All rights reserved © 2010
The lyrics of 'The Impossible Dream' © 1965 by Joe Darion are not reproduced in this story. For legal reasons they are only referred to
Out of Reach
Copyright © 2008 by Ernest Bywater
Still out of Reach
Copyright © 2010 by Ernest Bywater
This is a work of fiction. All of the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. All rights are reserved by the author, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.
Product names, brands, and other trademarks referred to within this book are the property of their respective trademark holders. Unless otherwise specified there is no association between the author and any trademark holder, nor are any expressed or implied. Nor does it express any endorsement by them, or of them. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark, service mark, or registered trademark.
The background image is Unto Eternity, My Fairest Love by Pink Sherbet Photography and it is used with their permission under Creative Commons Attribution. The manipulation of text and merging is done by Ernest Bywater. All rights to the cover image are reserved by the copyright owners.
2 June 2021 version
Published by Ernest Bywater
The titles in use are a Story, a Chapter, a Sub-chapter, and a section.
All rights reserved © 2008
Eight hours driving is a long time on the road, and much more so when you get in the car at six in the morning with a total stopping time of about half an hour due to eating on the move, so Henry Cable is very glad it's over. Pulling into the driveway he stops just a metre short of the garage door and pulls the hand-brake on while he turns off the ignition. With a heavy sigh he says, “Well, kids, this is it, your new home.” Like his wife, Lucy, he tenses for the complaints to start again. Their three kids aren't happy, to say the least, about moving house and leaving their friends to go interstate with him for his promotion. The complaints have been many and frequent since the promotion and move were announced.
Lucky for them the first to speak up is Ernie, their middle child and eldest boy, “OK, guys, we all know it's been a long trip, but let's get out to stretch our legs and look it over before making more complaints.” This is a good sign for Henry and Lucy because Ernie often looks on the bright side of things, plus he can often get his siblings to go along with him. All three of the children are very independent, but Ernie can get the other two to agree with him on the important things when he really wants them to. They're slow to move when they get out of the car and stretch.
First out is Henry, forty-three years old, a bit above average height, medium build and very fit because he runs a few kilometres most days, blue / grey eyes, with hair that's somewhere between dark blond and light brown. He places his hands in the middle of his back and stretches while he looks over at his wife, Lucy, who's just standing up on the other side of the car. He smiles when he looks at her: honey blonde hair, startling blue eyes, average height and build, well proportioned; and thinks, Damn, she still looks good, forty-one years old and still looks like a teenager. I'm a lucky bugger. Next out is Lee, their eldest child; just turned nineteen and almost a copy of Lucy - the same height, build, hair and eyes, the only noticeable difference being the breasts; where Lucy's are about the size of a nice grapefruit Lee's are just a bit smaller and about the size of a large orange. Both are very pretty and their bone structures are the same, many people mistake them for sisters. The door behind Henry opens and their youngest son gets out. Tom is twelve and a half, tall for his age and a bit better than average build because he's very fit - he's into athletics and wants to be a competitive runner when older, grey eyes and light brown hair. Last out is Ernie as he was sitting in the middle of the back seat and he had to slide across after Lee got out. Just under average height and average build - but a bit thin, hair like his father's and he has his mother's eyes; while he doesn't look like he's fit Ernie is very fit as he does martial arts twice a week and he's already a second level black belt. All of the Cables are into various sports and are fit, not muscle bound, just well toned muscles and look very fit, except Ernie who looks the least fit of them all, yet he's involved in the most physically demanding sport.
After taking a moment to stretch they close the car doors and walk to the house. Lucy pulls the keys out of her handbag and opens the front door when they reach it. It smells a bit musty so it's all hands on deck to open windows and air the place out. After opening all of the ground floor windows they go up the stairs. On the next level is the master bedroom with en suite at the front, then two bedrooms across the back, with the bathroom between the en suite and the right hand bedroom. The top level is an open attic area that's floored and stretches across the length of the house, but the usable floor area is only about half the width of the house due to the slope of the roof. They open up all of the windows while going through the house. Lucy points out which rooms will belong to who: the largest bedroom is the master bedroom and is five metres by six metres, next is Ernie's room at four and a half metres by five metres as he has a small lab in his room and he needs the space, Lee's room is four metres by five metres, while Tom gets half the attic because the front half is going be walled off as a spare bedroom. Lee and Tom aren't too happy with their rooms, and they say so. Ernie just glances at them before he starts to have a much closer look at the house and the large yard.
Henry and Lucy go down to start unpacking the car and the trailer, Lee and Tom follow so they can continue telling their parents about how unhappy they are. While they go down the stairs Lucy gets out her mobile phone and calls her sister who lives a few streets away in the same suburb. One of the reasons Henry accepted the promotion was it'll reunite his family with the family of his wife's sister. They were very close at home, and then Mary got offered a good job in this city soon after her husband died in a car accident nearly four years ago.
Ernie wanders off on his detailed inspection of the house and yards. A little later he's upstairs and he notices the attic has a verandah area along the rear wall. The verandah is about one metre deep across the whole level and it looks out over the backyard. The rear neighbours' backyards are offset so he looks directly down into the backyards of two other houses which have their dividing fence coming to the middle of the backyard of the new Cable house. Looking into one house he can see right along its driveway and the car parked there looks familiar. He smiles when he sees his aunt, Mary Constable, walk out of the house and get into the car. He also notices most of the backyards are much smaller than theirs and they have six neighbours whose backyards share fences with them: two at the back, the next door neighbours, and the backyards of two other houses butt on to the end of the sides as the neighbours' yards aren't as deep as the Cable house backyard is. The other backyards all have built in swimming pools and deck areas while the Cable yard is just a large grassed lawn. Examining his own backyard he sees they have two sheds and one is very large for a yard shed. He also notices theirs is the tallest house in the area. Leaving the attic verandah Ernie heads downstairs. The yard is very large and spacious, so he steps it out; it's about thirty metres wide and sixty metres deep, which is huge for a modern yard. He has a close look at the sheds, and he sees one must have been used as a workshop of some sort while the other is a typical backyard shed for tools and mowers etc. The double width garage is also over long with two large rooms at the back of it, one is accessed from in the garage and the other one from outside. He walks around the house looking for the telephone connection because Aunt Mary had told him the suburb had recently been upgraded. He soon finds it on the same side of the house as his bedroom, it's a fibre optic connection to the house - sweet. While walking around the front of the house he looks up at the afternoon sun, and sees it's shining into Lee's room. Smiling, he gets a load of gear from the trailer to take into the house. After putting it down on the kitchen bench he goes over to where his father is looking at the inside circuit breaker panel because Henry wants to turn the power on.
