Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 25

– “What? Is that allowed?” I asked.

– “They’re pirates, Colin. And so are you. Stay here.” With that, Teresa left the room. She returned a few minutes later to tell me that I was off the hook. “For now.” she added.

It was time to start preparing dinner. Since the threat of rain seemed to have receded, we decided to fire up the barbecue. Steaks were on the menu tonight, with corn on the cob, baked potatoes and all the fixings.

I made sure to stay in a group at all times. Safety in numbers, and all that. While I did, I noticed much more. Craig and Claire seemed to be looking each other’s way quite a bit. Sometimes, one of them would catch the other looking, and then both of them would blush. It was really cute. Ben and Barb were exchanging lingering looks as well. But in their case, I couldn’t tell if it was game-related, or more private dealings.

Leo also noticed the target of his sister’s attention. “Good for her.” he said.

– “Amen.” I said.

– “Really?” asked Leo. “I always thought that you and Claire might hit it off some day.”

Luckily, I didn’t have anything in my mouth, so there was nothing to choke on. “Me? No. Not likely. It wouldn’t work.”

– “If you say so.” said Leo.

I left it that. I didn’t want to be He Who Doth Protest Too Much.

After dinner, I drew dish duty. Then Teresa called us all together again.

“Tonight, you have only two duty stations, at 2 bells and 4 bells. At 6 bells, you are free to go where you want, and associate with whoever you like. There is also a new clue for you.” She passed papers around again. I glanced at mine.

2 BELLS – HOLD

4 BELLS- CROW’S NEST

CLUE: Lena is not a pirate

Well, it wasn’t an earth-shattering clue, but better than nothing. Why just two more duty stations, rather than three, like last night? A certain possibility struck me, so I snuck back into the den, and retrieved my pistol. I put it in my pocket, but left the Bible under the rug.

I went downstairs, and found Eliza waiting for me. I was going to make a crack about ‘tempting trollops’, but the expression on her face killed that idea.

“What’s up?” I asked her. “Did I do something?”

– “Did you do something? Jesus, Colin! How could you not notice that Claire was interested in Craig? What were you thinking?”

– “Oh. I forgot – she told you.”

Eliza rolled her eyes. “Of course she told me – she tells me everything. Sometimes I wish she wouldn’t. But she does …”

– “Ee, I didn’t know about Craig until this morning. I swear to you: I would never do anything to screw up her chances with him. I like Craig – a lot. And you know I love Claire.”

– “Obviously.” she said.

– “No – not like that. I mean … last night just … happened.”

– “Why last night? Why Claire?” said Eliza.

– “What?” I was a bit confused. “I’m sorry – I don’t understand.”

– “Why her? Why not me?” said Eliza.

Oh, shit.

My life had just gotten significantly more complicated. “Here – let’s sit down.” I suggested. I desperately needed a few seconds to collect my thoughts. I had known for a long time that Claire was interested in me; but this was the very first time that Eliza had let anything like this slip.

– “I’m sorry.” she said. “I shouldn’t have said that. That was stupid.”

But she had said it. The cat was out of the bag, and sitting right between us. I had to address it. “Ee. Listen to me.” I said. “When I first met you and Claire, you were dating that guy Andrew, remember?”

She nodded. I went on. “I don’t hit on other guy’s girlfriends. By the time you broke up with him, things had changed. We did a few things as a foursome, you, Leo and Claire, and me.”

– “I know.” she said.

– “OK. I’m going to let you in on a closely held secret: how my mind works. I’m not sure if every male thinks this way, but I do. When I first meet a female, I decide right away if I want to have sex with her.”

Eliza couldn’t help it: she giggled.

– “I’m being serious here, Eliza.”

– “You sound like … you sound so arrogant.” she said.

– “It doesn’t mean that I will have sex with her. Just whether or not I want to. Some girls are too plain, or – let’s face it, too ugly. Some girls give off a vibe. You can tell right away: this one’s a bitch, that one’s high maintenance, and so on. I could be completely wrong, of course, but that’s the way it works. Those two categories are a simple ‘no’ in my book.”

