The little village shop at Upper Benstead was doing a roaring trade.

‘Rob Tucker says that they’ve had a light dusting over at Rennersten already,’ Milly Owen said as she rang up Scott Merton’s purchases on the cash register.

‘Yeah, well, if the last couple of warnings are anything to go by, that’ll be all we get,’ Scott Merton assured her.

But Milly Owen didn’t seem convinced. ‘Oh … I don’t know. I think this one may be the real thing,’ she said. ‘You can feel it in the air.’

‘I hope not,’ Ric Brown chimed in. ‘My sister and her husband are supposed to be coming up for the weekend.’

‘You might need another bottle of wine then,’ Milly suggested. ‘The Rioja’s on special. And it’s quite drinkable. Dave and I tried one last night. Very nice. It certainly brightened up the beans on toast.’

‘It’s just the forecasting guys crying wolf,’ Scott Merton said, steering the conversation back to the weather. ‘Just looking to create a few headlines. We don’t really get snow in Norfolk anymore. We haven’t had serious snow in these parts since Adam was a cowboy.’

‘Oh?’ Milly said. ‘And what about 2001?’

‘Even that wasn’t real snow,’ Scott said. ‘By the time that the council got the snow ploughs and gritters out, it was all over. The kids didn’t even get a day off school.’

Ric was halfway back to the cottage when his phone rang. It was his sister. He pulled off the road and swiped the green button. ‘Ciao, Bella.’

Mia said that she was just calling to see what the weather was doing. ‘On the radio they’re saying that it’s pretty bad up there.’

‘Well, the sky’s a bit dark,’ Ric said. ‘But no sign of any snow yet. I’ve just been in to Upper Benstead and most of the locals seem to think that it’s just another false alarm. We’ve already had a couple of severe weather warnings this winter, and neither has come to anything.’

‘Andrew is over in Bristol. He says the snow there is really heavy. He’s thinking of staying there for the weekend. Save him driving back over on Monday.’

‘Well you could still come up,’ Ric said. ‘Catch the train. I’ll come and pick you up from the station.’

‘Umm …’ Mia didn’t sound sure. ‘Umm …,’ she said again. And then she said: ‘OK. Yeah. Why not? If I get myself organised, I can probably get the 3:35 from King’s Cross. Do you need anything?’

‘No. Just you,’ her brother said. ‘I’ll be waiting for you at the station.’

When Ric got back to the cottage, it felt a little chillier than usual. It was probably just his imagination. But he turned the heating up a notch anyway. He also checked the oil gauge. It was nearly on empty. Still, the tanker was due to make a delivery within the next couple of hours. Just as well he had got the order in when he did.

Ric went back outside and scanned the sky again. It was definitely getting darker. But there was still no sign of snow. If the snow did come, it would come from the west, from across forty acre field.

Ric went and tidied up the barn. His neighbours, Helen and Mike, were off skiing in the French alps and Ric was looking after their three horses. If the weather did pack in, he might have to put the horses into the barn for the night.

Mia’s train arrived late.

‘We were almost a quarter of an hour late leaving,’ she said. ‘It was snowing quite heavily as we came through North London.’

Ric scanned the sky again. ‘Well, hard to say, but I think that this lot might have gone right around us. That sometimes happens. Another false alarm perhaps.’

‘Oh well … let’s hope so,’ Mia said.

They were just going past the turnoff to Parklands when Ric’s phone rang. It wasn’t a number that he recognised.

‘Do you want me to answer that for you?’ Mia asked.

‘Umm … yeah. Thanks.’

Mia had a brief conversation and pressed End. ‘The oil people,’ she said. ‘They say that you’re down for a delivery. But, with this weather, the tanker might not get to you until the morning.’

‘Bugger,’ Ric said. ‘The tank is getting pretty low. And I’m never quite sure how accurate the gauge is.’

Back at the cottage, Ric turned the heating down a couple of notches – just in case – and put another couple of logs in the wood-burner. ‘Right,’ he said. ‘A cup of tea? Or are you ready for a glass of vino?’

