“I haven’t been avoiding you,”
“You’re lying. The last time we were both at dinner, you got up in the middle of Mom’s fajita presentation and said you forgot to feed your cat.”
“You don’t have a cat.”
“Your grandmother used to say that you were two souls separated in heaven. She mainly meant you were both trouble and deserved each other.”
“Maybe we should have this conversation in an alternate universe where Alternate Indy gives a shit what Alternate Lee wants her to wear.”
“Do you always wear underwear like this, or is it for me?”
I rolled to my back and pulled the sheet to my waist.
“It isn’t for you, I’ve been wearing underwear like this since Gram gave me my first Frederick’s of Hollywood box on my sixteenth birthday. Now, I owe Victoria’s Secret my first-born child.”
Before speaking again, Lee waited several seconds that can only be described as ‘loaded silence’. While this silence was going on, he pulled the sheet back down.
“You’re tellin’ me that since you were sixteen you’ve been sittin’ next to me every year at Christmas Dinner wearin’ underwear like this?”
“So, now you’re getting shot at, you’re gonna leave me?”
“Girlie, I’m from Texas. We shoot at each other to say good morning.”
“You want to marry me?”
“No. I’m gonna marry you.”
“Lee, you’re gonna have to get over this jealous-possessiveness thing.”
“Indy, you’re gonna have to get used to the fact that I’m the jealous-possessive type.”
“I turned to Eddie. "Okay, I've never done this. This is the guy's department. What do I do? We need to get Lee's size and we need industrial strength. Show me which ones to buy."
Eddie looked at the display and looked to me. "You're askin' me to help you buy condoms for Lee?"
" Industrial strength condoms," I reminded him.
Eddie stared at me like he was re-thinking his crush on me.
"okay," I said, trying to be helpful, "we'll break it down. We'll start with the size."
He shook his head. "First, I'm a little worried you're lookin' to me to tell you Lee's size. Lee es mi hermano , but we aren't that close. Second, they don't come in sizes.”
“For what it’s worth, I’ll share my intentions. You and me, we aren’t practice for the real thing. It isn’t that too much is at stake with family and friends, it’s because I love you. You’re funny, beautiful and you care about people. I like the way you look at me, especially when you think I don’t notice it. I like that we have history and our kids will have a big family and share that history because there was never a time when their Mom and Dad weren’t together. If you were a terrible lay, I might have second thoughts but you and I are dynamite together. I intend to marry you and spend the rest of my life with you. If that freaks you out, tough, because now we’ve started this, there’s no goin’ back.”
“I do this thing for Rosie, you sleep with me"
I stared at him, open-mouthed and in stunned silence.
I did, of course, understand what he meant but he explained further.
"Not like last night, we'll both be naked and sexual acts will be performed."
My expression didn't change except maybe my mouth opened wider.
"I'll expect your participation."
"Your avid participation."
Dear Lord in Heaven.
Eventually, I whispered, "You must be joking."
He shook his head and watched me.
I dropped my eyes, unable to hold his stqare.
"I think I need more coffee," I told his throat.”
“I don’t get a taste of you soon, I’m givin’ up the search and takin’ you to my cabin in Grand Lake. No phones, no cell coverage, no buzzer. Anyone knocks on the door and I’m shooting them.”
“Okay, I’ve never done this. This is the guy’s department. What do I do? We need to get Lee’s size and we need industrial strength. Show me which ones to buy.”
Eddie looked at the display and looked at me. “You’re askin’ me to help you buy condoms for Lee?”
“Industrial strength condoms,” I reminded him.
“Let me get this straight,” he said and I could tell he was laughing, “you dragged Eddie to Walgreen’s to help pick out condoms for me?”
“Well, I didn’t know!”…
“Did you tell Eddie the part about long-lasting reliability?”
“Forget it,” I said.
“Indy?” he called.
“What?” I snapped, kinda pissy.
“I love you.” He still had laughter in his voice and there was something very cool about him laughing and saying I love you at the same time.”
“If it’s just you sharing your feelings, perhaps you can voice it less like an order,” I suggested.
“I’m used to giving orders and if it sounds like one then there’s always a chance you’ll obey.”
“How did Terrible Teddy’s face get like that?”
“You hit him?”
“He touched you, you said it hurt. I found him and beat the shit out of him.”
