Today's flash fiction is Inspired by a Melody--a monthly feature. The songs change, and this month we've got Dog Days are Over by Florence + the Machine. A fave of mine.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the half-century I’ve lived, it’s that I can’t decide what happiness is supposed to look like for me. It’s something that just happens.” Calla twined her fingers in the bleached blond locks trailing down her chest absentmindedly. It was a habit she had when she wasn’t comfortable with a subject.
Thom had learned that tell. “You don’t really believe that, do you? Haven’t you been doing what makes you happy your entire life?”
She shook her head. “You’d think so. For a while, it was great fun to travel with awesome bands and hang out with celebrities in music studios. It got really old, though. I haven’t been truly happy simply playing for a long time.” She sighed. “I mean, it wasn’t that playing didn’t make me happy–it did, for the moment. It just felt like something was missing. Especially during those quiet hours after recording or gigging and the next time I’d play.”
I wonder what it will take to make her happy. “So, did you figure any part of it out? What was missing?”
After rolling her eyes dramatically and heaving out another sigh, she said, “No. Obviously, if I’d figured it out, I’d have it. Wouldn’t I?” She paced the short distance from one fence to the other, crossing the width of the swimming pool. The black hat she wore flopped with each step.
Thom took a long pull from his beer. Resting the bottom of the bottle on the arm of the chaise, he dragged his finger through the condensation beading on the bottle. The San Antonio heat didn’t help keep his beverage cool, but it was much better than living in Chicago during the winter.
Calla had spun on her heel and was storming toward him. He couldn’t help but notice her breasts bouncing–barely contained by the tiny scraps she called a bikini top.
Her body is better than most eighteen-year-olds. “Do you think you could be happy in Texas? At least for a while?” Please let her say yes because I need to get to know her better. Besides her smokin’ body, Calla’s thoughts were insightful. At least those about music were.
She removed the huge, round sunglasses she wore, revealing squinted eyes and a skeptical expression. “Why would I stay in Texas beyond this gig? After Marla’s album is done, I probably need to get back to LA before my landlord decides I died or something.”
“You can keep staying here, and I have the studio booked six days for the next three months. Stay and help with studio recordings. I think there’s only one group booked in for two days that won’t need you–and they do need you, but they have their own instrumentalist.”
“I can’t do that.” She stopped her pacing but shifted from one foot to the other. “I mean, I could–but I’m sure you can find someone else that would be willing to show up while they’re on the road. I don’t tour anymore.”
“Many of these bands play intimate venues unplugged. They don’t take a full complement horn section even though they’ve used them on albums.”
She growled. “You’re trying to talk me into staying here. What’s in it for you?” She crossed her arms beneath her breasts causing some spectacular cleavage.
“Honestly, I have the studio booked. I’m interested in putting together some house musicians, if you will, so artists don’t have to worry about hiring. Even rich horn parts, you’ve got covered with multiple layers.” He paused, then took a deep breath. “Besides, if you stay, I get to see you more.”
FuckFuckFuck. Why did that come out of my mouth?
She propped a hand on her hip and cocked it out.
He allowed his gaze to drag down her shoulder and slide under the swell of her breast before dipping across her waist and over the curve of her hip. Thom shifted in his seat, tugging at his swim trunks to make room for his hardening cock.
Her eyes narrowed, crinkling in the corners. “What’s your angle? I’ll come back whenever I can to play for your little studio. I feel like you’re feeling sorry for the old lady because she’s all alone in the world–well, who says I don’t want to be alone right now?” She paused, tipping her chin to her chest and pinching the bridge of her nose between her thumb and forefinger for a moment before releasing, letting out a big sigh, and continuing. “Listen, I could get used to being here. Your place is gorgeous and I have really enjoyed your studio. Having someone to talk to during downtime is a bonus–don’t get me wrong. But, if I were to stay, I feel like I’d be doing it just because I like not feeling lonely without being in a relationship. Long-distance friendships only manage to take the edge off, but it’s definitely not the same as splitting a bottle of wine over dinner and settling on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, more wine, and every John Hughes movie ever made. And having someone else recite the lines from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with you.”
She gasped and started to speak, but Thom interrupted her.
“Don’t even deny it. You’re scared of what could be between us.” He stood and in three long strides, he was a hair’s breadth from touching her. Plastering himself against her gently curving figure. He canted his hips toward her. “This is why you’re a chicken. I’ve been flirting with you since the day I met you and I can’t get any response from you. It’s because you’re afraid. How many other relationships have you sabotaged because you were afraid?”
Calla took a step back. “You’re sexually attracted to me. That doesn’t mean you love me. And, I don’t love you.” She took another step away and critically regarded him. “And, the next time you decide you are going to step into my bubble, you’ll ask permission.”
Thom picked a pebble on the pavement and stared at it intently. “Yes, Mistress.” He sensed the muscles in his back tightening in anticipation. Wait. What? She’s considering playing outside the club?
“Is this okay?” she asked, tentatively.
“Yes, Mistress. This is very okay,” he replied.
Flattening her curves against his hard planes, she placed her lips next to his ear. He could feel her breath tickling the shell.
His palms itched to smooth over the curve of her ass, caressing and celebrating her softness.
“I’m not afraid. I just don’t think you can handle all of me,” she whispered.
Check out what everyone else came up with: