Jack and the Rollercoaster Ch. 06byKezza67©
Ally's flat was very impressive. It was open plan, all in minimalist style, with light oak wooden floors, leather couch, individual chairs, and glass-top occasional tables. There was a balcony from which the lights of the town could be seen about two miles away. I followed her into a kitchen of gleaming chrome and granite work surfaces, everything was pristine as if food preparation could not sully it's magnificence. Not for Ally was there a kettle and granule coffee, she got out a large cafetiere and poured hot water onto ground coffee. She smiled as she carried the cafetiere, cream, sugar and cups on a tray through to the lounge. Women do like to make a ritual out of these things. She poured the coffee.
"Like it?" I assumed she was referring to the flat.
"Yes, very impressive. Modelling must pay well."
"No. modelling didn't pay for this. My grandmother did though." she looked at me with a question on her face. "Jack I am going to change, I don't want to sit around in this dress. I assure you I am not going to change into the proverbial 'something more comfortable' just something more comfortable." She giggled. "If you know what I mean." I laughed too.
"When I was young at this point I would be checking that I had a condom in my wallet, then I would take off my jacket and loosen my tie to be ready." She grinned.
"Take off your jacket, and loosen your tie by all means, but you won't need the condom." She went off to change. At the last minute she turned smiling. "Only one condom?" She shook her head and went in to the bedroom. I took off my jacket, and loosened my tie. It was a proper bow tie that I had tied myself, so pulling one end undid the bow and the two tails hung down from under my collar. Taking my cup I walked over to the picture window. During the day this view would be superb, but at night it was tremendous.
"Good view, isn't it?" I nodded.
"That would put a premium on the price. You must have a generous grandmother." I turned, and she had slipped into something comfortable, but hardly alluring. A brushed cotton top with long sleeves and matching slacks. "Sexy." I said. She grinned.
"Told you." She sipped her coffee. "She was mum's mum. She died before I was born, although she knew mum was pregnant. I was so surprised when I was twenty-one, and the solicitor wrote to tell me that she had made me a bequest. Mum did know, but never said anything."
"That's sad. She would love to have known you, and you her." Ally looked at me in surprise.
"Isn't that typical of you. Most men I know would have talked about the bequest. You are sad that I never knew her. You have a lovely heart, Jack!" She turned away and sat down on the couch, tucking her legs underneath her. For a moment I saw her eyes glass with moisture. "Mum inherited a lot from her. That's what got my father started on his expansion. Before that he only had one office." That explained why Sheila was so confident she could pull Ewing back into line.
"Did you ever think about going into the business?" I asked.
"God! No." She was quiet for a moment. "I know we are supposed to love our parents, and I think in some way that I do love my father, but I don't like him at all. That dislike prevents me from ever getting close to him so I have no idea if I really love him or not. Do you find that strange, Jack?"
"No. I know of quite few people who feel the same. I suppose I loved my parents. My Dad was quite successful but I rarely saw him. He was always off on some business trip somewhere. He wouldn't buy me anything until he thought I had earned it. It was a lesson that I learned. When I grew up, I didn't look to him for help at all, as I didn't think I would get it. I made my own way. OK I wasn't as successful as he was. But I had enough for all my needs and some of my wants."
"That's an interesting choice of words. Enough for all my needs, and some of my wants." She pondered. " That's a good philosophy for a contented life. I like it." She examined me as if she had never seen me before. "That must be why you are such a lovely man, Jack. I could never pin it down before. Now I know why I like you so much." She waited for me to say something. I didn't. It had always been a tactic when I worked to allow others to talk, you listened and learned things, and that gave you the edge you needed to make a sale. Having decided that I wasn't commenting, Ally went on. "I am not a virgin, Jack. But I am not that experienced. I told you about the men I seemed to attract. Few got into my panties. I have always felt an attraction to older men, men who were assured of themselves, comfortable with who they were. Men who would be more interested in me, rather than as a dressing on their arm. There's not many of those around unfortunately. Then you came along. As I got to know you I began ticking the boxes, and the more I knew you the more boxes got ticked. I liked you from the start, then liking turned into something else, an emotion I had never felt before. Jack! I am a very short journey away from falling in Love with you, and I am close to doing what Mum said I shouldn't do, throwing myself at a man. Please Jack, if I did that would you catch me?"
