tagRomanceRush Ch. 03

Rush Ch. 03


Inez braced herself for the onslaught of a hot platter of soft-scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries and toast as waitress Janine seemed to be perfecting her flying disc toss to an imaginary canine seated at the table. Blessed with quick reflexes, Inez unfolded her white napkin and used it to shield her face and prevent first-degree burns from the greasy strips of bacon and home fries performing sizzling somersaults before her eyes. "Damn, now that's a sure sign I should've worn my eyeglasses!" she exclaimed.

"Yowsa, yowsa, yowsa!" Antoine yelled, then groaned.

Inez mistook her guy friend's noises for guffawing at the acrobatic breakfast feat and replied in sing-song, "I wanna boogie with you."

Laughing so hard she nearly choked on her leatherized gum, Janine turned her back to Inez and switched her way toward the kitchen. As she weaved through the hopscotch of tables in her path, she gave Inez the finger, letting it waggle on the downbeat of the güira heard in the eardrum-splitting merengue that was cranking from the diner's speakers.

Unaware that she was keeping her own rhythm with the butter knife against the formica table, Inez followed the waitress's percussive digit to a path beneath her dingy apron. She could not believe her eyes when the saucy server began scratching somewhere down in the valley of the Cordillera Central, between La Pelona and Pico Duarte. Instinctively, Inez shot a glance at her moist scrambled eggs. Are those white particles amid the fried yellow yolks really the egg whites, or a rooster's sperm or -- heaven forbid -- are they bilious projectile from that hen? she wondered.

Antoine, why didn't you chide that heffa?" she clucked. She might have repeated her query, but realized that her companion's eyes were shut and his mouth twisted into a whorl of flesh. "Antoine? Oh my God! What's wrong with you?"

Patrons at surrounding tables paused only long enough to belch and to curse under their breath at the loud disturbances coming from Table #7. The din of suits and sluts resumed with the merengue segueing into Barry Manilow's ode to showgirl Lola and her lover, Tony: "Copacabana."

"Awww, awww," Antoine was still groaning. Before actual words could travel from his brain to his lips, Janine trotted back to the fated table to the beat of Manilow's disco cowbells. Slinking her sixtyish figure down toward Antoine, she lowered her eyes to groin and sang, "At the Copa ... we fell in love." "Awww, awww, no. Nooo," he said, moaning and diverting his eyes from hers. To his chagrin, one of Janice's stretchmarked pink breasts gingerly boxed his generous tanned nose. Then she swung a plate of hot eggs over easy and an English muffin from behind her back. "Fuuuck!" he yelled. Looking in Inez's direction, he added, "My huevos will never be the same after your swift goal kick to my monkey, sweetie. Fuck me!"

"I'd love to," joked the waitress, her grin disappearing when she noticed the silence.

Inez played back the tape of Janice's first serve. She realized she had been giving Antoine a footjob under the table. "Have you no compassion, dear?" Antoine dared to inquire. While he gently squeezed his companion's wrist as if to find a pulse, Inez eyed her target and relied on her rapid reflexes. Her fork's trajectory barely missed Janine's rear end as she moved away from the booth.

"I guess that's my answer, huh, baby?" Antoine asked, all the while cupping the deflated denim over his pruned scrotum. His was the raspy voice of a male casualty in a game of footsie gone awry.

"I suppose you'll beg me to use my hands to stroke your ego next time, hon'," was all the endearment that Inez could muster before shoveling down her cold scrambled eggs. "Eat your eggs before they grow their shells back."

Just for good measure, Antoine mouthed the words "I love you" in her direction, but received nothing in return except a few home fries beside his lukewarm, floppy eggs. Where is the woman who used to coo when I undid her bra with my telekinetic vision? he mused.

"Mmmm, I love the Intermission Diner's scrambled eggs, Antoine. They must use a special ingredient, you think?" she said.

"Yeah, nothing like hacking up a good one from the throat," he said, regretting the remark before the last word was enunciated.

"Care to repeat that, mister?" she threatened. When she addressed him impersonally, he knew any chance of nookie was several months farther away from the long shot.

"Look, sweetie, I'm damn near infertile from your, er, involuntary capoeira move in the cojones. I knew I shouldn't have encouraged you to take that Intro to Kick Ass course.

"It was an African Brazilian dance class, and don't be such a smart ass, Antoine. I didn't object to your repeating the Salsa y Sueños class with ex-wife Katrina at the 92nd Street Y when, as you insisted, she was trying to deal with her immense solitude. Salsa y Sueños, all right. Hmpf. That woman remains la mujer des tus sueños, I bet."

"Oh, boo, don't be so hard on me, especially when it'll take rehabilitative therapy for me to get hard in your presence again. Besides, my intimacies with Katrina soon will be a memories." If Pinocchio were not a fairytale, he would have his only possible hard-on, one long enough to whiff more of the coconut essence from behind her ears, which now were blushing like her face.

"Am I really your ... boo?" she asked, her voice softening upon uttering each syllable.

