BHM Expectations

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Expectations
by StillGotNothing



Part 1 - The pool

“Cass! Is this all of your stuff? I thought there would be more.”

“That’s everything Dad. I did a big clear out. I made decisions based on what I would be happy putting in a house I would buy, even just to make do part time. If the answer was no I either sold it, gave it to a charity shop or took it to a recycling centre. Why?” Cas breathes dumping the last box into what was now to be her bedroom in her dads house.

“I thought there would be more. I mean you are the girl who would pack two kitchen sinks just to be safe and purchase a third for an alien invasion.”

“I’ve grown. I’m not a girl, I’m a woman!”

“A young woman.”

“Twenty six classes as a woman I am sure.”

“Well you will always be my little girl.”

“As long as when you say little you are not referring to my height I can accept that.”

“Well- ” is as far as he gets before a pillow hits him square in the chest.

“Don’t say another word! You gave my older siblings all the height.” Cass growls as her dad holds his hands up in surrender.

“But they would both say that you got everything but height. I’ve heard you and your sister conversing many times before. ‘But Cassie has better natural highlights than I do and all of the curves in the right places’, and I think she is a little obsessed with your lips, which you can thank me for any time you want!” He continues to tease.

“Ella has her gorgeous long legs and such an elegant figure. I would love to be able to comfortably go braless and wear the types of outfits she does. Her hair is perfect, her skin is perfect and she doesn’t have to draw on a quarter of her eyebrows because hair just refuses to grow. She hates me for spending most of my time in oversized t-shirts and jogging bottoms for there comfortablity and practicality. Can you ever go wrong with pockets and draw strings?.”

“You would find something to complain about. Rachel is the same. I think you women like it.”

“Do not go down that route of women this and that. Men are just the same they just don’t vocalise it much. Instead you internally brood and either explode externally at some point, that’s if you are lucky. Or they keep it inside and it slowly eats away at them over time.” Cass’s dad stays quiet and she knows she hit the nail on the head. After a few moments of contemplation he speaks again.

“I got you a little something.” He hands her a little card. Flipping it over in her hands she looks and sees a gym card.

“A gym membership?”

“It’s not for the gym but it is for the pool and sauna and steam room. The pool is Olympic sized and I thought you would like it but after being to the gym myself I have a separate membership for a weightlifting gym.”

“Thank you dad! It’s been a good while since I have swum in a pool longer than thirty three meters. Hold up. Does this gift come with any caveats?” She arches an suspecting eyebrow towards him.

“Only that you come swimming with me from time to time. Can test out my speed and technique on you.” He shrugs, a not so innocent look on his face

“You mean you want someone to race against?” Cass susses straight away.

“If you want to call it race then you can call it a race. I merely see it as a fitness challenge.”

“Yeah with a winner and a loser.” Cass laughs. “Sure I will race you old man but be prepared to be challenged like never before. When do you currently go to the pool?”

“Why? You want to check out your competition?” he jokes.

“No. The opposite in fact. I want to make sure our swimming schedules don’t match. We can decide a challenge day but before that there will be no advantages to either side given.”

“This is why you’re my favourite child. You at least indulge me a little. Your brother and sister not so much.” He sighs softly but Cass can sense the deeper sadness in his voice.

“They just like different things. If a new film is out or you want to remember a line from a movie or a book then those two are your people. I am not.”

“You are wise as you are beautiful kid.”

“Cass! Derek! Do you want a sandwich for lunch?” Rachel calls down. Derek immediately calls back reeling of a list of ingredients for his sandwich.

“What do you want kid?” Derek turns to his daughter.

“Ermmm let me think. To not shout down a list of ingredients to a sandwich I can just go and make myself sounds like what I want.”

******

Eric has just about had enough of his family going on at him about his weight. It was the only thing they could complain about, well that and his lack of a partner since his fiancé had left him because of, you guessed it, his climbing weight and that was nearly five years ago. He can’t help but chuckle a little sadistically if Fiona could see him now, back then he had only been chubby really, now he was fat. His gut was nothing short of substantial, the dome and breadth that it took up meant that he had to over extend significantly to see his feet or sit down and manoeuvre over around the globe of heavy flesh. He knew it was bad but at least now his weight had seemed to settle and was no longer climbing, with his regular gym visits and walking in the countryside he was not a hungry grumpy person that thought about food every second he wasn’t eating. When he did lose some weight his family had noticed and congratulated him but had then spent the rest of their time moaning at him for being so grumpy.

He fixed his dinner, an Eric sized portion of a home cooked decadent Thai green curry with chicken, prawn and monkfish accompanied with coconut rice and a couple of cobra beers. He had just received a promotion at work to Director of Information, Data and Technical Change which would see him have to find a new gym routine. The thought of that made him shiver a little but the spoonfuls of his tasty curry calmed that somewhat. New faces that would stare a little as they took in his form but at six foot seven he always turned heads but these days people were much less likely to be thinking anything positive, and less so about his height.
 
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“You heading to the pool?” Derek calls out to his daughter as he lounges on the sofa hearing the rush of feet down the stairs.

“Yup. See you!” Cassie calls out as racing out of her dad’s house and taking off at lighting walking speed to the pool.

This is one fancy pool. Cassie thinks to herself as she surveys the interior of the building swiping her card for entry. So much glass, steel and LED lights. It felt like she was inside a spaceship.

“The changing rooms are just down there and the lockers just require a pound or a token which you get back when you unlock them.”

“Thank you.”

“Oh and just to mention it is a lane swimming session so please be sure to pick the correct lane for your pace. The lifeguards will ask you to move if you are in a lane with a pace you can not match. Especially if you are found to be disrupting others swim.”

“That’s good to know. I will make sure I pick the right lane then.” Cassie replies a little bristled but knowing that she is likely getting a little bit more of a explanation and instruction because she is obviously new and maybe as a warning to some of the swimmers who would complain should they be inconvenienced even slightly. She knew those types well.

A quick visit to the changing room has Cassie donned in her swimming costume, swimming hat and goggles. With her she also had her personal float and pull buoy hoping others had similar equipment, she wasn’t in the mood for stares. Fitness spaces always confused her. In one way or another she felt she was being judged and knew it to be true with the remarks she had received over the years. Judged for how you looked, dressed, what workouts you did, training practices, machines or free weights. It was annoying but she had always loved swimming and getting her heart rate up was more about keeping her mind right and well-being in a positive place than anything else.

The lanes are clearly set out but the size of the pool takes her a little by surprise. It’s okay girl. Head to one of the medium lanes and see how you go. Don’t panic. She moves leaving her flip flops and locker key to the side and slipping into the medium paced swim lane. Soon enough she finds her groove ignoring the curious stares as people notice her pierced nipples through her costume, if only it was uncommon. One person even tutted at her while disapprovingly glaring at her chest as if they found her piercings personally offensive. Fortunately she had the words of the staff member ringing in her mind and knew that she had been catching up a few members in her lane, therefore surely it was time for a change.

*******

Eric was annoyed that he was later for his planned swim session then he wanted to be even though he knew it was not really rational because first days in new roles are always busy. Now he would only have thirty five minutes of swimming but with people already in the pool he only had to think about the looks he would have to ignore that might be have on exiting the pool at the end of the session. He moved straight to the fast lane goggles in hand, despite his size he was a fast swimmer and was quite sure he could out swim all of his family but dry land was a different ball game.

Cassie registered a new addition to the lane but at the other end of the pool she couldn’t see detail and was concentrating in getting her tumble turns correct. As she begun her length of breaststroke back down to the shallow end she saw the goggled face of the new addition the lane. Oooo some eye candy she thought catching a glance of the deliciously plump body swimming past her. He had some serious girth and a flutter of excitement pulsed through her body.

Eric soon got into a nice rhythm thankful that those in the same swim lane as him were all competent and following the correct ettiquette for the pool. All to soon the session was over and as Eric swam back down to the shallow end he saw the only female of the lane performing a few stretches her back to him. He carefully swam under the lane ropes to the steps and got out so as not to disturb her. He felt a few eyes on him as he made his way to the changing room but there were other large people at the pool at this time who he was clearly a lot fitter than. Fortunately if he looked straight ahead very few people were in his eye-line but he found it safer to glance around at least occasionally so as to not bump into people or things like bins etc.

Cassie was so glad she had decided to stretch in the pool as she got to observe, who she had already named the ‘big bear pool hottie’ from the safety and discretion of the pool. He looked so stern and serious but he was handsome as hell, with his dark brown hair and trimmed neat beard. She noted the strength of his arms, shoulders and upper back, there was a definite flex of muscle underneath the softer fat. His legs were large but again clearly with muscular undertones and in proportion with his size. His calves looked like they were the size of her own thick thighs and for some reason that contrast really excited her. All in all he had a perfect foundation that wonderfully supported his big globular belly that pushed out in front of him doming almost majestically and merged into beautifully chunky love handles and a good layer of soft lower back cushioning. She watched him a little mesmerised by the gentle sway and wobble of his body, not missing the sexy jiggle of his underbelly over the elastics band of his swimming trunks. Cassie sighed as he disappeared into the changing rooms hoping that he was going to be a regular so that she could see him again and find the courage and a reason to talk to him.

********

As always Eric opted to shower in the open showers rather than feel claustrophobic in the cubicles, though he would prefer the privacy. The heat of the shower helped to relax him and he found himself smiling as he thought of the final portion of his Thai green curry that he would be having this evening.

Cassie was ecstatic when she saw him in the shower area and half debated attempting to strike up a conversation but she thought better of it and moved into a cubicle to shower towel and shower gel in hand. Eric caught the back of the young woman that he shared a swim lane with as she moved into a cubicle unable to resist the urge to give her small frame a once over. She may have been small, especially in comparison to him but his glance afforded him the ability to see the toned and defined legs, that somehow managed to look long on someone so short, a more than ample derrière and the outside edge of what he had glimpsed was a heavy and full chest just visible from this angle. Eric had not seen her face but he thought she was physically very desirable. And the exact opposite of you! She also looks young which might make you a pervert! He scolded himself bringing himself back to reality but it was as if she knew his eyes were on her. Before she closed the door to the cubicle she looked directly at him and smiled her darker skin tone doing well to mask her little blush but he saw it in her rosy cheeks. Gosh she was beautiful. Eric wasn’t aware of what his face looked like, probably is harsh and stern mask he usually wore, before he had a chance to properly think about changing it and smiling back she closed the door and was gone.

