By Richard Thomas
Maybe it was the way she handled the pool cue. There was a quiet confidence about her as she eased her way around the table, looking for her shot. Bending over, her tight red shirt rode up, exposing her lower back, and a hint of pink panties. Tan flesh exposed for a moment, as my eyes wandered over her blue jeans, every curve and bulge raising the room’s heat. Smoke drifted around the room, paneled walls and dim lights framing the lines of voyeurs that dotted the edges.
“Four ball, corner pocket,” she said, her long brown hair tied up in a ponytail, her doe-eyed gaze eliciting a simple nod.
A hard smack of balls and I am transported to my apartment, my hand on her sweaty ass, as she vibrates on all fours, my imprint turning red as the air fills with a sharp slap, her body twitching, eyes closed.
I’d seen her before. Many times. I’d yet to play her. I was content to drink my beer, and watch her tease. The row of stacked quarters was always a mile long, and whenever I added mine to this slow foreplay, she suddenly couldn’t win, and vanished into the night. She would drag her little jockey out the door, his laughter a bit too loud, his eyes darting around the room as he watched his girl get gang-banged by a dozen set of eyes. His power was waning, and he knew it. She knew it. The whole room knew it. And my every intention was his sweaty fear.
“Nice shot,” her opponent said, flannel shirt and jeans wanting anything but to be beaten by a girl.
Her throaty purr drove bottles to mouths, and shaking hands to crumpled packs of smokes. Her eyes darted to me, ruby lips playing with a pout, as she chalked up her cue, rubbing the tip, rubbing the tip until I had to look away.
“Six ball in the side,” she said.
Her hands dusty with white baby powder, the long thin stick glided up and down between her slender fingers, back and forth, back and forth. Her straining chest lowered until it brushed the green felt, rubbing back and forth every so slightly, as she lined up her shot. A hint of cleavage at every shot, a bronze wink, and dizzying glimpse of pink lace. A constant state of arousal, she was a splash of magenta in a room of earthtones, and no doubt she abused her man the minute they left. I’d wondered about the odd bruise on his face or neck, the random limp or lost moan of pain as he reached over to pick up his leather jacket from the floor, the teeth marks on his forearms. I noticed. Because I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into.
The balls crack again, a dull thud off the bumpers, and a slow roll across the table. Her breath rushed out as her eyes tracked the ball, her mouth sucking air, in and out. A quick lick of her lips and the shot dropped. But I’m still in my apartment, as she turns her head and opens her mouth.
When they are gone for the night, and we are sure she will not return, the tension evaporates, and the room descends from the high altitude we’ve been flying at, a calm returning to an otherwise explosive space. Bottles clink, women return, kisses are exchanged, and smiles cautiously appear. The threat is gone. The distraction is gone. The hot breeze off the desert floor, a howl in the distance, and distant twinkling stars in a pitch black night, is gone. Relief. For them.
“But you have a boyfriend,” I say.
We lie on the bed, her head on my bare chest. It is dark and quiet, and I have not been disappointed. She needs to leave, to retrieve her girlfriend who stomped out of here in a huff . Her name is Megan. And she likes coke. That’s about all I know. Her friend wanted to join us, squeeze the three of us onto my tiny bed. Sure, I said. Why not? But she wouldn’t have it. Not today. They were friends. And she’d just gotten me, her new toy, and didn’t want to share. It was one thing to flirt, the three of us, to snort the white powder, and gaze at each other, to place a trembling hand on a nearby thigh. But to act was premature. Base.
“I do,” she said. “For now. It’s no big deal. He buys me beer and weed. But he’s nobody that I’ll keep around. It’s been three months, and I’m bored.”
“Kind of cold, aren’t you?”
“I can be. I know what I want. And it’s not him. You, I’m not sure yet.”
She jumps up and hunts for those same pink panties, the ones with little lace hearts at the edge of the straps. She steps into them with a practiced balance, her silhouette framed by a moon out the window, her curves etched into my memory forever. I close my eyes as she zips up her jeans, flashing back to the gymnastics of the last hour. She is out the door before I know it, as I drift off to sleep, at peace, and yet, uneasy. Her scent haunts me, sandalwood and hints of dark sweet fruit.
“Call me,” she said.
Then she disappeared into the night to chase down her friend and apologize. All it took was a short wet kiss, her tongue darting into the blonde slut’s pouting mouth, giving Melody a hint of what might come, a promise of danger. But it had to be on her terms, and when she said so. Megan called the shots.
They eased on down the road in the rusting Chevy to whatever late night diner they could find. Her cowboy boots stomped on the gas, as they eyed each other, grinning in the dark. Text messages and panicked phone calls from her boyfriend buzzed the seat between them. Unsure of where she had gone, or what she’d been up to. His suspicions were right, but he was afraid to truly know. Melody berated him for his immature worries. They were out driving, just talking that’s all.
