The Touch Ch. 30byGreenFingers©
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.
My apologies! This chapter may meander even more than usual as it is part of a collection of several short 'day in the life' journal style entries which have been linked to make up Chapters 29-31
Sorry about the delays between chapters just now. The text for this story was written over a number of years and includes many small mini chapters and journal style handwritten entries which need to be sorted into chronological order, modernised and edited, before being released. Chapters 30-32 have taken even longer than usual as some sections had become totally misplaced. I am editing these chapters at the moment and they should be submitted to Literotica in the next few days. Unfortunately Lit does not have an author notice board in the stories section where updates can be left for readers but the current status of new chapters can be found on my profile biography panel, or I am happy to respond to feedback but remember that 'anonymous' mail has no return address.
Thank you to all readers who vote, leave public comments and send feedback, these things are important as it is the only indication of reader approval that an online author gets.
Part 30: Of Pony-tails and Haircuts
I was showered and dressed on Wednesday morning before Emma and Gwen were up, started the breakfasts and took both of them a cup of tea in bed. We all had breakfast together. Gwen didn't need to leave for work until eight as she was going to be lecturing at Swindon Hospital for the rest of the week and would not be back until Saturday morning. I had told Emma that I would drive her into the garden centre that morning as there were a few things that I wanted to do in the office before Maggie picked me up to go to our meetings in town.
Gwen was dressed in one of her new working skirt suits, a really smart tailored blue pin stripe which hugged her figure and her honey blonde hair was tied back in a short pony tail with a matching blue ribbon bow. She was no longer drinking as much as she had after Dad left or eating as much hospital snack food and was a lot happier with her life; as a result she had shed a quite lot of weight and it was really now very obvious that she and Maggie were twins, they were probably now about the same dress size, although Gwen was still slightly fuller in the breasts and hips.
Emma went out to wait in the car and I quickly drew Gwen into the hall out of sight so that we could share a parting embrace and kiss. I held her close, pressing her tightly against me, my hands on her rounded, firm, buttocks, whilst we whispered our good-byes. She always had the ability to arouse me instantly and even though I knew that we could not stay like this for more than a few minutes my prick began to swell in my trousers in response to the nearness of her body and her warm breath on my neck.
"You had better go," she whispered, "before your sister comes looking for you... I will see you at the week-end, OK?" I reluctantly parted from her and went out to the car.
Emma and I spent a really constructive hour going over the work schedules, the available manpower, the jobs in hand and those that had not yet started. She had not been idle since Monday and had telephoned both of the 6th. former students who worked Saturdays and during school holidays, Veronica and Greg, who had both agreed to do some extra hours at the Garden Centre for the rest of the week, as they were in revision time for their exams and not at school.
With the extra help at the centre she was happy to let me assign Steve and Dennis to help Kitty with the rockery job we had started the day before on Wednesday and Thursday's tasks were all assigned out, which meant that I could plan to spend the whole day working at Caroline's house on Friday. The summer house that Caroline had chosen was being delivered and put up by Waltons on Friday, they were an old fashioned long established company who always did their own erection work but I wanted to be on site in case there were any issues and to get the gardening work started again. We were both happy that we now had all the work covered satisfactorily, but I asked her to place a couple of adverts in the local press for additional experienced staff, the business was expanding so fast that we desperately needed at least two more full time gardeners, and enough yard and sales staff to cover the summer opening times of 8am to 7pm.
"Thanks Emms," I said giving her a brotherly hug, "I'm sorry about upsetting you on Monday.... You really are doing a fantastic job and I DO appreciate it."
"It's OK," she mumbled and then after a pause, "If you really want to make it up to me, there is something you can do..." she added brightly and turned on her most winning smile.
"Alright," I laughed, I was glad that we were tight again, it was difficult enough trying to deal with the problems brought about by her adolescent crush on me, I really didn't want our working together to be affected... working with family can have it's own special issues sometimes.
