Chap. 8: Retribution is at hand
Kevin watches as the Baby Benz pulls up. He can see her concentration as she parks it a good foot from the curb, her reaction when she notices him- the pause, the contemplation. She gets out, anyway.
“Where were you?” Kevin asks her as she approaches him, refusing to make eye contact.
He’s been intermittently sitting, standing and pacing in front of her Brownstone for the better part of four hours.
She marches right by him as if he isn’t even there.
“I said, where the hell were you!” She doesn’t acknowledge him. He can feel his vexation growing.
He knows where she was. He just wants to hear her say it.
He rises and follows her up the stairs like she knows he will. “Are you going to answer me?”
“Out,” she says, as she fumbles with her keys. She’s a little nervous, and with good reason. He’s never pulled anything like this before.
She unlocks the door and tries to slip inside and shut it behind her. But, Kevin expected she’d try a stunt like that and reaches the door before it can close.
“You really have lost your mind, huh?” he asks, as he confronts her puny efforts to shut him out. He forces the door one good time a little harder than he needs to, shoving her off balance. She stumbles, clearly shaken.
“What do you want, Kevin?” she says as she regains her composure, trying to pretend everything is normal. But, this is a far cry from the norm.
The norm is for him to wait anxiously for his phone to ring. To pretend to be disinterested with where she is, what she is doing, and whom she is doing it with. The norm is to dial her number every few minutes, hanging up when he hears her voicemail message. The norm is to distract himself from his anger and frustration at being unable to locate her in the company of his friends; friends that are telling him to ‘leave that woman before it gets any uglier’. But, the norm is unacceptable tonight.
And, it’s about to get uglier.
She places her keys on the hook by the light switch, tosses her pocketbook on the couch, and hangs her coat on a hook on the closet door. Her norms persist without deviation.
She is wearing a low-cut ‘check out the tits’ blouse tucked haphazardly into a mini-skirt cut way above her knees, above her strong calves, above her 2-inch pumps.
Her waxed legs are the color and texture of a Concord grape. Very thin, very sexy- even more so without stockings. No stockings! Where are they? He’s tempted to ask her but he knows what she’ll say. She’ll say she had a run in them. Recycled lies. Even her lies lack originality. The woman has no imagination. So, he will not ask. He knows where they are. They are where she was.
“I want to know where you’ve been,” he says, when he really couldn’t care less. It is his pride speaking aloud addressing her disrespect, his self-righteousness addressing her shamelessness, his sense of propriety addressing her infidelity.
“Minding my business,” she says. Her voice is less shaky now. She’s confident that she can handle this, handle anything he throws her way. He can see it in her posture. Walking tall and wantonly like a seasoned hooker on the stroll. Thinking up lies and evasions while she stalls him. That small deluded mind of hers. Does she actually think she has had him bamboozled all of this time? Does she? Indeed, her disposition suggests this. The Haitian Sensation.
Charles. A name he’d learned under humiliating circumstances. He’d hacked into her PC the previous night while she showered, desperate for the identity of the other lover he knew for certain existed. Her password wasn’t too difficult to figure out. He’d gone through a dozen obvious choices before it occurred to him: What is her darkest secret? The source of her shame? He’d typed ‘Haiti’, and he was in. He’d opened her E-mail program. She’d saved every message from a certain ‘Charles69’. He’d only read the first of sixty or so messages- the most recent one- before the sound of running water ceased. The message was short and to the point: Tomorrow night you’re mine! Later that night she’d told him she was going to see her parents tomorrow, certain he wouldn’t want to accompany her there. He’d listened to her lie thinking of all the times that she’d used those very same words. Was she lying each time? Was she with Charles, or some other guy, every time? It had seemed to him like an unlikely lie. It was too easy to follow up on. But, she knew he wouldn’t call her parent’s home…She knew him well. He’d planned to wait outside her building until she arrived with this Charles person, confront the two of them face to face. And then…well, he hadn’t thought beyond that point. He would do whatever he was inclined to do at that moment.
So much for his plan.
Apparently she is coming from his house or a motel, minus her stockings. Charles probably ripped them off. Her panties, as well. She loves it like that, loves to be taken, to pretend to be raped. Almost as much as Kevin loves acting out rape scenarios with her. But, not tonight!
