Chapter 6 (Part 2)
December: No Sleep ‘til Park Slope
A glowing streak of sunshine warmed Nora’s bare shoulder. She nudged Ian and insisted that he shut the curtain. The sun was putting a glare on the TV and she didn’t want to miss a second of Rambo 4. He warned her that if he missed John Rambo rip out that bloke’s throat she would be very sorry. Pulling herself up onto the pillow she reached over and grabbed her cigarettes. Ian shut the curtain and climbed back in next to her.
“Did I miss it?” Ian asked worried.
Nora shook her head blowing out the smoke and continued watching the film. Rambo climbed the rickety stairs after the blonde female missionary – who now lay helpless at the feet of the bad guy. Nora, keeping her eye on the TV, tapped Ian’s arm.
“This is it,” she beamed with excitement.
Rambo snuck up behind the bad guy and wrapping his hand around his neck, he bore his fingers into the skin and ripped the bad guy’s throat out. At the same time Ian had bent over the side of the bed and grabbed his beer. After sipping his beer he asked Nora, if the scene was coming up. Wide eyed, she explained to him that it had just happened – he had missed it. Sulking back into his pillow he groaned.
“Why do you think I was tapping you?” Nora asked confused.
“I warned you. I warned that if I missed that scene you would be sorry.”
Perplexed, she insisted that it was his love of alcohol that had caused him to miss the Rambo throat rip, not her. While not even looking at her, Ian grabbed her by the back of her neck and pulled her head into his chest. He held her down with one arm and used the other to tickle her sides. Her shrieks startled Evan and Paulie, who were just waking up.
Evan knocked on the door and asked, “You two all right?”
Ian reassured his older brother that the two of them were only havin’ a laugh and that he should probably bugger off. Nora slapped Ian’s arm and scolded him.
“What the hell did he do?”
“Sweetie, we’re Irish, it’s how we speak to one another. You don’t talk to your family like that?” Ian explained then kissed the tip of her nose.
The sunshine’s rays burned through the heavy curtain and cast a warm yellow glow in the dark room. The rays revealed Nora’s grey and white sweater dress strewn over a ladder-back chair tucked under a small writing desk, her Jimmy Choo black boots crumpled underneath Ian’s black and red football shorts and jersey, and the cumbersome antique picnic basket. Ian went digging into the basket for the last of their spoils but was disappointed. He informed his guest that they were out of food. Laughing she asked what had he expected; they’d been living off that basket for two days.
“Christ! What a bunch of sex addicts,” Ian joked.
“And booze and cheese and wine,” Nora added.
Ian laughed then suggested that they get out of the flat for a bit and have some lunch at the pub. Stumbling for an excuse to avoid being seen, she quickly invited him back to her studio for a home cooked meal. Starving and wanting to shag her some more, he agreed.
Nora climbed out of the cab, placed her sunglasses over her eyes and walked up the sidewalk. Ian paid the driver and followed her.
“Hey!” he yelled, “You in a hurry or what?”
Nora froze. Behind her glasses she scanned the neighborhood for witnesses. She realized that this was not such a brilliant idea. At 8am, with the exception of Ian, the street was quiet and bare. Relieved, she turned smiling at her new lover standing in the middle of the glistening road, a fiery mess of curly hair, pointing down to the ground.
“Come here,” he ordered.
Ignoring him, she turned and started back for the studio.
Raising his voice, “Now!”
To avoid being found out, she rushed to the street and stood where he commanded. He demanded to know why she took off as if her ass were on fire. Trying to get him to get out of the street, she fabricated a story that she had forgotten her keys inside and was hurrying to see if the spare key was in its usual hiding place. If it wasn’t then they were going to need the cab to go back to his flat to get the key from Paulie. It was really simple; she had hurried so she could get into the studio before him, in case Jackson left any evidence of their life together. Removing her glasses, he leaned in and kissed her.
“Don’t run off from me. I like having you close,” he declared then led her to the studio.
Ian pushed open the heavy red door and let Nora into her flat. He admired the large dark hardwood planks, reaching out underneath him, bathing in the floor to ceiling windows’ light. The hallway cut the 950 square foot studio in half – to his right was the bedroom and the bathroom while on his left was a full kitchen and a wee living area turned workroom. She led him into the kitchen and offered him something to drink. He accepted a beer and had it in her small workroom. Tall spools of rich colored fabric stood stoic along the back wall. The ancient Japanese screens hid her sewing machine, worktable and heaps of scrapped fabric. Seated cat-a-corner, across from the sewing area, lived a dark cherry wood desk littered with unsorted papers, sewing patterns, books, shoe prototypes, and more mess.
Quickly removing the evidence, Nora spoke fast to explain how she could possibly afford such a flat on a free-lance clothing designer’s salary. Becoming the master of her tall tales, she alleged that the studio was in fact a sublet that her best friend from London, Sara Stone, had arranged for her. The man occupying the place had work over seas and needed someone to take care of the place, indefinitely. She had mostly lived here since arriving back to the States. With each lie she had rattled off, her head began to pound. She excused herself and rushed into the bedroom to finish her mission of hiding any signs of her fiancé. Brushing back the silk chiffon sheers, she checked the street for paparazzi. Not sure what to look for, she invented more stories only increasing her anxiety.
“Shit,” she complained to herself.
