In essence it’s a bridge between the end of ‘Gilliflowers, Bonds of Affection’ and pending memoir ‘Revelations.' It was not my original intention to make a separate book concerning Christmas at Leo's, but as I wrote I realised the event deserved more than a mere chapter or two skimming over the details. I'll apologise in advance to those who might think I've gone into too much detail. It seems no matter what I write, how little or how much and in what detail there will always be those who find fault. Like the guy once said, you can't please, etc, etc.
Please note: the following chapter contains adult themes and adult language and is not intended for readers under the age of 18. If you fit into the latter category then scram. Thanks.
The Christmas we spent at Leo's place in 2008 was eventful, though not in a Bruce Willis ‘Die Hard’ kind of way you understand. There were no mass explosions, dramatic helicopter crashes or international mastermind terrorist criminals lurking around the Christmas tree. Dick and Shane didn’t don dirty vests and cavort barefoot over broken glass having a motherfucker shoot out with money-grubber baddies. By eventful I mean in a personal sense. There were events, small ones in the great scheme of things, but tough in their own way, for me anyway. So what happened I hear you ask, either that or the paranoid delusions aren’t and people really ARE whispering behind my back.
Excuse me while I have a poke around in my jeans and get something out, and no, it isn’t what you’re thinking. Get your minds out of the gutter. I’m groping in my pocket for my magic glitter. As you may recall from earlier trips down my memory lane I’m trained and licensed in the art of time travel via the glitter method. This boy doesn’t need a cumbersome Tardis, so <clicks fingers> take that Dr Who you sexy time traveller you. Hold tight. Here goes: throws magic dust into the air.
Sprinkle-sprinkle. Glitter-glitter: let us return to December 2008, the morning of the twenty-third to be precise, more or less where Gilliflowers left off. Magic fairy dust, eh! Never leave home without it.
I gazed around the kitchen with sullen hostility. There’s something sordid about the aftermath of a party. All the excitement and glamour has gone, tarnished by the debris of dirty glasses, soiled napkins and used plates. A stale smell of tobacco added another sleazy dimension to the jaded ambience. It had slunk into the kitchen the night before as a succession of smokers huddled outside the back door indulging their filthy habit in the cold garden. I scowled. No doubt there’d be a pile of unsightly dog ends to sweep up outside, despite me supplying lidded ashtrays. As if I didn’t have enough to do inside the house.
Unlocking the back door I flung it open, letting in a blast of icy air, hoping it would chase the nicotine stink away and brighten my mood. It didn’t.
A thick frost enhanced the garden with a gauzy sparkling overlay. I noted it without pleasure. My humour was too sour to be sweetened by pretty nature.
All I wanted to do was go back to bed and sulk under the covers. It wasn’t an option. I’d had what amounted to a lie in, rising at eight instead of six, as was the norm on a workday. Dick had finished work for the holidays, but Shane was going into his office to tie up a few things before taking his Christmas break. If he had to be up for work, then so did I.
It was too cold to have the door open, so I closed it and opened a top window in the hope it would freshen the air without freezing my balls off at the same time. I began clearing the kitchen table ready for Shane’s breakfast, pondering on the day before.
I’d been fine to begin with. The day itself had gotten off to a good start. I’d woken up feeling motivated. I had everything planned like a military exercise. It was just a question of following my written lists and ticking the boxes as I went along. The main event was an early dinner party for an honoured group of five, followed by more casual drinks and nibbles for other of Dick and Shane’s work staff and acquaintances. Killing two festive obligations on one night so to speak.
The dinner guests were Reny and Angela along with Pamela, Shane’s terrifying personal secretary and the brave soul who had wed her. Julie, Reny and Dick’s secretary, completed the line up. I’ve met her a couple of times and rather like her. With us three the total number to cater for was eight.
Reny’s wife Angela, a woman worthy of her own set of Penny style cheerleader pom-poms and chant (B-I-T-C-H) threw a spanner in the works. She called mid afternoon to say her sister and bro in law had landed earlier than expected for Christmas and could we squeeze them in at the dinner table. It would be a shame to leave them home alone on their first night. She hadn’t seen them in an age and didn’t want to neglect them.
Given the choice, I’d have said no, fuck off! I wasn’t given the choice. Dick took the call and made the decision. The more the merrier. For him maybe, but not for me, I’d planned a meal for eight and now I had to stretch it to ten. I’m not good at improvising. I had a bit of a fizz and stamp over it, accusing Dick of not taking my feelings into consideration. Shane took me to task for making a fuss, saying all I had to do was set another two places at the table. The meal I’d planned could easily stretch to ten. It was just a question of sharing out a bit of meat and veg. A roast beef dinner was hardly haute cuisine. Cue a mega huff. The houseboy felt obliged to put Master Shane straight about a few things. How dare he minimise my menu and write off my main course as a mere roast beef dinner. Excuse me!
For his information I was serving a prime, PRIME mind you, rib roast coated with herbs and spices. I’d scoured dozens of cookbooks and YouTube vids looking for the perfect recipe and tips on how to cook a hefty piece of cow carcass to perfection. Then there were the starters and puds to faff around with, and setting extra places would spoil my festive table arrangement. Plus, and it was a big plus, I’d only bought eight super expensive luxury Christmas crackers, one for each person. Eight. Not ten. Make a note, Shane, and highlight it. EIGHT!
Dick tried to pour oil, saying he’d nip out and buy another box of crackers. I put a flea in his ear as well. The crackers I’d bought had been ordered online to custom specifications and there was nothing in the shops to match them. I wasn’t having manky mass-produced crackers fucking up my liveried table decorations.
Rolling their eyes in synchronised exasperation the men folk said they would be more than happy to forego a cracker, thus freeing them up for the unexpected guests. As a gesture it failed to placate this huffy houseboy. It wasn’t fair of Angela to invite uninvited guests at the eleventh hour. Cheeky mare! She was bad enough on her own without towing her fucking relatives along for a free feed and an expensive customised cracker containing one of a selection of tasteful gifts, plus a motto and foil hat.
Shane slapped a gagging order on my gob and a hand on my arse, telling me to stop chuntering and get on with it or so help him he was going to string my balls and hang them on the Christmas tree.
Dinner was scheduled to start at six and be over by seven-thirty, giving me time to clear the dining room and set out a buffet ready for the arrival of more plebeian guests from eight-thirty onwards. The study was designated as a dance hall. Dick and I had already rearranged the furniture and taken up the rugs to give plenty of floor space. I made it look more alluring and atmospheric by turning off the ceiling lights and illuminating the room with a mini set of party disco lights. It looked good. I also set out an eclectic array of CD’s for people to choose from. I did suggest we hire a DJ, but Shane suggested I get a grip on reality. Mean man. He has no sense of occasion.
