Coming Home Ch. 02

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Kerri awoke early in her father’s bed. She opened one eye and peered at the ancient digital clock on the nightstand. 7:15. Her father slept next to her, turned on his side facing the wall, each deep breath punctuated with a short, rumbling snore.

She lay there for a while, remembering crawling into her parents’ bed as a little girl, curling up with her father and feeling safe and warm, curling up next to him as he slept, usually before deciding to jump on his stomach and brutally awaken him with demands for breakfast. This was nothing like that, of course, but the feeling of safety and calm was still there, a distant echo of what felt like another lifetime.

Kerri considered waking him, perhaps with something pleasurable enough to make up for all those years of early childhood mornings, but decided against it at the last moment. She fetched her clothes, left the bedroom, and padded naked downstairs to the first floor bathroom, where she took a long shower and washed her hair. She donned a fresh long-sleeved purple sweater and some jeans — the mornings were still quite chilly up here — and made herself some tea.

The pale sun had just crested the mountains as she took her tea out to the porch and sat in the creaky old porch swing. She put her feet up on the railing and thought about the previous night.

Her father had taken her to bed after their conversation — literally carried her up the stairs, her arms around his neck, his strong hands holding her close to him. He had removed her dress — there wasn’t much clothing for her to lose, of course, she’d thought ahead on that one — and then let her undress him, which she was all too happy to do.

For the first time since her arrival, he’d treated her like a lover — taking his time, exploring her body with his hands, kissing every bare inch of her body until she felt like she might go crazy with desire. Their encounter in the barn had been raw and rushed, almost desperate, as if she could feel her father fighting with his own lust and slowly losing. She’d felt none of that last night — only mutual desire and an eagerness to please, for both of them. In short, it had been what she’d hoped for the first time around, when she’d daydreamed of this weekend in the darkness of her dorm room, silently confessing her thoughts to herself.

Her father had been sweet, and passionate, and most of all, hadn’t treated her like she was still “his little girl,” or some fragile doll that he would break if he treated her too roughly. He’d still been gentle, maybe even a little hesitant, but Kerri had begun to detect a hint of what he was capable of — he’d tossed her around the bed a little at the end, not too rough, but just enough to make her curious and a little eager.

She had the bulk of the weekend left. The next step, she decided, was to see how far she could push him. She’d gotten him to admit that he wanted her — that in itself was enormous, and the one wall she’d been afraid of hitting and shattering their relationship into bitter shards. But now that he had confessed his carnal feelings for her — verbally and physically — she felt she could afford to bring a little mischief into play.

Plans began to unravel in her mind, making her heart race a little, and she burned her tongue a little on the hot tea. A weekend like this may never come again — she planned to wrestle every delicious moment from it that she could.

# # #

Kerri finished her tea and, on impulse, decided to make breakfast. She opened the fridge with some trepidation, wondering if her dad had reverted to a bachelor’s diet in his solitude, but she found the fridge stocked with food — probably in anticipation of her arrival. She put on some coffee, chopped up some ham and peppers, and started making omelets.

Dad wandered downstairs almost as soon as the smell of the freshly-ground coffee began wafting through the house. His hair was a little unkempt, and she was pleased to see he’d grown a little more stubble overnight, but he looked happy.

“Oh my god, you’re cooking,” he said. “Who are you, and what have you done with my daughter?”

“You caught me,” she said, pouring him some juice. “Your daughter joined a convent a while back. I’m her filthy, degenerate doppelganger.”

“Doppel-what now?”

“It’s called a vocabulary, dad,” she teased, throwing in a little of the sarcastic drawl she’d been so overly fond of as a teenager. “God.”

“Well, excuse me, miss college,” he said, pulled her into a rough hug from behind, and kissed her cheek. She grinned.

“Go sit down,” she commanded. “You can manhandle me later.”

“I plan to,” he said, and went to sit down at the table. She plated the food for both of them and set them on the table.

“So what’s the plan for today?” she asked as she sat opposite him.

“Much as I would love to just stay in all day,” he said, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, “I need to run into town. My reciprocal saw died on me, I need to get a new one.”

“Oh.” Memories came to mind of tagging along with casino siteleri her father at the hardware store for what seemed like hours, bored out of her skull.

“I know how much you used to love the hardware store,” he said.

