‘Ten. All of the commuters returning to the city were clogging the roads. I’ll do the train next time. Can I borrow you after work?’
‘Sure, what for?’
‘I’ve got a cake delivery I need some help with.’ she says.
‘No worries. Pick me up from the office at six.’ I grab my black bag from my newly organised bag cupboard and start transferring my things from last week’s bag.
‘Will do, have you heard from the God?’
My head snaps up, and I find Kate grinning from ear to ear as she folds up my bed throw. I narrow my eyes on her before presenting myself to the mirror to put my gloss on.
‘You mean the Lord. He called.’ I disclose casually, popping my lips and catching her reflection. She’s still grinning. ‘What?’ I gasp.
‘Have we established an age?’
I scoff. ‘No, I keep asking and he keeps lying. It’s obviously an issue.’
‘Well, the man’s landed himself a hot bird of twenty six. He probably can’t believe his luck. He’s thirty five, maximum.’
‘He hasn’t landed me. It’s just sex.’ I correct her, rather unconvincingly. I collect my bag, leaving Kate tweaking my bed covers as I head to the kitchen, pour myself some orange juice and take my phone off charge.
Kate waltzes in as I’m feeding myself my pill. She flicks the kettle on. ‘You can’t beat a good screw with an Adonis to get you over a relationship. He’s your rebound f**k.’
I laugh. Yes, that’s exactly what he is. Not that I needed any distractions to get over Matt. That was pretty easy.
‘Correct,’ I agree. ‘I’ll see you after work.’
She leans over the banister as I run down the stairs. ‘Six o’clock!’
It’s a usual Monday morning again, but most unusual is that everyone is here. There’s always at least one of us out of the office on site visits or appointments. I’m in the kitchen with Patrick, filling him in on Mrs Kent’s new house.
‘Have you ever asked her if she would change the theme? It may influence whether it feels like home. It would potentially save Mr K a fortune,’ Patrick laughs. ‘Not that I’m complaining, of course. She can move every year for the rest of her life, for all I care, as long as she keeps contracting you to jazz the place up.’
I frown. ‘Jazz? I do more than jazz the place up, Patrick. I don’t know. She insists on modern everything, but I’m not sure it’s really her thing. I think she gets bored. That or she loves having the workmen around.’ I raise my eyebrows on a laugh.
‘Now, there’s a thought,’ Patrick laughs with me. ‘The old goat is seventy, if a day. Maybe she should get a toy-boy. God knows, Mr K has plenty on young scrumpet scattered around the globe. I have that straight from a very reliable source.’ He winks at me, and I smile fondly at him.
I know Patrick’s referring to his wife, Irene. If it’s happening in this town, Irene knows about it. She’s a self-confessed busy body, know-it-all and gossip. If she doesn’t know about it, then it isn’t worth knowing about. I don’t know how Patrick puts up with her. It must be exhausting to be subjected to her oral cavity on a daily basis. Luckily, she only swings by the office once a week before her wash and set. Nodding and concurring is manageable for the half hour she spends bringing us up to date on her hectic social life, and that of others. I try my very hardest to arrange appointments for a Wednesday around noon, when I know she’ll be in. Patrick is friendly and jolly; I love him. Irene is terrifying; she scares the crap out of me.
‘How is Irene?’ I ask politely. I really don’t care.
He throws his hands up in despair. ‘She drives me insane. The woman has the attention span of a toddler. She’s ditched playing bridge and has now informed me that she’s enrolled in some Kumba dancing nonsense. I can’t keep up with her.’
‘You mean Zumba?’
‘That’s the one,’ He points his chocolate digestive at me. ‘It’s all the rage, apparently.’
I chuckle at the thought of Irene in a leopard print leotard, jigging her over generous rump all over the place.
‘Oh, Van Der Haus wants to meet you on Wednesday,’ Patrick winks. ‘They really want you, flower.’
He laughs. ‘You’re too modest, my girl. I checked your diary and pencilled in twelve thirty. He’s at the Royal Park. Is that okay?’
‘Absolutely,’ I don’t need to check because Patrick’s already took the liberty of doing that for me. And damn if it isn’t going to get me out of enduring this week’s update from Irene. I push myself away from the kitchen worktop by my bum and head for my desk. ‘I’m going to finalise some drawings and email some contractors.’
His mobile starts ringing. ‘What does she want now?’ I hear him grumble.
As I’m getting ready to run over to the deli to grab some lunch, Tom prances up to my desk. ‘Delivery for Ava!’ he screeches at me, placing a box on my desk.
What’s this? I’m not expecting any catalogues. ‘Thanks, Tom. Did you have a good night on Friday?’
He gasps on a grin. ‘I met the scientist. Oh my, but the man is divine!’
Not as divine as mine! I shake my head in shock at my own wayward thoughts. Where did that come from?
‘So, that would be a yes?’ I confirm.
‘Yes. Tell me who that man was?’ He plants his hands on my desk, leaning in towards me.