British girl Sophie has moved the USA for a gap year adventure, and finds herself working as mother’s help for a young couple. The problem is, she’s developed a massive crush on the husband Tom, and can’t stop fantasising about him. In fact, she’s obsessed, her crush alighting an inquenchable lust inside her. Knowing she would never do anything to break up a marriage, Sophie turns her attention to local boy Danny, who’s shown some interest in her. But when she finds out that maybe everything isn’t as it seems in her employers’ marriage, she may be in with a chance with Tom after all. Horny Sophie finally makes her fantasies come true one night during a wild thunderstorm – but who does she lose her innocence to? Tom or Danny?
I’d fallen into the job by accident, and I’d fallen in love with the wrong man not long after. Sighing, I stirred my tea mindlessly and watched him through the window as he raked leaves in the back yard. Earlier, I’d offered to help, but he’d insisted I relax, since it was Saturday and my day off. He was nice like that.
It’s not like Tom was movie star good looking or anything. In fact, if you looked at his individual features, you probably wouldn’t rate him as much above average. Medium height and build, brown eyes, eyebrows a little too bushy, a slightly crooked nose that I guess had been broken when he was younger, a small chip in his front tooth, and sandy hair that wasn’t quite straight and had a tendency to stick up at the back. But adding all those elements together, for me, produced an intoxicating overall result. A face that I daydreamed about way too much. For the first time in my life, I had a serious crush.
Propping the rake against a tree, he bent down and started scooping the pile of leaves into a garden bag, trying unsuccessfully to grab the ones that the wind whipped away from him. I giggled and put a hand to my mouth. Damn, his butt looked good in those jeans. Taking a sip of my tea I realised it had gone tepid while I daydreamed so I tipped it down the sink, put my cup in the dishwasher, and tried to tear my eyes away from Tom and decide what to do with the rest of my day off. For the past few weeks, since arriving here, my friend Annie and I have gone out together to explore the town and once we’d even ventured further – into Boston itself. But today Annie was working overtime, helping out during a big family get together her employers were having, and I was left to my own devices.
Annie thinks I’m mad, fancying Tom. She can’t see it at all; she says he’s okay but way too old. Sure, he’s ten years older than me, but what’s ten years in the grand scheme of things? Completing his task, Tom had put the bag of leaves and rake away in the shed and was walking towards the back door. Realising I was still staring at him, I jumped back, fiddling with items on the countertop to look busy.
“The wind’s really getting up out there, I think there’s a storm coming in,” Tom said, pushing the door closed behind him and shrugging off his jacket. “You should probably stay in, stay safe. We don’t want you getting caught up in a tempest now, do we?” he grinned and looked up at me, shaking his hair to rid it of the random leaves that had got caught in there.
Never mind out there, I felt like there was a tempest brewing right inside me. His voice had an immediate affect on me, causing a pang in my stomach, a weakness in my knees. It wasn’t just that yummy American accent – I’d heard loads of those since I got here and they didn’t all cause me to react like this – if they did, that would be extremely inconvenient! No, it was just him. It was that slightly gravelly quality to his voice, that way he had of looking into my eyes when he spoke, making it seem like I was the only person in the world and that he really cared about me.
“Yeah you’re probably right,” I agreed. “I didn’t really make any plans today anyway, I might just chill in my room, read or watch some movies or something.” Why did I always sound like a dim teenager when I spoke to him? I couldn’t seem to come across as sophisticated no matter how hard I tried.
“Hey Sophie, you don’t need to hide away in your room. I told you, you make yourself at home. Watch your movies in the lounge, make yourself comfortable. There some popcorn in the cupboard – and order some pizza tonight too, my treat,” he said, and rubbed my shoulder. I swear held it there for a few seconds longer than you would just a friend, just an employee. Oh God, did he know what he was doing to me? Just the slightest touch made me feel like jelly. And the thought of us watching movies together, snuggled on the couch, sharing a big bowl of popcorn, sharing a pizza…
“Oh, well, okay, thanks,” I mumbled.
“Jody won’t be home ‘til late and I’m taking Ella to visit the folks so you’ll have the place to yourself,” he pulled a face to indicate that visiting the folks was a necessary but not particularly enjoyable task. “Talking of Ella, it’s probably time I woke her from her nap.” Grabbing an apple from the fruit bowl he gave me a final smile before leaving the room.
