Andy faces himself in the bathroom mirror. With his left hand he cautiously touches over the lower edge of his chin that’s bruised and black and blue. Dark shadows under his swollen eyes. His pale skin stands in stark contrast to his reddish hair. What sticks out even more is the huge love bite one of those girls left on the right side of his neck. The sin on his skin – fully visible. In a moment of rage he grabs one of the after shave glass flacons and smashes it into the mirror. His face splits into millions of bits.
„Andy, you’re OK?!“
Martin dashes into the bathroom – finding Fletch hanging over the bassin, his shoulders shaking under heavy sobs.
„No, you come with me now, mate! The damage is done. You have to look ahead.“
Yeah, the damage is done...
The kitchen is deserted. Mart puts on the kettle and looks for some oranges to squeeze fresh juice. Andy sits down on the next chair, resting his elbows onto the table.
„Is she already up?“
He glances at the clock. It’s near 2 pm.
„And where’s David? I will give back as good as I got!“
„You won’t do anything, you hear me! What else do you want to mess up?“
Martin passes him over a mug of tea.
„Before you find out yourself – Siv packed her stuff and Dave accompained her. She will stay at a safe place for a while. At least he could convince her not to take the next flight to Hamburg. You know, I could easily understand if she did that – wanting to be as far away from you as possible.“
The blond curled man leans against the cupboard, biting into an apple. His green eyes glisten with anger and disbelief.
„I don’t want to dig my fingers deeper in or preaching, but how could you do that, Andrew!?“
Instead of an answer Andy jumps up from his seat.
„You’re kidding, right?!“
He runs out off the room, down the corridor. Martin can hear doors clapping in the distance and then Andrew’s muffled calls.
Mate, she’s gone – and it makes me as sad as yourself! You’re such a bloody bugger!
Andy enters the kitchen again, out of breath – in a state of utmost despair.
„Mart, you know where she is! You have to tell me! I need to talk to her – now!“
„No way, Andy! You need to calm down, give it time. Dave was furious. You have no idea in what condition Siv has been last night – and I’m sure you don’t want to know. Hell, you knew about her abusive, alcoholic ex bf! How could you make such a scene at her door! She was scared to death – besides all the other pain!“
„Hell, I know I fucked it up! Those bitches were just so willing and juicy!“
„What a lame excuse, Andy! Dammit! You’ve given Sivvi exactly the proof she was afraid of all the time – that’s she’s not enough for you, not good enough! Yes, Andy – she told me again and again that she’s not really comfortable with the situation – simply not getting at the real you. Not that she seemed to be chasing Grainne’s ghost all the time, but she always detected the misses at once. You already were on probation kinda since New York – Fuck! And now this! Selfsabotage at it’s best! And I thought that was Dave’s department!“
„If you two had stopped dragging her into your beds it would have gone down a different road!“
„Ah, I was waiting for that! Very easy – and not fair at all! What happened to you, Andew? You’ve been aware all the time that we all had and have a special connection – and we all tried to get over it – to no real avail so far.“
„I want her for my own – not sharing her!“
„Oh, now we’re talking, Mr. Fletcher!“
Martin paces through the room now, his curls swinging with every step.
„What did you do so far to make Siv feel special and welcome enough to choose you? I think you don’t know anything about her real feelings and emotions – as you’re still way too busy with your own! She can’t carry your load!“
„But you two freaks do! Sure, with your brains in your dicks!“
„Andy, I have enough for the moment! I will leave you to your misery now. You’re grown up – then act like it!“
Martin disappears in the door frame. Next that’s audible is his voice in the hallway, calling a taxi.
Jack smiles at me encouragingly and hands me over the plate with chocolate cake. I’m taking it mechanically and pass it on to David next to me. I’m here – and I’m not. It’s mostly my phyiscal appearance. Dave made me join him for the birthday coffee – to stop spinning my thoughts around myself on and on. Yet I’m good at it – loosing myself – anywhere.
„Siv, angel – please eat a bite! You haven’t had anything since yesterday.“
His soft, deep voice in my ear. I sigh and turn my head towards him.
„I can’t. It all will taste like paste anyway – I still feel sick.“
„Pretty, please! Just a little bit of the choc tarte – here.“
He moves his fork up to my lips.Hesitantly I finally open my mouth and take it in. It’s just sticky sweet. My senses ignore the usual rich flavour.
He quickly lets a kiss follow and then goes for another portion of cake.
„No, it’s enough – really!“
Seeing my expression he decides to leave it at that for now. Then Jo passes by, patting my shoulder.
