Page 67 Payment In Kind

                                         PAYMENT IN KIND.                                                      1-31-11

                                                             Roy Garde.

Carrie Lewis Carburton kissed all three of her children goodbye and then she helped her youngest one to climb up into the school bus to re-join his sisters who had scrambled on board one second after the doors had opened and had then disappeared into the belly of the behemoth.

She waved “Hi” to the driver, who looked to her to be too young to be in charge of anything bigger than a scooter, and then she stayed where she was on the sidewalk and waved until the bus had turned the corner at the end of her street even though she couldn’t see anything inside it because the sunlight was being reflected back to her off the windows.

Her street‘s name was ‘Carburton Lane’ which tells you a good deal right there.

When she got back inside she breathed out a huge sigh of relief and then she prepared her own breakfast.

She’d inherited the house – which had been in her husband’s family for many years – when he’d died of a heart attack several years earlier at the age of forty-three. Obviously, the mortgage had been fully paid off – around a century before! – and, luckily, he’d resisted taking out a another one although it had been very tempting because he hadn’t been able to find a decent paying job in the two years after he’d lost his managerial position in the factory that had had to close down when all three of its products became obsolete overnight due to the arrival on the market of digital models from China that not only had several extra and ingenious features incorporated into them but were carrying a price tag that his company couldn’t come even close to matching.

The house was huge – it boasted six bedrooms and so many other rooms that not all of them had been given names to identify their use because some of them were rarely entered no matter about being used – and it had ten acres of prime land behind it and the two things combined meant that the taxes that she had to pay were horrendous and they, together with grocery and utility and school tuition bills and clothing costs, and all the rest, took up nearly all of the income that she got from the trust fund that her in-laws had kindly set up for her and from the dividends that came from the few investments that hadn’t yet been sold off.

She loved the house – she couldn’t so much as consider selling it and moving into an apartment no matter how sensible that would have been – but it needed a whole lot of upkeep, which called for frequent visits by artisans who, of course, all knew how to charge mansion owners monumental prices for their services and for the ridiculously expensive replacement parts that they always told her were essential.

So, when her children had gone off to school every morning, and she’d had breakfast in peace she’d go into the living room and relax with a second cup of coffee as she read the local paper.  However, after that, she’d go into the downstairs bathroom to clean her teeth and while she was doing so she couldn’t help but see that the tiles in there – they covered the walls a halfway up – not only didn’t line up properly but some of them were missing and others were so loose that she’d had to secure them with scotch tape. She hadn’t, and wouldn’t, get them ripped out and replaced properly because in their present deplorable condition they served to remind her of the unhappy time that she’d lived through before she’d worked out a clever method of getting work done in the house properly and at an extremely attractive price, viz: nothing!

Before her bright idea had come to her and some work had to be done ASAP she’d look in the yellow pages for a half dozen firms in the relevant field that offered free estimates and when they’d sent their reps she’d wait until they gave her a price and then she’d hit them with her spiel about being a poor widow with three children but none of them ever responded to her pleas of poverty because they couldn’t believe that the owner of a property that was more mansion than house could be even close to being broke and so they figured that she just didn’t like spending money. Because of that she’d have to accept the lowest bid and try to scrape the money together somehow and that always took her so long that, inevitably, the word spread among all the contractors and from then on she had to guarantee payment in full, up front, in cash before any of them would buy materials and start in on the work that was needed.

One evening, the fuses for the upper part of the house blew and she had to call an electrician who had done good work for her before and he found that both the wiring to the ceiling light fitting in one of the bedrooms, and the unit itself, had deteriorated so badly that both had to be replaced and when he checked the other rooms he found two more that needed immediate replacement too.

His estimated price to do the rewiring work – which didn’t include supplying the new fittings – astonished her and she knew that she’d never be able to get that amount of money together so she thanked him and, when he’d gone, she did some serious thinking about her ongoing predicament and it was then that she came up with the first part of a plan that solved all of her problems, and then some, and ensured that she’d be able to keep living in her – hopefully soon to be perfectly maintained because of her cleverness – home.

