Key Lime Pie and Custard
By Drew Hunt email@example.com
And Tim Mead firstname.lastname@example.org
The following fictional narrative involves sexually-explicit erotic events between men. If you shouldn't be reading this, please move on.
The authors retain all rights. No reproductions or links to other sites are allowed without the authors' consent.
Chapter 2 by Drew Hunt
"Fuck!" I stormed out of the hotel's bar, my fists clenched in anger. "Stupid uptight bloody Yanks!"
For the second time since I'd begun my coach tour of Florida, I wished I'd not won the bloody competition. I couldn't get a bloody drink cause the stupid American laws say you gotta be 21 to be served alcohol. I mean, what a bloody stupid rule. I could get served down my local at 16 though that's cause my uncle Pete would slip me a drink when the landlord happened to be looking the other way. But twenty friggin one, that is just, well, stupid.
Marching into the hotel lobby, I couldn't be arsed waiting for the lift, or elevator as the damn Yanks called it, so I decided to use the stairs. Pushing open the heavy fire door, I wondered why they just couldn't call the lift a lift.
"Oh hi, Graham, you don't look too happy, is there anything we can help you with?" Mrs Peachtree asked in her down home country voice.
"Oh, err, hello Mrs Peachtree." I tried to calm down, she was a nice old girl, her and her husband had kind of taken me under their wings when they saw that I was travelling alone. Although the first time I'd bumped into them, I had to grit my teeth as Mrs P went all gushy at my 'cute English accent'. I wanted to tell her that she was the one with the accent, but managed to stop myself at the last second.
"Is something wrong dear? Anything George or I can help you with?"
I sighed. "I've just been in the bar, but they won't serve me."
"Well, you're not old enough to drink," George piped up.
"Well, err no, not here in the States, but I can at home, they let us drink at eighteen there."
George pulled a face; I hoped he wasn't going to go into another of his rambling monologues about when he was stationed in Kent during the last war. But fortunately Mrs P cut in before he could start.
"If you like, dear, you could come and sit with us a spell, and George could go up to the bar for you."
The Peachtrees were okay, well as far as old people go, but what 19 year old would wanna sit with people of their grandparent's age on a Saturday night? "It's okay, Mrs P, I'll just go up to my room and have an early night."
"Okay, dear. But I wish you'd call us Elma and George. You English are always so prim and proper."
I just smiled, biting my tongue before turning to go up the stairs.
On reaching my floor, I'd just turned into the corridor only to be ambushed by two more oldies from the bus tour.
"Graham, there you are, we wondered where you'd escaped to."
"Oh?" What did the two old biddies want?
"Yes," Mamie, the slightly shorter one said, "We were going out for an evening stroll and wondered if you would accompany us. We don't often have a nice young man on our arm, do we Dorothy?"
I closed my eyes. 'Jesus, why did I come on this tour? There was no one my own age and everyone made it their business to check up on me all the time.' "That's very kind Miss Mamie, Miss Dorothy, but I've got a bit of a headache coming on, so I thought I'd just go and have a lie down."
"Oh you poor thing, I've got some Tylenol in my purse, would you like a couple?"
I had no idea what this Tylo stuff was, didn't sound anything like what we had at the chemist's in the UK. "Err, thank you, but I'll manage."
"You sure, dear? Maybe a walk would do you good, help clear your head?" Dorothy said, still not giving up on the idea of getting me alone with them.
I smiled, hoping it wasn't too forced. "Honestly, thanks. I think it's probably the time difference catching up with me." I'd used this excuse for the past couple of days. I thought I'd better think up something else to be alone, cause that one was starting to wear thin. These Yanks were so nosey, So different than people back home. The 'Getting To Know You' wine and cheese thing on our first night was a buzz with people talking to one another. I thought that they all knew everyone else, but I soon learned they were from different parts of the country. I thought I'd be able to melt into the background, but oh no. Once they found out that I was English I was fair game. Actually most of them were harmless enough. Old and wrinkly, but sort of charming in an old-fashioned sort of a way. I soon had them eating out of my hands. A few well placed please and thank yous went a long way with this lot.
"All right, honey, we'll let you rest then." Miss Mamie said taking hold of her companion's arm.
