“No trouble. You want coffee? I have bagels and stuff you can fix yourself.”
“Yes, coffee would be wonderful.” Her voice sounded a little less tense. It had a rather musical feel to it, once she quit screaming.
He heard the furniture moved back and the door unlocked. She opened the door a crack and gazed up at him, a little fear still in her eyes. She no longer had the green stuff on her face, but he could see a slight residue around her hairline.
“I think we got off on the wrong foot last night,” he said honestly. “How about a truce over coffee?”
She smiled weakly. “I’m a bit sensitive about my name, I’m afraid. Got teased a lot as a kid.”
He smiled sardonically. “Try growing up with the name Deacon Phineas Stewart, makes Hillary Du Champs sound pretty inviting to me.”
She grinned, slipping out the door, still wearing the short robe and not much else that he could see. She was the first woman he’d seen up close, and nearly naked, for months. He felt stirrings in himself that he’d hoped were dead, for a while anyway.
Damnation, why did she have to be so cute?
Leading the way to the kitchen, he set up the coffee and started it brewing. He was rather proud of his coffee. He had the knack of blending it so it was almost lethally strong, but not bitter. When Deacon talked about black coffee, he meant black not dark brown. When it was ready, he poured it in two mugs, setting it down on the table in front of her with a slight click. He got out half and half and sugar and put them on the table as well, handing her a spoon.
She didn’t say anything, just sat sipping her coffee, gazing out the window at the beach. The tide was coming in and flowing in eddying pools, creating patches of blue all over the beach. People were out for their early morning jogs or riding bikes and walking dogs in the surf.
Deacon hadn’t spent much time on the beach yet, he’d not had a chance, but they didn’t have to be at the theater until nine and it was only seven.
“Want to go for a walk? Be nice to get fresh air. I’ve been in the City so long though, not sure my lungs can take it.”
“I’ll pass, thanks. I need to get a shower and wash my hair before we go to work.”
“You might want to wait on the hair for now,” he said contemplatively. “The old place is pretty filthy. You’d do better just to put a bandanna over it, and wash it when you get back.”
She looked at him, trying to judge if he was serious or not. “Maybe I’ll wait then. Thanks.”
She rose and walked quickly back to her room. He watched her walk away, once again admiring the view. She had a great ass, so tight he could bounce a quarter off it. Even though she was short, she could strut like a super model. He couldn’t help staring as she walked away from him, trying hard to control the drool suddenly pouring into his half open mouth.
Figuring he should at least attempt to get some of yesterday’s grime off himself, he went to his room and started the shower, turning some music on loud enough to hear over the water. He enjoyed the hot water and despite his advice to Ms. Du Champs, washed his own hair before he remembered.
He was just drying off when he heard screams coming from her room. It was a really gut wrenching sound, so he figured he’d better see what it was. Running out of his room with just a towel around him, he got to her room in a matter of seconds. She was running out, a damp towel clutched around her, when they collided. Towels fell to the floor and they stared at one another in shock. He recovered his aplomb first, picking up their towels, he handed hers back to her, holding his in front of him.
“Are you all right? I heard screams.”
“Huge, ugly! Huge!” She was in a near panic, pointing at the room.
“What, where?” He walked into the room and she scurried in behind him.
He walked in and saw the source of her fear. A giant banana spider was in the corner of the shower, gazing down on them with enigmatic charm.
“That? That’s why you’re screaming?”
She clutched her towel, hiding behind him, shivering. “I hate spiders,” she said in a quavering voice. “Kill it! Kill it! Please?” she added as an afterthought.
Looking around for a suitable weapon, he found nothing. Her shoes were too small to be much use and his were too far away. He didn’t think she’d want him to leave, so he took his towel, rolled it up and snapped it with expert precision at the spider. It fell to the bottom of the tub where he scooped it up with her slipper and tossed it into the toilet, flushing it as it tried to climb up the side.
She was shivering and cowering just inside the doorway when he turned around. He still held the towel in one hand and the slipper in another, smiling broadly.
“See? All gone, no more huge, ugly spider.”
It was then he realized he was naked. He felt the blush start at his neck, work its way up his face and creep to the roots of his hair.
“Excuse me,” he held the towel in front of himself again, not even bothering to wrap it around his waist, and scurried from the room.
If he had seen the look that Hillary Du Champs gave him as he walked rapidly away, he might have stayed in her room. She watched him thoughtfully as he bustled back to the master bedroom, slamming the door behind him. With eyebrow raised, she clicked her door shut.
©2021 Dellani Oakes