He hadn’t smiled back but Cassie was undeterred, he was looking directly at her when she had looked at him and that was all she needed to boost her hope of a future interaction. He was gone from the shower area when she had finished but she had expected as much.

Eric sat watched from his car as the young blushing beauty rushed off at a pace from the pool. He caught himself wondering about her since she smiled at him and if he admitted it to himself he had waited in the car park just to catch a glimpse of her again. You are an idiot and a pervert for torturing yourself observing this woman there is no way she would be interested in you. You will set up a dating profile tonight and you will include full body pictures…you might have to get someone to take them first. Fortunately Eric’s giant stomach rumbled almost painfully pulling him from his thoughts as he glanced down at the mound that sat on his lap and between the steering wheel. You are the reason I don’t and can’t attract the women that I am attracted to and get friend zoned. With a deep sigh and a tentative rub of his belly Eric starts the engine and heads home.
 
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Thank you very much @rwagner and @silverasset, your comments and reactions mean a lot and are very motivating. I was so nervous about posting this story I forgot to include a short description 😳. The good news (I hope) is that I have already completed this story for these characters so the updates should be regular...as long as I don’t get too distracted writing the second story for them.
 
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Part 2 - Interactions

“How did you like the pool Cass?”

“It was great Dad. I can’t wait to go again. Just know that I am totally going to beat your ass.” Cassie jokes meeting her dad in the kitchen fixing dinner.

“I like the fighting talk. Better find yourself a gym so you can really be competition for me. Dinner should be ready soon if you fancy?”

“I didn’t come to lose. And I can’t join your gym because?”

“Because it’s my gym.”

“You are hilarious. You can share the pool but not your gym. And what’s for dinner? I forgot what it’s like to live with people who care enough to make food.” Cassie remarks a little sadly.

“My gym is not your gym, just trust me. You would hate it. Seasoned oven baked hake with rice and veggies, I’ve made enough for two days.” Derek lets out a large sigh before continuing. “One of my biggest regrets is not expressing my true concern and suspicions of Chris’s character when you first introduced us. I feel in part responsible for your suffering, for thinking I was better to let you learn a hard lesson, I did not anticipate the depth of the hurt that he would cause you.”

“Hey. I didn’t mean to bring the tone down, sometimes things still just hit me. I hope you know I hold nothing against you dad, besides I knew it was going to be a lot for you to take in when you met, my anti-fat dad meeting my wonderfully cubby boyfriend after I had told you only ten minutes before that not only was my boyfriend what you would consider fat but also that I specifically liked that about him.” Cassie laughs aloud remembering the shock and slight horror on her dad face.

“Yes. I still don’t get how I raised a daughter who prefers larger men, especially when your not larger yourself in any way.” Derek chuckles as Cassie shrugs with a happy smile on her face.

“That has about as much sense to it as saying ‘I don’t understand why your not physically attracted to tall muscular men of Afro-Caribbean heritage because those are some of your physical attributes’. We like what we like. At least you know what to expect next time.”

“Indeed I do.”

“Have I got time to sort out my swim stuff before dinner is ready?”

“Sure thing.”

“Thanks dad.”

*****

Over the next few weeks Cassie is happy to find that her swimming schedule maps with the big bear pool hottie not once but three times. She can hardly believe her luck. However, she is disappointed her interaction with him specifically had not increased, she had started to chat with some other pool goers regularly, Paul and Selena. Paul and Selena were in their mid fifties and both really lovely. Cassie suspected that Selena had a bit of a crush on Paul but Paul showed no interest in any woman that was even remotely in his age group. Still Cassie was happy she got to see Mr big bear hottie each week.

Eric had been careful not to get caught looking at the young beauty again though she was seeming to plague his thoughts more and more and even his dreams too. He would see her chatting an conversing with other swimmers, and imagined that her personality was just as beautiful as her looks. He hoped that there was something wrong with her and he hoped he would find out soon so she would no longer haunt his thoughts. Still he had been true to his word and set up an online dating profile after getting his sister to take some full body photos of him. Annoyingly that meant that his entire family now knew that he was actively dating and consequently began regularly checking in with him wanting updates on prospective dates and bombarding him with a plethora of dating advice.

“Are you making sure that you start conversations? Are you making sure that you are asking questions and not expecting the women to carry the conversation?”

“Eliza. I am perfectly capable to making conversation, we all are, our parents ensured that. Please don’t ask questions that would require me to have a personality transplant.”

“Eric, you know that is not what I am doing. Yes we are all blessed with the ability to make and create conversation but I know you well enough to know that you have a tendency to check out of conversation pretty quickly when there is a small lull. In the online dating world you can’t afford to do that, especially in your case?”

“What do you mean especially in my case?” Eric bristles on the line to his sister.

“Eric you know what I mean.”

“No Eliza I don’t know what you mean.” He presses.

“Your no longer a young man and you are a lot heavier than you were when you last dabbled in the dating world. I am just trying to prepare you, set your expectations and give you supporting advice. I love you Eric, your my brother. I want to see you happy again and I know you haven’t been happy in a long while.” The sympathy in Eliza’s voice is clear and melts away part of his annoyance at his sisters reference to his character flaws and huge weight gain. He may not consider himself to be happy but he is quite content and he felt ungrateful not to appreciate contentment. Eric sighs deeply before responding to his sister.

“Thank you for your advice and for ensuring my expectations are where they need to be.”

“It’s only because I care Eric. If you give me the login to your dating profile I would be more than happy to offer some more specific tips and scout out potential partners.” Eric can hear the excitement in his sisters voice.

“I love you too Eliza but I think I will be just fine navigating the online dating world on my own.”

“Okay okay. Well the offer is there if you want to take it up at any time.”

“Bye Eliza.” Eric shakes his head a little baffled by his sister and her eagerness to support him in his dating life while energetically avoiding the major issues in her own marriage.

“Bye Eric.”

The conversation with Eliza leaves Eric annoyed. I know I am big and fat. I don’t need constant reminders of that fact no matter how gentle I see myself everyday. I know that my outward appearance affects my dating prospects but think I have a lot to offer. The discomfort of the conversation turns Eric’s mind to food and before he knows it he finds himself sitting comfortably in front fo the TV watching Bridget Jones surrounded by a range of his favourite Chinese takeaway dishes, a wonderfully warm sensation radiating throughout his body emanating from his slowly filling stomach.

******

Cassie wasn’t looking where she was going properly, fishing for her gym card in her purse and bumps straight into a body. Her dad had beaten her swimming in two out of the four races they had done just a few days earlier and she was wondering how she could make sure she won the other two next time.

“Sorry. I’m so sorry that was entirely my fault. I was not looking where I was going.” Cassie gushes stumbling back eyes searching to find those of the person she has bumped into.

“It’s partly my fault as I wasn’t looking either.” A deeply tasty voice speaks far above Cassie’s head. It’s him! It’s him. It’s big bear pool hottie and his voice is like sex!!! Cassie’s brain screams.

“I should be more careful. Your are too kind. See you in the pool!” Cassie replies rushing off into the building feeling like a total loser. Eric watches as she runs off partly feeling a small sense of potential rejection but wondering if that could of just being an embarrassed run.

Cassie wants to face palm herself but resists trying not to look like more of a klutz then she already feels. Why did she have to bump into him that way? She changes quickly so that she can get into the pool and the swim lane before he does, at least then there will hopefully be no more embarrassing incidents. He did feel lovely though.

There swim goes on as usual without incident with Eric and Cassie sticking to swimming without comment or conversation. Cassie dashes out of the pool to the showers so quickly she forgets her flip flops. “Shit” she hisses twirling around on her heel to head back and get them. As she moves to dodge one oncoming swimmer she bumps into him again. A small wet slap sounding out where bodies collide, Cassie stumbling back slightly bouncing off of Eric’s cushioned body.

“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry. I’m not doing it on purpose I promise. You must think I’m so clumsy, which I am but I’m not usually this bad. I forgot my flip flops!” Cassie spews all at once.

“Just be glad you bumped into me and not a harder body. At least you won’t get hurt.” Eric comments immediately feeling like an idiot for trying to make a joke out of his size, now he just brought attention to it.

“You have no idea.” Cassie mumbles unheard by Eric. “I’m very glad of that and not to have fell.” Cassie says shyly before slipping past Eric’s large body and retrieving her flip flops from the poolside. Unfortunately because of her mishap Cassie arrives later than usual to the showers and the cubicles are all full, she has no choice but to shower in the open area with the only available space being that next to none other than Mr big bear pool hottie. Eric offers her a small smile trying to let her know that she doesn’t have to be embarrassed while he simultaneously tries to suck in his gut to little or no avail. Cassie smiles back a wonderful brilliant smile that makes Eric’s stomach do a little flutter, he never knew a smile could do that. He forces himself to look away as not to stare but cant help watching her from the corner of his eye as she struggles to attempt to wash off the pools chlorine from her body and out of her hair with her swimming costume clinging to her body. Eric notices as a cubicle becomes free but with her concentration on lathering her body up, hands underneath the costume material practically fighting with herself she doesn’t see it. The words to tell her that the cubicle is free are on the tip of Eric’s tongue but for some reason they don’t quite make it out of his mouth. Instead he finds himself observing her soaping her large and heavy chest, carefully navigating around what he had previously observed as nipple piercings over the weeks which intrigued him more about her character but he scolded himself harshly for initially making assumptions about aspects of her personality because of her piercings. He continues to clean himself washing his hair and discreetly watching her staying in the shower a lot longer than is usual and leaving just after she does. He watches as she nearly slips over again as she walks down the corridor placing her hand on the wall to steady herself.

