This is the third part in the series, and develops the story a little further. There is no sex in this chapter - it's a build up for chapter 4 and the rest of the story. I hope you enjoy reading it anyway, and look forward to your comments and suggestions.
My already pounding headache just got worse. As if I didn't have enough to worry about that knew I'd done, to have something I didn't even remember playing on my mind was just the icing on the cake.
I stumbled from my room in the kitchen and ran myself a glass of water. The pipes in my old flat squealed terribly, causing to me to wince even more than I already was. Reaching for the blessed paracetamol in the top cupboard, I sent the dried dishes tumbling to the floor - plate following fork following pan into a pile of broken crockery. . .
I dropped the box of painkillers into the sink.
I fished the sodden cardboard box from the basin and removed the metal blisterpack. The water fizzed violently as the two tablets plopped in. I toyed with a third, but I've always been cautious on the medicine front, that's a another story. I collapsed down in the hard wooden kitchen chair, put my head on the table and waited for it all to go away.
The footsteps behind me didn't raise a flicker of motion.
I grunted. My roommate was used to these Saturday morning events.
"Smirnoff called, they want to congratulate you for consuming their entire annual output in one night"
Grunt. Piss off, Flick. Nobody is more smug that a non-drinker talking to someone with a hangover.
"There's some kind of prize. . . free liver replacement?"
I stood up - which was a serious effort - and walked out without even raising my eyes from the ground, it hurt too much to lift my head. I stopped only to return and pick up my water, down it and slam the glass back down - drinking game style. Perhaps a shower would help.
"Don't mind the mess - I'll clear it up!" Felicity-never-does-anything-wrong called to my slowly retreating back.
It's amazing how even water can hurt when you're hungover. I took a few moments to try to remember last night. I remembered Will showing up, and Nick telling him, and half the pub, about my dream. Hmmm, that was when I got a few drinks bought for me I recalled. . .
Then he convinced us to come to a gay nightclub with him . . . something about me being allowed in as an honourable guest now - cheeky git. After that it was all a bit of a blur. It didn't matter, I'd had rows with Belle before, and the fact she'd contacted me to apologise meant it was probably her fault anyway, and hey, it's easy to forgive what you can't remember!
By the time I got out the shower, the analgesics had kicked in and I was actually starting to feel vaguely human again. I managed about two steps down the hall before a streak of pink shot past me into the bathroom followed by the comment "About fucking time!" and some choice water-based sound effects.
Whether it was genuine or Flicks way of trying to make me laugh, it worked, at least a little, and I dried and dressed leisurely before returning to the kitchen.
"You're a star, Flick, cheers" I said, surveying the tidied, cleaned and generally ship-shape room.
"Don't expect it again. . . you don't deserve it" she replied, buttering a couple of slices of toast before placing them on the table in front of me and sitting down. "And don't thank me too soon. In case you've forgotten, we have to pay for breakages on top of the rent, and you still owe me a small fortune for bills and shopping"
I raised a hand in acknowledgement.
"Seriously Jane, I need the money soon."
I raised the other hand, highway robbery style.
"I'll start selling your stuff on e-bay if you don't pay me by the end of this month"
Flick was an interesting character. On the whole, it was pretty good living with her; she was tidy, helpful, understanding and a good laugh - but she was also a seriously motivated career woman. She would always help you out when you needed it, and was what my mother would call a "second mile" person (some biblical reference I think, about offering to carry something two miles when you only had to do one?) but she never, ever, missed an opportunity to remind you of what she had done for you. A few months back I'd been really short of cash, and she'd paid the full bills herself and bought me a month of so's shopping. It came to quite a lot, but the problem was I was short of cash because my outgoings outweighed my income - and so a few months down the line, I wasn't any better off, I'd just had more time to organise a bigger overdraft. I might have to start selling my stuff on e-bay.
"So what did you get up to last night anyway?"
"Truth be told, Flick, I can't remember"
She hung her head in shame.
"Jay! If you can't afford to pay the sodding bills how can you afford to drink that much?!"
It always got my back up when she spoke like that.
"Look, I need to relax a bit - if things are so bad that I can't pay my bills and I might end up losing my job - I deserve to enjoy myself once a while, O.K!"
"What's up at work?" Her eyebrows lowered
"Oh, nothing. . . restructuring" I lied.
"Well, just take it easy. And if you need to relax, I'll take you out somewhere, somewhere nice and relaxing - not a nightclub. Getting blind drunk isn't the answer, it leads to more problems"
"You're welcome." She stood up, smoothing her skirt. "Anyway, I have to go. Rob's picking me up in town and I need to do some shopping first. Give me a phone if you want to join us for lunch"
Sure, Flick, nothing I would enjoy more than joining a loving couple for lunch, on my own.
