Monday, May 11, 2009

Chapter 10

My door buzzed. Then it buzzed again. I looked at the clock. 10 PM. After my crazy lunch with Harshy and the inevitable lingerie shopping, I had come home and gotten my nap. I had overslept considerably. It was dark outside. The door buzzed once more. I realized then it wasn’t the lobby buzzer. It was my actual condo door bell. What the hell?

If that’s Brian wanting to stay here because it’s raining, well… I pulled the top sheet around me Roman style and staggered to the door. I didn’t bother with my new Nick and Nora lounging pajamas. Those could wait til morning for putzing around the kitchen. Wait, Brian wouldn’t use the front door. Leaning with my back up against it, I asked through the door, “Who is it?”


I opened one eye. It throbbed. Once again, too many cocktails with Harshy. Damn
that bitch! “Who?”

A sigh. “Paul.”

I looked through the peephole. Yep, Paul. I opened the door a bit and held it against me. “What do you want? It’s late.”

“You left me at the stone yard,” he explained.

“Am I your babysitter?” I yawned. Hastily I covered my mouth. I am somewhat humane and wouldn’t want to kill anyone with my morning(?) breath.

He lost patience and stepped forward. I watched his shoes. He stopped. Looking at me, he said, “I want to be with you.”

“We can meet tomorrow at the estate,” I yawned again. “I told you that at the yard.”

I rubbed my eyes and pulled the sheet tighter around me. At that moment, I noticed Kashmew at the door. He bolted.

“No! You stupid cat. Shit!” I yelled as Kashmew went leaping down the hall.

Paul took off after him and ran four strides before he tripped and fell on his face. Groaning, he rolled over onto his back, clutching his ankle. I ran out into the hall over to Paul, the sheet still draped around me, and crouched over him.

“Oh my god! Are you OK? Oh, god, did you hurt yourself?” I asked, checking his ankle out, looking at his head for concussion and making sure his glasses weren’t broken.

Paul lifted his head and kissed me full on the mouth. Surprising myself, I automatically kissed him back. Shaking him off, I pulled away, checking to make sure the sheet was covering all of the good parts. “Damn you. This was all a ruse cooked up by you and my stupid cat to get
me to kiss you again!” I yelled. I tripped on the bed sheet trying to get up and fell back on top of Paul. “Shit.”

At this point, Kashmew had sauntered back down the hall, pissed that no one was chasing him anymore. I glared at those shiny gold orbs with threats of punishment later. Kashmew jumped over the threshold back into the condo. If he had possessed hands, I’m sure he would’ve slammed the door. Paul and I both sat up. I held the sheet tightly around me, shielding my eyes against the glare of the hall. The lights were so bright and fluorescent, I must’ve looked like death warmed over. Note to self: change fluorescents to dimmable cans for ambience. Paul took my free hand, helped me to my feet and walked me to my front doors. I looked at him over my shoulder, still unsure as to why he was at my door so late.

“I want to be with you, Lois,” he said, again.

I checked his eyes for concussion. Why did he keep saying that? Maybe he was really one of Faraday’s secret technological advances – CarpenterBot – Hot and a Carpenter. One in every home. Housewife’s Delight. Better than Mommies Little Helper.

I sighed, “Come in already. At least have something to drink, and we’ll check for rug burns.”
Kashmew sprang away from the door just before I could slam it on his sassy ass. He’d better not try that again. Paul sat at the island and I poured him and myself some whiskey and soda with ice.

“Little strong isn’t this? Strange drink for an LA gal.” He lifted his glass. “What about your ladies usual ‘Cosmo’ ?”

“Go stuff yourself.” I rebuked. Like I had time to make him a mixed drink. Fuck Cosmos. And, no, I don’t smoke Capris.

Paul smiled. He seemed to be savoring the burn of the whiskey. I picked up my drink and sipped it slowly, watching him stare at his ice. Why was he really here? Where was he going with this ‘I want you’ business? Or was he a serial killer who wanted me to put the lotion in the basket? How did he get into my building any way? Lois, your tenants, duh. They never listen to me. They’d let John Wayne Gacy in if he said ‘please’.

I came back to the situation. Paul seemed troubled.What did he want to say? He turned to me, started to say something and then stopped. He smiled at me and shook his head.

“What?” I murmured, actually still sleepy after all the commotion. I hoped my bed was still warm.

