"I'm exhausted," Fay announced. "after all that laughing and so many Sambuca shots. Think I need to go to bed now," she said, turning to Adam.

Adam's face lit up at the mention of 'bed'.

"Oh," Sal said a little regretfully. "Can't you have one last drink?"

"I'm sure we could have one last one," Adam answered, glancing sideways at Fay. "Just a small one. One more little Sambuca shot?" he suggested, leaning towards her to add in a whisper, "besides, if you drink one more of those, it'll make it easier for me to have my wicked way with you tonight."

Fay recoiled in shock. "You are no gentleman," she said to him.

He grinned. "True. But I've told you that before," he replied shamelessly, ordering Sambuca shots for them all.

Ruth lined up the drinks, they took one each, clinked and drank.

"I really don't think I should have any more of these tonight," Sal said, placing yet another empty shot glass down on the bar in front of her. "I'm feeling a little dizzy."

Nick chuckled. "Nothing new there then Sal, you're always a little dizzy."

"Not any more mister, I've turned over a new leaf," she announced, as her head floated with the effects of the Sambuca.

"Really, and what kind of tree are you then?" Nick asked, feeling a little lightheaded himself.

Sal, Ruth and Fay frowned at each other in confusion.

Damn, he was beginning to make as much sense as Sal. Which was not much at all.

"What I mean is, that if you were a tree, which one would you be?" he said, attempting to explain himself but sounding no better.

Err, what was happening to him? He appeared to have lost total control of what was coming out of his mouth. He hoped they wouldn't pick up on that.

Ruth, Sal and Fay giggled.

"He's losing the plot," Sal said, patting him sympathetically on the arm.

"I bet you'd be a real ditzy, flouncy tree," Nick continued, cursing himself for opening his mouth and wondering what on earth he was going to come out with next.

"What do you mean?" Sal laughed, glancing at him curiously.

"You know," he began, "you'd be all flirty with all the other trees. You'd probably grow blossom in the springtime and then shed it all bit by bit, day by day, driving all the oak trees insane!"

All the girls fell into fits of giggles and Adam glanced sideways at him in puzzlement.

"So," Sal began, stifling a laugh, "what tree would you be then, Nick?"

He thought for a moment and then announced with a grin, "I'd be a Giant Redwood, the biggest tree in the world!"

Sal giggled and rested her head on the bar, looking up at him.

"Oh yes, and why is that then, Nick?" she grinned.

He lifted an eyebrow. "Because I have very long legs and those trees have very long..." he paused, "trunks."

Ruth, Sal and Fay thought this was hilarious.

"I bet you say that to all the trees!" Sal said, leaning on Fay's arm as they both gave into their laughter.

"I think that you were right in the first place, Sal, I think you should all slow down on the Sambuca," Adam chuckled. "As for us," he said, taking hold of Fay's hand and helping her off the bar stool, "bed time now, eh Fay," he grinned.

"Yes," she replied. "Time to sleep," she stressed.

"Hmm, we will see about that," Adam replied, turning to the rest of them to add. "It's always the same, as soon as she gets home, she can't keep her hands off me."

"I heard that!" Fay exclaimed. "Sometimes, you are extremely arrogant and bigheaded, Mr Ford."

He laughed. "And sometimes you are extremely snobbish and uptight, Miss Thompson," he countered. "Come on, let's go."

Fay laughed and proceeded to say her farewells to Nick, Ruth and Sal.

"Look after Sal down town, won't you?" she whispered to Nick as she hugged him goodbye.

"Always," he replied sincerely.

"Have fun," Fay said, hugging Sal.

"I will," Sal smiled, "I'll phone you tomorrow, Fay."

"Yes, speak tomorrow," she answered, following Adam to the end of the bar, near the doorway, where Adam handed Ruth some money for their drinks and they both said goodbye to her. Adam then reached for the door but paused and turned to Fay before he opened it.

"You don't really think that I'm arrogant and bigheaded, do you?" he asked.

She nodded. "Definitely. You don't really think that I'm snobbish and uptight, do you?" Fay asked back.

He nodded. "Absolutely," and then whispered to her, "shall we get to bed?"

She nodded and they both giggled, opening the door and making their escape down the street.

"Ahh," Sal sighed, having watched Fay and Adam as they left. "I miss that."

"What?" Nick asked.

"Sex," she said longingly, gazing at the door through which Fay and Adam had just exited. "It's been so long; I've forgotten what it's like."

Ruth noticed with amusement how Sal suddenly had Nick's undivided attention, and she laughed at Sal's forlorn expression. Sal turned to them then. "It's alright for you two," she said.

"Hey!" Ruth immediately reacted. "You cheeky devil, Sal; I don't have sex!" she exclaimed with indignation.

"Why not?" Sal responded. "You should try it," she giggled, "It's quite enjoyable."

"Well..." Ruth reconsidered, deciding to come clean. "I didn't say that I'd never had it," she whispered.

"But not now?" Sal whispered back.

"No Sal, not at this precise moment," Ruth laughed.

"No, I didn't mean..." Sal said, bursting into laughter, "I meant... not having it ..." On second thoughts, maybe Sal should quit while she was ahead. "Err, never mind," she chuckled.

"I know what you meant," Ruth assured her. "Anyway," she went on, "I don't have time for sex, " she said with a dismissive gesture.

"Well, from what I do remember," Sal said, feeling the giggles bubbling up again, "with most men, it doesn't take much time anyway," she finished bursting into laughter again.

"Hey," Nick interjected defensively, "not me. I'm like..." he thought for a moment, "like... 'Eveready'!" he exclaimed. "I just keep going."

Both Ruth and Sal fell about laughing at that.

"Well," Ruth began with a little cough, trying to decide how to respond to Nick's revelation. "That's impressive," she chuckled.

"Yes," Sal agreed, with a giggle. "That is impressive."

Nick took a sip of his beer, with his eyes still fixed on Sal. He didn't want to get distracted and miss any of this conversation.

(Another chapter to be uploaded later tonight.)