I’m at the bar, alone.
To my left, in the dark corner just where the corridor to the toilets begins, Cheryl, my wing woman and BFF, is engaged in some pretty active pashing with the bloke she picked up an hour ago; his hand is up her top, groping. I’ll give her about five minutes before she gives me our signal. The one that sends the message: He’s cool. I’m leaving with him. You right to get home? It’s a lot to convey in a signal, but we’ve been doing this a while.
The bartender leans close. ‘Another?’ He nods to my G&T.
‘Yeah, tha—no wait. I’m going to mix it up, I reckon.’
His face scrunches up. I gather he’s seen too many customers mix their alcohol too late into the evening and knows the road it’ll take. ‘You sure?’
‘Yeah. Gimme a Long, Slow Comfortable Screw Against the Wall, please.’
‘The cocktail?’ An oldie but a goodie. Never fails to make me smile, and I reckon it’s universal, especially the wrong side of tipsy.
He winks before he turns to begin making my drink. I notice he’s actually quite handsome. Grey eyes, symmetrical features, stubble—the carefully curated kind. Not bad. Not bad at all.
I feel a tap on my shoulder. Cheryl kisses my cheek, whispers that she’s heading home with the bloke. Dave. He’s standing slightly behind Cheryl, gives me a smile and lifts his hand in a small wave. He seems normal, friendly, and I smile back.
‘Call me ASAP, hun,’ I say to Cheryl.
She nods. We know the routine, and neither of us will ever break our code voluntarily. I watch them walk to the door; it closes behind them.
‘You right to get home?’ It’s the bartender.
I swivel on the stool to face the bar; my cocktail’s in front of me on a fresh cardboard coaster. He’s leaning in again, on his elbows, face quite close to the tall, slender glass.
‘I’ll call a taxi.’
‘Sure? My shift’s over in an hour. If you can hang around that long, I’ll make sure you get home safe.’
Ding, ding. Looks like I’ll get a shag tonight too. My mind scrambles to remember the last time: six months, maybe seven. His name was Toby, Tim, Jim. Or something. All I recall—clearly, unfortunately—was that he was a dud root. So, I’m well ripe for an athletic workout, of the naked, horizontal kind.
With my most winning grin, I reply, ‘I can hang here for an hour. Thanks.’
He reaches his hand over the bar. ‘Oliver.’
‘Angie.’ I take his hand. His skin is smooth, warm. I’m already imagining his lips on mine, trailing down my neck, to my breasts. I feel that frisson of delight. God, I love this part of the game.
‘Let me get you another.’ His eyes flick to my drink. I’ve hardly touched it. ‘On me.’
How else can I fill in the hour? ‘No rush. But that’s kind of you, thanks.’ I sip from my glass.
Before I know it, with two cocktails and god knows how many G&Ts under my belt, the hour has passed. I watch as Oliver does a cool hand-slap-shake-fist-pump-thing with his colleague, who’s working the bar for the late, late shift. Oliver disappears inside the storage room off the side of the bar, then seconds later, appears next to me with his coat, and a leather satchel.
I sling my handbag over my shoulder. Slide off the bar stool. Wobble and sway in my ridiculous heels. He grabs my forearm to steady me.
‘Let’s go,’ I say.
Oliver leads me to his car, parked at the back of the club.
‘What side of the city?’ Oliver asks.
‘South-east. I live in Carnegie.’
‘I’m in Hawksburn.’ He searches my face, as if reading a computer code. Taking a deep breath, he says, ‘You wanna come back to mine? It’s closer. I can have a drink, catch up with you. A bit, anyway.’ He chuckles. Reaches for my hand.
Those butterflies flap inside me; their wings flutter in my belly, my groin. He’s standing at the driver’s side door. I lean in, tilt my head upwards to meet his lips, as he’s lowering his face to mine.
It’s magical. I feel his tongue flicking around, teasing. I am floating in pleasure. He unzips my jeans, his fingers go deep inside me, and within seconds, I climax right there.
He breaks away. ‘Let’s go. Get you to my house. And into my bed.’ His fingers are still moist as he lightly traces them up and down my arms.
Oliver unlocks his car and we get inside. At this time of night, there’s barely any traffic on the road, so the drive to his home takes no longer than ten minutes. Once inside, Oliver opens a bottle of wine.
‘Drink for you?’
‘I’ll get you a water too.’
After I gulp the glass of water, he moves towards me on the sofa, takes my wine glass from my hands, and places it on the coffee table. He pulls my silk top gently over my head. Unclips my bra, and stares openly at my breasts, before he circles his finger around my nipples. ‘They’re magnificent.’
I laugh, a small sound in the quiet of his living room. He’s right. I have a spectacular set of tits, and he’s not the first bloke to be stopped in his tracks over them.
We kiss again. His touch charges through my body. He pulls me to standing, our lips still locked together and we clamber out of our clothing. He lifts me up; I wrap my legs around his waist, and he walks me to his room.
Once we’re on his bed, I get him on his back, take him in my mouth. He moans with desire. Sensing he’s close, I stop. He glances up, disappointed, but I sit astride him, moving my hips back and forth. We come together and I collapse forward onto his torso. We’re sweaty, spent; our hearts beating hard, in perfect rhythm.
When I wake later, the light of dawn is breaking outside. Oliver is snoring beside. I get up, walk into the living room where I left my bag. I check my phone: the battery’s low, about 12%, but enough to see I’ve missed three messages from Cheryl.
Three is unusual. Voice messages are highly irregular. We text as a rule.
In a panic, I play them back, last one first. Her voice is garbled, breathless, but I hear her plead for me to call the police. The call was placed at 2AM, it’s almost six o’clock.
With a thud, I realise I may be too late. I was getting screwed while my best friend was in trouble.