Chapter Twenty Nine

The perfect end to a long, boring day, Gina thought. So locking the two in the freezer was a little sophomoric but it would certainly ruin their evening, plus get them out of the way for a while so she could call her boss. Not to mention the fact that buying a new freezer would facilitate a large delivery of drugs. Her superiors would be please. If things continued to go this well Gina would be vacationing in the Caribbean, a nice, padded bank account in the Cayman Islands guaranteeing the high life between easy mob assignments.

     Yet just because Gina had a job to do didn’t mean she couldn’t put these people in her place. She was boss and they would give her the respect she deserved. This time she went the passive aggressive route. Angel was firmly under her boot, but the next time Sally mouthed off or sassed her the meddling bitch would find out the hard way just who she was fucking with.

    “It’s Gina,” she said, into the phone.

    “Hey baby, what’s the update?”

    “Things are moving along right on schedule. Take out orders are at an all time high.”

    “Great, we knew we could count on you Gina.”

    “Show me your appreciation,” she smiled, twirling the phone cord around her fingers.

    “Patience doll, we’ll show you just how happy we are with you very soon..”

    “You better,” she laughed, “life in the sticks is boring.”

“So get that tight little ass out of that dump! And check your mail. I sent you a token of my affection.”

    “Don’t think you’re getting off this easy,” she smiled, her mind contemplating what would be waiting for her at home. Money, jewelry, some mind-bending drugs? It was all good. “I wanna see you soon. I miss you..”

    Tony had sent his girlfriend Gina down to Miami under protest. Not only was she a valued contributor to the organization, but Gina was one hot number, and Tony knew he had to keep her happy or she’d find some hot stud to screw. Sure he had his pick of women in New York but his strong male ego couldn’t stand the thought of another man sharing his girlfriend’s bed.

    “You will I promise,” Tony said, not wanting to let Gina in on the fact that he would be making a trip down South soon. Angel needed to be reminded about his obligations. The last thing they needed was Angel getting too complacent. “Talk to you soon baby.”

    “Tell me I just didn’t hear that,” Angel groaned.

    “Hear what?” Sally asked, setting down the mop.

    Angel motioned behind her. “The door.”

    “I didn't hear anything,” Sally shrugged, picking up the mop and ringing it out in the bucket.

    Angel walked over to the door, placing both hands against it and gave it a firm push. It didn’t move. Angel’s brow furrowed as he gave the door another hard shove. Nothing.

    “What are you doing?” Sally asked.

    “The door is shut.”

    “So open it.”

Let me rephrase that,” Angel said, pushing his glasses back on his 
“The door is shut and the handle is on the outside.”

    “What? You’re kidding, right?

     “I’m afraid not,” Angel said, crossing his arms and taking a seat.

     Sally spun around, pushing frantically on the door. “Oh no,” she said, starting to get excited. She rammed the door with her shoulder, bracing her feet into it. “It won’t budge!”

     Angel chuckled. “Chill out woman,” he grinned, noticing how hyper Sally was getting.

     “Real bad choice of words there Angel,” Sally sighed.

     “This was bound to happen sooner or later,” he shrugged. “Didn’t you watch the Brady Bunch as a kid?”

     Sally peered out the small, square window. “Yeah. Problem is I’m not the size of a ten year old boy.”

     “I’m sure someone will find us soon. This place is always hopping with people,” stated Angel, taking a seat on a bucket of ice cream.

     “It’s quitting time. If we don’t get someone’s attention soon we may be stuck in here all night. HELP! SOMEBODY?!” Sally pounded on the door in the hopes that someone would hear her as they passed the kitchen on the way out.

     “Keep that up and you’re gonna hurt yourself,” Angel said, crossing his arms, “besides, you don’t wanna use up all the air in here..”

     “We’re gonna run out of air?” Sally said, her eyes widening with panic.

     “I’m kidding!” Angel said, “I’m just trying to lighten the mood.” But it didn’t seem to be making Sally feel any better because she continued to look anxiously out the window in the door. “Will you come here please?” he pleaded, pulling her by the arm, “you’re making me nervous.”

     Sally groaned her protest, and allowed Angel to pull her body around to face him. “Can’t we try to kick the door down or something?” she whined.

     “We would mean me, and I don’t relish the thought of breaking my foot trying to kick down a solid stainless steel door if it’s alright by you.”

     “I’m sorry,” Sally sighed, leaning up against a stack of boxes. I’ve never been good with enclosed spaces, not since I was a kid..”

     “It’s okay. We’ll be fine. We might just catch a hum dinger of a cold out of this,” Angel smiled.

     Sally didn’t look any happier so he spent ahalf hour trying to see if he could somehow open the door, unhinging it, or prying it open. But nothing was working and he was out of ideas.

     “Looks like we’re staying put,” Angel sighed, “unless Mitch wakes up in the middle of the night and wants a midnight snack.”

     “Great,” Sally sighed, hunching over to rest her elbows on her knees.

     “It’s not so bad,” Angel said with a grin, watching his warm breath before him. “It’s not really all that cold..”

     “For polar bears like you,” Sally chuckled.

     “No really, we have each other to talk to. Plus we have all the ice cream we can eat. It could be worse.”


