The follow up to Blind Girl in the Rain - read first
Part 2: Rumours and Visions.
"There is always someone for each of us they say and you'll be my someone forever and a day. I could search the whole world over until my life is through but I know I'll never find another you. It's a long, long journey so stay by my side. When I walk through the storm you'll be my guide, be my guide. If they gave me a fortune my pleasure would be small and I could lose it all tomorrow and never mind at all. But if I should lose your love, dear, I don't know what I'd do for I know I'll never find another you.."
Okay. Now this. This is a thing.
Well aware that our little group was the center of attention and an awkward silence had already fallen between myself and the four women standing in front of me, I held up my coffee and snacks. "Early lunch," I said lamely that made Janet purse her lips in amusement as if she was enjoying my discomfort.
She stepped forward and put her hand on my arm. "Well," she smiled, "There's a coincidence. We all had the same idea. Perhaps you'd care to join us. Especially since we rarely see you down here amongst the troops, Mr. Sloane. I'm sure I speak for all the ladies when I say a little male company would be most welcome."
Uh. Shit. I glanced at the others and tried and failed to think of an excuse to get the hell out of Dodge. "Ah, uh, sure. Okay," I mumbled, "Where are you going to sit?" I asked and was about to point to the empty table next to the window when Janet pointed over my shoulder.
"The regular place," she indicated, "With the squad."
I turned and saw a group of about twelve women sat in the far corner of the canteen and every single one of them was watching us. It sure as fuck didn't make things any easier or less awkward when I realized I had known several of them way beyond intimately. Oh boy. This was going to be fun. Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire. I felt Janet's hand move down from where it was resting on my lower back and give my backside an encouraging pat or two. I glanced down at her and saw the mischief dancing in her eyes. Oh, you. Oh, you scheming little bitch.
But it wasn't her or the other two women that were the issue. It was the quiet one just standing there listening to the one-way conversation. There could have been thousands in here and she would still be the only one that mattered. She was the bright light in a dark room and all I wanted to do was look at her.
Trying not to make it too obvious, I glanced over at her and saw she had a faint smile on her lips and had her head tilted slightly forward inquisitively. I had no doubt she knew exactly what was going on.
To think I had sat there and watched as she stripped herself naked in front of me less than 24 hours ago before she wrapped herself around me as I played with her breasts and sucked on her nipples. I blinked at the sudden memory and felt the hairs on the back of my neck bristle with electricity as I tried not to stare at her.
Thankfully, Janet was in charge. As usual. "Shall we?" she urged as she stepped to one side, "Mr. Sloane, perhaps you can help Miss. Macallister to find her seat?"
"Uh, sure," I nodded and did a sort of ass first side step with my coffee in one hand and snack in the other.
Janet took Heather's hand and guided her to where I was standing. There was a faint blush on her cheeks and I saw her take a deep breath as she laid her hand on my arm. "Hi, hello," she whispered as Janet grinned broadly at the pair of us standing there together.
"There you go, Heather," the older woman told her, "Do you want your usual?"
Heather licked her lips and nodded. "The usual sounds good. Thank you."
Janet then stepped forward with the two other women and made their way to the food counter at the front of the canteen to get in line to be served. She gave me a wave when she saw me staring daggers at her. That bloody woman. By the time I was finished with her she'd be cleaning toilets.
But right now there were far more important things to deal with.
Heather hadn't said a word and I glanced down to make sure she was alright. She was probably more nervous than I was which was only natural. This thing, these rumors, needed to be nipped in the bud asap. Put out the fire before it got out of hand. That the kiss, THAT kiss, had been nothing more than the mood and beer talking and was totally my fault.
The last thing I wanted was Heather having to deal with whispered innuendo on top of everything else she was already dealing with in her personal life. That was sensible. Smart. Mature thinking. As for what happened over the weekend...
"You okay?" she asked me suddenly.
Huh, what? Surprised, I nodded and mumbled a squeaky "Uh huh," as she gripped my arm tighter. Her face was slightly flushed as she chewed on her lower lip and fiddled with the zipper on her bag with her other hand.
