Sunday, 8 June 2014

Love To Love You Baby

He marked the page with a match
and fell asleep in mid-kiss,
while I, a queen bee
in a disturbed hive, stay up and buzz:
half a kingdom for a honey drop,
half a lifetime for a tender word!
His face, half turned.
Half past midnight. Half past one.

~ He marked the page with a match by Vera Pavlova (translated by Stephen Seymour)

Love is Roses (by circle of fire

"I Feel Love"

Stockport, Greater Manchester

Hayley Moorcroft was wondering what had happened to her Romeo.

Once upon a time her husband had wooed her with holidays to the Algarve and dinners at fancy restaurants.

But now she was lucky if she got a cuddle and a peck on the cheek at half-time.

Hayley Moorfcroft was consoling herself with a box of Cadburys Milk Tray.

As she watched her husband snore on the sofa beside her.

Hayley popped a chocolate fudge into her mouth and shrugged.

"Men!" She muttered sourly.

It was Boxing Day and she had resigned herself to watching Dracula Has Risen From The Grave on the TV before going to bed.

She could always count on a good horror movie to lift her spirits ...

Hayley Moorcroft was a real film buff.

And she had a particular penchant for horror movies.

Hayley never missed a chance to go to the pictures with her best friend.

Nobody enjoyed a visceral horror movie more than she.

In fact, Hayley Moorcroft was the only person she knew who felt sad when the evil nanny Peyton Flanders was killed in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.

Hayley Moorcroft worked in Raj's News.

It was a small newsagent within an estate.

Most people had never actually seen Raj Kumar.

He spent most of his time in India, leaving Hayley Moorcroft behind to man the fort.

Which she did very well.

Raj's News was a well stocked haven for all those residents who were unable to get to Co-Op.

It catered to addicts of every kind and all walks of life.

There were those who needed their celebrity magazine fix and those who were addicted to cheap alcohol.

There were the steady stream of customers who did the Lotto and the customers who bought their cigarettes regularly like clockwork.

Then there were the lonely hearts who only came in for a chat.

Hayley Moorcroft was a friendly Northerner and she ably struck up conversations with her customers from behind the till.

She always marvelled at the people who frequented the shop.

It was like a movie full of fascinating characters.

And they always seemed to be leading a much more interesting life than her.

Such as Laura and Lee Brunwin.

They were childhood sweethearts who had grown up on the estate and had just got married.

And they were so loved up that they made Hayley Moorcroft feel sick.

"My Lee is insatiable!" Laura Brunwin announced as she paid for her Fry's Turkish Delight.

Brunwin was a pale, scrawny woman with strawberry blonde hair and green eyes.

She looked like Carrie White from the Stephen King horror movie Carrie.

For a moment Hayley Moorcroft considered bludgeoning the breathless woman over the head with a packet of McVities HobNobs.

But she thought better of it.

"Why waste a packet of biscuits on that cow?"

"I've married the best lover in the world!" Brunwin sighed.

Suddenly Hayley pictured the gangly and bespectacled Lee Brunwin.

An unlikely lover man.

But Laura Brunwin was certainly glowing.

She winked suggestively at Hayley Moorcroft before disappearing out of the door.

For a few moments the woman silently fumed behind the till.

"Silly bitch!" Hayley Moorcroft finally snarled.

That night Hayley managed a staccato conversation with her husband between mouthfuls of spaghetti bolognese.

Then the couple retired to the sofa to watch Manchester United play Arsenal on the TV.

Later Hayley Moorecroft sat with her arms folded defensively across her chest as her husband snored beside her.

"Last of the great romantics!" Hayley cried.

Jason Moorcroft was short and stocky with brown curly hair, hazel eyes and a tidy goatee.

He was a black cab driver who worked a day or night shift.

The couple met twelve years before when Hayley booked a black cab with her best friend.

Sharon Amery swore blind that that cab journey was meant to be.

Jason Moorcroft was instantly taken with the engaging young Hayley Bristow (formerly of Birmingham) and she in turn was intrigued by his bonhomie.

She was chirpy and cheerful.

Hayley Bristow was a vivacious blonde woman.

She had bright blue eyes and a ready laugh and her sense of humour was infectious.

Bristow had a chirpy and cheerful disposition.

And Jason Moorcroft was instantly smitten.

A spark had been lit.

Three weeks later, Hayley Bristow booked another black cab but this time she was alone.

And the young woman was delighted to see Jason Moorcroft again.

It was the football mad cab driver with the gift of the gab

And soon the couple were talking as if they had known each other for years.

Time just flew past.

And that was how it all began.

Within a year the couple were married.

They honeymooned in the Seychelles and moved into their spacious bungalow in Stockport shortly after.

Everything seemed ideal and they were deliriously in love.

Although they did not have any children, the couple were very happy together.

Jason Moorcroft was a die hard Manchester United fan.

And Hayley even suffered him to take her along to football matches.

A sign of true love.

But things had gone off the boil since then.

Not least because Jason Moorcroft was just too dog tired to do anything any more.

The first flush of love had passed and they had settled into a routine.

Hayley Moorcroft looked into the mirror and sighed.

She still looked exactly the same as she had the day before.

Her breasts hadn't gone south.

Hayley Moorcroft could still be the dazzling blonde who turned heads.

Even if she was more voluptuous these days.

She could still command male attention in Co-Op.

But deep down Hayley Moorcroft knew something was wrong.

She had so much untapped passion.

And her husband wasn't releasing it.

Suddenly Hayley had a burning desire to do something about it.

The following day she met her best friend in the park as usual.

Sharon Amery worked in Boots the chemist and she always bought two cheese and pickle sandwiches and a couple Diet Coke's with her.

Amery was an attractive bi-racial woman with a wonderful mane of Afro hair and warm brown eyes.

She had never known her Nigerian father and had been bought up by her Welsh mother in Leeds.

Sharon Amery had an empathetic personality and always gave good advice.

Hayley Moorcroft had known her since their college days and the two had remained firm friends since then.

