Chapter Nine

SOPHIE

Tim invited me to a dinner party at his place. This was after he’d had to cut our second date short because a friend had arrived at his house out of the blue.  He wanted this friend, Gordon, to meet me.  Chakka was going to be there as well. I asked Tim if he wanted any help with anything or if I should bring anything but he declined my offers. He was very secretive about what he would be cooking, saying he wanted to surprise me. I wondered if it would be a vegetarian dish as I wasn’t sure whether he ate meat. I thought he said his parents were veggies.

Chakka opened the door when I rang the bell. I hadn’t really taken much notice last time I’d seen her as I was so surprised that she was Tim’s housemate, although I did notice how attractive she was. This time I studied her more dispassionately, now I knew she and Tim weren’t an item. She was very black, her black hair was a mass of tint plaits and her teeth, as she smiled, were dazzling white offset by the bright red lipstick and blue eyeshadow. She was dressed in a long African kaftan dress with matching head wrap. She welcomed me by kissing me on both cheeks and hugging me.

“Come in. Lovely to see you again. Tim’s still busy in the kitchen.”

“You look great. I love your outfit.  What a wonderful smell. Oh, I’ve brought this,” I said thrusting a gift bag containing a bottle of ice cold champagne I’d pinched from the fridge at home.

Chakka took it from me and pulled the bottle out deftly.

“Ooo lovely. I don’t think we’ve any champagne glasses but I’ll dig out something. Tim, look what Sophie’s brought.” She disappeared into the back, where I presumed the kitchen was, leaving me standing in the lounge with my coat on feeling bereft. Just then the door bell rang. I went to answer it as neither Tim or Chakka appeared. A tall, swarthy man with a black moustache was standing a bit back from the front step with a bottle of wine in each hand.

“Hi,” I said, “you must be Gordon. Come in.”

“And you must be Laura , Tim’s girlfriend.”

“No I’m Sophie.  I don’t know Laura.”  I was quite put out by this.  Tim lived with an attractive girl and then there was Laura.  Where did I fit into the picture?

Just then Tim appeared in an apron, looking a bit hot and flustered. He came across and kissed me, shaking Gordon’s hand at the same time.

“Sophie, this is Gordon. Gordon this is Sophie. Make yourselves at home. I’ll be with you in a minute. Oh you can put your coats on my bed, at the top of the stairs on the right.”

Gordon then asked me if I minded taking his coat up with mine. I didn’t think too much of it at the time but afterwards I found his request fitted into a pattern. He loved to get everyone else waiting on him. Most men would have offered to take both coats up.

Chakka appeared with four odd wine glasses filled with bubbly and we all sat down, three of us on the low tired sofa and Tim on one of the dining chairs that he turned round away from the table. Gordon made it obvious he fancied Chakka without actually doing anything out of order. I think I have a sixth sense for this kind of situation.

Tim also must have sensed it.

“Chakka, show Sophie your engagement ring,” he said, making a point to let Gordon aware to back off I suppose. This didn’t, however, have the desired effect and Gordon was more attentive to Chakka than ever.  We discovered that she was originally from Malawi but, as her father was a diplomat, had been to Abbots Bromley school in England since she was 13. She then studied social science at South Cheshire College, doing her work experience with Cheshire County Council and they were so impressed they offered her a full time job when she qualified. Having established that about her Gordon went on to question her about her work, her fiancé, her fiancé’s house, her plans for the future. Tim and I exchanged glances as we were sitting there like a couple of lemons.  He suggested we sit at the table as food was ready.  He produced a large casserole of chicken thighs and vegetables. It was lovely.  I asked him what the spice was – cumin he said.  I was trying to learn about cooking as I felt totally inadequate in that area.

After the champagne a bottle of red wine appeared. That disappeared quickly with Gordon drinking most of it.  I was careful not to drink too much.  Chakka had done a pudding she called ‘lemon surprise’, a chocolate mousse under lemon cream and a strawberry on top.  The chocolate was the surprise.

As soon as we’d finished eating Chakka excused herself, saying she had work that had to be done before the morning. A second bottle of red wine appeared and was consumed almost as quickly as the first, again with Gordon drinking most of it. He became more objectionable as he got drunker. His voice got louder and he continued to dominate the conversation. He was entertaining and quite funny but because it was like he was showing off I just wanted him to shut up and give someone else a turn. Eventually Tim said something – told Gordon he was drunk and that he’d become a bit loud. Gordon seemed to take it on board. I was impressed he didn’t take offence but his behaviour didn’t really change for long. I decided that the only way out of it was to go myself. So I made an excuse and left even though it was only 10 o’clock. Tim came out to see me off and apologised for Gordon’s behaviour.  This was the second time this week that I’d left early due to Gordon.

He told me next day that he’d sat listening to Gordon until the early hours, feeding him yet more booze. Tim went off for a pee and when he came back downstairs from the bathroom, Gordon was fast asleep, with his head back, his mouth open, snoring loudly. So he went off to bed and when he came down in the morning Gordon had gone.

