Chapter 30 – Pimlico House

Caitlin – July 1985
It was Charlie’s last day at school. Caitlin hurried to meet her at the school gates after which they would both race across Kensington Gardens to pick up Rebecca’s boys. Caitlin often had Tyrone and Reuben for a couple of hours after school an activity which she thoroughly enjoyed and was not much trouble as the three children entertained themselves with very little input from her; a fact that she sometimes regretted.
On these occasions she and Rebecca would enjoy a glass of wine together before Rebecca whisked the boys off home for supper and bedtime. Sometimes Charlie would accompany her friends leaving her mama free to enjoy some adult time.
Tonight was one of these occasions. Charlotte and Rebecca’s two were engrossed in building a fort ‘Blue Peter’ style out of various cereal boxes and loo rolls; Charlotte adding designer tweaks to the construction team’s efforts. Caitlin watched them interacting together with some amusement as the design evolved into a very imaginative though slightly rickety concoction.
Leaving them to it she finished her preparations for the evening; a quick shower, brush of her hair and a slick of lippy was all she needed to enhance her pale golden glow. Caitlin was a natural beauty but she had no qualms about enhancing what nature had supplied. Now Charlotte was at school she had more time to spend at the hairdresser and beautician. The resulting look radiated health and understated glamour. Caitlin had stayed true to her own style in clothes and she now picked out a simple silk shift dress in a subtle print and slipped on a pair of Manolo mules.
Ready for the evening ahead; an opening night with a couple of friends followed by a drinks party and possibly Annabelle’s, Caitlin set out a chilled bottle of Macon Blanc and a few nibbles from the local deli ready for Rebecca’s arrival.
Rebecca arrived on cue. Embracing affectionately on the doorstep Caitlin greeted Rebecca and led her out into the garden for them to enjoy a glass of wine in the late afternoon sunshine. The children hardly noticed the interruption.
‘You look chic’ Rebecca commented, approving her friend’s taste, which suited her figure and her colouring, ‘Ralph Lauren?’ she hazarded correctly. Caitlin hadn’t bought it from Palmerstone.
‘Thanks’ Caitlin smiled for the genuine compliment coming from Rebecca who had the unusual ability to understand styles that were very different from her own. (Rebecca was dressed in skinny jeans and a vest with an array of bold silver and black leather jewellery).
‘Glass of wine?’ Caitlin asked, already pouring.
‘Mm, please’ Rebecca murmured her agreement. She had not partaken in the Palmerstone ‘Champagne Friday’ offering on purpose so she could enjoy a glass with Caitlin.
‘Is Charlie ready for her big adventure? And are you?’ Rebecca smiled with sympathy at her friend who she knew was half looking forward to and half dreading Charlotte’s impending trip to the States.
‘I think she’s a bit mixed about it as well’ Caitlin wrinkled her brow, ‘She’s looking forward to Mario’s visit and flying back to New York with him. She’s not too sure about Long Island with Papa and Ariel though. She hasn’t seen that much of them and has forgotten Sebastian and Emily completely.’
‘She’ll be fine. She’s an independent little thing!’ Rebecca grinned, thinking of the many times she had seen and heard Charlie standing her ground with Ty and Roo.
‘I know’ Caitlin responded, ‘but she’s still my baby girl and I’m going to miss her madly.’
‘It’s only a couple of weeks, she’ll be back before you know it’ reassured Rebecca, ‘and you’ll have some fun doing some grown up stuff. Let’s do lunch one day, or better still I’ll ask Jack to child sit and we’ll go out on the town. How long since we’ve done that?’
‘Brilliant that would be fun.’ Caitlin answered cheered by the thought. ‘I have invites to loads of stuff’ she waved at the distant mantle groaning with invitations, ‘we could do some worthy event dressed top-to-toe in Palmerstone gear for the social columns and then go on for dinner.’
