Chapter 1: Dinner Plans
Finlay Popple sat alone in his bedroom in halls, enjoying the break from his roommate, Jack. When he had first started university Jack had seemed like a nice guy, a little bit of a ‘rugby lad’ for sure, but he had been pretty friendly with Finlay. At school, none of Finlay’s friends had been one of the ‘cool kids’, like Jack was, and Finlay hoped his new roommate would help him ‘reinvent’ himself as anything other than a nerd.
However, it was week four now and Finlay was starting to feel that the two of them were too different to ever get on; Jack’s ‘banter’ and all of his ‘lad’ mates were getting too much for Finlay to put up with.
Finlay was browsing Facebook when his phone began to buzz. After a couple of rings, he answered, “Hey Mum.”
“Hi sweetie!” came Jennifer’s enthusiastic voice, “How are you?”
“I’m OK,” he grunted, his tone bemused.
“Just OK?” she questioned, “What’s wrong, Finny?”
“Nothing,” responded her son in an uncooperative tone.
“Is it your roommate again? Are you sure you can’t request to move to another room?”
“I don’t think they’ll move me just because I find Jack annoying,” he replied.
Out of embarrassment, Finlay didn’t want to admit to his mum that the thing that annoyed Finlay the most was when Jack brought back women and, most of the time, was completely indiscreet about it. It really pissed him off last week when he brought back Anna, a girl that Finlay fancied. Finlay hadn’t ever spoken to Anna or told Jack that he liked her, so it wasn’t Jack’s fault as such… It was just annoying that his stupid ‘banter’ could seduce someone who seemed as clever and cool as Anna. The thing that annoyed him the most though (and embarrassed him) was that he silently wanked as the silhouettes of Jack and that night’s conquest – ten in the past four weeks – gently gyrated to muffled orgasms.
“Well, have you tried talking to him about the things you don’t like…”
Feeling an impotent shame, Finlay interrupted to change the subject, “Mum, what did you call about?”
Sounding taken aback by Finlay’s abrupt tone, his mother took a second to respond, “Well, I just wanted to know if I can still come to visit you next weekend.”
Finlay’s older sister had just emigrated to Australia, after living away from home for the past three years, and his dad’s job required him to travel quite frequently, so Finlay anticipated his mum might take it quite badly when he left home too. At first, he had been quite reluctant to have his mum visit him at university, he didn’t want to be seen as lame, but, truthfully, it hadn’t been as easy to make friends as he had hoped and he had secretly warmed to the idea of a visit from his mum.
His mum told him the details of her train and hotel, followed by some idle chit chat before they ended their conversation, leaving Finlay to resume browsing the Internet. Finlay’s conversation with his mum regarding Jack had reminded him of the blonde girl, from two nights ago. He had pleasured himself to the barely visible dark shape of her ass beneath the sheets rising and falling.
Finlay dropped his jeans and pants right down to the floor and began to massage his erection to the memory of Jack’s slut-of-the-day. He shuffled his chair forward; it was a regular chair, rather than one on wheels, and started searching for amateur videos of girls riding guys.
Finlay was close to finishing himself off when he heard the characteristic arrogant thuds of his flatmate making his way down the corridor. Finlay’s heart skipped a beat when he missed the ‘x’ button on the porn video and hit the window resize button instead. Knowing he had barely a few seconds, he grabbed his jeans but felt them snag. He cursed to himself when he realised that they were caught under the leg of his chair. He managed to free them and pull them up around his waist as Jack walked in the door. The sudden movement caught Jack’s eye and he smirked at Finlay as Finlay slapped down the lid of his laptop.
“Alright, mate,” said Jack, still smirking as Finlay rushed to do up his fly.
“Uh yeah, hi, how’s things?” mumbled Finlay shamefully.
“Good mate, good,” said Jack, barely paying attention to Finlay as he splayed out onto his bed, “Love Thursdays. No lectures until Monday.”
It pissed off Finlay that as a mathematics student, he had to attend 25 hours a week, but Jack, who did history, had just 10 hours. Apparently history students were supposed to do more hours of self-learning but all Jack seemed to do was play rugby, get drunk and pick up women. He could even see him doing it now; the obvious flick of his finger and mumble of ‘left, left, ooo right’ giving away that he was on Tinder.
“Ah mate!” exclaimed Jack, “Another match, that’s six fit ones today.”
‘Fit ones? He treats women like objects and gets rewarded,’ thought Finlay, whilst he outwardly congratulated Jack.
Finlay was playing Minecraft, when his phone started ringing. As expected, it was his mother; she had arrived in London about an hour ago for her weekend visit and she was due to get to her hotel soon.
“Hey Mum, where do you want me to meet you?”
“Hi Sweetie, I’m actually downstairs, I think,” she said, stress evident in her voice, “Door number 60, right? There was a mix up at the hotel.”
“Wait, you’re here? What’s wrong?”
“Can you let me in and I’ll explain?” responded his mother, stress turning to exasperation.
Finlay mumbled an apology for not coming down straight away and then rushed downstairs. He opened the front door of the house of student flats to find his mother standing there, with a big handbag, a travel case and a grumpy look on her face. As soon as she saw her son, her frown gave way to a smile and she went to hug him, which he awkwardly returned.
As soon as their hug ended, Finlay heard a familiar voice and it made his stomach plunge, “Alright mate, who’s your friend?”
Jack was at the foot of the steps that lead to the halls’s front door and was looking up at Finlay and his mother. He ascended the stairs, hand outstretched, and Jennifer reacher her hand out to his.
“Hi, I’m Jennifer, Finlay’s mum,” she greeted, her earlier displeasure displaced by the enthusiasm she always got when meeting new people.
“Your mum?” asked Jack, looking at Finlay when he had stopped shaking Jennifer’s hand, before looking back to her and continuing, “You sure you’re not his older sister?”
