Quit Playing Games
He had been off the phone, and pretending to be asleep, when she finally pulled herself together and stomped into the apartment.
She made elaborate noises about unpacking the groceries, and feigned surprise when he snuck up behind her and put his arms around her.
"Hi gorgeous," he smiled as he nuzzled her neck.
"Hi you loathsome reptile," she thought, but just giggled as his lips moved up and down her neck. "You’re awfully alert this morning," she replied.
"Well, I feel like the whole world has been opened to me." He turned her around to face him. "And its all because of you," he whispered just before he kissed her.
"I’d like to open you up… preferably with a dull, rusty spoon." But she leaned into the kiss, moaning softly.
"What are you doing?" he asked as he pulled back.
"I had to get some groceries. Just putting them away. Then I’ll make us some breakfast."
"Hmmm. That would be wonderful. What are we going to have?"
"Oatmeal, of course." She looked at him like he was nuts.
"Naturally. It’s what I always have for breakfast. It’s the best thing for you. Some nice thick oatmeal with a touch of salt…"
She nodded, turning so she could hide her grin. "It’s the traditional Scottish way."
"Ahhh… Baby, why don’t we just go back to bed for a while."
Kat looked at him, eyes wide. "During the day? You want to have sex during the day?"
His mouth worked for a second, then he replied, "no. I just wanted to hold you for a while."
"Oh. That’s okay," she said snuggling up to him, biting her lip to stop from laughing.
"So, can we?"
"You don’t want oatmeal?"
"How about I take you out for breakfast?" he asked.
"Won’t that make you late for your soccer game today?" She looked at him guilelessly. "I thought you were almost in the finals?"
"I’d rather be here with you."
"Oh, David. That is so nice. But all I was going to do was wash some clothes and then go clothes shopping. Do you want to help me?"
"I… I’d love to, sweetheart."
"Good. It would be so nice to have someone alone to help carry the bags."
He turned a little pale. "Umm. Just let me take a shower." He wandered down the hall to the bathroom. And Kat had to prop herself on the counter to keep from falling on the floor in laughter.
Needless to say, David realized just how important the soccer game was and hurried off, leaving Kat to a proper breakfast. "As if I even had oatmeal in the house," she snorted as she took another bite of her cheese and mushroom omelet. "This is going to be so easy."
It hit her in the mid-afternoon. She’d been so strong all morning, but then, as she was remaking the bed it struck her full force. She collapsed on the floor sobbing. All the rage, confusion, despair, and anguish came welling up. For too long it had been bottled up and now…it all came flooding out. Instead of just taking the sheets off the bed she ripped them to pieces. The pillows too. And the clothes she had worn last night. The room was filled with fluttering pieces of torn material. And she sat in the middle of it all, fingernails split, eyes puffy with shed tears, chest heaving.
"This is not good." She carefully picked herself up off the floor, wincing at the pain in her hands in arms. She gathered up all the fabric and put it in the garbage. Then, staring at the ruined bedroom, pulled the bed apart and took the pieces down to the garbage. The room was now empty of everything that had happened last night. She was tempted to get rid of the sofa too, but managed to talk herself out of it.
Kat took a long, hot shower, scrubbing herself down vigorously. "At least you had the sense to use a condom," she told herself as she got dressed again, brushing her hair out of her eyes and applying makeup to cover most of the ravages of her face. Once she was satisfied with how she looked she headed down to the futon store and ordered a new bed. Nothing too expensive, and something that could be delivered in a few days. She sure as hell wasn’t going to stay in that room anyway.
She had just gotten everything taken care of, and packed a small suitcase for herself so she could stay in a hotel for a couple of nights when the phone rang.
"Hi darling," David’s voice chirped in her ear.
She repressed a groan. She was not in the mood for this right now. "Hi David. How was the game?"
"We won. Isn’t that great? And I scored a goal! If you hadn’t insisted on me going we wouldn’t have won. You were so right to do that."
"I didn’t insist. You wanted to get away from the horror that is me, you spineless worm," she thought but only congratulated him on the win.
"I felt so bad about having to leave you this morning." He dropped his voice to what she assumed was what he thought was a seductive tone. "Especially this morning."
She obliged with a faint giggle. "Oh David, the game was so important to you. I understood."
"You are so good to me. I knew you would understand. You are such a wonderful woman, Kat."
Good thing he couldn’t see the gagging motion she was making at his words.
"Sweetheart, I was wondering. I want to celebrate…"
"Celebrate?" she replied innocently, her eyelashes batting wildly.
"Yes, the game. But more importantly last night." He dropped his voice again. Who had told him that was sexy? It just made it sound like he was trying to gargle or something. "You were so incredible... and, well, I just…"
"Oh David," she simpered.
"So how about dinner tonight?"
"At L’Esprit?" she suggested, naming the most expensive restaurant in town. If Parker was footing the bill for this, there was no sense in wasting money….
He hesitated for a moment. "You see? You read my mind. I want to take my beautiful lady out to an incredible dinner at L’Esprit."
"That would be wonderful. What time? No, its okay, you don’t have to pick me up. You have made me feel so… well, I want to make an entrance. You don’t mind do you?"
"Baby, just bring yourself. That is all I need."
When she arrived that night, she was decked out in her finest. A short, but tight red dress and a silver shawl. She had slowly been losing weight since her return and the dress had been a present to herself. Something she had thought to show David in happier circumstances. Well, now it would be her "independence" dress. And she was hoping that it provided enough fireworks.