Oh… my… God.”
“Jeez, we haven’t even slept together and already you don’t trust me.”
“I’ve known you all your life not to mention the fact that my idiot sister is in the next room and when you two get together it’s like Laurel and Hardy do Denver.”
“They’re on Lee and Indy Sex Watch.”
“They want to know when we’ve done it.”
Silence. I went on.
“If we don’t do it soon, they might force us to at gunpoint.”
“I know. No pressure though. I told them we’re taking is slow.”
“You have to report in?”
“I kind of feel obliged.”
I didn’t want to tell him I’d recruited them both for Lee Maneuvres in the past, so I said, “Never mind.”
“If something doesn’t happen soon, it’s gonna be bad. I can’t keep focussed, all I can think of is what’s on your Victoria’s Secret credit statement.
“You need to keep focused,” I told him, “bad guys are after me.”
“Tell me about it.”
“At the sight and realisation that I was sleeping next to a naked Liam Nightingale, I’m not embarrassed to admit, I think I had a mini-orgasm”
“We’re not exactly together and were not, not together. We’re in together-limbo. We’re test-driving together to see if we want to buy it.”
“Liar. You've loved me since I held your hand at your mother's memorial service when you were five years old.”
“Jesus," he buried his face in my neck. "There's nothin' better in the world than hearing you say my name when I'm inside you." He slid in deeper, filling me. "I've been waiting years to be right here.”
“Fucking hell, India Savage wants hearts and flowers.”
I went up on my forearm. Hearts and flowers! As if! I was a Rock Chick!
“I do not!” I snapped.
He was grinning at me. “Yes you do.”
“Rule Number One in the India Savage Life Code: When in doubt or possible trouble, lie.”
“The Coffee Guy, whose name is Rosie by the way, has moved to El Salvador.' I lied.
This was not met with happy noises.
'He's turned his back on coffee and is in the wilds of Central America building houses for the poor. I think we should all take a moment away from our quest for coffee-satisfaction and think about this noble decision. As you clamor for caffeine and curse the hard-working but innocent staff at my store, Rosie is sitting in the bed of a beat-up pickup bumping across roads to make one room homes out of mud for those who have nothing at all”
“He’s good at this stuff.”
“Relationship stuff. He’s a natural. It’s weird, we’re new and we’re old. I can’t get my head around it.”
“He’s shit at relationship stuff. He’s only good at it because it’s you.”
“You’re shit at it too, but only because it was never him.”
“You know, you wouldn't even want a man who wouldn't go back to save someone's mother and a drag queen.”
“I don’t have black lace underwear and a matching garter belt,” I told Lee.
Eddie leaned back and chuckled again. Lee’s face didn’t change.
“I have red lace underwear and a matching garter belt,” I said.
This was true, I did.
Eddie quit chuckling.
“And black satin underwear and a garter belt. And then there’s my purple teddy thing with attached garters.” I paused. “I’ll model them all and you can choose.”
I looked at Eddie out of the corner of my eye and the smile was gone.
Then I sat back.
My work was done.
Lee granted me A Smile. It was small but it was meaningful.
“You’ve always been a lucky fuck,” Eddie murmured to Lee.”
“Lee on the other hand was not asexual. He might think of me as his little sister and could calmly sleep next to me without his nipples getting hard (or anything else getting hard for that matter) but I was pretty certain I could not do the same.”
“At that promise, and him calling me “gorgeous”, an electric spasm went straight through my lower belly and he kissed me and that was it. I’m a slut. I don’t know what to say, even with the emotional scene, I gave in.”
“What we have here is good and if you’d get over your thoughts that it isn’t gonna last, you’d realise how much better it’s gonna get if you’d just relax.”
“My life was over, finished, and I’d never seen Pearl Jam play live”
“Very unfortunately, she had no husband. She had never had a husband, and therefore did not kill a husband.”
“Seriously, if the bastards cheat on you, then they don't deserve you anyway. If that's a legit fear, then you probably shouldn't be with them to begin with.”
“Whenever I cared about someone, I imagined them leaving—the words they’d say, the way it would feel when they left. I thought if I prepared myself, it would be easier when it finally happened.”
“I’ve fallen in love with a beautiful, sexy, sweet, jealous control freak.
“It isn't complicated. You just open up and let someone in. And whatever comes after that, you face it together.”
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