IMPORTANT NOTE: From the 21st September new Book of Lot stories will no longer be able on this site. They’ll be available on my new site. Take a Bite Cafe will continue here until 18th October when it will transfer to my new site.
The first 3 Lot stories with will be taken down on 1st November but, until further notice, my back catalogue of writing advice articles will remain available on this site.
Megan has an unwelcome encounter
The sun was creeping down when I got back to the café to pick up Bessie and bumped into a person shaped wall. Rick.
‘Oh, for fuck’s sake.’ I flexed my fingers feeling the absence of my helmet.
Rick shook spilt coffee off his hand and wiped at the spots on his shirt. ‘I told you, I’m working in the area.’
‘Entirely a coincidence?’ I had to admit it wasn’t impossible we’d bump into each other but that didn’t mean I had to take it at face value.
‘That sounds a little paranoid,’ he said.
‘That sounds like the beginning of gaslighting.’
He chuckled. ‘People might start thinking you want to bump into me.’
I wiped the side that had bumped him. ‘Listening was never your strong suit.’
He looked away. ‘You’re still angry, you have every right to be.’
I stepped closer but it was a long way to look up. ‘Don’t play that shit with me, it won’t work anymore. I don’t think you even know what I’m angry about.’
He took a deep breath. ‘It’s my fault you lost your job and the house.’
‘I don’t care about a house or a job, Rick. People can buy new houses and get new jobs, even in this economy.’ I got right into his personal space. ‘I trusted you completely and you betrayed me. I can’t ever get my trust back.’
He opened his mouth then closed it again.
‘I meet all these great people and I can’t trust them because I know even the person you trust most can stab you in the back,’ I said. ‘That’s what you did to me, Rick. That’s what you took away. Turning up and saying you’re sorry isn’t going to fix that, you can’t understand what you did. You didn’t even think about it, that would mean thinking about someone else, and you just can’t do that. Poor Rick, always the victim.’
‘That’s not fair,’ he said.
‘Life isn’t fucking fair, Rick.’ I jammed my key in the café door. ‘Get over it.’
‘This isn’t about us,’ he said. ‘I’ve got a big job and I’m going to make a success of it. You’ll see.’
My key rebelled at the force I applied. ‘I really don’t give a fuck.’
He grabbed my arm. I grabbed his and twisted it, doubling him over. He gritted his jaw against a groan o pain.
‘You only get one warning about touching me without permission,’ I whispered near his ear.
‘I didn’t realise you were fucking royalty, Megs,’ he said, muscles tight with pain.
‘It’s called common courtesy, Rick. You can’t go around grabbing people because you feel like it. They might just grab you back.’ I jerked his arm.
He groaned. He tried to break my hold, I locked his arm and his fingers pointed like claws. Even his legs couldn’t move without jerking his protesting shoulder socket.
‘I know all your moves, Rick,’ I said. ‘I taught you them.’ I shoved him away. ‘But a wise person always keeps a few in reserve.
He stepped back massaging his shoulder. ‘I am sorry, Meg, you’ll see it.’
I stuck my middle finger up at him. ‘An opponent who persists with the same strategy is predictable.’
‘Jesus,’ he muttered. ‘Anyone would think you were the Jesus of fighting.’
‘Belittling won’t work. I know I’m better than you, I don’t need to prove it.’
He grimaced, the expression he always used when he thought one of his plans was failing. I frowned. Was his plan to win me back? Or was it something else? I couldn’t figure it and I didn’t trust it.
I stepped into the café, without looking away from him, and locked the door. We stared at each other through the glass then he walked away.
I waited until he was gone then pressed my forehead to the cool glass, my sigh formed a steamy circle. I went into the backroom and changed into my safety clothing. When I picked up my helmet from the desk I stopped and looked at my distorted reflection in the polished back surface.
‘Nice in your face metaphor there,’ I muttered, lowered it and grabbed my rucksack.
Halfway across the café floor I stopped and looked through the kitchen hatch. I changed direction and went passed the kitchen and let myself through the separating door into the stairway that led up to Jimmy’s flat.
I paused at the top, hand raised. I took a breath and knocked.
Jimmy opened the door and leaned against the frame. He was wearing his reading glasses and had what mother would’ve called an ‘indecent’ number of buttons of his shirt unfastened. ‘Hello,’ he said, trying to sound extra sexy.
I smiled. ‘Is that for me or did you forget how to fasten your buttons?’
He ran his fingers through his hair leaving it more rumpled than before. ‘Maybe I always look this good.’
‘Well, you’re not wrong.’ I tugged out a corner of shirt still trapped in the top of his jeans.
He cleared his throat, pretending he’d known it was like that and he hadn’t rushed to untuck it at my knock. There was only one person with a key to let themself into his stairwell, I had keys to all the café doors.
‘So…’ I caressed his chest with a crooked finger. ‘There’s this thing I’ve always quite fancied doing but there’s never been anyone I quite fancied doing it with. How you fixed?’
‘Still got that helmet I got you?’ I asked.
‘Yes…’ He leaned in. ‘And maybe a few other things.’
‘Safety is sexy.’ I rose up on my toes and kissed him softly. ‘You’ll need some of your fuck ton of condoms.’
‘Right away, sir.’
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