Angela, Reny and Mr and Mrs Gatecrasher arrived almost fifteen minutes late for dinner, which put my nose even more out of joint. I was nervous enough as it was. Dinner parties are stressful, especially when you don’t know some of the guests particularly well and you’re responsible for the food. More time was lost in a melee of introductions and the handing out of champagne aperitifs in the lounge.
Angela’s sister Cheryl got my back up by referring to me as the ‘butler’ when I offered to take her coat. I smiled at her joke while mentally bludgeoning her to death with one of Dick’s golf clubs. I carefully hung her and her hubby’s coats on the cloakroom floor and booted them around before going into the kitchen to check on the beef. It was out of the oven and resting beneath a canopy of foil. It smelled delicious. The gravy was made and the vegetables were keeping warm. I’d slightly undercooked them so that the keeping warm process wouldn’t reduce them to mush. I’m a much more polished and savvy boy than the one who first landed on the quasi mansion’s doorstep. I couldn’t heat a pan of water without burning it in those days. My idea of culinary sophistication was to tip cold baked beans out of the tin and into a bowl before eating them.
I began to set out plates on which to serve my cold starter of smoked salmon and lobster terrine. I was a bit anxious about it, hoping it was set firm enough. I held my breath as I tipped the terrine out of its container onto a platter to slice. It didn’t dissolve into a pool of creamy sludge. Whew! I heaved a sigh of relief. Then I fretted about whether the side salad I was serving with it was crisp enough. There’s nothing worse than limp lettuce, unless it’s a limp dick. You don’t want either on the side of your plate.
What I really needed, and wanted, was a large glass of Dutch courage to bolster my confidence and help me relax, but it wasn’t an option. I did a few deep-breathing exercises to try and steady my nerves, but they were no substitute for a glass of sparkle or a few wet kisses from my banished lover, the smooth and cool Lady Stella of Artois.
Dick came into the kitchen to get another bottle of champagne out of the fridge. It would be one of many served during the course of the evening along with an array of other wines, beers and spirits. I wouldn’t be able to have so much as a sip of piss poor lager. Umbrage took a fresh hold of me. I watched him peel off the foil and unwind the cage from the bottle before uncorking it with a festive pop.
He smiled. “You all right, hun? Do you want me to help with anything?”
I opened a bottle of my own, popping the cork on some grapes of wrath. “You can tell that lot in there to park their arses at the table instead of standing around talking and quaffing champagne. I’m on a fucking schedule here. We’ll have the commoners arriving before the royals have finished stuffing their faces at this rate. Don’t blame me if there’s a revolution and heads roll under the blade of Madame Guillotine.”
“Oh, Gilliflower,” he gave me one of his soft, sad looks, “don’t start winding up.”
“I’m not.” I clattered the knife I’d used to slice the salmon terrine into the sink.
“There’s nothing to fret about, honey. You’ve got everything in hand. I’m proud of you. You’ve worked so hard. It doesn’t matter if timings go awry. It’s all par for the course at Christmas and entirely forgivable. Try and enjoy yourself.”
I scowled. “Enjoy what? Slogging my guts out all night while watching you lot guzzling champagne and getting merry.”
“Hosting is part of your job.” He put the bottle of champagne down on the counter and came over to me, placing his hands on my shoulders. “No tantrums tonight. Promise me.”
“Dick, please?” I gave him my best appealing look. “All I’m asking for is a small concession, even if it’s just a glass of champagne with dinner tonight, and one on Christmas Day.”
“How many times and in how many ways do you have to be told no?” He tightened his grip on my shoulders, giving me a little shake. “What did I say on the subject, Gilli, not a month since. It’s Latin now, a dead language. Don’t speak it, or I’ll be angry and you won’t like me when I’m angry.”
“I don’t like you now.”
“I know, hun.” He kissed the top of my head. “You’d like to punch my face in, and I get that, I do, but it doesn’t change a thing. Be a good boy tonight. Show us how mature you can be when you put your mind to it.”
“Stuff maturity.” I pulled away from him. “It’s overrated. You and Shane are pains in the testicles about me drinking. I’m sick of it. I take enough medication for Christ’s sake. One glass of champagne isn’t going to make my brain flip, and even if it does, it isn’t the end of the fucking world. I get over it, you know, I get over it.”
“I don’t care what you’re sick of. Shut up and put up or I’ll take you upstairs and give you a physical reminder of my authority. Is that what you want, is it what you need?”
I shook my head. It was going to be a tough enough night without being disciplined.
“Then stop whining. I’ve never known a boy like you for whining.” He gave my arse a light slap. “Come on, my sexy northerner, man up. Let’s get this show on the road. I’ll go herd everyone into the dining room and then I’ll help you serve the first course.”
He picked up the bottle of champagne. I watched him walk across the kitchen, little bubbles of discontent fizzling in my gut. He reached the door and I spoke his name. “Dick?”
“What is it, pet?” He turned round.
“Don’t talk to me tonight, okay.”
He gave me a look so cold it almost left frost on his brows. When he spoke it was in his best cut glass accent. “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that. I trust my amnesia will inspire a more graceful mood in you.”
He walked out of the room. I felt like slamming the kitchen door after him, but I didn’t dare, not with guests in the house. Opening the back door, I stepped out into the winter night, standing for a few moments in the hope the freezing air would cool the heat of temper.
It was a beautiful clear evening. Stars studded the heavens and there was already a shimmer of frost on the ground. I sucked in a good gulp of fresh air and slowly let it out again, muttering a small call to arms before going back inside. “Get on with it, Gillibran Brown, just get the fuck on with it. It’s work.”
I slapped a pleasant look on my mush and got on with it. Dick helped me serve the starters. To my relief the terrine was a success, receiving a general round of compliments, including one from Shane, who accompanied it with a warm look of approval. In other circumstances it would have made me feel ten feet tall.
When the first course had been consumed Dick insisted on helping me clear away the dirty plates and cutlery. Following me into the kitchen he put down his stack and turned to me with a smile. “Well done, Gilli.”
I glanced at him, “I suppose it did taste nice. I’ll use the recipe again.”
“I’m not talking about the terrine, though it was delicious. I’m talking about your attitude. Keep it up.”
“I don’t have a lot of choice, do I, Dick?”
