Frank has taken Marka to his house so that he can get some more clothing together for an extended stay at Sheltering Oaks.
Frank laughed. He came out carrying two garment bags and several shirts and ties. He dug through the chest of drawers and carried coordinating socks, T-shirts and boxers to the bed. A gym bag did well for those things. The shirts and suits went in a garment bag.
“Well, there’s one question answered,” she said as she watched him pack.
“Oh? Which one?”
“Boxer or briefs.” She raised a curious eyebrow, her lips twitching upward into a smile. “Do you always coordinate your suits, socks and underwear?”
He burst out laughing. “You know, I do? I guess it comes from wearing the same thing every day when I was in the military. I like lots of color now.”
“Real silk?” She asked as he folded the boxers and put them in the bag.
“Some of them. They were a gift.”
“Someone must have liked you a lot,” she replied, leaning back in the chair.
“Yeah.” He clammed up. A red tinge lingered around his collar.
“I’m sorry. I upset you. This the bad breakup girl?”
“Could we drop it?” His brown eyes flashed dangerously.
I’m treading into very dangerous territory. “It’s not my business….”
“No, it’s really not.”
“I still maintain that talking about it helps.”
“Maybe so.” His jaw worked rapidly as he fought the surging emotions. “It was a long time ago.”
“Not long enough, if it upsets you like this.”
“Could we drop it? Please?”
“Did she leave you?”
She’d put a toe over the invisible line of his tolerance. She pulled back a little, but didn’t fully retreat.
“When I was in college, I lived with this great guy. He was my high school sweetheart, my first lover, the guy I thought I’d live with forever. He was a couple years older. His senior year in college, his scholarship got the ax. He had nothing, no way to pay for classes. He was pre-med and it was grueling. I dropped out of college and worked two jobs to help him pay for his degree. The day after he graduated, he dumped me, kicked me out of the apartment and took up with another woman. They got married a month later. He’d been fooling around with her for nearly a year while I worked my ass off to take care of him.”
“He was a bastard.”
“Yeah. So, as shitty relationships go, I’m pretty much the crown princess.”
© Dellani Oakes