|Crossed Rose by D.M. Atkins|
At a leather play party, Davey, a shy trans man, sees the woman of his dreams—Maria, the beautiful, brown-skinned woman in red. Davey wants her desperately enough to ask Papa, a stranger at the crossroads, for her heart. Papa's instructions seem simple enough, but failing to follow them might cost Davey more than just his soul. (M/F)
It’s after work one night as I’m driving to a local leather meet-up that something strange happens. I’ve left my phone at work and don’t want to miss the meet-up going back for it, so I’m circling the block trying to find the place, hoping I have the right block, when I see a flash of red. Like a bull, my eyes find it—and her.
She’s laughing on the arm of another woman. She’s in a red dress that has a full and ruffled skirt, narrowed waist and dropping cleavage. I brake in the middle of the block and flick on my turn signal when the driver behind me honks his horn. Let him think I’m waiting for a car to pull out. Her hair is down and the curls fall down her back, but are pinned up on the sides. She’s made up like she’s going out for the night and the clack of her high heels makes my heart speed up. I want to jump out of my truck right there but have no idea what I’d say.
As she and her friend enter a door, I look up to find the name of the very restaurant I was looking for. It has to be, I tell myself, feeling for the red bag in my pocket. Just as I squeeze it, the car parked in front of me pulls out, and I have a parking space that quickly. I almost run to get in the door after, but stop to make sure I’m looking good as I stroll in. I see a few folks I know already amidst a group of people who have pulled half a dozen small tables together into one. She’s not seated yet, but is leaning over and hugging a man. Folks are teasing them both about the way her cleavage is all he can look at when she does.
“Hey, Davey,” a friend yells and I wave back as I make my way to the crowded tables.
Beauty stands up and smiles, big beautiful dark eyes, clearly checking me out. “Maria,” she introduces herself, holding out a hand.
“Davey,” I answer. “What, no hug for me?” I protest in mock hurt.
To my surprise, and delight, she laughs and hugs me. Too quick for me to really hug back, but then we’re being directed to pull up another table and chairs. Somehow in the chaos of shuffling seats, I end up sitting beside her.