9 - Games Night

9 - Games Night

A Chapter by Tertia

Chapter 9

Before taking refuge from the night the sun took one daring leap from the edge of a cloud across the depths of the deep blue sky as though on a railroad to a cloud peninsula the other side. The sun faded behind, taking the light with it in a radius of sunbeams until it was only a soft glowing ball, submerged in the barrage of cloud, casting onlookers into gloom.

A cold Tuesday evening led to twilight and their front room was set up in its usual manner for games night. The curtains were drawn and tea lights were dotted about on the floor. Daggs put out small bowls of left over snacks and turned the radio down low. The format was for a room full of people, there was only the two of them, but she had found herself getting dressed up anyway, wearing a proper button-down shirt and her new jeans. She didn’t know why and although there were chairs, she knelt on the floor.

The radio crackled and died and in the quiet she listened to the house creaking like a ship in a storm. It heaved to and fro, as though lurching on mountainous waves. There was a knocking sound from inside the roof, perhaps a loose piece of wood never attended or a metal batten that had come away from its screws. The radiators gurgled and rattled, their pipes struggling with the combination of air, water and rust inside them. Voices of pub-goers breezed past, loud and faint and birds chattered on telephone wires and gutters, calling for others to join them. All things came to the fore in the quiet.

The radio kicked back in blasting out an advert for carpets and there was a soft thud, followed by two more and then a fall of feet on carpeted stairs. She puckered her lips and positioned her hair as a bleary-eyed Verrs blundered in and plonked himself in an armchair. ‘All right?’ he barked, not looking at her.

- Fifty per cent discount on all our carpets this weekend. Hurry while stocks last -

‘Yeah,’ she said smiling.

He scanned the room. ‘We’ve got no drink have we?’ he said loudly, almost aggressive.

‘No,’ she said trying to work out if he’d been sleeping.

‘I’ll go and get some. I’ll get a bottle of wine,’ he said more softly.

‘Thank you,’ she said. He got up and smiling, held out his palm to her as he went by, she slapped it and said. ‘I’ve got nothing, Verrs,’ As he put on his shoes she said. ‘But could you get something to eat, I’m starving,’ she looked upset. He nodded giving her a long look taking in the way of her. ‘Thanks,’ she said politely.

‘Where’s big daddy when you need him, eh?’ he said laughing a little.

‘I can’t...ask him every day, Luca,’

‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to...I was only joking,’

‘I know,’

He strode out of the house with his hood up and head down. He wore big black headphones and turned his music stream on when he passed something he didn’t like, like a hostile looking stranger. He went up the hill, stepping lightly like a boxer might, past the local shops and paced along the side street to a back entrance of the big supermarket car park. He thought of his up and coming date with Lana and what might happen; it was best to be prepared and ready for anything. Was Lucy serious about helping him with it? Was she really so devoid of feelings about him that she could do that or was it to prove a point, to stamp her emotional authority?

He bought two bottles of the cheapest white wine on offer and some pastries and sourdough bread from the ‘ready to chuck’ shelf. Lana flashed into his mind again, she was sitting in the grass down by the harbour posing for her painting. She was neatly dressed and somehow had made her hair longer, it flowed and was lighter. He was back to the house in ten minutes flat.

‘Here we are,’ he said putting the thin plastic bag down on the low coffee table in the centre of the front room. There was a pile of board games and the cards were out She poured two large glasses.

‘You are the man, the Alpha, the breadwinner,’ she said lifting her glass high. ‘Cheers,’

‘Cheers,’ Lucas said quietly, slightly confused by her. He looked at her out of the corner of his eye, she was taking everything seriously and savouring the moment, the final moments of this stage of her life, of their lives together. ‘You OK? you seem different,’

‘Yeah, I’m good as it happens,’ she said drinking more wine. She sat back on the sofa and he sunk in to the armchair opposite, they drunk and she gulped down a discount pasty, opening the plastic wrapper with shaky hands, like some drug addict. She laughed at herself a little. They looked at the board games, the small bag of shopping and listened to the radio that was playing an electronic hit from the 80s.

The song had reached the instrumental break and the keyboards were emphasising the melody and picking up tempo and began to repeat a riff that enticed a faster beat. The drums fell silent and then caught the riff and then crashed in at a faster beat, the other instruments had paused waiting to catch the new beat. Lucas tapped his fingers. They both drunk more wine.

‘So,’ she said ‘What shall we play?’

‘I don’t know,’ he said. He didn’t care.

‘Remember the pa...’

