‘One Who Understands’ is the first book of a trilogy that began its life as a one off story.
The trilogy follows this order:
• One Who Understands
• The Most Valuable Gift
• To Walk a Mile
All characters engaging in sexual relationships or activities are 18 years old or older.
One Who Understands
“Hey, Mister Ed!”
Edward Walters looked over his shoulder and raised his hand in greeting as the pickup cruised past him on the town’s main street. He recognized the speaker as Reggie Halston, one of the wide receivers for the Bearcats, the high school football team Ed played the Guard position for. Reggie was grinning as he leaned out the window of his buddy’s pickup. His buddy being Mark Thompson, their quarterback.
Mister Ed. He hated that nickname because… well, he didn’t like to think about it so he pushed it aside.
He gave his head a shake and continued down the street. He was on a mission. He had to buy his sister a birthday card. Grace was turning 22 tomorrow and he wanted to get her a really pretty card. A pretty card for a pretty woman! He blushed at the inappropriate thought. He’d known Grace since she was 10 and he came to live with her and her mom Shirley Wilson when he was just a young boy of 6.
When his mom died in a car accident, Shirley, being her cousin and the only living kin available, took him in. He found out later that her charity was mostly to get her hands on his mother’s limited estate and the insurance money. Shirley made sure he was aware that she was not replacing his mother. She also told him that while he was actually her cousin once removed he could call her Aunt Shirley for simplicity. She did make efforts to keep him fed, clothed, sheltered and educated. Through the years he’d spent with her she’d often remind him of those efforts. He heard her complain that he ate too much to afford keeping him fed, grew too fast to keep him in clothes that fit, was too big for their furniture, and most recently wasn’t smart enough to get a job to pay back those debts he owed her for taking him in. Shirley wasn’t exactly the warm and fuzzy type.
Grace had been delighted to find Ed was an easy going little brother who pretty much let her do anything to him as long as he was allowed to hang out with her. Dressing up, make up parties, you name it, if Grace wanted to do it Ed would be right there indulging his new big sister. She had no idea the young boy was starving for the lost love of his mother and would take anything resembling affection. All she knew was that Ed was a fun new plaything. She had more of a nurturing nature than her mother and until she reached that age where boys suddenly became attractive, she would cuddle up to him on the couch to watch TV with him.
When the puberty fairy started to fill her out in areas Ed was secretly enthralled by she began to restrict her physical signs of affection to ruffling his hair, pats on the back, an occasional kiss on the cheek, and the even more rare hug but she always had a smile and kind word for him. She saved the boy from a very lonely childhood and he loved her deeply for it. Though they were second cousins they grew up together as brother and sister.
Puberty struck early for Ed and he exploded upwards and sideways as his frame grew to support the muscle mass it was destined for. His keen eyed gym teacher started him on strength training early and his body filled out quickly. Shirley’s food bills were the source of many a verbal flaying during those days.
When Ed got to high school he was immediately enrolled in the football team. He wasn’t particularly aggressive but he was good at the game as he was bigger and stronger than most of the others. He continued to grow bigger and stronger than his peers. He wasn’t as smart as most of them but he got along with many of them regardless of his shyness.
Then came the fateful day when the coach walked into the showers to get the guys to stop clowning around. He saw Ed delaying his own shower until the others had left. He’d pushed the boy into the room and told him to get to it. Red faced, Ed hung up his towel and stepped into the shower. The room went silent until the coach’s voice boomed out.
“Fuck, I guess we’re going to have to call you Mister Ed from now on.”
When some of the players asked him what he meant he just told them to look it up. Edward recalled the look of disgust on the man’s face as he left the shower room. When his teammates discovered ‘Mister Ed’ referred to a horse their laughter was a knife in his guts and his shame was complete. He couldn’t help that he was so big. Being called a freak by his teammates was particularly painful even if they did it as a joke. He did his best from that time on to avoid showering with the others either by being first or last. He avoided the coach most of all. When he could. He took to wearing loose fitting pants. Anything to hide his shame.
At home he moved his bedroom to the spare room in the basement. There was a small bathroom down there where he could take his shower without Shirley or Grace accidentally seeing him. He couldn’t bear the thought of them seeing his freakish nature.
