Kate and Wills of the Block

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After making an offer of a deal Sam stops talking and we start walking to my room. My heart is beating so hard as if it is trying to get out of my chest cavity. I am eagerly waiting and dreading what is going to come from his mouth next.

"I will give us a week. A week for Luke to get better, for me to come to my senses, for you to run or find someone else, to give ourselves some time. But after the week is over all bets are off. Is that all right with you Alice?" he asks my permission.

We stop walking and I find myself standing at the bottom of the stairs leading to the back door of my room. We must have come here somehow but I have no recollection of how I got here.

"You have seven days Alice. Use them wisely." he turns his back and leaves me there at the bottom of the stairs.

The week that follows is weird and awkward. I am counting down days with both dread and anticipation.

Luke is still sick and needs care. Sam and I have split his caring duties between us. Sam cares for Luke during the daytime when I go to work. I take over in the evening and night when he has to work. I lost count of number of times I have crossed the bridge during this time.

This arrangement is made trickier by our sleeping arrangement. The strip club is big downstairs but Sam's living quarter has only two bedrooms and a tiny living area with kitchen. The living quarter is separated from other strip club by a state of the art security door. Only Sam has access to this door and uses it to go to his work on the other side.

Other side of the floor may consist of Sam's office, other employee accommodations and VIP lounges that I have heard about.

Gary uses the second bedroom next to Sam's bedroom and Luke sleeps in Sam's bed.

That must cramp Sam's lifestyle. Then again Sam works in the evenings, nights and early mornings and sleeps during the days and afternoons. The man eats breakfast when everyone has their dinner.

Luke has stopped vomiting but he is still running a fever. I give him paracetamol, make sure he eats light food, drinks enough liquid and keeps it all down. I bathe him with ice water when he feels hot. Luke does not want me to leave his side so I end up sleeping on Sam's huge bed. Gary sleeps in the next bedroom.

This makes me uncomfortable due to Sam's revelation. I would not have thought twice about Gary sleeping in the next bedroom if I wasn't aware of Gary's feelings. Now I can see interest in his eyes either real or imagined. I suddenly become tongue tied around him. He is also distant around me. Either he knows that I know about his feelings or he sees my nervous behaviour and reacts by keeping his distance.

After two days of this it becomes so strained that Gary offers to go sleep in his shop. I in turn offer him temporary use of his original and my current room.

I don't consider the implications of offering the use of the room to him. I have effectively barred myself from going back to my sanctuary. Now I will have to sleep in Sam's suite of rooms. I start using Luke's presence as a shield around Sam.

On Thursday Luke is finally back on the mend. Like a typical child he wants to run around and play as soon as he feels better. Now all I can do is keep him in the bed for one more day.

Fridays at the club are busy and Sam has to start work early. I rush over to his rooms to take over the baby sitting duty from Sam.

When I open the door I am confronted by Sam engaged in a passionate embrace with Sally. I can see his shirtless back and Sally's cat got the cream smile she delivers in my direction. I quickly turn around and leave.

All the way back I am trying to convince myself 'Alice you got lucky and narrowly missed a train wreck'. My brain understands but my mind is strangely disappointed for the things that will never be.

I take over my own room back from Gary and send him packing back to Sam's rooms. My sleep is restless in the night and I wake up cranky.

I decide to cheer myself and celebrate Luke's recovery by taking him to the nearby park in the morning. I pack a picnic lunch for us and we are both ready to go with Joe.

Luke is still weak and cannot play energetic games but he likes to feed the seagulls in the park. I am sitting in the shade on my picnic blanket with Luke nearby feeding the seagulls. Joe is standing in the distance watching us and watching the road leading out of the park.

Suddenly Joe comes to the attention and looks in my direction. I look back to see Sam striding towards me. He looks furious and all his anger is directed at me. He is holding a bunched up newspaper in his hands.

He asks Joe to take Luke home with him. Joe leaves with Luke and I am left alone with Sam. Suddenly I am filled with unmentionable dread. Sam extends the paper in his hand in my direction without speaking.

I open it to look at Madam Rose' picture at the top of a relationship advice column. She is cited as an expert in relationship advice as she is the owner of an established brothel in the area. This must be the new 'Block News'. Alex has been a busy boy, but why is Sam angry at me. I look at him perplexed. He impatiently motions me to look at the front page.

I turn around the newspaper to be greeted by a large news headline "Kate and Wills of the Block". A sketch of me and Sam holding hands and crossing the road dominates the page. It is just a sketch but it is good likeness of both of us. We are drawn as a loving couple lost to the world strolling the street holding each other's hands.

I start reading the story. The story is beautifully written. I would have applauded the writer for such a good writing if it was not about me and Sam.

The news item briefly describes Sam as owner of the famous Strip club and major businessman in the area. I am described in details as his new love interest and all around good girl.

Different people have given their opinions on me and Sam getting together and what it means to the area. Monique is quoted as saying "She is really good girl and Sam hooking up with her will benefit all the people in the area. It is good that Sam did not stay with Sharon as she is really horrible person."

Further in the article I am compared to Kate and Sam is compared to Prince William. One person who chose to remain anonymous says "Let's face it England won't be affected if Kate had turned out to be a bad person, but this whole block would be impacted by the choice Sam makes in his partner."

I read the complete article with mounting dread. I prepare myself as best as possible for the train wreck that is going to come because of the news item, "Kate and Wills of the Block"

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