More explicit sex in this. Don’t you just love the thought of it?

Part XIV


New home, new love, new friends, new life.



Instead of taking Paul up on his house-hunting offer, I accepted the company of John Lennon instead. At least this way I knew I was safe from committing sin. I had more or less settled with the idea of finding a place in Marylebone, as it was bang in between St. John’s Wood where I went for therapy with Dr. Buckley, and a stone throw away from Carnaby, where Theresa was. It was also amazingly close to Jane’s home on Wimpole, which was, after all, a long straight street in between Marylebone Road and Wigmore Street. With John’s unavoidable humor at my side I remained distracted enough not to concentrate too much on the death of my beloved sister. In a couple of hours, I found a gorgeous little studio for sale on Chiltern Street and Porter Street, a small corner place which was only half a block away from Baker street station. It was very small. Only one bedroom, a small bathroom with a bath tub that looked like it was about to fall through the floor and a couple broken windows; But, I figured this would be perfect once repaired. Because of the damage it had, it was extremely cheap.

John and I paced on the wooden floor. Even though I was sneering, I felt at home.

- God, it smells like piss in ‘ere…- John retorted. –You got yer work cut out fer ya, you know…

- Lay off, John. – I smiled, looking out a small window. – It’s a nice enough area, it’s near every place I need to have close to me. It’s not that far from Carnaby… Just a five-minute cab ride, I’m guessing… I have the doc’s office about ten minutes away, as well as Jane’s place, so…

- It still smells of piss, though.

- Oh, like you’ve always slept on a bed with silver linnen! - I laughed.

John smiled at me. – Well, I’m a bloke, aren’t I?

I stared at him in a reprimanding way. –We’ll talk about chauvinism and real estate later. Are you willing to help me out here, or what!

John looked around and began to impersonate an artist. –Well, me luvvie, with a bit of a rev ‘ere and there, this place may actually look good! - He turned to me and placed a small, leather cap he adored on his head. With a wicked grin, he put his arm around me. – I believe you and our Paulie may actually have found a place fer yerselves, hey?

I looked at him in shock.

- Aw, you think we never noticed? - John laughed. –Paul’s got a big mouth! Plus, there’s nuthing he wouldn’t tell me. Tough one, you got ‘ere, luv. E’s mad about Jane and ‘e’s mad about you.

I stared a John and sighed. After pacing around the empty studio for a while, I looked at John. –Who would you pick, Johnny? Jane Asher the lovely or Rita McCormick the home idiot?

John shook his head from side to side with a smile, and walked to me.

- Well, that’s a tough one, hey? Let us think it over…

Without warning, he pulled me by the waist and kissed me gently, shocking me. – There…- He pulled away with a grin, readjusting his cap. –Does tha’ answer yer question, then?

Despite my shock, I had to ask. – Why did you do that?

He smiled at me. –Because you are hot, luv. And because yer me mate… And there are so many things I can imagine…- He paced around looking at the empty studio. –You know, me old mate Stu? The one that died? - He looked at me. –Back in Liverpool he n’ I shared a studio flat very much like this one. Cor, I must ‘ave been… what… twenty years old, then? - He calculated the times. –Yeh, tha’ was around the time…- He looked up at me. – Cyn and I used to sneak in there for shags and stuff. Me mate Stu would sit outside while Cyn and I did our dirty stuff…- A wicked smile arose on his thin lips. –Yeh, it was fun… Then…- He giggled like a little boy. – Then I knocked ‘er up! Me Auntie Mimi nearly ‘ad a stroke when she ‘eard!

I smiled at John. –Well, at least you did the right thing.

- Hey?

- Yeah, you married her, didn’t you?

John’s smile disappeared and he walked to the window. –Yeh, I did tha’. But I didn’t want to, you know. I ‘ad no choice, you see… What would a man do with a girl like Cyn running around with a tummy? What would I tell fans, then? The band was getting big, it was the best I could ‘ave done…

I stared at him for a few seconds.

- Can I ask you a question, John?

- I dunno, you think you can?

I smiled as I asked, feeling confident.

- Do you love her?

- Who, Cyn? - He touched the rusted window frame. –Yeh, I do… Otherwise I wouldn’t ‘ave given two shits, would I? Poor Cyn, it wasn’t all ‘er fault, really… Or mine… Wait…- He thought for a moment and slapped himself on the cheek. –I’m talking out me arse… It WAS our fault. It wasn’t like the stork arrived suddenly, hey?

His way to react to certain things always put a smile on my face. – And Julian?

He looked at me and raised his eyebrows. –What about ‘im?

I knew I was meddling, but I knew that with John it was ok for me to meddle. I trusted him enough. –Do you love your son?

He frowned at me. –Now tha’s a daft question, isn’t it? He IS me bloody son, isn’t he? Of course I luv ‘im!

I grinned. –The thing is…- I hesitated. -… I’ve noticed you don’t quite know how to react whenever he’s around… It’s like you’re almost scared to even hold the little guy…

John stared at me, and for one brief moment, I knew he had no smart answers to give to me. He smiled and shook his head as he walked to the other side of the room. He leaned on the wall and took his little cap off, rearranging the infamous mop top with his right hand. – I dunno… I guess I just ‘ave no clue how to be a dad, you know...- He looked to the wall. –I never really ‘ad a dad, so I guess I ‘ave no example to follow. - I remained silent, knowing John was talking to me from his heart. – I mean, sumtimes I’m on tour, and I’m just so fed up with it all… And all I want is to get ‘ome and see Cyn and Jules, but then when I do, I just dunno how to deal with ‘im. I really want to play with ‘im and all tha’, but then when I get to it, I just feel…- He pressed his lips tight against each other.