All of the circuit breakers are on and so is the main switch, but there's still no power and the power company assured him the power was on when he called them a few minutes ago. A grinning Ernie asks, “Did you flick on the master cut out in the external box yet, Dad?” Henry turns to his son, and closes his eyes while he shakes his head no. They both laugh when they head out the front door and around the side of the house. While they walk around the house Ernie asks, “You know how you're always complaining about my lab making stinks in the house?” Henry nods yes, “Well, if you let me have one of the rooms at the back of the garage, or the larger yard shed, I can set up my lab in there and not stink up the house. I think the large yard shed is best, because it means any major mistakes won't damage anything else.”
After opening the main power box Henry reaches in and flicks the master cut out switch while he says, in a different voice, “Good idea, Son, make it so.” Ernie groans because he's heard his father do his Captain Picard impersonation so often it's no longer funny. However, he's happy to have the large shed for his lab. They go back into the house and check the lights in every room work while they replace the old incandescent globes with energy efficient fluorescent and Light Emitting Diode ones. By the time that's finished the car and trailer are unloaded by Lucy, Mary, Lee, and Tom. Lee and Tom are now looking at the yard while Mary and Lucy are chatting in the kitchen. Henry goes to put the trailer in the garage and Ernie heads for the kitchen.
In the kitchen Ernie finds his mother and aunt talking over a cup of hot chocolate each. Smiling, he checks the just unpacked kettle then makes himself a cup of hot chocolate before sitting down with them and asking, “Aunt Mary, why didn't you walk over instead of driving?”
She gives him an odd look and says, “It's a convoluted five minute drive through several streets and around half the suburb, thanks to its many cul-de-sacs. Do you know how long that would take to walk?”
Ernie replies, “Not if you climb over the back fence or have Dad put a gate in. I saw you get in your car from the attic, and your yard backs on to ours.” Mary's eyes go wide, so Lucy and Ernie start to laugh. Turning to his mother he asks, in a pleasant but soft, voice, “How much is it worth to have three happy smiling children?”
Lucy looks at him and responds, “We're in trouble now, Mary, he's gone into Snake Oil Salesman mode, and that's always something to be careful of. OK, Mister, what are you after?” Mary laughs, very loud.
“For only the cost a few thousand dollars of home improvements and the rental for a second telephone line you can have three extra happy children, ones who stop being so concerned about the shift.”
“Keep talking,” and in an aside to Mary, “See what I mean.”
Mary butts in, “Snake Oil Salesmen have nothing on this kid!”
He responds, “You only talk to the occasional retail seller, I have to deal with all the local retail sellers a lot more than you do because I'm a wholesale distributor.” Both women laugh, very hard and long.
Lucy interjects, “Give it up, Mary, he's got you and you can't win. His IQ is higher than both of ours together.” Mary turns to stare at her sister while Lucy smiles and nods, “Yep, he's a certified genius. Often more of an arse than a genie, but he's got the brains. Hell, he even beats his father in witty repartee, most of the time. Henry's given up trying to outdo him, so have I, so you may as well admit defeat too.” She turns back to Ernie, asking, “What's on your mind?”
“If I can broker an agreement from Lee and Tom will you agree to Lee getting my room, Tom gets her room, and I get the attic. But you have to put in another toilet and sink in the attic - near the stairs and above the bathroom, build in a little kitchenette in the attic beside that, wall off my attic room, put a phone line up to the attic with an extension down into Lee's room, and glass in the verandah in the attic. You pay the monthly line rental on the phone line.”
“OK, I've no problems with the house improvements, I can even see an overall advantage of having the extra toilet and the kitchenette. The phone isn't an issue, either, but drop the other shoe while I'm still smiling, and tell my why they'll agree. Also, what's in it for you?”
“The other shoe is the new beds you're buying for us. Get Lee and Tom queen sized beds with a single bed bunk above them, that way they have beds on hand for any friends sleeping over. You need another queen bed for the guest room upstairs and I get a queen bed as well. That means we all have bed space for friends to stay the night.” Lucy thinks a moment then nods yes as it makes sense, it isn't much more of an expense and is a very good idea. “Lee likes the morning sun and is much happier if her room has it. This deal gives her the largest kid's room that's a real room and the one with the morning sun. Throw in her own telephone in her room, but she pays for the extra call charges, and she's on our side. Give Tom the next biggest room with the afternoon sun he prefers and is closest to the bathroom, then he's happy. I get the attic and the glassed in verandah to sit and read in. I don't need a lot of space in my room now because Dad agreed to let me have the large yard shed for my lab. That stops me from stinking up the house and if anything goes wrong we don't lose much, other than the lab. What I get is my own Internet link on the phone-line Lee uses and a nice place to sit and read with a great view of six swimming pools in houses in which teenage girls are living, at least, the washing on the line indicates they do.” Lucy starts to laugh while Mary's eyes go very wide in surprise.
With a big smile Lucy replies, “OK, if you can sell it to Lee and Tom it's a deal. I didn't know you were interested in girls yet.”
“Not really, yet; but I figure I will be soon. There were none worth taking an interest in at the old school, but who knows; this is a city and not a small country town. There's sure to be someone worthy of interest around here.” A smiling Ernie leaves to talk to his siblings.
Lucy says to Mary, “See what I mean. He's always thinking things through and planning ahead. I'd forgotten about Lee and the morning sun, and she's been after her own extension for ages, her own line will send her over the moon. The bed idea is brilliant, we promised new beds to save moving the old ones, this means no new ones for years.”
While shaking her head Mary says, “I love the idea of the queen beds with overhead bunks, I've seen them in the shops. All three of my girls are after new beds too, and they're due for them. Let me know when you go shopping so we can get five and see if we can get a good discount.”
