Sometimes I wake up in the morning and know exactly what I’m going to write that day. This was not one of those mornings. Today I woke up knowing that I wanted to write something…but without any real idea of what that something might be. It was only when I scrolled through my Twitter timeline, and saw this and this, that an idea started to form…
It was dirtier, way back when. Not sleazy, exactly, but there was sort of a grubbiness to the whole place. Formica worktops, stained with God knows what, and wallpaper that actually looked better in the areas where it had faded away or started to peel off the wall. Strip lighting. Fast food wrappers strewn all over the lime green carpet. It smelled terrible, of course. You could still smoke inside in those days, and the heavy tobacco fug formed one part of a lethal, toxic trifecta, alongside the stale sweat from Jimmy’s regulars, and the stench of piss from the toilet he never bothered to clean.
I loved it though. Way before I was legal, I’d stop in there after school, hoping in vain each time I pushed open the door that my glasses might protect my eyes from the sting of the smoke. I was terrified of the men who gambled there. Hard men. Drunks, some of them, and even the ones with clear eyes and clean clothes all seemed to have fists the size of hams. We weren’t really part of the community in those days either. We were recent transplants – my Mum had joined the board of a big pharmaceutical company based just outside town – and I was still nervous whenever I walked the estate after dark, even if most of the kids who kicked the shit out of me at school each day lived up the other end of town.
I guess I was a bit of a loner, and even though the men in the shop had all known each other for years, it felt like a good place for loners to go. No-one talked much. Grunting was the main form of communication, broken up by the occasional heavy sigh whenever a sure thing failed to come through. Jimmy presided over the whole thing with magisterial indifference, whether he was raking in fistfuls of notes, or counting out cash from the till and handing it to the person triumphantly waving a betting slip in his face. He didn’t care that I was only 16 the first time I shoved a couple of quid across the counter: money was money.
I was good, even back in those days. I had my copy of the Racing Post – my bible – just like the other guys, but I also had a whole series of spreadsheets running on the PC in my bedroom, and the sort of flair for Maths and Statistics that would carry me all the way through a degree at Cambridge and into the world of academia. I made good money from Jimmy, but I never pushed it. Bookies don’t like it when you clean them out, and I knew that no other shop in town would have me if I got barred from Jimmy’s place.
That wasn’t the only reason, of course. If it was the gambling that hooked me in the first place, it was Alice Taylor who reeled me in; Alice Taylor who I thought about on the bus to school, in the library at lunchtime, and every night in bed when I curled my fist around my cock and made myself come over and over again. Jimmy’s daughter was a year older than me, but several decades more worldly. There was nothing delicate about her – she had big tits, big hips, big hands, and a mouth that would make a sailor blush – but she was always sweet to me, and that only made it harder not to stare as she wiped down the tables, or swigged one of the beers that her Dad let her take from the fridge behind the counter.
To this day, I wonder whether Jimmy knows that I did more than stare. He was fiercely protective of his daughter – she could handle herself easily enough, but I still saw more than one regular booted out for looking at her the wrong way – and while he was always pretty friendly with me, I don’t think it would have sat well with him, what we did, that summer before I went off to uni.
It started innocently enough. She was thinking about going back to college to get her A-levels, and I offered to tutor her in the weeks after my exams finished. Maths, Physics, a bit of English Literature: hell, I’d have taught her Swahili if she’d asked me to. She smelled of cheap cider and the perfume that her boyfriend had given her for Christmas, which even the mix of smoke, sweat and piss out on the shop floor couldn’t quite permeate.
We sat elbow-to-elbow in Jimmy’s office for one hour every afternoon, a gloomy, stuffy cupboard where he used to nap whenever business was quiet. I’d grown up and filled out a bit by then, but I was still desperately awkward around girls my age. Alice knew that, and exploited it mercilessly. If she wasn’t casually brushing her fingers across my thigh, or shifting in her seat to reveal even more cleavage, she was talking to me about her boyfriend troubles, most of which seemed to be rooted in the fact that they never wanted to ‘do it’ as often as she did.
In the end, I never really stood a chance. All it took was her fingernails lingering in the grooves of my corduroy trousers for just a few seconds longer one day, and suddenly both of us were staring at the tented bulge that formed quickly and irrevocably between my legs. I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. I glanced up and checked the shop floor through the one-way mirror on the wall opposite. Busy, very busy. Maybe Jimmy would need her out there. Maybe…
Coherent thought – already difficult by that point – became impossible once she unzipped my trousers and carefully slid her hand inside. She yanked down my briefs just far enough to press her warm, thick fingers along the shaft of my cock, and I nearly came right there and then, just from that first touch of another person’s skin against me. She pulled it out and stared for what felt like minutes, then looked back up at me, her eyes wide and playful.
