tagRomanceThe Landlord's Protégé Pt. 01

The Landlord's Protégé Pt. 01


Five parts, all finished.

Storeys: 1st floor (UK) = 2nd Floor (US), Ground Floor (UK) = 1st Floor (US). Some lifts (elevators?) in Britain are numbered 0 (Ground) upwards, and some according to US numbering. Makes life fun for us!

All characters in sexual situations are over eighteen.


Chapter One

The slim young woman was sitting on the carpet of the lounge in her first floor, one bedroom flat, playing with her three year old daughter when they were both startled by a loud hammering on her front door.

She hurried to the door and looked through the spy-hole. Outside stood two shaven headed, stocky, muscular men, one of whom had a clip-board in his hand. Immediately she felt uneasy. She put the chain on the door and opened it.

"Mr Seth Grimshaw?" the man asked gruffly.

"Mr Grimshaw left three months ago. I don't know where he is." She replied as she began to close the door.

"Doesn't matter, luv," The man rejoined. He looked at his clip-board and then at her. "You say he's gone? Well, we're here to carry out the eviction, so open up darling and we'll get started."

Sheer fear now fastened on her. "What eviction? No one's told me about any eviction. I've got a small child and a baby. I've made no arrangements. You can't just put me out on the street."

"Oh, I think you'll find we can luv." The man's voice was raised. "You've not paid your rent for three months. You've been sent reminders and the notice to quit. Now let us in, or we'll have to break the door down."

"I've had nothing!" her voice was now shrill with terror. "He paid the rent. I've had no post for him since he left. I knew nothing about this! You've got to give me more time!"

"Sorry, luv, it's more than our job's worth. Unless you can pay the outstanding debt?"

When she saw the amount, she felt weak at the knees. She was on benefits since Seth left and there wasn't enough for basics, let alone the amount shown.

"I've no money. I thought Seth was still paying the rent. They're his children after all. Is there no way I can get some time?"

The two men looked at each other and smiled. Theirs were not pleasant smiles. The second man nodded.

"Well, darlin'. We'd have to lie to the court. Dangerous that. We could lose our jobs, even get sent to gaol. We'd have to say you weren't in. That would give you a few days, but we'd need some payment for the position you would put us in, you understand." Again he smiled his evil grin.

"But I've no money."

The two men looked her up and down, or at least as much of her as was visible in the narrowly opened door. She had a pretty face, oval in shape with big brown eyes and mousy brown hair. She was slim - they could see one side of her body and her tee-shirt and jeans. The second man spoke. His voice was softer but his smile was just as predatory.

"There are other ways to see us right. Look darling, we come across," (here the first man guffawed), "we come across quite a few women like you - left alone for months at a time. Tell you what, we can give you a good time - relieve your tension, if you know what I mean, and at the same time you can see us right, 'satisfy' us, understand?"

"You mean..." She began to realise what they had in mind.

"Yes, darlin'. We get to shag you; you get a few more days. Otherwise you let us in and we evict you onto the street. Simple eh?"

She thought briefly about it, but she realised she had no option. Her nearest relatives lived the length of the country away, and if she went south, none of her friends had the room she'd need. As she thought, the first man spoke again.

"If we put you out, we'll have to call the social. They'll take your kids away. So we put you out - or you put out." The two men laughed but there was little humour in it; they thought it was clever.

She saw there was no option. The baby was asleep, but she would need time to settle her little daughter.

"OK," she said. "But I need to settle my daughter first. One of you needs to watch her while..." she left the rest unsaid.

"OK darlin'. It's a deal."

She opened the door and stood back as the men entered. She showed them to the lounge, and introduced them to the little girl, who was shy of them. The second man sat on the sofa, and engaged the tot in conversation, asking her about her toys and her game, and the girl began to relax.

"Come on," said the first man. "She's fine now."

She led the way to the bedroom. She picked the baby out of his cot and put him in the pram in the hallway. Then she followed him into the room and shut the door. The man immediately made a grab for her, but she dodged him and went to the bedside cupboard, extracting two condoms that Seth had left behind. She threw one on the bed.

