June balanced on the Diner stool and hiked her skirt up above her knee, garnering a disapproving look from the older waitresses, and winked boldly at Max. The smell of grease wafted from her uniform and permeated the air around her, but after three years of waitressing she no longer noticed the odor. With or without perfume June was determined to get someone into bed, and if behaving flagrantly worked for guys, well, it could work for her, too.
The boys were home on leave for only a few more days before their transport left for Europe to fight the Nazi’s and come home heroes. Those that came home. World War II had already taken its toll on the male population in her small town and June was getting tired of the shortage of good men.
Of course there was always the 4-F’s left in town, but June didn’t want defective goods. She wanted a real live man who would make her blood boil and her toes curl. At twenty-two life was passing her by.
She tapped her toe as the jukebox lights danced to the beat of the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing ‘In The Mood’ and the music made June want to cut loose and go out dancing. She couldn’t remember the last time she had a good time.
She glanced over at the quartet of men sitting in the corner booth near the window and separated her knees slightly, spinning gently back and forth on the stool, her elbows resting behind her on the counter, and watched the men’s reaction; and then bruised the insides of her kneecaps when she snapped them together, caught in the act.
Pastor Hogan gave her a perfunctory frown as he walked past her to the cash register and paid for his coffee.
Small places were a pain in the ass sometimes, June thought cynically. She didn’t know why she still felt guilty about anything she did. Why bother? Her reputation was shot long ago in this one-horse town thanks to Ralph, but deep down she still wanted a little respect.
Order up!” Paddy yelled and June inched off the stool, letting her skirt slide up her thigh as she gave a last look in Max’s direction and went to deliver the food. Of the four men watching June’s performance all but Max had given her a slow appreciative gaze.
“She’s a hot one.” Johnny leaned in over the table with a conspiratory whisper. “Got the fever for you, I think, Maxie.” They all chuckled as Max looked out the window and ignored Johnny’s insinuations. He wasn’t into older women, especially not June Winslow.
“Aw, Max has a hard-on for June Winslow.” Johnny, too busy enjoying the sound of his own voice, mistook Max’s set jaw and pursed lips as embarrassed interest in June.
“So whadaya gonna do about her?” Ralph knew Max was still a virgin. They all joined the army straight out of high school, but the fact Max hadn’t scored yet wasn’t Ralph’s fault. God knows he’d tried to set Max and Johnny up a few times overseas. Max just wasn’t buying it. Ralph was beginning to wonder which side of the field Max was playing on.
In reality, the thought of sex made Max nervous and excited, but not with June. She was Ralph’s left-overs. He wanted more than just getting laid, or so he’d been telling himself.
“Only got a few days, boys. That one’s a no-brainer.” Ralph knew Max would leave June alone though. Ralph had earmarked her as his property since high school. He went over and plugged a couple more nickels into the jukebox then came back and sat down with authority. A couple of years ahead of Max and Johnny, Ralph had been the kinda guy who did ‘kiss and tell’ in high school.
The Andrews Sisters belted out ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ and Ralph’s nervous fingers tapped the table top making it clear he was strung tight and itching for a good time himself.
Every town had at least one girl like June. A girl caught in the cross-fire of peer pressure, society and teenage hormones, who made a wrong choice and got a reputation. Ralph was adamant about her choices not being his fault back in high school. He expected her to forgive and forget his bragging as no big deal. They were just kids. The double standard allowed boys to forget where girls couldn’t.
“If you don’t take advantage, I will.” Ralph slapped some money down on the table to cover the bill and nodded for June. He slid out of the booth and flexed his well-proportioned muscles giving everyone, especially June, a view of how army life had sculpted him.
“Hey, fellas. I’m a little short.” Chick could never cover his share when they went out. He and Ralph had been best buddies since fourth grade and Ralph knew Chick’s family was dirt-poor. He also knew Chick sent money home every week now and Ralph had already put twice his share in the pile.
“Covered it.” Ralph didn’t mind. Chick was one of those guys that you knew you could count on in a pinch and he’d proved his loyalty to Ralph on more than one occasion over the years.