“There’s a third type of girl that’s also a ‘no’. If she has a boyfriend, or a husband, she’s off-limits. If she’s really lovely, or has an appealing personality, she goes into a file labelled ‘Do Not Open’. And she stays there.”

 

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 24

I walked away, trying to figure out how ‘tea’ could be in the 12-letter clue. If I didn’t know their positions, the order they came in, then it wasn’t a lot of help. I re-played Teresa’s words. Redbeard captured it … whole cargo … French merchantman … French! Teresa spoke better French than I did, and sometimes teased me about it. But I knew enough French to figure this out.

Why not a Spanish prize? Or English, or Dutch? She specifically said French. Redbeard would be ‘Barbe Rouge’. Ten letters, one for each player, except her. And the Bible, of course, had something to do with it. I needed to consult it.

I went to the den, and locked the door behind me. I compared ‘Barbe Rouge’ with the verses in the ‘Bible’, and got nothing. Then I realized that I was still holding the teabag she had given me. Why? Eureka! Tea is ‘the’ in French (if you add a little accent over the ‘e’). T-H-E. Could that be part of the code? In that order? I still had no idea what the code said, but it felt like a big piece of the puzzle had just fallen into my hands. Thanks to Lena’s skill at pool, and to the impulse that made take her as a partner. See, sometimes virtue is rewarded.

I unlocked the door, and re-entered the main room. That is, I attempted to re-enter the main room. Ben was right outside the door, and he pushed me back into the den. Barbara was right behind him. She closed the door behind her.

Ben pointed a finger at me. With his other hand, though, he showed me a piece of paper. It clearly said ‘PISTOL’, just like mine. Barbara came to stand beside me, and poked me in the ribs with her finger. Then she showed me another piece of paper. Written on it, with Teresa’s calligraphy pen, was the word ‘KNIFE’.

I wanted to laugh. I mean, it was pretty funny, the two of them standing there with their fingers pointed at me. But they looked serious, so I decided to humour them and play along. Slowly, I raised my hands.

“Do you have a weapon?” said Ben.

– “No.” I answered, truthfully. My ‘PISTOL’ was under the corner of the rug.

– “Give us the Bible, and we won’t hurt you – much.” said Barbara. She did look a little sinister, with the eye patch. But I could see down her cleavage, and it was more than a little distracting.

– “I don’t have it.” I answered. That was also true. It was under the opposite corner of the rug.

– “He’s lying.” said Ben.

– “We could search him.” said Barbara, wistfully. Something about her tone made me think that she was envisioning a strip search.

– “He has it.” said Ben. “You have to give it to us.”

– “I would if I had it, but I don’t so I can’t.” I replied. Try saying that fast three times.

– “What did you do with it?” asked Barbara.

– “I read it.” No point in lying. Claire had to have told them that I had it. That meant that she was in cahoots with them.

– “Then what did you do with it?” asked Barbara, sweetly, prodding me with her finger.

– “He has it.” said Ben. “He’s cheating.”

– “I have an idea.” Barbara stepped away from me, and went to whisper in Ben’s ear. He scowled, but when she whispered some more, he handed her the piece of paper. Barbara pointed her finger at me, and showed me that she now had the pistol. Ben opened the door, and then slipped out of the room, closing the door.

“You never came to visit me yesterday, Colin.” she said. “I was so disappointed. It made me think that you didn’t like me. Or was it that you were afraid of me?”

– “You do have a knife. And now a pistol.” I observed.

– “I would have put down them down, for you.” she said. “We have so much to discuss.”

I wasn’t sure how to answer that, so I chose the better part of valour.

Ben returned, with Teresa in tow.

– “He won’t give us the Bible.” Ben complained. “We know he has it.”

