First and foremost, I can’t thank all those who have rated, commented and emailed me regarding the first chapter of Blueprints enough. It’s been so nice receiving feedback, encouragement and guidance from you all. Thank you.
A very special thanks to LesbianChickLit, who edited this chapter. I really am in your debt.
I consider myself very much a novice when it comes to writing, therefore I am very eager to hear your constructive criticism, so please share your thoughts.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story, you’d find it useful to read Chapter One (it’s a slow burn but hopefully, well I won’t spoil anything…)
Lastly, I hope you enjoy!!
She exhaled, enjoying the sensation of the tension in her toned shoulders dissipating. The days off had been long awaited and were made all the more relaxing by rising in the tranquil Stirlingshire countryside. There was something very special about not being awoken by bin lorries, drunks on their way home and car alarms. Here, the most commotion one heard came from the wood pigeons who called the tree outside Zara’s bedroom window home. Well, not technically Zara’s bedroom, more the bedroom she occupied when visiting her parents who had moved to a small village on the outskirts of Loch Lomond a few years ago.
The brunette stretched, feeling the muscles in her arms and back loosen further before propping plush pillows against the headboard and absorbing herself an Erle Stanley Gardner murder mystery, careful to not tear the brittle pages of the old Penguin book. The only disturbance for the next hour was her mother’s offer of a cup of tea, which was promptly brought to her bedside along with a slice of toast.
“Thanks, Mum.” She smiled genuinely; it was nice to be cared for and, although Zara was very content reading and listening to the pigeons’ conversation, she offered to go down stairs and eat breakfast with her mother and father.
“Oh, don’t you worry, Petal. By the sounds of things, you’ve had a busy few weeks.”
“Try months.” Zara replied, not unhappily. She loved the rush, the multitasking, and working with clients, but a couple of days away from it was most welcome.
“Exactly. We’ll take the dog out in a wee while, OK?”
“Sounds good. See you soon.” Ah, the trials of being an only child, the brunette smiled to herself.
Of course, Karma felt the need to check such a thought and the familiar tone of her work mobile chimed. Cursing under her breath, the lean figure moved from the confines of the bed and hastily took a few steps across the room to rummage in her bag. “The one time I forget to turned you off.” She muttered, before seeing the name on the screen beckoning to be answered.
They hadn’t spoken since the evening at Joanna’s home. There was no need, not from a professional standpoint, nor a personal one for that matter. Zara had shown the Professor the blueprints which outlined the extension of her home, she’d been satisfied enough for Buchan and Bruce, the young architect’s employer, to proceed. So satisfied that Joanna had kissed her.
A slender finger hovered over the slider momentarily. “Zara Millar.” She answered with what she hoped was professional tone.
“It’s Joanna McKenzie.” The woman replied in that no-nonsense tone. The three terse words were enough to cause the younger woman’s taut stomach to jolt. Mentally kicking herself, Zara continued with the call.
“Morning Joanna. How are you?”
“Do you have five minutes?” Of course she did. “Contrary to what you advised, I’ve been informed that we don’t require council permission to carry out the work.” Zara bristled inwardly at this. Clients sometimes felt the need to jump on Google, read a few lines of legislation, and question her professionalism. Of course, they were doing nothing of the sort; they had made an exciting decision to improve their property and were eager to get started. For all the young woman’s professional qualities, she was, according to her performance review, defensive. “So, I’d like you to amend the completion date.” The Professor instructed.
“You were informed that because the extension is to the back of the property there is no need for permission?” Zara asked conversationally.
“Exactly. So, please revise your schedule.”
“I’m afraid the majority of the Morningside area, your home included, sits within a conservation area and therefore we’ll have to make an application.” Before she could be interrupted, the architect continued in her justification. However, she was promptly interrupted, not by Joanna, but by Pixie, the family Red Setter who had nosed her way into bedroom and proceeded to greet Zara as if she were a long lost friend. “Sorry, Joanna, could you hold the line?” Her attempts to shoo the dog Kurtköy Escort from the room were met by a series of playful barks. Had it been anyone else on the call, the woman would have laughed it off, but Joanna intimidated her; intimidated her in a way that caused the light hairs on the back of her neck to stand on end.
