Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A Friend In Need

Story from Cul D'Or 11.

A Friend In Need
by Anthony Berne


Shutting the door against the storm, Toni Gardner leant against it, shutting her eyes against the world. Normally, with the twins in playschool, this was her favourite time of day. These, however, were not what she knew as 'normal' times, nor had they been for months.

With a sigh she straightened and slipped off her damp coat and plugged in the kettle for coffee, while her stomach growled emptily. The coffee was awful, the cheapest blend from the cheapest shop but, awful as it was, there was no more after this. While she sipped Toni tried to ignore the little pile of envelopes that the post had brought. Bills, and like the mounting pile in the drawer, bills printed in red.

Her harried gaze drifted about the kitchen. It was almost impossible, somehow, to recall how it had been, before Terry got so ill; so difficult to remember the warm and prosperous days when Terry was earning an enormous salary and affluence was forever. The ultra modern kitchen, with all its trendy gadgets, mocked her now, in her desperation. It was all slipping away; their home, their future, their everything...

What small savings they had had long since vanished, and the reluctantly sought state aid merely postponed financial nemesis. The mortgage was months overdue and the initial courteous understanding from the building society was now fraying into impatience.

The rest did not bear thinking about. People had been kind, but there were after all limits, and she could no longer presume upon their generosity. Indeed, some of her friends, repelled perhaps by a sense of doom which clung about her, began to avoid her as if disaster might be contagious. There was nowhere, and no-one, to turn to, for, with Terry so ill, any worry put upon him could only delay his already distant recovery without in any way improving the situation.

Toni was at the end of her tether. No prospects, no hope and, when the few coins in her purse were gone, no money or food. At least the twins would have a good lunch at the nursery, after their skimpy breakfast, for of all her creditors Mrs Gant had been the most patient, never in all those months even hinting at the mounting bill. The situation was untenable. Something drastic had to be done and, fortunately, ...or unfortunately, for Toni... a drastic solution was all too easily available...

Toni hugged the coffee cup to her breast, seeking the meagre comfort of its warmth, when she remembered that there was still a drop of whisky left in the house. It was literally only a drop, and its fire burned in her empty belly as Toni contemplated that solution...

It had begun, fairly innocently, two or three years before, when the twins were babes and the world was golden and nothing, not even Mr Pinner, could threaten her family or her happiness.

She knew, in an amused and mildly flattered way, that she had made a conquest of Mr Pinner. She found it even rather diverting as he, direct and uninhibited, pleaded his case in the baldest terms. She would listen, smiling her remote smile as, face gleaming red with perspiration and lust, he raved.

"Your backside, Mrs Candar!" he would gasp. "Oh my God! The finest, absolutely the creme de la creme, of arses! What I wouldn't give, too, to have you naked, bent over for the cane, while I thrashed you...!"

On and on he would rant, detailing in the minutest way what he would do to her bottom with cane, strap or whip; and all the while Toni, smiling placidly to cover her unease, egged him on cruelly...

Every time they met, which was every day, almost, when she aired the twins, she would allow herself to be entertained by listening to his plans for her behind, ...which did not stop short of physical punishment. Toni, truth to tell, was rather shocked, although her pride as a modern young woman would not allow her to show surprise at any hint of perversity.

All that, however, was years ago, when she was safe. Now, she was vulnerable, and Pinner knew it. Instead of merely reciting his litany of lust he had gradually become more and more pressing until, some days before, he had made her a firm offer.

Mr Pinner dealt, among other things, in property. He was extremely rich. Some of his wealth he was prepared to lavish on Toni. All she had to do was to say the word and he would take steps to clear her debts as well as make her an allowance handsome enough to restore her to her previous standard of living. In return...

Well, Toni knew what he wanted in return.

Now, not many of his friends liked Mr Pinner; and even fewer trusted him. A very near man, it was said; one never yet bested in a deal. Toni, however, had an intuitive sense of him insofar as his intentions toward her were concerned.

He would stick to his agreement; but in doing so, would make her live up to the last letter of hers.

Unlike many, Toni found it difficult to totally dislike the man, although she was vividly aware, she thought, of the reality of what he offered. In his eyes, it was a straight business deal; as a dealer in property, he was making a bid for the desirable property that was Toni's body. She would, literally, be owned.

It was a fearful thought; but equally fearful was the prospect of the twins coming home to a foodless, comfortless house; or, very soon, to no house at all...