She picked out some light fittings that she liked, and paid for them on a nearly maxed-out credit card, of course, and, when they were delivered, instead of calling the first electrician back – he was too old to give her plan a fair chance of succeeding – she called several more and one of them was a good looking guy of twenty-eight, or so, and when they were sitting in her kitchen, and after he’d given her an estimate that was close to what the others had arrived at, she turned on the charm.

She was wearing a blouse that she’d modified in a way that would let her arrange for it to become progressively more revealing and thus, she hoped and expected, more effective. She’d augmented the amount of décolletage, which had already been generous, and had then rigged a modesty veil in the center of it and had attached a string to the veil and had tucked the end of it inside the bottom of her blouse. She experimented with it until she knew that if she leaned forward a little and then pulled the string down four inches or so, to the first knot, the veil lowered by that amount and revealed most of her lovely breasts.

So, when she’d brought the coffee pot, unasked, to give the poor sap – uh – to give the electrician a refill, she approached him from the far side and then she exaggerated her need to bend over so as to not spill any on the table cloth and, consequently, he was able to get an eyeful that extended all the way down, or all the way up, to their aureoles.

His eyes were popping out but he didn’t capitulate so she sealed the deal by pulling on the string some more and the veil slipped down some more until the only thing that stopped it from falling all the way out of sight was the fact that its top edge had caught up on her nipples.

Seeing all of that choice flesh did the trick and made him putty in her hands and it didn’t take much pleading on her part to get him to offer to do the work for free. Free, that is, if you don’t consider the promise of a friendly half hour session between the sheets, when the job had been done, as being payment.

She thought that she wouldn’t have to re-examine her MO ever but that proved to be not true. She found out the hard way, a few weeks later, that no matter how good a tradesman is with his tools if he’s highly distracted while doing the work – because of having lurid thoughts as to how wonderful it’s going to be for him in bed with such an attractive and classy and well endowed woman when the job was finished – he’s going to put the emphasis on getting it done quickly rather than doing it well and professionally.

The way that she found that she had a problem was when several rows of the recently replaced tiles in the downstairs bathroom had somehow come away from the wall. Everyone in the house heard the crash and a chorus of – “T’wasn’t me Mommy, honest,” came at her, simultaneously, from her three off-spring.

When she’d, at last, found what had made the noise she had a sinking feeling because it had been one of her first attempts at getting the work done for free. The tile specialist had been a nice, clean-cut young man who hadn’t needed the magic string to be pulled all the way down before practically begging her to let him do the work gratis and, remembering that he’d had been a competent and avid lover, that caused her more regret.

It was immediately obvious, of course, that he’d done a really bad job for her – on closer inspection she saw that the tiles weren’t in line nor were they nicely grouted but, unfortunately, she hadn’t checked his work until long after he’d collected his fee, in full and in good measure, and had gone off with, she remembered clearly, a beatific smile from here to here that came close to matching the one that she was sporting.

The bad tile job made her aware that there was a flaw in her otherwise excellent plan but she didn’t realize how serious the problem was until a terrific thunderstorm made two of the three light fittings that she’d had rewired and installed, for the same method of payment, fall down and dangle from their wires.

When that happened she knew that she had to sit down and think things through again and what she came up with saw to it that from then on the workmanship of every job that was done in her house and – when she’d perfected her technique and had decided to extend it – in the garden and the grounds too, was done in a professional manor and up to par or better.

She was well aware that her amendment couldn’t be a ‘one kind fits all’ proceeding because she had to carefully assess each artisan before deciding on an appropriate plan of action but in general it went like this:

Once it was ascertained for sure, that is when the one who she’d picked showed the proper reaction on seeing one or both stages of her entrancing, magically controlled décolletage and had made it obvious that he was both eager and enthralled at the prospect of being compensated for his work with her method of payment, she’d straighten up and give him coffee and then, when he was thinking with his upper brain again, she’d take the conversation around to the job at hand and then lay out her conditions.

