Back In The Summer of '96 (oh yeah!)

Chapter One.

Natasha was bored.

It was a typical mundane day at work, and how she wished she were outside, instead of being stuck in this stuffy office.

She worked as an International Buyer for a large Bathroom and Tile Company, and recently she had become to hate it.
The people she worked with were great (she’d even had a fling with one or two of them!), but she was just so bored of it all. She even had a secret crush on Chris, one of the Warehouse workers, but he was so young, it wasn’t right to have such thoughts!

All this paperwork and deadlines, it was enough to drive a girl crazy.
She’d always wanted to be an Artist, but knew that it was not a job to pay the bills, so here she was, sat at her desk, bored out of her mind, wondering if she’d ever get that promotion which had been dangling like a carrot for the last couple of years.
At least if she got that, she would get to travel to the countries she purchased from, instead of only talking to her foreign contacts by phone or email. So frustrating, she knew she deserved that promotion, and was sick of waiting for it. She’d have to say something about that to her boss Steven, and soon.

It was a beautiful late March morning. The most glorious blue skies, white fluffy clouds, and a hint of warmth from the sun.
There were the first signs of Spring and new life in the air.

Why are workdays always like this?, yet weekends are wet and windy, messing up her hair and outfits when she was out on the town, which of course, was every weekend!

As she was sat at her desk, in a world of her own, she was thinking about her soon to be dumped boyfriend David.

He was everything any normal girl could wish for.
He was a junior partner in a Stock Brokers, had a penthouse suite in THE most fashionable place in the city, drove a top of the range Mercedes, wore only the very best tailor made suits, was polite, opened doors for her, took her to the best restaurants….but he was, well, boring.

Natasha had tried to be the perfect girlfriend, which it seems, is what David wanted.
But what had been the final crunch was when he had appeared in a club he knew that Natasha would be at, and told her he had come to take her home!

The cheek of the man! She was 25 years old for goodness sake, not some underage teenager who shouldn’t be in the place!

Oh, and the fact that he’d asked her when she was stopping smoking only three weeks in to their relationship hadn’t helped either. I mean, she’d not even said she was stopping (secretly, she wanted to, but hadn’t disclosed this to any one). Nope, he’d have to go.

Natasha liked the high life, but she also like a man to have an edge, a little sense of danger about him, and perfect David did not tick any of those boxes.

It would have to be done soon, she thought, whilst biting the end of her pen.
She wanted some one else, and didn’t want to lose her chance, that’s if she ever saw him again.

Hmm, how to do it?

She may be sassy and outspoken sometimes, but hated dumping men. And then a thought jumped in to her head!
She’d have to make him dump her! Yes, that was the answer.

The trilling of her phone abruptly broke her daydreaming.
Oh how she wished she knew who it was before she picked it up.
It was most probably work related, but it could be HIM, and she had already decided that avoiding him would give him the message he’d been officially offloaded.
Luckily, it was Samantha from the company’s Manchester office requesting some stock information, so she was saved from any confrontation just yet.
Still, she knew she’d have to face it sometime, and soon!

Natasha was beautiful, and she was acutely aware of this.

She had the most amazing mass of platinum hair (thanks to a bottle), which cascaded down her back like a beautiful silk curtain.
She was not too short, a nice 5’6”, and a perfect size 10.
Who wanted to be too skinny? She knew that men liked curves, and was proud of her toned figure.

She had the most unusual green eyes, which were, she knew, her best feature, they were so penetrating, so beautiful. They were framed with lashes that most women would have to buy in a box.

Her lips were full, just the right size, and she had a smattering of freckles on her cheeks and nose, which came out like a mini army if she happened to catch the sun.
This was one thing she didn’t like about herself.
The freckles seemed to join up like a dot to dot riddle, and she ended up looking like Adam Ant, with that ridiculous stripe across his face and nose! So, she tried to avoid the sun on her face at all costs, instead opting for a spray tan when the mood took her.

Her only other flaw, was that she had a little bump in the middle of her nose, from where she’d broken it when she’d fallen off of a wall when she was little. People didn’t notice this though, how could they, with everything else about her being so alluring?

By the time Natasha had arrived home after having to work well over her 5pm finishing time to reach a deadline, Carrie, her flatmate, was already there, with her bottom in the air and her head in the oven.

Natasha took off her coat, and threw that and her bag in the hallway, and walked over to where Carrie appeared to be trying to gas herself.
“What on earth are you doing?” Tasha asked her friend.
Carrie quickly jumped up banging her head on the top of the oven, obviously unaware of Natasha’s arrival.
“Oh, didn’t know you were home, I’m trying to scrape what should have been a pizza off of the bottom of the oven” Carrie stated.

Yes, there it was.
The distinct smell of burning in the air, and Natasha knew that once again, her friend had tried to burn their apartment down.
Carrie was so good at so many things, but cooking was not one of them!

Her silky shoulder length golden hair was dishevelled and she had what looked like soot on the end of her pert little nose, and Natasha couldn’t help but laugh, even though it was worrying that it was inevitable that it would be sooner rather than later there would be a major house fire if her friend insisted on trying to use an appliance she had no idea how to operate!
They were already on first name terms with the local fire brigade!

“Just leave it will you, I’ll clean it up and we’ll get a take out, you’re a liability and should have a ‘serious health hazard’ banner hung around your neck at all times” Tasha retorted, laughing.
Carrie, pretending to be hurt, flipped her hair away from her face and stormed off in to the lounge where the stereo was blasting out “You’re Gorgeous” by Baby Bird.
Such a corny song, but such a feel good song too….Carrie would soon be back to her happy go lucky self.

After a rushed takeout pizza and a light chocolate mousse (they thought that by choosing a light mousse, it would somehow counteract the fattening pizza!) , the girls were in a chaos trying to get ready. It may only be a Tuesday, but they were out on the town as usual, and were running late, again, as usual.

They had a ritual of getting ready together in Natasha’s room, with a glass (well, bottle) of wine, a packet of cigarettes, and music blaring out. Not a great idea, because Tasha’s room always stank of stale smoke the following day, which only made her hangover worse!.

Because they always got ready like this, chattering all the way through their ritual, it took twice as long to get ready, and after squabbling over clothes and many glances in the mirror from different angles, they were ready to hit the town….already half an hour late and already a little tipsy.

Natasha, looked especially gorgeous tonight, with her long white blonde hair flowing down her barely covered back, and was wearing impossibly tight hipsters and a tiny top, and the beautiful Carrie, with her golden blonde hair tousled in that “just got out of bed” look which men found so sexy, was wearing a long black dress which had a slightly wet look to it, and clung in all the right places…the girls looked stunning, and they knew it!

Suki was waiting for them in their usual meeting place, just outside a bar called Bellina’s.

She did not look happy!

“I am bloody freezing, what the hell took you so long?” Suki quizzed with a glare that would freeze hell over.

