Driving the opposite direction on a one way street in his clunky '89 Toyota Tercel, he managed to slam the breaks just before his tires ran into the curb. His neck's reaction to the forced stop slid his golden aviators down the bridge of his nose, his thick mustache barely scraping the lens as his sky blue eyes widened. He undid his stretched out seat belt and tossed his aviators to the empty passenger's seat, pressed his black Hawaiian shirt down his chest, and opened the door. A beer can fell off his lap and onto the street, he might have had a sip or two because the beer was just gushing out onto the pavement. He stared at it with his bright blue eyes and a sigh of disgust before walking up the sidewalk and knocking on the mint green half of a half mint half beige duplex. He waited a few seconds before knocking more angrily on the door. It took him a few more knocks before he noticed the buzzer, and he was just about to press it before he heard a woman's reply.
"Just a minute!" She yelled. Her voice instantly calming his breath. He placed his hand on the frame, leaning in and breathing heavily. The door opened, he sprung backwards. She was wearing a bathrobe, her skin was damp and she'd worn a turbaned towel over her hair, brunette locks peeking out from under it.
"Melissa!" He managed to speak her name and catch her eyes before belching out everything he had to say.
"I just saw your husband, and I heard you fighting earlier, and I just had to tell you that I don't think he's being very faithful right now. I saw him with a woman and his pants were undone and I don't think it's right for you or for me or for him either and I feel bad for the girl he was with and you're actually very special. I hear you put up with him sometimes and I don't know you but you have an amazing body, I mean look at you, and—"
"Stop, Dane." She mumbled with a depressed sigh. Her eyes had watered and she stepped aside, inviting him in.
"This is kind of you, thank you."
"I didn't mean for you to to be sad, Melissa, I just thought you should know, and he should know." Dane, now stumbled onto a black leather couch opposite Melissa.
"I already know." She mentioned with more strength in her voice. "It's just nice that you thought of telling me, it's very kind."
"What do you mean you already know?"
She replied hesitantly. "I smell it on him when he comes back, it's why we argue so much."
Dane just sat there for a moment, slumping into the couch and staring off into the room. There was a large red stain on the carpet. There was a bat next to a baseball mitt on a pedestal, both of them shined. They had a spotlight on them. He could look down the hall from his seat, too. He noticed their bedroom door was open, he saw the bed's wooden frame.
Melissa got up and head for the kitchen. "Can I get you anything? Some water? I was just making myself some leftover pasta if you'd like. Grilled chicken and penne in tequila-tomato sauce sound good?"
"Oh I couldn't. I'm sorry, I'll just leave you alone."
"Nonsense, have a plate with me. I won't have it all."
With a nod; he agreed.
"Let me just change real quick, I'll only be a minute." Her answer was faint, she'd already gone into her bedroom and closed the door. Dane was too nervous to stay put, though. He passed his hand through his mustache and got up on his feet. He paced back and forth, walking right up to the kitchen to see if any of the food was out already. He served himself a glass of water from the sink.
"That's dirty water, you should have just let me grab you a glass" she spoke from behind him.
"It's no big deal." He said as he turned around. She'd made her way around him, opening the fridge door and rummaging around. He found himself spellbound by her simplicity. Her pink tank top draping over her jeans. Her long skinny arms reflecting in the bright light of the refrigerator, the tiniest mole shadows pressing back against her skin, her damp brunette curls falling at either side of her. It all captivated him, and by the time she turned back with Tupperware in hand, she'd noticed.
"What?" She pulled some plates out and had a nervous chuckle. "Don't make me make you leave, now!"
Dane sprung up behind her and felt his arms go down the silk of her shirt. He felt her ribs poke through the cloth, and he felt the softness of her skin as his fingertips traveled lower onto her hips.
With a quiver in her voice, she sighed. "Please leave, Dane."
"No." He whispered back as he pressed his lips onto her neck. She sighed again, closing her eyes and turning around. She pressed her delicate fingers against the rough shadow forming on his cheeks, she pressed her forehead on his lips as hers quivered, and then he lifted her chin and grazed the bottom of his lip with the top of hers.
Thirty minutes later he'd made it to the wooden frame of her bed, her cushioned mattress rocked more than the frame did. Her curls swayed back and forth as she bit what he felt were the juices from her plump lips. Their shared exhausted moans echoed lightly together. His calloused fingers gripped at the bones of her hips as he stared up at her, waiting for the moments where the almond shaped eyes would open behind the curtains of curls, and then she stopped.
"Melissa, honey, where are you?" A deep voice belched from the other side of the house. "I brought you flowers; I was wrong earlier. I think we need to talk."
Dane looked up at Melissa to find her stunned in place. Her jaw gaping, and her eyes wide. He tried mouthing her to get off, he slid his finger across his neck violently and motioned her away.
