This story is about the beginning of my relationship with one of the most amazing women it’s ever been my luck to know. Back in the mid-seventies, I was living in London. I was a student radiographer at one of the top London teaching hospitals. I was living in student accommodation in Bayswater, which was a vibrant community at the time. It opened my eyes; it was the first time I’d lived away from home.
Living in student accommodation, a run-down old six-story building off Queensway, was a new experience for me. The building housed a mix of student nurses and radiographers. It was an odd place to live. The accommodation was mixed, the majority female. Most of the handful of men were training as nurses; there were only two men on my course. It sounds like heaven; trust me, it wasn’t.
I was a couple of years older than most of my fellow students. I’d gone from school to college and then spent a year working to save a nest egg to see me through the almost three years of the course. Most of my companions were eighteen or nineteen and straight from school.
Like many of the people who worked in health care, we worked hard and played even harder. Remember, this was London in the mid-seventies; the music scene was exploding with the punk revolution. London was full of quirky places and even quirkier people, and I took it upon myself, as my God given right, to study, while having the most fun possible.
I’d been studying for almost a year at the beginning of this story. It had been long enough that London was no longer the magical place I remembered from childhood family trips, but not long enough that I hadn’t lost my sense of awe.
I met Gemma at a party, I hadn’t been the one invited, I was there as Maria and Rachael’s safety belt. They were a couple of girls from my course who lived on the same floor as me. Maria had been invited by a guy with whom she’d had a couple of earlier dates. She’d asked Rachael, and they’d both asked me to tag along as a bit of moral support.
As both Maria and Rachael were attractive and friendly girls, I was happy to oblige. I’d gone out with them, as part of a group a few times. The three of us had a kissing friendship that had never passed much beyond that. Friends with benefits wasn’t a concept that I think any of us had heard about or even considered at that time.
The party was in Wimbledon, a suburb of London more famous for the tennis tournament. It was at a flat that comprised the whole of the ground floor of a large 1930’s house. The party was well underway when we arrived, the music a throbbing background to the night. The music was loud and hypnotic; a DJ had set up in the lounge, which had most of its furniture removed except for a sofa that had been pushed back into an alcove.
I followed the girls into the kitchen. We gave our contribution, three bottles of cheap Spanish red wine to the host, a guy in his late twenties who introduced himself as Damian.
“I don’t have the number of the beast tattooed on my head,” he joked, and we dutifully laughed.
He added the bottles to the large collection standing on the table that was valiantly trying to resemble a bar. I quickly lost touch with the girls, as Maria spotted her date and they dragged Rachael off to the lounge and into the mass of those dancing.
I found a beer and wandered around for the next hour or so. I had a couple of interesting conversations and then danced with a girl until her boyfriend dragged her away. Bored, I grabbed a fresh beer and a bowl of peanuts and made my way out into the back garden.
It was one of those classic British summer evenings, warm and still with a hint of daylight on the horizon, even though it was almost eleven o’clock. A multitude of fairy lights twinkled in the trees at the bottom of the garden. A patio extended from the back of the building. A table and chairs set to one side. Occupying the chairs were a group of dark shapes. Surrounding the patio was a low wall. I made my way over to it and sat down, sipping gratefully from the bottle in my hand and listening to the incessant throb of the heavy bass beat.
There was the unmistakable scent of cannabis wafting over from the group clustered around the tables. I looked over at them and saw, now that my eyes had adjusted to the low light, that it comprised of four guys and a woman. They looked like your classic long-haired students in jeans and scruffy T-shirts. She was different. She sat with her back to me and my attention was drawn to the long black hair cascading down an elegant blue silk clad back.
There seemed to be quite an intense conversation going on and she was shaking her head. Then I heard her say, “What part of no, don’t you dickheads understand?” She stood up and shrugged off the hand that grasped at her forearm.
“Bastards,” she growled.
“Bitch,” one of them spat back.
She looked around and saw me sitting quietly on the far side of the patio and walked over.
“Do you mind if I sit with you?” She asked. “Those assholes seem to think if you share one joint with them, you’re saying yes to sharing everything else with them.”
