“What the hell is this?” Harry grimaced as she swallowed, raising her drink up to the light to inspect it. It was a cocktail with different layers in the colours of a Pride rainbow, and the bartender had informed me it was on special offer for this weekend only. A little umbrella sat atop the glass, the sparkler discarded on the table once it had fizzled out.
“It’s called a Mystery Unicorn,” I replied. “Why, what’s wrong?”
“It’s awful,” she answered, lifting the straw to her lips and taking a deep sip. She wrinkled her nose in disgust.
My eyebrows raised in confusion. “Why are you still drinking it then?”
“I won’t waste alcohol.” She shrugged with a mischievous grin. “Just don’t get me another one. I’ll stick with beer.”
I laughed. We were having a great time, and one poorly constructed cocktail wouldn’t ruin our weekend.
Five of us—me, Harry, Georgia, Bella, and Riley—had taken a road trip to Brighton for the annual Pride festival. Emilia had remained behind to run the Cardinal because Harry wouldn’t trust Madison to do it.
After the event involving Madison and Lara at the end of last year, Harry had grown more resentful towards her and had made it well known that Madison wasn’t invited on the trip. I’d felt bad; Madison shouldn’t have done what she did, and while she often frustrated me, I still loved her as one of our own. Envy didn’t have as much restraint of her influence as the rest of us did, and she’d had a lapse in concentration with Lara. Her excuses hadn’t been enough for Harry to forgive her, though, after Lara had attempted suicide due to the jealousy Madison had inflicted. And even though Harry was my girlfriend, she was still the boss—Pride, the most powerful of the Seven Deadly Sins—and we couldn’t disobey her.
The person closest to Madison was Emilia, who was Wrath. Emilia had wasted no time in volunteering to stay behind and run the Cardinal while the rest of us went to Brighton. Harry had shrugged, handing her the keys to her nightclub as she bundled the rest of us into the minibus. Harry trusted Emilia, but we all knew Emilia wouldn’t leave Madison on her own. They were close, and while they had never discussed their feelings with us, we all speculated that something greater was going on that neither of them were aware of.
The alcohol had flowed as soon as we reached the motorway, and we were exceptionally drunk by the time we arrived at our respective hotels after a nine-hour road trip that spanned the length of England. The minibus driver had grown frustrated with us after two hours, when we kept requesting songs on repeat; “Proud” by Heather Small for Harry, the Beatles hit, “I’m Only Sleeping,” from Riley, and my particular favourite, “I Touch Myself.” I was the Sin of Lust, and any song that suggested such debauchery as that 1990s classic was high on my list of favourites. “Fingers” by Pink was another, but the driver hadn’t been able to find that on his sound system, so I resigned myself to the Blondie cover.
Tonight was the closing night of the festival after a fun-filled weekend, and we’d done everything from dancing until the early hours, karaoke at a local corner bar, drag acts, comics, and live music. We were at a club called Sin—yes, we considered it ironic—and they had put on one final drag performance that had not long ended.
I peered at my watch. It was almost midnight, and while that was an early night by any standards, we had the return journey to the Cardinal tomorrow morning.
I turned to inform Harry that we should leave for the hotel soon, but the words snagged in my throat as I watched her polish off the rest of the cocktail. I chuckled as she sucked on the straw, gurgling as she sought to hoover up the last remaining dregs from the bottom of the glass.
“It can’t have been that bad,” I told her with a smirk, nudging her in the ribs.
“It was horrid, but Bella will tell me off if she finds out we wasted money on it.”
I couldn’t disagree. Bella had already chastised me earlier in the night for spending over fifteen pounds on a fancy gin and tonic, and then left half a mouthful in the glass’s bottom. I’d insisted that it had been the leftover melted ice, but she’d heard none of it and had stood with her hands on her hips until I downed the rest of the glass. It had only been water, but I’d decided not to argue with her.
Just as I’d chosen not to argue with Harry when she insisted that her “Bi-Pride” T-shirt had ALLY on the back. We’d passed a stall selling all sorts of LGBT items earlier in the day, and I’d squealed in delight at the white Bi-Pride ones. Georgia, Riley, Bella, Madison, and I were all bisexual. Harry and Emilia were the only lesbians, and Harry had put her foot down, stating she would only wear one if it said ALLY on the back. She didn’t want people to think she was into men as well as women, she’d told me, and I’d eventually rolled my eyes and conceded on the condition that she wore it for the rest of the day.
