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On The Stand-A Drink and A Friend

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“Don’t you fucking come any closer to me.”
“I had a drink with her.” Respecting her request for distance, he retrieves his steps then hovers around the end of the table.
“Not another word.” She refuses to listen. Her voice sounds more resolute meanwhile delicate.
“Just hear me out.”
“No. I will not be that wife.”
“Who said that?”
“I don’t want to hear a story about how she called, or you ran into her.”
“I did.”
“Or you didn’t mention it because it didn’t mean anything.” Her eyes rim with red.
“It didn’t.” He emphasizes, voice raising.
“You lied, Kurt.”
“It wasn’t like that.”
She hastens to the door, then holds the doorknob before saying,
“I’m not that woman. I will NOT do this.” Slamming the door behind her, she doesn’t let one tear drop before him, even to the top of her extremity.

He remains where he stood, with his hands tightly holding onto the back of the chair in front of him and head leveling his shoulders. Raising his right hand, he hits the chair so hard that he feels an instant pain spreading in his palm and burning through his fingers. However, no pain can drag him from what agonizes his mind right now.

A month ago, Kurt just finished a meeting with the L.A. District Attorneys at the hotel where he stayed, discussing the ongoing case and being informed that he would not have to testify until next week. He was about to return to his room and phone Diane about his possible return to Chicago for a long weekend when his name was called.
He turned. Out of his surprise, Holly Westfall, with a toothy smile on her face, stepped toward him. Before he realized it, she was hugging him. Kurt raised his hands to hold her arms, gently pushing her away, and then took a step back, widening the distance between them.
“Holly, hi. Didn’t expect to see you here.” He feigned a smile.
A little astounded by his overreaction at first, Holly soon recovered to her frivolous mood.
“It’s been a while, isn’t it? Why don’t we have a drink and catch up?” Before he could respond, she dragged his forearm and led him to the bar area within ten feet from where they stood.
“Holly, actually, I’m…” he intended to excuse himself but was cut off by her.
“Come on. It’s been so long. I almost began to worry that you’ve been trying to avoid me.” Giving a playful squeeze on his arm, she seated herself on the stool and winked at the bartender.
“A martini and a beer, please.” She then turned to Kurt, who reluctantly adjusted himself on the stool next to her.
“Sorry for ordering for you, but you know I like doing that.” She shot him a flirty grin.
Drifting his eyes to the movements of the bartender, he nodded along.
“So how have you been?” She turned her crossed legs toward him, with her elbow bracing the counter and jaw resting in her right hand.
“Good, good.” He replied perfunctorily and took a sip of the beer the bartender just put in front of him.
Feeling ignored, she tried to draw his attention.
“Then, how is your ex?”
Stung by her choice of words, Kurt turned to face her with a stern look.
“You mean my wife?”
“You’re still married? Really?” Holly asked with her eyes dramatically widened, like she was so amused.
“Yes, we are.” Kurt answered firmly.
“Well, I expected more from a liberal feminist who’s got a stick in her ass.” She rolled her eyes then ate an olive from the stick floating in her drink.
If he was trying to be civil before, now he was done being polite.
“Holly, I really don’t understand why you enjoy taunting someone whose heels you can’t even reach. She’s a great lawyer, a respected liberal icon, and a committed feminist. If you think my infidelity made her any less of who she already has been, you couldn’t be more wrong, and if you really think divorcing a cheating husband is the only testament of being tough and independent, you’re just degrading yourself by belittling your own gender. So quit talking about my wife like that. You are unworthy of her.”
Astonished by his sudden preach in a rage, Holly stared at him with an aghast look.
“Now, if you excuse me, I have a very important phone call to make.” Standing from his stool, Kurt buttoned his suit and left a few bills on the counter before striding to the lobby.

Closing the door behind him, he took out his phone. It was 10:30 p.m. in L.A. Considering that it was already midnight in Chicago, he did not want to disturb Diane in her sleep. Trying to get over the unpleasant conversation with Holly, all he wanted right now was to see Diane. He then slid his phone unlocked and began to check the earliest flight.

As it turned out, surprising Diane was an excellent idea. She was excited to see him and so emotionally touched by his unexpected appearance. Actually, he was a little overwhelmed by her apologetic tears for not being able to spare the whole weekend for his short stay and the insatiable intimacy she extended when she was alone with him, which could only be traced back to the time when he returned home from a long trip of trial in their early marriage. During their separation, Diane never showed her full affection to him. Even after having sex, she restrained from mentioning those three words, which apparently lingered on her lips. Instead, she just rolled over to lie on her side, with the bedsheet covering her lower back, and fell asleep. Kurt would lean against the headboard, study her frame for a while and then reach out to cover the sheet over her shoulder before he got dressed and left for the hotel.

However, this short reunion was filled with long-lost domestic intimacy. She buried herself in his arm, with her right arm tightly clinging around his waist and left hand trying to reach his right one draping from her shoulder. The crackling from the fireplace beside the couch marked the tranquility of the living room. If there were a tighter way to hold him, she would. Kurt sensed it might be his long absence and the recent panic of lawyer killing that mounted to her insecurity. He held her tighter and pressed a long kiss on her temple.
“I’m here, Diane. Whatever happens, nothing will keep me from wanting to see you, nothing. I promise.”
She did not respond, but he could feel a slight shivering under his arm and the wetting material of his shirt around his upper chest. He tried to sit straight and catch her eyes when she lifted her head and stared at him with glistening reddened eyes. Kurt had a hard time figuring out her expression, mingled with affection, gratification, and a hint of guilt. What worried her?
“Diane, did I…” she leaned closer and interrupted his confusion with a full kiss. He then sank into her lips and darted his tongue in seeking hers. The kiss was soon deepened with teeth and tongues, and their hands fumbled all over each other. Not parting their lips, they made their way to the bedroom, bumping into the furniture from time to time, tearing each other’s clothes and leaving a trace to the bed.

After she reached her ecstasy, he rolled over on his back and breathed heavily. When their breaths caught an even pace, Kurt braced himself with his elbow against the mattress and reached for the bedsheet from the end of the bed. He covered Diane’s exposed skin all the way up around her shoulder and himself by the waist. Lying on his back, he closed his eyes. For the whole day, he only slept unsteadily on the plane for a few hours. Now, he was really tired, but his eyelids struggled to take one more look of her before he fell asleep, yet his fatigue took over. Eyes shutting, he then heard the sizzling of the friction between the bedsheets and felt a light rock of the mattress. The cold skin of her breasts touched his hairy chest. Her smooth legs entwined with his under the sheet. She landed her still-hot cheek on his shoulder, with her arm clinging around his neck and slender fingers tucked in his tousled hair. He remained unmoved, breathing in her body scent, and tried to synchronize the heaving of their chests. Lying there for a short while and relishing the touch of her soft skin, he was about to fall asleep, when he felt her lips softly pressed on the corner of his mouth and a hot tear dropped on his shoulder, followed by a whisper “I love you, Kurt.”