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This story was written for the Literotica Valentine’s Day Contest 2021. I plotted the story out and then found, meh, it is a stretch for this contest, but nevertheless, here is my submission for the Valentine’s Day 2021 contest. There is not a lot of sex in this story. This is about deception and finally finding love.
Lana Ocean (Estcher)
EDIT: I submitted an older version of this story by accident. This one has the jarring typos (all?) removed and has a toned-down sex scene that is something more Nancy… My apologies to those who read it already.
Part One — Galas and Gardens
Nancy Bates slowly made her way through the well-dressed crowd clustered outside the main ballroom at the Fairmount Hotel Vancouver waiting to get inside. She spotted her friend up ahead and waved and watched as her close friend Alice Berry spoke to one man guarding the entrance. The man looked her way and then split the crowd to allow Nancy to make it to the entrance. Posters on either side of the entrance broadcasted the Annual British Columbia Cancer Foundation Inspiration Gala.
When Nancy made it to Alice, she found her gloved hands gripped tightly and Alice air-kissed her cheeks.
“Nancy! What took you so long? The organisers were so worried!”
Nancy forced a small smile. “Sorry. The chauffeur had trouble parking…” She felt hot and a little nauseous.
Alice tutted. “It’s valet parking, my dear. You don’t fool me. You were dragging your heels again, weren’t you?”
Nancy looked away, ashamed.
“Seriously, my dear, you need to get out more. You can’t stay closed up in that house! It’s been a year! A year! Time to enjoy life. You’re too young!”
Nancy nodded. She had heard it all for the last year. Her late husband had passed from complications from rectal cancer. They had caught it far too late, and it took him in days. He had gone from alive and well to sitting in an urn on the mantlepiece in such a short time she never truly recovered.
They had met in the hallways at the University of British Columbia. He was an exotic American from New York, and her a shy girl from Tsawwassen (pronounced Tah-Wah-Son). He had swept her off her feet and they married. He had hidden his wealth from her and when she discovered she had married a Prince Charming, she couldn’t imagine her life getting any better. She had been thrust into the limelight of the rich and powerful, but throughout it all they had remained true to themselves and grounded, always holding on to their love for each other.
Rectal cancer at age thirty-four was unheard of. She still couldn’t believe just how aggressive it had been.
It had shattered her.
They had had fourteen wonderful years together, but far too short, when they had planned for a lifetime. The only blessing had been they were childless. She was barren due to complications with endometriosis as an early teenager. They had given her a partial hysterectomy. The scar still pained her. She recalled what George had said to her in their last year at UBC.
“That doesn’t matter, Nancy. We don’t need children. Besides, it just means we get to spend more time together…”
“Earth to Nancy! You have that faraway look again!”
Nancy shook her head and focused on Alice. She was pulling her through the tables set up all over the floor. The decorations were breathtaking. Up ahead was a stage with a runway for the fashion show. Music was blaring loudly from speakers and people were already drinking and laughing all around her.
She felt out of place and wanted to leave. She felt so tired.
Nancy saw the table for honoured guests and was pleased to see Will had arrived looking dashing in his tuxedo. He saw her and waved. Nancy had always admired Will. He had been the best man at their wedding, along with Alice as her bridesmaid. Will was a friend of George’s family and despite being twenty years older than George, they had been fast friends. They had shared a common appreciation for the same things in life. Will still had a full head of hair, but the grey had all but obscured the black.
“Will, good to see you,” gushed Nancy as she was brought around the table to sit next to Will. She kissed his cheek and then rubbed the lipstick away with her black satin gloves.
Will beamed at her and looked her over. “Darling, you are a sight for sore eyes! You still have the look! The one that stole George’s heart.”
Nancy could see the instant regret in Will’s eyes, and she tutted and pressed her hands into his arm to stop him. “It’s okay, Will. You’re not wrong.”
Will looked hopeful and glanced at Alice. “Alice, how are you? It’s been a while since I’ve seen you as well. How long has it been?”
Alice shot Will a look, and Will again looked embarrassed. Nancy knew exactly when it was. It was right after George had passed. Nancy grasped Alice’s hand and pulled her close.
