And the girls are always tantalizing.
THE RHYTHM WAS PERFECT.
SPACERSP THE PLAN WAS PERFECT.
SPACERSPACERSPACER LJ WAS PERFECT.
LJ was surprised that her moves inside Caesars didn’t shake the hound on her tail. She tucked her purse under her left arm, as if it were a battery pack for her pumping heart, and stutter-stepped between cars to the front door of the Flamingo. As she entered the casino, she knew a simple foot race wasn’t going to be enough to spring free from the hound on her tail. LJ was going to have to outsmart him. She dashed across the blackjack floor, hoping no one would notice that she was “dashing,” and realized that she needed somewhere safe and invisible so she could evaluate her alternatives. She calmly caught her breath, placed the palm of her right hand over her heart and willed it to slow. Like an unruly dog commanded by its master to sit, it immediately began to obey. She then casually walked right past the ladies room door and confidently headed for her only alternative.
With a subtle, but unmistakable smirk, she pushed open the men’s room door. Although the door was a steel slab of inorganic matter the size of a small elephant’s casket, it moved silently with ease. She wasn’t sure how she would react if, not surprisingly, she found a man inside. It really didn’t upset her that she might be in the same room with a man while he was urinating. In any event, it had been her experience that when a man has his Johnson in his hand, he is generally oblivious to the rest of the world. Indeed, that’s exactly what happened. And, just as she suspected, the two men standing at the urinals to her right as she entered were in deep concentration, with their heads bowed, as if in prayer, but with their eyes wide open.
“Why do men have to look at it when it’s operational?” she thought.
Gliding past the urinals, she slipped into the middle of three stalls, turning slightly in order to fit her body and purse through the door in a single movement. As she turned to her right, a chubby, middle-aged man looked up into the mirror on the wall over the urinal. You would have thought he suddenly saw Mickey Mantle walk into the room. LJ caught a glimpse of his face in the mirror just as he began to pee on his shoe. His face was punctuated by the sheer size of the whites of his eyes, followed only by the size of the almost perfectly round hole formed by his wide-open mouth. As she looked back into the mirror, LJ just couldn’t resist giving him a little wink. Suddenly conscious that reality was in the opposite direction, he quickly turned his attention away from the mirror and looked directly toward the stalls, only to find all three doors neatly closed and uninteresting. Not entirely sure of what he saw, he decided it was now more important to tend to his soggy shoe, eternally grateful that he missed his sock.
LJ felt reasonably secure in the middle stall, with the exception of her CFMs (“Come Fuck Me” heels) that she feared were visible under the door. She secured the latch with the stealth of a church mouse and responsively sat on the toilet seat, assuming the pondering “thinker” position. She elected to ignore any speculation about the source of the liquid that she felt through her jeans. It really made no difference, however, because although she was physically stationary, her mind was bobbing and weaving like a New York taxi enroute to Idewild with a $20 tip in the balance. She knew, however, that she couldn’t just continue to sit there. Not only was she concerned for herself, she was also worried about Julia. Besides, her curiosity was running wild.
“Those guys have to be the law, but who are they and how did they catch on?” she wondered, nearly aloud.
She knew with certainty that getting arrested would seriously complicate her current situation, even though she provided for that very possibility just minutes earlier. If she could get loose, then she could reestablish contact with Julia and the others back in Jersey. If these guys grabbed her, she would probably be stuck in Vegas for a long time, at least until she could make bail and get out of town. She couldn’t help wondering who would actually step up and get her out of jail. There were several possibilities, but her money and her freedom were on Julia. In fact, she briefly considered giving up and letting the old fool catch her. At least then she could get off her feet and out of those torturous CFMs.
“Enough of this stupid stuff—he obviously got a look at me, so it’s time he saw somebody else. Can he really be that old? Can’t be,” she said, thinking in scattered notions of the hound chasing her while closely inspecting her strong, but delicate fingers for broken nails.
Confident she was the only person remaining in the room, LJ swung open the stall door, laying it flat against the adjoining stall. This enabled her to look across the narrow room into the mirror running along the opposite wall over the three sinks. It wasn’t exactly what she needed to get ready for a night on the town, but it would have to do.
Whether she would admit it or not, there was a beautiful woman starring back at her in the mirror. She was just the perfect height and weight, 5 feet 6 inches and 120 lbs., with tits that, while certainly more than the required mouth-full, gave a supple curve to her shirt. Her skin was the color and texture of a vanilla and peanut butter milk shake—mostly white, but with the perfect brown tint that made even the most distracted male emotionally hungry. Then, the entire picture changed. With a broad sweeping motion, she raised her left hand to the right side of her face and gathered the long locks of her hair. She twisted them around and firmly piled them atop her head. With the help of a bobby pin and rubber band, her testarossa with those gorgeous strawberry blonde highlights was gone. Where just a second ago was a spiraling, twisting maze of curls, was now a short, curt and sassy Italian look, still with the tantalizing highlights, of course.
The immediate effect was startling, to say the least. The entire structure of her face changed. The angles now appeared sharp and muscular. Where the once soft curls of a golden, reddish hue delicately framed her features, an angular passion-flame now accentuated her perfection. It was like the burning embers of a fine cigar. It wasn’t merely fire on the end of a tobacco stick. It was the culmination of a perfect blend of nature’s gift from the finest Caribbean soil, rolled, twisted and wrapped in perfect symmetry to create a tantalizing combination of appearance, feel, aroma and burn performance. The scent alone was enough to cause both man and boy to salivate and break almost any rule to consume. “Hot” wasn’t nearly adequate enough to describe what she was.