“Uh-huh,” she answered, and then glanced up at him. He was smiling at her. “Oh, I see, that’s sarcasm.”

“Yes, your favorite. So, you’re welcome to come along if you want, or you can just hang around here until I get back.”

“Did you get satellite TV yet?” she asked.

“No, Kerri,” he said with the patience of a parent answering a question for the hundredth time.

She sighed. “Isn’t it like an hour into town?”

“An hour twenty. But I need to do it today. They’re closed Sunday and Monday’s a holiday.” He picked at the omelet with his fork. “What are these green things?”

“Peppers, dad.”

“So, you’re looking out for my health now?”

“Someone’s got to. Anyway, you bought them.”

“Yeah, I bought them for my hippie vegetarian daughter.”

“Oh my god,” she said. “That was one year when I was like thirteen. You’re never going to get over that.”

“‘Meat is murder, dad,'” he said in an angry, squeaking falsetto, and she threw half a cut strawberry at him.

“I think I’ve proven I’m a meat-eater,” she said, and then snapped her mouth shut. He gave her a knowing look.

“Go ahead,” she said. “Get it out of your system.”

“I didn’t say anything,” he said, his face a careful blank.

“That was unintentional.”

“What was? I heard you. You love the meat.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “You are so lame.”

“That’s the daughter I know and love,” he said, and drank his juice. “So do you want to come to town with me or not?”

She shrugged. “Sure. Just let me change.”

“Huh?” he said around a mouthful of egg. “You just got dressed an hour ago. Why do you need to change?”

“There’s the father I know and love,” she said in a singsong as she got up and moved toward her bedroom. He took a swat at her ass as she went by, and she yelped.

# # #

Kerri knew the weather this time of year all too well — it was cool now, but the heat was already rising and it would be nice and hot by midday. That in mind, she changed into a low-cut tank top and a belted skirt that ended well enough at the knee — long enough to not be scandalous, but short enough to draw some attention. She briefly entertained the notion of leaving behind her underwear, but decided not to push her luck that far just yet.

He was already waiting in the battered old red truck when she emerged from the house. The interior smelled like old cigarettes and engine oil — oddly familiar and comforting smells. As she hopped up beside him and belted herself in, he looked her up and down.

“You didn’t finish dressing,” he said.

She grinned. “Shut up, dad.”

He nodded his head at her shoes. “Are you going to be able to walk in those?”

“What, you don’t like my heels?” She braced her foot against the dash, letting her skirt ride up to show off her leg. “They’re awesome.”

He took her ankle and pushed her foot back down brusquely. “Kerri, you need to be on your good behavior while we’re in town. I know people here, okay? I don’t need any tongues wagging.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said, widening her eyes and giving him a guileless look. She shrugged her shoulders, deliberately coaxing one of the straps of her top down over her arm.

He gave her a stern look. “I mean it,” he said. “Good behavior.”

“Well, what if this is my good behavior?” she asked.

“Kerri…” she heard the note of exasperation in his voice and found it made her more amused than contrite.

“Yes, daddy,” she said, her voice teasing. “I promise I’ll be good.”

He shook his head, clearly not convinced, and she burst into giggles as he started the truck.

# # #

The ride into town was every bit as boring as she’d remembered it being. The local radio station, it seemed, still only played country music from somewhere in the Triassic period, and once they reached the base of the mountain road, there was little to look at but endless fields and the occasional cow. Kerri soon found herself counting telephone poles.

Forty minutes in, she idly wondered how her father would react if she unbuckled her seat belt and tried to blow him while he was driving. She had no real intention of trying it — newly acknowledged carnal lust or not, she knew from experience his feelings on auto safety were not to be meddled with — but the thought of it kept her amused the rest of the way to town.

The town itself was also much as she had remembered it — mostly one long, dreary main street, lined with broken-down strip malls and local shops with signs fully thirty years old. She was shocked at the number of places from her childhood that were still open.

The hardware store was the same, too; a grim-looking brick facade with a massive metal sign that read HENRY’S in rust-pitted letters six feet slot oyna high. But across the street stood a massive box store with a parking lot almost an entire block wide. As they pulled in, Kerri counted perhaps half a dozen cars in the Henry’s lot.

“When did they build that thing?” she asked, pointing across the street.

