Hospital - San Fernando Valley: January 1st 2000
The last sliver of a glowing orange sunset was sinking behind the San Fernando Valley high-rises which were just visible beyond the bars of the hospital window. How long have I been here? thought Angelika. Athena smiled at her sister through the evening gloam and said gently,
“What a mess. I remember those early morning calls all too well. Derrick was going crazy. I don’t think he’d ever imagined that marriage meant coping with all the vagaries of his wife’s neurotic family.”
“I wasn’t neurotic,” replied Angelika, in annoyance, “I was fucking heart-broken. There is a marked difference, you know and your Derrick wasn’t exactly a prince after all.”
Athena looked sadly at Angelika as she said, “Yes, we both made brilliant choices, didn’t we?” Angelika and Athena both momentarily reflected on their respectively pathetic romantic histories until Athena finally broke the heavily pregnant silence.
“So what happened next?”
“I followed your advice and started ..dating again.” grinned Angelika.
“Really? You started dating?” Athena, who was all ears, pulled her chair even closer to the narrow bed.
“Well not exactly, ‘dating’ per se.” smirked Angelika.
“Well, what do you mean?” said a confused Athena.
“Let’s just say that I blithely and belatedly decided to er…. sow my wild oats.” replied Angelika, “No stoner was left unturned.”
London: Summer – 1994
So Angelika made the executive decision to shag every cute, available guy in London. It wasn’t exactly the course of action that any self-respecting therapist might have recommended, but it made a twisted kind of sense to her. Anybody with a modicum of insight might have detected a slight thirst for revenge driving her behavior, but Angelika didn’t care to be that analytical. She wanted to get laid and to be adored, and she wanted the best-looking, the youngest and the most fun. Anybody was fair game as far as she was concerned; friends, friends of friends, friends’ family members, pigeon English – speaking foreigners, all the succulent men and boys that she’d loyally turned down during the course of her relationship with Jay. It was to be Angelika’s own personal Summer of Love.
Angelika started with Balthazar. Balthazar was staggeringly beautiful, the 24 year old son of an equally gorgeous iconic ‘60’s movie star, and was someone that she’d spent months mutely lusting after and who, by happy coincidence, was a lifelong friend of Luke’s. Balthazar had the most edible-looking, tanned, hairless body, his hair was naturally sun-bleached blond, his eyes were strikingly sky blue and he was sweet and wild, a true nature boy let loose in an urban playground. Delicious.
Angelika, Luke, Balthazar and their other friend Jim, who Angelika had technichally bonked one recent drunken night, but who she had decided didn’t count as she hadn’t really enjoyed it due to his abundance of sneakily concealed body hair, had been invited to spend the weekend on Jim’s parents’ yacht, which was due to set sail that Friday from the south coast of England and on to the Isle of Wight. Angelika did love a boat trip and she desperately fancied Balthazar, so she didn’t need her arm twisted in order to agree to the voyage. Jim was still pointedly sulking as Angelika had made it abundantly clear that he wouldn’t be invited back for seconds, but Jim was far too well-brought up to belabour the point; he knew when he was beaten.
Jim’s parents were stereotypically upper middle class and rather rigid about their onboard rules. Angelika subconsciously ratcheted up her accent a notch in an effort not to alert them to the fact that a working-class person was lurking in their midst, quietly plotting to make off with the family silver. The yacht was glorious, however and Angelika was determined to do her absolute best to behave.
The first night, which was a Friday was a touch stilted. Docked in the marina and surrounded by Jim’s parents’ friends’ yachts, they enjoyed Pimms cups and dinner on the deck, replete with lots of posh stories about public school, cricket and life in the City. Angelika somehow managed to keep quiet about her lowly upbringing and her dreadful education and The Parents seemed to blithely accept that she was worthy of their ilk. Thank God for acting classes, thought Angelika, delicately slurping her third lethal cocktail, while surrepticiously trying to avoid getting wayward bits of mint leaf wedged between her teeth. The heat between her and Balthazar was becoming unbearable and she sensed that everybody aboard had to be feeling it. If he as much as looked at her, she thought she might spontaneously combust, or at the very least messily flood the pristine wooden deck.
