The Touch Ch. 25byGreenFingers©
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. 25 A Damsel in Distress
Saturday was a grey, much cooler day with periodic bouts of drizzle and so we were not terribly busy at the garden centre which did at least enable everybody to concentrate on necessary day to day tasks in the growing areas and tidying and filling up the displays.
There was only one postal delivery on Saturdays and that came in about mid-morning. As usual Emma opened all the business mail and passed me a couple of letters marked personal, one was a packet from Uncle Arthur containing some documents relating to my trust fund that needed signing and informing me that the large lump sum would be paid directly into my bank the following week.
The second letter was a stiff brown card wallet, posted locally, but I did not recognise the handwriting. I opened it and tipped out the contents, there wasn't a note or letter, just a red gymkhana rosette for 'Best of Class', I smiled; obviously Philippa had enjoyed our time together as much as I had. The muscles in my back and down my legs were still a bit stiff from our energetic fucking. I slipped the trophy back into it's packet and slid it into my pocket to take home later, I thought that I could pin it up with my other riding rosettes and only I would ever know that it was not for riding horses.
Maggie was sitting at her desk across the office and obviously spotted what I was doing, "What's that?" she asked, curious. Not for the first time I mused that women never seemed to miss anything that you didn't want them to see.
"Oh, just an old gymkhana rosette .... From my riding days at Shelby's; I saw Philippa the other day and she said she would send it to me." I lied glibly.
"That was nice of her. See much of her do you?"
I resisted the temptation for say 'I've seen everything there is to see' and just replied, "Only a couple of times, when I have been out to the stables; I've dated Janice once or twice." I saw an opportunity to sate my curiosity. "What is the story with Philippa?" I asked as casually as possible.
"I don't know her that well, we are more acquaintances that friends," she said. "She inherited the riding stables from her father, but originally her grandfather had kept racehorses. Shelby House and the surrounding estate have been in the Shelby family since the early 1800s. The last time that I was at the house for a drinks party some years ago, there was an old formal Victorian garden at the rear which was really run down, if you see Philippa occasionally you should see if you can persuade her to put some business our way," she chuckled.
"What about Philippa herself? I ventured.
"She was a really top flight show jumper and three day event rider in her teens and twenties, even made an Olympic team; then she married some Argentinean polo player who turned out to be a total waste of space and after she divorced she reverted to her maiden name. Then her father died and she gave up the circuit and came home to run the business."
"She seems a bit prickly ... but I have always got on with her OK."
Maggie laughed. "Philippa has a bit of a reputation as a man-eater, she has had short relationships with several men in the past but has dumped them really quickly if they showed any signs of wanting to get their feet under her table, and she has made no secret of having the odd one night stand just for fun. She is a really tough lady, who wants her independence and her own life."
That explained a lot. Perhaps just the occasional fuck with Philippa would satisfy both of our desires and remain just that; occasional.
I had an appointment with Caroline Brookes in the afternoon to present the various design options for her new garden and so spent an hour with Maggie going over the plan drawings one last time. I thought that Caroline was going to be really fussy and I had drawn up three separate options and at Maggie's suggestion had noted some of the variables which could be mixed and matched if she wanted even further alternatives.
"I'm not sure that I should be letting you go out there on your own," Maggie joked. "If you are not back by the end of business, I will call out the Rape Squad to go and rescue you, or maybe even send Emma out to bring you home."
Caroline was a very attractive woman whom Maggie had nick-named 'Ms. Thunder-thighs' after she had flirted and come on to me when we initially visited to assess the project. Personally I did not believe that she would really be interested in anything other than a little light flirting, she was attractive, wealthy and moved in seriously moneyed circles, her choice of men friends would be nearly unlimited.
The job was at Bishopsdown on the northern outskirts of the city a short drive from the garden centre and so I was ringing her front door bell shortly before two o'clock. I had parked the Land Rover in the drive next to her bright yellow Lotus Elan M100 and noted that there was a brand new black BMW 730i in the garage which could only be a few days old as it had 1989 number plates. This lady might be young but if both cars were hers then she had a seriously high income.