“Well, aren’t you charming!” laughed Jennifer.
Jennifer rolled her eyes but smiled as she stroked, hand-over-hand, her long black hair for a few seconds, before twirling one lock around her elegantly extended index finger. Finlay had read on the internet about women playing with their hair while talking to guys… was his mother flirting?
“You didn’t tell me your name,” she prompted Jack; their bodies were turned squarely to face each other and Jennifer’s left hand was rested against Jack’s upper arm whilst she spoke.
“Oh sorry, I’m Jack, I am Finlay’s…” Jack paused, looking like he only just remembered Finlay was next to them, “Finlay’s roommate.”
“Oh…Jack,” Jennifer said, the excitement in her voice lapsing as she continued, “Yeah Finlay’s mentioned you. It’s… uh nice to put a face to a name.”
“Good stories, I hope,” chuckled Jack, as he gave Finlay a ‘friendly’ punch in the arm, but both the force and the subtle tone of nervousness in Jack’s laugh made Finlay question the innocent nature of the punch.
“Of course,” lied Jennifer, evidently making more of an effort to sound cheerful about meeting the guy that Finlay had been complaining about for the past few weeks.
“So… uh… Mum should we go inside and you can tell me what happened?”
“Oh are you staying with us for a few days?” asked Jack, with a little too much enthusiasm for Finlay’s liking.
“No, I had a hotel booking but apparently something’s went wrong so I need to sort out new plans now,” sighed Jennifer.
“Sounds terrible,” replied Jack, lathering his voice with sympathy, “Let’s go upstairs and we can fix this.”
Without saying anything further, Jack picked up Jennifer’s handbag and travel case in his left hand, which was already carrying a bag-for-life that contained a couple of cans of beer and an oven pizza. The case was a small overnight bag, so everything he was carrying can’t have been too heavy, but Finlay thought it was obvious he was trying to show off.
“Jack, I can take that stuff…” said Finlay.
“Nah mate, us meatheads gotta be of some use,” responded Jack abruptly.
‘Who the heck says ‘meatheads’?’ thought Finlay, but he didn’t say anything, instead he just awkwardly watched as Jack fished his keys from his pocked and opened the door, all whilst carrying his and Jennifer’s bags in the other hand.
The three of them dumped Jennifer’s stuff in Finlay and Jack’s room and Jennifer explained her predicament. She had gone to the hotel and given a screenshot of her booking confirmation but it seemed the travel website that she had used hadn’t sent the details through the hotel. The hotel said they couldn’t do anything because they didn’t have any proof that Jennifer had ever made a booking, and though the receptionist had been very apologetic, she said that all Jennifer could do is call the booking website.
After Jennifer had finished her angry rant, they tried a couple of nearby hotels, but it seemed that everything was likely to be booked up because of school mid-term holidays. They seemed to hit luck after the fourth place they tried, but the room was £230 a night, more than four times the cost of the room she had originally booked. Frustrated, Jennifer looked up the booking website contact details and called their support line. After grumbling her way through some automated questions, Jennifer was eventually queued to speak to a human operator. She paced around the room, her phone held in front of her with hold music playing over its loudspeaker.
“Hello, hotelbook.com. Thanks for calling our support line, you’re on with Carly, how can I help you today?” came a very perky voice over the phone.
“Hi, I made a booking for the Holiday Lodge in Farringdon, and when I got there, they hadn’t heard of my booking,” replied Jennifer, the irritation in her voice contrasting with Carly’s ‘customer service’ positivity.
“Oh dear, let’s see how I can help!” chirped Carly, as Jennifer sighed, “Can I take your ten character booking reference number please?”
Jennifer read out the code at the top of her screenshot printout, and Carly asked her to wait while she checked the booking details.
“Hi madam, I found the problem, it looks like you booked using a discount code that isn’t valid for peak periods, like this week, so the booking was cancelled.”
Jack looked up from behind his phone, and sat up on the edge of his bed, having been lying down until now. He gave an disapproving look when Jennifer looked over. Finlay shrugged as his mother looked at him, annoyance towards Carly evident in her expression.
“OK but I got a booking confirmation, not a cancellation.”
“Yes it looks like there was an error but you should have been sent an email with the cancellation.”
“OK well I didn’t.”
“Are you… sure?” asked Carly, her professional veil of optimism slipping slightly as Jennifer’s frustration started to turn to anger.
Jack appeared at Jennifer’s shoulder and, without invitation, began to talk, “Hi Carly, my name’s Jack, I’m a friend of Jennifer’s, could we speak to your supervisor please?”
“Um… sure… give me a minute please,” said the hesitant Carly.
“Um… Excuse me?” enquired Jennifer, turning to Jack as soon as hold music came on again, “I don’t remember asking you to intervene.”
“Yeah sorry, I should’ve asked first, but I used to work in a call centre, so I thought I could help. This woman’s supervisor will have some leeway to give you a deal, and if you push that you want to make a complaint, they’d rather just give you something free than have a complaint to deal with. If they can resolve the problem in the first phone call then they get better stats and better bonuses and such.”
Finlay was annoyed and embarrassed that Jack would have the arrogance to interfere in an issue that had nothing to do with him. He was thinking about what to say or do to reverse the awkward situation when to Finlay’s shock, he saw his mum cautiously hand the phone to Jack, just as the hold music stop and a new voice came on the phone.
“Hi there, I’m Fiona, Carly has passed me your call. How can I help?”
“Hi Fiona,” spoke Jack, slowly and confidently, “Jennifer received a confirmation email, to say her booking was confirmed, but you’re saying that you cancelled it without adequately trying to ensure that you let her book something online that wasn’t valid.”
