Showing posts with label feminism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label feminism. Show all posts

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Clair was admiring her shoes in the mirror when she heard the loud insistent knocking on the door.  She jumped and then started over to it.  His knock wasn’t quite a cop-knocking because it wasn’t the pounding normally associated with cops, but it was only a few notches down from that.  Clair opened the door and there stood one of the most attractive men she had ever seen.  He certainly hadn’t looked this dapper when they had first met. 
Sergei stood on the other side of the door with a single rose held against his chest, which was covered in a dark blue linen shirt that made his ice blue eyes really pop.  The slacks were also a linen it seemed and in the same shade.  His hair, which he wore just a touch long, was combed over and parted on the side.  It was such a nerd thing to do and it was one of the cutest things Clair had ever seen.  He stood ramrod straight, almost military straight as he let his eyes roam over her.  Clean shaven, his angular jaw line and ridiculous cheekbones were put on display framing his full lips as he softly smiled at her, finally meeting her eyes.
“Good evening Clair.” He drawled smoothly.
For a split second as she stared into his eyes as he smiled down at her, his deep voice caressing her, Clair did something she had never done before.  She went completely blank, no thought would cross her mind as she stared into his eyes.  She felt her mouth open but no words came out.  And that was when panic had started to set in.  Blinking rapidly she stood in the door facing him as her jaw flapped without voicing anything at all. 
Sergei arched a brow at her seemingly enjoying her display.  Mercifully he asked, “Can I come in?”
The question registered and Clair solemnly nodded and stepped aside so he could do just that. As he passed her, the frozen ‘deer in headlights’ feeling she had started to fade.  What in the hell was that, she frantically asked herself.  I acted like a deaf mute for a second there, he’s not that hot!! She could feel the last thought actually being yelled in her mind.  With a deep breath and a concert smile she turned to the large man that was standing in her living room.
“Sorry about that.” She said briefly.

He shrugged casually. “About what, it’s a compliment to render a woman dumb, deaf and blind for a second.” He paused and thought about it some. “Or it’s very sad.” He frowned as he thought about the other end of that.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

The W.A.R.M. Front Series 5 Book Projection

Sandra’s Social (Book One of the W.A.R.M. Front Series) 
Currently Available Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
Dr. Sandra Dalianas is a woman that almost has it all. She has a loving family, good friends, and a thriving feminist movement. Which she feels helps her deal with her historically lack luster love life. On a divergence from her normal path, Sandra meets a dark stranger that intrigues her more than any man ever has. Her gorgeous, arrogant, and disarmingly charming mystery man seems to be at the right place, always at the right time. Almost too right because her feminist shadow life unfortunately puts her in the wrong place at the wrong time. A fact she may live to regret. That is if she lives.

Charlotte’s Chance (Book Two of the W.A.R.M. Front Series) 
Currently Available Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
Charlotte Rhoades had to stand back, and watch her best friend flee for her life with a mystery man that no one even knew she was seeing. Like any good friend she does everything in her power to keep her best friend’s life from falling apart only to realize that the bad guys have mistaken her for her best friend. So she starts running in circles fast to try and throw them off of her trail without letting them know where Sandra is. And just when she thought she was caught, her assailants would disappear. In the mists of all of this political intrigue it took her a while to notice the man that had been following her for weeks now. 

But she knew this man. It was Thomas Glendel, the golden-eyed friend of the man Sandra had left with. He was always there in the background never close enough to touch, but just close enough to affect her. Always right beyond her reach. The problem was that she desperately wanted to reach him.

Brenda’s Bounty (Book Three of the W.A.R.M. Front Series)
Coming January 2017 
Brenda had always admired her W.A.R.M. front founders Sandra and Charlotte.  She saw them as take charge kind of women and completely supported their efforts to retrain men.  So when it was time to step up and take one for the team Brenda didn't hesitate. Hell it should be fun. She figured Jeffrey Aames would be easy to corral, he was a man after all.  If none of the conventional worked she'd go to tried and true tactics to get him to give Sandra the time she needed to let her big bad wolf of a guy settle her problems.  However Jeff was nothing like Brenda thought he would be and offered her a proposition she could not say no to. Even so she wasn't so distracted by the man with the cloud cover eyes and desert cowboy good looks to not notice that she had a lot of company wherever she went. No slouch in the hard to wrangle department Brenda makes plans to keep herself safe in light of the current climate for the women of W.A.R.M.