- Confused? - I completed for him.

- Yeh…- He looked at me again. –I guess I’m just one of them blokes tha’ were just not cut out to be a parent…

- Don’t say that! - I smiled at him. – You just haven’t tried hard enough.

He shook his head. – Naa. I’ve seen it on Paul and Ring… They just luv children. It’s like it’s in their blood, you know. Paul would be a much better dad to Jules than I, I know tha’. You’ve seen ‘em! Paul is just barmy over the little man. It’s pathetic to ask me best mate, single man, no kids, for advice on how to play with me own son…

I noticed a sad look on John’s face as he looked into my eyes. He smiled a grin with zero humor in it. –What’s really stupid about all this is tha’ I hated me dad for being lousy to me… Fer not being there and all tha’…- He looked away and sighed. -…and I’m doing the same shit to me poor little Julian. I’m out on tour all the time, and when I am home, it’s like ‘e was hardly there. What I fear the most is that he’ll hate me as much as hate me dad, and all because I ‘ad no clue how to be a father…

- Hey, cut it out! –I said, detecting a very emotional moment. –Jules loves you. If you feel this way, well, just try a bit harder! Even if Paul has to show you how, it doesn’t matter. What counts is that at least you go home and he sees you there! You’re not walking out on him, are you?

John grinned at me and shook his head. He sighed again and stood straight, changing the subject.

- Well, then, miss… You like this place?

- Yeah. - I smiled as I looked around. – I think I’ll take it. I’ll just work on it a bit. – I saw the place like it was a blank canvas

I remembered what his answer had been when I asked who he would choose, and I took the subject up again. I sat on the dirty floor as I turned to John.

- John?

- Yeh?

- Why would you choose me over Jane?

Lennon laughed out loud. - It’s complicated, luv! But you got sumthing…

- What’s that?

John stared at me for a while and laughed. –I dunno! You just ‘ave this thing, you know!

- Ah, not that same shit again! - I moaned. Why was it that no one, even Paul was able to describe what it was that made me so… I don’t know?

- It’s ‘ard to describe, luv!- John kept giggling. He sat on the floor in front of me and, putting his little leather cap back on his blondish head, he crossed his legs. –But I’ll give it a whirl…- He stared at me intently, and almost made me laugh, even though he seemed to be staring at a sculpture in a museum. –I GOT IT!!!- He made me jump suddenly. –You really wanna hear this, then?

- Yes, please!- I begged

- Well, You’re real. Tha’s what’s so sexy about you.

- Aw, all that anticipation for this? - I sneered. –Jane is real as well, you know…

- No, she isn’t…

- Huh?

- Jane’s the princess and Paul is the toad… But she can’t see that kissing this toad won’t make ‘im turn into prince charming, and ‘e’s still believing he IS prince charming, but ‘e’s just the toad, you see…

- What on earth are you talking about, Lennon?

- Well, - he began – Ever since Paul met ‘er, ‘es been trying to escalate into this high society world to which Jane belongs… On ‘er it’s natural and it’s quite charming, but on him…- He shook his head. –What it all cums down to luv, is tha’ Paul was born a working class shit kicker from Liverpool. A nice, cute faced one, but a shit kicker all the same. He goes into his high-class crap with Jane and all tha’, but deep inside all ‘e really wants is just sumone as down to earth as ‘e is. And I believe you’d be perfect fer the job because you’re … well…

- …A shit kicker from New York. - I spoke jokingly as I faked to cry tragically.

- Well, yeh…- John laughed with me. –But you’re real! And it’s that real thing that makes you so bloody irresistible. That’s why this Theresa woman singled you out. You’re not like the typical poser girl of the fifties, you know. You look so real and so down to earth, it’s gorgeous. Yer beautiful because you are so natural. - He giggled. –Look at us! ‘Ere they are, the luvable Mop Tops, right? - He stood up and grabbed his crotch several times. – Would a luvable mot top do this, then?

I laughed hysterically as I turned my face away. –John, you’re disgusting!

- Yeh, I am! - He sat back down, laughing. – So is Paul, fer that matter! But that’s the charm, see? We’re not really luvable, we’re just real. That’s why the girlies run amok. That’s what I mean. Jane is not real, see? Paul would luv to ‘ave a big ‘ouse with dogs and a bunch of noisy brats running around the yard.

- And a white picked fence? - I joked.

He sneered at me. –‘Es not a bloody Yank like yerself, but he would settle fer that bull as well…

I slapped him on the thigh. –You are terrible! I hate you! - I said with a giggle. I picked up the subject again. –Doesn’t Jane want that?

John huffed. –Heaven bloody well knows when the fuck she’ll be up to it. She’s really keen on getting a bloody Oscar first, or sumthing. THEN she’ll marry Paul… And THEN maybe they’ll have a kid or two. And that’s it! - He shook his head. –I don’t really think he’ll wait THAT long, you know…

I had already heard both sides to the same story. Jane, the woman who wanted to make a name of her own and not live in the shadow of a Beatle, and Paul, the man who wanted to have the reliability of a home. It was a hard call. I was a dropout from school, I was a model who worked on occasion, not half as busy as Jane, I was in the circle, and yet, I was the perfect "working class shit kicker" that Paul would love to see at home. It was sad but true. I was better for Paul.