They had even shared a small flat together in Walsall before they both moved to Greater Manchester.

Hayley knew that she could say things to Sharon Amery that she could not say to her husband.

Today Moorcroft was bemoaning her fate to her best friend.

"The spark has gone out of our marriage!" Hayley wailed.

The couple were sitting on a park bench and watching a man struggle with his Yorkshire terrier.

"Maybe you both need a break!" Sharon Amery declared "A nice little holiday so you can both get your mojo back!"

Hayley Moorcroft shrugged.

"I feel like I've already been put out to pasture!" She cried miserably.

Suddenly the sun caught Sharon's face and Hayley noticed something undefinable about her.

There was a decided gleam in her eyes and she appeared to be smiling a lot today.

"Hang on a minute!" Hayley said as her eyes narrowed "Somethings changed about you! I can tell by your eyes!"

Sharon Amery blushed brightly and quickly looked away.

"Oh go on, tell me!" Moorcroft urged her.

"Okay, okay ..." Amery answered "Matt and I have decided to renew our vows. We think it's a good time to .."

"Wait a minute!" Hayley Moorcroft interjected "One minute you're at each others throats and the next ... you're renewing your vows? What's happened between these two states?"

Sharon and Matt Amery had a volatile relationship.

They had spent most of their ten year marriage fighting and walking out on each other.

"Things got really bad" Sharon explained "And one day out of desperation, I tried that new shop in town. Just wanted to spice up my love life ..."

Hayley Moorcroft was staring agog at her best friend.

She had almost choked on her Diet Coke.

"I bought a few special things ..." Sharon Amery continued "And now Matt wont leave me alone!"

Then she laughed nervously as Hayley Moorcroft glared at her through a mouthful of cheese and pickle sandwich.

For a few moments Moorcroft considered leaving Greater Manchester.

And joining Scientology.

"The shop is called Exotique" Sharon informed her friend.

Hayley Moorcroft shrugged.

Exotique sounded like a cheap knocking shop.

Like the Thai massage parlour that had been closed the previous year for extracurricular activities.

But Sharon Amery really had been revitalised.

There was no denying that.

And it got Hayley Moorcroft thinking ...

That night the disgruntled woman pushed away her plate of macaroni cheese and looked up at the clock.

Time was crawling along.

Jason was working and wouldn't be home until the small hours of the morning.

And suddenly Hayley Moorcroft felt totally dejected.

So she ran herself a bath and listened to Donna Summer.

"There's got to be more to life than this!" Hayley Moorcroft wailed as I feel Love filled the house

Even her best friend had been swept up on a tidal wave of passion.

Perhaps Exotique was beckoning to her too.

Tomorrow was Saturday.

So Hayley Moorcroft planned her day with military precision.

She would close the shop early and head off to accomplish her tasks.

And Jason would be playing football with his friends.

There would be enough hours in the day for her to achieve her goals.

Which included paying a visit to the shop that sounded like a panacea for all woes.

By the time Jason Moorcroft arrived home in the early hours of the morning, Hayley was already in bed.

He quietly entered the bedroom and undressed.

Then he climbed in beside her and gave her a quick peck on the cheek and rolled over.

Hayley opened her eyes and smiled knowingly to herself.

Sharon Amery's words were ringing through her ears.

"And now Matt wont leave me alone"

Perhaps Exotique really was the answer after all ...

Hayley Moorcroft began the following day full of expectation.

She had a purpose.

Exotique was calling to her.

And she also fortified herself with the knowledge that the sales were on and she could always count on buying a new dress at Debenhams.

There really was a light at the end of the tunnel.

She waved her husband goodbye.

"Let's do this baby!" Hayley Moorcroft cried as she clapped her hands excitedly.

She quickly brushed her hair and applied a slick of red lipstick on.

Then she tugged on her black Whistles wool coat and headed out into the wintry morning.

It was the post-Christmas sales and all the shops were packed with expectant shoppers eager for a good bargain.

Hayley Moorcroft was feeling enervated and headed straight for Mona's Hair Salon to get her hair trimmed and highlighted.

Thirty minutes later and she was feeling confident as she caught a glimpse of her new look in a shop window.

Hayley was a new woman.

The world was her oyster.

But as she stood in the middle of the bustling town a determined Hayley Moorcroft suddenly crumbled.

She had lost her nerve.

Hayley felt foolish and self conscious.

She quickly retreated to Betty's Tea Shop for a coffee.

"Who am I kidding?" She wailed as she looked dejectedly around the elegant abode.

Everyone seemed so happy and animated.

As if they did not have a care in the world.

Suddenly Hayley noticed a young couple kissing beside a potted spider plant and she almost threw up her hands.

She was feeling deflated now but she mustered enough bravado to make her way to Debenhams where she bought herself a pretty black Betty Jackson shift dress.

Now Hayley felt a little more confident with her new find and her hairdo.

Her mood had improved but she was still chiding herself for not having the courage to visit Exotique.

The winds had picked up considerably by the time she stepped out of the department store into the street and it looked like it was going to rain.

"Coward!" Hayley Moorcroft berated herself.

She contemplated going home.

It was getting colder and she wanted to curl up on the sofa with a good book.

Then suddenly something inside her snapped.

"I've come this far!" Hayley declared "I'm not going to give up now!"

She was on a mission.

And before Hayley could argue with herself she headed purposefully in the direction of Exotique.

But she almost walked past it.

The sacrosanct shop was right at the end of town and was unimpressive to say the least.

It looked rather lugubrious with blackened out windows and the name of the shop in flashing red lights.

"Have I taken leave of my senses?" Hayley Moorcroft cried as she stood outside the shabby looking shop.

Two Dozen Roses (by YuriPanda
Exotique looked like a rather unpalatable sex shop.

"I'm not that desperate!" Moorcroft declared as she quickly turned on her heels.

But Sharon clearly had been.

Hayley had a lot more self respect than that ...

Suddenly a voice called out to her.

"Where you 'goin?"

Hayley Moorcroft froze and turned around slowly.

