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The Guest List by Lucy Foley Read Online (FREE)

‘Yeah.’ I take a gulp of vodka.

There was this moment, I remember, when I thought maybe he was going to say goodbye, but he opened the door of the cab and turned to me and said: ‘Well, are you getting in?’ And in the taxi (not even an Uber, a proper black cab), how this little voice kept piping up: What are you doing? You hardly know him! But the drunk part of me, the part of me that was up for it, kept telling it to shut up.

We went back to Jules’s place, because he’d just moved house and didn’t have any proper furniture. I felt a bit bad about it, but I told myself I’d wash the sheets.

‘Wow,’ he said. ‘This is impressive. And it all belongs to you?’

‘Yeah,’ I said, feeling like I’d got a whole lot more sophisticated in his eyes.

‘And then we had sex,’ I tell Hannah. ‘I guess I wanted to do it before the booze wore off.’

‘Was it good?’ Hannah asks. She sounds excited. And then: ‘I haven’t had sex for ages. Sorry. I know that’s TMI.’

I try not to think of her and Charlie having sex. ‘Yeah,’ I say. ‘It was a bit – y’know. A bit rough? He pushed me up against the wall, pushed my skirt up around my waist, pulled my knickers down. And he— Can I have a bit more of that?’ Hannah passes me the bottle and I take a quick slug. ‘He went down on me, even though I hadn’t had a shower. He said he preferred it like that.’

‘Right,’ Hannah says. ‘OK. Wow.’

Callum and I had never done anything very adventurous. I guess the sex I had with Steven was better than anything I’d had with Callum, even if, after he’d made me come with his mouth that first time, I weirdly felt like crying for a moment.

‘I saw him, like, quite a few times after that,’ I tell Hannah.

I feel rather than see Hannah nod, her head so close to mine that I sense the movement of the air. I find myself telling her how I liked seeing myself the way he seemed to: as someone sexy, someone adventurous. Even if sometimes I felt like I was out of my depth, not always totally comfortable with all the stuff he asked me to do in bed.

‘I mean,’ I say, ‘it wasn’t like it was with Callum, when it felt like we were …’

‘Soulmates?’ Hannah asks.

‘Yeah,’ I say. It’s a pretty cringe word, but it’s also exactly right. ‘This was different, I guess. With Steven it was like he only showed me a tiny bit of himself, which—’

‘Left you wanting to see more?’

‘Yeah. I was sort of obsessed by him, I think. And he was so grown-up and so sophisticated, but he wanted me. And then—’ I shrug. ‘I fucked up.’

Hannah frowns. ‘What do you mean?’

‘I dunno. I suppose I wanted to prove to him I was mature. And we never seemed to do anything together, other than meet up and, you know, have sex. I had this – this feeling that he might only be interested in me for that.’