By Annabel Schofield

By Annabel Schofield

Chapter 8: Cannes, 1991 continued...

Angelika’s bleary eyes creaked painfully open. She was lying fully dressed, top to tail with Samantha in her narrow single bed in Sam’s elegant hotel suite. Luke lay snoring exuberantly in the second bed that was situated across the room.

               “Oh God.” murmured Angelika, who surmised that hormonal hamsters had to have been fornicating all night in her mouth. 

               Samantha's eyes snapped open. “You are aware that you kept me up all night, talking and kicking me?”

               “I'm sorry. I feel terrible, I really do...” replied Angelika, chastened. Samantha could be such a mother some times, and Lord knows she didn’t need one of those right now.

               “I am a pregnant woman, you know.” admonished Sam, “Oh zip it. Here's an Advil. And water. Rehydrate.”

               Angelika gratefully accepted them and then she looked over at Luke’s disheveled and bedridden form. “Who’s he?” she asked.

               “You're oldest and dearest friend, apparently.” replied Samantha, snottily.

               Angelika incredulously mouthed "Really?" and Samantha nodded. As if to underline the point, Luke chose that moment to fart voluptuously in his sleep. 

               “Weird.” responded Angelika, pulling her Gucci frock into a slightly more modest assemblage. “Well. What do you want to do today? Personally, I feel like sleeping by the pool."

               “Can do.” said Samantha, while stiffly pulling herself out of the tiny bed and tottering to the bathroom. 

               “Oh shit, hang on, I'm supposed to meet someone...” Angelika wracked her echoing memory for an inkling of a clue, but no, millions of brain cells were definitely gone for good this time.

               Luke stirred, muttered “Herbie the Lovebug.” And then he immediately resumed snoring. 

               “Excuse me?” replied Angelika, and then with a heavy thud it struck home, “Oh fuck, he's right.” She looked up at Sam who had just emerged from the bathroom clad in a complementary Hotel Majestic bathrobe and asked, “Can you hand me the phone?”

               Samantha begrudgingly passed it over and Angelika frantically dialed a local number. A very sleepy and hung-over Shelly finally answered it. “Yes?”

               “Shel,” croaked a husky–voiced Angelika, “we're supposed to be having lunch, right? With Herbie the lovebug.” 

               Shelly sounded more than a little confused, “Oh..Who?...oh...sorry, darling, I can't make it - rampant runs. Don’t even think of coming over here, it’s truly a scene of utter depravity and I’m probably highly contagious.”

               “Lovely. Well I'm not going alone.” pouted Angelika, while desperately searching for a hand mirror in her purse. Having located one, she immediately regretted that rash decision.

               “You'll be fine,” continued Shelly, “Herbie's a doll. As long as you're in the restaurant, what could possibly happen? Stop being such a baby, he's really important. You have to go. It's the Hotel Du Cap.”

               “OK. Fine.’ said a resigned Angelika, ”I'll get a cab. Look, eat some bread. Feel better and I'll call you later.” She then hung up the phone, looked at Samantha and said, “Shit.”

The surly French cab driver deposited Angelika outside the wildly impressive entrance to the uber-chic Hotel Du Cap. This was where the real players stayed and a bar bill here could within minutes reach such dizzying heights that one would have no choice but to immediately procure a second mortgage. Angelika gazed up in awe at the serenely palatial hotel exterior and the phalanx of feral looking yet elegantly well-behaved cypress trees that lined the driveway as she shakily paid for the cab.

              Angelika was still wearing last night’s now decidedly off-white and rather inappropriate-for-lunch Gucci confection as Samantha had had nothing to offer her in the way of non-stained, non-maternity couture. She’d managed a quick shower and had tried to repair her wrecked makeup, but thankfully Samantha had been charitable enough to lend her friend a fabulous pair of sunglasses and now Angelika didn’t look too bad, if all things were considered. She gave a silent prayer that Herbie wouldn’t remember her look from the previous night. He was straight after all, she reasoned, and straight men rarely notice designer gowns until they physically have to pay for them.

              “Merci bien.”  shouted Angelika to the disappearing dust cloud that had until just recently been her ride. A grey haired concierge approached smiling, which marginally took the edge off her intense sartorial discomfort.

              “Mademoiselle Angelique? Monsieur Schuley vous attendez.”

              “Huh?” replied Angelika, as her own native tongue was a struggle right now, let alone advanced bloody Francais.

              “Mister Schuley, he is wait for you.” said the charming concierge. Angelika smiled, feeling much more at home. She really liked this man.

              “Cool. Where's the restaurant? Je suis starving.”

              “Follow me, mademoiselle, s’il vous plait.”  Angelika suddenly felt very Audrey Hepburn and as gracefully as her long, tight skirt would allow, she hobbled after the lovely man into the hushed marble lobby of the famed Hotel Du Cap.