‘Well … it is Friday,’ Mia said.

Ric poured a couple of glasses of pinot grigio, and then decided that perhaps he had better go and get in some more firewood while there was still some light. When he returned, his jacket was speckled with damp blotches. ‘I think that I should probably get the horses in,’ he said. ‘The breeze seems to have gone around to the northwest.’

‘And snow I assume,’ Mia said, nodding in the direction of his jacket.

‘Just a few flakes in the wind. Nothing serious. Well … not at this stage anyway.’

‘Do you need a hand? With the horses?’

‘No, I’ll be fine, thanks. The boys are probably waiting at the gate already. They don’t like the nor’wester. There’s not really any shelter from that quarter.’

When Ric returned, he casino siteleri was in the early stages of turning into a snowman.

His sister nodded. ‘Did the horses appreciate their change of accommodation?’

‘They did. I gave them a bit of haylage, too,’ Ric said. ‘I suspect that the forecasters may have got it right this time.’

Ric was just drying his hair when an ominous knocking sound came from the corner of the kitchen. ‘Oh-oh. Sounds as if the oil was even lower than I thought. I think I’d better turn the heating off. It’ll be sucking air. Damn.’ Ric looked at his watch. ‘I don’t suppose we’ll see the tanker now.’

‘Well … at least we have the fire,’ Mia said.

‘Yeah. And the hob should be fine,’ Ric said. ‘I changed the LPG cylinder just yesterday. So supper’s safe.’

Mia went and peered out of the kitchen window. ‘It looks as if that snow is starting to get serious,’ she said. ‘Just as well I didn’t try for a later train.’

Ric nodded. ‘I thought we’d have Cacciucco for supper,’ he said. ‘They had fresh monkfish at the market over in Norsand yesterday. And prawns. I’ve already made a broth from the prawn heads and shells.’

His sister smiled. ‘I thought that I could smell something good,’ she said.

Ric looked at his watch. ‘It’ll only take a few minutes to put it all together. Why don’t we go and sit in front of the fire for a moment or two?’

In a funny sort of a way, it was good that Mia had come on her own. Mia was a couple of years older than Ric. The brother and sister got on really well. They always had. But Ric found Andrew – Mia’s husband – a bit heavy going. ‘What’s Andrew up to over in Bristol?’ Ric asked.

‘Probably fucking his assistant,’ Mia said.

Ric did a double take. ‘Oh? Really?’

Mia laughed. ‘Oh, I don’t know,’ she said. ‘But he does seem to spend an awful lot of time with her.’

‘Well … I suppose if she’s his … you know … assistant …’

‘Yeah. I suppose so,’ Mia said. ‘Anyway, how’s the book coming along?’

‘Umm … yes. It seems to be going quite well,’ Ric said. ‘I was a bit worried about Charlie for a while there.’

‘Charlie? Who’s Charlie? One of your characters?’

‘My editor. I was worried that he didn’t seem to understand what I was trying to do.’


Ric smiled. ‘But all is now fine. It just took us a moment or two to work out that I’m a morning person and Charlie’s an evening person. Now that we have that sorted out … I know not to call him before midday, and he knows not to call me after about four in the afternoon.’

‘Makes sense,’ Mia said.

They chatted on for 20 minutes or so, sipping their wine, and enjoying the warmth from the fire, when suddenly the lights went out.

‘Electricity?’ Mia said.

Ric went over to the window, pulled back the curtain, and peered into the darkness. ‘Well … no lights over at the Parkers’ place,’ he said. ‘So, yes. Probably. I’ll go and find some candles.’

‘Funnily enough,’ Ric said, when he returned, ‘I was just thinking that I should get some candles out. You know … just in case.’

Mia laughed. ‘Spooky,’ she said.

‘Are you warm enough?’ Ric asked.

‘Yeah. I’m OK for the moment.’