“Enough! You convinced me to come beşiktaş escort out and here I am. Stop worrying about what you might or might not say. We are together tonight for a wonderful event. And I am so pleased you are here to share this with me. This will be a fitting night to remember George…”
The clinking of a glass interrupted her, and she looked to the stage where the event organiser was clinking a glass held up to the microphone. The room went quiet and everyone turned to listen. “Ladies and gentlemen, please find your seats. We will begin shortly…”
The music started up and Nancy, Alice and Will took their seats.
Nancy felt the night had gone by in a blur. The organisers were thanking everyone for their support and declared the fashion show a success and thanked the many patrons. Nancy could feel sweat leaking from every pour in her body and hoped she was not glowing too badly. I’m a fright just when I can’t be, she cursed herself. George would laugh at her, she knew. She never sweated, but lately it seemed everything was wrong with her. Her doctors just said grief has strange ways of expressing itself.
Nancy was nervous. She had grown up in a small house in Tsawwassen, never imagining she would be as wealthy as she was now. She used to watch the ferries disappear into the Gulf Islands off Vancouver to head to Swartz Bay north of Victoria on Vancouver Island with her best friend at the time. They imagined all sorts of crazy adventures. Her friend had been a sweet girl, thin and shy, but sharing a love for the wild open places and the smell of the Pacific Ocean in the air. They had known each other since kindergarten. She remembered their tightly held hands and secret kisses as they had roamed the beaches looking for pirate treasure.
I need to be strong for her and George, she decided.
The woman on the stage had just announced her name and Nancy looked up.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to announce our senior Patron for the British Columbia Cancer Foundation Inspiration Gala, Nancy Bates. She is likely well known to most of you. She comes from our very own Vancouver with a modest upbringing. She has been a strong supporter for our foundation since the passing of her late husband George Bates from cancer last year.
“What many people don’t know is that she also lost her childhood best friend from brain cancer when she was just sixteen. Nancy let me share that with you tonight. A terrible tragedy, and sadly this means Nancy Bates is no stranger to this terrible disease. She understands our cause. But tonight, we celebrate as we have raised a record nine million dollars!”
The crowd cheered and clapped, and for a time the noise was deafening. Nancy winced at the volume of noise, and Alice gripped her hand under the table.
“Thank you! Thank you!” continued the woman. “Now, Nancy has asked to speak to you all this evening and asked to speak at the end. This will be a surprise for all of us, I’m sure, but how could I refuse our senior patron? Please give a warm round of applause for Nancy Bates! Nancy?”
The room erupted in generous applause. Most of the people here at the gala knew who she was. When she had married George, it had been an international sensation. It was the proverbial story of the poor marrying the rich. It had been the Cinderella story of the times. She had never truly been poor. Her parents had been highly successful, and her father had been a professor at UBC, gaining her free tuition into the university. She had certainly married up, but calling it a Cinderella story had always rankled her.
Carefully, Nancy made her way up to the stage. Her high heels were always a discomfort to her. She would much rather be wearing a pair of Converse sneakers, loose jeans, and a casual shirt. Instead, she wore a designer black dress that hugged her form and accented her slim waist, full breasts, and a shapely, well-toned ass. Her legs shone in the lights on the stage and seemed to extend her height beyond her diminutive five feet and four inches. She had spent two hours in the salon that afternoon and her coif rose blond and stunning above her. Diamonds covered her neck and dangled from her earlobes. She was rich and looked it.
Being only age thirty-five and stunning made her the darling of the press. Ever since her whirlwind wedding and sudden international exposure, she was hounded for stories and she found her unauthorised pictures everywhere from newspapers to magazines. Par for the course, George had said. He had often apologised for her exposure. He said it was the worst thing he had ever done to her. In truth, she thought, the worst thing was leaving her behind to deal with it alone. She stumbled a moment on stage but caught herself. A few flashes went off.
She approached the microphone and smiled with practised ease.
“Good evening, everyone. Thank you for honouring me tonight and allowing me a moment to speak. I have enjoyed this beşiktaş eve gelen escort lovely evening and would like to express my wonder at the fashion show. It was a delight, and I am so pleased to see it showcase all the wonderful female designers from Vancouver. Please give them a round of applause.”
She paused and clapped with the audience.
