There’s something about wrinkled hundred-dollar cotton dress shirts, creased shirtsleeves and loosened ties. It’s the scent of decadence; the spill of play; the air of something wicked stirred.
Martini glasses and tumblers of aged amber spirits; shined Italian leather, cashmere socks, and alligator belts. Legs spread, not vulgar just relaxed, open to possibilities, inviting opportunities for a lazy straddle, the drift of a stray hand, wavy hair canting down like a curtain closing off the outside world.
No regrets. That’s what it says. No regrets, no hesitations, no double-takes or look-backs or apologies. Just–
Just in the moment.
Carver’s a ladies lady tonight, her gray suit pants still neatly ironed despite the fact that she had put them on nearly twenty four hours earlier at the crack of Friday’s dawn. Capped and tapped brown monkstraps stayed on her feet, comforting in their constriction. The top two buttons of her shirt were undone, the blue reverse repp stripe tie grasped tightly in the hands of someone who had no business holding onto her tie.
Tuck was a man’s man – his short hair spiked up and mussed, jaw stubbled and roughened, shawl cardigan spread lewdly open, as if to draw attention to his own state of studied indulgence. He sniffed once, twice, and to the practiced eye it was evident the need to clear his sinuses, to push-pull the powder that gave his ears an extra bit of flush, his eyes an extra bit of intensity.
“We can’t keep living like this,” Carver said, whispered really, as she resisted the tug on her tie, resisted the far too pretty blonde curled up on her lap. “You’re married.”
She laughed. Edie Appleton was so newly married that she still signed her maiden name.
“I’m married,” she repeated Carver’s words and leaned in closer. “You’re not.”
Tuck coughed in the corner, victim of a cigarette pull gone wrong, and Carver blinked and held her breath at the sudden weight of her friend’s hand on her shoulder. She hadn’t seen him stand up, move across the room, stoop down. His thumb ground into the socket, almost painfully, and his lips caressed the shell of her ear – she felt his breath like a tongue through her canal and down to her soul.
“Remember what you told me earlier?” Tuck asked. “I’ll remind you. ‘Just say yes’. No matter what, ‘just say yes’.”
Carver blinked again before exhaling, slowly, surely, softly. She felt Edie shift in her lap, fingers slip into the knot of her tie, tugging her head downwards into the vee of her silken blouse, into the abyss–