“Yes it’s our policy…”
“Sorry, I wasn’t finished. Basically, your customer has been left in a situation where she is struggling to find alternate accommodation because of this. These things do happen, but we’re just asking you to resolve it.”
“Yes, OK, I completely see what you’re saying. We have already automatically issued a refund of the deposit, at the time of cancellation, but we can offer you a 50% discount at any hotel if you book through us again, so that you can find something tonight for cheaper, and we also have partnerships with various restaurants around London, so I’ve emailed a distinct voucher for a free meal up to £100 in value in order to apologise for our error.”
Finlay saw an impressed look on his mother’s face, especially as an email notification for the free meal voucher appeared on her phone within seconds. Finlay, however, was irritated with Jack; the woman on the phone would probably given them the same deal, without Jack’s cocky performance.
Jennifer’s earlier annoyance both from the hotel situation and Jack butting in seemed to have been quelled, as she thanked him very earnestly and started to stroke his right arm with her right hand, a very adoring smile beaming across her face.
“Now I just need somewhere to stay,” mused Jennifer, her exciting ebbing as it became clear that Jack’s ‘solution’ had not actually got her a hotel room yet.
“Well, you could just stay here,” suggested Jack.
Finlay and Jennifer gave him a confused look, but Jack was only looking at Jennifer, who laughed as she replied, “So you mean I should just sleep on the floor? Not so easy at my age…”
“No, of course not, I can change my sheets and you have have my bed. I could sleep on the floor or, if you really feel uncomfortable, I could see if I could stay at another mates.”
“No, no!” she retorted, “Don’t be silly I can’t kick you out of your own bed. If I’m sleeping here, then I suppose it would only be fair if I stay on Finny’s bed.”
Both Jack and Jennifer looked at Finlay. Jennifer had an expectant expression on her face, one that he read as saying ‘well… if an stranger can offer to sleep on the floor for your mother, surely you could too?’
Jack had a similar expression, except for a twinge of smugness that said, ‘I’ve snookered you mate, she’s staying here tonight’.
“Go on, Finny,” Jack continued on from his intolerable expression, his jovial tone as he used Jennifer’s pet name for Finlay served to avoid making it obvious he was being facetious.
“Yeah, I suppose…” mumbled Finlay.
“Great,” said Jennifer, her gaze holding Jack’s for quite a few seconds before eventually turning to Finlay.
“Hopefully I can sort out something for tomorrow, but for tonight, we don’t have to worry! How about we use this dinner voucher tonight? Jack, would you like to join us?” asked Jennifer, eagerness entering her voice again after the past 45 minutes of annoyance.
“Ummm, I wouldn’t want to get in the way of family stuff,” replied Jack, his faux-reluctance unconvincing to Finlay.
“On, of course, we wouldn’t have a free meal if it wasn’t for you.”
Finlay gritted his teeth as Jack yielded to his mother’s invitation. He was used to his friends being attracted to his mum; she had ample, well-proportioned curves, which were often evident when she wore tight trousers or dresses, even when she wore reasonably modest tops, and she also had defined, yet delicate, facial features framed by thick wavy black hair, but today she was wearing regular-fit jeans with a thick jumper that gave barely a hint of her figure beneath. So Finlay was struggling to understand why his roommate was so desperately flirting with his mother. What really confused him though, was why his mother was indulging it and not revulsed by the sleazy jock.
The couple, who had been oblivious to Finlay’s existence for at least two full minutes turned to him when the phone in his pocked started to beep. He checked it and realised that he had to leave for his Friday afternoon class. It was a two hour lecture on Bayesian statistics, something he rather enjoyed, but right now, he felt awkward leaving his mother alone with his lecherous roommate. His mother asked curiously what the alarm was for, and Finlay put aside his discomfort, realising he was being stupid, worrying about her; she was a grown woman after all, she could handle herself. Finlay told her he needed to go for his lecture, but he’d be back around half past 5.
“OK, it’s… twenty to 3 now, so that’s perfect,” exclaimed Jennifer, “I need to go to the shops, I was hoping to get a new dress for your father’s work do.’
“Great…” replied Finlay, trailing off nervously as he noticed Jack intently listening in;, Finlay continued, trying to ignore him, “Do you know where you need to go?”
“I can show you a couple of places nearby,” interjected Jack, barely a second after Finlay stopped speaking.
“Yeah, that sounds great. You’re so very helpful aren’t you,” said Jennifer, gently brushing Jack’s upper arm for a few moments.
Finlay tried to think of a way to discourage them from their freshly formed plan, but he didn’t know how to, without letting on that Jack had got to him. He really needed to get to his lecture but he waited around for his mother to get her handbag and walked the two of them down the stairs. Finlay became increasingly anxious as his window for being on time to his lecture narrowed but his mother and roommate paid no attention to him as they exited the building.
When they were at the foot of the stairs outside the front of the door, Finlay turned to speak to his mum, who was looking completely the other direction, at Jack, “Mum, the bus stop is just round the corner, you can catch the…”
“Jennifer…” interrupted Jack, making Finlay’s heart sink, “It’s, at most, a 20 minute walk, even if we take a casual pace. I’m good for a stroll… if you want to?”
Jennifer started walking in the direction Jack gestured, agreeing without even acknowledging her son.
She took a few steps, then, as if she suddenly remembered, she turned back to Finlay, “We’ll see you back here right? Did you say six?”
“Five-thirty,” replied Finlay, resisting the urge to tell his mum not to spend time with Jack.
“Great, see you then,” she responded, as she turned back to Jack.
Finlay’s stomach churned as he was sure his mother had completely ignored what he had just said, her mind completely distracted. He didn’t want Jack to know he was bothered. He didn’t want his mum to know he was bothered for that matter too. He crossed the road as Jack and Jennifer made their way in the opposite direction. Finlay looked round; the couple was at least 10 metres away now but he could clearly hear a hearty laugh from his mother as she caressed his shoulder for a few seconds, before they disappeared around the street corner.