Angelika was finding it a touch irregular that the restaurant appeared to be situated down one of the maze-like residential corridors, but she let it go. What did she know? Maybe that’s how they did it in Cannes. She was feeling decidedly too brain-dead to argue the point in any language; her stomach was concave and growling from lack of food and she also sensed that a rapidly administered cocktail might just help matters no end.

             Finally they reached a door subtly marked Eden Roc Suite and the concierge discretely rapped upon it.

             “This is the restaurant?” queried Angelika, trying not to panic.

             Mais, non. Is much better.” replied the concierge.

             A tiny warning bell chimed in the far off recesses of Angelika’s addled psyche, but there wasn’t much that she could do now without looking like a completely unsophisticated dweep, so she stayed her ground, while nervously stifling her instinct to run.

             The door opened and an effusive, smiling Herbie appeared, wearing a prohibitively expensive, most definitely cut-to-order Brioni suit and a pink Lacoste sports shirt. Herbie obviously didn’t shop at The Big and Tall and he certainly was no prettier in daylight. “Merci, Henri. You can go.”

             The bowing concierge obeyed and Angelika gulped as her guardian disappeared in the opposite direction from which they’d just come. “Angelika. How are you? Still sporting the fabulous Gucci, I see!” continued Herbie, opening the door wide.

             Angelika flushed and looked beyond Herbie into what was the most glorious and spacious suite ever to be perched on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. The aquamarine ocean stretched to infinity beyond the terrace and there was a palpable aura of elegant calm as a light sea breeze wafted sensuously through the room, carrying with it the co-mingled scents of gardenia and jasmine. Talk about a room with a view. A white, linen-draped table was set up elegantly on the wraparound terrace and a fine bottle of vintage Dom Perignon idled teasingly on ice. Angelika reflected that she could probably die here very happily.

             “Wow. Not bad.” she said, knowing full well that this had to be the understatement of the millennium.

             “Come in.” welcomed Herbie.

             Angelika couldn’t discern any visible sharp teeth or any protruding dorsal fins, and so against all of her better judgment, she stepped cautiously across the threshold into Herbie’s exquisitely airy suite.

             Herbie led Angelika to the marble tiled terrace where he expertly popped the champagne’s cork and without spilling a drop, poured her a glass of Dom Perignon. He raised his in a toast and smiled, “To you.”

             “Yeah. I'm fab.” replied Angelika, who felt stupidly overwhelmed by all of this. They silently sipped their respective glasses, and the wine was perfect; the flavor, the temperature, even the crystal glass was undeniably the finest Angelika had ever experienced. Herbie immediately refilled her glass and Angelika felt herself begin to relax.

             “Sit, Angelika, I won't bite. Have some fois gras.”

             Angelika sat on the softly yielding chair and then she helped herself to one of the tiny round toasts that were thickly spread with pale, creamy and delicious pate’. The sensation was incredible as it burst in her mouth while teasing her taste buds into love-struck submission.

             “Oh my God. That is the best thing I've ever tasted, really.” She said, trying desperately to remember her table manners, while fighting an undeniable urge to stuff the whole lot into her face.

             “Have some more.” said Herbie, while negotiating his enormous carcass into the spindly chair opposite Angelika’s. She didn’t wait to be asked twice, and she devoured the pate’, then the oysters, then the goat cheese and endive salad which had been delicately doused in a tangy raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. She had evidently been transported to gastronomic heaven. Herbie watched her with amusement as he chain-smoked and periodically refilled her glass. He’d never seen an actress eat quite this much before. Actually, he’d never seen an actress eat, period.

             The wine and the victuals were helping immeasurably and Angelika eventually found herself coming back to life. Herbie started to talk about his passion for film and literature and they discovered that they shared a mutual love of many of the same books that they would both have like to see made into features. Herbie actually owned the rights to some of her favourites and he spoke eloquently and zealously about continuing to make the kind of interesting, challenging films that no other mainstream studio in Hollywood would ever touch.

             Angelika found it incredibly refreshing. Herbie was a hyper-literate and extremely intelligent being and he had real integrity when it came to film. He actually made her want to continue acting but on the caveat that she should hold out for projects with real artistic value. She sensed that he was on the verge of offering her just that kind of career with Everest Films and she was deeply flattered.  My God, she thought, this powerful man gets me. She knew then with absolute clarity that her life’s course was about to change dramatically.

They were half way through the second bottle of Dom, when Herbie suddenly stubbed out his umpteenth cigarette and after struggling with his mountainous stomach, he pushed his chair back from the table and emphatically announced,

             “Hey, Angelika, I've got a great idea. Let's put on bathrobes and give each other massages.”

             The warning bell now came screaming back, but this time with fire alarm intensity. “Huh?” She replied, almost choking on her chilled champagne.