“This Gala and the BC Cancer Foundation are committed to changing the outcome for the over five thousand British Columbians who will be diagnosed with women’s cancer this year alone. BC Cancer was the first to sequence the DNA of breast cancer, leading to a new understanding of the disease and how to treat it. BC Cancer was the first to discover and implement a novel method to prevent ovarian cancer. A method now adopted by cancer centres around the world.”
She paused again for the applause and a little cheering.
“Today, BC Cancer is leading the charge to cure more women’s cancers through innovative therapies and precision medicine. We are on the cusp of more cures for women in BC, and I want to thank you personally for all that you have given and your support.”
The applause responded slightly louder in volume. Nancy looked out at the audience, who were predominantly women. Too many bald women were looking back at her.
“Many of you know me. You know my husband died from rectal cancer. It took his life so quickly…” her voice broke and she stopped and gathered herself. “So quickly.” She took a breath and calmed herself. The room was silent. “Many of you here have similar stories. Lost love ones. Lost to a cancer that is insidious in how it tears its victims and the victim’s families apart. Tonight, you heard that I also lost my best friend when I was quite young. She was so bright and so full of life and love…” Her voice broke again and for a moment she thought she saw her lost friend, standing in the back, wearing that silly sundress she loved. Nancy could imagine her making faces at her in this moment and laughing. Her red hair flashing and freckles standing out so boldly. Nancy could still remember the pattern of those freckles and how she used to draw pictures with them and get her to guess what it was she drew. Wrong or right, she was always rewarded with a kiss. A soft kiss, tasting slightly of salt from the air. Her first love taken by cancer.
Nancy fought the grief and felt her heart lurch painfully in her chest. She drew in a gasp of air, and her sob echoed loudly in the ballroom. The room was silent, witnessing her open grief. Flashes from the cameras of the gathered media popped and sizzled. Nancy looked up, with tears streaming down her face.
“I’m sorry, folks. My emotions are getting the best of me. Tonight, we must celebrate all that this organisation has done to combat this disease. It takes so much and gives nothing but grief and pain and anguish in return. I am now in a position where I can change that. To make a difference. In memory of George and my childhood friend, it gives me great pleasure to announce that I will match the generous contributions to BC Cancer raised by you tonight.” The audience gasped as one. Nancy turned to the organiser. “You said nine million?”
The organiser looked stunned and could barely nod in agreement.
“Nine. I hate odd numbers. Nine and nine are eighteen, but that seems short. I’ll contribute eleven million dollars, is that alright? To make twenty million total? Did I get the math right?”
The gala went nuts, and the organiser looked like she might faint. The press with their cameras surged forward, and the ballroom lit up with flashes. Nancy looked toward Alice and Will and saw their smiling faces. Nancy closed her eyes and thought of George and her friend. For you, my loves, she thought.
What happened next was a blur of activity. The organiser tried to speak again but could not do more than gush her gratitude and announced the dancing would now begin. The ballroom was transformed into a dance hall and soon the music was painfully pumping with a heavy bass and people got out to dance.
Nancy was swarmed by the press and everyone who wanted to express their gratitude. Nancy smiled through it all and answered questions and grabbed onto Will and Alice as a lifeline as they made apologies and whisked her away to a private corner for patrons that was roped off and guarded.
Nancy sank into a seat and grabbed the offered glass of water from the man who approached her and gulped it down. She looked up at the man and did a double take. He looked a little like George.
“Hi, sorry, we haven’t met. I’m Steve Fagin.”
Nancy stared up at him and wished Will or Alice would return with her wine. She suddenly needed it more than anything. “Fagin? Like from Oliver Twist?”
The man looked startled and then beamed a wide smile. “Exactly! Do you know how many people don’t know that? It’s really quite remarkable! People today have no taste for the written word.”
Nancy beşiktaş grup yapan escort laughed then and was surprised to hear it. She couldn’t remember the last time she had laughed. She indicated the seat beside her. “Please, sit down. It’s starting to hurt looking up at you.”
The man nodded his head gracefully and sank into the seat. Nancy could see the relief on his face.
“It’s a bit much these things, aren’t they?” she asked.
“Yes. Too much sometimes. Still, it was a lovely night, and the cause is a just one. So much hope can come from so little.”
