It had seemed like a pointless investment. What would a loser like him have needed all the bubbles, that music system and the matching dressing gowns for when there had not been a woman in his house for so long? But not anymore, for tonight the Jacuzzi was going to help him achieve a masterful step in the capturing of Sarah Mackenzie, the hottest divorcee in the neighbourhood.
The guys would be so jealous, knowing he had got her into his bubble palace (that name really needed changing) and from there into his bed. Or maybe not. Maybe the bubble palace was the place for the capture. Yeah, that sounded sweet.
“Are you okay?” he shouted through the closed bathroom door.
“Just a minute,” came the reply and he imagined her getting changed into the warm white robe that would match the one he was wearing. It was almost like being in a hotel room except his slippers were far too old-man-like. He kicked them off and threw them into the spare bedroom. That was better.
The bathroom door opened and Sarah stepped out wrapped up snugly in white and took the glass of champagne from his hand. It wasn’t her first that evening and Alan hoped she had had enough to make her relaxed. Very relaxed.
“This way, Sarah. Don’t worry there’s plenty of room. I’ve switched it on so it’s warm already.”
She smiled at him but he could see she was nervous. Was she nervous about the Jacuzzi or was it about him? Maybe she didn’t want to go too far tonight. Maybe she would look for a way out. No, that wasn’t happening. He’d put too much into the evening. Dinner at the restaurant he couldn’t afford, the chauffeur picking her up and the tickets to the chamber orchestra. Classical music was not to his taste but she adored it. He’d even got her favourite pieces from Lindy in accounts, so that she could be at ease in the bubbles. At ease until they wanted to be… Yes, this was looking good.
Alan lead Sarah out to the extension at the rear of the house, and to the wooden patio where the bubble palace was located. The weather had done its job tonight with a crisp, cold evening that had cloudless skies. Looking up, he could see the galaxy laid before him, and he heard her let go a breath of awe.
“It’s just gorgeous, Alan. Like you Alan, just gorgeous.”
She had slurred the last sentence slightly. Oh perfect, she’s well at ease. Time to see if the alcohol has made her as relaxed as I would like.
“Here, Sarah, let me take your robe.” Alan reached up to her shoulders and laid a gentle kiss on her neck. His hands delicately pulled at the robe and he almost trembled when she undid it, allowing him to remove it completely. “Shall we bathe al fresco?”
She trembled, he thought. She’s not sure. Oh come on, I’ve done everything for you. Come on Sarah, don’t quit on me now. She’s not doing anything. Let’s try it. Alan reached up and started untying Sarah’s bikini. When she didn’t react he continued until it dropped from her shoulders. Oh hell, yes!
Risking it all, Alan then reached down and pulled her bottoms to the floor. Without turning round she handed him her glass and clambered into the water, her skin disappearing into the bubbles. Alan quickly whipped off his bottoms and joined her, but reaching across to start his Berlioz selection for her.
“Have you any Marvin Gay? I loved my concert and yes, I do like Berlioz but maybe we need something, edgier.”
Alan had never heard of Marvin Gay being edgy but if that’s what the woman wants. Pressing the necessary button on the hot tub’s music system he then laid back and snuck an arm around Sarah. The music played, the bubbles warmed his body and…
The lights in the house had gone out, in fact everything had gone out. The bubbles had stopped, the music was gone. Dammit. Why now? Alan got up apologising and left the room in a hurry. Ignoring his gown as he fled to the junction box in the hall, his mind was a whirl with the possibilities of what caused this devastating interruption.
On reaching the junction box, he simply opened the plastic cover and flicked all the switches back. It was the circuit breaker probably. At least on moving the switches he had found only the one in the wrong position. Without a torch he hadn’t been able to study it, so he just assumed, and as everything seemed to come back on he didn’t care. Sarah was waiting.
She was immersed in bubbles again when he got back and Marvin was once again singing. Trying not to seem too keen, he clambered back in and gently slid alongside her. His hand reached out to her thigh and he gripped it playfully…
What the hell? No, this cannot be happening. Alan jumped out of the tub, apologising profusely and raced to the switchbox. This time he tried peering in the dark at the different switches and found the main switch had been moved to off. That wasn’t normal. Alan switched it back. The lights in the house came on again.
Sarah was still smiling when Alan got back but surely she was getting annoyed. But with Marvin singing again, Alan decided to make another move. This time his hand reached around her back and he drew his lips up to hers and…
No, not now. You bastard electrical system. Not now.
“Do you want me to help? I have done electrics before,” said Sarah.
No way, girl. Taken me four months to get you out of those clothes, there is no way you are getting them back on. “It’s fine, Sarah. I think I know what it is. Have some more champagne, I won’t be a moment.”
This time Alan headed to the cupboard under the stairs and retrieved a torch. He ignored his dripping body that felt cold as he moved about. If he had put his gown on she might have done the same. No, the cold was a sacrifice worth making.
This time there was a note on the plastic cover of the switchbox. Alan grabbed it. She’ll be too hot in the bubbles. What does that mean? And who put this damn note there? Kyle, it’s bloody Kyle. I bet he’s round here. Well pissed off when I bagged Sarah for a date. And now he knows she’s going to be giving it to me, he’s going to try and stop it. Bastard.
Alan opened the back door and stormed round the house, caring not that his bare flesh was open to the elements. He marched around the whole garden until he had circled round and was at the patio.
“Everything okay, Alan?” asked Sarah. “Do you need to have a proper look, I can get dressed and make some coffee or something…”
“No! It’s fine, it’s all fine, I’ll just switch it back on. I’ll just be a minute.” She’s getting cool on me, and she was ready and willing. Let’s just get the power back on and then… get the power back on!
