The Touch Ch. 20byGreenFingers©
WARNING TO READERS - This is a long, rambling, multi-part story and VERY British. The individual chapters will make more sense if read in sequence.
Pt. 20 A Brief Encounter and Breaking the Taboo
Everything went without a hitch on Wednesday morning which as a little bit of a surprise as we all had different agendas. Mum had a very early business meeting at the hospital before she could leave for London and so we were all dressed and ready for breakfast by seven.
She had chosen to wear a dark grey and black jersey wool dress which clung to her figure, beneath a plain black formal blazer jacket and she had done her hair and make-up before coming downstairs. I thought that she looked fantastic and held her at arms length grinning and looking her up and down.
"God, Mum ...you look stunning!" I told her. She beamed and returned the compliment.
"You look pretty handsome yourself," she laughed. I had put on my navy blue three piece suit with a pale blue shirt and blue and white striped tie, the full fig. She reached up and fiddled with my tie pulling the knot straight.
I hadn't noticed Emma come in, "When this meeting of the Mutual Appreciation Society is finished, I would like to have my breakfast and get off to work," She teased. "Anyway," she added spinning around like a catwalk model, "don't you think that I look stunning as well?" She was wearing her normal work attire, faded black jeans and t-shirt and 'clunky' boots.
"You always look dead sexy to me, Sis."
I grinned and planted a big, wet brotherly kiss on the end of her nose.
"Well, why don't you bloody show it?" She muttered under her breath as I pulled away. I turned back but she was already sitting down and pouring cereal into her bowl; Mum was at the other end of the kitchen and hadn't heard her. She still seemed in a good mood however, and wished Mum good luck with the solicitor and they hugged before parting.
We all left the house together, Mum drove off to work, and Emma got out her bicycle and set off ahead of me. I soon caught her up on the Vespa and just tootled along slowly behind her to keep her company until we got to the garden centre, it was only a few more minutes ride.
I was preparing to leave when Emma came round with the morning post. I opened my letters and passed most of them back to her to deal with. There was a small padded envelope from France with a return address indicating that it was from the twins. Emma was obviously intrigued by it.
"Go on... open it!"
I pulled the packet open tentatively; crossing my fingers mentally and hoped that my quirky cousins had not sent me something embarrassing or highly personal which would send out messages about our three way relationship.
I breathed a sigh of relieve and sheer joy. It was a CD of Jacques Loussier, the French jazz pianist, but not just any collection of recordings it was the brand new album of 'jazzified' J.S. Bach, only available in France but which had already achieved gold record status. Loussier recordings were almost impossible to get on CD in the UK. I peered carefully into the envelope to make sure that there was no note and then dropped it into the waste bin and slipped the disc into my jacket pocket I would listen to it on the train.
About eight-thirty, Kitty came up to the office to see if I was ready to drive into college. I went into Emma's office to say good bye.
"I hope it all goes well with Mum this afternoon," she said sincerely, "And good luck with your exam this morning.... You won't need it, you are too much of a smart arse to fail."
I gave her a hug and went to kiss her on the cheek but she twisted her face and kissed me full on the mouth and held my lips firmly against hers with her hand for several seconds. "That is for luck!"
I glanced around, fortunately there was nobody else around, Kitty had gone back down to fetch the van and Maggie had not come in yet. Maggie had spoken to both Mum and me on the telephone before we left this morning as she had an early appointment in Salisbury.
"Thanks, Emms," I was a little breathless, she had taken me by surprise, "I'll see you tonight when we get home."
"No you won't! Auntie Maggie is driving me in to college this evening then we are going somewhere for a drink and a meal, a girl's night out ... as you and Mum will be swanning it around the West End no doubt. Then I am going to sleep over at her place ... we shall probably get totally rat-arsed and both be hung over tomorrow." She laughed.
"Good for you, have fun!" I smiled and gave her another hug, this time making sure that I was in control. It would be good for Maggie to have company at the house, she must have been missing the twins and I was glad Emma would not be on her own brooding all evening.
