I’m squinting. A sunbeam is tickling the tip of my nose. Gee, I finally had dozed off! Half past eight. I stretch under the sheets. Still feel Dave’s lips and tongue, can taste his manhood. That louser! Yet somehow I’m fine with the fact that it stayed just a little intermezzo last night. Can’t hide a smirk. He wouldn’t have needed just a cold shower afterwards – but that’s not my problem!
Crawling out off bed under the shower I try to get my system running.
When I enter the main building, fresh and neatly styled, Basil ist he first to greet me – in his overenthusiastic ways. Fletch is around aswell and shows me the way to the dining room. As if that slipped my mind! Andy laughs.
„Sorry, Siv! I’m missing a bit of sleep!“
„Where are the others? Already up?“ „Mart’s under the shower and Dave’s out running. He’s fetching something from the bakers as well.“
I pour in some tea for a starter. Andy digs himself behind the Morning paper.
„Did you have fun in the pool last night?“
I let the tea cup drop out of my hand with a loud clank. Fletch’s face moves up behind the curtain of paper. My face must be deep red.
„You’ve not been the only one with insomnia – including Dave.“
With this sentence it’s bloody obvious that he must have seen all.
„Then it shouldn’t have escaped you that I didn’t do anything I should be ashamed of.“
His smirk reaches from one ear to the other.
„Only thing that surprised me – Dave usually gets ALL he wanted.“
I have to clean my throat.
„Look, Andy – what are you thinking? I have respect concerning wedding rings. And David is intelligent enough to sense that. I’m sure he wouldn’t do anything to really hurt Jen, right? But you know him best.“
Andrew nods slowly. Then he smiles at me in a way that gives me crawlies all down my back. Luckily Mart walks through the door this very moment. His locks stick out madly from his head in all possible directions. I chuckle in amusement. He pretends to be upset and beams at me playfully.
„Sorry, Curly! You look like you played with a socket!“
Martin crosses the room to meet me and pulls my earlobes. A sly grin and then he kisses me.
„Good morning, sweety! Woah, phat full moon last night! I definitely had sorta halluzinations.“
Where’s the hole I can hide in?! Not him as well!
„Anybody in the room who didn’t see it?!“ I feel the warmth on my face again.
Mart puts on an evil smirk. Fletch pointedly hides behind his paper again.
„Doesn’t look like.“, Dave replies and dumps a bag with pastries onto the table.
„Next time we’ll collect an entrance fee.“
„Next time?!“ I pinch his left bum cheek that looms deliciously in his tight jogging pants. „I think I’ll need Jen’s mobile number – to get some hints how to handle you beast!“
„Don’t you dare!“ He snaps after my hand. I pull it back, chuckling, and prefer having a bite from my toast half, spread with orange jam. David gets seated next to me and pours himself some coffee. Our eyes meet. I feel like paralyzed again. Can’t decide if it’s embarrassing or not. Mart reaches for the Marmaid. Ugh, I could vomit!
„How can you slather such a salty odd shoeshine onto your roll?! Eeeek!“ The one in question demonstratively licks his lips.
„Why’s that? It’s delicious! Tastes nearly as good as...“, he pretends eagerly thinking. Fletch nearly chokes laughing behind his newspaper. He hastily puts it aside and quickly sips from his mug. I’m a bit puzzled. Dave winks at me and leans over, whispering in my ear: „You taste by far best!“ His tongue brushes briefly over my earlobe. Alas, Basil jumps in between this very moment. He seems to be jealous and yelps, wagging his tail vigorously.
„Hey, big fellow! It’s OK!“ I caress his head. He licks my hand and whimpers.
„Looks like all males around are hopelessly devoted to you, Siv!“ Andy smirks sardonically. I hold his view.
Dave’s eyes wander out of the arched window again. The shooting expectedly stretches. Again and again he’s baffled, how similar Jack is compared to him. The boy can’t hold still and keeps teasing Siv wherever possible! Left alone the way he celebrates swinging his hips! That’s kinda embarrassing! No, it IS! He observes Siv. She seems to be patience in person, but can’t hide being bugged.
„Jack, stop that ass-wiggling! I want to see YOU not a faint Dave-copy!“
Jack pouts. David can’t hide a venomous smile. Busted! He loathed to hear something like that.
„Seriously, Jack! That’s daft – you need to be at least 15 years older and more experienced for that.“
She gives him exact prompts how he should pose now. Anton peers around the corner.
„How’s it going?“
„My very own son is demonstrating me what kinda asshole I’m obviously sometimes!“
Both men burst into laughter.
„Well, Siv seems to tame him quite well. I would have killed him already.“
„Poor Ant! My compassion keeps within limits!“
Then Dave is alerted again. He recognizes that Jack pinches Siv’s bum. That’s not going to be without notification. She still smiles, moving away from him slightly, but he sees her eyes. Uh oh! Only a moment later he abruptly drags her to his body and kisses her passionately. WHAM! Siv frees herself and slams him her open hand straight into his face. She’s breathing in fumes, her eyes deep, dark and glistening.
