Previous story is The Engineer Plays On.
South Farm Amanda had said. Hmm ... it was a big place, but also in poor condition, nothing had been done to it for years, decades probably, and the outbuildings weren’t much better. Still, it was food for thought, but fairly swiftly if I was going to do anything. And that muscle control was something I’d like to sample again. So, meeting of the family I think.
Everyone had been invited to supper and the subsequent meeting but in the event there was Wendy, Ruth and Diana, Melody and Madeline. I explained what it was all about and invited opinions. Basically the three ladies were in favour, at least in investigating, and the girls weren’t particularly worried. So it was agreed that I would make an initial contact.
“Does anyone know anything about the people who own it, Cedric and Annie Woodward, I think,” I asked.
“Yes,” said Wendy, “They’re in their sixties, they have two daughters who don’t live there, and as far as I can tell don’t visit very often. The whole place is pretty rundown, Cedric doesn’t do much in the way of farming and I don’t think he ever has. Rumour has it that Annie is the one who owns the place, it was her grandfather who left it to her, skipping a generation.”
“He spends most of his time down the Mucky Duck, drinks like a fish,” put in Melody. “Nasty old bugger.”
“I’ve met Annie,” Diana said, “she seems quite nice.”
“Yes, she is,” said Wendy.
“What about the daughters?” I asked, but nobody seemed to have met them or know anything about them.
Striking whilst the iron was hot so to speak I arrived at Home Farm in my old Landrover the next morning. The first thing to greet me was a snarling dog, followed in short order by a snarling farmer.
“Yer the pervert from up the Gables ain’t yer.”
It might have been phrased as a question but there was no doubt that it was a statement.
“Good morning,” I said, with some small effort not to rise to him. “I understand that you are interested in selling the farm.”
“No I ain’t. Same as I tole the rest of ‘em, piss off an’ don’t come back.”
At this moment a well built lady sailed around the corner of a barn.
“Cedric! You can piss off yourself! Go and do something with your sheep, and take your mutt with you.”
This, I thought, sounds like a happy marriage.
“You must be Diana’s husband, I’m Annie Woodward,” and she held out her hand.
“George Smith,” I said shaking her hand.
“I would apologise for Cedric, but there’s little point, he’s always been like it and he’ll never change. Come in and I’ll make coffee.”
I followed her into a large kitchen, typical of what you would expect of a farmhouse, stone flagged floor, ‘ware sink with taps mounted high enough to get a bucket under, beechwood drainers and a couple of kitchen cabinets that were undoubtedly pre second world war, a large pine table and chairs, and above all an air of being cleaned and tidied as and when needed, and it wasn’t needed very often. She shifted a big kettle onto the hob of an ancient Aga. Probably I thought, as I sat at the table, old enough to have kept Noah warm. She bustled about making coffee in a cafetière, and as she did so I saw a woman in her mid sixties, tall and well proportioned, a lined face still showing the beauty that she had been, with long flowing light grey hair. She set the coffee on the table together with a jug of milk, a bowl of sugar and two mugs.
“I’ve heard a lot about you George, you don’t mind if I call you George?”
“No, no. No problem.”
“Call me Annie. Now. A lot of the people from the new estate have no idea who you are and since they don’t mix much in the village I can discount them. Then there are the people in this village who used to talk about you, not in very nice terms, and then they seemed to clam up. Since all of them had something in common, being on the parish council or socialising with that set, I couldn’t help but wonder ... and then there is almost everyone else and they say good things about you.”
She looked at me quizzically, but I decided to do no more than shrug a shoulder.
“So I’d say you’re the sort of man who likes to get his own way and you don’t mind too much if you have to use a little ... leverage. But you look after people and you reward loyalty. And you are prepared to don your armour and ride into battle if you need. What do you have on the colonel by the way?”
“I couldn’t possibly say.”
“Never mind, Dolly is one voice that sings your praises, and curiously so does the colonel now. And their baby is lovely, if a little late in life. Now, you may wonder why I am going into all this. Do you want more coffee?”
“Erm, yes, that’d be nice.”
Annie made some more.
“As I’m sure you know I own this farm, not Cedric. My granddad left it to me because by the time he died my father was ready to retire and not too fit, and there might have been two lots of inheritance tax paid in a short period of time. When I was young and extremely foolish I married Cedric, something I have regretted almost every day since. He always was a lazy useless little bugger, and after the girls were born I was very ill for a long time and the whole thing went downhill, which is why you see it as it is today.
