Off the Cretan Track Chapter 43

Off the Cretan Track Chapter 43

A Chapter by Repgreece

Fun at Sal's


"Where is Adam?" Sal asked suddenly, as if reading Fay's mind.


Fay turned back to see two pairs of inquisitive eyes staring at her.


"I've no idea," she said, opening the lounge door further and disappearing through it, calling out, "Adam? Have you been kidnapped or something?"


"Just sorting out a few little beverages my little honey bun," he shouted back.


Nick and Sal chuckled, releasing the tension, and Sal wiped away her tears yet again, striding over to the door with the intention of helping Adam out in the kitchen. She met Adam and Fay carrying glasses of wine however, before she got any further.


"Fay and I have wine here," Sal laughed.


"I tried to tell him that," Fay replied.


"Oh," Adam said, holding up the two glasses in his hand and glancing at the ones in Fay's. "Well, we aren't short of wine at least," he grinned.


Sal wondered if perhaps Adam was a little tipsy. She giggled to herself. Adam was funny when he was tipsy.


"What are you giggling at, cheeky?" Adam said to Sal.


"Oh nothing," she replied. "Here, let's put all the wine down on the table and we can do a lucky dip."


They all laughed, observing the table with not so much as a space between the objects on it: wine glasses and bottles, cheesy puffs, chocolate, candies and magazines.


"Well, now that I've sorted out everyone else's problems," Adam said, taking his wine and collapsing in the large blue arm chair in the corner, kicking off his shoes and putting his feet up on the arm of the sofa. "I'd like to let you all know that, firstly, on my way to work today, I found a big stripy cat sitting on the roof of my car, which refused to budge. So, being in a hurry, I nudged it off, after which it scratched me right along my arm. Look," he said, pulling up his sleeve.


"Has anyone got a magnifying glass so we can actually see that tinsy mark on Adam's arm?" Fay joked.


"And secondly," he went on, pulling his sleeve back down, "When I went to the bakery to get my favorite sandwich for lunch, I paid for it, but Penny kept me chatting for so long that I forgot to take my sandwich with me, and I didn't realize until I got back to the office."


Sal and Nick laughed. "Doh. Can't believe you didn't realize," Nick teased.


"And thirdly," he continued, "I stubbed my big toe just now as I came through the door." He wiggled his toe. "Awch!"


They all burst out laughing.


"Enough," Fay said, throwing a cushion at him. "We all feel terribly sorry for you. Do you feel better now that you've had some attention?" she laughed.


He made a pretence of sulking. "I need someone to take tender loving care of my war wounds," he hinted to Fay.


Nick sighed. "Okay, I'll do it," he said, jumping up and reaching for Adam's foot. They all fell about laughing again, apart from Adam who swiftly removed his feet from the sofa.


"No, that's okay Nick; you can stay where you are."


Nick grinned mischievously but sat back down in between Fay and Sal.


Despite missing out on a bit of TLC from Fay, Adam looked quite contented, relaxed in the blue arm chair, sipping his glass of wine.


"Mmm. It's so nice just to kick back for a while," he said, "especially knowing that we can lie in tomorrow; no transfers till late eh," he winked at Fay.


Fay laughed softly. "Don't get too relaxed there though Adam, and you could do with maybe slowing down on that wine," she replied, as ever the practical one in their relationship.


"I tell you what I could do with," he replied, glancing at Sal. "A sandwich. I'm ravenous; never got my sandwich for lunch remember. Is it okay if I raid your fridge Sal?" he asked. "Pleeease," he added. "My best ever little airport supervisor."


"Go on then," she smiled. "Since you asked so nicely."


Adam jumped suddenly out of his chair, and Nick's head swung to watch his progress towards Sal's fridge.


"Oh, and there's some homemade pie left in there too if you want some," Sal called out.

Nick's eyes widened. "Pie. Wait... that pie is mine!" he said, jumping up in a panic and racing after Adam, who had by this time already got the fridge door open and his hand on the Tupperware tub of pie.


Nick grabbed for the tub, but Adam nudged him away with one arm and moved to stand in front of the fridge, guarding it.


"Out of the way. This pie is for me, Sal said so."


Sal was observing their banter with delight.


"No way," Nick replied adamantly, "hand it over, or I'll make you."


"Just try it," Adam said, holding the tub against him and backing away from Nick.


"Right, this is war," Nick shouted, "Pie war!" he said, before jumping on Adam and attempting to wrestle the tub out of his grip.


