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Author Topic: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!  (Read 18686 times)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #30 on: 13. May 2021, 16:49:33 PM »
Chapter 18

Friday evening


"I went to see my dentist today" said Amanda

"Ah, to get your teeth models done? How did it go?"

"Not too bad: I arranged to get a check-up, which was due, and mentioned that I was wanting to get some costume / cosplay teeth made, and could he make me some models of my teeth - he was absolutely fine about it, he said he's had a few people ask for the same thing before"

"I wonder if those people really wanted cosplay teeth, or like us, wants some braces? But I bet you're glad that's over"

"Yes, I was a little nervous when I went in"

"Amanda was nervous?" I said, joking.

"I'm used to being in charge, and at the dentist I'm not. I'm ok at work, I'm in charge. And I'm ok with you...."

"Because you're in charge?". Amanda stopped and thought a moment

"About that.... ummm.... Danny, don't be scared to take the lead with me. I really don't mind... in fact, it can be rather nice to not have to be in charge all the time....". She came over to me, and stood next to me, as if she was going to kiss me, but didn't.

"You testing me?"

"I might be.....". I leaned over towards her, and put my lips to hers, then without any hesitation, pushed my tongue straight into her mouth, and started a long kiss. She tried a couple of times to put her tongue into my mouth, but I stopped her. Finally I let her in, let her tongue run over my brackets, my archwires, and then my plates. As we finished the kiss, she smiled gently at me.

"So, did I pass?"

"Not too bad for starters....."

"So, when will your teeth models be ready?"

"Next week sometime, they'll give me a ring when they're ready"

"In that case, we should start thinking about what braces you want. I'll take it as read that you want some brackets with HG tubes, and some retainers...."

"Well, I was thinking it might be fun to have some sort of expander, with loads of screws and really thick plastic"

"... making it hard to talk, eh?"

"That's the idea. I also fancy something that has plastic all over the teeth, kinda like your twin-block, but not a twin block, if you see what I mean."

"So kinda like a splint, but two of them?"

"Yeah, that sort of thing. And I was also thinking about having some very simple, probably quite thin, plates"

"Uh?"

"Well, I'm not really going to be able to wear braces for real like you do, but if I just had a thin plate in the top of my mouth, with maybe just a pair of clasps at the back, then I could wear that without anyone knowing, but still have the feel of that lovely smooth plastic in my mouth. And I'm sure Mei could come up with something similarly invisible for the bottom". Just listening to Amanda describing this was rather nice.....

"Oh, yes, I'd definitely love to get my tongue around those.... but I do like your idea of having something undetectable in your mouth... Anything else?"

"Well, headgear of course, and maybe a facemask. We can ask Mei to put the facemask wires onto some normal fake brackets"

"I'm absolutely certain she could do that. Fancy something like a Fraenkel, or an activator?"

"Not a Fraenkel.... but I remember seeing some sort of activator-looking thing, it has plastic between the biting surfaces of the teeth, like an activator, but then has a sort-of built-in lower lip-bumper"

"Oh yeah, I think I've seen those sort of things on the 'Braces-Shop' site... has a B-shaped sprung clip over the top two front teeth too"

"Yeah, that's the one. Lots of plastic and wires...."

"Oh, I love it when you talk dirty! So, what'e the plans for dinner? We going out, or we eating in?"

"I wouldn't mind a quiet night at home tonight, we've been out a bit this week. I've got plenty of stuff in the freezer, but not much fresh... I need to go shopping"

We went and raided her freezer, and made a nice dinner. I was about to get up to brush my teeth, when Amanda said "Hey, don't brush your teeth..... I'd like to kiss you with messy braces...". Well, who was I to disagree?



Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #31 on: 24. May 2021, 18:09:12 PM »
Chapter 19


The Weekend


Oh, wow, I've been going out with Amanda for about a week now! I mean, when would you say we started dating? The Thursday was the first time we 'had a date', at the wine bar, but I guess it became 'official' last weekend. Since then, I've had one evening in by myself, otherwise it's been a mix of going out with A, and staying in with A. Tonight we're going out with some of my friends, including Janice, which will be nice.

I've been messaging with Janice the last week, and we did actually see each other briefly up the shops after work one evening. She says she's absolutely happy that I've found someone, but I got a slight feeling that she might actually be a little jealous. We have a strange relationship... we are very close friends. Plus we have been occasional lovers. We love being with each other for short periods of time, but we know that there's no way we could, for example, share a flat or house... we'd probably kill each other within the first month! But over the last 6 months, I guess we've seen each other maybe once or twice a week, when going out with a group of friends, going out as a 'couple', or maybe just having dinner together, for some company. I don't want to lose Janice as a friend, so I really must make sure I don't ignore her.

If she was a guy, life would be fairly simple: as far as Amanda would be concerned, she would be 'just one of the lads', but as a girl, well it's different, isn't it? In many ways, tonight is going to be quite important, letting both Amanda and Janice understand that I want them - maybe even need them - both in my life, but that they have different 'functions' in my life. I'm just worried that it's not going to be easy.

On another topic, I now have a load of smart new clothes - I'll probably wear some of them tonight. Amanda was over here yesterday evening when she dropped me off, so I showed her what I'd got. She insisted that I model them for her, and I'm very happy to say that she was very happy with what I'd bought. With the adjustments made to the trousers and the suit jacket, they fit so well, are really comfortable, and apparently look pretty good on me!

I slept in slightly late this morning. Amanda will be here in about an hour, then we're going to go to Brent Cross shopping centre: I've promised Amanda that I'll wear double headgear again, like I did last Sunday. Of course, last weekend I only wore it as we walked across the park, but today I'm going to be a lot more visible, as we walk around the shops. I'm just hoping that I don't meet anyone from work while we're out!

Last night Amanda suggested that I should get some clothes together, to leave over her place, then if I stay over, I'll have something fresh to wear in the morning. So I've pulled out a few pair of underpants, some socks, a couple of work shirts, and a couple of casual shirts. I also added in my old works trousers, just in case, then put it all into a holdall I have.

When I had my shower this morning, I had taken my braces out and cleaned them, but didn't bother to put them back in my mouth. So I went to the bathroom and got them, then went to the bedroom, where I pulled out my 'braces crate', and got out my two facebows and my interlandi. I fitted the facebows to my braces, then slipped them into my mouth - yes, that felt a lot better. I'm not quite sure the best way to describe the feeling - how about a cold morning, you've been walking around the flat in bare feet, then you go and put your slippers on. They make you feel better, they fit nicely... they just feel 'right'. Of course, my braces felt slightly different from normal, as I now also had a pair of facebows between my lips.

I picked up my Interlandi headgear: it only had 2 elastics on it, so I added 2 more, then put it over my head, then, a pair at a time, pulled the elastics over the ends of my facebows. I could feel the slight increase in pressure: Mei had selected the elastics so that they were small enough to not be too loose, but not too small to apply substantial pressure. I looked in the mirror, and slightly adjusted my hair, to make it tidy. I closed my eyes, and ran my tongue over my braces. I still enjoyed the feel of the smooth plastic, plus the feeling of the roughness of the brackets, not to mention the smoothness of the thicker wire of the inner ends of the two facebows in my mouth. I still felt I was a fraud: I wasn't really a braces wearer, I didn't REALLY need them. I was no more than a pretender. So what IS it about braces that I like? I'm guessing it's the same sort of reason that people get dressed up. They want to feel good. They want people to notice them. They want to be a little different from everyone else. Well, yes, wearing braces as an adult was certainly 'a little different' although maybe not as different as I would have been maybe 10 or 15 years ago, when nowhere near as many adults had braces in England.

I was flicking through the TV channels (there's nothing worth watching late Saturday morning, I can tell you!) when the doorbell rang. It was, of course, Amanda. She is amazing: today she was dressed caually, which for Amanda still means pretty smartly, with clothes that not only suit her perfectly, but fit her perfectly. She had clearly spent time brushing her lovely long red hair, as it cascaded beautifully down her back. Around her neck was that locket that she always seemed to wear, a set of thin bangles around her left wrist, and a rather nice ring with a stone in it on her right third finger. Her shoes had heels, but probably only a couple of inches tall.

As ever, her makeup looked amazingly discrete: some mascara on her eyelashes, and a tiny bit of eye shadow, and some fairly bright red lip gloss.... with a plain blouse on top and a red skirt to her knees, and some light tan pantyhose (or stockings?) the effect was stunning to say the least 

"Hello" she said, as she came in. "Wow, I still can't get used to seeing you in headgear, especially double headgear!" She licked her lips provocatively, then quickly looked at the way I was dressed. I was in a fairly smart casual shirt (the sort with buttons at the front and a full collar), and some fairly new and clean jeans. "Yes, I think you'll do!" she said as she kissed me around my two facebows.

