Moving On

CHAPTER ONE

 

 The throbbing excitement that Gemma had just experienced through her seated body, emanated from the

three litre engine that she’d admirably controlled all morning and both the throbbing and the excitement stopped when she turned the key to cut the power to be able to take in the view in front of her. The vibrations that had travelled up her legs and through those body parts attached to the seat of her restored E-type had sparked incredible feelings that only existed while driving the Jag. They ceased and the colours in front of her were enhanced when her skull eventually stopped vibrating and she could take in the scene in front of her. The floral mass became so colourful that it just had to be looked at without sunglasses.Gemma knew that her eyes would burn in the glare of the mid-morning summer sun but still pushed the branded frames onto the top of her head and as she did, the world appeared to stop turning.

 

The speed and vibration of the open top car and the wind that it had produced, compared with the stillness of the garden in front of her, untouched by any breeze, were polar opposites and so for that matter, was the masculine throbbing of the engine compared with the delicate feminine colours of the garden and the obvious female touch that had eluded any of her efforts in her own back yard. She fell in love with this beautiful garden in front of her, knowing that the empty cottage behind it should have been more important to her and that both had been reached by driving down a small lane on the outskirts of an affluent looking village. She decided that it was safe to leave the top down on the car, there hadn’t been any rain now for weeks, but then checked that her expensive sunglasses were still where they should have been. She wore a high bun that kept her jet black hair looking tidy in the air draft while travelling and the frames had rested against that bun and added to the stylish look. The main reason for hair-up today had been the forecast of a heat wave that was due to continue and so far, the heat wave had targeted, in particular, the back of Gemma’s neck. Sliding out of the car seat she used two hands on each thigh to smooth down the slight wrinkles that had formed in the tops of her tight jeans and then bent lower to her calves as she moved material down towards heels that were totally impractical for driving. As she bent over she smiled on  noticing her breasts swinging slightly in her delicate lace bra and low buttoned shirt-blouse.

 

I couldn’t have done that in front of Pete, my poor young assistant, he would have climaxed in his pants in front of me - might have been funny though.

 

Jeans on such a hot day are restricting. Odd how I dress for my cars and usually wear a short skirt in my Mini to go to the office but see this stallion of a Jag as masculine, something to be tamed over a longer journey, with me feeling more like a cowgirl in denim.

 

The colours of the cottage garden, just the other side of the white picket fence, had a backdrop of white rendered walls topped with a thatched roof that added to the chocolate box theme and it was easy for any woman to imagine this property being her own.

 

Positively a feminine influence everywhere. A woman’s hand but not physically doing the gardening just directing a gardener who presumably still works here judging by the tidiness all around me. I can’t spot one weed, certainly none of the dandelions that plague my own neglected patch. How often does he water it I wonder, there’s no sign of anything suffering in this heat.Gemma’s over active imagination swung into gear.Soft pastel colours, female colours, pinks and soft violets, put together by a woman with the chains of marriage but not the chains of a job or the busy life that I have. This woman, tall and slim no doubt, moves slowly through her garden with a straight back, a small piny over an expensive dress all topped off with a straw hat, maybe a wicker basket over one arm, knowing every plant – talking to them, cutting some for indoor arranging which she is skilled at. She probably took flower arranging classes at the local school where gossip about those that didn’t attend was rife. At least all of that may have happened before she moved away from here. This woman looked after her garden and looked after her man in exchange for the right to live in his home, even though it was her that made it a home. I feel as if I’ve stepped into the nineteen thirties. It feels a bit like peacetime, just before the Second World War and just as hot and I wouldn’t be shocked if a flight of propellor planes crossed the blue sky above me. Did they argue when he told her they were moving and she had to leave the garden that was her lover?

