I met with Edgar Montoya a few days later. He didn’t have an opening in his schedule so he offered to meet with me at lunch. I told him of the verbal agreement to purchase the house and gave him the pertinent details. He explained the due diligence and closing processes and suggested we meet in his office rather than the bank. He didn’t usually work Saturdays but agreed to accommodate us so Kate didn’t miss a day of work. We could also meet in the afternoon so she could leave in daylight instead of the middle of the night. Kate had told me the name of her local attorney. Edgar knew him well and assured me they would hammer out the details before the agreed upon date.
When Kate and her attorney arrived at Montoya’s office for our mid-afternoon meeting. She was upbeat and energetic. She pulled me aside and told me she would be spending the night again and wondered if I’d be joining Gwen and Mike for dinner. I assured her that I almost always had dinner with Gwen and that Mike was usually there with us. Her spirits lifted even higher, if that was possible.
Everything went without a hitch. Kate put the bank check in her purse and departed with a smile, telling me dinner with Gwen and Mike was on her and to make sure I didn’t miss it. She winked when she told me she had an extra-special desert planned. I didn’t have to wonder what she meant. Neither lawyer saw her wink.
I thanked and paid Montoya for his services then headed back to the campus apartment. Tony was absent as usual but Parker was in his room. I tried to ignore him but he was talking to himself, cursing up a storm. I listened for a moment. He was on a tirade about Tony. I asked what was wrong, entirely out of concern for Tony. When Parker turned to face me, I saw immediately why he was angry. His face was a mess. His nose had been broken. He was missing several teeth. A cut above his left eye must have had twenty stitches. Both cheeks were badly bruised, a eye was black and bloodshot, the left side of his upper and lower lips were swollen and each had several stitches. He moved gingerly so I guessed his ribs were bruised, maybe even broken.
Normally, I wouldn’t have been curious as to the details, but with Tony absent, I wanted to know if the inevitable had occurred. Whatever happened that caused Parker to get his ass kicked, he probably brought it on himself.
‘What happened? Were you in a car accident?’ Keeping a straight face was a challenge but I managed to hide my amusement.
‘No, I didn’t have an accident. The grease ball did this.’ He practically spat the words out. He winced in pain as he spoke.
I couldn’t resist playing dumb. ‘Who?’
‘That ignorant wop. Don’t be an asshole. You know who.’ His tone was spiteful and vicious.
‘Who are talking about?’ I asked, faking exasperation. Annoying him was fun.
‘Our fucking guinea roommate,’ he screamed despite the obvious discomfort it caused. The cut on his lower lip oozed blood.
‘Tony? Why would he do this to you?’
‘How the hell do I know? He’s a stupid wop. How am I supposed to know why he does anything?’
Parker was clearly frustrated with my feigned bewilderment. I figured I’d better back off. ‘Are you going to be alright? You look terrible. Is anything broken?’ Changing to a focus on him calmed him a bit. It appealed to his narcissistic temperament and self-importance.
‘No, I’m not alright. My nose is broken. I’m missing some teeth. I have two cracked ribs and I’m going to have a scar over my eye. He’s in far worse shape than I am. He’s still in jail. He couldn’t afford to post bail. I certainly wasn’t going to bail him out.’ Parker may have calmed a bit, but remained venomous. ‘He’s going to pay for doing this. My lawyer will have a field day with him.’
‘Well, I hope you feel better. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.’ I turned away and went to my room.
After I closed the door, I couldn’t contain myself. I didn’t laugh out loud. A look in the mirror confirmed I wore a stupid grin. And though I never took pleasure in another’s suffering, I was clearly making an exception with Parker. I put the closing paperwork in my dresser drawer before changing into casual clothes. I grabbed some cash and my checkbook before leaving for Mike and Gwen’s. I made sure not to interact with Parker again. I doubted I could contain myself if confronted by him again. If he knew I found his injuries entertaining, there’s no telling what abuse he would direct at me.
Kate was already at Mike and Gwen’s when I arrived. Mike was walking on air at seeing her cousin again. I stayed only a few minutes. Gwen knew of the animosity between Parker and Tony, though she hadn’t met either. I told Gwen what I knew, which wasn’t much because I didn’t trust Parker to be truthful. I soon excused myself to go see if I could bail out Tony.
I inquired about Tony with the desk sergeant. He was charged with vandalism because he had caused significant damage to the cantina. His bail was one hundred dollars, which he couldn’t make.
