under the stars.”
    “You’re talking about Funkadelic, and the Delfonics. That was a show.” Afterwards they had taken a blanket, a candle, and a bottle of Spanish wine and walked into Rock Creek Park, the dew soaking through the blanket as they made love.
    Katherine shifted in her seat. “In a few years, my oldest girl will be out on dates. It’s a shame—she’ll never do the stuff we did, never know those good times. The nights in D.C., the concerts at Fort Reno. I won’t let her, you know? It’s too dangerous now, with the guns. It’s crazy.”
    “So I’ve heard.”
    “Yeah, you heard. You haven’t been around.”
    “I’ve seen the world,” he said.
    Katherine smiled. “You took a helluva slow boat.”
    Constantine nodded and butted his cigarette in the ashtray. Katherine did the same and looked at him coyly as she blew the last of her smoke in his direction. He looked around the place, listening to the music, watching a sad-eyed man bobbing his head to it at the bar, and then he looked back at Katherine. Her eyes were still on him.
    Constantine said, “Let’s go upstairs.”
    Katherine pulled a twenty from her wallet and signaled the waitress.
    C ONSTANTINE broke the seal on the motel cup and tore away the paper. He pulled some cubes from the room bucket, dropped them into the two cups, and poured vodka over the ice. He walked across the room, turning off the lamp on the way. He handed Katherine her drink where she stood against the wall nearest the window. He tapped her plastic cup with his.
    She nodded and drank deeply, closed her eyes. Constantine looked out the window and saw rain falling thickly through the glow of the streetlight.
    Katherine opened her eyes and placed her drink on the formica-top dresser. She slipped her hand behind Constantine’s neck and pulled his face down to hers. Her lips were cool from the ice and her tongue bit of scotch against his.
    Constantine put his hands up into her skirt and slipped them behind her panties. He pushed his groin into hers and freed one hand to unsnap the fastener on the side of her skirt. The skirt fell to the ground, Katherine kicking it away sharply with the toe of her pump. Constantine unbuttoned her blouse, his fingers brushing the warmth of her smooth belly as they traveled down. He released the hook on the front of her brassiere, peeling it back and off her shoulders. In the light he saw her chest redden, as it had always reddened when he undressed her, and he smiled. Katherine kissed him again, pushing her tongue aggressively into his.
    He led her to the bed, where she lay back, her feet still on the floor. Constantine undressed quickly and lowered himself onto her, rubbing his phallus along the front of her panties. He squeezed one dark nipple into stone, rolling it between his thumb and forefinger as he kissed her open mouth. Then he turned her over, pulling her panties down below her knees and off her pumps.
    Constantine took Katherine in the yellow light that spilled in from the streetlight outside the window.
    K ATHERINE showered while Constantine freshened his drink. He sat on the edge of the bed and sipped vodka, listening to the water run behind the door. After a while it stopped running and ten minutes later Katherine walked out into the room.
    She was dressed and made up exactly as she had been when he had looked at her in the lobby through the smoked glass of the lounge. He watched her walk to the dresser and clasp her watch to her wrist. He watched her straighten herself in the dresser mirror.
    She looked at his reflection in the mirror as she pulled the cuff of her shirt down over her watch. For the first time that night he could not see a trace of the girl in the woman’s face.
    “You didn’t have to do that,” Katherine said. “Why did you have to do that?”
    Constantine butted his cigarette in the night-table ashtray. “It was the one thing we never did,” he said.
    She looked him over. “So that’s what it’s

Similar Books


Monica Porter

The Night Run

Bali Rai

Likely Suspects

G.K. Parks

Fizzlebert Stump

A.F. Harrold