„Siv, I made your bed in the guestroom. You really look horribly pale, luv. You can sneak away there any time you want, alright?“
I nod silently – still not really realizing what’s going on. I’m staying at Dave’s ex...Jack’s mom! Not sure if that’s such a brilliant idea. He has a flat of his own – but me being here for sure will be a reason to visit sweet mommy a little more frequently! My head starts to buzz again and the dizziness lets me cramp my fingers into the table cloth for a moment. Easy, Siv, easy! Don’t forget to breathe!
The murmour around the table, most the faces unfamiliar – it all gets too much again. Gingerly I try to get up from my chair.
„You need anything, baby?“
Dave’s immediately at my side.
„I need some quietness and rest.“
He helps me up the stairs to the guestroom. Opening the door I can’t take the interiour in as I’ve nearly closed my eyes. I just feel the soft blankets and pillows touching my face and then Dave’s voice trails off.
„Don’t disturb her now – she just laid down ten minutes ago, Mart.“
Martin and Dave sit down in a corner of Joanne’s living room – on a huge dark brown sofa – trying to find a bit of privacy in the group of birthday guests.
„How’s Andrew taking it?“
„Argh, he’s a bloody moron!“
„You left him on his own?“
„Yeah, I couldn’t stand his blabber any longer! It’s just as I told you – he simply doesn’t get it!“
Dave cocks his brows and lights a cigarillo. Puffing the smoke direction ceiling his face changes expression again.
„You haven’t told him where she’s now I hope.“
„Good. I have no idea how this will be going on, but he’s the last she could stand now.“
„I tried to get that message over to him – he’s such a thickhead!“
Curly shakes his head.
„You’re leaving for New York tomorrow, as scheduled?“
„Yes. I can’t let Rosie wait any longer there with her plaster! Geez, that was bad timing! She was so pestered not being able to come with me!“
„I bet – I heard her chatting with Siv on Skype – complaining big time – geeez!“
„Yeah, that little sweetie! I still wonder how she managed to skid with her blades!“
„She’s a little whirlwind – like her dad on stage!“
Both men join into laughter – the first time this day.
It’s the first time Andy damns the fact he never got a driving licence. The taxi is slow – gets stuck every now and then in the London rush hour. Duh, Andy – how would you be faster with your own car now! Perhaps forcing an accident and even more trouble!
He pushes the door bell and waits. A few moments later Jack’s face appears in the doorway.
„Oh, I didn’t expect you – but nice, you could make it!“
He’s a bit puzzled and waves him inside. Before they enter the living room he pulls at his sleave.
„Promise me one thing, Fletch – no quarrels in front of my guests!“
„Then you better get me Dave and Mart and we will talk outside first.“
„I think that’s a good idea.“
This moment Jo comes into the hallway. She musters him with a stern face.
„Hey, Andrew! You’ve got some nerves to show up here.“
Meanwhile Jack is back inside the living room, telling Martin and David the alarming news.
„Fuck! We need to get him away from here – as soon as possible!“
„We better go outside with him – just as he suggested!“
„Dave, keep your cool, for god’s sake!“
„I’ll do my very best!“
„Is he still in the corridor?“
„Yeah, but Jo is with him. I hope he’s so fixed on you two that he won’t spend a thought on Siv eventually staying here.“
Jack scratches his skin and nervously bites his lips.
When Andy sees Dave walking nearer he feels a hot wave rushing through his veins. His chin starts pulsing again.
I’m waking up from the loud voices outside, wavering up through the window. Oh god! I can identify Mart, Dave and Andy. Still too dizzy to catch every word it dawns me they must quarrel about me. Though my head still aches I crawl out off the sheets and look for my shoes.
„Where do you think you’re going?“
Jack peeks into the room and I fall back onto the edge of the bed, already in cold sweat.
„Back with you in there!“
„But I need to clear things now – they will beat up each other!“
„Shush, relax! They’re grown men – at least I hope so.“
I try to get up again. Jack is around within a glimpse and gently pushes me back till I lie flat down.
„He still doesn’t know you’re here. So don’t blow your cover, OK? You’re not fit for any confrontation yet – nor is he!“
I stare against the ceiling.
„You know what? I start to damn the day I met them at the agency. It’s all my fault – and now all our lives are a mess!“
Jack’s expression is startled now.
„Siv, you can’t be serious about that!“
The crybaby in me takes over again. I can’t help it.
„I’m the reason – I know it! Always was – it’s happening again and again! Should have known better – it’s all so wrong!“
Hyperventilating is no good thing and soon I feel the well known tightness behind my forehead and it’s like somebody rips the floor away – leaving me falling and falling.
Something odd tickles my nose and I try to focus on it – realizing that I must have flaked out for a moment as Jack still sits at my side and covers my mouth and nose with a plastic bag. I signal him with my eyes that it’s alright for now and he lowers it.