I hesitated ataşehir escort bayan to ask but was too curious for my own good. ‘That’s it? Vandalism?’ I asked.
‘The sergeant looked me suspiciously. ‘It’s enough. He busted up the place pretty good. There’s broken furniture, glasses and dishes, and a plate glass window. A couple of patrons got banged up a bit but none of them wanted to file charges.’
I inquired as to the location of the cantina and was told the name of the establishment and its location. I posted bail and waited outside for Tony. It took almost an hour to process his release.
Tony looked tired. The only sign he’d been in a fight was a few minor cuts on his knuckles.
‘Did you post my bail, Jonas?’ he asked.
‘Yes. I knew you would eventually have it out with Parker. I was worried you’d kill him when the time came. I’m glad it didn’t come to that. I could help, so I did.’
‘I’m glad I didn’t kill him, too, though one day someone will if he doesn’t learn to hide his bigotry. It’s one thing to be a bigot. Another to be proud of it and display it at every opportunity.’
‘What happened?’ I asked.
‘I was at the bar with a friend, having dinner and a couple of beers when Parker and two of his buddies came in. They were drunk. There were no seats at the bar. They took a table right behind me. The three of them were talking Parker’s usual racist crap. Loudly. Laughing it up. I did my best to ignore them. The owner spoke to them. They were verbally abusive so he them off. He told them to get out but they refused. I made the mistake of turning around. Parker saw me and started throwing stuff at me. He started talking about his momma’s boy guinea roommate. My buddy and I paid our tab and got up to leave. Parker tripped me as I walked by. I crashed into an empty table. Parker and his buddies laughed. It escalated from there,’ he explained.
‘Parker is a mess. You gave him quite a beating.’ I observed.
Tony hung his head. ‘I should have left as soon as he came in. He’s not worth the trouble I’m going to have. I’ll probably get expelled from school,’ he lamented.
‘It might not be that bad. You’re only charged with vandalism for the damages. Considering the way Parker looks, I was sure there’d be an assault charge, too.’ I told him.
Tony wasn’t relieved. ‘I can’t afford to pay for the damages. Even if I don’t get expelled, I’ll still have to quit and find a job. Plus, I’ll need a lawyer I can’t afford.’
It was time for me to leave Tony alone. ‘Do you have someplace to go? I wouldn’t go back to the apartment.’
‘I moved my stuff out over Thanksgiving break. I’ve been staying with a friend who knows Parker,’ Tony told me.
‘That’s why you haven’t been at the apartment. Come on, I’ll drop you off.’
‘No, thanks. I’d rather walk. I’ve got some thinking to do,’ he responded. ‘Thanks for bailing me out.’
‘OK, Tony. Let me know if you need anything.’ I wrote down Mike and Gwen’s phone number. ‘You can reach me at this number in the evening. I spend my free time there. I only sleep in the apartment. I avoid Parker as much as possible, too.’
Tony turned and walked off. I had only gone a few steps toward my car when Tony called out to me.
I turned to look at him.
‘Don’t worry about your bail money. You’ll get it back. I’m not going anywhere.’
‘I know, Tony. I’m not worried about the money.’
I drove to the cantina. One of the plate glass windows was boarded up. There was a ‘Closed’ sign on the door but I could see someone moving about inside. I knocked on the door.
A short, dark-complexioned man inside approached the door and without opening it said, ‘We’re closed. Come back another time,’ then turned to go back to work.
I knocked again. ‘I want to talk to the owner about last night and make arrangements to pay for the damages.’
That got his attention. He opened the door to allow me in.
‘Come in.’ he told me. ‘I’m Gabriel, the owner.’
He led me to a table and sat down. I did the same. Gabriel couldn’t have been much more than five feet tall. Even sitting, the difference in our heights was apparent. He was built like a fire hydrant, with a barrel chest and thick, muscular arms. He had a scratch on his right cheek and a small cut across the bridge of his nose.
I got right to the point. ‘Do you know how much repairs will cost?’ I asked.
‘I know most of the costs, but not all. I had to paint the wall over there this morning. Four tables and seven chairs were broken. Some artwork was damaged but it wasn’t anything expensive, just decorative. Quite a few dishes and glasses were broken, about a dozen place settings and a couple of dozen pieces of glassware. I had to buy wood to board up the broken window. So far, it’s about five hundred thirty dollars. I don’t know about the window yet. I’ll find out about that Monday. The glass shop isn’t open Saturday.’
