Kyle from Smethwick
Becky closed her eyes and drank in the stillness. Nothing but the gentle slap of water in the pool, birdsong, the smell of coconut suntan oil and the warmth of the Greek sun beating down.
Her book lay waiting to be read, a cool lemonade glistened invitingly at her side, the perfect afternoon stretched out ahead of her.
And then his voice drifted across from the bar again and everything inside Becky tensed.
“Lads, lads let’s get shots. In Marbella I drank 30 shots all before breakfast and then we went water-skiing. Stavros, or whatever, 4 shots of Ouzo each for me and the lads.”
Becky looked up as Stavros - who was actually called Darius - lined up 16 shot glasses and filled them from the giant glass bottle on the bar. It was 11 in the morning.
They had arrived the day after Becky, shattering whatever dreams she had had of a peaceful break. The other people at the hotel were retired couples, single women, grown-up children with their parents. And now this bunch of ogres.
To be fair, the other three weren’t half as bad as Kyle from Smethwick, who strode about wide-legged, open-mouthed, perpetually bellowing and wearing a t-shirt with his own face on it.
As the group knocked back their shots, Darius caught Becky’s eye and she flushed, as much at the behaviour of her compatriots as at Darius’ chiselled jaw, enhanced by the topiary of his finely manicured beard. It got her every time and she dreamed of winding her fingers through it as cicadas chirruped in the hot Greek night...
Becky smiled apologetically and Darius grinned at her, turning his attention back to his customers. They were grimacing stickily around mouthfuls of aniseed liquor.
“Didn’t touch the sides lads” lied Kyle “Let’s have another four and see who can make the biggest bombs in the pool. In Marbella I made the water shoot out of the pool so hard it hit the roof of the bar and the barmaid was so impressed she gave me a blowjob every night.”
“Kyle, I just fancy chilling out by the pool for a bit. No more shots, alright?”
“Sorry mate, thought this was your fortieth, not your eightieth, right lads? Right? Ok Stavros twelve Ouzos and a lemonade for the pussy. Stavros, any chance there’s a decent Chinese around here?”
“Lemonade for me too please mate.”
“And me - maybe a beer later though”
And so Kyle was left to down his shots alone, which he did as loudly and obnoxiously as he did everything else in life.
Did Becky imagine Darius pulling a tiny bottle from his pocket, adding a drop of amber liquid to Kyle’s shots as he turned to hit his friend with his penis?
Was it really the bar’s heavily watered Ouzo that made Kyle slump, suddenly silent, on a sunlounger before he could demonstrate his famous pool bomb?
And, as he slipped into a heavy doze, would his friends really have taken photos of the wet patch spreading slowly across the front of Kyle’s trunks?
Becky couldn’t be certain of any of these things, but as peace returned to the poolside, she was certain that Darius shot her a slow, sexy wink and ran a finger along the edge of his distressingly attractive beard