tagNovels and NovellasThe Touch Ch. 44

The Touch Ch. 44


WARNING TO NEW READERS TO THE SERIES - This is a long, rambling story and VERY British which has been divided into several parts for ease of editing and reading. The individual parts will make more sense if read in sequence as they follow straight on chronologically and therefore new readers should start reading from Chapter 01.

Most, but not all chapters contain some sexually explicit sections and the story has a strong incest theme which some readers may find disturbing and might wish to cease reading now.....

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 38-46

THE TOUCH Chapter 44 Down in the Dell

If I am honest about it Thursday passed in something of a haze. Spending Wednesday on my own at the fabulous gardens at Sudeley Castle had given me time to come to grips with the awful emotional trauma that parting from Gill had provoked.... I had never felt that way before.... Knowing that I was likely never to see her again was one of the really horrid experiences of my life. It was made worse by the knowledge that I could not find consolation from those people who were closest to me and whose comfort I desperately wanted to seek, Gwen and Maggie.

After leaving Sudeley when the garden closed to the public at 4 pm on Wednesday afternoon I had driven across to Cirencester and booked into the Cirencester Park caravan site run by the Caravan Club which is on the Bathurst Estate. As it was still only early evening once I had parked up I took a walk over to the site office and signed up for membership of the Caravan Club, it seemed sensible, their sites are always clean and well kept, the facilities good and the club gave a small discount to members. As there was no restaurant or café on the site and I really did not feel like cooking for myself I took the 15 minute walk into the town via the rambler's trail.

Cirencester in a pretty, historical market town which even after the shops have closed for the day seemed to be bustling with locals and tourists and after wandering around for an hour I finally settled for a pub meal at the Golden Cross in Blackjack Street. The evening was warm and so I settled down at one of the outside tables with a plate of well-presented ham and eggs followed by a large slice of lemon cheesecake and washed it down with two full bottles of red wine a quite decent French Merlot and spent a couple of hours just quietly drinking and smoking.

By the time that I eventually found my way back to the camp site and Vera it was dark and I was feeling decidedly weary.... more from emotional backlash and the Merlot than physical exhaustion I think, but just made myself a cup of instant coffee, sat outside and read the first chapters of Tom Clancy's Patriot Games and then pulled out the bed and settled down for the night. Perhaps it was the wine but to my surprise I slept soundly through until six the next morning.

My original intention had been to not go into work on Thursday morning until late, but it was a bright morning and after I had consumed a pot of coffee I packed Vera for the road and left the camp site about six-thirty and arrived home just after eight-fifteen. After parking Vera in the drive I went into the house, showered, changed into my work clothes and then rode into the garden centre on my moped. I needed to work to shake off the gloom that parting from Gill had caused and cleanse my soul so that she would be only the happiest of memories.

As I walked up from the car park to the office I noticed that Steve was standing by the big lorry which was loaded with a large flat packed shed, several water butts and a pallet of compost sacks. It was already nine-thirty and he should have been long gone and out doing his deliveries.

"Everything OK, Steve old mate?" I asked.

"Dennis has called in sick this morning so I am waiting for one of the lads to finish up so that he can come out with me. That big shed is a bloody beast to erect single handed....." Knowing Steve he had already suggested that he attempt the job alone but Emma would have squashed that idea flat....she had become red hot on health and safety recently and was terrorising all of us into doing things the right way. She had ordered a whole load of protective clothing for the delivery and erections team and insisted that we kitted up when we went out. Even Maggie was not exempted but in my mind she could make even a yellow hard hat and rigger boots look cute and sexy.

"OK, just wait whilst I check in with Emma and then I'll come with you myself, " I told him and ran off to the office told Emma what I was intending and then collected my heavy gloves, steel capped rigger boots and knee protectors from my locker and sprinted back to join Steve. A day's manual labour delivering compost and erecting a shed was just the therapy that I needed.

