Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Poplar Mountain by Dellani Oakes Part 13


After a bath, Lucius feels more like himself. He meets up with Dollie at her apartment in one of the girls' dorms.

"You look beautiful, Dollie. I'm gonna be the envy of every man in town, when you step out with me."
Dollie blushed, making her even more beautiful. Patty stood up, very businesslike.
"You two, scoot together. I'm getting a picture. You can put it in an album so your children can see how you looked on your first date."
Lucius liked the assumption that Patty made. He wanted very much to marry Dollie. She didn't seem to mind either, making him very happy. He dutifully put an arm around Dollie's waist, scooting close. He felt like a giant, so much taller than she. Dollie turned her head, smiling up at him. Patty snapped the picture.
"I declare, you look picture perfect together! One more, then I'll leave be." She took another before they could move apart. "Now, you behave yourselves. Back before ten," she teased her sister. "And you, young man, be a gentleman." She winked at Lucius when Dollie wasn't looking. He understood by that he had her permission to be a little naughty, but not much.
"Oh, I forgot to switch handbags," Dollie said as she scooted back in the bedroom.
"Don't you educate my baby sister too much, Luke."
"I promise. Ma says you got to tell her...."
Dollie came back out.
"Ma says y'all need to get up and see her soon," Lucius covered quickly.
Patty nodded knowingly as he helped Dollie with her jacket. "I'll sure do that," she promised.
To Dollie, it sounded as if she were talking about Rachel Henry. Lucius and Patty knew differently. Dollie and Lucius walked out to the truck. Surprisingly, Patty went with them.
"You're going too?" Dollie sounded dismayed.
"Only to Will's. Don't worry, baby sister. I'm not going to chaperon."
Much relieved, Dollie got in the truck beside Lucius. Patty scooted in beside her. They talked animatedly as they rode along the winding track to town.
The trunk pulled up in front of Will's rented room. Lucius hopped out, opening Patty's door for her. Will appeared a moment later to escort her in. Dollie watched as her sister joined Will, kissing him in a more than friendly way. Dollie sat, tight lipped, arms crossed, waiting for Lucius.
"We'll be at the cinema in a minute," Lucius said.
Dollie didn't reply right away. Her frown said it all. "Do you think they'll be indecorous?" she said waspishly.
"I expect," he said rather loudly. "That they will." He wasn't more specific, but they understood one another. "I reckon it ain't the first time, nor is it the last. You can't fight nature, Dollie. Love will out."
"I'm sure I don't know what you mean," she said stiffly.
He leaned over, the engine rumbling. "I mean, Dollie, there are times when the attraction between a man and woman is so strong, it won't be denied." He scooted closer.
Dollie leaned away. "Have you felt that attraction?"
"Oh, yeah." I'm feeling it now. "Ain't nothin' wrong, if you love each other." He brushed a wisp of hair from her cheek.
"Did you love Betty Mae?"
"Thought I did, till she went crazy on me. Girl was cracked. Messed up in ways you can't imagine."
"When you took her to bed, did you love her?"
"Dollie, do we have to talk about this?"
"Yes, I rather think we do." She crossed her arms and legs tightly across her body, effectively closing herself off.
Sighing, Lucius shut off the truck. "Betty came on like a summer storm—hot and wild. She hit me hard, and set my head spinning so fast I could hardly see. She seduced me, Dollie. I'm a man who takes my time, but not with her. By the end of our first date...." He shook his head, not wanting to remember, as the memory flooded back. "If it's been up to me, wouldn't of got that far so fast. It was a hell of a bumpy ride."
"But you still have some good memories of it." Her tone had mellowed slightly, but she was still angry.
Lucius chuckled. "Miss Dollie, let me explain a little something about men. We like sex. And we will remember it fondly, despite circumstances."
"Mister Henry!"
Lucius laughed loudly. "Baby, you got to calm down and loosen up." He started the truck. "Can't have no fun if you don't relax. I ain't gonna jump all on you our first date."
Dollie relaxed, crossing her ankles, hands in her lap, instead of clutching her neckline to her throat. "Let's go to our movie, Lucius."
"That's the plan!" Grinning, he drove to the theatre.
Loaded up with popcorn, they took seats in the middle of the theatre. Dollie looked around, admiring the decor. It wasn't a large theatre by city standards, but it was quite ornate. Gold scroll work edged the screen and heavy, colorful drapes lined the walls. The ceiling was painted like heaven, with angels, cherubs and clouds.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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