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CHAPTER ONEIn her fashionable split-level "ranch" home in suburban Porlawn, Alice Henderson was working with a savage grudge. She was on her hands and knees, vigorously polishing to a high sheen the walnut parquet flooring which covered the entrance foyer and short hallway to her kitchen, and every rubbing motion she made clearly indicated her irritation, her normally full red lips now drawn to a tight line, her expression harried and pursed with anxiety. Early evening shadows were beginning to filter through the large picture window in the living room, casting across the satiny wood floor and making her chore all the more difficult. It was hardly worth doing, she thought; hardly worth doing at all. It would only go unappreciated, just like everything else-including herself.Considering, it definitely was a waste of time and energy, and she might as well quit before she strained her back. Alice gave one last swipe to the floor and sat back on her heels, wiping her hands on her tight shorts and breathing a sigh of disgust. Every muscle of her five-foot-six-inch body seemed to ache. Her shoulder-length blonde hair was tied back in a bright cobalt blue kerchief, which made her azure eyes seem an even deeper shade than usual; wisps of hair strayed from the kerchief, and her deep shaded eyes were depthless with smoldering resentment. Sighing again, she straightened to her feet, revealing a pair of long, shapely legs and svelte, lush thighs, her figure fuller than when she had been an eighteen-year-old bride, but still very provocative and sensual after another eighteen years of marriage.And one month of separation.One month to the day since Dale had walked out on her, calling her vile names and swearing he'd file for divorce. One month and not a word, not a letter, not a rumor or whisper since.He was gone for good. She knew he was; that she'd lost him. She knew it deep in her bones like the intuition of a terminal disease. Like a disease, the knowledge gave her a clammy sensation of fear and despondency, of bleakness and bitterness. Even her daughter gave Alice no consultation; only damnation.Alice paused for a long moment with the waxing cloth in one hand, her other hand on her barely covered hip while sightlessly she stared out the living room window. The slanting rays of September sun had washed the peaceful lawn and hedges with a pink and golden glow. There was life out there- filled with promise and happiness. She was the one experiencing the encroachment of autumn and the chill of coming winter. Outside was warmth and light; internally was only ice and bleak antagonism.Alice was still smarting from the humiliation of Dale abandoning her and Vicky. She'd stopped loving her husband years ago, ever since he stopped being a man.It had been as if their marriage ended every night, when the door to their bedroom had been shut, and a woman like Alice simply couldn't take the neglect of her healthy physical desires, her insistent sexual fires which required so much attention to keep them banked. Alice wasn't ready to become an old woman yet, but Dale had proven to be a flash-in-the pan, a man capable of fathering a child on the wedding night and then punishing her with abstinence ever since for becoming impregnated.She should have sued for divorce even before Victoria had been born; she knew that now. But this was hindsight, and all of her religious and moral training up till now had been firmly geared to staying married at all costs. It was the wifely duty to. And Lord knew she had tried to be a good, devoted wife to Dale. She'd worked hard in and around the home, learning how to cook, how to dress, how to take care of her figure and features and entertain his business guests. She attempted to forgive and forget whenever he'd curse her and caustically put her down, gritting her teeth and coming back more cheerfully than before, ready and eager in case he would relent and love her. But try as she might to interest him in paying attention and showing her the affection that her nature demanded, she might as well have let herself go to pot.Alice glanced down at her tapering legs and barely clad thighs, rubbing her free hand lightly over the skimpy halter top she wore when cleaning house, its cups barely able to contain the uptilted roundness of her still firm, thrusting breasts. I've a good body, she said to herself as she had so many times in the past. I really do, and I've spent a lot of time making sure I keep myself trim...but it's never brought me any happiness in all the years of my marriage. Best to be over with, but...She moaned, a soft whimper of remorse, because for all of her needs, she hadn't yet changed her style of life with the absence of Dale. She had no intention of becoming like so many other divorcees-a toy for men on the prowl. She could have had all the sex she'd wanted by cheating on Dale, but she never had, though the temptation and opportunities had been bountifully available. In fact, she admitted, once more glancing out the window, it had been an especially easy and tempting attraction to Jim Shannon which had directly led to Dale leaving, and the snarling hate-filled accusations he'd shouted at her. She had tried to explain and deny, but his words- whore! Slut! Sex maniac!