‘Write Man, Right Time’ by Fenella Ashworth has been available for pre-order for the past few weeks. Tomorrow is the release date on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. It costs under a dollar (or under a pound!). Here is the first chapter, to whet your appetite!
It’s crazy how many emotions I can feel, all at one time. Nervous, excited, apprehensive, overwhelmed, relieved, lost, found. And, I guess, hope… that my new job might also equate to a fresh start. A shrill ringtone fortunately breaks my daydream and I realise I can’t remember the past few minutes of the journey I’ve driven. It’s terrifying when that happens. The little I can remember includes a narrow, windy road with high banks that I couldn’t see over, and a profusion of wild flowers. Shaking my head slightly, I take a deep breath and accept the call, surprised that I can still get coverage in such isolated wilderness.
‘Janie, dear!’ My mother’s voice reverberates through the hands free speaker. ‘Have you arrived yet?’
‘No, not yet. Only a few miles away, though.’
‘It isn’t too late to change your mind, you know?’ I find myself trying to suppress a sigh, although I’m not entirely sure I achieve it. My mother has been trying to talk me out of taking this job, ever since the very first moment I made the mistake of telling her about it. I still haven’t decided if it’s due to genuine parental concern, or the fact that she just can’t help sticking her nose into my business. ‘You’re going to live with a man you know nothing about!’
That isn’t entirely true. The agency had been a little sketchy with the details, but I know he’s a professional of some kind. A few years older than me, in his thirties, he has two young children; a twelve year old boy and an eight year old girl. Oh yes, and they all apparently lived in the middle of bloody nowhere, somewhere on the Cornish coast, in the South West of England.
‘It will all work out fine,’ I attempt to soothe, even though I’m not entirely convinced what I’m saying is true. My attention has been temporarily hijacked by the sight of an enormous cow lying in the middle of the lane which I’m attempting to navigate. Slowing to a crawl, I carefully ease my vehicle around the creature, which seems to have no intention of moving whatsoever. What is this crazy place?
‘I’ve told you before, neverto get involved with a married man!’ she presses, clearly sensing distraction in my tone.
Hearing the phrase “married man” immediately makes my heart twist with bitter, embarrassed disgrace. My head is filled with an image of him. My ex, Simon. When I finally escape my twenties in a matter of months, I don’t doubt he will remain the overriding regret of that entire decade of my life. I haven’t seen him for years now, but the painful memories still linger, bubbling back up to the surface when I’m feeling vulnerable or low. Something my mum must be aware of. Suddenly, I feel angry at her for bringing the subject up, to use as a form of emotional blackmail.
‘Mum!’ I object quite strongly. ‘I’m being employed as a housekeeper and the nanny to two children. It isn’t the same!’
‘Perhaps, but the sentiment still stands.’
‘It doesn’t. Look, I’ve just arrived. I’ve got to go.’
‘I thought you said you were several miles away,’ she complains.
‘Well, it was closer than I thought,’ I lie easily. ‘Speak soon.’
I hang up without waiting for an answer. I’ll phone her back later to confirm everything is well, once I’ve calmed down. I know she’s only trying to protect me because she cares. I just sometimes wish she’d direct her focus elsewhere.
For a short while, I continue driving carefully along the narrow lanes, slowing considerably for every blind corner, just in case another bovine assassin is lying in wait. I breathe in deeply, enjoying the warm summer air that floods through the open windows and into my welcoming lungs. With the salty air on my tongue, I can physically taste the sea now. The landscape is growing increasingly wild; I can’t be far away from my final destination. The road is getting narrower and narrower, implying that it might disappear altogether very soon.
Suddenly, a break in the high banks offers my first glimpse of the sea and I slam on the brakes. Far below lies the most incredible turquoise water, shimmering in reflected sunlight. Small blue and white fishing boats are bobbing up and down on the calm waters, whilst noisy seagulls circle greedily overhead, demanding the spoils of the day. It is, quite simply, perfection. For an extended moment, I simply absorb the vista. The longer I stare, the more I feel a sense of wellbeing flood my spirit. Equilibrium is being restored.
