The TGI Chronicles: Part 2 - Dave's Story
Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Cheating, Spanking, Safe Sex, Oral Sex, Masturbation, Slow,
Desc: Sex Story: Chapter 1 - This is the 2nd Part of this series. It tells the story of Dave, the bachelor stud of the company.
I got back to the TGI offices at just past five o'clock on that Friday in mid-February, having spent the day with a client. As I came through the main door the new receptionist called me over: "Sorry, it's the end of my first week, and I'm just trying to put names to faces. You're David Finch aren't you?
"And where do you fit in?"
"I'm Deputy Head of Insurance Development. My boss is Tim Williams, you probably know him. In fact, talk of the devil..." and Tim came down the stairs with his secretary Davinia, they were obviously on their way out somewhere.
Tim greeted me with "Hi, Dave. We're just going over to the pub. It's a bit early, but I decided we deserve a drink. Why don't you come over later."
Now I've worked with Tim for over five years now. We get on really well, he had joined the company only a couple of months ahead of me, and we've been work friends the whole time. He's progressed up the greasy pole so that he's now head of development for all insurance systems at TGI Financial and I have the dubious honour of being his deputy.
Tim and I got a bit closer last year when he had a bust up with his wife Beth because she had an affair. He was a bachelor for a while, and I rather looked forward to some good boy's nights out with him, but it never happened. Just as he was getting over the bust up, and was showing signs of getting interested in women again, he reconciled with Beth. In some ways I don't blame him, she's a gorgeous looking woman, but I reckon he's gone back for more trouble. Women are like that. That's why I'm one of that rare breed, a committed bachelor. There aren't many of us left.
Anyway, when Tim says 'come over later' it means 'don't join us now, we're going to have a private chat.' My guess is that Davinia's having one of her regular upsets with her stupid boyfriend. The sooner she dumps him the better. Then I can get in there, just to help her get over him, of course.
So, I went up to my desk and picked up my messages. By the time I'd sorted out those, and rescheduled some of the work for the client of the day, it was past six o'clock. Definitely 'later'!
As I came into the bar I saw Tim, he was standing chatting to a group from the department. They were some of the younger ones, and were standing listening to him. I doubt whether he realises that they are politely listening to their senior boss. He thinks he's having a drink with the guys. But then, that's what I'm about to do. I scanned the group, everyone seemed to have full glasses, so I just bought myself a pint and joined them. Tim turned to me, and the youngsters fell away to form their own circle.
"What happened to Dav?" I asked.
"She's left. She's got some domestic things to sort out." Tim looked at me, probably wondering whether he was breaking Davinia's confidentiality if he said more.
"He's still giving her trouble then?" I looked at Tim with a half smile, showing that I understood what was going on.
"Not for much longer" Tim seemed to visibly relax "I don't fancy his chances of still being there by Sunday evening."
"His only silly fault. She's quite... you know, and she deserves better than a shit like him."
"And she deserves better than a randy bachelor like you. She's above wham bam thank you mam." He looked at me pointedly.
I put on my best hurt look, because I knew that he thought better of me than that, "I'll have you know I'm a gentleman. I always take my weight on my elbows. Anyway, what are you still doing here? You don't normally hang around in here these days."
Tim turned away from the crowd, leaned into me and lowered his voice, "Beth is coming down to meet me here. It's a bit sensitive for her. We expect that she is still the subject of gossip. That scarlet woman who I've allowed back in my life. We decided that the only thing to do was to face up to it, so this evening is to be a demonstration of true marital bliss."
"It is marital bliss, isn't it? Everything's alright between you guys now?" I asked. I was concerned, I didn't fancy broken hearted Tim round two, even if it was inevitable at some time.
"Yes. It's good. It has its bad moments, but it has some very good times as well. And we are getting less of the former and more of the latter these days. That holiday in Antigua was fabulous, it did us both the world of good, and we did a lot of talking. We are back together for good." Tim looked me in the eye. I believed his sincerity.
Just at that moment there was a rare sight these days, Charlie Bullard, a founding director of the company came into the bar. Charlie founded the company as the junior partner with Neil Timmons many years ago. In the good cop bad cop analogy, Charlie is definitely the good cop. Neil is the hard businessman, Charlie is the one who makes it all work. He stepped through the crowd to Tim and myself.
He looked at our glasses, "Another one? Tim? David?"
"Yes, thanks" We both drained our glasses and handed them to him.
"What was it?"
"Cuckhaven Gold for both of us" said Tim, and Charlie headed for the bar.
I looked at Tim, "And what do you think we've done to deserve a visit from Charlie?"
Tim smiled, "I guess his wife told him to drop in." I was none the wiser, but Tim continued, "Beth and myself were at the Bullard's last week for dinner, and I guess Beth told Rose, that's Charlie's wife, that she was a bit apprehensive about turning up here tonight. So I guess Rose told Charlie to come along in support."
"That's kind of him. You must be one of the chosen if Charlie is giving you that sort of support. I must remember to glue myself to your coat tails."