- still woke her in the middle of the night, shivering and ashamed.She attempted to shift her thoughts to the outside world again. But viewing the vibrant green lawn, flagstone patio, and the tall protective wood fence at the property line, brought painful memories flooding back. I had happened out there. Slowly, unconsciously, Alice's hands rose along her smooth, satiny sides, the waxing cloth dropping to the floor unnoticed as now her right hand caressed up along her ribs and to her throbbing, heated breasts. She squeezed her nipples gingerly, recalling against her will how Jim had squeezed them so tenderly, lovingly, that fateful day just this past August.... , It had been one of those really blistering hot days which can happen toward the end of summer, and she'd been out sunning herself all alone in the closed privacy of the back yard. Dale was at the office, naturally, and not expected home for another couple of hours.Vicky was away swimming at the public pool with her current boyfriend, Peter MacGregor, frivolous, blind to the world, and deeply in puppy-love as only a eighteen-year old can be. She, Alice, was taking a well earned break, wearing a mere wisp of a bikini as she lay in the chaise lounge. Jim Shannon was her neighbor from across the street; a virile heavy-set man with sandy whiskers, about ten years older than her, but full of the devil. At the time, he was also rather full of rum collins, enjoying his two-week vacation by being underfoot around his house, much to his wife's lament. He had run out of ice and had come over to borrow some- or so he'd said, openly ogling Alice's nearly naked body with debonair impudence.And then what had happened? She still wasn't sure precisely. It was all so damn hazy! One moment she'd been sitting up looking at Jim, feeling an odd tingling in her loins, and then the next thing she'd known was that she was flat on her back on the chaise lounge, Jim stretched out beside her, kissing her passionately. She'd been able to feel the hardening bulge in his trousers, revealing his urge, and soon their kisses achieved a plane of sensuality which she was unable to control. All of her pent-up frustrations rose to the surface in an explosion of lust for the man; a man she had no particular affection for, but which for some awful, perverse reason suddenly wanted- needed- with desperate urgency. She recalled his hands marauding her pulsating breasts, tweaking her scantily hidden nipples until they were as hard as diamond chips. She made no attempt to stop him from undoing her tie-straps, wanting to believe that going this far was alright. Then came the tender, tingling sensations of his fingers tracing over the hot, exposed flesh of her suddenly freed breasts, making her moan and thrash and deliriously ignore his other hand as it taunted her flat tummy and moved lower over her sensitive abdomen to the inside of her quivering thighs. Then in one smooth, unhesitating execution, his fingers dipped under the thin triangular cloth of her bikini bottoms and insinuated themselves into the moist and ready lips of her aching vagina. A dryness crept into Alice's throat as she once again remembered how close she'd come to becoming an adulterer that afternoon last month; how she had damn near lost her head and marital vows to Jim Shannon as he insistently massaged her sensitive clitoris and slipped his hand deeper into the seething hunger of her cuntal slit, widening her unresisting legs to gain full entry...The dryness in her throat hardened into a lump as she recalled what had stopped them from completion. It hadn't been second thoughts on his part, or an abrupt regaining of morality by her. Oh no. It had been the high-pitched horrified squeal of Vicky, and the sickening realization that her eighteen-year-old daughter was home early. The girl was standing on the patio just a few feet away, her eyes wide with shock and horror, her swimsuit and towel strewn on the flagstone where she'd dropped them...Vicky. A tremor of regret assailed the mother now, and she stepped away from the view of the yard, dropping her arms listlessly to her sides. She crossed to the ornate credenza near the entrance of the dining room, and opening its doors, took out a bottle of dry gin and some tonic. She mixed them in a glass taken from the shelf beside the bottle, dismissing the fact that the drink was warm. Getting ice from the refrigerator in the kitchen was too much trouble at the moment. Besides, she felt cold enough inside. She sipped thankfully, the alcohol allowing her momentary calmness. She drank again, long and heavily, as she'd done often since that revolting afternoon last month...Vicky, Daddy's girl, she was! A lovely and spoiled young vixen, built in her mother's image but made in her father's mold. Perhaps crueler