The afternoon being warm; Alex decided not to wear his jacket to the appointment at the hospital, “The walk will make me sweaty enough,” he thought.
The half hour walk to the hospital involved crossing a small wooded area, hearing the birds always cheered him up. For many years, he used to be a bird-watcher and hearing them reminded him of his days in the Royal Air Force, when he used to give talks to Cubs and Ranger Scouts. He wished he could go back to those days, when he used to go out for long walks across the moors and fields, if only to enjoy the peace and calmness he found. Alas, since the tendon in his ankle had snapped, all he can manage is this short walk once a week, “No use crying over things. I had a good run for my money, I did the injury over thirty-five years ago and I have been waiting for the tendon to snap,” he mumbled as he hobbled across the road.
Walking through the hospital grounds was tiring for Alex as the physiotherapy department is on the side furthest from the main entrance; there is an entrance much close but there was not a lot less distance to walk, you need to go down the hill and along the road about half a mile.
Alex allowed himself plenty of time to get there and this way at least he didn't have to climb back up a steep hill when he arrived at the department. The first time he turned up for his physiotherapy, Alex didn't take a lot of notice of the other patients, only one lady who took his eye.
She was not outstandingly pretty but to him she had all he had been looking for. Her hair was the colour of wet sand with a style like rippled leaves of gold. She had beautiful cheeks and a lovely body he wished he may get the chance to cuddle. Her body held all the passions of a truly mature lady, who knew that age did not make her unattractive, she had herself more desirable and ready to please.
After checking in with the receptionist, he sat across the waiting room from her.
She had noticed his actions, as she moved her position slightly to avoid showing too much of her thigh. This was arousing in itself; this showed she enjoyed the attentions of a total stranger.
Alex heard the therapist call his name and he got up, taking his stick he hobbled to the cubicle. After his session, he walked past the waiting room. She was sat in the waiting room as he made the next appointment. After making the appointment, he walked down the passage way; then he decided, as he had a forty minute walk from the apartment, he had better use the hospital toilet.
Alex walked back into the waiting room; to find she was still in the waiting room, he came out five minutes later and saw she had left, “Ships which passed in the night,” he thought as he walked back down the corridor and out of the hospital.
He walked out of the department and made his way back to his apartment, arriving at his apartment he got back to the thing he enjoyed the most; which is to continue to write his next series of stories for friends to enjoy.
In the back of his mind he had the vision of a lovely, sexy mature lady who he wished to meet, but knew he had little or no chance. What chance did he have of meeting this beautiful lady at the Physiotherapy department again?
Slim at best, non-existent if you held a realistic view, as Alex did.
During the week he got an email from his editor friend Ellie saying she would publish one of his stories. She said she would be sending a letter to the local newspaper. Alex thanked her and sat and thought, “This may be the beginning of my dream.”
Three days later he got another email, this time from a US magazine, explaining they were also going to publish a story of his, “WOW! This is bigger than I thought it would get, I hoped for a few readers, but it is really taking off now,” Alex thought.
That month Alex's story was on the internet and his web pages got inundated with comments; he didn't think his friend Ellie's article on her web page would generate such interest and so quick.
His readership leapt from four or five to over forty in a week and did not look like slowing down.
The following week the article appeared on line in the US “Okay,” he thought, “this is only a small on line magazine but this is a start.”
His next appointment was been booked for two weeks ahead; he had plenty of stories to write, and friends to keep happy with new ideas. The next appointment came and he thought, “I doubt if I have a chance of meeting the lady; I’m only going to chat with the therapist.”
The day arrived sunny and bright, and the jacket stayed in the locker in the apartment. All he wore was his t-shirt, jeans and sandals as he set off on the walk to the therapy department.
Half way to the appointment, he got caught in a quick shower which made his t-shirt cling to his ample frame; not in the best of condition, but Alex being far from fat had seen a few ladies watching him as he passed by.
Alex walked slowly to the department, “The tendon is sore today,” he thought, as he expected he arrived at the physiotherapy section ahead of time; on his way up the passage way to the appointment, he thought, “I had a couple of lines in the Western Daily Press and the Evening Post, nobody will know me.”
He got to the desk and booked in and heard the receptionist say, “Thank you Mr. Pearson.”
He turned to find a seat and didn't pay attention to the other patients looking at him. Almost if they thought, “Can this really be Alex Pearson, the author we have read about? The middle aged man, whose stories enthral.”
Alex’s walk had taken a little less than time he allowed; the extra time gave him the time to sit and get his breath back. The walk wasn’t long but too short to get the bus and too long to walk. He sat reading the paperback he had recently bought and had not paid any attention as to who was in the room but one lady sat in the waiting room and she watched him.
He took his eyes off the book for a short time, to find her face smiling at him, he thought, “Just luck I guess, we had an appointment on the same day last time, no reason to think we shouldn't meet now.” Uneasily he started to keep an eye on the other patients, to see people trying to appear as if they were not staring at him, but the one lady not even trying to look away; was this vision of loveliness; she had her eyes on him.
