Keira, Glenn, and the Nannycams
A Friction Fiction story
This is the first in a series of chapters or episodes that tell the love story of a woman of thirty, her ten-year-old son, and a boy of fifteen, and their adventures together. It deals with adult-youth sex, same-gender sex, and incest. Don't bother if you're not into that kind of thing. It also takes a little time to get started; this chapter doesn't have any action at all, but it's the only chapter of its kind, so be patient while the main characters get introduced. That, or wait for the next chapter, of course.
Copyright 2010 Friction Fiction. All characters and situations are made up. Similarity to actual persons or events is coincidental, but fortunate for those who participated.
1 - Dinner with an Artist
Glenn had looked after Denny only a few times before Keira surprised both of them by taking him to bed. He lived about a dozen miles away from her lakeside home, farther into town, and he was a good kid. She'd first met him when he volunteered at the local Boys' and Girls' Club, spending several hours a day during the summer helping keep the little monsters occupied. Her son Denny, who was usually shy, seemed to take an immediate liking to the older boy. Keira spent some time observing his interactions with the children, and after a while she began to understand.
Glenn was good with the kids. He was even-tempered, she saw; he could handle just about any situation without needing to shout. Actually, she'd never seen him raise his voice at all, or lose his temper. He just went up to whatever little knot of energy was becoming a fight, and defused the situation with words and smiles, laughter and good sense, before anything got violent. He spoke with a languorous drawl that was at once easygoing and authoritative; Keira found it charming.
All the kids seemed to look up to him, not just her son. Glenn could be counted on to form rational, balanced judgments, and was often a referee in trading-card or board games. He seemed to know all the deepest arcana of Pokémon and Magic, handling nerdish disputes with a quiet authority that left everyone with a clear understanding of combat resolution. (That was what Denny called it; he'd picked up the term from Glenn, it seemed.)
He was good with the athletes too, keeping the hoop matches from getting pushy, keeping the soccer teams focused on the game instead of making fun of each other. Best of all, he was bright -- easily able to help any of them with their homework, with a knack for explaining even difficult concepts in a way that was approachable to a forming young mind.
As the weeks went on, she grew to admire the handsome young teen. He had a talent for drawing -- sometimes with pencils and other times using pen and ink -- and spent the quieter moments at the club sketching out little doodles by request for the kids. Favorites for the boys included Transformers, Spider-Man, and hot rods; the girls tended to request ponies, princesses, and magical creatures of almost every variety. They'd come up to him where he sat with his pad and instruments, make their requests, and watch in wide-eyed joy as he shaped their ideas into lines on the page.
He always pushed his red hair back from his brow when he was done, waiting nervously for their judgment of his work, and his bright green eyes sparkled when they pronounced their contentment. The youngest were the least reserved in their praise, usually hugging him in delight. His face broke into a big sweet smile then, his braces glittering. Even Denny offered that payment, his energetic little ten-year-old body wriggling in the larger boy's arms.
Denny had a fairly good collection not too long after summer began, his bedroom walls festooned with sketches of fighter jets, spaceships, aliens, and motorcycles. Some were accented by his own drawings, at first awkward and rough copies of Glenn's work; but as time went on Keira saw that Denny's abilities were improving, becoming more refined. Sometimes she stood amid it all and realized that her son was exploring on his own, visiting new spaces and forms of expression that were no longer an extension of herself. Her heart ached when she saw that he was becoming his own person, but she was balmed by his constant presence and still-unyielding attachment to her. He was a fledgling, but he was beginning to stretch his wings a little, and it was far better and more innocent than the other, earlier explorations he'd made when they had been living in Cliveston.
Keira saw that Glenn had another circle of admirers, these the barely-preteen girls old enough to form a crush. They usually kept at a distance, watching in a breathless little knot as the younger kids swarmed around him. Their conversations were always sotto voce, their eyes always on him as they whispered to one another, and she sometimes overheard words like cute and hot and total hunk, often followed by a wave of helpless giggles. Whenever he spoke to any of them, Keira noted, the girls would always affect nervous gestures, twisting their hair around their fingers, blushing; and standing with one hip to the side, emphasizing -- however accidentally -- their forming curves.
Glenn seemed aware of his magnetic charm over them, but he took it well. It didn't fluster or embarrass him, and he never tried to use it to some kind of advantage. She would have noticed right away if he did; her antennae were unusually sensitive in that area. She knew the look in a boy's eyes when seduction was on his mind, and Glenn didn't show any sign of that with any of the girls at the club.