Anyway, with Flick gone, I could concentrate on my own problems. Right, first things first, sort out what happened last night. I went back to my bedroom and picked up my mobile. I noticed a couple of scraps of paper next to it, fallen out as I'd pulled it out my bag earlier that morning. Phone numbers, but no names. Things were looking up, for a second, then I recalled where I had been last night. I bet Nick had something to do with it. . .
"Hi B, don't remember last night, all 4given then! :)"
I pressed "send". Now, how much should I ask for used Cd's? Did people really buy that shit online? I suppose so, and every penny helped. I had spent the morning going through my room deciding what I would have to sell. There was a number of expensive items that would really help, mostly presents from ex's that I just hadn't thrown out - a fact I was extremely grateful for now. If only one of them had given me £1000 engagement ring. . .
My phoned buzzed.
"Hi J. Maybe we should talk. R U home?"
"Yes" I replied, and hit send. What was up? I'm sure it was related to the phone numbers and that fact I was so drunk I couldn't remember a thing, but Belle made it sound really serious. Oh well, she was obviously going to phone so I disconnected from the internet. It hadn't been too useful anyway, I had put a few items on, but I doubted they would sell at all.
Shutting the computer down, I went through to our lounge and sat on the chair nearest the phone. It was almost lunchtime, and I decided to make myself a bite to eat while I waited for Belle to phone - it drove her mad if people chewed while she was on the phone, but it sounded like she had some serious grovelling to do, so I'd get away with it this time!
She seemed to be taking ages, and I'd almost finished my soup before there was any sign of her. Only it was the door buzzer, not the phone. Rather surprised at her coming round, I went to let her in. It wasn't that she lived all that far away really, but even so, I didn't expect it.
"What's up, Belle?" I asked, standing aside to let her in. I'd never seen her look so nervous, something was seriously wrong.
"Erm. . . " was all she said, walking past and through into the lounge. I followed and sat down in the couch, Belle just paced, straying closer and closer to our makeshift drinks cabinet.
"Do you want something to drink?" i.e. "do you want a tea or coffee" of course.
"Yeah. . . whisky please, straight"
Whisky?! At, I checked my watch, 12:57pm? "O. . . K. . . " I replied "Help yourself, but please, tell me what's such a big deal you're drinking before the sun's passed the yard arm?".
Belle poured herself a large measure of our best malt (a bit of a liberty!) and sat down in the chair furthest away from me, a move that surprised me. I was beginning to get a little worried. Well, I was already worried, but I was beginning to think I might have serious cause to be so. I'd never seen her like this.
Belle took a deep breath. "Jane. You don't remember ANYTHING about last night?"
"No. . . Well, I remember being chatted up by that dirty old man after Nick told everyone about my dream, and then being talked into going to Gadfly. But after that. . . " I shrugged. Not remembering wasn't really all that surprising for me - I woke up in my own bed, on my own; that was what mattered.
"Right. . . "
"Quit stalling, Belle, what are you so scared to tell me?" I smiled. "I've made an arse of myself plenty of times before. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can compare to your party last year!"
Belle strained a smile back. I wanted to know what I'd done now, hopefully it would at least be something I could laugh at!
"Just tell me, from start to finish."
It was so dark in Gadfly it was almost impossible to see people on the other side of the table, let alone the room. The music was loud, the songs tacky and the clientele questionable - but what did you expect from the most popular gay bar in the city. I'd been dragged there once or twice before because it was Nick's favourite haunt. It mostly appealed to a certain class of gay man, one without any class. Suited Nick perfectly.
"Come on Jay! Dance!"
"Piss off Nick, she can barely walk!"
Will was right, I was wasted. I was half leaning on Belle, trying to keep my eyes in focus and concentrating hard on convincing myself I didn't need to hurl.
"Why does everyone keep insulting me?!" Nick protested.
"Because you're a stupid twat who talks shit. . . but I like you" Will replied, smacking him lightly on the shoulder. And after a quick snog, they retreated to the dancefloor, arm in arm.
I was kind of used to it by now, but it was still a bit weird seeing my longest ever boyfriend kissing another man.
"Don't worry, pet, it'll be your turn soon"
I looked up. Who the heck was that? Two girls were sitting opposite us. I didn't remember them joining us at all. They were in their early forties, but dressed like teens - low cut tops and skirts short enough to reveal stocking tops. It was pretty obvious I was confused.
"You'll get a girlfriend soon, but not sitting on your ass here - you should get on that floor."
"No. . . you don't. . . understand. I'm not . . . "
"Sure honey, sure. Neither are we." Smile.
"Really. . . I. . ." Belle interrupted me "S'o.k. She's just a little worse for wear. I'll get her a coffee. Will you keep an eye?"
I slumped flat as Belle stood up, and listened vaguely to sound around me, trying hard to make any sense of it.