"Good," she said as she glanced quickly up at me, "I thought you might be a little uptight or whatever. I think we should just go sit down and get this over with."
Uh. Okay. Absolutely. Good idea. Thank God you're flying the plane. With that, I led us both over to where all the ladies of the pool were gathered and I could feel eyes following us as we made our way past tables where the other Company employees sat talking amongst themselves.
I glanced up at the clock above the food counter. It had just gone seven-thirty. There was a good hour before the bell rang to start the working day. A whole god damned hour.
"Hello, Mr. Sloane."
I looked up as we approached their table. Here we go. Sexpot Suzie sat back in her chair and smiled knowingly at me with her pussy sucking bosom buddy, Diane, sat grinning at me next to her. Their group was a mixture of veterans and newbies who all gave me the once over as I nodded at them.
A cute nineteen year oldish redhead called Avril jumped up and came over to Heather's side. She put her hand on her shoulder and helped her to her seat. "Here you go, hon," she told Heather as she took her bag, "Let me help you with that. Okay, just a bit further. Turn around. There you go. Now sit right down." Heather gave her a smile and sat down as she tugged her scarf free and undid the buttons on the front of her overcoat.
It was then Janet returned with the two other women and a tray full of steaming hot drinks and various snacks, toasts, and buns which were quickly handed around. Nothing like a freezing ass to increase the appetite.
Okay, where the hell do I sit? I sure as fuck didn't want to sit next to eighteen and nineteen. That would be like banging your Aunt in front of your Mother. That situation I definitely wanted to give a miss. I'd probably drown in the innuendo knowing those two.
It was Janet, surprise, who arranged the chairs on the Titanic. "Betty," she pointed, "You sit there. Vera, that one. Ellie, there," She turned and gave me that smile I'd seen many times lately. The one where whatever scheme she was dreaming up was about to take its next step.
She put a hand on my back and pushed me around the table. "And you, Mr. Sloane, can sit riiiiiiiight here," she ordered, "Beside Miss. Macallister." She forced me down into the seat and patted me on the shoulders. "Good boy," she said, sounding satisfied as she went and sat opposite the pair of us. I frowned at her and she stared back at me as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth as she took a plastic spoon and began to stir her coffee.
Heather sat bolt upright as she listened to the drama going on around her. When she realized what had happened and that I was sat next to her, she wriggled so far to the right she was practically falling off her chair.
I took a deep breath. Alright. This is great. This is just terrific.
The conversation was as stilted and awkward as I had imagined it would be.
Janet went around the table making introductions and I smiled and nodded to each new and sort of familiar woman in turn. Familiar as in "I've slept with you, right?" familiar as I tried to put names to faces. And faces to tits, an ass or well-stuffed pussy. The ship may have docked many a time but I never was one to stamp the passport. There we go. Lesson learned.
I shook my head. "Sorry ladies, I'm terrible with names," I apologized. Which, hand on heart, was true enough.
Across from me, Sexpot Suzie piped up. "Maybe you should give us all a number. I hear you're real good with numbers," she said, staring at me as she chewed on her buttered toast. Beside her, takes it up the pooper Diane raised her eyebrows in amusement.
Ha Ha. Funny. True. But funny. I took a sip of my coffee noticing that individual conversations between various girls had drifted away with their attention turning to the interplay between myself and loose-limbed screamer Suzie. I gave her a wry smile and a nod at her initial poke to my supposed reputation. "Probably," I smiled at her, "I guess it takes more than a pretty face to grab my attention these days."
Suzie laughed and put both hands over her heart. Touche. There was a brief murmur amongst the group and our little verbal spat seemed to ease the tension. Talk turned back to work. The new girls asking me various things about what went on upstairs and what my responsibilities were as head chief of the tenth floor as the others listened.
I glanced to my right at Heather who was the only one to have a tray in front of her and she was idly tracing her fingers around the edge as she sipped on her hot drink. She hadn't said a word and seemed content to simply listen to the gossip going on around her as she relaxed enough to sit properly in her chair. I think we were both relieved that our little encounter at Bennie's Bar and Grill wasn't such a big deal after all and was something that just happened in the heat of the moment.