"Amanda, you look simply stunning, as always...." I commented

"Thank you!" she replied, "I want to look good for my sexy boyfriend! By the way, I'm kinda hoping you're free on Wednesday evening"

"I'm sure I am, what's planned?"

"Chris, he's the head of our chambers, has invited us over to dinner with a small number of others. It's probably the best sort of evening for you to start off with: he's a lovely guy, great company, and he and his wife both love cooking, so the food will be delicious. Actually, Chris is the main reason I chose to join that chambers, I have a lot of respect for him. Don't worry, I'll 'brief' you before we go, so you'll know what to expect!"

As we chatted, my eyes were, once again, drawn to the locket around her neck. "Amanda, I have to ask - you always wear that locket, so I'm guessing it's important to you....".

Amanda smiled. "Yes, it is.." she replied, putting her hands up to the locket, and carefully opening it." This is my dad's parents, my grandmother and grandfather.."

"Ah, the ones you visited last weekend with you sister?" I commented as I looked at the two pictures inside the locket. Amanda is 29, so the picture were about 11 years old, and showed two rather pleasant smiling faces of an older couple.

"That's right. They gave me this on my 18th birthday, and I wear it pretty much all the time"

"I get the feeling that you are pretty close to them"

"Yes, very close, I love them dearly, they are always so good to me and my brother and sister, they always make time for us, and are always happy for us to visit. I think maybe I should take you with me next time I visit, I think you'll like them too"

"Yes, I'd like that. So, are we ready to go?". Amanda closed the locket again, took my hand, and we went out and down to her car. She got into the drivers side, removed her heels and put on some flats to drive in, leaving me to get in the other side. Traffic was slightly busy, and we got to the shopping centre about 25 minutes later.


Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #32 on: 04. June 2021, 15:53:51 PM »
Chapter 20


Shopping with headgear


"You sure you're gonna be ok with this?" asked Amanda just before we got out of the car, "it's going to be a bit more 'in your face' than it was in the park last week"

"I'll be ok, as long as we don't meet anyone I know. I can easily explain a single headgear, but double headgear might be a bit harder. But I did wear this a few time when I was in Asia." She took my hand as we walked from the car park into the actual shopping centre. Being a Saturday, we knew it was going to be busy, and we passed a couple of people even before we got to the shops.

Ok, so I've worn my double headgear out in public several times now. Most were over in Asia, where I really didn't mind who saw me. The other time was last weekend when there very few people around. But today, at the shopping centre, it was busy, with hundreds and thousands of people here. Even if 99% of people ignored me, I would still be seen by a lot of people. And people with external orthodontia are few and far between. People with extreme external orthodontia even more so.

Yet here I was, in my double headgear. Was I scared?

Hell, yes! I was scared. It was fun and exciting too, but I was scared. I looked at Amanda, and she looked at me, and smiled, then leaned over and gave me a gentle kiss.

As with the other times I've worn headgear in public in England, after a few minutes I began to calm down a bit as I, once again, noticed that very few people were interested enough to even look at me, let alone react. After wandering around the shops for a short while, window-shopping, we went into a book & stationary shop, where I ended up buying a book. There was a short queue at the till, and when it was my turn, the lady, probably in her 40s, looked at me, and appeared a but surprised.

"Never seen one of those before" she said, indicating my headgear. "What's it for?" she asked. Well, my heart was already beating fast just standing in the queue, it went even faster when she asked that.

"Erm, I'm getting my teeth fixed" I explained briefly, as I waved my card over the payment terminal. Outside the shop, I took a deep breat, and Amanda took my hand again, and smiled at me.

"That looked like it was scary but fun" she commented.

"Yeah, both those...." I replied. "Of course, you have this fun yet to come....".

"Yes... and I suspect I'll probably be a lot more nervous than you are!". As we continued walking around, I got the occasional stare, but noone said anything. My phone rang: it was Janice.

"Hey there, Danny! I'm guessing that you are somewhere with Amanda?" asked Janice

"Yeah, we're shopping up in Brent Cross" I replied, I didn't mention that it was really a 'braces adventure'.

"Are you guys still joining us tonight?" asked Janice

"Yes, that was our plan"

"Ok, so it looks like we're going to that same Italian place you first met Amanda. And before you ask, yes, I want to meet Amanda properly"

"Ok, give me a second, I'll just check with Amanda". I turned to Amanda: "It's Janice, she's checking if we're still wanting to go along tonight, they're going to that Italian place where we first met"

"Yeah, of course! It will be nice to meet her properly" said Amanda

"Actually, I think she want to meet you too" I replied quietly to Amanda. "Yeah, sounds like we're up for it! Want to WhatsApp me the details, and we'll see you there" I replied to Janice on the phone.

We continued walking around the shops for a while, occasionally buying something. I was looked at a few times, but noone actually said anything.

"Hey, fancy a coffee?" asked Amanda, as we approached the food area of the shopping centre.

"Oh, yes, great idea!" I replied. We went to one of the stalls, to get the coffee. Being a weekend, most of the staff were of school age, and of course, the girl who served us was only about 16 or 17, and as she saw me in my double headgear, she smiled, letting us both see that she had her own set of metal brackets.

"What would you like" she asked pleasantly. Amanda ordered a couple of coffees, as well as a large slice of flapjack. Whilst Amanda was actually her customer, not me, I did see a couple of flicks of her eyes, as they moved to look at me.

As we walked to a table to sit down, I gave up looking to see if anyone was looking at me.

"Am I allowed to take it off, to have my coffee?" I asked Amanda

"Of course..." seh replied. "I must admit, I expected more people to be looking at you, it's not as if you don't stand out"

"Yeah, most people just aren't looking around them as they wander around" I replied, as I unhooked the elastics from my facebow. "I mean, they know there's other people around them, so they don't bump into them, but their concentration is a lot closer to themselves" I continued, as I pulled the facebows from my mouth, and then took the interlandi from my head, and put them all on the table, between Amanda and myself.



Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #33 on: 07. June 2021, 17:50:23 PM »
Chapter 21

Planning braces for Amanda



"You know, in many ways, I actually prefer your place to mine!" said Amanda later that afternoon, when we had gone back to my place.

"You're kidding? Your place is so much better, it's newer, bigger...."

"Yeah, but this place has some character to it. I sometimes feel that my place is a bit bare and bland, if you know what I mean. Besides, your place contains a very interesting crate of goodies!". I had to laugh at the concept that my place was better because of my braces collection!

"Yeah, have you had a chance to think what you fancy from Mae yet? Why don't we make a list, and I can get a price from her"

"Ok. Well, top of the list has to be some fake brackets with headgear tubes, like yours, as well as some headgear and a facemask...."

I grabbed a pad of paper, found a pen, and started making some notes.

"Ok... and didn't you say you fancied some sort of thick expander with loads of screws and plastic"

"Yes... plus I fancied something with plastic over the teeth biting surfaces. And don't forget I need something to go with the facemask too."

"Right, got that lot.... I'm sure there was something else you mentioned. Oh yeah, B-shaped clip over the front..... wasn't that an activator or something?"

"Yes, an activator with a built-in lip bumper...."

"I think I'll need to dig out some picture to try and explain that one to Mei. Anything else? At this rate you're going to have more than me!"

"Erm, let me think.... oh, I almost forgot, some thin plastic plates I can wear without anyone realising"

"Ah, yes, I remember that one now..... let me have a look down the list....... hmm, not seeing any retainers yet"

"Oh, yeah, must have some hawleys!". I added them to the list.

"You REALLY want all of this? Mind you, I'm sure you can afford it!"

"I'm sure I can" said Amanda with a smile. "Hey, is there anything that YOU want? This would be a good chance if you do"

I had a think... to be honest, I already had pretty much everything I could want.... Then I thought of something. Something you didn't see much of these days. J-hooks!

"Well, one thing I had completely forgotten about was some J-hooks" I suggested.

"Oh, wow, yeah, you're right, they don't seem to use those much now, do they?". She paused for about 10 seconds and took a deep breath. "Sorry, just thinking about the whole concept of triple headgear!"

"Oh, Amanda, no, you'll get me going in a moment". Holy crap, double facebows on an interlandi as well as some J-hooks on sort of high-pull, that would be good fun to have to wear. "You realise I'll be daring you to wear triple headgear out in public now, don't you?". The look on Amanda's face was amazing.... a combination of major shock and extreme delight!