Day Two began well enough, in spite of the fact that Angelika had a raging hangover from all of that Pimms and hadn’t slept a wink in the sweaty knowledge of Balthazar’s divine naked body being separated from hers by mere centimetres of highly polished, oak - paneled cabin wall. She was sharing her tiny bunk-bedded berth with Luke, so there was no hope of doing anything clandestine to herself in order to take the edge off her feverish, sleepless lust, either.
Angelika gave silent thanks to the fashion gods for inventing black sunglasses and fetching, large brimmed sun-hats as they set sail in the unseasonably warm weather for the Isle of Wight. According to The Rules, no one was allowed to drink alcohol onboard until noon, so that put paid to her plan of tucking immediately into some much needed Hair of the Dog. Angelika resigned herself to a morning of quiet rehydration and intense sunbathing, while the boys rushed up and down manfully fiddling with booms, jibs and masts and looking very cute in the process. Especially Balthazar. Shiver me timbers anytime, darling, thought Angelika, who was squirming facedown on the foredeck, sneaking pervy looks at him from behind her enormous shades.
High noon eventually, blessedly arrived along with powerful ice-clinking cocktails. Angelika was getting a deep tan and she knew that she looked pretty hot in her tiny Moschino string bikini. Not that she had any competition, as the only other female present was Jim’s Mumsey, who bore a striking resemblance to an irascible warthog. Mumsey hadn’t exactly taken to Angelika, as Hubby had very unsubtly given her the leering once over on more than one occasion, but Mumsey had seen Angelika on TV and she had grudgingly had to admit to herself that she quite liked the idea of having a TV star, albeit a retired one, on deck. It gave their boat an unmistakable air of edgy glamour, one with which their other sea-faring mateys simply couldn’t compete.
A tense and to Angelika’s thinking, overly competitive race ensued after lunch, as the weekend sea warriors tacked and came about all the way across to the Isle of Wight. It was all a bit exhausting, what with constantly having to watch out for the potentially deadly boom which had a nasty habit of swinging violently in her prone direction every time she happened to look up to check on Balthazar’s whereabouts. But it was a small price to pay, she inwardly conceded, to have the incomparable Adonis as a sitting duck for her filthy, carnal desires.
At sundown they finally moored in deep water off the pebbled beach of the Isle and then they motored inflatable dinghies filled with vintage wines and exotically marinated meats ashore. It was perfect, as Balthazar had definitely made a point of sitting close to Angelika and teasingly brushing against her tingling arm on the bumpy ride to the coast. Angelika could barely contain her appetite-dulling excitement and she sensed that she probably wouldn’t be partaking of any of the meats that night, at least not of the marinated kind.
They lit the barbecues, which were some expensive, new-fangled devices that cooked everything to gastronomic perfection. Angelika felt that it was technically cheating, but she had to admit that they were a lot less work than the smoking, free-standing monsters that American men were so inexplicably chained to come the first sign of Spring. Angelika tried to nibble on the food but found herself more drawn to the sensually fullbodied Chateau Neuf du Pape that Jim’s parents had so generously liberated from their fabulous cellar. Angelika found that she was warming up to them no end as she sipped their delicious wine while watching Balthazar expertly skimming stones across the surface of the miraculously becalmed English Channel.
As the sky darkened and twinkling stars began to dot the velvety night sky, Angelika found that the group was infinitely more relaxed and expansive that evening. Alcohol is the greatest leveler, she silently opined, forever grateful for the innate power of the grape to break down social boundaries and class-entrenched inhibitions. Jim seemed to have finally thawed towards her and they had resumed their pre-shag easiness; Luke was his normal brilliant, raconteur self, regaling everyone with his outrageous, barely-edited anecdotes; The Parents were off somewhere down the beach braying with their rich grown-up sailing buddies; and dreamy Balthazar was lying with his golden cranium in Angelika’s lap dreamily staring up at the stellar display that was taking place thousands of light years above their heads.
