Originally Published: Melody Parsifal’s website. Publish Date: December 2020 Word count: 1,751
Ronnie rolled her eyes. What caught her eye from over her laptop? Another painful, awkward welcoming to her new neighbour. In the two days, she has spotted through her window one by one of the many subordinate housewives. Each would carry some sort of serving dish. They would knock on the door and greet with their offering. Focusing on her laptop to finish her report was not an option. It was too painful to watch. Each encounter, she mimicked her own commentary in her sarcastic humour. And best of all, another eyeful of the new male neighbour, Hottie McSex. Ronnie figured he lives alone. No roommates, no children, and in her excitement, no Mrs. He was tall, dark blonde and eyeful of candy. If she could round up his attractive yumminess. Butterscotch. He was the man’s version of the sweet mouth watering, hard candy. His full name, without knowing it, dubbed as Hottie Butterscotch McSex. This afternoon he was working in his garage. The hot summer day needing outdoor work, he pushed his classic green car out of the garage to work on. And shirtless work. His sun-kissed muscle rolled and stretched, working under the hood. Rufus, her shepherd dog whining and scratching the back of his neck. He then bites his own butt in interpretation. She caught an idea, ‘come on Rufus’, whistled her command. Rufus followed her with an eager step. She ushered him out on the front lawn. On her front porch, she got a better view of the latest eavesdropping. The latest house-wife moving over to Hottie as he worked. He lifted his head from where he worked. ‘Hi, I am Cassie. Welcome to the neighbourhood’ she offered her hand. Rufus growled. Her mutt was now proceeding to roll around on the lawn. He’s nuts. She glanced over again. Damn, she missed his name introduction. She watched as he received another casserole? Or was it another lasagna dish? That didn’t matter. What mattered is at this angle, Ronnie caught his eye. His baby blue dreamboat eyes spotted her. Shoot! With his free hand, he gave her a friendly wave and smile. Awkward, she waves back before whistling Rufus back indoors. She was a mess. The perks of working her job is she can work from home. The downfalls, she works in her pjs, odd socks and I-have-not-fixed-my-hair-bun. So sexy, she thought with sarcasm. With her dog charging back in the house, she slammed the door shut. Pressing herself against the front door, safe inside. Groaning, that impulsive idea should have come with a ‘get dressed’ memo. Rubbing her hand, distorted her reading frames off her face. She watched the drama unfold of Rufus and the front room rug. Like on the lawn, her dog was having a big scratch on my butt day. Aware of her eyes on him, he sits up, tongue flopped out his mouth to the side. Happiness flashed in his eyes at the sight of his master. Then growl and biting his ass again. ‘What the hell is wrong with you?’, she grabbed his collar and scanned his fur. Dammit! The little black insect jumped high. She flinched backwards to avoid contact. Fleas! Where the hell did Rufus get fleas? If it was at that creek at the edge of the neighbourhood. Grabbing the phone, she dialled for the experts. She needed Rufus to de-flea and hopefully ‘just him’. Whispering to herself, ‘please no infested house, please’. The ring tone ended, and a voice answered. ————————————————————————————————————Two hours later, Ronnie stood outside her house pacing the lawn. The pest control van parked up in her driveway. Fortunately, she dressed in casual comforts of yoga pants and matching top. Checking the clothes, they looked clean and no fleas. Grimace, she watched one man come out of the house. Standing on her porch, ‘sorry Ma’am, looks like you got infestation of them’. He told her to stay out of the house for the next 48 hours. A local groomer was on their way to grab Rufus. Where the heck will she stay whilst this drama gets cleaned up? Lifting her hands up in defeat, ‘Looks like my sister gets an unplanned surprise visit’. She called her sister’s number on her phone. She needed to complete her report. If it’s not submitted soon, her boss will kill her. Groaning, she already predicted her ‘volunteer’ babysitting duties of the six kids. Her sister she loved, her kids were a handful. And it needed time on her report. Pressing the phone to her ear, she heard a male’s voice call out to her. ‘Do you need a place to stay?’ Hottie Butterscotch McSex waved to her. Oh no, did he witness her turmoils this afternoon? Scrubbing the motor oil off his hands with a dry cloth, ‘I have a spare guest room’ he offered. She paused in her call. She hung up. Seen this, her human butterscotch smiled. Walking over to her side, he offered his hand, ‘I’m Gregory’. Taking his hand, Ronnie thought it’s a melt in the mouth butterscotch. ‘I’m Veronica. Can my dog stay too? Once Rufus has his flea-bath, of course’. With an all teeth pearl sparking smile, ‘Sure. I like dogs’, Gregory responded.Ronnie sat at a dining table. Gregory has not unpacked most of his boxes. His vintage car took priority. Now, dressed in a checkered shirt. Sadly, ending her time drooling over him topless. Gregory’s house was a clean, classic style. Simple greys, white and blue featured walls with wooden panel floors throughout. Gregory dived into one box labelled ‘kitchen’. She tapped away at her laptop, focusing on her tasks. A tall tumbler glass of water placed beside her. ‘I haven’t found the cups yet to offer coffee’, Gregory apologised. She took the glass in thanks. Her host already watered her mouth, in his house. The ice cold liquid should dampen the heat rising in her. They were like this for a while as Gregory unpacked more of his kitchen. And Ronnie tapping at her laptop. She could not multi-task and felt rude when she couldn’t offer any small talk. The air between them did not feel awkward. It feels calm and comfortable. Like they have done this before. Gregory opened the tall steel fridge door. ‘Well, I am sure we won’t starve. I got a lot of dishes from our neighbours’ he chuckled. Pausing at those words. Of course they share neighbours, but the way she pictures it in her mind. It felt like they were a couple that joked about the over-friendly neighbours. The air thickens. From her, or both of them? Ronnie tried her best to not show off her inner thoughts. ‘What’s on tonight’s menu?’ distracting them. She shut her laptop lid and moved towards the kitchen. Gregory pulled out a lasagna and heated it up. Now found, recovered the plates and cutlery from the packed boxes, they set up the table for dinner. At dinner, Rufus now washed, combined and fluffed up. Exhausted from his de-flea adventures. The tired pooch slept beside Ronnie as she ate. He already gobbled his dog tinned meat, satisfied, flopped on his side. Rufus snored loud. Gregory chuckled as he glanced down at him, ‘I must get him a dog bone. As a way of thanks’. ‘Thanks?’ she reached her wine glass. She got one of the pest control guys to grab one of her red wine bottles from her kitchen. His smile softened, ‘It may have not been a serving food dish in greeting. But it was the most memorable way of first-meets’. His eyes darken over the rim of his glass. He was drinking her in as he sipped on the wine. Ronnie swallowed, ‘Yeah, well it was not how I planned to do first-meets’. Gregory teased, ‘So you did plan to say hi? Cause you looked like a deer in headlights earlier’. Her expression must have repeated the same look. She thought back to her quick dash of running into the house after their eyes locked. He laughed hard. Her cheeks blushed, matching her wine. ‘I had pjs on’ she reasoned. A small corner tugged at his lips. His smile darkened. ‘A very confident woman embracing natural comforts. And those Disney flannel bottom shorts looked cute‘, he emphasised on the last word. Cute is the word for her Disney’s Dumbo pjs shorts. Yet when Gregory spoke it. It felt rich, dark, and wicked. Ronnie felt surprised as she watched Gregory. He was flirting. Poor little elephant would have to cover his eyes with those big ears. After dinner finished, they moved around the kitchen in a dance. Ronnie insisted on washing her own dish, and Gregory wouldn’t allow it. They moved around each other. Gregory towel dried and arranged his kitchen. Now used clean plates have a home in the cupboards. Ronnie offered to wash up something else. Her reason to get the package dust cleared. It can be a reason, as Gregory is unpacking his house. Her excuse to have Gregory brush his fingers across her waist. The light feathered touch sent her nerves on fire. Hyper-aware of his presence and his movements. It was his smile that pulled her in. —————————————————————————————————————- Ronnie woke up the next morning refreshed. Wrapped up under the covers, Ronnie felt happy in the moment. She felt Gregory’s sleepy body pressed up behind her. What a night. She shifted slightly, trying her best to not wake up her bed partner. Rufus barking came from downstairs. The poor boy needed some private time outside. Scooting off the bed, Ronnie tip-toed to Gregory’s shirt from yesterday and donned it on. She tugged her hair out from the collar as she decreased the stairs. Reaching the door before Rufus leaping up against it, begging. ‘Alright boy, out you go’ she eased the door open. Making her way across Gregory’s porch, smiling. Less than 24 hours since her impulsive decision to eavesdrop, and now she was standing here. If any of those noisy house wives caught her through their window. They would see a butt naked, Gregory’s shirt wearing with a cat got her cream kinda smile woman. She watched her pooch brawling around the lawn as he sniffed and explored the area. When two hands came from behind, wrapping around her waist. Gregory pressed up behind like this morning. ‘Good mornin’ he greeted. Turning to half face him, ‘Mornin’. She reached up and pressed her lips to his. He tasted like butterscotch. A good morning indeed.
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