That moment, of course, had meant something entirely different to the both of us.
I sat back and pretended to be interested in the small talk but no matter how hard I tried, the blind girl sat next to me was the only thing on my radar. To be this close and be able to feel the physicality of her was the most unnerving thing. I could smell her sweet perfume that was as unassuming as she was. Just a hint but not a fuss. I glanced at her in profile and admired the classical way her features flowed into one another. My gaze dropped to her mouth and the way her soft lips were parted as she sipped her drink. Hand on heart, I could sit here and look at her all day. Her attention seemed elsewhere with her face turned away from me as she listened to the women on her right talking. All the while, I knew Janet was staring at the pair of us like a Mother Hen.
It was then I felt the first tentative touches of a hand on my right thigh.
What the heck? I gave a short grunt of surprise as I glanced at the women sitting opposite me as I took another sip of my coffee and frowned through the steam rising from the cup. But they seemed completely oblivious to what had happened. Then my gaze was drawn to the girl to my right who was sat there with a pink nose and her lips furiously pressed together.
I had to bite my own to keep from laughing at the look on her face. It had definitely been deliberate then. Her face was turned to the side as if she was listening to the other girls talking but I knew her whole attention was elsewhere.
I just stared at her. Wondering what she was going to do next.
Then her left hand touched me hesitantly again with her fingers spreading out on the top of my thigh as she became bolder. After a moment, she began to rub and caress me as I sat there completely still and let her do whatever it was she wanted to do. All the while, to the others, everything seemed normal with the girl sat next to me smiling and nodding as people made conversation with her.
Heather sat there sipping her drink before munching on her toasted jam bun as if she didn't have a care in the world. Her hand rested on me mid-thigh and I saw her take a deep breath before she began to move her hand higher. Towards my crotch. The closer it got the more her nose turned pink.
"So then, Miss. Macallister," I said suddenly as I reached under the table and placed my right hand over hers, "What's it like swimming with the sharks in the pool?"
Several women rolled their eyes at me and Janet balled a tissue and tossed it at me. "Hey, enough of that!" she laughed as all eyes turned to Heather who was sat there with me holding on to her hand.
Realising the question was aimed at her, Heather froze. She sat up straight in her chair and tried to pull her hand free but I held on to it tightly. I gave it a quick squeeze that made her blush even more as she turned slightly towards me.
"Uh, well," she stumbled as I rubbed the top of her hand with my thumb, "It's um, I guess, a little different to what I did before. But, um, I'm liking it. It's just getting used to everything being so new."
"From what I hear, you've pretty much fitted straight in. No problems?" I asked her.
She slowly turned her head towards the sound of my voice and there was a long pause as she "stared" back at me with those eyes. It suddenly occurred to me that her gaze could be quite intimidating. The color and way her eyes looked had a piercing quality about them and knowing that she was looking at you without seeing made her so very strange and different to talk to. The girl with the beautiful unseeing eyes.
"There will always be problems for someone like me, Mr. Sloane," she replied quietly, "The trick is to make sure no one knows how you're dealing with those problems even if they're the kind of problems that will never go away."
The more she spoke, the more impressive she became. We all sat looking and listening to her with a kind of rapt fascination of a life none of us could possibly imagine living and how we took our own little lives for granted.
It was Janet who broke the silence. "What did you do before you came here?" she asked.
Heather took another sip of her drink and licked her lips. She looked across to where she thought Janet was sitting. "Well," she began, "My mother used to own a Brickabrak and Haberdashery store in the small town where we lived back in the day. After school was out and old enough, I'd go spend hours in there helping out in my own way and listening to the women talking about this and that. The stories they told of their lives. To them I was normal. No different to anybody else. When I turned thirteen, my mom said I should be given a wage because she thought I'd earned it and I learned how to manage the till and do the takings at the end of the day. I guess that was my first proper job. "
Heather paused for a moment. "St. Judes was the special school I originally went to from the age of six till I was going on sixteen. There I learned things like brail, audio typing, and other skills and stuff I'd need to know if I wanted to go out into the real world and find something I liked doing. Maybe even make a career out of it. But that was easier said than done. And at the end of each day, I grew more confident in myself and the things I would be able to do. I also came to realize the one thing I didn't want to be."