I gestured to the wall beside me. “Welcome to my humble abode,” I said. “I’m Tony,” and I held out my hand.
She took it and smiled at me, “Pleased to meet you, I’m Gemma.” She sat down beside me.
We could sense the glares from the table, and I went to say something to them, but Gemma put her hand on my arm.
“Don’t bother, they’re not worth it,” she said. “The one in the black tee-shirt is the host’s youngest brother. I’ll have a quiet word with Damian later.”
She was a very attractive woman, tall and statuesque; I guess five-nine, maybe five-ten. Her skin was a beautiful shade of light coffee. Dark eyes shone out from her face, and she had pulled her long black hair over her shoulder, so it lay like a thick dark rope down her chest. She wore tight black jeans that showed off her long legs to perfection. A pale blue silk camisole top rounded off her outfit. The top hinted at the outline of her full firm breasts. I wasn’t sure how old she was, but I guessed a couple of years older than my twenty-two.
She sat looking at me, and said, “I don’t recognize you, and I thought I knew most of Damian’s friends.”
“Never been here before,” I admitted. “and to be honest, I’ve never met him before tonight either. One of his friends invited a couple of the girls I work with; they brought me along for moral support.”
Gemma looked around as though she expected them to appear magically.
“Abandoned for pastures greener, as soon we arrived,” I explained, shrugging it off.
She reached over and took the bottle from me, took a sip and grimaced.
“Christ, we can do better that that. Wait here I’ll be right back.” She stood up and gliding, not walking, made her way back into the house.
The guys at the table were still glaring at me. Obviously, I’d spoilt their plans for the night. I’m six foot one in my socks and thanks to a history of playing rugby all through school and college; I was quite muscular. I stood up and glared back at them. Beer and drugs had fortunately not made them brave, and after a few moments, they slunk off.
Gemma appeared a few minutes later, holding, to my delight, four bottles of Grolsch. She passed me two and I popped the top off one and took a contented swallow.
“So much better than that piss,” I said. “I didn’t see anything decent when I looked.”
She tapped the side of her nose, and \ it was a very cute nose. “Inside information. If I tell you I’ll have to kill you,” she said, and laughed. “Tell me about yourself.”
She was a very pretty woman, and I was more than happy to keep her company, so I spent the next half an hour explaining and answering her questions. It was a real pleasure to talk with her.
After a while, I started asking her about herself.
“I finished college last year, and I’ve got a job as an assistant at an art gallery. It’s nice because it allows me a fair amount of free time during the day to enjoy myself.”
She told me more about herself, and other than she was one quarter Jamaican, she was fairly light on her personal details, and her time as a student. She was more expansive about her job at the gallery.
“Boyfriend?” I knew I had to ask. God knows what I’d do if she said yes.
She gave me a quirky little smile, “Not really, just a few good friends. Why are you interested in asking me out?” Her attitude was refreshing.
“Err, yes,” I managed to stammer.
“Good, I was hoping you would. If you come around to the gallery at seven Thursday evening, we can go for a drink.” She told me the address, and I knew the street, I’d walked along it on several occasions. I told her yes and then for a few moments, we sat silently. She passed me a second bottle, and I took it. There was a warm buzz as our fingers touched and I noticed she slid closer to me on the wall until our legs touched.
“So, how do you know Damian?” I asked.
“I don’t know him all that well,” she admitted, “He’s my neighbor, I moved into one of the upstairs flats a couple of months ago.” She pointed to a first story window that glowed with a soft light. “He’s a nice guy and lets me use the garden and patio whenever I want.”
“Ah, so living upstairs explains the secret supply of good beer.”
She grinned back at me and nodded, then she looked at her watch and cursed. “I’m sorry, Tony, I do wish I didn’t have to, but I need to go. I’m meeting a friend in town, and the taxi will be here in a few minutes. I’m going to be late if I don’t run.”