As Cassie catches herself on the wall she spares a look back seeing him watching her. She smiles beyond embarrassed shaking her head at herself before scurrying away to change.

******

Eric had not been overly successful since starting his dating profile but had gone on a few dates which had helped him to feel a little more confident about his attractiveness to the opposite sex, but not with smaller women. All of the women had been large like himself, beautiful, smart and funny. They often complemented him on his handsome face and some of them really liked the height difference and contrast that it brought, as well as touching the more the muscular parts of his body. They seemed to like the difference between the hardness and softness of those parts of him and if he was honest with himself he liked it too. He enjoyed the difference that his own body offered and began to realise he desired more of that physical difference rather than similarity in a partner. He had one embarrassing moment where he had gone to kiss a date and having both anticipated for his large belly had moved to accommodate it accordingly but had gone in opposite directions so had totally missed the mark. Fortunately she had found it amusing but he had yet to go on a second date with anyone as the conversation seemed to dry up for one reason or another. However, his growing confidence and desire to explore if the type of contrast he thought he would enjoy and may also enjoyed by others had meant that instead of thinking less about the young pool beauty he was thinking about her more. She was in most of his dreams and they were always hot a steamy leaving him waking up with some of the hardest and long lasting erections of his life, that was if he didn’t do anything about them, which he often did. He wondered if his intense attraction to the young pool beauty was partly linked to the three dimensional contrast that existed as well as what seemed like a genuinely lovely personality. He was tall, she was short, he was fat and she was slim, he was older and she was younger.
 
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Part 3 - To the rescue

Cassie was excited as next week her brother was coming to her dad’s house and bringing his kids, she knew this effectively meant he was in need of childcare and a break and she was more than happy to oblige having booked the week off work and planned a bunch of activities for the time that they would be spending with her. Renold, her brother, had separated from his wife after he caught her cheating on him with one of his friends and he had been having a rough time going through his divorce. Gloria had all but walked out on him and the kids after that and he was basically a full time single dad now.

She had busy week at work and so had came to the pool outside of her usual routine days. While she was looking forward to potentially seeing some new faces and being generally a little nosey she was also a little sad at it was likely she wouldn’t get to see he big bear pool hottie. After a quick change Cassie finds herself at the locker struggling a little with the key when all at once she is roughly shoved into the open locker her face narrowly missing the open door.
“Dirty half breed!” an old Caucasian man spits as he makes his way to the pool entrance. Shock floods Cassie’s system as she begins to cry and hyperventilate. Eric saw the whole thing and wants to do several things all at once, punch the old man regardless of his age, ensure that he is kicked out of the pool for his actions and not allowed to come back and most importantly is to offer whatever comfort and support to the young woman he has grown very fond of over the last three months, even though they have not had a full conversation. He moves swiftly to her.

“I saw what happened. I will make sure he is thrown out for his behaviour but I wanted to check if you are okay?” Eric asks softly. Cassie looks up at the big bear pool hottie and throws herself into him, her arms very much unable to take in all of his circumference but needing the physical comfort that he can bring. Her head is smushed against the upper dome of his belly the top of her head reaching just below his soft chest. Eric reacts quickly and almost naturally wrapping his arms around the young woman embracing her with his large body.

“It’s okay. I got you. It’s okay.” He says softly as her small lean body is wracked with deep yet quiet sobs. He doesn’t know quite how long they stay there as a few people walk past with concerned looks on their faces but he gives them a reassuring look.

“Sorry.” Cassie finally says her sobs dying down with a few hiccups remaining. She lifts her head up to smile at him knowing she must look awful yet not moving to create any space between them.

“That man assaulted you. You have nothing to be sorry about.” Eric states angrily as Cassie slowly removes her hands, a little greedily skimming over his form with more intimacy than she would anyone else. Her hands feel delightful on his body but Eric remains focused. “He just pushed you very hard and you barely escaped without a more severe injury. Are you okay if I leave you for a moment to go and inform the right people to have him removed from the building?” He asks.

“No! Don’t do that. It’s fine. He’s just a old racist man. I’m okay.” Cassie breathes forcing a smile onto her face.

“What did he say?” Eric asks his voice just above a whisper in an effort to keep his now boiling rage in check.

“It doesn’t matter. It’s not important.” Cassie replies with pleading eyes.

“What’s your name?”

“Cassie”

“Cassie. I know you don’t know me other than we the fact that up until now we have swam in the same pool and lane for the past three months. While I, as a white middle class very privileged male have never being on the receiving end of racism I am an ally to those who have. I appreciate that you don’t want to make a fuss and that a part of you might be scared of potential consequences but I can assure you that there will be no repercussions on you. I deal with disciplinaries everyday in work around bullying, harassment and discrimination, often the latter has a current of racism running through it. I do not stand for it. I have experience of this. You may be thinking now that you were strong enough to handle it as a young woman but who is to say he would not treat a younger child that way, as you probably know that young black boys are seen and treated far beyond their age in the society we live in. What if it was an older black woman, that shove alone could have caused her to fall and become injured? Will you let me do this?” Eric pleads. Cassie is floored by his comments and can only nod in response. “Stay here I will be back.” Eric says striding off power, authority and strength rolling off him in waves. Shit, I think I’m a little bit in love with this man.

Eric is swift with his instruction to the manager of the sports centre making them aware that he was willing to take this matter as high as necessary. As quickly as he could he wrapped up everything and made his way back to Cassie. He liked her name it suited her.

“It’s all sorted. If you see that man here again you have to promise to tell me as I will take this as far as it needs to go.”

“I didn’t know perfect people existed but if they don’t you are pretty damn close. Thank you. You comforted me, calmed me down and prevented me from making a huge mistake in not reporting the incident. Allow me to buy you coffee, no dinner as a thank you. Or any hot drink or drink in general.” Cassie fumbles the last part her nerves coming back.

“That’s a lovely offer Cassie but there is not need to thank me in any way.” Eric chuckles trying to hide the tingle of excitement that comes over him as he imagines a dinner with Cassie. She had felt so good against him. Cassie looks down a little dejected at his answer. Was she disappointed? “Usually its the man who offers to buy the lady dinner.” Eric adds hoping to make her smile and it works.

“Well if you ever want to offer to buy me dinner know that my answer would be ‘yes’. I guess we better get into the pool so its not a totally wasted trip.” Cassie says turning to talk away before Eric can respond feeling a little stunned. Maybe he hadn’t imagined her earlier intimate touch when he had held her. No that would be crazy. I should stick to trying to find love in my own age category and weight class. I will be much more successful.

Cassie receives an apology from the management of the leisure centre, the manager explaining how seriously they take any level of bullying harassment and discrimination internally and as an externally facing organisation. The man who assaulted her has had his membership revoked and is banned from this centre. He is able to go to another centre but there is a mark on file so that if another incident is reported to happen again he will be banned for life from all of the leisure centres properties. Eric stands by her side as all this is explained and she feels a huge sense of comfort with his presence.

“Thank you again for today Eric. It’s nice to actually know your name.” Cassie adds shyly.

“My pleasure. It’s nice to know yours. You weren’t put off of getting to know because of my stern exterior were you?” Eric asks unable to stop the questions tumbling from his mouth.

“What do you mean stern exterior?” Cassie’s eyebrows furrow and Eric thinks she looks adorable. He clears his throat so as to try and appear more masculine.

“I recall you smiled at me some months ago and I am quite sure I didn’t smile back. It wasn’t intentional.” Eric offers.

“Yes I remember.” Cassie says saving Eric the embarrassment of saying anything else on his recollection of such a small incident. “I don’t think you have a stern exterior at all, quite the opposite really. I just get so shy when I… I mean I just get shy sometimes.” Cassie finishes hoping that she has not given herself away. She was going to find a way to ask him out, she had promised herself that but she had to be sure he was single. Just because he didn’t wear a ring meant nothing, especially with older men, she had been burnt there once before. The good thing was now she had a reason and a way to talk to him and after his earlier little speech she was eager to get to know him more.

Cassie saw Eric on every trip to the swimming pool for the rest of the week and now they always talked, so much so that it was either the sound of one or the others tummies rumbling that forced them to part ways.
 
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I can only apologise sincerely for the delay in posting the rest of this story, my personal life got tragically messy, sadder still it was my own dad ’what did it’. But I won’t bore you with that story instead I hope you enjoy this installament.

Part 4 - Kids

The weekend of babysitting for Eric came around more quickly than he anticipated he had his sister’s children Klaus and Beatrix as his sister required some time to argue with her rotten cheating husband and had not wanted the children to be subject to another row. Eric seriously hoped this would be the argument that ended their relationship but Eliza always seemed to find a reason to stay or the persuasion to keep Marc in the marriage.
“How about we go to the pool, they have few sessions for children with all kinds of pool toys and floats.” Eric proposed to his niece and nephew. The resounding yes Eric heard as well as the tight little hug that his little eleven year old niece managed to squeeze on the lower half of his gut made him smile.

Cassie, Nathan, Lilly and Bennett had arrived at the pool early, she had wanted to walk there but had ended up taking her car otherwise they would have been late as the twins, Bennett and Nathan had a wardrobe clash and for some reason both of them had needed to change into new outfits. Cassie had laughed it off hurrying the boys to get change quickly and not let the delay get to her the way she might do in other circumstances, she was a stickler for time keeping.

“Ready for some fun?” she asked her niece and nephews.

“YEAHHHHH!” They all chimed as they eagerly jumped out of the car. Eric watched as Cassie and the children with her headed into the leisure centre his heart sinking just a little with his observation. Of course someone had already snapped her up, married her and put babies in her belly, the later thought annoyingly causing his cock to twitch. Perhaps Cassie was not as young as he had assumed but there was no point in thinking about any of that now. It was out of his control, it was always out of his control. He pushed all of his Cassie based thoughts down as overall he was pleased to see her and he was looking forward to getting to know her children.

