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Pool Of Loneliness
CHAPTER ONEThe kid still seemed pretty nervous, but in her own kittenish way she wasn't offering much resistance, Nor had Sherry expected her to, really, at least none that couldn't be overcome in a hurry. A weekend away from school was simply too precious; skittish or not, little Cynthia knew darn well what they were here for. Or if she didn't by this time...."Hey!""S'matter?""Don't. You know. Please don't.""Hmm? This?""Oooh!" Then, giggling, "I-I'm ticklish."But it was only a token protest, of course, all blushes and giggles, and Sherry easily saw through the mixture of coy curiosity and phony innocence. No problem. She would soon have this timid little bunny rabbit nibbling from her fingertips. Just being alone like this-safe and snug here in the Paris apartment-was half the battle. No stern headmistress, no snoopy teachers, no sanctimonious proctors to worry about; what a relief to be out of Switzerland and away from that atmosphere of scholastic discipline.Better yet, they even had the place to themselves, the entire apartment for the weekend. Quite conveniently, Mummy was off on a jaunt to the south- Biarritz or Cannes or somesuch-with her latest lover, the guy with the Ferrari. And she wouldn't be getting back anytime within these next few days. Not that her absence made that much difference, actually-Sherry was an old hand at entertaining her schoolmates and seldom failed to get chummy with them even when her mother was around. Aside from keeping the noise down, there weren't many taboos in the privacy of her own room. Mummy didn't pry, luckily, and was just too busy with her own lovelife to fret about what went on behind her darling daughter's closed door. So the weekend would have been a success regardless, especially since this cute bundle of fluff was already showing unmistakable signs of living up to expectations.Just the same, though, having the run of the whole apartment was a pleasant prospect, and Sherry intended taking every advantage of the situation. There was no need for quiet now, the two of them might laugh or moan or scream and nobody would be the wiser. They could sit right here in the living room stark naked. Or in the kitchen. Anywhere in the house. Once their clothes were off. in fact, she could see no reason why they shouldn't remain that way. Wouldn't it be fun. A nude weekend? Two young girls naked and ready for love at any minute of the day or night! Wouldn't that be lovely?Mmm, yes. Fun. Delicious fun.Only she'd better stop laying plans and just settle down to business. It was time for decisive action. Like this! Uh-huh. No, she hadn't misjudged the kid, not if that obvious reaction meant anything- the way those soft legs were yielding so eagerly, pretty sexy for a supposedly demure English virgin. No doubt about it, Cynthia knew" the score sure enough; the little slut was still giggling, but there was a kind of breathless impatience now, a provocative wriggling. As though it wouldn't take much more than this one touch of her cunt...."Oh! Felicia!"That tore it. Of all the stupid things to say! And at such an unforgivable moment, too, just when they were about to make the first big move toward a wild and wonderful weekend.With a sigh of exasperation, Sherry pulled her hand back. "Don't call me Felicia. Do I have to tell you again?""I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it just slipped out. When you touched me like that, well-you know what I mean. I just couldn't think. And I'm so used to hearing all the teachers at school call you-""Never mind the teachers. We're in Paris now, not Switzerland. So let me say it once more, just in case, huh? My name is Felicia Sheridan Bartholomew- and in the classroom I'm stuck with it. But not here. Understand? Now do you know what to call me?""Of course. I'm sorry, Sherry.""Okay. Just don't let it happen again.""I won't. Anyway, I'll try not to. But you can't exactly blame me, can you? It-it gave me such a shock. Your hand, I mean. I didn't know what I was saying."You were shocked? Because of what I did?""Well, uh, it took me by surprise. You were just tickling me-and then all of a sudden ... well ... ""You didn't like it?""I-I didn't say that.""Then you did like it."Cynthia lowered her gaze shyly. But the very gesture was accomplished with a kind of arch acquiescence. As if she had the desire but lacked the audacity to speak up and declare herself. The import of 'her message certainly came through, though-the kid was anxious to pick up the pieces and continue. Anxious to smooth over the interruption and go right on. With her twitchy limbs still apart and hopeful, apparently.But the implied urgency made no dent on Sherry. She had lost her passionate mood and was in no great rush to regain it. Now that the happy weekend plans were assured, just about, she could afford to relax and wait for the craving to come upon her again. The sense of hot immediacy had cooled somewhat."Sherry?""Yeah.""Aren't you going to ... uh ... ""Not now, sweetie. Time out for a cigarette. Want one?""Thanks, no." Cynthia sniffed petulantly."Why the sad face? You impatient?""N-no. Not really. I just don't understand, that's all. Are you still angry because I called you Felicia?""Oh shit, of course not. But it did slow me down, I'll admit.""I think that's silly, Why should it be so important? Do