My heart fell at her words. I’d come with two attractive women, but she was in a class of her own and I didn’t want her to go. We both stood up, and I went to give her a quick kiss. She surprised me by stepping in close and giving me a close hug and a long kiss.
We separated, both breathing heavily. “We will defiantly pick that back up on Thursday,” she whispered. She turned and walked away, pausing in the doorway to blow me a kiss.
I sat back down in a degree of shock; I think I had a date with an extremely beautiful woman. I saw the curtains in one of the upstairs windows twitch, and I saw her briefly in the gap. She looked down and gave me a little wave, but before I could respond, the curtains closed and a few seconds later the light went out.
I was still sitting there a few minutes later, contemplating finding the girls to tell them I was going to leave, when Maria and Rachael came looking for me.
“Tony, we need to go, we’ve ordered a cab,” Maria said a bit anxiously. “Are you coming back with us?”
“Sure. I was about to go in any case. I wasn’t sure if you’d be coming back this evening, you two looked like you were settled in for the night.”
Rachael shook her head, “Nah, mine was boring.” She came and gave me a hug and a kiss. “Thanks for coming with us.”
Maria looked a bit sad as she also shook her head. “My prince turned into a toad, warts and all. I thought he was nice, but he turned into a pain in the ass. He was getting far too touchy-feely for my taste and expected me to spend the night with him at his mate’s place.” She shuddered, and it wasn’t the cold.
I held my hand out and she sat in the spot that Gemma had vacated. She took my hand and pulled it around her shoulders, resting her head on my shoulder.
“He got very pushy and it wasn’t nice; his friends just laughed when I complained. He was pissed when I told him I wasn’t going to sleep with him.”
She gave me a shy look, “Mind you if it had been you asking me, I might have given a different answer.”
I smiled, a little surprised. “I can understand why he hoped you would. Any problems when you told them you were going? Do you want me to talk to him?”
“No,” she said, and she shook her head.
Rachael gave a little giggle and said, “We just told them we were going home with our lover.”
“Why you, you idiot.”
I laughed in disbelief, almost choking on the mouthful of beer I’d just sipped.
“Seriously, Tony, that’s what we told them, so don’t be surprised if you get some funny looks when we leave,” Maria said.
“So, whose lover am I supposed to be?” I asked.
They each gave me a broad grin, “Both of us,” Rachael said. “We told them that we couldn’t be bothered to waste our time with them as you were so bloody good in bed we were going to have a threesome with you!”
“Fuck,” I spluttered, and they both laughed at my shocked expression.
Rachael asked me, “What about you, did you meet anybody interesting? I thought I saw you talking to someone in the garden.”
“It was Damian’s neighbour; I’ve got a date with her on Thursday.”
We heard the taxis’ horn announce its arrival, and we left the party with me walking on air between them, an arm around each of their waists. As we walked through the flat, there were a few odd looks, but that was all. The three of us sat on the bench seat in the back of the black cab.
We sat in silence for a few moments, the girls curling up against me. I had an arm around each of them, my fingertips gently caressing the side of their necks.
Maria asked softly, “Tony, will you stay with me tonight? I don’t want to be on my own.”
I don’t know who was more surprised, Rachael, or me. I had thought Maria was joking when she’d mentioned it earlier. I know that the happy, relaxed atmosphere in the back of the cab became suddenly serious.
“Are you sure about that?” I said.
“Please Tony, that asshole got to me. He made me feel like a piece of meat. I was just a hole he wanted to fuck. I want someone who I trust to hold me tonight while I sleep, and I trust you.”
Maria grinned at me, “Just so you know, my bed’s a no clothes zone.”
I wasn’t sure how to take that. Did Maria trust me not to take advantage of her? Or did she hope I would?
My answer came as she took my hand and after kissing my fingers, she placed it under her top and on her unfettered breast. Her nipple rose and hardened under the warmth of my hand. She gave out a contented sigh and pulled my face down to hers for a kiss.
Rachael giggled. “You minx, I was going to ask him the same thing.”
I couldn’t resist, “Oh so you were going to ask me to sleep with her as well. I like your friends, Maria.”
