Thursday, October 18, 2012

Roxie meets the mysterious D.J. - Chapter 3

Roxie hung up with Leah and headed out to her car only to be greeted with her own bad news. Her right front tire was flat. She looked around for some construction workers to flag down for assistance, but no one was outside.

“Figures, this place is usually crawling with guys ogling me, and now when I need help, no one is around.”

Once when she was a teenager with a new driver’s license, she asked her mother what to do if she had a flat or breakdown on the road. “Get out of the car and look pretty,” her mother answered.

Looking pretty was not a problem for Roxie. A raven-haired beauty with porcelain skin, she had almond-shaped hazel eyes that flashed with her vibrant personality. She was five feet, six inches tall, with long legs and a body that could have easily graced the cover of a Sports Illustrated bathing suit issue.

The problem was that there was no one around to see her look pretty.

“When all else fails, Mother,” she said looking skyward, “women today call AAA.”

Roxie tried to dial for assistance, but she couldn’t get any reception. “Damn! This only happens when I have to be somewhere!”

As if on cue, a worker emerged from the house. She waved her arms to get his attention. As he headed down the long driveway, Roxie had time to size him up. About six feet tall, he had long blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail. He wore tight jeans, a denim shirt unbuttoned to mid-chest, and cowboy boots. Based on that quick observation, she plotted her damsel-in-distress routine.

When he got close enough for her to establish eye contact, she flashed her sweetest smile. “Can you help me? I must have run over a nail or something, and my tire’s flat. I tried to call Triple A but for some reason, I’m not getting any reception on my phone. I have an appointment in ten minutes, and I’m really in a rush. I was wondering if maybe you could help me and change my tire?”

She cocked her head to the side and gave him another sweet smile. She got a blank stare in response. Reassessing, she wondered if maybe he was one of the South American workers, although he certainly didn’t look Hispanic.

“Do you speak English?”

“Yeah.” He stood there expressionless, except for squinting in the sun.

Roxie shifted gears. She reached in her pocket and pulled out her card. The sweet girl disappeared and the businesswoman emerged.

“I’m Roxanne Stein, Executive Consultant to the Rhinemans. My appointment is with people they referred to me, and…you do know who the Rhinemans are, don’t you? They are the owners…” She could see this tactic wasn’t working either. He looked bored, not impressed.

“Listen, do you have a cell phone I could borrow to make a call? I really have to get out of here and…” She stopped short as she watched him turn and walk away. She could not believe it. What a jerk! She shook her head. The look-pretty tactic was about as useful as the rest of the advice her mother had doled out over the years.

She tried her cell again, but it was dead. She tossed the phone in the passenger seat. “Useless pieces of crap, him and the phone.” Roxie threw her keys on the ground in frustration.

She brightened at the sound of a vehicle coming up the gravel road. Shielding her eyes from the sun’s glare, she could make out a big, black pickup approaching fast. The truck stopped short only inches from her, kicking up a cloud of dust and gravel. Roxie caught a glimpse of the workman who had just left behind the wheel. As he got out of the cab, their eyes locked and her heart raced. As he came toward her, she had a momentary flash of him tossing her Boxster in the back of his truck, picking her up, throwing her in the cab, and driving off.

But instead he scooped up her keys, which still lay at her feet, turned and grabbed a jack from the bed of his pickup and retrieved her spare from her trunk. Without a word, he started to change her tire.

Roxie watched him, not knowing what to think. It wasn’t often that a man surprised her. Most of them were as transparent as windows. “Why didn’t you say anything?”


“When you left, you might have told me you were coming back instead of letting me think you were taking off.”

“You’re not the kind of woman a man tells anything. You’re the kind that has to be shown.”

Roxie wasn’t sure if his response was a compliment or an insult. She watched him almost effortlessly jack up the Porsche and remove the flat. She admired the way he worked, and she liked the way he looked.

She usually didn’t care for long hair on men, but on him it was sexy, not feminine. He had a broad back and narrow hips. When he squatted down to tighten the lugs, his jeans stretched taut across a hard, firm butt. A tanned and blonde-haired chest peeked out from his half-open shirt. Even though she couldn’t see his arms under his sleeves, she knew he was muscular. Although it was quite warm in the Florida sun, he was barely breaking a sweat.

“Are you new on the crew here? I know I haven’t seen you before.”

“My first day.” He finished putting on the spare and threw the flat in her trunk. He wiped his hands on his jeans, and handed her back her keys. “You can’t go too far on that spare. Better stop and get that tire patched on the way to wherever you’re going. I know you’re in a hurry, but it shouldn’t take too long to fix. It’ll take a whole lot longer if you get another flat and you don’t have a spare.”

