Thursday, July 26, 2018

That's Quite a Character - Asher Wilkinson from We Are the Champions by Dellani Oakes

Ruby put her hand on his forehead. "You're feverish again. You need to go back to bed."
Asher pulled her close. Ruby lost her balance, falling into his embrace. "That's what I was tryin' to do, but you won't let me."
"By yourself. To sleep."
"Yeah, I know. Don't stop me wishing."
His Southern accent was much stronger when he was aroused. The musicality of his words played at Ruby, making her think of lapping waves and swaying palm trees.
"I'll go. On one condition."
"Depends on the condition," she replied.
"You promise we'll go out on a real date tomorrow. The clinic is closed. I'm not workin'."
"A real date. Okay. What do you have in mind, Mr. Wilkinson?"
"I dunno, Doctor—what's your last name anyhow?"
She closed her eyes, sighing. "I hoped you'd read my card and see."
"I was feverish, Doc," he explained patiently.
"Ruby Diamond."
"Aw, Doc, you're kidding. Your folks saddled you with a name like that?"
"It gets worse. My middle name is Pearl."
"Were they drinkin'? Or stoned or somethin'? How do you give a pretty little baby girl a name like 'at?"
"Believe me, I've asked myself that a million times. I never got a chance to ask them. They were both killed when I was small. My grandparents raised me."
His arms wound around her, drawing her body close. "Doctor Ruby Pearl Diamond, you are, indeed, a very precious gem of a woman. I really wanna get to know the lady with the jewel of a name."
"I'd like that too, Asher. You know my guilty secret name, what's yours?"
"Who says I have one?"
Ruby eyed him, arms crossing her chest. "You felt sorry for me. No one has ever been that sympathetic about my name, which leads me to believe yours is as bad or worse."
He straightened, face full of disgust. "You had to ask. Well, you told me yours, reckon I can tell you mine."
She waited patiently, chin raised, lips inviting. He'd far rather kiss her again than tell her his name. If his friends ever found out, they'd tease him unmercifully for the rest of his life.
"You can't tell anyone," he whispered. "Or I will be forced to kill myself and you don't want that on your conscience."
"I'd hate to be responsible for the death and subsequent mortification of such a finely sculpted body."
It took him a second work through since the majority of his blood pounded in his lower regions. "Fine." He leaned closer, lips by her ear. "Gaylord," he mumbled.
"What?" she screeched, laughing.
"You heard me."
Ruby burst out laughing, hands over her mouth. Her dark eyes glittered with suppressed glee. "Oh, my God! You're not just saying that. It really is?"
"To my shame and your obvious amusement, yes. My great-great grandfather's name. The first boy of the generation always gets his name. Asher is actually my middle name."
© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 40

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