“About a year ago,” he said. “A lot of locals are pissed about that. Especially Henry. It’s pretty sucked up all the local customers.”

“I can imagine.”

The inside of Henry’s was cavernous and cold. Some of the aisles sprawled wide enough to drive a car through, others so narrow that two people could barely stand abreast of one another. Her father grabbed a cart and gave it to her to push. Within minutes, she’d begun to regret her skimpy outfit a little — the air conditioning pumped out cold air full-blast, and she had goosebumps running up both arms. Her dad, having apparently changed very little over the years, took a meandering route through the store, browsing through the shelves, examining tools and pieces of equipment she knew he neither needed nor wanted. When it came to hardware, her father shopped like a girl.

The store really was all but abandoned. While her father browsed, she counted less than five people in the store at all — a bored-looking checkout girl, a single service clerk, and a couple of old guys mooning over lawnmower parts.

Boredom set in quickly, and when her father lingered for over fifteen minutes over a set of drill bits, Kerri decided to amuse herself by wandering off to flirt with the awkward-looking clerk in the bathroom fixtures aisle. She asked him about shower heads while letting him look down her shirt, flipping her hair and giggling like she had an IQ in the low double digits.

She was just gearing up to disingenuously ask for his when her father appeared and took her by the arm.

“Excuse us, please,” he growled, and all but dragged her back to the cart.

“Oh, okay. Bye,” Kerri said, stumbling a bit on her heels and waving to the crushed-looking clerk as they departed.

When they reached the cart — this was one of those narrow aisles — he loomed over her sternly. “I thought I told you to behave,” he said.

“I was just talking to him,” Kerri said, making sure to look guilty enough to make the lie wholly transparent.

“You know very well what you were up to.”

“What, I can’t flirt with a guy?”

“I know that kid’s father,” he said.

“Oh yeah? Is his father hot?”

Her father gave a strangled sound that was part laughter, part exasperated groan. “Seriously, knock it off,” he said, closing a hand around her upper arm and pushing her back against the thick metal pillar that ran up the side of the shelf. It wasn’t near hard enough to hurt, but it was a move she remembered clearly from her younger years — the old stand-here-and-don’t-touch-anything routine.

She caught her breath and responded by taking hold of his shirt and pulling him forward. She had forgotten how small she was compared to him — standing next to him, the top of her head didn’t even come up to his chin. She took his free hand in hers — the one that wasn’t holding her arm — and pulled it toward her, slipping it up under her top, cupping it around her breast. He tensed instantly.

“Kerri, not here,” he said, trying to sound stern, but didn’t pull away. “There are people.”

“There’s nobody in here,” she said. She could feel her heart pounding under the warmth of his hand. “Nobody’s going to see.” She placed her hand over his through the thin cloth of her top, squeezing.

“Seriously, Kerri,” he said, gently but firmly pulling his hand away. She made a disappointed little noise and straightened her top.

“‘Seriously,'” she mocked gently, giving him a crooked grin. “Relax, dad.”

He picked something off a shelf, seemingly at random, and dropped it in the cart. “Don’t make me regret bringing you here,” he said.

“Oh, don’t worry,” she said, putting her hands behind her back girlishly. “You won’t regret it.”

# # #

After that, her father moved a little more expediently through the store. Determined not to let him off the hook so easily, she followed closely, standing as close to him as possible whenever he stopped, holding onto his arm and brushing her breasts against him. He had grown silent and a little distant again — but not out of anger. She knew his angry face, and he wasn’t wearing it now. He was trying very hard not to get turned on by his daughter in public. The thought pleased her immensely.

She tried to be careful to be slightly more demure in the presence of the few other people they ran into, but she earned at least one dirty look from a wizened old lady buying flowerpots, who probably thought she was dressed like a whore.

Finally, they came to the saws, ostensibly the entire reason for their visit. As they reached the shelf, her father’s shoulders slumped in disappointment.

“Fuck,” he muttered. “They don’t have the model I need.”

She crinkled canlı casino siteleri her nose. “Really?” There seemed to be two dozen different kinds of saws, all of them looking pretty much the same to her.

“I’m going to ask somebody,” he said, and stalked off. She fell in behind him, leaving the cart behind.