Finlay sat through his lecture, unable to concentrate; his mind kept drifting to thoughts about what his mum and Jack were doing. Surely she had become bored of him after half an hour and sent him away?
After the class finished, a group of people arranged to go to the pub for a couple of drinks. Finlay was invited along, as a courtesy he assumed, but he immediately turned them down to rush back to his mother and sleazy roommate. Finlay unlocked his room’s door and entered to find his mum sitting at his desk applying make-up but, to his relief, Jack was not there with her.
“Hey Sweetie,” greeted his mum, without breaking from her preening routine, “How was your lecture?”
Finlay was about to respond when the door swung open again.
“Hey Jen, got your wine here,” came Jack’s voice, stealing the moment of relief that Finlay had barely had a chance to enjoy.
“Thanks Jackers but just this one, it’s not even six!” replied Finlay’s mum, looking to Jack and smiling earnestly as she took the glass of red wine.
“Hey mate,” said Jack, nonchalantly, barely glancing over to Finlay.
“Hi,” responded Finlay, his voice curt as he digested the information that Jack called his mum ‘Jen’ and she was calling him that stupid rugby team nickname ‘Jackers’.
“Grab yourself a can of beer, if you fancy, mate,” continue Jack, as he leant over the desk, close to Jennifer, “It’s on my shelf in the fridge.”
“He doesn’t drink beer,” said Jennifer, rolling her lips as she placed her lipstick back in her bag.
“Ah yeah, I remember. There’s some wine too then.”
Finlay thought back to one of their first pub trips out as new roommates and Jack, jovially telling Finlay to ‘man-up’ and have some beer. Finlay asked for cider but Jack brought him back a pink alcopop. Jack eventually bought Finlay the drink he wanted, but not before a few more laughs.
“Beer’s fine,” mumbled Finlay, but her got no acknowledgement from either of the other two in the room, bar a dismissive ‘cool’ from Jack.
Finlay returned from the communal kitchen to his room, with a foul-tasting beer that he sipped through pursed lips, to find ‘Jen’ and ‘Jackers’ deep in conversation. Jennifer was just finishing styling her hair up into a pony tail before bending down to affix the straps on a pair of black high heeled shoes. Finlay noticed she had bare legs; thanks to climate change it was pretty warm for October, but it wasn’t until she stood up that she realised it was quite revealing. It was black, and had a covered back, sleeves that just covered her elbows and the hem finished at her mid-thigh, pretty respectable, but the cleavage was low and wide and there was a slit at the bottom that went most of the way up her thigh.
“Uh… nice dress, Mum,” commented Finlay, still mumbling.
It wasn’t completely unlike some of the things his mother had worn before, but not in perhaps 10 years, and today it seemed like an odd occasion to wear it. He wondered if she was just trying it on now, ahead of the event at his dad’s work, and maybe then she intended to wear it with tights.
“Thanks,” she smiled, before walking over to Jack’s wardrobe and examining herself in the built-in mirror, “It is nice, I tried on a few but Jackers thought this was best, good choice.”
Of course that arsehole chose it. Didn’t she know he was being a perv? It was like she’d forgotten she’d just met Jack and everything she’d heard about him until now was how much of a twat he was. Proving Finlay’s point, that Jack was a twat, Jack walked over to the wardrobe and excused Jennifer, whilst he pulled off his t-shirt. Jennifer moved away by taking a step back, but didn’t attempt to look away.
“Just thought I’d get a shirt on, since you’re all dressed up,” explained Jack, as flicked through his railing of hanging shirts, neither of them reacting with embarrassment or modesty.
“Finlay,” said Jennifer, finally turning away from the topless teenager to look at her son, “You must have that blue striped shirt? The one you wore for your 18th. That looks nice on you.”
Finlay, in a grumpy tone, told her he had the shirt and went to put it on, annoyed that just because ‘Jackers’ was trying to show off he had to change. Unlike his exhibitionist flatmate, who had dressed himself in a crisp white shirt that was so tight against his built frame that he may as well have still be topless, Finlay had modesty and hid behind the wardrobe door as he quickly swapped tops. It had nothing to do with the fact that Jack was in much better shape than Finlay was.
The three of them assembled downstairs after finishing their drinks, or in Finlay’s case, pretending to finish the can of beer and pouring half of it into the kitchen sink. Jennifer had put on a black belt-up coat that covered her chest but still left some of her leg on show; Finlay noticed Jack stealing glances, often in a not-subtle way; Jennifer didn’t seem to mind. Finlay and Jack were wearing similar outfits; jeans, a shirt, a coat and smart shoes, but all of Jack’s clothes looked like he was modelling them for the online catalogue, whilst Finlay’s looked like he’d got dressed in the dark.
“Oh, Finny, I didn’t say earlier did I but we made reservations at this seafood place that Jackers told me about.”
“Oh… Right OK,” replied Finlay, a little reluctantly. He wasn’t the biggest fan of seafood and his mother knew that.
“Yeah mate, it’s right by the King Henry, so I thought we could nip in there for a drink first, then grab the food, then back to the pub or even another pub,” chipped in Jack.
“Good plan,” praised Jennifer, giving Jack an extra cheerful smile as she took a side-step closer to Jack and squeezed his tricep.
Good plan? Finlay’s fists clenched in response to his mother’s actions. It wasn’t a plan, it was just Jack suggesting that they could drink a lot. That’s not a plan, that was just an average evening for Jack and his stupid friends.
Jennifer, clearly oblivious to her son’s frustrations, gently grasped both guys by their upper arms and cheered, “Come on, boys.”
They followed her lead and she released her grip on them both after a few steps, though Finlay noticed that it took just a few more seconds for her to completely let go of Jack, as her hand softly stroked it’s way down to his. If he didn’t know better, he could’ve sworn she held it, if only for a second.
