“Hey, Noni. How was your mum?” Billy asked as Noni let herself into his flat.
“Not good, but still breathing. I gave her place a bit of a clean and emptied the bins, they hadn’t been emptied since I was there last week. Mind nothing had been put in them until I got there this afternoon.”
Noni began unpacking the shopping bag she had, taking the strawberries to the sink to wash. Billy looked hot and bothered after checking on the pasta boiling on the stove.
Billy leant over and kissed Noni and she reciprocated. It still felt a little weird for her to accept his touch but she still got tingles from his touch.
“How was the rest of your day?” Billy asked as he pulled away.
“Ok, busy at work. I walked along Kings Road after I stopped in at mum’s. Ellie hasn’t been able to get in touch with Kate so I thought I’d check to see if she was hiding out in her flat.” Noni said as she began to wash the strawberries.
“Oh and was she?”
“No, there was still some finger print powder on her front door knob. I don’t think anyone has been there since the stabbing.”
“Oh, so where do you think she is?” Billy asked as he began to slice the strawberries, Noni had rinsed.
“I don’t know. Neither does Ellie but Kate’s mum says this is normal behaviour for her.”
“So why is Ellie worried?”
“Well, I think she’s worried since it’s only been a few weeks since the stabbing.” Noni answered, looking into Billy’s eyes. She could lose herself in his blue eyes.
“Hmmm. Well dinner’s just about done.”
“Hey, how did you go with your mum this afternoon?” Noni asked, putting her hand on Billy’s arm before he moved to the stove.
“Ok. She’s still got another few sessions of Chemo before we know if it’s worked. It’s my shift next weekend. I hope you don’t mind.”
“No of course not. I’m happy to come with you and help out.” Noni offered.
“No, it’s pretty distressing and I think mum would feel embarrassed, you being there and being my girlfriend,” Billy put his hand on hers, “she’s desperate to meet you but under better circumstances. Don’t worry it will happen,” he added.
+ + +
“Mmmm, this is good.” Mike said as he moved his hand from Ellie’s to catch another drizzle of sauce escaping from his hungry mouth.
“Well don’t got too excited, it’s about the only meal I can make without too much difficulty, thanks to Jonnie. How was your day?” Ellie asked.
“Ok, busy and long. Once I become a registrar my work load should become a little easier,” Mike said before popping another forkful of pasta and sauce into his mouth, “how was yours?”
“Ok, work is busy but things tend to slow down a little over summer. Gives me some time to suss out the slush pile with some holiday reading. Still no news on Kate. Emma called Kate’s mum but she’s not calling the police until Monday.” Kate popped the forkful of wound up pasta she’d held aloft into her mouth.
“Well that’s not too far away. At least you got her to agree to that.”
“Hmmm, but I keep thinking that she’s lying in a ditch somewhere, close to death and we could be looking for her and save her. Who knows what might happen to her by Monday.” Ellie exclaimed putting her fork into her bowl.
“I can understand that but if her mum says this is normal behaviour for Kate and she’s told the police, there’s not a lot they will do until she shows concern over her whereabouts. Besides, Kate’s a big girl and she has done this before.” Mike popped another full fork of pasta into his mouth.
“But I know she’s missing, one of the servants told me on Wednesday morning that they were expecting her back on the evening before and all she left with was her yoga mat. She’s just recovered from a stabbing in her flat and no one knows who did it, including Kate. And one of our close friends died last year.” Ellie felt her eyes begin to well with a dam of tears, threatening to break.
Mike put his fork down. “Ok, I can see you’re anxious. What can we do before Monday though?”
“Nothing, nothing. That’s the problem. I will never forgive myself if we could have saved her over the weekend and we don’t” Ellie looked into Mike’s eyes.
“Ok, well lets come up with a plan in case Kate’s mum doesn’t notify the police on Monday? We can sit down and make flyers up or something?”
Ellie watched his face. He was sincere and concerned.
Ellie sighed, her shoulders relaxing. “Ok, that would be great. I just need to feel like I’m doing something. And if she is on a bender I will smack her twice.”
+ + +
Kate had drunk more than half the bottle of champagne. Ryder was right it had eased the cravings but she was not too drunk that she didn’t know what was going to happen next.
Ryder had promised to bing her ‘forget me’ juice once they had finished, ‘celebrating’.
Ryder lay down beside her on the single bed, stroking her arms.
“It will be much better when we can share my bed, upstairs.” He breathed into her ear, nibbling the lobe.
“Now don’t you want to touch me?” he asked.
Kate shivered, hoping he didn’t notice as she moved her hand up to his chest, slowly undoing each of the buttons on his work shirt.
“Ahh, that’s better,” he said grabbing her bottom.
She bent her head down to his chest as she opened his shirt and began to rub her swollen lips on it.
“Now don’t get any blood on me!” he quipped pulling away.
+ + +
“Oh, Katie, what’s the matter?” Don’t worry I won’t always pull your hair, it’s just that I’m still mad at you ok?” he cooed, bending down over her and whispering into her ear.
“Look at me.” He tilted her face and saw her tears. “It was good wasn’t it, enough to bring tears to your eyes.”
He stood up and after finding his clothing began to dress. “Well don’t just lie there, let’s get this tidied up then you can have your juice.”
Kate stood up, feeling sore between her legs and began to stack the plates and cutlery, ready for Ryder to carry them away.
“I’ll be back, just a quick one and then you can have your juice ok?” he said as carried the first load out.
Kate continued to tidy up and then began to pace, waiting for him to return with her medication, the cravings returning in full force.
A few minutes later the door opened. Ryder stood there in his underwear, holding a condom between his forefinger and thumb.
“Are you ready my lover?”