Suggested Audio Jukebox ♫
 Nine Inch Nails “March of The Pigs”
 Pink Floyd “Pigs on The Wing”
 Jane’s Addiction “Pigs in Zen”
 Ministry “Filth Pig”
“So this is it then?”
“I guess so”
“Seven years and you’re really going to throw away everything we have had together on account of me making one mistake?”
“One mistake? You really are deluded aren’t you?”
“Evidently so as I can’t see what I did to you that’s so Godawful”
“And that is why I want you out”
“Why? Because I was honest with you?”
“No Niall. Not because you had an epiphany and decided to come clean. It’s the fact that you saw fit to cheat on me in the first place that irks me most”
“It was a drunken kiss”
“And that makes it alright does it?”
“Of course not. You don’t think I feel like shit?”
“That’s my only consolation”
“I told you, it lasted all of five seconds and I stopped things before they went any further”
“How chivalrous. You really are my hero. You know that?”
“Fine. If that’s how you’re going to be about it”
“Yeah I’d say that’s about the strength of it. Now get…out!”
Niall could see that he was banging his head against a brick wall. He had never seen her like this before; ordinarily Tess was the understanding one and he had banked on such when coming clean about his duplicity. She obviously just needed a little time to process the information and, in an endeavor not to make things any more fucked, he respected her wishes, grabbed his jacket, and left before he said something he would truly regret. She would calm down in time and take him back as his crimes really weren’t all that heinous. Sure, he had suffered a moment of weakness but it was swiftly followed by one of both clarity and intense shame. In his defense, he had had a skinful that night and, as far as he was concerned, Bethany Britton had taken advantage of his momentary lapse of reason. He didn’t even find her particularly attractive but the grass seemed somewhat greener on her side of the fence after seven fireballs.
“It’s Christmas eve”
“Then I’ll leave a mince pie on the doorstep. But you ain’t getting back in here”
“The season of goodwill”
“Yeah. Maybe you should have thought of that before boning that strumpet”
“I’ve told you countless times. I didn’t sleep with her”
“And you expect me to believe that do you? You’re so fucking deluded. I know how these things work. You think you’re being the big man by fessing up but the truth is you’re just testing the water. In another three months you’ll admit to having done it and I’m just doing us both a favor by saving us time. It’s not alright Niall. It will never be alright. You messed up…big time”
Niall dared not stick around for round two as she was already well ahead on points and the canvas wasn’t looking very enticing. Instead he let himself out and began his walk of shame. It wasn’t the best time of year to become a nomad but needs must. He figured a few hours should do it; by that time Tess would have had some time to consider and hopefully she would see reason. Until then, it was just him and the elements; none of his friends were likely to be available as he knew they had plans for a drunken night in the city as they had asked him along. He declined, knowing he had to clear his conscience, and it was starting to appear a bum steer as Christmas cheer was at a premium there. There seemed like only one available course of action and, as far as he was concerned, she brought it on herself.
“Hi. It’s me. Niall”
“I’ve got to be honest. You’re the last person I expected to hear from”
“Well I just wondered, if you’re not up to anything, whether you fancied meeting up for a drink?”
“I’ve still got wrapping to do”
“That’s fine. Another time maybe?”
“Tell you what. I can meet you in thirty minutes. Let me get my shit together and I’ll meet you at Denville’s okay?”
“Sure. If you need longer…”
“No. That’s fine. I’m sick of it anyway, brain rot is beginning to set in. It’ll do me good”
“Okay then. See you in thirty. I’ll wait inside”
“Cool. See you then”
Niall thought long and hard about what he was about to facilitate….for a handful of seconds anyway. Tess had brought this on herself, she had broken up with him, and he’d been honest almost entirely. She may well have had a point when explaining that she believed there to be more to his story than a simple kiss but he sure as shit would never tell her now. The way he saw things he had fouled. He held his hands up to acting out of turn but there appeared nothing stopping him from doing so again. This time he had every intention of reciprocating Bethany’s advances and, should that end in coitus, then so be it. If you looked at things in black and white he had been kicked to the curb and that granted him immunity, for this evening at least.
“Wow. You look great”
“What will it be?”
“Whatever they’ve got on tap. I’m not fussy”
“A beer drinker eh?”
“Yeah. Got my dad to blame for that one. He used to brew it at home”
“Tell you what, I’ll grab these. You find us a table and I’ll bring them over”
“I’m okay here thanks”
Bethany sat on the bar stool alongside Niall and cut straight to the chase.
“So what gives?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well you made it pretty clear that us sleeping together was a mistake. Then, out of the blue, you want to see me. What gives, did your girlfriend find out?”
“No. We split up. Been on the cards for a while now”
“So you thought you’d hit the rebound then?”
“Not at all. I like you Beth. I really enjoyed that night”
“You could have fooled me. I’ve never seen someone so desperate to escape in the morning”
“My head was messed up”
“I’m over it. So anyway. What gives?”