“The taxi was late Sukes, so sorry”.
But it was clear that they weren’t and Suki was not impressed….great way to start the night!

“And anyway” Natasha said “I’m not surprised you’re freezing, you forgot your clothes!”
This broke the ice and sent the three of them in to fits of giggles.

Of course, Suki looked amazing, as always.
She was very pretty, with hair the likes you have never seen! It was dyed pillar box red, and cascaded down her back in the most amazing curls.
She worked in a hair salon, so her hair always looked like something out of a magazine. She had sky blue eyes, which were a wonderful contrast against that hair, and standing at a respectable 5’3”, and a size six, she was so petite, men wanted to look after and protect her. Not that she needed it. She may be petite, but she was as fiery as her hair was red!

Her ex boyfriend had been an up and coming clothes designer, and she had some amazing outfits, one of one’s which no one else had, and tonight she was wearing the most gorgeous two piece. A tiny cream A line skirt and matching top which tied just under her bust, showing off her amazing cleavage and abs, and all year round suntan (Suki liked her sun beds!).
This she’d finished off with knee high boots, and with her mass of amazingly wild curls, ensured she was always a show stopper.

Party girls they were, and that’s the way they intended to be for as long as their faces and figures would allow!

Chapter Two.

Once ensconced in the warmth of the bar, the girls waded through the already dense crowd (it was only 8.30pm) and managed, in their usual style, to navigate to the front of the queue, with more than a few admiring glances their way.

Even though the bar was packed, Del, the cute barman, saw them straight away and strolled over towards them. “What’s it to be tonight ladies” he asked in his cocky yet cute way.

“What do you say Ladies” asked Carrie “Sex on The Beach or a Screaming Orgasm?!”
Squealing with delight the other two announced they’d like both, in that order!
Del walked away, laughing and shaking his head, to make the cocktails for the girls.

God it was great being so ALIVE!

The music was amazing, Jamiroqui’s “Space Cowboy” was playing, and the girls were dancing away to it, even though it was only a bar, and there was no dance floor.

Suki was singing along to the lyrics, and Carrie listened intently.
“What did you just sing?” she asked her friend.
Suki said “I’m singing along, what’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing” Carrie replied “apart from the fact that the lyrics you are singing should be ‘military good vibe zone, NOT military combat zone’!”

Fits of laughter broke out between them, much to the amusement of the crowd around them.

They couldn’t stop laughing, Natasha had tears rolling down her face from laughing so much and her abs hurt from laughing so hard, she’d almost ruined her perfectly made up face, but she didn’t care.
THIS was what life was all about!
They didn’t care, they were young, free and single (well, Natasha wasn’t but that was an afterthought).

Suki had noticed a very handsome man looking over the crowds, and he seemed to be looking directly at Natasha. His eyes never left her.

Suki nudged her friend “hey Tash, have you seen that gorgeous bloke over there, he can’t keep his eyes off of you”.

Natasha glanced in the direction Suki was pointing and saw that it was the man she wanted, and had done for a year.
She could feel her heart beat faster, she felt her breath catch in her throat, and felt she could hardly breathe with the excitement bubbling up inside her.

“Oh my God, it’s him, it’s Marcus, what should I do?” Tasha asked quickly.

“Go to the toilets, they’re that way, you have to walk straight past him” Carrie replied.

“I don’t know if I can, I mean, I’ve not finished with David yet, and, oh God, I just can’t!”

“Yes you CAN!” the others shouted over the noise “Just go for it Tash, you don’t know when or if you’ll see him again”.

Taking a very large slug of her drink to calm her nerves, Natasha decided the girls were right, she had to at least walk past, give him a chance, see if he tried to even talk to her.

“Ok girls, here I go, wish me luck” (I think I’ll need it she was thinking to herself).

With that, Tasha walked down from the podium and slowly made her way through the crowds, navigating so that she would have to move past him, but not too closely, so that it didn’t look too obvious to him what she was doing, although she thought, any idiot in their right mind would see exactly what she was doing!

As she nearer him, every step seemed like a lifetime. Her heart was beating so fast, she thought it would burst out of her chest, but still she carried on, she knew she needed to do this.

Before she knew it, he was there, stood in front of her, blocking her way.

She looked up at him and as his eyes bore in to hers, she thought she might faint.

“So” he said in that wonderful voice of his, which she had never forgotten “we meet again”.

It took all of Natasha’s strength to mutter “so we do”.

There seemed to be a silence which went on forever as they stared at each other, and Natasha didn’t know if she could bare it.

Then he spoke again “Me and the lads are going next door after this, I don’t suppose you’re going too?”

With her heart about to explode she replied that they were and slowly, he replied “well, I’ll see you there then” and then he was gone, back in to the crowds.

Natasha forgot that she was supposed to be going to the toilets and rushed straight back to the girls

“Oh my GOD, he’s asked me if we’re going next door, and I said yes, even though I know we said no, but if..”

“Slow down Tash!” shouted Suki above the current track playing “Three Lions” by the Lightening Seeds. It was nearing the end of the footie season, and everyone was excited about Euro ’96 which was to begin in a few months. Surely this time, England would win!

It seemed that everyone in the bar was singing along to it, and the noise was deafening.

“Start again, you’re making no sense!” Shouted Suki once again.

“Ok, sorry” Natasha responded “he wants me to go to the club next door, but I know we said we wouldn’t because it’s a week night, and with work and everything next day…what do I do?”

“Look” Carrie said “We’ll go ok, just for an hour, that’s it. We’ll see what happens. I’m not ready for home yet anyway, so what the hell!”

So with that, Natasha’s fate was sealed.

Chapter Three.

The club was heaving, as was the bar before, which was unusual for a Tuesday night. But as it was buy one get one free on most house drinks and cheap entry to the club, it seemed inevitable, especially with the students of the city.

As usual, the girls made their way to the bar, easily getting through the throng of people by wiggling and squirming their way through.

They avoided the women queuing, and no man could easily refuse to let them through.
On the rare occurrence when they did, they were soon charmed by the flirtations of the girls.

The girls ordered softer drinks this time, just an alcopop each, so they hopefully wouldn’t suffer too much in the morning.

Natasha was keenly scanning the crowds for him.

She knew he must be here already, she almost sensed it.

And then there he was, in front of her. Just like before.

The thing with Marcus was, Natasha had met him before. Exactly one year before, to be precise.

She remembered the date exactly, 15th March 1995.

She remembers what she was wearing. She remembers what he was wearing.
She remembers seeing him for the first time and locking eyes….those wonderfully penetrating eyes…she remembers everything.

She remembers talking to him, laughing until her sides split, and dancing until the early hours.

Then, he’d asked her back to his house, and she had declined.

That was the last time she’d seen him in person, until tonight.

He was a footballer, so she couldn’t NOT see him on TV when his match was shown, but until tonight, she’d not seen him in person, although she had thought about him often over the last 12 months.

