Priceless

by David Henson


“You should’ve seen the look on her face. Priceless.” Remington Kincaid III kills off his Devil’s Kiss martini.

Leighton licks her lips. “You wicked boy.”

Remington reaches under the circular table at Dante’s Pub and slides his hand between her legs. Leighton closes her eyes as he nears her crotch. “Wicked, wicked boy,” she whispers. Peterson and Victoria chuckle.

Remington stops abruptly and stands.

Leighton sighs. “You shouldn’t leave a girl in limbo, Sweetie.”

“Sorry, babe. Gotta check something. See you, peons.”

* * *

Remington’s red BMW-i9 convertible is parked on Ninth at the curb in front of the bar in a handicap spot. He yanks the ticket from under the wiper. He’s surprised they bother. Didn’t they recognize the car, the tag: PK 3. Now he has to go through the trouble of sending the citation to his father.

The car was a birthday gift from Dear Old Dad. A kid from the dealership had delivered it to his condo and handed him the keys and a card: “Happy 26th, Son. It’s time to start acting your age. Maybe this will help.”

“Ever hear of Uber, my man?” Remington had said when the kid asked if he could have a ride back to the dealership.

He starts thinking again about last night and pushes his hand into his groin as a gust of wind swirls through the cockpit. Seeing traffic is light, he squeals the car away from the curb, pulls the gearshift into second, shoves it into third, then slides it into fourth. The engine screaming, he’s just about to hit a hundred, a personal best, when the light at Harrison turns red. “Son of a bitch.” He pounds the steering wheel, jams down the clutch, and slams on the brakes.

* * *

He’d met her at Pearl’s, a tavern across from the plant gates. He’d done this before, so he’d entered cautiously. She wasn’t bad-looking. More like... worn. Slender with haphazard hair she probably trimmed herself, she didn’t have any missing teeth that he could tell, but they were a bit gray. She’d just finished her shift and wore work boots, jeans, and a denim shirt. Her nails were dirty and chewed, her complexion a little rough.

When he sat next to her at the bar, he could tell she was surprised to see somebody like him in a place like that. He bought her a beer then asked her out to dinner that Saturday. He chuckled to himself at how she got flustered and mumbled something about not having anything to wear... then finally said yes.

Kath, Kate or whatever had cleaned up decently, pulled back her hair, and wore a crisp blue frock. “Nice dress, babe. Shopmart?” he said as they walked to his car.

“Got it special. It don’t make me look fat?”

“No, it don’t,” he chuckled.

He took her to Le Glouton. He asked their waiter, a wormy-looking fellow named Monsieur Cerebus, to bring them cartes en français. Her eyes jumped from item to item. After a few minutes, he decided to move things along and ordered for them both sole meunière, pommes dauphinoise, salade mixte, et une bouteille de Sancerre.

She talked a lot about her son. How she was “gonna” keep pushing him in school so he wouldn’t end up with “no factory job” like hers. When their food came, he could hardly contain himself as she struggled to figure out which fork was which and how to use her fish knife. He only hoped she didn’t choke on a bone before he got her home for the pièce de résistance. When she finally gave up, he finished her fish and then, unable to control his appetite, ordered a steak frites.

Back at her house, he walked her to the door. She had turned toward him and tilted her head. It had been all he could do to keep from laughing when he leaned in as if to kiss her. She closed her eyes, and he whispered in her ear. “Did you honestly think I’d date somebody like you?” He stepped back to better take in her reaction... and to get out of range in case she swung at him. She smiled nervously at first as if not quite processing what she’d heard. Then, when he just stared, her lips quivered, and her eyes blinked like they were full of shop-floor grit. She tried to talk, but could only work her mouth like a bass.

“You should see the look on your face.” He laughed at her.

She had finally managed to sputter that he was a bastard as he got back to his car.

“Don’t take it personal, sweetie. I’m just having a little fun. And you got a free dinner.” He’d been so turned on, he almost set a personal best going to Victoria’s.

* * *

Racing ahead when the light at Harrison turns green, Remington goes to the ATM to check whether his allowance has been deposited and if it’s been upped as he asked. His dad thinks Remington is way too lavish. “Better to enjoy it then hoard it like you,” Remington always counters.

Their jousting usually results in the son getting his way. But not this time. Remington snatches his card and jack-rabbits his car away from from the teller machine. He decides to circle back to Ninth before going home. He’d come so close after leaving Dante’s a few minutes ago. He floors it as he turns onto the street.