Caroline opened the door and invited me in. She was probably mid-twenties, and her bottle blonde shoulder length hair was gleaming from an obviously very recent brushing and her attractive, heart shaped face was fully made up with pale pink lip gloss, blusher and a light blue eye shadow. That day she was wearing very tight white jeans that hugged her rounded hips and thighs and a long pale sky blue, shirt blouse with the collar turned up and the top buttons open to expose her impressive cleavage. As I followed her into the house I noticed that the tail of the shirt covered her round buttocks, which I thought was a bit of a shame as her jeans were very tight. She looked ready to go out, but maybe she was one of those women who dressed like that even at home.
We sat at the end of her long lounge in two comfortable bucket chairs which had been turned to face out of the French doors so that we could see the garden plot. I was really glad that I was on time because there were already two bone china mugs of black coffee on the coffee table beside us.
She smiled sweetly, "It is straight black coffee, isn't it?" I noticed for the first time that she had a slight accent, maybe London or Essex, but not private school; she had obviously grafted for whatever she had achieved in life.
"Oh yes, well remembered," I replied. My guess was that she saw everything and forgot nothing.
She was one of those gushing, very tactile women and had positioned the chairs so that we could sit close enough to be able to spread the plans over our laps. She sat very near to me and continuously touched my arm with her manicured finger tips, frequently bending forwards to peer at the plans, 'accidentally' rubbing her tit against my arm and displaying her cleavage provocatively. She was wearing a very soft plain white silk bra beneath the blouse and after a while I noticed that her nipples had stiffened and were clearly visible through the fabric and looked large and hard.
She was making me seriously horny and I had to keep concentrating on the garden designs and reminding myself that I was here on business. Maybe Maggie had been right; perhaps I should have brought one of the women out with me.
We spent about an hour and a half discussing the designs whilst she used body language to flirt with me outrageously. In the end we agreed quite quickly how the project should be started, I found that she was very intelligent, quick to grasp an idea and actually quite decisive, but I was glad when she suggested that we took a walk around the garden to confirm the vision, although she hooked her arm through mine and retained body contact. I let her wander about comparing the plans to the site whilst I took a few photographs and some soil samples for ph testing.
"I really like your designs, I just wish that I could visualize the end effect," she said gazing out across the plot.
"I may be able to help with that," I suggested, "Maggie usually does our sketches and watercolour artists impressions but she is really working at full capacity right now, however, I have a friend who might be willing to come out with me and produce some colour wash impressions for you?"
"Oh, yes... that would be really super," she enthused, "Just add whatever it costs to the account. Would I be able to buy the originals?"
"You will need to agree that with the artist, but we definitely like to keep copies for our files."
We walked back to the house and I agreed that I would get a team out after the week-end to start preparation work. She reached into a draw and handed me a set of keys.
"You will need these for the garden gate and the garage, I shall be in London most of the week," she said, she held up two keys from the bunch, "These are the kitchen door and the alarm; I would prefer if only YOU had them... you understand?"
"Yes, of course, but I doubt if we shall need to get into the house, there is an outside tap and we make our own arrangements over our T & T ..... teas and toilets."
We stood in her neat little fitted kitchen and she poured us both another mug of coffee. "There is something else that I would like you to do for me..."
"I have just bought a new apartment in London with a roof garden, I want you to come up to town and see what you can do with it for me, at the moment it is just stone slabs and pots, I would like it to be really nice as I spend most of the working week there."
"Er, yes OK" I said. "But London is a little bit out of our normal catchment's area, I'm sure that I could find you a good locally based firm who would be nearer and probably cheaper."
"No, I want you to do it," she replied emphatically, "YOU are my personal gardener now, I am not in a hurry so I will wait for you to make the time to do it for me."
"OK," I grinned, "If you put it that way, it will be a pleasure." I had never designed or worked on a roof garden and the idea intrigued me. She handed me another of her cards and wrote her apartment address on the rear; it was close to St. James's Park. "I know where this is; my great uncle lives close by, Arthur Grainger."