I crossed the room and sat beside Ally, taking her hand in mine.
"Ally, you are a beautiful woman, but more importantly you are beautiful inside. Any man would be happy to know you and love you. But, you know so little about me. I was divorced because I cheated on my wife. I have a daughter I haven't seen in years. I have had long term relationships that come to nothing. So you can see I am not a good bet. Somehow relationships don't work for me. Don't think about throwing yourself at me unless you have a safety net." Ally's eyes narrowed.
"I knew you would do that. Put yourself down. Right! You cheated because your wife was an incurable alcoholic. Your cheating was not a quick affair, you wanted a permanent relationship, she didn't. You had other relationships after you were divorced, but they were long-term. All of this tells me that you were not playing the field, you wanted permanence. That's what I want as well." I was very surprised. How did Ally know all this? I asked her.
"You seem to know a lot about me. I have never mentioned any of this, so how did you come by the information?" She smiled. You know that smile a woman has when she has a secret? The smile that says women are superior, even though they allow us to believe the opposite.
"I talked to Becky."
"W...w... what?" I stammered.
"I talked to Becky. You and she have discussed a great deal over the years, so she knew all about your past and relationships."
"How did you know where to contact her?"
"Mum had all the information in the detective's report. She gave it to me."
"That's a bit deceitful."
"Oh no, Jack. When a woman wants a man, she will do anything to get him. It's not deceitful, it's women's wiles. Anyway, Becky was quite happy to talk about you."
"Yeah, I bet."
"Jack. She is very fond of you. But after the way she behaved, twice I believe, she knows that you and she will never get any better than being friendly. She told me that if I get together with you, I will be a lucky woman."
At my age I shouldn't be surprised that women could be so devious. In fact every woman I have known had a little of that character. Having said that I still couldn't understand why someone as young and lovely as Ally wanted to hook up with a man my age. I need to make some things clear though.
"Ally. Good as the thought is, I don't think we can ever be together." I was still sorting through my thoughts when tears started rolling down her cheeks. Difficult as it was, I had to ignore them. "You said yourself that my relationships have been long term, I am not Jack the Lad! If I found someone who would make me happy it would not be for the moment, or a couple of years. It would be for whatever remains of my life. I like you Ally, and I have no doubt that I could grow to love you. If I look into the future though, all I can see is despair when you have moved on to someone closer to your age. I heard what you said about age the other day, But you cannot pretend it isn't there. The older you get the more difficult it becomes to find love, and finding it with you would be a fool's paradise, if after a year or two I am alone again, as I most assuredly would be." I leant over and kissed her tears away. "You have paid an old man a great compliment. Please let me live with good memories, not hurt."
Ally threw her arms around me, holding me tight.
"It wouldn't be like that. The more you say, the more I admire and respect you. The more I love you, Jack. I am not some silly girl, a butterfly flitting from one flower to another. I'm thirty five, Jack. I have done the dating scene, and the superficial men there, are not what I want. I want a man who recognises me as a person, a man who makes me feel warm and cared for. I would not want to go back to dross, when I have the real thing in my life." I heard her words and wanted so much to believe her. Yet my logic was telling me that loneliness and hurt were awaiting me after a year or two. I got up, and reached for my jacket.
"I'm sorry Ally. Very sorry. I believe that you believe what you are telling me, but I am the one who is fearful of the hurt that will inevitably happen. Call it self-preservation if you will, but I have to go with my instincts. Don't think bad of me, please."
I drove slowly, and yes if you ask I did shed a tear. Who wouldn't? Back home I poured myself a glass of Bushmills malt whiskey. If ever there was a night that needed a drink, this was it. The ten year old malt warmed inside, as someone once said 'Like Angels dancing on your tongue', he had to have been Irish! The next couple of days were absolutely miserable, yet I was consoled by telling myself that this misery was still better than the misery that would descend on me when Ally eventually walked away from me. This I could cope with.
