This one had long lashes. Suspiciously long, in fact. Her ex-boyfriend had tried to defend his use of mascara by pointing hopefully at the bottle, as though his nicotine stained fingers would enhance his masculinity, and the label manscara would lessen her scorn. *Man*scara.
She couldn’t tell with this one though, not from this distance, so she narrowed her eyes for a clearer look. When the other girls had been coaxed into girlish roles during their teens, being taught how to flick hair like a Charlie’s Angel and pout like a model in a Robert Palmer filmclip, she’d been out the back smoking menthol cigarettes and headbanging to Guns & Roses.
Early Gunners, naturally. Nobody talks about the later albums.
So when she tried to squint at his lashes, she didn’t quite manage to be surreptitious. Other girls could have pulled that off; girls with matching underwear and hopeful cheekbones, who chose their own nicknames and refused to carry condoms in case it made them look cheap. Our girl didn’t care if she looked cheap, but it would’ve killed her if she’d looked approachable.
She just wasn’t the type.
But with one contact lense cloudy from both the smoky bar and her inelegant jab with the kohl pencil – she’d kinda missed the lesson in makeup application too, and you don’t want to know what she’d been up to that day, believe me – she managed to bypass the secretive squint she’d been aiming for and winked at him instead.
It wasn’t exactly a disastrous act.
Worse things had happened.
Even to him.
So when he took her act of feminine ineptitude as flirtation and sat down next to her, you couldn’t blame her for what she did next.
She reached out one languorous claw, one sage little spur, and went fishing.
His voice held a smoker’s cadence and a boy’s qualm, and neither sounded at home in his body. “Tell me about yourself.” He knew as soon as the sibilance left his mouth that he’d fucked up, for if our girl needs anything, she needs the path to her door swept in a sassy circle, not clomped in cliché. You could almost feel sorry for him; well, if he wasn’t wearing manscara. And possibly a skerrick of blush, which was kinda cute, when you thought about it. Either that, or he was actually blushing, which was even cuter.
She licked her lips, and started talking.
“I like hares.”
Silence. Those luxurious lashes blinked down at her; twice.
“I like the sound of the word Sassafras, and the use of the word delectable, but only in winter. Not too keen on the letter U though; it has wild eyes. When I’m sleepy I purr – like a tom, not a kitten – and when I’m ovulating I could knock down a small child for their chocolate. I’m allergic to purple and terrifying to Virgos. Thunderstorms make the strands of my hair ache.”
She slid the lime from her cocktail into the curl of her mouth and watched. He was no longer blinking.
“I love the name Liesl and the smell of lazy Sundays. I lick the salt from capers when I’m too frisky to cook. I have a scar on the sole of my feet and not a lot of trust in my heart. I recite Duran Duran lyrics in my sleep – except “The Reflex”, for personal reasons – and drink vodka made through bison grass. Gingerbread men scare me. Saturdays I test leotards for dance reality shows and most evenings I collect stray hairs and plait them into beak warmers for ducks. I eat raspberries in ice cubes, succotash in autumn, and cupcakes in the bath. I enjoy sneezing.”
She couldn’t quite be sure, but she thought she could see his mouth curling too.
“And I want a man who’s a straight whiskey drinker, a superlative cat whisperer, and an adamant Piscean.”
He found his tongue and used it well.
“Are you done?”
She thought she might be, but one more danced past the lime rind and sashayed out her knowing mouth.
“I also like corn. “
She spat a pip at him and grinned. “What about you? What do you want?”
The husky warmth now sounded utterly at home as he grinned back “I want a woman who snorts when she laughs.”
And she felt the cackle building at the back of her throat, rising up her nose.
© bellmusker 2009
A full moon and scorching summer night make my muse playful.
She’s a frisky one.
If only flirtation could be this much fun, hey?