             But Herbie had already started undressing, right there in the middle of the marble terrace and the man weighed three hundred pounds if he was an ounce. Angelika smiled, weakly.

             “C'mon, what are you waiting for?” continued Herbie enthusiastically, as if this was the most normal thing in the world.

             Herbie was now clad solely in a pair of enormous Y-front briefs and a luxurious Hotel Du Cap bathrobe, only he was so morbidly obese that the tie belt couldn't begin to circumnavigate his huge bulk.

             “C'mon - take something off!” he demanded.

             Angelika, who was seriously freaked out by now, hastily removed her shoes. “There you go!” she smiled, as winningly as possible, given that she was about to be molested by Moby Dick. This didn’t placate Herbie.

             “No. Put on a bathrobe!” he said, generously throwing one at her. Angelika dutifully wrapped the sumptuous bathrobe around her fully clad form.

             Herbie was rapidly becoming intensely irritated. “You're so fucking uptight, C'mon relax! Get on the bed, I'll massage you.”

             Angelika had no fucking idea how to handle this one, so she tried her level best to act cool until she could figure a way out, “No that's okay, Herbie, I'm fine. Totally chilled.”

             Herbie then approached Angelika and forcefully pulled her up from the table, dragged her across the room and pushed her face down on the immense Egyptian cotton-swathed bed.  “You'll sit on the bed.”  he said, an unspoken threat evident in his guttural tone.

             Breathing heavily, he began rubbing her shoulders, hard. Angelika was frightened by now but somewhere inside of herself she realized that she was relieved that she wasn’t entirely sober, otherwise she might seriously fucking lose it and God knows what he’d do then. The man was a maniac; a huge, scary, drunk, powerful maniac. Angelika had to remain calm and think, God-damnit.

             “Um, Herbie...I'm not entirely comfortable with this situation.” squeaked Angelika, with further crashing understatement.

             “Why?” replied Herbie, who looked genuinely perplexed by her continuing resistance.

             “Um...You know what?” Angelika looked hopefully at Herbie, “I really dig you a lot, but my whole thing is that I only like young stupid boys that I can boss around?”

             Suddenly, Herbie sank to his knees by the side of the bed and looked up at her imploringly, in the manner of a young lamb and pouted, “Angelika, I can be really docile.” 

             Oh Christ, thought Angelika, well at least he was off the bed, “No, it's not that, Herbie,” she continued looking down at his supine form, “you're such a powerful and interesting man, that it couldn't possibly work. I mean, I could never really, properly disrespect you enough. On that level.”

             Herbie stood up, scarily red-faced and thoroughly incensed and then he violently threw Angelika's Robert Clergerie sandals at her. “Well, get the fuck out of my suite,”  he screamed, “and you can tell that cunt Shelly that I want my fucking money back.”

             Angelika, shoes in hand, leapt off the bed, grabbed her bag and sunglasses and then she sprinted for the door, slamming it fast behind her.

Chapter Two: New York, 1984

 HOSPITAL - LA – JANUARY, 1st 2000

                “She did not!”  said an astonished Athena. The sky outside the hospital was orange-black now. “I don’t believe it!”

               “Oh yes she did,” replied Angelika, smirking at the memory,“It certainly was an eye opener, that trip.”

               “What happened to Sophie?” asked Athena.

               “Well she dumped Raphael soon enough, married an earl and now lives in a castle in Scotland with her three adorable tow-headed children and is frequently featured in the pages of Field and Stream magazine. She also breeds pedigree Highland terriers. Quite successfully, by all accounts.”

               “Wow.” Athena marveled at this. “But that experience must have put you off, surely?” Angelika looked at Athena, a naughty grin playing at the corners of her dehydrated mouth.

               “Oh no, I was just getting started. It was the adventure, you see?  I was totally addicted to the adventure...”

NEW YORK, 1984

Angelika, clad in a silver Stephen Sprouse mini dress exited a yellow cab outside The Palladium nightclub on 14th Street. She was closely followed by Samantha, a drop dead gorgeous brunette who was wearing her habitual evening attire – a skin tight, black rubber Daniel James confection. They were the living embodiment of the term ‘dressed to kill’. In fact, any flying viscera would have wiped right off their shiny clothing with consummate ease. Their heels were high, their hair was big, their lips were liquid red and they were fierce.

               Angelika had met Samantha on a particularly depressing lingerie shoot in London, a few months after she had arrived in the city. Angelika had never seen anyone quite like Samantha before. Most models wore jeans and T-shirts to work for comfort, but not Samantha. Samantha did not believe in comfort, nor did the word exist in her vocabulary. She had arrived at the studio in her lipstick red Mercedes sporting a leopard print mini skirt, a crimson leather jacket and thigh high stiletto boots. How she could manage to walk in those heels was anybody’s guess, but when one looked like Samantha, it follows that one never had to walk overly far.

