by AffectionateFather 05/26/13
The delicious aroma of onion and garlic simmering away in butter filled my nostrils as soon as I opened the door to my apartment.
I smiled to myself. I loved it when Laura came over unannounced.
"Hey, Sweety," I called, as I disgorged the contents of my pockets on the side table.
"Daddy!" Laura beamed, skipping around the corner from the kitchen and throwing her arms around me.
She pressed her body hard up against mine and buried her head in my chest. I closed my arms around her, feeling her slender frame, and enjoying the delicate contours of her back through her blue spaghetti strap singlet. I kissed the top of her head, and inhaled the tropical scent of her shampoo – coconut and something sweet I couldn't identify.
She craned up to face me, the strands of dirty blonde hair that had escaped her ponytail falling off the sides of her black-framed glasses. I swallowed her smile in a soft kiss on her lips.
"I wasn't expecting you until next weekend." I couldn't hide the delight from my tone.
"Yeah, I know. I just wanted to see you this weekend. You don't mind, do you?"
"Of course not," I replied. "It's all right with your mother?"
Laura hummed a positive response, and turned back to the kitchen. I let my eyes fall to her ass as she padded away across the timber floor. Below that powder blue singlet, her seductive curves were clad in nothing but a tiny pair of white cotton panties.
I exhaled deeply, savouring the vision.
"So what are you cooking?" I asked, as I rounded the other side of the kitchen bench.
"Just a bolognaise. Nothing fancy."
"Smells good," I encouraged. Laura shot me a sweet smile over her shoulder, then returned her attention to the pot on the stove. I lingered a moment, enjoying the view, then announced, "I'll change the sheets for you."
"Thanks," she said, reaching for another ingredient to add to her concoction.
I only had a one bedroom apartment since the divorce. But when I had Laura every second weekend, I would give her my bed, and I would sleep on the sofa bed in the living room. Initially it was about being a gentleman and showing her how a man should treat her. However, as the years passed, and she blossomed into such a beautiful young woman, my noble intentions waned somewhat.
I never changed the sheets after she left. Instead, I would revel in the scent she left behind – her shampoo, her perfume, her musk. Sometimes the smell was particularly earthy around the centre of the bed, which I was convinced was evidence of her masturbating. I loved it.
A few months earlier, when I found a pair of her forgotten panties under the bed, I actually took the day off work to celebrate the discovery. Far from my finest hour, I nearly ripped the head off my cock, while holding Laura's dirty panties to my nose.
I don't know where my perversion came from, and sometimes in those dark moments, I feared I would become one of those freaks who sneak around sniffing bicycle seats. But what gets me through is the thought that it somehow comes from a good place. I just love my daughter so much.
Please, let that be it.
As I finished straightening up the clean doona, the phone rang. I bundled up the dirty sheets, now too far soiled with my own body odour to be worthwhile anymore, and headed out into the living area.
Laura was ignoring the ringing phone, instead pouring over her pasta sauce. I thought that was odd. My teenage daughter would crawl through broken glass to answer a phone.
I cradled the dirty linen in one arm and answered it. Then immediately wished I hadn't.
"Hello, Karen," I finally interjected when my ex-wife took a breath in what turned out to be only the beginning of her tirade.
Holding the phone between my ear and shoulder, I continued on with what I was doing, walking around to the laundry by the front door. She and Laura had had another fight, and judging by the level of her agitation, it was a whopper. I only half listened as I loaded the washing machine and set the cycle running.
I didn't really care what had started this one. Laura was a good girl. She was always well-behaved and respectful, at least with me. In fact, she was the warmest, sweetest, kindest young woman I knew. And Karen, I knew, was a real bitch. Whatever had kicked off this argument was almost certainly my ex-wife's fault.
Karen was whining about how Laura didn't respect her, as I made my way back out to the kitchen. I could only manage to get in grunts of acknowledgement as she banged on and on. Laura, however, was rigid at the stove, doing her absolute best to pretend I wasn't talking to her mother behind her.
"You know, she only wants to stay with you because you're right in the city," Karen spat through the phone.
I rolled my eyes. I'd heard that little chestnut before. Now Laura was eighteen and could go out drinking with her friends, my place in the heart of the city was the perfect crash pad. And that, as far as her mother was concerned, was the only reason Laura had been coming over more and more lately.