She had always wondered what would have happened had she gone back to his house that night a year ago.

Bringing her thoughts back to the present, Natasha found that in the club, the hours had sped by, the girls had long gone, pleading for their beds, but Natasha could not leave, not this time.

And when he asked her back home again, against her usual rules, she accepted.

Her inhibitions were gone, thanks to the cocktails, and when they arrived at Marcus’s house, she fell in to his arms.
They kissed passionately, as if as one, as if they’d been meant to be together.

When Marcus asked her if she’d like some champagne, she accepted gladly, and they’d moved in to the beautiful lounge, which had one whole wall of floor to ceiling windows, and the most wonderful view of the city, which seemed to be a floor of shimmering fairy lights, lit up, just for them.

They just sat there in silence. Snuggled up on the couch, not talking much, sipping champagne, enjoying the views and the company, and mostly the closeness.

When he led her upstairs, she followed willingly, but she didn’t sleep with him, even though they were to sleep in the same bed.

Something had felt wrong as soon as she’d entered the bedroom, and she’d refused to sleep with him.
He had seemed ok with this, and they had fallen in to an alcohol fuelled sleep, bodies entwined.

When Natasha awoke, bleary eyed and feeling the effects of last night, she instinctively knew that she shouldn’t be there, but didn’t know why.

She had seen some women’s toiletries dotted around, and had tentatively asked Marcus “Who do these belong to?”
He had replied that they belonged to his mother who he had recently lost and that having them around comforted him.
At the time Natasha accepted this, but something just didn’t seem quite right.

Something else bothered her.
Instead of driving her home or ordering her a taxi, Marcus had rung his friend, and asked if he could pick Tasha up.

What was that all about?

Marcus was capable of driving her home, he had no football training that day, so that really bothered her, but she didn’t ask him.

Deep down, she didn’t think she wanted to know the answer.

Still, even though she felt there was something not right regarding Marcus, she knew she had to see him again.

Carrie was not impressed.

It was 7am, and she felt like hell. She was not in a good mood!
As she waited for the kettle to boil, Carrie thought of the night before.

Natasha had failed to come home. She’d not even left a message for her, and Carrie was now wondering what the hell was going on.
Well, she figured that it had something to do with Marcus, who for some reason, she didn’t entirely trust, and she was genuinely worried about her friend.

Just as Carrie was opening her car door to go to work, Natasha showed up in a black BMW, and it wasn’t Marcus driving.
Natasha got out of the passenger side, said something to the driver, smiled and closed the door.

Natasha looked like she’d been dragged through a hedge backwards, with her normally immaculate hair in tangles, and traces of last nights’ make up smudged around her eyes.

“What the hell happened to you, and who the bloody hell was that?” Carrie demanded.

“I ended up going back with Marcus. It’s a long story, I’m sorry, I feel like total shit, and need a shower, I’ll fill you in later” and with that Natasha was walking away to their apartment.

Charming, Carrie thought. I feel like hell because she dragged us all to a club on a weeknight, and all I get is a brush off.
I’ll deal with her later Carrie decided, as she closed the car door behind her.

Carrie worked in banking.

A steady job with good prospects, her Father had told her when she’d first got the job as a junior clerk (which in layman’s terms meant tea and coffee maker, getting everyone their lunch choices from the local deli, and general dogsbody).

However, she’d worked hard and was now a personal banker, but it was so bloody boring sometimes.

Still, it paid very well, and kept her in a decent(ish) lifestyle.
Yet she wished for more, who didn’t?

Carrie was one of those people who were naturally beautiful, inside and out, but she wasn’t entirely aware of it.
She knew she was fairly pretty (the fact was she was much more than fairly pretty, but Carrie just didn’t see it).

She was even more petite than Suki, standing at only 5’2” tall, and also a size six, but seemed so much smaller because of her height. She was a tiny little package of pure delight!

Her hair, unlike her friends, was totally natural. Beautiful golden curls, which she wore shoulder length most of the time. She has the biggest blue eyes you’ve ever seen.
High, almost regal cheekbones, and plump ‘kiss me now’ lips.
Add a body to die for, thanks to her addiction to the gym, and the biggest heart you could ever imagine, and that was the package that was Carrie.

She would do anything for any one, and was a giving person, never expecting anything in return. She really was as beautiful inside as she was on the outside.

In her lunch hour, Carrie decided to browse the local shops.
One good thing about her place of work was that it was on the doorstep to all the major fashion shops. Great if you had the money!, but a credit card was just as good in Carrie’s eyes!

As she sauntered up Division Street, casually glancing in shop windows at shoes and bags she couldn’t afford, she clumsily bumped in to someone and her sandwich and bag went flying, scattering the contents everywhere.
Luckily there was just the usual stuff in there, her purse, her mobile, some make up, her diary, and some odd bits and bobs (why do girls always insist on carrying around so much!).

“I’m so sorry” she heard a male voice say.
Looking up, she realised it was David, Natasha’s soon to be dumped boyfriend.

“Oh, Hi David, don’t apologise, it was my fault not looking where I was going, I’m sorry” Carrie gushed “And oh God look, you’ve coffee all down your shirt, I’m so sorry!”
“No worries” David said with a wry smile “I’ve heard many a tale of Carrie and her calamities, so it’s only to be expected!”

Carrie couldn’t help but laugh. That cheeky cow Tasha must be telling all sorts of tales about her, but she didn’t mind, she knew she was like an ant on acid most of the time.

“Look, can we go to a café bar? The least I can do is replace your coffee, and you can use the men’s room to clean up some of the mess I caused, how about it?” Carrie asked.
“How can I resist an offer like that young lady, come on, let’s go to Shenanigan’s on Campo lane, it’s not too far, and I’ve heard they do a mean tuna melt on soda bread, and right now I could murder one!”

Carrie agreed, she had always felt comfortable with David, he was “posh” as that was his upbringing, but was down to earth too, and she never felt clumsy or out of place in his company.

As they headed towards Shenanigans, they made small talk, and of course, inevitably, the conversation turned to Natasha.
“So” David asked, “How’s the elusive Natasha? I’ve not heard from her for a few days, and am sort of wondering what’s going on”

Carrie felt herself colouring up, she knew this question would be asked, and didn’t want to be unfaithful to her friend (as she felt she would be, if she talked about this), but didn’t like to lie to David either.
He was a nice, decent guy, and didn’t deserve how Natasha was treating him, and he didn’t deserve to be lied to either.
What a predicament to be in!

“She’s ok” Carrie replied not meeting his eyes, “Busy with work as usual, busy with socialising as usual. You know Tasha”.
She knew that David could see straight through her pathetic attempt at covering for her friend, she’d never been a great liar.

