Picking at her cuticles, Beth anxiously waits at the picnic table. She hasn’t seen him since… anyway. She tries to not think about that . It’s business as usual, she tells herself.
Wearing her favorite black dress, the one patterned with small flowers, she likes the way it flows and shifts around her legs as she walks. Her arms are bare, and the thin sheen of sweat from this hot day makes her shiver a little in the night air.
Having her hair clipped up after standing in the backroom of the porcupine working all day and most of the evening, her curls from the morning had gotten frizzier and frizzier as the summer heat made it unbearably hot in the room.
The paper machines' well-oiled hinges produced her latest scam and she had propped a door and window open, creating a draft of hot air working its way through the room, not wanting her or the machines to overheat. Her small baby hair on her neck had fluttered like the paper scattered around the room, the breeze not producing much coolness.
They’re in a heatwave, making the process of producing slow and a bit tedious, having the machines rest between each new set.
Annie had come by on a quick stop from work on her way home, stopping by with a frosty slushie topped up with vodka, making the last few hours a little more bearable.
Rio and Mick had stopped by a few weeks earlier, just as the heat rolled in over town. Cold smoothies in hands, both Beth and Annie had looked at them longingly as the condensation rolled down the sides.
Ruby having already left, getting the right feel and shade (Ruby’s thing) on this type of paper was different from printing money. You got one chance at getting it right, there was no fixing it once it was dry.
Annie had taken to begging Mick to taste his smoothie while Rio had sidled up next to her, tugging at a lock of hair as she worked the wet paper pulp by hands wearing her yellow rubber gloves.
He had been peeking over her shoulder and she had done the best she could to ignore him, when she felt a tug at her back, and could he be any more annoying?
Her green apron came undone, and she had no-way to tie it up with her sticky yellow gloves, she shot him her a look,
“could you stop doing that?”
“You want me to tie that up again?”
She didn’t know what was worse, that he kept infuriating her while she tried to tweak the recipe, or that he took it as an invite to stand so close to her she felt him press up against her.
With a quick glance to see both Mick and Annie occupied with squabbling, she leant forward to work, massaging the pulp, effectively sticking her ass out against him.
Tying her apron up, feeling him squeeze her hip before placing his hand on either side of her, leaning forward to press up against her back again.
She feels him trail his nose up her neck, “what are you working on?”
“I’m trying to get the right texture.”
“How will you know when it’s right?”
“There’s a feel to it.”
Her mouth’s dry, they need to stop this, Annie and Mick are still in the room. Turning her head and looking at him, she can’t help but let her eyes drop to his lips, he presses up against her further and she burns on the inside.
It’s Annie’s hollering that breaks them apart, “Hey, Beth, come look at this!”
Drumming on the table with her nails, the vodka buzz already gone flat, she wished she’d had a chance to freshen up. Other than brushing her teeth and splashing her face.
Things between her and Rio had gotten... less strenuous, once they needed to flip their game and she pulled through (again, she’d like to add). She had felt that high she craved when she successfully pulled off a job. Having sold their first batch, they had celebrated at the bar.
Walking in that bar in the mood to commemorate, knowing she would find him.
He had been in the back playing pool, so she had taken a seat, waiting for him to search her out, like a moth to flame.
Barely having finished her first drink, he had taken a seat next to her, wondering what she wanted, in turn she had replied; she wanted to celebrate.
He had given her his crooked smile, asking her if that meant; “a quick bathroom break?”
Instead of ignoring him, she had smiled a little at him over her shoulder, like it wasn’t completely off the table.
Holding her gaze for a split second longer, he gestured to Bryan for two more drinks and joined her in honoring their new business. Once the drinks were sat down in front of them, in a smooth move he pulled his chair a little closer to hers.
They had both passed that first stage - going from buzzed to drunk. When he placed his arm around her back, hand on her hip leaning in, she met him halfway in an open kiss.
The soft glow in the bar only enamored her more, it didn’t take long for her to place a hand on his thigh, to deepen the kiss.
