Poles apart, p.8
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       Poles Apart, p.8
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           Kirsty Moseley

  wear it in case it broke and dropped off or something. “I don’t even want to think about how much it cost him. Probably like a grand or something.” I winced at the thought of him spending all that money on me.

  Lucie made a scoffing noise in her throat. “Trust me, that cost a lot more than a thousand pounds. Jeez, the diamonds are probably easily two carats each, and then there’s the other stones. You’re probably looking at more like fifty thou,” she guessed, shrugging casually.

  I gasped in horror. “No!” Now I definitely didn’t want to wear it, but I wasn’t sure if I could bring myself to take it off, either.

  She waved her hand dismissively. “Of course it would cost a lot, he’s a freaking millionaire. He’s not just going to give you a cheap necklace from the market, is he?” She laughed, rolling her eyes.

  I frowned. “But why would he give me something like this in the first place? It’s crazy!”

  “He is crazy. Maybe he’s got no one else to spend his money on,” she suggested. My mind flicked to the girls he’d been in magazines and the papers with for the last few weeks. He sure as hell did have other people to spend his money on, that’s for sure. Lucie nodded behind me to one of my tables. “Looks like someone wants a drink or something.”

  I groaned and headed over to the table of middle-aged men in suits who were waving to get my attention. Plastering on my work smile, I forced myself to let go of my necklace. One of the guys regarded me curiously as I took their drink orders. “You know Carson Matthews?” he asked.

  I smiled and nodded, my hand instinctively going to brush my necklace again. “Yep,” I confirmed happily.

  He motioned toward my necklace. “I saw him give you that. Special occasion?”

  I grinned. “Yeah, it’s my birthday tomorrow. Well, technically it’s today seeing as it’s after midnight.”

  “Oh, really? Well, happy birthday. Sorry, I forgot your name…” he trailed off, looking at me expectantly.

  “Emma.”

  “Right, yeah, of course. So, how do you know Carson? Are you friends? You two looked pretty close.”

  I looked at him more closely; he actually seemed a little familiar but I didn’t know where I knew him from. Maybe he’d been in the club before. “Er, he comes in a bit, so I know him from here. We’re friends, I guess, yeah.” I skirted around the question, not really wanting to classify my relationship with Carson as just a client. I hated the thought of him just being that, even though that’s what he was.

  The guy laughed. “Really, and he gave you that? You two must be pretty good… friends,” he mused, smirking at me. “So, how long have you known him? Will he be coming back soon? I’d love to get an autograph or something with him.”

  “I don’t know when he’s back,” I lied, frowning and feeling a little uncomfortable with all the questioning. “I’m gonna go get your drinks. I’ll be right back.” I turned and headed to the bar, glancing back over my shoulder to see the guy talking quietly with his two friends.

  When I delivered the order a couple of minutes later, the same guy was questioning me again, but slightly different this time. He wanted to know more about me: how long I’d worked here, if I had to dance on stage, how many lap dances I did a week. I gave vague answers and then went to Lucie, pushing that table onto her instead. I really didn’t like the guy prying into my life all the time; it was a little weird.

  By the time the club closed, I was exhausted and definitely ready for bed. I changed into my outside clothes and made sure the little necklace was hidden from view as I made the fifteen-minute walk home.

  After making sure we were all safe and comfortable in the flat, I fell into my bed, thinking about Carson before hugging my pillow, overcome by a wave of loneliness.

  I LOOKED AT MYSELF IN THE MIRROR AGAIN, checking my make-up one final time before flicking my eyes behind me to Lucie as she sat on the bed, grinning at me. I sighed, knowing there wasn’t much else I could do to make myself look any better, and did a little twirl. “Look okay?”

  She laughed and nodded. “You look great, Emma. You’re gonna be fighting them off tonight. Maybe you’ll even get some; that’ll put a smile back on that frustrated face of yours!” she teased, smirking at me knowingly.

