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By Gil Will
Melody emerged naked into their bedroom, round breasts bouncing, her skin still damp from the shower, a cloud of body spray trailing behind her. Gathering clean underwear, socks, faded blue jeans and a short-sleeved pink blouse, she began to dress.
Stripped to his shorts, Daryl lay on the bed, reading an Octavia Butler novel. “Did you fill up your gas tank?”
Melody blushed. “Oops.”
Daryl put the book aside and sat up, sighing. “Melody.”
“I just forgot, okay? It’s been a crazy day. And you worry too much, you know. Why make a big deal out of nothing?”
“I don’t want you getting jacked. Or robbed.”
“Please!” she scoffed. “I could get jacked or robbed stopping for gas in the daytime. So could you. It’s all about being careful.”
Daryl slid off the bed, went to the closet and grabbed a pair of sweatpants.
“What are you doing?” Melody asked.
“I’m gonna take your car down to the gas station.”
“There’s no time for that.” Melody glanced at the clock. She had twenty minutes to get downtown to her job. “I’ve got enough gas to get to work and back. I’ll fill up on my way to class tomorrow.”
Daryl froze for a moment, uncertain about her plan. The only thing that worried him more than her making stops at night was her running out of gas on some street.
Seeing his hesitation, Melody grabbed the opportunity to take control of the conversation. “Let’s get back to something that really matters. Why did you change your mind, Daryl?” She held up her hand to him, displaying the ring he had given her just thirty minutes ago.
Daryl rolled his eyes to the ceiling. Is she back on that again? Something was obviously bugging her, but for the life of him he couldn’t see why. “Hey, do you want to get married or not?”
“You know I do. But we talked about this and I was all set to wait. I know how much pressure working on a degree can cause. Just thinking about coming up with my thesis next year makes my stomach hurt.”
“I already worked out that thesis for you, babe. Title: ‘Bad Ass Kids.’ Subtitle: ‘Why a Teacher’s Most Valuable Tool is the .357.’”
Melody grunted dismissively. She slid past Daryl, grabbed her sneakers from the closet, then sat down on the bed to don them. “I don’t want you flunking law school.”
“You’re not gonna make me flunk, Mel.”
“See? You’re already blaming me.”
Daryl laughed. “You are crazy.”
“I’d just feel better if I knew what changed your mind.”
Something surely had, Melody knew. Undoubtedly he had already talked it over in detail with his parents. But he always kept certain things from her, the woman he supposedly had put first in his life.
“Damn, Melody. Now who’s making a big deal out of nothing? By the way, we need to set a date.”
Melody held up a hand, stopping him. She repeated her question, pronouncing each word slowly and separately. “Why-did-you-change-your-mind?”
Fuck it, Daryl thought. He tossed the sweatpants aside and struck a provocative pose in front of her. “I’m giving you a chance to protect your assets, baby.” He spun around, put his boxer-covered rump in her face and started a slow, sinuous bump-and-grind. “I know you’re not gonna let another female have this.”
A giggle from Melody, finally, as she shoved him away with her foot. “You are not all that.”
Daryl laughed, as bubbly and carefree as a child. He turned and fell on Melody, pressing her back on the bed and wrapping her in his arms. “Tell me you ain’t glad to have me,” he dared as he kissed her.
Melody kissed him back, matching his passion, enticed by the sandpapery feel of his chin against her face. She slipped one hand around the back of his head and the other down to squeeze his muscular butt. She could feel the familiar warm rush blossoming in her groin.
No time, her mind screamed. She pressed her hands urgently against his shoulders and he rolled off her.
“I’ve got to go,” she muttered, shaking out her ponytail, reaching for her purse.
As she rushed across the room, heading for the door, Daryl delivered a swat across the soft, generous mounds of her backside. “I’ll be ready for you when you get back,” he promised.