They wandered the empty aisles until her dad spotted an older man with a clipboard. “Hey, Rich,” he called out. Rich nodded and waved.

“What’s up, Steve?” They shook hands, and then Rich’s gaze traveled over to her. She watched him give her a very quick, but deliberate, once-over.

“Rich, this is my daughter, Kerri. She’s visiting for the weekend.”

“Hey, Rich,” she said, and smiled at him, putting her shoulders back and biting her lip as she made eye contact with him.

“Uh, it’s… nice to meet you,” he said, suddenly uncomfortable. “Your dad talks about you a lot. So, what can I do for you, buddy?”

“I was wondering if you had the Makita reciprocal saws in stock. There’s none on the shelf.”

“Which model?”

“The cordless.”

Rich furrowed his brow. “Yeah, I think we have one in the back, actually.”

“Think you could get it for me? Mine shit the bed.”

Rich scratched his temple. “Yeah, you know what — I have to get this exchange taken care of up front — why don’t you just go back there? You know where we keep them.”

“It’s okay, I can wait,” Steve said.

“Nah, go ahead,” Rich said. “Nobody’s in receiving today. Nobody’ll care. I have to run this up, Steve, I’ll see you later. Nice meeting you, Kerri.” He gave her another glance as he moved away.

“Bye, Rich,” she said, throwing as much honey into her voice as she dared.

“Oh my god,” her dad said in a fierce whisper, putting a hand on his forehead. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“Kerri, you just eye-fucked my poker buddy right in front of me,” he said.

Her jaw dropped. “I did not!”

“Come on,” he said. “We’re getting my saw and getting the hell out of here.”

As he made for the back room, she kept pace beside him, her hands behind her back innocently. “So is he that clerk’s dad? The one that you know?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Is he single?”

“Which one?”

“Either of them.”

“Jesus Christ,” he said. “Are you deliberately trying to aggravate me?”

“Is it working?” She grinned.

“Yes.”

“Good,” she said. His look told her that she was in trouble — if she was lucky, the kind of trouble she wanted.

# # #

They walked through the broad double doors to the back room, which was only a bit less cavernous than the rest of the store. It was a touch warmer here, and heavy metal shelving units held jumbled stacks of boxes and crates on every side. The only sound was the loud hum of the air conditioning.

Kerri followed her father through the winding maze of shelves, looking over her shoulder as they went, looking for any sign of life. There was no one else back here.

Finally, he came to a stop at the end of a narrow row of shelves that was half-choked with loose crates. He reached up and plucked a box off a high shelf. “Ha,” he said. “They do have one.”

“Great,” Kerri said, leaning against one of the shelf units. “Can we go now?”

He held the box in his hands for a minute, then slowly replaced it on the shelf and looked over at her, his jaw set.

She blinked. “What? Is it not the right one?”

By way of answer, he stepped close, slid a hand behind her head, and grabbed her by the hair — not too rough, but enough to make her scalp tingle. He pulled her to him, and she stumbled a little on her heels. She cried out, more from surprise than anything.

“I thought I told you to behave,” he growled. His voice held the same stern, angry tone she’d dreaded as a young girl — but he saw a faint smile at the corner of his mouth.

Despite all her machinations, she found herself at a loss for words — she’d been teasing him mercilessly, testing to see if she could drive him over the edge, but she hadn’t thought he would actually break. She managed a surprised squeak as he pushed her back against the cold shelving unit, hiked up her top, and put warm, rough hands on her breasts.

Over his shoulder, Kerri could see through the transparent plastic window of the back room door, see the faint smudges of people walking by. Her adrenaline went off, and her heart started pounding so loudly in her chest that she was sure he could hear it.

“Oh my god,” she gasped as he lowered his mouth to her right breast and took the nipple between his teeth. It was the first time he’d put his mouth on her breasts, and she’d been wanting him to for what felt like forever. The feel of his tongue made her flesh feel electric.

Kerri brought up her legs and wrapped them around him, hooking her ankles to hold herself up. Part of her wanted to kiss him, but in the chaos of her brain, she thought that that would break the role — she was being punished, after all.

Too soon, her father’s lips left her breasts and he brought his face up close to hers. He didn’t kiss her either, but placed a hand around her throat, squeezing just enough to let her feel it, not enough to cut off her air.

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