This short story is a decade old, and will show up as part of the upcoming novel The Hitman Chronicles as the catalyst for one of the assassination contracts. That’s all I’m saying about that.
But this story is also a prelude/back story to my already published novella Friends, Lovers and Other Killers. If you’ve read that book, you might recall the character Mitch making reference to his ex-wife Margaret. You might also recall that Margaret was in a bit of a legal predicament.
This story explains why she’s Mitch’s ex-wife.
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Dreams to Remember
Her answering machine message said that she’d be working late again, and to not wait on her for dinner. Her tinny digital voice told him that she’d catch a bite on the way home.
Damn. Mitch wanted to go out tonight. He was in a serious mood for some cheese ravioli, and the only place that made it the way he liked was a little Italian restaurant across the street from the beach in Long Branch, his hometown.
This was the second night this week that Margaret worked late. She did this more often lately, but he didn’t want to complain because she really loved her new career as an accountant. But damn it, she worked on salary. She wasn’t making any more money for the extra time.
And he really wanted some cheese ravioli.
He walked naked from the master bath’s shower into their bedroom and stood under the ceiling fan, letting the downdraft cool the moisture from his walnut-brown skin. He caught a glimpse of himself in the dresser mirror.
He was thirty-four years old and his stomach was still flat and hard. Crunches every morning before work saw to that. Push-ups and dumbbell curls kept his arms and upper body in shape. He needed to get to the gym more often to work on his legs, though. He turned to the face the mirror, studying himself a little closer. If it weren’t for the thinning hair on the top of his head he could have passed for someone ten years younger, because he kept himself in excellent physical condition. He had to stay in shape to keep up with Margaret.
They met twelve years ago when he was twenty-two and she was eighteen. He’d worked in the Housekeeping department at the hospital in Long Branch since he’d graduated from high school Through hard work, he’d made shift supervisor in four years, even though he was the youngest guy on his crew.
Margaret had been a new hire on his shift. He’d thought she was gorgeous; a slender dark chocolate beauty with black eyes that could look right into your soul and a smile that could melt your heart if she chose to grace you with it. She melted his the first day he laid eyes on her.
They hit it off right away, and in less than a month they were a couple. Two years later they were married.
They had a lot in common back then, not the least of which was their appetite for sex. He’d never met a woman who wanted to give and get it as much as Margaret. She insisted on having at least one dick-induced orgasm a day, preferably in the morning. Otherwise, in her own words, she’d be a grumpy bitch all day. Nighttime sex was her way to close out the day, her sleeping pill.
In addition to wanting to satisfy her own needs, she believed that the only way to make sure he didn’t fool around was to see to it that when she was done with him, he had nothing left to fool around with. She’d told him a thousand times that if he was going to come at all, it was going to be in her, his wife. To her way of thinking, even masturbation was an insult to her womanhood, unless of course, she was the one doing it for him. The result was that for every day of their marriage, unless one of them was sick or very tired, they fucked. If it was her time of the month, she did other things to get him off. Even when they argued and weren’t even talking to each another they fucked. They just did it in silence.
So he had to keep himself in top shape to keep up with his wife. He had absolutely no complaints about their love life, however. Mitch knew plenty of guys who practically had to crawl and beg their wives for a little pussy every now and then, so he knew he had it good.
His body was dry now, but he was going to have to wait until his rock-hard erection died down before he could get dressed. Even after twelve years, thinking about his wife always had this effect on him. If she’d been around right now to see his condition, she would have been on him like white on rice. But she was working late again.
He decided to go for the ravioli. The restaurant was on the shore, some thirty miles from their condo in Lakewood, but tonight nothing else was going to satisfy his craving. Since he’d planned to take Margaret to dinner, his clothes were already laid out on the bed: Charcoal gray cords, black cable knit turtleneck sweater and over the ankle Rockports. He got dressed and rushed downstairs, throwing on his black calf-length cashmere overcoat as he headed out to the parking lot to his Jeep.
He never used to eat alone. Early in their marriage, he and Margaret had been inseparable. When he was just a Housekeeping shift supervisor and she one of his workers, they loved going out together to eat when they got off from work, before they went home. Margaret used to say that it was like foreplay; they knew they were going to get naked as soon as they got in the house, so stopping somewhere to eat served as a tease, prolonging the pleasure they were both dying for.
Two years after they married he was promoted again, to manager of all the Housekeeping shifts. Margaret was happy for his success, but she was pissed that he got to work a nine to five while she still worked the evening shift. However, their conflicting schedules didn’t cut down on their lovemaking. Margaret wouldn’t allow that. No, he just got a whole lot less sleep. She’d get home at around midnight and shake or suck him awake, or he’d wake up gasping for air because her pussy was pressed against his face.
His next promotion came as a result of his love of computers. He started out working with the hospital’s system administrator in his spare time, helping him troubleshoot problems or set up new programs. Before he knew it, the administrator had moved on and the job was offered to him. It was a better job paying better money doing something that he truly enjoyed, so of course he accepted.