Two days later I had just finished on the treadmill, when the doorbell rang. It was Ally!
"Morning Jack. I came for my workout." She blithely walked through to the conservatory as if nothing had happened. I was flabbergasted, standing there still holding open the door. Did I go and tell her straight away that she shouldn't be here? Do I go and shower and talk when she was done? From somewhere inside me a little chuckle rose, admiring her audacity. By God! This girl had balls! I went and showered, shaved and quickly got into slacks and a sweat shirt. I was sitting in the kitchen drinking tea when Ally came in to join me, a towel wrapped round her hair after her shower. I said nothing, as she helped herself to a mug of tea, then sat down opposite me. She smiled sweetly and blew me a kiss.
"Oh I need this tea, Jack." She sipped. "Oh I didn't thank you properly for the dance. Mum said she couldn't believe how good we looked together on the floor. Thank you for allowing me to share that with you."
"Ally! What are you doing here? I thought that the position was clear." She agreed with me.
"Yes, you made your position clear. I still have my thoughts on that subject, and nothing you said has changed my mind."
"Ally, let's not get into an argument."
"No. Let's not. But I will take up the point you made. That I would eventually tire of you and find someone else nearer my age. I can tell you until I am blue in the face that won't happen, but I can't prove it to you. So I decided that my actions will speak louder than my words. Jack you will see me here to exercise every other day without fail. If you don't let me in, I shall just wait on the doorstep until you take pity on me, and you will, Jack. I know you well enough to realise that. I will continue like that even if it takes two or three years to convince you. If that's what it takes then that's how long it will be, but I will convince you." Oh shit, I thought, she is going to stalk me. I got up to make another pot of tea.
"Making another pot, Jack? I'll have one if you don't hate me already. Oh, and do you have any bread? I could make some toast for us." I opened the bread bin and indicated the toaster. Ally got on with that whilst I made the tea. Next she was opening the cupboards looking for and then finding the preserves. "Jam or Marmalade? Jack."
"Marmalade please, Ally." By the time I had sat down with the two mugs of tea, she placed plates on the table with a dish of butter, and a dish of Marmalade. That's what women do. I would have put the butter on the table still in it's packet, and knifed the marmalade straight from the jar.
"I prefer marmalade as well. isn't that good?" There was a wealth of meaning in that little comment.
I had finished two slices of toast when she informed me of the rest of her plan.
"I want you to think about it. I will be here every other day as long as it takes for you to understand that I mean what I say. And I want you to know that everyday of that time you will be denying both of us the pleasure of making love together." There were tears in her eyes now. "And I do so want to make love with you, Jack. But it will not happen until you tell me that you believe me. I will not be seeing anyone else, I only want you." I sat back in amazement, unable to offer any comment as her monologue went on. "You may ask me out for meals, or theatre, and I will accept. You may take me back to my flat, and I will even ask you in. But at the end of the evening, Jack, I will retire to my chaste bed, and you will come home here to your cold bed, cold because I am not in it." She got out a tissue and wiped her eyes. "My father will eventually find out that we are not together, and he will be as pleased as Punch. That is not a reason for you to change your mind, I just pointed that out for you to think on." She thought for a moment. " Yes, I think I have covered everything. Oh yes! There is another thing." Her face softened. "I was so touched that you didn't mention my posing naked as a reason. For most men that would be the first thing they would say." I thought that now was the time I could say something, before she started again.
"I didn't mention it, because it was immaterial to my feelings. You did say that you would explain it when we are in bed together, well that may never happen, or it may be a year or two away."
"Well, when that happens, and it is a when, Jack. Not an if, I will explain it, but I made my mind up, not to do anymore. It wouldn't be fair to my lover or dare I say Husband to have photo's of me naked turning up."
"Lover or Husband eh? Is it one of each or are they one and the same?" I was laughing gently now, so that she would know that I was not being nasty. Ally grinned, accepting the Olive branch of humour.
"One and the same, and his name will be Jack Hunter I want to be Mrs. Alicia Hunter, and God help if you ever call me anything but Ally."