“No, sweetheart, you don’t, none at all.” He leaned to kiss me on the cheek. “Now, what needs doing, what can I help with?”
“You can carve the meat.” I glared at him. “I don’t trust myself with a knife at the moment.”
“Fair enough.” He gave me a sweet little wink, which I coldly ignored. Snatching up a tureen of creamed potatoes I marched out of the kitchen.
The beef was tender and tasty enough, though not quite as juicy as it should have been, because of being kept warm a good bit longer than I’d planned. Angela made a remark about preferring beef to be a bit pink in the middle. I took it as criticism, snapping a response. It would have been pink if she had bothered to turn up on time. It caused an awkward moment at the table and earned me one of Shane’s gelid looks. It more than cancelled out the warm look of earlier. Talk about a brief summer. The houseboy had fucked up again.
Cheryl jumped to her sister’s defence, saying it was her fault they’d been late, as she couldn’t decide what to wear. She sought to mollify me by saying she also found it galling when guests were late for a carefully planned dinner. She hoped I could forgive her.
Taking a deep breath I said, “no, I can’t. I don’t like you or your sister, and if your husband ever manages to wriggle out from under your thumb and speak on his own behalf I don’t think I’ll like him either. So why don’t you all frig off home. (Lie detector says NO) Okay, I admit that was a fib. I thought it, but what I actually said was a salving, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound rude. I get a bit nervous when things slip away from me.”
Angela sniped a comment about me being a nervous wreck seeing as I was always rude. Reny put a hand on her arm and hushed her. Cheryl patronised me by saying I’d done remarkably well for one so young. She then stole a quick glance at Dick and Shane before slyly asking. “How old are you, Gilli?”
I detest being asked my age. It makes me feel anxious and threatened, as if I’m being judged, and worse, as if Dick and Shane are being judged for having a relationship with me. May to December style relationships are always subject to scrutiny and gossip. There’s a salacious aspect to the interest. What people really want to know is if the younger partner was of legal age when the relationship began and if there any hints of paedophilia involved. What Cheryl was hoping for was a confession that I dressed up as a schoolboy in the bedroom to titillate the perverted fantasies of two older men. She didn’t get one, because I don’t, not even when Dick begs me to.
It was Dick who saved me from replying. Picking up the champagne bottle he refilled Cheryl’s glass. “Come on, Cheryl. I’m sure Angela will have told you how old Gilli is, or rather how disgracefully young he is. So what. I’m almost ten years younger than Shane. No one seems to comment on that.”
“Yes, but at least…” she trailed off.
Dick moved in smoothly, “at least nothing, Cheryl. Gilli is younger than us. It’s no big deal. Get over it.”
She pulled a face and he grinned. Picking up his own glass he raised it, wishing everyone at the table a Happy Christmas. He then moved the conversation away from age and onto more general seasonal topics.
Of course I knew what Cheryl had been about to say, and so did everyone else at the table. Dick being younger than Shane was immaterial because Shane was, if not from the same class exactly, at least from a place acceptably close to the grand manor house and not from a common housing estate on the far side of the social divide. What Shane lacked by way of lordly lineage, he more than made up for in terms of material assets. Money more than cancelled out an age gap.
The rest of the meal went off without event. I smiled and made polite small talk as and when the need arose. I topped up glasses, offered second helpings, served dessert and coffee and generally did what a houseboy is expected to do. I even managed to be gracious when I won a cracker pull and ended up with a pair of sturdy silver plated golf tees. I was gutted. I’d been hoping for the pewter key ring, a cat with green enamel eyes, or the little penknife with the mother of pearl handle. Dick had been true to his word and foregone a cracker, but still ended up with a prize that suited him down to the ground. He was cock a hoop when I handed over the tees. Bad Daddy.
Once dinner was done and everyone had moved back into the lounge there was no time for me to muse or think. I was kept busy clearing the dining room of its dinner debris and preparing it for the cold buffet. I had another fretting session. Was there enough food? Was the seafood platter fresh enough? I’d prepared it the night before. What if some of the prawns had gone bad and everyone who ate them went down with a fatal strain of salmonella? I’d get arrested for mass manslaughter. I’d be known as the gay prawn poisoner and never allowed to work with food again, especially gay crustaceans.
Dick told me to keep calm. He helped by stacking the dishwasher and having a quick tidy around the kitchen so it was at least presentable for any wallflowers that needed to escape from more crowded areas.
Guests began to arrive in trickles. By nine-thirty we had a full house and the party was in the swing. Now I had time to think. It wasn’t good. People were drinking and having fun, laughing, joking, talking and getting merrier and louder, while I swigged from a can of Pepsi and wandered around bearing sober witness to their good time. It was a cold example of what Christmas was going to be like for me this year, and thereafter. I’d resented my enforced sobriety right from day one, but never more so than at that moment. I recognised the care and concern that had prompted the rule. I still hated it with a passion.
I replenished bowls with crisps and nuts and topped up plates with what was left of the canapés and finger foods I’d prepared. I sliced up strawberry and vanilla cheesecakes and opened a large box of Thornton’s continental chocolates for the sweet toothed. I filled up the portable party fridge with more beers and white wine, and then I escaped. There was no need for me to be there. Folks knew where the food and drinks were and could help themselves. I snaffled a fresh can of Pepsi and slipped upstairs to the master bedroom.
Closing the door, I switched on the telly, kicked off my shoes and settled down on the bed to watch a festive film. A compilation of Christmas pop songs was playing downstairs in the study. I could hear Dana singing a lament about it being a cold, cold Christmas, and she wasn’t talking weather. I knew how the poor cow felt. I wasn’t looking forward to it either. Reaching for the remote I bumped up the volume on the TV to try and muffle the party sounds.
My absence didn’t go unnoticed for long. Less than thirty minutes after my bold bolt for freedom the quasi mansion’s chief guard tracked me down. Striding into the room Shane closed the door behind him and walked over to the bed. Picking up the remote he aimed it at the telly and turned it off.
“Downstairs.” He tossed the remote back on the bed.
Drawing up my legs I wrapped my arms around them, hugging my knees. “Why? I’ve done my job. I’m not needed. I’m bored down there.”
“This isn’t about you doing your job. It’s about you doing as you’re told and facing up to your situation instead of avoiding it. Get it into your stubborn, thick skull. You are not playing the persecuted hermit all over Christmas and casting a pall over everyone in the process.”
“I doubt anyone noticed I’d gone.”
