Welcome! This week the word prompt is "business". We are back with "Break My Heart" and at the carnival with Rick and Amber, as the kissing booth opens.
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Rick ignored the growing lump in his stomach and wandered through the carnival. Lured by the smell of hot oil and sugar, he bought a funnel cake. The nostalgic sounds of tinny music joined perfectly with the smell of onions sautéing and cotton candy returning him to his youth. He ambled along to the impressive 4H projects, including the biggest rabbits he’d ever seen. He finished his tour with his favorite carnival treat, a caramel apple. He munched as he returned to his booth. Checking his watch, he barely had time for a trip to the men’s room.
With breath freshened, hair combed he manned the booth. Amber was already there.
“Hi, I’m Amber. You’re Breaker, right?”
“Rick, to my friends.”
They shook hands.
“Ever do this before?” He asked.
“Every year. My dumb-ass sister volunteers me then blackmails me into agreeing.”
“You, too? I’m here under duress, too.”
She shot him a quizzical look.
“Against my will,” he explained.
“Oh, yeah.” She nodded.
“Any tips, secrets or anything?”
“Yeah, make it fast if someone’s got bad breath. And don’t let the old men touch you. Once they get their hands on your arm, they think that gives them free rein, you know?”
“I’m not exactly worried about that.”
“Aren’t you going to take your shirt off?” She asked.
“That wasn’t part of the deal. I thought this would work,” he said, referring to his skimpy tank top.
“It’s fine. But bare is better.”
He eyed her. “You’re buttoned all the way up. No cleavage?”
She shook her head. “These dirty old men don’t need encouragement. Last year my husband had to flatten one guy who kept getting ‘handy’.”
“Where is he?” Rick glanced around.
“By the men’s room. He stands nearby and any guy who gets touchy-feely, well, he takes care of him.”
“What about women?”
“I don’t think he’d hit a woman,” she chuckled. “You’re on your own.”
He smiled, but dread of having no takers grew in his belly.
“Here’s a box for the tickets. Don’t forget to take ‘em. Otherwise the ladies will just get back in line.”
“Are you numb afterward?”
“Yeah. My mouth, my lips. I don’t want to kiss my honey for at least half an hour afterward.”
“He’s a patient man,” Rick replied.
“Are you kidding? He’s a saint!”
At the sound of a throat clearing, Rick turned away from Amber and almost lost his footing. He again checked his watch. Eleven ten and there must have been a line of ten women in front of his booth.
“Pucker up, Mr. Winslow,” said the roly-poly woman with a baby in her arms.
His heart swelled.
“Sweetheart, call me Breaker.”
She plunked down five tickets. He put them in the box and closed his hands over her shoulders. “Come here, you luscious thing,” he said, bending down to kiss her. After one kiss, she giggled so hard he had to wait to plant the second one. Then he did the other three in quick succession, leaving her breathless.
“There you go, the Fire Department thanks you.”
The next woman stepped up. A blonde in her early twenties, he guessed. Nice rack, too. She put two tickets on the counter, herhand trembling. He slid the tickets away, then took her hand in both of his.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart. This won’t hurt a bit.”
She laughed, then leaned in as he bent down.
He couldn’t believe how many women clamored to touch his lips. Tall, short, chubby, thin and downright obese –they all waited patiently for their turn. Most had anywhere from one to five tickets.
The first hour passed in a flash. The shyness and giggles of the women charmed him. He’d never believed how many knew who he was and wanted to kiss him. They simply kept coming, minute after minute, hour after hour, until four o’clock. The business of kissing was thriving.