"Thank you, ladies." I smiled sweetly, sending the old dears into gushing schoolgirls. If I were into bonking old-folk, I'd be quids in on this holiday, but the idea of a sagging wrinkled up woman was enough to make my dick shrivel up and hide.
"Now remember, Graham," Miss Mamie said, "If you ever need anything, our room is just across the hall. You can call on us anytime, day or night."
"Thank you, that's really kind." I kept my smile in place. 'Not bloody likely.' The thought of seeing those two old crones in their nighties, hollow cheeked cause their falsies would be in a glass on their bedside tables, was enough to give me nightmares.
Sliding the key-card into the lock and seeing the little green light come on, I stepped into the safety of my room. Turning round to close the door, I saw Will standing at his own door just down the hall, his usual expression of, dislike, hunger or was it sadness on his face. There was something about that bloke that unsettled me. Okay, he was a poof, but that wasn't it. Live and let live, that was always my motto. So long as he didn't try to pinch my arse or anything, I thought we'd get on okay. His glasses made him look like a nerd, but at least he didn't have a pocket protector, though maybe he'd left it back at the office.
Closing my room door, I walked over to one of the beds, and flopped down on it and closed my eyes. I wondered for the hundredth time what I was doing here. If only I'd not filled in that stupid card down at my local supermarket, I didn't even like the tinned fruit they were offering samples of. I never thought I'd win the first prize of an all expenses coach tour of sunny Florida for two. But three weeks later I got a phone call from this woman, telling me the tie-break slogan I'd scribbled down about how you could taste the sunshine in every bite of their god-awful fruit, impressed the judges so much, they had given me the top prize. Shit, I'd have much rather won one of the runners up prizes of a years worth of their cans. Still I thought I'd be able to take Amy with me, she'd been bleating on about how we never did much together and how I spent too much time with my mates down the rugby club. I hated it when she got all possessive and controlling.
I never got a chance to tell her about the holiday cause the stupid cow went off on one when I stayed out all night after we'd beaten our arch rivals earlier that day. What had the dozy bitch wanted me to do? Tell my mates that 'No, even though I'd been voted man of the match, I couldn't celebrate with them cause my girlfriend wanted to go out and shop for new curtains or some other crap?' Not fucking likely.
When I turned up at her place the next morning to apologise, box of chocolates in hand, the bitch wouldn't even let me get inside the door before she went off on one. God was my head hurting that morning and the last thing I wanted was to listen to her screaming at me. So I chucked the chocolates at her, told her she was dumped, and went home.
Thinking back, that hadn't been a good move. Her dad was the boss at the bed factory where I worked, he called me into his office the next morning and gave me my P45, telling me that they had to start laying people off cause of 'a downturn in the market'. Yeah, right. So with no job, no bird, and fuck all else to do, I decided to go to Florida on my own. I thought there'd be loads of crumpet knocking about, but I hadn't figured on everyone being loads older than me.
It'd grown chilly in the room, so I got up and turned down - or was it up? - the air conditioning, before flopping back on the bed. I didn't fancy the idea of watching the telly, there are only so many times you can watch a load of morons shrieking and waving their hands in the air when some dozy twat shows them how nothing will stick to their particular brand of saucepan. I thought about ringing down to get them to remove the block on the porn channels, but, I couldn't be arsed, plus I'd have to pay for that out of my own pocket.
Getting off the bed I wandered into the en-suite bathroom, it was kind of posh, some kind of fancy coloured mosaic tiling on the floor, funny looking taps , sorry, 'faucets' on the Jacuzzi and shower.
It took me a bit to work out how to turn the water on, but once I'd figured it out, the Jacuzzi soon filled up. Tearing open the little sachet of bubble bath, I gave it a sniff. It was a bit pongee, all flowery and girly, but there wasn't anything else.
Once I'd worked out how to turn the jets on, I had a right good time. Turning onto my front, the bubbles started to give me a boner. I wished we had one of these things back home. It was a lot better than our scratched old enamel bath.
Not wanting to waste a good hard on, I decided to have a wank. Grabbing hold of my prick, I ran my hand up and down its smooth length. I was the biggest of all the guys on the rugby team. Frank the little half back did give me a run for my money, though mine was almost twice as thick as his. I thought that it was all right to check out the other bloke's equipment, so long as you didn't stare too long. That'd be, well, queer.
