Libby was too scared to open her eyes. In fact, she was too scared to move anything. The headache that was pounding away inside her skull was so fierce she was absolutely certain that if she moved even the tiniest millimetre her head would fall off.
God, she felt vile.
She ran her tongue around the inside of her mouth to ensure that nothing had crawled in there during the night and crapped in it, because that was what it felt and tasted like.
She was naked. Good, at least she’d managed to take her clothes off. That dress wasn’t made out of the sort of fabric that would stand up to being slept in or drooled on.
Her headache was so intense it was magnifying the sound of her own breathing to a rasping roar.
Suddenly Libby’s stomach dropped. That wasn’t her breathing. There was someone else in the bed with her.
She slowly opened her eyes and took in her surroundings. Blue carpet, tatty Oasis poster on the wall, pair of men’s underpants on the ground.
Oh Christ. She was in someone else’s house, in someone else’s bed with…who?
Libby desperately tried to kickstart her brain into gear. OK what exactly could she remember about last night?
She could remember the beginning of the evening and Meeg’s explanation of The Way of the Cougar.
“Look Libby, you’ve got it all wrong,” Meegs had lectured. “Cougars do not go out buying itinerant snowboarders drinks and meals in return for sex. There are a lot of young guys who would love to believe that’s true but cougarbait, for want of a better word, needs to be good looking, clean and scrubbed and capable of paying their own way.”
As if on cue, a youngish guy in a dirty parka, wobbled up to their table.
“Howz it going, ladies?” he mumbled, staring hopefully at Meegs’s cleavage.
“Not as good as it will be when you disappear,” said Meegs, smiling with her mouth but promising physical violence with her eyes.
The young man flinched.
“Ah…right. Good one…” He walked off looking like he’s just received a telling off from his mum.
“You see, it’s all about taking control and calling the shots,” said Meegs, matter of factly. “It’s also about remembering what you’re after…sex with a hot guy with a hard body, and that’s not something you’re going to find with a guy our age.”
“Just as well they’re all running after youngsters too then, isn’t it?“ said Libby.
“Of course they are! “said Meegs. “They wrote the book…but we females have refined the art. The modern cougar is not like the sad, old guy paying through the nose for the company of some gorgeous young girl, deluding himself that she loves him for his personality and not his wallet. The modern cougar gets in there, feeds, then goes searching for fresh prey.”
Libby rolled her eyes but Meegs carried on regardless.
“You never linger, you wait for them to fall asleep and then you leave. You never acknowledge them on the street or go back for second helpings…unless they’re absolutely hung and you never, ever take them back to your place. “
“You also need to remember that not all nationalities are created equal. Kiwis and Australians are enthusiastic but clueless. They’re a bit like bouncy puppies. The English will try and tell you they’re in possession of an Empire but when you get down to it you’ll discover it’s more like an allotment.
They’re also invariably very drunk, as are the Scots and the Irish. The Scots are aggressive with it, don’t go there, but the Irish are great fun and occasionally break into song or recite poems. The South Americans are good looking, uninhibited and likely to steal your credit card when you’re not looking, and the Americans are very, very clean with lovely white teeth.”
Libby looked at Meegs aghast.
“How many men have you slept with recently!”
Meegs said nothing and sipped her wine primly, looking like butter wouldn’t melt.
Libby slipped carefully out of the bed and started searching for her clothes. What was it Meegs had said? Don’t linger? It was getting light outside and she needed to get out of there right now before whoever he was woke up.
She had just wriggled into her dress and grabbed her handbag when the lump under the bedclothes, stirred and a face popped up from amongst the pillows.
Libby was almost relieved. He was young but he wasn’t that young. Dark haired and dark eyed, he had a Mediterranean look about him. Libby immediately opened her purse and checked that her credit card was still there.
“Howareya?” he asked .
He was Irish. Thank Holy Mary and all the Fornicating Saints for that!
“Umm…good thanks. Just leaving now.”
“Howareya feeling? You took quite a fall there at The Boiler Room. That was some fantastic action you were displaying on the pole. You should turn pro.”
Libby blanched. She hadn’t been doing slutty pole dancing, had she? This morning was just getting worse and worse.
“Areya OK for getting home?”
“Yep, right as rain,” Libby said. She found her shoes and slipped them back on.
“Umm, well thanks,” she said as she opened the bedroom door.
“Yeah, no problem,” he said. “Areya sure you’re OK for a ride?”
“Um yeah, I’ve already called a cab. See ya.”
And with that Libby, the newly minted cougar loped off, back into the wild.
All characters in Remarkables Lane are fictitious and any resemblance to any person alive or dead is purely coincidental…. No seriously, you’re really not that interesting