Yes, it’s the Kinky Cocktail Party and I’m thrilled to be participating. I love parties. I’m always the first to the bar (and usually the last to leave) and now I am a grown up and supposed to be a professional, less likely to be the one found face down in a skip the next day. (That did not happen. Well, not to me, anyway.It was just an Awful Prediction.)
This is a day-long delicious mashup to launch Kristina Lloyd’s September blog tour for Undone,her new Black Lace novel. If you want to see what else is going on today and where, here’s the cocktail menu to browse.
I’m marking the occasion with an extract from the beginning of Spring In My Step which does feature booze as well as sex and morris dancing, so it’s kind of appropriate.
I spotted Robbie, though I didn’t know what his name was then, about halfway through a frenzied thrashabout we were all having to The Libertines. He was difficult to miss, being well over six feet tall, with messy blonde hair and a sleeveless white t-shirt. Niiiiice, I thought, and danced my way into his line of sight. He clocked me, or I think he did, but all the bodies bouncing off bodies stopped me getting any closer, so I carried on enjoying the music. Once I’d noticed him, though, I kept on noticing him, even as we all wandered on and off the dancefloor, slipping in and out of shouted conversations and taking turns to fight our way to the bar. Because dancing is such a big thing for me, I do pay attention to how other people move and, just like anything else, some people can really do it, most are basically OK and there are some you couldn’t teach to hear the beat at gunpoint. This tall-fair-and-glorious was one of the ones who definitely knew what his feet were for. If I hadn’t had quite so much cheap gin in my bloodstream at that point, I might have worked out just what it was about his moves that got to me, but I don’t think I even considered it. Not then, anyway.
So there came a moment when we were elbow to elbow at the bar. I hadn’t engineered it – much – but he looked down at me and grinned, and I got this glorious shuddery rush all up and down my body, from my upper lip to my lower ones, if you know what I mean, and I said something like, sorry, were you here first?
‘I don’t mind coming second,’ he said, and we both got the giggles at the sheer filthy cheesiness of that. We swapped names, then: Cath and Robbie, and chatted a bit, do you come here often, no, not been for ages, are you local, it’s my mate’s birthday, I’m out with people from work, blah blah, good music here, yeah but bar staff straight out of World War Z.
The last bit had always been true in the Harlequin, which seemed to pick employees for their above-average sulkiness and slow-moving incompetence. A good ten minutes later, neither of us were any nearer getting served, but we’d bonded some more over a mutual hatred of The X Factor and football – his workmates’ preferred topics of conversation, apparently – and discovered that neither of us was a morning person. Then the Kaiser Chiefs came on and he put out a hand and asked me if I’d like to dance.
If watching him dance had attracted me initially, actually dancing with him was the thing that finished the job. It was as though we were reading each other’s minds, even though we hardly touched each other at all, every move we made was in harmony. We stayed on the floor for another two tracks and then the DJ put on some awful doom-laden death metal thing, and we looked at each other and headed back towards the bar.
‘Let me get you a drink,’ he said. ‘I got paid yesterday.’ I said yes, thanks, gin and tonic, and then excused myself and bolted off to the loo. I was so turned on I was almost scaring myself. My face felt hot, and I could feel how hard and erect my nipples were, and wanted to check they weren’t poking too obviously through my bra and shirt.