Amy never had nothing to complain about when I slipped her a length. She was always begging for it. Well, almost always. Why did she always have to keep going on about my breath smelling of beer when I fucked her? God, birds could be such a bloody pain.
The mental picture of her face all twisted in anger caused my bone to wilt. I quickly tried to think of something else. The warm water whooshing all around me helped me to relax, and get me back in the mood.
Sinking lower in the water, I pictured a few of the models in my stash of porno mags back at home. My favourite was of a blonde bird with big titties laying with her legs wide open. She was stroking her shaved clit with a long painted fingernail, a come fuck me look on her open lips. But it just wasn't happening. I let my mind drift. It wasn't until I was right on the edge of cumming that I realised what I'd been focusing on, but it was too late, I was too close. My spunk shot into the water, almost instantly disappearing into the churning water. "Fuck, shit." I had to get out, what I'd hoped would help relax me had got me worrying about things I didn't want to think about. What the hell made me picture the guys getting showered after a rugby game? Shit, I shouldn't have been thinking on stuff like that.
Stepping out of the tub, I leaned down and turned off the jets before pulling the plug. Reaching for one of the hotel's dressing gowns, I put it on and dripped my way into the bedroom. I was too distracted by what had just happened to enjoy the fact that I could slob around after having a bath, something mum wouldn't let me do back at home. Home, God, I wished I was there. Apart from a week in Majorca, I'd never been abroad before and I was, much to my shame, feeling really homesick. I looked at the phone by my bed, but knew it'd cost way too much to give mum a ring. Looking at the clock, which showed a few minutes past eight, I realised it'd be the middle of the night at home anyway.
Knowing it was too early to go to bed, I realised I had to fill my time somehow. I wished now I'd accepted the offer of going out for a walk with the two old biddies.
Sighing, I reached for the TV's remote control and began to flip through the channels. After about fifteen minutes of surfing through sit-coms, dramas and other Yank shit, I was about to turn the set off when I clicked on a channel that was showing an old episode of EastEnders. I'd never voluntarily watched it before, but Amy never missed it, and I'd had to sit through it loads of times, waiting till it finished before we could go out. Knowing there would be little else on that I could stomach, I sat back and watched as the residents of the square argued and bad mouthed one another. I started to get into the plot, though the addition of commercial breaks was something I wasn't used to, the BBC not having such things back at home. I was kind of bummed when the episode finished and they started showing some artsy shit.
* * * * * *
Things seemed a lot better by breakfast time the next morning. I felt like I was ready to face whatever the tour company was going to show us next. It wasn't such a bad holiday really, we had loads of time to do our own thing, the old fogies could sit on park benches and natter, while I could go round and do some exploring. I couldn't remember where we were heading off to next, was it Key West? I was sure Jolly Jim, our tour guide with his plastered on fake smile would tell us at breakfast.
Having bathed the night before, I just slipped into a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and my trainers, and that was me dressed. I almost forgot the stupid name badge we were told to wear, God, I hated wearing it. All the old biddies knew who I was anyway, Christ, I was the only one this side of forty. Well, no, Will was in his late twenties or something, but. . . I didn't know what to make of him; he was always so quiet, not like his fellow Americans at all.
Looking out of my window, I saw that the sun was already brightly shining, loads different from what it'd probably be like back at home. For the first time the thought of home didn't make me feel sad.
I'd have to remember to send Amy a postcard, but I doubted that they'd have any with 'I'm glad you're not here' on them. That brought an instant smile to my face, which soon fell when I heard a tapping at my door.
"Graham? Graham, honey, you in there?"
It was the dynamic duo.
I thought about not answering, but my stomach was beginning to rumble, telling me it needed filling.
"Coming," I called as I made my way to the door and opened it, revealing my two geriatric pursuers smiling up at me.
"Oh good, we wanted to catch you before you went down to breakfast," Mamie said.
"We wanted you to come and sit with us," Dorothy added.
"Why thank you, ladies. That would be lovely," I said, mustering up a smile. I was sort of really touched by them coming to seek me out.
Locking my door, I thought I'd make the old girls' day, so I bowed to them and offered my arms for them to take. They giggled like teenagers as they accepted. It was a bit awkward all three of us getting into the lift at the same time, but we managed it.
