A Train Ride to - Love Ch 04bytotallyatease©
(Lots of talk, and not all of it constructive!)
Sarah arrived back in London just after lunchtime on Sunday. She left waterloo station and found Maggie waiting outside the main entrance for her. She looked Sarah over with a little frown.
"Hello love what are you doing, coming back so early?" she leaned over, gave Sarah a hug, and then draped her arm through the crook of Sarah's as she led her away. "Don't tell me you've come back because of that meeting tomorrow."
Sarah stopped dead in her tracks. "Oh Lord!" she gasped. "I'd forgotten all about that."
"Oh yes you would forget about the one contract that could really get us off the ground," joked Maggie.
Sarah looked at her friend and with a tiny shake of her head, sighed as they started to walk again.
"I was feeling restless and so thought I'd come back and take a look at that new software that we're going to be using. I swear I totally forgot about that meeting!"
They hopped onto the bus to get them to their tiny self-contained flat, and as they sat down, Sarah looked at Maggie properly for the first time. Her friend looked pale and unhappy. "Mag's when I phoned to tell you I was coming back today I didn't expect to find you waiting for me..." She hesitated. "It's not that I don't appreciate it... but why were you there?"
Maggie sighed and then gave a tight smile. "Oh the usual you know. Brad and me date... Brad and me make love... Brad and me fight... Me and Brad break up." She grimaced and then looked away quickly.
Sarah hugged her friend to her. "Mag's! What happened? He seemed so right for you. You two always look so happy together."
Maggie's lip trembled and she sniffed back a tear. "Just not meant to be; that's all." She dismissed it with a shrug of her shoulders and snuggled close to her friend. "I'm not sure why you did come back early, but I am so very glad that you did Sarah!"
They went back to their little flat - a very gloomy pair of girls; about the same height although Maggie was 5 3" to Sarah's 5 2". Maggie was dark haired and dark eyed against Sarah's blond and blue eyes they were almost opposites in appearance but they thought and felt very much the same way. They had met in their first year at college, had shared a room together and become thick and fast friends.
They had taken several courses together and found the support of the other invaluable. The decision to go into business together had seemed the obvious choice for the winning dynamics of their friendship. Together they could not go wrong. Together they would go on to rule the world!
The late lunch they prepared was pretty basic, since neither of them seemed to be in the mood to cook much... or even eat that much.
Sarah sat at her small desk with her laptop.
"Ok then..." she said with confidence, "what time is this meeting and where is it exactly?"
Maggie sat down next to her with a business card in her hand.
"Mr Robert Conrad of 'RCR & Matins and Associates'," she said peering at the white embossed card. "They are down off Hertford Road by the looks of it -- around Edmonton? He said about ten o'clock. Apparently, they do legal stuff for some of the larger companies. They've been having problems with their computer systems and have had enough of the people who currently support them - I.T. wise."
"How many computers are they running? Do we know what they are? How old are they? What software are they using? If they're a legal company I'd imagine that they'd be running some pretty specialist stuff?" Sarah was reeling of questions without really expecting any answers from Maggie who pulled out some notes.
"Let's see...," she said squinting down at her hastily written notes, "from my brief chat with Mr Robert Conrad last week... I managed to discover that they are running ten computers. They have four laptops and a very dilapidated networking system that likes to cut out if too many people are on at once. He didn't know what the computers all are, and he couldn't tell me when exactly they were purchased... but he did promise to have all this information available for us tomorrow and... 'hoped that we would be interested in tendering a quote for the renewal and rejuvenation of their computers and network'." She paused and looked up at Sarah waiting for a response of some kind.
"Ten computers, four laptops, and an old network," she said thoughtfully. "It would be a nice little job, but I can't see it having any major impact on us if we do get it?"
"Yes but Sarah!" Maggie sat forward enthusiastically. "They want on-going support after that, and if they are happy with us they WILL recommend us to other companies!" She tapped Sarah's hand lightly to emphasise the point. "Think about the contacts these people must have. They have been around - not just for years, but generations. I read somewhere that this Mr Conrad is a fifth generation Conrad, his father and grandfather; and great and great great grandfather before him, were head of the firm. Apparently, though the father and grandfather both retired, they like to come in and consult on a regular basis and keep their hand in as much as possible... I wonder if it's the retired folks who make up the associates bit?" Maggie mused to herself.