Now, while her courage was high, she must act. As if in a daze she rose and went to the phone. There was some difficulty in getting through to Pinner... a secretary uncertain of her importance. While the latter waffled Toni began to have second thoughts. There was that job offered her by the husband of a friend, at a salary too small to be of any great help, but at least an alternative. Almost, she hung up, but again the vision of the twins, homeless and hungry, stiffened her resolve.

"Mrs Candar?" His voice, friendly but puzzled, though with a touch of the excitement she always aroused in him.

"I'm sorry to trouble you at your office. Mr Pinner," ...was her voice just a trifle high pitched?...

..."I know you must be very busy..."

"Not too busy for you Mrs Candar. What's the problem?"

Drawing a deep breath she plunged.

"I was wondering if we could meet somewhere, Mr Pinner; somewhere where we could talk..."

"Talk?"

"Yes, Mr Pinner."

A short silence, nerve-wracking. 'Get it over with', the buzzing line said.

"It's... it's about what we were talking about before, Mr Pinner..."

Another short silence while she lay on the rack, wondering if he had been playing with her, or if he had changed his mind. In reality, Pinner was savouring the moment, enjoying the sound of her voice, which had unconsciously moved from Toni's previously superior, teasing tone to the humble tone of the dependant.

"Yes? What about it?"

Make her put it baldly into words, so that there could be no claim, after, that she had been misunderstood...

"I've... I've decided to... accept, Mr Pinner..."

This time the silence crackled. Toni sagged, feeling light-headed, although whether with apprehension, shame or anticipation she could not tell.

Then his voice, warm with approval.

"Good; you see, Mrs Candar... Toni... it wasn't so very hard was it? And you won't regret it, I can assure you."

Another pause; then his voice, over the rustle of papers.

"I've something to see to. Half an hour; then I'll come and pick you up."

He was no longer the suitor; his voice had shifted in half a dozen sentences from courtier to absolute monarch.

* * *

When she had hung up Toni leaned against the kitchen counter for a moment. She was quivering and felt curiously weak, the combination of nerves and hunger. Presently, it occurred to her to tidy herself up. Dragging herself to the bathroom she almost surprised herself, on looking in the mirror, at how unchanged she was. She looked good; even the strain of the past few months had hardly dimmed her beauty. Indeed, she thought, having stripped for the shower, the weight loss from an inadequate diet was, if anything, more flattering than not.

Before climbing into the bath she stared at her body, at her breasts and the clustered curls that hid those nether lips; surely a sexual banquet for that perverse gourmet, Pinner. Too, she strained over her shoulder to stare at the full curves of alabaster buttocks, wondering fearfully how they would look... and feel... in another hour or so...

Time drifted, and she with it. She had ceased to think; in this way it seemed only a minute or so before the doorbell rang.

Mr Pinner was on the step, his face redder and more greedy than ever, eyes alight with anticipation; at the sight of her, however, he frowned.

"Are you alright?"

"Yes." Her voice lifeless.

"You don't seem very happy..."

"Yes..." Toni forced a smile. "Yes of course I am."

"Good." He bore her back with his weight, his heel kicking the door shut while his hands tore open the front of her dress, spilling and engulfing her breasts.

"Marvelous!" exclaimed Pinner, staring avidly down at the globes that filled both hands, and at the surprisingly erectile nipples. He bent to trace the outline of an aureole with his tongue, before becoming aware of the shaking of Toni's body.

"Are you sure that you are alright?"

Surprisingly, Toni managed a wry smile.

"It's just that I haven't had too much to eat, lately..."

The startled look on Mr Pinner's face told Toni that even he had not suspected just how bad things had become. The frown became a stare of disbelief, then a look of wonder. Abruptly he let go of Toni, striding toward the kitchen. Now she really was light headed, scarcely able to follow him, exposed breasts swaying and jiggling.

Pinner tore open all the cupboards, whistling in surprise at their emptiness. The fridge and freezer, too, were all but empty...

"You really did last out as long as you could," he said, staring at her with a trace of respect. Abruptly, he strode to the phone, and, as if in a dream, Toni watched as he dialled and spoke to his secretary, dictating an enormous list of groceries without pausing for either breath or consideration, stopping only to demand curtly which particular brands she preferred.

"Tell Steve to put it on my account, then the two of you bring it here at once," he said, and gave the address.

Toni glanced at the clock; less than an hour ago she had dropped off the twins. In that time her life had changed totally.