Jennifer had another glass of wine; she asked for a small, but Jack convinced her to get a large, and the guys had a pint each, though Finlay’s was a strawberry-flavoured cider, before they moved from the pub to the seafood restaurant. Jack and Jennifer agreed to share a bottle of wine, and Finlay ordered another cider. Finlay’s drink came in a small bottle, barely more than half a pint, whilst his mother and roommate were already pretty tipsy; Jack was making predictable and banal jokes, yet his mother chuckled away encouragingly at each one and the noise was beginning to grate on Finlay.
However, what grated on him more though, was the way Jennifer had angled herself towards Jack, and since, Finlay and Jack were sitting opposite each other at the table with Jennifer was sitting diagonally between them, it effective blocked Finlay out of any discussions they were having.
Jennifer was debating between lobster stew and monkfish curry, which ‘coincidentally’, Jackers had been looking at too. They decided that they could order one dish each and try the others’, something she often did with Finlay’s dad. Finlay wondered what his dad would think about Jennifer wearing a tight dress, getting drunk with her cleavage out as she playfully giggled with his dickhead flatmate. He doubted she was thinking about that at all, she was too engrossed in trading stories about university; Jennifer had done history too, as well as play netball, so they had a surprising amount in common.
He waited until his mother had finished telling some story about a night out with her netball and rugby friends, from a time before either Finlay or Jack were born, before he interjected, “Mum, how’s Dad doing? When’s he back again?”
“Oh yeah, I spoke to him this morning before I left. He’s fine, this project is a bit boring apparently, so he’s looking forward to coming back again… which is… this coming Friday.”
Finlay intended to keep talking about his dad’s work, knowing it would be harder for Jack to engage in the conversation.
However, it didn’t seem to have deterred him, “Oh where is he?”
“Canada, his company has an office there, but doesn’t enjoy going there that much.”
“Oh really? What’s wrong with Canada.”
“Oh nothing, it’s just his office isn’t really based anywhere with much interesting to see or do, especially if you’ve been a dozen times. It’s not too far from Vancouver though, We went there once, it’s a really nice place to visit.”
Once again, Finlay had been sidelined out of the conversation; Jennifer focused on Jack as he replied, “My cousin went there during a gap year. He really enjoyed it and recommended it to me.”
Jennifer delicately put her hand on Jack’s forearm as she spoke, “You really should, I can give you some places you should definitely go.”
“Should we ask for the bill?” grumbled Finlay, as his mother rolled her chest forward slightly towards Jack.
She turned to look at Finlay and Jack, indiscreetly, looked down her top, “OK sweetie, you two get the bill and I’ll nip to the loo.”
Jennifer swivelled her body round to the left, towards Jack, even though the way to the toilet was on her right. Finlay clenched his teeth as he noticed Jack’s dart down to between his mum’s legs, as they briefly parted. Jennifer stood up; the hem of her dress had ridden up and Jack’s wandering eyes looked at the bounty of bare thigh she was offering. She fixed the dress, acting far too casual about maintaining her modesty. Jack watched as Jennifer turned to face away from him then bent down, dropping to her ankles a little too late for her to avoid giving Jack a glimpse of her bum. She picked up her bag and then strode off to the loo.
Jack smirked as he followed her swinging butt cheeks, before looking back to Finlay, “Fuck me your mum has a nice ass…”
“Fuck you, Jack!” retorted Finlay, before dropping his voice a little, embarrassed that he loudly swore, “For some reason she seems to like you, so just don’t be a prick.”
“Whoa! Where’d that come from? Lighten up, mate.”
“Well don’t be rude about her then!”
“I wasn’t I said she’s got a nice ass. It’s a compliment. She wouldn’t have worn that tight little g-string if she didn’t expect people to have a look.”
“What the… heck… are you talking about?”
“I saw her bend over earlier and she was wearing a floral number under her jeans, but now you can just about see a sexy little,” He paused to gesture a T in the air, “under her dress. It definitely wasn’t a whale tail I saw earlier.”
“What’s a whale tail?” snapped Finlay, then spoke again quickly, “Actually I don’t care. You’re just such an… effing creep.”
“Just chill the fuck out mate,” sighed Jack, “It’s things like this are why people find you fucking annoying.”
“What? What people?” asked Finlay, feeling his stomach drop; he knew he wasn’t the most popular of people but did people really say things like that behind his back?
“Nah, mate, just ignore me. It’s the drink talking. That was harsh,” replied Jack, seeming genuinely awkward for a few seconds.
“Look, it’s nothing. Some of the people that know I’m your roommate sometimes tell me you can be a bit… intense and stuff. Just lighten up and people might like you.”
The two of them sat in awkward silence for about ten seconds, but Jack broke the tension by waving at the waiter and mouthing the word ‘bill’.
He turned back to Finlay, and with a more serious tone than his usual, he said, “Look, your mum is pretty cool. Don’t tell her I said anything.”
Finlay still felt numb at Jack’s words but he wanted to tell Jack that he wasn’t going to just play nice so that Jack could try it on. He held the words on the tip of his tongue for a couple of seconds, his thoughts jumbled in the mix of anger and hurt, when he saw Jack smile over his shoulder.
Jennifer walked to the far side of the table, so that she was right next to Jack before sitting down. She brushed his shoulder with her hand as she sat down, then put her bag to the floor whilst bending her whole chest forward. Finlay noticed Jack looking; he must have got an eyeful of her breasts. Jack looked up at Finlay and gave him a wink and a sly smirk.
Finlay silently seethed as Jennifer and Jack started talking again, only stopping when the waiter interrupted with the bill. Without consulting Finlay, they decided to go to a nearby bar for a couple more drinks. As soon as they left the restaurant, Jack and Jennifer started walking together, with only a cursory glance to make sure Finlay wasn’t falling behind.