“I noticed.” Grasping hold of my arm he hoisted me off the bed and onto my feet. My eyes watered as he landed a powerful slap to the seat of my trousers. Releasing his grip on me he pointed at my discarded shoes.
“Put them on and get downstairs. Stay in sight for the rest of the evening. If I catch you slinking away again I’ll bring you up here, but it won’t be for a break. It will be for a good hiding, understand?”
He sounded and looked serious. His voice and face were as hard as iron. His hand struck my bottom again, making me squawk.
“DO you understand me, boy?”
“Yes, Daddy. I understand.” Shoving on my shoes I scurried to the bedroom door and opened it, hurrying out of the room. Thankfully the bathroom was vacant. I went in, closing and locking the door behind me, leaning against it. He could be such a bastard. It wouldn’t have hurt anything to let me stay out of the way. I adjusted the crotch of my trousers feeling angry at the involuntary arousal I was experiencing, a primitive subordinate reaction to pack authority. It was a cold fact. He turned me on, even when I didn’t like him, even when he scared the shit out of me, maybe even especially then.
I didn’t dare linger. Grabbing a handful of toilet tissue I dabbed my eyes, blew my nose, flushed the tissue and opened the door, stepping out onto the landing, my stomach lurching as I saw Shane who had just come out of the bedroom.
He looked grim and I hastened to offer an excuse for still being upstairs. “I needed the toilet. Pissing is still permissible isn’t it, or shall I insert a catheter and strap a bag to my leg?”
He flicked a finger towards the stairs.
There was a hubbub of noise coming from below. People’s voices were raised in animated conversation in the lounge, while music poured from the study. I couldn’t face going into either room. I looked at Shane, lifting my chin. “I’m going in the kitchen to make tea, okay?”
He nodded and I edged past him, running down the stairs, conscious of the prickling hot spots his hand had left on my backside. He had slapped full force, intent on showing me he wasn’t messing around.
The kitchen was occupied. There was a foursome at the table in the breakfast nook, three males and one female. I didn’t know them. Two of the males were engaged in a geeky conversation about Dr Who, while the other male and female were engaged in a bout of mutual tonsil washing. What they really needed was a room, but I wasn’t about to offer them one of ours. I had enough housework to do without washing sheets shagged on by strangers.
I couldn’t be arsed making tea. I cracked open yet another can of cola and stood sipping it, trying not to stare at the couple eating each other’s faces. Somehow it was more graphic than watching muff munching porn. The human face has around thirty-four muscles in it and a passionate kiss uses every single one of them. It being the case, the kissing couple were having one hell of a workout. If they weren’t careful they’d end up with pecs bulging out from under their cheekbones.
Matt, Cheryl’s bland husband came into the kitchen looking for some ice for his whisky and ginger. The ice bucket in the dining room was empty. I got him some from the freezer. He thanked me. He hadn’t spoken much during dinner, but alcohol seemed to have loosened his tongue and made him more inclined to converse. To my surprise he offered an apology for having gatecrashed the evening.
“I was embarrassed to be honest, especially when I saw how young you are and how much it mattered to you that everything went right.” He grimaced. “Much as I love her I’m afraid my wife is a lot like her sister and not the most sensitive of women. They never see what pressure they put on people.” He gazed at me. “Strange set up you have here, ménage a trois, you don’t mind me saying that do you? I mean it as an observation, not a criticism. No offence.”
I could have said something along the lines of him not knowing the half of how strange our set up was, but instead I shrugged. “None taken. I suppose it does seem an odd arrangement to people on the outside. I like it though.”
“Having one partner is hard enough. I couldn’t cope with having two to please.” He raised his glass. “You’re a legend. I take my hat off to you.”
I laughed and chinked my can to his glass. He nodded towards the kissing couple. “Young lust, eh. It’s a wonderful thing. Shame it doesn’t last.” He gave me a wink and left to rejoin the party in the lounge. As I watched him steer a slightly erratic path out of the kitchen I found myself liking him far better than I thought I would.
A member of Shane’s office staff, a pretty girl with glitter dusted pink hair and thick black eyeliner popped into the kitchen entreating the geeks to come and dance with her and someone called Jill. Their movement disturbed the snoggers causing a break in the suction hold they had on each other’s lips. Holding hands, they followed the geeks in the direction of the dance studio. I had a sudden longing for a boyfriend my own age, someone to hold hands with and dance with, and someone who didn’t have any kind of authority over me.
I got a bag of ice out of the freezer and took it into the dining room to top up the ice bucket on the drinks tray. There were a few cliques of people standing around chatting while picking at the food on the table.
Cheryl came in. “Hello.” She directed a bright smile, walking over to the table to help herself to some of the fancy chocolates. “Where have you been hiding yourself?”
“I’ve been around. I’m a trained ninja so I can pretty much blend into the wallpaper and make myself invisible.” She looked blank. Some people have no imagination. I offered to refill the empty champagne glass she was holding. The blank look vanished and she accepted. I took it into the kitchen. There was an open bottle of champagne in the fridge. I got it out and topped up the slender tulip glass with the golden fluid. It smelled delicious, its biscuity crispness making my mouth water. I adore champagne.
“What are you doing, Gilli?”
Dick’s sharp voice startled me. I glared at him. “You scared me, sneaking up like that. I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong. I’m getting a drink for Cheryl.”
“Where is she?”
“In the dining room, shoving chocolates down her neck.”
“Do you want me to take it to her?”
“Why, do you think I might give in to temptation and take a sly sip?”
“It crossed my mind.”
“Aren’t I lucky having you around to save me from myself.” I set the glass of fizz down on a worktop. “Take it to her then, seeing as you don’t trust me. I’d hurry if I were you, before she overdoses on rum truffles. We don’t want a hit squad from Weight Watchers swinging in to take out her out for going over her calorie count. They’ll do an on the spot detox. I’ll never get the stains out of the rug.”
He gave me a narrow eyed look, but didn’t get chance to follow through with pithy comment. The girl with the pink hair lurched into the kitchen. She looked panicky. “Excuse me, sorry to bother you, but where’s your loo? It’s Wayne, my boyfriend. He doesn’t feel well.”
I hurried into the hall, fearing the worst on the poison prawn front. One of the kitchen geeks was slumped against the wall outside the study. He was ashen faced, his skin waxen with a fine sheen of sweat. I could almost hear the pre-puke saliva gushing into his mouth.
