You love your hair. Yes, it’s a colour of a happy ripe carrot, but it’s soft, wavy, and there’s plenty of it. To be honest, it might be the only thing you completely like about yourself. The freckles are a downer, to say nothing of being the size of an average twelve year old. You really wish sometimes to have some bloody presence in this world. How can a girl assert herself if in most cases you either talk to people’s buttons or your neck gets stiff from looking up?
Additionally, you have a very sensitive nape and scalp. Your skin in general is pale, tender, bruises easily, so you don’t take being touched lightly. But you just have a thing for men touching the back of your head. To be honest, it’s a sure turn on for you – as in panties dropping, brain off, grabby hands right there, right now turn on. Which Phil discovered very quickly, and used to his advantage repeatedly. You once jumped his bones in a broom closet at uni because he was teasing you in the library and running his fingers on your nucha.
All that sums up to… Dr. Sexy unbraiding your hair? Not good.
John picks up the end of the nude ribbon wrapped around your bun and gently pulls. It wouldn’t go. There are pins going through the ribbon, in the tight knot of the hair. You quickly pull them out, and he’s tugging again. The hair falls on your shoulders. You’ve been ignoring it for a while, it really grew out. You run your fingers through it, the scalp feels funny, after such a tight bun. You were really aiming for the spinster look.
John smiles to you, a warm affectionate smile, and you blush again. He passes the ribbon to a bloke standing near him.
“Would you, please, bring this to Dr. Claufield?” The guy saunters to her, but all you can see is John’s eyes roaming your hair. You look down and see his lowered hand. The long fingers twitch, and you feel like pushing your head to him.
In a cat headbutt. ‘Common, scratch me and I’ll purr for you’ type of thing. What the fucking hell is wrong with you, Wren? And by the way, have you noticed how bloody often you have to ask yourself that recently?!
The auction is a blast. Some middle-aged pharmaceutical representative buys John’s tie and gives it back to him. He graciously kisses her cheek and hangs it around his neck. He unbuttoned the collar of his shirt, and you have trouble breathing. Let’s face it, since you touched that tie knot, you feel narked.
There’s more vigorous betting on your ribbon, and you actually feel a bit smug about it. At least it’s for a good cause. After a few people shout increasingly flattering sums, Thrandon doubles the amount offered by a previous bidder, and you feel really tired of his shite. You are slightly worried, but John laughs and kisses your cheek again. His hand is on your shoulder, and you lean into him.
You’re exhausted. Mostly from smiling and pretending that you don’t notice everyone’s curious looks. You’re standing near John, all the big shots suddenly interested in what you have to say. Wankers.
At some point you are just so buggered, that you politely say goodbye to the small circle of men standing around you, and head for the exit. You say your goodbyes to a few familiar faces on your way out, most of the party is still dancing wildly. God, they are all so pissed. Maybe you will come home and drink a glass or one and a half yourself. You might get sick from it; but you know that as soon as you are out of here, you mind will start racing. And you just don’t want to go there.
You are checking out your coat, when a velvet voice comes from behind.
“Though I only got the ribbon, it seems no one got the present either.” Thrandon is leaning on a wall, dangling your ribbon in front of him. He’s obviously bladdered. “And here I thought, our dear John will be opening this giftwrap tonight.”
That’s it, you wanker.
“Mr. Thrandon…” Your voice sounds suspiciously like a hiss. “I understand your money is enough to pay off any sexual harassment charges, but money can’t buy you new balls. And you will need those, if you don’t back off.” You exaggerate your pikey accent. “Are we clear, you manky arsehole?”
He tenses his jaw and suddenly grabs your upper arm. It hurts.
“You will know your place, your trashy slag!”
Did you mention the balls? Yep. The knee flies up, and he groans, kneeling on the floor. You are considering adding a kick in the defenseless stomach, when John’s hearty laugh rolls through the parlour.
“And here I was coming dragging my knuckles on the floor.” He’s smiling but his eyes are jammed. “I tend to forget that you are a dangerous juvenile delinquent, Miss Leary.” You are breathing heavily, and he comes up to Thrandon, and lifts him by the back of his jacket collar. The blonde tries to twist out of the grip, hissing some swearing, and thrashing his long legs on the floor. Keeping his head about a foot above the ground, John smiles unpleasantly and starts dragging him to an adjoint room.
“Have a good evening, Miss Leary.” His voice is perfectly polite and even.
“You too, Dr. Thorington.”
You rush through the exit. Yep, definitely booze. And a lot of it.
You stomp into your dorm room and grab a bottle of vodka out of your freezer. You make a huge gulp. It tastes like sin. Let’s be honest here, to you it tastes like gasoline and Jelly Babies. Ugh! Seriously, candy flavoured vodka? What kind of a pillock came up with that?
This whole fucking evening was a roller coaster. Forget the arsehole Thrandon – that’s old news. You get dirtily hit on a lot; it’s the ginger curse. But John… Dancing, touching, him staring at your lips, the silk of his tie under your finger, his heat and cologne when he was pressing you into him… You make another gulp. His eyes, his lips, his fingers in your hair… Wait, that didn’t happen! But you can so easily imagine it, the feeling of his long fingers scratching your scalp. Especially since he did it when in that damn tent you were… Don’t go there! Nope, too late… His massive cock in your mouth, his throaty moans… More vodka!
Thea and that same Irishman from Genetics tumble through the door, in a mess of extremities and giggling. Then they stare at you. Quite a spectacle, you have to agree. You are standing in the middle of the kitchenette still in your coat, a vodka bottle pressed to your lips.
“Wren, darling…” Thea’s voice is cautious, as if talking to a timorous wild animal. “Are you trying to kill yourself?”
“I’m trying not to make a call.” His card is in the bottom drawer of your desk. Together with Mr. Big and Pink.
“Jimmy, you need to go…” Thea’s tone is firm. The bloke zips up his trousers.
“Wait…” You are slurring. Fuck it, it always hits you so fast. “You’ve been here before!” You are narrowing your eyes suspiciously. “And no one ever gets a second go. You are shagging the same bloke for the second time, Thea!” You cannot remember the last time you were in such a shock! “Are you… dating, Thea?”
“Jimmy…” There’s a clear menace in Thea’s growl.
“Bye, love.” He nods to her, and then you. “Wren.”
He rushes out of the room, and you black out.