He and Margaret had agreed early on that at the five-year point in their marriage, they would start making babies, and now that he was the hospital’s Systems Administrator and Webmaster, he made enough money to allow her to quit her job and start working on getting pregnant. But when that time came, Margaret threw a monkey wrench into what he thought was a rock solid plan. She told him that she wanted to go to college and get a degree before she became a mother.
Of course he supported her, even though he was disappointed that they wouldn’t become parents according to their original schedule. To Margaret’s credit, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting in just three years.
And then things started to change.
It was nothing drastic, just some little things…
Like all of a sudden their old friends, people from the Housekeeping staff that they’d hung out with for years, weren’t good enough for her. Like how she’d traded the Sebring convertible he bought her for her birthday in the next day for a Lexus, without even telling him. She’d paid the extra cost, but still…Her reason had been that she had an image to maintain, that people expected a white-collar worker to drive a white-collar automobile.
Like that she didn’t want to play racquetball with him on Saturday mornings anymore. She’d taken up golf, and now she hung out on the links on Saturdays with the suits from her firm.
Like that they hadn’t gone out to dinner together at their favorite Italian restaurant in over a year.
The only true constant in the two years since she’d become an accountant was their sex life.
Mitch parked his car around the corner from the restaurant and walked up the street toward the front entrance. He’d been so deep in thought that he almost walked past the white Lexus parked four spaces up from his Jeep. He wouldn’t have noticed the car at all, after all there had to be dozens of white Lexus’ in this county alone, except for the Raggedy Ann doll perched on the rear window deck.
Her Raggedy Ann doll.
He stood for a minute on the curb with his hands stuffed in the pockets of his overcoat, looking at the car.
There had to be a logical explanation. She said she’d be working late. It was a quarter to eight now. She got off at 5:30. She worked all the way up in Newark, at least an hour away in the best traffic. So if she’d just worked an hour’s overtime, she could be here by now. But they lived straight down Route 9 from Newark. This restaurant was twenty miles out of her way. Why would she drive all the way out here? Had she had a sudden taste for ravioli, too?
The hostess asked him if he’d be dining alone. He said that he wasn’t sure, that he thought someone he knew might be here. She led him into the dining area.
He spotted her sitting in a booth in a corner near the back of the room. Her back was to him. Some light-skinned pudgy-faced brother in a suit sat across from her, talking animatedly. Mitch couldn’t see Margaret’s face, but she was leaning forward and nodding her head as if she were hanging on the guy’s every word.
Mitch made himself relax. There was no point in assuming something without knowing the facts. Maybe this dude was just her co-worker, or even her boss. She’d never introduced him to the people she worked with, so he didn’t know any of them or what they looked like. He told the waitress that he’d spotted his party and headed for their booth.
As he approached, Mitch saw Margaret lift something from her plate with her fork. She raised it…and offered it to the suit.
Mitch froze in his tracks. The suit stopped talking and smiled at his wife, then accepted the bite. A bit of the food remained on the corner of his mouth. Margaret – his wife – wiped it away with her bare finger. The suit kissed her fingertips.
Mitch moved quickly, without thinking, and was standing over them in an instant. Surprised, Margaret looked up at him, and her face answered every question he could have thought to ask. He asked anyway.
“Is this how you always work late, Margaret?”
He watched her struggle to find the words – to come up with some saving explanation. But there was no suitable excuse, not when you’re caught red-handed, and she knew it.
She let out a heavy, resigned sigh and said, “Mitch, could we please talk about this at home…”
“What could we talk about Margaret? What the fuck could you possibly say?”
The suit cleared his throat. Mitch ignored him.
“Mitch, please,” she said. “Don’t make a scene.”
“I’m not making a fucking scene. I came here to get something to eat because my wife said she was working late. If I wanted to make a goddamned scene, I’d be tearing this place apart.”
She looked embarrassed as she scanned the area. He didn’t give a fuck how embarrassed she was. She needed to be embarrassed.
She muttered, “Please keep your voice down, people are watching…”
He snatched her hand up, and before she could protest, pried her wedding band off her finger. To his disappointment, it came off easily. He’d hoped to peel some flesh off with it.
Margaret gasped. The suit stood up.
“Now see here, fella…” the suit began.
Mitch stabbed him in the middle of his expensive silk tie with the tip of his finger, cutting him off in mid-sentence. “Motherfucker, the smartest thing you will ever do in your life will be to sit your ass down and shut the fuck up, right now.”
The suit didn’t move. They stood eyeing each other like two pit bulls waiting to be let off their chains so that the battle could begin. The dining area had become as quiet as a tomb.
Mitch shifted his feet on the carpet, left foot forward, right foot back and perpendicular to the left, bending his knees a little to set his balance – a boxer’s stance. He kept his hands low, but if this cocksucker so much as flinched…
Margaret grabbed his wrist. She knew him well, and when she spoke her voice was shaky with panic. “Mitch, don’t please.” She looked at the suit. “Sit down Thomas.”
