The Consequence Was...

Entry by: Jim bob

31st December 2015
At What Price?

' They've raised the odds because she's been skipping breakfast.' said Nate.
'Really?'' replied Jack helping himself to a Twiglet from the box.
'Yep, that’s what they say. Gets the bookies apprehensive, apparently,' she said putting a hand on his, squeezing it.
'Come on, Jack' she continued. 'What do you say eh'. She smiled in the way that enticed Jack, a tempting persuasive way. And she knew it did. And she knew that he knew it did. Nate stood up, the kitchen chair moving back from her body, its legs scraping against the wooden flooring. She walked over to him, surveying him, arms crossed, her smile persisting.
'And you realize the consequences if we lose don’t you' he asked.
She stroked his hair, bent and kissed him on his stubbly cheek.
'Of course I do, love' she said quietly, almost whispering. The cars outside, motoring up and down didn't smother her voice. Neither did the small transistor, playing reggae, suffocate her gentle voice.
'And this business about not eating its breakfast' said Jack changing the course of the subject.
'All I know, love is what my horsey friends natter on about' she said, continuing to stroke his head.
'It didn’t stop him winning before, and he's never lost a race, the beautiful, wonderful thing. When he was young, he'd sometimes go without breakfast, but this never stopped him performing. The bookies know little about this because he was an unknown then.'
'I don’t know love, its a big wager' said Jack 'And the consequences of losing'
Nate put a hand to his mouth.
'OK so if we lose, it's a smaller holiday this year. We don’t spend as much next Christmas. Less parties. Is that such a big deal, love?'
Jack went to the cupboard and opened it. He pulled out a bottle of his favourite single malt whiskey- a present each birthday from his niece, Jennifer, and poured two bonus measures in to two crystal goblets.
'This requires a drink' he said sitting down again and handing her one.
'We;re trying to buy a house, and £5000 is a good chunk of a deposit.'
'But is it love' she asked, and sipped her drink.
'My goodness this is lovely' she continued. 'Cant remember if I've had this whisky before.'
'Just once when you had flu last winter.' I gave you a shot' Jack replied.
'Oh.'Well, its yummy' she said smacking her lips, then running her tongue along them, showing her satisfaction. She smiled her seductive way, and jigged her upper body slightly, to the sound of Bob Marley coming from the radio.
'We'll survive. We'll have to make cuts. Thats all', she continued.
' I know' said Jack. 'Yes we both work, we're both young and, your right. We can replace this loss with a few economical strategies. Easy.
'So whats the problem?' she asked
'Its just, oh, I don't know, love, he said and polished off his drink. 'Just the risk element, I suppose.'
'Honey' she said. 'Everything is a risk, but just imagine the consequences of winning.'
Nate emptied her glass and fetched the bottle. The cat jumped on the table. Nate picked it up after serving their drinks.
' I like you Churchill' she said to the cat. 'You're the best cat this side of London, but we want our own tom one day, and youre Mr Castles moggy.' The landlords grey, overweight feline, licked Nates face as if agreeing.

Jack pondered, sipping his drink, swirling the glass, admiring the amber liquid and the way the colour amplified through the fluorescent kitchen lighting. She looked at his wife of two years, the woman he'd loved for much longer than that. The woman who was sweeping her black hair over her shoulders, the way she always had.
'You hungry babe' he asked.
'Depends what for, babe' she replied. Jack smiled, grabbing her hand.
'Lets go get some food at Dunnies, talk this through, okay.'
'And then some hanky pankey when we get back' she said laughing. Then kissed him.
'And when we've placed the bet' she concluded.
'No No.' he said. 'You ain’t that easy, bitch' and he slapped her hard, on the bum. She screamed in delight, and Churchill ran from the kitchen.