Mr Pinner turned to her as she leaned against the counter. The wind was rising even higher and the rain lashed against the windows as he touched her shoulder reassuringly.

"They'll be here soon" he assured her quietly, "and I'll fix you a meal then..."

His glance fell to her breasts, still open to view. Regretfully he tweaked her nipple between finger and thumb.

"I'd hoped to be indulging in pleasanter pursuits than cooking, by now, however" he murmured, lowering his mouth. "But you won't be up to it until you've had some food." An idea struck him.

"However..."

Above the howling of the wind and rain the sound of a zipper in the quiet kitchen. His hands on her shoulders, pressing her gently to her knees. A hand on the back of her neck as she stared at the floor. Her head being pulled forward...

Incredibly hard and hot, invading and filling her mouth. Lost in a feeling not quite shame, nowhere near pleasure, Toni strained her jaws wide; she was not very good, dimly she thought she had better learn...

"Ah well" she thought at last, swallowing. "No going back, now."

Much sooner than she could have imagined the groceries arrived, the time between having been spent in drawing up a list of her most pressing obligations. Mr Pinner opened the door to let a thirtyish, elegant and beautiful woman and a loutish youth of about sixteen to enter.

"This is my secretary, Miss Johan" said Pinner, briefly. "...and this" with a look of pride at the young thug who carried an enormous box of food as if it were a feather, "this is my boy Steve; he is in the first year of Sixth Form College, but he is going to quit and work with me in the business..."

The boy greeted Toni with a leer. Miss Johan, on the other hand, flashed her a smile. Looking at her, Toni knew; knew that Miss Johan, in her time, had made the same sort of bargain with Mr Pinner. Knew too, that she was meant to know this, meant to be reassured that, even after his sexual interest in her had died to an occasional relationship she would still be looked after...

While Steve carried the in groceries Miss Johan swiftly and efficiently stowed them away without needing to consult Toni, seeming to know instinctively where everything went. Pinner had thought of everything, including wine, and treats for the children.

In remarkably short time it was stowed away while Mr Pinner nodded in satisfaction.

"Well done" he said. "Now, there's not much on at the office, so why don't you Steve, take Miss Johan home and entertain yourself for the rest of the day...?"

Steve grinned in anticipation, while the secretary glanced at Toni with a moue; however, wordlessly, obediently, she followed the youth out to the car.

Mr Pinner watched their departure with a fond smile.

"He's a lad, that boy of mine!" he said proudly. "He's a devil with my old razor strop too..."

"Now!" he continued abruptly, before Toni could ponder the implications of that remark. "Food! You sit quietly while I fix you something."

Toni watched him as he worked, his movements swift and deft, while her mouth watered agonisingly at the smell of coffee... decent coffee... scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. Sensing her interest, he looked up smiling, his eyes sweeping hungrily over her body. "Right you are; come and get it..."

Extreme hunger has a peculiar effect on some people. Finally given food they find it hard to swallow more than a mouthful. So it was with Toni, who could not eat more than about half the food before she felt bloated; but she drained the pot of coffee and rejoiced to feel strength flowing back.

With a sigh she pushed plate and cup away. Mr Pinner, who had been studying the list of debts, looked up.

"Alright?"

Toni nodded "Yes thank you."

Pinner smiled, an oddly engaging smile, so that Toni responded unthinkingly. At that moment he looked so engaging that she found it hard to believe that a short while ago he had so employed her mouth; only a lingering, imagined taste assured her of the reality of the fact.

Mr Pinner hesitated, eyeing her anxiously.

"Not changed your mind?"

Toni shook her head 'no', her embarrassed gaze falling.

"We still have a bargain?'

Still unable to raise her eyes, Toni nodded 'yes'. In her memory's eye the picture lingered of herself kneeling before Mr Pinner; and her stomach rolled with a nervous ferment as she pondered the immediate future.

Toni could sense Mr Pinner's grin as he caught her barely perceptible nod. With a suddenness that made her jump, he reached into his jacket and pulled out a bulging envelope.

"Then this is to seal my part..."

Money, lots of it, more than she had ever seen in one lump.

The answer to her problems...

"Alright?"

Toni looked up in surprise.

"Yes... yes, of course" licking her lips... "Thank you..."

"You'll earn it, my girl."

Abruptly he rose to his feet.

"Time to seal your part of it..."

