Midday sun high up in the sky, bringing down the hammer and pulling up the mercury like nobody's business. Sonny sat in the tolerable level of protection offered by the shady porch, his feet up on the bannister. Christ, the swamps had run dry enough to fill the air around him- he reckoned he could fill a glass with the stuff just by waiving it around. He had a fine and steady trickle of sweat working its way down either side of his body, a shower whose perfume appealed only to those receptive to its wiles.
"Ain't that the way it is," he said, to nobody in particular. Jeff looked up at him from the floorboards. Poor dog was so baked by the heat that he barely had the will to pant, his tongue hanging out limply in a vain attempt to look for cool relief. Sonny reached down to tussle the golden retriever's head, but all Jeff could do was look pleadingly up: a hose, please, a hose full of spring water, a sprinkler full of things to bite- anything.
"Sorry, bud, it ain't gonna happen. Just you and me out here sweatin' bullets. Mutt and Jeff, huh?"
Jeff lowered his eyes to the horizon, oblivious to the classics of comic literature. Sonny sighed in resignation. There just wasn't any pleasing some people, dogs especially. "Ah, well. That's a good boy, now." An obligatory pet was followed by canine murmurs of appreciation, the energy to do much else clearly evaporated. His tongue had retreated back into his jaw, probably to prevent the loss of his doggy fluids to the pool of air outside him.
The tall glass of iced tea, richly devoid of sweetness, sat next to him, sweating as much as the man himself. Sonny wiped his brow and helped himself to a gulp of the stuff, savouring the lemonade tinge. The stuff was heading to the point where it'd be warm as the baked earth, but he gagged it down. Looking over at Jeff's water dish, he couldn't help but think of how much like a hottub it would be like. Metal dishes in the heat- bad idea.
A hottub, shit, that's what he needed. Well, that and a better water line. You wanted a shower, you'd best not be doing the dishes at the same time. If you went and flushed, you might be waterin' the lawn for another couple of days-- not that there was much lawn to water. Baked dirt, baked and fried.
A cascade of lavender, lingonberries, and tons of other essences Sonny would've had to have gotten a Botany degree to appreciate tumbled out the screen door, and a full flow of chestnut hair followed it. At its peak, the high and dry Mayella, brown-eyed and blow-dried.
"Shower's free." she said. He raised his glass in recognition.
The screen door screeched open on its hinges at the slightest touch, but everyone was too used to it to wince. Mayella stepped out onto the porch, Lady Godiva-style. Sonny's eyebrows weren't the only things raised.
"Last I checked, we had neighbours, darlin'."
Her lips drew slowly to either side of her face, not a crease in sight, half-lidded eyes tip-toeing down his sleeveless undershirt to the noticeable outwards warp in his jeans, bringing to mind cringe(and moan?)-worthy jokes about water damage and the effects of a moist environment. She swung one leg over him bringing her to a sitting position on his lap. Wearing panties as she was, there was little else on her, though usually in this position, he would have been. She leaned in, oppressing with hot breath and lips that always looked like they'd been just-licked (at least, that would be the politest way to describe them).
"Last I checked, I just told you the shower was ready. You're going to have to take off them clothes, else I might have to do it for you."
Of course she would have to.
Of course she did, but at least she had the decency to wait for the bedroom.
He watched from the head of the bed, clenched in a cold sweat as she put herself at his feet, still clinging to the bedpost, gliding up and down it with teasing slowness. He watched helplessly as she arched, back to him, bringing her hips toward him, almost in grasping distance of his hungry touch. Pulling himself up from a lying position did too little for control. Ache refused to sweat itself from his body as he watched her, unable to taste.
What would always be an eternity before she turned to face him, hands running toyingly up and down her stomach, telling him what wasn't his. She grabbed his legs, inching her way upwards, telling him what was hers.
Not that she wasn't right, of course.
"I think-" she said, her hand moving back to thumb down the black linen. "I'd like to do bad things to you." The full-body equivalent of a knee-jerk hit him. "You ain't going to get cleaner by any measure." He finally reached for her, her smooth and dry coolness turning to spreading warmth. She pulled him in, and he pulled back. Shared canine-bearing grins, hers supported by a firm grip on his ass. She knocked her head back, and flexed her hips.
"Mmmhh. Nothin' better for a hot day."She said, breath imperceptibly quickening. She planted her hand on his chest, as much to support her as push him down into the mattress, push her into him.
"'Cept, maybe a shower. Jesus." he gasped, not unkindly.
"So I lied. Shower ain't free." She turned down to him, brushing his cheeks with hers. "Not that the price is too dear, of course."
Ain't that the way it is, he thought.