She heads towards the bathroom, kicking off her pumps, peeling off her blouse, unzipping her skirt, wriggling out of it, a trail of clothes in her hasty wake. Her panties and bra remain intact. She’s trying to seduce him cunningly and effortlessly. Distract him from his fury. Re-channel that fury into sexual energy. Trigger his lust with the switching of her curvy hips, the bouncy pout of her tight ass. Then, leave him standing there dumbfounded and spellbound waiting for her to emerge from the bathroom. Allow his anger to subside while his lust augments and another confrontation is thwarted.
But, he knows her tricks. He knows what she’s up to. She won’t wriggle out of it this time- that’s for damn sure!
She intends to remove the physical evidence. Shower the scent of Charles’ cologne away, his saliva from her breast, the dried culmination of passion from her inner thighs. Perhaps even douche. Then brush and gargle away the residual semen from her mouth. She loves to perform fellatio. The sense of control it gives her. She’s said and demonstrated as much. She loves the creamy taste, like Café Au Lait she often says.
Kevin feels himself becoming aroused despite himself.
The flashing light of her answering machine catches his eye. He marches over to it and presses the play button. She freezes in her tracks when she hears the familiar clicking sound, just inches from the bathroom door. Inches from her clean getaway.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she cries.
Stephanie, it’s me…
She lunges for the machine and depresses the stop button. He grabs the wrist of that hand and twists it. Her body follows the wrist until she is at Kevin’s feet held in place by his maneuver. He presses play, once again, with his free hand while she screams and writhes in pain. Kevin doesn’t care at this point. Only thing on his mind is the recording…
Stephanie, it’s me, Charles. You just left and…I miss you already. I just wanted to tell you how special you are to me. How indescribably happy you make me feel.
Kevin looks down at the source of Charles’ indescribable happiness. He relinquishes a little of the pressure he has on her wrist so that she will stop hollering. He wants to hear everything Mr. Happy has to say. She is looking down at her plush carpeting, surrendering to the inevitability of the moment.
And, it was inevitable, wasn’t it? She has to know this.
I can still feel you, taste you…my body is still throbbing. It’s like you’re still here with me. Only, you’re not. My apartment feels so empty without you. Like you take everything worthwhile with you when you leave. My life is diminished without your presence.
Mr. Voice and Diction. Mr. Poetic…
“Shut up, bitch!” he shouts.
She lets out a wail that startles Kevin and he realizes that he has unconsciously released her wrist but is now crushing her tiny hand with the ridiculously long fingernails.
I don’t know how much longer I can do this, Stephanie. Watching you race to another man’s arms is more than I can bear.
Kevin laughs. Charles has it bad. Charles is in the same boat that Kevin’s in, it occurs to him; just another ball in the juggling act of this perverted clown.
She looks up at him with a tear in one of her eyes. Or, maybe she dabbed a little spit there to generate some sympathy. Something he has an abundance of, at times. This is not one of those times.
This boyfriend of yours…This Kevin…What good is he? All he does is make you miserable. But, you always run back to him. Why do you punish yourself this way? What does he do for you that I can’t do?
“Good questions,” Kevin says.
Maybe it’s because he is such a sucker for her- the perfect foil.
Here’s a better question: Why doesn’t he just leave her alone? Let her go on her trifling way, and make a brand new start of it? It can’t be love, anymore, if it ever was. Unless he just loves to hate her. Better yet, maybe his own life would be diminished without someone to point a finger at, without a culprit, because then he’d have no excuse.
I love you, Stephanie. I love you so much.
The magic words…
Kevin releases her hand and it droops to the floor. She sobs as she rises and schleps towards the bathroom.
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you if you’d only…
Kevin presses stop on the machine. Charles’ begging is starting to pluck a sympathy chord. What a pathetic son of a bitch! She must be using him, too. Judging from the sound of his voice, it is probably for money, or status, rather. She has money aplenty. His affluent tone suggests a sense of entitlement. Well, he can have her. Fuck this shit!
“Hey,” he calls after her, a lump in his throat. “I’m leaving, now. You take care of yourself. It’s over between us.”
He didn’t know how much those words would take out of him until he said them, heard them come from his lips.
“Wait, Kevin…Don’t go. Not like this. Please.”
She turns around and comes back towards him. Her pert breasts, lifted and bunched into the push-up bra, are leading the way. Her abundant pubic hairs puffing up her silky panties as if she has a penis. She does have a large clitoris. When she becomes aroused it extends like a telescope.
“I can’t do this anymore.”
