Chapter 23 Ben and friends p3
Bettina was certainly not happy there was no kiss or cuddle when she arrived at Ben’s flat instead she launched straight into questioning him about his dealings with Colin, the waiter. She had heard from her father that his man had dug up certain information regarding Ben and Colin. Also she had not been aware that Ben had a girlfriend.
Ben was rather surprise at how aggressive Bettina was when she called at the flat that evening.
He told her that he had first clapped eyes on Colin when he brought the food ordered from room service. He also had to admit that he had made the first sexual contact by the way he had been dressed and acted.
This provoked Bettina to ask, “So how were you dressed and where was your girlfriend?”
“She was having a bath and how I was dressed is none of your business,” Ben told her getting angry himself and said, “You’ll have to just take my word for that.”
Her next question was directly to the point, “At any stage in your relationship did Colin threaten to out you unless you paid him off?”
“Why should he do that to me? Both my boyfriend and girlfriend know I play the field. So the answer is no.” Ben lied
“Are you certain of that, because my father’s man has found someone who says differently?”
“So you’re calling me a liar then.”
“Well this guy says there’s a photo of Colin.”
“Yes I have lots of photos of Colin, a couple of them are very near the mark as to be almost pornographic, Ben said this and started laughing.
“It’s no laughing matter,” Bettina stated crossly.
“I’m sorry I can’t help you. The photos I’ve got of him are just photos, the same as I normally take of men I’m friends with,” Ben said this, knowing full well that the guy who Colin had been talking to that night he had overheard them in the staff quarters of the hotel couldn’t have seen any photos.
So changing the subject, he asked. “Would you like to see your photos of today?” Then like a magician he pulled out a set of about a dozen photos he had prepared for her this afternoon while dealing with Alex’s problem, and spread the photos across the table.
Ignoring them Bettina, looked Ben straight in the eyes and asked, “Could I see the photos you took of my brother then?”
“Sorry those photos are private between me and Martino, and without his permission no one can see them.”
This apparently to Ben’s surprise pleased Bettina because her whole attitudes changed from aggression to being friendly.
scooped up the photos from the table, she declared “Oh these are wonderful.”
She especially liked the one with her and the guardsman on his horse.
When Ben suggested that when they should revisit the actual changing of the guard ceremony he would take more photo to add to her collection. Bettina informed she was off to Scotland the following day to visit Balmoral Castle.
She kissed him goodbye and as she left, suggested they meet again in the States.
Ben couldn’t sleep and that was strange for him. Usually when his head hit the pillow he was out for the count. But tonight was different, he was upset. Normally he wouldn’t care a rat’s arse what people thought of him, but he liked Bettina and her change of attitude towards him, when she was questioning him about Colin, the waiter, didn’t feel right. Okay, when he discovered what Colin was planning, he only thought of himself, of getting even. Maybe if he hadn’t used the photo to blackmail Colin into being his sex slave, and had instead exposed him for the blood sucking shit he was, Martino wouldn’t be in trouble.
So Ben felt it really was all his fault that Bettina’s brother was in trouble. Looking at the time, he realised that it was still early evening in New York, there being a five-hour time difference.
Maybe, if he made amends for his bad behaviour, he could then get to sleep. It took several phone calls but, eventually, he made contact directly with Colin in his hospital bed. Ben reminded him of the photograph he still had showing him with his pants down around his ankles and the hotel logo. This certainly did the trick, especially as the hotel was footing the bill for his hospital stay.
Now wide awake he thought about Bettina’s abruptly leaving him to go to Scotland. He had been looking forward to both showing her more of the sites of London and of having more sex. He was so pissed off by her departure that he did something stupid. He got dressed and went out to a club and got drunk.
Ben felt sick his eyes hurt when he opened them and his head when he moved it. but he needed to go to the toilet so lifting the covers he swung his legs out of the bed with his eyes closed putting his feet down onto the cold floor.
What the hell he thought looking down at his bare feet where the fuck were his socks he always slept naked except for socks they must have come off in the night.
Now wide awake Ben looked around and realised he wasn’t in his own bed or alone.
OMG he thought he remembered going to the gay club and getting pissed but not much else.
Mike Grayson, the card man, phoned telling Ben the next load of greeting cards with the new Photo pictures had been delivered to Ben’s local gay bookshop in town. Instead of being happy, this really depressed him, for it meant seeing Adam.
Adam once again was putting out stock and said, “Hello,” cheerfully enough. He appeared to have come to terms with testing positive. Ben apologized for being such a shit for running away last time, especially as he was now waiting for his own test results having stupidly got drunk and then apparently having unprotected sex himself.
Adam told him that he had joined a support group for positive tested people. Whilst he was chatting to Adam, Ben received a text message from Bettina, just saying, “Thank you.”