Lloyd aimlessly strolled around the food court on his seventh round of the day. It had been a slow morning, and, with a mere four hours to go before he got off shift, Lloyd was hardly concentrating on his work.
Only nine more trips around the mall and then he could leave. As the burly guard stopped by one of the glass-encased elevators on the lower level he was walking, he admired his bulk in the reflection of the large panes of glass. Lloyd had to look good today; big things were happening after work. Scratching the raw edges of his thinning salt-and-pepper beneath his hat, Lloyd's gray eyes worked over his ponderous reflection as he worked a meaty palm over his chubby face, as if to rub away the tedium that was his life.
Lloyd had never been an interesting guy, and had never had much drive to become one. Women and beer were his two hobbies, his pastimes as it were, and while his prominent beer gut boasted of his near-certain prowess in one of these fields, he had never even broached the other. As Lloyd let out a lingering sigh, he awkwardly spun around, and started a slow waddle towards his next checkpoint. As he did, he conjured images of his only non-chemical escape; and his other obsession: his pornography collection. Lloyd went far beyond a casual collector, he was an affectionado of adult entertainment.
Somehow he found that while women and dates would be demanding and pushy, sometimes downright embarrassing, his tapes and magazines never backtalked, never interrupted the game, asked him to do dishes, or prevent his otherwise drab bachelor lifestyle. Today, however, would be different, because today, finally, his life was going to change. At the eXotica, one of the finest providers of adult entertainment, there was a special guest signing this evening, whose star was none other than the chief diva of Lloyd's nirvana; Lacy Bottoms. Lacy; her name seemed almost like poetry on the wind, her physique a whole universe from the stale mall-sounds which floated all about him.
Lloyd was torn from his reverie by the loud, scratching sound of his walkie talkie informing him of a 417 down at Bangles, an accessories store in the west wing. Lloyd loved 417’s. They always got his blood pumping. Kids were the bane of his career at this mall, but shoplifters gave him job security. If it weren't for them he'd have easy days, with no need to go busting his butt around the mall chasing after petty thieves.
One time he had to stop a guy from taking one of Santa's reindeer from the Christmas display. At the time he had been the serious security guard who had escorted the offender to the security office, but later that night when he was sitting on his couch pounding a beer he started laughing at the hilarity of the situation. What moron would steal a fake reindeer from a mall? There sure are some losers in this world.
Lloyd quickly turned down his radio and started into a light jog down the walkway. He was all the way on the opposite end of the mall still near the food court while the store he was heading for was located at the complete other end. Lloyd began increasing his pace.
"God damn kids."
As Lloyd veered around a fountain to gain quicker access to the escalator on the far side of the food court, he nearly barreled over a woman with a stroller. In his near-acrobatic attempts to avoid squishing the lady and her child, the ponderous mass of his gut fought too greatly against the strain of his shirt, sending three buttons flying into the fountain .
Cursing louder than before, Lloyd knelt down in haste, scrabbling for the white buttons in the tepid pool. As he lunged to collect the last one, the terrible telltale sound of ripping fabric tore through his ears. Before he could completely ascertain what had ripped, his walkie-talkie went off again, urging speed; the perpetrator was about to make off with the stolen goods. Lloyd let out a loud snort and trundled up the escalator, pocketing the buttons as he awkwardly panted his way towards the store.
Lloyd attempted to collect himself as he vainly tried to regain his breath. Late night Heinekens and cheesesteaks were starting to catch up with him, it seemed, and he noted with a painful glance that his hairy stomach was protruding from the button less gash in the field of his navy blue shirt. The three buttons he had lost had come from the mid-section of the shirt, and so, Lloyd, the lone bastion of order in the mall, was forced to straiten his tie, suck in his gut, and walk into Bangles. Lloyd did so with his no-nonsense mask on, and the hairy cyclops of his bellybutton winking with his gasping breaths at whomever met its stare.