He licked his lips slowly and waited for a reaction, she did the same and winked at him, “I wonder if you are serious, or are you playing a game?” he thought, “Okay, let me find out what you are up to,” Alex winked back at her, and waited as she coyly looked away and went back to reading her magazine, but he noticed she was watching him over the top of the magazine.
“Alex Pearson,” the therapist called out.
Alex got up to go and saw some of the sideways glances of the people trying to reconcile him, to the stories online of monsters, demonic possessions and of the image of life as the reclusive writer; which he wrote about, he glanced back to find everybody chatting. She was watching as he went to his cubicle and she nodded; licked her lips and winked at him, before she flicked her hair away from her glasses. Alex went to the appointment and came out to find her gone again, “Good laugh there,” he muttered to himself. Not thinking any more of her, he went to the desk to make the next appointment; while he was doing this he felt eyes on him when the receptionist said his name, “This is getting too creepy," he said under his breath.
Alex left the treatment room and walked down the passageway and for a strange reason, decided to go for a coffee today. He had no idea why, all the previous times he had gone back without any thought of taking a break, but today he went for a coffee. He took the left turn from the passageway and went into the cafe, after getting his coffee he sat at his table with coffee at his elbow and reading the new book. Alex was unaware she had been watching him. He was so engrossed in his book he failed to notice her enter the cafe, once he started a good book, he could lose track of time.
He was brought out of his reading be a female voice, “Isn’t that book a bit heavy for a novelist to read?”
Alex looked up from the book; to see her standing just across from him; lovelier by far in close up, “I’m sorry if I shattered your illusions of me,” he laughed. “Please! Won’t you sit down with me?” he said motioning to the chair opposite him.
“Thank you, Mr. Pearson. My name is Janette Calder.”
“Well, Miss Calder, as we’re having coffee and unless this is purely business; you can call me Alex.”
“No, and thank you, Alex, you can call me Jan.”
"Can I get you a coffee, Jan?"
"Black with two sugars please, Alex."
Alex got up to go over to the counter, thinking to himself, "She is so lovely; I wonder why she finds me intriguing?"
"Here we are," Alex said putting the coffees on the table.
"You found it hard to believe a novelist would read Marcel Proust. Why do you find it hard to think of me reading a science book?”
"I never thought of you reading philosophy for some reason."
"I would like to enlighten you my friend, I have read Solzhenitsyn, Dostoyevsky, and Chekov as well. My reading library is quite wide. I go for a good storyline, not a genre or name."
"I didn’t mean to be rude with what I said. I didn't mean to insinuate you should not read good works."
"I know, Jan, I get that a lot from people, they assume as a novelist I don’t read other types. I have read books by Carl Sagan, Professor John Taylor, Alexander Dolgun to name a few."
"Where do you get your ideas from, some of the things you write about are magic?"
"Thank you. Most of the ideas come to me in dreams and I built the worlds from those ideas. The Chronicles series is a great example. I intended the series to be only about four of five stories long. I got that idea because I am sick of all those celebrities so called 'going it alone.’ If that was the case, we would not know about them, which maybe wouldn’t be a bad idea,” Alex and Jan laughed at the prospect, then he continued, “Did you notice how nobody ever thinks of what the poor cameramen and women go through?”
"Now you mention the facts, you are right. I have read most of your books; you do have the ability to get the readers to reach the soul of the characters involved."
"Who do you think P.A. Canella is based up on?"
"I can’t imagine, he appears so wise and worldly."
"He is based on me, I wanted to be read and yet not recognised."
"Well! You are certainly read now, after your articles in the Western Daily Press and the Post.”
"Yes, I found the atmosphere in the room a bit creepy," Alex said pointing to the waiting room, "when they heard my name, I could feel their eyes, it was like they were trying to link me with the stories on line."
"Ellie's article said you lived in Clevedon for many years."
"I did live in Clevedon for well over 20 years but she did make a slight error though."
"I lived in Clevedon but not in the Old Church area."
"How did you get the story was to be so descriptive?"
"I used to walk along the path to the church and I remember how the church looked years ago."
"The story certainly took my breath away. When you did the article about the museum, weren’t you afraid of being sued, when the story came out?"
"I would have loved them to try."
"First, with my memory I can’t give you the exact dates of the occurrences, however, I can verify the story. I can describe the case the Roman statue was taken from and take you to the position where the case was at the time. Also I could give you names to check on, to back my case up; the story is about the Freemasons and how they can cover up anything and not about the theft itself.”
"In that case, if they had taken you to court, you had a good chance of winning the case."
"Yes, and think of what great publicity I would get. To quote the Irish poet Brendan Behan ‘No publicity is bad publicity, unless it’s your obituary," he said laughing.
