Mack's Progress Ch. 08byDenham_Forrest©
Late February and the end of the skiing season was in sight. Codi and I were trying to organise our flight to the States so that I could meet her family, when a letter came from Beverley, asking me whether I was planning on returning to the Willows for the season. I hadn't got around to replying, when my life turned to shit again.
They were all but the last booking for the chalet. They booked up rather late really and Codi and I didn't know they were coming until the night before they arrived. We'd been looking forward to an easy week to ourselves.
They were supposedly travelling incognito and I was uncomfortable with their presence from the moment they stepped out of their car. Thespians, my mother would have called them; Wankers, I prefer to call them. As a matter of fact I shall refer to one in particular as the Wanker so that I can't be sued if anyone recognises my description of the bugger.
There were two women; one I was to learn was a model-come-actress or rather she was a want to be actress. The other was a medico pop singer who got a couple of crap songs into the lower end of the charts and who'd also turned to acting and made several films. I think her main claim to fame with the films was that she was quite happy to bare all for the camera, if it was artistically important to the script. Well, that's what she'd told the reporter in the one interview I'd see her do on the TV; I'd never actually seen any of her films.
Of the two guys, one was one of those faces that we all know from the TV and films. A regular supporting actor who's face everyone can recall having seen somewhere but who's name was always too far down the cast list for us to remember reading. And then there was the Wanker. Yep, you've all seen him a few times and you'd know his face anywhere. About twenty-eight or thirty he has a very young -- and I suppose handsome -- face. At that time he tended to play romantic young leads; teenagers even, well below his actual age.
Their main topic of conversation -- beside self-adulation -- appeared to be staying out of sight of the paparazzo. Although I sensed a certain amount of disappointment in them, that the press - or any fans - hadn't discovered their little hideaway. Their extremely high profile behaviour around the ski slopes ensured that that situation didn't remain that way for very long. Not that many people hung around out side the chalet very much unless the Wanker was in the house. Then a small crowd of fans would hang around at the end of the chalet's short driveway, hoping to get the Wanker's autograph or a picture of him.
The thing that really upset me was that I immediately recognised that Codi was in awe of our celebrity guests. Me, I figured that they were a crowd of wanker's who had far too high an opinion of themselves. Fuck me; if they were anything special, then they wouldn't have been staying in our little fleapit of a ski chalet.
I'll admit that they didn't come over as all high and mighty with me, although they loved to play to the gallery whenever one was available. What I didn't like was Codi's behaviour around the Wanker, and the fact that she talked about him nearly all the time. It was obvious to me that she equated him personally with some of the characters he'd played in films. One thing I knew for sure was that he must have used plenty of stunt doubles and maybe a few body doubles in his films.
The geezer was a cack-handed, bleeding wimp as far as I was concerned and I definitely didn't like the way he looked at Codi sometimes or the way I'd caught him quietly talking to her alone a couple of times.
They'd been there about four days when by chance I was coming down from upstairs and I overheard the wanker telling his sycophantic friend in the lounge, "fuck the arse off of that little tart before we leave here," was all I heard him say. But as he was sleeping every night with his high profile wife, I could think of no reason for him to say those words about her. The Model was his friend's regular bed partner, so I doubted that he was talking about her either. That only left Codi as his intended target, as far as I could see.
"Codi, I do believe that your new film star friend is intent on adding your name to those notches on his belt!" I told her in bed that evening.
"Mack, do you really think that I would do that to you?" she replied.
"Codi, I don't think that you would intentionally do anything like that, but you are a little infatuated with the bugger."
"Oh, don't be so silly. I think he's a great actor and I'm very happy to have met him personally. But... well, I love you; I wouldn't do anything to put our relationship in any danger. Trust me please?"
"Well, there, that's our problem, Codi, isn't it? Trusting people. And remember that you trusted your ex back in the States as well, didn't you?"
"Mack, I'm disappointed in you. How could you even think that I'd do such a thing?" The look on Codi's face was one of disappointment.