Just as the doors were about to close, I saw Will approaching. He held back, probably waiting to get the next lift.
"Will!" Dorothy called out. She'd obviously seen him too. Reaching out with her free hand she stopped the lift doors from closing. "Come on in dear, there's plenty of room."
Will hesitated before stepping into the lift. He kept his eyes firmly fixed to the front for the whole ride down to the ground floor.
It looked like most of the food was bread rolls, croissants, bagels and crap like that. Though near the end of the food line I spotted sausage and bacon, but there weren't any fried eggs though. Once I'd gotten my food, with my female fan club following close behind, I found an empty table and began to tuck in.
When I cut into the bacon the pieces shattered and flew off in all directions. Shit, the stuff had been over cooked. 'It's not like the bacon I get back at home,' I thought miserably.
I was brought out of my funk when Mamie called out to Will to join us.
"No, it's okay, thanks," he said.
"Nonsense, you can't eat by yourself."
Will sighed before reluctantly sitting at the remaining space at our table. I smiled at him, he smiled back, well sort of, before he dropped his eyes and concentrated on his bagel.
"Well this is cosy, isn't it Mamie?" Dorothy said trying to start conversation.
"Yes, dear. Aren't we lucky to have the company of two very nice young gentlemen?"
I wondered if they were aware that Will batted for the other team. I didn't think it was my place to say anything though.
"Will, Graham was telling us that this is his first time in Florida, first time in the States. Have you been here before?"
"Um, no. I'm from Cleveland."
"Where's that?" I asked, mouth partly filled with food. "Sorry," I said once I'd swallowed.
"It's in Ohio."
I still didn't know, but decided not to show my ignorance.
"You'll have come down here for some much needed sunshine, then." Dorothy said, probably happy that the conversation had begun to flow.
"Yes, I needed a break."
Just then, Jolly Jim stood up and did his official tour guide stuff. He reminded me of a character from a sitcom I used to watch as a kid, where this Welsh bird would get on the public address system in the holiday resort and try and get the campers to join in with stuff like the glamorous granny and knobbly knee contests.
"If I could have everyone's attention," Jim said, I was disappointed that he didn't open with 'Hello campers'. "The bus will depart from the main car lot in one hour to take you to Key West. We will make a stop in Fort Lauderdale for lunch before arriving in Key West by late afternoon. Please make sure you take all your personal belongings from your rooms. Thank you for vacationing with. . ." I tuned out the rest of his spiel.
"We've got time for another cup of tea, Graham. Mamie and I just love your English tea." Dorothy said rising to her feet and going over to the food line. She returned a moment later and asked which tea I wanted.
"Um, the ordinary kind." I decided it would probably be best if I got up to see what there was to choose from.
There was a wooden box to the side of this tea urn type thing. The box had a pile of teabags in it. I'd never seen an individually wrapped teabag before; ours always came loose in boxes of eighty from the supermarket. I looked at what they'd got, they all had names like 'Lemon and orange rind', `Peppermint' and 'Red rose'. "Um," I said to Dorothy "I'll have coffee instead. I don't think I'd like any of these."
"Just a minute, dear, I'll ask if they've got something you'd like."
Before I could tell her not to bother, she'd walked off, returning a minute later with a somewhat harassed waiter.
"My friend wants some English tea," she told him.
"Yes ma'am, it's all here." He pointed to the box.
"All these are fruit or herb teas." Dorothy said, pronouncing it as `erb.'
I squirmed; I honestly wasn't bothered about tea anyway.
"What brand of tea do you drink sir?" The bloke who was obviously used to dealing with awkward customers asked.
"Well err, Typhoo, PG Tips, Tetley. You know, just ordinary tea."
There was a spark of recognition on the waiter's face when I said Tetley, hopefully the penny had finally dropped. The bloke excused himself saying he thought they had some in the kitchen.
Dorothy played mother and filled up four small glass jug type things with hot water and took them back to our table. I just followed, guessing that the waiter would come to find us.
Back at the table I eyed the glass jug thing suspiciously. There wasn't a handle on it, it looked like you had to pick it up by its rubber coated neck.