Edward gave himself a shake when he found himself dwelling on that old history. He was eighteen now and he did his best to put up with the ribbing from the rest of his team though it still hurt.
He made his way into the card shop and began his hunt. He didn’t want something too drippy or sappy as Grace was not sentimental in the least. She was a practical woman. He wanted a pretty card with a simple heartfelt message.
While he was hunting he felt eyes on him and looked down the aisle to see Melanie Stanwell and Izzy Desmond looking at him and giggling. They worked in the store. With a bold look at Izzy, Melanie walked down the aisle towards him with a smile on her lips. She was a tall, slim girl with lovely brown eyes and long wavy brown hair which went to her mid-back. He’d heard the other guys talking about her, saying it was too bad she didn’t have big tits to go along with her sleek curves. Ed just thought she was nicely proportioned. She wore a lot of rings which always drew his eyes to her long elegant fingers.
Edward was watching her nervously as she approached and gave her a friendly nod when she stopped beside him.
“Hello Ed.” She glanced at the pink flowery birthday card in his hand and looked back into his pale blue eyes. “Buying a card for a girlfriend?” she said boldly.
He jolted a little then shook his head. “Sister. It’s her birthday tomorrow.”
Melanie’s smile grew and she leaned in a little closer. “You need help finding a card for her?”
“Nah, I think I’ve got this. Thanks!” he mumbled, a blush traveling up his cheeks. Melanie’s eyes twinkled when she saw the effect she was having on the big man.
“Well if you need some help just let me know,” she smiled.
He nodded his thanks and she strutted back to Izzy with a coy smile at him over his shoulders. She caught him looking at her sweet little ass and her smile got wider and the sway in her hips got a little more pronounced. He quickly looked away as he felt himself begin to stiffen. He cursed under his breath, closed his eyes and ran through his mantra to calm himself. His pants, which had been baggy two years back, were no longer that way due to the increased muscle mass he’d put on from training for the football season. He couldn’t afford new pants so he couldn’t afford to get excited in these ones. He had to make an adjustment so glancing around to ensure the coast was clear he shifted himself in his pant leg.
From the burst of giggles he heard he realized the coast hadn’t been as clear as he’d hoped. Blushing madly he quickly settled on a card and went up to the cash to buy it.
Izzy was the cashier and she was doing her best to catch a glimpse at what he’d had to adjust. He paid and hustled out of the shop. The evening air felt especially cool against his reddened cheeks.
Grace Wilson cursed her life one more time as she left the big box store to head home for the night. That asshole Frank from HR hadn’t left her side all night, constantly watching her with his creepy eyes. He had taken a liking to her dark looks. She wasn’t Goth but she did like to dress in black and she and her co-worker Heather had taken to wearing black lipstick and smoky black eye shadow. With her pale skin, long straight raven locks, and curvy, well fleshed body she attracted more than her fair share of admirers.
Heather’s long, wavy white blond tresses, blue eyes, and her rail thin model’s body was a perfect counterpoint to Grace’s more ‘full figured’ look. She was saving up for a nose job as she hated the largish one she was born with and her braces only had one more year to go. They hung out together whenever they could as their work schedules allowed.
Grace’s job as a cashier had been the only one she’d been able to get since graduating and as her salary was keeping the family in their home and fed she couldn’t afford to lose it. Her mom’s disability cheque wasn’t enough to keep them going and Ed’s paycheque from his part time job in the home center helped but it was her money that kept them going. Now Frank was potentially threatening that by acting like a skeeze.
She got into her car in the employee lot which was far from the door and sparsely lit. She put her phone in the cup holder between the seats as she prepared to leave.
Suddenly there was a tapping on the driver’s window glass and she jumped. She looked left and there was Frank looking in her window with his greasy smile. She rolled the window down.
“What is it Frank? I’m on my way home. Isn’t it time for you to go home to your wife?” she reminded him.
“Aww Gracie don’t be like that. You should be nicer to me. I can do things for you. Nice things that will make your life so much better. All you gotta do is some nice things for me,” he said, slurring a little. Great, he was drinking on the job.
