Welcome to Crete

The shrill sound of the telephone reverberated around the dark room and cut into the woman's sub-consciousness. She sat up abruptly in the darkness and struggled for a few moments to clear her head. Realising what was causing the noise, she reached out blindly towards her bedside table, her eyes still closed. Her hand hovered over the items on the tabletop, seeking the telephone handset among the cosmetics, lotions, perfumes, and the glass of water she had placed there before she had gone to bed. Barely preventing the glass from spilling its contents, she eventually found the telephone and punched the button with her forefinger in desperation to stop its grating noise.

"Hello," she managed to mutter in a muffled voice.

"Fay, it's Adam."

Her eyes flew open then and she reached out to flick the switch next to her bed, flooding the room with light. It was unclear at that point which was more startling to her, the sudden brilliance radiating from the light bulb overhead, or the sound of the person's voice on the other end of the telephone.

"Adam! What on earth are you doing phoning me at this time of night?"

"I know, I realise that it's late but there was nobody else I could call. I need a lift home."

A frown crossed her face and was quickly accompanied with a look of outrage.

"What! You wake me up at this time to…"

He cut into her outburst and stopped her dead in her tracks.

"I'm in jail Fay, I'll explain when you get here."

Two days earlier

'What on earth is she doing?' thought Fay as she watched her friend emerge from the arrivals door, trying to juggle a huge suitcase, back pack, sports bag and a rug!

She cringed as the rug began to slip from under Sally's arm, after which she attempted to catch it on her knee but failed miserably. It skidded down her leg, landed on the floor with a thud and rolled towards Fay, who caught it under her foot.

"Welcome to Crete!" Fay said with a grin as Sal gave up and let all the luggage drop to the floor in a twist of straps, zips and buckles.

Sally jumped over the luggage enthusiastically and ran to Fay, throwing her arms around her friend and jumping up and down like an excited puppy.

"I made it, I'm here!"

"Yes, I can see that."

Fay laughed, peeling Sal's arms from around her neck.

"Don't you think you should move some of that luggage out of the way so that people can get past?"

Sal looked behind her to see a family of people trying to steer an airport trolley around her luggage, which was strewn across the floor.

"Ah yes, good idea."

Between them, they managed to haul all the luggage, and the rug, out of the airport and across the car park to Fay's car, where they squeezed it into the boot. They began the journey back to Agios Nikolaos, heading east along the coast and Sal chatted incessantly as Fay drove. Fay laughed at the catalogue of events that had characterised Sal's four-hour flight from London. She loved Sal dearly but invariably, wherever Sal went, disaster ensued, and she wasn't sure how long she wanted to house 'disaster' in her perfectly organised apartment. Although she had asked Fay to help her find a place to move to, she knew how hard it often was to find somewhere to live in the town, and it was likely to be some time before Sal found anywhere suitable.

To Fay's dismay, when they arrived in Agios Nikolaos, her favourite parking spot had been commandeered and they were forced to park two roads down from her apartment. They tugged the luggage out of the boot and began the uphill walk to her home. To make matters worse, it was that time of year, about a month before the tourists began arriving, when the local council decided to completely demolish a number of roads throughout the town in an attempt at improvement. This road was no exception, making it extremely hard to walk over the bumps and rubble, but even harder to pull a weighty suitcase. Eventually they rounded the corner of the road on which Fay lived; however at this point Sal suddenly stumbled on a pothole and staggered out alarmingly into the road. Fay looked on in horror as a car turned the corner and hit the break, stopping inches from her friend.

"What the bloody hell do you think you are doing? Do you have a death wish or something?" the driver shouted out of the window.

Sal looked taken aback as the man parked the car at the side of the road, got out and strode towards her.

"Oh, sorry about that, it's these roads…"

He cut into her sentence, "Haven't you ever heard of using the pavement?"

He towered over her, crossing his arms and fixing her with a steely look. The bag on her shoulder began to slip and he rolled his eyes, catching it before it fell.

"Hey, wait just a minute," Fay came to her friend's defence, "she's already apologised Mister and…"

The man turned his attention to Fay, running his eyes over her as she stormed towards them. He interrupted her in mid flow.

"God help us, there's two of them."

His condescending remark incensed her so she moved in-between them, snatching the bag out of his hands and glaring up into his face.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

He looked startled for a moment and a smile tugged at his mouth as his eyes scanned her furious, flushed face.

"Perhaps you should inform your friend about the dangers of walking out into the middle of the road."

His voice was firm but had lost most of its edge now. Sal placed a hand on the man's arm to get his attention and he broke eye contact with Fay to look sideways at her in surprise.

"I don't suppose you could help us, we do have rather a lot of luggage and we just need to get to that apartment down there."

She pointed down the road. Fay turned to her with an incredulous look and then swung her head back to the man with a sarcastic smile.

"You know, we can manage just fine," she continued, emphasising each word and glaring back at Sal, "my friend here seems to be suffering from a bad case of jet lag, must have affected her judgement."

Suddenly she felt the bag in her hands move and she turned back to see the man prising it away from her.

"Listen, if I'd have wanted your help…"

"You'd have what? Asked for it, she already has," he said following Sal down the road and leaving Fay behind with an astounded look on her face.

They finally reached her apartment and Fay unlocked the door.

"Thank you, we can manage now." He grinned at her reluctant expression of gratitude.

"Hey, would you like a coffee now you're here?" Sal said, dragging the bags away from the door. Fay's eyes widened at her friend's invitation. The man laughed out loud then, seeming to enjoy her discomfort as he moved around her to enter the apartment.

"I think I could manage a coffee."

He strode around the room taking in its contents and making Fay feel uncomfortable with his presence in her lounge. She watched Sal flick the switch on the kettle and take out three mugs from her cupboard. Feeling surplus to requirements in her own home, she moved to switch the computer on in the corner of the room, muttering to herself, "I just wanted a peaceful day and what do I get? A friend who picks up complete strangers off the street, and an arrogant, male chauvinist invading my apartment!"

She checked her e-mails and then looked at her watch. Sal was sat on the sofa in conversation with the stranger.

"Sal, I said that we would meet Pat in 'The Wheelhouse' at four o clock."

"Okay," she said, returning to her conversation.

Fay paused and then added sarcastically, "Err, sorry to interrupt but I could do with getting a shower."

They both turned to look at her then and she gave the man a purposeful glare.

"Go ahead, I wasn't planning on getting in there with you."

She looked taken aback and felt her face begin to redden. Why am I blushing? I never blush, this is ridiculous!

"Not unless I'm invited to anyway," he added with a grin. Sal giggled.

"Right, I've had enough!" She exclaimed, charging over to the sofa, taking the mug out of the man's hand, placing it onto the coffee table and dragging him up from the sofa by the arm.

"Thank you very much for your help but goodbye."

She pushed him towards the door and he looked down at her hands on his chest with a raised eyebrow.

"Is she always this physical?" he said over her shoulder to Sal.

She laughed.

"Not usually, thanks for the help," she called out as the door was closed behind him.

There is lots more to this but would love any feedback to see if my style etc is okay, any advice would be very much appreciated.