Finalising the Deal
Walking out into the yard Ernie finds Lee and Tom near the far end, bitching to each other about the change of residence. When he's near them he says, “No point bitching about things you can't change. All you do is make yourself unhappy and make everyone around you unhappy. Now, if you two have finished the bitch session let's see if we can work a deal to improve things, OK.” They both turn to look at him, and nod for him to continue because they know his deals are often nice. “Good, now here's what I want and what I think I can get for you. Tom, you like the afternoon sun and don't want to go up the stairs to the attic, you'd also like more space, right? Lee, you want the morning sun and would like a phone extension in your room, right?” Both nod yes. “Tom, I want you to stop messing around with my things or Lee's things and you stay out of our rooms, except when specifically invited in. Also, you stop yelling if the toilet isn't free when you want it, and any fights over the bathroom get taken to Mum for arbitration. For that, you get Lee's room instead of the attic, that has the afternoon sun you like, is a bigger room, and is nearest to the bathroom. The only issue is the extra toilet will be put in the attic, so you have to go upstairs if you need to use the other toilet when the main toilet is in use. Acceptable?” Tom smiles as he nods his agreement.
Ernie turns to his sister, “Lee, you try not to take so long in the bathroom and organise some introductions for me to some of your female classmates or their sisters, if they have any fifteen or older, same deal with the toilets and bathroom. For this, you get my room with the morning sun you want, and it's the largest. You also get your own telephone line, Dad will pay the line rental but you pay for all the extra phone call charges. The line will run into the attic and back into your room. I'll get to use the broadband connection and an extension will be put in your room, but yours will be the only phone on it. Mum doesn't realise it, but the basic phone service here also includes all of the local phone calls, so you only have to pay for any long distance calls made. Acceptable?” She smiles and hugs him while she nods her agreement. “Good, I get the attic and my lab will go into the shed over there, since Dad doesn't want me stinking up the house. Being in the attic doesn't worry me, and I'll be able to use that little verandah to sit on and read during the day. But the important thing is we all end up happier and smiling. We'll make new friends at school and in the area. Also, Aunt Mary's place is just over the back fence, so I think Dad will be putting a gate in.” All three are smiling while heading back inside to the kitchen.
Lucy is watching the discussion through the kitchen window. Seeing all her children smiling while they walk toward the house makes Lucy happy, so she nudges Mary when she nods at them. Mary glances out, and shakes her head at the change from a few minutes ago while Lucy says, “That boy could rent sand to people living in the desert, when he puts his mind to it. I better go talk to Henry about putting a gate in the fence, that'll make visiting easier. But I best confirm the deals first.”
The three kids walk in and Ernie says, “Mum, we'd like to change the rooms about in the manner we discussed because Lee and Tom like the idea. Also, have you made a decision about the beds? What can we get, and when can we go to have a look at them?”
Realising Ernie is being nice by setting her up to look like a good guy with the news on the beds Lucy smiles and replies, “Mary and I have been talking and we're both going bed hunting tomorrow. She's getting new beds for your cousins of the same sort I'm getting for the two bedrooms. Queen sized double beds with a bunk style single bed above them so you'll have room for friends to sleep over. The attic doesn't have enough room for that style of bed so I'll get standard queen beds for the guest room and Ernie's bedroom up there.” Both Lee and Tom smile with happy shock at the mention of them getting double beds. It's huge smiles all round.
Henry walks in to see everyone smiling, and says, “Well now, that looks a lot better than ten minutes ago. Why's everyone so happy?”
Lucy turns to him while saying, “We've been talking about bedrooms and making some changes. First, Ernie gets the attic, Tom gets the bedroom near the bathroom, and Lee gets the other bedroom. I'm getting Lee and Tom queen sized beds with a single bed bunk above it so they'll have room for friends who stay overnight while Ernie will have to settle for a standard queen. We're putting in a second phone line into Lee's bedroom so she can have her own phone and we'll pay for the line. Ernie slipped one over me there, the basic service is a bit dearer than what we're used to, but it includes all of the local calls; Mary put me straight on that. But Lee gets to pay for all her other calls. The same line will give Internet access to the attic for Ernie, and Lee can plug into that as well.” She turns to look at Ernie, he shrugs and accepts it; he'd hoped that wouldn't happen, but he knew it might. “While the rest of us share the Internet line off the main phone line, the house is already wired for that. Also, tomorrow, while we're out bed shopping you get to install a gate in our back fence, Ernie can show you where, because our house backs onto Mary's. The laugh there is she didn't know it until Ernie mentioned it.” They all laugh about that.
Henry responds, “It's good we got the rooms sorted out before the furniture van arrives at ten tomorrow. Now it's time to lock up and go eat. If we take our overnight bags we can go straight to the hotel we're staying at tonight. Everyone did pack swimmers, didn't they? The hotel has a good indoor pool!” Everyone scuttles to shut and lock windows then check their overnight bags are still in the car.
Mary takes her leave when they exit the house and head for the cars.
The night and the next few days pass in a minor whirlwind while they unpack and sort the house out. The beds are bought the next morning and installed that afternoon. The phone people come and put the new line in the next afternoon as well, as it's a simple case of running the line up the side of the house. They take it up beside a drain pipe so it won't be so noticeable. Lee is very happy to have her own phone line. Tom is happy in his room, while Ernie is happy sitting in the sun reading and watching the neighbours' many teenage girls when they lay by the pools in their bikinis getting good suntans. The discussed renovations are done very fast during the next week, too. Thus the last two weeks of summer school holidays pass by fast while the Cable family settles into the new house and make it a home.
The new school year starts and the Cable kids are off to new schools. Things are a lot easier for Lee and Tom than they are for Ernie, for a number of reasons. This is a new school for Tom and Ernie. However, Tom is in year seven and this is a new school for all of the kids in his year because they've come from a number of feeder schools and most students are also new to each other at this school, but they'll all settle into new friendships and routines while they get to know each other. Also, Tom is more muscular and fitter than most of the kids in his year, and he's a bit taller than most of them too; so it's clear he's going to be one of the sports jocks of his year. For Lee it's a similar story, she's a pretty young woman starting her first year at the nearby university. Her whole year are all new starters and it's clear she's fit and attractive, no one will be picking on her - except most of the boys to ask her for dates. Ernie is another story.