Eventually, my focus returns to the narrow road. My eyes rove pleasurably over the range of flowers which cover the surrounding high banks; white clover, purple foxgloves, sea pink and the occasional delicate orchid all swaying in the gentle breeze. Only then do I notice a small, unassuming sign for ‘The Edge’. Thanks more to luck than judgement, I have reached my final destination. Either the people who named the property had a serious U2 fetish, or they were describing the juxtaposition of their house to the sea.
I swing my car into the driveway and follow the narrow, off-road, dusty track. All of my concentration is now being funnelled into ensuring my safe arrival. I can’t help but gasp a little with pleasure, as my new home swings into view. It is a large family house, perched high on the cliff edge, where it has undoubtedly existed for centuries. Half-hidden by Wisteria, it stands tall and proud, protected by a traditional Cornish slate roof covered in moss. I feel like I might be whisked away to play an extra in a Jane Austen film, at any moment. And all around me, there is nothing but spectacular coastline and an explosion of birdsong.
Getting out of my car, I walk cautiously towards the front door, when a volley of excited barking fills the air. Appearing from around the side of the house, a huge, grey Irish Wolfhound lollops towards me. For a moment I pause, hoping he recognises me as friend not foe. However, his puppy-like leaps and long, bony tail whipping madly with excitement, quickly give him away.
‘Hello!’ I enthuse, dropping to my knees joyfully. Irish Wolfhounds are one of my favourite breed of dog. Turning his collar around as I accept his affectionate, wet-tongued welcome, I read the name tag. Parsley. I can’t help but chuckle; that name intrinsically suits such a softie.
Although Parsley’s greeting is very enjoyable, in the absence of any human beings coming out to welcome me, I set off in search of the owner. A Mr Patrick James Cooper, if the agency are to be believed. I get no luck from ringing the doorbell, even though there are other vehicles parked in haphazard positions across the driveway, suggesting human habitation. I therefore decide to try my luck, by following my canine guide through the open gate and into the back garden. After all, I am expected. It’s not like I’ve just randomly turned up here on a whim.
‘Hello!’ I call cautiously, making my way down the lawn. The vista is perfect, with flower borders frothing over with colour, alive with the sound of busy worker bees. I’m even closer to the sea here, able to hear the rhythmical tide crashing on the rocks far below. Parsley has paused outside a large wooden building, mostly hidden by undergrowth. Staring quizzically at the structure, he is wagging his tail enthusiastically, whilst pirouetting as gracefully as his huge frame will allow.
Suddenly, a man appears from behind the door and I feel the hairs on the back of my neck start to rise. His appearance takes my breath away and not just because he’s unexpected. Tall, with perfectly tousled black hair and dark eyes that seem to penetrate into my very soul, he strides purposely towards me. Wearing a tight T-shirt and scuffed Levi jeans, his body looks to be in incredible shape. If only he wasn’t scowling quite so furiously in my direction.
‘What do you want?’ he snaps.
I must have got the wrong address. This can’t be right. And yet, a large part of me will be disappointed if it turns out this man isn’t my new employer. Did I mention, he is also ridiculously handsome? And I defy any woman not to be turned to jelly by his deep, vibrant tone.
‘Um…I’m Janie Jenkins,’ I stutter. Embarrassingly, I can feel saliva gathering in my mouth, my body clearly hungry for a taste of him. Meanwhile, heat is being driven towards my abdomen and I’m suddenly aware of all manner of exciting pulses fluttering within.
For a brief moment, his eyes flicker down my body, before returning to my face. I feel unexpectedly exposed, almost as though I’m not properly dressed. I’ve been observed. Seen. Appreciated.
‘This way,’ he orders, marching towards the house without a backward glance.
Doing as instructed, Parsley and I follow in his wake. I think I’d better stay close to my canine companion; looks like he might well be the only friendly face around here.
Fucking hell! I’d been too late to stop my eyes running hungrily over her body, before realising how incredibly inappropriate that was. This young, attractive woman must be the nanny, otherwise known as my last chance to direct my flailing career back onto the straight and narrow. Best I don’t screw it up, before she’s even unpacked her suitcase. I just hadn’t expected her to be so early…or so pretty. Despite this temporary setback, I remind myself that she’s here to be employed, not picked up. Issuing a brusque instruction I can’t even remember and striding quickly towards the house, was all I could think of doing. I had no option but to act quickly, thanks to my dick apparently displaying even less integrity than I do. I can still feel blood pumping down my body, as it continues to pulse into life. The last thing she needs to be aware of is inappropriate, physical evidence of how damn horny I feel.
