Frank isn’t having a good day. His office was vandalized and now someone has trashed his car! Can Penwarren really be so vindictive that he’s trying to ruin Frank’s life? Or is something else going on?
“God dammit!” He bellowed. “I have to call the cops again! I’m turning into a one man crime wave!” Yelling and cursing, he checked his car to see if there was any other damage. Someone had taken a key to both sides and smashed his headlights.
“I swear to God, when I find the person responsible, I’m gonna shoot him in the head. Why is this happening to me, Marka? I’m a nice guy. I’ve been behaving myself. Jeez, I haven’t even had sex in months!” He yelled the last louder than he’d intended. The people at the smoking gazebo looked up. He waved them off irritably.
“I know you didn’t intend to share that bit.”
“Yeah, well. . . . FUCK!” He kicked his tire and whipped out his phone. After he dialed, he put his head on his hand, rubbing his nose. “This is Frank Atherton—again. . . . Someone trashed my car. I just found it when I was heading to lunch. Thanks.” He hung up. “Insurance company’s gonna love me, huh?”
“It could be worse, Frank. Look at the bright side.”
“They didn’t do a Carrie Underwood.”
Frank shuddered. Suddenly, he had the urge to cry. Several of the smokers came over to where they stood. All of them saw the damage to his car and commiserated.
“That’s rotten luck,” Kenny said. “Did you call it in?”
“Yeah. First my office, now this. My house! I need to have someone go check my house.”
“I’ll go,” Kenny said. “It’s locked up, right?”
“I know this is a small town, but I lock everything. Thanks, Ken.”
“No problem, buddy. You’d do the same for me.”
They did a complicated handshake, ending in a man hung.
“I’ll call when I get there.”
“Thanks. If I don’t answer, it’s cause I’m talking to the cops.”
“No problem. Good luck.”
“I’m gonna need it. This is unbelievable,” he told Marka. “Whatever Ralph Penwarren brought me, I want it to go away.”
“You think all this is connected with him?”
“Don’t you? It’s a little too coincidental to be anything else. Unless you’ve got bad luck following you? You’re the only two things different in my life. Honestly, I’d love to blame this on him, cause you’re a whole lot more my type than he is.”
Marka giggled, kissing his cheek. “I sure hope so. From all accounts, he isn’t nice, nor is he a big spender.”
“Tight wad, tight ass. . . .”
The police car pulled up. Kim got out.
“You again? Do I need to haul you in to keep you under protection?’
“I’d much rather not, unless you allow for conjugal visits?”
“That only applies to prisoners.”
“Then I’m not going. Not that I’ve got any conjugals to visit over. . . .” He sighed. “I’m gonna go sit down over there. If you need me, yell.” He walked over to a park bench and sat down under a tree.
Marka joined him. She couldn’t suppress a giggle. “Conjugals to visit over?”
“Okay, I sound like an idiot.”
“No, you sound like a man who’s had way too much stress the last few days. Wish I could help.”
“You could,” he murmured, brushing her hair from her cheek.
His dark eyes glittered with golden sparkles deep within. Marka’s breath caught in her throat as she got lost in those eyes.
“Anytime, all you do is say the word,” he whispered.
She nodded, not taking her eyes from his. He mesmerized her with his voice and gaze, making her weak. She wanted to throw herself at him and let him cushion the fall with his body and his king sized bed.
Forcing herself to breathe, she smiled. “Soon. Give me a little more time, Frank.”
“You’ve got all the time you want. I’m a patient man.”
“With a brick of C-4 in his pants,” she whispered, grinning.
“That ain’t C-4, darlin’. That’s all Frankie.” He chuckled seductively, deep in his chest.
She bit her lip, holding back the gasp of anticipation that comment elicited. “You sure know how to sweep a girl off her feet.”
“Yeah? Damn, I’m good.” He put his arms across the back of the bench, his legs stretched in front of him.
“Offer her toilet paper, buy her breakfast, show her a crime scene. . . .”
His laugh caught him by surprise. He was feeling about as low as it was possible to go on such a beautiful day, but she made him forget for a moment. He picked up her hand, lacing his fingers with hers before bringing it to his lips.
© Dellani Oakes