She was still a little worried. She had figured out her game plan tonight: make David look like the fool that he was. But as for the rest… Well, she’d play that by ear.
"My god, Kat! You look so great," David said as she walked in. She smiled, but only took the casual glances she got from the other men in the restaurant as proof of what he said. Never going to trust anything that comes out of that man’s mouth again. Especially that tongue… would he stop trying to deep throat her here in public!
"Thank you so much. I wanted to look good for you tonight."
"And you do. That colour, that dress... You look spectacular. Shall we have a drink before dinner?" He started to move towards the table: she usually said no to a pre-dinner drink.
"That would be wonderful," she replied.
"Hunh?" David stopped suddenly.
"I think I would like a drink. Maybe a nice glass of white wine?"
He frowned for a moment, then found her a seat in the bar and went to get their orders. Only to drop them as his shoe slipped on a pencil that someone had carelessly dropped on the floor.
"David? Are you okay?" Kat had managed to duck the splash: the next table hadn’t been as lucky. There were several men in very expensive suits dabbing wine off their lapels. She came around the table and helped him get to his feet.
"Fine. Just…" It took him a minute or two to calm the other men down, promising to pay for their dry-cleaning, and cringing when he discovered that one of the men was his firm’s biggest client. He didn’t even notice Kat pocketing her pencil.
"Would you like me to try and get another drink?" David tried very hard to act solicitous when he returned to the table.
Kat glanced to the other table and one of the men shook his head slowly. She swallowed a laugh. "It’s okay, darling. We can have a drink with dinner. Why don’t we just go get our table?"
He gave a small sigh of relief, which was replaced by a groan when he discovered that somehow their reservation had been mixed up. It had been changed to tomorrow night not tonight. It took a quick discussion, and bribe, to get the maitre’d to discover that there was in deed an open table.
"I don’t understand. I called just this afternoon," David muttered.
"Don’t worry. Collins is such a common name. Someone else must have called in and they just got confused. Let's not fuss over it. I am just happy to be here. With you," Kat leaned over the table, taking David’s hand. Clammy as usual.
The appetizers went by without incident, though Kat did manage to order one of the most expensive wines on the menu with out David noticing. She’d all ready ordered the most expensive meal and dessert…
"David? You keep wincing. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I think I threw something out a little when I was playing soccer. My back hurts."
"Oh? Did Parker spank you a little too hard?" she muttered under her breath. "Just wait until we get back home. I’ll give you a nice back rub," she smiled beguilingly.
His face lit up. "Darling, that would be wonderful. I… Kat, I just…"
"What is it David?"
"Could I spend the night again tonight?" he asked bashfully.
She gave him a wide smile. "I was hoping you would." But continued in her head, "spend the night in a ditch by the side of the road. Preferably lying on a bed of broken glass."
He would have said more but the waiter arrived with their main courses: steak for him and the seafood platter with lobster for her. "And another bottle of wine," Kat asked as the waiter started to leave.
"You are drinking a lot tonight, Kat. Are you okay?" He cut into his steak and swore.
"What is the matter?"
"This thing is well done. I ordered medium rare." He turned and was about to gesture for the waiter when Kat said, "no, you didn’t."
"No David. Don’t you remember? I even asked you if you were sure when you ordered it. You usually don’t have it well done. But you said that after all that mayhem on the field today the last thing you needed to see was more blood. That’s why I didn’t order a steak myself. I can’t stand it overcooked like that."
"But… Are you sure?"
"Of course, David," she replied innocently. Nope, the change had nothing at all to do with what she had told the waiter to do when she had gotten up to go to the bathroom.
"I guess I forgot. I must have hit my head a little harder than I thought this afternoon," he chuckled a little uncertainly. He wasn’t really in the mood to make another scene, not after the wine fiasco. And cut into his steak, grimacing a little at the taste.
Kat ate a few pieces of her meal, then sighed heavily and put her fork down.
"It’s not good?" David asked anxiously.
"It’s wonderful. It’s just…. Things between us have been so wonderful, David. I feel so awful because I… I’ve been hiding something from you."
He looked at her startled. "You have?"
"This is so hard… But I have to tell you. Now that we are…" she dropped her voice," "lovers." She glanced around, pretending to be fearful that someone had overheard. "I just don’t want there to be any secrets between us."
"Darling, you know you can tell me anything."
"It’s just… It’s not about me. It’s about… well, it’s about the Backstreet Boys."
She could see the excitement spring into his eyes. He tried to mask it, but he really was awful at it.
"The Boys? This is about them? That’s not important," he tried to shrug it off, but agitation tinged his voice.
"No. I have to tell you. You have been so honest, so understanding with me. I have to tell you." She took a big gulp of her wine, then poured herself another glass. From the new bottle. No sense in wasting it after all…
"You see, the reason I know them is that I was working on the tour with them. And I learnt something that upset me so much. I know it probably isn’t that terrible, but… Oh yes, it is! How could he…? After all the things they say about caring about…"
"Kat, you don’t have to tell me now. We can do this later…" David’s tone was wheedling. He wanted to know, but wanted to make sure he was the only one who knew.
"No!" she said it so loudly that a few heads turned in their direction. She took another swig of her wine, in a reckless fashion. There… now he couldn’t send it back….
"I have to tell you, David. I have to tell you what I learnt."
"It’s okay, Kat," he said quickly, taking her hand in his, eyes darting to ensure that all heads had turned back to their own conversations. "Tell me whatever it is you need to."
Kat took a deep breath, looked down at her dinner plate, and told him the first thing that came to her head.
(c) Kat Morgan