“Come on, mate, let’s get you to the bog. It’s just along here.” Grasping his elbow I steered him down the hall and into the downstairs toilet, in the nick of time. I grimaced as he hawked and christened the lavatory bowl with a deluge of sick. I recognised the perfume of my old girlfriend, that golden temptress, Stella of Artois. The slut. I was still raw over our break-up, but she had obviously gotten over me.
“Is he all right, Gilli?” Dick opened the door and looked in, his nose wrinkling at the smell.
“He’s fine, Dick. He’s just had one too many. We’ve all done it at some point. I’ll look after him.”
“Good boy.” Dick nodded and closed the door.
I opened the window to try and freshen the air. Folding my arms I leaned against the wall waiting for the geek to finish spewing his guts. It was coming out of him in streams. He was a viable contender for the title of Chunder King, a title I’d competed for a time or two. Listening to the horrific noises he was making made me almost glad I didn’t drink anymore, almost. I envied his freedom to make the choice. I didn’t want to get stinking drunk. I just wanted to enjoy a glass or two and be part of the party.
At last he stopped retching and heaving and raised his head from the bowl.
“How are you feeling?”
He gave a shaky thumbs up. “Loads better, ta. I shouldn’t have had that last vodka chaser. Grey Goose, man. I’m not used to posh vodka like that. It upset my stomach. I usually drink the cheap shit that makes you go blind.” He wiped a hand across his mouth and gave me a grin. “Reckon I’m good to go again now.”
“You telling me that was a tactical chunder then?”
“Well, maybe not tactical as such, no fingers, but the result is the same, room for more booze.”
“You’re going to have the hangover from hell tomorrow.” I clapped him on the shoulder and reached over him to flush the toilet, taking a moment to check the grisly deposit for any sign of a rogue prawn. There were none. It was an open and shut case of alcohol poisoning. My prawns were innocent.
“It wouldn’t be Christmas without a hangover.” He staggered to his feet. “Getting off your face is part of the fun. I bet you’ve had your share of hangovers.”
“Yeah, but they’re a thing of the past now. I’m a reformed character.”
“You poor sod.” He gave me a comical look. “You haven’t gone and got religion have you?”
“Something worse, an allergy.”
“Jeez, I hope I never get allergic to booze. My fucking social life will be over.”
“Tell me about it. I don’t miss hangovers, but I do miss having the option of getting there.” I dampened a flannel with cold water and handed it to him to wipe his face. “Do you want some water or a cup of tea, get rid of the puke taste?”
“Nah, thanks, mate. I’m fine. He glanced around. “Nice gaff this. Wouldn’t mind being a penny or two behind the owners. They’re gay you know.”
“The blokes that own this place, they’re gay. My girlfriend works for one of them, that big scary one. You’d never guess from looking at him that he’s gay, or the other one, the upper crust one. They’re married you know, kind of, one of them civil things.”
I opened the bathroom door. “I’d heard rumours to that effect.”
“Not rumours, mate, true, but,” he dropped his voice to a conspiratorial whisper, “rumour has it they have a boyfriend they share, a bit on the side, and he’s young enough to be their son.”
“Never?” I widened my eyes in mock surprise.
“It’s true. My girlfriend reckons it must be a gay thing. Having your cake and eating it. Do you work for one of them?”
“Both of them.”
Mischief prompted me to confirm the workplace rumour. “I’m their bit on the side. I live in.”
“Shit…really…I didn’t mean…sorry.”
He looked so horrified, I laughed, clapping him on the shoulder. “Don’t worry about it.”
“You won’t mention what I said to your,” he swallowed, “boyfriends, will you? I don’t want my girlfriend getting in bother for gossiping. She likes her job.”
“I won’t say a word. I promise.”
I don’t know whether embarrassment was a factor, but he and his pink haired flame decided to call a taxi and head home for a nap before going out clubbing. Lucky buggers. No doubt they’d be revelling into the early hours.
I bleach bombed the loo and squirted lavender freshener to scent the air for other users and then resumed wandering with a can of cola as a companion. Parties are poop with Pepsi. The fizz doesn’t exhilarate or mellow you out. It just makes you want to burp and fart, often simultaneously.
The night dragged from then on. The party more or less split into two camps, older ones in the lounge talking and the younger ones in the study dancing. I didn’t feel a part of either camp, perhaps because I made no real effort to be. I made sure Shane clocked me from time to time by popping into the lounge to exchange snippets of chat with various people before disappearing again. I went into the study a couple of times, but I wasn’t relaxed enough to dance and seeing people who were only made me more uptight.
Julie, Dick’s secretary, came into the dining room as I was tidying the table. She made a comment about me looking fed up. I raised my can of Pepsi by way of explanation. She understood.
“Dick mentioned you’d gone on the wagon for your health. It isn’t much fun being sober when everyone else is tanked up, especially when it isn’t by choice or natural inclination. When I was married I was always the designated driver. It used to piss me off having to drink mineral water when everyone else was knocking back the booze because my husband was too tight arsed to pay for a taxi and too selfish to take his turn at the wheel.”
“I just feel a bit left out, like I’m not really part of the party. Do you know what I mean?”
“Yeah, it’s like being a spectator instead of a participant. It was a relief when Dan went off with another woman. I flung a party to celebrate. I had a hangover for a week.”
I couldn’t help but laugh.
She patted my shoulder. “Having to stay sober is shit, especially at this time of year, but if it keeps you well it’s worth it. It will get easier over time.”
“I guess.” I smiled, appreciating her sentiments, but not believing them. She helped herself to a chocolate, topped up her gin and tonic and headed back to the lounge. I resumed tidying the table and rearranging what was left of the food, transferring it between plates.
Cheryl cornered me before I could escape. She put on her inquisitors hat again, saying she’d noticed I wasn’t drinking and asking why. I had no doubt she already knew. After all her horrible sister had once biffed me round the chops for spilling wine on her when I was in the throes of an episode. It seemed inconceivable she hadn’t told Cheryl I was a buzz brain. She was looking for a hook to draw other things out of me, probably information about my relationship with Dick and Shane. Some people want far more than they have a right to. It isn’t enough to be invited into someone’s house. They want to poke around in the drawers, open the cupboards and read private letters. It’s like they want to take a part of your life and own it for themselves.
I spun a yarn about not drinking because I was a Salvationist and had signed the pledge. She didn’t believe me, but didn’t get chance to interrogate me further. Sheila, one of Dick’s golf club chums rescued me. She had dripped red wine on her cream dress and wanted to know if I had something she could sponge it with before the stain set. I escorted her to the utility room and got a clean cloth and some stain rescue solution for her to use. Domesticated me, eh!
