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Please enjoy part four of “Foolish Notion”.  Parts 1, 2, and 3 can be found at the links.

Caution this post contains adult content.

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Big Bill was keeping Streak on a short leash. He kept him busy with “errands” and odd jobs all while dangling the carrot of more responsibility, even his own crew, “when the time was right”.   Will stayed close to act as a buffer between the two of them – a role reversal Streak was not at all comfortable with and neither, he knew, was Will.

From the time he’d come to live under Bill’s roof, when he’d refused to talk to anyone except Fiona, Streak definitely hadn’t wanted anything to do with Bill’s son. Will, who was two years younger than Streak didn’t let that get in his way. He followed him around like a shadow that didn’t disappear at sundown.

They ran with a group of boys, mostly the sons of men who worked for Bill – there were exceptions, like Gordo Weir – that they just managed to acquire. Many of them were older than either Will or Streak, but Streak was the boss. People had always been naturally drawn to him. He was smart and good with his fists. And he wouldn’t let anyone give Will any shite just because he was the youngest. They all knew who Big Mac was and thought they knew what he did, which meant that they wanted to be just like him. They listened and they learned. Whatever the “gang” got in to, Streak did it first and then showed the others how.

Will MacKenzie, short story, Streak, S.A. Young

Wee Bill had a reputation for being a hothead. His temper was one of the few things he had in common with his father. Streak was reasonable. He didn’t say much, but when he did, people listened. And he always made sure that Will was protected – from other villains, from the law, and from his own father.

Until the day Streak went into Greenock, that’s how it had been.  Now, Streak was chafing under the bit of the new world order.

That wasn’t the only thing making him chafe. Weeks had passed since that night at the pub.  He had spoken to Dave on the phone a few times, even bought a laptop so emails and texts could fill in the gaps between the calls. But they were all short and safe and filled with mostly small talk.  I’m starting to feel like I  have a pen-pal when what I want is a woman, no, I want this particular woman, in my bed.

Streak was in the Rover, with Dex this time, when his phone started to bleep. “Hey,” he answered with a smile, “I was just thinking about you.”

“Were you?” Dave laughed.  “Should I worry?” When he didn’t answer right away, “Yes, well, I was just wondering if you had plans this evening.”

“Dunno. You tell me.”   Dex looked over at him and rolled his eyes. Streak flipped him off then pointed at the road.

“Ring the bell on the door next to the shop. I live upstairs.”

Later that evening, Streak found himself feeling a right tube, standing in a front of an array of flowers trying to decided what to bring to Dave. The owner of the shop, who wanted to get home to his own dinner, was losing patience.  Streak gave up and plucked a single pink rose from the bucket and handed it over for wrapping.

Streak, Davina, Foolish Notion, short story, pink rose, S. A. Young

He hit the buzzer at the appointed hour then had to keep himself from taking the stairs two at a time. She was waiting for him in her open door when he got there.

“Hi.”

“Hi.” He handed her the rose, which suddenly seemed to him more cliché than if he’d brought two dozen. “You are so sweet.” She blushed and wouldn’t meet his eyes. “I hope you’re hungry.” Dave stood aside for him to enter the apartment, “I made enough for an army.”

He’d no sooner gotten past the threshold when he turned to her and said, “Fuck sweet.”  As he cradled her head in his two big palms, “And I’m ravenous.”

“Streak…”

His name hung in the air then fell on the floor next to the solitary flower she’d dropped when their mouths met and teeth clashed against teeth, their tongues feverishly exploring. Dave kicked the door closed as their fingers tore at buttons.

Streak won the race and pushed her blouse from her shoulders then broke the kiss only to return his lips to her soft, perfumed skin, starting just below her ear, trailing kisses down her neck to her navel as he fell to his knees in front of her, his hands on her waist. She looked down at him and smiled, her hands playing in the softness of his hair as he unzipped her skirt and slid it down over her hips and her legs, his fingers dancing over her smooth flesh.

He stood up and pulled his still partially-buttoned shirt over his head then wrapped his arms around her, reveling for a moment in the feel of her skin against his at last,  as the tips of her naked breasts brushed across his hard chest.

