Look Don't Touch

By: Tess Oliver


"Try the bedroom," I suggested. "And the coffee is ready."

"Thanks." She deftly moved the pillow from her pussy to her naked bottom as she turned to walk down the hall.

Jack chuckled. "I guess she's modest. Who is she?"

"No fucking clue."

"Christ, Nash, what the hell are you doing? You could be inviting some psycho into your place, like that character in Fatal Attraction, the crazy woman who cooked the rabbit."

"I don't have any pet rabbits." After the coffee, my stomach was churning more toward hunger than nausea. I pulled a loaf of bread out of the pantry.

"Anyhow, I was telling you about Rylie."

I stuck a slice in the toaster. "Who's Rylie?"

"The woman I'm dating. She's a tax accountant, and she is fucking amazing. I think I'm in love. You should try it sometime. Oh wait, I forgot your dad programmed emotional attachments out of you."

"You're a regular comic this morning. And don't be too much of a big shot yet about your supposed relationship. You just got done telling me that you were in Fantasm a week ago. Or did you just go there for the cheap beer?"

"Things were kind of new then."



"Not like now, a week later."

"Stop turning this back to me. I'm just hoping that maybe someday magic will happen, and you'll become a real boy, Pinocchio. You might meet someone who secures your heart and pulls you out of this fucked up fog. In the meantime, you should get that business going, even if it means starting at square one."

"Secure my heart? Sometimes it seems like you don't know me at all." My phone vibrated on the counter. I was glad for the diversion from Jack's long lecture. I picked it up and read the text. "Shit, I guess today is Tuesday."

"Yep, all day."

"I've got to visit the old man today. He called me last Friday to set up a time to meet."

Jack shook his head. "What a charming relationship you two have. He actually has to pencil you in for an appointment, his only son. His only family member, for that matter. How's he doing?"

"He's got one foot in the grave, but he'll still be trying to control me even after he's dead and gone."

"You never told me how he reacted to the news of your firing."

"It's none of his damn business."

The pillow beauty came out from the bedroom wearing the yellow dress I'd noticed piled in a silky puddle in the hallway. She returned the pillows to the couch and walked into the kitchen for coffee. My friend, Mr. 'I found the one', surveyed her from head to toe as she leaned over to the coffee pot.

"I'm Jack and what is your name 'lovely wearer of pillows'?"

She laughed. "I'm Serena." She sipped the coffee. "Hmm, that hits the spot. Well, thanks for a wonderful night"—she hesitated and squinted an eye at me—"Nate, right?"

"Sure. And thank you too. I don't remember much of it, but I'm sure it was great."

She looked a little put off by my comment as she finished up the coffee. She put the cup in the sink and headed out the door without another word.

Jack's mouth creased. It seemed he was holding back another opinion. Probably a good call. He hopped off the stool. "I've got to head out. So you never told your dad about getting fired? Do you think he found out and that's why he's called a meeting?"

I followed him to the door. "Could be. Guess your free time will be scarce, what with your new serious relationship and all."

"Look who's the damn comedian now." Jack stepped outside and looked back at me. "Seriously, man, get your shit together. I'm worried about you."

"I've gone through my whole life without anyone worrying about me. I certainly don't need you to start. I'll catch you later. I've got to clear my house of naked women before I head over to Hell House."





6





The house I grew up in was by most standards a mansion. When I was young, if I planned things well, it was big enough for me to stay out of my dad's way and line of sight for an entire weekend. Something I did often. He was always far too preoccupied with business, even on Sundays, to pay me any attention. My schoolmates would brag about a weekend trip to a ski lodge or a cruise on a lake, but for me, the weekend was a roaring success if I managed to keep clear of my dad. Occasionally, I could get from Friday night to Monday morning with no more than a glimpse of Dad's plaster cast face. He rarely showed any emotion in his expression and when he did it was usually a scowl to show that he was yet again disappointed in me.

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