Niall was only too aware that he would be required to tread rather carefully from hereon in. Part of him questioned whether it was worth the trouble; he’d already endured one strong-minded woman this evening and Bethany was proving just as troublesome a nut to crack. Maybe alcohol would help to alleviate her judgement. The fact that her pint glass was already half empty suggested that she would likely drink him under the table before the night was through and he couldn’t hold his liquor at the best of times. Instead, he would need to resort to smooth-talking his way out of a fix and reminding Beth why she crushed on him in the first place. He still considered himself to be holding the cards; she came onto him and he had been aware for some time that she had a thing for him. Time to feign some melancholy. That should do it.
“I felt so shitty about the way things ended between us”
“Ended? They never even got started”
“That was because I had to get my house in order before they went any further. I didn’t want you to be the reason for us breaking up. Tess and I knew things weren’t working and we came to a mutual agreement that it was time to stop kidding ourselves. I’m a free agent now and I know what I want”
“So what’s that then?”
Bethany really wasn’t leaving much room for maneuver. The truth is, this was only about knee-jerk sex for him, and he would have preferred not to bring feelings into the mix but she wasn’t likely to budge unless he showed willingness for investment. He would cross that bridge when he arrived at it; once the alcohol had vacated his system. Tonight was all about making him feel better and she represented a pawn in his game, nothing more. So as not to come across as a cad, he would engage in obligatory cuddles once the deed was done and even planned to call the next day when he said he would. After that he would let things dissolve naturally and thus no blame could be left at his doorstep.
“I want to see where this leads. Start from scratch. I like you. I did then but it wouldn’t be fair to anyone to start on the wrong foot. You can understand that right?”
“That’s very noble of you. But it doesn’t explain why you couldn’t so much as look me in the face afterwards”
“I felt terrible. You must be able to see that. I’m not that guy”
“Then what kind of guy are you Niall?”
“The kind that wants the chance to put things right”
“Go on then. No time like the present. Knock yourself out”
Niall took a moment to weigh up his options. There were at least three other women he spotted more likely to sleep with him tonight without a single complication. Beth was nothing special, at best she was a seven although by morning she would be back to six and he’d be on damage limitation once again. It hardly seemed worth all the effort.
“Actually Beth. Second thoughts. I think I will have to take a raincheck”
“You’re kidding right?”
Nah. You’re just a bit too uptight and the last thing I need right now is another woman telling me my faults. I think I’ll pass thanks”
With that, Niall grabbed his jacket and made his way to the exit, leaving Beth stunned where she sat and at a complete loss of words. He was grateful for the silence as it didn’t blow his cover with any of the other potential bed post notches but it only lasted until he reached the doorway.
Niall kept his head down and hastily retreated from the building.
Bethany finished her drink and left also, cursing under her breath as she hailed a cab and still doing so as she climbed into the first available vehicle and rattled off her instruction. Once the coast was clear, Niall scurried back from the shadows and returned to the bar for his next conquest.
This time he headed straight for the restroom to reconsolidate before attempting his next acquisition. After giving himself a pep talk along the lines of “You’re the man Niall. Use the force” whilst taking a whizz, he performed a final check in front of the mirror. That was funny, unless he was mistaken, a large clump of hair just fell to his shoulder. Upon confirmation he panicked and felt around his crown for any bald patch, only to dislodge another bail. The more he foraged the more stretched his resources; as though his follicles were freeing them on contact. He then hurriedly organized his thinning mop of hair and not without further casualties. By the time he had finished, his normally thick head of hair was more of an elaborate comb-over and he was greatly relieved to fumble around in his pocket and pull forth a beanie hat. Not the most enticing head gear but the fact that he was sporting three days growth on his chin suggested he just about pulled off the handsome vagrant and all was not lost.
“Do you mind if I join you?”
“On whether or not you’re going to feed me a line like you did your last victim”
“Her? No you’ve got it all wrong. We’re work colleagues. Just discussing this year’s secret Santa”
He shoots, he scores. Niall felt an overwhelming sense of pride for such a rapid response.
“She must’ve got a raw deal”
“Because she called you every name under the sun after you left”
He started to feel that sinking feeling once again. The Gods evidently weren’t on his side this evening; every turn presented another hurdle and it was beginning to make him itch…literally.
“Have I touched a nerve?”
“Not at all. Just come over a bit funny is all”
“That’d be the guilt”
“No actually it’s not. I think it might be the bar nuts”
“How irresistible, skin allergy. Why the beanie then…flaky scalp?”
“It’s cold out. Am I wasting my time or not?”
Niall instantly regretted blurting this out but the itch was growing more severe, unbearable almost. The way he saw it, this was already looking like another set of hurdles, and there were still other fish in the sea. The night was still relatively young and he didn’t intend wasting time flogging a dead horse. Astonishingly his plan seemed to work.
“Yes you’re wasting your time, mine too. We could be at the motel right now fucking like Persian minks but instead I’m stuck here watching you scratch like a mangy mutt. One chance bucko and you’re dangerously close to blowing it”
Meaningless sex, just what the doctor ordered. If he had known it would be this easy then he would have saved himself twenty bucks already but this suitor’s willingness to cut to the chase may have just saved him another twenty. He didn’t even know her name and that couldn’t have fit in better with his plan of bolting the scene before daybreak.
