Six Degrees of Head Injury Separation
She’s a brunette with big brown eyes and really, really impressive legs. Eddie grins at her from across the bar, and she smiles in return, her smile slightly crooked and all the more attractive for it. He cuts across the room to her and leans against the bar.
“Hey, I’m Eddie. How do you like me so far?”
She looks him up and down, eyes lingering over his groin and the way his chest looks in his T-shirt. “I like you all right,” she says, leaning towards him. “I’m Fiona.”
Eddie blinks. “What?” he asks.
“Fiona,” she repeats, her smile drooping just a little. “Fiona Matthews.”
The fact that they don’t share a last name doesn’t help Eddie in the least. “Well, it’s nice to meet you,” he says. He turns to leave, but she grabs his arm.
“What’s the matter?” she asks. “Your wife and I have the same name?”
“Nope,” Eddie says while he thinks ‘pretty much.’ “Just realized I had other plans is all.”
She lets go of his arm, and her smile drops away completely. “Asshole,” she says.
“Kind of a hero, actually,” Eddie tells her as he backs away. “Now you won’t have regretful, awkward sex with me.”
“With you?” she snaps. “Implying I might with someone else?”
Eddie shrugs. “Well, it’s a bar.” He ducks as her glass comes flying at his head. “You have a nice night,” he says and runs in the other direction.
The First One’s Free
When Nigel goes to America and Fiona stays behind, Eddie thinks that maybe it’s a hint. He watches her mope around for a week, and then he asks if she wants to get dinner.
“Of course!” she chirps. Her grin drops into a condescending expression. “Just as soon as I have a full frontal lobotomy so that I have no memory of my absolute loathing for you.”
“I thought you’d already had one of those,” Eddie replies, and he smirks when she glares at him. “I mean, you did date Nigel.”
“There was nothing wrong with Nigel!”
He’s not feeling quite mean enough to point out that if that was true, she’d have left with him. “Well, if you’re going to stay home and eat a pint of Chunky Monkey and pretend like you’re not a sad, single woman cliché, I’m going for a beer.”
“Speaking of clichés,” Fiona calls after him as he walks out the front door.
He calls Monty on his way to the pub. “Beer?” he offers.
“Sure,” Monty agrees.
By the time Eddie arrives, Monty’s got two pints on the bar. He’s sitting on a stool, his suit coat folded over his lap. When Eddie pulls himself up on the neighboring stool, Monty pushes one of the pints towards him. “She said no again?” Monty guesses.
“Yup,” Eddie replies as he takes a long drink of beer. He watches Monty take a long drink of his beer, watches the way he leans back in his chair and thinks about the two dozen offers Monty makes on a weekly basis. “Want to pity fuck?”
Monty thumps his beer on the bar and gives Eddie a long, hot once over. “Seems it’s more of a pining fuck.”
“Does it matter?”
“No it does not.” Monty stands up and throws some money on the bar. “You need to finish that?” he steps closer to Eddie, the heat of him warming Eddie all down his side.
Eddie gives the beer a considering glance. “Nah,” he says, and he stands up.
Monty, it turns out, is exactly as good in bed as he always brags about being. Despite Monty sucking him off like he’s going for the gold in the Cocksucker Olympics, Eddie’s displeased to find that he’s still thinking of Fiona.
“Bad form,” Monty grumbles against Eddie’s neck. “That is not my name.”
“I never promised to scream your name,” Eddie points out as he wraps a hand around Monty’s dick.
“Suppose that’s true,” Monty replies. He hisses through his teeth as he comes and drags his damp cock across Eddie’s stomach before flopping over next to him.
“Hey!” Eddie yelps, squirming against the cooling spunk trailing across his torso.
“It’s only polite to remember which name to yell,” Monty says, laughter in his eyes. “There’s your lesson as a reminder.”
Eddie rolls out of bed and heads towards Monty’s bathroom. “There is something wrong with you.”
