Zay lay his sticks down across the snare drum and reached for a towel. He'd woken up early and hadn't been able to fall asleep again, so he'd gone out back to his sound proofed (Paul and the neighbours had insisted) practice room to bang a little. Now he was famished.

The sky was just beginning to lighten, and he could see a light coming from the window of the converted garage. There were some enticing smells as well, though nothing with chocolate. He would have to bug Paul again. He'd worked it down to a fine art. He would stop just short of getting his backside warmed, yet close enough that Paul would want to bake something to soothe his nerves. And more often than not it would have chocolate. Zay rubbed his hands together and chortled. *I'm coming to get you Paulie*

He entered the catering kitchen and was a bit disappointed to find only Suzy. He couldn't work her like he could Paul. He smiled anyway. "Morning Suzy. I guess Paul is still in bed?" Zay lifted the lids of a few pots to see if they had anything of interest, until Suzy swatted him. "Ow. But I'm hungry."

“Stay out of those pans, Zay, and DON’T touch that!” Suzy scolded, as she snatched up the large wooden spoon. She waved it menacingly at Zay, and for one horrid moment, Zay saw a startling, striking, resemblance to Paul on the warpath.

After giving Zay The Look, she turned her back on him and began chopping some nuts. It was Monday, so it meant heavy baking day. Ley Catering (aptly named by Paul and Suzy Leyland when they started this business) supplied cakes and pastries to several cafes and eateries in the neighbourhood, and they baked extensively on Mondays and Wednesdays. This worked well since most catering functions were over the weekends and it spread their work out more evenly.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Zay inching his way over to the workbench. She knew what he was after. She had just finished a tray of peanut butter cookies and Zay loved peanut butter only marginally less than chocolates. In truth, Suzy had a soft spot for Zay and had in fact put aside a few cookies for him but suddenly she felt cross with him for encroaching into her space.

“What?” she snapped, without turning around.

As quickly as he had reached for one of the warm tantalizing pieces of peanutbuttery goodness, Zay yanked his hand back. Damn.

"Is it that time of the month? Cause you seem to be getting in touch with your inner bitch this morning. No offense, but you did wave a wooden spoon at me. That's Paul's job. So, what's buggin' you?"

Zay crossed his arms and waited for an answer. And a cookie.

Suzy sniffed and wiped a floury hand across her pert little nose. She was much smaller than Paul but only a couple of inches shorter than Zay’s 5’ 8” frame. So when she straightened up and turned to face Zay, they were almost eye to eye. And her’s were spitting fire.

Zay blinked, backed up a few steps and thought about picking up a rubber spatula or something he could use to defend himself.

“So what if it is? You ever felt the cramps, mister? Do you know what its like to have your insides turn somersault and have your intestines all twisted? Do you?” she demanded, glaring, and then turned abruptly back to her kneading.

Zay didn't say anything more, just shook his head no a lot. He had a younger sister, so he knew a bit about female rage. And that the smart male kept quiet until the worst of the storm had passed.

“And its not, mister busybody! I’m just out of sync this morning, so I suggest you stay out of my hair if you don’t want to get swatted. And yes, I know that is Paul’s job and he does a damn good job of it too, if I may say so. Otherwise, God knows what else you would be ….”

Zay held his hands up in a placating fashion. "Ok, ok. I get the message. Geez. And I happen to behave, well mostly. I try to keep the important rules. I'm not perfect, if I was I wouldn't be a brat and I wouldn't need a top. SO, are you gonna tell me what's buggin'g you and don't give me this out of sync crap.”

Suzy eyed Zay suspiciously, giving him a measured look. “Can I trust you?”

"I didn't spill about the time you managed to sneak into a locker room and steal David Beckham's jock strap, did I? OR the time you flashed your tits for Mardi Gras beads. Or the time you were really drunk and ended up in your neighbor's house and in your neighbor's bed and had a threesome with him and his wife. Even though they are both WAY over sixty and can I just say euw here. Wait. Scratch that last one, I think that was Jinx. My bad."