– “Colin, do you have the Bible?” Teresa asked me. “I’m here as the referee, not the Captain.”

– “I do not have the Bible.” I repeated. “I did, but not anymore.”

– “Can we search him?” asked Barbara.

Teresa studied my face for a few moments. “Alright, I’ll handle this.” With that, she ushered Ben and Barbara out of the room. “As far as the game is concerned, you are still in the room, weapons drawn. If he has it, I’ll get it for you.” Ben protested, but Barbara pushed him out. She blew me a kiss before leaving.

– “What are you doing?” asked Teresa.

– “I don’t have it.” I said. “Can I put my arms down, now?”

– “Yes. Claire says she gave it to you.” said Teresa.

– “She did. I didn’t want anybody to find it, and I was afraid that she would want it back. So I hid it. That way, if she asked for it, I could honestly say that I didn’t have it. Just like I told them.”

– “You really hid it?”

– “And my pistol.” I said.

– “Where? Never mind – I don’t want to know. You are either very clever, mister, or very lucky.” said Teresa. She had that enigmatic smile on her face. God, I loved that girl.

“Alright.” she continued “I will tell them that they struck out. But from here on in, you had better find some friends. If they catch you alone again, they could kill you.”

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 23

Ben and Barb would claim the extra clue from Teresa. I wasn’t too thrilled with that. The odds were good that one of them was the Falcon, or the Scar – if it wasn’t Sheila or Eric.
We took a half hour break before staring the pool games. Same teams, same format, because the losers all wanted a chance at redemption. I went upstairs to check on the weather. The deck was wet, and it was still raining, albeit lightly.
Craig caught up with me in the kitchen. “Got a minute, Colin?”
– “Sure. What’s up?”
Craig didn’t answer right away. He led me into the den. “OK if we talk in here?”
– “No problem.” I said. “What’s on your mind?”
I was expecting something game-related, but he surprised me. “Hey, ah – thanks for teaming me up with Claire.” He wasn’t being sarcastic; Craig was rarely anything but completely genuine. “But listen, ah … I don’t want to step on anybody’s shoes, you know.”
– “Craig, are you talking about Claire? You and Claire?”
– “Yeah. I mean, no – I was talking about you and her. You guys have some history, right? And I saw how she was looking at you. So, I just wanted to ask: are you serious about Claire?”
I felt a tremendous sense of relief. And satisfaction, too. Craig was a truly decent guy. He would be great for her. “No, Craig.” I told him. “You called it right. History. All in the past. And neither of us ever wanted to get serious. It would have made things awkward, you know? With Leo and Eliza, I mean. We’re old friends, and we both think it’s best to stay that way.”
– “You’re sure?” asked Craig. “Because I can back off, if that’s what you want.”
– “Craig – just answer me this: are you interested in Claire?”
– “Yeah. I am. Very much so.”
– “I really appreciate you coming to me like this.” I told him. “It’s a classy thing to do. But the field is wide open, my friend. Better than that, even. Claire has been trying to get your attention for a while now. She was worried that you had a girlfriend, or something.”
– “No, no. Nothing like that. I just … wanted to make sure.”
– “She’s a great girl, Craig.”
– “I know. Hey, thanks, Colin. Thanks a lot.” We shook hands, and parted as friends. This might just turn into a perfect solution for all concerned.
We started playing pool in the basement. It turned into a very, very different game. For one thing, Eric was better than Eliza, changing the balance of power on that team. For another, Sheila was not so good, and Leo was … Leo, so they went from one of the strongest teams to one of the weakest. Claire was still terrible. But the biggest surprise of all was Lena.
Now I know that they have pool halls in Slovenia, because she was a shark. I can hold my own on a pool table, and she was damn good. Unless somebody ran the table on us, we weren’t going to lose.
– “Stacked the teams, Colin?” said Ben. Asshole – he wasn’t complaining when it was ping-pong.
We made it to the finals, against Barb and Ben, and we cleaned their clocks.
It was a great confidence booster for Lena, and she got a lot of positive attention. Beating Ben never gets old, so I enjoyed it, too. But we also prevented those two from getting a second clue. Lena and I went to see Teresa to claim our prize.
– “Congratulations.” she said. “Here you go.” Teresa handed us a teabag each.
I just looked at her.
– “Oh, the expression on your face, Colin!” Teresa actually laughed. “Priceless!” Lena was just as confused as I was, so Teresa took pity on us. “This is a clue to the location of the treasure. Redbeard captured a whole cargo of this from a French merchantman. He liked it so much, he put into it the code for his treasure.”
– “That’s it?” I asked.
– “That’s it. Now I have to try to explain to Lena.” Teresa pulled out a small book. It was a Slovenian-English dictionary.
– “Hey – that’s awesome.” I said. “Could I borrow that, later?”
– “Why?” asked Teresa.
– “So I could maybe use some words that Lena would understand.”
That half-smile crept across Teresa’s face. It was a sight I knew so very well. She was pleased. “We’ll see.” she said.