Knocking over what remained in his glass of orange juice and sending his utensils clanging on the tiled floor, Antoine reached over the table and embraced Inez's tensed shoulders until they surrendered to his warmth. She tasted his eggs over easy; he, her bacon bits. In the next minute, they both were wearing an assortment of condiments, from ketchup and butter to strawberry jam. They both hated the deli variety, but this kind of tongue sandwich whetted their appetite.

"Ah-he-he-hem," Janice said while cracking a new stick of gum. She was not amused by the pair's foreplay. She had a reason to feel selfish, having survived the first year of celibacy since the third of her husbands ran out on her with yet another friend. In a tough city such as New York, friends were hard to come by, but apparently not to come with. At least that what her first dear heart used to tell her when she would complain to him about needing a boob job to keep up with her friends' silicon masterpieces. "Hey, hey," she said to her smooching customers, "Mickey and Kim, it's nine-and-a-half weeks later and my shift has ended. Botha youz get a room."

All that Inez could muster, once Antoine removed his octopus suckers for lips from her neck, was, "Geez, Janice. I would've expected more sophistication from you. For instance, that classc line delivered by the server in A Man and a Woman, where the couple are dining in the Normandy Hotel --"

"Yeah, yeah, I know that movie," Janice interrupted her. "I remember when Un Homey et Une Farm was released with that happy-go-fucky 'dubba-dubba-da' theme by Francis Lee ."

"I think you mean 'Lai,' Janice," Antoine corrected her.

"Whatever, honey. Lay is what youz wanna do here at dis here booth table, but not on my watch," the waitress cautioned.

"Are you a warden or a warlock, I mean, waitress?" Inez teased.

"No hon', only men can be warlocks. Women are the witches," Antoine offered, grabbing the remainder of his smashed English muffin and stuffing a ten dollar bill inside Janice's exposed bra. "Adios, Janice." He accentuated his farewell by slowly spinning Inez away from the booth and into a hustle figure to the first strains of Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You."

Wrapped in Antoine's arms, Inez had a 20-second fantasy of their own version of Saturday night fever that made her body tremble. He noticed and held her tighter as they headed out of the diner and into the urban humidity. Kissing me would make it better, she desired to confess to him. He pulled her into his body, into his stiffness, and held her there. Her knees buckled suddenly, but he provided all the support she needed. Dragging her backward, tango style, toward a concrete wall of a bank that was going out of business, he pondered how easy it might be to make a quick deposit. A no-brainer, he thought as he smothered Inez's profile in full-lipped kisses.

Pedestrians either skated past them, their jaws fastened to their mobile phones, or pounded the pavement while their telltale white cords announced to onlookers that they had been invaded by body snatchers via iPods. Urban zombies rushed by the euphoric lovers, unaware of their undulating movements and primal aromas.

In the sliver of shadow beneath the building's roof, Antoine's long fingers made a swamp of Inez's grassy vulva, and her writhing response sent them probing her canal down to his knuckles. Her moans matched his in intensity and wavelengths. Feeling her muscles contract and release around his dewy digits, he knew it would not be long before his throbbing erection, impaling her buttocks' crevice through her swing coat, would turn to titanium in a chemical reaction.

"I want to do you here, baby, out in the open," he whispered with rattled breath into her ear reddened more with ketchup than the blush of embarrassment.

"Y'know, it's illegal ... ahhh ... in New York C-C-C-City ... aaaahhh ... to carry a concealed weapon ... aaaAAAHHH! Oh, God!"

By the time she turned holy, he had maneuvered her clothing and his trench so that he could slip inside her, but he spotted a police car coming into view. The pair straightened up quickly and gathered their composure. "Guess you'll need to wear that trench back to the trenches," she teased her lover. As they walked past the diner again, they held hands and smiled each other's way. He squeezed her hand firmly then brought her knuckles to his moist lips. She glanced into his black rhinestone eyes, which met her dilated dark brown pupils.

Before they could reach the corner, they were separated from their fantasy world. The curbside saxman appealed to them with his clairvoyant sense of humor: his rendition of Evelyn "Champagne" King's "I Don't Know If It's Right." Inez began to panic, although the chapped-lipped musician had no way of knowing about her stolen moment with Antoine. Yet he was the judge of their transgression, and it stood to reason that Inez's co-workers at the law firm of Greed, Avarice & Corruption LLP would be the jury -- that is, if clucking and snorting were allowed in court. Inez had survived the firm into her fifth year by the motto of "better seen, not herd." While she was chewing on her cud, it was as if Antoine were reading her mind when he sighed and said, "Back to the cutthroat culture of the ad agency, cutie."

Antoine watched Inez's figure disappear into the late-lunch crowd. Her absence created a safety zone where he could reconnect with his fidelity to his former wife, Katrina. He was like a chameleon in his erotic desire, having no guilt over using residual his lust shared with one woman to fulfill another woman's emotional void. He walked out of the saxophonist's line of sight and yanked out his mobile phone. Bluetooth inserted, he phoned Katrina on his way back to Mather & Long, rehearsing a script stored for priapic days like this, when he needed her manual relief by midnight.

It would take only 12 hours to make good on his booty call, but he wished he had more than a week to figure a way to weasel out of the planned romantic dinner with Inez . He had never missed celebrating Katrina's birthday with her, and this would be the big "40."

To be continued ...

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