European Travels Ch. 04bypetervongrunigan28©
Usual Words. This story is a work of fiction; no inference with real people or events is intended. You must be 18 to read this story.
This is the start of my first series, so watch this space over the coming months for the next installments. Many thanks to Tim Bisley, whose encouragement and insights helped me a huge amount with this. Cheers pal.
Please note that any opinions expressed in this story do not always reflect those of the author.
Feedback and constructive criticism would be nice. It offers a huge amount of encouragement, as well as providing useful analysis. I can't get better at this unless you guys give me some input.
Anyhow. Enough of me, read on into the action.
* * * * *
Chapter Four : Insurrection
The very second I came off the steps onto the tarmac I felt better. It was nothing to do with my physical condition, since my ribs were still killing me, even after taking some painkillers I had bought in the airport departure lounge. But I was home. I was back on British soil, and I drew it to me like a comfort blanket.
On a wet Friday morning at Heathrow I felt strangely optimistic. I had no appointments for the rest of the day, I would be able to see my flat again inside two hours and then I could get my head down. Then maybe try and see a doctor about the precarious state of my body.
I shuffled like an old man through arrivals, making my way to the luggage carousel. I preyed that my bags wouldn't be last out. As a waited by the belts I leaned onto the trolley, taking the weight off my feet. I went through the usual motions. Turn my watch back, switch the mobile on, make sure I had some cash to get the train home.
Thumbing through my well worn leather wallet, I glanced at the Euros at the back. Would we be using them one day? As proud as I was of our land, maybe European integration was inevitable and right, although surely it would be at the expense of our economic policy. I quickly dismissed my thoughts. Politics took over enough of me without thinking about it on days off.
The second thing to catch my eye was Natalie's phone number. I pictured us together on the river in Bilbao in my minds eye. She looked her usual self; incandescent, her hair blowing in the breeze. It was odd to look at me though, because I had a natural subconscious smile on my face, and my body exuded warmth. It showed how quickly life can change if you give it a chance.
Spying my bags I jammed my wallet back into my coat pocket, and whipped the items off of the carousel before they passed me by. Dropping them onto my cart I made for the nearest exit to the station.
I made it to the platform ahead of time, so I embarked onto the train and found a window seat. I had to prop my feet on my bags to allow other people to sit down, but since it was a short journey I ignored the discomfort.
Pain suddenly surged through me as the vibration alert on my phone made contact with my injured ribs. I jolted forwards. Removing it from my inside jacket pocket I ignored the odd looks from the other commuters. Seeing the 'Private Number' icon on the display again, I silently begged it to be a friendly call.
"Hello. Jon Carter." I spoke.
"How ya doing?" The loud Canadian voice went through me like a hot knife through butter.
"Avril. Erm, this is a surprise. Where are you?" I stuttered out.
Inwardly I was rejoicing. I had kind of given up on her calling me, but the second I heard her voice the adrenaline started to go through me. It's amazing what the body physically remembers. I'd slammed Natalie out of my mind instantly.
"St Martins Lane Hotel," she replied.
"Oh right… hang on. That's only a few miles from my place. You're in London?" I asked, even though the answer was obvious.
"Yeah. Why else would I be calling you? I'm on tour, and I thought maybe we could hang out." She said simply.
"Hang out?" I questioned, allowing the suggestive edge to creep into my voice.
"Yes hang out." She paused. "And then maybe a little something else afterwards." It was obvious she had caught my meaning.
"So what do you want to do then?" I asked.
She gave me the incredulous tone. "Hey, don't ask me shit like that. This is your town, you must know what goes on around here."
I found her attitude quite refreshing. She was totally a character, no question.
"OK, calm down. I'll think of something. Look, I'm on the way to my house. Have you got transport?" I asked.
"I guess so. I could ask one of the roadies to drive me. Or get a cab I sp'ose."
"Good. Go over to my place and I'll meet you there in about an hour. If you get there before me then ask the doorman to let you in with a duplicate key. If he refuses tell him to call, he has my number. He should be OK if you explain what is happening though. Oh, and don't go messing about with my place yeah? Have you got a pen and paper?"
"Yes. And I promise nothing. I'll trash your place if I feel like it." She deadpanned.