The two new friends sat drinking and chatting for a while before Alex said, "Can you answer a question please for me?"
"I will if I can,” Jan replied.
"Did you plan the meeting here today? You didn’t know who I was when we met two weeks ago."
"I did plan the meeting today. I got so turned on by this lovely man looking at me. Which is why I moved slightly?”
"I’m sorry if I made you uneasy," Alex said bowing his head in embarrassment.
"You don’t need to apologise, I haven’t been aroused in many years."
"You planned the meeting well before you had even heard of me in the papers. So, what do you think about me now?"
"The same as I did before. I wanted to meet a lovely honest man not a celebrity writer, and I think I found him."
"Thank you. I am still the same man now as I was weeks ago. It is other people’s views of me which changed."
"I realise that, you are a totally sincere man and it shows in your work. You have a passion for writing and a flair for words. This can evoke all sorts of thoughts."
"I was asked once, which time period did I think would suit me?"
"What reply did you give?”
"I would think that the late Romantic era with the likes of Wordsworth, Keats & Milton. Some of the ghost stories are said to chill like Poe, M R James, Sheridan Le Fanu or Wilkie Collins, which I take as a great compliment. The Chronicles series are likened to H.P. Lovecraft or August Derleth. I used to ask my friends a leading question."
"What question did you ask?"
"Do you think I wrote such good terror tales because my mind is warped and twisted?"
"What were their replies?"
"No. You can just write a good tale."
"Can I ask a leading question please and be honest with me?"
"I can’t be other than honest; friendship is based on honesty for me."
"Do you think I am attractive?”
"Yes. I think you are very attractive, you can offer the right man a lot of love."
"Thank you, Alex, as I find you attractive as well."
Alex blushed and bowed in embarrassment as he said, "Thanks, Jan. I never try to push my looks; although ladies sat they find me darkly arousing and sexy. I prefer to build a friendship based on my personality rather than possible sex appeal."
"I agree with the ladies, you do have a certain mystique about you. You possess a dark brooding sensuality that lures you in. I also agree it is far better to build on friendship.”
Alex laughed and smiled at Jan.
Jan asked, “What did you find funny?”
He replied, “You make me sound like Byron.”
Giggling, she replied, “Which makes me Lady Caroline Lamb.”
Alex said, “Have you heard her famous quote about him?”
Jan commented, “No. Can you recite the quotation?”
He smiled, winked and said, “Off by heart, again something written years ago, could be about me.”
“Caroline said about her lover, ‘He’s mad, bad and dangerous to know.’
Jan remarked, “Are you?”
“I leave the decision to my friends.”
The two friends chatted some more and grew to like each other, before long they were holding hands over the table and playing footsy underneath and when Alex ran his foot up Jan’s calf, he noticed she bit her lip with pleasure.
"I think it’s nice to see you are enjoying the stroking, Jan."
"Oh lord, Alex, I am getting damn horny. You’re sending tingles everywhere."
"I like to think I can arouse you, turning a lady on is something I pride myself on. If I can get you aroused, this arouses me more.”
"You have no problem; you had me going from the start."
"What do you find so arousing about me?" Alex asked.
"I think the way you were looking at me, had me going. Your eyes are deep and sexy, inviting me to talk and get to know the man inside. Finding out what makes you run and how you feel. Oh and the way you moved, to try and get a look up my skirt, I got so wet in my panties, I don't think I am sexy.’
"Please believe me, any man who thinks you are not sexy, I would question his tastes seriously."
Jan laughed and blushed as she said, "I turn you on that much?"
"Oh yes, since the first time we met, you are on my mind all the time. I was hoping to meet you today but I realised there was a tiny chance of us having appointments times close."
"I wanted to meet you after the way you got me aroused, which is why I chose this time." Jan replied.
"Believe me; I had dreams of meeting and holding you close. I would like to chat and discover our tastes; then pull you to me for a cuddle and a kiss." Alex remarked.
"What a lovely idea; I want to get to know the sexy man who aroused me. To find out why you find me so sexy?"
"The first thing which caught my attention is your lovely hair like ripples in the golden sands of love."
"Oh get away, you naughty wicked romantic," Jan said smiling and giggling.
"I love your lovely figure, when I saw you, I wanted to cuddle you."
"I am nothing special." Jan said, glowing radiantly with the sexiness of a new lady in love.
"To me, you are everything I could wish for and with some to spare."
"If we keep this up, we shall have to meet outside of the appointments."
"Are you making an offer, Jan?"
"Yes. I would love to meet you for a drink and chat somewhere less cold and clinical."
"Do you know the Salutation Arms at Henbury?"
“Yes. It's my local, but I don’t go often."
"Are you free to meet next Friday for lunch about 1:00?" Alex asked.
Jan replied, “Yes, I don’t have any plans until after the weekend.”
"That is great. Can we swap numbers please?"
"We certainly can, as I would like to stay in contact and hear what you are writing about."