The last hour or so felt like torture. I was so full of wind I could have doubled as a human jetpack by using flatulence to propel me skywards. I’d lift off like Iron Man, but without the jazzy metal suit. It was a huge relief when things wound down and people began leaving in dribs and drabs. There is nothing worse than being stone sober when everyone else is mellowed out. It’s like being the only straight line on a page of wavy ones. You’re a jarring aberration in an otherwise harmonious pattern. By the time the last guest, another of Dick’s golf club pals, was poured into a taxi I wasn’t so much wishing people a ‘Merry Christmas’ as snarling it. Merry fucking Christmas, now piss off home before I beat you to death with a turkey drumstick!
As soon as the front door was shut and locked I left Shane setting the alarm and rushed upstairs, leaving a trail of pungent vapour in my wake as a portion of the tornado raging in my gut forced its way out. My bowel wasn’t the only soft drink casualty. My teeth felt furred with a nasty residue from all the fizzy drinks I’d consumed over the course of the evening. Now I knew how a kettle felt when limescale built up on the element. It was horrible. I couldn’t wait to brush them.
When I came out of the bathroom, Dick was in the bedroom, unbuttoning his shirt.
“Workplace obligations over for another year, thank goodness.” He smiled. “It went well, Gilli. People enjoyed themselves. You should be pleased.”
“Why?” I gave him a dark look.
“Because you made it happen. Take pleasure in it.”
“Yeah, yeah, a job well done and all that shite. I’m thrilled everyone had such a good time. Shame I didn’t.”
“It’s late, honey. You’re tired. You’re always more shrewish when you’re tired. Go to bed.”
I snatched my pyjamas off the willow chair. “I’m going to sleep in the den.”
“Stop it, Gil. You are not stomping off in one of your childish strops.”
“I’ve had a horrible boring night and I don’t want to be near you or him.”
“Let it go.” He wagged a paternal finger. “It’s useless anger. It hurts no one but you.”
“What’s going on?” Shane invaded the bedroom.
“Baby says he’s going to sleep in the den.”
“Baby is not sleeping in the den.” He strode over to me, swiping a heavy paw across my butt. “Get undressed and into bed pronto, you ornery brat, or I’ll flay the skin from your tail with my belt.”
Baby did as he was told. The men folk undressed, brushed their teeth and climbed into bed. They each kissed me on the cheek and then kissed each other goodnight. I got minor revenge on them for their harshness by pumping some Pepsi gas under the duvet. Once the fumes had dissipated they soon fell asleep. It took me a while longer, but I succumbed in the end.
The mood I went to sleep with was still with me when I woke up. It was made worse when I discovered a fresh outbreak of small red spots around my nose. No matter what lotions and potions I used the bastards kept coming back. It was a side effect of my AED’s. My doctor had cheerfully told me it was called an acneiform drug eruption. I was one of the unlucky minority to whom it happened. Being an unlucky minority seemed to be the story of my life. I swiped a cotton pad soaked in Clearasil around my snout and went downstairs.
As I pottered around the kitchen I mulled over the discipline Shane had dished out when he found me in the bedroom the night before. I didn’t think he’d been fair. I’d worked hard. I’d earned a breather. I was rather hoping he’d mention the matter when he came down for breakfast, so I could restate my case (whinge whine and bitch) but even while thinking it I knew it wouldn’t happen. As far as he was concerned, it was over. He’d made known his disapproval of my action, subject closed. It was up to me to accept it and move on. Acceptance doesn’t come easy to me. I don’t have a Buddhist aspect to my personality.
I made porridge and set it on the table before yelling up the stairs that it was ready and I was putting his eggs on to boil, so he’d better hurry up if he didn’t want the yolks going hard.
He came into the kitchen looking casually handsome in black trousers and a fitted open-necked white shirt. The office would be empty apart from him, so there was no need to dress to impress in his usual suit and tie attire. Not that he didn’t look impressive, he did. It’s hard not to look impressive when you stand as tall as he does.
“Morning, Gilli.” He sat down at the table before raising a domestic matter. “There are red wine stains all along the hall floor, did you see them?”
“Yes. I bet it was overflow from Angela. She was pouring Shiraz down her pipe as if it were tap water. She must have a stomach with the capacity of a sherry barrel. I’ll clean them off later.” I poured a cup of black coffee and placed it in front of him.
“Thank you.” He glanced at me as he sprinkled sugar on his porridge. “What’s wrong with your face this morning?”
“Acne!” I snapped. “I’m sorry if it offends you.”
“You snippy little beggar.” He narrowed his eyes. “I’m not talking about your skin. I’m talking about the dour look you’re modelling. You’re just out of bed and already you’re scowling.”
The toaster saved me from replying by popping its load. I retrieved the slices and cut them into triangles, racking them and putting them on the table with his boiled eggs.
“Have you had your meds?”
“Yes. It’s why I have acne.”
“Why aren’t you eating with me this morning?”
“I’m not hungry yet. I’ve had a cup of tea.”
“A cup of tea is no substitute for food. Make sure you eat breakfast with Dick when he gets up.”
I was on the tip of my tongue to say ‘whatever’ but I decided I wasn’t ready to greet death. Silence fell. He ate his breakfast. I unloaded the dishwasher and put the pots away before loading it up again with party glassware from the night before. He asked for another cup of coffee. I obliged.
“I’ll probably be home by five tonight. I’ll let you know if I’m going to be any later.” He picked up his cup and took a sip of coffee. “Keep dinner plain and light, soup and a salad will do. No wine. We’ll be indulging enough over the next few days.”
“Some more than others.” I muttered under my breath.
“Pardon?” His voice sharpened.
He set his cup back on the saucer. “Go back to bed for a couple of hours, cub. Have a cuddle with Dick. He’ll welcome you with open arms.”
“Yeah, and his third leg as well. I haven’t got time. The house won’t clean itself. I’ve got presents to drop off and I’m visiting my mum.”
“I’m sure you can spare half an hour.” He took a few more sips of coffee and then stood up. “I’d better get going.” He gave me a critical look. “Work on sweetening your attitude. I want to see a smile decorating your face when I get home tonight.”
“Instead of spots you mean.”
His patience snapped with an almost audible twang. I sucked air as he sat down again, pulling me with him so hard that my arse contacted his lap with the force of a slap. He presented a finger to my face.