Her fingers explored his sun kissed face, her nails raking through his short black hair, a velvet feeling under her fingertips.
They had made out like horny teenagers until Bryan let them know he had called an uber for them.
It had taken them back to his, staying in their seats on opposite sides in the car. Not being able to wait any longer, or control herself, she leant over. She put her hand on his chest, the smell of him, the scent of sandalwood, cardamom and a little sweat engulfed her.
Licking a tattooed wing up to his ear, tasting the saltiness and him, before closing her lips softly around his earlobe. The groan he let out had been so low she had only felt the rumble in his chest.
The driver had cleared his throat and Rio had spent the rest of the ride looking at her with heavy eyes, sucking his lower lip into his mouth.
She took it as a promise.
Leading her up the steps to the second floor, he pinned her against his front door, hands on her ass, half-lifting her up, lips drinking her in like he was a parched man.
Undressing as they made their way to his bed, leading her backwards between trading kisses, she had been naked by the time they did.
Getting down on her knees in the middle of it, she leant on her hands and wiggled her ass at him.
Looking at him over her shoulder, she had found him gazing at her ass, cock heavy in his hand, stroking slowly as he watched her, mesmerized, thumbing his head, smearing it.
Putting on a bit of a show, she slowly lowered herself down to her elbows, flicked the hair over her shoulder, and arched her back.
With a hand still on his cock, he had gotten down on his knees behind her, she prepared herself for a rough fucking.
He surprised her with the feel of his fingertips playing down her spine, goosebumps rising in anticipation of what was to come. When he had grabbed an ass cheek, instead of feeling the tip of his dick, she felt the tip of his tongue at her core tasting her.
He had eaten her out in the filthiest way. Made her beg to come on his tongue, swiping it from side to side, her whole body trembled as he fucked her with it.
Only just letting her catch her breath, he had gathered her up on his lap, her slick back to his chest, clutching her breasts in his hands, fucking up into her.
Scratching the back of his neck as they kissed; she had taken over, riding him until her thighs were quivering with the effort.
She felt the sweat gather around her hairline, a drop rolling down her back as she leaned forward, placing her hand on her thighs for support, she felt his tongue against her spine, catching the drop.
He parted her ass cheeks to take over again, going deeper and slower. Moving a hand to make her come on his fingers before he came himself, nose buried in her hair, panting.
Fucked out and tired, Rio left the bed to get her the glass of water she asked for, passing out before he had returned.
Waking up disoriented, sun filtering in through badly shut drapes, as she managed to focus, she did so upon the glass on the bedside table. She noticed right away that she was alone, his presence lacking.
For once she tried not to snoop and invade his space, she collected her clothes, found her phone in her purse letting her know it was midday.
Her blouse was missing a few buttons and she didn’t feel too good on putting on her clothes from the day before, so she located his closet (and she couldn’t help but groan when she found his small walk-in closet, clothes color coordinated here too). Finding a black t- shirt, she pulled it over her head, tugging it down a little to stretch it, leaving his closet before she took to the urge and riffled through his draws.
He hadn’t come back by the time her uber had arrived, and she felt the dread in her stomach that this was a huge mistake. The door locked behind her as she left, and she felt the blues of her hangover mix dread of this being a big mistake.
They hadn’t talked after the last times either, but this was the first time he had been the one to leave. She couldn’t exactly show up and smash his G- wagon or send body parts.
A few days had passed without a sound from him, and then her phone had pinged. She unlocked it straight away, thinking it would be Annie or Ruby, her heart stuttering in her chest as she saw his name on the screen.
It was a request for a photo. She refused, not knowing what he wanted it for. She hadn’t heard from him since then.
Hearing the low rumble from his car, she steels herself to meet him. She has a brown paper bag next to her with the latest batch, the new gig had even higher risks, but each batch paid well. Well enough for her and Dean to get down to one mortgage on the house.