When Lloyd walked up to the counter in the store and informed the cashier not to worry since he was security, the disgust that filled her eyes made him blush. He seethed on the inside at the impudence of the twit, but he had a job to do and he had to carry it out. Keeping his stern look going, Lloyd sauntered over to the three girls still standing around one of the spinning display cases in the back of the store. They did not notice his arrival, which was good, since Lloyd had always believed that an ambush created confusion that might lead to a suspect revealing his or her guilt in a crime. Having been told that the girl under suspicion was the one with the full red hair he laid a heavy hand on her shoulder and spoke as he turned her around.
"Alright young lady, show me what's in your purse."
As the girl in question raised her gaze to his he was suddenly struck by the realization that this was no ordinary girl. What was he thinking? This was no ordinary woman. He was actually touching, he was in fact holding on to, and had in his possession. the one, the only, wet dream of wet dreams: Miss Lacy herself.
Thinking fast, he realized that she must have decided to spend the day in the mall before her stint at the video store for her signing. He could tell from the look in her eyes that she knew he recognized her. When her gaze left his and traveled down his body taking in the greasy hair underneath his hat, his buttonless shirt, his hairy gut, and his too short trousers, Lloyd blushed even more deeply than before.
When her moss green eyes returned to his face, Lloyd was sure they were going to be filled with the same disgust that the cashier had had. Yet on their return he saw not a hint of disgust, he even suspected that there might be a bit of interest there. Deciding that perhaps she knew a good man when she saw one, Lloyd straightened his shoulders a bit and sucked in his belly a little more and said in his most authoritative voice,
"Well... aha... that is, if you could... er... I mean to say..."
Out of the corner of his eyes, Lloyd caught the woman behind the counter peer over and around the earring display, as if to se what was going on. The two other girls near Lacy, apparently sensing something was amiss, drifted towards the front of the store.
Lloyd withdrew his hand, and wiped it once on his thigh as he stammered on, absolutely hypnotized by her eyes.
"If I might Miss, look at what is in your purse. That is if you want, er, if rather..."
Lloyd's ramblings were cut short by the abrupt pressure of one of Lacy's perfectly manicured fingers pressing down on his large rubber-band lips.
"Shhh. You can look."
Lacy undid the fastener on the bag, and, holding it up to her chest, tucked the arm under her chin to hold it momentarily, then shifted it to fold the top over the main bulk of the beg. Opening it in her hands, she held it away from herself at an angle for Lloyd to inspect. Her thumb however, seemed to get mysteriously caught in the V-Neck of her shirt, and as she held the bag away from herself, her shirt seemed to part like the red sea. Through the silk valley of crimson, Lloyd could see both mound Hebron and Sinai, neither of which were capped in the customary top of white-silk snow known to oftentimes grace such glorious geographic structures.
Lloyd’s eyes nearly bugged from their sockets as he held a breath and felt a sweat break out all over his forehead. He ran a nervous tongue over his lips, and, staring down the shirt of his goddess, he was completely oblivious to the three stolen CD's, two pairs of earrings, still labeled and fresh of the rack, as well as the watch, still in plastic case.
"See, nothing I need to hide here officer"
Lloyd's only reply was a coarse attempt at his previous stammers.
"A man of the law, huh? I like your cops. Uniforms are sexy. Takes a real man to run a mall like this. I bet you see all types, huh? You may have some talents I am..ah… interested in. Care to do a little extra work for me?"
Lloyd’s blood sang in his ears. He dully nodded.
"Good," said Lacy, snapping shut the bag and Lloyd's view "I'm at the Bedford Townhouse, meet me down in front at about eight tonite, and I'll explain what I want you to do. You know where the townhouse is don't you?"
Another dull nod was Lloyd’s only response.
"Good, I'll see you there then."
Lacy, turning on her heel, slid right past Lloyd, and out the main door. Lloyd, who still stood in a catatonic pose, was snapped out of it by the shrill whine of the woman behind the counter.
"Lloyd, what are you doing? Lloyd, you're letting her get away!"