„How did you know?“
„A girl at my boarding school used to hyperventilate a lot and always carried a bag with her. Umh, we had a bit of something going on those days.“
I lean back into the pillow, breathing deeply in and out. Then I feel his hand softly brushing along my arm and the weight shifts on the bed. He’s suddenly over me. His fierce, glowing looks let me close my eyes and I swallow.
„Please, Jack – no!“
„You need it and you want me, too!“
„No, no, no! Jack – listen! You can’t fix everything just with sex! Believe me, I tried – so did your dad. You see what dilemma we’re all in now!“
„I’m not him! I’ll make it right!“
„Stay away from me, Jack! I’m even more venomous than any posion. Dave called me „Posion Ivy“ when we met the first time. He was so right! I creep into your mind, under your skin – and you will realize far too late that you’re dangerously injured!“
„She’s right, Jack. Let her go.“
Joanne’s voice hitting us unexpectedly. A scarlet tinge flashes over Jack’s face and he immediately lets me go and wants to escape this embarrassing situation as soon as possible. She tries to hold him back, but he wriggles out off her grip and we hear him pace down the stairs.
„Jo, I need to get away from all this! Would you be so nice to help me pack my things and call me a taxi to the airport?“
She sits down next to me on the bed and takes my hand.
„No, I won’t do that.“
Then she smiles at me and I see what must have attracted Dave when he was with her.
„I bet you heard it several times now, but running away will not make you feel better.“
Then she blinks at me.
„I wouldn’t have been surprised to find you two actually doing it – I know my son. It’s noble you set bounds to him – but he will try again. Hey, it’s not against nature, luv! Madonna is 50 and has a 21-year old lover!“
„Fuck, I’m not Madonna and I’m not a slut – though I really start to wonder about my sexual life meanwhile!“
„Compared to other women I know you still are Mother Theresa! And I’d prefer Jack gathering experiences with you than any other little brat around the area. That Val isn’t really what I’d expect as a daughter in law – yet he’s young and will discover sooner or later what he’s really looking for.“
She snickers now.
„I should be really quiet – concerning my own youth!“
„Jo – you didn’t miss the tiny fact I still have something with David? I can’t shag his son!“
„So what? Is it your moral standards kicking in or anything else?“
„Hell, I’m the last one fucking every male I find attractive and crossing my way! And how would you feel in his position then? It’s just not right!“
„What’s just not right, Siv?“, David chimes in. We didn’t hear him entering the room. I roll my eyes. Perfect!
„Everything, Dave – simply everything!“
„While you old buggers were haggling downstairs our all too charming son was already over her, trying to get his bit of the cake.“
David whistles and a broad grin appears on his face.
„He did not! That little horny bastard!“
„That’s not funny at all! I was unconscious and coming back to my senses he thought he could take his chance.“
The smile disappears all of a sudden.
„Siv, he didn’t do anything inappropriate?!“
„No, but I’m not sure for how long I could have called him off if Jo hadn’t appeared on the scene.“
„Oh, you would have managed well. I think you already got him with that poison hint.“
Joanne moves up and pecks a kiss on my cheek and then one onto Dave’s.
„I better go down, checking on him. And it’s still a birthday party with guests waiting for entertainment.“
When she closed the door, Dave moves closer to me onto the bed.
„Fletch is on the way back home – just that you know. We are all still physically intact.“
„And what about your friendship? Also still intact? Your feelings? David, I can’t deal with all this!“
He drags me into his arms and holds me for a while, saying nothing.
„You know – I was standing there at the door all the time. When I heard Jo walking up the stairs I hid behind the cabinet around the corner.“
I close my eyes – too weak to cringe. At least I don’t have to repeat myself.
„It’s not your fault, baby! Don’t you ever think like this! And I dare you to become Madonna! I despise blondes!“
He tickles me a little and then turns my face into his direction, fixing me with his beautiful, deep green-brown eyes.
„I never wanted to hurt you with that „Poison Ivy“ tag – it just came into my mind those days. Hearing you describing it like that – yes, it’s true somehow, but I always wanted you and still do – and if that’s due to a venom – let me never heal again!“
His lips passionately close around mine and I feel all his life energy like rays rushing over my skin. Then I taste salt.
„Do you really damn the day you met me?“
„Somehow – yes! Just look at you! I never wanted to be the reason for your tears!“
„Dito! But life’s not the same anymore – without you! And wether I’m with or without you – in pleasure or pain – that day will always be special to me and there’s no reason on earth to need to erase it from my memory!“
How shall I now even think of Andy and going back to him?!
„It’s still all a mess, David.“
He kisses me deeply again and then lets his soft, full lips wander along my neck, whispering against my skin.
„I have a tool to fix it!“
„We should call for Jack. He could learn a bit of something.“
„Oh my bloody hell!“
„Exactly – admit it, you’re already thinking about it!“
He starts pushing up my t-shirt.