At that point Charlie returned, trying to carry three pints. I moved to help him. "Thanks, I'm a bit out of practice. There was a time when I could carry six pints. But that was in the days when glasses had handles."
We made small talk, until I excused myself to join some others in the department. A couple of them were wondering what Charlie was doing there. But then he started circulating, chatting happily with all and every TGI'er that he could find. I watched him, he was a master at it. As far as I could tell, he knew everyone by name, he had a smile and a joke with them all. Frequently he would hold their arm or elbow; or put a hand on their shoulder; or turn to them to pay special attention to whatever triviality they were talking about.
Then Beth arrived, and made her way to Tim. They kissed, and both did look as if they were genuinely pleased to see each other. Tim went and got her a drink. I turned back to talk to a group of young lads from the department, including Drew Thompson. Drew was three years younger than me, but he seemed to be the next oldest heterosexual bachelor in the company. All the rest were either married or in serious relationships. Drew wasn't blessed with my looks, thanks to my Italian grandfather and some good genes, but he used his advantage of being a bit closer in age to our usual prey, I reckon we were about even in our abilities to pick up women.
"We're thinking of going to Shades later, Dave. D'you want to join us?" Drew asked.
"I might well do so. If you guys can stand the competition. I'll see how it goes tonight. I haven't given up hope that Deana Treifuss may still come in. You know the girl from Accounts." I replied, glancing at the door.
Drew took a drink from his glass, wiped his lips on the back of his hand, "I thought you'd been there. You want to go back?"
"Well, we parted on good terms. Maybe I'm feeling lazy. It'd be easier than shouting at Shades." I looked at him.
Drew leant into my ear, "Well, I think you might have a long wait. I hear that Mike Sharman from Marketing is in there, has been for a week or two now."
"I didn't know that. Why don't people keep me up to date with the gossip? Come back Stella, all is forgiven. But, no. I don't want sloppy seconds after Sharman's been at it. Anyway, I thought he was married?"
I broke out from talking to Drew to go over to Beth. She greeted me like an old friend, which was a bit of a surprise. She always gave me the impression that she tolerated me for Tim's sake. I kissed her on both cheeks.
She opened, "I want to say thank you, Dave. Tim tells me you were a really good friend last year when he needed one."
"Well, I don't like seeing friends in trouble. And Tim is one of the best."
"Well I think so. I was a fool you know. But I'm glad he had people like you around him, that stopped him going off the rails. If he had, I don't think I'd ever have got him back."
"Well, that's all in the past. Come and meet Drew and some of the others." I took her arm to lead her back to the lads.
She smiled at me, and put her hand on my arm, "Oh, you don't have to escort me around."
But I knew she needed all the help and support she could get. Her eyes belied her confident manner. "Oh, let me. It'll do my standing the world of good to have the best looking girl in the room on my arm for a moment or two."
I took her over and introduced her. The guys didn't let me down, they may have had a couple of pints inside them, but they managed to be polite when the boss's wife was with them. Except for Drew, who whispered in my ear "I don't blame Tim. I'd have gone back for a pair of tits like that."
Thank God that Drew had whispered, because just as he was doing so Charlie Bullard passed us on his way to effusively greet Beth. A showy kiss on both cheeks, and a private joke. I guess every TGI'er there noted that she had been blessed with friendliness from a founding director. I doubt whether it would do Tim's reputation in the company any harm either.
Slowly people started drifting home. By closing time we were down to me, Drew and about five young lads, a couple of whom didn't work for TGI.
Drew looked at me "Well are you coming or not?"
I didn't really want to go. Nightclubs were expensive and noisy, and worst still, they were beginning to make me feel old. "Yeah, OK then. But only if we can stop for a burger on the way up the road. I'm starving."
I noticed her within five minutes of getting into Shades. She was talking to two other girls. Blonde, tallish, mid to late twenties. Very good figure, maybe a few pounds over weight, but most of that seemed to have given her a sexy, rounded softness. Quite well dressed, sexy but not slutty. She was a definite possibility, but I'll check out what else is on offer first.
The lads disappeared off looking for their own conquests. Several of them linked up with a group of girls that they already knew. So I was quickly on my own. On my second drink I saw her again, leaning against a pillar, looking bored and with an empty glass.
"Would you trust me to get you a drink?" I asked.
She looked at me and smiled. "Let's go to the bar together." she sensibly answered.
After we had our drinks, I introduced myself. Her name was Lucy. We chatted a bit, then I noticed: pale white lines around the fourth finger of her left hand. Warning bells started. But drinking and chatting wasn't a commitment.
Nightclubs are not the best environment for chatting. And the beers earlier and the loud music were beginning to give me a headache. I don't know whether she noticed, but she came to my rescue. "Do you think there is somewhere where we might get a coffee."
"Well, only the burger bar at this time of night. Or there's my place. It's in easy walking distance."