               Angelika’s first impression was that dusky Samantha must be some kind of a Brazilian hooker, but Samantha soon set her straight. Under her slutty, exotic exterior beat the warm heart of a died in the wool East London daddy’s girl. She was Catholic, loved her close-knit family and was possessed of a biting wit and a deep intelligence. They bonded immediately and co-owned the elitist London club scene shortly afterward. Once that had become tired, they had made the inevitable westwardly mobile move to New York City.

               Angelika’s career had exploded immediately and she’d been shot for the cover of Vogue during her very first week in the city, and although Samantha also worked steadily, she was even more curvaceous than lush Angelika and therefore was not considered ‘editorial’;  a term which meant that she would always be consigned to well-paying, but not overly glamourous, catalogue and lingerie work. Samantha was totally unfazed by this and proceeded to feast lustily on the rock and roll lifestyle that embodied early ‘80’s New York.

               Angelika and Samantha coolly sashayed down the street towards The Palladium which was the hottest nightclub in New York at that white-hot moment. A horde of hopeful club-goers and paparazzi thronged the velvet rope. The former were desperately trying to convince the guardian of the guest list that they had enough cash, coke or clout to be admitted; while the latter ravenously eyed the arrivals for a glimpse of anyone worth wasting a flashbulb upon.

               The cross-dressing doorperson, for it would be considered deeply square to label such a fabulous being by something as mundane as mere sex, instantly spotted the girls.

               “Angelika! Samantha! Walk this way, ladies!” The girls squeezed through the crowd of scowling untouchables and entered through the instantaneously raised velvet rope. They air-kissed the shimmering creature, who immediately pressed a wad of drinks tickets into their perfectly manicured hands. The photographers surged forward and proceeded to blind them but Angelika and Samantha posed expertly, proffering perfect head tilts, and then with exemplary timing, they turned on their precipitous heels and strutted away into the cavernous club.

               The girls stalked through the grandiosly baroque lobby, up the wide staircase and along the balcony where they stopped briefly to gaze down at the dance-floor. Things were just getting started. Early bird yuppies were busting out their twitchy coke moves to Grace Jones’ ‘Slave to the Rhythm.’ Angelika and Samantha looked at each other in perfect syncronicity.

               “Mike Todd Room?” Samantha raised a quizical eyebrow.

               “Mike Todd Room.” concurred Angelika.

               The Mike Todd Room was The Palladium’s VIP area and the enclave of the truly fabulous and it was tougher to get a pass to than the war room at the Pentagon. Angelika and Samantha were whisked straight through by the doorman and then they headed directly to the bar. Party fixture Anita Sarko was spinning records while dressed in a gloriously lurid costume topped with an outrageous lime green wig. She raised a glass of champagne in a toast and winked at the girls as they paased by her DJ booth.

               Two champagne-filled flutes miraculously appeared and were placed unbidden into the girls’ hands. Two grinning yuppies in Brooks Brothers suits, both exuding Wall Street sweat and reeking of Polo and new money, sidled up either side of Angelika and Samantha. How the fuck did they get in there? The girls silently wondered as they exchanged a subtle look of ‘not in this lifetime’ and politely smiled their thanks. One of the yuppies leaned in, whispered in Samantha’s ear then he discretely handed her something. She beamed at Angelika and then winked and whispered, “Join me in my office?”

               Angelika elegantly extricated herself from the second yuppie’s clammy and proprietal arm and carrying her glass of champagne, followed Samantha’s swaying, rubber-clad butt towards the bathroom.

               The bathroom at The Palladium was unisex, whether by design or by default, nobody knew for sure. It was easily as entertaining inside these hallowed walls as was the freakshow in the club proper. Drag queens were intently fixing their lashes, their lipliner and their stocking seams; beautiful boys with chiselled cheekbones were openly snorting cocaine and poppers; a couple of indeterminate gender was having noisy, uninhibited sex in one of the stalls. It was just another Wednesday night in Manhattan.

               Angelika and Samantha sauntered into a vacant cubicle and shut the door purposefully behind them. By force of habit, Angelika immediately crouched at toilet lid level, produced a cut-down drinking straw and a Gold American Express card from the recesses of her purse and  looked up to Samantha expectantly.

                “No, love, look what I got! Pressies!” Samantha then opened her hand, revealing a transparent golden plastic capsule which was filled with a sparkling white powder. 

                “What is it?” asked Angelika, a little disappointed, as she’d had her young heart set on a nice juicy line of the yuppies’ cocaine; yuppies often got the best coke, because God knows they could afford it.

                “MDMA. Ecstasy?” replied Samantha, knowledgeably.

                “I heard it was bad for you.” said Angelika after a moment, being in her own mind, the voice of reason.

                “Your point being?” replied Samantha, nonplussed. 

