WARNING: This includes sexually explicit material.
Please note any unfamiliar spellings and phrases may be due to the
fact I am English, not American.
I would like to thank Morgan for all his help
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The next morning she dressed carefully. She wanted to be distracting
without being obvious. Most of all she wanted to appear slightly
stupid and no kind of threat. She chose a bright yellow low-cut
cropped top that displayed plenty of tanned flesh. She added a skimpy
pair of denim shorts and a pair of strappy sandals that displayed her
long legs to the best advantage. She didn't overdo the make-up and
left her hair loose and wavy. In Ellie's opinion she definitely didn't
look anything like an investigative journalist. She checked that the
Dictaphone was working and concealed it in her bag, then set off, her
heart beating at double speed.
The firm turned out to be a combination of a scrap yard and iron
foundry. The owner, Mr Peterson, was a short, balding who was more
interested in Ellie's than her conversation. After several
artless pleasantries Ellie pressed record on the Dictaphone and steered
the conversation to where she wanted it to go.
"Daddy says you are so talented. He says he always uses you. So I
thought who better to make a special pipe rack as a present for him."
"Oh I'm sure I can make you what you want. What did I make for your
"Oh it wasn't actually for him. It was for his committee thing that's
making Middleton so pretty. You know, the M.R.B. or M.R.C. or
"You mean the Middleton Restoration Committee?" Mr Peterson said
"That's it!" exclaimed Ellie, giving a giggle and a little bounce. Mr
Peterson's attention returned to Ellie's chest. "You're so clever."
"I do my best," he said smugly. Ellie tucked her arm through his and
"You made some litter bins or something for them. I don't know why
they need bins but I'm sure that's what Daddy said. You did make them,
"Yeah, litter bins for the high street." Mr Peterson confirmed, more
interested in Ellie's pressed against his arm.
"So could you do me a of a pipe rack so I could see what it
would look like. Daddy showed me the pictures you did for the bins.
As soon as I saw them I wanted something pretty like those bins you
made for the high street for my Daddy. So I do have the right person,
"Oh yes, it was me that did those bins. You just come back tomorrow
and I'll have some pictures done for you and you can choose which one
"Why thank you so much." Ellie climbed back into her car and drove
away, blowing the little a kiss as she went. Her next stop was the
firm that was supposed to empty the non-existent bins everyday. She
had easily discovered that this firm belonged to Mr Peterson's
brother-in-law. Mr. Walters was a tougher prospect than his relative
had been though. Ellie could hardly pretend to be a customer so she
decided to take a different approach.
"I'm doing an article for the local paper about the preparations for
the opening of the New Town Hall. Could I just ask you a few
questions?" Ellie tried to look as innocent as possible, doing
everything but bat her eyelashes at him. He gave a grunt of assent and
she produced her Dictaphone and notepad.
"Are you looking forward to the opening?" she asked brightly.
"Suppose so," he answered grudgingly.
"Will it make extra work for you?" Ellie persevered.
"Well you'll most likely have to empty the litter bins more often,
don't you think." Ellie held her breath waiting for his answer.
"What bins would they be?" he asked warily.
"The ones on the high street." Mr Walters looked at her in stony
silence so Ellie decided to be bold. "You are Mr Walters, sole owner
of Walters Collection Service?"
"Yes," he replied cautiously.
"And you have a contract with the M.R.C. to empty the litter bins on
the high street, haven't you?" He showed no sign of answering so Ellie
produced the photocopy of the contract and passed it to him.
"Oh, that contract... Yeah I remember that now," he said, trying
feebly to smile.
"So you empty the bins every day?" Ellie asked encouragingly. He
thought hard for a moment.
"I empty every bin that there is on the high street," he said
"How full do they get? Do you think they will be able to cope with the
extra traffic on opening day or are you planning to empty them more
often?" Ellie could almost hear the wheels spinning in his brain. He
seemed unsure how much she knew and he obviously was trying to be
careful not to incriminate his self.
"I don't empty the bins myself so I couldn't say," he said at last.
"Could I have the name of the person who does?" Ellie asked.
"I don't know who it is and I don't want you bothering my employees
when they're supposed to be working."
"Oh, I could interview them after work hours," Ellie suggested. "If
you just give me the name."
"No. Now I've answered enough questions. Goodbye, miss."
For a moment Ellie was tempted to keeping interrogating him but then
she decided she probably had enough already. A little more research
discovered the fact that Mr. Walters only employed two men. If
necessary Ellie was sure she could track them down and question them.
It seemed unlikely that they would know anything about the matter. The
M.R.C. accounts showed that payments were made directly to Mr. Walters
so he was the person responsible. Ellie made transcripts of the
Dictaphone's tapes and organised all her photocopies and research
notes. Then she made a final copy of her article and took it
downstairs to show her father.
He read it through and looked at her in puzzlement.
