I turned to look at Ms. Stevens as she watched the four of us intently, learning our personalities perhaps or just fascinated by our interaction with one another. She seemed to be standing outside the conversation as well even if she was indirectly why the conversation was taking place. Concentrating didn't do much disservice to her face, only a few minor wrinkles spread across her delicate forehead. I reached over to touch the china doll but drew my hand back as she moved from her once fixed position.
"So what do you think, Paul?" John asked as reality overcame the concussion from watching Ms. Stevens.
"Uhh... I missed the last thing you said," I stuttered not wanting to chance a definite yes or no on something he would likely use to embarrass me.
"Oh, I was just saying how you're a stupid bitch who's got his head up his ass and isn't even fuckin' listenin' to me," John repeated.
"Judging by the look on your face it wasn't just the last thing you missed," George laughed hysterically.
"We wouldn't be day dreamin about someone, would we?" Ringo smiled as he nudged me, "Wink, wink."
"Ah, piss off the lot of you," I whined, "I was just deep in thought for a while and NOT day dreamin. Especially about what ever sick shit is playin through your head."
"Sure you were DEEP in thought," John readily agreed, "or was it something more tangible?"
"That's absolutely vulgar," cried the conservative girl from a few minutes ago. Dull was written all over this helpless disaster and it made me wonder how easily accessible a "Beatle" party was. She must have come in with an extremely gorgeous friend because Mal wouldn't let the likes of her in other wise. Her chest was decent but the sound of that rasp closely related to the human voice clinched any chance she had at being a human being, more less getting in an exclusive swing-dig like this.
"How was that thought vulgar?" John asked innocently, "I was only referring to him being deeply involved with a book or eating. You're the one with a sick mind to turn it into something vulgar."
"He doesn't even have a book with him," the rasp continued, "I don't appreciate your sarcasm either. I can tell perversion when I see it."
"Funny, I never pictured you as the kinky 'let's have sex' type," George added, "I bet she hasn't even gotten to second base before."
"I don't know, George," John smiled, "her uptight attitude leads me to believe she was raped by her father and she's hated men ever since."
"Stop bein' so damn cruel, John," I blurted, "you have no right to talk to her like that even if she is ultra-conservative. How would you like it if someone talked about your parents that way?"
"I'd beat the livin shit out of em'," he defended, "besides why else would I have sex so often? To erase the memories of rape from everyone to me father, to me uncle."
"Only you can make something as serious as rape into a joke," Ringo mused, "but do tell how was your father measured up in those sort of things?"
"Well he was on the large side," John teased, "sort of the Lennon trait I suppose. But I was only four when I last saw him in the raw so I suppose my perspective has changed a lot since then."
"You are one sick fuck," George added, "but then again we all are so who am I to complain."
"I take it as a compliment," John said sincerely, "I'm a credit to the male race. But I don't know about Paul, that last mood swing was pretty unforgivable."
"Yeah, Paul, are you havin' your time of the month," Ringo snickered, "or does she just make you fuckin horny. I know how you get defensive when you want to fuck but I never thought you had it in you to try and nail someone as stiff as her."
"If Paul's the horny one wouldn't he be the one who's stiff?" George giggled at his expertly timed pun.
"Do you get off on "challenging" birds who won't drop their knickers just cause you're a Beatle," John inquired, "I know I do every once and then just for the sport involved."
"I don't want to fuck her," I shouted, "when will you get in your damn empty head? I just thought you might want to be a lil' bit nicer to her to avoid a lawsuit for emotional trauma. Okay?" Truth be told I wanted to show off my sensitive side to Ms. Stevens who had remained virtually invisible throughout the following conversation. I had to add the part about the lawsuit to keep up my image of the Beatle wit but by doing so, I dragged down my image of soft compassion. Juggling my various titles is becoming more and more of a chore these days.
The lads seemed satisfied enough by my response but that wasn't important at the moment. No, only Ms. Steven's reaction to my comment made partially in poor taste had value. Did she think I was crude or cruel? Or had I only come off as joking and sweet for my semi-interest in this birds affairs? I couldn't read her face no matter how much I stared at it. I analyzed every crease and dimple, looking for hints of displeasure. Her face was frozen solid, lacking definition so I stopped the pictures rolling in my mind and moved on to less important things, my friends. Conversation roamed back to its status quo of sex and women as I slowly walked away without excusing myself.