     “Instead of being stuck in a freezer we could be caught in a snow storm.”

     “I’m a Florida native. I’ve never seen snow,” Sally pouted.

     “Really?” Angel asked, sounding truly amazed. “I grew up in the Northeast. I saw and played in a lot of it growing up.”

     Angel’s eyes twinkled at the memories, a broad smile grossing his face. His shoulders had softened, and his face didn’t seem so rigid anymore. Sally found herself smiling herself, wondering what wonderful memories he was thinking about. She almost burst out laughing, imaging the big man ice skating on a cold winter’s day. Even under his sometimes sad demeanor, it wasn’t difficult to see the boyish charm in Angel.

“The snow was great, especially snow days when us kids got to spent all day outside playing in the snow, building snow men and having snowball fights. But if a snowstorm caught you off guard and you were stranded out in it things could get deadly. Hey, hey!” Angel said, noticing the worried look on Sally’s face, “it’s no where near that cold in here so we don’t have a problem. So relax.”

     “I’ll try,” Sally sighed, “but I’m not good with cold, let alone enclosed places. “My brothers and I were playing hide and seek in my grandparent’s big, old house,” she confessed, “and I decided to hide in a closet and the door knob was loose and I was trapped. So needless to say I’ve been claustrophobic since then..” Sally smiled. “But it helps that you’re here with me..”

     “Two frozen peas in a pod,” Angel grinned.

     “Pretty soon we’ll have to chip the ice off your glasses,” stated Sally, as she started to shiver. “Here,” she said, reaching out for them, “lemme have em. They’re all fogged up.” Angel silently complied.  Sally couldn’t help but giggle at Angel, who was squinting at her. “You have really pretty eyes. Ever thought of wearing contacts?”

     “Me? Contacts? Too much of a pain in the ass. Those things are for women,” Angel snorted, reaching out, palm up, silently asking for his glasses back.

     “Why? Too much trouble to put em in and out at night?” Sally asked.

     In and out.. Get your mind out of the gutter, Sally thought, blushing like she hadn’t since she was a teenager. Thankfully without his glasses Angel didn’t see it. Sally bit her lip, the feel of his big hand on hers was somehow very intimate right at that moment. Her libido in overdrive, Angel’s touch fueled an erotic image of she and Angel having wild, passionate sex amidst the frozen food. Her hands went to her face, attempting to rub the telltale glow from her cheeks.

“Hey! Gimme those,” Angel said, fumbling blindly for his glasses. His whole world was fuzzy and his aim was a little off causing him to accidentally brush up against Sally’s breasts. Even through the apron she wore, Angel could feel the hard points of her nipples straining against the cotton of her Dusk To Dawn unform shirt, hear her take in a quick breath and the unexpected intimate contact, and yet she hadn’t pulled away. Now it was Angel’s body’s turn to react.

     It had been over a year since he had even felt the smallest flicker of longing, having decided long ago that the one true love in his life was gone forever. It was too hard to allow himself to love someone like that again and risk going through the pain he felt when he lost Suzanne to cancer. And yet his body betrayed his heart, reacting to the familiar, erotic feel of a woman’s nipple under his fingertips, and it was too late. His body yearned for more.

     “Those aren’t them,” she laughed, huskily.

     Sally’s heart pounded. How many nights had she dreamed of such a chance with Angel, of breaking through his tough exterior to the passionate heart she knew lay beneath?

     “I’m sorry,” Angel said, apologetically.

     “Nothing to apologize for,” she answered. Sally decided to go for broke. Getting up, she went over to Angel and slipped his glasses back on his face, brushing his long hair back to expose his left ear. “I’ve been wanting you to do that for the longest time,” she whispered, her warm breath sending shivers up Angel’s spine.

     “Do what?” Angel asked, his mind reeling.

     Sally slipped her head through the top of  the apron, folding it forward and out of the way. Taking his right hand in both of hers, she cupped his hand, laying it over her left breast. “This,” she whispered, pressing his hand against her rock hard nipple.

     Angel couldn’t even look at Sally, his universe centered on the wonderfully unexpected rush he was experiencing. Even in the cold environment of the freezer, Angel could feel Sally’s body heat penetrating through her shirt, as she pressed her breast against his hand. Mesmerized by the turn of events, he traced her nipple with his fingertip, shyly. Slowly, his left hand came to life, coming up to rest on her right breast, cupping it, before both hands began a rhythmic, circular massage, culminating at her nipples, as he rolled them between his fingers, exploring, as if he hadn’t ever touched a woman this way before.

     Angel had no way of knowing what his caresses were doing to her. It had been a long time since Sally had felt a man’s hands on her body and she fought to stop herself from losing control. “Mmm, that feels so good,” Sally purred, her knees weak with pleasure. She yearned to reach out and do some tormenting of her own.

     Ever so slowly, Angel was allowing the dormant lover inside him come to life. The knowledge that he could still please a woman, have a woman desire his touch unleashing his ardor, and he picked Sally up, placing her on his lap. Kissing Sally was still too intimate a proposition, so Angel devoured her neck instead, nibbling and kissing her until he could feel her tremble with delight, arching her back, wanting more.