That’s right bitch, save your boy’s life, Mitch thought.
The suit named Thomas looked down at her, considering, then said, “All right, dear,” and took his seat.
Margaret breathed a sigh of relief and let go of his wrist. “Let’s talk at home, all right?”
Mitch looked down at her, said, “Fuck you,” and left the restaurant.
He’d almost finished packing when he heard the front door open downstairs. Shit. He’d hoped to be out of here before she returned. He wanted to leave her while he was still angry. He knew the pain would come soon enough.
She stood in the bedroom doorway, watching as he closed his suitcase. Don’t say anything to me, he thought. Just let me go.
“You don’t have to leave, Mitch.”
He tried not to look to her as he spoke. “One of us has to go, and I never liked this place anyway. You picked it out, remember?”
“Where are you going?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Mitch, I’m so sorry. This is not how I wanted it to happen.”
He looked at her now. “Yeah, cheaters never plan to get caught.” He lifted his suitcase and stepped to the door. She didn’t move out of his way, so he said, “Excuse me.”
Her eyes shone with tears. In all the years he’d know her, he’d never seen her cry. She always fancied herself as the epitome of the strong black woman. The strongest. “Mitch…”
“I really need to go, Margaret.”
She touched him, her fingers tracing over his sweater. A single fat tear slid down her dark chocolate cheek. “Can’t we at least say goodbye to each other, just this one last time?”
She stepped closer to him and nuzzled her face against his neck and placed her hand against the front of his slacks.
He thought about their life – their relationship. How it had always been.
Even when they argued and weren’t even talking to each another they fucked… They just did it in silence.
He thought about how she looked naked, her beautiful dark slender body always wanting, always needing, and always giving. She was an incredible lover, certainly the best he’d ever had, and they’d grown and learned together how to love each other perfectly, and nothing had ever interfered with that perfection. Even now, as much as he hated to admit it to himself, he wanted her. He could feel himself growing under her coaxing touch.
He looked at her, deep into the depths of her black eyes. “Just tell me one thing, Margaret…”
“Did you fuck him yet?”
“Oh Mitch, I couldn’t…I wouldn’t do that to you. I swear it.”
He stared at her. She looked back at him, her gaze unwavering.
He thought he believed her. He wondered what it could hurt, to do it this one last time.
Margaret had already stepped out of her pumps and was taking off her suit jacket. She pulled her blouse out of her skirt, unbuttoned it and slipped it off, letting it drop to the carpet at her feet. Her bra followed.
Firm, dark breasts; even darker nipples. What would it be like to never know them again?
She unzipped her skirt and let it drop around her feet.
Tiny black bikini panties and black thigh-highs. She’d always hated pantyhose.
She peeled her panties down, watching him watching her, her tears flowing freely now.
She moved forward and he stepped aside, turning to watch her tight ass as she climbed on the bed. She lay on top of the covers and waited for him.
Mitch stood in his bedroom, his suitcase still clutched in one hand, staring at the woman he’d desired most in the world, the woman who was about to become his ex-wife.
Nothing had ever come between them and sex before. Nothing had ever been greater than their desire for each other. But this…
Mitch looked down at Margaret as she waited for him on their bed – on her bed now. He couldn’t imagine that he’d ever sleep in it again. He thought about all that he’d invested – the love, the trust, and the years – in the belief that they would be together until one of them put the other in the ground.
He could have cheated. He’d certainly had his chances over the years. He couldn’t even remember how many opportunities had come his way, opportunities that he’d turned down because he’d wanted to do the right thing.
He wondered when things had changed for Margaret – when she’d stopped wanting to do the right thing by him and their marriage. What had made her lose so much feeling and respect for him that she could go to another man?
He pictured them again in the restaurant, the way she’d fed him from her plate, the way she’d wiped food from his mouth, the way he’d kissed her fingertips. Those weren’t the kinds of things you did when you were just thinking about fooling around with someone. And it wasn’t the kind of thing you did in a public place if you were worried about getting caught (that was his home town, and the city in which he worked, for God’s sake). Those were the kinds of things that people in the midst of new love do. The kind of things you do when the person you care most about is sitting across from you. Someone you’ve already been intimate with.
She swore that she hadn’t slept with this guy, but could a cheater be trusted to tell the truth? He and Margaret made love almost every night. Had he been sleeping with her, fucking her after another man had been inside her, perhaps just a few hours before him?
He looked at her, naked and waiting for him to come to her. Would she have fucked the suit tonight first if he hadn’t caught her, and then come home to let him have what was left? Had she done it before, on one of those nights that she’d said she’d been working late? Had he already been getting sloppy seconds from his own wife?
Mitch was glad now that he hadn’t eaten anything, because he felt sick. His stomach was trying to churn up and expel the remnants of his lunch.