 

The owners, at least the man in Saudi that Gemma had spoken to on the phone, had given her minimal information but had just about explained to her that the cottage hadn’t been lived in for over a year and was now up for sale while a new home was looked for somewhere else in the UK and that he wanted Gemma to manage the move to the new house, or at least he wanted a price from her for doing it. If I move this home to their new one will I be moving them from Saudi also or do they intend to carry on living in both places? If there’s anything in the garden that they feel is special and to go with them, I’ll have to sub-contract it to a specialist. Me killing her favourite plants would not impress them.Gemma knew she hadn’t moved position for a while because she felt the warm feeling of the sun on the skin of her opened blouse but she had no concerns about any unwanted red patch where the blouse didn’t cover because her fake tan covered every square inch of her body and she would stay an even olive shade whatever was thrown at her. She’d chosen all over spray tans, discarding the offered paper pants in favour of having every part of her look as if it emanated warmth, but she was always careful not to go too dark. Being tanned all over was, of course, a futile and expensive exercise to go through because nobody but Gemma and Lisa, her beautician, were ever going to see that she had no white bits but that wasn’t the point. Gemma herself knew exactly what was hidden under her clothes and that gave her confidence in the way that she behaved and the way that she dressed. She needed that confidence to stay married to her job, the job that took up all her available time. Lisa had been the one to suggest shaving and waxing to receive a smoother tan in that area and Gemma knew that it looked good on her and knew, yet again, that it was for her and nobody else.Definitely on display for others however were the high curved eyebrows that Lisa had insisted accentuated the curves of Gemma’s body, the curves that now felt in harmony with the curved edges of the flower borders in front of her. Eyebrows, nails, hair, wax, massage, tan top up, pedicure – It took a whole day for Lisa and they both enjoyed the chat while she was made to look and feel great. What else was she going to spend her well earned money on? Shoes, yes, there was always shoes and no, it wasn’t a fetish, it was merely a love affair with shoes.

 

The heat from the sun was boiling the garden and boiling the oils that were in the multicoloured flowers, releasing those oils and flooding the air with perfumes that made Gemma drowsy in a sensual way and made her feel lazy in another way. It was a shame that there was actually work to be done here because to strip off and slowly roll in those perfumes, absorbing them into her body seemed like the right thing to do.

 

When my hoped-for clients are working here in the UK, he comes home after a hard day at the office to find that his model wife has looked after his house for him. She only needs to remove that small piny and straw hat  to be dressed smartly and knows that she’s dressed sexily underneath that dress, not for herself but to please him. She opens a bottle and ensnares him with her heady garden perfumes and alcohol and then gives him whatever he wants in order to keep him and to stop him straying with the younger women he mixes with at his workplace. I’m so glad that my life and my job are now just for me and the husband-shackle that was Brian has gone. I can’t imagine Brian still being around and I certainly can’t imagine trying to ensnare him with perfumes, or anything else for that matter. Mum and dad dying so young and in such tragic circumstances feels like an age ago but has left me with nobody nagging me to re-marry or ‘find a nice boy.’ Nobody that is unless you include the wonderful Jenny who seems to think I might shrivel up and die without what she calls proper man-sex.

 

Gemma’s life of imagination had developed to become more interesting for her than real life and it was an easy slide from there into a place where she was having constant fantasies. Removing ex-husband Brian from her thoughts it was then easy for Gemma to imagine herself in a situation where the house was hers and the man of the house (and there was a certain type of hunk in her mind) came home to meet her on the lawn and rolled her through those heady perfumes rather than sip drinks with her, ripping her clothes off as they hungered for each other on the lawn. That was the main difference between Gemma and her best friend Jenny. Gemma tried to keep all her fantasies firmly locked away in her head believing that fantasies should stay there until they came out in the privacy of your bedroom, alone at night. Jenny though acted hers out for real and did so at alarmingly regular intervals, insisting that Gemma listen to the details afterwards, over coffee. Jenny’s heart was in the right place though and she believed that giving her friend all the details of her sexual exploits was the only stimulation that Gemma received or even needed.Relaxation, the sun’s warmth and Gemma’s over active imagination meant that moistening was beginning to lubricate her until a slight twinge of a muscle in that region told her that it was time to clean up her mind, concentrate on the job at hand and lock any potential fantasy away. The scenario on the lawn was stored in her head for when she was in bed that night when it could be played out in full, acted out between her, her head and a sex toy, oh, and maybe with that new sexy looking hunk of a weather man on the regional telly channel taking the part of the one to roll her on the grass.

