Jim Rook and a London Nurse Pt. 2, a short story by KiwiDreamer. Date added: 2012-04-08. Times viewed: 1423.
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- Intro: Jim Rook has impressed Nurse Thorpe-Thompson and now moves to turn her life upside down.
Kate Thorpe-Thompson’s father Alec met the party of four from London in his 7-seat Land Rover Discovery. He nodded to Jim Rook, kissed the women and then Kate introduced him to Jim. They shook hands and he told Jim to call him Alec.
“Your grandparents have come over because Elizabeth wishes to meet the New Zealander from the land of her birth.”
“Where’s Wellington dad?”
“It’s at the bottom of the North Island and is the capital of New Zealand.”
Kate glanced at Jim and caught his grin.
The grandparents were lovely but Kate’s mother Nicole appeared rather temperamental until she found Jim had a degree in computer science.
“A master’s in fact mom,” and Nicole and the others looking at Jim appeared impressed.
Nicole asked, “What is your work?”
“I’m five months into a two-year contract with a major art gallery upgrading its electronic catalogues and developing greater flexibility with search options and cross referencing and providing a second level of automatic back-up of the original data base.”
“Second level back-up?” Nicole asked, sounding mystified.
“He means back up to a secure server on site plus and a duplicate back-up going to and off-site commercially administered storage facility,” Alec said.
“Oooh my goodness,” Nicole said, as if she though Jim were a computer genius.
Nicole treated Jim more politely after that exchange.
At lunch Mrs Lynch, Kate’s grandmother, spent some time asking questions about New Zealand and the others appeared reasonably interested and that out of the blue Kate’s grandfather Len, who until then has only said the red wine had not been decanted, asked, “Are you married boy?”
“In my opinion I’m only approaching a suitable age for marriage now.”
“Quite right. So how many girlfriends have you had?”
“Four thousand and one sir.”
“Now you twerp, it’s not necessary to treat me like a mindless geriatric who believe anything he’s told.”
“I apologize sir. My pathetic sense of humour runs away on me at times.”
Carole and Diane burst out laughing and Kate tried to give the impression she was coughing behind the hand over her mouth.
“But have you seduced many women?”
There were gasps from two of the females.
“Usually not intentionally sir.”
“Well haven’t we been having a lousy spell of weather,” said Len’s daughter-in-law.
“Shut up Nicole. I’m working toward asking what does he intend doing with my granddaughter.”
“You old fool, shut up or I’ll put you outside to sulk at being disciplined,” said his wife. “We know what Kate and Jim will be doing without having to twist their arms for a confession.”
“Yes please behave granddad and answer mum’s question about the weather.”
“I’ve been too busy reading and having your mother cut my toe-nails to be looking at the weather this week.”
“Liar,” Jim said calmly.
“Jim,” Nicole said, sounding alarmed.
“Boy I think I like you because you show guts,” Len chuckled. “Alec bring in that claret you sneaked out to decanter and let’s all get pissed.”
Late afternoon Alec apologized to Jim for not having shown him around the city.
“You must come again. Until he fell asleep Len was really enjoying your repartee as I was as well. I’ve had a bit too much wine to drive so I call a taxi to take you people to the station.”
When the taxi arrived Nicole stood and swaying back and forth said to Jim, “Yes come again next Friday Jim darling and stay the weekend. You can share with Kate if that’s what you two wish.”
Kate looked in astonishment at her mother.
“Don’t look surprised Kate, you know your mother knows how to recognize quality. Off you go girls and Jim come and kiss me goodbye.”
As the taxi drove off Kate said, “Omigod Jim, you seduced my mother without any sweet talk.”
The taxi driver almost hit the left-hand gate post while the three females in the back seat giggled drunkenly.
Perhaps not expecting intelligent conversation from the cream of younger English womanhood on the train, the visitor from New Zealand was still surprised to find himself surrounded by three sleeping women ten minutes into the return trip to The City, all with their mouths open. He grinned and thought these three shouldn’t drink claret because they couldn’t handle it, although it would be the amount they’d put away, with Kate’s grandfather setting the pace, that would have undone them. God Len must have been a Wild One when he was young.
He sat back and began to think of how to get Kate to end up in New Zealand with him. As far as he could see, she offered so much that she’d become the only babe he’d even dated that he instinctively knew he should marry. He was pretty sure she viewed him favourably.
They dropped into a fast-food place at the station and had pizza and the females went to bed soon after arriving home. He worked out allowing for day-light saving in New Zealand it would be 11:00 am there and he began making some calls to initiate the plan he’d thought might work.