‘That sounds like a plan.’ Rebecca smiled her thanks. Caitlin was always mindful of getting some good PR for Rebecca’s business and had often been photographed attending an event dressed in a Palmerstone sourced outfit.
Their conversation was brought to a halt by the appearance of first Reuben with his thumb stuck in his mouth, a sign that he was tired and hungry. Closely followed by Tyrone and Charlotte, who wanted to know,
‘What’s for tea?’
‘You’re going to Aunt Becca’s with the boys for tea darling. I’ll pick you up in the morning.’
‘Oh goody’ Charlie responded, and turning to Rebecca asked the same question.
‘It seems like you lot are hungry. I’d better get you home.’ Rebecca laughed and got ready to leave, ‘You can choose supper when we get to Pimlico’ she promised to Charlotte.
‘Charlie, pick bangers, mash and beans!’ Roo requested plaintively as they packed into Rebecca’s Mini for the drive home,
‘Fish Fingers’ recommended Ty, as they waved goodbye to Caitlin standing on the doorstep. Caitlin smiled fondly at the small faces pressed to the window as they disappeared from view. They were so adorable and funny but they were growing up so fast she thought wistfully.
The evening proved to be a complete contrast to her normal routine. Caitlin had arranged to meet Chloe and Robert at a Gallery opening off Bond Street. Her driver dropped her outside and she entered the gallery to the usual flurry of flashes from photographer’s desperate not to miss the best people to fill the evening’s social diaries. Caitlin was no longer one of the ‘It’ girls but nevertheless a pretty face was always worthy of notice.
She caught sight of Chloe across the crowded Gallery and made her way towards her at the same time as Chloe saw Caitlin and waved a welcome. They met somewhere in the middle and exchanged social niceties of air kisses and compliments on each other’s appearances.
‘I want you to meet someone’ mouthed Chloe over the general clamour, ‘Michael, he’s a business associate of Robert’s and VERY eligible!’ Caitlin grimaced and responded to the effect that she didn’t really require ‘fixing-up.’
‘Of course not’ Chloe scoffed, ‘the very thought!’ meaning entirely the opposite. ‘Robert and I were just chatting about tonight and wondering whom of our friends would enjoy the…’ she waved an arm to indicate the exhibit, ‘and I thought of you and Robert of Michael so we thought we could do nothing worse than introduce you two.’ Caitlin was less than impressed by the situation but politeness prevailed so she immersed herself in viewing the exhibition that frankly, she decided privately, she did not rate at all highly. As Caitlin browsed the exhibit forming her own opinion she found herself standing next to a very attractive male, blonde, six foot plus, well built, her glance flickered over him and he caught her eye as he returned the compliment. Caitlin felt the first frisson of sexual interest that she had experienced in years. Since she met Mario she thought. Colouring slightly Caitlin moved on to the next exhibit, this time a sculpture, which she frankly thought, was hideous. Rebecca saying ‘A try too hard’ flashed into her mind just as the blonde man appeared at her elbow and engaged her attention by enquiring,
‘I don’t really get what this artist’s all about, do you?’ he raised an eyebrow and looked quizzically at Caitlin.
‘I’m really not the person to ask’ demurred Caitlin, thinking what bad luck to meet someone who she fancied on the one night she’s been set up for a date with somebody else. She decided nevertheless that a modicum of flirtatiousness would not go amiss. ‘You should ask my friend Chloe. She chose this exhibition for me to attend. I expect she knows far more about the artist than I.’ Caitlin’s attempt at dumb blonde didn’t really fool her interlocutor who responded immediately with a smile,
‘But you I think do not like the style of this artist of whom your friend is so knowledgeable.’ Caitlin had to be honest she wrinkled her nose as she said quite decisively,
‘Actually you are quite correct. I don’t like it at all.’ At that moment Robert appeared at her shoulder and expressed his delight in seeing her,
‘Chloe said you were here and I see you’ve met our friend Michael already’ he half turned to smile at the blonde guy who had been engaged in conversation with Caitlin, ‘Good to see you’ he stretched out his hand and the two shook hands impersonally, ‘Glad you could make it. We were thinking of moving on to dinner now. Are you two finished with the exhibits?’ Caitlin and Michael both nodded their heads in agreement both busy with their private thoughts on their improved luck.