‘...I remember. You OK with cards?’ he said picking up the pack. The cards were dog-eared and scuffed around the edges. Some had bits missing. Most were bent and had some of the plastic coating missing, the cards had taken a bashing over the three years and no one was really sure if there were any missing from the fifty-two. Lucas shuffled them slowly. ‘We can’t very easily play Monopoly with two or the other games come to think of it,’ he took a large gulp of wine, emptying his glass and then necked some more from the bottle, wiping it off on his sleeve.

‘I like it when you’re in charge. You decide,’ she said smiling and silently laughing at him, she felt relaxed. She watched him without looking away, examining him as she opened the second bottle.

Lucas laughed at himself. ‘Got an idea. Let’s have a few more drinks and then split the pack for truths,’

‘Truth or dare, sure,’

‘Yeah and if the truth isn’t told there’s a forfeit,’

‘Sounds fair,’ she added hesitantly.

He held out the pack to her and placed it on the coffee table. Leaning over she cut the pack. He looked at her cleavage and could see the edge of her black bra in stark contrast to her white flesh. She picked up a six and looked up at him quickly trying to catch his eyes, but he had stretched over and cut the pack again and picked up a seven. Without hesitation he asked the question that had been in his and everyone’s minds for three years. ‘OK, is it, is it true that you have a picture and on the back is a list of lovers?’

‘Yes, next question,’ she said.

‘Oh, so it’s true!’ he said in shock. The urban myth had collapsed and revealed itself. ‘And?’

‘You asked your question. They cut the pack again and Celia won this time. My turn, Umm...they tell me you like bad girls. Is that true?’ she said

‘Yes,’ he said. What a stupid throw away question he thought.


‘Because they are easy and don’t care what people think, they enjoy themselves,’ he paused. ‘Have you completed that list?’ he asked.

‘I don’t want to answer that,’

‘Then you have to do a forfeit,’

‘What?’ there was an awkward silence. Lucas’s brain whirred, he looked around the room for inspiration. Tea lights flickered, the radio was playing Video Games by Lana Del Rey. Then it hit him. It was obvious and she couldn’t say no. It was reasonable enough.

‘Just tell me what I want to know or show me the dratted list,’

‘No, it’s personal, Verrs, I don’t want to,’

He was going to say everyone in the house and in the common room knew about it, but didn’t want to upset her even more. They put down their cards again and re-made the pack. He watched as she leant over and fantasised about touching her. She looked up at him blankly and then down at herself.

‘What the hell are you staring at?’ she said sharply, but calmly.

‘I...I, sorry,’ He looked at her bleary-eyed and took another half a glass. Slowly she held up her card, a king. His card was a seven again. ‘Look you can ask me whatever you like, I’ve got no secrets,’

‘You and Lotts?’

‘Yes, we were together for a while, but kept it quiet, really quiet,’

She laughed uncontrollably. ‘Damnation,’

‘You knew that, Daggs. Why ask?

‘I did know that, but I don’t know any details,’

‘I’ll tell you later,’

She ignored him, looking down. All right then for your forfeit I want to paint you,’ he remembered the models that sat for them in the life class, none of them were as beautiful as she was.

She frowned at him, her lips tight. ‘Is there time?’


She looked at him and turned away, blushing, unable to stop smiling,’

© 2021 Tertia

Author's Note

In the next chapter Celia helps Lucas prepare for his date with Lana

My Review

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Rising and learning each day .... you are showing a great in every chapter .... kudos tertia 👏

Posted 1 Month Ago

Usually I'm not a fan of 3 thick paragraphs of description to open a chapter, but these 3 you've laid down are slamming! Wow! Very lively & dynamic, as if watching a movie, making expository not the snooze-fest it can often be. This concept: "Was Lucy serious about helping him with it? Was she really so devoid of feelings about him that she could do that or was it to prove a point, to stamp her emotional authority?" is a great sample of how you present REAL complicated distinctions about the way people think & act & feel about each other. I love that your interactions & nuances are not full of typical shallow tripe. The way these 2 play truth-or-dare is another example of how well you work with realistic nuances between people in dialogue that make us into believers of the authenticity of your story & your characters (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 Month Ago

Thank you, yes, I liked that bit too
getting better on each chapter,looks like a best seller

Posted 2 Months Ago


2 Months Ago

We know it 😂
Have you ever fallen in love with a house? Have you ever fallen in love with your own drafted dream mansion?
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3 Reviews
Added on April 18, 2021
Last Updated on May 3, 2021
Tags: love, lust, attraction, linger, desire, story, chapter, trust, promises, life, jealousy, wild, discovery, emotions, people, relationships, freedom, reputation, morals, friends, feelings, games



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