Cassie was impressed by her level of efficiency in getting two twelve year olds and ten year old changed and ready for the pool in under ten minutes so that in no time at all they were all in the pool having a good time. Nathan and Bennett having already seemed to make fast friends with a few other children and Cassie and Lilly were playing and chatting with a woman called Molly and her two daughters Felicity and Rebecca.

“Uh oh, prepare for all the water to leave the pool. Such an angry looking whale too.” Molly chuckles inclined her head in the direction of said angry whale. Cassie follows Molly’s eyeline and sees Eric walking into the pool area with two children that looked a similar age of her niece and nephews. She can’t help her reaction to him her heart beginning to beat a little faster as it always does when she sees him but there was something else there this time, something less comfortable but she pushes those feelings down knowing no good will come of them.

“That is my friend Eric! He’s lovely” Cassie replies ignoring Molly’s negativity and waving to Eric ethusiastically with a wide smile from the water.

“You have some strange friends.” Molly remarks continuing to chuckle.

“What do you mean?” Cassie asks confused keeping her eyes on Eric as he gives a small wave back and an even smaller smile. Cassie can’t help but admire how cute he is.

“Well he’s just quite a bit different from you isn’t he.”

“Differences are good things. He helped me when I got assaulted at the pool last week.” Cassie turns to face Molly a somber look on her face.

“You were assaulted here at the pool?!”

“Yes. A racist man shoved me into a locker. Eric saw to it that I was supported and ensured that the culprit was banned from the leisure centre.”

“Are you serious?” Molly asks astonished.

“I wish I wasn’t.” Cassie says feeling a little tender about the whole thing still. If only she could be in Eric’s arms again, pressed against is all consuming and comforting body.

Eric makes his way over to Cassie’s with Klaus and Beatrix. This automatically had him moving to the area of the pool that was more crowded than he would usually like. He had hoped find a quieter part of the pool and entertain his niece and nephew but he was eager to see Cassie again and see how she was fairing. They had been speaking in the week since but he sensed there was still some upset and hurt, which was to be expected. He found himself needing to be the one that would be there to support her. As soon as he was close enough Cassie pulled him into a hug the water allowing her the capability to do so. Eric was a little taken aback but hugged her back.

“Hi Eric. This is Molly and her daughters Felicity and Rebecca and this is my niece Lilly and my other two nephews are over there Nathan and Bennet. Are these your lovely children? Cassie asks her stomach twisting a little with jealousy for the woman who bagged Eric. Eric doesn’t get a chance to answer before Klaus answers.

“He’s our uncle. Are you his girlfriend?”

“You’re really beautiful!” Beatrix gushes gazing at Cassie.

“Did your uncle tell you he had a girlfriend? And thank you very much…” Cassie searches for a name as she smiles at Eric.

“Beatrix.” Eric offers quickly hoping the subject will change.

“I heard my mom talking to uncle Brian about uncle Eric going on dates to find a girlfriend.” Klaus adds surveying Cassie.

“Klaus. Beatrix why don’t you go and play, grab one of the large floats before they all get taken.” Eric interrupts Klaus before he can say anymore. He’s usually quiet with people he does not know. “Apologies about that.” Eric says a light blush coating his cheeks as he looks at Molly and Cassie since the girls have also joined the other children now.

“Got to love kids.” Molly laughs. “Oooooo hot man candy at ten’o’clock!” Both Eric and Cassie follow her eyeline discretely observing a very muscular man with tattoos and what appears to be no visible body hair strut out and dive into the pool.

“If you like that sort of thing.” Cassie giggles as the knot that had been forming in Eric’s large gut begins to loosen.

“You jump for joy when Eric comes and not a doddle when man hunk comes out. Can you watch the girls while I get a closer look?” Molly asks startling Cassie a little with her request trusting her so quickly after meeting only a few minutes ago.

“Ermmm sure.”

“Thanks hon!” Molly calls back already swimming off.

“From that look I get the impression you just met her.” Eric deduces noting the comment that Molly made about Cassie’s reaction to the other man and him.

“Yeah I have, but I am a marvellous multi tasker. Anyway. Tell me more about this dating your nephew was speaking of.” Cassie says wiggling her eyebrows. Eric flushes deeply and Cassie back tracks. “Or don’t I’m just being nosey and interested to find out what you go for in a partner.”

“Well how about I leave the dating detail out and share what I look for in potential partner perhaps in return for you telling me what you look for?” Eric offers feeling bold enough to flirt a little.

“Deal!” Cassie smiles with a excited jump that makes her chest jiggle. Eric goes on to explian what he likes in between watching the children play and a toilet trip for the girls. Cassie listens and asks some questions noticing how Eric focuses on non physical attributes which she likes but feels a little guilty for her physical preference. As Eric finishes his answer Cassie speaks again. “Can I ask a cheeky question?”

“What has stopped you before?” Eric laughs and Cassie lightly blushes her darker skin tone absorbing some of the evidence.

“What’s your age and what is the youngest and oldest you would consider in a partner?” Eric looks at Cassie curiously.

“Why do you ask?”

“Maybe I’m trying to set you up with someone I know.”

“Ahhh so you want to play matchmaker,”

“Eric you’re a wonderful person. What you did for me last week.” Cassie stops as the emotion of it all comes back and hits her. Eric wants nothing more than to reach out for her and comfort her but she has initiated all the physical contact and he wanted to keep it that way to prevent his mind from running away with him too much. After a moment she takes a breath to continue. “What you did for me last week was nothing short of heroic and until today I had assumed you were already snapped up by some lucky lady.” Eric lets out a single bark of laughter. “Hey. What’s so funny?” Cassie frowns.

“I think you’re seeing me very differently to the majority of other people Cassie.”

“Maybe. But I think I got to and get to see the real you. You keep that stern appearance on to keep people away and keep yourself protected but you’ve started to let me in and I’m not so bad.” Cassie gently challenges back taking Eric by surprise with the depth and unspoken truth of her observation of him.

“Well I am thirty nine. So the oldest and youngest I think I would date is ten years either way then me, maybe older than ten but that depends more on things like activity level. I’m not one for sitting around all day everyday watching trash television, despite my exterior appearance and I would like children but if they are older and already had children that would be fine too. .” Cassie smiles at Eric for answering knowing that in giving her answer he affirmed her previous comment. Unfortunately for her she was the wrong side of two years younger than his maximum limit. She could lie about her age, but she was just under half way to twenty seven now and she would not want to start something on a lie. Eric watched as the cogs of Cassie’s brain worked as she chewed over his response. He thought it best to give her a moment before he asked for her answer to the same questions she asked him. While Cassie is still thinking on Eric’s answer Molly finally reappears approaching with formerly described man candy in tow.

“Thank you for looking after Rebecca and Felicity. We’re they alright?”

“Yes. The girls went together for a toilet run but other than that nothing to report, they have been playing with a few big floats, attempting some underwater acrobatics and seeing how long they can hold thier breath for.” Cassie smiles.

“That’s great. Oh and this is Hansen. We just got talking and I asked if he wanted to join us.” Molly smiles as Hansen looks over at Cassie with a level of appreciation and then to Eric who because if his height and the current depth of the pool he is standing in has the upper portion of his wide furry belly on show which Hansen can’t help but glance at.

Eric knew that Hansen had the type of body that all women fawned over. Chiselled and muscled to a high level but not so much so that he must spend every waking hour in the gym, the kind that seemed realistically achievable while still having a life outside of the gym. He looked to be around six foot which again was a good height, not to tall or to short. Eric watched as he looked appreciatively at Cassie, it wasn’t like he was the only one but he had noticed that Cassie seemed pretty oblivious to male attention, perhaps she was gay, the thought entered his head and would explain quite a lot in relation to thier growing friendship. Why she had been so tactile with him was because it was just friendship and she was expressing plutonic affection. If that was the case then it all totally made sense now.

“Are you two a couple?” Hansen asks looking from Cassie to Eric. Molly had seen the appreciative looks that Hansen had given Cassie and felt she couldn’t compete. To her Cassie was younger and prettier and while she was a little on the short side she had a body Molly envied. Her eyes were slightly different colours to one another her hair had this natural curlyness with unique highlights that she guessed was related some level of mixed heritage because of her darker skin tone and other physical features coupled with the fact that she just had a youthful glow of and health was not something Molly felt she could compete with. She knew she was above average in terms of attractiveness, and having her kids young and with her genes she had snapped back to her previously trim figure that she enjoyed flaunted in her current bikini, but her hair was a little thinner than she wanted it to be, she didn’t have the curves that she would like having both smaller breasts and derrière than she would like. In her mind there was only one way to answer Hansen’s question to help secure her ideal position.

“Yes they are a couple.” Molly gushes as Cassie and Eric look at one another discretely.

“You know I have a lot of respect for that. My ex was older than me, but I’m a sucker for a bigger guy. You’re totally my type. I just love the contrast and he did too, but we always got lots of looks so just ignore that” Hansen comments as Molly’s eyes widen in shock. Cassie smiles moving closer to Eric placing a hand lovingly on his stomach and lightly rubbing.

“I just love him. He’s my big bear hottie!” Cassie gushes as Eric tries to control the surge of blood rushing to his nether regions.
 
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“Do you have kids?” Eric asks clearing his throat trying to distract himself from Cassie’s hand which continues to stroke his gut intimately while she gently presses her body to his own her front to his large side her other hand firmly on his large love handle that merges into the fat of his back. He feels the most aware of his body than he has done in a long time.

“Yes. Kai and Travis. I promised them I would get to the pool early to get save them some floats as Paul is bringing them. Having an all family day.”

“That’s lovely. I have my niece and two nephews here.” Cassie points over to where Molly, her and Eric’s children are playing together, her hand naturally returning to Eric’s gut but moving beneath the water to tickle his underbelly. Eric is barely keeping it together. Her hands feel delightful. Does she even know what shes doing?. “When Kai and Travis arrive they can all play together if you want.