"One fuck. With a condom. No kissing. No oral," she said.

"OK, deal. Get your kit off. Let's see what I'm getting."

She began to strip, pulling her tee-shirt over her head, and hearing him grunt his approval of her bra-clad breasts. They were not large but well formed and suited her slim frame perfectly. She unclasped her jeans, unzipped them and without ceremony pushed them down her legs, climbing out of them. Now she stood before him in bra and panties and he gazed at her greedily, noticing her tight rounded bottom. His fingers moved as if urgent to fondle it. She stopped.

"Go on!" he said. "And the rest!"

The man began to take off his jeans, and she could see his erection pushing out his boxer shorts. Slowly she reached behind her and unclasped her bra, catching the cups before they fell forward. As he went to push his jeans further down, his mobile phone rang. She froze in position.

"Ignore it," he said. "Let's see them."

As she took the cups from her breasts they heard the other man's phone ring. She was hooking her fingers into her panties when the other man burst in.

"Joe!" he whispered urgently. "It's Cordine!"

"Tell him I'll ring him back," said Joe, pushing down his boxers. His modest penis sprang out.

"No, Joe, he knows we're here and what we're doing. Someone saw us and heard us. He wants you now!"

Joe took the phone. "Yes?" he began.

There was a long silence as he listened to the voice at the other end. Susan stood in nothing but her knickers and waited. The second man took the opportunity to drool over her body, and she rapidly covered her breasts with her folded arms. The phone call ended abruptly and Joe looked at Susan.

"Get dressed. You've got a week's grace. Then we'll be back."

He replaced his clothing and the two left the flat at a gallop.

The young woman sat down heavily on the bed totally puzzled. Then there was another knock at the door. She hastily put on her dressing gown and went to the door, once again peering through the spy-hole.

A man stood there. This man was average height, middle aged, slim, a handsome face, hair greying at the temples. He was well dressed, and she recognised him as one of the tenants. For the second time that day she put the chain on and opened the door a crack.

"Hello, Miss," he smiled. "I live upstairs. I've just had a call from the manager of the flats. It's for you."

He held out his mobile, and pushed it through the gap. "Shut the door. I'll wait."

She did as she was asked, and listened. A look of surprise crossed her face. "Yes, fine," she answered, and disconnected. She stood a moment looking at the phone and then remembered the man outside. She took the chain off and opened the door wide. She held out the phone to him.

"Thanks." She said with a broad smile.

"That's much better," he said, taking it with an answering warm, gentle smile. "You looked terrified before. Nice to see you smile. Oh, I'm Victor Freeman. I live upstairs. They said they couldn't reach you on your phone."

"Susan Clemson," she said with real warmth, glad and greatly relieved to see a friendly, non-threatening male face.

"Susan," he said. "Suits you. I'm glad you're feeling better."

"Thanks," she said, her smile remaining.

There was a hiatus while they looked at each other with no more to say.

"Well, goodbye," he said, eventually.

She smiled and he turned away. Then she quietly shut the door.

She heard her daughter calling and returned to the lounge. Relief flooded through her. Later she would try to make sense of what had happened.


Chapter Two

Victor Freeman was what they call a self-made man. He was forty three years old, and though no one would ever suspect it, a millionaire. Six years before, he had left the army where, because of his talent for leadership and tactics he had reached the rank of major. As a captain he had served in Iraq in the SAS and came back unscathed. His latter life in the army was shrouded in secrecy, and although an officially retired army man, he was employed by government agencies, disappearing from time to time on various missions about which he spoke to no one.

All through his time in the army he had saved his pay carefully and invested it wisely, being thought dull by his fellow officers, but it meant that when he retired after completing sixteen years' service, he had a very large bank balance, a massive investment portfolio, his lump sum, a relatively small army pension and a much larger income from his part time covert operations.

