“Come here, let me see,” Nick said, turning around fully on the seat and taking her face in his hands.
Oh my god! Look somewhere else. Where else is there to look?
Nick’s face was inches from hers.
Get a grip Sal! It’s Nick for god sake! He’d be so bloody full of himself if he ever knew what she was just thinking! Please let go of her now! Pretend it hurts.
“Oh nothing, shall we go now?”
“I think we should stop in Heraklion somewhere. Judging by your face, you definitely need to put some more sun cream on and I could do with a drink anyway,” he replied.
“Okay, come on then,” she agreed, waiting for him to drop his hands.
He hesitated for a moment as his eyes hovered on her face.
He chuckled. “You look quite cute like that.” Tapping her on the nose with his forefinger, he turned back and pulled away from the lights when they changed.
She definitely needed to find a new boyfriend quick. Maybe she'd find one with a bike; it seemed to bring out the animal instincts in her. Yeah well, she’d better keep her animal instincts in check from now on, or at least for the rest of that journey!
They made their way into the centre of the town and parked the bike near to the main square. There were plenty of tavernas and cafes to choose from there, however, they decided to wander a little further afield in order to stretch their legs. They strolled down the cobbled pavements, glancing at the array of trinkets souvenirs and painted crockery that was displayed outside the tourist shops. At the end of the street, they reached the sea front and the great harbour walls, Venetian in design, but constructed using the pale, sandy coloured local stone.
“They are developing this area. If we walk a bit further we’ll be able to find lots of nice places for a drink with a view over the water,” Nick informed Sal. “It’s about time they did something to improve the look of the town. It’s a shame they didn’t plan it out better as it developed because it must have been quite impressive before all the urban sprawl.”
“Yes, it’s not half as pretty as Hania. Have you been there Nick?” she asked.
“Yes briefly. I visited it once when I was staying with some friends in Rethymno. You’re right, it is a lot prettier there,” he remarked. “When did you go?”
“Last year. I went with Fay, Adam and Tom. It was fantastic, we met up with Pedros from Mardis Gras and he took us on his friend’s yacht,” she said enthusiastically.
He contemplated her for a while. “You must have enjoyed that. You have a thing about yachts don’t you. Did you have any mind shattering sex on there?” he grinned.
She wrinkled up her nose and shook her head. “Nah, there was no one to have mind shattering sex with.”
They had finally reached a row of waterside cafes and restaurants and Sal pointed to the first one she saw as the intensity of the sun was beginning to make her crave that drink.
“This looks nice. Want to stop here?”
“Sure,” he replied, finding the nearest table at the water’s edge and taking a seat. “So, you weren’t tempted with Tom then?” he asked, reverting back to their previous conversation. He remembered her mentioning his name before, and he had a quick mental image of the two of them locked in a steamy embrace at the back of Shots bar last year. He wondered if they had ever gone to bed together. He avoided conjuring up an image of that.
“No, although I’m sure he wouldn’t have objected, but he was a bit too full on for me, and he was only after the first girl he met,” she answered wryly.
Nick felt pleased to hear that for some reason, he wasn’t sure why. “I bet he wouldn’t have objected! And I bet he couldn’t believe his luck when the first girl he met was you.”
She gave a short burst of laughter. “Err actually, I’m sure that he was after Fay to start with. It figures.”
“Why?” he frowned.
“Well you know, everyone’s always after Fay,” she replied casually.
“What, more than you?” he said with surprise.
“Of course more than me,” she exclaimed.
He shrugged and turned his head towards the view saying, “I think you’ve got it wrong there.”
She dismissed his comment. “You’re just saying that because you’re my friend.”
He swung his head back to her and his eyes gave her a quick assessment before he answered. “You’re a very attractive woman Sal, don’t you realise that?”
She looked astounded and felt a little lost for words for a moment. “I...err...of course... I’m fantabulous really, it’s just that it’s not so obvious to everybody,” she finally said, making a joke of the matter.
“It might be more obvious than you realise.”
She didn’t look convinced. “Hmm, well, I don’t know why I don’t have scores of men hanging around me then.”
He thought about that comment for a while. “Perhaps it’s because you make friends of everyone Sal. I guess the blokes can’t see past that sometimes.”
She looked taken aback. “Do you think so? I don’t know how not to be friends with people though.”
“Hmm, I'm not sure. Actually, I suppose that you have to have an air of mystery about you but... to be honest I don’t want you to change Sal. Wait for the right bloke to come along because I think that your open honesty is a rare quality and a refreshing change,” he concluded.
She smiled at him. “You’re sweet Nick.”