Belle returned a few moments later. I had no idea what happened next, but there were briefly raised voices. . . I didn't really follow them.
"What the fuck are you doing! Get out of her bag!"
"Chill petal! We were putting in, not taking out. Your friend is rather cute, wouldn't mind a piece later"
"We're only here with friends, you vultures. Now, fuck off!" Belle always was rather protective.
It's a myth that coffee sobers you up. It doesn't stop you being drunk, it just makes you a more alert drunk. And, bless her, Belle had bought me the strongest espresso they had, twice, and this was a gay bar - they had strong espresso. Nought to dance floor in five minutes. . .
"That explains the numbers in my purse"
"Witches. But look, that's not the problem. You did a lot of dancing, kinda close up stuff. And, well, all the guys were dancing with other guys, if you get my drift. . ."
Hmmmm, yes, that could be rather embarrassing, but hey, I'd done it before. I'd once kissed a uni chum to win a drink off some male friends, a little dancing was nothing. I explained that to Belle.
"I haven't really finished. . . "
At that point, Flick, who had got home about half way through Belle explanation, stuck her head round the door. We both looked over at her.
"Hi Belle, did you get home o.k. last night?"
Slowly, my gaze returned to Belle.
The coffee kept me going 'til the club shut at 3am, and we were chucked out on the streets. I wasn't really in a fit state to get myself home, even though I thought I had all the energy in the world at my disposal.
"Jane. . . Jane. . . I'm putting you in a Taxi, o.k.?!"
"No! I'll be fine! I can RUN home if I want!" I said, stumbling sideways into the wall.
Belle tried to bundle me into the first black cab that passed, but he flatly refused to take me. As did the second, and the third. Finally she managed to convince one to take us provided we travelled together. I have no idea how much it cost, but I didn't pay a penny.
Having marched up the stairs, no doubt waking all my neighbours, I stormed triumphantly into my flat, like a general returning from campaign; promptly threw up down our sink and collapsed on the floor.
I was completely out cold.
Flick and Belle carried Jane to her room, and laid her out on her bed, still fully dressed.
"We can't leave her like that, she might choke on her own vomit" Ever practical Flick.
"O.k. I'll take care of her, it's my fault"
"Too right" Flick agreed "Will she be o.k?"
"Yeah, just sozzeled. Maybe need some serious T.L.C. tomorrow"
Flick sighed, and left, slowly shaking her head.
Jane was still sprawled on the bed on her side, her clothes not as clean as they had been just a few minutes ago. There was no way she could sleep in them.
I woke up, still stinkingly drunk, vaguely away of being moved. I was on my side. . . cold. . . no covers. Something was moving down my leg, past my ankle and foot and away. Blindly I reached for duvet, and pulled it over me.
Someone was talking to me. . .
"Jane, you're o.k. . . you're in bed. . . "
Of course I was in bed. . . piss off. . . leave me sleep. I rolled onto my back.
Something pulled my back onto my side.
"No. . . it's safer to sleep on your side."
"Piss. . . off. . . " My eyes were still closed. I was vaguely away of feeling naked, the duvet against my skin instead of cloth. I rolled onto my back again. Once again, I was pulled up onto my side. Indignant, I opened my eyes and prepared to give this pest what for. But stopped.
She was amazing. Her eyes shone, even in the darkness and her lips were soft and red, slightly parted. This was the lady from my dream. . . Was I asleep? Wasn't I? She was talking, but it only made me concentrate more on those lips. . . moving. . . that tongue, so delicate. . . hmmm. . . I remembered what it had felt like in my mouth. . . on my breasts. . . between my legs. Oh. . . I wanted that . . .
I felt her raise hand to my face, stroking gently. She wanted me too. . .
"Jane. . . you o.k.?"
"Uh-huh. . . " I parted my lips slightly and lifted my head. She withdrew. No. . . that wasn't right. . . I stretched further, turned my head to kiss. She withdrew further, eyes wide. I cupped my hand round the back of her head, and eased it to me. Now she responded. . .
Our lips met, and parted. Our tongues touched, but she pulled away again.
"No. . . " I whispered "please. . . "
I felt a hand brush against my thigh, then glide across to inside my leg. Then, my head was pulled upwards into a strong, forceful kiss . . .
"We did WHAT?!"
"Sorry. . . I shouldn't have. . . and believe me, it wasn't easy. . . "
"Oh my God. . ." I buried my head in my hands
"Jane. . . "
I looked up. "Yes?"
"We slept together"
"You stayed the night?"
"No. . . we. . .'slept'. . .together"
My mind whirled. . .
I hope you've enjoyed this third part; it's a bit more wordy with a little less action, but things will pick up again soon I promise. All authors love to hear some feedback on their work, so please write. firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2004, Jane