I was curious about the friendship as somehow I didn’t see why he would choose Gordon as a friend. Apparently they had met on a children’s adventure holiday when they were both 12 and they’d immediately clicked.  Gordon has a sharp mind and keen wit and Tim had liked the fact that he was completely irreverent.  After that they’d holidayed together, going camping round Wales each summer and hitching round the continent when they were 16.  Gordon was now an accountant and lived in Manchester.

“Drink doesn’t do him any favours. I keep telling him. He’s a lovely guy, it’s just he was spoilt as a boy, his mother thought the sun shone out of his backside, if you’ll excuse the expression, and he can be overbearing at times. He loves to be the centre of attention. He’s very bright and quick witted too and he’s very fond of me and doesn’t take offence when I tell him when he’s out of order.

“We’re both keen sailors and he takes me out on his yacht. At the moment he’s having a hard time. His girlfriend has just thrown him out, having practically bankrupted him and he’s lonely and depressed so I feel I have to support him when I can.”

“Well he was very amusing even if he did rather overdo it. I could see why Chakka left in a hurry though. He was a bit over attentive. I suppose you can excuse it in the circumstances. You don’t always behave as you should when your relationship has cracked up. Talking of which, when did you finish with Laura? That was Gordon’s opening gambit, calling me Laura.”

“Well, Laura and I finished over a year ago as Gordon well knows. I’ve told him about you, probably gone on too much.  I think he called you Laura quite deliberately. He’s like that. Tries to be clever and tries to unsettle people with his comments. Sorry about that.”

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A lot has happened in the last two weeks. Tim and I have made love and it was beautiful, amazing, wonderful and I think he enjoyed it as well, hopefully as much as me. He claimed as much anyway. I’d decided I wanted to spend the night with him, Apparently he wanted the same thing. Great minds and all that! I insisted in showering and cleaning my teeth and he did the same. I let him know that I was on the pill but he insisted in using a condom.

“No need to take any risks,” he said. “We’ve both had lovers in the past three months or so.”

I didn’t argue although I did think he was being extra cautious.

Afterwards we cuddled and chatted intimately for ages enveloped in that wonderful after sex glow. I don’t know why but I confessed that I’d been a bit promiscuous in the past and hadn’t always enjoyed sex or felt good afterwards. I claimed it was because I wanted to be recognised for something other than my my father’s daughter or my wealth. He didn’t get jealous or upset that I wasn’t completely innocent. Rob had always been a pain about that. In turn Tim confessed that he’d been very nervous and when he explained why I could see he had good reason to be.

Apparently he’d had a problem with his old girlfriend, Laura. She was his first lover but already quite experienced when they got together. A bit of a goer! She led him on and said she was on the pill when she saw him fondling for the condom he’d had in his wallet. Because of this he was unprotected and his fore skin tore slightly when they made love. Apparently it was quite painful, not what the first time is supposed to be, at least for a man. He only discovered the tear when he inspected himself afterwards in the loo and there was quite a bit of blood on his underpants. Somehow he knew it was his blood, not hers. He was so embarrassed, bless him, he didn’t say anything to her at the time but next day he sent her an email. Laura thought this was touching but also very funny so she showed it to her sister who couldn’t resist telling her boyfriend and several others as well. I suppose I can see the funny side but it was mean to tell everybody.

Anyway next time they made love it was worse. I don’t know why he was unprotected but anyway he was and this time it was a small artery that tore. He knew immediately something was wrong and as soon as he could he went to the loo to inspect himself. He saw he was bleeding quite fast, in little spurts. He didn’t know what to do, he was covered in blood from the waist down. He knew he had to face Laura but what was he to say. When eventually he went back in she was sorting out the bedclothes which were soaked in blood, in a matter-of-fact kind of way. This calmed him down a bit but he was still bleeding.  Then Laura came up with the idea of putting his dick in a plastic bag to collect the blood and securing it with a rubber band. Tim then phoned his doctor. What a phone call to have to make! Anyway the doctor agreed to come round and after inspecting him took poor Tim down to A & E in his car, Tim in a dressing gown, still with the plastic bag in place. Fortunately he wasn’t made to wait in the huge waiting area which would have been even more embarrassing but he did have to walk quite a way dressed as he was. He was put into a curtained-off cubicle to wait until a nurse came put a stitch in to stop the bleeding. She then invited some of her colleagues in to meet Tim and to share the amusement she obviously felt. One of them said that the previous week a bloke had come in with his wedding ring stuck over his cock and they had to cut it off. The ring, not his cock! What do people get up to!

Anyway the nurse assured Tim he wouldn’t have any further problems but I can understand why he was a bit uptight. Apparently that relationship didn’t survive for long after that. The whole episode must have been traumatic for both of them.

Fortunately we didn’t have any upsets like that but of course he was wearing a condom. When we make love without, and I hope that’s soon, we’ll both be a bit on edge I imagine but we’ll tackle the problem as a couple.

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