tagNovels and NovellasWinter Fires Ch. 09

Winter Fires Ch. 09


Marianne made the call to her Aunt, apologizing for getting her out of bed.

Simon heard Jennifer's voice say tinnily, "No, that's okay, I was just reading," then something quieter that he didn't catch. Marianne replaced the receiver and thanked the receptionist.

"What did she say?" Caroline asked.

"Oh, you know. The usual – Enjoy ourselves but stay out of trouble."

Simon leant close to Marianne and quietly asked, "There was something else, wasn't there?"

Marianne, in turn, leant into Simon's ear.

"Yes, she told me to watch out for the drugs and be careful of spiked drinks. Good advice – some of these people look like players, if you know what I mean."

"Not really, but it's good advice. Tell Caroline."

Marianne spoke quietly into Caroline's ear as they made their way back into the main party room. Then she grabbed Simon by the arm and drew him close.

"Simon, I know what Aunt Jen said, but this is the first party of this kind I've ever had the chance to go to. I'm going to enjoy myself - I might not get the chance to repeat the experience. You should do the same."

Simon looked at her blankly for a moment. He studied her expression, she seemed anxious, happy and determined all at once.

"What are you saying, Marianne?"

"I'm saying that we should, well, go for it. If it's there, we should indulge. Oh, I don't mean the hard drugs that I'm sure will be around – I don't want to get hooked any more than I'm sure you do – but anything else. I want to get drunk, get high, get laid. This can be our one night where anything goes."

Simon didn't know what to say. He'd been thinking about Alison though, obviously, and this did seem to give him a way… but at what cost?

He tried to make his brain work through the alcohol fumes.

"You're saying that you want to go and have sex with someone else?" he asked her.

"No. Well, possibly. I mean, if I'm asked, or something, I might consider it, if you'll do the same. Let's just take the chances offered to us tonight, Simon. That's what I'm saying."

'I must be drunk to even consider this,' he thought, foggily. 'But… maybe I might get to have Alison again?'

Marianne came closer still and kissed him gently, almost a brush against his lips, really. "Simon, I promise, we can do anything you want, later. Anything," she whispered huskily, one eyebrow aloft.

What man could resist? Certainly not Simon at that point. He nodded, and Marianne gave a short squeak and jumped on him, wrapping her arms around him. She kissed him hard, dropped off him and said, "This is going to be so great!" Grabbing his hand she pulled him over towards the bar to get a drink.

- - - - - - - - - -

After they'd got drinks for the three of them, Simon looked around for Caroline. He spotted her against the wall near the large windows facing out onto the road, looking tired. Marianne was chatting animatedly to one of the 'suits', so Simon caught her eye, pointed over to her sister. She nodded and gave a brief wave before turning back to her conversation.

Simon took Caroline's drink over.

"Not mixing?" he asked her.

"Not my thing, parties. Too many new faces I don't know, especially something like this. But Marianne likes them."

"Yes, she's got that natural ability to join in, doesn't she?" Simon looked carefully at Caroline. "If you want, I can get you home to your Aunt's?"

"Nah. I'll not spoil things for you as well. Besides, you'll want to keep an eye on Marianne, make sure she's okay."

'Do I tell her?' Simon wondered. Making up his mind, he said, "Marianne's asked to be let off the leash tonight. She's said that tonight, for just this once, we should go for… whatever."

Caroline looked at him, eyes wide. "And you agreed?"

"Er, yeah. She said she'd… she said she'd do anything I want, later, if I agreed to this. So I said, yeah."

Caroline wasn't happy with this. You could tell: it was the way that if looks could kill, Simon would have been in intensive care. At least.

"You're mad! She's going to cheat on you. You know it. Oh, no, it's more than that. You're planning on cheating on her, and this gives you the perfect excuse. Well, Simon, I don't like it either way!"

Simon, in turn found his own anger rising.

"Listen, Caroline, it's nothing to do with you, okay? It's what Marianne and I want to do. Now, I'm going to go and see about another drink. See you later." He turned away and virtually stomped towards the bar.

About a half-hour later, Simon saw Marianne again. She was swaying gently, face flushed, obviously drunk but still standing. She was chatting to Shaun, of all people, and Simon immediately thought of Alison again.