Rachel’s Resolution (Book Four of the W.A.R.M. Front Series)
Coming November 2017
Rachel Adams had a deep dislike for men that had more to do with being raped a few years prior than anything else.  Even if she hadn’t been, she would’ve been drawn to W.A.R.M. because of the many injustices paid to women she knew that weren’t considered ‘good girls’.  But the rogue feminist group had suited her ‘hands on’ personality. She had been shocked at the message from Deborah stating that W.A.R.M. activities had been officially halted.  Then terrified when Sandra hadn’t returned her phone call.   The very next day a stranger had started working security for the 18-month concert tour she was working. 

When Rey Serrano received a phone call from CIA inside man Thomas Glendel his first response was to hang up.  He had learned the hard way that doing favors for the CIA was bad business.  Then Glendel had said the magic words. The man he owed his life to needed his help.  That had changed everything. Protect Rachel Adams.  But he soon finds out that the only person she is in danger of, is him.

Deborah’s Dilemma (Book Five of the W.A.R.M. Front Series)
Coming March 2018

Dr. Deborah McKilligan Dallas county criminal psychiatrist had been a loner from day one. Somehow Sandra had broken through that and convinced her to be involved in something.  Now as she watched that woman get married it was her job to continue the fight by heading up W.A.R.M.  A year later an odd closed case lands on her desk.  Quickly Deborah realizes that this case was a scam.  Someone high up was trying to cover their tracks.  Looking for some insight into this mystery case she had asked Sandra’s husband for some advice.  He had reintroduced her to Major Carlos Guerrero who she had met at their wedding reception.  Major Guerrero for the life of himself couldn’t figure out why of all the people he could send the ferocious redhead to, he had chosen him.  What he did know was that the little lady was going to get herself into a hell of a lot of trouble if she didn’t send this case on it’s way.  He just had to make sure that the maniac she was dealing with didn’t get to her before he did.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

All The Parts

There are so many parts of us that should be seen to and kept
From the top of our heads to the tips of our toes with each aching breathe
The broad side of us against the narrow core of us
The breadth of us to the very shallow of us

All another piece that comes together to make the whole
From the memories we keep now and lose as we grow old
To the muscle that powers our moves
To the tissue that DNA provides and proves

So I must choose a keeper for my many parts
Is it possible to find just one to update so many charts

So one I choose to care for my body
With you thirst will be seen to whether pure or bawdy

Another I'll entrust with my mind to keep it young and fresh
Each day should be full of knowledge clean with wash and dress

So that leaves my heart for you to insure that it always beat
Fill my life with love that can be felt from head to feet

So that leaves just my soul that I can't seem to fit to a tutor
Perhaps that one is just for me to look after and succor

If there was just one keeper how idea would that be
Just one person to see to all the ends that make up me
It's a dream I can't fulfill, one that has no true match
So I'll try to see to the whole with one by one patch

But the thought always lingers that if there is but only one of me
And with all my parts gathered close to cause me to be
There must exist the other end that looks out with such disheart
Knowing that there must be one who can see to all the parts

From Perilous Flight
On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords

Opened Doors

"Don't you remember you told me you loved me baby." 

She hummed softly to the melody as the song blazed through the room.  Always she kept the stereo just too loud.  When it was just too loud, it drowned out all else. Even thought.  "Said you'd be coming' . . . But this song, reminded her of everything.

Like everyone else, she had heard the stories about the groupies, the women who follow and chase bands and celebrities.  She hadn't been one of those women.  She stretched her back at an awkward angle and continued the task of washing dishes in the sink that was never big enough.  In the kitchen that left her wanting for more, in the house that seemed to never hold enough space to be comfortable.  She stayed because it was hers, and no one else's.

"Baby, baby, ohhh, baby, I love you."

The floral skirt she was wearing dusted the floor, leaving only a sliver of her naked foot barren before toying with the hard tile.  As she swayed to the music it danced with her, gilding her moves like an echo, ruffling the air trying to remain still around.  The black tank she wore was nearly threadbare from repeated washings.  One of those items of clothing she would wear till it fell from her form.  As most of her clothes were. 

The tears came quickly, as they always did, not unexpected, they never were unexpected.  Most days saw at least one outburst of misery from her soul as it cried out the unfair fate that was forcing her to be so very strong.