„I had a little chat with him recently. You have no idea how many dirty thoughts he’s got about you!“
„Stop it! I don’t want to know!“
I free myself from his arms.
„David – no! I really don’t want to hear anything from you. If he’d tell me that’s different. And I don’t want to have sex with you now!“
My intonation must have reached the right nerve as he lets go and sits up.
„David, I love you – more than I want to – more, than I can afford - but I’m emotionally exhausted. Don’t you see it?“
There it is again – the all too wellknown sadness in his eyes.
„Baby, I have to leave to New York early in the morning.“
„I know – damn, I know!“
„Then give me something positive to remember, please!“
He looks desperate now.
„I have no idea when we will meet again – and the thought alone kills me, rips my heart into shreds!“
„You, you, you! What about me?! You leave me empty hearted here as well!“
„Apparently this ‚I-follow-you-around-the-world-and-shag-you-every-now-and-then’ thing does not really work.“
He gets up and abruptly leaves the bedroom.
I stay there on the edge – frozen in pain. A split second later I shoot up and run for the door. Opening it I nearly bump into David – who is still standing there, pale and teary eyed – obviously with the same thoughts. I just sense his arms closing tightly around me and then he lifts me up and carries me back into the bedroom.
„Forget, what I just said!“
„No, but it doesn’t count!“
Frantically he bites my lips and strips down my leggins. I so missed his weight on top of me, his hot breath – the unbearable desire in his now deep dark eyes.
„It’s just you and me now – that’s all that’s important!“
„I’ve never yearned that much for a man like I do for you – and I never will again.“
„Then give me your sweet poison – I want to die a happy man!“
„It will never be enough.“
His lips crush onto mine again and I clearly sense his hardness against my thigh. This round is for the hunger to be satisfied. The next for sure will be for the heart and soul.
I let my teeth sink into the soft flesh of his throat. A deep moan vibrates against my skin. He finally got rid off all his clothes and moves my legs in position to enter me. A last questioning look.
„Satisfy our needs, Dave – do me!“
I haven’t really finished and he’s over me, ramming his erect member into my waiting, slippery channel. No, it’s not the time for cosy preliminaries! Our both longing is so strong – it needs release.
His sweatty face above me, lustfully contorted. I lick over his chin and nose to taste his wetness there. Drives him even more wild and he answers with his tongue – constantly thrusting into me, deeper, faster and harder.
„I need more, Dave!“
„You’ll get what you need – I swear!“
Relentlessly he plunges into me, his hands all over my body. His lips find my breasts, my nipples. I cry out in pain when he bites more intensely – but it’s just pushing me further to my climax that I feel rolling on like thunder and lightning. He’s close to the edge himself, waiting for my inner walls to grab him, dragging him into the center of utmost pleasure.
All in the house definitely must have heard us yell out nearly at the same time. I’m bucking against him and he nearly breaks my hipbone with his strong hands.
„No, don’t faint, baby! Breathe!“
In my weak condition the forceful orgasm hit me that hard I started to float away again. I try to concentrate on his voice and try to get some more air into my lungs. It takes some minutes till I’m able to speak again. He was caressing my face all the time, talking sweetly to me – though he was short of breath, too.
„Nothing is fair in love and war, baby! But don’t you ever think about a second that it’s all and alone your fault. Remember what Mart says in his lyrics – we’re damaged people, drawn together.“
He starts humming the song into my ear – and my floodgates open again – gosh!
We're damaged people
By subtleties that we are not aware of
Playing out forever
These games that we once thought we would be scared of
When you're in my arms
The world makes sense
There is no pretense
And you're crying
When you're by my side
There is no defense
I forget to sense
We're damaged people
Praying for something
That doesn't come from somewhere deep inside us
Trusting in the one thing
The one thing that this life has not denied us
When I feel the warmth
Of your very soul
I forget I'm cold
When your lips touch mine
And I lose control
I forget I'm old
„Baby, the taxi is already waiting! I have to go.“
We cling around each other for the last time. As usual I will not accompain him. Farewells at the airport – no, I would fall down and die! And he insisted on going alone. We know each other well enough concerning that.
Slowly I trot back into the hallway and close the main door. It’s 5.30 am and the rest of the house is apparently still cuddling under the sheets. Maybe a mug of tea isn’t such a bad idea. Entering the kitchen I wipe my eyes in surprise – finding Jack sitting there, smoking – a coffee in front of him. The remains of the chocolate tarte rest on a plate near by.
I change my plans and pour myself a cup of the still hot black liquid, looking for milk in the fridge. He puffs smoke circles into the air, still saying nothing. I take the next chair and start poking my finger into the cake. Now he starts to grin.