“You’re nuts.” the Fireman’s wife is barely containing her laughter. “Completely nuts. You know what a sadist is, right?”
“I still have the bruises from last weekend.” I find her reaction oddly calming. If she thinks it’s funny, he probably will, too.
“And you’re going to say that.”
“That’s the plan.”
“To his face.”
“It’s rude to talk behind people’s backs.”
“I get that a lot.”
I have to wait. There’s a beautiful woman draped over him, pouring wax onto her own skin. I watch, whispering with Mr. Photoshop about electricity, making tentative plans for later. Mr. Photoshop is distracting enough that I don’t notice when the dancing and wax ends, or see the Fireman approach. I feel his body heat, though: the man is a walking radiator even when he hasn’t been playing with fire and wax for three hours straight.
“Hey,” he nods at Mr. Photoshop, then turns to me. “I’m gonna get some water, then you’re up. Ready?”
“Ready.” I take a deep breath. “Wait. I’ve been trying to work up the nerve to tell you this joke for two months.”
He raises an eyebrow, silent.
“Why did the chicken cross the road?”
“To find a top that didn’t hit like a little girl.”
His grin turns Cheshire cat. “How hard do I have to hit you to prove my manliness?”
“I dunno. Want to see if you can make me cry?”
“Water first, crazy girl. Then we cross the road.”
He practically skips out of the room. Mr. Photoshop shakes his head, staring at me. “You’re crazy. He’s going to tear you apart.”
“I’ve never seen a man look so happy. You just handed a toddler a box of crayons and a blank wall.”
I grin back. “Wait ’till you see the crayons.”