"Triple headgear? Hell, I'm gonna find a single headgear hard enough to wear in public...." said Amanda.

"I think you need to practice a bit - want to wear one of my facemasks while I make us a coffee?"

"Oh, yes please!" said Amanda like a small child being offered sweets.

"Tell you what, why don't you look in the crate for yourself, I'm sure you'll enjoy that!". I went over to my kitchen to make the coffee, leaving Amanda to look in the crate to find the facemask.

As I made the coffee, I watched as Amanda had a look in my box of braces. As well as looking for the facemask (which I'm sure wasn't difficult!) I could see that she was having another look at some of my other braces.

By the time I had poured out the coffees, and took them over to Amanda, she was wearing the facemask, and clearly enjoying the experience. However, she had to remove it in order to drink her coffee.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #34 on: 07. June 2021, 20:26:17 PM »
This should be chapter 21.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #35 on: 12. June 2021, 00:23:32 AM »
This should be chapter 21.

Thank you, changed.

I'm glad you mentioned it, as in my master copy, the next chapter would ALSO have been Chapter 20!!! I need to be more careful with cut & paste!!!

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #36 on: 13. June 2021, 17:23:34 PM »
Chapter 22

The Italian job


We all met at a pub just along the road from the Italian restaurant. Janice was already there with a couple of others when I arrived with Amanda. Knowing that this evening would be quite informal, I had suggested to Amanda that she dressed down a bit, which for Amanda still meant she looked amazingly smart and quite stunning, wearing a simple cotton dress that went to just above her knees, with black stockings (well, I hoped they were stockings rather than tights :-) ), and a nice pair of heels. Tonight her makeup seemed to be a bit 'softer', with a paler shade of eyeshadow, not as much mascara, and a more gentle pink lip-gloss.

"Hi Janice" I said, giving her a quick hug. "I'm sure you remember Amanda...."

"Of course... hello Amanda, it's nice to meet you properly, we hardly had a chance to talk the other week" said Janice, quickly shaking Amanda's hand. Janice introduced the others to us.

"What do you fancy?" I asked Amanda. "Wine? Lager?"

"Can I have a red wine please?" she replied.

I started to go to the bar, and turned to Janice. "Come with me to the bar, will you?" I asked her. We had known each other long enough now that there was a high level of trust between us that when I asked her to come to the bar with me, she knew there was a good reason, and probably actually guessed that reason.

"Something on your mind?" she asked as we waited at the bar to be served.

"Yeah....Janice, are you ok with me going out with Amanda?" I asked

"Sure I am... but please, don't shut me out.... I really appreciate having you as a friend, and I've kinda felt a bit shut out this last week"

"I'm sorry, yes, I have rather ignored you... it's been an intense week with Amanda. Look, I'm a bit worried that she might sort-of misunderstand our relationship, so can you sit with us tonight, and chat with Amanda, and help her understand?"

"Sure. I'd actually like to get to know her too... Look, I really hope it works out for you with her, but if it doesn't, you know where I am"

"Thanks, but things seem to be going ok, we seem to be pretty relaxed with each other's company so far". Just then it was our turn at the bar. I ordered a beer for me, and the wine for Amanda. "You need another drink?" I asked Janice.

"Thanks... a small lager will do nicely!". Our drinks were ready for us fairly quickly, so I paid, and we took the drinks back to the others. Amanda was talking with Sonya (Janice's flatmate), who had just arrived. I remembered back a week and a half, and I remember that Amanda had been chatting with her at that first meal at the Italian place.

"Hi Sonya!" I said whilst passing Amanda her wine.

"Oh, hi Danny! I see you two have actually managed to 'get together'... Amanda tells me you two are getting on well!" said Sonya

"Yes, things do seem to be going well between us. I guess I should thank you for passing on her original message!".

Amanda and I chatted with Sonya and Will (her boyfriend) for a minute or two, then they excused themselves to talk with someone else. "So, Amanda, you need to meet Janice.... although you did meet her the other week at the Italian place..."

"Ah, yes, I remember, hello Janice, nice to meet you"

"Nice to meet you too. It's about time Danny found himself a girlfriend!". Janice paused for a few seconds. "Look, Danny and I are very close, I guess we probably do love each other, but it's much more like a brother and a sister love.... or maybe that should be a step-sister. We love spending time together, but we've tried having a proper relationship, and it didn't work: I was screaming at him within a few weeks! What I'm trying to say is that I absolutely respect that you guys are in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, and will not get in between you. In fact, I'll do all I can to help you guys make it work!"

I could feel Amanda's hand slightly increase its pressure on mine. "Thanks for being so open, Janice, I appreciate it."

"All I ask is that you don't try to shut us off completely: if I was a male friend of Danny's, or even his sister, you'd have no problems with him meeting with me... I think we're each other's best friends, we need the occasional bit of time together... As I said, I think it's great that you two are going out together!"

"Ok" said Amanda, taking a breath. "This feels kinda weird, I've never known a guy whose 'bestie' was a girl! So how did you two meet?"

"Erm, I think we first met down the local pub, then we bumped into each other at the shops, and we just got talking; I think we were both a bit lonely, looking for company. That was about 2 years ago" explained Janice. "A few months after we first met, we did try being boyfiend and girlfriend, and I sort-of started living with him, but it didn't work"

"I'm guessing it wasn't anything big, otherwise you'd not still be friends?"

"No, it was silly little things... he'd get annoyed because I never put the cereals back in the cupboard. Then I'd get annoyed because he squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle, that sort of thing....."

"He's not a 'middle of the tube squeezer' is he?" said Amanda, with a slight smile, then turning to me she added "It looks like I'm going to have to teach you how to squeeze a toothpaste tube properly!". She turned back to Janice. "So, I'm guessing you don't have a boyfriend at the moment - do you want one, or are you avoiding guys at the moment? I'm just thinking of a few people I know"

"Danny told me last week that I need to be a bit more positive towards guys, even ask them out, like you did with Danny"

"Shh, don't tell him, but I was actually quite nervous that first night when I asked him out for a drink" whispered Amanda loudly to Janice, "but I'm glad I did"

"You didn't seem that nervous" I replied, "you seemed to be in complete control"

"Danny, you're going to learn that I'm very good at hiding my emotions if I need to. It's been a couple of years since I've had a boyfriend, and I've never been good at meeting guys. I'm fine if it's for work, but not if it's personal. So, yeah, I was a bit scared that night. Scared you maybe wouldn't like me. And I was quite apprehensive about meeting Janice tonight too! As I said, I can hide my feelings if I need to"

"Well, I'm guessing you're ok with me now, how about with Janice?". Maybe I shouldn't have asked that second question, I was rather putting Amanda on the spot.

"Well... I'm feeling quite a bit better about it, but I'm hoping that we can chat a bit more tonight, get to know each other a bit"

"Hey, I'm ok with that. As I said, I want you two guys to work out, so anything I can do to help things along. So, who are these single guys you were thinking about?"

I breathed a sight of relief: the two most important women (ok, non-family women) seemed to be taking the first steps at getting to know each other, and there hadn't been any violence (yet!).

It wasn't much longer before everyone had arrived, and it was time to walk the 100 yards (= 100 metres) along the road to the same Italian restaurant, where, a week and a bit ago I'd first seen Amanda, the good looking red-haired girl that I thought I'd have NO chance with. How wrong I had been!

I suggested that Amanda and Janice should sit next to each other, so they could chat, and I sat opposite them. Next to me was Steve; Sonya (Janice's flatmate) and her boyfriend Will were further along the table.

The waiter came over for our drinks order: Amanda ordered a couple of bottles of not-so-cheap wine for everyone to share: I was driving, so I could only have a small glass of wine, so also ordered an OJ with lemonade. We looked at the menu: no one really fancied a starter - apart from some olives - so we jumped straight in at the main courses. Amanda and Janice both ordered pizza: I would have loved a pizza, but not with my (fake) braces, so went for a 'Pollo Cacciatore', which is 'pasta ribbons tossed with chicken, pancetta, onion & mushrooms in a tomato sauce, sprinkled with pecorino cheese'. Easy to eat, but would inevitably get stuck in my braces, which I was sure Amanda would appreciate! Amanda and I also ordered a side-salad, for us both to share.

(Whilst looking at the menu, I flipped over to the back, to see what deserts they had.... Chocolate Brownie with ice cream.... Tiramissu.... Lemon meringue.... Cookie Dough Al Forno with ice cream.... The most interesting seemed to be the 'Chocolate Etna', which was described as 'Hot toffee sauce is poured over the dark chocolate cup at your table, revealing a hidden scoop of vanilla gelato on top of a heavenly hot chocolate fondant'. Very appealing! I just hoped I would have enough space at the end to squeeze one of those in!).