Suzy grimaced and shuddered. “God, you gave me a turn there – thought I had somehow erased the memory ... bad ... bad.” She peered into Zay’s face and finally said, “Oh … all right! I guess you have earned it. You HAVE been good with my secrets so far, I gotta admit that, and I DO need a sounding board. Now, we have to keep a watch out for Bunny coz I don’t want him to know, the rat prattle that he is! And God forbid I don’t want Paul to even have a whiff of this. So come on over here and face the door so you can alert me if his highness decides to put in an appearance. He is in the office doing the books.”

"Paulie stomps around like a constipated rhino until he gets his first cup of coffee.”

Suzy giggled a bit. “Don’t let him hear you call him that. He hates that nickname.”

Zay grinned. “I know! Trust me, we'll hear him. But if it will make you happy, I will play lookout. Haven't done that since grade school."

“Yeah, yeah,” Suzy waved her hand dismissively, and then turned serious. “Listen, it’s about Steve.” Steve was Suzy’s fiancĂ©. They had been engaged for almost two years and Steve had been pestering Suzy to name the day. In fact, the whole family on both sides had been waiting for them to ‘get on with it’ as Paul dryly said, and polite patience had finally given way to pointed questions.

"Don't tell me. You've finally set the date. Spill, so I can see if I won the bet."

Suzy dropped her voice into a whisper. “I think Steve is cheating on me!”

Zay whispered back. "There's no one but us here Suzy, and I don't think the catering kitchen is bugged." In a more normal tone he asked "And what makes you think that? Honestly, he doesn't seem the type to me."

“What do you mean, he’s not the type?” Suzy demanded, taking on an affronted air. “He is SO the type! He’s tall and good looking and charming ... all the girls are crazy about him. You should see the looks he gets; easy for him to get distracted. He’s so the type!” She repeated.

*Love is blind* Zay thought.

"Just because he gets looks of interest doesn't mean he returns them. And even if he does return them, still doesn't mean anything if he just looks. Paulie looks, hell I even look. Sometimes we point out a particularly fine ass to one another. I'll say 'Betcha'd like to spank that one" and we'll have a laugh.

“He’s been rather secretive lately. You know?”

"Maybe he's planning a surprise for you or something. Cummon, you've been together two years, he's been waiting for YOU to set the date. He's probably had his tux ready and wrapped in plastic for months."

“Well, women feel these things. I just can tell; he’s different. He’s probably grown tired of waiting for me. Found some fresh meat. After all I am almost twenty-six ...” she caught Zay’s eyes and glared. “I mean twenty-seven ... Oh, all right .... twenty-eight, happy now? I am twenty-eight this year. And Steve wants someone younger, juicier, and skinnier. Drat this catering business. I get fat just by inhaling the cakes and the pasta!”

Zay wanted to roll his eyes, OH how he wanted to roll his eyes. But he refrained.

"Suzy," he said using his best patient voice. "I know that biological clock is ticking loud enough to wake the dead, but you are not yet ready for the bargain bin, ok? You are creative, spontaneous and you have curves where heterosexual guys like curves. You're not fat and I promise to let you know the minute it happens. So quit the pity party mood. You're gorgeous, and if girls worked for me, I'd do you in a heartbeat."

Suzy flashed one of her dazzling smiles at Zay, a pretty good replica of what Paul could produce when he was in a particularly saucy mood. “You would?” She fluttered her lashes a moment, before she rolled her eyes. “Waste of my time,” she muttered darkly, and then she slipped her hands into her jeans and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper. “There, I found this in his suit pocket the other day.”

It was a receipt for a dinner for two, at a fancy restaurant a little out of the way from where they lived. At the bottom, a telephone number was scribbled in a distinctly feminine hand. “And before you ask, yes, I already called. It was answered by some woman,” Suzy said with a grimace.

"I recognise the restaurant name. One of those jacket and tie required kind of places. I content myself with looking in the windows and making faces at the diners, until the management comes out and asks me to move along. And a woman answering the phone means absolutely nothing. Not without other evidence. I tell you what. I will gather together a bunch of friends and have them tail Steve for a few days. I'll call it Operation Keep it in Your Pants Steve. Howz that?"