Perhaps it was the faux Americanisms that had annoyed her.

But she turned to see where the voice had come from.

Standing in the doorway of the tatty shop was a lanky youth with a cigarette in his hand.

It was Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.

"Come on back!" The young man called out to her.

He was very tall and thin.

Shaggy had small brown eyes, sandy coloured hair and a wispy little beard.

And now he was grinning at her with his long face.

Hayley noticed that he was wearing a yellow t-shirt with the slogan Weed is Good emblazoned across it.

She rolled her eyes.

He must be a stoner.

"Come on lady!" The gangling youth beckoned to her "You look like you good do with spicing up your sex life!"

Hayley Moorcroft felt instantly affronted.

How dare Shaggy be so rude to her?

"I beg your pardon?" Hayley exclaimed indignantly "I'll have you know that I've had more sex than you've had hot dinners!"

Shaggy took a lazy puff on his cigarette.

"Yeah! Sure you have!" He replied with a smirk.

That was it.

The writing was on the wall.

Hayley Moorcroft was officially a sexually frustrated old bag.

There was no use in fighting it any more.

If this scraggy youth could see it then the whole world probably could.

Shaggy from Scooby-Doo had won.

"Okay ... I surrender!" Hayley Moorcroft declared as she followed the young man into Exotique.

She was already beginning to rue the day she had ever heard of the shop.

Several moments later and Hayley was standing in the middle of Exotique and staring in awe at the scene around her.

The bizarre shop was absolutely packed with shoppers.

And Hayley Moorcroft had never seen so much sexual paraphernalia in all her life.

Wall to wall shelves were groaning under the sheer weight of countless sex films, sex magazines and all manner of accoutrement's.

Sex toys lurched out at her from every corner and there were rails full of skimpy underwear that made Hayley Moorcroft blush.

It was an Aladdin's cave of erotic delights ...

As Hayley Moorcroft looked around her, her mouth suddenly dropped open when she noticed the film being shown on a huge screen on the far wall. 

A couple were energetically consummating their lust and none of the shoppers appeared to be batting an eyelid.

"This is a perverts paradise!" Hayley Moorcroft declared disdainfully.

She was completely out of her depth there.

"Don't mock it!" A voice suddenly declared in a decidedly Eastern European accent.

Moorcroft was poised to flee.

But instead she turned to see a Goth girl standing behind her in a low cut black dress which left little to the imagination.

She was pale and pretty with long jet black hair and studs in her nose and eye brows.

Her lips were blood red and there was a small tattoo of a black widow spider on her neck.

She looked like Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

"Stone the crows! Hayley Moorcroft exclaimed.

She'd seen it all now.

Shaggy and Elvira.

A right pair.

Sharon Amery really did have some explaining to do.

"You look like you could do with spicing up your sex life!" Elvira informed Hayley knowingly.

Then she threw back her head and laughed a thrill laugh.

Hayley Moorcroft rolled her eyes.

Suddenly a sofa and a bag of cheese and onion potato chips seemed really enticing ...

Then she noticed a woman scuttling past with her head bowed.

"Lucinda?" Hayley Moorcroft exclaimed with incredulity.

It was the local GP's wife.

The woman looked sheepishly behind her before vanishing out of the door.

Moorcroft slowly shook her head.

"They all come here!" Shaggy informed her with a wry smirk.

Hayley Moorcroft was mortified.

But as she struggled to process that piece of information she became fixated with all the metal on the mysterious Elvira's face.

"Doesn't all ... that hurt?" Hayley Moorcroft asked her as she pointed to the piercings.

"Not at all!" The Goth girl announced brightly.

Then she poked out her tongue to reveal two shiny silver studs.

Hayley Moorcroft recoiled in horror.

Elvira threw back her head and laughed again.

Her two white breasts looked as if they were about to explode out of her gown.

"It enhances the oral pleasure ..." Elvira explained with a smile.

"Yes okay!" Hayley quickly interjected "Too much information!"

Perhaps the Mistress of the Dark practised her oral skills on Shaggy ...

"You are uptight aren't you?" Elvira informed her facetiously.

"Just call me an old maid!" Hayley Moocroft retorted sharply.

And as the despondent woman began to inwardly bewail her fate, she suddenly noticed that Elvira and Shaggy were staring intensely at her.

Hayley felt completely self conscious now and all she wanted to do now was flee.

"I think I should leave!" She informed Shaggy and Elvira.

Sharon Amery had better have a good explanation for this.

Sending her to a weird sex shop like that ...

But as Hayley Moorcroft turned to head out of the door, Elvira suddenly caught her arm.

"I have something that will help you!" The Goth girl informed her mysteriously.

There was a strange gleam in her eyes.

She grabbed a small bottle from the counter and placed it into Hayley's hand.

"I think this will help solve your issues!" Elvira added with an impish smile.

Hayley Moorcroft held up the small amber coloured bottle.

It appeared to be perfume.

And it was called L'Amour.

"It has a distinctive aroma!" Shaggy explained "It will soon spice things up for you and your man! If you know what I mean!"

Elvira and Shaggy were grinning broadly at the awestruck woman.

Hayley knew exactly what he meant.

She suddenly wondered if they had tried it too ...

"Perhaps I'll stay a little longer ..." Hayley Moorcroft finally said.

Maybe Shaggy and Elvira could show her some tricks ...

One hour later and a rejuvenated Hayley Moorcroft walked out of the shop with a bag full of Exotique items.

There was a spring in her step and she felt as if she were walking on air.

"Let the loving begin!" Hayley Moorcroft declared as she floated home.

Back at the house, she held up the small bottle of perfume to the light.

It was an elixir of delights.

And it had an unusual scent which she couldn't place.

Hayley Moorcroft winced as she sniffed it.

It was very potent.

A rich and spicy scent with accents of sandalwood and ambergris and something else.

"Stone the crows!" Hayley exclaimed.

The intoxicating perfume had made her feel rather odd.

Then Hayley looked up at the clock.

It was six o'clock.