The waiter eventually arrived, waving a single bag of Tetley. I thanked him, pulled off the foil wrapping, dumped the bag in my cup, it didn't seem to fit in the glass jug thingy, and then poured the water on top of it.
"Would you like the creamer, dear?" Dorothy asked.
I didn't much like the idea of cream in my tea, but decided not to make any more of a fuss. "Yes please, and sugar too."
She passed over what looked like a milk jug as well as a bowl with some packets of sugar in it. Once I'd poured in the milk and emptied a packet of sugar into the cup and given it a stir with a plastic paddle thingy, I fished out my teabag, and took a sip. I all but spat the stuff back into the cup. As well as tasting like shit, it was lukewarm.
"I'm afraid," Will said, "The fear of litigation if you were to scald yourself prevents most establishments from serving boiling water, which as an Englishman you will know is the only way to correctly infuse the tea leaves,"
I nodded. I supposed he was right. At home I just filled the teapot straight from the kettle, never giving it much thought. I wanted to ask them why they called it 'English tea'. We didn't grow tea at home, we didn't have the right sort of weather. As far as I knew, tea came from India.
There was no way I could drink the stuff. I put my cup in the saucer and pushed it away, which made Will smile. I sort of got the idea that he hadn't done much smiling lately. Apart from the few words we'd said to one another at the 'getting together' bash, this was the most I'd heard him say on the whole trip. And us Brits were supposed to be the reserved ones.
* * * * * *
I was glad the coach we travelled on was air conditioned, cause it looked really warm out there and it was only mid morning. I soon got bored with the passing scenery. It was just like the motorways back home, only wider, and of course the Yanks drove on the wrong side of the road. Everyone onboard seemed to be talking all the time, loads of 'em kept passing by the double seat I was sitting in by myself, spending a few minutes chatting to me. It was nice of 'em to want to include me, but half the time we didn't have much to say.
A couple of hours into the journey I realised I needed the loo. There was one at the back of the bus, so after looking round to see if there was a queue, I got up and approached it. I hadn't noticed the little sign that said 'Occupied'. I was just about to go back to my seat when I saw Will. He was sitting alone just like me.
"Hi, Graham, waiting for the bathroom?"
"Uh, yeah." Judging by the size of the cubicle I doubted there'd actually be a bath in there. I shrugged, putting it down to the Americans just being strange.
As I stood waiting, I felt a tingle go down my spine. Turning quickly I was just in time to see Will lifting his gaze. He'd been scoping out my bum. He blushed, so I knew I'd been right.
'Oh my God!' 'Will fancies me!' My first thought was, well, panic. I'd never been hit on by a bloke before. Not that he'd actually hit on me, but. . .
The toilet became free, I got inside, made sure the door was locked before unzipping. "Fuck, what do I do now?" I said under my breath as I waited for my piss to start.
I tried to remember if Will had ever said anything about if he had a boyfriend, husband or whatever they call them, but what had just happened didn't let me think straight. Shit, straight, I was straight. Surely Will knew that. I mean, he couldn't, wouldn't wanna hit on me. I was, well. . . Shit, my mind couldn't get round the thought that Will liked me, in, um, that way. I know I'd told him that I had gay friends back home, meaning I was cool with the whole gay thing, but. . . Oh fuck! I must have given him the wrong idea. When I told him about my gay friends, I was sort of stretching the truth. The most I ever do is say 'hi' to a couple of blokes who live down our street. I didn't know 'em, I'd never been inside their house or anything.
After flushing the loo, I did my best to wash my hands in the tiny sink, then I got out of there, not daring to see if Will was watching me.
I'd just got back to my seat when Jolly Jim came on the bus's public address system. "Ladies and gentlemen, we'll shortly be arriving in Fort Lauderdale where you'll be able to have lunch at the Bay View restaurant. We'll stay here for an hour and a half, which should leave you plenty of time to eat and relax. In order to arrive in good time in Key West, please would everyone make sure they're back on the bus by 2pm, thank you."
As I waited for those in front of me to get off the coach, I tried to collect my racing thoughts. I decided it would be best if I kept my distance from Will, not lead him on or anything. Yeah, I'd do that. I wasn't homophobic or anything, I just. . . Well I'd just keep out of his way.