'Whats, the nags name' Jack asked.
They were seated at Dunnies, the Italian just a half mile up the road from there place.
Milos, the Ukrainian waiter, served their grilled calamaris and asparagus- a favourite of Nates
The place bustled for a Saturday afternoon, and Milos had no time to stand around and talk with his friends. A fine sheen of perspiration coated his face, and after serving them, he moved his stout body at an alarming pace, surprising the pair of them into exchanging looks of bewilderment.
' Dellroy’s Assassin' replied Jools, after they'd settled in to their appetizers. She nibbled on the asparagus, as Mick forked large mouthful of squid away. He was starving.
''Now that's some name.' he replied.
' Lets hope the beautiful stallion brings us luck,' she said, laughing.
'Steady on lady. I've said nothing yet.'
Jack knew his wife wanted this; With the distress her father had put her through, she deserved some happiness. God, he knew they could both do with the luck. He just hoped that Dellroy’s Assassin would come in for them. He finished his appetizer, Nate leaving most of hers.
'Not hungry, love.' he asked. You've hardly touched it'
'Just thinking Dellroy’s Assassin, love.'
' Me too,' he replied.
'Do you realize' she said. We'll be able to have mad sex all over the house, without Mr Castle walking in through the front door. We can frolic in the kitchen, frolic in the bathroom. Fuck each others brains out in the living room. Just imagine love. We can have a big labrador, a couple of cats. Even a fucking tortoise... We can start a family, Jack.'
Milos cleared their plates, sweat persistent on his brow. He acknowledged them, and excused himself for the hurry in his eastern european knack, quick but efficient.
'I'm sold' said Jack. 'But if we lose, I'm divorcing you.'
Even under the subdued lighting of Dunnies, Jack noticed how striking the green of Nates eye were; the illuminous qualities to them, the colour bolder and brighter like the shallow, tropical waters of the Caribbean. When she looked at him, they pierced him, like small harmless daggers, penetrating with a pleasant persistence.
' No you're not' she said smiling and raising her glass of Chablis ' Cheers'
'No I'm not. Your right. I'm stuck with you love. I'm stuck with you forever.'
'And I'm stuck with you, babe', she replied. 'I'm stuck with you forever too. I'm part of you, as much as you are me. We cant survive without each other.'
Nate sipped her wine, then sobbed .She brought the napkin to her eyes.
'Is everything alright' he asked.
'Nothing could be better, Jack. Nothing. I'm sobbing because I'm so lucky to have you in my life. You are my treasure, and I never want to lose you.'
' Chill, Natalie' he replied, chinking his glass with hers. 'That isn't going to happen.'
A few moments later, Milos brought over their tagliatelle, again with asparagus tips, also bacon,and mushrooms. He ground black pepper from a huge mill over their dish. He also grated generous quantities of parmesan. The way the couple liked it.
' I hit a customer over the head once with this ' said Milos, holding the pepper mill. He laughed.
' Well I wont complain about the food' said Nate, smiling again. 'Did you seriously' she concluded.
'I did. He was very drunk and insulted my wife who used to work with me back then.'
'Good for you, Milos. You didn't kill him I hope.'
'Just concussion and a spell in the hospital. Enjoy your dinner.' Then he was gone.
They ate away, mostly silence, Nate playing with her food more than ingesting any. But, her appetite was still frail, unlike Jacks who again forked giant swirls of pasta dripping with oil into his mouth.
'Whens the race, babe' he asked, resting his food and engaging the wine.
'It's at three, tomorrow, Haydock', she answered.
'So soon. Wow,' he answered.
'We don’t' have to do this love' she said. 'If you said no, then I'd honour that, you know that.'
Milos cleared their plates, several moments later. Nate swayed her body to Tracey Chapman’s, Gimme One Reason, that played softly through the restaurants audio. Jack thought she still moved seductively.
'I want to do this, as much as you, Nate. Any reservations I had were doused back there at home.' he said. 'I'll be working as you know, so I'll leave it to you to tell me the result.
' I'll have some lunch waiting for you when you get home', she replied, squeezing his forearm.
'You'd better place the bet by the way.'
Milos brought over a small plate of Tiremesu, another favourite, always served to them without question. He thanked them, presenting the bill too.
'I've already done it' she said, trying not to smile without much success.
'I am going to divorce you, you know' said Jack. 'I am.' He smirked
Then she really did laugh, so loud that it turned the heads of several patrons, one or two smiling along. It stopped Milos in his tracks, too.
Later they slept. Eventually.

Jack returned from his office the following day, greeted by Churchill, and the aroma of fish stew simmering in the oven. Work had been unproductive, however he didn't want to arrive home till the race was over. Jack was alarmed at how anxious he'd become. There was no sign of Nate.
'Nate' he shouted from the bottom of the stairs, Churchill at his heels. He looked in the living room, then the conservatory. Then he thought he heard a thump upstairs, and knew it'd be her. He also knew she'd probably have showered or was reading- something she often did on Sundays while he was at work. He waited. Patiently.

She appeared minutes later wearing, her Sunday casuals- blue silk gown, red slippers. The expression on her face suggested nothing, thought Jack.
'Well' he asked.
'Well what?' she casually asked, walking towards the fridge
What do you mean well what, love. The race of course'
'It was close, a photo finish' she said. Jack thought he saw a smile develop, but couldn't be certain.
'This is killing me, come on.' he shouted.
We did it babe.' she said finally, removing the bottle of Dom Perignon. We really did it.'
'Holy shit, said Jack jumping up. 'Holy fucking shit.'
They threw their arms round each other, swirling across the kitchen, the cat leaping from table to chair. to exit. Eventually they sat, and she placed the bottle on the table.
'Holy shit is right, but holy you is better. Wonderful you made this happen love. You did. I could have always cancelled the bet, you know that.'
'I know that' he said.
She placed a hand over his mouth.
'There's something else too' she whispered. Rain pelted against the window in the dreary January way, but the whisper, somehow, smothered it.
'Whats that then,' he asked, grabbing the bottle.
' Our hero, Dellroy’s Assassin was put down after the race, which is awful. But, I think of it as being the end of his rein His journey was complete, and his journey had been sensational- just as ours is going to be, babe.'
Jack smiled, hands resting on his chin, still absorbing the good news.
'Theres another thing too' she said. The bottle popped and Jack put it to her mouth. She swallowed the fizz most of it overflowing down her chin.
'Whats that' he asked laughing at her struggle for words, himself now up, dancing wildly.
'I'm pregnant.' she said ' A life for a life, and fifty six grand. They're the consequences,babe.'
Jack stopped in mid flight.