As I sat on a chair out on the balcony, I looked up at the table filled with happy laughs and crazy memories. Each party was the same; an endless repetition of the chapters before it as I rubbed my head from over thinking, sighing into the still cold air. Mal invited the same "girls," who talked about the same subjects, who fulfilled our sexual desires and disappeared as the next chapter took place and the list of endless names were plotted out and edited to fit the next "party." That seemed to be the only part of the equation lacking tonight, sex. There was enough over-flow to last days without ever sleeping with the same woman twice but no one could please my newly acquired taste. Well no one except Ms. Stevens who was that bottle of refined liquor I longed for, a new habit freshly acquired from the streets of Paris. None of the cheap "beer" around here would set well with my pallet. I needed to have her, that precise moment.
The stars were not sparking that night or perhaps I should rephrase that Ms. Stevens ethereal glow challenged their feeble existence. Why was my body so physically attracted to her? I had slept with much prettier blond-beauties with big breast begging for my courtship. Who's to say she isn't blond? I never have gotten a good look at her hair because it is always hidden under an assortment of hats. What about my girlfriend Jane, what was to become of her? We would be officially going out for a year as of April (only three months away) yet this didn't make me stop my many infidelities. She isn't pretty enough or is it her empty head and childlike behavior that's a subconscious turn off, I reasoned.
The more I asked myself questions the smaller and smaller I began to feel. I didn't want to think about my love life, I didn't want to think about "her" either. She was too perfect or so I convinced myself because I could see no other faults in her, a symptom closely associated with true love. Too good to be human and not good enough to be an angel, stuck to walk the planet alone, find her place in society, a wander trapped in the confines of a mansion large in stature but broken in dreams until met by a handsome prince. The romantic epilogue no longer needed to stir in my mind because it was purely fantasy like the fabrication of "we."
Although I had resolved to have sex with Ms. Stevens that night I had second doubts as I looked back up at the table where the lads were still conversing. She must have slipped away like me because I couldn't see her no matter how hard I squinted she wasn't there. I sighed frustratedly and took a shot of champagne from my second half empty glass. I looked up towards the sky one last time but a red object seemed to be blocking my path. I raised my head up higher to see a charming face greeting me in my most depressed hour. It was she. This whole night hadn't been in vain after all.
"Why are you out here all by yourself?" she said resting a hand on my now relaxed shoulder.
"Well a man can only take so much vulgarity in one night," I paused, "or at least listening to it."
"I suppose I can relate," she comforted, "I may be the queen of sexual innuendo but even I felt a little awkward at times round John. I don't see how you can possibly write love songs with that man."
"We each do a bit here and there," I smiled, "I think we make a gear team. John takes his music seriously for the most part and I edit out the word fuck about only one hundred times per song."
"I hope you're not being serious," she laughed solemnly, "but I must admit if a bomb detonated each time he used it the world would be completely destroyed in the coarse of fifteen minutes."
"You must mean those home-made bombs because nuclear ones would only take about fifteen seconds," I teased.
"I think you're giving him a little too much credit," she added, "but I didn't come out here to talk about John."
"Then what did you come out here to talk about?" I said with genuine curiosity, "it wasn't to probe me for an experiment with aliens was it?"
"No that's scheduled for ten minutes from now," she giggled, "can't you take anything seriously?"
"Sure I can," I said confidently, "when it's important. John sort of rubs off on my personality so I tend to be a lil' more lighthearted when it comes to things that don't matter so much. Aren't you going to ask me about the other bad habits John taught me?"
"I know how much fun you're having right now but I don't think you were telling the truth about coming out here to get away from John," she accused, "so tell me what was really bothering you."
"There's not much else to say," I swallowed defensively, "I just needed some time by myself to think about somethin on my mind."
"Judging by the look on your face you didn't win that argument," she prodded, "come on, you can tell me. I promise you'll feel a lot better."
"You might be right about that," I smiled, "but also equally embarrassed so I don't know if I should. Do the consequences out weigh the gains?"
"I should hope so," she snickered, "well they should if you trusted me, anyways. I promise not to laugh, hard."
"Oh that's very assurin," I mocked in a horrified tone, "I know I want to tell you now that you won't laugh nearly as hard. I can see everything so clearly. What on earth was I thinkin before?"
"Do you really want me to answer that?" she replied, "I can guess it had something to do, with a naked woman. Now which naked woman is the variable I can't quiet grasp on to?"
"Very good young Watson," I congratulated, "but you were missin a few details in that brief analysis. One; I was thinkin' of two naked girls, and two; you were one of them."
"You weren't kidding about John rubbing off on you," she said seriously, "but I'm afraid it isn't in a good way. So, you were thinking of me naked, huh. I bet that was a fun fantasy while it lasted."