Suzy’s eyelid fluttered again, this time with barely concealed eagerness. “You will do that? You sure you won’t get caught? Paul will just about KILL me if he finds out I’ve involved you in this.”

"No problemo. It'll be fun. And I don't think Paul would kill you." Zay cocked his head and made a slash motion. He'd heard the approach of 'The Beast'.

“Did I just hear my name?” Paul asked casually, as he walked over and slipped an arm around Zay’s waist. “Good morning, brat?” He leaned in and kissed Zay on the side of the head.

"Morning. I've been up for hours, banging away on the drums. Waiting for you to finally drag your ass out of bed and fix breakfast." Zay did his best impression of a baby bird, mouth open. "Feed me."

Paul turned to Suzy, gave her a LOOK and asked suspiciously, “What horror are you two planning today? Too much whisperings going on - so I give you both fair warning. Don’t go jumping in like you always do and then finding yourselves stuck in mud with the tide coming in.”

Zay gave Paul a look of wounded innocence. "Planning a horror? Moi? I'm just here for the peanut butter cookies, cross my heart."

Suzy rolled her eyes and went back to kneading, giving Zay a dirty look, saying sourly, “We didn’t hear you come in. Coffee’s ready, if you want some.”

Zay stuck his tongue out at Suzy, and then gave her a wink. "Are you serving Suzy?’Cause if you are, I'd love a cup as well." He fluttered his eyelashes at her. 'And a couple of peanut butter cookies. You make the best peanut butter cookies, maybe you can teach Paulie sometime."

He laughed as Paul tickled him without mercy.
Paul went over his inventory quickly, with a practised eye. Then he checked through the list of orders for delivery: rolls and pastries for three different eateries, several cakes for one downtown cafe, and a take-away order for a school function that afternoon. Bunny came in a few minutes later and they all had a quick discussion about work arrangements. They’d been together for so long, they synchronised well. Everyone knew their roles.

All this hustle and bustle about made Zay dizzy. Everyone was just way too energetic for this time of the morning. It was almost creepy. Tired of waiting for someone to hand him a cookie, he just snagged one from the cooling rack.

Paul smiled at his partner, who was happily nibbling the peanut butter cookie in his hand, deep in thought. Paul watched him for a moment, poured another cup of coffee, took a sip, and went over to Zay. “Finish up, darling. Come on, I need to send off some mail. Come with me to the office.”

Zay paused in mid-nibble. "Why?"

“I just want to have a word with you.”

Zay quickly went over recent actions in his head, trying to find something that Paul would want to 'have a word' about. Everything seemed fine to him, but then his idea of good behaviour and Paul's idea of good behaviour didn't always agree. With a sigh, he dutifully followed Paul to the office.

Paul closed the door, and walked over to his desk. He turned around, parked his behind on the edge of the desk, and regarded his young partner.

The butterflies in Zay's stomach started doing a conga. He stood there and fidgeted nervously.


“I can’t help but notice that when you and Suzy get together, trouble always brews.” Paul’s brows drew together in the centre of his forehead, making him look rather stern. “I know, you guys are friends and you enjoy her company and that’s really great. Just a note of warning though - don’t let her pull you into her coils again, Zay. She is my sister and I love her dearly, but she is wild and uncontrolled, and her life is one roller coaster ride after another.”

"Geez, give me a bit of credit, Paul." Paul raised an eyebrow in response. "Suzy's not gonna pull me into anything. She's not all that wild; I mean she has a responsible job and everything, right. The roller coaster analogy is good though, I think all girls are like roller coasters, it's that hormone thing."

“She needs stability, and someone to calm her. You make her worse!”

Zay gave his partner a look of righteous indignation and almost stamped his foot. "I do not."

