Lost and Found Ch. 02byLiveCat©
Chapter 2 as requested -- I hope it lives up to expectations.
If you haven't read the first chapter then I would suggest that you do so first in order to understand the storyline and character dynamics.
Many thanks to my friend Anne for finding time in her hectic schedule to help with proof reading this story, I really appreciate it.
For my special friend Callie, who doesn't like loose ends -- the epilogue is all yours Babe.
I left St. Ives the next morning. I still had a couple of days of annual leave left and much as I would've loved to spend them in Jo's arms it made more sense for me to leave. Jo had lots to sort out in preparation for taking the café over officially and was going to immediately close it down for a few days for refurbishment. She may have chilled out significantly in the 3 years we'd been apart but the old control freak was still hovering just under the surface, so she wanted to be around to monitor the progress of the contractors.
I also had lots to do. I needed to decide whether to sell or rent my flat out and I also needed to start packing and make all of the necessary arrangements for moving my life from London down to Cornwall and so, after a tearful and drawn out goodbye, I climbed into my car and started my long journey home. Although it didn't feel like going home; how strange!
The drive was an absolute nightmare! There were road works on the A30 which slowed me down to a crawl before the feeling of Jo's last kiss goodbye had even left my lips and the temptation to just turn around was almost overwhelming but I mustered my self control and kept the car pointing north east.
There had also been an accident on the M4 and I sat in stationary traffic for so long that I had to turn the radio up as loud as I could bear to stop me thinking too deeply as I sat in the car twiddling my thumbs. The further I drove away from Jo the sadder I became and on more than one occasion I had to mentally kick myself to stop the tears flowing down my face; reminding myself that it was ok, I would see her again soon.
Eventually I pulled up outside the converted Victorian town house that comprised my flat and two others, standing in the darkening evening and looking at the building in a new light. I loved my 2 story ground floor and basement flat. I loved it's quirky design with the bedrooms in the basement and the living space upstairs; I loved it's small, easy to maintain garden where I could sit and pretend not to be in a city; I loved the original Victorian fireplace, sash windows and mouldings. But now? Now, while I could still appreciate these things on a rational, aesthetic level and could still find them pleasing, there was an undercurrent of something else. An irritation that this flat was going to tie me to London for at least a while longer when all I wanted was to run away; to run back to the arms of the woman I loved and who, miraculously also loved me and had invited me back into her life.
I had left my tent and almost everything else I'd taken to Cornwall at Jo's as it seemed silly to bring it home to London just to take it back again, so I grabbed my almost empty rucksack from the boot of the car and wearily climbed the steps to my front door. I was both emotionally and physically drained from the long drive, so I ignored the messages on my answer machine, sent Jo a text to tell her I'd arrived safely and fell gratefully into bed where sleep claimed me immediately.
As soon as I awoke the next morning, rolling over to find myself in my own empty bed, I had to call Jo immediately. The loss I felt was palpable and I had to lift my heart before I attempted to start my day. She answered quickly but from the sound of her voice it was obvious I'd woken her and I cursed myself for not checking the clock first -- it was only 6.30am.
'Hey you, I'm sorry to call so early I didn't realise the time and I missed you when I woke up.'
'Hey Baby, that's ok you can call me anytime, you know that.'
'I'm still sorry I woke you.'
'Yeah, well I didn't sleep very well last night. I've already got used to having you in my bed and it was lonely without you. Buster makes a very poor substitute and he snores even louder than you do!'
It was nice to hear that Jo had missed me too. I had no doubt that she loved me but given our history it wasn't surprising that I felt a little insecure about our newly rediscovered relationship sometimes.
We talked for a while about inconsequential things, about what the day had in store for us both and as we talked my free hand had unconsciously moved to my breasts, casually stroking and toying with my nipples. It was all quite innocent until Jo asked me if I was still in bed and the tone of her voice sent shivers down my spine.
'I wish I were there with you. Do you still have our old bed, with the brass headboard?'
'Uh huh, why?'