He backed toward the bedroom door.
Margaret sat up, surprised. “Mitch?”
She was in danger. He’d never laid a hand on her before, but he wanted to hurt her now. He wanted to hurt her badly.
“Mitch, wait. I told you, nothing happened between Thomas and I.”
She’d spoken his name. From their bed, she’d spoken his name. By speaking his name she’d brought him into their bedroom.
“Find a lawyer Margaret,” he said. His voice was tight with anger. “Find a lawyer and get me his name. I’ll have mine contact yours and tell you what I intend to keep.” He turned and left the room.
As he reached the stairs he heard her call out, “It wasn’t anything about you, Mitch. I still love you.”
Mitch stepped out of what used to be his home and closed the door quietly behind him. He stood on the condo stoop for a moment, breathing in the cool night and wondering where he might go. He had plenty of relatives in Long Branch, any one of whom would take him in without hesitation. But they would ask questions and feel sorry for him, and he couldn’t stand that right now; wouldn’t be able to take the pity. Already he could feel the pain starting to spread, pumping from his heart with his blood and coursing through his system.
He could go to his best friend Eric’s place, but that presented the same problem. He couldn’t take the sympathy, even from another man. Even thinking about it now made his eyes burn with pain. He hurried to his Jeep, blinking the hurt from his eyes as he moved.
He tried to conquer his sorrow with anger, by visualizing her laying with her lover, doing the things to him and for him that Mitch had thought were his gift alone. But that image brought a new bolt of agony to his heart so powerful that it almost made him moan. He got into his vehicle with his suitcase and slammed the door.
Now that the image of Margaret with her lover had entered his head, he couldn’t push it out. He turned on the radio as he wheeled out of the parking lot, hoping to use music to blot out the horrid vision of his wife naked with another man.
Jammin’ 105 out of New York was playing Otis Redding’s I’ve Got Dreams to Remember.
Mitch slammed the steering wheel with his fist. Son of a bitch.
He braked at the corner of Prospect Street, put the Jeep in park and let Otis’ plaintive vocals rip into his soul. This song was a killer for anyone with a broken heart, but he wasn’t going to let it get to him. He hadn’t cried since he was thirteen, when he’d decided that he was a man and above such things. Children cried. Women cried. He was a man, damn it, and he wasn’t going to break down.
The rookie cop waited as his partner returned from side of the black Jeep Cherokee, driven by a black male, approximately 30 years old. The Jeep was stopped at the corner of Massachusetts and Prospect Streets in Lakewood with its blinkers on, blocking traffic.
His partner slid back under the wheel of the cruiser, took off his cap, frowned and scratched his head as if he was trying to figure something out.
“What’s up, Sarge?” the rookie asked.
“Forget about it,” his partner said. “This guy just found out that his wife is cheating on him, and he just walked out on her. He lives right back there in Wyndham Place. This is as far as he got before life punched him in the gut. The poor bastard is sitting there bawling his eyes out.”
“So what do you wanna do? He’s blocking traffic.”
“You’re not married, are you kid?”
“Got a girl?”
“A couple,” the rookie grinned.
His partner glared at him a moment, then said, “I’ll tell you what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna sit here for a while and make sure nobody rear ends this guy. Let’s call it a public service; helping a citizen in need. Call the desk and tell them to disregard.”
Blame It On The Rain
It started with an all ladies vacation week in Rio de Janeiro. Six friends, three of them married.
Nayah is one of the married women. She considers herself the good girl in the group. She’s the one who chastises Monica and Cherie – her two married friends – when they begin flirting with the sexy Brazilian men almost as soon as they step off the plane.
But then Nayah the good girl makes a mistake. It’s a mistake that lives with her long after the vacation is over and she’s back home in New Jersey. The mistake haunts her mind and her body, giving her no peace. Her mistake has a name – Aryton – and the one night she spent with him in Rio leaves her yearning for more.
What Nayah does to calm the hunger awakened by her Brazilian lover is dangerous. It could destroy her marriage and ruin her life. But she can’t stop herself. She needs to feel again the way Aryton made her feel.
Nayah thinks it’s worth the risk.
She’ll find out.
BLAME IT ON THE RAIN
Everything The Law Allows
“Are you Sean Daniels?”
He looked up at the dude standing in his office doorway. Light-skinned brother. Light brown eyes. Wavy hair – the shit they called good hair back in the day.
“Who wants to know?” Sean asked.
The dude came into his office, stepped about halfway to his desk and stopped. “I’m Derrick DuShane. That name mean anything to you?”
Sean leaned back in his desk chair. He thought about his Smith & Wesson SW1911. It was safely locked up back at the house. He kept it under lock and key so that his little girl Nina couldn’t get to it. Probably wouldn’t need it for this bitch, though. “The name doesn’t mean a thing to me, man. I might have heard it…but it doesn’t mean shit.”