“What I want is quite specific, and not everyone will go along with it, and what I need to do is make up my mind whether I can trust you. Amanda says that I can, but she may have an ulterior motive because she wants one of the houses and a couple of acres to grow organic vegetables. As if we haven’t always!”
“Amanda? The parish clerk?”
“You know very well that’s the one because she’s why you’re here, and I know very well that you’ve bedded her. She’s my niece, my younger sister’s girl. She unfortunately died of cancer a couple of years back. Amanda comes to see me quite often and I can tell she’s been ... well satisfied, something her Kevin has never achieved, despite having four children. So putting that together with the number of times your name comes up in her conversation I’d say that was a certainty.”
I could almost see her making her mind up.
“Right, do you want to hear what I want?”
Annie had me really intrigued, she was very far from what you might expect, so I said, “Of course.”
“I don’t want to sell the farm at present, but I do want to get out of this draughty old building. There are several cottages here, none of them liveable at the moment, but they could be done up without too much trouble. I want one for me to live in, with, I suppose, a second bedroom for Cedric. I want an income so that I can live comfortably and provide him with enough cash to drink himself into oblivion. Get the place valued and make me a proposal.”
“What about your daughters, do they come in to this?”
“Eventually. They aren’t interested in the property. They were driven away by Cedric, he’s never actually molested them, but he did make them feel so uncomfortable that they left. I go and see them quite often. They have their own business in London doing some sort of hospitality.”
“A couple of things occur to me,” I said. “First I might need to sublet the land, I’m not a farmerand second I’d like an option to buy at some time in the future.”
“The first would be no problem, and the second, I’ll have to talk to the girls about that.”
And with that I left to put my thoughts together. I called Amanda as I left to tell her that I’d talked to her aunt. She decided that she’d like to talk about it face to face and was waiting for me when I got home. She seems to be learning new tricks with those muscles every time I umm ... see her.
Architects, surveyors, lawyers, between them the next couple of weeks were pretty hectic, not forgetting that there was a business to run at the same time. I had to drive Annie half way to London to meet her daughters. They turned out to be identical twins and a couple of pretty sharp cookies. We met in the lounge of a large hotel. The meeting was cordial and they confirmed that they would sell to me when their mother died. Obviously that was going to need tying up legally but that would be no problem. They expressed considerable interest in my business and I have to admit that that interest caused me to wonder exactly what their business was.
“Auntie’s very impressed with the way things are happening,” Amanda told me when she came round for ... an update. With benefits.
“Good,” I said. “By the way, what does Kevin think of your umm, muscle development?”
“He almost never touches me nowadays. Much more interested in seed catalogues and all the paraphernalia that he’ll need. Far more exciting that sex.”
“He doesn’t... ?”
Oh well, more for me, I suppose, although I do have other demands. And I did find that a little worrying, it isn’t a recipe for a lasting marriage. The wife is liable to find satisfaction elsewhere.
Everything else seemed to be carrying on just fine. The gym was doing well between my two slaves Diana and Ruth, the bondage equipment business was almost outstripping our ability to supply and there were a number of new items under development in conjunction with William and his amazing collection of Victorian gear. Wendy’s side of things with the bespoke corsetry was running her off her feet. I also had several other items that I had designed which were now going into production, although I would only receive royalties from these it was nothing to be sniffed at, and would be providing a lot of the finance for the Home Farm project. Joanna was doing well at uni and my son Michael was off doing something academic and anthropological, but I hadn’t really understood what it was. The little ones were no problem at this time, but at some time in the future a nanny would probably be a good idea. Vera was alright as a cook, but meals were becoming a bit of a problem due to her situation and she wanted to retire. Melody was almost never home, her career had taken off in a big way and she had already featured on the front cover of a well known fashion magazine. Unlike the size zero models, skinny and often less than pretty, let’s be honest some of them are pretty awful, she was actually very attractive and sexy and cameras loved her. She could walk onto a catwalk in dungarees and a flannel shirt and people would look at her not the practically naked sticks draped in whatever. So that was a big plus and Wendy was rightly proud of her.
It took nearly a month to put everything together and arrive at a proposal that both Annie and my lot were happy with. Once that was in place things started to roll. Initially getting Annie’s house up together was the most important thing, but clearing out barns and the buildings around the farm courtyard, and getting the house started were also a priority; time is money.
