Cherringham - Episode 22 - 24
Cherringham - Episode 22 - 24
3. Party On
Lauren leaned in as close as she could to the young guy she was dancing with and shouted:
"Got - to - get - some - water!"
But the music was so loud - all he did was grin and shrug at her.
So she grinned and shrugged back, then fought her way through the darkness, the strobe lights picking out the mostly stoned faces in the mill of gyrating people, and she moved towards the brighter lights of the ballroom doors.
Wow, she thought. I haven't danced like that in years. And I haven't danced with anyone as sexy as that in years either ...
In the banquet room, she found a pillar to lean against and checked her watch.
It was nearly one in the morning.
That too was rare!
And this party was still going strong. But where was Will?
She found her shoes where she'd hidden them in a corner and just about managed to get the straps on.
I'm a bit pissed, she thought, swaying.
No. Scratch that.
More than a bit ...
She took a deep breath and headed for the French windows that led out onto the terrace.
It would be quieter there ...
But a big crowd stood outside too. As she stepped out onto the terrace, she could see clusters of people chatting, smoking, chilling.
Lanterns and flares made pools of orange light in the darkness. She could see the fountain now rippled with blue, red, and green lights. A laser arced up into the sky from the roof of one of the outbuildings.
Some small party.
Silent movie scenes were being projected onto the back of the house.
She wandered round the garden, looking for Will among the chattering, laughing groups.
"Lauren-" came a voice just by her side.
But it wasn't Will's voice.
She turned to see Chris Wickes emerge from the shadows and approach her.
He put an arm around her and kissed her softly on the cheek.
She shivered, but she wasn't cold.
"Still smoking then?' she said. She could smell the tobacco on his breath.
"Why not?" he said with his killer smile. "The drugs will probably kill me first."
"We used to say you'd die in a bar fight before anything else would take you!"
"We weren't joking."
She watched him sit on the balustrade. Light from the house caught his face. He'd aged well. A few lines, the usual stubble on his chin now grey. His long hair still dark though also streaked with grey.
But his eyes were the same. Lauren loved his eyes. Dark and cold - as if he was constantly angry. And so deep.
"Will tells me you got kids," Chris said.
"Two boys," said Lauren. "Teenagers."
"Handful, I bet ..."
"Tell me about it! How about you?"
"Oh, single and fancy free."
Lauren looked around, suddenly aware it was just the two of them catching up, talking ...
"Where is Will by the way?"
"He's in the studio. Planning the tour. With Alex. And Carlton."
"Carlton Flame? That shark," said Lauren. "I should have guessed he'd be here."
"Legally - we're all still signed to Carlton. And trust me - they're all sharks."
"And he wants to keep an eye on his ten percent huh?"
"Ouch. No wonder me and Will never see a penny. So who else is digging around in the entrails?"
"Ah. So he did come."
"You thought he wouldn't?"
Another look around.
Then Lauren went and sat next to him.
Suddenly it was as if they were back in the past, in their own history.
They'd sat just like this once, a long time ago, before everything happened for Lizard and the world turned upside down.
Sat on the kids' swings in Chris's mum's garden in Cherringham, one early summer night just like this.
It had been in