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The cocaine was in a small pink plastic sealed bag. Because of the state they were in the girls were having great difficulty in opening the seal on the bag. As much as they concentrated, they gave up, laughing. Lizzie asked JJ to attempt it.

With his large hands, and clumsy disposition, he knew there was more chance of him doing a headstand on the icy pavement outside. Not to mention the fact he was now seeing double of everything. 

He gave up too, he looked over at Pen. Her face really looked distraught, her eyes were full of sadness, terror, and slight misery. There was no chance of her opening the bag, to cheer herself up. 

She was talking about her cousin, who was raised in the same household as her because his parents were heroin addicts. Pen explained her cousin, a very good looking young man of 35 years of age, had recently come out as gay. Which was fine, JJ thought. The shocking thing to Pen's family was he was previously known as a ladies man. 

A part of Jason thought there is some kind of sexual theme going on with this lady, her family. The previous comments she'd made about men in her own life, and the fact she earlier stated, she didn't need one, told him she'd been really hurt in the past. 

 He didn't want to assume anything, but judging by her attitude towards her love interests, how she was reacting to the drug, it appeared she'd experienced some kind of trauma in her life. As most people had, he thought. Well especially in the violent city of Shortland, that was for sure.  Although, JJ knew not to assume anything.  He got a bad feeling in his stomach from this lady, not that he felt she was bad.  Like she was holding onto something bad. It was really weird. 

He walked off to the downstairs toilet that was connected to the kitchen. Inside there was a clothes hanger, which was a bizarre place to put one, he thought. He looked at the belongings on there, and saw some tiny tops that clearly fitted Lizzie, and some different coloured lace knickers. Which he took great delight at looking at. 

Out of nowhere, he thought of one of his cousin's who was a Category A prisoner, a very dangerous man, an armed robber. Yet, Jason always got on very well with him, on the odd occasions he was released from prison. What he did know of Category A prisoners were they had a deep hatred for any sexual predators like pedophiles. As did most people. Yet, it was a common agreement that any 'Wrong Uns' like that would be really hurt in prison.  They'd either be beaten to death, or stabbed that much, their heart pumped blood out of the puncture wounds, and not around the body, resulting in death. That's the way it was inside.

His mind went back to Pen again. In his mind, JJ began to see some very unpleasant images. It was like some deep, dark, thick bodied vines were sprouting into his brain, out of nowhere.  They were slowly entering his body, invasive.  These thick, dark, vegetation were probing him, searching for weakness, seeing if he could be bent to their will.  Automatically knew these vines were wrong, and had bad intentions. JJ began to feel very angry, and aggressive. Like he wanted to explode. To him these vines symbolised the bad individuals in society, the pedophiles, the ones who preyed on the innocent. The ones who were targeted in prison, and kept on a separate wing, for their safety. 

JJ didn't know where this feeling, and thought's came from. But clearly the mushrooms were developing a certain picture in his mind, a very unpleasant one. It wasn't for him to judge if Pen had been abused. Yet it seemed she was in a bad place, it seemed something was wrong. At that point JJ got very angry. If that did happen then he would kill the fuckers. Even though he'd never been to prison, he shared that same loathing towards these monsters. No problem, he'd shoot the fuckers, given the chance, he'd destory every single last one of the fuckers, he viciously thought. With this resolute action clear in his head the dark vines disappeared from his mind. 

Jason didn't want to think like that, not tonight, not never. It wasn't for him to judge Pen's life. She just seemed like she was in a bad place. He hoped she was ok.  Relieved he'd got rid of that chain of thought, he centred into the house again. 

The girls were in the kitchen, chatting away, chatting loudly, and their voices were  getting closer.  They must have opened the pink bag, given how much they were chatting, he thought. He looked over his shoulder and there were Lizzie and Pen, checking their makeup in the mirror, as he did his fly up. They were all in the toilet, how bizarre.

"Feeling alright JJ?", Pen asked.

"Yes, absolutely. You?"

"Yes, now I've had a line. Do you fancy a three way song?"

She really had changed persona, again. This was unbelievable, he thought. He didn't need to be asked twice, or needing any encouragement to engage in a three way kiss, with two lovely looking ladies. 

He bent down slightly, as his 6"2 frame towered above them. Pen was on his right, and Lizzie on his left. They all began to laugh as they stuck their tongues in one another's throat, hitting lips, teeth. Twirling, pressing and kissing, they all pulled away after five seconds. Yet Lizzie was disappointed it didn't continue for longer, and moaned, 

"Babe, you need to chill, as you are still tense?"

Which was true, it did feel as if Pen was just doing this for the sake of things. It didn't seem natural for her. Even though she did say previously that her and Lizzie had kissed. Maybe it was because he was there, she didn't know him that well. Or the other reasons he'd thought of earlier, but didn't want to consider again. 

