Friday, May 18, 2007

Chapter Twenty Six - Things That Go Buzz In The Night

I can’t sleep tonight. I’m all churned up and anxious. I can’t get Paul Ashkuri out of my head and feel confused and suspicious about Trevor Malone too. He’d appeared from nowhere – both in my life and at The Dorchester and I’m puzzled at his sudden interest. Geezer magazine isn’t a great read – full of male ego and topless ‘babes’ – hardly the intelligent read of the year! My bed is warm and crumpled, uncomfortable now after being in it for the last 2 hours. I fling the covers back and stand up, grabbing the duvet and turning it – so that the hot side is now out side, and slide back between the sheets. I wish I could turn my head off. And just as I begin to relax, my phone bleeps. It’s Paul Ashkuri! Telling me how hot and horny he’s feeling!


And how am I supposed to sleep after that! It makes me realise how I miss a man’s body in bed beside me, someone to snuggle up to, someone to touch their bare skin, their warmth and that great feminine feeling of sexual power. I lay there for a while, my eyes closed, remembering how great it had been for a while between Ben and I, and how he’d really been the one that had switched me on in bed. Before I know it I’m getting all hot and sweaty, until I can’t wait any longer before opening the drawer of my bedside cabinet and pulling out my newest buzzing buddy, thinking of how Ben used to gently pull my hair as he kissed me, soft and hard. It’s been way, way too long….


I must have fallen asleep mid flow! I wake up to hear a slow and intermittent buzz, convinced that a bee has flown into my bedroom and is tired and stuck somewhere. Something shakes on the top of my thigh and I leap from my bed and shriek. Then I see my Rampant Rabbit flailing, like a fish that’s been out of water too long, on my bare sheets. It’s on its last legs battery-wise and is barely limping along on last reserves. I grab it and switch it off, discarding it to the floor. It’s 4.15am and I have no chance of getting back to sleep now. Desperate to try, I get back into bed, staring at the insides of my eyelids as I worry how large the black bags will be beneath my eyes, just ready for my date with Paul Ashkuri later today! Typical! I must try and get some more sleep…


Thankfully I managed to get another few hours in, but one of the first things I’ve had to do this morning is talk to Tamsin. I ring her repeatedly as I curl up on my sofa, the cool leather sticking to my bare legs as I hold a cereal bowl to my face and spoon in huge mounds of Frosties and milk. Tam isn’t picking up; she’s obviously ‘busy’ with Pete. I can catch up with her later, but in the meantime I have to talk to somebody. I call Jennifer, against my better judgement.

“Hi Jen.”
“What the hell are you doing? Calling before 10 on a Saturday morning? Don’t you know I have yoga in half an hour and then I’m busy at the beauty salon all afternoon?”

“Sorry. Listen, I just need to run something by you.”

“OK, but make it quick. Or call me back on my mobile.”

“No,” I realise I’ve made a mistake even thinking that she’ll have anything positive to add to my confusion. “It’s alright, I’ll call you later.”

“Just tell me now, Sophie. What’s wrong?”

I steam in, “Well you know my deal about staying single?”

“Yes. Absolutely fucking ridiculous, but go on.”

“Well, what is single? If I go on a date have I broken my promise to stay single? Or do I only break it if I sleep with him? Or do I not even break it then? Not until I continue to see him as a ‘boyfriend’ on a regular basis?” I hear her huffing at the other end, “The bottom line is Jen, at what point in a relationship are you single and what point not!”

“This whole thing is insane. What are you trying to prove? Just go and get your brains banged out girl. Stop taking everything so seriously.”

There’s a moments pause before she adds, “Anyway – who is it?”

“Paul Ashkuri.”

“Fuck off!”

I can’t keep the smile from my voice, “Paul Ashkuri! Honest!”

“As in Paul Ashkuri and Keira Knightley?”

“Yep. Him.”

“Fuck off! You! How?”

“I interviewed him yesterday and he asked me to join him for dinner tonight.”

“Jesus, Sophie! You gotta go for that! Don’t even hesitate. Fuck the promise or whatever it is!”

“But don’t you think it’s all a bit weird? I mean, I’m not stupid Jen. I make this public ‘promise’ and all of a sudden I have the likes of movie stars asking me out! I’m not daft!”

“Who gives a shit, Soph. Go with it. Go with him. Make him fall in love with you.”

I should have realised she’d react this way. She’s so shallow – it wouldn’t matter about a guy’s personality or hygiene or integrity. As long as he was loaded – that’s all that my sister wants. To marry a bank account.


Rob was having a lay-in. He was sick of being up early 7 days a week, spending his life under car bonnets and oiled up to the neck. Tamsin had called in quickly last night to drop in the DVD of Sophie on the chat show. She’d kissed him on the cheek as she’d ran out the front door and he’d gone to the window, noticing Pete sitting in the driving seat of his Audi TT Coupe, his fingers drumming on the steering wheel as he waited. They were off for another weekend away and as Rob watched his sister get into the car he wondered what on earth she was doing tangled up in a situation like that.

An hour later he was still in bed and watching the Sophie DVD. He thought she was great; as natural and charming on camera as she was at home, although he preferred the at-home Sophie. He watched as hints of that Sophie, the one that had got under his skin with her great laugh and easy conversation as he’d painted her kitchen, shone through on his television screen. As he watched her recounting her horrendous dating stories and explaining why she’d decided to stay single, he thought how unjust it was that she’d been treated so badly. Women like her should be looked after and loved.

Chapter Twenty Five

Chapter Twenty Seven

Chapter Twenty Five - Celebrity Bed Fodder? Me?

