The party was dying down now, the heat of the night relentlessly draping over shoulders and tickling necks. Over in a corner of the grounds, Tanya and Pepper were glued together, half concealed in the bushes while various members of the party slowly got to their feet and wandered off in a steady trickle. Donna couldn’t remember the last time she’d had such a good time. She even felt slightly warmer towards Sam even though she had told herself nothing was going to happen. So far nothing had. She felt rejuvenated and very old at the same time.
The tribe of wasted stag partygoers lined the paths and weaved their way up to bed, or at least to slump somewhere comfy for the rest of the night. Rosie and Bill were still walking around the grounds of the hotel animatedly discussing the merits of fennel and parsley. They went to sit by some shuttered windows when Bill got a shock. On the ground by the bushes was a body, sprawled out as in sleep. He clutched at Rosie.
‘What the hell is that?’
They looked over at the figure who obliged them by letting out a snore. Rosie laughed.
‘Don’t worry, it’s just Tanya.’
‘Is she alright?’
They circled the prone figure and checked. She was fine. She snored like a rhino.
‘She’s just pissed out of her head’ explained Rosie as she took hold of Tanya’s arms and dragged her gently over the path and onto the side where there were some leftover chairs.
‘Is that normal?
‘Oh yes. You’ve never gone out partying with her’ she smirked. Bill could believe it if Rosie had to physically drag her friend every time they went out. He took her legs and they tried to manoeuvre her onto a chair.
Harry decided to make an appearance clutching a drink, his shirt half unbuttoned with an expression of having just pulled. He hadn’t but this was part of his ‘headbanger’ routine, he hadn’t realised he had reverted to it. He stopped when he saw Tanya laid out on the floor with Rosie’s arms wrapped around her shoulders and Bill manhandling her legs.
Bill turned around and tried to explain that it wasn’t what it looked like. Harry rearranged his preconceptions and could figure out that the situation was just that.
‘Ah, I see.’
He quickly got some chairs and altogether they heaved Tanya onto them, arranging her comfortably and tucking a spare beach towel around her.
‘She’ll be alright?’ Harry asked anxiously.
‘She’s pissed out of her head’ Bill assured him. Harry was dubious that she would be alright in the morning but he felt like the others had it in hand. Excusing himself to go and dance with some of the Greek staff, he wandered off humming happily. It had been a good night.
Plopping Tanya’s big orange sunhat on her head, Rosie and Bill meandered on, going back to their discussion and starting on the new territory of spatchcocked quail. In the morning they were found sitting on the steps way above the still snoring Tanya, snorting like a pair of naughty schoolkids while Rosie lowered the fishing rod from Bill’s boat onto the hat and Bill tried to hook it. Team effort. They hadn’t gone to bed yet and they were still on a high.
Their aim was thwarted by the arrival of Pepper, raring to go after last night. Tanya awoke with a splutter. She gazed upwards in confusion, her hat seemed to be swinging above her lopsidedly and she could hear laughter from nowhere in particular.
‘Hey stunner.’ Pepper had reached her with a drink in hand. She recognised that look on his face. What had they been doing last night? She considered her options and went for the usual.
‘Let’s carry on where we left off.’
She arranged herself more becomingly on the chair. She didn’t remember grabbing a towel last night but it would come in handy.
‘I’ve drawn a veil over last night, last night didn’t happen.’
They looked up to see a grinning and equally tipsy Rosie and Bill sitting on the steps far above them.
‘Morning!’ trilled Rosie, with a massive smile on her face, one that Tanya deduced came from all that ouzo from last night. The two of them waved inanely and Tanya wanted to throw something at them. Preferably the snapper they had caught previously when they last went fishing. She wondered if Rosie really was enjoying fishing or if it was the company of Aussie Bill that was to do with it. She couldn’t decide right at that point, she was too hungover.
‘I thought you were going fishing’ she snapped. ‘Right about now?’
Rosie got the hint. In a fit of giggles, they wound up the rod and beat a speedy exit, not being able to resist one last pun as she left.
‘We’ll leave you with your young whippersnapper’ she cackled.
Tanya tried to throw her hat at her and failed. Turning round to the ever eager Pepper, she resigned herself to the situation at hand.