#ThrowbackThursday Fiction: Kindling the Fire

I knew he was gone when I awoke shivering. Silly me for thinking this time would be different, that a random man I brought home from the bar would have the decency to stay at least until sunrise.

The hardwood floor feels like ice on the bottoms of my feet. I need carpets, but with what money? I’m too cheap to turn the heat on before the first deep freeze. Bedroom slippers will have to do for another month. At least the alcohol leftover in my system keeps me warm from the waist up. What need do I have for a man?

But I remember the sweet heat we made, driven by the booze that filled us to our limbs, when it was just our skin and sweat that separated us, and his tongue explored every inch of me, lapped me up like a steaming mug of cocoa.

How we made it from the bar five miles down the base of the mountain in his rattling 1992 Toyota pick-up remains a mystery to me. The air conditioning blasted our faces—he had no heat either—but it didn’t matter because we both sweated through our clothes, and I sat on his lap naked, bouncing on every pothole, every bump in the road. But it wasn’t to make the ride more titillating.

He couldn’t see.

I remember now. I was helping him drive–and teasing him at the same time. He juggled whether to put his fingers on the steering wheel or lift me up by the rear and slip them between the cracks.

But it was dark. No. Foggy. And something was falling. And the wipers did nothing but make the dirty windshield dirtier.

Damn him. I wish we crashed. It would have been better for me to die than to have him fill me up and empty me out all in one night.

I glance at the clock on my bedside table. There’s more light coming through my window than is normal for quarter to six. A thought comes that maybe it’s the headlights from his truck. He hasn’t pulled out of the driveway yet. I rush to part the curtains and give him a full view of what he’s leaving behind, what he’ll surely miss when he’s back home with whatever woman who’s got him running from me.

There’s always another woman. It’s my fate–my curse–to share, or have nothing at all. But now I long for nothing, because I’ve never felt this abandoned since the night my father left my mother and me in darkness in the middle of a blizzard to pay the electric bill and never came back.

And now my glowing backyard tells me what was falling from the sky last night.

Snow. At least an inch or more.

I shiver again, deep within myself, bones knocking. This day feels too familiar, too much like my childhood. I spot a trail of boot prints stretching from the back of the house toward the woods. His truck is still here. Damn thing must have died. Fluids frozen. He left it here. Somewhere there’s a man, half-naked, hungover, marching down the side of the road to the nearest service station, maybe looking for a hitch. With my luck, it’ll be a girl prettier and tighter than me, with less baggage.

I feel more used seeing his truck–here to remind me of every poor decision I ever made in life, drunk or sober. I’ll call a tow to have it removed, make sure he’s the one who has to pay for it.

I’m a traditionalist when it comes to communication. No cellphone. I still keep a phonebook by the landline downstairs. I jog down two flights to get the feeling and the warmth back into my thighs and my feet. But a crackling halts me at the bottom step. I’m still naked, and despite what happened the night before, I’m not willing to let another stranger in.

I notice it’s warmer down here. The chill in my joints is gone. I cover my breasts and follow the heat through the foyer, to the living room, where the fireplace I haven’t touched in years is brought to life by dancing flames.

And he is standing over it, tending it with the poker.

“You’re still here?”

He looks up, smiles at me trying without success to hide the body parts he’s seen and touched and kissed and licked all through the night. And I remember the set of footprints I saw from my bedroom window, how it lead into the forest. But then there was a second trail, afar off, coming back.

He’d gone to get firewood.

He comes over, touches my hand still covering my breasts.

You start a fire burning…” I say, but I’m short of breath. I’m shaking once again, but it’s not from the cold. I still can’t believe he came back, and for me. What did I do to deserve this? Can any of it be real?

“Come by the fire,” he says, but he draws me into him, wraps his arms around me, cups my bottom, a middle finger slipping in between the cheeks, kisses me with his open mouth. Our tongues meet in the middle, our hot breath touching our lips, and every inch of me is set ablaze.


Original post written for the #LyricalFictionFriday challenge November 3, 2017.

Countdown to 31 Days of Holiday Hooligans: Rendezvous

We ride together in silence. Mitchell glances at me but says nothing. I wish he would speak to me. Open his mouth and say something, anything, even if it’s to curse me for relapsing back into the binge drinking habit I’d promised to give up for him, for God.

Nothing good ever happens when you drink, he always says. Noah cursed his own son for not looking away from his father’s naked drunkenness, and the brothers have been warring ever since. According to the New Testament, drinking only leads to wild orgies. Hell, Lot slept with both his daughters! I wonder how that conversation played out—his daughters pregnant after both his sons-in-law were already dead—when he learned that his grandchildren were also his sons.