  I laughed and rolled my eyes. She knew I didn’t go with anyone other than Carson, so that was a silly suggestion and we both knew it. “Yeah, okay. Well, I’m ready to go then,” I confirmed, letting my gaze wander to the mirror again. I was wearing a dress for a change tonight – something Lucie and Rory had jointly bought me for my birthday. It was black, pretty, and a little figure hugging, cutting off at mid-thigh. She was right, though; it did suit me and made my small breasts appear bigger.

  Sighing, I followed her out into the lounge, smiling at Rory who was sitting there watching TV. Sasha was already asleep; we’d worn her out all day today so she would want to go to bed early and would be easier on my little brother while he babysat. I never went out unless she was asleep. Not that I didn’t trust my brother to be able to put her to bed, because I certainly did, but it wasn’t fair to ask him to do that.

  “Right then, I’ve got my mobile, so ring if you need me. Knock next door at Mrs Miller’s if there are any immediate problems, okay?” I instructed, patting the top of his head teasingly.

  “Yep, have a great night. And no coming home unless you’re drunk!” he replied, laughing.

  Lucie winked at Rory. “Don’t worry, I’ll definitely get her drunk for a change,” she affirmed, linking her arm through mine. I smiled and rolled my eyes, checking in my handbag to see if I had my purse and phone. “Come on then. I’m starving.”

  Letting her drag me along, we went to start our night.

  The dinner was nice, and so was the adult, normal, civilised conversation. Talk of kids was banned, as was work and uni, so we’d sat there gossiping and laughing about anything and everything. I hadn’t had a girlie night since we went out for Lucie’s birthday seven months ago. I’d forgotten how much fun it was to just be myself for a change.

  After, we went to Lloyds bar where I was meeting a few friends from my university. As we walked in, the music was banging and vibrating off the walls. The place was packed considering it was Sunday night. We pushed our way to the bar, and I tried my best to ignore the guys brushing up against me on purpose as we wove through the crowd. After buying a pitcher of cocktails, we finally found my group of friends. With them, there were a couple of guys I didn’t know. I smiled tentatively, exchanging greetings with the girls I was meeting. Lucie knew all my friends already, so nothing was awkward.

  One of the guys leant forward, his hand outstretched to me, his eyes raking down my body slowly. I laughed at his obviousness and shook his hand. “Nice to meet you. I’m Joe,” he purred.

  I nodded in greeting, noticing he hadn’t released my hand. “Emma.”

  “Happy birthday, Emma. I hope you don’t mind us tagging along?” he asked, motioning toward the other guy who was knocking back shots with my friend, Angie.

  I smiled and shrugged. “Sure, why not. More people to buy me birthday drinks,” I joked, taking a sip of my cocktail, watching him over the rim of my glass.

  He grinned and turned back to his friend, doing a shot with him. I laughed at how easy boys were; a little flirting and they were putty in a girl’s hand. Not that I would ever do anything about it, of course, but it was nice to be appreciated, especially since I hadn’t had much attention in the last few weeks from Carson.

  Lucie elbowed me in the ribs gently to get my attention. “You are so in there tonight! He’s hot. Maybe you should take him home for a little sheet time,” she suggested, waggling her eyebrows.

  I laughed at her absurdity and rolled my eyes. “You know my heart and body belong to someone else!” I scolded playfully.

  She laughed. “Yeah, but he’s not here, and obviously, Mr Celebrity Driver isn’t doing it for you at the moment. You look like some kind of sex-starved, depressed woman!”

&nb
sp; I stuck my tongue out at her and chinked my glass against hers. “Cheers. Here’s to getting wasted.” She smiled and we both downed our drinks before pouring another glass from the pitcher.

  TWO HOURS LATER, I was more than wasted. The bar was getting more fun, the music louder, the conversation funnier, and even Joe was getting more interesting the more I spoke to him. When my phone vibrated in my bag, I pulled it out, squinting at it but unable to read the number on the caller ID because my eyes refused to focus properly.

  “Helllllllo?” I sang as I answered it.

  The guy on the line laughed. “Emma, it’s Jason.”

  Jason? What on earth is he calling me for? “Jason? What do you want? You do know I’m off duty, right?” I asked, giggling.