“Oh come on Carrie, tell me, what’s she really up to?” David continued “I get the feeling that I’m on the way out as far as your mate is concerned”

“I don’t know David, you know what Tash is like” Carrie tried to explain “She’s not one to be tied down, she’s a party girl, you knew that when you started dating, what more can I say?”

David thought for a moment and replied “I know, and I knew. I knew it wouldn’t last, I suppose I was hoping, stupidly, that I would be the one to tame the lioness, I think I failed, don’t you” he said with a sad smile.

“Please don’t get me involved in this David, she’s my friend, and I like you, so this is very awkward for me, I don’t want to get involved”

“Hey, no worries, there’s plenty more ladies looking for an eligible bloke like me” he laughed it off, but Carrie knew it was bothering him.

“I bet there are you stud!” she replied, and with this the awkwardness seemed to be broken, and they spent the rest of their time together talking, laughing, poking fun at each other, and avoiding the subject of Natasha at all costs.

It was sad when they had to leave to get back to work.

Carrie had enjoyed herself immensely in his company, but then thought “God, what am I thinking! This is my mates boyfriend”!
Ok, soon to be ex boyfriend. But there were certain unspoken rules amongst friends, and she thought she’d crossed the line as far as David was concerned.

As they’d hugged their goodbyes and promised to see each other soon, Carrie gave herself a kick up the ass, she should not have spent time with David, it was against the rules, even though Natasha didn’t deserve him.

Carrie thought yet again, ‘what was Tash thinking?’
He was gorgeous, eligible, rich, funny, everything a girl could want, and yet Natasha didn’t want him, was the girl mad or something?!

Oh. My. God. Carrie thought, as she walked briskly back to work. I have a crush on my best friends boyfriend.

Chapter Four.

It was now April, the Spring had certainly sprung, and Suki was in a great mood.
It was a Thursday, and she’d booked two days off of work from the salon, so had four whole days of “ME” time!

She’d been secretly dating a man who was her friends’ fiancé….not the best idea, but she was having the time of her life!

It was dangerous, HE was dangerous, he was good looking, with dirty blonde hair and chiselled, almost sharp features, but best of all, he owned an Aston Martin Vanquish!

She was due to meet up with “her man” Max at the trendy bar Champions, on Rushdale Road, for brunch, and was hoping Tash would show up with Marcus, who she’d been seeing spasmodically since their night together in March.

Oh what to wear, Suki was thinking!

It was April, so summer clothes were out of the question, but it was so beautiful outside!

After much deliberation, and about twelve outfits later, she’d finally settled on very flattering hipster multi-striped trousers, and a top that was just the right length to show off a tiny bit of her amazing midriff…..enough to keep Max wanting more, and that is what this was all about.

She wanted him, and she was going to get him, no matter the cost.

She decided to keep her hair as it was, so long that it reached the small of her back, and yet so wild in colour, a vivid burnt red that she’d just had redone at her workplace…it was wild, unruly, and amazing, just like Suki.

Everyone who met her, remembered her. Or at least her hair!

She spritzed on a little XS perfume, in all the right places, picked up her fake Gucci bag (Max may buy her a real one soon, she hoped), and strolled out of the door, head held high, and so full of life and excitement!

She was a female on a mission, and as they say, the female of the species is more deadly than the male!

When Suki arrived at Champions, she was relieved to see that it was not too busy. It was a weekday after all she supposed, and was thankful for that.

She didn’t even look around for Max, but sashayed straight to the bar and ordered herself a large white wine spritzer, with two straws.

For some reason, she always wanted two straws.
In fact, she knew the reason why…her Granddad, God rest his soul, had always insisted on everything two at a time.
She remembered he ate humbugs, two at a time, and his explanation had been “it’s so one doesn’t feel lonely in my stomach!”
Ever since, Suki had stuck by this rule, two at a time, it was a ritual now, a part of her, and she doubt she’d ever change. She didn’t want to.

As she flirted with the barman, she felt a presence behind her and instinctively turned around….Max.

“Hey darling, you look amazing as usual, and smell amazing, again, as usual”

“You know how to charm a girl” Suki retorted “not exactly the most original chat up line that one is it!?”
She intended keeping him on his toes, and decided that by being mean to keep him keen would do it, then that what’s she would do.

Max was not that easy though and didn’t fall for Suki’s pretentious front.

He grabbed her and kissed her passionately, running his hands down her back, and grabbing her pert little bottom in a tight grasp. Suki melted in to his arms, all her sassy front had up and left her, and she gave in to her feelings for this man, who she knew was so very wrong for her.

Max, sensing her resolve melting away, made the most of it, and as he continued to kiss her, he pushed his groin up against her, knowing she would feel his hardness against her.

A moment of control came over Suki, and she pushed him away slightly, she wanted to keep him wanting her, and by giving in so easily, knew she would lose him.
“Hey Mr, that’s some welcome!, How’s you?” she managed to whisper.

Max smiled easily. He knew what he was, what he looked like, and what he had. He also knew how to treat a lady, and more importantly, read a lady…and this lady certainly wanted him.

Playing the game he replied “I’m the same babe, you know me, as easy as the day is long”

This infuriated Suki!
Her charms (of which there were many, and would usually work wonders on any NORMAL man) were not working on Max, and she was out of her comfort zone here.

“So” Suki retorted, playing along “You’re the same, I can see that. Let me rephrase….how’ve you been, and how is your lovely fiancée, and my friend Tara?”

She could see straight away that this had wrong footed him, and went for the kill “Does the delectable Tara know anything about us yet, or am I still your very dirty, very sexy, and very available, little secret?”

Suki had ensured she’d mentioned the ‘available’ part in her killer sentence, just so that he knew she was on the market to anyone who came along, just in case he thought she would wait around forever.

Max looked awkward for a while, as if either thinking of an equally devastating statement, or was totally dumfounded. Hard to tell, he was only a man after all!

“Of course she knows nothing” Max finally retorted “For a start, my balls are still where they should be and you look ok, so I doubt she’s been near you either” he quipped.

Eager to keep the banter going Suki continued “So, we’re safe for now then gorgeous, what would you like to drink?”
And with that, they fell in to the easy banter they were used to.

As Suki and Max were sat in a window seat, enjoying the warmth of a promising Summer to come, Natasha and Marcus strolled in to the bar, arm in arm, as if they were soul mates, been together forever sort of relationship, staring adoringly at each other.

‘As if’, Suki thought! Natasha had spent the last month wondering when he’d call, when he’d want to see her, why he’d not called, and everything in between!

Natasha, with her platinum blonde hair pulled back in to a high ponytail, was wearing the most inappropriate clothes for the time of year (‘what’s new there then’, Suki thought!), with a micro denim skirt on, which only just covered her bottom, and a little red summer T Shirt with the word “Bunnies” written across her breasts.
She was also wearing killer red heels to compliment her T Shirt.
They looked like Jimmy Choo’s, but Suki knew they weren’t, there was no way Tasha could afford those!

