Monday, August 20, 2012

Lalique Flynn Ch. 10 On Thin Ice

This chapter is almost twice as long as my usual and has less pictures. Hope you enjoy it just the same--Author

"Hello?"

"Lalique?"

"Yes."

"It's Perry Everhart, honey. I wondered if you'd like to go out to dinner."

"Mr. Everhart, why do we keep having this conversation? I'm not interested in going out with any man. I'm especially NOT interested in going out with you."

"Caught you on a bad day, huh?" she could just imagine the smart-A grin on his face, "I'll check back another day."

He hung up before she could tell him not to bother.

********************************

"Hello?"

"Lalique, it's Perry--"

"Don't you ever give up? The answer to whatever you have to say is 'no'. Goodbye."

*********************************

"Hello?"

"Hi, sweetheart." 

"Oh. It's you." 

"There's a brand new Colin Farrell movie showing in Bluewater, I know you said you really liked him."

"Not that much. Look, Perry, you're wasting your time calling here. It's true you're very good-looking and you have money and charm, but I'm not available. Peddle it somewhere else."

"You'll give in one of these days," he assured her confidently.

"Goodbye, Mr. Everhart, goodbye."

*******************************

"I don't get it; why won't you go out with him, Lalique?" Arlene asked her one day at breakfast.

"He's a pest for one thing; calling me every day to ask me the same thing."

Perry, in fact, had not called for three weeks. This actually made Lalique a little miffed since he'd given her the rush and then stopped cold; even though she'd specified that he do just that.

"Well, he hasn't called now for a while," Arlene pointed out, "Honestly, I don't get it. Of course, he's not as handsome as Ray, but pretty close. Even with those glasses he's a hottie. In fact, now that I think of it they kind of resemble each other--just through the eyes and mouth. He's got a successful career as a lawyer and he likes the kids. At least that one time he was here he got along really well with Alain and Desiree--you never did let him see the babies."

"He looks nothing like Ray," Lalique protested, "And his glasses make him look distinguished which works well for a professional man."

Arlene blinked at her,

"I wasn't trying to disparage him; just the opposite."

Lalique quickly switched gears. Why had she been defending him, anyway?

"Arlene, I've sworn off men--with good reason. John was a very alpha male and Perry seems to be cut from the same cloth. Arrogant and macho. Perry thinks he is the answer to every woman's prayer. I don't want another man telling me what to do and sweet-talking me into agreeing with him. Neither do I want to be another notch on his belt. I can't afford to have men running back and forth through my children's lives, winning their affection and then dumping me and my kids. No way. I know John will try to be there for them, but if not for that I'd send him away, too."


After another week Arlene took three days off to visit her parents in Garden City, the other side of Three Lakes. This left Lalique alone to care for four children under the age of four. Of course, she loved her children very much, but was used to sharing duties with Arlene and toddlers Alain and Desiree were a real handful, especially when combined with the needs of two small infants. 

It was the third and final night and Lalique slouched, exhausted, on the love seat in her bedroom, staring unseeingly at a blank TV screen. She'd showered that morning but never got around to putting on her makeup which she always did no matter what; but not today. Her hair was shoved up in a messy rats' nest on top of her head and held with a clip; she'd barely brushed it and now half of it was straggling down around her face. Miraculously all four children were asleep--but for how long? The soft tropical melody from her cell phone almost didn't register for a moment. And how long had it been since she'd been to the beach anyway?

She glanced at the phone and it only said "Wireless Caller" but she recognized the number shown. It was Perry Everhart--after a month. Some nerve. Still, she was hungry for conversation with an adult. Besides, she'd come to the conclusion that she was tired of fighting his persistence and her own attraction to him. The reality was that she'd missed his calls and their adversarial conversations. She was ready to admit defeat.



"Hi Perry."

He sounded a bit surprised,

"Hi, doll. What's going on?"

"Truthfully? Arlene has been at her parents in Garden City for three days and I'm going crazy."