He let her take off his belt and unbutton his pants as his hands smoothed over her shoulders and down her back.  Dave hooked a finger into a belt loop and tugged him down the hall to her room. She got his jeans past his hips then pushed on his chest so that he sat down on the edge of the bed. Leaning back on his elbows, he lifted his hips and watched her as she took off his shoes and pulled the denim from his legs.

When Dave straddled his lap, he swept her hair back from her face, watching her watch him as she took him in hand, her long, delicate fingers wrapped around, making him shudder. He closed his eyes and concentrated on just breathing until he felt her lips on his again. With his tongue stroking against hers, her hips began to match the rhythm of hands.

This was what he’d imagined that first night, and all of the nights since. It would have been so simple to just let go. But he wanted more. Instead, he opened his eyes, closed his palm over her hand and rasped, “Easy lass…let’s take it nice and slow.”  Dave’s breath caught in her throat as heat flooded her secret flesh, still covered with silk and lace.

Streak pushed on her hips for her to stand, then picked her up and laid her down gently on the bed.  He stood looking down at her for a moment before joining her. He kissed her stomach and her hip bones while his hands pulled the scrap of silk down and away.  “You are so beautiful. More than I imagined…” Moving up to cover her body, his thigh parted hers and he settled himself between them. The hot, hard part of him burned her soft center with the barest touch. Davina brought her knees up and he propped himself on his hands, his shoulders bunched, as looking into her eyes, both of them gasping, he slid beautifully into place.

She stroked the pads of her fingers along his arms and watched him as he rode her so carefully, so gently. His chest and his biceps were flexing hard, his stomach muscles curling and uncurling as his hips moved out and back giving her time to build slowly, deliciously toward the peak. When she hit it and her core grabbed onto him, he dropped his head to her neck and groaned with his own release.

After a moment Streak moved on to his side, their legs entwined, their hands still roaming in anxious discovery.

With a smile, Dave wondered, “Can I ask you something?”

Streak took one of her hands and raised it to his lips, kissing her fingers, and her palm. “Course. After that, I may even answer.”

“Funny. Where did ‘Streak’ come from? I know you couldn’t possibly have been born with it.”

“Comic book.”

Dave gave him that husky laugh, “Seriously? Come on then, what’s the real one? Is it that bad?”

“Dwight Aloysius.” To Streak’s surprise, she did giggle. “Who hangs something like that on a kid?”

She appeared to be mulling it over, “I dunno. It’s not – well, it’s not terrible,” but her shaking body said otherwise.

“It is,” He got to his elbow to look at her, “and I can count on one hand the number of people who have that information. You feel me?”

When she’d stopped laughing, ”Can I ask another one?” He poked her in the ribs, but didn’t say no, “That first day, downstairs in the shop, you said you’d been ‘away’. Where exactly is ‘away’?”

Foolish Notion, Streak, short story, S. A. Young, Dave

Streak blew out a breath and rolled to his back. He’d given the answer to this inevitable question a lot of thought. He knew he’d have to tell her. He also knew he should have done during their first real conversation that night at the pub.  “Greenock.”

“But, that’s just up the road. Were you working the docks…”

Greenock,” he repeated.

Dave sat up and folded herself over her bent knees. “I think I knew that. I mean, It wasn’t exactly a stretch when you think about it. Gordon, John, Big Mac MacKenzie – just a matter of moving the pieces around, really.” As she turned her head to look at him, “You could’ve said.”

He was staring at the ceiling. “Not something that goes in an e-mail.”

“Oh. Yeah, I guess that’s true.” After a moment she put a hand on his leg, “Will you tell me?”

Streak swung his legs over the side of the bed to get up to find his pants and the cigarettes that were in his pocket. A nod from Dave told him he could light up. He pulled on his jeans then sat back down while she leaned over to grab an ashtray from a drawer in the nightstand. Smoke curled around his head as he sat staring out the window.

When he still hadn’t answered her, Dave suddenly felt foolish and exposed and pulled the bedspread around her shoulders. “Are you planning to say something?”

“I shot someone,” he blurted almost before she’d finished her question.

Now it was her turn to be quiet, until she asked, “Did you kill them?”