than the way Dale had been denying Alice his physical love, was the way he'd systematically shown his contempt by pitting her against her daughter. He'd coveted Vicky, and inexperienced, guileless Vicky had grown to become a pawn in his war against his wife. Every chance he'd gotten he had downgraded Alice in front of the child, and behind her back Ood only knew what he'd been feeding the naive ears of the girl. Vicky matured, resenting her mother, considering her almost an outsider in an otherwise idyllic life with her father. Of course, finding her mother nakedly squirming in the embrace of another man had sent Vicky straight to Dale, and Dale had finally been given the wedge with which to break the marital ties which had bound them for so many fruitless years.Ironically, when Dale had stalked out huffing with righteous indignation, he'd not only left his wife behind, but also his ever-faithful daughter. Vicky had immediatey turned things around so that she blamed her mother for having been "abandoned" as well. It had proven useless to discuss the situation with her; Vicky had rationalized matters with a vindictiveness which erupted at the slightest provocation and bordered on hysteria.Alice fixed herself a fresh drink and leaned wearily against the credenza, listening to the shower flowing in the bathroom down the. hall. Under the spray was her daughter, defiant and hateful as ever, soaping down her young nubile body after a strenuous day with Peter MacGregor. She'd been seeing a great deal of the boy lately- far too much in Alice's opinion- but how much of it was because of affection for Peter and how much becauseVicky was out to prove she didn't need or want to be around her mother, was anybody's guess. And the burgeoning romance had been taking some rather worrisome overtones which Alice knew she would have to deal with, despite the conflict she knew it would raise with Vicky.Today for example, Vicky had been helping Peter move the last of his belongings from his father's home to a new apartment. The boy was of the immediate neighborhood, son of Sam MacGregor who had bought the house four doors away at the end of the block. Sam MacGregor was a widower, but by the number of rowdy parties he held and strange ladies seen coming and going at odd hours, it was common scandal that he was leading anything but a celibate life. One particular foul joke among the local men was that MacGregor's wife had been worn to a frazzle and died of over-use in bed.Considering the environment, Alice wasn't too sure she approved of Peter dating Vicky frequently and exclusively. She feared that a certain sense of objectivity was lost when two young people "went steady" too long and too heavily. In that respect, Peter's move to a separate apartment was probably for the better, and it was some distance away in mid-town Rapier City, which made seeing each other a bit more difficult. The move hadn't been due to the father, however, but had been necessitated because Peter was starting City College, whose campus was within walking distance of the apartment.That too was an encouraging sign, Alice figured, indicating that Peter was concerned with a career and a future, and was willing and able to seriously apply himself.On the other hand, Peter was sharing the apartment with his brother Benjamin, who was two years older and also attending City College. Alice well remembered Benji from earlier years when he lived at home and went to the local high school. He'd been a wild ruffian back then, always seeming to involve his younger brother in some sort of mischief, then squeaking out of it and leaving Peter to take the blame. College hadn't tamed him, at least not according to the gossip; Benji carrying on like a rakehell and evicted from three previous apartments that she knew of. Benji was something akin to a young edition of his father, it appeared, and Alice fretted that Peter in such a milieu would once again fall under bad influence. And what of Vicky? How would she fare once that apartment door was closed? No, the situation was fraught with potential dangers...It was, unfortunately, as hopeless to try talking to Vicky about Peter as it was about her and Jim Shannon. Simply existing within the same four walls with her daughter was like living in an armed camp. Something would have to be done, but Alice hadn't any idea what or how, not without irreparably rupturing their fragile truce. She was not only exhausted over her own "slip from grace" and Dale's subsequent leaving, but was also fatigued from trying to avoid traumatic confrontations with Vicky. Yet she was her mother. She had responsibilities to meet- If nothing else...