„Are you nuts?! What do you think this here is? You’re such an unprofessional prick!“
Jack rubs his left cheek. „Don’t make such a fuss! You want me as well.“ Siv is speechless for a second.
„In your dirty dreams! You just massivly crossed the line!“ She drops the camera to the lay-out table.
„Ten minutes break! Cool down! If you won’t stop that BS you can do those pics on your own! I can’t and don’t want to work under these conditions!“
She dashes over to the office and slams the door behind her.
Anton scratches his chin.
„Seems to be time for a father-son talk again, eh?“
David nods kinda upset.
„I’ll try to smoothen up things with Siv.“ Saying this Anton turns around making his way through the studio.
Dave gets up from the couch and approaches his 21-year old son, who’s lighting himself a cigarette.
„There’s no reason for such a smirk, my son! THAT just was BS par excellence!“
Jack pretends to be surprised. „What’s it with all of you today? That moralizer role doesn’t fit you, da! Especially you! Mart told me about your little game in the pool recently.“
Dave looks aghast. „And now you think Siv is one of that groupie kind and would let anybody near her?! You must be freaking mad! Anyway – it’s fucking none of your business who I date or whatever I do! Is that going to be kinda friggin competition thing again?!“
Jack throws a sulky look at his father.
„Why not? You are a married man if I might remind you of that fact. Jen would be very amused to hear. You already had loads of hot bunnies – leave this one to me!“
This statement leaves Dave speechless. Both men did not notice that Siv is already standing behind them for a little while.
„Thank you very much! I adore situations like these!“ Both turn around in shock.
„Are you guys out off your trees?!“
„How much did you hear?“
Dave feels awkward. Siv still has a hot flush on her face.
He senses a wall of ice crystals rising between them. The expression in her eyes changes.
„Boy was I stupid to believe you were taking me serious! Come on, tell him about the scars, too! Rub it in!“
„Siv, please...!“ „No, I don’t want to hear any more excuses! Can you still watch your face in the mirror? You are worse than washerwomen! Give my regards to Mart!“
While she’s spurting that out she’s grabbing her camera and leaves slowly to Anton’s office, shoulders down, tired out somehow. He can nearly smell her disappointment.
Dave’s mobile keeps ringing.
„What the hell is going on at yours?! I just received a teary call from Siv. She quit!“
Dave falls back onto the couch in shock.
„You’re kidding, John!? That can’t be true!“
„She just called. You’re still in the studio?“
„Yeah. Fuck!“ He scratches his nose. „She left about an hour ago – steaming! And I have to admit with some reason to be pestered.“ He tries to explain the situation to his friend and manager.
„God, David! A steam hammer has more sensitive qualities!“ A silent pause, then a deep sigh. „OK, I’ll come over – I haven’t anything else on my plate, no! ARGH! Well, I didn’t accept her request to leave via phone anyway. You should get your ass over to Fletch’s at once. I’m afraid she’s already packing her stuff. Offended women are easy to suss.“
I’m dumping my jeans into the trunk. My anger changed more or less to sort of dispair and frustration. How could I be that blue eyed to switch off my mind?!
Should have known! It’s been too perfect!
There’s a knock at the door. I was bright enough to lock it.
„Siv, please open!“ Andy’s voice.
„Get lost! I don’t like to see anybody of you at the moment!“ A moment of silence.
„If you calmed down and made up your mind – please come into the Lounge. It’s a bit different then you might think.“ I hear his steps move away and let myself sink onto the bed. These bleeding idiots! And for all – ME STUPID IDIOT!!!“
I just realize how much energy this day sucked off me and I cuddle into the pillows and start dozing off. I wouldn’t get a flight today anyway – as much as I wanted to leave this place quickly.
Some time later another sound at the door.
„Siv, it’s John. Please, would you let me in?“
Is this Piccadilly Station?! But I have to admit that I won’t escape a discussion that easily so I get up sighing.
He’s got a severe expression on his face. His view meets my chaotically packed bag, which still resides widely open on the floor. In his hand he carries a steaming mug.
„Here, have a try. Melissa tea.“
I can’t help it – have to smirk. „You better brought the whiskey.“
He’s taking a seat in the opposite arm chair.
„Do you really want to leave us?“
I cramp my fingers around the hot beverage.
„I talked to the lads. They all wait eagerly overthere to talk to you.“
„Yeah, talk! That’s what they can do all day long!“
„Hey, it’s not worked the way that you suspected! OK, Mart telling Jack was far from genius – but otherwise there was and is nothing making any rounds. Even Martin has no clue what you told David in private. He even refused to tell me – just gave me a small hint.“
So he knows about the pool at least, too. Congrats!
„Come on, Siv – let’s go over to them. It really gets to Dave. He was standing in front of your door for a while before I arrived. He simply was afraid to knock.“ He looks at me with warm, gloomy eyes. „I don’t want to lose you and your creative work – just because of a silly misunderstanding.“
„A silly misunderstanding it is now...!“ I’m still rotating but my energy is turning down slowly. Argh, well let them have their chance! I move up and see John’s face immediately brighten up.