"So the R C bit is Robert Conrad. Do you think?"
"Could be," Maggie shrugged her shoulders and frowned slightly. "I didn't get around to who was what on the card," she admitted. "That came attached to the letter confirming our appointment, just a couple of days ago."
"Oh well, we'll find out more tomorrow, I suppose," Sarah said, losing interest in it for the moment. She looked across at Maggie. "Did he tell you how he'd heard about us?"
Maggie nodded her head. "You know that company we dealt with at the beginning of the year the publishing company -- Gibbs was the name I think."
Sarah nodded. "Yes they were running some really old computers and were wondering why they couldn't get any current software to run on them." Sarah remembered. "We sold them a couple of new pc's got them up and running and never heard any more from them."
"Well apparently they may not have been in contact but they did keep us on file for when things go wrong. Mr Gibbs was very impressed with our 'professionalism and speed of service'." Maggie smirked a little. "Mr Robert Conrad had never heard Mr Gibbs quite so animated in his referral of any other company."
"Well, I suppose it always nice to leave a satisfied client..." Sarah laughed, "even if we're not aware of it ourselves."
The rest of Sunday passed quietly for the two girls as they pottered around their tiny flat.
By teatime, Maggie had had enough and decided to go out with an old friend who had decided to look her up.
"Are you sure you don't want to come too?" Maggie asked Sarah for the third time, later that evening.
"Yes Mag's, I'm sure that I do not want to spend the evening as an uncomfortable third, while Pete stares adoringly at you." Sarah laughed.
"Pete!" Maggie snorted, "He's harmless enough... I've known him for years, since we were this high!" she held her hand flat at her knee. She laughed suddenly. "Pete wouldn't know what to do with me if he did get me!"
She draped a silk scarf around her neck and picked up her handbag just as they heard a car pull up.
"See you later love!" Maggie called as she dashed from the room.
Sarah strolled over to the window just as Maggie came out of the downstairs door. Pete was just climbing out of his car and she saw Maggie stop for a moment before going towards him more slowly.
"Oh my!" Sarah whispered. "Pete, how you've grown!" Sarah grinned to herself and moved away from the window discreetly.
She wandered aimlessly around the flat for a while, before sitting down and switching on the television. She hopped through the channels with her remote control; but could not find anything that might interest her.
Her mobile started to ring and she picked it up without looking to see who it was.
"Hello this is Sarah." She answered absently.
"Well hello there sexy lady," came a very familiar drawl.
Sarah's heart missed several beats and then started up at such a rate that she thought she was going to have a coronary.
"Sam!" She managed at last.
"The one and only!" That sexy voice, should have been made illegal!
"So what's happening with you?" she asked, desperately trying to get a grip.
"Not much at the moment," he told her lightly. "I've spent the day with my parents." He laughed a little. "I don't know who was more surprised, me or them."
"Did you have a good time? Don't you see them very much? WHY don't you see them?"
Sarah stopped because Sam was laughing at her.
"Babes...," he told her, "when you ask someone a question, it's usually a good idea to let them answer one, before you start firing more of them - like bullets."
"Sorry!" Sarah blushed.
"Yes I had a good time -- a really good time actually." he amended. "I think it just became a really bad habit to drop in on them when I was on my way somewhere else. Five minutes and that was my obligation fulfilled."
"So what changed today?" she questioned.
"I don't really know," he sighed and she could picture his fingers running through his dark wavy hair; his brown eyes narrowing as he thought about what he was saying.
"I just know that it's been a really, REALLY long time since I actually sat down and talked to my parents..." He paused for a moment. "And do you know something sweet, sweet Sarah, I actually really liked them as people!" He sounded quite shocked at the thought. "I never appreciated how dry my mum's sense of humour is!"
"That's parents for you." Sarah told him. "One minute they are mummy and daddy and then you turn around and suddenly they're people -- just like everyone else!" she said. "I personally think that it's MOST unreasonable of them!"
Sam laughed good-naturedly. "Mock me if you will - woman!" he growled, "but I shall have my revenge upon thy winsome young body!"
"Are you drunk?"
He gave another laugh. "No my darling," he declared extravagantly; "I think that I'm just high on life at the moment."