* * *Briskly scrubbing herself under the hot, steaming spray of the needle shower, young Vicky Henderson lathered her body free of the dust and grit she accumulated while helping Peter move. She ran the soap over her breasts and thighs with lazy caresses, her mind intent upon the boy she'd soon be seeing again. Her nipples seemed to stiffen at the mere thought of the handsome, muscular youth in his tight-fitting jeans and tee-shirt, his curly brown hair and sparkling dark eyes, and his audacious smile-that smirk which implied that he was mentally undressing her.It was exciting, realizing how much he desired her. And gratifying too, knowing how much her mother disapproved and worried about him getting what he wanted. Not that she'd given in to him. Or any other boy for that matter. She'd save herself for a man who loved her and was willing to place a gold ring on her finger to prove it-and that was a few years in the future. When she would finally marry, Vicky promised herself that she'd honor her vows; not like that bitch of a wife poor Daddy got hooked with. The notion of seeing her mother moaning and gasping like some gaffed fish with old Mister Shannon made her livid with fury all over again. It was horrible, having to stay with her, just because she wasn't old enough to be legally "emancipated" yet, but as soon as she was eighteen she'd pack her bags and be out of here in a flash, damned if she wouldn't! That is, if Daddy hadn't come back to fetch her by then, which Vicky was positive he would the moment he found a place suitable for them both. She wondered curiously where he was now, and what he was doing. Damn, she missed him! Damn, she was so lonely! Oh damn, damn Mother!The adolescent girl turned off the water with a snap and stepped from the tub enclosure, reaching for a fluffy towel. Drying herself, she looked down at her tender skin and the way her firm budding breasts grew heavier and firm from the inadvertent manipulations. She opened her slim, well-shaped legs to dry the thin little cuntal valley with its virginal pink slit, and the way the towel parted her blonde pubic hair and showed off her coral-smooth flesh and small clitoris made her suddenly jump inwardly. There rose a tingling sensation in her loins which she recognized as the familiar electric arousal which always precluded her guilty bouts over masturbation-fights which invariably she lost, as she would rub her finger up and down along her sensitive pussy until waves of pleasure came billowing through every fiber of her being. She never dipped inside, even though the hole of her sweet cuntal orifice flowered yearningly, seemingly wanting to draw her finger deeper, to widen the narrow tunnel so that she could explore new and headier sensations. Yet somehow she'd always managed to resist that final stoke, for it was in there that her husband-to-be would penetrate. The first and only one. But now, staring down and seeing the twitching vaginal lips swell with unwanted and automatic desire, she shivered at the way she couldn't control her nurturing chemistry, her glandular change from girlhood to womanhood.She was so like her mother, she moaned sadly. Both of them were natural blondes; both had the same provocative figures men pursued, with only her mother slightly larger in her breasts and thighs. She was so like her mother, and more than just physically. It made her skin creep just to admit it, and yet Vicky couldn't deny that the times when she'd seen her mother naked-as can happen now and then in even the most prudish families-she'd been drawn to study the lovely nudity displayed unknowingly before her.Vicky had seen her share of naked girls in the school showers and during slumber parties, and she'd never reacted with curiosity or even mild interest. But her mother had once accepted her father's thing- his penis-urging him on until his seed had spewed forth and conceived her. That was the electrifying difference; her mother had carnally experienced her father, and the others had not. And when the overwhelming need for sexual release struck Vicky, such as after a date when she'd allowed herself to be worked up to a feverish pitch, she knew as she lay on her bed afterwards and played with her excited cunt, that her sex drives were every bit as strong and threatening as her mother's.To be that close to someone you despise is a horrid thing, she thought. Well, I'll show her. I'll pay her back for every minute she made my Daddy's life miserable. Damned if I wont...!As she entered her bedroom, she glanced at her bedside clock and saw that in her reverie she'd wasted too much time. She didn't wish to be late and allow her mother to get her claws into Peter when he arrived, so she began dressing immediately, dropping the towel and rummaging through her bureau drawers for clean clothes. Naked, she found a pair of fresh panties, which she drew up over her taut, rounded buttocks, pulling the filmy white nylon so tight that the soft mound of her pussy was snugly visible. She brought out a brassiere next, catching a glimpse of her tight panties and the split of full, young vaginal lips, and another moment of tiny ripples passed through her, her body once more blending dangerously into the sensuality which had gripped her while drying. Quickly she slipped into a paisley-print blouse and color-coordinated skirt, smoothed out any wrinkles in the pleats, and then picked up her comb to untangle her wheat-golden