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  1. Jessica stepped out of the shower,toweled herself dry and admired her naked body in the full length mirror. She liked what she saw. At thirty eight she put a lot of women a decade younger to shame and she knew it. Five foot eleven and a half inches tall and with slender legs,a flat tummy and large breasts that were still firm and full, she felt like a goddess. She had the most perfectly manicured finger nails,to which she applied a silver nail polish. A little blusher,pale lipstick and lots of heavy,dark mascara, just like her mum used to. Today she put her long black hair in a high pony. Next the big jade earrings, they were long and heavy hurting her ears a little. She didn't care,they were so sexy.She wore a black silk blouse,buttoned low to reveal her ample cleavage and a short dark red skirt, a good six inches above the knee. Last she slid into her knee high black leather boots, the ones with the four inch heels. This took her height to three inches over six foot. Intimidating,dominating and spectacular. She picked up her gold purse and inspected her image one more time. Satisfied,she stepped into the hall and closed the door firmly behind her. She sighed deeply, I am ready and then some,she told herself, smirking wickedly as the elevator door obligingly slid open .


    Leo labored under the bonnet of his Holden. I spend more time under the flamin' bonnet than I do bee.ind the flamin' wheel,he muttered to himself.The support struts on the bonnet of Leo's '62 EK special were as tired as the motor and so it slowly closed like a sleepy lizards mouth. As it bumped his head again he shoved it up impatiently and cursed the broiling sun.

    Wot did this heap of shit 'ave ta conk out tadoiy fer! Must be an 'undred an ten in the shade! The bonnet crept down slowly and as he clipped on the distributor cap a sultry voice purred

    “hello Leo.”

    Startled he shot upright,cracking his head on the inside of the bonnet. “Arrgh dammit” he bellowed. Jessica giggled uncontrollably as Leo rubbed his filthy hand across the back of his head. He squinted toward the voice.

    “What way is that to talk to a lady Leo?”

    Feigning concern she added sweetly, “are you alright darlink?”

    “Jessica! ?” His beady eyes bulged and his prominent adam's apple undulated excitedly. Trying to effect an air on nonchalance he casually wiped his hands on an oily rag. “Wot brings you 'ere?”

    She studied him carefully. Hmm....maybe this was a mistake. He stood no more than five three,a hundred pounds in weight,tops. A pointy nose and shifty beady eyes, and to think, this silly little man thought he could have had her mother! And in a moment he will probably think he can have me!

    “Leo” ...she hooded her eyes and slid her index finger slowly in and out of her mouth suggestively,

    “Leo” she approached his slowly, swinging her hips seductively.

    Leo licked his dry lips nervously, “Ya wanna come in Jessica?”

    She disguised her sneer with a warm smile. “Not today Leo” She could feel his disappointment and laying her hand on his arm went on quickly. “I want to ask a big favor Leo.”

    “fava? Wot sorta fava?” he asked, eyes narrowing suspiciously. Jessica's favors always seemed to cost him dearly.The only time I eva see 'er is when she want sumpin he thought bitterly.

    “It's a biggie but I would be so grateful.” Running her fingers lightly down his chest, she repeated huskily, “so grateful Leo.”

    Shuffling his feet in the dry red dust Leo asked, “What kin I do fer ya?”

    “I will come straight to the point Leo", her beautiful green eyes met his sad gray shifty orbs. “I heard you are going to Perth,” and smiling brightly she added, “I want you to take me with you.”

    Leo was gob smacked. She wanted him to take her on a forty eight hour road trip to the west coast! His racing mind filled with erotic fantasies! Was this his lucky day or wot! Never mind the twenty year age difference, he was going to shack up with the hottest sheila in the country!

    Folding his arm he tried to effect a casual air. “Waail Jessica,” pausing he rubbed his pointy nose. ”Yeaaah, I wus plannin ta go soon.” He shrugged his boney shoulders, and raising his eyebrows appeared to come to a decision. Nodding his head vigorously he declared , “yep.I think we kin work sumpin out.”