  He laughed. “Yeah, and very drunk by the sound of it,” he replied. “Anyway, I have someone here at the club who wants to talk to you. He wanted your number but I’m not allowed to give that out, so I agreed I’d call you and he could talk to you.”

  I frowned and gripped the edge of the bar as someone bumped into me from behind, making me giggle as I almost fell over. “I don’t want to talk to any freaking perverts from the club,” I stated, throwing Lucie a ‘what the fuck’ look. She was laughing and mouthing ‘hang up’ to me.

  “Oh, okay. I’ll tell Mr Matthews you don’t want to speak to him then,” Jason replied.

  I gasped at the mention of his name. “No! Carson’s there? What’s he doing there? He’s supposed to be in Dorset” I shouted excitedly.

  “Well, he’s obviously back. He wants to talk to you; shall I tell him you don’t want to talk to any ‘freaking perverts from the club’?” Jason teased, laughing and doing a bad impression of my drunken voice.

  “Don’t you bloody dare!” I cried, gripping Lucie’s arm and jumping up and down in excitement.

  “Okay, I’ll put him on,” Jason agreed.

  “What’s going on?” Lucie asked, prying my fingers from her arm and wincing.

  “Carson wants to talk to me. He’s at the club!” I squealed, grinning like a mad woman, ignoring the rest of my friends who were looking at me like I was crazy.

  I heard Jason talking away from the phone and then the most beautiful voice in the world came on the line, making my heart beat a little faster and the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

  “Hey, Em.”

  “Hey, baby. What are you doing there? I thought you were in Dorset today?” I asked, sighing dreamily and already planning my escape to the club so I could see him.

  “I was. I finished early. So, you’re obviously having a great birthday…”

  I nodded, and then remembered he couldn’t see me so I giggled at myself. “Yeah, it’s good.”

  He chuckled. “You sound drunk.”

  “I’m not drunk!” I moved my arm, gesturing the fact I wasn’t that wasted, and accidently slopped half my drink over Joe’s shoe. I giggled and looked at him apologetically. “Okay, maybe I’m a little drunk,” I admitted, mouthing sorry to Joe and handing him a napkin from the bar to dry it.

  “Okay. Er… So, I’m out tonight and I was wondering if I could buy you a drink?” Carson asked, sounding a little uncomfortable.

  My breath caught. He wanted to see me outside of work again? “Really?”

  “Yeah. I don’t want to intrude on your night out with the girls or anything. Maybe it’s not a good idea; I just wanted to get you a drink for your birthday. You can say no if you want to,” he said.

  Say no, is he serious? “Hell yeah!” I cried excitedly.

  He laughed, probably at my embarrassing enthusiasm. “Okay, great. Just tell me where you are then; I’ll come meet you.”

  “We’re at Lloyds. You know it?” I asked, trying to think of directions from the club in case I needed to tell him.

  “Yeah, I know it.”

  I grinned. “Okay. Well, when you get in here, we’re over on the right-hand side, near the bar,” I said, biting my lip and trying not to squeal like a little girl on Christmas morning.

  “Right. See you in a bit then.” He disconnected the call and I turned back to Lucie, barely able to breathe through my excitement. I really didn’t think I was seeing him again until next weekend, so this was the best birthday present ever.

  “Holy shit. He’s coming here to buy me a birthday drink!” I hissed. My stomach was fluttering, which actually didn’t mix too well with the alcohol I’d consumed.

  Lucie grinned. “Awesome! Now that’s put a smile on your frustrated face,” she teased, winking at me.

  We barely had time to down two more shots before someone touched the small of my back. I turned excitedly, and there he was. The love of my life, father of my child, and the one who made my heart soar. I squealed and threw my arms around his neck, hugging him tightly, bouncing on the spot.

  He laughed and hugged me back, kissing my shoulder softly. “Hey. Happy birthday,” he breathed, pulling back but leaving his arms around my waist.

  I giggled and nodded. “It is now!” I confirmed, making him smirk at me. I bit my lip and groaned. Damn it, I shouldn’t have said that!

