When Mike gets back to his apartment, there’s a note from Shelly, a lovely chef who lives in the complex. She needs help with her garbage disposal. While Mike’s there, she feeds him a variety of treats, including her own luscious self. Later in the evening, she suggests Mike head home or neither of them will be fit for work the next day.
“Dammit, I hate when you’re right,” I told her with a last, long, soulful kiss. “When you talk to your friends on Facebook about this. . . .”
She started to protest, but I could read it in her eyes. That was exactly what she was going to do. I laughed, kissing her playfully.
“Just be sure to get the facts right, huh? I’m six feet tall, 190 pounds of incomparable badass and I think you’re a hell of a sexy woman. You’re also the best and sexiest chef this side of the Mississippi.”
“Can I quote you?”
“Quote anything you want, baby.” My kiss left her with promises of more to come at another time. “Before I forget, my mom is coming later this week. She’s bringing her boyfriend and his daughter.”
“Why are you telling me this, Mike?”
“I don’t want you getting the wrong idea when you see her there. The daughter I mean. I never met her, don’t know a thing about her.”
“But you didn’t want my feelings hurt? Aren’t you sweet!” She kissed me, giving me a hug.
I knew in my heart this wasn’t a permanent gig with Shelly, but I had to admit that I didn’t want to burn this particular bridge on a misunderstanding.
“I’d better go,” I said, inching toward the door. “Cause if I stay. . . .”
She reluctantly let go of my neck. “Thanks, Mike. You’re the best.”
“Thanks, Shell. So are you.” I blew her a kiss and left with my tool box wondering if she’d clogged the sink on purpose.
I took a shower when I got home, then went to my Facebook page to see what the talk was. Like I figured, Shelly had been on with a full description of my performance. Laughing, I left a few ribald remarks that could be interpreted in about three different ways, all of them naughty, and went to bed. What the hell? At least she was highly complimentary.
I woke the next morning to warmer weather. By the time I was on the road, the sun was coming up. I got to the bus yard in plenty of time and headed out on my route. There was a lot of whispering as the students piled on. Each stop, it got a little worse, until finally we stopped at a railroad crossing. I put the bus in park and told them to shut up. They dutifully closed their yaps and I got across the tracks without incident. The whispering started up again immediately.
“What’s all the noise, huh? You sound like nuns cheating on their vow of silence.”
“Well,” the girl right behind me leaned over. “The truth is, Mr. Reuben, we kinda saw something about you on Facebook.”
I cursed softly, blushing like crazy.
“Is it true? Do you have a tattoo on your. . .?”
“I know where I’ve got a tat and where I don’t,” I said viciously. “And it ain’t nobody’s business where it is.” It’s on my ass, left upper cheek. It’s a stylized Japanese dragon done in black and red. “This subject is closed. You want I should lose my job over this? If it even seems like I’m talking about my very private life with students, I’m fired. I need my job. You get me fired, I’ll make sure they put Mr. Nichols back on this route.”
Mr. Nichols is the meanest, nastiest, rudest old reprobate ever to walk the face of the Earth. At least when he’s driving the bus. On a personal level, he’s a cool old guy who’s been driving a bus way longer than anyone should. Which is why he’s a mean old son-of-a-bitch.
My threat shut them up for the rest of the trip. There was silence as they got off the bus. The last three guys, some of the football team, came up to me after the rest were gone. They are all 17, so I guess they figured they could ask.
“Is it true?” Cody, the starting center asked me. “Did you do everything she says?”
Their eyes glittered with anticipation. I saw myself in these guys. Young, eager, perpetually horny, probably been laid a few times, but not on a regular basis. I smirked, looking out the window.
“I’m holding up traffic.”
“Fuck traffic!” Cody laughed, punching my shoulder.
I turned around, raising an eyebrow. “We’ll say that she did not fictionalize,” I said politely. “Now, off my bus.”
© Dellani Oakes 2014
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