Once agreed on she’d go with him to the job site and she’d get him to explain the different phases that it would take to get the job done and she’d tell him to get on with the ‘bull work’ and when that was done, and the debris had been taken away, he was to come and seek her out.

When he’d done so she’d take him into the living room and sit him in a chair and she’d uncover her breasts completely and let him touch and kiss them – if he opted to suck on her nipples, and years later she was still waiting to find one who didn’t, she’d close her eyes just as she’d had to do when her husband was doing it in broad daylight because seeing a grown man suckling made her feel queasy and she worried about losing respect for him – and as he was relishing what he was at she’d undo his zipper and bring his penis out into the light for evaluation and fondling and when he was fully erect, usually in about two seconds, she’d push him back in the chair to make its reclining feature come into play and then she’d kneel on the carpet and roll a condom on him and then she’d masturbate him using both of her hands.

She’d be a little apprehensive when it got to be time to deploy the latex sheathe because her husband had hated using them but none of her, uh, workmen/patients ever objected and so, over time, she came to realize that nowadays their use is generally accepted and can be equated with how, at one time, nobody that she knew wore seat belts but now everybody buckles them up automatically.

Her husband would only agree to use a rubber when one was absolutely necessary for one reason or another – like the time before they were married and were going to Europe on vacation and they’d decided to join the mile-high club and knew that they’d have to be quick about it because there’d be no time for her to douche properly afterwards, and another time was, before they’d had any children, they’d called a breeder to bring his stallion to their place to service one of their pure-bred mares that had come into heat and, as joint-owners, they’d both have to be there to supervise the mating so that they could, and see to it that he did so too, sign the papers of pedigree and, as they knew very well from direct experience, the second that the breeder had driven away with his stallion in its trailer they’d have to make a bee-line for the nearest barn and, once inside with the door closed and barred, she’d hurry to undo all the buttons of her dress, she wouldn’t be wearing anything under it to give him full access to her body without having to rip anything as she also knew from direct experience, she’d bend over a bale of hay and he’d lift her dress up and out of the way and he’d cup her breasts and do some friendly frotting, to both intensify the moment and to prolong the action, and, as that was going on, she’d cast her mind back to when she’d seen the stallion, which had evidently already smelled the mare, hurrying over to mount her and, as it moved, its huge and scary penis had been waving back and fore and up and down and with every other stride the end of it would bounce down and touch the grass and would picked up dirt and pebbles and the owner, who was holding on and hurrying to keep up, had to try to clean it off as best he could without endangering himself.

At that same time her husband would be thinking back to when he’d seen the mare’s purplish, pulsing vulva, which was as big as a dessert plate, calling out to the stallion to hurry as clearly as if it was using explicit words.

Her husband had loved having her fondle him from the very beginning, when they were still in high school and were in the back of his father’s car, and later, when they’d both become expert at love making in general, they liked using their mouths on each other but they’d learned to postpone taking up the sixty-nine position until it would be the penultimate one and, even then, they’d never go far enough with it to give him a happy ending because that would disappoint them both seeing that they knew several other ways to conclude their sessions that were far more satisfying.

It was that fact – learned the hard way and referred to with disdain as, ‘relief yes, lasting satisfaction no,’  – combined with her expertise that had made her decide to do it for her workmen because she knew that she could get it done in less than four minutes, and usually closer to a half that, and also because she knew that the lucky guy would be delighted with having it done for him and, like eating Chinese food, he’d find himself hungry for more a few hours later.

When he’d recovered, and had stopped thanking her, she’d push the chair back into its upright position, which was a strong hint that he was to go back to work, and then, having been given much needed relief, he’d finish his work using all of his skills and could take pride in doing the job properly seeing that he was no longer encumbered by lust and longing and lascivious thoughts.

When the job, whatever it was, was finished, and had passed her inspection, she’d get him to wash up and then she’d take him into a spare bedroom that she’d already darkened by drawing the curtains and then they’d both get undressed and she’d ask him to wait a minute before grabbing at her – which never happened. Not once! – and give her time to set her alarm clock for three fifteen because her kids came home at a quarter to four and she wanted to be sure positive that the guy was long gone by then.

