Jet went back to the kitchen and waited at the sink while Spense washed his hands. He washed up too and helped Alma carry plates and bowls to the table. Spense offered, but Alma had him open the wine and pour it. Once everything was on the table, they sat down and Jet offered blessing over the meal. He didn't care about that nicety, but it pleased his sister.
Alma served the chicken, giving the men a larger portion than herself. They passed the side dishes and dug in. Spense immediately complimented Alma's cooking. They discussed food for a few minutes, until the conversation seemed to peter out.
Jet cleared his throat as he wiped his lips. “I met someone interesting today,” he said casually.
“Really? Anyone I'd know,” Alma asked.
“She's a bit of a celebrity—Callista Saucier.”
Alma looked at him blankly. Spense nearly choked on his wine.
“Seriously? I love her movies. Where?” Spense asked.
“We did a cable install at her house. She's just moved into a yellow Victorian on beachside.”
“I know that house. It's not far from where my folks live. Sweet location.”
“Yeah, it's pretty nice. I'm taking her sightseeing tomorrow.”
“Dude!” Spense held up his knuckles.
Jet tapped his hand, grinning. Alma watched the two men share what she called a man moment.
“So, is she nice?” she asked her brother.
“Very nice. Not what you'd expect from someone who wrote all that twisted stuff.”
Alma shrugged, shaking her head.
“She writes screenplays,” Spense explained. “Horror, mostly, but I hear she's been commissioned to handle an historical romance. Is that true?” He seemed to take Jet as authority on all things Callista related.
“She mentioned that today. She wasn't at all what I expected. She was so—normal. The shit on the screen, it's twisted. What kind of mind thinks of stuff like that? I had her fleshed out like a female Stephen King, but she's a cute little thing.”
“Little thing?” Alma took offense at the remark. “A cute little thing? Since when do you describe a woman like that?”
“Give it a rest, Cujo. Every woman I meet is a little thing. Shit, a good portion of the men are too. You try being my size for a day. Your perspective would change.” He spooned more mashed potatoes on his plate. “She's hot, okay? Heart stopping gorgeous. Smart and funny and. . . .”
“And homeboy's nuts are turning a fine shade of blue,” Spense finished for him.
They tapped knuckles again, laughing.
Alma dropped her fork, eyeing her brother and boyfriend balefully. Arms crossed, she glared at them. It took a moment for the men to realize she was angry. They stopped laughing and waited for the inevitable explosion.
“So, she's a cute little thing who's so hot, she's heart stopping gorgeous. Oh, smart and funny too. Anything else? Does she have big tits?” She motioned in front of her own ample cleavage.
Jet pressed his lips together. Tilting his head, he considered a moment. “Yeah. Nice and plump—real. No bra,” he said to Spense. Rasing a provocative eyebrow.
Alma's boyfriend barely acknowledged Jet's comment. It had been designed to get under Alma's skin and it had succeeded too well. She looked ready to explode.
“You're unbelievable,” she yelled. “Talking about a woman like that! How dare you?”
Jet inhaled deeply, waiting for her to finish yelling. It took a couple minutes. Meanwhile, he continued to eat. Spense sat with his fork halfway to his mouth, jaw dropped, looking from one to the other like a tennis match. Eventually, Alma paused for breath.
“Finished?” Jet asked.
He held up his hand. “Before we continue this wonderfully enlightening discussion into my character can I say something?”
Alma shrugged, tossing her hair over her shoulder.
“When have I ever seriously described a woman like that? Did you listen to how I said it or just what I said? Callista is beautiful. She's got a great figure and she wasn't wearing a bra. She's also one of the smartest women I've ever met. She happens to be a very talented writer. If she decides she wants to have sex with me, I won't say no. Happy now?”
“You're such a—guy!”
“Babe, sorry to tell you, but we're not ashamed of that. Women act like we should be, but we're not going to apologize for wanting to get laid,” Spense said.
“You're as bad as he is.”
Spense set his fork and knife down, looking serious. “Yes—yes I am. I'm a guy who thinks you're beautiful, talented, smart, funny and sexy. I want in your pants so bad, I fantasize about it on an hourly basis. Does that make me some kind of creep?”
Alma's eyes started watering. Her expression changed from stony to smiling. “Really? You think all that?”
“Yeah. So don't bust Jet's balls for liking Callista. If he's attracted to her even half as much as I am to you, he's lucky to still be breathing. Cause, babe, you rob me of all reason.”
The two of them had eyes for no one else. Jet decided to remove himself from the table. Taking his plate, he went to the living room with his meal. He turned on the TV, watching some show he didn't even know the name of. He finished his meal and quietly put his plate in the sink. Alma and Spense sat at the table, food forgotten, kissing.Jet quietly gathered his wallet and keys, heading out the side door where he could easily swing around the back of the house to his car. His phone rang as he started the car. It wasn't familiar, but he answered anyway.
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