The heartbreak wasn't a normal one.  She didn't cry from bitterness of being abandoned.  She cried for having tasted just enough joy to make her long for it for the rest of her life. He hadn't lied, never made one false promise.  So the song actually didn't fit her situation.  But it made it all the worse in truth. He hadn't cared enough to tell her pretty lies.  So unimportant to what he desired in the grand scheme of things she had been that he hadn't bothered to tell her anything.  Not a hello, not a goodbye.  No baby this, baby that, one day soons, or when I come back. Not a don't wait for me, we end here, this was a mistake, or never agains.

For six days and seven nights he had filled her with all that he was.  For three of those nights, she had held onto herself, the fourth she pretended that she was still whole, on the fifth she had stopped lying, and the sixth and seventh opened up another door.

As she discovered the real problem with opened doors wasn't in getting them open.  That had been almost too easy.  It was the closing that proved to give the fit.  Silly waitress in a bar was all she had been.  A foolish girl that had no idea of who he was.  No man had ever made her  . . .feel.  That was who he had become.  Nothing more, nothing less. 

More than just touch, words, expressions, the color of his eyes, the length of his hair.  She knew where he was in the room at all times, as he did with her.  The melting promise of joy would hum through her when she knew he was near.  Damn that opened door.

"Long ago. . ."

She didn't count how much time had passed in years, they seemed insufficient when the number was tallied. Instead she felt his absence in moments.  As the sun slid to rest.  Heavy footsteps approaching. The feel of freshly washed sheets.  Morning dew falling from leaves onto her skin.  Phrases that matched his cadence. Catching musky scents in the air.  Accidental contact with a stranger.  Fresh strawberries against her lips.  And songs bemoaning loving an entertainer.

What he had left was possibility without hope.  She didn't wonder if he would come for her, never dared dream that he still even thought of her.  He ruled her waking thoughts and dreaming nights. Soon it became insanity to pretend that this wasn't the case. She knew that this door in her was wide open now and oh so hard to fill.  A few brave had tried, only to be told, "That damned door only seems to be the right size for one man."

". . . .I thought it was you, it was only the radio."

The dishes were done, the kitchen finally clean.  The baby was sound asleep and the song filled the space.  She turned and held up her arms as if holding onto a partner.  With great confidence she began to move slowly to the soft strings of the song playing. Gazing upward fondly she smiled, sweetly, softly beautifully.  "I love being in your arms", she whispered to the sound pulsing air around her.

From Perilous Flight
On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords

Friday, April 22, 2016

Needless to Say I'm Having a Bad Day

I reached out my hand and met only air
I suppose it would've been nice
If someone had cared enough to at least slap it away
But no I met only air

I dream of my bed, so very tired from the day
But I see myself there alone and drag my feet to it

I reached out me hand and met only air
I didn't understand the nature of loneliness
I thought it was only felt by the weak
Those who let themselves be taken advantage of

I reached out my hand and met only air
Even a slap, there some strong emotion in hate
Indifference leaves nothing, not even a breath
Dispassion leaves less than nothing, not a trace

I reached out my hand and met only air
Why isn't there someone there
I pray, I share, I give and I care
And still I reach out and only touch air

How have I landed here in this place?
My only comfort are books
My only companion plans

I live to go to work, there are people there
And if I close my eyes and pretend just right
I can just convince myself
If I disappeared they would care

I reached out my hand and met only air
I don't know how to fix this
So far gone I can't back out
So far gone I don't even know how to anymore

I have this spot, this place, the tower that I view all from
Never truly understood and never truly appreciated

What can it do for me, whispers in the back of my head
How can I use it to make me feel good
Circles in my mind

Maybe if I jump, it will all end
No one will catch me, no one would dare
And if they did they'd only use me
Always only use me, for what they want
Never give back, never really see me
Just what they want from me

It's so stupid, it just wants to make you happy
Make it love you and it will do whatever you want
You never have to give back, you never have to care
Just pretend, it'll believe you, it always believes you

Maybe if I jump the voices will stop,
Maybe if I jump, they will let me fall
I'll die with the truth
If nothing else, I'll have the truth

Maybe if I jump. . .what reason is there not to
To soft to love, to tough to hate

Maybe if I jump. . . . there will be someone on the other end
Maybe if I jump, .. someone will see me.
Maybe if I jump .. . love will be on the other end
Maybe if I jump . . . it won't matter anymore

I reached out my hand and only met air
Time to accept
This is all that will ever be there