"Well, I'll risk it. I'll just go and tell my friends what I'm doing." and she disappeared off into the throng.
She was sitting on my sofa as I brought two mugs of coffee in, and passed her one.
"So, Lucy. Your not a regular at Shades, so what guiding angel brought you into my world tonight?"
"I just needed a night out. And those two friends go there often. I just tagged along."
She wasn't mentioning her husband or marriage. So, I'll give test her directly. "But there is a man in your life, isn't there? I can't believe that some guy didn't snap you up long ago "
She looked at her lap, and then at me, and then at her coffee. Eventually she made up her mind. "I'm married. How did you know?"
"Years of practice. So what brings a pretty married lady to be standing around in Shades, and allowing herself to be bought drinks by an incredibly handsome and debonair man?"
She laughed, which was what she was meant to do. "Oh, the marriage is over. It's just a matter of one of us getting out. Neither of us has any illusions. Pete's away most weeks and most weekends these days. I just needed to leave all that behind and just be myself for an evening."
"So, why don't you get out?"
"Look, this isn't meant to be a therapy session. Or not like that anyway. I just want a good night out with my mates, followed by good night in with some guy that'll make me feel whole again. Come on Dave, I'm offering it to you on a plate." She leant forward, put her coffee down on the table and put both hands on my thighs.
I leant forward, leaning into her face, she raised her lips to mine. So close, I tipped my head slightly to one side, I raised my hand to be behind her head, pulling her into me. "So, answer my question, why don't you get out?"
"Bastard." she sat back. "Because. Just because. OK?"
"Look, Lucy. I don't get involved in other people's marriages. It's always bad news. Now, you're welcome to my bed if you want to spend the night away from him. I'll sleep in the spare room. But, if you want me in there with you, and there are parts of me that are aching for your special attention, then you've got to convince me that I ain't treading into another guy's territory."
She picked up her coffee and took a drink. She didn't say a word, she just looked sullen.
"Why don't I get us a bottle of wine and we can sit and have a drink and you can tell me about it? Or a brandy if you prefer?" I stood up, looking down on her.
"No, I don't need anything. Sit down. I'll tell you. It really is over between myself and Pete."
I sat down on the sofa, next to her, and put my arm round her. "Tell me. Then we can get on to getting you into that bed." I ran my hand up and down her back.
"Well things haven't been good for Pete and me for sometime. He works in catering, but he lost his job about nine months ago. The only job that he could get was a contract up in Edinburgh. So he's up there all the time. At first he would come home for a couple of days each week, but he doesn't even do that these days. I guess he's got someone else up there."
"Have you asked him? What does he say?"
"No. Of course he doesn't. And he's got a terrible temper, if I accuse him of anything he instantly loses it. That's why he lost his job in the first place. But we've got two kids and a mortgage and car loan, and I don't work. So, I've got to be careful." She looked up, turning to look directly in my eyes. "But it is all over. There is nothing left. You aren't poaching. I'm just learning, I haven't done this before."
I pulled her into me and kissed her. She tasted of her minty cocktail from Shades, overlaid with coffee. My hand came up to her breast. "Go on, you must have done. You've got two kids." I kissed her again, harder, more passionately this time.
"No, I meant I haven't gone out like this before. I might be a bit out of practice."
I kissed her again, she followed it by little nips of her teeth, very gently, on my chin. I nuzzled in to lick her neck, just by her ear. "Why don't I get that bottle of wine, but let's take it into the bedroom." I whispered.
We disentangled ourselves and I took hold of her hand and led her to the bedroom. I turned to her and took her in my arms and kissed her, our tongues exploring each other's mouths. "You are sure that your husband doesn't count at all. That divorce is absolutely the only option.?"
"Yes! Yes, how many times do I have to say it?"
"OK. Stay there while I go and find that bottle of wine."
I returned with a bottle of white wine straight from the fridge. I had opened it in the kitchen and grabbed two glasses. I looked at her, she was sitting on the edge of the bed, just watching me. I poured out two glasses and handed her one. I took a sip of mine and put it down.
"Wait there while I have a very quick shower. I went straight from work to the pub to Shades. And I've been in London for a large part of the day. I must stink."
"No. Just come to bed."
"It'll be nicer for you if I have a shower. I won't be long." I took another sip of wine and went to the bathroom. I've never had such a quick shower. But I felt better afterwards, awake, fresh and ready. I cleaned my teeth, sprayed myself lightly with some cologne. Then I wrapped a white fluffy towel around my waist, one that showed off the remains of last year's suntan, and I was back in the bedroom in ten minutes flat. She was still sitting on the edge of the bed, sipping her wine. I sat next to her.
"Hi. I thought you might have made yourself a bit more comfortable." I put my arm around her and pulled her in for a kiss. She was less passionate than before. Damn, my shower break had allowed her nerves to step in. "Let me help you." My hand went to the zip at the back of the dress.
She didn't move. She didn't stop me, but she didn't help either.