By the time that we had done the deliveries, fitted the three water butts with down pipe converters at a house in Alderbury on the A36 to the south-east of the city it was lunchtime and we stopped at the Green Dragon pub for a ploughman's lunch and a pint. The pub is an old late medieval half-timbered farmhouse opposite the village green and we sat outside in the sun beneath a row of hanging baskets which were unmistakably Jack's work... the pub floral decorations must have been one of Maggie's new contracts that I had missed.

Steve had been perfectly correct in his assessment... the big shed which we had to erect at a house on Shaftesbury Grove off the Old Blandford Road was a total pig to put up and took the two of us the best part of three hours even though the customer had adequately prepared the site for us in advance. By the time we had finished we were both sweating buckets and were happy to accept cups of tea and coffee and take a half hour break in the client's garden before returning to base.

"I really need to get in touch with the rep for the manufacturer..." I moaned to Steve as we drove home. "That shed is fucking useless, tomorrow I will get Benson to take down the demo model...I really don't like selling something that difficult to put up.... An amateur would seriously struggle..."

"WE seriously struggled...remember..." Steve chuckled. "Might also be worth thinking about investing in a couple of those new-fangled cordless screwdrivers..." He suggested. It was a good idea, I would take a drive to the builder's merchants soon and see what they had to offer.

We got back into the garden centre just as Jack was closing up for the night and so I waited until he and Steve had got their cars then let them out and walked over to the admin block. The shop was closed up but there were still lights on in the upstairs offices. Emma's little soft-top Beetle was not on the carpark and so I guessed that she had left for the night...I vaguely remembered her mentioning something about going over to Shelby's to help Janice with the horses so she would probably be late home if she didn't stay over. Maggie's Range Rover was parked by the office block and so I guessed that it was probably her working late.

The lights were out in the main office and I could see the little red blinker flashing to indicate that the telephones had been switched to the recorded message for the night and so crossed the hall and looked into the office that I shared with Maggie. We had enough room now that we could have had our own separate offices but we had both chosen to remain sharing the one large room we had occupied from the start. I guess we both just liked being together... I certainly did.

Maggie looked up from the pile of invoices that she was studying. "Hi stranger.... I see that you have managed to find your way home eventually...."

"Didn't Emma tell you....about the deliveries....?" I started.

She laughed. "Yes of course she did....thanks for helping Steve we would have been shorthanded if I had needed to send Benson out with him......how did the jobs go?

"Good; except that the bloody shed took us all afternoon to erect..... we really need to change our supplier unless they can improve their specs and quality...." I replied. "Anything special happening here today?"

"Pretty normal....except for that lot....." she pointed to a pile of correspondence and messages on my desk, "Two days out of the office and you have a post bag like Santa Claus..."

"Oh shit...." I moaned, "I'm going to be here all bloody night.... Er... I don't suppose you feel like staying and helping me out..... There's a supper in it if you do...."

"OK it's a deal," she smiled, "Why don't you go and get showered and changed and I will make a start...."

"Cheers Maggie....you are an angel," I told her and ran down the stairs to the staff room to get cleaned up and changed into some decent togs that I could go out to a restaurant in.

When I got back, showered and dressed in a decent grey flannel shirt and clean black jeans Maggie was sitting exactly where she had been when I left and the pile of paper on my desk was unchanged.

"What.... I thought...?"

"All done...." she grinned mischievously.


"I did it all today..." she smirked, "but you still owe me supper... you can take me to that new bistro on the Stratford Road...the 'La Chaumiere'.... Where you had lunch with Rebecca Hill..... I will forgive you for not taking me there first as it was a business meeting lunch....!"

I held up my hands in a mock gesture of surrender. "OK, you win...supper at the 'La Chaumiere' it is then...." I started towards my desk, "I had better telephone and make a reservation... they are quite popular at the moment...."

"No need..." Maggie stated, getting up from her desk and tossing her jacket around her shoulders, "I have already booked us a table... for eight o'clock.... I did it this afternoon...."

I was well and truly trapped but there was nothing I would rather be doing than spending the evening with Maggie so I was not complaining. The fact that she had planned in advance on spending the evening with me made me feel really good.