Paul paused and finally said, “I hope not too.”
Zay sat there in The Spider House cafe, a favourite haunt of poor twenty-something slacker kids. Dark, seedy and suitable for brooding. He was sipping on his mocha latte and waiting on his friends. A folder sat on the table in front of him. His friends were late, but that was to be expected. Finally the door opened and let in light and fresh air to the disgruntlement of the patrons. "Over here guys."

Jinx gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and sat down, Izzie on one side of her and Syd on the other. "So what's up?"

"Paul's sister Suzy thinks her fiancé is cheating on her, so I need you guys to tail him for a few days. I'm calling it Operation Steve Keep it in Your Pants."

"Cool." Jinx played with one of her blue dreads. "Name sucks though. You were never good at naming shit."

Zay gave her a look. "Deal. Everything you need to know is in this folder. Steve's home address, his work place, his schedule. He's like Mr. Regular as far as routine."

"Cloak and dagger kind of shit then. So, like do we read this and then like eat it or something?" Izzie reached over, grabbed Zay's latte and took a sip.

"Hey, get your own, you parasite. No you don't eat it, and no you don't wear trench coats or dark glasses or any of that spy shit. You do get a disposable camera each, in case you see Steve doing something suspicious. We will meet back here in a few days."

"Uhm." The small black raggedy form that was Syd raised her hand. "What's in it for us?"

"Well, I'm treating now for coffee and whatever you want to eat, and after you do the job, I'll buy you a six-pack of the good imported beer or take you guys out for Chinese or something. And it'll be fun."

His friends whispered among themselves for a couple of minutes. Then Jinx acted as spokesperson. "A six-pack AND Chinese food, the place with the dim sum."

Zay frowned and then nodded his head with a resigned sigh. "OK." Then, while they studied the contents of the folder, he took their orders.
Zay had a delivery to make that afternoon, so he decided to take a swing by the house. The catering van was in the drive, so he hazarded a peek into the kitchen. Suzy was in there, along with Bunny. No Paul. He knocked on the door and signalled to Suzy to meet him outside.

Suzy eyed him warily. “You’ve got that look in your eyes. What is it, spit it out!”

"What look? You're as bad as Paul. Ok. I met with some friends this morning and they've agreed to tail Steve for a few days. I gave them his info and they have those little disposable cameras in case a photo op comes along."

“What? I thought you were getting some professional to do this! Can they be trusted? Do they even know what to do?”

"Hello. Reality check here. Professionals are expensive. Friends cost me a six-pack and Chinese food. We had our strategy meeting and everyone knows what to do, it's not like it's that hard, you know."

“Well, I am desperate, so I am willing to try anything.” Suzy paused, biting her lower lip like a cow chewing. She spoke with some difficulty. “You know, there is something else I don’t know if I should be telling you ...”

"But you're gonna do it anyway." Zay grinned at her.

“Shit! You do know me too well,” Suzy said with deep feeling. “Will you promise, and I mean cross-your-heart-swear and promise NOT to tell a single soul what I am about to share with you?”

"I thought we'd already covered this. I haven't spilled any of your secrets yet, but I'll cross-my-heart anyway.”

Suzy’s eyes clouded over. “I think I am not ... satisfying Steve ... um ... as in I don’t think I am as skilled as I thought ... “

Zay laughed. He couldn't help himself; he really couldn't, even though he knew he was risking getting a knee in a painful place.

“If you want to continue to enjoy sex with my brother, you should probably stop laughing right about now!” Suzy warned, the sparkle in her eyes not exactly friendly.

"Suzy, sweetheart. You are a het male's wet dream on two legs, and that is the last thing I expected to hear you say. Steve not satisfying you, now that I could believe." Zay made a bow. "How can I be of service to Madame?"

Slightly mollified, Suzy grinned. “Hey, he’s not that bad! So - are you offering advice or services?” She laughed gleefully as Zay turned a shade of green.

"Advice, purely advice. No hands on, totally hands off. Totally. Not my hands, not your hands."
“Oh, all right, no more jokes, and that goes for you too ok?”

"Ok. Is this sex in general, or is it a specific problem? And anyway, it's not all your fault, Steve has to do his part, you know, tell you what he likes or doesn't like.”