Oh yes, I should probably explain – Jody is Tom’s wife and Ella is their two year old daughter who they hired me to help with looking after, as well as light housework and cooking duties. Yes, I’m the mother’s help. I know, I know – it’s totally wrong that I’m lusting after my married employer, but I can’t help how I feel, can I? I figured that as long as I kept it a secret, and any passion between us remained in my imagination, nobody would get hurt. I would never make a move on a married man; women who do that are, in my opinion, the lowest of the low.
Not that Tom and his wife seemed particularly married, if you know what I mean. I’d rarely seen them together – she has some big shot job in marketing in the city and, like this weekend, was often away at conferences and stuff, and he works from his home office as an architect. In fact, I should probably be called the father’s help, since he’s the one who seems to be home all the time and actually does stuff around the house. On the rare occasion that I have seen them together, they talk like acquaintances or at the very best, friends. But still, that’s none of my business, they’re married and it’s a no go area.
At least in my imagination I can fantasise about him falling in love with me, fancying me as much as I fancy him, and he can’t outright reject me because of my age. I’m only eighteen, you see, which I know some nearly thirty year olds would consider to be really young, but I’m always being told I’m mature for my age.
I came to the states with Annie from our home in the UK to spend a year working in a wilderness camp here in New England, but it had been closed down soon after we arrived due to some kind of health and safety issue. Not wanting our long planned dreams of gap year adventures to be over before they began, we’d sought local employment, despite the qualms of our parents. Well, we already had our visas sorted, and we were right here, it seemed silly to waste the opportunity right?
Luckily, the company that had arranged our wilderness camp jobs in the first place had helped us out and hooked us both up with our current positions with families in the same small town just out of Boston. Annie’s family were a bit older – a couple in their forties, with three children. I’d lucked out with the gorgeous Tom and little Ella, who really was angelic and an absolute pleasure to look after. I couldn’t say much about Jody, since I’d not really spent much time with her in the four weeks since I’d started here, but unlike her husband who was friendly and chatty, she kept it professional and talked to me she was strictly an employer. I didn’t take it personally –she spoke the same way to the cleaning lady who came in twice a week too. Still, I wasn’t complaining, I was here and it was easy work.
The doorbell rang, and I waited a second to see if Tom would answer it, but when he didn’t come downstairs, I walked down out to the large entrance hall and opened it myself.
“Oh, hey Danny,” I said, surprised to see him there. “What are you doing here? I mean, I didn’t expect…”
“I know, I hope you don’t mind me calling by. I was on my way home from the work and driving by your street, I thought I’d see if you wanted to grab lunch or something?” he smiled.
When Annie had hooked up with Danny’s friend Zach last weekend while we were out in town, I’d kind of been left with no choice but to chat to Danny. I mean, he seemed like a nice guy, we’d spent ages comparing our different cultures and school experiences while Annie and Zach were exploring each other’s tonsils – really, my friend has no shame at all.
Danny was actually pretty funny too, and kind of cute, with reddish brown hair and a smattering of freckles across his now, a wide-open friendly face and big green eyes. On paper, he would be great boyfriend material, but there just wasn’t anything there between us, nothing more than a potential friendship, anyway – and you couldn’t fake it, right?
“Well, you know what, I didn’t have anything else to do. Sure, why not,” I replied. I’d vowed I’d be friendly and open to meeting people while I was in America. It was part of the reason I’d wanted to travel in the first place – to get more confidence, come out of my shell a bit.
“Oh, well it’s nice to know I’m at least good enough when there are no other options!”
“I totally did not mean that how it came out,” I laughed and opened the door wider, “here, come in. I’ll get my coat and stuff. Looks pretty serious out there.”
“Yeah it is, it’s not raining yet but I think it will later – wrap up warm. I think there’s a storm coming in. I’m driving so we won’t be outside, I thought we could drive over to Willingham and go to the diner. The movie theatre’s right next door if you fancy catching a movie after?” Willingham, I’d discovered since living here,
“Now that sounds like a plan. I was just wondering what to do with my day off.”
He stepped inside the entrance hall just as Tom came downstairs with Ella, all wrapped up in her coat and ready to go.
“Hey Elly-Belly,” I said, taking the little blonde toddler into my arms when she reached out for me. My hands grazed against Tom as I did so and he smiled at me, setting those butterflies loose in my stomach. “I hear you’re going for a little visit to Granny and Grandpa’s?” I said.