 

 I know weather men are very clever but this guy, last night, managed to peel my jeans off without removing my red stilettos. He loved the heels on his buttocks and I loved pressing into him when I was close and forcing him deeper. It was a shock though to lie there, exhausted, the weather man leaving and seeing Jenny cheering at the bottom of the bed, looking at the blood coming from him. Helped me drop off to sleep though.

 

That muscle twinged again so for now she had to force herself into business mode but conceded that she may rehearse in the Jag on the way back to the office.She was just about to walk down the gravel path, concerned about chipping the heels of her Valentino shoes, only just visible under her jeans, when her phone rang - but not the phone in the hand that she was staring at with a puzzled expression – it was ringing in her car and forcing her head back into reality. Seatbelts, bluetooth and hands-free via a retro styled radio were the only modern additions to her 1973 E type and her phone was still connected so she ran back, jumped into the cockpit without opening the door and pressed the button on the dashboard.

 

“Mr. Garstang. What a coincidence. I was just about to walk up the front path to your cottage.”

 

She used her business voice, a false one that sounded more affluent than her normal speech and not the one that gave away her roots when she was more relaxed. There was a chuckle at the other end and she could hear heavy machinery in the background. The chuckle made her smile.

 

“It was about the cottage that I was ringing – but you probably guessed that. Listen, this block of apartments that we’re building here in Saudi is over-running and I’m not going to be able to make our meeting on Tuesday at Heathrow. It would have been a tight schedule for me between flights anyway for me to have travelled on to Scotland. I’m going to have to leave a lot of this up to you and your company, if that’s okay. If I explain something now, can you let me know if it fits in with the way you operate or whether I’m assuming too much?”

 

Gemma grabbed her oversized handbag, that she’d just tossed onto the passenger seat and retrieved a notebook with a pen jammed into the spring binder.“Carry on Mr. Garstang and I’ll make a few notes and let you know if I’m able to give you answers straight away.”

 

"Geoff, please call me Geoff. I think we might be calling, texting, emailing for some time. This is what I’m thinking. Up until now you were aware that I was, on the day I was meant to meet you at Heathrow, taking a later flight from London up to Edinburgh to look at a new place, out in the country. None of that is happening now and I fear the place I was to look at might be gone by the time I eventually get back to the U.K. unless I put in an offer without seeing it. You mentioned when we first spoke about a ‘full package’ and it amazed me at the time but I’m coming around to it. Or, to put it another way, I may have to use your services to the full.”

 

Gemma could remember the first time they’d spoken on the phone. Short, overweight and balding is how he’d sounded, not that she could have explained to anyone what a person with that description would sound like. If she’d had someone dishier in her head and he’d just asked to use her services to the full, it may have made her inwardly moan with pleasure but she didn’t have that vision and so it didn’t affect her. Again the phrase was stored away in her head to add to tonights fantasy romp through the heady perfumed garden with the weather man. Nothing much in real life had excited Gemma for the last few years other than the thrill of acquiring a new assignment and the thrill of pushing her business forward and that’s what was exciting her now. Mr. Garstang was an affluent client and she was hoping to move her business up a notch and to snag some of his friends and colleagues, assuming that he was impressed with her work. Gemma knew that she had to stay on top of things to keep clients like Mr. Garstang and that a social life would only get in the way of that. She was aware of the irony of taking her average body and working it in the gym to get what she had now at a time when her interest in men had declined to zero. Gemma’s body gave her confidence and her expensive clothing gave her confidence. She had acquired, she decided, the confidence to talk to clients a bit richer again than her usual clients, people like Mr. Garstang.