"Hey, Lucy. What's the matter? Nerves? Haven't done this in a long time? Don't worry, you're in the hands of a master." I whispered, as I took the two shoulders of the dress and gently slid them forward and down her arms. Under it she was wearing a white strapless bra, nothing particularly sexy. I guess the best that was in a married woman's lingerie draw. She was biting her bottom lip as I slowly undid the catch at the back and slid it forward. Her breasts were wonderful. Full, soft, with dark nipples that were already long and hard.
She still wasn't with me, she was acquiescing, not participating. Her nerves were getting the better of her. It was time for a little ego boost. "Lucy, they're beautiful. You're beautiful."
My hand went to her left breast and gentle cupped it. I leant in and kissed her. At last, she was responding. Without really stopping the kiss, I pushed her back onto the bed. My other hand came up to her right breast, and took the nipple between my fingers, gently squeezing. I let go of her breast to loosen the towel at my waist.
Then I took her hand and put it on my cock. She gently rubbed her hand up and down its length. "It feels harder than Pete's ever has."
"Forget Pete, Lucy. You're with me now."
We kissed passionately. I sat up a little, to work on lowering her dress. She seemed to thrash about at that, then I realised she was kicking her shoes off. She then raised her hips off the bed so that I could get her dress down her legs. She was wearing a simple white thong, it may have matched the bra. And stockings, thigh highs.
"I was right. You are beautiful, and very, very sexy." I leant down to kiss her tummy, as I hooked my fingers into the sides of the thong and pushed downward. Again she raised her hips, and slowly the flimsy piece of nylon and cotton slid down her thighs. She had a small thin triangle of soft blonde hair. The rest was smooth and the lips of her pussy were blushed pink with a silvery line of moisture where they met. Again I leant forward to kiss her tummy, and then little butterfly kisses down to that soft hair.
She still had her thong around her thighs. So I stood up and quickly pulled it down and off at her feet. She lay before me on the bed, looking up at me. I towered over her with my cock sticking straight out in front of me.
Then she surprised me and sat up, I had to stand back slightly. She leant forward and took my cock in her hand, and lowered her head. She gently licked its head. And then exquisitely slowly, she lowered her mouth to take it in. I put a hand at the back of her head, just gently. With the other hand I picked up my wine and took a sip. Does it ever get any better than this? A beautiful naked woman sucking your cock whilst you sip chilled white wine.
Eventually, I stepped back, withdrawing from her mouth. I pushed her back on the bed, and stood over her. I half turned to open my bedside drawer and grab a condom.
She saw me and said "It's OK. I'm on the pill"
"No, just for both our sakes, let's be sure." and I quickly and smoothly rolled it on.
Then I knelt on the floor. I kissed her tummy and then in a trail down to her pussy. I started with a lick all the way up the lips, driving my tongue in a little firmer as I approached her clit. A little more tongue work and I had her shuddering and sighing.
Then I crawled up her body, my cock found home as I drove my tongue into her mouth. Her hands came up my back, holding me but giving me room to work. God, I needed this! Gently at first I started a slow rise towards our orgasms. My body lowered onto her, she took my earlobe between her lips, nipping it gently with her teeth. Then her fingernails began to bite into my back, her teeth began to tighten onto my ear, but with my arm under her shoulders I was pulling her up to meet my strokes. We both rose to our climaxes. She beat me by about twenty seconds.
I got off her and flopped besides her. I quickly peeled the condom off and dropped it into the bin I keep beside the bed. I lay back. "Thanks Lucy."
"Thank you, Dave. I haven't cum so quickly and easily in a long time." She rolled onto her side to look at me.
I turned my head, then moved toward her far enough to kiss her forehead. "I guess for our different reasons, we both needed that." and then we fell asleep.
I woke up about an hour later. Lucy was sleeping peaceful, and she only stirred when I laid the duvet over her. I climbed in beside her.
We both woke up to the radio alarm going off with the seven o'clock news, my weekday setting. I'd forgotten to turn it off. She snuggled in closer, and then we drifted into that pleasant land of half wakefulness.
Eventually, I quietly slipped my hand into the bedside drawer for another condom. I got it on and then I rolled over to face her. "Hi, Sleepy, how about round two?" I slid a hand down to cup her bottom.
"How about it starts with me on top" she smiled, pushing me back. She climbed on top and put a hand down to guide me into her. She sat back with my cock fully embedded into her pussy.
I put my hand up to her breasts, taking her nipples between my thumbs and first fingers, and squeezing gently, pulling them and her towards me. "I love your nipples."
"Be gentle with them, I only stopped nursing my youngest a few weeks ago."
"Oh good! I can turn you into my milk slave." I said with a half smile.
"Would you want to? Would that turn you on?"
"Milk slave? No. Bit too much of a fetish, and I'm sure it would have its down side. But slave... well..."
"Fuck you!" she exclaimed.
"Yes, that would be one of your main duties..."
She gently rose up on my cock, and then plunged down again. And then she did it again. Soon the sensations overtook both of us and we just fucked, ending up in doggy position. I came deep inside her, and then knelt back.
