“Matthew’s explained our relationship to you. He’s like a second brother to me. And of the two of them? He’s the nicer one. You should keep that in mind before you think about tossing Icees at his head again.”
Dee gives just a little. She looks down at the sidewalk and mutters defensively, “It was a Slurpee.”
Alexandra snaps her fingers at me. “Give me your shirt and jacket.”
After taking off my tie, I hand the items to her and stand on the sidewalk in a plain white undershirt and gray slacks. Dee reaches for the stained clothes in Lexi’s hands. “I’ll pay to have them dry-cleaned.”
Alexandra rolls her eyes. “The dry cleaners won’t be able to get this out. Luckily, I have a homemade paste that should save the day.” She says to me, “You can pick it up Saturday.”
She puts her hands on my shoulders and kisses my cheek while wiping some remaining red slush off my ear with a napkin. “I have to get going. Good luck—you’re going to need it.”
Before Alexandra leaves, Dee offers, “I hope the next time we meet, it’ll be under better circumstances.”
And Alexandra responds, “I seriously doubt we’ll be meeting again. Matthew’s sweet, not stupid.” Then she grabs her purse and walks down the street.
Dee and I watch her go.
Almost to herself Dee says, “Is she always that much of a bitch?”
I smile. “It’s what she does.” Then I run a hand through my sticky, stiff hair. “What the f**k, Dee?”
The arm folding is back, and she babbles, “I’m not apologizing. It was a natural mistake. I told you I’m not good at this. Apparently, I even screw up f**k buddies. I was walking around on my lunch break, and I couldn’t believe it when I saw you. What else was I supposed to think? If you want to blow me off, that’s your decision to make, but I’m not sorry.”
I grasp her shoulders, dip my head, and shut her the hell up with a deep kiss. Then I tell her, “I’m not blowing you off. And you don’t have to apologize.”
I know, I know—are you out of your f**king mind, Matthew? No, I’m not nuts—I just don’t mind a chick with passion, spark. And a little possessiveness is no big deal. Plus, as Barney Stinson has already explained, Delores is hot enough to be as bat-shit crazy as she wants to be, and I still won’t kick her out of bed.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m going to let her get by without payback. Which is why I pull her tight against me and rub my head against her face and hair. Spreading the love—and as much of the Slurpee as I can.
“Ah!” she yells and laughs and smacks me on the back.
Eventually, I lean away and say, “There. Now we’re even.” I kiss her lips quickly. “I’m going to head home for a shower.” Then I get an awesome idea. “You want to join me?”
She’s smiling as she rubs the stickiness off her cheek. “I have to get back to work.”
I nod. “But I’ll see you tonight?”
It’s only as she’s walking away that I notice the white lab coat she’s wearing over her black leather dress, purple tights, and high leather boots. I call out, “Hey, Dee?”
“Bring the lab coat home with you tonight. And a pair of safety goggles if you’ve got them.” You may think it’s too early in our relationship for role play. But I’ll tell you a secret: It’s never too early for role play.
For the next few nights, Delores and I hang out. We go dancing at clubs and stay in; we start movies but miss the endings; we have long hours of sweaty sex—the kind you feel dirty about afterward and can’t wait to do all over again.
We also talk—surprisingly. In bed or across the dinner table.
On top of the dinner table.
Dee’s chatty. A sharer, an explainer. She also has . . . theories . . . on just about every topic imaginable. Though all of her theories are entertaining, some are pretty out there. Take this, for example:
“John Hughes was a raging sexist pig.”
“How do you figure?”
“Look at The Breakfast Club. The guys get five main stereotypes—the jock, the criminal, the brain, the ass**le teacher, the cool laid-back janitor. What do girls get? Two. The beauty queen and the whack job—subliminally telling generations of teenage girls they can be beautiful or they can be crazy, but not both. Because at the end, when the crazy girl gets beautiful, she’s no longer crazy. It’s f**ked up. I’m going to start a petition about it.”
“Microwaves are evil—I’ll never own one.”
“The sharp rise in childhood illnesses, allergies, and developmental disabilities can all be traced back to the moment microwaves became common fixtures in the home. It’s malevolent consumer abuse. But you have to keep it to yourself. Corporations have ears and eyes everywhere, and there’s no lengths they won’t go to, to cover it up.”
“My lips are sealed.”
Then, there’s this little gem:
“You actually think the Egyptians built the pyramids?”
“Sure—it’s well documented.”
“Oh, you poor, gullible man. How were they able to move stones as big as a house? How were they able to make underground, structurally sound tunnels and rooms without any engineering equipment? Or, for that matter, how were they able to shape and cut the blocks at precise and identical angles?”