“Yeah ... he’s not too loquacious in that department; bugger it! Well, I am thinking it may not be a bad idea to get a few pointers, no harm to improve one’s technique, know what I mean?

“Oh, I can help you work on your oral technique, I helped Paul." Zay winked. "But we will need a cucumber to practice on, 'cause I'm taken and besides it would just be too weird. It would like having my sister blow me."

This time, Suzy blanched. “Ewww..... God!” She ruffled her short hair vigorously, as if to shake off the mental images. Taking a deep breath, she continued, “So what are you saying, Zay? That I sh..should ... um ...”

"Well, get a cucumber. I'll let you pick it out, I don't know how big Steve is and I'm not really interested, you know?"

“A cucumber ...” And then Suzy was bent in half and laughed till the tears ran down her cheeks. “Oh my, oh oh oh .... I got a cucumber ... in fact I have several cucumbers! When do we start?”

"It's a perfectly respectable vegetable, being used for a totally disrespectful purpose. We can start whenever you want. I'd wait until Bunny Big Mouth was elsewhere though, unless you want Paul to find out more than he ever wanted to about his baby sister's sex life. You really don't want to think about your little sister having sex, any more than you want to think about your parents doing it. Euw."

Suzy grinned as she regarded the basket of cucumbers in the pantry. There were long ones and short ones, some thicker than others, but they were all green and fresh and juicy. Suzy’s grin grew wider as she picked one up – a fairly long one with a wide girth. Then with a sigh she put it back down and chose a slightly smaller one.

Zay watched Suzy choose her cucumber with considerable amusement. "Decided not to go for the porn star cuke, eh? That's still a respectable size you've picked out, but sad to say Steve's no Paul. You know Jinx actually has a vibrator made to look like a nice, fat, juicy cuke."

Suzy rolled her eyes, and then balanced the vegetable in her hands, her eyes glinting with mirth as she regarded Zay seriously. “Oh yeah, I would say this is just about right.”

"I've heard that women don't like guys that are too big anyway. Anyway, as they say, it's not the meat, it's the motion"

“Yeah, yeah .... whatever, now what?”

"I teach, you practice. And then Steve is one happy man. I think it will be easier if I show you on a Paulie cuke, don't you think? And you can follow my actions." Zay picked out a cuke of his own, and grinned evilly. "Will we be okay here?"

Suzy waved her hand carelessly. “Don’t worry, Paul has gone to the bank and Bunny just left to make deliveries. We’ve got time.”

"OK. The first thing you do is find a position that is comfortable for both of you. Until he starts getting hard, you can just use your mouth.”

Suzy gave a giggle, and then quickly straightened her face when Zay glared at her. “Sorry. Please ... continue.”

“You don't need to worry about up and down until he starts getting to the pole position. It's really important to keep your lips over your teeth. Most guys don't like to be bitten. Also, despite what they do in the movies, not every guy likes to have you blow air on his sensitive tip. At this stage the important thing is lick, lick and more lick.”

Suzy watched Zay intently, her cucumber in her hands, trying hard not to laugh. When Zay mentioned lick, she gave in to temptation and her little pink tongue sneaked out. “You mean like this?” She gave Zay a long, sly, totally sexy look as she licked the cucumber. “Am I getting the look right? I wanna look like a hot bitch.”

“You're smouldering. Trust me. Up and down the shaft, swirl around the head. Get him wet and slippery, but don't slobber. Slide his head into your mouth and suck on it."

Suzy obediently opened her mouth and swallowed about two inches of the cucumber. “Thuck like thith? Oh shit!” Suzy pulled away and spat a piece of green vegetable out of her mouth. “Damn! Bit off a bit of it. Wait, let me get a fresh one.”

"Congratulations. You just killed the mood for your partner. Big time. Never talk with your mouth full of Steve, it can cause unfortunate accidents.”

Suzy giggled some more. “Good point!” She picked up another, and waved it cheerfully at her instructor.

“You can't just walk to the pantry and get a fresh Steve, you know."

“I know, I know, shut up, and keep going.”

