Harley & Rose(10)

By: Carmen Jenner

“We need alcohol,” I say, as if I’ve been madly gathering supplies for the apocalypse and forgot the most important thing. “I’m going to go in search of booze. Lots of booze.”

“Okay.” Harley nods. “I’m just gonna take a shower and get some sleep.”

“Oh. Well, I could stay with you if you want?” I ask, hopefully.

He kisses the top of my head when he passes on his way to the bathroom. “I’m good. You go.”

“Are you sure? I don’t mind.”

“Rose,” he says, and I know he’s reaching the end of his patience with me because that’s what it means when he says my name and it sounds like a curse.

“Okay, I guess I’ll be sipping cocktails by the pool if you change your mind.”

“I’ll see you later.” And just like that he’s gone, disappeared into the bathroom and running the shower.

I strip off my clothes, figuring I’ve only got a few minutes because Harley doesn’t waste water. I rummage through my bag and find one of the few bathing suits that my mother approved of. It’s a black 50s-style Marilyn Monroe halter suit, with the ruched front panel that hides all my flaws. It’s not like I have a paunch or anything, but as I mentioned earlier, I ain’t getting any younger, and gravity is a fucking bitch who needs to die a very slow and very painful death at the hand of botched surgery.

I wiggle into my suit, throw on a cover-up and grab a towel, and then I make my way out of the room and down to the pool area. There are bodies everywhere, tons of kids with bright neon pool donuts, their parents tanning by the poolside. I head straight for the bar, order a Blue Hawaii, and ask them to keep ’em coming. And then I stretch out on a lounger and sun myself as if heat stroke and skin cancer aren’t possibilities.

After I’ve drained dry my third cocktail, some douchebag blocks my sun. I open my eyes, prepared to ask the person to move on, politely of course, but then I get dripped on and since I can’t tell if it’s water or sweat—or God forbid some other type of bodily fluid—I feel bolder than I ordinarily would about expressing my annoyance.

“Hey, asshole,” I say, sliding my sunglasses onto my head. My mouth drops open.

“Rose, I thought that was you,” says a very familiar voice.

I know who this is without looking at his face, and the reason I haven’t looked at his face yet is because I’m stuck. My eyes are literally glued to the bulge outlined against his wet swim trunks. It really doesn’t help when my gaze trails a little higher and I’m greeted with a very nice six-pack. Roaming just a little bit higher now, I see two perfectly defined pecs, tanned with lovely bitable oval-shaped nipples. I have a thing about nipples. Too small, and it’s a major turn off. Too big, and I’m wondering whether or not you’ll be the one to breastfeed my children when I eventually have them. But this guy? He has the Holy Grail of nipples, not too large, not too small, not all shriveled up, even though he clearly just slid out of the pool, and certainly not ones that prove his age.

I know his age, or thereabouts, as he’s a regular of mine. Just like I know he’s happily married, because I’m the girl who gets to arrange his lucky, lucky wife the huge bouquet of lilies every week.

“Oh god, Mr. Carter. I am so sorry,” I say, sitting up and folding my legs under me.

“It’s fine.” Warm brown eyes study me as he smiles. Mr. Carter looks like he just stepped off the set of a Hugo Boss commercial. He’s always dressed impeccably in a tailored suit, his dark hair graying at the temples. He might be closer to fifty than thirty, but the man is fine, and seeing him ditch the suit for a pair of swim trunks? Yowza. When I tell Izzy—my employee of one year, and the closest thing I have to a girlfriend—about this, she will lose her shit. “I came and dripped water all over you; I was an asshole.”

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