Annie’s suggestion that Cedric would drink himself to death was almost prophetic, almost because it wasn’t actually the drink that killed him. But just under six months from our first meeting, whilst staggering back from the pub, he was knocked down by a car. Almost no one, particularly Annie and her girls was sorry about him, but everyone felt sorry for the car driver who was deeply traumatised by it.
The funeral wasn’t attended by many, but I have to say that Annie and her girls did look very good in black. We had a last minute rush to get Annie’s house finished so that she could move in and have her daughters, Jacqueline and Jillian, to stay. Jacque and Jill, yes honestly, I did ask Annie what she was thinking of when she named them and she just said that it seemed like a good idea at the time. They were a handsome pair, there was beauty, but there was a certain hardness about their looks. Both were average in height with slim, almost boyish figures. Whilst they were here they decided that they just had to visit and see what we did at The Gables. Annie decided that she would come with them. I wasn’t sure whether this was a good idea because I was already wondering about the girls, but she insisted that whatever it was she was going to be living next door to it, so it was best she knew. The corsetry was of of great interest to them but when we got to the dungeon they really got excited. I got one of them, I really couldn’t tell them apart, although I did realise that this was because of clever makeup in addition to their natural similarity, to stand on the frame, and in moments had her trussed like a lamb for slaughter. I left the pair of them for a moment and went to sit with Annie on the chaise longue.
“You know exactly what they do for a living don’t you?” I said to her.
“And so do you,” she replied. “I’m very proud of them, they’ve taken a natural ability and enhanced it and made a damned good living out of it.”
I laughed “Yes, but I suppose me having a professional interest helps.”
It was at this point that a thought struck.
“I’ve had an idea. Hold on, I’ll be back.”
I popped out and asked Wendy if she had something that would fit Annie.”
She thought. “I’ve got a black number that was cancelled. It can’t be far off. Do you want me to come and collect her?”
It took a moment or two to persuade Annie to go and try something on, there were a certain number of ‘Oh no, I couldn’t possiblys’ but she went with Wendy. Meantime Jacque released Jill from the frame. They were particularly taken with the cuffs.
A few minutes later my slaves Diana and Ruth arrived. We were in the process of introductions when Wendy arrived towing Annie behind her. The effect was stunning. Yes, she was in her sixties, yes, she was no lightweight, although as I’ve said before, not fat, and with her long hair she looked regal. If you can look regal just wearing a corset, although Wendy had permitted her to retain her knickers.
She did look a little embarrassed. Jacque and Jill were delighted and oo’d and ah’d grinning widely.
“So what’s your idea,” she asked, “or was it just to make me look ridiculous,” indicating Diana and Ruth who were laughing.
“Oh, we’re not laughing at you Annie, far from it, you look great, really, but we’ve worked out what George’s idea is, and it’s brilliant, but whether you’ll go along with it is another matter. Go on George.”
“Well, Jacque and Jill are dominatrix, and as you can see Annie fits the bill as well. So the idea is to run this place as a sort of, umm ... hotel. For people who appreciate the sort of attention they could provide. I dare say everyone will want to think about that, and I haven’t worked out any details, but as an initial reaction what do you think?”
There was silence. Jacque and Jill looked at each other, and then at their mother.
“Well she looks the part, and as I recall she always had a sharp tongue when necessary,” said Jill.
“I agree,” said Jacque. “We need to work a lot of things out though.”
“Well, yes,” I agreed. “But as a basic idea...”
“Do I get a say?” asked Annie.
“Of course darling,” said Jacque taking her by the hand. She was leading her mother over to the frame. “did you see how this works, Mummy? Look you put a foot on here and one here, and...”
Jill fixed the cuffs.
“ ... there you are. We could all do this for a living, wouldn’t that be fun?”
“Now you two vixens let me go this instant,” said Annie, struggling.
“Oh no, come on George, what do you do now?”
“We usually snip knickers off,” I said, doing just that.
I tilted the frame slightly to get a better angle and discovered that older ladies get excited too. I started licking somewhere around her left knee, proceeding slowly upwards. When I got near the top I went and started on the other one, all the time massaging the flesh showing beneath the corset. The noises coming from above me varied from ‘what and you doing’ to ‘oooh’ and ‘Aahhh’ and when I got to the top and started nibbling on the fleshy bits and searching out hidden parts with my tongue there was something like a volcanic eruption taking place.
