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Title:Muted Symphony- Part 1 of the 'Muted Symphony' series
Author; Sodalite1
Summary: Dominic thought that running a coffee shop would make life easier.....
Warnings: All the things that make this an 18.....

Chapter One

Dominic Howard stepped into his coffee shop, ready for another busy day as its new owner. It had taken several weeks to renovate and redecorate, bur finally he’d re-opened.

Business had been brisk and he’d kept the old staff, as they knew the customers. This left him free to stand and observe. He was cleaning the coffee machine, when Suzy, one of the part-timers said.

“Here he comes.”
Dominic looked up, a young man, well he assumed it was a young man had entered. He couldn’t tell under the coat that seemed way too big for him.

Suzy started making one of their speciality chocolates.

“And who is he?” Dominic asked.

“That’s Matthew,” she replied as she whipped the chocolate and added marshmallows, ten Dominic counted.

The coated figure approached and finally pushed the hood of the coat back, to reveal a shock of black hair. But that was all Dominic saw, as the owner of the shock of hair kept their head down.

The owner of the shock of hair put several coins down, and Suzy pushed the mug over in exchange. The mug was taken and the shock of black hair sat at the table by the window.

“Well, that’s a bit rude. He didn’t even say thank you.”

“He never has,” Suzy replied. “He hasn’t spoken a word for as long as he’s been coming in here.”

“So, how do you know his name?”

“Of course, you wouldn’t know the story.”

Several customers came in and by the time they’d been served, the table by the window was empty.

After they’d closed and were cleaning, Dominic said.

“Tell me about my silent customer?”

“Matthew Bellamy, it was such a sad thing. There was a fire at their house, his whole family died, he nearly did as well…smoke inhalation. Arson it was, but no-one was ever caught. He hasn’t spoken a word in ten years.”

“That’s awful,” Dominic said. “So, he’s on his own?”

“Oh, he had family, but they didn’t want to know.”

“Poor sod. So he went into care?”

“No, a friend of the family fostered him. Nice family, taking on a ten year old.”

Oh, so he is young then, Dominic thought.

“He comes in every week, same day, same time. Has the same thing, and he likes that table by the window”

Dominic locked the shop and as he walked home, he found his mind was on that silent figure. Before he’d brought the shop, he’d been a counsellor. But it had become too much and he’d stepped away.

But he couldn’t stay away and had volunteered for the local Victim Support Group, and now he found he wanted to help his silent customer.


The next time Matthew came in, he wasn’t alone. A tall well-built man was with him, and after seating Matt, he approached the counter.

“Are you the owner?” he asked.

Dominic felt a little nervous; the man was twice his size.

“I am, can I help you?”

The man stuck out his hand, “Chris Wolstenholme, Matt’s step-brother.”

Dominic felt somewhat relieved.

“Dominic Howard.”

“Can I have a word, in private?”

“Certainly, my office is this way.”

Dominic closed the door and perched on his desk.

“So, what can I help you with?”

The man shifted in his seat before speaking.

“I’m guessing the girls have told you about Matt?”

Dominic nodded.

“And you don’t mind that he never speaks?”

“Of course not, but I’m sensing that’s not why you’re here, Mr Wolstenholme?”

“Please, call me Chris, and yes. I just wanted to make sure that Matt is
paying for his drinks. He forgets sometimes, not deliberately, he’s too much in his own world sometimes.”

“Well, he hasn’t yet.”

“That’s good, but if he does, here’s my mobile number. Give me a call and
I’ll come in and pay.”

He put a card on the desk, then said.

“If he does forget, it’s best not to try and remind him…not that he would be a problem.”

“Mr Wolstenholme…sorry, Chris, judging by what I’ve seen and been told, I wouldn’t do that.”

When Chris looked puzzled, he said.

“I volunteer with Victim Support as a counsellor. I would never put him under any sort of stress.”

“Thank you…it’s just that I wanted to speak to you, before you hear things from other people.”

Dominic sat up straighter…what things?

“I know someone told you about the fire, it was arson. Someone pushed a lighted rag through the letterbox. There are some round here said that Matt started it, because he survived. But I’ve said enough.”

He stood and put his hand out again and Dominic shook it firmly.

“Please, don’t worry. I won’t allow trouble in my shop.”

He followed the man out and watched as he ushered Matthew out.

“See, what did I tell you, nice family,”


For some reason Matthew didn’t come in the next week, nor the week after that. Dominic knew he shouldn’t be, but he was concerned.

He found out why the following week.

He’d gone to the bank and it had taken longer than he’d expected. He was hurrying to get back for the lunch time rush, and he rounded the corner of the street where his shop was located.

He saw a group of lads and they were surrounding some poor sod.

Whoever it was, was suddenly on the floor, and he would have intervened anyway, but then he saw a shock of black hair….it was Matthew!

“Hey, what the hell are you doing!?” he shouted.

One of the youths spun round and yelled, “Mind your own!”

“Like hell I will!” he yelled back

Several of the youths had broken away, and he could see that Matthew was still on the ground.

“You defending the freak!” one of the youths said, probably the ring leader.

Dominic realised he was outnumbered, but he wasn’t going to back down.

Then another voice shouted.

“I see you Danny Johnson! You wait till I see your dad, he’ll put your backside in a sling!”

She appeared a few moments later, a broom in her hands.

“Bugger off, the lot of you!” she yelled.

She lay into one of them with the broom, and being the cowards they were,
they turned tail and ran.

Dominic forgot about them instantly, his focus on Matthew; who was still on the ground. He crouched down next to Matthew and touched his shoulder.

Matthew flinched and tried to move away.

“Matthew, its Dominic from the coffee shop.”

He touched Matthew’s shoulder again, and at least this time he didn’t flinch, and he sat up.

“Come on, you can’t sit on the ground,” Dominic said and stood, extending a hand.

To his surprise Matthew took it and let himself be pulled up.

“Are you hurt?” Dominic asked. But of course, there was no reply to his query.

“Matthew, look at me,” he said gently.

He was expecting the same non-response, but he was surprised when Matthew raised his head, and Dominic found himself looking into eyes the colour of the clearest blue sky….and the most beautiful person he’d ever seen.

http://Sodalite1 'Muted Symphony' Chapter 1


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February 2016

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