I wasn't very hungry, so I thought I'd grab a seat in the shade somewhere and have a kip. 'Yeah,' I told myself as I stepped down from the coach, 'It shouldn't be hard to keep out of Will's way. After all half the time he was trying to avoid me anyway. Jesus it was so bloody hot. How the Americans coped with the heat I'd never know, and it was January for Christ's sake.
"You will have lunch with us, won't you Graham?" Mamie said, touching my arm. What was with all this touchy feely stuff? Since arriving in America I was always being touched. We'd never do that back at home.
Turning, I saw the expectant faces of Dorothy and Mamie. Shit, I hadn't figured on those two. "Um, well, I'm not that hungry, I thought I'd just find somewhere quiet and. . ."
"A growing young man like you needs to eat, and they serve a really nice lunch here, Mamie and I came here a couple of years ago, didn't we, Mamie?"
"Yes, I remember you went up for a second helping of the fried chicken."
"Did too." Mamie put her hands on her hips.
We were still standing at the foot of the bus's stairs. The people behind us were starting to get impatient.
"Ladies, we need to let the other people get off," I said.
"Sorry," both women said moving to one side.
"But we still insist you come and have lunch with us," Mamie looked determined.
"Absolutely." Dorothy added.
I closed my eyes, wishing I was somewhere else. "Okay, if it will stop you two from arguing."
"We don't argue." Mamie said.
"Well you do, I. . ." Dorothy began.
I cleared my throat, which thankfully made the two old biddies stop.
"Sorry, Graham, you must think we're a couple of stupid old women." Dorothy said.
"No, not at all," I lied.
By this point we'd reached the entrance to the restaurant. I must say the wide open spaces, high ceilings and bright sunlight shining in through the windows made the place seem really nice. The great smells coming from the self-service lines made my appetite return.
They had lots of stuff to choose from, some of it looked really weird. I wouldn't try it, despite Mamie and Dorothy telling me it was good. They'd been wrong about the tea this morning, so I wasn't gonna take any chances.
Once I'd reached the end of the line, I glanced at what the oldies had chosen. Heck, I thought I'd loaded up, but they'd really piled their plates.
"Won't they feed us in Key West or something?" I joked.
"Mamie and I have been on diets for the last six months, so we could let our hair down when we came on vacation."
I shrugged. 'Women!'
We moved to a table, I don't know why, but I rushed ahead and pulled the chairs out for the old biddies. God I'm such a smarmy bugger at times. But it paid off, the old dears were all a twitter at 'how gallant' I was behaving. They actually made me blush.
We'd been eating for a few minutes, and I had to say the grub wasn't half bad, when Dorothy piped up. "Will, dear, over here." She stood up and waved. Her voice could really carry.
A startled Will turned round to face us.
'Shit!' I wanted to avoid him, and judging by his expression, he wanted to keep his distance from me, too.
Will finished getting his food and tried to escape, but Dorothy wasn't having any. She got up from her seat and went over to him, taking his elbow and guiding him to our table. The poor sod looked trapped. I was beginning to feel sorry for him.
"Now Will, you weren't trying to hide from us were you?"
The fact he was one of the last of our party to go through the food line would suggest he was doing exactly that. "Uh, no," he said beginning to fidget.
I'd lost my appetite. It wasn't that I didn't want to sit next to Will, it was. . . I didn't know what exactly. I felt creeped out that he fancied me. I was a good looking bloke and all that, never had any problem pulling the birds, but. . .
"Oh isn't this lovely?" Mamie said. "You two young men ought to stick together, you're the only unaccompanied people on the tour."
I choked on my coke.
"You okay?" Dorothy asked, standing up and moving behind me.
"I'm fine, it just went down the wrong way." I croaked.
I wish I could say I enjoyed lunch, but the unspoken tension between Will and me spoiled it. Though I did go back for a second helping of something called Key Lime pie, it was great. Might have been better with some custard, but you couldn't have everything.
Dorothy and Mamie did their best to keep the conversation going, but with me feeling uncomfortable, and Will being equally out of sorts, conversation didn't exactly flow. I was relieved when we'd all finished and we decided to go into the lounge area of the restaurant till it was time to get back on the coach.