Suki had to admit though, even though it was way too early in the year for that sort of outfit, Tasha DID look amazing, and her toned tanned legs seemed to go on forever, and every man in the place was staring at her.

Marcus was dressed down in faded denims, and a “granddad” style shirt, open just a little at the top…very casual, but so sexy. His dark, almost black hair, was a little tousled, and he looked fit, healthy, and well, gorgeous. Suki could definitely see why Natasha was so smitten with him.

Natasha saw them straight away, and after whispering to Marcus and kissing him on the cheek, she ran (as fast as her shoes would allow!) over to where Suki and Max were sat.

“Hey you two, budge up, make space for two little ones!” Tasha announced.

“Are you talking about you and Marcus, or those things?” Max asked pointing to Natasha’s breasts.

Natasha rolled her eyes and replied “Don’t you men ever think of anything else!?” Max pretended to think for a while, and then answered, “Nope, I don’t think so” with a cheeky grin.

Suki thought Natasha was being too ‘nice’.

She didn’t think this in a bad way, but just though Tash may be covering up, or papering over something.

“Do you like my new shoes Sukes?” asked Tasha with anticipation “They are the real McCoy, Jimmy Choo’s!, Marcus bought them for me!”
“Are you joking?” Suki asked in amazement, and more than a little envious. “Nope, these babies are the real thing, look”. And with that Tasha pulled one of the shoes off of her foot and held it in the air like a trophy for all to see.
“Ok ok, I can see, they are the real thing, lucky you!” Suki replied, “How on earth did you manage to get him to buy you those?”

“Oh, it’s a little apology present, for not, well, being in touch as much as he could have been he said” Natasha replied looking down.

Ok, Marcus was a footballer, and was away a lot of the time when he wasn’t training, but Natasha was sure that he could have made a little more time for her. Still, these shoes more than made up for it she thought, and this brightened up her mood, but not before Suki had noticed.

Marcus soon joined them, as jovial as usual, simpering over Natasha as if she was royalty, and greeted Suki and Max in a “you’re my best mate ever” kind of manner.

The mood had changed, significantly, since Tash and Marcus had arrived. It hadn’t been wonderful before, and Suki was beginning to wish she’d not hoped her friend would turn up.

There were some much needed, but still unspoken words between Suki and Max, but now it seemed much harder to even make polite conversation.
Even though the four of them tried mindless banter, there was definitely a difficultness about the situation.

“I’m just off to powder my nose” said Suki with a wry smile on her face. Natasha picked up on the message and got up to follow her.

Once in the Ladies, Suki took no time in asking her friend what was going on.

“What do you mean?” Tasha asked defensively.

“Well, you don’t hear from him for weeks” Suki stated “and now here you both are, all loved up like you’re newly married. Have you even berated him, and what about David?” Suki finished, stood there, hand on hip, waiting for an answer.

Natasha felt more than a little uncomfortable, which was unusual in front of her friend, but she knew that in her heart, what Suki was saying was true.

“He’s been busy, what with training and everything like away games etc” Natasha replied.

“That’s not a good enough reason though is it?” Suki replied “He’s like that Paul Young song ‘Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home’”.
Suki carried on, on a roll now “Are you going to keep letting him treat you like that?” Suki continued “I mean, yeah, the shoes are great, but it only proves he feels guilty about how he’s treating you”

Natasha was now very annoyed.

“He’s said he’s sorry, he’s been busy for God’s sake, that’s all, and that’s a good enough answer for me” she snapped back “and as for David, he’s done and dusted, I just avoided him, he got the message” she added sarcastically.

“Charming” replied Suki “Nice way to treat such a great guy who treat you like a princess, and you don’t even have the decency to tell him to his face” Suki continued “And as for God’s gift out there, you do know he’ll break your heart don’t you?”

Natasha was now nearing boiling point now, and on the defensive.
“No he won’t!, I won’t let him, I know what I’m doing, and you’ve some need to take the moral high ground haven’t you? With Max the TAKEN man, who just happens to be engaged to our friend Tara!” she snapped back.

And with that, Natasha turned on her heels, and marched out of the room.

Chapter Five.

After the confrontation in the toilet with Suki, Natasha decided it was time to leave, and now.
She returned to the table before Suki had even left the toilets, and without even sitting down, she quickly slugged back her drink.

“Come on, we’re going” she said to Marcus.
“What? Why?” Marcus had asked, confused.
“Don’t ask, just come on, I want to go somewhere else” she replied.

They made their excuses to a rather bemused Max, and had left the bar before Suki had even reappeared.

Once inside Marcus’s Lotus, he turned to Tasha and asked “What was that all about, I was enjoying myself”
“Oh, please don’t ask! Suki is so infuriating, I just had to get away before I said anything further to ruin our friendship”

Marcus looked very concerned and after a short silence he asked her once again what was wrong.

“Oh for goodness sake Marcus, why the third degree? If you must know it was about you. She thinks you’re taking me for a mug, and I defended you, simple as that. I wouldn’t mind, but who’s she to talk, knocking off her friends fiancé!” Natasha almost shouted, she was that angry.

“Oh, I see” was all Marcus replied.

“What!!” Natasha snapped “You SEE You don’t SEE anything!" she continued "And I think Suki’s right, you are taking me for a mug. We spend a night together, and apart from a couple of brief drinks and the odd phone call, I’ve not heard from you. Then I get these shoes, what are they for exactly? To stop the little lady from being annoyed?” Natasha was in full throttle now.

“Well, get this Mr, this little lady IS annoyed” and with that, Natasha opened the car door to get out
“Tasha, stop, please, we need to talk” Marcus pleaded.

“We’ll talk when I can fit you in, see how YOU like the silent treatment for a change”.
And with that, she slammed the door so hard it almost rattled.

There, she thought, that’ll show him. He thought more about that bloody car than he did of her!

Great. Now she’d fallen out with one of her best friends, and her boyfriend, all in the space of five minutes. What a great day this was turning out to be, not.

Suki returned to the table in the bar and was confused as to where Tasha and Marcus where.
“Where’ve they gone?” she asked Max.

“Don’t ask me” Max replied looking up at her “Natasha came storming out of the loo like a scud missile, grabbed Marcus and literally marched him out of the bar, he didn’t even get to finish his drink”

This worried Suki, she’d gone too far, and she knew it. But she’d told the truth and had only done so because she was worried about her friend. She could have gone about it in a much better way she realised now, and asked Max if he minded if she left. She didn’t want to leave Max, they had so little time together as it was, but this was important, and she needed to do it.
She wanted to find Natasha and apologise.

“No probs babe, I’ll call you later in the week” Max had responded easily.

She gave him a quick peck on the cheek, and then went off in search of her friend, though she realised, she had no idea where to look!

Once out on the pavement, she realised the drink she’d had had gone to her head, she felt a little tipsy, and it was only 12.30. Oh dear, that’s what drinking in the day, and on an empty stomach does for you.

