Chapter 3: Chapter Three

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Stripping and Humiliation

Reads: 425

That night, as he lay in his bed reflecting upon the embarrassment, he had experienced earlier that evening, Philip Henderson came to a conclusion. He composed in his head the letter he was going to write to Mr and Mrs Child.

In it, he led them to believe he was concerned that the atmosphere of his domestic surroundings distracted their son and was not conducive to his benefiting from private tutorials under such circumstances. He was therefore proposing that if he attended Nathan in his own home, the boy being in his normal surroundings would not interfere with his concentration.

They swallowed it, hook, line and sinker and the next tutorial proved most satisfactory on all grounds, much to Philip’s relief – unaware it had merely added to Nathan’s frustration.

“Have a drink with us before you go, Mr Henderson,” Nathan’s father stopped him in the hall as Nathan was showing him out.

Philip turned and smiled.

“That’s very kind of you, Mr Child, but . . .” he began.

“It’s no good; I won’t take no for an answer,” and taking Philip by the upper arm he led him into their drawing room where Mrs Child was waiting.

Nathan was dispatched elsewhere in the house.

With a stiff gin and tonic in his hand, Philip was invited to join Mrs Child on the sofa.

“Please call me Maxine, Mr Henderson,” she simpered as she toasted him with her drink.

“Philip, isn’t it? And I’m Jeremy,” her husband announced proffering a bowl of salty nibbles.

“So, how are your sessions going with Nathan, do you think?”

Philip went on to explain that he had been much heartened by that evening’s tutorial, though he felt distinctly uncomfortable as he was forced to gloss over the manufactured reasons he thought it hadn’t been working when Nathan had gone to him. The fact was he had not really addressed to himself what he felt was an underlying discomfort – something perhaps he was not ready to face.

“You live alone, Philip?” Maxine Child asked.

“That’s right, yes. My family live in Cheltenham.”

“So, you moved here when you started at the school,” Jeremy concluded.

“Yes, indeed.”

“And do you cook for yourself, and everything?” Maxine wanted to know.

“Yes, yes,” Philip responded, “I cook in moderation, and find the microwave very useful.” He allowed himself a mocking grin of acknowledgement as to his limitations in that particular field.

“You must come and have a meal with us from time to time,” Jeremy remarked, taking Philip’s glass from his hand and refilling it.

“Um, I am driving, Jeremy,” he pointed out as the replenished glass was handed back.

“Well, in that case, why not stay and have a bite to eat with us now to absorb the excess? What about it, Maxie, love?”

Maxine Child said there was plenty to go round, and begged Philip to stay and eat with them. He couldn’t very well refuse their generous hospitality, though he did feel that upon such a short acquaintance . . .

“Nonsense! It’s only an invite to join us for supper. It’s not as if it was a dinner party,” Jeremy said, clapping him on the back.

“It’s only humble fish pie – nothing special,” Maxine said with a smile as she got up. “I’ll just go and lay another place.”

But the humble fish pie, with smoked haddock, cod, salmon, mussels, scallops and peas in a rich parsley and wine cream sauce, topped with buttery mash and a liberal coating of toasted cheese, upon which giant scarlet shelled garlic prawns were festooned, and served with green beans seemed far removed from the description ‘humble’.

Refusing a glass of Pinot Grigio with his meal, Philip did however succumb to Maxine’s blandishments to indulge in an extra helping.

“I’m afraid I can only offer you raspberries and cream for dessert, Philip,” Maxine offered in apologetic tones.

Do you like raspberries, Philip?” Nathan wanted to know.

It was the first time he had spoken throughout the whole meal. Philip met his challenging stare.

“I do, actually, very much indeed.”

“Oh, I’m so glad,” Maxine said as she pushed back her chair and rose.

Jeremy started collecting the first course plates, and as he got to Nathan, he flicked his ear.

“Do you like raspberries, Sir? Is what you should have said, boy,”

“Sorry, Sir,” he murmured sheepishly, avoiding looking at Philip as he said it.

After coffee on the terrace, overlooking a magnificent swimming pool, enjoying the last warming rays of the September sunshine, Philip made to leave, thanking them profusely for their generous hospitality.

“We must do this again,” Jeremy announced expansively. “What are you doing this weekend? We were thinking of having some folk over for a lunch party. Very informal.”

“I’ve nothing at all planned. That is so very kind, but surely . . .”

“I’ll get Nathan to finalise things with you when we’ve got it all sorted,” Jeremy said as he shepherded Philip to the front door.

“What a nice young man!” Maxine said when he had gone, and they returned to the terrace.

She smiled to herself as she reflected on how attractive he was and that he appeared to be very well-proportioned. She guiltily admitted to herself that she should enjoy seeing more of Philip Henderson. As her eyes followed a pair of butterflies dancing in the dying rays of sunshine just above the pool, an idea hit her.

“Darling, let’s celebrate this glorious Indian Summer we’re enjoying at the moment. It can’t last much longer, surely. Why not make it a barbecue by the pool and get everybody to bring swimming cozzies.”

“Great idea, Maxie, darling. Nathan don’t forget to tell Mr Henderson to bring some swimming gear with him. Tell him we’ve decided we’re having a pool party and barbecue,” Jeremy said as he clipped the crown cork off a bottle of lager and passed it to his son.

“Yes, Dad, thanks,” Nathan replied as he swigged a draft from the bottle. His gaze fell upon the still dancing butterflies reflected in the water beneath their courting pas de deux, but his mind was elsewhere as a slow dawning smile spread across his face.


Submitted: October 02, 2019

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