Not really a romance, but something along the lines of a women's magazine.
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"Our runaway jar's almost full, gorgeous. You got your bags packed?"
Any time on any day would be too early for Gerald and his nonsense, and after one of the booziest, lewd, downright dirty Sunday nights I can remember, today is a country mile away from an exception.
"Almost, Love Tub" I reply, relishing the wince at the reference to his recent weight gain, "just the crotch-less undies to go."
Gerald's eyes light up brighter than if I'd gifted him a Â£20 Greggs pick 'n' mix, "Oh, and something to read." I add.
The changing rooms team braying down the walls of my skull, not to mention the desiccated cat turd crumbling in my throat, are encouragement enough to get rid of my personal letch quickly this morning.
Of course, its never that simple; as Gerald's subsequent grin of pure cheese confirms. "Something to get you in the holiday mood?" he suggests, "Something a bit naughty, even -dare I say- rude? Jilly Cooper? Jackie Collins?"
His ostentatious wink warps his face into the Spitting Image puppet version of itself and I have to reign in a chuckle.
"Actually, Gerald, it's entitled Crawlers! Everything You Need to Know About Repelling Insects."
Bingo! How's that for a money shot, you tosser?
Just for a second the grin slips and those wide shoulders sag, "Ah, you are a one, Sandra. A rain check on part two then?" He winks, this time without the rubber-puppet parody.
"Guess so, Gerald." I reply, sharply, hating to acknowledge there had even been a part one.
With a parting grin he nods over my shoulder to Sam, listening diligently behind me, and strolls off down the corridor.
"Creep." I mutter, taking my station next to Sam.