Having successfully wrestled the dog out of the room, telling her to go find rabbits, Zara brought the phone that had been clamped against her modest chest back to her ear. She apologised, unable to keep the fluster from her voice. “Eh, where was I?”
“You were telling me how wrong I was.” The woman retorted coolly, however, Zara could swear there was a trace of amusement in her voice.
“Oh no, I didn’t mean wrong, I was just clarif-“
“Where are you?”
“Oh, I’m at home, well at my parents’. In Aberfolye.” She added pointlessly, the unnecessary revelation exacerbating her agitation.
“You’re on holiday? Then why did you take my call?” Joanna demanded whilst giving the distinct impression she was enjoying Zara’s discomfort.
Zara felt like she was back at school, being interrogated by a teacher. Or was she slipping into the realms of a recent fantasy? Stop it. “I know how much a venture like this means.” She responded, desperate to claw back some professionalism. “Anything I can do to make the process easier. But with regards to the-“
“Anything?” It wasn’t overt innuendo, was it? Regardless, Zara was fortunately given no time to stammer a response. “I’m sorry to have disturbed you during your time off, Zara. I’ll see you on at Morgan’s.” And with that she hung up.
“Are you serious?” Zara muttered in frustration, tossing the device back into the leather hold-all before running a hand through her long mahogany mane. She felt like she’d just been put through some sort of test. A test that she’d definitely failed.
Minutes later, she was pulling the old Glasgow University hockey t-shirt over her head. Without waiting for the water come up to temperature, the lean woman stepped into the shower; she needed to cool down. For umpteenth time she questioned her reaction to the Professor. Truth be told, the young woman didn’t tend to get that attracted to many people and it had been years since someone had got under her skin this badly. What was most perplexing wasn’t the fact Joanna was a woman or a good bit older. No, it was her personality, that blunt, unfriendliness which starkly contrasted with Zara’s bubbly gregariousness. Whilst opposites attract, the two women were, on the surface, polar.
Although, there was something about the way the older woman looked at her, those critical emerald eyes bearing into her. Moreover, every so often she’d see a glint of something under that cold exterior. A promise that she’d be firm, really firm, but fair; their brief embrace in the older woman’s hallway had hinted at such.
Whilst she contemplated Joanna’s assertiveness, a neatly manicured hand absentmindedly slipped down her now wet stomach. Slender fingers trailed off the left, down over the jut of her hip bone and on to the top of her toned thigh. She moved across, onto the soft flesh between her legs and up. Delicate fingers traced her lips before exploring her folds, gaining access to the her inner layers.
Zara was soaking, the phone call had obviously wound her up in more ways than one. She especially loved exploring herself when she was practically dripping, enjoying the way her fingers slid effortlessly around her silky folds. Not to mention the sensation of her slender index finger entering the source of the lubrication. The young woman released more of her juices, fingers gliding over her crevices, before brushing against her clit. Her pouty lips parted in a silent moan as she took a step forward; the water now cascading onto the lightly tanned skin between her shoulder blades and running down her spine and between her firm buttocks.
Sliding one and then two fingers in and out of her tight canal, her mind replayed the evening at Joanna’s for the thousandth time. Only now, firm hands were on Zara’s slight hips pushing her back against the wall of the hallway. “Don’t act to shocked, girl.” Joanna snarled, piercing green eyes boring into the younger woman. “Why else would you be asked here?”
“Oh God.” Zara panted, extracting her fingers from within her and returning their attention to her clit, the nub now hard and prominent. The young woman’s toned body was already beginning to tremble as the water battered into her back.
Joanna turned Zara’s body with surprising strength, pushing her front against the wall of the hallway. The young woman mirrored this action, pushing herself up against the cold tiles, wincing as her pebbled nipples made contact with the cold surface.