Somehow they were in the bedroom. Mr Pinner sat on the edge of the bed... their bed, hers and Terry's, smiling grimly up into her downcast face.

"Well, now, my girl; this is it. Sure you want to go on? Haven't changed your mind?" Toni shook her head; and a moment later, found herself sprawled, face down, over Mr Pinner's bony knees...

His hand, fumbling at her wide skirt, tugging it clear of her hips; then, in an agony of abasement, Toni felt him pulling at her knickers.

"Raise up."

Shameful to lift her hips and assist in that degree the lowering of her knickers. Yet, as the cool air caressed the now naked flesh of her backside, Toni felt the tension flow from Mr Pinner's muscles, heard his indrawn hiss of delight.

"I knew it, Toni! Didn't I just say so? The creme de la creme of arses...!"

His hand, quivering with suppressed emotion, fondling and stroking. Indelicate fingers probing and searching, prying into secrets that even Terry had never investigated. Toni, bent shamefully over Mr Pinner's lap, endured the indignity with burning cheeks, while the virgin globes of her bottom burned in fearful expectancy.

CRACKKK!

Mr Pinner's large hand came down with a loud smack on her soft buttocks, shaking them into a momentary agitation. Toni gasped at the sudden sting; she bit her lips, forcing herself to remain still beneath the shock.

She could feel his left hand grasp the span of her waist, steadying her...

Now the spanking really got under way; his hand rose and fell busily, slapping bright pain into her wobbling, shapely bottom. In spite of herself, Toni... who had resolved to endure with dignity... felt the tears burn her eyelids, while her hips churned frantically and her legs kicked involuntarily.

Toni began to cry; which proved only to be sweet music in Mr Pinner's ear, for still he spanked on steadily, his left hand holding her firmly, and easily in place.

Toni's whole bottom was a mass of fiery pain; to Mr Pinner it must have looked very red, for he abruptly eased her even further over his knee and began to vary the spanking with alternate smacks to the backs of her thighs. Her soft flesh quivered under the stinging impact, and the added pain was so much that, with a more than usually vigorous heave, Toni escaped Mr Pinner's grasp and fell to the carpet.

"Oh, no you don't, young lady...!"

"Oh! Please!... Please! No more!"

"No more? Don't be silly; I've hardly even begun, yet. You'll know what a damned good spanking is when I've done with you, my girl..."

And he hauled her, limp and sobbingly unresisting, over his knee once again. The punishment continued, his hand returning to spank the already agonised bum cheeks. Under the pounding smacks Toni's breasts had yet once more escaped their hastily rearranged concealment, and now quivered in rhythm to Mr Pinner's spanks.

Tears ran in rivers down Toni's face, but, responsive to Mr Pinner's words and her bargain, she refused to beg, or to try to evade the cadence of his palm.

Half a dozen swiftly, fiercely delivered slaps cracked against her pain-wracked bottom, then, so swiftly that she hardly realised how it was done, Toni was turned onto her back on the duvet while Mr Pinner thrust between her parted thighs...

* * *

An hour later it was difficult for Toni to realise that it was still only lunchtime; and then she knew only because Mr Pinner had ordered her to prepare a meal. The weather was as bad outside. Staring through the window, Toni prepared vegetables at the sink, much as she would on a normal day.

...Except that, on a normal day, she would not be preparing the vegetables stark naked, with tear-swollen eyes and face, or with a stinging tenderness in the red blotched cheeks of her superb behind...

Nor would Mr Pinner, behind her, be opening wine for the meal while openly drinking in the vision of her nudity. Grimly, Toni stared down at the vegetables she was paring, lifting her eyes only occasionally, and then only to stare out over the garden. Behind her she could hear Mr Pinner opening and closing doors until, with a grunt of pleasure, she heard him clinking glasses.

The sound of liquid pouring behind her came to Toni; for her part she continued grimly with her work, ignoring everything as well as she could. She refused to acknowledge to herself that she was naked; refused to notice the jiggle of her breasts as she moved, tried, in fact, to cut out all sensation.

Yet one sensation she could not ignore; and that was the fading sting in her magnificent hindquarters.

"Here."

Toni almost jumped out of her skin: a jump which, had she but known it, caused her superb breasts to rise and fall in short but delectable vibrations that delighted the eye. Turning, she saw Mr Pinner grinning down at her, his hand holding out a glass.

"Have a G&T while you work..."

"Oh, thank you!"