Persuading Amanda and Janice to sit together turned out to be a good idea, as they seemed to get on surprisingly well. We were well into the meal, when I heard Janice say "So, Danny said earlier that it was his braces that attracted you..."

"Yeah, that's right... you got to admit, he DOES look rather cute in them, doesn't he?" replied Amanda. (I guess I should add that Amanda was on at least her third, if not fourth, glass of wine for the evening by this point)

"But I assume you know they aren't proper braces" said Janice quietly enough so that most others wouldn't hear her. Amanda was in the middle of eating a mouthful of pizza, so nodded. "Didn't you find that a bit strange?". Amanda smiled, and swallowed the piece of pizza she was eating.

"Not in the least... in fact, it made things far more interesting!" replied Amanda, keeping the conversation fairly quiet.

"In what way?" asked Janice.

"Well, it seems that Danny and I both share a bit of a dark secret... we both seem to have a thing for braces"

"Ah, right, things are starting to make a bit of sense... but is that enough for a relationship?"

"Well, it has been so far, plus we are starting to find out other things about each other. I mean, tonight I'm getting to know you a bit, and you're part of Danny..."

It was good to see that both Amanda and Janice seemed to be trying very hard to make things work between them. While they were chatting together, I was chatting with a couple of other people on the table.

Having made a mess in my braces with the pasta and the olives, I added to it with a rather scrumptious 'Chocolate Etna'. At the end of the meal, I was about to go to the toilets, to brush my teeth, when Amanda leaned over to me: "Don't brush them... the mess in them looks gorgeous!". Needless to say, Amanda was all over me again when we got back to my place.


----

in bed, later on...


"How do you feel things went between you & Janice this evening?" I asked

"She seems pretty ok, but she's so different from me, isn't she? I think I understand your relationship with her a bit better now, but I do have to ask: do I need to worry about you and Janice?"

"Well, the way you are satisfying my urges, I'm certainly not wanting to look elsewhere. And I think Janice respects our relationship enough to not try anything on. If only she had a boyfriend...."

"Well, funny you should say that....."

"Yeah?"

"There's this guy at chambers, one of our clerks, I know he's single and I reckon he might get on with Janice, so I'm thinking we need to do something to get them to meet."

"Maybe we could invite them over for an informal dinner one evening? I think it would probably work better here"

"Yes, that makes sense, as I said the other day, your place DOES have a nice feel to it. It's the same sort of feeling you get from an old comfy jumper, compared to a nice new one."

"Although I think this comfy jumper could maybe do with a bit of a wash, and a repair in places!" I replied.

Offline Bryce

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #37 on: 14. June 2021, 05:00:09 AM »
Great writing. Enjoying the read, keep it up!

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #38 on: 14. June 2021, 22:01:46 PM »
Chapter 23

The next week ...

Before going to sleep on the Saturday, Amanda suggested I should sleep in my twin-blocks for a change, and I was woken by Amanda kissing me, running her tongue over the expanse of plastic that covered my front teeth, and into my mouth. Whilst I couldn't feel her tongue at all as it darted in and out of my mouth, I could feel it touching my lips, and occasionally my gums. Despite having brushed my teeth the night before, my mouth tasted - and probably smelt - pretty bad, not that it stopped Amanda kissing me: she seemed to like the feel of all the plastic that she could reach with her tongue

After that, we just cuddled and chatted in bed for a while. It was times like this that we were starting to learn more about each other. Today we were talking about the sort of music we liked: there was a certain overlap, but I do like a bit of rock and metal, which Amanda isn't so keen on, she prefers something a bit more soothing, including some of the lighter classical music.

We finally got out of bed, and had some breakfast: eating cereals with twin-blocks is not easy either, but Amanda encouraged me to keep going, and not take them out and give up. Needless to say, to both my and Amanda's delight, plenty of bits of cereal got stuck around the various clasps of the twin-block.

After that, we worked on an email to Mei, based on the notes I'd scribbled yesterday, to get prices for a load of braces for Amanda (and a couple of bits for me). This was the list:

- upper & lower brackets with HG tubes
- upper & lower retainers
- upper expander, with loads of screws and really thick plastic
- something that has plastic all over the teeth, kinda like your twin-block, but not a twin block
- quite thin plates, no / minimal clasps
- headgear (facebows & various HG for A, J-hooks for me)
- facemask (plus some sort of upper brackets with attachment for Facemask)
- activator-looking thing, plastic between the biting surfaces of the teeth, like an activator, with a built-in lower lip-bumper, and a B-shaped sprung clip over the top two front teeth too

There were some quite complicated bits in there, but I knew that the price wouldn't really worry Amanda, as long as it wasn't THAT stupid - which I doubted it would be.

Whilst our mutual love of orthodontia was a great start to our relationship, we needed to learn more about each other if our relationship was to grow and to last. So far, I was pretty happy with the way things were going: I knew that, over the next couple of weeks Amanda would be taking me to some social events that would maybe 'push my boundaries' (which is a way of saying 'scaring the sh*t out of me' if I was alone!), but I trusted that Amanda would protect me and help me take on these new challenges.

Wednesday evening was the first proper social event I went to with Amanda. We were spending the evening having dinner with Chris and his wife, along with two other couples. Chris is the head of Amanda's chambers, and is a QC (so a well experienced and senior post), but he turned out to be a really nice guy away from work. He and his wife both have a passion for cooking, so regularly invite people over so they can try out new dishes on them. The other guests were one of Amanda's colleagues, and her partner, plus one of the chamber's clerks, and his partner.

Amanda had told me that the dress code for tonight was 'smart, but absolutely NOT formal", so I wore my new chinos, one of the new shirts, but without a tie, plus my new jacket. I felt quite smart, as well as being surprisingly comfortable.

"You look good tonight" said Amanda, kissing me. Needless to say, Amanda herself looked quite stunning... I really don't know how she does it, but she just seems to know what to wear to look good: she set the bar very high for others!

"Thank you" I replied, "you look amazing, as ever....".

"You know, it would be such fun to persuade you to wear your headgear out one evening...."

"Maybe, but NOT tonight though" I said, smiling.

"Would you like to drive?" asked Amanda as we walked down to the car.

"You like having a chauffeur, don't you?" I said jokingly. I actually enjoyed driving when we went out: for a start, I don't get to drive a lot, so actually driving is nice; plus it was a fun experience driving an electric car, and the Tesla was a nice car too.

"Actually, it does make a pleasant change to not have to drive"

"You just like the fact that it allows you to have a drink"

"Well, yes, there is that, but there are things called taxis. If ever you want to be able to have a drink too, just say, and we can use a taxi."

We chatted as we drove the 15 minutes to where Chris lived: he lived in a quite upmarket area, in a quite impressive house (over 5 bedrooms I guessed, so a 'mansion' as far as the press goes!). The inside of the house was as impressive as the outside, but it very much had a 'home' feeling about it, it looked a little untidy in a few places, and felt that it was actually used and enjoyed by it's inhabitants, rather than being a clean, smart, sanitised sort of house.

We were the first there, and Chris answered the door to us, welcomed us in, and showed us around the ground floor, where we would be that evening. The kitchen was, of course, huge, with all sorts of things around the place: that didn't really surprise me, Amanda had told me how much they both enjoyed cooking. It pleased me to see a small stack of dirty cooking bits next to the sink!

The evening was amazingly enjoyable: Chris and his wife were excellent hosts, and I got on well with both the other couples (I say 'I', because it was obvious that Amanda knew everyone quite well). And, of course, the food was just amazing: what made it a bit more interesting was hearing about the ingredients for everything, and how it was all made / cooked. Inevitably there were questions about my having to wear braces (if only they knew the truth about them!), and both Amanda and I rather enjoyed that part of the conversation. I'm not quite sure how she did it, but Amanda even managed to slip in the fact that 'Danny has to wear headgear at night' - I'm sure I don't need to tell you how that made me feel!

At the end of the evening, Amanda drove me back home. "Want to come in for another coffee, or something?" I asked.

"Actually, can I have both please?" said Amanda joking.

"Thank you for coming with me tonight, it made a nice change to have a partner. I got the feeling you quite enjoyed this evening" commented Amanda, as I made us both a coffee. "You seemed quite relaxed"

"Yes, I was. I was a bit apprehensive before we went, but Chris is really nice, and so were the others. Oh, and thank you for telling everyone that I have to wear headgear at night!"