He admires her flat stomach accentuated by a protruding rib cage and abdominal muscles exposed by malnutrition- A diet of Twinkies, Suzy-Q’s and Entenmann’s cakes. A metabolism that devours everything instantly. A calorie doesn’t have a prayer in her digestive system. If she gains a pound he can tell from a block away.
She’s rubbing her hand and wrist with a playful grimace on her face and he starts to feel bad about hurting her the way he had. He wants to kiss her boo-boo and make it feel better. She knows this, and on cue she presents it to him. She knows him almost as well as he knows himself. As well as he knows her and all of her masochistic foolishness.
“You hurt my hand, you big brute. Kiss it!”
He can’t believe she’s trying to cajole him at a time like this. He feels his anger returning to a boil.
“Kiss it, and make it better…”
“I’m uh break that shit if you don’t get it outta my face!”
She pulls the hand back, into her chest, her breast. Those perfect little tits of hers… recently in Charles’ mouth. Kevin envisions him slobbering all over them. Nibbling on them, the way she loves it.
She makes an expression of mock consternation. Everything about her is mocking. She mocks him with her whole existence.
“Fine, since you want to be a meanie.”
How could he have ever loved this bitch?
“Did you hear me? I said I am finished with you. It’s over.”
“Come on, lover…Let’s just talk. Si’l vous plait, Mon Cherie… I’ve been doing some thinking…”
French is one of her weapons. But, Kevin manages to resists.
“I don’t want to hear it!”
“…I was thinking we could go away, somewhere…like the Caribbean. Let’s go to Bequia. Remember when…”
So, she comes with the larger artillery…A trip he’d always tried to plan for them. A trip she’d so adamantly opposed due to her abhorrence of natives that reminded her of her own Haitian people.
“Please don’t play with my feelings,” he pleads. “Show a little respect.”
“…Now, you know you want to go. How many times have you asked me to take a trip with you?”
She is playing him, tuning him like he is a discordant instrument.
“Why don’t you go with Charles. He sounds like he’s open,” he says, and regrets it immediately. That is her game: To manipulate him into a trifling dialogue where she has the advantage, her triflin’ ass. The longer he stays in her sparingly clad vicinity, the weaker his resolve will become, she believes. But, a weakening resolve is not his fear.
Her attempt at seduction is forgivable. The patronage is negotiable. The cajolery is understandable. Even the manipulation is acceptable.
What he’s afraid of is that she will tell him another lie, and that he could not stand.
Kevin turns to leave. He’s beginning to suspect that she’s not only pretending everything is fine: She believes it! And that scares him, too.
“Charles is just a friend of mine,” she says so innocently. “A friend with a vivid imagination is all. You’re the only man for me, Kevin.”
He freezes when he hears this. He’d almost reached the door. He’d almost escaped. He turns around and faces her. He has to see her face when she lies. She is smiling. That lovely smile…
I opened my eyes. I was in an automobile. It took me a second to recognize where I was. On a bridge…Manhattan Bridge, headed for Brooklyn. Kwame was driving. I immediately felt at ease. I was in good hands. Hands that could be trusted, with my life if need be.
My nostrils stung. I sniffed around and in a second or two I realized that vomit smell emanated from my upper lip. Then, everything started coming back to me. Nubia, Tislam, Cheryl, Tameeka, the Baptistery, the vomit, Zola…
“Yo, Kwam, how bad is it?” I asked, every syllable singeing my swollen tonsils. I decided to whisper. “Tell me my mind is playing a dirty trick on me.”
“Wish I could, Bruh,” Kwame whispered in response.
I sat back, sinking deeper into the leather seats of Kwame’s Expedition. The memory of the evening was beginning to make me sick, again. I’d really screwed up. Thank God Kwame was around. And, Tislam, too.
“What happened to…”
“Don’t you worry about a thing, Son. Everything’s cool. Tislam came and got me when you passed out. He helped me bring you to the car…”
“I passed out?”
“Your ass was out cold when I came in the bathroom. Took some doing prying your hands off that toilet bowl, too. It was like rigor mortis had set in. What happened to you in there, man? Wait…”
Kwame nodded towards the back seat. I looked and there was Tameeka, apparently asleep. Kwame smiled and said, “She helped, too.”
“What about Zola?”
“I told her to give me her number for you. Said you’d call her to let her know you’re all right. I told you not to worry.”
So I stopped worrying. But, that didn’t stop Kwame from worrying. I could feel him eyeing me every few moments; checking on me.