“I think that would be lovely. And it will be nice for Paul to have some big bear company in the pool. He used to be very self conscious but he’s confidence has grown since we were together.”

“Are you saying that you prefer to be with big fat men?” Molly asks genuine intrigue in her voice. Hansen laughs and Cassie chuckles.

“I mean you can put it like that if you want to but yes. In the gay world a man like this is called a bear.” Hansen smiles at Molly who looks genuinely interested.

“That’s so much better than calling them a chubby chaser.” Molly muses.

“People like what they like. The world would be a better place with less judgment for it.” Eric manages to say thinking of his own preferences for smaller women despite his size.

“I agree.” Hansen and Cassie say at once.

“I’m guessing this might be the rest of your family?” Cassie says inclining her head to the large man heading into the pool with two children on either side of his wide belly. He’s not as tall as Eric and has a different build, he’s got a bit more jiggle and softness, his belly sticking out less but hanging quite a bit lower. She thinks he looks lovely.

“Yes that’s him.” Hansen waves excitedly as all three wave back.

“If your aunt and my uncle get married will we be cousins?” Beatrix questions Lilly as they all play.

“I think so.” Lilly answers.

“Yeah we will be cousins.” Klaus calls out above the noise as he dives to wrestle an imaginary shark.

“I’d like that.” Beatrix hums as Lilly nods and giggles along.

Eric now has a raging and very obvious erection to which Cassie’s hand is unknowingly skimming close to. Why is she still touching me? To anyone under the water his state of arousal would be obvious. He had often found it both a blessing and a curse that his gut had mostly grown wider and outwards, not hanging so low as to cover his crotch completely. But right now he wished his belly hid his arousal.

Paul gives Cassie a knowing look as he lowers himself into the pool, Kai and Travis swimming over excitedly to their dad.

“Not the fattest man in the pool today, well not the only fat man.” Paul laughs as he embraces Hansen.

“I thought you two were separated?” Molly blurts bewildered. Paul gives her a cross look.

“Don’t be mean Paul.” Hansen warns gently as Paul’s face immediately smoothes out.

“There is only love between Hansen and I dear. Not all break-ups have to be bad ones and I will always consider myself blessed to have Hansen in my life. Not just for me but for our children too.”

“Can you both speak to my ex? I want this kind of civility!” Molly moans dramatically causing the group to laugh. Cassie reluctantly removes herself from Eric immediately missing the warmth and softness of his body.

“I’m going to go and set some activities for the kids to tire them out a bit.” Cassie announces swimming off.

“Can we go?” Kai and Travis ask looking from Paul to Hansen.

“Of course you can.” Hansen replies with a nodding Paul, his double chin shaking animatedly. Paul turns to Eric.

“You are one lucky man!” Paul grins. Eric can only nod briefly as he concentrates on pushing his erection down and not thinking of how wonderful Cassie’s hands had been on him.

Cassie sets up games and races with the children being an in official umpire as Molly flits around the pool looking for prey and Hansen and Paul seem to be rekindling their romance. Once he feels suitably back in control Eric joins Cassie as an umpire of the games she has set up for the children. Handstands, the most forward rolls in a minute, who can hold their breath the longest. You name it Cassie had the kids doing it.

“Now its your turn Uncle Eric and Cassie!” Klaus declares getting a rousing sound of ‘yes’s from the rest of the children.

“Our turn for what?” Eric asks confused.

“You have to do what we did. You against Cassie.”

“I am game if you are.” Cassie bumps Eric with her hip. Eric turns to her with a smile on his face.

“You better be prepared to lose!”

‘Oooooooo’ All the kids say at once.

“Bring it on! Nathan can you go ask Paul or Hansen to help judge the competition please?” Cassie asks and before she is finished Nathan has taken off in the water without answering. Paul, Hansen and Nathan arrive a minute later with smiles on their faces.

“I love me some competition!” Paul sings with a lovely jiggle which Cassie enjoys. Paul, Hansen and the kids officiate over each element until it comes to the deciding round. A race. Two lengths of the pool, one hundred metres front crawl.

“Take your starting positions.” Paul orders as Cassie plants her feet against the wall hands hooked and body tense ready to push off. Eric opts for a similar position but less compressed, party due to how ridiculous he would look but mostly because he can’t get his body that tightly coiled with his fat in the way.

“On your marks. Get set. Go!” Paul shouts and both Eric and Cassie push off. Cassie gets a better start than Eric and is immediately ahead but Eric soon catches her and it’s neck and neck. Cassie is just ahead but she wants Eric to win, so begins to slow but Eric had already slowed to let Cassie win.

‘Uncle Eric! Auntie Cassie! Uncle Eric! Auntie Cassie!’ The kids chant.

Both Eric and Cassie touch the side at the same time taking a moment to catch their breath.

“It’s a draw!” Paul declares with everyone cheering as Cassie holds her hands up for a high five to Eric.

“Got some speed there big boy. You’re much fitter than I am.” Paul adds.

“Yeah thanks, I used to play semi professional rugby until I got a little to heavy for all the running around. But I still weight lift and swim.” Eric breathes.

“You play tag with us uncle Eric.” Beatrix adds the pride and love that she has for her uncle clear in her voice and it warms Cassie’s heart.

“Yes in the garden. Not were people can see me.” Eric says picking up Beatrix and throwing her into the water.

“Right then. I better get my munchkins off to get some lunch.” Cassie says saying goodbye to Paul, Hansen and their kids before turning to Eric.

“Thanks for giving me a good race. Will I see you on Tuesday, our usual place?” Cassie asks. Eric is about to answer when Klaus pipes up.

“Why are we not going to lunch with Cassie Uncle Eric?” Genuine confusion on his face.

“Yes why are we not going to lunch with your girlfriend?” Beatrix adds “And our cousins.” Eric looks from Paul and Hansen to Cassie having forgotten that thanks to Molly’s earlier comment that they believe they are a couple. Molly had found another group to hang with leaving the four adults and kids a while ago.

“Well your uncle Eric wanted to spend special time with you two.” Cassie says.

“Uncle Eric can we go to lunch with your girlfriend, Nathan, Lilly and Bennett?” Klaus asks very seriously. Eric looks from Klaus to Cassie.

“It’s up to you baby.” Cassie says looking at Eric who is partly wishing that she wasn’t so good at pretending to be in a couple with him. It’s making him not want to be pretend.
 
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Part 5 - Reality check

“As long as we wont be messing up your plans.” Eric answers with an unsure shrug.

‘YAAYYYY!’ The kids say at once jumping and splashing up water at once making everyone laugh.

“Ive got a place in mind for us to eat. They have a great range of food so should cater to any picky eaters we may have between us.” Cassie says as Eric her and the kids walk out to the car park.

“Sound great. But there are no picky eaters here.”

“Do you want me to give you the postcode or do you know where ‘Baxter’s’ is?”

“I will just follow you in my car.”

“Sure that works.”

Everyone makes their ways to thier respective cars before Cassie realises that she has no idea what Eric’s car looks like nor he her. She’s about to jump out of the car in search of Eric when flashing lists catch her eye in the rear view mirror. She recognised Eric in the driving seat and leaves trying not to think about the car he drives. A Lamborghini Urus was a very expensive car. Did that mean that Eric was that financially sufficient? Cassie shock her head, she was too young for him so there was not need to be worrying about any other differences they had in that way. She liked him and they were going for lunch with the kids and that was that.

Eric followed Cassie impressed by the way she drove and how she ensured there was always space for him to follow. Twenty minutes later they arrived at the restaurant called Baxter’s one of a few restaurants on the retail park in the same location. Eric parked next to Cassie.

“It’s a gem. Trust me.” Cassie assures Eric.

“I have no doubts it will be lovely.”

“It’s half way between a buffet and a normal restaurant.” Cassie adds feeling nervous. Eric can hear the unease in her voice but says nothing offering a nod as Cassie leads the way.

“Table for seven please.”

“Would you like a booth?” The waiter asks as Eric inwardly cringes imagining the potential embarrassment of having to squeeze into a booth.

“No thank you a table for us all please.” Cassie replies firmly, Eric’s worries melting away.

“Awwwww can’t we get a booth please Auntie Cassie?” Bennett asks.

“Do the rest of you want a booth too?” Cassie asks the kids recieving vigorous head nodding in return.

“Eric are you happy for the kids to share a booth and you and I can get a table next to them?”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Can we get a booth for the kids and a table for us two next to the booth please?”

“Yes. Please follow me and I will show you to your tables.”

“I hope this is okay.” Cassie says quietly to Eric as they sit down the kids already laughing and joking as they look through the menu. Eric was looking over at the booth with thankful eyes. There was no way he would have been able to fit.

“Apart from the fact that everything on the menu looks so good that I’m not sure what to choose.” Eric smiles.

“I’m happy to order for the table if you want me too.”
Eric swallows a little. His stomach had rumbled several times on the drive over and he was thankful it had stopped now. What if she orders a salad for me and then I am starving and grumpy?

“Okay.” He answers a little reluctantly.

The waiter approaches taking the drinks orders from the kids and then food orders, a mixture of the typical burgers and pizza, with one lasagne is ordered. Eric shuffles in his seat as the waiter approaches. Though it no longer gets to him he sees the waiter look over his form aware that when sitting his gut tends to look bigger as it rests on his lap and is compressed a little in seated positions. Eric doesn’t let the look bother him, he’s used to it. What comes as a surprise is the surge of jealousy and primal ownership that makes him want to rip the waiters head off as his gaze lingers heavily over Cassie’s form. She is totally ignorant to it as she surveys the menu with a very cute concentrated look.

“Sorry.” she mumbles barely glancing up. “I’m looking for a specific dish.” She looks up and smiles brilliantly at Eric it nearly makes him gasp how beautiful she is. “I’m currently starving. How hungry are you?” Cassie asks as Eric’s stomach chooses that moment to rumble loudly. Heat floods Eric’s face as he hands move to his gut as if trying to quieten it. Cassie just giggles offering Eric a kind smile before turning to the server.