"You would as well probably. Anyhow, the address is Flat 6, Grosvenor Square, Westminster. I'll see you there."
"Bye." She hung up quickly, leaving me hoping she didn't make good on her threat of destroying my place.
As I replaced my phone I ran my hand over my heart, feeling it beat faster than normal. Avril did that to me, I was excited just by hearing her voice. I suddenly realised that I had fallen for her. There was no doubt in my mind.
Its amazing that a big decision can be made in a matter of seconds. Although I thought I liked Natalie, she did nothing for me on the level that Avril did. All thoughts of being Nat's boyfriend instantly went from my mind. Now my goal was making Avril think in the same way.
Dealing with the fallout from our conversation in Bilbao could wait until I next saw her. I knew I was procrastinating, but the one irrational voice in my mind kept on at me.
'It won't do any harm to keep your options open, will it Jon?"
I knew Natalie probably deserved the truth from me, but sometimes even a strong man can turn into a spineless wonder. Today was simply my turn.
I had been looking around for anyone watching me at the airports and on the train, but the places were just to crowded. It was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Still, I was seeing Avril soon, and that, was enough to lift even my spirits.
* * * * *
By the time I arrived at Paddington it was 11:00. I moved quickly to the taxi rank and jumped into the front one, shouting my address to the driver. He pulled away into the London traffic.
I checked my watch, I was already 5 minutes late. By now she would be at my flat, no doubt having a good nose around. Offhand, I couldn't think of anything incriminating that I didn't want her to find, and I begged my memory not to be playing tricks on me.
The driver made it to the flat inside 15 minutes, and at that point I must have been the only one praising the congestion charge since there was less on the roads. I paid him, and ran across the road to the flat, noting the dirty look the doorman gave me as I forced my way through the door with the cases. Strange, I thought, Graham was normally a pleasant bloke whom I chatted with.
Reaching the stairwell, I heard and immediately guessed the form of his irritancy. Someone had Blink 182 on full blast in the upstairs flats. And, since two out of the four were empty, and the occupant of the other was 65, it made sense that Avril was the origin of this problem. Somehow I wasn't angry with her though, if anything it endeared me to her even more.
I let myself in with the key and surveyed the scene in the main room. I instantly dropped the cases and stood spellbound. Trust me, any straight man would do the same if he saw Avril dancing topless around his flat, throwing in high kicks and punching the air. I just stared at her amazing tits, small but firm, jiggling around as she moved.
Finally we locked eyes and she shut off the music. I must have looked a right fool with a stupid grin on my face. I tried to play it cool. Hopelessly as it turned out.
"Alright." I said.
"Peachy" she replied.
Avril didn't move. She just stared at me, obviously proud of her body. From where I stood, she had every reason to be. I decided to tease her a bit.
"You know people can see you from the road," I jested.
"So? They get a nice treat, don't they?" she responded.
"I must say, I'd like to come home to that sight more often." I said.
Within 5 strides I had crossed the room and flung my arms around her, pushing my mouth on to hers. We kissed deeply and passionately, finding each other again. The pace was furious as Avril forced her tongue inside my mouth, before withdrawing and biting on my lip. I ran my hands over her breasts and down her body, aiming to push her trousers down and get her naked. I gripped the waistband, and then I was interrupted. I was stunned as Avril pushed away from me, using her hands on my chest as leverage. I was lucky that she turned, because then I could grimace freely at the pain I felt. Avril spoke, unaware of my discomfort.
"Slow down, that can wait till later." She said.
"You come in here, dance topless and then tell me I can't have you? Come on, play by the rules." I protested, mildly upset by the rejection.
Avril gave me a cheeky grin. "Jon, I make the rules." She said.
"Come on, where are you taking me this afternoon?" she asked.
I enjoyed the chance to get a little revenge over her.
"You'll see when we get there. We'll get some lunch first though, I know a little place nearby. And don't make that face at me, I'm still not going to tell you."
I got the feeling that Avril had perfected the stroppy teenager look that she was giving me, but I was determined not to let it get to me. As I'd come to expect from her though, she played the proverbial royal flush to my full house.
"Fine. I'm putting my shirt back on then." She stated, obviously in a mock huff.