    “Oh thats wonderful Leo” then glancing at her watch screeched in feigned dismay. “I have to run Leo, I have to go and see uncle Aaro, it is very important.I will be in touch soon, and I promise, you won't regret it!” She cast a critical eye over the Holden, “ please tell me we won't be going in that thing! she added dismissively ”

    “Oh ,na not the 'Olden, I'm gonna borra me mates Nis..”

    “Thats great Leo” Cutting him off abruptly she slid quickly behind the wheel of her own car. "Gotta go Leo"

    I 'ave an “orrible feelin 'bout this 'ole thing Leo muttered as he watched Jessica vanish in a cloud of dust . C Gainsford (c) copyright Dec 2009


    • Vic was nervous and still upset. He felt guilty about Doms death. If only he had listened to Lydia Dom would still be alive. He should have known Dom would do something crazy like this. The whole family knew he was so in love with Lydia, even Aaron. “Yes,” Vic nodded to himself,”even Aaron.” Vic wondered to himself if Jackie had known or at least suspected Dom’s true feelings. Well she sure knew them now! “Dom, Dom, I never dreamed you would blow your brains out over my stupid sister.” Vic shook his head helplessly and sat down to wait.
    He hated waiting. He hardly knew Jackie, what would he say? The words he had rehearsed over and over during the flight now seemed glib. How about, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Shit! You have been watching to many cop shows! He saw her then, pale and drawn, yet at once erect and brave. Jackie was determined to hide her tears from him! Shaking hands formally they stood awkwardly looking at one another, still holding hands, like shy lovers. “Jackie…I…I am….” She saw the real compassion and the pain in his eyes and her own pain hit her, hard and raw! She threw her arms around him and cried softly. The Viking warrior in him would not allow his own tears to come. Instead he held her silently, protectively in his strong arms. Slowly she stopped crying and stepped back quickly. I’m sorry Vic, I didn’t mean to embarrass you with foolish tears.” In truth the bustling crowds had paid then no attention, they were, perhaps, reunited lovers. Her eyes started to glisten again and he said quickly…”hey, how about a coffee? ” He winced at the irrelevant stupidity of his question but Jackie, caught by surprise laughed! Such a ridiculous question under the circumstances! Seeing the concern in his eyes, she warmed to him, he is a kind man, she thought. “Alright Vic, why not?” She smiled for the first time in a long time.

    The funeral was a dreadful event, as funerals usually are. It was held in a small chapel in Pinaroo memorial park.a beautiful place with not a headstone in sight. Instead a brass plaque set about an inch below the grass level marks each grave, so from a short distance, undetectable, . There would be no such plaque for Dom, no gravesite. Cremation was his preference, he always said the worms would not get him! There was about two hundred people present, great support for Jackie, though Dom was quiet he was also well liked. A middle-aged man with an appropriately solemn face and black suit conducted the ceremony. As he spoke the coffin silently lowered out of site, to the furnace. Afterward everyone offered their condolences then sipped tea, ate cake and chatted, about Dom, about the weather and other mundane things. Some cried but not many. One by one they had a final word of comfort for the widow and went back to their own lives. Dom already a fading memory.

    Jackie invited Vic to dinner that evening, she felt the need of company other than her well intentioned but cloying family. He got a taxi to a local bottle shop and picked up a bottle of Verdelho, a nice light and fruity table wine, He hoped she would like it. Hearing a knock at the door Jackie quickly checked her appearance in the mirror, and satisfied, opened the door to greet her guest. “Hello Jackie, I am a little early, hope that’s OK” he smiled. Smelling the beautiful aroma wafting through from the kitchen his mouth watered, he hadn’t realized how hungry he was, and it smelt so good! “Hi Vic” she noticed the wine in his hand, how thoughtful of him! “Better early than a burnt dinner” she joked, laughing nervously, “does that need to go in the fridge?” “The fridge?” Vic looked blank for a moment, “Oh! Um,”he held the bottle out to her. “I don’t know he stuttered shyly” “Well she smiled” perhaps I will pop it in for a little while.”