I lost track of time when Riley appeared at the table with another tray of shots, and it was closer to half past one in the morning before we finally gathered our belongings and started towards our hotels.
Georgia, Bella, and Riley were staying at another hotel down the road; the festival was such a huge celebration that we couldn’t get enough rooms in one hotel, so we’d had to separate. Bella didn’t want to take the one Harry and I were in because it was the most expensive; Bella was Greed, and she was incredibly frugal, seizing the cheapest of the hotel rooms before the rest of us could get a word in edgewise. Riley (Sloth) was just content that there was a comfortable bed, while Georgia (Gluttony) had ensured the suite had its own minifridge so she could stock up on midnight snacks.
Holding Harry up, I stumbled through the exit of the club, the rain getting heavier as I searched up and down the street for a taxi. I huddled in the doorway, determined not to get soaked before we made it back to the hotel.
I jumped as a man appeared, crashing into me from behind.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” He held his hands up in an apology. “Hey, are you staying at the Rose Lodge?” he asked, his dark brown eyes glinting in the faint light.
“No, the Queen’s Hotel,” I replied before I could stop myself. I’d had too many cocktails, and my mouth engaged before my brain.
“Oh, me too,” he said, zipping up the front of his jacket. “Fancy sharing a taxi?”
“No, we’re OK, thank you.”
“Come on, it’s not far,” he pressed, a smile arising on his lips. “I can’t allow two gorgeous women such as yourselves out without a chaperone.”
I turned again, wobbling as I faced him. I closed one eye, squinting through the other. “Fine. But you can go into the rain and get one. We’re wearing white T-shirts, and I don’t want them going see-through.”
The man laughed. “That would be a disaster,” he countered with a wink. “Wait here. I’ll let you know when I’ve got one.”
I nodded, twisting back to Harry. She leaned against the wall of the club, her eyes closed and her arm dangling over my shoulder. “You OK, toots?” I asked.
A weak nod, but she didn’t open her eyes.
“How many shots did you have?” I frowned, tipping her chin up to study her. She handled her drink well, but perhaps the extent of alcohol over an entire weekend had caught up with her.
She shrugged, and I had to lean in to catch her when she stumbled from the wall. I hoisted her to my side, drawing her upright, just as the man returned.
“I’ve got one. Oh—” He ran to the other side of Harry and hooked her other arm around his neck. “Had a bit too much?” he asked me with a grin, supporting her as we walked towards the taxi.
“A little,” I conceded with a shy smile.
He helped me put Harry into the back seat, holding the door open for me until I sat down beside her. She settled her head on my shoulder, and I kissed her hair.
“Two seconds,” the man announced, patting down his pockets. “I think I’ve left my keys; hang on.”
He rushed back inside, and I regarded the taxi driver as he rolled his eyes and tapped his fingers on the steering wheel.
The man came back out and hopped into the front seat with a jovial, “Sorry, mate.” He buckled his seat belt as the taxi driver grunted and began to drive.
It wasn’t far, and within minutes, we pulled up outside the hotel. The man passed the driver a note, told him to keep the change, and then jumped out to open the door for me.
It took us a few minutes to get Harry out again, holding her up between us and trying to get inside before the downpour seeped into our bones. We shuffled into the lobby, and I shook the rain from my hair.
“Thanks,” I muttered. “I’ll be fine from here.” I made sure Harry was still holding onto me before I rifled around in the handbag at my elbow. It was a few minutes later that I frowned, my stomach sinking. “Damn it.”
“What is it?” the man asked. I hadn’t noticed he was still standing beside us, but for a moment, I was grateful.
“My purse … I think I’ve left it at the club. Can you help her while I find my phone?”
“Sure.” The man moved forward and placed Harry’s arm over his shoulder again, one arm around her waist.
I rummaged in my bag again, getting more frustrated. I finally found it buried at the bottom and then spent a few minutes struggling to find the number for the club. When I found it, I dialled and arranged the phone between my ear and my shoulder, fumbling with my heels. My feet were throbbing, and I almost tumbled over, but the man placed a tender hand on the small of my back.
“You OK there?”
“I’m fine, thank you.”
“Oops,” he muttered, pulling Harry upward again. “Which room is she in? I don’t think she’ll last much longer.”