Everyone in the group just sat listening to her. The simple way she described the life she had growing up and molding her into the woman she was destined to become. Overcoming whatever hardships she faced with a resolve that could only be admired and respected. I let go of her hand but as soon as I did she took mine in hers as she told her story.
"And what was the one thing you didn't want to be?" asked Janet.
"That I didn't want to be that little girl afraid of the dark."
What was there to say?
How do you respond to something spoken so simply?
Each of us in our own way are afraid of the dark. The great unknown. Not being able to see the path life has chosen for us. A metaphor for us but the truth for someone like Heather. What would be a hill for us would be a mountain for her. A number of the women got up and came over to her to give her a hug.
She let go of my hand and placed both hers on the table in front of her and clasped them together. I sensed she was wondering if she had said too much. Been too open with her feelings. I was moved beyond words and all I wanted to do was take her in my arms and protect her from the things she feared.
Janet reached across and laid a hand on hers. "No one here, Heather," she said, "Is anything less than seriously impressed at the way you've settled in. This may sound a bit silly, but everyone thinks the world of you. I'm sure I speak for all of us in that we hope you decide to stay on after your trial period comes to an end next month."
I looked at the older woman with surprise at the news. "Wait, I thought the assessment period was six months?"
Janet nodded. "Usually," she explained, "But Heather is here through a special scheme for young people with disabilities. It's been company policy to do this for a while now. I guess it's something those of you working above the fifth floor don't really notice. Her six weeks will be up in the middle of January and it will be up to her if she wants to apply for the extension as I'm pretty sure she's already passed the qualifications required to be accepted."
Alright. This wasn't in the plan. Not that I had a plan to begin with. I turned back to look at Heather as did everyone sat around the table. "Have you decided what you're going to do, Miss. Macallister?"
She raised her chin. Her face was turned fully towards mine. "You can call me Heather, Mr. Sloane," she smiled, "Remember?"
Work was there in front of me but my mind was elsewhere.
I turned in my chair and stared out of my office window as the tenth floor continued to do what the tenth floor does. One of the most important things for me is to have a constant. A sense of everything being where I wanted it to be. That my life had some sort of core order and which everything revolved around. That whatever life threw my way, I could handle and deal with little fuss. Smooth sailing on a calm sea. Where I was on Monday, I'd pretty much be in the same place mentally and emotionally come Friday.
Friday had usually been the day to go out looking for adventure. An adventure of the sexual kind. Have a little unconditional fun with whatever girl took my fancy. That those girls were mainly girls from work was neither here nor there. Chat them up. Wine and dine them. Use them to scratch the old itch. Then stick them in the taxi and add another number to the whiteboard.
This isn't going to go the way you think.
"I'm not sure, to be honest," Heather had replied when asked the question if she would stay, "There are things that need to happen for me to want to stay. Those things are hard to predict. Nothing to do with the job. Work isn't the issue or most important thing I have to consider."
Through the frosted glass of my office window, the mid-morning Winter sun sat in the slate grey sky staring at me as if trying to read my thoughts as the memory of what had happened in the canteen earlier nagged at me.
Heather had been remarkably candid and open as the conversation continued to revolve around the way she had come to terms with the cards life had dealt her. She answered each question asked with wit and resolve. No matter how trivial they were.
"So, have you got a boyfriend?" asked Rhonda, an early twenty-something with a shocking mane of unruly shoulder length brown curly hair streaked with highlights. There was an agreeable murmur amongst the rest of the group at that one.
Now there was a question I'd like to know the answer too. Of course, she didn...
"Actually, I do," she replied brightly.
Uh, hang on. Excuse me? No, you don't. Least I don't think you do. I glanced across the table and saw that Janet had a frown on her face and seemed as surprised as I was.
Curly haired Rhonda sat forward grinning. "Really?" she asked, "What's his name?"