“I think my man is hungry.” And then proceeds to reel off a considerable order of food. Eric very much likes the thought of really being Cassie’s man guessing that she had made the error still playing up to their faux couple demonstration earlier. “I may have gotten a little carried away there. We can divide up any leftovers and take them back with us. Or I can take them back with me.” Cassie offers not wanting Eric to feel pressured.

“I’m feeling pretty hungry as you heard so let’s just see. By the way, we are not at the pool anymore you can drop the act.”

“What do you mean?” Confusion coats Cassie’s voice.

“Pretending to be my partner. The waiters eyes nearly popped out of his head a minute ago and they may be trying to be discreet but it seems to me like they are trying to work out how we make love.” Eric jokes.

“That is just silly, our height difference wouldn’t be that much of a barrier. But on your first point I was more concerned about the kids, they will think we lied to them, I may not be dating but Beatrix and Klaus know that you are so they haven’t made a huge leap.” Cassie replies honestly as Eric mulls over what she said first concerning love making, her point was about their height difference not the potential obsticle of his belly his mind wondering back to the way that she had lovingly touched him earlier in the pool. His manhood begins to stir again. He shakes his head trying to dispel the thoughts but he knows its too late.

“I don’t think they were referring to our height difference.” Eric laughs nervously before continuing. “But you’re right I am dating and the blissfully ignorance of children makes them see all adults much the same so in their mind there is no reason why you would be dating me.” Eric sighs lightly as their drinks arrive, both thanking the waiter

“We were interrupted earlier after you told me what you were looking for when Beatrix revealed that you were dating. I didn’t fulfil my end of the deal. Would you still like to know?” Cassie asks looking down a little shyly.

“I would be lying if I said no.” Eric smiles trying to dispel some of his own nerves and Cassie’s. This surely counted as flirting and his stomach was now filled with butterflies.

“Well unlike yourself I don’t have an upper age limit as I have tended and will admit have a preference for older men but would date younger as long as they are mature. I am twenty six and while it may be silly or unconventional in these modern times I would ideally like to have at least one child before thirty and in my experience older men are closer to wanting that same thing in a similar time frame. I always look for someone who makes me laugh and enjoys the simple things in life is ideal, but most importantly gets as excited as I do about farmers market and will never think I have to many types of pickles, preserves, marmalade’s or bread and who will always complement my baking and food even when its not my best.” Cassie laughs at herself.

“You are mature for your age. I don’t believe you would be trusted or able to look after Bennett, Lilly and Nathan so well if you were not. Can I be a little cheeky and ask another question?”

“Sure.” Cassie replies hoping he’s going to ask her out or say something that could lead to that. Then there would be no real lie.

“Are you not dating because you are in a relationship?”

“I guess you could say I’m not actively dating but not, not dating if that makes sense?” Cassie continues when Eric arches an eyebrow that makes her want to swoon. “My last relationship ended about nine months ago. I did all the crying and upset and all of that and it made me realise what I want next. So now I have temporarily moved back in with my dad so I can do some serious saving. I want to have options of buying a house in the city or in commutable distance that I am comfortable with. If something comes along then I would not dismiss it but I am very aware that I am not a finished article and so wouldn’t want to burden anyone with that. Gosh I feel so embarrassed saying all that.” Cassie flushes looking down. The food arrives and so Eric thanks the waiter giving Cassie some time happily surveying the spread.

“This looks and smells great and I don’t think you have anything to feel embarrassed about. I don’t understand why you think you would be a burden though.” Eric speaks as both begin to dish up from the plates that Cassie has ordered.

“The fish pie is amazing, make sure you try some, the tomatoes on the bruschetta are just fantastic and the three bean cassoulet is one of my favourites too.” Cassie adds concentrating on plating up as Eric does the same. After a few moments she speaks, “I know that I am not a burden.” Cassie sighs. Eric stays quite giving her the space to talk. “My ex did a real number on me, nothing physically abusive but psychologically for sure. One of the last things he told me is that I was and always had been a burden to him. I know this wasn’t true even then but it’s just the thing that sticks. But the good thing is I used it as motivation. That’s why I am saving so hard and working to have a place of my own. Then I’m not a burden to anyone.” Cassie finishes unable to hide the true depth of sadness in her voice with a bright smile. “I don’t want to bring down the mood with anything about me. The day has been so wonderful already. You are an amazing person, kind, caring and from what I can tell very loving as Klaus and Beatrix adore you.”

“You should post that on my dating profile, maybe I would have more luck with the ladies then.”

“You are very handsome, I am sure you will be snapped up soon.”

“Apart from all the fat.” Eric chuckles.

“No. That’s not what I said or what I mean.” Cassie clarifies seriously. It catches Eric off guard.

“Anyone who called you a burden sounds like they had some deep rooted issues. Relationships are about being equal but I don’t know any person born with solely male genitalia that has the potential to carry and nurse a baby. If men and women were meant to be equal in everything then they would have the same ability. Relationships are about balance and compromise. It’s not like a conventional scale. Just because one earns one hundred thousand pounds does not mean the other has to, there are so many ways in which we can show and ass value in relationships. And there are even more ways in which it can be seen if you only have the patience.”

“And that is why you won’t be single for long. Thank you Eric.”

Eric and Cassie spend the rest of the meal laughing and joking, so much so that Eric forgets to keep a tighter reign on what he is eating and relaxes the buttons on his shirt a little tighter than before he started eating. He was impressed that despite Cassie’s smaller size she ate food and enjoyed it they had talked about the flavours in a way that showed they both loved food.

“Can we get ice cream please Auntie Cassie?” Beatrix asks coming over to the table. Cassie would be more than happy to be her auntie in real life.

“Are you asking me because you think Uncle Eric won’t let you?”

“Maybe…”

“Uncle Eric. Can the kids have ice cream?” Cassie turns to Eric who has an expression on his face with an emotion she can’t read but he blinks and it’s gone.

“As long as you don’t go crazy.”

“They said yes?” Beatrix fist pumps the air and the other kids cheer scrambling to get up and head over to the ice cream serving station.

“Would you like dessert? They do a great cheesecake and tiramisu.” Eric looks down at his further distended stomach knowing that he has physical room but he has already eaten a lot more than he would allow himself on a date. Damn he was thinking of this like a date. “Well I am getting dessert if you’re not. Just going to the loo first.”

“You are one lucky man. How did you convince a woman like that to be with you?” The young fit waiter asks clearing the plates from the table while Cassie is in the ladies room. If he had not of spoken Eric would not have seen him too lost in his own thoughts.

“We are just friends.” Eric frowns annoyed at himself and the young man. Cassie is just friendly, he’s seen her with other people, he needs to stop thinking this is anything more.

“Ahhh yeah makes sense. I was thinking you must be super rich or something. We’ve got a Lambo on the car park, everyone is trying to guess who’s it is. I think it’s that guy over there.” The waiter inclines his head towards a typically trendy younger man and his partner before leaving the table with a now a slightly annoyed Eric. Why not have dessert. He wanted it and if nothing else maybe how much he could put away would disgust Cassie so much even she would make a comment, she would make a comment and be horrified by him and he would stop slipping into believing she liked him as anything more than a friend. By the time Cassie was back from the toilet Eric was finished with his second bowl of ice cream.

“I’m glad you are having dessert, now I won’t feel bad for ordering when your not eating any.” Cassie smiles looking to signal the waiter.

“I’ve already ordered for you, I just fancied a bit of ice cream too.” Eric states a little tightly. Cassie picks up on his change in mood and is immediately worried.

“Did something happen when I went to the toilet? Are you okay.” She pours every bit of concern she can into her voice. Eric immediately feels guilty and sighs.

“I’m fine. The waiter convinced me to have dessert while you were away. I also thought of a way that we can tell the kids we are not together as it’s likely they will meet again and we can’t have them thinking we are an item, especially since I am at least trying to date.”

“Okay.” Cassie replies slowly knowing that something else must have happened while she was away but whatever it is Eric does not want to speak about it but he is now eating like a man possessed.

“I have your dessert order for you and your friend.” The waiter arrives with a large tray in hand. How many desserts did Eric order Cassie wonders to herself looking at the tray of food. “Where would you like them?” He asks.

“Just place them down where you can.” Eric answers glancing up slightly from his ice cream catching the eyes of the waiter on Cassie who is watching desserts being put down. He had ordered one of everything on the menu.

“You and your friend enjoy your desserts. Let me know if you need anything else.” The waiter leaves with a smile.

“Thank you.” Cassie smiles at the waiter before turning her attention back to Eric and the desserts.

“I thought we could just share. Anything you don’t want I will finish.” Eric states his voice monotone as he shuts down his feelings. Cassie can stand it no longer, she has to try and do something to break down this barrier that he has just put up again.

“Sounds good.” Cassie stands and moves to take a seat next to Eric. She not sure what she can do but reducing the distance between them physically feels instinctual. “Better for sharing.” she smiles up at him. Eric notes how small she looks sitting next to him and yet how much he likes it, as well as the view of her cleavage he gets from this angle. He pushes down all those feelings though. No good would come from them.

“Cheesecake?” He asks reaching over his distended gut to the bring the cheesecake towards them a small grunt escaping his lips due to the pressure on his body from the action.

“Yes. Sounds good. And you can tell me about how I can support your dating.” Cassie smiles at him taking her fork to the cheesecake. Cassie learns that Eric has a simple but effective plan of waiting for a few weeks and then telling his niece and nephew that they are no longer together. It seems similar to the idea that she had but had hoped that the fake relationship would turn into a real one.