- But Jane loves him so much…- I said sadly.

- Yeh, that she does. - John nodded. – And it’s mutual, too, you know. But I’ve ‘eard them both whine about tha’ same old stuff… Like I told ya, luv… Jane keeps on kissing the toad, hoping he’ll puff up into a huge cloud of smoke with Prince Paul. It’s not going to ‘appen… EVER…

I nodded. So, finally someone could tell me! I was REAL!

I stood up, and walked to the door. I looked around and analyzed the whole studio. –I hope this place is fully furnished and finished by the time we go to America…

John nodded and joined me by the door. – Yer wish is my command…- He shook me by the shoulders. –Just be best bloody sure ya pay me back every penny I’m putting into this little ‘ouse of yours, you little shit kicker!

I laughed out and pushed him. –Get away! You have no idea how to treat a lady!

He looked around with a hand over his brow. –Where is she? I don’t see no fucking lady!

- OH! - I moaned and punched him in the stomach. I punched too hard. He bent over and panted for air as I apologized repeatedly between giggles.

- See? - He gasped for air. –Yer no lady, I’m telling ya! - He finally stood straight as he rubbed his stomach. He laughed at me. Suddenly, he grabbed me by the neck with an arm and roughed my hair. –Yer just one of the lads, you are!!! – He gave me a strong, hard kiss on the cheek. –I’ll ‘ave to kiss you instead of Paul when we’re in front of Eppy, ‘ell go spare!

- Naa, keep kissing Paul. - I freed myself from under his arm. – The effect is not the same…

We both laughed as we left the studio, my future home. I was to leave with the boys to America early in August, stay in New York while they toured the country, and fly back to England with all my clothes and belongings from home. I would never go back there.

Stepping into John’s black Rolls Royce, I kept thinking about Paul and his words the day he left Jane’s house. "God help me, I love you", he had said. I still had no clear idea if he meant this in friendly, sexual or romantic terms, but one thing was for sure; since that occasion, seeing each other had been awkward, like having a part in a school play. Naturally Jane was around every time, so naturally we had to keep a low profile. The only time he made a move toward me was once when I was in the garden of the Asher home, and he sat next to me, looked around, brushed my hair to the side and kissed me on the cheek, whispering the word "Soon" into my ear. Soon what? Soon we’d be together? Maybe that’s what he had meant, as I was going on the same plane as they were. I would remain in New York for the duration of their tour only. Then I agreed to meet them back in London. What would happen on the trip was anybody’s guess, including mine. One thing was for sure: I had meant what I said. Was it love when all a girl can think of is the company of one single man? Was it love when the smell of his body invades the senses so strongly that one can no longer imagine life without it, like it was the air we breathe? Or was it an obsession? I had told him straight. I did love him, enough to lose my virginity to him, but I did have some childish hope to be loved back.

John turned to his chauffeur. – Les, turn on the radio, see what there is, hey?

The radio sounded a bit gaga at first, but finally began to play a tune by The Ronettes, I believe it was. John whistled along to the tune as I lowered the window. On occasion, he turned to me with a friendly smile, until he finally broke the silence. –So, what are you going to do when you get to New York, then?

- I don’t know…- I shrugged. – I think maybe I’ll go home and deal with seeing bad memories…- I looked blankly out the window.

- Why don’t you go home and deal with seeing good memories instead? - He leaned forward and put a hand on my knee. I could hardly believe this was coming from the pessimistic Beatle, but I knew his intention was for me not to collapse into the depression that I had been in when we had first met.

- What do you mean? - I turned to him with a grin.

- Yeh, it’s simple enough. It will be pretty ‘ard, I know tha’, but when you’re going through Jesse’s things, well, just attach a nice memory of her to it instead of a bad one, know what I mean? - He sighed slightly. –I mean, I know you’ll shed a tear or two, but you’ll be all right… And whatever you do, don’t be alone. - He leaned back, staring into my eyes. –I’d be there for ya, but I got a tour to do, you see…

I laughed out loud. –Well, I guess you’ll be tied up for the summer, then. - He looked out the window for the duration of a short silence before I spoke. – I think I’ll call my friends Sharon and Lindsay so they can be with me in the apartment while I gather all the stuff. I’m dying to see them. - I giggled. –I’ll bet they also have a lot of questions to ask…- I turned to him. –You know my friend Sharon has a HUGE crush on you, no less?

John widened his eyes. – Does she have really large knockers, then?

I laughed again. –I haven’t really paid attention, but she was a cheerleader captain when we were both in high school, you know…

John clasped his hands together and rubbed them as he bit his tongue. –Yeah!

- Don’t get your hopes too high, Lennon. - I gave him a warning stare. – Her parents have her locked up in a tower like Rapunzel. They are so terribly possessive when it comes to her boyfriends and stuff…

- Well, I’ll have to play prince charming, get ‘er out of there and shag ‘er till she’s blind, then, won’t I?

- So much for the shit kicker form Liverpool. – I grinned.

- Hey, how are you gonna make them believe you? - He suddenly looked surprised. -You haven’t even taken a single photograph of us! You gotta ‘ave at least tha’, don’t you think?

