Jack and I crashed out in the room before we'd even unpacked. It had been a long flight to Bali, not to mention the seemingly endless bus ride to the hotel. We didn't surface until early evening, local time, and it was later still by the time we got ourselves together and down to the bar. We swooped thirstily on our beers, finished in a matter of seconds. 'Needed that!' said Jack. We ordered another and took them to a table. 'So, what should we do tonight?' I mused, sipping more sedately now. 'Just kinda not much?'
We grinned at each other, savouring the 'start of holiday' feeling. We'd been looking forward to this trip for ages, my best friend and I: two weeks in the tropical sun between graduating college and starting the grind of job-hunting back home in Boston. The place became busier as the night progressed, Jack and I getting pleasantly sozzled as the beers kept flowing. 'Bound to be, ' I replied to Jack's wondering (for the umpteenth time) about whether there'd be much by way of 'pussy' around here. God, the guy was obsessed. 'Fucking hope so!' he said.
'Relax, man. Like I told you, this place is... ' But Jack wasn't listening. 'Oh my word. Speak of the devil, ' he whispered, eyes keening over my shoulder. I swung round to check on the attraction. A lush brunette had entered the establishment. The girl was a distance away but I could make out the essentials of pretty face and knockout body in a short, slinky dress. She was sashaying across the room in that way hot girls do when they know they're hot. With a mighty effort I dragged my eyes back to Jack. 'See, there you go.'
'She is smokin', ' said Jack, leering. 'Oh fuck, she's gonna sit at the bar!'
'What, on her own?'
'Looks like it.'
I grinned at him. 'So, that's me sorted. What are you gonna do?'
'Piss off, Mark.'
I shrugged and tried to get back into our conversation, but I soon gave up; Jack was constantly ogling the hottie who, from my position, I couldn't see without craning and being too obvious. 'OK, let's both stare, ' I finally announced, exasperated, and I adjusted my chair accordingly. 'Don't, man. She'll know we're lusting, ' Jack protested.
'Yeah, right. As if she doesn't know half the guys here are doing that.'
Because the girl was most definitely a looker and, judging by her expression and body language, she seemed to be relishing the torrent of male attention coming her way. 'I think she's up for it, ' I said.
'Yep, I reckon.'
I figured it was only a matter of time before she got hit on and so, fuelled by the booze, I made a move. I jumped up and, leaving Jack open-mouthed, I made towards the bar. But too late; she'd finished her drink and was up and away before I got even halfway over there. I was left looking slightly foolish as I turned and rejoined Jack at the table. 'Can't win em all, ' he chuckled and I grinned ruefully.
The following afternoon, pursuing a lazy day of sun-sea-sand, Jack and I were hanging out in one of the resort's beach bars. It was quite crowded and we were having to share a table, the two of us plus this girl who was munching her way avidly through a burger of some sort. 'Good?' said Jack, when she'd finished, flashing his best grin despite the girl being nothing to write home about.
The girl smiled bashfully, probably unaccustomed to guys chatting her up. She wasn't a horror show or anything but was certainly no oil painting; rather plain, in truth, and with a figure that, although camouflaged by the loose kaftan affair she was wearing, was discernibly ... well let's just say she could do with going easy on the burgers. 'What's your name?' I asked her. 'It's Cynthia, ' she replied, accent sufficiently Australian to leave little doubt where she was from. 'Lovely name, ' I said, triggering a blush from her and a kick under the table from Jack. 'Yeah, lovely name, ' he echoed.
We introduced ourselves and the three of us got chatting. Cynthia seemed a nice girl and she talked away quite merrily once she'd loosened up. Turned out she was on holiday with her friend, Alice. They'd been there a week and were staying at the same hotel as us. 'So, where's Alice now?' I enquired.
'She's gone for a swim ... said it's too hot to eat.'
'Have to agree with her there, ' said Jack, sipping at his beer. 'Still, this is what... '
At which point he lost his thread because he'd spotted the honey from last night. So had I. There she was, walking up the beach, wearing a black bikini and looking good enough to raise the dead.
The view only got better as she got closer. The bikini was hardly there at all, covered the essentials and absolutely nothing else, it left no doubt whatsoever that this girl was blessed with a magnificent body. She was a wet dream. Guys had their tongues out as she passed by. My eyes zeroed in on the sliver of material across her undulating hips. You could almost see the goods between her legs. What you could see down there – an exquisite expanse of flat and smoothly waxed lower belly – was thrilling enough.
