Excerpt from the forthcoming THE WAY OF A MAN WITH A NEIGHBOR
Sam sat at Camilla’s kitchen table trying to ignore his stomach’s grumbling thanks to the aroma escaping the greasy bag of barbecue sandwiches. He also tried to ignore his imagination, because from the other end of the quiet house he could just make out Camilla singing softly in her bedroom as she got ready for her shower. If her bedroom door had been closed he couldn’t have heard her. And now, if her master bathroom door had been closed he wouldn’t have heard the patter of her shower when she turned it on, or the muted thump of the shower stall door when she closed it.
A few seconds passed, and Sam thought he could hear the shower more clearly, as if Camilla had opened the shower door with the spray going. He imagined her coming down the hall from her bedroom, then across her living room, then to the kitchen. She’d stop in the kitchen entry, naked and dripping wet, and say, “Well, are you coming or not?”
His cell phone vibrated in his pocket, interrupting his thoughts of Camilla naked and wet; a single buzz alerting him that he’d received a text message.
The message was from Camilla. It was a photograph of her in her shower. The frosted glass of the closed shower stall door provided just enough distortion to prevent him from seeing her clearly—if he hadn’t known it was her he wouldn’t know. What he could see was that she’d posed in profile with her back arched and her hands up in her hair, a pose providing a clothing-free confirmation of how blessed she was up top and in the rear. Her pose made Sam think she was a woman accustomed to being in front of a camera.
Sam was admiring the image when his phone buzzed again. It was another photo from Camilla, one that awakened an appetite that had nothing to do with barbecue. In the second photo she was in the shower, holding the shower door partially open. Up high she was peeking around the door to reveal her face as she bit into her plump bottom lip and affected an Am I being a bad girl? smile. Down low she’d wrapped one shapely leg around the edge of the shower door, providing a glimpse of her loveliness from her toes to the curve of her hip.
Sam would have taken the second photo as an invitation, except that the image was accompanied by a message: Now think happy thoughts. I’ll be right out.