~ tommy bruschi’s broken heart ~ 5

28 Apr


We made our way through the crowded Liar’s Club and out the front door onto the sidewalk.
The night air sent a shiver through me.
“Are you cold?” Andrea said, as she pulled closer to me.
“No, not really,” I said. “It’s just a bit of a climate change out here.”
She glanced down at my feet, then back up at my face.
“In the future, Tommy, you really should wear socks.”
She hugged my arm and we shared a small laugh.

I had no idea where we were going, but we strolled east on Preston. It was past last call and the street was still deserted. Where were the people that should be leaving the Liar’s Club? I glanced back and the glow from the alcove had disappeared. Tommy and Andrea were alone in their own private world.

Out of nowhere, a big, black Mercedes sedan appeared parked up ahead. We sauntered along towards it. As we neared, I saw the driver’s door open. Then a buzzcut head came into view. Followed by all six-feet-four of Mr. Spiffy.
Oh, shit…this guy is gonna wipe me out.
Andrea saw him and stopped dead right next to the car, she wrapped my arm even tighter and pulled closer to me. The old caveman’s protective instinct kicked in and I decided if she was going to cling to me for protection, I would give it all I had.
Mr. Spiffy came around the front of the car at a clip and headed straight for us. His hand went inside his long black wool coat.
Damn…he’s got a gun.
Andrea squeezed my arm. I watched the devil closing in and imagined apologizing to her as I lay dying on the sidewalk; He had a gun…what could I do?
The hulk stopped in front of us, his hand came out of his topcoat and…he opened the back door of the car.
“Thank you, Tarsa,” Andrea said.
The sound of that angelic voice broke the tension coiled through my body. The menacing figure that I had encountered last night now stood before me a silent, half-smiling, lobotomized giant, holding open a car door for the pleasure of me and Milady.
“Get in, Tommy.” Andrea nudged me. “Or aren’t you cold enough, yet?”

I kept a steady eye on Mr. Spiffy while I angled into the backseat.
Andrea followed me, and even though it was warm and cozy in the car, she slid over close and entwined her arm around mine. Tarsa closed our door smoothly and firmly, hustled around the front of the car and into the driver’s seat, then slowly pulled away from the curb.

The limo’s interior was spacious, upholstered in a luxurious brocade and accentuated by soft amber mood lighting. From the hidden speakers of the car’s million-dollar sound system, a strange mix of Mideastern and Celtic melodies—played; very low and very slow with a rock guitar thrown in for good measure.

It occurred to me as Tarsa turned left at the end of the block, that at least one of us didn’t know where they were going. For that matter, I was clueless about any of what was going on. A few hours ago, I’m sleeping on the boss’s couch, now, I’m riding in the backseat of a very large, expensive car chauffeured by Herman Munster, with weird music on the stereo and a beautiful woman I barely know snuggled up with me like we’re teenagers going to our Senior Prom. I didn’t want to break the spell, but I guess the reporter in me popped out.

“Uh, Andrea…”
“Where are we going?”
She looked up at me like, ‘you silly boy’.
“You missed your bus. I said I would take you home, remember?”
“Yeah, I remember,” I said, my voice sounding weak. “But, does Tarsa know where he’s going? Does he know where I live?”
“Don’t worry about that, Tommy, just relax and enjoy the ride.” She nestled closer to me. “Isn’t it wonderful?”
Yeah, it was wonderful. A little weird, but wonderful.

Tarsa drove and the music played on. Andrea laid her head on my shoulder and purred. We tooled around for some time and from what I could tell by checking landmarks, we appeared to be driving in circles: looping through midtown to Lakeshore Drive then back to the warehouse district near The Liar’s Club. Halfway through our third roundy-round, I decided enough was enough. Lap of luxury or not, I needed answers.

“Andrea, where are we going?”

Then it happened. She brought her face to mine and kissed me. A kiss unlike any I’ve ever had before. An indescribable sensation spread from her soft lips through my whole body. My eyes slowly closed and I was suspended in another place, warm and dark and exotic, like the music pouring into the car.
Andrea pulled her lips away and took my breath with her. I floated back to the here and now and found myself transfixed by those beautiful, dark green eyes. More of those silky little threads spread across my body. An angelic smile flickered across Andrea’s face and then she laid her head back on my shoulder.
I relaxed back into the seat, stretched my legs out and enjoyed the ride.
Man, oh man, this was any guy’s dream come true.
Thoughts ran through my head about how I was the luckiest man in the world to end up with a woman like this, obviously rich, beautiful, loving – then reality kicked its way into the small corner of my mind not consumed by Andrea.
Yeah, Bud, but what about all those trauma scene pictures she ‘just happened’ to be in…and what about this fuckin’ ape, Tarsa…one day they’re Romeo & Juliet the next day, it’s Beauty & The Beast…
A cold chill went through me.
Well, I’ll just ask her about all that stuff…there’s probably some harmless explanation for everything…
The questions forming in my mind were like mice lost in a maze. They all gave up except one mouse that kept scurrying around, determined to find the cheese.

“Andrea, can I ask you something?”
“Yes, Tommy, anything.”
Her languid response made me reconsider, afraid I would ruin a good thing for no good reason, but that mouse roared.
“Andrea, why have I seen you…I mean…you appear in a number of photos I’ve taken at some tragic events…why would you be—”
She touched my lips softly with two fingers and looked deep into my eyes; I didn’t need any more of an explanation than that. The car finally stopped and Andrea glanced out the window.
“Here we are,” she said.

