How Much of a Coincidence?

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For Frank Grayton, twenty seven year old journalist and hopeful author, the idea of coincidence was something that he might cover in a news story, but he would swear it never happened to him. He was no great believer in fate either, but sometimes circumstance can turn beliefs upside down.

The circumstance of him being at a horse race meeting was a rare one. It was not a sport that Frank normally favoured, but his friend Larry, had acquired tickets to the Silver Ring at the local racecourse, with admission to the hospitality tent.

Frank and Larry, towards the end of a sunlit afternoon, wandered into the hospitality tent seeking refreshment. Frank had backed two good priced winners, boosting his meagre racing bank by some three hundred pounds. The tent was crowded with best suited males, and ladies in their summer finery.

Larry, an admitted womaniser, viewed the assembled feminine throng, with an eye he had earlier cast over the racing livestock. As they sipped at the champagne on offer, Larry occasionally nudged Frank and pointed out a particular favourite.

“God, I’ll bet she can spread her legs on any surface,” he’d observe, indicating a youngish woman in a dark blue silken dress that was cut above the knees, and only just above bulging breasts.

Frank would glance, and questioned Larry’s taste in female bloodstock. “Oh,” his friend would suddenly burst out, “look at that one. I’ll bet she goes the distance.” The woman in question was, in the first place, older, and lumpier than Frank’s usual tastes, and her thick lips drew another observation from Larry, “Imagine her taking your bit between her teeth.”

Frank preferred to concentrate on the excellent food, and was onto his second champagne, when his eyes were caught by a movement in yellow to his left. Turning his head, his breath caught in his throat, at the sight of the lovely face of the lady reaching across the table, to pick up a vol au vent. Her sleeveless yellow summer dress fell forward sufficiently to give a subtle view of a fascinating valley.

But it was her face that really got to him, framed as it was by shoulder length hair the colour of newly ripened corn. She had wide blue eyes, a generous mouth, M shaped in repose, and a delicate nose. God, it was just a composition that, combined, gave an impression of perfection.

As she stood back from the table, Frank could see that her dress clung to a well proportioned figure. For a brief second their eyes met, and then she was turning back to join a small party she appeared to be with. She even looked good from the rear, with her tanned back bare above the waist, and a neat little bottom.

Frank had, on a few occasions, successfully used the right chat up line, which would lead to a one night stand. But usually, it took a few sightings before attraction set in. Why should the effect of this lady be so different?

Since Emily, his one eighteen month affair, had moved on five months earlier, there had been only a single one night stand, a weak one at that. His parting with Emily, although she had been the one to walk out, had been fairly mutual. She said she was sick of being second to, “this stupid book you’re trying to write”, and fair enough, he had been spending late hours on it in the latter stages.

But for his part, from the outset he had been a little aggrieved to find that although she displayed a head of tawny coloured hair, her bush when he eventually got that far, was raven black. The other downer was her rather selfish love-making. All take and no give.

Whether it was the limited sexual encounters he’d had lately, or just the sheer fact of her beauty, Frank had the strange sense of having been a camera, and his digital brain retained an image of this race lady, so that he had a couple of dreams in which she was vividly present, yet always remained distant.

Two weeks after that race meeting, Frank received the letter he had been impatiently waiting for. Four months earlier he had submitted his first attempt at a novel to a small, but recommended, publishing company. He had been advised to work through an agent, but had felt it best to see how his book was received before he took that step.

To his delight, the letter informed him that the publishers had good feelings about the book, but there were one or two areas that might need revision. He was invited to discuss these points with a Mrs Cruddas on the following Thursday at 2.00 pm.

That week became intolerably long. The prospect of having his first book published was overwhelming him. He did consider whether he should change his author’s name back, because in his submission he had used his full given Christian name of ‘Francis Grayton’. Anyway there would be a chance to discuss that.

He did wonder what the one or two areas of revision might be. It had been strange that in writing what he had called a thriller, he had ended up with his main character being female

At last the Thursday came around and at 1.50pm he was riding up in a smooth lift to the third floor of a substantial office block in the centre asyalı porno of the city. Stepping out of the lift he was confronted by an impressive glass frontage bearing the name of the publisher, and beyond which he could see a secretary typing busily, with several doors behind her.