     Angel kissed his way down Sally’s neck to her ample breasts, and pressed his face into her cleavage. The thought of her bare breasts egged him on, giving him the courage to tug at the bottom of her shirt, skimming his hands up her sides towards the wondrous bounty beneath. Suddenly, Sally was rising off of Angel’s lap.


     Angel moved his hands away thinking he had overstepped the boundaries. “I’m sorry..”

     “No,” Sally said, reaching for his hands as she sat back down. “Cold hands,” she said, laying his hands on his own face so he could feel for himself, “see?” she continued, meeting Angel’s wary gaze.

     A smile slowly emerged on Angel’s face. “I feel like I’m fifteen again.. all thumbs,” he smiled.

     “You were doing great,” Sally smiled. “Had my heart really pumping. But those cold fish hands just about had me jumping out of my skin,” she teased, caressing his cheek. “It’s getting really cold in here..”

Angel couldn’t tell. Between all the hair on his body and the growing heat inside of him, Angel could feel nothing but his mounting desire. “What an idiot I am,” Angel said, looking into Sally’s big brown eyes, as he started to unbutton his flannel shirt. Slipping it off, he wrapped it around Sally. “This is a start,” he smiled.

     Sally looked at Angel’s broad chest hungrily, the tshirt he wore seemed ready to burst at the seams. “I’m still freezing..” stated Sally, leaning towards.

     Angel took Sally into his arms, in a big bear hug, hiding his face in her curly brown hair. “How about now? This better?”

     In pulling Sally towards him, Angel had set her down on the growing bulge in his jeans. He was glad she couldn’t see his face for she would see an expression of utter surprise. Never in a million years could he have imagined he’d be contemplating having sex with the sexy brunette, so much time had passed since his last flirtation with the opposite sex. It amazed him how at that very moment he was at the brink of letting go. Sally was making it so easy, not pushing him, but following his lead back into the land of physical closeness ands sexual pleasure.

     The last time he had been this close to a woman was back in Atlantic City with his new mob buddies. A night of gambling and drinking had ended in a private card game back in one of the VIP rooms with Tony and his usual hangers on which included a handful of leggy blonds. Blonds. One in particular came to mind. Stephanie, with big breasts and even bigger Jersey girl hair that matched the size of her libido. It would have been so easy to slip into one of the hotel rooms and gone at it. But drunk or not, not even Stephanie’s roaming hands could break through the walls around Angel’s heart, and, slipping her a fifty, he had made a hasty, stumbling departure.

     Sally held tightly to Angel, wondering why he had gotten so quiet all of a sudden. He wanted her, the proof was clearly apparent pressing up against her butt. She would follow his lead, leave the door open in case he wanted to take things any further. Sure, she’d prefer it to be outside the infernal freezer, where it was warmer and where they’d have space to move around and get comfortable, but if Angel initiated things she’d go along for a highly anticipated ride.

     “Much better,” Sally smiled, kissing Angel’s neck, the scent of Old Spice filling her nostrils.

     He was holding her so close that Angel could actually feel Sally’s heart beating. Like hearing a soothing old song on the radio it edged him even further towards breaking through his emotional walls, and he kissed her. Long, deep, passionate kisses, possessing her mouth.

     His kisses were her undoing, and it was all Sally could do was hold on tight and return his passion, moaning as they played a sensual game of tag with their tongues. Her soft, pleasure filled moans deepened as she felt Angel pressing her hips down against the throbbing in his pants.

Jessie was tired but not even slipping into her favorite faded, soft Dolphins tshirt, washed so many times it was almost transparent could get her to fall asleep. Unable to shake a feeling of anxiousness, she trudged back and forth to the kitchen looking for something to snack on. Next she made herself some chamomile tea to see if that would help her get a little drowsy. Nothing. She was fully alert. She didn’t wanna admit it to herself but the fact that a woman had answered the phone when she had called Zach was still bugging her. And he was coming back tomorrow. Jessie realized they needed to talk but how? She already had so many things on her mind.

    Being engaged was wonderful. She had never been as happy as the night that Zach had proposed, and she looked forward to setting their wedding date. Maybe they’d have a Christmas wedding. She could carry a bouquet of red American beauty roses. They could light up the church with candles and drape white lace along the pews. Jessie crossed over to the mirror above the bureau, sweeping her hair high on her hair. An up do would definitely make the most of a long veil. Jessie was all smiles til she caught sight of her scar. Wincing, she leaned in towards the mirror to examine it more closely.

The dark stitches were a sharp contrast against her creamy skin. The doctors said that the scar would be barely noticeable once the stitches were out but how could they be sure? She’d gotten stitches once before, as a kid when she had banged her chin when she fell roller skating, and that scar was noticeable. Zach hated the scar. She could see it in his eyes. He didn’t even hide it, averting his eyes every time he glanced at her forehead.

    Zach had always prided himself on having an intelligent and beautiful girlfriend. Jess didn’t feel pretty, she hadn’t felt much of anything, other than frightened the last few weeks. First the accident, then Zach’s threat to sue the Dusk To Dawn. And worst yet, the pictures from the blackmailer. No wonder she was a mess. Sure, the stitches would be coming out on Monday, but no doctor in the world could fix the mess she found herself in. What was she going to do?