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 22

Teresa gathered us all in the living room, or on the main deck, as she called it. She handed each of us a new set of clues, which we were allowed to read, but then had to return to her. She would, however, allow us to write down our own copies, if we so desired. Mine looked like this:

– LEO IS NOT A PIRATE, THOUGH HE PRETENDS TO BE

– YOU REMEMBER THAT REDBEARD USED CODES TO PROTECT HIS SECRETS. THE LOCATION OF HIS TREASURE, HE SAID, WAS GUARDED BY ‘THE TWELVE APOSTLES’

– THERE IS A BIBLE ABOARD. IT HAS MORE THAN ONE USE.

I looked around at the others. If Claire had the same clue, she would want her Bible back. But she was eager to meet and join forces with the Falcon, whoever that was – my enemy.

So I immediately did two things. First, I wrote some notes on the paper Teresa had provided. But I did not copy the clues she had given me. Instead I wrote down the pirate recognition signal, the fact that Claire wanted to be a pirate, and then my own piece of fiction: that the Scar intended to betray the Falcon. It was a lie, but only I knew that. Later on today, I might ‘lose’ my secret clues, or leave them lying around where someone else would find them.

The second thing I did was to sneak back into the den, and hide two pieces of paper. One was Claire’s Bible. The second was my paper that said ‘Pistol’. Upon reflection, I didn’t want to be caught with it; since Redbeard had been killed by a bullet, if anyone knew that I had a pistol, they might suspect me.

It had begun to rain, softly, and the dark clouds did not look promising. Teresa took me aside, to ask me a favor.

– “Would you organize a table tennis tournament? And perhaps billiards as well? Mix up the teams, so that everyone has a chance to play with everyone else.”

– “I can do that. Will you be participating?” I asked.

– “No, thank you.”

Teresa then announced that because of the weather, we would not have duty stations. “This afternoon,” she said, “will be devoted to games. Able seaman Colin will draw up a schedule. To add a little incentive, the winners of the table tennis and billiards tournaments will be granted a special clue concerning the whereabouts of the treasure.”

I drew up the teams in no time, and then designed a quick round-robin formula. Five teams, to play each other team, best two records meeting in a playoff final. If Teresa could play matchmaker, then so could I. First team: Craig and Claire.

Leo would kill me if I paired him up with Eliza so obviously. Also, he was a pretty weak ping-pong player. He wouldn’t want to embarrass Eliza, who had to be pretty decent – it was her table, after all. So I put Eliza with Eric, one of the most uncoordinated, un-athletic people on the planet. Leo could have Sheila for a partner, because I had seen her play once, and she was pretty good.

I would take Lena as my partner. Hopefully, she would feel more comfortable with me. And I had promised Teresa to look after her. That left Ben and Barb for the final team.

