Strangelove - Part 15
Monday morning eked by slowly as Jessica toiled away on bookkeeping assignments delegated to her from her senior peers. No one wanted the Brubaker estate, with its forty pages of inheritance filings and its intricate weave of tax loopholes created by the family lawyers. Unfortunately, that meant the nonsense landed squarely on her desk.
The memories of Saturday certainly didn’t help her concentration, either.
Her fingers paused again over the keyboard as her eyes fluttered shut. The scent of the floral air freshener in her cubicle transformed into the heady, manly scent of her safe space. She was in his arms again, shuddering and trembling through the aftershocks of her first genuine, honest to God, toe-curling, gravity-defying orgasm. He’d left a two-inch bruise on her back that ached when she moved. She’d left a total mess on him and the floor. What should’ve been an embarrassing, appalling and demeaning moment had instead been empowering and thrilling to the core.
She thought she’d had orgasms for years. Boy was she wrong.
And he had worked for it, like he’d told her he would. She’d seen the sheen on his brow, felt him pant as he clutched and comforted her. And she watched his lips turn up into a proud smile, a reassuring one, when she finally calmed enough to delight in the afterglow.
She snapped to at the voice over her shoulder, bobbling her pen. It nearly ended up in her coffee mug. She spun her chair to see Valerie, her cubicle mate, eyeing her with a scowl and crossed arms.
“Huh? Oh, I’m so sorry.”
“Jesus, I called you three times. Are you feeling all right?”
“Yeah, sorry. It was a crazy weekend and this file’s not helping.”
“Brubaker, eh? Tough luck,” she commiserated, lowering her palms to her hips. “Did Peter keep you up snoring or something?”
Jessica eyed the picture hanging on her cubicle’s cloth wall. She and her boyfriend shared a bench and a cone of cotton candy outside the state fair’s main gate. Their faces were sun-kissed, their smiles genuine.
“No, he worked most of the weekend. He did help me celebrate Friday night, though. He was proud of me, of all of us, for getting through to the fifteenth without bloodshed.”
“At least he did something. My husband spent that night at the bar watching baseball with his buddies. And the boys had a super surprise for me. Have you ever seen a housecat tear apart a frog? I’ll never unsee it.”
Jessica smiled as sympathetically as she could as her coworker grumbled. Valerie’s life was nothing like hers. What would she think, what would she say, if she knew about her Saturday session with Garrett?
Her desk phone rung out, interrupting Valerie’s complaints. She cut off her sentence, waved an easy hand and disappeared behind the partition as Jessica lifted the receiver.
“Walsh and Stein, this is Jessica.”
“Hey sweetheart,” Peter’s voice echoed in her ear. “How are you?”
Jessica smiled unconsciously. Peter never called her office. “I’m good. Quieter so far this week but they stuck me on a killer case. I’ve been messing with it all morning and probably will all week.”
“So, you haven’t had lunch then?”
She snickered. “What is it with you and insisting I eat lately?”
“Because, if you get any tinier, you’ll disappear. Now look out the window.”
Her brow lifted as she eyed the narrow window above her computer monitor. The sun glowed warmly behind the closed blinds. “Um, why?”
“Just do it.”
She sighed, standing and lifting one of the blinds’ slats to reveal an ambulance parked near her car in the lot below. Peter stood by the driver’s side door, beaming up at her with his phone to his ear. His cap was off, his tawny hair shimmering in the sunlight.
She giggled, covered her mouth and checked over her shoulder for onlookers. “What are you doing here?”
He reached into the cab of the ambulance and lift a paper grocery bag into her view. “Lunch. Now come on. I have a half-hour and I want to spend it with you.”
“Give me a minute, I’ll be right down.”
She replaced the receiver and pulled her sweater and purse from the wall hook nearby. She passed a confused Valerie and forged out into the balmy afternoon with her phone shoved in her pocket.
“Hey baby,” Peter greeted, his million-watt smile on display as she entered his waiting arms. “I got your favorite.”
Jessica beamed. “With or without bean sprouts?”
“Come on, I know you hate them. Hop in.”
She kissed him chastely and hopped into the passenger’s seat of the wide cab, glancing around to the dials, communications devices and the partition between the bench seating and the patient care areas beyond. “You know, I’ve never been in one of these.”
“Let’s keep it that way,” he replied, hopping in beside her. “The goal is not to be. Up here’s not so bad. I’d like you to only ever see this part.”
“Fine by me,” she snickered, grabbing for the bag to parse out their lunches. “This is a surprise, though. You never stop by and I think you’ve only called my office phone twice in the past year.”
“I try not to bother you, but then I got to thinking, am I a bother? I hope not. I hope I’m more like a break, or a respite or something, not a bother.”
“You’re no bother,” she confirmed, reaching out for his hand before he grabbed his fork. “I love you. And I appreciate you doing this. Don’t be afraid to interrupt the monotony. I don’t want you thinking you matter less than anything else that’s going on. Your needs are important to me.”
“So, I have your permission to ask for what I want?”
“Great,” he grinned. “Pass the soy sauce.”