    Jess laid down on the bed again, scanning the channels for a good movie to watch, but her eyes kept going over to the closet. Frustrated, she got up, throwing over the doors and grabbing the wardrobe bag where she had hidden the pictures. With unsteady hands she retrieved them, and sat down on the bed as she pulled them out of the manila envelope.

    How could this have happened? she thought with a sigh. How could she have managed to get into bed with.. with a stranger?! Had she really drank that much that she’d let some guy take her somewhere and have his way with her? Examining the pictures more closely, she noticed the drag décor. From the looks of it they were in some motel room. Jessie cringed. Look at what they were doing! How could she?! Zach flirting drove her nuts. What a hypocrite she was. From the compromising positions in the photographs she had clearly down more than flirt with the guy.

    With each photograph Jessie got sicker and sicker, as she peered warily at them. Who could he be? The college guy she had danced with? Had she given him the wrong idea the night of the Halloween party? Bringing a picture to her face for a closer look, she stared at the man’s image. She couldn’t see his face, just the back of his head. He had dark hair and broad shoulders. Not much to go on. But then something caught her attention. The man had a tattoo on his right shoulder, a tattoo she had seen somewhere before.

    Excited at the clue she had stumbled upon, Jess brought the picture over to the lamp on the bureau. Switching it on, she placed it up under the shade so she could see the photo better. She was right. She had seen the tattoo before – a tattoo like that would be hard to miss. A large black rendering of a snake coiled around a dagger, and very distinctive. But when had she seen it? Jessie shut her eyes, trying to concentrate, and it came to her. NICK!

    Not one to hide his physique, Nick took to wearing muscle shirts during the band’s sets. Anything to give the ladies in the audience something to gawk at. A new emotion came over Jessie – rage. How dare he do this to her? All they had ever done was dance. Okay, it wasn’t the smartest move to have kissed him but this?!      Jessie’s skin crawled at the thought of being that intimate with Nick. No, she couldn’t have had sex with Nick. Drunk or not she would have never crossed that line, especially since she was engaged. She loved Zach. What had he done to her? Whatever it was, however he had gotten her out of it enough to have his way with her, Jessie realized that there was nothing Nick wouldn’t do for money. She always knew Nick was arrogant, but if he thought he would get away with blackmailing her he had another thing coming. But what? How would she stop him?

A frazzled Mitch sat propped up against some pillows on his makeshift bed that was his sofa, unable to sleep. Not even the late night wrestling match on tv could sooth him or his aching neck. Not an hour after Jessie had left the loft, Kelly had woken up crying. Hearing his daughter cry was the one thing that did him in. New to fatherhood, Mitch struggled to figure out why Kelly was so restless. Did she miss her mother and her own warm bed? Was she hungry, thirsty? Nope. Deciding it was a case of homesickness, he had rocked her gently in his arms to sooth her, even recounting the G rated version of how he and Lynn had met. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Snow White and Prince Charming, but it had settled Kelly down enough to fall back to sleep.

    But the calm was not to last. About half an hour later Kelly awoke crying for her mother. Vaulting the sofa, Mitch rushed to her side.

    “What’s wrong Angel?” pulling the sobbing child into his arms. “Have a bad dream?”

    “I want Mommy!” Kelly cried, anxiously.

    “Daddy’s right here baby,” he soothed, “tell Daddy what’s wrong.”

    “I don’t feel good,” Kelly wailed, pressing her tear-streaked face into her father’s shoulder.

    Shit, Mitch thought. Now what? Had he fed her too much? Too little? His mind went back to when he was a little boy and how good his own mom had been whenever he was sick. First thing she ever did was check for a fever. Duh, of course.

    “Here sweetie,” Mitch said, sitting her up, “let Daddy feel your face.”

    Sure enough Kelly felt warm. What in the world was he going to do now? He’d never dealt with a sick child before, and Lynn was out of town. Mitch contemplated calling Jessie but it was late and he didn’t wanna wake her.

    Noticing the worried look on her father’s face, Kelly cried even more. “I want my Mommy!”

    “It’s okay sugar, Daddy’s here and he’s gonna make you feel all better. I promise.” Mitch sighed and reached for the phone. Never in his life had he prayed so hard for someone to answer a phone.

    Down in Key West, Lynn was startled from sleep by the sound of her cellphone ringing. Switching on the lamp next to her, she strained to see the number on the display, praying it wasn’t Nick calling her.

    “Mitchell, do you know how late it is? This had better be good..”

    “I SHOULD HOPE SO,” Mitch barked. Taking a moment to compose himself, he lowered his voice to avoid upsetting Kelly more than she already was. “It’s Kelly..”

    Now it was Lynn’s turn to go ballistic. “KELLY?! What about Kelly?!” she yelled, now wide awake.

    “Will you let me finish?” Mitch cringed. “She just woke up crying and asking for you. She feels a little warm to me..”

    “You mean to tell me that you’ve woken me out of a sound sleep, scaring me half to death for that matter and it’s just a little cold? Can’t you and that big burly friend of yours handle a little fever?” Lynn sighed, inwardly relieved that it was nothing serious.

    “Is that Mommy?” Kelly asked, sniffling, “I wanna speak to Mommy..”

    “Lynn? You through chastising me? Cuz Kelly wants to talk to you..”