Jason would be home shortly and she wanted to be ready for him.

She smiled knowingly to herself as she contemplated the night ahead.

Hayley Moorcroft was determined to seduce her husband.

And she was eagerly anticipating his ardent reciprocation.

They were going to rekindle the love light in their marriage.

So Hayley Moorcroft flung a steak and kidney pie in the oven and some oven chips under the grill and ran herself a bath.

Then she carefully laid out a skimpy red negligee on the bed.

One of her many finds at Exotique.

It was very daring for her.

Usually Hayley was a lot more discerning in her choice of attire.

But she hoped the sexy get up would be like a red rag to a bull.

Desperate times called for desperate measures.

Hayley put Donna Summer on and swayed to the disco sounds.

Then she lit some scented candles and poured Sensual Moves bath oil into the running water.

Hayley Moorcroft was in the mood for love.

And her Lancelot would soon be home ...

Two Hours And Thirty-Five Minutes Later

Hayley Moorcroft had nodded off at the dinner table in a silk kimono.

She awoke with a jerk.

The steak and kidney pie and chips were all cold.

It was dark outside.

She blew out the candles.

"So long for all that romance!" Hayley Moorcroft declared miserably.

She managed a bitter laugh at her predicament.

Hayley had sprayed herself with copious amounts of L'Amour perfume and now she felt silly and self conscious again.

"Who am I kidding?" She wailed.

Inwardly she cursed Shaggy and Elvira.

She knew it was all too good to be true.

Hayley had gone to elaborate lengths to make herself attractive and she had spent a small fortune at the Clinique counter in Debenhams.

Now all she wanted to do was wipe all the make-up off and slip into her tracksuit.

The spark had gone out of it.

That was when she heard the front door slam shut.

It was Jason.

Hayley Moorcroft no longer felt like a sex kitten.

She just felt like a fat and frumpy maid.

And she quickly consoled herself with the knowledge that she would soon be enjoying a new box of Cadburys Milk Tray and an episode of Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital.

Before she could make a move, Jason Moorcroft suddenly entered the room.

Hayley was slightly bemused by his dramatic entrance but she just shrugged.

"Nice match, were it love?" She asked him.

But there was something different about her husband tonight.

Little fires were burning in his eyes.

Hayley's mouth dropped open.

"Come here you sexy mama!" Jason Moorcroft growled

Hayley's eyes had opened wide.

"Jason?" She managed.

Jason Moorcroft was wild eyed and panting heavily.

She had never seen him so hot and bothered before.

He was like a ravenous animal.

And he was about to devour her.

Jason grabbed her forcefully and kissed her passionately on the mouth.

The blood rushed to Hayley's head and she was sure she could see stars.

"Stone the crows!" She gasped when he finally released her.

Hayley Moorcroft's boat had just sailed in.

A big grin had spread across Jason's face.

Hayley quickly crossed herself.

"Thank you God"

Before she knew it Jason had grabbed hold of her hand and was tugging her up the stairs and into the bedroom.

It felt like he was dragging her to his cave ...

And Hayley Moorcroft was quivering with anticipation.

She could picture Shaggy and Elvira smiling knowingly at her as Jason flung her onto the bed.

A wave of excitement raced through her.

Within five minutes Jason was completely naked.

And with just a gesture he whipped off Hayley's kimono and scanty red negligee.

"Please be gentle with me!" She purred as she looked up at Jason from the bed.

He was like a tiger about to strike.

And Hayley was loving every minute of it.

The couple were soon revelling in acts of unbridled passion as they consummated their desire.

But as Hayley Moorcroft was transported, she suddenly noticed the unmistakable aroma of a familiar scent.

And she could smell it all over her husband.

"L'Amour!" Hayley Moorcroft gasped as Jason entered her.

The spell had suddenly been broken ...

One Month Later

Hayley Moorcroft was sitting beside her husband on the sofa.

She had recognized the glint in his eyes.

Jason was looking at her expectantly.

And now Hayley was pretending to be asleep.

It was all she could do to keep him off her.

Jason Moorcroft had been transformed into an insatiable sex machine.

He wanted it all the time now.

And Hayley could barely walk for days afterwards.

He was filthy.

Sex had become Jason Moorcroft's new mandate.

And it was Hayley fending him off now.

The novelty of her husband's renewed passion had already worn off.

Now she was the one who wanted her undisturbed sleep at night.

And she fervently cursed Shaggy and Elvira.

They were to blame.

They had seduced her husband with their wiles.

Now an entire bathroom cabinet was full of L'Amour perfume bottles.

And there was no escaping Exotique.

Hayley Moorcroft wanted the old Jason back.

The negligent, snoring and dependable Jason.

Not this horny Casanova who wouldn't leave her alone.

And her best friend was hardly being sympathetic.

Sharon Amery believed that Hayley Moorcroft should be grateful she was "getting it now".

That was hardly a very helpful attitude.

Hayley was "getting it now".

But she just didn't want "it" any more.

So the conflicted woman decided to spend a rainy day with a couple of her closest friends.

Betty's Tea Shop was a safe haven.

Linda Dunlop and Leanne Packer.

Dunlop was a perky blonde woman who worked in Superdrug.

And Packer was a chatty brunette who worked in Meena's Beauty Salon.

Hayley Moorcroft was bemoaning her lot over a cappuccino.

"Now Jason wants sex all the time!" She wailed "He wants it non-stop!"

The two other woman nodded sympathetically.

"And he won't take no for an answer!" Hayley added with dismay.

"My Terry is exactly the same as Jason!" Leanne Packer declared dramatically "He's like an octopus! Won't leave me alone!"

"And my Mick too!" Linda Dunlop chipped in "He's obsessed with sex. What is the world coming to!"

Then the two women laughed nervously together and quickly looked away.

Suddenly Hayley Moorcroft paused.

She carefully set her coffee cup down.

It was like déjà vu.

And it was as if she were with Sharon Amery in the park again on that fateful day.

