The doors were about to close when a perfectly manicured hand Karate-chopped between them, forcing them open. Lucy stood before him, arms outstretched between the doors, grinning. Henry’s dark eyes traced the serpentine curve of her figure, finally resting bewildered on her glorious face. She raised an eyebrow at him.
“Going my way?” Lucy asked, stepping on the elevator next to him. He couldn’t believe his luck.
“Uh… floor?” He asked, using every ounce of his self control to remain calm. His hands were clasped in front of his pants.
“Nineteen.” She said, a mysterious smile lingering on her plump red lips.
“Me too!” Henry blurted out, an awkward expression knitting his brow, endearing his handsome, perpetual baby face.
“Imagine that!” She winked at him, almost causing him to pass out. There was no blood left in his head. “Hey, do you want to…” Her question was interrupted by a disturbing mechanical groan from outside the walls of the elevator, which stopped at the 16th floor.
“FUCK!” They simultaneously shouted. Henry hit the emergency button several times, which buzzed and did nothing to restart the elevator. She stood next to him, perfectly still, smiling at her serendipitous advantage and his increasing panic.
“Maybe you should blow on it.” She suggested, wiggling her eyebrows at him. He didn’t think that was funny.
“I have to get out of here!” Henry pressed the emergency button repeatedly, growing more frantic by the second. “Help! We’re stuck in here!” He shouted at the door, his erudite voice echoing up the empty elevator shaft. He pounded on the mirrored door, imprinting what looked like several toe-less baby footprints. Lucy’s delicate hand covered his fist, lowered it from the mirrored surface. His anxious eyes turned to hers, engulfed by her inexplicable serenity.
“Don’t break it, Henry. The last thing we need are shards of broken glass to sit on in here.” She turned him by the fist towards her and lowered them both to a seated position on the floor of the elevator with ethereal grace. Henry felt mesmerized by her placid demeanor. “Elevators in Vegas hotels don’t stay broken for long. Just chill.” She sat with her legs twisted in an impossible yoga pose that maintained her ladylike posture. He sat cross-legged across from her, head in his hands, shaking. She touched his wrist. “Hey, do you want to hear a joke?”
“What?” He looked up from his hands, brow furrowed.
“How is a raven like a writing desk?” She smiled expectant of a positive response. Henry paused, confused.
“I don’t know, how?”
“No idea, I was hoping you would know.” She shrugged, amused by her own attempted antics.
“That’s not a joke.”
“Yes it is. I asked if you wanted to hear a joke, not a punchline.” Her wry grin broke his anxiety. “Hey, I see that smile…” Lucy cajoled, her green eyes glittering. His hands fell in his lap, shaking. She tucked the side of her index finger under his chin and raised his gaze to meet hers. “I know what you need…” Her black velvet clutch contained a small silver case with a tiny glass cylinder of high-quality cannabis, rolling papers and three “strike anywhere” matches. Henry’s nostrils inhaled the sweet scent of sativa as an aura of calm settled over both of them. She began breaking up the buds using meticulous fingertips, carefully removing stems until there was a fluffy pile of green herb ready to be rolled on top of the silver case.
“You’re not supposed to smoke in elevators.” Henry said, wishing he could have thought of something cooler.
“What are they gonna do, kick us out?” Lucy said, licking the paper closed like a cat lapping up milk. A match erupted in flame when she struck it on the braille emergency exit sign. The flame flickered in the dark depths of her pupils. She sucked smoke through the herb-stuffed paper tube. Henry studied the mysterious woman as she waved the match cold and handed him the joint. Their fingers touched for brief moment, sending shock-waves through his entire nervous system. He took a hit and narrowed his eyes at her.
“Who are you?” Henry looked into her eyes, as if he could read her mind. He handed the joint back to her, she took it slowly, deliberately brushing her fingertips against his as it transferred between their hands.
“I already told you, Henry. I’m your number one fan.” The sweet simper on her face belied the enigma behind her eyes. He could tell he wasn’t getting any more information out of her at this moment.
“Well, Ms. Fan. If you don’t mind me saying, I guess I’m lucky to be stuck in an elevator with such a beautiful woman…” He took the joint back from her and inhaled a puff. “And such powerful weed!” He exhaled.
“Why would I mind you saying that?” Lucy smiled, took the joint from his fingers and stretched her legs out in front of her, crossing her ankles so he could get a better look at her shapely, stocking-clad calves, accentuated by her kitten-heeled pumps. Henry’s eyes moved up and down her legs, surveying her sumptuous curves as she rolled her ankles and puffed the joint.
“These days… you never know how someone’s going to take a compliment.” Henry tried to look away from her, but the entire elevator was mirrored except for the floor. She was everywhere, grinning at his discomfort.
“I take it very well.” She shot a sizzling glance into his eyes, indicating a double meaning. Henry was beginning to enjoy himself through all the claustrophobic anxiety. He took another puff of the joint.
“Good to know.” He said, handing her the last of the smoldering roach with a half-smile rounding his cheeks. The elevator made a startling groan. “What the hell was that?!” Henry exclaimed. Metallic banging noises made him jump up in a panic. Lucy stood up in her heels with baffling grace.
