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Authors: Emma Clark

Teaching Melody

BOOK: Teaching Melody
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Teaching Melody

o

Emma Clark

 

 

Copyright 2013 Emma Clark

 

 

 

 

Manic Readers EC

 

 

 

I remembered the first time I met Ashlee's parents. Her mom Chelsea was okay, but Ashlee's dad was nicer and warmer to me. I liked Preston right away.

I also remembered being jealous of Ashlee's enormous house that I considered a mansion. Compared to my own house, hers
was
a mansion.

One time when I was just shy of my tenth birthday, Ashlee and I wandered far from her house and found this field of pink primroses. I crouched in a small clearing. A hideous sweat bee buzzed at me, then I felt its sting on my arm.

I screeched and wailed like a baby.

Ashlee panicked, helpless. She ran back to the house, tugging and practically dragging me with her.

We burst through the French doors to the dining room. Ashlee's mother just stared at us, then grimaced as she walked off. That stung as much as the actual bee sting. Why was she so mean to me?

In came Preston Lee D'Anjou, a look of concern on his face and in his sky blue eyes. His tan complexion brightened those eyes. Back then Preston looked so tall to me, so big and overpowering. Yet he was so kind.

At the time he was only twenty-six years old. He and Chelsea had Ashlee when they were
way
too young.

Preston hurried and whisked me into his arms, comforting me even though I was a strapping nine-year-old. He took me to the bathroom where he plopped me on top of the sink. He saw the thick welt spreading across my upper arm.

"What happened to you?" he asked. "Don't tell me you and Ashlee stumbled into a patch of flowers and you got stung."

Is this guy psychic?

"Yes," I said, scowling. "I got stung and it hurts."

"Well, I'm sure it'll stop in a few minutes." Chuckling at my expense, he rubbed the welt with his forefinger, then leaned and fetched a band-aid from the lower cabinet.

Gingerly he smoothed the band-aid strip on the welt, after eyeing it to ensure the stinger didn't remain.

"There you go." He warmly smiled, eyes twinkling. "All better?"

Strangely, it really did feel better. Ashlee's daddy had the "magic touch" it seemed. I returned his smile and he gave me a pat on the head.

I'd never forget that day.

And then when I was fifteen, one time Ashlee and I were riding our bikes as we followed a dirt path behind the mansion. Apparently I was prone to having accidents, for I lost my balance and took a spill.

That time I badly scraped my ankle. I didn't cry even though it hurt like hell.

As Ashlee lagged behind, I limped into the house to rest on the sofa. Ashlee seemed annoyed, bored with me lounging about.

She headed out and resumed riding her bike.

My ankle throbbed and oozed blood. Preston arrived home from work, wearing an Italian suit and carrying a leather briefcase. He had to dress nicely because he was an attorney.

He saw me and dropped the briefcase. Then he circled around and perched on the edge of the coffee table, leaning as he surveyed my ankle.

"That's a nasty wound you got there. How did
that
happen?" His lips curved to an amused grin, his golden hair swayed at the top as his head moved. Just then I realized how handsome he truly was, and I couldn't look away from his vivid eyes.

"Fell off my stupid bike," I said, feeling stupid myself.

"Oh." Preston's head bobbed up in understanding, his golden hair glittering. The way he looked reminded me of the way a prince might, especially whenever he sported a fancy suit. He also exuded the aroma of aftershave, smelling good enough to eat.

He disappeared a moment and returned with a large band-aid. Sitting back on the table, Preston massaged the band-aid over my ankle.

He didn't stop massaging. His fingers worked up my lower leg as he eyed the injury.

"How does that feel?" He asked, slightly smiling, continuing to rub in slow, gentle motions. Weird tingling sensations coursed inside me.

"Amazing. Thank you." For some reason my face burned, and I had to avert my gaze a second.

Preston winked, nodded and got up. He started for the stairwell but paused to face me a final time.

"You need to be more careful, Melody. I wouldn't want to see you scarring up that pretty face of yours." A white smile flashed as he gave a backward glance and continued on.

My face warmed further. But wow, I couldn't believe Ashlee's dad said that. It made me feel good about myself, particularly because no one ever called me "pretty." I had mousy, dull brown hair and thick thighs. Kids in school taunted me for being nerdy because I read tons of books.

From that moment I crushed on Preston D'Anjou. Crushed on him
hard
.

And three years later I still crushed on him.

Now Preston was thirty-four, still young and very
handsome.

Six months earlier Preston's wife left him for a younger guy. I thought Chelsea was out of her freaking
mind.

Ashlee and I recently graduated high school, and in the fall Ashlee planned to leave for college. Personally I had no interest in college and wasn't sure what I wanted to do yet.

Since Chelsea was gone, Preston offered me a good deal of money to clean the house on a regular basis. I'd practically have to live here once Ashlee went off to college.

How could I turn down the opportunity to see Preston more often? The thought excited me to no end, so I agreed to do it.

And since Preston had nursed my wounds so many times, I figured it was time to return the favor. Preston had been depressed since Chelsea's leaving, and I was determined to cheer him up---
any way I could
.

* * * *

I spent the night with Ashlee one week before she was supposed to leave.

It'd be hard not seeing her as much, though she'd be visiting every other weekend.

