1 - 2. Interlude - I

"Shit," Sophie muttered. "I spilled some."

"Spill some more," Ben said, grinning at her as he lounged in the chair beside her bed. "That tee shirt would look better wet."

Sophie glanced down at the pink spot on the neck of her thin white tee, then rolled her eyes. "Fuck that," she said, then held out her glass for a refill. She should have sat up to drink, but even eighteen hours after her exertion her limbs felt enervated. It was a mental state, she knew. If she'd had to run a marathon today, she could have. Well, a half-marathon, anyway. But last night had been intense, and the feeling stayed with her.

"You gonna see him again?" he asked as he added an inch of wine to her glass.

She shook her head. "Wouldn't be the same." She took a sip, carefully, lifting her head further this time. "You might want to avoid him for a few days. I think he'll be feeling pretty guilty."

"Probably not," Ben replied. "We hardly know each other. I just picked him for his body."

Sophie took another careful sip, then grinned. "Good choice," she said. She gave him a critical look. "How's your hangover?"

"Ah doan't got one," Ben drawled.

"Really? After the way you were last night?"

"Near beer, my dear," he replied.

"Wait - I saw you ordering the real thing."

"Mm-hmm," he said. "Which reminds me. You owe me fifty for the waitress. I gave her a big tip."

Sophie took another sip, which didn't go so well. She started to cough. Ben thoughtfully took her glass from her, allowing her to sit. She grabbed a pillow and threw it behind her, then turned to him. "Nice act," she said, as she reached out to take the drink back from him. "And I did notice that she was hot. Did you fuck her? I'm not paying your tips if you took her home."

"But if you don't, sis, then I paid her to come home with me, and you turn the poor girl into a whore."

Sophie grunted. "Like it's the only time you've thrown your money around to get a girl into your bed," she griped. "Besides, I'm already working on repaying you in kind."

"Finish with the wet tee shirt and we'll call it even," Ben suggested.

"You're a perv," Sophie said, shaking her head. "Not happening. But plans are in motion. How's your horoscope for the next few weeks?"

He raised his eyebrows at the question. "What does that mean?"

"You'll find out," she replied with a grin. Then she stood, setting her wine down. She wasn't wearing anything but the long tee and panties.

Ben looked up at her, his gaze pausing briefly where the tee had molded itself over her chest before reaching her face. "Dinner?" she said. "My treat. Yes," she added, at his amused expression, "I'll change first."

"Shame," Ben replied, as she headed for the bathroom.