“I’m polite!” Monty calls after him.
The next morning, when Eddie walks in the door, Fiona is just on the other side. “Morning,” he says, trying to sound as disgustingly cheerful as possible.
“Was the gutter you slept in comfortable?” Fiona asks. “I hope not.”
“You’re so pretty in this light,” Eddie says, and it makes her eyes widen in surprise. “Of course, it hides half your face.”
“I hope you got herpes.”
“Well, I was visiting your mom.”
Fiona throws a punch, but Eddie dodges her as he goes up the stairs. “You’re going to be late!” he yells down the stairs, and he hears her swear and hurry out the door. Once he’s certain she’s gone, he stops and thumps his head on the wall. “That didn’t work,” he says to no one. He tries to console himself with the fact that Monty made him breakfast, but all he can see is Fiona’s surprised face when he’d said something nice.
Breakfast at Snarkery’s
“What are you doing?” Fiona asks. She’s standing in the kitchen doorway wearing a pair of blue pajama pants and a white tank top. Her hair is mussed, and she’s yawning as she tries to glare at Eddie through her sleepiness.
“Making breakfast,” Eddie responds as he tests the edge of the omelet with a fork. “Most important meal of the day, you know.”
“How impressive you’ve learned to memorize catchphrases,” Fiona replies as she pours herself a cup of tea. Eddie pushes his cup towards her, and she knocks it to the floor. It bounces on the floor but doesn’t break.
“You want half?” Eddie asks. “Plenty of egg to go around.”
“I would rather eat my own hair.”
“I could fry that up for you,” Eddie offers. Fiona huffs and stomps out of the room. Eddie shrugs and grins when he folds the omelet perfectly. “Missing out!” he yells.
“Things you say when women laugh at your penis!” Fiona replies from the top of the stairs.
“Give it up,” Monty tells him when they’re grabbing lunch one day.
“Give up what?” Eddie asks, tomato hanging from his mouth.
“The Fiona thing,” Monty says. “It’s embarrassing, mate.”
“There’s not a thi—”
“There is,” Monty says. He whips out his notebook and flips through it. “On May 3, she called you a prat, and you smiled. On May 7, you pulled her ponytail as she left for work, and she kicked you in the shin. On May 13—”
“Yes?” Monty asks, looking up from the notebook as he flips to the next page.
“You’re keeping count?”
“Someone needs to. You’re embarrassing yourself.”
“I’m not doing anything.”
“You’re flirting. Badly. Every man in the greater London area is wincing over their own masculinity and doesn’t know why.”
“How is this any—”
“When one man’s penis is in danger, they’re all in danger.”
“There is no danger to your penis,” Eddie says. He tries to sound scathing, but the look he gets from the next table tells him he’s just been loud.
“You really should do something about it,” Monty says.
“You think I’m not trying?”
Monty shrugs and closes his notebook. “Are you?” he asks.
Eddie takes another bite of his sandwich rather than answer because he’s not really sure.
An Insult is Just an Insult
“And your hairline is recede—” Fiona cuts off, not because Eddie’s finally shown her she’s being hurtful but because Eddie is kissing her. “Mrph!” She yelps into his mouth.
Eddie pulls away and looks at her. “Yeah, yeah, my hairline’s receding, and I’m an idiot and all that. Do you want to stop fighting one another and start having sex?”
“No.” Fiona leans in and bites Eddie’s bottom lip. “I do not.”
Eddie waits for the punch or the kick or the follow-up insult. Fiona just watches him. “Do you want to keep fighting and have sex?” he guesses.
“You are still as dumb as you look.”
Eddie grabs Fiona by the thighs and hoists her up against the wall. She wraps her legs around his waist and clutches at his shirt. “As long as you’ll have sex with me, I’ll take it,” he says.
“Low, low standards,” Fiona mutters as Eddie kisses her neck.
“Takes one to know one,” Eddie replies, and he grins when Fiona bites him on the ear.