She didn't end up speaking to him directly until the night her car crapped out on the way back from work, leaving her son stranded at the club until several hours past closing time. He was only fifteen, but Glenn came to her rescue and handled the responsibility perfectly, and she was grateful for that.
For his part, Denny fell for the older boy instantly; from then on, no one else would do except Glenn when he needed to be looked after. She fell for him nearly as quickly; three weeks after he gave her his phone number, they began making love.
She'd phoned ahead to let the staff know where she was, then tried her little list of babysitters. Most of them were adults, and they'd all sat for Denny at least two times each. Of the six she trusted with her boy, four weren't at home, one had the flu, and one said she'd normally be glad to look after Denny for a while, but her newborn girl was running her ragged.
Keira turned to the three teen girls on her list, but they were all out on dates. They answered their phones, which was kind -- but as they were all too young to drive, and thus relying on a parent for transportation, they were nearly as stranded as she was.
Feeling increasingly desperate, she called the club again to see if there was anything they could think of to help. Maybe they had a childcare suggestion. The lakeside town was too small for a daycare center; neighbors were in the habit of looking after one another's children. It was one of the things she liked about living there. Everyone knew everyone.
The phone was picked up on the fifth ring. "Burlingham Boys' and Girls' Club, how may I help you?"
Keira paused. The voice on the other end was deep enough to be recognizably male, but seemed a little too young to be in charge of much. Sometimes one of the volunteer kids picked up. "Hello, this is Keira Waite, Denny's mother. Is Phil around?"
"He's locking up. I'll go get him, all right?"
"Please," Keira said, her heart sinking. Locking up. That wasn't good.
In a moment another voice came on the line. "Keira? How's it going with the car?"
"Fine," she said, looking nervously at the roadside mechanic as he finished the job of getting it jumped and running. The battery, he'd said. They usually weren't good for more than five years, so hers was due for a replacement. "But I'm still up in Cliveston. It'll probably be forty-five minutes, at least, before I can get down there to collect Denny."
"Oh," Phil said. "I'm sorry you're having that much trouble."
"Thanks. Look, Phil, all my sitters are unreachable or out of the running. Do you have anyone I can leave Denny with until I get there? I'll pay."
"I'm sure you would, Keira -- but our list is actually shorter than yours, and all your names are on it."
"Shit," Keira said. "Uh, sorry." Phil chuckled his understanding. "I don't suppose..."
"Ah, hell, Keira, I'd really love to help you, but we can't keep the doors open past eight, and we sure can't keep any kids here past then either. You know how it is. Insurance, and..."
"Right," Keira nodded at the unspoken. A young boy left all alone with an adult staff member inside a large, closed-up building could lead to all sorts of nasty rumors. "Damn, Phil, I hate to ask this..."
"And I hate to have to refuse. James has strep, and I don't want to subject Denny to that sort of risk. Uh, hold on a minute..." She heard him cup his hand over the receiver, heard a muffled conversation. "You know, Glenn is still here too, and he had an idea."
"I'm all ears." Glenn, she realized, was the youth who'd answered the phone. She thought she'd recognized the slight softening in his r's.
"Well, seeing as how it's probably gonna be going nine by the time you get back, he was thinking maybe he could take Denny over to Sweet Stuff until you got here. He'd watch him, of course."
Keira dithered. She wasn't sure about the idea, but she was a desperate woman. Sweet Stuff was a café and ice cream shop two doors down and across the street from the club, a prime attraction in Burlingham's little downtown, such as it was. It would be fairly well crowded even though it was the middle of the week; as such it was a public place, and by implication a reasonably safe one. Still, she didn't feel entirely comfortable about leaving her sweet young boy in the company of someone she barely knew, except by sight. "Oh," she sighed. "Oh, Phil, I don't know..."
The man chuckled. "I understand. He promises he won't get Denny amped up on sugar."
"That's not what I meant..."
"I know," Phil said quietly. "But for what it's worth, Glenn is a good kid. I'll vouch for him personally. Denny'll be as safe with him as he would be with me, or anyone else." He waited while she thought about it, giving her the time she needed to fully consider her options and balance them against her natural mother's concern.
"Can I talk to him?" she said at last.
Phil handed the phone over. "Ms. Waite?"
"Hi, Glenn. I'm in some trouble here."
"I know. Phil told me. Look, I know you don't know me, but--"
"Glenn, I don't want to impose. I know this is a hell of a lot to ask, but..."
"It's all right, really it is," the boy said easily. "We can just go over to Sweet's and hang out until you get here. No problem."