At that moment, the club answered. “Hello?” I couldn’t hear anything over the deafening music, still playing in the bar. “I’ve lost my purse. No, I don’t want to book a … What? No, I’ve lost my purse.” I scowled.
Glancing back, the man pointed at Harry again, and I produced the key card from my pocket, placed a finger to my ear, and repeated for the third time, “I’ve. Lost. My. Purse.”
I can only assume that the bartender understood my inquiry, because he put me on hold after, and I raised my gaze to the ceiling. I ran a hand through my hair, flinching as the lingering cold beads of rain streaked down the back of my neck.
Leaning down, I finished unstrapping my heels as I waited for the bartender to return. The cool tiles of the reception hall were a welcome sensation against my aching feet, and I sighed in relief, just as the bartender came back.
“Yes, I’ve got it,” he said. “A man handed it to us about ten minutes ago. He found it at the front door.”
I frowned, an alarm bell ringing in the back of my mind. I glanced up, but the man and Harry had disappeared. Shit.
“I’ll pick it up tomorrow,” I said, disconnecting the phone. I leaned over to grab my heels from the floor but threw an arm out to stop myself from toppling over. The room started spinning. I grimaced as the gin and tonics reminded themselves of their presence, swirling in my stomach. I grit my teeth and stood motionless for a heartbeat to ensure they settled again before I moved. Perhaps the alcohol over the weekend had caught up with me too.
Once I was certain nothing would reappear, I picked up my heels, hurrying across the lobby and down the corridor towards the lift. I groaned, the lift doors closing just as I rounded the corner.
My pulse was increasing, and I looked around, my stomach plummeting. While we were only on the first floor, the staircase was sectioned off while workmen replaced the tiling.
I swallowed hard, trying to remember how to breathe until the lift made its descent back down. I was on the balls of my feet, anxiety thrumming through me by the time the doors opened again. I darted inside, slamming my hand against the illuminated number 1.
When I reached the door to our room, I tried the handle, but it was locked. I rattled on it with a fist. “Open the door.”
“Two seconds,” the man called, and my heart raced, my jaw tensing until he opened it. “Sorry,” he added. “The hotel doors lock behind you; it’s a security feature.”
I marched past him, eyeing Harry warily. She was under the duvet, fully clothed, her chest rising and falling with each of her slow, sleepy breaths. My shoulders loosened, but I said nothing as I held out my hand.
The man dropped the key card into my palm and tilted his head back. “So, I’ll just …?”
I nodded, and he bowed his head, clicking the door closed. Making sure I locked it behind him, I let out a heavy breath and approached Harry. I moved a few stray wisps of hair from her eyes, leaning over to press a light kiss to her forehead. She murmured, and I smiled.
I stripped before tumbling into my side of the bed and falling asleep.
* * *
I awoke a few hours later, with a terrible taste in my mouth and a full bladder. Groaning, I eased myself to the edge of the bed and swung my legs out. It was still dark outside, an alarm clock showing it had just gone 5 a.m.
I wobbled as I rose, tripping over the handbag I’d thrown to the floor. Massaging my temples, I stifled a yawn as I made an unsteady path towards the bathroom. I relieved myself with a satisfied sigh. I drank a few mouthfuls of cold water at the sink to wet my parched mouth, before swirling some mouthwash and spitting it out. I was still tipsy, my brain swirling, and I stumbled again as I made my way back to the bed. I knocked a lamp off the bedside table, wincing as it clattered to the ground.
As I sank into bed, Harry mumbled beside me. I rolled onto my side to face her. “What did you say, toots?”
“Could you be any louder?” she grumbled.
“Sorry,” I replied with a giggle. “How are you feeling?”
“Fan-fucking-tastic.” She picked herself up, pushing herself higher up the bed, stretching back against the pillow with a groan.
“Is that a lie?”
“Want me to make you feel better?” I asked, wiggling my eyebrows. I shuffled closer to her, tracing my fingers over her abdomen, the T-shirt having ridden up during her tumultuous nap.
“Mmm.” She sighed. “But only if you’re on top. I can’t move right now.”
“I’m sure I can arrange that,” I purred, rolling over to straddle her waist.
She sighed again, before she said, “You have amazing tits, you know that?”
I giggled again. “Well, thank you. You have amazing tits too.”
“I do have amazing tits,” she agreed, bringing her hands to her breasts and squeezing through her bra. “Mmm.”
