Lerato folded her hands behind her head and leaned back in her swivel chair. An air vent hummed softly above her and suddenly puffed a blast of warmth into her face. She jumped, startled.
When she had composed herself, she giggled privately and ran her palms along the sleek chrome and white leather arm of her seat in appreciation. Everything at the Hathaway Fund, from the furnishing to the stationery was modern, chic and intentional. Of all the things Paul had goaded her into doing; this had to be the best. This was her sixth week as a portfolio manager for Hathaway. It was like an escape she never knew she needed. Here, she felt like she was in complete control, making decisions about investment mix and policy and asset allocation. Every time she heard the words “metrics”, “risk” and “objectives” it was like an orgasm for her brain. Here, no one talked about Barney or diapers… unless it was related to cotton prices or unrest in the manufacturing sector. People solved problems by talking them through logically, not like a pair of two year olds.
Speaking of which, it would soon be time to get home to her toddlers. Paul was in such a sulky mood lately that she dreaded being in the same room with him. She understood why, however, which was the only reason his attitude was tolerable. He was concerned about Nomsa. The visit with the ophthalmologist had not gone well at all. She might lose her sight altogether. He blew when he heard the prognosis.
“Oh, great! So now I’m going to have a blind child, on top of all her other disabilities?”
Dr. Reddy, the specialist who had come highly recommended, was horror-struck. She glowered at Paul, her lips tight as she began a terse reprimand.
“Sir, you’re being a little – “
Lerato cut her off, sensing that the good doctor’s next words would not be complimenting.
“You’re being a little insensitive, Paul,” she said softly. “We have to think of Nomsa now, not ourselves.”
The color slowly returned to Suhair Reddy’s face. She shot Lerato a side glance; whether in appreciation or irritation for being cut off, it was difficult to tell.
“Yes. We must think of Nomsa. This is the course of treatment I recommend for the next few months.”
Lerato slung her chocolate and cream colored kudu leather bag over her shoulder and prepared to brave the gale force winds whipping about outside. Frigid gusts found their way up her plaid skirt and ferociously bit her thighs and buttocks. Fortunately, the pharmacy was only a short walk away from her new office on High Street. She scampered through the door and greeted the tiny pharmacist manning the counter at the back of the store.
“Evenin’. I’m here to pick up a prescription.”
The hawkish woman in a white lab coat hardly looked up from her screen.
“A minute, please.”
Lerato took note of the pharmacist’s name tag. Mary. Dull, simple and short – just like its owner. She sighed and thought of Accra and Khalid. She missed the heat, the manic disorder, the intention behind every surreptitious glance and sincere smile. London had its moments, but it didn’t have Accra’s vibrancy; not for her. At least she had Kal’s flirtatious text messages and phone calls to transport her back to the city – and the man – she had grown to love.
Mary returned, holding a brown paper bag. She handed Lerato the contents and snatched off the stapled prescription.
“Two drops a day, per eye, twice a day,” she said flatly, tapping the blue and white paper.
Lerato inspected the prescription sheet and gave Mary a side glance.
“Yes… that’s what it says.”
Mary shot Lerato a look through slit eyes.
“Do not over apply the solution to the patient’s eyes.”
It was obvious that Mary was struggling to assert her own self-importance. Perhaps she had dreams of becoming a surgeon or a veterinarian… and all she could do was land a job dispensing pills. What cruel twist of fate had brought Mary here? Lerato softened a bit and gingerly picked the bag up from the counter.
“I won’t.” Lerato handed the clerk her co-payment and paused. “Have a good night, Mary.”
A blast of cold air hit her in the face and blew her bangs backward as she swung the glass door of the pharmacy open. It would be nice to get home and sit by the furnace with a cup of tea… if only Paul would allow her some reprieve! Before her thoughts had a chance to grow any grimmer, a high pitched ring sounded out from the depths of her bag.
Khalid. Right on schedule.
“Where are you? You sound like you’re in a tunnel.”
Lera laughed and dropped Nomsa’s prescription into her purse.
“I’m actually just on my way home from work. I’m outside.”