"Oh, yes, that WAS fun, and I'm sure you enjoyed every moment of it, didn't you. Hey, where IS your headgear, you really ought to be wearing it!". I told Amanda that it was in the bedroom, so as I waited for the coffee to filter, she went and got it, then I let her fit it to me, a small experience which we both enjoyed.

"It was a good 'first event' to take you to I think.... The one we're going to next Monday will be a lot more formal, and I suspect you'll maybe find it a bit more difficult. But don't worry" she said, putting her arms around me from behind, "I'll be there with you".

Offline napacaster

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #39 on: 15. June 2021, 05:43:54 AM »
Nice work. It will be fun to see how Amanda does when her new toys arrive.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #40 on: 15. June 2021, 19:16:08 PM »
>> Nice work. It will be fun to see how Amanda does when her new toys arrive.

That's gonna be in a couple of "story weeks" time... as you'll see in today's chapter, Danny collects Amanda's models, and (whilst not stated) sends them off to Mei, over in Asia. I'm guessing airmail it's going to take several days to get there, then Mei has quite a list of braces to make!

{Aside: it was very tempting to call this chapter "Meet the Fockers" :-) }

--------------------

Chapter 24

Meet grandma and grandpa


On the Thursday, I got a text call from Amanda just before lunch: "need a favour... can you collect my teeth from dentist?" and it included the dentist's details. I texted back to say I could. So, as well as going out to grab some lunch, I had a 20 minute detour to pop into her dentist's to collect the models of Amanda's teeth. Of course, Amanda's dentist was a fully private place, so when I walked in, I got a bit of a pleasant surprise - whilst my dentist is pretty clean and moden, it is fairly 'basic' and functional.... you go in, reception is just inside the door, then there's a load of seats over to the side where you wait, and a set of treatment rooms.

This dentist was in a large old house, the décor was modern by quite nicely up-market. The reception was in the quite large hallway, and I could see into the waiting room, where there seemed to be large chairs (the sort you'd have in your lounge!). The receptionist was very pleasant and very helpful: I explained that I was there to collect Amanda's teeth moulds, and she had them there waiting for me to collect. They had wrapped them in bubble-wrap, and put them into a small carrier bag.

So, back at work, I went into our warehouse area, and found a small box, and grabbed some more bubble-wrap from the big roll we had, so I could pack it up when I was back home.

I didn't see Amanda that evening, as I had my first evening out (since we started going out, of course) without her. I had called Janice during the day, and she suggested having dinner at her place, then a couple of drinks at the pub, both of which sounded very good to me.

Initially, Janice seemed to be a little distant, she still seemed a bit unsure where we stood. So while dinner cooked, we chatted... about me, about her, about Amanda, about how Amanda and I were getting on. I think her worries were more about losing me as a close friend.

By the end of the evening - and I have no doubt that a couple of beers helped things - we seemed to have sorted out things between us. After the pub, we walked together to her place (which was on the way back to my place). Outside, we put our arms around each other and hugged. Then I put my lips to hers, and gave her a simple kiss on her lips.

"We ok again?" I asked her

"Yes, I think so, as long as you remember I'm here..."

----

"How did last night go? You said were planning on seeing Janice"

"Yeah, it ended up fine - I think she was a bit unsure about how things really were between us. Your chatting with her last weekend helped a lot but..."

"Yeah, I met with one of my girlfriends last night" said Amanda, and I think she was finding it hard that I'm 'not as available' as before"

"I think it's about time I met a few of your friends. I'm not meaning people through work, I mean your real friends"

"Well, you know Sonya, although she's not an especially close friend, but yeah, I'd like that. Oh, thinking about doing things, do you have anything planned for us yet on Sunday lunchtime?"

"No, why?"

"In that case, would you like to come with me to have Sunday lunch with my grandparents, then spend the afternoon with them?". Amanda has mentioned her grandparent several times: it's their pictures she has in the locket around her neck, and I know she's very close to them.

"Yeah, ok, that sounds like a lovely idea!"

"Oh, did you pick up my teeth yesterday?"

"Yes, I did. I did consider mailing them off for you today, but I thought you'd want to have a look at them first." I went over to where I'd put the plaster models, the cardboard box, and the extra bubble wrap, grabbed them all, and passed the box, which I'd put the models in, over to Amanda. I'd already taken a look, which meant I'd already cut the tape on the bubble wrap, so she was able to take out the models quite easily.

It was interesting to actually see what Amanda's teeth looked like: they were, of course, lovely and straight, and in a nice arch shape, with uppers and lower interlocking just perfectly. Whilst some people have tiny teeth, others have large teeth, hers, like mine, were 'in the middle somewhere', like most people's seem to be.

But of course, the models were missing something: braces! Of course, we'd never see the braces on the models, as once we'd sent them to Mei, Mei would keep them, just returning the actual fake braces. Just for a bit of fun, I got my retainers out, and put them gently onto Amanda's models: it was clear that our teeth were different, my upper arch seems to be more rounded at the front, whilst Amanda's is a bit more 'pointy', if that makes sense... so whilst our actual arches have a similar width, my retainers are a bit too wide at the front.

So, on to Sunday: I had stayed over at Amanda's on the Saturday, so it was just a matter of getting up, having a little breakfast, then getting in the car to drive to her grandparents place in Chalfont St Peter. The satnav took us across to the A40, then across country, and indicated just under an hour. For some reason, I had let Amanda persuade me to wear my high-pull headgear. "You can take it off when we get there" she had said.

"Almost there" said Amanda as we actually drove out of Chalfont St Peter itself, along a pleasant  road that seems to have quite a few large houses in it, and big spaces between. She pulled into the driveway of one of these houses. In the front, not only was there a garden, but space for maybe 4 cars to park, plus a double garage to the side of the house.

The car stopped, and I was going to remove my headgear, when the front door opened, and her grandparents came out to geet us. I had a quick choice to make: remove the headgear immediately, or leave it on. Well there's no real choice to make, is there. I got out of the car, with my headgear still on, and waited for Amanda to come around the car and join me. She smiled as she approached me, and took my hand.

"So, this is Grandma and Grandpa..... guys, this is Danny, my boyfriend". It's interesting, but as I thought about it, the only time she had directly referred to me as her boyfriend was during a small number of 'formal' introductions, like the dinner at Chris's place the other night. I guess that she assumed people would know that, if I was with her, then I must be her boyfriend.

I was rather nervous as I shook her grandparents hands, for a couple of reasons. First, they were the first members of her family that I'd met, and second... well, there's no hiding the silver bow and straps of a high-pull headgear, is there?

"It's nice to meet you, Danny" said her grandpa as he shook my hand, "come on in....". Amanda had already hugged her grandpa, and was now hugging her grandma.

From the outside, the house looked as if it was maybe 80 to 100 years old (so built between the two wars), and probably had something like 5 or 6 bedrooms, which would mean that the downstairs would be big too. I wasn't disappointed: the lounge was huge, they had a separate large dining room, a massive kitchen, as well as a good-sized downstairs study. The decor was quite traditional - to be expected with a retired couple - but clean, modern and in an excellent state of repair: it was quite clear that her grandparents didn't have a money problem (well, unless the problem was that they had too much of it)!

"Now that you're here, I'll put the potatoes in to roast" said her grandma... come on through to the kitchen, and we can chat while I do it. I assume you'd like a cup of tea?". Out in the kitchen, she put the already-prepared potatoes into the oven. I could see there was a glass jug with what seemed to be batter waiting on the side: I recognised this from when I was younger, it's exactly what my mum did when we were having Yorkshire puddings, but that wouldn't need to go into the oven just yet. Next she filled a kettle, and turned it on.

"You have a lovely place here.... err... grandma?". She smiled as I said that.

"You are very welcome to call me grandma, but feel free to call me Mrs Spencer or Veronica if you prefer. Yes, it is a lovely place, isn't it?"

"Just wait till you see the garden" added Amanda, as she passed grandma the teapot. Amanda helped her grandma get 4 cups out, then put them onto a large tray, along with a jug of milk, a sugar bowl, spoons, a tea-strainer and finally, the teapot, now filled with hot water (and tea-leaves!).

"Danny, could you carry the tray out to the garden for us, please?". I picked up the tray, and followed the two of them out into the garden, where her grandpa had been setting up four chairs for us around a large outdoor table. After putting the tray down onto the table, I looked around the garden. It was large, and looked very smart, with nicely cut grass, and lots of flowers, shrubs and trees around.