"Wait a bloody minute!" Hayley Moorcroft cried as she spied the guilty expressions on her friends faces.

They were both hiding something.

And Moorcroft had a fair idea what it was.

Before the women could protest, she quickly grabbed their handbags and emptied the contents onto the coffee table.

The usual items clattered out.

And as an intense Hayley Moorcroft riffled through lipsticks, compacts, pens, diaries, receipts and scrunched up pieces of paper -  she found what she was looking for at last.

Two little amber coloured bottles.

Hayley Moorcroft held them up to the light.

"Traitors!" She sneered venomously.

Both women were hanging their heads in shame and shifting uncomfortably in their chairs.

Hayley Moorcroft slowly shook her head.

"Who can I trust!" She hissed.

That was when Hayley noticed it.

It was absolutely everywhere.

Suddenly Hayley Moorcroft was sniffing the air like a puppy.

It was unmistakable.

And now she was wondering how it could possibly have escaped her.

Poisoned (by GreyFairie
The entire coffee shop reeked of it.

It reeked of L'Amour perfume.

"All of them!" Hayley Moorcroft exclaimed dramatically.

She looked around her and realised that every single person in Betty's Tea Shop had doused themselves in L'Amour perfume.

For a brief moment Hayley Moorcroft felt she was like Rosemary Woodhouse in Rosemary's Baby.

She was surrounded by treacherous devil worshippers.

But this was Betty's Tea Shop in Stockport and not The Dakota in Manhattan.

And Hayley Moorcroft was surrounded by sex maniacs instead.

She let out a weary sigh.

Then she noticed a couple sitting several tables away.

It was Lee and Laura Brunwin.

They were staring into each others eyes and sharing a chocolate éclair together.

"No! Please no!" Hayley Moorcroft wailed.

It was too horrible to watch.

Then another couple suddenly caught her eye in a far corner of the room.

They were smiling knowingly at her.

It was Shaggy and Elvira.

They gave a little wave at her.

"Stone the crows!" Hayley Moorcroft exclaimed.

Then she grabbed one of the perfume bottles from the table and began spraying herself with it.

"If you can't beat them, join them!" She added.

The Love Darts Of Eros

Tarquin Windsor had spent three weeks in Leeds at a business conference.

He was a high flying city boy.

Windsor managed The Imperial Bank in London.

It was a highly prestigious bank which numbered the rich elite including Arab sheik's and minor royalty among its clients.

Tarquin Windsor was tall and athletic and had preppy boy good looks.

He had wavy blond hair, steely blue eyes and keen features.

Windsor lived the life of the privileged set and was a keen scuba diver with his own boat.

The dashing man was regarded as something of a catch but he had never been engaged or come close to being married.

Tarquin Windsor was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and had been bought up with his twin brother Fabian in a rambling Surrey stately home which resided amid hundreds of acres of land.

Not many children could attest to being served by liveried servants or could choose anything they liked at Hamleys toy store in London.

But Tarqun and Fabian Windsor could.

They were both sent to Gordonstoun and they later attended Eton together.

But Tarquin Windsor was always regarded as the brighter star and he excelled at everything.

He lived in an exclusive penthouse in Chelsea and was always seen at the right parties with the right people.

Tarquin Windsor had the knack.

He was able to charm the birds out of the trees.

And although he was dazzlingly handsome and successful - he remained resolutely single.

Now he was in Leeds at the end of a successful conference where he had held sway.

The Jug and Trumpet public house was a far cry from his usual haunts.

It was hardly The Groucho.

The Jug and Trumpet was a threadbare old pub full of character.

It had a low ceiling and a roaring fire and was packed with local people.

Tarquin Windsor's friends and associates had long since made their way back to the hotel.

They were far too embarrassed to be seen in such a low brow venue.

So they left Tarquin Windsor to enjoy his Campari and soda alone and to ponder his surroundings.

It was as if he had landed on another planet and was looking at alien life forms.

The people around him were certainly a far cry from the well heeled men and débutantes that he usually hung out with.

There were far too many fake logos and tattoos in sight.

But Tarquin Windsor felt a sense of relief to be mixing with the hoi polloi tonight.

It certainly made a change from all those plummy voiced investors.

Tarquin sipped his drink and looked languidly around the busy pub.

He was musing on what a humdrum life might be like.

Suddenly a loud female laugh caught his attention.

And he was shaken out of his reverie.

As he skimmed the pub in the direction of the laugh, Tarquin Windsor suddenly stopped dead in his tracks.

It was as if the scales had fallen from his eyes.

He was no longer a jaded high flier.

Tarquin Windsor had been transformed into a love puppy.

Eros had fired a love dart straight to his heart.

The world had stopped spinning on its axis.

All he could see was her.

She was sitting a little way off with her friends.

A thin young woman with a head full of peroxide blonde extensions and a mahogany tan.

Tarquin Windsor had never seen anyone like her before.

He stared in wide eyed awe at the young woman.

She was talking animatedly with her three other friends and drinking a pint of Carlsberg.

The young woman was wearing a tight lime green top, pink mini-skirt and white kinky boots.

She was tall and thin and had large blue eyes and big pouting lips.

Her breasts were large and she tantalisingly crossed and uncrossed her long legs.

To Tarquin Windsor she was a beauty.

He could see nobody else but her.

She was a tanned vision in white kinky boots.

A superannuated temptress.

The young woman noticed his stare and flashed him a grin showing impossibly white teeth.

"She is Aphrodite!" Tarquin Windsor sighed, holding his heart.

Those pretty but vacant débutantes in their flouncy dresses could not hold a candle to her.

This was a real woman.

Within ten minutes she had joined Tarquin Windsor at the bar and had pulled up a stool beside him.

And he was fumbling like an anxious school boy.

Tarquin was used to the uncomplicated débutantes who accompanied him to big social events but this intriguing woman was completely different.

He decided that she was even more beautiful close-up.

She had caterpillar eye brows and pink talons.

And her breasts were so big that they were threatening to burst out of her tight lime green top.

She was all woman.