I admired her arse, maybe a little overweight by a few pounds, but a beautiful heart shape. I slapped it, "Tea or coffee? The best I can do you is toast and marmalade. But I promise you the bread is the best you can buy in town and the marmalade is mail order only from a little company in Cornwall."
She collapsed, to lie on her front, her head turned to watch me. I quietly took off the condom and dropped it into the bin with its friend. I got out of bed and headed for the bathroom. "Well, what do you want to drink?"
"Good choice." I called back from the hallway.
Soon I returned to the bedroom with a breakfast tray. Lucy was lying on the bed, looking around the room. "This is a nice bedroom. I like the paintings."
"Thanks" I said as I poured two cups of tea.
"Are you an artist?"
"Good heavens, no. I work at TGI, but I've got a well paid job and I like nice things. My father died a couple of years ago and left me all his money, not that there was a lot of it, but it also helps."
"How about your Mum?" she looked at me, I think she was genuinely interested.
"She walked out on us when I was four. I never really saw her after that. The last I heard of her was at about the time of Dad's funeral. She was in Australia with her fourth husband. So I guess she's onto number five by now, and I haven't the faintest idea where, nor do I care." I guess I sounded a bit bitter. I didn't mean to, I didn't like to think that I cared that much.
"Oh. So you're all alone then?"
"Yeah. And I like it that way." I offered her some toast.
"Who were the others you came into Shades with last night? Friends?" Again, she sounded interested.
"Well I count Drew as a friend. A couple of the others work for TGI as well, but as I'm their boss's boss it is a bit awkward going out on the pull with them. The other two I haven't the faintest." I buttered a slice of toast and put some marmalade on it, and took a bite.
"It was just that you seemed to be a bit of a loner." She took a bite of her toast and marmalade. "Hey! This is good. Ten times better than you'd get at my house."
"I told you. Anyway, you were watching me from the moment I arrived?" I asked.
"Yes. So many of them down there are so young. I was beginning to regret going, but then you turned up. I know you saw me, but then you wandered off, checking out the room I guess." She smiled at me, but with a raised eyebrow, asking the question.
"Just checking to see who was in. So you just happened to be by yourself, leaning against that pillar when I got back."
"Well sort of. I wanted to get laid, and you were the best looking guy that was my sort of age."
"Typical." I said, with a smile.
"What do you mean by that?" She said in only partial mock indignation.
"Typical of women. When it comes to men, you are always one step ahead. You see what you want and get it." I hoped there wasn't any bitterness in my voice.
"Don't you like women?"
That was a question I couldn't or wouldn't answer, "That seems a silly question after what we've been doing. Do you want anymore toast?"
"No. Anyway, are you a loner?"
"No! I'm a very gregarious guy. I've got lots of friends." I know I sounded indignant.
"So who's your best friend?"
"TJ. I was at school with him, and we still see each other once in a while."
"Once in a while doesn't sound very close."
That was a fair question, I certainly don't see TJ as often as I once did. "Well, he lives in London. And he was married to a girl I once dated, so it got a bit complicated."
"Yeah. She had a sort of relaxed view of marriage. In fact she took a relaxed view of life for as long as I've known her. TJ first met her when she was going out with me. In fact, on that first time she had a threesome with TJ and me. Then after they were married, I had her several times. Anyway, he decided that monogamy and children was for him. She decided that it wasn't for her."
"She swapped around on you two when she was married? And you quizzed me about my marriage last night and came over all holier than thou!?" She sounded indignant, probably rightly.
"First, it wasn't like that. TJ and myself were always honest with each other. He knew, in fact he encouraged it, for me to have her when they were married, and he knew about everything and he was there for most of it. You don't screw a friend's wife except in an open relationship all round"
"But you and TJ are still friends?"
"Oh. Sure. We don't let women break up our friendship. But it's never been the same since. That's what you women do. Leave damage behind you."
"And you don't think she might have got hurt in all of it?" She looked at me, slightly aggressively.
"Maybe she was, maybe she wasn't. But that sort of thing normally hurts someone somewhere, usually the man."
She looked at me, questioningly, but said nothing in response. Instead she asked, "And second?"
"You said 'first... ' when you talked about TJ's marriage, so I guess there's a 'second'?"
"Oh Yes. Well, it's part of what brought me here, to TGI and this place. About six years ago I got tangled up with a married woman. She was a lot older than me, married to an even older rich husband. I guess I was a sort of toy-boy. Well, she got a bit obsessive, and then he found out. There were dreadful rows and scenes. She turned up one night on my doorstep with three suitcases, she'd left him for me, which was bloody ridiculous. Then he turned up to collect her. It was all a fucking mess. In the end, I don't think any of us walked away happy. They got divorced, three children lost their happy home, and I ended up changing my job to come to live here. I suppose that was a good thing in a way. I like it here. But never ever again."
