Well it wasn't as outrageously bad as the night before, Jess was to be the centre of attraction this evening after all. Still I could've done without looking like a reject from Fame although I was thankful that it did a thorough job of offering a smoke screen as to my identity. Manda was also suitably toned down leaving Jess to dominate our threesome. We set off to eat - I am so not missing the pie tonight!
Caroline took a deep breath and hit the dial button, whichever way you looked at it this was gonna be a difficult conversation. The number picked up and started to ring.
Brring Brring, Brring Brring, "Tag, Bond."
"Er Dave? Caroline."
"Oh hi Caro, what's he done now?"
"Nothing that I'm aware of in fact I'd say that he's gelled better this week."
"So what 's up? ”
“I, well we, that is Chris wanted me to ask."
"Come on Caro, spit it out."
"You remember what we talked about last week?"
"How number one son was pissing on the rest of the team? Your words not mine."
"Yeah well I could have used better language."
Dave chuckled, "Go on."
"Well, don't take this the wrong way but I need to clone him."
"Well we could do with a dozen Drew's if we are gonna progress on the world stage, it's a bit selfish I know but funding is up for review after the worlds and without a result and some progress things could go down the pan."
"Even with the Olympic gongs?"
"Oh I think the track side is safe but our hopes on the road are a tad more ambitious."
"Bit of an understatement," Dave observed, "so what is it you need from me?"
"Well Chris wants you on the staff."
"Not gonna happen Caro, at least not now."
"I told him that, no that wasn't the real question. What you've accomplished with your girls the last two seasons, well to put it bluntly, we want some of that."
"But I just said..." Dave was confused now.
"We want to apprentice a rider or perhaps two with you, there said it."
“Uh huh, we've obviously only been kicking ideas around so far so the actual mechanics would need to be thrashed out.”
“You realise the decision isn't mine to make?”
“Of course Dave, I didn't mean to put you on the spot, boss man wanted me to sound you out in principle .”
“I'm still listening.”
“Well, we were thinking of our rider riding as a stageur*, we'd cover their living expenses and so on, you supply the coaching.”
“You've got a rider in mind?”
“A couple that we have high hopes for, Laura Burke and Amanda de Vreen.”
“That the girl Josie was telling me about?”
“Amanda, yep that's her. So what do you think?”
“Between us I think it's a great idea, but why just the girls?”
“We don't think that any of the lads currently on the squad are ready or capable of stepping up, we'll get a better idea after seeing young Josh ride this weekend.”
“He has come on in leaps and bounds,” Dave observed.
“I've seen his palmares Dave, if he performs the same way here he could get bumped onto the squad.”
“I won't have any riders left, what with you lot and the German Federation!”
“So um, what do you think, the apprentice thing?”
“I'll need run it past George Müller, I'm seeing him tomorrow, if he agrees in principle I'll need a proposal in writing, when are we looking at? If I'm gonna work any magic we should start foundation work in the autumn.”
“We thought that, too.”
“I'm not promising anything Caro, I've an idea or two myself as well, leave it with me, I'll see what I can do.”
“Thanks Dave, I couldn't ask for more, well I could ask I suppose.”
“The answer is still no.”
“It was worth a try.”
“So what has my star rider been up to?”
The conversation moved onto Drew, his mother and some general chit chat before Dave ended the call.
‘That went better than I thought it might,' Caro mused as she closed her phone, ‘much better.'
“I cannot believe we got away with that.” I stated once the three of us were clear of the cafeteria.
“The look on his face!” Mand threw in.
Oh yeah, you missed the dinner fun and games, I'd best fill you in…
“These seats taken?” Jess enquired with a thrust of her bosom.
Paul's eyes were out on stalks.
“I er no,” he stammered out.
“Kewl, ladies.” Jess motioned for Mand and me to sit to either side of her.
I slid my tray of culinary delights onto the table, oh yeah it's chicken and broccoli pie with ‘seasonal' veggies, peas and carrots to you and me.
Once seated Jess started the introductions, “I'm Jess and these two are Lily and Sammi.”
“Er Paul, Paul Redding.” He managed to get out, his eyes still fixed on Jess' chest.
“So Paul Redding, what are you doing here?”