"You have it all worked out, don't you. Perhaps I should give up now and save you a lot of trouble." Ally was not happy with that.
"No, Jack. I have got to prove to you that I am sincere. I don't want you looking over your shoulder all the time wondering when it will happen. You have to know it won't, I have to prove to you that it won't."
"Twelve months." I said.
"What do you mean? Twelve months."
"That's what I will give you." Ally didn't understand what I was saying.
"You think that in twelve months I will give up?"
"No. Twelve months will give us ample time to really get to know each other. Time for both of us to make up our minds that we should be together, or go our separate ways. Twelve months. We will go out together. Dining, theatre as you suggested. I will give you a key for the house, so you can let yourself in, even if I'm away. You know bloody well I wouldn't leave you standing on the doorstep. I mean, what would the neighbours say?" Ally smiled at that. "If we are still together after twelve months, we will know if we have something going for us. Agreed?" Ally was nodding her head enthusiastically.
"Oh yes, Jack." She came round to my side of the table and kissed me, an open mouthed kiss of passion, flavoured with marmalade. She was all smiles. When she sat down again I saw the question come to her face.
"Why the change of heart?" I had expected that.
"It was something you said." I could see her going over her words trying to identify the content. "It was when you said you had made up your mind not to do anymore modelling. I didn't ask you to do that, it was your decision. That you could give up the work you do in order to save me embarrassment was very significant. In point of fact, if it was just glamour as you say, I don't think it would have been a problem for me."
"No. Ally you are the most beautiful woman I have ever known. If seeing your photo's will give pleasure to others why not?"
"Thank you, compliments are always accepted." She paused. "But I have made up my mind. I want to be yours, Jack. And if this will help convince you, I am pleased that I made that decision."
"If you do stop modelling, what will you do for a living?"
"Oh, that's easy. I will go back to soliciting." She laughed happily at the shocked expression on my face. "Jack. I am a qualified Solicitor."
The rules had been set, and our lives intertwined. Ally would arrive every other day, letting herself in and getting on the rowing machine and then the treadmill, showering, and eventually joining me in the kitchen for tea and toast. She was quite nonchalant about walking around my home in her sweat-soaked Tee and shorts, she never wore a bra to exercise and her nipples were always very prominent. After eating she would get dressed and go to work. She kept some of her business suits in my closet. We went out to the Theatre in Derby, Concerts in Birmingham, and for dinner. Sometimes I would prepare dinner at my house, or she would prepare the same at her flat. Hugs and kisses were allowed, even passionate kisses, but nothing else. We exchanged emails regularly, and I even sent her some of the short stories I had written. These sparked some very long and in depth conversations. Some of my stories contained descriptions of sexual encounters. Ally enjoyed reading those.
"Your imagination is fantastic and the descriptions so vivid. When we are together, Jack. Can we make love as your characters do? I get very wet when I read those, and very angry as well." She looked at me accusingly. "Because you are denying us all of that." I grinned.
"Ally, those passages are fantasy, not reality." She hit straight back with a play on my words.
"My passages are not fantasy, and I long for them to be filled by you, as your heroine has them filled." There was little I could say to that, as I was becoming eager to do with Ally that which my characters did in my stories.
This quasi affair was in it's fifth month, and going well, when I had a visit from Sheila. She yet again thanked me for my help in getting Ewing back into line, then went on to congratulate me for getting Ally to stop modelling and back to the Law.
"Nothing to do with me, Sheila. That was Ally's decision."
"Jack, it had everything to do with you!" I was surprised that Sheila knew about the modelling in the first place. Sheila told me that Ally didn't have secrets, although her father was kept in the Dark. I could understand that. "She also told me, Jack. That you seemed to be OK with it if she had gone on. That's most generous of you."
"It wasn't an issue, Sheila. Ally made her choice, and whatever way it had gone I would respect her choice."
"As you say, Jack. Immaterial now. The only man she wants to be naked for now is you. But I have to say, that this twelve months understanding, is good. It's making her think and work for what she wants. Not a bad idea in my book. But I can say one thing. She would never have left you." I still had my thoughts on that. Admittedly not so definite as before, but still nagging away in my mind.