Sounds of life came from the kitchen, tea being made, cereal poured. Mara stirred just enough to pull the blanket up over her head and then lay still, hoping Lily would think her asleep and leave her alone. Her friend had already thrown open the curtains and let the sunlight come streaming in, and it was alarmingly like midday. A sour, guilty taste filled her mouth, equal parts stale liquor and cigarettes and, other. She pressed her eyes tighter together and tried not to groan.
There was a pressure on the sofa near her feet, and a clunk as a heavy mug was set on the coffee table by her head. Lily rubbed her leg through the blanket and smacked her arse good-naturedly.
“Good morning, my girl. Rise and shine! What piece of nasty did you get up to last night? Come on, M, I know you’re awake. I’ve been a good friend and made you a tea. And brought you an aspirin. The least you can do is reward me with details.”
Knowing it for a loss, Mara gave up pretending to sleep and peeled the blanket from off her face. She rolled onto her side and reached out for the tea. The mug was steaming, so hot even the handle was warm, but she forced down a sip and hoisted herself into a sitting position, the mug cradled in the blanket between her legs.
“Have fun with Danny?” Lily asked.
“I could have warned you, you know. He’s charming, but not much more.”
Mara took another sip of the scalding tea, which was full of cream and sugar at least. “Oh there was more,” she replied, “quite a lot more. God…I can’t believe I did that.”
“Oh nevermind, ducks. I told you he was charming. And anyway, what’s a holiday all about if not lots and lots of free drinks and a shag with a gorgeous, charming stranger with a large cock?”
Mara burst out laughing, the hot tea she held in her mouth burning her tongue and then her legs as she spit it out.
“Well what about you? Was than an old boyfriend I saw you talking to? He’s not here, is he?”
Lily’s smile wavered a bit. “Who do you mean?”
“Oh now don’t you play coy to me after I’ve shared my shame with you. You know, the dark haired one, he was talking to you at the bar. When we first arrived. I just assumed he was an ex of yours, the way you looked at him.”
Lily smiled again and sipped her tea. “Oh you mean Dexter,” she said at last. “Oh he’s just an old friend of mine. He thought he could press his advantage, that’s all. Are you hungry?” she said, forestalling Mara’s next question.
“I feel sick, actually. Why, is there anything greasy or fried in the vicinity?”
“If you can manage a short walk, there’s a lovely little café just on the corner, greasiest spoons in all of London.”
“Do I have to dress?”
“Just your trousers.”