It was surprisingly entertaining. Claire was obviously nervous, perhaps distracted by having Craig for a partner. He played reasonably well, but Eliza simply returned every shot right at her best friend, knowing that Claire would squeal in panic, and either miss completely, or hit the wall, a spectator, the fridge … you name it. I should mention that we all played in costume, so it was fun to watch, too. Especially the way Ee’s breasts threatened to leap out of her shirt when she smashed the ball.

Ben and Barb then took on Sheila and Leo. I had to make a rules call. I decided that costumes count, and that Barb therefore had to play with her eye patch on. Didn’t matter; she and Ben narrowly edged Sheila, who was virtually playing alone. Leo produced a pretty funny running commentary, but it might have helped his teammate a little more if he had returned a shot or two. I decided, privately, that watching Barb’s tits jiggle was the real highlight of the match.

Lena and I then played Claire and Craig. I’m not sure if ping pong is popular in Slovenia. All I know is that Lena had never played it. You would think, with her incredible wingspan, that she might be effective. But she had the reflexes of a three-toed sloth. It was a race to see who could make the most unforced errors. Craig and I had our share of those, too, because we were both laughing so hard.

In the end, Lena and I managed to finish 4th, with a win and 3 losses. Claire and Craig were winless, while Eliza and Eric split their games. Barb and Ben, undefeated, were in the finals, against Sheila and Leo, who had lost only one game. They played an epic match, with Sheila practically standing on her head, but Ben was too much for her.

 

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Another Life – Chapter 7

I was over-thinking it. It didn’t have to be complicated. So when my Dad and stepmother made plans to visit friends for a weekend, I made a phone call. Sam didn’t sound too surprised to hear from me. She accepted my offer without giggling or saying anything foolish.

Friday, after work, I biked home. I showered, and cleaned up. Dad gave me instructions for the weekend, and contact information for where they were staying. My stepmother gave me a list of chores she wanted done. They left. I ate my delicious meal of leftovers.

Then I walked over to Sam’s house. It was only 15 minutes away, if I cut through the park behind the elementary school.

I rang the doorbell, and Sam answered. Tanya wasn’t home, thankfully; she was over at a friend’s. Caroline said hello. Her mother simply said: “Have a nice time. Don’t be too late!”

– “We won’t.” I promised. One of the benefits of having come over so often with Marty, I suppose, was that Sam’s Mom wasn’t too curious – or suspicious – about me.

Sam and I walked back to my house. It occurred to me, as were crossing the park, that she hadn’t said anything stupid yet. I’d asked her how work shift had gone, and a few other simple questions.

– “Sam? Can I ask you something else?”

– “Yeah. Of course.”

– “We’ve been walking for … ten minutes – and you haven’t giggled. Not even once.”

– “I know.” she said.

– “And … pardon me for saying it, but you haven’t said anything … silly, either. I mean, I’m not asking you to, but … how come?”

– “I don’t know. I think it’s because my sisters aren’t around.” she said.

– “Tanya?”

– “Caroline, too. They’re always telling me how stupid I am. And they tell our friends. They tell everybody: Mom, Dad. So I try to say something smart … only that usually just makes it worse.”

I felt for her. Without thinking, I reached out and took her hand. We walked on, in silence, for a while.

– “And the giggles?” I asked.

– “I don’t know.” she said. “I guess I just want guys to like me. Only I never know what to say, or I say the wrong thing. Don’t guys like it if girls laugh at their jokes?”

– “Sometimes.” I said. Only Sam giggled at everything I said.

– “I overdo it, right?” she said. “I know I do. It’s like I can’t stop. I guess I just get nervous, and that’s how I react.”

– “But you’re not giggling now.” I pointed out. “So does that mean you’re not nervous with me? Or not as much as you used to be?”

– “No, I’m not nervous with you, Joe. Not so much, anymore.” She gave my hand a squeeze. “Because I know you like me. You do, right?”

