“Be quiet,” she whispered to him in creole, a buttery thigh straddling his erection. A manicured hand covered his mouth without discomfort. 

The floors above were full of women, three generations worth.  The smell of shrimp, lambi and dumplings still hung in the air, though the kitchen had been cleaned and cleared hours before.

He didn’t know the language.  But she had a tendency to slip when she let her guard down, when she forgot about the way the other kids had teased her when she was young, calling her people “dirty” and “diseased” in class, even though her tribe had taken a stand long before the Negroes in America had.  

But that was history.  This was Queens. 

He had never been out of the five boroughs.  The way he saw it a GED and a union card were all that he needed.  Eventually he would inherit the family business of pipe and drains, then lay even more copper than Pops had after he got divorced. 

As he undressed her it was not the image of cleavage packed into bra, or the sweat between hip and waistband that he found most arousing. It was the way she smelled that had him entranced, something like nectarines and jasmine with oddest hint of pecan. 

Her hands landed on his warm.  The temperature only continued to rise.  The lowering of his zipper seemed extremely loud as he lips violated the airspace next to his ear.  

“Open me.”

She saw an almost magical twinkle in his chocolate eyes as he tore the metal wrapper with his teeth.  

She could feel herself swooning halfway in, as the spirits of past and future swirled around their heads, calling for them to continue the lineage of their DNA.  But it was way too soon for that. 

He couldn’t believe that all of this had begun with a game of tonk, the very first she had ever played.  She kept making her breast brush against him, knowing that his concentration would shatter. It was the only way she could win. 

Now they were both sharing in the thrill of her undisputed victory.  He had never heard his name said with an accent outside of the South.  At 23 he swore to God he knew everything about the world.  But it was in listening to her breath that he understood that he knew nothing at all.  He was a mere player on a stage, more than pleased with his part.  

He had definitely played his cards right.