They headed back into the kitchen. Lizzie was now in the middle of a drug induced trance. On the one hand she was tripping, doing a yoga pose, and on the other hand she was chattering non-stop. It was hilarious to see. 

She came over and gave Jason a huge hug, and sat on his knee.   . He was very aware the drug was still fuelling his vision. When looking at Lizzie it appeared her eyes were more elongated, wider. They appeared very sultry and looking again at her he became pretty mesmerised. Being so close to her face, he whispered,

"You look lovely tonight, your eyes look like a leopard, a very sexy leopard. The way your hair hangs over your head, like some heavenly feline sent from heaven.  I reckon I could fall for you, I reckon I have already."

At that point Jason truly believed he felt connected to his sexually liberated friend. For him, she did look gorgeous, her features did resemble that of a sexy feline. He was speaking from the heart. Albeit, a drug influenced one. 

Lizzie looked back at him, smiled, and gave a little giggle. Her teeth were long, polished, and she looked very classy. She remarked,

"You really are a wanker aren't you if you think I'm going to believe that, coming from you of all people."

"Ha what do you mean, I bloody mean it. You look great, it's been such fun tonight. And I bloody meant it."

"Oh hold on a moment, what was it you said to me at gay pride in the summer, got about as much finesse as a herd of elephants."

With that Lizzie pushed her lips together, put her left hand on top of her head, continued to ruffle her hair, imitating the great Stan Laurel. She then continued, 

"My name is JJ, and I am off my tits on magic mushrooms and trying to blag my mate."

On that they all burst out in laughter. Even Pen, who seemed a bit preoccupied with her phone again. 

"Not heard back from your man then Pen?"

"He read the message about 20 minutes earlier and hasn't replied. So I blocked him, wanker."

"Why did you do that? He may have been driving out with friends, and wanted to wait until he could reply properly. So many other possibilities."

"No fuck him, I can't be dealing with those type of games."

"But he's a young lad, he's probably out partying, having a laugh with his mates."

She didn't reply. It seemed she was processing what JJ said.  Out of nowhere, Lizzie asked, 

"So why did you and Gemma break up then Jason?"

Bloody hell, he thought. The cocaine has really made them go deeper in conversation. His ex-girl friend was the last person he was thinking of right now.   Although, he did say,

"We kept on arguing like we were a couple, but we weren't a couple. I guess I learnt my lesson for renting a room to someone, then ended up sleeping with them. Basically, she was meant to have left in three weeks time and we just had a massive argument, really bad, it got very personal.  I mean, when we were together we weren't even sleeping with one another, it was just crap sex.  In the end I told she has to leave by the end of the weekend. It's my house, I'm not going to start feeling uncomfortable in my own home.  She just created a crappy atmosphere with her shitty mood."

He looked over at Lizzie, she had her arms crossed, and looked very serious. 

"Sound's like she really loved you and you broke her heart. You should of gotten involved with her if you didn't like her. That's not fair. So you've thrown her out of a house that she was living in because you'd fell out?"

"It's not like that. She was just being very miserable at home, it was like we were still together, but we weren't. It wasn't happening for me on many levels, and I did tell her. She was an unhappy drunk. Every time we went out she'd start crying. Anyway, who's side are you on? I'm your friend, and you're taking her side?"

To Jason it seemed Lizzie, and to a certain extent Pen, who nodded her head with Lizzie in agreement, that she was being very dismissive. It appeared she was only taking into account the female version of events, despite him trying to give a balanced view. 

It didn't help that they were high on cocaine, he could see their noses running slightly, and once or twice they were pressing their lips together. The cocaine must have been strong, he thought. 

Lizzie came over and apologised. Out of ear shot, away from Pen, she said.

"That time when we met in the coffee shop, at the shopping village, when you told me you were on about getting together. I got jealous.  I thought it's not fair, I want him."

This time it was Jason who let out a little laugh,

"Hold on a moment, we met because you were having nightmares with Graham, telling me all about his possessiveness, and how you thought he was sleeping around. Now this?"

She could see he was smiling, half tormenting her, and half teasing. Regardless of what happened between them. They would be good friends, she was also sure of that. They had a similar upbringing, and shared the same sense of humour. That was clear to see from tonight's activities.  A part of him also considered that maybe he could have a relationship with her. If it did happen, he thought it would just have to develop naturally. He didn't want to ruin their friendship. 

Yes, he was pleased he'd taken this chocolate with Lizzie, and met Pen. It had been a fun night, but he was getting tired. Also, he could see the mood had slightly changed because they'd consumed cocaine, that stuff really wasn't for him. 

He said his goodbye's to the pair of them and walked home across the frozen misty park that was next to Lizzie's house. He'd return to his car in the morning.  Jason got into bed at 2.30am in the morning and fell asleep immediately. 

The next day, he got a message from his friend. She told him they continued partying until 7am the next morning. Thank god he went home.


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