The corner of his lip curved, his fingers withdrew. She sighed her displeasure. He reached for his glass nestled between two pillows. The liquor gutted him like a machete pulled from flames and thrust into flesh. He would never tell her that the ulcer was flaring again. It was only fair. She was the one that made him feel better. She was his good place.
Valery turned over onto her belly, her round bottom facing the ceiling. She pouted in that way that made John immensely happy and he slapped her ass once, quick, and with feeling. “Hey, light up a cigarette for me.” Her eyes were dark, but not as dark as her hair, still a mass of tangles from the last two hours of pinch and tickle to break in the new sheets.
One of John’s eyebrows arched when she just lay there and he smirked, grabbing the pack from the nightstand and putting one to his lips, lighting it. He took a drag before he passed it over. He still insisted that he had quit, but he took the first drag, every time.
“I turned in the gift certificate and bought you those blue boots. Don’t stress me darlin’, I’m still in the mood.” Valery giggled and took the cigarette, letting it dangle from her bottom lip while grabbing the remote control. She clicked ‘pause’ and Mr. and Mrs. Smith came to life on the screen. John never complained. It was her favourite movie and she watched it continually. He was just happy she hadn’t killed him yet. He never knew when the day would come, but he would be grateful until the end of his life that she let him know he was on Joey’s hit list.
After that was out of the way they could enjoy their time together. Somehow the knowledge that life was fleeting, even more than for the next guy, was a turn on and he had never had it so good. They nearly killed one another from the passion sometimes.
Angelina Jolie spoke and Val mouthed the words. “Who’s your daddy now?” The phone rang and she ignored it. John picked it up, speaking quietly. He hung up and walked to the closet, getting a jacket and his work boots.
“There’s something going on down at the worksite.”
“Want me to wait up?”
“Nah, it will take awhile. You sleep darlin’.” He kissed the top of her head and walked out of the bedroom. She turned back to the television. After hearing the door slam she got up, going to the bathroom. A quick shower and thirty minutes later and she was dressed in a flannel shirt and jeans, and her hiking boots. She grabbed a baseball cap and put it on her head, pulling through her pony tail.
At the worksite, Valery parked and got out, carrying a Glad plastic container full of spaghetti. She passed Vernon and he tipped his hard hat. “Got dinner for the boy,” she said, and he grinned.
“Lucky bastard.” He sniffed the air after she passed. “He’s in building 3.”
She entered the building and got his attention, as well as that of a carpenter and an engineer. She ignored them and tugged on his jacket. “Come’on.” He’d been here before. She would bring him dinner and they would do it on his desk in his office. Tonight wasn’t a good night for that. He had to work. But he never told her no. Literally. She had told him no countless times, whenever he asked her to marry him.
In his office she kicked the door shut and flew at him. After several minutes of ripping off clothing and grabbing, groping and biting, she cleared his desk with one sweep of her arm, including the spaghetti, leaving a red splash across one wall and the floor beneath, where it landed. She slid onto the desk on her back and he grinned in surprise. She was always on top. It didn’t take long. His belly was on fire and she was insistent. But still he waited.
“Will you marry me Val?”
She knew what he was waiting for. It was always the same. No matter how much they both knew that she was pulling the reins, he had to hear it. “Please,” she said and lashed his chest with her fingernails. He sank into her and she reached around his back to his holster, her hand moving down between their bellies before he knew what was happening. She fired and he slumped over her. His weight nearly crushed her. She pushed him off and he fell to the floor. She had very little time. In her favour, it wasn’t the first time the guys had heard gunfire from John’s office when Valery visited. The wall with the red spaghetti splash was littered with holes from their games.
She dressed quickly, and when she slipped out of the office, and then from the building into the darkness, the engineer passed a twenty over to the carpenter.
“I bet on the gunshot last week and it never came,” he said, shaking his head. He went back to work, turning on the table saw. The engineer turned back to the drafting table as Val’s BMW pulled out of the parking lot and back down the dirt road to the highway.
Pleasant Street is a mother, baker, and poet. She has been writing poetry since fourth grade. Now she is writing a series of neo-noir thrillers and a collection of short stories. She thinks too hard and feels too deeply, and appears to be stuck in 1948. She is still dreaming up a way to use baked goods as legal tender.
Pleasant lives on a tree-lined street where nothing seems to happen on the outside, but she is certain many thrillers are contained behind closed doors. She is often carried away by flights of fancy, but that suits her very well.