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The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Twelve)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

Last week’s entry can be found here.

 

Chapter Twelve: Working My Way Back to You Babe

 

 

            When I glanced at our food and the discarded hat and scarf on the table, I noticed that Debbie’s leather jacket was draped over the back of a chair. I looked over at her, sitting on the couch and then at the jacket. I hadn’t seen it for weeks, but somehow she’d known that today was the day. I put the phone to my ear as I called Karen.

 

            “Hi Jack,” she said by way of answering, “what’s up?”

 

            “We’ve had our talk,” I said.

 

            “And?” she asked.

 

            “We’d like you to come over for the night,” I said. “If that wouldn’t be a problem, I know that you’ve got your own stuff going on.”

 

            “I sort of guessed that today was the day,” she said. “I’ll be over in about two hours. You start without me, and I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

 

            “Okay,” I said. “I’ll leave the front door open.”

 

            When she arrived, Karen wore her leather jacket too. I couldn’t help but wonder which of them picked that trick up from the other. Whichever one of them had started it, the other one had started doing it too. They probably didn’t even know they did it, and I would have a hard time figuring out which of them might have started it. An argument could be made for each of them.

 

            I should have been offended by was the notion that either of them would need a little extra strength or courage to deal with me today. I think the courage and strength they needed wasn’t because of fear of me, but rather because they were afraid of themselves. Nerves could kill you if you let them and the jackets didn’t allow for nerves. Debbie always feels too sexy in her leather to allow even a momentary inkling of self-doubt. I think Karen derives more strength than nerve tonic from her jacket, so clearly steadying her mind is part of the jacket’s charm.

 

            It didn’t matter though, because soon after she took the jacket off, she wasn’t wearing anything else other than a large dragon tattoo on her left shoulder blade that wasn’t there the last time I’d seen that shoulder. It was a good night, and I’m pleased to say that no one chickened out.

 

            However, when the physical energy was used up, my brain was still running at top speed. That little voice, the one that had started down in the pit of my stomach, it was starting to ask some questions. Sure, this is fun for today, but what happens in the cold light of morning? Would I be able to continue with them both? Would I be willing to? Karen was someone’s mother, and she still slept with the father. That shouldn’t bother me, given my history, but somehow the fact that he knew bothered me. Odd how that can work sometimes.

 

            And what about Alice? Would it be fair to try and introduce her to this pair? Would they accept her? Would they even get along? Would I want to even think about sharing her company with anyone else? Could I actually do this sort of thing? What the hell was I thinking? These are the thoughts that were cycling through my mind at high speed until I suddenly fell off and went to sleep.

 

            When I woke up in the morning, they were curled up together like a couple of kittens that had crawled under the covers to guard from the cold. The blankets had been pulled up over their heads, and Debbie’s face was only visible if you went around the side of the bed and looked into some folds that had formed a sort of cave. I saw the edge of Karen’s hair pressed against Debbie’s chin, but the blankets obscured the rest of her.

 

            I sat down in the living room, looking at the artificial tree that still sat in a corner waiting for me to take it down. I wasn’t sure I was ready to though. I looked at the bed room, and then at the tree, and then at the small statue that Alice had sent me as a present. I probably had a few days before Debbie would insist I come back to the office.

 

            I sort of had a promise to keep, and I decided that I was going to have to keep it as soon as possible. I picked up my phone and started dialing. There were two rings, and then she picked up.

 

            “Alice Liddell,” she said, still sounding professional on a Saturday morning.

 

            “Hi there,” I said. “Are you working?”

 

            “No,” she said. “I was having some coffee.”

 

            “Are you alone?” I asked.

 

            “And lonely,” she said. “The new year has left me feeling all alone in the world.”

 

            “I can be at the airport in two hours, and then I could be on a plane about an hour after that,” I told her. “Another hour or so in the air and I could be with you in time to have a late lunch.”

 

            “Could you?” she sounded intrigued, which was good.

 

            “And then I could get you that slow comfortable screw up against a wall I promised you.” I said, and then went for the complete set of double entendres. “Maybe you’d like to have a screaming orgasm or two.”

 

            “I don’t really like Kahlua,” she said.

 

            “Kahlua?” I asked. “What does Kahlua have to do with anything?”

 

            “Well, it’s in… oh I see what you did there,” she said.

 

            “Yeah,” I agreed. “You like that?”

 

            “Yeah,” she said. “You’ll call from the airport?”

 

            “I will call you when I get to the airport.”

            “Okay,” she said. “You know something Jack?”

 

            “What?”

 

            “A girl could fall in love with you real easy.”

 

            “She shouldn’t,” I told her, “not until we’ve figured things out.”

 

            “Right,” she said. “Because that’s how it works. We girls can all control who we fall for. It’s on a little dial under the left hip bone.”

 

            “I’ve been wondering what that is,” I said. “Always too afraid to ask. Explains why girls lose interest in me after playing with it.”

 

            “I’ll see you in a few hours,” she said.

 

            “Right,” I said, and then ended the conversation with my normal line. “Bye-bye.”

 

            I hung the phone up and turned toward the bedroom to see Debbie standing in the doorway wearing one of my t-shirts. She was leaning her head against the door frame and was biting her lip. She didn’t look angry, or disappointed, but she didn’t look pleased either.

 

            “Planning on running out on us?” she said.

 

            “I’ve got to sort Alice out,” I said.

 

            “That doesn’t change what I asked,” she said.

 

            “I’ll be back in a few days,” I said. “When I do, you and I are going to talk about my coming back to the office and starting work again.”

 

            “You promise?”

 

            “I promise,” I said.

 

            “You’re not going to stay with her in DC?”

 

            “No,” I said. “I’m going to come home.”

 

            “What if you love her more than me?” She asked, shifting and turning to press her back against the door jam. She then arched her back to press her breasts taught against my shirt.

 

            “I’m not playing that game,” I told her. “I’m not going to start any who do you love more crap.”

 

            “I’m just teasing Jack,” she smiled at me.

           

            “I am trying to make things right,” I said. “Whatever I have to do to make things right for everyone, I’ll do it.”

 

            “That kind talk could get you into trouble Jack.”

 

            “I know,” I nodded. “But I don’t mind a reasonable amount of trouble.”

 

            “You know something Jack Collier?” she asked as she walked towards me.

 

            “What?”

 

            “A girl could fall for you real easy,” she said putting her arms around me.

 

            “Someone was just saying that,” I said.

 

            “She’s smart as well as cute, huh?”

 

            “You think she’s cute too?” I asked.

 

            “She’s cute,” she nodded as she brushed my lips with hers. “If you’re going to go to the airport though, you should ask Karen to take you. It’s on her way.”

 

            “You want to wake her up?”

 

            “No,” she shook her head. “I don’t want to go in there and wake her.”

 

            “I see,” I said. “You are going to chicken out on me then.”

 

            “You’re the tough guy,” she told me. “Go do the tough guy thing and wake her up. You also have to kill spiders and move heavy furniture. When she wakes up you can get whisked away to my beautiful rival for a week. When you get back though, you need to come back to work.”

 

            “I’ll be there,” I said. “We’re going to have to talk about who’s working for who though.”

 

            “We’ll talk when you get back,” she agreed.

 

            I gave her a kiss and went to wake up Karen to see if she’d drive me to the airport.

 

 

September 10, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment