Not that he had anything against door-to-door salesmen, or Gobowen for that matter, but his mum used to cook and clean for him, and she didn’t now.
He sat in his armchair in front of the T.V with an open can of beans and sausage and a spoon .
Well, he liked cold beans. And it saved on the washing up.
The game-show on the telly was even more inane than he remembered.
He didn’t usually watch T.V - he’d usually had more interesting things to do with his ex than watch T.V. - and he hadn’t seen this show for years. Now her remembered why. It was awful. Except for those “Lolly Dollies”, those gorgeous girls who posed and pirouetted throughout the show, handing bundles of fake cash around. He had the sound turned off.Their legs were just as long and their outfits just as skimpy without it.
“Wouldn’t mind an evening in with that one!” Ray lusted to himself. Being on his own didn’t suit his constitution at all. He wondered how priests managed.
Then his thoughts wandered to the new lass who’d started at his factory the week before.
Ray hadn’t managed to speak to her yet, partly because until two days ago he’d been half of a pair and Patsy would have killed him stone dead, and partly because the opportunity hadn’t yet arisen. He resolved to create an opportunity the next day.
As it turned out, he was out of luck.
“You’re jokin’ mate!” Tommy Stiffin laughed out loud, “you and young Shelly? No chance mate! She’s right partic’lar.”
“Just because she blew you out doesn’t make her particular, Tommy. It just means she isn’t into bestiality. She probably prefers someone who can trace their family tree back to the apes, instead of forward to them.”
“Aye, well, you can laugh, Raymond mate, but she’s way out of your league.”
“She’s not been out with any of the lads off the shopfloor,” young Martin piped up, “an’ rumour has it that she even blew out the M.D. hisself!”
“Well that puts the top-hat on it!” Tommy shrugged. “If Mr.All Teeth and Tan can’t get into her knickers, then you’ve no chance Raymond lad. Tenner says so.”
At that, Ray’s ears pricked up. Next to a pretty girl, he couldn’t resist a bet.
“You are on Tom. Tenner says I’ll have her knickers off by the end of the month.”
“...the end of the month...?”
“...well, it was you who said she had class!” Ray grinned.
A fortnight later and Ray was rubbing his hands with glee. He’d managed to talk to her two days after the bet was placed but hadn’t wanted to frighten her off by rushing things and so had gone very easy with her.
He’d given her the `broken-hearted and off women’ routine and she’d swallowed it hook, line and sinker. What’s more she’d opened up to him to a surprising extent.
He should have guessed it by her appearance really. Tall, red-gold hair, huge hazel eyes and endless, shapely legs. She’d told him she was interested in modelling. She’d done quite a bit of it by the sounds of it, but truth to tell, he hadn’t really listened to her droning on.
Her body was superb, but what a voice! She had the most boring monotone he’d ever heard, but that was okay. You didn’t listen to the wind in the chimney when you had your poker in the hearth!
“Well Raymond,” a big hand smacked him on the shoulder. “You won that tenner yet? Time is running by, you know.”
“Very soon Tom lad,” Ray’s tone was confident, “very soon indeed! She’s taking me with her on a modelling session and it sounds very promising!” Ray winked and smiled a mischievous smile.
“Cor!” Young Martin was impressed. “I’ve read about them modelling sessions in the Sunday Star an’ they can get quite steamy! Gaggin’ for it, them model girls!”
Suddenly noticing the way both older men were looking at him, Martin put his tongue away, stopped drooling and continued, “or so I’ve read , anyway.”
Tommy shook his head, “I have to hand it to you Raymond, I never thought you’d get even this far with yon lass. But you still haven’t won the bet.”
“There’s always tomorrow night though, Tom. There’s always tomorrow night.”
Ray had arranged to meet Shelly outside the hall where the modelling session was booked. No point in travelling halfway across town to pick her up.
When he got to the address, he was surprised to find a modest community centre type hall. But he supposed they rented out rooms to anyone for a fee and this seemed to borne out by a swarm of young bumble-bees in tap shoes who nearly had him off his feet on their way into a dress rehearsal.
He waited outside for ten minutes and was about to give up and leave when a bus pulled up at the stop and disgorged the object of his lust. At least, he thought it was Shelly.
She was wearing old jeans and a sloppy-joe jumper, complete with paint splashes, a pair of wire-rimmed glasses and not a scrap of make-up. Her hair was pulled back into a scrunch and she was carrying a huge vanity case.
Ah well, he supposed she had all her stuff in the case, but he didn’t see any clothes or costumes and the bag wasn’t big enough for those.
His mind lit up! Perhaps it was nude modelling! Yes, he’d read all about that! The girls wore their loosest, sloppiest clothes so not to leave unwanted marks on their delicate skin. His grin was as wide as a sunrise!
“Oh hullo Ray,” Shelly’s monotone belied her smile. She seemed glad to see him. I’m sorry I’m a bit late, a bus was off, so I missed my connection.”
“That’s okay. Better late than never.”
“That’s what I like about you Ray, you’re so easy-going. There’s no pressure from you. Honest, some of the blokes I meet have only one thing on their mind. It’s nice just to relax and be myself for a change.”
They made their way to a small room down one of the passages and Ray was taken aback when there were about eight or nine other people there too.
“Come on Ray,” urged Shelly, “grab that table close to the front. You might even want to join in you know. A lot of people don’t know they’re artistic until they try.”
Ray was beginning to wonder what kind of orgy he’d let himself in for . “Oh no. I don’t think...”
“Go on! I’d bet you’d be really good. You’ve such sensitive fingers, I bet you’d get the best out of the models.”
Shelly heaved her case up on to the table and started emptying the contents.
Brushes, palettes of colour, small boxes of shredded paper poking out of them.
I can see you’ve nothing with you so you can borrow anything of mine you need and you can always buy stuff from Bryan very cheaply...”
By this time Ray was totally confused.
“I modelled this last week and Bryan said it was very good for an amateur.
Ray was looking down on a small, half-painted metal figure of a dragon being assailed by even smaller man-like creatures.
“I haven’t quite got the hang of the Orcs yet, but Bryan says my modelling has great potential.”
Ray knew just how the dragon felt.