"What is all this, Elizabeth?" he asked.
"It's an article I wrote," Ellie told him. "I'm going to try to sell
it to the local newspaper."
"Are you sure of your facts, Elizabeth? I think that the members of
the committee would have noticed before now if the bins weren't there."
"Why would any of them be on the high street? They all do their
shopping at the Metro Centre or Newcastle, the same as you and Mother."
"I suppose you have a point. Who gave you all this information,
"I found it all out for myself," Ellie replied. "Don't you care that
your committee has been defrauded?"
"Oh yes, but it's not exactly a lot of money, is it?"
"So far it's over five thousand pounds. Surely it's the principle, not
the amount that matters, Father."
"Yes, of course. I'm sorry, Elizabeth. You've obviously put a lot of
work into this little article. It was very kind of you," he said
patronisingly. Ellie tilted her chin defiantly.
"I didn't show it to you to be kind. I just thought I'd see if you had
any official comment that you would like me to add before I submit the
article to the editor."
"You're not really going to try to sell this article?" he laughed
incredulously. "Where do you get these silly ideas from, Elizabeth?"
In a moment Ellie felt all her confidence disappear. Maybe she was
being silly. Why would anyone be interested in something she had
written? Then she remembered Carl declaring his belief in her
"You may be right and they won't be interested. But then you might be
wrong. I won't know unless I try."
"I don't think you should waste your time. It was very nice of you to
find out all this information for me. I'll show this to the committee
and we'll get it checked out properly. I'm sure they'll buy you a box
of chocolates to say thank you if it turns out you are right."
"I've already spent a lot of time on this and I'm sure of my facts. I
want to try to be a real journalist," Ellie explained.
"Don't be silly, Elizabeth. Even if the local paper does take your
little article seriously what could they offer you. They spend most of
their time reporting on weddings and funerals."
"It's a start. Everyone has to start somewhere. If they don't take
this article, I'll write another, and another until they print one,"
Ellie declared, hardly able to believe she was arguing with her father.
"Even if I forbid you?" he asked, looking annoyed.
"If you give me a reasonable reason then of course I'll obey you,"
Ellie replied in as dignified manner as she manage. "Otherwise I'm
afraid I'm going down to the newspaper office tomorrow." Ellie tried
to still her trembling knees as her glared at her.
"Very well" he said at last. "You can quote me as saying the M.R.C.
are very disturbed by these allegations and will be conducting a
thorough investigation. How's that?"
"Thank you, Father," Ellie answered, trying to conceal her disbelief
at his change in attitude. It might have been her imagination but she
thought he was looking at her with respect for the first time ever.
Ellie was more nervous the following day than she could ever remember
being in her entire life. She had her whole wardrobe on the bed and
she was despairing of finding anything to wear when Beth called round
to see her. Without explaining everything, Ellie told Beth that she
needed to look professional for an important interview.
"You want a makeover!" Beth cried. "Can I help? You know I love
anything like this."
"Would you really help?" Ellie asked hopefully. "I don't know where
"This is going to be fun. How long have we got?"
"As long as you need. It's not an official interview, I'm just turning
up. That's why I want to create the right impression."
"No problem. Lets get started." The morning passed quickly as they
worked to transform Ellie. They streaked her hair with light brown
hair dye and pulled it back in a neat coil. From Ellie's extensive
collection of clothes they found a black trouser suit originally
brought for a funeral. Teamed with an ivory vest top it looked both
professional and casual at the same time. After spending several hours
gossiping and laughing with Beth, Ellie felt much more relaxed. She
had felt guilty at first, miserably conscious that Beth was ignorant of
her tryst with Carl. It was impossible to be constrained for long
though, especially with Beth busily dyeing her hair. Ellie
determinedly put Carl out of her mind and enjoyed spending time with
A few of the nerves returned when Ellie actually entered the
newspaper's office but she wasn't going to turn back now. A
combination of a desire to live up to Carl's expectations and the hope
of proving her wrong propelled her into the editor's office.
She left nearly an hour later feeling on top of the world. Not only
were they publishing her article they said they would be very
interested in anything else she had to offer. When she explained she
was looking for work they had set up an interview with their larger
parent company. All they could offer was free-lance work, mainly
covering weddings and village fairs. But Ellie was thrilled to be
offered that. Now all she wanted to do was tell someone her good news.
She drove round to Beth's house as fast as she legally could. When
she entered the kitchen the only person there was Carl. As soon as she
saw him Ellie realised that subconsciously she had been hoping to meet
"I did it Carl!" Ellie cried, bubbling over with excitement. "The
paper is going to print my article."
"Well done, Ellie. That's fantastic," Carl responded enthusiastically.