 

“To go over that package briefly will take two minutes only, if you have time Mr. Garstang. I’ll carry out a thorough survey and  price up your house-move now, while I’m at the cottage – thank you by the way for arranging the keys from your agent – and I’ll cost, not to take everything to the new house but to pack it neatly and place it in our secure, storage facility in the temporary wardrobes and cardboard packaging that I explained to you the last time we spoke. You tell me when you exchange on your new house and we will take everything out of storage and place it into the new home. I say new home because you’ll walk, not into a house but into your home, to find your clothes in the wardrobes in the order that you left them, cutlery in the correct drawers, stored away items in the roof space, lawn mower in the garage, books in order on the book shelves, etc. etc.” She was beginning to sound as if she had a rehearsed speech so stopped.

 

“Sounds great,” Geoff broke in. “I might even ask you to visit the new place ahead of any move and for you to choose which rooms become what, at an extra charge from you of course, if that’s okay. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get back for any length of time.

 

”Gemma wrote his last comment down while she thought about an impossible drive all the way to Scotland to look at rooms and then wrote straight after the ‘choose rooms’ comment  ‘Wife’ and scribbled an asterisk either side of the word and then went over the asterisks again to highlight them. She would have to bypass Mr. Garstang and get to his wife for the finer details. Telling Gemma to choose rooms was something that only a man could possibly suggest but not something to be argued about at this stage. She was at the delicate point where she had to communicate that she could accommodate anything that a client wanted.Gemma’s modern moving idea had attracted higher earners who didn’t have time to spare and her business would have made Gemma relatively wealthy if she’d actually found enough clients to move. One of her earlier clients had told her that although the cost of her services was high it wasn’t higher than the wages the client herself could be earning in The City instead of packing, moving house and unpacking. She dealt with people that constantly reminded themselves that “time is money and nails are not for chipping.”

 

“Leave everything to me Mr. Garstang.” She ignored the request to call him Geoff. “Tomorrow you’ll have full costs and the only variables will be the amount of time your goods are in storage and the distance to your new home but I’ll give you details of those monthly rates and mileage rates so that you can work out a likely overall cost.”It was left like that. She disconnected the bluetooth and started down the gravel path almost on tip toe to save her heels against the gravel.

 

He’s a builder then but a bit more successful than my ex.

 

The key to the cottage door fitted without a fuss and she stood in the hall looking about her until the alarm panel beeped. A fob that was attached to the keys was fired in the general direction of the panel and it was immediately silenced as the agent had promised her. If the exterior was olde worlde cottage garden and thatch then the interior was the complete opposite, being ultra-modern. It was also pleasantly cool due to the ancient thick walls and, yet again, the place wreaked of a woman’s touch there being masses of expensive looking cushions on all the soft chairs within view. The curtain materials, in the rooms that she poked her head into, all looked like they cost a fortune and were extremely carefully chosen to match the rest of the decor.

 

More than chosen. Chosen is what I would do, more like designed. Is she an interior designer or does she employ one I wonder? Another evening class alongside flower arranging?

 

The kitchen area was huge and she started randomly opening and closing cupboards and drawers, as nosey as ever. It was then that she heard Pete calling from the front door. “I’m in the kitchen Pete, follow my voice.” I must have been engrossed. I didn’t hear his car arrive.Pete found her and unashamedly looked her up and down a couple of times, smiling. He admired the tight jeans and the way they were nicely filled, letting him know her exact body shape under the material. He admired wildly her white blouse, open to the summer heat but tucked into the jeans as only someone with Gemma’s figure could get away with. Pete noticed, not for the first time, how her hair was deliberately pinned up and finished in a bun, to be ultra tidy and then one strand had been released to give an overall slightly dishevelled look which excited his over active imagination as if he could pretend that they’d just made love and he’d given her a slightly untidy look to go home with. If Gemma had been vaguely interested in men she might have been flattered by Purvey Pete’s obvious interest but she had no time for men and definitely wasn’t interested in her assistant but still enjoyed the feeling of being desired by a younger man although she did find him a bit creepy on occasions.Pete’s a decent enough bloke, typical male one track mind sort of person, good at his job when he concentrates on it but the exact type of bloke I would avoid marrying if I ever married again. He’s the type that would want me to do everything for him and to be a charm on his arm to show his mates and then to produce children for him to occasionally play with and hand back when he was bored.