But what happened next was more than thrilling. The babe kept on coming towards us until, a few gob-smacking moments later, she was stood right by our table, shades pushed to the top of her head, gazing down at me and Jack with an insinuating smile.
'Gee, Cyn, I leave you alone for one second and you're hooked up with two hunky men!'
The voice, a little throaty with a playfully seductive lilt, didn't disappoint. Clearly Australian too, but the accent less prominent than her friend's. 'Oh, hi, Alice, ' said Cynthia, quickly. 'This is Jack and Mark.' The delectable Alice was looking quietly amused, but if she recognised us from last night she wasn't letting on. 'Hi there, Alice, ' we chorused, standing up clumsily and offering hands. Being described as 'hunky' by a dynamite chick like this had instantly dispelled our mid-afternoon torpor. Alice pulled a chair and joined us.
It was hard to know quite how to play things; Jack and I both had the hots for the babe, obviously, however there was the sadly unfanciable friend to deal with too. The upshot was that both of us ended up flirting with both of them. It felt a little awkward to me but the girls seemed happy enough. There was one slightly sticky interlude when Alice, complimented by Jack on her tan, smiled and said 'Thanks. I just love the sun! Poor Cyn has to be careful, though. You burn up, don't you, Hun? Go all lobster, ' and the resulting attention on her less than flattering colour ('lobster' was about right) clearly embarrassed Cynthia; but other than that, things flowed reasonably smoothly as we got to know each other. The girls were a couple of years younger than us. They were friends through high school and now shared a flat in Melbourne. Cynthia was in her first job, a secretary, whilst Alice had just finished her fresher year at one of the more prestigious universities. 'Ah, so the beauty has the brains too. That is so not fair!' I thought (but didn't say). We managed to ascertain that neither girl currently had a boyfriend. Unsurprising in Cynthia's case, frankly, although her friend looked the sort who'd have a string of them. Perhaps she did but wasn't saying. OK, well good news for us either way.
Throughout the encounter ran the challenge of not leching too overtly at Alice, a challenge made all the more considerable by the miniscule bikini top she was (almost) wearing. The straps were prone to sliding over her shoulders and her attempts to push them back in place weren't particularly effectual. After a while she seemed to forget about it and her top settled into an excruciating position, balanced precariously on the lower slopes of her jutting breasts. Depending on the angle I could glimpse a hint of nipple, occasionally more than a hint. Oh god. It was tough not to stare. Sun-glasses would have eased the predicament somewhat but we'd removed them in the shade of the bar and it would have looked odd to put them back on.
Jack was struggling as much as I was, needless to say, but we did OK. Sure, we were snatching an eyeful periodically, and I'm sure Alice sensed it, however it was nothing too crude or blatant and she didn't seem to mind. Whatever, our modus operandi worked, because by the time we reached the 'OK, see you later, ' phase of the conversation we'd agreed to do precisely that; the four of us were meeting up in the hotel bar at nine o'clock.
When we rose to exchange bye-for-nows Alice appeared strangely taller than she had before. On closer examination I realised it was an optical illusion; she hadn't actually elongated while talking to us (she was still of medium height, around five six or so), it was that Cynthia was rather 'vertically challenged', barely five foot, maybe even less. At six foot plus, Jack and I towered over her.
Alice turned briefly and waved as she strolled away; she had a sly smile on her face, a smile that said 'Yeah, I know how utterly glorious my ass looks in this bikini, and I know both you horny boys are checking it out.' Correct on both counts. Immediately following her wave she put an extra little wiggle into her walk and, although there were numerous guys watching her and drooling, it was clearly for our benefit. Jack grunted something obscene and announced he had a 'mother' of a hard-on. 'Me too, mate, ' I grinned, eyes following the two Aussie girls as they receded down the beach: the bronzed, bikini-clad babe and, waddling alongside, the short dumpy friend in a smock. 'Houston, we have a problem, ' chuckled Jack, giving voice to what we were both thinking. 'Talk about beauty and the beast!'
'Yeah, well, let's talk about it later, ' I told him, needing to gather my thoughts.
We didn't talk about it, as it turned out. What we did, as we primped in our room getting ready for the 'date', was bicker like crazy.