you hate the name that much?""Hate the name? Hmm. I hadn't thought of it like that. I just like Sherry better. My mother was a Sheridan, you know. They go all the way back to the early settlers. And that means something in the United States.""Oh, you're such snobs, you Americans. Far more so than we British. My father is a member of the peerage, but you never hear me bragging about it, do you?" Cynthia's eyes narrowed. "What about your father, isn't he supposed to be a tycoon or something?""Uh-huh. Businessman. Rich.""You don't sound very proud of him.""Why should I be? Just because he's got money?""No, not just that. But he is your father." Sherry snorted disdainfully. "Okay, so he's my father. He went to bed with my mother and nine months later I was born. Big deal. I haven't seen him since the divorce, and that was years ago. So why should I give a damn about him?""Oh. I-I didn't know.""Well, you do now. He was nasty to my mother and I'll never forgive him for that. But the only time I ever think about it is when we get a check on the first of every month. Aside from that, he means nothing to me.""Nothing?" There was amusement in Cynthia's sly smirk."What are you wearing that dopey grin for?""The way you're getting so worked up, that's what. Now I know why you don't like the name Felicia.""Huh? What's that got to do with it?""Everything. You were named after your father, that's why. Remember when he got married last year? It was in the newspapers and I heard the teachers talking about him. Felix Bartholomew. I'll bet that's the reason you-""Shit! Don't be ridiculous. I just think one name is nicer than the other, that's all. My mother has always called me Sherry and that's the one I prefer. So let's just forget it, huh? What are you trying to do, spoil our weekend? Keep this up and you'll sure as hell make a mess of things."The girl pouted prettily, apologetic now. "Please don't be angry, I won't mention it again. You don't realize how I've looked forward to this holiday. I can't get away from school as often as you. I had to write home for my parents' permission, you know.""Yeah. They all do. Except me. I'm allowed to leave any weekend I want to-unless it's near exam time, natch. My mother arranged it with the headmistress.""You're lucky.""Lucky is right. That damn school is so strict. I'd crack up if I couldn't blow off steam once in a while. Like now. Honey, we're going to have fun, you and me, just the two of us.""Oh. No boys?""Nope. Too risky. Besides, you ought to remain true to that boyfriend of yours back home, the one you kept talking about on the train. So it'll be just us girls, no boys. But don't worry, we'll still have fun. You'll see.""I-I hope so." Then, brightening expectantly, "I could use a little fun.""Uh-huh. And I know what kind.""Sherry ... any kind is all right with me, can't you tell? When you put your hand down there awhile ago ... ""I figured that. You've done it before, huh? You're no beginner, I'll bet, not with that dreamy look on your face. Where did it happen? At school? In the dormitory?""Good heavens, no! I wouldn't dare. The way they enforce those rules, it's worse than a prison." Cynthia shuddered and then smiled, her voice sinking to a confidential murmur. "But we used to have a servant at home. The upstairs maid. She's the one who showed me what it's like.""A maid? Right in your own house? Hey, that must have been something. Was she pretty?""Sure. Not as pretty as you, though. But she had your coloring, the same blue eyes and black hair. Only she was much bigger and heavier, a real country peasant type-her breasts were enormous, the biggest I've ever seen. That was why she got sacked, I think. Daddy couldn't keep from goggling at them.""Big tits, huh? Sounds like quite a story. Tell me more.""About how she lost her job?""No, you ninny, who cares about that? Tell me what happened when the two of you got together. What did she do to you?""Oh. Mmm ... " Cynthia's expression turned ecstatic. "What didn't she do!""Well?"There was a moment of hesitation. "It-it's hard to talk like this. I just can't. Not sitting here as if we were balancing teacups on our knees. I'd be too embarrassed."Sherry grinned, reading a covert plea for sympathy in the bashful glance. And yet there were traces of ecstasy still lingering on the girl's features. An intriguing combination, actually-modesty coupled with erotic memories. Recollections of the juicy past too thrilling to utter aloud in the arid present. The upstairs maid. Imagine! Oh shit, she could hardly wait to hear the gory details. But first the present would have to be made less arid. And it was time. She could feel the excitement again. The craving. The passionate mood was back, returning stronger than ever.No more balancing of teacups then, even invisible ones. Boldly, with an air of resolution, she slid close and pulled her tensed-up little schoolmate into a firm embrace. The willing body went limp in her arms. Still a timid bunny rabbit, no doubt, but obviously hoping to be petted now. And in a sudden surge of tenderness, Sherry buried her nose in the soft hair.It was nice. It smelled clean and sweet. But she felt a certain disappointment somehow, these clipped curls were too much like her own. Too much like all the others that were kept trimmed by school regulations that even dictated the length of a student's locks. The sweetly