Keira imagined the youth standing behind the counter at the club, an elbow propped on the desk, the phone at his ear. She imagined Denny standing nearby while he and Phil listened to the other end of the conversation. Phil, needing to get home and help care for his sick four-year-old, and Glenn needing to ... whatever he needed to do. "I really don't want to -- I mean, I won't be back until kind of late, and I'm sure you have plans..."
"They'll keep," the boy said, and she practically heard him shrug. "Besides, I was planning mostly on reading anyway, maybe doing some drawing." It came out as Ah was plannin' on readin', doin' some drawin'. "Look, I have my phone and you can call any time, it's okay, and really ... I mean really, Ms. Waite, it's no problem."
"I'm willing to pay," she said. "Whatever your rate is."
Glenn chuckled. "Never thought about it. I mean, I never ... you know, babysat before." She heard her son's distant exasperated gasp at the term. He hated being referred to, however indirectly, as a baby. "Sorry, Denny, that's what they call it," Glenn said to him. He returned his attention to her, on the other end of the line, on the wrong side of sixty miles. "So...?"
"Well, I ... the others usually charge twenty an hour."
"Wow. That's kinda steep, ain't it?"
"Actually," Keira said, "it's a bargain. Most daycares want twice that."
"I can do as much as thirty, but not before tomorrow, you know, payday." She felt herself blush. It was a little embarrassing to admit to this teen boy just how strapped she was. "The roadside guy charged me fifty, and..."
The boy whistled. "How about we just call it even this time," he suggested, but before she could protest -- she did not want his charity -- he went on diplomatically. "After all, if I'm gonna be starting a babysi--daycare service, I'll need a few good referrals to start with, right?"
Keira wavered. "Look, I really can't take up your time and expect you to ... not be compensated..."
"It's an emergency," Glenn said. "How about we just ... I mean, if you're really dead set on paying, you can always get it to me later. You know where I am most days anyhow."
"Would that ... really be all right?" She felt a flare of gratitude balance against the knot in her gut. She hated being in anyone's debt. "I will pay you, I promise, but..."
He had the good grace to answer gravely. He wasn't trying to make light of her concerns, wasn't trying to brush them off in some kind of patronizing way. "I know you will. Meantime, Ms. Waite, we need to lock up, and..."
"And time is running while I dither." She sighed. "All right, then. Sweet Stuff it is, I guess. Nine?"
"Probably nine-fifteen," Glenn said, leaving the by now unspoken. Keira was used to the direct, blunt ways the people of Burlingham used sometimes, and appreciated his tact. "See you then?"
"Yes. All right. Nine, nine-fifteen at the latest."
"Okay." The boy gave her his cell number. "Drive safe, Ms. Waite. Don't worry. We'll be fine."
"Is he there? Can I...?"
"Sure, of course." He handed the receiver to her son.
"Hi, sweetie. Look, I had some car trouble, and..."
"I know. Mr. Clarkson told me."
"Okay. I think Glenn will be looking after you until I can get there."
"Yeah. He said he's taking me to Sweet's." Denny sounded a little thrilled at the idea -- and why not? He was going to an ice cream shop, with an older boy whom he admired, and staying out well past his bedtime. For a ten-year-old, that was practically heaven. "He drawed me a space spider." She heard a murmur. "Drew."
Keira smiled to herself. Glenn wasn't a rigorous stickler for grammar, but he didn't let the egregious missteps go ignored. "Are you gonna be all right, honey?"
"Yeah," he said, duh implied. "I love you."
"I love you too, sweetie. Put Glenn back on, would you? And Denny, you be good for him."
"I will. Bye."
"Bye." She waited until the exchange had once again been made. "So ... I guess it's all set."
"Yeah," Glenn said. "See you in a bit. Be safe on the road, Ms. Waite. Some of those curves get bad at night. Folks drive too fast."
She caught his subtext. Don't you be one of them. "Okay. And Glenn?"
"Call me Keira, please. I'll be there as soon as I can."
"All right, Ms ... Keira. Bye."
"Bye," she said, broke the connection and headed on home, wondering why she felt the odd mix of gratitude and apprehension that she did. Glenn was only fifteen, but he'd already been far kinder to her -- and her son -- than any man she'd ever known.
Some of it, she knew, had to do with the reason she'd uprooted them both from Cliveston to live in Burlingham. The things that had happened to Denny a couple of years ago had ... what the girl had done to him ... she supposed she could be grateful, at least, that it had been a girl, instead of a woman or a man; but despite how willing Denny had appeared to be at the time, it wasn't something she wanted to be repeated.