‘OK. I’ll pay the damages, including the window, if you’ll drop the charges escort kadıköy against my friend.’ I told him.
He looked at me suspiciously. ‘Who is your friend?’
‘What does he look like? I didn’t get their names.’
‘Black hair. Olive complexion. Has a five o’clock shadow at noon. Looks Italian. About five foot ten.’
‘Not the blonde guy? Your friend is the one that was sitting at the bar?’
‘I know the blonde guy but he’s not a friend. His name is Parker and I don’t like him. Parker, Tony and I were roommates at Tech. And yes, Tony told me he was sitting at the bar.’
‘There are a few more costs I think should be covered if you want the charges against your friend dropped,’ he told me.
‘What else?’ I asked.
‘Saturday is my busiest day. I had to stay closed.’
This was going to be expensive. ‘How much did you lose by being closed today?’
‘I would normally have almost a thousand dollars in sales on a Saturday. But that’s not what I’m concerned about. My wait staff and bartender lost a day of work. None of them can afford to lose their best day of the week. Most have families.’
I smiled at him. ‘How about the kitchen staff? They missed a day, too.’
‘My wife, my daughter, my son, and my nephew. No need to worry about them. They were glad to have a Saturday off.’ He smiled when he said, ‘I work them too much.’
‘OK. How much more?’ I asked.
‘Another hundred dollars will cover it. The tips they would have received.’
‘So, six hundred thirty dollars plus the window?’
‘OK.’ I took out my checkbook.
Gabriel got up and disappeared through a doorway adjacent to the bar. He came back with a tray with two bottles of Mexican beer, a bowl of tortilla chips, and a bowl of salsa. He pushed a beer toward me and drank from the one he kept.
‘I posted dated the check for Tuesday. I don’t have enough in the account at the moment to cover it. I have go to the bank on Monday and transfer some money to my checking account. OK?’
‘I’ll come back next week and pay for the window. Wednesday, alright?’
He nodded again as he drank from his bottle while looking at the check.
‘You’re friend Tony is one tough son of a bitch. He took on the blonde guy and his friends. Beat them up pretty good.’ Gabriel told me. ‘I wouldn’t want him mad at me.’
‘Tony told me Parker tripped him after harassing him for a while.’
‘True. Blonde guy said some rather unpleasant things to your friend, me, and several other people, including my waitresses. He’s not a nice man.’
‘No, he’s not,’ I agreed. ‘The fight started after Tony was tripped?’
‘No, your friend fell down. But he got up and looked like he was going to leave. One of my waitresses confronted blonde guy. He punched her. That’s when the fight started. I saw the whole thing.’
Tony hadn’t told me that. ‘My friend was only charged with vandalism. Why wasn’t he charged with assault?’
‘I told the police he tried to avoid a fight but had to defend himself. After blonde guy punched my waitress, blonde guy and his friends went after your friend. He had to defend himself. Blonde guys’ friends managed to disappear before the police could find them. I didn’t want to see your friend arrested but there was so much damage, the police insisted everyone involved had to be arrested.’
‘I’m sorry you had this trouble. Tony is a good guy. Parker has been harassing him since early September. There was bound to be trouble at some point. It’s too bad it was here.’
‘Blonde guy was arrested, too. The police sergeant told me he would be charged with assault and resisting arrest. He was handcuffed and left here in an ambulance. He was bleeding pretty badly.’
What a surprise. Parker hadn’t mentioned his own arrest. I resolved I had to make other living arrangements. I wasn’t sure what those might be, but I wouldn’t be living with Parker next semester no matter what happened.
I stayed long enough to finish my beer, eat some chips and salsa, and get a little more acquainted with Gabriel. I left after assuring Gabriel I would see him on Wednesday.
‘Tell your friend I’m not angry with him. He did what he had to. He’s welcome here any time. Tell him to come back soon for dinner and a beer on me.’
Parker was expelled from school the next week. Tony was put on probation but allowed to remain. Numerous people spoke in Tony’s defense and vouched for his character. No one defended Parker. I was interviewed about my roommates and painted a less than flattering picture of Parker. I saw Parker when he was clearing out of the apartment. He was furious at me. But two campus police kept him in check. I didn’t stick around to watch.