I though for a few seconds. He was right! I had been in London for exactly five months and I was still without a single pic of the boys. I immediately must have looked worried, as he released a loud laugh. –Worry not, me dearest! We’ll take care of that! We’ll just ask Paul to snap it, he’s the one that gets all the trendy shit, cameras and the sort. He’s got all these really gear cameras and super eight recorders and stuff. We’ll just get ‘im to be the official photographer.

It seemed like a fun idea. I didn’t have a clue till that moment that Paul was into photography and films, but then John went into great detail on how Paul made his own animated home movies, experimented with light and tried all these different and bizarre techniques when taking pictures. And word had it he was pretty good at it too. He told me that this ambition first began when they met a German girl, Astrid, who took all their very first publicity photographs when they were in Germany. Paul had apparently asked a thing or two, and had become dead curious about the artsy side of the camera.

We got out of the car and I saw myself standing in front of the Abbey Road studios. I was shocked! I had never been to the studio, let alone with one of the boys. John rushed to the door and beckoned me once he had both feet inside. I was staring at the front side like an idiot. –Cum ‘ead, then!

What I had originally believed to be a recording session turned out to be more of a plan of the tour meeting. Brian was there, as were Neil, Mal, the other three Fabs and a couple other people. A young man named Tony Barrow, who apparently was their exclusive press agent, and some other guy from security whose name escapes my mind.

- Rita! What a lovely surprise! - Brian spoke aloud, giving me a hug. – How are you, love?

I grinned. – I could be better, but I’m doing fine.

- Did you and John find a place, then?

- Yeh, sum pisspot in Marylebone. - John barked as he took off his coat and cap and went to greet the others.

I huffed. –It’s not that bad, really. Just needs a touch here and there. It’s close to everything, right in the middle of Marylebone. It’s small, though, one room.

- Well, you don’t need much more than that, do you? - He smiled as he walked me past the door. Inside the large office sat The Beatles and their people.

- Hey, there, Ritty! - George bounced to me like a puppy, and hugged me. Obviously trying to not let me think about my sister. –How’s the sexy model today, then, hey?

- I’m ok… How’s the sexy Beatle?

Ringo shouted from the couch. –I’m fine, luv! Thanks fer asking!

Paul roughed Ringo’s hair with a slap. –You’re not sexy, mate…-

Paul… and Jane, for the first time in two weeks, was not there with him!

Ringo turned to Paul with a huge smile. –You’re off again, are ya, Macca? - He signaled John over. –Hey, Johnny, cum ‘ead, mate! Paulie’s all horny again! Where the bloody hell is John, anyway?

- Shurrup, hooter! - Paul squeaked at Ringo. – John’s in the shitter. - He stuck his tongue out at Ringo. –Nya Nya Nya Nya!

Suddenly and without any warning, George was the one to turn on Paul.

- Oh, I ‘ad been waiting fer this! Cum ‘ere, pretty boy! - George sat on Paul’s lap and threw the weight of his entire body on him. – Cum on, Paulie, luv me a bit!

Paul seemed to playfully cooperate in the enactment. –Georgie! Georgie! - He then stopped and frowned at him. –Put sum meat around yer bones will ya? Yer skinny ass is stuck in me leg!

Everyone in the room, even Brian, was giggling at Paul’s sassy comment. Just then, John entered the room. I observed in silent amusement as Brian’s little smile disappeared. John laughed from the other side of the room. - Oh, I want sum of tha’! - And he ran, jumping on the huge Beatle sandwich which by now also included Ringo.

- Hey, Paulie, luv, where are ya?

- I’m right ‘ere, Johnny, darling!!- Paul stuck his hand out. Like a Beatle version of the Adams Family Show, John took Paul’s arm, and began to kiss it upwards. - Go on, Paul! Talk to us in German!!!- Paul complied speaking some fake German, and the other three made fake moaning and groaning sounds of sexual desire. Brian was visibly embarrassed.

- Ok, lads, that’s enough! - He walked over to them, and pulled them all apart. The Beatles’ faces were red with laughter, and Ringo even was crying. –Let’s get on with this, shall we?

The four boys plus Beatle crew talked about the plan of the tour. They were to leave on the morning of August the 17th, land in New York, spend the night, and then on the evening of the 18th, catch a flight to San Francisco, where they’d play at the Cow Palace. I was then told I would not see them again until the 28th, when they’d fly back to New York to play two nights at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, one on the 28th and another on the 29th. I was cordially invited to join them to go to New Jersey the next day to see them live at the Atlantic City Convention hall, and then fly with them to Philly so I could catch a detour flight back to New York while they finished the tour. I would then cease to see them until September 20th, where they would play another night in New York at the Paramount Theater. The next day they would be on a break, to leave back for England with me on September the 22nd. Then they had a two-week vacation before going on tour yet again. I would remain in London working and overseeing the decoration of my apartment while they completed the tour of the UK, and then they would finally return for Christmas, to work on a new album. They already had a few tracks down and completed, but some were still in the making.

I was also informed that the premiere of the movie was only two days away, on July 6th, and that I was cordially invited. I smiled, pictured myself arriving arm in arm with Paul, and nodded assent. Naturally, I was just playing mind games. I knew Paul would arrive with Jane. Plus, the Pavillion would certainly be crowded, and I’d have a lot of trouble getting past the barricade, until Brian offered for me to have a ride of my own. Why Brian always went out of his way with me, I did not really know, but I appreciated his efforts. He had made my Beatle involvement a lot of fun. I was just wishing Jesse had been there.

