Jane wrinkled her nose, knowing that the bar’s smoke would stay on her skin even after she’d showered. Still, she wandered further into the bar, letting her eyes adjust to the shadows. The walls were a classic black; she wondered if it was due to a lack of imagination or a need to showcase a hard outer shell, to prove its authenticity. Some of the wallpaper was peeling and exposed a light brown paint. A scratched mirror hung near the hallway that lead to the bathrooms, and a pool table sat under one of the few lights, unoccupied. Budweiser flashed in red, seemingly timed with the alternative rock. She had heard of this place, but had never been, and she knew she was overdressed.
Fat Tanya was on duty the night the robbers came into the store. She shot dead the big one holding the knife with the old .38 revolver that was kept under the counter by the till. His companion, a small guy, fell to his knees and begged for mercy. Tanya sat on him until the deputy sheriff arrived from Baker.
The smell of onions reminded him of her. He made another teary-eyed slice to the thought of her hands, smelling of the morning’s cut, reaching down between his legs to make sure he was ready. To make sure he was alive. To make sure he was exactly as she wanted.
The first time I saw that ruffian he had his hands tied in front of him. He was clutching a little wooden crucifix. Even from that distance I could see he was shaking, but as a painter what interested me most was the contrast between his skin – they had stripped him to the waist – and the dark tunic and hood of the executioner. I remember thinking that if it weren’t for that trembling he would have made me a magnificent martyr – St. Lawrence lashed to his gridiron, or St. John in his pot of boiling oil.’
She unties him and tells him to lie on a small, dingy bed, just big enough for one person. He’s compliant by now and weakened enough to say their phrase, “Yes, Love.”
The hospital administrator’s door was open, I knocked anyway. “Come in, sit down,” she said. Marion hired me as a junior radiologist at Atlanta General Hospital almost twelve years ago. She'd been a guest at my wedding. About once a week, when the hospital cafeteria was too crowded, we walked across the street to the Fresh' n' Crisp and traded gossip from the hospital grapevine. I sat down and waited. When she looked up from her computer she wasn't smiling.
David didn’t really want to fuck him. Not that he wasn’t hot—one would go so far as to call him objectively and conventionally attractive. He seemed nice enough, polite if not charming. He’d opened the conversation with a friendly though tired one-liner, and had yet to send an unsolicited dick pic. And, if Grindr was to be trusted, he was only a ten minute walk away...
These faculty committees were of a piece: business (so-called), people, little speeches, gossip, results: none. Hours murdered, and neurons. Fenshaw did nothing but think of his office; who would be waiting. Mary Ellen, no bra, no panties, slight skirt, plush lips, and the will and skill to use the whole kit for his pleasure. She was short, voluptuous, twenty years old, and a junior, which meant she’d be around for another year. And she wanted nothing in return. Sure, she expected pleasure of her own, but such was her ferocious response to his ministrations that her pleasuring became his as well.
‘The shot blew out the lock and caught Herr Oberth in the bum before he had time to get his head out.’ ‘Get his head out from where, Fraulein?’ ‘From between Frau Hentner’s legs, sir.’ The younger of the two policemen flushed and looked up at the emperor’s portrait for reassurance; he could have sworn the old walrus raised his eyebrows. He heard Hauptmeister Brukenthal say, ‘This is a serious investigation, Fraulein Nicolescu. There were only three people in that room and you were not one of them.’
Rosewater, saffron, almonds and milk – the recipe sounded like the Song of Solomon. It sounded exactly what Patrick, with his seductively angst-ridden Catholicism would adore. As Katy only had the milk she would have to go out and buy the dozen other fragrant items the curry required. It would be an offering to Patrick, an offering of love. She liked shopping for spices. Cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, frankincense and cloves, nutmeg, mint, bay leaves and myrrh, turmeric, garam masala, gold...Spices were the precious stones of the food world. Poor man’s diamonds. The saffron came in a tiny plastic box engraved with gold curlicues like a jewel case. It cost £1.75. Katy liked the idea of a luxury that cost less than two pounds. The grocery round the corner had everything she needed. Carrying it all to the checkout, she buried her nose in the coriander and mint and sighed over their green scent. The man behind the counter, eyes glued to a Turkish soap opera on the TV in the corner, glanced at her and smiled. “Good?” “Good.”