Read Olivia Online

Authors: Donna Sturgeon

Olivia (3 page)

BOOK: Olivia
5.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

After the last customer left, George turned the chairs onto the tables then headed into the backroom to get the mop bucket. “Time to go, Liv.”

“But I haven’t finished my beer yet.”

“Drink faster!” he called out over the sound of running water.

She ignored him and grabbed the broom from behind the bar. She wasn’t ready to go and he wouldn’t force her out. He gave up trying to enforce Kitty’s posted hours on her months earlier. As they did almost every night, Olivia swept and George mopped, then they both washed the last of the glasses. He handed her another beer, grabbed one for himself, and they went into the office so he could do the books. She flipped through his CDs until she found The Killers and slipped it into the stereo, cranking the volume up. George frowned. She turned it back down, one bar at a time, until he stopped frowning.

George started sorting the day’s receipts and asked the same question he always asked, “How’s your dad?”

She gave her standard answer, “He’s good.”

George and her father, Eugene, had sat on her deck drinking together once. Neither man had spoken a word to the other while George polished off a six-pack of Bud and Eugene nursed a two-liter of Coke and chain-smoked Camels, but apparently the experience had bonded the men for life. Guys were weird like that.

Olivia’s tummy growled. “Do you have anything to eat around here?”

George opened the top desk drawer and pulled out a half-eaten granola bar. He tossed it to her and she finished it off in two quick bites.

“Got anything else?” she asked.

“No, but I hear the grocery store does. It’s that big building on the highway with all the lights, and tons of food on shelves.”

“Hardy har.” She stretched out on the saggy, plaid sofa in the corner of the office. It smelled like an ashtray dipped in rancid fryer grease from living in the bar for the past twenty years, and was still harboring stray tufts of Miss Kitty Cat’s fur under the cushions, but it was comfortable.

“I also hear they have stuff you don’t have to cook. Why don’t you go check it out?”

She lit a cigarette. “I’ll have you know I’m a very good cook, thank you very much. I just choose not to do it.”

“Warming up SpaghettiO’s doesn’t count. And put that out.”

She rolled her eyes and took a drag. George hated when she smoked in his office, but she didn’t see why. It wasn’t like one cigarette’s worth of tar was going to further ruin the upholstery. “You got any job openings?”

“No.” He waved futilely at the ribbon of smoke drifting his way, but returned his attention to the stack of receipts in front of him without another admonishment.

“Not even for me?”

“Especially not for you.”

“Why?”

“Because.”

“Because why?”

George looked up at her with a sigh of exasperation. “Isn’t it past your bedtime?”

“As a matter of fact, it is.” Olivia smiled. “You wanna come tuck me in?”

“Go home, Liv.”

She watched him punch numbers into his adding machine, his fingers dancing across the buttons like child’s play. He could type words blazing fast as well. She was more a hunter and pecker of the keyboard herself. He’d told her once what he used to do for a living when he’d lived in Omaha, before he’d moved to Juliette to run Kitty’s, but she couldn’t remember what he’d said. Insurance, or sales… finance, maybe. Whatever it was, she was sure he’d been really good at it. Try as she might, she couldn’t picture him wearing a suit and tie to work every day, but she wondered if he missed it.

“Hey, George?”

“Hmm?”

“What did you think of that Ryan guy from last night? He texted me this morning and wants to go out again.” She tapped her ashes into the mouth of an empty beer bottle sitting on the end table. “Do you think I should say yes?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“I didn’t like him,” George said.

“How come?”

“No reason.”

“Izzie thinks he’s perfect for me.”

“Izzie’s wrong.”

Olivia smiled. They’d known each other for less than a year, but George knew her better than anyone else in the world. It was almost instinctual.

They fell into silence as George concentrated on his bookkeeping and Olivia finished her cigarette and sipped her beer. It was late, the time most people were tucked tight into their beds, fast asleep, but Olivia was a bundle of energy. The longer they sat without talking, the antsier she became. Her knee bounced, her tongue clicked, her fingers drummed anxiously. Before long, every molecule in her body was buzzing and hopping and popping and dancing the Watusi.

“Oh, my
gaaawd
, I’m bored,” she cried to the ceiling when she couldn’t take the Killers-laced silence any longer.

“Then go home.”

She hopped off the sofa. “Dance with me.”

“Not tonight.”

“Come on, George, just one little dance. Please, please, please.”