From Perilous Flight

On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords

From Your Disposable Baggage

I wish it was as easy for me as it has been for you, to pull away as if nothing that happened was real
To pretend that a person doesn't live, breathe, exist and feel
I wish it was as easy for me as it has been for you, to move on with life without a backwards glance
Not even caring that this thing you never really gave a chance
I wish it were as easy for me as it is for you, to ignore even the basics of courtesy and forgo basic compassion
To just toss aside another person and remain in style and fashion
I wish it were as easy for me as it still is for you, to pretend that I'm not there
I see now that because of you I'm going to learn how to stop being fair,
I'm going to understand how easy it is to just not care
I'm going to indulge in the game of making people disposable
I'm going to see the justice in being weak and pretending I'm not able
I'll show them how little they mean to me with my disregard
How unnecessary they are like dead leaves in the yard
I'll show the others what you've taught me
And their pain in being hurt I'll delight to see
For everyone will wear your face

And maybe when I've had my fill I'll regain my grace. 

From Perilous Flight

On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords

Thursday, April 21, 2016

For Him

Like rose petals, falling away from the stem
Each layer reveals another thought of him
Before I succumb to despair I think
What a gift to have for just that moment
Whether more moments come or whether I am to be denied
What a gift it was for the brief time it thrived
Things I never believed in and was hesitant to guess
Were shown to me without the normal trials of duress
I wonder, was it truly him or my idea of him that made this so
Was it just a nudge to know the ways things could go
Maybe a hint at what I could share with another to come
Or was it meant to be savored and seen to till done

What expressive eyes, telling too much and not enough
What a charming candor that is too pleasant to be rough
What a confounding mix of the things that matter to me most
What a pleasant surprise that was this familiar haunting ghost

You want to be free of me, that I can understand
The trials of my present unacceptable for a good man
If only I had met you first, where would we be now
Things go as they should, regardless of how

Thank you for your time, for showing me moments to never forget

Until my dying day the memories will remain and never relent

From Perilous Flight

On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords

Perpetual Bliss

In states of heightened awareness I see where I am
In those shadows and layers I know what to do
Before I turn the corner the slightest flicker catches my gaze

I’m always wanting, wanting, wanting

In places beyond my grasp I flow with the rhythm
In voices that don't speak my language I catch what I can
Before I answer the call I can hear coming, I relent

I'm constantly wanting, always wanting, wanting

Intrepid with indecisive ambiguity
Frozen by tempestuous allegory

I'm continuously wanting, constantly wanting, always wanting

Turgid with growing anxiety
Catatonic from pending despair
My faith holds out, for more than I can bear

I'm always, constantly, continuously wanting, wanting, wanting

From Perilous Flight

On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tempting Fate

Winding wheels of time do turn
the grinding halt of lessons learned

Why do I feel the need to explore
The burn of touch, a desire for more
Didn't pain teach you anything
The vacant spot where you once wore a ring

Why do I seek this out
That voice that takes away my doubt
Didn't love leave you flat
Nothing but wind and sorrow in your hat

Grinding gears and twisting tide
I run to the front when I just want to hide

Too much, too soon, too fast, too . . . .good
Too good, is  . . .there really . . . . such a thing?

From Perilous Flight

On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords


Freedom is a myth they say.  A dream that haunts and never sees the light of day.
Freedom is a lie I’ve heard.  Just another concept that turns out to be only a word
Freedom is a trap I believe.  No one can just get up and leave.
Freedom is beyond our reach I think. The last thought that a person has before they sink.
Freedom is a foolish wish I'm told.  Like hunting for treasure when their's only fool's gold

Is a prayer that never gets answered
A prophecy that remains unfulfilled
Freedom. ..... Freedom
A cry from a desperate part of the human soul
A prize that can be dreamed and not held

A farce without a funny bone
Freedom . . ...Freedom
A path that has no end
Freedom  .. . ... .Freedom
A life unlived
Freedom . . ... .Freedom
A goal without thought

My dream, my path, my farce, my prophecy, my trap, my wish, my cry, my goal, my myth, my lie, my thought, my prize, my prayer, my love, my life.

Freedom is my life

I pursue, I maintain, I endure,

Reachingly, crave, longingly, desire, fulfillment, lasting, tolerance
Feeling diligently awakening ripping piercing raging hollowed hell
pulling within

I hear the cry, thrill shriek of truth calling.. . you . . .the words so clear, words I long to hear.. . . have. . . .desperate to know, so afraid to know. ... it.