scented hair should have been long and silky.But it wasn't. And the tender moment passed as she moved her hand in a purposeful thrust. At least those hairs were silky; thank goodness they couldn't regulate that! A silky-soft cunt squirming around her fingers....Cynthia groaned, stiffening in what appeared to be a spasm of rigid resistance. But it was only a brief flash-involuntary, more than likely-and then she warmed to the touch compliantly, melting and drooping in boneless fluidity."Okay. Tell me.""Hmm? Sherry?""You know. About the maid.""Oh. You mean now?""Uh-huh. Now." Then, fluttering- her fingertips, "Come on. sugar, the whole story. What did she do to you? What did she make you do to her? And you'd better not skip any of the hot parts, you hear? Tell me everything."The girl twitched convulsively. "But-but how can I? How can I talk when you're-""Tell me!""Ouch! Oh. all right. I'll try. Don't tease, though. Just let me catch my breath, will you?"Sherry waited, her hand unrelenting. Giddy bubbles of anticipation floated inside her head, anticipation not only for the forthcoming tale but for the entire weekend. She knew now that her companion had been well and wisely chosen. The best of the bunch, possibly. This cute little English miss-so prim and proper in school-was a treasure-trove of sensuality. All she needed was a bit of prompting.And having the apartment all to themselves was going to be just heavenly. They were reaping the benefits already, using the living room like this without fear of consequences. Soon they might be rolling around on the carpet. And afterward the two of them could even take a bath together. Right in the same tub. Wash each other's tits and cunts maybe, wouldn't that be a new twist?But those things would come later. Cynthia had begun her story at last. Her reedy tone was thin and quavering, but it gained volume as she got into the right spirit. After a while her eyelids flickered and sank shut, giving her face an expression of rapture glowing from within. As if she was breaching time and distance and seeing the past in the mirror of her mind. It was coming alive for her. As real and alive as the fingers in her flesh, probably-that was how she sounded now. Hot and sexy, the saga of the upstairs maid....Then-of all the bad timing!-everything fell apart as the phone burst into a shrill clamor for attention. Sherry was tempted to ignore it, what with the telephone system of Paris practically a network of wrong numbers. But the monologue had halted and the rapturous glow was already fading; anyway, the jingle-jangle was simply too loud to laugh off. Shit! Might as well answer the damned thing, now that the damage was done.She picked it up, muttering. And then, as the grave voice of French officialdom began droning over the wire, she reeled and blanched and tried to make sense out of what could only be senseless. It wasn't true. It couldn't be. No! She bit her lips, holding back a scream and waiting for someone to say it was all a lousy joke.Cynthia grabbed her by the shoulder. "Hey, what is it? What's the matter? You look so-""Mummy ... " And with a wail of anguish, Sherry spoke the awful words that she still couldn't make herself believe. "The car turned over. Mummy. My mother. Accident ... ""Your mother was in an accident?""She-she's dead!"CHAPTER TWOIn a way, oddly enough, the news bothered Angela a lot more than it did her husband. And she didn't even know the woman. Felix Bartholomew's first wife belonged to a past era, almost ancient history. But death is always a frightening phenomenon, all the more so when sudden and unexpected.Felix had registered shock, of course. But after the initial reaction he had treated the whole business rather lightly, and Angela found herself actually resenting his attitude. How could a man be so callous? Surely the dead woman must have been close to him in bygone days; after all, their union had produced a child. His only child, for that matter -although the fact that he was the father of a growing girl had never seemed to concern him much.Well, he would have to show a little concern now. This was one problem that couldn't be delegated to some hireling. Nor could it be solved with a checkbook, either. By the same token, Angela was aware of how deeply she too was involved; as his present wife, she would certainly have to cope with the predicament.Oh yes, it was a predicament, sure enough, even though Felix apparently didn't think so. Thus far he had made no effort to discuss it with her, no attempt to see the issue from her viewpoint. Even now-with this major decision still a muddle-he was just sitting there and poring over the financial section of the newspaper. As if the sad message from abroad simply hadn't reached him yet. Or as if he had no idea whatsoever how much the coming of one small teenager could disrupt a well-ordered adult household.Still, if they were going to decide on something- anything-it would have to be soon. Tonight, most likely. And in that case Angela really didn't object to his preoccupation with the stock market. It gave her a chance to retrench a bit and sharpen her weapons for the impending fray. She would need them, all of those weapons at their very best, in any kind of debate with this shrewd husband of hers."Going to bed, dear?" He glanced up from his paper. "But it's so early. Are you sleepy already?""No, not at