I tried to sort out in my mind what had happened and was continuing to happen to me. The word “retribution” kept popping into my head- A harrowing word, retribution. It was written on the wall, wasn’t it? Shit, it was everywhere I went, in everything I did. Retributive, and in the worst way. I felt like crying, suddenly, but was afraid to. Afraid of what Kwame would think. But, it was overwhelming this desire to cry. It wasn’t that I was in pain, though. It was that I felt so…
“Yo, Kwame, man…Pull over,” I said once we reached the Brooklyn side of the bridge. We were on Flatbush Avenue.
“You gotta throw up again?” he said as he wheeled the car to a lurching stop at the curb in front of Junior’s. He quickly reached across me and opened the door.
“Yeah, something like that,” I said as I got out. Before I shut the door I said, “I’m gonna walk a while. I need some air.”
“Come on, Sha,” Kwame almost pled. “Let me take you home. You don’t need to be out in the street…”
“Nah, really. I’m cool. I’ll call you later.”
“You sure, man?”
“I haven’t felt this good in months, really. I’ve been waddling in self-pity for so long, I just want to waddle in this feeling for a while. Ya know?”
Kwame searched my face for something and appeared to find it. “Awight, then…”
“What did you see?”
“When you looked at me, just now?”
Kwame looked a little perplexed by the question. Then, he said, “I don’t know. I guess I saw that you were, you know, all right…”
“So, I look all right?”
“Well, I ain’t no doctor…but you look fine, considering how much you drank.”
“I look fine right now?”
“Yeah, nigga, you look fine, damn!”
I tried to cement the expression on my face and looked into Kwame’s side mirror. I needed to see what fine looked like. All I saw was the same old face I saw whenever I looked in the mirror.
“Yeah, you still ugly,” Kwame said, with cheer. “But, you got potential.”
Tameeka let out a laugh from the back seat. She was awake. She was probably faking the whole time. Great.
“Here,” Kwame said, handing me a slip of paper. It was Zola’s phone number. “Well, close the door. You letting the hawk in this mofo.”
I nodded to Tameeka. She made a little wave like Miss Black America. Kwame shot me a quick wink. I smiled as Kwame pulled away. By the time his truck was out of sight my tears had begun to fall.
Kevin grabs her by the throat. His anger is enflamed by the perverse appearance of that smile at this time. He imagines he can almost touch his index finger with his thumb around her bony neck. He tries to, just to see if it can be done. He wants to trap the vehicle of her lies-her breath. Prevent it from escaping her lungs. She gasps for air. Her head appears to be inflating with her fruitless struggle to breathe, like its inhaling air through her bulging, teary, terrified eyes.
Lie now, Bitch!
He doesn’t want to kill her, he realizes- just scare the truth out of her. He throws her by the neck on to the floor. Not very hard, but hard enough. He is amazed that he is still, somewhat, in control of his faculties. She hyperventilates as she tries to crawl away from him. But, he moves with her, maintaining his proximity.
“Kevin…stay away from me.”
“Tell me the truth, Goddamn it!”
“Tell me you’re a lying fucking whore! Tell me that, and I’ll leave.”
Even as he makes this verbal contract he knows he is lying. He won’t leave. He honestly doesn’t know what his reaction will be. He only knows he must hear it before he can move to the next step. She must hold up her end, or else…
He is watching her heaving ribcage press against the inside surface of her midriff and disappear again into her chest cavity, over and over. Her nipples are erect and press against the inside of her bra like pencil erasers. She is leaning on one hand while the other hand is slowly rubbing her throat. Each finger taking a turn messaging her gullet. Her head is thrown back, a little, like she has surrendered. There is a faint smile she may or may not be aware of curling around her mouth like a snake. It is not the same smile as before. It does not have the same power, but there is power in her movements. Power she is aware of and governing like a sorceress.
For a moment, he doesn’t know whether he wants to take her, as Charles had taken her earlier, or to seize her violently.
Then, he realizes what he must do…
I walked with my head up for a change. The hawk snapped at my nose, lips and my cheeks were taut from frozen teardrops. My body and senses were wide-awake, instinctively carrying and guiding me. Stopping at red lights, crossing at green, and moving me around obstacles like dog shit and trees. But, my mind kept drifting, traveling boundlessly between the past and the present, occasionally peeking into the future. In six or so hours I’d be expected at Cohen Public Relations. I’d walk in, as I did everyday, and sit at my desk projecting the illusion of conscientious ambition. Perpetrating a fraud.