    Mitch handed his daughter the phone and sat waiting for Lynn to help him out. Maybe she could ferret out of Kelly what was wrong. “Okay Mommy,” Kelly said, passing the phone back to Mitch. Whatever Lynn had said had settled her down.

    “Sounds like a case of the flu. Those little brats at her school are covered in germs.. it’s no wonder she’s got a fever.”

    “So what do I do? I’m new to this..” Mitch pleaded. “When are you coming back? She needs her mother..”

    “Apparently so,” stated Lynn, “when a little fever sends you into a tizzy. Geez Mitch, get a grip! There’s a thermometer in the overnight bag I left..”

    “Thermometer..?” Mitch cringed.

    “Oh shut up Mitch!” Lynn said, pounding the phone on the bed in frustration. “It’s the year 2000. There are no more anal thermometers. But keep this up and I’ll shove my fist up your whiny ass!”

    “What if..”

“Take her temperature. If it’s more than one hundred call me back. If not give her a Children’s Tylenol and some juice and put her to bed. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Click.

    Mitch sat there for a moment, stunned at Lynn’s abruptness, staring dumbfounded at the receiver. “Mommy told Daddy just what to do, sweetie,” he said quickly, putting down the phone, “you wait right here. Daddy’ll be right back.”

    For the first time all evening, Mitch realized that Angel was no where to be seen. Where the hell could he be? He could really use his help right about now. Making his way downstairs for some juice, Mitch’s brow furrowed when he saw that the bar’s alarm system wasn’t armed. What the hell is this? Mitch thought, his mood souring even further. Anybody could have broken in and cleaned em out.

    “Angel?!” he called out into the empty room.

    Nothing. All the lights were still on but there was no one around, not a sound could be heard. No Gina, no kitchen staff, no waitresses – the place was deserted. Mitch went back into the kitchen to get some juice for Kelly. Walking past the walk in freezer to the frig he caught sight of the puddle of water.

    Mitch was fuming. “This is an accident waiting to happen,” he said aloud, walking towards the puddle in search of a mop to clean it up. When suddenly he noticed some movement inside the walk in freezer. “What the..”

    There sat Angel, on a pile of frozen food boxes, with Sally sitting on his lap, the two in the middle of a passionate embrace. Mitch was stunned. He had caught the two exchanging looks at one another over the last few weeks, but never in a million years would Mitch had thought that they would have resorted to a spontaneous encounter like this!

    His coworkers hadn’t seen him yet and Mitch started to get a little uneasy as he noticed how hot and heavy they were getting. Part of him wanted to act like he hadn’t seen them and let the two finish what they had started. But in a freezer?! How romantic could that be? Sure, it was impulsive – very much so knowing how hard it had been for Angel after losing Suzanne. Sally must have pushed the right combination of buttons, Mitch thought, a big smile crossing his face. Good for you. Good for the both of you.

    And yet the other, more devilish side of Mitch remembered how Angel had ribbed him for weeks after catching he and Jessie in a similar compromising position on the pool table. Walking away would be the chicken way out. There was too much good ribbing to be had out of this. For not only had they dared to let things go as far as they had but the hilarious part was that they had gotten stuck in the freezer in the process. It was priceless.

    Mitch was happy for Angel. It had been way too long since he had benefited from the romantic attention of a woman, let alone anyone as nice as Sally. Mitch’s eyebrows arched as he noticed Angel’s hands start their ascent up Sally’s sides. Damn, they had to be freezing their asses off. The interruption would be awkward but they’d get over it, probably by finishing things somewhere warmer, Mitch grinned.

    Without a word he pulled open the door. “I’ve heard about wanting a little privacy but man,” Mitch laughed, steadying his hand on the wall so he wouldn’t spill Kelly’s juice.

    Sally glanced at Mitch over her left shoulder, easing her shirt down quickly, laughing, an uncharacteristic blush tinting her cheeks. “Gotta stay warm as best you can,” Sally grinned, “the walls are sound proof and we’ve been here for hours..”

    Angel looked at Mitch, a mix of mischief and embarrassment glimmering in his eyes. “Don’t even say it,” Angel warned.

    “Me?” Mitch laughed, “never!” His laughter said it all. Besides, Mitch knew the longer he hung around the less chance that Angel could get his much needed and much deserved roll in the hay. “Lucky for you I had to come down to get some oj for Kelly. She’s got a cold. Or who knows how long you guys woulda been stuck in here.” Best friend or not, the temptation was too big for Mitch to resist, and he had to get in the tiniest of parting shots. “A good NIGHTCAP would work wonders right about now. How about I mix you guys a nice COCKtail?”

    Angel was dumbstruck, standing up as Sally got up off his lap. “We’ll be just fine on our own,” Angel spat,  “now go see to Kelly knuckhead.” Seeing Mitch giving him the thumbs up, he glared at him, motioning Mitch away with his eyes.

    “Just make sure to lock up after you’re through. Carry on!” Mitch teased, as he walked away. “Woohoo! Go Angel.. go Sally.. go Angel..”

    “He’s a nut,” Angel grinned, following Sally out of the freezer.