I sighed, and rubbed my forehead, knowing I'd been beaten again. Avril pushed herself into her black T – Shirt, which had a 'Sayonara Tokyo' writing on the front. The skater girl stuck her tongue out at me, and I sighed.
"Come on then, let's go." I said.
We exited the flat, and went out onto the street, again being blanked by the doorman. I couldn't even hazard a guess at what Avril had done to him to make him like that. The music wasn't that big a deal. I made a mental note to ask later.
We walked for 3 blocks, moving further into town. If people recognised us they didn't say anything, something I was quite glad about. I'd never liked being pestered by people who wanted to tell me the Government was a lump of shi… well, you get the idea.
Arriving at the small deli, I told Avril to go inside and order while I went to a shop across the street. I bought a packet of painkillers in the chemist, and quickly took two, dry swallowing to a huge effort. I hoped the effect would be near instantaneous, it would need to be due to what we were doing later.
I entered the deli, to find Avril chatting with the owner, someone who I was on first name terms with after 4 years of getting lunch here whenever I was in Parliament.
"Hey Bob," I greeted. "A cup of tea and the usual jacket potato when you've got time, and for you?" I gestured to Avril.
"Erm, tuna salad and a Pepsi please." She said.
Her politeness surprised me. I was distracted by Bob.
"Window table please Jon. How come I've never seen this pretty young thing before? She tells me you and her are close."
Bob might be 60, but the grin on his face made it clear he knew what she meant by close. I laughed and guided Avril to the table, and with a quick glance back shook my head at him.
"Try MTV, Bob, if you want to see her." I called out to him.
We sat down, and a thought crossed my mind.
"This is the first chance we've had to, you know, talk. Can I find out a bit about you?" I asked gingerly.
"Yeah," Avril said warily. "Watcha wanna know?"
"I don't know, erm, what got you into music?" I asked.
"I used to sing at festivals and fairs and the like. That's boring though. Ask me something interesting." I was hardly surprised at her surmise.
"OK." I searched my mind for a clever question. Surprisingly, it came to me. "What's your most embarrassing moment?"
Avril gave me a funny look. At that moment Bob arrived with our order. She took a quick sip of her Pepsi and waited for him to retire before answering.
"At an awards show last year, someone took my belt before we went on stage. I started singing Sk8ter Boi, and every time I moved, my trousers came down a little more. No matter what I tried I couldn't sort them out. Anyway, not usually a problem, but I wasn't wearing anything underneath."
At this point she had the decency to look sheepish. She avoided eye contact with me.
"They fell really low, and some dickhead photographer was at the back of the stage. He took loads of shots of me with my ass virtually on display, and the next day they were in the press and on the net. It was so humiliating."
Avril's lack of a smile told me she was being serious. It was nice that she was willing to share her feelings with me. I tried to console her.
"Hey, that sucks. I bet it got you a few male fans though." I said.
"Yeah maybe" a half smile graced her lips.
Suddenly we both caught site of the man at the next table, just looking at us. Avril's temper went as she realised his presence.
"What the fuck are you looking at?" she intoned, fire coming from her eyes.
"Nothing. I'm sorry." The young man replied, before hurrying out. I saw everyone in the deli looking at us, even Bob behind the counter. I made an angry gesture with my hands and people returned to their lunches. I thought about Avril's outburst. It was plain that anger was her defence mechanism, but I knew there was a time and a place for it. The guy didn't deserve that. I looked at her, she was engrossed in her salad. I tried to rebuke her gently.
"Hey, what was that about?
"I'm sorry, its just. Everyone wants a piece of me y'know?"
I couldn't think of anything to say in response, so I settled for an alternative to her statement.
"I know its unlikely, but he might have wanted a piece of me you know. I'm just as well known here as you are."
Avril mearly shrugged, probably a bit embarrassed at her harsh words. . We finished our food and left, and I guided her along the street to our next port of call. I pointed as it came into view. Avril's face lit up, and she ran towards the Planet Lazer.
"Cool, come on, lets go." She shouted.
I broke into a run to follow her, thanking the painkillers for the temporary relief they afforded me. They should get me through the game. I listened to Avril's banter about how she was going to ' kick me shitless' in there and entered the building with her.
* * * * *
I exited into the London sunshine, basking in the glory of my moment. Avril followed behind me, her chin on the ground. I couldn't help but rub salt in the wound.
