The Point of It
You never know until you try how hard you can push a car. Duff downshifted the Jag through the tight curve from the high pass from South Beach past the gap between the towers, down through all the three bridges to Sandy Point and floored it, watching Rayne laugh, laughing with her, her hand on his thigh. He blew through the stoplight and put the car on the curb trying to park it with her hand between his legs. It was only the second time he had been here, and it was a longer drive than he remembered.
From the moment they'd left the after-party, sparks of sexual tension bounced off them like downed livewires in a thunder storm. Rayne unlocked the door, forcing the key, and turned toward him before it was fully open. She gripped his jacket, tore at his shirt, grasped at his belt. Duff backed her into a table that slammed against the wall with the impact, little trinkets falling and breaking as he took her mouth. He skimmed his hands along her body, against the fabric of her dress. Silk, like her hair, all that long silk hair he could catch and tie.
Wind off the bay blowing hot and hard slammed a shutter, another one, palmettos rattling against the siding, something else in the house banging and swinging against the wall, headlights flashing from the bridge through the windows open to the west. It was dark in the room, a fan spinning and pounding on nothing but hot air Duff pressed his knee between her legs and she opened for him eager and wanting. Rayne broke the kiss, gasping for air as her head fell backward exposing her long slender neck. He lowered his gaze to the rise and fall of her chest, the swell of her breasts, and the erratic pulse beating against her neck.
"I looked for you, did you look for me?" Her long fingers wrapped around the collar of his shirt, his jacket already on the floor, as she pulled him close.
Did he look for her? He had thought about nothing but the surfeit of gold he had in his hands and went down again into her mouth. "Yes, il mio dolce, every minute. Didn't you see me looking for you? I know you saw me."
He moved his hands behind her and grabbed her ass pressing her against him as he moved hard against her. Rayne responded with a soft moan as she came up against his erection. She'd torn open his shirt, buttons bouncing on the floor, caressing his chest and wrapping her arms around him from underneath his shirt. Her breasts rubbed against him and it took all his self-control not to rip the fabric, rip all of it.
He needed to slow her down--just a little in order to remain in control. Duff held her against him and glanced around. Despite the small touches of decor, the place was a dump. A buzz of electricity caught his attention despite the fact that all the lights were off. Her gear rested against a wall where only one outlet was visible. Why would she live here? This was unacceptable and he briefly considered and then dismissed the idea of taking her to his place. Her bedroom must be in the back of the house and as he attempted to guide her toward it, the floor sagged beneath them.
A wave of unease hit him. She could live anywhere she wanted so why did she choose to live in a lopsided cottage with a broken floor? Rayne tried to move him toward the bedroom but he held her in place. "Wait, cara, why are you living in this place? It's not safe."
Rayne looked up at him, her golden eyes alight and searching. She took a step back and a long hard breath and answered. "Because it's close to Jimmy."
Jimmy paced back and forth from the front porch to the back. Restless, he rummaged through drawers looking for something, anything to settle his nerves. He had that dope hidden behind the old dead plants in his bathroom but he promised not to use it--unless he couldn't control the demons inside him. Just a little wouldn't hurt. Just a little to take the edge off. Jimmy shuffled through the rocks until he found the stash. The dealer he got it from cut it with crack. Primo. Good shit, at least it was when he bought it. Probably still was.
Quickly rolling a few joints, he held them reverently in his hand and headed to the kitchen. There was an old bottle of cheap whiskey behind the rolls of paper towels and soda next to the garbage can. His great-aunt Millie called it rotgut. Jimmy didn't care. Cheap whiskey worked faster. He lifted the bottle to his mouth and drank deep. It burned going down but before long, he felt the booze warming him from the inside out.
Jimmy wandered into the living room, picked up the Martin, and sat on the floor with his legs tucked beneath him. The glimmer of an old melody came to him as he picked absently at the strings. He'd begun a song for Rennie a long time ago when she first moved in with him. When she was with him. He played it again and watched in fascination as the tune seemed to float from the strings and spin before evaporating into thin air.
"I must be fucking high."
Jimmy chuckled, took another long drink of whiskey, and continued to play. He'd done a simple four-card spread earlier. Unable and unwilling to accept the outcome, he did it again. And again. Each time the tarot presented the same story--abandonment, betrayal, and death. Jimmy ran a hand through the spread scattering the cards everywhere. Maybe he'd read it wrong. He was high after all.
Jimmy set the Martin down, picked up an old picture frame with a photo of Rennie, and went upstairs. He climbed out of the back window and pulled himself up to the roof. Last time he'd been up here--no, don't think about last time. She came back last time.
Maybe this time too. Maybe not.
He fumbled for one of the joints he'd rolled and the picture slipped from his hand, slid down the slope of the old shingled roof, and fell to the ground. Jimmy heard the glass shatter as it hit the rocks below.
He'd jumped from the roof plenty of times when he was drunk. It wasn't that high. The sand would probably keep him from doing any real harm to himself. The night air was still and so heavy he thought he could even float down. As he wrapped his fingers around the neck of the bottle, Jimmy drew a sharp breath and leaped.
Jimmy staggered to the spot where the frame landed, pulled off his shirt, and dropped to his knees. He picked up one of the larger shards of glass and smiling, turned it round and round in his fingers. He then tried to focus on the photo but his vision kept playing tricks on him and Ren's face kept dissolving before his eyes, fading in and out. Spreading his shirt out, Jimmy placed the picture along with the broken pieces of glass in the middle and wrapped it up.
On unsteady legs, he made his way to the palm tree a few feet away, dug a deep hole in the sand, and buried the bundle. He placed a cluster of stones near it as a marker. Should he say something? Jimmy laughed nervously, took a long drink, and lit up. He shifted until his back was against the tree and stared out over the water. His heart was racing, pounding against his chest in an erratic cadence. Unbidden images of his tarot spread floated in front of his eyes and he swatted them away but they kept returning.
The Lovers, Five of Cups, The Tower, Death.
"Just you an' me tonight, Mary Jane." Jimmy fired up another joint and inhaled deeply. He'd forgotten how potent a joint cut with crack could be. His pulse racing, his breathing shallow, Jimmy shut his eyes and began to hum an old song his Gran sang when he was a boy. Soon his breathing slowed and became as thick as the heavy night air. He drifted, suspended between consciousness and oblivion.
"Sing me to sleep Gran." Hush. Sleep now, baby boy. Gran's gonna take you home. She stroked his hair gently. His eyelids were too heavy. He could sleep. Yes, he could do that. Jimmy sifted through the sand until his hand touched the frame. Rennie. If he didn't let go, he'd never lose her. The thought was comforting and he sighed, letting go, one more breath.