Chapter 13: The Investiture
A few days later the Fletcher family were preparing to drive up to London for their son Jack’s investiture at Buckingham Palace, which was to commence at 1130hrs on the 1st August 1973. His father Bill had booked an overnight stay in the Bletchley hotel, so the family could do a little sightseeing after the medal ceremony before returning home once again to Winchester.
Fletch had pressed and ironed his best blues uniform, spit and polished his best army boots, and brushed his best red top peak cap, ready to be presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to receive his Military Medal.
Everything was now packed and ready to go, His mother and sister had been shopping the week before and had purchased new summer dresses and hats for Jacks big day at the palace. His mother Eva had selected a beautiful Wedgewood green dress and hat with a bow to match, and his sister Cathy had purchased a Wedgewood blue summer dress with a modern side hat that had two huge light blue feathers attached. The family were so proud of Fletch and were looking forward to visiting Buckingham Palace and meeting the Queen for the first time.
A Bellboy was waiting outside the Bletchley hotel to carry their suitcases up to their rooms when the family arrived outside the main entrance in his father’s Mercedes car, and a chauffeur requested the car keys from his father so he could drive the car around to the secure hotel car park which was situated at the back entrance, directly underneath the hotel.
After dinning in the hotel restaurant that evening the family celebrated Jacks investiture in the hotel bar room and lounge before retiring to their rooms for the rest of the evening.
Investiture day at Buckingham Palace was a memorable one and the whole family met and spoke with the Queen after the medal ceremony. Fletcher proudly wore his Military Medal on his Royal Military Police uniform and the local and national newspaper photographers and journalists covered his story. After a final celebration back in the Bletchley Hotel the family decided to stay on in the hotel for a further night and then drive home the following morning.
Fletch contacted Julie from the hotel by telephone, and told her he had arranged for them both to spend the following weekend together in a small two bed roomed country thatched cottage at the edge of a small picturesque village called Meadstead ,which was situated just off the A31 between Winchester and Aldershot. Julie was overjoyed at the news and told Fletcher just how much she’d missed and loved him.
Julie drove down to the cottage in Meadstead the following Friday night to spend the weekend with Fletch, telling her parents that she was spending the whole weekend with one of her old school chums from her College days in Oxford, which was a complete fabrication of course, but she couldn’t possibly tell them the truth knowing full well that they wouldn’t understand the situation.
Fletcher arrived at the little cottage in Meadstead early on the Friday evening so he could lay and light the open log fire to warm the cottage through before his beloved Julie was due to arrived an hour later.
Fletch laid the dining room table with a white linen table cloth, making sure the silver service had been laid out correctly, and the wine was placed in the ice bucket to chill, finally lighting the candles in the silver candlestick which he’d placed in the centre of the table alongside a vase of red roses which he had freshly cut from his father’s garden before setting out for the cottage.
He had ordered an Al-carte meal from a local English restaurant which luckily arrived piping hot just a few minutes before Julie arrived, and everything had been laid out perfectly just as her car, pulled up outside the cottage front door.
Fletch rushed outside and opened her car door, holding her in his arms and kissing her tenderly full on the lips. “God I’ve missed you so much Julie, it’s seems like we’ve been separated for weeks although it’s only been a few days my love,” said Fletch as he gently pulled away from their lingering kiss.
Julie locked her car door and Fletcher suddenly and without warning, lifted her up off the floor and into his arms, carrying her over the threshold and gently placing her feet first back down onto the cottage living room thick pilled carpet.“Oh ! how lovely this little cottage is Jack, it’s so picturesque, and you’ve gone to a great deal of trouble to make everything wonderful,” cried Julie joyfully.
“I do hope we can make this a memorable weekend Julie, I’m so pleased you could manage to break away from your family without too much trouble,” said Fletch, as he gently kissed her forehead.
“Well actually Jack I felt quite ashamed of myself because the only thing I could think of was to tell my father that I was staying with an old school friend over the weekend in Oxford, and I had to make a silly excuse when my parents asked for a contact telephone number, I just told them I would ring them from a phone box when I arrived. I don’t like telling lies to my parents but I was left with very little choice, I Love you so much Jack!,” said Julie, feeling positively guilty by now, as she started to take off her coat and move towards the open log fire to get a little warmer.
“Wow Jack! the meal looks wonderful you certainly have surpassed yourself I’m so proud of you”, said Julie as she sat down pulling her chair closer to the table. “Only trouble is Jack you’ve forgotten to put out any napkins,” she said jokingly with a big grin on her face.
Jack quickly ran into the kitchen and pulled out two new white napkins from a kitchen draw, placing one gently on Julie’s lap. “Thank you kind Sir” said Julie smiling, as Fletch poured out a glass of chilled French Chardonnay wine, which he’d opened early to allow it to breath.
“Bon Appétit Julie,” replied Fletch, “We better get stuck in before it starts to go cold,” He said as he looked across the dining room table in Julies direction smiling.
Just after dinner the couple stretched out on the cottage sofa, laying in each other’s arms contently and without saying a word, so very much in love, whilst watching the flames from the open log fire dancing and flickering up the side of the chimney breast.
Fletcher ran his fingers through her soft long blond hair whilst he pulled her face gently towards him, their lips met in a long lingering kiss and they fell gently to the floor, clinging together whilst laying on the fire side rug. His hands slid down to the front of her pretty flowered dress and her soft open cleavage.
Turning her gently onto her left side his right hand nervously unzipped the back of her dress which slowly slipped down to her waist, revealing her full round beautiful soft bosoms. Fletcher passionately kissed the nape of her neck, whilst caressing her left breasts with his trembling free hand, her body shivered with excitement, as his lips carefully worked their way around to the soft velvet skin on the top of her shoulders. “WAIT !WAIT! JACK! ”, Cried out Julie in ecstasy I want us both to undress each other together she moaned loudly.
The sun was shining through the tiny cottage bedroom window echoing the dawn, when Julie slowly awoke stretching her beautiful soft bare body between the silken sheets. Oh how wonderful she felt, her body still alive and reeling with passion whilst lying in the four poster bed which she’d shared with her lover, Jack Fletcher the night before Fletch had arouse early that morning and entered the bedroom carrying a tray with a single red rose in a miniature vase on it, alongside a full English breakfast with toast and peculated coffee, which he placed on the top of Julie’s bedside table. “I wanted to bring you breakfast in bed my love, what a wonderful night we had last night!, I only wish this could last forever,” said Fletcher, knowing that this was a virtual impossibility, but wanting Julie so very, very, badly.
Julie kissed him tenderly on the lips and softly said, “We have to make the most of our time together while we can Jack, God only knows what’s going to happen when Bill gets home, I love you so much and I don’t know how I’m going to tell him the truth about our relationship.”
The couple made the most of their time on their passionate weekend together, spending every single minute in each other’s arms, but the hours just seemed to fly by and the weekend soon came to an abrupt end.
Fletcher opened the boot on Julies car, placing her pink leather suitcase inside before reluctantly closing it. Julie sat behind the wheel kissing Jack tenderly on the lips, both finding it hard to say goodbye, but Julie finally managed to pull away, wiping the tears from her soft red cheeks as she drove down the lane heading in the direction of Aldershot.