    She ushered him into the lounge, went quickly to the kitchen, putting the wine in the fridge, calling “dinner will be ready in about ten minutes.” It was a wonderful meal, roast lamb, roast potatoes, peas, gravy and mint sauce, followed by an incredible apple pie and semi-warm wine. She has gone to a lot of trouble,Vic thought. After dinner Vic insisted on helping her with the dishes, then Jackie made coffee and they sat together in the lounge room. Watching Vic, Jackie thought that this friend of Dom’s, this stranger, was a good man, a man who had lost his own sister and yet had traveled so far to share her loss, her grief. As if he didn't have enough of his own! Vic looked at Jackie and thought what a kind and caring person she was, so different from Lydia! He was puzzled that Dom could have such affection for two women of such utterly different dispositions! Vic knew that Jackie knew of Dom’s relationship with Lydia, and he knew she knew he knew. How hard it must be, he thought, knowing that her husband had killed himself over another woman. Over my sister!

    They began speaking then, hesitantly at first, exchanging stories of Dom. Jackie spoke of the marriage she had shared with Dom, its joys and its sorrows, but mostly the happiness he had brought to her. Vic, reluctantly at first, because he did not want to hurt her, told of Dom’s relationship with Lydia. He couldn’t help but laugh as he spoke of the time Dom had tried to hold him, his brother and his angry father at bay with a broken rake handle. He sobered then and nodding his head said, Jackie, Dom was a good man and I know he loved you very much, please believe that.” “I know that Vic” Jackie sighed deeply, “but Dom was Dom” her eyes filled with tears, “and deep down, he was always Lydia’s.” Vic crossed quickly to her side and taking her hand in his, his voice filled with anguish he groaned “Jackie!” She pulled away from him….”DON’T! I think you should leave now Vic.” “Jackie?” She shook her head firmly “just go Vic, thank you for everything you have done but just go!” “All right Jackie” Vic opened the door, then hesitating said, “look, I don’t have to go back until Monday” locking eyes with her he added “will I see you again?” She looked at him searchingly for a long moment, then lowering her eyes, “I don’t know Vic,” then looking up she gave him a half smile of encouragement, “we’ll we.” Women! Who can know them! Vic thought ruefully as he paid off his taxi and let himself into his hotel room.

    C Gainsford (C)

    copyright Sept 2011

    • Jessica was upset with her Uncle Vic. What possessed him to travel to Perth and attend that horrible mans funeral anyway? Her fist clenched and her long nails bit into the flesh of her palm, drawing blood, she was so angry! DOM! Dead and still causing trouble! If he had left her mother alone in the first place, Jessica thought, she would still be alive! Impatiently crushing a ball of tissues into her wounded hand and seeing no one in the room she called“Uncle Aaron!” No reply. She shouted. No response. “UNCLE AARON!”Striding into the kitchen she looked out the window, there he is, near the back fence, feeding his stupid quail! Pursing her lips in annoyance she went into the back yard and called loudly “UNCLE AARRON!” Looking up he saw the beautiful young woman, so like her mother he thought.
    • ”Hello Jessica.”

    • “When is Uncle Vic coming back?” She retorted rudely “he’s been gone nearly a whole week already!” She crossed her arms and cupped her elbows just as her mother had done.”How long does it take to bury someone? He isn't getting friendly with that woman is he? Why isn't he home?” she repeated petulantly.

    • “It is not our concern, but he will be back soon” He answered walking toward her and brushing his hands off on his jeans. He must return to verk on Monday” he added, displaying his palms expressively.”You know Jessica, I never liked Dom but,” he sighed and shook his head, I have to admit that he was not a bad man, he vas…”

    • “Not a bad man uncle?” Jessica jumped to her feet and ground through clenched teeth, “it’s his fault that mum is dead, he and that woman!” Aaron made to comfort her but she stepped away from him. Don’t touch me,” and she ran sobbing from the room.


    Vic was very impressed with Kings Park, it was beautiful. He and Jackie had enjoyed the warm sunshine, listening to the band, and the good meal in the restaurant. Not as grand as Jackie's though Vic thought! No wonder Dom had liked this place so much. So peaceful and relaxed. Anyway all good things must end. Of course the funeral had been a sad thing and he hoped Jackie would be able to cope. The time he had spent with Jackie had been wonderful and he could understand Dom’s being attracted to her.

    • Heck, he could be himself! He was leaving tonight, had to! Would he ever see her again? Probably not, he thought shaking his head regretfully. He took her home in a taxi and she invited him in for coffee despite the fact they had not long ago had one. He got out of the cab with her and she asked if he would come back to Perth some time? He said he didn’t know.