And now she was sitting beside Tarquin Windsor and grinning broadly at him.

And he was totally tongue tied.

"Saw you looking!" She declared in a broad Yorkshire accent.

Tarquin Windsor blushed violently and quickly looked away.

"I'm sorry!" he said.

"You're alright!" She said brightly "People tend to either look at my tits or my ass!"

Windsor managed a sheepish smile as he attempted to avoid her inflated breasts.

"I'll have a gin and tonic if you're offering!" The young woman added.

Tarquin fell over himself to comply.

And very soon they had fallen into a breezy conversation.

"You're posh aren't you?" The young woman put to him as she sipped her drink.

"You could say that!" He answered.

"My name is Kaylee!" She informed him "Kaylee Scoggins!"

The hot shots eyes lit up.

Even her name had a pleasing lilt to it.

Kaylee Scoggins.

"My name is Tarquin!" He told her "Tarquin Windsor!"

"Blimey!" She retorted loudly "Are you royal or summat? Pleased to meet you Tarker!"

Kaylee Scoggins held out her hand.

And Tarquin Windsor took it gently and kissed it.

She giggled girlishly.

Who was this posh Southerner?

Three Weeks Later

Tarquin Windsor was sitting in his swanky office in the The Imperial Bank.

He was regaling his best friend with stories about the intriguing young woman he had met in Leeds.

Scabius Overbury was listening intently to his best friend.

He was mildly amused by Windsor's entanglement with the decidedly impecunious Yorkshire lass.

Unlike him, Scabius Overbury was happily settled.

He had married the daughter of Lord Cavendish and they lived in an elegant Chelsea flat not far from Tarquin Windsor.

Windsor and Overbury were closer than brothers.

Scabius was tall and athletic with wavy brown hair and striking green eyes.

And although he was classically good looking like Tarquin Windsor, Scabius Overbury was also much less impulsive and more pragmatic than him.

And today Scabius had to admit that he was rather baffled by his best friends latest antics.

The resolutely unavailable Tarquin Windsor was finally in love.

It was totally out of character for him.

And Scabius Overbury was listening with bated breath to his best friend's story.

Tarquin Windsor was just explaining why he had spurned the riotously rich and engaging daughter of Lord Haverly for this Northern creature.

"It's quite a charming tale, don't you think?" Windsor finished with a flourish.

But Scabius Overbury was still trying to get his head around the jettisoning of Lord Haverly's delightful daughter.

Celia Haverly was cultivated and intelligent

A pretty young woman with a winning personality.

Tarquin Windsor and Celia Haverly were a match made in heaven.

But Windsor had rejected her.

"But what about Celia?" A bemused Scabius Overbury protested.

"She pales into significance beside Kaylee!" Tarquin Windsor informed him as he sank back into his leather chair "Celia can't hold a candle to her!"

Overbury's eyes widened.

The more Windsor talked, the more convincing he sounded.

Scabius had to concede that his lovestruck best friend must be serious.

"You have got it bad!" Overbury finally responded as he slowly shook his head.

His best friend was ginning broadly.

"Why have a hamburger when you can have steak at home?" Tarquin Windsor declared.

Scabius Overbury was completely incredulous.

Tarquin Windsor was head over heels in love.

The sky had just fallen in ...

A couple of days later, Tarquin Windsor's dream came true.

Kaylee Scoggins had arrived in London.

She was standing on the doorstep of his luxury flat surrounded by suitcases.

"It's only me!" She announced loudly as she masticated on bubble gum.

Tarquin quickly concluded that Kaylee Scoggins was even more delectable than ever.

She was wearing a mauve halter-neck top and tight blue jeans and her exploding peroxide blonde hair was hidden beneath a baseball cap.

Unable to contain his excitement, the city slicker ushered her in as he wrestled with her suitcases.

Kaylee Scoggins stared in awe at her surroundings.

She had never seen anything like it before.

"Its like summat out of that Pretty Woman" Scoggins gasped.

The flat was opulent and tastefully furnished.

It had all the mod cons and there were expensive paintings on the wall.

"So this is how the other half live!" Kaylee Scoggins exclaimed breathlessly "It's bloody Buckingham Palace in here!"

Tarquin Windsor laughed out loud.

Kaylee was so unaffected.

It made a welcome change to some of the pretentious people he had around him.

He watched with pleasure as the brassy Northerner raced around the flat and squealed with delight at everything she saw.

Kaylee Scoggins kicked off her white high heels and slumped onto the sofa.

"I could get used to this!" She informed Tarquin Windsor bright.

The enterprising man grinned broadly.

That was exactly what he wanted to hear.

It was music to his ears.

One Month Later

Tarquin Windsor was determined to make his lady friend the perfect consort.

So he set about transforming Kaylee Scoggins into the kind of woman he would be proud to display at sumptuous banquets and glittering social events.

After some initial resistance, Scoggins capitulated and quickly become amenable to his tutelage.

Tarquin Windsor had devised an intense curriculum and every evening he gave Kaylee elocution and deportment lessons in the flat.

He stood before her and jotted various sentences on a small black board that Scoggins was meant to repeat several times.

"The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane!" Kaylee parroted drolly.

She didn't have a clue what she saying.

"Excellent!" Tarquin declared brightly "I'll make a lady out of you yet!"

 "Screw that!" Scoggins pouted "Can we go to bed now?"

Tarquin Windsor's clear blue eyes lit up.

That was another thing.

Kaylee Scoggins was insatiable.

And they did the kind of things in bed that Tarquin Windsor had only ever dreamt about before.

With Windsor as a teacher, Scoggins gradually began to ditch the garish outfits and she quickly acquired a penchant for shopping at Harrods on Tarquin's credit cards.

She no longer shopped at Primark.

Kaylee Scoggins had cultivated a taste for Prada and Versace outfits and Jimmy Choo heels now.

But she wasn't quite ready yet.

These days the elegant dressing table was more inclined to be groaning under the weight of Cartier trinkets, expensive perfumes and Clarins skin care products.