Ade couldn’t get Trevor’s words out of his head; ‘bet I get her to go out with me this weekend’. Ade couldn’t let that happen. He couldn’t take the chance on Trevor revealing his true identity as Adrian Ford aka Ade Gets Laid. Not only that – he didn’t like the idea of Sophie being used by him. He spent a few minutes skulking by the water cooler before walking back toward Trevor. He hated himself for what he was about to do, but went ahead anyway and sat on the edge of Trevor’s desk,

“Two hundred quid says I get Sophie before you do.”

Trev clapped his hands and laughed before stretching out his large hand and shaking Ade’s,

“Candy from a baby, dude.”


I tell you what - The Dorchester was awesome. I’m lying on my sofa in my underwear, the cool breeze buffeting my curtains and washing over my bare skin. I arrived home slightly hot and bothered and my head is spinning! I just can’t believe what happened there this afternoon! Simply getting out of the cab onto Park Lane made me feel great and I willed my legs to remain straight and to not show that my knees were shaking as I breezed through the revolving doors at the entrance. I made my way toward Ashkuri’s suite and sat obediently on one of the seats in a row, checking my watch and reading through my notes, along with another 4 journalists. I had 10 minutes before my interview time and was determined to be prepared. Paul Ashkuri was charm personified. He’d flown in from Miami last night and, according to the journalists that went in, and then out, before me – he’d been tired. It was made a little tougher in the knowledge that AJ would have killed for this interview – I wanted to get answers to questions that no other journo would think of! Prepared to the max, I was on a mission to make the most of my paltry 5 minutes. But I wasn’t expecting the reaction that I’d got!

I had tiptoed into the executive suite – which was bigger than my entire house – and sank immediately knee-deep into the carpet. Ashkuri looked fabulous; the combo of his South London attitude with a Californian tan was knockout. My shaky knees buckled when he’d turned to face me and spoke,


He was gorgeous in a Jonny Lee Miller kind of way – relaxed and chilled out whilst also being polite and charming. I had quaked and lowered myself into an enormous leather armchair, my note pad resting on my lap. I noticed him check out my legs appreciatively, and by the time his gaze had reached my face it was significantly redder than usual. I had struggled to begin with my questions, but he’d unnerved me by shifting in his chair to face me, leaning forward and smiling as he’d stared at me.

“OK, em, Paul, em Mr Ashkuri,” I hadn’t been able to concentrate! He had been scanning my scarlet face, a mischievous dance in his eyes as he soaked in the entire ‘look’ of me. I forced myself to get started, “right, how do you feel now about your career? Had you anticipated this meteoric rise to stardom?” He’d continued to smile at me. God, at that rate you’d think he’d fancied me or something?

“Mr Ashkuri?”

His accent had been broad and a little rough, but knicker-melting too,

“Call me Paul.”

“Right. OK, so I have the usual notes on your career to date, so how about a few different ones?”

He leaned forward and rubbed my arm,

“Go on,”

“Right,” I know that I kept nervously clearing my throat, “So, in your latest movie Keira Knightley is your leading lady. If you could choose a leading lady in your real life, who would she be? What kind of woman do you go for?”

I sat, pen poised for his answer.


I looked up, wondering who he was talking to. He continued to stare at me, smiling.




Then he had reached out and had taken my hand gently. I’d been certain that he could feel it tingling as I could.

“You’re gorgeous. Please. Come out with me tomorrow night.”

“Pardon?” I hadn’t believed what I was hearing.

“Serious. I’ll send a car to collect you at 8.” Then he’d slid the pen from my hand, slipping the notepad from my lap,

“So?” he’d smiled as my heart had banged in my chest, “your address?”

Crazy as it sounds now, I just sat there and blurted my address and telephone number. I wasn’t sure whether I’d felt sick or overwhelmed with lust – but something had been going on – and still was, 2 hours later! Whatever about the 5 minute interview curfew, I had sat in his suite in The Dorchester for over 20 minutes and he’d been fantastic; telling me everything I needed and a whole lot more. Then, as I’d floated out of the hotel, I bumped straight into Geezer magazine’s Trevor.

I think he’d been waiting for me – weird as that sounds. He’d whipped out a deep red rose from behind his back and handed it to me, “How did the Ashkuri interview go? Summer Lawson was great.” And he’d looked to the floor as he’d added, “Not as cute as you, though.”

Which is why, when I finally arrived home, I had to strip off and lay in the cool breeze. I had to lose the confines of the day in order for my head to relax and think, think, think! Trevor Malone handed me his business card with GEEZER emblazoned across the front of it. I still don’t believe it, but he went on to ask me out for dinner tonight! When I told him that I was busy he looked disappointed, pulling out his mobile and asking if I was free tomorrow night. I didn’t tell him that Paul Ashkuri was hoping to take me out tomorrow night –as I still didn’t quite believe it myself. I was already wondering how many more of the female journalists he’d hit on with his disarming interview style and request to add to his address book.

My head is in an excited spin.

And I’m feeling rather sexy right now.


Rob raised his hand and wiped his wet face, smearing more oil across his sweating forehead. He wished he worked in one of those garages on the television – the ones like on EastEnders or Coronation Street where they never get dirty and spend a few minutes tinkering under a bonnet when somebody arrives with a more pressing dilemma – working under bonnet of car again. Since starting up on his own he’d been inundated with work and knew he shouldn’t complain, but it was another Friday evening and he was nowhere near finished. He’d enjoyed spending time with Sophie last week and it made him realise how non-existent his social life was. Tam was always moaning at him to take more time off for him, but it was easy for her to say. He was trying to build a business and letting clients down or turning cars away wasn’t the way forward.

Tam mentioned that Sophie had been on the television during the week and he’d been disappointed to miss it, although his sister had recorded the interview. Digging into his overalls pocket for his mobile he unlocked the keypad and texted Tamsin,


Chapter Twenty Four
Chapter Twenty Six