Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tameka's Smile by Zena Wynn

Tameka Jones squinted in the bright sunlight that flooded her car when she came around the last curve. She hastily flipped down the visor, heaving a sigh of relief when the shade erased the glare from her eyes. County Road 17 was virtually empty. The last car she’d seen passed in the opposite direction three miles back. Today was a scorcher, with the temperature in the high nineties. Only the desperately bored like herself and those whose jobs required it were out in this unexpected, mid-Spring heat wave.

As she came out of the next curve and into a long stretch of straight road, she automatically glanced into her rearview mirror. The police cruiser behind her shocked her into checking her speedometer. She wasn’t speeding, thank goodness, but slowed anyway. It must have come from one of the side roads she’d passed, because this was her first time noticing it behind her.

When she glanced back again, the cruiser had its signal light on, preparing to pass. Good, let it. She hated driving with the police behind her. She slowed even more. The car moved out and picked up speed. As it drew even with her, Tameka’s gaze was curiously drawn to it. It was an annoying habit, the need to look at vehicles’ occupants as they passed her.

The male deputy looked hot and tired in his dark uniform, eyes shaded by mirrored sunglasses. Tameka gave him a blindingly bright, friendly smile when he glanced in her direction. It had to be rough, being required to work out here in this heat. That he was in an air-conditioned cruiser didn’t mean much. She had her AC on full blast and still felt sweat pooling between her breasts to soak into the elastic of her top.

She was puzzled when the cruiser seemed to hesitate for a moment, then dropped back into place behind her, but let it go. She wasn’t speeding or doing anything illegal. With one more reassuring glance at her gauge, she cranked up the volume as one of her favorite songs came on. She sang along with the CD, her head keeping time with the rhythmic beat through that song and well into the next one, before the sound of a horn blowing behind her caused her to jump and look into her rearview mirror. The deputy’s lights were flashing and he was gesturing with his hand, commanding her to pull over.

Her gaze went back to the speedometer. She was under the speed limit. Why was he messing with her? Maybe it was her out-of-state tag. She’d heard about small town cops giving outsiders a hard time. She searched the side of the road, looking for a good place to pull over. There wasn’t any. The road was heavily forested on both sides, and there was no emergency lane. When the deputy gave a brief blast of the siren, she reluctantly turned on her signal and slowed down so that she could ease off the road onto the grassy embankment.

She pulled as far off the pavement as she could to be sure the officer had plenty of room. She’d seen televised videos of officers killed by passing vehicles and she didn’t want this man’s death on her conscience. She stopped the car, put it in park, and watched in her side-view mirror as the deputy approached. He was a big, intimidating-looking man with those broad shoulders and mirrored sunglasses that prevented her from seeing his eyes. His gold-toned nametag read C. Wilson.

He tapped on the window, and she rushed to roll it down. “Is there a problem, Officer?”

“Turn down the music.”

“Oh, right.” She jabbed the button, cutting it off.

“License, registration, and proof of insurance, ma’am.”

Tameka retrieved her license from her purse and reached for the glove compartment to get the rest. She visibly hesitated when the deputy’s hand shifted to rest on the butt of his gun. “My registration and insurance card are here, in my glove compartment. I don’t have a weapon.”

“Just move real slow and keep your hands where I can see them.”

Nervous now, she did just as he instructed. “What did I do?”

He took the items from her and cautioned, “I’ll be back in a minute. Don’t move.”

She rolled up her window and watched in her side mirror as he walked back to the cruiser and got in. From the motions he made, he was running her license on the computer she’d seen earlier. Again she questioned why he’d pulled her over. She was a good, law-abiding citizen. No tickets of any kind or arrests on her record. She even returned her library books on time.

How long did it take to run a license, anyway? At least she was in the shade, which provided a small respite from the heat. Ten minutes later, he returned. She rolled the window back down.

“Ma’am, turn off your vehicle and step out of the car.”

As she turned off the motor, she asked, “Can you please tell me what this is about?”

He removed the sunglasses and tucked them into the front of his shirt. Tameka’s eyes widened. The man was handsome enough to make her drool, but his vibrant green eyes were those of a killer. Said eyes narrowed in warning, “Step out of the vehicle. Now!”

Thoroughly intimidated, Tameka got out of her car, leaving the keys in the ignition. Her tank top immediately clung to her curves as a light sheen a sweat coated her, caused either by the heat or her rattled nerves. She pulled at the thin material of her gathered skirt to keep it from sticking to her legs. The high grass tickled her ankles and calves, bared as they were by the flip-flops she wore.

Deputy Wilson lightly seized her arm and moved her from behind the open driver’s door, around the hood of the car, to the passenger side of her vehicle. “Spread your feet apart and place your hands on the hood of the vehicle.”

“What!” She must have heard wrong. Was she being arrested?

With his booted foot, he nudged her legs apart. “Spread your feet and place your hands on the hood, like this.” He took her hands and placed them on the hood, not allowing her to jerk free when the heated metal stung her hands. Their position forced his body into close contact with hers.

“I need to search for contraband. Do you have a husband or boyfriend who can come and get you if your vehicle is confiscated?”

“Confiscate my vehicle? Contraband? You mean … drugs? You think I’m a drug dealer?” Her voice rose with each question.

“Just answer the question, ma’am.”

“What question!” she snapped, seriously getting pissed. She’d heard about cops harassing innocent people, but she’d never expected it to happen to her. Drug dealer, my ass.

“Husband? Boyfriend? … Girlfriend?”

