Chapter 8 - Fun In The Sun (Previously entitled 'Off The Cretan Track' ) Edited and extra chapters.

Chapter 8 - Fun In The Sun (Previously entitled 'Off The Cretan Track' ) Edited and extra chapters.

A Chapter by Repgreece
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Nick talks about Sal

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New Chapter


"Hello stranger," Ruth, the owner of The Wheelhouse, said with surprise when Nick entered the pub. As he approached, she reached across the bar to kiss him on the cheek.

Nick beamed when he saw her. Ruth was one of the only people Nick felt really comfortable talking to. Everyone did. She was like everyone's mom. He never knew his mom; she left him when he was a child, but if he had one, he would want her to be exactly like Ruth.

"Hi, how's the best landlady in the universe?" he said, putting his arm around her and returning the kiss on her cheek.

"I'm good sweetheart," she replied. "Welcome back. I missed you," she said with a smile.

"Missed you too Ruth, and this place..." Nick glanced around at the familiar sights of The Wheelhouse. Everything about that place rang of good times. "...it's so great to be here again."

"It's great to have you here again," she smiled. "Beer, Nick?" she asked.

"How did you guess?" he grinned, watching her pull out a bottle from the fridge.

"Must be psychic," she laughed, handing him the beer. "This one is from me, to welcome you back," she smiled.

"That's nice of you Ruth. Thank you very much," he said, accepting the beer.

"My pleasure," she replied. "So, when did you get back?" she asked.

"This afternoon," he replied, sitting on a bar stool and glancing around. "Where is everybody? I was hoping to catch up with people."

"Adam and Fay have gone for a meal in Elounda but they will probably pop in afterwards. I'm not sure where Bill, Patrick and Tom are and most of the other reps are working this evening so it may be a bit quiet in here tonight," she informed him.

"Well, we'll have to have some fun with just us then and go down town later when you close. It will probably be busier there," he smiled. "We'll wait for you if you fancy coming with us, Ruth," he added.

"Thanks for the offer love. I'll see how I feel later. I may be ready for bed by then to be honest. I had to get up early this morning to go to the IKA office and sort out some paperwork, and you know how long that usually takes. Didn't have time for my siesta today," she told him. "I'm not sure if Adam and Fay will stay out late tonight either I'm afraid, but I'm sure there will be people you can catch up with down town," she smiled. "I'm sure they will be glad to see 'the best transfer rep in the world' back again," she teased.

"Of course they will," he grinned. "Oh and Ruth..."

"What?"

"... it's the 'universe'," he grinned. Ruth laughed at him. "Best rep in the 'universe," he stressed. "Ask Sal about it, she knows. Only been back a few hours and I already got her to admit it," he chuckled.

Ruth watched him with interest for a moment. "So, you have seen Sal already then?"

"Yeah, saw her at the airport. She gave me a lift back here. She's coming out tonight too," he informed her.

"Really? You arranged that quickly," Ruth grinned.

"Yeah," he replied, taking another swig of his beer, unsure of what else to say. Ruth watched him for a moment, a smile hovering around her mouth, before she reached for a bag of peanuts and proceeded to pour them out into some small glass bowls she had lined up along the counter top behind the bar.

"So, I'm guessing you know that Sal has been made airport supervisor then," Ruth went on.

"Yeah, she's going to be my boss now," he grinned. "Been promoted ahead of me."

"And how do you feel about having to take orders from the girl you trained?" she asked.

"Livid," he answered.

Ruth's eyes flicked up suddenly from the peanuts then but only to see Nick still grinning.

He laughed. "Only joking. No, I'm happy for her. Not sayin' I'll always do as I'm told," he stressed with amusement. "But, apart from me, can't think of anyone else I'd rather have in the job. She's good at it too... and she looked great today," he added.

Ruth's smile widened. "Tempted, Nick?" She couldn't stop herself from asking.

"What?" he said with confusion.

Ruth failed to reply though. She just returned to the task of replenishing the peanuts with a grin on her face.

He watched her thoughtfully for a moment, and then went back to drinking his beer.

"She went out with Boycie a while ago," Ruth continued, still focusing on her job.

Nick's head shot up then. "What? When?"

"Couple of weeks ago," Ruth replied.

Nick looked horrified. "But she cant, what? I mean...surely she, she wouldn't..."

"Don't worry," Ruth reassured him, "She soon reconsidered and sent him packing."

Nick visibly relaxed with relief.

"I don't trust him. What was she thinking? Doesn't she know his reputation?" Nick asked.

"I think she thought she might be able to change him, or maybe he sweet talked her, I don't know."

"He's the biggest loser around," Nick said, scratching at the label on his beer bottle. "I've got no time for the guy at all."

Ruth watched Nick peel strips off the beer label. "Hmm, I got that impression, Nick."

He glanced up at her. "Well, have you? You must know what he's like. Do you know he has a score book? Keeps count of how many girl's he's slept with."

She laughed. "Does he indeed?" She shrugged. "He rarely comes in here but from what I've heard other people say... I was glad when Sal changed her mind about him," she answered.

