Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Terracotta and Disbelief (Part 5)

The evening couldn't come quick enough. She stayed in her pajamas most of the day, had a shower at three and was wandering around eating fresh capsicum and hommus, when he rang. Despite the fact that her nerves were a-jangle it was her day off damnit and she was determined to claim some of it, at least, for herself.
"Hullo this is Abbey"
"Hey Crazy-Lady. How about I scratch you at 7?"
"You may do whatever you like" Abbey said dryly "Does this mean you have wheels?"
"I do"
"Ok. See you then, then"
And she hung up. Feeling silly, feeling as though she had over-estimated a situation, who talks like that? Was he a player? What provoked him to speak to her in his sleepy-casual tone (that he, no doubt reserved solely for women). It made him sound like a wanker. Abbey turned off the tv in disgust, she put on music.

By the time 7pm rocked around she was feeling mixed up about the whole thing. Her phone rang.
"I'm outside"
"Hullo. I see"
"Come down"
There was a pause.
"Don't forget your room keys"
She practically threw the phone down but smiled at his impertinence. In a moment she had grabbed what she needed and was making her way downstairs. He was waiting on the pavement, next to a Landcruiser. It was a nice car, a little too ostentatious but she didn't care. Not when a man like that stood in front of it. He was smoking, holding the cigarette leisurely in his hand as a single line of smoke curled it's way into the dusk. He wore dark jeans and an expensive, light green shirt, open at the neck. He must know it brought out the colour of his eyes.
Highfield grinned when she trotted down the front steps to join him, her breasts bouncing on her foot falls. He whistled and Abbey stopped before him. "May I?"
She looked up at him quizzically, as his lips descended on hers. He kissed her lightly, brushing his lips across hers. It was less of an embrace and more of a promise. Abbey grinned.
"Did you have a good day?"
"Better now"
He motioned for her to take the passenger seat.
"Where will we go?" He opened the door for her and she slid in. Tonight she wore powder-blue flares, that were all vintage good taste. They hugged her hips. She had paired it carefully with a linen, collared button-up blouse in two types of cotton. Her cork-and-leather shoes were tan, Abbey had swept her hair up into a high pony above her ears. She was a little uneasy at being dressed too casually, she'd gone for 60's chique. Who knew if it was fashionable? She knew it suited her and tried to remain at ease in her skin. He had whistled, that was a good sign, now he let his eyes linger on her breasts as he joined the seat across from her. The moment stretched. Abbey looked away, forcing her eyes forward, lest she reach across the gears and the hand brake and beg him to give her more kisses.
"We're going bowling".
Abbey raised an eyebrow but said nothing. As Highfield drove them out of town, they chatted and Abbey allowed herself a sneaky view of his profile. It made her breathe catch and desire pool in the centre of her stomach (or if she was honest, a little lower down). His long eye lashes framed those amazing green eyes, she couldn't see their colour at present but it was stamped in her memory. He was clean shaven tonight (unlike this morning) and he smelt of sandalwood and tobacco. It all added up to an appealing package alright, no doubt about it. The thought made her shiver.
Highfield broke off mid sentence.
"You're searing me with the way you're looking at me". His voice was low but he only glanced at her, keeping his focus on the road.
Abbey coughed and looked away.
"What are you thinking?"
The question surprised her.
"You're really hot". She chose to speak plainly, flushing a little at her honesty.
"I got nothing on you, Miss I've-stepped-out-of-another-era."
"You like it? I wasn't really born to wear 21st century fashion, my body is a ... different shape"
"I'd think you look stunning." Highfield spoke cool-ly but the words ignited the moment and Abbey found herself flushing again.
"Why don't you have a girlfriend?"
"Maybe I like to be free to see who I want"
He didn't look like he enjoyed being free, not at that precise moment. Abbey noted his jaw hardened as if he chose to clench his teeth. He stared at the road, un-blinking. She turned her attention forward too.
"Not everybody will tell you everything you wish to know." Highfield added ambiguously.
"You're married."
"No. Not now..."
"You were?"
"I was."
"Yeah. This is the first time we have hung out together, outside of our apartment block. I don't want to talk about my ex-wife."
Abbey sighed, beautiful men were always taken. She shrank a little in her seat.
"It's not your sister's apartment is it?"
"No. We both own it. She took pity on me and helped me buy something, after the divorce."
"So you part own it?"
"Half. I half own it." He clarified
"Oh. Mine's a rental." She tried to say it lightly, all the while wishing the subject would change.
"See now, I know you've started thinking I'm damaged goods". Highfield spoke dryly. Abbey laughed.
"No actually I was thinking that as all the best men are taken, this is why I've met you. Because you were and now, unexpectedly, even for you, you're not"
"It's not a swear word".

They rode in silence for a while. Highfield pulled in outside a large complex and stopped the car. Around them dusk was falling. He felt awkward, shy, like he'd said too much and broken the magic of their new acquaintance already. Spoiled things and didn't know how to find his way back to where they had been. He flipped his green eyes to look straight at her.
"Do you want to go bowling?"
There was a pause.


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