"Codi, I've come to the conclusion that I can't tell what anyone could do in the right circumstances. I'm not a mind reader; I can only take people by my perception of their actions. I don't believe that you'd intentionally jump into the guy's bed," a horrified expression came over Codi's face. "But then I have to take into account that he's acted the part of seducer in several of his films. I would hazard to suggest that he could remember his lines very well."
"I'm sorry I don't understand what you're trying to say?" Codi said, looking confused.
"I'm just warning you to watch yourself around that bugger, Codi. He might be more adept with the old charm than you realise!"
With that the conversation ended with Codi sulking for a while. I felt Codi was annoyed with me for suggesting that she might fall for the Wanker's charms.
I'd seen a lot since I'd first moved to the Willows. As a barman you find that you study people and the way they behave quite closely. I'd watched many a hopeful young stud holidaymaker trying to seduce Pat and Michelle, and some female holidaymakers, not counting some of the other girls from the village as well. I thought by then that I could read the buggers intentions like a bloody book. And I was pretty sure that the Wanker was after my girl.
After breakfast the following morning I came in with a basket of logs for the fire, to see the Wanker standing at the bottom of the stairs, plainly blocking any further advance that Codi could make down them. They were talking but I didn't hear what he was saying to Codi or her reply. The instant he became aware of my presence he stepped aside to allow Codi to pass.
Codi gave me what I can only describe as a nervous look and continued on her way into the kitchen.
That night after the evening meal both of the male guests were in the lounge together as I was making up the open fire. None of the females were present; I believe they were upstairs changing. So I thought I'd take the opportunity of warning the bugger off.
"You know something? There's some blokes who get very attached to their women. Do you understand what I'm getting at?" I said, turning from the fire to look at them with a large log in my hand.
"Sorry, Mack, I'm afraid you've lost me there, my friend?" the Wanker replied.
"I was just pointing out that some folks tend to turn violent if anyone trespasses on what they consider their territory."
"Mack, if you're trying to insinuate that I would lay a hand on Codi, I find it insulting. I'm a married man, remember?"
"I remember, but I have to wonder how good your memory is on occasions. You seem to find a lot to talk about with Codi."
"Oh, this morning! I was just complimenting her on the wonderful breakfast she'd prepared, that's all. Don't worry, my friend, she told all about your marriage plans."
"I'll bet she has," I said as I left the room. My anger would not let me stay in there with them any longer. The Wanker had had a mocking expression on his face during the short conversation.
That night in bed I brought the subject up again with Codi. "What was the Wanker saying to you on the stairs this morning?" I asked her.
"Well, he was just complimenting me on the breakfast, that's all."
"And was that all he complimented you on?"
"Mack, you're acting very paranoid lately. I'm not sure that I like it. But no, he complimented me on how nice I looked again. He always does that almost everyday. He's just being nice, that's all; he doesn't mean anything by it. I find it quite flattering, having a film star telling me how beautiful I am. You know XXXX (name removed for legal reasons) says I've got the looks to be an actress."
"Jesus, Codi, the guy's a bleeding slime ball. Can't you see it? Haven't you ever heard of the casting couch? I tell you the guy's after getting into your knickers before the week's out."
"He'll be out of luck then, won't he? You're my man, you know that!"
"But does he, Codi?"
"Oh, give over and kiss me, Mack, before I loose my temper with you."
The following morning at breakfast the Wanker asked me if I'd book them a table for dinner that night at a restaurant at the other end of the valley. They even invited Codi and me to join them for the meal.
Their plan was to spend the whole day skiing from the top of one lift to the bottom of the next. They'd work their way slowly down the valley to the restaurant at the far end; it was not an unusual thing for our guests to do.
This pleased me some, because that day I was heading over to the other side of the valley to another of our employer's chalets. That chalet was closing for the season and I'd been asked to run the couple who'd been managing it to the airport.
Codi was going to accompany me, but when we heard our guests were going to be away all day, she changed her mind. We still had another booking for the following week, and there was some preparation that we hadn't found time to do. The party was larger and the rooms that hadn't been used recently would have to be prepared for them, as they tended to get a little damp smelling when they were closed up all the time.