The glow from the fire rendered Balthazar intoxicatingly beautiful and Angelika gazed down at him, barely able to stand it. He slowly removed the half-smoked spliff from between his perfect full lips and said quietly, “Angel, come here.”
Who was she to argue? Angelika inelegantly leaned down and gently kissed his softly parted lips. Hashish smoke curled sinuously from his mouth into hers, closely followed by the pointed tip of his delicate tongue. Angelika exhaled the smoke through her nose, quite incredibly without choking and manouvered herself beside him on the blanket. Their mouths finally connected after months of pent up wanting, and sexual energy shot through them both like an electric supernova. Their bodies were perfectly matched and both of them were hard and limp with respective desire. They kissed for hours, time having apparently stood still, and they discovered that their hands and mouths were utterly unable to break away from each other’s. Angelika found that she’d never wanted anyone quite so badly before and she had never been so absolutely ready for any man. But they couldn’t do it on the beach, could they? It was seriously fucking pebbly, which wasn’t conducive to the most transcendent shagfest of their lives.
Angelika finally wrenched herself away from Balthazar’s mouth and looked up. Everybody had disappeared and the yachts, which were moored about two hundred yards from shore, appeared to be dark and quiet. They stared at each other, both desperate to finally connect physically, as the suspense had been quietly killing them both. Balthazar gazed with heavy-lidded eyes at Angelika and then he kissed her softly and leapt up. In a second, he’d gathered the blanket and the empty bottles that were strewn around them on the beach, and was attacking the dinghy’s unresponsive outboard motor like a creature possessed. Angelika watched him admiringly, as she loved a man who could thrive in nature; it was the one leftover country-girl trait that she had retained from her childhood, the summers of which which had been spent building driftwood bonfires and idly ogling sinewy surfer boys on the wild, wind-swept Dorset coast.
Angelika gingerly stepped aboard the sloshing dinghy as Balthazar whispered to her, “Maybe we should row back? It would be quieter.”
And with that he decisively grabbed the dinghy’s oars and upped anchor. Angelika looked up at the stars as they glided away from the beach, but the dinghy seemed to be going ever slower as they neared the yacht and it quickly became apparent that it was leaking air. The rubbery craft started to emit rather unromantic farting noises and they were virtually seated in the ocean by the time they reached the yacht. They both tried not to giggle as they left the sad, deflated thing tied up to the side of the vessel and then climbed aboard. But in that moment, Angelika was far too caught up in her burning desire for Balthazar to even think about the consequences of an injured inflatable. She had far more pressing matters at which to attend.
“Stay there.” murmured Balthazar as he disappeared below, leaving Angelika panting on the foredeck. She was relishing the way he took control, it was rendering her speechless with longing, so she gazed drunkenly up at the heavens, counting the seconds until his gorgeous reappearance. Balthazar duly returned carrying a duvet, which he’d grabbed from his and Jim’s cabin, where Jim had retreated in order to have a jolly good sulk in the resigned knowledge that his far better-looking best mate was about to get it on with the divine Angelika. Balthazar always got all the girls, inspite of the fact that his Dad didn’t even own a speedboat, let alone a yacht. It just wasn’t bloody cricket.
Balthazar lay the duvet down upon the deck and Angelika didn’t wait to position herself invitingly on top of it. His hot wet mouth immediately found hers, and then it slid down her arching body, removing her bikini bottoms and transporting her to heights of delectation of which she’d only previously dreamed. Angelika felt like she was at one with the ocean, the sensation was pure liquid pleasure and she couldn’t help laughing as a shooting star-streaked across the sky, punctuating the moment with ludicrously perfect timing.
They proceeded to make love for hours, both of them wordlessly releasing the months of aching desire and pent-up sexual tension upon which they had previously been unable to act. Finally, Balthazar and Angelika lay in each others’ arms, slick with sweat and bodily fluids, both too exhausted and stunned to speak, staring up at the millions of tiny pinpoints of astral light. After a while Angelika realized that she hadn’t thought of JC once, and she smiled contentedly to herself, feeling truly relaxed for the first time in almost a year.