"Who's to say it was only a fantasy?" I inquired, "maybe I was spyin on you when you changed into the sexy lil' red number you've enticed every man at this party with."
"Well unless you have the ability to turn invisible I'm pretty sure I was the only one in that bathroom," she chuckled.
"One of my many secret talents," I agreed, "my eyes were practically hangin' out of their sockets when you unhooked your bra and lied it under that stack of clothes you had on earlier."
"That's where you're wrong," she said nonchalantly, "I wasn't wearing a bra to begin with. I knew you were lying about that invisibility trick. Just goes to show you can't trust men these days."
"It's good to see a girl with a sense of humor," I smiled, "and a wit almost equal to mine. But then again even if it was bigger I wouldn't admit to it because I'm a fuckin egotistical male, domineering bastard pig."
"Amen to that," she chorused, "I think you told the truth for the first time this evening. I'm so proud of you."
"I'll be here all week," I bragged, "so if you wanted you could get to know me a bit more up close and personal. But next week always is always good if your work schedule interferes."
"Well it only interferes a tinny little bit," she said pinching the air, "I just work twenty four hours a day every day this week. But other than that I'm free whenever you want me, but only if I want you."
"What if I take you hostage?" I teased, "You don't think you would get a pay cut do you? What would I do with myself if I got you in trouble with your boss? Perhaps I should take a breath and let you answer me questions one at a time."
"It wouldn't hurt," she smiled thoughtfully, "you can't take me hostage because it wouldn't be against my will. Or would it? And knowing the Muir's I bet they would take the ransom money out of my pay check."
"That's absolutely terrible," I said loudly with passion, "they wouldn't do such a terrible thing. Your exaggerating, I bet."
"I promise you with my whole hearts honor assuming there is such a thing," she replied, "but I'm not exaggerating about their money affairs. They are what you call stingy when it comes to finances."
"So I was just a ploy to make a few more dollars, huh," I pondered, "bein used gives me such a cold feelin. But as long as I am alive I won't complain."
"Taking it like a man, then," she said straight forwardly, "hiding your emotions in the depths of the ocean. Don't feel alone about that cold chill; we've all experienced it once."
"I still get goose pimples thinking of that house," I admitted quietly, "how can you possibly work there? It's so eerie and creepy, like one of those old haunted mansions. Especially with all those bizarre color themes."
"Like in that short story by Edgar Allan Poe," she mused, "can't seem to think of the title off hand. But yeah I couldn't agree more about that house being somewhat strange. I doubt its haunted or I would have seen things mysteriously float by now."
"Now look who's not bein serious," I crescendoed, "the evil ghosts are goin to get you. What are you standin around here for? Run, run as fast as you can before you mysteriously vanish."
"Like a woman into the sea," she quipped quickly as I looked up a bit stunned by her intuition about a dream I never spoke about it in public. The other lads were the only ones who had ever heard me ramble about it before that night. Perhaps it was only a coincidence that she mentioned it. Just a passing comment not meant to be taken seriously. Someone else might have said the exact same thing, I convinced myself as the newfound silence shattered the peaceful waters.
"What were we talking about?" she whispered breaking the silence that took hostage the happy festivities, "I didn't mean to bring up a touchy subject but I don't recall mentioning anything that would merit that kind of awkwardness."
"You didn't," I rapped quickly, "I just couldn't think of anything clever to say back to it. Funny, I can usually come up with a quip for almost everything."
"Well you can't beat the master," she chimed, "we ALL know how much BETTER I am than you. I just wanted to set the records straight, so we're all on the same page."
"Oh yeah we MUST set the records straight if EVERYONE knows that you are better than ME," I laughed, "seems more like you needed an ego rush after me gettin the better of you all the time."
"Never," she laughed angelically, "if I wanted an ego rush I would simply ask if anyone wanted to dance with me and a flood of men would cave in on me like the waters of the Red Sea."
"Well in that case I'll be the snowball that turns into an avalanche as it rolls down hill," I growled as we collapsed in a pile on the floor, "you know I did that on purpose, right?"
"Naturally," she said nonchalantly, "just so you could get a better look at my breast. Pervert; I just can't seem to keep men away from me these days. Is there a sign on my back that says 'I flash my tits on the first date' on my back?"
"No it says I'm easy, please fuck me," I teased, "so I was doing my patriotic duty by flirtin with you so I could get a better look under that red dress of yours. The first stage of the divine plan of making that sign a reality."
"Well if it's for your country than you'll just have to wait in line," she announced, "and near the back because I hear Englishmen are bad in bed."