Roxie heard bells. The catering truck was pulling up to the site, letting the workers know it was break time.

“Let me buy you some coffee and breakfast,” she said. “You know, to thank you. I appreciate that you took the time to help me out.”

“You don’t have time to buy me coffee. You’re late for your appointment.”

“Oh, no,” she gasped. “I forgot about the appointment!” She glanced at her watch. “Crap, I’ve missed it.” She reached in the car to retrieve her phone, but it still wasn’t working. She sighed. “I’ll call them later to apologize and reschedule.”

She turned her attention back to the workman. “In the mean time, I want to buy you breakfast. I’m not taking ‘no’ for an answer. Anyway, I’m starving, and I hate to eat alone. So, what do you want…? You know, I don’t know your name.”

“Daryl Johnson. D.J.”

The catering truck had set up, and the workers were gathering to place their orders. “Come on, D.J. Let’s see what the Greasy Spoon has to offer.”

D.J. shrugged and followed her.

“I’ll have an iced coffee and a lemon cream donut,” she told the attendant. She turned to D.J. “You look like a ham-and-eggs guy to me. What’ll it be, D.J.?”

“Fruit cup and a water.”

Roxie laughed. “You are full of surprises. Watching your weight?”

“No. I’m a vegetarian.”

“Well, you look healthy.” Roxie signed for their meals and they walked back down the driveway.

“It’ll be hot sitting out here or in your car with the top down,” he said. “Would you like to eat in my truck, Mrs. Stein?”

“Sure. It’s Ms. Stein, but call me Roxie, please.”

“Let me get the door for you, Roxie.” He helped her into the cab.

Roxie didn’t have much experience with trucks, and she had never seen one like this before. It was as elegant as a luxury car inside. D.J. got in on the driver’s side, started the motor, and turned on the air conditioning. He pulled out a tray from the console, which provided them with cup holders and a place to set down their food. Then he turned on his CD player. “What kind of music do you like, Roxie? You don’t seem like a country western fan to me.”

Roxie smiled. “No, but go ahead and put on what you like.”

She relaxed in the plush seat, took a sip of her iced coffee and listened to Harry Connick, Jr. “Again you surprise me. So, exactly what job am I keeping you from here on your first day?”

“Oh, I’m finished here for the day. But I’ll probably come back about 4 p.m. to make sure everything’s been done right.”

“It’s only 9:30. What do you do that you’re finished for the day?

“I said I’m finished here. I have other locations to check out. I’m co-owner of the company that landscapes most of the estates in this area.”

“In Fort Lauderdale, you mean?”

“In South Florida. Our accounts are located from the Keys to Palm Beach, for now.”

“You’re expanding?”

“Yes, ma’am.”


“Right.” D.J. took out the card she gave him earlier. “Tell me, Roxie, exactly what does the Executive Consultant to the Rhinemans do?” He exaggerated each syllable of her name and title with a slight Southern drawl.

“Pretty much everything they don’t want to do for themselves.”

D.J.’s phone rang. While he was distracted with his business conversation, Roxie had a chance to observe him closely. He had dark brown eyes that gave the impression you’d better be straight with him. An unexpected dusting of freckles across his cheeks softened the severity of his heavy brows and long, straight nose, adding a boyish quality to his masculine features. He had a square chin and full lips that showed straight white teeth when he spoke. She noticed he didn’t smile much and that he wasn’t wearing a wedding band.

While Roxie was watching him, he was observing her. She took a bite of her donut and let the cream squirt into to her mouth. She rolled it around on her tongue, seeming to enjoy the sweetness, and then licked her lips with the tip of her tongue. When their eyes met, she smiled slightly to let him know she was doing it for his benefit.

Just as he finished his conversation, her phone rang.

“Oh great, now it’s working. It’s probably my office,” she said and brought her phone close to her face to answer. “Roxanne Stein.”

Roxie quickly pulled the phone away from her ear as Elaine, her assistant, shouted, “Where are you? Mr. and Mrs. Miller have been waiting for almost an hour. I have given them a complete tour of our building, and they’re floating from all the coffee and water I’ve served them.”

“Elaine, I had a flat and my phone wasn’t working. Everything’s fixed now, but I think it would be better to reschedule. Please apologize for me and get them tickets for a show or something. Check with Public Relations. They always have stuff to give away. Tell the Millers I will spend an entire day with them next time, not just an hour.”

Roxie caught sight of D.J. eating his fruit salad. He purposefully pulled the spoon from his mouth very slowly, watching her intently. Out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw something move on the seat. She glanced down and saw the bulge in his pants becoming much more noticeable.