There was a round of applause from the audience. I stood the frame upright as Annie came to, bright pink with embarrassment.
“My God! That never happened before! And with an audience!” she paused. “Any one of you says a word outside this room and you’ll answer to me.”
This was greeted with general laughter.
“See? Just the tone we need,” one of the twin laughed.
The others left the room heading for coffee in the kitchen whilst I helped Annie off the frame.
“Now,” she said, grabbing me by my belt, “there’s a chaise longue over there and if you’re as good as my niece seems to think then I want a sample. I been without for far too long and what I had was rubbish.”
We were late for coffee, but Annie was definitely thinking that my proposal had a lot of merit.
I was project managing the works on the farm, and making sure that everything was on schedule, so I was spending some time there, usually in the mornings. I decided against letting the land. Yes, I know, I’m not a farmer, but there are plenty of good people who are. So what I needed was someone who would take over the management of it. We’d need some modern buildings, the old ones could be put to better use, some already earmarked for Wendy’s and the BDSM equipment businesses. The problem was taxing my mind, because I really didn’t want to lose control over the land surrounding the house and businesses. The problem solved itself just after Cedric died. I was on site sorting one or two things out when a big Japanese four by four turned up. A chap about my age got out and walked towards me, whilst a girl got out of the other side and followed him. Everything about him said farmer, and successful one too. We shook hands and he introduced himself.
“Edward Groves,” he said, “and this is my daughter Jennifer. I was”
He was a tall, well built and fit looking guy with a clean shaven rugged face and dark hair brushed with grey, and she was a stocky girl, with a confident capable air about her, a handsome face topped by a shock of curly brown hair.
I shook hands with the girl, a nice firm handshake. “George Smith,” I said.
I looked back to the man.
“You’ve got a lot of land Mr Smith.”
“Yes, I have.”
He grinned. “Shall we cut to the chase?”
I nodded. “Saves time.”
“I have a problem and I think that you do too. You need someone to manage the land and my problem is that my son James, Jennifer’s older brother, is beginning to take over from me, and Jennifer and he are at war over how to run the farm. She wants to go organic, and James thinks it’s a waste of time. You’ve got land that qualifies as organic. So if she ran this, I can give oversight if you want, then that would solve your problem and stop the war at my place.”
“I better explain,” I said. “I have control over the land and can let it as I see fit, but it still belongs to Annie Woodward. I do involve her in anything to do with the farm, keeping her in the circuit as it were and I have to say that if she really objected then I’d take notice. So rather than I make an instant decision, let’s go and sit down with her and you can tell me about yourselves, particularly Jennifer.”
I took out my phone and called Annie.
“I’ve got coffee going already, reel ‘em in. I know of Edward Groves and he’s got a reputation for straight dealing.” She said all of this without me making a sound.
“We’re expected,” I said, leading the way.
I introduced them, and we all sat around the table. I gave Annie a brief rundown on the conversation so far.
“So, Jennifer, tell us about yourself,” I asked.
“I studied agriculture at Aberystwyth and have a degree in plant sciences, I’ve always worked around the farm of course, but I went to work on other farms during holidays so I’ve got a reasonable knowledge and I want to specialise in organic production. James just reckons the more he can get out the better, but I don’t agree. Mum was talking to the Lady at Melcombe Grange and she said that you had this land, so I persuaded Dad that it would be a good idea to ask. That’s about it, I suppose.”
Not the best of sales pitches, but with dad present it was difficult for her.
Edward finished his coffee. “I’ve got an appointment in town,” he said smiling. “If I leave her with you for a couple of hours...”
“Don’t worry,” I told him, “I’ll drop her back later after we’ve been into things a bit deeper.”
And truth to tell I wanted a look at his farm to get a feel for things.
I saw him out and then came back and asked Annie if she would look after Jennifer for a few minutes. I wandered off and did not a lot for a quarter of an hour to give Annie a chance to talk, well, listen mainly, I valued her opinion.
When I returned we went out to tour the land in my old Landrover. We were now getting much more enthusiasm from Jennifer and she was excited by what she saw as the possibilities.
Whilst Jennifer was wandering ahead of us I looked at Annie.
“What do you think?”
“You’ll need a lot of money to get it going.”
