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Beautiful
by Robin Slick

Gordon's first thought is Well, Christ, next time I'm in line for a heart attack I'll know where not to look. But he licks his lips in anticipation and leans forward with a wolfish smile.
    "She's bloody gone and done it. Good on her!"
     He sits at his desk in the dimly lit room and rubs his hands together. Behind him, barely visible through the smeary window glass, the moors are encased in an eerie fog.
    It's all there.
    A hand thrust between spread naked thighs, the glint of a wedding band on one manicured finger.
    Aroused pink-brown nipples.
    Full creamy breasts.
    That vacant, haunted expression.
    "You're so beautiful," he whispers.

***

    In a suburban home on the other side of the Atlantic, Daniel is the one who finds them. His gasp causes Alison to rush to his side before he can do anything to stop her.
    She shrieks and jumps back.
    "Oh my God! That's the most horrifying sight ever."
    "You're telling me." He tries to avert his eyes but fails. Alison paces back and forth on the oriental carpet.
    "Oh man, I knew it. I knew she was up to something."
    "Yeah, same here. But you have to admit, she pretty much told us."
    "Not this, she didn't."
    "True. But we should have figured it out. She's obviously very unhappy."
    "That's bullshit, Daniel. Complaining is part of her personality. She's not unhappy at all."
    "Then why this? I think you're wrong. They're complete opposites. Haven't you wondered why they're still together?"
    "They love each other," Alison insists.
    "Don't you ever watch her here? Smirking and laughing to herself?"
    "No," she lies.
    "Oh really? Then why did you say you knew she was up to something? But what I don't understand is what drove her to do this." Daniel is mystified; it's beyond the comprehension of his fifteen years.
    "Maybe for fun? She was just fooling around and things got out of control?" His sister, at age seventeen, is equally guileless.
    "I dunno. Do you think she did it for someone?"
    "No! Please, you're making me sick. Who do we know perverted enough…?"
    "That's just it. We don't. Face it -- we don't know anything about her at all."
    All I want is to get that image out of my brain."
    Daniel scratches his chin and gives a rueful laugh. "You realize we're both going to need psychiatrists now."
    "We should tell Dad."
    "No! That's the last thing we should do! For once, we're lucky he's so out of the loop when it comes to this stuff."
    They hear a key in the lock and the front door opens. Daniel leaps up and stands next to his sister.
    "Hello?" Their mother strolls into the room, her pretty face perplexed. She tosses her coat on a chair and kicks off her shoes.
    "What a brutal day at work. God I hate my job. And no one says Hi, Mom anymore?"
    They remain mute, rooted in place.
    "Hey! What's with you guys?"
    "Nothing," they answer in perfect harmony.
    "Somehow I doubt that -- you're both acting weird and I don't like it. Is your father home yet?"
    "No," they reply simultaneously again.
    "Knock it off," she frowns, pushing past them.
    They watch, mortified, as she sits down at the desk.
    "What are you doing?" Daniel asks.
    "I'm checking my email," she replies testily. "Is that alright with you?"
    Daniel doesn't answer; he looks at his sister instead. She puts a finger on her lips and gestures with a toss of her head that he follow her. He obeys, tortured fresh by fragmented images.
    A hand thrust between spread naked thighs, the glint of a wedding band on one manicured finger.
    Aroused pink-brown nipples.
    Full creamy breasts.
    That vacant, haunted expression.

***

    Gordon stretches and yawns. He's been drinking cider all evening and is barely able to stand, but before he shuts down for the night he remembers to bury the sticky crumpled tissues deep in the wastebasket beside his desk and type her a note. Blimey. What to say. He chews on his lower lip for a moment while he decides; then with a satisfied smile hits "send". Right. He switches off the lamp and stumbles up the stairs face down into bed alongside his plump, snoring wife.

    ***

    "You're so beautiful."
    It's only three words on a screen but they enchant her.
    She dreamily twists a lock of long dark hair, oblivious to the two of them standing behind her, eyes and mouths forming perfect Os.



About the author:
Robin Slick is the author of Three Days in New York City and Another Bite of the Apple, erotic comedic novels published by Mundania/Phaze Press. Her short stories have appeared everywhere from heady places like In Posse Review and Slow Trains Literary Journal to give-heady places like Clean Sheets. She lives vicariously through her rock star offspring Julie and Eric Slick, who were featured in the Picturehouse Films documentary, Rock School, and are now members of the Adrian Belew Power Trio -- http://www.adrianbelew.net.

Visit her online at her website, http://www.robinslick.com and her blog, http://www.inherownwrite.blogspot.com, where she tries to blog daily about writing, Neil Gaiman (though not so much anymore now that her former computer-hating hippie husband has become a daily reader) rock music, and how much she abhors the Bush Administration.



© 2013 Word Riot

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