The truth unveils itself like petals .. you . .. flowers growing . . .have . . .in the abyss . . .it. . .. .nothing grows here

Too much pain  . .. .you. . . give new life  . . . .have . . . .can't be . . . .it

Improbable, could it . . .you  .. .have .. . be .  . . . . . . . true

you .. .have . .. .it

you have it.

From Perilous Flight

On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Stages of Woman

Our mothers they teach us to be who they are and as penance we lose our first love
Our friends beseech us to act as they desire and for this we lose our next love
Our loneliness forces us to discover that we can only be what we are and within find our last love

As we stop craving the love of those that crave only our pain.  As we stop seeking that for which only wants to give us our fondest desire of being destroyed. Fascination with being put out of our misery begins to fade.

As we finally look within for what cannot be found without. As we finally look within to the cradle of the truest deception.  The whispers are clear and ever growing louder as we face what all have tried to hide.

Who said that I was flawed, who claimed that I was without.  So hard to believe that they didn't deserve you, much easier to believe that you are the problem.

You only get back what you put out.

Have I, all this time been the maker of my own pain.  Have I, just now begun to realize that I am worth so much more than they say. worth so much more than I say.

so much more than they say, so much more than I say, more than they say, more than I say, than they say, than I say, they say, I say

I say,  I am a woman, I say I am worth so much more than you will ever know, I say that I hold all of who I am, while you hold none. I am strong enough to yield and fierce enough to give, I am hardy so I will stand and I am confident so I will rise to any challenge. 

I am. . . .power. .  I am. . . .joy . . . . .peace. . . . . I am. . weakness  I am. . .undeniable . . boundless . .  I am force. . truth. .  submission . . .decadence. .  I am . . .malleable . . .distraction. . I am  absolution . . mystery. . . .I am. . . .temptation . . . . .rejuvenation . . .exaltation . .  I . . .loyalty . . . .am. . . .reckless. . . .imperfect. . . .I . . . . love . . . . human . . . am. . destruction  . . .rebirth .  . .life. . . .
I           am        flawed.

From Perilous Flight

On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords

Not Broken

I told myself that you weren’t broken
I hardly could believe the words were spoken
In my time, my pain I can still feel the truth
Even though there doesn’t seem to be one ounce of proof

My heart, speaks over my mind
It tells the story of love being blind
It has not prejudices no flaws are too great
There is no word that will spur these feeling to hate
Jealously disguises itself as love
Envy tags on and pretends it’s from above
Judgment comes and fills the world with its pain
Even lust wears love as if it were its name

I have fallen to each and carried their flag with no shame
I have let them whisper their designs and submit me to their game
I have torn down my own honor, my dignity and moral code
I strolled down the roads that pride and arrogance foretold

As I pull myself from the depths of their treachery
I see clearly that my love has carried no heresy
I have not denied the feelings God blessed me to have and give
I have not forsworn my love as false thus it will forever live

So as I say that you are not broken I know that it is just
I let my love guide my hand to declare till I am dust
As long as there is breath in me, my love will not dissipate
Whether for a year or 20 a part of me will always wait

Mayhap one day I’ll pass you on the street
Mayhap that day you and I will truly meet

From Perilous Flight

On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords

Monday, April 18, 2016

My Fate, My Destiny

I hold my fate in one hand and my destiny in the other. 

I reach across the plain to drop one to find that neither will let go.
I reach across the sky to release one in the wind and realize that I cannot let go.

My fate stares boldly back at me from the base of my right palm.
My destiny laughs as it watches the play from its place in the base of my left palm.

They know a secret to this place that I have yet to discover.
They taunt me from their vantage point holding their own favor.

I hold my Fate, the words vibrate, in my mind
I hold my Destiny, the words resonate, through my heart
In one hand and the other, floods my soul

My Fate, nothing is ever promised
My Destiny, nothing is ever gained
In one hand, I know the way to go
And the other, I’ve always known the way.

My, how long have I run from myself
My, how often have I avoided my own face
In, so many ways the road is revealed
And, carelessly I have chosen to stray away

I hold my Fate, in this hand as I close it into a fist
I hold my Destiny in this other hand I now close into a fist

I own, My Fate, I own, My Destiny.
Opening, I rub my palms together.
Now they are as all parts of me,

One . . and . . . the same.

