Second post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.
Short Story. “the Bean” 1197 words.
Warning: Adult Fiction. The following short story contains some mild sexual content for adults only. Please don’t read if you take offense at such content.
This story is inter-related to the last, and the next. I write thrillers. Expect a crime.
‘As much as I like to admire your naked body, honey, will you please come away from the window?’
His brash lover turned, all wide-mouthed laughs. ‘You English are so badly coy about your little pasty bodies, aren’t you darling? What’s so threatening about my tits and ass?’
‘Arse,’ he said. He patted the sheets empty beside him, ‘It’s not that I don’t enjoy the sight of you. I just don’t want to share it with the general public through a window like that.’
Another raucous laugh. He watched it run over her midrife, up onto her small pert breasts. He wondered what both would look like in a few years time, hell, even a few month’s time.
‘What’s ‘sa matter, baby, want some more bang-de-le-bang-bang?’
‘Always,’ he admitted. Then he realised that lately that wasn’t true.
Her own hands were doing that thing again, smoothing over her taut little belly, cupping the non-existent bump she already pictured for herself. She turned back to the window.
‘Honey -’ he reminded her, ‘Window.’
‘Oh, sorry. Must be getting a bit absent minded now that the bean is coming. It’s just that -’
His shoulders slumped at the same time as his hidden erection. ‘What?’
‘That bleached neighbour of yours is already leaving. See.’
‘Do I really have to?’
Maddie turned from the window, ‘Yes, come see.’
This was another of her tests, he knew. It would be irritating if he didn’t find it flattering at the moment. Thankfully, she’d somehow landed on completely the wrong victim for her jealously act.
Syd rolled out of the bed covers, aware now of his own nakedness, and went to the window. His neighbour, an incredibly attractive young grad student, was already half-way down the street, striding with determination towards the nearest bus stop.
‘She’s not bleached,’ he said, just to peeve Maddie. It was true, as far as he could tell, but then he’d never been an expert in hair, other than having a fondness for blondes in the first place. Blondes, brunettes, red heads.
‘I’m bleached, darling. So I know, okay?’
Syd stood at the same height as Maddie, which made things interesting when she stuck those kick-ass heels of hers on. He sidled up behind her, and cupped his hands around her belly, nuzzling into her neck as he watched her watch the receding back of his apparently bleached neighbour.
He ran his fingers over where the bean was growing. His bean, although it was her that had claimed it and named it.
From a psychological viewpoint, he marvelled at just how amorous and protective he suddenly felt over this woman in his arms, now that she held the bean. Before, he’d found her a little too – what – bossy, assertive, opinionated, raucous, down-right rude sometimes…yes, he still remembered. But the news of the bean had dimmed those feelings, humbled him.
He felt her neck and shoulders tense before she said it, ‘What are you laughing at?’
He swirled his fingers around her belly button before coming out with the correct answer, ‘You’re jealous of somebody I’ve never actually spoken with, you realise?’
Something caught his eye out on the street. He felt his own shoulders tense. As the object of Maddie’s attention rounded the corner of the block, another figure had moved out from under his window. A dark haired woman that he did know crossed the street in front, and quickly followed down the same route his neighbour had taken.
‘What? What’s wrong?’ Maddie turned and raised a comforting hand, then thought better of it. She turned again, trying to trace his own gaze, focused on the dark-haired figure racing now around that same corner. ‘What is it?’
‘Nothing,’ he forced a chuckle, ‘I just realised you were right all along. She is bleached.’
Maddie, who was an intelligent woman, gave him one of those half-cornered looks that signified she wasn’t buying it fully. He imagined the subject would come back later, probably at the worst time. Meanwhile, he could distract her. And deal with his own problems when she was gone.
Over Maddie’s shoulder, the dark figure, hunched over now against a wind, rounded the same corner out there. Out of sight, out of mind. If only it were that easy. He let a breath escape slowly onto her cheek, to calm his thoughts. She’d think it was an erotic gesture.
‘I’ve never actually spoken with her, you know?’ He knew he was grinning too inanely, but that would appear part of the game.
Maddie’s mouth pursed, ‘I doubt that, darling. She’s a student there, also. You must have noticed her before.’ She was so certain of herself that it was a statement, not a question. He marvelled at her confidence.
He took her hips firmly in his hands, and tilted her into him so that the bean rubbed up against his own belly. ‘Yes, of course I did. In fact, she’s a psych student, so I actually had her in a few of my classes a couple of years back, but she’s now Barton’s star pupil, as far as I recall.’
At the sound of the man’s name on his own lips, Syd felt his normal spasm of jealousy and frustration. He acknowledged it, and let it go – until next time.
It was hard living in the shadow of one of the country’s best-known circuit psychologists, even harder to get noticed on campus when the same man held court there. But Maddie provided an unexpectedly fortuitous solution to that, with her rich American family and copious contacts in Harvard and Cambridge over there. The future looked so glowing, he felt himself firming up, even without her closeness to him.
‘Oh, Syd. You do recall.’
He laughed and said, ‘OK, yes. But my point is, that I’ve never actually spoken to the woman. I’ve only spoken at her – lectured at her, understand?’
‘You’ve not met in the foyer below?’ She sounded sceptical and rightly so.
‘Oh probably,’ he said, hoping it came across off-handedly. He would have shrugged, too, but his hands were occupied moving across her body. ‘But I’d only moved in here by a couple of weeks before you -’.
‘Arrived in your life?’ She was sweetening up now, starting to move under his touch, grinding her pelvis up against his own to get the desired effect.
‘I was going to say, arrived in town, but if you insist…’ He planted a kiss onto her dry mouth. It was a wide American mouth, full of capped white teeth, and a highly probing tongue – in more ways than one. It was a mouth that he knew would get him in trouble in the future, and most possibly one he might tire of. But it would also be the mouth that taught and nurtured his child, and introduced him to the best of what America could provide him with.
Maddie’s hand travelled down between their bellies, and stroked him. ‘Time for bang-de-le-bang-bang baby?’
He grunted. Times like this, it was always best to let Maddie take charge, as she always liked to.
This post participated in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Find many other worthwhile bloggers to read, comment with, and follow through the A to Z Challenge blog.
A word from the author:
The above short story is guaranteed to be reasonably raw, possibly incoherent and certainly only semi-edited. It was written as a challenge to post up something for 26 days of this month, often on the same day, and with little time to re-do. Comments are welcomed, but please realise that all the short stories appearing on this blog over April are in a rough state, and once the month is over, I will return to the work as a learning lesson in self-editing and discipline. Now, for the rest of the day, you’ll find me going around the A-Z Challenge bloggers and reading their blogs too.