Inside, he approached the desk and told the pleasantly smiling secretary that he had an appointment with a Mrs Cruddas.

“Whom shall I say wishes to see her?”

Frank was about to say his usual name but quickly remembered, and told her, “Francis Grayton.”

The look of surprise on the secretary’s face was puzzling, and when she picked up an internal phone, her tone when she spoke reflected her surprise, “Mrs Cruddas, there’s a Mr Francis Grayton here to see you.” Pause, and listen. “Yes, that’s what I said –Mister.”

She placed the phone down and directed Frank to the second door on the left. “Just knock and go in.”

His excitement was only tempered by the reaction to his name, as he moved and knocked on the door. Clearly they had not expected a ‘Mister.’

Stepping into the office he knew he was now heading into an unknown experience. The office was large and airy, with tall, ceiling to floor windows looking out on the city skyline, but it was the lady standing, rather uncertainly, Frank thought, behind the desk, dressed in a beige business suit, with an open necked white blouse collar, that stopped his breath, and just about froze him to the spot. There was no doubting that face. Wasn’t their a photographic imprint on his brain? The lady from the races.

She was moving around the desk, looking rather puzzled at what she might be seeing in his face. “Mister Grayton, is anything wrong?”

He knew he had to recover his composure, and he quickly replied, “No, the office, the view, it’s quite stunning.” Not half as stunning as you, though. She was holding out a hand as she smiled, and said, “I’m Karen Cruddas, deputy editor.”

Frank took the delicate hand in his, and muttered a ‘pleased to meet you’, while wondering whether he’d ever be able to let her hand go. But with that came the cruel realisation that she was married. Why should that disturb him? It wasn’t as if he had any actual designs on her. Karen Cruddas did retrieve her hand and moved behind her desk, pointing to the leather bound seat beside him.

“Please, Mr Grayton, sit there. There’s just a little error we need to discuss first to avoid any embarrassment.”

That brought a slight sinking feeling inside Frank. What was the error? Had they chosen the wrong book? “Error?” he queried.

She gave a gentle smile of reassurance, “Oh, on our part. You see, we assumed given the name Francis, and a heroine as the leading character, that the author was a woman.”

“I usually go by Frank, Mrs Cruddas.”

“Right, Frank, call me Karen.” She told him, before going on. “The main thing is that we do like this book, ‘Sara’s Way.’ It is well plotted, with believable characters, and your writing style is quite distinctive. We’re pretty sure too, that the scattering of sex scenes will help sell it, when they are correctly edited.”

She put her fingertips together in front of her face as her blue eyes regarded Frank. “Because we thought the book was written by a woman, I was allocated the task of talking this through otherwise you would have had male company right now.”

A chance to put in a little charm, “I’ll settle for you,” he said firmly, treating her to his best smile.

“You won’t feel intimidated in talking about those scenes?”

“I don’t think so,” he said, and added, “Will you be embarrassed?”

He was delighted by her returned smile, “I don’t think so.” And she reached for a folder near her left elbow, extracted a manuscript from it, which had pink markers sticking out of it. “Right, let’s see how far we get. Oh, by the way, you’ll have the option of making alterations yourself or having one of our editors do it.”

“I’d rather do it myself.”

“Then if you have a notebook with you, you’d better note these things down.”

Always ready with his small notebook, and a pen, Frank produced them. “Right,” Karen said, opening the manuscript, “the first queries occur in chapter three, page thirty eight in your script.”

Frank nodded and noted it down.

Karen began to read, “This for instance, ‘Her breasts burned with desire.’ She raised her eyes to Frank, “Breasts don’t burn, Frank, not during love-making anyway. They might tingle a bit, but it depends on the character of the lady receiving the attention. And this, ‘She could not take her eyes off the massive bulge in his pants, and longed to have her hands gripping what seemed like an enormous erection'”

Karen’s head shook, “This was one little section that had me doubting that a lady writer was involved. Men love to endow their male characters with massive erections. But really, there are few women who long to get their hands on one, unless they themselves are well on the way to sexual excitation. All right, so far?”