Olivia was in love with George for many reasons, but
numero uno
was the way the man danced. His ass was hot when he stood still, but when his hips were tucked up against hers and her hands were on those amazing cheeks and their bodies gyrated together…
mm, mm, mm.
She was horny just thinking about it. She should’ve put in a little Missy Elliot or a slow jam instead of synthpop. He’d have been out of his chair and wrapped around her body without her even having to ask.

“It’s never one dance with you,” George said. And he was right. Dancing with George was like eating potato chips—once Olivia got the taste of his body in her mouth, so to speak, she couldn’t stop until she ate the whole bag. If they started dancing now they would dance until dawn. He looked tired so she changed tactics.

“Then take me for a ride in your truck.”

“Go home.” George picked up a pile of cash. He rapped it on the desk twice, then licked his thumb and forefinger and started counting bills just as fast as he had tapped buttons moments earlier. The man had mad skills.

“Come on, George.” She bounced around to his side of the desk. “Come out and play with me.”

“I’m busy. Go home.”

“Let’s go TP Louise’s house.”

“No.” He let out a whispered curse, and started counting the cash over again from the beginning.

“Come on, Georgie. When’s the last time you threw a roll of toilet paper into a tree?”

“Not since I was eleven, and I don’t plan to do it again.”

“Come out and play with me.” She leaned over his shoulder and gave him a cheeky grin. “I promise I’ll be on my best behavior.”

He set the money down with a sigh and scrubbed his face with his hands. “You don’t know how to behave.”

“Sure I do.” She pulled his chair away from the desk and swiveled him around until he faced her, then grabbed his hands and tried to pull him to his feet. But he wouldn’t budge. She pulled and tugged and grunted and pulled some more, but he stayed glued to his chair and glared at her.

“Are you done yet?” he asked.

She shifted her grip and pulled harder. “Nope.”

She grunted and tugged, putting all her weight into it this time until she was practically sitting on the floor, but he remained solidly seated in his chair.

“God, you’re a pain in the ass.” He gripped her hands and jerked back on his arms so hard she popped up off the floor, and slammed into his chest with an audible
oof!
He locked her in tight with his arms as his lips came crashing down onto hers.

Oh Lordy-be, he was an amazing kisser. She couldn’t help but whimper out in wanting when his tongue slipped inside. He responded immediately, intensifying the kiss until her insides dissolved into liquid fire.

When he finally pulled away for a jagged breath, she smiled. “You love me anyway.”

“Heaven help me, I do,” he whispered, his eyes dark with wanton lust.

Her lips returned to him to nibble and tease his neck as his hand slipped under her shirt and blazed along her skin. He tasted so good he was like candy—hot, sexy, melt-in-your-mouth, man-candy. When her lips settled on the sweet spot below the square corner of his jaw, he breathed out a heavy sigh that turned into a groan of un-masked pleasure. It vibrated under her lips and undulated throughout her body.

Her lips worked a little magic on him. His hands worked a lot of magic on her. He got hot. She got hotter. His lap got quite crowded. And then, when she least expected it, he shoved her off his lap, and onto the floor. She landed square on her rump with a solid thud. Damn.

“Now, go home. I’ve got a ton of shit to get done and you’re bugging the hell out of me here, Baby Girl.”

“One of these days you’re not going to be able to stop kissing me.” She bounced back up to her feet and leaned over him, the tip of her nose kissing his. “And I won’t stop you either.”

“Go home, Liv.” He was still breathing a little hot and heavy, but he didn’t make a move to take her back into his arms. He was done for the night.

Olivia let out a sigh of disappointment as she straightened. “See you tomorrow.”

“Same time, same place.” He winked and turned his chair back around to face his desk.

Olivia left Kitty’s with George’s kisses still hot on her lips and perpetual disappointment in her heart. She only had herself to blame for the lovesick feeling. No matter how much she wished otherwise, she knew George would never go beyond kissing her. She wasn’t his type.

She was average height, average build with smaller than average breasts and unruly, mousey-brown hair that poofed like cotton candy in the humidity. The more she worked with it, the more it misbehaved, so she usually made do with twisting it into a clip and hoped it stayed in all day. When she bothered to put on make-up she ended up looking like a two-dollar hooker, so she didn’t bother. Her wardrobe consisted mainly of athletic clothes that she’d never sweated in and cheesy t-shirts. Basically, she was a mess. And not even a hot one.