Having let the tea brew for a few minutes, grandpa poured the tea, asked if I'd like milk, then passed me the cup. I realised that, of course, I'd need to remove my headgear, which I was still wearing. The practical aspect was simple, I could put the headgear on and take it off without even looking, same for the facebow. I just needed to do it in such a way that it looked like this was something I was not only used to doing, but used to doing it with an audience!

I grabbed the ends of the plastic straps of the force modules, one with each hand, then gently twisted first the left one, then the right one, unhooking it from the facebow. Holding the high-pull headgear in my left hand, I used my right hand to pull out the facebow, making sure that I didn't accidentally pull out my braces from mouth at the same time!

"Would you like me to put your headgear into my bag?" asked Amanda.

"Oh, yes please" I replied, passing her the headgear, in front of her grandparents.

"Danny has to wear the headgear as part of his treatment to straighten his teeth: he normally wears it just in the evenings and at night, but we've been out a lot this week, and he's a bit down on his wear-time, so he decided to wear it on the journey here too". I had absolutely no doubt that Amanda enjoyed every moment of giving that explanation, but it was useful, and would explain why I wouldn't be wearing it for the rest of the afternoon.

As we chatted and drank our tea, and then later over lunch, I started to realise how nice Amanda's grandparents were, and why it was that Amanda loved them so much. As an outsider, I was made to feel very welcome, almost as if I was already a part of the family.

As we went into the dining room a little while later, I could see that there was a nice mix of formal and informal. The formal was the large dining table, with six chairs around it (but I spotted another four chairs in the corner, so clearly the table could be expanded in size), and a table-cloth on it. Informal were the quirky table-mats, the quite modern cutlery, and the 'extras' in the middle of the table. Oh, and the bottle of red wine on the table, already opened, and 4 wine glasses. Formal was also the 4 napkins, held in napkin rings.

Lunch was lovely: roast beef, lovely crispy roast potatoes, and lovely light Yorkshire puddings, plenty of fresh vegetables, and lots of gravy! For desert, we had delicious home-made creme-caramels.

After lunch, Amanda took out my teeth-cleaning kit from her bag, and lead me to the downstairs cloakroom. "Your grandparents are really nice" I said as I opened the cloakroom door. "I'm glad you're getting on well with them" she replied, giving me a quick kiss, before letting me brush my teeth. I closed the door behind me, and locked it, then took a look at my mouth - or more specifically my braces - in the mirror. I was pleased to see that there were a few bits of brown meat and green broccoli stuck in my braces. Over lunch, I had tried hard to smile as much as I could, letting her grandparents see my shiny metal braces, apparently with food stuck in them! I removed my braces, and rinsed them under the tap: often that is enough to get the bits of food out, but today they needed a quick brush, then I brushed my teeth, and finally put my braces back in again.

We paused a bit after lunch, sitting out in the garden again, then we all went for nice walk. Finally, late afternoon, it was time to go home again.

"Grandma, grandpa, thank you so much, it has been lovely to meet you both, I've had a great time here today" I said, as I gave them both a hug, before getting into the car.


Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #41 on: 20. June 2021, 03:01:29 AM »
Ok, so there's not really any braces content in today's chapter, it's more of a filler to introduce us to one of the bits of Amanda's world of barristers.

------------------

Chapter 25

Dinner is served


I walked around to Amanda's chambers after work. As I walked in, I remembered that I had said to Suzannah, one of the clerks there, that I would say hello when I came around.

"Good afternoon, how can I help?" asked the smartly dressed guy on reception.

"Oh, hello, I'm Danny, Amanda's boyfriend... but I was actually hoping to have a quick chat with Suzannah first, if she's still here?"

"Oh, hello there, Danny, nice to meet you. I'm sure Suzannah will still be here, let me call her"

"Thanks". He picked up his phone, and made a brief call.

"She'll be here in a moment...".

A smart looking lady, I'm guessing in her early to mid 30s, came into reception. "Danny?" she asked I nodded, and she came over and shook my hand. "Nice to finally meet you. What can I do for you?"

"Well, I'm actually here to meet up with Amanda, and drag her away from work, but I did say I'd say hello to you when I finally came here"

"Ok, well, it's lovely to meet you, Danny, and nice to put a face to the name... so why don't I take you up to Amanda's office?". She looked over to the receptionist "Do I really need to get Danny to sign in, he's only going to be here a few moments, to collect Amanda". He shook his head. "She's up on the second floor" said Suzannah, leading me up the rather plush stairs. If I had to say to you 'imagine what a modern barrister's chambers looks like', I suspect you'd think modern but traditional, nice carpets, nice pictures on the wall, and that sort of thing: and you would be describing where I was.

Up on the second floor, there was a small and discrete sign next to the door that simply said "Amanda Spencer". The door was slightly open, but Suzannah still knocked the door before going in.

"I have a visitor for you...." she said, showing me in.

"Oh, hi Danny!... so you've met Suzannah then" said Amanda as she came over and gave me a simple formal kiss on my cheek. I took a quick look around her room. Over to the right was a large L-shaped desk, pretty much clear apart from a few personal bits, and a small pile of what I guess were law reference books. To the left was an area with four comfortable-looking armchairs in front of a window, with a table between them. On the table was a tray with glasses, and a couple of bottles of water. To the side was a sideboard, with what looked to be a drinks tray, with several small glasses and a couple of half-full decanters; next to it was a bookcase, full of reference books. On the wall were a couple of pleasant, yet modern, paintings. The décor was simple but very smart: I hated to think how much Amanda actually charged her customers to be able to pay for all this!

For some reason, my mind briefly imagined Jenny, from that girl-band, singing and recording her song ideas whilst in here.

"Yes, I asked for her when I arrived, seemed like a good time to actually meet her" I said, bringing my attention back to Amanda.

"Good thinking.. Ok, well I'm ready to go" said Amanda, picking up her bag. "Thanks Suzannah, at least next time Danny will know where to come!"

"Nice meeting you, Danny!" said Suzannah, as she left us in reception.

"Right, let's get over to my place and get changed, we need to be there at 7pm for a 7:30 start". I had left a set of smart clothes, including my new suit, over at Amanda's. We both had a very quick shower, and got dressed. I was in a white shirt, with tie, and the suit, plus my nice new shoes.

Amanda was in a very smart, yet formal, black dress, stockings, and red high heels. Whilst she hadn't actually spent long doing it, her makeup looked as excellent and discrete as ever.. well apart from the bold red lip-gloss that she liked to wear. Tonight, her hair was tied back into a smart ponytail. On her ears she had rather expensive-looking ear-rings, and a matching brooch (and knowing Amanda, I guessed they probably WERE expensive!), a delicate bracelet, and a couple of rings on the third finger of her right hand.

"Oh, my, you DO look good in that suit!" said Amanda.

"Thank you... you look pretty scrumptious yourself"

"I wonder how headgear would go with your suit - would it clash?" joked Amanda. Her phone pinged with a text, saying that the taxi was waiting for us.

On the way, Amanda explained what the dinner was: all London barristers belong to a 'bar', and there's a certain number of formal dinners that they need to attend. Some of these events are for barristers only, and is where the older, more experienced, barristers met with the younger inexperienced ones: these occasions often included some training, but was mainly a chance for the younger members to interact with their older peers. As well as, apparently, drink large amounts of alcohol, much bought by those 'older peers'!

However, tonight's event was a more social event, and partners were made welcome. So, I'd be meeting  both younger and older lawyers, and their partners.

"Anyone else from your chambers going?" I asked Amanda.

"No, I don't think so. But don't be intimidated by anyone. There's going to be a mix of senior and junior barristers there, and it's quite likely that there will be a high-court judge or two there too, but tonight isn't about rank, it's about meeting people, so just think of them as very intelligent, very experienced people, most of whom have some very good fun stories to share!"

Traffic was light, and we arrived with about 10 minutes to spare. As we went in, we were given name badges, so that everyone would know who everyone else was. Amanda's said "Ms Amanda Spencer, Kings Square Chambers", whilst mine said "Danny Jones, Guest".

We walked into the large hall, where the dinner was taking place.... wow, what a place. Imagine an old traditional building, maybe 300 years old, the inside looks like you'd imagine a building at Ocford University looks like... or that dining room at Hogwarts. Tall vaulted ceiling, wooden panels on the walls, various coats or arms and oher similar things on the walls too. The place was clearly oozing with history!

"Oh, hello David, fancy seeing you here tonight!" said Amanda to a guy also in his late 20's

"Amanda, lovely to see you, it must be all of... what... 72 hours since we talked!" replied David

"David, this is my boyfriend, Danny."

