‘No need, all done.’
‘You changed his nappy?’
‘It’s not exactly rocket science.’
I go to Sorab and put a finger into the nappy around his belly. The nappy is perfectly snug. He has done a good job.
‘When did you learn to put a nappy on a baby?’
‘I watched you.’
‘Hmnnn... I guess I’d better prepare some formula for him.’
‘No, need, I just fed him.’
‘Quick learner, aren’t you?’
‘Like you wouldn’t believe,’ he says and grins, all boyish and gorgeous. As if I have not seen him tackle me to the ground and smell my sex for the scent of another man.
He puts Sorab into my surprised hands. ‘I hope you are hungry. Dinner will be served in half an hour.’
‘Starving,’ I say to his retreating back.
The wine is an old vintage from the Barrington estate in France, the steaks are perfectly juicy and tender, and the salad is out of a bag, but perfectly dressed and salted. I gaze wonderingly at him as he sits opposite me in a black shirt, faded blue jeans and bare feet. Like you wouldn’t believe, indeed.
He learnt to cook while we were apart!
Billie calls surprisingly early in the morning. She has something to tell me.
‘What is it?’ I ask.
‘Tell you when you get here,’ she says, her voice full of something delicious, something she can barely keep suppressed.
I hurry over. When I arrive with Sorab she is in the bath.
‘In here,’ she calls. I go and sit on the toilet seat. There is glittery-green eyeshadow on her eyelids.
‘Gosh, you look like you’ve had a fun night.’
She grins widely. ‘I went to The Fridge last night.’
‘On my own.’
I frown. ‘Why?’
‘Just wanted to.’
‘I let a man pick me up.’
‘What?’ I am so surprised my mouth actually hangs.
‘What can I say? This huge man, I mean really big, with muscles coming out of his ears, came up to me and told me that the tattoos on my neck were the most beautiful things he had ever seen.’
‘All right. It is possible that he has cornered the market on going up to girls and complimenting the very thing that everyone else has told them is ugly. But nobody has ever thought my tattoos are beautiful. Not you. Not even Leticia. And it made me curious about him.’
‘But you don’t fancy men.’
‘I know. “Thanks, but I’m a dyke, mate,” is what I told him too.’
‘And?’ I prompt.
‘”That’s only because you haven’t been to bed with me yet,” he said, and I was so high, I was actually impressed with that level of arrogant confidence. “I’ll f**k you, but I’m not sucking your dick or doing anything else gross like that,” I replied.’
‘Billie!’ I squeal.
‘No point being coy. I’m not sucking any man’s dick. Anyway, “I’m not too keen on that practice either,” he said, so we went back to his place.’
‘And?’ I can barely believe what I am hearing.
‘And it was actually very exciting. You know how I always take control. He wouldn’t let me. He was very strict and masterful, and f**king strong too. I’ve never had anyone so…well…authoritative in bed before. It was something new, something I’m not used to.’
‘So you enjoyed sex with a man?’
‘I hate to say yes, it messes with my self-identity, but yeah. In the morning he brought me breakfast, ugh, sausages and eggs.’
I am almost laughing. ‘What did you do?’
‘I ate it.’
‘Billie, you haven’t had a proper breakfast since you were two!’
‘Are you going to see him again?’
‘Maybe. He took my number, but he’s going to be away for a month. If I see him again, I see him again; if I don’t, I don’t.’
‘But you want to…’
‘Yeah… I guess I do. There’s something intriguing about him.’
‘Does this mean you are no longer a lesbian?’
‘Don’t get me wrong. I still fancy you more than him, but maybe I’m not just DC but AC too.’
‘What’s his name?’
‘Rose, Jaron Rose.’
I bite my lip. ‘Actually, I have something to tell you too.’
‘Get on with it then.’
‘I don’t want you to freak out but...’
‘I won’t freak out. What is it?’
‘Victoria’s mother came to see me.’
‘Bloody hell. That was quick. Let me guess. She warned you to leave Blake alone?’
‘Yes, she did warn me, but the funny thing is, I think she thought she was warning me for my own good.’
Billie snorts disbelievingly. ‘You’re soft in the head.’
‘Just hear me out, OK?’
‘I’m all ears.’
‘It was all very vague and mysterious, but basically she told me I was in danger.’
‘Now you are freaking me out. What kind of danger?’
‘She didn’t say, but something about the way she said it made me realize that she was frightened. She shouldn’t have come to see me. She came against her better judgment.’
‘So what exactly did she say?’
‘She said I should beware of Cronus.’
‘Who the hell is that?’
‘I didn’t know either. But he is the god of time. Usually depicted as an old man with a grey beard. According to Greek mythology Cronus deposed his father and, in fear of a prophecy that he would suffer the same fate, he began to swallow each of his children as soon as they were born.’
‘Charming. What’s that got to do with you?’
‘I don’t know. I’m trying to work it out.’
‘Why don’t you ask Blake?’
‘Because she said, don’t trust anyone and I’m not sure—‘
‘You don’t trust Blake!’ Billie’s eyes are huge with shock.
‘It’s not that I don’t trust him. I trust him with my life, but he is definitely hiding something important from me. Besides, he has already told me that the less I know the safer I will be.’
‘Jesus, Lana, what kind of shit are you messed up in?’