George liked athletic. George liked stylish. George liked rich, caramel skin tones and thick, dark hair. And she was almost one-hundred-percent certain that, despite his obvious physical response to their kisses, George preferred his women to be of the male persuasion—but she was holding out hope that she was wrong.

Approximately a month after George moved to Juliette, he had taken her completely by surprise with an invitation to his place for a late dinner and a few drinks. This was a few days after she had drunkenly revealed her willingness to make a deal with the devil for a night of passion with him. She had been in high-heaven, convinced he planned to take her up on her offer.

While he had been busy whipping up something in the kitchen that smelled wonderful and had a French name, she had been busy snooping through his personal effects. In his bathroom she discovered his addiction to dental floss. In his bedroom she found out he preferred boxer-briefs to boxers or briefs. And in his office she uncovered a framed photo he had hidden underneath a package of printer paper.

The photo was of George and a man with a deep tan who was as ruggedly handsome as George, maybe even more so, standing in front of a cute little bungalow with green shutters, a pink crabapple tree in full bloom and a “Sold” sign in the yard. George and the man weren’t touching each other in the photo, but something about the way they stood next to each other screamed intimacy in a way that a blatant kiss could not. It was the exact same feeling she got whenever she looked at pictures from Izzie and John’s wedding or walked into a room that only they had occupied a moment before. The love they shared was so undeniable it seemed to ooze out of their pores, spilling into the world around them.

Disappointed, but not defeated, Olivia had tucked the photo back where she’d found it and returned to the living room. She never made mention of it to George, and she never changed the way she threw herself at him with obvious disregard to common decency. She never wanted him to know she had discovered his secret. If he wanted her to know, he would tell her. She also knew that even though the majority of the world didn’t care about sexual orientation, Juliette, Nebraska was not in the majority. For that reason alone, he probably wouldn’t be telling her any time soon, no matter how much he trusted her.

Olivia climbed into her Buick and drove the few blocks from Kitty’s to Valley View Trailer Court where she was the not-so-proud owner of a 1950-something, Atlas mobile home on Lot Number 14. The trailer was more a glorified camper than a house, but the woman who had owned it before Olivia had spent a fortune encapsulating it in its 1950’s glory.

When Olivia bought the home, it came fully-furnished in pieces actually from a 1950’s Sears catalog, and was decorated in an oddly-comforting array of clashing colors. The kitchen walls were painted baby blue, the upper cabinets sunflower-yellow. The base cabinets were white, topped with fire-engine-red countertops. The living room was also blue, the bathroom sea-foam green, and the bedroom an almost-indescribable shade of pink. Rainbow Brite would’ve been in hog heaven living there.

Seven trailers had been for sale in the court when Olivia first began looking. Of the seven, two had been in her price-range. The other one had been bigger, and had two full bedrooms as advertised, instead of trying to pass off a closet as sleeping quarters like the Atlas owner had done. The other trailer had also come fully-furnished, decorated in neutral tones. Olivia had disliked them both, but she had ended up choosing the 1950’s flashback simply because it was located clear on the other side of the trailer court from her father, Eugene.

Of course, that didn’t stop him from visiting, as evidenced by the fact that he was sitting on her deck, chain-smoking and bouncing his knee up and down in agitation when she pulled up to her home-sweet-home and parked in the carport.

Her father was a tall, thin man with long, thinning hair, thick glasses and a goatee. She used to tell people she was adopted, but no one ever believed her. Other than the fact that she probably outweighed his scrawny ass by a good fifteen pounds, Olivia looked exactly like him—minus the facial hair, of course.

“Hey, Eugene,” she said on a heavy sigh.

The excess of energy she’d had at Kitty’s had disappeared on her drive home. It took everything she had to pull her heavy body up the steps to the wooden deck attached to the trailer. She didn’t move in to hug her father, and he didn’t get up from the plastic lawn chair he was sitting in to hug her. Her family did not touch.

BOOK: Olivia
5.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Witchful Thinking by H.P. Mallory
Shatterproof by Collins, Yvonne, Rideout, Sandy
Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield
El asedio by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Dunk by Lubar, David
A Needle in the Heart by Fiona Kidman
What To Read After FSOG: The Gemstone Collection Part Two by Vi Keeland, Adriana Hunter, Kate Dawes, Malia Mallory, Nina Pierce, Red Phoenix, Ranae Rose, Christa Cervone, Michelle Hughes, Ella Jade, Summer Daniels
The Midnight Swimmer by Edward Wilson