From Perilous Flight
On AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords

The Unnatural State of True Love

The best of us from the worst of us, cacophony and symphony, as heralds heckle and jeer, as heralds praise and cheer. Walk with me down the slippery slope of a path unknown to find solace in a peaceful word. I know as you know its comfort is false and temporary, like holding the kite as lightning strikes. Yet you stand, to ashamed to run, to fearful to embrace. God I see so much of what I love in that face.

Tearing, pulling, shredding, holding, kissing, missing, sharing.

Please be real, I beg and plead . . . please be real, I have to believe. . . . PLEASE BE REAL, there are no words. I couldn't know . .I couldn't . . . .deserve. I shouldn't know. . . . I shouldn't. . . . . deserve.

The voice in the back of your head is your heart pleading 'Don't fight me anymore', 'Don't resist, take what you want'. The mind insists, 'This feels wrong'. Everything in me is Dying, 'dying', "dying".

The quiet whispers, 'Is this right, am I right.'
The darkness chimes, 'How did I miss, so much'
The light shouts 'How did I see, so little'

Like sunrise, like a storm, like water on your face, this place, the fields and the oceans, the air and your soul heat and breathe new life

Like fingers shifting apart gossamer the wind says, 'Let's do that again'.
Wrapping its stroke around you it coyly beckons, 'Take this trip with me.'

From Perilous Flight
On Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sandra's Social Sunday Teaser