‘Perhaps I should go and finish making the Cacciucco,’ Ric said. ‘Before anything else happens.’

‘I’ll come and hold the lantern,’ Mia said.

‘The lantern?’

‘Well … the candle. Whatever.’

‘No, I do have a lantern,’ Ric said. ‘And now that you come to mention it, it might be easier.’

Ric’s lantern was a battery-powered version of an old-fashioned hurricane lamp. He had bought it a few years earlier at Marks & Sparks. Not for any particular reason. He just liked the design. The light was not particularly bright, but it was more than enough for Ric to see what he was doing.

All things considered, the Cacciucco turned out really well. The thick slab of garlic-dressed toasted pane; the squid; the clams; the prawns; the chunks of monkfish; and of course, bringing it all together, the beautiful crustaceous broth.

‘Nonna would have been proud of you,’ Mia said.

‘Just as well that I didn’t plan on something that required the oven,’ her brother said.

Mia laughed. ‘I’m sure that you would have found a way around it.’

By the time that they had finished eating the Cacciucco, they had also finished the bottle of pinot grigio. ‘I think there must have been a hole in that bottle,’ Ric said. ‘What do you think: shall we have a glass of red?’

‘Well, it’s not as if we’re going anywhere,’ Mia said.

‘Not tonight, that’s for certain.’ And Ric followed the trail of the strategically placed candles, and retrieved a bottle of Millie Owen’s Deal-of-the-Day Rioja from the wine rack in the kitchen.

‘How’s work?’ Ric asked as he pulled the cork and poured a generous slosh of the wine into each of their glasses.

Mia said that it had its ups and downs. ‘I’m working on translating a collection of Giovanni Scrivano’s essays at the moment. Have you read any of his stuff?’

Ric slot oyna said that he hadn’t.

‘I think that you might find some of his essays quite interesting. He’s one of those philosophers who borrows heavily. But he does it with such finesse that you find yourself forgiving him – or at least you find yourself thanking him for clarifying other people’s ideas. And he does have one or two interesting ideas of his own.’

Millie Owen’s Deal-of-the-Day wine was surprisingly good. Despite Millie’s recommendation, Ric had expected ‘cheap and cheerful’, something that might end up in a casserole. But the Rioja was almost classy. Or maybe Ric was just feeling mellowed out after the pinot grigio. And the Cacciucco. The fact that he was sitting in candle light, in front of an almost-roaring fire, with Mia for company, probably didn’t do any harm either.

Ric and Mia chatted on for the best part of another hour – and sipped their way through a second glass of Millie’s surprisingly-good Rioja. And then the flipside of Ric’s early-rising morning-person body-clock clicked in and he stifled a yawn or two.

‘Bedtime?’ Mia suggested.

‘I was at my desk by five-thirty this morning,’ Ric said.

Mia smiled. ‘Possibly past your bedtime then.’

Ric put another couple of logs on the wood burner, and then took their glasses out to the kitchen, and checked all of the light switches. He didn’t want the electricity coming back on in the middle of the night and turning the cottage into a mini Crystal Palace.

‘I think that you should take the lantern,’ Ric said when he returned. ‘I’ll take the torch.’

Ric led the way upstairs to the bedrooms. When they reached the landing, there was an icy draft coming from somewhere. Ric looked into the spare bedroom and shone his torch around. ‘Damn! Looks like I forgot to close the window,’ he said. ‘Bugger.’

‘It’s OK. It’ll soon warm up,’ Mia said.

‘Not with the heating off.’ Ric closed the window and drew the heavy curtains. It was still icy cold. ‘Look, why don’t you have my room?’ he said. ‘It gets a bit of heating from the wood burner’s flue.’

‘I’ll be all right,’ Mia said.

Ric shook his head. ‘It’s like a deep freeze in here.’

For a moment or two, Mia said nothing. And then she said: ‘Maybe we could both share your bed. That’s what Eskimos do when it gets cold, isn’t it?’

‘I don’t think you’re allowed to call them Eskimos anymore,’ Ric said.