 

All the money that used to be drained away by Gemma’s ex-husband now went on clothes, beauty, her cars and gym membership, but mainly on shoes. Her removal company, her confidence, her success, her manner were all judged on her shape, the labels of her clothing and the way that she was dressed but she didn’t complain about that. She was aware that when she met successful men, their shoes, trousers and the cut of their shirt, all defined them but those men were at a disadvantage as they lacked the ability to decide how much cleavage they allowed others as a diversionary tactic. “Cutlery drawer is in-built to fit the unit, so staying here, so make a note Pete that when we find out where they’re going to live, and pull them out of storage, we’ll have to either buy or make a new one to fit or make sure there’s an in-built in their new place. That’s the sort of level of detail I need on this one, they have money and no doubt friends to recommend us to.”

 

“Wow, full package then.”

 

Pete was already making notes and taking loads of photos for his boss and started moving from downstairs room to downstairs room so Gemma kicked off her blue heels and climbed the stairs to explore. It wasn’t until she reached the landing and stopped climbing on her toes that she started worrying about the length of her jeans now sitting under her heels, the shoes having added inches to her height. She knew that the jeans were far too expensive to let the edges fray or wear.Brian’s Barbie Doll may enjoy ripped jeans but it’s not the business image I want to portray, the jeans or the ex. I may be in jeans and a blouse but they are top of the range and show just how sophisticated I can be, even when dressed casually – hopefully.The jeans wouldn’t easily move up on her muscular, toned calves, worked for on the leg machine and the running machines at her gym, so she fashioned a temporary turn up that only she would ever see.The upper floor, partly in the roof area, was long and went back further than expected as well. The master bedroom was large and had side rooms, one each side for his and hers dressing rooms and with ensuite bathrooms off each dressing room. It was all very impressive and made, she calculated, a five room ensuite master bedroom plus ample guest rooms. She had a cursory glance at the contents of the dressing room rails but would leave a more close examination until Pete had gone. To wait for her minion to finish his inventory she lay, like the boss that she was, on the double bed admiring the view through the rear picture window that looked over paddocks and rolling hills and could even more easily imagine living there and being pampered as the lady of the house.

 

Only until the weather man comes home to roll me on the lawn. Careful Gemma, you’re supposed to be at work. Why would anyone want to move from this idyllic home? It has everything.

 

Pete seemed to take an age but, when he eventually moved upstairs, she went back down to explore, happy to retrieve her heels and become what she saw as her normal height again.It was then that Gemma discovered the office, full of files relating to property conversions in the UK, supply of materials from five different companies concerned with those conversions and a bigger file on supply of materials from those same companies but to various construction companies in Saudi. She explored them all.An hour later Gemma had worked out that Sandra and Geoff Garstang were directors of the house conversion company with Geoff being the managing director. All the materials were supplied by companies whose sole directors were Geoff and Sandra Saunders and those suppliers were supplying to contractors in Saudi also, Sandra being the MD. It didn’t take a genius to work out that the Garstangs and the Saunders were the same people and something illegal was going on.The last folder with the years date on the spine was full of their businesses accounts and she quickly established that a corporate tax bill being paid on the house conversions was half of what she’d expected and was being paid in Saudi but not on all of the profits. Maybe she would need to get closer to Mrs. Sandra Garstang and not just for details on the house move.Her vision of Mr. Garstang, or was it Mr. Saunders, of being short, stubby and bald was now added to by a cigar in the corner of his mouth. Gemma wondered which of her mental catalogue of hunks would take the place of Mr. Garstang tonight in her bed when the imagined cottage owner returned from his office to find her in her garden and devoured her. It might still be that weather man but their faces sometimes changed mid love making, sometimes two men took her without her planning it beforehand and sometimes it was in a place where she could be seen, just like the front garden that she’d just admired.

