The Summer Of the Lions
by Ishafel

You sit in the breakfast room of D.H.'s house in the Hamptons, drinking orange juice and reading the Wall Street Journal, and D.H. edges uncomfortably close to you and reads over your shoulder, and you wonder where Igby is and what he's doing. It's raining, cold and dreary, despite the fact that it's July. Igby would hate it but it's never bothered you; it's only rain. It's kind of peaceful, actually, and peace is something you learn to value when you grow up in a war zone. The rain doesn't bother D.H., either, but that might be because D.H. isn't human.

You stand up to go and D.H. tells you to wait. What are your plans for the day? The two of you never do anything together. He wants you to go sailing with him, or play polo, or go to a party with him and hold his drink for him while he screws some underage girl against a wall. He's big on extreme sports, D.H. It must be where Igby gets it from, this urge to live on the edge. The problem is, what D.H. wants today is you.

He says you've been leading him on. You don't argue with him. You never argue. You don't even struggle when he pushes you back against the wall. You let him put his tongue in your mouth, and you hope he'll promote you. He might; he's done this before, he has a reputation for it. He says you're smart, so smart. He has no idea. He says he's wanted to do this for forever, and you wonder how stupid he thinks you are. For D.H. to think is to act.

He unbuckles your belt, struggles with the zipper on your jeans, and this is when you realize you don't want to do this. D.H. doesn't stop, he doesn't act like he heard you say no. You think about your classes for fall semester: Macro, Business Ethics, Computer Systems Management. After awhile you don't even notice what D.H. is doing. You know exactly where you're going, exactly how you'll get there. This is just a temporary aberration. You wonder if he'll tip you when he's finished, and what the going rate is.

It's clear that D.H. expected you to fight it, and that he's disappointed that you aren't. He finishes quickly and wipes up the mess with a linen napkin. You don't watch, and you don't think about how he'll explain the semen stains to the maid. D.H. never explains anything. You're grateful that it's over; ready for the cold salt of the ocean, glad that he doesn't seem to expect you to talk.

You turn to go and as you're leaving it occurs to you that he might have done this to Igby. You know that if he did you'll kill him, so you don't ask. The next day D.H. gives you the keys to a new BMW convertible. He doesn't tell you why and you don't ask. It doesn't matter.


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