Mitchell and Kerri Fiction: Beer Mugs

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Mitchell didn’t bother opening his eyes when he staggered out of bed. He’d had no intentions of getting up yet, but Kerri wasn’t in bed anymore and since she’d ridden her bike over, it was possible she’d taken off already — without saying goodbye.

Possible, but not probable. More likely, she was as hungover as he was. Maybe worse. He wasn’t looking forward to seeing their trail of empties.

He paused when he stepped on something on the carpet just inside his bedroom. Cracking one eye open as little as possible, he looked down at it. Kerri’s bra.

He tried to grin, but settled for letting the action happen in his head; moving his face hurt too much. She hadn’t left if that was still there. So what the fuck was she doing?

“Hi,” she said when he made it to the couch and flopped down. “Ooh,” she added; he guessed she’d come near enough to get a good look at him. “You’re hurting.”

He grunted.

“I can at least open my eyes,” she said, as if he’d actually spoken.

He smirked but didn’t take the bait. His eyes were staying closed, and that was all there was to that.

“Hungry?” she asked. “Or just thirsty?”

Both, he realized, which was a surprise. Usually, when he felt like this, all he wanted was sleep.

“Here,” she said.

Eyes still shut, he reached up.

And jumped when he realized he wasn’t closing his hand around one of his many plastic convenience store cups, but was grasping the handle of a glass beer mug instead. That got his eyes open. “Where the fuck’d you find this?”

“In the cabinet,” Kerri said, gesturing over her shoulder at his small galley kitchen. “I think Hell froze over and all the plastic’s dirty.”

He took a long drink, ignoring the uncertain look she was giving him. If he hadn’t wanted her to find the collection, he’d have thrown it away. Probably should have, but it was too late now.

“Am I a spectator sport?” he asked when he’d drained the mug. Damn, it tasted better out of a glass mug instead of a plastic cup.

“Why does that look like one of the mugs that All Access uses?”

“A bunch of places use these,” he said, staring wistfully at the now-empty mug.

She held out her hand for it. “Doesn’t matter how hard you wish, it won’t refill itself.”

Sheepishly, he handed it over. She’d make him pay up later for all this waiting on him, but it’d be worth it. She was a creative debt collector, which made him a willing debtor. Even when he was hungover.

Kerri brought two mugs back with her, handing his over and folding hers in two hands like it was coffee.

“So tell me,” she said, sitting down, that leg tucked under her again. “How is it that you’ve got thirteen more of these, eight of another kind, and an odd assortment of others?”

He tried to shrug.

“They just followed you home?” She raised both eyebrows; her sign that she knew the truth. As always. He bought time with another mouthful of juice, but she kept waiting.

“Sometimes,” he said, “you’re talking, you drift out from the bar to the bus and you don’t realize it’s in your hand until you’re a hundred miles down the road.”

“Security doesn’t stop you?”

“I think they’re supposed to, when we go through the stage doors, but some of those guys they hire, they’re too afraid to say hello to the band. Girls, yeah. But not the band.”

Kerri nodded thoughtfully. “And the plates? You can’t tell me those just find their way into your hands.”

“Trev,” he said. Like she’d needed to ask?

“And you’re totally innocent in this thievery?”

“About the dirty plates that show up in my bag and ruin my stuff? Yeah. I wouldn’t put dirty plates in my own bag.”

“Do dirty plates ever show up in his bag?” The corners of her mouth were twitching. He wanted to tell her she was a bitch for making him come clean like this. Really, it was no big deal.

“Course.” Big deal or no, he could feel his own mouth twitching along with hers. He smiled, pleased it wasn’t so painful this time. “The best was the fork down his boot. Took him two days to step on it. Or maybe the spoon in the inside pocket of his leather jacket, although the day he woke up and we’d shoved two mugs on his feet while he slept was pretty good. Almost had to break them to get them off, which sort of defeated the purpose.”

“Why is this suddenly about the things Trevor’s discovered?”

“Believe me, it’s a lot more fun to give than to receive.”

She cocked her head and thought. Mitchell held his breath, waiting for her to hand down judgment.

All she did was lick her lips. “Can’t wait until you teach me the tricks.”

If he hadn’t been so hungover, Mitchell would have thrown his head back and laughed. He’d found himself one hell of a woman, all right. She’d do just fine when the band hit the road.

While this was picked to fulfill this week’s Sunday Scribblings prompt, if you’d like to learn more about why I thought this fit the subject at hand, you might want to head over to my RedRoom blog, where I wax poetic about things.

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