She began to tell him the events of the day, including the news that Desiree had discovered mommy's makeup and proceeded to decorate both the bathroom and herself with several Lancome lipsticks and an eyeliner pencil. Alain, meanwhile, had developed a sudden fascination with throwing items in the toilet and then flushing it. He'd managed to get in there a couple times. Some of the stuff even went down never to be seen again, including a few of his little cars. Then, he tried to flush half a roll of toilet paper and some blocks down and everything blew up. The plumber had left only a couple hours ago. Lalique was fairly sure it was the disappearing act of the cars that was the real hook for Alain.

"I'm a terrible mother," she suddenly claimed, nearly in tears, "I can't even make it three days without their nanny here. And the babies are teething so they are fussy, poor things. I need four hands at the least."

She went on, knowing she was prattling but she couldn't stop herself,

"I keep wondering if I've somehow conveyed to Desiree that women are only valuable when they're beautiful. I don't want her to be shallow or to make her insecure! And maybe I pushed too hard when I potty-trained Alain so he's now obsessed with the toilet. He'll either be anal or a slob!"

Perry chuckled,

"I don't mean to make fun, but you're just tired, honey. These little stunts don't mean anything profound. Not any more than they mean that Desiree will grow up to be a hairdresser or interior decorator or that Alain will be a plumber or magician. After all, I'm told that playing with makeup is fun for most females of any age and certainly everyone likes to play in water, none more than little boys. He'd splash water all over in a kiddy pool or fountain, too; it's just that the flush feature of a toilet has added appeal."

She had to smile even as she sniffled and Perry asked,

"When is Arlene getting back?"

"She should be here tomorrow around lunchtime."

"You need a break and to spend some time with a grownup. Why don't I pick you up tomorrow around 4? I still haven't taken you ice skating. The weather has cooled off and Halloween has passed. It's time to start getting in the mood for winter. You do ice skate, right?" 

"I used to roller skate when I was a kid, but I can't remember ever ice skating. I guess I must have done it at some time or other, though."

"Okay, then we'll head to Wonderland rink and we can have dinner afterward."

She hesitated a moment, drawing the word out,

"We-ell..."

"Come on, it'll be fun."

"All right."


****************************

"Lalique, honey?"

Perry held his hand out to her in encouragement, his stance relaxed but steady. Lalique, on the other hand, was extremely tense. She took his proffered hand and put one foot on the ice and immediately would have fallen if he hadn't caught her. She was shocked; the ice was like glass; and Lalique realized she'd made a terrible mistake. Pulling back her foot she suddenly recalled--for sure--that she'd never ice skated before in her life--no wonder she had no memory of doing it as a teenager.

She was slightly crouched at the opening of the rink and clung to him fearfully with one hand while the other hand clawed at the railing beside her.

"Um, you know what, Perry?" she rasped, "I think I remember now that I never did ice skate. Not once. I was kind of a bookworm rather than an athlete."

"Well, that's okay, baby; I'm going to help you; I'll be right beside you. You'll do great, but we need to actually get out out on the ice; people are starting to pile up behind you," he said soothingly as he tried to pry her hand away from the railing.

"I think this is a bad idea. I'll just go over to the bench and watch you skate."

"Come on, I won't let you fall. You said you used to rollerskate all the time."

"Not really all the time; besides, I was a teenager then and now I'm almost...er...now I'm somewhat older. Just let me go back, Perry, I didn't realize how slippery ice is compared to a wood or concrete floor and wheels are easier to balance on than these skinny little blades."

Lalique couldn't believe how terrified she was and how that was making her act like a child. She was humiliated yet she couldn't make herself move. People were giving up in frustration and heading to the other entrance to the rink since she she was blocking that one. 

She heard a stubborn and aggravated teenaged boy behind her complain,

"Jeez, lady, will you get outta the way?"

Perry suddenly put his arm around her waist, pulled her tightly up against him until her skates were slightly off the ground and swept her out onto the ice. She let go of the railing at the last moment so she wouldn't resemble a wishbone.

At first Lalique had both arms pincer-like around his waist and her feet were locked together at the ankle. All Perry could do was keep her at his side and propel her slowly across the ice. 