‘Well … you know what I mean.’

‘I suppose we could,’ Ric said. ‘Hypothermia certainly wouldn’t be good. Do you want first use of the bathroom?’

When Mia returned, Ric had already changed into a pair of sleep shorts and an over-sized T-shirt.

‘Timberland?’ Mia said, studying her brother’s T-shirt.

‘It was a freebie with some boots that I bought,’ Ric explained.

‘Nice,’ his sister said.

When Ric returned from his own turn in the bathroom, Mia, now dressed in her own version of sleep pants and T-shirt, was sitting on the edge of the bed.

‘Don’t get cold,’ Ric said.

Mia smiled. ‘I was just wondering if you still like to sleep on the right hand side of the bed.’

‘Umm … yes. But only from habit. You choose. I’m happy with either side.’

‘I’ll take the left,’ Mia said.

Mia kissed Ric lightly, and then they both got into bed and pulled the duvet up to their chins.

‘Will the horses be OK?’ Mia asked.

‘Yeah. They’ll be fine. They have their covers on. And they’re out of the wind – that’s the main thing.’

‘So much for the weather warning being a false alarm,’ Mia said.

Ric laughed. They were both lying on their backs. Ric reached out with his left hand and took Mia’s right hand and gave it a little squeeze. ‘Warm enough?’ he asked.

‘Getting there.’

Without really thinking about it too much, Mia turned onto her side and backed her bum into Ric’s body. And, again without thinking about it too much, Ric turned onto his side and ‘spooned’ his sister. ‘Mmm,’ Mia said after a moment or two, ‘I think those Eskimos were onto something.’

‘Well … gotta keep warm on a night like tonight,’ Ric said. And then he said: ‘Are you sure you’re warm enough?’

‘Getting there,’ Mia said for a second time.

Ric backed off slightly and placed the flat of his hand on Mia’s back. ‘You feel a bit cool,’ he said.

‘Our T-shirts perhaps,’ Mia said. ‘I think the Eskimos believe in skin on skin.’

‘Skin on skin?’

‘I’m pretty sure that’s what I read somewhere,’ Mia said.

‘Oh, well.’ Ric backed off again, and raised the front of his own T-shirt and the back of his sister’s. And then he resumed his position with his bare chest against Mia’s naked back. ‘Better?’

‘Mmm,’ Mia said.

For a few minutes, they lay there with the warmth of their bodies mingling. And then Ric slid his free hand under the front of Mia’s T-shirt. ‘How is the other side?’ he asked.

‘Not as warm as your hand,’ Mia said.

Ric slid his hand higher and cupped one of Mia’s breasts.

‘Bad boy,’ Mia said. ‘I’m your sister. canlı casino siteleri Remember?’

‘Oh, yes. Sorry.’ And Ric took his hand away.

‘But it did feel nice,’ Mia said.

Ric said nothing.

‘Perhaps if you took your T-shirt off,’ Mia suggested.

‘And perhaps if you took yours off?’

‘I think that might be going a bit far.’ Mia said.

‘Probably,’ Ric said. ‘Although you did say that the Eskimos believe in skin on skin.’

‘I’m not sure how that works when it’s your sister,’ Mia said.

‘I would have thought that your sister was one of the most important people to keep warm.’ Ric said. ‘You know … family first.’

Mia laughed. ‘I suppose we could pretend that I wasn’t your sister.’

‘Perhaps you aren’t.’

‘I’m pretty sure that I am. But, perhaps just for tonight, we could pretend,’ Mia said.

‘So who would you be?’

‘Perhaps I could be a poor orphan girl who you found in the snow. When you went to get the horses in.’

‘Yes. That might work,’ Ric said. ‘And I would need to get you warm as quickly as possible.’

‘You would,’ Mia confirmed. ‘Otherwise, I might perish.’

Ric removed his T-shirt and dropped it on the floor. And then helped Mia – the rescued orphan girl – to remove her T-shirt.

