Tommy wasn’t the kind of guy to just give any girl the key to his apartment, but then again, there wasn’t another girl in town like Tamika. She had this sly way of always getting what she wanted, and somehow she had wrangled Tommy’s spare key, much to his annoyance. Tommy was usually a very private individual. He hated the idea of being committed to anyone or anything. His life was his work and that was the way it had always been. Tonight being a perfect example. Getting in with the homeless to be his eyes and ears on the streets. They were like rats that scoured the worst neighborhoods, and usually knew more about what was going on in the underworld than anyone. A good reporter needed such informants and spies if he was going to make the front page of the New York times. How many politicians had he caught out that solicited the girls of the night? Oh, he had a few in his pocket now. But they were not the big news stories in his eyes. No, he preferred the strange and the unbelievable. Hell, he’d make a fortune for one of those sleazy tabloids that lived off such headlines as “My wife is an alien and gave birth to a six headed worm”.
Arriving on the floor of his apartment, Tommy stepped out of the lift and he could already hear the thumping music of his neighbor and friend Jay Wilcox. The guy was one of your typical anime loving cos player/gamer who had a thing for Naruto. No sooner had Tommy walked past his apartment, when Jay’s door shot open and the beat of the music was practically thudding through Tommy’s chest. The guy was dressed in a pair of ripped jeans and a Naruto t shirt that was a bit small for his ample belly.
“TOMMY! Yo man. You up for some Call of Duty tonight?” The gamer asked with a beaming smile. “Got some Doritos….and beer.” Jay really liked Tommy’s company, in fact he liked ANYONE’S company, as he spent most of his days and nights in his apartment. Tommy checked his watch and grimaced. “Sorry Jay, I got Tamika cooking me dinner and…I’m late as it is. How about tomorrow night?” Tommy hated to burst the guy’s bubble, but he rather that than a tongue lashing from Tamika. Jay bobbed his head, since he had nothing planned for the next night….or the night after that.
“Sure man. I know I would hate to be late for Tamika. Girl gives me the evil eye when I show my face at your place.”Jay was right, Tamika hated anyone taking up Tommy’s time, when it could be her. Knowing that he was now even later than he promised, Tommy gave Jay a half wave before heading up the corridor to his own apartment, where he could hear Tamika already going off. The door flew open and she looked frazzled.
“You’re late.” Tamika said, with her hands on her hips, wearing his cooking apron. Tommy shrugged, then pushed past Tamika to gain entry to his own apartment. Jay could be heard from down the hall. “Cut him some slack, Tammy! The guy’s probably been held up at work.”
“More like chasing a ghost.” That said, she slammed the door, as Tommy was walking through his own apartment, and taking off his coat. “No need to be sarcastic Tamika. You know I do work late some nights.” Tamika’s eyes softened and she lowered her arms. How could she stay mad at him. He looked even more handsome when the had THAT face. She showed Tommy to the dining table and then went to get their meals. She’s cooked Fettuccine Mona lisa, which was a creamy pasta dish with chicken, bacon and tossed spinach with pine nuts. Tommy was already pouring himself a white wine when Tamika sat down at the table. She wasn’t his girlfriend, but she wished she was. Tommy offered her a glass of white wine, which she took graciously. Tamika worked in the Mayor’s office as assistant PA, to one of the Mayor’s leading staffers. In a way it was good for Tommy, cause he was able to get the inside scoop of the daily goings on in the top office of New York. That was, if Tamika felt like telling him. Tonight she was hoping for something more…romantic. She’d even gotten candles out and had them lit, with Enrique Iglesias playing on the ipod speakers. Talk about trying too hard. Tamika was dressed in a black silk off the shoulder dress, that was a little bit summery in Tommy’s mind, but he complimented her anyways.
“Food looks great, as do you, Tamika.” He raised a glass to her and the meal and she blushed fiercely. “Oh stop…you’re just saying that.” she fawned. Tommy shrugged and said in reply. “Okay…” Tamika sat bolt upright as though she took him at his word. “TOMMY!” The journo laughed and then took a bite from his meal. It was really good. Shaking her head, Tamika had to know why Tommy was late.
“Please tell me it was something at the office, and that you weren’t down THAT end of town again?” She was partially aware of what he got up to. Why it was hard not to when his office walls were lined with newspaper clippings, photographs of the unexplained and macabre.
“I can’t tell you.”
“Alright alright….I was stuck in traffic.” He lied, taking another sip of wine, before locking eyes on hers. “Scouts honor.”His cheeky smile always made her melt. She let out a sigh and then tried to reach for his hand, as his cell phone started to buzz.
“Xo….” he answered, pulling his hand away from Tamika’s.