Ernie is starting at a new school in year ten. He's smaller than average height, is of average build, a bit thin, and looks a typical geek. He knows no one while the year is already broken up into cliques and groups where most have known each other since year seven. He's not in a group and he isn't the type to push himself on others. Physically he's not impressive, but he can handle himself quite well because of his martial arts training. However, this doesn't cause the building of large obvious muscles and he wears loose clothes, so he doesn't look like he can fight. The situation is made worse because he's from another state and a different school syllabus so he's not put into classes straight away. For two days he does nothing except take tests to measure his academic standard. They're surprised when he scores 100% in all of the exams they give him, and he also provides evidence he's already passed the year twelve biochemistry exam, so he doesn't have to do that subject. On his third day at school he's slotted into all of the advanced classes, two days late and after everyone else has formed into new class sub-groups.
For those first two days the school bullies hadn't even realised he was alive, but on the afternoon of the third day they hear the news about the new kid who's smart. On the fourth day two of the worst bullies wait for him at the school gate and they demand he gives them his lunch money. He turns out his pockets to show he doesn't have any, and then he shows them his already packed lunch of a hefty serving of cold fried rice with cold stir-fry vegetables. Pissed off he doesn't even have a lunch they see as worth taking the bullies move off and leave him be, for now.
By the end of the second week Tom is on the school's athletic team while Ernie joins and leaves the school chess club, it wasn't a good enough competition for him. They don't have a martial arts team and he's not interested in any of the other school sports or clubs. The teachers have been overheard talking about his amazing scores and the news is already all over the school he's a super nerd. They've no real idea of his true academic standing because he's also doing two university subjects as distance learning courses, most of it's on-line and he does the work at night. Lee is doing those two subjects too, because they're part of her full-time degree course, so they compare notes and class information on the two subjects. Since both Lee and Ernie are full fee paying students the university isn't too concerned about anything except their fees and their grades, more so for Ernie who's doing his studies remotely because he can't attend any of the daytime classes.
A New Hobby
During the third week of school Ernie's cousin, Margaret Constable - Mary's eldest daughter who's in year twelve, asks Ernie to help at the Performing Arts Club after school. Margaret wants to be an actress and sees this club as a start on her learning those skills and her career. They have a piece of new equipment for making smoke and no one can work out how to use it. Margaret knows Ernie is very mechanical minded and asks him, at the start of lunch on Tuesday, to join them on Wednesday afternoon to look at the gear for them and work out what the problem is.
When Ernie enters the school auditorium where the club is rehearsing on Wednesday afternoon he can see the gear in question so he goes straight to it. The teacher starts toward him, but Margaret, the club president, waves at her and tells her it's OK. He pulls out the manual to read it. It's a small manual and he's a speed reader, so this doesn't take long. He looks over the device, and he soon spots the problems. Turning it off he unplugs it and changes the usage voltage to the correct setting, replaces the blown fuse from the spares packed with the new unit, sets the operation settings to the right ones, and turns it on. Soon a small cloud of artificial smoke is wafting across the stage like a low mist. The cast and crew applaud his efforts. The rehearsal goes on while he explains the correct way to use it to the crew person who'll handle it during the performances. Things are soon sorted out. Having nothing else to do for some time Ernie sits back to watch the rehearsal because he's never watched people practise for a play before.
One scene calls for Jason to sweep Melissa into his arms and kiss her. The boy Jason is a year twelve student and the girl Melissa is from year eleven, but the boy is so inept it's funny. His attempts at sweeping her into his arms and kissing her are woeful, to say the least. Ernie laughs at the results. The rehearsal stops while the whole cast turns to look at him laughing, they're not happy about his derisive laughter at how the scene was done. Jason glares at him and says, “If you think it's so easy, why don't you come up here and do it?”
A still laughing Ernie stands and walks to the stage. He takes the boy's script from him then he confirms, with the stage manager, the scene and dialogue involved. He spends a moment reading the scene while they reset the stage and cast for the scene. The scene starts with the other actors on stage; on cue, Ernie walks in and declares his lines in a loud voice with great gusto and emotion, just like the script says to, “Be gone, you cad, the lady is mine.” He sweeps Melissa up into his arms and presses her to his body while he welds his mouth to hers to kiss her while walking off the other side of the stage with her in his arms. Thinking to stir the young smart arse and put him off, Melissa opens her mouth and slips her tongue to his lips. She's surprised when he opens his mouth and slides his tongue over hers to invade her mouth to give her the best damn kiss she's ever had. Her eyes go wide, her arms go around him, and she returns the kiss when hugging herself to him while she really enjoys herself. The whole cast and crew are stunned because Ernie is smaller and slighter than Jason or Melissa, yet he just sweeps her up and walks off with her as if she weighs nothing. Melissa is a very well endowed, statuesque, red head, and Ernie just comes up to her shoulder, she must be a quarter of his mass again.
The teacher directing the play, Mrs Miller, claps and yells out, “Bravo, that's exactly how it should be done. Young man, do you want the role?” Ernie is careful putting Melissa down, then he walks back on stage with his arm around her and grabs a copy of the script to scan through it. Mrs Miller says, “What's wrong, can't you answer the question?”
Ernie looks up and replies, “I'm just checking the script to see how many times I get to kiss Melissa. If it's more than the once, then I'm your man because kissing her is well worth the effort involved.” The whole cast and crew roar with laughter while Margaret stares at Ernie - in shock. She can't believe it's him; her geeky, shy, reclusive, academic cousin is acting so forward. She looks at Melissa, to see her with her arm around Ernie's waist in a very possessive manner.
A blushing Melissa says, “You get to kiss me three times in the play and once before each performance, for luck. Also, you can come around to my place to help me practise whenever you like.”
After gulping, Tina, one of the other year eleven players, says, “I thought Barry was your boyfriend.”
“Operative word being: was. He only thinks he can kiss, this one can really kiss. I've got him and I'm keeping him. If he proves too much, which he may, I'll let you know how much I'm prepared to share. What's your name? I have to know the name of my new boyfriend.”
Grinning, he replies “Ernie Cable, I'm in year ten.”
“Kiss me again. Prove it wasn't a fluke, and I won't care what year you're in, as long as you're in my arms.” Turning to Melissa he takes her in his arms and goes straight into lip-lock. He keeps his mouth welded to hers while his tongue explores her mouth and he uses breath control to breathe through his nose. After a couple of minutes he breaks the kiss and stands her upright again. Flushed and gasping for breath she says, “After that I think I need to be walked home in case I stagger on the way.”