“Aw. Thanks, man.” Chick always acted like he’d never been short before but his gratitude was genuine. Without thinking Ralph threw a jibe.
“Yeah, you owe me about eight million bucks now.” Ralph’s voice came out louder than he’d intended and Chick hung his head in embarrassment making Ralph feel like a jackass.
June came over and picked up the money and the ticket, looking at both with a smirk on her face.
“I give you the best service in the joint and you’re too cheap for a decent tip?” She stuffed the bills into her cleavage, not even considering change, and gave Ralph a shriveling look. Forgive and forget hadn’t happened yet apparently, but that didn’t deter Ralph.
“Here.” Max took some change out of his pocket and handed it to June, not wanting any trouble.
June smiled at Max and put her hand on his shoulder, feeling the rippling muscles tighten beneath her touch. It sent volts of electricity to all her erotic spots. He would definitely provide some lucky girl with a good time, June thought.
“So, what are you doing between now and when you ship out, Soldier?” The words came out between each chew of her gum and Max watched, fascinated as it flashed between her teeth, waiting for the gum to fly toward him.
“The lady’s talkin’ to you.” Johnny nudged Max and the goofy grin on his face said it all. Johnny was barely ‘unvirginized’ himself, just enough to leave him drooling for more.
“Uh. Nothin’. Not much.” Max could feel the blood creeping up his neck into his face. Shit. The guys would never let him live this down.
“Well, I bet I got a night off between now and then. How ‘bout we go to a movie – or something?” June accented the word ‘something’ with a seductive shrug of her shoulders and glanced at Ralph for a reaction. His face was unreadable as usual.
“Sure. Sure, June. I’ll call you.” Max had no intention of calling her. As easy as she was making this, Max didn’t want to go out with June. He looked across the Diner and saw Mary Beth sitting in a booth with her best friend, Alice. Mary Beth was probably too good for him. He’d been trying to get up enough courage to ask her out since high school and it wasn’t getting any easier.
June noted the direction of his gaze and snapped her gum loudly, startling him.
“So. What night you want to go out?” She couldn’t believe she was being this aggressive, but life was boring her to tears lately. She leaned down and stared into Max’s face allowing her breasts to escape the top of her uniform just enough to create prominent cleavage. Her hair smelled of cooking grease and it turned Max’s stomach, but that didn’t stop the blood from rising all the way to his scalp, making June think she was getting to him.
“Leave him alone, June. He’s got plans.” Ralph realized she was determined to get a date and he intervened by taking her elbow and pulling her away. “But I got a free night open.” He might be pressing his luck, but had nothing to lose.
“Why would I want to go out with a jerk like you?” June’s upper lip curled in contempt and she jerked her elbow out of Ralph’s grasp.
“Ooooh. Cut off at the knees, man.” Johnny obviously didn’t want to live until morning. “Somebody close the door, there’s a chill in here.”
Ralph flashed him a look that said “Shut your mouth if you know what’s good for you,” and Johnny slammed himself back against the booth seat and busied himself with chewing his lower lip as Ralph turned back to June to show them how it’s done.
“Come on, Baby. You know I gotta thing for you,” Ralph pretended to straighten the stripes on his sleeve, knowing June couldn’t resist a man in uniform and added under his breath, “ya know, a thing, Junie.” He used the nickname he’d called her in high school and June paused for a split second at the sound.
She straightened her apron, taking charge of the situation again and looked Ralph over carefully. His six foot frame was bursting with manhood, he was easy on the eyes, too, and familiar territory. June could do worse. She considered his offer. A little hot, meaningless sex was all she really wanted anyway, right?
“Call me.” She reached to clear empty dishes from the table and ‘accidentally’ slid her thumb through some ketchup, then licked it off seductively before turning away from Ralph. He couldn’t believe his dumb luck. She couldn’t believe her audacity.
Across the diner as Alice gathered her things, Mary Beth looked over at Max for a brief moment and smiled shyly before breaking their gaze. It was enough to almost send Max through the ceiling. Just thinking about Mary Beth, they might have to order another round of coffee until the bulge in his crotch would let him walk out of there.
God, he wanted her!