The car park to the 'La Chaumiere Restaurant' was full almost to overflowing when we arrived about seven forty-five, it would seem that the place was indeed as popular as I had been informed. We were welcomed by the same young Welsh woman as before, the owner's sister. She was wearing the same traditional French style uniform of a black dress with a long white apron and looked very pretty with her bright red lipstick and fashionable pixie cut dark hair, all very continental. She had a nice rounded figure and shapely legs clad in black stockings.

"It is Mr.... er.... Riley.... Isn't it?" she greeted us in her lilting Welsh accent, "from the garden centre."

"Yes, that's right.... Clever of you to remember...." I smiled, a bit flattered that she remembered me from a single lunchtime visit.

"We are fully booked tonight....but I think I should be able to squeeze you in...." she said conspiratorially, with a big smile.

"I don't think there will be any need to do any squeezing...." Maggie said, I thought a bit defensively, "WE have a booking.... In the name of Mrs. De Vere...."

"Oh of course... I should have realised," she said, "It is De Vere's Garden Centre, isn't it...I've seated you at one of our nice alcove tables... " She indicated that we should follow her across the candle lit restaurant to what was obviously a prime table in one corner then waited whilst we got seated and handed us menus then left. The restaurant was tastefully decorated with traditional French posters and framed black and white photographs of pre-war Paris and each table had a pure white pressed table cloth and white linen napkins with a small posy bowl of cut flowers and a red or white candle in a wine bottle.

"I should be able to squeeze you in...." Maggie mimicked in a passable Ruth Madoc comedy Welsh accent after she had departed, she was pretending to be bitchy but it was really me that she was teasing. "I have only just rescued you from the 'French Bitch' and now you are chasing Welsh Whores...." She chuckled. "Exactly how well do you know her?"

As hard as I tried not to rise to her teasing, she always got me... "Hardly at all..." I stammered helplessly, "Her name is ... er... Gussie Davis-Jones, her brother is the chef and owner... they are from Colwyn." I decided to play the mitigating circumstances card, "Actually her brother might be interested in buying vegetables from the Farm Shop and I was hoping to get them interested in having the garden areas landscaped and perhaps putting in some hanging baskets and floral displays..."

"OK," Maggie grinned, "But I think we should send Kitty out to do the work....I saw you looking at The Welsh Whore's legs and arse!" We were both giggling idiotically when a young waiter came to take our order.

The dinner menu was much more extensive than the lunchtime fare and we both chose as a starter the 'Soupe aux Chataignes', a sweet chestnut soup which was served with a swirl of chilled double cream and a basket of crusty French bread slices; and for our main course decided to share the two person 'Garbure' a rich pork, bean and vegetable stew served in a toupin, the traditional French earthenware potbellied casserole pot which is brought to the table for the diners to ladle out for themselves. We ordered a bottle of the Arc du Rhone, Châteauneuf-du-Pape most of which I finished off; as Maggie was driving she restricted herself to a single glass of wine.

Gussie returned and collected our plates and Maggie ordered the flambéd Pears for pudding whilst I settled for crackers and a selection of tangy French cheeses, which I washed down with the last of the wine, and we finished off with large cups of Americano coffee and small macaroons. I was a bit surprised when Gussie brought her brother Julius to the table to meet us. He was a smart athletic looking man of about thirty wearing chef's whites, with a shaven head and dark brooding Welsh eyes but friendly and pleasant. We shook hands and I introduced him to Maggie and explained who we were, but it evolved that he had already visited the Garden Centre and was definitely interested in opening an account with the produce shop and seemed enthusiastic about my suggestions for the outside areas of the restaurant.

"They are really nice." I commented as they returned to the kitchen.

"H-m-m-m-m, I think you need to steer clear of the sister..." Maggie chuckled, "She seems very keen to get into your good books.... Probably your bed as well... and you already have enough women troubles this week, my lad..."

"Oh shit, now what?" I moaned. I was keeping it humorous but hoping that Maggie had not picked up on anything I wanted kept under cover. I suspected that she had guessed that I was meeting a woman... but she couldn't actually know about Gill......could she?