I paid for the window as promised and Gabriel withdrew the charges against Tony. A few months later, I received a call from a secretary in Tech’s main office. Parker’s friends were caught and arrested. In addition to a fine and probation, they and bostancı escort Parker had been ordered to pay for the damages from the brawl. Gabriel didn’t know how to contact me but remembered my name and that I was a student at Tech. He left an envelope for me at the main office. It contained a brief note and a check returning the money I had paid out.
I drove back to campus from the cantina, parked and walked over to Mike’s and Gwen’s. I noticed Pollock’s garage door was open as I walked past his house. His Packard wasn’t in it.
Gwen was home but Kate and Mike had gone out for dinner. Gwen had decided to wait for me. Hardly a word was exchanged between us as I entered the house and closed the new front door. As soon I was inside, she hugged me tightly. It was immediately apparent that dinner wasn’t on her mind. Gwen and I had seen each other every day since Thanksgiving, but academic demands had forced us to focus on our studies with little time for anything other than school, sleep, and food over the last two weeks. =======
Gwen kissed my lips softly and caressed my face. She led me to the sofa and we knelt facing each other. Our kisses were soft, light brushes of our lips against our faces, lips, eyebrows, ears, and neck. Her hands rubbed my chest and back but stayed outside my shirt. She displayed no sense of urgency or desire to hurry. We approached our lovemaking languorously. And for the first time since Mike arrived, we were alone.
I slowly undressed Gwen as we kissed. Gwen’s dress buttoned up the front. I unbuttoned it one button at a time, investing caresses, kisses, nibbles, and licks to earn each button. Gwen worked on my shirt in a similar manner. I slipped the bodice of her dress off her shoulders and broke the kiss to admire her. I ran a finger across her upper chest, tracing a random pattern in the spray of freckles.
I slid a finger inside her bra and sought out her nipple. It was hard and erect. Gwen closed her eyes. Her lips formed the slightest smile as she savored the finger circling her nipple. She reached across her chest and pushed the strap off her shoulder. The cup over the nipple I was caressing fell away, giving me more room to explore. I pulled it down to uncover her breast. I sat and pulled her toward me to encircle the nipple with my lips. I pushed my tongue to the tip of her nipple. Gwen sighed softly.
While I gently suckled on her nipple, Gwen traced her fingertips up my ribcage until she found my nipples. She pinched them between thumb and index finger through the thin material of my tee shirt. Gwen shifted position slightly and moved her knee into contact with my erection.
I reached up and pulled the other bra strap from her shoulder then pulled the cup away from her other breast. I teased the hard, erect button between my fingers. I released her nipple from my lips and blew on it. I watched as it shriveled and distended further. I took it into my mouth again and wet it thoroughly before releasing it again. When I moved to her other breast, I rolled the wet nipple between my fingers and pinched it as I sucked in the other nipple. Gwen sighed again.
Gwen’s fingers left my nipples. Her arms encircled my neck and pulled me closer to her. I spread my lips as far as I could and tried to suck her entire breast into my mouth. My tongue danced on her nipple. I moved my free hand between her legs and pushed the dress up into her crotch, cupping her in my hand.
Gwen sighed again, pushed back against my hand, and pulled my head tighter to her chest. I felt her fingernails bite into the back of my neck. She rocked her hips back and forth against my hand as her breath quickened. She released my head, pushed me away, and backed away. She took my hand and pulled. When I got up, Gwen dropped my hand, turned her back to me and walked toward the stairs. I followed, watching as she moved seductively.
As I followed, she slipped the dress off her hips. It fell to the floor. She stepped out of it and continued to the stairs. She reached behind her and unhooked the bra, allowing it to fall away. Gwen put her foot two steps up and unhooked the garter holding up her stockings. She rolled one stocking down her leg and slipped it off her foot. She took the two steps and then put her other leg up two more steps and removed the stocking from that leg.
I reached between her legs and ran my index finger along her slit. She slapped at my hand and looked over her shoulder at me.
‘Keep your hands to yourself when I’m on the stairs,’ she told me sternly.
I reached around her hips with my left arm, held her tightly, and once again slid a finger across her. She giggled and twisted free before continuing up the stairs.
When we entered the master bedroom, I pulled her to me and reached around the front of her, cupping her breasts in my hands. I kissed her neck and sucked on a freckle between her neck and shoulder. She savored the sensation for a moment then pulled my hands from her breasts and twisted out of reach. She went over to the dresser and picked up a box of matches. She struck one, lit a candle and blew out the match. I watched as walked around the room, using the first candle to light several other candles scattered about the room. She returned to the dresser, set the candle on it, then returned to my embrace.