Mrs Miller says, “Jason, give Ernie your script. You can have your pick of any of the open roles.” Jason walks off the stage while giving Ernie a glare. “OK, people, I think we're going to have to call it quits for today so Ernie can study his lines. I think Melissa can help him with that this afternoon. Same time, tomorrow.” Everyone laughs when they start to pack up while Ernie recovers the script he borrowed earlier.
Melissa uses her mobile phone to tell Barry she's breaking up with him. He doesn't take it well. He's in the school rugby team; front row forward, big and muscled, with a nasty temper. Jason is looking for Barry to tell him about Melissa's new boyfriend and how it came about while Melissa and Ernie leave the school with Margaret. Melissa lives across the street from Margaret, so they all walk home together.
When they reach Melissa's house she takes him in to introduce him to her family. He already knows her younger sister, Emily, because they have two classes together. Emily is shocked her social-status-conscious older sister is dating a boy eighteen months younger than her. She asks, “Sis, this is the first non-jock you've ever gone out with, and the first boy younger than you. What's the score?”
Melissa says, “This guy can kiss so good I don't give a damn about the rest. If any of the girls complain about him I'll just have him kiss them, and I'll enjoy watching them go green with envy.” The eyes of Emily and Mrs Watson go wide at this. “Give her a demonstration.”
Ernie smiles at Melissa, walks over to the couch where Emily is, and sits down beside her. Taking her into his arms he pulls her to him and he locks his mouth on hers. Emily is a bit shocked by this so she still has her mouth a little open when he kisses her, so he slides his tongue straight in. Her arms start to wave, then they soon settle down around him while she enjoys the action and returns the kiss. After a few minutes he breaks the kiss and sits her upright again. Waving her hand in front of her face while she catches her breath Emily says, in a soft voice, “Well, fuck me.”
A smiling Ernie replies, “Maybe later, on my sixteenth birthday, if Melissa agrees and you ask again in a nicer manner.” Emily's eyes almost pop while Melissa and her mother roar with laughter. Melissa leads Ernie upstairs to her room to study their lines for a little while.
Sometime later Mrs Watson goes upstairs to check on them. She finds them lying on Melissa's bed with their arms around each other, kissing. Ernie is hard to see because Melissa is on top and all she can see of him are his feet sticking out between Melissa's legs and his arms moving up and down Melissa's back. She watches them for a moment while the kiss just goes on and on. After more than a minute she sees Melissa shiver and shake. They break the kiss and Melissa rolls off him, with a glazed look in her eyes. Smiling, Ernie rolls off the bed, slips Melissa's shoes off her feet, and he lays the bed spread over her. He kisses her forehead before saying, “You best take a nap until dinner time. See you tomorrow morning to walk to school together.” Turning to the door he sees Mrs Watson, and he smiles at her. He nods at Melissa, “I think practising the kissing scenes has worn Melissa out, you best let her nap until dinner time.” She turns to watch him walk down the stairs and out of the front door. While slowly shaking her head Mrs Watson goes downstairs.
Just over an hour later Melissa enters the kitchen, and says, “Mum, can you have an orgasm from kissing?”
Turning to Melissa she says, “I've never had one and don't know anyone who has, but I have read it's possible when the conditions are just right. Is that why you had to rest this afternoon?” With a wide grin Melissa nods yes before turning to go and do her homework. Mrs Watson just slowly shakes her head while she watches Melissa go.
During dinner at the Cable house Lucy turns to Ernie and asks, “Had an interesting afternoon today, Son?”
He puts his knife and fork down when he turns to look at her and says, “Margaret spoke to Aunt Mary and Aunt Mary spoke to you, right?” Lucy nods yes, “Yes, I did. I helped Margaret out with a small mechanical problem and the circumstances resulted in me joining the Performing Arts Club when a year twelve boy messed up his part and I laughed at him. He asked me to show how it should be done, so I did, and I was offered the lead male role. The scene called for me to pick up a year eleven girl in my arms and kiss her while I walked off stage, which I did. She must have liked how I did it since she became very insistent I become her boyfriend and immediately dropped one of the year twelve rugby players to become my girlfriend.” The family is sitting there with open mouths while they try to digest this information in place of the food on their plates. “I must be doing something right, as we went back to her house to practise the kissing scenes. After about fifteen minutes she had an orgasm and was very tired. I didn't know kissing could give a girl an orgasm, but that's clearly what happened to Melissa.”
With very wide eyes Henry says, “Hell, don't tell Mary that or she'll be over here wanting a demonstration.” The whole family laughs. “Take the camera with you tomorrow and get a photo of her so we'll be able to recognise her when we see her.” Ernie smiles and nods agreement while he imagines his father's reaction when he sees the photo.
Some streets away, in the Simpson's house, twenty-one year old Lisa is talking to her parents about a job offer as a tutor she's been given by the university employment centre. They've a request for someone doing a particular degree course to tutor two first year students twice a week, and one of them a third time each week; it's a course Lisa has done and got good marks in. The money is very good and it will give her enough to have fun times without having to do any other work. The issue is the lessons are to be given in the house of the other students and she's not sure how her parents will take her being in another house from seven until ten three nights a week. After hearing the details her father, Harold, asks, “Who are the students? Do you know them?”
“No, Dad, they're a new family just moved into the area; Lee and Ernie Cable. I'm a bit concerned as I'd like the job but I'm not so sure about being in the house with two boys, despite the offer saying one of the parents will always be at home unless there's a major emergency.”
Harold smiles, “Henry Cable is our new manager and I've seen his family photo. Lee is his very beautiful nineteen year old daughter while Ernie is his middle child, a boy in high school. He has another son about twelve, called Tom. What subjects will you be tutoring them in?”
With eyes wide in surprise Lisa says, “I'm tutoring them both in first year biochemistry. Ernie is listed as an on-line student and I wondered why he couldn't attend classes.”