Her beautiful, nearly exotic skin lacked the deeper and harder tones of so many southern Italians. Indeed, such striking angles and rich skin tone were extremely unusual for a natural testarossa. Her Irish mother clearly took credit for her red hair, although it wasn’t as easy to credit anyone for her exotic combination of skin color, facial features and shape. Sometimes, when she looked in the mirror, she felt lucky for those gifts—other times, not so much. Since college, she learned that how she looked wasn’t nearly as important as how she saw. Her striking appearance amplified her sex appeal, and it was often an advantage with men, sometimes even with women, regardless of their sexual preference. The dikes wanted to get close to her to get in her pants, just like the boys, and straight women wanted to be close to her because they were hoping that whatever she had might rub off on them. Her mere presence in a room enhanced the sexual tension in all directions. This was both good and bad. She couldn’t help wondering if her aura was hindering her ability to shake this cop. She was going to find out real soon.
While it was a good start she knew razing her hair alone wasn’t going to shake her loose from the hound in the corridor, and so she forged ahead. The water was cold and the soap harsh, but eventually she scrubbed off what little makeup she was wearing. She rubbed off what the soap couldn’t get with her fingernails and the second joint of her forefinger.
Next, she shed her black leather jacket—the one she loved so much because it was exactly like the one Marlon Brando wore in the ’53 classic, “The Wild One.” It was perfectly broken in. The cowhide had become supple with wear as the ends of the sleeves and the creases in the leather had begun to fray just enough to eat through the black dye, revealing the natural tan color of the skin. The jacket was covering a crisp, white cotton, long-sleeved, man- tailored, button-down oxford. You couldn’t really tell if it was made for a man or a woman, although there was definitely no confusing who was wearing it now. All the bulges were in the right places. Exposing the white shirt without the jacket gave LJ a completely different appearance—a much softer, even feminine look that was an alluring contrast to her newly revealed angular haircut.
As she pulled the biker jacket down off her shoulders and long arms that were accentuated by the exposure of the long-sleeved white shirt, she noticed how heavy the jacket was. It amused her a little because she never before considered the jacket heavy. It killed her to peel it off and scrunch it into the garbage can. LJ knew she was fooling herself when she whispered to no one, “Once I shake this guy I’ll come back and get it.” She doubted she was ever going to see it again.
Then, in a moment of uncontrollable sentimentality, she made a decision that would later change the course of the rest of her life. LJ just couldn’t “trash” the jacket that was her namesake and so intertwined with her persona. Helplessly, she reached into the garbage can and snatched the jacket from the bottom as if she was saving a drowning child from a foamy brine. It was her first intention to toss the jacket onto the counter surrounding the sinks, hoping someone would pick it up and give it a good home. She was fine with that until she remembered that she was out of her element, in a men’s room. Hence, it was most likely that a man would get the jacket and because it was so small, it would probably wind up in the trunk of his car.
LJ stood openly in the middle of the men’s room, realizing that she just couldn’t leave the jacket in any room containing a urinal. Confident in her decision, she reached into her purse and grabbed a small bottle of her favorite and, in fact, only perfume—“Tarantula”—an alluring scent named for the female spider that eats its mate after sex. LJ wasn’t certain if she knew of the sexual proclivities of the scent’s namesake before she started wearing it. And it really made no difference to LJ when she learned of its arachnological relevance. She simply felt the sweet aroma, enhanced by a hint of danger in the scent, perfectly fit her personality. And, as I learned later, she was absolutely correct.
LJ emptied the entire bottle all over the jacket. Most women would simply use a fine leather jacket to look good. There’s even an off chance that some might use it to keep warm. But LJ was keenly aware of the mystique of black leather, shiny silver buckles and an unmistakable feminine scent, all mixed in one package. It was like sweet and sour soup, or smooth blue cheese dressing on the rough, tangy skin of a buffalo wing. It’s tantalizing, confusing to the senses and oh, so irresistible—like LJ.
She knew she was going through all this trouble because she desperately wanted a woman to have the jacket rather than have some guy toss it into the trunk of his car. Or worse yet, wind up in the hands of some skinny fag. So, she scented it up and walked right out of the men’s room and across the hall to the ladies room, where she didn’t bother to set foot across the threshold. She just opened the door, sighted the vanity across the room and tossed the jacket into the corner where the wall and mirror met, just under the paper towel dispenser. All she could hope for was that some woman would find it and be selfish enough to keep it rather than try to find the owner or hand it over to some fool in the lost and found office. She let the door swing closed at the same rate as she walked away from it. She confidently headed back to the casino floor.
She was so impressed with herself that she decided to swing her arms, keep her head high and walk straight through the door she came in through earlier. She didn’t look for that old prick who was chasing her, not even once. She merely pretended he didn’t exist. LJ didn’t even remember seeing or hearing the slots on the casino floor; she only recalled feeling the blast of hot air when she walked out the door and onto the street. She hailed a cab and rode off into the sunset, already planning what she was going to tell Azzimie.
The rhythm was perfect. The plan was perfect. LJ was perfect. Too bad she didn’t remember the counterfeit $100 note in the left inside breast pocket of that leather jacket. She would, later though, when it jumped up and bit her right in that sweet, perfect ass of hers.