She refused to let herself think that Glenn was that sort of boy. How could he be, with his sweet ways and his willingness to be admired by the girls, while keeping it all hands-off? He was not trying for the twelve-year-olds, even though it was fairly clear some of them wouldn't have minded. And hadn't he, in all honesty, done some admiring of his own?
He had lots of opportunity, but he had self-control, and it seemed obvious that he was far more into girls than he was into boys -- and more importantly, girls old enough (more or less) to be into boys themselves. Didn't his choice of Sweet Stuff, a completely public place, say something about both the innocence of his motives and his awareness of a mother's natural worries?
She hated feeling like this, hated having to worry about these kinds of things -- even in a small town like Burlingham. But despite Glenn's certain innocence, Denny's history forced her to worry anyway.
The odometer stripped away the distance steadily. She counted it down. Fifty miles to you. Forty. Thirty. Oh God, son, I'm so sorry, and I don't want to face the day when my apologies won't be enough. I hope you'll understand someday that I've been doing it all for you, only you, my love.
Twenty. Ten. She sighed when she crested the final rise and the lights of Burlingham hove into view, glittering on one side while the vast darkness of the lake on the other swallowed everything into its void.
Five. Three. Two. Done.
She got there a little past nine, deciding to chance turning off the car. It had been running for nearly an hour, and she judged it would be enough to charge the battery, at least a little -- but she knew her days were numbered on that one. If she was very lucky, she might be able to wring as many as two more weeks out of the little Hyundai's minuscule cell, but that would assume the gods were all on her side. Based on prior fortunes, she doubted that was the case.
She went into Sweet's, the crowd still fairly thick for the hour, and spied them immediately. They were seated across from one another in a booth. Denny was facing the door and waved happily when he saw her. "Hi, Mommy!"
Glenn turned around and smiled. "Hey, Ms. Waite," he said, standing, all manners.
"Keira, Glenn, please," she reminded him, and plunked down in the booth beside her son. As he hugged her she planted a kiss on his crown. "Was he any trouble?"
"Course not," Glenn said, regaining his seat opposite. "He's a great kid." His drawl changed it to he's uh greyt kied.
Keira looked down at the table, on which sat the wreckage of a plate of chili cheese fries. Denny's cheek was smeared with a little of the chili, brown and turning to crust. She tutted and dipped a napkin in the water glass, wiping it off while he fussed and rolled his eyes at his newfound hero. "You didn't have to feed him," she said. She was just a little piqued, but swallowed her ire. Who was this boy to think he needed to provide for her son like that?
"Well, I was hungry, and I couldn't just sit and eat in front of him," Glenn said reasonably. "I hope it's okay. But, you know, it was getting late, and..."
"My tummy was grumbling," Denny supplied. His breath smelled of onions. "Glarble-arble-arble."
"Well," Keira said, "at least it wasn't ice cream."
"No way," Glenn chuckled. "I'd never be that mean to you."
Keira smiled, feeling her spine unkink a little. All wasn't perfect -- she needed to buy a battery, God alone knew how, and have it installed -- but at least she was reunited with her precious son, who seemed none the worse for wear. Though imperfect, then, all was at least well. Glenn hadn't done anything to earn her ire, and she had no excuse to be ungrateful to him for his kindness. "Thank you, Glenn," she said. "I really can't tell you how much I appreciate your help." She picked up Denny's fork -- lying unused by the plate; he'd eaten with his fingers -- and poked around in the remains of the dish.
"You're welcome, Keira," the boy said. "We had a good time, huh, Den?"
Denny nodded, his eyes lit with glee. "His birthday is the same as mine!"
"Oh, cool," Keira said.
"Yeah! And he showed me this real cool game with tanks and stuff."
"Oh?" Keira managed around a mouthful of lukewarm fries and chili. She swallowed and went back for more; lunch had been quite a long time ago. "How do you play?"
"You get this pencil and some paper," her son demonstrated, "and you draw these tanks and cannons and things, and that's your army, and then you draw this real dark circle on your side, and fold it in half, and rub against it." He showed her. "And when you open the paper, if there's a mark on a cannon or tank, it means you hit it and it blows up." He drew a heavy scribble over the target he'd hit. "Bkkkrbbkkkbbbbshhh."
Keira smiled down at him, then up at Glenn. He was sitting with an elbow on the table, chin propped in his hand, his eyes on Denny. There was a small smile on his lips, indulgent and sweet, and she felt her heart open to him. He was so good with all the kids, but he'd made a special effort this evening on her behalf -- and it was obvious from his expression that he was smitten by Denny. No one had ever looked at him quite that way before, except herself. "I hope he didn't use up all your drawing paper," she said.