Suki looked around, but Natasha was nowhere to be seen, as expected.

She rummaged in her bag for her new mobile phone, and tapped in her friends’ number.
After a couple of rings, Natasha answered “What?” was all she said, and not in a very friendly tone either.

“Where are you Tash, I need to see you, I am sorry” Suki said, soothingly.
Natasha felt her anger subside a little, and told Suki that she was only a few minutes away, in The Nursery Tavern, across the road.

Suki made her way over to the Tavern, and found Tasha sat in a corner on her own, nursing yet another glass of wine.

“Oh babe, I’m so sorry, I really am, it’s just I’m so worried about you”

With this, and her frustrations over Marcus’s behaviour recently, she couldn’t help it, Natasha just burst in to tears.

“No, I’m sorry” Natasha managed to sniffle, “I shouldn’t have spoken to you like that, and you’re right, the truth does hurt, I’m so worried about Marcus” she continued “I’ve tried to cover it up, but I think I’m in love with him, and it hurts like hell that he hardly ever calls, and I’ve only seen him a couple of times since our night together, I don’t know what to do Suki” she told her friend.

Suki thought for a moment.
She had to word this carefully, as she didn’t want to offend her friend any more than she already had done.

“Natasha, please, don’t get mad with me, but do you think there’s any possibility that Marcus may be seeing someone else?” Suki asked “The only reason I say this is because I’ve seen the signs. I’m ‘the other woman’ too remember”
Suki continued “Only I know I am, whereas you don’t”.

She left a few moments before she continued “I have no proof of course, but I just think there’s something not right, I mean, look at you, you are absolutely gorgeous, yet he’s as elusive as Jack the bloody Ripper, there’s something not right here sweetheart”

Natasha knew what Suki was saying could be true, she’d tried to deny it to herself, but she’d had her own suspicions on the subject.

Natasha finally spoke “I didn’t want to admit it Sukes, but I think you might be right. I know how busy he is, especially at this part in the season, but I know for a fact he could have made more time for me if he’d wanted or was able to”.

Suki stayed silent as Natasha continued “And there’s something else I’ve not told any one. When I was at his house, there were a few feminine things dotted around, not many, but a few. Enough to make me wonder" Natashsa said.
“I questioned him and he told me that they had belonged to his Mum who he’d recently lost and that having that stuff around comforted him. Surely he wouldn’t make that up, how sick would that be?”
Natasha blew her nose on a tissue Suki has given her and lit a cigarette (she was trying to stop, but was way too stressed at present).

As she took a long drag on her cigarette, Natasha stated “Plus, he had his mate pick me up from his house when he could have driven me home himself, or even called me a taxi, don’t you think that’s a bit weird?”

Suki sat there, taking it all in.
Something was definitely not right.
She’d had the feeling before, but now Tasha had revealed all this, she was sure that Marcus was up to no good, but she didn’t know how to help her friend.

“I don’t know what to say to make you feel better, but I’ve never trusted him Tash. I know I’m not one to talk about trust, but you’re my friend and when it comes to friends, I am 100% trustworthy and I am worried about you” Suki said. (She conveniently forgot at this point that she herself was seeing her friends’ fiancé!).

“He’s a footballer” Suki continued “Always bad news if you ask me, so all I can say is, if you insist on seeing him, just be careful, I do think there may be someone else involved in all this”

Natasha looked so miserable, Suki didn’t know what to do or say to make her friend feel better.
“I’m here for you ok?, that’s all I can say. I can’t make you stop seeing him, but I would if I could, because I think he’s bad news” Suki finally finished her lecture.

With that, Suki leaned over and gave her friend a much needed hug, which only made Natasha burst in to tears yet again.

Oh dear, Suki thought, she really does love him, and what the hell can I do to help?

Carrie had a conscience that was playing games with her, and she wasn’t happy with it.

She could not stop thinking about David, and although he and Natasha were over, it was still against the rules in her book, to date a friends ex.

Anyway, who’s to say David even liked her? She knew he thought of her as a friend, and they’d chattered on the phone several times over the past couple of weeks, but that was all.

As she sat snuggled up on the sofa, with her favourite old comfortable dressing gown on, and a mug of steaming hot chocolate, the phone rang.

“Hello?” she answered in her usual quirky way.
“Hi Carrie” she recognised the dulcet tone of his voice straight away, so needed no introduction, but he gave one anyway.
“It’s David, how’re you?”

He must be a mind reader Carrie thought, she’d only minutes before been thinking about him, and here he was, at the end of the phone.

“I’m fine thanks, all snuggled up with a mug of creamy hot chocolate in hand, just the ticket for a girl sat in on her own on a Thursday night with no idea where her mates are!!” Carrie replied. (Natasha hadn’t returned home, and Carrie was beginning to wonder where she was).

“Oh that’s a shame, I was hoping I could tempt you out for a bite to eat?” he asked eagerly.

Carrie’s heart skipped more than a few beats.
Did this mean anything, or did David like her too?
What to do, he was her mates ex!

“Erm, what were you thinking, I’m not even near ready to go anywhere” Carrie answered.

“I just thought to that new Thai place on London Road, heard the food’s amazing, do you fancy it?”

Carrie’s conscience was now in overdrive…what to do, what to do!!

Not wanting to think about it any further she replied “How long were you thinking? I’d need an hour to get ready!”

“An hour! For goodness sake, why do women take so bloody long to get ready!” he replied laughing.

“An hour or nothing, that’s it, up to you now Mr”

“Ok, ok, I give in, an hour it is. I’ll pick you up at 8.30 then, ok?”

“Ok, but make it 8.45, just in case”

He laughed and agreed, and they hung up.

Oh dear, what am I getting myself in to Carrie thought, as she dashed to the bathroom to shower.

Chapter Six.

That same old predicament.

What. To. Wear.

Carrie was showered and moisturised, spritzed with her favourite Chanel No.5 perfume (hey, if it was good enough for Marilyn Monroe, it was good enough for her!).
She had dried and tousled her beautiful golden mane quickly, applied seductive makeup, but still managed to look fresh faced…she had a knack with that!

So, now she was stood in her bedroom, wearing nothing but her balconette bra (which showed major cleavage), a matching lace thong, and nothing else.

Where was Tasha when she needed her! Mind you, thinking about it, Tash was the very last person she should be asking about clothes advice, seems as she was going on a date (was it a date she thought?) with Tasha’s ex.


Carrie glanced at her watch, it was 8.35, and David would be here in 10 minutes, or less, if she knew him like she thought she did.

She didn’t want to look like she’d made too much effort, but he was taking her to a swanky new restaurant, so she had to wear something appropriate, and secretly, she wanted to impress him.

There was nothing for it, she had to borrow Tasha’s red dress. They were different sizes but as the dress was so tight, she thought she’d get away with it.. And even thought Carrie was a couple of inches shorter, she was sure she could pull it off with the right heels.