I pulled her to me, and kissed her. She responded passionately. We were just down the road from my house – actually, only two doors away from Anne’s house. I didn’t care if any of the neighbors were watching. Sam’s face was radiant when I finally released her.

– “You’re very pretty.” I told her.

It was the first time she’d been to my house. My stepmother wouldn’t let me have friends over unless I got permission first – and there was often a reason why ‘Now isn’t a good time’. Sam got the 10 cent tour, and then followed me to the basement. I got her a drink.

It was decidedly odd. I had just discovered that I didn’t have to talk to Sam. In fact, I liked her best when she wasn’t giggling or saying something stupid. It remained to be seen if she was comfortable enough around me to relax and … well… Wasn’t it Elvis who sang: ‘A little less conversation, a little more action please’?

So I kissed her. Sam kissed me back. She wasn’t shy, but she wasn’t aggressive, either. I had already learned that much, from our necking session in Marty’s car.

When I searched out her tongue with my own, she responded in kind. And when I put my arms around her, and pulled her close, she wrapped her arms around me. As a test, I slid a hand down to her butt, and gave it a squeeze. A moment later, I felt her little hand settle on my ass, and give it a rub. I came up for air, and leaned back.

– “You trust me, don’t you, Sam?” I asked.”We’re not going to do anything you don’t want to – okay? You tell me to stop, and we will.”

– “Okay.” she said, leaning forward to kiss me again.

Sam didn’t protest when I pulled her close, and let her feel my erection through our pants. When I pressed forward a bit, against her lower belly, she responded by grinding her crotch on my upper thigh.

I lifted up her shirt, and she raised her arms so that I could pull it over her head. Then I took off her bra. She helped, and threw it on the chair, next to her shirt.

For a very slim girl, Sam had nice boobs. She let me cup, fondle, and gently squeeze them. I traced paths with my fingertips. When I bent over to kiss her breast, Sam cradled my head with her hands, and ground her crotch against my leg a little harder.

There was no hurry. We had all night. And Sam was obviously just as turned on as I was. I probably spent twenty more minutes kissing her and her breasts. Then I undid her jeans, and slipped them down her legs.

Her panties followed, and Sam was standing naked in my basement. I stepped back.

– “Can I look at you?” I asked.

– “Yes.” she breathed. No giggle. She put her hands up behind her head, making her boobs perk up very nicely.

Sam was bit too slender: no hips to speak of – her waist was almost wider than her hips. But she had nice legs, those delightful boobies, and that pretty face with the abnormally bright blue eyes. I had no complaints.

– “Don’t ever let anyone say you aren’t beautiful.” I told her.

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 8

Friday 

Leo and I got off to an early start, beating most of the holiday traffic. We arrived at Eliza’s cottage by mid-afternoon. She and Claire were already there, and so were Teresa and her friend Lena. All four of them came out to greet us, and to help us unload.

Teresa introduced us.

– “Colin, Leo – this is my friend Lena.”

– “Umm … hi.” was the best I could manage. It took me another moment to gather my wits. You see, Teresa had neglected to mention that Lena was tall. Like, over 6 feet tall. (I learned later that she was 6’1″) She was remarkably attractive, with long, straight blonde hair, big brown eyes, and those classic east European features: a narrow face, accentuated by long, straight hair, and high cheekbones.

– “Hello.” she said, offering me her hand. “I have heard much about you.” Then she corrected herself. “Teresa tell me much about you.” If Lena was learning to speak English, she had a lot of work to do, but her accent was quite appealing.

– “You too.” I said, shaking her hand. “I mean, Teresa has also told me about you.” Damn, I was having trouble concentrating. If her pretty face wasn’t enough of a distraction, she had long arms, and incredibly long legs. She made Eliza look like a hobbit.

Leo was no better. He just stared, with his mouth open. I gave him a nudge. “Let’s get the car unloaded.”

Eliza’s cottage was a very large 2 storey, 4 bedroom house, with an attached garage and a basement. It was more like a house than a cottage. Leo and I carried the beer downstairs, where there was a second fridge specifically for the chilling of sudsy beverages.

