to collapse towards uncertainty…

“Come here,” I said, roughly.

She came. I held her. It was a very long time before we even kissed.

——

There was a knock on the bedroom door. Liv raised her head off my shoulder and looked at it. The evening sun sparkled through her long eyelashes, caressing a face soft and replete. Her voice was curiously husky.

“Becks?”

“Would you two like some coffee?” Becks’ voice was muffled by the door.

“Please,” we both said together.

Liv kissed me, and settled her head back into my shoulder, almost purring. I pulled the sheet loosely over her, and moved my hands back to their comfortable station on her buttocks. Her muscles rippled gently, and I twitched back at her, moving a hand to stroke her soft hair gently.

Becks burst in, slammed a tray of mugs and biscuits on the bedside cabinet, bounced down onto the bed, beaming at us.

“Well?” she said, loudly, curiously. “How was it?”

“Becks, have I completely failed to teach you any manners?”

“Dad! You’re you, and Liv’s Liv, and this is family. This is more important than manners. I’m tying to say ‘congratulations’ and I’m also trying to say – like, to both of you – ‘are you all right?’ so…”

She looked at us, at the shape of us under the thin sheet.

“…oh. Are you actually doing it? Now? Should I go?”

Liv chuckled, softly. She twisted her head round to look back at Becks, rippling her internal muscles again.

“Don’t go,” she said. “We’re not really doing it. He’s still in me – like, I don’t ever want him to be out of me again, like Siamese Betturkey Güncel Giriş twins” – she dropped a kiss on my nose – “but we’re not really doing it. I’m too sore, now. But good. Really, really good.”

Becks sat there, looking at us, beaming. Liv dropped her head back into my shoulder, and I gathered her in, stroking her wonderful soft hair, grinning slightly at my daughter. To my surprise it felt OK, the three of us. It felt OK that Liv was my lover, and Becks was my daughter, and she was sitting on our bed, looking at us, beaming. Liv was fluttering her muscles more now, deliberately beginning sex again, teasing, I knew, probing to see how I’d respond.

“So what have you been doing with your day, Becks?”

“This and that.” She looked down at the shape of Liv’s arse, now definitely moving under the sheet. “All my sports stuff was upstairs, so I bought myself a new cozzy and went down to the pool to get some lengths in. Then I had some lunch, and mooched a bit, and went and saw Julie. And then I got bored and decided I needed to know how you two were doing. So I came home. Aren’t you going to drink your coffee?”

“Sorry,” I said. “Liv seems to have got interested in something else.”

“OK,” said Becks. “I’m being a gooseberry again. I’ll go.”

The door closed. I flipped Liv over.

“Liv, love, pas devant les enfants. And I thought you were too sore, anyway.”

She giggled.

“Gentle,” she said. “But… do it. Do it.”

I did it, until she came, mewingly, again. I knew I wouldn’t come; I’d long since emptied every last dribble of semen I had into her. My balls hurt. I liked the feeling; a feeling I hadn’t felt in her lifetime – or a while before it. I felt ridiculously happy.

——

I came out of the bathroom into a kitchen with a definite chill. Liv, wrapped in my dressing gown – only she could make it look sexy – was leaning against one counter. Becks, in sweatshirt and jeans, against the other. Both stiff. Neither looking at the other. Neither talking. It wasn’t at all what I’d expected.

“OK,” I said. “What’s up?”

“Nothing’s up,” said Becks. “I’m going out.”

“Becks, sit down. Shall we cook, or shall I order a carry-out?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Becks, sit down!” I said, sitting down at the table myself. “You too, Liv.”

They sat down. Liv looked scared. So sad to see her scared when she’d looked so triumphantly proud and happy only five minutes before. I took each of them by the hand.

“Look,” I said. “We’re family. You said it yourself, Becks. And we’ve been family for…”

“Eight years,” said Liv, quietly.

I nodded. “This mustn’t change that. It can’t. I am not going to give either of you up. So what’s wrong?”

“She wanted to know what we did,” said Liv, simply. “I couldn’t tell her. You’re her dad.”

“Would you have told her if I weren’t her dad?”

Liv nodded. “Probably. Yes. Yes, for sure. Of course I would.”

“Would you tell Liv?” I asked Becks; and then, struck by a thought, “have you told Liv?”

Suddenly Becks gurgled, and the tension started to break. “No,” she said. “Who knew? Who guessed she’d be first to pop her cherry? I just need to know… I need… like blow by blow…”

“Can you tell her, Liv?”

“Is it OK?” Liv asked, looking at me.

I nodded. “I think you’d better. I’ll go out and get a carry out.”

“No!” said Liv. “No, don’t go.”

I stayed.

——

“I just wanted to get it over with” Liv said.

I had got a bottle of wine out of the cupboard and was pouring glasses.

“I was so nervous… I wanted to just get to bed, do it, get it done…”

“And you didn’t?” Becks looked surprised.

“Tim kept slowing me down…”

I grinned. I couldn’t help it. That was the first time she’d called me Tim in front of anyone else. Always before it had been ‘Mr Edwards’, or ‘Becks’ Dad’. Now I was Tim. Well, it was only a few hours since she’d first called me that in private. I found I liked it. I didn’t even know who she’d heard call me Tim before, or how long ago it had been. I grinned.

“… he kept saying we had plenty of time, and I thought he meant he wasn’t going to do it at all, he was trying to, to, to… he didn’t want me…”

She looked up at me, a hint of that panic, that insecurity, back in her eyes. I smiled at her, putting all the warmth I had behind it. I handed her a glass of wine; another first.

“You did kiss, I hope,” said Becks, ever keen to stick to the point.

Liv nodded vigorously.

“Is he good?”

Liv nodded still more vigorously.

“Is she?” Becks looked at me.

“When she’s not too nervous.” I went and stood behind Liv, stroked her hair. “When she’s not too rushed. Very, very good. Inexperienced, but… very good. And… I’ll teach her. I’ll enjoy teaching her.”

Becks stared at Liv intensely. “Oh, you are so lucky… so what happened? What happened?”

“I thought I was getting it all wrong. I thought I was going wrong, I didn’t know what to do. I… I expected him to just, you know, strip me and shag me and send me to make coffee. I thought that’s what I wanted. I thought that’s what happened. I mean, in the books that aren’t stupid romances or porn, that is what happens. But he didn’t strip me so I started… He kept stopping me taking my clothes off and I thought that meant he didn’t want me…”

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