He invested vigorously in the property business at a time when property values were rising rapidly, and worked hard for long hours, using bank loans carefully, and shrewdly buying, improving and then selling properties until after only three years he was a much richer man. He continued to accumulate a fortune until he could afford to buy some complete blocks of flats and have them adapted and improved to his own specifications. In this he was ruthlessly efficient.

Now he owned a large house in the countryside outside the Northern town where his properties lay, and a pied-a-terre at the top of the block where Susan Clemson lived. The block was one of his own and his flat was the penthouse on the fifth floor which he had had adapted to his own specifications.

He no longer managed the flats himself, having consigned that to a management company run by a friend of his whom he had helped to set up in business. He continued to play the Stock Market very successfully, went running, played squash, and exercised strenuously at a gym twice a week. He was healthy and very fit - he needed to be ready for the missions in which he was required to engage, and for which he still had to undergo fitness testing. All in all he thought he was a contented man, as far as it went.

He had recently become concerned at the state of his own building. The concierge, an old man, had died after a long illness, during which management had slipped. The cleaning firm cut corners, thinking the old man would not notice, the lift was dirty and the windows of the common areas were left uncleaned.

In each of his buildings he had fitted discrete audio and visual surveillance in the common areas on each floor, which gave audible warning to the concierge when movement was detected. There were screens and speakers to monitor the common areas in the office of the concierge, situated in the entrance hallway.

It had paid dividends for the owners and tenants of the flats, since a number of potential burglars were caught before they could do much damage. It also pleased the local police, boosting their arrest and conviction rate. They turned out rapidly whenever called to any of his buildings.

He had been in the empty concierge's flat looking over the place before advertisements were to be posted for the position the following week, when he heard the commotion on the first floor on the speakers. He went to the screens and listened and watched as two men threatened a young woman. While he watched he heard their insistence that she have sex with them and he immediately phoned George Corrigan, the owner of the firm managing his flats.

"George," he spoke quickly, "there are two goons threatening a young woman in my block. Know anything about it?"

"Yes, Victor, they should be serving an eviction notice on the tenants. Unpaid rents over three months."

"No time now George to explain. They are trying to rape her. Get them out. Give the girl another week. Now George before they rape her. And get them fired."

George knew better than to argue. He got on the phone and issued the order to the repossession company, with the threat that if anything happened to the girl not only would the two men go to gaol, but he'd put the company out of business as well.

Then he phoned Victor back. "What's going on Victor?"

"You know I don't like to interfere in your handling of the flats, but this time I'm calling the shots. From what I heard, the woman in question has two small children, and her boyfriend, partner, whatever, left her a while ago. He was supposed to be paying the rent. It seems to me that he's had all his mail redirected and she thought he was still paying, so she got none of the demands for arrears of rent.

"I want to help her; she's apparently got nothing. She seems to have been left in the lurch by this man. I want you to ask her to your offices tomorrow with her children to discuss ways of helping her out of her problem. Send a taxi for her. I'll let you know my plan later. Stay on the line while I take the phone to her flat. Oh, and George, don't mention that I'm in any way involved. I'm just another tenant."

George assented with a sigh, and Victor watched until he saw the two men leave hurriedly, and smiled. Then, he locked the office and ascended the stairs (the men were using the lift). As he did so, he told George to be ready.

He knocked at the door, and was entranced by the young woman who answered. She was more than just pretty. How old was she, twenty two, twenty five? He handed her the phone and waited for it to be returned.

After the conversation with her, such as it was, he walked back to his flat. He formulated a plan and once at ease in his own armchair, he phoned George again.

He told him exactly what he wanted. He would personally provide her salary via George's managing company. She would be offered the concierge's flat, which had two bedrooms instead of the single bedroom she now had. It would be rent-free. She would take over the cleaning and care of the block and the work of the concierge.

She would have free range to make the place feel more friendly. If she did well she would be given a bonus, if she were not up to the job she would have a month to make other arrangements. The debt for the present flat would be put down to her ex-partner, and so the burden would be lifted from her. The advantage to her was that she could keep the children with her all the time, saving child-care costs. Under no circumstances was she to know it was he who was doing this, or that he was the landlord of the block.

