It’s Clare London’s turn with the blog story. For those who’ve missed the previous posts, they are:
*opens page of book*
“Nah. What I want is a different kind of refreshment.” He leaned forward in his chair and put his hand rather tentatively on my knee. It was a large hand, with thick, strong fingers. Fingers that had only just a moment before been stroking his groin and … well, his other, muscular thing. The refreshment came out with rather too much emphasis on the eshhhh – bless him – implying both of us had already had our share of booze tonight, and probably a couple of other blokes’ too. Something made me think he might not have had the nerve to touch me up in a hotel lounge otherwise.
Hooray for hooch and happy disinhibitions! I restrained myself from leaping up and into his lap. Playing it cool, eh? “You said you only had crap in your room.”
“Ah, but that was the coffee. I have my own secret supply of post-match tequila.” Rob tapped a large, strong finger against the side of his nose. Well, he would have done if he hadn’t missed by a couple of millimetres and poked himself in the eye. I felt like one of those Regency heroines in Aunty Clarice’s books, handing him my hanky to mop up the startled tears. “Darren, will you join me?”
We shared another of those looks – you know the one, we’ve established that – and I ran a hand casually through my hair. Why? Because I’m worth it? No, because I liked the way Rob’s eyes followed the languid movement with something like hunger.
Gotcha. My heart gave a hop, skip and jump and leapt the full nine feet. Wasn’t this gorgeous hunk of a man just the right rebound medicine for my battered heart and self-esteem?
“I think I could be persuaded,” I said. “Just for a small nightcap. Though tequila isn’t my drink of choice.”
His face fell. “It’s all I’ve got. Ben’s brothers took the sambuca.”
I gave a tiny shudder. That would have been even worse. I could remember a night when my lips touched way too many of those warm coffee beans, and swallowed way too much of the viscous, aniseed liqueur – well, actually, I couldn’t remember that night and that was the problem. And the reason I had a rather colourful hospital record.
I found myself leaning forward, too, our breath almost mingling over the arms of our chairs. “Yes, Rob?”
“You’re…” He peered at me as if I were a dot on the Welsh horizon five miles away, and could have been sheep or man. “You’re not the kind of bloke I usually fancy.”
Figures. “You go for the beefy teammate? With thighs of steel, shoulders of an ox, and those ridiculous towelling head bands that keep their ears pinned to their head?”
He wasn’t remotely insulted by my ignorant tease. “But I’d really like a drink with you,” he continued. “So that’s why I’m asking. The only pain in rugby is regret, you know.”
I blinked twice. Was that something from a song? One of those filthy things they sang together on the showers? The thought of Rob soaping the mud from his biceps made my vision blur. “Let’s go,” I said.
His room was only a few floors up, but it still seemed to take us a really long time to get there. Maybe because he initially tried to open the soft drink machine with his pass card, and then misread the number on every single door along the corridor, until I took control of navigation.
Once inside, we sat on the bed and toasted the wedding, the sport of kings, the merits of cross-dressing (did Rob blush just a little too heavily at that?), a farewell to bastard ex-boyfriends, the good, the bad and the ugly of life itself. We had far more in common than I’d first thought! The tequila was warm and smooth, and not remotely like sambuca. Maybe because we were already half-pissed. Maybe because we were drinking it out of tooth mugs. Maybe because when Rob leaned across the bed and filled up my mug for the who’s counting-est time, he planted his soft, sticky lips on mine and kissed me very soundly.
Well, one thing followed another. And then a couple more. You know how it goes, right? And if you don’t, I’m sure I’m devastated for you but I can’t waste time weeping when my life had taken such a glorious turn for the better. We stripped down to our underwear, cast off our socks, and rolled about in a mini scrum of our own. Rob was big, warm and strong just about everywhere. It took my breath away. But he was also surprisingly tender with me. I mean, he didn’t crush me when we rolled over, kissing, but we still shared a very satisfying series of tackles. I seemed to be absorbing the lingo of his sport rather well. And they do say, never too pretty to play rugby. I opened my mouth to share this epiphany with my new, enthusiastic beau …
And then I heard the rattle of the door knob. What class of hotel had the cleaners coming around at that time of night?
“Rob?” We were both under the sheets by now, my voice muffled against Rob’s bare shoulder. “Did you forget to tell me this is a room share?”
“Huh?” His voice was equally muffled, but I wasn’t about to pull his face away from its warm, whimpering investigation of my best briefs – and what was inside. “No way.”
“Have you ordered room service?”
The door catch clicked. The door started to open with a soft hiss on the carpet.
What the hell were we meant to do? Rob made a strange gargled sound in the back of his throat and tried to slide further down the bed under the sheet. Unfortunately that dragged it away from me, exposing me in all my half-naked glory, or should I say sweaty tangle of glory. I oiked the sheet back, but then Rob’s calves and feet popped into view at the bottom of the bed. He snatched at it again: I hung on for grim life like some virginal beauty surprised in her bedchamber. There was a loud tearing sound. We both froze and stared at each other, shocked.
The visitor gave a long – and what sounded like long-suffering – sigh.
Rob swivelled his head around to stare at the open door. “Darren,” he said, his voice strangely meek for such a strapping lad. “I’d like you to meet…”
Next week it’s JL Merrow’s turn.