It started with a cricket ball and ended with having a ball.

It was a Saturday morning in early June when I left my house to get some shopping done. My neighbours Jim and Mary were in their garden with their son playing some game. Waving acknowledgement to them, nobody had any time for Jim. He was self-opinionated, self-centred and full of himself. Mary, on the other hand, was OK, a little meek and mild, but pleasant enough.

Then I spotted it, almost before it happened. Mary tossed a cricket ball towards her son. He took a mighty swing with his bat and it made a satisfying whack of willow on leather. Followed almost instantly with the sound of shattering glass as the ball passes through the passenger window of my Mercedes.

Everyone seems to freeze in shock until Jim bursts out laughing.

“What the fuck!” I exclaim.

“Language!” Mary replies and rushes to cover her son’s ears.

Somehow, I managed to contain myself, although I felt like I was going to explode.

“What were you thinking? Letting your son play cricket out here?”

“I’m sorry.” The boy stammers.

“I know, and I know it was an accident. However, your parents should know better, and it’s their responsibility to pay for it.”

“Get stuffed!” Jim interjects, still amused. “Stick it on your car insurance.”

“Not a chance!” I reply. “I have witnesses.” Nodding to the neighbours watching us. One lady particularly dislikes Jim for being noisy too early or too late in the day.

Opening the car door, the entire front seats are covered with broken glass. The cricket ball resting on the driver’s seat. Taking it, I toss it back to the boy.

“Keep the cricket in the park ok?” He nods and runs back into his house.

Unable to face cleaning up the mess right now, I storm back into the house, too angry to trust myself.

Ten minutes later, I was flicking through websites looking for someone to fix the window when the doorbell goes.

It’s Jim trying to be conciliatory.

“You’re right, we probably should have been more careful. How about £100 to make this go away?”

“Forget it; the best price I’ve found so far is over £500.”

“Fuck off, that’s robbery.”

“Here…” I showed him the phone.

“Christ! But you don’t have to fit the official stuff.”

“I do if I want to trade it in. So are you going to come up with the rest of the cash?”

“No chance. You can whistle for it.” He hands the phone back and turns to go.

“OK, I’ll see you in court. I have witnesses and then you’ll have court costs and legal fees on top of it. Oh! And I want your stuff out of my garage by the end of the day.”

“What? You can’t do that.”

“Why? I offered you temporary use of the garage after that flood.” I didn’t point out the flood was caused by his own faulty DIY when he had water gushing through the ceiling.

“You’ve been abusing my generosity for 18 months, so my patience has finally gone.” He glares at me and slams the door as he goes.

“And fuck you too!” I mutter after him.

I’d just got off the phone with the garage to arrange for someone to deal with the car when the bell went again. This time it was Mary.

“Can I come in?” I nod and return to the kitchen with her following. “I’m sorry about Jim…”

“He’s his own worst enemy, you know.” I interrupt.

“I know. It’s just sometimes he seems to forget he’s not always right. We’ll pay for the full cost of the window. It’s just money is a little tight right now. Could I pay you £20 per week?” I knew Mary had a part-time job.

“Even without interest, that is nearly six months I’m out of pocket. And what’s stopping you simply stopping paying after a month?”

“Because it will come out of my pocket and not Jim’s. After all, I threw the ball.”

I wasn’t happy with this, mostly as it was Jim who had pissed me off. However, if I took them to court, it would take longer to get a judgement, and they’d probably allow him to pay slowly. My delay in replying prompts Mary to up her offer.

“How about I do your cleaning as well?” As a single man in my early thirties, I keep my house fairly tidy, but not necessarily that clean. Glancing around the kitchen, I could see splashes of food behind the hob and I couldn’t remember when I’d last cleaned the cooker.

“Fine, but it’s in addition to the £20 per week. Come around next Saturday morning OK?” She nods, thanks to me and leaves.

I’d delayed her starting, as I wanted to make sure I’d tidied away any porn. After a while of being single, you don’t always ensure your home is mixed company friendly all the time.

At 9 am on Saturday, Mary rings the bell and I’m grumbling under my breath. I suppose for a married mum of a kid under ten, 9 am is reasonable, but for me, it feels like the dawn.

“Want a coffee?” I ask as she hangs up her coat and she nods.

“Black, no sugar.”