"Ok. Now we are ready to add the hands. Grab the base with one hand, but not too tight. Or you can use a cock ring if you have one available. That is better because it will free both hands. Place your other hand on the shaft. Put the penis into your mouth and follow the movement of your mouth with your hand. Basic up and down.”

“OK, got it. How am I doing?” Suzy asked, as she came up for air.

“Fine! You can alternate licking with sucking, but don't suck like a hoover, ok? Gentle and slow is fine. Let Steve's moans clue you in as to what he enjoys. You don't have to deep throat him to give him a good experience and if you gag easily, it's probably not a good idea."

Suzy giggled. “Oh he lets me know all right. Sometimes he is so loud, I am beginning to think I should gag him! So what else can I do?”

"We're kinda limited, just having a cuke, but you shouldn't neglect other areas. Some guys like to have their balls played with or sucked. Just remember to do it gently. And the perineum, the area between the scrotum and the anus, is really sensitive as well. "

“I’ll remember that ... wait till I try this on Steve!” Suzy said, enjoying herself hugely. “Show me again that deep throating technique. I am sure once he has had a taste of that, he won’t want to go anywhere else.”

"Well, most guys will tell you there is no such thing as a truly bad blow job, providing you don't bite or injure parts. It all comes down to practice and practice in this case is a lot of fun."

Suzy watched Zay slide his cucumber into his mouth, and she followed suit. Following Zay’s example, she bent her head; slowly letting the cucumber inch into her mouth, towards the back of her throat, beginning to gag a little as it tickled her tonsils.

“Agh ...” she moaned disgustedly, and was preparing to pull the vegetable out of her mouth when the door opened and Paul walked in.

Paul was in the process of removing his sunglasses when he stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes opening wide with surprise. “What on earth ... are you ok, Suzy?” he asked with quick concern, thinking Suzy was choking on the cucumber. He began to hurry forward.

Zay’s back was facing Paul and in his concern over his sister, Paul hadn’t paid any attention to his partner yet. But at the sound of Paul’s voice, Zay turned around on reflex, the cucumber still hanging from around his lips. Paul took in the picture, blinked, and gave a sudden choke of surprise.


Zay took the cucumber out of his mouth and gave Suzy a quick 'be quiet, I'll handle this' look. "Uhm. Paul? Didn't hear you come in. We were just uhm, just uhm indulging in the latest craze among twenty-somethings. Cucumber sucking. Kind of reminds you of something doesn't it?"

Zay gave the cucumber a long lick and wiggled his eyebrows at Paul.

Having known Suzy for over twenty-seven years, and lived with her for almost two decades, there was little she could do to surprise Paul. But seeing BOTH his sister and his lover with a long juicy cucumber in each of their mouths was something else. His eyes narrowed and he looked from one to the other.

“Oh really,” Paul said, addressing himself mostly to Zay, as Suzy had flushed bright red and was fidgeting with a mortified look on her face, and the cucumber still in her hands. “Cucumber sucking? Hmm ... interesting.”

"Ain't it just? You know, I really don't like cucumbers, well not cut up in salads or on sandwiches. They always make me burp. But like this they can be sorta fun. Want to try one? There are all shapes and sizes to choose from."

“Thank you,” Paul replied coolly, “but no thanks. I have just had lunch. And much as I like to stay updated and be in the swing of things, may I point out that sucking cucumbers with my sister in the middle of the work day is hardly appropriate.”

Zay wondered if that meant there was a time when sucking on cucumbers WOULD be appropriate, but he kept silent.

Paul paused, letting his words sink in. His eyes swept over the two guilty faces. “Now would either of you care to cut the crap and tell me what is going on?”

Before Zay could respond, Suzy cut in. “Paul, sorry about this. I challenged Zay to ... um ... to see who had a ... um ... bigger mouth. It was just a silly joke, nothing more. We were just kidding around.” She turned to Zay and raised her eyebrows meaningfully. “You said you had to run, didn’t you? Well, you better be off, thanks for humouring me. I owe you one!”