Both Kitty and I came away from the examination room confident that we had achieved good results. It was the penultimate test for our final certificate and had been one of the new, multiple choice question test papers which were being introduced into further education that year for the first time. We now only had our course work reviews and practical applications to get through in April. The exam had only been for an hour and a half and so I had plenty of time before I needed to be in London and it was just before eleven when Kitty dropped me off at Salisbury rail station.
That time of the day trains ran to London every hour, and I had about 30 minutes to wait and so I decided to get my ticket and then go for a drink in the station buffet room. The café was quite busy and I took my coffee to the only unoccupied two seat table in one corner of the room. It was nearly 90 minutes train ride from Salisbury to London and so I had brought my walkman, clipped to my belt, and I was looking forward to listening to the Loussier disc from France. I took the disc from my pocket and slipped the CD into the walkman but left the crystal on the table, my schoolboy French wasn't that good but I was intending to make a stab at the cover blurb.
A shadow fell over the table and I looked up. There was a woman I had never seen before standing looking down at me. She indicated the other chair which was occupied by my briefcase. "Is anybody using this seat?"
"No, no ....please sit down!" I exclaimed, jumping up to claim my case and dumped it on the floor beside my chair. She placed her cup of tea on the table and sat on the chair; sideways so that her legs were extended into the gangway.
I pretended to fiddle with my walkman whilst I appraised her. She was about mid to late thirties and very attractive, I thought that her face had that same sweet softness shared by Mum and Maggie, which was my personal benchmark for loveliness, except that this woman had shoulder length dark hair cut in a soft pageboy style. She was about 5' 7" and her figure, what I could see of it beneath her beige rain coat, was neat, the waist belt was tied tightly around her waist giving her a distinct hourglass shape. Her legs appeared long and very shapely and were clad in sheer black stockings or tights and she was wearing very expensive dark brown leather, low heeled court shoes which matched her equally expensive leather shoulder bag.
I glanced up and straight into her eyes, they were deep brown pools. She smiled and her whole face lit up, I noticed that her teeth were perfect beneath her well shaped, wide lips which were painted with just the slightest hint of light red lipstick, the only make up that I could discern.
"Would you mind if I looked at that?" She touched my CD case lightly with her manicured nails. Her voice was soft and cultured and huskily sexy. She was still smiling, her head tilted slightly to one side. I was entranced, at that moment, if she had asked me for the contents of my wallet or requested me to dance naked on the table I think I would have happily given her what she wanted.
"Yes, of course ....please do."
She obviously could read French fluently as it took her only as few minutes to assimilate the contents of the sleeve booklet. I just sat and watched her face, and sipped my coffee.
"I really love Loussier's music, but his CDs and even cassettes are so difficult to get in England, most of my collection is on vinyl records."
"Mine too," I replied, "he is one of my mother's favourites, I grew up with Loussier, Acker Bilk and Artie Shaw but I can listen to Loussier's renditions of Bach anytime, over and over."
"Did you buy this in France?"
"Not personally, I just received it today in the post from my cousins who are taking time out and staying with family at Dijon."
We sat talking jazz music, comparing favourite artistes and tracks and where the best places were to buy rare or vintage records; she was quite a serious collector. Time flew by and suddenly the arrival of my train was being announced over the tannoy.
"That's my train," I said.
"Mine too ... we had better go."
We both stood and as she handed me the CD case, for a moment our fingers touched. For me it was like an electric shock, surging up through my finger tips to my brain and downwards to leave a tingling in my balls. It was the same sensation that I had felt when I touched Georgia Craven's hand, but one hundred times more powerful, it left me wide eyed and breathless. She had obviously felt something too, her face wore a look of surprise and she gave a little gasp.
"It must have been static electricity," I offered, but I think that we both knew different.
"Yes, maybe it was."
"If you are catching the London train to Waterloo, let me take that for you." I reached down and picked up her leather overnight bag and we started to move towards the platform. She must have been a lot stronger that she looked as the bag weighed a ton.
"Sorry, there are document files in the bottom .... Look, that carriage is fairly empty ... Come on."