As the kettle boils, Mary comes into the kitchen.

“We never spoke about how much this cleaning pays. Jim says it should be £25 per hour.”

“Fuck off!” I exclaim in shock. She looks instantly offended.

“Sorry, what I mean is that’s ridiculous.” Opening my laptop and a quick search shows £10 is more reasonable.

“You have no travelling expenses and I’m providing the materials. £10 is far more reasonable. Where the heck did Jim get £25 from?”

Mary looks chagrined and shrugs.

“I’ll start in the bathroom. I doubt a single man like you has cleaned behind the ‘U’ bend in years.”

“‘U’ bend? What’s that?” I quipped. In truth, I barely did more than a wipe over the surface most of the time.

Typing in £25 and cleaner in my search engine, I waited for a second and grinned at the results. The first result is a company offering cleaners dressing in sexy costumes like French maids. It looks like my neighbour was looking at things I doubt his wife would appreciate.

I wonder how she’d react if I agreed to pay the £25. On the proviso, she wore a sexy costume?

With her coffee in hand, I enter the bathroom and look around confused, and then I spot her shoes next to the shower. Looking inside she’s standing barefoot inside squirting some cleaner with one hand and using a scrubbing brush on the grout.

Suddenly the image of her naked in my shower fills my mind. Which is a shock, as I’d never really thought of Mary that way. Putting the coffee next to the sink, I left her to it and returned to the kitchen to ponder why I’d been thinking about Mary sexually.

It could be my lengthy absence of female companionship or that Mary is the first woman in my home in over a year. Or perhaps it was just the thought of her wearing the maid outfit from the website her husband had been perusing.

After three hours of cleaning, Mary had done over half of the house. The kitchen and bathroom take the longest. I made a note of her hours on a spreadsheet as she was about to leave and joked I’d have her ‘uniform’ for her next week. I nodded to the laptop showing the ‘French maid’ cleaning service. She shook her head with the ‘boys will be boys’ look.

Chapter 2 – Maid

After Mary left, I found myself thinking about her differently, she’d been just a neighbour, now I was thinking of her as a woman. And an attractive one at that.

Memories of her hanging out her washing. With her t-shirt pulled tight against her tits. Which were larger than her usual baggy and conservative clothing gave a hint of. Her jeans hugging her bum snugly had raised my interest at the time, but I’d let the memories fade.

Saturday night I had a bit too much to drink and woke on Sunday with a thick head and a tinge of worry to find my laptop open out on the coffee table in the lounge. I usually make sure to keep it out of the lounge at night to avoid late-night drunken purchases.

My email showed I’d placed an order with a company I didn’t know and following the link, I suddenly recalled some of it. It was a French maid outfit.

‘Damn it’ I swore out loud. I’d been thinking about Mary, her cleaning, and my joke about her in such a costume. I’d clicked on some porn featuring women in French maid outfits. Then I went into several fancy dress costumes websites to look for one.

The drunken idea formed that if I bought one that was sexy, but not just some lacy thing just for sex, I could get her to wear it. Or at least get a laugh out of it. The joke turned sour as I noticed a second email confirming dispatch and I finally saw the price. £50 was a bit much for a joke that was likely to fall flat on its face.

Not being able to send it back, I took it as a message to be more careful about drunk shopping. I also took the time to check out the uniform properly. It was sexy, but you could wear it in company, provided it was company you were comfortable with. A black flouncy skirt, short, but not quite indecent.

On the model in the photos, it looked like it was a few inches below the cheeks of her bum. The blouse was a plain white button-up thing, with a deep scoop neck. On top of that was either a waistcoat or a bustier, it was hard to decide how to describe it. Imagine a waistcoat where the front didn’t come together until just below the bust. It certainly emphasised the tits.

In the photos, the model had stockings and suspender belt and a lacy mop cap and little lacy pinny. These were extras and I’d not ordered them.

Realistically, I knew Mary would never wear it, and making it too sexual just reduced the chance she’d take it as a joke and not some sort of creepy play.

As I couldn’t cancel or return the order, I forgot about it until it arrived on Friday morning. Opening the package, I was rather surprised at the quality. The cotton of the blouse was soft and good quality, the stitching and even the details with tiny pearl-like buttons was excellent. In fact, and the only thing that set it apart from a regular blouse was the deeper than usual scoop neckline.