                Angelika looked at Samantha and then back at the glistening capsule. “So what do we do with it?”

                Samantha grinned devilishly as she placed their champagne glasses onto the closed lid of the toilet. She expertly twisted open the capsule, emptying half of the powder into each of their glasses.  Taking Angelika's straw from out of her friend’s hand, she swirled the powder into each glass of the effervescing liquid. Then the girls picked up their respective glasses, raised them in a toast and swallowed the mixture down, fast. The metallic chemical taste was disgusting and Angelika grimaced as Samantha burped elegantly and said through gritted teeth,  “No pain, no gain!”

                The girls laughed conspiratorally and after carefully wiping their glossy mouths, they exited the stall.

    The mulicoloured disco lights wheeled dizzyingly above the heaving dancefloor as the tiny but smoking hot latino DJ, Jellybean Benitez tantalizingly dropped ‘Get into the Groove’ by new pop wet dream,  Madonna. The crowd went crazy, fuelled by an unstoppable combination of chemical energy and youthful libido. Angelika and Samantha were to be found at the epicenter of it all, surrounded by writhingly hormonal admirers, each one trying to outdance the next. The yuppies from The Mike Todd Room had finally recognized that they were outclassed and out-sexed, and were hanging back hopelessly, mutely watching the two gorgeous girls with wide eyed lust from the Siberian edge of the dancefloor.

                Samantha threw back her beautiful head while flirting with one of the dancers - a stunning Puerto Rican rocker boy sporting a leather jacket and a ripped, Vivienne Westwood T-shirt. The sexy, snake-hipped androgyne grabbed her waist, pulling her into his shiny and enticing crotch, but she pulled away, laughing. Samantha shook her head admonishingly at the boy and then she glanced over at Angelika, who had suddenly stopped dancing and was looking rather unsteady on her stilettos. Samantha calmly approached Angelika and grabbed her wrist and then they stared into each others’ dilated black pupils for a long moment. Angelika reeled slightly, her eyelids were blinking unnaturally quickly along with the whirling, schizophrenic lighting.

                Samantha gently put her arms around her friend and said, “Hey, it’s OK, love, it's supposed to be like this at the beginning. Just breathe and give in to it.”  Angelika looked at Samantha again, trying in vain to calm the beat of her too-fast heart.

                Suddenly, an incredible wave of physical sensation was overtaking Angelika; she felt as if exploding dancing pixels of light were traveling from her brain, through her breasts, down to her crotch, melting all tension along the way and turning her body into a hot molten liquid. She felt unbelievably horny, but also incredibly affectionate and expansive all in the same moment.

                Through chattering teeth, Angelika stuttered, “Oh my God...”

                She grinned and looked around her; everyone present was beaming, beautiful, glowing with warmth and empathy. She then threw her long slender arms around Samantha and kissed her, saying sincerely and without irony and for the first time since they’d met, “I love you so much.”

                “That tends to be a known side effect.” laughed Samantha, fondly kissing her friend’s dewy cheek.

                Jellybean then masterfully mixed in ‘A Love Bizarre’ by Prince prodigy, Shiela E and the crowd started to chant along, their fists pumping the steamy air as one being. “A! B! A, B, C, D...” Angelika and Samantha hugged a long time, and then proceeded to abandon themselves to the intense electronic beat.

               It was much, much later and Angelika was glamourously lounging on a black velvet banquette back in The Mike Todd Room with Kirk, a fabulous Scottish hairdresser

whom she’d known since the rainy, low paid and mundane catalogue days. Since then, both of their careers had exploded along a parallel and rather stellar trajectory. But apart from that, Angelika just adored Kirk’s personality with his contradictory combination of knife-sharp humour juxtaposed with a familiar Celtic warmth.  Hilarious and irreverent, Kirk had of late become a legend in his field; he was now a revered magician of the follicles who, within minutes of weilding a skinny teasing comb and a whopping can of Elnett, could transform any ordinary shop-girl into the living embodiment of Polish supermodel, Paulina Poriskova. But Kirk didn’t need to work his genius on mere shop girls anymore; no way - Kirk's Glasgow salon days were well and truly behind him; there were eponymous hair-serum lines and nationally - aired infomercials in Kirk's bright, shiny and well-groomed future. 

  Kirk and Angelika were sweatily holding hands and sharing a damp Marlboro Light while idly taking the piss out of the nefarious night-crawlers who, in the manner of ravenous truffle pigs were schnuffling around the corners of the club on a desperately unsubtle quest for fresh and piquant new pleasures. Abruptly changing the subject while stating the bloody obvious, Angelika suddenly announced, “I took Ecstasy, Kirk.”  

              “You don’t say.” Kirk replied, patently unsurprised by this,, as his normally quite lovely but generally unaffectionate friend had never been quite this snuggly before. “Never would have guessed. And how does madam like her new drug?” 