I dropped the guests at the lift and then went back to have a coffee with Codi before setting off for the other chalet. Codi came out to kiss me good-bye, told me to be careful on the road and that she loved me. Standard procedure for when I went off somewhere in that old Citroen.
As I came out of the other chalet with the couple that I was taking to the airport, the French taxi driver we always used pulled up and signalled me over to have a word. We tended to use the same driver all the time and we knew that we could rely on him to pick our clients up late at night from the nightspots around the village and the valley. In return we got a kick back from him - in the form of a free trip - whenever Codi and I went out drinking.
He seemed perturbed that one of the other drivers had been booked to pick up at our chalet at one o'clock and take a fare to a ski lift halfway down the valley.
"Javier, lend me those binoculars that you carry in your taxi," I demanded.
Javier's English was as about as good as my French, but we usually appeared to understand each other. He didn't ask me why I wanted them; he just pulled them from the glove box and handed them to me. I trained them on our chalet across the other side of the valley. Sure enough there were several of the Wanker's regular fans and a couple of photographers standing in the road outside the chalet. That could only mean one thing: the Wanker was in there with Codi.
I handed the binoculars back to Javier, asked him to drive my friends to the airport, and agreed to pay the fare. Then I climbed into the old Citroen and took off at breakneck speed - considering the road conditions -- back across the valley.
I didn't pull into our own chalet's drive, but into the drive of the empty chalet next door, then set out across the snow for the rear door of our own one.
Entering as quietly as I could, I found the ground floor deserted, as were the clients' two bedrooms. Eventually I realised that I could hear noises coming from one of the rooms that Codi was supposed to be changing the linen on and airing out.
Gently trying the door handle, I found the room locked. Someone had thought they'd made sure that they wouldn't be disturbed in a hurry; but I had the master key on my ring.
Codi was on her back on the bed, her knickers and jeans still hanging from her left ankle which, like her right, was pointing up at the ceiling. Between Codi's legs was the Wanker shagging Codi as hard as he knew how.
I do believe Codi actually saw me a second before my fist made its first attempt to fuck that pretty face of the Wanker's up good and proper. I'm sure that he was completely unaware of what had hit him or where the blow had come from.
For a few seconds he lay on the floor where he'd landed, obviously trying to work out what the fuck had just happened. Then his eyes focused and he saw me standing there.
For a few seconds, I watched as his mind scrolled through the few options he had available to him. He dared to take a quick look at Codi, I suppose to see if she was intending to try to have any influence on the situation.
He was wasting his time. Codi who hadn't uttered a sound since she'd spotted me, was trying to do a balancing act on the headboard of the bed. I do believe that she was trying to get physically as far away from both of us as she possibly could in that room.
I watched the Wanker grab hold of his trousers that were down around his knees; he'd obviously been in a hurry to get started and hadn't bothered to remove them. The muscles of his chest rippled when he tried to pull them up as he struggled to his feet; the only way out of that room was past me and he was well aware of the fact by then.
I had to admit that he did have an impressive chest on him. I'd seen it many times during the week he'd been in residence; because he was proud of his physique and liked to show it off, even going outside to sign the fans autographs bare-chested sometimes. The thought crossed my mind that he must have removed his shirt before he'd tracked Codi down in the room she'd been preparing, probably to impress her.
I know it sounds strange to say it, but then things got slightly comical to my mind; the guy was an actor and he began to act his bleeding heart out.
Maybe that's what made me realise that for all his muscles I wasn't going to have any trouble handling him; luckily for him really, because I didn't have to resort to any emergency measures.
On his feet at last he took up a marshal arts stance and made some inane comment, which struck me as so funny that I honestly can't tell you how I managed not to laugh out loud. The familiar line he used was a famous one from one of his films. I Should imagine it was the line that was the cue for his body double stuntman to takeover and take part in the actual fighting.
"I warn you, I'm a black..." he began to add.