Paul stood up and came over to me. He took my glass and put it on the counter. He pulled the sheet down around my shoulders and pulled me toward him. His eyes were so bright and warm with little crinkly crow’s feet at the corners. His hair had gone too long without a cut, the salt-and-pepper strands were curling under his ears. Paul kissed me softly, savoring my lips and the booze. Now I was sweet and icy fresh. Gently, he slid his tongue into my mouth, pulling my head back by my hair and cupping my jaw with his other hand. A slow passionate kiss, the kind that I hadn’t had in forever. I was so thirsty for him I felt like a dry vessel after sitting in the hot desert sun for eons. An underground spring was suddenly starting to flow. I grabbed and held onto his hips so that I wouldn’t fall over from the strength of his need, his wanting me. His warmth engulfed me like a Santa Ana wind: convection heat. Paul’s knee moved forward into the space between my legs, me still covered with the sheet, closing in on my body. I immediately
sensed this man believed in foreplay and took his performance seriously. We kissed for a long time, kisses that were like eating a really good meal; sating us fully.

I pulled away for a moment to correct my head and realize where I really was. I opened my eyes to find Paul searching mine. I smiled and he returned it. I slid out of my chair and put my arms around his neck. He picked me up and began eyeing my possible bedroom. Following the cat’s lead, we went down the hall into my bedroom. The small lamp on my Palecek nightstand shone dimly. Paul carried me to my king-sized custom-made platform bed and laid me down on the duvet. I was still swaddled in my bed sheet. He stood by the side of my bed and took off his tattered coat and holey white t-shirt. All the years of construction had made him wiry and developed; his nipples stood out in excitement. He leaned down as I leaned up and brushed my lips over one standing soldier. He groaned with pleasure.

(the following lovemaking scene has been taken out of this post so that those who purchase the novel when it is published in hardback or e-book can enjoy the passage for which they paid. its really good.)

A short and incredibly fantastic time later, I lay on top of Paul with the first orgasm that I hadn’t brought on my self in this bed alone.

“You can’t ever leave,” I whispered into his ear. Last time I blurted that out, the guy did leave. Forever. Oops.

“I’ll try not to,” he replied, holding me close and stroking my ass.

In the morning, I awoke on my side of the bed with the duvet snug around me. I rolled over and Paul wasn’t there. Oh, lovely. Bastard! I sat up in the bed, ready to throw my pillow at the fully loaded dresser, begging to crash everything off of it. As I cocked my arm, Paul appeared in the doorway holding coffee and toast for two.

“How’d you do that?” I asked, quickly pulling the pillow down, pretending I was doing some sort of new exercise maneuver.

“Do what?”

“Get breakfast. Why didn’t I hear you messing around? How’d you know where everything was?”

“I’m a contractor. I know where all you women put things in your kitchens.”

“Seriously. I’m atypical.”

Because I didn’t cook much, I had a lot of junk drawers interspersed with the usual kitchen drawers. An entire magazine collection lived inside my china cabinet where my dishes should’ve been. Mostly I just shoved my groceries into the fridge, even canned goods or bags of pasta. Although I do keep my butter out on the counter which grossed Harshy out.

“That is not a lie. You are a little weird,” confirmed Paul.

“So how’d you navigate the obstacle course?” I asked, trying to let his freaky girl
comment slide.

“That guy you were with the other night was in the kitchen,” Paul replied.


“Yeah,” he said, ”Is that a normal thing? Like Kramer and Jerry?”

“No, no, no,” I stammered. “Did he say how he got in? How long has he been here? What’s he doing here?”

Paul shrugged his shoulders and climbed back into bed with me. I propped up the pillows and cupped the coffee mug in my hands.

“Toast?” he offered.

“Thanks,” I said as I took it, eyeing the door warily. “Is he still here?”

“No, he took off – didn’t want to disturb you further. He said ‘thanks’.”

“Don’t you think that’s weird?” I interrogated Paul. Surely, he must have been somewhat unnerved by the sight of Brian in my condo, making himself at home.

“Hey, I think you’re weird, but I still want to be with you.” he replied. “You’re an enigma wrapped in a mystery… however that line goes.”

“Thanks a lot!” Wait ‘til he meets my mother. If this relationship lasts that long. Don’t jinx this with thoughts of your mother, Pushkin.

Paul smiled and flipped on the TV. We watched cartoons and the news, flipping back and for the for the rest of the morning. In fact, we spent the whole morning eating the contents of my fridge in my bed and doctoring our coffee with kahlua til we were getting silly. We then napped away most of the afternoon until dusk. When I awoke in the twilight, Paul was still in my bed, snoring softly and fighting rabbits in his sleep. I kissed him lightly on the mouth and he wrapped his arms around me and kissed me back. Act One, repeat.

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