The truth is, as well as being incredibly sexually frustrated, I’m also a bit of an intellectual wreck right now. Since the moment Arabella walked out of our lives, I haven’t managed to write a single word of the multiple novels I’m under contract to deliver. And in all honesty, my productivity wasn’t exactly great in the months leading up to the day my wife left either. As their mother became noticeably distant, I undoubtedly compensated by being more present for the kids. Unable to commit to my work, it became of secondary importance, behind the mental wellbeing of my children. Ultimately, something had to give. Turned out, that something was me. Employing a nanny is a last-ditch effort to re-introduce some structure and security back into my kids’ lives and give me the necessary bandwidth to get my head down and write again.
In the cool, still tranquillity of the kitchen, I sit down at the scrubbed pine table and beckon for her to join me. The distant sound of the Grandfather clock chiming half past two makes me feel much more centred, although my dick continues to throb. I study her as she takes a seat opposite. With long brown hair and piercing blue eyes, she is near enough that I can see the faint freckles on her compact nose.
‘So…Janie?’ I can just pick up a faint scent of her perfume; a floral, innocent fragrance that immediately threatens to send my thoughts southward once more.
‘That’s correct,’ she confirms, looking quietly determined. ‘You must be Patrick?’
I nod slowly, observing her closely. I’ve always relied heavily on first impressions and I like what I see.
‘I don’t know how much the agency told you…?’
‘Well, I live here with my two children, Tilly and Tom. They’re both at school right now,’ I explain, glancing towards the clock on the wall. A private school, with immense fees. Yet another expense depending on my success, or lack thereof. Is it really any wonder I’m suffering from writer’s block?
‘I basically need you to keep the house in order, sort out all the meals and look after my children while I’m at work.’
‘What do you do?’ I bite my tongue to prevent myself snapping back with the response of “not very much”, even though it’s the truth right now.
‘I write fiction…under a number of pseudonyms.’ Or at least I used to, I add silently.
‘Oh! Might I have heard of one of them?’
I rattle off a couple of names and she looks mildly impressed. Her expression makes me feel like even more of a fraud.
‘How far away is Tilly and Tom’s school?’
The abrupt change of subject surprises me. Without bragging, I am used to getting a certain amount of female attention; for some reason, many women tend to see my job as glamourous when in reality, all I actually do is sit in a glorified shed all day and encourage my mind to play make-believe. Janie is definitely not in the category of women I will easily impress. I’ll clearly need to work hard to win her over.
‘Only a few miles down the road,’ I reply.
‘And what’s the situation with their mother?’
The question is asked politely enough, but I can’t help but scowl heavily at the mention of that woman. I’m impressed to see that, despite her gentle nature and my obvious discomfort, Janie isn’t backing down or apologising. Instead, she remains watching me, openly awaiting my response.
‘Arabella has moved out of the family home and lives between our flat in London and a rental house in the nearby town. She takes the children on the weekends she’s around. However, she’s abroad for the next few weeks, as far as I know, so we aren’t expecting her to visit.’ I manage to suppress a heavy sigh. ‘How about I show you to your room, and then we’ll take a drive to pick the kids up from school?’
‘Sure,’ she smiles. Against my will, her reaction forces my mouth to raise very slightly in response. ‘There must be the most amazing walks around her,’ she sighs, gazing dreamily out of the kitchen window, which has enviable views across the sea and surrounding countryside.
‘I wouldn’t know,’ I grunt, almost immediately kicking myself for being so negative. I want to explain that it isn’t in my nature to be like this; this unusual bout of pessimistic misery is all due to the shitty circumstances I find myself in. It’s really not who I am. Not deep down. ‘However, Parsley will be thrilled to learn you’re a keen walker.’
Fenella Ashworth is a British author of contemporary erotic fiction. All of her stories are available from Amazon and free for those with Kindle Unlimited access. Her bestselling novels are ‘To Love, Honour and Oh Pay’ and the Daniel Lawson series.
Fenella also releases stories on BooksieSilk, Booksie, Lush Stories and Literotica, and is often visible in the Literotica ‘Erotic Couplings’ Hall of Fame (Top Rated).
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