all. Wide awake, in fact. Why?" Smiling coquettishly, she paused at the foot of the stairs. "Something on your mind?""Well, uh, we still haven't talked about the kid. Although I guess there isn't much to-""Later, darling. When you come up we'll go over the whole thing, okay? Right now I'm just dying to jump into a hot tub and have a nice long soak.""Okay. Later, then.""Oh, by the way ... " Her voice turned sweetly seductive. "I've got some new perfumed bath crystals that I haven't tried yet. Do you think I ought to tonight? You know I'd rather not experiment unless you're in the mood for it.""New stuff, eh? Umm. I'm not really sure.""Frangipani. Awfully strong.""Frangi-what?""Sounds exotic, doesn't it? Frangipani. Supposed to be a cross between gardenia and jasmine. Want me to smell like an exotic blossom for you, darling?""Frangipani. Hmph! Little devil ... ""But if you don't feel like-""No. I feel fine. Go take your bath. And use the new stuff, by all means. Be exotic for me tonight."Angela nodded and scampered up the stairway, j pleased with the success of her maneuver. Perfume. Weapon number one. The mere mention of it had set his nostrils aquiver. Oh, she knew her man's weaknesses, all right. His peculiar tastes. And better still, she knew how to pander to them. As any good wife should; wasn't that the only way to handle a strong-minded husband?This would be the night for it, too. Careful handling. In their year and a half of marriage they were facing their first crisis, even though Felix acted as if the situation wasn't critical at all. But then of course he had no inkling, he just didn't fathom all the ramifications of this recent development. A man could never understand the intensity of a woman's feelings in such a matter....The bath was pure luxury. And as she lingered in its frothy fragrance, Angela's determination doubled. She had worked too hard to gain all this, the wealth, the easy living, the prospect of a future free from worry. Even the spacious bathroom was symbolic; before marrying Felix Bartholomew she had never seen a sunken tub except in the movies. It was too precious to risk losing, and so was the rest of this elegant East Side duplex apartment. For a showgirl who had seldom risen above bit-part status, this kind of pampered existence was nothing short of paradise.And now it was being threatened from outside, threatened by the entry of her husband's daughter. Ugh! My stepdaughter. Does that make me the wicked stepmother?Oh hell, it wasn't the poor child's fault that she was motherless and had nobody else to turn to. Nobody but her estranged father. But she represented a threat nonetheless-because Angela wanted to hang on to the guy, hang on and enjoy the ride-and in order to do so, she had to have him all to herself. Without anyone snooping around to see what was going on. Especially a curious kid. Peeking through keyholes maybe, what a drag!The marriage had to endure, though. True, she wasn't exactly in love, not when her husband was fat and nearing fifty. After all, she was only twenty-three herself, a young and beautiful and very active twenty-three. In the beginning she hadn't even figured on more than a few years of it; the marriage had only been a means of scrambling up out of poverty. Felix was known to be ungrudging with his ex-wives and a generous alimony settlement. Just like the others. Only she had changed her mind after the first couple of months, recognizing it as a marriage worth preserving. And with all her heart and soul, now she wanted to do just that. Better yet-and far more important-she knew how.It was simple, really. His former wives must have been pretty stupid; hadn't they realized what type of character he was? Didn't they know how to keep such a man happy? Felix Bartholomew was a wheeler-dealer in business, why should he be any different in sex? A guy like that was bound to get bored with the quiet contented life, he needed excitement rather than contentment. He needed variety, the offbeat stuff, the kind of thing that would make his bedroom bouts as exciting as any Wall Street scrimmage.Angela gave it to him. Variety, Excitement. She had learned how to stimulate his jaded appetite. How to perform the boudoir stunts that men dream about but never find, at least not in their own conjugal beds with their own lawful bedmates. It didn't happen overnight, of course, but she knew how to keep the dear boy entertained now.Inventiveness, that was the key. And she had developed a positive flair for it, perhaps even a talent. To titillate this worldly-wise old husband of hers she became all women in one, running the gamut from shy maiden to shameless hussy. She understood his bizarre fancies and never stopped searching for novel methods and techniques of fulfilling them. Admittedly, some of the more unsavory capers weren't much fun for herself, but it was all for a good cause and she didn't mind terribly. It would pay off in the long run; meanwhile a devoted young wife could afford to make some sacrifices.Besides, those blistering hot sessions occurred less often these days. Felix's last physical checkup had scared him somewhat, a lifetime of excess was apparently catching up with his body. Activity in bed and in business had taken its toll. He was reaching that anxious stage where the call of the flesh had to play second fiddle to the condition of his stomach and heart and liver and blood pressure. So his peak moments of self-indulgence were spaced farther apart lately, making those wildest of depravities the exception rather than the rule. For which Angela was duly grateful.But they still went on now and then. And she was always willing to participate-even lead!