"I smell like a tarts boudoir now!" Kaylee Scoggins informed her lover one evening "And I've got you to thank for that Tarker!"

Nothing made Tarquin Windsor feel more proud.

"What a woman!" He sighed.

The mission to transform her into a lady was evidently going well.

Out went the skin tight leather get up and skimpy outfits.

In came feminine Chloe dresses and stylish Prada outfits.

Kaylee Scoggins toned down the peroxide blonde hair and tanned look and began to carry herself around with more poise and gravitas.

But she could still fire from the bellow the hip if she wanted to.

Within a couple of weeks, office workers at The Imperial Bank were staring agog from behind their desks at the blonde woman following Tarquin Windsor.

Shortly afterwards she was formally introduced as Windsor's "personal secretary".

The arrival of the striking Yorkshire lass was met with raised eyebrows.

As it soon became clear that she had no secretarial training.

Scabious Overbury was convinced that his best friend had taken leave of his senses.

"Isn't she amazing?" Tarquin Windsor confided to Overbury as they watched Kaylee Scoggins from the elegant glass office.

Scoggins was swearing like a sailor and kicking a photocopying machine.

"Well she certainly has a way with words!" Scabius Overbury remarked dryly.

That night Tarquin Windsor watched as Kaylee Scoggins slept beside him in the big designer bed.

Everything had gone better than he had anticipated.

Only one thing remained.

He would have to introduce this beauty to his family.

The Windsor's lived in a seventy-four bedroom stately home which resided in countless acres of rolling Surrey countryside.

Lord and Lady Windsor were counted as minor royalty by the local gentry.

And they were treated accordingly.

Piers Windsor had inherited an inestimable fortune from the family Spam business.

He owned a boat and several other properties including a luxury apartment in Monaco.

fgm premade background 050 (by FairieGoodMother
Margaret Windsor had been a pretty débutante when she first met Piers Windsor at a summer ball.

As the daughter of Lord Harding, she was wealthy enough to live off a considerable allowance.

Her marriage to the son of Sir Albert Windsor was regarded as a good one.

The couple settled easily into a comfortable lifestyle.

Two boys quickly followed - born within minutes of each other.

Tarquin and Fabian.

Fabian Windsor was the black sheep of the family.

He may have resembled his brother in looks but certainly did not resemble him in temperament.

Fabian was a fast talking rebel who drove a red Ferrari and was never without an attractive model on his arm.

There was an element of danger about him and he was much more thrusting than his brother.

He had no intention of towing the family line or of settling down.

And in many ways he was a major disappointment to his conservative parents.

His antics were a constant source of consternation to Lord and Lady Windsor and there was no sign of it abating.

Fabian Windsor was a law unto himself.

Saturday evening arrived quickly and their was flurry of activity at the magisterial stately home of the Windsor family.

A gourmet four-course meal had been prepared and servants were hastily preparing the enormous dining table with silver candelabras and fine dinnerware.

The eventful evening was to be the culmination of months of planning and preparation on the part of Tarquin Windsor.

Ever the perfectionist, he insisted on unveiling his masterpiece at this sumptuous family.

The masterpiece in question just happened to be Kaylee Scoggins.

Lord and Lady Windsor were somewhat reserved in their attitude towards meeting the object of their sons affection.

There was a sense of muted resignation toward the whole affair.

Lady Margaret Windsor had chosen to wear a silver Valentino evening dress and Asprey pavé diamond earrings for the occasion.

She was an attractive older woman who had abundant blonde hair and blue-green eyes.

Lady Windsor was assiduously aware of her status and always strove to emulate it.

She regularly had treatments at the Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa in Mayfair, had her hair cut at an exclusive salon in Bond Street and only ever shopped at Harrods or Fortnum and Masons.

Lady Margaret Windsor was never seen out of doors without a slick of lipstick on or a cashmere sweater and tweed skirt.

She even had a pampered white poodle named Horatio who only ever ate prime cuts of meat.

Lord Windsor for his part, was rarely seen anywhere without a pipe in his mouth.

He was a tall and broad shouldered older man with wavy brown hair and keen blue eyes.

Lord Windsor forever donned the country casuals look and he had a penchant for  Harris tweed hats and jackets.

He had a good sense of humour and a zest for life and was never happier than when he was on his boat in France.

Sir Piers Windsor was a lot more laid back than his highly strung wife.

And now they were waiting for their son to arrive in their grand drawing room and anticipating the night ahead with some trepidation.

Fabian Windsor was brooding and smoking beside the fire.

He winked at his companion.

Fabian had bought along a pretty model from the Czech-Republic called Nada.

The leggy brunette was wearing an a-line one-shoulder floor-length black chiffon gown and looked bored already.

She gave Fabian a playful growl.

The couple had only met three days ago at a glitzy party in Monaco and had become inseparable since then.

Nada had the kind of diverting looks and lithe body that always kept Fabian Windsor occupied.

She was the sort of decorative foil that was always seen on his arm.

Fabian was dressed in a tuxedo and he looked visibly uncomfortable and was already fidgeting about restlessly in his chair.

He had been summoned by his parents to attend this soiree.

Fabian Windsor had been forced to cut his holiday in Monte Carlo short and he fervently yearned to be anywhere but here.

He and Tarquin had never been close.

Aside from the same parents and a grand start to life - they had little in common.

Now the family had been bought together in an awkward family reunion.

And time was suddenly crawling along.

Two and half hours later and the door to the drawing room suddenly flew open.

A blonde woman marched in closely followed by Tarquin Windsor.

"You must be Lord and Lady Windsor!" Kaylee Scoggins exclaimed loudly as she curtsied.

"Good God!" Sir Piers Windsor cried as his eyes widened.

"I feel like bloody Princess Diana tonight!" Scoggins added as she looked around her grand surroundings.

Lord and Lady Windsor winced.

Nada rolled her eyes.

"Ladies and gentlemen!" Tarquin Windsor announced with a flourish "Let me introduce Kaylee Scoggins to you!"

