Playing with Fire

playing with fire pic 2He’d seen her coming down the hall that morning, saw the invitation in her eyes. She’d been flirting with him for months and he’d done nothing to stop it.

He’d been happily married for eighteen years with a beautiful wife and two kids. He should have been content in his life. He should have turned down the lunch invitation. He never should have ordered an alcoholic beverage. He hadn’t had a drink for nine years. He’d never cheated on his wife.

But here he sat at a bar across the table from Desiree Nichols with a half-eaten Reuben on the plate in front of him and getting buzzed on his second Rum & Coke.

Desiree turned on that charming smile that made men turn to clay in her hands. “Ever since the first day I met you, I knew you were going places. You’re smart, charismatic…attractive. It’s not exactly surprising Chambers is promoting you to VP.”

David grinned at the praise. He knew he was playing with fire, but this felt too good.

He was seeing double when they finally left the bar.

He tripped over the curb and Desiree laughed. “I’d better drive.”

He didn’t argue.

The clock on her dashboard read 4:03. How long had they been there?

He closed his eyes and, when he opened them again, he found they were outside her house.

“What are we doing here?”

“Well, you can’t go back to work in that condition,” she said, amused. “Come on inside. You can sleep it off.”

They got out of the car and he watched her walk to the door, hips swaying in the too tight pencil skirt.

“Are you coming?”

The look on her face clearly said she had more in mind for him than sleeping off the liquor.

The shadows of darkness were growing longer as the late afternoon sun sunk deeper down in the sky.

Suddenly his mind was filled with images of his family—his children, his wife.  He loved them.

What was he doing here?

Words from his pastor’s sermon on Sunday skittered through his mind. He could picture the cross up at the front of the church.

What was he doing here?

He was suddenly disgusted—with all of this and with himself for ever letting it go this far.

He shook his head. “No.”

He turned and started walking. He’d catch a cab home.


© Whitney L. Schwartz

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