The odd yet fascinating habit of meeting him in a previously discussed location, and returning to his loft for the night had become the highlight of Sandra’s existence after a couple of months.  It was so odd how much you could know about a person without knowing their name.  Their conversations were intelligent, political, and sometimes inane.  They talked about relationships with parents and with friends, always describing them in terms that didn’t require mentioning names.  Sandra’s thoughts wavered as she stepped into Maguire’s with a slick and confident smile on her face.  She would’ve been surprised if she could have seen it.  
The elegant and coiffed hostess took in Sandra’s mahogany Calvin Klein slip dress and matching Chanel pumps with handbag, and smiled her approval.
“One Ma’am”, the severe looking redhead quickly added, “Or perhaps you are meeting someone.”
Sandra smiled back.  Her fake business smile while she tried not to choke on the overpowering scent of Liz Arden’s Red Door. “Just the bar please.”  She and all the ladies of W.A.R.M. had endured Brenda’s ‘I need a new scent’ month where she ran the gambit of designer colognes from Giorgio Armani to Yves Saint Laurent before settling on Liz Taylor’s Black Diamonds.  Without doubt the day of Elizabeth Arden had been the toughest to take.
The “Of course” from the hostess was clipped as her demeanor changed as she began to figure that Sandra was a high classed prostitute.  Nonetheless she led her to the bar, and quickly left it.  Sandra gratefully breathed in the fresh air that was left in her wake.
 “You’re late,” the deep voice rumbled behind her as Sandra got settled.
Sandra slowly turned her stool to face him.  He was Monsieur Arrogance tonight for sure.  She smiled haughtily at him.
“Late, I didn’t know we had a date,” she said breathily. Every freaking time her first words to him were like that.  She might as well have called him Mr. President.
He sat next to her without saying another word, and signaled the bartender.  She noticed that the sleeves of his pale green shirt were rolled up, cufflinks gone, and a $10,000 Rolex sat on his wrist.  She only knew the price of that model because her Grandpa Samath had bought one for her father years ago for a birthday present, and he had bragged about the price for 6 months afterward.  She knew that the one she sported as a graduation present was quite pricey, and so whenever Brenda tried to tell her how much it was worth she would always stop her.  It was better not to know how much of a fortune the damn thing cost.  After all it was just a watch.  
Sandra was under the opinion that you didn’t spend more than $50 for an accessory that was designed to be annoying. But her Grandpa Samath always said, “A good timepiece is very important Sandra.” His bushy grey and white eyebrows would bunch together, and he would draw his wide featured face up for maximum impact.  Samath Dalianas was a tall man, being the bearer of Jiri’s overwhelming height.  His gray and white hair was still thick and worn a touch long.  Proudly he sported a slight bulge around the waist, but that didn’t detract from broad shoulders and toned arms since he still boated quite a bit himself with his brother Tomas.  “The difference between success and failure can be measured in seconds. You must always know what time it is.”  
“Jack and Coke for the lady, Chivas rocks for me.” The tone was matter of fact as his eyes dared Sandra to contradict him.
Uncharacteristically Sandra let him be high handed.  For some odd reason it felt wonderful to have a man know her well enough to order for her. Her Greek half would be thrilled.  Since Jiri had shattered tradition, they didn’t mince over her being with a Greek man.  It was still preferred, but at this point in the game she was considered well past a decent marriageable age. Any man that would have her would do. Grandma Jasmine and G’pa Chase on the other hand would tease her unmercifully.  Both knew that in her heart of hearts Sandra thought she would be the one to avoid all of this male female nonsense. She grimaced to herself that the training in women to be dependent on the approval of men was ingrained deep.  Even she was susceptible it seemed.  
After a questioning and searching glance, he entreated,   “I hope you don’t mind.  I was recalling your position on the role taken by today’s woman in opposition to the role forced onto women in the past.  I wouldn’t want to offend your feminist nature with my brass, barbaric, and controlling one, but I must be true to myself.” His look was amused. “I am a bastard.”
Sandra took a sip of her drink, and regarded him in silence. With keen interest he turned to face her, one arm on the bar, the other resting on his black clad thigh. Then with another small smile, and an almost scholarly look she was beginning to recognize, he continued.  Sandra smiled in anticipation, story time.
“There was a fisherman once.  He had one cormorant that he trusted, and two that he didn’t.  Without fail everyday he would take all three out into his little boat and set them free to fish for him as he sat and waited.  As expected the two cormorants that were untrustworthy would eat more than they would bring back to the boat choosing to greedily fill their bellies before returning any of what they caught.  When full they would hunt for sport, and bring what was left for the fisherman.  The third was a very different creature. This bird would bring all he caught back to the boat without thought or hint of treachery choosing to fill his master’s belly before filling his own.” He paused for dramatic affect only, one of his many story telling habits.  
She had confessed that she loved to hear him tell a story.  He had explained that in Japan it was an art, not just anyone was allowed to tell a story.  Men had been slaughtered for less than telling a bad story, and that was a quote.  When you were an oddity in a place like Japan, the people who viewed you expected to be entertained.  So he had learned how to tell wonderful stories.  It was the only way the smaller Japanese children would play with the giant grandson of the white haired gaijin.
He continued, “I will remind you that this would occur every day.  The fisherman didn’t eat all that he caught.  He sold much of his catch to others, and feed countless people whether they paid or not.”
He was a hand talker depending on the seriousness of the story.  Because he was proving a point he had very few hand gestures to accompany this story.  So it stood out when he raised his hand from his thigh slightly dropping his head signaling a pause.
“But this story is not about the honor of the fisherman, it is about the honor of his birds. So when they were done the two less loyal cormorants would spend the night punished for their greed without food or drink. Their treacherous ways returned to them the way the fisherman saw fit.  They would watch as the third was gifted with all the luxuries of a kept bird; unlimited food and drink, a safe place to sleep, and freedom to eat and drink at his leisure.  All for a couple of hours of selflessness each day.”