So, that was that. I understood that given the circumstances that these guys were the biggest band on the planet at the time, I understood why they had to make their tour meetings little over a month before the actual start of the tour.

I suddenly felt a bit dizzy. I had been eating as best I could, but it was still only a month since Jess had been gone, and occasionally I still went without food. I stood with a hand on my forehead, and suddenly I was the center of attention.

- Rita, love, what’s the matter? - Brian asked, standing by me.

- I don’t know, I just felt dizzy, that’s all…

Paul suddenly sprang from the couch. -‘Aven’t been eating well again, ‘ave you? - He reprimanded me, pressing his lips tight.

I shook my head, ashamed to admit to it. Paul shook his head. - Aw, Rita, what am I gonna do with you, hey?

He took me by the elbows and helped me up. - ‘Ere. Ill take you out to the garden, get sum air, hey?

I stumbled to the garden with Paul’s aid. Obviously, the others did not follow us. Like John had said, Paul had a big mouth, and everyone in the Beatle camp already knew there was some weird thing going on between the bass player and myself.

We reached the garden, which was actually more of a cobblestone yard with a couple of flowers planted in the corners here and there. Paul sat me down on a white bench, and then sat down next to me. - All right, then. Breathe deep…- He began to breathe in and out himself in an attempt to coach me. I began to follow, but only felt dizzier. I must have gone white, because Paul suddenly looked at me with serious concern. -Bloody ‘ell, Rita! Are you ok?

I shook my head from side to side. I felt like I was going to black out. I began to wobble. I tried to concentrate on not fainting, so I leaned on his shoulder. He steadied me with one arm, and shook me gently. - Rita! Stay with me, hey?

I focused on his eyes. He was staring at me, looking at me severely with his hands on my shoulders.

The last thing I heard was his shouts for help.

I was on the floor of the garden, and I had all four Beatles plus Brian around me. What actually felt good was that Paul had my hand firmly clasped in his. There was another man there, a man in his forties.

- What’s your full name? - He asked me.

- Rita McCormick.

- Do you know where you are, Rita? -

- London… Hanging around with The Beatles.- I giggled. -And to think I'm not dellusional...

The man chuckled and looked at the others. – She seems to be pretty aware. Probably malnutrition issues. - He turned back to me. –Can you sit up?

I knew this had to be a doctor. My head felt heavy as I sat up. The floor was cold and damp, and I recognized the garden Paul had brought me to. I took my hand to my head.

– What happened?

- You passed out. – Paul spoke. –One minute you were dizzy, next I had you ‘anging by me hands, so I ‘ad to rush in to get ‘elp and call the doctor.

My mind played his words again, a game I had gotten to enjoy: One minitt yew were dizzy, next I ‘ad you ‘angin’ by me ‘ands, so I ‘ad to roosh in to get ‘elp and call the docteh. I smiled at him. –I’m sorry, I’m probably just hungry. Please help me stand.

- Can you? - Ringo asked, obviously concerned.

- Yeah, I think so.

With the aid of Paul, John and the doctor, I stood on my feet. Although I wasn’t dizzy any more, I felt heavy.

- I have to get me some food, guys…

Paul immediately volunteered to take me out to eat. He told me off in front of everyone, as was his way. But what was plain to see was that he was not joking. He actually WAS upset I hadn’t been eating well again. He reminded me that I had promised him I’d eat, FOR HIM. I couldn’t remember that until he refreshed my memory. The lagoon in that London restaurant, how he had asked me to eat for him, almost begged me.

Once again, I was in a car with Paul, only this time, it was like being in a car with my mother. Paul was angry, basically because he was concerned. We drove over to a small diner where he apparently was a frequent customer. He was received with a broad smile, and was shown to a table where, apparently, he always ate. His own table!

He ate nothing, saying that he had already eaten an early lunch. He just sat there, one elbow on the table, leaning his head on his hand, fingers bent over his lips, in that usual McCartney pose I had come to know so well. He had basically told me he was going to patrol my eating habits. I had to admit that by the time they brought in my first order, I was already desperately hungry, and wheezed through a large bowl of cream noodles. I followed that with a rib eye steak and a chinese salad, and potatoes soaked in yellow Indian curry. For dessert I ate two whole chocolate puddings. Followed by a customary and very English cup of Typhoo Tea. Even Paul seemed shocked to see me eat so much.

- Cor, Rita, when was the last bloody time you ate, anyway?- He asked wide-eyed as I cleaned up the small bowl of custard pudding.

- Yesterday morning…

He looked into my eyes. His look was deceiving. It wasn’t an angry look anymore, but his jaw was set as he took my hand under the table. I shivered. Here we go again.

- Don’t do this again, hey? - He spoke softly. – You ‘ad me too bloody worried.

I stared back at him. –Were you?

He sighed and shook his head. –Silly girl… I told you, didn’t I?

After he paid the bill, we walked out. He looked around and smiled at me.

- Wanna take a spin through the park, then? Feel up to it?

By then, I was feeling a whole lot better. I nodded, and he pulled out a cap, similar to John’s, from his coat pocket. He put it on and, raising the collar of his coat to hide his face, he offered his arm for me to grab.

It was a bit cold as we strolled trough a flowered section in Regents park. Despite the frosty weather, I saw some children frolicking around on the grass.

- It’s amazing. – I shook my head.

- What is?