“Whoa, there cowboy. Get a grip.” She crushed the ember at the end of the joint on the bottom of her shoe and stashed the roach in her silver case. Raw panic filled Henry’s entire being. Lucy placed her palms on the sides of his face and looked deep into his dark eyes. “We are going to be okay. Breathe.” Henry inhaled deeply at her command, let out a shuddering sigh. “That’s better. Now gimme a boost.” She kicked off her shoes and he tried not to appear amused by her short stature. Lacing his fingers to elevate her stocking-clad foot, she climbed up onto his shoulders to reach the hatch in the ceiling of the elevator.
“Do you know what you’re doing?” He asked, struggling to hold her and contain his arousal over the close proximity of her ass to his face.
“Nope, but that’s nothing new.” Lucy said, situating herself atop his shoulders, her legs wrapped around his ears. She grappled with the latch on the mirrored hatch, unable to flip the switch. The disturbing banging noise continued outside the elevator car.
“This is a hell of a way to die.” Henry said, hoping she wouldn’t look down and see the tent forming in his pants.
“Pssht. We’re not gonna die. Hand me my clutch, I think I can pry this sucker open with a nail file.” Lucy commanded. Henry tried not to stare at the red-painted toenails inside her silky nylons as he reached down onto the floor to retrieve the clutch. Using a pointed emery board, she finagled the stubborn latch open and the door swung down. “I got it!” She exclaimed, climbing up onto the top of the elevator car.
“Be careful!” He yelled as if she was listening. Legs dangling from the hatch in the ceiling, she felt around for the banging culprit as he stole a few glances up her dress. Lucy let out a vibrant laugh of discovery which reverberated throughout the elevator shaft. Open-mouthed in astonishment over the beauteous power of her laugh, it echoed down Henry’s throat. The banging stopped.
“I found it! Help me down!” He grasped her legs as she descended back into the elevator car, a crowbar in her hand. Henry brushed a speck of soot away from her flushed cheek with his thumb. “We can use this to open the door!” Lucy said. Her delight was infectious. Henry mustered all of his masculinity and attempted to open the door. She stood patient and smiling in her stocking feet, watching him. After a few grunting efforts, Henry managed to get the door open a crack, then pushed it open the rest of the way to reveal the solid concrete wall of the elevator shaft.
“Welp, I suppose it was worth a shot.” Henry said, tossing the crowbar on the floor, staring worried at the concrete wall.
“Most worthwhile things are, Henry.” Lucy said, standing hands-on-hips as he sat on the floor. Henry studied this mysterious woman from her bare stocking feet to her amphora-vase body to her Botticelli Venus face, absolutely confounded. This could turn out to be the worst thing that ever happened to him or the best. There was no way of knowing yet.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know if we’re ever getting out of here.” Henry said, putting his head in his hands again. She sat behind him and started to rub his shoulders. Henry was instantly soothed by her tiny fingers kneading the tense muscles in his neck and shoulders.
“Don’t apologize, it’s not your fault… and we are getting out of here. Don’t worry, Henry. They’ll come for us soon.” She sat on her knees, pressing her luscious breasts against his back as she massaged away his anxiety. His eyes closed as he sank into abject relaxation. The constantly tense part of his brain wanted to live in this moment forever.
“You have got some magic fingers, m’lady.” He uttered in a husky tone, hoping that was a charming thing to say.
“Why thank you, my good sir! I’ve always loved these gorgeous hands of yours.” Lucy took his right hand in hers and started massaging his palm, working her thumbs outward to his fingertips. “Your pianist skills are a big reason why I adore your work. It’s a shame more folks don’t recognize your talents other than my favorite TV show.” Henry considered her reflection in the mirrored wall of the elevator, detecting no sarcasm, a genuine grin alighting her earnest face. He couldn’t believe this was happening.
“Well, if you’re interested, I could give you a private performance sometime.” Henry baited his breath, unsure of the response he expected.
“That sounds lovely!” She said as she worked the tension out of his other hand. The elevator shuddered to life, the door creaked shut and the lights went out. Pitched in total darkness, Henry wrapped Lucy in a protective embrace. She folded into his chest and inhaled his natural smell like couldn’t get enough of him. Steadfast confidence subsiding in the dark, she began to shake in his arms.
“It’s okay, remember to breathe.” He soothed while rubbing her back. She took a few shaky breaths.
“I don’t like the dark.” Lucy confessed in a child-like whisper.
“Me neither. But you were right, they’ll come for us soon. This will be over before we know it. Then we can go to my suite and I’ll play for you… uh, the piano! I mean… I’ll play the piano for you. Sound good?” He pet the back of her head, enjoying the soft texture of her blonde tresses a little too much for the stressful situation. The smell of her hair was intoxicating.
“Yes, please.” She murmured, muffled by the fabric of his shirt. The lights switched back on and they both let out an audible sigh of relief. The elevator continued to ascend to the 19th floor. They both stood up, Lucy held onto Henry’s hand. He looked into her mystifying eyes full of wonder.
“You really are quite a fan, huh?” Henry found her adoration delightful.
“I told you I am your number one fan. You need to play piano to sleep, I need your shows… your voice… Every night to go to sleep.” She insinuated.
“Wait… You watch my show when you’re going to sleep?”
“Uh huh.” She nodded.
“That means you’re listening to me when you…”
“Awesome… When are we gonna get there? Wow, this elevator is taking forever, huh?”