"I don't give a fuck what you claim to be, arsehole. You don't scare me in the slightest. Let's see if you can cut the mustard when you ain't play fighting on a fucking film set, shall we?"
"I'll warn you, if you hurt me, I'll sue you for every penny you have."
"That's handy because I'm fucking broke. Come on, shit-face, show me what a black belt can do."
Actually he did land a couple of real doozies, but I landed a fuck sight more than he did, and in the end he rolled up into a ball on the floor and actually begged me to stop hitting him.
I'd made my point and there wasn't much sense in going to jail over the fucker, or Codi come to that. I took one more, quick look at Codi who was still balancing on the bed's headboard and walked out of the room.
Half way down the stairs I met the couple who were supposed have been flying home to the UK, on their way up. They'd decided that whatever had made me take off like I did, just had to be investigated.
I poured myself a large drink and settled myself at the kitchen table, to await whatever ramifications were to come. A few minutes later Javier came in and took a seat opposite me. I pushed the bottle of Scotch in his direction but he refused it and grabbed an open bottle of wine and a glass from the side counter.
"With Codi?" he asked.
"Yep!" I replied.
"You hurt him bad?"
"Fucked if I care, Javier."
"Women!" Javier replied, with one of his usual shrugs. Then we both sat there in silence drinking our chosen poison.
I have no idea who called the doctor or the police, but they both turned up and Javier and my friends from the other chalet dealt with them. The doctor came to look at me a little later, all the time jabbering away to Javier so fast that I couldn't understand a word he said. He shone a torch in my eyes and waved a pen in front of them as well, then apparently satisfied that I was going to live, he poured himself a glass of wine and left the kitchen. But not before giving me the thumbs up sign and a pat on the back.
A little later a police officer entered the kitchen and took a seat beside Javier, who promptly poured him a glass of the same plonk as he himself had been drinking. Javier indicated that the bottle was empty and I indicated to the cupboard where he could retrieve another bottle.
Then followed what must have been one of the strangest police interviews ever recorded, where Javier answered almost all of the questions although he had little or no idea of what had actually taken place in that bedroom. But the words "crime passionnel" were bandied about almost as freely as the glasses of plonk were consumed. Then the police officer left after shaking my hand and babbling something in French, which I could make neither head nor tale of.
Exactly when the Wanker's tart arrived back at the chalet, I have no idea. Nor do I have any idea how she found out that I'd kicked the shit out of her loving(?) husband. She came into the kitchen to see me and seemed more concerned that the incident didn't become tomorrow's headlines in the newspapers than anything else; that included the fact that her husband had been unfaithful to her.
"What are you going to do about Codi?" she finally asked me.
"Nothing. Its over!" I replied.
"But it wasn't her fault. You know he's an arsehole. He can be very persuasive when he wants to be."
"I warned her what he was planning and she didn't listen. What we had is gone. Why the hell do you put up with that kind of behaviour?"
"In a word, Mack, money. Have you any idea how much that magazine paid for exclusive photographic rights to our wedding. No, well, I'll tell you, three million. There's just one reason I'm married to the little shit and that's publicity and the cash it puts into my bank accounts. In a year or so we'll separate, very publicly, of course, and we'll both do the talk show rounds on the strength of it. And, of course, reap the financial rewards that come with that publicity."
"A bit hypocritical, isn't it?" I said.
"It's all about cash, Mack. I'm sorry, I know that you loved Codi, try to forgive her please."
"Not going to happen, XXX. I'm not made that way."
I'm sorry, Mack; I should have known the bugger was up to something when he said he'd twisted his ankle this morning. He didn't look in enough pain to me."
She didn't say good-bye; she just got up and walked out of the kitchen. Five minutes later Javier returned and told me all four guests had left in another taxi. I asked him why he hadn't driven them and he explained with some difficulty - I said neither of us were good with each others language -- that he didn't act as chauffer to his friend's enemies.
Then Javier cracked open his third bottle of plonk that afternoon, and poured me a glass, after placing the bottle of Scotch out of my reach. I looked up at him as he did so.