The left lane is clear, and he quickly hits forty... sixty... ninety... ninety-five. He’s about to break a hundred when again the light at Harrison turns red. “To Hell with it,” he shouts and roars through the intersection... straight into a black SUV.

* * *

Remington blinks open his eyes and glances around him. An IV is dribbling into his arm. A machine beeps and displays green concentric circles beside his bed. Every part of his body throbs. And the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen is standing over him. He tries to speak, but can’t stay awake.

He doesn’t know how much time has passed before he’s conscious again. She’s there. “Hello, gorgeous,” he says.

“Mr. Kincaid, glad to have you with us. I’m Nurse Johnson. How are you feeling?”

“Much better now that I’m breathing air that’s touched you.”

Nurse Johnson takes Remington’s pulse and slaps his hand playfully when he strokes her arm. Then he falls asleep again.

Over the next few days, Remington gains more and more strength and is thrilled as Nurse Johnson plays along with his advances. “This wreck is the best thing that ever happened. It gave me my angel.” He tries to pull her down to him.

“Just a minute, handsome.” She goes to the door, closes it, then sits on the edge of the bed. She grabs Remington’s hand when he starts to slide it up her leg. “Don’t you think it’s strange?”

“Sorry?”

“Strange that no one’s been here to see you? Not your friends or folks?”

“What do I care? My father’s a busy guy. Mom’s probably out of the country. My friends are peons. C’mon now.” Remington tries to slide his hand again. “Ow! That’s quite a grip you got.”

“You haven’t wondered why there’s been no doctor?”

“I suppose he’s been here when I’ve been asleep. Besides I’d rather be in your hands.” He winks. “You know you want to. I can see it in your eyes.” Remington pushes his face toward Nurse Johnson’s breasts. She slaps it away. “Damn, baby! You really need to file those nails,” he says.

“You know what I think is strange? That you never asked about what happened to the people in the SUV. It was a young couple. Recently married. They’re dead.”

Remington tries to yank his hand free, but can’t break her grip. “Hey, that wreck wasn’t my fault. I had the green.” He suddenly has a hard time swallowing and makes a gurgling sound when he speaks. “I want... to talk to... my father.” He feels his cheeks flush with anger.

“After you plowed into the SUV, your car veered onto the sidewalk and absolutely crushed a guy. Turns out he was a drug dealer, a real low-life. Sold to grade-schoolers.”

“I guess he got what he deserved then. Not that I believe in such stuff.” Remington keeps trying to free himself and begins to sweat profusely.

“No loss. My gain. He’s in the next room. He’s dead, too.”

“What the... Let go of me.” He pulls his hand violently trying to free it. Suddenly a dog barks and snarls viciously outside the door. “What the hell is going on? Where’s my phone? I’m calling my dad.” He feels hot enough to burst into flames.

When Nurse Johnson doesn’t answer, he pretends to calm down. “OK, tell me what you want me to do.” When he senses her relaxing, he yanks his hand again, but she laughs and grips it harder.

“I’ve never hurt anyone my entire life. I’m one of the good guys. Please, let me go.” He starts shivering. “So cold now. What’s happening?”

Nurse Johnson squeezes Remington in her arms and kisses him. He struggles but can’t move. He tries to scream but can only shiver, the words turning to frost on his lips. Finally, he lies immobile, frozen from the neck down. “Let’s warm this part up,” Nurse Johnson says. Feeling comes back to his genitals as her hand massages his penis. She brings him to the point of orgasm then stops and turns away.

Wait! Keep doing that, he shouts in his mind. Don’t quit!

Nurse Johnson faces him again. She’s holding a hypodermic.

Get that away from me.

“Don’t worry, handsome. This is for our friend next door. Somehow he got addicted.” She shakes her head gravely. “I simply don’t know how that happened. Anyway, I’ve had him going cold turkey. Tough love, you know. But I’m starting to feel sorry for him: all the sweating, spasms, and vomiting. I think I’ll go give him a fix. Poor thing; he’ll have to go through withdrawal all over again. And again.”

Crazy bitch.

“Here’s a little something to tide you over till I get back.” She lifts up her dress, straddles Remington, and begins gyrating her hips, slowly at first, then faster and faster. Suddenly she stops and gets off of him.

No! I was just about to... Don’t quit. Not yet. Please.

“What? You don’t want me to go?” She leans down and whispers in his ear: “Don’t worry, handsome, I’ll be back. I won’t leave you alone. Ever.”

She goes to the door then smiles back at him sweetly. “You should see the look on your face, Remington Kincaid III. Priceless.”


Copyright © 2017 by David Henson

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