George noted all the points and read them back to Victor. "She must be quite a girl!" he commented to Victor.

"Yes, I think she may be rather special," he responded.

He did not think he had much of a chance of a friendship with her, but if she did accept him, he did not want her to feel an obligation to him. He realised he wanted that friendship very badly.

In fact, he was quite a lonely man, though he had learned to be content with his lot. His wife had divorced him after only eighteen months of marriage, stating that life with him was too humdrum for her. He had to agree. She thought that because he was rich and had a high range car she would be living a life of clubbing and parties. He was not that type. Her parting shot had been that while his lifestyle was not exciting enough for her, she enjoyed his loving care and the sex, but she had wanted more than a wonderful sex partner.

They parted amicably and he settled a large lump sum on her in lieu of maintenance. She was not greedy and when the decree became absolute they met for dinner and afterwards she hugged her thanks.

That was four years previously. He had dated women since, but like his ex-wife, they looked for excitement and extravagance, which was not his way. He was a simple man with simple tastes, which was exactly why his wealth kept on growing!

It was also why he had no hopes of any sort of relationship with Susan, apart from a possible friendship. She was too young for him in any case. However, at the very least he could set her up and give her children a better chance in life. She need never know who it was who was supporting her.

He smiled to himself, and felt a warm glow. Suddenly he had an overwhelming urge to see her face when she was offered the package. He phoned George again and arranged for a conference link, so he could see the interview.

The next day he watched from his penthouse flat as she put her children into the taxi and it drove off. He made the connection and spoke to George.

"Don't keep her waiting George, she's got two small children. Remember, she must never connect me to this. The landlord must be anonymous. If there's any problem ring me during the interview. I'm at in the flat."

"Yes, Victor. Don't worry. My, you have got it bad!"

"You'll understand when you meet her. And remember - you're a married man!"

The conversation was interrupted by her arrival at the office. George's secretary made immediate friends with her daughter, who was more than willing to remain with her in the outer office. The secretary was a grandmother and also took charge of the baby, leaving Susan free to concentrate on what was to come.

She began, "I really don't know how you can help me. When I got pregnant with my two, Seth insisted I stay at home with them. Then he left - there was no warning. One day he was gone, with all his things - I've not heard anything from him since - not that I've had much chance - so now I'm on benefits. All I can ask for is enough time to look for somewhere else."

She stopped, almost out of breath.

George understood why Victor was captivated by her. Even though she was clearly very poor, her eyes were bright and her pretty face was fresh and her hair clean, well brushed and bunched in a ponytail. She had obviously put on her very best clothes, which in any case were well worn.

"Well, Miss..."

"Clemson but please call me Susan."

George smiled. This girl was not short of confidence. She was realistic and sensible.

"Susan, you should know that your landlord was in the concierge's office and heard the men who came to your door. He phoned me to get them removed, and probably sacked. I hope they didn't-"

"No!" she hastened to interject. "The call came just in time. I was only mildly... embarrassed." She blushed, and he knew it was worse than that.

"They didn't - touch you, I hope?"

"No. I had partially undressed, that's all."

George admired her candour and delicacy.

"Well, your landlord heard everything that passed on the landing, and he has a proposition for you. He would like to offer you a job."

"But the children..." Susan looked worried as she interrupted.

"Hear me out, Susan."

She relaxed in her chair. He continued.

"You may be aware that Albert the concierge died a few weeks ago."

"Yes, and the place is beginning to look untidy."

"You noticed. Your landlord would like to offer you the job of concierge, but also the work of keeping the place clean. He's not satisfied with the cleaning company. He wants to offer you the ground floor flat, decorated to your taste. It has two bedrooms, which you need. The flat will be rent-free.

"If he sees a marked improvement in the building, you will get a bonus. You can add any touches you like to make the place more homely. Since the flat you're in at the moment is in your boyfriend's name, the debt on that is his, not yours. What d'you say?"

Victor watched his computer screen and saw her face change from concentration as she tried to follow this unexpected development, to realisation and delight. Then it clouded.

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