- I don’t know…- I smiled. –This is just so… British. The stroll in the park, the tea, the little leather bonnets…- I looked at his head. I hesitated before continuing, and toned my voice down before speaking, aware of the possible outcome of speaking too loud. - I’m just a dumb Yankee! Who would have thought…I’m a friend of The Beatles!

- Eah, you are walking with one of them right now…- He giggled, slouching his head a bit in the hope of not being recognized. - Bet you have a lot of great stories to tell yer mates back ‘ome…

- Yep… all stories but one…

He laughed. –Yeh, I know which one…

We were both quiet for a while, remembering the incident in Jane’s house. After a while, I felt him put his arm around me. For some reason, I was no longer quivering around him, as it all felt natural. –Paul?

- Yeh?

- I still don’t get it.

- Don’t get what?

I stopped and turned to look at him. - Why did that happen?

He stared at me through the Jacket collar. I couldn’t see his mouth, but his eyes spoke clearly. With a finger, he lowered the collar a bit for me to see his whole face. –I dunno…- he smiled. –I’ve been trying to make sum sense out of it meself. It just felt right, you know… - He paused, and touched my cheek gently. – It still does.

I smiled at him, and in a matter of seconds, we were kissing again. This time, the kiss was a lot less passionate, but I could feel something I had not felt before. He was talking to me. The kiss stopped and he grinned at me. – I’ve been wanting to apologize…

- What for? - I sneered.

He paused, looked around and took my hand, staring at it as he blushed. – I ‘ad no clue you ‘ad’ never… You know…

- That I was a virgin? You didn’t know?

- Yeh, that’s it. I just trusted the usual routine, but…- He clenched his teeth, remembering. - I didn’t mean to ‘urt you… ‘Ad I known...

- Enough, McCartney…- I took his face in my hands. - Enough…

Once again, we kissed, this time a deeper, even more meaningful kiss. I could feel the warmth of his body against my own, and the usual soothing scent, a mix of aftershave, cream and his own scent. Well, could have been cream, or whatever else he used after bathing.

The kiss seemed to last forever. He slid his hands from the back of my neck to my waist as I allowed my fingers to explore his hair, knocking off the leather cap. He didn’t seem to care much. With a single pull, he jerked my body closer to his for an even warmer embrace. Once the kiss ceased, he stared into my eyes, and then held me tight, leaning his chin on my shoulder.

We remained there, holding each other in silence, when he suddenly spoke. –Rita…

- Yes?

- You think you can run?

The question startled me. –I suppose so, but, why?

He pulled apart from me, staring at some blank point behind me with a panic stricken face. –Because we bloody ‘ave to!!!-

I turned around and saw the scariest thing I had ever seen: A horde of screaming women, roughly about nine of them, all running towards us, screaming his name as they approached.

Paul took my hand and pulled me. We ran through the park, and I was amazed at the speed that Paul’s legs picked up. Lots and lots of running from fans make a good leg, I thought. As we ran, the crowd of fans grew bigger. This was a natural effect, when the first thing you see is a mop top rushing past you faster than the mad hare, followed only a second later by a large crowd of girls screaming BEATLE!! BEATLE!!

I didn’t dare to turn, but I knew that the number had grown from about nine to about fifteen or so. Not all women, either. In that state, it was scary to even imagine what would happen to him. They would have probably torn us both into Hawaiian dance kilts, had it not been for the fact that we reached his car, got inside and rushed away at the speed of sound.

Once we were away, sweating and panting, we began to laugh hysterically.

- You do this for a living willingly, Paul? - I asked, gasping for air between pants of exhaustion and laugher. –You actually do this WILLINGLY?

He released a wicked-sounding HEE HEE HEE, and turned left on a road I had never seen before. I had no idea where we were going. Although I did recognize St. John’s Wood, as I went past it once a week to see Dr. Buckley. We turned a few odd corners, and for a quick moment, I thought we were headed back to Abbey Road. Instead, Paul took a right three streets before, and suddenly stopped and parked in front of a large house with a huge FOR SALE sign attached to the door of the driveway.

- What are we doing here? - I looked at him.

- See tha’? - He pointed at the house. I turned and looked at it. –I’m sort of playing with the idea of buying it, you know…

The house was like a four-story red brick building. I couldn’t see much of the lower part of the house, as there was a tall brick fence and black iron gates around it, but the top part looked gorgeous. The windows had nice white frames around them, and there were internal lampposts on all four corners of it.

- Are we still in St. John’s Wood?

- Yup.

- What street is this?

He looked around for a sign. – There... – He pointed his finger, shoving his arm across my face. – Cavendish Avenue…

I looked at the number of the house. It was clearly marked with a large seven. Number seven Cavendish Avenue.

- Has Jane seen this house?

- No, I haven’t shown ‘er yet. - He sat back, still staring at the house.

I remained quietly sad. I knew that Jane would end up being the lucky star of his eye to share this gorgeous home with The Cute Beatle. I said nothing and nodded assent. –It’s a very nice house, Paul. Have you seen it inside?

Paul nodded with a grin. Without saying much else, he started the car engine. - Ok then, I’ve shown you mine; now…- He gave me a dirty grin, that somehow wrecked the pretty face image of adorably handsome, baby faced choirboy, Renaissance painting Beatle Paul. -…Show us yours…-

I smiled and shook my head. –You dirty, dirty man. How far are we from Park road?