“Yes, I’ll have to sort something out.”
“Use the farm.”
“I can’t do that, what happens if it all goes tits up? It’s you retirement at stake.”
“Not if you isolate the buildings from the land, and in any case, I think this young lady will make it sing.”
We returned to Annie’s and I took Jennifer off for lunch at The Gables.
As we were eating I asked her what she thought about it. I made sure that her enthusiasm didn’t infect me, I could see plenty of problems but...
“Have you done any sales or marketing or PR courses?”
“Okay, we’ll have to do something about that”
She looked at me questioningly.
“All very well producing stuff, but you have to sell it and you have to know where. People don’t beat a path to your door unless you are very lucky. Now we’ll have to sort out a motor for you.”
“I’ve got my own car.”
“And what is it?”
“Excellent ... for students. Why does your dad drive that big pickup?”
“Well, it’s useful round the farm, not that he does much, but he’s a successful farmer and ... Oh!”
“Just so, first lesson in presentation. Get the right image.”
Does this mean that we’re going ahead with this?”
“Yes. Better sort out a salary and whatever. You’d better get your plans sorted, I’ll want oversight and so will Felice.”
“Accountant. Now, I know your dad said he’d give oversight but to be honest he’s family and I’d rather have someone who is independent, would you agree?
She grinned. “Yes, definitely.”
“You’d better have a look at what we do here so that you don’t get caught by any awkward questions.”
We went over and she had the tour, and no, we kept it all at a businesslike level. Heavens, do you think I shag every female that comes near me?
annie, of course, wanted chapter and verse, and she’s just as bad as you lot, and almost refused to believe that Jennifer had left without, well, you know. She was delighted with the whole idea and I thought that the girl would have another granny.
It was a couple of days later when I arrived back at home from site and coffee with Annie, to find Diana and Wendy entertaining Jacque and Jill. Shortly after I arrived Wendy asked if I could pop out and help with a decision regarding a particular order. When I returned there was only one person sitting at the kitchen table. Jacque or Jill?
She rose and took my hand leading me towards the stairs.
“Guest room is free I believe.”
We made our way up the stairs and I directed her to the guest bedroom. I’m not sure why it was called that, bedrooms just seemed to get used as required. We started taking each others clothes of as we went in the door. We were in a deep lip lock so it was slow going, but she managed to get my shirt off first followed by my trousers, whilst I only managed her jumper, revealing small conical breasts. The next thing I know she has my pants off and is on her knees giving my todger a workout with lips and tongue. After a minute or two I pulled her up and removed her jeans after which we ended up on the bed and I slid my hand down across her stomach and into her knickers.
And that is when I discovered that Jacque was in fact Jack, and they were not identical but fraternal twins. My hand had encountered something very small but definitely not female.
Now I’m completely non judgemental but this wasn’t the usual way of finding this out. So not only was the makeup designed to make them look the same, it also covered up certain other differences.
I drew back from the kiss and looked at a face that was having difficulty in restraining laughter.
“Well I wasn’t expecting that,” I remarked.
At that she, sorry, he, cracked up and spent the next couple of minutes in unbridled laughter. I have to say that it didn’t strike me as being particularly funny.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “But you were going to find out sooner or later and Diana thought this way would provide some amusement.”
I leant over and continued the kiss where I had broken it off. It was, after all, a very nice kiss. She hesitated for a moment and then joined in. A short while later I drew back.
“I’m sorry too,” I said, “but this is beyond my experience to date, and I’m really not sure what I feel, so I think I’ll take a raincheck if you don’t mind.”
She smiled. “Take your time. I’d like it if you decide that you can, but if you can’t, then Jill is the next best thing.”
“You cheeky bitch,” exclaimed the recipient of that jibe as she came into the room with Diana, both laughing.
To finish off the time until lunch we swapped and I need say little about that, other than the similarities were remarkable. So were the differences.
When I went out to see Wendy to check how things were going she had a grin wrapped around her face that just wouldn’t seem to let go, so I retired to my office to get something sensible done.
We had a lot of discussions with Jacque and Jill, and sometimes Annie, over the next week, until the girls had to return to London to keep their existing business running. Although I obviously knew about the existence of the BDSM scene, hell we produced equipment for it, but I certainly didn’t know anything in detail as far as the’ customers’ were concerned, and from a personal involvement point of view had no wish to, and indeed most of the details could be left to the girls. I think it actually took longer to get those details together than it did for the main farm project. Jacque and Jill were very efficient in their profession, but when it came to getting specifications together that people could work from it was a different story and I had to ‘hold their hands’ all the way through.