Rachael went red and then laughed. She punched my arm lightly and then wrapped it around her. “Next time, he’s mine,” she said to Maria.
In the rearview mirror, I could see the eyes of the taxi driver opened wide as he took in the action on his backseat. Rachael noticed as well, and pulled up her top to expose her freckle-covered breasts. Rachael was a true redhead, and her pale skin was covered with the cutest freckles.
The taxi gave a slight swerve and then continued on its way. Bayswater was still busy, even at two in the morning, as the taxi drove down Queensway before turning off and dropping us in front of our building. We fell out, laughing at the taxi driver after he told us that Rachael’s floorshow had been his best tip of the night.
We climbed the three flights of stairs to our floor and stood on the landing. Our relaxed and playful attitude cooled as Maria and I stood before her bedroom door. I started to say that I understood if she’d changed her mind, but she placed a finger against my lips, then kissed me.
Rachael gave us both a hug and a kiss; then she closed the door to her room behind her, leaving us on our own.
I think we were both nervous as I followed her into her room. The overhead light was harsh and bright. She turned the bedside lamp on, and I turned off the overhead light. The room was bathed in a soft calming glow.
I took in the sight of vision that was Maria. She was about five foot four, her cute slightly oval face was framed by a mane of wavy black locks. Her eyes were dark brown and her lips full and plump. Her light olive complexion must have been a result of her Italian heritage. Her body was slightly curvy but curvy in all the right places.
She turned and gave me a smile. “Thank you for this,” she whispered.
“I’m going to spend the night with a beautiful woman; I’m the one who should be thanking you.” I held my arms out to her, she took that big step and pressed her body against mine, letting me hold her tight.
Maria started sobbing, and I kissed the top of her head before relaxing my grip. “We don’t have to do this,” I said.
“I know we don’t, but I want to. I just want someone I like, someone who I trust to hold me while I sleep. That bastard this evening made me feel dirty.” She raised her face, and I kissed the tears away.
“I saw you with that woman in the garden,” she whispered. “I wanted to be the one sitting next to you.”
She stepped away and turned to face the bed. She pulled her top off and draped it over a chair.
“Remember my no clothes rule,” she said over her shoulder. She hooked her fingers in the waist of her short skirt and slid it and her panties down in one elegant motion.
In the low light of her bedside table lamp, the curve of her back was cast in soft intriguing shadows. The curve drew my eyes down to the globes of her buttocks and the secrets hidden between her legs.
She slid under the cover, never turning to face me and patted the bed beside her. Under her gaze, my clothes quickly joined hers on the chair, my cock firmed, confirming my interest. She flipped back the covers, inviting me to her bed.
Her bed was narrow, and it forced us to lie on our sides facing each other. Her brown eyes reflected the soft light. She raised her head so I could slide an arm under it then laid it back down, trapping me in place. I ran a finger along the curve of her cheek, and she grinned back at me. The tension that had been present in her face slowly relaxed.
“Can you just hold me for a while,” she murmured. She managed to turn around, and I spooned up behind her, my semi erect cock sliding comfortably into the groove between her soft buttocks aa she lifted her leg slightly to accommodate me. She took my free hand and draped it over her, placing my palm on top of her firm breast and covering it with her hand.
Her hard nipple was evidence of her arousal and normally, I would begin to caress a woman who looked, felt and smelt as aroused as Maria currently did. With her, there was a disquieting feeling that made me hold back. Something or someone had upset her this evening, so I kept my hand and cock as still as I could.
She pressed back against me and shivered as I kissed the back of her neck and whispered, “Goodnight beautiful.”
“Night love, thank you,” came the whispered reply.
Gradually, her breathing slowed and her body relaxed as she drifted off to sleep. I relaxed, enjoying the feel of a naked woman against me. The soft sighs of Maria’s breath were a lullaby to me and I drifted off and joined her in the arms of Morpheus.
