Neighbors Ch. 01



I want to express that this is in fact a love story, or rather, a story of unconventional and unlikely love, which I attest happened purely coincidentally, by way of my own curiosity and a sense of indiscriminate compassion.

I met Kim shortly after the construction of my house began four summers ago; I bought the tract of land adjacent to her own, which, unbeknownst to me at the time, was less than a quarter-mile away through a cluster of dense woods.

She had walked through the woods one day just after the foundation had been erected and the basement’s concrete floor had been poured. I can still vividly remember her walking out from the path through the trees, wearing skinny black capri pants and a white tee shirt. I could tell she was a classy woman from that very first glance; she walked and conversed with a sense of timeless elegance. She was polite and seemed genuine, and simply talking to her was a pleasure. She was smoking hot, too.

We became fast friends, and she soon introduced me to her husband Rick, and their three teenage daughters. Over the next three years, we had dinners and brunch and backyard cookouts together; we shared everything from bottles of wine to larger house projects that would have been a real challenge for either party to do independently. We were all the epitome of what good neighbors should be.

And then, Rick began working more and more hours, and their relationship grew sour. Kim had accused him of having an affair with a coworker on a few educated hunches, and when he didn’t deny the ugly allegation, she hired a lawyer and made preparations for a divorce filing. She never went through with it though. At least not at that point. Much to my discourse, she accepted his apology and effectively took him back. And then, just weeks later, I would stop over to borrow the pressure washer or help mow their massive lawn, and there was clear and unmistakable tension between them. Odd things piqued my curiosity; a broken window, fragments of shattered dishware in corners of the kitchen; the beautiful handmade china cabinet in their dining room had disappeared without a trace.

All the clues piled up until they amassed an undisputable mountain of hostility, pain and embarrassment.

I always felt so bad for Kim, but even moreso for her daughters. Their family had crumbled before them.


Chapter One

11:30 A.M. on a Saturday

I lay motionless on a tattered canvas blanket in the middle of the woods, breathing softly. I readjusted my arm and peered through the rifle’s scope; its reticle settled just below my target some seventy or more yards ahead- a row of three skinny ballpoint pens, stuck firmly into the dirt. I brought the reticle up slowly. Focus on your breathing. I exhaled briefly and gently squeezed the .22’s trigger. The tamed crack of the small cartridge resounded through the forest and the first pen was cut cleanly in half. Nice. Cycled the bolt, took careful aim, squeezed off another shot. The second pen disappeared completely, uprooted from the earth; leaving a small, barely visible cloud of dirt in its wake. I cycled the action again, inhaled cooly- and then my concentration was interrupted by a thought, or rather a memory- a conversation I’d had a few days earlier, with my good friend and neighbor, Kim.

“You seem like you aren’t all that happy anymore. Maybe it’s not my place to say so, but…I worry about your happiness,” I’d told her over a cup of coffee.

“Oh…well that’s sweet of you. I’m really okay.”

I remembered how I had seen clearly through her feeble attempt at a lie.

“It’s easy to shrug it off,” I told her in a stroke of brilliance, or perhaps just eloquence. “Pretending like it doesn’t bother you, or sweeping your feelings under the rug- it’s the easy thing to do. But being honest with yourself, actually making an effort to at least talk about what’s bothering you- well it isn’t easy, but it is the right thing to do. It will help you,” I offered, genuinely concerned.

“Yeah. You’re right. I mean, I guess mostly I’m just…lonely? You know? I miss the attention. I miss the excitement, and even just the companionship.” She was silent then, staring at the kitchen floor. I could tell she wanted to cry.

And in remembering, I felt somewhat ashamed, realizing I had effectively left her by herself this morning to venture off into the woods, for no particular reason aside from the pursuit of my own peace and happiness. How selfish of me.

I sighed, put my rifle down on the blanket and pushed myself up onto my knees. The woods were absolutely beautiful this time of year- the trees were full with thick, lush dark green foliage, the grass was fresh and short, and flowers were springing out of the ground everywhere.