With a wide grin her sixteen year old sister, Maggie, butts in with, “Better watch that Ernie Cable. I saw him at the Performing Arts Club this afternoon. He's reasonably good looking and very cute. The word is he's a mega geek, and he looks it. But he laughed at Jason trying to sweep Melissa Watson off her feet to kiss her, and failing badly; so Jason invited him to try. Not only did Ernie do it well, he did it so well Missus Miller offered him Jason's part, on the spot. He grabbed a script to see how many times he got to kiss Melissa. She told him there are three kissing scenes and he also has to give her a good luck kiss before each performance. She rang and dumped Barry Fellows while we watched, so Ernie would agree to be her boyfriend right there and then. Ernie is in year ten; Melissa is in year eleven and one of the cheerleaders; while Barry is a front row forward and in year twelve. Half of the club are expecting to see a funeral for Ernie by the end of the week. Margaret, the club president, just giggled when she heard someone say that. Knowing Margaret, I wonder what she knows that no one else knows. There's clearly more to Ernie than is obvious, because he swept Melissa off her feet and carried her across the stage so effortlessly; yet she's taller than him and out masses him by a fair amount. But watch Ernie, he clearly likes older women and he knows how to handle them.” Her whole family just stares at Maggie while they take in her comments. “All of the girls in the club are hoping Melissa will agree to share him enough for them to find out what his kisses are like, because he had her gasping for air.”
After some further discussions Lisa agrees to take the job tutoring on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, with the first lesson being the next Tuesday evening.
Ernie and Tom are ready for school a bit earlier than the previous days because they're going a different way today. They're going through the back fence and walking to school with Melissa and their cousins Nancy, Margaret, and Pearl. Ernie greets Melissa with a two minute long good morning kiss; which stuns Nancy and Pearl because they didn't believe Margaret when she said their shy, geeky cousin had scored one of the prettiest girls in the school as his girlfriend. They chat about many things while they walk the kilometre to school.
Half way there Ernie asks, “Melissa, my love, what contraceptive protection do you use?”
While the others all gulp air in shock Melissa struggles to say, “None, I'm a virgin and wish my husband to be my first.”
“Stupid move, my love. How do you expect to stay not pregnant if someone rapes you? Get on the pill, a.s.a.p. However, I asked because my sixteenth birthday is in nine days' time and I do intend to lose my virginity that day. So you need to decide if you're going to help me with that fun task or allow me to seek assistance from someone else. I promise I'll stay your steady boyfriend for as long as you want me, which I think will be a long time. I promise nothing else until after we really get a chance to know each other. But I also intend to spend a lot of my time with my dick firmly lodged in some sweet girl's pussy. I'd prefer that to be yours, but I can accept you don't want that yet, as long as you approve me finding some one night stands.” The others are very surprised at how forward he's being with her on such a very personal subject, especially so early in their relationship.
They walk on in total silence for a while. Melissa finally speaks up, “Ernie, I would prefer all your attentions to be on me and only me, but I don't know you well enough to go that far. I don't want to lose you, so you've my permission to shop around for casual sex partners, as long as it's me you take out on Friday and Saturday nights and we partner each other to the school dances. I even know where you can find a girl to be your first on your birthday, just make sure to include the PA Club members as there's three of four who'll put out for you at no risk.” He smiles at her and squeezes her hand while they walk. His brother and cousins can't believe what they just heard. Melissa lets go of his hand to call her mother to ask her to make arrangements for her to see the doctor and get on the pill a.s.a.p, she also tells her why.
They arrive at the school to find most of the school rugby team waiting for them. Barry moves toward Melissa and reaches for her. Ernie steps in between and intercepts his hand while Melissa interrupts what Barry is about to say by saying, “Forget it, Barry, it's over between you and me. I sincerely doubt it was ever going to go as far as you wanted it to, but it's now over.”
In a harsh voice Barry replies, “Like hell it's over. No cheerleader slut dumps me, especially not for a geek.”
In a very cold voice Ernie says, “Keep a civil tongue in that stupid mouth of yours, Barry, now walk away while you still can. Save your future football career, don't throw it all away for a fight you can't win.”
“Like hell I'll walk away right now. I'll beat you to a pulp and fuck her brains out, then I'll walk away. You can't beat me, and if you try, my mates will turn you into pulp.”
Ernie looks along the line of rugby players, and he spots a known face near the end. “Chris Roberts, what will Sensei say when he finds out you joined a group to beat up one person?” The boy addressed has a closer look at Ernie, and goes white. While gulping hard he turns and walks away. The others watch him go with shocked expressions, because he's often first for any physical activity, and he's usually afraid of nothing. “Barry, if you so much as lay a finger on Melissa I'll rip it off. Now take your friends and walk away while you can still walk. Melissa, love, please move back a few metres in case he's foolish enough to start a fight.” The whole group with Melissa moves back a few paces and Ernie backs up a step to give himself some room to move.
The rest of the team are shocked to overhear the discussion between Tom, Margaret, Nancy, and Pearl. Margaret starts it with, “Barry down with two blows from Ernie, five bucks.”
Nancy responds, “I think he's improved and say one blow, and I'll take your five bucks.”
Tom chimes in with, “I'm good for ten bucks on one block and one strike to lay Barry in a hospital bed for the rest of the day or more.”
One of the other rugby players turns to them and asks, “What the fuck are you lot doing?”
In a very cheerful voice Tom replies, “Making side bets on how long it takes Ernie to turn Barry into sliced beef.” The rest of the team stares at them, so does Melissa. “Didn't you notice Chris had the sense to walk away once he realised he was way out classed by Ernie.”
Barry had turned a bit to follow the side conversation, but he's very fast when he swings back with a right handed hay-maker while saying, “Fuck the psychology crap, he's a fucking geek.” Ernie steps in to use his left arm to deflect the blow up and away while his right hand comes through from behind him to pass his chest: a straight open hand blow to Barry's chest with the heel of his palm. Barry comes to a halt and all of the air woofs out of his body while his eyes try to pop out of his head. He'd scream with pain, except he has no air left to scream with. He drops to the ground, taking short gasps of air while his eyes fill with tears.