"But she's not with him now?" he asked, needing confirmation.

She smiled, "No, she's not with him now."

He nodded and finished his beer.

"But I'm sure it won't be long until she catches someone else's eye," Ruth added casually, placing a bowl of peanuts in front of Nick and some down the rest of the bar at regular intervals. Thoughts began building in her head as she placed down the bowls. There was something very wrong with the whole situation.

After finishing her task, she returned to the spot where Nick was sitting and stopped suddenly, putting her hands on her hips. "Nick Elliot, how much longer is this going to go on for?" she asked, unable to stop herself, particularly after observing the torment on his face and the pile of shredded beer label on the bar.

His head shot up at her tone. "What?" he asked, eyeing the litter he had created in front of him.

She tutted. "Not this," she said, sweeping the torn pieces of paper into her hands. "The reason behind this." She dropped the pieces into the bin and leant over the bar with her arms crossed to speak at closer quarters to him.

"Working in this job, I tend to notice things," she said.

"What things?" he asked, watching her warily as his heart suddenly started to thud.

She saw the panic in his face and softened her tone. "Certain things about the way people act, or what they do when around other people. Put it this way, I've noticed certain things about how you act when a certain..." she paused, "other person is around. I've noticed it for quite some time now."

Ah hell. He felt like a kid who'd been caught doing something bad. And damn it, he didn't even have a beer now to focus on.

"Oh look, I've run out of beer," he hinted.

She gave a small laugh. "Would you like another beer, Nick?" she said.

"Funny you should ask, yes I would," he replied. She turned to reach into the fridge behind her. "And put one for you on my tab too," he said, hoping he'd escaped any more talk on the previous subject.

"Thanks," she said, pulling out a beer and taking a deep breath before turning back, placing the beer in front of Nick and pouring a glass of wine for herself. She would normally save any drink she was offered for later in the evening, but somehow she thought she might need this one now. She took a quick sip and then tried approaching the subject again, placing one hand over his to show her support.

"I'm sorry Nick, I don't mean to pry, but I want you to be happy." She assessed his response. He was very quiet and still, but he hadn't pulled away from her yet, so she went on. "You're with one woman, but your mind is... somewhere else...with someone else. But this someone else is going to slip through your fingers if you're not careful," she warned him.

He glanced down and took hold of the beer bottle as though he were about to take a swig, but changed his mind and just fiddled with it on the bar.

"I know," he admitted, "but it's complicated."

She tilted her head, watching him sympathetically. "These things usually are. Just don't take too long to 'uncomplicate' them," she said, "And in the meantime, I am always here if you want to talk, Nick."

He looked up from his beer bottle then and she smiled at him. "Thanks Ruth," was all he could think of to say.

She patted his hand and then withdrew contact to take another sip of her wine.

Then something occurred to him and he glanced up at her again. "Ruth," he began.

"Yes," she replied.

"This thing you think you've noticed, you wouldn't have..." He started fiddling with his bottle again. "You didn't happen to... mention it to anyone else, did you?"
His eyes darted to her nervously.

She smiled. "No. Nick, if I started gossiping about all the things I know from working in here, I'd get into quite a lot of trouble," she assured him. "Nobody would come in, and I'd put myself out of business."

That was a relief.

He grinned. "And you wouldn't be the 'best landlady in the world' then either."

Her smile grew. "In the 'universe' Nick. The 'universe'," she stressed.

They both burst into laughter then and he felt suddenly extremely light-hearted.

"Come on Ruthie, let's have a little Sambuca," he grinned.

She shook her head. "No, no, Nick, it's far to early for that."

"Ah go on," he pleaded, "Just a little one with me."

"Nick Elliot, no," she said firmly. "You can have one though."

He pulled a face. "It's not the same on my own. Go on, just a tinsy, winsy, teeny one, Ruthie, Ruthie, please," he begged.

"Don't 'Ruthie, Ruthie' me," she said. "Sorry, but no."

"Okay," he replied sulkily.

She went to continue refilling the fridges with drinks but stopped and sighed.

"Okay," she relented. "Just one though Nick, and no more," she stressed pointing a finger at him.

His face broke out into a huge smile. He knew she would give in.

She reached to the shelf behind her, collected two shot glasses and poured the Sambuca from the bottle she kept at the side of the till.

Handing one to him, she picked up her glass and held it up to clink with his. "I can't believe you talked me into doing this," she said.

"I love you Ruthie, Ruthie," he replied, clinking her glass and downing the Sambuca.'

She followed and cringed slightly at the burning sensation it created. "Woa, that always makes my head go a bit funny," she admitted.

He grinned. "I love it when your head goes a bit funny."

She laughed. "Why?"

"Dunno," he shrugged.

"You're incorrigible," she said.

"I know," he replied, looking very pleased with himself.



© 2020 Repgreece


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Added on July 3, 2020
Last Updated on July 15, 2020
Tags: romance, love, fun, friends, summer, beach, travel, vacation, holiday