               “I feel like the star of my own movie.” replied Angelika, smiling contentedly while cuddling deep into Kirk’s Gaultier-swathed shoulder. Kirk nodded and experly blew a smoke ring.  

              “Darling, you are a star, a superstar. Don't they throw money at you?”

              “They do, Kirk, they simply hurl it at me from great heights.” grinned Angelika, goofily.

               “Poor bairn. Now where’s the old tart?” replied Kirk while scanning the rapidly thinning crowd.        
               “Samantha?” muttered Angelika, who was relishing the sensation of Kirk’s bunny-soft cashmere against her cheek. “Last time I saw her, she was wrapped around Billy Idol. Or Matt Dillon. Either or.”      
               As if paged from above, Samantha suddenly materialized towing English punk rock 

star, Billy Idol in her sexy wake. Behind his studded and leather-clad back, Sam made a 
smug face at Angelika expressing her self-congratulation at her brilliant pulling skills. Evidently,
the rock’n roll gods had smiled upon her this particular evening. Angelika nodded her approval 
and then squinted as subtly as possible at "Billy". It wasn’t actually him, but in this smoky and forgiving light, he could pass.

               “Hmm...and how are my children of the night?” inquired Angelika. ‘Not Billy Idol’ had the cheekbones, the perpetual sneer and the Cockerney accent down pat.    

 “Al'right?”  he opined, patently a man of few words. Samantha grabbed his gloved hand, pulled him close and kissed him on his perfectly sculpted, sepulchre white cheek.

               “Living the dream, darling!” beamed Samantha, “Living the fuckin’ dream. Aisha's having a party. C'mon.”

                                “Aisha?” inquired ‘Not Billy’, looking endearingly baffled, an expression that his new 
               friends would come to know well. Kirk, Samantha and Angelika replied in unison.    

                                “The one who dropped the baby on the Vogue shoot?”

              “Old butter fingers herself.” responded Kirk, grabbing Angelika’s sweaty paw and manhandling her off of the banquette and onto her teetering stiletto-shod feet to join Samantha and ‘Not Billy Idol.’

  Angelika then quietly whispered to Samantha. “I hate to be the one to break it to you my darling, but that's not him, you know. It’s definitely N.B.I” 

  Samantha shrugged insouciently,  “Like I care! I snogged Matt Dillon!”

               They both gave out a subtle whoop of triumph, as they had made a mutual pact several months previously after a particularly fevered viewing of Francis Ford Colppola’s ‘The Outsiders’  that Angelika would make it her life’s mission to snog actor, Rob Lowe and Samantha, Matt Dillon.       
                “The dream indeed. One down,” grinned Angelika, “one to go. Onwards and upwards….”       
                And with that, the swaying but fantastically attired group headed towards the staircase, out onto Fourteenth Street and into a waiting yellow cab which whisked them off into the potentially choppy waters of Alphabet City…..

Chapter One: Ocho Rios, Jamaica 1982 continued...

                  Back at the hotel, silent tears of amusement flowed down Angelika’s face as Peter replayed their adventure. She exhaled ganja smoke and passed him the joint. His fingers shook as he nervously grabbed the spliff.

                                  “It was not fucking funny, Angelika.” he said, toking hard and coughing painfully in the process. Angelika and Sophie burst out laughing and Raphael, who was furiously chopping out long rails of coke on an upturned hotel mirror, suddenly leapt up.  
                                  “No, man I'm telling you, it was fucking in..cred..ib..le...He goes like this..” he points his fingers, “and they all...poof...back off! No shit!”

                 Peter snorted a line from the mirror while checking out his diminishing hairline then he stood, puffed out his flabby chest and cocked his gun-hands. 
                 “True. I'm the fucking man! Say hello to my little friend, suckers!”

                 Peter passed the mirror and a rolled up banknote to Angelika, who eyed it suspiciously.

                 "This is wet, Peter? What's with the wet note? Drooling uncontrollably again?"

                 Peter shrugged, “Fucking humidity. Even the coke melts.” 

                 Angelika calmly walked to the mini-bar, found a drinking straw and professionally snipped it into thirds. She then snorted a line and passed it to Sophie who was still giggling inanely. Raphael started pacing, evidently freaked out by this piece of late-breaking news.

                 “Wet? The coke gets wet? What the fuck are we going to do, man? This is the shit problem, man...Turn the air conditioning on, rapido!”

                 Sophie hoovered up a line and passed the mirror to Raphael. 

                 “Relax, darling, come here...” she breathed. Raphael, ever obedient when it came to sex, snarfed the biggest line and dutifully sat with Sophie; they then proceeded to devour each other.

                 Angelika and Peter shared an uncomfortable glance and Angelika took another hit off the joint. Long moments passed, as she heard Sophie and Raphael’s tongues slapping together and her stomach churned. She realized that she hadn’t consumed any solid food in hours. Angelika breathed deeply and closed her eyes. Suddenly, she didn’t feel so great; her heart was pounding. She was way too fucking high. 