He looked a little uncomfortable for a second then. “Yeah well, now I need that drink,” he said plucking the menu from the centre of the table and studying it. “What do you fancy? Hey, they have Dodonos ice cream in here, ever tried that?”
“Never heard of it,” she said, trying to look over the top of his menu.
“It’s a Greek brand name, the best ice cream in Greece. Think you’ll like it Sal, shall we order some?”
She grinned. “You’re very wicked Nick, go on then.”
Nick had no idea why she thought that he was wicked, but he liked the way she had said that and he smiled in response. “How about I order us both some different flavours and we can share?”
“Great idea, surprise me.”
He ordered the ice cream, two cokes and two bottles of water. They could take the water back with them to the bike; at least it would be cold.
When the order came however, Sal poured half of her bottle of water into a glass of ice and drank deeply from it. Her mouth was dry, and the cold liquid was what she had craved. She drank the whole glass and then filled it with coke, drinking half of that before finally turning her attention to her ice cream.
“Wow, you were thirsty!” he observed.
“Yep, I only drank that orange juice earlier and after all the alcohol last night, and the heat today, it’s hardly surprising.”
“We’ll stock up on some more cold water before we go back,” he said.
“Well, this looks interesting,” she commented, looking down at her bowl of ice cream sundae and wondering where to start.
“Yes, I think you have about three different flavours in there, see if you can guess what they are.”
She giggled with excitement and dug her spoon into the cream topping to reach the ice cream below it. Scooping out a spoonful of soft, creamy ice cream, she put it into her mouth and let it melt on her tongue.
“Mmm, peach I think,” she said, licking her lips.
“Well done,” he replied, following the movement of her tongue with his eyes. “This one is good too,” he said, offering her a spoonful from his bowl.
She leant across the table and took his offering. “Wow that is good! What is it?”
“Err, nuts and berries I guess.”
It tasted creamy with a sharp contrast of fruit and the added bonus of a couple of chewy pistachio nuts into the bargain.
As they dug into their ice creams, Nick reflected on why he enjoyed her company so much. One, she was a hell of a lot of fun to be with, and two, she was always up for anything, and whatever they did, she enjoyed. He was a little disconcerted to find himself comparing her to Jen in that respect, and the difference was startlingly obvious. Jen was considerably harder to please...although he had to admit that even she was partial to a bowl of Dodonos ice cream.
As she ate, Sal managed to guess that her bowl also contained banana and raspberry flavoured ice creams, and they tasted divine. When she reached the bottom of her bowl, she scraped out the remaining juices and put her spoon down, sitting back with a satisfied look on her face.
“That was like a marathon ice cream eating contest; I can’t believe I managed to eat it all.”
“Yeah well, you haven’t finished yet, you still have one more of mine to guess,” he said, lifting his spoon up to her.
“I can’t possibly! I’m way too full of ice cream now,” she exclaimed.
“Come on Sal, just one more mouthful or you’ll lose the contest,” he challenged.
She sighed and opened her mouth. He moved the spoon towards her and she went to take it in her mouth but at the last moment he flicked the spoon upwards and caught her on the nose, covering it with ice cream. She squealed and sprang back, grabbing a paper napkin and wiping the substance away. He chuckled.
“You’re in trouble now Nicholas!” she growled, picking up her spoon and diving for his ice cream.
He grabbed her by the wrist however and she gasped in shock as he managed to smudge another spoonful of ice cream on her face from his own spoon. He looked delighted and extremely proud of himself, so she picked up some of his ice cream with her hand and caught him unawares.
“Right, that’s it!” he shouted, jumping out of his chair, running around the table, catching her around the waist and picking her up bodily to throw her over his shoulder.
She shrieked and tried to wriggle free. “Put me down Nick!”
He laughed and turned to see her bottom so temptingly close, it was more temptation than he could resist.
“I told you not to play with your ice cream you naughty girl,” he said, spanking her. “Just wait until I get you home.”
She looked up in horror to see the people outside the cafe watching them. “He’s just a friend, honest,” she said with embarrassment.
“You really shouldn’t have goaded me like that,” he continued, enjoying every minute, “because you know what the punishment will be. You’ll have to do all those things I love to make it up to me now!”
She was mortified by the look on the people’s faces, although she couldn’t help but laugh. “Ooops, here comes the waiter. I think it’s time to go now Nick,” she warned him.
The waiter didn’t look impressed, and Nick relented, putting her down and reaching into his pocket for some money. “Quick Sal, check the receipt on the table. How much do we owe?”
Sal dived for the receipt. “Twelve Euros.”
He threw fifteen Euros down on the table, grabbed Sal’s hand and they ran off down the street, giggling like naughty school children.