Ignoring the shrew for the moment, Lloyd simply watched as Lacy walked out of the store and turned left, meeting up with her friends who had been waiting outside for her. When she was no longer in sight, Lloyd sighed long and deep and turned towards the lady at the counter.
"Look lady, I checked out her purse, there were no earrings, no bracelets and no other doodads in there. She was clean. So get off my back and don't call unless you see the person put it in something, alright?"
Lloyd left before the duly chastened girl could remark. He slowly headed back to the other end of the mall to the foodcourt so that he could get a taco. All that running and excitement had set his stomach growling. Grinning to himself, and at the thought of tacos, Lloyd picked up his step and made it to the food court in under five minutes.
As he neared the taco stand he was already imagining the greasy meat and the oozing salsa and sour cream. Just as he neared the counter a group of school kids ran up to the taco stand and got there before he did. Now instead of getting his taco in seconds, he had to wait in line behind some goddamn kids. They were attended by a late teenage mother’s helper, who obviously could not deal with the handful of rodents which had been made her charges.
"HEY! Look at that police officer! He has a big belly!!"
The noise around the food court, while not roaring, subsided to a meager fraction of what it was before. Lloyd suddenly felt very uncomfortable as several dozen pairs of eyes found him instantly. The little boy who was still pointing at him giggled slyly as the sitter’s hand found the back of his head.
"Billie, what an awful thing to say!"
The babysitter, obviously appalled and embarrassed, but staring nonetheless at Lloyd as she scolded, did so in a manner that seemed to break the ice, allowing the whole court to start chattering again. Lloyd was no longer hungry. He went back to his cubicle, stapled shut his shirt, and fantasized about the night to come for the rest of his would-be workday, putting off any major security breaches in the same part of his brain he had already buried the taco-kid's comment.
Finally, closing time arrived for the mall and he only had do was make one more round to check that all the stores were locked up, and that the metal grates were all pulled down. Completing the task in record time, Lloyd climbed up into his beat up old truck and peeled out of the parking lot with the orange flashing security lights on. On his way to the townhouses he stopped in a local 24 hour pharmacy to pick up his daily lotto ticket. While he was waiting for the numbers to come up, he noticed a rack of prophylactics inauspiciously displayed just behind the counter.
Thinking it would make a good impression to come prepared, he reached over and grabbed a box of Sheiks and tossed them onto the counter with his losing ticket.
Smiling to himself, he paid the cashier. Giving her a knowing wink as she placed his purchase in a little plastic bag, Lloyd again was filled with a rush of anticipation for the evening to come. Hurrying back to his truck, Lloyd jumped in and continued on his way to his apartment, thinking all the while of the possibilities for the evening.
Lloyd’s nervousness totally botched his routine preparation for an evening out. Lloyd bathed, shaved, then applied copious amounts of underarm deodorant, foot powder, aftershave, and cologne. He put shaving cream on his toothbrush. He used mouthwash for aftershave. Not a glance was spared at the plastic cases of the tapes strewn about his apartment, not one of his well-thumbed magazines were touched. Smelling like Barbisol and Listerine, Lloyd set to assembling his wardrobe.
The pair of tiger-patterned bikini briefs sized precisely four inches too small for him at the waist went on first. Lloyd then bedecked himself in the best apparel of his wardrobe above them. He squeezed into a polyester, powder-blue leisure suit, and a white horizontal-striped button-down. Running his sausage-fingers through his well-oiled hair, Lloyd examined himself; a powerful sex magnet, one last time before he darted back out to his waiting Dodge Dakota. He peeled out of his parking spot, and drove off like mad towards the Bedford townhouse..
Back in his truck, Lloyd truly felt like the rugged outdoorsman he'd always believed himself to be. The mall security officer again returned his thoughts to the coming night. He remembered all five of Lacy Bottom's films. Real works of art, they were; truly stunning. She always managed to capture the innocent look while still keeping the image of seductress alive. And man, could she ever suck a dick. Just thinking about watching her was making him even more excited to start the evening. Pulling into her parking lot at exactly 8:01pm, Lloyd quickly checked his appearance in his rear view. Spitting on his hand he reflattened his hair to his brow and then dusted a nonexistent piece of lint from his shoulder. Satisfied that all was in order, he got down from the truck and headed to the front door of the building.