"Honey, are you sleeping?" The deep voice grew nearer, though ever so slightly.
"Say something!" Dane whispered angrily as he tugged away at her hips. He tightened his eyes in pain and bit onto his knuckle.
"Oh... Yes Steve, I was just taking a nap. Give me a moment!" She finally caught herself, but her eyes were still full of fear.
"Do you want me to heat up yesterday's pasta? It's on the plate but it's all cold. Honey, did you just leave this here?"
Dane mouthed at Melissa again, this time she held onto his shoulders like a motorcycle. Her eyes had closed and a tear ran down her cheek.
"What the fuck is going on here?!"
Steve's broad shoulders covered the frame of the door. Melissa's sobbing sigh was muffled by Dane's agility. He held on to her hips and spun himself out of the mattress and onto the floor, where he hoisted himself up and looked straight into Steve's eyes.
"Get off him, Em!" Steve yelled, but it only made her tears stream down quicker.
"I can't, Steve. I'm stuck."
"What the fuck do you mean you're stuck? Am I gonna have to fucking pull you off him?"
While she sobbed and he argued, Dane managed to pick up his shirt and stick his arms through it. His bare legs still hooked to her entire naked body, and her body curled up around his.
"Look just leave her alone, man. You slept with Teresa, your wife slept with me." Dane spurted nervously. His eyes shifting from Melissa's neck, to Steve, to the rest of the frame of the door. "Will you get out of the way? I should get home and try to get her off of me. You're not helping."
"Nah, you're gonna get her off right here where I can see the both of you, and you won't be leaving the house soon after that, either."
Steve had mastered this passive aggressive tone so well that Melissa was nodding so much it was infectious. Dane started nodding too, and he walked right up to Steve with a finger pointing at his face and his other hand holding Melissa up by the butt cheek.
"You're gonna let me through right now, man. Right fucking now."
"Or what?!" Steve yelled angrily.
Dane looked Steve dead in the eye, and kicked his shin in with the heel of his foot.
"Fuck you!" Dane yelled halfheartedly as Steve exclaimed in pain and picked himself up from the ground. Dane stumbled towards the front of the house with a sobbing Melissa clinging tightly onto him. Mucus was running down her chin and onto his shirt. He made it back to the leather couch, he looked around, and made his way towards the baseball bat on the pedestal. He pulled at it with his right arm, his entire left side dedicated to holding up Melissa and her clinging body, and the bat just flung in his direction with the metal base still attached.
"What are you doing with my Derek Jeter signed baseball bat?" Steve panted with an air of sorrow.
"I'm gonna kick your ass with it, Steve."
"No!" Melissa squealed as she broke into heavy tears.
Dane stared ahead at Steve with rage in his eyes, and spoke to Melissa with pain in his heart.
"I'm sorry, baby, but I have to"
Melissa moped into his shoulder. Dane's Hawaiian shirt was drenched in salt and mucus by now.
"Please don't. Just put it down, or take it with you!" Steve exclaimed. "Just give it back to me later, send it over with Em. Don't use it. Please, leave the bat alone."
Dane exercised the swing on his right hand. He made an hourglass shape with a twist of his wrist, and walked very slowly to a humbled Steve.
"Look I'm sorry, I did you both wrong. I get it. I know."
Dane sneered at the petty apology. His blue eyes darkened with the shadow of his furrowed brow. The bat swishing away ahead of his sight. A low breath emerging from Dane's mouth, almost like gasps of air. Steve was horrified, backed into a corner. His eyes did all the begging for him. His broad shoulders were humiliating him now, coaxing themselves into his body as he lay in a corner on the ground. Dane's sneer and wrist were in complete control, the bat was just inches away from Steve's chin when Dane turned around and walked away. The bat was so close that Steve lunged for it, Melissa let out a scream. Steve's grip on the head of the bat was strong, but Dane kept his strength. He pulled back, swung himself around and kicked Steve across the jaw.
"No!" Melissa yelled, "No! No no, please no! He's a good man!" her whimpers fell back onto Dane's shoulder.
"Him!?" Dane yelled. "He's nothing." He whispered the insult towards Steve, who was just now slowly picking himself up from the floor. "He's worth nothing!" He yelled as he swung the bat into Steve's ribs.
Steve grunted, and the crack he heard was either discouraging or preventing him from movement.
"He'll be fine." Dane said, before tossing the bat aside and making his way through the door.
Melissa's irregular breath was hiccuping against Dane's chest. He walked down the street to his clunky old car, opened the door, and sat himself uncomfortably with Melissa still stuck on him. He closed the door, peered through her frizzy dried hair, and drove the car back up the street to the duplex building. He parked the car, they both took a few seconds to slide out as painlessly as possible, and he carried Melissa through the door on the beige side of the building
"I'm not going to the hospital. Unless you have a better idea, I've got some Vaseline in the bathroom."