Then I noticed the bust area had darts or tucks or whatever the dressmaking terms were. This meant it had some support whilst allowing the body to be closer-fitting. I suppose that makes sense. It would be hard to wear a bra without the straps showing.

Trying to imagine Mary wearing this without a bra stretches my imagination to breaking point. It was a struggle to imagine her in it at all.

The skirt was also a surprise, short obviously, but made with thickly pleated wool. Sexy without being over the top. I could imagine somebody confident wearing it at a club. Admittedly, you’d have to be careful sitting as it would only be a few inches from below the bottom. You’d not be sitting on the skirt and you’d have to keep your legs crossed to avoid flashing your knickers.

I put it on hangers and left it hanging off my wardrobe doors.

Saturday morning I was up early and finishing my morning coffee as Mary arrived. Offering her a coffee, she accepted and followed me into the kitchen to get dusters and polish. I had just finished the coffee as she returned with the uniform in hands.

“What the heck is this?” She demanded.

“It’s the outfit from the website your husband found. What? I thought you wanted the higher pay rate?”

“I’d look ridiculous in this!” ‘Not an outright no.’ I thought, that’s promising.

“You expect me to wear this?”

“No, I don’t expect you to, even if I would very much like you to.”

“What, so you can follow me around and ogle me as I work?”

“No, actually I’m planning on cleaning my car today, inside and out. So I’ll likely be out there the entire time you’re here.”

“Then why this?”

Suddenly I had some inspiration. “I don’t want you to wear this for me; I want you to wear this for yourself.” She looks confused.

“Ok, I’m out of line here I know, but when was the last time your husband paid you a compliment? Took you out for a night out where you both had to dress up to have fun? A date rather than a family outing?” I can see her annoyance fading.

“You may be a mum, and a wife and housewife, but you’re still a woman. And an attractive one at that. Women deserve to be complimented and desired. You’re only in your thirties and in your sexual prime. Instead, you dress like you’re in your sixties and postmenopausal.” She glances down at her baggy jumper and jeans.

“I insist you try it on, if only for a few minutes in private, and remind yourself you’re a vibrant sexual being. Remind yourself you are not a shrivelled up old crone. You should be showered with compliments daily.” She looks thoughtful and I realise I’ve just defused a rather dangerous bomb after drunkenly buying that outfit.

Grabbing a bucket, I head out to wash the car.

Trying to do a thorough job on it, but after about an hour and a half it starts to rain and I give up on finishing it.

Changing my damp shoes and jeans in my bedroom, I’m surprised to find Mary’s jeans and jumper on the bed. She’s in the outfit, that’s not what I expected. Grabbing my laptop from the kitchen, I step into the lounge to see she’s dusting.

“You don’t mind, do you? It’s too noisy to work in the kitchen with the washing machine going.” I took a seat on the sofa with the laptop on my knee.

“It’s your home. Just because I’m here shouldn’t make you change your routine.” She replies, and then adds. “I look ridiculous in this outfit.”

“Absolutely not! You look amazing. I was beginning to think you didn’t have legs, as I’ve never seen you in a skirt before. And very nice legs they are.”

To be honest, the entire outfit looked great. But to distract her, I added.

“Want the radio on?” I noted the radio in the kitchen playing.

“I wouldn’t mind, but didn’t know how to.” She nods to the five remote controls.

“The small one,” I tell her and she picks it from the coffee table and leans over to pass it to me. The front of the blouse gaping forward and exposing a larger portion of her bra covered breasts.

“Oops.” She exclaims and brings her hand up to cover herself.

“No complaints from me.” Then I pretended to think for a moment. “OK, maybe one. I’m sure that blouse would look better without a bra on.” Is that a hint of a blush?

“Don’t let your imagination get carried away. I’m not a teenager anymore and they don’t sit where they used to.”

“Still, they look pretty special to me.” She’s definitely blushing now. Either from getting a compliment or because of the source and subject matter, I’d never know.

Turning on the TV and selecting the music-streaming app, I hold out the remote and she takes it while ensuring her blouse does not gape open again.

She moves in front of the TV about eight feet away and with her back to me, it gives me a chance to take a longer look at her legs. Then I remember my laptop and its twin webcams built into the lid, and that can be swivelled to point outwards as well as in. Bringing up the program, I select the wider-angle camera and point it towards her as it starts to record.