As was the convenience Kurtköy Escort Bayan of fantasy, Zara was now wearing a dress instead of the jeans she had truly worn that evening. The fabric was being pushed up her legs and bundled around her waist. “Hold it there.” Joanna instructed, guiding Zara’s grasp to the bundle of material before sinking to her knees behind the girl, hands running over her shapely thighs and bum as she did so. Zara imagined Joanna manoeuvring herself, sitting on the floor with her back to the wall.
“You really need it don’t you, Darling?” Joanna purred from beneath her. She was so close to her near dripping sex that Zara could feel her breath.
“Please. Please.” The young woman pined. Her pretty face was screwed up in frustration as her index and middle finger worked in a circular motion around the bundle of nerves. “C’mon.” She growled in frustration through gritted teeth.
“You’re so close, but you can’t-” A long lazy lick between her lips. “Quite-” Another lap of her folds “Get-” One more. “There.” The last word had the architect’s legs buckle and her hand instinctively grabbed at the shower to maintain her balance. Zara was at that stage of total frustration; her face was flushed, perspiring and a substantial crease on that usually smooth forehead which was pressed against the cool tiles. She just needed one more small push to fall from the proverbial edge.
Clumsily, she worked the high pressure shower head from its holder, almost dropping it when the device came free. Managing to maintain her grip, she brought it down between her legs before turning the head so jets of water hit her sensitive folds. Clever fingers continued to work her clit as she imagined Joanna’s striking face buried in her wetness and within seconds the young woman’s mind had gone blank as she heaved into a climax which wracked what felt like every muscle in her slick body. Her grip on the power shower slipped and it banged loudly against the glass before jerking ferociously around her feet. Not that she really noticed the water spurting in all directions; her fingers continued to work those jolting nerves, shifting the pressure slightly to eek out yet another tremor.
Once the stimulation became too much, the brunette removed her hand and peeled herself from the tiles before turning to rest her back against them. Giving in to her unstable legs, Zara slid down the wet surface. Sitting on the porcelain floor, she regained control of the chrome shower-head that had continued to whip around her ankles. “Down girl.” She whispered, a satisfied smile spreading across her pretty face.
The relaxation of her parent’s home seemed a distant memory as Zara stood at the head of the boardroom table and presented a revised budget to an unfamiliar client in her colleague, Jason’s, absence. An ‘I’ll scratch your back if you mine‘ sort of deal. Only here was the twenty-six year old being grilled by three property developers on the man’s behalf, when she had returned from her days off without him so much as returning her customers’ calls.
“It was Buchan and Bruce who recommended these changes, Miss, eh, Millar.” The balding would-be businessman snapped. “Now you are telling us it will cost us another one hundred thousand?”
“It is a recom-” She began.
“A recommendation we should have been told at the beginning of the project, not half way through.” His fat colleague added tersely.
She mentally cursed Jason; that better not be true. “Gents.” She said calmly. “I understand your frustration but this is purely a recommendation. Now, to visualise the excavated basement, I-” at eleven o’clock last night, “worked the additional floor into the fly-through of the blueprints. If you’d indulge me for two minutes, it will help you picture the plans before you make your decision.” Without allowing time them to answer she clicked the spacebar of her laptop and the animated blueprints of their property appeared on the screen. However, she didn’t wait to watch her handy work. Striding across the room, Zara made her exit and, once out of the men’s sight, rushed to a cabinet near her desk where the contracts were kept.
“Which one you looking for?” Asked Mandy, one of the assistants.
“Yes! It’s ok, got it.” She opened the bound booklet at least three quarters of the way through and started flicking each page, dark eyes scanning the legal jargon. Article 18.0 Recommendations. “18.3…and Bruce recommend… yada yada yada… 18.4…. highlights the potential…. Excavated basement!” She sighed with relief. Thank God.
Zara returned to the stylish glass boardroom, contract in hand, just as the animation concluded. “Perfect timing.” She said flashing them a smile which was not reciprocated. Escort Kadıköy “What are your thoughts? Obviously we are open to customisation where possible.”