And there she was. Off stage, she was wearing a white trouser suit with a couple of buttons undone in the top. She looked amazing. Normally Simon would have been put off, finding it impossible to go up to a woman as beautiful as this, intimidated by her looks. Not to mention the gaggle of guys around her.

Normally. But now, fuelled by alcohol and the knowledge that his girlfriend had, essentially, given him a 'free pass', Simon walked over. Alison was talking directly into one guy's ear, but Simon just said, simply, "Hello again, Alison. Thanks for the invite."

She looked away from the guy she'd been talking to and looked puzzled. Simon felt his confidence, never high, draining away and he began to turn to go. But Alison said, "Wait, you're… You're Simon, aren't you?"

'She remembered me after all!' he thought, and felt a wide grin split his face as he turned back to her. "Yes, that's right."

"Gimme a couple of minutes, and I'll be with you," she told him, then without waiting for a reply she launched back into her conversation.

Simon began by trying to listen but couldn't quite make out what was being said, as the voices were kept deliberately low, the music was quite loud and the general buzz around him was equally loud as people made themselves heard. He looked away, chiding himself for trying to eavesdrop.

Then Alison had grabbed him by the arm and was leading him away.

"Record company lounge suits," she told Simon, "an unfortunately necessary evil."

Simon nodded, sagely.

"How have you been, Simon? I enjoyed that night. I want you to know that despite what you probably think, I don't always hook up with someone after a gig. Those that I do go with don't call me or write to me, either. Thank you for that."

"You're welcome," came his automatic response. Then he found himself tongue-tied.

After a moment, Alison leaned in close to him. "Cat got your tongue?"

Simon felt himself flush, but somehow this freed up the words inside. "You take my breath away, you know," he told her.

Alison laughed, but it broke the ice, and Simon found his confidence returning. He reached into his pocket for his cigarettes and lighter. He offered one to Alison, who accepted with a "Thanks! I'm gasping for one!" he lit up. They enjoyed their cigarettes for a while, just talking comfortably about the day, what they'd heard and seen, who they'd enjoyed. Alison was particularly interested in Simon's impressions from in front of the stage, as (of course) mostly, she'd heard it from behind, or in the wings.

Simon stubbed his cigarette out and asked, "Those were your songs you were singing up there, weren't they? I mean, you wrote them?"

"Well, they're mainly Shaun and me, really. He comes up with most of the music, I come up with the lyrics. But we all contribute, it's a really organic thing. Someone comes in with an idea, and we run with it from there."

"Alison, I saw your songbook. Remember? You had music, as well as lyrics, in there."

Alison looked uncomfortable. "Yes, I know. But Shaun really does write most of the music we play."

Simon thought there was more to this, but at that point someone Simon didn't know passed Alison a joint. She smiled brightly at him and took a deep drag before passing it on to Simon, in turn.

"I don't often do this," he told her, but pulled the smoke deeply into his lungs. He could feel the effect immediately, feeling 'not-quite-there', and that nothing mattered too much. He handed the joint back to Alison.

Glancing across the room he saw Marianne in a close embrace with Shaun, smiling and obviously happy. Alison saw where he was looking.

"I see Shaun's pulled!" she laughed, but on seeing Simon's expression she said, "Something wrong? Oh! Is she with you?"

"Yes, that's Marianne… she wants us to… what was it? 'Get drunk, get high, get laid!' she said. I'm not sure I understand her sometimes."

"So she's cheating on you with Shaun? I can go get him, tell him no, if you want – he wouldn't do that to someone. Well, not knowingly."

"No, s'alright. Let her do it; she told me I should do the same, tonight. I think she needs to express her inner 'wild-child' tonight, or something." Simon turned back and looked directly into Alison's eye. "Besides, she told me to do the same."

Alison shut her mouth, opened it again, appeared to think better of saying something and shut it again. She took another long drag on the joint. Then she simply grabbed Simon by the arm, giggling like a schoolgirl, and dragged him away towards a doorway.

Alison gave the large, suited gentleman at the door a sign, and he opened the door to let them through. She pulled Simon along with her, along a corridor. "This is my room, Simon," she told him, voice now deeper, modulated. "You can 'express your wild-child' in here…"

- - - - - - - - - -

Simon was surprised but very happy to be in Alison's room, of course. Some of the happiness was chemically induced, more was because he'd really had a crush on her for a long time. He felt a twinge of conscience that he ought to be looking out for Marianne, but forced it down. She wanted him to do this, he reasoned.