Sal began to cheer at the spectacle of her boss and her friend jumping all over each other like small school boys. Fay however, calmly approached the two, unbeknownst to them, and took the tub right out of Adam's hand in the midst of his distraction with Nick. She proceeded to open the tub, take out the remaining piece of pie and cut into two equal pieces. Eventually the men realized that the object they were battling for had been take off them, and they looked around at Fay in bewilderment.


"Here," she said to them, handing first Nick, and then Adam, a plate of pie, "Half each."


Both frowned as they looked down at their portions.


Adam spoke up first. "Okay Nick, it's either that portion of pie," he said, staring at the plate in Nick's hand, "or your job. Which is more important to you?"


"I'll take the pie," Nick replied without hesitation. This made Adam laugh, and Nick too.


"Come on now boys, go and sit down and eat it nicely," Fay said.


Sal giggled. She had the best friends in the world...and the craziest!


Adam huffed and retreated back to his arm chair to enjoy his pie. Nick sat on the sofa opposite him and eyed Adam's plate in between his own mouthfuls.


"She gave me more than you because she loves me more," Adam whispered to Nick.


"No I didn't; they were exactly equal, fair and share," Fay cut in.


Nick grinned triumphantly. "Fair and share," he mouthed to Adam.


In the following few minutes, Adam and Nick finished their food off, making exaggerated displays of enjoyment, as if suggesting that their particular piece of pie was better tasting than the other's. Finally, their empty plates were placed on the crowded coffee table and Adam sat back in his chair, wine glass in hand, with contentment.


"That was fantastic; you're a fine cook Sal," Adam said.


"Thanks," Sal smiled, pleased with the compliment that she was receiving from Adam.


"The only thing now that would really finish everything off would be a nice cigar," Adam chuckled.


Sal became still for a moment, staring at Adam. "Well, funny you should say that..."


"You haven't," Adam replied with disbelief. "Have you?"


Sal grinned and disappeared out of the lounge, returning minutes later with a small packet of cigars in one hand, and a lighter and ashtray in another. She handed Adam the ashtray and lighter, and opened the cellophane on the packet, before handing a cigar to Adam.


He looked down at the cigar in his hand with astonishment. "Oh what the hell; Sal, will you marry me?" he laughed. Sal and Nick laughed with him.


"But you don't smoke. Why on earth do you have those?" Fay asked.


Sal smiled but hesitated before answering, as if a little unsure whether to explain.


"Err...well, I guess I was being a little too organized...or too optimistic," she chuckled, "They were kind of for if I got lucky one night... you know, for the guy, for afterwards."


"Wow, that is organized Sal," Fay said.


"Now I want to marry you," Nick laughed.


Fay turned to him, contemplating his face. He was watching Sal, who was laughing but focused on Adam for some reason.


"It almost seems a shame that they aren't being used for the right purpose," Nick added. "Can I have one Sal?"


Fay's eyes widened and she checked Sal's response again, but she hadn't seemed to have noticed Nick's subtle innuendo and simply handed him a cigar from the packet.


"Shall we retire to the balcony Nicholas?" Adam asked in an overly upper-class accent.


"Indupertably my dear fellow," Nick replied, rising out of his seat. "And by the way, I only let Sal call me Nicholas," he said, turning to wink at her.


Sal however, was clearing some of the dishes from off the coffee table and appeared to have completely missed the fact that Nick was trying his hardest to charm her. Now Fay was confused. She had originally thought that it was Sal who was yearning for Nick, but maybe she'd got that wrong. Sal seemed indifferent to him. But now it appeared to be the other way around; Fay was wondering if it was Nick who was attracted to Sal. God, she was useless at this; what she really needed was Ruth's insight. Ruth had a sixth sense for matters of the heart.


"Hmm, nice," Adam said, exhaling a long stream of smoke and glancing down at the cigar in his hand. "I've got to say, Sal will make some lucky guy one hell of a girlfriend..."


Nick simply nodded and leant over the balcony railing to look out over the sea as he rose the cigar to his mouth. He felt... edgy on hearing that comment, as if that could happen at any point soon, and time wasn't on his side.


"... or wife," Adam added.


Now Nick felt twice as edgy.


"Let's hope I can get Fay to the altar first though," Adam went on.


Nick turned to him with surprise. "Have you asked her?"


