It was a subdued night in the George & Dragon, the drinks were being nursed rather than gulped in deference to just dissolved hangovers, and the conversation was desultory except where it touched on the reality TV programmes. It was mostly the same crowd that had been there the night before, except Carl and Donna were missing, some problem with one of the kids Donna had told Kate, and she'd told the rest that too.
Kate was quiet too, thinking about the night before, it had been romantically wild and crazy and would have been something to brag about at the pub with the female half of the gang if only she was ten, maybe fifteen years younger. Back in the days before the gang's relationships coalesced from an amorphous mix of shifting allegiances and suddenly everyone was paired off. Now that they were grown ups, it wasn't done to keep pulling at the old bonds.
Sometimes those bonds could be recalled with just a glance though. Last night, Carl had seen the circle of bruises around Kate's wrist when her sleeve had slipped back, but he didn't say anything immediately, waiting for an opportunity that eventually came when they were both waiting to fetch drinks back from the bar.
"Did Daniel do that?" he asked her, touching her wrist under the sleeve.
"Sometimes he can be persuaded," she smiled, and watched his eyes for a reaction, for the old memories to resurface.
The window she'd climbed in through banged in the gusting night. Carl had sent her a text saying the coast was clear, that Donna had gone back upstairs thinking him passed out in the living room, and when she arrived he had held out his hands to help her over the wet sill. A dramatic heavy night, dark with expectancy, the thunder and rain appearing with perfect scenic timing as she arched her back on top of him, on the sofa. The lightening heralding the next rumble froze the image of her hand across his mouth, pale with painted nails that looked almost black in the stark flash. His arms darker than hers reached, gripped her waist, helped the rhythm build. She'd lifted her hand off his face, allowed him to moan when the thunder cracked and rebounded around the room, squeezing it back when the sound faded. She'd forgotten that he was so much bigger than Daniel, and that riding him like that pushed his cock into her so deep, almost too deep.
There was little enough time afterwards for her to stay in the circle of his arms, she hadn't been sure if she really wanted to anyway, a small taste of comfort and nostalgia went a long way. It had been enough to keep her from the chill of the short walk home, the streetlights glimmered coldly off of the windswept puddles. Into the stone flagged back yard from the alley, pulling the wet things off of the washing line, an excuse for having been outside.
Daniel was waiting for her in the kitchen.