The cleared path I had set myself up in was comfortably wide, about fifteen feet or so, and though it curved and swung back upon itself in various places, the length of the trail ataşehir escort was well over three hundred yards. It was easy to get lost in those woods, to lose track of time when surrounded by only the sounds of birds and rabbits and gentle breezes rustling the tree branches.

Admittedly, I was a little disappointed as I packed my gear into a weathered backpack and folded up the blanket. I had wanted to spend more time shooting. Oh well. I began the short walk back to the house, stepping through scattered patches of sunlight that fell warmly on my back.

In less than ten minutes I was back at the garage, dropping my gear right inside the door, kicking my shoes off, and stepping into the kitchen.

Kim’s house was beautiful, but I had always found it eerily quiet. Something in the floors and walls, whether hardwood, thicker drywall or good insulation just seemed to muffle the majority of everyday noise.

“Kim?” I called loudly in the direction of the staircase to the second floor. No answer.

After getting a glass of water and shedding my hoodie, I went up the stairs.

I found her in her bedroom, lying face down on the neatly made bed. An empty wine bottle and a stemless glass with less than a mouthful of Riesling in it were on the night stand.

“Kim?” I queried again, in a much lower voice. She didn’t move.

I paced to the bed softly, and sat down on the mattress alongside her outstretched knee.

I ran a hand over the fabric of her yoga pants, massaging her calf. Still, she lay motionless. I could see however, to my relief, that she was breathing. I would be lying if I said that dark thought hadn’t darted into my mind, if even for only a second.

She really was a beautiful creature. Long dirty blonde hair, tanned smooth skin, about five feet and nine inches tall, and a body that in my own opinion, was for lack of a better word, perfect. Her face was less round and more elliptical, and adorned by subtle freckles that were largely camouflaged by her dark complexion and only evident when one was intimately close to her. This was a feature she had transferred to all three of her daughters. Kim wasn’t overly skinny, but rather had an average composition; her stomach was pretty slim, her thighs slightly thicker, or voluptuous, in a word. Her breasts were fairly large on her petite shoulders and her butt pleasantly curvy. Any of my friends would have called her a ‘milf’ in a heartbeat.

In spite of my relative attraction to her, she did admittedly have a few reservations as to her appearance and weight, and exercised religiously to ignore those perceptions. I had tried several times to tell her she was gorgeous, but compliments seemed to always get brushed off with a forced smile, no matter how sincere they were.

Presently, I noticed I was still rubbing her leg and I quickly pulled my hand away. She wasn’t normally much of a drinker. I imagined the bottle on her nightstand had been at least half full when she took it from the fridge. Still, she was snoring loudly enough.

Kim had been through a hellish divorce in the previous year; she had been effectively abandoned, both in an emotional and a physical capacity. Her husband of twenty-six years packed a few things, saying he was going to live with a friend. He was back to their former home a handful of times, but only to gather belongings; never to talk or discuss or apologize or even blame.

I had watched firsthand while this woman began a steady but very slow unraveling- at first manifested in very minor changes in routines, but later, and more blatantly, a different demeanor and attitude altogether. She didn’t seem to care about her looks as much, or the car she drove to work. Even her coworkers had approached her daughters, neighbors and myself, out of the blue no less, to inquire about her not-so-subtle depression.

That’s a very hard thing to watch, someone coming apart at the seams. Someone you love, at that.

I shrugged at that moment, physically shrugged. I felt helpless in her midst. Completely useless. It was a familiar feeling- I had tried several things, and numerous times to cheer her up or distract her. But I knew she spent most of her time alone wondering where she had gone wrong; what she had done to deserve the treatment she got. I was so very sad for her.

As I shrugged, I rose from the bed to grab the folded blanket at her feet, and I carefully pulled it out to cover her with. But before I let it down on top of her, I hesitated for a brief moment and quickly found myself staring at her rump.

Something in my mind snapped, or clicked; I had a sudden urge to touch her. A primal need to grab her ass and squeeze it, pinch it, smack it.

I maintain to this day that yoga pants are one of man’s greatest inventions. And I was sure at this moment, that they were made for her ass. I really couldn’t help myself. Still holding the blanket up, I reached avcılar escort one hand out, inching it slowly toward her beautifully round, perfectly symmetrical, thick, firm butt. She wouldn’t know, she was passed out, probably drunk. I could grab a cheek and play with it a little. My mind quickly darted into various fantasies involving her beautiful backside.