“What do you want me to do with it, David?”
Her chuckle was low and throaty, as she clamped her hand over my mouth.
“Yeah, pretty sure I’m going to be the teacher on this one.”
She bent down and took me in her mouth, slowly and with a delicacy I hadn’t expected. It was different from the porn I’d watched; different from the scenes I’d constructed in my head. She held me there on her tongue, just the head of my cock, before closing her lips around it and sucking gently. Maybe she was trying not to overwhelm me with everything all at once, I don’t know. I did multiplication exercises in my head to try and distract myself from the sensation of her tongue gliding and flicking across me. ’14 squared is 196, 16 squared is 256, 18 squared is 324…’
I came before I could reach 20, and through the static fuzz of the explosion that ripped through my brain, I could hear the legs of my chair squeaking across the floor as I bucked and tensed in her mouth. Half an hour later, she took me in her mouth again, and my life felt like it had changed forever.
We kept up the lessons. She was serious about college, and I wanted to help her – wanted to show that I was more than just the geeky kid who hung around the shop in trousers two inches too short for him. Sometimes we’d go through a full hour before she reached for the hard-on that never quite seemed to disappear around her, but for the most part we’d do it at the beginning, before she opened her notebook. She’d lock the door, and I’d sit in the chair facing the window, my thighs already tense with anticipation and desperate, teenage lust. She got off on the fact that I could see out into the shop, and as I learned to control my orgasm, to last longer in her mouth, she’d find ways to tease me as she worked my cock.
Sometimes she’d unbutton her blouse and let me slide it between her tits, or just rest it there, in her cleavage, as she sucked me. Once she wet her fingers and rubbed them over the head of my cock, pressing it down till her tits surged up and over it, locking it in place. I shot cum all over her neck and down into the well of her collarbone, and she laughed at the way I shuddered against her.
She let me finger her a couple of times, and even that – the feeling of her soft, hot cunt getting wetter with each thrust – used to set me off. It would be a race to see which happened first: her orgasm, or the desperate fumbling as we tried to switch positions in time for her to press her tongue against the underside of my cock as I came.
Mostly though, she just sucked me. I taught her trigonometry; she taught me to push my cock down her throat, and to time my thrusts in a way that would ease her lips all the way down to the base of the shaft. Once we set aside our books and she just spent the whole hour teasing me, her tongue a flickering blur as it traced every vein, and dived into all the nooks and crannies, the crease between my balls and my thigh, the puffy, sensitive fold where the head of my cock met the shaft. Other days she’d attack me with brutal efficiency, and even after weeks of practice I was still helpless whenever she decided to make me come quickly; I’d squeeze my eyes shut, and count up in square numbers, but none of it could stop the flow of jizz, or wipe the satisfied smirk from her face as she swallowed every last drop.
We never had sex. Not that summer, and not in the years that followed. I always went back to the shop during the uni holidays, even as my trips home became shorter and less frequent, and she would still suck me off in her dad’s office; but somehow it would have seemed wrong to do anything more, especially once her boyfriend became her fiancé, and then her husband.
Nowadays all the cash is online, so that’s where I do most of my gambling. I make a decent living from it – more money than I get from teaching, that’s for certain – and I’ve moved way beyond horses and dogs. You can bet on pretty much anything these days. The shops that have survived are clean and well-lit, verging on the sterille; they serve coffee and pastries, and your feet don’t stick to the floor when you walk across it.
Jimmy retired a couple of years back, and with Alice’s daughter old enough to start school, it made sense for her to run the place full-time. I teach at a university a couple of hours down the road, and when I do pop back to see my parents, I always go in to say hi, and to put a couple of bets on for old-time’s sake. She teases me with the sort of easy warmth that only people who’ve known each other forever can pull off.
“Ah, here he is, Mr Big Shot! What’ll it be today, Professor? Who are you going to lay tonight? How does the spread look to you?”
It doesn’t matter how good the air-conditioning is, and it doesn’t matter how many times they paint the walls or wipe down the tables. With Alice Taylor, I’ll always smell cider and cigarettes; stale sweat and cheap perfume. With Alice Taylor, my mouth will always be dry and my cock will always be hard. With Alice Taylor, I’ll always be 18.