Thursday, August 11, 2005

In the Mountains.

With the delay occasioned by taking the scenic route, Duncan and Jerrica reached the cabin in the woods at about eight. They dropped their bags, relieved themselves. Jerrica washed her face and took off her scarf, since the smoke had subsided a little her in the mountains. Duncan drove the last half hour into Leadville, driving more carefully than he had on the way to the cabin.

The waiter frowned, just a little, when they asked for a table for two. Jerrica’s makeup was too heavy, but didn’t hide the fact that she had just turned sixteen this summer. Duncan didn’t seem to notice. He ordered two vodka martinis, and then ordered dinner for her as well as for him. The fettuccini with crab sauce had been one of her top two choices anyway, so Jerrica decided to consider it empathy, instead of bossiness. He ordered a twelve ounce steak. They were too tired to say much after the long ride, and the martinis went surprisingly fast. Duncan ordered another round when the waiter finally came with water glasses. The second round went quickly as well. Jerrica was beginning to feel just a little drunk. Duncan started to relax. He casually stroked her calf under the table with his hand. They had done little but stare into each other’s eyes when dinner arrived.

It wasn’t as if either of them was a virgin, or, even that this was their first time. But, the sexual tension still filled the space between them. They’d been on several dates now, but each for an evening or for lunch, or once for a hike and breakfast. Their first time, her only time, had been a frenzied affair with Duncan in a bedroom at Duncan’s friend’s house, at 2 a.m. on the night they‘d first met, after a long night of intimate dancing at a Denver club.. But, they’d never had an entire long weekend, and had never met planning in advance to have sex (although neither of them had said so out loud even this time). Like most high school girls in the 2030s, she had an implant to prevent pregnancy and has been warned to use condoms. But, she didn’t use a condom the first time, and she didn’t bring any this time either. She was only here at all now because she’d chosen to leave without asking her father’s permission., knowing no one would be home when she left.

Duncan started talking when dinner arrived, loosened up by a couple of drinks. “You look great tonight. How’d you like to go dancing after we eat?”

“I’d love it.”, Jerrica said. “It’ll probably just be us and a bunch of old farts, but I’m not afraid to make a little bit of a show, are you?”

“No. When I’m dancing with you, the rest of the world goes away.”

Unlike so many men, Duncan actually could dance, and well. His sense of rhythm was impeccable and he paid attention to his partner, so that he was in synch with her. Jerrica, despite the fact that she was just sixteen, was electrifying. On the dance floor she was totally uninhabited and yet moved with so much definition that your eyes were drawn to her when you walked in the room. She lead and the rest of the dance floor followed. She moved with purpose and emotion. Despite her lack of experience, Duncan had discovered that Jerrica’s incredible abilities as a dancer translated well to the bedroom. She had a natural grace and a sense of her own body.

“One of these days,” he said, “I want to open my own motorcycle shop. Just motorcycles. Repairs, new bikes, used ones, the whole thing. Maybe even tours.”

“Do you think you could pull it off?”, Jerrica asked.

“Sure, why not? Mr. Salazar and Mr. Carrey did it, and they’re no smarter than I am. Hell, given half a chance Mr. Carrey would tell off every Nigerian who comes into the shop with a clunker that needs repairs and we’d lose half our business. I’d know better than the bite the hand that feeds me.”

Jerrica didn’t know. She’d been introduced once in passing to Mr. Salazar and had never even met Mr. Carrey. “Doesn’t it take a lot of money to open up a shop?”

“Not really.”, Duncan said, “Your employees rent their own tools, there are plenty of places in the suburbs where you can rent an old garage cheap, and I really know plenty of people who could send business my way, so I wouldn’t need to spend a lot on ads. Sure, I‘d need more money than I have now, to buy motorcycles and parts to sell, but it wouldn‘t be so much. I‘ll bet I could even get a loan for some of the cost.”

“That would be great.”, Jerrica said.

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