This didn't turn out to be the relaxing time it should have been. As we approached the overstuffed leather benches in the entranceway type place, I heard two members of our group discussing Key West. "Of course you know it'll be crawling with fags." At first I wondered what cigarettes had to do with it, but seeing Will stiffen, I quickly realised that to the Yanks a fag is a homosexual.
The speaker, a bloke in his mid fifties, balding and overweight, turned to face us. To Will he said, "No doubt you'll feel right at home with all them preverts. Fucking homo-sex-u-als, you'll all burn in hell."
Will had gone white, not that his skin had looked all that tanned before. I acted without thinking, what had Will ever done to him? I got right into the bloke's face. He was sitting down and I was standing, so he had to look up at me. "Listen you narrow-minded piece of shit. You better keep your filthy trap shut around me and my friends; otherwise I'll shut it for you."
The veins on the bloke's forehead bulged, his breathing got heavy, I thought he was gonna have a stroke or something. "You must be one of 'em too, if you're standing up for him." He pointed at Will.
I kept my gaze on the weasel's face. "You better take that back, pal. What I am or am not is no fucking business of a pea-brained ignorant prat like you."
"You, you . . ." He was starting to froth at the mouth.
"Marvin, you're causing a scene. Leave it alone, you've said enough," his wife bleated as he tried to rise.
"Stay out of this, Wilma. No snot-nosed limy kid is gonna tell me what to do."
There was no way I was going to back down. I'd never run from a fight in my life, and I wasn't going to do it this time. Marvin even at his full height only came up to my chin. "Sit down granddad before I put you down."
The bloke's eyes narrowed, I saw him clench his fist and draw it back.
His shrew of a wife got hold of his hand and held it in a surprisingly firm grip. He spun round, directing his anger at her. "I told you to stay out of this, why don't you fucking listen, woman?"
I'd never seen such a thing happen before, well not in real life anyway, but Wilma stood, and with her free hand, she slapped her husband across the face. "I've had enough of you causing scenes when we go out." She burst into tears and ran off.
The adrenaline was still flowing in my veins and I was about to deck the twat, when I felt a hand rest on my shoulder. I turned to see Mamie, looking distressed up at me. "He's not worth it, Graham. Show him who the real man is and just walk away."
Letting out a breath, I thought over what she'd said. Did I really want to punch the bloke? He was seriously out of shape, loads older than me, it wouldn't be a fair fight. Though there'd be plenty of witnesses who I hoped would say I'd been provoked, this was a foreign country, the police would probably believe the arsehole bigot over me.
"Yeah, Mamie, you're right. The dick-head isn't worth it." I faced the bloke again and gave him what I hoped was a menacing stare before turning away.
The room seemed to sigh with relief as I went to see if Will was okay. I found him leaning up against a wall. "You okay, mate?" I asked him, feeling suddenly tired.
"Why did you do that, Graham?"
"I. . . Well what he said wasn't right."
"I wish you hadn't interfered. It was none of your business. You've just made things worse." Shooting me an angry glare, he pushed himself from the wall and walked off.
I turned to Mamie and Dorothy, "What did I do wrong? Did he expect me to just stand back and. . ." I shook my head, confused at Will's reaction. Did Will get off on blokes walking all over him, treating him like something that had got stuck to their shoe?
Dorothy sighed. "I don't know, dear. Maybe he'll come round later and apologise."
I wasn't sure I was in the mood to accept his apology.
Just then Jim appeared, false smile at full brightness. "Hello, everyone. I hope you all had a good lunch." He didn't wait for a response. "Are we all ready?"
I followed along with everyone else as we left the restaurant, the heat hitting me as soon as I got outside. But Will's reaction, the anger on his face kept running through my mind, making me barely aware of the sweat pouring down my spine as I waited to board the bus.
I don't remember much of the journey to Key West. There seemed to be loads of sea, sand, palm trees, it all looked really tropical. I didn't realise we'd have to cross so many bridges. Dorothy leaned forward at one point to tell me they were called causeways and they connected the mainland and the various keys.
Finally, and it seemed to take forever, the bus pulled up outside a small (well, small by American standards) hotel. We were told we could get out, stretch our legs and go and check in. All I wanted to do was go to my room, have a long soak in the Jacuzzi, assuming there was one, and get drunk.