My best friend Den always used to tell me that no man in his right mind would be able to resist the charms of Lanna Billings. He was mostly right about that. If I hadn’t been tripping, I might have been unable to stop her from taking me away for a night.
Lanna was a dream, she was. Big doe eyes set in a brunette skull atop a curvacious body that begged to be serviced. She asked for it with those endowments of hers. And her eyes asked for more. She swallowed you whole with those big eyes of hers. She pulled at your heart… and most of the time, she managed to rip it from your chest.
But I had been tripping when my time came. I saw her through an inebriated filter and the goddess looked nothing like her priests so reverently preached. Her lips were too full and inviting–too cumbersome. Her hips were too wide, her ass was too small, and her nose was too close to her brow. She was so devilishly flawed, I almost laughed in her face.
And there I was about to refuse her. And I did refuse her. And Den would later call me crazy and an idiot, but he didn’t know. He didn’t know what she’d done after I refused her. That’s the trick, ya see.
Because the goddess was used to the sacrifices made in her name–the flesh given to her without thought–that she was absolutely insulted by my assertion that she wasn’t good enough for even me. You can imagine a proud woman like that wouldn’t care much for a man like me, or my drunken opinion, but that’s where you’d be wrong. The stranger’s opinion meant the most to her. The ton‘s appreciation had to be absolute with her, otherwise, what had been the point of all that work she’d put in for the sake of her reputation?
She switched character like you wouldn’t have believed. She put on another face–coy and seducing disappeared to be replaced by assertive and domineering. But I thought she was rude, so I rejected her again. And she didn’t like that, so she cried about it and begged my forgiveness. I saw through that too and waved her off. I left the bar by that point. Lanna followed after me, pissed off to Hell and raging at my stupidity.
“There are plenty more targets back in that place, if ya wanna give up,” I told her in a low, slurred tone. In all honesty, I would have been relieved if she gave up. Then, by golly, I’d have one helluva story to tell the boys.
“And risk not seeing the one decent man in this place go home all alone?” she replied with a manipulative deftness that almost made me believe she had every good intention of doing right by me. But again, I refused her, and again, she pursued me.
We went on like that for almost an hour, her trying again and again to get through to me. I lit a cigarette and finished it to pass the time. Finally, what really bothered me about the whole thing finally came out as I began to sober up. “Why me?” I asked her, interrupting whatever sale she was trying to make at the time. I lit another cigarette.
It cut her off pretty effectively. I guess she hadn’t really been focusing on me–only the acquisition of another body; another name she could cross off her wishlist. Her flustered expression tightened into frustration and she stabbed a finger into my chest, rocking me slightly. The ash off the tip of my cherry landed on her finger and she pulled away without noticing. “Because you’re different,” she said.
“Because I’m difficult, you mean,” I replied unthinkingly. “Because I’m a challenge.”
She actually mulled that one over. “Maybe… Yeah.”
I took a long drag off my second fag and leaned against my car. “I’ve said it before. You’d have more luck with one o’ the fellas back in the bar, Lanna.”
“I don’t know your name,” she said with an accusatory tone.
I threw up my arms. “What the hell are you doing out here, sister?! You don’t even know my damn name and you’re trying to convince me to sleep with you! That’s really reassuring, you know that?” I laughed a little and said quietly, “Everybody knows your name, Miss Billings.”
She shrugged and joined me in my reclining. She crossed her arms and let out a slow breath. “You coulda said you weren’t lookin’ for any,” she said slowly.
“I did… multiple times, Babe.”
She sighed again and tucked a loose strand of dark behind an ear. “You wanna just talk then?”
“No taste for it anymore?” I wondered out loud.
Lanna shook her head. “To be honest, I’ve kinda gotten sick of it.”
“Why not stop then?”
“Kinda like alcohol. You have bad times every now and then and you tell yourself, ‘No more! From now on, I’ll do less and I’ll try to get right.'” She smirked at the thought. “But alcoholics say that all the time, and if they can’t get help from somebody, then they look for help in familiar places, like in the bottom of a bottle… and they never find it.
“It’s a vicious addiction. Sex, I mean.”
I took a drag. “I can imagine,” I said with a raised eyebrow in thought. “So… what’re ya gonna do?”
“I dunno. Thinking about running away. Maybe going somewhere where nobody knows me.”
“That’s pretty drastic, don’tcha think? I mean, what’s the real wrong that you’ve done here? What are you trying to get outta life that you can’t get here?” I spit. “What I mean is, Lanna. If this really is a vicious addiction you can’t get help with… then how do you suppose changing what’s around you is going to change what’s inside you?”
I felt Lanna’s hypnotizing eyes on me and I was drawn to her gaze. Our eyes locked for a moment and moisture began to build under her brown irises. She didn’t say anything for a long time; just stared at me in not an uncomfortable way. At long last she took one of my hands and pressed it to her cheek for just a moment. Her face and her hand were both warm even in the summer night’s cool air; skin as smooth as the creamy silk they compared it to. Then she let me go and turned as if she were leaving for good. Maybe she was, in hindsight.
I flicked my dying cig onto the dirt and twisted my boot toe into it. “My name’s Bleuregard Jason,” I called after her. She stopped in her tracks and turned her head a little to regard me. “Friends call me Blue Jay.”
She smiled then and the light from the bar reflected white light off the tears on her cheeks–the tears that she’d tried to hide from me by turning her back. “See you around, Blue Jay. I hope I see you around, anyway.”
And me seeing her then was probably the last anyone ever saw of Lanna Billings again. My best friend Den always used to tell me that no man in his right mind would be able to resist the charms of Lanna, the goddess. He was mostly right about that. If I hadn’t been tripping, I might have been unable to stop her from taking me away for that night. But I had been.