"Did you love her?" She looked at her watch. "Don't answer that. I've got to get dressed and get home. I've got to get the children before Pete gets back."
"He's coming back today! Are you going to tell him?"
"I'll see how it goes. It's difficult." She sounded defensive.
"Do you need a lift?"
"I live in Sheepen. It's alright, I'll take a taxi."
"No. I'll give you a lift. There are a couple of shops that I like to use in Sheepen, so I'll take the opportunity to get some things. You go off for a shower, and I'll follow you as soon as you've finished." I slapped her backside gently, and gathered the breakfast things back onto the tray.
And that's what we did, I gave her a lift home, a small modern house on an estate on the edge of town. We swapped telephone numbers. Then as I had said, I took the opportunity to do some shopping in a couple of specialist food shops.
The rest of the weekend passed without a lot happening. Housework, shopping, cooking, a visit to the gym and a pint in my local was order of the day for Saturday. On Sunday I turned out for the Fun Run organised by K 'n F, my favourite charity. K 'n F devote themselves to one parent families, like mine was with my Dad. Children deserve a proper family, they need both parents. When the mother decides that she's got a better offer, it may be the husband that hurts and struggles for the rest of his life, but it is the children who can really be damaged. I was lucky, because Dad did a pretty decent job on bringing me up, but I'll never allow myself to get caught like he did, I saw close up just how much he suffered.
On Monday in the office Tim put his head around my door mid morning to tell me he was out for the rest of the day. I gave it half an hour, then I went over to his office to look for him. Surprisingly, Davinia was there by herself!
"Hi, Dav. Is Tim in?" I asked, innocently.
"No, you've missed him." She smiled at me, but she did look rather pale and tired. "He won't be back 'til tomorrow. Is it urgent? I expect he'll phone me at some time for his messages."
"No, it can wait. Are you OK? You look a bit tired and pale."
"Oh, I'm alright. It was a bit of a bad weekend."
"How about I get us a coffee and you can tell me about it? Or I'll buy you a lunch if you like?"
"Lunch would be good. Tim's left me loads to do, and I'd like to get through the bulk of it."
"OK. I'll be back at about one." And I left her to her screen and papers. I think I'll count that as a success.
We went to Not Steinbeck's, always a good place for women. I offered her a shoulder to cry on, and she took full advantage. I got an hour and a half of all that was wrong with Tod, mixed with all that was right with him. It seems that Tod had been her boyfriend for two years. He was a teacher at the local school, but had decided that he hated it, teaching wasn't for him. Unfortunately, he hadn't decided what was for him. So he had taken an apprenticeship in becoming a couch potato, at Davinia's expense. That had been going on for months, with only a short break when he took a temporary job over Christmas.
I broke her ramblings by giving her hand a reassuring squeeze. "So, have you moved out, or has he?" I asked, looking for a way to move the conversation on, for her sake.
"I have. It was his flat, but I don't know how he's going to pay the rent at the end of the month. I've offered to take it over, if he moves out. In the meantime, I've moved back with Ma and Pa."
Ah! An opportunity! "Bad move. I don't think you can ever go back to living with Mum and Dad. It never works."
"I'm already beginning to believe that. And I've only been there since Saturday night." She smiled weakly.
"Well I've got a spare room, if you want it. No pressure, it's just there." I wondered if I sounded a bit too much like a friendly big brother, but I think that's what she needed.
"Oh! That's sweet of you, Dave. But I couldn't. Not like that anyway."
What does that mean? Is it a hint? Well there's only one way to find out: "Well, how about we go to the cinema one evening?"
"I'd like that." She looked up, straight into my eyes.
Winner! "How about Wednesday?"
"Yes. I'll look forward to it." She smiled.
I put my hand out to hers and gave it a squeeze, but not a reassuring one this time. I hoped it conveyed a promise of things to come. I left my hand there.
Late on Tuesday afternoon, Tim put his head around my office door. "Fancy a quick one?"
Odd, Tim doesn't normally go for a drink mid week these days. He works late, he's frequently here when I leave. Maybe he has something to tell me. "Sure. It'll have to be a quick one though. I'm going to the gym with Drew at six o'clock."
"That sounds like a better idea. Do you think Drew will mind if I tag along?"
"I wouldn't think so. But ask him."
So that's how the three of us ended up at the Black Swan after our gym session. We took a table in the corner of the bar. "You don't seem to be in a hurry tonight, Tim?"
"No, Beth's away at the Food Fare for the week. So, I'm a bachelor."
Drew asked "What does she do? What is the Food Fare?"
"Oh, she's in PR for a small food consortium. And the Food Fare is one of their annual shindigs. She's got the launch of a new ice cream."
I looked up "Should we care?"
"Actually you might, Dave. You like fine foods. Apparently this one is only natural ingredients, and its made locally. Somewhere just outside Sheepen."
"Well, if they've got a good vanilla, made with real vanilla pods, then I'm in. I've been looking for one of those. The best one I've found is Sherbrook Farms, and it's too rich."