                 Angelika opened her eyes. Peter was chopping out yet another set of fat white rails. Sophie and Raphael were staring intently at her, both emanating a disquieting predatory demeanor. Who were these people? Angelika tried in vain to control her rising panic.

                 Sophie alluringly patted the seat next to her. “Are you okay, darling? Come over here...”  Angelika blinked her dry eyes and looked hard at Sophie and weasel boy. She felt extremely vulnerable.   
                 “I'm cool really, no problem.”  Peter noisily snorted another line and sucked it back with gusto. He then handed the smeared mirror to Angelika.

                 “Angel! Have another line! That'll set you straight.”

                 Angelika shook her head and shakily got up from the bed. “That's enough excitement for one night, guys. Think I'd better get some sleep.”

                 The others found this statement an absolute riot. Raphael eyed her knowingly.

                 “You'll be lucky....if you're lonely, cara, you know where to find us. Room 101 for non-stop fun.” He laughed maniacally at his brilliant joke and blew at her what was evidently supposed to be a suggestive kiss.

                 Angelika smiled weakly as she edged towards the door.

                 “’Night. See you in the morning. 7 am call, right?” Angelika closed the door behind her and fled down the corridor towards the haven of air conditioned calm that was her hotel room.

Raphael was right about something, there was no fucking way that Angelika could sleep and she lay in bed sweating miserably, her heart threatening to burst through her chest. Every night sound was amplified a thousand-fold; especially the resonant basso profundo of the incongruously tiny fucking tree frogs.

                 She obsessively replayed the evening in her head. Angelika could still feel all of their dilated, vulpine eyes boring into her. She shifted her position in the sweat-soaked sheets and wished again that Athena was here to talk her down. But her sister would be so disappointed with her. Everyone would. What was she doing? Almost gang raped by lust-crazed policemen then narrowly avoiding a menage a’ trois with a pair of decadent Euro Trash? Well she’d asked for it, hadn’t she?  She hadn’t wanted a dull evening.

                 Suddenly, there was a strangely new and unnatural noise coming from outside the window. Angelika crept under the bedsheets, hoping desperately that whatever it was would lose interest and go away. She held her breath and squeezed her eyes shut, deciding to adopt the ostrich approach.

                 It didn’t lose interest.

                 “Darling, are you OK? Can I come in and help you get to sleep? I’ll sing you a lullaby.” It was Peter calling from the balcony next door.

                 Angelika breathed out in irritated relief, “No, bugger off Peter, really I’m fine.”

                 “Are you sure, Angel? It’s no bother, I can climb right over.”  He then attempted to do so, somehow managing to shatter a glass in the process.

                 “Fuck.” said Peter, this rapidly followed by a muffled yelp of pain.

                 “Thanks, Peter, but I really must sleep.” squeaked Angelika, who was now fighting escalating hysteria.

                 “OK, see you in the morning, then.” A moribund Peter then crashed back over to his side of the dividing wall.

                 Angelika tossed over onto her right side, facing away from the offending balcony and sighed resignedly; it would be dawn soon, she was going to look just fabulous tomorrow. Or rather today. Her door handle suddenly rattled. Jesus, that was quick, she thought. Angelika sat up, pissed.

                 “Oh come on, Peter. I’m not interested, give it a rest. Please let me get some sleep!”

                 “No, darling, it’s Sophie. Raphael and I were just wondering if you’d like to come out and play with us. You must be awfully lonely in there.” Sophie! Angelika was incredulous. Christ! Since when had she become the one person in Jamaica that everybody was just desperate to shag?

                 “Sophie, that’s really nice of you both, but I’m knackered. I’ll see you in ..tomorrow. Er, later. Okay?”

                 Desperate whispering ensued. “Darling...” Sophie was obviously trying to placate her delightful new boyfriend. 

                 “Raphael will simply not take no for an answer.”

                 “Soph, he’ll have to,” replied Angelika, “I mean it. Have fun. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Trust me, that gives you plenty of leeway.”

                 Then Angelika dramatically thrust a pillow over her head as Sophie stumbled off into the gathering dawn to sample exotic and possibly illicit physical pleasures.

 At 7 am sharp, Angelika, ever the consummate professional, was dressed in black RayBan Wayfarers and ripped 501 Levis and was slouched by the location van that was parked in front of the hotel. She was smoking a Marlboro and desperately trying to hide her mounting paranoia and blearly eyes behind a veil of practiced insouciance. Two other models, nice clean-living girls from Manchester, girls who’d had the requisite eight hours sleep, and who were already seated inside the van expertly applying make up while yakking animatedly about last night’s phonecalls from their respective car-dealer boyfriends, while Angelika silently prayed for some blessed respite from her pounding cranium.