The dude took a step closer. Just a step. Still wasn’t close to his desk. “Well let me tell you who the fuck I am, bro,” the dude said. “Lisa is my wife. You know her, don’t you?”
Sean didn’t think this asshole was really asking a question. “Oh, Lisa…yeah. Our paths have crossed.” He ended his statement with a smile.
“Well, make sure you uncross ‘em motherfucker, you understand me? Stay the fuck away from my wife!”
Now Sean almost laughed. This punk was so mad that he was standing there with his fists clenched, shaking like a leaf. But he knew not to step too close. “I’m not interested in Lisa…anymore,” Sean said. “She served her purpose. I was done with your wife months ago.”
“I ought to kill your ass,” DuShane spat.
“Shit sucks, doesn’t it Derrick?” Sean said. “Did the paternity test not come out like you expected?”
“What…how did you know about that?” Now Dushane looked confused.
“I just put two and two together…bro. Your wife’s baby doesn’t look too much like you, does it? See, women aren’t the only ones who can punch pinholes in condoms.”
“Motherfucker, why would you do some shit like that?”
DuShane stepped closer, but Sean didn’t think he knew what he was doing. Still, he figured he ought to be ready, just in case. He stood up and said, “Because it’s not illegal to sleep with another man’s wife. See, I’m doing what the law requires. I’ve been doing that for the past seven years. Sometimes when I think about it, I get so pissed that I really want to hurt somebody. But now that would be illegal. But sleeping with your wife…sleeping with Lisa? Well, that’s something the law allows.”
Now DuShane backed up, toward the door. “Man, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Just stay the fuck away from my wife, got it?”
“Oh, I have no problem doing that. Like I said, I’m done with her. You have a good life, bro. And have fun paying for my baby for the next eighteen years.”
Sean hung up his coat, loosened his tie and stepped into his living room. The aroma of marinara sauce drifted out from the kitchen. His stomach grumbled in response.
Hearing the door open, his daughter Nina came bolting down the stairs and leapt into his arms.“Hey daddy!” she yelled. She hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
“Hey baby,” Sean smiled. “How was school today?”
“It was good! I made you and mommy a Valentine card. Come and see!” Nina squirmed out of his arms and took his hand, leading him to the kitchen.
Donna stood at the stove, stirring sauce in a pot. She turned to give him a kiss. Sean made himself not flinch away. Memories of today’s events were still strong. They reminded him of things he wanted to forget – things that made him not want to kiss his wife.
“C’mon daddy, look at your card!” Nina said, pulling him toward the refrigerator door, on which her homemade cards and other artwork hung.
Sean looked down at his little girl. She was light-skinned. She had light brown eyes and wavy hair –the kind they called good hair back in the day.
Nina looked just like her daddy.
But the law said that because she was born during the course of his marriage, he was the one who had to pay. There was nothing he could do about that.
All he could do was what the law allowed.
When the passion is gone, you know your marriage is in trouble. That’s what happened to Michael and Tracie Stevens. Michael still wants Tracie, but he’s sick and tired of begging her for sex. Tracie needs to feel that Michael desires her as a woman and as his wife – not just as a piece of meat he can use for release. After ten years of marriage, they just can’t seem to connect anymore.
Their sex therapist, Dr. Siobhan Henry, has a suggestion that might help Michael and Tracie break out of their sexual rut: A visit to The Playhouse.
The Playhouse, where anything goes with anyone who’s willing and your most secret fantasies can be made reality.
Who you come TO The Playhouse with doesn’t have to be who you come IN The Playhouse with, so check your inhibitions at the door.
“The Playhouse” bridges the gap between The Black’s sizzling novel “Passion’s Nectar and it’s upcoming sequel, “Passion’s Kiss.”
“You should go back home. Go home, Elizabeth. See what your man is doing.”
That’s how it began – with the whispered voice of an unknown caller. And what Elizabeth finds when she returns home is a betrayal that uproots her world and sends her into violent rage. But this betrayal is just the tip of the iceberg, and Elizabeth isn’t the only victim. She has friends – four best friends – and at least one of them is also a victim.
Years after the fact, Robyn is still trying to recover from her failed marriage. Even though she’s become a successful businesswoman, she can’t escape the doubts about herself and her womanhood. She uses alcohol and sex with random strangers to help her hide from those doubts. But is the sexy Jamaican she meets by happenstance the one who can help erase her insecurities, and perhaps help her find love again?
Among their group, Paula and Robyn are best friends. But Paula is driven to try to keep up with Robyn’s success – at least for appearances sake. She and her husband Charles work hard to try and maintain the lifestyle that Paula demands, and as a result they are sinking deeper into a financial hole that threatens not only their lifestyle, but their marriage.
Kim is the bubbly member of the group. Nothing seems to bother her, and her life appears perfect. She’s got a man and she’s in love. But will a woman from his past threaten their future together?
Jamila is the bad girl in the group, always willing to push boundaries, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. When the group was teenagers, she was the first to have sex. For Jamila, men are a challenge created to be conquered, used and discarded. Every man is fair game. But then Jamila goes too far.