Never was a drink so timely. Toni sipped gratefully while she put the vegetables on to cook and slid the steaks under the grill.

"Another?"

"Yes, why not?" said Toni, who although usually only drank sparingly, was parched with thirst. As Mr Pinner handed her her replacement glass he stood close to her, looking down from his superior height, drawing the frosty glass idly around the curve of her breast.

"Thank you" said Toni, taking it, refusing to notice either his action or the lingering chill at her nipple. She could feel Mr Pinner smiling slightly.

"How do you feel?"

Toni muttered in reply.

"What?"

"Alright." Grudgingly.

Mr Pinner chuckled. His free hand groped behind her, cupping one cheek of her backside.

"And this? How does this feel?"

Toni wanted to ignore this question, but the silence forced reply.

"Alright; hurts a bit," she added hastily, in case he should get any more ideas. Mr Pinner chuckled once again.

"It'll hurt a damn sight more, after lunch, when I've caned you..."

"No!... Please!..."

"Don't be silly, girl!" he snapped. "I shall do as I wish, and so will you. In any case, you don't really feel too bad about it do you?"

His hand left off the gentle cupping and fondling of her rear, slipping up to the small of her back, pulling her into him. Toni considered; it was true that the spanking had been very painful, true that she had felt ashamed, true that she viewed the prospect of the cane with considerable unease. Yet, at the same time her body felt light, as though an intolerable burden had been lifted from it; it was, she recognised, the lifting of all the weight of her cares. Momentarily she surrendered to that freedom, leaning her head against Mr Pinner's chest, while the strong grasp of his arm brought reassurance... Seated gingerly at the table, Toni was astonished to find herself ravenous. She tore into the food voraciously, and accounted for more than her fair share of the wine. Two glasses of white wine with the salad and the same of a full-bodied red with the steak helped her forget her nudity, and the prospect before her.

She was even unafraid when, while she cleared the table, Mr Pinner reappeared after a trip to his car, brandishing a cane; and cooperatively disposed herself face down across the same table at which they had lunched, the edge cutting slightly into the fold of her stomach, her slightly parted legs braced against the kitchen floor...

Toni lay over the table, drifting thoughtlessly on a current of wine and well-being, her breasts flattening on the table top and her bare bottom cocked obediently up to present the best possible target.

For all that she was calm in mind, Toni's body sensed what it was to endure, for she was trembling, shaking in long, continuous frissons that agitated her hips and thighs beguilingly.

When, at last, Toni was positioned to Mr Pinner's satisfaction she heard the rattle of the cane against the chair on which it rested. He was picking it up, grasping it, halfcircling her at the rear, studying the prospect of her rump like a workman sizing up his task before getting down to serious work.

Now, apprehension struck Toni in the pit of her stomach. Straining, she raised her head, trying to look back at Mr Pinner.

"Get down, Toni!"

Responsive to the edge in his voice, Toni relaxed, sinking back into position. Behind her, a cold, silken touch against the blotched flesh of her behind made her jump convulsively.

She heard Mr Pinner's malevolent chuckle, and wondered despairingly why it was that she had been reduced to this, laid out so helplessly and revealingly to this dissolute man.

"Six."

At the words, spoken distantly from a point over her shoulder, Toni's loins melted in terror. Tears sprang to her eyes even before the cane had dealt a single stroke. Ashamed, Toni clenched her teeth.

THHWICCKKK!

A light white stripe of electric fire burned across the width of her bum, branding torment across the width of her buttocks. Toni's hips leapt, her belly smacking plumply against the tabletop while her bottom cheeks tightened and wobbled under the impact. "SSCCHHHOOO!" The breath hissed out between clenched teeth, while behind her the cane rose and swooped anew.

TTHHWWIICCKKK!

The pain was bright, spanning the twin worlds of her globes, printing another convulsing line neatly below the first.

"HOOOOOO!"

Her teeth still hard clenched, preventing a cry, converting pleas into a breathy moan; the flames leaping and flaring in her arse. Swiftly the cane struck again.

THHHHWWICCKK!

Forcing open her mouth, driving the cry from the pit of her stomach out into the storm lashed kitchen.

"OHHHNOOOOAAGGHH!"

THHHWIICCKKK!

"AH! AH! OOH!"

Now her hips were one continuous roll as her bottom sought relief from the stinging, biting rod, which danced teasingly against the scarlet-striped surfaces which flinched at the contact.

"Two more Toni. Two really good ones..."