"I want to hold you." His tone changed rapidly, and Sarah struggled to keep up with him.
"Oh!" This was beginning to get ridiculous! Here she was, a grown woman, and yet he managed - every single time, to reduce her to something sounding dangerously like a chicken laying eggs!!!
"I want to kiss you... and touch you... I want to see you. I want you naked before me. There for my pleasure, at my demand." His voice dropped to a whisper and Sarah's whole body trembled at the intimacy he was creating. "I want to drive down to Derbyshire and have you waiting for me. Waiting as I just described."
"I'm back in London."
Silence followed by a strangled "What? When? How? - Why!?"
"Babes," she mimicked. "When you ask someone a question, it's usually a good idea to let them answer one; before you start firing more of them like bullets."
There was a startled silence, and then Sam burst out laughing.
"Bitch!" he told her.
"Sam!" Sarah gasped out her outrage at such an insult.
He laughed again.
"Ok... I'll behave."
"Good!" she could not help but feel a twinge of disappointment.
"Is everything still okay for tomorrow night?"
"Yes of course. Why wouldn't it be?" she questioned with a frown.
He gave a sigh. "I don't know, I just feel a bit out of control with you, and it's a feeling that I've not had for a VERY long time!"
"Well a little humility is good for the soul - don't you know?" Sarah shrugged indifferently.
There was the sound of muttering at the other end of the line.
"What was that? Did you say something?" she demanded. "Come on spit it out. If you've got something to say - then just say it!"
There was a choking sound at the other end. "You sounded just like one of my old teachers just then!"
"Yes and I'll bet that you didn't talk to her the way you talk to me." Sarah accused primly.
"That's the thing Sarah. I've never talked to any woman the way I find myself talking to you!" There was a pause. "For some reason you just seem to bring out the worst in me."
"Oh brilliant!" she retorted archly; "so what you're trying to say is, that I'm corrupting you?"
"Babe's I'd just love for you to corrupt me."
"You're muttering again!"
"And that's what I'm talking about! I just can't seem to help myself. One minute a normal conversation the next minute the gutter!" She could hear the confusion in his voice and smothered a giggle.
"Are you laughing?" Outraged tones were oozing down the line.
"As if I would!" she sniffed naughtily.
Sam was silent for a moment, and then he started to talk... To tell her about the things that he would one day like to do to her. Sarah's face went pink, then it reddened; then her hand held to burning cheeks she finally managed to get a word in.
"Sam! If you don't stop right this minute, I am going to hang up this phone and never EVER talk to you again!!"
He laughed and once he started, he just could not seem to stop. Sarah listened; stunned for a moment and then found herself joining in.
For a long time, all that could be heard; were two people laughing - almost hysterically.
Finally, there was silence and Sam said, "That's what unfulfilled lust can do to a man Sarah! It can send him right over the edge!"
"I know..." softly spoken. "I just haven't known you long enough Sam. I'm not ready to have that kind of a relationship with you." Her voice was full of regret and he felt a bit of a louse, as if he had been putting pressure on her.
"I know sweetheart... I know," he soothed. "I'm just fooling around with you, venting a bit, don't take any notice of me; I'm just a great big jerk."
"You are not! Don't you dare say things like that about yourself!" Sam grinned at the outrage in her voice. He had not scared her off with his stupid schoolboy talk.
The conversation reverted to topics that were more neutral; and they spent the next half an hour covering all sorts of things. Sam was surprised at Sarah's intelligence, and obstinacy when her opinion was challenged. It was a long time since he had had such a stimulating conversation with a female... especially one he was so attracted to.
He had always thought that the women he bedded did not need conversation; just a little sweet talk, and appropriate admiration and flattery... And the odd gift didn't hurt either... Properly presented of course!
He grinned to himself. The idea of giving Sarah a gift thrilled him; but he suspected she would see it for what it was, and probably hit him with it!
Their goodnight was sweet and full of promise as usual; and Sam hung up his phone with a body just aching for Sarah's touch. He gave a resigned sigh and went for another painfully cold shower, which seemed to be part of his life at the moment.
Sarah drifted off to bed in a haze of dreaminess and longing. She crawled into her bed and fell quickly asleep to dream of Sam and some of the suggestions that he had made to her earlier.