Death in the Saddle, Ch 8

Lucy Kurtz emerged from the pool climbing the vertical stairs and pulling on the chrome rails. She rubbed her eyes, then wrung the excess water from her hair. As she reached for a beach towel on the chaise lounge, she stopped. “Larry is that you? I’m at the pool side.” At forty-two, Lucy Kurtz retained her youthful figure—the result of total and constant self-absorption and reverence to holistic medical programming: dietary restrictions and almost endless physical-fitness. She indulged in weekly massages and the slathering of emollients on exposed as well as concealed body parts. At five feet eight inches, slender and willowy, she moved with cat-like grace. She lay in the semi-recumbent position, chin up, facing the sun, then reached for sunglasses on a small table beside her. Hiking one shoulder, she slipped the bathing suit strap off and did the same on the other side. Then she pulled the top of her suit down to expose her chest with its well-formed surgically enhanced breasts, like two grapefruit halves topped with crimson cherries and separated by a wide valley.

Larry Kurtz in a three button gray suit walked onto the decking and stopped to look at his wife on the other side of the pool. He hurried to her side hurling invectives as he ran. “Chrissakes, Lucy, cover-up! What the hell’s wrong with you? This is no freakin’ nudist colony. The neighbors will report you for indecent exposure. Are you trying to get us arrested?” He reached for her beach towel and threw it at her.

“Oh, for God’s sake, relax Larry; no one can see me over these walls and the hibiscus. They’d have to climb an eight-foot ladder to see me. If they take the trouble to do that they should be rewarded.” She looked down at her breasts. “You spent twenty-thousand dollars to have these boobs shaped. Someone ought to enjoy them. God knows, you don’t seem to know what to do with them.”

“If you weren’t such a goddamned exhibitionist….”

Lucy anticipated Larry’s comments. It took very little to get him started on one of his favorite themes. “Now don’t bring that up again! That happened three years ago.” She sat holding the towel against her chest, pushed her glasses to the top of her head and scowled. “It was your partner who got me drunk or slipped me a mickey that night. And I still don’t know where-in-the-hell you were while that was going on. For all I know, you were diddlin’ that fat cow, Mary Bruxton.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

An awkward silence followed until Lucy said, “Besides, if Bruxton didn’t feel some remorse, he might not have saved this house by paying off the mortgage.”

Larry removed his jacket and loosened his tie. “I’m not convinced he did us any favors. Now we have no equity, and I’m paying him monthly installments instead of the mortgage bank.”

Lucy started for the house then stopped to look at her husband. “No responsible person advised you to sink a million dollars into that stupid invention. How could you—even in your usual unconscious state—figure that a device could make a car go by feeding it water—plain old water?” She shook her head and walked into the house, Larry followed.

He protested. “It was just plain water. I saw a demonstration….”

“Spare me the details, Einstein, you were scammed to the tune of one million dollars. If we had that money today, Bruxton wouldn’t own our mortgage.” Before entering the bedroom, Lucy stepped out of her swimsuit, leaving her shapely backside and sensuous movements to her husband’s appreciative gaze. Again he was gripped by the thought of Bruxton, that gross pig, having had his body next to hers and forcing her to screw him. This recurrent thought always caused hyper-somatic responses in which his heart raced, his temple pounded and his hands shook with fine tremors. He mumbled, “That sonofabitch oughta be killed.”

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