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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, events, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. All characters are over the age of 18. No animals were harmed in the writing of this story.
Hello again. This is another young man/older woman story. Fair warning, the first quarter of the story is a bit of a slog as I set up the characters and the setting. It’s not dull, but it’s not sexy. I’ll not apologize, this is the way I tell a story. Take it or leave it. I will tell you though, it’s worth the time. I promise you. Like my first story, it is sexy and sweet, and romantic. I hope you enjoy it.
I graduated this year with my bachelor’s degree. That glorious piece of paper, the one that opens all doors and guarantees a prosperous and happy life. Right? I also graduated with absolutely no forward plan whatsoever. I moved out of the dorms and in with a couple of married friends, Bill and Connie. My rent money helped ease their just-starting-out troubles. I wasn’t ready to move home yet, so I figured I’d see what opportunities I could find here, based on my interests. Which are mostly, games.
I grew up on Dungeons and Dragons and other games like it. My stepdad started me on it in the second grade. With it, he helped teach me, reading, writing, and adding small numbers in my head which gave me a leg up in math. It also helped this awkward geeky kid find friends. Not long after my parents split, my stepdad opened a small hobby shop right next door to the ladies-only fitness gym, that my mom and aunt, own. That’s how they met. So, you could say that I grew up in fitness and hobbies in equal measure. I hung about mom’s gym until it was obvious that I’d reached the age to be “distracted” by the women in the gym. After that, I spent my weekends and after school in my stepdad’s hobby store. When I reached employable age, he put me on the payroll and taught me the business.
I have great parents. Doug and Nellie Wakefield. Both of them are in their second marriage. I was adopted as a baby, by my mother and her first husband. I was dropped off at a fire station by an unwed mother. I don’t remember my adopted father, and he’s got no interest in knowing me. That’s fine. Doug has always been all the father I’ve needed. The first guy only signed some papers. Doug and Nellie live about ninety miles north of the college in Bolton.
Mom and Dad told me that at some point both businesses would wind up with me, so some business education would be wise. So, with no other plans for my future, I pursued a bachelor’s degree in business, specializing in entrepreneurship.
When I got to college, the first thing I did was scout out the local gaming and hobby stores within bicycle distance from my dorm. There were a few and when I had time, frequented them often. By senior year I’d moved up to a scooter and my range increased. So, when my schedule opened, I decided to check out the hobby stores further away. That was how I discovered Hobby Haven on a fine sunny Saturday.
It was an old brick, stand-alone building, built sometime before the first men landed on the moon. I noted the brand name logos on the front window. Lionel, AMT, Monogram, Estes, Parker Brothers. I went in and was struck by the smell of age. The walls were plaster and lathe and were covered with handmade wooden shelving, floor to ceiling. Terrific workmanship. After glancing around, my first thought was, “Geez, I just stepped through a portal into 1985.”
From the front door, I did a quick look around. I saw model kits of all sorts. Planes, cars, spaceships, and wooden boat kits. There was an expansive model train section. Model rocketry was well represented as well as jigsaw puzzles. Not a collectible card game, figurine, mecha kit, or role-playing game to be found. Not even remote control cars, or planes. That stuff has been in hobby stores worldwide for 30+ years. This place was a real relic. And aside from myself and the woman at the counter, there was no one in the store.
I approached the counter and the woman looked up at me and smiled. I caught my breath. She was incredibly beautiful. Her lovely blonde hair was cut shoulder length and hung to frame her face just perfectly. Her makeup seemed minimal, but she wore pink eye shadow and lipstick. I had a hard time not staring at her lips. Every male instinct called for me to kiss her immediately. She had a lean athletic build but was just hippy and busty enough to avoid being called skinny. She was somewhere in her late 40’s, I figured. And tall. In her two-inch heels, we were eye to eye. The thing I found the most attractive was that she was wearing a dress. A lovely pink day dress that had ruffles at the hem and the sleeves. That’s something you just don’t see very often anymore. Tüyap escort bayan It’s odd to find an industry that hasn’t gone to “business casual” attire, or something even more relaxed. The woman looked just terrific in it.
To my surprise, she was unboxing cartons of Pokémon cards.