She went through to Natasha’s room and retrieved the beautiful dress from her wardrobe. Hope Tash didn’t mind, but she’d worry about that later, and anyway Carrie reasoned, her friend owed her one after that “night out” fiasco.

She was right, the dress fit her like a glove, she looked beautiful, and she knew it.

The dress was a full length halter neck, a beautiful flowing material which skimmed over her flat stomach and toned hips.
It was backless, a little too backless to be honest, as it only just covered the top of her bottom. But it showed off her amazing back wonderfully….she was a gym fanatic, and she knew her toned, slightly muscled back was one of her great features.

Luckily, because her hair was shoulder length, she didn’t have to take it up to reveal the beauty of the back view of her!

The bra had to go of course, but who cared….the dress was double lined in that part, so she was sure she’d ‘hold up’ in that department.

As she was adding some tiny diamond earrings, the door bell rang, and she was suddenly flustered.

Oh Good Lord, this was it!

Grabbing her diamante encrusted clutch bag, and taking one last glance in the mirror, and then checking she’d got all she needed, she headed downstairs, and to David.

“Wow!” was all David said, when Carrie opened the door to him. He just stood there, staring at her in wonder.

“Aren’t you going to say anything else!?” Carrie demanded

“Yes, Wow again! You look, you are, amazing!”

Carrie could feel herself colouring up, but luckily David didn’t seem to notice.
“Are we ready to go then?” Carrie asked.

“Erm, yes, yes of course, sorry. You. You’re appearance just threw me for a moment there….I didn’t realise….”

“Realise what?” she asked him.

“Just how, well, gorgeous you are”.

He was silent for a moment and then said “Well, I know you’re gorgeous, but I’ve never seen you looking so gorgeous, if you know what I mean”.

Carrie smiled like the cat who’d got the cream.

Yes, she knew what he meant…….

He held open the car door for her, which she found so chivalrous in this day and age, and she got in carefully, legs together, as she’d seen in all the usual glossy magazine’s. The last thing she wanted to do was show him a bit of her, well, you know what.

He had the stereo on, playing soft classical music, which she found soothing, and so classy. This man oozed class, she was amazed Natasha could not see it!

“You smell lovely” he said, once they were driving “what is the perfume you’re wearing?”

“It’s Chanel No.5, my favourite” Carrie replied and was about to say “If it’s good enough…..” but David beat her to it “Hey” he said “If it’s good enough for Marilyn Monroe, it’s good enough for you, right!?”

“Right” she smiled. She felt so in tune with this man, she hoped that she wasn’t making a mistake. By doing so, it could break her heart, and damage a friendship she’d had since childhood.

She was prepared for this one night. It was make or break in her mind.

If things progressed, then she would have to tell Natasha and risk losing her friendship (not that she thought Natasha deserved this man at all after the way she’d treated him), and if things didn’t, then she hadn’t lost anything, had she? Apart from someone who could possibly be the love of her life.

They pulled up outside the restaurant, luckily, one space left!

In his usual manner, David opened the door for her to get out. Such a gentleman!

As they walked to the restaurant, just a few steps, he took her hand, and she felt shivers down her spine, every hair on her body standing on end. She was falling for this wonderful man, and there was nothing she could do about it.

A doorman opened the door for them, and smiling at him, they walked in to the restaurant.

As soon as they walked in, Carrie was hugely impressed with the place. It had high ornate ceilings, Romanesque style columns, and was so eloquently decorated in creams and golds, in an understated, yet elegant style.
The restaurant was an old building, and had previously been a bank, only recently been refurbished and changed in to this restaurant.

They were greeted by the Maitre D, who seemed to know David, and they were shown to one of the best tables in the place, right by the windows, but in a quiet corner, which seemed so intimate. The MD must know David well, Carrie mused, wondering how many women he’d brought here before.

The service was excellent. A waiter brought over their menu’s and explained the specials of the night. Carrie had no choice in her choice of drink, David ordered Dom Perignon for them both straight away, not that she was complaining!

The bottle arrived quickly, complete with a silver ‘bucket’ on an elegant stand. The silver bucket was filled with chipped ice, and the bottle of vintage Champagne was wrapped in an elegant napkin.
David didn’t ask her, he just picked up her glass and poured the sparkling liquid in to it, bubbles brimming to the top.
He did he same for himself, and settled back, staring straight at Carrie.

Slowly, or was it her imagination, he lifted his glass and toasted her.

“To the most beautiful woman in here. No, to the most beautiful woman in South Yorkshire, at the very least!” and with that he took a sip of the very expensive Champagne.

Carrie picked up her glass tentatively, and took a small sip. The bubbles played wonderfully playful tunes on her tongue, and she languished over every sip.

“And to you, the most eligible bachelor in South Yorkshire, at the very least!” she toasted, yet teased him back.

David smiled easily. He was very comfortable around females and enjoyed their company more than any male friend he had.

Carrie intrigued him.

He admitted to himself that he had not given any other girl a second’s thought whilst he was seeing Natasha, but now he knew for certain, Natasha was not the one for him.
He knew he would never live up to her “I want the fairytale, highly demanding” lifestyle. He doubted any man would, and pitied her for that.

Carrie was on a different level altogether, but you had to get through the layers, to realise what an amazing beauty, inside, and out, she really was. And what was more intriguing, Carrie had absolutely no idea how perfect she really was.

The waiter returned to ask for their order, and Carrie, not being used to Thai food, said she would have the same as David.

Perusing the menu, David decided on ‘Tord Man Plah’ to start with, which was a delicious dish of Thai Fish Cakes, made with specially imported curry past, and was served with a sweet chilli sauce and ground peanuts. And for the main course, he ordered them both ‘Pad Preow Wahn’, which was a dish of crunchy pork, which was fried in a delicious Thai style sweet and sour sauce.

Carrie thought the dishes sounded delicious, and her taste buds were already in overdrive in the anticipation of the arrival of their first course.

Taking a sip of her Champagne, Carrie looked over at David, who was staring at her intently. “What are you thinking?” she asked him.

“Just how lucky I am to be here with you. I think I am the envy of every man in here. I’ve been watching, and you’ve had more than your fair share of admiring glances” David smiled.

Carrie knew she was pretty, but was totally unaware exactly how beautiful she really was, and was suddenly feeling quite shy.
She wasn’t used to such praise and didn’t know how to answer, so she passed it off jokingly “oh, they’re probably all gay and are looking at you” she laughed.

“Don’t be so quick to pull yourself down” David replied, his eyes never leaving hers “You’re a stunner, surely you know that. I don’t know why I ever went with Natasha when I should have pursued you”.

“How do you know I would have been interested” Carrie quipped “That’s rather presumptuous, don’t you think” she said, teasing him.