“If I had, I wouldn’t be here now, would I?” Streak turned his head to look at her over his shoulder. “Sorry.”

“What happened?”

“I was doing something I shouldn’t have, in a place I shouldn’t have been. There was a struggle. The gun went off. Not my gun, but that didn’t matter. Lucky for me, he lived. Unlucky for him, he lost a leg.”

Streak felt her shiver, but all she said was,“How long were you ‘away’?”

Surprised by her continued use of his euphemism, Streak set the ashtray aside and moved closer to put his arms around her, “I did every day of a four year sentence.” What he didn’t tell her was that it probably would have been much longer if he hadn’t pled guilty and saved the Crown the trouble of a trial.

“So what now?” she asked him, with her head on his shoulder. “You’re back. Are you all the way back?” Dave pushed away so that she could see his face, “Picking up where you left off? Just passing through?”

Streak knew he’d have to tell her his tale, but these were the real questions that had been keeping him awake of late. For the last four years, he wouldn’t allow himself to think beyond getting through the next day, then the one after that. He’d gone back to Bill’s house because that’s what had been expected of him. And that’s all he thought he had. There was never much thought given to his future, even before prison. What else was he good for? He searched her warm brown eyes for the answers, but all he saw were more questions.

“I wish I could tell you. But when I can, I will.”

John Trotter, Streak, Foolish Notion, short story, S.A. Young

One night, when everyone else was out of the house, John Trotter called and asked if he wanted to grab a bite at a curry place that always been one of Streak’s favorites.

After downing yet another massive glass of water to put out the fire in his throat, he couldn’t help but notice John had barely had a sip.  “Christ, old man, your eyes aren’t even watering. Is this where you’ve been taking most of your meals?”

“Something like that,” John acknowledged with a small laugh, “Mary was the cook, you know that. And she never did take to Indian food…”, his voice trailed off.

“So this place is safe.” Streak looked up from making wet circles on the table with his glass, “I’d like to see, you know, where she…will you go with me?”

“Whenever you’d like, son. I’m sure she’d welcome the visit.”

They sat with their memories until Streak broke the silence. “So how’s your old bike runnin’?”

John laughed, “I was wondering which of us would be bringing the Weir family into the conversation.”

“C’mon old man…”

“Hey!” John looked prepared to reach across the table, “Watch yourself.”

“Sorry!” Streak held up his hands. “But how come I never knew about you and Charlie Weir?”

“Do you think I tell you everything? Charlie, Bill and I were as close as you are to Will when we were lads. He was always good company and no one knew his way round anything mechanical better than did Charlie.”

“I’ve never heard Bill mention him either.”

“Ah, well. It’s been so long I can’t remember why they fell out.”

Streak didn’t believe that for a second. John remembered everything.

“So. Davina.”

“Davina.” Streak’s lips curled into an involuntary smile. “God, she’s pretty.”

Davina, Dave, Streak, Foolish Notion, short story, S.A. Young

“You think so?” John smiled and folded his arms across his chest.

“Oh come on. Are you about to ask my intentions?” When John didn’t answer, Streak put his hand over his heart, “I can assure you sir, they are almost entirely honorable.”

“Almost?”

“Well…” John held up a hand to stop him, if he really was about to continue. Streak surprised him with what came next. “Do you think he’d let me go, if I asked?”

John knew without asking that he meant Bill. Still he took a long moment to consider his answer. “You know he hates disloyalty above all else.”

“How is wanting something for myself disloyal? Don’t you think I’ve earned that?”

“It doesn’t matter what I think.”

Streak scoffed, “Don’t sell yourself short. You may be the only person in this world he listens to.”

“Sometimes.” John held up two fingers to their waiter before continuing, “In my opinion, no question you’ve earned the right to be your own man. What will you do?”

“I don’t know. Get away, maybe.” Streak smiled as he remembered how Dave had answered that same question. “The world is mine, yeah?”

John knocked his glass against Streak’s. “I believe you can do whatever you set your mind to. But have a plan before you go to Bill and I will back you. Never doubt it.”