“Wow. Those really look out of place in here.” I said as I approached.
She looked up and me and smiled wistfully. “Don’t I know it? I’m sure my husband is spinning in his grave. But I just HAVE to bring in some new customers.”
I looked at the woman. Man, she was easy to look at. She had gorgeous blue eyes.
“Shouldn’t be too hard. You are smack dab in the middle of suburbia. I passed two schools less than a mile from here. With a little marketing and updating your products, this place could be very successful.”
The woman’s face showed near desperate interest in what I had said.
“You know hobby stores?”
I smiled. “Oh yeah. I practically grew up in my stepdad’s shop in Bolton. I worked there for six years and I just graduated with a degree in entrepreneurial business.”
The woman smiled and extended a shapely hand. “I’m Debbie Haskins. Hobby Haven, owner, and proprietor.”
I shook her hand. “I am Ben Wakefield. Recent college graduate.” I spoke in a mock high society voice, with a smile, tipping an imaginary hat.
Debbie giggled charmingly. I liked her immediately.
“Very cute, young man.” Debbie looked at me excitedly. “You don’t perhaps need a job, do you?”
“As a matter of fact, I do.”
Her face grew hopeful. “I’ve just gotten a small business loan to revamp this place and most of it is going towards new products. I couldn’t pay much at first. Minimum wage and say… thirty hours a week?”
“I will agree to that for… the first two months,” I responded. “After that, we can revisit the agreement, based on the revenue increase I help generate.”
The woman smiled and stuck out her hand again. “Deal! I am very glad you stopped by.”
We spent the next month cleaning, organizing, boxing, and doing all manner of physical work, getting the store ready for a reopening. Being raised in my mom’s gym, I’ve learned to appreciate being in good shape. I’m 5’10” and broad in the chest and shoulders. I look more like a halfback than a gaming nerd. I’ve got a swarthy complexion, black wavy hair, and dark brown eyes.
At first, Debbie wore her usual dresses, or blouse/skirt combos, and where this kept me happy, she quickly realized that jeans and a t-shirt were more appropriate for this work. But she still looked so hot in that too.
As the new stock came in, we moved old stock that hadn’t been good sellers in years, out. At first, we put the old stuff in the store room, but eventually, we sold it to online vendors that specialized in such things. The only merchandise that Debbie wouldn’t part with, were the trains. Her late husband Chris had inherited the store from his dad and the two of them had put their heart and soul into the train section, even constructing a very impressive electric train layout in H/O scale. Everything else went.
After the first month, you couldn’t recognize the inside of the store. There were racks of mecha model kits, where the model airplanes had been. Old wall shelves now held a great selection of role-playing games and associated merchandise. We had Wi-Fi installed. Easily pilferable items were kept in locked cases that Chris had full of old models that he’d built over the years. It was tough on Debbie, removing all these things that her husband had loved, but when it came right down to it, the store was in trouble because the things that were popular in 1990, really aren’t anymore. The store was failing and had been doing so for some time.
Most distributors of modern hobby merchandise offer advertising kits, full of posters and stickers for just a few dollars. Once the Pokémon posters were put up in the front windows, the kids came in. We put up folding tables and chairs so the customers could play games in the store and added snack and drink vending machines. We got good feedback from parents. They felt fairly safe that their kids hung about here. No bars close by, and a fire station was only a block away.
As we worked, Debbie and I talked a lot. She had no other family in the area and had been alone since Chris died 14 months ago. She seemed very happy to have someone to talk to. She had a quick wit and an open manner and I was immediately drawn to her. She seemed interested in me, and asked about my family, my classes, and if I had a girlfriend. I’d had a high school girlfriend that I had been serious about. We swore we’d be true to one another as we went off to college, but that didn’t last the year. Since then, I had a couple of friends-with-benefits situations while at school and some flings when I went home for the summers, Escort Tüyap but nothing serious.
