Having been told our access to the exclusive part was good for the rest of the day, we decided to go back to our room for a nap before dinner–showing they were hip to the ways and idioms of the outside world, one of the blondes smirked, “A nap? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?”–and then have dinner before coming back here. The Brit, still blushing a little at the intimation that sex would do in lieu of a rejuvenating snooze, led the way down to the locker rooms, where the bracelet interfaced with the lock, which deigned to open so we could get dressed in our street clothes and not have to walk through the chilly air in our albeit-dried swim attire.
As we were heading out I asked the previously-mentioned redhead at the reception desk if reservations were needed for the restaurant, to which she assured me that was a negatory, due to this being the off-season and us being hotel guests. “Takk fyrir,” I murmured, to which she dimpled that my pronunciation was getting better, followed by the more obligatory “You’re welcome.”
According to the nails that would have dug into my arm had I not been wearing a jacket, yet still making their presence known, The Brit was thinking about the redhead too on the five-minute stroll to the Clinic, as the Blue Lagoon’s accommodations building was called. I tried not to wonder at the Scandinavian fetish for sparse furniture design as I tossed myself on the bed and reached for my laptop, having been told every room had wi-fi. For her part The Brit took a trip to the small porch for a quick glance at the surroundings, but only seeing more frozen lava. . . then sequestered herself in the bathroom, as women were wont to do. Luckily I didn’t have to use it, at least for now, but that would no doubt change, as I lost track of internet activities and ended up stiff from being in that position for hours. . .
As a consequence there was no napping, nor anything else nap might have been a pseudonym for, until it was time for dinner. With night having fallen, it was much colder than the already cold of the day, so we were really bundled up on the short walk back to the main buildings. The walkways had a lot of lighting, though that might go down after people went to sleep; still, they made the lava fields incredibly dark in comparison, but considering the uneven ground, it didn’t seem like a good idea to pick steps through all that anyway.
A typical growl come from the Brit as she stopped just inside the door and tried to struggle out of her overcoat; of course that was just a feint so I could do it for her. Somehow I managed not to laugh, but it wasn’t easy. She seemed mercifully unaware of how fantastic her ass looked in that dress. . . no, change that to pretending she didn’t know. . .
As though we were honored guests, we were seated instantly, with her as usual tsking about my soft drink order while she went with what had to be the official beverage of her service, the martini; at least she didn’t specify how she wanted it mixed. With that finally done, she stood up to hit the ladies’ room, promising, “Wouldn’t dream of depriving you of my presence for more than a few minutes,” with an impish grin. I managed to look relieved, enough to make her giggle, and wiggle, for even though she used to be a dancer she usually didn’t shake her moneymaker like that. Still watching every movement, I tried to sound how she would say moneymaker in her upper crust Brit accent, but could only laugh.
As soon as The Brit was out of my view, the redhead from the front desk came into it, effortlessly being strikingly perky and stunningly beautiful in a strapless blue gown, the kind of woman who should be, if she wasn’t already, a model. Seeing me staring, she threw me a wink as she recognized me, which made me grin and offer her a toast of my 7-up.
I somehow managed to shut down any fantasies featuring either woman–or both, for that matter–until the lovely British brunette returned, at which point I told her, “If you sit to eat, it’s ‘slow food.’”
“As opposed to ‘fast food’. . .
“Ah.” As always ready to change the subject when the present one didn’t suit her, she twinkled, “Did you ever do that research on the emperor who shared Kirk’s middle name, you nerd?”
“You’re the one who remembered Tiberius, and I’m the nerd?”
“I’ll take that as a no.”
Releasing a long-suffering sigh, just enough truth in it to make her glare, I closed my eyes as though to better remember the words on the page. “Emperor Tiberius, adopted son of Augustus, was–at first–a capable ruler, but had the unusual habit of declining honors and titles. It’s hinted that he knew, or suspected, that he’d eventually go crazy, and it made him loco for privacy. He left Rome in AD 26 for Capri, which he admired for its beauty and for the fact that it had only one landing port, and he never went back to the capital again. The entire island became his pleasure garden, where he could act like a frat boy–do you have those at Oxford?–while passing laws against loose women. According to one account, bevies of young girls and men, whom he had collected from all over the Empire as adepts in unnatural practices, would perform before him in groups of three, to excite his waning passions. The inmates of the establishment would know from these exactly what was expected of them.”
“I like it,” she smirked, tossing down the last of her martini. “Just the kind of inspiration I need. . .”
“Really? I would think the only inspiration you’d need is remembering what I did to you last time. . . you know, with my fingers and your–”
“Ah, the food! I am really starving!”
Letting her have a maniacal laugh, I dug in too, and for the next few minutes every new sensation–every sight, smell, sound, taste–was remarked upon; every forkful closed our eyes, allowing us to meditate in pleasure. By the time I was sopping up the meat juices with some bread she couldn’t blame me, because she was making me laugh as she licked her fingers clean with a childish smile. Seeing she had my full attention when she saw my grin, she withdrew the last finger from her mouth more slowly, making a quiet slurping sound as the tip came free.
But of course this early in the evening it was just teasing. . .
The Lava Bar, as you might expect from its name, being atop the Lava Restaurant, had a huge selection of wines, at least it felt like it to me, as The Brit seemed to be asking the bartender about every single one; I was thinking going to sleep was better than going through this, even with the possible payoff at the end. Then it occurred to me I could flip the script again, perhaps buying a drink to a solitary beautiful maiden, waiting for some foreigner to. . .
Unfortunately there didn’t seem to be any around, and I looked hard, taking in the elegant design and cozy atmosphere. Well, at least I could ignore her for a few minutes as I gazed at the walls, wondering what it was about Scandinavian artists that made them paint so weird, and if it had anything to do with their architectural designs too. Beside one of the paintings was a sign that told me there was a viewing platform on the roof of the building, which was just the thing to give me a great overview of the place, once daylight hit again, hopefully without much steam cloud. Right now there was very little to see in the dark, plus it being really really cold. . .
Any chill I might have felt at the thought fled as I smiled at the fireplace, realizing the Spartan nature of the local design aesthetic was starting to work on me: high brown leather couches against the walls, other brown no-back settees lying in the middle, surrounded by transparent tables, both low and for standing. . . and then there was the bar, of course. I was taking in the patter between The Brit and the Bartender–sounds like a sitcom title–as much as I wanted to ignore it, because if she was actually trying a jealousy play. . .
If this was the part where I was supposed to get jealous and punch the bartender, or pull my woman to my side and hustle her out, I figured I’d continue to do the opposite. Stepping out toward the exit, I told her I’d see her later, then stopped at her shriek while looking at a perfectly placed mirror, seeing her scurry back to me, then blush and go back to pay for her drinks, or at least show her bracelet. “You are seriously a dirty bastard,” she muttered into my ear on the pretense of biting it–well, no pretense, she did–smiling grandly in case anyone came across us and took us for an undercover couple.
Sighing languidly once outside, she looked around, as though having forgotten where we were. “All that talk about this island looking like another world is all the more fitting now. . . this billowing steam puts us in our little private world, somewhere other than earth. . .”
“Wow, you really are drunk. . .”
“I’ll show you how drunk I am. . .”
OW! Not what I was expecting. . .