‘That’s the thing with hypothermia,’ Mia said. ‘It sneaks up on you. I heard a nurse talking about it on the radio. She said that people don’t even realise that they are hypothermic until it’s too late. And, sometimes, not even then.’

Ric held Mia close to his bare chest. ‘Just as well the Eskimos know what to do in such circumstances,’ he said.


Now that the body next to him was no longer his sister’s, Ric gently stroked the rescued orphan girl’s chest. And then her breasts. He couldn’t help noticing that the rescued orphan girl’s breast were very like Mia’s breasts.

‘Mmm. That does feel very nice,’ Mia said.

Then Ric worked his way lower. And then, after a few minutes, his fingers tentatively slipped under the elasticated waistband of Mia’s sleep pants.

‘Mmm. Nice,’ she said. ‘Nice.’ And Mia rolled back over onto her back.

Ric’s fingers gently caressed her belly and found their way to the edge of her bush. But then Ric thought that perhaps she was about to stop them going any further. However, Mia – or the rescued orphan girl – was just reaching for her waistband in order to push her pants down below her hips. ‘There. That might be easier,’ she said.

‘Thank you.’

The bedroom was in total darkness. And, even if it hadn’t been in total darkness, Ric’s fingers were working under the cover of the duvet. Nevertheless, he imagined that the pubic tuft he was exploring matched the dark silky hair on his sister’s head. He thought it was very sexy. It certainly felt very sexy.

His fingers slipped through her glorious shrubbery and down to the beginning of her cuntal valley.

While Ric’s fingers continued on their journey of exploration, Mia reached out and fondled Ric’s erect cock through the cotton-knit fabric of his sleep shorts. ‘My, my, how you have grown,’ she said.

‘Well … these things happen,’ Ric told her.

‘So it would seem,’ Mia said. ‘But maybe the shorts should go.’

‘You think so?’

‘I certainly don’t recall reading anywhere that the Eskimos wore sleep shorts – even on the coldest nights.’

‘No. Probably not,’ her brother said. ‘In which case … we should probably get rid of yours too.’

‘Yes. Probably,’ Mia said.

Sans culottes, they resumed their erotic exploration. And, as Mia worked his already-iron-hard cock, Ric felt it grow and grow and grow until he was slightly worried that it might explode. But, of course, it didn’t.

As Ric’s finger entered his sister’s hot and slippery fuck hole, she raised her hips to meet him. ‘Oh, yes,’ she said. And then Ric inserted a second finger. ‘Oh, fuck, yes,’ Mia murmured.

‘Oh, fuck yes,’ Ric’s brain echoed. And for several minutes, his fingers explored Mia’s cunt from her swelling clit to her half-hidden arsehole and back again.

‘Are you ready?’ Mia asked.

‘Am I ready?’

‘Are you?’ she said. ‘Are you ready to let me feel your wonderful hard cock inside my hungry cunt?’

‘Would you like to feel my hard cock inside your hungry cunt?’

‘Oh, yes,’ Mia said. ‘Right now, I want to feel that more than anything in this world.’

As Ric positioned himself between his sister’s spread thighs, she raised her knees. ‘Are you sure that you want to do this?’ he asked.

‘Oh yes.’

Ric used his fingers to transfer some of his sister’s slippery cunt juices to the tip of his cock, and then he positioned his cock at her wet entrance. ‘Are you sure?’ he asked again. ‘Last chance.’

‘What do you think?’ Mia laughed lightly. ‘If I wasn’t sure, I think I would have told you to stop a long time ago,’ she said.

It was as if brother and sister were made for each other. Little by little, Ric’s cock pushed its way into Mia’s fiery fuck hole.

‘Oh, fuck, yes,’ Mia said.

They started slowly, the head of Ric’s cock bumping gently over the delicious corrugations of Mia’s now-not-so-secret tunnel. But then they picked up the pace. ‘Oh, fuck, yes,’ Mia said yet again. ‘That feels so good.’



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