The early morning bird songs from the trees in the square outside were the first thing I heard as I woke up. The first thing I felt was rhythmic pressure against my morning woody. Maria was holding my turgid throbbing cock against her slit as she languidly rocked her pelvis back and forth. She began to give little sighs of pleasure as my shaft slid across her sensitive, intimate flesh. Her movements slowly sped up, and she tightened her grip on my cock.
I kissed the back of her neck and ear lobe. My fingers pulled and teased her nipples, and she groaned and then gasped as a little orgasm washed over her. After a moment, she moved slightly, so the head of my cock was nestled between her plump pussy lips. With a roll and a push of my hips, I slid into her wet and tight pussy. Both of us groaned in pleasure. We rocked in unison, my hand moving down the soft skin of her body until I felt the soft, springy curls nestling at the top of her slit. My fingers delved lower, and she gasped and shuddered when I pressed on her clit.
“Feels sooo good,” she murmured, and then gave a little cry as I rolled her hard nub between my finger and thumb.
“Fuck, I’m going to come again,” she whimpered, and she pushed hard against me. Her slick passage spasmed and tightened around me. She shuddered and her hand stilled mine.
“Oh God, give me a moment,” and she rode out her orgasm with a series of soft grunts.
I felt her relax and then pull off me. She rolled onto her back and drew back the covers. She gazed at my still hard cock with its purple head. It was coated in her juices.
“You didn’t come,” she said, staring at me.
“Not yet, but if you’re safe, I’m hoping you’ll let me do something about that. I don’t have any condoms on me.”
“You let me come and then would have stopped if I asked you?”
I nodded, “I could tell last night that you just wanted to be enveloped in a pair of safe arms. This morning, you wanted an orgasm and I enjoyed giving you one, it’s what friends do for friends.”
She gave a little sob. “Then my best friend needs to fuck me. I want to feel you cum inside me. Please, Tony, make love to me.”
In answer, I wriggled down the bed and placed my head between her thighs. She grasped my head and lifted it up so she could see my face.
“What are you doing Tony? I asked you to fuck me.”
“No, my friend asked me to make love to her, and that’s what I’m about to do,” I said and bent down to my task.
I licked at the beads of pussy juice coating her plump labia. She tasted of honey and spice, and she moaned and pushed up at me. Her fingers clenched at my hair as I sucked and ran my tongue around her clit. She was gasping and moaning.
There was something about her vulnerability from last night that made me want to give her as much pleasure as I could. I pushed two fingers into her moist centre. She groaned and jumped as my fingers found her G-spot.
“Fuck, what are you doing?”
“Making love to you,” I mumbled through a mouth that was occupied.
Her hips were moving rhythmically as she pushed up against my mouth. I flicked my tongue across her clit.
“Ohhh fuuuck,” she howled as her hips came completely off the bed.
“Ohh fuck ... Ohh, fuck. Ohhhh fuuuucckk,” she cried, and she came hard. She arched her back, and pussy juice flooded over my hand, then she collapsed back down on the bed panting. Her eyes rolled back in her head; her eyelids fluttered, and for a few moments, she went limp.
“You bastard,” she finally muttered, “You fucking wonderful bastard.”
She tugged me up to cover her eager body. One hand grasped my steel hard cock and she guided me into the entrance of her slick wet passage. With a long, slow and deliberate motion, I plunged into her, filling her completely.
I gave a grunt of satisfaction as she tightened the muscles of her pussy, squeezing my cock. She wrapped her legs around the back of my thighs, urging me to move, and I obliged. Pulling back, then thrusting, pounding forward into her eager waiting body.
For a couple of minutes neither of us spoke, we just grunted and groaned like the pair of rutting animals we were. I felt that deep need, that painful urgency growing, and I gasped out.
“Gonna cum, gonna cum.”
Her eyes focused on mine, and her legs tightened their grip, not allowing me to pull out.
“Cum ... in ... me,” she grunted.
I did, glorious spurts of hot pleasure deep inside the core of her being. She shook and cried out, meeting my release with her own. We both struggled to get our breath back. I rolled us onto our side still embedded deep inside her. Her flushed face broke into a broad grin; she leant forward and scattered kisses over my face.