After they had gone I got back to my normal routine, checking that things were on schedule and making any necessary decisions on my morning visits to the farm. I often popped in to see Annie and have a coffee with her whilst doing so. The first morning after Jacque and Jill had left she quizzed me about them.
“They are ... different,” was about all I could say.
“Well they’ve taken to you, which is a great honour, normally men are shunned, which is what makes them successful. Jacque is particularly taken.”
“Yes, I had no idea...”
“Until you stuck you hand in her knickers. Yes, she said. She also said she’ll be doing her best to seduce you,” Annie laughed.
Well thank you for that tit bit.
Annie did have a fairly active social life but I liked to keep her up to date on my visits, besides, she made good coffee. I was chatting to her one morning, sitting at her kitchen table, when her door bell rang. It was probably for me, someone from the site wanting something, but it being her house, Annie went to the door. I could hear her speaking to someone for a minute and then she bustled back in, followed by a girl in a wheel chair with another girl behind her.
“These young ladies are for you,” she grinned, the double entendre obvious to me but hopefully not the girls whom I had never seen before.
I stood whilst the wheel chair manoeuvred up to the table. The other girl sat beside her. Annie set about making more coffee.
“Right,” I began, “I’m George Smith, and you want to see me.”
“Yes,” said the girl in the wheelchair. “I’m Julia Williams, and this,” she indicated the other girl, “is Sarah McCloud. We’ve been looking for premises to start our own business and there just isn’t anything suitable in the area. The units in town are too expensive, because although we only need the area of one of them our individual businesses have to be separate.”
They were both slim, Julia dark haired, cut close to her finely featured face, Sarah more ‘pretty’ with dirty blonde hair also cut fairly short but not quite as severe.
“What do you do?” I asked, imagining, something, well, I’m not sure really. Girly I suppose.
“I’m a blacksmith...” said Julia
“ ... and I make furniture,” said Sarah. “So you can see that we need to be separate, but we work together.”
Well that shot my bit of chauvinism in the foot.
“Yes, I can see that being in the same shop fire could be a problem. I imagine that insurance might be a problem too, when you are talking about being on an industrial estate.” I looked at Annie, “what do you think?”
“There’s the old smithy,” she suggested.
“Exactly what I was thinking. Finish your coffee and we’ll go and have a look.”
“You had a blacksmith here?” asked Julia.
“Not really, no,” replied Annie. “But there was always something that needed repair and farmers can turn their hands to most things, and sometimes a forge was required. So not a smithy as you might think of it. More of a repair shop.”
I looked at the girls and thought for a moment. Funny how things suddenly gel in your mind.
“So how often do you go to see Ruth and Diana?”
Julia laughed. “They help with physio for me,” she said.
So that confirmed who the contact was.
“Right, let’s go and have a look at what we could offer.”
All four of us went across to the old farm courtyard which was not yet completely cleared, although one side was being prepared for Wendy’s workshop. The way was fairly level and reasonably free of obstructions, so Julia had no problem.
We indicated a door and the girls went in with us following. To say Julia was delighted with the space would be an understatement, she kept looking around with a broad grin on her face. Sarah was obviously happy for her too. We led them out into the yard again and showed them the space next door. The buildings had walls of brick and flint and the roof structure was completely on view, as was the underside of the tiles covering it.
This is what I had in mind for you as a woodwork shop,” I told them.
It was Sarah’s turn to gaze in awe. And then her face fell as she turned to me.
“But this is going to be far too much money,” she said.
“Not necessarily,” and I named a price per square metre, which I knew was more than competitive. “of course there is some work to be done, floors, wiring and lighting, but if we get that done, and say a rent holiday for six months, how does that sound?”
“Too much like a free lunch,” commented Julia. “What do we have to do? Sleep with you?”
“Good heavens no! Nice as I’m sure that would be,” there was a snort from Annie which she covered as a cough. “No, I think you being here would be a considerable asset to our business, not to mention that if we do want to expand with further units we could point to you as examples of the need. So no, no free lunch, no strings, and no sex. Now, if you want to go ahead with this you’d better have a think about it, and tell me what you want in the way of services.