'Cos if I was there with you right now I think I'd be tempted to tie your hands to that bed and keep you there all day.' She was practically purring down the phone and I couldn't help moaning at the thought. My nipples were now hard and puckered, aching for her mouth to claim them but I had to make do with my own fingers as they pinched and twisted and pulled.
'Where are your hands right now Jo?'
'Well, I'm holding the phone with my left hand......'
'and the other one?'
'Is slowly stroking it's way down my tummy, I've been wet for you since the moment I heard your voice; being away from you until you move down here is going to be torture!'
'I know Babe, I'm so horny for you right now I could jump straight back in my car and come and ravish you!'
'Well for now we'll have to make do with the phone Vicki, I'll have to imagine that the fingers that are stroking my lips are your fingers and when I touch my clit I'm going to pretend it's your gorgeous tongue.'
I could hear her breathing get heavier and could imagine the sight of her in bed, her hand buried between her legs as she brought herself relief. My own hand deserted my nipples and headed south, spreading my puffy lips and finding the copious wetness gathered there, strumming my clit as I gripped the phone so tightly my knuckles were white.
'Oh Jo' I groaned 'I want to have my mouth on you; I want to suckle you and lick you and touch your whole body. I want to make you swear and buck and writhe under me until you can barely breathe.'
'Oh god Vicki yes!'
'Imagine me there Babe, my head between your thighs as I suck your clit into my mouth, my fingers slipping in and out of you, caressing you inside, softly to start with but getting harder and firmer the more your hips move with me.'
'Just the thought of devouring you as I play with myself has me so turned on Jo and I'm so close to coming; come with me Baby, let me hear you.'
There were squeals and whimpers and moans from both us as we let our imaginations carry us along with the moment, the image of my beautiful Jo's face in rapture fuelling my own release as a powerful orgasm ripped through my body, leaving me breathless and sweaty.
'Mmmmmm morning gorgeous, that was a nice way to start my day!'
'Oh yeah, back atcha Babe!'
We'd been on the phone for an hour before we finally managed to tear ourselves away and when I finally stepped into the shower I had a huge grin on my face. Not just because I'd just had it confirmed in the nicest way that Jo was missing me and needed me as much as I did her, but because it seemed that she'd gotten a little more adventurous than she used to be.
Jo had travelled regularly when she was working in the corporate world, often staying away in hotels for a few days at a time and much as we'd spoken on the phone every night, declaring how much we loved and missed each other, we had never once indulged ourselves with phone sex.
This was an interesting development and I couldn't help wondering what else she'd be willing to try. Damn I couldn't wait to be with her again to find out!
The next few days were a whirlwind of activity. After consulting with several estate agents I decided to sell my flat in London as even though the property market was slow right now, I had bought it enough years ago and at a good enough price, that even with the slump I could almost double my investment.
It wasn't going to be enough money to live on forever but it would provide me with a big enough comfort zone that even if I didn't find work in Cornwall for a couple of years I'd be ok if I was frugal; and if I did find work fairly quickly then I could invest the rest in Cornwall where property prices were much cheaper.
This was fine in itself except that it meant dealing with estate agents. I'm sure there are some very nice people who happen to be estate agents -- unfortunately, none of them operate in my local area and the unending stream of slightly slimy, arrogant young men that traipsed around my flat, sucking their teeth and trying to convince me that their agency would do the best job was infuriating!
I eventually managed to negotiate a suitable agreement with 2 estate agents (a little bit of competition never hurts!) and crossed my fingers that the sale would happen quickly and with a minimum of fuss as I wasn't in a chain.
During phone calls with Jo we worked out what furniture we would keep and move to Cornwall and what I would get rid of. Most of it was functional and had no sentimental value but the bed was definitely coming with me -- especially as I still had Jo's comments about tying me to it running though my head!
On the Saturday night I went out for a meal and drinks with some close friends so that I could break the news to them. Most of them were happy for Jo and me but one of my friends was initially furious with me. She couldn't understand how I could make such a drastic move and leave myself open to Jo dumping me again. She'd never really forgiven Jo for the way she deserted me and wasn't at all happy that I was making myself vulnerable to her again.