We boarded the train and were lucky to get one of the two seater tables at the end of the coach by the corridor. I put our bags up on the luggage rack above our heads. We had both just mutually assumed that we would travel together like old friends but we hadn't even exchanged names yet. When we were seated comfortably I offered my hand, tentatively.
"I'm Jamie .... Jamie Riley, by the way."
She touched my hand equally tentatively, her hand shake was firm but nothing unusual occurred, I think we both inwardly sighed with relief. I noticed that she was not wearing any rings.
"Gillian Watford .... Gill." She stood up and removed her top coat, folded it and added it to the bags on the overhead rack. "It's always either too hot or too cold on these trains," she commented.
Beneath the coat she was wearing a snug fitting crew necked camel coloured cashmere jumper and a beige calf length pencil skirt which clung to her hips and thighs. She really did have a tiny, hour glass waist, emphasised by the wide brown leather fashion belt. All her clothes were of top quality. Spending so much time with Mum and Maggie, I had learned a lot about women's fashions just by watching and listening and I could appreciate quality and style and Gill had both.
By the time that the ninety minute train journey was half over, we had moved on from talking about music to talking about ourselves and I had told her about my job, about the garden centre and our plans.
"So what about you...?" I asked.
"I'm a soldier," she told me simply. "Lieutenant Gillian Watford, WRAC, attached to the Royal Army Education Corp .... Put simply I am a training co-ordinator, I design and organise army training courses."
"Wow! You certainly don't fit my picture of a soldier, but I'm very impressed!"
She laughed, her laugh was tinkly and musical. "You don't see many gardeners in suits, either."
"Touché, but I'm not just a gardener I'm a Super-Gardener," I reached into my pocket and found one of my business cards and quickly wrote on the back. "That's my home number, so if you ever want any work done to your garden just give me a call ...I'll count you as one of my very special personal clients."
"I'm afraid I haven't got a garden, or even a proper home," she said rather wistfully. "I've spent twenty years living in University digs or army accommodation, and I've got nothing to show for it ... nothing personal that is ... no home, no family ... just the job!"
"So are you working today?" I probed.
"No. Just the opposite. I have decided to leave the service this year and I'm now on my way up to town to meet with a civilian recruitment agency. There are plenty of well paid jobs in large corporations for people like me .... But, I'm just not sure where I want my life to go right now."
"Buy a house in Wiltshire, and I will come and do your garden for you." I joked.
The ticket collector walked through the carriage announcing that the train would be pulling into Waterloo Station in five minutes. I stood and pulled down our bags and helped her on with her coat and as the train lurched as it ground to a halt and for a moment we were pressed together, her back against my chest. I had no choice but to put my hands onto her firm round hips to steady her, she seemed either not to mind or not to notice.
"Gill....?" I started to say something stupid about wanting to see her again and then twisted the conversation around, "Er, can I drop you anywhere, I shall be taking a taxi into Marylebone, so if you are going that way....?"
"Thanks, but I'm being picked from the station, it seems that I am in demand and the head-hunters are sending a car for me."
We said our good-byes on the station concourse. "It has been really nice meeting you Jamie, maybe we will run into each other again sometime, I'm stationed at Larkhill, The Royal Artillery Training School, at present and could be in the area for a few months yet."
"That would be nice," I didn't want to push her, there was no point, she wasn't going to be interested. We had spent a couple of pleasant hours together but that was all, it was unlikely we would ever meet again. "You've got my card; remember if you ever get that garden; call me."
She walked off towards the booking hall, turned once very briefly and waved and then was lost in the crowd of travellers. I pushed my way through to the taxi rank and just as I stepped into the cab I saw her emerging and getting into a large black limo driven by a grey uniformed chauffeur.
The cab dropped me at the entrance to St. Christopher's Place just off Duke Street about one-thirty. I could see Mum already sitting at one of the outside tables of the corner café, enjoying the sunshine. When we came up to town as a family we often used the restaurants and café around St. Christopher's Place as it was a quiet pedestrian area and close to the Multi-story car park at Selfridges. By coincidence the Olsen's had their London law practice just around the corner in Wigmore Street. The waiter came out and I ordered a small coffee and a sandwich which I consumed whilst Mum plied me with questions about how the exam had gone and if I had had a good journey, I didn't mention Gill, but I showed her the CD from Lauren and Lucinda and promised to let her borrow it.