"It's about my birthday," she said, "I need you to talk to Mum for me...."
"I don't think she is going to forget," I chuckled, "You've been reminding us about it every day for the past month."
"No it's not that," she grinned, "It's just that I think Mum and Auntie Maggie have their hearts set on giving me a big party...they keep dropping hints about who I would like to invite and Mum even asked Janice about who my friends are."
"Well, that sounds good to me .... If the weather continues to be warm, maybe we could hold it outside around Maggie's pool as we did for my birthday?"
"But I don't want a big party, Jay," she insisted. "What I would really like is to have a simple night out with just the family, You, Mum, Auntie Maggie and Lulu and Luci, just the six of us." She paused and then went on, "I will probably have some sort of 'girly' night out with the twins, Janice, Kitty and a couple of others, a disco or something, before we all go to France."
"OK, if that is what you want... I'll speak to Mum," I told her. I fully understood her feelings, since leaving school neither of us had a large circle of close friends, most of the people we were tight with at sixteen had drifted away to university or no longer lived close by. One of the social issues of living in a military garrison zone was that there was always a high turnover of transient population, friends that you made at school would often only be around for a few terms or a couple of years, or were boarders who led a almost totally separate life to those kids who lived locally.
"Also..." she added, "It's my driving test in two weeks time, will you take the morning off and come with me? I know Mum would come if I asked her but, I would really like it to be you, Jay."
"OK, of course I will." I was actually relived that she had asked me as Gwen had a meeting that day and was worried that Emma would feel let down if she wasn't able to support her by being there. "Only.... You must let me take you out to lunch afterwards."
"Only if I pass the test."
"Then I'll book a table NOW.... You WILL pass, no problems." I really was confident that she would pass first time, she had been practicing a lot with Mum in the evenings and at weekends and Maggie and even Janice had taken her out several times and her instructor agreed she was ready. Lunch seemed to be a good opportunity, when she would be in a good mood to try and have a talk with her about the situation that was developing between us....if I could work out some way to do it without upsetting her.
I started towards the door and she stepped up behind me, slipped her arms around my waist and gave me a tight hug. I could feel her small breasts pressed against my back and her face laid on the back of my shoulder her breath warm and arousing on the back of my neck.
"Thanks, Jay." She said and released me. "You had better go... Auntie Maggie will be waiting for you."
I shrugged into my jacket and was just walking up to the side gate as Maggie drove down the back lane from her house in the Range Rover. I climbed into the passenger seat and Maggie leaned over to present her cheek for me to kiss. I touched my lips to her cheek briefly and my nose filled with the heady aroma of her herbal shampoo as her neat pony tail flicked softly across my face, it was very similar to the one that Gwen used, and that perfume had always exited me for as long as I could remember. Even as a child I had loved the scent and feel of my mother's and my aunt's honey blonde hair and as an adolescent had fought major battles with myself to control the urge to touch their hair when I was close to them.
As usual she looked terrific, that morning she was wearing a plain grey knee length jersey pencil skirt which hugged her thighs and had ridden up over her knees as she operated the driving pedals exposing her shapely calves, her knees and a good six inches of black stocking encased thigh; her top was a simple black silk camisole beneath a short grey marl tweed jacket with three quarter sleeves, she looked smartly casual and very sexy, and I felt my self becoming mildly aroused again.
Our business meetings that day were necessary rather than formal and I had put on a pair of biscuit coloured chinos, a plain black shirt a beige linen jacket and slip on leather loafers.
Maggie and I had a lot to get through during the day and so we had booked ourselves out of the office for the whole day; Emma had a rough schedule of where we would be if she urgently needed either of us in an emergency. Although most of our appointments were to do with the Garden Centre business changes and finances, our first call of the morning was to a competitor, Manor Farm Nurseries, which was located to the south of the city near the village of Odstock a short distance from the Salisbury District Hospital where Gwen was based.