On this night we stayed up late and talked, knowing it'd be our last chance for a little while. The subject came up about her father and mother, as it usually did. Ashlee had a hard time dealing with her mother's betrayal. Chelsea had met her twenty-three-year-old boyfriend while working a part-time job as a librarian. Not because she needed the money, but because she was bored staying home.

His name was Jared, and he'd gone to the library to do research for a college project. Apparently he and Chelsea had clicked. I never understood what they could've had in common. They had a twelve-year age difference.

Then again, Preston and I had seventeen years between us and I loved him. In a way I was glad that Chelsea was out of the picture. I knew how horrible that was but I'd crushed on Preston
forever
. And I didn't think Chelsea ever treated him right. She was kind of a bitch; always had
been.

I'd never mention this to Ashlee of course.

She and I were sitting across from each other on her narrow bed. It was nearing two in the morning, but we were both wide awake.

"Dad's seriously getting weirder and weirder," Ashlee said.

"Why? What's he been doing?" My curiosity was more than a little piqued.

"He keeps accidentally calling me Chelsea. It's so weird. He never used to mistake me for Mom. I'm getting worried about him."

"Oh. Is that all? My dad calls me the wrong name all the time." I laughed. Ashlee looked horrified.

"Well that's not all," she sternly said. "I've been catching Dad wandering around the house naked! Eww
.
"

I stared at her.

"He does it right after taking a shower. It's like he forgets to wrap a towel around himself. Yuck." She cringed. "Whenever he does it I run to my room as fast as I can.
Ugh
. That's why I avoid him in the evenings, since that's when he takes a shower." Ashlee shook her head. "I can't wait to get to college. I'm sick of him blinding me, for Christ's sake."

"Are you serious? Preston runs around naked after he showers?" Just imagining it sent a rush of excitement through me. "What does it look like?"
Oh god. Why did I ask that?

"Huh? Are you asking me what my father's
thing
looks like? Ew. Seriously? Ew. I don't even want to think about it." Ashlee sneered in disgust.

"I don't know why I asked that. Sorry."

"I can't believe you have a crush on my dad after all this time."

"I can't help it if he's cute."

"My dad's not cute."

"
Yes
he is. You just don't realize it because he's your dad."

Ashlee sighed. "Well maybe while I'm away at college you'll get to see him naked. But before that, I'd rather not be around." She yanked the covers, trying to tell me she was ready for bed.

"You really,
really
need to get a boyfriend, Melody."

Now it was my turn to roll my eyes.

I slept on the air mattress, drifting off to visions of a drenched, nude Preston D'Anjou.

Mmmm
.

* * * *

Ashlee left seven days later.

Preston had given me the key to his house, and I went there three times a week to clean. I showed up two hours before Preston returned from work.

To my disappointment, he hadn't offered for me to move in. He also seemed distant lately and not as talkative or friendly. His aloof manner was driving me nuts.

And I hadn't seen him naked.

One evening late in September, I finished mopping the tile floors when Preston told me to take a break. I'd worked hard to get the kitchen looking spotless, and that wasn't easy since it was so huge.

Preston gazed around, nodding in approval. His lips curved to a smile as he admired me.

"Very good, Melody. Hell, you do a better job of cleaning than Chelsea ever did."

"Thanks, Preston. That means a lot to me." I stood there holding the mop, feeling kind of silly. His smile widened.

"Melody, why don't you come in the living room with me and we'll watch a movie together? I just got one from Netflix."

"Sure." Excited, I hurried to return the mop and rinsed out the dirty bucket in the bathtub.

I found Preston already reclining on the pale sofa, his arm behind his head as he watched previews on a flat-screen television. Below his chest, a navy blue blanket shrouded his body. He saw me and rose part-way, patting the cushion next to him.

Some of the blanket fell, revealing Preston's nude, golden torso. His stomach was flat, tight and boasted very nice muscle definition. A thatch of blond hair trailed from his navel downward.

For a fleeting moment I wondered if he were fully naked under the blanket.

Nah
.

"Have a seat," he offered, smiling, blue eyes friendly. He held up the other half of the blanket for me. And no he wasn't naked. He wore a pair of black pajama pants.

Too bad.

Feeling quite shy and awkward, I joined him on the couch. He pulled the blanket over us. Preston spooned me tightly from behind.

"Sorry, Melody. Are you uncomfortable lying here with me so close?"

Another rush of excitement followed as he spoke, and his breath warmed my ear. "I'm fine, Preston. Thanks." Although I
was
on the very edge.

I scooted and squirmed, nestling tighter against him. His breathing quickened. A very subtle change.

"Is it okay if I rest my arm around you?" he asked.

"Uh, sure." My heart thumped.

Around came his tanned, muscular arm. His hand settled dangerously close to my left breast. He shifted trying to get comfortable. His crotch grated my ass and I wanted to die---from happiness.

The movie started. Credits flashed on the enormous screen.

"Are you sure you're comfortable? I apologize for the tight space." He chortled, sounding somewhat nervous.

"Yeah, it's okay." No it wasn't comfortable, but I couldn't pass up being near him.

I could've sworn he was sniffing my hair; he kept drawing in deep breaths. And I noticed the spicy, intoxicating aroma of his cologne. It made me woozy with subdued desire. Instinctively I placed my hand in his.

BOOK: Teaching Melody
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