Glenn's bright green eyes moved to hers and he gave a little shrug. "I just use plain notebook stuff for that," he said. He opened his spiral-bound drawing pad, oversized and cream-laid, good thick pages that could take ink or graphite with equal ability. He flipped through it, studying his work, then saw her curious gaze and passed it over to her.
Keira forgot about the food as she turned the leaves, staring in growing wonder at what lay before her. His pen-and-ink work was precise, created with such skill that some of it looked like vector art. Other images were nearer in style to woodcuts, while still others showed experiments with cross-hatching and stippling. There were landscapes featuring trees or abandoned farmhouses; one made up of an impressionistic field of dots that resolved to cows in a meadow; and elegant high-contrast profiles and portraits of men and women, mostly of advanced age. Glenn had taken particular care to capture both the lines and creases around their eyes and mouths, and a glimmering radiance to their pupils that spoke of hidden vitality and insight.
His pencil work was no less lovely, though much softer. He seemed to be fascinated by the interplay of light and shadow, in one drawing capturing the well-weathered husk of a decrepit rowboat by the edge of the lake -- she recognized it instantly as the scene near Peed's Wharf, a popular swimming spot; in another was the rusting frame of an ancient Hudson Hornet surrounded by weeds, sunlight glimmering on what remained of its windows and the broken glass scattered across its hood. She could almost feel the pits and rises in its timeworn, tortured skin. Still another was a spider's web, glimmering with jewels of dew gathered along its strands. It took her a while to see where he'd put the spider, off to one side, repairing its net. In some of the drawings, the quality looked far more like black-and-white photographs than anything made by a young boy's hand.
She closed the pad and passed it back across to him, seeing the anxious question in his eyes. "They're beautiful," she said. "Really, truly beautiful, Glenn." She didn't know it, but the look in her eyes was the same as the girls who gazed on him in total rapture. She felt like she'd just toured an art museum. Burlingham didn't know what lay in its midst, quiet and undiscovered and all of a mere fifteen.
He blushed and cast his eyes down, his face breaking into a wide grin. The metal on his teeth shone almost as brightly as his freckles, brought to prominence by the flaming redness in his cheeks. "Thanks," he said quietly. He shrugged a little, studying his fingers as they turned in slow loops over the pad's cover. "I guess I like drawing. And I guess ... maybe I'm not too bad at it. Sorta."
He wasn't fishing for a compliment, Keira saw clearly. He knew he had talent, but he wasn't comfortable with praise just yet. "Well, I've seen a lot of art done by a lot of people, and believe me when I tell you. You blow them all clean out of the water, Glenn. You could easily make a good life for yourself just from doing this."
"Gosh." He stared up at her, his eyes wide. "Thanks. You really think so?"
"Oh yes," Keira assured him, and finished the last mouthful of her sinful salty meal. She swallowed. "And I'd love to talk with you more about it, but it's late, and I've kept you long enough. Come on, sweetie." She stood, taking Denny's hand. The boy whined a little. "Now stop that. You'll have plenty of time to pester Glenn again, but it's way past your bedtime -- and mine too."
Glenn stood with them. "Yeah, Den," he said. "I gotta go home, hose down, and sack out." The younger boy giggled. "I'll catch you later, okay, short stack?"
Denny stared up. "You gonna be at the club tomorrow?"
"Does a jellyfish go with peanut butter?" Glenn said, and Denny giggled again. "Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow, all right?"
Keira stared down at her son, really surprised to see the blatant hero-worship in his eyes. She blinked at Glenn and knew in a flash that he'd seen it too, but it didn't seem to bother him. Well, why should it? He was more than used, by now, to being the object of a youthful crush -- though usually it was the girls that ended up being so taken with him. "Thank you again, Glenn," she said.
"Any time," he smiled, and put his hand on Denny's head, ruffling his fingers through the boy's cornsilk locks. Her son virtually purred at the touch. "I mean it, Keira. If you need someone to look after him, you call me. Any time at all." He smiled at Denny. "If that's all right with you, Den."
"Yeah," Denny murmured. He sighed. "Yeah." And she knew that her boy had fallen in love with Glenn.
"I'll keep it in mind," she smiled, and passed Glenn a little bit of folded paper. It was an innocent thing, made out by her before she left on the long drive home that night, but its significance would eventually be shown as the first step in their lives together. "Good night, Glenn."
"G'night, Keira. Night, Den." He watched them leave, then sat at the table again to finish what was left of the dinner. He opened the paper Keira had given him, saw her phone number on it, with IOU written underneath.
He smiled, opened his pad and pulled out his leads, and began to draw.