                Angelika couldn’t exactly see herself joining in on that conversation, so she lit another cigarette from the dog-end of the first and then watched immobile as Peter’s asthmatic assistant, Mike wheezingly loaded heavy silver metal camera cases into the back of the minivan.

                Then the French stylist, a cool and efficient bitch named Joelle, huffily appeared pushing a rail of garishly hued and decidedly flammable polyester catalogue clothing towards the van. On arrival, she did a silent head count and then glanced pointedly at her Cartier tank watch.

                “Where the fuck are they? Assholes.”

                Angelika shrugged in response as she was incabable of actual speech just yet. At that, Peter hastily exited the hotel’s main doors and ran tripping and sweating up to the van, while frantically buttoning up his sodden shirt. Angelika noticed that he was already sniffing loudly and she surreptitously rubbed her nose, hoping that Peter would get the semaphore message as his nostrils were caked with an encrusted white powder.

                “Breakfast of champions,” he mouthed at Angelika, “Right! Sorry everyone. All here? Good, let’s go.” He then inelegantly leapt into the driver’s seat of the van and proceeded to start the engine.

                Angelika took a seat behind Peter and quietly whispered to him, “Sophie’s not here. Sleep well, did we?”

                “Ha, ha, ha, very funny. I'll go get her.”  At that, Peter painfully fell out of the van, hurriedly righted himself and then shuffled off down a path towards the patio of an ocean view room that was situated on the ground floor of the hotel.

                Peter arrived breathlessly outside room 101 with his enlarged pores leaking stale alcohol. He suddenly caught sight of his depraved reflection in the glass sliding door and realized, not for the first time that he really ought to get some sleep at some point during the ‘80’s. He wiped his nose and then he ran his shaking fingers through his insane hair.

                The curtains were drawn tight as Peter rapped upon the glass. There was no response, so he tried again.

                “Sophie? Darling?” mewled Peter weakly.

                Not a sound was forthcoming from within. Peter tried to force the patio door but he found that it was already open. He gingerly slid it wide enough to let himself through, entered the hotel room and then he gasped as all the remaining blood drained from his already pallid complexion. Peter felt faint.

                Room 101 was a charnel house; it was brick red with dried blood. Two lifeless bodies lay entangled in the blood-soaked sheets; bloody hand prints patterned the walls and bloody clothing was twisted obscenely on the palm-frond patterned carpet.

                “Jesus Christ, no...” gulped Peter in bereft horror, simultaneously wondering how he was ever going to explain this shit to the clients back home.

                Suddenly, one of the bodies moved....a bloody but beatific Sophie blinked up at him. 
“Peter, darling, close the curtains, would you? Awfully fucking bright...”

                Peter didn’t know whether to kiss her or strangle her.  “Sophie, what the.. fuck?”

                Sophie looked bemusedly around at the blood-bath that was her room. 

                “Oh shit...that's right. Got the bloody curse, didn't I, darling?” 

                Peter retched. “Just get it together, will you, please?”

                “We’ll join you there in just a minute...” smiled Sophie, languidly stretching her magnificent and bloodstained naked torso. Peter then tripped over a bloody Maud Frizon sandal and fled the carnage.

                  Angelika sat by the pellucid pool at the expensively calm Jamaica Inn watching Peter and Mike set up the camera and tripod near some lush, shady foliage. It was bone-strippingly hot for 8.00 am. A white-gloved waiter appeared at her side with a black coffee in fine white china. She smiled gratefully and took it from him. After a few gulps of the strong Jamaican brew, she began to feel marginally more alert. Angelika fished in her purse for her cigarettes and shakily popped one in her mouth.

                   “Light, cara?” It was Raphael, who had mysteriously materialised from somewhere in the direction of the poolside bathroom. He was snuffling and scratching twitchily at his unshaven face. Angelika nodded, as she was in no position to argue. Raphael then proceeded to produce a box of matches from out of his too tight jeans’ pocket and clumsily opened it to reveal several pale green and aqua capsules that were nestled amongst the matches.

                   “Quaalude, Angel?” slimed Raphael, meaningfully.

                 Angelika eyed him, incredulously. “Bit early for me, thanks, Raphael. Maybe after lunch, si?”  This guy was a fucking machine.

                 “Where’s Sophie?” she continued. Oh please God let him remember he has a girlfriend, thought Angelika, just for a couple of minutes.  Raphael then indicated the pristine, open air Jacuzzi and Angelika tentatively looked over.

                 Sophie, who was dressed in a blood-soaked and transparent gauze nightgown was singing along to her Sony Walkman while elegantly attempting to wash the blood stains from off of her long tanned limbs.

                “She ees so hot, no?” said Raphael admiringly, while subconsciously touching his dick.

                Angelika's mouth dropped open.