The word penetrated the loud chatter, reached her ear and the ‘cocktail party effect’ kicked in.
‘Yes, I work locally. Love my job.’
She disengaged from the hungry gaze and the increasingly salacious conversation of the man who was speaking to her and tossed a glance in the direction of the voice she was actually listening to. She was not disappointed.
A young, bronzed and handsome man was entertaining a group of women who clearly knew him well. Locals, maybe, or patients, she thought. Perhaps he was a plastic surgeon; eminently possible judging from the mounds of well-chiselled flesh on display.
She decided…she was moving in. She was stunningly attractive herself – and knew it – and just loved the idea of being with a rich, professional man with all the material benefits and the status that could bring. There was nothing she liked better than being one up on her friends who seemed to make do with the least accomplished and least solvent men they could find. She’d been with a few, but she knew she was just passing through, ready for something and someone better. She deserved it.
Her courage deserted her for a moment as she proceeded to ignore the man in front of her. But she knew what to do. She made an excuse and asked directions to the bathroom. There she locked the door and took a small hand mirror out of her bag. With no more than a cursory glance at the back of her hair and her makeup she placed the mirror flat on the toilet seat, emptied a small amount of white powder on to the mirror and parted it into two lines with her credit card. Rolling up a new plastic five-pound note – perfect for the job – she knelt down and inhaled the powder deeply into each nostril and waited for the effect.
She was taking no chances tonight. Her weekend coke habit had got her through some sordid sexual encounters. How much better would tonight be if she was up and ready with the courage afforded by the narcotic and its particularly aphrodisiac effect? Tonight, she was not interested in being coaxed, cajoled and played with. She was out to impress and, assuming he did, this man was going to get what he wanted, and quickly. There would be plenty of time for foreplay in the future.
She cleaned up and returned to the party. The guests were momentarily distracted by some very loud arrivers, her target was abandoned for a few seconds and she moved over beside him.
‘Hi, I’m Meg, nice to meet you.’
‘And I’m Greg, nice, er, very nice to meet you.’
‘I’m not local.’ she said ‘I’ve just arrived here and moved into a flat across thei road. It seems everyone gets invited.’
‘Yes.’ he replied ‘I’ve been coming for a few years, but I don’t live all that close. I know a lot of people here – especially the women – due to the work I do.’
‘I know what you do’ she responded and it’s one of the reasons I came over. I’m shameless really, but I tend to like people for what they do and it helps if they’re good-looking.’
Greg had now lost interest in the heaving bosoms and frequent, inappropriate, fondling by the other women around him. He focused solely on Meg and he could see she was interested in him. He had come expecting the usual platitudes and attention seeking behaviour of the women at the party. He was not sure how their husbands tolerated it but he didn’t mind – usually. Now he just ignored them, moved closer to Meg and said:
‘I can’t hear a thing in here, let’s move to the kitchen where we can talk.’
‘Job done’ thought Meg.
There were a few people in the kitchen; people who did not fit in with the party next door. The obvious intimacy and the unconscious signals indicating the newly arrived couple wanted privacy soon drove these uncomfortable individuals back to the party.
‘That didn’t take long’ he said, and Meg just smiled, moved closer and started to kiss him.
‘That didn’t take long either’, he gasped as Meg unashamedly continued. Greg’s ego was flattered. He was unaware this was a drug-fuelled infatuation with what he was rather than who he was. But he could see how it was going to end and he was not going to put anything in the way.
‘We need to get out of here’ he told her and he was already phoning a cab, struggling to speak to the person on the phone while Meg tried to invade his mouth and ears with her mouth and tongue. ‘OK, that’s fixed, let’s get outside.’
It was cold and, as she had only crossed the road to the party, she had no coat. He had a jacket so she slipped her hands under to keep herself warm. The taxi took a while to arrive and they stood in a slightly embarrassed silence. The effects of the coke were wearing off but her breasts were still tingling and she was content to know that they were together.
‘Where are we going?’ She had not considered this in the rush to leave the party. ‘My place. It’s not too far’ replied Greg. This pleased her. She would see where he lived and see what other joys awaited her if things worked out. You could tell a lot from a person’s home, especially a man’s house. Was there a wife? Were there children? Was he single and ready to form a relationship? She was besotted with the image of this man she hardly knew; the effect of the coke had not entirely worn off.
Once in the taxi she yielded to his advances; his hand was inside her blouse and under her bra. His hands were rougher than she imagined but this only accentuated the feeling of pleasure that was engulfing her.
The taxi driver was grateful for a generous Christmas tip. The truth was they could not wait for the change. They ran into the house and the sex was over in minutes. He had never experienced anything quite like it.
The next morning he woke to see Meg looking at him and smiling. ‘Thanks, I had a wonderful evening’ she said. He just smiled back and said ‘coffee?’ But Meg offered to make it saying that she’d find everything. He should just stay in bed and she’d be back soon.
Meg wanted an excuse to see the house. Last night they had not turned on the lights before going upstairs to bed.
She was clear that there was not another woman here. The house was quite small but this was a good neighbourhood and why did he need a large house when he was alone? She looked for evidence of other interests and hobbies but, apart from a few books, CDs and a widescreen television, she did not learn much more about Greg. Still, he was single and she was convinced he was successful. The fact that he looked good was a bonus.
She returned with the coffee and, feigning coyness, asked if they’d see each other again. ‘Of course’ said Greg, ‘I think you’re fantastic.’
‘So, can I give you a lift home?’ he asked. ‘It’s cold and you have no jacket and it’s too far to walk.’ She agreed, and they planned to meet again that evening.
‘It’s only a two-seater’ he said. In her head she hissed ‘YES!’ as she realised what one of his interests might be – fast cars. This was getting better as she imagined being dropped off at her flat. Ferrari? Porsche? Audi? she wondered.
‘It’s in the garage, I’ll take it round to the front of the house and meet you there.’ He left by the back door; she pulled the front door closed behind her. When she heard an engine revving at the rear of the house she strained to see if she could guess what was coming.
The white diesel engine transit van with ‘Greg the Tree Surgeon’ in lurid green letters drew up beside her, Greg reached over, opened the passenger door and shouted ‘hop in love.’