“Girl…no! None of the above.”

“Good,” she thought she heard him murmur. She forced herself to calm down. Her temper would only get her into more trouble and play right into the pig’s hands.

He was still standing behind her, his hands on top of hers. She could feel his breath on her neck. Slowly, and so lightly that only the hairs on her arms stirred, he drew his hands up her arms until they reached her shoulders. From there, they slid up the sides and back of her neck, under her hair until they were against her scalp, which he lightly massaged.

Tameka didn’t know a woman in the world who didn’t love a properly executed scalp massage. This man was an expert. The feel of his fingertips against her scalp caused goose bumps to break out all over her body and her nipples to harden.

When he’d thoroughly “searched” her scalp, his hands glided down her back to her waist. There they circled around to the front of her body and slowly drifted up. The law being what it was, Tameka figured he’d stop before he reached her breasts. She was wrong. He continued until he cupped both of them in his massively large hands.

“This feels suspicious.” He rotated the palms of his hands against her pebbled nipples. “Bears further investigation.” His hands stroked back down and slid under the hem of her tank.

“Officer, I don’t think this is …”

“Shhh, anything you say can and will be held against you.”

The familiar words of the Miranda, along with the memory of those ice-cold, merciless, green eyes halted her protest before it could fully form. His calloused hands gently skimmed her stomach until it reached the fragile elastic barrier of her tank’s shelf-bra, which provided little protection against his seeking hands. He dug underneath until his hands cupped both breasts, skin-to-skin. Then he rolled, tugged, and toyed with her nipples, “inspecting” them.

He manipulated them until the skin was puckered and tight, and her hips jerked with each pull. Then he released them and continued his search. The sun filtering through the rustling leaves, along with the quiet sounds of nature, gave the whole experience a surreal feel.

His hands skimmed down the sides of her legs until he reached her ankles. He circled them with his fingers. “Dainty.” The word floated up to her. He circled his hands to the inside of her legs and reversed directions. She tensed her legs in preparation of closing them.

“Keep your legs where they are or I’ll haul you down to the station and strip search you.”

The threat, spoken in that no-nonsense tone of voice, kept her still. A bead of sweat gathered between her breasts and rolled down to her stomach as his hands continued their upward journey.

At her knees, his touch shifted. Instead of using the flat of his hands, he used the tips of his fingers on both legs. When he neared the apex of her thighs, he commanded, “Spread them wider.”

Dime by Aubrey Leatherwood

I introduced myself as “Nix.” No idea where that came from, but I liked it. Thinking of myself as Nix helped me come out of my shell and channel some of that wildness that had cut up with Lorenzo the night before. I did the whole song by rote, didn’t miss a cue. It was shaping up to be the most fun I’d had in any single weekend for a very long time. And I was going to have hell to pay on Monday, but I didn’t mind.

I walked off stage and started toward Lorenzo. But before I made it, I felt a big hand engulf mine, dragging me back toward the dance floor.

Baron Odom.

Big, fine ass Baron Odom. Now, I know I said I was staying away from that, but I was feeling friendly…at least that was the word my mother used when she first told me about “relations.” She said, “One day you’ll start feeling really friendly toward a fellow.”

The energy from my onstage display, the drinks, and even my obsession with mortality due to my birthday helped get me amenable. The way the man looked got me…friendly.

“Was that really your song?”

“Yeah. Me and Lorenzo were just messing around in the studio last night.”

“It’s hot,” he said.

“That’s not even cute, Baron.”

The song pulsed and I moved with it. I really love to dance. Baron apparently didn’t share my love because he wasn’t that great a dancer. Then again, he wasn’t putting much effort into it. He seemed more interested in getting us both excited while using the packed dance floor as a cover. I didn’t like for guys to have their hands all over me when dancing.

I’m lying.

I loved it, at least when Baron did it. I know that sounds bad, but I didn’t sleep around, so I was getting my jollies where I could. I especially enjoyed Baron’s hands on my tummy, on my behind, a careful “accidental” brush against my breasts, him turning me around so my back was pressed into him, the feel of his lips grazing my ear. My whole body tingled in response to his attention. As I leaned back into him, my eyes closed and I licked my lips. It wasn’t long before a fantasy took hold and I was transported to a different setting altogether. He supported my rapidly melting body with his strong one. But then I stumbled and nearly fell when I felt his erection pressing into my back. I wanted to rub against it, but luckily I came to my senses. Embarrassment made my cheeks hot. He was only doing this because of the over-the-top performance I’d put on. He was thinking I was something—someone—I wasn’t. I stepped away from him.

“I’m sorry, Nicole.”

I tried to answer but instead threw up a hand and went back up to the reserved section. He followed, but went about making a big production of trying to find my jacket. I didn’t want to look directly at him looking directly at me. His goal was obviously to remind me that he was attracted like I was attracted and that maybe I could have the very best birthday present if I gave in a little bit.

I didn’t give in. At half past three, most of my friends were gone, and Tanika and Lorenzo were ready to depart, too.

Lorenzo tried to say our good-byes to Baron, but the producer decided to walk out with us as well. As we piled into the car, he came around to the passenger side. I rolled down the window so he could talk to Lorenzo.

Eyes glued to the dash, I felt my whole right side heat up from his gaze. Relieved when we finally took off, I sank down into the seat.

“So, Nicole,” Tanika started. She leaned forward and put her hands on my shoulders. “You and Baron seemed to be close on the dance floor.”

“You’re imagining things,” I responded.

“No, I’m not.”