“I can hear your heels clicking against the ground. They sound sexy.”
“Haiii… and how do ‘sexy heels’ sound?”
There was a smile in his voice when he replied.
“Anything your feet touch is turned to sexiness.”
“Ha!” Lerato snorted, discharging an inelegant guffaw. “I’ll be careful where I tread, then.”
“Yes. No churches or other houses of worship, please.”
“You have my word, Kal.”
Someone had left a piece of meat pie on the ground. Lerato did a quick skip to avoid it. The image of the meaty pastry being magically transformed into ‘sexiness’ made her chuckle anew. The effort if took to laugh and the sound of Khalid’s steady breathing warmed her against the frost in the air. Soon her forehead was beading with sweat.
“What are you doing tonight?” she asked casually.
“I’m about to hit the shower and then maybe head out for a drink.”
“Meeting anyone in particular?”
She tried to keep her voice light, not wanting to convey the sense of jealousy she was desperately trying to suppress. Khalid made it clear time and again that he was ‘saving’ himself for her. No one else will ever compare to you, Lera. I’ve told you this. But he was so damn hot. And hot men have urges… urges that must be met!
“Just the fellas, baby,” he replied knowingly.
Hopefully, the wind concealed her contented sigh. “Tell me about your towel,” she instructed, turning her attention to what she was sure was a very pleasant sight.
“It’s small, and brown.”
“And it’s on the door. There’s nothing special about it. It’s just a towel.”
“You might need it in a minute. Sit in the bed.”
“Are we really going to do this?”
She lowered her voice to a near growl and answered. “Yes. Now sit. Spread your legs.”
When Khalid confirmed that he was seat with legs parted, she encouraged him to lie back.
“Here’s how it’s going to go down:
It’s been a hard day at work, hasn’t it? You’re exhausted, and all you want to do is get a hot shower, and a drink – but what you really need is some good medulla.
“Brain… head. A blow job.”
I’ve been waiting for you all day and I’m horny as fuck. There’s a puddle between my legs and you can smell the musk of sex, like a cloud hanging around me. Your first instinct is to throw me down and plow into me from the back, but that’s not what I have in mind. I want you to fuck my face.
You’re protesting, but I’ve already pushed you against the wall. You’re ram rod hard… and so long. I remember everything about your cock Khalid. The slit in the head of your penis, how narrow it is at the tip and how it gradually widens at the base until it attaches itself above a pair of dark brown balls. On the left of your shaft is a vein. It bulges when you’re erect. Touch it Khalid.
Circular strokes. My tongue running along the length of you, tasting you, teasing you until you can take no more. I grab your ass and force your hips into my face. Your dick is chocking me, but you don’t care. This is what I’ve asked for. I’m your sharmotta… your whore. My throat is so wet, and tight, and the pressure draws an orgasm from you, like the ocean coaxing a pebble back into the depths of the sea…
Lera heard a gasp on the other end of the line, followed by a whispered curse.
“Did you end up needing that towel?”
“Yes, damn you.” Khalid chastised her gently. “You’re terrible, you know that?”
She smiled into the phone. “Yes. I know. And I’m almost home.”
“You’ve been on the train this whole time? Don’t you care what people will think?”
“Not when it comes to you, Kal.”
“You’re a freak. And I love you.”
“Go get your shower, hun. We’ll talk tomorrow?”
“I wouldn’t miss it.”
Khalid set his phone on the bed and threw his towel in the laundry basket. He paused by the mirror and took glanced at his reflection. His wavy hair was bathed in sweat; thick, black lashes hooded his gemstone brown eyes. There was slight pouch beneath his belly button, a reminder of his heavier days. Tomorrow he’d get back to working on his abs, but at that moment he felt like a new man – a man in need of a shower, all the same. He took his time, languishing in the spray and embracing each drop of tepid water.
When he emerged from the shower and had toweled off, his phone rang. It was probably Clement or one of the boys, asking where he was. He ran his hand along the width of the comforter but couldn’t his handheld. Ah. Why was the phone on the floor? He could have sworn he left it on the bed…