The shock was sudden. As if I was watching a ghost, or a Ferrari driving in. Here she was in her glorious passion-red dress, and Louisa was right behind her. I think I stopped with both hands on my open jacket. I think my mouth was open.
‘Oh, dear, we’ve scared him.’ said Louisa flatly, as she closed the door.
‘Janice knows that she’s not supposed to be here’, Louisa said.
‘And Janice could do with a drink’ said Janice, eyeing my rum.
So, this was the reason I was dismissed, earlier. My mood brightened immediately.
I hardly knew where to start the conversation, pouring the last of the rum into two clean glasses, but I stumbled through something like ‘So, what’s going on, girls’?
Janice had made herself comfortable on the couch, and Louisa was sitting primly on the edge of the bed.
‘We were talking cabin size, and I said how huge yours was’, said Louisa. ‘Janice wanted to see it.’
‘The cabin’ Janice jumped in. We all laughed. I looked sheepish. How the fuck was this going to work itself out? I tried to loosen the conversational knot.
‘So, what have you two been discussing’? I asked.
‘Similar likes and dislikes’, offered Louisa, and those beautiful eyes flashed as if they were the recipients of a couple of thousand volts of electricity. Then she stood, took a drink, walked around the coffee table, sat on the couch, and planted a kiss on Janice’s mouth. As she pulled away, Janice’s eyes widened in surprise. Louisa put her drink on the table. She stared at Janice, almost daring her to say something.
My heart rate shot up. If this passenger had any kind of problem with this, now was the time when the whole situation would deteriorate quickly.
‘You surprised me’. Said Janice, but not smiling. I could see the green of her eyes as she looked from Louisa to me, weighing up her next move. I glanced at the door, then immediately regretted it, in case it would be taken as the wrong signal – one of imprisonment. We were on a knife edge, here. Louisa made a theatrical gesture of putting her hand on Janice’s knee. I could hear my heart banging through my rib-cage, trying to escape. My dick was, suddenly, a flag pole.
‘Stop crowding me!’ Janice looked as if she was suddenly aware that things had taken a left hand turn, and she was trying to catch up. She looked at me, and panic started to rise in my throat.
‘Can’t you control this woman?’
‘Louisa, stop it.’ I said, but it didn’t come out like a warning.
There was a brief second of a heavy, suffocating silence. I caught another whiff of Janice’s perfume that I had smelled earlier. It mingled with Louisa’s into a heady,potent mix. I thought she looked trapped. Was she scared?
‘You are no fun’. Louisa taunted, and got up to return to the bed. Then everything changed.
Janice’s best teacher’s voice came out. Not an order, more like the brief word of warning that things could get sticky if certain practices either were or weren’t followed in the future.
‘I said, control her, John’.
As Louisa walked past me, I got up, and took her by the wrist pulling her toward me. My heart was doing a salsa and, through her wrist, I could feel that hers was too.
‘What now?’ I asked, conversationally.
‘I don’t like being crowded in’ said Janice ‘how would she like it?’ Her eyes were wide, because of her glasses. She was clearly looking as if she was about to start enjoying something – like lights down in the cinema when a much anticipated movie was about to start.