* * *
Kate was reading in bed on Wednesday morning at 9:15 when she took a call, being in the flat alone because Jim had left early to spend the day in Brighton.
The caller was a Miss West and she said could Kate confirm that she would be available to come for an appointment with Mrs Wheeler at 10:00 next morning.
“You must have the wrong number?”
“Are you Mrs Kate Thorpe-Thompson, a senior nurse specializing in A&E who, according to Mr Jim Rook, has aspirations to immigrate to New Zealand if you can secure a suitable position as a senior nurse at North Shore Hospital in Auckland?”
“This is a surprise to me?” Kate said, her mind reeling. What and asshole he was setting her up like this. Then she hesitated and thought if he’d asked her if he could set up a nursing recruitment position for her, she would have said no. For years her mum frequently said to her, “Why do you have to be pushed to take a big step forward Kate?”
“Um Miss West, please excuse me, I was asleep when your called having just finished a double shift,” Kate lied. “I wasn’t focused and now everything you said has fallen into place. Yes that time is suitable providing the interview place is in Central London.”
“Yes we are near the Bond Street Tube Station.”
“Ah excellent, I’ll just grab a pen to write down the address and list what I’m required to bring such of proof of qualification, registration details and I guess my passport to prove I have one.”
Jim had phoned through his estimated time of 7:55 of returning to the flat in dinner and had a nap on one of the sofas and awoke just before midnight when Kate arrived home from shift work. Carol and Diane, eyes glued on the TV set called hi and Jim jumped up and moved in to suck Kate’s tongue into his mouth while grabbing his ass cheeks.
“Don’t you dare touch me,” she yelled, startling Jim and her two flatmates.
“Oh whoa Jim, is the lady having a period,” he grinned.
“Christ you even have to joke when you see I’m deadly serious.”
“Um sorry, Kate. I really do apologize.”
“Oh a fight,” Carol cried, sitting up in her lounge chair to watch.
Jim thought of the safest thing to say: “Have I done something wrong?”
“Yes you have you slimy Kiwi. I have an interview with a nursing recruitment agent tomorrow about immigrating to New Zealand with citizenship guaranteed providing I remain of good character and stay in nursing for minimum agreed period. That was all setup by you without any consultation with me.”
“Oh what a smashing surprise and how romantic,” Diane enthused.
“Shut up Diane,” Kate said menacingly. “Right you slimy Kiwi, give me one convincing reason why you did this without consulting me.”
“Because I anticipated you’d say no, don’t do it.”
Kate’s tantrum was over. She breathed out and said, “God you are slimy. I stewed about this all morning and decided that was the only explanation I’d accept. I behaved like an idiot when the woman called and asked me to confirm the appointed that her boss had available tomorrow due to a cancellation.”
“Well you get het up by all means but don’t abuse me just because you’re cross. Say you piece without treating me like a child or some downtrodden underling.”
He said reasonably politely, “Keep out of this Carole.”
“Look this is over. I apologize for speaking to you rudely in anger Jim and girls I apologize for drawing you into this scene. Come on, let’s go out and I’ll buy you all a drink.”
“Yes let’s go somewhere that serves supper and I’ll pay for the food,” Diane said. “Mom gave me a big bonus this afternoon when finding takings for the past month were a record high. A new sales assistant I employed fancies herself as a window stylist and I just allow her to let it rip and her display have brought a few more people in through the doors so I’m taking them all to dinner tomorrow and will also give Sue a week off on pay for excelling with her displays.”
“You girls go… you deserve time without me,” Jim sniffed.
“No,” cried the females, almost in unison.
“We want you wish us,” Diane said and besides we want an explanation why you are so determined to have Kate nursing in Auckland.”
“Yes and I’d also be interested in hearing that explanation,” Kate said.
“Oh shit,” Jim said, tugging his left ear. “I seem to have gone the wrong way about this.”
Carol said cheerfully, “Come on girls, let’s get ready fast so we can sip a drink while we listen to Jim try to get out of this one.”
At the club the three females watched Jim begin and they were stunned by his opening. He took Kate’s hand and looking at her deeply said, “Kate will you marry me, conditional on you immigrating to New Zealand and your divorce is granted?”
“Jesus,” Kate said, obviously shocked.
Diane hugged her and said, “Go on Kate, you don’t lack courage if you put your mind to it.”
Kate took a deep breath and said, “Yes Jim, I accept your magnificent offer and agree to the conditions. You have blown me away with this proposal. God I’m so happy.”
She wept but the kissing was underway by the group and she looked radiant.
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