Eric was forcing the food into his mouth now, yes he was enjoying the flavours and textures but he was just trying to fill the emotional hole that had been opened back up. He had been the idiot who had opened it for allowing himself to get lost in the idea that the woman sitting next to him could like him and look at him as anything more than a friend or the big fat blob that he was. What did it matter what he liked, he was a freaking hypocrite and a weirdo. Finally all the food was finished. Eric had rarely felt this full in his life, he was actually panting. Why the hell had he stuffed himself like this in public and yet Cassie still had not said anything apart from suggesting that he take a few moments to rest while she took the kids outside to play on a nearby park.

“Do you do eating competitions?” The waiter asks as he comes back to the table to collect the plates with Eric looking even more like a puffed up tick than usual. He had never over eaten to such an extent before, well at leat not pubically or at such a pace.

“No I am just a fat man who enjoys food and drives a Lamborghini!” Eric snaps at the waiter who’s blood drains from his face as he scurries to clean the plates up and leave. Beatrix runs in planting her face right in Eric’s fat side he groans out in pain.

“Sorry Uncle Eric.” Beatrix gasps.

“It’s okay sweetheart. It’s not your fault I just ate to much and now I have a tummy ache.”

“Oh no! With a tummy as big as yours you must be in a lot of pain. Will you be okay Uncle Eric?” The worry in his nieces voice pulls at Eric’s heart strings her use of logic in relation to the size of his stomach is sound and endearing. It’s nice to know that his shape doesn’t offend Beatrix.

“Yes. I will be just fine. In fact. Do you now what will make it all better and take all the pain away?” Eric asks his niece who shakes her head curiously. “ I nice big hug from my niece Beatrix.” Eric smiles as his niece doesn’t hesitate to throw her small arms around him, looking like bands of spaghetti around his whale like circumference. “I will be out soon. Just going to pay the bill and then we can go back to my house and watch movies. How does that sound?”

“Sounds perfect.” Beatrix speaks into his belly. It hadn’t gone unnoticed by Eric or the rest of the family how Beatrix seemed to prefer Eric fatter, he often used her as a reason that he couldn’t lose the weight for fear he might lose the love of his niece.

“Can I get the bill please?” Eric asks as the waiter walks past.

“Already taken care of sir.” He answers professionally and briefly before moving off. Eric’s heart drops. Not only has Cassie silently watched him behave awfully and pig out, she has paid for it too. With an embarrassing about of effort and a large grunt Eric heaves himself out of his seat slowly making his way out of the restaurant and to the park area. A few buttons on his shirt are dangerously close to popping as he feels them strain to contain his over stuffed and very heavy gut. If it were a lower quality shirt he would have diamonds of flesh showing but he knew that was not the case and was thankful that he would not have to suffer that embarrassment. Cassie watched as Eric made his way over to the park, he really did look huge and she knew that with the way he had eaten he must be in some pain. She wanted to take care of him and comfort him but it was clear he didn’t want that from her. Eric took his time saying goodbye to Bennett, Nathan and Lilly offering Cassie only a brief departing word. For some reason he had just pulled into himself and Cassie didn’t know why. She would see him at swimming and get to the bottom of it.
 
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Part 6 - Time

Eric wasn’t at swimming the following week or the week after and so on. Cassie altere her schedule going at different times to see if she could catch him on different days but Eric was no where in sight. As the weeks turned into months Cassie lost hope of seeing Eric again and was sad not to have his friendship or presence in her life anymore but she continued swimming and had a nice little group of friends who she was able to meet up with outside of the pool and really start feeling a sense of belonging. Deep down Cassie knew that Eric didn’t want to see her any more and while she didn’t understand or know why she respected his decision.

Eric couldn’t face swimming again, well he couldn’t face seeing Cassie again. He wasn’t able to control his mind and his emotions towards her, his desire to have her and be with her. It was wrong. She was too young for him and he was too old and too fat for her and even if she was only ever wonderful to him and with him. She haunted his dreams every night so much so that he felt like a teenager again waking up from a wet dream or painfully aroused. To distract himself he had thrown himself hard into the dating world but seemed to be having less and less success with securing dates. A lady had contacted him on the site out of sheer desperation asking him to go on a date with her and be a fake partner for her. He had agreed just for something to do and to at least feel ‘wanted’ for an evening. She was a large woman like himself and her family had spent the whole evening making jokes at their expense even though they had both only ordered a salad. It was awful. Eric could do nothing but eat his feelings and that had had an impact on his body with his fitness levels dropping not swimming any more his belly had begun to fill out more and hand lower so that it firmly covered a not insignificant portion of his crotch when standing and took up more space on his lap. Sometimes he would find himself lying in bed seeing the globe of flesh spread out in front of him and he would find himself feeling both oddly detached and yet aware of his body at the same time wondering if this was his life now and forever more, with only his gut for company each night.

Eric stood nervously waiting for his date. He knew it was cowardly to contact Lisa and request she pretend to be his partner just as he had for her but Brian had really pushed his buttons and without thinking he had said that Brian didn’t need to fake concern over him. He’s busy with work and his girlfriend. Brian had latched onto that and had been pestering him ever since to meet her and have the family meet her. He had been able to push back a little claiming that things were new and he wasn’t ready to introduce her to family yet. But then Brian had gone and insisted on meeting for dinner after work in the city and seen him, while he hadn’t made it obvious that he had noticed his weight gain the calls from his other brother, sister and mother had been ones that thrummed with concern and morphed into distress when it came to his not insignificant weight that his brother had noticed and had spared no time in telling the rest of his family.

Where the hell was Lisa!?

Going to this particular family lunch without a date and fatter than ever was not an option, how was he supposed to divert attention from himself? Hell no. Eric began to pace the pavement outside Covent Garden station but felt like he was going crazy, not to mention what he must have looked like. He began to walk, he had planned with time to spare so at least walking around the area would be better than pacing like a lunatic.

*******

“Cass! Is that you?” Cassie hears her name her head turning almost on reflex seeing Chris and a few of his friends enjoying a few drinks outside a new and nice looking restaurant. She had decided to make the most of the weather as she had been feeling a little low for reasons she couldn’t quite put her finger on, or wanted to admit to herself. Still it didnt matter, in Cassie’s mind there was a fix for that, a little bit of retail therapy and what better way then to dress up and head out into the city. Seeing Chris was not part of that plan and if she wasn’t walking towards the restaurant she would have just ignored him.

“Hi Chris, Harry, Benedict.” Cassie smiles lightly receiving reciprocal greetings from Harry and Benedict friends of Chris’s that she had spent a lot of time with.

“Wow Cass. You look great. Off to meet the boyfriend?” Chris asks his gaze not hiding the physical appreciation he still held for her.

“Goodbye Chris.” Cassie sighs moving to leave.

“Cass. Wait. Don’t go. I’m being a jerk. I miss you.” Chris calls out pushing his bulk up out of the chair. Cassie’s eyes go wide as she sees him standing. “Wait there. Let me come to you.” Chris add as he begins to manoeuvre himself from where he is sitting. Cassie watches as her ex-boyfriend, or man-friend as she used to call him makes his way to her. He was what most people call fat when they were together but Cassie just saw him as chubby but now he was fat. He had a big soft belly that domed nicely making her think of Eric but he didn’t have the same stature as Eric in width or height . “I know I know I’ve put on a little weight. It’s not that bad is it?” Chris asks but Cassie knows he using his usual tactics of using her physical preferences to manipulate her. He knew she liked his fat.

“You know I don’t think that Chris.” Cassie sighs looking down away from him. She had to take back control in some way.

“Can whoever your meeting wait for one drink?” Chris asks reaching out taking Cassie’s hand.

“I’m not meeting anyone Chris but I can’t stay for a drink I’m doing retail therapy.” Cassie replies immediately regretting not telling a little white lie but she wasn’t working to make Chris jealous and she despised lying.

“Retail therapy can wait for a little Cass. Let me get you a drink. Let’s talk.” He urges his hand attempting to lace with Cassie’s.

“Come and join us for a drink Cassie.” Benedict calls out from the table clearly able to hear the exchange and on his friends side.

“Chris. This is not the place to talk. I should go.” Cassie pulls her had away and turns to leave but Chris is quick and re-catches her hand pulling Cassie into his body. His body envelopes her but there isn’t the warmth and comfort that used to be there, that she used to feel, there wasn’t the tingles of excitement and arousal. Cassie knew in that moment that she was truly over Chris. “Chris let me go.” She says sternly.

“Cassie. We are meant to be together. You know that. I haven’t met anyone that even comes close to you baby.”

“Chris you told me I was a burden. You took everything that I had revealed to you and exposed with my vulnerabilities and turned them against me. What has changed?” Cassie asks seriously.

“Iv’e grown up. I was wrong. I was an idiot.” Chris was never this open, he was always into mind games. There was something missing. Some angle that he was playing.

“I know you too well to there is something that you are not telling me Chris. I made it very clear that I was attracted to you physically, but you also made it clear that you were uncomfortable being the size you were and now your bigger. Quite a lot bigger. What happened?” Cassie questions her work level confidence coming out. Chris is taken aback but also finds himself even more attracted to the confidence Cassie is exuding, his arousal growing. Chris gestures with his head moving a little further away from people and his friends so they can’t hear.

“I was in a feedism relationship.” Chris whispers taking the opportunity to lean into Cassie his hand moving around her waist. Cassie gasped in shock but does not pull away.

“Are you being serious? After all the crap you gave me about your weight and how mismatched we were because I was a not bigger and me liking to see you eat till you were happy and full?”

“So you’re not freaked out about the feedism part your annoyed about me getting bigger without you?” Chris attempts to flirt.

“I don’t judge any type of relationship. Feedism may not be for me but as a person who prefers larger people I don’t really give a shit about conventions of any sort.”

“Cass. You don’t know what it is like trying to find a partner who likes you as you are but isn’t bigger as a man. It’s different for women I think. In a contrast loving a feedism relationship I got what I wanted and so did they. I never doubted that they would leave me if I got bigger.”

“I thought we had that. Sure I wasn’t a feeder per say, at least not in a hard sense but I told you over and over again that I loved your size and your body, and I know I showed you. The way my body reacted to you, there was never any reason to doubt me. But you did and I see now that you punished me for it.” Cassie frowns.

