Chapter 25

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I hobbled barefoot into the flat and saw Rick where he should have been 24 hours ago when I came home - on the couch watching cartoons.

He laughed at the sight of me, my scuffed New Look wedge heels swinging from my hand and a bun that had slid down to the nape of my neck over the course of the early morning. The running man was a very high energy dance move, after all.

'Don't say anything until I've had a shower,' I groaned, turning around and trudging upstairs.

Rick hadn't moved at all when I eventually emerged back down the stairs in my pug-print pink pyjamas and trusty Primark uggs.

'Tough day in the office ahead, then?' he inquired, his eyebrows raised.

'It is a bank holiday,' I said defensively. 'Besides, I'll have you know that it was a very productive night for me. I may have just lined up the biggest interview of my career, thank you very much.' I flopped down beside him on the couch.

'Oh really?'

'Really,' I said matter-of-factly. I looked at the TV and all I saw were some colourful moving shapes. I really needed some sleep. I blinked and rubbed my eyes. I was definitely not up for the task of talking about what had happened between us. That required being articulate and, even at the best of times, that was a challenge for me. However, all Rick said were two words: 'Lie down.'

I was even less equipped to go round two with him, what with my pyjamas and uggs on. The mere act of walking down the stairs had proved painful. When I'd imagined round two with Rick while I was swaying to trance with my hands in the air, I'd pictured myself hangover free and smelling like Chanel.

Instead, I smelt like the cheapest lavender body wash I could find in the supermarket and I ached all over. I slowly lowered my head onto the arm rest of the couch and hoped that he wasn't expecting to lean his lovely body my way.

As I was yawning, I felt Rick's hands grab my legs and stretch them out over his lap. I looked over at him, his lovely face and unruly hair. His gaze remained transfixed on the TV. I dozed off happily to the feel of his fingers stroking my knees.

The next day, I nervously stood outside the dodgy chain pub opposite Verve FM headquarters with my phone clutched in my hand. I could see Pete and Rosalia march down the high street on their way to get lunch and I turned around so they wouldn't recognise me standing across the street.

I side stepped to my left, deliberately allowing a bus dropping off passengers to block their view of me. I knew I was being ridiculous. I had every right to be standing outside a pub on the high street during my lunch break making a phone call. But I didn't want anyone hearing my phone call until this Billy Johnson interview was a sure thing.

I'd set my alarm half an hour earlier than usual to google Billy Johnson and, sure enough, there was Sasha carrying a tall latte next to him, leaving a restaurant with him, walking a dog with him, falling out of a nightclub with him.

Taking a deep breath, I called her number. As it was ringing, it suddenly dawned on me that Sasha might not even remember who I was. Or she could have given me a wrong number, whether knowingly or not. I was about to hang up in panic when she answered with a chirpy, 'Hello?'

'Hi, Sasha?'


'It's Beth from the club on Saturday night?'

'Oh Beth, hello!' Relief flooded over me because not only did she remember me, she actually seemed pleased to hear from me. 'How are you lovely running girl?'

'Good thanks.'

'Good to hear it! Listen, I'm with Billy right now doing lunch in Soho - Crystal Cellars, look into it - and he'd love to chat to you.'

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