She’d then lie back and give him full access to her body and seeing that clothes disguise the man – and also seeing that it was guaranteed that he’d be bringing the same, or more or less the same, weapon to the fray – it was always easy for her to conjure up her husband – especially seeing that she’d have always sprayed the pillow with his favorite cologne a few minutes earlier – and when the guy had had enough of going down on her, for starters, and had moved up alongside she’d subtly direct the course of the ensuing action so as to reinforce her illusion which always became solidly true for her as soon as she was approaching her first climax and it remained true through all of the ensuing ones and stayed with her until she was well on the way to full recovery.

When she’d done so it always came as a huge and disappointing shock to her when she realized that it wasn’t her husband who was lying on top of her, still recuperating, and once again lavishing her with praise and thanks.

All of her lovers needed a whole lot of time before they got to remember what their own name was and as she was politely caressing the current one – to let him know that he was amongst friends and could take his own good time to get himself together or, at least, he could do so until the alarm went off – and, if he’d passed muster, she’d find consolation in knowing that she’d be able to add him to both of her lists concerning his two skills which were, and are, his prowess between the sheets and his expertise at doing the work that she’d called him for.

Sometimes it became clear that the work involved would take more than a few days to finish and the tradesman would ask her if he could do most of it on the weekends or on holidays – that was because he often, if not always, didn’t dare tell his boss what he was up to – but she was adamantly opposed to that because, as she’d tell them all, she reserved the weekends and holidays and school breaks to be with her children.

In the same way she also discouraged her friends and in-laws and her own family members from ‘dropping in’ on regular weekdays when the kids weren’t home which wasn’t all that difficult to achieve because, except for her friends, seeing the kids was what they mostly wanted to do anyway.

As the years went by, when the word had long gotten around in the right circles, she’d been able to whittle down her list so that eventually every name on it belonged to an expert in his own field who was, at the same time, so appreciative of the first class favors that she could bestow on him that he would regularly call her and plead to be allowed to come to her mansion to do work for her, any work, that would require proper ‘payment’ and he’d offer to supply and install, or strip down and repair, or re-plant, or generally restore things inside and outside of the house and its grounds that, sometimes, she hadn’t even noticed needed doing..

Inevitably, as a direct result of all of that lovingly carried out work, her house and her entire estate got to be immaculate and instead of getting irate letters and threatening phone calls from various quasi-government-organizations, and the like, about ‘not taking proper care of your building which, as you must know, should be designated a national treasure and, which same, we’ve already submitted to the proper authorities for their consideration.’ she started getting congratulations for doing a good job, ‘which we hope, will be an ongoing one, on its restoration and upkeep,’ and, not long after that, she started to get requests for permission to allow various groups to come and see and take photos and marvel at the many architectural splendors that, as to fore, had been neglected and allowed to fall apart but were now restored and revealed to be quite as note-worthy as the descriptions of them had been that had appeared in some now long out of date guide books.

She’d sometimes let a group of ladies – if she saw that they were all serious types who would brook no nonsense – come inside and she’d give them free reign to look at everything – except, of course, the downstairs bathroom – and as she’d hear them ‘Ooooh-ing’ and ‘Ahhh-ing’ over one or another of the carefully restored details and praise her for the lavish amount of TLC that had evidently been poured into the work, she’d try not to smile.

She’d want to tell them – but would never dream of doing so, of course – that she was justifiably proud of how much actual TLC she had to continually expend, both before and after each project, to see that it got done properly.

“And what’s more,” she wanted to shout from the rooftops, “over and above all of that, my once sadly neglected libido is being given a different kind of TLC that is equally needed and which is, you should believe, being employed more lovingly and ardently and vigorously than the work on this ‘National Treasure’ ever will be.

“Also, I’m sure in my own mind and please take note of this important detail, the particular TLC that I’m talking about is none the worse for being designated –

‘Final Payment For Services Rendered.’ “