"Uhm yes, I do need to run. Just stopped by since I had a delivery in this area. Gotta go back to work." Zay stood there, trying to figure out what to do with his cucumber, and finally just set it by the sink. "I better go then." He hugged Paul and gave him a quick kiss. "Later."

Paul leaned down slightly for the kiss, one hand going behind Zay’s head to pull him closer. Just as Zay pulled away, Paul took hold of his arm and turned him sideways, delivering a smart smack to Zay’s jean-clad bottom.

“We’ll be talking about this some more tonight, Zay. But right now you should get back to work. Bye, brat. I’ll see you later. Be good!”

Paul waited till Zay had left, before he turned back to his sister. “Suzy?”

“Yes, Paul?”

“What is going on?”

“Nothing, Paul.”


“Yes, Paul?”

Paul walked briskly over, and swatted her just as hard as he had Zay. “What mischief are you brewing, Suzy, and what have you got Zay into this time?”

Suzy’s eyes opened wide, reflecting the same dark blue as Paul’s. “Ow! Hey, I am twenty-seven years old! You can’t do that any more!”

Paul ignored her protest. “Answer the question. What mischief, young lady?”

Suzy stomped her foot, her hands coming to rest on both sides of her waist. “None, ok? I am not in trouble and I am certainly not getting Zay into any either! Sheesh!”

Paul snorted. “Word of warning, little sister. If I find out you two are involved in anything remotely hair-brained or dangerous or damaging to yourselves or to any member of the public, there will be trouble. Do you hear me?”

“Yeah, yeah, I hear you ..... loud and clear. Now can I get back to work?”

Paul watched Suzy turn her back and shook his head. He was not convinced one bit.

Four twenty somethings sat at the table in the Foo Dog restaurant, sipping green tea and eating dim sum. One of them was looking through a stack of photos.

"I can't believe you snuck into Steve's apartment and took these, Syd. That's a ballsy move for you. If you'd gotten caught, we'd have landed in a huge fucking mess. All of us." It made Zay's butt twitch just to think of the trouble he would've been in.

Syd shrugged. 'I'm tiny and I'm quiet and he was too busy 'spanking the monkey' to notice anything. At least he looked at a picture of Suzy while he did it. So I guess she does it for him, right?"

"Her photo does anyway. I guess he felt the need and Suzy wasn't there. I mean he is getting it regularly, as far as I know from Suzy."

Jinx poured another cup of green tea for herself and Izzie. "When the balls drop at puberty, what little brains males have drops with them and they start doing most of their thinking with the little head. Izzie and I were about to give up on Mr. Charisma. He seemed to live a pretty vanilla life. Then we saw him meet with that woman there, the statuesque blonde."

Izzie snagged a taro dumpling. "Yeah, Steve acted kinda shifty too, kept looking about. They were inside for a while, then when they came back out, he gave her a kiss, on the cheek. Jinx and I were like, whoah."

"Yeah. She's a hottie. If you like girls." Zay finished the rest of his egg custard tart. "So, now we go buy the beer, then I better get home. Paul has me on a short leash right now, because he thinks I'm plotting some sort of mischief with Suzy. Imagine that." He laughed.

On his way back home, Zay phoned Suzy and set up a time and place to meet with her.
Suzy rushed through her grocery shopping, with only half a mind. The other half was with Zay and trying to figure out what secrets he had unearthed and what he was keeping from her. She had a knot in the pit of her stomach right after his call and she felt physically sick a few times. She couldn’t wait to get home, chuck her bags of groceries, and then head out to meet with Zay.

She was a toughie on the outside; she had always been able to defend her own and hardly anyone ever messed with her. That was the image she had cultivated and she was proud of that. But this thing with Steve was eating at her more than she cared to admit. He had always seemed the needy one, the one who wanted to get married, tie the knot. And she had been the one to make the excuses. Well, a fine mess this had turned out to be. Now Steve was the one who was distant and unreachable, and here she was – the needy one after all.

Suzy wiped a tear away, and hurried home.

(click "Older Posts' for the rest of the story ...)