Upstairs, Teresa inspected the wines we had brought, and gave our selections the seal of approval. “Great job, guys.” she said.

Eliza was going through the liquor bottles. “White rum, dark rum, spiced rum … yeesh! Did you get enough rum?”

– “If you need more, we can make a liquor run tomorrow.” said Leo.

Eliza rolled her eyes. “I was being sarcastic.” she said.

– “So was I.” said Leo.

– “Can we do anything to help?” I volunteered.

– “We’ve got everything under control here.” said Teresa.

– “How about outside?” I asked Eliza. “Did you want the grass cut?”

– “That’s right. “answered Eliza. “You’ve been here for closing before. Sure, the grass needs to be cut this weekend. Might as well do it now, if you’re willing.”

– “I’ll help him.” said Leo.

We got the lawnmower out of the garage, and filled it up with gas.

– “Did you see that girl?” he said.

– “Lena? Pretty face, right?”

– “Face? I couldn’t see that high! Christ, her tits were over my head.” said Leo.

Eliza’s cottage sat on two acres of prime lakefront land. There was a copse of trees behind the house, but most of the grass was out front, between the house and the lake. There was a boathouse and a dock, and a large stone patio with a firepit and a massive barbecue. Overlooking that was a large deck, adjacent to the kitchen. Still, there was quite an expanse of grass to cut. It took us well over an hour, with Leo taking over about halfway. I used the trimmer while he finished up.

By the time we were done, we were both a bit sweaty. I realized then that with 11 people staying over, hot showers were not going to be easy to come by.

– “Feel like a swim?” I asked him.

– “You nuts? It’ll be fuckin’ freezing in there.”

I explained the shower issue. “Besides,” I said, “it’ll be a great way to wake up in the morning. Hell, we’ll have to go in tomorrow to get the dock out.”

– “Somebody will have to go in tomorrow.” said Leo. “Why do you assume that person is going to be me? Even if I have to go in, I can wait. For now, I’m grabbing a shower.”

Undeterred, I changed into shorts for swimming, and got my towel. There was no point in delaying the inevitable: I dove off the end of the dock. It was cold enough to make me catch my breath, but as I surfaced and began treading water, I realized that it wasn’t that bad. Our unseasonably warm summer had phased into an unusually warm autumn.

Teresa and Lena had heard the splash, and were standing on the deck when I emerged.

– “How is it?” called Teresa.

– “Better than I expected.” I told her. “Too cool for swimming, but a quick dip won’t cause heart failure.”

She laughed, and then translated for Lena. As I dried off, another car arrived. It was Craig, arriving with Ben. Eric was with them. I shook hands with all three, and thanked Craig for bringing Eric, as I had asked him to.

– “No problem. Glad to.” he replied.

– “Hope you’re ready to go, Colin.” said Ben. “Of course, I’m going to win this thing, but it’s always better if you make it a challenge.”

– “I’ll try my best.” I answered. I was never quite sure how to take Ben. In my humble opinion, he was an arrogant asshole. But others seemed to like him, so I might have been wrong.

 

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=264

 

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Another Life – Chapter 6

Marty was treating Caroline like the protagonist in a fucking Jane Austen novel – in another eight or nine years, he’d have progressed to holding her hand.

I had no problem with Caroline. Actually, I didn’t know her all that well. I’d been trying to stay away from her – and to keep her sisters with me – to give Marty some room. Lord knows what he was doing with it.

He kept asking me to go to their house with him – and I kept going. I asked myself why: really, I did. Maybe 60% of it was loyalty to my buddy. The rest? Fucked if I know.

Tanya was jailbait. Avoid at all costs. That didn’t mean that I was blind. She was funny, with a caustic sense of humor and a sharp tongue. Ron was probably right: one of these days she was going to turn into a proper little hottie. Couldn’t fault her taste in music, either.