Alison certainly seemed to want him. She kissed him, hard, wrapping herself around him, her tongue questing for his, and finding it. She broke the kiss long enough to grab the hem of his T-shirt and drag it over his head before kissing him some more. He felt her small, hard breasts. The material of her suit jacket was thin and hardly a barrier between her pebble-hard nipples and his chest.

His own hands were busy behind her, one roaming over her back, the other fondling her arse, feeling it's tight musculature underneath the trousers. He traced the outline of her panties with his fingers.

No questions were asked, no answers requested or given. He fumbled for a moment with the remaining buttons on her jacket before removing it, revealing the small white bra that was all she wore underneath.

He slipped his hands inside the open jacket to feel her warm flesh against his palms, pulling her to him. Their kiss grew more impassioned. Simon went for the button on her trousers, but found it awkward while they were still joined at the lips. Alison broke away from him and undressed quickly; Simon saw what she was doing and hurriedly emulated her.

Alison drew Simon to her bed and without bothering to get under the covers they fell on top. Hands were everywhere, lips and tongues touching, licking, sucking on skin, breast, nipple, seeking lower…

Alison seemed to be on fire, and Simon felt, shared, her need. He made no protest when she grabbed his erection and tugged it towards her. Positioning herself above him, she slowly descended, engulfing him. Simon let out a soft "Aaaah!" of satisfaction when she hit bottom, and Alison herself wore an expression of great satisfaction.

They began moving, Alison lifting and then impaling herself on his hardness, rocking at the bottom of each cycle, a fierce concentration now on her face, as she began to chew her bottom lip, brow furrowed. Her eyes closed. Simon watched her, matching her movements, concentrating on pleasing her, which was one of the ways he'd found helped him stave off his own hair-trigger.

Simon resumed stroking her high, pale breasts, stroking her with the pads of his fingers. Her eyes opened and she looked at him, pupils wide open. For a time, they moved together thus, before her jaw dropped and her breath began to shallow, becoming more rapid. Simon felt her vagina clench around him, as her movements became less fluid, more staccato. He began to force himself through her tightness, aided by the copious fluids there, battering her muscular contractions as she cried out and fell onto his chest.

Rolling over her and miraculously remaining inside the white heat of her sex he drove himself towards his own climax, now unable to resist his own need. He heard Alison calling him, "Fuck me, Simon, come on, come on, fuck me, COME IN ME!"

He did as he was bid, pouring his essence into her, one, two, three solid pulses, then a fourth, then a small one to follow. Gasping for breath, chest heaving, sweat dripping, he held himself above Alison, looking down in wonder at her. She smiled back at him and reached up to caress his face, not speaking.

Finally Simon collapsed onto the bed next to Alison, who rolled to look at him as he lay flat on his back, recovering.

She smiled logily, licked her lips, and said, "My God, you've got better!"

"I've been practising," he told her, a wonky grin on his face.

"I can tell! Thanks, Simon. Phew! I need a drink."

"I need a fag!" he replied, and rolled off the bed, searching for his trousers where the cigarettes and lighter were. He lit up as Alison got dressed and went out of the room.

By the time she came back he was desperate for a drink, too. Alison handed a can of lager to him, which he gratefully accepted. Then she disappeared into the bathroom, blowing him a kiss. He grinned and drained half of his drink in one long swallow. Alison emerged from the bathroom, smiling at him. He still felt lethargic, but he noticed that Alison was alive and bubbly once more. Simon wondered how on earth she managed it.

They chatted about nothing in particular for a minute or two, then, with hooded eyes Alison asked Simon, "You ready for round two yet?"

She reached over and ran a hand lightly over his crotch. Simon felt himself stirring, becoming half erect.

"Keep that up, and I will be," he replied.

"I think 'keeping it up' is rather the idea, Simon!" Alison told him with a wide smile.

- - - - - - - - - -

Caroline was fed up to the high teeth with fending off the offers, suggestions and downright gropes that had come her way. She had remained close to her spot but had been drinking lightly but steadily since Simon had angrily turned away from her some time earlier – it seemed like hours. Looking at her watch showed that it had been well over an hour, in fact.