"Well, I don't know. I expect I've tried it, Beth brings all sorts of samples home. But I'm not an expert. Come round to Blindside, I expect there's some in our freezer right now."
Drew put his glass down, empty, "You can count me out for that. I'm trying to keep my weight down, and ice cream isn't exactly helpful."
"Nor's beer. But don't let that stop you getting your round in." I said as I passed him my empty glass.
"OK. But I'm leaving after this one. I want to get back." And he went off to the bar.
Tim watched him go. "He's a good lad. You like him, don't you."
"Yes, I reckon he's one of the best we've got. And I like him."
Drew came back with three pints. "Anyone notice Dav yesterday? She looked a bit upset."
Tim looked at me, and then turned to Drew. "She's just broken up with her long time boyfriend. She seemed brighter today."
"Well that's because she's got something to look forward to. She's coming to the cinema with me tomorrow." I looked at them, triumphant.
Tim smiled and shook his head. Drew looked at me "It isn't fucking fair. I didn't know she was available. I've been chatting to her regularly every week, just to check. And now you, you fucking bastard, get in there before I even had a chance. Fucking bosses!"
Tim laughed. "You tell him Drew. He has no morals."
"Ah. Young Drew, you have much to learn in the ways of the world. Time, tide and bachelor friends wait for no man!" I observed sagely, but with an even more triumphant smile.
We chatted on and drank our beers and they were soon finished. "Anyone for a third?" I asked.
"I will" said Tim.
"No count me out, as I said, I want to be off." said Drew as he drained his glass.
I headed for the bar, looking back at Drew "You're sure?"
"Yes." And he was gone.
When I returned with two pints, Tim asked "Why don't you come round for dinner on Saturday night? Beth would like to see you."
"I never turn down a free meal. But can I see how tomorrow evening goes? I maybe busy on Saturday night. And anyway, if Beth's been away all week, won't you be busy on Saturday night?"
"No, she gets back on Friday night. So given Friday night and Saturday morning, I reckon we'll be needing some sustenance by Saturday evening." He looked at me and smiled, knowingly.
"Seriously, how's it going with you and Beth? It can't be easy." I looked at him.
He paused, staring at his beer, then he looked up at me "Well I won't pretend it's always perfect, because it isn't. There are times... But, we are getting better at handling it. She knows when I'm hurting, and she doesn't go into a big Sorry-Sorry-Sorry act these days, she just gives me a cuddle and we wait for the moment to pass. Equally, I'm getting better at not saying the cruel comment that really was only aimed at hurting her. In fact they don't come to mind so often these days. And I've come to realise that she needs ways of showing me how sorry she is, and how much she loves me, and we've channelled that rather well..." he never completed that bit.
"You guys were apart for quite some time, weren't you?"
"Nearly six months. But I think that actually helped in a perverse way. We were both over the initial hurt and pain. We both knew we could get divorced and go on to different separate lives. We both chose to get back together, as free individuals that felt that was our best route to our personal future happiness. We're there because we want to be, not because I've granted her some reluctant, watchful pardon. Nor because she has chosen to stick with me, despite being unhappy, or anything like that." He looked up at me, pausing to consider, "You never get as far as a truly deep relationship with a woman. You should try it sometime, Dave. It's good."
"Yes, well..." I drank my beer.
On Wednesday evening, Davinia hadn't wanted to go out straight from work. Nor had she wanted me to collect her from her parent's house. So we met at the little tapas bar opposite the multi-screen. We went into the film not touching. We came out holding hands. We went into the pizza place at the bottom of the High Street still holding hands, and after a quick kiss at the doorway. We came out of there, heading for my place for coffee, with my arm around her waist.
But, when we'd finished our coffee, and some pretty good kissing, I thought it was time to head for the bedroom, I was disappointed "No, Dave. I'm sorry, but it's too soon."
"After Tod, you mean?"
"Yes. I want to, but I don't feel happy. I know that sounds muddled, but... I'm sorry." She looked up at me with those perfect, innocent, blue eyes. I could do nothing but let her off the hook.
"That's OK. I'm rushing you, and I don't want to. Really, it's OK." I kissed her gently.
I walked her back towards her parents house. As we stood on the pavement outside, I kissed her again. "How about Saturday night?"
"I'd love to, but I can't. I've got a cousin's wedding. I'm dreading it, it'll be the first time that the family will see there's no Tod anymore. But, I've got to face it."
"Oh! Not much fun. Well how about Sunday? You'll need some TLC after Saturday by the sound of it."
"I'd like that. But I'm not sure. Give me a couple of days to find out what Ma & Pa's plans are, you know what family weddings are like. I could find that I'm expected to be somewhere on Sunday."
"OK. Let's talk about it on Friday night in the pub. You'll be going to the pub now, won't you? With the rest of us."
"Yes. But I don't want them all knowing about us, well not yet anyway. Are you OK with that?"
"Yes, sure. No PDA, I promise."
"Public displays of affection."
