Lying Through Her Fangs
Here’s hoping the mall would be better. Wait, did I just say that? I’m so not a teen heading for the perfect Twilight movie premier outfit. This is a trip by a grown woman window shopping for a man who’s probably better off with a store mannequin. But I took what was left of her coffee and headed to the land of kiosks and hormone driven wallets.
I hid at the back of the mall at dusk, by the copse of trees, was the safest place to park on an overcast day in Atlanta. As I left my heavily tinted SUV there, my equally tinted sunglasses went with me. I entered the largest department store at this mall put me in the men’s department--the best location for men to shop and disappear before they got anywhere near the throb of humanity. Men had it easy. Most of us women had to strut through cosmetics and perfumes to get to the lingerie section. By then you carried the ambiance of a street walker coming in for fishnets and garter belts.
Standing in the middle of the aisle between business and casual, I fought for which to “shop” through first. Gentlemen in suits and ties were elegant and Bond-like but most were posturing peacocks. Men in casual attire were more my style, though I didn’t exactly get sweaty over a cowboy in a Stetson ad. My likes lay in the middle and I was being stared at while I stood flipping between styles.
There were a few men eyeing me over racks, but I pretended to be looking at the rainbow of wrinkle free dress shirts in front of me. Having no idea what a size fifteen was in these things, I flipped through to make it appear like I knew what I was doing.
“Looking for a particular size or color?” asked a voice behind me. The voice belonged to a tall brunette standing just outside my personal space.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Am I in your way?”
“Yes and no.”
“Which is it?” My eyes sized him up and this was worth a moment of my time.
“Yes, you’re in the way but no, I don’t happen to mind.” He flashed a smile.
It couldn’t be this easy. No way.
“I can get out of your way, then?” I swiveled but his words stopped me.
“Why, when I have an excuse to reach around you like this?” His left arm snaked out and grabbed a light blue shirt from the metal rack by my face. Then he did the same with his right hand on my other side. “Or this.”
The second hand held a sage green that matched the tight polo shirt he currently had on over strategically ripped jeans.
“Is that what you came for?” I asked as I made great eye contact with him, daring him onward..
He looked at both and then at me. “Oh darn, wrong sizes.”
He slipped them back in their appropriate slots simultaneously, and reached further down. He was positioned at my waist with both hands and came back slowly with a burgundy and a bright red.
I tilted me head over my shoulder to take in the selection again.
“Those aren’t the same colors. What shades do you need?”
“Oh, you’re right. These would look better on you.”
He copied the previous maneuver then slipped his hands to each side of my hips to the lower rack. This had him leaning far enough into me that we were staring into each other’s eyes. This was prime for a kiss, a bite, or compulsion but I waited to see what the suave man with light brown eyes and perfect teeth would do as his next trick.
“Hmmm, black and classic white. You could never go wrong there. Right, my dear?”
Hovering there, in my face. I could hear the steady beat of his heart beneath his shirt. No racing. Shouldn’t the beat be more up tempo if I was exciting him? This wasn’t right. Most guys like this were usually—
“Gary, what the hell are you doing?” A shrill voice interrupted my thoughts. “I send you in here for a shirt for the wedding and you try to pick up some hoochie in the meantime.”
“White or black, Darla dear?” He whipped, with inhuman speed, to face the banshee coming at him.
“Excuse me?” She stopped within two steps of us.
I wanted to back up but my escape would have taken the rack with it.
“This lady was just helping me with what shirt, dearest. She thought the black but I told her you always liked me in white as it was more retro to set off your classic clothing style.”
He put on puppy dog eyes for me to go along with this and I was sorely tempted to tell him he was the one trying to make a sale. But I didn’t want ... why does she go along with it? Tell us. Especially after the “older lady” bit.
“Quite true. In fact, I almost tipped the display over and he had to reach for me. He’s quite a man. You’re a lucky lady.”
Darla’s pinched face looked like she was deciding whether to buy this line. She had her hands full with this one and I wasn’t sure who I felt sorry for more.
“Did you get the right size, sir?”
He had to look at it twice to make sure. “Yes, indeed. Thanks and be careful.”
She humphed at me, tucked her arm in his, then sashayed her man out of the department, all the while complaining about her fluffy, pink, bridesmaid’s dress.
And to think I imagined it would be easy. Nope, not that easy. Score one for the Old Cat Lady and zip for the Vampire Liar.
So long as I was at the mall anyway, I decided to find a dress for the party and headed to the women’s section. Work had been hellish the last few months and I hadn’t had time to shop anything other than online sales.
I took the last sip of my now room temperature frap, and turned for the waste basket. My arm hit a solid wall and bounced. Dropping the cup like a surprised mortal would, I looked up to see what folly I had just made in public. He was no folly. He was hot with his boy next door charm mixed with romance cover model sex appeal. And I had just about clotheslined him in the juniors department.
“I’m so sorry.” Thank heavens it had been empty.
“No problem, I should have been looking where I was going.”
We both bent to get it and our eyes met. His heart cranked up. Hello hawtness, my name is Damsel and I’m in distress. Can you come save me?