She’s surprised when the engine and headlights are killed, and she sees him in the driver’s seat. She would have thought he would have brought Mick with him as a buffer.
Instead, he slides off his seat, his feet landing on the ground with a soft thud.
Even if the evenings are cooler, it’s still too hot for what he’s wearing, and she doesn’t know how he can. Black jeans, black chucks and a black t- shirt. She hates that it makes him look so good.
The streetlight provides a light that gives him a deeper, warm brown hue, his brown eyes looking at her inquisitively as he approaches.
Having expected him to meet her with an equal brown paper bag in his hand, he sits down in front of her, clasps his hands on top of the table. She tries to look indifferent.
“So…?” She starts.
“So,” he prods.
She hesitates for a second, and she sees a small smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth , and she has an urge to throttle him. (She knows people now, she’s sure she can get away with it.)
“Are we making an exchange, or..?”
This is usually when they trade brown paper bags. She hands over the passports, he gives her money for the job. Slides a white envelope with new photos and a few details jotted down on each of their backs. New names, ages, birthplaces, and she makes it happen.
“I don’t have it here,” he answers.
Now she’s getting suspicious, “Well, where do you have it?” This feels like a gun and fingerprint situation again.
“I’ll take you.”
She is a bit hesitant to climb up to the passenger seat, nothing good has ever come of joining him in his car.
They usually don’t chit chat or check up on each other, so when he asks her how she feels, she hates that her voice is a squeak when she tells him she’s good.
Driving with one hand on the wheel, and one elbow against the door, he strokes his face before he replies, “Good, good.”
They’ve passed what would’ve been the road to the bar, so she starts getting a little nervous.
“The money’s not at the bar?”
Not providing her with a proper answer, she puts a hand on the door, just in case she has to make an exit. She doubts he’ll kill her in a moving car, but the last time she saw where he lived, he upped and moved. It might have been a coincidence to the heat they were feeling; it still doesn’t mean he wants her to know where he lives.
“What did you want that picture for?” She had been curious about that, but when she had questioned him for what he hadn’t replied, so neither had she.
He shrugs a little with the shoulder closest to her, “Doesn’t matter, anymore.”
Effectively killing that conversation.
The streetlight flickers by as they drive further down to the city, he seems relaxed, so Beth tells herself that that’s a good sign. Moving around a little, the leather seats creaked against her bare legs. It’s a lot cooler in the car than outside; it’s nice, after the day she’s had, but it makes her shiver a little, her body not accustomed yet.
“You could always put that shirt on you took,” he tells her, not taking his eyes off the road.
She sucks in a breath, she didn’t think he would’ve noticed.
Standing in his closet, she had run her fingers over the neatly folded shirts, feeling the soft plush carpet under her feet, and pulled the top one out. The t-shirt had two bold letters printed on the front, and she could've switched for a solid black one (god knows he had those). Maybe she did want him to notice.
She picks at her dress, an invisible thread, she wants to ask where they’re going. More so, she wants to ask why he left her that morning.
Waking up in the middle of the night to pee, she had woken to find him plastered against her back.
A knee wedged in between her thighs, a hand cupping her boob. Careful to dislodge herself so as not to wake him, she had returned to that position after cleaning herself up a little, with him grunting content in her ear.
His hands had squeezed her boob like he was pleased, when she had turned around to give a soft peck on the lips, before she snuggled down under the covers and him.
She tries to be patient, to wait, to not assume the worst is going to happen. Observing his fingers that are loosely holding onto the steering wheel, she thinks they might be her favorite part of him. To know they can be so soft with her, that he makes them be so soft to her. Long enough to reach where she can’t.
The overside of his hand, his skin not just sun kissed and brown, but there is a richer copper tone to his skin in the summer.
She wonders if it’s because he’s playing outside in the sun with his son. His hands are always warm, unlike hers, and when they move over her body, grasping everywhere, his rings are cool, and it feels like he leaves a mark. An imprint deep in her bones.