The two girls looked at each other, grinned, and high fived.
“We’ll take it. And the risk,” said Sarah.
“You might be lying about about the sex.”
“Mmm, I might. Now I’ll leave you to it, I need to get home. Work out what you want and come and see me, I’m up at The Gables. I’ll see you tomorrow Annie.”
There was another problem waiting for me when I got home. Felice was in the office waiting for me.
“You are going to have to set up a proper office, you cannot carry on as you are. You’ve got several businesses running and it seems to be snowballing. Now you’ve got a farm and that’s going to cause problems because we’ll need a specialist. You need people full time to answer the phone and make sure paperwork is up to date.”
“How much for what?”
“You to come in full time and sort it for me.”
“I’ll have to think about that.”
“May I suggest something to be doing whilst you are thinking?”
She stood and came into my arms for a lengthy kiss.
“You’ve been neglecting me.”
“I seem to have been neglecting every one, I really need someone to relieve the load.”
“Well, I can relieve you of one load straight away ... we’ll have to discuss terms for the other.”
We went into the house and she did indeed relieve me of, umm ... two loads actually, the second without terms, so that’ll be the third, and had similar satisfaction herself.
We agreed terms over lunch at the Mucky Duck. There would be limited companies formed and Felice would be Chief Financial Officer. It was a move I’d known had to be made for a while.
“Got yourself another couple of girls then.”
It was supper that evening and Diana and Ruth were giggling over my explanation of the meeting with Julia and Sarah.
“They seem like nice girls. And you sent them. Probably as an entry for yourselves I imagine.” I said, defensively.
“Mmm ... you think they’re nice?” said Diana.
“And the rest of us are not very nice?” asked Madeline, grinning. Just as well Joanna was back at University.
“Yes, of course, umm ... better than nice. Much better.”
I was a bit worried about where I’d be sleeping if I kept on digging, but fortunately we went on to other things.
The next morning after I returned form a brief visit to the farm, I was settling down to sort out all the stuff that Jacque and Jill wanted when a white van drove up. I’d seen the van yesterday at the farm so I guessed that it belonged to Julia and Sarah. A few minutes later there was a knock and the office door was nudged open by Julia’s wheel chair followed by Sarah.
“Hi, good morning,” they greeted me.
“We’ve got the information on what we want.” went on Julia.
“We haven’t stopped since we saw the buildings yesterday,” said Sarah.
They showed me the drawings they had made with all the power points and lighting marked. They also needed water which was something I’d have to think about because the drainage didn’t stretch that far, so it either had to be pumped or go to a soakaway. The w.c. facilities were being put into Wendy’s unit but I realised that if I was now thinking about the possibility of more units I’d have to get something done about that. It seemed as though every time I crossed something off one end of the list something was added to the other end.
“That’s excellent, I can work from that.”
“When d’you think it’ll be ready?” asked Julia.
“I think about four weeks. I had a chat to the contractor this morning and he’s going to make a start on the floor at the beginning of next week. How does that suit your plans?”
“That should fit in pretty well. We’ve got stuff to get but some of it will take time, so yes. Do they have planning permission for change of use.” said Julia. “We don’t want to get involved in any problems.”
“Yes, we had to get it for Wendy’s unit so we did the whole lot. No problem.”
“By the way, are you thinking of renting the cottages?” asked Sarah.
“I am, yes, but at the moment they are a comparatively low priority. I take it you’d be interested in one?”
“We live in a pretty awful flat at the moment,” said Sarah. “One of the cottages would be great, short commute too.”
“Not,” I cautioned, “always a desirable position to be in.”
“But you live and work here. What do you actually do?”
“Ah! They didn’t tell you that then,” remembering that they had found me through my terrible twin slaves, although slave, I thought, was becoming less and less accurate. “Well I design and patent various things, much of which is highly technical, but besides that we have a business supplying some unusual items. You’d better have the tour.”
We went through into Wendy’s domain, where the lady herself was working and Madeline was packing some orders.
I introduced the girls to Wendy who took over and explained her side of what went on. Madeline had a smile on her face and hummed softly as she carried on packing.
“Would you like to try one on?” Wendy finished what had become her set lecture.
The girls were clearly fascinated and um’d and ah’d but decided that yes they would.
I left them to it for a while and went into the dungeon to make sure it was tidy. Who knew what might happen?