The balding man gave a snort of derision, but was given a warning stare from his colleague, who at least had the sense to not be overtly disrespectful. “It’s a very pretty video.” He sighed. “And should we have known sooner, my partners and I would have jumped at the opportunity, no questions asked. However,” He continued in a darker tone, ” At this late state we require a significant discount on your proposed fee should we be proceeding.”
“Why is that?” She asked in feigned ignorance. He looked at her as if she were stupid, glancing to his companions before relaying their party line. “We did provide these recommendations up front Mr McFadden.” And before he could embarrass himself the brunette, artificially taller in her stiletto heeled court shoes, stepped towards him. Zara placed the contract, open at the appropriate page, on the table and offered to email the document for their thorough review. Following that, the men could get back to her or Jason with their decision.
Going through the motions of swapping of business cards, concluding handshakes, and the thanks for their time, Zara showed the group out, closing the main door behind them. “Bloody chancers.” She muttered, shaking her head before returning to the boardroom to clear up.
“Handle them?” Her boss, Stephanie Buchan asked.
Zara looked up, seeing the woman leaning against the doorway. “Always.” She smiled happily.
“Good girl.” Stephanie nodded assertively before slapping doorframe and striding off.
It was amazing what the young woman could achieve when she wasn’t dealing with Joanna McKenzie.
The prospect of the evening’s engagement at Morgan’s wasn’t quite met with the young woman’s usual enthusiasm; the thought of seeing Joanna, particularly following that phone call, left her with a slight feeling of trepidation.
Although not extremely close, Morgan and Zara met up a couple of times a year having been on the same volunteer program whilst Zara was at University. In spite of the slight age and experience gap, the two young women bonded quickly and had stayed in intermittent contact since their dramatic stint in Nigeria.
“So, who’s invited?” Steve teased as Zara walked back into her bedroom, a plush white towel wrapped around her athletic frame. Her friend was lying in her unmade bed and, much to her annoyance, was still in his gym clothes.
“You’re sweating in my bed.” She frowned at him, swatting his bare thigh. “And you know full well who’s going.” She slipped on a pair of shorts on under her towel. “Pass me that hoodie, please.” He tossed her the garment and she turned her back on him, dropped the towel and pulled it over her head.
“You’ll definitely pull in that get up.” He said sarcastically, before pressing again. “Seriously though, it‘s not just you and the two of them is it?” He quizzed, referring to Joanna and Morgan. “You’ve probably gone and ‘accidentally’ signed up to a ménage a trois.”
She laughed, combing out her long dark hair. “Not quite that intimate. There’s two couples – seemingly I met them at the wedding but you know how I am with names – and a male friend who is visiting from The States. So that leaves Joanna, me, and Morgan. Her wife, Lindsay, isn’t in town.”
“So that’s ménage a… une, dois, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept… What’s eight again?” He pondered, using his fingers to count.
“Huit.” She snapped, trying not to sound amused. “Now, go watch TV in the other room!”
Forty minutes later, the heels of Zara’s black ankle boots clicked on the cast iron stairs as she descended from her apartment and out into the cool night air. “Here. You forgot this.” Said her handsome companion, handing her the bottle of wine she’d bought earlier. She thanked him before getting in the car. It was nice to have had him there; she was nervous. That taut stomach contracting further when she allowed herself to think about what the evening may hold. What the evening may hold? For Goodness Sake, what the evening would hold was a catch up with a friend she hadn’t seen in over six months. A few more people happened to be there. That was it.
As if sensing her trepidation, Steve put a hand on her thigh once he had gotten into the driver’s seat. “You look good.” He smiled and she waited for the but, however nothing else was said as he pulled out the parking space and headed for Morgan’s.
He wasn’t wrong. Despite Zara’s continued effort to dress conservatively, there was no masking her desirable appearance. Standing at almost five foot eleven in heels combined with a physique she worked hard to maintain, the brunette was striking. Her long legs were clad in fitted dark jeans which contrasted with the loose white vest she had tucked in around her waist. The flimsy garment and skin it exposed were hidden modestly by a stylish black blazer.