From the pages of Christopher Bynum’s compilation Love Won’t Let Me Wait comes the story that everyone talked about – the story of the love, passion and pain of Elizabeth, Robyn, Paula, Kim and Jamila.
COMING THIS WEEK FOR THE KINDLE
Long Branch, New Jersey
“I don’t see it,” Josh said.
“It’s by Mrs. Dash. It has a yellow label.”
“I see Mrs. Dash stuff, baby, just no Southwest Chipotle seasoning.”
“It must be there. I buy it there all the time,” Leigh said. She squeezed the phone between her cheek and shoulder as she cut a Cornish hen in half.
“Well maybe they’re sold out.”
Leigh sighed out her frustration. She should have gone to the store herself instead of sending her shopping impaired husband. But she had a cake in the oven, and no way could she trust Josh to watch it and take it out at the right time. She’d feel safer letting him handle nitro glycerin on a trampoline. Josh was good at a lot of things but the kitchen was not his friend.
“Is there a stocker around?” she asked. “Ask one of them if they have some in the back.”
Now she heard Josh sigh. Why did men hate to ask anyone for help? “Josh…”
“Okay, okay, I’m gonna ask.”
“Thank you, baby.”
“You know how you can thank me?”
Leigh laughed, “Boy, don’t start.”
“You fell asleep on me last night.”
“That’s because you were up watching stupid boxing.”
“And then nothing this morning.”
“We had to get to church. And by the way, you were wrong for whispering nasty stuff in my ear in the house of God.”
“You’re my wife. God is cool with it.”
“Boy, hurry up and bring my seasoning back here. I need to get these hens in the oven. If they don’t have it, try Shop-Rite.”
Leigh had just cut the second hen in half when the doorbell chimed.
Leigh opened the front door of their townhouse to find Josh’s best friend Kelvin standing on the stoop. He wore a charcoal gray suit over an open collar shirt. He stood with his hands in his pockets, looking like he’d just stepped off the cover of GQ Magazine. He smiled at her, and she felt a quiver that started in her heart and spread down to yes daddy.
Kel had a way of looking at women with his light brown eyes and smiling at them. It was a look and a smile that said I can have you if I want you.
Leigh had known Kel for years, almost as long as she’d known Josh. Kel wasn’t an arrogant or conceited guy. He just had a way about him, as if every woman was worthy of consideration for something intimate. With one look he could challenge beautiful, confident women, or make the day of those not so fortunate to be blessed with beauty. After knowing him for years, Leigh had come to the conclusion that he didn’t do this on purpose. It was just who he was. For Kelvin Harris every woman, young or old represented a possibility.
“How you doing, Leigh?” he smiled. His eyes caught the sunlight and held it, turning it into flecks of gold.
“What’s up, Kel? Josh isn’t here right now.”
Kel frowned. “Oh damn, I talked to him like an hour ago and he told me to come on over. I was going to borrow a DVD.”
Now it was Leigh’s turn to frown. Josh was hardcore about not loaning out his music and movies to anyone. He wouldn’t even let his family borrow his stuff. “I sent him to the store,” she said. “He doesn’t usually loan his stuff out.”
Kel raised his eyebrows as if to say, Like I don’t know that? He pulled his cell phone out of his inside jacket pocket and started punching numbers.
Leigh said, “I gotta check on my cake.” She stepped back and motioned him inside.
She felt self-conscious as he followed her through the townhouse. She’d changed from her church clothes into a pair of Josh’s sweatpants. The waistline was way too large to fit her even with the drawstring pulled as tight as she could get it. But the flare of her hips and booty kept them up…barely. She was thankful that she wore a baggy tee-shirt that hung low, because she was definitely showing some bare booty cleavage above the waist of the sweats. Still, she felt like Kel’s eyes were locked on her backside as she walked. She couldn’t help that she had some stuff going on back there, or that her hips had a natural sway. But she felt exposed and vulnerable. To the best of her memory Kel had never been here when Josh wasn’t home.
She heard Kel talking on his phone as he followed her to the kitchen: “Yeah man, I’m at your place and your wife is treating me like I’m a terrorist about borrowing that movie. I think she’s about to get violent.”
Leigh had to smile at his comment as she reached the stove. She pulled the oven door open and turned her butt sideways as she bent to peek in. She didn’t want to give a player like Kel a show or give him any ideas.
The cake was coming along nicely. Leigh eased the oven door closed and straightened up.
Kel held his phone out to her. “Talk to your man,” he said.
Leigh took the phone. “Yeah, baby?”
Josh said, “I told him he could borrow Daddy’s Little Girls. He invited some female to his place tonight to watch a movie, and then he remembered that the only movies he owns are porn.”
“Oh, okay. Did you get the seasoning?”
“They were out. I’m on my way to Shop-Rite right now. If they have it I’ll be home in forty-five to an hour.”