At the bar, Jennifer was ordering; Finlay asked for a cider, and Jack suggested another bottle of wine. Jennifer immediately shot down the idea, saying she was just having a soda water this time, but somehow, Jack talked her into getting them gin and tonics.
Lucky timing meant that Jack managed to grab them a table just as a couple was leaving. These were high tables, so Jack stood at one side and then dragged a bar stool over, gesturing to Jennifer that she sit there, diagonally next to him, like at the restaurant. She willingly obliged, perching gently on the stool and leaning forward onto the table. Finlay wasn’t about to get left out again; this time he stood so he was opposite her and closer to Jack, so that she couldn’t just forget he was here.
Finlay was feeling a little tipsy now, and so he felt more able to be assertive. He still felt put out that his mother found this dumb jerk more interesting that she did him, but he determinedly made himself part of the conversation. He noticed Jack trying to cut him out, which was irritating but not unexpected, but surely his mum had noticed this too? Why wasn’t she doing more to make sure Finlay wasn’t being ignored? Had she forgotten the purpose of her visit was to see him?
Finlay desperately wanted to shout at Jack and tell him to fuck off back to their room. He wanted to tell his mum to stop being so touchy-feely; she was only getting worse the more she drank. He also remembered what Jack had said at the restaurant, about Finlay needing to lighten up. Would showing how pissed off he was just now just make people find him annoying? Maybe he was being shut out because instead of enjoying himself he was more bothered that his roommate and mother were actually getting on quite well.
Finlay had been holding back a need to go to the toilet for a while now. He needed a number two, but he was worried about leaving Jack alone with his mum for so long. Realising he was being stupid, he excused himself and headed downstairs to the loos, where he stood uncomfortably outside the one stall in the men’s.
Finlay approached the table, after being away for about 15 minutes, and saw Jack holding his mum’s out in front of her.
“Like this,” he said, and brought her hand up to his mouth then licked the back of it, near her thumb.
“What are you doing?!” exclaimed Finlay.
Unfazed, Jack lightly shook some salt onto her hand, where he had just licked, and quickly did the same to his hand.
His mother looked up at him and replied ecstatically, “We’re doing Tequila!”
She showed him her shot glass and then, with a slightly apologetic tone, continued, “We finished our drinks and you’ve still got half a drink left, so we didn’t know if you wanted one. You can go get one. We’ll wait.”
“No, don’t worry about it,” replied Finlay, annoyed at how quickly his mother turned to Jack with a big grin on her face.
“Lick the salt, we lock arms, do the shot and then the lemon. Got it?”
“Yup, GO!” announced Jennifer.
Finlay watched in disgust as his mum licked the hand that Jack just licked, and then leant in to Jack to lock arms with him. They downed their shots and then bit into their lemons, without unlocking arms. Using their free hands they discarded their lemons before looking at each other, their noses barely two fingers’ width apart. Finlay’s stomach churned as he wondered if they were going to…
Jennifer interrupted Finlay’s train of thought by slamming down the shot glass on the table.
“It’s been about 20 years since I did Tequila I think! I don’t know if I remember all this lemon and salt stuff though but you can’t forget that taste.”
Leslie has come off her stool for the shot but she didn’t sit back down, instead choosing to stand close to Jack as the music and ambient chatter made it increasingly difficult to talk. The alcohol was starting to make Finlay feel drowsy and he was getting bored with being ignored.
“How long are we planning on staying out?” asked Finlay, edging around closer to his mother and Jack so they could hear him better.
“It’s barely past 9, mate. I was planning on staying for a few,” replied Jack.
“We’ll wait until 10 and see how we all feel,” added Jennifer, but she was looking at Jack when she said it, which made Finlay think that she was unlikely to take into account his feelings.
“Jacky Jack Jackerrrrs!” came a voice that Finlay recognised as AP, one of Jack’s rugby friends.
AP banged his pint glass down on the table and stumbled, obviously quite drunk, knocking the table a bit and sloshed a fair amount of his drink onto the table.
“AP!” yelled Jack as he put up his hand for a high-five, which turned into some stupid handshake ritual.
AP, as well as Jennifer and Jack, remained unaware of the pool of drink that was travelling to the edge of the table at risk of dripping onto all of their coats. Finlay took a few steps over to a shelf that had some napkins.
“Who’s your date?” bellowed AP, loud enough that Finlay could still hear him.
Finlay waited near the table for a guy holding a tray of drinks to walk by.
“I’m flattered,” said his mother, giggling, “But I’m much older than the rest of you.”
And married? And not interested?! Finlay thought ‘flattered’ would be his mother’s last reaction to this big lout thinking she’s dating Jack.
“He’s Finlay’s mum.”
“Finlay?” asked AP, before quickly continuing, “You mean Harry Potter!”
“Harry Potter?” asked his mum; like the rest of them completely ignoring his presence and the fact he was cleaning up AP’s mess.
“Oh yeah, the first few times Finlay met AP he couldn’t remember his name, he kept thinking it sounded like Harry Potter, so he just calls him that,” explained Jack.
“Finlay Popple, Harry Potter, Oh I suppose it does sound a bit like that…” agreed his mother, seemingly unaware at how much he hated being called that.
Jack and Jennifer looked at Finlay, possibly acknowledging him of their own volition for the first time in an hour, which caused AP to follow their gaze.
“Harry! Didn’t even see you there!” greeted AP, with an unnecessary, and painful, slap to the back.
“Oh yeah, I was just cleaning up the drink you spilled,” grumbled Finlay.
“Ah right, cool,” said AP, dismissively, with no hint of gratitude.
There was an awkward silence as all four of them looked to each other, though Jennifer maintained a tipsy smile.