"Well, the problem is that she's still officially already married. I think she has a feeling that I intend to ask her though because she's practically put me off asking until the divorce comes through. I guess she just wants everything to be right, which I can understand, but after that, I'm asking her. The sooner I get a ring on her finger, the harder it will be for her to get cold feet on me."


"Ah I don't think she'll do that mate; you two are solid," Nick replied.


"Yeah, maybe it's just me; I can't stand the thought of us not being together," Adam said.


"You'll be grand," Nick assured him.


"So, what about you?" Adam asked, taking another puff from his cigar. "Think there's a chance for you and this mystery woman? Marriage and all that," he clarified.


Nick began to choke suddenly and puffed out a huge cloud of smoke which hid Adam from view for a few seconds.


"Don't do that to me mate," Nick said, waving a hand in the air to dissipate the cloud. "At least not unless you give me a warning first."


Adam laughed. "You're not afraid of marriage, are you?"


Nick thought about that for a moment. "Err, no, not's just that, I suppose I've never really considered it before."


"Well consider it," Adam pushed. "And it's a test to see how much you really do like this woman. What would you do if she asked you to marry her? Would you want to?"


The reality of that statement suddenly hit him, and the fact that they were, albeit unbeknownst to Adam, taking about Sal. And then a sudden revelation came to him; the way his heart was racing with excitement at that moment, a niggling little 'yes' was playing in his mind. He imagined for a split second, Sal asking him...right there and then...that night...and he knew deep down that he wouldn't be able to resist. It was crazy, but hell...he'd say yes! He would… just because he always wanted to be with her, and she was so exciting; he couldn't fight that. The thought was too much for him. He had to calm down.


"I don't know mate; and anyway, it ain't going to happen, so there's no point in thinking about it," he concluded. "I'm gonna save this for another time," he said, stubbing the remaining half of his cigar out in the ashtray. "Cigars are good for the first few puffs, but then I've usually had enough."


"Alright, no problem mate," Adam replied, watching Nick do an about turn and open the balcony sliding door. "Oh Nick," Adam called out, halting him, "I was going to ask you if you wanted to come back to work with us. I assumed that you would. I could do with your experience and expertise."


"Yeah, for sure. I think Sal assumed you'd need me; she's already signed me up," he laughed.


"She's not bad; she can read my thoughts before I've even thought them," he replied.


"You want help tomorrow night?" Nick asked.


"You mean tonight." Adam glanced at his watch. "You know what, why don't you start on Tuesday? We will be busier then."


"Oh, sure. Tuesday then," Nick answered, moving through the door.


"I'd like you to do some trips too," Adam went on, "but let me get back to you on that, okay?"


"Sure. I'll leave you to finish that," Nick said, indicating to Adam's cigar, before closing the glass balcony door behind him.


Hmm, maybe Adam had been a bit too pushy about all the marriage talk. Still, if Nick was in love with a woman, what was wrong with thinking about marriage?


Adam savoured the cigar, taking in the distant view of sparkling lights on the horizon.

God he hoped that Fay wouldn't turn him down when he asked her to marry him. He didn't think she would, but with Fay, he just never knew. She was very touchy on the subject of marriage and tended to avoid it, but then, considering her experience so far in that area, he didn't entirely blame her. He would make her see though, how good it can be.


Glancing behind him, through the glass balcony doors, he could see that they were tidying things away. Fay would want to leave soon. Well, they did have a heavy evening shift to get through later. Right, time to go.


Adam stubbed out his cigar and reentered the lounge.


"Shall we leave Sal to get some sleep now?" Adam said to Fay, who was already picking up her handbag to go.


"Yes, it is getting rather late...or should I say, early," Fay replied, noticing that the sky was already showing signs of lightening up. The sun would be out in just a few hours time. At least now Sal would be tired though and not have time alone to sit and feel depressed. And she knew she could phone them if she needed to... and Nick. That was nice of him to insist on being there for Sal.


Now ready to go, Adam and Fay turned to Nick, who had by that time turned on the television and was sitting comfortably on the sofa watching it.


"Do you want a lift back to the hotel?" Adam asked him.


Nick had preempted this, but the thought of going back alone to that hotel room, with all the memories of what had happened earlier on that night, was not something he was looking forward to.


"Nah, I feel like stretching my legs, so I'll walk back. Thanks anyway," he answered.


"Are you sure?" Adam asked with surprise.


"Yes, I'm fine. I'll see you two later."


"Okay, if you're sure," Adam said.