Manor Farm Nurseries were not a serious competitor; they were really an old family farming concern now owned by Basil Day and his daughter Maureen. Maggie told me about them as we drove across the city. The Day family had been the owners of Manor Farm since the turn of the last century, but the land was sequestered by the army during WW2 and afterwards had been sold off a few acres at a time to meet rising costs and now consisted of just the farm house and the nursery venture started by Basil in the 1960's as the farm declined, plus a fairly successful mushroom farm and small holding managed by his widowed daughter, his son had left home at eighteen to be a policeman and was now serving with the Metropolitan Police in London.
I had only met Basil the once, at our gala opening day, and remembered him as a big surly man in his sixties with a bushy grey beard, a gravely voice and the handshake of a Cornish wrestler, plus a reputation locally of having a short and very hot temper. He had called Maggie earlier in the week and had asked her to drop in to see him at his nursery, his reputation for being aggressive had worried me a bit and so I had suggested that we should go together. I didn't really believe that he would be unpleasant to a woman but he was to some degree in competition with us and was rumoured to be in financial trouble and I was bit worried that he blamed us for his business decline.
When we arrived I found the nurseries to be not at all as I had envisaged; there were a couple of acres of very tidy and organised cloches, two large growing tunnels and a large forty foot greenhouse, old but well kept, I could see the farm house some distance away up a dirt track and beyond that the plastic sheen of three sizable mushroom cultivation tunnels and a couple of arable fields.
An old cow byre had been converted into a shop displaying potted plants, sacks of late bulbs and market garden produce, everywhere was very clean and tidy and the building had received a fresh coat of paint recently. There was an old drab khaki, army radio van standing to one side with the wheels removed and the axels supported by old railway sleepers; the word OFFICE was boldly stencilled on the side. There were no other cars in the gravel car park and so we parked and walked up towards the truck.
Basil must have been watching us as he suddenly stepped out from behind the office van as we approached. He was even bigger than I remembered, probably about 6' 6" tall and weighing in at around 18 stones, without a visible ounce of surplus fat. He was dressed in a ancient, faded pair of blue dungarees, an old fashioned collarless shirt, and an army surplus, leather sleeveless jerkin. He strode towards us and shoved out his massive paw, shaking hands first with Maggie and then myself.
"Better come into the van and sit down....Maureen will make a cup of tea if you want one."
His daughter Maureen was a slightly smaller female clone of her father, she looked about mid forties, but was probably younger. She was a big boned woman; certainly taller than me she looked more like a man than a woman, dressed in a mans chequered shirt and khaki bib and brace overalls, boots and wearing a matching leather jerkin to the one her father wore. Her face was very plain and dark with the permanent weathering common to most outside workers, and her mousey hair was prematurely streaked with grey and tied back in a long untidy plait.
She shook hands with Maggie and myself and smiled warmly, her smile softened her whole demeanour and I liked her instantly. We all sat down around an old desk that took up much of the interior of the van.
"Has my Da got around to tellin' you what he wanted to see you about?" Maureen asked.
We both shook our heads, I was certainly still a bit puzzled about the reason for the visit.
"Oh Da!" she said, "I told you to tell 'em when you 'phoned...we don't want to go wastin' their time now, do we?"
"I been talkin' to Jack Forester your nurseryman, we're old mates see..." Basil started, he seemed reluctant to get to the point. He paused, took a deep breath and then went on, "Truth is see; I'm shuttin' down the nursery in September, Maureen is goin' to be carrying on with the small holding but I've sold the rest of the land and I'm goin' to be retiring, and Jack reckoned that you might be interested in taking my growing and seed stock....I don't want to see my years of work just ending up on a compost heap see."
Maggie never even hesitated. "I'll take whatever you have whenever you are ready to get rid of it..... your plants have always been the best quality... just name your price."
"I weren't lookin' for money see...although I reckon it would come in right handy... I would just hate to see years of bloody hard work developing quality plant stock goin' to waste and I knows that you and Jack would see it put to the best use."
