The Sixth Stag
One of these men won’t be going home.
The family room looked huge on the hotel website. It looks a bit smaller with all six of them in it.
“Family room! Hah, cos we are family, innit?” Says Steve, the groom to be.
“S’a bit early to say, mate, to be honest,” says Bradley. Bradley is the older brother of the bride-in-waiting, “haven’t seen you in action.”
“Shit. I thought proposing to Carly would do the trick. Only did it so I could get in with you fuckers.” Steve says, and slaps Davey on his bare arse.
“Oi, you twat!” Exclaims Davey, and flashes his older brother Bradley a look. Then he laughs. “Always knew you were a bit of a ponce.”
Davey knows nothing of the sort. He just knows that Steve seems like a top bloke, but that his brother has some sort of issue with him.
Davey doesn’t know much, to be honest. Davey doesn’t yet know that he’s allergic to ketamine, for example.
“You might want to wash your hand, Steve-O.” calls out Jonjo, the groom’s oldest friend, though not his best, any more. “In bleach, maybe. The kid has the smelliest of arses, and doesn’t have the sense to put it away.”
“Fuck off.” Davey says, but he’s laughing. “It’s not my fault, it’s the shit they feed you on the plane. And I can’t sleep with my balls restricted.”
“Don’t we all know it?” Says Pete, coming in from the tiny bathroom. “Everyone got a look at fun-size and his two huge chums last night. Maybe we should club together some of our beer money and get Davey a room for him and his prodigious sack for the duration?” Everyone laughs, except for Bradley, who seems preoccupied with something.
Bradley is thinking about how Carly tried to cover up the bruise on her cheek with too much make-up, and how she’d made so many excuses for Steve when confronted. “It wasn’t him…” she said, before self-correcting to “I just fell over!”
He’d let her think he was convinced, but Bradley takes more convincing than that, and he thinks maybe he’ll ask Steve a few questions of his own while they’re spending all this time together. At least, that’s what he tells himself, but he’s also been mentally checking off all the places they’ve seen since arriving where a hapless drunk tourist might come to harm, or vanish altogether.
Pete raises his voice to be heard, as the young men drag themselves out of bed and into the day around him, spirited but hung-over.
“So, I’ve looked around and there’s a diner that does a full English round the corner – I’m not going to eat bloody boring muck all week, but I’ll give this one concession to the less cosmopolitan of you – and then we can split up or stick together, explore the island or stay close to the pool.” Enthusiastic sounds from his audience. “There’s a bar alongside the pool, if that’s a factor?” Cheers from the boys.
As best man, Pete should be feeling the pressure, but he’s too busy trying to read the group. He hadn’t met most of them before the airport, except Jonjo. None of the things he’s heard about Jonjo are reassuring, but so far, no mischief.
But there’s also the question of the itinerary. The island has a pretty incredible gay scene, and he’d like to check it out at some point, but he isn’t yet sure whether this group will embarrass him, or perhaps reject the idea altogether. Nobody seemed to have a problem with him so far, but he knew how deep and weird that seam of prejudice could run.
Still, he knows he’s going to have to put up with some full-bore hetero nonsense this week, so if he has to sneak off and have fun by himself after the rest of the idiots pass out, he can live with that.
Pete doesn’t notice Jonjo’s staring at him, because Jonjo doesn’t let him. Jonjo isn’t a big fan of gays, but you know, live and let live. Where Pete wants to stick his dick is the least of the problems Jonjo has with him.
Jonjo’s been mates with Steve since they were both kids. It was supposed to be Steve and Jonjo, top blokes forever. But then Steve went off, got himself a life.
Jonjo can forgive Carly for getting her hooks in to his mate. And besides, Jonjo’d left his mark on her already. But Pete? He was a different sort of problem.
“Did you see that bird on reception last night?” Jonjo belches. “Fucking tasty. Wouldn’t mind a piece of that.”
He sneers at the back of Pete’s head, Pete looking out the window at the beach.
“You fucking animal.” Steve says, and throws a laugh in, to try and cover his disgust. Watching his old mate sit there, throwing his shadow over Steve’s best friend.
Steve looks at Jonjo because he knows who Jonjo is, and some of what Jonjo has done. He’s working out what to do about it.
Pete yells “OK, chaps; downstairs in five!”
And the stags are off.
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