Hmm, that was odd that Nick didn't want a lift home with them. Now Fay was really wondering what was going on between the two of them. Still, if there was something going on, Fay would be pleased for Sal; Nick was a nice guy. However, she didn't like the fact that Nick was supposedly still with Jen. Then again, maybe she was imagining the whole thing. She'd talk to Ruth.


Adam and Fay kissed Sal goodbye and left with orders for her to telephone if she ever needed anything, or just felt down in the dumps.


Nick stayed seated on the sofa, reluctant to move, whilst Sal saw Adam and Fay to the door. He had settled on watching the late night film: some murder mystery with no one famous that he knew of in it. It gave him an excuse to stay a bit longer though. He could hear the front door close, and then Sal's footsteps around the apartment for a while before she reentered the lounge. He didn't turn to look at her though, choosing to stay focused on the film in hope that she'd maybe let him stay a while longer. As it turned out however, she proceeded to open the balcony door, prompting Nick to flick his eyes in her direction to see what she was doing. He watched as she hung out some clothes to dry on her washing line. He recognized those clothes; they were her airport uniform.


"So, Adam said you can start on Tuesday at the airport," Sal commented, closing the balcony door behind her and hovering by the coffee table, wondering what to do next.


"Yeah, I guess you'll not be busy enough tonight. So, you got your uniform this year then," he observed, turning his attention back to the clothes that she'd hung up outside.


She glanced back at them. "Yes. I think it was a good idea to have uniforms; it makes the reps look more official."


Nick laughed. "Yeah, but that wasn't the reason you wanted a uniform last year, if I remember correctly."


"It wasn't?"


Damn it! Why did she never remember that first time they had met? He wished she would.


He shook his head. "Oh no, you wanted to drive all the men at the airport wild, remember?"


"Well, it's just a uniform Nick. I think I was being a bit overly optimistic on that score," she replied.


"I wouldn't say that," he grinned. "you look pretty hot in it."


Okay, now Nick had always made throw away comments like that before to tease her, so why now did that particular comment make her heart suddenly beat so nervously?


Nick was sure that Sal's face had turned a deeper colour pink just then, before she had turned again to glance out to the balcony. "Well, it's okay I guess, but I don't really like the neck tie much," she replied, irrelevantly, still avoiding eye contact.


"Maybe I just have a weakness for women in uniforms," he laughed.


"Hmm," she responded, unsure of what else to say on that subject. She fiddled nervously with her earlobe. "Well, guess I should get some sleep before work."


Damn, now she wanted him to leave. He only had one option; the direct approach.


"Come sit here for a while?" he said, holding out an arm. "This film is nearly finished," he lied...or at least, he didn't have a clue how much was left of it.


She moved hesitantly towards him, wondering where he expected her to sit. She plumped for leaving a cushion between them and sitting stiffly in her seat.


"Okay, what's up?" he frowned, watching her.


"What do you mean?" she replied.


"Do I smell or something? Come here," he gestured again with his arm. "I need a cuddle."


She leant back to observe him. "Why," she asked suspiciously.


There was a short pause. "'Cause I'm scared of monsters, and you're the only one who can save me," he joked.


She chuckled.


"Because you give the best cuddles," he amended. "And because both of us have had, you know... an emotional night since we got back here."


She sighed, wriggling across the sofa towards him. "Some nights are just like that; don't know why. Everything just feels all... out of sorts."


He moved his arm over her head as she got closer, and around her shoulder, pulling her to his side. She curled up next to him, yawning and resting her head on his chest. She fitted perfectly there, by his side. He'd noticed that when she'd slept snugly next to him in bed the previous night.


"I know," he replied. And boy did he know, but he wasn't going to think about that now and waste their time together.


They sat their silently for a while, both of them pretending to watch the film, but in reality, both of them were lost in their own thoughts.


"By the way," Sal said after a few minutes, "it was my sun tan that was going to drive all the men wild, not my uniform."


A smile lit up his face. So she did remember.


"And, are you really afraid of I really give the best cuddles?" she went on to ask.


"No and yes," he replied.


She smiled and nuzzled against him.


"Will you marry me Sal?" he mouthed silently to her, inwardly chuckling to himself. He was going nuts!


"What?" she asked.


He laughed.


"Nothing," he replied.

© 2012 Repgreece

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Added on October 25, 2012
Last Updated on October 25, 2012
Tags: romance, love, fun, summer, friends

Off The Cretan Track