-whenever he felt the desire. The doctor's warning had given her all the more reason to keep the marriage solid and secure. A divorced wife could collect only alimony and such, but a widow-well, that was something else again. It might mean a fortune in the millions. Not that she wished Felix any bad luck, it just wasn't in her nature to be that cold and calculating. But it would have to happen sometime, wouldn't it? And in that case, why shouldn't she be the beneficiary? His other wives had failed him. He had tired of them. And she damn sure wasn't going to let him feel like that about this wife, not as long as there was a breath left in her body. Not as long as she had the time and the place and the freedom to go hog-wild once in a while and prove all over again what a great woman he had been smart enough to marry.And that, dammit, was the problem. The time, the place, the freedom, the simple circumstances that made it possible to grant her husband his much-needed sex-thrills without worrying about gossip and scandal. And without fear of intrusion. For those depraved moments especially, privacy was an absolute must.Huge as the apartment was, they kept no sleep-in servants. At the end of each day the household help disappeared. And with no one around, she found it easier to quell her own inhibitions and cater to Felix's weird whims. Or even display a few of her own, perhaps. Whatever a married couple did in private was their own darn business, and she wanted no keyhole peepers or ear-to-the-wall eavesdroppers around to cramp her style. What if the kid turned out to be a snooper? Or even a well-behaved young lady with just normal curiosity about sex. Her very presence in the apartment would be enough to put a curb on the activities that so often reached a frenzied pitch.No, it just wouldn't work. With the girl here, they would have to confine their ardor strictly to the bedroom. And keep the door locked. And worry about being overheard. Privacy-the kind they had now-would be at an end. And without it, how soon before Felix got bored? What would happen to the all-important marriage, wouldn't it go down the drain like the others?Okay, so now was the time to do something about it. Now! Yes, tonight. When he came upstairs. She would have to be pretty smooth, of course, smooth and subtle and persuasive-but convincing. With all the weapons at her command.Mmm, the weapons. A soft-skinned body, soft enough to feel sexy even under her own fingers. A body to be proud of. Sexy way down underneath, too -both, places-too bad she couldn't just lie here and play lovely hide-and-seek games with herself. Big breasts and' shapely legs, all slick and slippery and saturated with that frangipani stuff. Felix would like it. Yummy perfumes were practically a fetish with him. But he'd be coming up soon and it wouldn't do to keep the poor man waiting; time to stir her sexy rump and get ready. Especially after all that talk about the bath crystals. Nice, nice. He would love it. Oh. this was going to be a sexy night....A frangipani fuck?Out of the tub, giggling, Angela applied a bath-towel hurriedly and then added more perfume. Just a drop here and there, a dab with the glass stopper -but in the strategic spots. She fluffed out her blonde hair and made up her face. It was almost too perfect, that face, too angelic for tonight, but that Was soon remedied by dark eye shadow and penciled-in slanting brows. Even with those velvety brown eyes, the angel became a devil. Sexy, sexy. Keep your paws to yourself! Sexy little cunt. Come on now, aren't you getting a little too old for finger games?It sure smelled good, though. Everything. Even the tips of her fingers! She slipped into high-heeled mules and draped herself in a hellfire red negligee. A gift from hubby, very expensive. It did a lot for her, accentuating every mound and curve and hollow. The filmy fabric presented her body at its beguiling best.Uh-huh. Hubby evidently thought so, too. When he entered the bedroom, his eyes widened appreciatively and his fond chuckle of approval was a reward for her efforts. But she wanted a much greater reward-although he couldn't have known it-and without sounding too obvious, she managed to prod him in the proper direction. A few words brought the topic for discussion out into the open and she let him take it from there, crossing her fingers in high hopes. Crossed like that, they still felt kind of moist .and slithery but she couldn't tell about the smell any more, not with every inch of her bath-warmed skin reeking."Umm, yes, my daughter. Sherry. Silly name- but that's what she calls herself, I gather, so we'd best get accustomed to it. She'll be here shortly. End of the week, I should say."With a sinking heart, Angela uncrossed her fingers. "She-she's coming here? How do you know?""I sent a wire and told her to.""Oh. You didn't even mention it to me.""Didn't I? Sorry, darling. It must have slipped my mind. But I thought you understood." He shrugged lamely. "The child has to come here. Where else can she go?""Back to school, I figured. It's a good school, isn't it?"