I smacked her hands away. “Those are mine.”
“Fight me,” she muttered, trying to roll over.
I captured her wrists and pinned her to the bed, leaning down to nibble her neck. She hissed when I bit down, and she tried to shake me off.
“I am not going back to work with a love bite,” she griped, but she didn’t stop my advances. I nibbled her neck a little longer and was rewarded with a subdued moan.
“I love you so much,” she rambled. “I really, really love you.”
“I know you do, toots. I love you too. Now, shh. Get your jeans off.”
“You do it.”
“I’m trying, but I can’t see what I’m doing.”
I fumbled with the waistband in the dark. The buttons were already undone, and I guessed she’d half-heartedly attempted to remove them before she collapsed into bed.
I rolled onto my side for easier access, encouraging the jeans down her thighs. They were tight to her sculpted legs, and I tackled them for longer than I care to admit, but I eventually got them to her ankles. She sought to kick them from her feet, but she grew disheartened, trying to roll over again.
I roared with laughter when she fell out the side of the bed with a thud that probably woke the slumbering occupants in the room below us. I scrambled to the edge to look over, but I only saw her outline in the darkness.
“Ow,” she grumbled from a pile on the floor.
I stopped howling long enough to ask her if she was OK. She stood up and plunged back into bed, half on top of me, with one arm and one leg sprawled over me. My brow arched. Seriously, how much did you drink tonight? I’ve never seen you this drunk.
She didn’t answer as I dragged the duvet over us and slipped a hand inside her boxers. She didn’t open her eyes, but she drove her hips towards me.
“Fuck me like one of your French girls,” she whispered, and I tried to smother another bout of laughter.
“I don’t think that’s the right expression,” I replied, my words being drowned out by her loud groan as I thrust inside her. “I think it’s draw me,” I added, pondering the well-known phrase as I slipped another finger in and pressed deeper.
Another groan escaped her throat, her mouth opening in pleasure. I growled at the sensual sounds she made, leaning close enough to murmur, “But I won’t be as gentle with you as I would with a French girl.”
Harry loved it rough, as hard as she could take it, until she implored me to stop. She’d be tender for a few days afterwards, but I never apologised, and she never asked me to.
She let out another groan, the corner of her mouth pulling up in a grin. “Where’s the toy you brought?”
“Are three fingers not enough for you tonight, toots?”
“Shh, you’re so noisy.” She snickered, inching up the bed on her stomach to reach under her pillow. She rummaged around and pulled back out, clutching the vibrator. “Ta-dah!”
I snorted as she waved it around in the air, and I leaned forward to collect it from her. She giggled, holding it out of my reach, until I straddled her arse and snatched it out of her hand.
“Why was that under your pillow?” I asked, nudging her legs wider. “Got any lube under there?”
She didn’t respond, but she didn’t need to as she already held out a small bottle. I chuckled as I took it from her. The bottle was almost empty, and I struggled to get the last of the liquid out. There wasn’t as much as I would have hoped for under normal circumstances, and I threw the empty bottle aside.
I switched the vibrator on and pushed inside her. Letting out a guttural groan of delight, she buried her head into the blanket at the top of the bed, seeking to stifle her screams. I couldn’t see her face, but I knew she’d squeezed her eyes shut, her mouth open in ecstasy, her cheeks flushing, and a thin layer of sweat appearing on her brow.
“H-Harder,” she groaned, and I was enthusiastic as I carried out her command. I manoeuvred a hand underneath her body, rubbing her clit and enjoying her swell beneath my fingertips.
She came fast, propelling her hips back towards me and letting out a thunderous roar that even the pillow in her mouth couldn’t conceal. My eyes lit up as I watched her ride out her orgasm, every moan escaping from her throat causing more arousal to flood through me.
She finally quietened, lifting her head to gulp in air. We were silent for a few moments until her erratic breaths got deeper. I climbed up the bed to lie beside her.
“My turn?” I whispered.
She let out a delicate snore, and I couldn’t help but glare at her. She had never fallen asleep without reciprocating before. My stomach coiled, but I rolled my eyes, slumping back against my pillow with a sigh.
I brought myself to a swift climax to release the tension, covering my mouth with the back of my hand to silence my moans. Not that Harry would have woken up, but I had an inkling the surrounding rooms would already have realised our activities.
I fell asleep again, draped over her back, and we slept straight through until morning.