Alan skipped round the house and back in via the rear door and found the switchbox again. He scrunched up the note and threw it away before flipping the switches back on again. Ah, Marvin’s back on and it’s time to get in the mood.
Sarah was lying with only her head above the bubbles as Alan got back into the Jacuzzi. She was watching his face intently, showing a little apprehension. But Alan clambered in, giving his best impression of a man not worried and cuddled up to her again.
“Bloody hell, I’ll kill the wee shit!” The music had gone off again.
“Who, Alan?” said Sarah, now hugging her body under the water and looking around the garden for an intruder.
“Sorry, eh… Don’t worry, I mean the sparky, the electrician. Sorry, got a bit worked up there. I’ll sort it.”
“Are you sure? We can reschedule.”
“No, it’s fine. It’s fine. I’ll just be a minute. Just stay under the water, keep warm.” As Alan clambered out of the water, the bubbles had settled just enough to give him a slightly blurry view of Sarah’s body. Damn, don’t you get out, girl!
Grabbing the torch once again, Alan made for the switchbox. This time it had hazard warning tape over it. This is too far. I’ll break his neck. Alan ripped off the tape, checked the box with his flashlight and switched everything back on at the main switch. Then he locked every door in the house before returning to the Jacuzzi. Try getting in the way now, Kyle.
Marvin was singing once more, like a bad encore, and Alan saw the look of concern on Sarah’s face.
“Are you sure nothing’s wrong? Is there something up with it? Maybe we should retire to somewhere else.”
The memory of her body through the water came to Alan’s mind. No, the Jacuzzi was perfect. This was the place for that perfect moment with her. And anyway, that little shit, Kyle, wasn’t going to break up this perfect night.
Alan reached for the bottle of bubbly and poured Sarah another glass. She smiled awkwardly and watched him climb in. Alan waited a few minutes before moving his hands again, this time towards her neck.
Marvin stopped singing.
“It’s fine Alan, get some candles. It’ll be fine, romantic. Some candles and the water’s warm enough. We don’t want to lose this moment.”
“No! I promised you a Jacuzzi tonight, a romantic one and you’re damn well going to have one. No one’s going to stop us.”
Alan raced to the switchbox. It was covered in even more hazard tape than it had been last time. He ripped it off.. He flipped off the plastic cover. A note read, “Don’t, she’s won’t be yours, you’ll lose her. And you’ll never see her again.” Alan ripped the note away, and threw it angrily to the floor.
He flipped the switches back to their on position. Nothing happened. Dammit! Striding to his toolbox, Alan took out a screwdriver and began unscrewing the cover.
“Shouldn’t an electrician do that?”
“It’s fine Sarah, I’ve got it.” Turning around he saw her in the white robe. Damn. “Why don’t you go back and keep warm. I’ve got this.”
She looked unsure. Desperately Alan stepped forward and grabbed her, planting a kiss on her neck, moving his hands across her body. Sarah responded and allowed Alan to place his hand inside the robe onto her bottom.
Good! “There,” said Alan, “let me sort this and we’ll have some fun.” Sarah nodded and padded off back to the Jacuzzi. Okay, what’s wrong with this.
With the cover off Alan saw a number of wires had been disconnected. How could he have done that? Was he in the house? Was that wanker Kyle in the house? Alan fixed the wiring, securing it and was ready to switch the power back on. But what if Kyle’s in the house?
He grabbed his torch and an old baseball bat. Come on then, if you’re in here I’m going to batter you. With the switchbox restored Alan thought about lighting the house up but then Kyle would know. So he proceeded room to room in the dark. Naked and cold his anger drove him on and he pulled back furniture, opened wardrobes, looked into spaces that could barely contain a man and anywhere else he could think of. But there was nothing. He didn’t know how he was doing it but he had had enough.
The search lasted twenty minutes and eventually he heard footsteps coming up the stairs behind him as he searched the bedroom. He waited in the dark, knowing he had got him. Come on you bastard, time to get what’s yours?
He just about made out the female figure and stopped the bat from connecting with Sarah. She screamed.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry, you frightened me.” But Sarah was crying, stood in the towelling white robe. Alan tried to comfort her but she pushed him away.
“What’s up with you? It was such a lovely evening and then you start going mad. There’s the bed, let’s just do it here. Right now!”
“No!” raged Alan, “Downstairs with you.” He grabbed her hand and dragged her down the stairs, her feet struggling to keep up. “Kyle wants this night ruined, wants us split so he can have you. Well he’s not ruining my plans.”
“Alan, stop. This is madness. Let’s calm down. Let’s start again, another night. It’s gone the moment is gone.”
Alan kept pulling her along and they reached the patio. She was almost in tears but he pointed at the Jacuzzi. She dropped her robe and climbed in barely looking at him. He ran round to the switchbox. There was a large note with hazard tape around it on the plastic casing. “This system is not fit for purpose. Be advised, use may result in injury or death.” Alan opened the cover.
“Ready, Sarah? Are you ready?”
“Yes, came a distressed call. Just hurry, I’m ready.”
Alan saw her body beneath the water in his mind. He saw her climbing up his body and emerging from that water. She wants me Kyle, go to hell. Alan flipped the switch.
An almighty bang. Alan ran to the patio. Sarah was there, half out of the water, motionless. An arm flinched. Her eyes were wide open but still. He reached for her. The shock drove up his arm, paralysing him and he toppled against the side of the hot tub and fell, hand touching the wet side of the Jacuzzi. His body flinched a few times, then became still.
“If I’m lucky there’ll be reassignment,” said the guardian angel aloud. “Humans never listen.”
Copyright G R Jordan 2019