"I don't think I've met him; I do know a couple of guys at the stock exchange called Grainger, Michael and Justin, twin brothers, I believe that they also live in the area somewhere."
"They are my mother's cousins, my first cousins once removed, I think, they are Uncle Arthur's sons, I don't see them much."
"So was that your mother who was with you last time you were here, I know De Vere's is a family business?"
"No, that was my aunt, Maggie .... She is the senior director of the firm."
"Mmmmm," she smiled seductively, "I think that I still prefer to stick with you for now."
She walked me to the door, "When you are ready to come up to town and look at the apartment garden, just give me a ring and I will let you take me out to lunch or dinner," she smiled.
"OK, I'd like that, it's a date."
"Oh no, it isn't a date, its business!" She said in a serious tone and then laughed. Her laugh was a sort of husky, sexy giggle that left your balls tingling. "Maybe if I know you a bit better by then you can call it a date, either way you are paying."
We both laughed and I put out my hand and we shook briefly then she stepped up close and kissed me on both cheeks. She made no hurry to pull away and I felt her impressive tits and thighs warm against me through the denim of my shirt and jeans. My plan case was in one hand and I took a risk and let the other rest lightly on her hip, she let it lay there until she eventually stepped back. By the time that I was back in the car her door was already closed.
It was still only four o'clock and so I drove straight over to Becca's house. Her husband's car was in the drive and I was in two minds whether to go in when Josh strolled around from the back of the house and saw me standing there clutching my plans case.
"Hello mate, what are you doing here ....." he didn't give me time to reply, "Do you fancy going out for a pint tonight?" He was a mess and looked as though he had just got up with a hangover from last night, and probably had.
"I'm not being seen anywhere with you, you scruffy dung heap!" I laughed and punched him playfully on the arm. "I can't go out tonight ... family evening... you know. Anyway I'm not here to talk about getting pissed with you I came to see your mum...is she in?"
"Yeah, she's out in the back garden." He was obviously not interested in why I wanted to see Becca, "If you fancy having a beer and watching some fishing videos, Dad and Tim and I are in the sitting room." He shuffled off into the house and I went around to the rear gate.
Becca saw me coming and walked over and gave me a chaste hug and kiss. "Hello Jamie darling," she greeted me softly, "I thought I heard Josh talking to somebody. I guess you are here to see the boys today."
"No, actually it's you I want...."
"I want you too... all the time..." she whispered with a little giggle. "I am only teasing you... I know we can't ... you know ... not today at least."
It was starting to rain again and she steered me in into the conservatory, I could hear the television in the front room and her husband Leslie and the boys talking. We sat down side by side on the cane two seater, slightly apart but with our knees just lightly touching.
"I was wondering if you would like to do some work for me." I asked.
"What sort of work .... I'm not sure that I would be any good at the garden centre ... and I really only potter about with the plants and things in my own garden?"
"No, not that ... I was thinking that you might be able to do some sketches and water colour washes to go with plans that I have drawn up for a landscaping job. Maggie sometimes does them for her projects and the clients often pay well for the framed originals as they are unique and personal."
I had held this idea in my mind for some days, it would not only fill the gap that my personal skills didn't cover; Becca was not just my lover, she was one of the nicest persons I knew and she was lonely and often without purpose in life. Her husband and sons took her for granted, they were not intentionally unkind to her, worse than that, most of the time they just ignored her. She was bright, intelligent and a very talented artist, I couldn't understand why she did not go back to being an art teacher.
"I don't know, Jamie," she said a little warily. "I have only ever painted one floral landscape and most of my work is from real life rather than from imagination. I am not sure how it would be approached...." She paused for a few seconds to think, "but I do like the concept .... I think I would like to have a go," she smiled her lovely smile, "What have we got to loose, eh?"
"OK, great," I enthused, "You just tell me what you need; I will give you copies of the plans," I dug a spare set out of my case and handed them to her, "I can provide you with all the pictorial catalogues of plants that you want .... And I will take you out to the site next week if you want to see it, or even work out there .... I shall be there a good part of the week myself."