Like this, I can get at least half of the room in the shot and as I’m adjusting it I notice Mary twist around suddenly to look at me. Luckily, I’m staring intently at the screen and not her, but I’d swear there was a look of disappointment on her face that she’d either not caught me ogling her or that I’d not bothered to.

Then I realised if I wanted her to feel sexy she’d have to catch me looking at least one or she might feel rejected and I didn’t want that.

“Oh, I used to love this one.” She declares as the music plays. Adjusting the volume up, louder than was conducive for my work, but I doubt I could concentrate with Mary dressed like this anyway.

She raises her elbows level with her shoulders and does a little shimmy and twist of her hips. The short skirt flares up slightly but not enough to see anything. Looking up at her in person, I notice the bottom of her blouse has pulled free from her skirt, but she hasn’t noticed.

“Sorry, I suppose I should get back to work.”

“Hey, I don’t mind a floor show,” I reply, but she just rolls her eyes and moves to dust the mantelpiece. That’s right on the edge of what the camera sees, but I daren’t shift the laptop too far that way in case I give it away.

This close and sitting down, I could really see how short the skirt was. Perhaps two or three inches below her bottom at most. I caught her glancing around, but I was watching the screen.

A minute or so later I see her pick up a silver box I’d inherited and polish one side. Noticing her using the reflection to look at me. I decided to go for it, starting with her legs. I took a long slow look up her body until I caught her eye in the reflection and looked away chastened.

The video showed her smile of satisfaction, but if that was because she’d caught me or that, I’d been checking her out was unclear.

Seeing an email I needed to deal with, I minimised the video window and spent ten minutes drafting a reply. In my peripheral vision, I noticed Mary move over to the TV mounted high on a bracket on the wall and start to dust it with a feather duster on a short stick.

Hearing a clatter, I look up to see she’s dropped the duster behind the TV and it’s fallen behind the corner cabinet underneath. Before I can do anything Mary drops to her knees and leans forward to try to reach under the cabinet. Exposing at least half of her plain white panty covered bum to me.

In shock, I nearly drop my laptop but grab it before it falls off my knee. The grip must have maximised the video window and I remember the other camera. The narrow-angle one and I click on it, tightening the view to Mary on her knees.

As I do and adjust the angle, Mary leans down further so her head and shoulders are along on the floor. I notice through the gap between her legs, her blouse is hanging down and I can see her upper stomach and the undersides of her breasts in her plain white bra.

On autopilot, I hit the digital zoom, and the image fills the screen. Could this get any better?

In fact, it can, Mary slides her knees apart to lower herself further and exposes the beautiful bulge of her panty-clad pussy to me. Fuck! I’m getting a stiffy.

Torn between watching the expanded image on the screen or seeing the real thing, seconds pass that seems like hours. A hint of pubes is visible around the edges of her knicker legs.

If I don’t do something, I’m going to get up and do something really stupid. Clicking on the other camera and carefully slipping the laptop onto the coffee table to try to keep the view. I ask Mary.

“Need a hand?”

Her head whips around in shock, and then she yanks her arm free and jumps to her feet, pulling her skirt down ineffectively.

“I forgot you were there, and I was wearing this silly outfit,”

“OK, the outfit is silly, but I’ve learned something new. I thought your legs were great, I was wondering why you never wear skirts. Now, however, I know you have an amazing bum.” Mary is blushing.

“You can’t say that I’m married.”

“So married women don’t have bottoms? How do they sit down? But in your case it is amazing.”

“Why should I believe you?”

“Ok, I’ll hold my hands up. I’ve been known to exaggerate in the past to charm women into bed. But we both know that’ll never happen. So you just have to accept my God-given honestly, that you have a world-class bum. Christ, your husband must say that all the time?” Mary shakes her, refusing to look at me.

“Seriously?” I ask in astonishment, and then change to a mock-serious tone.

“Want me to have a word with him, man to man? Point out he’s failing in his duties if he’s not fondling your bum or at least ogling it at least twice a day, we’ll have to take away his man card.”

Mary smiles at that and replies.

“And how would you bring up that you have seen it?”

“Fair point. Still, it should be sculpted in marble and shown as a national treasure.” Ok, I’m laying it on a little thick, but it was a great arse.