“That’s enough shit stirring provocation from you, little boy. I know what mire this frame of mind is rooted in. I’m not discussing it with you. You live by our rules regardless of whether you think they’re fair or unfair, right or wrong.” He applied a harsh slap to the top of my right thigh. “If you’re still sour faced and snarling when I get home tonight I will punish you. Is that clear?”
I nodded, rubbing at the portion of thigh he had slapped.
“Good.” Grasping my chin he placed a firm kiss on my lips, pushed me off his lap and stood up. “I’ll see you this evening. Have a nice day. Give my best regards to your mother. I’ve left some money on the chest of drawers in the bedroom. Buy her some flowers from us all, a nice Christmas arrangement.”
“Thank you, Daddy.” I managed a smile.
“That’s better. Smiles suit you better than scowls.”
He kissed me again and I walked with him into the hall, helping him on with his coat before waving him off to work. Picking the milk up off the doorstep, I took it into the kitchen and stuck it in the fridge, not that it needed to be chilled. It was cold from sitting out on the doorstep since the early hours. I cleared away Shane’s breakfast pots before setting the table ready for Dick’s breakfast. I also set a place for myself. Shane would check with Dick to make sure I’d eaten. Hunger can act as an episode trigger and he’s shit hot on triggers. I then trudged upstairs to begin my morning ablutions.
Dick was awake. He smiled as I walked into the bedroom. “Morning, hun. Has Shane gone?”
“Yes. The beast has left the lair to go terrorise the general population.”
“I take it you’ve been mauled and no doubt you deserved it.” He raised an arm above the covers. “Come back to bed for a while. You look like you could use a cuddle.”
“I need to get ready. I’ve got stuff to do.”
“Stuff can wait, come on.” He flung back the duvet and patted the mattress. “I’m not taking no for an answer.”
I huffed a sigh, but obeyed, climbing into bed, lying stiffly beside him on my back, remaining unresponsive and closed lipped when he kissed me.
“Is this mood a hangover from last night?”
Talk about being handed a golden ticket. “Hangover!” I snorted, turning my head towards him. “Chance would be a fine thing. Is that your way of mocking me?”
“Do you really believe I’d stoop so low as to mock or taunt you, Gillibran?”
“No.” Tears of shame pricked my eyes. I turned my head away from him.
“Then why say it?”
“Because I’m a spiteful twat. I’m sorry. I guess I’m still angry about things.”
“You put yourself through hell and torment over nothing. You’re leaping ahead again, living your entire future in one indigestible lump. You have to learn to concentrate your mind and focus on what needs to be done in the moment. You have to deal with the situation as it is, not how you want it to be, not how you wish it could be, but as it IS. Shane and I have talked and talked to you about this, Gilli, and you’re just not taking it in.”
“You make it sound easy, and it isn’t.” I curled on my side, presenting my back to him.
“It is. There’s no rocket science involved. You obey the rules, simple as that.” He tickled the back of my neck. “Do you want to play? Some light spanking play might help release your frustrations.”
“I’m not in a playing mood. To be honest, Dick, I feel like biting you, and not for fun.”
“Well, we all know what happens when a boy bites his Daddy. Stop being naughty. Be a sweet baby and let Daddy take you to a happy place.”
“Where?” I glanced over my shoulder. “The pub for a pint of Stella or the booze aisle at Tesco?”
“How about I take you in the playroom and put you on the spanking bench, but not for fun. I’ll tie your ankles to a spreader bar and show how much pain I can put into areas you thought inaccessible.”
“I was joking, Dick.”
“Your jokes are like your tongue. They have too much of a sharp edge at times.”
I knew from the tone of his voice that his eyes would have a sad look in them. Turning over I looped an arm over him. “I’m sorry for being a douche. Forgive me?”
He tugged a strand of my hair. “I think you ought to earn my forgiveness.”
“How?” I faked a pout.
“You’re bright. I’m sure you can think of something.”
Brushing aside his fringe I placed a kiss on his forehead. “How’s this?”
He wrinkled his aristocratic nose.
I pecked a kiss on the lips. “This?”
He pulled a face. “Not good enough.”
Putting my mouth close to his ear I whispered, “I’ll have to try harder then.” He gave a tiny moan of pleasure as I licked his ear, tracing my tongue around every part of it. The moan deepened as I took the lobe into my mouth. I worked on it for a few moments, gently sucking and pulling it between my lips, and then I nipped it with my teeth, just hard enough to make him jump.
“Careful, brat.” He drew his head back and glared at me.
“Oops.” I fluttered my eyelashes and then resumed kissing, moving down the side of his neck, sucking at the skin, building up tension as I moved towards his collarbone.
“Ease off, Gilli,” he put a warning hand on my lower back.
“Just a small love bite, Dick. It won’t show.”
“I said no. I’ll discipline you if you try to top me by marking me.”
The mood was in danger of changing from sexy to serious. I abandoned his neck and kissed him on the lips, gently pushing an exploratory tongue into his mouth. He responded. We French kissed and the mood lightened again.
We got naked. I worked on his body, stroking, kissing and licking his chest and belly, moving down to his groin. Gripping the base of his elegant cock I guided it into my mouth, using my lips to push back the skin. He rewarded me with a low growl of approval. I took my time, closing my eyes, concentrating on pleasuring him. He put a hand on my head as if giving benediction, emitting murmurs of enjoyment along with porno scene speech.
“Yeah, baby, suck it good, make Daddy proud.”
After a while my jaw began to ache and there was still no sign of him being ready to unload his balls. He can postpone orgasm forever can Dick. He’d make an epic porn star. He’d fuck everyone off the set and into oblivion. It was a relief when he stopped me.
Pushing me onto my back, he wriggled down the bed, raising my knees and pushing them apart. It was my turn to moan as he bent his head, dipping his tongue into my crack, his hair tickling my inner thighs. Reaching my hands above my head, I gripped the bed frame, opening my legs wider to give him better access to my arse. I tipped back my head, giving a long moan of pleasure as he began rimming my anus. I adore being kissed at the rear gate. I gripped the bed frame tighter as his tongue jabbed my hole, pushing the gate open. The boxer pup jumped and begged. I moved my right hand to stroke it. Dick immediately stopped tongue fucking my arse. I yelped as he slapped my hand away from my cock.
“I’ll let you know if and when you can touch.”
Kissing at the back gate ceased. Straightening my legs, he lay on top of me, holding his weight on his forearms so he didn’t squash me. His hard shaft slipped between my thighs, nudging my balls and making the pup salivate. He kissed me. I wrapped my arms around him, pushing my pelvis up into his, slyly trying to make his cock rub against mine and pleasure me. He broke the kiss. Kneeling up, he flipped me over onto my belly before gripping my waist and hauling me onto all fours.
