The Talisman Ch. 4byEbonvoice©
Rick had never cared much for Africa. He imagined the vast continent to be little more than just desert-- way too dry for his taste. But as he slept, he dreamed of an African sun beaming relentlessly on his face and chest. He dreamed of sinewy thighs caressing and flexing along his legs, a tongue licking a snake trail from his nipple to his earlobe, warm, tropical wetness dribbling along his cock, and dripping from his balls.
The woman in his dream looked lost in her orgasm, reaching for another as if she were climbing a ladder. He felt her pussy squeezing and drooling around his dick. In his dream, Rick came continuously as his lover cooed and collapsed on him-- her hips moving of their own accord, her teeth grazing his chest, signalling another come. Rick came again inhaling sweet, clean air with the hint of patchouli, the sweat of his woman and the liquor of their sex. Rick awoke to a pool of semen cooling in his navel; he looked over at the talisman. The lovers fell apart from their embrace on the shifting surface of the totem, once again resuming the yin-yang symbol on the face of the sandstone.
The office was always quiet when Rick arrived. He flipped on the lights and the copier, and, while the copier warmed up, made a pot of coffee. There was a strange sense of empowerment to this ritual, as if it were he who brought the office to life. Today, however, was different. Starting the office up just didn't seem as important as it was last week. Rick ambled over to his desk, and switched on his computer. He sipped from his coffee, his eyes popping open, involuntarily. He made a mental note to go easy on the grounds for the next pot.
"Rick?" a female voice lilted and swerved from around a corner.
"You okay?" the woman was short, mousy, and rather plain. She peeked in from the side of the door, eyebrows arched with concern.
"I'm fine, Roberta. Why?"
"I was in the ladies' room on Friday when... when I heard..." Roberta's cheeks flushed a deep red, and suddenly found a new interest in her shoes.
"Bobbie, don't worry about it. The weekend worked out all right, anyway."
"There's more than that. Melissa was going out with--"
Rick raised a hand to cut her off. "Bobbie, I'm really not interested. Thanks for your concern, but it really wasn't that important."
Roberta looked up and smiled. "Okay," she said. "Coffee?"
Rick raised his cup to her.
"Oh, okay," Roberta said. "Um, what are you doing for lunch?"
"Working. I've got a report due tomorrow." Rick lied. The truth was that he just wanted Bobbie to go away.
"Okay. Well, see you... okay?"
"Oh - kay." Rick said, tersely. He thought Bobbie to be very sweet, but her "okays" were sometimes irritating. It seemed to him that she was always looking for permission to just speak. As a result, he treated her very dismissively. Their discussions always left Rick with a tinge of guilt at the end. He made a silent resolve (again) to be nicer to her.
"Got a second, buddy?"
Rick looked up at his next visitor-- Clifford. Clifford had the body of an obsessive gym rat; his bleached crew cut contributed to an almost Aryan appearance. Where Bobbie was sweet, Cliff was smug, swaggering. He was, in short, an asshole.
"What is it, Cliff?" Rick asked.
"I got into the 'mile-high' club last weekend, my friend," Cliff continued. "All it took was a quick flight to Vegas, baby."
"Who's the lucky lady, Cliff?" Rick hoped that humoring Cliff would make him go away sooner.
"Melissa, baby! You know, the bitch with the..." Cliff held his fingers apart in front of his chest, indicating Melissa's nipples. "Fuck, you know, she, like fuckin' adores Wayne Newton? Fuckin' A, baby!" Cliff walked from Rick's office chuckling, fucking his right thumb into his left fist, making little "pwt pwt pwt" sounds as he walked off.
"Oh, fuck," Rick said, returning to his report.
Some hours later, Rick pored over endless spreadsheets, collating and formatting their presentation for the Harris Project. He took a sip from his third coffee, setting the cup next to the phone, clear of the reports. In the background, he could hear Cliff's "pwt pwt pwt" in the opposite corner of the office, and he rose to shut the door. The door was almost closed when a set of fingers curled around the edge.
He sighed in exasperation, then caught himself. "Yes, Bobbie?"
