Her heartbeat thudded in her eardrums. “I swear, I heard a noise,” she whispered.
“You’ve become too uptight for this business, Meredith.”
She scrunched her face into a frown, but he couldn’t see it, as he scanned the yard with his back pressed to hers. That in itself distracted her senses and threw off her game. “And you’re just so smooth.”
His back stiffened. “Shhh. Footsteps.”
Tension transferred from his spine to hers. In that moment, they mimicked two young hares, rump to rump like duelling pistols, crouched by the gate. They ducked their heads to avoid the illumination from the backyard patio lights.
The crunch of footfall on gravel grew fainter and they both exhaled and gulped in a deep breath of air. The daytime case of the yard told them the gravel began about ten feet away from the grassy lawn by the gate, so they knew how close they came to discovery.
“Surely I can do this. It’s just we haven’t done it since…”
“It’s just been a few years, okay?”
“You still want me,” he said.
“Stop it, Roger.”
“You ready to make your move?”
“The house. You’re supposed to disable the cameras.”
“Oh. Uh… yeah.” Thankful for the cloak of darkness, Meredith felt her cheeks flame. The combination of adrenaline and lust made concentration nearly impossible. She and Roger had carried out heists dozens of times before they got married a decade ago. That was supposed to be the beginning of forever and ever. Their vows included staying on the right side of the law. He began a security consulting company, and she worked as a home builder’s office manager. The normalcy drained passion from their lives, leaving divorce their only option. They’d been separated for nearly a year now, neither willing to pull the trigger. The fact he could still kindle passion within her came as a surprise, and made her second-guess their separation.
“Well?” Roger gave her a nudge.
“I’m scared. The guard’s alert. What if I get caught?”
He didn’t answer right away. “You’re the best. Don’t let other stuff get in the way.”
“There’s so much more at stake…”
“Don’t go there, Meredith.”
She couldn’t help it. Their daughter, Lydia, slept under the watch of a trusted babysitter. Jail never frightened Meredith, but fear of failure paralyzed her now.
“You’ve done this many times before,” Roger whispered.
He sighed. “You’re still not moving.”
She relaxed into him. “I can’t.”
He turned to embrace her and kissed her neck.
She tilted her head, leaving herself vulnerable.
“I still love you,” Roger whispered, his lips brushing her ear.
“Give me a reason to love you…”
His lips covered hers with a greedy kiss reminiscent of their early days. She didn’t fight it, but gave in as her nails clawed his back. He guided her to the ground. The moist grass soaking through her clothes didn’t deter her at all. She tugged at his shirt as his hands found their way under hers.
They squinted against the blinding flashlight beam.
Roger released Meredith and they both sat up. “Oh, uh… yeah. Great work, Quin. The Harringtons will be pleased to know the security plan we devised for them cannot be penetrated.”
Quinton Hall raised a skeptical eyebrow. “That’s not all you can’t break through.” His overt stare rested on Meredith’s disheveled blouse.
She blushed again. “I’ll see you at home, babe. Happy anniversary,” she whispered in his ear, giving his lobe a gentle nibble. She avoided Quinton’s judgmental leer as she pulled herself up, and then over, the six-foot-tall block wall.
“We do need to adjust the lighting so this back corner by the gate isn’t shadowed,” Roger said, ignoring his employee’s observation and his wife’s invitation for him to come back home. “We should also suggest a dog.”
“They already have a dog.”
“Security shouldn’t fit in a purse,” Roger said, remembering the nearly-deaf black teacup poodle from the consultation meeting.
Meredith leaned on the other side of the wall, shivers soothed by rubbing her palms over the backs of her arms. She couldn’t determine if her chills originated from the cool cinder blocks, the timbre of his voice, or the buzz of their near-reconciliation.
She broke into a jog toward her car parked several blocks away. A smile played on her lips as she imagined him crawling through her bedroom window later.
Oh, yes, she hoped he’d do the window again- for old times’ sake.
This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly prompt, which is to write a response in 750 words or less (mine is 749) with (1) “Two young hares, rump to rump like duelling pistols, crouched by the gate.” used anywhere in the story, and (2) some reference to the media prompt, the song Glory Box, by Portishead. For this, I made two references to lines in the song: “…the beginning of forever and ever” and “give me a reason to love you.”
The challenge is open to anyone, so if you’re intrigued, click the badge at left to check out the guidelines!
Thanks to all who read beyond the lame title (I swear I could hear the chorus of groans.) This is racier than what I normally write, but I guess the hare prompt lead me down the fast lane. Hares… fast… get it? Ooh, more groans! Seriously, though, I feel this supports marriage in not-too-graphic detail, however, if this offended any readers, I apologize.
Thanks so much for reading!