He Was Mercury – Short Story

He was Mercury. He had wings on his heels. He was faster than a speeding bullet.

Bob was a bicycle messenger for Courier, Inc.

He accepted his packet and tucked it into the bag strapped tightly around his chest. He tugged his fingerless gloves over his hands, then pulled his Oakleys out of the vee of his jersey over his eyes. The sun was wicked bright out there today.

His shoes clacked on the slate tile flooring that marked the lobby of the office. A quick push on the doors and Bob burst out into the bright sunshine. Temps were in the fifties, traffic reports were clear and his tires were full. All systems were go.

Unlocking the chain that held his baby to the parking meter, Bob wrapped it once around his waist, securing the padlock into place like a chastity belt. Fifteen minutes and he’d be dropping his parcel at the front door of Starley, Inc.

A quick hop and he was pushing the pedals, obtaining maximum speed within just a few feet. His thighs quivered with suppressed energy, his eyes focused on the road, always on the lookout for potholes or –

His bicycle tire hit the car door with a meaty thwack. His body hit the pavement with an even meatier thud. He lay stunned, little pebbles on the road digging into his jersey, as he tried to draw in air. Black spots danced in front of his eyes, and he feared he might pass out before he got his wind back.

“Are you all right?” Impossibly long legs flashed by his head, their nylon clad length swishing by his ear. Tall, slender heels in do-me red clattered to a halt by his hip, long fingernails tipped in the same red tapped across his chest. “I don’t think he’s breathing!”

He couldn’t breathe. Whether it was the blow from doing a half gainer onto the asphalt or the woman’s face as she leaned forward he didn’t know. Didn’t care.

She was blonde, angelic blonde. The sunlight behind her glowed through each individual strand until it stood out from her head like an aura. A halo. Her eyes were an impossible blue; her lips were red, luscious. Kissable.

She leaned over him, her lips pressed tightly to his, her mint-scented breath filling his nostrils. Her slender hand cupped his cheek, and he wished vaguely he had shaved that morning, instead of going for the cool-biker-with-stubble look.

Of a sudden, his breath came rushing back, only to be stopped as his angel clamped her fingers tightly over his nose, cutting off his air supply. Her lips sealed over his, and with more determination this time, she ground her lips against his. Her warm lips blew air into his mouth and his cheeks puffed out like a blowfish.

She finally released his mouth, and Bob drew in a grateful gasp of air, his vision clearing with the onslaught of oxygen to his brain. His angel spread both of her hands across his lower chest, pressing downward with a mighty heave, causing him to explode with an embarrassing ‘Urrp’. Was she trying to kill him?

Out of self-defense, Bob rolled to one side, his chain belt clinking loudly, his feet scrabbling for purchase on the gritty road. Dragging himself up to his knees, he paused, panting.

“It worked! I gave him the kiss of life and it worked!” Kiss of life? He snorted again.

Rolling painfully to his feet, Bob stood, facing his attacker.

“Hi! I’m Suzy. I just saved your life.” Her blue eyes were shining with the happiness only a Girl Scout could feel at having done her good deed for the day.

“You tried to kill me.”

“What?” Her morning-glory eyes popped opened wide.

“Lady,” Bob’s patience was spent and his sacroiliac had gotten a definite pounding. “You opened your car door without looking, you tried to smother me and then you tried to do CPR on my liver.”

Suzy’s jaw dropped, her eyes opening wider with horror. “But…”

“I have to get this package delivered.” Bob looked at his wristwatch. His time was up, and he’d ridden no further than a block. “Just get out of my way, I’ve got to go.”

“Uh…about your bike?”

Bob stomped past the front hood of her SUV and looked at the twisted pieces of metal and rubber. He ran his hand through his hair, took a calming breath and counted to ten. To twenty. Past one hundred.

“I can give you a ride.”

“Pardon?”

She shifted her feet slightly, drawing his attention to her long legs in those lethal high heels. “I can give you a ride. I’m late for my stockholders meeting, but if you put your bike in the back of my SUV, I’ll drop you off.” Her head drooped as she bit her cherry-red lip. “After all, it was partly my fault.”

“Partly?”

“Well, you were riding pretty fast.”

Bob shook his head in disbelief. Women. They were so clueless. On the other hand, this packet had to be delivered.

“Fine. We’ll take your vehicle. Open up the back.” Bob strode to his bike, his baby that lay crushed in the street. Manfully holding back a whimper, he cradled it in his arms, laying it gently on the carpeting.

He jumped into the passenger side, the scrape on his thigh protesting the movement. The leather seats gave gently to his bruised posterior, cradling him in its softness.

“Where were you headed?” She started the SUV, put on her turning signal and looking carefully behind her, merged with traffic.

“Starley, at the corner of –“

“Hey, that’s where I was headed too!”

Did the woman ever speak without an exclamation point? “What on earth do you have to do with Starley?” Bob looked at her disdainfully. What would a beautiful air-head like this have to do with a company that created computer chips that had changed the farming industry?

Suzy smiled. “Why, I own the company.”

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