Bringing Home The Bartender

For Lauren

. . . .

My eyes on the rushing road in front of me, I feel a shifting to my right. Suddenly I feel his wet lips against the immediately heightened sensitive skin of my cheek, followed by his hand wrapping itself around my leg, just above the knee. I toss a cautious glance at him, and wish I hadn’t because he makes it that much more difficult to focus back on the road when I turn away. “What the hell are you doing?” I ask, and he is right not to take my angry, incredulous tone seriously. “I don’t want to wait,” is his childlike, almost whiny reply as his hand looses its grip and proceeds to move upward toward my unmentionables.

“Well, my dear, you’re going to have to,” I retort curly. “I’m driving.”

The hand stops. There is a short pause. “Are we almost there?” “Yes.”

He smiles. I can feel it. He leans closer, his breath causing me to shiver inside, the soft hairs of my neck to stand up. He kisses me again. “For fuck’s sake, boy, stop. You’re gonna distract me and we’ll end up dead on the side of the road and then you won’t get anything now will you?” Instead of pulling away completely, he moves downward, a compromise in his eyes, I’m sure. He sticks his nose in the curve of my neck and I feel him inhale deeply. “Good lord, must you be so cheesy?” I feel him smile against my skin.

There is some traffic up ahead. I sigh as my foot moves to the brake and presses lightly. The car stops slowly a few feet behind a stopped SUV, which is behind a stopped Volvo, which is behind a sedan of some kind, which is behind something else.

When the car officially halts I begin to turn my head in his direction and before I can even finish his lips have found mine. Within his mouth I faintly taste Bud Light and Red Bull–proof of a hard night’s work. I kiss him voraciously and the world disappears only for him. His hand continues its trek up my thigh and I sense the other one coming to my face as he leans into me more and oh shit someone is beeping behind us.

I pull away from him, not only face but body and press full on the accelerator in one motion. He is thrown back into his seat with the sudden movement. His grip on my leg falls. The SUV is almost beyond the horizon and the one behind me seems to be chasing me down as I gather speed.

“Sorry,” he whispers. I glance over at him and smirk. He is playing the naive young boy now–I wonder what act will emerge once we get to my room.

He takes my free hand which happens to be my right hand and places it in his lap. He clasps it between his warm and almost clammy hands and proceeds to flick my fingertips with his own, one by one, right down the line and back again, sometimes staying on the high end and alternating between my first two digits. Distraction, indeed, oh yes, I think. He raises his hands–mine still dreadfully trapped between them–as I make a right turn one-handedly.

I feel bad enough about coming home drunk at three a.m. to the monastery, and now I’m bringing home the fucking bartender. Worse than my old dorm room those walls are paper thin; I will have to remember to tell him to be quiet.

By now our collective three hands have reached his mouth where he kisses each fingertip, in the same succession in which he flicked them. He places my forefinger in his mouth and I close my eyes. I remember to open them only when oncoming headlights shine through my eyelids. I am swerving moderately in the thankfully wide country road, swerving to his tongue’s own cadence, which does not meld quite well with the perky zydeco music playing. But then I listen closer and it kinda does. Depends on your sense of rhythm I guess.

I pull into the long driveway of the monastery. I ask him if I can have my hand back I have to park please. He obliges and off with the music. I focus on the my headlighted path and find the spot closest to the discreet side entrance. I park, turn off the engine and look over to him in the darkness. His face is lighted dully by the porch light down the way which accentuates that evil little smile of his. I wonder if the light is causing that wee twinkle in his eyes or if it’s the booze, maybe something else. My hand goes for the back of his neck while my mouth goes for his and we are interlocked, only until I pull away and open the door a moment later.

Light floods the car as I step out into the cold crisp air, my shoes crunching onto frozen snow. I close the door and almost immediately his does, too–he wastes no time and is soon on my side of the car. Within a few feet of me he trips and falls into my arms, which are forced to become outstretched. As I support his weight he steals a kiss.

“Oh you bastard,” I whisper. “I knew you were going to do that.” “What?” He smirks. I smirk back, remembering my earlier observation. But it is cold so I rush him to the door. We stagger but manage to not make too much noise.

He trips again as we approach the entrance but this time he doesn’t bother to pretend it’s an accident. He falls into me, against the door, and tackles my neck with his mouth. His body presses up against mine and I quickly feel some of the chill evanesce. I begin to wrap my arms around his neck when I come back to my senses. My hands reroute, around his shoulders where I push him away. He looks up at me, a decidedly new twinkle in his eyes. “You are such a goddamn troublemaker.” His response is the evilest of grins I have seen emanate from such a pretty face.

My hand reaches for the doorknob. “We have to be QUIET remember.” He nods, the grin gradually falling.

I open the door. We step inside the dark corridor. We take off our shoes and he almost falls in a valiant attempt to gracefully untie. “Sh!” I say, perhaps a little too loudly.

We tiptoe through the hallway, using the wall for balance. I keep him focused by stopping him from wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me back into him too many times. He whispers my name a few times and I whisper back, “Almost there.” It becomes almost a ritual by the time we reach my room.

I open that door and we tumble in. The light stays off as I no longer maintain distance. We slide willy nilly to the other side of the room and fall onto the bed. A loud creak as it gives beneath us.



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