Point System

“Spelunking sounds fun. And a good excuse to get out of the house often.”

He motions to the bartender for another round. “Yep. I try to go every weekend.”

Every weekend? I bet the gear is expensive, too. Buying accessories for a hobby is almost as fun as the hobby itself. All points forfeited. You lose, buddy.

I grab my purse. “Do you know where the ladies’ room is?”

He points, then picks up our drinks. “Should I get us a table?”

“Sure.” I head in the direction of the restrooms but take the stairs instead to the second floor bar. After five minutes of looking wistful with my strawberry daiquiri as my only company, a tall-blond-and-handsome elbows his way next to me against the bar and orders something on tap. The foam clings to his upper lip with the first sip, but he notices quickly and licks it off. One point. Oh, and what’s that? A tingle in my stomach from the sight of that skillful tongue? One extra point.

“Hi,” he says.

“Hi.”

He offers his hand. “Daniel Rivers.”

Another point for an easy to spell last name. I take his hand. “Rebecca Robertson.” And I could keep my initials. One more point. Plus one extra point for a straightforward greeting with no pickup line. “Do you go by Daniel?”

“Since I was eighteen.”

“Can I call you Danny?”

He smiles. Good smile. Good teeth. And that stomach tingle again. Three points. “Depends on the circumstance.” And two more points for a sense of humor. “Can I get you another drink?”

“If I have another, I might need a ride home.”

“No problem. I can take you home.”

Let’s kick this up a notch. “I might have some friends joining me. I’m usually the designated driver.”

He smiles again. Wow. Five more points. “Well, that might be a problem. I drive a pick-up.”

Oh. A truck. Even better than a sports car. He’s practical, and probably handy. And can deliver that chest of drawers I’ve had my eye on. Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner.

Outstretched Fingers

Inspiration Monday XVI

* * * * *

The warrior shoots another glance at me. This time, he doesn’t look away. If his aim with a weapon is as pointed, as determined, he will return undefeated. This ceremony is his, but as the night slips along, with each glance, he seems to make it more about me.

His skin is the darkest of my generation, several shades darker than babies born this season. Our sun dissolves into the indigo sky more each day. Sky of periwinkle when I was a child. Now indigo, soon to black. What color will our babies’ skin be when our sun has abandoned us? Will we lighten into nothingness?

He coasts through the crowd without breaking our gaze. He stops in front of me. The celebration around us muffles, like a giant has clamped a shell over the two of us.

He touches my shoulder. “Ing-nikg-ah.” His name, a name my tongue could never pronounce.

I touch his shoulder. “Shee-ylan-bsh.” My name, as foreign to his tongue as his name is to mine. Sounds only heard among women. Unknown to men as his language is unknown to me.

Bodies silhouetted against flame dance in his dark eyes. His skin shows through the symbol of protection carved into the fuzz on his cheeks, the hair on his newly shaved head. The symbol inked on his arms and down his back hours ago. Inked on my belly the day I became a woman.

He trails his fingers across my collarbone, then along my shoulders as he walks around me. His touch on my skin is hotter than the embers from the fire, tracing an invisible rope. A snare. He wants me on his last night here.

When he returns to his position facing me, he lowers his hand. He smiles. He waits. I wish I could say his name, vocalize a response his ears would understand. The only language between man and woman is that of the body.

My outstretched fingers give him my answer.