Luckily, whatever had been triggered in my head quickly subsided, much like a summer evening thunderstorm, and as I gained back my clarity, I realized that taking advantage of her would have been an unquestionably horrible thing to do, no matter how monumental or vastly insignificant the act would have been. She deserved better than that.

I took one more split second to admire her curvy figure and hurriedly draped the blanket over her, tucking it in around her sides. She shimmied in her sleep, rolling her head away from me, and then she was still again.

I grabbed the empty bottle and glass and left her room, quietly shutting the door behind me.

When I was next over to the house, two months or more had passed with little improvement in Kim’s spirit.

She had called me just that morning to ask for help with the hot tub, troubleshooting an electrical mishap of some sort. Electronics were simply not my forte, but I was eager to help in any way I could, and without a second thought I had grabbed the pocket multimeter and some wire strippers and crimpers from my toolbox, and headed over shortly after breakfast.

“I have no idea what’s wrong with it, but it won’t control the temperature,” she offered once I had taken the tub’s cover off. “I set it to around one-oh-three and it just keeps climbing up to one-twenty.”

I explained to her that the water temperature was controlled by a thermostat and a temperature sensor, and if the sensor went bad or didn’t read correctly, it could be telling the thermostat to increase heat.

“I just need a few minutes to check it,” I told her nonchalantly. “If the sensor is bad, we’ll have to get a new one. But the thermostat may just need to be recalibrated, too.”

“Okay, well, I think I’m going to lay out in the sun for a little while then,” she declared, glancing to the lounge chairs on the opposite side of the hot tub. “Let me know if you need anything!”

“Right,” I breathed, prying the tub’s control panel cover off. There was a mess of wires underneath, barely contained in the small space. I groaned aloud, trying to identify whichever line ran to the sensor.

After another minute or two, I found it, and traced it to the temperature probe; I removed that from its bracket and quickly checked it with the multimeter. I muttered a quick thank god under my breath. I really did hate anything electrical.

“Kim, where is your guys’ breaker box at?” I asked while working the probe loose. “Sensor is bad, I can remove it but I’ll have to go pick up another one.” I looked over my shoulder, but she had disappeared.

I looked over to the lounge chairs and realized she had probably gone into the house to change.

After I ducked inside and shouted up the stairs, telling her I’d be back in a half hour or so, I left the house for the hardware store to get another sensor.

By the time I had returned, she was sunbathing, lying motionless on the farther of the two chairs.

“They didn’t have the exact one, but I think I found one close enough to it,” I told her upon approaching.

She didn’t respond. As I walked closer to the tub, I could see she had ear buds in. Ah.

I couldn’t help but notice she wasn’t wearing her usual black one-piece swimsuit, but instead a somewhat skimpy bright, deep blue bottom, with matching top. Her eyes were shielded by a pair of stylish wayfarer sunglasses in place of her typical bug-eyed ones, and her phone was nestled securely into the front of her underwear. I had told her at least two dozen times not to put it there, or in her bra- her other favorite spot- because a number of people who had been diagnosed with ovarian or breast cancer often kept their phones tucked into bikinis, at least according to some article I had read a while back. It concerned me enough that eventually, whenever I caught her doing it, I’d immediately grab her phone and scold her.

I found myself again staring at Kim, admittedly rather intently. From ten or fifteen feet away, I could see the sweat beading on her stomach and forehead, trickling down her dark skin. She was such a babe. She looked more like a friend’s older sister than a mom of three.

I managed to avert my eyes long enough to put her half naked body out of my mind and get to work on swapping out the temp sensor. And at precisely that moment I remembered I was about to hit the circuit breaker for the tub so I didn’t zap myself. At this point in my young life, I’d shocked myself enough times that I no longer willed to take any chances.

I leveled with avrupa yakası escort myself that I could either wander about the house aimlessly or just ask her where the box was…

I walked around the tub to where she was lying, and tapped her shoulder, which startled her. “What?” she blurted out, a little louder than necessary, ripping an ear bud out.

