Killeen’s epic and buoyant story of sex, power, money, drug smuggling, mobs, blackmailing, and horse racing is rich in action and excitement: it is a man’s struggle to succeed on his own terms until reaching his final retreat, fate always being on his side.
Danny arrived at the campus in Nottingham to a hive of activity. Next day was the first day of term. He was again a raw scholar, with prospectus and timetable in hand, and wondering just what he had to do.
The college did not have its own halls of residence, and many of the prospective students had anticipated acceptance on the course by pre-arranging rented rooms in an apartment block, where the upper floors had become almost completely student-based. Danny had been busy arranging his mother’s welfare, and for one of his dad’s old mates to take over the keep of his pigeons. The lack of planning for college and of good finances had left him with a problem. He found himself in the entrance to the apartment block being told that no rooms were left for rent.
He happened to meet a female student on his course by chance (or it may have been by her doing). She was very small, barely up to his chest, pretty, but thin and underdeveloped. She was never still, and full of nervous energy. She was never quiet, but always hustling and bustling, and had no inhibitions about talking to anyone or everyone.
“I’m Maureen Bannister. Which room have you got? Who are you with?” she asked Danny.
“I’m too late. But I can’t afford the rent anyway,” Danny replied.
Maureen had got a room and assumed that she would find another girl to share with her, but had not been successful; perhaps because of her uninhibited chatter and first impressions. “What are you going to do?” she asked.
“I’ll have to look for a bed and breakfast somewhere close.”
“Look, I know that mixed sexes sharing is not a normal thing but there are two separate bedrooms and a lock on the bathroom door. I’ll be paying for the f lat anyway. I don’t mind if you join me. You can put a lock on your bedroom door if you think I might molest you. If you can’t afford a share of the rent all the time, don’t worry, my allowances will stand it. I should tell you that I was a nurse for two years on a men’s ward, so I’ve seen most things and wouldn’t be phased by your presence, and neither should you be on my account.”
Maureen stopped for breath and Danny just said, “Okay.”
And so it was that Danny shared a f lat with Maureen; an unlikely pairing for f latmates, but solved their problems, provided company, and perhaps in Maureen’s mind, some notoriety. Her nursing experience had enabled her to be familiar with the male anatomy. In fact, her nursing duties included assisting in washing, bathing and showering seriously injured and disabled young men. She had to be immune to their ribald comments and remember her strictly medical role. One young soldier of a normally sincere and quiet disposition, with hands and arms swathed in bandages, had pleaded with her in the privacy of the washroom, to dwell longer in washing his groin. He wanted reassurance that his reproductive tackle was still in working order after his injuries and subsequent sexual deprivation. She did satisfy his anxiety, although she knew that it was an employment risk if it became known. She could not of course tell him of the effect that the action had on her, despite her nurse’s training. She was so close to intimacy but oh so far from fulfilment! However, when the soldier asked if Nurse Bannister could be the one to again assist him in washing, suspicions were aroused, and it did in fact tip the scales in Maureen deciding on a career change into Agricultural College and veterinary ambitions.
At the first few classes it became clear that among the students there was a clique of five girls, daughters of farmers, typically rich, brash and sexually experienced. They were familiar with most aspects of farming and animal husbandry, and experienced with the range of animals. They made snide jokes among themselves, and at some of the other students who might be embarrassed by the breeding methods and the like. Maureen was never afraid to chip in with her frank opinions. She was able to speak with the eloquency of the aristocracy on most subjects, but could change her accent and the coarseness of her words if needed to fight her corner in an argument with ‘The Five’. She had been nicknamed ‘Little Mo’, and then later, ‘Little Moo’.
Living in the apartment, Danny tried to maintain some privacy and respect Maureen’s habits: first in the bathroom in the morning, avoid breaking wind, etc. Maureen, however, with her nursing experiences, was so uninhibited and unashamed about another’s presence that at first Danny was slightly uncomfortable when she would, for instance, wander into the kitchen where he was cooking as if she did not know she was wearing just her bra and knickers. She showed not a scrap of embarrassment in openly talking about sexual matters. But he was not really physically attracted to her underdeveloped femininity. They gradually became just good mates, but with a lot of familiarity between them. They helped one another in various ways: she with his tuition timetables and his homework for the course; he with some protection and support when required outside classes. She could certainly hold her own with the drinking sessions at weekends, though, and was quick to order and pay for another round at the bar.
After one heavy drinking session, including the temptation of a drag on a spliff, Danny staggered back to the flat in a stupor, leaning on Little Mo, and collapsed onto his bed out to the world to sleep it off. Towards morning, when he finally awoke for the bathroom, he found Little Mo snuggling close to him on his bed, both covered over with a blanket, her hand resting casually in her sleep on his privates. He slid away to the toilet, but on his return she had not moved at all from her deep sleep. He had no alternative but to again share the bed with her until it was time to get up.
She was just like a loyal dog to him sometimes. He didn’t have real sexual feelings for her, but just wondered at her actions when he was completely flaked out.
“What happened last night?” he said, when she, for once was not chattering away. “Were you pissed as well?”
“Yes, but not as bad as you, but I was still groggy.” After a pause she continued, “I was freezing Danny. The heating was off. My bed felt cold and damp. I felt so much safer and warmer lying next to you and holding you. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay, Mo,” he replied, and smiled.