“Okay, baby. Love you.” Leigh clicked off and handed the phone back to Kel. “I’ll get the movie for you,” she told him. “Be right back.”
They used a spare bedroom as their media room so all their DVDS were upstairs. Leigh felt weird again walking away with her back to Kel. What was wrong with her? She’d known that fool forever, for over eight years. He was nobody special – just that fool Kel.
She turned the corner, and now out of his sight, dashed up the stairs, her bare feet silent on the thick carpet. She made the upper landing with her heart racing and breath coming out in gasps, and not just because she’d taken the steps two at a time.
She was alone in the house with Kel.
She’d been dating Josh for about two months when he introduced her to Kel. Of all nights it had to be on the night that she was horny as hell and had decided to finally give Josh some.
Josh had been trying almost since the day he met her on the boardwalk in Asbury Park to get in her panties. He was cute for sure, and she liked that he was bold enough to just walk up to her at the ice cream stand and offer to pay for her cone if she’d let him walk with her. She’d told him that she wasn’t that cheap or easy, and he’d replied, “If you don’t let me walk with you then I’ll just walk behind you and stare at your goodies until you leave the beach. So you can avoid having a temporary stalker by letting me pay for your ice cream.” He was charming. And really cute.
She saw Josh at least twice a week after that day on the boardwalk. But she wasn’t easy, so she wasn’t going to give it up right away. Even though his kisses and caresses set her body on fire, she held out. But after two months she was so horny she was ready kill somebody. She decided that on their next date she was going to hurt him.
The next date turned out to be a double date. Josh had talked a lot about his best friend Kelvin, who he’d known since they were kids. But Kelvin had been away in the Air Force when she met Josh. Now he was out and back home. Josh asked her if she had a friend she could invite to go bowling – someone for Kelvin to hang with. Leigh brought her girl Tiara along.
Leigh had two thoughts when she met Kelvin for the first time at the bowling alley, both of which she was ashamed of. She was jealous of Tiara. And worse, a part of her wished that she’d met Kel before Josh. There was something about him, from his sexy light eyes and the way he smiled to the confident way he carried himself that reached out and twisted itself around that thing that made her a woman.
Tiara wasn’t as reserved as Leigh. She slept with Kel that same night, and the next day they compared notes. Leigh was thankful that she could report that Josh knew how to handle his business between the sheets. She asked Tiara how Kel was in bed, hoping that she’d say that he had a tiny dick and came in two minutes. But what Tiara said was, “I want to marry him or be his sex slave. That’s how good he is. Actually sex slave is better, because then I won’t have to cook and clean.”
For a few weeks Leigh’s jealousy made her hate her friend. But then Tiara stopped seeing Kel. Apparently he didn’t want a slave. He wanted a harem. Tiara hadn’t wanted to be one of many.
Over time Leigh felt less guilty about her attraction to Kelvin Harris as she came to understand that he had that effect on all females, from teenage girls to her even her own mother. Her mom giggled and batted her eyes like a fucking schoolgirl whenever he was around. He just had a persona, and a way that was like catnip to the female psyche.
Leigh found the DVD, took a deep breath at the top of the stairs to calm herself, and went back down. Kel was still in the kitchen, standing at the counter near the foil-covered pan of Cornish hen.
“So what’re you making?” he asked.
“Cornish hen. I’m just waiting for Josh to get back with the seasoning.” She handed him the DVD and backed away from him along the counter. “You probably want to bring that back soon, so Josh doesn’t hunt you down. You know how he is about his stuff.”
Kel sat the movie on the counter and said, “Honey.”
A spike of alarm shot through Leigh’s chest. “What?” Did he just call me Honey?
“What you do, you bake the hens until they’re done and golden brown,” Kel said. “Then you ease them out of the oven, and you take you some honey, see. It works better if you have the squeeze bottle kind.”
As he talked he took a step closer to her along the edge of the counter. He didn’t move into her personal space. He wasn’t being disrespectful…yet. But his eyes had that look. And they held something more. Leigh thought she saw desire in his eyes. I know damn well this fool isn’t going to try to make a move on me. I will beat his yellow ass. Still, Leigh felt her legs tremble. She leaned against the edge of the sink to steady herself.
Kel said, “The squeeze bottle works better because it gives you more control, you know? You can put that honey exactly where you want it…on exactly the right spots.”
“Oh, is that right?” Leigh didn’t like the sound of her own voice. She’d intended her words to come out sarcastically, but she didn’t have enough breath to force them out that way. Instead she sounded weak. Damn it, Kel couldn’t make her weak. She knew the kinds of games he played with women. She wasn’t a sucker like that.