“I need to turn the circuit breaker for the tub off. Where is the box at?”

“Oh, the basement,” she said with a smile.

“Right, thanks.” I headed to the garage.

“Hey, wait!” I stopped just before the door and turned around. “Can you do my back quick?” she queried, picking up a bottle of tanning lotion beside her chair and holding it out to show me, as though I’d need proof of its existence.

“Uh, sure,” I said plainly, and paced across the concrete patio. I took the lotion from her and she rolled over on the chair, onto her stomach. I froze.

She wasn’t wearing just any skimpy bottom; she was sporting a thong. One of those minimalist ones with only a tiny cord of fabric running across the top, and down between. How had I not caught that, I wondered silently, as I nearly drooled at the enticing sight of her bare ass.

“Stop staring and oil me,” she said jokingly with a laugh, picking up on the fact that I hadn’t opened the bottle yet.

I couldn’t help but think how eighteen months ago, this sort of thing would have never happened. She would have never been caught dead in a thong, at least not by me; never would have asked anyone other than one of her daughters to rub tanning lotion on her back.

I pulled the cap off, and poured some oil down the length of her spine, just to the top of the thong, and started rubbing it in.

She moaned softly under the gentle pressure of my hands. “God, that feels good,” she breathed.

“Yeah?” I asked encouragingly. I put a little more force into it, working oil out from the middle of her bare back in a fanning motion to her shoulder blades and deltoids, while prodding the various areas of muscle and tissue with my fingertips.

“Ugh, you’re too sweet,” she informed me with an air of gratitude in her voice. “You took a class on this too, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, about two years ago,” I replied. “Massage isn’t as complicated as a lot of people think though. You just have to find a couple different things that feel good and switch them up a little.”

“Mm, that feels good,” she informed me, as I wrapped my hands around the sides of her neck and kneaded the vertebrae just below the base of her skull with both thumbs. People always loved that. I continued down from that point, following her spine down all the way to her tailbone, and then focusing more on actually rubbing the oil in. After a few more minutes of massaging her lower back and eyeing up her ass cheeks, glistening with sweat, I wiped my hands off on her towel and asked, “Good then?”

“Oh yeah,” she said cooly, undoubtedly in a very good mood, and after a pause, added “well…actually…I got my legs earlier, but…Could you get my butt too?”

Shit. “Sure,” I said, feeling a sensation of heat overtake the back of my head and neck, much like when you find a certain situation a little too awkward for comfort. She was asking me to rub tanning oil on her ass. Now I knew she could have easily managed this herself, but I wasn’t about to turn the offer down. Was I?

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked you to do that,” she leveled a moment later, making the decision for me. “It’s just that I hurt my right shoulder the other day and I really don’t have much range of motion with it.”

I felt a little apologetic myself. “You know what, it’s not a problem,” I declared affirmatively, pouring some more of the oil into my palm and rubbing my hands together.

I took a deep breath, as quietly as I knew how, and placed both hands on the smooth skin of her buttocks. They were firm. More firm than I had imagined. The skin was extremely smooth as I palmed the oil around in opposite circular directions. I couldn’t help but grab the cheeks of her ass and spread them slightly, revealing the tiny trapped cord of the polyester thong. I worked the oil around the sides of her ass, making sure to cover the sides and backs of her thighs, and worked it in under the rounds of her butt as well. I hesitated briefly before squeezing my fingertips just down into the insides of her thighs, but stopped before I went too far. That would surely get me into a…tight spot. I ran my hands up her back and down, running a few fingers underneath the top string of the thong as well. That alone made me shiver and squirm. To say I wasn’t finding this incredibly exciting and arousing would be an outright lie.

When at last I had finished, I wiped my hands off again and patted her shoulder. “Let me know if you need anything else Kim.”

“Thank you,” she reaffirmed. “A lot. I appreciate it.”

I turned and headed back for the garage, albeit laboriously, with a tight bulge in the crotch of my jeans, again stopping in the doorway.

I glanced back at her, not able to ignore the idea that had just entered my head. Though I hadn’t yet fully realized it, from the precise moment I placed my hands on her ass, our relationship had been irrevocably changed forever.

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