Sitting beside him on the park bench, she tore off a little piece of bread and tossed it. A dozen mallards feverishly raced to the floating meal. The water rippled with the sound of quacks and splashing.
She looked around and waited for him to continue.
“You’re a much more aggressive kisser than I expected. At first I was a little taken aback, but then it got to be quite a turn on.”
She’d heard this critique before. “Well now you know. You might wanna brace yourself next time,” she advised.
“I’ll try to remember that!” he laughed. “Your lips should come with a warning label.” He gently brushed back her hair and planted a soft kiss on her neck, just below the ear.
This time she couldn’t help but blush. Her eyes closed as she savored the warmth of his tongue. If only he knew.
The morning sun streamed into the upstairs bedroom. On the coffee table sat a bottle of Patrón, still three-quarters full. Keeping its company were eight bottles of Corona, each with an eighth of lime at the bottom; two empty bottles of Dos Equis, both containing Cuban cigar butts; and finally, a can of Tecate. Una noche loca.
His bloodshot eyes squinted at the intruding light, as he surveyed the aftermath. His eyes shifted to his stomach, where her head was resting. She was still asleep. Her body was positioned at a right angle to his, with her legs curled up by his side. To his disappointment, they both were still fully clothed.
Downstairs, a scruffy man in his mid-twenties entered through the front door. He strolled into the kitchen and poured himself a bowl of cheerios, which he proceeded to eat while leaning against the peninsula countertop that bisected the room. Between bites, he hummed to music playing from his earphones, while pausing periodically to yell the more emphatic verses.
“Hmm-uh-duh-duh-hmm, sing it from the heart, sing it til you’re nuts, sing it out for the ones that’ll hate your guts!“
The man used his sleeve to wipe away milk that had dribbled down his chin during his brief vocal performance. He looked up to see his brother leading an unknown guest down the stairway.
“Yo yo yo, what’s up little bro!” Little bro rolled his eyes.
“Looks like you finally got a girlfriend,” he teased. “I was willing to bet money you were gay.”
“Look who’s talking,” he shot back.
“Hey, I am single by choice,” the older brother retorted. “You should loosen up that string around his balls,” he said to the girl, “he’s not getting enough blood to his brain.” She gave a quick smile and tried not to blush.
“By the way, I drank all your shit,” the younger brother confessed as they were walking out the door.
“I’m sure it took the whole fridge to get you laid!” he yelled back, as the door closed. The older brother laughed. “Lucky motherfucker,” he muttered to himself, shaking his head. He put his headphones back on and returned to his cereal.
Outside, the car crackled down the gravel drive and onto the backroad. A blue-skied Saturday lay before them. It held boundless opportunities for leisure. And where one finds leisure, one often finds the ingredients for love.
He threw her a sheepish look. “We drank quite a bit last night. Are you hungover?” he asked. “No, I feel fine,” she said. “Well, if you start feeling bad, let me know and we’ll pull over,” he offered. His concern was appreciated.
He paused for a moment, and then continued. “Cause I just had this car cleaned, and I’ll be damned if I gotta clean it again this weekend.” He laughed loudly.
How sweet, she thought.
On the outskirts of town, two headlights carved gently through the night. Soon gravel crackled underneath their tires. The muffled sound of indie rock music announced their arrival as they glided up the narrow drive.
“Don’t worry, nobody’s home,” he assured. Always the gentlemen, he hustled around the front of the car to get her door. A gesture that never failed to impress her. Just one more reason to feel guilty, she thought.
They walked around to the side door, where he pulled a key from a small crevice beneath the exterior faucet. Once inside, they made their way up the staircase to the upstairs bedroom. What lay inside was a bachelor’s paradise. A lava lamp glowed from a desk below a poster featuring a voluptuous bikini model. On the other side of the room was a love seat, positioned strategically between a stereo system, a flat screen, and a mini fridge. A king-sized mattress covered by a neatly folded blanket was sprawled across the hardwood floor. And, of course, a stripper pole.
“Go ahead and make yourself comfortable,” he invited, nodding at the couch. He strolled over to the mini-fridge. “Can I offer you a drink?”
But something wasn’t right. They both glanced out the window. Great, he thought to himself. Who on earth could be walking their dog at this time of night?
“What’s wrong?” he asked with a look of concern, trying his best to seem oblivious. He rested his hand on her thigh for comfort. “Let’s go,” she said, unamused.
He slid back into his seat and cranked the engine. Sometimes good things have to wait.
“I’ve got another place in mind,” he offered. He flashed a boyish grin. “It’s not far.”
“Sure,” she replied casually. She didn’t have the heart to tell him. Not yet. Besides, his heart was fluttering. And so was hers.
“This is a first for both of us,” he said. The digits on the dashboard clock stood still, as if frozen by their stares. Finally, it blinked.
“We really shouldn’t . . .” she started to whisper, but his lips had already beat her to it.