What surprised me more than anything, was how quickly we became close. I suppose working closely and alone, sharing meals and personal stories, with just about anyone would do that, but it was more than that. I was just so comfortable around her. She was so mature, experienced, and well put together compared to girls my age. While we worked and talked, there was an inordinate amount of eye contact. She caught me looking at her pretty frequently. I caught her occasionally too. It would usually just end in a smile and getting back to work. Other times we’d look into each other’s eyes from ten feet away, for five seconds or more. Then she’d blush and look away. But she looked back in just a moment or two. There was a connection building and I was pretty sure we both felt it.
The store building was a decent size, with plenty of floor space. There was a customer restroom, an office, an employee restroom, and a storeroom. There was a roped-off staircase in the corner, that led up to an attic. One peculiar thing was the main aisle that ran from the front of the store to the office area. It was unusually narrow. Debbie and I often joked about it, saying we ought to get that sorted. One person with a box or hand cart could get down it with no issues, but two people passing while carrying something, would have difficulty.
About six weeks into my employment, I concluded that I was falling for my lovely blonde boss. She was always in my head. I couldn’t stop looking at her in the store. The dresses, blouses, and skirts she wore were so feminine and attractive. She had terrific long legs and the greatest smile. One afternoon, I took my shot. I didn’t plan it; I just saw an opportunity and seized the moment.
After the store had closed, I headed back to the storeroom with a box under my arm. Debbie came out of the office carrying another. We smiled at each other, knowing it would be a squeeze to get by one another. We shifted our packages and passed eye-to-eye.
“Fortune favors the bold.” I thought to myself. I reached out with my left hand and caught her hip, stopping both of us. Our eyes met. I waited for two Mississippi and then I leaned in and kissed her. I held the kiss for another two Mississippi and then stepped back. I felt her lips pursed just a little. Debbie’s eyes were wide with surprise, but not anger, I was happy to note. She made a strange little high pitch “hmm” sound in her throat and gently removed my hand from her hip. Then she looked away and continued down the aisle.
I wasn’t sure what response I was expecting, but that wasn’t it. “Way to go, Ben, you blew it.”
We continued closing the store in silence. As we gathered our things to step out the back door, she stopped.
“You know, I’ve seen how you look at me. And the kiss today… that’s sexual harassment. In a company, I could report you to HR.” She looked me in the eye.
I stepped up to her, toe to toe. “Yep. You are right. Maybe you should fire me.” It was a gamble, I knew, but there was an emotional connection beginning between us, I knew it in my heart.
Debbie and I stood there, close enough to feel the heat of her body, and smell the scent of her skin. Then, rather unexpectedly, she touched my face with her hand and leaned in and kissed me softly. After about four seconds, she broke the kiss and looked down at my chest. “What do you want from me?”
I softly put my right hand on her left triceps. “I want every bit of you,” I whispered.
My response must have surprised her because she met my eyes and I saw the worry in hers.
Debbie stepped back.” You’ve given me a lot to think about.” Then Debbie stepped through the door and nearly ran to her car.
The next day, I didn’t press the issue. As a widow, I figured she probably had feelings that needed processing. I knew eventually she’d figure it out and then I’d either have a job or I wouldn’t. We went back to work as if nothing had happened.
That night, a new wrinkle appeared. Bill and Connie, my roomies, gave me some happy/sad news. With somber faces, they told me that Connie was ten weeks pregnant. I was very happy for them, but I knew what was next.
“We need to get started on the nursery. So, you’ll need to find another place. You have another week left this month. If you can’t find a place, we could go another month, but that’s it.” Bill said. “I’m sorry to do this.”
I rose and hugged them both. “I’ll get on it right now. No hard feelings.” Truthfully, I was a bit worried, but as it turned out I hadn’t needed to be.
I mentioned my upcoming dilemma to Debbie the next afternoon.
“I’m going to spend Monday looking for a new place.” The store was closed Sunday and Monday. This is pretty common in the small business retail world.
Debbie looked thoughtful for a minute and then said, Tüyap Escort “Come with me.”
I followed her to the rear corner of the store. She took the chain down from the banisters and led me up the stairs to the attic. Through the door at the top, she walked me into a loft apartment. All the furniture was covered with old sheets and dust. A Motley Crue “Girls, Girls, Girls” poster and a dart board were the only wall decorations.
Debbie turned to me, very business-like. “This was my husband’s apartment while he was in college. Like yours, his dad wanted a degree if Chris was to run the store. If it’s not too primitive, you could stay here if you want.”