Despite his reputation Basil was amiable if somewhat reserved and by the time that he and Maureen had given us the guided tour of the nursery and small holding I was in total agreement with Maggie, his stock plants for cuttings, rooting and seed stock were excellent and were obviously going to meet with Jack's approval and so I was pleased with the deal we had agreed. I had also taken the opportunity to place a regular order with Maureen for three specialist varieties of mushrooms and seasonal asparagus for the farm produce shop. A couple of customers had driven into the car park and so we all shook hands and Maggie and I went back to the car and turned back into Salisbury.
"Those growing tunnels and cloches are nearly new.... if Basil wants to sell them in September, what do you say that we put in an offer? We could reassemble them in the back field, perhaps?" Maggie suggested. "We will speak to Jack when we get back and see what he thinks." I whole heartedly agreed.
Maggie managed to get parked in Choristers Square, close to the cathedral which was only a very short walk to our first appointment with the company accountants who had chambers on High Street in the same building as the Craven and Olsen, our solicitors and just across the road from our bank.
This was my first meeting with the Garden Centre's accountant, a tall, balding and bespectacled man of about sixty with the unfortunate name of Will Swindell; which he choose to pronounce as Swin-Dell, with the emphasis on the second syllable. He was a very pleasant man who went to great lengths to ensure that I understood each stage of the business that we needed to cover, for which I was heartily thankful. The Garden Centre accounts were all in order but, it was a requirement that as a new director making a capital investment into the business, I should be guided through the audited accounts for the last three years. To my surprise, although the process took the best part of an hour I found that Mr.Swindell not only made his presentation understandable to the lay-man but actually quite interesting.
At the end he presented me with a copy of the statement of accounts and I was required to sign a note of acceptance to say that I had read and understood the financial position of the company.
"That is it, all done!" He announced cheerfully extending his hand to both of us, "I hope that we shall continue to have a long and profitable association. There is just one other thing.... " he added grimacing, "I have been advised that you are to receive a visit from HM Customs and Excise, the VAT Inspector," he added for my benefit, "nothing to worry about, perfectly routine when a business makes the transition from sole ownership to a Limited Company.... I will let you know when they have given me a date; we can meet with them here in my office to examine the accounts, but be prepared that they may also wish to inspect your premises."
We still had an hour to kill before our meeting with Georgia Craven and so we strolled arm in arm across the road to the Costa Coffee Shop at the Old George Mall. Costa coffee was one of my favourites and the only time that I enhanced my coffee with a splash of cream, Maggie, Gwen and I nearly always took our coffees strong and black. We both ordered pastries and sat at one of the small two seater side tables, there wasn't much room and Maggie's knees were dovetailed between mine beneath the table; she didn't seem to notice that our calves were gently rubbing together.
I really cannot remember what we talked about for the next 45 minutes, I guess that it was just chit-chat about work and local news but I do remember the sensual touch of our legs and that our finger tips kept lightly touching across the table, intimately emphasising conversation points. For me, it was great just having Maggie to myself for the day, I had it all mapped out in my imagination, after we had completed our meetings we both had some shopping to do before closing time and then I intended suggesting that we stayed in town and had dinner together somewhere, make a real quality time day out of it.
We walked back across High Street to the solicitor's chambers and were immediately shown into an impressive conference room by the receptionist. The inside of the room retained a lot of the original Regency features and the panelled walls were painted a restful pastel green with the moulding picked out in white and gold and the Jacobean moulded ceiling was sky blue with white detailing.
The only furniture in the room was a long Georgian style mahogany table around which were twelve matching chairs, and a beautiful 18th century sideboard in contrasting veneers on which were a number of legal magazines. The table was arranged with document folders before five seats at one end and a silver tray containing a crystal decanter of water and five cut glass tumblers. There was a state of the art star-fish shaped telephone conferencing unit in the centre of the table and a crystal bowl containing a number of plug-in ear-phones.