'C'mon, it's only one night, ' said Jack, pressing his claim to be the one hitting on Alice. 'It isn't, though, is it?' I said. 'What if you get lucky and then I'm stuck with the dumpster while you're fucking Jessica Alba's identical twin for the rest of the holiday? Nah, mate, sorry.'
'Don't be like that. Cynthia's a nice girl.'
'Yeah, she is ... to talk to.'
'Well just talk then.'
'Look, Jack, if she's such a nice girl why don't you get with her?'
'Because I prefer the hot friend. I have this weird predilection for incredibly attractive women, see.'
'Tosser, ' I grinned, throwing a pillow at him.
'So, that's agreed then? You and Cynth, me and Alice?'
'Isn't it?' he said.
'Or is it more accurate to say it's totally unagreed?' I sniped. And so on and so forth. Neither of us was prepared to 'take one for the team'; we'd done it before for each other (a few times, actually) but in this particular case, no chance. 'How about we toss a coin?' I suggested, tired of arguing.
'You'll accept it if you lose, will you?'
'Probably not, ' I said, deciding it was pointless to lie. 'OK, so I guess it's a case of "may the best man win", ' grinned Jack.
'What, we both try and pull the hottie?'
I was less than impressed with this. As every guy knows who's ever played the 'hottie and nottie' scenario, the big danger with concentrating all your attention on the first, the reason it's such a no no, is not so much that the ugly one gets annoyed and jealous (since who cares, right?), but that the pretty one gets hacked off too. Why? Well, because she doesn't want her friend feeling hurt and excluded from all the fun. And so you end up blowing the whole thing. I explained this to Jack, although there was really no need. He knew the game as well as I did. 'Just have to risk it, won't we?' he said, putting the finishing touches to his appearance. 'How do I look?'
'Like shit, ' I told him. Not true unfortunately; showered and shaved, faded jeans and cotton shirt, he looked more than OK. Then again, similarly attired, so did I.
I gave up on the whole argument. What had Jack said? May the best man win? Fine, bring it on. I checked my watch. 'Any case, we better get down there.'
The girls were twenty minutes late; we were just starting to fret about being stood up when they finally came down to join us at the bar.
My determination to beat Jack in our forthcoming 'Battle for Alice' was intensified by their respective appearance: Cynthia dolled up to the nines and wearing a frilly looking (and quite elaborate) multi-coloured frock, Alice with minimal make-up and looking the perfect blend of simple and sexy in a denim mini and a lacy white top. That Cynthia had made by far the bigger effort only pointed up her friend's infinitely greater allure. The girl was drop-dead gorgeous. 'Sorry, guys. I know we're late, ' she said, sliding up onto a stool and slowly crossing her lovely legs. Cynthia did the same but her short stubby pins didn't have quite the same impact. 'No problem!' we chorused, our attention dwelling on how Alice's tight skirt had ridden a long way up her thighs. 'Cynthia took an age to get ready!' she said, grinning mischievously. 'Alice!' said Cynthia, making light of the comment but keen to change the subject. 'Just hope you boys appreciate it, ' Alice added. 'Oh we do!' I assured her. 'Yeah, you look great, ' said Jack. There was no question who Jack's 'you' was referring to. Both he and I were gazing appreciatively at Alice and doing nothing to hide the fact. Alice certainly noticed (she could hardly fail to, the way we were feasting our eyes) and the knowing smirk which flitted across her pretty face indicated that she didn't mind one bit. 'So, you going to buy the ladies a drink?' she pouted.
We ordered more beer for us and white wine for the girls.
Then the 'battle' began in earnest, Jack and I locking horns and turning all the charm at our disposal on the hottie. Poor Cynthia was like a spare part. Unlike earlier at the beach, Jack and I made zero effort with her. We barely acknowledged her presence. Both of us were scared that time spent talking to Cynthia would be exploited to the other guy's advantage and so we dropped all pretence and concentrated exclusively on what we wanted – her delicious friend.
We competed manfully for Alice's favour, ogling her, lavishing her with compliments, listening attentively to her stories, amusing her with our own, and Alice lapped it up with the easy confidence that flows from being a stunning nineteen year old girl.