"Gonna 'kick me shitless' were you?" I laughed. "20 hits to 9. Looks like I cleaned you out!"
Avril gave me a furious look. "Anymore of this and you're gonna get a bad case of blue balls this evening."
That was enough to shut me up swiftly. I couldn't even think of a response. I stood looking at Avril. The silence in my mind was filled when I thought I recognised a passer by. Image after image ran through my brain in a second, but I couldn't put a name to the face.
We moved off down the street, neither of us speaking. I could sense Avril was wounded by the defeat in the laser game, and I wondered if I had inadvertently given myself a no sex rule for the coming evening. The journey home was silent, as Avril moped along, and I searched my mind for the mystery face of the pedestrian.
* * * * *
We got back to the flat at 16.00. I noticed Graham in his small office, and decided to gather some information. Handing Avril the key I headed over to him.
"Alright mate?" I used a friendly tone of voice
Graham just looked at me. I was discouraged, but I didn't show it.
"Are you annoyed with me or something?" I tried the direct approach.
"No Jon. But that girl of yours. I banged on the door this morning to get her to stop the music, but she just ignored me and turned it up. I had people from the next building coming round and having a go at me."
I couldn't stop the smile on my face, even if it wasn't appropriate.
"Yeah, that sounds like Avril. Look, I'll have a word, OK?" I said.
"Cheers pal." Graham replied.
I backed away and went up the stairs. I couldn't really blame him for being annoyed, and I resolved to tell Avril about being polite to people I knew.
I reached the flat, where she had helpfully left the door on the latch. I thought I could hear running water, but dismissed my thoughts as me going senile.
I moved quickly through the door, and promptly fell over the suitcases that I had left in the hallway earlier.
"Oh, son of a bitch!" I said as I landed on the carpet.
From the bathroom came unbacked music.
"Chill out, watcha yelling for? Lay back, its all been done…"
I interrupted her before she could take 'Complicated' any further.
"Are you taking the piss?" I called out.
"No. And get in here. Now" she ordered. Her tone of voice wasn't one to be caught disobeying.
I walked towards the bathroom, my excitement steadily rising as I saw the trail of clothes on the floor. Trousers, t shirt and a fetching red pair of panties all lay there.
I leaned in the bathroom doorway, watching Avril through the frosted glass of the shower panes, feeling a growing ache in my trousers. The doors opened a fraction and her head moved into the gap.
"Well. Don't just stand there. Are you coming in?" she asked.
"No. I thought I'd stick around out here actually," I said, in the most nonchalant tone of voice that I could manage. It was poor, but considering Avril was naked in my shower I thought it a passable expression.
"That's to bad. I guess I'll just have to get myself off." She said, mirroring the same seductive voice I heard on our first night together.
She shimmied her body side on to the gap in the shower doors, and deliberately took a long lick of her fingers. Sliding her hands over her breasts she moved down to her legs, motioning that she was starting to masturbate.
That did it for me. I couldn't take any more of this. I was out of my trousers in about two seconds flat, with my socks and t shirt following in rapid motion.
I leapt between the doors, and then pulled them shut behind me. Avril twisted the knife on the again.
"You are soooo my bitch. Every time I call, you come running." She said.
"Shut up for a change," I said, pushing her under the shower head, causing the first drops of water to wet her mouse brown hair. Suddenly her eyes changed, and I knew the question before it was spoken.
"What happened to you?"
I thought on my feet. There was no way I was telling her the truth, so I just said the first thing that came to me.
"I was mugged in Spain the other day, they gave me a good kicking. I'll explain later."
Quickly I pressed on. A naked Avril in front of you makes bruises a pretty boring subject.
"You know what's good for pain? Sex. Lots of sex." I said.
I leaned into her, trying to kiss her. She pulled back, faking a confused look.
"Why's that?" she asked.
"Well, pleasure makes the brain release dopamine…" As I tried to go into the scientific explanation, Avril's boredom resulted in me getting what I had desired a moment ago. A deep, passionate kiss.
Her mouth tasted just as nice as I remembered it, and she eagerly slipped her tongue through my lips. I looked at her for a second, and it was a beautiful sight. She had her eyes closed, water running off her hair and over her breasts.