She tucked the last remaining evidence of Jackson into a trunk in the back of the closet. She stripped down to nothing then covered herself in her kimono. Calmer, she went back to him and offered him a shower and shave. She took the clothing off his back and offered to laundry it. He tried protesting, but his old fashioned hostess was persistent. Nora handed him a large spa bathrobe and shut the door. Next to the bathroom was a small closet that held the stacked washer and dryer. She tossed his garments into the machine then shut the door. Standing outside the bathroom door she listened to Ian while he sang and hummed happily to himself.
“What am I doing?” she wondered.
Remembering Jackson’s toiletries, she opened the door abruptly then tried to seem calm.
“Oh, Ian please help yourself to any of the man stuff left in there. The owner left a bunch of it in the small cabinet and the shower. I haven’t taken the time to clean it out, yet.”
He thanked her then insisted that she join him. To keep an eye on the evidence, Nora agreed and climbed into the shower. Immediately, Ian sucked on her breasts and entered her. She moaned loudly but was silenced by his large calloused hands. He turned her small body to face the porcelain bath tiles and entered her from behind. Keeping quiet this time, Ian acknowledged her obedience.
“Good girl. Stay quiet for daddy.”
Pulling her hair, with one leg in the tub and the other on the edge of it, he thrust into her. Her breaths left her quickly as she struggled to stay on her feet. Releasing her hair, he held onto her hips and slowly pulled himself in and out of her, repeatedly. After several moments of this, unable to be his good girl, Nora let out a loud scream and started to shutter.
“You all right?” he asked teasingly.
She self-consciously giggled, tried to turn and face him but was quickly forced to continue facing the tiled wall. When he finished, he held onto her waist shaking and panting loudly. The couple finished bathing and donning only their robes, returned to the bedroom. Ian stretched himself out onto her and Jackson’s king size Tempur-Pedic bed. Nora continued to play housekeeper.
“So what do you do for Christmas then, go back to Boston to visit with family?” he asked.
“Not since my dad died about 5 years ago,” Nora responded flatly.
“Oh, I’m sorry. What about your mother?”
“She died when I was 13 and I’m an only child,” Nora informed him.
Ian was quiet for a moment then asked if she would like to spend his favorite holiday with him and his family. Hearing his sweet invitation, she was tempted to say yes and end the entire charade with Jackson. She imagined running off to the green hills of Ireland, eating and fucking their way across it. She would design clothing for the local women of Bath, a made up city in her mind and he would…Ian would…panicking she realized that she didn’t even know how this man made a living.
“Ian, what do you do for a living?” she asked almost impatiently.
“Right now, I don’t do anything. My Da and his cousin ran a carpentry business together and they did quite well. I started at it when I was about 15 or so and after my uncle died, I helped my father run it. About 2 years ago, I sold it for loads and now here I lie on the most beautiful girl in the world’s bed.”
Nora, now completely sober and sore, slathered lotion on the heels of her feet, had a terrifying realization.
“I never asked you, but the night we met, at that CD release show, are you a fan of the Shantys?” Nora asked trying not to raise any suspicions.
Ian thought for a brief moment then responded that the Shantys were the reason why he stopped making music. Everyone wants to hear that Indie-rock bullshit and he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. Slightly amused with his rant, she agreed that it was too, not her cup of tea, but still she persisted.
“So why were you there?”
“I dunno…shit why was I there? Oh yeah, my friend Sir Lionel Charles Rothsbury, invited Evan and I.”
“Sir who?” Nora asked confused.
Ian explained to her that Sir Rothsbury was a moniker he and Evan had coined in reverence to Lionel’s uncanny ability to get invited to the most posh parties in either the States or England. He was an old music friend from when he used to play metal.
Nora continued to search for answers, “So you played music with this Sir Lionel?”
“Off and on, mostly underground metal but Lionel just seems to know everyone,” Ian admitted.
“When did you first notice me?” she asked cutting to the chase.
Upon entering the club, he admitted to noticing her mouth right away. He also noticed that the tall blonde goon from the Shantys wouldn’t stop playin’ grab ass.
“Next minute after that I had my hand up your skirt and was dragged off to jail. Shit, I should be asking you what the hell happened,” he said trying to remember.
Feeling a tad bit more at ease, knowing that most of his night was a blur, Nora then responded to his sweet invitation.
“Interesting. Well, actually to answer your question, I’ll be sharing Christmas with my girlfriend Sara and her husband’s family.”
“Come here,” he commanded again.
She obeyed and stood by the bed. Ian pulled himself up and nestled his wet head into her small belly. He held her close and let her play with his curls. Looking up at her like a child, he admitted that the past few days with her have been the happiest he’s been in years.
“Shh,” she cooed, “I know.”
She stroked his head, comforting him and tried to hide the tears welling up in her black eyes. Unable to keep the tears at bay, she rushed off complaining that she had forgotten to start the washer. Ian watched her pink kimono flutter out of the large room then rested back against her pillows. He closed his eyes and while listening to the comforting sounds of her fussing about the flat, before he knew it, he had drifted into a deep sleep. When Nora returned, she covered him with a blanket and shut off the lights. Returning to the kitchen, she poured herself a large glass of white wine, carried it into her workroom and standing by the small love seat, she gulped the entire glass. Removing it from her lips, she sobbed quietly.