To her surprise, he drives down in a garage connected to his apartment and she briefly wonders if there’s going to be a tied-up agent of some sort to meet them. He’s relaxed, so she forces herself to relax.
Waiting for the elevator to take them upstairs (she didn’t even know his house had an elevator), walking ahead inside it. She turns around and leans against the handrailing, arms crossed in front. He surprises her with sidling up next to her, an arm around her back, holding onto the railing next to her.
She feels him nosing her hair, and now she shivers – but for a different reason.
They had talked a little at the bar, between auburn drinks (she had even tried a new drink for Bryan’s sake, one of his own makings, too sweet for her).
He had been the one to bring it up, turning over a new leaf, to let past sins rest. It had been more than an olive branch; it was more than she could ask of herself. She hadn’t known how much she needed to hear him say it.
The words had stacked up in her throat and she had to look away for a beat to collect herself. She had asked what it would take to go back, knowing they couldn’t, but this?
He moves from her as they arrive at his floor, and he holds the front door open for her. She takes the opportunity to look around, now she’s invited in again. It’s so hipster, and once again she finds herself wondering how young he must be.
The walls are white except two walls with exposed bricks, abstract art in black and yellow is a nice contrast to the earthy tones of his furniture. An open space between the hallway, kitchen and living room. Large windows and high ceilings give a nice view out over the city, the apartment residing on a small hill.
“Can I get you anything?” His throaty voice breaks through.
Having walked into his kitchen they stand opposite one another, and at his answer she can’t help but raise an eyebrow in disbelief at him. Then she sees a cheeky grin tugging… and she thinks, oh.
She asks him, “What am I doing here, Christopher?”
Taking a leap - she’s the one that leads them into his bedroom. They’re only two feet apart, when she toes out of her shoes. Pulling down the short sleeves down her arms letting the dress fall to the floor.
Reaching out to him, she grabs the hem of his shirt, pulling him closer, the only light in the room is the light from the city illuminating his face. Making his nose seem sharper, the little metal piece glimmers; she thinks she might love his nose.
Brown eyes observing her flicking from her mouth to her eyes, he’s soft, waiting for her move. His hands hanging by his side as she pulls him even closer, her stomach pressed against his, breathing the same air.
She’s just about to stand on her tiptoes to kiss him when she feels the palm of his hands, starting at her thighs, drifting over her sides until they reach her hair. Releasing the clip from her hair, she hers the thud as he drops it on the floor.
Weaving a hand in her hair, he pulls her up – closer. He’s hard against her and she can’t believe how wet she already is, the sigh leaving her lips.
Cupping her breast his thumb slips under the lace, moving back and forth as she trembles, her nipple pebbling. Thinking they would meet in a kiss she can’t help the gasp of a moan she lets out as she feels his open kisses against her neck, trailing down.
He makes her loud, she doesn’t think she’s ever been this vocal during sex. Moans coming out breathy and high pitched. Gasping for air as she sobs from that burning quiver, starting in her lower stomach.
Every time she’s about to come – he changes position, starting all over again. It takes less and less to get her to that edge.
It feels like he’s tasted every inch of her body. When he lets her come, she’s on her back with him between her bent legs. Her arms are wrapped around him, clawing at his back, hiding her face in the crook of his neck, wailing.
Coming to it, she feels his plump lips placing kisses on her face, and she tilts until she feels them slanting over hers.
Waking up next to him, she didn’t know what to expect.
“You gonna’ run on me again, mama?”
“I didn’t run.” She’s quick to defend herself.
She’s sure she looks a mess, her hair feels like a bird’s nest, tangled in the back. Putting on her underwear again last night, and he had leant her another shirt. (With the same two letters printed on front. LB - what did that even stand for, a team he was following?)
Lying side by side, she feels him nosing her neck, placing a small kiss behind her ear.
“You gon’ let me take a picture of you?” he whispers.
Turning her head to look at him, he can read in her eyes the answer’s no, but maybe she can be persuaded.