THHHWWWIICCKK!

"AAGGHHHOOOOHHH!"

Her belly slamming up and down on the table while the cheeks of her bottom clenched and unclenched spasmodically.

THHHWWWIICCKK!

"AARROOGGHHOOWW!"

The fire, leaping and burning in her bum; the hot tears coursing down her face. Hands, gripping and stiffening her waist and a hot probing....

She lay, acquiescent, body racked by sobs, as he enforced the final servitude.

* * *

It was hard to comprehend, after Mr Pinner had left, that it was still early afternoon; time, in fact, after putting the dishwasher to work, to have a shower and take a nap, a nap in which sleep came easily, despite her ravaged rear and outraged body. A nap from which she awoke, an hour later refreshed and alert.

* * *

Visiting hours were from seven to eight; Toni entered the ward with a huge basket of fruit and flowers on her arm, and the sight of Terry's ravaged face as it lit up warmed her heart.

As she bent to kiss her husband, Toni strove to feel shame; but she could not. The sheer luxury of paying Mrs Grant, of being able to buy the twins the new shoes they so badly needed, and of giving them the best meal they had had for months, crushed all feelings of remorse for what she had allowed Mr Pinner to do...

Even being able to drive to the hospital, knowing that the road tax really was in the post, that the tank was full and need not be anxiously watched, had been sheer bliss.

True, she was very sore and her body felt well used; but it was not as bad as she would have thought, and she suspected that she must become accustomed to even greater severities...

Terry's eyes, abnormally large in his wasted features, widened as he saw the amount of stuff she had brought.

"How on earth could you afford all that, darling?"

Toni's smile became fixed as she fought to meet squarely the puzzled gaze of her husband.

"Extraordinary luck, darling, you'll never imagine; I was almost out of money and desperate, so I filled in a pools coupon, and guess what?..."

Terry's head raised in astonishment.

"You don't mean you won?"

"Yes! Talk about beginners luck!..."

This would keep Terry happy for the while; later, when he became more curious with improving health, she would figure something out. That didn't worry her, knowing as she did that most women can easily deceive most men.

In the meantime a look of sheer joy flooded her husband's features.

"Oh marvelous darling! How much?"

"Twenty-five thousand" answered Toni, grabbing the first sizeable figure she could think of out of the air; then, knowing that such round sums are rare, she added hastily "And a hundred or so."

Questions were forming behind Terry's eyes and she hastened to cut them off.

"Isn't it wonderful darling? There will be plenty, now, to take care of us all until you can get back to work..."

Tears sprang to her eyes as she saw Terry relax. He looked better already, and only now did she realise how much his knowledge of their financial difficulties had held back his recovery. Well, that would all change now; everything would get better, including Terry's immediate surroundings. Terry had gone, with their declining finances, from a private room to the public ward, which for someone who valued privacy as much as Terry, was torture. Now, with their new affluence, she could have him moved back... she would see about it on the way out.

Suddenly Toni was overtaken by a rush of fierce gladness that she had called Mr Pinner that morning. It was worth it; worth the soreness as she sat on neat buttocks whose bruised and welted state was concealed by her prim, matronly clothes, worth the feeling of being stretched that was an unexpected minor irritation.

Toni had not thought of herself as a virgin for years; after the events of the day she knew that no-one in the world would consider her virgin in any sense. Incredibly, though, the world was the same; the same people, with the same thoughts moved along the same paths as yesterday. Nothing had altered, except a minor physical condition in herself.

That she refused to regret; indeed, she found herself more than prepared to accommodate herself to Mr Pinner in the future. Tomorrow...

Ah, but tomorrow he would be busy. It was almost the last thing he had said to her before leaving; while the very last thing had filled her with dismay.

"Steve can come round and spend an hour or so with you" he had said, and chuckled fondly. "What a boy! A real chip off the old block..."

The bell was sounding for the end of visiting hours. Toni bent forward to kiss her husband, who already seemed easier and perhaps even slightly better.

"Good night, darling; I'll call in and see you the day after tomorrow..."

She turned at the door to wave one last time, then headed purposefully for the ward sister's office. Terry should go into his private room tomorrow; and the thought occurred that, even while he was being moved, Toni would probably be amusing young Steve.

What was it Mr Pinner had said?

"...a devil with my old razor strop..."

Well, it was one way to earn a crust...

1 comment:

  1. Ah, well...A very good story anyway!

    ReplyDelete