The way Mitchell explains biblical stories to me is the way I want for him to talk to me now. I know one day he’ll become a minister. He has that calling over his life. I sensed it the day he recounted his own salvation to me, with such vigor and enthusiasm, remembering ever detail, despite his youthful age of seven years old at the time. Reverend Murphy has already taken him under his wing, inviting him to the bi-weekly ministers classes he holds at the church on Thursday nights. He practices his sermons on me, speaking with boldness, his speech seasoned with salt. I love that part of him, but is it selfish of me to, every now and again, remove his cloth and ask him to just be Mitchell, my fiancé, my husband, the man I fell in love with?

He stops the car, and the glare from the red light illuminate’s his face. Every feature enhanced, from the natural arch in his eyebrows I’ve often envied, to the downward curve of his eyes and the puffiness of his skin around them that often causes people to mistake him for Pacific Islander. I look down at his nose, his tiny little rabbit’s nose. While mine curls up, the tip of his nose dips down toward the center of his upper lip, his nostrils slanting inward. His nose quivers when he breathes, like a little bunny sniffing the freshly cut grass in the spring air, and I remember how I nibbled on his nose last night as I lay on top of him, joking that a wet nose meant you were happy and that all my slobber signified he was the happiest man in the world.

And when I said that, as if in confirmation, I felt him rise and harden inside of me after momentarily going limp, and it was so gratifying that I dropped my jaw and released a slow and steady exhale as I rocked my hips back and forth in a rotational push and pull like rowing a boat, as we drew nearer to the both of us letting all our liquids flow.

The light turns green, and I grab the steering wheel. “Do you love me?” I ask.

“Of course I do.”

“I want to hear you say it.”

“I love you.”

I shake my head. “That’s not good enough.” A car behind us honks the horn, and he presses his foot down on the gas lurching us forward as the light turns yellow and then red again. “Pull over,” I tell him, and I am surprised when he does so, without question or complaint, just stops the car on the curb, shifts the gear into park, and rests all his attention on me, staring deeply into my eyes. If he were searching my soul, he would find himself, my mate, my second half, I the very rib missing from his side.

“I want to hear you say it, and mean it.” I close my eyes and bite my bottom lip as I prepare for his words.

He sighs, and I’m so deflated that he sighs. Was our night of lovemaking so disgraceful, so scandalous, that he can’t bring himself to say the one thing that keeps me breathing? But just as I am about to lose hope, he opens his mouth, and I am pulled in by his words.

“I love you, Natasha. You know that. I’ve love you for so long. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. That’s why I want to fix this wedge between us, bring us back to where we were, before we— I want to start fresh.”

While he speaks, I’m drawn to his lips. Full, glistening like a moist brick of melting fudge in the night light of the Christmas street decorations. I long to feel them pressed against my neck as they were the night before. How intoxicating they were, caressing my weakest points, until my knees gave way, and I collapsed into his arms and allowed him to lay me on the bed and continue with his kisses, his smooches, his wet pecks of love, marking his territory down my spine, and on my thighs, and when he flipped me over, both breasts, and on my stomach, and around my navel, and below my navel, and oh, how my gut did a somersaulting dance to have his face in such close proximity to where my legs parted.

“Kiss me,” I say.

“What?”

“Don’t think, do.”

And he swoops in and kisses me, the urgency in his lips pressed firmly against mine, and I graciously accept him, open my mouth and let his tongue flood in. He briefly tries to break away, I assume, because he tastes the liquor lingering on my breath, but I take him by the neck and pull him closer, and he doesn’t relent. We stay like that for what feels like an eternity, until I can contain myself no longer, and I climb over the armrest and straddle his lap. We separate for air, breathing heavily, and I watch him for hesitation, wait for him to protest that we can’t do this again, that this is how it started last night, that we’ll hate ourselves after—I wouldn’t; I could never hate him.

But he surprises me by initiating contact. Our lips meet again and he wraps his arms around my waist, pulls me deeper into his lap, my bent knees hanging off the edges of his seat awkwardly. We sit like that, kissing, lapping up the taste of each other, and I savor every moment, not wanting him to break away and come to his senses that everything we’re doing is wrong, when everything feels so right. I slip my hand underneath his coat and pull it off over his shoulders. He follows suit, yanking his arms out and lifting my sweater over my head. We continue to undress each other until we are both naked from the waist up, and the chill inside the car draws us closer together like magnets. Without the barriers of clothing our movements become more animated, generating heat. We cling to each other, as if to let go meant to lose the other forever. The sweat on his chest moistens my breasts against it, and out hearts beat in synchronization.