Lord and Lady Windsor were too mortified to speak.

But Fabian was already grinning from ear to ear.

Nada glared at the upstart with disdain.

"Why don't you take a photograph?" Kaylee Scoggins addressed her sharply "It will last longer!"

Scoggins was wearing a Ruby Ray fully beaded black sequin dress with cut-out back and a pair of black Moschino heels.

Her blonde hair was piled high and she was wearing intricate Tiffany sapphire drop earrings.

"Isn't she amazing?" Tarquin Windsor declared.

Lord and Lady Windsor stared back at their son blankly.

Nada crossed her arms defensively across her chest and wished she was somewhere else.

While Fabian continued to smoke and smile knowingly at the pneumatic blonde guest.

There were several uneasy moments of silence before the elegant butler appeared at the door to the drawing room.

"Dinner is served!" He announced crisply.

Twenty minutes later and the Windsor's and their guests were being served by a fleet of liveried servants in the sumptuous dining room.

"I like soup!" Kaylee Scoggins announced breezily "What is it?"

"Cock-a-leekie!" Lord Windsor informed her.

"Cock-a- what?" Scoggins shot back with a confused expression on her face.

"It's a rustic soup!" Lord Windsor explained.

Kaylee Scoggins looked down at her bowl and back up at the man of the house.

"And you still eat it!" Scoggins exclaimed with a grimace.

Lord Windsor silently conceded defeat.

He was flummoxed by the brassy Yorkshire lass.

The dining room became silent as everyone focused on eating their soup.

"So what do you do?" Lady Windsor finally asked Kaylee Scoggins.

"She works in the office with me!" Tarquin Windsor informed his mother smoothly.

Lady Margaret Windsor almost choked on her cock-a-leekie soup.

"I'm his personal secretary!" Kaylee Scoggins added with a big smile.

Nada covered her mouth with a napkin to stifle her laugh.

"And I'll tell you summat else for nowt!" Scoggins chirped "That office were a right bloody mess before I arrived! Its like the Virgin Mary's conscience now!"

"What is she saying?" Lady Windsor muttered.

"There were some right lazy sods in that place!" Kaylee Scoggins continued "But I soon kicked them into touch!"

"Isn't she something else?" Tarquin Windsor exclaimed with pride.

Fabian was grinning broadly and staring at Kaylee's large breasts.

Nada flashed him a dagger look.

"Are you Scottish?" Lady Windsor asked Scoggins.

"I'm a Yorkshire lass!" Kaylee replied brightly"And I know that Tarker loves me for who I am and not just for my tits and ass!"

Fabian Windsor flashed Kaylee Scoggins a wink.

The rest of the meal passed in a blaze of animated conversation as the uninhibited Northerner held sway.

She was blissfully unaware that most of her audience were avidly waiting for it all to end.

Two Months Later

Tarquin Windsor left The Imperial Bank early so that he could take a detour to Selfridge's to purchase some ingredients for the gourmet meal he was planning.

He had planned everything meticulously.

It was to be an unforgettable evening of fine food and wine.

Rounded off by a heartfelt marriage proposal and an oval ruby engagement ring from Asprey.

Tarquin Windsor was in a state of high excitement and eager anticipation as he pulled up outside his plush flat in his white Maybach Landaulet.

He had allowed Kaylee to leave work early so she could enjoy some beauty treatments at the Mandarin Oriental spa in Hyde Park.

And as he sprang out of the car, he suspected that his lady love would now be curled up on the sofa in her Kenzo amande shawl bathrobe with a tub of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream and a spoon.

But as the man entered his plush flat, he was met with complete silence.

The comfortable lounge was empty.

Tarquin Windsor instantly knew something was wrong.

He dropped his shopping bags and began racing feverishly around the flat calling out Kaylee's name.

Every room appeared to be empty.

All the toiletries and cosmetics had vanished from the en suite bathroom.

Finally Tarquin Windsor entered the elegant bedroom and he noticed that Kaylee's suitcases were mising.

The walk-in wardrobe had been thoroughly cleared out and all the designer outfits, accessories and clutch bags were gone.

There was a bitter irony with the über expensive heels.

Kaylee Scoggins had been turning into the Imelda Marcos of the shoe world.

How she'd managed to ship them all out was a mystery to Tarquin Windsor.

Nothing of Scoggins now inhabited the flat.

Yet her potent perfume could still be smelt hanging in the air.

Suddenly Tarquin Windsor stifled the urge to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

He sat on the bed and buried his face in his hands.

Her departure was completely unexpected and he was devastated.

For nearly an hour the conflicted man struggled to comprehend what had happened but it was too much to take in.

But there was a horrible inevitability to it all.

And he could just picture Scabius Overbury shaking his head in mock indignation.

Slowly Tarquin Windsor rose from the big designer bed and headed out into the lounge and slumped onto the sofa.

A bottle of Merlot red suddenly seemed very enticing.

Then he noticed a small white envelope on the marble coffee table.

Tarquin reached over and opened it.

The note was written in the unmistakable scrawl of Kaylee Scoggins.

Dear Tarker,

It's been great but all good things must come to an end.

That's why I've run off with your brother.

He can do things you can't, if you know what I mean.

Remember Nicola?

She liked you and she's single.

Apparently she can go like a rabbit. 

Take care Tarker

Love you,



Tarquin Windsor sat dumbfounded as he finished the note.

The departure of his lover and her shock declaration had left him completely winded.

He hardly noticed that his house phone had been ringing for some time.

It went to voice male and the unmistakable voice of his mother suddenly filled the air.

Hello Tarquin.

This is your mother here.

We've just heard about your Scottish lady friend.

And we are so sorry son.

Although I can't say I'm surprised ...

I know a floozy when I see one. 

Don't be too upset.

Anyway, the reason I am calling you is because your father seemed ... rather taken ... with that dress the floozy was wearing when she came to dinner with you. 

I can't really say I noticed it ... but your father would like the same one for me.

Just wondered if you know where she bought it from ...

Red lips (by luciferoITA


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