“OW!” I yelped as he landed a stinging open-handed blow to my right buttock. He matched it with a slap to my left. It didn’t feel playful or sensual. I shouted a protest, twisting my head back to look at him. “Dick, please! You know I don’t like it when you play too rough with me.”
“We’re past playing, especially your sneaky game of defiance.” He spanked my bottom again, landing a shattering slap to each cheek. “That’s for nipping my ear.” He landed another pair of slaps, “and that’s for trying to hickey me.”
I tried to escape by crawling forwards, but he grasped my hips and dragged me back into position. Another pair of painful smacks cracked across my arse. “That’s for touching without my permission, and this is for trying to control sex for your own pleasure.”
I yelled as yet another dual set of spanks lit up my rear. I managed to drop flat onto my stomach, but didn’t get a chance to turn over onto my back.
Clasping my waist, he hoisted me into a doggy position once again and delivered another set of powerful stingers to my bottom, followed by a squeal-inducing slap to the top of each thigh before releasing his hold on me.
I scrambled off the bed. “Why did you do that?” I rubbed my backside and the tops of my legs. “Fucking hurt.”
“You’re a bad boy and bad boys get spanked.” He too got off the bed. His erection, like mine, had diminished, proof if proof were needed that the slaps had not been sexually motivated.
“There was no need to be so harsh. I was only funning with you.”
“You were pushing the envelope by way of venting spleen over the booze rule again. I’m bloody tired of it.”
We observed each other in silence for a few moments. I dropped my gaze first, folding my arms across my chest. “You’re getting as bad as Shane for being a brute.”
“Yes, well, I think Shane is right. I’ve spoilt and indulged you for too long. You need hard handling to put you in your place and keep you there. I’ve never met anyone as wilful as you are. You, my chicken, are too fond of trying to rule the roost in this house.”
I risked a peep at his face. The look on his face reminded me of the one Shane often wore around me. I lowered my eyes again. “I’m getting on your nerves aren’t I?”
“Yes, you are rather.”
“Shame we’re not legal. You could divorce me on the grounds of my unreasonable behaviour. When do you want me to move out?”
“There you go again, pushing.”
“Sorry, bad habit.” I stooped to pick my pyjama shorts up off the floor.
“You need to keep your mouth under control.” His mobile rang from the bedside cabinet and he moved to pick it up. Before taking the call he issued a sharp instruction for me to go make a start on breakfast.
I strode out of the room, slipping into the main bathroom to inspect my bottom using the shaving mirror in there. It was marked, my bum that is. He’d smacked hard enough to break capillaries under the skin in one or two places, leaving small hickey like bruises. I felt dreadful, but not on their account. They were superficial and would fade before the end of the day. I was embarrassed because I’d annoyed him. He lost patience with me far more often than he used to.
Pulling on my sleep shorts I went downstairs. I splashed water on my face at the kitchen sink. I dried myself using a tea towel, pressing it to my eyes to soak up the tears of self-pity that insisted on leaking out. Feeling vulnerable in only my pyjama bottoms I decided to get dressed. Going into the utility room, I pulled clean underpants, socks, jeans and a top from the clean laundry basket. Bugger ironing. The creases would soon drop out.
I made a pot of tea and put it on the kitchen table ready for when Dick came down. It wouldn’t matter if it brewed a while. He liked it strong. There was cereal on the table for him to help himself to. I made some toast and racked it. I ate half a slice and gulped down a small glass of milk by way of my own breakfast.
I had no intention of sticking round to eat with Dick, or in fact sticking around at all. The house was still a tip from the night before, but it could wait. I’d do it later, and the same with showering and shaving. Stuff it. I didn’t exactly get Desperate Dan style beard growth. I could neglect shaving for a week and still not have anything other than stubble, unlike Shane. He can grow a moustache and beard in his lunch hour. It’s probably an age related thing. Dick can also grow a fair beard in a matter of days. When I hit my thirties I’ll probably start sprouting facial hair like a lycanthrope under a full moon. I’ll have to shave with a lawnmower.
Dick and I met on the stairs. He was wearing a bathrobe and looked surprised to see me dressed.
“Where are you going?”
“Out. I’ve got presents to drop off. Breakfast is on the table. I’ve had mine. Go get your tea before it goes cold.” I ran up the rest of the stairs without looking back at him. In the bedroom I shoved on my trainers and gathered up my wallet, phone and house keys. I grabbed a jacket from my rail in the walk-in closet and put it on. I then picked up the carrier bag of Christmas gifts I’d wrapped a few days earlier.
Dick had followed me up. He took hold of my hand as I emerged into the bedroom again. “I want to talk to you, honey.”
“Look, Dick. I am truly sorry for irritating you this morning.” I tried to free my hand. “If you’ll excuse me, I need to get a move on. I want to spend some time with my mother today. You can’t deny me that.”
“I would never want to,” he said in a gentle voice. “You do understand why I punished you, don’t you, Gilli?”
“Yes, sir, I do.”
“Sir?” He raised his eyebrows a little. “It’s rare for that word to voluntarily fall from your lips, especially outside of a play situation. I suspect it’s a general lower case sir rather than a title. Is it your way of distancing yourself from the situation, from me?”
“I don’t think we’re in any kind of a ‘sir’ situation. Daddy will do on this occasion and you haven’t answered my question. Why did I discipline you?”
“Because I was getting on your tits by being a stupid boring little bitch. I need to stop being a dipshit and get over things faster than I do.”
“No.” He gave my hand a shake. “Tell me again, without all the pejorative language.”
“What does pejorative mean?”
His voice sharpened. “Stop playing games, Gilli. Even if you don’t know the literal meaning of the word you’re intelligent enough to work out the context. Why were you punished?”
“For pushing boundaries and challenging your authority with aggressive play because I’m resentful about a ruling.”
“May I go now please?”
“I’d prefer you to breakfast with me, and then maybe we could return to bed, and finish on a sweeter note.”
“No thanks. I need to get going. I have to call in on Eileen, Dot and Alma before going to see my mother.”
“All right, honey.” He patted my hand and released it. “At least give me a kiss before you go running off.”
I obeyed, pecking a kiss onto his lips before hurrying out of the bedroom and sprinting down the stairs. I wanted to be out of the house.
End of chapter one.
Copyright 2014 Gillibran Brown. Please do not copy and paste elsewhere. Many Thanks.