I was in my “puzzle room” when I heard Harry’s cooee from the front door.
I called it a puzzle room because that’s the phrase we’d used during the war to describe a safe place where we could discuss plans, devise strategies, and toss ideas around. Mine was my bathroom, lying on my back in the bath with the lights out and the shower falling onto my legs, the only illumination from the flickering blue light of the gas geyser. After eating dinner, I’d listened to Mama Lena’s Arrivederci Roma radio programme then had got stuck into some research on Elwood Pearson.
I could hear Harry clunking around in the hallway. “I’m in here!” I called out.
“I know!” he responded, then appeared in the doorway, totally naked except for the black bow tie around his neck and wearing his socks and garters.
“What happened to the master of the house looking for the lazy footman?” I said, laughing because I could see he was more than three sheets to the wind.
He climbed into the tub and sat between my legs, water pouring over his head, grinning at me stupidly. “I changed it,” he said. “It’s master of the house, pissed out of his skull, ravishing the naked footman in the bathtub.”
“Come here,” I said, and pulled his head down for a kiss. “You’re not that drunk,” I added, my hand having found no evidence of brewer’s droop.
“Shh!” he said, biting my chin. “Mark’s crashed in the spare room.”
“Too many cocktails, both of us. We caught a taxi and he helped me up the stairs.”
“So, no noise then?”
“Nup,” he said, then pulled my legs around his hips and let forth a loud wolf-howl.
I laughed then pushed my wet washcloth between his teeth, which he spat out then attacked my mouth with his own. I really hoped Mark had closed his bedroom door. When Harry was in this sort of mood, he could make a lot of noise … not that I was complaining.