She thought for a few seconds. "OK, yes, let's do it!" She seemed really enthusiastic now, "I would like to see the garden, to get a feel for the place, and make some sketches whilst I am there to try to bring your plans into 3D ... does that make sense?"
I nodded affirmation. "How is Leslie going to feel about this ... I don't want to cause any waves?"
"Stuff Leslie and the boys! As long as they get fed they won't even notice that I'm not here," she chuckled, "I am going to do something that I want to do for ME for a change." She lowered her voice to a very soft whisper, "Besides, you are going to need to come round to look at my work sometime, and I still have that bed in my studio."
As I made my way to the door I looked in and waved to Leslie and his sons who hardly looked up from their video, an idiot talking animatedly about a fish that he hadn't managed to catch, "G'bye guys, I'm kidnapping your mother next week so you will need to get your own teas for a change!" I called jokingly, they just laughed and waved.
Becca and I clasped hands very briefly and she gave me a friend's kiss lightly on the lips as I left. "I will give you a call on Monday and we can make our arrangements for next week."
I watched her waving from the doorway in my rear view mirror as I drove away. I really liked Becca a whole lot, and I felt that we could both benefit from this idea. If it worked I had a fair amount of confidence that I could get Becca other commissions if she wanted them, I was sure that Georgia Craven would really go for the idea and I needed to visit her next week anyway.
When I got back to the office I walked into a storm of cat calls and whistles from Maggie, Emma and Jack. Maggie made a show of looking at her watch, "Three hours with Ms. Caroline Thunder-Thighs, I'm surprised you can still stand up," she joked.
"Alright you lot," I smiled, "Actually we got a lot of work done, she has agreed to most of the plan, I just need to make a few changes, and we start preparation work and putting in the fences next week." That drew a mocking round of applause. "In fact ... Caroline was very nice, and very professional about the project," I said in a mock serious tone. Then added mischievously, "Actually, she has invited me up to her apartment in London....!"
"Oh no! You are not going," Emma snapped, "YOU ARE NOT BLOODY GOING!" Then she stormed off into her own office and slammed the door, leaving the rest of us rolled up in silent laughter.
I explained about the roof top garden idea and Maggie actually seemed to be quite enthusiastic, "You will need to make room in your own schedule for it, I just haven't got the time." I didn't think it prudent to mention that Caroline specifically wanted me for the job.
"What do you think Jack?" I asked.
He put on his country yokel act, "Bloody roof gardens, whatever next, you ent getting' me up any bloody ladders. You silly buggers can do what you like, I'm off home, G'night." He stopped at the door and looked back, "Come and see me when you start thinking about what plants to use .... You may need to think about plants that don't need too much watering and can stand up to wind exposure, I'll put some thought into it."
He stumped off down the stairs and I turned to Maggie. "What do you REALLY think, should I take it on ... it will be a long commute for a couple of weeks at least, and I would need to take one of the guys some days?"
"Yes, I think we should do it, it will be a prestige job for the portfolio, that will be seen by influential people who could be potential customers in the longer term, most city people live in the commuter belt .... Besides if necessary you could probably scrounge a bed with Uncle Arthur or one of the twins." She beamed at me mischievously, "Always providing Ms. Thunder-Thighs lets you out of her bed from time to time."
"I still think she is quite cute," I said to tease her. "But if you really don't want me to sell my body to get the company new contracts.... Then I shall have to take my pleasures elsewhere..." With that I swept her up into my arms in a bear hug and swung her around the office, pretending to try and kiss her whilst she pretended to try and fight me off.
We were both laughing hysterically, "Help, HELP, Emma come and rescue me, "She shouted, "Your brother is trying to rape me!"
Emma burst into the office just as we both lost balance and collapsed into a writhing, giggling heap on the floor. "What the fuck!" she exclaimed still a bit angry with me, and then burst out laughing as well. "Will you two never stop pissing about, he's the same with Mum, you know."