Paul signaled a direction with his index. – Just three blocks if I take St. John’s Wood Road…

- Fine, then, go there, turn at Park Road and then cross Marylebone to Baker…

Paul put his foot on the gas and we began to turn towards the shabby studio home I had picked out. On Baker we did a turn to the left on Porter, and upon reaching the corner of Chiltern Street, I told him to stop. I pointed at the small studio apartment on the first floor.

- Looks nice from the outside…- He looked up. – Can we see it inside?

- Aw! - I whined. –You never showed me the inside of yours!

Paul looked at me and grinned. –Dirty duck…- He looked back up. –So you ‘ave a key to the place, then?

I searched through my pocket, hoping to God that I hadn’t left the key in my purse. There it was!

- Wanna take a look? - I opened the car door.

Paul solemnly followed me up the stone staircase. The building itself was well lit and not too old. Upon opening the door, Paul looked inside. Unlike John, he immediately saw the potential of the place. –Well, it’s small, but you don’t need a lot of space, though…- He paced into the bathroom. –Aw, tha’ tub is luvely! Just a few touches, you can get it to work…- Looking around with his hands in his pockets, he stared at the kitchen door. – Tha’, however…- he pointed at it suddenly. – That ugly thing ‘as to go.

I laughed as I walked up to him, putting my arm around his waist. –I thought you’d say that. That’s exactly what I thought.

- Do you ‘ave running water? - He walked to the kitchen and checked the faucet.

- Yes, the water runs fine. Both hot and cold, too…

Paul then walked back to me, taking off his jacket. Uh-oh. I knew that look.

- Am I invited to the ‘ouse warming party, then? - He put his hands around my waist and pulled me to him.

I began to tremble, but I felt my hands lean gently on his chest. – The moment the house is ready for it…

He looked around with a cheeky grin, and then looked back at me. –It looks mighty fine to me, luv…- He kissed me before I could even reply. One of those kisses, not at all like the one in the park, but rather a more elaborate kiss of passion. Without pulling away from the kiss, he pushed me against the wall. I let myself go with the moment, as he led his hand down over my skirt, and then under it, up my leg and into my groin. I gasped, feeling the movement of his fingers toy around under my panties. All the while kissing me. This man was swift with this! After making me go slightly nuts, he pulled his hand out and lowered his own zipper. All the while, I had my hands firmly clutched around his rear end, groping with every wave of excitement. Neither one of us took off a single garment. He held me close to him and pulled me up somewhat awkwardly. I had no idea Paul was strong enough to pick me up so suddenly! I instinctively wrapped my legs around him as he found his way in through the side of my underwear--like I said neither of us took off a thing. Pressed against his chest and the wall, and holding onto him with my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist, this encounter was somewhat more savage than the first, which had been rather sweet. I moaned and groaned, trying hard not to slip down, as he fiercely pumped his hips into me, deeper, faster and harder. He too, began to groan, pant and sweat. As I climaxed, he released a loud groan of joy, and kept on moving. I felt him turn more and more powerful each passing second. Just before he came, I discovered a woman COULD have more than one orgasm at a time, something that Paul found very pleasing. Only a few seconds after that, he pulled me hard by the waist, and almost digging his teeth into my neck, moaned a very loud YEAH three times. He held onto each other, still moaning a little, and he gently let me down. The moment my feet touched the ground, they wobbled and I fell to the floor. Panting, I sat up and leaned on the wall, cocking my head back. I didn’t see when Paul did his zip back up, but I did notice when he joined me on the floor. He crawled to a corner, and leaned, eyes closed and gasping as he stretched his legs out. –Oh, God…- He mumbled. He then opened his eyes, and without closing his mouth, he smiled. He beckoned me with his finger. – Cum ‘ere, you…

Still shaking with waves of tingles, I crawled to him as best I could, and settled to his side. He put an arm around me and huffed out. He looked at my neckline, which was still red and blushed. –Ooh, sumone ‘ad a good time then! – He smiled.

- Oh, yes…- I smiled, eyes closed, as I leaned on his chest. –Good is a big understatement.- I loved the feeling of his chest going up and down strongly, and the powerful pounding of his heart, still beating at an amazingly fast rate, slowing down each passing second.

He laughed a little. – As a kid I never imagined I’d be doing an American girl…

I looked up at him. –Well, how long have you been doing it, anyway?

He smiled proudly. –You sure you wanna know?

- Why does everyone ask that stupid question? - I laughed. –Is it like a Liverpool Motto, or something? Of course I want to know! I wouldn’t ask otherwise, would I?

Breathing heavily through his nose, he grinned. – Sixt… no, fifteen! - Even he seemed shocked at himself. –Yeh, I was fifteen… Tha’ means I’ve been at it now fer…- He counted, raising his eyes as he mumbled the numbers. He suddenly stopped and shook his head with a giggle. – Cor, I’m so bad with numbers! Tha’s…- He started again. –Seven. I’ve been a sexually active Beatle fer seven years.- He pouted and looked down. –Cor, doesn’t sound like much…

- Well, I have been sexually active for only a month… And I wouldn’t say screwing around with you every now and then counts as ACTIVE…- I smiled.

I knew he had laughed a bit, as I felt his chest shake with the air of the giggle. I felt myself begin to fall to sleep, but I shook myself awake. –God, Paul, we gotta get back.

- No we don’t. - He pushed me back down.

