Audrey had heard her share of pick-up lines from behind the bar, and had let herself fall for more than most. She knew that she had to be at least ten years his senior, and the look in his eyes spoke not just of bad boy, but maybe a little crazy. No, seriously crazy. Audrey had learned to judge men, and knew when she would be the rider, and when she would be the horse- With this guy she would definitely be the horse, and be ridden hard.
Alton Lee Findley reached across the bar and placed his long, spindly fingers over Audrey’s hand, and leaning in close to her ear, his lanky body stretching across the top of the bar, brushed her hair with the warm caress of his breath, and whispered, “Give me another Car Bomb. Please”, drawing out the final word into three syllables, hissing like a snake, and putting those fat lips so close the heat felt like it would ignite her. Her knees felt wobbly and Audrey thought that tonight maybe her jeans were indeed, a bit TOO tight. “What did you say your name was again?” sighed Audrey, unable to stop a tiny moan from escaping.
“Trouble”, whispered Finn, his tongue moistening his lips as he pulled his hands back, “My name is Trouble.”
“OK, Trouble, you look like a strong guy, you mind , uh, helping me move a few things here in the store room for a second? Bands gonna be jamming on that tune for at least another five or ten minutes.”
“Anything to oblige”, snickered Finn, the leer in his voice dripping like syrup. “ Keep an eye on things, Daryll. Be back in a flash.”
“So, you really kill somebody” giggled Audrey as they disappeared into the stockroom behind the bar.
Daryll’s head slumped to the bar in despair. He had never envisioned the turn of events this day had taken and the headache he was developing from downing three Natty Bohs in such quick succession was making his head swim like a fish in an ever shrinking fish bowl. The intensity was focusing to a spot right behind his eyes and his thoughts were wandering, quickly sinking into a quicksand of memory.
Russell Daryll was a quiet young man, totally out of his depth with the likes of Alton Lee Findley and Barlow. He had gone along that morning more as a opportunity to get out of the house for awhile, get some coffee and a calorie laden breakfast at the diner, then maybe get back home and put in some hours on an old BSA bobber he was restoring. Daryll was good with his hands and liked to stay busy. Being on the run with that crazy ass Finn had not been on his appointment calender.
Even over the sound of a thunderously inventive drum solo coming from the front of the bar, the muffled jackhammer moans of something mimicking passion were coming from the little storage space. And were off the beat. Russell put his throbbing head in his hands and groaned. He secretly resented the attraction Findley radiated to women. He was nuts, and aside even from that, he was just a prick, and had no respect, or love for the human race, women or men. For Finn, women were just a place to wet his dick.
A shy and sensitive type, Daryll had always had a certain amount of anxiety with girls. He had trouble finding the words they wanted to hear. He respected and adored them,and appreciated smart, accomplished women, but they tended to consider him kind. A nice guy. Women wanted TROUBLE. Women wanted to walk on that razor’s edge. He felt like a dull butter knife in comparison. In the fever of his pounding brain, Daryll remembered his first time, when the mother of a high school friend , she must have been at least forty, had caught him alone one Saturday afternoon. She had offered him a Guinness , the sweet, bready flavor still fresh on her breath as she moved closer towards Daryll’s as yet unviolated borders. He had stolen a glance or two at her before from between the stacks at school where she worked as a part-time librarian, and had caught himself thinking more than once what a nice ass she had, how hot,especially for a friend’s mom. He remembered how, with eyes that brought to mind the melting polar icecaps, a cool blue, but melting with the slowly increasing warmth, she had invited him to nuzzle her neck beneath a cascade of sleek, soft blonde hair. Years later, here in this damned bar in Baltimore, the memory of her husky voice returned to him, her patient murmuring “You can turn my pages, anytime”as she helped him unhook her lacy black bra, still brought a certain stiffening to his resolve.
“Audrey had learned to judge men………”


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