"I hardly know where to start...." Maggie chuckled. She dug into her shoulder bag hanging on the back of her chair and came up with a pretty pink envelope with a hand written address, even from across the table I could see that it was Kristen's handwriting. She made a show of holding the letter to her nose and sniffing.... "H-m-m-m-m, Miss Kristen Olsen, if I am not mistaken....." She grinned mischievously before handing it to me "I rescued it from the post on Tuesday before Emma spotted it..... "

There was a short note inside. Maggie was right....the paper was perfumed.... It was the good quality scent that she always wore... French I think, but it had a tendency to cling.... I had needed to wash my bed linen the next morning after we had spent the night shagging in my bed. The note read simply


"I got these before I knew I was going to Sweden and was going to ask you to take me next week...please do not take your sister or your cousins.... Love K"


Two theatre tickets for Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, fluttered onto the table.

I passed the note back to Maggie who laughed and then picked up the tickets..... "They are for the evening of Friday next week.... When WE are in London.... She didn't exclude aunts... did she...?"

"Why are girls so-o-o-o complicated?" I grumbled. It was a really nice gesture from Kristen particularly as I had been unsuccessfully trying to get tickets for that same hit show.... With the Chelsea Flower Show on that week theatre tickets for decent seats were particularly difficult to obtain and the touts were charging extortionate prices.

Maggie reached across the table and patted my hand, "Never mind dear, I'll just keep these so that you can't change your mind and invite somebody else....." She slipped the tickets into her bag, "Just remember to write to Miss Olsen and thank her...." She lit herself a cigarette and passed one to me. "So just what is it between young Kristen, your sister and my daughters...." She asked with a malicious grin.

"I really don't know...." I said. Emma and the twins had always hated Kristen since junior school, for some reason even at that age she had attached herself to me and my sister and cousins did not like it. As she grew into a blonde bombshell of a teenager her continued crush on me had endeared her to the girls of my family even less. I was just thankful that Emma, Luci and Lulu had no idea that I had hooked up with her a couple of times. Kristen was pretty, gushing and a bit of a bimbo on the surface but I had always liked her, she was fun and she was a terrific shag. "I guess it is probably just teenage girls being competitive." I offered.

"OK....moving on...." Maggie teased. "I had lunch with Georgia Craven on Tuesday..... she sent you a message....she apologised for not returning your calls but she has been busy...."

I had been trying to get in touch with Georgia to thank her for paying my golf club fees and sponsoring me for membership. "Oh, right...." I breathed a sigh of relief, but Maggie hadn't finished with me yet...

"So why has my nephew been chasing after 'Scary Georgia'.... Is it to do with the grounds maintenance contract.... Or are you just living dangerously?"

"Oh shit, Maggie.... I'm sorry.... I forgot to tell you..... my membership to the golf club came through..."

"Yes, I know.." she smiled, "They wrote and told me as one of your sponsors...."

"Yeah, thanks Maggie.... Er... Georgia was the other sponsor... added to which she paid my first year's membership fees....I've been trying to get hold of her to thank her..."

For a moment I thought that Maggie was going to explode. "The bloody sly bitch.....!" She hissed. "I know what it is..... she is looking for a young male golfing partner for when she entertains clients... she likes you and she is trying to make sure that you come on board..."

"I quite like the idea...." I said tentatively. "I like Georgia too.... She is quite good company when you get to know her..."

"Well don't you go trying to get know her too well...you randy little sod, Georgia is capable of eating you up and spitting out the bones!" Maggie chuckled. "This golf thing had better be kept in the family.... Just remember you are MY nephew, and MY business partner, and MY golf partner as well.... You belong to ME! Well perhaps jointly to your mother and me...." She added, "Twins share everything.... Including golf partners!"

"Actually I have talked to Mum about it and she is quite keen to start playing golf again.... I er.... sort of promised that I would partner her, when my game is back to scratch."

"H-m-m-m-m, I reckon that I am good with that..." Maggie teased. "But if you are going to start playing again you need to get your game up to standard.... I think we need to start spending a couple of evenings a week at the driving range and a few Sundays out on the public pay and play course, where you are not likely to be kidnapped by Scary Georgia.... I don't want Gwen and I to have to keep you on a leash..."

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