Gentlemen Prefer
Rhonda Hensler

H e gazes at her with unfocused eyes envying the lipstick as it slides across her perfect mouth. He thinks of cherries and last meals. Would she order room service? Pie, perhaps?
"Mercy," he says and she laughs. All breath, no sound. There'll be no pie, he's certain. She perches next to him and smiles sweetly.
Had it been good for her, he couldn't tell. A much better actress than he thought. Bad scripts. Bad casting. Bad luck. She lays her head on his bare chest, her buttery hair tickling his nose. Banana cream.
He often said, "I'd die for a night with her." Then someone warned, "be careful what you wish for." All the best advice comes way too late.
He'd watched her slide a thin piece of celluloid around his wrists and ankles tying him down. Promises whispered. She'd filled his mouth with candy-colored pills and washed them away with champagne poured off her breasts. Fulfilled. Peach pie a la mode.
He didn't blame her. He couldn't. Natural enemies. If you can't say something nice and he hadn't. All the best advice...
She sighs feeling his chest rise and fall for the last time. She was glad she'd waited. He'd been a good sport. He almost understood. After all, critics had been trying to kill her career for years so it was only fair she started killing a few of them.

First published: October 31, 1998