I could see myself the way people who have died and been brought back to life describe their death experience. Hovering above the office like a spirit trapped in a spider web in the corner of the ceiling, watching the whole of Cohen PR trying to mold me to suit their needs. There was Mary standing over me patting me on the head while I sat there with this painfully ingratiating smile on my face.
It was time to make a change!
I stopped when I realized where my feet, operating on autopilot, had brought me. I was across the street from Fort Green Projects.
When we were teenagers, Kwame and I used to come here all the time. Kwame’s cousin, Universal Zig Zag Zig, lived here. We called him Zig. Zig was a crazy fucker, a couple of years older than we were and already a career criminal. He was Kwame’s hero. Zig’s hero, however, was Jesse James. He got busted in the early 90’s when he and his brother, Scientific, robbed a subway car full of people returning from a concert at Madison Square Garden.
He would probably be out in the world by now. Imagine his surprise when he came home and found that the old neighborhood had changed so radically. What used to be a warehouse district, across the street, was now Metro Tech- Home to several fortune 100 corporations. Chase, et al. A whole new community, complete with skyscrapers, Cyber-café’s and business-attire only bars. And if he isn’t out yet, he may come home to find the projects totally demolished or converted to condos or co-ops.
A white boy walked right pass me then, casually walking his black Labrador retriever around the perimeter of Fort Green Park. The incongruity of this image was jarring. Here it was, damn near 1am, and this cracker was walking around without a care in the world. He wasn’t pretending to be cavalier, either. I think I could tell the difference. He actually felt safe, because, indeed, he was safe. It’s a brave new world!
When black folks move into a white community, the white ideology is there goes the neighborhood. When the reverse happens, then, the neighborhood is looking up or it’s being revitalized. It’s like white folks give a black community a finer status, which is understandable from the white perspective. They’ve always thought that they improved the world as they ravaged it. But, black people buying into that perspective is disturbing. Black minds ought to know better. Colonialism is a bitch! And, at the rate it was happening, it wouldn’t be long before gentrification confiscated the whole area.
I approached a building I’d approached many times in my youth. There was once a weed gate on the fifth floor with the best weed in the neighborhood. I’d even approached it once as an adult. It was last year, in fact. The door was opened. The lobby was clean but the elevator had a faint smell of urine. Some things never change. At least it was working. If it weren’t, I’m positive I wouldn’t have braved the four flights of stairs.
I stepped off the elevator and made a right. I remembered where the door was, not the apartment number. I could hear noises coming from the other apartments and peepholes swinging open attracted by the sound of the elevator arriving and my heels striking the concrete floor. I was being watched. I wondered what the watchers made of what they beheld- A young black man, handsome and splendid. If that Jehovah’s Witness rings my bell this time of night, I’m uh cuss his ass out, probably. Or, obviously, he’s lost. But, I wasn’t lost.
I stopped before the door and listened for the sound of activity within. I could hear the
TV blaring, and female voices yelling over it. I knew they’d be awake, but I would’ve come, anyway. I took a deep breath and rang the bell. The conversation paused. A voice from deep in the apartment cried out, “Who is it?” The voice was approaching the door. Then, the peephole opened and I could see a magnified eye looking at me. It blinked.
“Ooooooooh!” The female voice sang as it ran away from the door, leaving the peephole cover swinging.
“You lying!” a familiar voice said.
“I swear tuh God!” the girl who’d come to the door said.
A few moments later I heard heavier steps coming towards the door. And, then another giant eye peered at me.
The door opened, slowly.
“I think you have the wrong house, Mister man!”
I tried to smile but all I could manage was a grin. I hadn’t planned on ever seeing her again. And, here it is, less than 24 hours later, and I was not only seeing her, but making it what I felt to be special by delivering myself to her door.
“Hey Peanut Chew,” I said, meekly. Kim unleashed a smile so warm and forgiving that I felt like we were in love. I did. I stood there re-evaluating my feelings about her, trying to define them.
I was jarred from my ruminations by its approach. I felt the floor moving. Whatever it was it had to be huge! Then, it appeared, towering over Kim’s shoulder. It was a little bigger than I had envisioned it, the source of the house-quake. I couldn’t tell if I had taken a step back away from the door or had been pushed by the aftershock.