The evening unfolded in a way that Caitlin could not possibly have envisaged. Firstly Robert had booked a table for four at Le Caprice. Caitlin was relieved that she had not partaken of the deli nibbles she’d ordered in for her and Rebecca earlier in the evening. She had been led to believe by Chloe that they were just doing a circuit of drinks parties amongst their circle of friend whom Caitlin would know, she had assured.
In fact it seemed to Caitlin that she was being used as some sort of bait for this guy Michael who Robert was obviously out to impress. They travelled the short distance by cab and arrived at the restaurant where Robert made a show of knowing the headwaiter who obviously knew both Michael and Caitlin rather better. He ordered a bottle of Bollinger which no one really wanted as they had drunk champagne at the gallery.
Caitlin was feeling embarrassed and wished herself anywhere but Le Caprice even though she loved the food. Michael caught the look on her face and grimaced conspiratorially, which provoked a hastily disguised bout of the giggles from Caitlin.
Michael was unusually charmed by the petite blonde who chance had thrown in his way. He would normally have made an excuse and disappeared by now. He did not see any up-side potential for an evening spent in Robert’s company. He believed that the benefits would all be on the other side. He was neither polite nor patient by nature. He was an opportunist to the core. In Caitlin he saw an opportunity.
The evening progressed with Robert using the meal as a platform for some unspeakably boring project that he was trying to gain Michael’s support for. It was neither the time nor the place. Michael showed his lack of interest quite clearly at one time getting up and leaving the table for what seemed like ages. When he returned he seemed somehow different, his eyes gleamed and he laughed loudly at something obscure. Caitlin wondered if he’d had a drink or taken something in his absence.
Robert gave up with his soliloquy and Chloe and Caitlin had long since ceased to make polite conversation. Caitlin realised that they had absolutely nothing in common anymore, even if they had once.
The meal, which was very good, was being consumed in virtual silence. Caitlin was counting the minutes until she could politely excuse herself, possibly by pleading a headache or maybe fake an emergency call from the baby sitter. She was interrupted from her reverie by the unmistakably deliberate pressure of Michael’s leg. She stiffened in surprise glancing quickly at his face to confirm that he was consciously making contact. He was. There was no mistaking the lustful expression that was levelled back. Caitlin felt panicky. She had no idea how to respond. The circumstances were quite out of her comfort zone she realised. Had everything changed so much in the six or seven years since she had been off the dating scene?
Michael was totally unabashed by her lack of response. In fact it emboldened him. The snort of coke he had taken during his absence from the table had ignited his desire for sex (never very far from the surface), he wanted Caitlin and he wanted her now. That he was sitting in company at one of the best tables in a crowded top restaurant just served to heighten his desire. He liked taking risks. He also fancied her more because she acted a bit prissy. He’d had girls duck under the table and unzip his fly before now, much too easy.
He finished his main course lifted his napkin to his lips and dropped it back onto his lap easing his left hand onto Caitlin’s upper thigh where he very gently and insistently started to knead her flesh in circular motions with his thumb.
Caitlin was so startled by his nerve that she almost protested out loud deterred only because a public scene would be humiliating for all. Before she had decided what to do another strange twist occurred to the already surreal evening. A very well known Tory politician strode over to their table to greet Michael with friendly bonhomie. Michael shook hands and responded nonchalantly to his greeting,
‘Mike, good to see you old man.’ Michael barely faltered in his manipulation of Caitlin’s thigh. Two things occurred to Caitlin simultaneously. One was recognition of Michael; she’d read something about him in the Sunday Times receiving a knighthood for his services to industry. He’d made it into the higher rankings of the Rich List after a stellar career in the City and then gone on to some major import/export business she remembered vaguely. So that was why Robert had spent the evening crawling all over him.