"Or hers," peeped up a doughty lady by the name of Cooky (seriously) who had her multi-colored braided hair piled up on the top of her head like a punch drunk pineapple.
Heather clasped her hands together and twiddled her thumbs. "William," she revealed, "His name is William and he sort of works at a place I help out as a volunteer."
William? Did she mean Billy? The kid at the Institute? That William? He wasn't your boyfriend. You even told me he wasn't!
I grinned to myself as I continued to look out of the office window. I guess that was one way to cut off any potential gossip at the pass. The innocent glance she had given me spoke volumes and it was all I could do to keep a straight face.
The rest of breakfast passed off pretty much as expected with the pool gossiping between themselves as the bell went and everyone gathered their things to head off to their various departments until only Janet, Heather, and myself remained around the table.
Janet fussed around looking slightly befuddled - no doubt her mind was like "Who the hell is William?" right now - as she picked up her bag and came around the table to help the younger woman gather her things.
Heather held out her hand suddenly when she realized I was near to her. "That was fun, Mr. Sloane," she smiled as I reached across and took it in mine. I gave it a quick squeeze that had her grinning broadly, "Maybe another time?"
There was definitely going to be another time. It was only a matter of where and when. "My pleasure, Miss Macallister. Have a nice day."
Heather let her Supervisor take her arm and I watched as the two women made their way to the exit to begin their working day.
Janet looked at me over her shoulder with a perplexed look on her face before they both disappeared through the doors.
The bell rang again and I picked up my coat and case. That went about as well as I could have hoped. No major drama. I lifted my hand and looked at my palm. I could still feel her warmth as I made a fist. I glanced at my watch. Time to get a move on. Time to pay the bills. Time to go to work.
Still breathing heavily, I eased across and sat naked on the edge of the bed.
Behind me, I felt her come over and wrap her arms around me as she pressed her full breasts against my back. Her long black hair fell over my shoulders like a shawl as she lightly kissed my neck. I smiled and took her left hand in mine and brought it to my lips.
"Mmmmmmmmmm," she sighed, "Not bad. Not bad at all." Her right hand rubbed my chest before slowly dropping lower, "Now what have we here?" she teased as she ran a finger around the shortening length of my spent cock.
"Careful," I warned her, "You might wake it up again."
I felt her laugh against me. "That was always the plan, sweetie," she breathed sexily, "Second times around the moon are always so much more enjoyable. For the new guy, you sure know how to ring my bell."
Her name was Victoria. She was the first. The first catch from the pool and a good twelve years older than me at nearly thirty.
She slipped away from me and sat back against the headboard as I looked at her over my shoulder and gave her a faint smile. She didn't say anything but stared at me for a minute or so as we sat there in her bedroom. And then she said something. Something that I would forget in the moment but remember as the years passed.
Her brown eyes never left my face. "You're different," she said, "You're not like the others even though you think you are. From that first morning, I saw you, I knew you had something about you. Even Janet was taken with you. This," She raised her hand to me then back to her, "This isn't you, Michael. There is something else meant for you I'm sure. Someone else. Someone who'll turn your world upside down. You told me I was your first. But this someone maybe won't even be your second, or fifth, or even tenth."
I sat there listening to her.
"Remember, there is someone for everyone," she smiled, "I don't know how but I know she will be someone very, very special and the most important thing of all is to find her and never ever let her go.."
I slowly opened my eyes and stared up into the dark as the dream faded but the memory of those words remained. Words spoken by a ghost from my past now long gone somewhere else. It had been Janet who had stayed with me as the years had passed. She had been there in the dream too. Watching silently from the shadows as we had fucked and I became more than I had been moments before.
Janet came to my side as I stood there naked watching as the bed and woman on it slowly faded back into a memory. Goodbye Victoria. My first woman. The first of what would become many.
"Am I in love with her?" I asked.
Janet slipped her hand in mine. We both knew who we were talking about.
"No, hon," she smiled up at me, "But I know you're going to be."
I lay there on my bed knowing she was right.
End of Part 2: Rumours and Visions.
Continues in Part 3: The Date.