I run my hand along his belt buckled and wonder if he will stop me, but he beats me to the top button of my own jeans, and before I know it his hand is inside and his fingers inside of me. And I let out a breathy moan, dig my nails into his shoulders, lean back against the steering wheel, and I wish I was wearing anything but pants because it would be so much easier just to hike up a skirt, give him less time to change his mind. But when I open my eyes and look at his face, he’s considering options too, and finally he tells me to lean over the armrest. So I do as I’m told, even more aroused at the sound of his commands, no hesitation or fear in his voice, only brash determination.

I sit up, pull my leg closest to the door in, and bend over the armrest, my elbows planted firmly in the passenger seat, my stomach pressed against the cushioned hump in the middle, my knees sunken in the space between the cup holders and the driver’s seat, and my behind arched in the air. He positions himself between my legs behind me and slowly pulls my jeans and panties down together over my hips. Again his fingers slip between my most delicate places. They’re cool to the touch, refreshing like quenching one’s thirst on a hot summer day. It makes me crave for him even more.

“I love you,” I whisper, but with my face down in the seat, I don’t think he can hear me. And it doesn’t matter because soon after, there is a tap on the window, and my pants are being forcibly dragged up over my hips, my sweater shoved in my face. I inadvertently kick the steering wheel and honk the horn trying to climb back over to my side of the car, and when he rolls down the window, we are both greeted by a blinding light.

“Is there a reason why you’re pulled over to the side of the road?”

“No problem, officer.”

“I’ll say. Looks like I interrupted a party!” I can’t see him for the bright flashlight he shines in our eyes, but I suspect there’s a mischievous smirk on his face. He sticks his hand inside, curls his arm around the driver’s side door and slides his index finger down the glass of the back window to show us how much we’ve fogged the windows.

“She’s my fiancé,” Mitchell says.

“For the night, right?” There’s a chuckle in his voice, and Mitchell and I exchange worried glances at how this may look, especially on South Tatum, where there’s a hooker on ever corner.

“Can I see your license, please?”

“It’s in my back pocket.” Mitchell leans to the side toward me to retrieve his wallet from his left back pocket. He holds it open to slide his license from the clear sleeve, but the officer reaches in, snatches the entire wallet and bolts behind the car, down a darkened side street and into the trees.

“Hey!” Mitchell screams. He opens the door and sprints after him. He is halfway down the street before I can call him back.

“Just let it go, baby. They could jump you. You don’t know who is with him.”

He hesitates, as if considering his options—to risk our lives chasing after the cop impersonator for an ID and a couple bucks, or to get back in the car? I sit anxiously as he stands balling and unballing his fists. The street lamp and the snowflake decoration attached to it hang over him, casting a blue spotlight, as if he were about to perform a solo in an urban musical. As if the fake police officer and his posse would soon emerge from the woods snapping their fingers and beatboxing.

Finally logic wins out and he reluctantly returns to the car, slamming the door.

“I hate South Tatum,” he growls.

I reach up and squeeze his arm. “At least you have your life. We’ll go home, call the real police, and cancel your card before they can take anything.” Thankfully, Mitchell doesn’t believe in credit cards—what’s appealing about going into debt with money you never had, his reasoning—so there’s only the one debit card to worry about.

He nods and merges back onto the road. I keep my hands on his arm, curling one under his armpit and massaging tenderly. Selfishly my mind drifts to the night’s possibilities, what still remains of our activities interrupted. As if reading my mind, at the next light he turns to look at me, his eyelids hanging low. He dips his head down and kisses me, soft as a breeze, our lips barely touching, and I squeeze him tighter, eager to get home.

—Nortina


Part of Countdown to 31 Days of Holiday Hooligans
——
Previous: Party Crashers
Next: Mommy’s Home

#LyricalFictionFriday: Kindling the Fire

I knew he was gone when I awoke shivering. Silly me for thinking this time would be different, that a random man you bring home from the bar would have the decency to stay at least until sunrise.

The hardwood floor feels like ice on the bottoms of my feet. I need carpets, but with what money? I’m too cheap to turn the heat on before the first deep freeze. Bedroom slippers will have to do for another month. At least the alcohol leftover in my system keeps me warm from the waist up. What need do I have for a man?

But I remember the sweet heat we made, driven by the booze that filled us to our limbs. When it was just our skin and sweat that separated us, and his tongue explored every inch of me, lapped me up like a steaming mug of coco.

How we made it from the bar five miles down the road in his rattling 1992 Toyota pick up remains a mystery to me. The air conditioning blasted our faces—he had no heat either—but it didn’t matter because we both sweated through our clothes, and I sat on his lap naked, bouncing on every pothole, every bump in the road. But it wasn’t to make the ride more titillating.