I fell asleep addicted, my free sample the only taste I needed. They all met up for greasy fries and cheeseburgers, eyes avoiding each other, their lips clamped shut but for the sustenance before them. Soon enough she’d be mine, and all that came with her. And my heart trembled.
We floated on the grey clouds, drifting in the sky, as the soft guitar and rumbling bass hid in the background. Light drifted into the room whenever the breeze shifted the curtains, sending golden angels twittering into the black room. Amorphous faces danced on the ceiling, a roman orgy of arms and legs, a squirming pile of slippery bodies.
Her hips ground into me as her dark hair danced back and forth, her hands on my chest as she controlled the pace. Light traced her movements, every thrust an explosion, a universe of stars in her eyes. Our bodies were coated in sweat and we knew no time. She was insatiable, spurred on my the drugs. I was a god, floating on Mount Olympus. My stomach was covered in bite marks, my shoulders, my face. My every pore was a tingling rush of sensation, our bodies fused at the waist as she strained to move faster, push harder, more, more, more. Her breath a cry, a high pitched whine, a deep moan, and a snarling grunt. I held on, my hands clenched behind her back, eyes rolled back up into my head. I floated above us, spinning around, from every angle as she beat me with her fists, pushing me down, impaling herself on me until she cried out one last time, collapsing on me, as our chests heaved, gulping for air.
It was not the end of the night, but it was not the beginning. Sticky with fluids, we dared not move, for to destroy the perfection was to roll in broken glass, sprinkled with salt, doused in gasoline and set on fire. I could not swallow, could not breathe, she was crushing me, and yet I could not change a single thing if God himself had descended and demanded it.
Later in the shower, we gently washed each other, our eyes dull yellow moons glowing in the dark. She was a little girl again, her gaze lifting slowly up to me, begging for approval.
“It’s ok,” I said.
I held her to me as the hot water rained down on us, the steam transporting us again to mythology, Venus and David, cold veiny marble searching for purchase.
I asked her to move in after one month. I felt a strong urge to protect her. From the abusive drug addled father. From the naive lost mother. From the predators on the street that smelled her in heat, eyes lifted from newspapers, and drifting over from tall drinks.
“12 or 24?” I asked.
“BBQ or Hot?”
“Coleslaw or mashed potatoes?”
“Beer or whiskey?”
“Bud or Miller?”
“Straight or anal?”
A sly grin and a rare hesitation. A flip of her hair and a slight blush to her cheek. She batted her eyes, her dark ocean of lust, and my stomach twitched, my groin stirred, and she opened her mouth to speak.
“You guys ready to order?”
Lips still parted, Megan looked up to the waitress, her white t-shirt tied in a knot over her brown flat belly, jean shorts frayed at the edges, long slender legs shifting as her pencil dotted at the pad. A smile graced her Nordic features as she glanced back and forth, hesitation in her raised eyebrow, a pause in her thoughts.
“Yes, I think we are,” she said.
I’d only asked her to do the dishes.
She’d gotten off work at noon, and I was done at 1. A waiter and a hostess, living a glamorous life in the big city, festering in our tiny hot apartment. Our bed sat in the middle of the studio, our sink and fridge just out of reach to the right. Hardly 600 square feet, and it used to feel so cozy. Now it felt like the walls were closing in.
She was asleep in the bed, naked. On the beside table, an empty beer bottle, and her long pink vibrator. It never stopped.
“Hey,” I said, standing over her. “Hey Megan,” I said, nudging her with my foot. She rolled over, a grin on her face, eyes closed.
“Hey baby. How was your day?”
“Not as good as yours, I guess.”
“Oh baby, lighten up. There’s no reason to get all jealous.”
“Really? How about the dishes? Did you clean the bathroom like you said? Why is our account down to $12.54? Can you do anything but get yourself off?”
I reached down to pick up the plastic threat and flung it against the far wall. It shattered into tiny pieces, two AA batteries clunking to the ground.
“Hey, what’s the matter with you. What are you going to do next, cut off my hands?”
My eyes filled with a vision of her naked pale frame bent over a workbench, gleaming brown saucers daring me to continue, cheshire grin, and twitchy hips. The ropes were cutting into her wrists, and I walked around behind her. I rubbed my hand over her fleshy bottom, and her eyes closed. I pulled a hacksaw off of the wall, and walked back around to the bench.
“Hey, baby. You ok?” she asked.
I stood there smelling of oil and meat, garlic and beer. Something had changed. She sat up onto her knees, the sheet spilling off. She reached over to my jeans and unzipped them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Thomas was the winner of the 2009 Enter the World of Filaria Contest by ChiZine Publications. He has been published by Colored Chalk, Cause & Effect, Gold Dust, Vain, Nefarious Muse, Red Fez, New Voices in Fiction, and Opium. His work will also appear in two anthologies by NVF in 2009. He is currently pursuing a MFA at Murray State University while putting the final touches on his neo-noir thriller, Transubstantiate. You can view his work at: What does not kill me.