Off The Cretan Track chapter 25

Off The Cretan Track chapter 25

A Chapter by Repgreece

In search of a nightcap


Nick’s first thought was to head for the cocktail bar they had gone to earlier that evening to see if that was still open. Sal was right though, the row of tavernas and bars were either in complete darkness, or else the owners were turning chairs over onto tables and cashing up tills. Nick’s heart began to sink. For some reason he really wanted that last drink with Sal; maybe they shouldn’t have gone to the party at all and just spent the night alone together in the original cocktail bar. Then again, maybe they wouldn’t have shared that kiss if they did that. For sure they wouldn’t have. Well, whatever, he still wanted that last drink with her.


After having passed the first cocktail bar they went to before the party, and a few more afterwards, they had nearly reached the hotel again.


“It looks like there’s nowhere open after all,” Sal said regretfully, pausing to take a last look up and down the street.


“Wait,” Nick said, scanning the row of roof-top restaurants which were built into the cliff side above them. “That place seems to still be open,” he said, pointing to a dim light shining out of a restaurant window.


Sal squinted and tried to make out any kind of life inside.


“Are you sure it’s still open?” she asked.


Nick grabbed her by the hand, “There’s only one way to find out,” he replied, rushing across the road, towards the steps that lead up the cliff side.


The steps seemed to lead on indefinitely, and even when they reached the approximate level where the restaurant seemed to have been situated, second from last row back, it was difficult to work out which was the correct restaurant, as each one had a further set of steps leading to the front doors.


“Good grief, this place is like a labyrinth,” Sal observed, coming to a halt.


“Nah, that’s in Knossos. C’mon,” he said, urging her towards the middle steps, “This is the one.”


Out of breath, and red in the face from all the exertion of sprinting up the steps, Nick and Sal finally burst through the restaurant doors and expectantly scanned the room. They were faced with empty tables with blue and yellow chequered table cloths and a large balcony area outside with similar rows of tables, equally empty.


“Ti thelis?” came a voice from behind them, causing them both to jump and swing around to face it. They found four men sitting at the end of a small bar in the corner of the room. One man was approximately in his late fifties, with an impressive grey beard and portly belly. Nick assumed that he was the owner. The other men were younger, dressed in casual jeans and t-shirts, perhaps family members or even friends. Before answering, Nick turned briefly again to search the restaurant, as if in the vain hope of finding some customers he hadn’t noticed before, and therefore providing a reason for them to be able to stay for that last drink. No customers appeared however, but Nick wasn’t to be put off that easily.

“Yia sas. Signome, thelume dio ligo bierres, se parakalo,” Nick pleaded, giving the man his best ‘puppy dog eye’ look that was so very difficult to resist. Obviously though, the man with the beard was a tough Greek and immune to Nick’s persuasion. The man shrugged and gestured to the men’s raki carafe, which had already been emptied and finished, ready for home.


“Signome,” the man simply said.


Sal wasn’t sure what that meant exactly, but she could tell it wasn’t good news from the man’s tone, so she stepped in, moving towards him and touching his arm lightly in appeal.


“Nick and me,” she said, glancing back at Nick, “We’ve just got engaged,” she explained, suddenly feeling laughter building up inside her at the ridiculousness of her excuse, but putting a stop to her tell tale smile for fear that the man would think she was being rude. “And well, we just wanted one more drink,” she stressed by holding up one finger to demonstrate her request, “just to celebrate.” She placed another hand on top of his arm and implored, “Pleeeeease…”


The man observed her dubiously for a moment before turning to the three men beside him and speaking in Greek. There followed a brief conversation, during which at one point, one of the young men raised his voice and seemed to be arguing with the bearded man. Sal turned from one man to the other and was slowly forced to accept that getting a nightcap at that point was simply not going to happen. She was just about to apologise and leave before a real argument kicked off, when to her amazement the bearded man turned to them again, shrugged, and replied,


“Endaksi.” He then preceded to reach down and open a fridge below the bar to pull out two beers.


Wow, it looked like they were getting their nightcaps afterall, only… should she push her luck?


“Sorry, could I have a glass of wine instead?” she asked the man. The wine would relax her more and then she would be nice and sleepy, ready for bed.