I knew her argument had it's merits and that she was only trying to look out for me, I was taking a gamble after all but isn't every major choice we make in life a gamble to some degree? Eventually after I'd explained our reunion in more detail she came to accept the fact that it was a chance I had to take, whilst making me promise that if it didn't work out I'd come back to London and stay with her while I sorted myself out. It was good that I had such wonderful friends who were willing to support me, especially since they'd seen the mess I was in the last time Jo and I broke up.
When Monday dawned I made a point of getting into the office early. I knew I'd have a weeks worth of emails to catch up on and I also had an important task to perform -- I had to write my letter of resignation!
By the time I sauntered into see Zoe, my manager, at lunchtime I had just about caught up with the backlog and was feeling quite relaxed. She looked at me curiously, her head tipped slightly to one side.
'Hey Vicki, good holiday?'
'Yeah, great thanks. In fact that's why I'm here; I need to talk to you about something.'
She ushered me into one of the comfy chairs around her coffee table, poured us both a cup of the obscenely strong coffee that seemed to be her staple diet and sat opposite me.
'Ok spill the beans.'
I removed the envelope from my pocket and handed it to her, trying to hide the smile that was creeping across my face as she pulled the typed sheet from inside.
As she read it her mouth gaped open in shock and surprise. She looked at me, read the letter again and then looked at me again, finally managing to regain her composure.
'What the hell? Vicki, why didn't you tell me you were looking for another job? There are openings coming up here in a few weeks that you'd be eligible to apply for if you need a change or more money, I'd be happy to put in a good word.'
She looked hurt that I hadn't spoken to her and I understood why, we'd been working together for 5 years and we got along well; we worked well together as a team and we had a good personal relationship too. She may have been my boss but she was also my friend, so I knew this would come as a bolt from the blue.
'I wasn't looking, in fact I don't have another job to go to but I am having a bit of a lifestyle change.'
'Oh Christ! Don't tell me you've turned straight and you're marrying a sugar daddy?!'
'Hardly!' I snorted with laughter 'I bumped into Jo when I was on holiday and, well, we're getting back together and I'm moving to Cornwall to be with her.'
Once again she sat there slack jawed as the news sunk in and I could see the cogs turning in her head as she considered the news. I expected a similar reaction from Zoe to the one I'd received on Saturday, as she'd also witnessed the fallout from last time and had covered for me admirably when I wasn't able to do my job properly.
Eventually she leaned back into her chair and looked straight into my eyes. There was no anger or resentment but she did have questions.
'Are you sure about this Vicki?'
'Yes, I am. I have a second shot at happiness and I'd never forgive myself if I didn't give it my best shot.'
'And you're absolutely sure that Jo loves you as much as you love her?'
'Yes, I'm sure.'
'And you know she's not going to break your heart all over again?'
'No --I can't know that for certain but I do know that she's prepared to try and she's even willing to upset her parents to give our love the best chance possible.'
Zoe climbed out of her chair and came to kneel in front of me, wrapping her arms around me and enfolding me in her embrace.
'Then all I can do is wish you both the very best of luck and I hope you'll invite me down to visit some time. God I'm going to miss you Vicki and where the hell am I going to find someone to replace you?'
I realised that Zoe was crying and I was immensely touched to have her understanding and her support. By the time I left her office we had agreed that if I could find a suitable replacement and get them trained early enough, then I could shorten my notice period, allowing me to move to Cornwall earlier than expected.
The week flew by. My days were full of recruitment activity and organising everything to make sure that my handover to the new starter would go smoothly; my evenings invariably involved showing at least one prospective buyer around my flat.
By the time Friday afternoon rolled around I was wound as tightly as a spring, knowing that in a few hours I would be in Jo's arms again. I left work at lunchtime, running down to my pre packed car that was waiting in the car park and started the long drive down to where my love was waiting for me.
Mercifully the journey was uneventful and by 5.30 that evening I was pulling into Jo's drive. I let myself into the cottage to be greeted by Buster in that enthusiastic way that young Labradors do, barely managing to stay on my feet as he jumped up and licked my face.