He couldn’t see.

I remember now. I was helping him drive, and teasing him at the same time. He juggled whether to put his fingers on the steering wheel or lift me up by the rear and slip them between the cracks.

But it was dark. No. Foggy. And something was falling. And the wipers did nothing but make the dirty windshield dirtier.

Damn him. I wish we had crashed. It would have been better for me to die than have him fill me up and empty me out all in one night.

I glance at the clock on my bedside table. There’s more light coming through my window than is normal for quarter to six. A thought comes that maybe it’s the headlights from his truck. He hasn’t pulled out of the driveway yet. I rush to part the curtains, give him a full view of what he’s leaving behind, what he’ll surely miss when he’s back home with whatever woman that’s got him running from me.

There’s always another woman. It’s my fate, my curse, to share or have nothing at all. But now I long for nothing, because I’ve never felt this abandoned since the night my father left my mother and I in the middle of a blizzard to pay the electric bill, and never came back.

And now my glowing backyard tells me what was falling from the sky last night.

Snow. At least an inch or more.

I shiver again, deep within myself, bones knocking. This day feels too familiar, too much like my childhood. I spot a trail of boot prints stretching from the back of the house toward the woods. His truck is still here. Damn thing must have died. Fluids frozen. He left it here. Somewhere there’s a man, half-naked, hungover, marching down the side of the road to the nearest service station, maybe looking for a hitch. With my luck, it’ll be a girl prettier and tighter than me, with less baggage.

I feel more used seeing his truck, here to remind me of every poor decision I ever made in life, drunk or sober. I’ll call a tow to have it removed, make sure he’s the one that has to pay for it.

I’m a traditionalist when it comes to communication. No cellphone. I still keep a phone book by the landline downstairs. I jog down two flights to get the feeling and the warmth back into my thighs and my feet. But a crackling halts me at the bottom step. I’m still naked, and despite what happened the night before, I’m not willing to let another stranger in.

I notice it’s warmer down here. The chill in my joints is gone. I cover my breasts and follow the heat through the foyer, to the living room, where the fireplace I haven’t touched in years is brought to life by dancing flames.

And he is standing over it, tending it with the poker.

“You’re still here?”

He looks up, smiles at me trying without success to hide the body parts he’s seen, and touched, and kissed, and licked all through the night. And I remember the set of footprints I saw from my bedroom window, how it lead into the forest. But then there was a second trail, afar off, coming back.

He’d gone to get firewood.

He comes over, touches my hand still covering my breast.

You start a fire burning…” I say, but I’m short of breath. I’m shaking once again, but it’s not from the cold. I still can’t believe he came back, and for me. What did I do to deserve this? Can any of it be real?

“Come by the fire,” he says, but he draws me into him, wraps his arms around me, cups my bottom, a middle finger slipping in between, kisses me with his open mouth. Our tongues meet in the middle, our hot breath touching our lips, and every inch of me is set ablaze.

Nortina


Written for #MarquessaChallenge, a Fiction Friday challenge that uses song lyrics as prompts. Today’s prompt is: With the touch of your hand, you start a fire burning…

#LyricalFictionFriday: What You Do to Me…

He was only supposed to help me move my bed.

Move it.

We didn’t get that far. The bed frame is scattered in parts on the Master floor, the box spring propped up against the hallway wall outside the bedroom. The mattress, where I lie on my back, knees drawn to the ceiling, blocks the front door.

I squeeze the back of my thighs to still my legs from shaking, but it’s no use. I can feel his tongue down there, and the memory of it sends me over the edge. Philip’s tongue has the strength of an ox, the prehensility of that of a giraffe. His mouth reaches places Levon can’t even dream of, and Levon loves to boast about how big he his, how far he extends when he’s hard.

I hear the shower turn on down the hall. He must want me to join him. What other need would he have to wash? We haven’t gotten dirty . . . not yet . . . and we kind of have this thing with showers.

But I hesitate when I remember Levon, and the reason why we broke up. Truly it was because he can’t stop fucking his ex, but my and Philip’s curiosity of each other didn’t help the situation. Although he had no proof—there was nothing to prove, we didn’t do anything . . . until tonight.

And I can’t ignore that Philip is Levon’s best friend. His roommate, no less! I’d be stupid to think they won’t talk. Get him high enough, and Philip is subject to say anything. We’re both dead if he lets this one slip. Ex-boyfriend or not, Levon will still have a problem with us hooking up, even if it is just oral. And I refuse to give him any chance to justify all the things he did to hurt me for revenge.

But am I really going to lie here in the middle of this mattress, soaking it through, touching myself, trying to finish what only Philip can?