Nancy blinked. George often said those same words. She was warming to this strange man. “I’m sorry, I’m Nancy Bates,” she said and immediately regretted it. She felt foolish. She was so unused to her celebrity status, despite the years.
Steve grinned again at her and laughed, and Nancy joined him. The laughter felt good to her. She felt a little more at peace with the world. She grinned at Steve and saw a look of surprise cross his face and he stared at her. She cocked her head and raise an eyebrow.
“I’m sorry,” he said quickly. “I didn’t mean to stare. Your smile completely transformed your face. I apologise if this is rude, but I don’t recall having seen you smile in any photos for a long, long time. You really are quite stunning.”
Nancy felt her smile widen a little and felt a sudden empathy for this kind man. Just then Will arrived with Alice with her drink. She accepted it gratefully and introduced Steve to her friends. Steve rose and Nancy, feeling foolish still sitting, stood up as well.
Will looked at him a little strangely. “Steve Fagin? Sorry, I’m not familiar with the name.”
Steve gave Nancy a grin she shared and then Steve smiled at Will and Nancy thought he looked so very handsome. His tux was an expensive one. His hair was perfect without a touch of grey. She judged their ages to be very close. She followed the cut of his suit and admired his chiselled looks and tan. Her eyes roamed to his hands, and she saw the strength in them. Broad hands, with long fingers, that grasped and shook Will’s hand with purpose. His ring finger was bare and tanned. Nancy shook her head to clear it and sipped her wine.
“I’m not surprised,” said Steve. “I’m new to Canada and the West Coast. I hail from New Jersey. An American, I’m afraid. Please don’t deport me!”
“New Jersey? I don’t hear an accent. Don’t you folks have accents?”
Steve chuckled, and Nancy liked the deep baritone of it. “Sadly, or happily, no. I lost it in college. I studied in Florida in Tampa. That Jersey show made most of us learn to forget it fast if you wanted to not be a laughingstock or get lucky.”
Will and Steve laughed, and Nancy smiled and glanced at Alice and found her grinning at her. Alice looked at Steve and then back at her and waggled her eyebrows. Nancy felt the heat in her cheeks and quickly sipped her wine.
Steve turned to Nancy and then took her hand and leaned over it. She felt his lips brush it ever so slightly and she giggled and then slapped a hand over her mouth. “I’m so sorry! You are being the gentleman and I just laughed! I’m showing my upbringing!”
Steve flashed her a smile. “No harm done. I must be off. It was a very sincere pleasure meeting you this evening, Nancy. Your generosity is inspiring. Hopefully, we meet again. Alice. Will. My pleasure. Take care.”
And suddenly he was gone. He melted into the crowd and was lost.
Alice whirled on Nancy. “Who was that?”
* * *
Two weeks after the Gala, Nancy’s housekeeper, a young Canadian Chinese woman named Lan Chang, announced Alice Berry into the room they called the Gallery. Nancy rose from her seat overlooking the expansive Shaugnessy Golf Club and Country Club. She walked forward and smiled when Alice appeared. Lan remained by the entrance and watched Alice stride past her and embrace her employer.
Alice wore a tasteful summer dress that accented her still youthful figure. Her strawberry blond hair was tied back into a short ponytail and it bounced with her walk in her lovely white pumps. Nancy wore loose clothing that looked like it came from a box store. George had always been after her to dress for her position, but Nancy had always had her way, especially in her expansive home.
Her home was massive. It covered over 17,000 square feet in the Shaugnessy area of Vancouver and boasted an indoor pool, underground parking, and even a 2,000 square foot maid residence. Alice knew the home was valued at over thirty-five million dollars and loved to visit. She had no idea just how many rooms it held, but knew the mansion was far too much for her best friend Nancy. Lan was the head of the household and oversaw dozens of staff who maintained the house and grounds. She was a recent hire by George, mere weeks before he had passed and while his health had not been in question.
The room Alice walked into was a favourite of Nancy. She loved the light and the view and her ability to see the Strait of Georgia. Alice looked closely at her friend and saw the bags under her eyes and her waxy appearance. She was too thin and needed to escape the confines of her house. This is why Alice chose to visit now. One of the servants, Beatrice, had sent her a text expressing her concern and Alice had rushed over.
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