That Brazilian liquor was sure something, Honey reflected, feeling rather muddled as she stared at her empty glass--her fourth, if she remembered correctly. It started out not feeling like much at all, but it crept up on you. Glancing at the man sitting next to her, she noted that it had obviously crept up on Fred as well. He was listing to port, almost to the point of toppling onto her shoulder, and he looked very relaxed.
"Honey," he said, his voice sounding thick and far away. "Why haven't we ever done that?"
"Done what?" she asked, not sure if she wasn't following because she was drunk or because he was. "Parachuted out of a plane?"
"No." He straightened up--mostly--and looked mildly annoyed that she hadn't understood him. "What Roger and Belinha did--you know, have a fling."
She was not drunk enough for this conversation. "It wasn't for lack of trying on my part. You just never seemed to take the hint." She'd flirted with him since they'd met last year, more out of habit than any serious intent. He was kind of funny-looking, after all. Good dancer, though, and more sensible than anyone else in the band, certainly moreso than Roger. "I was starting to think you didn't like girls."
Oops. Actually, maybe she was too drunk for this conversation.
He attempted a leer. It came out more like a nearsighted squint. "Oh, I like girls, all right."
"Oh," she said, as if he'd just made a great revelation. She closed her eyes, expecting he would kiss her.
He didn't, and she eventually she opened her eyes to find him staring muzzily at her. "Freddy, you're supposed to kiss me now."
"Oh?" He looked surprised for a moment, and then his eyes grew wide, as if somewhere in his alcohol-soaked brain, a light had dawned. "Oh." He leaned forward, and she let her eyes close again in anticipation.
He landed halfway between her cheek and her chin. She had to maneuver them, awkwardly, into a better position. But once she'd accomplished that, she found that Freddy was actually a very good kisser, even when he was three sheets to the wind. The big ears and pointy chin didn't seem nearly so important now.
As the kiss progressed--and very nicely it went, too--he moved at a moment when she'd counted on him staying still, and suddenly she found herself tumbling off the flimsy little bench they had perched on, landing half on the grass and half on top of him. Getting the wind knocked out of her, she decided, definitely did nothing to improve the mood.
"Ow," Fred said eventually. He'd taken the brunt of their fall, but seemed to be in one piece. She clumsily checked the back of his head for blood just in case, but when her fingers came away clean, she decided that he'd probably get away with just a bump.
She noticed he was gazing at her very intently, if a bit glassily. His left hand was slowly moving up her back, sending pleasant shivers down her spine. This position, she reflected, might actually be an improvement over their last one. She was about to drop her head to kiss him again when he said, "You know, the aviation suit really suits you." He giggled at the pun.
Well, she could hold off on kissing him if it meant she could listen to more of this. "You think so?"
"You're beautiful. Gorgeous. Stunning," he slurred, nodding emphatically
She could feel herself blushing. "And you're drunk," she said, smiling to take the sting out of it.
"I don't think I've ever been this pickled in my life," he agreed. "The hangover's going to be tremendous."
Her smile disappeared. He wasn't going to remember this in the morning, she realized. Everything about the last ten minutes, everything about the way he was looking at her right now--it was all going to be a big fat blank by the next day.
Biting her lip, she rolled off of him and onto her side, facing away from him. She put the tears she could feel collecting in her eyes down to the drink making her weepy. She was never touching that Brazilian stuff again.
A long moment passed. Then she felt Fred turn over and touch her shoulder. "Hey," he said softly. "Was it something I said?"
She tried to scoot away from him, but only managed to grind her hip and shoulder into the sandy soil that lay under the thin grass. He moved his hand to her stomach, curling up behind her so that they touched from knee to chest. "Honey," he said, his breath tickling her ear, "what is it?"
She was almost glad that extricating herself from his embrace and rolling over to face him would require more coordination than she was capable of at the moment. She didn't want to look at his puzzled, earnest, very much not sober face.
"You'll forget this tomorrow," she said, hiccupping at the end of the sentence. "It's this chaca--casha--the drink."
He was silent. She wondered if he might be gathering all his limbs together so that he could get up and leave. Finally, he said, "Some women might consider that a blessing."
"Some women don't have the brains God gave a housefly," she muttered, not exactly intending him to hear it.
He suddenly kissed her, right at the sensitive spot behind her ear, and she gasped. "But I'll have you know I have a very good track record with remembering everything I do when I'm drunk." He kissed her again, and it sent electricity skittering through her nerves. "And if I do forget anything, then I'll have you to remind me--won't I?"
"Mmmm." She tilted her head, hoping he would take it as an invitation to kiss her once more. He did. "That might depend on exactly how memorable the rest of this evening is."
Well, he had made her cry. She couldn't forgive him without including a little payback.
"You wound me, señorita," he said. She could practically hear the pout he wore.
Finding a reserve of dexterity she hadn't known she possessed in her current inebriated state, she flipped over and caressed his cheek. "Should I kiss it and make it better?"
Who needed telepathy? His answering grin told her everything she needed to know.