This story can only be found bundled with the Erotic Novella “Minor Indiscretion”
Their laughter began slowly; muted sporadic bubbles in his aching consciousness. The pulse in his brain, still erratic from last night’s ouzo, knocked against his cranium, periodically drowning them out.
They had throaty, female laughs. Were they Greek? They spoke loudly, as most Greeks did, yet he did not hear that tone that sounded accusatory by English standards. Through the thin plaster wall, the voices also purred and growled. Sometimes it seemed they whispered but how would he hear that through a wall?
He swung his legs over the side of the bed. The door of the next villa opened and a woman called out kalimera to someone. A group of people (all women?) spilled out onto the shared veranda. The scraping of metal chairs along the rough cement made him wince.
He fumbled blindly around what he recalled was the night-stand, trying to locate his watch. After no success, he remembered it was still on his wrist. He squinted at its face, annoyed at the prolonged blur of it. Twelve fifteen. The morning was gone and he had no recollection of his return to the villa the night before.
Nothing was referred to as a “hotel” on Santorini, or at least, not in Oia, where he stayed. There were rooms, apartments and houses; all virtually the same, save for cooking spaces. At Strognopoulous, the units were a collection of apartments labelled “villas”. As with all Greek accommodation, furnishings and space were modest but clean. The door of each villa was split down the middle, allowing half to be opened at a time and requiring most people to pass sideways through the portal. The doors led out to a semi-private veranda he shared with the villa next to him. Strognopoulous sat high enough to afford an expansive view of the Mediterranean, as well as the small, uninhabited islands of Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni.
He lay on his back with his legs still hanging off the side of the bed looking, he imagined, like one of those long, twisted slides that emptied into man-made rapids at an amusement park. His spinal discomfort was a welcome distraction from the bongo drums in his head. The ceiling spun whether his eyes were open or closed.
Their talking broke his inert concentration, yet he understood nothing of the human buzz that characterized their discussion. He rolled to his side, half hoping the movement would result in a landing on the floor. Instead, his face was smashed into the balled-up pillow and his legs flailed like a fish tail.
He could see one of the women on the veranda. When had he opened his shuttered window? Smooth, dark hair pulled back in a ponytail between her shoulder blades. If she turned to look, would she see him as clearly? The window had a screen, which he hoped darkened her vision of the interior. He lay naked, too numb to register the possibility of being seen.
Only her shoulders and head were visible to him. The subtle bronze highlights in her hair shone in the brilliant sunlight. She wore sunglasses and listened more than her companions. She occasionally raised a glass of dark liquid to her lips. The intensity of the sun on her skin and hair made him realize it was another unbearably hot day on the island.
He gratefully allowed the women to distract him from his head, which now felt as divided as his door. The woman he could see moved toward her friends, disappearing from the frame of his small window. There was much laughter and the sounds of struggle. He began to doze, comatose-style.
In minutes, a knock at his door jarred him. A giggle accompanied the second knock and a foreign feminine voice ventured, “Hello?”
If it had been a male voice, if he hadn’t seen the fine features, the smooth, nearly black, lustrous hair, if he wasn’t curious, even in post-inebriation, to see the rest of her, he would’ve ignored the knock. He would have chosen the spinning room over being neighborly in virtually every circumstance.
Except this one.
With torpid speed, he stumbled toward the door, landing before it thanks to lucky projectory.
The cumbersome lock caused him some difficulty but he reasoned the noise would assure her of his impending response. He flung the half door open in victory, realizing simultaneously that his dick had not seen so much sunlight in years.
Smiling, she gasped both at his own realization and the sight of his unprotected genitalia. Suddenly more embarrassed than neighborly, he closed the door in her face. She laughed aloud and called something in Greek to her friends, who squealed with delight.
Not that it mattered, but he imagined a variety of observations she might have conveyed to her friends:
“What a pathetic little man!”
“He must be crazy – he answered the door naked!”
“Oh, great! Hundreds of doors and we get the flasher!”
None of these observations was how he preferred to be remembered by a beautiful woman.
The pounding in his head did not diminish even slightly but he could ignore it now in the face of reparation to his reputation. He found his pants in the wrinkled heap near the dresser, grabbed them and practically jumped into them. He bounded out of his villa into the blinding sunlight, yanking up his zipper.
He stood briefly at his end of the patio, frozen by the four stunned expressions. The one who’d knocked was grinning. All of them waited to see what he might do next.
A slim patch of various succulents separated the two verandas. His momentary paralysis helped him notice this obstacle and he walked around it.
Establishing credibility under the circumstances was imperative but futile. He’d best settle for rendering competent assistance.