Hell no.

I let my legs drop. They jiggle like Jell-O. The challenge will be getting up to my feet, walking to the bathroom without having the floor slip from under me. Can I even get up? My body feels weighted on this mattress, like I’m being held down by cinder blocks. When was the last time I’d ever cum like that? And did I really want it again?

Yes. It’s like a drug. One hit, and you would kill for that high again. And I need to know that this wasn’t a fluke, that I didn’t just imagine the eruption of ecstasy that gushed out of me just a few minutes ago under the prickle of Philip’s taste buds.

I roll over, reach out my hands, grab firmly onto the fibers of the carpet and drag myself out. How bad is this, that I’m actually crawling to him? That I can barely move, can barely handle his potency, and yet I still want more?

When I get to the end of the hallway, the bathroom door opens. Steam rushes out, and behind it, Philip, fully naked. It’s like the beginning of a concert, when just before the smoke clears, the singer springs onto the stage from a trapdoor underneath, and all the girls in the crowd go wild with delight.

I watch him as he approaches in what feels like slow motion, the mist surrounding him. Anticipation makes me drip. He’s fully erect—there’s no denying what he wants. My jaw drops, but I quickly shut it, not quite willing to return the favor from earlier, despite being on my knees.

“I figured you might need help,” he says with a half smirk. He scoops me up off the floor, glides me across the tip of him as he pulls me up. Who is he teasing, me or himself?

“What you do to me . . .” I can’t even finish my thought. All I want is his wet lips on mine.

Girl, you better have your hair weave strapped on tight, ’cause I’m just getting started.”

I feel like butter in his arms. I can spread from end to end. I let him whisk me off into the bathroom, where the steam from the shower creates a tension that pushes us even closer together, as if we aren’t already like the skin that clings to our bones. I can’t get enough of him. I pull and dig, desperate to have him inside me again, filling all the cracks and crevices Levon could never reach.

And this time, I’m not talking about his tongue.

—Nortina


I never intended to make it a serial, but every once in a while I come across a prompt that brings my White Jesus characters back to life, and the resulting story tends to get quite . . . raunchy. Are you as hot and bothered as I am?

Written for Marquessa’s #FictionFriday song lyric challenge. Today’s prompt is: Girl, you better have your hair weave strapped on tight… And speaking of holding onto your hair for a wild ride, Marquessa and I are teaming up in November every Monday and Friday to bring you our respective flash fiction challenges, #MarquessaChallenge and #1MinFiction. Are you ready? Then buckle up, because the fun starts next Friday!

#LyricalFictionFriday: Bad Decisions

“I would get down on my knees, I would do anything for you…”

I didn’t think he would take it literally. But then, he has a simple mind.

I’m too old to be on the floor that long, joints still popping when I enter the house hours later. And was it so hard just to do it in the bed? I’d disappear under the covers, lay my face in his lap. But then, he likes to tower over me, watch me be submissive.

Dick.

I slam my keys on the kitchen counter, open the refrigerator and stand there like anything’s changed since this morning. I stretch my neck. My jaw is still tight, my lips raw, when I burp I taste him.

I shut the door and take two fiery red cinnamon flavored gum sticks out of my purse. Suck on them between my tongue and the roof of my mouth.

Suck. Poor choice of words. Too soon.

It’s hard to swallow, my throat still sore. He grabbed the back of my head and forced me down the length of him. The least he could’ve done was warn me before—

I dive for the sink, dry-heave over the drain for a solid five minutes, until my sides hurt. If only I can regurgitate the rest of him out of me before the seed takes root, leaves me planted here to rot forever.

Nortina


For Marquessa’s Fiction Friday song lyric challenge. Today’s prompt is: I would get down on my knees, I would do anything for you. She also asks us to tag one fellow fiction writer to join in this week. I’m tagging a blog I recently followed, SoloRien. She writes great stories in response to fiction prompts, and I’m eager to read what she comes up with for this one! 🙂

Haunted Honeymoon

A sigh.
A drifting exhale.
An echo of a moan.
A creak,
back and forth,
rocking—or bouncing—
like bed springs.
The whine of the mattress
yields to your convulsions.
A book falls from the shelf—
you don’t stop,
bury yourself underneath
my skin, and there’s a knock
on the wall—hollow—
a whistle down the hall.
A small opening between your
lips where I fit my tongue,
and you bite and you keep going
and you suck the blood as
our bodies slap and the sticky
air sinks on top of us—
Was the door always open?—
And my foot flips off the edge,
toes unfurl in the carpet,
feel the vibration get stronger—
You clamp my thighs,
hips tense to fill me—
and in the silence after, suddenly,
the room feels crowded.