She'd last seen her sister walking off with some guy who'd been in a band – she thought it was the one that Simon had been so caught up in.

Then she caught sight of her sister again. She was with Chris Feelgood, and Pearl was with her, too. At last, someone she could talk to!

She reached them and said, brightly, "Hi!"

Marianne turned and smiled at her sister. "Hi yourself! Having fun?"

"No, not really," she replied. "It's a bit boring. There's no-one here I know, and all the guys seem to want me to… you know."

Marianne grinned. "You should take them up on the offer."

"Heh. Nah, I'm not like that. You know that, Mari."

Marianne leaned forward and gave her sister a peck on the cheek. "Yes, I know, Cari. You're not really a party person, are you?"

"I can enjoy myself!"

"'Course you can, sweetheart," interrupted Chris, "You just need to loosen up a little. How's about another drink?"

"Okay." Chris turned to go, and Caroline remembered to say, "Thanks!"

"I could use one, too, please Chris," Pearl added. Chris turned, nodded to show he'd heard, and made his way to the bar.

"Don't think you have to do anything you don't want to, Caroline," Marianne told her sister. Pearl nodded.

"Keep your wits about you, don't get too drunk. I'm going to get some fresh air when Chris comes back with the drinks – d'you want to come with me?"

Caroline gratefully nodded, and Pearl smiled.

Not long after that Chris returned with drinks for them all. Pearl announced that she and Caroline would go and get some fresh air. As they turned away Caroline noticed Chris' arm going around Marianne's waist.

Caroline and Marianne got their coats and went outside, nodding to the doorman. They sat on a wooden bench in the small garden behind the hotel. It was chilly, but neither of them felt it as they were both somewhat inoculated against the cold by the alcohol.

So they sat there, chatting amiably away. Caroline found that Pearl was good at keeping a conversation going, even when she faltered at her end. Gradually Pearl drew her out more and more, until she was telling her about that frightening night in the café when she'd been trapped behind the counter by the fire.

"I was so scared I couldn't move!" she told the older model. "Then this guy in a breathing mask came up and yelled something at me, but I couldn't hear him properly, so he just picked me up like a sack of potatoes and threw me over his shoulder. He ran, carrying me through the smoke and avoiding the flames. I just closed my eyes and prayed!"

"God! Sounds horrible."

"Oh, it was. But then, he put me on my feet near an ambulance and took off his mask. I took my chance and leaned in and kissed him. It was heavenly!"

"Very romantic. Like a film!"

"Well, that's where the script needs changing then. He turned around and went back to work, I didn't get his name. About a year later I saw him again. It was Simon."

"Marianne's Simon?" Pearl asked, with a small gasp.

"Living and breathing. She'd met him in a bar, and they've been going out ever since. I mean, he saved my life, I kissed him first, it should be me going out with him, not her!"

Pearl knew that Caroline was a bit worse for wear, but not just how much. She didn't know the girl very well, but they'd worked together a couple of times and she knew Caroline as a shy, diffident type. But that last sentence came out with venom.

"Doesn't that cause problems between you two, I mean, you wanting her boyfriend?"

"Well, it would do, if we let it. But we don't because we have an agreement where neither of us goes for the other's boyfriend."

"But you want to."

Caroline sighed, and laid her head on Pearl's shoulder. "Yes, I want to. I adore him, you know. Not just the thing about the fire, either. I've got to know him a bit since Mari's been going with him, and I really like what I see – he's funny, charming, thoughtful. He doesn't know it all, or make out he does. And I still have that spark in my heart for him."

Pearl thought for a moment, considering whether to say this.

"Simon's not with Marianne now, you know."

"No, he stormed off in the direction of that guitar player, the blonde." Caroline's voice was monotonic.


"Yeah." Still there was no emotion at all in Caroline's voice.

"Well, Marianne's with Chris right now, I should think."

Caroline lifted her head from Pearl's shoulder and looked at her, carefully. "What are you saying, Pearl?"

"Chris likes having beautiful young ladies around him. Well, what red-blooded male wouldn't, especially if they take their clothes off for him? Normally, he's a perfect gentleman and does no more than look, and most of that's through his camera lens. But he's single and not bad looking, and sometimes, well, things happen."

Caroline didn't know what to make of this. "So Mari's gone with him, he's – he's screwing her?"

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