“Yo, who the fuck is this?”
It was asking Kim but peering directly at me with icy steel eyeballs. I felt like a roach looking up at a rapidly descending boot about to send him into insect oblivion. I took another involuntary step backwards.
“That’s Kevin,” Kim said. “I toldja ’bout Kevin in my letters.”
She writes? It reads?
“This is Kevin?” It sounded disappointed, but looked furious. I commiserated. I was disappointed in myself, too. But, its face didn’t change at all. It seemed incapable of any facial expression aside from fury.
Then it removed Kim from between it and I, kind of lifting her, but not really. She just seemed to glide behind him. It filled the doorway, length- and width-wise. I managed to steal a glance at Kim. She was smiling, proudly, one hand holding on to its biceps. One of her younger sisters peeked from behind Kim. She was smiling, too.
It snatched my attention back when it growled, “you know what time it is, nigga?”
I almost looked at my watch but caught myself before I had.
“Awright, thass enough Marcus,” Kim said, stepping back in front of it/him. It was human after all. Kim gave the image some depth of field, like a person posing for a picture before the Grand Canyon. Did she shrink or did it/he/Marcus grow, right before my eyes, another inch or two? I couldn’t tell.
“Dis my brother, Marcus. He got sprung today.”
I swallowed much more audibly than I meant to. So, Big Brother Marcus is back in the outside world!
Marcus extended his hand to shake mine, stating, “I heard a lot about you from Kimberly. She says you treat her pretty good.”
I was hesitant about extending my own. I knew it would be a crushing grip, that Marcus would take this opportunity to impose himself in the position of superior might. Much the way I had with Kim the other night.
I looked at his hand an inordinate amount of time. It was one of the hands that had killed a man. Killed a man for the woman standing next to him now. The hand of a man that did hard time for that crime. It was the hand of a murderer, a manslaughterer. I looked up into Marcus’ eyes. He seemed unaware of my delay. Or, maybe he had expected it. Maybe Kim had told him about the incident the other night and this was to be a retributive handshake.
Retribution is at hand-The words written on the bathroom wall…
Kevin lifts her from the floor. Her 110lb frame offers little resistance. She surrenders to him. She surrenders because she thinks she has suceeded in seducing him, that her incantation is having the desired effect.
She is very wrong.
He puts his nose to her neck and takes a whiff of her. He can smell her Chanel #5. It is his favorite and he swoons a little in the rush of memories of passionate nights punctuated by this scent. Then, he smells the alien fragrance and is jarred from his narcosis like he’d inhaled smelling salts. It’s a familiar masculine scent. It triggers another memory- A portentous moment some time ago.
She struggles, now, because she realizes that he is not making love to her. That her mojo is not working. But, that he is inspecting her. He only increases the pressure of his grasp on her so that she is like a little fish having a hook removed from its mouth: Wriggling helplessly.
He’d gone to her job some time ago. It had been a surprise visit. He was supposed to have been at work himself. He’d come bearing flowers and good tidings. He had taken the day off for his third interview with a PR firm called Cohen Public Relations. And, the interview had gone very well. Very well, indeed- good salary, great benefits, growth potential. It was a very prestigious, established company with clients at several Fortune 100 corporations. Meeting their quota, no doubt. His big plunge into the corporate America of which Stephanie was already firmly a part. And, he’d wanted so much for her to be proud of him, to see him as an equal. But, more importantly, he wanted to see himself as her equal. He wanted to illustrate for her his potential to win bread, as well. To show her that they could be that dynamic duo she aspired to be a part of.
But, she was busy. Oh, so very busy. Didn’t have time for him-would see him later. Just a minute, baby, he’d pleaded. I got something really big, and it can’t wait. I can’t wait. Just a minute. And, when he’d told her his news, she’d lit up like a 4-alarm blaze. She’d thrown her arms around him, and kissed him deeply, and held him so close and strong that he had nearly lost his breath. But, he hadn’t lost it. He inhaled a scent emanating from her neck and clothes. It was a manly scent commingling with her Chanel #5, but it retained its distinction.
“What are you wearing, baby?” he’d said with a wrinkled nose.
“What do you mean?” She said, innocently. Proclaiming her innocence without her guilt even being suggested. She was never a great liar- Just a liar.
“You smell like a man’s cologne,” He’d said, but he was thinking of a dozen different reasons that she could smell that way. He had fabricated in his mind lies for her because he wanted one of them to be true.