“Thanks but no thanks Frank.”
“I can also make things really bad for you if you’re not nice to me. Think about that!” he growled.
Grace looked up at his piggy little eyes and sighed. It was true. He could.
“Take out your cock.”
Frank suddenly grinned and quickly looked around but no one else was in sight. He was also partially hidden by the other cars. He quickly unzipped his pants and tugged his flabby little dick from his pants.
Grace had to struggle not to laugh then not to gag as the stench of him wafted in the window.
“Mmm bring that beast in the window,” she said with a seductive tone. He grinned and leaned in against the side of the car. He couldn’t see her but he was expecting to feel her mouth on him any second.
Grace leaned away as far as she could and took some photos with her phone’s camera. He had his hands on the window sill so she got them in the shot as well with his distinctive school ring. She grabbed her heavy metal travel mug and slammed it down as hard as she could on one of his balls on the window ledge.
With a scream of pain Frank crumpled to the ground beside the car. She saw he was clear so she drove a few feet away.
“Frank? I just wanted you to know I have some very disgusting photos of your junk sticking in my car window. I’ll send you a sample to your work address when I get home. You pull any crap like that again, I will see everyone you know gets a copy. You leave the women at the store alone now. Understood?” When he whimpered and nodded she began to move forward but stopped once more. “Oh and take a fucking shower with soap you smelly bastard!” He whimpered once more and she drove away.
Maybe she should have warned him earlier about her anger management issues.
When she got home all she wanted to do was take a shower to get Frank’s smell out of her nose. She stepped inside and her sinuses filled with the most wonderful scents of cooking food. Grace looked in the living room and there was her mother in the recliner, drunk or stoned or both. She hadn’t expected the smells of cooking to have come from her efforts but it would have been a nice surprise. At one time she was an excellent cook and Ed would watch her for hours. Since the accident at the factory and her subsequent chronic pain, she hadn’t felt disposed spend any time in the kitchen.
Following the delicious scents Grace stepped into the kitchen doorway and smiled at Ed, the mountain of a man who stood with his back to her. She couldn’t get over how he’d grown from a normal sized little boy to this broad shouldered, hard muscled man. She trembled. If he hadn’t been raised as her brother she would have been all over him. That thought made her stomach twist nervously like butterflies were duking it out inside her. She loved her ‘little’ brother but sometimes she got so confused.
She must have made a sound as he looked over his shoulder at her and his face lit up with a happy smile when he saw her standing in the kitchen entrance. “Welcome home. I’m making your favorite! Chicken and Chorizo Paella!” his deep voice rumbled out. She smiled in return and studied his innocent face. Fair haired, light yellow blonde to be specific, reasonably styled and short. She cut his hair so they could save some money. He had amazing pale blue eyes under light brows. His nose had a bump on it where it had been broken and badly reset. It had character. He had nice lips and was almost always smiling. His jaw was strong and square. The overall combination wasn’t classically beautiful but still pleasing to look at. He turned back to finish cooking.
She couldn’t stop her eyes from traveling over his body as his back was turned. Though it made her squirm with guilt to think this way about Ed she thought his body was incredible! Hard, dense muscles and lots of them. Huge arms hanging from broad shoulders, and supported by his broad chest and powerful back. He didn’t look overinflated like those professional bodybuilders but he did look ripped! Every t-shirt he owned was stretched almost to death over his torso. At home he wore sleeveless T’s as they were more comfortable for him.
His legs were sexy as hell too, currently hidden in sweat pants. She knew her brother preferred to wear baggy pants but she didn’t understand why he liked that look considering how great his legs looked. She’d even bought him a pair of stretchy but tight jeans using her employee discount but she had yet to see him wear them.
Grace spun around and made a bee line to her room before she did something she’d regret. She knew her brother loved her so she had to protect him from her lustful thoughts. It would destroy their relationship.
She got cleaned up and into her own comfy clothes. Before she forgot she sent off the incriminating photo to Frank’s work email. She was sorely tempted to send it to his wife too but she contained her rage once more with difficulty. She returned back downstairs just as Ed placed the plates on the kitchen table. She noted there were only two plates.
