He stopped at the door and turned to me. “I’ll be right back.”
I nodded and he disappeared out the door.
I stood in my living area in my heels, skirt and blouse from work. Then I wondered if I had time to change before he got back. Then I wondered if he’d notice it if I’d spritzed on perfume when he got back. Then I wondered if I should do a shot or two of vodka before he got back. Then he knocked on my door which meant he was back.
I ran to the door, looked through the peephole (you couldn’t be too careful) and saw him looking to the side. I sucked in a calming breath then opened the door.
“Hey,” I said, “welcome back.”
I was such a dork!
He grinned. I stepped aside and he came through carrying a toolbox. Learning from my mistakes, I immediately led him through the living area, down the hall, through my bedroom and to the bathroom. He put the toolbox on the basin counter and opened it. He pulled out what I figured was a wrench and went right to work.
I watched his hands which I’d never really noticed before. They were a man’s hands. There were veins that stood out that were appealing. His fingers were long and strong-looking. He had great hands.
“So your name is Mara.” His deep voice came at me. My body jolted and I looked to his head which was bent so he could watch what he was doing.
“Yeah,” I replied and my voice sounded kind of high so I cleared my throat and stated, “And you’re Mitch.”
“Yeah,” he said to the faucet.
“Hi Mitch,” I said to his dark brown-haired head thinking his hair looked soft and thick and was long enough to run your fingers through.
That head twisted so I was looking into dark brown eyes whose depths were so deep you could lose yourself in them for eternity.
Those eyes were also smiling.
“Hi Mara,” he said softly and my nipples started tingling.
I scanned my memory banks to pull up what underwear I’d put on that morning. I thanked my lucky stars that my bra had light padding all the while thinking maybe I should leave him to it.
Before I could make good an escape, his head bent back to the tap and he asked, “How long have you lived here?”
“Six years,” I answered.
Shoo! Good. A simple answer that didn’t make me sound like an idiot. Thank God.
“What do you do?” he went on.
“I work at Pierson’s,” I told him.
His neck twisted and his eyes came back to me. “Pierson’s Mattress and Bed?”
I nodded. “Yeah.”
He looked back at the faucet. “What do you do there? An accountant or something?”
I shook my head even though he wasn’t looking at me. “No, I’m a salesperson.”
His neck twisted, faster this time, and his eyes locked on mine. “You’re a salesperson,” he repeated.
“Yeah,” I replied.
“At Pierson’s Mattress and Bed,” he stated.
“Um… yeah,” I answered.
He stared at me and I grew confused. I didn’t tell him I was a pole dancer. I also didn’t tell him I spent my days in my den of evil masterminding a plot to take over the free world. He appeared slightly surprised. I was a salesperson. This wasn’t a surprising job. This was a boring job. Then again I was a boring person. He was a police detective. I knew this because I’d seen his badge on his belt on numerous occasions. I also knew this because LaTanya told me. I reckoned, considering his profession, he’d long since figured out I was a boring person. In my mind police detectives could figure anyone out with a glance.
“You good at it?” he asked.
“Um…” I answered because I didn’t want to brag. I was good at it. I’d been top salesperson month after month for the last four years after Barney Ruffalo quit (or resigned voluntarily rather than face the sexual harassment charges that Roberta lodged against him). Barney had been my nemesis mainly because he was a dick and always came onto me along with every woman that worked there or walked through the door; and because he stole my customers.
Mitch looked back at my tap, muttering, “You’re good at it.”
“Pretty good,” I allowed.
“Yeah,” he said to the faucet and continued, “put money down that ninety percent of the men who walk in that place go direct to you and make a purchase.”
This was a weird thing to say. It was true. Most of my customers were men but then that was the way of the world. Firstly, men needed mattresses and beds just like any other human being. When they came to Pierson’s, since we had excellent quality, value and choice, they’d not want to go anywhere else. Secondly, if men were with women, they tended to be the decision-makers whether that was right or wrong.