- But the others…

- Rita, luv, you think the others don’t know what’s going on ‘ere? - He smiled, looking at me. –If you want to sleep a bit, then sleep. I’m not going anywhere…- He kissed me gently. I felt him stretch out and reach for his jacket, then snuggled down so he was lying down completely on the dirty, wooden floor. He then took his arm from under me and covered us both with the jacket. Oddly enough, I hadn’t fallen asleep myself when I heard him snore softly. I looked at him, and he was gone to the world. With a warm grin, I wrapped an arm around him, and slept. And it was the most peaceful sleep I had had since Jesse’s death.

- Rita, wake up…- Paul nudged me lightly.

I opened my eyes and looked around. I saw Paul had really not left me there, but was looking just as sleepy and drowsy as I felt. He caressed my head.

– We have to leave, it’s nine already…

The light in the window was still bright. Both in New York and in England, the summer comes with late dusk, the sun setting somewhere between eight and ten at night. I sat up and stretched as Paul stood and dusted his trouser legs. He helped me up and we both got out of the studio flat, into the car and away. This time we went straight to the Asher home.

Going inside, I saw that John and Brian were there, waiting for Paul. They had obviously explained to Jane that I had passed out and Paul had accompanied me to get something to eat. Jane welcomed us, her face sporting a worried look on it. –Are you better now, Rita? - She asked wide-eyed. – John and Brian told me you weren’t well…

- Oh, I’m fine now…- I smiled despite the scorching feeling in my stomach when Paul gave her a hello kiss on the lips, sweet, gentle and compromising. Jealous? Yes, I had to admit that.

Brian and John walked to me. –Had a good meal, Rita? Feeling better?

- She ate like a bloody horse, man… - Paul giggled.

- Best meal I’ve ever had.- I smiled at Brian.

Paul sat down. – She’s shown me the flat, John. You’re a big drama queen, mate…- Paul laughed at John. –It looks fine to me.

- Yeh, I’ll bet. - John stomped into the kitchen. They glanced at each other, and Paul stood and followed him. I knew instantly that John was going to make him spill the beans, like two old women. I smiled and shook my head.

- Yes, John told me about your place. - Jane took my hand and sat me down on the couch next to her. – So, I know what John thinks of it… What does Paul think?

- Paul had a much more artistic mind. - I giggled. – He actually thought the place had a lot of good stuff to it…

Paul stomped out of the kitchen, looking somewhat sheepish. John followed him and put an arm on his shoulder. –I just told this man ‘ere to go get ‘is camera, to take sum photos of us for Ritty to take ‘ome and show off back in America. You ready?

Paul stared at Jane and I, and I immediately recognized his stare of Oh-if-only-I-could-have-them-both. I was only glad Jane didn’t notice in the least. How could she? She had no idea. Hopping like a little boy, he ran up the stairs. John stood in front of the hall mirror, the same mirror where Paul had pushed me at the party, and combed his hair forward before once again placing the leather cap on his head. Knowing that we were looking, he then licked two of his fingers and began to playfully brush his eyebrows. Raising a couple of giggles, he continued to clown around with his hands until Paul came back down with a camera.

- Ok, then! - He stood in front of all of us. – Lennon, sit yer arse down, now!

- Yes mam! - John sat and began to make funny faces, blinking like a little girl, legs tightly clamped together and leaning his head on Jane’s shoulder.

Paul laughed. –And you want Rita to show THAT bloody mug of yours off? Can’t you be serious for even just one minute?

John moved over suddenly, pushing Jane and I closer to Brian. – Cum on ‘ere and sit with us, Paul! - He hit the couch with his open hand.

- Yeh? And who will take the photo if I sit there with you, you twit?

Peter came out from the cellar. – I’ll do it! Go on Paul, sit down with them. Paul looked hesitantly at his precious camera, not too sure if he wanted Peter to lay his fingers on it.

- C'mon, Beatle Paul! I wanna show YOU off as well! - I laughed.

John made a coarse voice that had us all, even Brian, bowling with laughter for a long while. – Yeh, Macca! Don’t be such a bloomin’ drag! Leave the shot to Peter, you stupid cripple!

The C word. In a blink of an eye, both he and John were once again laughing like schoolgirls. Paul’s loud laugh always made me laugh. He always sounded like a giggling child, only louder. Jane and I were literally leaning on each other, and I even detected a tear or two on her face as we laughed away.

Paul finally agreed to sit down. But just a second before Peter took the picture John stood suddenly. –Wait up, mate!- He walked to me and pulled me by the hand. –You want to show off, hey? You sit between me and Paul, then…

I felt embarrassed with Jane, but she just smiled and said. –Aw, go on, Rita! Don’t even think I’m jealous, all right? Go on!

Guilt…

I sat between John and Paul, and both of them put their arms around me. When Peter finally snapped the photograph, John and I suddenly made faces, John crossing his eyes and distorting his lips and me just sticking my tongue out. Paul and Jane looked at us with smiles on their faces while Brian just had an adoring and amused look on his face.

- There you are! - Peter handed the camera back to Paul with a smile. –You frugal, auspicious man. Thought I was going to run off with it, did you?-

Paul grinned, blushed and looked at the number of pictures left in the camera. –There’s one left…

- Save that for later, mate…- John spoke. – So you can give ‘er that one as well. – He pointed at me with his head.

Paul nodded and ran back up to his room to leave the camera.

It was the last night I’d ever spend at the Asher home. The next day I bought a bed and took it into the studio flat. Much as I liked her, it was becoming harder and harder to look at Jane in the eye.

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