Paul began to walk over to where Cal was sitting, his long black coat flowing slightly behind him. He’d unbuttoned it in the waiting room and since it was a nice day he didn’t see any reason to do it back up.
Cal finished his conversation as soon as he saw Paul and motioned for him to sit down, which he did. Adjusting his coat slightly to be comfortable he turned to Cal and said “So what the hell happened in there?”
Cal scowled “Greg happened Paul. He’s an idiot. He just doesn’t care Paul. He doesn’t bloody care”
Paul looked at his friend “What do you mean he doesn’t care? He’s in far too much trouble for him not to care”
“I know right, but he either can’t see it, won’t see it or is too bloody stupid to see it. Her daughter was there Paul. I have a daughter, you have a daughter…” he trailed off and shook his head.
Paul wiped his hand over his face, he could understand Cal being so angry, if ever anything happened to Rosie, or even Becky for that matter he’d wouldn’t be able to forgive the person responsible. He’d never met this Cuddy woman but he’d bet a fair amount of money she’d be after Greg’s blood for what he’d done. If Greg wasn’t even prepared to show some remorse to either Cal or himself then what was going to happen in the court room?
Neither man spoke for another five minutes or so, each lost in his own thoughts.
Eventually it was Cal who spoke “I guess we should just go home. There’s nothing more to be done here”
It was a long train journey back to Brooklyn for Paul. As if the day couldn’t get any worse, some salesman or other had taken the seat next to him and was waffling on about his job, his wife, his boss..
Eventually Paul had taken the only option available to him in order to escape the man and feigned sleep. Which at some point must have turned into a real doze because he woke with a start at his station to find the man had gone.
The walk home from the station woke him up somewhat and when he entered his apartment he could smell cooking.
He found Marie in the kitchen, pots everywhere and a recipe book spread open on the counter. She was talking to herself as she read the book, weighed and measured out ingredients in order to produce the culinary masterpiece. He smiled to himself as he watched her, noticing how her T shirt didn’t quite reach the top of her jeans and how it rode up her back a little every time she reached up to a shelf or bent down to a cupboard. She brushed a lock of hair from her face and puffed out a breath. Then she jumped as she noticed Paul standing there for the first time “ You Bugger!” she exclaimed.
Paul burst out laughing at her American pronunciation of the word she had obviously picked up from him “Stop laughing! It’s not funny! You frightened the life out of me” she scolded, which only served to make him laugh even more.
“You’re beautiful when you’re angry” he grinned
She looked at him with a raised eyebrow “Seriously? You actually use that line?”
He crossed the room, grabbed her round the waist and pulled her to him “Only on very special ladies”
She put her arms round his neck “Does that mean I’m a special lady then?”
“Lets say you are certainly on my list of Very Special Ladies”
A hand whacked his backside making him jump slightly “I had better be at the top of that list”
“Do that again and I guarantee you top billing” Paul replied cheekily.
“Is that right?” she replied, but she didn’t get an answer. Paul bent his head and kissed her gently on the lips. Instinctively she moved closer to him and deepened the kiss. Then his lips trailed down her neck toward the neck of her T shirt. “Paul..” she whispered. He didn’t answer that time either his hands grasping the hem of her top and pulling it slowly and gently upwards and then over the top of her head, throwing it casually to one side. “Paul..” she whispered slightly louder. But his answer was to let his hands roam her back, skimming the top of her jeans and sliding under her bra. His lips trailing lower still as they were no longer obstructed by her T shirt.
He was lost in her, the scent of her perfume, the scent of her skin, the scent of burning food.
Burning food? “Oh Christ!!!” he yelped as he suddenly realised that Marie’s whispering of his name had been part passion and part trying to tell him that one of the pans had boiled dry.
He grabbed the handle and yelped again “Shit that’s hot!” now it was Marie’s turn to laugh as she watched him try to get a tea towel wet enough to pick up the offending pan and dump it in the sink. Then water sprayed everywhere when he turned the tap full on to fill the sink with water. And there she was, half naked in her boyfriends kitchen after the place had very nearly burned down around them. And there was he, white shirt soaking wet from the water spray, clinging to his torso. He held his arms out sideways “Oh feck’s sake! I’m fecking soaked” which only made her laugh even harder and in the end Paul began to laugh himself.
“Come on” said Marie between giggles “let me help you out of those wet clothes” Now it was Paul’s turn to raise an eyebrow.
“Seriously? You actually use that line?”
“Only on Very Special Men” she replied with a wry smile “And yes, you are on my list”
He tapped her backside in the same way she’d done to him “I’d better be at the top of that list or there’ll be trouble”
And he proceeded to show her exactly what kind of trouble and how much of it there would be.
Sometime later as they lay together, huddled under the duvet on Paul’s bed, Marie asked how the meeting with Greg had gone. “ Badly. I didn’t get to see him. Cal went in first while I was on the phone to you. I don’t know exactly what happened but they argued and Cal stormed out”
“Wow” was all she could think of to reply. Paul pulled her slightly closer to him.
“Cal says Greg doesn’t care about what he’s done, can you imagine that?”
Marie looked surprised “How can he not care? He could’ve killed someone!”
Paul shook his head “I don’t understand it either. I don’t know if we can do any more, I don’t think Cal wants to do any more. He was furious.”
“I hope he’s got a good lawyer, he’s going to need one”
She snuggled closer still and they lay in silence for a while before she said “Paul..”
“Hmm” he replied
A wicked smile appeared on his face “So am I” and he rolled over so he was on top of her.
“I meant for food” she admonished him
“We don’t have any food. We burnt it”
Marie smiled “I know a great café”