 

Calm yourself Gemma, time and place and all that. First work, then the clothing luxury and then tame that male engine again and only then maybe an early night after watching the weather man on the nine o’clock news. Funny how at the end of his forecast I never know what tomorrow’s weather is going to be.

 

Pete eventually completed his inventory with a little help from Gemma to speed him along and they both went to the front door.“See you back at the office?” His dirty mind hoped to see more of that butt again in those tight jeans and also the boobs straining to get out of her bra because her blouse was just about see-through enough for him to be able to make out the lace patterns of her sexy bra underneath the blouse fabric and the amount of flesh that the bra was holding back looked incredible to him. He knew how safe Gemma felt in his presence and he knew that the slightest move towards her would see him being instantly sacked. Even that gave him the thrill of being mastered by her. Men too were allowed to have fantasies.

 

“No. I’m getting my camera from the car and I’m back in there. I’m sure you have every detail but I’ll need some extra photos to realign the rooms in their new home in the fashion that they like and are used to. I want them to be so impressed that everyone they know will start using us.”

 

“You’ll burn yourself out without a bit of relaxation in your life.” Pete tried but knew it was futile. Gemma already had the camera and she passed him to get back into the cottage and then she closed the main door behind her to show that the conversation was ended.This time Gemma concentrated on the sound of Pete’s car and waited to hear it travel down the lane towards the office.

 

The act of sliding the old, cast iron door bolt to stop any possible intrusion from anyone, including agents or the owner, gave Gemma a flutter in her stomach as she leaned with her back against the door, breathing slowly with her eyes closed. She listened and all was quiet and then she enjoyed, for a few minutes, the complete silence of being alone in a silent house. She stood with her hands against the door and her head went back to touch the ancient wood that was keeping others out of her life. When she eventually opened her eyes, her breathing deep, her face and sight were looking up the staircase towards all that material in the wardrobes. Now she could do whatever she wanted to, without anyone ever knowing. Now she could indulge herself in the feeling of clothes of people who could afford to wear items made of beautiful materials that she would love to have next to her skin but probably would never be able to afford them. The guilt of that thought and the excitement of that thought met each other in the pit of her stomach. It was time for her to have some fun and the relaxation time that Pete thought she lacked.Before any decisions on where to start could be made her phone rang again, but this time the handset was tucked tightly into her rear jeans pocket, vibrating against one bum cheek.This time Geoff Garstang spoke without introduction, as if he was continuing their earlier conversation.

 

“Change of plan if it’s all right with you. My boss is taking over for a bit and I can make next Tuesday. Same hotel if you’ve not made other arrangements. The lobby at midday let me know if you want lunch – I know that you also have a busy schedule – then I fly to Scotland but I’ve managed to change that to the following day so it won’t be so much of a rush for me.”

 

“No, yes.” She spurted it out before engaging her brain, shocked out of the private silence that she’d been enjoying. “That is, no I haven’t rearranged and yes it will be fine to meet you there. Can we decide on lunch depending on yours and my circumstances at the time?”

 

I’m talking rubbish and my confident voice has disappeared. On my last call I was chatting to a rich client, on this one he might be a dangerous crook. Why am I even thinking about going to meet a possible multi-millionaire crook? Maybe I’m saying if you’re grotesque and annoy me, or you bring your wife with you, then I’ll skip lunch with you and keep this purely as a business relationship because I need the work. Maybe I’m saying that the thought of meeting you to see what a big time crook looks like is exciting me so much that there is no way I would miss out on that meeting.

 

With the arrangements made, she carefully removed her heels again, rubbed her hands together and headed for that huge bedroom and all the lovely material.

Copyright @ All Rights Reserved