The man frowned with confusion and Nick quickly translated,


“Thele krasi. Endaksi?”


The man nodded, bent again and pulled out a bottle of wine. He opened the bottle of beer and poured a glass of wine for Sal, which she picked up with a grateful smile.


“Efharisto poli,” Nick said, taking his beer from the bar and turning to Sal. “Shall we sit on the balcony?”


Her smile widened. “Yes, why not,” she replied, cradling her much anticipated final drink for the evening, as she headed for the balcony area. Nick followed, but seemed to have an after thought and handed Sal his beer, saying,


“Here, take this and find us a table; I’ll be two secs.”


Sal took his drink and briefly glanced back at him as he strolled towards the bar again. He must be going back to pay. She would pay him for her drink after.


There were a few dining tables on the balcony with the same blue and yellow checked tablecloths as in the main restaurant, but Sal noticed an area at the front of the balcony, overlooking the cliff side and the sea, which had smaller coffee tables and more comfortable, cushioned chairs. That was where they would enjoy their drinks.


Placing Nick’s drink down on the glass-topped coffee table, but keeping hold of her own, Sal sank into one of the chairs and sighed contentedly, taking a sip of her wine. The ruby liquor delivered a slight sweetness on the tongue initially, from the abundance of fruit, however, when the liquid was properly acknowledged by her taste buds, the depth of flavour took over with a wonderful, warming embrace on her senses. Mmm, a glass of wine was definitely the right choice of nightcap.


Moments later, Nick was making his way across the restaurant towards Sal with a pleased grin on his face. Coming up behind her, he ruffled her hair before reclaiming   his beer and taking a seat next to her.


“Good times eh Sal,” he said, taking a sip of his beer and admiring the view over the cliff towards the sparkling sea.


“Hmm, definitely,” she replied with a sigh, feeling warm and thoroughly contented all of a sudden.


“Quite a team eh, you and me,” he said, holding up his beer for her to clink.


She turned her attention to his face and smiled warmly, clinking with him. “The best,” she replied, holding his gaze for a moment before returning hers to the view.


He kept his eyes on her however for a few moments, taking advantage of her distraction while the events of the last two days hovered in his thoughts. So much had happened. For a start, he now felt like he’d never left Crete for a moment, let alone for six months. And yet, somehow things were a little different, by no means in a bad way though. He wondered if they would get better still, or whether he ought to appreciate this moment to the full, for fear of a rockier future. But he felt so good that night, and he wasn’t going to let any negative thoughts ruin that.


His eyes lingered on Sal’s face as she gazed dreamily at the view, oblivious of his interest. She was such a dreamer. What was she dreaming about now he wondered? He’d seen her like that before and he always itched to know what was running through her mind. Then, suddenly her reverie was broken, not, funnily enough, by the realisation that Nick was watching her, but because she appeared to have spotted something of interest in the view. She slowly lifted the glass of wine to her lips, without moving her eyes from the object that had caught her attention. She was so animated, she was so… so…so many things, it was impossible to sum her up. One thing was for sure though, he’d missed her a lot, more than he’d realised, or dared admit to himself before that moment. Sitting there, back in Crete, with the stars and the sea putting on a show just for them, all those cold, lonely, soul-searching nights back in the UK seemed never to have happened. And how strange that he’d thought so many times about seeing Sal again; he’d imagined how he would feel, and if she was really as captivating as he’d remembered. Never could he have imagined that after just two days back, he would be there with her, on a weekend away. And before returning, he’d hoped that their friendship would grow, but he’d never envisaged feeling so much affection for her so quickly. Affectionate, yes, that was what he felt for her in abundance…in fact, watching her at that moment, her head tilted to one side with fascination at whatever it was that she’d seen, he realised with such clarity that he’d never felt so much affection for anyone… ever… in his whole life.


© 2011 Repgreece

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Dawwwsss Nick is finally coming to his senses. Lets all hope he dumps Jen's butt soon enough. I love him and Sal together. Have since the first book. Also, Lady, I, like many others, are still waiting patiently for more A Dangerous Affair

Posted 10 Years Ago

hmm very intersting read.. following it up?

Posted 10 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on September 21, 2011
Last Updated on September 21, 2011

Off The Cretan Track