    “I know,” Sally smiled, rubbing her arms to fend off the chill, “but he’s right. A night cap would hit the spot right about now,” she said, facing Angel, remnants of the earlier spark still shining in her eyes. Ball’s in your court Angel, she thought to herself. You’re the boss. She could only hope Mitch’s interruption hadn’t ruined things.

    Angel smiled. Once again Sally was selflessly leaving things up to him. She had no way of knowing this but it had been her patience and trust that would allow him to finish what they had started. Going upstairs was out of the question, since Mitch and Kelly were up there. Where could they go? Then it hit him. The back office.

    “Mitch isn’t the only one who can mix a drink in this place,” Angel said, quickly. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.”

    “Okay,” replied Sally, “I’ll just freshen up then..”

    Sally ran to the bathroom to make sure she didn’t look like an ice witch. Angel had better hurry up, she thought, because if he took too long she might just chicken out and forget the whole thing. What if Angel came to his senses the next day and fired her? Would crossing the line from platonic employee to lover jeopardize her job?

Back in the bar, Angel was facing a similar dilemma. Would Sally think less of him? Would he freeze at the wrong moment? That’s what the drinks were for. The drinks would thaw them both out as well as ease any nervousness. Tucked back in the bar he had hidden a bottle of expensive French brandy that would do just the trick. Sure, he thought, they could sit on the couch in Mitch’s office and chat and let the brandy mellow them out again. Hopefully the couch would prove to be as much of an aphrodisiac for him and Sally as it had for Mitch and Jessie.

    “There you are,” Angel said, “come on. Let’s go sit down and share a glass or two of this brandy. It should warm us right up.”

    Sally followed Angel into Mitch’s office and joined him on the couch. “Mitch is right. This is much better,” she smiled. “A lot warmer and more room to get comfy,” she continued, kicking off her shoes.

    “This should smooth away the chill,” Angel said, handing Sally a snifter of brandy. “To a beautiful lady on a wonderful night of surprises. Salut.”

    “You’re very sweet,” Sally replied, taking a sip from the brandy. “Tonight was a surprise. I’m happy we got stuck in that damn freezer,” she laughed. “I’ve always liked you..”

    “I’ve liked you too. But we haven’t had much of a chance to interact with each other than through work stuff. I’m glad tonight changed all that.”

    Sally reached out and squeezed Angel’s hand. “Me too. You give wonderful hugs..”

    Little by little, the two were working their way back past the awkwardness, the brandy helping to loosen them up.

    “C’mere,” Angel said, setting down his glass, “there’s more where they came from.”

    Sally happily complied, feeling totally at ease in the big man’s arms. “Mmm.. feels so good..”

    “You’re the best thing I’ve held since Suzanne..” Angel said, a huge sigh escaping his lips.

    Sally pulled Angel close, stroking his hair. “It’s gonna be okay Angel. It’s okay..” It broke Sally’s heart to feel Angel tremble in her arms as he let her hold him. “You feel wonderful to me too,” she continued, taking a moment to kiss his cheek sweetly, innocently, “but we don’t have to..”

    “This is the first time I’ve ever wanted to in a very long time,” he confessed, taking another drink, “but it’s been so long I don’t know if I remember how..”

    Sally smiled. “Sure you do.”

    Sally sat back, keeping her eyes fixed on Angel’s and pulled her shirt off and over her head. He followed suit. Angel watched her with eyes of wonder as she undid her bra and let the straps slip off her shoulders exposing her breasts.

    Angel came to her, slipping his arms around Sally’s waist and pulling her close. His lips descended to her neck and he kissed her repeatedly, tasting her skin with his lips and tongue. Sally moaned her desire, and lay back onto the couch, taking Angel with her. The feel of his broad, hard, furry chest was torturing her nipples, sending delicious streams of pleasure down her body and between her legs.

    Angel began his sensual assault on Sally’s body by kissing her full lips, his kisses deep and full of emotion. His hand descended to her breast, cupping it, circling the nipple with his fingertips. Moments later the sound of Sally’s moans filled the room as Angel took her nipple between his lips, taunting her, teasing her by flicking his tongue against it, before he suck on it slowly, yet deliberately.

    Sally dug her nails into his shoulders, the pleasure driving her wild with desire. “Oh Angel,” she moaned, wrapping her legs around his waist.

    Angel’s need was growing too and he struggled to fit his tall frame onto the couch as he undid his pants. Sensing what he wanted, Sally sat up, hands groping his body hungrily, as they both fought to take off their jeans. Sally lost her balance and bent her knees so that she wouldn’t fall, letting herself fall back onto her hands. A light bulb lit up in Angel’s head – the floor. It wouldn’t be as cushioned, but they’d have enough room to lay out if.. Kneeling next to Sally, with one push Angel had the coffee table out of the way, pressed up against the end of Mitch’s desk.

    Sally’s beautiful, voluptuous naked form beckoned him, and Angel fought for control. He couldn’t risk hurting her, she so small, his own body so big. Straddling her hips, he braced his hands on the floor by her shoulders, lowering his head for a passionate kiss. Angel gasped, his face grimacing with sheer pleasure as Sally bent her knees, reaching up to caress his erect penis, guiding it towards the center of her aching need.