And so the flirting started, a couple of times I nearly choked on my food, Jess was using every trick in the book and the poor sop fell deeper and deeper into the trap.
“See you later handsome.”
“By the pond?” Reddy confirmed.
“Uh huh, come on girls.” Jess instructed, which is where we came in.
“I can't believe he went for it,” Jess giggled.
“I think he went for your hooters,” Mand observed.
“You sure this is okay?” I enquired.
“It's not like I'm really gonna put out for him,” Jess replied .
“I know that but…”
“He's got it coming Gaby,” Manda emphasised.
“Come on let's get ready, you need to fetch your camera Gab,” Jess mentioned.
“Okay,” I agreed with a bit of a sigh. “See you in a few.”
Steve pulled his door shut, why Chris had to come down tonight? A movement down the corridor caught his attention, that someone at the Bond kid's room? He slid into the alcove by the door, the figure unaware of being watched. The small figure carefully closed the door then scurried towards Steve's hiding place, the dim corridor lighting revealing one of the girls he'd seen chatting with Paul Redding earlier.
Why he felt the need to hide he wasn't sure but he pressed himself further into the shadows as the girl scurried past clearly intent in getting elsewhere without discovery. ‘Well maybe the kid has more balls than I thought, we didn't exactly say they couldn't have the opposite sex in their rooms, but I never thought Bond would be the one to push the limits.'
“I hope no one saw me.”
“It's your room.” Jess observed.
“I er yeah.” I could hardly tell Jess at this point that not only do I normally answer to Drew but I'm not a girl either could I – not that she'd believe me.
Mand was already dressed down in a pair of cycling tights and a dark jumper.
“Here Gab, stick these on.”
‘These' were her denim pedal pushers and a black skinny rib top; at least it was better than what ‘Sammi' gets to wear. Jess meanwhile was down to bra and knickers and searching for stuff inside the bag she'd brought to Mand's room earlier.
“Here we go, what do you think?” she held up a sparkly black little number that would show more than it concealed.
“Geez Jess, I hope you've got a licence for that.” Manda almost choked .
“Fully paid up,” she almost giggled.
Thirty minutes later and my feet were falling asleep.
“Do you reckon he's coming?”
“Course he is,” Mand whispered back, “in fact , talk of the devil.”
I looked past where Jess was sat on the wall swinging her feet, sure enough the figure approaching was our victim. Mand and I were hidden behind some shrubbery only a few feet from Jess, which is why my feet were losing feeling.
“You ready Jess?” Mand hissed.
She nodded her head; we're not here are we?
“Heya.” Reddy casually mentioned.
“Heya, yourself,” Jess returned sliding from her perch.
You don't really want me to repeat the next twenty minutes of inane conversation between the pair so we'll cut to the chase.
“Let's see then,” Jess prompted.
That was my cue to get the camera ready to go.
“You mean out here?” Paul queried.
“Where else? We can't have boys in our rooms and I bet you can't have girls in yours.”
“Er right,” he agreed.
I can't remember Caro or Steve mentioning the subject but I guess it was kinda implied.
“So let's take a shufti big boy.”
What happened next was over in less than a minute, a clearly excited Paul junior was released, Jess screamed, my camera flash went off which luckily temporarily blinded Paul.
“What the…” Reddy stated.
“Gotcha,” Jess gleefully announced before legging it around the pond, Mand and I going the opposite direction.
“I need the memory card back Jess.”
“You'll get it, I told you they do a one hour service in Boots .”
It seemed an awful lot of trouble to take Redding down a peg or two, Jess and Manda seemed to take excessive glee in the picture of his kit. In the best tradition of these things Paul was Reddy'ly identifiable, his ‘victim' had her back towards the camera. Damn, I wish mine was that big; I wouldn't be looking girlhood in the face if it was.
The small figure slipped along the corridor finally stopping at the last door. There was a brief delay then the door swung open and the clearly female individual; her breasts were silhouetted by the light through the door, slipped inside.
‘I'll have to have words,' Steve decided.
* Member of a usually professional team who receives kit and basic expenses but is not salaried, usually older riders ending their career or youngsters just starting out.
to be continued....
© Maddy Bell 15.10.12