“Jesus Tony, where have you been hiding all my life,” she gasped.
“Here,” I said, and I ran the back of my fingers over her cheeks. She sighed contentedly.
“So, are you ever going to tell me why you wanted me to be with you last night,” I asked.
She sighed again, this time with a hint of anger, “I thought the dickhead liked me. Fuck, I liked him. I would have slept with him if he’d asked nicely. It turned out he just wanted me to fuck him and his mates. He’d organized a gang-bang back at his place, and I was to be the star turn.”
“The asshole, are you talking about Damian?”
She shook her head, “No, it was one of his friends. I don’t think Damian knew about their plans.” She gave a little shudder and I held her tight.
She gave me a smile. “I just thought if someone was going to sleep with me, I wanted it to be you. It’s Sunday, can I spend the rest of the day with you?” she said hopefully. “Just hang out and have fun, no long term commitment, I promise.”
I kissed her, and my cock gave a little twitch in anticipation. She felt it and tightened the muscles of her pussy in response.
“I think that I’d love that,” I said. “I was thinking of getting lunch at the Hard Rock and spending the afternoon in the park.”
She smiled, “Sounds perfect, but what are we going to do this morning?”
I bent forward and sucked her hard juicy nipple into my mouth. “This give you any ideas?” I mumbled.
“Fuck yes...” she gasped happily.
We crawled out of her bed several hours later, exhausted, sticky, smelly, but extremely sated. We shared a bath, and feeling clean and refreshed, we took a taxi to the Hard Rock.
The day was sunny, warm with a light breeze that made it nice and bearable. We’d been able to sit outside at the Hard Rock Cafe, and had each enjoyed a burger and fries. We walked across Hyde Park Corner and into Hyde Park. The hospital we were training at sat on the far side of the corner, a large white neo-classical building.
We walked hand in hand through the park. She was wearing a light blue cotton sundress that reached mid-thigh; her pert firm breasts needed no bra. She walked with a spring in her step that made the dress swirl around her legs. Finally, in the late afternoon, we found a quiet place near Kensington Gardens and sat down on the grass. I pressed my back against the stump of an old oak.
“Thank you for today,” Maria said. She lay down resting her head on my lap and I tenderly caressed her black silky soft hair. Her hand moved in slow, languid circles on my chest.
I murmured in agreement and then she asked, “What happens to us now?”
I said, “What would you like to happen to us? Are you looking for something a bit more long term; are you looking for a boyfriend?”
“I like you, Christ I like you a lot. Tony, that was the best sex I’ve ever had. But...”
Oh hell, there’s always a but.
“But, I’m not sure I’m looking for a permanent boyfriend at the moment. There’s too much going on.”
I sighed, a mix of disappointment, and to be honest, some relief. I was in a similar place in my life. I needed to concentrate on the course; the schedule was intensive. Unlike university students who studied for three years, our course was compressed into two and a half. Fewer holidays, more study, less time to play, but I didn’t want to become a monk, I liked Maria, it wouldn’t take much to fall in love with her. Of course, there was my date with Gemma next week.
Maria said, “Can we carry on like this? Stay friends and enjoy each other when we can, with no commitments? “She looked up at me. “Please,” she said.
“Friends, friends with benefits? Sure, when you need me, I’ll be there.”
She smiled happily, “That sounds perfect, and when you need me, I’ll be there for you. Will you be okay if I go out with the odd guy when you don’t need me? I don’t mind if you do.”
I raised my eyebrows, “After this morning you think I want to go out with other men?”
“Idiot, I meant with other women. I know Rachael wants a date.”
“Well,” I said carefully, “I’ve got a date with that girl from the party on Thursday evening.”
“Oh,” she said quietly. Then she looked at me seriously. “Be careful, you don’t know anything about her. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
She wriggled around so she could kiss me. I held her tight, and she sighed. She said, “It wouldn’t take much for me to fall in love with you.”
There was a pause as she looked me, then she whispered, “That’s if I haven’t already. Ask me your question again when we are both in better places, and I know I’ll give you a different answer.”