Instinctively Ellie threw her arms round his neck and gave him a kiss
full on his mouth. The moment their lips connected all thought of the
newspaper and her article disappeared from Ellie's mind. Arousal
fizzed through her veins as she opened her mouth and welcomed the
invasion of his tongue. Without any conscious thought she gave a
contented murmur and pressed closer. Their tongues entwined and
pleasure spiralled through Ellie's body. Carl's hands were caressing
the line of her spine and Ellie's fingers were tangled in his hair,
ensuring the closest possible contact. Passion was overwhelming
Ellie's senses when she heard a horrified gasp. Tearing her mouth away
from Carl's, Ellie turned her head to see Beth and her mum stood in the
" What on earth is going on in here?" Beth's demanded. Ellie
took one look at their appalled faces and ran out of the house before
they could see the tears in her eyes. Beth raced after her and caught
her at the gate.
"Ellie, stop. Was he bothering you? I'll tear him limb from limb if
he's you!" Beth said fiercely. Ellie reluctantly turned to face
"It wasn't Carl's fault, it just happened. My article is going to be
printed and I was happy. And somehow I ended up kissing him." Ellie
"On the mouth?" Beth asked incredulously. "You somehow ended up
kissing my little on the mouth because you were happy!"
"You're probably going to find out sooner or later so you might as well
know now: I slept with Carl last Friday."
"What!" Beth looked at Ellie in disbelief.
"I know you're furious, Beth, but please don't hate me," Ellie pleaded.
"I don't hate you, silly. I just don't understand."
"Neither do I, to be honest," Ellie admitted. "I've always thought of
Carl as a kind of adopted but now that's all changed."
"How do you think of him now?"
"I'm not sure yet. I thought it would feel a bit incestuous but then I
realised that I had to keep reminding myself that he was your little
brother because it was so easy to forget. He makes me feel good about
myself. I relax when I'm with him. I don't have to worry whether I'm
making him happy or not because he likes me. I've never had someone
like me just because I'm me."
"I like you, Lizzy likes you, our families like you," Beth protested.
"More than that, we all love you."
"I know. But sometimes I wonder if we would have become friends if we
hadn't all had the same name. And your families weren't given much
chance to like me or not since I've virtually lived with you most of my
life. And you don't know some of the horrible things I've done. I can
tell Carl the most despicable things about myself, things that I hate
myself for, and he still likes me," Ellie explained. "He doesn't care
what I look like. I've finally met a who is as interested in
what's between my ears as he is in what's between my legs. He just
happens to be nearly four years younger than me and your brother."
"You're serious, aren't you?" Beth asked slowly.
"Yes. But you are one of my closest friends and I love your
more than I do my own. If any of you have a problem with me dating
Carl, I'll stop right now."
"What kind of friend do you think I am?" Beth asked indignantly. "I
want you to be happy. If for some strange reason Carl makes you happy
then I'm not going to stand in your way. I'm not saying it won't take
some time to get used to you kissing Carl but I'm sure we'll all
adjust. So why don't you come back inside the house."
"Okay. Are you sure your are going to be all right about
"Only one way to find out. Come on. We've all been dying to hear
about your interview. Are you going to be the next Kate Adie?" Beth
"You never know." Despite Beth's assurances Ellie still felt nervous
re-entering the kitchen. Everyone behaved as if nothing had happened.
Beth's mum gave the two jobs to do to prepare for dinner and
Ellie explained about her article. After dinner Beth's mum casually
suggested that Carl and Ellie should wash up and in a matter of minutes
the two of them were alone in the kitchen.
"Are you okay?" Carl asked Ellie gently.
"Yes, are you?"
"Of course. Mum was a bit startled at first but she soon calmed down.
You know what she's like."
"I know," Ellie replied, walking round the table to Carl. "I was
wondering what you were doing this evening?"
"Apart from the washing up, you mean. Not a lot. Why?"
"I was hoping you might like to go to the pictures at Teeside Park with
me," Ellie offered tentatively.
"You mean just me and you, as in a date?" Carl asked.
"Just like that. I'm not saying I'm in love with you or anything like
that," Ellie explained. "I had a really nice time on Friday night
though so I thought you might try dating a bit, get to know each other
a bit more. You never know, you might find that I'm nothing like your
"Maybe. Or maybe you'll find that I'm your perfect man," Carl
"Oh, your modesty is overwhelming. Is it a deal, then?"
"Definitely. I've just got one condition. I don't think we should
sleep together again. At least for a while."
"Why?" Ellie demanded in astonishment. "Didn't you like sleeping with
"Oh, I liked it, very, very much. It's just I know you, Ellie. I
don't want you to start thinking that I only want to be with you for
the great sex."
"You are nothing like any other boyfriend I've ever had."
"Good. Now come here and kiss me. Have I told you yet how proud I am
of you getting your article published?" Ellie willing walked into his
"I'm proud of me too. But it's all thanks to you, you know. I owe you
"Another IOU. Can I have that in writing please."
Copyright 1998 Vickie Morgan
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