AP broke the silence, “There’s that look, the Harry Potter look!”
“What look?” asked Finlay, sure he wouldn’t like the answer.
“Yeah, it’s something Jackers said! You always look a bit dazed and confused, like Daniel Radcliffe trying to act. It’s the Harry Potter look.”
Jack laughed uncomfortably at first, but then he saw Jennifer giggling too, and his laugh became more hearty.
“You do sometimes look a bit lost,” chuckled Jennifer, “That’s quite funny.”
AP and Jack looked to each other and smiled; this wasn’t friendly banter like his mum thought it was. They both liked to rip into Finlay and now, unwittingly, his mum was egging them on.
Presumably, the satisfaction of having Finlay’s mum compliment an insult at his expense was enough for AP and he gave both Finlay and Jack a slap on the back to say bye, though Finlay’s seemed that little bit harder. AP and Jennifer exchanged ‘nice to meet you’ pleasantries but she went in and gave AP a hug.
The trio finished another round of drinks and ten o’clock rolled by. Bored and tired, Finlay brought up leaving again but the other two suggested one more drink before calling it a night. Finlay, armed with his mum’s cash, bought Jennifer and Jack more gin and tonics and got himself a diet coke, which he told Jack was a vodka and coke, to keep himself awake.
Jennifer talked Jack out of another round of Tequilas but they both decided to go on the small raised platform that just about counted as a dancefloor. They asked Finlay if he didn’t mind looking after the stuff and he agreed; he didn’t want to dance and they weren’t really asking.
He watched the two of them dance together, checking they weren’t getting to close or that Jack wasn’t being to handsy. There was some hand holding as Jack spun her and a couple of times when they were doing some sort of attempt at a waltz, but it didn’t ever get too inappropriate.
Still bored and ready to fall asleep, not to mention Finlay really didn’t like bars with loud music, he was ready to give up and go home. After seeing Jen and Jackers on the dancefloor he realised the worst that would happen if he left them to their own devices they’d get more drunk probably just embarrass themselves with terrible moves.
“I think I’m going to go,” announced Finlay when the other two came back to the table.
“I’ve still got a little bit of my drink left,” replied Jennifer.
“Yeah,” sighed Finlay, feeling defeated, “but if I wait then you’ll just want to get another one or something.”
“No, sweetie, just wait a few minutes…”
Jack quickly interjected, “I’m gonna stay out with AP if you guys go back. It’s a short walk back, I could take you back when you’re ready to go.”
Finlay could see his mum wanted to say yes, but she instead asked, “What do you think? Is that OK, Finny?”
She was drunk and he was a sleaze, but what did Finlay really think would happen. This is exactly what Jack was on about earlier. He just needed to lighten up.
“Yeah,” agreed Finlay, though it made him feel distinctly uncomfortable the moment the words left his lips.
“OK, see you soon. 20 minutes tops,” smiled his mother.
Finlay gathered his stuff and headed out the packed bar, relieved he was leaving just as it was getting really busy. He looked back at the table with his mum and roommate, neither of them looking like they had any intention of leaving soon.
Finlay’s dry eyes strained in the darkness. His throat was raw and his head felt like his brain was pulsing against his skull. He should have had a glass of water before bed considering he’d had a few pints. He just hadn’t realised how many he had drunk because he was too busy worrying about Jack and his mum.
He wasn’t sure the time, so he went to fetch for his phone; he always left it on the wall shelf above his bed. He looked up to where it should be and saw the frame of his bed. He took a few seconds and remembered he was sleeping on the floor because he had given up his bed to his mum. He wouldn’t be able to reach his phone without undoing his sleeping bag and getting up, so he gave up on the idea.
He guessed the time must’ve been really early morning, based on how dark it was outside, and he half-rolled to his right, away from his bed, intending to go back to bed. He shut his eyes and tried to ignore Jack, who seemed to be half-snoring and half-panting.
He heard a couple of knocks and a groan from the corner of the room with Jack’s bed. He couldn’t see that corner, because it was diagonally behind him but he could hear and odd shuffling noise that accompanied the heavy breathing. Tangled in his sleeping bag, Finlay could just move his head to look up and to his right.
Because of the dark he still couldn’t see much, but a thin sliver of light was peeking through a tiny gap in the curtains; though it fell beyond the end of Jack’s bed, the light diffused enough to highlight the silhouette of Jack’s rising and falling buttocks, as he thrust into a woman to whom the outline of a shapely thigh and a set of curled toes presumably belonged.
Finlay’s heart began to race with anger, which only increased the painful throbbing in his head. It was one thing to fuck women in their room when just Finlay was there, but his mother was asleep just a couple of metres away from Jack’s depravity. He wanted to get up and punch Jack squarely in the face, but he was scared he would wake his mum and force her to witness this shameful behaviour.
Then something terrible occurred to him, what if Jack had just left her alone to follow this random slut. Maybe he was being so brazen because she wasn’t back and she was just wandering around outside. Fuck! He should have never left her. He looked up at the bed but couldn’t really tell if she was there. He looked around the room and saw a woman’s shoe lying in the stream of light, but it could have belonged to Jack’s daily whore, rather than his mum. He followed the light to where it met the wall next to the door and saw a woman’s bag; it looked like it was the one his mum had taken out with her. Turning to looking around further, he noticed that just behind his head was her coat, and he sighed with relief; she had definitely come back. He started to worry again though, it was completely unlike her to throw her coat on the floor. Had she had too much to drink and had to run out to throw up? Jack was ploughing her with far too much all night.
“Uhn… yes,” quietly moaned the girl pinned beneath Jack and Finlay quickly looked at his bed, looking for signs that maybe his sleeping mother was about to be woken up.
“Yeah, you like that?” replied Jack, his voice hushed.