Sam was a conundrum, shrouded in a mystery, wrapped in a nutbar. I couldn’t figure her out – and I couldn’t decide how I felt about her. Dumb as a bag of rocks. Pretty. Sweet, at times.

Best left alone.

Against my better judgment, I took up with Anne again. That was a mistake. We both knew it, right after the first time we ended up in bed. But it took a second fuck, in her bedroom, before we were smart enough to call it quits.

Then Marty invited me to a cottage party.

– “I’ll drive, if you can get us a case of beer.” he said.

– “Let me guess: we’re taking the sisters.”

– “If that’s okay with you.”

It turned out to be a massive party, with incredibly loud music, over 100 people, and a beautiful night sky.

– “Sit near me.” I ordered Sam and Tanya. I didn’t want either one getting into trouble.

Quite a few beers were drunk that night – many of them by me. I was feeling a bit … melancholy. Maybe it was breaking up with Anne again. But I snapped out of it when I heard the first chords of Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ blaring over the speakers.

– “Listen to this.” I told Tanya. “The drums. Everybody hears the guitar – or Ann Wilson’s voice.”

– “She’s awesome.” said Tanya.

– “I know – but the listen to the drummer. He’s kicking the shit out of this song!”

Tanya just grinned. She loved it when I talked to her, made her the centre of my attention. She listened to me for twenty minutes solid, as I switched to Zeppelin, trying to explain what made John Bonham such an incredible drummer.

– “Tanya? Could you get Uncle Joe another beer? And one for yourself and your sister, if you don’t mind.”

– “I’ll get them!” yelled Sam, as she sprang to her feet. She was no longer a brunette – she’d dyed her hair blonde again. Off she ran. Tanya watched her go, and then turned to me.

– “Joe?”

– “Yeah?”

– “If I was 18, would you go out with me?”

Shit. Shitshitshit.

– “Tanya – you’re a bright girl.” I said. She could tell that I was building up to a ‘but’.

“I think you like me.” she said.

– “You’re smart, and you have you good taste in music.” I told her. “You still have to recognize why Neil Peart is a fucking great drummer, too … but you’re pretty cool.”

– “You didn’t answer my question.” she said.

– “What was the question?” I asked. I’d already had more beers than I needed.

– “Here you go!” shouted Sam. She handed us both a fresh beer.

I have to admit it: I was on my way to getting seriously blitzed. I hadn’t intended to. But keeping track of Sam and Tanya was hard work.

We ended up sitting around a huge bonfire. Sam was drunk, and clingy. Tanya was drunk, and growing incoherent. I was drunk – and not sure what was going on.

I do remember someone hijacking the turntable, and putting on ‘Achilles’ Last Stand.’ Martin found us there. While Caroline glared at us, he got us to our feet. Somehow, we got the drunken sisters into the back seat of his car. I ended up in the middle, with a sister on either side of me.

Tanya was fairly wasted, and a bit queasy. We rolled down her window, and made sure that she got a steady supply of fresh air. Sam wasn’t so far gone.

I was. I saw her pretty face, hovering near mine. And I leaned forward – and kissed her.

Lord knows what I was thinking. Maybe I wasn’t thinking at all. Her lips tasted sweet, though. Sam tickled my lip with her tongue. I did what any red-blooded male would have done, and slid my tongue into her mouth.

Yes, I was kissing Sam. French-kissing Sam, to be exact. Marty drove, while Caroline talked to him. I kept Tanya’s head near the open window, in case she was tempted to spew. Other than that, I necked with Sam. I did have the occasional lucid moment, and I did ask myself: what the fuck are you doing?

I ignored myself, and kept smooching with Sam. She was a good kisser. I did pull back, once, to look at her. Maybe I was drunk. Actually, I was quite drunk – but she looked just fine. And she tasted very nice.

On my other side, Tanya was snoring. At least she didn’t puke.

Marty got us home safely.

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=377

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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