She nodded her head very seriously, little blonde curls bouncing. “You come Gwanny Gwanpa’s with us?” she asked.
“Not today sweetie, but I will be here when you get back and I’ll tell you the mermaid story again if you like?” She grinned and nodded her head again. I could see Tom watching us with a smile.
“Hey Danny. How’s Dougie doing?” Tom asked, seeming to only just notice Danny standing by the door. Being such a small town, I guess everyone really did know everyone. It was like I’d moved straight into one of the American family movie’s I’d grown up watching and loved so much.
“He’s great Sir, still living it up in the big smoke.”
“Well you tell him I said hey when you speak to him next. You guys really going out in this?” He asked, a slight frown on his face as he glanced through the glass in the door. Charcoal clouds were gathering and the trees in the front yard were being whipped into a frenzy, russet leaves dancing up in the air and then down to the ground with each gust.
“Will do sir. Yes, we were just going to head out and grab some lunch and maybe catch a movie over in Willingham. I’ll drive safely sir and I’ll get her home in one piece, I promise.”
“Well you make sure you do,” Tom replied, but he was looking at me, not Danny. My heart sped up. “You wrap up warm, and be careful out there.”
As he took Ella back from me – not before she had hugged me tight and told me she’d miss me – I definitely sensed something fun in his gaze, something intense. It was almost like he didn’t want me to go out with Danny. Like he was jealous or something, but that was completely crazy – I was letting my imagination, and maybe my hopes, get carried away with me. I felt a flush of shame. Here was this man trying to look out for me and make sure I was safe while I was living under his roof and in a strange country, and here I was fantasizing about him – a husband and father – being in love with me. Sometimes I didn’t like myself very much.
I scurried to my room to get my stuff, and when I returned, Tom and Ella had left, and I’d vowed to myself to start acting like a normal teenager and go out and have a good time. I needed to get over this crazy infatuation. Who knew, with some time alone together maybe something might even blossom between Danny and me.
The clouds still hadn’t broken by the time we left the cinema later that afternoon, but they’d gathered like an army ready to do battle, stealing the light from the day. The wind seemed to have calmed down though, and there was an eerie calm as we wandered towards the parking lot (see, I was already picking up the local terminology!).
“Seriously though, you would have to be insane to get back in the water after getting bitten by that thing,” Danny said, shaking his head.
“So you’d prefer to just lay on the rock and die rather than fight the shark? You big pussy,” I teased.
We walked through the main street in the town, past stores and café’s closing up for the night. It was really a fluke that I happened to glance to my left right at that moment, just as we were passing a posh looking hotel. When I first glimpsed the couple kissing in the doorway, I thought ah, how sweet, look how in love they are. Then they stopped kissing for a second and looked at each other, smitten, laughing at something one of them had said, and it registered – I knew that woman.
With her distinctive long red hair flowing from under the white cashmere hat she’d left the house in the previous night, I don’t know how I didn’t realize straight away. It was Jody – Tom’s wife and Ella’s mum. Instinctively I ducked my head and walked fast so she wouldn’t notice me, but she turned away from me anyway, walking into the hotel hand in hand with the man – a tall grey haired guy in an expensive looking suit and overcoat.
“Yep, that’s me. In fact, I wouldn’t have been in the water in the first place. It’s unnatural,” Danny said, and I tried to think of something witty to say back but my mind was blank, spinning with what I’d seen. I just laughed instead so he didn’t think I’d just completely blanked him.
Danny had been making me laugh all afternoon. The banter was fun and the conversation had flowed easily through lunch, even in the cinema he’d made me giggle with his whispered commentary. I still didn’t feel any attraction to him, not in an I want to rip your clothes off kind of way, but I really enjoyed his company, and that was a good start. Maybe the attraction would blossom – hell, maybe he wasn’t attracted to me either and I was just being horribly conceited even thinking that way.
The drive home was pleasant, but quiet. I watched the vast country sky darkening with the storm clouds and the approaching night, and tried to respond with all the right noises in all the right places as Danny chatted away to me, but my head couldn’t stop replaying what I’d seen. What was I going to do? Should I tell Tom that his wife was having an affair? No, no way – that was a bad idea. It was not my place to get involved in their marital affairs. Maybe I could just pretend I hadn’t see it at all. In fact maybe I’d been mistaken. Surely there are a lot of red haired women out there with white hats? By the time we arrived back at the house I’d convinced myself I had been wrong, and had determinedly pushed it to the back of my mind.
