Voices from the Web - Extract

Kane - Short story

Kane arched his back, then pushed even deeper inside me. I suppressed a gasp by concentrating on his face - a hard, dark, bony structure, an open mouth and screwed-up eyes, which made him look deceptively vulnerable, like a panther yawning.

I raised my head with an effort, so that I was able to run my tongue around his lips. His eyes opened and he grinned at me. I wanted to pocket that smile. Then he suddenly jerked my thighs so that I shuddered and clutched him, scared to let go in case my body fell apart. We lay like that for a while, then he carefully eased off of me. ‘I definitely will not forget you.’ He was answering a question I’d asked him earlier the same night, when we’d first met at the club.

I reached up to touch his spiky fringe. It dipped down over flat narrow eyes that stared hard into mine. I slid my legs up and down his dancer’s body, trying to recapture the high I got from making love. But it was gone and I couldn’t bring it back, even if he did look like a Prince. There was nothing left for me to do here so I stepped off the mattress, climbed into my clothes and made for the door. Maybe he wouldn’t forget me, but I’d soon forget him.

My hand was ready to catch the door handle when he called me back. ‘You’re not gonna just run out on me, are ya?’ He’d put his pants on and was lying back against the wall. Man, he was good-looking. But so were lots of other guys, I reminded myself. ‘I already told you,’ I said quickly, ‘I ain’t looking to stick around.’

He nodded. ‘I remember. I guess I figured you’d change your mind after - lots of girls have.’

‘I’m not lots of girls, Kane. I betcha can’t even remember my name, hey.’ He stood up, reaching for his T-shirt. ‘At least let me walk you home. This area ain’t so hot - Layla.’ I laughed then, because I was glad he knew my name. It made me agree to let him see me down.

We stepped out into the street and he took my hand, linking his fingers through mine. ‘What’s that for?’ I wanted to know. I guess I expected him to say ‘Cause you’re cute’ or something else dumn, but he didn’t. He said, ‘You think you’re pretty special, don’t ya?’

The way he said that made me look at him, not as a lover, but as a person. This guy was on my level. ‘Do you live there?’ I looked back at the dirty squat we’d just left. ‘Sometimes. My cousin’s a gangster, he’s gonna fix me up. Knows this drum down Park Avenue way.’ I thought about Kane dressed up in a suit, drinking cocktails in one of the rooftop penthouses on Park Avenue. I didn’t like the image and almost said so. But then, I hardly knew the guy. Instead, I asked him how long he’d been in town. ‘Long enough.’ He smiled and again, I wanted to snatch it and keep it all to myself. ‘About three weeks. I like this place. I could hang out here for a while.’

‘You move around a lot, huh?’

‘I like to travel. All the way across America and back again. How about you? Been here all your life?’

‘That’s about to change. One of the guys from the club, André, he knows this club in the city. They need a dancer real bad. That’s where I’m headed as of tomorrow.’

‘Just like that. Think they’ll have you?’

‘As a favour to André. He owes me.’

‘How about I come with you?’

I stopped and dropped his hand. ‘What d’ya mean, come with me? I don’t do the boyfriend thing, remember?’

‘Who said anything about boyfriends? We could just hang out. I mean, who do you know in the city?’

© Omma Velada 2004

Voices from the Web
(UKA Press, 2004)
Short story anthology £9.99
Available to order from Waterstones, Borders and all good bookshops
(quote ISBN no: 1-904781-23-3)

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