“That’s exactly right,” he said. “See, with the squeeze bottle you have precision. You can let the honey drip out nice…and slow.” Kel held his hand up as if holding a bottle of honey and made a slow squeezing motion with his fingers. “And when those thick drops contact hot skin, well…it just…melts…”
He smiled at her. His light eyes bore into hers. Then he bit into his bottom lip and Leigh felt her punany quiver. Oh, man…
“Now Leigh, the flesh is so hot that as soon as that honey makes contact, it melts and flows. You just watch…you’ll see all that sweet juice just sliding over that golden brown skin. It finds all those secret crevices and the sweetness soaks right in.” Kel gazed at her and shook his head slowly back and forth, as if just thinking about it was almost more than he could handle.
Leigh felt her pussy jump, and with that spasm the first hint of wetness. Fucking Kel has no business doing this to me. I need to put him in check, right now.
But before she could say anything he took another step closer and she forgot to open her mouth. Now he was within arm’s reach if he wanted to touch her, or if she wanted to reach for him. But I don’t want to reach for him. And he damn sure better not try anything with me.
Smiling, Kel said, “Now you can’t do this just once, Leigh. You have to get all that sweet juice all over that hen…just coat every inch of her. Then you put it back in and let it cook some more so that honey soaks deep into the meat. Then you pull it out and squirt some more…”
Her clit thrummed against the cotton of the sweat pants. The material felt slick. How did I get this wet so fast?
Kel stepped closer. Now he was right in front of her, just inches away. He was so close that she had to look up to see his eyes. His lips were right there. So close. Too close. She wanted to tell him that he was way out of line and that he needed to back the fuck up. But she couldn’t make her mouth work. I am not going to let this happen. I won’t.
“What you want to do, Leigh, is have the breasts and thighs and legs coated two, maybe three times.” His voice was softer now, almost a whisper. “You take it out…coat it with honey…put it back in. Do that over and over. Then when she’s done and you taste her, the sweetness will be all down in the meat…all the way to the bone. Leigh, there is nothing like having sweetness all the way down to the bone.”
She had one then. Just a little one, but it happened. To keep herself steady Leigh pressed her side into the edge of the sink so hard that it hurt. Kel was looking at her, deep into her eyes. He smiled. His fucking smile said that he knew. Bastard!
He stepped closer, so that his body just barely brushed against hers. She was ashamed to hear the purr in her breath.
Kel whispered, “Do you know what I want, Leigh?”
Oh no, please. “What?” Her voice came out in breathless squeak. Kel leaned closer, so close that his mouth was right next to her ear. God please don’t let him touch me. Please…
Kel said, “What I want Leigh, is after I leave here, I want you to get naked. Either get naked or wear something lacy and skimpy, you know, some of that Victoria’s Secret shit. And some stilettos, cause Josh is a leg man. And when he gets home I want you to give it to him so good that you put him in a coma. I want you to give it to my boy so good that you’re going to have to feed him dinner intravenously tonight.”
Then Kel straightened up and backed away from her. Leigh stood staring at him, stunned. The light was gone from his eyes. For the first time since she’d known him, his eyes looked cold.
“Josh is my boy, my best friend in life,” Kel said. “There are a lot of assholes out there, and I mean assholes, not men, who would stab him in the back to be with a fine sister like you, Leigh. Me and Josh, we know some of those assholes, and I’ve heard them talk about you behind his back. But I love Josh like he’s my own brother, and I would never do that to him. I would never stab him in his back. I hope you love him that much, too.”
Kel picked the movie up off the counter and turned away. Leigh was still too surprised to speak as she watched him walk across the kitchen.
He stopped at the entry and turned back. He held up the DVD case. “Tell Josh I’ll bring this back tomorrow. I know how much it means to him…and I respect his property.”
Leigh stood at the kitchen sink for a long time, staring out of the window and thinking. Finally she remembered to check her cake. It was done, so she took it out to cool for the icing. Then she went back upstairs, this time to their bedroom. She undressed and walked naked to her closet.
She had a pair of black satin sandals with five-inch heels and ankle straps that she’d been saving for a special occasion.
Just because she was horny enough to kill someone was as special an occasion as any. Josh didn’t need to know the reason why.
© September 2008
BOOKS & EBOOKS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
Driven by her erotic fantasies and burning desire, Clarisse seeks and finds the satisfaction she craves. But in Clarisse’s world, the source of her satisfaction is forbidden, so forbidden that if she is found out, her life will be forever ruined, and the lives of those close to her will be destroyed.
Elle is the woman that every real man desires, and the woman that every other woman, deep in her heart, wants to be.
And on too many nights, he awakes from the same nightmare with a scream locked in his throat.
Other than that, his life is good.
Cam’s life gets even better when a beautiful girl named Alicia moves into the other side of his duplex. Over the course of the summer their friendship grows, and takes a turn toward romance.
But the intensity of Cam’s nightmares is growing, too. The terrible visions are starting to visit him even when he’s awake. He doesn’t know when they might come or what might trigger them. And as external circumstances push Cam to the brink of his self control, everyone around him – his friends and neighbors and even Alicia, the girl next door that he cares for more than anyone – might be in danger.
Speaking as a Man: Poetry & Prose