“And look at you now. More beautiful than ever and I am fatter than ever. Let me guess that you have been promoted at work and are now earning that six figures that I knew that I was pushing you to get. We were the right couple at the wrong time Cass. Now is the right time.” Cassie shakes her head trying to move away from Chris but he keeps her bound.

“The only two things you are right about Chris is that you are fatter than ever, and I am better than ever, in the best mental head space of my life. But it wasn’t encouragement you gave me to progress at work you messed with my mind, you broke my confidence, you broke me. I felt like I was nothing, like I was worthless.”

“It’s called tough love Cass and it clearly worked.” Cassie moves trying to pull away but Chris keeps her locked to his body. “Cassie don’t fight this. Let the past be the past and lets move forward.”

“Let go of me Chris!” Cassie whisper shouts not wanting to cause a scene but needing to get away from Chris’s toxicity. He was always like this even when they were together and she felt like a fool for not seeing it.

*******

Eric had almost choked outloud in shock seeing Cassie again. Was the world against him today?! No one sees anyone in the city and the very person, the only person that he was actively going out of his way to avoid was just a few paces in front of him looking lovely as ever in a summery flowing dress that highlighted her figure to perfection. Even after the distance he had put between them he wanted her still.

Eric continued to follow Cassie like a creepy stalker staying far enough behind but close enough to see. Was she meeting someone for lunch? Was she on a date? His blood ran hot with envy at the thought of the latter. His so far failing fake date Lisa was almost forgotten until his phone rang.

“Lisa. - What do you mean you can’t make it? - I know it doesn’t feel right, I did it for you remember and it wasn’t great for me but we had an agreement. - No my family will not criticise your weight, only I get that joy. - Lisa please don’t do this. I am begging you.” The phone line goes dead. Fuuucccckkkkk. Eric despairs, but only for a few moments before Cassie takes his attention once more. He watches fixated on the interactions, a large man who had been sitting in the outside seating of a restaurant gets up and moves to Cassie. From where he is peeping he looks to be about six foot or just under has he stands opposite Cassie, his strawberry blonde hair is thinning a little on top but he grudgingly admits that he is relatively handsome, clean shaven proudly showing his double chin. He was fat, just like him, well not just like him but he was fat, and here was Cassie speaking with another very fat man. Eric watches with intrigue at Cassie’s and the mans interaction, they are clearly familiar as the man reaches out and takes Cassie’s hand intimately and she does not pull away. What is going on? He wants, no he needs to get closer. Carefully manouvring himself so as not to be recognised or noticed Eric moves closer to Cassie and her gentlemen friend so he can hear their exchange. Thoughts of Lisa his bailed date are long gone. So is lunch. Getting closer Eric can hear more detail of the conversation and see more of the man. He’s older than he first thought his own age or more but that is not what shocks him, no. The shock comes as Eric learns that this man who now holds Cassie by the waist and against his large form is her ex boyfriend. A thousand thoughts begin racing through Eric’s mind all at once as he still tries to concentrate on the conversation taking place. All this time. All the touches. Could she had been flirting with me? Could it have been more than a dream I was making up? Does Cassie have a thing for larger men? What the hell does that mean? Is she into the feedism scene? No man Eric’s size in the dating world had not come across the feedism scene. Eric shook his head refocusing on Cassie, she was in trouble. She had rebuffed his advances but he wasn’t letting her go. Eric didn’t think he just acted.

“Cassie. Is everything okay here?” He asked seeing relief flood her features and her amazing smile appearing on her face, she was so beautiful it would take his breath away save the current glare he had on both the man he knew to be her ex-partner and the grip he currently still had of Cassie.

“Eric! Everything is fine. I just bumped into my ex Chris but we are just parting ways. Aren’t we Chris?” Cassie presses against him as Chris reluctantly lets her go.

“Cass. Meet me for breakfast tomorrow at our favourite place. I will save our table okay?” Chris adds, giving Eric a smug glare.

“I don’t think so Chris. I wish you nothing but the best but our story is over. I don’t love you any more.”

“I bet your pants say differently.” Chris snipes and before Eric knows what he’s doing his fist is connecting with Chris’s jaw hard an audible crack being heard, he broke something. Cassie gasps jumping in the middle of the two men

“Don’t you fucking talk to her like that!” He bellows so loudly that the street goes quiet.

“That’s fucking assault!” Chris yelps.

“Eric, Chris. Stop!” Cassie cries.

“Cass, I’m injured. I need to go to the hospital. Come with me?” Chris asks making one more desperate plea before Benedict and Harry are able to come to his aide.

“I’m sorry Chris. I can’t. I just can’t. Harry, Benny, will you guys make sure he’s okay.”

“You will be hearing from my lawyer!” Chris moans still not getting the message and mouthing ‘call me’ to Cassie as Harry and Benedict help him away back to the restaurant to sit down and likely call an ambulance if its serious. Cassie shakes her head and sighs, her shoulders slumping and energy drained. All the drama is over now, people are starting to go back to ignoring and the bit of drama that just took place around her but she’s no longer in the mood for shopping,

“You can’t go around just hitting people Eric.” Cassie speaks her head still low her eyes on the ground.

“I can when they are near damn assaulting you!”

“I was fine. I am fine.”

“A thank you might be more appropriate don’t you think?” Eric grumbles angrily.

“Thank you for dismissing me so casually after a lovely day out. Thank you for no longer coming swimming, thank you for walking out of my life and showing up today to rescue me from my horrid ex boyfriend. Your good deed for the day is done you can go back to ignoring and avoiding me.” Cassie doesn’t try to keep the hurt and honesty out of her voice, when Eric doesn’t reply she looks up at him seeing that he is clearly struggling to communicate something. “Just spit it out Eric!” She sighs.

“While I never expected to meet your ex I didn’t expect him to look like that.”

“Balding?” Cassie questions a smile playing at the edge of her lips.

“You know that’s not what I mean.”

“No I don’t.” Cassie says looking around to get her bearings thinking of where the closest tube station is. “Do you have anywhere to be or can we continue the rest of whatever this is by foot. I need to get the station?” She says her voice coated with light exhaustion. The reality if Eric’s situation with his bailed date hits him like a ton of bricks, he only has a few minutes but he’d be late for Cassie any time. It was the very least that he owed her.

“I will walk with you.” Eric replies as they begin to walk in a pregnant silence. “You know I wasn’t referring to his hair earlier Cassie.”

“Then what? If you think I’m going to make this easy for you Eric, I am not. Do you know how much… never mind.” Cassie stops herself thinking better of it to keep her emotions in check.

“That’s not fair, you have to say.”

“No I don’t.”

A few more moments of silence pass and Eric observes that no one is paying them any extra level of attention.

“He was fat.” Eric mumbles.

“And?” Cassie replies in a bored tone.

“What is his age?” Eric changes tack slightly.

“He’s forty five now.”

“And you dated for how long?”

“Three years.”

“So he was forty one and you were twenty two, twenty three?” Eric questions.

“Yes and he was fat and I was slim.” Cassie throws her arms up in exasperation. “You know there are a lot of people in the world and they all like different things. Not everyone is so bothered about height differences, age differences, or weight differences and some people even enjoy the contrast. When two people with similar preferences find one another beautiful things can happen.” Eric’s mind is working at a million miles a second as he recalls every interaction he has ever had with Cassie and now the true meaning behind what she is saying as he realised his torture was of his own making. Cassie wasn’t giving him mixed signals, no touch or interaction with her had ever felt disingenuous. It was all him. He takes a moment to process before he can speak. He needs to hear the words from her mouth.
 
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“You told me you had a preference for older men.” Cassie nods. “Are you saying that you also have a preference for fat men?” Eric asks thinking he sounds ridiculous but at the same time intensely hopeful that the answer is yes.

“Yes.” Cassie mumbles feeling exposed having to speak her truth in such an open setting. A huge sense of relief and lifting of guilt proceeds to wash over Eric.

“Cassie I’ve been a fool.

“Yes I know.” Cassie cuts in with half a smile as Eric takes a step closer to her, the furthest part of his heavy gut only a hairs width away from her as Cassie looks up at his handsome face.

“Have you been attracted to me from day one?” Eric asks tentatively.

“Yes.” Cassie answers honestly having no energy to try and hide anything

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I could ask you the same question Eric but I will dignify you with an answer. I had to feel you out first. I don’t like you just because your an older fat man. There’s so much more and as I learned more about you and how wonderful you are I had to make sure that you were not married or in a relationship. I knew I was too young for your own preferences but I hoped I could convince you to give something a try but you never came back. After what had been a perfect day, my wildest dreams coming true in pretending to be a couple with you the man I wanted. Having excuses to touch you and hold you to show you a glimpse of my affection for you was amazing. Learning for certain that you were single and seeing how wonderful you were with your niece and nephew had me ready to jump your bones. I had decided that the next time I saw you at the pool I was going to pluck up the courage to ask you out, but -”

“But I never came back.” Eric finishes as Cassie nods sadly. Eric couldn’t believe what he was hearing as he looked into the woman’s eyes that he was sure he was in love with. Only love could cause the level of turmoil and insanity that he had been experiencing but he was bigger now, did Cassie have a size limit, did she still find him attractive now? Eric wonders glancing over his current form
“Yes Eric.” Cassie answers his unasked question.

“Yes what?” Eric asked confused his eyes snapping back to Cassie.

“Yes I still find you attractive as you are now. A little bigger than before.” Cassie smiles and places her hand lovingly on Eric’s gut. All and any tension that had been pent up in Eric’s body leaves his body as he bends down wraps his arms around Cassie and lifts her up. Cassie moulds into Eric’s body over his substantial gut to their faces were nearly touching.

“I have two questions for you Cassie. Two very important questions really, one heavily caveated and the other hopefully not so much.”

“I’m listening.” Cassie breathes enjoying finally being this close to the man that she is in love with.
 

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