—Nortina



Fright Night Fridays:  Every Friday night, dare to venture into something spooky, something paranormal, something suspenseful, something that would surely give you a fright. Are you brave enough to stick around?

Spawning

The thunderous roar of the rushing water captures everyone’s attention. Waterfalls have a knack for drawing in large crowds.

No one bothers to look upstream, where the salmon spawn. Where Rick and I undress, neatly fold our clothes and lie them on the dampened boulders that line the banks.

The water is warmer than I expect. But then I’m burning with impatience, and I’m numb below my waist, eager only for his touch.

He slowly approaches, and I drop to me knees, as gracefully as I can, splashing the shallow water, sinking into the sediment and broken-up rocks, hoping not to disturb the female laying her eggs next to me.

His everything in my face, I open my mouth and let him in, and it’s as if everything in this dense Alaskan rainforest—one hundred years ago buried under sheets of ice—goes silent. Watching.

A drop on my forehead, and then a drizzle. We hear the patter of feet as waterfall spectators race back to the shelter. No one veering off the path, where the shrubs part, to climb down the steep hill and catch a glimpse of mother nature doing her best work.

The ripples in the water multiple as we lie midstream, the surface barely covering his back. The rain picks up, urging him on, and with each draw back and thrust forward, he creates tiny waves that crash against the back of my thighs as we copulate alongside the salmon in a place reserved for wildlife, letting our primal instincts loose.

—Nortina

R is for Ring

Originally published April 21, 2015 for the A to Z Challenge.

“What was that?” Bruce swatted at his ear.

“What was what?” Jessica pressed her lips against his forehead, shingling his brown hair with her fingers.

“I don’t know. It sounded like a fly, or something.”

“Am I making you nervous?” Jessica kissed him on the lips. Then down to his chin. Then underneath his chin, and lower on his neck, near his throat.

“Not at all.” He reclined onto the pillows propped up on the headboard as Jessica moved further down. She kissed his collarbone, then his bare chest. She traced her tongue around the sharpened outlines of his abs. His abdomen convulsed as he chuckled under her light touch. She migrated down to his navel, biting the skin on the outer edges. When she reached the thin trail of pubic hair just below his navel, he suddenly shot up.

“There it is again. That buzzing.”

Jessica searched the bedroom, and her eyes immediately fell on her phone lying on the edge of her nightstand. Bruce picked up the vibrating phone and looked at the picture displayed on the screen. “Is this him?”

Jessica nodded.

“He looks kind of weird. I mean, he has his hands in his pockets. He’s leaning to the left but his head is cocked to the right. He’s smiling, but it’s like he’s trying to show all of his teeth at the same time. Almost like he’s sneering at you.” Bruce leaned his head to the right and bared his teeth to demonstrate.

Jessica snatched the phone from him. “You look like a washed-up rapper.” She tossed it across the floor, and it landed where the door was cracked open.

Jessica climbed onto Bruce’s lap and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I don’t want to think about him. He’s history.” She sighed loudly, her breath ruffling through his hair. “You have experience with stealing girlfriends.” She arched her back. “Steal me.”

Bruce quickly flipped her over and positioned himself on top. “Alright,” he whispered. He sucked on her neck, and she wrapped her legs around his waist as he thrust his hips into her.

Jessica felt as if she would melt, her body like jelly underneath her skin. Two years of built up resentment, dissatisfaction, force appeasement to a tormented love gushed from her pores and onto the sheets in an ocean of sweat. Bruce kissed the tops of her breasts, and she remembered what she had always desired in a relationship. Someone to kiss her, comfort her when she was down, whether that was by lending a shoulder for her to cry on, or through unbridled sex. He intertwined his fingers with hers and pressed her hands on either side of her into the mattress, and she remembered she just wanted to be with someone who made her feel comfortable being herself, whether that meant watching her favorite black and white Alfred Hitchcock movies with her, going bowling just to order the chili cheese fries from the concession stand and using the bumpers to cheat, or dancing under arches of water shot from rusted fountains in the city park with giggling, half-naked two-year olds. He pressed deeper into her, quicker in pace, and she remembered how much she loved to fight. Why have sex in the morning when they could wrestle? Pin each other to the ground; winner got to take a shower first, loser cooked breakfast.

She never had any of that with Whitmore. Whitmore had a plan. He had seen too many movies, read too many blogs. He believed relationships were all about romance, love, working toward marriage. He never allowed them to grow into friends before he began planning a wedding and a family. He’d convinced her that pursuing a friendship wasted time. No one could wait that long. He was so eager to settle down, he never learned her middle name, or her favorite type of food, or what she enjoyed doing in her free time. He missed getting to know her.