"I.. I just wanted to see if you might have thought again about lunch..."
Rick cracked the door open, and waved Bobbie in. "I don't know," he answered. "I'm just having a bad day, and I want to minimize my contact with other people right now. "I'm sorry..."
"Hey, Rick?" came a voice crackling from his phone.
"Hang on, Bobbie... Yeah, Terry?"
"Pick up the phone, man."
Rick reached behind him for the phone, knocking over the coffee instead. A pool of liquid spread almost in slow motion over his work.
"Oh, great! Terry, I need to call you back." Rick draped the morning paper over his desk, blotting the mess. The result was a ruined report and a wasted morning.
"So much for my luck changing," he said.
"It's just an accident, Rick," replied Bobbie.
"Didn't you say it was 'fucking strange'?"
Rick looked at Bobbie quizzically. "No. I said something about my luck changing."
"I'm sorry!" Bobbie turned a deep crimson in her cheeks, finding yet another nuance in her shoes. "I thought you said something else."
Rick noticed her discomfort, and offered a chair. "Hey, don't worry about it-- this thing really doesn't have to be finished until the end of the month, and it just needed a little tweaking, that's all. Look, let's go to lunch, okay?"
Roberta raised her head with a weak grin.
The Pelican's Pouch was a worn little shack just off the Santa Monica pier, but the scent of fresh fish hung in the kitchen air, and sunlight shone through the windows papered with old British newspapers, making the restaurant bright, but without a glare. Rick usually came to the "Pouch" alone, often to read a book a paper, or to cram some research in for a media study, so throughout their lunch, Rick was more than a little uncomfortable, sharing his spot with Bobbie.
"Are you okay?" Bobbie asked.
"Yeah! I'm fine," said Rick "Guess I had just a litttle too much coffee, you know?"
"Yeah," Bobbie said, her voice trailing off. "You know I'm real--"
"Bobbie. Don't apologize again... okay? I knocked over my own coffee, and Melissa can go out with whomever she wants..."
"Even if it's 'Cliff the Shit', huh?" Bobbie interjected.
Rick laughed, and in that laugh, his calamitous day fell away. "Oh, man, I needed that. So, how long has Cliff been 'the shit'?"
Bobbie's face brightened at Rick's reaction, and for the first time he could remember, Rick saw Roberta smile. It transformed her-- she was very attractive when she smiled.
"Oh, Cliff's never been 'the shit'... he sure IS A 'shit' though," she giggled. "And he's been one ever since he came out of the mail room-- or maybe that's when we noticed."
Rick and Roberta walked lazily across the street back to the office, laughing and chuckling after their lunch. It was then that Rick noticed how hot it was that afternoon... almost like Africa.
The laughing stopped abruptly at the the doorway to Rick's office, where they were greeted by the sight of a coffee-stained computer printout on Rick's desk, and a huge Black man seated in Rick's chair.
"Terry," Rick said, quietly. "Um, I was supposed to call you back, wasn't I, boss?"
"Um... yeah," said the Black man, rising from Terry's chair. "I need to know your progress on the Harris Literacy project. The meeting's been moved up to tomorrow morning and the Mayor's going to be here to see this. But, I suppose if the illiteracy rate on this city's high-schoolers in fact, hasn't dropped, then all this coffee on the report is really of no real consequence, right?"
"I'm pulling an all-nighter, aren't I?"
"Got a change of clothes in your car?"
"I think so."
"Good. Cleaned and pressed?"
"I don't know."
"Then you may have a problem. Finish it. 8:00 tomorrow," Terry said, stepping past the couple and into the hallway.
Rick turned to Bobbie. "I'd better get going. Thanks for lunch, okay?"
Roberta tip-toed up, kissing Rick on the cheek. "Sure thing," she said. "Seeya, okay?"
"Um... okay. Uh, yeah! Seeya."
Rick sat back at his desk, shaking his head, but the report was the furthest thing from his mind. When Bobbie kissed him, he could swear that she smelled like the woman from his dream.
To Be Continued...