"You are grossly misinformed," I protested, "I'm hurt that you would even say such a horrible stereotype. Why don't you go on the Riviera and paint a picture or something? Or maybe you can loaf around the Eiffel tower and find true love?"
"Well I don't know if I care for your stereotypes either," she added, "so I guess we're even. But first you have to give me something."
"ME? Have to give YOU something?" I exaggerated, "well, why on earth would I do that? The thought is just mind bogglin, but I'm a people pleaser so I'll give it a go."
"You have to..." she paused, "you have to give me a kiss. Right on the lips and I better feel that tongue in my mouth or you'll be in trouble mister."
"That's funny," I laughed, "do you write your own material? I mean you must be the comic genius of the era." That would have been the perfect moment to consummate all I felt for her but I just didn't want her to make the first move. I suppose it was the more egotistical side of me that forced me to blow it over as a joke and catch her unexpectedly later. I only hoped that "later" turned into never.
"No, I steal all my material from John Lennon," she smiled, "that way I know it has enough controversial material to get people to buy it and then burn it."
"Clever girl," I chuckled, "but I'm sure your capable of doing it all by your lonesome. Me on the other hand, I can't kiss you unless you stand next to me and part those red rose petals men call lips." I leaned in to kiss her and backed away after nearly making contact.
"I always thought that women were the ones that tease men?" she panted quietly, "Why is it that I am the one in the vulnerable position?"
"Because I am an expert playboy who has mastered the art of feminine deception," I replied innocently, "no I really owe my success to my pretty face and a couple of well memorized lines for appropriate scenarios."
"Looks like your laying all the cards on the table," she pointed out, "any particular reason? I never met a guy who had the gall to tell me he was sweet talking me."
"Honesty is the best policy," I whispered, "and to be quite truthful I am goin to lean in to kiss you but this time I don't plan on pullin back." With that, I leaned in again and planted a wet kiss on her cheek much to her surprise.
"You're just full of surprises aren't you?" she asked a bit flabbergasted, "and a train full of half truths. If I had known you were only going to kiss me on the cheek I would have pulled away faster than an old lady from a porn store."
"So you would have taken your time," I teased, "you know those old ladies can only run so fast. I think a better analogy would have been I would have pulled away faster than..."
"What's a matter, did you already forget?" she clasped her hands in delight, "or was mine just to visual for you?"
"It just so happens I saw your mother walk into one of those stores," I pouted, "but we'll keep her identity safe by referring to her as Mrs. Stevens. She didn't seem to be any hurry to leave after a couple hours of browsin those trashy isles. She looked on the older side to me but then again I can definitely voucher for some of your more becomin physical features."
"That is absolutely the most revolting, sick, twisted story I have ever heard just to maintain your dignity ," she huffed, "I don't know why I am letting it get to me since I know you're not really serious."
"Well serious and Beatle are sort of antonyms," I admitted, "unless comparing things of a sexual nature. But I am very familiar with other kinds of serious attitudes like talking, love, sex..."
"Every things a joke with you," she smirked, "I think that's why I am slowly falling for your English schoolboy charm."
"Well now that you're under my spell I think I can take off this horribly uncomfortable girdle," I giggled, "oh and I can't forget the fake teeth."
"Well looks aren't as important to me as they appear to be with you," she hesitated, "I don't like to judge but that seems to be where most of the attraction you express to me comes from."
"On the surface I suppose it does look that way," I paused, "but there is something much deeper I feel for you and I can't explain why and I can't describe what it is."
"You mean you are actually feeling true human emotions," she said mockingly at my self-realization of my dependence of her, "not just the male concocted lust driven passion that makes the world go round."
"You know when I'm tryin to be serious about how I feel it hurts that you make jokes about it," I said defensively, "I'm sorry I didn't mean to blow up at you it's just this feelin that I have no control of my mind and that some other force is guidin everything I do sort of freaks me out. I just don't know what I feel or think and that is the worst thing that can happen to a man who spends his life preyin on those more helpless than he."
"I thought that was just a line," she admitted ashamedly, "a really good one but a line all the same. I never met a man so out of tune with his emotions and so desperately in love with something he can't even begin to describe." I knew that I couldn't contain the passion welling up in side of me anymore. I stepped forward and delicately kissed her soft trembling lips. My eyes closed as they made contact and pinched tighter afraid to face the reality that would follow such a poorly timed life-essential moment. I began to doubt myself more and more, as my eyelashes fluttered back to life and a grim face of shock awaited the nightly shadows.