Cruel Infidelity

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There’s a sound of a low rumble outside growing louder as it nears. She jumps up from the gray sofa, instantly recognizing Andrew’s dual custom exhaust. She watches as he slowly exits his car. He faces toward her white Kia Optima and then looks up at the apartment. A jolt of electricity runs through her when they make eye contact. She holds his gaze and gives a little wave. He waves back with one stiff-handed movement, his eyes squinting. Then he disappears below the overhang.

She opens the front door, listening as he trudges up the stairwell. Giddy excitement courses through her. She can’t wait to tell him all about her argument with Chris.

“Well isn’t this a lovely surprise,” he says, smiling. “I thought Heather had work today.”

Tammy’s lips quirk to the side. “She does. I kind of dropped by as she was leaving.”

“You know, it’s illegal to have your windows tinted that dark, right?”

“Oh, I know. I’ve already been pulled over for it.” She shrugs. “I hope my being here isn’t too intrusive for you… I just needed to clear my head.”

He brushes past her, throwing his coat onto a chair. “You’re fine,” he says, turning to face her. “So what’s going on?”

“Heather didn’t tell you?” She bites her lip.

Andrew screws his face up, fishing his phone from his front pocket. He taps the screen. “Ahh,” he says. “Busy day, I forgot to check my texts.” He waggles the phone in his left hand before setting it on the table. “So an argument, then.”

“Yeah, it’s stupid. Just more of his controlling, insecure bullshit.”

“Ah.” He raises his eyebrows, pressing his lips together. “I know how that is.” He glances at her, sucking his top lip in. “Does he at least know where you are?”

Tammy shakes her head. “No, I didn’t tell him… I couldn’t.”

“Why not? You know he’ll worry.”

She sighs, folding her arms. “The argument was about you,” she trails, averting her gaze.

“Well,” he starts, loosening the red tie from his collar. “It’s almost 6:00 and as usual, dinner isn’t anywhere in sight. I’m going to slip into something a little more comfortable. Do you have anywhere in mind?”

The corners of Tammy’s mouth curve downward, her eyes wide. “Like, for food?”

“Yes, are you in the mood for anything in particular?”

“What time does Heather get off work? Shouldn’t we wait for her?”

His brows crinkle. “Don’t make it weird.”

“I don’t really care, maybe Long Horn or something.”

* * *

“Booth or bar?” The hostess asks.

“Booth,” Andrew says, sliding his eyes over Tammy. She pretends not to notice.

Andrew orders a 20 oz beer and Tammy orders a Pearsecco.

“Pearsecco, huh?” he asks, sliding the glass toward him. “Do you mind?”

“Go for it,” she encourages.

“Hey, that’s pretty good. I thought it’d be sweet.”

“I like it dry,” she teases, sliding it close to her.

Andrew’s eyebrows raise. He takes a sip of his beer, exhaling as he sets the glass down. Tammy tilts her head slightly forward, glaring at him under cocked eyebrows.

A portly blonde waitress approaches the table. “Are you ready to order?” she shouts, competing with the loud jeering from the bar as well as the blaring music. She looks at Andrew expectantly, her black pen poised just above her pad of paper. Tammy stares at her ample ass and large tits. “And how about you, hun?”

She takes in a gulp of air, “Oh I’ll take the rib eye,” she says, closing the menu.

“And what do you want for sides?”

Tammy jerks her head up, “Oh,” she says, her eyes momentarily pausing at the waitress’s glittered cleavage. She shifts her gaze quickly up, now staring at her thick brown eyebrows and forest green eyes shadow. “Baked potato and green beans?” She bares her teeth awkwardly.

“Okay, I will get that going for you guys,” she shouts.

“What’d you think of her?” Andrew asks.

Tammy scrunches her nose up. “Why? Thinking about bedding her?” She’s relieved he didn’t mention her anxiety. She’s always had an issue ordering food. Just saying the names irked her. Especially words like steak, rib, butter, cream, and cheese.

Andrew leans back. “Maybe,” he says, bringing his beer to his lips. “I could, you know.” He stares at her over the mouth of his glass.

“Yeah, I know you could, and she looked like she wanted you.” Tammy leans forward. “You and every other guy in this place,” she adds, jutting her chin forward. He glances in the direction of her chin. The waitress’s ass is in its full round glory as she bends over in front of a group of guys. “There’s only one kind of girl who rubs glitter all over her tits,” she says, taking a final gulp of her drink before setting it down with a hard thud.

“It takes one to know one,” he replies, looking at her closely.

“Whatever you say, Casanova.”

He smirks. “So here’s the question.” He eyes her. “Who do I take home tonight, you or her?”

Caught off guard, she quickly collects herself, hoping he hadn’t noticed. “So what type of relationship are you and Heather in exactly?”

“I pay the rent and therefore I do as I please,” he says, his features hardening.

“Well, she’s clearly over the moon for you. Do you feel the same?”

Andrew’s lips form into a hard line. He reaches for his beer again, this time looking at the waitress.

“Does the waitress remind you of her? Is that your type?” she pesters.

“That is not my type,” he answers firmly. “Never has been, never will be.” He glares at her.

Tammy motions for a waiter. “Hey, can you get me another of these, please?” she asks, pointing to her glass.

“Uh, yeah, sure thing,” he says, taking the glass from her.

“I’d fuck him,” she announces. “Do you think I could?” The mood change is palatable. She swallows hard, forcing a carefree expression on her face, though she knows she’s pissed him off.

“I don’t like pigs,” he says, sucking on a tooth.

Tammy nods. “Drink your beer, you’ve barely touched it.”

“They’re dirty and easy.”

“Here you are,” the waiter says, placing a full glass in front of her. Tammy wipes her eye with her thumb, not looking at Andrew.

The waitress arrives with their orders just in time to break the awkward silence. “Can I get you anything else? Any refills?”

“Oh, no,” Tammy says, smiling. “The waiter over there just got me.”

Andrew turns to the waitress. “You wanna come home with me after?” She throws a quick wide-eyed glance at Tammy. “Don’t worry about her, she’s just my sister.”

“Oh,” she says, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear. “Well, I mean, I don’t get out of here until nine, but I can give you my number.”

“So I’ll see you at nine, then,” he says, winking.

She smirks, shooting another nervous glance at Tammy. “Yeah, sure. Cool.” She walks away with a slight strut.

Tammy raises her eyebrows but says nothing. She cuts into her steak and takes a bite. “So how’s work?” she asks, hoping to change the subject.

Andrew shrugs, grunting.

The waitress walks by again, grinning at him. He sets down his fork and knife. “You know what? I don’t have to wait,” he says, standing.

Tammy looks at him. “What?” she asks, a bit too quietly. Before she can say anything else he’s out of his seat and following after the waitress. She turns, watching as he escorts her outside, his hand on her back.

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