“Shhh… you’ll wake him,” she whispered in reply, and suddenly, the worst thought popped into Finlay’s head.
Right then a car pulled up on the street outside so that it’s headlights created a strip of illumination that fell right across the head of Jack’s bed. Finlay’s viewing angle from the floor meant that he could only really see Jack’s head, and just a hint of the thick wavy black hair of the woman he was kissing intensely. Finlay saw her back arch and heard a restrained moan as a delicate hand reach around Jack’s head and grab a handful of hair. As the woman pulled tightly, Jack’s head was lifted back just a couple of centimetres, into the light, and Finlay saw the glint of his mother’s wedding ring.
Jennifer and Jack were clearly trying to keep themselves quiet, but their moans and groans were still audible. The only sounds he could hear other than their lustful whimpers and the noise of skin against skin against bedsheets were car doors shutting. As the car outside drove off the stream of light travelled along the naked writing bodies of the woman he loved more than anyone else in the world and the prick he hated sharing a room with.
Finlay was paralysed. How could he confront them now? He wanted to pretend he wasn’t seeing what he was seeing, not have to shout at his sweaty, horny mum. Finlay stared in shock, willing himself awake from the nightmare.
His stomach began to churn as he heard the tell-tale lip-smacking of vigorous kisses and just watched helplessly as his mother’s dainty feet locked together above Jack’s buttocks. Her calves grabbed his hips tightly, but not as hard as her right hand was grasping his ribs.
As if she knew he was watching, as if she knew there was only one thing she could say to make it worse, hushed words slipped from her lips, “Oh yes, Jackers.”
Her breathing became more frantic and her hand started to desperately paw at Jack’s skin. The noise of barely controlled gasps was replaced by lips and tongues caressing each other and Finlay felt warm bile at the back of his throat.
Swallowing it, he controlled his stomach, just long enough to hear, breathlessly begged, “Come with me, come inside me, please.”
“Uhn Jen,” grunted Jack, hardly attempting to quieten himself any longer.
His mother’s legs unwrapped and she used her heels to grab the back of Jack’s thighs as he spread his legs to give him better leverage to thrust. Their abilities to keep quiet diminished, especially considering the outside world was all but dead; neither of them even noticed Jack’s left foot made a loud thud as he place it down by the side of the bed for better purchase. His left hand entwined with Jennifer’s right and they held them out off of the bed.
Finlay heard his mother intermittently emit sharp exhales whenever Jack thrust a bit too hard but she still seemed to be trying to stay quiet whenever she could. Jack’s left hand went to grasp his mother’s large right breast, and Finlay saw him pinch the nipple, which made her stifle a yelp. Both his hands dived under her body bringing her face into view for the first time. Her mouth was agape and her eyes were scrunched with concentration. He wondered that even if he tried, could he stop them.
Her hands grabbed a shoulder blade each, and both her legs rocked back until her toes were pointing straight at the ceiling. Her calves rocked back and forth to the rhythm of Jack’s undulations, as her head came up to bury her face in Jack’s shoulder.
Jennifer made a nearly silent exhale, bar a short squeak, which lead up to her whole body shuddering. She exhaled as she let out a quiet moan and he saw her whole body go limp. Jack made a few deep thrusts as he presumably, delivering further insult to Finlay, pumped sperm deep into woman who created him. Silence fell as the desperate heaving of his unfaithful mother and her new lover came to an end.
Finlay shut his eyes, still holding out hope this was a vivid dream, but he heard the peck of soft kisses followed by his mother’s gentle cooing. He looked up again and saw Jack pull back enough to move his head to his mother’s chest. He watched his roommate take her right nipple into his mouth and heard her moan approvingly as he sucked on it. She let him continue for 30 seconds before stroking her hand through his hair, eventually using it to coax him back to her lips.
Jennifer sat up and Finlay pulled his eye lids down so he could just about see what was happening on the bed, but appear like he was asleep if they looked over. Jack grabbed his boxers from the foot of the bed and pulled them back on as he clambered into bed. Jennifer kissed him briefly on the lips as she slowly got to her feet, stumbling for a second as she stood up completely. She walked unsteadily towards the wardrobe just beyond Finlay’s feet, stopping for a second to turn to Jack. She stood in the sliver of light from the streetlamp and Finlay, to his shame, found himself thinking that Jennifer had an incredible body, better than someone half her age. Her skin shone with sweat, but the light just touched her right nipple, which glistened more, presumably with Jack’s saliva. Jennifer blew Jack a kiss then opened the wardrobe, where she quietly rustled through some hangers. She slid on her nightie before stumbling back over to the bed.
Finlay watched, anxiously, through nearly shut eyes, as his mother seemed incapable of navigating around him. She tip-toed towards his head and stepped directly over his face. Her footing wasn’t sure and she thumped her foot down just above Finlay’s shoulder. As she paused over him, maybe to get her balance, drips from between her legs landed on Finlay’s cheeks. He withheld another gag and resisted the urge to clean his face until his mother had clambered all the way into Finlay’s bed. As silently as he could, he wiped his face with the edge of his sleeping bag, willing himself not to think about what that was a concoction of.
Deep breathing came from the corner of the room, this time it really was Jack snoring, seconds before his mother started doing the same, albeit hers sounded oddly graceful. Finlay rolled onto his back and started at the ceiling. His mother shuffled in her bed and her left hand flopped out for a few seconds. He stared at it, how relaxed it looked after how aggressively it was grasping jack just minutes before. He stared at his mother’s wedding and engagement rings and wondered what was going through her head.
Eyes wide open, Finlay stared blankly into space above. As he eventually drifted back to sleep, he wondered how his mother could cheat on his data; he wondered why he was so pathetic that he didn’t march over to the bed and throw them apart; but most disturbingly, he wondered why he had had an erection during the whole thing.