Gradually, after an hour or so he was able to get her to try to actually move her feet, but every time she tried that she fell on her butt. To Lalique it just wasn't worth it after awhile because he didn't want her to hurt herself so he tried to hold her up and once they both fell.

"Ohhhh, I'm too out of shape for this," she groaned as he helped her up for the fifth time.

"Believe me when I say your shape is fantastic. You're really doing well. I just shouldn't have let go of you," he said and she laughed out loud.

"Oh, yeah, I'm doing great. You're having to haul me around like a sack of meal and whenever you let go I crash."

"You can't learn how to do it overnight."

It was humiliating to see everyone around her--even small children--doing better than she was.

But after another hour or so he'd brought her to the point she could move her feet and not fall. He only had to hold her hands not hold her tightly up against his side using both arms. Not that being crushed against Perry didn't have a certain appeal to Lalique... 


When she tried once more to let go of his hands and push off on her own, down she went. Perry quickly reached for her, turning his own foot a little sideways to let her brace one skate against it to get up.

She gave a shaky sigh and tried to smile as she was once more upright and in his arms. He looked into her face and said in a concerned voice,

"You're tired aren't you? I should have realized. Come on, let's go get something to eat."

Picturing an elegant restaurant since they were in Bluewater--and several existed--Lalique was somewhat surprised when Perry pulled up in front of the bowling alley. Now what torture would she have to endure? She was almost as bad at bowling as she was at ice skating.

They didn't bowl; instead they sat at the counter and had deliciously greasy cheeseburgers and thick creamy milkshakes and Perry added fries to his order. Afterward they played pool. That was fun for Lalique since she was an excellent pool player; having been schooled by her father, Errol.

When Lalique finally noticed her longtime heartthrob, Brian Ottomas, walk by she was amazed to realize she felt nothing. She had always nursed a crush on him since they'd shared one lone night of passion when she'd first come back to Pleasantview. That was back when her kid sister, Melanie and her friend, Lori, had been at University. She had not been able to forget him. Until this moment. Her mind was now preoccupied with Perry she realized and then hastily she put that information out of her thoughts.



Brian O. and Lalique long ago...


"Are you free this Friday night?" Perry asked when they got to her front porch. At different moments during the night he'd taken her hand, caressed the back of her neck, put his arm around her shoulders; touched her often in tiny but respectable ways, but while he had looked at her mouth often, he'd not tried to kiss her. At the moment all Lalique could think about was that she didn't want to want any man. That's what she'd been telling herself ever since she'd had her youngest two children. No men, right? Yet she couldn't help but wonder why he had NOT tried to kiss her all evening. Was he not attracted to her after all? He was waiting for her answer.

"Um, no, not Friday."

"Saturday, then."

"Perry, I had a wonderful time tonight...well, not counting all the times I fell. But I have four kids and a dismal history with men. I can't afford to get involved with anyone. From what I've been hearing you know a ton of women who would die to go out with you--why don't you ask one of them?"

"If I wanted to go out with someone else I would. Lalique, I don't want to make your life more difficult; but you're the only woman I'm interested in spending time with and I think we would be great together. I know you feel something for me, too--why won't you let it out?" he gave her a crooked grin, "I swear you won't regret it, honey."

"Honestly, Perry, you have to be the most arrogant man I've ever met," she laughed.

He only smiled and she found herself concentrating on his mouth so she didn't see his green eyes regarding her with the alert attention of a cat watching a mouse.

She took a long breath,

"Okay, I'll think about it--call me in a couple days."

"Good."



4 comments:

Sim Girl said...

That was soooo AWESOME! Loved it :D YAY! First date ahhahah so sweet, and he is SO attentive - love it! MORE!!! lol

Brianne said...

Ahh, Perry and Lalique (Laper? Perlique?) are so cute. I see baby #5 (of #5 and #6, with her history) somewhere in Lalique's future!

Sovereign Dark said...

Perry's persistent calls were highly amusing, but the date was sweet, fun, and romantic. I must admit now, I quite like these two together. :)Lovely update, Lor!

Lorelei said...

Ha, Brianne! I think maybe Perlique? It has a nice ring to it lol