I smile slyly down at her. I realize I don’t need the anger she keeps poking at.
“You have to hurt me though. Scratch the hell out of me and it’ll come through the Scotch haze.”
Barbara plays her hand lightly up and down my back. “And we’ll probably never do this again after this weekend. Are you okay with that?”
“I’m exactly what you’re looking for.”
We kiss. Her nails catch into my skin. I feel a cry of pain coming into my throat. I stop it and push it down. Another one shoots through me I push down some more. The booze mist begins to clear and then turns red. We have a rhythm now, my pain her pleasure.
She wraps her arms around my neck and presses her cheek against me, “She’s still all over you, Bette. Go ahead, tell her to fuck off.” She welcomes me to the twisted re-calibrations Alphas seek from each other.
Bette’s House – Sunday Afternoon
My cell phone rings. It’s Tina. I think about not answering. We have a child together. “Hello.”
“Bette, can you come get me?” I hear a real worry in her voice. My senses rise up from craving the nap I was just about to take to full alert. I pick up my keys, and slip my wallet into my jacket, and I’m out the door.
“Where are you right now? Are people around you? People who look like they have a brain in their head? You aren’t in Venice Beach, are you?”
“No. But yes there are people around me. I left the Beverly Center and came over to the Audi dealership across the street.”
“What happened?” I ask as I back out of my driveway and head toward Beverly. “Where’s Angelica?”
“I’m sure I’m crazy. It’s just that Allsweld’s out of prison this week. I don’t know. Bette, I think I just saw him in the crowd at the mall watching me.”
“She’s with you?” I open the glove compartment and take out my Bowie knife. At the traffic light I thread it through my belt.
“No, she’s with Angus and Kit. A puppet show at the Children’s Center.”
“Where the fuck is Henry?” I race through late afternoon Sunday traffic.