The comment was designed to hurt. And that, it did.
She knew she'd landed a painful blow, and went in for more. The accusation that our little daddy's girl had me wrapped around her little finger followed. According to my ex-wife, I was an indulgent parent who was only interested in being Laura's best friend.
"She needs a father," Karen attacked.
"She's got one," I shot back, unable to hold my tongue any longer. I left Laura standing tensely by the stove and closed myself in the bedroom to finish the argument.
"You never step up! You always make me be the bad guy!"
Well, you're so good at it, I thought to myself. She really had no idea what sort of father I was. Nor what sort of man I was, for that matter.
"And I'm the one that has to deal with the consequences," her tone finally shifted from anger to despair.
"Look, I'll take care of it," I said finally after several more minutes of venting. And with that, the conversation was over.
I came back out into the kitchen and hung up the phone. Laura was still over by the stove, stirring the sauce, her shoulders stiff, not looking at me.
"Okay then," I said. "What's your side of it?"
Laura's head shrunk a little into her shoulders, and she kept stirring. She wasn't going to answer me.
I walked around the bench and stood beside her, tilting my head to look at her in profile. Still nothing. So I turned down the sauce to a simmer and took the boiling water off the hot plate, then moved her chin up to face me.
She looked at me above the rim of her glasses, her big blue eyes misting slightly. Her lips were pressed tightly together, then she swallowed before starting her defence.
"All I wanted to do was stay with you this weekend," she began, her voice catching in the back of her throat. "And Mum had to go and be a bitch about it.
"I don't even know why she gives a shit. She's probably just jealous that I want to be with you instead of her."
"What happened?" I kept her on track.
Laura sighed. "She started attacking me, saying I should be studying instead of going out and partying all weekend. I tried to tell her I wasn't going to go out. I just wanted to spend time with you. But she didn't believe me." She started to cry. "Then she called me a slut."
Laura broke down and fell into my chest, sobbing. "She said I was just some nightclub skank. And I should have some self-respect."
I handed her the tissues from on top of the fridge, and she took off her glasses to dry her eyes and blow her nose.
"You're not a skank at all, Sweetheart," I reassured her, with a kiss on the forehead.
"Then she started saying that I shouldn't use you like that. Just some crash pad so I could go out whoring."
I scoffed. Laura had gone out with her friends half a dozen or so times when she'd been with me. And on more than a few occasions she had come home blind drunk at two in the morning. But "whoring" couldn't have been a more inaccurate description.
Laura began sobbing again, "She said it was cruel to make you think I wanted to spend time with you. She said you were a loser, and if you didn't live here, I wouldn't want anything to do with you."
I have to admit, hearing that made me feel sick to my stomach. It never ceased to amaze me how little my ex-wife thought of me. And worse still to hear it coming out of my daughter's mouth.
"I just got so angry, Daddy," Laura went on when she was a little more composed. "I told her to fuck off. And she didn't know what she was talking about. I said that I didn't care what she thought, I was going to come over and stay with you."
"And then what happened?" I of course knew more from Karen.
Laura looked down at the floor, unable to hold my gaze.
I lifted her chin gently with my finger. "What happened?" I repeated.
"I was just so angry, Daddy," she pleaded. "She was just so mean to you. She said the most horrible things about you. I just..."
"What happened?" I repeated more firmly.
She swallowed another deep sigh and went on to explain how she had snatched a bottle of red wine from the kitchen bench. Then, as she'd stormed out of the house, she'd poured the wine out on the carpet as she went. The final fuck you to her mother was dropping the empty bottle through the glass coffee table in the lounge, shattering both.
My little girl certainly had panache.
I let her description of how she'd slammed the front door behind her with a venomous string of profanity hang in the air.
"I know it was wrong, Daddy," she murmured after the silence became too much. "I'm sorry. She just made me so angry."
"I know," I said softly. "But you went too far."
Laura swallowed hard. "I'm sorry, Daddy. I really am." She was looking up at me, her dewy blue eyes were saucers, pleading with me.
"This is really starting to become all too common." I took her by the wrist and led her into the bedroom. I let her go when I walked through the door, and sat on the foot of the bed.
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