Becoming at one with the common man. Sympathising, encouraging and negotiating for a profit of course. He wouldn't have been caught dead in this part of town otherwise. Sure it, could gloss over the crime rate and paint a scene of a peaceful relaxing rural area, but Soames knew that as night dawned every pub and street would be filled with vomit stained drunks along with women that would get their knickers off for half an archers and Lemonade. Soames went to the salt laden counter and paid for the drinks. With a little smooth talking the contracts would be signed and he and his father could start setting their case together. Taking a small sip of his bitter pint he was in the middle of explaining his services to the client when he noticed an appealing attraction out the corner of his eye.
He blocked it out, ran his hands over his glass and carried on with his sell. "So I'll take this case to the manager, who is my father, he'll oversee everything. If you wish to carry on we'll get the paperwork in place and select a dedicated team to speak to everyone involved to help you of course" The client looked at the paperwork and nodded. Soames looked over at the opposite table again, but it was empty. The client said he would think it over and Soames gave the client his card and excused himself.
He regretted not taking an umbrella out with him as it started to rain, but he did want to fit in with these "country folk" and he doubted any of them could afford a umbrella, so he didn't bring one. He didn't really want to get out his phone to call a cab, it cost nearly a hundred pounds, so he decided to go to the bustop as the night light went on. Soames began to search through his phone contacts when an arm crept over his shoulder and grabbed his phone out of his hand. Soames turned around roughly and stepped forward to the stranger.
"You should re-think stealing from me, I'm a solicitor" "So this phone costs a hell of a lot then" The man said as he chucked the phone back at Soames. "Don't play games with me Sir. I've seen your face, I can easily report you" Soames said, wondering if the man was carrying anything. "You've seen me like you've seen my son" The man answered. "I saw you looking at him in the bar" Soames shook his head ready to deny everything. "If you've come to warn or threaten me, there's really no point, I'm on my way home" Soames said turning away from him.
"That's too bad. I think Clay would like a guy like you" Soames stared at the man in surprise wondering if it was a set up. Extortion was an offense but if he did take this man to court and he revealed his side, it could turn out worse for Soames. "Really?" He asked. "Would you like to introuduce us?" Soames asked thinking that the man would back out. "Yes, how about next Friday, at the Verd Bass Bar Clay will be there waiting"
Soames nodded but didn't think it would be that easy. "Pardon me for asking, but your name is...?" Soames asked hoping the man wasn't going to give him a false one. The man got out a napkin and wrote his name and mobile number on it and gave it to him. "There, as soon as you text me I'll get yours" "Thank you...Lloyd" Soames said as he looked at the paper. He looked back up but Lloyd was gone. Relieved Soames could finally call a cab and get out of this poverty pit, it really wasn't his style.
"Daddy...why?" Clay moaned. "Clay don't why me, that guy was looking at you" "So you got me a date with a guy you barely know, who you've seen once...he could be a psycho" "If he is, we'd deal with it" Daddy told him while sipping tea on the sofa. "Clay you should have seen this guy's phone. He's loaded, we're on thin ice son, we're in a dump" "Daddy he could have stolen that phone, he could have got a loan" Clay told Daddy. "I don't know Daddy...you've been mad because I like who l like, and now you're pushing me to someone for cash...?" "You might like him Clay" Daddy said. "I doesn't matter what you think, you're still going" Daddy said as he turned the volume up on the TV.
That following Friday Daddy gave Clay one of his own shirts and a ten pound note. Clay would have to add to it, but he figured the night would be short. "Do you want me to come with you son?" Daddy asked. "No Thanks Daddy, I'll take the bus back" Clay said. He got the bus to the Verd Bass Bar. Soames was outside and tapped Clay on the shoulder as Clay walked past him. "Clay I assume" he said and put his hand out. Clay shook it timidly. "Umm...yeah...I'm sorry Daddy took your phone" "Look Clay I'd rather not drink here, I live in London and if you don't mind I'd like you show you around" Soames asked, running a hand through his hair.
"A bit quick isn't it? Being shown around your place?" Clay asked and Soames shook his head. "I meant around London, not my quarters" Soames said and grinned as Clay began to turn red. "Sorry I got the wrong end of the..." It's fine, I'll get us a cab" The cab ride was silent but Soames saw how enchanted Clay was with the bright lights of the city. They ended up going to a resturant. Clay ordered grilled chicken with vegetables and Soames ordered steak, but he was impressed with Clay's choices. "Extremely healthy" Soames noted. "Daddy prefers me to eat the healthy stuff, he's very careful" Clay said as Soames tucked into his salad. "Daddy?" Soames asked. "You think it's weird right?" Clay said putting a carrot, broccoli and a pea on his fork.
"It's nice" Soames said and Clay wasn't sure if he was lying. After a little chit-chat about work and questions to Soames about being a lawyer they'd finished their plates. Soames got out his credit card and brushed Clay's hand away when Clay got out Daddy's ten pound note. "I can pay, don't be absurd" Soames told him. "I should pay you back, here" Clay said as he passed him over Daddy's ten pound note, but Soames wouldn't hear of it.
After walking along past the shop and the pedestrian filled streets, Clay said that he should be getting back so Soames decided to drop him off home. They both stood outside Daddy's house sheepishly and Soames said that he would see him around. "I work all the time Soames, I don't think I have time for anything else. I'm sure you're the same" Clay said.
"That must be a bore...not spending anytime with your father. I take it you're not close" Soames questioned. "No no, me and Daddy are really close, the closest" "You don't have to lie" Soames said reeling him in. "Daddy and me go hunting on weekends... we talk a lot" Clay told him. "Great so I can come hunting with you gentlemen sometime" Soames asked. "I'm looking forward to it already" Clay nodded, gritted his teeth and went up to the door. It was already open and Daddy was up, waiting for him while watching TV.
"So how did it go?" Daddy asked. "We're too different" Clay told Daddy. "We're better off as friends" Clay said as he went off to get changed. Daddy got a call from Soames as they arranged and Daddy was left wondering what to say.
"So Mr Wilkes...or Lloyd, would Clay like to go out again? I suggested hunting along with yourself, but he didn't seem too excited" Soames told him.
"Clay very secretive, keeps his card close to his chest" Daddy said. "I'll set up a hunting trip, Clay would love to get to know you" Daddy said as he ended the call and was ready to make Clay promise that he wasn't going to screw this up.