Gradually the Saturday night booze-up, which Mo was mostly financing from her parents allowance, was unaffordable for Danny. It usually resulted in him accepting Mo sliding into bed beside him, now just in bra and knickers, and he having usually managed to kick his trousers off. She would sometimes very gently rest her hand on him when he slept; blind-drunk and without any sexual inclination. They were becoming bed mates but without sex. However, she was enthralled by his physicality and the familiar effect of the touch of her hands.
One evening Mo rushed into the f lat in a panic. “Danny, can you get a lock and fix it to my bedroom door before weekend?”
“That’s a good one! I’ve never gone into your room. I can’t say the same for you with me, though!”
“I know, but my father and mother are coming to see me. They think we are in separate apartments and only sharing the kitchen.”
He managed to buy a sliding bar and fix it to the inside of her bedroom door. He planned to keep out of the way when her parents were due. He went to watch the college football team, but when he returned he found Maureen’s mother patiently waiting for his return. “We just wanted to meet you,” she said. “Maureen mentions you when she phones home. Having seen the accommodation here, they are not what we expected. I must ask you to be sure to respect Maureen’s situation and privacy and not take advantage of her.”
“Of course, Mrs Banister, I would always do that. You don’t need to worry.”
Maureen was behind her room door, giggling.
The class was chattering loudly while waiting for the lecture to begin.
“Morning, Moo, is the platonic relationship still platonic?”
The farmers’ girls of their class could not abide knowing that she was rooming with Danny. “I would have had the pants off him by now. If you haven’t seen him in the raw coming out of your bathroom then his modesty must mean he hasn’t got much to show off!”
It was a trick remark and Mo fell for it. She was thinking that Danny would not want to be branded as small by these girls. “That’s not true,” she said.
“So, he’s well-hung then? You should know, you being a nurse.”
She nodded her head. Then she immediately regretted it. She was thinking that more publicity would result. But maybe also jealousy, and the jealousy could be hers if Danny was attracted to one of them.
At this particular time the tutorials were dealing with animal husbandry and Breeding Soundness Examinations (BSEs), and the clique of farm girls were having a field day with jokes, supposed innocent questions to the lecturer, and snide remarks for the class to hear. Many of the jokes were hinting at comparisons of animals and human breeding techniques, their reproductive organs, and Danny’s anatomy.
“We’re practicing doing BSEs in f lat 22 tonight, Danny, if you would like to come and be tested,” shouted out Jill, a big, blond girl with oversized breasts.
Danny was getting smarter and his quick reply brought about a cheer from the rest of the class.
“Okay Jill, I’ll come at milking time. Will I need a bucket and a stool?”
Danny and Mo were getting along fine. They had a good understanding of pulling together in tackling everyday living, with routines and jobs to be done. Maureen always wanted to talk about the lectures and any preps and revisions to be done, and this helped Danny to keep focused and up-to-date with the course work. This had brought about a feeling of close friendship and respect, but not in a sensual way. Mo, however, was fanatical about losing her virginity. Apart from what she thought other people saw in her, she felt that not having this experience was holding her back in some way. For fulfilment she figured she needed a partner. She felt love for Danny, but knew that this was only returned by companionship and she was a little jealous about his interest in other girls at the college.
One Saturday after a good night out at the pub, lying together in Danny’s bed just talking, she suddenly said to him, “Danny, would you have sex with me?”
“What did you say?”
“I would love you to be the partner for my first ever sexual experience. I don’t mean just now, but I want you to. I’m not expecting you to start loving me, but I can’t start living a full life while I’m still treated like a little virgin. I promise you that there would be no repercussions, but I have to know what it’s like and how it changes a woman.”
Danny was a bit shocked and hesitated. He did have a lot of feelings for her but had never envisaged having sex with her. On reflecting, perhaps when his thoughts went in the right direction, he may be able to rise to the occasion in consideration of her desperate needs.
“It might spoil what we have in a platonic friendship. Should you not save yourself. And what about your mother’s lecture?” he asked, concerned.
“My mother won’t be the one who’s getting it,” she said loudly, breaking into a laugh to ease the tension, and it was left at that.
However, Mo was adamant that this was what she wanted. She brought a bottle of wine home one night, dressed in her slinkiest outfit, and after their meal she asked Danny if this could be the night. She kissed him in a longing sort of way, which was new to Danny, and snuggled her body close to him. The silkiness of her dress and her manner did make his thoughts gearup differently, and he did begin to respond.
“Here, use this, its lubricated,” Mo said. Practical Maureen had a condom and everything prepared. “Come through to my room in a minute.” “You’re probably too heavy for me, so I’ll be on top.” She clearly was in charge. “Is the condom properly on?”
“Come on, I know what you’ve got and I am ready for it.”
She had her knickers off, the room was in darkness, and there was a pile of pillows on the bed. She climbed aboard of him. No timidity, no embarrassment, but just her nursing experience and veterinary education, as she rode him. “Go on Danny, go on!”she urged.
Maureen had done a lot of preparation for this occasion.
He knew that she was fulfilled and as they lay together gasping for breath, she now suddenly seemed to be crying, and he was concerned. He tried to comfort her. However, it was tears of joy and excitement that he heard. “Thank you, Danny, thank you. Now I feel like a whole woman. It’s allowed me to be free! What a wonderful experience. I was in sync with you! I’ve been waiting for so long.”
Danny was not sure what he felt, but had some guilt and concern about what he had agreed to. It was like with Charlie. “Nobody must know about this! They wouldn’t understand.” When you start saying this, is it because you have done something you should not have done? With Maureen close to him, they fell asleep on the single bed.
Maureen was the first to wake, feeling very happy. The old saying that ‘Sex relieves tension, but love creates tension’, seemed for her to be coming true.