“Listen, Elaine. Something very important has come up. Reschedule all my appointments to tomorrow and Thursday. I’ll call you later. Bye.”

Roxie took another bite of her cream donut, letting the filling ooze onto her tongue. After swallowing, she took a sip of iced coffee and sucked on an ice cube, keeping eye contact with him all the while.

“So, what are you doing for lunch, D.J.?” She gave him her best sexy smile.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Girls Night Out

I took a break from the editing of THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX to write this 700-word short story, inspired by a photo of three girls sitting at a bar. The two on the ends were laughing, but the center gal, though smiling, seemed to be lost in thought, possibly remembering a pleasant experience. The photo and story will appear in a photography coffee table book being published by a friend. I can't provide the photograph here, but I think you can enjoy the story just the same. I call it "Girls Night Out," although it will appear with a different title when the book is published.

Girls Night Out
Bryan chose a stool at the bar across from where most of the action was taking place. He didn’t want to be crowded or pushed by some jerk trying to get in a drink order before happy hour was over.
He sat down and placed his keys, cigarettes, lighter, and billfold in front of him. He pulled the stool in, rested his hands on the raised bar edge, and waited.

The bartender tossed a napkin down by the billfold. “What’s your pleasure tonight?”

Bryan straightened the napkin and moved it closer to him. “Jack Daniels. Neat.”

The bartender nodded and emptied a precise shot into a short glass. As the barkeep reached over to serve the drink, Bryan extended his hand with a crisp ten. The exchange was made, and Bryan took a sip before placing the glass down in the center of the napkin.

He lit a cigarette and sat back to survey the crowd. He made a clean sweep with his eyes, taking in every face. It didn’t take but one pass tonight. She was easy to spot. Sitting between two friends who were laughing and talking at the same time, she was silent. She looked to be smiling more to herself than about what was being said.

Bryan stubbed out his cigarette in the ashtray. He lifted his glass and downed the shot, placing the glass back in its precise center spot on the napkin. He watched her, his glance unwavering until her eyes finally met his. He smiled and raised his glass. He signaled to the bartender to bring another for him and one for her. She smiled back.

Bryan watched as the drinks were poured and delivered. He wanted to review his plan for the rest of the evening before he made his next move. He’d ask her dance, then invite her to sit on his side of the bar where it was quiet enough to talk. They’d have another round and leave when he suggested they get something to eat. All the bars and restaurants on the strip would be crowded and noisy, so they’d go back to his place where he’d prepare dinner.

Afterwards, they’d retreat to the couch, listen to music, and he’d tell her his story. She’d be transfixed, attuned to his every word, every motion. She’d agree to being restrained with soft scarves tied to the sofa frame. She would enjoy his caresses. The Ex he slipped into her drink would see to that. She’d be so ready for him, all wet and responsive to his every touch. When he entered her, she’d shriek with delight.

Once he reached his climax, her fun would begin. He’d straddle her and start stroking between her legs until her hips raised, ready for him to enter her again, but he’d make her wait. First, he’d just tease her with the tip. Then, as she tried to adjust her bottom to push him inside her, he’d back off just enough to keep their sensitive parts touching, but not engaged.

His hands would travel up her body, over her breasts, to her neck. He’d kiss her softly for a moment. Then he’d apply light pressure with his thumbs to the center of her throat. She’d try to move so she could breathe freely again, but he’d hold her head in place with his hands and cover her body with his body. He’d press harder and harder, and she’d finally realize that he was not going to stop. Her eyes would widen and she’d try to scream, but he’d thrust his mouth over hers. 
Just before it was over, her eyes would meet his and he’d see she understood. She’d stop the frantic resistance and succumb to the inevitability of what was going to take place. It would be a confirmation that he could do as he liked to her, that she no longer had free will. As she acquiesced to her final gasps, he’d plunge deep into her, releasing his seed as the final memory of her miserable existence.