Frank had been scribbling castajans porno furiously, regretting that it meant taking his eyes away from her, yet enjoying her honest appraisal of his work. “You seem to have a lot of experience-” That was almost all he was going to say, but, seeing her eyebrows rise, he went on hurriedly, “—of dealing with this kind of writing.”

She shrugged, “Oh, yes, and, believe me women writers make many false interpretations of how men actually feel during the sex act.” Her eyes regarding him were almost apologetic as she went on, “My next suggestion is an area which presents problems for many writers. In the military it would be called, ‘the naming of parts.’ Sometimes it is justifiable, but your heroine is constantly referring to where her lover is touching.”

She stopped and Frank was sure her face had reddened, before she continued, “I’m sure a lady’s mind doesn’t think in terms of ‘he’s on my pudenda’ or ‘my labia is being parted’. Surely pleasure would veil such terms. I would say that mention of the clitoris is sometimes justifiable, and I found it interesting that although you name these parts, when it came to the vagina, you used a number of alternatives, ‘my love passage’, ‘the entry’ and worst of all, ‘tunnel of love’. Ugh.”

Her smile was kindly as she looked up at him, “I hope this doesn’t sound too picky. You see, you set yourself a difficult task in writing from the woman’s point of view. And I’ll admit that a male character describing the act would be more anatomically specific”

Frank just could not believe he was having this kind of conversation with such a gorgeous woman. He would have liked to know so much more about her.

“And not everything is wrong about your sex scenes. This for instance, ‘ the sensation of him gliding up and up inside her, made everything worthwhile.’ Not overwritten, just catching the essence of that very special moment. But then her orgasm in chapter ten is dubious, Too many flashing lights, shooting stars, travelling out into space–although there might be a brief element of the latter. Never overwrite, a major piece of advice.”

They talked for another thirty minutes, and it became easier and easier. Only when it came to a later chapter where oral sex was described did she become just a little uncomfortable. “For him it’s a natural move, in most cases, but your female character has never done it before, and you make her just a little too eager, a little too knowing with her lips and tongue. Given the character of your lady, she needs to be much less sure of herself, and what she is supposed to do.”

When they parted, with Frank agreeing to make the recommended changes, her smile was gracious as she said, “I hope my comments haven’t depressed you. Your book is so good, but is dragged down by the clunkiness of those sex scenes.”

She offered her hand for a farewell handshake as Frank replied, “Not at all. I rather enjoyed it. I’m always ready to learn from an expert.” And did she blush then? Probably not, but it was good to imagine that she had.

What would he call that meeting, after his being so conscious of her looks after the race meeting? Could it be classed as coincidence? Of course, that was all it could be. Well, at least that was a first. But it would have been more meaningful if it could have led somewhere.

After completing his day’s work at the newspaper offices, he was home in his downstairs flat by six o’clock. That evening he sat working until near midnight correcting all the sex scenes, He even had a go at some she hadn’t raised, always keeping in mind her advice to “never overwrite.”

His work carried over into the following evening, and the day after that he was able to drop off the completed manuscript, but was only able to hand it to the secretary. It was she who telephoned him two weeks later to come in for a final rundown before printing and publication.

Eager to Kare Cruddas again, he almost dashed out of the lift only to find that Mrs Cruddas was not in that day, and Mr Carver would be seeing him. Jeremy Carver was polite, efficient, and full of praise for the book..

“I hope you didn’t mind the changes we advised. You’ve handled those requests quite brilliantly”

Frank told him, “Thanks to Mrs Cruddas. She was most helptful.”

“About six months before publication, I reckon. You’ll have advance copy of course, and there will almost certainly be a prepublication function.”

So there it was. His book was going to be published. Yet, he could not explain why he was not as ecstatic as he had expected to be. He knew that part of that was the fact that he had not seen Karen Cruddas again, and was not likely to. At the same time he was telling himself that there could be little satisfaction in drooling over a married woman.

He buried himself in his work at the newspaper, and in the evenings on his second novel, which was developing quite well. So much so that he half hoped that he might have it ready for presentation before the publication of ‘Sara’s Way.’

He did bangbros porno receive an envelope on which he read the editor’s name, and he opened it with some excitement, only to find it contained three suggested cover pictures, and asked him to select one he approved of. He chose one which showed a dark haired lady, who looked most like how he imagined his main character, peering around an open door.