“Oh, this woman at Bloomies sprayed me with it. Accidentally, she says, but I think she was jealous. Now, all day, I gotta hear how I smell like a man.”
No, not a great liar, at all. Not enough imagination. But, she’d used a variation of one of the lies he had allotted for her in his mind, so he’d let it go at that.
But, not this time. This time he gives her no allotment. No opportunity to squirm out of it. He knows what he knows, already. She is guilty. And, now he knows that he is guilty as well for ignoring the signs way back when. Before he was neck-deep in the muck.
“Let go of me!”
“I’ve tried,” he says. “Believe me, I’ve tried.”
He feels her body writhing against his, the softness and the bony-ness. He slides his face down her body smelling every inch of it like a dog. The smell is not restricted to her neck. It’s also on her shoulders and chest. She stops wiggling, again. She’s hoping he is about to lose himself in her perfect breast. He loses himself there often. It is his favorite place on her body. She throws her head back thrusting them at him. If her tits were knives, he’d be gored. She’s desperate for she knows this is her last chance. If this hex fails, all is lost. He makes his way between the breast, cleavage created by illusory lingerie- her most valuable commodities.
He kisses her breast while unfastening the bra and Stephanie lets out a low continuous moan. He flicks his tongue at her erect nipples. He can taste perspiration and the bitter chemical concoction. She groans, then. Moaning and groaning, but, again, it doesn’t fit. It’s too intense. Showing her desperation, again.
Kevin looks up at her face. Her eyes are rolled up into her head so that she looks like she’s in a trance, like she is praying.
That scent slaps him again. That cologne: Sir Charles. Kevin stops licking her and says, “You’re a lying fucking whore. Say it.”
There is no anger in his voice. He says it like it’s just a matter of fact. He flicks his tongue at her nipples.
“No baby, I’m your whore. Only yours. Do me, baby.”
“First, tell me you’re a lying fucking whore.”
He is watching her face while he is saying this, and licking on her. Licking the remnants of Charles’ cologne and saliva. She squints, like she is concentrating harder, trying not to lose her focus. But, he knows this is her weak spot, too. Years of emphasizing her breasts have forged them into a superficial erogenous zone. They are the doorways to her vanity, the symbols of her sexuality.
“No, Kevin. Yes, baby.”
“You’re a little lying fucking whore, aren’t you baby?”
He’s nibbling a little now, gnawing at them just the way she likes it, the way that drives her crazy.
“Oh, yeah, baby. I’m yours…I’m yours…”
“Say it. I want to hear you say it!” He squeezes her nipples at just the right time. He has brought her to a climax doing this in the past. Her hips are gyrating against his chest, and he can smell her nature rising.
“I…I…Oh god, Oh god. Kevin, I love you, baby, I love you.”
“Say it, Goddamn it!” She’d thrown gasoline on the fire by using the word ‘love’. Kevin just can’t tell if the fire is his passion or his fury. He is losing his way.
He rips her panties off of her. She is shivering, convulsing, and she’s not faking it. He wants her, but he wants her to obey him even more. He pulls down his pants and lifts her on top of her desk, her ass planted on her computer’s keyboard.
He enters her. Vicious thrust. Her legs wrap around him, her heels on his ass, shoving him harder into her.
“You’re a lying fucking whore, and you know it, don’t you?”
She grabs his head and kisses him sloppily. Licking, sucking and drooling all over his mouth. Spitting in him. He savored the sweet flavor of her saliva. It was always an aphrodisiac to him. But all he can taste is spearmint gum, and the spearmint neutralizes the saliva’s potency. The spearmint is a beacon keeping him from losing his way. He never thought he’d be indebted to a stick of gum.
“Yes baby, I’m a whore.”
“You’re a lying fucking whore!”
“Oh, Yes, Oh yes, Oh Kevin…I’m a lying…fucking…whore.”
Before he realizes what he has done, she is on the floor in the fetal position, gasping for air…
“Marcus,” I said as I took the hand. It was a firm shake but not what I’d expected. It was friendly. I can’t explain why it felt friendly. Maybe, it was simply because it wasn’t unfriendly.
I didn’t know what to say. I was brought here by my subconscious mind so I relied upon it to make this decision, too. Before it could, though, Marcus wrapped his tremendous arm around my shoulder and guided me in.
“Of course, he’s coming in,” Marcus said. “We gotta talk.”
I smiled and said nothing.