hair. As she looked in the mirror and brushed out her long, wavy hair, she saw that her skirt clung to her buttocks and was more than half-way up her slightly tanned thighs, with small creases forming in front where her legs joined her hips. With sudden awareness she realized that she could almost see the panty-cupped lips of her vagina. Another forbidden thrill raced up her nerves, followed by a blush as she attempted to cease her wandering thoughts.Taking a deep breath to steady herself, Vicky opened the door and stepped down the hallway to face her mother. There she was, Vicky thought with barely disguised loathing, over by the credenza lapping up more booze. She's really been hitting the bottle ever since Daddy walked out; good. Maybe she'll become an alcoholic and be judged unfit to care for me...Alice turned on unsteady feet, staring somewhat bleary-eyed as she focused on her daughter. Her heart ached, knowing the gulf which separated them, yet still determined to observe her responsibilities as a parent and guardian."Vicky...?""Yes?" The girl's tone was sullen and defiant."Vicky, I want to talk to you.""Go ahead. I can't stop you.""Please, Vicky, let's try to get along. I know you resent me, but I am your mother after all." Alice crossed to her child, but Vicky only stepped backward, avoiding her touch. "Please, listen to me.""Listen to what? That you're my mother? Big deal. What kind of mother would do what you did? Or aren't you thinking of being a mother or a wife then?"Alice shivered, cut to the quick. "You don't understand. You see, your father-""Don't tell me how he neglected you. I don't blame him. Who'd want to be married to a tramp?""Vicky!"The girl swiveled around to face her mother, eyes flashing with anger and indignation. "And don't start in telling me about Peter either, if that's what's on your mind. You're the last one on earth to lecture about staying pure, about self-control. I'm not married, Mother. Don't forget that. Whatever I do with Peter or any other boy, I'm not married!""Vicky, don't..." Alice trailed off in a sigh, incapable of phrasing what she felt so ardently inside. "Be mad at me, Vicky, but don't do anything you'll regret later. I...made a mistake, but that's no excuse for you to make one too.""I'll do what I please and it pleases me to do what you don't want me to." She glared at her mother, noting with cruel satisfaction that tears were beginning to well in the woman's eyes. "I suppose the next gripe on your list is that I don't look proper enough in this outfit. Too short! Too tight! Too much a come-on!""Vicky, I beg you-""Well, it's a damn sight more than you were wearing with old Shannon! Or can't you remember him, because of all the other men you've been with on the sly? You were naked, Mother dear- how's that for a wild set of threads, eh?""Vicky Henderson, I'll not have you talking to me this way!""Soon as I have my birthday, you won't be hearing it.""That's not the answer, leaving here. You can't go on hating me, thinking I'm some sort of depraved wicked witch. Life isn't all good or bad, it's just because you're so young and idealistic that you think in such terms. Give me a chance, Vicky, please. Try to see my side. Just a little. I admit I was in the wrong, but I swear I never did anything like that before, that I never even came close to leading on another man.""Sure. It was all just one big mistake.""That's right, it was. We all make mistakes, Vicky, and that includes your father. You know all mine; you've been raised to spot everything I do as a mistake, but can't you see that he-"Her talk was interrupted by a sudden ringing of the front door bell. Vicky, trying hard not to hear her mother, not to understand or forgive her, said: "I'll get it, it's Peter" and hurried to the door. Sure enough, on the porch waited the MacGregor boy."Hi! Come on in.""Then step aside, cherub. Hello there, Mrs. Henderson. How're you doing?" Peter walked easily and almost predatorily into the living room, an arrogant grace to his step that grated Alice's nerves and heightened Vicky's excitement. He paused near the long, wide couch, his hips thrust slightly forward and his legs set apart, and locked his hands in his belt right above the pockets, his fingers; pointing suggestively down toward his; genitals.At eighteen, Peter MacGregor was a good six feet tall, muscular with well-developed! arms and legs and the way his blue jeans stretched across his lean young loins, Alice could see embarrassingly well that he was endowed fully with male organs. He had a smooth, boyish face with a Romanesque nose and thin mouth. His eyes seemed to sparkle with hidden amusement as if he were really much older and more experienced that his age and looks implied.Alice Henderson wondered if Vicky saw the same feral gleam to his eyes that she did. While always courteous toward her, albeit with the usual teenager nonchalance, she couldn't shrug off her intuition that his polite, if casual, manner was only skin deep- was only a facade beneath which lurked more sinister instincts.