  He looked over my shoulder and smiled at Lucie. “Hey, how’s the night going? Looks like you’re having a good time,” he said to her, laughing and tracing his hand up my back.

  Lucie laughed and nodded. “It’s good. I promised her brother I’d get her good and drunk, so I’ve done my job.”

  Carson laughed and I leant on him heavily. Pressing my face into the side of his neck, I breathed in his smell I had missed so much since last night. My fingers tangled into the back of his hair. “Looks like you have,” he confirmed.

  I pulled away, grabbing his hand and introducing him to my friends who, coincidently, were all completely looking at him in awe and practically eye raping him. The guy who had been doing shots all night - I think his name was Logan, but I couldn’t be sure - just stared at him with his mouth hanging open like a total moron. Joe, on the other hand, frowned and looked him over slowly. For some reason, he didn’t seem to like Carson.

  After a couple more drinks, Carson thought it would be a good idea to buy a round of flaming Sambucas. I looked at mine, eyeing the little fire which burnt on the top of it. I was actually a little scared to drink it, which seemed to amuse Carson. He wasn’t even drinking tonight; he was driving apparently, so he stuck to Pepsi.

  Lucie laughed and counted to three. On three, we all blew out the flames and downed the drink. I winced as it burnt my throat and I knew that one drink would be my downfall. I could already feel the after-effects of the alcohol I’d consumed. I wasn’t used to drinking, so this was more than I had probably ever drunk. I was definitely going to throw up in the morning.

  I clung to Carson, who was standing just behind me, laughing and making little jokes in my ear, flirting outrageously with me while one arm wrapped securely around my waist. “Oh, man, I shouldn’t have drunk that. You’re a bad influence on me, Mr Matthews,” I teased, tapping my finger on the tip of his nose. He smirked at me, shooting me that devilish little smile I loved so much, and I swooned internally.

  Joe turned to me and grinned. “So, Emma, if there is one thing you could have for your birthday, what would it be?” he inquired.

  I didn’t need to think about it. “An orgasm.”

  Everyone burst out laughing and Joe raised one eyebrow. “Oh, really? Well, tonight’s your lucky night, because that’s exactly what I got you.”

  I rolled my eyes and opened my mouth to turn him down, when Carson put his hand on Joe’s chest. “Back off, she’s not interested!” he growled. His other arm tightened on my waist, moving me further away from Joe to his other side.

  “And how do you know that? You a mind reader now, hot shot?” Joe asked, pushing Carson’s hand off him angrily.

  Carson laughed humourlessly. “Oh, come on, you’ve been hitting on her for the last hour. Has she even showed the slightest bit of interest in you? No. So get over it, and go hit on someone more in your league,
Carson said, smirking at him confidently.

  If Joe had been hitting on me for the last hour, either I was really drunk or he was just plain terrible at it because I hadn’t even noticed.

  Joe made some sort of reply, but I didn’t hear it because at that moment Carson pressed his mouth to my ear. “Wanna dance with me?” he whispered. His hot breath tickled my skin, making me shiver lightly. I gulped and nodded, handing my glass to a grinning Lucie.

  Carson smiled and took my hand, leading me off a little way to where people were grinding on each other. I slipped my arms around his neck and grinned happily. In all the years I’d known him, this was actually our first dance together. Sure, I’d danced for him a lot, but never proper dancing like this. It was nice.

  He smiled and pulled me closer to him, his blue eyes locked on mine, and I almost forgot how to breathe. Everyone else disappeared and all that was left was him. I could barely even hear the music which was sure to be banging around us. His hand went to my neck, playing with the cheap necklace I was wearing tonight.

  “Don’t you like the one I bought you? I could get you something else, if you want,” he offered, looking at me apologetically.

  I smiled and gripped my hands into his hair. “I love the one you got me. I was just a little scared to wear it tonight in case I lost it,” I admitted.

  He laughed and shook his head as if I’d said something silly. “You don’t need to worry about that. If you lose it, I’ll just get
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