Bryan pushed back his stool, put his billfold in his pants pocket, and made his way over to her, ready to get the evening started.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Leah Gold brought her BMW to a screeching halt in the driveway, piercing the perfect stillness of her suburban South Florida neighborhood at almost 2 a.m. The click clack of her high-heel sandals echoed her brisk steps on the neatly landscaped stone walk leading to her townhouse.
After slamming the front door with a might that belied her petite frame, she kicked off her shoes and stripped, scooping up her garments without losing any momentum as she stomped down the hallway toward the spiral stairway.
None of her temper-tantrum antics were helping. She was still furious. At the top of the stairs, she stopped and leaned over the railing, yelling to an imagined audience in the living room below, “Fucking assholes! Men are such fucking assholes!”
With 1,200 square feet of marble floor, no carpet and barely any furniture to absorb the sound, her words spilled from the second-floor landing, hit the ground floor and reverberated back around her. She laughed wildly, but didn’t feel better as she continued into her bedroom.
Glancing across the hall to her daughter’s room, Leah felt momentary relief that Ali was sleeping at a friend’s house. That girl could read her like a book, no matter how hard she tried to disguise her feelings and Leah was grateful that tonight she didn’t have to try.
Throwing herself face down on her canopied bed, Leah swept aside the carefully placed decorative pillows and lace adornments as she stretched across the bed to pull her journal and favorite purple pen from the nightstand drawer. She began furiously pouring out her vengeance onto the page, stopping only briefly to impatiently push back her wavy blonde hair, which kept falling against her face as she bent her head down, intently focused on her writing.
June 14 2:13 a.m.
Pond Scum. Men are Pond Scum. We want to believe differently because we cannot reconcile the truth about them with our values—but the fact is: Men are pond scum, the lowest form of life in the universe.
My brother tried to warn me when I was 13, but I didn’t believe him. I still denied it even at 18, 25, 42—until now. It’s time I accept the truth and learn to use it to MY advantage.
Too bad I’m not a lesbian. Women are a much higher life form.
Pond scum. What a fucking bunch of assholes. How did I get so lucky to collect so many? Must be some inner talent or perhaps self-destructive tendency.
Just remember the next time you think you’ve met a nice guy: There are NONE! They’re ALL pond scum.
Her anger only slightly abated, Leah sat up and glared into the long oval vanity mirror across from her bed. “What is wrong with me, anyway? Why can’t I get a guy to commit?”
Her reflected image and those words brought her instantly back thirty-five years to the fifteen-year-old insecure teen who spent hours in front of the mirror, constantly inspecting herself and wondering why boys didn’t like her or ask her to parties, and why they always seemed to like her friends better.
All these years and nothing had changed, she thought.  She ran her fingers through her hair. She even still wore her hair the same way except that now she had to touch up the color, a process she started when the gray hair began to appear. Her fingers traced the curve of her face and traveled down to her breast and hip. Of course, now there were a few more facial lines and certain body parts sagged slightly where they once stood firm.
Leah studied the full length of her naked body. At fifty she was still about the same size and weight she’d been at fifteen. “Why am I still comparing myself to other women and wondering why men don’t want me? Something’s wrong here and it must be with me.”
Staring at her reflection revealed no clues as to what that something was. She looked into her eyes, so blue they stood out even from across the room. She shook her head and scolded her reflection; “There’s nothing wrong with me. Any of those assholes would be lucky to have a woman like me—good looking, trim, smart, independent and sexy.”
She made a face at herself and continued her journal entry.
Men are the problem. Men love to be seen with me, like I’m some sort of prize. But as soon as it becomes apparent that I’m not just going to be a background figure to boost their male egos, I get the boot. A strong woman intimidates them. You’re a tough broad, they tell me.  Well, screw them. “Tough” because I have my own mind and have more to say and do than stroke their already inflated egos? Why can’t men accept women as intellectual equals?
But, that’s not my real problem. My problem is that I continue to believe that somewhere out there is a man who is different. My Prince Charming, my Edward, a man who would give up the throne of England to marry me, the woman he loved.
Go ahead and kiss all the frogs you want, Leah. There are no princes, only toads. Waiting for the perfect guy is like waiting for Godot. Absurd.
Closing the journal, Leah thoughtfully stroked the soft suede cover like a favorite pet. She tried not to think the unsettling thoughts she dared never speak aloud, or even write about in her journal. Putting her fears into spoken or written words might give them validity. She placed her treasured notebook and pen back in the drawer and turned off the lamp.
As usual, the darkness only increased the unnamed apprehension that haunted her. Sometimes, she’d toss and turn with growing uneasiness until she jumped from the bed trying to escape her torment. Many nights she’d wake drenched in sweat, unable to shake the terror until daylight came and forced the dark thoughts to subside.
She felt the familiar gnawing in her stomach, constriction in her chest and nausea increasing. Leah closed her eyes.  “Go away,” she whispered to her demons. “This night has been bad enough already.”
She reached back into her nightstand drawer, but this time she placed her hand on her vibrator. She leaned back, barely making an indentation in the high pile of soft feather pillows. Pushing her hair off her face, she wiped her tears and let herself concentrate instead on the steady whir and pleasant pulsation between her legs. She moaned as her pleasure escalated and she began rocking the bed with her own vibrations until she fell asleep, exhausted.