She flirted shamelessly with both me and Jack, kept us simmering with the aplomb of an accomplished prick tease. She had the whole repertoire: the wide-eyed interest in everything we said; the sultry pouting smile and soft suggestive giggles; the subtle touching, hand coming to rest lightly on our arm, her fingers from time to time 'accidentally' brushing our thigh; the frequent flicking and tossing of her lustrous dark hair, the tongue sliding around full sensuous lips and the oh-so-cute biting down on the bottom one; the teasing peek-a-boo with her spectacular breasts as they tried their level best to tumble out of her flimsy top; the languorous stretching in her seat, top sliding up her torso to tantalise us with several inches of smoothly toned belly; the constant flaunting of those luscious legs, the erotic choreography of silky golden thighs forever crossing and re-crossing under stretched denim, the lazy absent-minded scratching of that persistent 'itch' just under the hem of her skirt; the loosened sandal dangled mesmerisingly from the end of scarlet-painted and beautifully pedicured toes. Jesus, the girl was driving us nuts!
The unfortunate Cynthia sat in miserable silence as her sexy friend basked in male ardour. She was attempting not to look unhappy and wildly jealous but wasn't really succeeding. At first she strove to stay involved, looked for openings in the conversation, seized on any opportunity to make a bright little interjection, but before too long she accepted the essence of the situation and became virtually mute, just sat there stewing, ignored apart from Alice's occasional 'Cynthia, you're very quiet?' type remarks, these delivered in a superior and rather patronising tone which only served to emphasise her friend's lowly status and exclusion from what was going on.
After over an hour of this, and two more drinks each, Alice excused herself to go to the bathroom. 'Wanna come too, Cyn?' she said, looking pointedly at Cynthia, making clear that it was more instruction than question. 'Um, OK, sure, ' Cynthia mumbled, the first words she'd uttered for quite some time, and the two of them went off.
'Going well, ' grinned Jack, when they'd disappeared.
'Yep, I'd say it is. Except poor Cynthia's not having such a brilliant time, is she?'
Jack chuckled, shaking his head. 'Christ, that dress! Does she really think she looks good in that?'
I shrugged. 'Guess she has to try.'
'Suppose so. But the funny thing is how she's behaving. She's obviously used to being ignored by guys when her hot friend is around and figures she has to put up with it. So it's cool for us.'
'Yeah, I know what you mean. It's like she knows her place.'
'Exactly. Hottie's ugly mug friend. The way she's sitting there like a lemon while you and me are all over Alice, it's fucking hilarious. Bet it's always like that. Bet the poor girl doesn't get a sniff. She must be gagging for it!'
'Bet she is, ' I laughed.
'She so shouldn't hang out with Alice. Just makes her look a complete moose. Can't believe they actually live together. Fuck, can you imagine?'
'Gotta feel sorry for chicks like that, don't you?'
'Do you?' said Jack, looking dubious.
'Yeah, you know. Desperate for a shag but never get a look in. All that ever happens is guys crawling over them to get to the hottie.'
'Well maybe I'll let her suck my dick sometime ... if she asks me really nicely.'
'There's a thought, ' I chuckled.
'After I've fucked her gorgeous best friend a few times, that is.'
'Ooo, Mr Confident.'
Jack took a long swig of his beer. He had a definite glint in his eye. 'Or after "we've" fucked her, I should say. Because I reckon it's a threesome later if we play our cards right.'
'Now you're talking!'
'Hey, Mark, so I dunno what all that "the pretty one will get hacked off if we both go for her" bullshit was about.'
'It's not bullshit. Usually that's what happens.'
'Because it seems to me Alice rather digs having two blokes fighting over her while the minger gets precisely nada. Seems to me the girl is loving every minute of it.'
'Yeah, it's an odd one. It's like she's getting off on the whole thing, ' I agreed.
'No question, she is.'
'Bit of a bitch really.'
'Rubbing her friend's nose in it, you mean?'
'Yeah, well. Hot bitches rule the roost. That's life, innit?'
'You're such a philosopher, Jack, anyone ever told you that?'
'C'mon, it's true!'
'Still ... it's kinda mean what she's doing.'
'And this bugs us, does it?'
'Nah, not really, but... '
'Cos listen, Mark, you can always bail out or switch if you want. Leave Alice to me.'
'Dream on, mate. Dream on.'
'Thought so, ' Jack sniggered. 'Fuck, did you clock the way she keeps flashing her tits at us? Don't know about you but I was... '
He broke off because the girls were on their way back. They re-joined us, Alice with a radiant smile, Cynthia still somewhat stony-faced.