"Hi there, David.... so what's with the 72 hours then?" I asked

"Ah, yes, David and I were working on a small case last week, opposing sides of course"

"Oh, ok... anything interesting?" I asked

"Well, I was representing a small charity - pro bono - and Amanda's client was an artist: it was a copyright case concerning a picture someone had taken of her client's painting..."

"Oh, I thought photos of paintings didn't have copyright?"

"Like David's client thought, that is a popular misconception. It's only ok if the original paining is out of copyright.... so picture of old masters are fine. In this case, the painting was only months old, so there was no doubt that there was a breach of my client's copyright" explained Amanda

"If this case had gone to court, it would have probably killed the charity, as well as bankrupted the trustees, but instead, Amanda came up with an excellent win-win solution, for which my clients are amazingly grateful! So, a question for you Amanda, did you do this one pro-bono as well? I mean, I know your client is starting to make a name for himself, but I can't imagine he's especially well off"

"Well, no, but..... Hey, Danny, would you take a photo of me please.... He's going to paint a small and simple portrait of me, that I can give to my parents, as my payment."

"Having seen some of his work, that's going to be interesting...." commented David

"If I'm honest, that's part of the appeal, I'm really looking forward to seeing what he does! So you see Danny, sometimes its not all about the money, or winning!". She passed me her camera, and I got her to line up against an interesting part of the wall, and took a couple of pictures, which I showed her.

"Oh, yes, I like it... I wonder how he'll interpret that?".

Picture taken, Amanda lead me to the side of the room, where there was an easel with some papers on it.

"Let's see where we're going to be sitting, and who with.... ah, here we are....oh, now THAT will be interesting!" said Amanda

"What will be interesting?"

"Well, we're going to be with a few pupils, as well as with Sir Brian Hancock - he's a High Court Judge"

"The "Judge" bit I understand, but I think I need the crash court in understanding how the "High Court" bit fits in..."

"Ok, keeping is simple: a case is either criminal, civil, or family: Criminal is breaking the law of the land; civil is things like libel, so person to person, family is things like divorce. The majority of criminal cases tend to be dealt with in the Magistrates court, but can then go up a level, to the Crown court, where you get juries. On the other hand, most civil cases start in the County Court. The High Court, which is where Sir Brian sits, considers bigger civil cases, and appeals from the Magistrates, County and Family Courts. Then above that is the Court Of Appeal, with the Supreme Court above that - they both deal with appeals based upon 'points of law'"

"So where do you work?"

"I work mainly in the County Court, because pretty much all my stuff is civil, and not that exciting, but I have been to the High Court on a few occasions... and funnily enough, the last time I was in the High Court was about two or three weeks ago, in front of Sir Brian! But I've never met him outside of court, so tonight will be interesting."

"And judges are ex-barristers?"

"High court ones certainly are, some judges in the lower courts can be ex-solicitors"

"And how do I address him?"

"He will be 'Sir Brian', unless he tells you otherwise. I suspect that he will be formal with us, so calling me 'Miss Spencer', and you 'Mr Jones'... don't worry, that's just the way things get done. For other people, take my lead, it depends on who it is, some will be Mr, others will prefer their firstname."

Amanda turned, and recognised someone. "Oh, hello Justin, I wasn't expecting to see you here tonight!"

"Oh, hi there, Amanda. Yeah, last minute thing"

"Justin, this is my boyfriend, Danny. Danny, Justin is a pupil in our chambers"

"Yeah, that's another question I have: I'm seeing some people have badges saying 'Pupil', others saying 'Pupil Barrister', what's the difference?"

"Well" answered Justin, "I'm a pupil, so that means I'm in my first six..."

"First six?" I asked

""Yes, first six months of pupillage. Simplistically, in my first six I just watch what's going on. In my second six - so months 7 to 12 - I can actually do proper barrister work, so I will then become a 'Pupil Barrister'. It's a technical but also legal distinction"

"So, have you worked with Amanda yet?"

"No, I'm working pretty exclusively with one of the other barristers at chambers, but I would love the chance to work with Amanda for a few days, to see the sort of work she does"

"I'm sure that could be arranged" replied Amanda. As she said that, a discrete bell rang. "Ah, time to go and sit down." Amanda led me to the correct table, where there were name cards indicating where to sit. There were 10 seats at the table, and Amanda was in the middle on one side, and I was sat next to her. Already there was another couple, a Pupil Barrister called David, and his partner Alice. Next to arrive was a young lady who sat opposite me, whose badge announced that she was 'Ms Sarah Appleby, Long Street Chambers'.

"Hello Amanda!" she said as she sat down.

"Sarah, long time no see!... how's things going? Long Street Chambers, that's near Southwick, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is, and things are going pretty well for me - I'm guessing you're doing ok too, I saw your name mentioned recently, some copyright case wasn't it?". They chatted briefly.

"Oh, sorry, I forgot, this is my boyfriend, Danny. I met Sarah when we were both doing our BPTC... that's the post graduate course barristers have to do" explained Amanda.

As we chatted, other people arrived at our table, including Sir Brian. He looked to be in his late 50s, dressed in a very smart formal suit, and I was able to see that his name badge said "Sir Brian Hancock, Judge"

"Good evening, Sir Brian, so nice to see you again!" said Amanda as he sat down, "Can I introduce my boyfriend, Danny Jones".

"Good evening, Miss Spencer, it's always a pleasure to see you, and nice to meet you too, Mr Jones. I will admit that I do have a lot of respect for Miss Spencer" he said to me, "she's only been in my court a small number of times, but in all cases I seem to remember that she came very prepared, and presented a good case"

"Thank you very much, Sir Brian!" replied Amanda. Yes, Sir Brian looked every part of what I imagined a judge would look like: an older person, smartly dressed, formal, polite ...

"So, Mr Jones, I'm assuming you're not in the legal profession, so what is it that you do?" Sir Brian asked me

"Well, I'm a technical support engineer and trainer for a high-tech equipment manufacturer" I replied.

"Ah, that sounds like a much more 'hands-on' job compared to what we do, but by no means any less important. And don't let anyone here tell you otherwise!" he said with a smile on his face. "So, who else do we have on our table this evening? Please, briefly introduce yourselves...". 

"Why don't I start?" suggested Sarah, who was sat next to Sir Brian "I'm Sarah Appleby, Long Street Chambers. Amanda?"

"Amanda Spencer, Kings Square Chambers, this is my boyfriend, Danny Jones". Others around the table introduced themselves and their partners: most were still doing their pupillage, although there was one other, quite junior, qualified barrister.

"And I am formally known as 'The Honourable Sir Brian Hancock', or simply 'Sir Brian', but as we have guests with us tonight, I think it might be easier if you just call me Brian, if that's what you would prefer!".

It was about then that the soup was served at our table, which turned out to taste excellent. As we ate we talked.

"Tell me, Sir Brian, how did you actually get to be a Judge?" I asked.

"An excellent question. I'm sure most people here know all the details, but for those outside the profession, I can imagine it's a bit of a mystery how you become a judge. I started off as a barrister, so just like most of the people here tonight. After practicing for about 10 years, I applied to the Appointments Commission, and was appointed as a Deputy District Judge, then I think it was about 3 years later I became a District Judge, sitting in the County Courts. A few years later, I had the honour of being selected to be appointed as a High Court Judge. As with any other job, you have to demonstrate your abilities, and not upset anyone" explained Sir Brian. He then looked at Amanda (who was sat straight opposite him), and asked "Tell me, Miss Spencer, or even you, Miss Appleby, have either of you ever thought about applying to become a judge? We need more women and people from minority groups."

I think the question rather took Amanda by surprise, as she was silent for a few seconds. "I must admit, I 've never actually thought about it, although I probably do have just about enough experience"

"Well, please do think about it, I've certainly seen you in court, and I think you might enjoy it.". Sir Brian talked a bit more about it with Amanda and Sarah, then started to talk more with the others. By the time we were eating our deserts, many quite amusing anecdotes had been shared by Sir Brian, Amanda and Sarah.

After the dinner, Amanda introduced me to a couple of other people she knew, and spoke with them briefly.

"Well, you seemed to cope well with that, how did you enjoy it?" Amanda asked me as we were being driven home in the taxi.

"I was a bit apprehensive when you first said we'd be sitting with a judge, but by the end of the evening, I think I was quite ok. Not the normal sort of thing I do on a Monday night, but no, it was interestingly different. It seems to be a strange sort of profession, many quirks going back into history, like the place we were tonight"

"Yes, the Inns of Court go back hundreds of years, the original hall was built back in the 1400's I think, but it got damaged in the Great Fire of London, and finally got bombed out in the war, so the current building is actually only from the 50s. But it is rather nice, isn't it?" explained Amanda. "So, you think you're gonna be ok if we go to a few more things like tonight?"

