Thursday, April 10, 2008

Night of Inspiration by Jenna Allen

IT WAS SWELTERING outside and hotter than hell inside my black SUV as I made the commute home. Even though it has air conditioning, I don't like to turn it on since we haven't been able to afford to install air at home. I try to use my commute to transition from the chilly recirculated office air to the stuffy heat of the house. This was not the time to try and quit smoking. Driving home on a day like this definitely merited at least one cigarette, maybe the whole pack.

I hardly made it to the freeway before I ripped off the cardigan I wore all day. I knew it was going to be hot, so I wore a pink summer dress instead of my usual all black ensembles. A few of the people at work even commented on my out of character pink outfit. At work I'm black and white, I save my color for weekends.

By the time I made it home, the dress clung to every part of me. I peeled myself off the seat and gathered the folders I'd lugged home with me. I'd be up until way past midnight getting everything done, but working in your pajamas trumped being at work any day-even in this heat. I threw my purse over my shoulder, pressed the folders to my chest, clutched the cardigan with one hand and the take-out I'd grabbed for dinner with the other.

Slamming the door shut with my hip, I heard the familiar rumble of his truck pulling into the driveway. This was the first time all month we arrived home at anywhere near the same time. Between his two jobs and all the extra stuff I took on at work, neither of us spent much time at home, let alone together. Good thing he was home. There was absolutely no way to gracefully open the front door.

"Hey stranger," Trevor yelled through his open window. The truck didn't have air conditioning, or much else in the way of amenities. It was so beat up from all of the summers of roofing I refuse to even ride in it. The bills had gotten the best of us lately, so he was roofing again. It was strange the way he could effortlessly transition from a banker in ironed shirts and designer shoes to a laborer in filthy pants and a backward baseball cap. When he dressed like that he seemed younger than ever. In moments like this I truly felt like I robbed the cradle.

"Hey yourself." I barked back. "Open the door." Trevor hopped out of the truck and trotted over to the front door. I hadn't seen him awake in almost two weeks. We were both putting in as many hours as we could, trying to dig ourselves out of credit card hell. Between his golf habit, my shoe fetish, and the wedding last year we were sinking, fast.

"Home before dark, and you made dinner. I'm impressed, Megan," he teased, opening the door and relieving me of the bag of food. Trevor pushed the door open for me to walk through while he inspected the contents of the bag.

"It's from Wong Kong. I went through the drive thru," I explained. "I didn't expect you to be home yet."

"That must mean you got everything deep fried with no vegetables in sight." I could hear the smile in his voice as he followed close behind me.

"If you want vegetables you should have married a rabbit." I tossed back at him as I made my way past the kitchen to the dining room. The binders hit the table with a thud. "There's stuff in there for you too. Besides, chow mein has vegetables in it."

"It doesn't count as a vegetable if you only eat the noodles." He set the bag on the counter and stalked towards me.

"I'd tell you to sue me, but I don't need any more paperwork."

"Long night ahead?" he asked, leaning on one of the dining room chairs.

"Yeah, and now that I'm home I'm thinking I should have stayed in the air conditioned office. It's so hot in here." I moved to open the sliding glass door and let a breeze in, but he blocked my path.

"Have you had a cigarette today?"

"What I do with my body is my business."I rolled my eyes at his attempts to be paternal. He had no right to act the father figure being six years my junior.

His big, work-callused hands encircled my waist as he pulled me to him; his mouth on mine, hot and insistent. Trevor's scent, an intoxicating mix of the outdoors and pure masculinity wafted through me and I relented, allowing full access to my lips, tongue, and mouth. When I was nearly out of breath, he broke away, grinning. "Good girl, you taste much better this way."

"I was just saving it until I got home," I goaded him. He'd been on me to quit smoking since the moment we met. Quitting now would be like admitting defeat.

His fingers were rough as he drew up my dress, lifting me forcefully onto the dining room table. "What are you" was all I got out before he stripped me of my pink panties. "Come on, it's too hot to fool around," I said, trying to close my legs.