I was stunned. “I um… what… what would want for rent?”
Debbie shrugged. “We can work that out when we rediscuss your wages next week.”
I allowed a little hope to creep in. “And… I’m not fired?”
Debbie’s face softened. “No. You’re not fired.” She smiled. “BUT! You have been marked as a troublemaker, so watch your ass.” Then she turned and walked out the door. It was her ass I was watching, as she walked down the stairs, and she knew it. She gave it just a little wiggle when she got to the bottom. She looked up at me and we smiled at each other.
Primitive was the correct word for the room. The room was completely open. A square. The only additional walls were a framed and sheet-rocked area around the commode, with a curtain for privacy. The kitchen, shower, and bedroom were all part of the main room. The open-floor-plan idea, taken to the Nth degree. The furniture was dated but in good shape. I particularly like the overstuffed sofa. The TV was an old tube-style with a rabbit ears antenna. Welcome to 1992.
The next day was Saturday. We were both in terrific moods and we talked and enjoyed the day. That afternoon, she turned to me. “We’re gonna have a third employee for a while. I don’t know how long. My sister-in-law, that is, Chris’ step-sister, is going through a tough divorce and will be staying with me for a while. I’m sorry for the short notice but we just firmed up her plans yesterday”
Debbie lived in a cute little bungalow about a block and a half away. Like the store, it had been Chris’ parent’s home. I’d started taking care of the lawn there a week or so ago.
“I’m going to pick her up at the airport tonight. I’ll need you to close the store. If I call you when we’re nearly home, would you meet us at the house to help with her bags?” Debbie laughed. “She’s a little high maintenance and I’m sure she’s gonna come with every scrap of clothing she owns.”
I smiled back. “Whatever you need”.
Debbie walked up to me and ran her hand down my arm. “Thanks. You’re an ace.”
I had no idea what to expect of our visitor, but in my wildest dreams wouldn’t have imagined this woman. Debbie’s car pulled up, a simple four-door sedan. Bags were piled on top of it, roof and trunk, strapped down with ratchet straps and duct tape. Debbie opened her door, stepped out and our eyes met. She looked at me apologetically.
The passenger door opened and this little spitfire of a woman popped out.
“The WORST flight of my entire life. I’ll never fly that lousy airline again, I assure you. Can you believe they made me wear a t-shirt over my blouse because my neckline was “unacceptable”!? That’s crap! And I abhor flying coach!”
The woman was about five foot, two inches, with long, straight hair as black as a raven’s wing. She wore an electric blue pencil-style dress that showed off her very ample curves. The plunging neckline of her dress showed off her terrifically big boobs. She wore four-inch stiletto heels. “Who travels like this?” I thought. When I fly, I’m all about comfort.
Debbie came around and helped the woman traverse the gravel driveway in her heels. I stepped down off the porch, and the woman noticed me a moment before Debbie introduced me.
“Angie, this is the young man I told you about. Ben, this is my sister-in-law, Angela.”
Angela looked me up and down, lowering her designer eyeglasses to do so.
I extended my hand. “I’m happy to meet you, Angela.” Angela lightly shook my hand while looking down at it.
“My, this boy has some paws, doesn’t he? Look at the size of those hands.”
Debbie met my gaze. With a grin, she replied, “Yes, he does. Oh, and Angie, he kissed me the other day, quite unexpectedly.”
Angela looked up at me, “Did he, now? Was it a good kiss?”
Still smiling at me, Debbie replied, “Not bad. Could use some practice.”
“I’m sure.” Angela tugged on my hand to get my attention. “Okay Kitten, take Auntie Angela’s bags inside. I need to freshen up.” Then she turned and strode into the house as if she owned it, her big beautiful butt moving delightfully in the tight dress.
I looked quizzically at Debbie. “Kitten?”
Debbie laughed. “She takes a bit of getting used to. Please put the bags in the upstairs bedroom on the left. Thanks.” Then she also walked into the house, with quite a lot of wiggle in her walk as well.
I stood on the porch wondering just what the hell had happened. Little did I know that life had turned a very unexpected corner.
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