“Can’t believe I’m late to church. I have neverbeen late to church,” Isadore muttered, her steps faster than he’d ever seen.
For some reason, the bite in her tone made himfeel like she blamed him. And it seemed prudent to concur. “I’m sorry.” Thatwas as far as he could take those words without bringing about trouble hecouldn’t address in the ten seconds remaining before they entered.
She paused before the door and smoothed the thinbuttery colored material along her legs. The fabric stopped just above herknees and the white top with thin straps on her shoulders gaped at the hem.Ruin was sure if he leaned to look, he’d be able to see her breasts. She likelywore a bra. Hopefully.
“Do I look stupid?”
Ruin met her troubled blue gaze, confused.“What? No, you’re very intelligent.”
She rolled her eyes. “Nevermind. Stay close anddon’t talk to people please.” She froze with wide eyes. “Oh my God, who areyou? To me?” She latched a frantic hand to his arm. “You’re my distant cousin,visiting from Boston. Your name is JD.”
Ruin shook his head. “Don’t count on me to tellpeople that.”
“Oh come on! It’s a harmless lie, they don’tneed to know.”
“Then tell them it’s none of their business.”
“I can’t do that!” she cried, looking astounded.“Whatever, fine,” she hissed. “I’ll do all the lying, keep your stupidrighteous mouth shut.”
He barely shook his head, once again confoundedby her. She pulled the giant door open and singing rang out. Walking as closeto Isadore as he possibly could without stepping on her, he met as many of thesudden gazes that he could while following Isadore’s discreet yanking into thevery back pew.
He watched her smile at a few people then jumpright into the song, mid-lyric. He listened to the racket for several minutes,pinpointing a clear distinction among the voices. Not all of them had thegrinding quality that stabbed into the ear drums, some of them were verygifted. Isadore wasn’t one of them.
The design of the building with the open ceilingand beams didn’t serve to buffer the torture but rather amplify it. It soundedlike a war, and the few gifted were being massacred.
Ruin fought down a smile as Isadore sang loudly,either oblivious to her lack of talent, or not caring. He hoped it was thelatter. He rather appreciated the entire fuck it motto she’d vehemently takenup while mopping last night, even if it had ended with her hating him for somereason he still didn’t understand. Yet.
The eardrum rape finally ended and they all sat.Ruin had the urge to touch Isadore but refrained as the man at the front leanedover a microphone and boomed his greeting into the building. Then he proceededto recite things for the next thirty minutes that Ruin had read several times.
He waited for the man to offer enlightenment,his hope dwindling with each minute as he listened and studied the members ofthe church. By the time it was over, he’d learned one thing. How very wickedeach of them were and in need of judgment.
Ruin felt ill by the time the eternal hour wasup. “Are you okay?” Isadore whispered.
“I need some air.”
She slapped her hand on his leg. “Well let’s goget some.” She hurried them out, but he had a feeling it was more to avoidconfrontation. Either way was fine with him, just so they left.
“Oh shit, Geraldine!” Isadore hurried her pace.“Don’t turn, keep walking.”
Not a problem.
“Izzy! Wait, I got you that recipe you ask for.”
“Don’t stop. Don’t stop. We’ll never leave.”
They climbed into the truck and she fumbled thekeys for five seconds. “Shit, really?”
“She’s still coming.” Ruin wasn’t worried whenhe saw the woman’s five by five build, moving at a snail’s pace in all herhurrying.
“Don’t look at her! Look at me!” The truckroared to life like she stepped on the gas too long.
“Careful, you may run her over.” Ruin watchedthe muscles in Isadore’s arms and legs flex as she worked the clutch and shift,then braced her arm on the back of the seat, stepping on the gas. He held on,visions of her muscles flexing the same way while he used his cock to do whathis finger once had. The thin material over her breasts pulled tight and gave aclear image of their perfect shape, adding to the tormenting vision in hismind.
“Ohhh, I’m the devil for doing that,” shegasped, looking in the rear view mirror. “Poor Geraldine, she’s such a sweetwoman. She’s got nine children and she doesn’t get out much, church is the onlysocial life she has and I usually take time with her.”
She tossed him an angry glare, like he was thefault for that.
“Sorry.” Ruin was getting good at using thatword in a general sense. He was sorry for a lot of things. Sorry that she was aliar, that he had felt ill. Sorry he’d thought going to the church would dosome good, and that he was now having to go see Old Man Gohspired instead oftaking Isadore back to her house and pleasuring her again.
He was not sorry for Isadore not talking toGeraldine. Geraldine who didn’t know how to stop having kids, or didn’t knowhow to get out of the house, or know when to quit eating. He was sorry somebodydidn’t do her a service and tell her the truth. She was wretched. She needed togive up trying. She needed to quit pretending that life would ever be anythingbut an ocean of despair and woe, all by her own hand for the most part.
“Well?” Isadore asked as she drove down thecountry road like demons chased her before turning onto a gravel road.
“Well what?” Ruin kept both feet braced to thefloor of the cab, and his right hand strangling the open window frame as shecoated every nearby tree with two inches of solid dust as she went.
“Did you like it? Did you get anything fromchurch?”