    In one smooth, earth shattering moment, he was inside her, moaning his pleasure into Sally’s mouth, languishing in the feel of her tight wetness wrapped around him. His hunger unleashed, Angel plunged into her again and again, Sally’s moans filling his ears, her nails dragging down his back.

    “I don’t want to hurt you,” he said, lifting his chest off of Sally and looking deeply into her eyes.

    “You’re not..” she panted, “don’t stop,” she pleaded, wrapping her legs around Angel. “don’t stop..”

Mitch was restless. The sofa was starting to feel mighty lumpy. Kelly had a fever of 100.5 degrees so he had given her a Children’s Tylenol with her orange juice and stroked her hair to settle her down til the mediine took affect. But that was over an hour ago, and every so often he heard his daughter moan and switch positions in his bed. The wrestling match he had been watching was long over and there was nothing on other than insipid infomercials. Hairdini and Ab rollers weren’t cutting it. He shifted his position, his head towards the stairs of the loft and flipped channels. There had to be something better on. Oh geez, you know you’re desperate when you find Jerry Springer on the tube and leave it on.

    Cheating lovers. Typical. Some poor woman was pitching a fit as her boyfriend confessed that he was sleeping with another woman behind her back. What a scumbag. The woman was cute too, with big sad eyes and brown hair. Just like Jessie. How many times had Mitch seen the same pained look on Jessie’s face? His mind went back to later that night when he had gone to the window to watch Jessie as she walked to her car. How could Zach cheat on such a wonderful girl? Mitch wondered.

    Kelly was asleep, snuggled deep in the covers on his bed. Mitch smiled. Jessie was so sweet to have taken to time to tuck Kelly in.  Jessie, on his bed, so close yet so far.  Mitch wanted her to stay, so badly he could taste it, hoping that she would linger after Kelly fell asleep.. he had watched her leave, going to the window to make sure she had got to her car okay. What a jerk, he thought. It had been late and he should have walked her out to her car and not risked something bad happening.

    Kelly started wimpering,, the fever wreaking havoc on her little body. “Daddy,” she cried, “I want Mommy!”

    “I know precious. Mommy will be back tomorrow morning,” Mitch said, crossing back over to the bed.

    “But I want her now..”

    Mitch was anxious. Of course Kelly wanted her mother. You could say a lot of things about Lynn but no one could call her a bad mother. Lynn was the most important person in Kelly’s life, how could she not be? Enough time hadn’t passed yet for Kelly to feel equally comfortable with her father. What could he do to reassure her? Mitch’s thoughts immediately went to Jessie.

    “You want Daddy to go get Jessie for you baby?”

    Kelly nodded a tearful reply.

“Anything for my baby,” Mitch smiled, kissing Kelly’s cheek. “Daddy’s gonna go get Angel to sit with you while he goes get Jessie, okay?” Grabbing his wallet and keys, Mitch hurried down the stairs to find Angel.

    He found Angel sitting at the bar sipping a drink. “Buddy, I need you to do me a favor,” Mitch said, voice pleading.

    “Tonight you could ask me for anything,” Angel grinned.

    “I’m gonna go get Jessie. I can’t seem to settle Kelly down..”

    “At this hour? Why don’t you call her and..” But it was too late. Mitch was already flying out the door.

Jessie was startled by the phone, and scrambled to get it. It was Harry the doorman saying Mitch was downstairs. Something had to be terribly wrong.

    Mitch poked at the elevator button to Jessie’s floor, willing the elevator to move faster. Adrenaline still pumped through his veins as he strode to her door and quickly knocked.

    “Mitch?” Jessie said, in barely a whisper, “is everything okay?”

    Mitch had never expected the vision that stood before him. Still groggy from sleep, her long hair was tossled, tumbling in wild mess around her face and shoulder. She had rushed to the door without even thinking about her attire, the old tshirt she had donned as a pajama becoming translucent in the light of the hallway, revealing the luscious curves of her breasts. Mitch’s brain was in overload, and he struggled to get himself together enough to speak.

    “No..yes..” Mitch stammered.

    “What’s wrong?” Jessie pleaded, her big green eyes pleading for an explanation.

    Right then all thoughts of Kelly faded into the background, Mitch’s entire being transfixed on Jessie. But he couldn’t move, his body betrayed by his overloaded mind. As if in a dream, Jessie reached out through his fog and took his hand in hers.

    “It’s okay, you can tell me,” she said, pulling him through the doorway and into her arms for a warm embrace.

    Mitch drank in her warmth, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close so that he could nuzzle his face against the soft fragance of her neck. After a couple of moments of bliss, he summoned the strength to speak.

    “It’s Kelly. She has a fever. Lynn’s out of town. The only person I could think about was you..” The worry about Kelly had helped bubble to the surface what he really needed, to show Jessie how much he wanted her. Before letting her go, he let the words tumble of out his mouth. “I need you Jessie,” Mitch said, letting his emotion envelope his words.

    Jessie’s heart stopped. Never before had she heard Mitch say those words, and she lifted her head to lovingly caress his cheek. Mitch gazed down out her, passion burning in his eyes, and Jessie’s heart raced as she found herself edging her lips ever closer to his.

    It was all the encouragement and his mouth was on hers. Picking Jessie up, Mitch carried Jessie towards the bedroom. Walking blindly, he bumped the night table spilling a glass of ice water. Laying Jessie on the bed, he turned to clean up the mess.