“Looks like nobody’s home yet,” Danny noted as he pulled up outside. The lights were all out despite the descending darkness, and neither of my employer’s cars were parked in the driveway. “Will you be alright in there alone? Not going to have any shark nightmares now are ya?”
“Hey, I’m the brave one. You’re the pussy remember,” I pretended to punch him in the arm. “I’ll be fine. Will you be alright driving home alone? That’s the more pertinent question.”
“Actually no, I’m not at all sure I will. I keep having flashbacks of those teeth,” Danny put his hand over his eyes dramatically.
“Well, I was planning to watch a movie and stuff my face with pizza before you called round earlier. Fancy joining me? We could watch a comedy and push those images of blood and ripped flesh out of our minds.” I don’t know why I suggested that he come in, the words just came out of my mouth on impulse, but it may have had something to do with wanting to keep myself distracted and Danny with his constant stream of chatter would definitely be good at that.
An hour later we were sprawled at opposite ends the sofa in the lounge, stuffed with pizza and popcorn and half way through watching Spy. Between Danny’s banter and Melissa McCarthy’s comedic skills, my stomach and cheeks hurt from laughing so much, and cheating wives and hot husbands were the furthest thing from my mind.
It was as the closing credits were rolling that the heavens opened and the rain started to lash outside, and it seemed to be accompanied by a sudden chill. Sitting up straight, I pulled the fluffy throw from the back of the sofa and wrapped it around myself.
“Mind if I share?” Danny asked, and moved towards my end of the sofa, tucking himself under the cover so we were sitting next to each other. I really wanted to feel something as the side of his body pressed against mine, to feel even a fraction of the buzz I felt when Tom’s hand brushed me accidently, but nothing, just cozy. Maybe I needed to try harder, to put more effort in to get over my pointless crush.
It was almost as if Danny read my mind, just as I turned my face towards him, he turned towards me and our lips met in a kiss. I haven’t kissed many boys, I’ll admit. I’ve always been kind of shy, and apart from a boy I was seeing for a few weeks at college a couple of years previously, who turned out to be a bit of a nutter, and a guy who had snogged me on my first night out drinking, my experience was zilch. However, I expected to feel something. This was just okay. After just a few seconds Danny pulled back and looked at me with a rueful smile.
“You’re just not that into me are you?”
“Oh hey, no, I really like you I do…”
“No, it’s ok, you don’t have to explain. I get it.”
“Danny, you’re a great guy and I love your company, but I’ll be honest, I’m kind of getting over a, a thing with someone.” Oh God, what possessed me to say that? I shut my mouth before I poured out my whole sorry crush and made myself sound like a freaky stalker or something.
“You know what? I think we’re going to be great friends. We don’t need to be anything more than that. I mean, you’re way too brave for me anyway. You’d be in the water fighting the shark while I sat on the rock screaming like a girl.”
“Hey, less of the causal sexism. I think we’ve proved that like a girl is a completely incorrect insult. Seriously though, I hope you don’t think I was leading you on or anything, I didn’t mean to mess you around.”
“Are you kidding? I didn’t ask you out to get you in bed; I wanted to hang out and have a fun afternoon, and I did. I ate burgers, and pizza and popcorn, and watched not one, but two great movies. And I made friend with a cool girl. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon? You are the most interesting thing that’s happened in this sleepy town for very long time.”
Why did he have to be so nice? Why couldn’t I just fall for someone nice and straightforward like Danny? Just then lightning flashed, lighting up the room for an instant, even through the closed blinds, followed quickly by a loud crack of thunder.
“Oh shit, I’d better get home before it gets worse,” Danny said.
“Really? Are you sure? Shouldn’t you wait it out here or something? It might be kind of dangerous to drive in.”
“This storm isn’t going anywhere for a while, trust me. It’s been brewing all day, it’s hanging around for a bit. Anyway, I only live two streets away, I’ll be fine.”
“Well okay, if you’re sure, but promise to text me when you get there won’t you?”
Another flash of lightning and another crash of thunder, then the rain started drumming against the window even louder.
“I promise. Thanks for today. Friend.” Danny winked and smiled and held out his arms for a hug, and I leaned over and let him wrap his arms around me, grateful that he’d not made things awkward.