The other more startling revelation was that she liked what he was doing to her leg. Caitlin was beginning to feel aroused but part of her mind was still busy considering his audacity. His lack of propriety made her feel uncomfortable and she was not used to masking her emotions; something that he seemed to do with ease. The excruciating meal would be over soon. What would she do then? She wanted him no doubt, but this wasn’t even a first date. Her feelings gravitated wildly between slapping his face for being so impertinent to wild abandoned sex as soon as they were alone.
The moment of truth was about to present itself; Robert appearing to have accepted that the meal was turning into a fiasco asked for the bill at which point Michael suavely thanked his host and hostess and volunteered casually to drop Caitlin home on route to his office. Apart from echoes of a familiar scenario with Mario, Caitlin was forced into a decision. She accepted his kind offer. Their thanks and farewells voiced Michael wasted no time propelling Caitlin from the restaurant hailing a cab and bundling her in.
‘Where to?’ He managed to instruct the driver prior to launching a full on assault on Caitlin’s mouth and breasts. Caitlin’s moment of resistance and opportunity to protest disappeared as her long sex-starved body responded urgently despite the discomfort she felt from the proximity of the driver. The taxi drew up and the driver swiftly and generously compensated.
Michael bundled Caitlin through the door of Pelham Crescent continuing his assault on her senses with consummate skill. He had the zip of her dress opened and tugged it off her shoulders with a little help from Caitlin who wriggled her arms free from captivity before locking them back around Michael’s neck now abandoned to the project in hand. Her bra swiftly followed the dress and his mouth strayed from her lips to her nipples and his hand purposefully down inside her lace panties to rub against her clitoris. He could tell immediately that she was ready for him.
Michael would have satisfied himself immediately but something about Caitlin alerted his senses to future opportunity. He knew that spending time now would be an investment for the future. He set about fondling, licking and sucking Caitlin’s breasts and pussy until she came with soft whimpers and shudders of ecstasy. He swiftly located a hall console table on which to lift Caitlin; he guided her hand down to hold his cock and separated her legs wide. Totally engulfed with pleasure and on-fire with desire for him she pulled him into her and locked her legs behind his back. Michael came in hard and rapid thrusts but not before Caitlin had reached another orgasm, this time her body shook with deep rhythmic contractions that were so fierce they were almost painful.
Michael carried Caitlin upstairs and laid her down on the bed. He debated with himself whether to stay for a repeat performance and decided that it would be worth it. The address alone smelled of money and the furnishings were obviously top quality. He would do some research and meanwhile not burn his boats. Michael switched on his easy charm and held Caitlin in his arms for a few minutes waiting for his erection to return. Caitlin would willingly have dozed off to sleep she felt replete, but after such a long spell of celibacy the temptation to respond to the swell of his penis pressed against her curled posterior was over-ridding and the two coupled again passionately. Michael left Caitlin in the early hours of the morning pleading transatlantic calls.
Caitlin awoke early feeling contended. She stretched cat-like revelling in her body’s renewed sensual awareness. After a few moments of blissful recollection the nagging doubts appeared. She had behaved hastily. What did she really know about this guy? She should be old enough to behave more wisely she scolded herself. Thank God Charlie wasn’t here. Well it wouldn’t have happened if she had have been she reasoned inwardly. Would he call her? He hadn’t asked for her number yet he had been here and knew where she lived. What if he was an axe murderer? Don’t be silly she counselled smiling at her own folly.
She looked again at the clock, half an hour before she needed to be up and about to collect Charlie. Caitlin gave in to idle reminiscences of the night before until her body was so fired-up that she needed to get up and shower ready for the short journey to Pimlico.

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