His pause was once again dramatic, but carried a hint of being thoughtful.  He could make his face and voice so very expressive when he wanted to.  A by-product of all the control he exerted over his features and emotions constantly.  “Sometimes the choices of a caged bird are only seen by the caged bird.  And the hunger of a bird that doesn’t allow itself to be tamed only felt by the hungry.  All of the birds contain the same spirit, yet all are caged.  Wouldn’t it be safe to say that it is then left up to the bird whether the cage has bars or not.”
“And the bird that is free?” Sandra inquired sweetly.
His narrowed eyed look wasn’t him being cross with her.  She happened to know that he enjoyed these debates with her very much.  He narrowed his eyes to try and distract from how much fun he was having so he could concentrate on giving as good as he got.
“Is filled with the uncertainty of a free wild thing.  Uncertain food, uncertain that tomorrow will even be seen.  If the cage is chosen, why fight that which wants to reward and care for you.” He shrugged as if the question was unseemly.
At Sandra’s doubtful sound he continued in a musical tone, “Not all masters are uncaring.”
“Not all masters are caring,” she amended in a flat one. “It’s foolish to choose a cage over the uncertainty of unyielding freedom.” Sandra mused. “Then all that is caught belongs only to the bird.”
He now watched her in the oddest way as if her answer had just told him all the secrets of her being. It was very disconcerting as he sat across from her holding the side of his face in his hand resting his elbow on the bar.  The other on his thigh idly turning his half filled glass of Chivas rocks. His unusual eyes were focused intently on her noting everything.
“That’s an easy choice for one that is not a bird.  Why risk unfed nights when the kept birds have already captured all of the fish and are joyous and full.”
Silently they contemplated each other, and Sandra got the feeling that this conversation was about much more than birds and fish or an argument that had started weeks ago.  She was answering whatever he was actually proposing unknowingly.
Sandra thought back. The argument had started during their week three meeting.  He had posed the question, ‘What was the purpose besides political for women to have a revolution when in fact they have always had the world at their feet depending on the man that they laid with.’  Instantly engaged and enraged Sandra had cited several instances of women’s inequality resulting in death and wrongful treatment at the hands of men.  To which he had responded that this treatment would happen in a totally equal world as well.  The nature of man was to destroy in most instances, and whether women were considered equal or not was of little to no regard. There were men who would destroy, and those that would fight the urge and not. To which she had responded that she had expected no less an answer from a man raised Japanese. The argument had taken place at least once between them as each thought of counter points to support their position.
After several moments he broke the silence, “If the cage is chosen which will you choose to be, one that hunts for itself and is left as such, or one that hunts for another trusting that the generosity of your spirit will be returned?”
“Neither. The cage will never be my choice,” Sandra replied confidently.
“Never is a permanent word that the nature of life does not support.” Almost mockingly he began to sip his drink. “The fates conspire against those that use that word with such conviction.”
“Never say never?” she asked coyly.
“Never say never without a thought for maybe,” he clarified. “Life and people are ever changing, never does not allow for that.  Simple bravado filled statements that one can only hope to live up to are all that do.”
He sat his drink on the bar, and took hers from her hand, and did the same with it. Holding that hand in his he inquired, “What do you think of when you meet someone?” This was seemingly very honest from him, naturally curious.
“How they see me.” She spoke lowly, trying to ignore how good it felt to have her hand in his so she could read what was behind his untimely question. “How they see life, and where their place is in it.”
“And you? How do you see life? Where is your place in it?”
Sandra hesitated as she realized that he was leading to another point.  Nervously she clenched her hand, and he returned the squeeze as she decided to give him a bland answer. “I see numbers, facts and figures. A testimony to the nature of man, and his slow and gradual evolution.  I am a humanity mathematician.”
Laughing that enigmatic laugh of his, he barely got out, “You are a woman. A beautiful, intelligent, woman.” Quick as lightening his long warm fingers snared her other wrist. His index finger was tapping her pulse as he placed it over his chest right above his heart.
“Count this,” he implored her gently.
Sandra’s lips parted, and she let herself feel his heartbeat beneath her fingers. The world around them blurred as her heart sped up its pace pounding heavily in her ears. ‘Rushing blood,’ she thought, ‘take deep breathes’.  For a countless number of seconds nothing existed but the insistent building of their heartbeats; the rhythms starting to come together and echo each other. The penetrating warmth of his body was burning through his shirt in counterpoint to the comfort of his hand holding hers to his chest. Her eyes were pinned to his chest where they touched.  He squeezed her hand causing her eyes to shift to his. They exchanged a pointed look between the two of them.
“What is that supposed to mean to me? It’s a heartbeat.” Sandra started breaking the hold his eyes had on hers because it made her much too aware of where her hands were. “We all have them, men, women, murders and saints.  It’s the purpose that lies behind it that concerns me.  Man has had a history that shows a desire to subjugate the weak, and to enslave those not in power for fear of their strength.”
Sandra felt an unnamed emotion course through him as his hand tightened over hers. His perfect blue eyes grabbed hers again.
“And a need to protect the weak and live life as it is, not in a matter of facts and figures that only tell the tales of those willing to be judged and tested.  This place has a balance. One cannot exist without the other.”
“So their honesty must be true. Why lie about such ugly things?” The air of disbelief lay thickly between them.
Resigned finally he sighed. “So this argument shall continue.”
She nodded. “Until you can convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt that your view is correct, yes.”
“So be it.” The aggressor conceded.  “Will you come home with me?”
Despite herself Sandra smiled. “You’re asking; how modern of you.”
“The barbarian in me would prefer it another way.” He shrugged. “But I realize that this course would be unsuccessful in accomplishing my goal.”

“You are a smart man.”