"Yes, I think so... as long as I can persuade you to come along to some rather lower-brow evenings too"

"Oh, yes, I think I can manage that" said Amanda, putting her arm around me, and cuddling up to me in the back of the taxi.


Offline eddiestobbart

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #42 on: 20. June 2021, 13:25:22 PM »
Fascinating stuff! I'm really enjoying these characters.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #43 on: 30. June 2021, 18:07:56 PM »
Back again.... had a slight break, partly because I have been working, but also because my son got married last weekend, and we had a visitor as a result. But the story continues....

----------------

Chapter 26

A night out with Janice... and a hangover!



I had packed up Amanda's teeth models over the weekend, using the box and materials I had got from work, and Amanda posted them off to Asia on the Monday.

When I got home after the posh dinner, there was a message waiting for me from Mei: she had priced up the braces, plus worked out the shipping costs by airmail (and that bit wasn't cheap), so I forwarded the message to Amanda, and she was happy with the price, so I told Mei to go ahead, and let us know when she needed the card details, to pay for it all.

So, over the next few days, I had dinner with Amanda at her place, she came to my place, we went out to the pub a couple of times, and on the Friday we had an evening apart, giving me a chance to meet up with Janice.

On the Friday, Amanda called me: it seems she'd had a quick chat with Mike, the clerk at her chambers, and it seemed that he was up for meeting Janice, and the suggestion was all four of us meeting up somewhere suitable for lunch on Saturday. So Friday evening, after work, I went around to see Janice.

"I'm rather hoping you're not doing anything tomorrow lunchtime?" I asked her.

"Um, no, not I can think of, why?" she replied

"Well, we thought you might like to come and join us for lunch in town somewhere"

"'Us' being?" asked Janice, slightly suspiciously.

"Well, Amanda, me and Mike" I said quickly.

"And Mike?"

"Yeah, Mike. He's a clerk at Amanda's chambers. I've only seen him in passing, he's our sort of age..."

"So you're trying to set me up with someone?"

"Ummmm.... yes, I guess we are, but it's no worse than you setting me up with Amanda"

"I never 'set you up', I was just passing on a message"

"Ok then, so I'm just passing on a message from Amanda. Come on, Janice, what do you have to lose? If nothing happens then you've still had a pleasant lunch with me and Amanda. And you never know....."

It took a few more minutes to convince her, but eventually she agreed to join us.

"So, now you're here, you're welcome to stay for dinner" she suggested.

"Very tempting... let me have a quick word with Amanda, I've no idea if she has anything planned for us tonight". I called Amanda, let her know that Janice was up for lunch, and asked what she was doing: she told me that she'd had a text from some friends, asking if she would like to join them for a 'girls evening out', and said I was welcome to spend the evening with Janice if I wanted to, as long as I 'behaved myself', whatever that actually meant!!!.

So I ended up having dinner with Janice, then we decided to go to the pub.

"Let's go to 'The Dragon' for a change" suggested Janice, "leave your bag here, you can collect it on the way home later on."

Well, we met some friends at the pub, and I will confess that I did drink quite a lot of alcohol. What I remember of the evening was good fun, and afterwards Janice helped me to stagger back to her place, where it seems I must have sat down on the settee, and passed out. The next thing I remembered was being woken by my phone ringing. I opened my eyes, and realised that I wasn't at home, and a few seconds later worked out that I was at Janice's, on the settee, with a thin duvet over me. It took me a few more seconds to find and answer my phone.

"Hello?" I said, as Janice came out of her room, fully dressed, and looking very much brighter than I was.

"Where are you? I'm at your place, and I've been ringing your bell, but you're not answering" said Amanda, on the phone.

"Ah, that's because I seem to be around at Janice's...". There was a pause. "It's ok, I think I must have passed out on her settee.". Janice came over and leaned towards my phone. "Don't worry, Amanda, he wasn't in any fit state to do ANYTHING last night when we got back here!" she said with a giggle.

"Why don't you come over to Janice's, and collect me, it will save me having to walk back to my place". I heard a bit of a deep breath, then she said she would. "What's her address?" she asked

"Erm, Sidney Road.... er, Janice, what number are you?". Janice walked over to me

"Just give me the phone....". I passed it to her. "Hi Amanda! Yeah, he looks rather rough this morning, he drank a load last night, much more than me.... yeah, I'm feeling fine... so come over and join us for a coffee..... 47 Sidney Road, it's a red door, left side of the street.... ok, see you in a few minutes, bye!". She ended the call, and passed the phone back to me.

"I'll get the kettle on, you definitely need a coffee. I know you're black, what's Amanda?"

"White no sugar...". Janice went out to her kitchen, while I stretched, then laid back on the settee again. Yuk, my mouth tasted pretty disgusting.... And yeah, I felt rough! As I lay there, I let my tongue wander around my braces. My fake braces. The plastic felt as smooth as ever, but also felt slightly 'slimy', I guess that's the start of plaque? Then my tongue ran over my brackets: I was now so used to my braces that they no longer felt 'odd', they felt like they were actually part of me. I thought for a second, then remembered - probably a bit slower than normal, part of the effects of a hangover - that Janice knew they were fakes, so I gently pulled on them with my fingers, and took them out of my mouth. The taste in my mouth - previously hidden by the plastic plates of my braces - was even worse. I took a sniff of my braces... yuk! I guess I should have gone into Janice's bathroom, and rinsed my mouth out as well as rinsed my braces, but my slow, partially functioning brain didn't consider that option, so I just put my braces back into my mouth.

A minute or two later, the doorbell rang, and Janice let Amanda in. She came over, and sat on the settee next to me, took my hand and smiled. "You look like you had a good time last night! I hope your hangover's worth it!".

"We went to 'The Dragon' and bumped into some friends we'd not seen for a bit, and we all ended up drinking too much... well, I don't think Janice had quite as much as the rest of us...". She leaned over and kissed me on the lips.

"You smell disgusting!" commented Amanda with a smile "... a combination of braces breath and stale beer! But sounds like you had a good evening"

"Yes, it was fun..." and I told her briefly about my evening. "How was your evening?"

"Yes, it was very nice to catch up with my friends. You know, I think we need to plan in a bit more personal time into our calendar..."

"I agree... I mean, I absolutely love being with you, but I think we also need a bit of time on our own too. So yeah...". Amanda put her arms around me, and hugged me, but at the same time keeping her face away from my smelly mouth.

"Ok, you two lovebirds, I have your coffees"

"Oh, thanks, Janice, I think I need this much more than either of you two do!" I replied, taking the mug carefully from her.

"So, what's this Mike like then?" asked Janice

"No use looking at me" I replied, I don't know him, I only met him once, and that was briefly!"

"Well, I don't really know that much about him, but he's mid to late 20's I guess, he's been working with us for about 4 years now, I guess. Not really my type, and as I have no idea what your type is, I have no idea if you'll like him, but he seems to be pretty normal, fairly easy-going, and from odd bits of conversation I've heard, he's been single for a while - no idea if that's from choice, what life has thrown at him, or because he's just 'unsuitable material'....". Amanda smiled at that last bit. "So yeah, just treat it as a 'blind date', which of course it is!"

"More importantly" I added with a wry smile, "are you HIS type?"

"Well, I guess I'll soon find out! So where we meeting?"

"It's a small bistro in town.... I can give you a lift if you like. Unless you're planning on going into town before then?"

"No, a lift would be good."

"Ok, I'll take Danny home as soon as we've finished our coffees, so he can fully sober up. How about we come back just after 12 o'clock to collect you?"

"That works for me, gives me enough time to pop down the supermarket"

"Ok... hey, Sonya not around?" Asked Amanda

"No, I think she's over her boyfriend's, which is part the reason I didn't mind letting Danny die quietly on the settee last night ..." replied Janice

"Hey, it's good for you to get drunk occasionally!" I commented

"As long as it is only 'occasionally'"

"Amanda, are you trying to tell me that you've never been drunk? I've heard plenty of stories about student lawyers...."

"Well, ummmm... yes....  ok....  I do plead guilty to over-indulgence as a student, and when I was a pupil too, I guess... but not so much recently"

"Only 'not so much' then!" I said with a huge smile. It was good to hear that Amanda was just as bad as I was.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Asian Braces 2 - Back in London!
« Reply #44 on: 30. June 2021, 18:26:38 PM »
You ran out of fingers and toes again. It's chapter 26.