Ernie says, “Take short slow breaths and you won't die. Someone go get the school nurse and one of you call for an ambulance.” The rest of the team is staring at Ernie in shock, but one takes out his mobile phone to place the emergency call while another sprints for the school's main administration building to get the school nurse. “Barry, listen to me, move your eyes up and down if you can understand me, but don't try to talk, you can't, yet.” Barry's eyes go up and down a couple of times before resting on Ernie. “You've at least five, maybe a dozen, broken ribs. Don't move until told to by the paramedics so the broken ribs won't puncture your lungs. Try to stand or talk and they can puncture your lungs. Take slow shallow breaths to limit the disturbance of the broken bones, understand?” The eyes move up and down a few more times. “I know you'll never understand how much skill and control it took to make that punch a painful blow but not a killing blow as it's designed to kill, quick and simply. I had to pull it a lot to not kill you. When you can, describe it to Chris Roberts and ask him about it. He's had some training, so he knows a fair bit about it. Understand?” Again the eyes move up and down, but, like the rest of the team, his eyes are now more like organ stops. “Listen well to the doctor, and lay off all contact sports until the ribs heal fully, that's about nine months. If you do, you should be able to play rugby again; if not, you could die in your next tackle.” Ernie stands up and moves over to hold Melissa tight, the fight was short and sharp, but it scared her a lot. Ernie just stands there holding her to him while he whispers words of comfort to her.
When the nurse arrives Ernie tells her what happened and the damage done. She reiterates to Barry the need to keep still and limit movement. A few minutes later the ambulance arrives, and they strap Barry to the stretcher before taking him away for x-rays and treatment. When the ambulance leaves the rest head to the administration building to make a report. The Principal isn't happy with the incident, but there's lots of witnesses to show Ernie was defending himself and it happened on the street, so he hands it to the police. Nothing comes of it because Barry was at fault by starting it, and Ernie doesn't press any charges against Barry.
With the delays caused by the fight and its aftermath they don't join classes until second period; so Ernie has half a period to calm Melissa down and have her relaxed and ready for the day's classes. The only other incident during the school day is a sort of non-event.
On the way to lunch Ernie finds two year eleven bullies picking on one of Tom's year seven friends. The halls are crowded with students, so no one can see much of anything when Ernie passes behind the bullies. He's fast when he strikes between their legs to punch them both in the balls. Both let out a sort of gurgling sound while they collapse to the floor and hold their sore groins. The boy seizes his chance to run away. Ernie thinks this is a fun game, so he decides to continue it the next time he comes across any bullies picking on the kids. During a free period he stops by the administration office to get approval to check the Departmental and school policies covering interactions between students and staff. He spends a few minutes going through them all.
School finishes and it's time for the PA Club. All of the cast and crew are fast to make their way to the auditorium. The first run through is brilliant because Ernie has memorized all of his lines overnight. In past rehearsals the majority of delays had been Jason forgetting his lines. They take a break midway through the rehearsal and Ernie calls out, “Hey, people, I've a birthday party on Saturday week, starting at ten in the morning. That's tomorrow week plus one day, and you're all invited. Put it in your diaries and I'll have the proper invites to you by then.” They all smile and indicate they'll come, because a party is a party. “Melissa has allowed that since it's my sixteenth birthday I'm allowed to seduce anyone who'll let me.” All of the girls turn to look at Melissa, she blushes and nods yes. “Will volunteers please give Melissa their names so I know who I should hit on?” The whole group laughs. “Missus Miller, both those invitations do include you too. I checked the school policies today, teachers aren't allowed to fraternize with any of the students they teach. School sponsored clubs like this one aren't considered a class, and you're seen as being a specialist private adviser donating your time because you don't get paid for helping the club. Unlike the rest, I can safely invite you to my party because I'm not doing any classes in your faculty, and thus I'm not one of your students. So make sure you're there, or I'll send a kidnap team after you.” She promises to check the rules and be there if it's OK. Soon afterwards he sits beside Jason and says, “You know the rugby team isn't happy about losing Barry for the whole season, and they're looking for the person who encouraged him to pick a fight with me. If you've any idea of who it was you best warn them, because they intend to get the information out of Barry as soon as doctors allow him to speak again.” Jason goes pale. A little later Ernie takes the time to tell Margaret of the warning. The team doesn't really care, but Ernie wants Jason to worry a bit, so he wants the rest of the club members to play it up a little; which they do over the next few days.
Later, when they start to pack up for the day, Maggie Simpson walks over and says, “Ernie, I hear you're getting a tutor for some extra classes you're doing. Why's that?”
“My older sister, Lee, is very interested in biochemistry and we need help. When she started high school she had trouble understanding some of the work so I read the textbook and did some research to help her understand it, because I'm good at understanding things from books. I ended up writing a much more simplified version of the textbook for her. It helped her a lot. I got interested and did the same for the rest of her high-school biochemistry textbooks. That got me hooked, and since I already knew as much as she did, I sat the biochemistry exams last year as well, and passed. So I already have a senior high-school credit for biochemistry and I'm not doing it here.” Several other students had gathered round to talk to him too, and now they're all staring at him.
All of a sudden one blurts out, “Shit, Ernie Cable is E. Cable as in Cable's Complete High School Biochemistry Made Simple. Hell, Mister Waters is recommending we get a copy and he's lobbying hard to have it become the main textbook. Mum got me one, and I find it a lot easier to read and understand than the regular textbooks.”
While smiling at him Ernie says, “You should, it was intended to, and it was written with a reading level of fifth grade to ensure all can understand it. The rest of you, please buy a copy if you're doing biochemistry as I like the royalties.” A few yes nods and giggles from stunned faces. “My sister is doing biochemistry at university in class, and I'm doing some of the same course as a distance education student. This is a little bit more complex than the high school stuff, so I want a tutor who's done it to help us make sure we understand the material. I'm paying for it from my royalties. How come you know about it, Maggie?”
“My sister, Lisa, has been asked to be your tutor and we were discussing it, as a family, last night. She thought it was two boys until Dad put her straight on Lee, he works with your father. Lisa always gets in the top five percent of her classes, so she knows her stuff. I warned her about what you did to Melissa, and she doesn't believe me.” The listeners laugh at that.
Smiling while he nods his understanding Ernie says, “Good, I'll look forward to her help. Tell her she's safe on tutoring nights, but she's fair game any other time and I'll look forward to seducing her at the birthday party. Make sure she puts it on her calendar.” Maggie laughs and moves away. He spends a few minutes explaining to some of the others where he lives, because they want to organise extra time to go over parts of his acting some scenes with him.