She curled up beside me, and for a while, we kissed and cuddled like young teenagers. It couldn’t last; we both had papers to finish for tomorrow’s classes. We walked across the park to the northern gate and then back to our building. On the landing, we kissed and made our way to our rooms.
Two and a half thousand words with diagrams on the circulatory system later, I lay down on my bed to listen to John Peels late night radio show.
There was a scratch at my door, and Maria stood in the open doorway, wrapped in a toweling robe. “I need some of those benefits,” she whispered, and I drew her into my room.
Thursday, the day of my date with Gemma came. The day that I’d been looking forward to was also one of the worst I’d had since I had started training.
I’d been working in the A&E X-Ray department with another of my fellow students. Katie was tall, blond and extremely bright. She was so intelligent that I couldn’t understand why she hadn’t wanted to become a doctor. We got on well enough, but there was no spark between us. She lived at home, to the west of London, in Richmond, and had a boyfriend approved by her parents.
The shift had been going smoothly, mainly minor injuries, which Katie and l were allowed to image on our own. Just after lunch, the victims of a road traffic accident arrived by ambulance. A delivery van had gone out of control and had piled into a group of people standing at a bus stop. For both of us, it was a baptism of fire that I don’t think either of us was prepared for.
A five-year-old girl died while we were trying to X-ray her crushed chest. It was the first time either of us had a patient die in front of us. Her tiny crushed body lay on the blood-soaked trolley, her mother, her untreated broken arm in a sling, stood crying by her side.
I had to call Katie’s boyfriend to come and collect her; she was in no state to make her way home. I stood in the shower in the staff changing room trying to wash the horror of the day from me. I tried to scrub my skin clean of stains only visible to the mind. Fortunately, I had a change of clothes in my locker, a pair of chinos and a reasonably smart shirt. There was clean underwear in a packet that held another two pairs.
Just before seven, I was standing outside the gallery on Rysbrack Street, watching as Gemma and another woman tidied up and locked the door behind them. Gemma saw me as I stood across the street and she walked over. She was the most amazing woman I’d seen, tall, willowy, her long legs seemingly barely covered by her skirt. Her silk top did little to hide the subtle curves of her breasts. Wise to the foibles of London weather, she wore a light mid-thigh length raincoat, unbuttoned and flapping open.
She said hi and gave me a kiss and a hug. Then she looked closely at me. “What’s the matter?” she asked.
I shrugged and said, “Nothing much, it was just a rough day at the ranch.” It seemed callous to dismiss the death of a child that casually, but they were my issues and I needed to cope with them.
She nodded thoughtfully, then said, “Come on let’s get a drink and then we can see if you want go on to a club I know.”
There’s a gem of a pub tucked away in Grosvenor Mews called the Grenadier. It took us fifteen minutes to walk there. To start with we walked side by side not touching, in casual conversation. She slowly drew from me the story of the day. As I gave her a brief of descriptions of the horrors of the day, her hand found mine and held it tight.
The Grenadier is one of my favourite places in London. Its location, hidden in a mews behind the hospital made it a popular haunt for the medical staff and the residence of the mews. Definitely, an eclectic mix of customers frequented it.
By the time we arrived at the steps to the entrance, her arm was around my waist, and I’d done the same. We had paused to greet the horses at the stables in the entrance of the mews. Yes, honest to god, real stables. I know, not what you would expect just off Hyde Park Corner, but that’s where they are. The aroma of horse sweat and dung a pleasant reminder of the countryside that surrounds my childhood home.
She stopped at the bottom of the steps and drew me into a long kiss, her body pressed tight up against mine. In her bare feet, she stood three, maybe four inches shorter than my six-one. With her heels on, her limpid brown eyes stared directly into my hazel green ones.
“You need a drink, my treat,” she said, and we made our way inside past the people sitting on the steps.
For two hours we sat on a pair of stools at a corner of the bar. It was her first visit to the pub, yet she had Mike and George, the barmen fawning over her within minutes. We talked about music, and the theatre and only when I was relaxed did she draw from me the full horrors of the afternoon. There were tears in both of our eyes as I described the scene in the resus room.