She dug her nails into Bruce’s back and released a buoyant moan. She didn’t know what the future held for them, but she wanted him to help her rediscover her passion, the fire that burned within her whenever she became involved with a man who asked for nothing but her company.

Suddenly, there was a loud, piercing bang. It echoed off the walls, rang in Jessica’s ears, ricochet within her skull. Bruce pulled out of her and sprang from the bed so fast he nearly hurt her.

“That sounded like a gun shot. It sounded like it came from your living room?”

“No one else is here. My door makes a lot of noise. I would’ve heard if someone was inside.” Feeling vulnerable, Jessica crossed her arms over her exposed breasts, placing a hand on the opposite shoulder.

“Maybe it was outside your door?” Bruce said.

“There’ve been some break-ins. It could be my neighbor.”

“Stay here. I’ll check it out.”

“Be careful.”

Bruce stepped into his jeans and walked around the corner. Jessica scooted to the edge of the bed, wrapping the bed sheets around her shoulders. She heard Bruce open the door. She heard a heavy thump. Then she heard him gasp. Seconds later, he was standing in the doorway, his lips pressed together. He refused to make eye contact with her.

“You need to call the police.” His voice was short and weighted.

“Why? What is it? What happened?”

“Just—” He bent over and picked up her phone from the floor. “Call the police.”

Jessica was about to dial 9-1-1 when she saw a series of incoming texts from Whitmore.

I need to see you. Are you home?

I’m in the parking lot.

Why won’t you answer the phone?

I want to make us work. What do I have to do to make us work?

I want to marry you Jessica Ryan. That’s what I came to ask you.

So this is it? You’re done with me?

I don’t understand what I could’ve done.

Goodbye, Jessica. It’s obvious you don’t love me as much as I love you.

Just like Layla . . .

 Jessica slowly looked up at Bruce. “What did you see?”

“You shouldn’t go up there.”

Jessica dropped her phone and pushed past Bruce. She sprinted to the living room, and as if she had collided with an invisible brick wall that had suddenly risen from her floorboards, she collapsed to her knees. In front of her, face down, half his body inside across the threshold, lay Whitmore, blood spilling from his right temple. There was a smear of red on the front of her door, midway and on down to the bottom, from where his head hit and slid down as his body fell underneath him. Poking out from underneath his chest was the gun he used to end his life.

Jessica wanted to cry. She wanted to scream, but she couldn’t find her voice, and she realized that all fluids related to Whitmore, tears included, had been purged from her body while she had sex with Bruce. The only word she could muster out of her mouth was, “Oh.”

Behind her, Bruce spoke into the phone. “Yes, I need an ambulance. A man is dead.”

—Nortina

M is for Makeout Session

Originally posted April 15, 2015 for the A to Z Challenge.

He kissed her. And he kissed her again. And again. And before they both knew what was happening, Jessica had one leg wrapped around Bruce’s hips, his hand running up and down her thigh. She cupped the back of his neck and dug her fingers into his scalp, pulling him closer, biting and sucking his bottom lip, all while the music played and couples danced around them, oblivious to the rising sexual tension at the center of the dance floor.

Bruce was the first to break away.

“Let’s get out of here,” Jessica said under heavy breathing.

“Following you,” Bruce said.

***

When Bruce pulled into the parking lot of Jessica’s apartment complex, he had barely enough time to put the car into park before Jessica was on his lap, showering his neck with quick wet kisses.

“Should we give your neighbors a show or go inside?” Bruce asked. He had one hand underneath her shirt and the other inching closer and closer inside her yoga pants.

“It’ll be more comfortable.” Jessica swung the door open and climbed out, honking the horn in the process.

They raced up the stairs. Once on the third floor, Bruce picked her up in his arms and wrapped her legs around his waist. Kissing her, he pinned her against the door to her apartment. The door gave way behind their pressure, and they fell inside. Jessica hit her head on the hardwood underneath the thin carpet of her living room floor.

“Ouch!” She rubbed the back of her head.

“Your door is flicted,” Bruce said. He pulled her to her feet and closed the door behind him.

“You have to slam it,” Jessica said.

“It’s alright.” He turned the deadbolt and pounded the door with his fist to make sure it was secure.

“So . . .” Jessica said, rocking on her heels.

“So . . . ” Bruce imitated. “What do you want to do?”

“Well that entrance kind of killed the mood.”

“It doesn’t have to.” Bruce leaned down and lightly kissed her chin, grazing over her bottom lip.

Jessica felt like butter. She sunk into his embrace as he tilted her head back and kissed her chin again, and then her lips, nose, forehead, and back down. “I wish I met you two years ago,” she moaned.

