by Roger Noons
a flute or two of champagne, vintage of course.
‘Can I help you?’ she said, although her tone and expression suggested her assistance would be far from forthcoming.
‘I wanted to say thank you.’
‘Thank me, what for?’
‘For walking up the street, it was most enjoyable watching you.’
‘Were you following me?’
‘Are you some sort of pervert?’
‘I think not and may I say, out of respect and admiration, that you have a delightful … bottom.’
Her initial mood returned and she stared. He must be getting on for eighty, she thought. Tall, but thin, stooped, strands of white hair falling across his forehead. Well dressed … distinguished looking.
As he shyly smiled, she remembered Tom’s final words. ‘I don’t think you have any idea how stunning your body is. Even fully dressed, you ooze erotica. When we’re out I feel I have to share you with every other man in sight.’
‘Thank you for the compliment.’
He leaned towards her. ‘I wonder, do you have time for a coffee, or perhaps a glass of something?’
She glanced at her watch. ‘Sorry, but I have to get back.’
‘May I therefore offer you a lift?’
Again her face began to cloud. ‘Only if I can sit in the back.’
‘It might be taking you out of your way. I live …’
But he wasn’t listening. He had rescued a phone from his jacket pocket. She listened to the brief conversation.
‘Celia, I’m outside Boots.’
She frowned; watched as he returned the Nokia.
‘A couple of minutes. May I hold some of your shopping?’
As if in a trance, she handed him her Sainsbury’s bag for life. ‘Thanks.’ While thinking what else she might say to continue the conversation, a Bentley silently drew to a stop alongside them.
God, you’ve hit the jackpot this time, Girl, she thought as the uniformed chauffeuse scurried round to open the back door.