She held my hand, “There’s a club I know; it’s a bit of an odd place but it’s got a great disco. It’s not a place I’d usually suggest for a first date but I need to have a word with a member, and he’s going to be there tonight. We can go to the disco afterwards.” She gave me a hopeful look.
I didn’t mind at all, I was going to get to spend the evening with a beautiful and intelligent woman. “I don’t mind, it sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Just one question; how odd is odd?”
“You’ll see when we get there,” she said and gave me a wicked little smile.
“Let’s go then, it’ll probably be the best thing for me. Where is the club?”
“It’s the other side of Leicester Square.”
“Do you want to walk, or it’s only three stops on the tube?”
She smiled at me, “Oh, I think we deserve a taxi.”
When we were seated in the back of the cab, she said, “I ought to warn you that it’s a member only club.” She saw my worried look and shook her head. “I’m a member so don’t worry, but just so you know other than the guy I need to see, there’s a chance I might bump into someone I’ve gone out with in the past. I have to be nice to him as he’s a client of the gallery. But remember I came with you, and I will leave with you.” She finished with another of her gut twisting kisses that left me panting.
The cab pulled up outside a building with a large black door. A well-built bouncer wearing a tuxedo stood on the step in front of the door. As I stepped out of the cab, I could see him starting to shake his head. Obviously, I wasn’t the type of patron who was expected to enjoy this establishment. Then Gemma stepped out, joining me on the pavement, and he grinned.
“Gemma, love, it’s good to see you,” he spoke with a gravelly East End accent.
She gave him a kiss on the cheek and said, “It’s always good to see you, Paul.” She pointed at me, “This is Tony; he’s with me.”
“Nice to meet you mate, any friend of Gemma’s,” he said. His eyes gave me a piercing appraisal, and it seemed I passed muster. He held out his hand and shook mine. Then he said softly to Gemma, “Gordon and Simon are going to be here tonight.”
I heard her mutter under her breath, then she gave me a tight smile as she told him. “That’s not a problem Paul, I’ll deal with them if I have to and I’ll have Tony with me.”
As we walk inside, she said to my unasked question, “ex’s who sometimes won’t take no for an answer.” She stressed the ‘ex’ part.
The inside of the club took my breath away; elegant but comfortable furnishings, subtle lighting and lots of cosy corners. Gemma paused to hand her coat to the woman behind the counter of the clock room, lingering briefly to say a few words to her.
I was playing the country bumpkin standing in the centre of the hallway and started when she came up behind me and took my hand. Her skin seemed to glow in the soft lighting. A staircase rose up to the first floor, down which appetizing aromas drifted suggesting a restaurant was hiding on the first floor. To the right, an open double door led us into a room that stretched the whole length of the building; a long bar dominated it. The sounds and lights of a disco came from a doorway at the rear of the hall.
A couple of scantily clad hostesses greeted Gemma with a kiss and a hug. She seemed genuinely happy to see them.
To me, she said, “Tony, this is Sam and Robyn.”
The two women gave me an approving look, then a hug and a kiss.
“I used to be a hostess here,” Gemma told me.
I think I’d already guessed that from her familiarity of the place and the outfits her friends were wearing. It seemed as though the club was a gentrified version of the Playboy club on Park Lane.
She continued, “I used the money to support myself through university, working Fridays and the weekend for almost three years.”
“Yes, and we still miss you,” Robyn said.
I took a moment to take a closer look at the two hostesses. Sam was a tall blond with a model’s body. Robyn was a red haired fiery bombshell, ivory skin scattered with freckles and striking blue eyes. They both looked like they were in their mid-twenties
They wore tiny pleated black miniskirts that barely covered the cheeks of their asses; lace topped black stay up stockings on their long legs. They both wore satin Basque style tops. Sam’s was red and Robyn’s black. The Basques pushed up their breasts, the tops of their areolae just visible. I swallowed and then flushed as I imagined Gemma wearing the same outfit.