“Tell me what you want now,” Bruce whispered in her ear. He closed his mouth around her earlobe and sucked it gently.

“I want—” Jessica closed her eyes and let him massage her face with his lips. She wanted to forget about Whitmore. Not just for the moment, but forever. If only Bruce could kiss her forehead and absorb the memories of the last two years onto his tongue like a sponge and wring them out over the balcony. If she could spend one night with him and be free of her contractual obligation of love, marriage, and children to Whitmore. Just to lie in Bruce’s arms and not have to worry if it would produce a relationship, if he’ll want more than just sex from her, or if he’ll try to force her into something she wasn’t ready for.

She wanted something easy. Comfortable. She wanted to feel without a controlling hand. She wanted to live for tonight and not worry about tomorrow. She wanted spontaneity. She wanted to fuck. She wanted to have an orgasm. She didn’t care that it was cheating. That it would kill the man who had been killing her slowly for the last two years, draining her with his expectations, his demands, his insecurities, his need for a woman to be the foundation of his existence.

She was sick of planning, Whitmore. She was sick of having to prove herself, Whitmore. She was sick of feeling shackled down, Whitmore.

She tugged at Bruce’s pants. “I’ll tell you what I don’t want,” she said.

“Tonight, he doesn’t exist.”

Jessica nodded and backed down the hallway, swaying her hips. “Are you coming?”

“Lead the way.” Bruce undid his belt, and Jessica grabbed the buckle and pulled him down the hall to her bedroom.

—Norina

C is for Condom

This scene, originally posted April 3, 2015 for the A to Z Challenge, may or may not change as I continue in my writing process for Camp NaNoWriMo. I want to make Whitmore sound a little less rapey, yet still oppressive and demanding over Jessica. We’ll see how it works out.


“It’s our anniversary,” Whitmore said, standing behind Jessica as she unlocked the door to her apartment and walked inside. They had just returned from dinner at The Melting Pot, a popular fondue restaurant downtown. Dinner was almost $100. Thirty per entree, and thirty for the appetizer. Jessica wasn’t sure what exactly they were paying for. All the kitchen did was dice meats and fruits and mix up different broths and cheeses for them to dip and cook their own food in at their table. When Jessica had returned from the restroom, she’d found a red rose on her seat.

“It’s our anniversary,” Whitmore said.

Jessica hesitated to sit down. She was afraid a ring was next. She knew Whitmore was starting to get impatient. Two years was too long. When they first started dating, he had expressed his desire to get married and have children. He was obsessed with it. Two months into their relationship, he was already asking her to move in with him, and thinking of baby names. Their daughter would be Whitney, named after him.

Jessica had asked him to give her three years. However, Whitmore saw that as enough time for her to realize she didn’t need him like he needed her. So he pushed her. Told her that she would never find another man to love her as much as he did, and if he’d “accidentally” gotten her pregnant, she would have to marry him. Three years or not.

“Do you want to come in?” Jessica  asked flatly.

“I mean, it is our anniversary. What do couples do on their anniversary?” He stepped inside and kissed her, biting her bottom lip and sucking it hard. He took her hand and led her to her bedroom.

Jessica wasn’t in the mood for sex. In fact, she wanted him to go home, but denying him what he believed was central to every relationship on their anniversary of all nights would mean that she didn’t love him, that she never cared for him, that she had been stringing him along for the last two years. Hadn’t she?

Her plan was to come to dinner and end the relationship; the significance of that night never crossed her mind. Now he was in her room undressing her, kissing her stomach and between her thighs, promising to be with her and love her always, as if it were their wedding night.

Jessica opened the drawer to the nightstand next to her bed and pulled out a condom.

“What’s this?” Whitmore asked, snatching it from her hand.

“I forgot to take my pill this morning. We need some kind of protection.”

Whitmore sat up on his knees. Jessica thought he was about to put it on, but he tossed it to the floor and continued on his conquest.

“You don’t want me to touch you?” He said as he kissed her, as he climbed on top of her, as he pressed between her legs. “You don’t want to feel me inside you?”

“I don’t want to get pregnant, Whitmore!” she said, pushed against his chest. “You drank a lot of wine tonight. You might not be as careful.”

“It’s our anniversary. We should make this night special. We always use condoms. Tonight I want to touch you. Tonight I want to make you mine.” He pinned both of her hands over her head and lay on top of her. As he pushed himself inside, he whispered, “This will bring us closer together.”

“But I don’t—”

“Shhh. If it happens, it happens.”

Jessica cringed as Whitmore thrust hard and deep.

 

—Nortina