'So, the night is young. What next, gorgeous? Another here?' Jack asked, looking at Alice. She pondered a moment before announcing that she fancied a 'change of scenery' but wasn't sure where. 'How about the nightclub here at the hotel?' I suggested. 'That "Club Rosso" thing down in the basement. Meant to be quite good, apparently.' The girls hadn't yet been there and Alice sounded enthusiastic about trying it out. 'Fabulous idea!' said Jack, taking his cue from her. He had his hand on Alice's knee, the bastard. She giggled and removed it, rolling her eyes at Cynthia who was kind of twitching uneasily in her seat. 'I'm full of fabulous ideas, ' I said, winking at Alice. 'Mmm, I just bet you are, sugar, ' Alice flirted back. 'OK, Cynthia? Club Rosso?' she prodded, grinning at the gooseberry.
'Um, I dunno. Like I told you, I'm a bit tired ... maybe I'll just go to bed?' Music to my ears, that was, but Alice was having none of it. 'Aw, don't be like that, Hun, ' she wheedled. 'C'mon, beautiful, let's go, ' I urged Alice, nuzzling at her neck. 'Down, boy!' she giggled, luxuriating in being the object of desire. 'C'mon, Cyn, it'll be fun!' she insisted. Poor Cynthia was looking all at sea. 'Honestly, Alice, I'm really... '
'Look, you can't cut out and leave me alone with two guys. It's not fair. C'mon, Hun, let's at least check it out. Just one drink, OK?' There was no doubt Alice was getting a kick out of the situation, that she was thoroughly enjoying having her desirability, and her friend's lack of it, so palpably demonstrated. No doubt either, as Cynthia nodded in reluctant agreement, as to which of the girls called all the shots.
So ... Club Rosso it was.
The place was crowded and it took a while to get served at the bar. We walked around with our drinks looking for somewhere to sit, eventually ending up in a far recess a long way from the dance floor. The lights were dimmed very low in this section which, with the darkly red decor, engendered a rather louche ambience; the 'smooching area', I guess you'd call it, and with it being relatively early there were some empty tables. 'How about here?' said Alice, indicating the most secluded of the vacant spots, the one right in the corner. We grabbed it and got ourselves sorted.
The booth arrangement was perfect for what Jack and I had in mind, which was getting it on with the scrumptious Alice. I slipped in first, by the wall, and Alice sat next to me. Jack remained standing for a moment, eyebrows raised, until Alice got the message; she giggled flirtatiously and shuffled in to make space for him, sandwiching herself between the boys and leaving her poor friend with no option but to sit alone and isolated on the other side of the large table. Cynthia was completely frozen out; with the noise of the club, the music and the general hubbub, she couldn't even hear what we were saying unless we yelled, and vice versa. 'You OK over there, Cyn?' Alice shouted across, grinning bitchily. She was squeezing my thigh under the table, doing the same with her other hand to Jack. Cynthia managed a weak smile, no doubt regretting already that she'd agreed to tag along.
The smile soon faded because from that point she was ignored, reduced to sullen observer as her sexy friend cavorted with her two admirers.
I slipped my arm around Alice and she nestled into me; 'Kiss me, Mark, ' she murmured, turning her lovely face towards mine. Oh yeah! As Alice and I kissed long and passionately, I saw Jack's hand move to her leg. Meeting no resistance this time, he snaked higher, began to gently stroke around her thighs with his fingertips. I carried on the delicious snog with Alice until a tap on the shoulder ('My turn, mate, ' Jack grinned) indicated it was time to give way. I looked quizzically at Alice, kind of hoping she'd decide to keep concentrating on me and to hell with Jack. 'Sorry, sweetheart, looks like you have to share, ' she laughed, turning to kiss Jack. As the two of them settled into a steamy clinch, I joined Jack in caressing her legs and Alice drifted her hand into my lap where it rested on the ever hardening bulge in my pants. 'See what you're doing to me, baby?' I groaned softly into her ear, getting rewarded with a knowing squeeze of her fingers.
Alice finally broke off with Jack and reclined back in her seat. She was noticeably flushed. 'Look at Cynthia, ' she giggled to us. 'She's going green, poor thing!'
Cynthia was indeed looking bitterly envious. I caught her eye and blew her a kiss. Couldn't resist it. She looked away quickly. 'Guess it's not her lucky day, ' Jack sniggered, his lips on Alice's shoulder. 'Not sure she has any, ' I said, smooching her other one. Alice laughed.