But then, after nearly six months, during which time his thoughts of Karen Cruddas, had never quite faded, a small parcel arrived. Inside he found a first copy of his book, and he held it to his chest as though it was some kind of heart by-pass. The enclosed letter told him that the presentation night prepublication was to be the following Tuesday, only five days away. He was just a little disappointed to read that the presentation was not only for his book, but for two other new publications that would be issued at the same time.

The major consolation was that he would get to see Karen Cruddas again. Surely she would be at such a function. Okay, he could only look at her, but wasn’t she well worth looking at?

Tuesday could not come fast enough, but at last Frank, in smart grey suit, light blue shirt, with a dark blue tie was entering the Assembly Hall, where the presentation was being held. Walking into the hall, Frank was handed a glass of champagne, and a pin-on label with his name on it. As he fastened the label to his lapel, his eyes scanned the surprisingly busy hall. He couldn’t see who he was hoping to see.

Then a tall distinguished looking gentleman appeared in front of him, silver haired and smiling,”Mr Grayton? So glad to meet you.” As he offered his hand he identified himself as Martin Devison, the chief executive of the publishing house. He went on to apologise for this triple presentation, “Pure chance that all three books became ready at the same time. Pointless having three separate functions, woldn’t you agree?”

Frank nodded dutifully, and Devison went on, “I have read your book, and was very impressed. Will there be another in the near future?”

Frank told him that he was well on with his second novel. Then Devison excused himself, “Oh, I’m signalled, I have to give the opening address.” He started to walk away, but turned back to say, “Sorry that you will be last in line. But Ms Farrell will be making your presentation, if you just have a few words to say—mention your up-coming book, perhaps.” He glanced at his watch, “I hope she gets here in time. Having trouble with her car apparently.”

Frank watched him climb onto the stage, and start making his welcoming speech, leading into announcing that Mr Jarvis would presnt the first author. This was a middle aged lady who had written a cook book. She spoke only a few words about her book. But Frank continued to scan the people around him. No Karen Cruddas.

Devison appeared again to state that a Mr Harvey would present the next author. This was another non-fiction work recounting a journey taken along the length of the Amazon river. This author was a deeply tanned, surprisingly short man, who bounded up onto the stage to reveal how fit he was. He talked for rather too long, and had to be eventually reminded of the time.

This gave Frank the opportunity to get nearer the stage for when he was called. He wasn’t sure exactly what he was going to say, but was determined not to drift on like the previous author. Then Devison was there again to introduce the final book, and he said “a change of genre,” before stating, “Presenting this author, a lady, who I’m pleased to say, in spite of difficulties has just made it, Ms Karen Farrell.

Another Karen? Frank glanced towards the side curtain, and his heart leapt at the sight of the lady who appeared in a neat black dress, with thin straps that bared her elegant shoulders. Karen Cruddas? Karen Farrell? Whatever her name, here was the Karen he’d been longing to see.

As she stood behind the dais, her eyes swept along those standing near the stage. When they came to Frank, she gave a broad smile and a nod before launching into her introduction. Frank was so taken with the fact that she had, at last, appeared, that he couldn’t concentrate totally on her words, but he did realise that she was being very kind.

He caught phrases like, “superb plotting,” and “masterful writing style.” Finally, she came to the introduction, “It is with great pleasure that I introduce, an author of exciting potential, Mr Frank Grayton.”

Frank almost stumbled in hurrying to be beside her. She stepped forward to greet him, and her smile made his pulse beat even quicker. As she held out a hand, he took it in his, and lifted it to his lips. Releasing her, he was stunned when she reached up and kissed him on the cheek, and the aroma of her might have been roses. Her action made him wonder whether his ability to speak would be impaired.

Surprisingly, with Karen Farrell standing to one side, Frank was able to state how pleased he was to have this opportunity, of seeing his first book in print. He gave a few words to where his idea had come from, but then, on impulse, he stated, “I must thank Karen Farrell for her editing help in the early stages. Her advice has encouraged me in getting straight into a second book.” To a polite round of applause, and a final glance towards Karen Farrell, he left the stage.

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