As he neared the door he realized he'd not thought of bringing her anything. Lloyd froze halfway to the door, sure in his knowledge that you were supposed to bring some flowers or something to a girl like Lacey. All he had was the brown paper bag with the condoms in it, gripped in his left hand. Feeling slightly embarrassed Lloyd waited halfway up the walkway, trying to decide whether he had enough time to run to a grocer and get some flowers. Just as he turned to go back to the truck he heard that sweet voice call out to him,
"Heya big guy! You made it."
Lloyd's knees turned to water, and he fumbled with the bag in his hands as he turned around again. Lacy was wearing a red spandex miniskirt, and a haltertop that barely cut below what he had received a free visual tour of earlier that day. She strode towards him while he turned around on the path to the door, trying to think up an excuse for not having anything. As he stammered, Lacy closed the distance, and for the first time, noticed the bag in his hands. She snagged it from him before Lloyd could even think to move the bag away from her reach.
"Oh, for me, how swee..."
Lloyd, horrified at this accidental disaster, lurched forwards as Lacy returned to the doorway. She opened the bag before he made it halfway. Her comment was cut short by a sudden uprising of laughter from the back of her throat.
"MOMMM! Watcha laffin at? Is the babysitter here yet? I wanna order pizza..."
Chills arced through Lloyd's body as he recognized the voice of the kid from the taco stand earlier that afternoon. Lacy turned about to face Lloyd, who stood there as if struck dumb by a thunderclap.
"You do like kids, don't you? I mean... well... I guess this..."
Whatever excuse she was going to make dispersed as her words were drowned out by the sound of a motorcycle revving down the street. With a wild combination of breaking, swerving, and squealing, it came to a perfect stop right next to the curb right at the end of the path from the doorway.
Lloyd turned towards the bike. A man hopped off it. Lloyd watched him saunter up the path, taking in the leather jacket, torn jeans, and black snakeskin boots. As the man removed his helmet it revealed a full head of luxurious black hair and a face chisled and bedecked with a one-day’s growth of stubble. The man came to stand in front of Lacy, stepping around Lloyd as if he were a bag of garbage. He easily rivaled Lloyd's six foot three inches but Lloyd outweighed him by about a hundred pounds. The mystery man had a muscled physique that was emphasized when he grabbed Lacy around the waist and swung her around high up in his arms. Returning her to the ground, he looked at Lloyd as if he noticed for the first time he had not stepped around a bag of garbage.
"Who the hell are you?"
"Uh... I'm Lloyd."
Lloyd assumed that the man’s silence was due to the fact that he was overwhelmed by his eloquence.
"He's the baby-sitter, hon. He’s staying with Billie for the night." Lacy replied, her eyes never leaving Lloyd's face.
Lloyd could feel the cold sweat racing down the back of his neck. Looking away from Lacy's undisturbed gaze, Lloyd just nodded and said, "Yeah, I'm the baby-sitter."
"Oh well great. If we are coming back tonight, we should be back around 3am or so. If not, after the continental breakfast tomorrow. If you aren’t too hung over or sore, right babe?"
The man walked back to his bike with Lacey in tow. He popped his helmet back on and Lacy climbed on behind him. She had hardly settled into her seat when he gunned it out of the lot. Lloyd's eyes followed the sight of his Lacy leaving with another man. He was fully prepared to stay out on the pathway, waiting for her return for the entire night. His attention was shifted by a shooting pain racing up his shin.
"OW! You kicked me you little shit! Why did you kick me?"
Billie continued to rain little sneakered kicks below Lloyd's knee. He looked up with a scowl then stuck out his tonge, and took off as Lloyd reached down to grab him.
"I want to order pizza, NOW!" The yell carried promise of an impending tantrum if demands were not met. With a shuddering sigh, Lloyd intoned what he felt would end up being the motto of his evening: "Goddamn kids."