Goldie, Streak, Davina, Foolish Notion, short story, S. A. Young

Several nights later, Streak and Dave were back in the pub they were starting to think of as “their place”. “Don’t look now,” she leaned in with a conspiratorial whisper, “but there is a really ridiculous looking man at the end of the bar. I can’t tell which one of us he’s staring at.”  Streak turned his head and Dave pinched his bicep. “Subtle. I told you not to look.”

Streak said, “Fuck” under his breath and turned back to Dave. “It’s me.”

“You know him?”

He did indeed. They’d been ‘neighbors’ for three of the last four years, though the man had been released from Greenock about six months before Streak. “Yeah. His name’s Goldie.”  Streak had made a lot of – if not what he’d call friends – contacts – while he was inside. He’d had plans. But plans change.

“Oh right.  Because of that hair color that is like nothing found in nature.”

“You’d think so, but no.”

The man, who had shoulders far wider than his height would suggest, had gotten up to come stand between Dave and Streak’s chairs.  As soon as Streak looked at him, ‘Goldie’ broke into a huge grin, revealing a full set of gold-capped teeth.  Dave’s eyebrows shot to the top of her head, but she pressed her lips together to suppress a laugh.

“How ya been, Streak?”

“I’m good G. You?”

“Sorry to interrupt.”Goldie was leaning toward Dave who promptly leaned away from him.

Streak took her hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. “No worries, mate.” He wasn’t feeling sociable, but he didn’t want to spook Dave. “Goldie, this is Davina. Davina, Goldie.”

“Hi.”

“Hello darling. Mind if I have a word with your boyfriend?”

“Uh…”

“Now’s not a good time.” Streak had a pretty good idea what the man wanted and it was definitely not something Dave should be anywhere near. “We have somewhere else to be. Give me your number and I’ll call you, yeah?”

Ignoring Streak, he spoke to Dave, “I promise I’ll only keep him a minute.” Goldie reached into his pocket and fished out a wad of bills. “Here’s a fiver. Go play us a couple a’ tunes.”

Dave rolled her eyes, but got up and grabbed her purse.  The bill stayed on the bar. They both watched her walk back toward the ladies’.

Goldie was still grinning as Streak hissed, “What the fuck was that? Okay, G, you have your fucking minute. What are you doing here and what couldn’t wait?”

“Opportunity, son.” He slid onto Dave’s vacated bar stool. “I’ve got an offer you won’t want to refuse.”

“Yeah? You sure about that? If it’s that thing you were goin’ on about…”

“It is indeed. Just exactly like we talked about. It’s all arranged. Me and my partners are gonna set you up, provide you the duckets for the raw materials. You and that brother a’ yours do the cookin’, maybe move a little on the side, but we handle the distribution. The money rolls in, we split 60/40. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.”

“No.” Streak shook his head for emphasis, “No. Not interested.”

Goldie turned his 14 karat smile into a frown, “Really? Not the word you were supposed to say. Will MacKenzie seemed to think you’d be all for it…”

“You talked to Will?!” Streak started to get up from his chair. “You’ve got brass balls to go with that gold-plated mouth…”

“Relax!” His appearance notwithstanding, Goldie had the sense to look around to see how much attention they’d just caused, “How’d you think I knew where to find you?”

“What’d you tell him?”

“Just that we were mates and I had a business proposition. He asked what it was…”

“And you told him.”

“What? Why wouldn’t I? I knew you two were thick as thieves…”

“You are one dumb piece a’…”

“Hey! I’ll thank you to keep a civil tongue McLeod. I ain’t live this long and not know what I’m about.  He’s Big Mac MacKenzie’s boy. What’s he gonna do, grass me up to the cops?” Streak was fuming. “Anyway, I brought this to you because of how it was all we’d talked about for three fucking years. And like I said, he seemed to think you both would be in-er-ested.”

Streak looked Goldie in the eye and spoke softly, but clearly, “I am not interested. I changed my mind. I’m out.”  He caught Dave making her way back to the bar and added, “Now I think your minute is up.” He held out his hand to him, if only for Dave’s benefit, “Good seein’ ya Goldie.”

Goldie got up from Dave’s chair and left the bar without showing anyone else his million dollar smile.

to be continued…

 

Thank you for continuing to read. Join me next time for the conclusion of “Foolish Notion”.

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