“Thanks for being so cool about everything,” I said, squeezing him and squishing my face into his chest. “I’m glad we can be friends.”
“Ha – say that again when you’ve got to know me properly and I start driving you mad.”
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize you had company,” came Tom’s voice from the doorway. I looked up to see him holding a sleeping Ella in his arms, a frown on his face, before retreating towards the stairs. A pang of guilt flashed through me, as if I’d been caught doing something wrong.
“Well he seems grumpy. That’ll be my cue to leave,” Danny whispered, standing. So I hadn’t imagined Tom’s offish air then? Danny had noticed it too.
Danny gathered his things and then ran into the rainy night.
“Can I help you with anything?” I whispered from the doorway of Ella’s room, though Tom seemed to have everything in order. He’d got Ella changed into her pyjamas without even waking her and was just tucking her into her bed.
“No it’s fine, I’ve got this, you go back to your visitor.” He didn’t even look up at me as he spoke, and I could definitely sense something tense in the air.
“Oh, he’s gone home. We were just watching a movie. I hope you don’t mind, you said to make myself at home, I thought it would be okay.”
“Of course it’s okay. This is your home too now. You can do what you want with your days off,” he said, his voice softening a little.
“Okay, thanks, well I’m going to go clean up a bit and put the kettle on.”
Ten minutes later I’d tidied the lounge, cleared away all the debris of our move watching, loaded the dishwasher, checked my phone to make sure Danny had got home okay – he had – and was making myself a cup of tea, gazing out into the night, when Tom came into the kitchen. The storm seemed to have moved away for now, leaving behind just the driving rain.
“Listen, I’m sorry, I was rude before. How was your day?” he asked, without further explanation for his bad mood. He walked over and leaned back against the counter next to me. Yep, there they were, those sparks that just didn’t fly between Danny and I were just firing off all over the place when Tom was near me, it made it hard to think straight.
“Oh, it was great thanks, a bit of a movie and eating fest really. But fun, nice to relax. How about yours?” I asked, still feeling like something was a little off between us, like he was forcing himself to be polite. Maybe I’d overstepped the mark bringing Danny back here, despite what Tom had said?
“Ugh, the usual. I swear my parents think I’m still fourteen – though they do adore Ella and she adores them back, but they spoil her so much, she was exhausted, asleep the minute we got in the car.”
“Cup of tea?” I asked, as I poured water into mine.
“Sure, go on then, thanks,” Tom answered. “So – you and Danny Hartley huh?” he added quickly, looking down at his toes.
“Oh no, no, not like that, we’re just friends.”
“Really? It sure looked like more than friends when I walked in before.”
“Oh yeah, yes, I can see how that might have looked. But honestly, there’s nothing between us.” I wasn’t sure why I was defending myself so vehemently, but it seemed important to me that Tom believed me.
“Listen, this is going to sound crazy, I know, and I’m not even sure why I’m saying it,” Tom started, still not looking at me, but looking down at his feet. “But I didn’t like seeing you with Danny when I walked in.”
“Oh, I know, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have bought someone back into your home without asking permission. That was rude, I won’t do that again.”
“No, no, that’s not what I meant. I told you, this is your home. You have friend back whenever you like. No, what I mean is, seeing you and him on the sofa like that, I thought you… it made me realize how much I…” he sighed and looked up, finally making eye contact with me. “It made me jealous.”
I was stunned, my head spinning. Had he really just said what I thought he’d said? He was jealous when he thought I was with Danny. But that made no sense. I opened my mouth, but wasn’t sure what to say. That was when Tom turned his body towards me, put his hand behind my head, leaned down, and kissed me.
His mouth was so tender on mine, his tongue gently parting my lips and probing, as his other hand went to the small of my back, pulling me towards him as he kissed me softly. Fireworks went off in my body. I melted into him, and so did my brain. For a moment I just kissed him back, unable to think, to comprehend.
Oh My God, this was exactly what I’d dreamed of for so long, but a million times better. Was this real? Or had I fallen asleep and was dreaming it? Tom – the man I’d fantasised about since the moment I’d laid eyes on him, the man whose face had taken up permanent residence in my mind, the only man who filled my head when I masturbated even though I knew I could never have him – was he really kissing me? Did he really say he was jealous of Danny when he thought we were together?
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