Continued from “Poor Mikey”
It was a quiet Friday night at The Club; too early for anything to really be happening. Mike, at his post in the alley, was leaning back, his chair up on two legs, his shaved head resting lightly against the cool brick wall. There was finally a breeze giving short respite from the damn heat wave that was raising mosquitos even this far from the river.
His eyes were closed but he heard the tac-tac-tac of her high-heels and knew it was Kim even before he caught the lemony sage of her perfume.
“Not sleeping on the job are you?” she asked smiling. He hadn’t seen her since the morning after, a couple of weeks ago. Even in the weak light she was a vision-immaculate skin, perfect ponytail, bright smile, tight black jeans and a red silk t-shirt accented by a single petite gold chain.
“Not me”, he said settling the chair back down onto its front legs. “Ever vigilant.”
“Isn’t that the Coast Guard motto?” she asked.
“Probably should be.”
She had slipped closer when he sat down, her legs almost between his knees. She was positively radiant but there was something about her that Mike sensed more than saw. He couldn’t put his finger on it but there was something.
“You almost got me in trouble, there Bub.” She said wagging a finger playfully at him.
“Oh? How did I do that?”
“He saw it”, she said.
“Saw it…?” He wasn’t following.
“That bruise…the one you left right here?” She twisted and pointed to the spot on her lower right cheek-where the bum meets the leg. “Right there? Remember? That stroke where I pissed you off and you…”
“I remember…I told you I wasn’t really pissed. It was the…heat of the moment…”
“Yeah, you said that…”
“What he do? How’d he find it….?”
“I was in the shower and he came in. Not into the shower-he likes to wash me sometimes…him on the outside” She was speaking a little too fast. “So he had me turned around and was washing my shoulders and rubbing my back then he started soaping my rear and rubbing the washcloth between my cheeks…” She caught herself and took a breath. “Anyway, he saw it. I had forgotten about it but when he stopped soaping I knew he saw it. There I was with my hands on the wall and he was rubbing his finger over it. It was faded-almost gone-but still a little yellow and blue. This was a couple of days ago. It might be gone now.”
“What did he say?”
“I acted surprised-told him I didn’t even know there was a mark there. Then I told him I had fallen on the trailed-slipped on a rock and fell on my ass. That I’d forgotten all about it.”
“It wasn’t really a lie, you see? Because I was running up the trail-just like we did-a couple of days before.”
“But you didn’t fall…”
“OK, it was…somewhat of a lie.”
Then he saw it-what was a little off with her tonight. He saw it in her quick on, then gone, smile. She was trying. The barrier between the two of them-which always had been her force field-was now emanating from him and she was trying to slice through it.
“So I stepped out of the shower and he dried me gently and lay me on the bed. It was sweet-he kissed it- but then he was like Sherlock Holmes-looking at every part of my body…he went over every inch…and I started worrying. I never looked at me that closely. What if there was another mark? What if something else still lingered.” She paused waiting for Mike’s input. If he had been a smoker he would have taken a deep drag and let the smoke billow, tellingly. As it was he just stared up the alley-not as impressive an image. “Anyway”, she went on when he wouldn’t rise to the hook, “There was nothing…You were very judicious. Except for that one.”
“There is a reason”, he said “That I have a rule against messing with married women.”
“Well”, she said. “It’s not so much a hard and fast rule…”
“Moment of weakness” he said. Then nothing more. She wasn’t looking for silences.
“Look. I used you, I know. I apologized for that. Again-I’m sorry. I needed what I needed and I was climbing out of my skin. I’m better now…a little more under control.” He smirked and looked up at her. Was she really as beautiful as he thought, or just exotic? She waited an instant to see if he was going to say anything then pressed on when his gaze settled back up the alley.
“Would you see me again…?” She asked. Then, before he could answer-which wasn’t going to happen too quickly because he was deeply mulling the question he knew she would aks since he first heard her footsteps. “What about if we started fresh? Have the date you wanted-not the one I wanted. Nice dinner, expensive restaurant, drinks, coffee….conversation…I can do that.”
There was nothing stopping him from saying “yes”. There really was no rule he adhered to, there was no lack of desire. In fact, he leaned forward a little to disguise a slight rise he was beginning to feel. She was beautiful, she was smart, and key in the current situation, she wanted him. Which was….odd maybe…but he wouldn’t dwell on it.
“You go away now,” he told her. “Come back at 10:20 and I’ll give you my answer.”
Her eyes flashed. “What if I’m late?”
“The answer will be no.”
“Stand up the street and time it right. I have 8:07.”
“Me too. Good watch.”
“What do I do for two hours?”
“Have an adventure and tell me about it.”
She smiled at him-not the overly radiant fluorescent thing that he had been seeing but a smaller one; more relaxed and contained. She suddenly had a warmth in her crotch that wasn’t there earlier.
“10:20 then”, she said.
“See ya” he said, turning to card a young looking couple who approached the door.
Kim tac-tac-tac’ed up the alley.