„I haven’t changed my mind yet about cancelling the project, John. I just try to be fair and will listen to their say.“, I’m grunting – not really convincing though. Making a short detour to the bathroom and scare myself looking into the mirror. Completely red eyes from sobbing and pale like the walls. Dig it! They shall see what kinda trouble they caused! A little drama can’t be ignored.
Basil ist he first to jump at me. What a surprise! Fletch, Curly and Dave sit on the couches around the fireplace. Jack leans against the window sill, smoking. Anton puts another log onto the fire. The mood as such seems to be low and tense. Jesus, Dave looks as if he’s got an upset stomach! Mart nervously brushes through his hair and Andy jumps up when he sees us entering the scene.
„She already packed.“, John throws into the round and moves on to the bar. I look at the assembly with sad eyes. My anger disappeared meanwhile.
„Yes, I’m ready for departure – but I will listen to what you have to say. Not sure though if I’m going to believe it.“
„I messed it up!“, a low voice echoes from the window. Jack does not turn around. He seems to be terribly embarrassed.
„No, I should have kept my pie-hole shut!“, Mart adds. He really looks deeply ashamed.
„No, it’s in my responsibility – I begot that idiot!“ Dave sends an annoyed look into Jack’s direction. The whole situation merely reminds me of ‚Punch and Judy’.
„Apart from this you all feel well, yeah?“ I fetch myself a Guinness and find a seat on the couch, near to Fletch.
„Andy, anything on your chest you have to confess? Don’t you hold back – timing is perfect!“ Oh dear, if my sarcasm could etch – he needed new parquet flooring!
„I’d liked to have been with you in the pool.“ He intentionally looks into the flames, but I’m sure there’s a sly smirk in his eyes.
I hastily take a huge gulp of stout to prevent myself from blabbering something stupid now.
Jack moves towards me now. „May I have a seat?“ „Ah, well – if it’s necessary – please.“
He sighs. „Would you please finish my photos? I will behave like a choirboy – promissed! And about the other things in the studio – I’m really awfully sorry! I must have been totally off track – not knowing what I was doing. It’s not Dave’s fault – he refrained from telling me anything concrete – even a few minutes ago. I didn’t want to hurt you – but it looks I managed to do so.“ He’s kinda twisting but looks me straight into the eyes now. I can’t answer at once. On the one hand I can’t be really angry with him anymore – on the other I want to let him wriggle a little longer.
„I hear what you’re saying, Jack. Give me a little time to feel it. If I can accept your apology I’ll let you know, OK?“
„So you’re going to stay?“ I can sense the others tension visibly.
„Hum, there won’t be any chance to book me on a flight tonight – except you’d lend me your private jet.“ I nearly smile now.
„Telling you what – if, and the accent is on IF – I might come to the conclusion to finish your assignment, I will not accept any kind of BS, got me?“ He furiously nods. With a glance to his watch he asks: „May I part then? I have a date.“
„Off you go! And that girl has my fullest sympathy!“ He darts out his tongue, grabs his leather jacket and waves bye bye. Still expectant looks facing my direction.
„What else?“ „Errr, what’s going on with our project then?“ Dave’s eyes meet mine. I take a deep breath.
„Well, the whole thing is based on trust and discretion, right? Is that still possible? Can I put my faith in you? If you can do that is another thing – but if the vibes between us aren’t good it will end in a fiasco. An experience I can easily do without. Besides I do not have the nerves and energy for this.“
Mart gets up and slips next to me onto the couch. He takes my hands in his. „Hey, I really feel awfully sorry for being such a blabbermouth! I didn’t think to harm you in any way. And I wasn’t aware of some deeper things attached to it. Nobody told me – but maybe you will some day – when I paid enough for this.“ He’s smilling now. Just as irresistable as Dave! Bastard! My defenses are finally down and I allow his embrace. God, he’s squeezing me! When he releases me again he’s got teary eyes. Yikes! And there’s Dave already waiting. Curly moves over. When he takes me into his arms it’s kinda coming home. He rests his forehaid against mine. „I’m so sorry to have you put through this, angel! Just because of my stupid behaviour!“ He then nearly audible breathes: „I need to see you in private, please!“
„OK, Andy – come over – it’s already a group hug!“ I let Dave go pinching his cheek.
This time I rise from the couch and Fletch lets me slip into his open arms. „I was serious about the pool.“, he whispers into my ear. I can read it in his eyes. Oh my! No, I can’t think about this now!
Anton coughs. „And what about me?“ I laugh out loud. „Did we have a fight then?“ He puts on a sombre expression. „Let me think...well, might happen in the future. I take in advance!“ Giggling I allow his arms around me. „I’m so glad you’re staying!“
„Hey, I didn’t confirm that!“ „Yes, you did, Siv. Come on, there’s no pressing reason. OH, there is! Sacking YOU!“ Everybody is looking shellshocked into John’s direction.
„Uhm, you didn’t hug me yet! I’m taking that personally!“