Snippet: Hooked – Men are complicated
Hazel could hear Steve banging around in the lounge room setting up the stereo. She unpacked sheets and stacked them neatly on the top shelf of linen press, which was already lined with the pages of a Women’s Weekly from last year. There was an interview with Gina Lollobridgia. She stood on her toes and turned the page around to read the headline. Men are wonderful but husbands—too complicated.
She smiled. Gina was smart. But then she’d never met Steve. Because forget husbands—men were too complicated. One great hulking spunk of a man in particular.
In the lounge room Steve swore. There was a word Hazel didn’t catch then he ground the word ‘mother’ out like it tasted bad. He finished with the word ‘cock’ and it stabbed at her like anticipation. She kicked off her shoes and leaned around the doorway. There he was on his back, his head and arms under Gayle’s stereo unit. The top button of his jeans was undone and he muttered to himself while he tried to do whatever it was he was doing.
All the little muscles that held her centre together tightened up involuntarily as she looked at him. She wet her lips. He was the perfect synergy of mass and strength, height and weight, softness and rigidity. The way his skin sucked against his rib cage, the ridges of his abdomen shifting slightly as he moved his arms where different muscles bunched. The sprinkling of hair over his chest was wiry looking and now she knew it felt wiry too. He had one leg bent, foot flat on the floor, the skin of his knee visible through the slash in his jeans. The other leg was splayed out across the olive green carpet. She had to put her hands in her pockets to stop herself going to tickle that dirty foot. He deserved it. He wouldn’t see it coming and she’d be able to get away quick. It was entirely fair, it was only a tickle and damn she wanted to touch him even if it was only the callus under his toes. Goddamn, she wanted to lie down beside him, run her hands all over him and lick his stomach, run her tongue over the jutting edge of his ribcage into the hollow of his belly and down the trail of softer hair to the waistband of his jeans.
She shook her head and turned away. Better not to get caught out looking at him. There was probably drool on her chin. She touched