The offices of Craven, Olson and Partners were on the second floor of a white stone faced building sandwiched between two rows of red brick with an expensive looking restaurant on the ground floor. We only had to wait a few minutes before Marsha Olsen came out to greet us and lead the way into her office.
I had met Marsha before, at Maggie's Christmas drinks party and at a concert, but I did not really remember her. She was Kristen's mother and there was a striking physical resemblance. She was very tall, probably five foot ten or more in her high heeled shoes, with a face that was simply an older image of Kristen, with the same generous mouth and bright blue eyes, her long silver blonde hair was twisted into a large tight bun from which a pony tail swung down her back, very Scandinavian. For a woman who was probably in her early fifties her figure was terrific, obviously the product of some serious applications of exercise and diet plans, and was shown off effectively by the sharp black pin-stripe tailored skirt suit she was wearing.
The office was furnished with antiques, a large Regency leather topped desk dominated the centre of the large room and one wall was taken up with mahogany, glass fronted book cases containing leather bound legal volumes. There was a big bay window containing three small velvet easy chairs, probably Georgian, and a large occasional table and after collecting some files from her desk she guided us to the comfortable chairs.
I sat opposite Mum with Marsha between us so that they could talk easily and just listened, although mostly I just watched Mum. She was sitting in the chair nearest the window and the sunlight was directly on her hair and face but lit that way from behind there was a halo of light around her. She was obviously nervous and was glancing my way for re-assurance and kept crossing and uncrossing her legs. She was wearing black, embroidered fishnet stockings and her skirt was pulled tight around her thighs, I just could not take my eyes from her legs it was just the most erotic thing and I had to make a serious effort to stop my prick from responding to the visual stimulation. I knew that she had noticed but I just could not tear my eyes away. Marsha Olsen could not have detected anything as I was sitting partially behind her and she was turned facing Mum.
When she got up and went to her desk for something Mum pulled a face and mouthed silently at me, "STOP IT!" I grinned sheepishly and then we both spontaneously started to giggle like a couple of kids.
"Did I miss something?"
"No, Marsha ....it was nothing, just Jamie and I being silly," Mum was still laughing but her tension and nervousness seemed to have evaporated.
Finally, Marsha seemed to be satisfied that all her questions had been answered satisfactorily and presented Mum with a series of papers to sign and had one of her clerks witness them. It seemed that Dad's absence for more than two years constituted grounds for desertion, but the main issues were around the legalities of Mum's property. Our house was protected because it had never been in Dad's name and the mortgage had always been paid by Mum alone, I hadn't been aware until that time that Mum had made a will after Dad left to ensure that her estate passed to Emma and I and that Maggie had been named as our guardian in the event of her death before we came of age.
"That's it, all done for now," Marsha told us, "Sorry to drag you up to town but I needed to be here this week and it was important that these papers got agreed and signed as soon as possible."
We walked out into the bright sunlight of Wigmore Street and the noisy bustle of afternoon traffic. "Where to now?" I asked.
"Let us walk up to Selfridges and get tea and cakes. Then we can wander round the store and buy each other something nice that we don't really need." Mum looked as if a heavy weight had been lifted from her just by the action of formalizing her decision.
Selfridge's department store was only a couple of streets away and we started to stroll in that direction, Mum's arm hooked through mine. We had just turned down Orchard Street when she suddenly stopped and turned to face me.
"What were you doing staring at my bloody legs like that! Whatever got into you?"
"You can't blame a guy for looking, you shouldn't have such sexy legs." I bantered. She started to slap at me furiously and poke me with her extended finger, but she was laughing and her slaps and punches were just in fun. I ducked and dodged and put up my fists in a boxer's guard until she drove her hand beneath my defence and poked me hard in the gut.
"That's for ogling my legs!" She did it again, I couldn't stop her I was laughing so much, "and, that is for trying to look up my bloody skirt!" She tried it a third time but I was ready for her and dodged aside and slapped her playfully, but not too gently on the arse.