    • ”Well,” she said, lowering her eyes.

    • “Well”he said, signing and smiling all at once, no mean feat.”Well, I guess this is goodbye,”should he kiss her? No.

    • “Yes,” she said flatly,”I guess so.” He took her soft warm hand and squeezed it gently.”Bye” “Bye Vic.”

    He opted to travel from Adelaide by coach. More time to think. Damn life could be cruel! He had lost his sister, and lost his friend. And now Jackie was gone from his life. He was sure they had a real connection there.Something.Was there really? Or was it just loneliness and pity? He shrugged to himself, scarcely matters now he thought. He was glad it was the night coach. Vic liked traveling at night. He looked out of the coach window but could see little more than his own reflection in the glass. Closing his eyes he allowed the motion of the coach to rock him into a fitful sleep. When he finally arrived back in Whyalla, Jessica was waiting to meet him. She was alone. Vic smiled as Jessica came up to him,”Hello Jessica,” she looks pretty bright considering it’s past midnight he thought.

    • “Hello Uncle Vic, she gave him one of her unnerving smiles, cold and calculating, “Cars round the corner in Darling terrace.” Another cold look then she asked with an half concealed sneer in her voice”How is Jackie, coping OK? Enjoy yourself? She got in the car and slammed the door. Vic tossed his case on the back seat and slid in beside her. She dropped anb angry wheelie as they moved off. “Listen Jessica, I don’t understand why you are so angry”, he looked at her sharply“just what is your problem?”

    • Frowning in the dark he went on,”Dom was a good mate of mine, and his widow deserves some support it woul..”

    • “ Shut up about her! I don’t care and I hate Dom! It’s their fault mum is dead! I hate them…HATE them!”

    • “Jessica! You don’t mean that, how can you? Your mother was an alcoholic, she killed herself! It was your father, not them that drove her to drink!”

    • Jessica beat at her uncle with her left hand, slapping and clawing.”Don’t say that” she screamed, her face contorted with rage! She stopped the car and turned to face Vic, her eyes glittering. Then she smiled. “Its not true uncle” shaking her head back and forth she chanted,”It’s not true, no, no, no. Never, never, never, hahaha!”

    • “Jessica, you’re tired and upset, let me drive its not…”

    • “Not far uncle? No not far at all! I am OK”

    • “Come on, I’ll drive”he unfastened his seatbelt but Jessica started the car “no, no, no”

    • “Jessica!” He was thrown back in his seat as she drove off. “Jessica, stop th…” “La La lah la aah!”

    It took another ten silent minutes to arrive home, possibly the longest ten minutes in Vics life! Jessica acted as though nothing untoward had happened. She even went in and put the kettle on.”Tea or coffee Uncle Vic” she smiled

    • “Ah, coffee thanks,are you OK Jessica?” Vic asked nervously.

    • “Yes, yes indeed! I have some leave due and think I will have a holiday, I haven’t been away for a while” she smirked.

    • “Away? Where will you go?”

    • “Actually Uncle Vic, that’s what I have been dying to tell you!” She came and embraced him almost incestuously and he drew back causing her to smirk again. “Do you remember,”she continued casually, Leo, that boy dad tried to hook my mum up with, do you?” She was biting her lower lip in excited anticipation of Vic’s reaction to what she was about to reveal.

    • “Leo..yees, yes” Vic nodded, he looked at Jessica sharply,”what about him?”

    • “ He is going to Perth to see his sister and I, dear uncle,” she walked over to Vic and putting her lips to his ear purred softly,”am going with him!” She was rewarded by a look of startled dismay on Vics face.

    • “Why” he asked.” I mean why him, and why Perth” wouldn’t it be more fun to go somewhere with friends of your own age to say – the gold coast?”

    • “Oh I don’t think so Uncle, and we just might visit Jackie while we are there, haven’t seen HER for quite a while, have I now?” His blood ran cold, there was a look of pure evil on her sick face, and he knew how easily she could manipulate men so god knew what she would talk that fool Leo into!

    C Gainsford (C) copyright Sept 2011