“Mom’s not eating?” she asked.
Ed’s face showed his upset. “I tried to get her to eat earlier but she just screamed at me to leave her alone. I think her pain is bad tonight. I’ll save some for her for later.”
Grace looked at Ed and wondered how he could still show so much compassion for a woman who had never said a single nice word to him since the day he arrived. It was more a sign of Ed’s strength of character than her mother’s.
“I’ll carry her up to her bedroom after I do the dishes,” he said.
Grace had a momentary flash of Ed carrying her instead, up the stairs to her bedroom in his strong arms to have his way with her. She trembled and he noticed.
“Something wrong? Your food not taste good?” he said looking concerned.
She forced her mind away from those evil, lewd thoughts and smiled weakly at her brother. “No! Everything is fine! It tastes wonderful! I was just thinking of something unpleasant from work.”
They ate for a while in silence both enjoying each other’s company and the excellent food. Grace had to restrain herself from wolfing the paella down. As he’d said it was her favorite.
He tried to put a casual expression on his face as he asked her a question. “Speaking of work, did you find out if you have tomorrow night off? It’s our final playoff game for the state championship. It would be nice if you could be there.”
“I’m sorry Ed. I wish it was possible but I was asked to work a double shift tomorrow. Mary Carson broke her ankle and they’re short staffed. And we need the money,” she winced seeing his look of disappointment which he quickly hid behind a shrug and a smile.
“Score a touchdown for me Ed!” she grinned as he rolled his eyes.
“That’s not what I do,” he groaned for the hundredth time.
She smiled at his frustration. “What is it you do again?”
“I knock people down,” he huffed.
She could always catch him with this little game of hers. At first she used to worry that Ed might be simple minded but he was actually quite brilliant with some things. Ask him to repair something and he’d figure it out and get it working in almost no time. He was a really good cook as mixing ingredients in the proper proportions in the right sequence at the right time intervals came to him naturally. Ask him to deal with math and he’d struggle but he’d get to the answer, eventually. Ask him to explain what was going on in any TV show involving human interaction and he’d get the surface stuff but miss most of the nuance. He was innocent in that way. Intrigue was beyond him. He was what you saw and people who weren’t confused him.
If he weren’t so easy going and just big he would probably have had a much harder time in school. Speaking of which…
“Have you asked out that pretty brunette at the card shop yet?” she asked him. Her love life may be on extended hiatus but that didn’t mean his had to be.
He blushed. “No!”
“Why not?” she pushed with a grin on her lips.
“I don’t have time for a girlfriend!” he smirked back. That was her favorite excuse for explaining why she wasn’t dating. The ‘I don’t have time’ excuse had been her automatic response for years. She shook her head at his victorious grin.
“You know you shouldn’t take such pleasure in using that excuse. It’s not like it’s made me hysterically happy,” she said in a rare moment of self-reflection.
“You deserve to find someone special,” he told her sincerely, looking at her with his beautiful blue eyes.
She snorted angrily as her mind went to Frank in the parking lot sticking his dick in her window. He was the perfect example of the kind of masculinity she was surrounded with now in her life. Well, them and Ed who she couldn’t have. Her anger flared again and she pressed her thumb against the side of the bridge of her nose as pain spiked behind her eye. Dammit! It was another anger induced migraine.
She heard the scrape of a chair then she felt his hands, his wonderfully large and powerful hands massaging the knots out of her neck muscles before they got a chance to really get started. Soon she was putty under his strong grip. The migraine dissipated as he worked her muscles. God his hands felt so good on her body! She wanted more and began to moan but locked that down in a squeak. She pushed herself to her feet as she felt her emotions start to go off the rails.
“Thanks for dinner, Ed. I’m going to bed. Not feeling well,” she blurted and rushed upstairs. She closed her bedroom door and managed to drop onto the bed to smother her sobs in her pillow. Life was so fucking unfair!
The team ran out onto the field and the crowd cheered louder as they saw their heroes. Ed didn’t bother looking at the bleachers as he knew there was no one there cheering him on.