Excerpt from Dear Alex



© Clare London




“You know, he answers the whole damned lot?”  I was still marvelling at my discovery of Robbie’s astonishing tolerance, even over supper.  I’d taken a new date to the local bistro, where I knew I could get a reasonable steak and a couple of bottles of wine, cheap enough not to strip my wallet but strong enough to get the guy amenable to a more adventurous fuck.  “All the sad, sorry letters I don’t use, he replies to them.  Okay, so it’s a standard form, but if they give an address, he writes them.  I thought he stopped that, months ago, when the mail started to increase.  God, the time it must take, I never see him doing it in office hours.  Guy must have no life outside work at all…”


“Alex.”  My new guy broke in.  I hadn’t heard that biting tone in his voice before.  Hell, I’d picked him up in a hot, dark, noisy club, and the only other conversation we’d had so far were grunts of half-drunken sexual satisfaction, back at my apartment that first night.  He left afterwards, not even bothering with a shower, but that suited me fine.  It wasn’t often I took things on to a second date, anyway, though he’d been cute enough for me to consider it.




“Shut the fuck up with the work stories,” he sighed.


Looking more closely at him, I saw all the things I usually liked in a body – blond hair, good strong shoulders, thick, wide lips.  And some other stuff I didn’t, like the frown on his face and the rather too sharp glint in his eye.  “That’s all you’ve talked about, all evening.  Robbie this, Robbie fucking that.”


“Robbie fucking nothing, I think,” I laughed, though a little too loudly.  “That’s my whole point –”


The guy stood up, abruptly.  I watched as he threw down a few bills for his supper and pulled on his jacket.  He looked down at me and rolled his eyes.  “Maybe you think I’m impressed with the fact your name’s in a magazine – maybe you think that’s all it takes, off the page as well as on.  I should appreciate your incisive wit, your pretentious rants.  I should be grateful to be your audience for the night.”  I know my eyes widened with surprise, though whether at his attitude or his own obvious fluency, I wasn’t sure.  “Yeah,” he said, nodding.  “I guessed so.  You don’t listen to me, but you expect me to listen to you.  Well, that’s good enough for one fuck, but not much more.  Not for me, anyway.”


I watched him walk out of the restaurant with a broad, strong stride.  He had a damned fine ass.  I picked up his half-finished glass of wine and poured it into my own.  I’d have called out after him – tried to wheedle him back to the table – but, rather embarrassingly, I couldn’t remember if his name was Bob or Brad.


Dammit.  I decided to take my time over finishing the wine, and maybe go on to a club.  A different one.  I didn’t want to bump into Bob/Brad again tonight, and listen to more of his cheap pearls of wisdom about my literary skills.  I didn’t need professional critique from a lug like that.  I didn’t need much conversation at all, to be honest.  My dates were there to fuck and have fun, not fraternise.


For Christ’s sake, the last thing I was interested in was whether he was Really The One!