Ernie looks over to see if Melissa is ready to leave, and he can see a large group of girls around her chattering away. So he goes and speaks to Mrs Miller.
She says, “Thanks for the party invite. I think your understanding of the policies is right. So I'll be there, unless someone proves that wrong when I check tomorrow. Watching the girls' reactions to your offer to seduce them was fun. But I know you're not really interested in a mid-forties woman like myself.”
With a wide grin Ernie replies, “Oh, no, you're wrong there. You have to arrive early so I can seduce you first. I'm a virgin in need of a hot older and experienced woman like yourself to be my first to train me right for the rest. It's always best to learn something new from someone who knows what they're doing. Just wear a short skirt to show off your legs, a tight top, and no bra. That'll help me get you revved up and ready to go upstairs with me when it's time.”
“Get on with your flirting with the girls. I'll wear something to encourage you, just to make a point. But you don't stand a chance unless you can get me so turned on my panties are damp before we leave the party area.” He likes the challenge being offered by her.
Grinning, he nods yes and walks away. Nearing Melissa he decides to thin the crowd a little. Coming up behind Janice, a petite brunette of his height in year twelve, he grabs her and lets her see it's him. He bends her over his left arm while he leans down to kiss her. She cooperates with the kiss and opens her mouth while her arms go around him. He slides his tongue into her mouth while he slides his right hand under her skirt and into her panties, she stiffens a bit when he does that. She tries to stand up but is off balance and at his mercy. If she moves her feet to get a better position to stand up she'll only give him a much better access to her groin until she starts to stand. However, she only fights for the first few seconds, then she's very cooperative when his work on her arouses her. He maintains the lip-lock while he works her over until she has an orgasm. She briefly shudders in his arms. He breaks the kiss and waits for her to get her breath before returning her to an upright position and letting her go. She wobbles a bit when she starts to walk off with a huge smile on her face. Some of the group had seen him start to kiss Janice and told the others, so most of the kiss had been watched by the whole group. But only a few could see his hand under her skirt, and they guess what happened due to her reaction.
Smiling at Melissa he says, “Ready to go, love?” She nods her head yes and walks over to him. They join Margaret at the door and head home. While they walk out he says, “I hope you don't mind, love, but I acted to break up the crowd around you by kissing Janice. While I was kissing her I slipped a hand in and played with her until she had an orgasm.” Both the girls laugh. “I also made a point of telling Missus Miller to wear a short skirt and be ready for me to seduce her because I want her to teach me how to please a woman. She thinks I'm joking, but she promised to wear something hot, so I may be in luck there.” The girls laugh again while slowly shaking their heads.
Melissa says, “That's all right, as long as you make sure I know what's happening before you slip anyone a piece of meat. Otherwise I'll cut it off! Got me, Mister?”
He nods yes, and says, “Yes, Ma'am.” They talk about school and classes for the rest of the way home. Today they kiss for a moment outside Melissa's home then they go their separate ways, but only after Ernie takes a good photo of her.
Walking in the back door at home Ernie sees his mother and says, “Mum, I think we've got a uni tutor, a girl with high marks called Lisa Simpson. Her sister is in the PA Club so she asked me about the tutoring. She said Lisa was going to accept the job. You best make arrangements to see she gets home safe each night.” Lucy nods agreement at this, then she's very fast sitting upright in the lounge chair she's in when he adds, “Oh, the police may be around about an assault later, if they haven't been already. Melissa's old boyfriend wanted to make a federal case out of it. He insulted her and attacked me, so I gave him a case of smashed ribs to deal with.” She gives him a careful scrutiny then nods again. While she's not happy about it she accepts it was needed because she knows he's not an aggressive person. She starts to relax back into her chair when his next comment makes her stand up and stare at him. “I hope you don't mind, but I'd like a birthday party this year. Starting at ten in the morning on Saturday and running until late evening, if possible. Probably have a couple of hundred people after you and Dad invite all of your friends, work colleagues, and the families in the area. I'll foot the bill to make it a good bash, if need be. The backyard is more than big enough for it, especially if you get Aunt Mary to let us flow over into her pool.”
He'd been passing through the lounge room at a slow walk while he talks, but he halts and turns back when Lucy says, “Freeze, Mister. What's going on? Who are you, and where's my son? You haven't wanted a birthday party since you were ten years old, so why such a big bash with so many people attending?”
“I figure it's a good way to get to know people at school while you and Dad can use it to start your socialisation with your crowds, so can Lee and Tom. It'll help us all settle in quicker. And the bigger the crowd the less likely they are to notice if I vanish during the party for a short period to rest or be alone with someone. Since we've the space we can make it a big bash to include all of the neighbours and make it a real event. Make like we're just using my birthday as the pretext for a big party. I'd like it to run all day and into the evening, finishing between eight and ten at night. I'd been planning to have one for me and my friends, but walking home I thought it might be better to make it a mega party and include yours and Dad's contacts etcetera. Make it a family meeting all the locals thing. If we both put money to it we can make it a major do and have the food catered for, so you and Dad can mingle.”
“OK, that sounds like a very good idea, and I really love the idea of caterers, but it's going to be costly.”
“You may want to check with the trustee, but I've still got about five grand available for this current quarter. So three or four grand from me for the party shouldn't be an issue. I'm pretty sure I could get more if needed, since I've never spent out my allowed level in any quarter, yet.”
With wide eyes and a slack jaw she drops back into the lounge, “You really do mean this to be a mega bash, don't you? OK, but we have to let Tom and Lee know this is happening and you're paying for it, plus they can invite up to twenty-five people each, if they want. OK?” He nods his agreement and moves toward the stairs while she reaches for the phone to call Henry.
On the next level he checks, and finds both Lee and Tom in their rooms - Lee is on the phone. He knocks on Tom's door and stands in the open doorway, a subtle way of indicating Tom has control of this space. When Tom slips his headphones off Ernie asks him to join him for a talk with Lee. They both go to Lee's room and stand in the open doorway until invited in. She's on the phone, but facing the door, thus she can see them. She waves them in while she tells her friend she'll call them back later. After putting the phone handset down she flicks the phone over to the built in answering machine. Ernie motions for them both to sit on the bed while he sits on the chair at her desk.