Tarsa opened the car door and we stepped out onto the sidewalk in a neighborhood unfamiliar to me. I turned to Andrea with what I know was a look of complete bewilderment. She giggled through her hand. “I told you I would take you home.”
Andrea’s arm went in Tommy’s and she walked me up the granite steps into her world.
Tarsa hustled ahead of us and opened the front door.
In the foyer, he took our coats and slipped away. Though he appeared now to be nothing more than a chauffeur and butler, I still didn’t trust him. I hawked him until he was out of sight.

As I stepped out of the foyer, my eyes tried to drink in the sumptuous interior of the grand old house and its furnishings. A wide staircase that wound to the upper floors drew my gaze skyward to the intricate, leaded glass dome in the roof high above. A hallway flanked the staircase and led to the back of the house, probably to the kitchen—a kitchen the size of a gymnasium, no doubt.

A large hearth with a brightly burning fire invited me into the great room to my left. The heavy drapes on the windows were closed. In the dim light, I could see no furniture, only works of art. It looked like a museum. Paintings, drawings and tapestries hung on the walls or displayed on easels. Iron, bronze, clay and stone works stood on the bare oak floor or elevated on pedestals. A common theme ran through all the works: the emotions of mankind. Representations of people in attitudes of triumph and despair, joy and death, filled the room.

Andrea stood in the doorway with her arms folded and a look of contentment on her face. I strolled past her and crossed to the other adjoining great room. I discovered more art and artifacts displayed in the the same manner, except for one detail; in front of another large hearth with another bright fire, a furnished living area distinguished this room. To one side sat a large grand piano. On the opposite, a magnificent concert harp. In the center, an inviting, leather love seat faced the fireplace.

I was stunned by the incredible collection in these rooms, seemingly from every era and civilization throughout history. It was all orderly, logical and fascinating. I recalled Andrea saying she was a curator. That certainly didn’t appear to be a lie.

As I stood spellbound in the doorway of the room, I felt Andrea’s hand on my back. I turned around. She looked into my eyes and pulled me to her.
This time, the super-whammy hit.
That first kiss in the backseat of the car was a stone skipping across the water, this one was a boulder tied to my ankle. I swirled lower and lower into a sweet darkness like a diver in the deep blue sea and then slowly floated back up to the surface. I opened my eyes as Andrea pulled away from me and smiled that smile of hers again.

She offered me her hand, and led me up the stairs and into the mystic.
She took me on a journey through time and space, through the flesh and the soul.
I went unafraid, accepted the gifts she gave, accepted them willingly.
After our trip to the edge of eternity and back, I drifted off into the most restful sleep I can recall since the time of no recall, since before the time of being a babe in arms.


So, there I was the next morning, face down on silk sheets, waking up in paradise. I heard Andrea up and moving around but I kept my eyes closed and just listened to her float through the room and enjoyed the whole wonderful thing. Andrea sat down on the edge of the bed next to me. She gently rubbed my back then laid across me and kissed my cheek

“Good morning, Tommy dear.”
I opened my eyes, slightly. “Good morning, Andrea.”
She stayed with her body against mine. I could feel her breathe.
“You were wonderful last night,” she said softly.
I chuckled. She thinks I’m wonderful.
“There are times I’ve been so lonely…it’s not easy, living among mortals, you know. You’ll be such a comfort to me.”
She embraced me by covering me with her body. I felt those silky threads wrap me up like a cocoon. Man, if this ain’t heaven, I don’t know what is…
“It’s a beautiful day,” she whispered, then sat up on the bed. “Let’s get out and enjoy it.”
“Sounds great,” I replied, totally bewitched.

I felt Andrea’s weight lift off the mattress.
Then I opened my eyes fully and watched her shapely derriere as she walked a straight line directly away from me. She stopped at the carved mahogany double closet doors and opened the left side with a graceful flourish. On the back of the door, on a hook, I saw a hanger holding a dark, formal, man’s suit. A dark, formal, man’s suit just like the one Tarsa wore. She brushed it lightly with her fingertips then cocked her head and smiled in approval. She struck a smiling Betty Page pinup pose, looked over her shoulder at me and purred, “I know it will fit you perfectly, Tommy, you’ll look so handsome.”

Right then, a brick came crashing through my lovely glass palace.
A wave of cosmic déjà vu washed over me, smashed me into a rocky shoreline and rendered me immobile.
“Come on, Tommy,” she said, firmly. “I want to walk through the park and I don’t want to be late for brunch.”

My eyes finally went wide open.
Andrea wasn’t naked.
She wore a pair of gossamer gray pantyhose and high heels.
She pulled something from out of the closet and then turned to face me.
The look in her eyes told the whole story: I thought of Tarsa’s hundred-yard stare and understood the deal here; there but for the grace of an earthbound goddess, go I.

“Come on, Tommy, get up,” she said. “I really can’t stand being late.”

My gaze left Andrea’s eyes and traveled down that beautiful face, that graceful neck and those voluptuous breasts, until I beheld my karmic destiny: on the rod of a wooden hanger, two small spring-loaded clips suspended a pair of crisply ironed, black Bermuda shorts.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.



~ All Rights Reserved ~


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