There was a note in the kitchen from Jo informing me that if she was still out when I got there, to either make myself comfortable or join her at the café, so I took a quick shower, dressed and towel dried my hair and took off down the road at a jog, eager to see the woman who held my heart.
When I got there I could see her through the windows and a pang of intense jealousy flooded my body. The furniture had all been removed to facilitate the redecoration and she was stood in the middle of the empty café, her arms wound tightly around a tall man who was hugging her back tightly, his head resting against Jo's very intimately.
I felt like a voyeur as I watched him lift Jo's chin and plant a kiss on her mouth. It wasn't a deep kiss but it was definitely more than a friendly kiss and I felt my stomach twist into knots as I stood watching.
I didn't know what to do. Part of me felt like turning around and fleeing back to London but another part, thankfully a stronger part, demanded an explanation for this blatant display of affection, so I opened the door to the café, the little bell above the door announcing my presence.
I think I expected them to spring apart guiltily but they didn't, they just moved so that they were standing side by side with their arms around each other's waist until Jo turned fully enough to see who had entered, at which point she covered the short distance between us in a few strides of her long legs and threw her arms around my neck, kissing me in a much more passionate way than she had kissed him.
My emotions were all over the place and I didn't return the kiss in the way Jo had expected, causing her to pull back from me and look into my eyes, her eyebrow cocked in a quizzical manner.
'Hey Babe, what's up?'
'Hi' I muttered back, looking over her shoulder at the man, now busying himself clearing up dust sheets and paint pots.
Jo frowned at me, kissed me briefly again and then smiled, grabbing my arm and dragging me across the room to where the man was tidying.
'Vicki, I want you to meet Dan. I've told you about Dan -- he's the man I was engaged to briefly and he just happens to be the best painter and decorator in this area; he also gives me a good discount!'
Ok, so now I was thoroughly stumped! I had just caught Jo kissing her ex boyfriend and she seemed so blasé about it that I was completely confused; I had no idea what was going on and therefore had no idea if I should be upset, jealous, angry, indignant -- or if I was making a big deal out of nothing.
To my surprise Dan took the initiative and walked over to me, shaking my hand briefly before pulling me into a hug I wasn't expecting.
'Hi, you must be Vicki, it's really nice to meet the woman who's stolen Jo away from me!' he said with an enormous grin on his face! This was getting more confusing by the second!
'Urm hi, nice to meet you too.' I stammered, at a loss for anything else to say.
'Jo just told me that you two have got back together again and I'm really happy for you both. I admit that when Jo broke up with me I wasn't exactly pleased but when she explained about the love you two shared I knew I couldn't compete and I'm so glad you've found each other again. I'm sure I'll see you around soon.'
He kissed my cheek, kissed Jo's cheek and walked out of the door, leaving the little bell tinkling in his wake as I stood there completely dumfounded, my mouth hanging open.
'What the hell just happened Jo?'
'Well, you walked in at a badly timed moment, jumped to all the wrong conclusions and got all jealous. Now can I have a proper kiss please?'
It wasn't a question and she gathered me into her arms and claimed my lips once more, her tongue leading mine in a dance that gave me no option but to reciprocate. She had one hand in the middle of my back and the other on my arse, pulling me tightly against her and I melted into her body, sighing deeply as Jo broke the kiss and started nuzzling my neck.
'I'm sorry if I upset you Babe but you have no reason to be jealous. Dan is a good man and we broke up on good terms and are friends; you looked like a deer caught in headlights when you walked through the door.'
'I'm sorry Jo but it was a shock. I came running down here to meet you and found you in the arms of a man who proceeded to kiss you; what the hell was I supposed to think?'
I knew I'd come across as a bit stroppy but damn! How the hell was I supposed to react?
'Vicki, you have to trust me. There is no one else that I want -- just you. Dan is a friend and I think you two are going to get on like a house on fire when you get to know him; you actually have a lot in common. Now can we drop this and go and eat? I'm starving!'
The rest of the evening was wonderful and I started to feel ashamed of the way I had reacted with such a lack of trust. I was going to have to start really believing that Jo loved me and only me and show some faith in her.