    “No,” Jessie laughed, “leave it,” she continued, her eyes scanning his face.

      Turning back to the table, Mitch heard Jessie groan her protest, but the spilt glass had given him an idea. He would make the next moments the most pleasurable of her life. Mitch gathered the ice and righted the glass and turned around. He smiled, keeping his mouth closed. Then his lips parted, revealing an ice cube between his teeth.

      Jessie grinned wickedly. “And what do you intend to do with that ice cube?” she asked, coyly.

      In a second Mitch was on the bed, pulling Jessie into his arms, as she laughed and wrestled with him playfully. Mitch pulled her neck over to his mouth and dragging the ice cube down her neck.

      “That’s cold!” Jessie squealed, trying to wiggle free.

      Mitch grinned, allowing the ice cube to slip out of his mouth and down her shirt. His weight still on her body he waited, a wet spot starting to form, in the valley of her breasts.

      Jessie glared down at her shirt. “Oh Mitch, you bad boy,” she smiled. Shivering, her nipples hardening. “You don’t play fair,” she said, huskily.

      Jessie’s eyes sparkled as she looked Mitch dead in the eye and she soon had both hands on him. Dragging her left hand up his chest flirtatiously, Jessie stopped at his lips, softly tracing them with her fingers. Yearning to feel her touch on his bare skin, Mitch struggled to pull off his shirt, leaning back down. He stopped, as Jessie trailed her right hand down the front of his body, dragging her long nails against his skin and teasing the hair on his chest. Jessie’s hand continued its descent until it reached his thigh, her thumb teasingly brushing against his crotch. Two could play at this game. Keeping her eyes fixed on his, Jessie pulled open his fly, brushing over his throbbing manhood, before slipping into the opening in his underwear.

    Mitch grinned, feeling her starting to take control. “I’ll get it,” he said, lifting up her shirt and slipping his head under it.

    “Mitch.. get it,” Jessie pleaded, feeling the ice cube slide down into the dimple of her belly button.

    The scruff on Mitch’s shin was making Jessie giggle. Her shirt was tightly stretched over Mitch’s head so he could clearly see the ice cube melting on Jessie’s hot body. His lips curled over the cube, and taking it between his teeth, Mitch slowly began to pull his head out when he caught sight of Jessie’s breasts. Her chest was heaving with desire, the two mounds of pleasing flesh, nipples pink and erect enticing him.

    Mitch’s eyes gleamed and with a wicked smile, he eased Jessie’s shirt off, giving him ample access to her beautiful breasts. Refocusing his attention on her belly button, he dipped the ice cube in it, causing Jessie’s stomach to clench. He had her under his spell again. Slowly he glided the ice cube up to her breasts and stopped, feeling her legs slide up against each other as she threaded his fingers in Mitch’s hair and moaned, wrapping one of her legs around his.

    Jessie seemed to glow beneath him, her warmth radiating against his skin. Dragging the ice cube against the sensitive skin of her breasts was driving her crazy with desire. Mitch felt Jessie’s leg squeeze his as he traced her nipple with the ice cube, stroking her other breast with his free hand.

     He could hear her breath quicken, her moans deepen, as her hands fought to find access to his groin where she could turn the tables on him. But her hands fell limp as Mitch traced wet circles around her nipples, and she arched her back with pleasure. Ice cube gone, Mitch suckled her nipple, feeling his arousal press against her silky panties. His right hand slid down her stomach, along the curve of her hip to her thigh, and Mitch slipped his fingers under the wasteband of her panties. He could feel Jessie struggling to lift her hips so that he could slip her panties offs and he obliged.

     Mitch wanted to tell Jessie how much he wanted her but the passion of feeling Jessie’s hands on his manhood left him mute. Mitch fought to concentrate. He had waited to long for this moment and was going to say everything he had ever held back. Groaning with pleasure, he lifted himself back up, kissing Jessie passionately, his hand slipping between her creamy thighs to the warm, wetness of her folds, pulsating under his touch.

     “I want you now Jessie,” Mitch moaned, between breaths, “I want to feel myself deep inside of you..”

     Jessie took his erect penis in her hands, stroking it, shutting Mitch up as he moaned his desire into her ear. “Then take me,” she gasped, easing her thighs open.

     Mitch was unable to hold back his passion any further and pushing himself onto his hands, he straddled Jessie’s body and gazed deeply into her big, passion filled eyes, Jessie’s hands reaching for him as he positioned himself at her moist opening

     “I want you Mitch..”

    Mitch woke up with a jolt, sitting straight up on the couch. He was covered in sweat, and fought hard to catch his breath. Wiping the sweat off his brow with the back of his hand, he leaned over the arm of the couch. Good, at least Kelly was still asleep.   Not wanting to wake her up now that she was sound asleep, Mitch forewent a shower, opting for just changing his sweat laden tshirt instead. Slowly he lay back down, pounding his fist into his pillow before stuffing it under his head and stared up at the ceiling. “Damn,” he groaned aloud. It was going to be a long night..

Copyright © 1998 Susana Audrain  and Richard Tingle All rights reserved, which includes the right to reproduce this novel or portions thereof in any form whatsoever except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law.

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