"No. No PDA's. G'night Dave." She kissed me, passionately one more time and turned and went home.
On the Thursday, I accepted Tim's invite to dinner. He seemed pleased.
On Friday, I was late to the pub. I stopped and took in the scene. Davinia was in a centre of the main group of our department, drinking and chatting happily. Drew was on the edge. I wanted a word with him, about work.
I touched him on the shoulder. "How about that pint I didn't get you on Tuesday?"
"Sure." He gulped down the remains of his current pint.
I brought him his drink. "This is off the record, and if pressed, I never said a word. But how do you feel about taking on a project of your own?"
He looked at me, and then smiled. "You mean as a Project Manager?"
"Yeah. Only a simple small one. It'll take a team of about three, maybe four. I was looking at the schedules, and I've got a small one coming up, and I was wondering how to allocate it. If you like the idea, I'll put it in front of Tim."
"Like it? I love it. Hey, thanks."
"Well, don't say a word just yet. And this will only be a trial run, no formal promotion yet."
"I owe you one. Thanks, Dave."
"Well don't let me down. We can talk more on Monday."
"Again, thanks. By the way, how was Wednesday?"
I glanced at Davinia, across the room. She was watching myself and Drew. "Mind your own bloody business. And keep away, at least for the moment."
"Yeah, well all's fair in love and war. Unless that's an order, sir?" He emphasised the 'sir'.
"Look, Drew." I paused to look at him, meaningfully, "This has nothing to do with work. And no, I'm not ordering you, you know me better than that. But she's had a rough time and she doesn't need the pair of us fighting over her."
I turned to see Alice coming through the door. I nudged Drew "Now if you want somewhere to focus your attention, why not there? I reckon she's got the best body in the company."
"No thanks. I hate to say it, but I reckon she's nearer your age, Old Man." He emphasised the last part.
"Don't be ageist." I didn't get any further before Alice came over.
"Hi, Drew, Dave."
"Hi, Alice, what are you drinking?" I asked.
"Nothing at the moment. But I wouldn't say no to a white wine spritzer."
By the time I got back with her drink, Drew had left her to return to the department's group. I passed Alice her drink.
"No Tim this evening?" she asked, looking round.
"No, he's got a hot date..." She looked at me, concerned, but didn't say anything. "... with Beth." She looked relieved. I added, "Beth's been away all week."
"Oh, I see. They invited me to dinner tomorrow night. Is anything going on with those two?"
"At the moment, some horizontal dancing I guess. But, as far as I know, they really are together. I'm invited tomorrow night as well."
She looked at me, and smiled, seductively. "I'll see you there then."
There was something about Alice that always worried me, I always felt slightly nervous with her. I'd never decided why. I decided to undermine her "You fancied Tim, didn't you?"
"What, last year, when he was on his own? Well, if he'd invited me I would have gone, but I reckon it would have slipped into a friendship rather than passion very quickly. He's too safe, too nice for me. But I do like him - a lot. Beth is a lucky girl."
After that we drifted our separate ways. Later, Davinia came over to me. "What did Alice want? I saw you buying her a drink."
"Now, now. She's an old friend. And she was telling me that she's been invited to Tim's for dinner tomorrow night. I've been invited as well. So whilst you are dancing with dirty old uncles, I'll be dining with the boss."
"Tim's not like that. He's the nicest, most easy going boss I've ever had."
"Don't be fooled. He's tough and damn professional under that casual gloss. I've known him a long time."
"Yes, but he's not bossy, he's a nice person. He and Beth invited myself and Tod to dinner a few weeks back, just after they got back from Antigua, and Tod was in one of his moods. You could have cut the air with a knife, but Tim was ever so nice about it, he made a joke of it on the Monday." She turned and looked at me. "Drew knows about us. You knew I didn't want it to be spread throughout the department."
"I'm sorry. It sort of came out, and it was before you said anything. I'm sure he won't spread it about, you can trust him. He knows the rules about that sort of thing."
"He just invited me out tomorrow night."
He can be trusted! He knows the rules! The cheeky bastard! "What did you say?"
"That I couldn't, I was at a family wedding. And anyway, I wouldn't, I was going out with you, but could he possibly keep it quiet."
"Oh." I felt better.
"So what about Sunday?"
"What about it? Can we get together."
"It depends what you mean by 'get together'. But I can see you in the middle of the day, but apparently I've got to be at my grandmother's in the evening."
"Well, how about a drive out for a traditional Sunday lunch somewhere? Then we can get to know each other a little better. Then afterwards, we can go back to my place and get to know each other a little better." I smiled.
"We'll see. Pick me up at twelve, say?"
There, a confirmation of status, and a date, and no PDA.
As I was leaving the pub, my phone rang. It was Lucy. Was I alone or with someone? Alone. Was I going to Shades? No. Was I around at the weekend? No. But, yes I did want to see her, how about in the week? She would call me.
It's been a long time since I've had to juggle dates with two girls. What am I going to do?