“This is the Face That We Show All the World” by Paul Haines, page 2

        Maybe I should fuck her again just to give Craig the shits. I hear it's his birthday.
        There's a queue for the urinals so I piss into the sink, splashing a bit onto the tap handles so the fastidious pricks who wash after handling their cocks get a good dose of Haines. Mike, the new sales guy, the current golden boy, saunters in just after I've zipped up.
        'How ya going?' he asks, eyeing up the queue. He's muscly now, only in his early 20s, but I bet it won't last. Him and Carter have been doing some heavy boozing and lunching in the last month leading to year-end. Mind you, Carter's still a lean piece of muscle; fucked if I know how he does it.
        Mike doesn't spare me another glance; he doesn't think I'm a player. I understand this guy. In a way he thinks like me. He's a user and abuser, takes what he wants and only gives when it lets him take a little more. Except he's got no idea. Vogon would love to tear this bastard apart. I know it.
        Back on the dance floor Summer of 69 is getting fists pumping and air guitar thrashing. If I find the DJ, my tie will make a mighty fine noose. The Ice Queen has melted a little, though she's not thrusting her hips to this tune. Craig's doing his best though and his boner is definitely starting to show. I pilfer a drink from one of the tables and slide into the dance floor, amongst the 80s throwback losers singing like they were thirteen again. I slip past Craig and Suzanne, splashing the drink – a vodka and lemonade mind – onto his trousers which cling instantly to his semi.
        'Hey!' yells Craig. He doesn't swear. The ladies don't like it. His hands hover maddeningly unsure of what to do. Does he rub his stiffy dry, does he cover it with his hands? He's looking round but he doesn't see me as I glide back to my table amongst the cover of dancers. People are pointing, laughing and Craig darts off to the bogs to do a little repair work. Hope he remembers to wash his hands.
        Suzanne sits down at our table and eyes me coolly.
        'Where's birthday boy?' I ask.
        Her lips twitch involuntarily, a miniscule movement of muscle dying to react and display emotion, whether it be laughter, anger or rage. Nothing but the sly curl of her lip from where sexiness drips. Duncan's stealing glances as he studies his pint.
        'Coming.' A ghost of a smile on her lips then she looks into the crowd, her fingers tapping on the table to the beat. Long, but not slut-long, manicured nails, gloss no colour. She'd clawed my back and I'd eaten my flesh from beneath her nails. She let me fuck her in the arse shortly after that.
        'Want another drink?'
        'Sure,' she said still staring out at the dance floor. 'Long Island Ice Tea. Craig will have a Stella.'
        I nudge Duncan into action and he stumbles off to the bar.
        I stare at her staring at nothing. We sit in silence. There's nothing to say. There's nothing to do that we haven't already done. I like the silence. You can wrap it around others like a shroud until they come up screaming for air. At times like that you can almost hear what people are thinking. Suzanne turns her head slowly, her neck a cord of taut muscle as it twists on stone shoulders. Only the slight cracks in the pinching of her lips give her away. Her eyes are cold and hateful.
        'You should start looking, Haines.'
        'At what?'
        'Not what.' She allows a smile to creep across those lips. 'For.'
        Before I can ask, Mike sits down at the table next to Suzanne. He starts chatting her up with inane bullshit, slowly turning his back to edge me out of the conversation. What the fuck does she mean 'for'? Her index finger slowly rises from her fist. She doesn't bother to look to see if I've seen the 'fuck you.' She knows I have. Duncan comes back with the drinks and Mike takes Duncan's drink.

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