“Motel you say?”
“Yeah. You’re paying”
“Naturally. And prey tell will this excursion be costing any more?”
“Your balls if you ever suggest I may be a hooker again. No I just need a good screw and, failing that, you’ll do just fine”
Somehow he was still in the races. She was already out of her seat and settling up her tab and all there was left for Niall to do was to grab his jacket. When he did, he recoiled in abject horror. Thankfully, her back was turned and he managed to compose himself before she turned back his way but the fact remained that he hadn’t expected his hand to so closely resemble a pair of trotters. He hid both behind his back so as not to arouse suspicion although this in itself looked rather conspicuous.
“What a gentleman you are”
As her back turned once more he took another look and was vastly relieved to see that his hands had returned to normal. Still, the itching continued. He got in his last few surreptitious scratches and followed her outside, blissfully aware of the curly pink tail jutting through the back of his denims.
“Not exactly the Hilton but I’ll let it slide this once as it’s Christmas eve and I’m feeling the goodwill”
Not exactly the Hilton? Who the hell did this woman think she was? Tonight’s grand total had now amassed to nearly ninety bucks and for another thirty five he could have bagged himself a blow job on the boulevard. He couldn’t help but snort his derision.
“What the fuck was that?”
“You just snorted like a pig. Are you trying to insinuate something?”
“I’m just a little congested”
“You just keep getting sexier don’t you! So we can now add being nasal to your growing list of ailments alongside eczema and alopecia. Nice try with the beanie by the way. But I used to have a dog that molted, Bentley his name was. Poor bastard had to be put down”
Another clutch of hair fell before his eyes and landed in a tidy shag-pile atop his snout.
He cantered to the bathroom clutching his face to solve the mystery of the fretfully flared nostrils. Once again, great relief, although his actions had left his chances of coitus hanging by the most slender of threads.
“Shall we just get this over with? No offense but you’re kind of killing the passion”
Another snort. This time unmistakable.
“Well ain’t that just the cutest thing. You know, I had myself a pot-bellied pig when I was seven years old. Mr Sniffles, his name was. Never stopped me eating bacon though. So, let’s have a look at that sausage shall we”
All this talk of cuisine was making Niall rather hungry and his growling stomach was growing more restless by the minute and less fussy. He managed to prioritize and unzipped his fly, reaching in to claim his baloney. He dreaded to think what would be waiting inside but, as he slid out three and a half inches of flaccid mutton, he felt truly reprieved that it wasn’t skinless.
“We can work with that. Never judge a paperback, that’s what I say. Let’s have you then shall we?”
Niall was utterly discombobulated by this point. On one hand there was confusion as some fairly concerning shit was going down and the scratching was driving him crazy. On the other, he was feeling a little used if he was honest. It all felt so workmanlike, fuck me and then don’t speak to me for a good ten minutes after as I will invariably curse at you. Where was the romance in that? He may have been a bit of a pig but at least he set the scene a little. She was just treating it like a chore; like she was doing him a favor by agreeing to sex. Then it hit him. She was indeed doing him a favor so what was he doing procrastinating? Get in, get the job done, get out. What was he being such a bitch about?
This spurred Niall on and he strode forward with a sense of purpose, took his nameless fuck buddy in his arms, and proceeded to provide her with the twelfth best 90 seconds of her life. Get in, no problem there. She was most accommodatingly proportioned and akin to the Death Star once you hit the trenches. Get the job done, not a problem. Ejaculation doesn’t lie. It may be premature but at least it’s honest. Get out, he was in no rush after shooting his soldiers behind enemy lines. Besides, he just had an overwhelming urge to wallow.
5:19 on Christmas morning. The snow had begun to settle on the window ledge outside and the wind was whistling against the cracked frame. She was up and at ’em; already preparing a festive meal. It smelled delicious and, for a moment, Niall felt content and ravenous to boot. He had to hand it to her; precious little foreplay, no-fuss sex, and now she was cooking him breakfast. He always was a bit slow out of the gate first thing. It was a full ten seconds before the first ominous sign presented itself. He couldn’t move and could feel rope shackles binding both wrists and ankles. Even more disconcertingly he was dangling upside down and his back was beginning to smoulder. The cruel cherry on this cake was the orally-imprisoned apple which he gagged on as it threatened to slide down his throat.
“You’re awake. Good morning or should I say Happy Christmas? I have to come clean, I never really cared for turkey much. Too dry, almost tasteless. I’m more of a bacon girl myself. Now I know a thing or too about food preparation and it’s always better to slow roast your hog but not before a quick blast to begin. Got to get it crispy”
She slinked over and adjusted the flame, much to Niall’s disenchantment. As he screamed in agony it was with stomach still growling and, as the flesh on his overhanging belly began to char, all he could muster was one final snort.