I'm finishing up my Christmas story, but in the meantime here's a little something I wrote. If you've read Another Chance, you'll recognise the scene...
This is unedited and subject to editing but here is part of Lauren's story that I'm working on over Christmas.
The following morning, she saw just how happy Mark was. She made him a coffee, black with no sugar deliberately as she knew that bugged him. Knowing Cassie had recently left, she entered his room with it, to find him lying in bed with that shit eating grin on his face. “Thought you might be needing this,” she said,
“Thanks,” he replied, “I don’t feel too bad all things considered.”
Lauren laughed. “If that’s what screwing someone much younger does to a hangover, I’ll have to keep an eye out for one for me.”
He grinned. “She’s gorgeous, isn’t she? Just perfect.”
“She’s a lovely girl, Mark. Is this going to be one of your fly by night stopovers or are you actually going to stick with this one for a while?”
He took a sip of coffee and pulled a face. “If she’ll have me.”
Lauren sat on the end of the bed. “I don’t believe it. The eternal bachelor Mark Burrows bowled over by a single mum. Are you sure this is a good idea? What if it blows up in your face, and you hurt her and the kid.”
“The kid is pretty amazing too. Hell Lauren, I know I’m not perfect, but I would like to give this a go. Cassie deserves a man who will love her and take care of her and I’m pretty sure that’s something I can do.”
“She’ll need more than pretty sure.”
“Fine. Very sure. I’ve never wanted anything so much my whole life.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“Lauren, I’ve never felt this way about anyone. Not even when I was in that screwed up relationship with Jess all that time. Cassie makes me feel new, she has this energy for life that’s just so infectious. Working at her place, it just felt like I fit in. She’s normal, Lauren. No crazy drunken bullshit.”
“I never thought you’d be interested in something other than what you always had.”
“When I’m with her, I can see the future. Like everything I ever needed is in her. I probably just sound crazy.” He laughed, his eyes twinkling with excitement.
“You sound like a man in love, big brother.”
“Maybe I am. She’s just awesome, Lauren. Really sweet, and we got off to a bit of a weird start, but I think we’re on track now.”
Lauren closed her eyes. As Cassie left, Lauren had put her foot in it, mentioning Mark’s habit of loving and leaving them. She opted not to tell him that.
“That’s great Mark. I didn’t really get to talk much with her, but she looked nice.”
“Nice doesn’t cover it. Last night was incredible.”
“Too much information.”
He grinned. “I don’t care. I want the world to know I’m crazy about Cassie Warren, and I think she really likes me too.”
“Then I’m happy for you Mark, and I hope everything works out for you.”
“You don’t think it will?”
“Your track record isn’t that great. If you want to turn things around though, I believe in you big brother.”
“Thanks, Lauren, that means a lot.”
For the rest of the day he paced the house, annoying Lauren as she continued to clean up after the party.
“You could help me, you know.”
“Sorry. I’m just trying to stop myself going to see her.”
“Well, go and bloody see her then.”
“I don’t want to crowd her.”
He met Lauren’s eye, and she saw the frustration on his face. “Mark, if she feels the same way, go and bug the shit out of her. She’ll love it. You don’t want her thinking you’re ignoring her.”
Mark pulled a face. “I didn’t think of that. Is that what she’ll think?”
“I don’t know. Either way you are wound so tight, I think you’d explode if I poked you.”
To demonstrate, she poked him with her index finger. “Ouch,” he said, rubbing the side she had touched.
Lauren laughed. “Oh for crying out loud Mark. Go and see the poor girl, put yourself out of your misery. Buy her flowers.”
“Will there be a florist open at this time of day?”
She rolled her eyes. “I don’t know. If you can’t find one, go to the supermarket. Might be a bit crap, but it’s the thought that counts.”
Mark’s face finally cracked into a smile.
“That’s better. Go get her.”
“I expect a full report when I get back too. Leave nothing out.”
He grinned. “I thought you said it was too much information this morning?”
“Not that kind of report. Dick.”
Ariadne Wayne is the pen name of an overworked, often exhausted mother of two who frequently turns to the internet for relaxation. It doesn't always work...