“I don’t” he replied, “but I have a feeling that you would have been. I have a feeling you are” he said, still staring at her.

Carrie was now feeling a little out of her depth. She didn’t know how to deal with her feelings about David, mainly because of Natasha, and what her reaction would be.

“I may have” Carrie eventually replied, taking another sip of her Champagne, “but we’re in a rather difficult situation aren’t we?”

“Why are we?” asked David, suddenly confused.

“Because of Natasha” Carrie deadpanned.

“Oh, I see” David seemed to think for a moment before replying “But she has no interest in me, so why should there be a problem?” he asked

Men just don’t understand the unwritten rule about not dating a friends’ ex, Carrie thought ruefully, and told him this.

“But, I happen to like you Carrie, very much so, and I don’t see why Natasha should be a problem. She dumped me remember? Surely she will understand”

“Is there even an ‘us’?” Carrie asked, suddenly feeling a little more brave.

“I’d like to think so” David replied “I would like to get to know you much better, and to be honest, I do think about you a lot. It would be a shame if we didn’t give this a chance Carrie”.

“I suppose you’re right, but I just hope Natasha see’s it that way” Carrie replied. “She is very highly strung remember, and even though she was the one who did the dumping, she may still make a fuss about this, and that does worry me”.

Still staring in to his eyes, Carrie finished by saying “But I’m willing to take that chance David, if you are” and with that, he leaned over the table and kissed her lightly on the lips.

The dinner had been delicious, Carrie had savoured every mouthful of the delicious Thai Fish Cakes and the Crispy Pork dish. She was now a converted Thai food fanatic, she’d never tasted anything like it!
If only she could cook like this, instead of her speciality being beans, cheese, and mushrooms on toast!!

The conversation had flowed easily between the couple, as if they had known each other a lifetime, and Carrie could feel herself falling even further for the gorgeous man.

When the waiter returned to ask if they required to view the dessert menu, Carrie had declined. She was already stuffed, and didn’t want a pot belly with this clingy dress on!
Instead, they’d ordered coffee, and sat in quiet contemplation, both completely sated, and both feeling as if something special was just starting.

Chapter Seven.

By the time David dropped Carrie back home, it was gone 1am, yet it had seemed they had only been together for minutes. She could not get enough of him, and wanted so much to take this further and invite him in, but knew that was a very bad idea for two very obvious reasons. One, you never sleep with someone on a first date, and two, Natasha, the ex, was in there.

Instead, as she looked over at him as they said their goodbyes, he leaned over and kissed her very tenderly on the lips. Every single hair on Carrie’s body was standing on end, she was almost shaking with excitement. His kiss intensed and she responded, kissing him back passionately.
She knew, from this kiss alone, that when she did sleep with him, it would be absolutely mind blowing. She couldn’t wait!

With regret, she said her goodbye’s and got out of the car. David was going to come around to open the door for her, but she insisted there was no need.
“I’ll call you tomorrow, if that’s ok?” he asked her
“Of course it is, I can’t wait David. Talk to you tomorrow” and with that, she shut the car door and walked towards her apartment.

David, being the gentleman he was, waited until she was safely inside before driving away.

As expected, Natasha was already in bed. Carrie had peeked in to Tasha’s bedroom to check that she was back home safely, and was glad to see that she was tucked up in bed asleep.

She wasn’t ready to talk to Natasha about David yet. It was her little secret for now, and one she cherished.
But knew that the conversation would have to happen soon, because she had the feeling that this was ‘the real thing’ between her and David.
She only hoped that Natasha saw it that way.

Carrie tiptoed in to her room, carefully took off the dress (hoping she could have it dry cleaned and returned to Natasha’s wardrobe before her friend realised it was missing!), and wiped off her make up.
After slathering her youthful face with moisturiser (she didn’t need it really as yet, but believed that prevention was better than a cure!), she got in to bed, and instantly fell in to a wonderfully deep sleep, and of course, she dreamed of David.

Carrie awoke to the annoying noise of that bloody alarm clock, which meant work. Grrrrr! Slowly, and without opening her eyes, she reached out her arm, and fumbled around in the dark for the off button on the clock.

It was 6.30am, and as she’d had little sleep and a little too much Champagne the night before, she did not feel like working at all today, and was seriously considering throwing a sicky.
She knew this was impossible though, she had an important client to see today, so having the day off was not an option.
Rummaging in her bedside table, she found paracetamol, and swallowed two with several large gulps from a glass of water which she always kept by her bedside.

Dragging herself out of her still much needed bed, and still more than half asleep, she remembered the night before, and all her emotions came flowing back. God he was gorgeous, how lucky was she?! She thought as she threw on her faithful dressing gown and made her way to the bathroom.

In the shower, as she stood under the powerful, wonderfully soothing warm water, she couldn’t stop thinking about him. His eyes, so blue and so penetrating, his sensual full mouth, his high, almost chiselled ckeekbones, that gorgeous mop of dark brown hair, and that voice, so eloquent, and so very sexy. She was amazed she’d managed to bag herself a man like that!

“Hellooooo!” brought Carrie back to the present.
Natasha was in the bathroom and was peeking around the curtain.

“Oi!” exclaimed Carrie “can’t a girl have any privacy!” she laughed.

“Sorry!, just wondered if you wanted some tea and toast?”

Just the thing she needed Carrie thought, after last night.

She knew that black coffee was supposed to be THE drink for a hangover, but also knew it just dehydrated you further.

“Yes please, I’ll be out in a mo” she replied.

Padding through to the kitchen, she saw that Natasha was already sat at the table, nibbling on a piece of toast, with the radio on low in the background playing Toni Braxton’s ‘You’re making me high’. ‘Hmmm’, Carrie thought, how appropriate!

“Good Morning, again!” Natasha said, “here, sit down, everything is already here for you”
Carrie gladly sat down, and took a big gulp of her tea.
There, she was feeling better already.

to be continued………………..

Back In The Summer of '96 (oh yeah!)


Sheffield, United Kingdom

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 6

Artist's Description

This is the first few chapters of my very first novel.

It’s a chick lit. Light, humourous, happy and sad, and follows the lives of three young women in their 20’s, during the Summer of ’96, sharing love laughter, tears and calamities, which most women of any age could probably relate to!

This novel is still in it’s early “raw” stages, and I am still re-reading, editing, editing, editing, so please bear that in mind! Am after all a novice, and am learning as I go along.

All I ask is, if you don’t like my work, please either don’t respond, or leave constructive criticism.
Constructive criticism will only make me better (I hope).
Rudeness won’t…..the reason I say this is because although all reviews so far have been positive, I’ve had one negative person, who really didn’t give me much to work with.

Copyright N A Mason 2009. All rights reserved.

I hope you enjoy!…..

Artwork Comments

  • Ginger Lovellette
  • Lisa Hill
  • NatMason
  • ChainmailChick
  • NatMason
  • NatMason
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.